BY JOHN CROSSLEY:
First, a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Cockin,
At the Independent Chapel at Halifax;
RECEIVED FROM JOANNA SOUTHCOTT
Showing what is the Doctrine of Devils.
THE SECOND EDITION:
To which is added a Letter to the Rev Mr. Pollard,
AT BOOTH CHAPEL, NEAR HALIFAX;
A Letter to a Methodist near Bradford, by Joshua Haley;
A LETTER TO THE
Rev. Messrs. JACKSON, SYKES, and WILLIAMSON,
Baptist Ministers, near Bradford,
Addressed to the Rev. Mr. Vint, Master of the Academy, at Idle; to the Rev.
Mr. Hardy, of the Established Church, at Bradford; to the Rev. Messrs.
Manners and Scott, Methodist Ministers at Ashton-Under-Line;
also to the Rev. Messrs. Worral and Midgley, Methodist
Ministers at Colne, concluded by a Communication
given to Joanna in answer to the Mockery of
Men against the Visitation.
"The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise that they are vain."
1 Cor. iii. 20.
TO THE READER.
IN the affairs of human life, numerous occurrences very justly arrest our attention; these, exclusive of the many trifles which attract us, and the follies to which we stand exposed, generally produce a continued scene of action; notwithstanding, the important concerns of religion ought by no means to be neglected; our duty to our ever blessed Creator and Redeemer ought to be the first in every grateful heart. Our kind Saviour struggled through the sorrows of human life, part thereof without having where to lay his head, and at the end suffered death as a criminal for our sakes, that he might destroy our adversary, the Devil, Heb. ii. 14, and deliver us. This we are assured he will perform at his second coming, when his enemies will be made his footstool; for till then he must sit at his Fatherís right hand, Heb. x. 12, 13. Now as nothing less than the purchase of our dear Redeemerís blood can ever satisfy him, it behoves every man and woman upon earth where the glorious news of redemption through Christ is heard and believed, to improve every event which has a tendency to prove his SECOND COMING at hand.
The awful aspect now presented to our view, the distresses and perplexities of nations, and the seeming impossibility of restoring peace to the world, evidently proclaims in our ears the coming of our Lord to take the kingdoms to himself, to bind down his enemy the Devil, that he may see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied. Isa. liii. 11. In matters of small consequence mankind are not satisfied with anything less than their agreement, and the promise of the Father to him is to give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession, (see the second Psalm and eighth verse) which the Devil is now the god of. See 2 Cor., iv. 4. Other incontrovertible signs of our Lordís appearance have now taken place, which any one may discern from a strict examination of Joanna Southcottís prophecies. Here let me propose one serious question: Except a man be influenced by the Devil himself, can he harbour an objection to Christís coming and destroying the power of the Devil, and taking the kingdom, who gave his life to reconcile all things unto God, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven? Beware, gentle reader, of being united with the powers of darkness, who will now most assuredly cast out floods of persecution by such men as he may be able to make use of as instruments against the Woman and her seed.* See Rev. xii. three last verses; because they are seeking his destruction, having that enmity placed in them against him promised in Gen. iii. 15, that he may no longer work disobedience in man, but that the will of God may be done on earth as it is done in heaven, which every sincere and obedient Christian prays for; when everything that hath breath shall praise the Lord, according to the last Psalm, and when the Lord alone shall be exalted and all nations shall flow to the Lordís house to worship. See Isaiah ii.
* It is not here designed to be understood, that the seed of the woman mentioned in Gen. III: v.15, entirely belongs to man, but that the Lord Jesus Christ is the first seed; but by the last verse of this xii of Revelations it is plainly shown that those who join with the woman in the war against Satan, and possess the same enmity against him which the first seed, Jesus Christ, possessed when he suffered death that he might destroy him, and which is now conspicuous again in the woman, as may be clearly seen in Joanna Southcottís books, are denominated the womanís seed, and are said to keep the commands of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Surely the animating prospect of our Lordís exaltation might stir up every one who seeks his honour, to be anxious for the hasty accomplishment of these things, and prompt them to accept the news thereof, even in a manner contrary to the wisdom of man, if it can be proved (as it clearly may) to be consistent with the wisdom of God. Yet it is clear from many parts of Scripture, that those who thus give themselves up to seek the honour of God, the good of mankind and the destruction of the Devil, must suffer persecution; it is already begun, or otherwise this publication would never have made its appearance. If we could persuade people to examine before they persecute, there certainly would be less, but where we cannot persuade, we must do our duty by warning of the fatal consequences; of standing in opposition to the determination of the Lord at such a time as this, when the day is very near when he shall appear in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God and obey not the Gospel! But though persecution is begun, and though our enemies seem enraged, yet we have the consolation to see them generally flee after the first attack. Has not this conduct of our opposers a tendency to increase our faith? When we see the learned enter the field and quit it again at the first onset, though only withstood by the ignorant, does it not strengthen our belief that "No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper," &c. Isa. liv. This has generally been the case throughout the kingdom where an attempt has been made. Many there are also who believe the cause in which we are engaged, too insignificant to be noticed, and yet it is generally believed to be from the Devil: why the works of the Devil are judged of so little consequence by men who pretend to be commissioned by the Lord himself to maintain a constant warfare with him, and to point out to mankind the way whereby they may overcome him, I shall leave for all such to answer. The man to whom the following letter was sent, told us in his sermon, that "he did not know whether he could clear his conscience if he was silent in these matters." Whether the letter has convinced him that the cause is not so bad, and given him ease of conscience, I cannot tell, only say, we have waited nearly two months and have received no answer, if he have concealed himself in ambush he has now an opportunity to arise and come behind us.
Here I shall introduce the Letter with these requests:Let prejudice and partiality be entirely laid aside; judge for thyself as a man or woman who must answer to God himself for all thy ways, and who must know if thou attentively read thy Bible, that The Second Coming of Christ (of which the present visitation is a warning) is one of the most important things contained in the Bible:then permit not the wisdom of men to influence thee either to oppose or disregard these things, but "Prove all things, hold fast that which is good," 1 Thess. v. 21.
TO THE REV. MR. COCKIN.
IT is probable you will be much surprised to receive a letter on such a subject as is here designed. When I reflect on my inferiority in point of age, rank, and learning, and that even from my infancy your eminent qualifications as a preacher of the Gospel were impressed upon my mind, it makes the attempt appear surprising. Notwithstanding, prompted I hope, with an honest zeal for the truth of God, I surmount every obstacle, and introduce myself to you on that invaluable subject with which you have been so long conversant, namely Christianity.
On the 24th of July, hearing that you were going to preach not far from my house, I determined to go and hear you. I soon perceived that your design was to speak against such things as have for some time occupied my attention, and which, in the soundest state of mind hitherto obtainable by me, have gained my assent. As to the Lord Jesus Christ being the Ransomer of man, we freely own having found no other Name whereby we can be saved; but your applications of the return of the ransomed, are sufficiently overturned by the words themselves and the connection.* However, if I have gone beyond the bounds by this assertion, it only remains for you to prove it. Think not it is beneath your notice; if you are influenced by that love of which you spoke, you will be so far clothed with humility, as to stand in defence of truth when only attacked by the ignorant, who oft are capable of deceiving such as themselves. But it is not my intention to dwell upon your text, or your manner of treating it, but to come to your animadversions upon us, which you endeavoured to interweave into your sermon.
