THE TRIAL OF
DURING SEVEN DAYS, WHICH COMMENCED ON THE
FIFTH, AND ENDED ON THE ELEVENTH OF DECEMBER, 1804.
NECKINGER HOUSE, BERMONDSEY, NEAR LONDON.
"There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were."-2 Peter iii. 3.
"We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory."-1 Cor. ii. 7.
THE world at large has raised a variety of false reports, and drawn many wrong judgments, concerning the publications of Joanna Southcott. Some have gone so far as to say, that they are the works of men with her signature put to them. Others have affirmed, that their contents are made up of falsehoods, and not truth. Again, among a variety of the like tales, it has lately been boldly asserted, "that she makes a scribbling on some papers, and delivers them to some of her followers, and then, when any remarkable occurrence happened in the world, from her being possessed of a great degree of head knowledge, with a retentive memory, she has occasionally gone to these papers and pretended to read what has happened, in the same manner as if it had been in them; and then it is added, that there is a person who writes down what she pretends to read, and then it is published." This erroneous and false assertion has even been put in print against her.
But all these things being known to the Lord, before Joanna could have any notice of them; she therefore sees his unbounded wisdom, in ordering that every truth should be tried and regularly proved by the testimony of credible witnesses.
And in order to ascertain the truth or falsity of her writings, all ranks of men have been invited, by a variety of applications, to come forward to examine fairly into them. The bishops, and clergy in general, were particularly invited to search into these matters; and she then expressed her willingness on every truth being laid before any twenty-four whom they might appoint from among themselves, that if they could prove the calling to be from the Devil, she would then consent for everything to be given up to their judgment, as may be seen in "Letters on various Subjects, from Joanna Southcott to Miss Townley, published in June, 1804"; but they declined coming forward to judge the cause.
After this it was offered to be given up to the judgment of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, in like manner, if he could bring twenty-four to prove her calling from an evil Spirit; for he had written private letters to her friends, to insinuate to them that she had published falsehoods against him. But her friends being above deceit, they sent her his letters, which she put in print, at the same time offering to give up all to him, if he came forward and proved his assertions, as the reader may see more fully in her "Explanations of the Bible," Part 1, p. 44, published towards the end of the same year; but well knowing that he could not do so, he likewise refused to attend to her invitation to do justice to her character.
And to show the reader the last steps which were taken, respecting that gentleman, previous to her Trial, the following particulars are inserted-
Directions from the Spirit.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 1804.
"Now, Joanna, I shall give thee directions. Know all men, my Gospel was penned by my disciples; my friends and followers bore record of the truth: for what truth could come from my enemies? Now I tell thee, it is my friends and believers that must bear record of every truth the same. Now, as the days of thy departure draw near, I have ordered thee to call all thy witnesses and friends together, to make every truth clear before them, and to convince the unbelieving world, they have not built their faith on a sandy foundation; they have not listened to any cunningly devised fables; they have not taken thy bare word and record; but have faithfully searched into every truth. The witnesses must be called and their evidence given in and penned, as though it was a thing on life and death. All must be penned, and all particulars looked into, to prove to the world there is no deceit in thee or thy friends. For I now tell thee, if thy friends believe every truth thou hast told them, without bringing forward every evidence to prove it, the world will not; for clear proofs must be made manifest, to prove a thing to an unbelieving world. My disciples penned in what a public manner my miracles were wrought, and in what a public manner I appeared to them after my decease; and in what manner I arose again; but could this be done by the keepers, who were bribed to conceal the truth? I tell thee, No; so let the unbelieving world say the truth of all is proved by thy friends and believers: for the truth of my Gospel was penned the same, and the truth of my Bible was penned the same. Now let the world be convinced from Pomeroy, what truth can you know from him? Does he not use every art to conceal the truth, as much as the keepers did to conceal the truth of my resurrection? Then know, vain man, no truth can come from an enemy. See my Gospel; see my Bible; see how Jehoiakim went to conceal and destroy the words of Jeremiah; and see through my Bible how it was penned by the prophets, and made public by those who believed. But was ever my Bible affirmed by an enemy? Let reason take possession of every heart; and now see from Pomeroy's conduct, how he would sooner lose his own honour, and bear the scandalous reproach of the whole world, than come forward to acknowledge the truth. Now let this be a convincing proof to all men, that truth cannot be made known by an enemy; truth must be made known by a believer, who will not blind his own eyes, nor the eyes of others, but will do justice towards God and man, which the enemies of my Cross never would do; neither will the enemies of my Crown do it now: for where Satan hath the advantage over men, to fill them up with unbelief, he will have the advantage to work in them deceit. Now let the world see from Pomeroy, and thy friends, where the art and deceit lie; who is ready to come forward with every truth but the believers? and who is ready to keep back the truth and deny it but an unbeliever? This was done at my first coming, and this is done at my second coming. Now let all men judge for themselves; for I shall go on to make every thing clear to men of reason and to men of sense.
"Now I shall answer thee: Pomeroy hath done like the Jews of old; he hath concealed the truth, and will not appear to own the truth; then go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. Let the witnesses' words be taken; and let any opposers come that will come, that have not returned the letters; or, let the halting Jacobs appear, that are now halting between two opinions; let them come forward to the number that is mentioned.
"Now I shall come to Pomeroy's words: he saith let the truth be tried, but leave him out of the question. Now let Pomeroy answer me, which way the truth is to be tried to leave him out of the question? Is not that a thing impossible? In thy heart thou sayest, Yes, it is a thing impossible; then I answer, he will find it in the end as much impossible for him to regain his lost honour: for his name must ever stand with the name of the keepers that were bribed to conceal the truth. So whether he will hear, or whether he will forbear, write thou the words unto him this day, and tell him to call to his remembrance-
"The eleven days are still in store,
To stay my heavy hand;
But if he sleep till this be o'er,
Then he may still sleep on
Till all my threatened judgments come upon him. Now tell him, for his sake I have deferred thy Trial to the last day; for seven days before November is out, by the Old Style, thy Trial must begin; and if he is not present then, or sends no friends to appear in his behalf, he must trust to the judgment of them that are present; but as to his conduct, from first to last, it will all go in print with the witnesses' names; and let him know what an impossibility he hath required; and the letter thou sendest him must go in print."
Here follows a copy of the Letter-
London, Nov. 28, 1804.
In your letter to the Rev. Mr. Foley, you write desiring to have the truth of my writings cleared up, and tried by the test of Scripture, but leaving your name out of the question; then what truth can be cleared up? What an impossibility do you require? What sense and nonsense have you blended together? Doth not your own handwriting prove your senses more deranged than mine? You say, it must be tried by the test of Scripture truth, and by that let it stand or fall. Now, Sir, if we leave out the truth of the Scriptures they must fall, and if I leave out the truths that were put in your hands I must fall; for what use was it of my putting events in your hands, from 1796 to 1801, if all these things were to die and never to be named? Then you might judge I was led by a knave or a fool; but you will find in the end, I am not led by either; but that the Devil hath completely drowned your senses. Yet still the Lord is waiting to be gracious, if you appear to clear up the truth at the eleventh hour; therefore I must call to your remembrance the words I read to you in 1798, that by the dates being different with God and man, it was said-
"Eleven days are still in store,
To stay my heavy hand;
And if you sleep till this be o'er,
Then you may still sleep on"
till heavier storms come upon the nation, which followed in 1799 and 1800. Now these eleven days have been kept in store for you, that for your sake my Trial is put off, to the last seven days of November, by the Old Style, so the mercies of God endure to the end; but not one day longer will it be deferred. My witnesses from Exeter are now in London, and every truth concerning you, and me, will be given in to the attorney, and all put in public print. Now I must call to your remembrance the letter I sent you-
"Will you, like the Jews of old,
Keep seals upon the tomb?
Or will you bribe the keepers here,
That truth should not be known?
Then sure to others I'll appear,
In the highways I'll go;
And Pomeroy's words, without delay,
I bid thee hasty show."
And now your words, without delay, I shall put hastily in execution, to have every truth tried and proved; but you shall no longer make me an offering for a word, to sign to subtilty, arts, and deceits; the naked truth shall now appear. I am sorry to tell you, that your conscience hath been bribed like the keepers, that when they saw the angels appear, and the stone rolled away, and they fled for fear, they were bribed to say the disciples stole him away while they were asleep. Here, like you, they contradict themselves, for what man could tell what was done when they were asleep? and what man can tell which is right, you or I, if I leave your name out of the question, and do not call my witnesses to clear every truth? In this, your senses appear no more acute than mine; for I am sorry to tell you, that there is such sense and nonsense blended together in your letters, that my senses are not so much deranged but I can discern the depth of the whole. I do not, like you, boast of good sense, that the polite world boast of, to drown common sense; but common sense teaches me reason and religion, that in an affair like mine, justice, equity, and truth, must take place, and none of the truth be kept back. And now I shall come to the purport of my letter: your hiding yourself showeth yourself guilty, and you are your own murderer. My Trial is prolonged on your account, that you may have no excuse to plead; but as I know conscious guilt keeps you back from appearing yourself, you are at liberty to send any friend you think proper, to appear in your behalf. You know the last day is mentioned; my Trial cannot be deferred longer than the last seven days in November, by Old Style; and if you appear you may claim my promise in the letter that was sent you in print, by the command of the Lord; but if you do not appear, you prove yourself guilty and must say as Adonibezek did, as I have done to others, so the Lord hath requited me. Now, Sir, I shall conclude with saying, this letter with all the others that have been sent you, will be put in print, if you are absent; and you must say, the judgments of God have now overtaken you; but I wish you to call reason to your assistance, before reason comes too late. If I do not receive an answer by return of post, your silence proves you would sooner have your character lost for ever, by your ill conduct, than acknowledge your fault towards God and me, and clear your conscience by acknowledging that wherein you had done wrong you would do so no more. One thing I must observe, in your letter to Mr. Foley, you say, after a full and patient investigation into my writings, you are of opinion they proceed from a deceived imagination or spiritual delusion; then I must ask you, why, Sir, after having the writings a fortnight in your hands, to pass your judgment thereon, before they were put in print, that you delivered them into my hands to put them in print, and said, you could not blame me? then why did you deceive me, and not tell me your judgment then? So out of your own mouth, you have tried every way to deceive me, and now in the end you are deceived yourself.
So, I am, your much injured,
P.S. Please to direct to Mr. Sharp, No. 50, Titchfield Street, Oxford Street, London.
When the Rev. Gentleman paid no attention to this offer, the following directions were given-
"Go into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in. Now they are at liberty to invite any twenty-four they choose, to stand in their stead, that the house may be filled with the appointed number that is mentioned; therefore, I ordered my friends to come before the time, that the witnesses might be examined, their evidence taken, and all laid before the public. So opposers that wish to be present let them be present, for the complete number must be made up. I choose no man; but let them be invited and come by their own choice; and whether Pomeroy come or send, there shall not be one turned back that cometh by invitation to make up the twenty-four. If they had not been warned by letters, had not been invited, had not been threatened, they would have said, all was unjust to call forward all the witnesses to appear against them, if they had not notice to answer for themselves; and the world would have said, as was said at Stockton, that all was invented lies. Every truth shall be cleared up by evidence and by witnesses, before thou goest hence to be no more seen; then where is the man who can contend with believers, when every truth is proved and tried? where are the clergy who can condemn them, when every offer hath been so freely made them?
"Or where hath Satan room to plead,
When justice is so clear?
No; I shall strike the rebel dead,
And make thy foes to fear."
As Joanna's enemies have been busy in spreading false reports against her and all those who have been invited to examine into the truth or falsity of what she hath published, have also declined to interfere; she was still ordered to come forward and call her witnesses together, who came from distant parts; and also the twenty-four persons who had before judged her calling to be of God; and they were to procure other twenty-four, who believed the Bible to be of divine authority, to join with them, for the purpose of examining every evidence regularly; and this was to be conducted by an attorney, who was appointed to act in the strictest and most impartial manner in the examination of the witnesses, during her absence; and he was desired to act in every thing, as though he had been commissioned by his king and country, or by the bishops and clergy, to act faithfully with God and man.
In consequence of this arrangement, the twenty-four, who had before judged the truth of Joanna's mission, endeavoured by every means of persuasion to induce individuals, among the clergy and others, to come forward to examine into her calling; but all that were opposers, or unbelievers, of what she published to the world, refused to listen to her friends. Many of them added insult and abuse to their refusal to search into the truth, as may be seen by the different answers, as given by several of them to the gentlemen who made the applications to them.
Being then commanded to go into the highways and hedges, accordingly the Rev. Mr. Webster waited on three clergymen; these were, the Rev. Mr. Hodgkins, minister of St. Thomas's, in the Borough, who declined attending, not caring to have anything to do with it; the Rev. Mr. Grose, curate of St. Gabriel, Fenchurch, who declined, fearing his abilities were not sufficient for such an undertaking; and a third was the Rev. Mr. Draper, lecturer of St. George's, in the Borough. He declared his decided opinion, and believed that he spoke the sentiments of the clergy at large, when he said, that her writings were blasphemous; and added, that he could see but one place where she was spoken of in Scripture, and that was by the appellation of Jezebel; for she was a Jezebel in the church; and as to prophets and prophetesses, in the present day, he did not believe that there were now any such characters; though he must say thus much in her favour, this was a proof of the near approach of the latter day; for that we were taught previous to that period to look for false Christs and false prophets. She was evidently an instrument in the hands of the enemy, to collect together a number of people and promote a rebellion against the government; and we should not be allowed to meet at the time fixed on, for our assembling was known to them.
The reader will fix his attention to the fairness of Joanna's intentions, in applying to the church ministers, for them to examine into every thing; for they are part of the government of England, and ought to stand between the king and his people, to prevent a Jezebel from being imposed on them.
The above Remarks were thus Answered by
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee from these three men. The first is what I said in the Revelations, neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm; therefore I will spue such out of my mouth; for no more than thou canst digest thy meat, and that only one meal a day, no more can I digest such men, to have them settled in heart with me.
"And now I shall come to the second, whom I call a prudent man, that boasts of his infirmities, fearing of his wisdom to judge in so weighty a cause; and here let the prudent men, whose understanding is hid, keep silence; let them not think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, but wait till they are clear in judging before they condemn.
"And now I shall come to the other, who said thou wert the Jezebel. Out of his own mouth will I condemn him, for breaking the laws of God and man; the laws of his king, the laws of his country; and turning the laws of a civilized nation into rebellion. Hast thou not appealed to thy king, and to thy country to have the laws of the nation put in force against thee? And if twenty-four can come forward against thee, and prove thy calling not of God, hast thou not promised to give up the whole? Then will he throw the laws of your nation aside, and bring in laws of rebellion without justice, equity, or truth? Is he going to bring in the laws of the French, to be a traitor to his king and country, to bring in what laws he pleases? When law-makers are law-breakers, where are the laws of your land? Is not his heart joined with the Devil against all righteous and religious laws? Then how dare he say my just decrees shall be prevented, that men may be clear in judging before they condemn? When they have refused to try thee by the laws of the country, I have commanded thee to be tried by the laws of my Gospel; I have ordered thee to put every truth into their hands; I have ordained so many witnesses to copy off thy books, that it may be plainly proved to the world that there is no art nor deceit in thee; I ordered thy pen to be thrown aside in the end, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word might be established, and that without books, or without inventions; for thy words flow faster than they can pen them. How dare such a minister go into the pulpit, who puts all my Gospel at defiance? Is it not written, be clear in judging before you condemn? For who art thou, O man, that judgest another? Thou art no doer of the law but a judger: but let him know the judge stands at the door, to condemn him out of his own mouth, for breaking the laws of God and man, and bringing the laws of other nations into this kingdom; then like other nations this kingdom must fall. He that is a traitor to his God, is a traitor to his country; the laws of God command him to be clear in judging before he condemn; the laws of your country command a clear judgment, by judge and jury, before any criminal is cast. Then how dare he say, without the laws of his country, he will take the law in hand without acting according to the law? Though the Jews unjustly put me to death, yet they pretended to do it by the law, and gained false witnesses to prove it was done according to the law; but now this man says they will put a stop without the law, when they refused to appear according to justice, equity and truth; then is not justice fallen in your streets, and equity cannot enter? Will men judge as blind men in the dark, when I have given them eyes to see if they will see? Will they judge without hearing, when I have given them ears to hear if they will hear? Now let him come to a court of justice: where is the person cast without evidence? Now where is his evidence to appear? Where is his indictment to prove that thou hast spoken against thy God, or against thy king? And is not my command given to be peaceable with all men, as far as in you lies? Is there a word of rebellion in thy writings that I have ordered or commanded? Have I not ordered the truth to be laid before the public? Did I not invite them to come forward and judge for themselves? Then where is your justice, O vain men? Have I not rightly spoken of the shepherds, that they will neither enter themselves, nor suffer those that are entering to go in? Are they not blind leaders of the blind? Do they not judge of things they know nothing about themselves? and do they not teach others to do the same? Where can they bring my Bible to justify them? Can they deny my just judgments upon the land? Are not they the Jezebels themselves, who cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, who deny the truth of my Gospel, that promised my Spirit should be sent, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter should come? Now if man answer, 'Yes; we know this is the Gospel of Christ, and we believe him to be the God of truth, that what he hath said he will accomplish; but we will not receive it from the hand of a Woman.' Then let man answer me, why he took the evil fruit from the hand of a Woman, when I forbade it? Why he cast the blame on his maker for giving him the Woman?
"Here let man answer for man,
Why he obeyed at first,
But now the Trial will not stand
To have the evil cast;
Then blasphemy in men I see,
My Name they do blaspheme;
And so from hell their hearts do swell,
To keep on Satan's reign.
So they are come, to me 'tis known,
So tainted by the Fall,
My Bible now they do disown;
But I do tell you all,
In Spirit strong I now am come,
Man cast the blame on me;
Back on their heads, it shall be shown,
The blame is cast by me;
For I'll cast back the every stroke
Man cast on me at first.
Though now the Woman you do mock
In love to you she'th burst,
The Promise clear for to appear
To free you of the Fall;
And if you loved your maker here
In love you now would fall
These words to say-'We wish, like she,
To have it so appear;
And if she simply is deceived
By any spirit here,
We all must say another way,
By ignorance she is cast.'
For if her writings through you weigh
And mark how all is placed,
In love to me they surely be,
If now you judge her hand,
'Tis all against the enemy
Her writings now do stand;
On Satan's head is all her plead,
To have the curse stand there,
And me to be the living head,
And Man's redemption clear.
And will you say, 'tis blasphemy?
Then you must plead for hell.
I tell you men, no other way
You Jezebels can fall,
Only to say the blasphemy
Is against the tempter here;
And you like Jezebels would be
Her prophets for to clear.
She saw them slain, I tell you men,
And so her rage did burn;
And now like she you shepherds be-
Look deep and now discern:
Against your king you cannot bring
The lines that she hath spoke;
Against your God, it must be known,
Then how dare men to mock,
These words to say that blasphemy
Did e'er come from her tongue;
Or she like Jezebel can be
To do my prophets wrong?
"And now I shall answer thee in plain words. Thy petition and request is, to destroy all the works of the Devil, as my prophet destroyed the sons of Belial, who led men to worship strange gods, and not to worship me, the true and living God, which enraged the heart of Jezebel against him, though she had seen the judgments I had sent before; and just like her are all thy enemies. Now where is there a woman that would run the hazard thou hast, to plead for the glory of God and the good of mankind? or where is the woman that could stand as thou hast stood to hold a controversy with all men, if I the Lord was not with her? Can they blame the Jews, for saying I cast out Devils through the prince of Devils, when they say thou art pleading Satan's destruction by the spirit of the Devil? Did I not truly prophesy of you, blind shepherds, that ye were blind leaders of the blind? Did I not truly prophesy of the End, that ye would hear my Gospel and keep it not? that your houses were built on the sand, and great would be the fall thereof? But how could the Fall be so great, if blind guides did not appear to blind their flock when it came to the end, that they might not know the days of their visitation, nor be able to stand in the evil day? Now as he saith, false prophets are a type of the last day, and that thou appearest as a type unto him, out of his own mouth will I condemn him, if he doth not faithfully warn his flock that my Kingdom is at hand, as he confesses from thee my words are true. So he that will not see from the sunshine and the daylight, because it is too strong for his senses, let him come to the night and see by the moonlight, and say, from the dark, my Kingdom is at hand; for my Gospel stands every way to confound men in their own discourse, that they might have no excuse to plead, that no signs, nor warnings, were given them. So let him take the sign the way he hath placed it; and let all such shepherds take the sign the same, that place it this way, to warn men to flee from the wrath to come, lest the day come that shall burn like an oven, and they are consumed and burnt up like stubble. So he hath no excuse to plead; and now let him try to save his flock, by warning them that my words are fulfilled, my Kingdom is at hand, or their blood will be on his head; for I shall require them by the way he hath pleaded. And now I shall come to those who see from the sunshine, that the sun of righteousness must arise with healing in his wings, to heal the Fall of the Woman, before man's redemption can take place. Let them rejoice in the God of their Salvation, and join with her in the PROMISE made in the Fall to destroy the evil, as Adam joined with her to take the evil. And now let the world see, how lively and how zealous these are to go through every thing, and to be obedient in every thing, who believe from the truth of my Promise that stands on record; but how careless are these shepherds, who say they believe the time is at hand, from false prophets and false Christs! Let the world judge of the different men by their different conduct, who is for me, and who is against me, who are the faithful servants waiting the coming of the Lord.
"And now come to the other."
The Rev. Mr. Foley, accompanied by Mr. Scott, the solicitor, waited upon the Rev. Mr. Robson, of Whitechapel. On his being asked, if he would attend Joanna's Trial, as an opposer (for the object of it was to find out if there was any spiritual delusion, or whether her calling was from the Spirit of the living God), he said, that he had destroyed the letter he had received from Miss Townley to the clergy; and added, that there was no occasion for such an examination, as she had described herself as the second Eve, and that there was nothing to warrant such an assertion. The discourse then turned upon the bruising of Satan's head; and he said, that that was accomplished at the death of our Saviour. He then indignantly broke off, saying that he was sorry Mr. Foley was of the church, for he was no Christian: and further told him to go home and get some water gruel.
The Answer of the Spirit.
"Now I shall answer thee of the other, who said he had destroyed the letter: and I answer he hath as much destroyed my Bible, and wrested it to his own condemnation. Might I not well say blind leaders of the blind? Was Satan's head bruised at my Death? Who then worked in the hearts of the people to destroy my disciples? Who worked in the hearts of the Jews to harden them in unbelief? See what followed my Death: were not people as envious against my disciples as against me? Had they not greater persecution after my Death than before? Then how will he prove Satan's head was bruised, and his power taken off from his tempting men to sin, and hardening their hearts through unbelief? In this he is become an advocate for the Devil, that no sin and blasphemy proceed from him; but all proceeds from man's own evil heart. After I had come to bruise Satan's head and redeem them from the Fall, they went on as bad as before; then to what purpose were my Death and Sufferings? only to bring the greater condemnation on man; for if I then bruised Satan's head and destroyed all the works of the Devil, as it is written I died to destroy; then what is Man?-A Devil by nature, and a Devil by practice. Then to what purpose did my disciples warn men to flee from the temptation of the Devil? Why did they say, draw nigh to Christ, and he will draw nigh unto you; resist the Devil and he will flee from you? But if his head is bruised, and his power destroyed, ye have no Devil to resist; and so if Satan be in men's own hearts, that they themselves are these Devils, what are they redeemed from? You cannot say they are redeemed from sin, when sin so strongly abounds; you cannot say my followers were redeemed from sorrow, when in every age of the world they went through persecution, tried and tempted within and without; then what redemption has man obtained? Will you say they are redeemed from the law of Moses, or the law of the prophets? Then the Jews stand as a witness against you, and with truth can give you the lie; for they are under the law, and not the Gospel. Then where are they redeemed? Will you say men are redeemed from worshipping other gods? Then look abroad in foreign nations and see what they worship: but all souls are mine saith the Lord; and is this the way you will say I have redeemed them? Then for what purpose is the redemption? Will you say I have poured out my Spirit upon all flesh? Then what do you make of my Spirit? Will you say they all know me from the greatest to the least? Then why are so many false gods worshipped? Oh, weak, foolish man! thou that sayest another wants water, thou thyself wantest wine to make thy head stronger. But what hast thou profited by my Blood? by the wine thou drinkest in remembrance of me? what merit dost thou make of my Death and Sufferings? or my coming to redeem man, and destroy the holy city where the Lord was worshipped, and give it to the heathen that called not upon my Name? What do you make of such Redemption? Then you make your God another such as yourselves: and is this the shepherd to teach my flock of the promises made in my Gospel, that I died to reconcile the world unto God, and yet in the wretched wicked state, when men have been drinking iniquity as the ox drinketh water, will they say God and man are reconciled? Is this all the travail of my soul, that I am to see to be satisfied? my Name mocked, my Gospel despised, the heathen worshipping any thing but the true and living God? and do you call this the Redemption of Man? Then to what purpose hath the Redemption of Man taken place? If so you must place all the evil in me, that I have redeemed them to sin against me. Oh! ye blind shepherds leading your flocks into a ditch; leading your flocks as sheep for the slaughter; calling them the redeemed of the Lord, and Satan's power destroyed, while sin is running with so high a hand, and my Name is despised amongst them! Oh ye blind, open your eyes. Oh ye fools, that reject knowledge, and make me reject you! like the Jews of old, ye perish for want of knowledge! and worse is your faith in my Gospel than the Jews'; for the Jews do not believe my Death tended to the Redemption of Man; and they know themselves they are not redeemed; but ye profess to believe, through my Gospel, that Satan's head was bruised, and man was redeemed, while every sin, strife, and malice, bitterness and contention, hardness of heart, and cruelty, are amongst you; then now see what you make of me! for know that the servant must be like the master; and know that I said, his servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves to obey: but if Satan's head was bruised, and your redemption took place, and my Spirit was poured out upon all flesh, you have but one master to obey: and to what purpose did I tell you to pray for my kingdom to come? For when my kingdom is established on earth, then my kingdom is come; then ye need not ask for a thing to be done, when it has been done. To what purpose did I say unto them of the signs that should take place, then they should lift up their heads, for their Redemption drew near, if their Redemption was then?
