On the Pruning of the Trees

Given in March, 1799.

The following Communication on the Pruning of the Tree was copied by Wm. Owen Pughe from the reading of the original in the hand writing of Joanna by Mrs. Underwood on April 25th, 1824.


My Sister paid my Brother’s debt to free him from prison.

The Spirit of Truth.

“Now I will answer thee before thou goest any further. I said thy Brother was a type of the Nation and all thy Brother’s house.[1]

“Now I will begin with thy Brother and end with thy Sister, and what she said of him; “He always swelled too high.” And like the man who pruned the Tree upwards till he could not come down without help, just so is your Land. They all are cutting off all the under Branches first, and so they continue; But when I come at the Top, how will they come down? Now I will tell thee what I mean by cutting the under Branches; that is the lower class of people, as one Branch grows after another. And so are the stations of mankind and the under Branches are cut off already by poverty and Sword; that is the Major part of them. Now they are going further: to the Second and Third class of people, by cutting off their substance—Then where do vain men think to come down when the Tree is pruned through? what Branches will they stand on? For as they cut off men’s substance; Just so they will cut off their hearts from the Tree. Then consider they stand on the top, and see all pruned before them. If thou hast wisdom to discern (and thy thoughts must go deep) But if not leave it to the learned; and let them consider what they are doing: Now I will go on to liken your Nation as thy Sister did thy Brother. She said he was like Children going to a fair with a few half pence, thinking they could buy all the things in the fair. Just so is your Land. Now mark what follows your land is all like him; for they think that with a few great and powerful men, they can subdue whole nations: without knowing their hearts, or what bad soil they have got therein: As thy Brother thinkest he can do with Hundreds, as if he had got thousands; Just so is your Land, they think that having some hundreds of faithful subjects, they can go on; as if they had got thousands; or as though the whole land was hand and heart together. Here stands their dangers like thy Brother; they do not consider whose substance they are wasting; and whose mercies they may come to; could the learned see the shadow, and weigh deep the substance; their fears would be alarmed; Consider thy Sister’s letter. She had a great deal to say; and she paid the debt in Anger; said but little, but thought the more to send him a letter of reproof when he was out of his then present trouble. Just so are my dealings with your Land. Think not that I am pleased, Because I free you from utter ruin; that you may keep yourselves, and not fall a prey to the enemy. For I may say with thy sister I have much in mine heart. Ye have pruned the Tree upwards; But I will prune them downwards; Ye begin at the Bottom: But I shall begin at the Top; And now I will explain from thy Brother’s letter: Why your Land is not fallen a victim to the Savage Cruelty of other nations. As the charitable means intended for thy Brother is to free his debt; Just so do the Righteous interfere for the wicked, to free the debt of Sin; And so the humane Society paid one part for him. Just so are the merciful men in your Land, easing the Burdens that would be too heavy; And preventing the Judgments that would otherwise fall, for with the merciful, I shall shew mercy: But with the Cruel I shall shew Cruelty.”

Joanna Southcott.

[Printed from a MS. copy. See also Express Leaflet, No. 13.]


A Warning to the Jews

“His Blood be on Us and upon our Children.”

Given Good Friday, 1799.

After hearing the sermons of the Ven. Archdeacon Moore and the Rev. Joseph Pomeroy, on Good Friday, 1799—the Answer of the Spirit was given to Joanna Southcott.

The Archdeacon’s text was, Matt. xxviii. 25.—“His blood be on us, and upon our children.”

The Rev. Joseph Pomeroy’s text was, Rom. v. 6.—“When we were yet without strength, Christ died for us.”

The Spirit of Truth.

“Wide is the field—beaten is the path—narrow is the way, and crooked is the road. Here is a great mystery: how, in a wide field the path can be narrow, and so crooked! yet, so it was with the Jews; and so it is now with the Gentiles. For as much as thou didst admire the learning and wisdom of those two preachers, neither of them can clearly discern from whence thy writings come. They are both at a loss to find out the mystery, as much as the Jews were to find out—how they, being the chosen people of God, could ever become an outcast people; as they relied on the promise made to Abraham,—and the law given to Moses. They never understood either; or the meaning of the Prophets. They put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter; they called good evil, and evil good; they put light for darkness, and darkness for light; and so night came upon them. The sun shone too brightly for their eyes to behold, and so they became sun-blind. Just so is your land now become; for you no more understand the Gospel, and the writings of the Apostles, than they understood the words of the Lord, and the prophecies of the prophets.

