No. I - Vol.1 - Part 2
("My EXPRESSES fast shall fly.")
THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH
as foretold one hundred years ago, to be published by
the hands of a Woman in the tenth year of the
Century; and containing the Prophecies
and Divine writings of the
late Joanna Southcott
Author of "Radia,"
The Woman's Word will be found to be a true picture of the World at the present day.
The Healing Leaves from the Tree of Life (Woman) have been given to Man. The Fig Tree shows that Summer is nigh.
It is said that God will begin by His power in the weather in the fourth year of the Century, and by trifles, as well as greater events, draw men's hearts to Himself, until He becomes the DESIRE of the NATIONS.
Contents of Vols. 1 & 2
PART I - VOL. 1.
- The Versification.
- The Prose.
- Woman, The True Helpmate.
- The Bride and The Marriage of The Lamb.
- The Sealing, or Signing of Names.
PART 2 - VOL. 1.
- The Life and Divine Writings of Joanna Southcott.
PART 3 - VOL. 1.
- Continuation of The Life and Divine Writings of Joanna Southcott.
PART 1- VOL. 2.
- The Prophecies.
- Communication on the Patchwork Quilt, given by The Spirit to Joanna Southcott on October 18, 1807.
- The Seven Days' Dispute with The Powers of Darkness.
- The Answer of The Lord to The Powers of Darkness.
PART 2 - VOL. 2.
- The First Book of Wonders.
- The Second Book of Wonders.
- The Third Book of Wonders.
- Excerpta From an Epistle Addressed to The Rev'ds The Vice-Chancellors, Oxford and Cambridge by The Rev. Thos. P. Foley. Rector of Old Swinford, Worcestershire.
PART 3 - VOL. 2.
- The Fourth Book of Wonders.
- The Fifth Book of Wonders.
- The Visit to London of The Rev. Thomas P. Foley of Old Swinford, to Joanna Southcott, August, 1814.
- Dr. Reece's Statement of The Circumstances that Attended the Last Illness and Death of Mrs. Southcott, with an Account of the Appearances Exhibited on Dissection.
- The Refutation of Dr. Reece's Statement.
- The Rev. S. Baring-Gould's Account of Joanna Southcott.
ILLUSTRATIONS EXPRESS NO. 1.
- Portrait of Joanna Southcott. Frontispiece Part I
- The Box of Sealed Writings. Part I
- The Communion Cup. Part 2
- Reproduction of Joanna Southcott's Handwriting. Part 3
ILLUSTRATIONS EXPRESS NO. 2.
- Reproduction of the Seal. Frontispiece Part I
- The Patchwork Quilt. Part 2
In issuing this Second Edition, it will be of interest to the public to know a few details concerning this work, which at first for personal reasons were withheld.
On the morning of January 1, 1910, the first criticism of The Expresses occurred in The Daily News, London; it was about one and a half columns in length, and was mostly laudatory.
Then a prominent paragraph on these books followed in The Daily Mail. Shortly after I was desired to give their representative an interview, as they wished to know the circumstances that caused me to write The Expresses. As the public, at this time, was strangely antagonistic to Joanna Southcott, I refused to be brought into the matter personally, as my one object was to get people to read her Writings, and to judge of the truth for themselves. But now that the fulfilment of her prophecies has so unmistakably taken place, a great change has occurred. The books of the Prophetess are now spoken of with respect, and are eagerly perused by thousands of persons in all English-speaking countries.
The time has therefore now arrived, when the public are entitled to know that which was withheld from them at first. For many years I had been the Principal of a large, successful Girls' School; and although I had loved Joanna's Writings from childhood, I had had no thought of bringing them out to the public (except that in 1897 I had published a booklet, containing some extracts from The True Explanations of the Bible). Later I became acquainted with the Rev. Walter Begley of Hampstead, a well-known writer and Elizabethan scholar. He was descended from one of the three clergymen, who had so strongly supported her cause. We agreed to bring out in collaboration, a life of Joanna Southcott, but to my great sorrow, he was removed by death in 1905. No further thought then crossed my mind in regard to the work, although I still hoped some one would be raised up to vindicate her, and to show the inestimable value of her works to the world. But on December 8th, 1907, the second Sunday in Advent, when I returned as usual from church with the boarders - immediately on entering my own little sitting-room, I felt as though the room was full of unseen ministering spirits, all insistent on my beginning, at once, to write a life of Joanna Southcott. To my astonishment, crowds of ideas kept coming in overwhelming profusion, as though there was great promise of help from on high. I was greatly moved, and fell on my knees by the couch in prayer, and offered to do willingly anything that the dear Lord might require of me. The command seemed so peremptory, that I soon arose, and seating myself at my bureau, took paper and pencil in hand, and again with prayer for guidance, declared I was ready to do the Lord's bidding and write if it were His will. Words then flowed freely, and the first page of The Express was written that very night. It has never been altered. Gradually, although leading such a busy life, by writing a page or so each morning before breakfast, the books took shape. I tried my best to confine my work to one volume, but no, it had to be two, my publisher said. Then I discovered that The TWO Expresses were foretold to come to warn the nations of what was coming upon the Earth. I had written simply, as a child, freely using the nine published volumes and much MSS. which represent the twenty years' work of Joanna and her amanuenses, and, had called my work 'The World's Great Mistake.' It was not until I had nearly finished, that I plainly saw these were 'The Two Expresses,' as foretold to come before the Lord began His great work on the Earth in making an end of all evil. The books were sent out in faith, to face a hostile world; but I knew if the work was of God, man could not overthrow it - on the other hand, if it was not, and the fulfilment of the prophecies did not follow, only my own personal reputation could suffer; and that was a small thing in comparison to failing the Lord in His need. But the sound of the Master's feet was surely behind - the fulfilment of the prophecies has been more wonderful than ever even I anticipated. The truth of them can now no longer be denied. "Of the seas take care," occurs several times on pages 444 and 445 of The True Explanations; it comes to my mind with startling significance now we are in the midst of this submarine danger. It hints also that Jonah in the whale would be a type of coming dangers on the seas. There are many sad Jonahs now swallowed up of many voracious whales. "Their shipping I will all destroy," (meaning the Lord will permit it for a short time), evidently means the commercial shipping of our own and also that of other nations.
"The dangers of London were to be first overhead!" How true it is! "Persons would be burnt in their beds;" "The sound of war would be heard in our land;" If the enemy landed it would be in an unexpected manner, and their corpses would lie in the streets. This has been perfectly fulfilled in the recent Zeppelin raids, when the blazing bodies of the crews fell to the Earth. "The lack of gold, also the high prices and scarcity of sugar, and foodstuffs" are clearly foretold. The condition of things will not improve until the Bishops or their chaplains, do the simple bidding of the Lord, and carefully open and examine the Sealed Writings, that have lain in a Box strongly nailed and corded for 100 years - awaiting their mandate. If some great thing had been demanded, it would probably have been done with pomp and circumstance. But of old the command that followed the simple maidservant's fidelity, 2 Kings 5, was despised, and the leprosy remained until the behest was complied with. The simple things have ever been used by the Lord, and have brought about the greater. We know that some of the Bishops are already willing to do their part, but the required number of twenty-four - the elders mentioned in the Revelations, who sit in their seats on the earth, are at present unwilling to cast the crowns of their own wisdom before the throne.
Our enemies are to fall and England is to conquer both in the SPIRITUAL and the TEMPORAL fight: but when evil is swept away, it will only be by brotherly love and righteousness that the foreign nations will fall in gratitude before this country as their deliverer under God's guiding hand.
The Lord will continue to overthrow evil until He has shown His Salvation to man, and restored him once again to His own divine image. The Lord will then delight Himself in man, and All That Hath Breath Will Praise His Name.
ALICE SEYMOUR - January, 1917.
"The Woman's Petition for Satan's overthrow and for the establishing of the Kingdom of Christ here upon earth." (Rev. vii, 3) can be explained by and obtained from Alice Seymour; or at 143 Lake Avenue, Highland Park, Ills.; also CARPENTER'S BOOK STORE, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
The Life and Divine Writings
MANY have been baffled in trying to write a satisfactory account of the life of this eminent handmaid of the Lord. Even when all her works are at one's command, yet the incidents of her life are so scattered throughout so many books, and the trifling events that are mentioned, are nearly all set as types and prophetic to the nation at large, that one cannot but acknowledge that her life was indeed "hid in God." She could not understand why she was ordered to chronicle such ordinary everyday occurrences, yet many of these are deeply spiritualized and speak in simple language of mighty truths, which can be seen fulfilling to the letter at this present time.
The Spirit of Truth said to her:
All thy words I will fulfil;
and it is abundantly being verified. Although the spiritual side of Joanna's life is so much more important than the mere outline of her existence, yet many will desire, and rightly so, to learn the main facts that led her to undertake such a great work for God and the world, and even to give up her means of livelihood and to trust her heavenly Father to provide for all her needs.
Joanna Southcott was born in the month of April, 1750, at Tarford Farm, in the parish of Ottery St. Mary, in Devon: she is registered as the daughter of William and Hannah Southcott.
The family had suffered great reverses; for seven generations they had belonged to the county families of Hertfordshire, and owned the estate of Wotton, then about thirty miles from London. Her great uncle, Joseph Southcott, is mentioned in the Letters of Lady Mary Stuart Wortley Montague, as having married the latter's great friend.
Numerous articles have appeared lately in the daily press relating to Joanna Southcott, as it is just a hundred years ago that she was publishing her works, and almost every one, at that time, had an opportunity of examining the Writings, if so disposed.
So much has been said in disparagement of her birth and educa-
tion, that I think it advisable to quote from the original books to show how erroneous and superficial is the knowledge of the world concerning her true history.
The following account is taken from the Second Book of Wonders (p.90):-
Joanna was commanded by the Lord to write an account of her forefathers, and states -
"My great-grandfather was a very proud, austere man, which made it very unpleasant to his children, and having a second wife, it made it so unhappy to the eldest son, who was my grandfather, that his father and he parted in great anger, and he never saw his father afterwards. He had an uncle settled in Pennsylvania, who had great property and no family; and there he determined to go. The first voyage he took they were shipwrecked. I never heard whether any were saved but my grandfather; and he was protected by some Jews on the coast where they were cast away, and he remained there till he saw a ship that he made signs to, and they sent a boat and took him aboard. While he was with the Jews it was the season of the year that they went to a certain place every year to worship, where they said the Messiah would come, and my grandfather went with them. He said they all were very kind to him in supplying him with necessaries. The ship that he entered into was bound for Topsham in Devonshire. As he was without money he attended the captain as a servant; but in his voyage he told the captain who his father was, and where he had lived, but said, from the manner they had parted, he could not write to him and was afraid his father would disinherit him, by cutting off the entail of the land. The captain undertook to write to his father, informing him of the shipwreck and distress of his son. His father wrote back a letter to the captain, enclosing a draft for L 200, which he desired he would let his son have; and to let him know, though he was angry with him, yet he never would disinherit him; for he would never cut off the entail of the land, which had been in succession for seven generations. When the captain received the letter he called my grandfather and said: 'Mr. Southcott, why had not you made yourself known to me sooner? I used to call you John, but I should never have treated you in the manner I have, if I had known you had been that gentleman's son.' Then the captain and my grandfather became great friends, and had a great respect for each other.
"When the ship came into Topsham my grandfather fell in love with Miss Mauditt, of a moderate fortune; they married, and lived at Topsham, till my father was born; then my grandfather was de-
termined to take another voyage to Pennsylvania to his uncle. He arrived safely, and his uncle rejoiced greatly to see him, and wished him to remain with him; but when he found he had a wife and child at Topsham, he said if my grandfather would return for his wife and child, and come back to him, and settle there, they should live as he did; and, when he died, he would leave them all his property; he was the richest man in the place, and, as he had no child, he should leave it all to him. My grandfather said he would return to England for his wife and child. But, during the time of his absence, there was a gentleman of the name of Southcott, who had no family or relations; and, hearing of the discord between my grandfather and his father, he said he was afraid the name of the Southcott would come low; therefore he advertised, that if John Southcott, son of William Southcott, would come to him, he would give him the sum of ten thousand pounds; as the gentleman was then fast in a decline. But as my grandfather was not in England to answer the advertisement, and the gentleman did not know him personally, there was another family near, of the same name, who went and personated my grandfather; and he made his will and left him ten thousand pounds, and died very soon after.
"When my grandmother heard it, she was greatly grieved about it, and told it to my grandfather, when he came home, what he had lost by being absent. He desired her not to grieve at the loss of that; for he said he should have plenty; for his uncle had settled all his estate and property upon him; and as his father had promised he would never cut off the entail of his land, he should have all he could wish for; and intreated her to go with him to Pennsylvania. But this she refused to do; and he could no way prevail upon her; for my grandfather was quite the reverse of his father: he was a very humane man, of tender feelings. He bore an excellent character, and therefore he did not use arbitrary power over his wife to compel her to go against her will. He stayed at Topsham with his wife till the second son was born, which was John; he then took another voyage to go over to his uncle again; but he never reached the place; for the ship was wrecked and he was drowned.
"Here my grandmother was left in great distress, with two children, destitute of the fortune they had a right to expect; and as my grandfather had never made up the breach with his father, there had been no intercourse between them. Therefore her spirit was too proud to stoop, as she might not be looked upon as a match fit for him; and thus she would not write to him. Her uncle took my father to provide for him; he had an estate of fifty pounds a year,
which he promised to leave to him; and another relation of my grandmother took my uncle John; and she married again to a captain of a ship soon after my grandfather's death; and soon after his death his father died; and then the youngest son, which was William, wrote a letter to my grandmother, that his father was dead, and he was not married, nor ever intended; but if she would come with her two sons, the elder should have the land that he was heir to, and the younger should have all his fortune that remained; for his sister was married to a gentleman in London. When she received the letter she was so mortified and confounded, to think she married again so soon after her husband's death, with a man that was spending all her property, that she thought she should be so much despised by him, that she never answered his letter, and he was offended, and wrote no more.
"After my father had lived some years with Mr. Mills, his future prospect was blasted, of what he was promised to have from him. Mr. Mills was a man given to drinking, so that he had a mortgage of fifty pounds upon his estate; and after that the man contrived to get Mr. Mills in liquor, and he got him to sign away the whole estate for fifty pounds. After Mr. Mills found what he had done he was like a madman, and used to cry over my father, and say: 'My dear boy, my dear child, I have ruined thee for ever! I should not so much lament my own loss, if it was not for your sake.' With his excess of sorrow he gave himself up to drinking, and did not live long after; but he spent all he had before he died. Then my father was left as an orphan in the world, having no friend or relation to assist him, as the captain that married my grandmother had spent all her property, so that she could not do anything for my father; and he was brought up to farming with his uncle, and in that capacity he went as a servant.
"Now I shall return to my father's brother John. He was brought up by a relation of his mother's; and he was mate of a ship; but before they were grown up young men, their father's brother in Hertfordshire died, and no one ever looked after the property for the children. My father's brother was a remarkably religious young man; and the last time he went to sea he took an affectionate leave of my father, and said: "My dear brother, I hope we shall meet in a better world! I don't believe I shall ever see you more in this.' When he was coming home he wrote a letter to his mother, that he should take a ship for London, as he intended to go to Hertfordshire, to seek for his father's relation, to find out the property. She sent him a letter immediately, that she had been greatly troubled in
dreams about him, that he was drowned, and desired he would come in a ship to Topsham, which he complied with. The captain, discovering another ship many leagues before him, said he would be in Topsham before her; and, in order to effect it, he steered his ship a nearer course, and she running on a rock was dashed to pieces; all the crew went to the bottom except one man, who saved himself on a broken plank and was picked up by another vessel passing by. On his arrival at Topsham he related the circumstance of the ship's perishing, as above described. Here was my uncle's end, according to his own predictions, and his mother's dream.
"Now I shall return to my father. When he was about one-and-twenty he married, and took a farm; his wife died in child-bed. His second wife was my mother, daughter of Mr. Godfrey, who was a very respectable farmer in Ottery St. Mary, and of very religious parents. After they married, my father took a large farm at Exmouth where he got acquainted with an attorney, whose name was Southcott; and in some law business that my father was called to as a witness, one of the gentlemen spoke rather affrontingly to my father. Mr. Southcott rose up and spoke very warmly, and said he would not see my father abused; for he was of as good a family as he, or either gentleman present; and was the first of the family that had ever known what it was to work; and the estate that belonged to my father had been in possession of the family for seven generations; and told my father if he would go to London, and prove his grandfather's will, he would get him the estate for five pounds. But this was in the time of war, when pressing was great both for landsmen and seamen, and my father was afraid he should be pressed, and therefore wished to defer it. Before the war was over Mr. Southcott died, and my father gave up all thoughts of seeking after his estate, and thought his own hands should support him; but he launched into business at a very bad time for farmers; wheat being sold at two shillings and threepence a bushel, barley for fourteen pence, and butter for threepence per pound, cheese for a penny, so that the expense of the labour in many things was more than the increase paid; for, I have heard my father and mother say, many years they have lost fifty pounds a year by renting the estate, though my father was allowed by everyone to be as good a husbandman as ever ploughed an acre of land; and a more industrious couple could never come together; and yet still they had difficulties to go through in the beginning, which they both bore with courage and fortitude.
"When the term was out of the seven years, my mother's father died; and then they took the farm at Tarford.....that he had rented,
and where I was born in the year 1750. In that farm they did exceedingly well, and my father managed it so well, that he said he should get fifty pounds a year by renting; but as soon as he had broken up the furze, brakes, and barren ground, and brought it into good pasture, there was a neighbor of my father's who coveted the farm, when he saw to what flourishing state my father had brought it. This man, whose name was Anley, went to Mr. Brooks, my father's landlord, and asked him if he did not want money sometimes? He said, Yes, he did. He asked if my father kept up his rent close? He said, Pretty well; but not always so close as he could wish. Anley answered, If you let his rent go behind, and turn him out, I will pay the rent before it is due, if you like. Mr. Brooks was pleased with this offer; and as my father had laid out so much money in improving the farm, thinking he should enjoy the fruits of his labour afterwards, which would have paid him double in a short time; but doing all this, he had not his rent always ready at the time; and Mr. Brooks contrived a way to prevent his paying it, by doing what appeared at first a very kind act.
"On a market day, as my father was driving a flock of sheep to Exeter market, on purpose to sell them, to pay Mr. Brooks his rent at Midsummer, he overtook him, and asked him if he was going to sell his sheep; and whether he would not sell them at a disadvantage at that time? My father said: 'I must sell them, sir, to get your honour the rent.' He said: 'Never mind that, I will wait; if it be a bad market, don't sell them.' My father thanked him, and said he should not, if it was a very bad market; and finding it was so, he drove the sheep home again, and did not get his rent ready in August.
"In the midst of the harvest, when my father was reaping, to his astonishment, Mr. Brooks had put two bailiffs into the house, to seize for the half years rent; and he did not owe him three quarters till Michaelmas. My mother went to Fair-mile to Mr. Channon's to borrow some money; he came immediately and told Mr. Brooks what an ungrateful, wicked thing he had done, after my father had bestowed so much money in improving his farm, for him to distress him when he owed him only a half-year's rent, and said, 'If you are afraid to trust the farmer, I am not,' and paid down the money directly. This cruel conduct of Mr. Brooks provoked my father to very great anger, so that words rose high on both sides; and Mr. Brooks wanted to make a different covenant, which my father said he would never sign; and as many gentlemen went to my father and offered him their farms, and he thought he should get another as good as that was, here my father's passion got the better of his
reason, as he gave warning to quit the farm on the following Lady-day, and left all his labour for an enemy to reap the benefit of it. But here my father saw his folly too late, in giving way to the violence of his passion and anger; for when he went to the gentlemen to apply for the farms which they had offered him, they applied to Mr. Brooks to inquire his character. Mr. Brooks said he was poor, but honest. They said that would not do, if he had not money to make the best of his farm. So, when Lady-day came, he was obliged to sell off part of his stock, and took a small farm at Gettisham, where the ground had been so impoverished for the want of dressing, that the first year they could not make the rent of the place. But all this my father bore with manly courage and fortitude. He was a hard-working, industrious man himself, and had a partner in my mother that joined with him; and all his family he brought up to the same industry.
"But now comes the awful scene, where all his courage and fortitude left him; and he said his troubles were greater than he could bear. After living eighteen years in this farm, my mother died, and my sister kept his house. A farmer's son, who lived near my father, paid his addresses to my sister. He was a man of good property; and after keeping company with her for some years, he used every art to seduce her, which she resisted; but by the violence of his conduct, my father was obliged to have recourse to the law, and my sister went down into the west country, to another sister, who was married and settled there; then I went home and kept house for my father. The disappointed malice of the man directly turned against my father, and he sought every way to ruin him. His stock upon the farm died in an extraordinary manner, but I cannot prove what I have heard, only that his servants said he had brought more guilt upon their conscience concerning farmer Southcott, than all the sins they ever committed in their lives; and not only in the stock but various other ways; every invention that could be to ruin my father was practised, till my father was brought into great distress, greater than he had any fortitude to bear; for the agonies of his mind were so great, that when he went to bed, meditating upon his sorrows, he would be in such agitation that I have been obliged to sit by him hours of a night, reasoning and talking to him, wiping off the perspiration from his face. In this manner he continued, calling to me night after night to give him something, fearing he should be choked; he said his sorrows were greater than he could bear; and I have seen the sweat running down his face, in a cold winter's night, like a man in the harvest day, that I have stood hours
wiping his face. He said all the sorrows and disappointments in life, that he had gone through, now crowded upon his mind; and the loss of his property that he was heir to, now came upon him with a double weight. He lamented for my sister, and for all his children. The scene is too affecting for me to repeat, what I saw in my father for three months; but I am ordered to bring it forward. When I entreated him not to grieve at the loss of his estates and property, and said, supposing he had never been entitled to any thing; he said, then he should be as other poor men were, nothing to reflect about; but now old age and poverty were come upon him, and he could not forget what he was entitled to.
"But though I saw all that sorrow with my father, and took so much pains with him, and worked early and late to save the expenses of workmen: for the Lord gave me great courage, and great strength, and great presence of mind, how to act for my father's good; yet in all this, I can safely say, that I rejoiced in my own afflictions: I thought it was good to be afflicted, that my heart might not be carried away by the world; and I trusted in the Lord, that He would protect my father; and bless my endeavours, that he would be able to withstand the malice of his enemies, till his term was out in the farm: as the last year was the bearing year for cider, and the breaking for crops would be without any expenses. But this my father despaired of seeing; however I was promised that the Lord would protect us through, and so He did, and by my faith my father rose from his despair.
"As to my own sorrows I did not mind, as I reflected upon my early days, how soon I delighted in vanity and dress, more than I saw in others, and was often reproved by my mother; who would speak with a feeling heart, 'Joanna, my dear child -
"Wilt thou then thy bright mornings waste,
To trim and make thee fine?
'Twill be but bitterness at last,
If Christ be none of thine.
How frail is beauty, in how short a time
'Twill fade like roses which are past their prime;
So wrinkled age the fairest face will plough,
And cast deep furrows in the smoothest brow.
Where's now the lovely tempting face? Alas/
Yourselves will blush to view it in a glass,
Unless adorn'd with beauty in the mind;
And then an interest in thy Saviour find."
"In this manner my mother used often to reprove me; but I must say, to my shame, it had only a momentary effect; so deeply
was my heart fixed upon the vanity of dress, that I did not care how hard I worked, early and late, so long as I could earn money to get clothes to appear smart in.
"My father used warmly to reproved me and say, he was ashamed to see me, for a farmer's daughter to dress as I did; but all had no effect upon me; my heart was so set upon it, till sorrow broke it off. And when now I reflect upon my youthful days, I see how flattery hurts the mind; for when I think on my childish days, my heart was set upon serious meditations, and I felt great comfort and pleasure in learning hymns and repeating them to myself; but when I came to the age of fifteen or sixteen, and began to be flattered by the world, I found vanity arise, and I became vain; but this vanity was of a short duration; for everything I fixed my heart upon I was disappointed in, which made me turn all my thoughts, like my Aunt Sarah, whom I have already mentioned; and as I have said of sorrow, it was good for me; so I say of my enemies, it is good for me that my heart has been sorely wounded by the malicious lies and inventions of men, or I might not have been so earnest in my petitions and prayers to the Lord to take the cause into His own hand, to put my enemies to shame and confusion: and therefore I shall conclude by saying -
'The very thorns that make the traveller bleed
Are but remembrance to amend our speed,
Lest too much ease our future joys disband
And we stop short, short of the promis'd land.'"
Many simple events in her life, and also in that of her father, are used as important types to the nation, and this account of the loss of the lands and the heir being unknown, becomes the subject of teaching which is required just at this period of her mission. It is compared first to the Jews, who have lost the title to their own land, and then to our own nation, that has wandered from God, and far from the Father's home, having lost sight of the great inheritance to which we are entitled owing to the foolish pride of our hearts, thinking we can be all-sufficient for our needs.
Here are a few extracts from the words on the subject given by the Spirit of Truth (p.102, same book):-
And like the children, now I tell you all,
Men left the whole and ne'er sought out the land;
And so in sorrow every one doth stand.
See how the Jews are scattered to this day;
Despise My Gospel; never seek this way
For to find out if they shall stand an heir.
