FAST DAY; MAY, 1804.
Dear Miss Townley,
I shall give you the Communication that is given to me this day, the 24th of May, after you sent me the Form of Prayer for the Fast Day. I was ordered to call all things to my remembrance in 1796, in answer to the Prayers for the Fast:-"I then ordered thee to write to Pomeroy, and in that year to put in his hand of the Bishop's death. But now I have ordered thee to warn the Bishops and the Clergy in May; and now in May the Fast is; and out of their own mouths will I condemn them all, if they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm; for the Letters were written to warn the Clergy before the Fast came; therefore I ordered one to be hastily sent to the Bishop, and to have the Letters hastily printed. So if they are now lukewarm, they are condemned from the very Scriptures they have placed. If they say they have wisdom and want nothing, then I tell them they are blind and naked. I have counselled them to buy of me true gold; that they may be clothed, that the shame of their nakedness may not appear; and to anoint their eyes with eye-salve that they may see; for as many as I love I rebuke; and this Nation I have rebuked, as there are many in it whom I love; but let them not think the French are sinners above all men, because they have done these things; I tell them, nay, but unless they repent they shall all likewise perish. Now let them mark the lesson in Isaiah, the 38th chapter-"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death, and a Sign was given him from the Lord." Now let the learned answer what the Sign was for? Could I not have restored him without giving him a Sign, and do the thing I had promised him? Could he not take my word without a bond? Yet I gave a Sign to Hezekiah; and now I have given Signs unto the Nation: If they turn unto me, as Hezekiah did, my threatenings shall go backwards; and I will save this Nation, that is condemned to die by judgments; but if they will not lay it to heart, as Hezekiah did, they shall fall by the Signs of the convulsions placed in the Child. So here is the Sign set before them; and the Signs of the Gospel are now come, from the many false Christs that have appeared. Two false Christs have written to thee; therefore I ordered thee to keep their letters, to prove that false Christs were come; and two others have told thee they were the Christs, and wanted thee to trust to them for Redemption. Yet they confess they never were visited by the Spirit of Prophecy, or had any power given them of working of Miracles. So the Sign of false Christs hath appeared unto thee, as well as the Signs of Tumults and War. But I should act like men to come to one part of the chapter and not go through the whole. For I tell thee, that chapter is like thy writing-The shadow fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, and what followed after to my disciples; but the end was not then; for men have stopped where I shall begin-"When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, know the desolation is nigh:" and that desolation followed Jerusalem. But can man say the end followed then-to see me come in a cloud with great Power and Glory? I tell thee, no-But now the time is at hand, that all these things shall be fulfilled-and man's Redemption draws nigh: For the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. But the fulfilment of the
Dear Miss Townley,
Now I shall tell you the reasons assigned to me, why you were permitted to have the book altered from the first directions that were given me; and then I was ordered the Book should not go out in the world so, but take away your letter, where you say Christ is Coming the Helpmate in the Woman, to show mankind they had done by their Bibles, as I am ordered now to do by the Book: they have taken away the first promise that was made them; therefore you are ordered to have one thousand half-sheets printed, beginning with the Church Prayers, as far as the leaf was sent, and let all the others stand as they are. If the readers enquire why the Prayers of the Fast stand printed twice in one Book, the answer is given; because by their taking away the first promise, that the serpent's head must not be bruised, nor the Woman made a helpmate for Man's good, by the death of Christ; that as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be made alive; this they have taken away, and placed their Bibles to crucify the Lord afresh, and to have Him die twice, as the Prayers are printed twice. And now this Book must go out one thousand with this half-sheet, to convince mankind the way they are taking their names out of the Book of Life, and the other six thousand must go out as they are printed, after my trial is over. Now the readers may ask, how this confusion came? To this I answer, I was ordered to begin the Book with the Prayers on the Fast; and one proof sheet was printed so, which was sent to Bristol, to Miss Townley; and she not knowing the order was given me from the Lord, wrote to Mr. Sharp to alter the beginning, and have the Book begin with the letters she sent to the Bishops. This was done unknown to me, after that I was ordered to call in every printed letter, that no one might be able to have one, as the Ministers were turning them back, with infamous scorn and contempt; and I was answered, not one of them that had returned the letters should appear in my presence; and that they might not be able to forge them, or produce any thing of the kind, every letter was called in, and every Minister that doth appear, must bring his letter with him and swear by Him that liveth, the letter was sent him, and he has kept it; and other Ministers that ever appear in my presence must swear by Him that liveth, they never had a letter sent them; for every man that has turned back his letter is as an evil forbidden fruit to me, that I would fly from, as from the face of a serpent; and as a serpent they must fly from me, for now is coming the New Covenant with Man. The Lord will do away with the first and establish the last, by the Woman's perfect obedience; and to prevent her seeing the forbidden fruit, they are bound by this oath, never to come in her presence, that we may not fall the second time; for then the error would be worse than the first. Therefore when I saw the Book, it is fruitless to pen the horror I felt, fearing we had done wrong; and recollecting, in a letter of Mr. Sharp, wherein he said he had altered the title page, which I understood was the outside leaf, which I did not approve of, but when I saw, in another letter, he had altered the whole, the world will see what I must have suffered, but not one quarter part can they be a judge of what I suffered, from two o'clock yesterday till ten o'clock today; but this will appear in another letter, and now I shall give the answer of the Spirit, as it is spoken in verse:-
"Now Joanna thee I'll answer,
Perfect as thy book is here,
Perfect so I now do tell thee
All the learned do appear.
They take away, I now do say,
The promise first was placed;
And so their wisdom doth betray
And crucify me twice;
And perfect so thy book shall go,
In print to man appear;
The leaf that thou to Sharp hast sent
Must now be printed there,
As it is sent for to begin,
And this must follow next:
Until the half-sheet it does end,
And then the whole I'll fix
To prove to man that so they're come
My Life for to betray;
The very ends for which I died
They now do take away;
And me again for to be slain
The second time for man.
For perfect as thy book does lay
The learned lay their plan;
It's plainly seen, for I'll begin,
And from thy books appear,
The promise first was made to man
Satan his curse should share,
If I did mine, my life resign
And offer it up for man;
It was to do my father's will,
And in the help-mate come.
Then for his good the promise stood,
But this they took away;
And as thy book does now appear
Men's judgment it doth lay,
That I again now must be slain
Now in the Woman's form;
So twice they have placed their death for me
In Spirit now I'm come:
In love to all is now my call,
But it you take away,
As Townley's bounty now doth fall
The cost on her doth lay,
Which I removed, to show my love
That I with her compare;
You take my bounty all away,
As thou hast taken here;
Her love to waste, as this is placed,
For to reject her hand.
This very thing I did ordain
To bring it to your Land,
That just like thee the world now be,
To know their every will;
They take away my perfect love,
And place me twice to spill
My Blood for all to free the Fall;
And this would never do.
And now the mystery I'll explain,
In coming to you Two;
Had this been done by thy command,
Because thou order'st first;
And though thou in her bounty stand,
And thy own pride to burst,
And alter so, though thou dost know
The strength in her doth stand,
Thy labours now for to go through,
And could'st thou so command,
Thy pride to show it should not go
As she had placed it there?
For thou to say another way,
Thy honour can't appear,
Because the first by thee was placed,
Thou sayest by thy command;
And though the love in her doth burst,
Thou would'st not let her stand,
Though she obeyed in what thou said,
And wished it to appear
Unto the world as it was laid,
To prove her honour clear,
And thou by pride thrown all aside,
Ingratitude must come:
And from the ponderings of thy heart,
I now will answer man:
Ungrateful love thine now must prove,
And thou thyself should'st hate,
If thou by pride threw hers aside,
That showed her love so great.
What monster here must thou appear,
Her boundless love to scorn;
Because in pride thou would'st appear
To show the power thy own,
When thou hast none, to me 'tis known,
For friends do thee support:
And would'st thou swell thy pride so high
Thy faithful friends to hurt?
Thou answerest, no, the truth is so,
For thou would'st sooner die,
That empty way thy pride to show,
Thy faithful friend deny
Her justice here to show it clear,
That she did me obey;
And in the front for to appear,
Thy honour stands that way,
If you could'st see the mystery,
How every thing is placed;
Because that she did thee obey.
So empty pride must burst,
I say, in thee for to deny,
And this thou dost discern,
No honour in thee could there be,
But pride and empty scorn.
This thou see'st plain, I'll answer men,
That just the same they mock my Name,
By pride and empty scorn:
But I'll no further answer here,
The Blind-Man next must come:-
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT TO JOANNA'S
PARABLE OF THE BLIND MAN.
"Now from thy Parable I'll answer here:
If men don't come thy every Truth to clear,
Then such impostors they must surely be
As in the Blind-man mentioned there by thee,
And much more strong shall the words appear
Than in the Parable is mentioned there.
For now unto the Blind-Man I will come;
He formed his judgment and he formed his plan
As in the dark all things to him appear,
And in the dark he'll find his judgment there.
To his own judgment, as he cannot see
Whether it is right or wrong, as formed by he;
Because the man is mentioned to be blind,
And so he gropeth and may another find
Just like himself and equally blind to be.