You did not "come to threaten with judgments," you told us, for "if the judgments that were now threatened should all come, it was of very little consequence to us." In such a state of mind, can
* His text was Isaiah 35:10 "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." The return of the ransomed he applied four different ways (1) The return of the Jews from Babylon, (2) A Sabbath-breakerís return to attend a place of worship, (3) His joining the church, (4) His arrival in Heaven, and described the joys felt in all these different circumstances as a fulfilment of the passage.
you show any reason why a great part of the Scriptures are threatenings of judgments? Did the Lord need counsel of man? Or was it because there was not a man found in those days able to give that sage counsel, and therefore the Lord was left to act in that manner which is now deemed insignificant? No, on examination we shall find there was no want of these wise characters, for when the prophets of God threatened with judgments, the false prophets cried Peace! Peace! and told those who rejected the warning, and walked after the imagination of their own hearts, no evil should come upon them. They imagined they knew better than the messenger whom the Lord had sent, and in this state of security their false prophets wrapped them up. This ought to lessen the surprise of those who seriously attend to the warnings at present, and also to be a warning to them to "cease from man, whose breath is in his nostrils, for wherein is he to be accounted of." You then exclaimed against believing that there would be any further Revelation or Prophecy to the end of time; and with great assurance informed us, "that you would never believe such a thing except the Lord by his Spirit convinced you of it." Take your Bible and read the Evangelists through, there you will find the Jews required a sign, but never once demanded the influence of the Lordís Spirit, or any visitation to themselves in order to prove that of our Lord; but this argument against Divine Revelation has been laid before the world in these our days, by one of the greatest opposers of Christianity, namely, THOMAS PAYNE. But judge my surprise to hear it flow from the mouth of a learned divine, when the last time I heard you preach (till the present), those who use this argument, were by you pronounced, "Bantering, hectoring, brazen Infidels, slaves and fools! !"
But did you ever read in the Scriptures that the Lord called upon his people to resist every pretence to Prophecy or Revelation, till he by the power of his Spirit assured them of its truth? Why then does he warn us against false prophets? or why does he tell us we are to know them by their fruits, if we be to receive none till he by his Spirit convince us? Have you in the present case proved the tree by its fruits, or have you brought folly and shame upon yourself by answering before you have heard? The Lord gives his Holy Spirit to them that ask and wisdom also, and that without upbraiding. But are we audaciously to demand it, as the only favourites of heaven? Are we not also with humility to attend to the command in his word, to prove all things? If we do not obey his commands can we expect wisdom when we have asked it? Doth not God resist the proud and give grace to the humble? Did not the Apostle write to the Corinthians, that if any man thought himself a prophet, or spiritual, he must acknowledge the things he wrote were the commandments of the Lord? or did he in your language, bid them resist till the Spirit told them they were such?
But further, with great vociferation you pressed it upon us, that if we did receive any more prophecy, we "despised God, and ruined ourselves! ! !" Your reason for this assertion was, because Jesus Christ himself was the Prophet of his church. But are we not told
that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy? And did not Paul, long after our Lord ascended on high, declare that the Spirit spoke expressly, that in the latter time some should depart from the faith? &c. Is not this prophesying? And yet, (strange to tell) to the writings of this very man did you refer us, as the word of God. You showed us that Jesus Christ became the Priest and the Prophet when he became the Mediator, and that if we believed a Prophet since, we took ourselves from him, and yet you yourself believe Paul, who prophesied after. Why will you thus despise God, and ruin yourself?
Again, did not Peter tell us, that in the last days there should come scoffers? &c. And was not John shown things which should shortly come to pass? Did there not come prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch, and one named Agabus, signified by the Spirit, that there should be great dearth throughout all the world? Why will you despise God and ruin yourself by believing these things? Where now is the denunciation you pronounced against us, for adding to the words of the prophecy of this Book, since, according to your own words, we can pay no credit to any of the New Testament but the Four Evangelists, except we mean to despise God and ruin ourselves? If I had found you entirely consistent on this point, I should not so much have wondered to find you despising Prophesyings; but when I find you still urging the writings of the Apostles as the word of God, my astonishment increases, and I must leave the development of the mystery to yourself, freely owning my own incapacity.
But with respect to modern prophecy and further revelation, can the words of our Lord Jesus Christ be fulfilled, where he promises to send the Comforter to guide us into all truth, without a visitation by his Spirit? If it be asserted that this was accomplished at the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Ghost was poured out upon the disciples, why is it that Peter, the principal speaker at that time, afterwards declares, that an "inheritance which was incorruptible, &c., was to be revealed in the last time;" and that the Word of Prophecy was then as "a light shining in a dark place?" And why does Paul say, "We know in part, and prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away," if the Comforter had already guided them into all truth? If this is not accomplished, must not the Spirit of Prophecy be given at the accomplishment to show us things to come? Or can he show us things to come without Prophesying? And is it not also "in the ages to come, that God will show the exceeding riches of his grace," &c. Now, if you have received the Comforter, and are guided into all truth, all knowledge being complete, as you represented to us, you will very easily answer all these enquiries; but if you should not be able to clear up these things, Am I despising God and ruining myself by believing that he himself will make them plain by fulfilling them? Is it not by faith we are saved? Then shall faith in the Word of God ruin us? Is not God a God of truth, hath he said it, and shall he not do it? Then do we despise him by believing that he will do it?
The Spirit that is now come into the world, and which styles itself the Comforter, hath already shown us many things which were to
come, and which have come accordingly; I shall not at present swell my letter to enumerate them, but shall only say, that five years since, it foretold how men would foam and froth with fury when the Living Waters began to flow. Is not this because these LIVING WATERS have begun to flow towards Halifax, that we have now been eye and ear witnesses to the truth of this prediction? Is there no other way of convincing us of our errors in adhering to prophecies but by fulfilling them? I hope we shall never bring a disgrace upon the human species by deserting a cause because our enemies prove it true; although our enemies may disgrace themselves, by standing against something while they are at the same time proofs of its truth.
You afterwards told us, that the Lord Jesus Christ had redeemed us from "Sin, Satan, Death, Hell, and the Grave; that he destroyed him who had the power of death, which is the Devil, when he was lifted up on the Cross." You then followed it with "and he now worketh in the children of disobedience." This you may reconcile at your leisure, while I ask, why the followers of Christ were so exceedingly more cautioned to guard against the Devil after his death than the people of God were before? Should a man walk daily where a devouring lion, (to which the Devil is compared) was let loose with very little notice of his strength and ferocity, till a stronger had destroyed him, and then to warn the man of the power and craft of this destroyed lion? Is it not also said that when the accuser of the brethren is cast down, that salvation and strength is come, and the Kingdom of our God and the power of his Christ? And when the power of Christ comes, do not his saints live and reign with him a thousand years? But who else lives at that time? Does not the Prophet Malachi assure us, that when the Sun of Righteousness arises with healing in his wings, the wicked shall be burnt up root and branch?
Again, you brought a simile for us to measure ourselves by, of a man who said, "He had no time to die." But have you ever heard us thus make a jest of death? Are a number of people who believe the Word of the Lord that he who hath the power of death shall be destroyed, and death swallowed up in victory, to be ranked among those who make a jest of death? Was the Lord jesting when he spoke this word? Will he not send Jesus Christ again at the restitution of all things? Or will you say that he will not send him till the destruction of all things? When he comes, will he not change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body? If I recollect aright, it was when you were speaking upon this point that you declared that "the Devil never put such notions into peopleís heads before," and that "even the devils laughed at us for believing them." Did the Devil also put these notions in the Scriptures? If things which are so plainly recorded in the Scriptures come from the Devil, why do you preach? Is your object to turn the itching ears of mankind from the truth, that they may be turned into fables?
