Harper’s New Monthly Magazine – 1851

In 1851 an objective assessment was made regarding the Book of Mormon in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine:

“Whatever may be the truth in respect to the real origin and authorship of the book of Mormon, there can be no doubt of its wonderful adaptedness to the purposes to which it has been applied. We can not agree with those who would deny to the work either genius or talent. The Koran bears with it that prestige of antiquity which always insures some degree of respect. It is written in a dead, and what is now regarded a learned language. It has its Oriental imagery, together with frequent allusions to what most interests us in Oriental romance. Above all, it has had its centuries of scholiasts and commentators, extracting the aroma as well as the dust of its assumed divinity. In short, there, is about it a show of learning and venerable antiquity, and yet, we do not hesitate to say it, Joe Smith, or whoever was its author, has made a book superior to that of the Arabian prophet; deeper in its philosophy, purer in its morality, and far more original. There are, doubtless, many faults both of style and language; but centuries hence may convert these into precious archaisms, and give to the bad Anglo-Saxon of the Mormon book all the interest which ages of scholiasts have imparted to what was once the irregular Arabic of the rude tribes of the desert.” (“Editor’s Table,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Volume 3, Issue 17, October 1851, p. 701)

 

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