Perhaps in judgment these two might agree,
In all one judgment as the first did form
For of the colour neither could discern;
So black for white may unto both appear.
But now comes on the thing I mean to clear:
Suppose a man encompassed with these two,
Whose eyes were open plain before his view,
Should tell them they drew their judgment wrong:
For by his sight he could the thing discern,
And tell them plain they drew their judgment wrong:
Suppose the Blind-Man then should boldly swear,
'If you condemn our judgment, now we'll tear
You all in pieces: impotence must be
To say it's wrong the judgment drawn by we.
So now together, though we're blind we're strong,
And out your eyes, like ours, shall surely come;
For why should Heaven give to you more light
Than we have got? No, now we will fight,
I say, together, till we have made you blind:
No greater favour you from God shall find
Than we have got; for if you do see
We are resolved to make you blind as we,
Unless unto us now you firm will swear
You'll join with us, and prove our judgment clear,
That we will surely draw our judgment right;
We boldly now tell you that we will fight,
Unless you'll swear that you are blind as we,
And with your eyes the thing the same do see.
This you shall do, if you your eyes will save-
Perjure your soul before we'll let you live,
Because that in our power now you are come,
And though we're blind, yet know we two are strong;
And now we have got you we'll not let you go,
Unless you'll swear that our blind eyes are true;
This you shall do, or else we'll make you blind,
And pull out your eyes, you soon shall find.'
Now, in this manner, I'll suppose a man
Who is in power, and in power strong,
To work the miracles that were wrought by me:
I tell you friends, if you will but agree
To let me put some eye-salve to you here,
And then you both with me shall now see clear;
But if the Trial do not make you see,
Then unto your proposals I'll agree.
But now their answer if it thus should come:
'We want no eye-sight; 'tis yours we condemn:
Because by begging we get for to be blind,
And though we grope we still a path can find
To make our way men's pity to implore;
We want no eye-sight for to labour here:
No, no, vain man, we choose for to be blind,
Because by it our Livings we do find
With much more ease than those who have eyes to see,
And so in blindness now we choose to be.'-
Then now I'll answer for the man that's strong;
You bold Impostors, from my sight be gone!
And of your begging I will now take care,
You shall not get your bread by begging here.
You said that Heaven should not give to me
The light of sight that was not given ye,
Unless I turned my blessings to a curse,
That all alike, in suffering, might be lost!
But now that blessing I did offer here,
That you with me in sight might now see clear,
Your infamy was soon discovered here,
You bold Impostors, impudent you are come,
You thought me weak, for to hold out so long
Your subtle arts in all to find out:
I knew the reason that your eyes were shut;
And why my eyes you wished to shut the same,
And say by blindness you could judgment form;
Because in Blindness you wished for to appear,
And boast of judgment that some merit were
To place within you, though you both were blind,
That in the world you might some honour find:
And force the world your merit to believe,
Yourselves and others you thought to deceive.
But when I offered you should judge aright,
And told you both I should restore your sight,
Then back the curtains they were quickly drawn,
And your impotency you soon did own;
And then the Strong Man, he may answer here,
You must have eye-sight ere you can appear
Ever to have me in your power more,
For now I tell you plain, I've bolted the door-
with blackness: and now they are writing to warn the bishops and clergy:-
"Here is a type stands deep for all:
This funeral will bring on the call
To make the shepherds to appear-
Therefore the shadow I placed there
To have the likeness at the first.
But now the substance it is placed:
A perfect funeral now is come,
And so the substance will go on
To have thy Trial to appear-
They'll find these shadows first were there:
But now the substance it is come,
And every substance will be known
In perfect likeness to appear:
They'll find the substance now is near;
For all as shadows I placed first,
But now the substance I place last
To bring thy awful Trial on-
And Townley's trembling will be known,
That strong in thee it will appear,
As in thy stead I've now placed her,
And in thy stead she bold may stand-
The heavens with blackness now command,
And now my blackness will appear,
If men don't hasty waken here,
As she so early did awake,
I say, my clouds on them shall break;
Because, from shadows all shall see
Such things were ne'er brought round by thee
To place the shadows at the first,
That like a funeral this should burst.
And now the funeral doth appear,
From innocence no sin was here
Ever committed by the child-
And here the learned men are foiled;
As I compared with my own:
Then here the child must sure be known
In innocence, I say, to die-
And mark the words were said to thee,
When that the shadow did appear,
Thou know'st, the child I told thee there-
To show my Birth, the child must come;
And so my Death a shadow then.
But now the shadow's in the child,
To shew my death, to reconcile
The world to God-like him I died
In strong convulsions then for man.
The Garden first you must discern,
What Agonies I then did bear!
And how the midnight hour drew near,
As my Convulsions were within-
My feelings were unknown to Men
What for their sakes I then did bear;
As well I knew my chosen were
To suffer then the like for Me-
And then the Jews I knew were cast,
To prove the mysteries at the last,
That dead to knowledge man was come,
As I at first pronounced him;
And so their knowledge it was dead;
And by their death my Blood was shed;
Because that me they did not know,
From all the wonders I did show,
As never could be worked by man.
And now in spirit I am come
To work by Wisdom now the same,
And man knows not from whence it came
To see these mysteries so brought round;
They cannot tell from whence the sound
Before some others do appear
To make these mysteries out more clear;
And then they'll own their knowledge dead
To every thing before them laid;
That they did ever understand
It was a Work by my Command;
Because they judged I could not go
To stoop to man in things so low:
From types and shadows to appear
In language low, no man can clear,
To see the depth, how all is placed.
You ne'er discerned, ye fallen race,
How I from shadows placed all first,
Nor how the likeness it did burst.
The type of Isaac placed before,
And so my death it did appear:
And then the Brazen Serpent see;
For as I say they looked on me
Nought but a Serpent to appear,
As from the Jews, they judged me there.
So from these shadows none do see
How deep they're placed as types of me;
And let my Gospel to appear;
From Parables I told them there,
How I had likened everything.
Now all to your remembrance bring,
Then all these shadows you'd see clear
Do with my Bible all compare.
From types and shadows I began,
From types I now shall make an end;
So from this type I now do say,
Here is a shadow placed this day,
How all the substance will appear,
For the death warrant's hastening here,
Unto the shepherds this will be,
And their convulsions you will see
To be much greater than the child's;
For now the learned will be foiled.
For here's a mystery none do see,
How the Tenth Year these things must be
To have thy letters blazed abroad,
A way that man ne'er understood;
But judged the letters sent before
Did in like manner so appear;
But then thy letter could not be,
Thou published then the mind of me
In public letters for to send;
But now I tell thee, by thy friend
Thy letter is published all abroad:
And all the others will be know'd
To fly abroad to man the same;
For here're the letters I did name,
That I should make to fly abroad;
And now their conduct will be know'd,
For different roads they now will take,
Until they find the truth to break.
But from what shadows you don't discern
The way or manner I to you do warn;
It was a private letter blazed abroad,
When in November every truth was know'd:
And now to make the likeness all agree,
It is the private letter I tell thee,
That by the public now must fly abroad;
For like the shadows must the truth be know'd;
For so the substance in the end must burst,-
You ne'er discerned the manner of the first,
Nor how the shadow it did first appear:
When Pomeroy read his name in public there,
That thou didst put in print by my Command,
But now the substance all may understand."
(signed,) Joanna Southcott
Dear Miss Townley, May 23rd, 1804.
