On David and Solomon
Extract of a Letter from Joanna Southcott, January 12th, 1810.
As you opened to the Psalms of David and the Wisdom of Solomon, I shall give you a Communication in part that was given me in answer to both, as I pondered in my heart of Solomon having wisdom but did not practise it.
The Answer of the Spirit.
“Thou sayest in thy heart, no man’s wisdom is so great as Solomon’s, and yet his folly was as great as his wisdom. And now I shall call thee to thy ponderings. The wisdom and folly that are in mankind, thou wilt see mixed together in all these that boast of their wisdom. But Solomon had wisdom to see the evil of his ways, but did not turn from them. Now come to David and see the difference between the two. David prayed for My protection, David confessed his sins, and lamented them with a sincere repentance; David’s eye was to my glory, to my honour and to My Kingdom. Mark the words of David through, and the difference between David and Solomon. Solomon’s eye was to the wisdom of man, and to the wisdom of man I gave him up, and he was praised by the nations around; but mark his folly and where it all ended. This is a lesson for all men, to show them the folly of boasting in wisdom, how soon it dieth away, and comes to nothing. Therefore, I tell thee, wisdom alone will not make a man happy in time or in eternity; but simple innocence and true obedience will crown a man with honour and glory in the end. Now come to Abraham—did he boast of Solomon’s wisdom, or was his wisdom practised like Solomon’s? In thy heart, thou answerest, No: Abraham’s faith was simple, strong in the Lord, obedient to His will without wisdom in himself, and there thou knowest the promise was made to his simple faith, without boasting of wisdom in himself. But Solomon boasted of wisdom: but mark his destruction, for he that had wisdom, practised folly; and he that boasted of no wisdom, practised faith. Here is a lesson for all men to learn the End. Solomon, that had his wisdom above all men, turned his wisdom into folly, to have the kingdom rended from him in so great a part for his vices; then what will the wisdom of man do, if the wisdom of Solomon could not obtain it? Let this show to mankind, from Solomon’s wisdom, what use it is to man without faith and without obedience, and let them see through Solomon and David where the promise stood, not to Solomon, but to David, whose wisdom was never practised like Solomon’s. And let them read my Bible through, and then they will find the wisdom of man never brought a promise to them, but let them look to Isaac, in whom I said, all the families of the earth should be blessed, for Abraham’s sake. Now where is the great wisdom you see in Isaac or in Jacob, or in any of the faithful, where the promise was made? Let this open the eyes of men’s understanding from the wisdom of Solomon; that men do not perish through their own wisdom. For wisdom was given to Solomon to show mankind the folly of wisdom alone, that without faith and obedience, all wisdom, like his, will come to nothing. Solomon was visited by My Spirit to warn him of the destruction of the House he had builded to My name, if he broke My commandments. My commandments he broke, and his building was destroyed, though he built it to My honour, but My honour cannot remain in the wisdom of man, though he had wisdom given him of the Lord, and so hath every man wisdom given him the same, for there is no wisdom, no knowledge, nor understanding in man, but what is given of the Lord, yet the improvement was left to himself. And perfect so, I tell thee of mankind. So let not the wise man boast of his wisdom, but look to Solomon, as thou hast done; and let the teachers do the same, who boast they are teaching man My Bible. Let them weigh My Bible deep, and see if they do not err as Solomon did; for the world by wisdom knoweth not God, neither was it to worldly wisdom that any promise was ever made. But now come to David, and then judge whose throne I shall establish—it is the Throne of David that shall be established amongst mankind, and be spent to My praise, to My honour and glory, when I have established My Kingdom in righteousness and peace, that David’s eye was to.
“Mark the difference between Wisdom and Faith. Abraham’s faith was simple—strong in the Lord—obedient to His will—without wisdom in himself; and there thou knowest the promise was made—to his simple faith without boasting in himself. But Solomon boasted of Wisdom: but mark his destruction; for he that had wisdom practised folly; and he that boasted of no Wisdom practised Faith. Here is a lesson for all men to learn the end of Solomon that had wisdom above all men; he turned his wisdom to folly, to have the Kingdom rended from him in so great part for his vices. Then what will the Wisdom of man do, if the Wisdom of Solomon could not obtain it?”
[Extracted from Express Leaflet, No. 7. See also the Communications dated May 12, 1802, and David in the undated section, and also Book 23, p. 48, and Voice in the Wilderness, p. 150.]
The Seventh Angel Sounded
February 28, 1810.
Dear Friend,—I take this opportunity of sending you the following Communication on Rev. xi. 15, “The seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever. We thank thee, O Lord God, because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
The Spirit of Truth.
“Now, let men mark from these words in what manner the vision was seen, that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the living God. When this sound came from the Angel, and the twenty-four Elders worshipped God for taking the great power to reign, the nations were angry.
