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Philistines. Delilah, the betrayer, with her traitorous kiss upon Samson's lips, and her traitorous whisper through the tent to his waiting enemy, could do what no thousand of open foes could accomplish. She made the proud, superb, perfect lion, a weak, whining whelp.
A mighty king had a well-beloved son to whom he had given and forgiven more than is usually bestowed upon one of human kind. And yet the son traitorously plotted the downfall and even the murder of his royal sire, and the usurpation of the throne. He might have succeeded in his cruel, parricidal treason, but that he himself was in turn betrayed and finally slain. And when the grand, great-hearted, poetic monarch learned that Absalom, the sweet, the beautiful, the dearly-beloved, was dead, he wept before all Israel, and as he went his sorrowful way thus he said: “O, my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! Would God I had died for thee, O, Absalom, my son, my son!”
If that arrow-pierced heart of the betraying and betrayed Absalom could have quickened but for one moment, how much sharper than the physical death-thrust would it have felt King David's cry of infinite forgiveness! But the past
irrevocable. Israel's lordly king, the beloved of God, was moaning in anguish at the gate of the city; and the beautiful Absalom, with the fatal hair, the beloved of his royal sire, was lying dead in the pit in the deserted wood, with ignoble stone crushing his lifeless body.
War, murder, exile were powerless to bring such desolation to the royal hearts; but when Absalom, the forgiven mur. derer, became a betrayer, infinite woe fell around the name of the dead prince and the bowed head of the living king. But though the great tenderness of the psalmist could compass remission for the crime of Absalom, the nation and history must be more harsh. When a subject, for self-aggrandizement, rises against a king, he is a traitor; but he is a thricedamned traitor when the monarch against whom he rebels is his own father.
Women are often false to their lovers, subjects to their sovereigns, and even sons to their sires. Divinity itself is no invulnerable shield against betrayal. A merciful Christ came to save mankind from torment and lift them into eternal radiance. He chose and trusted his apostles. He ministered to them and with them. They each could give a testimony that their Master was the anointed Savior, the Son of the living God. Persecution came upon Him like the storm cloud lowers upon the snowy mountains and enfolded him in a gloomy embrace. The prospect of suffering with this God-like Master, whom he had served as purse-bearer when the danger was not great, made Judas weak unto betrayal. Cowardice and avarice worked together in the traitor heart. He kissed and cried:
“Master, master! Hail, master!"
Then he took his thirty pieces of silver; and with them he accepted a hatred of all mankind.
The compassionate Redeemer of the world hung upon the cruel cross with drops of agony upon His radiant brow, while his lips were wreathed in a pained but forgiving smile. And Judas, the traitor, already tasting the infernal torments,called in vain to stay the progress of his dread act. The black-hearted deed was done. The mocking trial had passed, sentence had been pronounced and executed; and then the betrayer groaned and Aung the money from him as a sinful, burning thing which had no worth. Upon the bloody field he cast himself and his bowels gushed forth in useless contrition. He died upon the spot which his blood-money purchased for the burial of strangers and criminals in the land.
Ben E. Rich.
Literature is one of the instruments, one of the most powerful instruments, for forming character, for giving us men and women armed with reason, braced by knowledge, clothed with steadfastness and courage, and inspired by the public spirit and virtue of which it has been well said that they are the brightest ornaments of the mind of man.
and twenty-five days.