"So now see men, how they are come,
As I did say before,
Blind leaders of the blind, 'tis known,
And so the ditch is near.
Such ignorant shepherds well I knew
There would be in the end;
When I did bring all to their view,
I knew the way they'd bend.
Like water here doth he appear-
His gruel let him see;
Though for my shepherd pointed here,
It is more fit for he.
Had Foley's head so weak been laid
I ne'er should choose the man;
And Satan would him soon betrayed,
Had he so weak discerned
My Bible here for to appear;
But from his words now see,
He said his Bible he could not clear,
Thou know'st he said to thee,
Nor understand for to command
The mysteries there were penned.
So in my wisdom he doth stand,
They'll all find in the end;
Self-confidence gives all offence,
In every age that's past,
And now the same they're surely come,
Self-confidence is cast:
My Gospel here they cannot clear,
Like children to become,
If in their wisdom they'll appear,
My Gospel to condemn;
In Spirit here I now appear
My Gospel I'll make good,
And every thing was spoken there
I'll now to man allude.
So Foley see was blamed by he;
But I shall blame that man
And from my Gospel all may see
He in no way can stand.
Did he condemn an upright man,
My Gospel for to name?
Then how a shepherd dare he stand?
I'll put him now to shame:
The words from he to Foley see,
Back on his head I'll turn;
As thou didst say by Pomeroy,
The end shall make him mourn;
For sick like thee he'll surely be
When I've gone through the whole;
And then the gruel he may see
For his own self to call.
A preacher here he cannot clear
He's worthy of that name,
No; Foley's passions did appear,
And so the end I'll shame,
I say, the man, he cannot stand;
The blind men now you see,
How I have mocked them from their hand,
And all like fools did flee.
The wicked here, you now see clear,
Do flee when none pursue;
For the righteous like the lions are,
That now believe me true;
Because that here I shall appear
Their faith doth judge them right,
And in the end I all shall clear,
And make them men of might.
Now for the Foe, I tell them so,
That six they sure must meet,
That have no eyes the truth to know
The calling here is great.
But now I'll clear the mystery there,
No company was found
When the six men to thee were seen-
Let all men judge the sound;
Thou know'st that one his sight was strong-
Let men in sight appear!
Bring me the answer of six men,
That have no eyes to clear
Their Bibles true before their view,
And then I'll clear the whole;
The mysteries in the end they'll know
Why I did this conceal;
For Satan's head in arts is laid,
If he did know the way
I should go on to prove thy hand,
I knew what arts he'd lay:
So I conceal'd and ne'er revealed
The way I'll clear the whole.
But the blind men to thee were seen,
Waiting to hear thy call?
No man, thou'st know, to thee did show
That he would leave his room,
Until the truth that he did know,
And then they'd know their doom.
So for the six I now shall fix,
For Pomeroy he is gone;
They've strove to win, by all 'tis seen.
But know his eyes are gone;
And so five here must now appear,
For them to try the same;
But know, with thee they never were,
But waiting for my Name,
The truth to see if 'twas from me;
But as to eyes they've none;
And from my Gospel you may see
The way the blind go on.
But know that one to thee was known,
Had eyes for to discern,
And said again at thy return
That he should see thee come;
But know the blind were all confined,
Waiting to see the end,
No step to go, thou well dost know,
They had no eyes to see-
Then now discern how I do warn-
The blind confined must be,
Till at the last the light doth burst;
But thy friends now see clear,
That blind they be, they cannot see-
Thy guide hath brought thee here,
To see the whole before them fall,
And so the blind must come.
I do not tell thee to appear;
But their words must be known.
So I'll end here, and say no more
Till I their judgment see;
But let thy dream to them appear-
Forgotten it may be."-
The dream is thus related by Joanna: In the fall of 1802, when at Mr. Bruce's at Paddington by myself, I dreamt that I felt an arm round my neck, and knew I was in bed by myself; I turned round in the bed to see who was there, and saw a well looking youth spring off the bed in blue clothes, and a child was with him. I arose to follow him; he went into Mr. B.'s dining-room, but still opened door after door till he brought me to a room where there were six blind men, who seemed to have no eyes in their heads; but one man was there who had his perfect sight, and said, "These men are blind, and so they will continue till the truth of your writings is proved." One of the blind men spoke to me, and said, "When your writings are proved to be true we shall receive our sight." The man that had eyes said, they would not see before, but he should see me again. The youth that came with me was my guide to conduct me, and he was waiting to convey me back. I thought he stood as a footboy behind me, but did not convey me back the way I came.
On an application made by Mr. Wilson to the minister of Clerkenwell and Long Acre Chapel, for him to attend the Trial, he received the following note-
As I consider Joanna Southcott a deluded impostor, I shall have nothing to do with her; and I am very sorry that you, Sir, are carried away with her nonsense.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
Wilderness Row, Dec. 3, 1804.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, 1804, an application was made by the Rev. Stanhope Bruce, to the Rev. Basil Woodd, of Bentinck Chapel, Lisson Green. He shook his head and cried out with anger and contempt, "Stuff! stuff!" he would have nothing at all to do with it, and was very sorry a gentleman like him should countenance such a cause as this.
The Answer of the Spirit.
"Now I shall answer thee from Woodd. What stuff is his religion? where is his love to God or man? Hath he not seen the thing once proved already, by what one of his own brethren said-there were three and twenty mad fools? and from his own words, he judges them the same; then where is his wisdom? where is his religion, not to step forward when invited, that he may point out the errors to them, and not let it go out in the world again, by three and twenty more mad fools? So out of his own mouth will I condemn him, as a blind man without eyes; for if he had eyes to see, or a heart to understand, believing a thing gone out in the world in my name, that he believed I had not spoken, he ought to come forward in love to me, to try to convince those that are in errors; and if he could prove it not of God, he ought to publish to the world against it for the glory of God and the good of mankind. So here is his wisdom perished, his understanding hid, his love for me gone. But he is boasting like Jehu-see my zeal for the Lord of Hosts! while his eye is to his own honour, that he may be exalted and worshipped for his wisdom and preaching; but where is his wisdom to judge of a thing without examining into it. This is the-
Proud boasting Pharisee-
For wisdom he hath none,
To judge the calling not from me,
And say he will not come
For to confound, in every sound,
The blind-men's names are here.
And perfect blind themselves they'll find,
When I have proved all clear.
So I'll begin-thy thoughts within,
Call former things to mind,
What Parable I first did name,
And now the end you'll find;
So let the Parable be penned
That thou hast penned before,
And all shall find it in the end,
That say I shall appear,
As they judge wrong what thou hast done,
I'll prove that love they've none;
So let the Parable be penned,
I'll answer thee again."
The following is the parable, that was penned in Joanna's writings years ago: "Supposing a nobleman of great family and fortune went abroad into a foreign country; and a harlot, an impostor, was to forge his name and title, and to say that she was his wife. His friends not believing she was his wife, but that she had done it by arts in his absence, thinking if he did never return she might lay some claim to his estate. Now what must that nobleman's friends be, if they believed the woman to be an impostor, and would not call her forward and make her prove in what manner she was honourably married, and by whom, before she dared to make that public assertion to disgrace a gentleman and his noble family? Would not this be done by men of the world? Would they give it up to be proved by her own friends, and from them claim her right and title, without his friends examining into the truth? What would the nobleman say on his return? that he had not a friend to search into the truth. Would he not blame them? Would he not condemn them? But if, on the contrary, her report was true, and his friends had inquired into the truth, saying they could not believe such a gentleman as he would have been united with one so much his inferior; therefore they tried her to prove her marriage with him, before they would own her, that they might have some evidence of the truth; could he then blame them? He could only say, their judgment and his own were not alike: it was his choice, if not theirs."
The Answer of the Spirit.
"Now thus to man I here shall come:
The Parable is plain,
That thou hast given out to man,
And I shall here maintain,
Was such a thing now done by man,
His friends the cause would try;
They'd say his honour must be gone,
If they should let it die,
To let her say this perfect way
She doth his title claim;
And so her friends they may agree
To vindicate the same-
"It unto them shall never come,
Nor will we thus submit;
No, no; the truth shall be made known,
Her honour may be great;
If friends appear the whole to clear,
Then blinded they may be;
No; we ourselves will now see clear,
His absence we will see;
Then as his friends we'll now contend
To know if it be so;
For unto others we'll not bend
Till we the truth do know."
Doth she appear to offer here,
To say she will it claim,
To say her marriage it is clear
If she can't prove it plain,
And bring the man by whom 'twas joined
To make her marriage good?
Would you not say that you would come
And see if so it stood?
I tell you plain, ye sons of men,
You'd do this for a man,
And for his honour you'd contend,
Or he might you condemn,
When he appeared the truth to clear-
"Why did you let it go
From words from her, that you did hear,
Ne'er sought the truth to know?"
Could you confound, in any sound,
If you ne'er had sought it out?
Then on her friends you must depend,
Though you say you did doubt
The truth was so, yet you'd not go
To see if it was clear.
Then now, my friends, I tell you so
My answer must appear;
No love for me was seen by ye,
My friends may say the same;
For if I never had returned,
My title she might claim.
So if deceit, and full of cheat,
You would not try to know-
But here the mystery lieth great:
You could not overthrow
The words of she; now answer me,
If absence aught can clear?
But now to man I bold shall come,
They'd not keep silence here;
To try the thing they'd soon begin,
What is of man, I know;
But what's of God (fear ye my rod!),
This love you will not show!
So now, vain man, I must condemn,
You'd act so for a friend-
Why not for me? I now do see
Your hearts will never bend!
For to the man I now shall come
To place a different way:
Had he been bound in wedlock's bands,
And children gained that way;
And absent gone, to all unknown,
And she the truth could clear,
His every friend he must disown,
That had denied her here,
If they'd not come and see her hand,
To know if it was so;
But let her children bastards stand,
And she a begging go,
To seek relief, and full of grief,
While I had gold in store,
And you her heart filled full of grief,
To say she was a whore,
And her oppressed, and wounded her breast,
While she did offer free
Her marriage here she'd make it clear,
And prove it true to be;
For every hand she could command
Was witness to the deed;
That though she was too mean for him,
Yet with her he did wed.
"Then where's the friend that can pretend
In love for to appear,
To see my wife, and children go
In grief and deep despair?"
Because that they would all deny,
Refuse to see her hand;
To search the truth they'd not comply,
Then her own friends must stand
The whole to clear, I tell you here-
But when he did return,
Against his friends he'd then appear
In anger for to burn-
"She offered free," the man would say,
"To prove to you the whole;
Unjustly you turned her away;
Must she a begging fall?
When raised by me to such degree
And justice you forbid,
To fill her heart with misery
A wife that I had wed;
And offspring here from me appear,
You all filled with distress.
Then how your presence can I bear
When you refused redress,
Her cause to see, and her to free,
If innocent she's found?
This thing you ought to've done for me,
That justice might abound;
For if abroad, it must be known,
I'd died and never come,
My wife and children you'd disown,
The truth might not be known."
So from such men, I tell you plain,
No justice can appear;
You see the laws of God and man
Together I compare-
And from the law I now shall go;
Thousands have lost their right,
That had not friends the truth to show
And bring the truth to light.
So I'll end here, and say no more-
But few friends I do see,
That wish the truth in all to clear,
And show their love to me."
Mr. Sharp waited on another clergyman of great literary talents, who declared Joanna to be a foolish, ignorant woman; and by what he had read from her books, he could not understand them; and had no opinion of a Holy Spirit that could not write grammar. But he further said, if he were a younger man he might come forward; and he added, that this world would always go on as it was; and by the death of Christ we should be made happy hereafter.
His Remarks were thus Answered to Joanna.
"Now I shall answer thee of his saying, a foolish ignorant Woman: if Adam had refused to listen to a foolish, ignorant Woman at the first, then Man might refuse to listen to a foolish, ignorant Woman at the last; but as Man did not refuse at first, but as soon as he had listened, cast the blame on me for giving him the Woman, because he had listened to her; then now I shall cast the blame on Man for not listening to you. Know, Pilate refused to listen to his foolish wife, and so by man my death came; the Jews refused to listen to the words of my Mother, and so I was judged an impostor. But know, Ahasuerus did not refuse to listen to the words of Esther; and by a foolish woman her people were saved. Then where is your wisdom, ye foolish men? and where is your wisdom in my Bible? Is it not written, with the simple I shall deal simply? Then how could my Gospel be true if I should deal any other than simply with a simple Woman? Should I speak in language unknown to her, how could she understand? Were you to bring Latin and tell a child unlearned to read it, and pick it out, and explain the sense, would not men laugh at your folly, to expect a child to understand what he had never learnt? Then how shall a simple woman, unlearned, yea, even in her own tongue, learn things she never understood? Is this your boasted wisdom, vain man, to teach people things they do not understand? Yet this folly I see in the church, teaching people fine speeches, and learning, that the poor do not understand; but the plain truth of the Gospel is thrown aside by men's learning; the visitation of my Spirit is mockery; the influence of my Spirit is thought nothing of; the power of the Holy Ghost is despised; the Revelation of my Spirit is set at nought; my Spirit is quenched; Prophecies are despised; and despite is done to the Spirit of God! Then where is your boasted grammar? where is your boasted learning, to teach men the wisdom of this world, that I have said should perish and come to nothing? Is my wisdom counted foolishness unto you? then be assured it is my wisdom; for know that it is written by my Apostles, the wisdom of God is foolishness with men; and so my wisdom appeareth foolish to the worldly wise; but now tell me, O vain men, if your wisdom is not foolishness to me, when you say a thing is not of God, and your friends are imposed upon, for want of judgment and you boast of your wisdom and judgment? Then why not appear to point out to them where their errors are, and see the truth cleared up? You say, you do not understand the Books, then why do you exercise yourself in things too high for you? Never judge of a thing you cannot understand.-Now, simple man, you say you are too old to come forward in the work of the Lord; for if her calling be not of God you cannot be a friend to the Lord, if you do not come forward to oppose it; and if it be of God, you ought to come forward to support it, that you may bring your grey hairs with honour to the grave; for with what confidence can you come before him, to say you have digged in the earth and hid away your money, and never improved the talents that are given you? Is this the way you wish to appear before me?
"So thus to all is now my call,
Blind shepherds you are come;
When the good shepherd doth appear,
My Gospel all discern;
I said that I alone must be
The shepherd that was good,
And now my words I bid you see,
Let this be understood;
As four here do now appear
Wise shepherds for to be,
And wish the truth in all to clear,
In Spirit drawn by me;
Then know, from them my word must come
To prove the truth I spoke;
I said the three a Type of me,
The fourth you know not,
That now appears the whole to clear,
And joined with the third;
For Pomeroy's letters must appear,
Or from his written word
Call thou to mind he was behind,
For two did write before;
And so from he the shadow see,
He did the third appear.
And Eyre did come with him to join-
The mystery there goes deep.
Another day I'll tell my mind,
How God and Man must break
In unity in heart to be-
All shadows I place first,
But in the end, you all will see,
The substance so will burst.
So thus to Man the shadows come,
The substance lieth behind.
I know the shepherds that are mine,
And in the end you'll find
They'll burst the same to know my Name,
When I have all gone through;
But those that boast of empty fame
They'll never wish to know;
Because their pride will throw aside
The teaching of their God;
Wiser than me they judge they be,
And so my words are trod
Beneath their feet-the mystery's deep,
As none do understand
These blind men here, how they appear
To bring all to your land;
Thousands the same, I know they're come
And judge themselves as wise,
And think that knowledge they want none,
And so they blind your eyes.
But I'll appear to answer here,
That knowledge men have none;
'Tis faith in me, the wise do see
What is before them come:
No simple maid, the wise have said,
Could bring such mysteries round,
If not from Heaven the lines were given,
Men's learning they'll confound,
That do begin just like the man,
The Woman's folly see,
They'll say-'That Adam so should stand,
If she condemned must be:
If Man at first on her did burst,
And blamed his maker there;
Then at the last Man might be cast
If he this way appear.
So God is just, and now we trust,
If he began with Man,
Upon the Serpent now he'll burst,
And so fulfil his plan;
Though weakness here doth all appear,
And sown so at the first,
The Lord in honour all can clear,
And raise it at the last.' "
After meeting with a general refusal among unbelievers, the twenty-four, who at first came forward to prove Joanna's calling, were then obliged to get the like number of friends to join with them; and many of these were such as had come from distant parts of the kingdom to hear her Trial, not knowing but it might be carried on by the clergy. Thus, by the refusal of the clergy and others, the other twenty-four friends, thus chosen, who came from different parts of the country, obtained an additional opportunity to examine the truth of her mission, by being present as judges at her trial.
The following extract is an additional explanation how this Trial was brought forward-
"Now pen how many men came, that wish to be clear in every truth, and took their journeys to see the truth of thy visitation cleared up"-
The Rev. Mr. Eyre, from Bristol.
Mr. Nisbet, from Kent.
Mr. Hirst, from Leeds.
Mr. Senior, from Leeds.
Mr. Grimshaw, from Leeds.
Mr. Laskey, from Devonshire.
Mr. Chanter, from Devonshire.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee: Seven wise men from different counties went first to Exeter, to inquire into the truth; and now seven wise men from different counties are come to see the truth cleared up; so now thy seven stars are come to fourteen; and they may stand with the other twenty-four; their labour of love shall not be in vain. I have called the great; I have called the learned; but my invitation they have all refused; and now I shall come to the simple and unlearned, to fulfil my Gospel, that the pride of the great may fall, and be confounded by the simple and foolish, that are so judged in their eyes: and he that speaketh against this judgment speaketh against the truth of my Gospel. And now remember what I said-I thank thee, Father, that thou hast concealed these things from the wise men, from the learned and prudent men, and revealed them unto babes. Now the wise men have been warned; and the learned, and the prudent, all have been warned; the wise men trusted to their wisdom, the learned men trusted to their learning, and the prudent men trusted to their prudence, thinking, if they kept silence, all would die away, while the simple and foolish men, as the worldly wise men judged them, became as babes, or as little children, teachable, willing to learn what they did not understand: for the mystery of the Fall was never understood by man; so they, like children, are come teachable to learn what they never understood. Now let them see how my Gospel was brought in by poor men and fishermen; men unlearned in the world; and by such my Kingdom will be brought in: for now is coming the fulfilment of the whole; the meek shall be exalted; the proud shall be abased; and the meek shall inherit the earth. Now weigh the whole with my Gospel: Are not many called? Are there but few chosen? Have not the wise and learned men resigned their crowns to babes and children? For such they are judged by the bishops; but know, such are judged by my Gospel to become as children to possess my Kingdom, or how could my Gospel be fulfilled? How could the wisdom of the wise men perish, if this was brought forward by the wise and learned? How could the understanding of the prudent men be hid, if they had understood all these things; the mystery of the Fall; and the manner my Gospel must be fulfilled, to bring in your redemption?
"Now, Joanna, speak the word,
Dost thou my Promise claim,
That I have left upon record,
The Woman to redeem?"
'Oh, my God! with tears of joy, with tears of thanksgiving, with tears of humiliation, if I am now permitted, I claim the Promise, that Satan's head may now be bruised, and his curse be above every living creature. He first seduced the Woman, and by arts betrayed her to fall from that happiness for which thou created her; and by his arts to disobey her God; and by the same arts he hath been working in men to this day, to be at enmity against their God. Oh, merciful Lord! let that enemy be destroyed according to thy Promise, that the world may be reconciled unto the Lord. As thy dear Son died to reconcile the whole world unto God, may we ask and receive that our joys may be full, to see thy blessed Name run and be glorified, Satan confounded and destroyed, and thou be justified in the works of thy hands, by man whom thou hast created for thy own honour and glory. This is my petition, and this is my request, if it be thy blessed will to grant me, O thou Lord God of heaven and earth! Then blessing, honour, praise, and power, be unto the Lamb for ever! and all the earth shall praise thy Name!'
At the time when the twenty-four persons, including the seven before mentioned, were chosen, meetings were held for several days, according to orders, for the regular examination of the different witnesses.
The following extracts are inserted as being further explanatory of Joanna's Mission and Trial-
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 1804.
A letter was received by Joanna from Mr. Wilson, respecting some words spoken by a woman who is one of those that call themselves the elect, belonging to Orange Street Chapel, where Mr. Townshend preaches-"that the friends of Joanna will give her a dose in order to put her to sleep and deceive the public."
These words provoked Joanna to the highest; and she said, if she had such wicked, deceitful, artful people around her as that woman, she had not a doubt but they would do it, and be her complete murderers. If they were to mock God in this manner to deceive man, they would soon deceive her, and make her sleep the sleep of death: for if any one was to give her any thing to draw her to sleep, she is convinced they would close her eyes for ever, that she should never awake more. So when she meditates on all the arts, deceit, and lies, that are in unbelievers, she is truly convinced they are of the Devil; and from such wretches no truth could come. Here is the answer of the Spirit given to Joanna.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee from this woman. The language of her heart is the language of thousands, that would say it, and would do it; and would affirm they had acted as she said: for as I told thee before, I now tell thee again, nothing will convince an unbelieving mind; therefore it is written, they perish through unbelief. And now to convince the world that all was open, fair, and just, I ordered every letter to go out as stated; but I well knew that nothing would convince such unbelievers; they would say, like the woman, thou hadst designed it; thou and thy friends had agreed, without reason, in a thing that need not be mentioned, if it was from herself, to say she should be in a Trance at all; for then her writings would have as clearly been proved without it. But as this is now the report of the world, and what I perfectly knew before, from the trial of men in past ages, I permitted this thing to go out in the world to see what judgment men would draw. Now they have drawn their judgment; and to prevent their future judgment, no one shall know the time of thy trance, no one shall know the manner of thy trance, nor thou thyself shalt form any judgment how, or when it shall be, before I come upon thee unawares; for all my visitation to thee in this Trial shall be suddenly and unexpectedly, like my visitation to thee at Bristol, that I never warned thee of before it came, that no man might say thou appearest in the power of my Spirit to fulfil thy prophecies; and now I shall come upon thee unawares the same, in all the working of my Spirit unknown to thee or to them. So they may be like my disciples of old, expecting things to come to their own judgment, in a different manner than I appeared: but had I told them every particular, and all had come perfectly like it, the world would have said they deceived them, to say I came as I told them before; but when I come in a different manner to them, in a way they never expected, and they themselves confessed it so, no man could say they did it by deceit, when they themselves confessed they were deceived. And perfectly so it will be by thy Trial: the day, the hour, the time, or the manner of my strong visitation to thee, during thy Trial, will not be known till my power appears. But I shall make all things so clear to them, that they shall never need of a Trial any more, to know from whence thy visitation is; but shall know it is I the Lord have spoken by thee. And now I shall tell thee, though I knew thee and proved by thy witnesses that no deceit is in thee, and called thee abroad in the world to prove it to others; yet, as the unbelieving Jews did not believe in me, the unbelieving world will not believe in thee, if I tell thee beforehand every particular of what will happen. But thou sayest in thy heart, were not the particulars of the days foretold? To this I answer, they were foretold, if proved by thy enemies; but now thou knowest it is proved by thy friends: and if I act a different way, to show the unbelieving world that it did not come as they expected, yet in a different manner and more clear than they expected, let them not be disappointed; for I tell thee, if all things come in a regular line without opposers, the world will say, there is deceit in thee and thy friends. Therefore it is my wisdom now to conceal from all in what manner I shall clear up the truth, to make thy light break forth as the morning, and the truth as clear as the noonday sun; and so clear shall the truth be now made; for the water shall now be made wine: and let them not grieve if the best wine is reserved for the last.
"Upon conditions all my Bible stands,
And on conditions I have placed thy hand,
And on conditions you will see the end,
The way that I shall make the blind men bend,
That by the letters they have sent to thee,
They will confess they had no eyes to see;
So all their words thou must with safety keep,
To show the blind men how their eyes were sunk
Deep in their heads, where thou didst see the holes;
And full as blind they'll find their naked souls:
So in their stead their letters must appear.
Then what impostor canst thou be to man?
Let them discern and judge thy written hand,
If an impostor would the whole reveal,
And from their knowledge nothing would conceal.-
I know thy nature daily doth decay,
And so your nation now I say doth lay;
They are decaying, as I said at first,
By dearth and burdens so upon them cast;
And if by thy decaying thou dost fall,
By their decaying they may tremble all;
Because thy heart they have so wounded here,
And back on them will surely come the spear.
But now believers boldly they may stand,
And now my kingdom they may all command;
For if they live on earth they will it gain,
And if they die, with me they sure shall reign,
That now in heart and soul give up to me,
Their only wish my kingdom for to see.-
"Let men begin from my Gospel and show how close every word is brought to my Gospel, of the Parables I mentioned of the Kingdom of Heaven, and that not one that were bidden should taste of my supper. They have been bidden to come forward and search out the truth; and as they have refused, I have refused them; and those of the highways and hedges are compelled to come in. Now I shall tell thee what is meant by the highways and hedges: those that work in the highways, and those that work by the hedges, are labourers; so let the believers come in as labourers, that my house may be filled; and that my visitation may be made manifest; for now I tell thee, by thy Master thou must stand or fall; and now thou art judged by men, whose faith is like thine; then by one Master you all stand or fall."