Just like my father's house do all appear;
Therefore I've so compar'd him with the land;
For like thy father's house all things do stand:
And like thy father's sorrow men go through;
They've lost their rights and that I well do know;
And so in sorrow men are compass'd round;
Just like thy father is your nation found:
One load upon another fast doth come,
Till his cold sweats may be in every one,
If that your nation do not now awake;
But if they do, their cause I'll undertake;
Their cause, like thee, I'll surely take in hand.
Remember how thou dist by thy father stand,
To soothe his sorrows, and remove his pain;
Thou gavest him comfort, though his sweats remained,
Which thou by tenderness didst wipe away,
And all thy labour is well known to me;
Because one quarter part thou hast not penn'd,
Thy care thy thought, nor how the thing did end;
To keep thy father till his term was up,
And so thou knowest thy father did not drop,
The way his fears alarm'd him at the first.
But now another way I mean to burst:
The land was lost for all, but promis'd there
That in the end I should it all prepare;
Because the title I would ne'er cut off;
I've made the promise; now I've said enough;
And so the promise I did bid thee claim,
Then all your heirship lands I sure shall gain,
And make the nations down before you fall.
For like thy father I'll my sufferings call:
I was the heir that had the right at first,
But could not gain it when the Jews did burst;
Nor was it come to my appointed time;
No: to the woman I shall all resign;
Because to her the promise there was made.
Then follow lines powerfully showing the likeness to Satan in the one who tempted her sister to sin, and how he tempts us all to turn our love away from God and to go a-whoring after the world.
Some important lines are also given on the danger of pride in the heart, and the determination of God to bring it low, that He at last may raise us up -
Because that now I'll bring it round to man,
The way thy family at first began.
It was by pride that scatter' d so the whole,
That all seem'd lost, the heir there's none can tell;
And in thy heart thy pondering thoughts I see -
Could thy grandfather come and visit thee,
And see the great that he so much did prize
Act with such scorn, thou'st think he'd grow more wise;
Because his grandchild's so despised here,
By these great men, that he before declar'd
His daughter's union 1 must with them take place.
But let him see how pride doth men disgrace,
From every feeling of humanity.
'Tis in the humble minds, thou now wilt see,
The noblest virtue will now arise to shine.
The man that broke his heart, I'll tell my mind,
Would surely act for thee a different way.
And now, O England, hear what I do say:
I've brought this history out before you all,
That I have mentioned, now to prove the fall
Stands in like manner; you may it regain.
Weigh deep the parable, ye sons of men,
And so the HEIR you may see at the last,
When further wonders to mankind do burst.
But now thy sister's words I'll answer here
She said that pride in all did so appear
Throughout the family for to be so great;
Therefore she knew the Lord would never stoop
To dust and ashes, where the pride did swell.
Trace back the family: she did know well
That all was great, and so stood to this day
'Twas but thy mother's side, thy sister says
That she could judge if blessings came from heaven;
But from thy father's side could ne'er be given.
But let them see the pride I brought it low,
That to mankind I may My goodness show;
If pride comes down I'll surely raise them high;
And let them judge it by the end of thee,
And with thy sister's words I'll make an end.
Joanna continues:- "When I told my sister of my visitation, and that I had prophecies given me of what was coming upon the earth, she said she did not believe it; and if prophecies were to be given, the Lord would not condescend to visit any one of our family; for there was too much pride; as all the Southcotts were proud; and though we were come to nothing, still we were a proud empty family. And that I'll grant is true: a bottle filled with wine wants no more, but an empty bottle wants to be filled. I asked her, why she was so proud herself then? She said she was always at war in her own heart, but she could not conquer her pride; and therefore she was in the family from the father's side. I shall make a few remarks on
1 Referring to the Aunt Sarah who, as well as her lover, died about thirty years of age of a broken heart, because they were not permitted to marry.
myself, from my sister's words, saying she was at war with her own heart; and I may say the same. I never could conquer my own heart myself; for this war will ever continue, till we come out of ourselves, and come to the Scripture rule, to cast away every weight, and the sin that most easily besets us. And my besetting sin was a resenting spirit; as my mother used to tell me I had a proud heart to be humbled, and a hard heart to be softened, on account of my resenting spirit, which I never could conquer by nature, as my feelings was tender and quick. But since the visitation of the Lord to me, I have observed His directions have been given to make me act contrary to my own will, and to conquer that besetting sin in me, by the ways the Lord hath directed me; which have been contrary to what I could do by nature, and contrary to any wisdom of my own. Therefore I see the wisdom of the words spoken to me, that we must come more out of ourselves, and live wholly dependent upon the Lord; if we wish for everlasting happiness, we must trust His wisdom and not our own. I have been often stumbled in the Lord's directions to me, in ordering me to write to the ministers, as they did not regard the letters when sent to them: it appeared contrary to my wisdom; but now I see my own want of judgment, and the wisdom of the Lord in all His directions, so that I can say with Dr. Watts -
"God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
"Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never-failing skill,
He treasures up His bright designs,
And works His sovereign will.
"Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan His works in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain."
May 26, 1908. - Yesterday I searched through several of Joanna's books for what appeared to me best as a continuation of her history, and had found what I thought naturally followed and would prove interesting at this point. It has been my practise since the weather has been warmer to get up each morning and write for an hour before breakfast. I had arranged as I thought enough to go on with this morning, so that I should not lose any time searching. But when I
went to bed last night, and again very early this morning, words seemed to flow a great deal faster than I could have penned them; great happiness took possession of me such as I have never known - no, not even in the rapture of first-found peace with God. I have had at many times a sense of exaltation and joy, especially at the table of the Lord - but last night I felt as though bells were clashing joyful peals throughout heaven, and the wine was about to be drunk new in the kingdom of our God. I did not know what I ought to do with all the powerful words which were coming to me in defense of Joanna. I felt God would make my pen iron, that all the world would not be strong enough to gainsay; greater is He that is for us than all they that be against us. The world does not know the feast of good things God has prepared for those that love Him, nor what it has lost by a rejection of her word.
Whilst in bed, and feeling this marvellous happiness in my heart, it seemed to come powerfully to me "Arise and write." So I rose at 5.45 and am ready to write anything He may desire. If I am mistaken, I know I am erring on the safer side. I cannot imagine such great joy coming into the heart of any one from evil powers or from any conception of our own heart or our own importance; I have never found anything of that description bring any lasting happiness.
Since I have been engaged in writing this book, a continual well of happiness has been springing up - I know from whence it comes, as I am at the secret source. I know a little now of what dear Joanna meant when she stated so often she felt such heavenly joy within. It is indeed a foretaste of the joys we shall get above. Did I not see that the good people of the world are still trying to sustain themselves with the wine in the old bottles which are becoming daily more useless and the wine impoverished, when they might have the new wine in new bottles, I should not be so anxious to offer them that which I possess. I have tasted and I know that it is good. It is the wine of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: He will drink it new with us in His Kingdom; we can, here and now, have a foretaste of the joys to come. The Spirit and the Bride say, Come, and whosoever will can partake freely. The words of the Spirit did come to Joanna exactly as described: "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit." We, Christians, think we are born of the Spirit, and so we are, but we are not come to the perfection of the day of Pentecost or of the last days when the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh, and His sons
and daughters will prophesy. No, we have had the curtain lifted for us at Pentecost, and Joanna has shown with what power the Spirit can speak, in an audible voice, to a special instrument tuned to His own heart. It is in a manner that does not come to the generality of Christians. I say, this morning, it came to me powerfully: "Arise, write," but I do not lay claim to having heard an audible voice. I believe all Christians have this special guidance which comes to me, and all the children of God have a clear inward assurance of whether they are doing their Father's will or not. I am sure all God's people will acknowledge this, as I have heard it so declared from many pulpits and also privately in conversation. Joanna not only heard the sound of the voice, but I firmly believe one was born of her of the Spirit, the one that was to be raised up at the last day like unto the Son of Man.
As children of God, of course, we are all born of the Spirit, but who would have thought there was to have been a revelation in this world of being born again, and born of water and of the Spirit for in the unpublished Conception Communication this is a just description of what occurred. The actual birth, too, was also exactly as described: no one could tell whence the spiritual child came or whither it went. This sentence will, doubtless, cause great ridicule, but I am willing to abide by it against the world. Flesh and blood hath not revealed it to me, but the spirit of God. Art thou a Master in Israel, and knowest not these things? "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is Spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." We marvel now and we are commanded to marvel not. It appears before we can really enter upon our great inheritance we must all be born again of the Spirit. We thought it all fulfilled, but the redemption of the body, our flesh, is yet to take place, and will be revealed and accomplished in God's good time.
I challenge the Masters in Israel to search the writings of Joanna Southcott and see for themselves whether these things be so or not. Become as little children, that you may enter the kingdom. The wisdom of the wise men and the prudent is hid, and God hath revealed Himself unto babes, i.e., those who are little in their own eyes. He has yet many things to say unto us, and we have turned aside and crucified Him afresh, and have put Him to an open shame. It is indeed an open shame - a well-known shame, that people almost speak of with bated breath - that a woman of sixty-four should claim to have had a spiritual child, yet it is plainly foretold in Revelation
xii. But any one who will carefully read her life will see how incapable she was of deception, what a lovable, beautiful character she was, that even her enemies could not traduce her character. Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles? God has forbidden it in the natural world, and has forbidden it in the spiritual. No - by their fruits ye shall know them. Read her works and you will find throughout the breathings of a heart thirsting after God, and desirous above all things of doing His will. The world is in despair with the many perplexities of life. The wisdom of the wise and the understanding of the prudent are hid even in this world. The burdens man has laid upon man are heavier than they can bear. God has in the fulness of time interposed to save mankind from destroying each other, and to bring in the promised redemption: the Comforter has come, and tells us things to come; we are shown plainly of the Father; the world has not received him as foretold. But the sorrows of life press, and man looks in vain for comfort, yet God has provided it. The heavenly manna in ofttimes simple verse echoes from heaven to earth. God has again interposed and provided for our utmost need. Let us lift up our heads and confirm the feeble knees, for our redemption draweth nigh.
For twenty years Joanna Southcott and her faithful handmaids laboured hard to give the world the message she received, and if you read her life, you will find she was terribly surprised and almost overwhelmed at the awful ordeal before her in connexion with the spiritual child, which tried her obedience and faith to the uttermost. It was only her lifelong habit of submission to the divine Will that enabled her to endure the mockery of the world, and such a trial to her own faith. Without this last episode her followers by this time would probably rival in numbers any of the sectional denominations, but it was too great a test of faith to numbers of the early believers, and they became fewer as time went on. It was difficult, and I believe God knew it would be so, to explain to their children this last great act of God. We are so of the flesh, we cannot understand nor rise to the things of the Spirit: we can but see through a glass darkly. However, I think I can prove by the evidence given in the Second Express that she was not at all aware of the meaning of her own prophecies, which are numerous, many of which I shall quote later, respecting the birth of a spiritual child, and which she, in her own experience, perfectly fulfilled years after she had written the words given her by the Spirit. Her believers saw afterwards that their hopes of a temporal Shiloh were contrary to the meaning of the writings
But their mistake was a very natural one, as no one would have imagined that God had such a marvelous plan in His heart to thus make us joint-heirs indeed in Christ in His resurrection body, and strengthen His union with mankind so that he may at the last save women through child-bearing and thus bring in a perfect redemption for all mankind. It is too great, too glorious, for any of us to grasp.
God has outwitted even the subtlety of Satan in his mockery in other religions of a virgin birth. This is His great work that makes our ears tingle, and will one day make all mankind unite to praise His Name with one accord. He has concluded us all in unbelief that He may have mercy upon all. Men of Israel, hear these words! Lift up your heads, for your redemption from the ignominy of the Cross draweth near. Satan entered into Judas to betray his Master, man alone would never have done it. Hear the cry of the heart of man: "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." "His grief was greater than he could bear, and he went out and hanged himself." Hear the hearts enflamed by Satan: "His blood be on us and on our children." But see the steadfast love in the hearts of the Jews upheld by God, they established the Gospel and laid down their lives for His dear sake. Greater love hath no man than this. Man will yet be tried, as stated in the Revelation, for a thousand years without the evil temptations of Satan, and mankind will remain true to God, and prove the wisdom of God in creating from the dust a race superior to the evil powers to serve Him. Shall the dust praise Thee? Yea, even so, Lord Jesus, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight.
To show how Joanna's heart was early set upon the things that are above, and how she was taught by her mother from childhood to follow the Lord, I will quote from her own account given in the Strange Elects of Faith, p.203: "Here I shall proceed a little further to show my readers how I was taught, from my early age, the Lord is the same to-day, yesterday, and for ever, as I was instructed from my mother, whose earnest prayers were for her children, before they were born, that they might be like Samuel, to wait on the Lord, and like Timothy to seek Him in their youth. I heard her repeat these words concerning me: she said: 'She had great faith, great comfort, and great promises made to her in prayer for me, before I was born, and ever since; and if I was a wrestling Jacob, I should be a prevailing Israel.' These things I never understood further than that they applied to my own salvation, and I pondered them deep in my heart."
"I shall leave particulars and come to the death of a neighbor, which sunk deeply into my mind and heart, before I was fifteen years of age. The man was a professed atheist. The night before he died, his wife requested my mother would permit one of her daughters to stay up by him; and she sent me. At midnight the room shook as though it had been shaken by thunder. The dying man rose up in his bed, and spake, with a voice most dreadful: 'There is a great black dog down in the window.' I went to compose him; but the dying man replied with more fury: 'You think I am light, but I am not; I tell you the devil is there.' This shocked my heart and soul: the bed shook under him, and the man trembled with great fury. It is impossible to pen what I felt. This continued an hour, and then all was hushed to silence. I do not remember, in all this time, that he once called on the Lord to have mercy on him. This made a deep impression on my mind and heart, and made me fear sin more than death. Weighty were my mother's words to me concerning him." Joanna contrasts this terrible death with that of her own mother, and continues -
"I shall leave other particulars and come to my mother's death, which happened a few years after. The night before my mother died, I heard something in her throat. I asked what was the matter? She answered: 'My dear child! don't you hear the rattle is upon me?' It shocked me to the heart. I asked her if she was in any pain? She answered: 'No, my dear child!
'Jesus can make a dying bed
As sweet as downy pillows are,
While on his breast, I lay my head,
And breathe my life out sweetly there.'
At these words I was almost death-struck myself, to think I should lose so good a parent. I went and called my sister; and we both sat by her side till morning; when thinking our mother was better, we went down about our dairy work, and left a neighbour to sit by her, not supposing her end was so near. At eight in the morning (about an hour after we left her) she said to Mrs. Venn, her time was short, and she rejoiced in the hour of death. 'As to my children,' said she, 'I must leave them to the Lord; but tell Joanna to come up to me.' I immediately obeyed her summons, but the doctor having been there just before, and not conceiving her death so nigh, my sister tarried to finish her butter, and I went up alone. When I came, she took
me by the hand, and said, 'My dear child! stand there, and learn to die; live in Christ, for to die in Him is great gain. What profit would all the world be to me now, if I had it to leave to you, and I myself was lost? You are a maid of lively spirits and great courage, be strong in the Lord; cast all thy cares on Him, for He careth for thee; commit all thy ways unto the Lord, and He will direct thy goings; and the blessings of God be with thee, my dear child!' Then fastening her dying hand in mine, she tried to utter more words; and my father and sister entering the room just as she had done addressing me she endeavoured to speak to them, but her voice failed her, and she fell asleep in the Lord, with her dying hand closed in mine. It is fruitless to pen what we all felt on so sudden a change in my mother, as she had not been long ill, and no one had reason to judge her dissolution so near.
"My mother's dying words so strongly impressed my mind that, reflecting on the different shapes I had seen death, in the man and in my mother, it made me weary heaven with prayers, to have some assurance; which were increased, till at length I was powerfully questioned, 'What is thy petition, and what is thy request?' I replied, 'Lord, thou knowest - a new heart.' I was answered, 'A new heart I will give thee, and a new spirit I will put within thee; I will write My laws upon thy heart, and I will put My Spirit in thy inner parts, so that thou shalt have the Spirit of God to bear witness with thy spirit, that thou art a child of God, whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father my Lord, and my God.' At these words my fears vanished; I began to rejoice in the God of my salvation, and began to have a lively and strong faith in the Lord, and shortly after I was put to the trial of my faith; as I was inwardly told what would happen concerning my father, which my father thought madness in me to believe; and asked me if I thought the Lord would work miracles, as He did for the children of Israel? I said, the Lord was as well able to do it now, as then; while some put their trust in chariots, and others in horses, let Israel trust in the God of their salvation -
Through Him the weak confound the strong,
And crush their haughty foes;
And so thou quell'st the heathen's tongue,
That Thee and Thine oppose.
"My father thought my faith presumptuous; but when he saw the Lord had done perfectly as I had related, before the week was at an end, he burst into tears and said: 'Joanna, my dear child! if
I had faith like unto thee, I could freely consent to be burnt in the flames. As the spirit of Elijah fell upon Elisha, so has the spirit of thy mother fallen upon thee. God hath revealed it unto thee; thou art taught of God, and not of man.
"The death of the atheist is made a parable to the nation in a passage of about one hundred lines given by the Spirit to Joanna, which are weighty to the nation, showing -
The midnight hour for all is nigh at hand;
Then like the dying man will trembling sinners stand;
For now the hour of death is coming near,-
The death of Sin and Satan will appear
Much like a greedy dog to get his prey,
Or in his shape his own for to convey
Unto his kingdom; there they all must dwell
Until I come to rescue death and hell;
For death and hell must then give up their dead,
Then earth's foundations newly will be laid.
The above are a few lines, but the whole will be found deeply interesting, and can be perused by any one who is sufficiently in earnest to obtain the books. I am quite willing to lend or to reprint any that may be required, so that there shall be no excuse for those who really desire to search and see whether these things be so or not.
The death of the mother is also made a parable to the nation in a passage of about one hundred and fifty lines of great interest. I will quote from the beginning -
Now from thy mother here's a line for all.
She had no fear when I her life did call;
But yet her God she feared all her days,
And in her death she gave Him every praise,
And all her children did commit to ME.
Now here are the different masters, let men see;
The one with pleasure did her Lord behold;
The other saw his god, and soon turned cold,
That is, his heart was chilled with every sight;
The other died with triumph and delight.
And in this manner soon your lands will burst.
And now like Moses here the words are placed;
For good and evil now I set before,
Choose which you will, and let your fears be o'er;
For if you say you now will choose the good;
You need not fear; you all will shun the bad;
And like thy mother thou wilt find a friend,
That will protect thee safe unto the end;
But if the evil you say you will choose,
And all the good you say you will refuse;
My love nor anger you say you'll not fear;
Then like the dying man you may take care;
Because your fears will meet you in one day,
To see your leader, trembling then you'll lay,
And then your fears they will come once for all.-
O England! England! hear thy every call.
For as that peace possessed thy mother's breast,
And in my bosom she composed her rest,
So shall My friends, that do rely on ME.
As peaceful mansions each of them shall see;
Then all their children they'll commit to ME.
This simple language and verse may be despised by mankind, but the Spirit is more than the letter, and if the Lord compels us to strip ourselves of our literary wisdom and pride before we enter the kingdom, let it be done, for so it seemeth good in His sight. He chooses the weak things of the world to overcome the mighty; let us follow on to know more of His will, and then we shall find pearls of great price and more than earthly wisdom concealed in a despised envelope. It is the glory of a king to conceal a thing, and for the subject to find out his Lord's will.
To show the unusual paths by which the Lord led Joanna, and also how unlike the ways of man, I will point out that, in 1804, William Sharp was ordered by the Spirit to Joanna to collect the Letters and Communications sent to him that year, and to publish them in a book. Part of the history of her life was sent to him to be included. At the same time and in the same year, the Rev. Thomas Foley, Worcestershire, was ordered to publish a book for her of the Letters and Communications sent to him, and another part of Joanna's history of her life was also enclosed. This I have before mentioned in connexion with the parables. It is curious to notice that the explanation or divine significance to the nation of the history in one book is given in the other, and vice versa. There are so many things that require a bench of learned men to get a clearer knowledge of the deeper significance of these things. I venture to foretell that at no distant date many persons of brightest intellect, with hearts full of love to the Lord and a single eye to His kingdom, will revel and delight in the feast for the spiritual and intellectual nature that God has provided, for them, and which has lain buried down and despised by man as of no account. The pearls of surpassing worth will be found, but we must stoop and dig deep to find them. Our Father will call out our best efforts, and has set before us what is best
calculated to stimulate our energy. He who formed the human heart and intellect, does He not know what is best for us!
The Spirit spoke to Joanna the following words, in which the importance of seeking the pearl of great price is demonstrated (The Full Assurance that the Kingdom of Christ is at Hand, p.42): "I said the Kingdom of Heaven was like a Pearl of great price; that man must dig deep to find it; and this Pearl is of great price; and men must begin to count the cost; and then proceed to show its worth. In the first place, it cost MY LIFE! in the second, it hath grieved MY SPIRIT, to see the sorrow of heart, the anguish of mind thou hast gone through for My sake! believing and fearing hath wounded thy heart; this wounds ME afresh, to see the unbelief of man, placing daggers in thy heart through unbelief! But my Bible could not be fulfilled without it; how could I be perfect God and perfect MAN, if' I did not in all things resemble BOTH to perfection? Then, as perfect God, I must fulfil MY WORD in the WOMAN, and complete the bliss of MAN; and she must be his helpmate for good; as perfect man, I must bring the shadow to the substance, to resemble MAN in every perfection I ordained for him and designed for him.
Now let the learned judges see
The MANHOOD I have took on ME;
And when the GODHEAD doth appear
You'll surely find the Pearl is near.
So from thy heart now judge the cost -
And shall this Pearl e'er be lost,
That I have bought as GOD and MAN,
That to perfection all may come?
For when this Pearl you do find,
It will enlighten all mankind.
Then now I bid you judge its worth:
Dig deep and set its beauties forth;
And when its beauty doth appear,
No diamond can with this compare;
But to find you must dig deep,
E'er you can see this Pearl so great:
For your wisdom it will try,
Before you see the Pearl is nigh.
Deep in thought you must begin,
E'er you can discern the thing;
Deep in wisdom to trace back
The hand that nailed thee to the Rock;
Deep in faith you must go on;
Then to the Pearl you will come;
Deep in charity appear;
Judge like Abraham heretofore:
Deeply you must trace the Fall;
Deeply judge your MAKER'S call;
Deep philosophy must come;
Deep divinity be shown;
Deep you must together weigh;
Then the Pearl you all will see,
That it is a glorious prize:
Sell your wisdom, and grow wise.
For when I do rescue Man,
Like Adam all amaz'd will stand:
And the old bottles all will burst,
If I should not new make them first;
Fer to fill them all anew
Mended garments will not do;
Now I say I'll patch no more.
See My Gospel and be clear:
Every thought I'll now make new -
Bring My Gospel to your view:
Throw your fig leaves all aside,
Let the sheep-skins lower your pride.
Now the mystery I'll make clear,
Tell thee what the sheep-skins are:
'Tis not the shepherds, but the sheep
That wisely act to find it out;
Therefore thy hand I so ordained
To write in such a curious strain,
As no one can discern it clear,
For to try My people here;
And had I never found a Friend,
My sheep must perish in the end -
But faithless shepherds - happy sheep! -
The end will make the learned weep.
As it is probably rather puzzling to the reader to understand what is meant by a part of Joanna's history being sent to the Rev. Thomas Foley for insertion in his book, and a part being sent to Mr. Sharp at the same time to be placed in the book he was ordered to publish, I will quote what is said by Joanna in this matter in Mr. Sharp's book, commonly called The Flock of Sheep, although the full title is, Copies and Parts of Copies of Letters and Communications, written from Joanna Southcott and transmitted by Miss Townley to Mr. W. Sharp in London (p.21). She writes:-
"But as I was ordered to go through my history in that day, I could not go through particulars; but now, as these particulars are most wonderfully explained, I am ordered to put them in print: one part must be sent to the Reverend Mr. Foley, and the other part will
be sent to Mr. Sharp. So Mr. Sharp is desired to print from this day, the letters he receives; and Mr. Foley the letters he receives his day; thus they are both printing a book they cannot understand before they see both the books together; for Mr. Sharp must see no more of Mr. Foley's letters, nor Mr. Foley of his, before the book is out. The Lord is now working in this manner, to show mankind the folly of the Jews and Gentiles; for no more than they two can understand what they are printing, before they come to weigh both the books together; no more do the Jews understand the Law, nor the Gentiles the Gospel, before they come to deeply weigh the whole together. Mr. Sharp may marvel why I have sent him such a history, that he does not understand the meaning of; and Mr. Foley may marvel I have sent him the meaning, but never told him the Parables from whence they were taken; so they are both lost in a mist. . . "
It is impossible for me to give either the whole of Joanna's history or the lengthy Communications in which the simple events of her life serve as parables for spiritual teaching to England in particular, and also to the world. Persons who are sufficiently interested to see what will befall our land, and what are God's designs concerning us, must search deeply themselves, and they will find therein a wonderful spring of divine instruction welling up to eternal life. In Mr. Sharp's book (p.10), Joanna's history, which she was ordered to publish, is thus continued:-
"My father married his first wife out of pity, because he saw her upon a sick bed and he was told she could not live without him. He then went and told her to arise, for he would have her; as he thought to himself he would break the hearts of no more: but that woman died in child-bed, and while she was dying, my father was in the room; and he thought to himself if she died, as soon as decency would allow, he would make his addresses to my mother, whom he felt in his heart to admire. But my mother had thought in her heart of all men upon earth he was the last she would have; for she was provoked with words she had heard before, as one of my grandfather's servant men had been in company with my father and many others, who were talking about the women whom they should like for wives; and one said, my mother he should like for a wife. Another made answer, 'I would never go a-courting there; for men enough have tried there, and she hath refused them all: she looks with scorn on every man.' My father answered: 'You know not how to go acourting to a religious woman: I'll be bound for it, if I was a widower I would gain her.' The man came home and told my mother of it; which, she said, raised her indignation, and she thought to herself,
if he was a widower, and offered to come to her, he should find she was not so easily gained. But, being very intimate with his wife, she was desired to be with her when in child-bed; which she was, and then my father fixed his mind to come to my mother as soon as decency would allow; but the agonies he saw his wife die in, made him like a distracted man. So my mother judged him a man of tender feelings, which with all his passions he really was; for though he was a man of strong passions, yet after his passion was over, his heart was torn with self-rejections, and he would do anything to make amends: for he was a man of tender feelings and strong passions, and my mother has often reproved us children when we have been provoked with our father's passions. She would often say, 'Children, why do you blame your father? If he is passionate, he is compassionate, and he doth not do like many men, spend his time and his money in public-houses, to bring you children to the parish; but he has been a hard-working, careful, industrious man, to keep you from the parish, that you might not suffer, as other poor apprentices do.'
