“ I am not yet so bald that you can see my brains. ” —Longfellow.
(From Ashburton Herald, July 31. )
Looking over an Oamaru paper I ran against the information that a Mormon blockhead named Batt was running his rigs upon the good people of that ilk, and was doing his best to make converts to his—well, he calls it “faith.” I don’t know whether he means to carry his mission northwards or southwards. If he takes the former direction he may probably have a “ bat ” at our moral principles, and attempt to proselytise some of our people. If he succeeds, I shall rejoice greatly. Don’t be alarmed. I have no wish to see the doctrines of the Latter Day Saints rampant in this good town ; but still I say I shall rejoice if he succeeds. “ Where the carrion is there will the eagles be gathered together,” and if Mormon Batt succeeds in working round any of our people we shall know that they were not the clearest minded to begin with, and that they were just the sort of people we want to be free from. If the tendency to wallow in the moral gutter is exhibited under the teaching of this misguided man, it is better that wallowing should be done in Utah than in Ashburton. I saw a letter from Utah recently, written by a Gentile. He didn’t appear to think the saints formed the happiest family under the sun since the Gentiles came amongst them, and said that—whatever Elders may say about the fondness of the Mormon ladies for the state of polygamy—the young Mormonesses have a lively fondness for the young male Gentiles, and are quite willing to be wooed by a Gentile husband. Why ? Because, they know that a husband all to one’s self is five times better than the fifth part of one, to be shared in common in a household of five missuses.
That last Council meeting was a terror. The atmosphere seemed so awfully sulphurry that I felt quite sorry for poor Councillor Harrison at having to take “ the oaths and his seat,” as they say in Parliament, on a night when every symptom was given, that a volcano was about to burst. Poor man. The carters took advantage of him and made him “ carry ” their little grievance into the heart of the Council, and nobly he prayed their prayer. But the Councillors knew that other matters was looming ahead, and they would have none of the carters’ impudence even filtered through the gentle language of Councillor Harrison. Things moved with comparative quiet and smoothness till the end of the meeting— Councillors Friedlander and Parkin only having an occasional skirmish—then the important time came. Councillor St. Hill stood up to his guns, and in face of the whole assembly of the City Fathers he loaded those guns with heavy shot. But of course he didn’t fire just then. He is allowed a full fortnight to take aim, and when he finally pulls the lanyard, if the shot strikes, all our civic fabric will be blown to atoms. Old thing will pass away and a new order of things will reign. Farewell Town Clerk, Town Engineer, and Town Labor Gang. A king has arisen who knows not Joseph, and a onehorse man is to be advertised for in the great cities of the colony who will be able, for nine twenty-fives a year, to carry the whole thing on his back. The shot will be fired next meeting nightmay I be there to see.
The by-laws dream is over—day has dawned—we have awakened —and the nightmare has been removed. The gentle Crisp has completed his task. It is fair to suppose he will be willing to back his work, believing in its stability. The Council fancy so at least, and they are done with him. He will never, of course, attack those by-laws in Court, and 1 hey are safe from him. Messrs. Branson and Purnell have become the Council’s law agents. They can’t attack, but must defend the local statutes. There are, therefore, only the other two remaining—- “ Ireland ” and the “Irish Bard.” But then they are heavy metal. We do not as yet know what is to be evolved from that new lawyer’s office built in Burnett street—and until the time comes when the light of the greatest legal power of modern Ashburton will shine upon us, wo must not trust too much to those by-laws, even though they may be safe from the attacks of their own maker, and their greatest foes now made firm friends. Ye are wise, ye Councillors ; but before your laws are safe, ye must get Joe back in your midst.
Christchurch Councillor Cass has sold property because he believes the time draws nigh when the Second Advent is at hand, and property will be useless. I like a man with the courage of his npinions. The great Dr. Gumming, who prophesied with so much assurance that 1868 would see the ultimate end of all things, published his prophecy, and then took a ninety-nine years’ lease of a house. He was quite prepared to die for his faith in the general burning up, but like a wise gambler he was not above “ hedging ” his bets, and it was just there the ninetynine years’ lease came in handy. Mr. Cass believes there are no eternal punishments. How many thousands of his fellow men do so earnestly wish his belief were well-founded. But they have got so accustomed to the eternal brimstone idea that it is difficult to get rid of it. Ohispa.
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CHISPA’S LETTER., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 134, 3 August 1880
CHISPA’S LETTER. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 134, 3 August 1880
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