temporal matters: so that the ’ acts are null and void. Now the Lord wants the tares and wheat to grow to gether: for Zion must be redeemed with judgments, and her converts with right eousness.
Every elder that can, after providing for his family (if he has any) and pay ing his debts, must go forth and clear his skirts from the blood of this gener ation. While they are in that region instead of trying members for trans gressions, or offenses, let every one labor to prepare himself for the vine yard, sparing a little time to comfort the mourners; to bind up the broken hearted; to reclaim the backslider; to bring back the wanderer; to re-invite into the kingdom such as have been cut off, by encouraging them to lay to while the day lasts, and work righteous ness, and, with one heart and one mind, prepare to help redeem Zion, that goodly land of promise, where the willing and the obedient shall be bles sed. Souls are as precious in the sight of God, as they ever were; and the el ders were never called to drive any down to hell, but to persuade and in vite all men every where to repent, that they may become the heirs of sal vation. It is the acceptable year of the Lord: liberate the captives that they may sing hosanna.
The , too, should not be idle: their duties are plain, and unless they do them diligently, they cannot expect to be approved. Righteousness must be the aim of the saints in all things, and when the covenants are published, they will learn that great things must be expected from them. Do good and work righteousness with an eye single to the glory of God, and you shall reap your reward when the Lord recompen ses every one according to his work.
The and are the standing ministers of the , and in the absence of other officers, great things, and a holy walk, are required of them. They must strengthen the members’ faith; persuade such as are out of the way to repent, and turn to God and live; meekly persuade and urge every one to forgive one another all their trespasses, offences and sins, that they may work out their own sal vation with fear and trembling. Breth ren, bear and forbear one with another, for so the Lord does with us: Pray for your enemies in the church, and curs[e] not your foes without: for vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, and I will re pay.
To every member and to all we say, be merciful and you shall find mercy. Seek to help save souls, not to destroy them: for verily you know, that “there is more joy in heaven, over one sinner that repents, than there is over ninety and nine just persons that need no repentance.” Strive not about the mysteries of the kingdom; cast not your pearls before swine, give not the bread of the children to dogs, lest you and the children should suffer, and you thereby offend your righteous Judge.
Your brethren, who leave their fam ilies, with whom they have enjoyed an earthly measure of peace and joy, to carry glad tidings round the world, ex pect great things of you, while you are privileged to enjoy the blessings of the saints’ society. They pray our heaven ly Father, that you may be very pray erful, very humble, and very charitable; working diligently, spiritually and tem porally for the , that the pure in heart may return with songs of everlasting joy to build up her waste places, and meet the Lord when he comes in his glory. Brethren, in the name of Jesus, we entreat you to live worthy of the blessings that shall follow, after much tribulation, to sa tiate the souls of them that hold out faith ful to the end.
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