"And now I must speak of my father's tender feelings; for he was as compassionate as he was passionate; for I remember our apprentice maid, when my brother had fallen out with her, my father would not permit him to come in his presence to supper, but said it was as good to be a toad under a pair of harrows as to be an apprentice under so many masters and mistresses; one master and mistress were enough for any apprentice, and no apprentice in his house should have any more.
"And now I shall come to another thing of my father: He said my temper was such, and my care and industry so great, that no man but a devil could ever fall out with me; and yet he himself, when provoked to passions, without a cause, would fall out; and James Speerway, who worked at his house, working of flax, and slept in the house, had been witness to my father's falling out with me, and repeated: his words to me: 'Your father says, none but a devil can fall out with you; and now he hath made himself a devil by falling out with you.' But I never saw a man in such agonies in my life as he was after he had done it. He raved like a madman in the night, and said: 'Oh! my dear child, have I grieved her heart, that makes herself such a slave to keep me from a prison! Why shall I grieve her heart? What devil is in me? Oh, that dear creature, how does she strive to please me! How does she strive to keep me from ruin! I must see her!' This was his waking in the night after he had fallen out with me. James Speerway made him this answer: 'How can you wish to disturb her? She has staid up to work till twelve o'clock,
and is but just gone to bed.' But my father answered: "I cannot live unless I see her." So they were forced to knock at my door and call to me; when I arose and went to my father, who took me by the hand, and said: 'My dear child, dost thou forgive me? Why did I fall out with thee, that is the comfort of my life, and venturest thy life to save me from ruin? Oh, my dear child! Oh, my dear child! my heart is wounded to see thy love for me!' At the same time my father's face was like a pot when you take off a cover, covered with drops, in great sweat, which I took and wiped off, and sat hours by his bedside to comfort him, and to compose him to sleep. But the next day he told James Speerway how his heart was wounded to think he had grieved me.
"One more instance of my father I must mention. We had been making of cyder in the day, and at twelve at night he waked, and finding I was up at work, he called down and desired me to go to the lower orchard to the pound-house, and see if the cyder was not running over the tub, for he was afraid it was. The pound-house was more than two fields from the house we lived in, or a long lane the other way. I took the candle and lanthorn, and went down as my father desired me. I did not perceive there was any moon, for it shined in a cloud; but when I came to open the pound-house door, the light of the moon shone out through the cloud against the jambs, which made them appear to me like a man, and the summer upon the top like the head of a man; at the same time the owls that were up in the pound were frighted at my opening the door, and they flew out and let the apples fall, which made a great noise. At this I was frightened, and thought it was the spirit of the man that had been drowned in the well before; as there was a well by the pound-house, which was a dwelling-house when my father took the farm; but people said it was always troublesome, and no man would live there; so he made no use of the house, only for my brother to keep rabbits, which used to make a great noise in the night; and Squire Putt one Sunday called my father into the School-house, and said he had an information against him, that he had smugglers in his lower house, and people did hear them every night as they rode by; so that he made the house a smuggling house, and they did hear the people jumping about. My father answered: 'Your honour is wrongly informed; it is nothing but rabbits my son keeps there; and if you honour will not believe me, I must beg your honour will send one of your servants, and then you will see how the rabbits get upon the benches of the window and jump off to make that noise.' Mr. Putt took my father's word; for he had said before if there was an honest
man in the parish it was my father; and told my father, when he was poor-warden and brought in his book of accounts at Easter, that he was peevishly honest, and therefore he must stand poor-warden another year.
"But now I shall return to my fright. Judging I had seen a spirit when I opened the door and heard the owls, and saw the light of the moon shining against the jambs, I let my lanthorn fall and put out my candle; I then ran home as fast as I could run, without bolting the door, or locking the garden gate, but ran home through the lane, and thought I heard the footsteps of the spirit after me; for more than twenty yards I ran through a river, as the waters were then high.When I came home my father called out to know if the cyder was run over? but finding my voice so trembling that I could scarce answer him, he called out, 'My dear love, what is the matter?' I thought to myself he might well say 'my dear love'; for he had frightened me out of my senses, by sending me down in the pound-house at that time of the night. So I told him how I was frightened; and that I had neither seen the tubs of cyder, for my candle was gone out, and I had neither bolted the door nor locked the gate. My father pitied my weakness, and did not blame me, but assured me I had seen no spirit, and it was nothing but the moon that was hid in a cloud, that shined out against the jambs; and it was the owls flying out, that he supposed had apples in their mouths and let them fall, which made the noise. I looked at the window and saw the moon was burst from the clouds, but I had perceived no moon before. I then went to bed, reflecting with myself what a weak fool I had been, to be frightened with nothing but shadows; for I was truly convinced of the truth of my father's words, and called to my remembrance that I had seen nothing but a glimmering light shining against the jambs, and that I heard the owls fly over my head, that in my confusion I did not think of."
There are some important lines from the divine Spirit on these simple incidents, which I will quote so that the reader may judge of their value. The opening lines refer to Mr. Putt's thinking there were smugglers in this disused house (same book as above, p.22) -
"So from the smugglers I now begin:
The LIVING TRUTH to men was never seen,
But when the truth they did begin to hear,
They said that smugglers in all was there;
Because the truth they did not wish to know,
But all my Bible they have smuggled so,
To cheat their God, in all to Him His due
They cheat their country and they cheat their King.
And yet to thee they all these lies do bring,
That thou art the smuggler that doth appear,
But now the truth I bid them see and hear:
That in my Bible LIVING TRUTHS do stand,
And like the rabbits they may all command;
For when the daylight doth to all appear,
They'll find no smuggling in the words is here
But truths and life must now before them burst;
They'll find the smugglers in the land are cast;
They'll find the shepherds are the smugglers here.
Their informations let them all appear;
And then I'll prove they've smuggled every word,
And in like manner, they've condemned their God,
As they condemned thy simple father there,
And full as wrong I'll make them all appear.
For when the truth, they all do come to see,
They'll find my every word, as true to be
As e'er thy father's it did then appear;
And perfect so thy innocence I'll clear,
And prove to all, the information's wrong,
To say the smuggling doth in thee become;
That thou My Bible now art smuggling up,
They'll find the truth in every word to drop,
As from thy father's lips did then appear;
They'll find the living truth in all is here;
That must burst out, if men will come and see,
And jump for joy, that I am come to free
A world of ruin now from misery.
And from thy father's words I'll further go,
Nothing but devils can condemn thee so;
Though oft his fury he doth work in man;
But like thy father, let them now condemn
Themselves in passions how they so did burst,
And from thy father I have told thee first
That with the nation I should him compare,
And with the nation I do answer here
That every father that is in your land,
A son of Mine, will like thy father stand;
Themselves in passions, they will surely blame,
And say the devil did their hearts inflame:
For none but devils, now they plain do see,
Could e'er condemn the innocence of thee;
For so the fathers now I know they'll break,
And blame themselves, they did so harshly speak,
Provoked by passions by the devil here,
For in their words thy father did appear,
And aid, the devil surely was in he,
Or he should never grieve the heart of thee;
It was the devil did him then provoke,
And on himself he felt the greatest stroke
When thou in tender love did soothe him there.
Thy father's history does not half appear,
The tender love that thou didst show to he,
The flaming passions thou didst often see;
Because thy father's passions they were strong,
And his own way he wished all to be done;
But his own way, by prudence thou didst see,
If he did get it would his ruin be.
Therefore together jangling you went on
Till on his death-bed - then, behold the man:
If thou art present Christ is surely here!'
And let his dying words to all appear -
And then the dying fathers all will see,
When dead to sin, they all will speak like he:
If thou art present, Christ is surely here.'
Now pen his words, and let them to appear.
"When my father lay on his death-bed, the persons that attended him told rne they heard my father talking to the devil, who said he was come for him; for how could he think to have him, when he knew he had an interest in Christ? he had always been praying to Him, and seeking after Him, and relied on His tender mercies and goodness, and how could the devil think to have him? But they knew, by my father's answers, that he terrified him, that he would have him; and it threw him into strong convulsion fits. But when I came he was almost insensible to the knowledge of any one; and when I held him by the hand, calling him father, he said, 'Father! be you my father?' I said: 'No; my dear father, you are my father.' He said: 'Who are you, then?' I said: 'Joanna'; he clasped me by the hand and said: 'My dear child, if thou art come, then Christ is come.' This was the night that he died, while I was holding his dying hands.
"My sister Carter said at his burial, as soon as his corpse was taken from his chamber, she heard the most beautiful heavenly music, singing round the house the Corinthian Anthem. She asked of the woman of the house, 'if the singers were coming.' She said, 'No.' My sister finding she did not hear the singing, took no more notice of her, but waited with impatience, hoping she should see me, as I appointed to go, but I was ill with my journey, and ordered not to go: 'Let the dead bury the dead,' were the words said to me; so my sister went to the funeral with the woman she disliked, because she thought she had not taken care of my father; but, as she was going along, she heard the same heavenly music in the air; and it seemed to ascend higher and higher, till it had ascended out of her hearing; but when
she came to the grave she thought she should have fainted away, to hear him put into the grave and the water flounced almost over the coffin, which they told her could not be avoided, as the church-yard laid so damp, and were astonished to see her in such agonies at the burial of so helpless an old man; but she said, she reflected in her mind that she had not taken him to her own house, fearing proper care had not been taken of him, and she was angry with me, when they told her, that I said I praised the Lord when He had taken him out of a miserable world. I asked her how she could wish to see him live in such misery, when he had told her he was perfectly miserable with the people he was with; then how could I wish to see him live in that misery? My sister said, she would have altered that misery, if she had known his end was so near; and now her conscience did reproach her. I told her I had nothing to reproach my conscience with; for I had done for my father to the utmost, and supported him to the last penny."
The above circumstance is brought to the nation in the following lines, of which I will quote a few:-
Now these shadows thou hast mentioned,
'Tis the substance must appear,
So let all men drop contention,
Like you two, 'twill soon appear.
Repentance strong in some will come,
And like thy sister say,
"If we had known the day at hand,
We'd have done a different way."
Repentance late will be the fate
Of thousands in your land;
I tell you plain, ye sons of men,
Like these two all do stand:
The one appear, "my conscience clear,
I'm glad to see the hour
The heavenly music for to hear,
And see my Saviour's power."
While others say another way -
"No here my heart doth burn;
My conscience I can never clear,
He did entreat to come
And dwell with me, I plain do see,
But Him I did refuse."
And now I tell thee in the end,
This must come to the Jews;
Because that there they'll see it clear,
The watery graves must come;
The resurrection to appear,
When I arose again:
The one lament, without content,
And did My sufferings see;
The others say another way,
No grief for Him can be.
Then thou say here do I appear
The sister not to mourn;
No, no; to thee can never be,
Thou art not the sister there:
Because in all, I now will call,
And prove thy conscience clear,
Then sure the two bring to your view,
The Gentiles must be come,
And clear their conscience they will prove
I tell thee now in one:
When thou art gone, and I am come,
The substance all will see.
The above lines clearly set forth the grief that will be in the hearts of thousands who really love God, but see how harshly his servant, Joanna Southcott, was treated throughout her life by an unbelieving world. Her unceasing toil and strong faith will at last appeal to all hearts, and melt the hardest. On Sunday last I heard a remarkable sermon from quite a young man, but who seemed full of the Spirit of the Lord. With some apology for daring to take his text from the book of Jonah - so unbelieving have we become - he gave it out from the first chapter and seventh verse: "For whose cause this evil is upon us." He stated how on every hand trouble was upon the people and the land, and cited instances of persons of blameless and industrious lives, yet who had come to poverty after all their thrift. He thought there must be a key to these great mysteries, which if we had we should understand the present perplexity. I said to myself: You little know how all these things are clearly foretold in writings of a hundred years ago, and even the year mentioned when these things would begin (as I have explained earlier in this book). The Lord will not cease from His judgments, and will make us drink of the cup of trembling, until with humility we shall be ready to stoop once more to the manger, and to learn yet greater truths and to permit a little child to lead us into the way of peace. The Spirit of Truth has been sent as promised, but the world has not received it as foretold, and we have grieved the Holy Spirit, and done despite unto His Name, because of the lowliness of the garb in which He visited this earth. None the less we cannot set aside the Will of the Almighty, and His glorious Will will ride on until "all that hath
breath and life praise the Lord": as is stated by this same Spirit. It is fruitless therefore to expect a cessation of the judgments until we search humbly and diligently into the truth. He casts down that He may raise us up, yea - to greater heights, and that our joy may be full. Christ is becoming more and more the Desire of Nations, and when this is strong in our hearts He will come, and not before. Men clamoured for the Lord to be put to death; now they must clamour for Him to come and reign over them. They have seen that vain is the help of man, and that wisdom of man has not brought happiness and peace to this earth. No, the Master-hand must chain up the evil and set us free from the tempter. The Lord alone is the victor over death, hell and sin; the strong man armed is come who alone can be Conqueror. It is only by His strength we can do anything well-pleasing in His sight.
I have again digressed, but I believe this is the Lord's work and not mine, and when I feel strongly moved to write as I have just done, I feel I cannot but obey. I will now return to Joanna's history as recounted by herself. As the simple story of her lovers has been somewhat ridiculed by the world, and those writers who have commented upon it have usually distorted the facts in order to bring discredit to her memory, I shall quote from her own account at length, so that the public may judge for themselves. This also is deeply explained spiritually. She could not understand why such unimportant events in her life should be ordered to be chronicled, but these, too, were used as spiritual types to the nation. Part of the history is written in the book published by Mr. Sharp and part in that published by Mr. Foley. I am using both books for this recital, and going from one to the other for it. The full title of the books of these gentlemen will be found at the end of this work in the complete list of Joanna's published writings - though this does not include almost as much more of written Communications which have never been published, and which are of great value and beauty.
In Foley's book (p.27), Joanna continues:-
"And now I am ordered to go on with the history of my lovers, as they are explained also. When I was young in years, I had many lovers; but the first I indulged the company of was Noah Bishop, a farmer's son in Sidmouth; as I kept house for my brother at Sidmouth. Then, after we had been acquainted for many months, my friends began to be against my keeping company with him; as they thought another of more fortune would make me an offer, but that had no weight with me: though many people said that Noah was very passionate man, and would soon break my heart if I had him.
Thus they plagued me for a very long time: at last I was determined to try his temper, by provoking him to anger, and upraided him with going to another, at which he threw himself in a violent passion that astonished me; and said, he wished the tongues of the people were in hell burning. I made for answer, he might wish mine there too, if I was his wife and offended him. He said, No; it was his fervent love for me that provoked him so much to anger with every one that set me against him: but his arguments did not prevail. I saw the fury of his anger, and soon after I broke off his acquaintance; though I confess I had equal love for him, but I thought it was better once smart than always ache, and time and prudence will wear off love, by keeping my thoughts in love to MY CREATOR: so I broke off my courtship. After that, they were daily wounding my ears that Noah was miserable; that he said he would as soon be dead as alive, and he was ill on my account; and when he found he could not die he was determined to go to sea, for he could never live to see me the wife of another. This opened every wound of my heart afresh, and kindled love stronger than ever, and I was determined to have him if he returned again; for I thought I would rather break my heart by his passions, than break my heart by my own cruelty and wound us both."
Continued on p.32, same book:-
"This resolution I had fixed in my mind, to renew the acquaintance if he returned again on a Sidmouth Fair-day. In the morning I met him, and he asked me if I intended to go to the Fair. I answered, Yes - so we parted: but I determined in my heart to go to the Fair on his account. And, when I came to the Fair, I met him many of my acquaintances, who pressed me to join their company, young men and maids; but I made excuses and said I could not; for my heart was still with him. I then met others, that pressed me the same; I made the same excuse again, that I was in pursuit of my brother, to go home, but going up through the Fair I met Noah and my brother together. He then pressed me to join him; but for my life I could not: my hand and heart seemed as though they were bolted, and I desired my brother to go for the horse, and go home directly. My brother went away for the horse, and Noah went with us. While my brother went into the yard for the horse, Noah intreated me to go in and drink with him for old acquaintance, If would not for new. I told him I would not go in either for old or new; if he made as many words as there were stars in the sky, or stones in the street; but the dejection of his looks cut me to the heart: and, when I was upon the horse, I could have given my life to have
been back with him in the Fair, and could scarce speak to my brother going home; which he perceived, and said. If I was so melancholy he would carry me back again. My brother exclaimed: This is the way of women; you refuse to go with him when he intreated you, and now you are as melancholy as he.' I then spent a restless night; which was renewed the next day by a young woman of my acquaintance who said, the hard shower of rain that came in the evening made all the youngsters in Woolbrook go into a public-house together, and they all had their sweethearts but Noah, and her heart ached to see how miserable he appeared; and there was a young woman in the room who was just mad about him, but he took no notice of her. I then determined, if ever he spoke to me any more, my resolutions were fixed never to slight him any more.
"The Sunday after I was going to milking in my brother's ground, and met Noah; he intreated me to let him go with me to keep up the cows, but my heart was bolted in a moment. I said, my cows wanted no keeping up, neither would I accept of his company: but I had not gone twenty yards from him, before my heart denied what my trembling lips had spoken; and I thought I would give the world for his company, and made a resolution in my mind, that I would never be such a fool any more. But, the Sunday following, he put me to the like trial by my brother's having a beautiful pear tree; and the young man who was with him asked me leave to let him go in and have a few pears. Noah asked me if I would give him the same liberty: I very gravely answered, No; but Richard, who was with him, might carry him out some, but I would not permit him to come into the orchard. Here my heart was torn again; I thought to myself what a stubborn creature was I, to plague myself - to plague him. I then determined to be master of my stubborn heart, as I judged it - and thought to myself he never should try in vain - neither did he: for he fixed his resolution to go to sea, but did not go. And when a young man persuaded him to go again, and told him, if he had been accepted as Noah had, he would try again, and not give it up, for he was sure I liked him. But Noah answered: 'I have tried often enough and it is always the same, and all her friends are against me," and now if I die for her sake, I'll never try more.' These words cut me to the soul: yet I admired the noblesness of his spirit, and was convinced his passion was love, when he held me so strong by the hands, that hurt my hands and wrists for many days - and said he would not let me go before I had told him my authors, who had told such lies against him. All these ponderings in my heart drew my love almost to madness, that nothing but religion could keep me in
my senses. My sisters knew the state of my mind, and persuaded me to leave Sidmouth, and come back to Getsham to my father's. I answered, No: you may kill me or you may drown me; but I will not leave the place where he is; I must see him, if I cannot have him.
"We went to Newton Fair, and I had met with an accident that day in my eye, that I was almost blind, by what they called in Devonshire a cuckol-button getting into it. As I was going up through the orchard, in distraction of love, I ran my eye entirely against it, and they persuaded me not to go to the Fair; but I was determined to go, for I knew Noah would be there; but how was my heart torn, when I met him in the Fair, and he passed me by unnoticed. I then felt I could not bear myself, and desired my sisters to return home, who were laughing at me for saying, when I first espied him, 'There he is, there he is.' As we were going home we met his brother, Nathaniel Bishop. He asked me what was the matter with my eye? I told him. He asked, if I could not cure it? I told him. No. Nathaniel answered: Can't Noah cure it? I cried out in madness: If he can, he won't: at which my sisters reproved me, and said I had declared my love to his brother. I said, I did not care if I had; for I wished to awaken his passion to return again; for I had rather die with him than live without him'.
"My sisters went home the next day, and told my father and mother the dreadful state I was in. My father raved in agonies, and said: My former sins are brought to my remembrance: how many women's hearts have I broken by love! He walked the chamber, my sister said, like a madman; crying out. Now it is come home upon me: for that maid, who is the delight of my soul, is now wounded the same. In this manner my father lamented that ever he had courted a woman, and not married her, when he knew her passions of love were so strong for him: but, after he had broken the hearts of many women, he married his first wife out of pity, because he saw her on a sick bed."
There are some lines from the Spirit on this strong love of Noah and Joanna which I consider important to mankind; and although the manner of the verse has been despised, let us be careful in our pride lest we fall as the Jews of old, who could not stoop to enter into the manger and to see whether God was visiting man or not. Let us learn from them to walk more warily, as we know full well from sacred writ that God's ways are not as our ways, neither His thoughts as our thoughts. He wishes to raise us to the highest spiritual level, and to help us to understand His tender love to the human heart that He formed for Himself. In what better way could He do it than
to strip us of our earthly rags of pride and prejudice, and then to clothe us with a spotless garment of innocence and humility in order that he may deck us by His own loving hand with His beauteous jewels which He has carefully wrapped up in imperishable covers lest ruthless hands rob Him of His choicest gifts? No, what is determined will be performed, and nothing is hid but what will be revealed to man, when for his benefit and the time is fully come. Read the following lines, and believe that the Comforter has spoken them, and then the heart can open to receive the great blessings promised to all earnest humble seekers. The lines will echo from heaven to earth, and will soothe the toil-worn spirit and the healing Leaves will avail.
On p.40 of Mr. Foley's book are the following, referring to the simple story of Joanna's love:-
For now I'll come to answer man
From what was said before -
And let the Noahs in your land,
Now like him to appear -
And then they'll see the mystery,
A Noah must be found;
And read the chapter now of he,
And tremble at the sound:
For I said there he must appear;
And if you him deny,
Much greater agonies you'll bear,
Than thou didst bear that day:
When thou'st complain, 'tis all in vain
He never will return -
No, no, I tell you 'tis too late,
For to refuse the man:
A Noah here, I'll now appear,
And thy First Love now see:
Because thy heart he did ensnare,
And gained the love of thee.
But it was I, that dwelt on high,
Then kept thee from that man:
For in the end, 'twas my intend,
I in that name should stand.
To show you clear, the Noahs here
May all turn back like he -
I'll try no more, the time is o'er,
She put me off too long:
I'll sooner see my misery,
Than e'er turn back again.
Then Noah's flood, the deluge stood,
And Noah's you'll become,
To perish in the every flood,
If you will not return.
Because that here the Type appears,
Her heart you plain do see
How strong in love her passions were
And so 'tis now by Me. -
For I am come, the Lover strong
Of all the human race:
That do not do, as thou hast done
Thy lover to disgrace,
I say with lies: let men grow wise,
I'll place it every way:
Because My Bible you may see,
For here the Type doth lay;
Now in these two, brought to your view,
A Noah to be placed:
But when the husband is the Lord -
Look deep, ye fallen race,
How it should come so plain to man,
And these Two Lovers see:
But he the Bridegroom could not stand,
My Bible saith, 'tis ME,
That must appear the Bridegroom here,
When Noah's flood doth come:
Then see how love did both ensnare,
To drown the eyes of them.
Because in thee I oft did see
Thy eyes in floods of tears:
And just the same I know in he,
When he in deep despair
Did say no more he'd not appear,
If he died for thy sake -
Then now, you Noahs, all take care
Like him you do not break:
For if you do, I tell you true
My love will all be gone;
And bring the whole unto thy view,
How cold thy heart is come
Unto the man that here doth stand;
And I shall and the same:
If men do say, like him that day,
They'd sooner die, than turn:-
Then sure thy pride must be applied;
For I shall leave them all;
But if they now return to ME,
My heart like thine shall fall;
Inflam'd with love they now shall prove
Their SAVIOUR to appear:
Because in He you all shall see,
I AM the Noah there.-
The Root an Offspring to appear,
Then let the Branches come;
And let their love like your's to prove -
And then the earth you'll see
In every blessing to abound,
In love and harmony.
But it was I, that dwell on High,
Did then ordain that stroke:
To show My Bible plain that way,
How Noah's love was broke -
But here the man I'll not condemn,
'Twas I that bolt'd the door;
Because My Bible I'd make plain,
And prove a Noah there
Did first incline thy heart and mind,
To feel thy passions strong: -
But in that chapter all shall find,
Thy husband he must come:
A widow here thou didst appear
Forsaken then by He;
And know the man reject'd thy hand;
Then now the mystery see -
The thing is plain if learned men
Could weigh the matter deep.
Such thing I never would ordain'd
To make the likeness break;
To show the man, that in him I stand,
A Noah then by name,
Who did reject thy every hand
When heart-felt love inflam'd:
And thou the same, I know thy name
When love did thee ensnare:
But it was I that dwelt on high
Prevented the union there.
