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INDESTRUCTIBILITY OF THE CHURCH. Upon the erroneous supposition that the church which Christ built was entirely destroyed Mormonism has built her house. Her adherents maintain that the apostasy destroyed the church, that hence it became necessary for man to build another, and that under divine inspiration Joseph Smith reestablished the church of God upon earth. Now, if we can prove that the church of God has never been destroyed, but that it exists today, we shall establish the fact that all the Mormon sects are but human frauds imposed upon the people.
In Dan. 2: 44 the new testament church was prophesied of as a kingdom set up by the God of heaven, a kingdom which should never be destroyed, but should stand forever. This accords with the language of Jesus in Matt. 16:18: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” These solemn declarations of heav. en's truth are sufficient to establish the fact that the church which Christ built will stand forever. If the gates of hell can not prevail against it, it is indestructible and exists today. Yes, dear reader, that divine temple stands just as solid and firm as in days of yore. Though it has witnessed bloody scenes of martyrdom and has for centuries been largely hidden from human view by the ecclesiastical rubbish of men, yet it has never been destroyed-never. Earthly kingdoms and governments have passed away; great and mighty changes have been wrought in the earth; but the church of God has stood unshaken; and now, as the burning truth of God consumes the piles of ecclesiastical rubbish, and the glorious light of the evening-time dispels the mists and fogs of the dark and cloudy days, she appears again in her wondrous beauty and pristine glory. So shall she stand while the cycles of eternity roll.
Let us briefly view the elements that compose the church. Christ is its head (Col. 1:18), foundation (1 Cor. 3:11), door (John 10:7, 9), and governor (Isa. 9:6, 7). Its walls are salvation (Isa. 26:1); its law is the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2); its bond of union is the love of God (Col. 2:2); its membership consists of the saved of all nations. Now, to destroy the church would be to destroy its foundation, which the apostle Paul declares “standeth sure”; its head, which is alive forever more; its door, which no man can shut; its law, which endureth forever; its walls, salvation; and all the people of God, who compose it. Since, however, there never has been a time when God did not have a people, and since all the above-named elements are eternal, the church of God is indestructible. Its walls of salvation no man can batter down.
Only one phase of the church went into apostasy, the people, and not all of them; for three million, rather than bow down and acknowledge the ungodly doctrine of popery, sealed their testimony with their own blood. The foundation, head, door, government, unity, purity, etc., of the church never went into apostasy; and in these last days when we come out of the apostasy we simply return to these primitive elements again. We come to the same Zion that Christ established in the beginning.
The church of God is a spiritual institution. “Ye also as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. 2:5. Its door of admission is a spiritual door. Jesus says, “I am the door. By me if
any man enter in, he shall be saved.” John 10:9. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” 1 Cor. 12: 13. Its foundation is spiritual. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Cor. 3:11. “That spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” 1 Cor. 10:4.
Thus we cover every specification of the New Testament church and find it holy, divine, spiritual, and eternal; therefore it is utterly impossible for men to build an organization like it, for they can not manufacture spiritual things. This church is the finest organization the world has ever seen. It is truly worthy of God himself. It is his temple, in which he dwells; therefore there is nothing so august as the church, seeing it is the temple of God; nothing so worthy of reference, seeing God dwells in it; and nothing so solid, since Jesus only is its foundation, and it is declared to be the pillar and ground of the truth. There is nothing so closely united and indivisible, since all hearts are knit together by the perfect love of God; nothing more lofty, since it reaches higher than heaven; nothing so regular and well-proportioned, since Christ and the Holy Spirit are the architects; nothing so beautiful, since it is ornamented with Christ's holiness; nothing so brilliant, since Christ is its light; nothing so strong, since Christ is its walls and bulwarks. There is no institution so spacious since it is spread over the whole world and takes in all that have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb; no institution so spiritual, since all its membership are living stones, animated and inhabited by the Holy Spirit; no institution so lasting, since it is destined to stand forever. In it the poor, the wretched, and the distressed of every nation find shelter. It is the place where God does his marvelous works, for there he is to be sought and found and worshiped. Such is the church of the New Testament. She is a strong tower, into which we have run and are safe,