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pying a different relationship to the government of the United States than they occupied when war clouds last settled down upon the nation and fell destruction laid waste life and treasure. Utah was then a territory, and as such her sons were not liable to be drafted into the armies of the government. And what was a more effective barrier to our participation in that unhappy war was that we were separated from the scene of conAlict by more than a thousand miles of desert and wilderness. We were a young and small community, and it was doubtless thought we would do well if we preserved our community from the attacks of Indian tribes. It is, however, a matter to be proud of that Utah was loyal to the government of the United States during the war of the Rebellion; and that not. withstanding our territorial condition, our isolation from the scene of conflict, and the youth of our community, the services of her people were tendered through Brigham Young to President Lincoln and the task of guarding the United States mail route in the west from Indian attacks was assigned to Utah.
Now, however, conditions have changed. The thousand miles of desert and wilderness have disappeared; a number of lines of railroad bring us within three or four days of the Atlantic sea board; statehood has come to Utah and with it not only its advantages, but its duties and responsibilities; among them the duty of upholding the hands of the government in the wars which those who administer its affairs may decide to be necessary to decree. Utah is one of the sovereign states of the American Union; and henceforth must bear her part alike in peace and war and follow the fortunes of the nation of which she is an integral part. She may not escape those responsibilities and duties if she would, and we believe she would not if she could.
It is conceded that war is a terrible calamity; that in very deed it ought to be the last resort of any nation, and undertaken only when every other means for establishing justice and maintaining honor have been thoroughly exhausted. But when all other means have failed; when injustice, oppression and murderous cruelty become the chief characteristics of a nation as is now the case with Spain; when her barbari
ties fall upon non-combatants as well as upon those who resist her oppressions; when she brazenly pursues a course in spite of all protests that shocks the moral sense of civilization and is a disgrace to an age even called Christian; when the course she pursues makes her an unsafe neighbor, threatens our own peace, destroys our commerce and even the property and lives of our own people—then not to employ war to put a period to her atrocities, all other means having failed to make her amenable to reason, would be a crime, an act of national cowardice too contemptible to think of with patience, and such as no self-respecting nation could be guilty of much less the United States, who though loving peace, has never yet shirked the dread responsibilities of war when justice, honor, and a righteous cause have compelled her to unsheath the sword of the Great Republic.
By the time the Era is in the hands of its readers, the call for volunteers may be issued and Utah's quota of that number known. In that event let us hope, and indeed we feel assured, that her sons will not be less ready to offer their services to the government of the United States than are the sons of other sovereign states of the Union. Nowhere should the sentiment prevail that Utah's sons ought not to tender their services to the government. It becomes a duty, a patriotic duty for them to do so. It would be puerile to take any other stand than that. It would be an unworthy sentiment to entertain that would lead a community to accept the advantages granted by so glorious a government as ours, and then in the hour of her need not tender her their lives and fortunes to sustain her; and especially in so righteous a cause as that which now impells the United States to the adoption of warlike measures.
But Utah will be found patriotic. From the mountain valleys of the youngest of the states will march young men who will make as good soldiers as ever went to battle. Their manner of life, at once temperate and of a character to inure them to the hardships and toil of camp life, and the fatigue of long sustained conflict, together with their intelligence, will make them valuable soldiers who bring honor to our Utah.
THE TEST OF A BOOK.
In a recent number of Harper's New Monthly Magazine is a valuable criticism on trashy literature given in the form of a dialogue between a Scribe, by which, we suppose, is meant a writer of books, and the General Reader. In the course of the dialogue occurs the following:
Scribe. Did you ever think, my friend, what an awful responsibility it is to attempt to feed the human mind? I wonder sometimes that any. body dares to print a line I shudder to think of the escapes I have made.
General Reader. Well, that doesn't tell me anything. The critics talk about style and tendency and one thing and another, and then I read a book, and like it or don't like it. That is the end of it for me.
Scribe. No, it isn't. I'll tell you one test of a book that the critics do not always mention. Do you ever think what is the effect of a book on your mind? When it has "settled," and you have a clear view of it, and can see how it has affected you? Is your mind purer for it, or clearer? Has it filled your mind with good or bad images? Has it raised your tone or lowered it?
General Reader. Commonly it doesn't do anything of the kind.
Scribe. Then you are a gone case. If your mind has got so that a book does not affect it, you have no mind to speak of. But no one is in that state. Every book that you read and understand affects you for better or worse. It has some effect upon you, and if you are sane, you are bound to find what that is.
General Reader. But I read a lot just for information--about life, for instance.
Scribe. You are partly right about that. Then get out the information as information. A large part of our reading is for information. Only keep your mind in your own control, sift out what you need, and then otherwise judge the book by its effect on you.