Because to all I'd prove the call,
'Tis like My Bible placed;
And now's the time I'll prove to all,
Your MAKER so shall burst.
For Noah's flood in love both stood,
And floods of tears came on;
And now I tell you for your good,
I'll bring it so to man.
But do not say like him that day,
It shall be in despair
If they will all turn back to ME,
My hand and heart they'll share.
The above lines may seem very simple, but they are fraught with deep meaning, and if the reader will peruse the fifty-fourth chapter of Isaiah, many of the truths will be apparent with this illumination and new meaning. It shows how God stoops to the little things of
earth, and condescends in His great mercy to teach us great truths by bringing about such seeming unimportant events for great ends. Even the name Noah helps to make the teaching much more striking. Now after a hundred years of obloquy and neglect, how powerfully the chapter speaks! The woman is apparently forsaken after all her strenuous labour for a small moment, but how long to us His face has been hid. "For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me. . . " The circumstances of Joanna's relations with this early lover are referred to in many places in many of her books, each giving a fresh light. If the whole respecting this alone were gathered together, it would fill a fair-sized volume and would be deeply interesting to students of Holy Writ. The constant unfolding of old truths in ever recurring fresh colours as is found in these writings, will in the days to come be a kaleidoscope of great delight to the scholar and to all who love the Lord and desire to know the hidden things of God.
Some very powerful words in prose follow the apparently simple verse I have just quoted, and I am constrained to give them. They are from the Spirit, and reward those who have not put aside the book on reading the simple verses on Noah, judging them too low to come from a God, but have followed on to know more of the Lord's will, and to see whether these things be of God or not. It is contained in a letter written by Miss Townley to the Rev. T. P. Foley, and is printed on p.43 in the book he was ordered to publish:-
"Joanna being weak and faint with the sixth day, lay down on the bed for some hours, while I was finishing your letters; but she awoke with a very beautiful and heavenly dream, though she could not recollect it; but it seemed to be with the power of God breaking in strong upon her. 'Here I will Rest from My Labour. All Old things shall be done away; and all things shall become New. No longer shall My Spirit strive with man, but I will destroy man whom I have created, that will not enter into the New Covenant with Me: for now My Delight shall be with the Sons of men, that inquire what the Lord hath said, and what He hath spoken concerning them; and they shall be MINE in the day that I make up My Jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. For now, I will wound, and I will heal; I will kill, and I will make alive;
I will cast down, and I will raise up; for a quick work will the Lord do upon the Earth. And My New Covenant shall stand with man; and whosoever will enter into it, let him seek ME, and he shall find ME: let them call upon ME, and I AM ready to answer. I AM HE that created all things; that filleth the Heavens with MY Majesty - that filleth the Earth with My Goodness - and that filleth hell with My Terrors.
"And now the Heavens shall be filled with My Majesty - the Earth shall be filled with My Goodness - and hell shall be filled with My Terrors. For now, I will break out on the Right hand, and on the Left: I will kill and destroy at once: My Anger is kindled - My Fury shall go forth - and My Loving kindness shall save to the utmost all them that now come unto ME. For I have placed the Chapter before You, and they shall know thou art the Woman; a Widow in thy Youth and forsaken; grieved in spirit and rejected by man, and refused. But I call thee as a Woman forsaken, and his name (Noah) stands as a type unto you all: for as the floods of love were in you Two, so are the floods of My Love coming to Man: for in rest and peace, ye shall posses your souls, after I have brought My Mighty work to pass; I know thy heart trembleth and all thy bones shake: you are serving the Lord with fear and trembling, but soon shalt thou come into My presence with Thanksgiving, and enter into My Courts with Praise.
"Awake, awake, O Zion, put on thy beautiful Garments, O Jerusalem; for the day of the Lord is at hand, that HE hath visited and will redeem His people: I have visited by My Spirit; and now will I redeem by My power. I will no longer bow down to man, but unto My Name shall all men bow; and unto Me shall all men swear; and they will be taught of Me, from the greatest to the least. Bring forth your arguments, O ye stout-hearted; plead your cause, ye that boast of Learning. Where is your God whom you have forsaken? Where are your Bibles which you have neglected? Have I not said it, and shall I not do it? Shall men set all My counsel at nought, and say they are wiser than their MAKER? Shall the Clay contend with the Potter? Shall he that is formed say unto him that formed him, What doest Thou? I AM GOD. there is none beside ME: My Honour I will not give unto another; neither My Praise to the sons of men. Their Wisdom shall not save them: and their Counsels I will bring to nought: for the Wisdom of the wise men shall perish: and the Understanding of the prudent shall be hid. But now I will gather him that halteth; for I have led them by a way they know not, and in by-paths they did not understand. But now will I make crooked
paths straight before them: for now will I unveil the mysteries unto them they are the Abrahams, and the seed of Abraham, and like Abraham they have gone on, inviting men to come forward - binding the Cords upon the Altar: but now the Cords are broken; My Isaacs shall be unbound: no longer shall they invite men: no longer shall they entreat them:- but they shall stand valiantly in their faith - and wait till men shall invite them: wait till men shall entreat them to let them stand the Trial, that they may see the NEW CREATED BEING that they may see the NEW COVENANT that is making with man, and know that the Mouth of the LORD hath spoken it, that they may enter into a NEW COVENANT with HIM, before they call upon the Rocks and Mountains to cover them for they shall find I will go forth with Fury, and None shall stay My Hand. I will break down the pride of the Lofty, and I will exalt the Spirit of the Meek; for the meek man is bowed down, and the humble man is despised in his humility, and for a moment I have hid My Face from them.
"For now will I reason together with man; though their sins are as scarlet, I'll make them as wool; though they are as crimson, I'll make them as snow. For now will I create all things NEW. For now he that hath spoiled and was not spoiled: he that hath dealt treacherously, and no man dealt treacherously with him: but now his time is over of dealing treacherously; and they shall deal treacherously with him (Isa. xxxiii). Hear, and hearken, ye sons of men, who is the man that deals treacherously with him? Who is the man that hath spoiled, and no man sought to spoil him? Open Your eyes ye blind: unstop your ears ye deaf, and discern My Words that I spake unto you, that MY Wisdom was hid in the great deep, and MY Paths past man's finding out. Satan hath dealt treacherously, and no man hath dealt treacherously with him: Satan hath spoiled, but no man hath spoiled him but now he hath made an end of dealing treacherously, for his treachery can go no further. My Sons and Daughters have been bound with Cords of the Altar, as Isaac was bound but now the Ram shall be caught in the thicket, and all My Isaacs shall be unbound; and now shall they deal treacherously with the devil; for now the Lord shall be gracious unto them. They have waited for Me every morning, and they shall see the salvation of their God. When they pass through the waters, I will be with them; and in the floods, it shall not drown them: for they are created NOW, and not from the beginning; even before the day when thou heardest them not, lest thou shouldest say, Behold, I knew them (Isa. xlviii. 7).
"O ye sons of men, that boast of wisdom, and ye learned, that boast of learning, how do you understand My Bible? Have I not
said, I should show you NEW THINGS, and HIDDEN THINGS, that you did not know? Then let your God be true, and every man a liar, that says he can find out by learning, what are MY HIDDEN MYSTERIES in the Bible, when I have concealed them from Men and Angels - Angels could not look into the depths of My Decrees. Then where are ye vain boasting men, whose Breath is in your nostrils and whom I pronounced dead to knowledge? Shall I come and contend with men and the devils, with the Bible I cannot clear? Let the wise men contend with the wise men - and let them contend with a Fool that is brayed in a Mortar, and see if he will not contain his Folly, till I can make My Bible as plain before him, that a Fool, though a way faring man, may not err therein. Where is the man that by searching can find out his GOD? Who can find out the ALMIGHTY to perfection? Shall I come in power, and not come in honour? How did satan upbraid ME concerning Job? How did Satan upbraid me in the flesh, when he said I should cast MYSELF down from the Temple; for it is written 'I should give My Angels charge concerning Him?' Then how shall I contend with Satan? To be a God of confusion, and not of order? Have not Kings order in their Wars? Do they not produce THEIR CAUSE before they break out in a War; that they may show a just cause for it? Or, how would the enemy upbraid them, and say that they had dealt treacherously with them? They are not spoiling, but man wished to spoil them. Then how can a King appear in such a War? Would not his enemies despise him, when he could show no just cause for what he had done? Would not his Subjects be ready to forsake him, and say, that he had called them out to battle against an enemy which had not offended them? Where was their love and courage to fight for their King, whom they found Fault in, and saw none in the enemy which had not offended them? Where was their love and courage to fight for their king, whom they found all the Fault in, and saw none in the enemy they were going to war against, but their lives were slaughtered for nought? Judge the cause, ye learned; open your eyes, ye prudent, and see that I cannot cast down your adversary, the devil, that is as a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour. (But how could I keep him from his prey, before I had made the Partition Wall strong against him?) Before I had proved My cause to be just; that I had said unto him, as unto the proud waves of the sea, 'hitherto shall thou go, and no further.' Then as a KING I can contain My honour.
"I set bounds for man in the Creation, and thou (Satan) temptest man to break them. And now I have set bounds for thee, the same. Now see the Creation stand before thee dead to knowledge, as I had
pronounced them. See the Woman I created for man's good stand before Me in perfect obedience."
It is agreed among most thinking Christians that the Midnight hour has come upon mankind, and that the time of darkness and trial is now severely felt by all classes. But it is a great comfort to feel that even this was foreseen and provided for by the marvellous loving kindness of God; and although the Creator's heart has been so deeply wounded by the conduct of mankind, that He has to show His hot displeasure by sharp rebuke before harmony and love can be established, yet His sceptre of mercy is stretched out still, and he will gather in all who will come unto Him that sincerely desire to find favour and peace.
In the Warning to the World it is stated that in the years of judgment sudden deaths would be frequent, much more than usual. This is abundantly fulfilled, as is shown by the daily press, and most people have had clear proof amongst their own immediate circle by the sudden removal of dear or well-known friends. In Joanna's account of her life an incident is mentioned in connexion with her mother's brother bearing on this subject, which I will quote (Strange Effects of Faith, part v., p.197):-
"I shall here add a singular instance of my mother's brother, who was a remarkable religious young man; and was so intimately acquainted with the young Mr. Dagworthy, that they were like brothers and were always together every opportunity they could spare. Their conversation was of things divine; and their observations and reflections on the wondrous works of Providence were deep, and deep were their writings. But the almost sudden death of the young Mr. Dagworthy sunk deep in my uncle's heart: as my mother advised him in a letter that Mr. Dagworthy was ill; but my uncle not judging it dangerous, tarried to settle some affairs for his mother, and did not go to visit him till a week after: when, on coming to the house, in hopes of finding his friend better, he met his corpse at the door. This sudden shock so took my uncles' heart, that whether it was the death of Mr. Dagworthy, or the reflections of his own mind and heart, because he had not gone and seen him sooner, remained unknown to all his friends; but the shock went deep, and a melancholy preyed on his spirits; his sorrows seemed too great to bear; and to fly from them, he one morning said to his mother, I will go out and see the ground, while you get breakfast. She waited with impatience his return till nine or ten, and then began to fear his absence. She sent to seek him, but to no purpose. All the family began to be alarmed; but vain and fruitless was every search. They tried all the ponds,
and sent to all his friends; but to no purpose; none that knew him had seen him. At length my grandmother gave herself up to prayer and she was warned in a dream. "Thy bread is cast upon the waters and in a few days he shall return again in peace." The next day she opened her Bible, and found nearly the same words; I think in Isaiah She made herself easy, and all her family, by assuring them their brother John was gone to sea; and though she did not hear from him for more than a twelvemonth after, yet she did not despair of seeing him return in peace, which happened two years after he went to sea as she had said, when he came home quite composed, to the great joy of all his friends."
"These singular instances" (Joanna continues), "I look on as a sure sign that the Lord is with us as in ages past, to warn us by dreams and visions of the night; and a present health in time of trouble if we put our whole trust in the God of our Salvation. But now it is given me to understand, that these things happened in my family for deep and weighty signs to the nations, as it is explained to me in the following manner:-
'Now from thy mother's brother I'll explain,
And bring it closely to the sons of men.
Thy mother warned him of his friend so dear,
That he was ill, and wished him to appear.
Thy uncle did not judge his death so nigh,
Nor thought his friend was then ordained to die,
Which made him to pursue his own affair,
And in a leisure hour he did appear;
But then his leisure hour proved too late
He met his corpse, and saw his dying fate,
And then too late to take his last farewell,
Which made his heart in agonies to swell,
To meet the corpse of one he loved so dear.
"And now, my friends, I give this warning here;
You see your sister in this woman stand,
To warn her brethren I am near at hand,
And that My Spirit surely did descend,
Just as the hand of death was to his friend.
But if you say you will not now appear;
You do not judge My coming is so near;
Then like the former you will come too late,
And, like the corpse you all will meet your fate;
For when the Bridegroom he is at the door,
It is too late to say, I'm welcome there;
For if before you will not welcome ME,
Just like the corpse My welcome you shall see;
That is in silence like a dying friend,
And so you'll find I tell you new your end.
"But mark, your sister gives you now the call,
That you will find is deep in every line;
And from this parable then you will find,
That deep's the warning I have given to all.
Let Jews and Gentiles now observe the call;
Lest, like thy uncle, they do find the end,
And come too late to see a dying friend.
But on the waters now your bread is cast;
And like the waters many eyes will burst;
Because they know they did forsake My friends;
Then how My funeral will they now attend?
Because My funeral I shall place in thee;
And in the end a mystery all will see."
On p.206 of the Strange Effects of Faith, Joanna writes:-
"Having a desire to go abroad, I left my father's home, and got a situation in a gentleman's family, where my life was rendered miserable by a wicked footman, who, finding his base arts ineffectual, studied nothing but revenge. I therefore thought it dangerous to abide in the house. On a Sunday, as I was in a field bathed in tears, devout in prayers, looking toward heaven, and earnestly supplicating my deliverance, I repeated these words:-
From this sad prison set me free,
And dangerous days to frame,
Lord! thou wilt sure deliver me,
And I shall praise Thy name,
And holy men will join with me
Thy praises to proclaim.
As soon as I had finished these lines, I was answered, 'Thou shalt not spend another sabbath in this house.' I went in very cheerful, relying on the words. The footman, who always followed me as close as a shadow, complained of my absence, and said I was never in the house like other servants. I smiled at his malice, and observed to him, that I hoped the next servant would please him better, for I should leave them soon. I went upstairs in prayer to the Lord to direct me. This was on Sunday evening. The Tuesday following the housekeeper came out in the dairy where I was, and, with tears flowing from her eyes, informed me that there was a maid come in my place, and that I was to go tomorrow, it being the gentleman's custom never to allow servants any warning. The reason for my being turned away was through the false insinuations of the footman; who, finding all his vile purposes baffled, persuaded my master I was
growing mad. About five years after, through the extravagance of this same footman and the rest of the servants, and partly by his own misconduct, the same gentleman became a bankrupt, lost his senses thereby, and was sent to Bedlam, leaving behind him a wife not thirty years of age, and four small children to lament his misfortunes. I never heard what became of the footman; but some of the other servants are now vagabonds. The housekeeper was heard to exclaim, just after she had given me notice to quit, 'My God! what is my master about? he has this day discharged the best servant in the house.'
"From my last place, I repaired to a friend's house at Fairmile, a religious good family, with whom my mother had been acquainted, and tarried with them two days. I had intended going to the west of Devon, to see my sister; but as I was proceeding toward Exeter, meditating and praying that the Lord would direct me where to go, I was instructed to go into Exeter, to ask for some cakes at a huckster shop, and there I should be directed where to go. I pursued my journey accordingly; and when I came into Exeter I applied to a huckster's shop for some cakes. The mistress of the shop knew me, and asked me if I was not Mr. Southcott's daughter of Gettisham? I said my name was Southcott, but marvelled how she knew me, not having the pleasure of knowing her. She said she knew me by my father and mother, as she had lived housekeeper in a gentleman's family, whose ground joined my father's. She requested me to sit, and we entered into conversation. I asked if places were plenty in Exeter? She said she believed not; she knew of none. I then became sorrowful, meditating to myself how I should be deceived, as I never was before, since my faith was so strong in the Lord.
"As I was thus reflecting with myself, a woman came into the shop, and the mistress asked her if she knew of any place? because if you do, continued she, here is a woman of a creditable family, whose parents I well know to be worthy, good people, in want of a situation. The woman made for answer, that she was at a house last Tuesday, the master and mistress of which inquired of her if she knew of a servant? I thought to myself, that was the identical day on which I left Squire______'s house. I inquired of her their characters. She gave the master a very good one, and said there was no man but him in the house. I thought to myself, that was the place the Lord had prepared for me; so I went and offered, was accepted, went there the week following, and remained in the family nearly five years."
Continued in Mr. Sharp's Book, p.18:-
"But, oh! what a scene of misery broke out there! After living
some years in the house, the master of the house declared himself in love with me. No tongue can paint the horror I felt, to hear of love from a married man. I asked him how he could make a profession of religion, and talk of his love to another whilst he had a wife of his own. He said his love was not sinful; it was only religious love, which no man that had such a wife as he had. . . that was roving after other men, could help . . . and now to see a mind so mild and heavenly, endowed with every virtue, no religious man could help it. I told him he should not venture in temptation's road, and if his heart was inclined to love me I would leave his house, and gave warning to go away. I went to Mr. Trimlett's to offer. He threw himself into a violent passion, and said if I would stay he never would mention his love more; but if I went, never a methodist should come into his house again; but if I would stay he would maintain the preachers, that he knew I had a great regard for, as I thought them religious men. This made me earnest in prayer, that the Lord would direct me what to do. I was answered, the Lord would direct me and protect me, nothing should harm me; but I should not leave the house, for He had ends unknown to me, to keep me in it. So in a state of misery in my mind I stayed there some time: sometimes jealousy it was a wrong spirit that ordered me to stay there.
"After that he took a methodist parson into his house, who declared himself a lover to the wife in my presence, and despised her husband, and wanted to set all the children against him. This wounded me to the heart; and he himself expressed jealousy. I thought to get the man out of the house privately, by Mr. Wesley's preachers; so that I went to put Mr. Wills out of the thoughts of his jealousy: but he threw himself in a violent passion, and upraided me with hypocrisy. He said I was as bad as her to vindicate her: I had upbraided him with crimes he was never guilty of, in his love to me, and was going to leave the house for mentioning it; but now I upheld her in crimes she was guilty of; for he knew his wife too well, and Saunders too. His words cut me to the heart; for I knew I was concealing a much blacker crime than I had reproved in him, but thought I was the wrong person to tell him of it, as it might inflame his mind to renew his former words to me; so I left the house, and went to Musberry with my brother.
"But when Mr. Wesley's preachers told me that Saunders was turned out of their meetings, and Wills had taken him into his house, after I had tried by every private means to get him out of the house, by writing to his wife and daughter what infamous characters they had got on Saunders' account; and Mrs. Wills did not regard her
character, and persuaded her children the same, I then wrote a letter to him, that he had a serpent in his bosom, by keeping of Saunders there. He then threw all his malice upon me; and said his wife was a virtuous prudent woman; and I was a wicked woman to make disturbances between them. I then saw his pretended love was, as I told him, temptations from the devil, by his disappointed malice. I thought so ungrateful a man could not exist; but here his malice went further. He haunted me to the places where I went, to get me out of service, till I was obliged to go to law with him, and then he hired two false witnesses against me, which made me tremble in the Guildhall, fearing he would swear away my life. I was then answered - It is finished; hitherto it is God's permission; but no further is His restraint. I asked my counsellor why Wills did not bring his son, because he would not swear so false as the others would? My counsellor, Roberts, asked Counsellor Fanshaw why he had not brought the son? He said he brought as many as he thought proper. Counsellor Roberts said, you brought as many as did not care what they swore; but Mr. Wills would not perjure those in his own house, but he cared not how many he perjured out of the house. Let him bring the Son; and if he swore as false as these have, I will give up my cause. But the son would not come to defend him. So I got my trial; because the son would not come against me, to take a false oath. The mystery of this goes deep to the nation: as you have not a quarter of the particulars. It paints the world in its true colours. The day after I was ordered to write the history of my life, and have it go in print; for thousands should be converted by it. I wrote the history of my life; but my friends persuaded me never to put it in print; and I was not pressed by the Spirit after I had written it to put it in print, till I was visited again in ninety-two; but this was at the end of the American War."
Joanna continues in her letter to Mr. Sharp sent through Miss Townley for publication: "When you (Mr. Sharp), have received the history of my life, you will receive the explanation of the whole."
The Lord was indeed leading Joanna by unusual paths, Mr. Sharp never received the whole history or the explanation until he received it in Mr. Foley's book as well as the one he published; even then Joanna's history is continued in various other books written at different times. We must search and be in earnest if we desire to trace the steps of the Lord. He is always alluring us on to greater diligence, greater strength, greater knowledge, and greater spiritual insight. How impossible it was for any woman to have written of herself in this way, or given such deep explanations of simple events,
or to have brought about the events in such order in the first place! And now in our day to fulfil them, and show they were prophetic of the state of mankind in the last days disclosing the exact state of the mind and heart, makes us fall adoring before Him for His greatness and goodness in stooping to our nature's night and giving us His heavenly illumination.
The explanation of the incidents relating to Joanna's sojourn with the Wills family is given in a Communication from the Spirit, printed in 1804 in a book in which Joseph Southcott vindicates his sister. As it is interesting and important I shall quote it from p.69. It follows a magnificent Communication on the manner in which woman is to be proved the true helpmate of man at last, and by her perfect obedience to help to bring in the redemption through child-bearing.
"The next Communication I shall give unto thee concerning Wills; why I sent thee into his house; and why I recommended thee to live in the house. After Wills professed himself a Christian lover, too great thou judgedst for a married man; and thy soul trembled at the idea of his words, and determined to leave the house, prayers and tears were thy private companions, and thy resolution was fixed to leave the house. But know, I told thee I would be with thee, and nothing should harm thee; for in the fire I would be with thee, and in the water it should not drown thee: for in the midst of temptations I was the Rock of thy Defence. And now I will tell thee why I suffered thee to endure temptations: to bring to light the hidden things that were done in darkness, because I knew the Day of Judgment was near; and near they will find it.
"And now I shall go from Wills's pretended Christian love, who afterwards turned that love to malice, envy and ridicule, by the arts of a malicious, wicked, and lewd woman, whose heart was roving after every man that she could make the object of her prey. Here I shall begin from the vice of a wicked woman, and compare her to the world at large; after defiling her husband's bed; after wounding her husband's heart; after breaking the hearts of many married woman, or grieving them to the heart by seducing their husbands; and grieving her own husband even unto dust, that make him first fly to his ruin for succour (for thou hast not faithfully told Wills's history, how he first told thee it drove him to drinking, till he had brought himself to beggary, and expected every day to be arrested for debt. This was the first misery her sins brought upon him. The second misery, he told thee, he thought to destroy himself, as Mrs. Hern went to
destroy herself, because her husband kept company with Mrs. Wills; and Hern beat his wife out of doors at midnight, on Mrs. Wills's account. This, with many more of the vices. Wills told thee, which thou hast never penned.) After flying to his ruin for succour, as he told thee at first, he flew to religion for his comfort at last, as he found no comfort in the vices he had practised.
"This was the state of Wills's mind when I first sent thee to his house; and thou judgedst him a truly religious man, and didst respect him as a master, that thou thoughtest a worthy good man. But I knew the anguish of thy soul, when Satan tempted him to make religion his vices, when he broke off from the vices of the world. Here Satan laid a hook for thee; and under pretence of religion, to draw thee into ruin, and Wills too, if his arts could prevail; though I knew Wills's heart; at first he had no evil design, when he told thee thy religion made him respect thee; and I well knew it was thy religion and the beauty he saw in thy mind, which made him love and esteem thee, having a wife so great an adulteress, roving after every man, and seeing in thee so different a mind, drew his heart with cords of love; and as I well knew thee, that thou wert kept by My power, being watchful unto prayer, that men or devils could not harm thee. I prevented thy leaving the house till I had shown thee them both in their true colours: and from them I shall now the world in its true colours. For when thou hadst so far reproved Wills, telling him how thou didst despise to hear of love from a married man, he gave up all pretensions, and would have buried it in oblivion, had it not been for his wife, who renewed the flames, by 1Sanderson the methodist preacher, when his wife showed every attention to him before Wills's face. Here begins the error in him; and here begins the error in thee though I reprove, I do not blame thy want of fortitude, to tell him plainly his jealousy was founded on a right foundation, and that he ought to turn the man from his house. Here are the ruin and folly of mankind; here are the folly and destruction of the world: fearing you should wound people's feelings, and bring them into a present trouble, you let them go on till they add sin to sin, sorrow to sorrow, and woe to woe, bringing on themselves swift destruction. Now see what followed in Wills: thy concealing the knowledge from him, and thinking thou wouldest act with prudence to get Sanderson out of the house, without ever letting Wills know of his conduct with his wife, gave Sanderson and her an opportunity by arts, to work jealously towards thee, that he might take her part, and cast the whole on thee.
l Familiarly called Sanders. Page 53
"Thus Wills, being conscious he had loved thee, threw guilt on his own self, not considering thy virtue and innocence, how thou reprovedst him, and how unjust thou toldest him it was for a married man to indulge a thought of another: and if his love was not sinful, Satan would work in him to make it sinful: and that thou might say unto him, as thy Saviour said unto Peter, 'Satan hath a desire to have thee, that he may sift thee like wheat.' But may the Lord keep you, that your faith fail not! Do not as Spira did, after putting his hand to the Gospel Plough, fall back a prey to the devil. Wills's answer was, 'He knew his own heart better; he had too much religion to hurt any one; and that he would not bring a disgrace upon religion for five hundred pounds.' Remember the answer thou madest him: 'He that trusteth his own heart is a fool; and if he would trust his heart, thou wouldest never trust thine.' This was the manner of thy disputing with Wills, and was as well known to ME as it was to thee; for my eye was present, and My angels that were thy guardians, were standing by; for every footstep of thine has been known to ME, from thy youth up to this day: and to prove thy virtue and innocence, I have permitted thee to be tried by every art that men and devils can invent; for an untried faith is no faith; and an untried virtue is no virtue. Therefore I permitted thee to be tried to the utmost, and to the utmost I have kept thee from all the arts of men and devils.