In answer to the Letters being returned, you say, the day the child was buried, and the Letters sent the day he was designed to be buried, I was answered in the following manner:
"As this day was designed for the child's funeral, and this day the letters are sent, it will be for their funerals if the living do not lay it to heart. But as the child was buried the day before, and the letters did not go that day, if they come forward like the letters, the funeral is gone before them; and by the child's death they may have life. If they do as these have done, to improve their time for the future, and to be strict to obey my Commands; then I shall change my Threatenings into Blessings, as thy Brother changed his funeral; and my sunshine shall rise upon them. If they now turn unto me, I will now turn unto them. And now I will tell thee why I have made thee a prisoner: Because I know the weakness of thy nature, mind, and heart. I put thee to the trial by Pomeroy and saw the weakness of thy heart: thou hadst no fortitude to withstand one man, but signed thy name, to please him, to what he never said but once; and that was by putting his name in print, which he said was from the devil; but he never said thy writings were. But as he complained to thee, thou hadst no fortitude to dispute with him. Therefore, now I have made thee a prisoner, to see no one before it is disputed by those that have more strength and fortitude than thou hast got; and not to give up to any before they give their strong reasons, why they judge thy prophecies come from the Devil; and how they can prove such types and shadows were first placed by him; and how the substance came in such a manner, in the tenth year, wherein thou sawest the light of the candles; and how thy Brother should have a Son in that very year, that had nought but daughters before: but he said he had a Son dead-born before the time. And now I tell thee, like dead-born children, before the time, all have been; but now the living children shall appear.-Here thy heart beginneth to ponder: Will the living children die, like the child? To this I answer: the living children that are to die before my Kingdom is established on this Earth shall die as innocent as the child did: for I will not impute any more sin to them than I imputed to the child, that has committed no sin. But as the child's name shall stand for ever in remembrance, and dying in convulsions is left on record, so shall their names for ever stand, in honour to them; and their virtues be recorded, like the child's convulsions, for the pains they have taken to bring in a guilty land. So here I have compared my living children to the dying child, if they die before my Kingdom is established. But, as the other was living, all will not die before the time; but the child, that standeth as a type I compared of my Death, must die before the time, to show the shadow of thy Writings; which I ordered as a sign to put as in the grave; and so by the child's death, I ordered my Shepherds to be warned, to bring them forth by the death of the child. Now let the learned answer, how Satan should place the writings first as a shadow of death, and how death should come to thy Brother's Son in the tenth year of the Vision, and in the month of May to die in convulsions; a month that I threatened a fatal month for man? Let these things be answered by the learned, before I permit thee to appear: for well I know thy weakness; and as Satan cannot overcome thee in any form he can come himself, I know he will try, as an angel of light, to come in man. Therefore I will not leave thee to Man, as Adam left Eve to the Serpent. Thou hast trusted to my protection, and my protection thou shalt have: for I myself have made thee a prisoner: and it would be fatal for any man to seek to find thee out, to break my prison doors, before they have brought thee to a fair Trial, then thou shalt appear; and as my guardian angels have guarded and kept thee from all the arts and power of hell, now let my friends, brothers, mother, and sister, keep thee from all the arts and power of men; for there will Satan try to work, to prevent the truth from being tried and proved; as he knoweth, if the truth is tried and proved, they will prove the calling from the Lord; and then my kingdom must come in-
"As men's desire will daily come
To wish my Kingdom to appear;
And then he knows I'll bring it here,
And then his Kingdom it must fall
And now I tell you one and all,
That men's desire must first appear
Before I bring my Kingdom here;
And their desires I soon shall know
When I have proved my writings true;
Because thy writings are from me,
That every soul shall know and see;
For so I'll prove them in the end.
But first with man I shall contend,
To see what in them all doth lie,
And then they'll find I'm come in thee,
So strong in power for to appear,
That all shall know their Lord is here,
That in the end I said should come;
In marvellous things appear to man;
And so mankind may marvel here
The way that I in thee appear,
To keep thee secret at the first,
Before men's judgment it is cast;
And then in wonders to appear,
The sacred Truth then in all to clear.-
And this to Townley thou must send,
And tell her as a faithful friend,
Where thou residest no man must know,
Before their judgment they do show,
To tell from whence thy writings came,
And then they'll surely know my Name.
"Now let Townley answer all that enquire for thee the Lord has commanded her not to tell: for she will not tell them; and it is fruitless for the Serpent to come in man to her, and tell her that it is the Lord's command to conceal thee. She must tell them, they must convince her, from strong arguments and just reasons, how this is all brought round by the Devil, before she will disobey the command of the Lord."
Here, my dear Miss Townley, you see what a strict charge is given to you, not to discover my abode; neither must you let my friends in London know what place you have taken for me, or where my abode is. I am very comfortable, and hope to have the happiness of seeing you soon. I am sure of the pleasure of seeing Underwood every day, to bring me all the news, and to receive the directions. I have another Communication to write you to-morrow; but you know I must have my secretary. The Lord bless you, and strengthen you to stand the fiery trial with men. The people in this house are very quiet and civil. Accept my kind love; and am yours sincerely in heart and mind.
(Signed,) Joanna Southcott.
Another Communication added, the morning of May 24th, in answer to the wind and rain that came on soon after the letters were gone out of town by the mail; and conveyed in the same letter.
"As the wind and rain arose when the coach was carrying the warning to mankind, and the cup is now held out to man, they may drink it which way they will: for Townley hath wisely discerned, to weigh the past with the present. Therefore I told thee at Leeds, that were she called forward to give account of her faith, she could give a clearer judgment than man; because she had discerned what is fulfilled, and what is not. Therefore I have chosen her to warn the shepherds; and if they take not the warning, they shall find the floods of sorrow to come upon them. But how could I strike before I warn? I warned the Parliament; and they refused the warning, and the sword of war followed; but now is come the second warning, from the woman's hand to the shepherds. Therefore I compared her to my mother, as she is daily seeking to support my honour and great Name: for they that honour thy writings, honour me that gave them; for all shall know they are from me the living Lord. So they that honour me I will honour; and they that despise me, shall be lightly esteemed; for they that despise thy writings despise the Spirit, and do despite to the Spirit of God. Then they shall find I will do despite unto them: but how can I strike before I warn? I tell thee, no! The warning must first go out in the world before I strike; and the sooner the warning is given, the sooner will my hand appear; for my hand shall follow the warning, as the rain and wind followed the letters in the journey. So there is no time for trifling now-The King's business requireth haste; and as they wish to have it come in haste, in haste let them proceed with the warning, and my hand shall be close after. Therefore I said the man and woman should join together: and now let my brethren join as in one family in the Lord, with my mother and sister, to warn my Shepherds: they that are not my Shepherds will not regard the warning:-
"For now my shepherds I shall try,
To see what in them all doth lie;
And if no milk in them is found,
Then they may tremble at the sound:
For now like Woolland I'll go on;
To try my flock I now am come;
For all are shadows placed before,
But now the substance shall appear:
Because the substance is begun,
I tell thee, from thy brother's son;
And so the substance shall abound,
The truth in all shall now be found.
I know thy writings, how they stand,
And every truth they shall command;
Because I said I'd make all clear
Before that I had ended here,
And foiled the wisdom of mankind."
Now I shall tell you the meaning of Mr. Woolland: in 1796, the year the Bishop died, Mr. Woolland had bought a flock of sheep; but not knowing whether they were with lamb or not, he killed one for a trial; and said if there was no milk gathered in the others, as there was no lamb in the one he killed, all his flock should go to the butchers. It was then said to me, the Lord would do as Woolland had done: he would cut off one to try what was in the rest.
"But if I find my shepherds dry,
And no true milk in them doth lie,
Then sure like Woolland I'll go on,
Till all my flock be dead and gone.
For now the branch I will cut off
To make my vineyard spring:
But if I find 'tis not enough,
I'll surely cut your land."
This was in 1796, when the Bishop's death was put as a shadow; but now it is coming to the substance.
PRAYERS ON THE FAST DAY, MAY 25, 1804.
Dear Miss Townley,
I shall give you the Communication that is given to me this day, the 24th of May, after you sent me the Form of Prayer for the Fast Day. I was ordered to call all things to my remembrance in 1796, in answer to the Prayers for the Fast:-"I then ordered thee to write to Pomeroy, and in that year to put in his hand of the Bishop's death. But now I have ordered thee to warn the Bishops and the Clergy in May; and now in May the Fast is; and out of their own mouths will I condemn them all, if they are neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm; for the Letters were written to warn the Clergy before the Fast came; therefore I ordered one to be hastily sent to the Bishop, and to have the Letters hastily printed. So if they are now lukewarm, they are condemned from the very Scriptures they have placed. If they say they have wisdom and want nothing, then I tell them they are blind and naked. I have counselled them to buy of me true gold; that they may be clothed, that the shame of their nakedness may not appear; and to anoint their eyes with eye-salve that they may see; for as many as I love I rebuke; and this Nation I have rebuked, as there are many in it whom I love; but let them not think the French are sinners above all men, because they have done these things; I tell them, nay, but unless they repent they shall all likewise perish. Now let them mark the lesson in Isaiah, the 38th chapter-"In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death, and a Sign was given him from the Lord." Now let the learned answer what the Sign was for? Could I not have restored him without giving him a Sign, and do the thing I had promised him? Could he not take my word without a bond? Yet I gave a Sign to Hezekiah; and now I have given Signs unto the Nation: If they turn unto me as Hezekiah did, my threatenings shall go backwards; and I will save this Nation, that is condemned to die by judgments; but if they will not lay it to heart, as Hezekiah did, they shall fall by the Signs of the convulsions placed in the Child. So here is the Sign set before them; and the Signs of the Gospel are now come, from the many false Christs that have appeared. Two false Christs have written to thee; therefore I ordered thee to keep their letters, to prove that false Christs were come; and two others have told thee they were the Christs, and wanted thee to trust to them for Redemption. Yet they confess they never were visited by the Spirit of Prophecy, or had any power given them of working of Miracles. So the Sign of false Christs hath appeared unto thee, as well as the Signs of Tumults and War. But I should act like men to come to one part of the chapter and not go through the whole. For I tell thee, that chapter is like thy writing-The shadow fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, and what followed after to my disciples; but the end was not then; for men have stopped where I shall begin-"When ye see Jerusalem compassed with armies, know the desolation is nigh:" and that desolation followed Jerusalem. But can man say the end followed then-to see me come in a cloud with great Power and Glory? I tell thee, no-But now the time is at hand that all these things shall be fulfilled-and man's Redemption draws nigh: For the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. But the fulfilment of the chapter is as much neglected by man, as they have proposed not reading it through; for I tell thee, men stop where they ought to begin. Now I shall come to the 20th verse of the other Lesson -"Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his Prophets, so shall ye prosper." See the xxxviith Psalm, the 9th verse to the 16th-"Those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth;" and the xlixth Psalm at the 4th verse-"I will incline mine ear to Parables." Now I tell thee, the very Chapters and Psalms, which they have chosen, allude to the last days. The sign given to Hezekiah of the Sun's going backward, is a Sign how all shall go backward, when those that wait upon the Lord shall inherit the earth. For those Signs were given for the end. And now I shall speak from Parables: I have compared all thy Writings to Parables; and from the Bible are Parables; and I shall now come to Parables here, from the Epistle-I have sent my angel unto thee-
To warn the Churches here-
When the Creation first was laid,
My witness must appear,
What on the Serpent there was cast,
I say, the every blame.