such integrity and such unflinching moral and physical courage as our beloved President who has just gone from in the face of angry mobs, and at other sonal violence from those who threatened his life, and upon occasions when Every Latter-day Saint always knew and courage were needed, where President John Taylor would be found, and what his tones would be. He met every issue squarely, boldly and in a way to call forth the admiration of all who saw most prominent characteristics, giving him distinction among men who were With these were combined an intense sion. He was a man whom all could
PRESIDENT JOHN TAYLOR. ONCE more the Latter-day Saints are title of "Champion of Liberty," which called upon to mourn the death of their he received in Nauvoo, was always felt leader—the man who has held the keys to be most appropriate for him to of the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
bear. But it was not only in the possesPRESIDENT JOHN Taylor departed this sion of these qualities that President life at five minutes to eight o'clock on Taylor was great. His judgment was the evening of Monday, July 25th, 1887,
remarkably sound and clear, and aged seventy-eight years, eight months through life he has been noted for the
wisdom of his counsels and teachings. In communicating this sad intelligence His great experience made his suggesto the Church, over which he has so tions exceedingly valuable; for there has worthily presided for nearly ten years scarcely been a public movement of any past, we are filled with emotions too kind commenced, carried on, or comdeep for utterance. A faithful, devoted, pleted, since he joined the Church in and fearless servant of God, the Church which he has not taken part. in his death has lost its most conspicu
But it is not necessary that we should, ous and experienced leader.
Steadfast even if time permitted, rehearse the to and immovable in the truth few men events of his long and busy life. To do have ever lived who have manifested so would only be to give a greater part
of the history of the Church; for with it his biography is inseparably interwoven.
The last time President Taylor apus. He never knew the feeling of fear peared in public was on Sunday, Februconnected with the work of God. But
ary Ist, 1885. On that occasion he
delivered a lengthy discourse in the times when in imminent danger of per
Tabernacle in Salt Lake City. Rumors had been floating around for some time
that his arrest was contemplated. In were menaced with public fact, while returning from a trip to the
never blanched-his knees settlements in Arizona, he was advised never trembled, his hand never shook. in California that he was in great danger,
and it was suggested that perhaps it on occasions when firmness would be better for him not to return to
Salt Lake City. He listened to these cautions but still resolved to take the risk and came back, and fearlessly went about his business for some time. But
on the evening of Sunday, February ist, Undaunted courage, he concluded to withdraw himself from unyielding firmness were among his
the public performance of his numerous and important duties. In taking this
step he did so more to preserve peace distinguished for the same qualities. and to remove all possible cause of
excitement, than from any desire for perlove of freedom and hatred of oppres sonal safety. He perceived that there
was a determination on the part of men trust
, and throughout his life he enjoyed, holding official position here to raise an to an extent surpassed by none, the im
issue and, if possible, involve the Latterplicit confidence of the Prophets Joseph,
day Saints in serious trouble. He had Hyrum and Brigham, and all the leading not broken any law. He knew he was men and members of the Church. The
innocent and that if he were arrested
and heard him.
and could have a fair trial, nothing could His demeanor throughout this long be brought against him. He had taken ordeal has been admirable. Everyone every precaution that a man could take who has seen him has been impressed by under his circumstances to make himself his equanimity and stately bearing, invulnerable to attack. He was deter Always distinguished for his courtesy mined that, so far as he was concerned, and dignity of character, at no period of he would furnish no pretext for trouble, his life did he ever exhibit those traits to but would do everything in his power to greater advantage than he has during prevent the people over whom he pre his exile. He has never condescended sided from being involved in difficulty. even to speak evil of those who so
From that date, upwards of two years cruelly persecuted him. and a half ago, when he left his home in By the miraculous power of God, Salt Lake City, he had not had the President Taylor escaped the death opportunity of crossing its threshold which the assassins of Carthage Jail deagain. To home and its joys, its delight- signed for him. His blood was then ful associations and its happy reunions mingled with the blood of the martyred he has been a stranger. He has lived as Prophet and Patriarch. He has stood an exile-a wanderer in the land, to the since then as a living martyr for the development and good government of truth. But to-day he occupies the place which he has contributed so much. of a double martyr.