"And now I shall come further to Wills. As Satan tempted him to be guilty of an unjust passion for thee, to love thee with such tender affection, because his wife was such an adulteress; therefore Satan worked in him afterwards, that he ought to seek the ruin of that virtue and innocence which he had so artfully sought to betray; and that adulterous wife, that he had so much spoken against, he ought in honour to support. Here is the world in its true colours. And now I shall come to Marshall the minister, whom he appealed to. When thou livedst in Marshall's house, Wills came to get thee out of thy place. After Wills was gone, Marshall told thee of the information Wills had given against thee. Thou toldest Marshall it was false; and entreated him to have Wills and thee face to face, and thou wouldest clear up every truth before him. This Marshall promised to do; but he went from his word. As Wills was a man of some substance in his parish, so he went to Wills's house, and listened to all Wills's lies, and came home and turned thee out of the service. This made thee sue for a law suit, to clear thy character; and Wills appeared with his two false witnesses, and perjured two ignorant women. This was done by thy minister's neglect - which I shall
bring to the nation at large. For, had Wills and Marshall cleared up the truth between Wills and thee, the law suit would have ceased, and the perjury would not have been committed.
"But know what followed Marshall - and the same shall follow the clergy, that now refuse to search out the truth." Marshall lost his senses some years before he died; and I have been told that it was shocking to hear the noise he made.
Now from the words where thou hast ended
I shall further answer here:
All this thing it was intended
For to make all mysteries clear.
Yet strange My ways you see to be,
My footsteps none can trace -
In Woodford House, 'twas known to ME,
Thou thoughtest to seek redress,
That I would free thy misery
From sore temptations there;
I said I'd free, 'tis known to thee,
And answer then thy prayer.
Unto My word thou found'st thy Lord,
And cheerfully did'st go;
But little thought that I'd prepar'd
Another house of woe.
Unknown to thee My footsteps be,
As thou dost travel on;
Relying on thy every God,
Thy sorrows ne'er discerned,
That in a house I did prepare
Thy greatest grief should break.
'Twas I that drew thee in that snare -
I knew the serpent's net
Would every way seek to betray,
As he did seek at first;
And in that house I did send thee,
And there his arts did burst;
An angel there he did appear,
In every subtle art.
My wisdom he did never know,
Why I did let thee smart;
Temptations strong on thee did come,
In every way to see
I was the Rock thou build'st upon,
No man could baffle thee.
But had not I that dwell on high
Have kept thee by My powers,
The subtle arts that Wills did use
Might all thy strength devour;
Because a man to thee to come,
To have a wife and none:
Adultery was said by ME
The Marriage doth unthrone;
For I'll appear to answer here,
Her every vow she broke,
No wedlock band in her did stand,
Which made thee feel the stroke;
Pity in thee was seen by ME,
To see his heart to burn,
Daily wounded by jealousy,
And his complaints did come;
In sorrow there he did appear
In grief before thy view;
And every way sought to betray
A heart so just and true:
And yet the man to ME was known -
Satan deceived him first;
He never thought to betray,
Nor have thy honour cast.
No: love was strong, to ME 'twas known,
In innocence at first;
Had not his wife a harlot been,
My rage, like thine, would burst;
I'd bid thee go, as thou did'st do,
And leave the tempter there;
No married man to thee should come,
Thy heart for to ensnare.
But surely I who dwell on high
Such marriages forbid;
When every oath is broken there
Say not the man was wed.
I tell thee No: it is not so;
No wedlock could be there,
When every oath and vow were broke,
What altar can you clear,
To say you stand in wedlock's band?
Where wives are so prophane,
And roving after every man
You can no marriage claim.
This thing you see ordain'd by ME;
For I did it permit.
To show the harlots everywhere
They double sin commit;
Because at first the oath doth burst,
Unto my altar come;
And after that they do disgrace
Their husbands and My name;
They mock their God, they mock My Word
They mock My altar too,
They mock the oath that they have spoke -
Bring all before your view:
Such harlots here, can they appear
To say that they are tied,
In wedlock's band that do they stand?
But here they're all denied;
My Gospel see your Law to be;
They are no wives at all.
Therefore let no man now blame thee,
And say it was from hell,
That sent thee there all things to clear:
No, no: they'll find 'twas I.
I tell you plain I did ordain
To bring this to the land,
That every one may see their sins
They daily do commit,
Before My altars to repair
And break the oath they make.
Then by your law they're freed, you know,
And so they are by MINE.
And now I say no married men
E'er sought the heart was thine;
Because the vow was broke of God,
Her vows she'd broken there -
And let them tremble at My rod,
For I shall soon appear,
To tell them plain: ye sons of men.
Your sins the deepest dye,
Before My altars to appear
And then your oath deny.
You will not stand, nor give your hand,
As you did promise there:
The greatest harlots in the land
Are those so false do swear,
Then whoring go, you all shall know,
And still to claim the word,
That you are bound unto the law -
No: tremble at your God,
That will appear, I tell you here,
Consuming fire to be!
Such marriages I will never own
As was with Wills and she.
No: I will clear thy honour there;
He was no married man;
Though in his house thou could'st not bear
To hear him to condemn
His wife so great, full of deceit;
And thou in grief did'st mourn;
His words to hear thou could'st not bear,
And made thy heart to burn
In jealousy, 'twas known to ME,
And fear'd to tarry there.
But it was I that led thee on
The end of all to clear,
That thou mayest see the infamy
Of what should follow next.
When Sanderson in the house appeared,
Thou sawest her heart was fixed
Upon the man, thou sawest it strong,
And Wills he did abuse,
And all his ways he did condemn,
And bid her him refuse.
This thou did'st see as well as ME,
And trembled all to hear:
But well I knew the heart of thee,
The anger thou didst fear
That thou should'st make if thou didst speak,
To stop her every hand,
Forgetting that there was a God
Who did the whole discern.
So by thy folly thou didst stand
Silent the whole to see;
But here the mystery now command:
She cast the whole on thee;
Guilty there did then appear,
The innocent was cast,
And thou in trembling didst appear,
To see her fury burst;
Upon thy head it all was laid,
Her every guilt to free -
O England, now mark what is said,
This is the type of thee
Thou dost appear, I tell thee here,
So much like Wills's wife,
Thy infamy this was to clear,
And so bring on thy strife
Now against one, to ME is known,
From all adulteries free;
And yet the harlots do condemn,
Like Wills's wife they be.
But you may stop, your time's near up,
For I shall answer here;
The harlots every one shall drop -
I'll not like Wills appear,
To own the brides are by My side,
That do a whoring go.
My Law and Gospel all's denied,
And that they all shall know;
My Law is broke. My Gospel mocked,
My Bible you deny;
Then how can you so boldly speak,
To say you're brides to ME?
I tell you No; you all shall know,
You're just like Will's wife;
And just like he, you shepherds be,
This way you'd end the strife;
Like him appear, I tell you here,
For just like him you're come;
You do profess to love ME here,
And just like Wills you've done.
He did pretend to be thy friend,
And loved thy every name;
And then the harlot to defend,
He did My honour shame.
So just like he My shepherds be -
The harlots you support,
Though you pretend to love MY NAME,
You do My honour hurt.
Wednesday, July 25. Joanna was told that the Day of Judgment was begun, for the Saints to judge the Earth: and they must judge between men and Joanna; and between the devil and Joanna. Therefore her life is ordered to be put in print.Continued Wednesday, July 25, 1804:-
The Type is deep. Oh! shepherds weep,
Like Wills you're all become;
And from his love I now will prove,
Like Wills you all have done.
For I'll appear, I tell you here,
To place myself the VINE;
And she's the BRANCH I now shall clear,
To bring it to mankind.
His love to thee, let all men see,
For virtue it was placed;
From thy religion, he did say,
He wished for to embrace
So noble a mind, as he did find
Was placed in thee below;
And therefore wished thee to prove kind,
To let his folly go
Till it might run, to sin become
But that proved Wills's end.
And by the harlot this was done;
And this was my intend,
To bring it round: the world might find,
The Type of Wills goes deep;
For just like he ten thousands be,
And so their end will break.
They do appear as Wills did there,
Profess to love MY NAME,
My virtues in their minds to bear,
And set their hearts in flame.
For I know some, like Wills, become
So great in love with ME;
And perfect true, I well do know,
Their perfect love to be;
Until I come, as thou didst then,
His rival to destroy;
And perfect so I now tell men,
You may your wives enjoy;
I'm come to cast, I'm come to burst
Upon your rival foe.
So thou to Sanders did appear,
Thy fury let them know;
When thou didst come to see the man,
That did in rage appear,
Thou told'st him of his every hand
In Wills's absence there.
When beginning Joanna's history, I had not the least intention of quoting so much at length from her writings, but on searching out her account from the various books, I am so struck with the remarkable application of this simple narration of her relation with the Wills family to the state of the nation, the ministers, and society in general, at this present time, that I feel like Nathan when he said to David, "Thou art the man." I do not remember reading this account of Wills with the explanations before - it just shows even after reading, more or less, for forty years how little one really knows of this great work of the Lord; and yet thousands have thrown the whole life work of Joanna Southcott aside upon the most superficial examination which has been limited, perhaps, to a dozen lines in some printed biography, or a few pages from her books read in a casual way, and there has been no real attempt to find out whether the Lord was speaking to mankind or not. The Lord has done a marvellous work, and our ears will indeed one day tingle with shame to think of our indolence and unsupported credulity in what has been so glibly handed down either by word of mouth or in a few written lines containing anything but the truth. No, "strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." The glory of a King is to conceal a thing, and he does it in mercy to his created race, that He may show his clemency and stoop to our ignorance. Some day He will raise us to power, and our eyes will be opened to see the great truths that He has to teach us. The preparation of the
heart is with the Lord, and though He seems to tarry long, and to have hidden His face from us, yet His sceptre of mercy is stretched out still, and He will accomplish that which He has purposed in His heart for mankind. When the Lord comes in power our eyes are so blinded by the great light, that we grope as in the dark. He has in His mercy to overshadow us, and lead us gently, step by step, into the light, until our whole being is warmed by the radiance of His great love, and the unsearchable riches of His glory.
There are many important lessons taught by this simple record of Joanna's connexion with the Wills family. First the particular care the Lord takes of His people even in the little things of life, and how He directs our steps aright, although at times they seem to lead to misery and our undoing. He directed Joanna for great ends, which even yet we can but dimly see, and from this we know He will direct all His people, as He has a purpose for each one of us if we will only yield ourselves to His direction. Then again that guardian angel really attend us, and nothing can happen to us that is not his will (p.72, Joseph Southcott's Book): "For My eye was present, and My angels that were thy guardians, were standing by; for every footstep of thine has been known to ME, from thy youth up to this day; and to prove thy virtue and innocence, I have permitted thee to be tried by every art that men and devils can invent; for an untried faith is no faith; and an untried virtue is no virtue. Therefore I permitted thee to be tried to the utmost; and to the utmost I have kept thee from all the arts of men or devils." Here we also learn a great truth, "the STRONG MAN must first be bound before his goods can be spoiled." We have the Strong Man fully armed on our side, and we need not fear the triumph of evil. The Strong Man our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ - alone can bind our strong enemy. Let us cry night and day unto Him to avenge us speedily, and to set us free. Again we are taught that our safety lies in watchfulness unto prayer (p.71, same): "And I well knew thee, that thou wert kept by My power, being watchful unto prayer, that men or devils could not harm thee." Here is our true safety both as individuals and as a nation - for the nation is made up of individuals.
Joanna continues the Wills history in the following manner (P.79):-
"Here I am ordered to pen what I told him in Wills's absence. Having seen the conduct of Sanderson, whilst he was in Wills's house, trying to set Mrs. Wills against her husband; and to seduce the wife and daughters to himself, and at the same time Mr. Wills maintained him in the most extravagant manner. This was a thing wounded
my heart and conscience. I knew not how to act. I thought if I told Wills of it, that it would make him more wretched and miserable than he was before: as he told me of many men his wife had been caught with in adultery; and Garrick told me of many more. This made me wish to get Sanderson out of the house, without letting Wills know his conduct towards his wife and his daughters; but as I was gone from Exeter to Musberry, which is twenty-five miles distant, and had sent private letters to her to no purpose; and to Sanderson also, that I should discover his conduct to Mr. Wills, if he did not leave the house; but all to no purpose.
"I then put myself to the expense of a journey to go from Musberry to Exeter. When I came to Wills's house, she was not up. I waited in the house for some time, when she came down in fury, and said, 'You impudent wench! what do you here before I am up? What hast thou told thy master? Thou hast told him all thou knowest, and thou wantest to cut my throat.' I said, I had told him nothing; and both Wills and his children assured her I had told them nothing. But Wills asked what it was, that he was not to know? They then said they would send for Sanderson, for him to punish me, which they did. When he came into the house he looked like fury, and swore by the eternal God, he would punish me. He had forgiven many, but me, he said, he would punish. He called the Three-One-God to swear to those lies in one, which was that he had never touched me or kissed me in his life. I said, I had nothing to lay to his charge concerning me in his life. I said, I had nothing to lay to his charge concerning myself; for I never had been in his company alone; but what I had against him, I would tell him, if Mr. Wills would quit the room. Mr. Wills asked me why he must not know? I told him I would not tell before him. Mr. Wills rose up and went out of the room. I then told Sanderson of his behaviour with Mrs. Wills, of what I had seen and heard myself: and how he had persuaded her never to mind her husband, and of his behaviour with her daughters; and what they had told me themselves, which they then denied, and the mother also, and said I wanted to cut their throats. But Polly said she would tell her father of what I said of Sanderson's behaviour to her mother; but they said she should not. So I went out of the house and left them; and was informed afterwards that they told Wills all I had against him was the lie he had sworn; because he had saluted me once, which they all remembered; but I never mentioned it to him, because a religious man might have done that, as it was after he had returned from some journey, and he saluted all the women in the house, before he went to bed. But this
was the forged story they made up to Wills; and from that time Mrs.Wills began to seek all the revenge she could against me; and to accomplish her designs pretended jealousy, to make her husband join with her, which he did, as you have seen in the former part of this history.
"But one thing more I must pen: the beginning of Sandersons' coming to Wills's, he used to terrify all the people when he was in prayer; and was often telling what wondrous miracles he had wrought by prayer; and that he had at a meeting made the whole society lie stiff upon the floor, till he had got the evil spirits out of them; and I remember myself, once in a class meeting, a religious, good man shrieked out in such manner as though he had sent an evil spirit into him; but I cannot say he had ever any power over me: only I used to think the room was full of spirits, when he was in prayer: and he was so haunted by night, that he never could sleep in a room by himself; but the excuse he made was, that his wife came every night to trouble him; therefore he had wakers or some one to sleep in the room with him. This, before I saw his wretched conduct, threw my mind into a confusion about him, and made me earnest in prayer, that I might know by what spirit he did all these miracles. To which I was answered, I should take the Bible in my hand and open it; which I did, and it was in the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, 20th verse, I cast my eyes on: 'The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet, that worked miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image; these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.' I then was answered, he was the false prophet, which did his miracles wrought by devils; for that was the meaning of the beast. But Sanderson affirmed that his miracles were from the Lord, who gave him power to destroy all his enemies! For he said there never was a man so highly favoured of God as he was: and he would not thank God to make him anything, if he would not make him greater than any man upon earth, and give him power above all men. I told him, it was happy for him if the Lord had given him that power, and favoured him above all men on earth; but, on the contrary, if it was not so, his end would be fatal in hell. At which he laughed, and said, 'Yes, I will take care to get a good warm corner there.' This answer shocked me; and I never could bear him afterwards. But the servants in the house were afraid of him; as they heard of the death of a man at Plymouth, that had reproved Sanderson's conduct; and when Sanderson heard he was dead, he said he had fasted and prayed three days and three nights, that the
Lord would take vengeance on that man, and send him to eternity. This made Wills's family and servants afraid of him, and said they would not speak against him for the world, fearing he would send them to eternity. But I had no fears of that sort; for it heightened my hatred and malice against him; because I always felt in my own heart to pray for my enemies, that the Lord would convince them and turn their hearts, before they went to eternity.
"Were I to go through all Sanderson's wonders and miracles that he told of, and all the wretched deeds that he did, I might fill many sheets of paper: for not half the history of Wills's family and Sanderson is penned. 'Now I shall answer thee this history of Sanderson. He is, as I told thee, the false prophet that did all these miracles wrought by devils; and I have already told thee how he wrought them. And now let men read that chapter through, and judge for themselves. For that reason I sent thee to Wills's house; for that reason I kept thee in Wills's house till Sanderson appeared, that thou mightest see his conduct with thy own eyes, and hear his words with thy own ears; for how canst thou affirm as truth the words of another.'"
A CONTINUATION OF WILLS AND SANDERSON
Wednesday Evening, July 25, 1804 -
"Now I will tell thee why I kept silence and said nothing till thou hadst been to sleep: because the history thou hast here penned, though they wearied thee out of thy life, and made thee as forgotten, like a dream, that they should hear no more of it; but know, I told thee, as soon as thy Trial was over, thou shouldest write thy history of Wills and Sanderson, and the history of thy whole life, for all should go in print. Thou then didst obey in writing; but thy friends persuaded thee out of it, that it was not the Lord's command; but as MY time was not come to have it printed, I kept silence, and said no more unto thee, so thou destroyedst the writings thou hadst taken so much pains to pen; but when I visited thee in 1792, I visited thee with power, as well as with words; and thou thy friends made the same effort to prevent thy going on, as they had before, to publish to the world, yet, now all was vain, all was fruitless, for my appointed time was come -
And now in verse I shall begin,
To echo back the lines to men:
From the False Prophet I'll appear,
That with the Beast I did compare;
Because the beast was in the man,
He boasted of wonder from ME come,
Then sure a prophet he must be,
If he was favoured as he said,
Above all men, so high of God,
To govern with my powerful rod.
But from MYSELF, I'll answer here,
Favoured by ME, he never were;
From Satan's arts came all his skill,
And all his wonders came from hell;
So with the beast thou didst first contend,
Or the false prophet in the man;
And thy false friends, that bore his mark,
Joined boldly with him in the dark.
Until they brought thy Trial on.
The Shepherds acted like the man,
But thou thyself sued for the law -
The Type is deep, you all must know,
Because I told thee of the end,
Great judgments on them I should send;
But what is past they don't discern,
Nor in what manner I do warn;
But now I'll bring the judgments on,
And they shall know the time is come
That earth's foundations I shall shake,
And make their stubborn hearts to break,
If they do not repent in haste.
I tell thee there's no time to waste;
For I'm the Judge that shall appear:
The Great Assize for all draws near -
And now my Counsellors all shall see,
Like Roberts' words in men shall be,
Because thy cause they will defend,
The shadows first foretells the end;
Because the jury at the first
Granted thee thy Bill, and own'd it just;
And when thy Trial did appear,
They cast thy foe, and thee did clear;
So Wills the Trial then he lost,
Though his false witness proud did boast
That she would make thee black as hell,
As from his rage, her rage did swell.
But all her rage did swell in vain,
And all the arts they then could gain
Could never free her master there;
And pale as death he did appear,
To hear the words to him thou spoke
Of the false witness he had got,
Which then the jury did condemn,
And so it was by every man.
His Counsellor was fierce at first:
Mark, with what fury he did burst,
To have the witnesses appear,
And mocked all thy religion there;
And so he went to mock the whole,
To bring destruction on them all.
This was the Counsellor Wills had placed,
So perfect like this fallen race,
To mock religion at the first
And after that have perjury burst,
Because the witness he did try
By every word to make them lie;
And to his words they both did swear,
Thinking to gain the trial there;
Whilst thou stood singly and alone,
And to thy Counsellor didst complain.
There is a dream related in Joanna's writings, and then a further Communication on Wills, which I think is important (p.86):-
Because by ignorance it may be said,
That thou thyself hast cast,
For to declare a lover here
Was of a married man;
And in that house thou didst repair
To stay by My command.
This thing they'll blame, this thing they'll shame,
The hardened sons of men;
And harlots here may now appear
Thy virtue to condemn;
Because they'll say another way -
"We leave the house with speed;
Herself she surely did betray
To make a harlot bleed.
Her virtue there we can't see clear
In such a house to dwell,
Where nought but harlots in it were;
The words must come from hell,
That bid her stay, we plain do see" -
This many now will cry;
Therefore My judge and jury's fixed
To judge the cause of thee.
And from the light behold the sight,
That did to thee appear 1
Backward and forward bid them look
To make my Bible clear.
I did ordain this very thing,
And bid thee there to go,
And in the house I bid thee stay,
1 Her dream given on p.84, same book
Though 'twas in grief and woe;
To show you clear the chapter there,
The prophet that is penned,
From hell his wonders ever were,
And there they all must end.
But now from thee, let all men see
The chapter so is placed,
The Lamb's Wife must appear to be
Against all hell to burst:
Then before the man thou didst condemn,
Had I not kept thee there,
Thou never could'st against him come
To make all mysteries clear;
To prove to man the time is come
My Bible to fulfil.
For there you see they both do stand,
Now judge things as you will;
The Wife is first, and so she's placed,
And there thou first didst go,
And know the sorrow thou exprest
When Wills filled thee with woe.
Thou would'st not stay, thou oft didst say,
'Twas I that kept thee there:
So in the dirt thou'rt thrown by ME, (dream)
If men do mock thee here:
Because 'twas I who dwell on high
Did every step ordain,
To show the love in Wills did lie,
So like the sons of men.
Like him they love, like him they prove -
Pretend to love MY NAME.
But now I'm come to cast the man,
The shadows I'll begin:
The shadows first in man did burst,
And the false prophet there,
As it of Sanders now is plac'd,
Then see my Bible clear:
The beast with he in hell must be;
Then how can men dispute?
It is to make my Bible clear,
How I shall strike the root.
The shadows first from thee did burst,
With Sanders to begin;
The substance next I now have fix'd
With Satan I shall end.
So from you three the shadows see,
The World I'll place as one;
Because like Wills ten thousands be,
And turn their love to scorn,
By harlots here, that do appear
To take the Devils' part;
For so their malice doth appear,
Till they bring on the smart.
I tell thee strong upon this land
The hail stones fast will break,
And all their houses on the sand
I tell them now will sink.
Like Marshall here my shepherds are
To let them to go on,
Because the truth they will not clear,
To stop the rising storm.
So Wills's wife brought on the strife,
And perjury followed there;
Because they Judg'd there was no God
In judgment to appear,
That judgment strong is coming on,
And that they'll surely find;
The day to Wills will soon be known,
Then let him see his wife,
That he caressed and he so blessed,
In vice for to appear,
And of his own, when conscience gone,
Let him look back with fear,
And say, "in hell must I now dwell,
If I do not repent -
Like a trembling jailer let me fall
Before the pit is shut
To keep me in, in hell to burn
My back's not iron here,
Nor yet of brass my sinews strong
In hell for to appear."
So now let him in grief begin,
If he will shun My dart:
And let his wife in sorrow mourn
If she will shun the smart,
In hell to lie and there to cry
When all do come too late.
I tell them hasty to repent,
Before the door is shut.
Their honour here they cannot clear;
'Tis well known they have none -
But as I sent thee to the house,
My mercies shall be shown,
If they'll repent, and now relent,
Of all that they have done;
But if they'll not I'll tell their lot,
Their ruin's hastening on,
So I'll end here, and say no more -
The Type of Wills does stand,
Just as your nation doth appear,
For so is all your land.
The Spirit continues:-
"Now I shall answer thee in plain words of Wills's prentended love to thee, or his real love to thee, as I know the heart of the man. Once it was a real, and a true Christian love - just so are thousands in the world professing their love to ME, as Wills did to thee; some I know to be real, and some I know to be deceit. But now I am come to strike at the root of all evil, as thou goest to strike the branch in Sanderson; there, their love is turned like Wills's. For they that pretended to love ME most, now persecute ME most; because they are stirred up by the devil, as Wills was by his wife; and they think they are bound in wedlock to remain with the world, the flesh, and the devil; and they are persecuting of ME for putting that evil from them, as Wills persecuted thee for putting Sanderson from him, or telling his crimes that he might do it. So I compare Wills with the Christian world, that boast of the great love they have for ME; but now I have put them to the trial of their love, they are persecuting ME, as Wills persecuted thee. The adulterous world that persecutes thee, is perfectly like Wills's wife, that would sooner have Satan remain than sin to be destroyed. So now they may go with their master whom they so highly prize; for I shall now cut off both root and branch, and they may enjoy themselves together. If they think there is pleasure in sin, they shall go where there is nothing else but sin; and let them all own with shame and confusion of face, they have got their deserts. But unto them that fear MY NAME, and are longing for the KINGDOM OF CHRIST to be established, on them shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in HIS WINGS; and they shall grow up as calves, in the stall; and tread down the wicked as ashes under their feet: For now I say, with Jehu, 'Who is on my side? Who? who is it?' These that fear the Lord speak often one to another that the Lord listened and heard, and a book of remembrance was written and they shall be Mine in the day that I make up My jewels; and I will spare them as a man spareth his own son, that serveth him; for these are they whom my Bible affirmeth to save: that shall say, what hath the Lord said, and what hath the Lord spoken concerning us? These are the people that shall rejoice in the God of their Salvation, and shall say with joy, 'This is the Lord, we have waited for HIM.' And their waiting shall not be in vain in the LORD."