The following extracts are inserted to inform the reader respecting the mission of Joanna-
In Joanna's sealed writings, written in the years 1796 and 1800, are found these words: "I will provoke them to anger and jealousy; but when this jealousy alarms the unbelievers, and they have not judgment enough of their own, to know from whence the writings come, but wish to be clear themselves, if they will call forward the Trial, as the Lord hath done, to see if every thing be true, as it is put in print, and by their unbelief cannot be clear, from whence it came, when friends and foes meet together to clear up the whole, this sign is set before them: By righteous and just judgment I have fixed the Trial, and by the truth it shall be proved; so righteousness and truth will meet together, love and peace will kiss each other; that is, love will kindle in every heart; and those that are now angry will then be as loving friends: so-
"Perfect harmony will take place,
And every truth they'll then embrace;
For I shall throw thee in a Trance,
And every truth I'll then advance.
So Adams here you'll all appear-
This is the Fall of Man:
And paler than the whited wall
Will every member stand;
Then Satan's fall, be it known to all,
Will surely follow next;
For Man's Redemption now I call,
My standard so I fixed
It more secure for to endure
Than 'twas before he fell;
For all his foes I'll so secure
And triumph over hell.
So men may see their destiny-
These are the first redeemed;
Then follows on (for fast 'twill come)
The pure and living stream;
For thou'lt return, and man will mourn,
And tears of joy 'twill be.
The standard here will so appear,
That tears of joy they'll see.
So now at last my word at first
I surely shall complete:
The Woman ne'er brought on the curse,
But did the Serpent cheat.
A Mystery, that man shall see,
Will come so in the End;
For the good fruit was on the tree-
And Satan here must bend:
Plucked by her hand let Satan stand,
And the good fruit appear;
The evil first, and Man was cast,
And Satan must stop here.
Then she must bring again to Man
The knowledge of the good;
Then Satan's arts must feel the dart,
When I fulfil his word:
To be as Gods it was his word-
His word I'll now fulfil;
Then he must fall, be it known to all-
But now I say, stand still,
And in the end, mark what is penned,
The mysteries will come round.
There's always Hell where Satan dwells,
And there he must be bound:
My ways are just, let sinners trust,
And judge me in the end.
So on the Tree look all to me,
I died the sinner's friend;
For now the Comforter will come,
I tell them, like a Ghost
And tell the simple sons of men
How Paradise was lost,
And how they may it all regain,
Wrought by a Woman's hand;
For Paradise they shall obtain,
That now like men will stand,
And the whole armour now put on-
The breastplate goeth before,
Then fast the deluge down will come-
This is the mentioned war.
I made the Woman at the first
For to complete Man's bliss;
Then now by her it shall be done,
And make your jarring cease."
Since the conclusion of her Trial, Joanna received one of the books published against her at Stourbridge, which was announced some months since. After reading it she spoke of it thus: 'I see the unbounded wisdom of God, in ordering me to proceed as I have done; for I could not have thought there had been so black a heart in man, as to judge, that in spiritual things, any one could have acted so deceitfully with God and man, as the wretched author, who printed this book against me hath done; but whatever may be the blackness of his heart, my soul come not thou into his secrets! The Lord is my judge, and is witness against him. And I admire the wisdom of the Lord, in having the truth cleared, in the manner it follows here, from the depositions of the witnesses.'
THE FIRST DAY
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1804.
The Trial of Joanna Southcott commenced at the hour of eleven this morning, by calling over the forty-eight names of the persons appointed to carry on the proceedings.
According to the directions laid down, the letters sent by Miss Townley to the clergy, and by them returned, were laid before the meeting; and also such letters as accompanied them from several clergymen, containing their sentiments thereon. These letters were read and examined, whence it appeared, that their general tendency was mockery against the mission of Joanna, and also a condemnation of prophecy. But it is likewise necessary to mention, that among the letters thus sent by clergymen, several of them were of that indecent description, that delicacy prevents their being at all brought forward to public notice.
The next point brought under consideration was, the conduct of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy to Joanna.
After this the evidence, to prove her statement of the conduct of Mr. Pomeroy, and of her life and character in general, and also the truth of her writings, were here entered upon and verified, in the following order-
The Examination of Mr. John Trimlet Symons of Exeter, respecting the Mission of Joanna Southcott.
Q. Are you acquainted with Joanna Southcott?
A. I am.
Q. How long have you been acquainted with her?
A. About ten years.
Q. Were you ever employed by Joanna Southcott to copy letters, which she read to you from her own writings, and which were addressed to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, many different ones.
Q. Were you in the habit of copying from papers of Joanna's handwriting, and read by her to you, and which were afterwards published?
A. Yes, a great quantity.
Q. Were not the whole of those writings, which you copied, comprised in four volumes, or books, when published?
A. Yes, the first four of Mrs. Southcott's works.
Q. Did you not do all that with an unwilling mind?
A. In many respects I did.
Q. What were your particular reasons for being unwilling to copy them?
A. I did not at that time believe them the works of the Lord, and it was perfectly indifferent to me.
Q. Did you write a letter to any minister, at the request of Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, many; but one in particular to Chancellor Nutcombe.
Q. Do you know the contents of that letter?
A. I cannot recollect a sentence; but I know in substance it was to request Chancellor Nutcombe to search into Joanna Southcott's writings, and to judge, whether or not they were from the Spirit of the living God.
Q. What is your opinion of the general character of Joanna Southcott?
A. Her character in general is unblameable.
Q. Did you, in any transactions that you have seen or known of Joanna Southcott, see anything of deceit in her?
Q. Did you, Sir, at any time have any general conversation with Mr. Pomeroy, as to the writings of Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, several times.
Q. I think you say, you have asked him several times his opinion of Mrs. Southcott's works?
A. Yes, in many conversations.
Q. Generally, Sir, what were his answers to your questions, and his own opinions at that time, concerning Joanna?
A. Many and several times, in our shop at Exeter, he has told me not to be afraid, for certainly her works were very good, and from the Lord; and likewise he said, that no evil spirit would certainly work against himself.
Q. At what period did Mr. Pomeroy hold that opinion?
A. At different periods in the year 1801, when her first four books were printed.
Q. At what time did he change that opinion?
A. About November 1803, when I copied a bill from Mr. G. Turner, of Leeds, and had it printed at Exeter, and carried one of them to Mr. Pomeroy. I found Mr. Pomeroy at home, and he read the bill and laughed at it, and told me I had better have nothing more to do with that mad woman. He thought, he said, we had troubles enough in our family already, without believing in such nonsense, meaning the accidental deaths of my two sisters in one week. He at that time (and never before in my presence) said her works were wrong, or were from the devil. I asked him why, if they were from the devil, he had first deluded me and many others to believe in her? He seemed very angry and told me he wanted to get her to her senses. Before I went, he still in greater anger said that it would be better for me to believe in the Church of England, and that only, and burn all the bills that I had printed. I told him I should not; he first instilled the idea, and I retained it.
Q. Pray, Sir, did you know that Joanna Southcott had said anything of the death of your sisters before it happened?
A. Not directly, but only indirectly.
Q. What sort of indirect evidence had you?
A. About ten months before the death of my sisters, Joanna had attended the funeral of my brother: she said, she was afraid this was not the only calamity that would happen in our house, in the course of twelve months.
J. T. Symons.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Examination of Mr. Joseph Southcott, respecting the Mission of Joanna Southcott.
Q. You are the brother of Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Of course you have known Joanna Southcott from her childhood?
A. Certainly I have.
Q. Of what age is Joanna?
A. About 52.
Q. Of what age are you?
A. About 47.
Q. When in your childhood, what were your thoughts of the disposition of your Sister?
A. I always thought her of a mild, placid disposition; and, as she grew up, of a religious turn.
Q. Did you in your youthful infancy find any disposition of your Sister to falsehood, want of charity, or inattention to her God?
Q. Did you, in those youthful follies which are incident to youth, find anything in her which was contrary to moral or religious precepts?
A. I did not.
Q. Did you, Sir, ever remark whether she was of a cheerful or melancholy disposition?
A. I found her to possess an even temper, and a regular turn of mind.
Q. In her discharge of those duties, which belong to all persons in a moral and temporal point of view, was she, or was she not, attentive to them?
A. She was so in the strictest terms.
Q. Did you and Joanna ever live together when grown up, and in full possession of your reasoning faculties?
Q. Now, Sir, when you did arrive at that period, do you think you were capable of judging her natural character?
A. I do.
Q. Now, possessing that judgment, what were your general thoughts, or your opinions, respecting your Sister?
A. I at that time thought my Sister so far possessed of Methodism, from her very strong propensities for reading and perusing the Bible, that I was afraid her intellect might be hurt.
Q. Was she, or was she not, at that time attentive and careful to what we generally call our worldly, or temporal concerns?
A. Yes, she was particularly so.
Q. Was she at any time concerned for you in any individual capacity?
A. Yes, she was concerned for me, and kept my house at Musbury, in Devonshire.
Q. Was she at your house in the year 1798?
A. She was.
Q. Did she at that time tell you of any of her prophecies?
A. She did.
Q. Did you, Sir, at that time say, you knew not from what spirit her prophecies came?
A. I did at that time say, I believed they did not come from the Lord.
Q. Did you also say, you would leave it to time to say from what spirit they came?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. Do you recollect your Sister reading to you the events of the harvests of 1799 and 1800?
A. I do not recollect, though possibly she might; for she read a great many papers, that I forget the contents of; amongst the number of things she read that might be included; at that time having no belief, they made no impression on my memory.
Q. Were you ever in the habit of being angry with your Sister, when she read those communications to you?
A. I was, because I wished to dissuade her from it.
Q. Were you ever asked by your Sister to copy any letters, for the purpose of sending them to Exeter?
A. Yes, I was.
Q. Do you recollect being informed by your Sister for whom those letters were designed?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. For whom?
A. One in particular I recollect was for Mr. Pomeroy: it related to the harvests that were to ensue the following years, if the people continued in the unbelief of her writings, which letter I refused to copy.
Q. What were your particular reasons for not copying that letter?
A. Because I thought she spoke in too harsh and positive a manner of what was to follow, thinking her too insignificant a character to send such a letter to Mr. Pomeroy, as I understood that letter was to be made public to the citizens of Exeter.
Q. Where did you live, before you went to the city of Bristol?
A. At Whitehall, about a mile from Bristol.
Q. Did your Sister ever tell you, that you should be settled in the city of Bristol?
A. She did.
Q. Had you, Sir, any expectations at that time of being settled in the city of Bristol?
A. No, Sir, I had not.
Q. Have you become settled in the city of Bristol, according to what your Sister told you?
A. Yes, I have.
Q. Did you believe then that your Sister knew you were to be settled in the city of Bristol?
A. No, I did not.
Q. Did you ever attempt intentionally to deceive your Sister, for the purpose of discovering by what spirit she was led?
A. Yes, Sir, I did.
Q. Were you ever successful in that attempt?
A. I did succeed so far by telling her that I had got an appointment to the West Indies, in which I persisted until I had got an appointment, and was absolutely sworn into the custom house at Bristol. Upon showing my Sister my appointment, and still assuring her it was for the West Indies, my Sister then replied, "Well, brother, if you do go to the West Indies, I shall destroy all my writings; for I am told by the Spirit, you should settle in Bristol, and do very well."
Q. Pray, Sir, what effect had this prophecy of your Sister upon your mind?
A. It staggered me a little; but I said I would leave the event to time.
Q. Did your Sister ever tell you, that you might be present when her writings were proved?
A. Yes, she has.
Q. Did you, Sir, or have you ever tried to deceive her in the confidence of the Spirit, which she professed to have been led by?
A. Not since the West India affair.
Q. Did your Sister ever tell you, that a number of people should be gathered together, for the purpose of proving her writings?
A. Yes, Sir, she has.
Q. Did you, Sir, ever believe that a number of people should be collected together, for that express purpose?
A. I did not believe it prior to 1803.
Q. I believe, Sir, for a long continuance of time, you did not believe your Sister was visited by the spirit of prophecy; but that you conceived she was misled, either by derangement of mind, or by some evil spirit?
A. Yes, Sir, I did.
Q. At what time was it that you first began to think your Sister was visited by the Spirit of the living God?
A. In June 1803, Mrs. Foley and my Sister came to my house in Bristol, and informed me what had passed at the time she was at High House, Paddington; when hearing the extraordinary things she related, and of the very respectable characters engaged in the work with her, I was induced to read and peruse her writings with attention, and on comparing them with the Scriptures, I had no doubt but they were from the Spirit of the living God.
Q. Before that information, had you ever read the books published by your Sister?
A. I never had.
Q. Was that your first inducement for reading them?
A. It was. I had never seen them before.
Q. Did you, Sir, ever tell your Sister, or did you believe, that a number of persons should never be collected together, for the purpose of proving, or searching into her writings?
A. I believe I did tell my Sister so, and prior to 1803, I never thought they would.
Q. Now, Sir, generally from your mutual childhood up to the present day, what is your opinion of your Sister as to her character, for truth, justice, morality, and charity; and for possessing a sound mind, and general virtue?
A. Unexceptionable in all those characters.
Q. Do you believe she is particularly distinguished in those characters?
A. I have every reason to think so, never having heard her character traduced by her greatest enemies.
Q. Now, Sir, there is an old observation, and a scriptural one, that a prophet has no honour in his own country; do you, Sir, in the face of that observation, and with all the prejudices, which you formerly had against your Sister, now believe that she is visited by the Spirit of the living God?
A. Yes, I do.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Examination of Mr. Jones, of Exeter, respecting the Mission of Joanna Southcott.
Q. Do you know Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. How long have you known her?
A. About five years.
Q. During the time that you have known her, what is your opinion of her moral character?
A. That of a good, faithful, and honest Christian.
Q. In the year 1800 did you know that Joanna Southcott was in the habit of prophesying?
A. Very well, and before the harvest of that year.
Q. In the beginning of the year 1800, do you recollect Joanna's reading to you from a paper what would be the event of the harvest of that year?
A. Very well, and before the harvest.
Q. At the time that Joanna read to you the prophecy, was it not the opinion of the people in general, that the harvest would be very good?
A. Yes, Sir, not only in Exeter, but in all the counties I passed through with the Mail Coach.
Q. Did the event of that harvest turn out as Joanna had foretold?
Q. Did you take from Joanna a copy of that prophecy?
Q. Have you been at other times in the habit of writing copies of Joanna's prophecies from her mouth?
A. Yes, Sir, I have.
Q. Do you recollect going at the request of Joanna to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, Sir, I went to satisfy my own opinion, as well as at the request of Joanna.
Q. For what particular purpose did you go?
A. I went in person to receive an answer from Mr. Pomeroy to a letter, which I had written to him.
Q. What passed between Mr. Pomeroy and yourself, when you saw him?
A. I began with begging his pardon for the liberty I had taken in writing to him the day before; he asked me to come in. I went into his back parlour, and had a great deal of conversation concerning Joanna, the principal features of which related to Joanna's Mission. He asked me, if I was a believer? I answered, how could I be otherwise, since I find what she says comes true. Mr. Pomeroy told me, Joanna had a great deal of shrewd sense. My answer was, she knows no more of herself than this table.-His answers were so ambiguous that I did not understand his meaning; so I came away dissatisfied.
Q. Do you recollect being present at Mr. Symons's, when the papers of Joanna were opened?
A. Very well.
Q. Did you, with others, write your name on the leaves?
A. Yes, Sir, I did.
Q. Were those signatures by Joanna's request?
A. It was by her desire.
Q. Did you copy any of those papers?
A. I copied some, as well as some letters to the Ministers, which are published.
Q. Do you recollect having possession of a letter, in the year 1801, which was afterwards taken out of your hands by Joanna to give to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. I had a letter in my possession, in 1801, which I afterwards gave up to Mrs. Southcott, to put into the hands of Mr. Pomeroy; but before I gave it up, I signed my name and dated it, the day I parted with it, that I might know it was the same letter which had been in my hands.
Q. Did you ever put any other letters in Mr. Pomeroy's hands?
A. I had another letter for him, and saw him in the street at Bodmin; I told him I should be glad to speak to him. We went into a narrow court; I told him I hoped he would excuse the liberty I was taking with him, but I had got a letter for him. He answered, What? Is it from that mad woman at Exeter? He spoke so loud that one or two people stopped to hear. He said she was as mad as a March hare. I then replied, that cannot be; there are so many persons of respectability who support her. He then replied, they are all mad. I did not like to say anything more to him for fear of a mob. I made an apology on his finding fault; to which he replied, I know you do not mean to offend me; if I thought that I would not speak to you. I afterwards made up that letter in a parcel, and sent it to him; about six weeks afterwards he sent for me, and returned the letter to me, which appeared to me to have been opened; and he desired me not to trouble him with such things again.
Q. Do you recollect copying, from Joanna's reading from her own writings, any books, which were afterwards printed and published?
A. Yes, certainly.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
Examination of Mr. William Sharp, as to the Books of Joanna Southcott.
Q. Did you, Sir, write any books for Joanna Southcott?
Q. In what manner, Sir, did you write those books?
A. She read them to me from her own manuscripts, and I wrote from her reading.
Q. How many of those books did you write, which were afterwards published?
A. The first which I wrote was the conclusion of the book entitled "Dispute with the Powers of Darkness," published in the year 1802; then the book entitled "The Answer of the Lord to the Dispute with the Powers of Darkness," published in 1802; part of the "Second Book of Letters," published in 1802; part of the book entitled "A Warning to the World," published in 1804; were all taken by me from Joanna's reading to me from her manuscripts. The book entitled "Letters on Various Subjects, written by Joanna to Miss Townley," published in June, 1804; the book entitled "Letters and Communications," beginning with the parable of the Little Flock of Sheep, published in June, 1804; also the book of "Mr. Joseph Southcott, being a Vindication of his Sister," published in August, 1804; were all received by post from Miss Townley, and published by me.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
Examination of the Rev. T. P. Foley, as to the Books of Joanna Southcott.
Q. Did you, Sir, write any books for Joanna Southcott?
A. I did.
Q. In what manner, Sir, did you write those books?
A. I wrote from her reading them to me from her own writings.
Q. How many of those books did you write, which were afterwards published?
A. I wrote part of the "First" and part of the "Second Book of Letters," which I copied from the original ones sent to me, published in the year 1801 and 1802; the book entitled "The Eighth Book," published in 1802; the book entitled "An Answer to Mr. Brothers' last Book," published in the year 1802; the book entitled "Disputes with the Powers of Darkness," published in 1802; the book entitled "The Sealed Prophecies," published in 1803; two books of Visions, published in 1803; and the book entitled "A Word to the Wise," published in August, 1803; the book entitled "Sound an Alarm," published in 1804; were all respectively copied by me, from the words which she read to me from her own manuscripts.
Thos. P. Foley.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
Here the examination of evidence closed for this day; and then the directions were resorted to, and a general discussion took place, upon the proceedings of the day, wherein more particularly the conduct of the clergy was again resumed.
THE SECOND DAY
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1804
The assembly having met about the hour of ten this morning, near the house, received a message, that Joanna was in great agitation, waiting for an interview. The three clergymen and four other gentlemen, who had been at Exeter first to examine into the truth of her mission, followed by the rest of the forty-eight, as their names were called over, repaired immediately to the room where Joanna and her female friends were seated. After some time passed in mutual congratulations, Joanna got up and spoke until twelve o'clock precisely, at which time the box of sealed writings was put upon the table, and the different parcels of sealed papers taken out of it.
It is necessary here to introduce a general account of the beginning of these writings, as delivered to the assembly: From the time of Joanna's visitation by the Spirit, in 1792, different papers were sealed up, year after year, and deposited with her friends; and the whole of these were put into a box together, at the end of 1794, after having been first sealed up by her friends. The communications given in the subsequent years were added to the former, at the end of each year, and put into the box, and thus remained in the possession of her friends, until the year 1800. The writings were first cut open, by the desire of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, at the end of the year 1800, in the house of Mr. Symons, at Exeter, and in the presence of twelve witnesses, five of whom were present this day, some of whose names were signed on every sheet of the writings; and some of the writings, thus signed, were delivered into the hands of Joanna, in order to be copied and deposited with the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy. They were again sealed up in the presence of six witnesses, about two months after the opening of them, or in the spring of 1801, and were left in the care of Mr. Symons, of Exeter. Having been after that committed to the possession of Mr. Sharp, of Titchfield Street, London, they were cut open a second time at Paddington, on January 12, 1803, in the presence of forty-nine persons in all, twenty-three of whom acted under the denomination of judges and jury. The writings were again verified there, leaf by leaf, generally by the signature of three of those denominated judges and jury. Some parts were read to the audience, and others were given to be copied, from which the book called "The Sealed Prophecies" was printed. At six o'clock in the evening of May 2, 1803, the writings were sealed up again, in the presence of six of the judges, Joanna, and four or five others. Each of these judges affixed their seals and signed their names on each parcel, and Joanna put her seal thereon. The bundles thus signed and sealed, being six in number, were exhibited this day, December 6, 1804, and the signatures and seals on them were acknowledged, by the Rev. Stanhope Bruce, Rev. Thomas Philip Foley, Rev. Thomas Webster, John Wilson, Elias Carpenter, and William Sharp, as their own respective signatures and seals. At the conclusion of thus identifying the bundles of writings, taken out of the box, agreeably to the directions of Joanna, that is about one o'clock, she became very faint, and was helped out of the room, after signifying that the writings were not to be cut open till she had strength to be present.
About three o'clock the evidence of the female witnesses was entered upon, and verified in the following order-
The Evidence of Mrs. Taylor, of Exeter.
Q. Do you know Joanna Southcott?
Q. How long have you known her?
A. About twenty years or more.
Q. Was she in the service of any one, when you knew her first?
A. She was in the service of Mr. Wills, of Exeter, upholsterer.
Q. What situation was she in?
A. She worked in his business.
Q. How long did you know her before she left Mr. Wills?
A. About one or two years.
Q. After she left Mr. Wills, how long was it before you saw her?
A. It might be about a year.
Q. What circumstance was it, that led you again to know Joanna?
A. By her coming to our shop to purchase something; Mr. Taylor then asked her, whether she had not once lived at Wills's? She answered, she had once lived with them, but was now with Mr. Woolland, at Heavitree, near Exeter; Mr. Taylor then asked her, if she meant again to go out to work at her business? She replied, if she could get a place she liked, she would.
Q. Well, Madam, what further conversation passed?
A. I certainly had a great prejudice against Joanna (because she had lived with Mrs. Wills), and did not wish Mr. Taylor to hire her.
Q. Did Mr. Taylor hire her immediately?
A. He immediately hired her; and I said, you have hired a person I shall never like.
Q. Did Mr. Taylor make any reply to your observation?
A. Mr. Taylor replied, we want such a person, and I dare say you will like her in time.
Q. Then, Madam, how soon did she enter into your service?
A. In a few days she entered into our service.
Q. Was she completely a domestic servant?
A. She was.
Q. Then, Madam, after she came into your service, did you observe anything in her manner or conduct, which led you to suppose she was deranged in her mind?
A. Not in the least.
Q. Were you in the habit of seeing Joanna doing her duty in the business in which she was employed?
A. In the constant habit of working with her.
Q. How long did she continue in your house, after the first hiring?
A. About a year.
Q. Then, Madam, during that time had you a sufficient opportunity of judging, whether or not, she was in possession of a sound mind?
A. During that time, she seemed to be in more complete possession of her intellect than any person I ever met with, and more industrious than any one person I ever met with.
Q. Then she left your service?
Q. Did Joanna assign any particular reason for leaving your service?
A. No; but all our family were sorry to part with her.
Q. Then, Madam, after she left you, what situation did she get into?
A. She was an upper servant to Mr. Burrow.
Q. Did she ever come back into your service?
A. She came back about two years afterwards, and worked with us as a daily servant.
Q. Did you observe, when Joanna came back into your service, any change in her character or conduct?
A. Just the same person for honesty, sobriety, and a cheerful disposition.
Q. Pray, Madam, how long did Joanna continue in your service, before you observed any material change in her character or conduct?
A. About a year or two.
Q. What was the nature of the change, which you observed in her character or conduct?
A. She was not so cheerful, but seemed rather melancholy, and not so attentive to her business.
Q. Did she at that time make any pretensions to prophecy?
A. She did not; but I thought the reason of Joanna's lowness arose from the circumstance of our having hired another person to accompany her in the work.
Q. How long after that, Madam, did you observe any symptoms in Joanna, of her pretensions to prophecy?
A. Between one and two years.
Q. Before you knew she assumed the character of a prophetess, was she in the habit of communicating to you any dreams that she had?
A. She was, and told me several.
Q. At what period was it that she left you?
A. About the beginning of the year 1792.
Q. Did she come back again into your service?
A. She did, about the latter end of the same year.
Q. Did she, upon her coming back into your service, tell you immediately that she had been visited by any Spirit?
A. She did not immediately; but told me that there were troublesome times approaching; and though the necessaries of life were now cheap, everything would be dearer than ever was known in the memory of man; and advised Mr. Taylor to lay in a store; for that she had wonderful writings at Plymtree. Mr. Taylor then said, "Joanna, you are a prophetess?" to which she immediately replied, with great spirit and apparent sincerity, "So I am"; which was the first information I ever had, that she assumed the character of a prophetess.
Q. Did she, Madam, inform you of any particular circumstance, that afterwards took place, according to her predictions?
A. There was scarce anything happened to the nation, or to particular families, or individuals, with whom she was acquainted, that she, Joanna, did not inform me would happen before it did, and all were fulfilled as Joanna predicted; and this continued for two or three years.
Q. Did you believe Joanna was visited by the Spirit of the living God?
A. I did; I believed Joanna to be so good a creature that she would not have said those things of herself.
Q. Do you know the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, formerly of Exeter?
A. I do.
Q. Do you know, Madam, whether Joanna thought it necessary to consult Mr. Pomeroy, as a minister of the Church of England, and to take his advice as to what Spirit she was visited by?