And now's the time it so must burst-
Not hot nor cold you came:
What Blasphemy was judged by ye?
Then, how will ye appear?
Out of my mouth I'll spue you all;
My honour I see here
You don't regard that you have erred,
But say she does blaspheme
Against my Name; then now I'll shame
The learned sons of men;
Because your love I now will prove
Not hot nor cold to be.
For soon the cause, I know, you'd prove,
If you had love for me:
So if you're not, I'll tell your lot,
For I shall spue you all,
If sickly is your love to me,
To let my honour fall.
If you do say that blasphemy
Is in this Woman here,
And never try to stop her hand,
To make it to appear;
Because to you, I'll prove it true,
The words I shall allude.
The Jews they did not so appear:
In fiery zeal they stood;
But worse than they you Gentiles be
To judge she doth blaspheme,
And never come the truth to see
In honour to my Name.
Then blind you be, I now tell ye,
Yea, miserable and poor;
Because your hearts are gone from me-
You judge your earthly store
Enrich you all; but now I call,
Your nakedness I see;
How void of grace, you now must fall,
That have no love for me.
Then eye-salve here must now appear
To open all your eyes;
Or else the ditch the blind may fear,
For I shall now chastise
This very land, where now I'm come
In Spirit to appear,
For to give eye-salve now to men,
And bring my Gospel here-
For where you end I shall begin,
My Gospel to go through-
My Kingdom now is nigh at hand,
And all shall find it true.
So now take care, I warn you here
That ye may boldly stand!
When in the clouds I do appear
For to redeem the Lands
From misery-mankind will see
I shall the lands redeem.
And that you may lift up your heads
My warnings plain are seen;
They do appear, I tell you here,
As shadows at the first;
Because the visions do appear
That in the end will burst.
So I'll go on where man did name,
If you believe your God
You must discern what there is penned,
My Gospel must be know'd,
That so must come, I tell thee plain,
Then judge my prophets true,
And then the victory you shall gain:
For as I then did do,
I'll do again, ye sons of men,
If you like him appear;
Jehoshaphat is in my view,
Though man had ended here
Not to go through as he did do,
But you must go through all-
Or like the Gospel chosen by you,
I tell you this will fall.
You must repent and now relent
That you stood out so long;
Or else, I say to thee this day,
Your ruin now will come;
Because 'tis you my angels warned,
I say by my Command.
Then how, O England, will you stand
For to protect your land,
If I appear to spue you here,
As lukewarm friends to me?
Yourselves with it you must compare;
For now I this tell thee:
That with the French you can't compare-
For hot and cold they be;
Hot in the zeal of their pursuits;
And love to me quite cold.
Then this to England sure must be-
The mysteries I'll unfold,
That this epistle doth allude,
And own the truth placed here,
For if my kingdom is at hand,
I see they do not care:
And if my Name thou dost blaspheme
To ruin all my land,
There is not love enough in man
For God and man to stand,
In love appear to see all clear,
Their lukewarm hearts I see:
And if their hearts are frozen here,
Their ruin it will be.
For like the wind it now must come,
They'll find my fury to go on-
If now they mock me by their Fast
They'll find my anger for to burst.
They own my judgments do appear,
And for their sins I've smitten here
Their Gracious Sovereign Lord the King! ! !
They owned my judgments in the thing;
Then let them know when it did begin,
That I at first did afflict their King,
And see my judgments to roll on.
From their own words I now am come
To answer back in every line:
As they allow the judgments mine.
And this I told thee of before,
That in this manner should appear,
If men my anger did provoke-
I told thee there I'd bring the stroke;
And now they've owned the stroke is come! !
From their own mouths I'll now condemn,
I say, my shepherds everywhere-
If they deny my judgments here,
When they have warned them in the Fast,
From their own words I now shall burst;
Because I said the stroke was there
When first the news it did appear;
And said the papers thou must seal.
But now my mind I shall reveal:
Since men have owned my words are true,
I'll bring all mysteries to thy view:
I meant to have them own it first,
And then the truth I meant should burst,
How I from shadows did begin,
And brought my judgments in the Spring;
In the same month they did appear
That in thy Book were printed there:
And now mankind have owned it true,
That there my judgments they did go;
Because their sins had me provoked
Upon the head to bring the stroke.
And now the stroke, I bid them fear,
For I shall answer from their prayer:
Let no man mock me by their word
To own the judgments are from God,
And then to give their God the lie,
And say my judgments cannot be
Placed in the manner I did say:
For this was first thy Prophecy,
That if my shepherds they did mock,
Upon the head I'd bring the stroke.
Therefore their Prayers I'll own them true,
'Tis for their sins they all shall know
That I do so afflict their king-
And now their answers let them bring,
And tell me how it did appear
The judgments threatened heretofore,
What in thy writings I have sealed
Let them seek out, to be revealed,
Or else the feet may tremble here
Because the head the pain doth bear."
Now, my dear Miss Townley, you see the wisdom of God joined with his power in fulfilling the words that have been always said to me, that out of their own mouths he would condemn mankind. You know how I was told, the shadow of judgments began in our land when the King was first seized with illness, in the very month that was mentioned that dangers would begin: but as no man would own the visitation of the Lord in it, you know I was ordered to seal up the Newspapers, and say the mark still stood in the dark for man. But now men have brought that mark to light themselves, by their owning the visitation of the Lord to our sovereign for the transgression of his people, which was in my Prophecies; for though I said, if the Shepherds did not lay it to heart, the Lord would cut the land; but it was on the King the first stroke was to come; and now that they have owned it, the Lord hath publicly explained it. So I do not fear who seeth the letter; for if the Bishops have any love for their King and Country, and they have owned the cause, now let them try to remove the effect. Now what have you or I to fear, when we are guided by a God so wondrous in wisdom, so wondrous in working, so wondrous in counsel, power, and truth, that would not permit me to say publicly to the world, the judgments were there begun, before the wise and learned had publicly confessed it? Now call to your remembrance the former words:-By the 29th of May, men's wisdom I'll confound, and in June I'll prune the sons of men; and now in their own wisdom they are cut down; and where is the man who can withstand the wisdom and power of a God, whose footsteps are hid in the great deep and whose paths are past man's finding out? And though our weak sight cannot see how he will bring all things to pass that are spoken in my writings; yet, I see that God, whose wisdom never has erred, is now shining brighter and brighter, to the perfect day. So we shall see the Salvation of the Lord, if we are perfect in obedience to his Command. But I am clearly convinced of the truth of the words last year, "that they all stood but as water pots, before the time was come that the Lord bringeth every truth to light; and we have seen things but as trees walking; yet, I trust soon we shall see all things as men." Since I had finished writing my own judgment to you, from the wisdom of the Lord in his wondrous working, I was answered by the Spirit in the following manner:
"Now from thy words I'll answer here-
A God in power shall now appear
In every wisdom bright to shine,
And all shall know the Wisdom's mine
For to conceal it all from man,
Before I proved it by their hand,
To make them own my judgment true,
From their own sins-to say it was so:
And for their sins, the thing is done.-
And now I'll try the love of man:
If for their King, they'll now appear,
For to remove my judgments there,
The hidden mysteries to find out-
From their own works they cannot doubt
But 'tis their sins have brought it on,
Then let the cause be removed by man,
If that their Sovereign they will free
From all his suffering malady:
For still my wisdom is behind,
That thou another day wilt find;
And my Salvation all shall see,
That do obey like her and thee.
So Townley nothing has to fear,
If in her faith she'll persevere;
Because more wisdom she will see,
That is concealed from her and thee.
Because men's wisdom I'll confound,
And make them tremble at the sound
Before that I have ended here,
They'll see my Wisdom shine more clear
Than by thy wisdom thou hast seen
Is shining like the fervent Sun,
That shall in splendour soon appear
With light too strong for thee to bear,
Without a cloud to stand between:
My wondrous working will be seen
Just like the judgment thou dost draw,
And that my foes shall see and know.
And therefore Townley bold may stand
For to support thy written hand;
And I'll support her from all harm:
Let no one fear the rising storm
That men can bring upon their friends,
They'll see my power is in the end."
(Signed,) Joanna Southcott.