There are still some three hundred and fifty lines more, fully explaining the type of Wills to the Nation, and if any have diligence
and sufficient zeal to dig deep enough they shall find important truths hidden under the simple events narrated in connexion with this man and the sin of his family. It all most incontestably proves that Joanna was not led of herself. She saw nothing in her being ordered to remain in this family against her will; she could not understand it at all. She wrote an account of it when commanded, but the explanation of the whole was not given for many years after, and we can now see how much greater the likeness is to the heart of man at this present time than it was a hundred years ago. Verily God is a God who doeth wonders, and his thought are so much higher than those of the children of men. He stoops to greater simplicity than we should think desirable or wise, and by such means as the lowly manger, the malefactor's death, or the simple language of the new song to man as given to the woman He teaches us mighty truths, and at the same time tests our earnestness, tests our sincerity, and proves the heart, whether it be filled with the love of the world more than the love of God. The Creator of the human heart knows best how to deal with it, and bring it back to Himself full of a great love, which astonishes the possessor with its fire and the joy it engenders. Stoop to read and to learn; be earnest. Let not any prejudice make you throw aside the account of a simple dream or vision as beneath your notice and unworthy of further consideration. Follow on, follow on and on, and you will be led into astonishingly rich pastures; your surprise and your joy will be great. Stoop to enter the sepulchre where our loved one is buried; rescue from the dust of past ages the treasure that is waiting our earnest effort. The Lord has tested the wisdom of man for a hundred years, and it has been found wanting in knowledge of Him and His ways. Confusion and disaster seem on every hand, but in His infinite mercy He has made provision for our utmost need, and before we call He will answer; His answer was ready in anticipation of our agonised cry in our extreme need. Thanks be to Him who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has shown how weak is the arm of flesh, and how strong is the Arm of the Lord. The pretended lovers of God can see themselves reflected in Wills's image, and they can also see the deceitfulness of their own heart. The arts of Satan are plainly shown in Sanderson, and these may come to us under the guise of even religious fervour. The departing of this nation from God, and the adulteration of His Word, is shown in the unfaithful wife. The weakness of the shepherds is seen in the conduct of Marshall, who neglected to search into the truth. This brought on the Judgment Day when the truth was made manifest by the Son; false witnesses were put to
shame and the Truth upheld. The Judgment Day is upon us, and cannot be avoided - the witness of the Son will be demanded, and the proof of the true witness of the Son even in his absence will confirm the jury in their determination. Verily the things of no account and the things that are not will bring to nought the things that are.
Men must either repent or tremble as Wills did to meet his judge, and if there is no repentance swift destruction will come upon the evil powers and all those associated with ill.
Joseph Southcott's Book, The Words of the Spirit (p.99):-
The Day of Judgment is for all,
And Wills's judgment nigh.
The die is cast for him at last
To bring the judgment here;
And so on earth the thing is burst
So let men now take care.
But all thy foes I'll soon confound
By friends that I have near.
For to come in some will begin,
And wish the truth to see;
And now I tell thee many men
Will wish to know of thee,
If all be true before their view,
My friends have written here;
But from thy heart thou dost begin
To say, can men appear
To judge it wrong what they have done,
If it did not come from thee,
A history they could ne'er command,
Invent such things to be?
If 'twas not so, thou well dost know,
No one could this invent;
But now I'll tell thee why 'tis so,
Men's minds will so be bent,
To talk with thee the truth to see,
Or every truth to know;
Why thou in Wills's house did stay,
And now to publish so
Against thyself, some men will swell,
And women swell the same -
"It is no honour unto her
To let these things be known."
But I'll appear to answer here,
If it be known to thee,
It is to make My honour clear,
And let the nation see,
That I with them the same have done,
And long have tarried here;
Though with the sinful sons of men,
That did like Wills appear,
And like his wife that brought the strife,
I so have staid with man;
But now I say, like Wills's wife,
The end to all is come.
The man at first, the devil last,
Is so upholded here,
And I, like thee, on all shall burst,
So let the land take care!
And Wills the same, if he condemn -
I placed him with mankind,
That do profess my lovers here,
And that you all shall find.
So blame no more, I've made it clear,
To bring it to the land,
In Wills's house I did ordain,
That thou so long should stand.
Continuation of the Spirit:-
"And now I shall answer thee in plain words. If they blame thy pity and compassion for staying in Wills's house, because he tried to draw thee by cords of love, that might appear to the world unjust; then they must blame My pity and compassion, so long to bear with a sinful nation, trying if time will bring them to repentance. Now mark: thou triedst to persuade Wills to forgive his wife all her adultery with every man but Sanderson, as I told thee he was the false prophet mentioned in the Revelations1, and it was I commanded thee to contend with Wills to rid him from his house. So it was not thy spirit, but it was MY Spirit they were persecuting of then, about the man; and now I tell them it was not thy Spirit but it is MY SPIRIT that they are contending against, to support the devil, as she did to support Sanderson; and Wills's pretended love to thee is like the world's pretended love to ME: But how could I show this clear to mankind, if I had not placed the type and shadow in you three? So who is he that condemneth? It is ME that justifieth thy stay in that house. And now I tell thee, I am like thee, that persuaded Wills to forgive his wife all her adultery with every man but Sanderson; for now I tell thee, I will forgive every returning sinner, that is now against Satan's reign, and longing for MY KINGDOM to be established.
1From experience gained in reading these writings, I perceive that this false prophet is not only the type of this particular person, but of many.- THE AUTHOR.
But they that are against MY PEACEABLE REIGN, and longing to have all things remain as they are, and do not wish to have satan chained down, they will soon find shame and confusion of face, with sorrow and misery to fall upon them, as this is now fallen upon Wills - and yet this is but the shadow of what the substance will be upon this ungrateful nation."
This is much more than I intended to give of Joanna's relations with the Wills family, and even this is not all in its spiritual dignification and use as types of different men and the nation as a whole. The works are wonderfully interwoven, and to understand the whole meaning a very wide acquaintance is necessary with many books. The summary manner in which mankind has dealt with Joanna's twenty years' arduous labour, and forty years of spiritual guidance, is to me almost laughable and childish. The whole significance of the writings, and the full meaning of the parables and dreams, will probably scarcely be entirely perceived even at the end of the Millennium. The five years' sojourn with Wills, who was an upholsterer, enabled Joanna to learn a trade with which she could easily have maintained herself, and at one time she had some idea of setting up in business for herself. In her first books, called Strange Effects of Faith (p.186), she remarks, in answer to some who said she published her prophecies for the sake of gain: "But so far from any gains at present, I now stand one hundred pounds worse than I should, had I never took pen in hand, and I can prove it to the world. Then where are my gains? What I have laid out is for the Lord, in my judgment; and if it proves so in the end, be assured the Lord will reward me doublefold. . . . And, that the public may be further satisfied I do not write for gain, I shall make this remark, that it is well known to all my acquaintance, that I can maintain myself by my trade, as decently as any woman of my line of life would wish to live; and should have placed myself in business years since, had I not been ordered to leave all, to follow on to know the Lord, and then I assuredly should know Him. So I have done as the merchants do, run all at a venture; and I have done as Peter did, launched into the great deep."
There are some important lines from the Spirit in answer to the charge of printing for gain, which the public can read at their leisure on p.186, S. E. F. (Any of these books can be obtained in the manner stated at the end of this volume, so that those earnestly seeking can have no excuse.) Only yesterday, I happened to come across in another book a further account of the trial of Joanna Southcott against Wills, and as it has a much deeper significance than what
I have already given, I shall quote it below. The trial shows that Joanna will yet get justice from this nation, and will even be treated with tenderness and consideration, and that her injured innocence will be fully established. This further light on the trial shows the great courage of Joanna and her strong love of righteousness, and also that the real heart of man is set to deal justly and is ashamed when overtaken in a fault and cannot face the overwhelming evidence of his own shortcomings. His only real happiness lies in righteousness, "he is not home away from God." The great trial of Joanna by the great and learned, as foretold, when all will be convinced of her truth, has not yet taken place, so that the full import of this parable of Wills has yet to be disclosed. As it is stated that the incidents in connexion with Joanna and Wills will awaken thousands, I believe it, and that is why I have given it so fully. Whether it will awaken the thousands in my lifetime, or whether it will merely arouse scoffing, I know not, but I believe the Word of the Lord, and am assured that the Sword of the Lord will gain ultimate victory.
The book where I unexpectedly found such an important addition to the Wills trial was in the Second Book of Wonders (p.84):-
"Now call thy trial to thy remembrance, that thou hadst with Wills, in Exeter; and know what I answered thee then concerning the son, when they brought false witnesses against thee, and thou toldest them boldly in the court, that if one true word will save their souls they had not spoken it in their evidence; and know how tremblingly Wills stood when thou lookedst him in the face, and asked if he judged there was a God. Remember the words thou spakest to thy counsellor: 'These witnesses are all falsely foresworn: I wish you would send for Mr. Wills's son; he will not swear as falsely as these have done.' Then thy counsellor asked the other counsellor why he had not brought the son? Know Fanshaw's answer: he brought as many as he thought proper. Then remember Roberts' answer to him: 'You brought as many, sir, as did not care what they swore to, where is Mr. Wills's conscience gone now? his conscience is gone out of doors; he don't look after perjuring those that are out of his own house; but he won't perjure his own son. Then what is his religion, I wish to know?' was Roberts' pleading then in court. In this manner thy counsellor pleaded for thee, while Fanshaw pleaded against thee, but he could not help being confounded, and said, 'For God's sake, sir, don't say a word about religion.' Roberts answered immediately, I will; you mocked her just now about her religion, and called her an enthusiast; you mocked her religion; and now I will mock his; for I can prove, from the evidences that have been given, that what she
hath said to me is true, for they have contradicted each other; and they have so prevaricated in their evidence, that is plain they have not spoken a true word. But now bring the son, for she informs me he will not swear as false as they; but if Mr. Wills will bring his son, and he will swear as these have sworn, then I will give up my cause."
"Now call to thy remembrance, the opposite counsellor finding Wills would not bring his son to swear as the others had; know how he leaned his arm on the table, threw down his head, and put his hand before his face, while thy counsellor with courage and boldness fixed his eye upon the jury, and boldly completed his pleading for thee; and though the recorder wished to be favourable on Wills's side, because he pleaded that Wills was an opulent man, and thou being only a servant, he might be provoked to anger to strike thee, and so he gave it in to the jury; though he saw nothing but perjury, yet he wanted Wills to gain the day. But know thy trembling and thy fears, in what manner thou lookedst at the jury; in what manner thou spakedst to thy counsellor; how every liberty was granted thee in court, which is not common amongst mankind; but thou wast permitted to contradict his witnesses; thou wast permitted to reprove him; thou wast permitted to stand by the side of thy counsellor, and tell him the truth for him to plead; thou wast permitted to tell him to call forward the son; and to do everything to clear thyself: all this permission was granted thee, which thou knowest afterwards how much it was remarked, and how they told thee they never heard of such an instance in their lives; they wondered that the recorder or counsellors had not stopped them. Remember how Roberts seemed to pity thee, when he saw thee in tears by his side: know his words - 'Do not distress yourself so; you will hurt yourself.' Know, one of the counsellors spoke to Roberts, hearing the manner the recorder gave it in to the jury, 'I fear, sir, she will lose her trial now.' But his answer was, 'No, sir; I don't think so'; and immediately the jury returned their verdict, to cast Wills and free thee, for they were all of one mind, that thou stoodest an injured woman.
"Now call to thy remembrance what answer I gave thee concerning the Trial with Wills, and his refusing to bring his son to clear himself; know I said:
"If the father would the victim come,
Sooner than perjure his beloved son,
To prove to man that all His words are true?
And now I tell thee true I will go on;
For like that Trial now the end shall come.
Because I tell thee now I'll bring the Son;
Then, in like manner thou say'st it cannot be;
Because no son was then brought forth by he.
No, no; I tell thee, 'tis a different way;
Yet, like the former, thou wilt gain the day;
And, like the jury, every man will feel,
And say thou'rt injur'd - now, my friends, stand still;
"Tis but a shadow that is gone and past:
The jury's feeling it not long did last;
The counsellors there did but feel at the time.
But now, I tell thee, I shall tell My mind:
Judges and jury, every one will feel,
If pride arise in one to wound thee still,
Thou soon wilt find his anger's all in vain:
'Tis not thy judge that will like him contend;
No, no; thou'lt find he'll plead a different way:
"If there be guilt, then sure in me't must lie.
By worldly wisdom I at first began,
And listened to the simple sons of men,
While Satan's arts did strongly work in me;
But now the WOMAN I must set her free;
Free from all guilt, and surely from all guile,
At my own folly I myself may smile,
To think such wisdom in a woman's head
Could now bring round such cause as she hath laid
Before us all, and now brought to our view:
'Tis I was blind, and that I well do know;
For her just reasonings I can never clear."
On leaving the Wills' family Joanna went to her brother's at Musberry, and then into the service of Mr. Woolland of Heavitree for about twelve months. This must have been about the year 1784. At the end of that time she entered the service of Mrs. Taylor of Exeter, where she remained twelve months as a domestic servant; she then engaged herself as upper servant in the house of a Mr. Burrow, where she remained two years. She then returned as a daily servant to Mrs. Taylor, who testifies that her conduct was most exemplary, both for honesty, sobriety arid cheerfulness of disposition. Joanna left the service of the Taylors at the beginning of the year 1792, but returned to them again towards the end of the year. She had been in the habit about this time of having remarkable dreams, which she sometimes communicated to Mrs. Taylor. Joanna states in her first book. The Strange Effects of Faith:-
"In 1792, I was strangely visited, by day and by night, concerning what was coming upon the whole earth. I was then ordered to set it down in writing. I obeyed, though not without strong external opposition; and so it hath continued to the present time. In 1792, my sister told me I was growing out of my senses. She said, 'You
say there will be a war. With whom shall we go to war? The French are destroying themselves. As to the dearth of provisions you speak of, you are wrong; for corn will come down very low; I could not make 4s. 6d. a bushel of the best of the wheat this year. As to the distresses of the nation, you are wrong there; for England was never in a more flourishing state than it is in at the present.' I answered, 'Well, if it be of God, it will come to pass, however likely or unlikely it may appear at present. If not, I shall hurt no one but myself by writing it. I am the fool, and must be the sufferer, if it be not of God. If it be of God, I would not refuse for the world, and am determined to err on the safest side.' My sister thought she should err on the safest side, by preventing me from doing it; and said, I should not do it in her house. However, I took advantage of her absence, and in 1792, I wrote of what has since followed in this nation and all others; but the end is not yet. I left my writings at Plymtree, and came back to Exeter.
"In 1793, the war broke out; and in this year, three remarkable things happened, which I had written of in 1792. These events strengthened my judgment that it was of God; for it was said, 'Whatever I put into thy mouth, I will do upon the earth.' In 1793, I told the Rev. Mr. Leach how I had been warned of what was coming. After hearing me in silence, he said, 'It comes from the devil; for not one thing you have mentioned will come to pass. You have the war in your favour, which is all that will come true of your prophecies, and the war will be over in a quarter of a year. It is from the devil to disturb your peace: Satan hath a design to sift you as wheat. Yet I believe you to be a good woman; your friends speak of you in the highest terms; but what you have said will never come true. Besides if it were, the Lord would never have revealed it to you. There are a thousand in Exeter, whom I could point out, to whom the Lord would have revealed it before he would to you.' Of these observations I had been warned before I saw him, yet it made a deep impression on my heart, tears and prayers were my private companions. But the next day, I was answered, 'Who made him a judge? He neither knows thee, nor thy forefathers, who walked before Me with a perfect and upright heart.' Thus the feeling of my heart was deeply answered; with further sayings used by him. . . . The next summer, 1794, corn grew dear, and distress began in our land. Thus commenced the shadow of my writings; and I was told the substance was behind.
"In 1795, I sent him another letter, telling him that danger still stood before us, and that the truth of what I had written was to be proved by twelve men. Mr. Leach wrote me an answer, that he had
taken my important question into consideration; that all were ready to serve me, and that the wisest way he could think of would be to bring the twelve men together the Monday following. Before this answer reached me, I was told the he had not given it up; but that it would not happen according to his words. The thoughts of their hearts were laid open to me, and I was told, they proposed this, in order to convince me of my folly: so I was ordered to write him a short reply, and to go and converse with him. I was told, that it should be set before me as a sign, that Mr. Eastlake would come to my house, and invite me to his, where I should meet Mr. Leach. All this happened accordingly. The week after, it was said unto me, If Leach come unto thee, thou hast nothing to fear from him; for if thou go unto him, he will surely stumble; for he that doth obey will come; and when he heareth he will not condemn.'
"But O, thrice happy is the man,
That doth begin and will go on,
Till ev'ry curtain be drawn back,
To know, and prove, if I do speak.
For happy then shall be the man
That doth obey his call:
His talents five shall soon be ten,
My Spirit so shall fall.
Him I'll impower from on high,
My Spirit he shall feel,
The sinners' hearts he shall awake,
The broken heart shall heal.
"This was spoken before I had seen Mr. Leach. On the Monday following, Mr. Eastlake came to my house, and asked me to come to his. Thither I went, met Mr. Leach, and told him what reason I had for believing my writings came from the Lord. Mr. Leach and all who were present heard me in silence. When I had delivered my reasons I asked his judgment. He said, 'What you know not now you will hereafter. If it be of God, we shall see more of it; if of yourself, your head is wiser than mine.' I asked him if he would give up inquiry into its truth. He said, 'No; it requires time to consider of it.' The Monday following, I asked Mr. and Mrs. Leach to breakfast at my house; but they did not come. That day, I was answered thus:
"Now tell him plain, he's not the man;
For 'tis by Pomeroy it must be done,
Back to the Church, the standard, all must come;
For in the altar I was seen at first;
And in the altar did the glory burst,
Where Simeon did the holy child behold;
And in the altar are the plates of gold.
"The week following, Mr. Leach sent me an answer, that he had given it up, and had resigned to the Minister, who (as I have said) was chosen in his room. (This was the Rev. Joseph Pomeroy, of Bodmin, whom Joanna had heard preach in Exeter Cathedral.) This was at the close of summer, 1795. At the end of the year I was to have together six men of the dissenting class, to try their judgment. Four refused to attend, as they thought it from the devil, or judged me to be both a knave and a fool: so I had other four in their room, but was told, before I met them, that their judgment would not be right, their wisdom was too weak; therefore I must be the judge myself;
"If they believe, that hell below
Such language e'er can speak:
But back their footsteps all will trace,
And marvel what they've done;
And wonder that they could not go
In things that were so plain.
"I was ordered to meet the six men, and read to them how some particular chapters of the Bible were explained, with a few prophecies, and some remarkable instances of my life. Every man was to keep silence for the space of an hour. This they did; and great is the mystery explained to me, as the watch was laid on the seals, by which were enclosed the names of the twelve men. When the hour was past I demanded their judgment, and quitted the room while they consulted. In some time they came to me, saying, they had agreed, and must see the prophecies. I said they should, if they judged them to be of God. They came again, saying they must know who the ministers were. A third time they came and said, they must break the seals on the minister's names. I told them that should only be done in presence of the twelve themselves. But curiosity made them break the seals; and, thus breaking all their wisdom they said, it was from the devil, or myself, or they could not perceive it to be of God; and therefore they persuaded me to give it up, forgetting what I had read to them, and that they had fulfilled my writings. . . Next day, I was persuaded to yield to their wisdom; but I was answered, that it should be fatal for me; for the Lord would not resign to their wisdom; therefore I should not give it up to them. Thus I ended with the dissenting line.
"At the end of 1795 and beginning of 1796, I was ordered to write to the Church Ministers. At the time of the general fast, I sent a
letter to the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy (the preacher before alluded to) on the Gospel, 'Suppose ye, that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered these things?' The Rev. gentleman sent me word by the bearer, that he would send an answer by his servant; I waited nearly a week and did not hear from him. One day, I was above stairs writing, and the last words I wrote were, 'Go down and see him.' I went down, and found him inquiring about me. I asked him to walk in, and said, 'I suppose, sir, my letter hath surprised you' He asked, 'Was it you that sent it?' I told him, Yes, with my reasons; and that Mr. Leach had judged it from the devil. The Rev. gentleman said, that nothing of what I had said to him appeared likely to have come from the devil. As to the dangers, which I had said stood before us, he did not seem to doubt them; but said, If I was called of God, I ought to warn the public before the rod fell, as it would be of no use afterward. Thus finding the Rev. gentleman's conversation correspond with what I had been foretold years before, I sent him a letter. My faith grew strong; and I sent a letter (as I was ordered) to a Rev. Dignitary of the Cathedral of Exeter. I was assured before I sent it that he would not answer it."
Soon after the Rev. J. Pomeroy came again to see Joanna, and on p.12, she continues:-
"Being then at work, Mrs. Taylor sent me word a gentleman desired to speak with me. He was displeased, and said, a man had been at his house, and told him I had prophesied lies; that, if it were so, it could not be from God; and I was committmg the sin against the Holy Ghost, and, he doubted not, I should lose my senses. Mrs. Taylor said, she knew not of any lies I had prophesied; but she knew that I had told of these things when there was no appearance of them. He said, that was very surprising. Such had been their conversation before I came. When I came, I found it to be the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy, whom I expected, and he repeated his words to me. I told him, he had been misinformed as to the sense of my words, and explained particulars to him. He said, 'Then your prophecies were not false'; yet he reasoned with me on the danger of my proceedings, if I were not called of God. Finding he could not convince me it was not of the Lord, he said, 'Then why don't you have your writings proved? You will wait till you bring the sword, the plague, and the famine upon us. If you cannot get twelve, get six. I will meet with any.' I said, 'Sir, it must be twelve.' He said, 'Then let it be twelve; but do not wait till you bring the sword upon us.' I said, I would not, if the ministers would prove them. I was convinced that he had
disguised his real sentiments, and had thus promised to examine my writings, thinking to convince me of my folly.
"So thou see'st plain that he did mean
To stay thy written hand:
To please a fool, he'd anger rule,
Till he could all command.
That is to see the mystery,
And then convince the whole,
It was to lay thy follies by,
Made him the cause uphold.
"As these words were revealed to me, I admired his wisdom, patience, and prudence; and thought Heaven could not direct me to a wiser or a better minister; for he that can conquer his own passions is a greater hero than he who taketh a city. He must be a good man that can so condescend to convince a fool of her folly. But he knew not my strong reasons for judging my writings to be of God. The May following, two things happened as had been predicted. I went to the above Minister's house, and put a letter into his hand, saying, 'Sir, as you doubt what Spirit I am led by, be pleased to keep this letter till the end of the year; you will then judge of its truth;' this he consented to do.
"At the end of 1796, what I had written of came to pass. He then said to me, 'Formerly, if it were asked of a Prophet, how the wars would tend: he could tell. Now, if you can inform me of what will happen in Italy or England, I shall believe you.' The next day, I was earnest in prayer, that the Lord would answer his inquiries; and they were so. I sent him the answer, which was completely fulfilled as to Italy and England in 1797; but the three sheets of writing, which I gave him, foretold affairs for years to come, and spoke much of the present period.
"The following spring, 1797, I sent a letter to a second Dignitary of the Exeter Cathedral. His servant returned it to me, saying his master would not be in Exeter to receive it till the next week. I then sent it again, and met the like disappointment; but the letter was left. I was now answered, that I should have the same dissatisfaction when he came to Exeter, and that both Dignitaries would treat my letters with contempt.
"Thus both will thee deceive.
But shall they laugh thee unto shame
For what thou dost believe?
If they agree to laugh at thee,
Their laughter I shall turn;
And in the end thou'lt find these men,
Like thee, will sorely mourn.
Thou build'st so high, that none can fly,
To rob thee of thy brood;
"The fowler's net cannot come nigh,
Nor can the shooter's load.
Tho' heavy charges men prepare,
And point them from their breast;
They are afraid to let them off
Lest they their aim should miss.
Besides, they fear I may be there;
And terror stops the blow:
Thus I thee guard from every snare,
And that they all all shall know.
"In this manner, from simple types and shadows, I was foretold how every man would act; and that I had nothing to fear, as no man should hurt me, if the truth of my writings should provoke them to anger. These promises, and the proofs of the truth of my writings, strengthened my confidence in the Lord; but I have often marvelled why I was ordered to send to Ministers who would not give themselves the trouble of searching out the truth; and for this reason, have often doubted whether the calling were of God, or not. But the pondering of my heart was thus answered:-
"How can the fruit be ever tried?
How can the truth be e'er applied?
The godly men will so decay,
If I shall prove as weak as thee.
I say, the fruit shall surely fall:
Let Pomeroy stand and hear his call;
And now a Moses let him be,
Or else My judgments all shall see.
Then all together you may feast
And all together fast;
I'll bring a mystery in the end,
That shall for ever last.