“Now, mark from these words, and weigh them with this nation, how their anger is kindled for me to reign. But can man suppose my kingdom will never come in this world, for me to reign here to be all in all? This, I tell thee, is folly in mankind to place the Scriptures this way, to think the nations could be angry for the great power I have taken in heaven, neither have they knowledge thereof; but it already appears the anger that is in this nation to hear the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of the living God, and though they see the wrath that is come and kindled upon the nations, yet professors are hardened through unbelief; but let them mark, how all these things are come together, the wars, the tumults, the distresses and perplexities, the visitation of my spirit, and the revelation of my Bible, according as it is written, my coming shall be revealed.
“But now let men mark the following words,—“And the time of the dead that they should be judged, that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints that fear thy name, and should destroy them that destroy the earth.” Now, let men answer me who it is that destroys the earth, or how is the earth destroyed? In thy heart thou answerest, the comforts of the earth are destroyed by sin, for sin bringeth forth sorrow upon man, and sin destroys the honour and glory of God. These are thy thoughts of destroying the earth and all its comforts, destroyed not only by the temptation of sin that destroys it in a Christian, but it is destroyed by those Satan can work in. Mark how he worked upon Pharaoh to destroy the comforts of the children of Israel, and how he worked in Jezebel to destroy Naboth. This you may see through my Bible, how Satan has worked in the hearts of men to destroy all the comforts of the earth, and how the earthen vessels of men have been destroyed thereby. Witness my Disciples, the Martyrs, and the Christians, who have been destroyed by the powers of darkness working in man. Thus have I shewn thee how the earth is destroyed by the servants of sin as well as by the master, and I tell thee, by the sins judgments are brought upon the land. So is the earth destroyed of its comforts, the earth is destroyed of its blessings that they would receive if they were not destroyed by sin, and my honour and glory is destroyed, my mercies are destroyed in the earth, that I created for my own honour and glory, and for the happiness of mankind. All this is destroyed by evil; but now I will destroy that evil that destroyed the earth of its blessings, me of my honour, and man of his happiness—this is destroyed.
“But now I shall come to destroy the destroyer, that earth be filled with my goodness as the heavens are filled with my majesty. Now, let men mark from the words of the chapter, when the earthquake had destroyed a tenth part of the city, and thousands were slain, the remnant, who were affrighted, gave glory to the God of Heaven. But how could this glory be given in the midst of judgments and distress, if they were not warned of the end to know the glory that should follow? If this was not known to man, fear and confusion must fill the whole, fearing the same destruction that had fallen upon the one might upon the other. Do the affrighted nations, that have no knowledge of my kingdom approaching—no knowledge of the change that will take place—do they give glory to God for what has already happened? I tell thee, no; they are only alarmed to fear the end, and what state may come upon them, but they have no thoughts of their deliverance, and without the visitation of my spirit to warn man of the end, my Bible can never be fulfilled.
“Now, mark from these words, the power must be given to man in the end—power to convince, power to destroy; therefore, I told thee at first, and I now tell thee again, there must be first an enlightened nation, an enlightened people full of knowledge and full of faith, to warn all nations, and to convince all nations, and to awaken the nations, that they may be looking for the coming of the Lord. But how can this be done by man without the visitation of my spirit, to shew them clearly the time is at hand, and to lay everything before them?
“Now, mark what followeth upon the nations—they shall be broken to shivers as a potter’s vessel. And these things, I tell thee, must come upon the nations before they will regard the warning, or accept the invitation. Now, let them weigh the Revelations through—“Behold I come quickly; hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown from thee.” But, did I come in the days of my Disciples? Did I come quickly then? Was the warning given then? Was my Bible fulfilled then? But thou sayest within thy heart the words were then spoken, “I come quickly.” To this I answer, if the words had not been left on record, and spoken as though they were to be fulfilled shortly after my visitation, then there is no room for the world to dispute there were no such words on record for man to expect. But they must look to the words before, the hour of temptation shall come upon the whole world, to try them that dwell upon the earth, and then follows, “I come quickly.” Now, saying a thing shall come is not saying it is come; therefore, ye must mark what is said, “He that keepeth my word unto the end shall have power over the nations.”
“But when were the nations broken as a potter’s vessel all to pieces? I tell thee it has not yet been done. The heathen nations have flourished with the increase of multitudes, the Christians have suffered, the Martyrs put to death, the Jews are scattered, but not gathered. Then how is the Bible fulfilled, or how are the nations broken like a vessel of the potter, broken to shivers? This must be known unto all men was never accomplished; but know what I told thee in the beginning, my visitation then was to all nations, that the end was at hand.