Dear Miss Townley,
I shall send you the Communication that was given me, in answer to the Prayer that is after the Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church, that was to follow, wherein are these words:-
"And to all those who may be ordained to suffer for thy sake, impart, O merciful Lord, such plentiful succour of thy Holy Spirit, pour into their souls such contempt of pain and death, kindle in their hearts such love of thee, and zeal for thy truth, fill them with such animating hopes of immortality, that after the example of the blessed saints and martyrs of the primitive ages, they may so stedfastly confess thee before men, that having glorified thy name, by their sufferings here upon earth, they may obtain of thee an everlasting crown of glory. And grant to us all, such a denial of ungodliness and worldly affections, that we may look forward with hope to the consummation of all things, and to the glorious appearance of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ."
Here is the Communication given in answer to it:
"I now tell thee, it is those who are workers with me to bring in my Kingdom of Peace, that are now suffering the reproach of man for my sake. Who else can they prove is suffering for my sake? Let them answer who they are that are now suffering for my sake? But only those who are now persecuted for my sake? But I know the thoughts of thy heart: thou sayest, that men will say, those that are called to the war are suffering for my sake. But is thy judgment so weak, to believe it, that they are suffering for my sake, when they are going to a war to defend their own lives, and the lives of others; and neither my Honour nor my Kingdom is in their thoughts? Then how can they be suffering for my sake, that have no love for me, nor any desire for my Kingdom approaching? Then how can they compare such men with my saints and martyrs? I tell thee, No: they cannot compare the soldiers with saints and martyrs; neither are they looking for the glorious approaching of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. These things are not in their thoughts; but these things are in the thoughts of my people that are now looking for my Coming.-For on your heads their Prayers shall rest; for I will give a plentiful succour of my Holy Spirit, and pour it into your souls, that are now suffering for my sake-
For on your heads their prayers shall ever rest,
And as they prayed, I say you all shall be blest;
Because my Holy Spirit here is come,
And for to pour it I shall still go on;
For all their prayers I'll turn a different way;
And let the learned now point out to me
Who they can prove do suffer for my sake,
But only those my cause do undertake;
Just like the martyrs or the saints of old,
Like my disciples, I shall now unfold,
Who suffered then my Gospel to bring in-
And now my Kingdom if you will it win,
I know, reproach you'll suffer first for me,
As Satan's fury in mankind will be:
And so my friends must suffer for my sake,
Because the rage of hell in man will break.
Therefore my friends will suffer now for Me,
And there my Spirit they with power shall see;
And so their prayers shall rest upon your heads,
For I will pour my Spirit as they prayed.
No other sufferers are there in the land,
That for my sake they now can boldly stand
To say they are saints, and suffering now for Me.
Bring forth the soldiers, let them answer thee:
If to the battle they go for my sake;
Or like the saints my Cause do undertake;
Just like the martyrs that did die before!
I ask what oaths or curses, then were there,
When in the flames in love for Me they stood?
Then how canst thou so vainly this allude
Unto the soldiers, that do so boldly swear?
Hast thou not trembled oft their words to hear?
Then where the saints or martyrs thou canst see
In any soldiers suffering now for Me?
And from thy heart I know thou answerest, none;
Then unto them that Prayer can never come;
For well I know they suffer not for Me,
Nor yet my Kingdom do they wish to see.
Therefore 'tis judgments that be in the war:
And with the martyrs wilt thou this compare?
No, no: I tell thee, they're no martyrs there;
Nor for my sake their sufferings do appear.
And from their conscience they must own it true;
For praise and victory is all that's in their view:
And in thy heart thou say'st the words are true-
They are not soldiers suffering for my sake;
Nor will they answer that their life's at stake
For any love that they have got for me:
And with the shepherds this cannot agree,
With saints and martyrs ever to compare;
Because the praise of men is all their care;
And nothing now they're suffering here for me.
Because my Honour I do plainly see
Is not regarded by the shepherds there,
If they judge blasphemy in thee appear,
And not come hasty all for to prevent:
They must in silence say with one consent,
No, 'tis our Honour we come to maintain.
If thou from Exeter hear first from men,
Then for my sake must every man stand mute
While I with reason boldly will dispute
It's not my Honour you sought to maintain:
No! no! I tell you 'tis the pride of man;
Because your Honour you were afraid would fall-
And this shall be my answer to them all,
If they in London do not first appear;
Because the Warning and the News came there
Unto that City, I do tell thee, first,
And their Society must now be cast;
If they can prove the book in vice appear,
And do not hasty come, to see it clear;
For I permitted it there to come at first,
To try and prove them how they now will burst.
So if they do not come for to condemn,
They must appear to justify thy hand,
Or else no love they can have for me.
'Tis but seditious books I now tell thee,
That their Society do now suppress
If they are silent now to answer this;
Then where's the love that men express for me?
No, all my suffering friends I now do see
Are only those that wish my Kingdom here;
And they alone men's ridicule do bear.
For this I know they suffer for my sake;
And here with power shall my Spirit break:
And so their prayers shall rest upon your heads;
For here I'll prove my Spirit strong doth lead,
To show my Coming unto all is near;
For so my suffering friends do now appear
To suffer shame and all reproach for me:
No other sufferers in this land I see,
That now can prove they suffer for my sake;
And here my Spirit shall with power break.
For with my suffering friends I'll now go on,
Until their sufferings all for me are gone;
And then to joy their sufferings I will turn,
And those that cause their sufferings then shall mourn
For in the end my suffering friends they'll see
To come in triumph every one with me,
Enthroned in glory, or, I say, below.
My suffering friends for me I then shall show
That they in me shall find their full reward;
For all their love I faithfully regard.
So now, my suffering friends, let all appear,
And speak from conscience if they suffer here
For any love that they have got for me,
Only my friends that now are joined with thee;
And then to man I'll answer here again;
But well I know it cannot be proved by men.
Therefore the Prayer they then made for the Fast,
I say, upon your heads that Prayer shall burst."
(Signed,) Joanna Southcott.
ON EVE BEING THE SISTER, BRIDE, AND MOTHER IN THE CREATION.
Dear Miss Townley, May 21st, 1804.
I had a wonderful Communication given me this morning that astonished me, when I came up to my writing, and prayed for directions. It is thus:
"I have brought thee hither with these two: (Miss Townley and her Maid,) who I call my Mother and my Sister; for I said they that did my will the same were my mother and my sister; and by them my will is done. Now I shall give directions to thee, and tell thee what is meant by my mother and my sister. As a mother wishes to support the honour of her son, and the happiness of a son, so does she wish to spend her time, and money like a mother, for my honour and glory, and for the good of my brethren; and as a sister that loveth her brother joins with her mother, just so is her servant now joined with her mistress; here is the shadow of my Bible fulfilled; "As it is with the mistress, so with the maid; as it is with the borrower, so with the lender." Let my brethren weigh this deep, and know, I called these two women my mother and my sister, and as my brides joined with thee: for so the woman was in the Creation, as being taken from the man, she was his sister; but as bearing him children, she was a wife and a mother; thus was the woman made at first, and this must be the state of the woman at last, now I am come to free the fall of women. Here I have placed you three, as true helpmates for man; and as such let men receive you, if they wish to be made alive in me, as they died in Adam. For here all shall find is a shadow of my Gospel begun by you three: and by the hands of you three my wondrous working shall go on, till your light shall break forth as the morning, and the truth be made as clear as the noonday's sun, that the woman is the true and perfect helpmate for man; for by the woman I will now complete his happiness, but no other way will I ever accomplish it.
"So from you three mankind shall see,
Your brother I'll appear;
The second Adam is in Me,
Then see the bridegroom here,
To take the woman as my friend,
My mother for to be:-
I tell you man knows not the end,
My sister they must see;
My brides appear I tell you here,
For I am the woman's friend.
It is to make my Gospel clear
That I these things ordained;
To have these three alike to be,
And see my Gospel clear.
Then, my disciples, now judge ye,
My brethren all appear;
And now see plain, ye sons of men,
How I've brought round this last!
Before the trial doth come on
I tell you so't must burst:
For to show clear all are here,
And here I've placed these three,
My Law and Gospel for to clear:
Then let my brethren see,
My will by them must now be done,
If brethren they will be,
Then I'll appear I tell them here,
Their brother and their friend:-
Their conquering Saviour I'll appear
And save them in the end;
From Adam's fall I tell them all,
I shall them all redeem;
And let my coat be known to all,
It was without a seam.
Then now see clear, I must appear,
All interwoven through;
No seam of sorrow shall be here,
When I've my work gone through.
So brethren all I now do call
You, by the woman's hand,
And if my friends you'll now appear,
Then by these women stand
In perfect love, let none remove
Your strong affections here!
And place no daggers in the breast
Of those to me are dear:
For if you do I tell you true,
You'll place them in your own:
My Gospel is before your view,
And let my words be known;
My will is done, I tell you plain,
By these three women here:
And I their cause will now maintain,
And let the land take care.-
For now I say to thee this day,
Their ruin shall come on,
If men my words now disobey;
I this shall answer man,
I've made all clear, that I am here
In Spirit come again:
The mystery deep no man can clear
To prove from Hell it came;
No, 'tis from Me, mankind shall see,
For so I shall appear,
To prove my Spirit visits thee.