Again, do you suppose that mankind beginning to pray for vengeance upon their adversary, according as we are commanded to do
when the Son of Man cometh, and believing the promise that the Lord will avenge his own elect who thus cry day and night unto him, in faith, for vengeance, are subjects of laughter for the Devil? Are not Satanís destruction, and death being swallowed up in victory inseparably connected? and has Satan so far forgotten the mighty power of God in driving him out of heaven, as to laugh at the prospects of being driven from earth to hell? If the Devil did not know better what his destruction was than those who maintain that it took place at Christís death, and left him still the "God of this world," he might laugh; but if Satan does laugh and rejoice at the thought of manís deliverance, it proves the truth of another preacherís words, who lately said "that his heart was worse than the Devil;" for I plainly see that mankind will not lift up their heads in hope thereof.
After this, the Sealing became the object of your censure. You represented us as feeding the hopes of the immoral and irreligious, with promises of protection in consequence of receiving a SealAre you a witness to this? Thousands are witnesses to the contrary; neither do we set them an immoral example, by eating the fat and clothing ourselves with the wool. Why then will you make lies your refuge and hide yourself under falsehood? You added in your comments upon the Sealing, that "it was a shame to Bedlam! ! !" The Scriptures assure us, that when the time cometh for the judgments of God to be poured upon the earth, (which you say are of so little consequence) that the servants of God must be sealed in their forehead. Is it a shame to Bedlam to believe this? Perhaps you will say it means the heart. But is the heart in the forehead? If you can prove that the sealing is said to be in the forehead, for any reason but the following, namely, to give our names for the establishment of Christís Kingdom and the destruction of Satanís, which is manís Redemption to which we are to be sealed, and afterwards to have our names sealed which we receive in our foreheads in baptism, we shall peruse it with care; but assertions without proof will pass for nothing with us: however, as you hinted to us that conscience was rather urgent upon you in coming forward against these shameful doctrines, and as we can assure you that they are gaining credit among mankind, we shall expect that two such powerful motives will not be stifled by a man like you, from whom we ought to look for the greatest attention to duty both towards God and man.
But to return; not content with what you had said at the beginning respecting the judgments which are threatened, you accosted us at the ending with a repetition thereof; telling us that we "would make Christianity into a Gaping Goose." I suppose you meant we should do this by speaking of judgments without foundation. The Scriptures speak of these things as before observed, and the signs of the times bespeak their accomplishment; but if you believe their accomplishment to be of such little consequence, What do you make of Christianity but a Gaping Goose to threaten such dreadful evils, and command us to "watch and pray that we may be counted worthy to escape them," when they are things of no importance. As to your saying that we knew no more of what was coming on than the man in
the moon, I shall leave that to a future day, when both you and I may better understand the comparison.You several times mentioned next May and June, as times fixed for some great event; I trust you will permit me here to inform you, that Joanna Southcott professes to have no information which enables her to certify what particular event shall take place at that time: but tells us that we may all draw our own judgment from the communications given to her: therefore if you mean to attack us on that point, you must first read what is said, or otherwise you will only be striving against the judgment of your fellow-creatures, while the cause in which we are engaged will sustain no harm. It was ever the case with those who attended to the word of the Lord, that they failed in their judgment: and if the Lord has spoken now, can it be expected to be different? Did not Peter rebuke our Lord when he told them how he should be killed, and said it should not be? And after this does he not declare, that those things which God before had showed by the mouth of his prophets that Christ should suffer he hath so fulfilled?
We, like Peter, are yet fallible, neither do we wish any man or woman to believe us to be otherwise. But although Peter erred in his judgment, yet it was impossible for him to be wrong in his belief in our Lord; so do we believe that though we may err in our judgment of what is given us through the Lordís appointed Instrument, yet it is impossible for us to err in judging the cause to be of God, and if you think this to be a shift you may make your attack upon it; for we shall expect you to come forward to prove your assertions, or make your acknowledgment; and if we do not soon hear from one or the other, you may expect this letter to be made public.
I remain your well-wisher,
July 30th, 1806. JOHN CROSSLEY.
____________ o0o ____________
PART OF A LETTER
From Joanna Southcott to John Crossley.
Dear Friends. August 26, 1806.
ON receiving your letter I was somewhat astonished, to think a man who professes to preach the Gospel should be so ignorant as to the sense and meaning of the Scriptures, and wrest them in such a manner as to give room for the Atheists to plead, from such doctrine as his, saying our redemption had taken place, and the power of Satan was destroyed; that "he destroyed him that had the power of death, which is the Devil, when he was lifted up on the Cross." This doctrine gives every room for the Atheists to plead there is no Devil, but sin is in ourselves: and if he say we are redeemed from sin, they may enquire what kind of redemption it means, seeing the abominable sins of every kind that are universal everywhere: so they cannot believe that we are redeemed from sin by the power of God; and as he says, Satanís power is destroyed, then he gives room for
them to plead. But this shocking doctrine has been lately proved visible to come from the Devil. I shall give you an instance of a man in London, who publicly announces himself to be under a strong visitation of the Devil, and has lately published against me. He says in the title page of his book:
Satanís Power Extraordinary Detected, or the Strong Delusions of JOANNA SOUTHCOTT discovered, by the Author of an awful visitation of Satan and the Powers of Darkness. (He says) Joanna Southcott denieth in her writings, that Christ is the seed of the woman. This is known unto all is a lie to begin with, as it is said throughout my writings, that Christ is the seed of the Woman that bore the transgression man cast on him in the Fall, and had his heel bruised for the transgression of man, in order to come again in Might, Majesty and Power, to bruise the Serpentís head that betrayed the woman.
"For ítis the Womanís conquering Seed
Must break and bruise the Serpentís head"
is universally said through my writings; but my adversaries can by no means come forward with the truth, but make lies their refuge, like this man who owned he wrote the book, and acknowledged he is under an awful visitation of Satan. He goes on in his book to condemn me for saying the Serpentís head is not yet bruised, and desires the readers, whoever they are, to be assured, "that my writings are falsethat the great end of Christís mission was to take upon him our nature, to recover lost manto reinstate him in his paradisical purityto crush or bruise the head of principalities and powers and to open the door of free grace to all men; and this was effectually done by the blood of atonement, and sealed in power upon his descension into hell, when he totally defeated the enemy in that dominion which he held in the soul, and casting him thereout, bound him down in his own place whereby he effectually freed the same from its captivity and bondage to Satan."
A few lines after he adds:"Lay your attention seriously to the power of Satan in the following extract, which is no vain thing, being taken from one of the greatest visitations, allowed by all who have seen his state, that has appeared upon man." Then, to contradict himself he goes on in the following lines to condemn my writings, saying that I have declared that the Serpentís head is not yet bruised; but he says, "Awake, O reader, and receive not this testimony as truth; suffer it further therefore to be observed, that when Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for our sins, he not only opened the door of free grace, as hath been written, but likewise brought the enemy of our souls to submit to the Cross, and fully completed the same upon his descension into hell, whereby the power and dominion of Satan was effectually destroyed therein, the which he before held in captivity and bondage; thus having overcome and sealed in power, (the enemy) not leaving his work incomplete. By this victory over death, hell,
and the enemy, every soul, from the fall of Adam in the garden to the end of time, is relieved from the power and dominion of Satan."