“And now, I tell thee, I shall fulfil these prophecies, and fulfil my Bible, for they both stand together; for I am now come to call men to discern their Bibles, for they testify of my second coming in my Gospel more than the prophets prophesied of my first. Now let men answer me why the Angels warned the Churches so much of my coming, if they suppose I never meant to come? How is the New Jerusalem to come? How is the New Jerusalem to come down out of Heaven, if my kingdom be never established among men here upon earth? How is the name to come to men? These things the Churches were warned of to hear what the Spirit saith, and these things the Spirit warned them they were to expect should come from God, who created all things in the beginning. Now, where is the man who can bring forward my Bible to shew all these things must be? Do not they appear as a dead letter to man, as though they had never read them, or if they had read them, never discerned them? Bring all my Bible together, and where is the man can answer before me to say these things were not foretold? Is it not written, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come?” This men cannot see—if I was in the beginning—if I have been among men, that I am come again, and am to be worshipped by man here upon earth. By me were all things created, and for my pleasure they are and were created. Then, shall I not enjoy the world that I created, that man may give glory and honour to my name upon the earth that I created? These things stand on record to shew mankind what I will be, and now I am come in the spirit to bring forward all things to man that have been dead as dead letters in my Bible, that I may open the eyes of his understanding, that he may consider the latter end. And know, all things must be fulfilled on the earth, as it is written, “Thou hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.”
“Here I have shewn thee from the Revelations what shall take place on the earth.”
[Extracted from Small Still Voice, No. 57. See also Had They Had Knowledge, p. 111.]
The Baptism of Fire
(From the MSS. in the Collection recently discovered at Exeter).
Communication given to Joanna Southcott and received in Exeter, March 1st, 1810, in Answer to an inquiry—How far the meaning of the 4th Verse of the 64th chapter of Isaiah, and the 11th Verse of the 3rd chapter of St. Matthew—alluded to mankind in general?
Isaiah lxiv. verse 4. “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him.”
St. Matthew iii. verse 11. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.”
The Spirit of Truth.
“Ye must deeply discern the words of the Prophet, and to whom these great promises were made that no man perceiveth by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, but it is known to God only, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him. Then ye must discern it is those that are waiting for the fulfilment of My words and promises, that My blessing must rest upon.
“Now come to My Gospel—Matthew, chapter iii. verse 11. “He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” Here I tell thee is the meaning of the words: the fire meaneth, the fire of love that I shall fill the hearts of men with, that are waiting and longing for Me to come and fulfil My Gospel, and the words of the Prophets which I told them I should fulfil. But ye must discern from My Gospel—It is He whose Fan is in His Hand, that I should throughly purge His floor, and gather the Wheat into My Garner. Ye must discern from My Gospel unto whom the fire of My love was spoken, unto them that believed in Me, and were waiting for Me, I said I should be with them to the end, and fill their hearts with love, as the hearts of My Disciples were filled: Acts ii. 3, 4.
“Now discern from the Acts of the Apostles, upon whom did the fire of My Love descend? Was it not on My friends and followers, that faithfully followed Me in the Flesh, and discerned all My miracles that I wrought amongst them? It was to them that I appeared after I had given up My Life for man, and had suffered My heel to be bruised for the transgression of man. They that followed Me, and waited for My resurrection, as I told them while I was with them, that I should arise again the third day, and appear unto them, those that believed in the fulfilment of My Words and expected My return according to My sayings—on them the fire of My Love descended, and filled their hearts in Love to Me, that they loved not their lives unto death for My sake, and they suffered death for Me, as I had suffered death for them. Here let men call reason to their assistance, and then they will clearly discern My mercies could not be mixed with Divine Justice, if in the end I should place those their murderers with them in everlasting Glory, for then I ask thee, where is the difference between them that love Me, and them that hate Me, if I reward all alike in the end? This would be no love to My friends and followers, to set their enemies with them in Glory. But know what I have told thee of My mercies—it is to free the sinners in the end from the everlasting punishment that is prepared for the Devil and his angels. And here let men call reason to their assistance, and discern from Ages back, as well as the present, how men in every age of the world have been joined with the adversary, to be at enmity against God, and know My Prophets and Apostles have been put to death by them that joined with the adversary in heart and life. Then is it not a mercy to the sinners, that they are not for ever bound with the adversary they were joined with? This I have told thee is My mercy to the sinners in the end, to free them from everlasting misery. But My love is to them that love Me, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive the blessedness and happiness that I have in store for them that love Me. But know I have told thee, I could show no love to My faithful friends and followers, if I placed them together in the end with My enemies and theirs. But let men discern, as thou hast discerned, My mercies and justice in the Day of Judgment, and then they will see My mercies great, to free the sinners in the way I have revealed to thee, and to reward My friends and followers with everlasting bliss and happiness, that never entered into the heart of man to conceive. The Scriptures that he hath pointed out to thee show the different end to both, and mark what is said in My Gospel, Matthew xxv., “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” Here I have plainly told them—all that was done against My friends and followers, was done against Me, because they are the branches that are joined to the root that I am come to establish in man. Now come to the following verse: (verse 41) “Then shall he say unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his angels.” Here let men discern the sentence, and for whom the fire was prepared, the fire of Mine anger and indignation for the Devil and his angels, whose enmity was kindled against Me, and worked in the hearts of the sons of men to be the same. Then as they are joined with him in every cruelty, and showed no love nor mercy to mankind; let no one marvel in his heart, that when I come in power and great glory, to establish peace and righteousness upon the earth, that I should separate the one from the other; and those that have joined with the Adversary in heart and life, and are as branches joined in the Evil Root, that I should pronounce their sentence to go with the Master they have served, that as they delight in his cruelty, they may feel the effects of what they delight in; and then, I tell thee, in the Day of Judgment the sinners will own, it is My mercy to free them from the Master they have served, while My followers will see My Justice and Everlasting Love to them, that where I am they may be also, established for ever in a world of Glory, with such joy and happiness as never entered the heart of man to conceive. Here let men call reason to their assistance, and they will see, that My ways are just.”