"These words were delivered to me in 1796, in answer to a sermon preached on the 29th May by the first mentioned Dignitary to whom I had sent a letter. I fancied that he reproached me in his sermon, and his words pierced my heart. I marvelled that a gentleman, to whom I had appealed, should decline seeing me to convince me of my error, if I were wrong; and in solitary tears, I repeated the words of David,
Since godly men decay, O Lord,
Do Thou my cause defend;
For scarce these wretched times afford
One just and faithful friend.
I was answered -
"Since godly men do so decay,
And thou dost sore complain,
Then the good Shepherd shall appear,
The sheep for to redeem;
For faithful labourers now shall come
And in My vineyard go;
My harvest it is hastening on,
Which every soul shall know.
After this it was said to me, 'As men increased thy sorrows, I will increase theirs; and the general burden shall increase, till men take the load from thee.' Yet I marvelled, how the twelfth chapter of Revelations could be fulfilled, of the woman travailing in birth, and longing to be delivered? but the wonders John saw in heaven, must take place on earth.
"What wonders there would then appear
To an enlightened race,
When every mystery is made clear,
And seen without a glass.
No veil between then being seen,
No wonders you'd behold;
For all alike is clearly bright
As pearly streets with gold.
Should wonders there to you appear,
You'd wonder then of all.
To see them clothed with the sun,
Could wonder none at all.
"Such is the mystery to man - (that a woman should be clothed with the Sun of Righteousness, who is now coming with healing in His wings) - because they know not the Scriptures, which indicate that to fulfil all righteousness, the woman must be a helpmate to man, to complete his happiness. This men marvel at, because they never conceived what the Lord hath in store for them, in fulfilling His Promise given to woman.
"So men, I see, do stand in wonder,
While angels also gaze;
Satan broke man's bliss asunder;
Man wandereth in a maze.
So, with amaze, you all may gaze;
The angels wonder here,
You cannot see the mystery,
Nor find the Bible clear.
There Eden's tree you shall see,
Preserved for your sake;
The flaming sword is God's own Word,
'Twill break the serpent's neck.
"Thus by types, shadows, dreams, and visions, I have been led on from 1792 to the present day; whereby the mysteries of the Bible, with the future destinies of nations, have been revealed to me, which will all terminate in the Second Coming of Christ, and the Day of Judgment, when the seven thousand years are ended.
"Now, should men say all this by thee is done,
Thy head is wiser than each mortal's son.
And if they say it cometh from the devil,
Then plainly tell them that your thoughts are evil
For Satan's wisdom never lay so deep;
Yet to thyself thou must the secret keep.
But if men say it cometh from on high,
My judges shall appear the truth to try.
Then in thy faith be stedfast still,
With salt be seasoned well.
Remember thy baptismal vow,
And triumph over hell.
Your Captain, too, shall quickly come
And bring all to an end,
And fix His Glorious Empire o'er
The wise, whose hearts will bend.
As in a humble manger here,
Kings did their Sovereign see,
So my low handmaid doth appear
To all a mystery.
Now, can you longer make dispute,
From whence you hear the sound?
Thus Satan must henceforth be mute,
Nor talk the faithful down.
The reasons all are none at all
Of those that won't believe:
"Thus when the Bible forth I call,
What answer will you give?"
Joanna continues: "I omitted to mention, in the proper place, that at the end of 1794 I had a strange vision. As soon as I had laid down in my bed, a light came over the room. I looked at the window; but saw no light proceed from thence. I looked at the door, to see if any one was entering with a candle; but no person was there. The room now appeared to me to be full of lighted candles, hanging in candlesticks, on lines crossing the room. Being astonished and frightened,
I covered my head with the bed clothes, and then saw a spacious room, with a chandelier of many branches, and lighted lamps sparkling with great lustre. In the midst of the room stood a large table, with large lighted candles thereon, so that the light equalled the noon day. I exclaimed, 'What can this mean?' I was answered, 'Arise, and shine, for the light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen.' The next day, (being perfectly awake), I was ordered to write down my vision, which was thus explained to me: That my writings must be proved by twelve men; and, when met for that purpose, that the candle of the Lord would burn brightly among them, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding be given them; for as the day of Pentecost was to the Disciples, so should that day be to them, and everyone present should see it was the Lord's doing. The names of the appointed twelve I put into the hand of one of the six persons mentioned in p.195, and charged them not to break the seals upon them, till the twelve were assembled. However (as I said before,) the watch that was laid on the seals was removed and the seals broken through unbelief, so that darkness came upon the minds of them. "Thus is the mystery explained, that this circumstance is set as a watch before mankind.
"The harvest of 1796 was remarkably good, and great plenty followed; and it was said unto me: 'As they (the men before mentioned) kept silence for the space of one hour, the Lord had withheld the rain in time of harvest.' Now, if this publication awaken the Ministers to search out the truth, or the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy return to the examination of my writings, the next and three following harvests are promised to be plentiful. 'Prove me now (saith the Lord), and try me, if I will not shower down blessings upon you.' But, if the many truths laid before you with the threatenings put into the hands of Ministers, do not awaken them to search out the truth, the Lord will fulfil His word.
"If by the wise men I am mocked now,
Like Herod's fury I'll fulfil my vow.
Who My anger shall appease,
If all deny My will?
My thunderbolts shall loudly roll,
And men's proud hearts shall chill.
"Now let the reader look deep into the mystery, and behold what Divine Wisdom hath directed me to show to mankind, I was foretold how Ministers would act, and that the truth would be brought to light by one man. I was now ordered to have my writings copied, and put into the printer's hand. This I did; and the very day I
had given them to the printer, the Chosen Minister returned from Exeter. I thought I would not send to him till the book was printed; but was answered, 'How weak is thy judgment!' and was ordered to send to him next day. I found he was offended by my putting his name in the newspaper. He said, if I published his name, he had done with me; otherwise he would comply with my request. Two friends of mine wrote to him of the truth of my writings: and at his request, I waited on him with one of my friends. He said, he found argument fruitless, in persuading me to stop my hand, and should argue with me no more. He bade me get the writings of 1792 copied out, as he could not set the originals before Ministers, who would not attend to manuscripts which they could not read; and they would not trust to what I should read to them. Therefore, he bade me open the seals on the writings of 1792, and send them with the fair copy; and if the Ministers he consulted should judge them to be of God, I might have twelve or fourteen afterwards. When I returned home I was ordered to follow his advice, remembering what had been told me in 1793, 'I will direct thee to a man, whose talents are greater than thine; he shall have five talents; he shall direct thee.' So I had my writings broken open before witnesses, marked, copied, and some part sent to him. The week after, I waited on him again. He said, what I had sent was not enough to convince Ministers, and I must open the seals set in 1794 and 1795. The next day (Sunday), I was ordered to have them opened in the presence of twelve witnesses, who were to set their names upon them. Three weeks were then allowed him, to examine, to consult Ministers, and to judge whether the writings were of God or not.
"Soon after, I was ordered to write to three Ministers ... and I was told it would be fatal for me for time and eternity, if I did not publish my writings, should these Ministers remain silent seven days after. It was said to me, I do not need the Ministers to prove whether they be of God or not; for that shall be proved by the truth; but this I command thee to do, to keep thee from the snares of men, who may charge and condemn thee for imposture; saying, thou hast signed thy name to what thou hast not written. I have so ordered every truth to be made plain, that no man can prove one false report in thy writings, or dispute what spirit inspires thee. Thy writings must be submitted to the judgment of learned Ministers of My Word. Let them be disputed before they be proved; let Ministers be the judges, and common men the witnesses and jury, to try the truth of this ordination. All thou hast done, and all the letters thou hast sent, have proceeded from command of the King of kings, the Lord
of lords, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty Counsellor, and the Desire of every nation.'
"When I sent the letters to the Ministers, it was said to me, that if these things were not of God, their hearts should be worked on to stop my hand in seven days; and if they did not, I should wait no longer than New Year's Day (Old Style) 1801, and then have it printed, to be judged of by the world at large, to try the wisdom of men, and to let them see what wisdom there is in the Lord, of whom it is written in the Psalms,
God in the great assembly stands,
Where His impartial eye
In state surveys the earthly gods,
And doth their judgments try.
"New Year's Day arriving, and the Ministers to whom I wrote, remaining silent, I consider their silence as evidence, that they cannot prove what I said not to be from the Lord, and have therefore published as I was directed."
Joanna gave to the world her first books, called The Strange Effects of Faith, and published five books, together containing 240 pages, in the year 1801. Book Six was printed in 1802, and contains 48 pages. The reader will see more clearly the meaning of the title of these books if I quote some lines from p.71. Joanna writes:-
"I shall now go on to answer those who say, I go on as my mind is deranged. I grant it; and so did all the prophets of old. "Their minds were so deranged, that Noah was judged an old fool, and Lot the same. I should fill my book with how the prophets were judged deranged, if I were to enter into the list of them. But the deranged senses of the prophets and the apostles, and the words of our Saviour, have so far deranged my senses, as to believe in them. How must Noah's senses be deranged, when he found no man believed him? yet he persevered to go into the Ark. And what strong infusion must take place in his head, when the heavens gathered blackness, and those who judged his building the Ark to be the strange effects of faith, found it the fatal effects of unbelief. And how must Lot's senses be deranged, when he saw the strange effects of his faith, being judged by his own sons an old fool, become the fatal effects of unbelief to those who mocked him, when they saw the fire come down from heaven? How must his senses be then deranged where he saw his mockers destroyed? And how must my senses be now deranged, when I see the strange effects of my faith, kindling all over the land, and bringing the fatal effects of unbelief over all lands? Can my
senses stop here, without believing, that He who hath begun His strange work, will in the end show His darling attribute; and go on from conquering to conquer, until He hath brought forth judgment into victory; for mercy is His darling attribute, judgment is His strange work; and strange to me is all before me. How men's senses can be deranged, when they see the sun is risen, and say the daylight is not broke; in what a dream, or what a sleep must such men's senses be deranged! and so they may go on until they see the evening star appear, and the sun begin to set in darkness. Will they then say, I have passed my day in sleep; and it is too late to arise and be doing; I will wait the effects of another day? But let such remember that at midnight was a cry, and the bridegroom appeared, and you slept away the day wherein you ought to have got your oil ready, and your lamps prepared. So in all ages of the world we may see the strange effects of faith, and the fatal effects of unbelief. And this our Saviour, and all His Disciples, warned us would be the end; the foolish virgins and the wise. For wisdom teaches us to fear the rod, and Him that hath appointed it; but folly teacheth us to despise low things, and climb to high ones; as the seed of Noah, who, because they had been favoured in their forefathers, by being preserved in the Ark when the world was drowned, thought by their wisdom that they could build castles in the air, to climb to heaven, and so be preserved, if another deluge should come; not considering that the Ark was built by the command of God, and they were building by their own wisdom, whose wisdom the Lord soon confounded by dividing their language. And now it is the same; men have built too high in their own wisdom, and the Lord hath divided their speech and opinions. There was not more difference in tongues and languages, to stop their building of the tower of Babel, than there are different opinions now about my writings. Then on whose judgment shall I fix my faith? on this man's? or on that man's? or on the Lord of life and glory, who hath commanded us to have salt in ourselves, and to judge for ourselves, and not for another?"
Thus Joanna writes, and who can gainsay the truth of a line of the above. Do we not hear the confusion of tongues of the tower of Babel to-day? Do we not oft-times stop our ears lest we be distracted and lose our reason? Is not every opinion on every subject, immediately it is set forth, seized and analysed and controverted by hosts of others until it seems impossible to know what is right and what to believe? In the midst of all this there is ever the building, even though at times unconsciously, towards heaven, and reaching up unto a perfection not yet attained. I have quoted at length from
Joanna Southcott's writings, because the claims are so high and so important to mankind that it seems necessary to fully understand the early leadings of the Spirit to Joanna, and her own feelings and attitude toward God and man at this important juncture.
She continues on p.26, Strange Effects of Faith:-
"I shall now proceed to my own experience, which hath truly convinced me the Lord is awakened as one out of sleep; and the voice of the Lord will shake terribly the earth. The beginning of the powerful visitation of the Lord to me was in 1792. 'I no more intended thou shouldst go to reprove the people, than I intended Abraham should offer up his son Isaac. I did it to try thy obedience. Now I will swear unto thee, as I did unto Abraham: I will make with thee an everlasting covenant; and save thee with an everlasting salvation.'
"When these words came to me, my soul was troubled in the dust before God, and I began to cry out, 'What am I, or what is my father's house, that Thou hast thus honoured me, unworthy wretch as I am? My past life makes me ashamed of myself.' These words came to me: I will reward thy obedience; and in blessing I will bless thee: and as I kept nothing from Abraham I will keep nothing from thee. Thou shall prophesy in My Name; and I will bear thee witness. What I put in thy mouth, that will I do on the earth.' Then these words came to me: 'The Lord is awake, as one out of sleep, The voice of the Lord shall shake terribly the earth. Pestilence and famine shall go through the lands. Men's hearts shall fail them for very trouble; because they have not known the visitation of the Lord.' As soon as these words came to me, I trembled, and was afraid of His majesty and greatness! Tears of humiliation ran down my eyes, and holy fear seized my soul. I wept bitterly, and wondered at His divine goodness to such an unworthy creature as I was. But these words were answered me: I have seen all thy enquiries, to know My will and obey it; and now I will reward thee. Dost thou believe it?' I cried out, 'Yea, Lord; if it be Thy voice, I do believe it; for I know Thou art not a man to lie, nor the son of man to be wavering. I have always found Thee a God, like Thyself, faithful to Thy word, and faithful to Thy promises.' I was answered, 'Dost thou think I will now?' I said, 'Yea, Lord; if it be Thy word, I know Thou wilt. Thou hast been faithful to Thy word throughout the Bible, in every age of the world; a God, the same yesterday, today, and for ever.' I was answered, 'This thou believest, and this thou shall find Me, faithful to My word, and faithful to My promises; and next Sunday I will fulfil My promise at My table,' which, I
bless God, I felt remarkably, and waited with a holy longing for the blessed promise made by Jesus Christ. I then made a solemn vow to God, to be obedient to all His commands, as far as I saw His righteous will concerning me, earnestly praying that I might not be deceived by my own weak understanding nor deceived by the arts of Satan, praying that the Lord would keep me from every evil, and from the evil of sin; that I may be kept, as Mary, humble at the feet of the Lord. I was answered, 'If pride rise in thy heart, Satan shall humble thee; but thou sayest thou hast found Me a God like Myself; and so thou shalt.' I said, 'Lord, I believe it; and pray thee, keep me the remainder of my life, and may I drink deep the in Spirit of my dear Redeemer, and, as far as the earthly can bear the image of the heavenly, so far may I bear Thy image.' This was the prayer and desire of my soul, that I may know this voice, and obey it.
"One morning, when I awoke, these words were sounded in my ears: 'Wake, ye ministers, mourn, ye priests; for the day of the Lord is at hand.' I thought I heard the sound of preaching in my ears: 'The Lord is awake, as one out of sleep; the voice of the Lord will shake terribly the earth. The sins of the nations hath provoked the Lord to anger. He will go forth as a flaming fire; he will be wroth, as in the valley of Gibeon, until he hath brought forth judgment unto victory.' These words were so dreadful in my ears, that they made me tremble, and I was earnest in prayer to God to know if these judgments were coming upon the earth. I was answered, I will show thee in visions, this night, what I will do.' I went to bed; I dreamt nothing, and thought I had listened to the voice of a stranger, and not of God. I was answered, 'The night is far spent; the day is at hand; lay thee down and sleep again.' So I did, and dreamed I was on a high mountain, and saw the sky as bright as noon day sun, and two men came out of the clouds, with long robes of purple and scarlet, with crowns of gold on their heads and swords in their hands, standing in the sky. Two men came out with heavy horses, and spoke to those that stood on the clouds, and soon after rode away, like lightening in the air. Soon after, I saw the men on horseback coming out of the clouds, as fast as they could, till the whole skies were covered with men in armour, and spears glittering in the air. I thought I looked down, and saw the world in confusion, men in armour riding fast. This dream alarmed me; and I was meditating with what divine majesty and splendour our dear Redeemer was coming into the world. Once He came meek and lowly persecuted by men; but now He will come as a prince and a king, conquering and to conquer. Once He came meek and lowly, riding on an ass; but now
He will come riding in the chariot of His everlasting Gospel. But who can abide the day of His coming, or who can abide the day of His wrath? The saints shall see it and rejoice; for He will gather the wheat in the garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Many dreams were given to Joanna, at different times, and the explanation of them is seldom given at the time, but often many years after, and put in other books, or is left among the MSS. and still unpublished. When one is interested in the writings it greatly stimulates the zeal to come upon these unexpected treasures: it reawakens interest and becomes a delight, adding greatly to our knowledge. We can as yet but dimly perceive how we shall delight ourselves in our God, and He will delight Himself in us. It was only this week I came across, in a book (unpublished) of MSS., the explanation in verse of the vision as given on p.202 of the "lighted candles." It is given November 16, 1802, in a letter to the Rev. N. Bull, of Saffron Walden:-
"Now from the vision you'll see plain
The candles of the Lord to shine
In brightest splendour to appear;
The wondrous vision now I'll clear.
You'll say the light was not the sun,
The candles that were seen to shine;
But saw the light of God was there
To make the wondrous lights appear.
But how she's clothed with the sun,
I give this answer now to man,
That from the vision did appear,
Arise and shine was answered there,
But can a woman rise to shine
And lighten the benighted mind,
Unless My spirit do appear:
The Sun of righteousness must clear
The fall of woman from the first,
Ere man's redemption it can burst;
And she her promise first must claim
Ere man's redemption he can gain.
The candles in the sockets seen
Shew you how man I shall redeem,.
That now rely upon My word:
The vision is the light of God
That from the woman shall appear,
When all her seals are broken here;
The room that then so bright was seen
"Shew'th how My kingdom shall come in,
With every lustre bright to shine
I'll open the benighted mind
If to the light they now will come,
And prove this woman with the Sun
Is surely clothed now to shine
Beyond the learning of mankind;
And let the cause be fairly tried,
Her travail pains can't be denied;
But they have been eleven years
Warning her friends that I am near.
And she hath published it abroad,
That to the nations may be know'd;
And all the truth she'll soon bring forth
If I have children now of worth,
That will like valiant soldiers stand,
Support the woman and her hand,
As Satan's fury now is near;
The woman she hath cast him here,
And short his time it is to be.
The woman's wonder all might see,
A wonder to the sons of men,
With earth and hell she doth contend.
And there is none can foil her hand,
For in the light she still doth stand,
Because she's clothed with the sun,
And in her is My spirit come.
And all her calling I'll make good,
I bought her ransom on the wood,
That she My promise bold may claim,
And tread the powers of darkness down.
For as in Adam all men died,
Even in Christ it's so applied,
That ye must come to life again;
Be wise, be wise, ye sons of men,
Because in Adam he said there,
The woman did his heart ensnare
To eat the fruit, and so he died
To every knowledge was applied;
Dead to perfection he did come,
Dead to his God, his bliss was gone.
And dead to wisdom, who can boast,
And every age foretells you're cast,
As one the other all condemn:
Then where's the knowledge bright in man
As all in judgment don't agree?
Dead to perfection all must be
"And this I'll prove the fall of man.
You say't came by the woman's hand;
Then now in Christ you all appear,
Like Adam he hath told you here,
That he would bring the dead to life,
The woman's hand must end the strife:
Because by her you say he died.
Then here's the Adam now applied
That bids you all to live again
And let the woman's seed remain,
I say to bruise the serpent's head,
And say, 'twas he that her misled.
Then now I'm come to lead the same,
I gave My life to bear man's blame;
Then now support the woman's hand,
Then Satan must the trial stand
And the accuser be cast down.
The second Adam now is found,
His Father's will to make it clear
The woman is your helpmate here,
To bring the knowledge of the good.
And mark the tree how then it stood
With good and evil fruit thereon:
By Satan's arts the evil came,
And from the woman's hand appeared.
Then now My Gospel who can clear,
If I should act a different way?
The woman's hand you all do say
Did bring the knowledge of the first,
Then sure her hand must bring the last -
That is the knowledge of the good,
And to My Father's words allude.
The woman is your helpmate here,
As she in Adam did appear
To bring you to the tree of life.
Like Adam now, I'll end the strife;
And bid you all obey her hand;
Then in the knowledge you shall stand,
In true perfection of the good.
Mark how the Tree of Life then stood,
And guarded with a flaming sword,
For all shall find it is My Word,
To cut and bruise the serpent's head.
And mark the curse how then 'twas laid,
The woman's enmity shall come,
And now the serpent is undone;
So altogether you may weigh,
"Then see the dawning of the day;
So here's the answer thou shalt send,
And let him 1judge it in the end.
1 The clergyman.
There are many dreams and visions given to Joanna which have been treated with scorn and contempt by mankind; and I must confess had I just read them in a casual way, and then laid them aside, I should have probably acted in a similar manner. But in searching
further into the writings, one comes upon such marvellous spiritual explanations of these simple things that their grandeur and full significance at last dawns on the benighted mind, and a flood light of truth and beauty is shed on the hitherto commonplace and maybe almost, at first sight, repellent episode.
The controversy held with Satan on several occasions has been also the subject of ridicule, but nothing has shown more clearly the actual enmity between the woman and the serpent. Woman has suffered so severly from the advent of evil into the world, that she has just cause to hate fiercely the destroyer of her happiness. It is just and at the same time admirable in the economy of God's working that the weak hand of woman should overthrow her enemy at last - but even then only is she saved through child-bearing in the person of her Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is through His power alone that she is able to gain the victory. Man has been proved not to be good alone - the necessity of the helpmate has been shown. The complete man in his helpmate has likewise been shown unable to stand against the machinations of evil: it has needed the power from in high to gain us the victory. A little child shall lead them, and we have to receive the kingdom as a little child, coming to us in lowly and unexpected garb. The Author of our faith will also be the Finisher. "As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen." The full significance of what we so often glibly repeat has scarcely, as yet, dawned on our understanding.
Whilst writing these pages I had one night, during the first week in the month of August, at my little county cottage, a remarkable experience. Whether a dream or not I do not know, but it was very vivid. I think I was asleep, but I suddenly seamed lifted up on high into the midst of a great light, and to feel immense power come to me; I felt stronger than worlds, if I may say so in all humility, and joined on to some mighty force not found here below. Light shone brilliantly, and I seemed to hear the words, "I will greatly illumine thy understanding, and give thee power." The whole only lasted a few seconds, but it awoke me, and I lighted the candle to see the time; it was just past midnight. I have always desired to be endued with power from on high, and have often wished, that I might feel it to confirm me in my great desire to give the knowledge I possess through reading Joanna Southcott's works to the world. It seems to have come, and I have no doubt has some special purpose. It has greatly strengthened my faith, and given me renewed impetus to persevere in the face of all opposition or ricicule, and to publish to
the world what great things God, in His glorious mercy, has done for mankind.
The following continuation from Joanna's writings on p.35 of Strange Effects of Faith are important:-
"And first let thy original be traced,
And tell ME now what mighty thing thou wast,
When first I took thee from thy native dust?
And in the garden thou alone wast placed,
Could thou brought forth the WORD as she hath done?
Or, like the woman, borne MY only Son,
Without her aid, as she did without thine?
I tell you, men, the mysteries are behind.
As from the woman you did all proceed,
Took from your side, man is pronounced the head;
But you must know, you are not the perfect man,
Until your bone is joined to you again.
So both together must in judgment sit:
And tell me men, if her disputes were right,
To say MY honour I had still maintained,
And plead with Satan, as she hath begun:
Then both together you shall surely know,
I have gained My honour by his overthrow,
For if the woman stands so much My friend,
You all shall find, I'll stand hers in the end.
If from herself this love and courage came,
I tell you plain, she is the head of man.
But if from ME the Spirit first did fall,
I tell you plain, I am the head of all:
And when her writings you have all went through,
Much greater mysteries must come to your view.
So by the woman now I will surely stand,
As for My honour she so long contend.
Ten days he held her with his blasphemy,
Ten days a hero she held out for ME.
Then of these days I turn them now to years:
I'll prove her words, and man shall see it clear
That every word was true what she had spoke:
I'll gain My honour, her words I'll never mock,
So if men mock them now, I'll tell them plain,
I'll gain My honour to destroy such men.
"What you know not now you will know hereafter. The first is last, and the last is first. The end of all things is at hand; that Satan's kingdom will be destroyed, and Satan chained down for a thousand years, and Christ's kingdom established upon earth. It never entered the heart of man to conceive the glorious days that are before those that wish Christ's kingdom to be established.
"But as the dreadful thunder from on high
Brings down the rain and then clears up the sky;
So must the dreadful thunder of His Word
Sound first aloud the coming of the Lord.
Then all your swords to ploughshares you may turn
To plough with plenty your delightful land;
And all your spears for pruning hooks may be,
To prune with pleasure your delightful trees.
No thistles then shall hurt the reaper's hand;
But peace and plenty flow throughout your land.
No prickly thorns to hurt the binder's care,
For God will bind in bundles every tare;
And all the foxes He away will take,
That doth so spoil and hurt the tender grape;
For now the singing of the birds doth come,
The turtle's voice must sound in every land;
But first His thunder must before Him roll
To break in pieces the most stubborn soul.
"So now Isaiah's words are coming near;
The day of vengeance I to all shall clear,
And all shall know what I had in My heart;
It was on mockers for to turn the dart;
Because by mockers I was crucified;
And 'twas by mockers My disciples died.