A. About 1796, Joanna said, she was ordered to write to Mr. Pomeroy upon the subject of her visitation, and to inform him of the approaching awful period.
Q. Did Joanna do so?
A. She did.
Q. How do you know that she did so?
A. Because part of my family wrote letters and communications to Mr. Pomeroy, and they were sent to his house, and conveyed to his hands.
Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, these letters, &c., &c., came into Mr. Pomeroy's hands?
A. I do; because he came to our house in consequence of the letters.
Q. What did Mr. Pomeroy say to the contents of the letters, &c., &c.?
A. He came to our house to inquire about the character of one Joanna Southcott, from whom he had, he said, received a letter, and inquired particularly as to her character, and whether I thought her in the possession of a sound mind and understanding.
Q. When you told Mr. Pomeroy your opinion of Joanna's character, did he make any observations upon the contents of the letters, &c., he had received?
A. Mr. Pomeroy said, a man had told him that Joanna had prophesied lies. I replied, I was sure she had not, for she prophesied nothing but truth. Mr. Pomeroy then said, "I should be glad to see her"; and I accordingly sent for her.
Q. Did Joanna then come?
A. She did.
Q. What passed upon the meeting of Joanna and Mr. Pomeroy, in your presence?
A. She read to Mr. Pomeroy communications; and after Joanna left Mr. Pomeroy, he said to me, "She will be out of her mind soon; I should not wonder if it was in a few weeks; but that he should be very happy if he could do any thing for her." We then parted.
Q. How long after the last interview did any other letters or meeting take place, between Joanna and Mr. Pomeroy?
A. About two or three months, when Joanna requested an interview with Mr. Pomeroy, at Mr. Taylor's house, which accordingly took place.
Q. Were you present at that meeting?
A. Yes, I was; for Joanna had requested of me, that I should not leave the room whilst Mr Pomeroy was there, and if I would not do so she would not go into the room; for she said, she was ordered not to see him without a witness. I accordingly did so, and Joanna ordered our family not to call me out while Mr. Pomeroy stopped; I accordingly remained the whole of the time that Mr. Pomeroy and Joanna were together.
Q. Do you recollect what particularly happened at that meeting?
A. Yes; Joanna told Mr. Pomeroy of what would speedily happen in the world, and read to him some of her communications; and at that meeting told Mr. Pomeroy, that she was the Bride mentioned in the Scripture, and particularly mentioned to him about Judas betraying our Lord.
Q. Was there anything in the previous part of the conversation, that led to the observation of Joanna concerning Judas betraying his Lord?
A. I do not know that there was.
Q. Was there any particular comment, made by Joanna, concerning Judas betraying his Lord?
A. There was a great deal said, but I do not recollect what.
Q. Was there any observation, in your recollection, that was made by Joanna, that such a character as Judas would again be found upon the earth?
A. No, there was not; but Joanna particularly described the character of Judas, to which Mr. Pomeroy replied, "I never understood it so." Joanna then said (and looked at him with particular earnestness), "I was ordered to tell you so, Sir." Mr. Pomeroy then said, "Joanna, you have advanced things which make me shudder, and I do not know but that it is bordering upon blasphemy." She again repeated those words, "I was ordered to tell you so, Sir." And in the course of the conversation repeated the same several times, and said, "I know what blasphemy is, but I was ordered to tell you these things." In reply to some observations made by Joanna, Mr. Pomeroy replied, "It is impossible for me to tell that all your writings come from the Spirit of God; I cannot do it; but a great part of them, I am sure, are; and I beg that you will make yourself happy, for I do not believe, that one word of yours is from the spirit of the Devil; and I shall always be happy to see you, Joanna, or to receive anything from you." He did not say one word about Joanna being out of her mind. I do not recollect any thing more that happened at this meeting.
Q. Will you inform us, what you know of papers and letters put into the hands of Mr. Pomeroy from Joanna?
A. I know that my children have copied the letters of Joanna, and that they have been conveyed into the hands of Mr. Pomeroy by Mrs. Bird and our two apprentices.
Q. Have you any reason to believe, that these letters and papers were safely conveyed into the hands of Mr. Pomeroy?
A. I am certain, from the conversations that passed between Mr. Pomeroy and Joanna, that Mr. Pomeroy was in the constant habit of receiving safely the letters sent to him; and that was an almost constant correspondence, which passed between Joanna and Mr. Pomeroy, up to the period of her going to Bristol, in the year 1798; and from there she wrote to me, that she would not return to Exeter, unless Mr. Pomeroy would come forward to examine the truth of her writings.
Q. Did you apply to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. I sent to him through Mrs. Bird, who returned me for answer, that he was willing to meet any, to prove Joanna's writings. I wrote to Joanna, and in consequence she came to Exeter; but before she came I received two letters from her, as to the harvests of 1799 and 1800, written in her own hand; and after she came home, she read me the two letters she wrote from Bristol, which were literally fulfilled in those two years.
Q. Do you know what particularly happened after Joanna's return from Bristol, in 1798?
A. She was in the habit of writing to Mr. Pomeroy more frequently than before; and he was in the habit of coming to our house to see Joanna.
Q. Do you know of any disagreement, between Joanna and Mr. Pomeroy, about putting his name in print?
A. I do.
Q. Describe, as nearly as you can, the cause of that disagreement.
A. It was on account of his name being introduced in print, in the writings of Joanna; and he frequently expressed great anger at Joanna for having so done, and said, he would rather have done anything than she should have done so, "and if you had set my house on fire, I would rather have forgiven you than for doing this." Joanna then replied, "I was ordered to do so." Mr. Pomeroy then replied, "The Devil ordered you! and I believe you were born for my ruin." Mr. Pomeroy seemed very agitated and faint; so much so, that Mr. Taylor requested me to go in and give Mr. Pomeroy something. I heard Mr. Pomeroy repeatedly say, "My dear Joanna, do whatever you like, but leave my name out of the question." Upon another visit he used soothing language to Joanna, and told her, "You have injured me greatly in the opinion of the world." And he pulled a paper out of his pocket, and said, "I wish you to sign this paper, for the satisfaction of my friends." But he never said it was to be put in print. Joanna said, "I am sure I am willing to make you any satisfaction, if I have injured you." Mr. Pomeroy said, "You know, Joanna, I said, that when you put my name in print, it was from the Devil." Joanna replied, "I know you did; but you never told me my writings were from the Devil." Upon which Mr. Pomeroy read the paper, taken from his pocket, and asked Joanna and me to sign it, which we did, considering it only to be an acknowledgment, that Mr. Pomeroy had said, "That the putting his name in print was from the Devil." I did not read the paper over before I signed it, because Mr. Pomeroy seemed confused; I was so also. I do not believe that Joanna read it before she signed it. She seemed in the utmost confusion, from the conduct of Mr. Pomeroy; and considered the paper as an acknowledgment only, that Mr. Pomeroy had said, "The putting his name in print was from the Devil."
Q. Had you any reason to doubt the truth of the prophecies of Joanna Southcott, in the autumn of 1801?
A. I had, in October, 1801, because her father did not die at the time she predicted; I then asked Joanna, why she had written to her friends, in London, of the time of her father's death? She replied, "I write to them as it was given to me, and let it come as it will, I will deceive no man-my God, I will deceive no man!" I also had doubts, at other times, when things did not come according to my judgment.
Q. After you had signed the paper of Mr. Pomeroy's, what did you say to him?
A. I said, "Joanna's writings from the Devil, Sir? I never heard you say such a thing; but you always said, they came from a good Spirit." Mr. Pomeroy then took me by the arm and said, "Do not make yourself unhappy for this, others have." I replied, "I never heard you say so, Sir." That night I could not sleep, I was so unhappy at what I had done. The next morning I was preparing to go to Mr. Pomeroy, when Joanna came and said, she had received orders to send a letter to Mr. Pomeroy, which was accordingly sent down by my nephew, which letter contained a reflection upon his ungenerous behaviour, in taking an advantage of them, by obtaining their signatures through unjust representations.
Q. Have you, since that time, had any reason to think the mission of Joanna Southcott not to be from the Spirit of the living God?
A. Not in the least.
Q. Were you ever acquainted with any request of Mr. Pomeroy, to have the events of the year 1797 put into his hands?
Q. Were you present when the request was made?
Q. What was the consequence of it?
A. He said, "In days of old, when people wanted to inquire of the Lord, they went to the prophets, and they would tell them what would happen. Now, Joanna, if you will tell me what will happen, in Italy, England, or Spain, say in three months, or six months, then I will be your believer." She replied, "I cannot tell that; I cannot tell you." Upon which I said to Joanna (after he was gone), "He gives you a great deal of trouble, to have so much writing from you, and if I was in your place, Joanna, I would not write to him any more." I saw her two or three days after, and asked her if anything was given to her for Mr. Pomeroy? She said, No, nothing had been given. Some days after this, she brought me several sheets, with a great deal of writing, for Mr. Pomeroy, in answer to the inquiries he had made.
Q. To your knowledge, were those papers or writings deposited in the hands of Mr. Pomeroy?
A. They certainly were sent there.
Q. How do you know they were sent to him?
A. Because Mr. Pomeroy acknowledged to have received them, I think about two years ago.
Q. Did you ever hear Joanna say to Mr. Pomeroy, that she had put the events of nations, and particularly of England, Italy, France, and Spain, into his hands?
A. Joanna and Mr. Pomeroy were disputing of the truth she had put into his hands; they were then talking of the events which Joanna had put into his hands. She then said to him, that she had put certain papers into Mr. Jones's hands. He said, "Joanna, if I am to be your judge, why not put them into my hands? why into Mr. Jones's?"
Q. What was the consequence of the observation that Mr. Pomeroy had made to Joanna?
A. She got them from Mr. Jones, with an intention to deposit them with Mr. Pomeroy. I desired her not to take them from Mr. Jones, and said, "If I were you, Joanna, I never would put any more in his hands." At the very hour that she proposed going with the papers to Mr. Pomeroy, such a heavy storm of thunder, lightning, and rain took place as I never remembered before or since, and the waters ran down into the cellars of our house, which never happened at any other time or since. About the same time Mr. Pomeroy said to Joanna, "So you say there will be a revolution in Spain?" Joanna said, "So I say now, before my writings are ended." At other times she answered him so quick to what he said, that he replied, "You have got your Bible at your finger's end; you make the Bible your study." She again replied, "I have not studied the Bible these nine years." "How so?" says Mr. Pomeroy. She said, "She had her living to get, and in all the spare time she was writing."
Q. Do you recollect Joanna Southcott's having written a letter to Mr. Pomeroy, in 1796, respecting the bishop of Exeter's death, that was to happen in that year?
A. Indirectly, he had acknowledged to have received a letter from Joanna, respecting the bishop's death, which he said, "was of trifling consequence to the nation."
Q. Do you know, that Mr. Pomeroy sent back letters and writings, in Joanna's own hand, to be copied off for him, and each leaf with his signature upon it?
A. Yes, Sir, I do know it.
Q. Do you know the contents of those papers or writings, which were sent back to Joanna to be copied off for him?
A. They contained the events of what was to happen to France, Italy, and Spain.
Q. Have any of those events been fulfilled, which were contained in those writings?
A. Many of those events happened that year, particularly in Italy; and in England, the triple taxes were first put on.
Q. Do you recollect, that Joanna ever told you, that Mr. Pomeroy disputed with her, that her foreknowledge of her prophecies came from herself? or did you ever hear of yourself, from Mr. Pomeroy, that he entertained the same doubt?
A. I have heard it from both.
Q. Did you ever, when you heard him say so, say also, "Why do you not put it in print?"
A. I have heard him say so, and I have also heard him say, at the same time, "You will wait until you bring the sword, the plague, and the famine upon the land; and if I was sure it was from the Lord, I would fear no man." He further said, "If she could not get twelve to prove her writings, she should get six; I will meet with twelve or six." This was said in 1796, in Mr. Taylor's dining parlour, in her presence, and at the end of 1796 he repeated the same words in Mr. Taylor's parlour.
Q. Do you recollect, that Mr. Pomeroy, or Joanna, told you, that she (Joanna) was to give in the names of them that should appear to prove the truth of her writings?
A. Yes, Sir, I do recollect that Joanna told me so.
Q. Did she say, that a cross was to be put to them that would not appear, and that he (Mr. Pomeroy) would try to supply their places by the ministers?
A. Yes, Sir, very well.
Q. Were those names put down, to your knowledge?
A. Copies were made, and their names put down to send to him.
Q. Do you recollect the names of those put down?
A. I recollect the Rev. Chancellor Nutcombe, Archdeacon Moore, Revs. Marshall and Pomeroy, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Woolland, Mr. Kidney, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Mozey, Mr. Tucker, and Mr. Mannering.
Q. Do you recollect, in April 1800, that Mr. Pomeroy desired Joanna to give him, in a short compass, what the harvest would be of 1800, if the unbelief of the clergy did abound?
A. I recollect it perfectly.
Q. Do you recollect any letter being put in the newspaper, in 1801, mentioning the fulfilment of the prediction of the truth of the harvest, in 1800, spoken to Joanna in April, preceding?
A. I do remember: it was put in the newspaper then.
Q. Do you recollect Joanna's telling Mr. Pomeroy, that a person had said, her writings were from the Devil?
Q. Do you recollect Mr. Pomeroy's observation?
A. I do.
Q. What was the nature of the observation?
A. She should make herself perfectly easy; there was nothing in her writings likely to come from the Devil. I have heard him say so several times.
(Signed) Lucy Taylor.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed by Mrs. Taylor in my presence,
The following Depositions of Mary Bird, of Exeter, Spinster, were taken from her, in the presence of J. Jones, Sarah Dewdney, Frances Taylor, Robert Taylor, jun., and Edward Laskey, by Mrs. Taylor, of Exeter, wife of Mr. Robert Taylor, Upholsterer, and also signed by Mrs. Taylor.
The first time Joanna spoke to Mr. Pomeroy was at my house, where he came and inquired her character, and had some conversation with her, and parted friendly. This happened about ten years ago. In 1797, I went with Joanna to Mr. Pomeroy's to hear some writings read, which Joanna had put in his hands before; but he disputed with her, that she might read anything to him, as he could not read it himself, which threw Joanna into a passion, saying he must judge her worse than the witch of Endor, if she was to put writings in his hands to deceive him. Mr. Pomeroy immediately appealed to me, saying, he always judged Joanna to be a religious good woman; but if he believed her others would not. He then gave consent for Joanna to come the following week to read her writings to him. Joanna, instead of going to him, desired him to sign his name on some sheets which were in his hands, of her writing, and send them to have them copied off, which he accordingly did, and I brought them to my house, and Miss Fanny Taylor copied them off, and they were sent back to Mr. Pomeroy again. I have also repeatedly carried letters from Joanna to Mr. Pomeroy, and he always received them kindly, and in general, asked how Joanna was.
When Joanna was in Bristol, I went to Mr. Pomeroy, and said, that Joanna's friends were all willing for her to come home to Exeter; I asked him, if he was willing to come forward, with others, to examine Joanna's writings, whether they were from the Lord or not? Mr. Pomeroy said, he was willing to meet those she had written to, and if she had not sufficient, he would get two or three, and he would do anything for her; for he thought it much better for her to come home, as it was the wish of her friends. At another time he said, he would receive any letters or papers from her at any time. I have likewise been to Mr. Pomeroy's, from Joanna, to know when it was agreeable for him to see her and talk with her, and he appointed the time, and said, "Let her come, and I will talk with her." This hath happened many times; but Joanna was ordered, for years, not to see him without witnesses. I have been with Joanna many times, and never heard him say, at any time, or even hint, that her writings were from the Devil; but always treated her with civility.
(Signed) Mary Bird.
Witnesses to the above, and to Mary Bird's signing it,
J. Jones, Lucy Taylor,
Sarah Dewdney, Frances Taylor,
Robert Taylor, jun., Edw. Laskey.
I, Sarah Dewdney, of Exeter, am authorized by Mary Bird to say, that this evidence is true, 6th January, 1804.
The Evidence of Miss Frances Taylor.
Q. Do you know Mrs. Southcott?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Were you in the habit of copying any letters to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, Sir.
Q. Do you recollect a particular letter, written in the year 1797, to Mr. Pomeroy?
Q. Do you recollect anything of the contents of that letter?
A. I cannot say I can recollect the contents; I was very young at the time; but I have often heard it mentioned.
Q. Who have you heard mentioning the contents of that letter?
A. My mother and Mrs. Southcott.
Q. From them, what have you known to be the contents of it?
A. I have heard the events of Italy, in particular, France, and other places. The events of Italy were speedily fulfilled, of which I took particular notice.
Q. Was there any particular event immediately fulfilled?
A. Yes, there was.
Q. What was that particular event?
A. The conquest of Italy by France.
Q. Do you know anything further of the particular contents of that letter?
A. I only recollect, that generally, it referred to the events of other nations.
Q. Did you copy that particular letter, written to Mr. Pomeroy, in 1797?
A. Yes, I did; I am certain of it.
Q. Do you know, that the original and the copy you made were sent to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. They certainly were.
Q. How do you know that they were sent to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. I know that some of my father's apprentices carried them.
Q. Did you ever hear Mr. Pomeroy afterwards speak of that letter?
A. My mother would not permit me, being so young, always to be present.
Q. Do you recollect a particular letter of Joanna's, that your mother said should not be sent to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Do you recollect any observation, made by Joanna, at the time your mother said the letter should not be sent?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. What was the particular observation?
A. I recollect, I had begun to copy the letter, and my mother came into the room and said, "Joanna, you are going to send this letter then?" And she said, "Yes." And my mother said, "I wonder that you should send him so harsh a letter, when he has been so kind to you." Joanna replied, "I am ordered to send it, and I must." In that letter I recollect it was said, if Mr. Pomeroy sought out the truth and acted right, that every blessing would attend him; but if otherwise-
"A Judas he would be to me,
If he do me deny;
No comfort in this world he'd have,
And tremble for to die."
I further recollect these words-
"He will be found an empty sound,
And hollow all within;
I ask you how the Lord will look,
On such deceitful men?"
Q. Do you recollect copying other letters?
A. I do, but not the contents; they were sent not only to Mr. Pomeroy, but to other clergymen.
Q. Do you recollect any further observations, made by Joanna, respecting Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, Sir, I have heard Joanna say, "He would be a great man in her writings"; and my mother used to answer, "Why then do you send him that letter?"
(Signed) Frances Taylor.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Examination of Mrs. Symons, respecting the Mission of Joanna Southcott.
Q. Do you know Joanna Southcott?
A. Perfectly well.
Q. How long have you known her?
A. Between ten and eleven years; I am sure it is ten years at least.
Q. Did she work at your house?
A. She came an entire stranger to my house; she was recommended to me to be a faithful, Christian, honest woman; and as such I found her.
Q. Did she foretell to you the events of the harvests of 1799 and 1800?
A. I do recollect it perfectly well.
Q. Were these harvests fulfilled as she had predicted?
A. They were.
Q. Do you recollect any conversation with Mr. Pomeroy, in his church at Exeter, respecting Joanna Southcott?
A. I do, in the church and out of the church.
Q. What were the particulars of that conversation?
A. I said to him, "I would thank you for your superior judgment on these wonderful writings of Joanna Southcott." He asked me then what I meant; I told him, to the best of my recollection, if they were right, and from a true spirit, they ought to be proved by ministers to go into the world. There was a further conversation, and I recollect he asked me, why I troubled myself so much about it? I answered, my son copied for her; and if it came from an evil spirit, and if he could prove it, and judged it was so, I would not suffer him to do it for the whole world. He then laughed at me, and said, "they were simple creatures who said that; there was nothing of it that came from the devil, for it was good; and in regard to that, you have nothing to fear; for I see nothing but what is good"; and he further said, "I have had a good deal of conversation with her, and I find her a good-tempered woman; but I am afraid she writes some things from herself, and if she does, it will soon come to nought, for she soon will be deranged."
Q. Did you at that time put a letter into Mr. Pomeroy's hands from Joanna?
A. I did.
Q. Do you recollect going with Joanna to Mr. Pomeroy's house?
A. I do, Sir, perfectly well.
Q. Do you recollect Mrs. Boucher's telling you, about the end of the year 1800, that Mr. Pomeroy wished to have some writings cut open?
A. Yes, Sir, I do recollect Mrs. Boucher's saying that Mr. Pomeroy wished to have the papers opened, and said, "If Joanna could not get twelve, get six, so as to let the world know, and have them published, before the troubles and desolation came on."
Q. Do you recollect, whether Mr. Pomeroy desired the letters and papers to be copied off and sent to his house?
A. Yes, Sir, and part of them were.
Q. Do you recollect the sealed papers being cut open in your house, about the year 1800?
A. Perfectly well.
Q. Were they copied in your house?
A. All that she was ordered to copy, were copied in my house.
Q. Who were present at the time the writings were opened?
A. Miss Fanny Taylor, George Taylor, Charles Taylor, Mr. Jones, Sarah Taylor, William Symons, Mary Symons, John Trimlett Symons, William Ratcliffe Coomb, Elizabeth Boucher, Sarah Ware, and myself, and others also.
Q. Do you know that the copies taken from those writings were sent to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Part of them were, the writings being opened only seven days; and when the papers were opened, twelve witnesses signed their names upon the writings for their future identification, and they were sealed up again in the presence of witnesses; and were in my possession until Monday, January the 4, 1802, when Mrs. Boucher and Joanna carried them away.
Q. Was Mr. Pomeroy in the habit of frequenting your shop?
A. At a particular period, when I was in the country for my health; and on my return home I was informed, by my family, that he had been in the habit of frequenting our shop.
(Signed) Mary Symons.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Evidence of Miss Jane Townley.
Q. Did you, Madam, write any books for Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. In what manner, Madam, did you write those books?
A. Up to the 15th of last June I wrote from manuscripts of Joanna Southcott, and which she read to me, the book entitled "The Prayers on the Fast," published in June last; the book entitled "What manner of Communications are these," was partly taken from manuscripts, read by Joanna to me, up to the 17th of June last, and the remainder was taken from the mouth of Joanna; part of the book called "The Flock of Sheep," published in 1804, was, up to the 17th of June last, taken from Joanna, from manuscripts read to me by her, and the remainder from her own mouth; the book entitled "Mr. Joseph Southcott's Book," except the last communication therein contained, published in 1804; the first and second part of the book entitled "A True Explanation of the Bible, revealed by Divine Communications to Joanna Southcott," were taken by me from Joanna Southcott's own mouth.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Evidence of Esther Elizabeth Bruce.
Q. Do you know Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. How long have you known her?
A. Since the year 1802; and I slept in the same room with her, and lived in the same house with her, from the 10th of January, 1803, until the 12th of April of the same year.
Q. What was Mrs. Southcott's appearance and conduct during that time?
A. That of a religious, good woman, and she conducted herself with the utmost decency and propriety.
Esther Elizabeth Bruce.
These depositions were taken by me,
The Evidence of Mrs. Mary Beacraft.
Q. Do you know Joanna Southcott?
A. I do.
Q. How long have you known her?
A. Since the 1st of July, 1802.
Q. How long did she remain with you at Deeping?
A. Until the 18th of the same month.
Q. Did you hear her, during that time, speak of her prophecies?
A. Yes, I did; and I heard her also give several communications, but particularly one, which Mr. Beacraft took from Mrs. Southcott's own mouth, that though the war was concluded, yet it would again break out with more fury in 1803.
Q. What, Madam, was the conduct and behaviour of Joanna Southcott, during her stay at your house at Deeping?
A. That of a good, religious, sober woman, and she appeared in the full possession of her intellect.
Q. Did she then tell you, that she would be in a Trance?
A. Yes; she told me, that when her enemies appeared and she took her Trial, she should then be in a Trance; in consequence of which, I bought oil and flannel to anoint her feet and wrap them in.
These depositions taken by me,
The whole of the foregoing evidence being taken into consideration, the following proceedings thereon took place:-
Proposed to the forty-eight persons invited, by divine command, for the examination of Joanna Southcott's prophecies and character, assembled at the Neckinger, Bermondsey, near London.
First.-It doth appear, by the conduct of the bishops and the clergy of the Church of England, that they have refused to inquire into the truth of the writings of Joanna Southcott.
Second.-It doth appear, by the letters examined this day, of the clergy who returned the written letters of Miss Townley, that our censure of them cannot be too strongly marked.
Third.-The Rev. Mr. Pomeroy's conduct doth appear to be false and deceitful, respecting Joanna Southcott.
Fourth.-It doth appear to us, that in all instances whatever, Joanna Southcott hath fulfilled her high calling, and hath faithfully claimed the promise in the Creation, for the woman to be the helpmate to man; and it appears to us, that her whole life (which has been proved by living witnesses) hath been innocently and faithfully employed in the discharge of her duty towards God and towards man; and that she hath acted openly and without any deceit to Mr. Pomeroy, the Church, and to the nation at large.
Fifth.-From the consideration of the above questions, and the examination of Joanna's writings, it doth appear to us, that she is visited by the Spirit of the living God.
These propositions were separately read to the whole forty-eight persons, and unanimously passed in the affirmative.
(Signed) John Scott.
In the course of the afternoon it was announced to the meeting, that Joanna was laid on a sick bed, being very weak and faint; but that she was receiving a communication, which some time afterwards was brought in and read, a copy of which is on the following page.