After going on in this manner, full of contradictions, when he came to the end of the book, he says: "Here followeth a brief extract from a work entitled the Visitation of Satan and the Powers of Darkness, whom," he says, "agreeable to Scripture, his power is truly great, being of an omnipotent and divine offspring, he retains this in his fallen state; and has power to raise in the soul a false complexion of light upon the word, the movement and power of Satan over the different passions of the human frame; he has power to move the mind to doubt, to fear, to despair: Satan has power to transform himself into an angel of light, as hath been manifested to me; so he can personate in appearance and language, an angel, an Apostle or any saint whatever; and even assume the voice of God himself, as I have found, being wonderfully high, pointed, and great; for in such case, he holds the key of the soul, as it were, in full power."
Here I have given you a short extract of this man that hath written against me. In the first part of his book he affirms, that all Satanís power was totally destroyed, and the fall of man is perfectly freed; and at the end he says, Satan hath every power, which I have enumerated in a few of his words, that you may see the contradiction there is in a man who writes under the influence of Satan. After the book was brought to me, it was answered me of his saying Satanís power was destroyed, it was answered from a parable of mankind, as follows:
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Is it not common among mankind, if a man have an evil heart, and oweth a debt to his neighbour, if he hath it in his power, to destroy the bond and prove the debt is paid? Have not these arts been practiced by wicked men, where they had it in their power to destroy the bond, that it might not appear against them? Now, perfectly so is the working of Satan, if he can work in the minds and hearts of men, to believe that the bond that was made in the fall, of bruising the Serpentís head, which is the Devil, if he can persuade them it is already cancelled, and that his head is already bruised, that Divine Justice is already satisfied, then there is no promise to claim, and no faith for man to believe or to rely on the power of his God, that he will destroy the Powers of Darkness if Satan can darken the eyes of their understanding to believe it is already done; then he leaves man without help, and without hope, as will be proved from a further part of this book, when he tells you Satan hath every power to be as a Godto be as an Apostleto be as an angel to deceive mankind. This he tells you is Satanís power still remaining over mankind, after he told you his power was destroyed; this is the contradiction in Satan, and this contradiction he hath worked in the man: first to persuade him that his head was bruised, and his power destroyed, when my heel was bruised on the Cross, so that all was finished
together; then he tells you how great his power is at this present time, that you may be without hope, that help is laid upon one that is mighty ever to come and destroy his power, and make the earth at peace and rest. This is Satanís working, who now appeareth visible in the man, to show you all who is thy adversary that worketh strong in the sons of men to be against thee and the visitation of my Spirit, to warn you all the time is at hand, the promise shall be fulfilled that was made in the fall to bruise the head of your adversary the devil, who he allows himself is now full of power. So let all men discern from Satanís visitation in this man, by whom thy writings are denied; and let them discern how they are denied by lying wonders, in the manner his book stands full of contradiction. In like manner stands all the contradictions in men that are blinded by Satanís arts, and various ways is his working; but though he appeareth as an angel of light at first, he appears in his true colours at last.
"Now let men discern in what manner Satan is come to work in the man, and show his enmity that hath been invisibly working in the minds and hearts of men; Satanís enmity, where he hath power, hath visibly appeared in mankind, yet this working, that it was from Satan, could not appear so visible to be proved, if it had not come from a man that is clearly proved by all to be under a visitation of Satan, and under the powers of darkness, having complete power over him; and this proves that it is the doctrine of devils that he hath brought forward to mankind, to say Satanís power was destroyed when I expired on the cross, when he had power to work on the hearts of men to go on in the most hardened sin against my followers after my death; so if he can persuade men to believe this doctrine, then he must persuade them to believe that every evil is in man that it is not Satan tempting them to evil if his power was destroyed; then the whole evil must be in man, and man must be totally destroyed if all the evils that have been committed since my death to this day, are from the perverseness of the hearts of men, being at enmity against me, without any devil to tempt them, or any evil power to work in their hearts; then the whole must be in man, and this is the doctrine of devils, which they want to plead to clear themselves. But how could this so plainly appear, if the working of Satan did not appear to be plainly in the man? Now consider from my gospel, when the evil spirits were in the men, these evil spirits had full power and possession over them, so that the men had no power over themselves before these evil spirits were cast out: and perfectly so I tell thee it is with this man, Satan hath full power over him, so the man of sin is clearly revealed, and Satanís working is clearly proved: then let them know it is fatal for men to believe this doctrine of devils, that Satanís power shall still remain, and that I have no more power over him than what I executed when I arose from the dead; from his own confession that was none, only subdued the power he had over me, that I should no more appear as a man to be crucified by his malice: but I shall come again, and my coming shall be as a God, in might, majesty, and in power, to take the key out of his hand and destroy the power Satan hath over the souls of
men, and have the keys of death, hell, and the grave, in my own power; so if he hath had it first, and continued to this day to have the key of the souls of men in his power, he shall know my lot is at last to have the power in my own hand, that the souls of men may serve me, and the time is at hand that I shall hold the keys in my own possession."
Here I have given you part of a communication that was given to me in answer to his book, which was brought to me on Aug. 13th. I was then ordered to write him a letter, demanding to know by what spirit he wrote that book, whether from a spirit invisible, or from a spirit of his own, and to demand an answer to the letter I sent. On Monday, the 18th of August, Mr. Wilson, Colonel Harwood, and Mr. Tozer, went with Underwood to carry the letter and see the man.
Here I (Underwood) shall give you an account of this man. I carried the letter from Joanna; the countenance of the man appeared to us to be envious, subtle, and crafty; easily irritated to passion at the least contradiction: positive in his assertions, though when asked how he would prove them, he evaded any explanation. He hath a great flow of words, going from one thing to another, respecting a work he says he hath got to publish, with apparent plausibility to those who hath no knowledge of Joannaís mission; but by which knowledge, the artifice of Satan is easily discovered in this man. He is in a deplorable situation, being unable to move from his seat. He said the departed spirit of a woman that he knew in the West-Indies, and two other spirits attended him frequently; one an angel of light, and the other an angel of darkness; formerly he said, the evil spirits stood before him as well as the good, with a thin veil of light between them, of late the spirit of darkness hath moved behind him; he says it is the spirit of the woman that hath afflicted him and incapacitated him from walking. He said he had seen the devil, and conversed with him, but his good attendant spirit was sent to protect him; but said, when he receives his communications he has always the two spirits to attend him, the good and the bad, but he received his communications from the spirit of light, which he calleth divine.
He evaded for a long time to answer our demand, by what spirit he wrote against Joanna; he acknowledged he had never read her writings, but he had heard many say what her doctrine was, and that he had no need of reading books; but at last he acknowledged to Mr. Wilson, he wrote against her by the Revelation of his Divine Attendant Spirit. He positively denies the Millennium, and Christís Second Coming; but that Satanís head is already bruised, and his power over the inner man is destroyed, he positively asserts. He says Joannaís doctrine is false in every respect, and her Seal he says is blasphemy. When he complained of the dreadful affliction he was under from the evil spirits, I asked him if he did not feel a sensation of joy and happiness to have that evil power destroyed; but he made me no answer. During the time I was reading Joannaís letter to him, he appeared in agonies of rage and passion, and interrupted me several times, crying out, stuff! stuff! but I was
determined he should hear the whole, and then we left him. Others have been to see him since, and he continues in the same spirit as when we were there.
From this man you may clearly see from what spirit he writes, and now I shall give you part of the communication that was given me after their return.