President Joku' While living in this condition, one of his Taylor has been killed by the cruelty of wives was stricken with disease, and
officials who have, in this Territory, misthough his heart was torn with anguish represented the Government of the Uvited at the thought of her condition, and with
States. There is no room to doubt that anxiety to see her and minister to her in
if he had been permitted to enjoy the her deep distress, her residence was comforts of home, the ministrations of closely watched by spies, and when she
his family, the exercise to which he had was in a dying condition, was been accustomed, but of which he was searched with the hope of entrapping
deprived, he might have lived for many him. Thus she was deprived of the
years yet. His blood stains the clothes privilege of looking upon his beloved of the men, who with insensate hate face, and he had not even the sad con have offered rewards for his arrest and solation of witnessing or taking any part have hounded him to the grave. History in her funeral ceremonies.
will yet call their deeds by their right During the two years and a half that names; but One greater than the comPresident Taylor has been living in this bined voices of all historians will yet condition he has been cut off from all the pronounce their dreadful sentence. society and loving ministrations of his It is now some months since President family. But though this was so hard to Taylor was attacked by disease. It bear at his time of life, he never mur came upon him by degrees, manifesting mured. He was always full of courage itself in the beginning by a swelling of and hope, cheering everyone with whom the limbs for the want of proper exerhe was brought in contact, and lifting cise. He fought the disease with his his companions, by his noble example characteristic pluck and determination. out of despondency and discouragement. He would not yield. He would neither With the same courage with which he allow himself nor anyone else to think stood by the Prophet of God and with a that his sickness was serious. He would walking-cane parried the guns of the not allow his family to know his real mob when they vomited their sheets of condition, as he did not wish them to flame and messengers of death in Car have any anxiety on his account, and it thage Jail, he confronted the difficulties was almost against his express wishes and the trials which he had to meet they were told how sick he was. When when compelled to leave his home and
messages were sent by him to them, the society of those whom he loved. they were always of a re-assuring char
and of his being compelled to live as an The expressions of esteem and love
acter. Up to the last day or two he was for righteousness and for truth cannot able to sit in his chair, and until quite die. They go to an enlarged sphere of recently he was able to assist himself in usefulness. Their influence is extended getting in and out of bed. The strength and will be more widely felt, and Zion he has exhibited and his tenacity of life will feel the benefit of his labors, as it have been very wonderful; for though so has the labors of others who have gone strong, he had partaken of scarcely any before him. The work of God will roll nourishment for the past six weeks. So forth. One after another of the mighty peaceably did he pass away and so like men—the men who have spent their lives a babe falling asleep that a brief period in the cause of God-may pass away, elapsed before those who stood around but this will not affect the purpose of our his bed were sure that his spirit had Great Creator concerning His latter-day taken its flight.
work. He will raise up others, and the As the sad intelligence which we now work will go on increasing in power, in communicate will spread through these influence, and in all true greatness, until valleys and mountains, sorrow will fill it has accomplished all that God has the hearts of all at hearing of the last predicted concerning it. days of their beloved and venerable We feel to say to the Latter-day Saints: President.
We know how deep has Be comforted! The same God who been the sympathy that has filled the took care of the work when Joseph was hearts of the Saints for him in his ad martyred, who has watched over and vanced years in thinking of his condition guarded and upheld it through the long
years that have since elapsed, and who exile from his family and the people. has guided its destinies since the depart
ure of Brigham, still watches over it and which have come to him from all parts makes it the object of His care. John of the land have deeply touched him has gone; but God lives. He has given and caused him great pleasure in think His people a testimony of this. Cherish ing how much he was beloved and how
it in your heart of hearts, and live so much his welfare was desired by all the each day that when the end of your morSaints throughout the earth.
tal lives shall come, you may be counted His constant desire was to do every
worthy to go where Joseph, Brigham thing in his power to relieve the Latter
and John have gone, and mingle with day Saints from the oppressions under that glorious throng, whose robes have which they suffered. Every pulsation of been washed white in the blood of the his heart beat with a love of Zion and a Lamb. "This is the earnest prayer for desire for her redemption. We desired, all Saints and for all the honest in heart, and the desire was general, we believe,
of your unworthy servants in Christ, throughout the Church-that he might
George Q. Cannon, live to emerge from his exile and be once
Joseph F. Smith. free man among the people whom he loved. But this has been de
He has gone to mingle with the John Taylor was born in Milnthorp, holy and the pure, and to quote his own
Westmoreland County, England, Noveloquent words, written concerning his ember ist, 1808. He was educated in dear friend Joseph the Seer,
his native country, and being naturally "Beyond the reach of mobs and strise,
devotional he was impressed early with He rests unharmed in endless life;
religious influences and became a conHis home's in the sky, he dwells with the Gods, sistent member of the Methodist Church. Far from the furious rage of mobs."