Joanna met her friends, and was greatly affected at seeing all her female friends; but she waited with impatience, longing to see her friends in the gentlemen appear, and felt a great agitation in her spirits, which by some delay heightened her feelings, and her heart beat, and seemed to swell too big for her body; the wind rose in her throat, and she was obliged to cry out, or she would have fainted away; but tears came to her relief. When the gentlemen entered the room, the clergy entering first, she felt her tongue tied and was not able to speak; and as her friends came in her confusion increased, and in her own mind she thought she should have fainted away; but to her great astonishment, when all had entered, though she had felt herself as it were dying before, she was then as a giant refreshed with new wine, without pain, sickness, or weakness. She stood up and felt the Spirit of the Lord enter within her, to call them all to the remembrance of the Fall: and when she told them of the Promise made to the Woman to bruise the serpent's head, every man in the room held up his hand to join with her in claiming the Promise. Many other parts of the Scripture they joined in the same: that Christ must be the helpmate in the woman for the man, to bring in his redemption; to fulfil the first, that he may establish the last; though these words were not mentioned, what was spoken was to the same purport and meaning, that as in Adam all died even so in Christ shall all be made alive. So Christ is come to do away with the first, according to the promise made in the Fall, that he may establish the last, to destroy him that hath the power of death, which is the Devil. Joanna met her friends in tears this day, and she saw that tears also frequently flowed from the eyes of many of those present.
The Answer of the Lord.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee. This is my Gospel: blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted; it is better to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting. And now I tell thee, if this had been to you all as a day of rejoicing, without a holy solemnity of tears and mourning, it would not be a visitation from the Lord: for, though it is written, you are to rejoice in the God of your salvation, yet you must come before the Lord with fear and trembling. And know how my Bible stands, and what was said of Solomon, if he continued in the steps of his father David, the house that he had built unto me should stand; but if he departed from me, it should fall. He did depart from me, and the house fell. And the same way stand thy writings: if the unbelievers had appeared, thy life would have been taken as soon as they had entered the room; for how could I call forward these arguments, to ask if every man wished to join with the Woman, to have the serpent's head bruised, and his curse be above every living creature, if one half was for him, and the other half against him? Then an equal number decides nothing; so if one half was for me, and the other half against me, in this assembly, it could not be decided by thy words; therefore, it must be decided by wonders. But as all hearts were united together in one voice, like the Jews of old, 'Crucify him! crucify him!' and so they now say of the Powers of Darkness, as the thief said on the cross, Christ had done no harm worthy of Death, but that the Devil is the universal enemy to God and man. This being as I knew the language of all hearts of them that were present, therefore, my Spirit arose strong in thee to place these arguments strongly before them; then after their universal voices were given, I left thee to show them my death; how I withdrew from them and died for their sakes. But I know the language of thy heart: Thou left them fainting, but thou art not dead; no, I tell thee, I died once for all; and there is no more death to make atonement for sin. But thou art as clay in the hands of the potter; and without me thou canst do nothing; but when my Spirit is strong in thee, thou canst propose the questions I make unto them; but the moment my Spirit leaves thee, let them see thou art dust and ashes; that thou art nothing; and without me thou canst do nothing. And when thy Trial is over, let them all confess they stood as water-pots filled with water; and, like my disciples of old, let them all say, 'we verily thought the Lord would have acted a different way from what he hath acted'; and yet, like the disciples, they will all say in the end, 'the Lord hath acted to make everything clear before us, in a way and manner which neither we nor she ever understood.' But this is the wisdom of God to confound the wisdom of men, that they might not say, she acted by arts according to her writings. But now let every man fix his eyes to thy looks when my Spirit is strong upon thee, and see the change when I leave thee. Nature cannot change its feelings-I know the thoughts of thy heart, from the swelling of thy heart this day; for thou judgest thou shouldest fall immediately. How then could I try the hearts of men, to have their voices appear publicly united together for Satan's destruction? And now when thy writings are broken open, thou wilt find in thy writings where it is said, Satan will not have so great a friend at thy Trial as Pilate was to me. Now let them all discern in thy writings, that all will come like Solomon's building of the temple to me; if it doth not come one way, it will come the other; and they will find not a word to vary. Now I shall come to reason with thee: Adam first saw the woman with silent joy, and after that the communion burst between them; but see how soon she was left to herself, and Satan's arts burst in upon her. Now let them remember, this day in silent joy thou sawest thy friends, but wast unable to speak; but when the Spirit of the Lord entered into thee, with what strength thou spakest unto them! but the moment my Spirit left thee thy strength was gone: and now remember, that thou wast assisted by a man to help thee upstairs; so by man was Eve assisted in the Fall; and by man wast thou assisted, when my Spirit left thee; but his assistance was not to assist thee to fall; for his assistance was for thy support; and for thy support have men been this day, to join with thee in the Promise. Now as all together with united voice have joined with thee in the Promise made, so now, I tell thee, they may all unite together in the words I told you before.
"Now regain, ye sons of men,
I'll make your mountains strong;
The sword I left in Paradise
Shall bring you back again.
With hands uplifted all shall see
What is for them in store;
As their desire is now for me,
My kingdom shall appear.
But know that I who dwell on high
Laid down my life for man;
But see the shadow now in thee,
What different men are come;
Then sure the fullness of my words
Must now be known to all;
There's no man takes my life from me
Now I in Spirit call;
'Tis I myself that lay it down,
That am in Spirit come,
And my believers I shall crown
Before the end is known.
But now this day, to thee I say,
Thou'lt see thy friends no more,
That is of man, I tell thee plain;
Thy seals must now appear,
Till the third day, to all I say,
Before that one is broke;
For thou no more wilt there appear;
And mark the words I spoke-
Till the third day, to thee I say,
The lines go deep for man;
And all together let them weigh,
How they lift up their hands
In praise to me, that they might see
The enemy be cast;
And so my Kingdom to appear,
And so their joys shall burst.
Now mark the word that first was said,
They all had sworn to Heaven,
That in thy Trial they'd not plead
With Enemies, that're given
Against my hand, if men did stand
Against my Spirit here,
That I no Helpmate should command
The Woman's guilt to clear.
So now you see fulfilled to be,
Because you have not one
That now against me doth agree,
To say I shall not come
For to appear a Helpmate here,
Now for to free the Fall,
The Woman's guilt this way to free,
And Satan's ruin call.
In heart and mind they all seemed bound
For me to free the curse;
And so the end they now shall find;
For Satan shall not miss
The curse on he pronounced by me;
For I'll bring on the whole,
As all these men in heart do join,
The Tempter down shall Fall.
But as thy weakness I do know,
I'm drawing to the end;
But in one spirit all did flow,
And wished me to descend
In Spirit here the whole to clear,
And cleared it now shall be."
In the course of the day some communications given prior to the Trial, which were begun to be read yesterday, were continued at different times this day. Some time was occasionally spent also in the discussion of various topics in the writings of Joanna, and in comparing them with the Scriptures, till nine o'clock in the evening, and then the proceedings of this day closed, after reading a second communication which was brought in, and which is inserted here-
Joanna went to sleep a little before five o'clock in the afternoon, and slept till a quarter past six o'clock and then awoke, and came off the bed, when these words were said to her by the Spirit-
"Now, Joanna, I say unto thee, though I have foiled my disciples now, as I foiled them at my resurrection; yet I tell thee I will not deceive them, but I will make everything clear before them; for though things shall not come to their judgment, according to the manner they expected, yet everything shall now be made clear before them. Thou hast asked, and they have answered, that they believe I would not deceive them: and now I tell thee, I will not deceive them; for though I have cast thee down I will raise thee up, and thou shalt meet them on the morrow, to have thy seals broken: for now I tell thee, everything shall come to my Gospel; as I foiled my disciples, I have foiled them; but as I made everything clear to my disciples, I will make it clear to them; and they shall confess to the world, as my disciples did, things did not come according to their judgment in the way and manner they expected; yet it shall come to convince the world clearly, thy visitation is from the Lord. But the manner I shall go on I shall conceal from thee, from day to day the manner I shall lead thee on; yet when the end is come, they shall see every truth clear before them, and my powerful visitation in thee, and by thee. But I have already told thee, and now tell thee again, should I lead thee on in a straight line, according to their judgment, the unbelieving world would not believe them, but look on all as a contrived thing; therefore let them wait with patience and see the end of the seven days, and they shall see thy calling clear.
"Though on thy bed thou now art cast,
No one doth know the way I'll burst,
To prove thy calling all is clear-
I know the mocking world is near,
That may begin to mock the whole;
Too soon their judgment they let fall,
But I shall foil them in the end;
To bring all round 'tis my intend,
A way that they do not discern,
Nor do they know how I do warn,
Nor how the truth I shall make clear;
I know the hearts of all are near,
What miracles they wait to see
To be brought round, and worked in thee;
But I shall foil them in the end;
To try all hearts is my intend,
Before the mysteries I make clear
To prove to all that I am here.
So on thy bed thou now art cast,
Just like the shadow of the first
That I did say to thee should come,
And by thy weakness leave the room.
But no one knows what lies behind,
That thou another day may'st find,
Nor in what manner I shall come
To show my power in thy form.
I've showed them all what is in thee;
A dying mortal all may see,
Before that I do raise thee up;
I know thy spirit it doth drop,
To think thou nothing canst go through-
Thou know'st not what's before my view,
To make such dying worm appear
The wondrous mysteries all to clear;
For as this day they all began
Wishing the promise for to claim,
In hand and heart all joined with thee,
In hand and heart they'll all find me
To be in union just the same,
And they shall know my every Name.
Though filled with water they are first,
They know not how the wine shall burst
To bring it to my Gospel here;
For now I'm come the whole to clear
In such a dying worm as thee-
But know, they nailed me to the tree,
And so like death I'll now appear;
For weak like thee, I tell them here,
I sure must be to die for Man
The way that they have laid their plan,
Never to have me to appear
To come again the whole to clear,
For Satan to receive his curse;
Then sure the Promise must be lost,
And Man in vain did bruise my heel,
If Satan ne'er his curse doth feel.
But now I tell you he is cast,
Against him every man did burst,
And they shall find I'll burst the same-
Thy Promise thou shalt ever claim;
And I my Promise will fulfil,
I say, by my avenging heel.
And now I tell thee of this day,
I spoke in thee their hearts to try,
To see what judgment they would draw,
If I'd deceive in things were so;
And like their faith the end shall be,
I'll ne'er deceive, they all shall see;
It was to try them I did come,
By words in thee to speak to them;
And from the Trial that was here,
They'll find the end to prove all clear,
That as thou spok'st the end will be-
The Woman's Fall I now must free;
Ere Man's redemption he will gain;
For now to all I speak more plain,
While she is bound, can Man be free?
The Bondswoman, you all do say,
Must be cast out, when I do clear
To make the free, the perfect heir.
But now I ask, can she be free?
From the Creation you must see,
She there stands tainted by the Fall-
And can you wonder at her call?
That 'tis her Lord must her redeem,
And then her children may be seen
To be made heirs, and be made free,
And Man the ending all will see,
It is by faith they'll be made so-
But now this day, I well do know,
Hath stumbled many that are here;
And so the ending will appear,
Expecting wonders at the first,
But ne'er discern how things are placed.
If thy opposers all had come,
I tell thee thou would'st not spoke to one;
But as they did not so appear,
I knew my friends, and tried them here,
That Satan he might know his doom,
To perish in the sinners' room.
So tarry all to see the end,
And then you'll find me stand your friend.
So, for the present, I'll end here-
I tried their hearts, I'll say no more,
But to their wisdom now I'll stand;
They judge it right, and right command
Satan be cast, and Man be free;
This is the word I've said to thee;
And as in heart with thee they join,
They'll find the Promise to be mine;
And I my Promise will fulfil,
I left them all to try their skill,
That is, I mean to work in thee,
And by thy weakness thee called away;
But yet I tell thee, I am there,
Their words and thoughts I now see clear;
And let them mark how thou dost come;
For they must all be in the room,
Before I bid thee to appear,
Then other mysteries I shall clear,
That they this day don't see nor know,
How thou with tears this day didst go;
But wait to-morrow for to see,
Whether Life or Death appears in thee,
Or, in what manner thou dost come,
The end's a mystery all unknown.
The curtain's drawn, the veil's unseen,
There's no man knows what stands between;
Till I the veil do take away,
And then they'll see where it did lay,
And every mystery I'll make clear,
Before that I have ended here."
THE THIRD DAY
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7, 1804
The meeting was opened soon after ten o'clock this morning, by calling over the names of the forty-eight persons who composed it; and it was then announced, that Joanna was receiving a communication, which she would bring in as soon as finished. She accordingly entered the room a few minutes after eleven, with the communication; and she then delivered a short discourse on the purport of it, and particularly respecting the new light thus given, as to her Trial and her Mission in general. After this the communication as stated below was read.
On Thursday evening, Joanna began to be very cheerful; and meditating to herself, how all the shadows came before the substance in her writings, so she was in hope that the shadow of her being taken faint yesterday would be the substance of throwing her into the Trance to-day; and she was longing for the morrow; so she told Underwood, that she never longed more for a day, but did not assign her reasons. In the night she was earnest in prayer, that the Lord would this day throw her into the Trance. She was answered, she knew not what she was praying for; she had told them, that she had not prayed for her death yet; but if she prayed for her Trance now, she prayed for her death; for she never would live long after it, only to return and tell them what she had seen. "Therefore, the man that dreamt of thy Trance might well say, he must buy mourning; for thy Trance will bring thy death. And now I shall answer thee more fully: I have always told thee, from first to last, when thy enemies come forward thy Trance shall take place; and now call to thy remembrance what I told thee, the beginning of the year, the stars would be sealed in sorrow, and the clouds would keep.-And now I tell thee, one way or other, that must take place; for I must either grieve and disappoint them of thy Trance taking place now, or I must satisfy them and take thee out of the world, and bring on every judgment that is threatened to England; for if I now throw thee in a Trance, thou wilt never see the end of this year in this world; then the stars will be sealed in sorrow indeed, when they see the effects of their fatal curiosity. If all the truths that have been laid before them, all the witnesses being called up and proved, the changes that have taken place this year, and all the things that have happened before, and the manner I have brought it close to my Bible and to my Gospel, will not convince them, without thy being in a Trance, then let them say, thy opposers are here; for I have always told thee, and I now tell thee again, thy Trance should never come without opposers; so if it now come, they must be opposers; for if thou hast no opposers now, thy Trial ends by my command; but now I tell thee and them, it will be brought on again by man; therefore I have told them to go to the bottom of every witness. Now if man brings it forward man shall stand to it: but do they simply suppose, that I shall prolong thy life, to let thee be brought forward to a Trial by men, after I have thrown thee into a Trance, and showed thee my decrees, which they would not believe, if they were not present to see it? For now remember, as the opposers refused to come forward, the unbelievers have refused also. None but the sealed people do appear before thou meetest the public; but whatever way I now work, thou must meet the public before the days are over; for I shall give thee strength to go through and be strong within thee. Now let every one give their answer, what is their will concerning my words; for I tell them all, what is begun by me will end by man; a Trial by men will surely come forward; be called by the great and learned: but then they must sustain every cost; for I now charge my friends, never to go one Journey by the command of men, unless they are paid-And thy Trance is no more a secret, but must be made public. That is my decree, if men call thee forward as enemies. Now I have told thee my mind; and let them answer it; and I shall answer thee again. Let them give their answer before the seals are broken; for I made thee faint the day that is past, to prevent their breaking the seals, till I knew their mind. Now if twenty-four stand out-'without we see the Trance, we will not believe;' then twenty-four opposers are present; and let their names be taken down, and I shall answer thee again. But if they say-'we want no further proofs; the will of the Lord be done, and not ours; if the learned men call her forward, let him then show his wondrous works to confound them, that when they see, they may believe; but if we tell them, they may not believe us, but say it is common for people to be in a Trance before their death.' For now I have told thee, thy death will soon follow thy Trance; and therefore I told thee, if thou wast tried by such men as John and I, I should soon take thy life from thee, and no man should have room to take it. So, when the world breaks in upon thee, then thy days will be at an end. But let no one fear they shall not see the end; for as they are now called forward by me, so they will again be called forward by men. Now if they are all satisfied without thy Trance, let thy seals be broken this day. And I have told thee what must be put aside and sealed up, and never broken while thou art alive; but all the others must remain never to be sealed any more: but what is to be sealed must now be sealed in the presence of the whole. And I shall learn some one to read thy written hand, when thou art no more: but thine is a hand no man can forge: all that will happen, till my Kingdom is established, is in thy writings; but not to be known at the present: but nothing shall be concealed from thee, that I will do upon the earth."
After the reading of this communication, the assembly instantly stood up, and with uplifted hands one and all cried out-"The will of the Lord be done!"
At about half-past eleven Joanna began to cut open the sealed bundles containing her writings; but retiring soon afterwards, she appeared again at twelve, when she entered into an explanation of the nature of this Trial. She showed that it is a Trial to which she is called by the Lord, and not by man; that the assembly having lifted up their hands, saying the will of the Lord be done, is the falling down of the twenty-four elders before him; and that speedily she should be called to appear before man. She then adverted to the period of fifteen years conditionally added to her life from 1792; and then brought into her recollection her former prophecies of being called before the great and learned; and besides reading various extracts from her writings, she read an important communication thereon given in July 1800. Having concluded this discourse, Joanna began to look over her writings, which were cut open, for the purpose of selecting such as were to be sealed up till after her death; and to identify their being opened, by putting signatures thereon. While Joanna was thus engaged she announced, that for the convenience and satisfaction of all the sealed people, she should meet them to-morrow at eleven in the meeting-house. At four o'clock she retired; and in about an hour afterwards a message was brought that she was receiving another communication; and when half an hour more was elapsed she appeared in the assembly with the communication, and having spoken on the purport of it for about ten minutes, she then desired it to be read, being as follows-
[Friday morning a communication was given to the judges, jury, and the four and twenty elders, to know if any would be opposers, to bring on my Trance; but when the communication was read through, all the men in the room held up their hands for the will of the Lord to be done, and not theirs; that they were truly convinced my calling was of God without the Trance.]
The Answer of the Lord.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee. I said, as the days of Pentecost were to man, so should thy Trial be to man; and though thy awful Trial is not begun, yet thy Trial is called forward by me. And now I tell thee, if my Spirit had not been there to guard the heart of every man, Satan's arts would have worked strong upon them, to be thy final death, and have brought on three years total famine, to gratify their curiosity. This curiosity brought the Fall at first; and this curiosity was in the Jews, when they had seen all my miracles, saying, 'let him come down from the cross, and we will believe him.' But had I not worked greater miracles before, than to come down from the cross? And now I tell thee, the truths of thy prophecies that have followed are greater than thy being thrown in a Trance: because Trances have been common without prophecies. And now I tell thee, from their holding up their hands, to say they are convinced the calling is of God, and rejoicing to prevent the judgment, is falling down before me, resigning to my wisdom, trusting in my power, mercies, goodness, and truth, to give glory unto my Name. Here they fall down before me, for me to act according to my own wisdom, mercies, goodness, and truth. Now who shall blame them? Who shall condemn them? for it is I that justify them; but had they been as presumptuous as the Jews of old, to have said, 'let our idle curiosity now be gratified, if the whole nation perish, we care not so long as we are gratified in a fatal curiosity; for unless we see signs and wonders we will not believe': then I tell thee, it would have been fatal for your nation; and the world might have condemned these curious inquirers, if they would run such a hazard as this. But now let every mouth be stopped, and every tongue be silent; and know how these men held up their hands for the good of their king and country, that no fatal judgments might come by their idle curiosity. Then who is the man that can condemn them? And know it was printed in thy writings before, I would send three plentiful harvests for the sake of those whose hands were lifted up to me, to search out the truth; and now for the sake of these whose hands were lifted up for the sake of this nation, they shall see the famine removed from this nation; but they shall see it in another nation, to know that it is I the Lord have spoken it. Then with what heartfelt gratitude will they fall down and worship me! they have already fallen before me in faith; they are desirous of my mercies, and not of my judgments; and of my protection to the nation, that all may give glory, honour, and praise to my Name: and in the end all men will say they are worthy to be called to so great a calling. And now I shall tell thee of the shadow of yesterday: there was an enemy in the camp of Israel; and when thy enemies do appear, the substance will follow the shadow; but as I have ordered thee to keep from thy friends, and the fluttering of thy heart was to meet them, so I have kept thee from thy enemies. But I do not tell thee, this will be always; but as thou couldst not speak when thou sawest the men first appear, so I tell thee thou wilt not be able to speak when thy enemies first appear; for then will the fulfilment of thy writings come on.
"Thy dying looks will soon be known;
For as the shadow did begin,
The wind within thee strong was seen,
A trifling shadow did appear,
And so the end they'll all see clear;
And on thy bed thou'lt surely lie-
They'll see the substance in that day,
When all thy foes together meet
They'll see thee fall before their feet.
If in the room there was but one,
I say, a foe to thee unknown,
That brought thy trembling passions there;
When strong thy foes they do appear,
They'll surely see thee to fall down,
And all the truth will then be found,
When that thy Trial's called by man.
But now by me 't could not be done;
For then thy writings were not true-
Bring all is said before thy view:
I said thy foes must first appear,
Before thy Trance I'd ever clear,
And men thy murderers they must be,
Though not the way they murdered me;
For then I'll take thee to my home,
And they may grieve for what they've done;
For then they'll strike the fatal blow,
That is of death, I well do know;
But shall I do it by a friend?
Then how in mercies can I send,
To say this Trial is from me,
And then call in thy enemy,
To be against thee in the law
That is of God? you all do know,
'Tis not consistent to my word;
My yoke is easy, I have said,
And easy now I've made the whole-
None but my friends obeyed the call;
And it was never my intent,
That from my calling foes should bend
To come against my every word,
And make thee tremble before thy Lord;
No: this was ne'er designed by me;
My love is great from all thou'st see,
And great my love shall be to them
To bring my glorious kingdom down.
So here's the calling of thy God,
All filled with love to spread abroad
The visitation from on high,
And make the angry waves comply.
But when the whole begins by man,
Thou'lt see them act a different plan;
No love nor pity will they show;
Their angry hearts I well do know,
And say-'the whole we will prevent;
Her heart in sunder first we'll rend
Ere we'll believe her every call;
For to her doom we'll make her fall;
And to the words that she did say
We'll bring it near, and she may die;
Because that we'll oppose the whole,
Until we make her down to fall;
And if the Lord will then take care
To save her soul, she may appear;
For we care not how soon she die,
And in the grave forgotten lie.'
Just like the Jews they'd hazard run,
I know, some thousands, had they come,
They'd run the fatal hazard here,
And made the famine to appear;
For as the Jews appeared at first,
I tell thee, thousands now would burst,
To bring the Famine on their heads,
And unbelief would be their plead-
'How could we judge her words were true,
Till all was brought before our view?
And so the hazard we would run
To see the nation quite undone;
Because we had no eyes to see
The things before foretold by she;
And so we judged the whole must burst
Upon this nation to be cast;
Though well we knew that she did say,
In France the Famine it must lay'-
If I did let it miss this land;
And so thy Father's death did stand
And so the men do now appear
For to prevent the Famine here,
And so the Famine did prevent:
Though I do say 'twas my intent
In every heart for to appear;
The Truth in all I mean to clear-
Another day I'll tell thee more,
And open every perfect door."
After the reading of the above communication, Joanna made some additional remarks thereon, noticing what she had heard of the tyranny of Buonaparte, which, if true, the French nation must be in the most enslaved and degraded state, and may merit the most heavy judgments; and therefore the lifting up of hands in this assembly, for the will of the Lord to be done, was a sign that the three years Famine was averted from England and to pass over to France. She then gave an interesting detail of the incidents of her life, which she concluded about a quarter past eight in the evening, when she retired in that high flow of spirits she had enjoyed all day, so that she appeared a different being altogether from what she was yesterday. The proceedings of this day were then closed.
THE FOURTH DAY
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8, 1804
Agreeably to the notice given yesterday, Joanna came to the public meeting-house at eleven o'clock this morning; and after a short time passed in the religious exercises of singing and prayer, Joanna stood up during an hour precisely to address the audience, which consisted of about 700 persons. The purport of this discourse was to give a comprehensive account of her mission; and in the course of it she desired the two communications given yesterday to be read; and the meeting closed a little before one o'clock, in the same order as it began, the whole having been conducted with great decorum and solemnity.
The proceedings of the Trial commenced about four o'clock, at which time it was announced that Joanna was obliged to be laid on the bed, owing to a considerable depression of spirits in the morning, and the fatigues of going through her duty in the public meeting; and a communication had been begun, but was discontinued, to allow her time to be refreshed. At seven in the evening Joanna came into the assembly, and some time was passed in discourse.
Joanna then went to meet the public, which was the day after her appearance; she tasted nothing before she went but a little wine and water, which made her sick. When she came to meet the public she felt faint and dying, and thought to herself she could not speak unto them, but sat faint, and in meditation and prayer, that the Lord would be with her; for without Him she was nothing, and without Him she could do nothing; and she was promised the Lord would be with her. As soon as Mr. Carpenter came to the Lord's prayer, she felt the Spirit of the Lord enter within her, and when he had ended, strength arose in her, and she began to address the multitude. After bringing them to the Fall, how the Promise was then made, and to whom it was made, and by whom it must be claimed; and going through many passages of the Scriptures, and some of her prophecies, she called for the communications that were given on Friday morning, and had them read to the public. She then inquired of the whole meeting, if there was any man present, that would wish to satisfy so fatal a curiosity, as to run the hazard of gratifying it, for her to be in a Trance, to convince them the calling was of God, and by so doing bring on the Famine, that they would then speak; and though it was supposed there were about 700 people, yet every tongue was silent; and she never saw a smile upon any man's countenance, but saw tears in many eyes. She was a long time coming out of the meeting through the crowd, as she was stopped by the people on both sides, holding out their hands, to shake hands with her, as far as ever they could reach her. When she came to Mr. Carpenter's house she was followed by many, and was much fatigued with talking with them; for when the Spirit of the Lord leaves her, and she is left to her own strength, she finds it gone, and so she was obliged to lie down on her bed.