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Now let them all discern from the man, from his words, and his appearance:Every one must be assured, however, Satan appeared as an angel of light to him, there was no angel from heaven, from the God of Life and Light that appeared to him in this manner, to show Satan visibly before him, surrounding him with great power; and at the same time to affirm that his great power is destroyed; that Satan is chained down while he hath power to appear visible before him. And this the man would discern himself if he had not done as I have told thee, been a willing servant of sin and Satan, freely giving himself up to be led by him in all things, and it is in the inward man that Satan has got the full possession, or the afflictions in his body, as the outward man, would have led him to repentance, and to wish to be delivered from these evil spirits that attend him. When afflictions come in the outward man, and the horrors of Satan begin to appear, if the outward man be not tainted with the same, it will but bring the man to flee from the dangers that he is surrounded with, and cry out, like the trembling jailer, "What shall I do to be saved?" Fears would alarm the inward man to be thus surrounded with evil, if Satan had no possession there; therefore I tell thee, it is the inward man that Satan hath full possession of in this man, whom they saw in that situation, and who acknowledged he wrote the book by the influence of the spirit that attended him.
"And now mark the words that he told Wilson:It was from the Spirit whom he called an angel of light, that gave him that wrong information concerning thy writings, and by this he must know his angel of light is the angel of darkness. But this working of Satan shows mankind in what manner he deceives man; for like his working in this man by the doctrine he hath brought forth, is his working in the hearts of thousands as an angel of light, under a false pretence of religion, to make my Bible appear as false to men as he made thy writings appear, by a false insinuation of Satanís arts. So from this man let all men discern what a strong visitation from Satan is, and what the doctrine of devils is, when they come as angels of light to influence the mind and heart.
"And now I ask thee, Where is the man, endowed with reason or religion, that can go and see the man and believe his report, that an angel of light, coming from heaven, should stand by him, and Satan present, and tell him that Satan is chained down and his
power totally destroyed? This every man of reason must know it is Satanís working in different shapes and forms in him; let them all discern his doctrine and the contradiction in the work that he hath brought forward to the world; then let them discern the contradiction there is in mankind to pretend to prove my Bible true, while their contradictions prove it false; and let them discern in what manner I have permitted everything to appear, that they may discern between good and evil, of what is right and what is wrong, to open the blind eyes, and unstop the deaf ears, that they may discern between truth and errors, between light and darkness. I have suffered light and darkness to appear, and truth and errors before mankind; from this man I have plainly showed you how wrong the Scriptures are placed, to say that all my work is finished, and all the power I had over Satan finished at my death; this is proved from the man to be the doctrine of devils, that men may not look forward to the glorious hope that is set before them, that the time is at hand when my power shall appear to destroy the works of the Devil; then they will find no such scenes appear as they have seen in this man, and these miseries will be done away when your God is all in all, and my Gospel is fulfilled. But perfect like that man, that owns he is under a visitation of the devil, refusing to listen to reason, crying out all is stuff! perfect so it stands with thousands of professing Christians in your land, as well as with the wicked and profane. Arguments like his are publicly brought forward, but from this man all men may see from what influence these arguments appear, and from him all men may see why the Sealing is called blasphemy, because Satan hath called it so, as it is blasphemy against himself to wish to have his power destroyed, and to have your God to be all in all, which Satan cannot bear.
"Now to have them clear judges of Satanís working, I have worked a desire in all their hearts that they might go and judge of the truth, to prove to mankind how much the unbelieving world and this man are alike in words and doctrine; then let them judge for themselves by what spirit they are misled, and this thing of the man must be made public wherever thy works are made known, and his book must appear as a witness against them that follow on in his spirit, his words and his doctrine.So let them discern what false doctrine is brought forward by mankind; but how could the eyes of your understanding be opened to see the error that is in man without a Visitation from my Spirit to point out the errors they do not discern; neither do they discern any more how contradictory they make my Bible, than he discerned how contradictory his book stands."
Here I have given you a similar account of a man who owns he is under a strong visitation of the Devil; and you may clearly see the truth of the communications in what manner Satan works upon the minds and hearts invisible, to darken their understanding, as he worked in this man, visible, that owned he wrote against me from the words of an angel of light and Satan with him. In this manner St. Paul said Satan would transform himself.
As you write to me for advice concerning publishing your letter,
I should think it very prudent to show the folly in men that speak of things they know nothing about, and make their pulpit a place of ridicule to deceive simple and weak minds. So if your friends with you wish to publish your letter to the minister, you are at full liberty to take what part of this letter, concerning the man in London, that you think proper, and put it in print likewise, to prove to mankind from what influence this false doctrine is brought forward. And if we trace back the records of the Bible, we shall find in every age of the world whenever a Visitation of the Lord came to man, it always was rejected by man; and this will continue as long as Satan hath any influence over the minds and hearts of men.
I remain yours, &c.
The above taken from Joanna Southcottís mouth by me,
Witness, JANE TOWNLEY.
COPY OF A LETTER
SENT TO THE REVEREND JOSEPH POLLARD,
of Booth, near Halifax.
IT was my lot on the 6th of January, to attend the funeral of a sister at your chapel; like myself she had professed a belief in the near approach of Christís Kingdom, and the overthrow of Satan; likewise that the Lord had visited a certain female, whose name is Joanna Southcott, and authorised her to warn the world thereof, and to point out by his directions what is his will concerning mankind in general; also what part we ought to take relative to this most important event, all founded on Scripture promises and prophecies. This profession, Sir, one might suppose, would ensure to us the approbation and respect of all Christians, but more especially of ministers; your conduct, however, on the occasion, gave ample proof to the contrary. After reading a portion of Scripture and saying a few words respecting death with some propriety, you began to inform us, that certain applications had been made to prevent death, but that all was in vain, as the providence before us sufficiently testified, that there were no writings either by man or woman, which could secure us therefrom. Not content with this, you then addressed yourself to a single individual a near relation to the deceased, and with very unbecoming emphasis told him, that he might puff himself up with the idea that he should not die, but he was as sure to die as he was a man standing there before you.* Upon such a solemn occasion, the
* All this, with much more, I cannot exactly charge my memory with, was from the pulpit.
minds of some of your audience were not very well prepared for such censorious treatment. After you had finished and were going away, you will no doubt recollect, that I stepped up to you and told you, that I thought your conduct on the present solemn and feeling occasion was very uncivil; but if you would be so kind as to point out our errors, we should esteem it a favour, to which in anger you replied, ĎYou know them! You know them! A single word is sufficient to do it!í Upon this I retired to the grave side, feeling it a very improper time to enter into dispute with a person, who was already in a passion, but you called aloud after me and said, Her writings are nothing but lies. I had afterwards a little conversation with your grave-digger, whom I requested to tell you, that I was as ready to discuss our sentiments with you, as I was when I wrote to you about ten years ago, and that I was willing either to do it by writing, or by a personal meeting, when it would be my inclination to have the dispute conducted in a cool and dispassionate manner, free from virulence and abuse, the Scripture being our touchstone, whereby every part of our sentiments should be proved or disproved, and if you refused this fair offer, you might read your character by our Lord, in the third chapter of Johnís Gospel, and the twentieth verse: "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." This message he promised to deliver, yet you are altogether silent, or otherwise you take care to speak where there is no possibility of receiving a reply, evidently testifying how much you dread the light, though to the light you must come, for I shall here take a little notice of your behaviour both past and present.