And other friends are here,
Whose hearts within to Me are known
Like mothers to appear,
And so a sister's love is shown-
And let the Land take care
They do not mock, for now the stroke
Shall go throughout the Land;
I tell thee, like thy Brother's son,
Convulsions now shall come;
If men appear as heretofore
And now despise the call,
I tell thee like thy Brother's son,
I'll bring the stroke on all;
Year after year it shall appear,
Convulsions men will see,
The agonies the child did bear
In England now shall be,
If they go on, I tell thee plain,
My warning to despise,
I shall not trifle now with men
If they do act unwise
To slight my Love, as now I'll prove
I'm come to set them free,
And all their sorrows to remove,
If now they'll turn to Me.
If they will not I'll tell their lot,
Their ruin shall abound;
And let the child not be forgot-
In May they heard the sound;
So May is come, I say, for man,
And may they all relent! !
Or they will see such destiny
Will make them all repent.
If they can bear my threatenings here
And not the words regard,
But all my Love they disapprove
And not my Love reward,
To wish for me, they all shall see
My anger for to burn-
Ingratitude, they all shall see,
Shall find the same return:
But those that turn and now begin
In Love to wish me near,
They'll find a brother and a friend,
A Saviour to appear-
To save them all from Adam's fall
And set the prisoners free,
That now are bound in Satan's chains,
If men will turn to Me.
Then I to them will surely turn
And strong their Friend appear,
For my delight shall be with men,
If their delight be here
To have me come and dwell with them,
My Coming they shall see,
How I from sorrows shall redeem
And from all sufferings free.
So this to Sharp I bid thee send;
And let them weigh all deep,
And then I'll stand their every friend,
If now my word they keep;
And warn them all, that great's the call,
And great 'tis now for man;
Because my Judgments strong will fall
If men now mock thy hand:
For I'll appear in words more clear,
Your Nation blind must be,
If all together men compare
And judge it not from Me:
And if they're blind, the ditch they'll find
It hastening on for all:
But if they see the mystery
And come to judge the call,
Then I'll appear to make it clear
From heaven is every sound;
But if men say they will not hear,
In grief they shall be found:
And I'll not hear, I tell them, there
If they'll not now hear Me;
When Sorrows in your Land abound
I will not set them free."
(Signed,) Joanna Southcott.
Dear Miss Townley, June 2, 1804.
On the receipt of your letter that you sent to me from Mr. Sharp, of a Bishop's returning his two engravings of our Saviour and the Virgin Mary, with these words. 'The Bishop of ---, is obliged to Mr. Sharp for the offer of his Prints, but desires to be excused from accepting them. They are fine engravings, and he wishes Mr. Sharp showed as much judgment in his religious opinion as skill in his profession. --- House, May 30th, 1804.' This contempt of the Bishop filled my soul with contempt. Oh, what a pattern do the ministers of God's word set before mankind, to fill their hearts with scorn and contempt! If Mr. Sharp, being an artist, is a judge of his profession, I confess the Bishop has given him more credit for his profession than I can give the bishop for his profession as a minister of God's word; as I cannot give that honour to the bishop. For we must give honour where honour is due. But what honour can there be to the bishop from me, when I consider the thousands a year they are paid to be faithful Shepherds of the Lord, to take care of his Flock? And Christ died to set them an example to follow his footsteps. Now if Christ so loved the world, as to die for man; and became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich; ought not the bishops, that are made rich by the Gospel, to take care of Christ's flock that is committed to their care? Now I ask the bishop, Who came to Christ that he refused to hear, or whom he sent empty away? What did our Saviour say unto Peter? 'Simon, son of Jonah, lovest thou me?' Peter said, 'Yea, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.' 'Then feed my sheep, feed my lambs,' were Christ's command. And now I shall come to the Communion Service, for the preparation of the Lord's Supper: 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven. Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in Heaven: Therefore, if there be any of you, who, by this means, cannot quiet his own conscience herein, but requireth further comfort or counsel, let him come to me, or some other discreet and learned minister of God's word, and open his grief, that by the ministry of God's Holy Word, he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with the ghostly counsel and advice to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruples and doubtfulness.' Now here, as faithful Shepherds, they are in duty bound to give a clear and right judgment; not to judge of a cause unheard; but to be clear in judging, that they be able to give ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of the consciences of those that have scruples or doubts. Now this is a strict command to the clergy, if they profess themselves ministers of God's word. And then where was a cause of more importance to all people than mine is, to the quieting of the consciences of those that are called with me? When I then told you, my dear Miss Townley, it is for the quieting of our conscience, that you did the will of the Lord to write unto him; then how much is he bound in duty to give ghostly advice to the quieting of our conscience? But instead of this, he refused to hear, and treated the application with contempt: when not only our souls; but the souls of thousands must be in danger if it were possible for a wrong spirit to lead me astray. But on the contrary, if it be of God, as I am firmly persuaded and assured, this wondrous visitation never came to me from any other spirit but the Spirit of the living Lord, and the whole nation stands in danger of utter ruin for their neglect. Strongly are the words said to me, if the Lord calleth and no man answer, they shall call, and he will not answer, but laugh at their calamity and mock when their fear cometh. And now I am full of the fury of the Lord, whose anger is kindled against his Shepherds; for deeply are the words said to me, it was the Lord that worked in Mr. Sharp's heart, to send the prints of our Saviour to the bishop, at the time the Lord had ordered his words to be sent to him by you, and he has as much refused to obey the command of the Lord, as he refused to receive the pictures of our Saviour. Now the contempt that the ministers of God's word, when they first treated me in like manner, sunk my spirits, when I sought them in the bitterness of my soul, and they would not hear. This sunk my soul in secret sorrow, and in private prayer and tears I poured out my complaints and grief unto the Lord; for as man refused to hear me I trusted wholly in the Lord, and knowing I was so much their inferior in rank and fortune, I bowed in submission with a broken heart to their silent contempt; but now I find that you are a lady of family and fortune, not inferior to them, and Mr. Sharp, an artist of no low profession and well known in the world, to be treated with this contempt hath raised my spirits with indignation; so I shall thank you, or Mr. Sharp, to write to the bishop, in my name, or your own, what is the duty of a bishop, if he judge the calling not of God. To try and prove by his arguments, and showing his strong reasons, is the command of the Lord unto man. I must conclude with saying, I wish the bishop was as good a judge of his duty as a bishop, as Mr. Sharp is of his engraving as an artist; but he cometh far short of Mr Sharp, for though he gave Mr. Sharp credit as an artist, I cannot give the bishop credit as a bishop; unless, like Peter, he is convinced of his errors and goeth out and weep bitterly. This I have written to you for your perusal, in the height of anger, as you and Mr. Sharp are treated with contempt on my account, as well as the Lord, for doing the thing he had commanded you. Now, my dear Miss Townley, you see how my passions were worked, after hearing in what humble, polite manner Mr. Sharp addressed the bishop, and offered to wait upon his lordship, and give him every information; for the glory of God and the good of mankind were all the ends he could have in view, but the glory of God and the good of mankind were treated with scorn and contempt. But now judge my surprise after I had written in the height of my anger, as a private letter, to you, I was answered in the following manner: "The preparation of thy heart in thy letter to Townley, came from me, for thou art full of the fury of the Lord, and all thy fury this land shall find.-The enemy shall break in upon them and destroy them, if my Spirit, and my faithful servants, are treated with this contempt; therefore my strict command is to thee, to have thy letter which thou hast written to Townley, in the height of thy anger, put into print; for it was I, the Lord, that worked that anger in thee; and they shall see much greater in me. If they do not repent, I will strengthen the enemy to be strong against them, and they shall not be able to get out of his power, for they are doing despite to my Spirit and to my servants; and I will reward them according to their works, unless they return with weeping as Peter did. Then will I show mercy unto them, and not destroy them; for the battle is mine, to give the victory which way I will. So let the letter be printed, and my answer to it, for it is fatal for thee, or Townley, or Sharp, if out of fear of offending the bishop, my command is not obeyed; for all men shall know thy writings come from the living Lord, who feareth no man's person, and for my Honour and great Name, I cannot save this land from ruin, but for the sake of the shepherds' searching into all thy writings, to know, and to prove from whence they came; for the word is gone out of my mouth, and shall not return, till unto me every knee do bow, and every tongue do swear." Here you see I am caught in a net, by my own feet, thinking to write you a private letter, I am ordered to make it public; to kindle the wrath of mankind against me; but what is the wrath of man to the wrath of the Lord? Man can but kill the body, but the Lord can cast the body and soul into hell. It is better for me to die, than the whole nation to perish, by my disobeying the command of the Lord; so I must stand the trial of their fury: as in man I could never find pity. Here I was ordered to add a parable that was in my thoughts, of a man at Topsham in Devonshire: he was a man my father told me of, that had for a long time been stealing of salt, from a salt trader; at last the owner of the salt caught him, stealing of his salt; he had filled up near a hundred weight to carry away; when the owner came, who told him if he would pay him £30, for all the salt he had stolen from him, as he had lost it for a long time, he would forgive him. The thief payed him the £30, and went and indicted the master, for concealing a thief, and not indicting him; and the master told my father, it cost him five hundred pounds, and brought him to beggary, poverty, and want; that he had made it up with the man, thinking to save the expenses of a prosecution: so to encourage men in vice doth but harden their hearts the more. This thing of the man I was ordered to pen, and now I shall give the answer of the Spirit, that was given to me in answer to this parable of the man:
"Now thy fable thou hast ended,
For to answer I'll appear:
Like the thief I now intend it
My indictment shall be here,
But now within thou dost begin,
Thy pondering heart I know:
Satan may with the thief compare,
But will the Lord do so?