“I shall explain from the texts—‘When we were without strength, Christ died for us.’

‘His blood be on us, and upon our children.’

“They chose a robber, and they were robbed;—they chose a murderer, and they were murdered. Here they had their choice. They continued in it, and I continued to give them their heart’s desire. They despised the true prophet, priest, and king; and I gave them no prophet, priest, or king, but what they set up themselves. Thus have I dealt with the Jews, and now I am come to the Gentiles.

“Ye profess to believe in Me,—that the sun of Righteousness shall arise, with healing in his wings: and I will gather those I have scattered; I will call my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the Earth. But how shall I call them?—By signs and wonders? When the veil of the Temple was rent, and the graves opened, and all the wonders were shown in vain?—Then now I shall come, as it is written of Me; as a bridegroom cometh to the bride, just so shall I come to My children—in the power of My Spirit. But My Gospel must be fulfilled, to convince the Jews of its truth; all that is spoken in My Prophets of a nation, must come to pass; for they are the people, that when convinced, will say, ‘Blessed is a barren womb that never bore.’ For I will open the eyes, which I have closed, and unstop the ears, which I have stopped. I will put a new song in their mouths: for now I see what man is at best:—without strength,—without knowledge,—without understanding. No more are the Jews to be marvelled at than the Gentiles,—in not seeing the truth of thy writings, so plain before them. They do not know from whence the Spirit comes. Oh! foolish, and perverse generation! Can you vainly imagine I would suffer a simple woman to say, ‘the Lord saith,’ if I had never spoken?—fulfil My Bible in the sorrows of her heart—choose men to contend with, like the Jews,—to make good the Revelation as it is revealed to her, and travailing in birth, and crying to be delivered?

“Oh! how do ye fulfil My words, while ye deny them like the Jews! Can you think a simple woman, from her own head, could choose men to fulfil the Bible and her writings, and bring round such a mystery, as all your learning cannot condemn? If you will not justify,—like Pilate, you know not how to find fault; and like the Jews of old, you condemn you know not what—you know not whom; but like the Jews, fulfil the Gospel to your own judgment, as they fulfilled the prophet’s words by theirs. Here is man without strength.

“Now I will come to the purpose, without strength of arguments—without strength of wisdom, ‘for wisdom hath cried aloud, and her voice is not heard.’ Like this saying, the Jews brought forth no arguments to shew why the judgments followed them. Just so is your judgment: none at all: but only it is beyond your judgment to find out.

“Then now let the Jews and Gentiles stand together; for, until the Jews are warned, I will not permit[2] the Seals to be broken open in their absence, if they choose to be present. Now let them judge it in the end: for, as your common custom of words is,—‘the end crowns the action.’ I have often foiled thee in thy writings, to try what is in thee, and in man.

“I have ordered thee to put into their hands what I knew would puzzle them. So man is still without strength, and so will he continue, until the Jews are called; for then cometh the fulfilment of the Gentiles, when they come to fulfil all My Gospel.

“If Adam’s transgression came by the woman,—then man’s redemption must come the same. But if it came by the arts of Hell,—it must come by the Power of Christ. For as the sun rises in the horizon, and shineth over the face of the earth, and then sets in darkness and riseth again in the same place, just so will the Sun of Righteousness arise, with healing in his wings, in the same manner it first arose to shine; and that was, first, in the man,—second, in the woman.

“I have shone in man already, when I took man’s nature upon Me. And now I will shine in the woman, when I come to redeem you from her fall.

“As dust returns to dust, and wave returns back to wave, with ebbing and flowing, yet all keep their bounds,—just so are the wondrous works of God. All must centre in the same place, for which it was at first made and devised. Then now judge for yourselves, oh, men, and call back the oracles of God. For as a clock warns before it strikes, just so is my dealing with men. And as a clock that is kept in regular order, strikes regularly every hour, until it has gone round; and then strikes twelve again,—just so are My decrees.

“I had twelve chosen disciples at first, though one of them betrayed me, and afterwards hanged himself—for being betrayed by the Devil. Just so, when I have gone My rounds, like a clock, I will have twelve chosen disciples; and by them shall Satan be cast. For My Arm shall bring salvation upon them, and My right hand shall uphold them; and I will be clothed with zeal, as a cloak. Then shall My blood be upon them and their children, to wash away the stain of sin that now is as crimson; I will make it as snow:—and what is as scarlet, I will make white as wool. I will cleanse the blood I have not cleansed; and I will raise up man whom I have made, who is now without strength,—and ‘My blood shall be on you and your children.’ ”

[Extracted from Two Witnesses, No. 14. See also Southcott Despatch, No. 14.]