A good and effective test this, truly; and one, we fear, too much neglected in these days of indiscriminate book-buying and book reading; and we commend it to the attention of our readers—"Do you ever think what is the effect of a book on your mind?
Is your mind purer for it, or clearer? Has it filled your mind with good or bad images? Has it raised your standard or lowered it?"
A propos the foregoing, we desire to call the attention of our young men to he Book of Mormon, and ask them to read it and apply this test proposed by the writer in Harper's. Judge it by the effect it produces upon your mind; judge if it leaves your mind purer and clearer for having read it; judge if it has filled mind with good or bad images; if it has raised
or lowered your moral or spiritual standard. Submit it to this test, and we feel sure that you will esteem this New World volume of scripture the more for having done so. We are sure it will endure the test. We have gone to it in the midst of despondency, and have come away cheered; we have gone to it in sorrow, and have come away from it comforted; we have gone to it at times overwhelmed for a moment by the mists which the speculations of men sometimes threw over truth, and have come away from it enlightened—with faith and hope and charity renewed. It creates around one a pure atmosphere of faith in God; in its presence Doubt takes wings and is borne away. Its moral and spiritual standards are the highest and noblest. The fire of its patriotism burns brightly. If in its historical parts it deals with events that exhibit selfishness, unholy ambition, and all the follies and crimes common to all nations and races of men, it never does so in a manner to blazon evil deeds or consecrate crime, much less in a manner to canonize the vicious. In its pages one sees things in their true light; there is no shuffling; but evil deeds receive their proper condemnation in the simple, straightforward language of inspired men. And it is so refreshingoh, so restful, this simple style of the Nephite prophets! that one goes to it, when once made conscious of its powers to rest the mind, to cheer the heart, to uplift the soul-one goes to it as the lame and blind and sick would go to some clear fountain of water to which an angel of God had imparted healing virtues. Yes, test the value of the Book of Mormontest its truth-by its effect upon the mind. And confident in the result of the trial, we ask — “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ?" “Doth a corrupt fountain send forth impure streams?" Does a book conceived in fraud, and brought forth to deceive beget a faith so confident, a hope so clear, a charity so pure, a spirituality so ennobling as does this book?
A correspondent recently submitted to the Era a number of question upon the subject of gambling. It would require too much space to answer the questions seriatim; but in answer to the question, "Is gambling condemned by the Bible," and upon the subject of gambling in general we offer the following:
We call to mind nothing in holy writ that expressly interdicts gambling, so that we cannot say that it is either a
vice or a crime specified as such by revelation. Still, gambling is very generally regarded as immoral conduct, and society finds ample evidence of that fact in the results growing out of it. Men who engage in gambling frequently insist that there is little or no difference between gaming and much that goes under the name of business, and with that specious sophistry some of our young men seek to hush the cries of conscience. A young friend said the other day in defense of gambling:
"You go to an establishment where gambling is going on; you see there a possibility to make money; the chances may not be quite as many in your favor as those in favor of the establishment conducting the business, but you nevertheless see there is a chance and such as it is you take it. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; you take the risk of that. If you win you are prosperous and if you lose you have but done what thousands do daily in business—you fail. The man engaged in business looks over the ground of his contemplated enterprise; he observes the favorable and unfavorable probabilities; and finally acts. He takes his chances just as the gambler does; sometimes he is successful, sometimes he fails; and in his success or his failure the same results follow as when the gambler succeeds or fails. As much poverty and wretchedness to family and dependent friends or relatives follow a business failure as attend "going broke' in gaming; as many men sink into despair and commit suicide through business failures as through losing at the gambling tables. Now, what is the difference, and why is not one just as honorable and moral as the other?"
In the first place our answer is that in business, men engage generally in the legitimate affairs of life, in something that produces commodities, or that distributes them, and affects in some way or other production, trade or commerce; and whilst risks are nearly always connected in business ventures they are usually such as may be weighed by the judgment and provisions made against them by caution, industry and attention. So that business is not an af. fair of chance. On the contrary its results may usually be anticipated with great exactness, and it affects the industrial and commercial world favorably. Nothing of this is true in respect to gambling. It deals in nothing that affects favorably the legitimate affairs of life. It produces nothing; it moves nothing, it does not influence for good the industrial world. It is either a matter purely of chance against which no judgment, industry or caution can do anything, or it is a gigantic swindle, which exists to the detriment and great danger of the simple-minded. It is needless to say that we are of the opinion that it is usually a swindling scheme to catch the unwary; for the games are so arranged that the chances are three and four to one, and sometimes ten to one, and fifty to one, in favor of those conducting them. It is a matter altogether outside of the legitimate affairs of life. It is not an industry by any means, but an arbitrary scheme of chance created to