This taken from Joanna Southcott’s mouth by Ann Underwood.
[Extracted from Express Leaflet, No. 37. See also Southcott Express, No. 4.]
The Second Promise Will be Fulfilled
Ms. April 7, 1810.
The Spirit of Truth.
“I gave up my life freely to my enemies for them to take it from me according to their malice, and perfectly so, I tell thee, of the other promise, though it is out of your power to bruise the serpent’s head, and it is out of your power to chain him down, yet, I tell thee, as I gave my life to the malice of my enemies, so Satan will be bound by the desire of my friends, and now let them that reprove answer where is the injustice of my decrees, and what was the meaning of my words when I said I gave my life for my sheep.” (See John 10:14).
[Extracted from Had They Had Knowledge, p. 30.]
God’s Mercies Are Not Confined to the Sealed Number
Ms. April 26, 1810.
To Mr. Ferguson.
Our friend Mr. Carden informed me that you understand from my writings, or from some conversation you have had with the friends, that no more would be saved than the sealed number at the second coming of Christ to establish his kingdom of Peace and righteousness on earth, which he said you could not agree with, it being in your opinion, contrary to the mercies of the Lord to his creatures. In consequence of this wrong conjecture, I told Mr. Carden I would send you a few lines on the subject. To understand this mystery aright, I must refer you to Rev. 7, where the sealed number is mentioned of a people that would be numbered. But, after this, John saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, kindreds, and people, so that your observation is perfectly right, that the mercies of God will not be confined to the sealed number only, and yet it begins with the sealed number before this great multitude appears, which is explained to me is a sign to shew the end is at hand by the sealing that is begun. In the 14th chapter the sealed number is said to stand with the Lamb on Mt. Zion and they sang as it were a new song before the throne. Here are mysteries in the Scriptures which it is impossible for man to understand before they are explained, why so small a number as one hundred and forty and four thousand should only be mentioned as standing with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, and to have learned a new song that no other could learn. This, when we consider the thousands of saints and martyrs, and all the just men that have been upon the earth made perfect in Glory, we must know that number is but trifling when compared with all the others, therefore, it could never be explained by man what the meaning of the sealed number is; but now the mystery is explained by the Spirit why the sealing is particularly mentioned as standing with the Lamb, because they, being enlightened by the Visitation of the Spirit that His Kingdom is at hand, that their adversary should be cast out, which is the devil, that, as our Saviour gave up his life by the petitions of man, to have his heel bruised for the transgressions of men in the fall, so, in like manner, by your petitions he will cast out the adversary that betrayed the woman, and then the sealed number, who have the eyes of their understanding opened by the visitation of the Lord, to discern the justice of his ways and his decrees, and are longing for his coming to bring in their redemption, to reign in them and over them, that peace and righteousness may be established on the earth, and are subscribing with their hands unto the Lord, waiting and longing for the fulfilment of his words that his blood may cleanse him from all sin, and take away the sins of the whole world. Those who are thus enlightened from the Visitation of His Spirit, and standing in faith to believe in the fulfilment of his words, are the sealed number that sign to the petition which our Saviour taught us to pray for, his kingdom to come, and his will to be done in earth as it is in heaven, that he may be lifted up in the hearts of all men, and draw all men unto him, that the prince of this world may be cast out, and that God may be all in all. And therefore, they are mentioned as standing with the Lamb on Mt. Zion, as being the first enlightened to learn the new song of their redemption; for, as our Saviour gave up his life to the petition of men, so, in like manner, will he cast out the adversary, which is the prince of this world, by men’s petitions the same. Therefore, those that believe in the visitation will stand with him and for him, wishing his name to be exalted and praised to the ends of the earth; therefore they are mentioned particularly different from the others, because our Saviour said in the Gospel, we must ask to receive that our joys may be full; but, as St. Paul says, we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit helps our infirmities. So it is the Spirit of the Lord must enlighten us what to ask and receive what the Disciples said to our Saviour, Lord, teach us to pray as John the Baptist taught his disciples. Then we must discern what our Saviour taught his disciples how they should pray (Lord’s Prayer). In heaven it is done by all, and