The Answer of the Lord.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee. This is the third day of thy seeing the people, and deep is the Type of this day: every tongue was silent, every mouth was stopped, and no one seemed to speak against thee. This is the shadow, and in the end thou wilt see the substance. The heavenly joy thou felt on the day that is past is a type of what is to come, of what thou wilt feel hereafter, when thy awful Trial comes on. For now I tell thee, as it was with me, it is with thee: know that I said I was daily with them in the sanctuary, yet no man laid hands upon me, for my hour was not yet come; and thou hast been daily with them, thou hast been openly with them, nay thou hast warned and invited them, but no man hath laid hands on thee, for thy hour is not yet come; but thy hour will come, when they will seize thee, as they seized me; though not in the same manner; yet they will seize thee by the law, from thy own handwriting, which must go in print. For know my wisdom was kept back for the end, to keep thy Trance unknown to man, as a sign that should appear; but when that sign is made public, and the learned see how thy writings are placed; the twelve stars upon thy head; the jury joined together to affirm it; the four and twenty elders appearing to cast their crowns before me: that meaneth to cast their wisdom before me, trusting wholly in me-the pride of the learned will begin to swell, and say, 'we are convinced, that instead of our silence putting a stop to it, it hath only raised it much the higher: and they have brought the whole now to the Gospel, to compare it all with the words of their Saviour, which we cannot deny; therefore we find no way to confound them, unless we come to confound her from her own words, and say, as the Jews said of old, let her come down from the cross and we will believe her: for this impostor hath said-she shall be in a Trance, and in three days be restored to them again; and now, out of her own mouth we will condemn her, if she will not verify her words. For now we have got a line to go by; but before we had none; for it was out of our power to tell whether her visitation came from the Lord, or from whence it came; but now she hath told us the Trance is a Sign, we will try the truth of her words, and by them we will condemn her, if it be not so; but if it be so, according to her words, then we must know the visitation is from on high.' And from on high they shall all find it: for now I tell thee, from these three days the shadow is begun; but the substance will end to its likeness. The first day thou felt confusion, faint, and trembling, confined to thy bed; the second day a day of joy with thy friends, in love and harmony; the third day thou went faint and trembling, though in good spirits, supported by thy friends; but when my Spirit arose within thee, thou hadst strength to go through, and to let thy voice reach the multitude, to bring them back to the Fall, while every tongue was silent, and every mouth was stopped. But know, when thou returned home, my Spirit left thee, thy strength was gone.
"And so the shadows do appear,
You'll find the substance drawing near;
Thy trembling first thy death will be,
That men will judge, and they will see
That thou art laid upon thy bed,
And to appearance they'll judge thee dead;
And then in joy thy soul will go
With guards of angels, thou wilt know,
And be surrounded then above
With saints and angels full of love;
For as thou passed the second day
To meet thy friends with joy, I say,
Just so in joy thy soul will be,
With saints and angels all to see
My books before thee, open there,
And how my sealed books appear.
Back to the world thou then wilt turn
After thy time is past and gone;
But sick of it thou'lt surely grow,
Just like this day, I well do know;
Thou didst taste the water and the wine,
And now thy sickness call to mind,
The mixture thou could'st never bear;
The wine alone, I tell thee here,
Would not have made thee sick at all-
And here's a warning deep for all;
It is my Blood, that all must see,
Shall cleanse the whole; now trust in me.
But as thy feeble steps went on
To meet the public, I shall come,
Because thou'lt meet them so again,
When thou return'st to make all plain;
But as the shadow did appear,
Thou sayest in silence all did hear,
And so in silence all will be
When thou return'st the crowd to see;
And by thee I shall surely stand,
As thou wast guarded here by man,
And strong within thee I shall burst:
I gave thee strength to stand the first,
But then in power I shall appear,
And strong my Bible I shall clear,
And tell them how the Promise stood,
That I at first made for their good.
So as the shadow did begin,
I say, the substance it will end;
For as thou homeward did'st return,
And felt thy strength from thee was gone,
And all thy appetite was lost,
And on thy bed wast quickly cast;
So on thy bed thou'lt lie the same,
And say thy appetite is gone
From every thing that's here below,
And with thy Lord thou'lt wish to go.
Now call to mind thy former dream,
And how the words I did explain,
That thou didst wish to go with me,
Yet by thy friends kept back to be;
And so they now have kept thee back,
For to prevent the fatal stroke,
It may not come upon your land-
On every side behold their hands,
Uplifted they were all to me,
That they the Famine might not see
Nor did they wish thee to depart-
Thy dream is written on thy heart,
How they did prevent on every side-
The field for all is opened wide;
And so they'll see it in the end,
Just like the lines that here are penned.
But when the end it doth appear-
Mark thou the feeling thou hast here;
Thou know'st not how for to go down,
And yet thy love within is found,
To see thy faithful friend again,
Yet with them long thou'lt not remain,
Because thy weakness I do know,
And in the end they'll find it so:
After the Trance that thou hast seen,
And thou return'st to visit men,
Thy strength of nature will be lost,
And on thy bed thou'lt soon be cast,
To leave the world and bid adieu-
And all will find my words are true.
But, Oh, ye simple sons of men!
You stand like water, I see plain,
To see a calling so divine
Could end before the Truth doth shine,
As in thy writings all is penned,
And then you may discern the end;
And then the nations all will see
The weak and simple wise to be,
To prevent the Famine in your land;
And by their wisdom it doth stand
To make your enemy to fear-
They've changed the scene; I'll cast it there.
So thus their wisdom all will see,
The end will prove the truth to be.
And then my Bible they'll discern.
It is the simple keep from harm,
For them I said I'd choose before-
Men's boasted wisdom I abhor,
Therefore I mean to cast it down;
And so my Bible now is found,
It is the simple are the wise;
For I no longer shall disguise,
It was the wise and learned men
That on their wisdom did depend,
At first they nailed me to the tree;
And now the end, I here tell thee,
Had they been here thou would'st been cast,
And made the Famine for to burst;
But know I said, for fifty's sake
I'd spare the land, and would not break
To bring destruction in your land;
And fifty men's uplifted hands
Did in the room that day appear;
And for their sakes the land I'll spare
From utter ruin here to bring-
I've saved thy country, and thy king,
As thou before to me didst pray-
Mark every link how they do lay,
Until I come to link the whole,
Then see the chain how it will fall,
As I have said, on every side
They'll find the truth in all's applied.
So for the present I'll end here:
But I shall go from door to door,
Till all are open to thy view,
And men shall know thy words are true;
Because they all are spoke by me:
'Tis from the Lord they all shall see,
Who made the Woman at the first;
And in her now I strong shall burst,
Till every mystery I've made clear,
That I'm your Helpmate now in her:
But know the Woman is too weak,
For Satan's arts too strong do break,
Without my Spirit that's divine,
And in the end you'll see it shine.
So for the present I'll end here;
Another day I'll tell thee more;
And so in days I shall go on
Till the seven are past and gone."
After this was read, some time was passed in a general discussion; it was then announced that the assembly was to meet to-morrow at three in the afternoon, so that Joanna might devote the morning to the selection of such of her writings as were to be sealed up till after her death; and then the proceedings of this day were closed at eight in the evening.
THE FIFTH DAY
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1804
The proceedings for this day commenced at four in the afternoon, by calling over the names of the assembly, and Joanna entered soon after. The reading of former communications, explanatory of her mission, took up some time; and then the examination of the writings was resumed, in order to select those that were to be sealed up till after the death of Joanna; and this was followed by the reading of a communication given this day, being as follows-
"Now, Joanna, I shall direct thee; for the way thou art going on to look through thy writings thou canst not accomplish it by the days that are fixed; for know, I told thee, what is sealed not to be revealed, must be sealed by the seventh day. So let the parcel be cut that Sharp brought thee; and when it is cut, I shall tell thee what shall be sealed up for good, in that and in the others: and thy work must be done in haste; for I have other communications to give unto thee, before thou meetest the public; therefore thou hast but little time to spend with friends. Let them have the communications, weigh them together, and pass their judgments thereon. So when the whole are assembled together, let the seals be cut; then bring up the whole, and search them through; place them as I command thee, to be sealed. And let them draw their judgment from what is said of Jacob's sons, and what is said of men's refusing my call, but falling down by my wisdom. Now let them all observe, my call hath been refused, my invitation hath been refused; but my wisdom hath been concealed till now; but now my wisdom shall fly abroad; then let the learned see if they can overthrow their God.
"For to keep life in thee,
I tell them, No; they'll find it so,
To see all in the end,
They'll find the truth of all to flow,
And I shall make them bend;
Because behind, hath been my mind,
To make them all submit,
As they have all been so unkind,
A Calling thus so great,
Never to go the truth to know,
Whether the thing was true,
And so their learning they've let low,
Though boasting's in their view;
But boast no more till all be clear,
For every tongue I'll stop,
Because the Trial must appear
To make their learning drop.
Can they contend like simple men,
To speak against thy hand,
When I've told them all so plain
The way they may command
The whole to know, if it be so,
And in one day appear?
Because thy trance, they now shall know,
The way I'll end it here;
But had it come by thy weak hand,
As thou wished it at first,
Thy Trial thou'dst not stand by men
When they against thee burst.
Now from thy weakness I'll begin,
Thy nature so is here,
And so thy Trance will bring thy end,
And bring thy death-bed near.
So all too late they'll see their fate,
That grieve thee at the first,
And they will find thou art too weak
In words with them to burst;
So all thy foes they now may know,
And from thy weakness see,
It is too late for them to go
Then reconciled to be.
From what is past thy dream must burst,
The skivers do appear,
That they are placing in thy breast,
And so thy end draws near,
To make the grave, behold the cave,
They make thy wounds go deep;
Then can they in my favour live?
'Tis time thy foes should weep;
For as thy days are hastening on,
They'll find 'tis drawing near;
And fast thy foes, I say, will come
To prove if all be clear.
So now discern the way I warn-
Inviting's all in vain;
And they may fear the rising storm-
But I shall all explain,
A mystery deep (they all may weep)
The Marriage of the Lamb.
My invitation they did break,
And so refused to come.
Now if they call, I tell them all,
Their calling will not do;
'Tis not from me, they now must see-
My journey I've gone through;
I'll call no more for to appear;
My invitation's past;
My chosen men I now shall clear,
That here in love do burst.
When I did invite they did not slight,
But all with joy did come;
And I must ill their love requite,
If I should cast out one.
With fishermen I did begin;
They left their nets for me;
And now my Kingdom for to win
They do the same agree.
So on record (mark now my word)
Their names shall ever stand;
I tell thee, all must fly abroad,
My Kingdom's nigh at hand;
My Gospel see how 't doth agree-
The twelve did first appear;
And 'tis thy Jury must agree
Their honour for to clear.
So for the rest I this shall fix,
They are the twenty-four
That must appear the whole to clear,
Then they shall feel my power.
So now discern how this is come
Just like my Gospel penned;
And all together you must weigh,
Then judge and see the end.
My wisdom here the whole shall clear,
And all must fly abroad;
And let the learned answer here,
When every truth is known,
How all could come, my Gospel strong
Let all the likeness see,
The way that I have led thee on,
My Gospel for to free.
Now mark the third, 'tis on record,
The leaven doth appear;
For the third leaven lumps the whole,
And so the end is here.
So mark what men from a distance came,
My Gospel to make good,
And men were near that did appear,
And so my Gospel stood;
And so 'tis come, discern it men!
Could Satan bring this round?
To have the third fulfil my word,
My Gospel so is found.
So all together you must weigh,
And let your thoughts go deep,
Then see the dawning of the day,
The way that all doth break.
For all together do appear,
If you do this discern;
And now my Gospel it is clear
To bring thy Trial on;
For mark what's next-From man 'tis fixed:
Satan hath felt his blow,
When every man did lift his hands,
And downward he shall go;
For he is cast, as all is placed,
He need now keep none back-
The Revelations so are placed;
And now he'll feel his rack.
So I'll end here, and say no more;
To-morrow's hastening on;
And as the music thou dost hear,
The end to all shall come."
About seven in the evening Joanna withdrew, after having continued in the assembly until then bringing forward a variety of important passages in her writings, relating to the Trial, in the course of a cheerful conversation, which tended to display her wonderful simplicity of character. And soon afterwards the meeting was adjourned.
THE SIXTH DAY
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 1804
The proceedings commenced between ten and eleven this morning, by taking into consideration what had already been given, during the Trial. At half-past three Joanna entered, bringing with her a communication just received, which was read, being as follows-
"Now, Joanna, I shall direct thee. This is the sixth day of thy Trial, and the fifth of thy appearance; to-morrow ends thy Trial called forward by me; and know, by this Trial everything is brought to my Gospel. Here is the third time of the little leaven, and here thou seest thou hast leavened the whole: or I have leavened it for thee. So-
Now let the learned men dispute,
And answer my demand,
Or I shall strike their learning mute-
But can they silent stand,
To see a Woman thus appear
My Gospel to bring round?
I tell them all 'tis time to fear,
For now I shall be found;
That as in Adam men did die,
They now may live in me:
The Woman's voice that do obey,
My Spirit, they shall see,
Is surely come to guide thee on,
Or this could not appear,
To bring my Gospel in this form-
Blind mortals, answer here;
The way 'tis done, let all discern,
The great invited first;
But they refused, and then I chose
The lower class to burst,
In love to come, to all 'tis known;
But they did little know
Their names on record so should stand,
Throughout all ages go
To be the men my Gospel penned,
When I did come again
To bring the kingdom of your God,
Your Saviour's love made known.
So like the first the end doth burst-
The Cains and Abels see;
But now I tell you, at the last,
It is the Cains must flee;
For I am come, it must be known,
My Bible all to clear;
And 'tis the Cains I shall unthrone,
Before I've ended here.
Now mark the first, how all was placed
Her Promise for to claim;
Between the two, you all do know,
It first was fixed for men,
To fix his curse above the rest,
As he did her beguile;
And after that, you know 'twas fixed
The way I her should foil;
That to her Husband she should come,
And her desire should be,
And over her he should rule strong:
In sorrow she would see
Her children here for to appear,
To bring them forth to man;
And sorrow see in her to be
The way I've led her on.
But unto all this cannot fall
A prophecy made good;
For some no children have at all;
Let this be understood;
And some, see clear, that do appear
Their husbands cannot rule
Their heart and soul, I tell you all;
So man must be a fool,
This prophecy, as it doth lie,
To place to Women all;
Then unto one the thing must come,
When I in Spirit call.
But now within thou dost begin,
Thy pondering heart I see-
The Curse that was pronounced on Man,
In all men cannot be:
What labour here to some appear?
What toil do they go through?
No sweats from some can ever come-
These thoughts are in thy view;
But I'll appear to answer here,
That sorrow comes to all;
There's not a man on earth can stand,
To say no grief did fall;
Though labour here I now shall clear,
I tell thee, 'tis but few
But do in labour now appear,
All men must own it true.
The husbandman, discern his plan,
He labours to get bread;
The wise and learned in your land
They labour, as I've said;
The counsellor here let him appear
His trials to go through,
He labours more than he can bear
Without some pain, I know;
The clergy see, alike they be,
They labour all to gain
The livings that are given they,
And often feel much pain;
Now to the king I next shall come,
He labours just the same,
And oft with pain, I will maintain,
To guide and guard your land;
In council here for to appear
The parliament all see,
How in their heads they labour here,
For I do now tell thee,
They labour more for earthly store,
Or grandeur for to shine,
Than the poor man that ploughs your land,
I tell thee, in their minds.
So all alike the path is strait,
In sorrow men go on
To eat the bread of carefulness;
And sorrows quite unknown
Concealed from all, I know they fall
Upon the sons of men:
There's not a man on earth can come
To say he ne'er felt pain;
The words are true before your view,
And let all flesh appear;
There's not that man on earth can stand,
To say-'No pain I bear,
No grief of mind I ever find,
No labour for my bread;
All toil from me was ever free,
All grief from me is fled.'
Now if such man on earth can come
To say his life went through
Without a sorrow to appear,
Or feeling pains to know:
Then he may say another way,
The curse was never fixed
Upon all men, to suffer pain;
Then I shall answer next,
The pain on me was fixed to be,
And I did feel it here;
And mark me in Gethsemane,
What sweats did then appear!
So on me all this load did fall,
If men do say they missed
This heavy burden; now I call,
At first I felt all this,
When in the Body I appeared,
Man's nature to assume;
Mark all the sorrows I went through,
Till I came to my tomb.
So thus for Man I did begin,
For Man I all went through;
But now, I tell you, in the end,
The Woman's in my view,
In Spirit here for to appear,
To clear the every guilt;
The blame no longer will I bear,
What I for Man have felt.
The blame at first on me was cast,
When Man received his Fall;
The blame again I did sustain-
Oh, men, behold your call!
The garden see, the sweats of me,
And all I then went through!
And if for Man all this was done,
The Woman's in my view,
To come again, her cause maintain,
As she was so betrayed,
And from the Promise I did make
To cast on Satan's head
The every guilt that she hath felt,
The sorrows she'th gone through,
In Spirit here no man can clear,
But I her grief do know;
And unto me, you all may see,
Her strong desires are placed;
And over her I've surely ruled-
Oh, men! judge all the rest:
Her children here do now appear,
This way brought forth by she;
But know what sorrows she did bear,
The way led on by me.
"And now I shall answer thee in plain words. If the curse, that was pronounced on Man, hath not followed every man that came into the world; yet know, it fell entirely on me; for mark my Life, from the Manger to the Cross, if I did not go through the whole for Man. But how can I bring in Man's Redemption, before I come in the Spirit to clear the Woman? So if the Prophecy given to the Woman is not fulfilled in all women, which no man upon earth can prove it is; then know, it must be perfectly fulfilled in me, to claim the Promise, clear the Fall, and bring forth her children to the Lord. And now let them see in what sorrow thou hast brought forth thy children; how strong thy desire hath been to the Lord; how much thou hast been afraid of being deceived; how often thou hast been falling back, when my directions thou didst not understand; and how strongly have I ruled over thee, till I have brought all to the Fall, and all to the Gospel. Now can men be so void of reason, to think all this is done by the Devil, to seek and plead his own destruction? No; here the wisdom of the wise is perished, and the understanding of the prudent is hid, who vainly imagine this is from the Devil. Blinder than the Jews they must now appear; therefore I said, man was twice dead, twice plucked up by the roots: the Jews were dead through unbelief, plucked up and cast out, as having no root in me; and now I am come again in the Spirit, to fulfil my Bible, and clear the Fall, I find thousands dead the same through unbelief, that will be plucked out, as withered branches, having no root in me! They perish for want of knowledge; they die through unbelief; and so they will be plucked up by the root, as branches dead, cast out through unbelief, having no share or lot in the matter, either to be united with the church triumphant in glory above, or with the church militant here on earth: for these are the churches that must be united, who long to see my Name exalted, that all that have breath may praise my name.
"From East to West, from North to South,
My name shall fly abroad,
And all the listening nations round
Shall praise their conquering Lord.
"And now I shall answer thee from the words thou hast spoken this day. Thou sayest the kindness and attention of thy friends come too late; when thy appetite is gone thou canst not enjoy it; perfectly so, I tell thee, by mankind, thousands will become thy friends, when thy life is gone, and thou canst not enjoy them; for know I told thee in ninety-three, thy death would convince more than thy life. But it is happy for those that believe before thou die, because they will feel a peace of conscience, a rejoicing, and hope to see thee again, while the others will know they are strangers unto thee; and will reflect they persecuted thee, as the Jews will that they persecuted me; for I now tell thee, both alike they are persecuting the Spirit of God, and doing despite to his mercy and goodness. Now mark what is said this day, the fifth day of thy appearance; and let them mark deeply what happens on the sixth, for then thy labour endeth by me, to the Trials that I have called thee forward, till thou art called forward by man, and then thou wilt find thy appetite is gone-
"Thy strength of nature, and thy days are past,
When men in anger do against thee burst;
But then their anger I shall soon confound,
And make them tremble at my every sound;
The rocky hearts in sunder I shall rend,
And they shall know I'll stand thy every friend;
And then the veil I'll surely rend from man;
The graves may open when they do discern
A dying worm return to them again.
But then, I tell thee, thou'lt not long remain;
So all thy labour thou must now do first,
Before by man thy awful Trial burst,
And hasty seek thy writings to go through,
That thou may'st lay the truth before their view;
For to confound them, I shall make all clear,
And then thou'lt find thy awful Trial draws near;
When thou hast done the work designed by me,
I'll end thy life by man, they all will see;
Because thy awful Trial will come on-
And know, thy fluttering heart to meet the men
That were thy friends, in love for to appear,
To meet thy foes thy nature cannot bear;
Neither shall I permit it to be so,
For thou to live, that they might kindness show,
Because in sorrow I mean they shall mourn;
But could they do it, if thou didst return
To dwell among them, kindness they might show,
And think by wisdom they the whole do know,
And for thy sufferings think to make amends,
By every act of kindness, like thy friends.
But then, I tell them all, 'twill come too late,
Thy dying looks will bring thy dying fate,
And then thy sufferings quickly will be o'er,
And thou with joy possess thy happy shore,
That in thy heart thou long hast wished to see,
To leave this world below and dwell with me.
And so, I tell thee, by the rage of man,
Unto my kingdom thou wilt surely come;
Because by man thou'rt wounded at the first,
And so by man thy glory now shall burst;
That is, I mean to bring thee to my throne,
As in thy heart so long they've placed the thorns;
And so the thorns shall bring thee to thy crown:
'Tis by the Cross thy glories must be found.
So by the Cross thy life will make an end;
They'll find it deep in every line thus penned;
For like thy master now thy end must be,
Though not the way they nailed me to the tree;
Yet in like manner will thy death appear;
I know thy heart how long they wounded here;
Therefore I'll let them wound it to the end,
For that's the way that I the veil shall rend
From every heart, and so from every eye,
When on thy bed, they see thee for to lie,
Repeat the glories thou hast seen above,
Repeat the Will that I have made for Man,
Repeat my Promise that then shall come,
Repeat the glories they shall see below,
When strong my Spirit on all flesh shall go,
And Satan's power I shall take away.
But all these things I have revealed to thee
And yet much stronger I shall then appear,
What from my voice thou then shalt see and hear;
For now I say 'tis hastening to the time-
I'll claim this kingdom, and I'll make it mine;
And all my Bible now I will fulfil;
And to my Father now I'll reconcile
The sons of men, in union with their God;
And Satan now shall feel my awful rod:
And here's the ending every soul shall see;
The change is great, and great the change shall be
And Man shall know for what he first was made;
And Satan tremble that he e'er betrayed
The simpleness so in the Woman placed;
And now like her I'll make his grief to burst-
It was from him the sword went through her soul;
And for her sake, I now do tell you all
That he the same shall feel the every spear,
And feel like her the agonies she bore;
Then Man shall know I made her for his good,
When I in power do fulfil my word.
So for the present I shall end it here:
This is the fifth day, thou must now appear
To be a Helpmate to the sons of men;
And great they'll find the Helpmate in the end,
Because their Helpmate they will find is me,
That strong in Spirit now doth visit thee:
But of herself the Woman could be none-
'Tis I that died, and did for all atone;
And now my dying Blood shall make an end-
I said I died to be the sinner's friend;
And now the sinner's friend I'll surely be,
If they in heart will now look up to me."
After reading this, Joanna entered into an interesting account of many parts of her prophecies, which collectively afforded a clear view of her awful Trial before men, as distinct from this Trial, to which she has been called by the Lord. She then adduced Scripture proofs of her mission being the fulfilment of the prophecies of the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. The manner of the Gospel dispensation coming round contrary to the judgment of the disciples was also referred to, as a parallel to the different opinions formed by herself and friends, respecting the ways of the Lord now through her. Joanna then expatiated on the various reports that the publicity of the Trance would give rise to, and on other particulars connected with her being brought before men. Here she emphatically declared that she must stand or fall by the voice of this assembly, by the judgment now passed concerning her mission. This subject was further pressed to our attention, by saying that we must give our decided opinion upon the whole of the proceedings to-morrow, and that in writing, with the respective signature of each individual thereto. Here she then enumerated these leading points touching her mission, which were left for the decision of the assembly:-That the calling was of God-The justice of it, in claiming the Promise made to the Woman in the Fall-The justice of casting the curse on Satan, so that his head should be bruised-That Christ had not seen the travail of his soul to be satisfied-Had not seen accomplished the day of vengeance in his heart-That Christ died unjustly, therefore it was right for the author of all evil to suffer, through the means of the Woman, and by her enmity, for betraying her in the beginning. She then pleaded her own sincerity, and drew this general inference, from the manner in which the Scriptures were explained to her, the agreement of her writings therewith, the fulfilment of her prophecies, and from other proofs, that the whole was the work of the Lord. When Joanna had concluded this address, the resolutions passed by the assembly after the examination of the witnesses, were read to her. She then made a most eloquent, though simple appeal, whether the Lord would let her go on in delusion; she then described her present weak state of health, and her mode of life; and having concluded this interesting appeal to the judgment of the assembly, Joanna retired in a high flow of spirits, at about half-past five.
When Joanna had nearly closed her discourse, she was interrupted by a member (Mr. Hows) asking, whether Satan knew he was cast by this Trial? for then he would pursue her and her friends with the utmost of his fury. This was answered by the following communication, given to her after she had retired, and sent in to be read before the meeting was adjourned.
"Now I shall answer thee of Hows. His observation was just, to say that Satan did not know his casting would be before thy awful Trial; but now he knoweth he is cast; and now he will come down in great wrath, and stir up the people to come against thee; for he knows his time is short. And he is cast in the manner I told thee, that he would not have a friend present to speak for him, as Pilate did for me; but had unbelievers been present they would have pleaded against the Promise. Then how could the Promise have been claimed? But now they were all united and joined together in hand and mind, being informed by thee how strong the poison lay in him; and thou hast made it known unto all, that they may turn it back upon him. So if thou hast time let it be taken out before the book is sealed."
