Newspaper article titled The Methodist Revival Meetings Closed Last Evening

The Methodist Revival Meetings Closed Last Evening

The Methodist Revival Meetings which commenced a week ago yesterday morning closed last evening for eight days the preachers have had every opportunity that could be desired to lay before the people of this city and county the nature of their faith and doctrines; and those who never heard it before should now be in a position to pronounce upon its merits. Such patient fairness as has been exhibited these past eight days by the latten Latter-day Saints towards the Methodists is unparalleled in the United States. President Young when he heard that it was their intention to bring a big tent here and hold meetings, advised the Latter-day Saints to go and hear them, and he particularly desired the young people who had never witnessed meetings of this kind and listened to the preaching of this denomination a to attend the meetings. The tent has been crowded every night and the people have manifested extraordinary forbearance and patience, even when denounced and accused by speakers of sins, and also crimes, of which they knew they were more guilty than their accusers. There were a few interruptions when speakers did not clear up doctrinal points which were exceedingly mortifying to the mass of the community; but prompt measures were taken to check them at future meetings, and with such good effect that great stillness prevailed at the last two evening meetings though we thought one at least of the speakers last night was very abusive; his conduct was quite unjustifiable even for a Sectarian Priest, and we always expect them to use a much greater license than we do ordinary people. We understand however that his conduct was not exceptional, for others had been equally as slanderous and insulting in their remarks as he.

Our leading citizens have been desirous that this religious body should have the opportunity of giving expression to their views in the most free and full manner. As a people we have suffered enough to make us appreciate the value of religious liberty and to be willing that others should enjoy it. Such liberty as the Methodists have had accorded to them in this city to make their views public has never been accorded to the Latter-day Saints. Instead of the members of religious bodies being advised to go and hear them, they have been constantly warned to shun them; and the influence of preachers generally has been exerted to the utmost to close every door and the ears and hearts of the people against them. But the conduct of the Latter-day Saints, in this respect, has been as much superior to that of their religious contemporaries as their religion is more pure and godlike. We trust the lesson will not be lost upon them; but that they will profit by the example examples of forbearance. Liberality and charity which they have witnessed in Salt Lake City . If this should be one of the results of their visit, then the trip will prove a profitable one to them. We were pleased last evening to hear the speakers say, as we understood they also had said at previous meetings, that they had received kind and gentlemanly treatment since they had been here, that they had perfect liberty to speak as they pleased, and had been listened to patiently and courteously by the people, and that they did not hold the community responsible for the few interruptions which they had experienced. This was no more than just; for in no country where such meet meetings are held could so large a crowd be more attentive, make less no noise on the edges of the tent or make less movement in the congregation. We think these few interruptions were inexcusable; but had the same courtesy been extended by the ministers in charge of the meetings to the Latter-day Saints that they receive from the latter, there would not have been a whisper heard. There has never been a day, since this country was settled by the people who now live here, that a minister of repute coming to this city, no matter whether Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Universialist or Adventist, could not get a building to preach in, a congregation to listen to him and a respectful hearing. Ministers have had all the opportunities necessary to expound their views. But at the meetings in the tent which have just been held one or two men, with more zeal than discretion, interrupted the speaker on one evening to have him clear up certain points as he went along. It is not probable that this would have been the case had they not known there would be no liberty to speak accorded to any of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even had the courtesy of a seat on the platform been extended to President Young, there would not have been the slightest interruption for a gesture from him would have maintained order. As it was other steps were taken to chedi them every interruption.

The young people of this community have had an opportunity during the past eight days of hearing sectarianism as they never heard it before. They now can judge of and weigh it, compare it with the teachings which they have been accustomed to hear and attach to it the value to which it is entitled. Such preaching as those who have attended these meetings have heard can have but one result upon faithful Latter-day Saints, namely, to make them place a higher estimate upon their religion. The young will be in a position, hereafter to appreciate the bread of life upon which they are fed, in contrast with the chaff and husks which sectarians proffer them. In this respect the visit of these preachers with their big tent has not been a fruitless one. They are probably disappointed in the number of converts; for it was expected, we understand, they would add at least five hundred to their fold; and if they have made a single convert of a Latter-day Saint we have not heard of it. But they did not know at that time what kind of people the Latter-day Saints were, or how well acquainted they were with the Scriptures. A few meetings satisfied them that they had a people to labor among familiar with the word of God, accustomed to investigate and critically weigh every doctrine presented to them, [a]nd who could not be terrified into the adoption of views which their judgments rejected. After this was discovered there was a perceptible change of tone in the remarks about conversion. We heard one preacher say that they had not come to make the people Methodists or to build up a church, but to preach the Word of God (the Bible) and to have the people learn to love and honor it. We were surprised at this remark, for we had been led to believe that the conversion of the people of Salt Lake city to Methodism was the chief object of the meetings.