so it is promised in the Scriptures that a time shall come when the will of the Lord shall be done on earth by all, because it is that the Lord will pour out his Spirit upon all flesh, and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the deep. So, if we search the records of Scripture through, we shall find they speak of what our Saviour taught his disciples and us to pray for; but the time was not then for the prince of this world to be cast out, therefore they did not understand the meaning of our Saviour’s words, to be delivered from evil, for thine is the kingdom, thine is the power, and to the Lord be all glory. Now, when we come to see the prayer aright by the revelation that is now revealed, we may clearly discern there must be a people enlightened to make the petition and request before the Lord hath promised to fulfil it; and this is the meaning of the sealed number who stand with the Lord in the prayer and petition he taught his disciples at first, but after that number is up, and the sealing is finished, there will be a great number among all nations, kindreds, and people, that will have the eyes of their understandings opened, and will believe in the visitation of the Lord, to be longing for his coming to fulfil his words, so that they that had not the law, will then in their hearts join with them that have the law, and be of the same mind, to long for the coming of the Lord to deliver them from all evil as the sealed people have. So they will not be rejected whose hearts join with the others, because they had not a knowledge of these things before the sealing was finally stopped. It is sealed up in my writings:—
“Of France and Spain, and every distant coast,
I’ll save a remnant, but one nation lost.”
And that is said to be the Turkish nation. So, if a remnant of all nations be saved, we must know there will be a much greater number than the hundred and forty and four thousand, which is said to be the sealed number. And though they are mentioned to be the first to learn the new song of their redemption, from the visitation of the Lord, what is revealed by his Spirit, the meaning of the words saying, no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth, is because every one that hath the eyes of their understanding opened to discern the Scriptures, that the testimony is the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Spirit of Truth must come to guide us into all truth. And discern, from what hath already taken place to fulfil the prophecies, those that feel and believe that the Spirit of Truth is come to give us a testimony of the coming of the Lord being near at hand, and that he hath revealed his will concerning us, all such believers will gladly subscribe with their hands unto the Lord that they may be of the sealed number; and therefore it is said no other could learn the new song, because no one would reject the heavenly visitation, while it is freely offered, but such as cannot discern. Here I have shewn, though the sealed number were particularly mentioned, yet they are not the only people that will be saved at the coming of the Lord, because the various troubles that will surround all nations will awaken thousands to discern the days of their visitation when they are warned for what end it is.
[Extracted from Had They Had Knowledge, p. 67.]
Love and Anger
Sunday, Sept. 9, 1810.
A Friend came to me, and said he had been in company with Atheists and Deists, who had brought forward such arguments that man could not answer, and he saw the necessity of a revelation from the Lord to bear up the Scriptures. He said that he himself thought the words, “Anger of the Lord,” which are often repeated in the Scriptures, was a wrong expression, as he could not conceive that the Lord could be angry like man; for when he considered the majesty and greatness of the Lord, how could he reconcile that being, who was infinite, to have any likeness of feeling anger like us finite Creatures; for, if the Lord was angry, his anger must destroy the whole earth at once. That the Lord might be displeased at the sin of the people he allowed, but not angry with his creatures whom he had created; but that his anger would be displayed upon the devil, the author of evil, in the end.
I said, God was love, and there was love planted in the heart of man. He said, certainly; but it was a very small spark. It being late in the evening we came to no conclusion, but his words brought ponderings into my mind that his judgment was not right, and I was promised I should be answered. My thoughts began from the Creation. God said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over every thing that creepeth upon the earth.” I thought, from the Creation, if God created man in his own image, and the Son of God took man’s form upon him, to be born after the image of man, there must be some likeness, although man is finite—God is infinite; but, as it is said in the Scriptures the Lord’s delight shall be with the sons of men, it does not appear consistent with reason to me but some likeness of God must be in man, both of love and anger, for without anger I cannot see a perfect love.