Extracted from the sealed writings, written in 1797.
"So now look back and see the M;
Mark the word, it was for Man,
That I died upon the tree;
Now the sceptre I will sway;
Satan must like me atone,
If he wish to save his own.
It was I that did make Man,
Breathed in him the life that came,
In my image placed him there.
Now one type I will fix more,
I shall place it to a king:
Now I'll do as he did then-
Call the mysteries to thy view;
Perfect like him I will do.
When the man did bring his clothes,
Poison in them then there was;
This the king did know before,
Made the man the same to wear,
Till he brought him to his end-
Deep the lines that thou hast penned:
I shall perfect do the same;
Satan he doth poison men,
In as perfect strange disguise,
They know not where the poison lies.
Careless they do put it on,
Till he hath tainted every vein,
And their deaths they do not see,
Dying creatures still they be;
But I tell them now I'll come,
To act perfect like the king;
He that made the clothes shall wear-
Judge my friends and now be clear,
If I mean to save my crown,
Satan must like him be found
To turn the clothing on his back.
Tell me if the king was right?
Right thou answer'st now indeed,
Just the cause was on his head,
Wisely sure he acted there,
The clothes for him he brought to wear;
Wisely did the king submit
To cast the rebel at his feet,
As so friendly he began
To sit and reason with the man;
It was his pleasure this to see,
How the clothes did first fit he,
Though the man did tremble there,
Yet the clothes he made him wear,
Till the fire and the wine
Made the man his life resign.
I at first came like the man,
Satan's poison to put on;
While that he did keep the crown,
Fire and sword destroyed mine;
Judas drank the wine with me,
Satan's poison came to he;
As the bribe did then appear,
I the clothes for Man did wear;
Satan did his crown possess,
While the poison stung my breast.
Now, I say, I'll go from him,
And another Type explain,
Then I'll make the mystery clear,
Tell thee how I'll end both here.
This is of another king,
Saved his life by a simple man,
Pleased the simple words to hear,
On his plate he printed there;
When a man in strange disguise
Saw the words it made him wise,
Dropped the lance then from his hand,
Conscious guilt did him condemn,
On the floor the lance did drop,
He feared the end and made him stop-
Then now the end 'tis time to fear,
For like both kings I shall act here;
Fearful Man I will forgive,
Now my crown I mean to save.
Their employers I do know,
Satan's poison first doth go;
But he considers not the end-
Deep is all that thou hast penned;
For the end must now appear,
Like the kings I've acted here:
In my Bible all is penned,
Man doth fear what is the end,
And in Man I see that fear-
Drops the lance when death seems near;
Because his heart doth surely faint-
Though too late some do repent,
For to sit on my right hand,
And like the goats may trembling stand;
Satan haunts them for his prey,
But I'll act another way:
Now I'll come like the first king,
Turn the poison back on him;
If he made it first for me,
It shall sure turn back on he,
For the coat he now shall wear;
All the poison now I'll clear,
It is the guilt of every man,
On his back it now shall come;
So I'd have him see the end,
Mark the lines that thou hast penned;
Drop the lances from his hand,
If he longer wish to stand,
And tempt men to sin no more,
Confess the guilt he'th done before;
For if I vengeance took on Man,
Then on him it shall come on."
The application of the above, now given by the Spirit.
"Now from this fable I shall answer:
Mark the date that it was penned;
Let men judge who is thy master,
Now they're come to see the end,
See the poison all discovered,
See the way that all do meet,
Then you may discern your lover,
I shall make your bliss complete;
Because like men they now are come
To drop their lance for me;
And like the king I shall go on
To turn the whole on he.
So all together you must weigh,
And everything compare;
Thy life is saved to this day,
To make all mysteries clear;
And clear they'll see the end to be,
For I shall turn it back;
And from thy fables all shall see
That so the end will break.
So now if men would wise discern,
They'd let their lances fall,
And say from hell their rage did swell,
He wished to poison all.
So now see plain, ye sons of men,
How all things I've brought round;
And all together in one chain
To have the truth be found.
So I'll end here and say no more,
But let them this discern,
How many years 'twas wrote before,
And how the end is come,
In every chain for to remain,
Alike in every word-
That I your King may victory bring
In wisdom as a God."
THE SEVENTH DAY
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11, 1804.
Notice having been given at the last public meeting, that Joanna would appear in the like manner this day, it being a fine morning the assembly accordingly met in the field, and were joined by Joanna and her female friends precisely at eleven. After a short time had been passed in devotion, Joanna began to address the public, giving a brief account of her mission, and then she emphatically warned her audience of the near approach of the kingdom of Christ. In the middle of her discourse, a multitude of people, who were not believers in her calling, and who were admitted into the adjoining ground, separated from us by a canal, found a paling at the west extremity, which they broke down and thus entered. Therefore a number of Joanna's friends hastened to that point to prevent such intrusion; but the stream appeared too violent to be effectually stemmed, and all attempts to do so were relinquished, and many promising to be peaceable, the intruders quietly mixed with us; at the same time, the gate at the east end was opened and the rest rushed in, upon some of them promising to be orderly, but others were of evil intentions to produce confusion and disorder. About half-past eleven a few drops of rain began to fall, and dark clouds rolling on, the sun, which till then cheered us with his beams, became obscured; and at that moment Joanna concluded her address with words to this effect: that she was then commanded to depart-that the sunshine was a token for her friends; but for the enemies of the approaching kingdom of Christ came the storm. Thus the infernal intentions of the enemy were frustrated, and she departed with her friends to the house; and the proceedings were resumed at about half-past twelve, when the purport of the resolutions, which were to terminate the Trial, were taken into consideration; and soon after four in the afternoon, a draft of them was read for further remarks. And then Joanna brought in a communication, given in answer to her account of the meeting in the field, and which was read, being as follows-
This is the seventh day of Joanna's Trial, and the sixth day of her appearance, when she went into the field to meet the multitude. On Saturday, the 8th instant, she met them in Mr. Carpenter's meeting, where she told them she should meet them again on the Tuesday; but was afterwards answered, if the crowd was too great for the meeting she should meet them in the open field. The crowd gathered too great for the meeting, and she was obliged to meet them in the field, that was enclosed, but in an adjoining field that the canal parted, there were gathered crowds of mockers; and many broke into the field, and Joanna's heart was deeply affected, as she was ordered to call to her remembrance the year ninety-two, when the power of the Lord visited her so strongly, that she could not abide in a house, but went out in the open field to dispute with the powers of darkness; and after they left her, she was surrounded with a company of angels. This struck deep upon her, and called to her remembrance the different spirits there were in men; some had the spirits of angels, to guard and protect her; some were filled with the spirit of the Devil, to destroy her if they could. This she knew, and this she felt; but the Spirit of the Lord arose strong within her, and gave her strength to speak to the multitude. The weather, for the season, was remarkably fine, till she had nearly ended her discourse, then began drops of rain, and the clouds behind looked very black; then she dismissed the whole, only telling them to fear the storm. Guarded by her male friends she went safely through. The mob behind her were very invective with their tongues, but had not power to injure her, or her friends. Some wished to trample her under their feet, and others wished to throw her into the canal, others said they hoped the constables had got her; the answer was by some man, he did not want the constables to have her, if he could but get hold of her; a woman cried out, if this be religion it was time to put a stop to it. These and many other things were said respecting her, as we came out of the field; however she got safely through, without receiving any insult, as they did not know her. When she came to the house in safety crowds of friends came to the door, and though fatigued, she went out to shake hands with them, till the rain came the second time.
The Answer of the Lord.
"Now, Joanna, thee I'll answer,
From the shadow of this day,
Jah, Jehovah is thy master,
Let them hear what I do say,
On every side the field is wide,
The Type stands deep for Man;
And ninety-two bring to thy view,
For so this day did come,
When strong my Spirit did visit thee,
In power for to appear,
The powers of darkness known to be
Did strong oppose thee there;
But in the field thou mad'st him yield,
He could not stay thy hand,
As from his power I did thee shield,
And made my angels come
To guard thee through, thou well dost know,
And so thou turnedst home.
Now to the purpose I shall come:
This day 'twas done by man;
The rage of hell in man did swell,
For Satan strong was there;
The different spirits, you know well,
Show how I did appear.
Like angels men to thee were seen
To guard thee safely through,
And so no harm to any came-
The End is in my view;
The rage of hell I know will swell,
But I'll my friends protect;
And from this day I all do tell
How that the End will break;
As parted here my friends appear,
Sheltered from every Foe,
They saw the storms and hasty fled,
And homeward all did go.
So homeward here my friends appear,
But they my rain shall see;
For though the storm thou first didst fear,
It always frightens thee;
But it is rain that's hastening on
That thou hast seen this day;
And to the purpose I shall come:
The drops fell down on thee,
Which made thee fear the storm was near,
But it I soon dismissed;
And so my friends have nought to fear,
That now in me do trust.
They're sheltered in from everything,
And all their foes shut out;
And so my friends I now shall screen,
They nothing have to doubt.
The time is come, 'tis hastening on
That I shall all divide,
As by the waters this was done,
Though some broke through the tide,
Like Pharaoh here for to appear,
And this I said they'd do;
But now the mysteries I shall clear-
Can they through Jordan go?
I tell thee, No; they'll find it so;
Like Pharaoh they began,
Their chariot wheels, they'll shortly know,
Will heavily drag on.
I said before they'd so appear,
Like Pharaoh's haughty host;
But I my chosen men shall clear,
And rid them off the coast.
So now discern how I do warn,
And what was said before,
That Satan strong in man would come,
The end for all draws near:
My Bible see alike to be,
And this I did foretell,
The rage of Satan thou would'st see
In many hearts to swell;
Because in man he now is strong,
As I have said before;
But to the purpose I shall come,
To open every door;
My Bible's true before your view,
If you discern the whole;
And all thy writings men may see,
How they alike do fall;
For if thy writings they read through,
I told thee from the first,
As Satan's malice thou didst know,
It strong in man would burst;
And so this day alike thou'st see,
But let them mark the end;
They had no power over thee,
Nor could they hurt thy friends.
So I'll keep off the coming stroke,
And of my friends take care;
For when the dangers they do break
I tell them not to fear.
Because this day, to all I say,
The shadow's deep for all.
How safe my friends I'll lead away,
When dangers they do fall.
So here's a warning deep for man,
A warning deep for all:
For mark the sun again 'tis come-
I told thee 'twas my rain;
Though thou didst fear the rising storm,
And soon began by men,
But I dismissed, they could not burst
With fury on thee here;
And so, I tell thee, at the last
I'll make them disappear.
So the sixth day, mark what I say,
By this you'll see the end,
When Satan's malice works with men,
The way I'll screen my friends;
And then no more my foes appear,
Than in this house they're found;
And every mystery I shall clear,
How all will then be crowned.
Because this night bring to thy sight
What I did bid thee do,
Into my Spirit all to drink,
For I shall cleanse them so.
So with my friends I'll make an end;
But tell thee, from this day,
As I have kept them from the foes,
The end to all shall be;
For by my care I'll guard them here,
They safely shall go through;
The storms of men they need not fear,
Though Satan will pursue;
But I'll divide on every side
The waters that stand between;
I'll smite the waves, I'll smite the tide,
My chosen I'll redeem;
For Canaan's shore is now before,
The happy land they'll see,
But let the enemies take care,
For they destroyed shall be;
Because from hell, they must know well,
The malice all doth burst;
For where's the man on earth can stand
And see the Promise first?
On Satan's head the curse was laid,
Can man wish it to free?
I tell thee, No; it is not so,
With hell they joined be;
It is from hell their rage doth swell,
Or they would all submit,
To have the curse on Satan fall,
And tremble at my feet;
As tears this day in some thou'st see,
So tears would be in all-
'Our Saviour's reign we long to see,
And have the Tempter fall,
Now above man his curse to come,
He was the root at first;
And now we wish to cut it down,
And have our Lord to burst,
In glory here for to appear,
As he at first made man,
We in his likeness might appear,
And join the heavenly throng.
While angels praise, let men now gaze,
And wish their conquering Lord
His crown be found, his praise resound,
And earth to praise his word.'
Thus would begin the hearts of men,
If Satan was not there;
And to his spirit they are bound,
Nor wish his chain to tear.
But now to men I'll reason strong,
And let them answer me;
For to the purpose I shall come-
As men did so agree,
The blame at first on me was cast;
Then let men now appear
And tell me why that at the last
They blame the Woman here,
Her Promise claiming to redeem
Her from her every guilt;
That Satan may receive his curse,
That she so long hath felt?
Oh! every way, vain men, I say,
Your maker still you blame;
But soon you'll find there comes a day
I'll put mankind to shame.
I tell you plain, you sons of men,
Man blamed me at the first;
But now I'm come to make an end,
The blame on you I'll cast.
Your fig-leaves here I'll surely tear,
And all I'll throw aside;
Your nakedness I'll now make bare-
The field for man is wide,
Because this day, to thee I say,
I parted by the storm;
And so they'll find it in that day
When I do man redeem.
The Type's from me, they all must see,
The weather thou didst not know,
When I did bid thee to appear
And meet the people so;
On every hand behold I'm come,
And every hand now see;
Thy hand was freely offered here,
No hand turned back by thee;
And so no hand was my command,
Thou know'st I said before-
With all to wed my hand was spread,
With those that did appear
In love to come with them I'd join;
But now the others see,
A gloomy band, by Satan's hand
A fatal end they'll see,
Unless they turn, in sorrow mourn,
Before it is too late.
Yet over some my heart doth yearn,
To see their awful fate
That must come on, to me 'tis known,
Where unbelief abounds;
They said they wished to tread on thee,
Their end will so be found.
Thy labour here I now shall clear,
The six days thou'st went through;
But I shall make the mysteries clear,
And bring all to thy view.
When I at first the Woman placed
In the six days for man,
And as the evil she did taste,
His Lord he did condemn;
And now the same, let all discern,
The six days thou'st went through,
And told the manner I do warn,
What I am come to do:
To fix the curse that first was placed,
And now they blame again;
Then how can man the Trial stand
Both causes to maintain?
If 'twas not good, as first it stood,
I've changed a different way,
And to the Promise now allude-
And will men still me blame?
Then you must fall, I tell you all,
Out of my kingdom come;
The day of vengeance known to all
You fast are bringing on.
So I'll end here, and say no more,
But let them weigh it deep:
For worse than Adam you appear,
And are more fast asleep;
If me you blame, if me you shame,
In Spirit for to come,
Fulfil the Promise that I made-
Oh! answer me, vain men,
For Adam's Fall you cannot call
That you are in the sound;
If you refuse the Woman's call,
Which way will you be found?
No Adams here you can appear,
But singly stand alone;
The perfect man you ne'er can come,
Not joined with the bone
I took from him, the Promise claim-
Discern, the lines go deep:
No Adams here can you appear,
But you alone may weep."
At a quarter past five Joanna quitted the room, to ask for directions respecting a point on which the assembly was divided in opinion, which was the propriety of inserting the names in the resolutions, under the distinction of Judges, Jury, and Elders; and some time after, the following answer was sent in-
After Joanna's writings went abroad in the world, the first believers that were chosen to judge of them were as follow-
Rev. Stanhope Bruce.
Rev. Thomas Webster.
Rev. Tho. Philip Foley.
Wm. Roundell Wetherell.
Richard Foley the child, with
William Tooke Harwood.
One being wanting a child was chosen in his room; but now a man is chosen with the child; so the whole make thirteen names.
The Men that were chosen to be as a Jury, to give in the evidence of their belief, are as follows-
Elias Jameson Field.
John Hows, in the place of William Coy deceased.
William Owen, in the place of William Taylor absent.
Wm. Layton Winter.
At the first proving all the Jury gave their opinion it was from the Lord; but as their judgment was condemned by the world at large, the bishops and clergy were appealed to, for any twenty-four to come against the aforesaid twenty-four; and if they could prove this calling not of God, it was to be given up to their judgment. This being declined by the bishops and clergy, and a report being given out that the books came from other men, with Joanna Southcott's signature, she was ordered to call forward her witnesses, and have every truth fairly proved, and tried, that everything came through her, that is gone out in the world in her name; and if the clergy refused to come forward, she was ordered to go out in the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, that in the presence of an equal number, as before, the truth might be established. To see this truth cleared up, men came from distant parts of the kingdom; and Joanna was answered, their labour of love should not be in vain in the Lord; for as twenty-four ministers could not be obtained to come forward to be witnesses of the truth, and judge from what spirit it came, the following twenty-four were chosen in their stead.
Rev. Samuel Eyre.
Abel Peplow Sharp.
John Bullen Pritchard.
John Scott, Attorney.
And by their judgment I was to stand or fall, that I might be freed by the laws of God and man; being told if it was not of God, he would have worked in twenty-four men to come forward against the other twenty-four, and overturned the whole; but as it is of God, no man hath appeared to overthrow it. So where is the man that can condemn me now? Unless he will come forth like the Serpent, and say, thou shalt not obey the command of the Lord; for now I tell all men, worse than the Serpent men must appear, that wish me to act contrary to my own knowledge, faith, and conscience; for where is the man that can answer for me in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment? Who can answer for my soul? or stand in my stead? Do I not see, he that began the work hath carried it on, and brought the whole to the Gospel? And no man hath come against me; the Lord hath been with me, according to His Promise. When I look backward, and now that I look forward, I see the wisdom of God shining bright in every line, in his direction and protection to me; then where is my adversary that wishes me to provoke my God, when he hath never forsaken nor deserted me, but kept me in on every side from the wrath of men and devils? though both with fury would seek my life; but it hath been hid with God in Christ. And now let men try to put me to confusion by the Signs I shall set before them; for what hath been concealed shall now be revealed of the Sign set to my enemies:-
Now if my foes will try the cause once more,
Then of themselves I bid them now appear,
And judge the calling by the following lines:
'Tis of my Trance I tell them of the Sign;
That if the clergy did against me burst,
Into a Trance I was told at the first
The Lord would throw me, when my foes did come.
So if my judges they do all condemn,
Then equal love I bid them now to show,
And say-"the cause we'll surely try and know,
Whether the Trance will unto her appear"-
I gave my foes my leave to try me here,
If like my friends they will the whole go through,
Call all together as my friends did do;
For now I've told them of the perfect Sign:
The wisdom of the Lord stands still behind,
To see in man what now there will appear,
When I've made public every Sign so clear,
When friends and foes do all together meet
To try the calling, if there is deceit.-
And now I shall give the lines at large spoken in ninety-four, when I was ordered to write to the clergy at Exeter, that when they all came forward to try the cause, friends and foes, it was said-
"When thou seest the seals are all brought in,
The lighted candles in their sockets burn,
Then in thy wonder thou wilt stand amazed,
And round the room thou'lt in confusion gaze;
And then thou'lt say, these things are for thee too high,
And by thy weakness thou wilt faint away;
But then for coffins let them none prepare,
But change thy dream and now forbid it here."
Again in ninety-six when it was said that man would demand the truth of me-
"And surely make thee brave the storm,
And mind no fainting here;
Then when my Jury all do meet,
Part of the time 'twill be
That I shall throw thee in a Trance,
And show thee my decrees;
And how the books are sealed above
That thou hast sealed below;
And how my Spirit it doth move,
Then thou wilt better know,
And then thy Guide, thou'lt surely see,
That doth with thee converse;
And every mystery thou shalt know,
That hath disturbed thy breast."
Then it goes on to my return-
"That like a ghost appear to most,
To bring the tidings down."
In all this my death followeth, only my coffin is forbidden when I first fall away; but this I shall put in more regular order when I find it in my books:-but know before this comes, it is said in my writings, I shall provoke them to anger and jealousy, to bring on my awful Trial.-
"And now, Joanna, I shall answer thee. To anger and to jealousy will many be provoked, when thy book goeth out in the world, that must be called thy Trial: but know thy Trial must prove thy Death, or how could these words be fulfilled?-
Canst thou be tried by such men
As John and I were here?
Thou answerest, No; for thou should'st die-
Thy nature is too weak;
Then down thy life I'd freely lay,
No man hath it room to take,
Such Trial thou shalt never bear
As John and I went through;
I'd sooner take thee to my care,
And give mankind their due.
"Now I shall show thee, from these words, 'taking thy life from thee': I shall throw thee in a Trance, when thy accusers come against thee, to put it out of their power to abuse thee; but for the sake of thy friends and believers, and to make known unto them my firm decrees, I shall return thee to the world again. So friends and foes must be together, and the candles that are lighted burning in their sockets; and then know what is said, when slided up they will give a greater light; but all this will happen at thy death; as I told thee thy death would convince more than thy life."
After the above had been read, about seven o'clock, wine and cakes were brought in, to be administered to the company, in the manner that Joanna had practised among her friends, and agreeably to the following communication-
"Now, Joanna, I shall give thee directions, as I am come to the fulfilment of the Scriptures; and they shall be fulfilled in thee, and by thee. These that have not the Law, and do by nature the things contained in the Law, are a Law unto themselves; now, by the conduct of the ministers; and my Spirit being a ministering Spirit to thee, thou hast forsaken the Law of the Gospel of late, to meet in the churches and receive the Sacrament from the hands of men; yet thou hast been a Law unto thyself, in drinking the wine in remembrance of me, with these words in thy heart, and on thy tongue-
'May I drink deep into the Spirit of Christ;
And may his Blood cleanse me from all sin!'
"Now let all the believers join with thee in heart and tongue: let the wine be poured into one cup, and let it be handed round by the ministers; but let the words be repeated by every one that drinketh. First begin with thee; then follow with all the women, as I am come to redeem the Fall of women; then every man in his order, the ministers first, then go on to the twelve that were chosen with them; then to the Jury; then to the twenty-four Elders; then to the witnesses, every man in his order, one after the other, as the calling hath been. For though this is not a sacrament, yet let this be the desire of their hearts, if they wish for a double portion of my Spirit to be poured out upon them hereafter; for all that they have seen and heard, and any joy that they have felt, is but a shadow of what is to come; and let them know, from my disciples, whatever power of my Spirit they felt in my Life, they felt it much stronger by the power of the Holy Ghost, after my Death; for then came the days of Pentecost. And after thy death, I shall strengthen my disciples much stronger, when thou art gone; but while thou art living, all must come to thee; all must come through thee; and thou standest the Trial for the whole."
After every one had drunk, and returned the cup, Joanna pronounced these words:-"As we all have drunk in one cup, may we drink into one faith, and may that faith be in Christ!" This solemn and affecting ceremony being concluded, Joanna delivered a most impressive discourse upon the general tenor of her mission, which brought her to this Trial. After this, she spoke on the accomplishment of her mission by her awful Trial before men; and in so doing her principal object was to impress on her friends a caution against entertaining any sentiments, which tended to exalt her, or themselves, in consequence of being called to this mission: For, said she-"I am but the clay in the hands of the potter"-And as to her being called the Bride-"This is but the shadow in one of what the substance will be to all, when the Bridegroom cometh." She dwelt with peculiar energy on this point; and which, it is hoped, made a due impression upon the mind of every one present.
At nine o'clock Joanna sealed up the writings, which are to be kept till after her death, and the signatures and seals of several present were also added; and the packet was then delivered into the possession of one of the judges.
After this, as a part of the ceremony before described, Joanna handed cakes to her female friends, which they broke among one another in token of love and friendship; and the men helped themselves for the same purpose, and then all was a scene of joy and mirth, in the midst of which Joanna took a final leave of her friends and retired.
The proceedings were then resumed by taking the ultimate Resolutions into consideration again, when they were agreed to unanimously, and then a fair copy having been prepared it was read at half-past eleven, being as follows-
Neckinger House, Bermondsey, near London,
Dec. 11, 1804.
We whose names are hereunto subscribed, being invited by Divine Command, for seven days, to the examination of Joanna Southcott's Prophecies, do, for the following reasons, individually and voluntarily avow, by our separate signatures, our firm belief, that her Prophecies and other Spiritual Communications emanate wholly and entirely from the Spirit of the living Lord: and happily encouraged by this belief pray, as we ought to do, that our Saviour Jesus Christ may exercise His power on earth for the destruction of sin, and the removal of Satan, who is now cast; and the Woman is now freed, by the uplifted hands of all present, being about seventy in number, who cast their * * * * * * at the feet of their Lord, wishing Him speedily to bring in His glorious Kingdom of Peace upon earth, that all may worship Him in spirit and in truth, that finally He may triumph over death, hell, and the grave.
Because it appears to us, that that passage in the Scripture is now fulfilled, where the kingdom of heaven is likened unto a woman's having a little leaven, which she was to hide in three measures of meal; and because this likeness is now accomplished, by Joanna Southcott's three Trials, called by the command of the Lord; namely, the first Trial held in Exeter, for seven days, in the Christmas of 1801, when the word of God was leavened by the Truth; the second held at the High House, Paddington, for seven days, commencing January the 12th, 1803, when it was leavened again by the Truth; and the third held at the Neckinger House, Bermondsey, near London, for seven days, commencing December the 5th, and ending this day, December the 11th, 1804, when the word of God was again leavened by the Truth.
Because it appears to us, that Man's temporal Redemption can never take place, before the Spirit of the Lord comes to clear the Woman from the Fall, as is promised in the third chapter of Genesis, of her seed's bruising the serpent's head.
Because it appears to us, this must be fulfilled in one Woman, first as a shadow, before the substance comes to all.
Because it appears to us, this must be accomplished by the Spirit of the Lord coming to the Woman, to make her the perfect Helpmate to Man, as promised in the Creation.