And now observe the Gospel and the law;
And they in sunder did Isaiah saw;
Then now in sunder I will break the whole;
And back on mockers shall My vengeance fall;
But those that humbly for My coming wait,
They all shall find My promises are great.
I know the foolish virgins and the wise;
I know the discord that will now arise.
Some will believe and eager wish for Me;
And the Desire of Nations they shall see;
While others mock, and will My love despise,
And when too late, they'd wish they'd been more wise.
This is the different conduct of mankind,
And different answers they shall surely find.
The one shall find I am the sinner's friend;
But all despisers now I'll tell their end:
Like Herod's fury, I shall all destroy,
For all My friends on earth I will enjoy.
And here, I tell you, every line goes deep,
Lift up your eyes; I'll save My frighted sheep,
Though unto some it seem a pleasant dream,
Like Jacob's sons, when I did them redeem,
That was to free from long captivity,
At first a pleasant dream it seem'd to be:
But in the end they found it was no dream:
Nor is it now; for man I will redeem."
The ten days that Joanna held out and upheld her Lord against satan you will see are promised to be turned into ten years, when Joanna's mission will be proved clearly to mankind to be true. I believe, and feel sure, that we are in the ten years of judgments which were foretold to begin in the fourth year of the century. How true this is, and that the troubles began in that year, is acknowledged on every hand. There have been five years of wet weather and consequent floods, besides disasters on all hands in all countries by fire and flood. Many earthquakes of great magnitude have occurred, bringing destruction and poverty to thousands. Trade has been seriously hampered and failures are numerous. Great panics have occurred in the financial world, showing the uncertainty of things of this world. The writings in every particular are abundantly fulfilling on all sides -
"Every heart and hearth, I'll shake,
The cup of trembling has come round to all.
These ten years are not judgments altogether on God's part: it is stated that man has to judge God and His dealings before God will judge us. We hear the Creator's name constantly blasphemed as a God unfit to rule. They forget that while all is fair and pleasant man lapses into merely a selfish round of animal enjoyment and forgets his God and has not the real inward peace and happiness for which he was created.
When man judges his God as a devouring ruthless monster, it is only from ignorance, and because he has not laid hold of the knowledge of the good already provided for him. God is ever screening man by giving him excuses through ignorance. It is only blindness in part that has happened unto Israel: it is only blindness in part that has happened unto Gentiles under the Gospel. He has concluded us all in unbelief that He may have mercy upon all. In these writings it is shown that God, especially in the person of His son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, still suffers with us, and feels, even more acutely than we do, the woes of mankind. We have the veil lifted at Gethsemane, and get a glimpse there of the tender heart of our Jesus, and the capacity of His great heart for love and consequent suffering, when the deepest feelings are stirred. It is shown in these writings, that He suffers with us now even in a greater degree than we do. How ignorantly and foolishly we of the twentieth century charge God! How undaunted we are in our effrontery, and how glibly we set aside the story of our Creation as set forth in Genesis! What is out of our power to prove or disprove, after the lapse of thousand of years, is lightly taken up and set aside, as if we were
omniscient. Verily, "ye shall be as gods" still comes over us with its magic sway. How soon we forget that our life is but a vapour - think of it, a vapour - and as soon passes away, viewed in the light of eternity!
On p.35 of the Strange Effects of Faith, it is shown that the Son, now in Heaven, feels a peculiar oneness with mankind, having been born of a woman and trodden this earth, and seeks, as it were, almost involuntarily, to stay the hand of the Father in judgments on the earth. Joanna had been assaulted with Satan's blasphemy for ten days, and had valiantly stood out for her Lord. As she was able to hear the Heavenly voice, so she seemed liable to hear the voice of evil, and Satan was permitted by the Lord to try her, and this brought out clearly the enmity between the woman and the serpent. She writes: After I had written the blasphemy of Satan, these words came to me: "As thy spirit was enraged and provoked with the blasphemy of Satan, so is My Spirit provoked with the blasphemy of the nations: and as thy brother tried to hold thy hand from going, out of the house, and pitied thy weakness; so has My Son tried to withhold My hand, and pitied the weakness of His people. But, as thy spirit grew so high, that thou could'st not bear it, but was forced to withdraw from him; so shall I. And as the garden was not large enough to contain thee, but thou wast forced to go from field to field; so the heavens are not large enough to contain ME. I shall come out of the heavens and dispute with man, if their sins and blasphemy do not cease. As thou heard'st all this, and kept silence, so have I. And as the fire kindled in thy breast, and thou speakest with thy tongue; so will the fire kindle in My breast, and I shall speak. I will not always keep silence; neither will I be always chiding. I shall awake as one out of sleep -
"And should My wrath for ever smoke,
Their souls must shrink beneath My yoke."
There are deep and marvellous truths taught on all the pages of these wonderful books. It is said that there is nothing that the Lord will do upon earth, that He has not stated his message through the woman. That it is so I have not the slightest doubt, as I never read even a few pages without seeing some prophecy fulfilling, or fulfilled. It is a certain test of the truth of prophecy, if it can only be fully comprehended when the fulfilment takes place. It is then that the floodgates of light are thrown open, and it overwhelms our being with resistless force, causing us to fall on our knees in adoring love to the Giver of all great and perfect gifts.
The Tree of Life is shedding its Healing Leaves among the nations: let men make to themselves fig leaves to cover their nakedness. The barrenness and unsatisfactory state of men's minds has never been more apparent then to-day. The bed-rock truths, upon which our forefathers built a solid foundation, have been swamped with a whirl stream of muddy currents, that have disturbed the clear cooling waters that used to flow as a river, whereby our thirst was quenched and our soul revived by partaking of its life-giving streams. It was my intention to write a biography of Joanna Southcott clearly and concisely apart from her works, as far as I could, but I find it is an impossibility; her life is indeed "hid in God" in a marvellous manner.
In the Communications at the end of the book entitled, The answer to the powers of Darkness, on p.95, I found a few pages which seem necessary just here, regarding the writing by Joanna of her own life, and the Lord's command to her when it was to be printed: Joanna was ordered to open her Bible and write: (Many important texts follow, but I will quote only the last) Habb. i.12, ii.14; Zeph. ii.II, iii.9; Mal. iii.16, iv.2. "Unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, arid grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be as ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts."
The spirit then speaks to Joanna the following words explaining the above texts:-
"Now these prophecies of My Bible were never yet one of them fulfilled: but when I bring in this glorious rest for My People that seek ME, and think upon My Name that the Son of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings, to heal the fall of man, and he shall be one with ME, and I with them; then must My fury be poured out upon all nations that believe not in ME; hitherto I have given them milk, that meaneth, I have mildly given the sincere milk of My Word, that ye may grow thereby as new-born babes. I have spoken as a Father, a Brother, or a Friend: but this LOVE and condescension is despised! and not judged coming from a merciful Father, and a compassionate God and Redeemer! but soon they judged it a foolish invention from some spirit, they knew not where or from whom. Now as My love is despised, My condescension abused, and not believed; I shall come with a voice of thunder to My enemies: for with the meek men I will deal meekly, and with the humble man I have dealt humbly: but now with the froward man I shall deal frowardly; and with the proud man I shall deal proudly! For I will bring down the proud hearts of men, and level with the dust the haughty spirits;
My fire shall burn like an oven, and the pride of men shall be burnt up as stubble; for if they will not hear, and will not lay it to heart to give glory unto My Name, I will send a curse upon them. For if I spared not the natural branches, but cut them off through unbelief; let the wild olive, that was grafted in, not be high minded, but fear; for as I cut off the Jews from Jerusalem for their unbelief, so will I now cut off all from the face of the earth that mock the coming of the Lord.
"Now have I showed you the promise made to My prophets; and now I have showed you by prophecies, they shall be fulfilled; for as sure as I told thee nineteen years ago, thy life should go in print, and now it is done, so sure will I do upon the earth, all I have spoken by thee; and it shall be a Saviour of Life to them that believe, but of Death to them that disbelieve; for now by faith are ye saved, and ye perish through unbelief', the time I told thee thy life must go in print, was the year after the American war was ended, and then thou went through great persecution from man, and had false witnesses raised up against thee. I warned thee the second time to write it again; it was one year before the war broke out with France; and as sure as the war broke out the following year, so sure shall all break out that I have said unto thee: for I will now break out on the right hand, and on the left. On the right hand, to fulfil all the promises I have made to believers; on the left to destroy all the mockers. Therefore the day of the Lord will be terrible; and Mine anger and indignation burn with fury; because I come in meekness and love to draw men with cords of love! but they judge there is no condescension in their God; then I will not condescend longer to bear with their iniquities. If they judge Me as an austere master: like an austere master let them fear Me: for now to the merciful man I will show MERCY; and to the pitiful man I will show PITY; but to the cruel man I will show cruelty; and as men judge ME, let them fear ME. If I am a Father, where is My honour? If a Master, where is My fear? They that judge ME as a Father, let them know I have spoken as a Father, to show My loving-kindness to the Works of My Hands; that I made man and promised to redeem him, that My delight may be with them. So have I drawn near to man, that they may draw near to Me; but ye have snuffed at it, saith the Lord of Hosts, and ye have brought that which was torn the blind and the sick for an offering; shall I receive this at your hands, saith the Lord of Hosts? Ye call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up, and they that tempt God are even delivered? But they that think upon My Name are despised: and shall I not visit for this, saith the Lord of
Hosts? The torn are those that break off from My Bible, and make it a broken book; one part fulfilled, and the other part never to be fulfilled; then it must be broken asunder; and how will ye join it together? The blind are those that in seeing they cannot see, nor in hearing they cannot understand, yet ye set up such men's judgment to be right. So the evil day will come upon you unaware: for when I bring My blessings on the one hand, to those that are waiting for My coming, I shall bring the curse on the other, on all those that say, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things remain as they were, and so they shall remain to them: for as the Deluge destroyed the world of old, and the fire destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and the sword destroyed Jerusalem, so shall the sword of My anger go forth and destroy all those that look not for My coming. So now if I am a master, where is My fear?
"Have I not told you a day shall come that shall burn as an oven, and all the proud and the wicked shall be burnt up like stubble? For I will make a full end of sin; My whirlwind shall go forth with fury, a cutting whirlwind, that shall fall grievously on the heads of the wicked; in the latter days they shall consider it perfectly. So if ye will not look unto Me, all ye, to the end of the earth, and be saved, ye must all perish through unbelief. For I say unto man, as I said unto Satan; as you Judged Me, so shall ye find Me; as your faith is, it shall happen unto you. If ye believe I came first in the Body and made Myself free and familiar with man; ye must believe I shall come more familiar in the Spirit, when I come to bring in My Kingdom unto men, and make you joint heirs with ME; and show you My Salvation, that is to be revealed; which is to save you from Death, Hell, and Sin, and reveal to you the Tree of Life! Salvation being revealed, must be revealed here on earth. To all that believe, I shall show My Salvation unto them: and My righteousness being revealed is, that I have done just and right by men, devils, and fallen angels. This is what I told thee in 1792. 'Thou shouldest declare my wondrous works to the children of men; and my faithfulness and loving kindness, thou shouldest not keep back.' But what wondrous works hast thou then to declare? or what faithfulness or loving kindness hast thou then to keep back? When thy own life hath been a scene of sorrow, and persecution from a deceitful people laden with iniquity, all the loving kindness thou couldest then declare was in being delivered from them, and a strong faith in GOD, and of happiness hereafter, which is placed in every true Christian."
"Now I was ordered to open my Bible. Psalm cxviii.10:
"All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the Lord will I destroy them.'
"Samuel xiv. 5: 'The forefront of the one was situated northward against Michmash; and the other southward over against Gibeah."
"Exodus iv. 9: 'Thou shall take of the water of the river and pour it upon the dry land; and the waters which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.'
"Now I shall answer: Strange as these chapters may appear to thee; I shall now do as in the days of old. And as I destroyed the Philistines and Egypt, so will I now utterly destroy the Turks; and their land will I give into the hands of Israel. For their land shall become a land of blood. They are a people Satan has set up, and worked in their hearts to work wickedness, and every cruelty is in their hands. But now the axe is laid to the root, and every branch shall fall, for I will utterly destroy all the works of the devil. I will not leave root or branch; but unto them that seek after Me, to know My statutes, and keep My judgments, and abide in My law: unto them shall the Son of Righteousness arise, with healing in his wings, and I will dwell in the midst of My people Israel. And as it was by faith Abraham obtained the promise: so by faith shall they now be saved, who trust in Me for salvation. For I will throw down, and build up; I will kill, and make alive; I will wound, and I will heal; I will destroy, and I will, save."
Continued from the Answer of the Powers of Darkness (p.98):-
"For I, that AM the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, will now be the God of all the families upon the earth: and man shall know his God, and I will know My people. Am I not present amongst the children of men, and do I not see who is for ME, and who is against Me? He that is not with Me is against Me; he that gathereth not with Me scattereth. Now I shall come to the purpose with all men: I that am the God of Heaven, whose eye is everywhere present, beholding the evil and the good; unto Me all hearts are opened, and from Me no secrets are hid. Do I not see, do not I consider, do I not hear, do I not understand who is desirous for Me and My kingdom; and who is like the Laodiceans, neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm; and such I shall spue them out of My mouth; for now I shall come to My Bible: was it to run out the six thousand years, no flesh could be saved, for Satan would bring in idolatry in every heart, and condemn every man.Then how could man be justified, and Satan condemned, was I not to chain him down before the time, to try man, what he is when he hath no devils to tempt him to evil! Then shall I try man as I have tried the angels in Heaven,
and then the thousand years I shall be judging the world by the conduct of mankind, when Satan is sealed up; then will he feel the effects of My anger, as the world did when they were destroyed. But as Noah was preserved in the Ark, and suffered to come out and fill the earth again; so shall Satan be let loose at the end of the thousand years, and go over the earth again: then if he reforms, he may find some MERCY! but if not, he shall find no pity, if he tempts man to sin again; this I shall do, that I may be clear in judging, and just in condemning: but how could I be clear to judge after the manner of men, to let Satan run out the full time first, and then to give him no space of repentance! As I have given to man the space of repentance it must be a tried repentance! and a proved repentance! and thus will he be tried and proved.When he has suffered the confinement for his sins, as a man suffers for his crimes in a jail; but if he is freed, and breaks the law again, he must be hanged: and so if Satan tempts man again, he shall be cut off from the society of men for ever. Here is My just dealing with men and devils, and he that denieth the justice of My sentence; let him be an atheist of a barren mind, that is accursed when his Lord cometh. For such a man must judge without judgment; and he must condemn without justice: and just so have men judged thee; and just the same they judged Me. So there is no judgment in their goings; but I am GOD, and not man; and My thoughts are not like man's thoughts; nor My ways like man's ways: for as high as the heavens are from the earth, so far are My ways from man's ways, and My thoughts from man's thoughts. What must become of the world, was I to judge man as they judge thee, without searching out the truth; every man must be lost: so let none judge, that they be not judged; let them not condemn, that they be not condemned. If thou, by the spirit of Satan, hated every appearance of evil, by what spirit do men drink iniquity, as the ox drinketh water, and sin with a high hand? O ye simple and unwise, if ye cannot judge your Bibles, how can ye judge the Woman? If ye make ME and My prophets false, is it to be marvelled at that ye condemned the woman also? Know ye not when the Son of righteousness arises with healing in his wings, that ye shall tread down the wicked as ashes under your feet? but how can the Son of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings, if I do not heal them from their sins, and bring them to that state of innocence and happiness they were first created for? And how can you tread down the wicked as ashes under your feet, if the author of wickedness is not destroyed and trodden down? No, I have said, ye lay in the wicked one, which is the devil, and when he is destroyed, his works will follow; then will
ye tread down the wicked one as ashes under your feet. But how will ye tread down the wicked while the root remains? the weeds will spring up, and if ye tread them down they will rise again; they cannot be as ashes until the root is burnt up - and now I will begin like a husbandman, and go on like a man of war.
"Like a husbandman I'll now appear:
I'll plough My Ground, and make My Fallows bare;
"And then to stroil1 it, I will sure begin;
I'll burn the Weeds from whence come every Sin;
And then the Ashes you may cast abroad;
The best of husbandmen you'll find your GOD.
To cleanse My Ground I'll break up Root and Moule,2
With a strong Plough I'll now let deep My Sull,3
Till every Root of Evil I've broke up,
And made My Ground fit for the Wheat to drop;
Because the Stroil I'll surely burn to dust,
And here's the Ashes I for Man have placed.
Under your Feet, I say, they all shall come,
And then, My Brethren, you may tread them down;
Just like the Ashes that is cast abroad,
For by the Husbandman it must be known;
When all the stroil is burned to the dust,
The Ashes then abroad by Man is cast;
And they that walk thereon may tread them down
Now like the Husbandman I shall be found.
For like these Weeds is SATAN in the Earth;
Deep are his Roots, and so the seeds come forth;
That he is always sowing in the ground,
For in the hearts of men his seeds are found.
But now the Root of Evil I'll destroy,
And then the Wheat may their clean land enjoy;
To grow together, and increase their crop,
When every Weed that chokes is burned up.
So like the Husbandmen I'll now go deep,
Till every Root of Evil I do break;
And all the Roots of Evil now I'll burn,
And then I'll bring a GLORIOUS Crop for man.
So like the Husbandman I've ended here,
And showed you plain the way I shall appear;
To burn the wicked Weeds that so do spring,
By burning every Root, I say, of Sin.
And now a Man of War I'll surely be,
And leave no Foe without a Victory.
My heavenly Armies I shall now prepare,
To meet the Root of Evil in the air;
1. Stroil, in Devon dialect = raked weeds. 2. Moule, in Devon dialect = remains of roots forming other roots. 3.Sull, in Devon dialect = the plough and cattle drawing it.
And make the heavenly Pillars for to shake,
And Earth's Foundation tremble and to quake:
Where as you see your stroil for to burn,
Just so My Fire you will see to come.
"And as your Cannons they do loudly roar,
Just so My Thunder will be in the Air;
When I the Warrior do begin for Man,
Who sign their names to have My Kingdom come.
But first, the LOVE of Men I'll surely try,
And then My Arrows shall like Fury fly;
If Men should hasten, as a few begin,
The Victory of the LORD would soon be seen!
Because they'll find ME standing in the air,
With the drawn Swords that did to thee appear;1
And fast My Angels they will follow on,
Till Satan headlong to his Pit shall come,
With all his legions and his hellish host,
That of their Power do so proudly boast;
And then their Power they may set up in Hell,
With all his Host, and let his Power swell:
For he shall find that I shall gain the War,
The Woman conquered! let the Fool take care;
Because My Honour she did so maintain;
And now I'll prove My Honour to her Friends.
And all shall find her Words of ME were true,
And as she judged Me, I for her did do;
And as you judge Me now I'll do for all,
And prove to Man from Heaven hath been her call.
But as she's simple, simply now I speak,
But Man will tremble when My Fury break;
And like a Man of War for to appear,
And every Foe before Me, now I'll clear:
So now you see, your Bible's hastening on,
As by the Woman Mysteries here are shown;
So by the Woman Mysteries did begin,
When first their Nakedness to them was seen.
So by the Woman's Hand it shall appear,
To show you clothing every Soul shall wear.
As from the Trees, the Leaves in autumn fall,
So in the spring I now do tell you all,
That the same Trees do all bud out again,
And so the green Leaves, you may then see plain,
To bud, to blossom, and the Fruit appear,
And bring the Leaves, to man another year;
Just so's the Woman like the Trees become,
And know the Fruit came from a Woman's Hand,
And so the Fruit doth from her all appear.
I ask what Man a child did ever bear?
1 See p.29, First Book of Prophecies.
"More than the Elm, or the lofty Trees;
The Fruit's in Woman, judge this as you please:
Who brought to Man the GOOD Fruit at the first,*
And from the Woman shall the good Fruit burst;
Tho' at that time the good Fruit it did fall,
But now you'll find 'tis budding out for all,
To bring the perfect Fruit to Man again.
And here's the Fruit that ever shall remain;
To bud, to blossom, and bring every year,
With My Creation I shall all compare:
So now, I tell you, to mark every sign,
The fallen Leaves are budding to Mankind;
That will the perfect Fruit unto you bring,
And from the Woman must the GOOD Fruit spring,
Because no Fruit did ever come from Man,
Tho' it is often grafted by his Hand.
But 'tis the Trees that must the Fruit now bear,
That man hath pruned, and grafted with all care;
So I have pruned, and grafted the Fruit for man,
And here's the Tree from whence your Knowledge come.
Twelve manner of Fruit you'll find this Tree to bear,
So now all nations you may hope and fear;
For he that plucks this Fruit through unbelief,
I tell him in the end he'll find his Grief:
And he that saith, the Fruit, let it remain,
'Until 'tis ripe, and then we shall see plain,
What Fruit is on it, whether good or bad,
And then the Knowledge from it may be had.'
To such I tell you, you do go too far,
For when the ripened fruit do all appear,
The withered Fruit will fall before the time,
And so the Knowledge you, too late, will find;
Because no Judgment you will draw before,
That all the Fruit was ripe and then see clear;
But then your Wisdom it will be too late,
The Fruit's preserved, and the Door is shut!
And then too late your judgment you will show,
When those who judged it first, you all will know,
Will take possession of the Tree of Life,
It is the Heirs to it, must end the strife:
But know, no Heir to it no Man can be,
But such as from the Leaves begin to see."
The above and a few pages following seem to me so important that I hope I shall be forgiven by the reader for digressing. Joanna's life is indeed hid in God; and though I hope that the reader will be able to get a fairly clear idea from this book of her life's history, yet the high spiritual and prophetic teaching is infinitely more
*This alludes to the birth of Christ.
momentous to the world at large so that I feel compelled to quote from her writings.
Joanna gives on p.103 of The Answer of the Lord to the Powers of Darkness a letter written to the Rev. Thomas Foley, of Old Swinford, Worcester. He was a perfect English gentleman of the old school, and related to the Honourable Mark Foley. He was an excellent preacher and drew large congregations, not withstanding his open espousal of the cause of Joanna Southcott. He interested the Bishop of Worcester in her writings, and he was the only one among the bishops who seemed inclined to believe in her mission. Mr. Foley died at a ripe old age and held firmly to his faith, leaving the Box of Sealed Writings, that have not been opened for the past hundred years, to the care of his son, the Rev. Richard Foley.
Joanna continues: "Here I shall insert part of a letter, I sent to the Rev. Mr. Foley; it being the answer of the Lord to me concerning him, when I heard he had launched into the great deep, by making known to the people, where he resides, these Communications; for when believers are joined with unbelievers, the latter think the former mad. I was thus answered: 'Fear not, thou worm, Jacob, nor be dismayed, ye men of Israel; for I AM your GOD, and will be with you, and protect you, and I will shame all that shame you, and confound all that confound you. For as you have begun, the shepherds of the flock must follow, or be no shepherds: for the Lord will send faithful labourers into His vineyard: as the harvest of the Lord is nigh at hand. However confident men may be, that there is no cause for them to judge for themselves or sign their names, they will find there is no man will have part in the Tree of Life* whose name is not found written, and the Seals given them: for these are the leaves for the healing of the nations. The pure river that proceeded out of the throne of God and the Lamb, is the PURE WORD OF GOD. The Tree in the midst of it you will see explained in the following verses; and what is meant by the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations. You know it is written, the servants of the Lord shall be sealed before they hurt the earth or the sea: so they will find it a blessing the Lord has established you amongst them, if they obey the call; but whether they will hear or whether they will forbear; speak My words unto them, saith the Lord, by his prophet; and so you have faithfully done, that you may be clear from the blood of all men.
"The healing of the nations now is come,
And from the Tree a leaf I'll give to Man,
*Meaning the Woman and her special work at the end.
That they may prove to it they are an Heir,
When all the fruit doth unto them appear:
So by their Leaves the Heirs I all shall see,
By every Leaf that's given from the Tree:
And every Leaf that's given I do mean,
It is the Seals that must the Heirship gain;
Because another cannot stand an Heir.
These are the Leaves for healing do appear;
To heal the nations as they all do come,
Thou'll find the seals must go through every land,
For when thou dost die, the Seal it must be given
Unto thy friend, where I the lump shall leaven;
But that, I say, I'll tell thee at the time;
But here's the Leaves the nations all will find,
That sure must heal them of their every Fall,
And sign their names to have My Kingdom all;
And so the Fruit will every month appear;
I tell you all you'll see another year;
For fast I say it all is hastening on;
The healing of the nations is begun.
Although the Fruit it does not yet appear.
The balm is laid before the wound is cured:
But in the end the wound it shall be healed,
And from these Leaves the nations shall not fail
To gain My Kingdom, and to bring it near,
And Satan's Kingdom it shall disappear:
And then the chapter it will hasten on,
They'll find the Spirit and the Bride is come;
They'll find the Root of David to appear,
And then the Morning Star you may see clear,
Is with the evening Star arisen to shine,
"The night's approaching, and the day decline,
For Satan's Kingdom for to govern here,
'Tis Man hath all to hope, but Fools shall fear:
Who judged these things came from a woman's hand.
Without the LORD, and in such order stand!
Then tell Me why such thoughts ne'er came before,
To prove My Bible, and to make it clear;
That every word that's written there is true,
'Tis more than any learned man can do;
To make My Bible clear as thou hast done,
I ask, what Rock this nation's built upon,
If that My Bible they do all deny?
And now I'll come to the weak faith of thee."
Return To The Works of Alice Seymour
Last updated 28/10/2009