These are my thoughts from reason, which I pondered deeply from Mr. Field, after his conduct had been proved so bad to me, I could not see how any one could love me without being angry with him for his conduct. And perfectly so is my judgment concerning our Creator. If we are created in the least likeness of God, or any spirit like him, then the Lord’s love to his creatures who do well will be mixed with anger against those who do ill. This appears plain from the Scriptures, and perfect justice in God. His anger was mixed with mercy and love when he saw the oppression of the children of Israel by the Egyptians. Then his anger appeared in mercy when he sent Moses to deliver them; but when they ill-treated Moses in the wilderness, then was justice in God in love to his servant, to show his anger and displeasure against his people. In this manner, through the Scriptures, it is clear to me that divine and infinite love cannot be without anger, while all the provocations are given by the sons of men, and their cruelty one to the other—the just against the unjust. So, if the Lord is loving to every man who fears him, and has a regard to man whom he created to be in his likeness, to show mercy and love one to the other, he must be angry with those who give themselves up to temptations, to be joined with the devil in every evil work, to be in his likeness against those who, in any manner, appear in the likeness of the Lord, which I mean by the spirit of man having some likeness of love, mercy, and pity towards his fellow creatures, and a love towards his Creator, which has been proved through the Scriptures to have been planted in man. But how could there be any likeness between God and man of love and anger, if there was not anger in the Lord, to be displeased with those who act with every cruelty towards their fellow creatures, and against those who fear the Lord? Here my thoughts go deeper than I can express, that while things remain as they are, if there be any likeness between God and man, there must be some likeness of love and anger; and if we read of the best of men, who have been said to serve God and obey his commands, we shall find where they have loved the Lord, they have felt anger against those who offended God, and acted with cruelty towards their brethren. Here my thoughts go deep to the end, when I reflect on the great love the Lord has shown to man through the Scriptures, and the Son of God coming to die for the transgressions of man, to redeem us from the fall, and the great reward he has promised through never-ending eternity in glory unto those who love and fear him. This great reward cannot be promised unto creatures who have no likeness of their Creator. How can the Lord’s delight be with the sons of men who have no likeness of himself? This union and communion between God and man cannot be completed if there be no likeness of the spirit of God in man. But, as high as the heavens are from the earth, so high are God’s ways above man’s ways. The anger of man is too hasty, and often foolish. His anger provokes him to passion without reason or forbearance. So that, if all power were in his hands, he might use that power without wisdom; and if it was in an evil man, he would use it without mercy or forbearance, and destroy at once all that he was angry with. Such is the rage and passion of man. And thus we see finite creatures to what rage and fury their passions are worked up when they are angry; but now let us come to infinite wisdom—to infinite power, mercy, and goodness. For though it is said “The Lord is angry with the wicked every day,” yet we see with his anger his long suffering—his mercy and forbearance. He sends his blessings on the just and the unjust, because they are blessed with the fruits of the earth, and the Lord trieth them for a while, he does not destroy them at once, to be in a passion like men, who vent out their fury as soon as their anger is kindled. Was the Lord to do this, then the whole earth would be destroyed at once, because the Lord has power to destroy; but we are not taught in the Scriptures that it was in any passion or fury in any likeness of man’s fury that the Lord destroyed the world of old, because it is said, “the Lord was grieved to see the sins of the people.” And had we been in that age, we might have seen such cruelty, and such crimes of every sort rising higher and higher every day, that if there were any who served the Lord, their lives must be unhappy in this world, and sinners were only adding to their own guilt, therefore the Lord in mercy ordered Noah to build the ark, and said he would destroy man whom he had created. But this was not done after the foolish passion of men, for one hundred years were allowed for Noah to build the ark, and that while the Lord was trying the people, though he was angry to see their sins, and grieved to destroy them; but this was not like the anger of man, who might have destroyed them in a passion and fury at once, but the anger of the Lord is mixed with mercy, with long-suffering, and forbearance, like a tender father over his children, who threatens because he is loth to punish, and the Lord could not threaten the antediluvian world, and be grieved to see their sins, and threaten their destruction, if he was not like a tender father, who was loth to punish. But however great an earthly parent may have this love towards his children, yet, if he lets them still go on hardened in every guilt, his forbearance may be worn out in time, and his patience wearied; and, just so, it appears to me concerning the Lord, who is the father of all, as being the creator of man in the beginning. However great his love may be to his creatures, and however long his forbearance may be to try them as a father trieth his children, yet, if they still go on to provoke him to anger, that all his mercies and forbearance are but despised, that the Lord sees they are hardened the more, he may, in justice, cut them off. Thus far a likeness may be between God and man, which, from the Scriptures, is represented to us. And yet, in this likeness, no earthly parent would bear with the provocation of his children as long as the Lord beareth with provocation of the sons of men, when their hearts are set to do evil.
These are my ponderings. I was ordered to open the Bible three times. Deut. xiii. 17—“And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he has sworn unto thy fathers.” Isaiah lvii. 16—“For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirits should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” Matt. xxv. 1—“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.”
Answer of the Spirit.