In 1830 his parents, James and Agnes
Two And though we have lost his presence
Taylor, emigrated to Canada. here, his influence will still be felt. Such years later he joined them there, and men may pass from this life to another, making the acquaintance of Miss Leonbut the love which beats in their hearts ora Cannon, daughter of Captain Can
non of the Isle of Man, he married her 1840. He labored with great success in and settled in Toronto, engaging in the that seaport town, bringing many to a business of wood turner.
knowledge of the truth. In July of the Here he became associated with a same year he went to Ireland, preached number of progressive Methodists, and in several places and baptized the first being convinced by study of the Scrip convert in Ireland-a farmer by the tures that Modern Christendom had de name of Taite. He then went to Scotparted from the primitive simplicity, land, preaching in Paisley and Glasgow, power and purity of apostolic times, he and returning to Liverpool, proceeded and another preacher boldly proclaimed to the Isle of Man-where he preached these views and pointed out prevailing the Gospel, debated with sectarian minerrors. These utterances brought them isters, replied to pointed attacks made into conflict with the Methodist author by them and succeeded in establishing ities, but the reformers would not, when the Church upon that Island. Before brought to trial, swerve one iota from returning to Nauvoo he had the satisfactheir conscientious convictions. A little tion of testifying that he had traveled body of devout worshippers met from five thousand miles without purse or time to time, read the scriptures, ex scrip, besides his journeys in the British horted each other to lives of morality Isles, on railroads, steamboats, coaches, and obedience to God and prayed for on foot and horseback, had never lacked the restoration of primitive Christianity for anything nor asked anyone for a Mr. Taylor was a prominent worker in farthing this preparatory movement.
After filling this mission he became In 1836 Elder Parley P. Pratt who had the editor of the Times and Seasons, and been sent on a mission to Canada, with also of the Nauvoo Neighbor, a member the prophecy that he would find a peo of the Nauvoo City Council and a trusted ple in Toronto prepared to receive his adviser of the Prophet Joseph. When message, called at the house of Mr. the Prophet and Patriarch Joseph and Taylor and was afterwards introduced Hyrum went to Carthage under the to the little congregation of enquirers. pledged protection of Governor Ford, Mr. Taylor and his wife and several Elder Taylor voluntarily shared the capothers received the Gospel, after diligent tivity, and when they were murderously investigation, and were baptized. In assailed by the mob and cruelly shot to 1837 he went to Kirtland, where he stood death, he struck down their loaded up valiantly against the defamers of the weapons with his cane and received four Prophet Joseph, and after purchasing bullets in his body. His life was saved some land returned to Toronto.
by another bullet which struck his watch On the eighth of July, 1838, a revela and hurled him from the window back tion through the Prophet Joseph Smith
into the room. He was rescued by named John Taylor, John E. Page, Wil Elder Willard Richards, who removed ford Woodruff and Willard Richards to him to another room and covered him be ordained Apostles to fill the vacan up with a mattress. cies in the Council of the Twelve.
In company with the Twelve Elder Brother Taylor therefore left Canada Taylor helped to take charge of the and moved to Missouri where, on the affairs of the Church after the martyrnineteenth of December, 1838, he was dom, and was with the Saints in the ordained to the Apostleship.
great exodus from Nauvoo, but was sent In the fall of 1839 in company with to England with Elders Parley P. Pratt Elder Wilford Woodruff Brother Taylor and Orson Hyde to regulate affairs in started on a mission to England. They the British mission, returning to Winter were both sick with fever and ague, Quarters just as the Pioneers were deElder Taylor being nigh unto death, but parting, and following quickly in their they proceeded nevertheless, arriving in Liverpool on the eleventh of January, In 1849 he went on a mission to