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“THE number of suicides committed within the last four months is frightful. The time has been when such a crime excited a universal feeling of horror through the country; but they have now, unhappily, become too frequent to receive much attention. The pecuniary distress of the country has its full share in the alarming frequency of suicides. Nearly every mail brings accounts of more or less.

“It is surprising that in a christian country where the bible is in the hands of nearly all who can read, such scenes should be so frequent. They arise in most instances from false pride. A man who has lived in a high and fashionable style, meets with reverses of fortune that reduce him to the necessity of retrenchment, or, perhaps, compel him to labor for the support of his family. Instead of seeing in all this the hand of a kind and merciful Father, who seeks to purify his heart in the furnace of affliction, and by withdrawing his affections from the vanities of life, place them upon objects lasting and divine, he murmurs at the dispensation – thinks only of the opinion of the world, and too weak to endure the neglect of those whose opinions ought to be regarded as worthless, rushes, unbidden, into the presence of that Being who has pronounced the sentence of condemnation upon the self-murderer.

“Allusion to this topic is at all times appropriate to a religions press, and at this period peculiarly so. Gloom and despondency, arising from the great pressure which is felt throughout the country, prevail more extensively, perhaps, than at any former period of our history. It is the duty of every christian minister to point the desponding to the only true source of consolation – to cheer their drooping spirits with the words of comfort drawn from the promises of scripture, and show them the rich stores of happiness open to all who will accept it – happiness such as earth can never afford even to the most prosperous.

“Who can presume to say that God in infinite wisdom does not often visit nations as well as individuals with great pecuniary disasters, that they may see the vanity of all earthly hopes, and place their dependence upon heaven? Such seasons, if improved aright, will result to the everlasting good of many. In such times, the truths and promises of the gospel have more than usual effect, and revivals of religion prevail extensively. None can have forgotten how fatal to the progress of the cause of Zion was the period of the speculating mania a few years past. Almost every one seemed animated with the hope of becoming suddenly rich. This withering spirit found its way into the field of Christ, and in too many instances, vital piety suffered a melancholy decline. Reverses have now come, and though numbers are driven to despair and suicide, have we not reason to hope that the great Head of the church will overrule it for the ingathering of souls into his kingdom?” – Banner and Pioneer.

In the above article stands confessed, by the organ of’ New Schoolism at the west, that suicides and crime are increasing at an alarming rate, and this admission is but too true. Often have we called the attention of our readers to this fact, and to the fruitful source, the streams of which have contributed and still contribute to increase the amount of vice and immorality in our land. The professed church is laboring to keep pace with the world, and the world seems determined not to be outdone; these twain cannot draw together in an even yoke, without an equal amount of corruption in both parties. The church must obliterate every trace of distinction from the world, and discard all but worldly religion, worldly policy, and humanly devised measures on her part, and the world must descend to a corresponding level of Abomination, by assuming to be very religious, by taking the thus corrupted church under its paternal charge, by persecuting those who contend for the primitive simplicity of the gospel, and protest against the spiritual wickedness of high places.

The stipulations of the alliance formed by the parties are principally these: the church will omit, in her faith and practice, all that is offensive to the world, cause the offence of the cross to cease, and ascribe to the world the right and ability to dictate who, when and how many shall be saved. While the world engages and covenants to second all motions made by the clergy, not prejudicial to its maxims and interests, to furnish men, money and fame for her holy service, and when called for, state and national legislation, fire, sword and gibbets for the extermination of those who fear the Lord and tremble at his word.

The editor of the Banner and Pioneer affects to be astonished at the rapid increase of crime, suicides &c., in this christian country, this land of bibles and benevolence. But was it not the case with the prototype of the modern antichrist? When the zeal and co-operation of the world were employed in setting up the beast with seven heads and ten horns upon the seat of its predecessor, the dragon, did not crime and immorality increase in even ratio with the prevalency of the papal power and influence? Most certainly it did; and equally certain it is, that as the motley powers of amalgamated church, world and state influence shall progress in making an image to the beast that received a deadly wound in one of its heads, which deadly wound was healed, the inhabitants of the world shall witness a repetition of crime, bloodshed, rapine and blasphemy corresponding with that attendant on the accession of their old mother to the seat, power and authority of the dragon.

All manner of priestly contrived institutions for the ostensible object of reforming and evangelizing the world are now employed. Thousands of men and millions of money are demanded, collected and expended in attempting to wrest the work of salvation from the hand of him that sitteth upon the eternal throne, and yet, notwithstanding the constant clamor of victory and success shouted by the man of sin, from the very camp of anti-christ the acknowledgment is wrung that suicide and crime are increasing! The records of our courts, the walls of our prisons, and the extended number of executions for capital offences, bear a collateral testimony to the melancholy truth of the admission.

August 1, 1842.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 2
Pages 31 – 43