When I sent a letter of information concerning Joanna Southcottís Mission to your church in general about ten years since, you undertook to preach from the twelfth chapter of Revelations and the first verse; and as I was present at the time, I sent you a letter on the occasion, which to this day you have never answered, either public or private; and if I be not greatly mistaken your conscience testifies that A single word is not sufficient to do it. But, however, as I read no manís inward thoughts, I shall leave this with yourself, but if either one word, or one thousand would discover wherein we err, in adhering to the teachings of the Spirit which has now visited the woman, how will you justify yourself in not using them for that purpose; when he that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin? James iv. 17. I know from the testimony of people who are quite averse to our sentiments, that it has been your practice for a long while, both in your own pulpit, and others, to condemn; but a single word is sufficient to prove that condemnation without reason or evidence, is not worthy the notice of a man. It may pass where people give their understanding into the possession of the preacher, to turn them which way his caprice, or more commonly his interest dictates; yet those who judge themselves responsible to their Creator, for the manner in which they use their reason, will not venture it out of their own possession. Whoever understands a very little of what is handed to the world by the woman, you so confidently affirm
tells us nothing but lies, knows very well that no application can be made either to her or her writings, to prevent death, and therefore if you mean to screen yourself from the imputation of having told wilful lies in the pulpit, you must make known who it was that made the application, and to whom it was made, and if you cannot prove it was made to Joanna Southcott, there was no sense or reason in it at that time; but must be intended to prejudice the minds of the ignorant, against something which neither you nor they knew anything about; except from that accumulated heap of falsehood, which both yourself and other preachers are endeavouring to disseminate, and that without any apparent object, but that of preventing Satanís destruction and Christís exaltation. Perhaps you may labour under an apprehension, that such an event would be dangerous to your highly dignified office, if there be no more reason to say one to another, Know the Lord. Jer. xxvi. If these should be your fears, you may take warning by the conduct of the Jews, who said, "If we let this man alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation." John xi. 48. Therefore they seized the first opportunity of stopping the miracles wrought by Jesus Christ, and then the Romans came and took away both their place and nation. Thus the enemies of the truth of God, bring upon themselves the very things by their opposition to it, which they fear may be the consequence of receiving it; and so the shepherds, who thrust with side and shoulder, shall according to Ezekiel xxxiv. cease from feeding the flock, and though they have eaten the fat, and clothed themselves with the wool, yet they shall feed themselves no more.
The individual whom you addressed does not puff himself up with an idea that he shall not die, but believes himself exposed to death every day, and every hour, nor have we any authority from the womanís writings to believe otherwise, for death is not yet swallowed up in victory; nevertheless, when the Lord Jesus Christ shall appear the second time he will perform this, and those who are looking for him, shall, if the Scriptures are true, experience a change of their vile bodies which shall be fashioned like his glorious body. If it be within the limits of your power to prove, that no man now living shall see that glorious event in the body, then you will have given the death blow to our expectations. When we first began to sign our names for Satanís destruction and Christís Kingdom, the Spirit informed Joanna, that part, and only part, would die before the time, but that no one must know, whether he or she, should make one of the living or the dying. Then what proof could the death of a believer be, that there was no possibility of escaping death? It is the practice of our enemies, to propagate prophecies as well as doctrines, and say they are ours, and when they fail, they say it is proof against us, and Her writings are nothing but lies; but the truth is, their forgeries are nothing but lies, and they themselves actuated by the root of all evil, who is a liar and the father of it, John viii. 44, and who wishes to prolong his reign in this world by the instrumentality of such as he can make dupes to his subtlety, many of whom he now finds amongst those, who from their profession of love to Christ, &c.
better things might be expected; however Sir, if you can prove that Joannaís writings are nothing but lies, I pledge myself to spare no pains, or exertion which I am capable of making, to pull down that fabric of imposition, which I have done all in my power, to assist in building up; though at present it seems very evident to me that in doing it, you must prove the sacred records of Scripture, from the beginning to the end, to be nothing but lies also. Can you take away all these parts relative to Christís second appearing, without invalidating the whole Book? Can you take away the promises, of all things on earth being restored, at that appearance, without destroying all the prophets, as Peter says they all spoke of those things, Acts iii. 21, and following verses? These Scriptures, including all the Old Testament, on which the New is built, are the things which are contained in her writings, which are nothing but lies, but which you are pleased, from motives which I shall leave you to explain, constantly to hold forth to your congregation, as the Oracles of Divine Truth. I will not say to you as you said to me, that you know your errors and unwarrantable inconsistencies, though they are certainly so glaring, as to give encouragement to the idea, that you have judged us by yourself; and I think it a certain fact, that the most innocent are the least suspicious, and as we can never forget our own crimes, we are ready to charge them upon others. If our outward conduct must have any share in determining, whether we or you are the most guilty in this respect, the decision will be in our favour. Our expectations of advantage are at the end, and if we know that end will never come, what are our views in continuing to sacrifice our characters and temporal advantage for the sake thereof? When I began to look for the coming of the Lord, I gave up all my former intentions of placing myself in a more comfortable situation in life, which according to outward appearance, I had the chance of doing, but in which I might have been placed, under some restraint in my sentiments. Was this the case with you? Has not your profession raised you in the estimation of the world? Have you not obtained thereby a respectable name, and a comfortable livelihood for yourself and family? These are things which may induce a person to persist in what he knows to be error; but if any one should do it in order to get a greater share of slavery and disgrace he must hate his own flesh, which Paul says no man ever yet did. Ephesians v. 29. Having said much more than I intended, I shall here conclude, by informing you, that as I am about to send several other things of this kind to the press, it is my present intention for this to go with them, and then you may say that single word, which is sufficient to point out our errors.
I remain your well-wisher,
Delves, Northowram, Feb. 4th, 1814.
The following Letter was sent to a Methodist near Bradford, in consequence of some conversation he had with the writer; wherein, like many others, he ventured boldly to condemn the womanís mission. The writer sent him a short Letter, wishing to meet him, that they might have a fair opportunity of discussing the subject, which he declined, but returned a long answer, trying to give some reasons for condemning the visitation, at the same time declaring himself ignorant concerning it. Now, as this is the practice of their preachers, to condemn they know not what, and then refuse a fair discussion, the Letter is designed for them, and not published on his account. He being only one of the sheep, his name also is omitted; had he been a shepherd, it would have been inserted. A principal reason why he opposes, is according to his Letter, because popular opinion opposes us; and as their preachers with others are at the head of this popular opinion, and as he appears to have borrowed other arguments from them, they are now left to rescue him, and if they do not do it, by proving this Letter unscriptural, they must be considered as wanting in love to their sheep, or otherwise deficient in their knowledge of the Scriptures.
BRADFORD, January 29th, 1814.