“Now I shall answer thee. The chapters where I directed thy hand, to show you all for what reason the Lord was angry with the people of old. And now compare the past with the present, then you may discern why the anger of the Lord is not turned away, because the sins of the people are daily provoking the Lord to anger. And now I shall answer thy pondering thoughts, which thou hast pondered from his words, and, like him, do thousands ponder upon the Scriptures until they come not to believe them at all. Therefore, it was I, the Lord, who called reason to thy assistance to prove the Scriptures another way, that ye may discern in what likeness of your Creator man was created at first, till by Satan’s arts, he was betrayed to fall from that perfection of love towards his Creator, and one the other; but in the state that man fell, malice and envy arose with anger. This thou mayest discern from Cain, what envy and hatred was in him against his brother; but how unjust was his revenge. Then, now I ask thee, what likeness did Cain bear? Was it my likeness in which man was created at first? Was it the likeness of his Creator? This ye must discern from the beginning—the forbearance of the Lord with the children of men after they had fallen by transgression. But discern from Cain where the anger was like the devil—unjust anger and unjust revenge. For though thy thoughts went deep concerning the anger of God and man, yet they did not go deep to discern the different anger, and the different causes there were for anger; when the Lord was angry with his people it was for their sins, and their crimes, and their cruelties one to the other, as thou mayest discern from the chapters before them—Isaiah lvii. and lviii.—for the oppression to the people. From these chapters ye may discern, when the anger of the Lord is kindled, it is a just anger mixed with love, to pity those who are afflicted and oppressed, with the cruelties of others, but as thou hast discerned at first, the forbearance of the Lord when his anger was kindled, so thou wilt find it through the Scriptures. But how different is the anger of the Lord from the unjust anger of sinful men. Call to thy remembrance what Herod did when he commanded the innocent children to be destroyed for my sake.
“There was anger, malice, and envy sent forth in fury in the likeness of the devil; but in no likeness of your Creator, no likeness of a God who showed his mercies in the beginning, and pitied the fallen state of man when he fell by temptation to transgress his commands. These things men must discern when there is an anger like God to be mixed with mercy and forbearance, and when there is an anger like the devil to show every cruelty and revenge where no just provocation has been given. For this ye may discern in all ages, it was in anger, like the devil, that the Prophets of old were persecuted; and in anger like him was worked upon the Jews who sought my life, and whose malice I submitted to; and in anger like him man went on to put the Apostles to death, and to persecute to this day. But this anger in man has no likeness of a God; therefore, all anger in man cannot bear any likeness with the anger of God. And yet I tell thee, there is an anger in man, as a creature, that may be compared with his Creator—that ye may be angry and sin not; for my Disciples were angry to see the cruelty of the Jews, and thou knowest what warmth of anger the Apostles were filled with when they wished to call down fire from Heaven to destroy mine enemies. Here was anger in man mixed with love to his God, because they believed in me as the God; therefore their anger was kindled against mine enemies, which their warm zeal would have accomplished what was the desire of their hearts, to have destroyed mine enemies if infinite power had been in their hands to be enabled to act according to their zeal. But how different was my anger? And discern my forbearance to go on to try them. Know I submitted to the cross to die for the transgression of man. Then discern I gave power to my Disciples to work miracles in my name, to convince those who would be convinced, and to awaken those who would be awakened, and by my forbearance and long suffering to them thousands were saved. Paul was not the only persecutor who was convinced in heart and life; but I do not tell thee all who were convinced came in, like Paul, to be as zealous for my honour and glory as Paul was, yet thousands were convinced to be saved, and suffered reproach for my sake, so that my forbearance not to act in a hasty manner to destroy them at once, as my Disciples would have done, was to the saving of thousands in the end. But know, those who were hardened, that no forbearance, no space for repentance, no miracles wrought by my Disciples, would have any effect upon them to turn their hearts, went on in their cruelties against my brethren.
“Then, know my anger was justly kindled to cast them off as a people, as they had cast off me and my followers. Here I have shewn thee what anger may be in a creature in some likeness of his Creator, and what anger may be in man in the likeness of the devil, by whom he fell.
“For now, I ask thee, what love was there mixed in the anger of Cain? He had no love to God, none for his parents, none for his brother, but pride and envy like the devil, because he saw his brother was accepted of the Lord. But now discern the anger of my Disciples. There was anger mixed with love, because it was in love to God they wished my enemies to be destroyed; but this love in man, however right their love may be placed, yet, for want of knowledge what man is, and what man may be, and for want of wisdom to be clear in judging, and just in condemning fallen creatures, as men are, they would make a bad use of their power if it were given them to act according to their own zeal, for, if their anger was right, their execution would not be right. Here I have shown thee how wrong it would be for power to be given to the sons of men, because they would not use it aright; for they would use their power as finite creatures, as he judged an infinite God would use his, to kill and destroy at once, when the anger was justly kindled.