On the Signs of the Last Days

“Multitudes, Multitudes in the Valley of Decision.”

Joel iii. 14.

On July 7th, 1799, Joanna Southcott was ordered to put her pens (quills) into the Bible and mark where she found them. The first was found in Proverbs i. 23, 24, 25 verses: “Turn ye at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you.

Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all My counsel, and would none of My reproof.”

The Spirit of Truth.

Then now I will begin in verse,

From Solomon I shall express;

The words are deep, the lines are plain,

And now to reason Ill begin.


“Is the sword drawn in vain? Can words be more plain or easy to be understood than the lines before you? Have I not called by my judgments—by My sword—by the distress of nations? Is not the Law and Gospel plain before you verified? Wars and rumours of wars, and nation against nation, distresses and perplexities of nations, men divided against themselves in heart and mind—These were the marks I laid before you, and now the fig tree hath put forth her tender green leaves, and know it is nigh at hand. All is verified. Darkness hath covered the earth, and gross darkness the eyes of the people. Faith is almost gone—“Perilous times are come,” 2nd Tim., iii. 1. “Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth; men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further, for their folly shall be manifest unto all men as theirs also was.” 2nd Tim., iii. 8 and 9. “In the latter time shall men depart from the faith…” 1st Tim., iv. 1. “There shall be false teachers.” 2nd Peter, ii. 1. “Hereby know ye the Spirit of God—every spirit that confesses not…” 1st John iv. 2. I shall conclude with the words of Jude, verses 17 and 18. “But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.”

“Now here is every word verified that the last times are come, but what do they mean? not the final day of judgment, when death and hell shall give up their dead, and the last trumpet shall be blown, and the departed souls shall be united to their bodies. These things will not come till Christ’s Kingdom hath been established for one thousand years. For as one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day—So the six days the world was made in, denotes six thousand years that man is to labour with body and soul against the world the flesh and the devil. But the seventh is a day of rest that denotes one thousand years, that man shall rest from the miseries which sin hath brought upon him, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness, and the prayer which your Saviour taught you shall be accomplished. Christ’s Kingdom will come, and His will shall be done on earth as it is in Heaven, and the six thousand years shall be shortened for man’s sake according to His promise. And those are the three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth; the Spirit, the Water and the Blood, these three agree in one (1st John v. 7 and 8.) This is He that came, etc. Then now awake, O Zion, put on your beautiful garments O Jerusalem, for the day of the Lord is nigh at hand. Multitudes, Multitudes in the valley of decision.


For now these chapters thou hast done

Decisions valley now is come.

These very things were named before,

These things are in the hands of Moore:

And more I say will fast come on

If you do not awake like men,

For if mens witness now is true

I’ve greater things now in My view.

[Extracted from Southcott Despatch, No. 4. See also Southcott Express, No. 11.]


Tomorrow is a Day Unknown

Communication Given by the “Small Still Voice.”

July 21, 1799.

My sister Carter said my father would die; for she judged by appearances.

The Spirit of Truth.

“Now, I will answer thee. Just so stands the world—who judge by sight, and not by faith. They go forward and backward as things appear to them, and the day will take them unawares. Little do mankind think what is before them. See the end of thy father; for as deluded a spirit, as he said, deceived thee, so will it work on him; and when thou hast seen his end, I will tell thee the end of mocking; but thy father’s end shall be happy, as I said before. Thy father shall, in triumph, see his daughters’ happy lot, when he hath triumphed over death, hell, and the grave—that is, by faith in Christ. Then will follow the happy destiny; for little dost thou know what lies before thee. I will reason with thee on the morrow, when thy father is no more.”


A tedious night shall a bright morning have,

And then his soul shall take his last abode,

When clothed in light he shall behold his God.

To-morrow comes, to-morrow goes,

To-morrow will appear,

And every truth see clear.

What I do mean I will explain,

To-morrow is to come;

To-morrow means, I will explain,

It is a day unknown.


Joanna Southcott’s father died January 21, 1802.

[Extracted from Small Still Voice, No. 47.]

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[1] In Express Leaflet No. 13, this sentence reads: I said thy father was a type of the nation (England) and all thy fathers house.

[2] Referring to the Box of Sealed Writings, which has not been opened for over 100 years. When sent for by the Bishops, it is said, that all present will be convinced of the truth; the scenes in England will then change, and this will be the first happy land.