I RECEIVED your letter, and must confess that I also am surprised with the contents thereof; insomuch that it is with great reluctance I attempt to reply. I can assure you, I have neither leisure nor inclination for useless correspondence, or unprofitable controversy, and from your denial of the favour I asked, as well as the whole tenor of your Letter, I feel apprehensive, that a continued intercourse would not be attended with any beneficial result. You acknowledge the Letter you received to be written in a Christian like spirit, and at the same time, you charge me with writing ironically; I must leave it for you to reconcile Christianity and irony to be one and the same thing. I know there was no Ironical insinuation, of an eternal whirl in my Letter.* Neither could I treat things of such weighty moment, in so trifling a manner; or speak of them in language so sportive. Had I been in possession of that knowledge which your letter communicates, you might have remained undisturbed in the practice of abuse, against the things which you had no knowledge of whatever; but from the character you bear as a Christian professor, I had a right to presume, that you must have some substantial grounds for the opposition you manifested against us, but by the acknowledgment of your entire ignorance of the things you condemn, you necessarily, and unavoidably, bring upon yourself the application of the tenth verse of St. Judeís prophecy, and of course all its connection. When St. Jude has mentioned common salvation, he then introduces the faith once delivered to the saints, which is to be contended for, and at that time some shall come in, as professors of religion, who shall speak evil, (as you say you have done,) of things they know nothing about; this you have declared to be fulfilled in yourself, and therefore, cannot separate from yourself all its import and application. St. Jude is speaking of Christís second coming, when, according to his prediction, he will execute judgment upon mockers, who will then be found using hard speeches,
* Alluding to a charge in his letter
and speaking great swelling words against things they know nothing about, for whom he says, "is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever." As you have brought yourself as a proof of the truth of his prediction, you must without repentance, expect to be fulfilled upon you the judgments threatened.* And while we thus see in you the fulfilment of St. Judeís prophecy, it helps to build us up in our most holy faith, and most confidently to be looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. But how you will feel, in your present predicament, is not for me to determine; but I think, if the mind was truly awakened to the sense of its awful situation, the language of St. Jude, without "the eloquence of Demosthenes," would produce a similar effect to that of St. Paul upon Felix, Acts xxiv. 25. In the endeavour to extricate yourself from the awkward situation in which you are placed, you only become the more entangled; you say, you have rashly condemned our tenets, as heterodox, heretical, and unscriptural, because, "popular opinion was against us." Rashly indeed! Is popular opinion then become the test whereby divine visitations from God are to be tried? Noah was divinely warned of an approaching deluge; popular opinion was against both Noah and his warning! Had you been there, and been carried away by the stream of popular opinion, you would have perished in the flood, along with popular opinion; while Noah with his despised singularity, was safely floating in the Ark. St. Paul, in the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, mentions some worthies, who had trial of cruel mockings, scourgings, &c. They wandered about in sheep skins, and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented: Was it not on account of their singularity, and popular opinion being against them, that they had all these sufferings to endure? If you had been with St Paul, when he was recording them as worthies, you might have informed him, he was mistaken, popular opinion had been against them, and therefore their tenets must have been heretical. When our Saviour appeared in the flesh, was not he generally considered as a deceiver? Were not the great body of professors of religion, headed by their priests against him? But did even that invalidate the Mission of our blessed Saviour? Had you been witness to all this, and acting upon your present principle, you must have joined the crowd in their popular opinion, and pronounced Jesus Christ a heretic.
You say, from what you have heard some of us advance, you have been led to pronounce our tenets heterodox, &c., but what we have advanced which is objectionable, you do not say. From the last conference Jesus Christ had with his disciples, before his ascension, they understood and reported the same; that one of them should not die, the death of that disciple proved, they had in this instance misunderstood their Lordís words; but this mistake did not prove their
* The judgments threatened by Jude, must have their accomplishment on all who continue to mock till Christ appears with ten thousand of his saints, prior to which time, he will have given demonstrative proof of his word.
tenets false. I think this may, perhaps, prove an answer to this part of your Letter. You also say from your observation, you have concluded our tenets heterodox, &c., but what observation you have made, you do not say. Had you been an observer of Peter, when he was swearing, cursing, and lying, his conduct would not have justified you in condemning the doctrine which he had received from Jesus Christ to be heretical. I think this also will prove an answer to this part of your Letter.*
As if designedly further to expose yourself, you rehearse the articles of your belief, but before you do it, you say that God has revealed unto me that some part of your creed is false. Then, pray sir, why do you adopt as your creed, what God has revealed to be false? But if you say you do not believe God has made the above revelation unto me, how dared you to assert a thing as a truth, when at the same time you believed it to be a falsehood? In the fourth page, you request me to give you the system of our doctrine, in order that you may be made wise unto salvation thereby: and in the seventh page, you say this knowledge is not at all essential to your salvation. I think stuff like this is not at all becoming, or consistent with the Christian character; neither would it proceed from such a heart, as I think you wish me to understand you have got, viz. "A heart purified from all the remains of corrupt nature." You may here wish to relieve yourself, by saying you only meant such a state of purification was attainable by the sincere believer, not that you already enjoyed it; but if you believe such a state of grace attainable, and you not in the possession of it, you condemn yourself, as wanting in religious sincerity, or not estimating it, at so high a value, as to think it worth the efforts necessary to be made in obtaining it.
You will excuse me, in declining to join with you in your prayers for "Devils to be taken with you to glory." Until you produce me scripture authority for so doing. What is not of faith is sin, and if you have not scripture authority to offer prayers in their behalf, you cannot offer them in faith, and of course, such prayers must be sinful. I admit your prayers in their behalf must prove your goodwill towards them; but I declare myself to be at enmity against Satan and his host of fallen angels. I particularly abhor and detest him, as the head, and am praying for his speedy destruction, as that adversary mentioned by St. Peter, First Epistle, v. 8, and Jesus Christ says, they are his Elect, who cry day and night for vengeance upon this adversary, and he promises he will speedily avenge his Elect who thus cry unto him. This is my authority in praying for, and expecting Satanís downfall; where you find authority to pray for him (or his angels), I must remain ignorant, until you be pleased to inform me. Joanna has such a hatred
* This remark is by no means designed to encourage, or even sanction anything that is bad. The love of God manifested in Christ Jesus, ought to draw every mind that believes the same, to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.
against him, that I am sure she would be very unwilling to accompany you with him into another world.