“And now, I will tell thee, the present age is like the past; for there are many in the present day, whose warm zeal is known to me, to work for my coming to establish my kingdom in righteousness and peace on the earth, yet, from the warmth of their zeal, and the anger that arises in their hearts against those who reject my coming, had they power according to their anger, they would bring hasty judgments upon your nation, and swift destruction upon thousands. Here I have shown you the folly of men, what their anger would bring on one the other, without having the patience and forbearance that infinite wisdom has got to try men if they repent, and to be just in condemning if they will not. And now I shall come to thy thoughts of the creation, which I told thee were worked by me. That if man was created in the likeness of his Maker, and the Lord’s delight shall be with the sons of men, there must be some likeness in the creature of his Creator for the Lord to delight in man.
“Here thy thoughts are right, for thou mayest well say with thy heart, how can an infinite and wise God take delight in the work of his hands who bear no likeness of his own goodness? For, though man is the shadow, and the Lord is the substance, yet there must be some shadow of the substance for the Lord to delight in. I have already told thee what likeness of love and anger there is in God and man, and how imperfect is the anger of man, because it is not used with wisdom, mercy, and forbearance like God. And so, in like manner, is the imperfection of the love of man when compared with the love of his Creator; yet, there is some shadow of the likeness in the love of man, which has been proved by the Apostles, and the martyrs, and all the holy men of old. In this thou sayest their love appeared great to die for my sake, and I died for them. But, as I have told thee, the difference of the anger, so is the difference of the love.
“For now, I ask thee, where is the man enthroned in happiness in every perfection, and surrounded with every glory, who could divest himself of all to come, and suffer reproach for sinners, and to die, as I died, to save mankind in the end?
“Here, I tell thee, the love of man comes very short of the love of God; for, though they suffered for my sake to go to glory, yet they would not willingly leave that glory to suffer shame; so that the love and anger that bears some resemblance and some likeness, are both imperfect in the creature before I come to make men anew, and to pour out my Spirit upon all flesh for them, as clay is refined by the potter, so will man be refined by his Creator; for what is now imperfect will then be made perfect in the likeness of his God, but not in that perfection, but in a likeness there will be between God and man.
“But thou sayest within, all the saints who have died already never attained to that perfection of likeness. To thy thoughts I answer. Do not I know, do I not consider, the best of men have had an enemy to war with, to war against through life, and, therefore, that perfection which will be obtained hereafter will not be while Satan’s power remains, that they are in this vale of tears surrounded by temptations, and, therefore, the body dies and moulders into dust, but the spirit is reposed in glory, for there they are enlightened with the glory of God, and filled with his love to his creatures; so that the enlightened state, and the refined state of the spirit, when divested of the body to make him fit for a heaven of glory, is unknown to every man. But the change that will take place here on earth, to make men in the likeness of his Creator, is a change that no one knows—it is beyond the heart and thoughts of man. But, as I have told thee of love and anger there is some shadow of resemblance, so, in like manner, there is some shadow of a resemblance and likeness in those who have a sincere desire in their hearts that Satan’s power may be done away, for the glory of God and the good of mankind, whose love to God is such that they wish to have all the earth to praise his name as the Heavenly Host do in glory; and their love to man is such, that they wish for others, as well as themselves, to see them changed from nature to grace, to be freed from sin and sorrow, that the whole earth may be happy in the Lord.
“Such who have this desire earnestly planted in their hearts have some likeness of their Creator, who created man for that end at the first, and will complete it at the last.”
Witness, Ann Underwood.
[Extracted from Express Leaflet, No. 2.]
Friends Meeting Together
Extract from a Letter to Mr. Turner.
Oct. 8, 1810,
As Mr. Hirst leaves town in a few days, I take the opportunity of sending this by him. After I had received your letter, with the account of friend Roberts’ distress of mind, fearing from what friend Stake had said to him, that he was in an error in holding a meeting to speak to the people, the following morning I awakened with these words, “Feed my sheep.” Immediately it was called to my remembrance your letter that I received the day before, and am now answered. “Thou must send the words I awakened thee with in the morning, and let them discern the difference between feeding my sheep, which I mean by the believers who come in the pasture, and going out to warn the enemy who mock and despise my warning, my invitation, and my offers. Here, I tell thee, the difference is great, and let believers know they never were forbid the assembling themselves together.” This is all the answer given to me which I am ordered to send to try the judgment of the believers. In answer to friend Stake’s observation of my being fallible, and not drawing my judgment aright, in this he is perfectly right. So far from my judging I have more knowledge than others, I always think I have less, and am afraid to act in a spirit of my own, fearing I should do wrong. But concerning the meetings, I never had a communication given me to stop the meetings with the friends; but the public warning of threatened judgments I was ordered should be stopped, until it was felt by the unbelieving world, who mocked the warning, and therefore, they were forbidden going out to meet the public as they had done, but the believers assembling themselves together was not forbid.
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