For to compare my honour here,
Unto the thief that's cast:
The Brazen Serpent this will clear;
For so I now shall burst
On every man, that's in your land,
In power to appear,
If they do judge thy written hand
In blasphemy is here.
If they go on to act like him,
And say they'll it forgive;
For the expenses of the law,
The man thought he should save;
To harden sin he did begin,
Until it did abound,
And then upon his head it came-
Then tremble at the sound;
For to your Land it so will come,
For sin you're hardening here.
If Satan now do guide her hand,
In her it must appear;
If it be not, I'll tell your lot,
You harden it in your Land.
In blasphemy I now tell thee,
Your nation it doth stand;
Men do blaspheme my every Name,
That speak against my word.
The shepherds now must own with shame
They do blaspheme the Lord;
If 'tis from me their writings be,
Then here they do blaspheme.
And won't my shepherds now agree
To know from whence it came?
Then I'll go on, I tell thee plain,
With my indictment here
Until I've brought the heavy load,
Their ruin shall appear;
As on the man the load did come,
His ruin for to be;
Because the end of him was known,
He was in poverty
Brought by the law, thou well dost know
His folly brought him poor;
Because the thief, he well might know,
Would quickly steal for more;
When he paid down the thirty pounds
He hardened was in sin.
And so the man his sorrows found,
Because he'd hardened him
For to go on in every sin,
And he the stroke did feel,
And perfect so is now your Land,
Your wounds I'll never heal
While you go on to harden sin,
And rob me of my fame.
One way or other this is done,
For blasphemy must come;
They all must know the truth is so,
If thou dost here blaspheme.
And like the man the shepherds are,
To let thee steal my Name;
Because like he the shepherds be,
That trouble think to save;
And with the man they do agree,
The money's all they crave;
This is the likeness of your land,
And so they do agree;
And if this way they now go on,
They'll find his poverty
Will come on all, both great and small,
For who shall you redress?
As you're hardening sin in all,
I'll boldly answer this;
If now from me thy writings be,
As I affirm them here,
Your land is full of blasphemy,
As men so boldly swear;
Against My name they do blaspheme,
And rob me day by day.
And so you let them to go on-
Give me the gold, you say:
Sin may abound in every sound,
For ought that you do care.
Just like the man you all are found,
And so his end you'll share,
If you go on to act like him,
Thinking to save the first,
I plainly tell you in the end,
Like him your end shall burst;
For poverty and misery
Shall fast upon you come.
My land is full of blasphemy,
Then tremble now vain men;
For I'll make clear, I tell you here,
That I the Lord do warn;
But you My Spirit cannot bear,
And back you all do turn
My offers all; for now I call,
And do you all invite
For to receive my offered love,
But it you all do slight.
For like the Jews you hear the news,
And crown my head the same;
For back the thorns you now do turn,
Then tremble at my Name.
If I turn back the coming stroke,
As then the Jews did see;
Your names like them must be forgot;
You'll not accept of me,
To have me come your Prince and King,
Your Father and your Friend;
Your conquering Saviour to appear,
Your Brother in the end,
And your Redeemer to appear:
But I'll redeem My Friends
That now do bear for me the spear,
As I bore it at first;
And then my crown with me they'll share,
For so it now shall burst."
Adieu! my dear Miss Townley, I have only time to add my love and good wishes, to yourself and all friends, and believe me,
(Signed), Joanna Southcott.
Dear Miss Townley, June 3rd, 1804.
What a letter you have sent to me from a Minister that hath done violence to his own understanding! first to say, there was no such things as prophecies: and then to conclude his letter by saying, he himself is a prophet. Here I shall place his words that were in his letter, that you sent me. "The christian however, my dear madam, is so strongly cautioned by his Divine Master against being deceived by false prophets, and false doctrines, that if he does surrender his understanding to enthusiasm, and make shipwreck of a sound faith, while in pursuit of fables, and lying wonders, he exposes himself, more or less, to the awful fate of the false prophet. Rev. 20 chap., 10 verse,-Woe unto them that say the Lord saith, when the Lord hath not spoken; who pretend to spiritual gifts, which are neither granted, nor indeed necessary in this Era of the Church, &c. &c. I am an ambassador, an unworthy one, I confess, from Jesus Christ, if you disregard my warning voice; behold I am charged by him to prophesy unto you, and he will laugh at your calamity and mock when your fear cometh." In the postscript he recommends to your perusal, the 22nd chap. of the 1st Book of Kings. Now, my dear Miss Townley, out of his own mouth will I condemn him, as one of the false Prophets, he pointed out to you that Ahab was seduced by. Can a man presumptuously say, he prophesieth in the name of Christ, and boldly tell you, there is no need for spiritual gifts? Then he must be the prophet he mentions, to say the Lord saith, when the Lord hath not spoken. Then how can he be an ambassador from Christ, and a prophet in his name, without he be visited by his Spirit? Deeply are the words said to me, that the anger of the Lord, that was kindled in me so greatly yesterday, the 2nd of June, was as much in consequence of his letter, that the Lord knew was coming, as it was the bishop's refusing to search into every truth; therefore the Lord worked in my heart, to place the Scriptures in that manner and send them to you; and gave that strict charge, they should go in print. For the Lord knew what letters were coming from a man who said Lord, Lord, and thinks because he is a minister he is an ambassador from Christ, and hath authority to prophesy in his name, with confidence and assurance: and this is the reason why the Lord has so threatened the clergy, for setting up their own wisdom, in opposition to the wisdom of God. But what did the Lord say, by the mouth of his prophets? Prophesy thou against these prophets that prophesy out of their own hearts, and have seen nothing; and say the Lord saith, when I have not spoken. For I neither commanded him, neither did I send him, is the word of the Lord, now spoken to me. Therefore the threatenings of the Lord are so severe to the bishops, if they do not call the whole together and let the cause be fairly tried who is the true prophet, he that denieth spiritual gifts, and says there is no necessity for them, but yet affirmeth in Christ's name he is a prophet unto you, and threatens judgments if you do not obey his voice. On the other hand, I am writing to you from the Spirit, that fatal judgments will fall upon you, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord and follow after spiritual gifts, that you may know the Lord, if you follow on to know him. Now which are you to obey, God or man, judge ye? It is your cause they must take in hand, which of the two you are to obey; and whether all ministers are prophets, the bishops must decide: or you will all find an Ahab's reign shall come. So let the cause be fairly tried, who is the Micaiah the true prophet, or who are the false prophets? For he who has pointed to the very chapter that I have threatened shall bring destruction on your land, if they are seduced by false prophets. And now he hath told Townley, the ministers are the prophets without spiritual gifts; and I have told them thou art the prophet with spiritual gifts. Then let the truth be tried; and this chapter must be mentioned: Ahab was seduced by false prophets, and was slain. And now he saith the ministers are the ambassadors of Christ, and they are the prophets of the Lord. Then now judge for yourselves, ye men of Israel; Ahab's false prophets were many, but the true prophet Micaiah was but one; so the false prophets must be the clergy, as he has made the clergy the prophets, and they are many; but I am one; and his letter has brought it to the very purport of my writings, and out of his own mouth he hath cast the clergy for false prophets, by the chapter he alluded to, and made good my last books; for in them they are cast as false prophets; and it was said the shame of their nakedness would appear.
"So here you see the rope of sand,
That if as prophets they may stand:
Then sure your Land must all be cast,
As in the chapter it is placed."
Here I shall end for the present, as I fear this letter will be too late for the post, and I am ordered it must go to-day, as the letter I wrote to you yesterday, and the letter I have sent you to-day, must go in print together; so, my dear Miss Townley, I must bid adieu. You will hear from me again to-morrow with a full explanation of the whole.
(Signed) Joanna Southcott.
Dear Miss Townley, May 29th, 1804.