Because it appears to us, from a close and candid investigation of Joanna Southcott's Writings, comparing them with the Scripture of Truth, that she is fully empowered, by the Spirit of Christ, to claim that Promise made to the Woman in the Creation, and now revealed to her, that her seed should bruise Satan's head.
Because this Prophecy must be accomplished, that our Blessed Lord may see of the Travail of His Soul and be satisfied; and may have that Day of Vengeance, which He had, in His heart, perfected.
Because with joy and gladness we join the Woman hand and heart, to claim the above Promise, and wish it to be speedily and radically fulfilled, that the Year of His Redeemed may come.
Because it appears to us, that Satan's head has never yet been bruised, and that the sentence passed upon him at the Fall hath never been accomplished.
Because it appears to us, that that Prophecy of Bruising the Heel of our Blessed Lord hath been fulfilled, when the Powers of Darkness worked in the hearts of Men to murder our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Because it appears to us, that the great seducer of the Woman's innocence at first, and in all ages since the Fall, has been the cause of murders, lies, and every crime; and now is revealed by the Spirit of Christ to the Woman, to be the Man of Sin, and the Son of Perdition, working in every human heart to be at enmity against their God.
Because it appears to us, that the Promise made at the Creation, for the Woman to be the Helpmate to Man, is now fulfilling, through Christ, the Corner Stone of Human Redemption.
Because it appears to us, that the suffering of our Divine Master, who, for Man's sake, sweated drops of blood, must have been as greatly beyond our human comprehension, as was His spotless innocence; and whose divine Love and Pity were superior to every human affection.
Because it appears to us, that the Day of Vengeance, which Christ had in His heart, must be to turn it back on Satan, who worked in the Man to cast the blame upon the Lord of Life and Glory, and which proves the justness of Satan's curse being above every living creature.
And because it appears to us, that our dear Redeemer's mercy is clear in promising to send the Spirit and the Bride, to invite that all who hear and will, may take of the Water of Life freely.-And thanks be to God, from the clearest and most demonstrative evidence, displayed before us, we are fully convinced, that the happy time is now fast approaching.
Thos. P. Foley.
William R. Wetherell.
W. Tooke Harwood.
Elias Jameson Field.
W. Layton Winter.
A. P. Sharp.
John Bullen Pritchard.
These Resolutions and Reasons were read over by the Rev. Thos. P. Foley, on the 11th of December, 1804, to the persons whose names are hereunto written and signed by them in my presence,
The above Resolutions having been signed by the assembly individually, so that the whole was finished a few minutes before midnight, the object of our being called together was thus terminated within the time appointed, and which completed the seven days Trial of Joanna Southcott.
The following Remarks made by Joanna on the proceedings of her Trial, and Communications thereon, are, by her direction, inserted here, to conclude the Book.
The Book of my Trial not being hastily printed, I have had an opportunity of looking over my sealed writings, wherein I can prove to the world, that in the years 1796 and 1797, I was perfectly foretold of the unbelief of the Methodists in general; how they would act like the unbelieving Jews, who believed they were Abraham's seed, and had no need of a Saviour; and that just so were the self-righteous Christians at this day, who believe they have an interest in Christ, and wanted no warning of his coming, but judged they were the righteous that it should go well with; and like the Jews of old, they would mock the warning. This astonished me at the time; but seeing the truth verified the more astonishes me now; how it is possible that men called Christians can see the judgments that have been already in our land, and see the distressed situation our country is now in, with the sword hanging over our heads; that men can be so bold and confident as to mock in the midst of dangers, and professors of religion now hardening men's hearts to tell them there are none! This appears marvellous in my eyes; yet it verifies and fulfils my prophecies. At the same dates, I was told of the conduct of the clergy of the Church of England, how they would be like the fruit that was fallen with a black veil round them; and yet it would come to the standard of the church; for by the church ministers the good fruit would be brought in, and from them the good fruit would spring -
"Back to the church the standard all must come."
Now if men weigh all the conduct of the church ministers together they must see the truth of both: though these are but shadows that are printed, to what is in my sealed writings. Now it must be made known unto all men, that my writings went first out into the world, by the judgment of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, in 1801; as he ordered me to cut the seals, and have some copied out and sent to him; and his command I was ordered to obey, and to write to four ministers besides, for them to judge of the writings; but as they refused, they were put in print by Mr. Pomeroy's judgment alone, after he had them in his possession more than a fortnight; he gave them himself into my hands, as I before had told him they must go in print; and to which he made answer, that he could not blame me. Then all must know he must justify me; for in a cause like this, if it is not blameable it is justifiable. If it be of the Devil it is blameable to go out in the world; if it be from a disordered head, or a farrago of nonsense, it is still blameable; but if it be of God it is not blameable. And this was Mr. Pomeroy's judgment at first; and by his judgment they went out in the world, as I was commanded by the Lord; as no minister came forward to condemn them. Now the world might say, how came Mr. Pomeroy to go from his first judgment? I answer, in so doing he hath fulfilled a prophecy that was given to me in 1797, that if he turned back to deny like Peter, it would be for the fear of men that would mock him. Now I can prove to the whole world I have now found this in my sealed writings, which in many places speak of his falling back; and he hath since verified the truth; for he told me himself, at the end of the year 1801, how much he was mocked by the clergy, which made him deny all his former words; and the truth about him was all foretold. Now I shall come further to the standard of the Church. After my writings went out into the world no preachers of any religion came forward, but the three ministers of the established Church; though some men of other religions came after and joined them, when they were assembled to prove my writings. And now it is come to the fulfilment of the Gospel: the third time that the Lord hath called it forward, different sects and parties of religion appeared; but there was no minister of any religion but of the Church, that joined the other twenty-four. So here the church ministers stand at the head of each Trial, according to the prophecies before given to me. Now I shall appeal to every man's conscience, if I had been an impostor, or if my writings came from the devil, or any spirit that was not from the Lord, would all have come so perfectly true? and the hearts of all men be foretold to me? or are they all known to the devil? I can assure them they were not known to me, till revealed to me by the Spirit. But had I been left to draw my own judgment, I should have thought the Methodists would have been the first that would have come in, because they pretend to preach of the visitation of the Lord; but I was told they did not believe what they preached: and true I have found it. Now I have another observation to make to man: Had my Trial been fixed by the devil, that when friends and foes did meet together, that is believers and unbelievers, that he would throw me in a Trance, as it is said in 1796, when they meet in this manner-
"I shall throw thee in a Trance,
And show thee my decrees,
And how the books are sealed above
That thou hast sealed below;
And how my Spirit it doth move-
Then thou wilt surely know,
And then thy Guide thou'lt surely see,
That doth with thee converse;
Then every mystery thou shalt know,
That hath disturbed thy breast."
Now if this Trance was placed by the devil, and if six or eight strong opposers and unbelievers were present, do men vainly believe, that the Lord had not so many men whose hearts he could influence to come forward and confound the whole, by calling the Trance forward? and if that did not appear, to publish to the world it was all a delusion, for they had come to the standard of my writings, when enemies, opposers, and friends, were all present together, and nothing had then happened to convince the unbelievers, they must then have confounded the whole. Now it cannot be said, the hearts of all men are in the hands of the Lord, if this calling came from any wrong spirit, and the Lord could not bring forward six or eight men to prove it so, to confound the devil, and to prove this calling was not from the Lord; for the eye of the Lord is everywhere present, and from whatever spirit my writings came, he knew better how they stood than I did, and hath acted in every way to make them perfectly true, contrary to my judgment: but if men will say it is not the Lord's doing, then they must put all the knowledge and power of God out of the question, and say, the whole world lieth in the wicked one, the devil; but, as it is written-"the hearts of all men are in the hands of the Lord": and, "it is I the Lord that worketh in the hearts of my people to will and to do of my good pleasure."-Now I must appeal to all men's consciences, who it was, that worked in the hearts of men that came forward to fulfil the Gospel, and make my writings so perfectly true, that men should thus strengthen me to go on? And now I affirm to the whole world, my hand is strengthened by believers, and much more strengthened by the unbelievers; as it is marvellous in my eyes, how the great professors of religion can so depart from the Gospel, and so much from their own preaching, as they now do, so perfectly as I was foretold. Now if they will say this was from the devil, they must say their hearts were known to the devil, and that they are a people unknown to the Lord: but this prophecy is now fulfilled to my astonishment; and all the conduct of these pretended Christians is foretold, as well as the events of all nations; for when I look to my writings, that have been so many years sealed up, I find in them everything is so foretold. And now I shall come to another observation: It was never my wisdom to keep my writings sealed up; but by the directions of the Spirit, from whose revelations I have known all things, they were ordered to be sealed up, and so many witnesses placed to see the truth. Now when the world had made so many false reports, that I was an impostor, it was by the wisdom of the same Spirit, to have all these witnesses called forward to clear my honour, prove my upright dealings, and put all my enemies to shame; that is, to prove them liars, which shows my enemies are led by the devil, and from him their malice comes. Now I must be void of reason, and so must every man, to believe that the devil would so wisely and prudently direct me to go on to clear my own conscience, and to confound all my enemies; for I now defy the learned world, and all the boasted Christians upon earth, to prove from the Bible, that they have acted so consistent with the rules of the Law and the Gospel, with the rules of God and man, as I have acted by the direction of the Spirit, that hath strongly visited me from 1792 to this day; so if men will say this Spirit is from the devil, they must say there is more justice, more honour, honesty, and upright dealings in him than there is in man. But it would be blasphemy in me, of the blackest dye, if I was to place this upright dealing to the devil, in whom I believe there is no honour, no justice, nor truth; and I am sorry to say, I see too much of his spirit amongst mankind, save those who acted according to the Scriptures, and like the disciples of old, made diligent search to seek into every truth, and weighed the whole with the tenor of the Bible, and drew their judgment therefrom, believing God to be the God of Truth; that he would fulfil at last what he promised at first; and this belief was placed in the hearts of all the men that were present.
But one thing more appears marvellous in my eyes: Many women were present who before were full of unbelief, but the Lord showed no wondrous working to convince them, nor ever promised to do it to convince women, if forty had been present; and yet he hath promised to show his wondrous works for the sake of ten men. This appears marvellous in my eyes, more so than all my writings, that as this visitation is to a Woman, that the Lord never promised any wondrous working to convince the unbelief of women; but all his promises are to convince the unbelief of men, if they come forward to search into the Truth through unbelief. At this I still marvel.
The Answer of the Lord.
"Now, Joanna, I shall answer thee. I said, when thou hadst drawn thy judgment, I should answer thee again; and now, from thy last judgment thou hast drawn of women, I shall answer thee. Know the woman was in the transgression; know she gave it to the man, and drew him in to fall with her; and by the man the blame was cast on me, for giving him the woman; then know it is the man, and not the woman, that my working is to convince. If the woman obeyed the serpent at first, and knew the promise I made her, yet if she is still determined to abide by her Fall, never claim the Promise, never wish to have it fulfilled, but determines to abide in darkness; as she was the transgressor to go on in her transgressions against God and man, what have I to do with the woman, to work miracles to convince her? Let women know, it was not the man brought the Fall on her; but it was the woman brought the Fall on man. It was not the man that was taken from the woman; but the woman was taken from the man; then women must know, they are the transgressors, and not the man. Now, as the man was betrayed by the woman, and cast his blame on me, for giving him the woman, in justice to my own honour, and in justice to man, it is to man I must clear myself, that I did not give him the woman in vain. But what justice have I due to the women, if they are determined to stand out through unbelief, and abide with the master they first fell by? They cannot say the man beguiled them; they cannot say the Lord beguiled them; but the answer was, "the Serpent beguiled me." So I say once more, as I have said already, if they are determined to abide by that master; if they are determined to refuse the Promise, that man might abide for ever under the condemnation of the Fall, that she drew the man into, I have no honour to clear there; No; my honour is to man, who thought he should not have fallen, if it had not been for the woman; and thought he was robbed both by Her and Me; by my taking the bone from him, and making the woman which caused his Fall.
"So let thy pondering thoughts be o'er,
For thou mayest marvel more,
When I go on to show thee plain
The ocean and the shore:
The ocean see, I now tell thee,
Did from the Woman burst;
Oceans of sin and misery
By Satan's arts were cast.
So on the sea, I now do say,
Of sorrow, it was placed.
The Promise I did give to she,
Might like a ship be cast
To have her anchor fixed secure,
And to the Promise stand;
Then she may make her ship secure,
And bring her men to land;
But if she'll say another way,
'I will no anchor cast.
I'll fear no tempest in the way,
The ships may all be lost;
For I'll go on as I've begun,
First tainted by the Fall;
I want no promise now to claim
To free mankind at all.'
Then here the Woman stands condemned,
If she this way goes on,
And say her Promise she'll not claim.-
But now I'll turn to Man;
So he and I the cause must try
With women that do claim
The Promise clear for to appear,
That you might all regain
The loss by she, complete in me;
But all must understand,
No Woman there can then appear,
When I reveal to Man
The perfect Fall, and clear the whole,
No Woman there can be
That doth not see her Promise clear,
And plead her cause like thee:
That it is just Satan is cast,
As I said at the first,
And now, I tell you, at the last
Thy Trial so must burst.
But in that day, I now do say,
If women should appear
In unbelief, they'd see their grief,
To fall in deep despair;
My answer strong to them must come,
As Satan would confound:
You listened to his poisonous tongue,
Now tremble at the sound!
Can you appear against me here
And say you him believed?
And now again for to maintain,
Your God will you deceive?
Satan at first that way did burst,
Persuade her I did lie;
No death on her there should be cast,
But they as gods should be.
So here with him she did begin,
But owned she was betrayed;
Then next my words must now be seen,
To cast it on his head;
So here my word is on record,
My Promise like the first;
But if again you mock your Lord,
And with the serpent burst-
Again I lie doth Satan say,
And make you this believe,
Then you may stumble in the way,
And Satan doth deceive.
So if you come with him to join,
In unbelief appear,
You cannot answer, like the Man,
'Twas I had foiled you there,
The second time, call all to mind,
If I forgave the first.
Then how to her can I appear
In honour to dispute;
The serpent he beguiled she,
And therefore I am mute,
If she goeth on with him to join,
And will not turn to me,
To say, 'thy Promise, Lord, I claim,
For thou to set me free;
I see my guilt, and it I felt,
For to draw in the man;
But if thy Blood for me was spilt
I trust 'tis not in vain;
Thou wilt not scorn, as thou wast born
Of Woman at the first;
Though Satan's arts were all unknown,
And by them I was cast,
But still in thee the strength must be,
That did in love appear,
And of the Woman to be born,
I see my help lie there.'
Thus must begin the Woman's tongue,
And this she must believe,
That for her ransom here I come
To make her foe to grieve;
And on the head that her betrayed
My avenging Blood must come;
And this must be the Woman's plead,
As I of her was born.
Another way, to thee I say,
I cannot free their Fall,
In Satan's hand if they will stand,
No Promise plead at all,
Nor yet believe I shall reprieve,
According to my word.
From Parables I shall appear,
And then discern your Lord-
How back to man I now shall come,
From Pomeroy I'll appear;
The way that first he led thee on
Let all men now see clear-
So let them know he was thy judge at first,
And from his judgment all believers burst,
And from his judgment let them all go on,
And from his judgment I shall answer man.
He stood thy Judge, and said he would not blame;
So when he turned 'twas man put him to shame;
But now from man his destiny thou dost see;
And now from man judge what thy end would be,
If thou for man, like him, had here drawn back:
I ask, which way thy honour they'd protect?
Or, how thy conscience they could ever screen;
Discern thy fall and see it in the man!
Because a Proverb he stands deep for all;
The fear of man brought on his every fall;
And had the fear of man been so in thee,
Thy final fall, thy ruin thou would'st see:
For 'twould have been much greater than the man's-
I say, his house was built upon the sand,
Where storms and tempests quickly threw it down;
But on the Rock of Ages thine was found,
Because thy building was so strong in me:
A faithless God thou say'st could never be,
If that my Bible ever could be true;
The Law and Gospel thou call'st to thy view,
And all my Promises that were on record;
So from my Bible thou'st believed my word,
To be a God that will not man deceive;
This is a faith that few men do believe!
Therefore their houses they are on the sand-
The unbelief in man can never stand;
For when thy Trial men have read all through,
And see the Truth of all before their view,
And in what manner all is carried on,
They must confess the Lord to them's unknown,
If that thy writings ever come from hell,
And he that wondrous Sign to thee did tell,
And I'd no Friend to make him to appear
To prove his lies, if lies from him they were,
Then sure the hearts of none are in my hand!
If thou art blind, in blindness thou may'st stand,
And so in blindness all my Friends might be,
If I could work in none the Truth to see:
Then sure my honour truly must be lost,
And Satan still in wisdom he might boast,
If to his wisdom fools did give it up.
Let men observe the way thy Trial dropped,
And of their goodness let them boast no more,
For I shall answer, as I said before:
My Law and Gospel they have thrown aside,
And every truth I've said must be applied,
The hearts of all men I told thee before-
Thou know'st the shell I bid thee open there,
Black was the veil and shrivelled all within;
Just so I said men's hearts to me were seen;
But as the Trees in ranks did then appear,
I showed the fruit to thee that then was there,
And said, when ripened, it would sure be good,
And to believers I shall all allude;
And now I tell thee they may ripen fast;
The fruit is fallen, and the veil is cast,
To see their hearts are wrinkled so within,
They judge their God hath nothing known or seen
Of all the wondrous writings thou'st gone through,
And now I'll bring it plainer to thy view:
If they believe my Eye is everywhere,
And yet let Satan make the Truth appear,
Then all my Bible they may judge the same,
And say from him then all the Truth did come,
And now he's come for to fulfil the whole.
If he could tell thee how all this would fall,
And plainly show thee all the hearts of men,
Before thou'st tried them how the end would come,
And say professed Christians thou would'st see:
Just like the Jews of old did act with me,
The Gentiles now would act with thee the same,
And yet profess to love my every Name!
The Jews professed to love their Lord at first,
And thought it right against the Son to burst;
And now the Gentiles they are just the same,
Against my Spirit they in rage are come;
And all these things I told thee of before,
The hearts of men, the tumults and the war,
The dearth and scarcity that would abound-
But now 'tis come to tremble at the sound,
Because the shadows all are past before,
You'll find the substance to be hastening near;
As from your conduct I do plainly see,
No man had love to try the cause for me,
But those that did believe it from their God;
Then here's the fruit, it must to all be known,
That on the trees did unto thee appear,
And here's the fruit I in the end shall clear;
But how the fallen fruit can it now stand,
When I have brought the whole so plain to man?
If that from Satan now thy writings be,
I'd not one Friend come forth in love to me;
But if from me thy writings surely come,
I have but few that do regard my Name.
So by their mockery let them now to fear,
And from my Bible I shall answer here:
A controversy I've held out with Man,
But to the purpose I shall surely come;
Because, I tell them, I have long given ear
The words and arguments of men to hear;
So now, vain men, astonished you may be,
When I in anger break, my fury see.
I've done a thing I never did before;
I chose a Woman that was low and poor,
Without a husband ever to protect;
And for her father, he could not direct,
Because his age and poverty was so,
Without assistance she alone did go,
But I did direct her to the Shepherds' care;
And now I ask them, how they'll all appear,
To let a single Woman so go on,
If they believed that she was acting wrong?
Will they, like Adam, in that day appear,
And say, 'we judged the Lord had foiled her here,
To let the truth with all her words agree,
Though 'twas from Satan we did plainly see,
And yet the truth we let it fly abroad?'
Then let them hear the answer of their Lord:
The Woman I directed to your care,
And to your judgment, know, I told her here
That all her writings she should sure commit;
And now I bid men answer, for 'tis great,
The truth and judgment that did then appear,
When all my friends they were assembled there,
And to their judgment she did all submit:
And in the end you'll find their judgment great.
But now before me I ask how you'll stand,
You bold impostors, to condemn her hand,
And judge a thing you would not know nor see?
I say, on men the blow turned back must be;
For on their heads I'll now turn back the blame,
Though Man at first his Maker he did shame;
But now at last I'll surely shame you all-
I chose the Woman for to show your Fall,
And did direct her to the Shepherds' care.
Once more I'll ask them, how they'll all appear?
None but my Shepherds can with courage stand.
Because I gave the Woman to their hands,
And to their judgment she would all resign;
And will they dare to say the hand's not mine,
But she by Satan's arts was so led on,
And you refused ever to stop her hand,
When she had promised all for to submit
Unto your hands? then tremble at her feet,
For like the Serpent you must all appear,
To see her wrong and to encourage her,
As by your silence you have surely done;
And by your silence you have led her on,
And by your silence you the whole support.
And will you say you did it to her hurt?
Then to your hurt the Woman shall appear:
Tremble you shepherds for to meet her here!
If all these things you for her hurt designed,
Then for your hurt I now shall tell my mind:
As Adam first cast all the blame on me,
And after that men nailed me to the tree;
Then now at last I'll cast the blame on you,
And judge what ruin must be in your view.
If now I turn the whole back on the man,
Because the Woman he doth here condemn,
Unseen, unheard, and know not why 'tis so.
To your weak judgment would you have her go,
And say that blind men they shall lead her here?
If she be blind, then they have room to fear,
Because like blind men they have led her on,
To judge of things they do not understand,
To judge of things they will not know nor see;
Then sure as blind men must these shepherds be,
That do pretend against her for to write,
And say 'tis wrong the way that I indite,
Because you say the words are all too low;
But now I say if higher I should go,
To prove it plain the language comes from Heaven,
I ask which way mankind could be forgiven,
If they went on to make my Bible true?
And bring the Revelations to their view:
Against the Woman they their floods cast here,
The earth did help her, let all men see clear;
But war against her friends there's surely come,
True are the words, if you can this discern;
But if the truth you cannot clearly see,
Back on your heads the war turned back shall be;
Because my Kingdom I am bringing here,
None but my friends shall then with joy appear;
And now, I tell thee, thou'st not got a foe
But comes from hell, and that they'll surely know;
But if they wish ever to free his chain,
Then let them turn and see my Gospel plain,
Or else I tell them they will surely fall;
The Woman's Promise must your ransom call;
For in all ages I mankind did see,
How they, like Adam, cast the blame on me,
And say the Woman she did cause their Fall.
Men's boasted wisdom now, I tell you all,
Must stand for ever to be more than mine,
Should I not finish what I first designed;
In every age I know the heads of men,
Thought that much wiser they could lay their plan
Than ever I did lay it at the first;
And now's the time their wisdom shall be cast;
Because the Woman I've placed simply here,
And gave her wholly to the shepherds' care,
Unto their judgment I did bid her stand;
If she act wrong the fault must be in man;
And where's the man in wisdom can appear,
To say that man can come himself to clear?
No, no, vain men, I tell you, you are cast,
Upon your heads you've brought the whole at last,
Unless 't be those that do her words believe,
And they like her do judge she's not deceived;
And now I say deceived she cannot be;
She fell by Satan, but she stands in me;
And now I tell you, by her I will stand,
And Man's Redemption now is nigh at hand;
But first the Woman I must free her Fall,
Ere Man's Redemption I can ever call,
Unless I now destroy the human race,
And leave no Woman here for to disgrace
My Father's honour and his every word,
Blot out my Bible that is on record;
Or else men's wisdom must be more than mine,
If to men's foolish judgment I resign,
To have my Kingdom be brought in by Man,
Before the Woman doth her Promise claim.
If so, I tell you, I'd ne'er come before-
Worse than the Jews the Gentiles now do err;
For I must lose my honour as a God,
By every wisdom they of me have drawn."
As I have been commanded to put all particulars in print in my Trial, concerning the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy and me, I must observe to the readers, that he fell back, perfectly as I was foretold in 1797, from his own words to me; therefore I may say of him, as our Saviour said unto Pilate, "he that delivered me unto thee, hath the greatest sin"; and those ministers and gentlemen, who abused Mr. Pomeroy, and mocked him for acting in the first place as a worthy good minister, in my opinion, have a greater sin than he.
Jan. 18, 1805. From Joanna Southcott.
TO THE PUBLIC
In order that no part of my conduct may appear inconsistent, I think it necessary to inform the public, that as Mr. Pomeroy declined answering my letter of October the 8th, 1804, which is printed with other letters to him, in the Book entitled, "Divine Communications," I wrote to him a second letter, using every argument to induce him to come forward, and informing him I should immediately apply to Mr. Scott, an attorney, who, at my request, wrote twice to Mr. Pomeroy, previous to the Trial; therefore his not appearing at the Trial, and his silence in not answering any letter, to vindicate himself, proved him guilty; and as the witnesses clearly proved that all Mr. Pomeroy's assertions, to injure Joanna Southcott's character, were false; and by their evidences convinced me, and all that were present, of the purity and innocence of her character; and since her sealed writings have been opened, I find, in many parts of them, his falling back clearly foretold; any further trouble, therefore, respecting Mr. Pomeroy, is unnecessary.
Jan. 18, 1805. Jane Townley.
Here ends the Trial of Joanna Southcott, examined and proved by twelve witnesses; and here begins the Trial of all men's wisdom, to prove and see what is in Man. A public assertion has been made by many, that some of her friends have made her more than human, which she has forbidden, and ordered no one to exalt her, any more than as a simple woman, dust and ashes, having no knowledge of her own, but that all is given her from the Lord. But she cannot prevent the tongues of her enemies, who are daily making her more than human, by ascribing all her wisdom and foreknowledge to herself, which assertion, if true, must make her more in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, justice, equity, and truth, than ever was placed in the fallen race, from the Fall of Adam to this day; and which every man of wisdom must allow, when he hath weighed the whole together, and seen the truth tried and proved by so many witnesses. But some say, that her writings are from the devil; how then is Satan risen against himself! And this can clearly be proved by the erroneous lies invented and put in print by J. L. Garrett, minister of Sion Chapel, Lant Street.