In what a wondrous manner is the Lord now working, to bring every shadow to the substance! and yet it is in so easy a manner as though all came by chance. But I remember how deeply it was said to me years ago that all these times, seasons, and chances, were ordered and ordained by the Lord. From the newspaper that you sent me, of an advertisement being put in the paper by my friend, who desires the religious Society for the Suppression of Vice to examine my books and writings, and to point out every false doctrine they contain; or, if on the contrary they should be found true explanations of the Bible, the Society must feel it a duty to make every laudable effort to spread the knowledge of her books in the world. When I had read the advertisement, I was ordered to look the paper over, and found a trial in the court of King's Bench, May 24th, the King v. William Cobbett. It was an Information filed, ex officio, by the attorney general against Mr. Cobbett, for an alleged libel on Lord Hardwicke, the lord lieutenant of Ireland; Lord Redesdale, lord high chancellor of Ireland; Mr. Justice Osborne, one of the puisne judges of the court of the King's Bench in Ireland; and Alexander Marsden, Esq. under secretary in the civil department in Ireland.-I was ordered to take out this part of the trial:
"I beg leave to say, gentlemen of the jury, that the question for you to try, is the quo animo with which this writing has been published. It compliments the private virtues of Lord Hardwicke, but it points out his defects as a political character. It inculcates the most loyal principles, and execrates rebellion throughout. His object is clearly to excite vigilance of the well-affected of other countries, in order to secure them from the dreadful consequences of sudden insurrections, and the calamities occasioned by it, such as unfortunately took place in Ireland, in the month of July last."
After I had copied these words, I was ordered to mark the letter sent me, the same day, of the eight men that are printing a Book against my Writings.-Now I shall give you the Communication that was given to me, in answer to the above-
"In all thy Writings I have gone from Types and Shadows; and this year I have told thee that the Types and Shadows shall stand together. Now in the newspaper, that thy friend points out thy Writings and Books to be examined by the Society, the libel against Hardwicke stands. Now I tell thee, no men, by all the learning they can invent, can bring thine as a libel against man; because thou hast done all in my Name, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, who feareth no man's person; and thou hast done all by my command; so if they indict thee, it must be for a libel against the Lord, whose private goodness to mankind thou hast pointed out through all thy writings; but the public threatenings are pointed out to man the same. So here is the libel that men must try, not as against man but as against me, whose
Private Virtues are all unknown to man,
That's in thy writings and shall ever stand;
And that my private Friends they all shall see
My private virtues are made known to thee;
And so to man they're published all abroad,
To have my private Love for man made known;
But for the public it may now appear
That hard are the threatenings to this nation here,
If they in silence now these words do hear,
And do not seek the truth in all to clear;
Because a week they'll surely find to come,
That I'm the Lord and will them all condemn,
If they bring Trials for men's honour here,
And will not seek my honour for to clear
To prove the calling if it be of God,
I tell them plain that hard they'll feel my rod,
Because an awful week I'll bring to man-
My public threatenings are throughout your Land;
And if My honour you'll not here maintain,
To act for me as you do act for men,
To bring the Trial, you say the Truth you'll see,
For with this libel it doth all agree,
My private footsteps and my Love for man
Are surely published by her written hand;
But for my public threatenings that are here
You judged them hard, but they shall be severe,
If now I see you show more love to man
To clear his honour, than for Mine you'll come
The Truth to try-if you'll not seek to know,
I tell you plain, that hard my hand shall go;
For I'm the Lord, that she has written here,
My private Love to man she hath made clear;
But public threatenings and my wrath severe,
I tell you now, shall come upon the Land,
If not for me you will the Trial stand,
To know if she has forged my Name or no-
And to the press these threatenings now must go,
Because this shadow here I did ordain;
And see the Bill is put in by my friend,
To have the truth in all be fairly tried.
And now they'll surely find, if I'm denied,
That hard my Judgments now shall be for man,
If for My honour they refuse to stand
The Truth in every thing to prove and try,
Since now for man they easy did comply,
To bring the trial hasty on for man;
And for my honour now I bid them stand.
For I am the Lord, that every soul shall see,
That now commands this Bill put in to be;
And if to prove it you do not regard;
I tell you plain, My hand you'll find it hard;
For there are libels printing now I see,
Against My honour, and they cast shall be,
Because they're printing now against My name,
Against thy writings men are going on.
Then sure I say they're printing against me,
And that with fury all your Land shall see,
If men don't hasty come for to prevent,
And say, we'll try the cause with one consent,
To know from whence the Bill doth now appear
Against My honour men are printing here.
They must confess it is in man or thee;
For if thy writings do not come from me,
Then thou art wrongly printing in My name;
And then mankind I'll surely put to shame,
If they in love for me do not appear,
To prove from whence it came, and see all clear;
Whether or no they do come from the Lord
They all must judge it by the written word,
Which from the world is now sealed up from man,
For there in secret I have laid My plan,
The faith and wisdom first in men to try,
And then behind they'll find My wisdom lie,
The truth of all I then shall surely clear,
And they shall find the Lord of Lords is here.
That men in libels printing now they be
Against my honour I do plainly see;
And so I say they surely shall be cast-
For that's the way My Jury now shall burst,
I say, these ignorant men for to condemn.
And now to try the Cause I'm boldly come;
So with their libels let them to appear
Before My Jury, and I'll cast them there;
Because their words they never can defend;
To write against the Lord will men pretend,
When I do tell them, I am Lord of all
That in thy writings do this Nation call?
And Lord of Lords I'll surely prove to be;
And hard is My hand, that every soul shall see,
If men don't find a week for to appear
To bring the Trial, and to see all clear.
So here the words are parted into three,
And as they are parted so 'twill surely be,
If men don't hasty bring thy Trial on
To know from whence the libel now doth come
For every soul that now hath eyes to see,
They sure must know 'tis in the men or thee;
And now I tell them it is in the men,
And that they'll find, I'll prove it in the end."
These last words were given to me in answer to the letter you sent me, the same day with the newspapers, of the men at Stourbridge, that are now printing a book against my writings, which is so clearly explained, if my writings are of God, they are printing against the Lord: but if my writings are not of God, men show no love to His honour to let me go on in His Name, to say the Lord saith, if they can prove the Lord hath not spoken by me; and that is as equally impossible for man to do without searching into every truth, and trying them the way the Lord hath commanded them to be tried, as it is for a man that is stark blind to judge of colours. Neither can any man judge colours in the dark, yet in the dark they pretend to judge them, but are afraid to come to the light fearing their deeds should be reproved. This Communication I am ordered to send to you to have it put in print with all speed. I am ready and willing to stand every trial to prevent the Judgments that threaten us, and that hang over our heads.-I shall give you part of the letter I received from my friend: "There is a book now in the press, printing, and where several heads have been engaged in it, that are attacking yourself, your writings and your abettors."-In answer to myself, no man can injure my character without he doth it by falsehood and lies: for my character will bear the strictest scrutiny as to anything the world can lay to my charge; but as to my writings, and from what Spirit they come, I am ready to stand the Trial. If they can be proved from any Spirit, but the Spirit of the Living Lord, I will freely give them up, and burn the whole. But I cannot suffer my judgment to be so easily imposed upon as to believe such wondrous wisdom, counsel and truth, can come from any Spirit but from the God of Wisdom and of Truth, before it is tried by the touchstone of truth, and then the Lord will make the truth clear before them. Then how can men pretend to judge of things they know nothing about? For none but they that have searched into my writings can be judges of the truth they contain; and as to the manner of the writings that men condemn, it is but the fulfilling the Scriptures; for it is written, "The wisdom of God is foolishness to men"-and the wisdom of man is foolishness with God; and this truth is plain and easy to be understood, as men so foolishly pretend to explain the hidden mysteries of the Bible by their own wisdom; and they have explained it so many ways that the Bible can have no meaning or explanation at all by the wisdom of men: for the wise men, the learned, and the good men, have drawn so many judgments different from each other, that they have made the Bible like a rope of sand, that cannot join together; and so they make their own wisdom, that will soon break in sunder. But the foolishness of God is wiser than all the wisdom of men, like a threefold cord, that cannot be broken. As soon as I had written these words, from my own observation, I was answered in the following lines;
"Now from thy wisdom I will answer man:
Thou'st plainly seen their wisdom like the sand,
That 'tis impossible for man to join;
But now my foolishness I'll make it hang
Just like a threefold cord, that is not broke
By strength of man, unless you do it cut;
And now I tell thee, if men cut it here,
Just like the rope of sand shall all appear,
I say in pieces-so I'll break your Land:
And here I'll end it by the rope of sand;
Unless they'll come and join it with My word,
And then I'll join them like a threefold cord;
Because My weakness, every soul shall see,
Is stronger than the strength of man can be;
And so my folly in thy writings here
Is concealed in wisdom, that no man can clear,
To prove them weak or foolish in the end.
But for to try men's wisdom, I intend
To bring it round in this weak foolish hand,
To prove that men were like thy rope of sand,
That by their wisdom they could never join;
But like a threefold cord they'll now find mine
To break in pieces all their ropes of sand,
For so they'll find My threefold cord shall stand."
Here I am ordered to end my Book; and put in print that a Book is publishing against my Writings; and it is said to me, the Book is full of blasphemy, which will be proved hereafter. But I do not believe the men designed to print blasphemy against the Lord; but they cannot write against his words, ways, or wisdom without it. This letter you are desired to send hastily to the printer. And here the Book ends. So now, my dear Miss Townley, I hope your great fatigue for the present is over. I must conclude with my earnest prayers that the Lord will add a double blessing upon you. Please to remember me to all friends. Adieu,
And believe me, Yours sincerely,
(Signed), Joanna Southcott.