Here I might have concluded, without a compliance with the request contained in your Letter; but lest you should take occasion thereby to accuse, either to your own hurt, or that of any other, I shall bring forward a few points, of which you express your entire ignorance. You say a glorious epoch is to be ushered in, but when, or how, or by whom, is Heavenís impenetrable secret; neither is it essential for you to know. But we may see by whom this great work is to be performed; if we refer to the words of St. Peter, in the third chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: he there says; "and he shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you, whom the heavens must receive, until the times of restitution of all things." Hence restitution takes place at the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the prophet Isaiah calls him the repairer of the breach. These, without quoting similar passages of Scripture, proves that the Lord himself is the character, who ushers in and accomplishes this great event of restitution, or manís redemption, by healing the breach occasioned by the transgression in Paradise; and this he must perform at his second advent; therefore if you admit the truth of the scriptures, you must now see by whom it must be done. Then if this great event must be accomplished by, and at the second coming of Jesus Christ, he himself says in his Gospel, it shall be at his coming, or when he is revealed, as it was in the days of Noah; or as it was in the days of Lot; and we know that in those days, there was a warning given, prior to the execution of the threatened judgments; consequently, prior to our Lordís second coming, the world must be warned thereof; otherwise the words of our Saviour must be false; neither could he be the same in giving the people an equal trial and privilege. A further proof that a warning must be given prior to the ushering in of this most important period, is to be found in the prophecy by Amos iii. 7. He there says; "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secrets unto his servants, the prophets." Then surely he will not make his second advent, and bring into the world all its concomitant circumstances, before he hath given a warning thereof. Now if we admit the words of our Saviour to be faithful; viz. that it shall be at his second coming, as it was in the days of Noah, or of Lot; or if the words of the Lord by Amos have any truth in them, that the Lord will do nothing without first revealing it to his servants, the prophets; if there is any truth in these authorities, we must conclude, that prior to this important event of our Lordís second coming, a warning must be given, or a special message sent to announce the great and glorious epoch. Here, then we have divine authority and assurance, how this glorious time shall be introduced, that it must be by a special message of information, announcing its approach. Having adduced Scripture evidence how, and by whom this great work is to be introduced, and accomplished; I shall proceed to answer an inquiry which would naturally be suggested, by the upright enquirer after truth, which is this; What reason have we
to believe, that any one is now authorised, to give the warning before stated? In the 19th chapter of the Revelation, we are informed that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy; whoever gives an open attestation, or testimony of Christís second coming, must be endowed with the spirit of prophecy; they must be thus gifted, to prove they are raised up for the ends and purposes they declare. In the 16th chapter of St. Johnís gospel, we are told, that when the Spirit of truth comes, to "guide us into all truth, it shall show us things to come." Therefore that which foretelleth future events, is the Spirit of Truth, and whoever possesses this Spirit of Truth, and of prophecy, and testifies of our Lordís approach, must be entitled to public credit. But it must also be allowed, that such as assume the character, or messenger of the Lord, must have the things they foretell revealed unto them, according to the manner mentioned in Numbers xii. 6, where it is said by the Lord, "Hear now my words, if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream." Hence, any one coming in the name of the Lord, bearing testimony of his near approach, and possessing the Spirit of Truth, which gives a knowledge of future events, which have been revealed by dreams and visions, must so far possess the real characteristics of the Messenger of the Most High. But one thing more is necessary, fully to confirm and establish the pretensions of any such character, that is, the fulfilment of the predictions given. When Jesus Christ speaks of prophets, he says, "By their fruits ye shall know them." In the 18th chapter of Deuteronomy, we have an enquiry how the words must be known which the Lord hath not spoken; and the answer is, If the thing come not to pass, that is, the thing which the Lord hath not spoken. In the 41st chapter of Isaiah we are shown that if the thing foretold comes to pass, that is, the word which the Lord hath spoken: He says, "Show us things to come, that we may know that ye are gods." In the 44th chapter, it is said, "I am the Lord, behold, new things do I declare, before they spring forth I tell you of them. Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, I am the Lord that frustrateth the tokens of liars, and maketh diviners mad, that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their wisdom foolishness, that confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers." Again, Jesus Christ saith in the 14th chapter of St. John, "Now, I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass ye might believe." In these parts of Scripture we have a plain and certain criterion, whereby we can distinguish the true prophets from the false, and this is the only rule I know of, given by the Almighty, whereby we are to try the spirits, that we may prove whether they proceed from God or not; for if the words and truth of the prophecy follow not, that is, the word the Lord hath not spoken; but on the contrary, if the things foretold are confirmed, by their fulfilment having been made known before they sprung forth, also made known by dreams and visions, then we are as sure the thing is of God, as we are sure the Bible is true; and no man can deny the divine origin of such a visitation, unless he first
deny the truth of the Scriptures. These facts then being ascertained, we must conclude such characters are sent of God, for the ends and purposes they declare, and when anyone bears the above marks, and thus announces the Saviourís approach, we have authority from the unerring Book of God, the Bible, to say that must be the very time when the glorious epoch shall be ushered in.
What now remains is, to prove that such a character has at present appeared, possessing all the above mentioned qualifications. Joanna Southcott comes forward with these pretensions, and wishes to be tried, and stand or fall by the above rules of Godís Word. She comes in the name of the Lord, testifying to mankind that their blessed Saviourís second coming is at hand; that he is about to destroy by the brightness of his coming, all the works, the power, and influence of the devil, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and redemption, to such as are found in obedience to this his call; also to remove all that stand in opposition thereto. He who suffered upon the cross shall now come to establish his promised and purchased kingdom of happiness and peace, and deliver man from all the burthen of evil, consequent on the fall, and restore to him every blessing which was lost thereby; then shall all nations, kindreds, and tongues, harmoniously join in the delightful and animating song of redeeming love.
To prove then she is sent of God to publish these tidings, she is endowed with the gift of prophecy. She has foretold events when there was no likeness or appearance of such things taking place, and the truth hath followed. She has been warned by dreams and visions what has been hastening on upon the different kingdoms of Europe, from 1792 to this day, and her predictions have been regularly fulfilled from that day to this; hence she has all the testimonials necessary to render valid her mission, and which proves her beyond a doubt to be a true messenger of the Lord.
She foretold the war before it first broke out between England and France, with its continuance and consequent distresses. The bad harvest of 1799 and 1800, and that the one would be damaged by rain, and the other by sun, as well as the fate of other harvests since were foretold by her. She was informed by the spirit which visits her of the year of peace, which took place, and while the bells were ringing, in token of joy for that peace; she was informed that the peace itself would lead to the commencement of another war, which would take place the following year; and that the former war was but a shadow in its calamities and distresses to what the approaching war would be. This was accomplished, for the present war was not occasioned by any new matter of contention, but by the articles of that peace; and as to the distresses already produced by it, I shall leave you to your own judgment. She was also informed, that gold would disappear in this land; and more severe judgments have long been threatened against England, but before they were to be executed it was said, that the nation would be raised to a very high pitch of boasting. Another prophecy published in the year 1801, says of the unbelievers in this visitation:
"The reasons all, are none at all,
"Of those that wonít believe,"
you may render this prophecy false if you can, and then much credit will be your due, as being the first who has done it since it was given. A cloud more witnesses might be summoned on the present occasion, but I think it is already proved, she possesses every mark, every evidence, and every qualification which is requisite to establish her mission beyond a doubt to be of Divine Origin.
The principal men amongst the professing flocks of this day, asserted, that these, and all Joannaís prophecies were false, and in opposition thereto, hazarded their predictions. They prophesied out of their own hearts, that there would be no war between France and England, for the French would destroy themselves. When this their prophecy failed, by the war breaking out as foretold by the Spirit to her, then they prophesied that it would be over in a few months, and we were going to see better days than ever. As to distress arising from bad harvests, no such affliction would visit this religious land. When peace was made, the song in the different religious assemblies was,
"Peace, peace is the word, and war is no more."
These false prophets declared, that England and France were so well satisfied with the late struggle, that we should have no more trouble on that account in our days. Thus have these Ahabís smooth prophets, persisted in their deceptions, while the divine calling of the true Micaiah, has been certified and established as clear as the noon dayís sun.
It is now proved, that Jesus Christ at his second advent, accomplishes the great work himself, and that it shall be preceded by a warning thereof; also that the person now warning, is gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and of course this is the time, when the glorious epoch shall be realized. You may now see by whom, the manner how, and the time when this great work is to be performed, and if we reject the message, we reject him that sent it, and such as do must abide the consequences, which according to the Scriptures will be most fatal. Having given then a sketch of the evidence of our faith, I must leave you to your own reflections and conclusions wishing you may act consistent with, and agreeable to your own declarations, where you say, you will do as the Lordís people of old did when they were about to engage in any great enterprise. Then verify your words, go and do likewise. You well know, those who feared the Lord, applied to, and acted under the direction and counsel of their prophets, and that alone insured their success, then act according to the practice of those good men in ancient times, and bear in view, the circumstance of Ahabís disobedience, and fatal consequences, that you may escape in the day of the Lordís anger. Be warned also by the fate of the Samaritan lord, who was trodden to death, as the effects of his unbelief in Elishaís prophecy. 2 Book of Kings, chap. vii. You have already engaged in one of the most momentous enterprises, that ever was undertaken by man; you have commenced hostilities against the Deity; but your effort and struggle against him, in the present visitation, will be ineffectual, and will most assuredly terminate in your own discomfiture; you will find you have a most
important interest at stake, which ought to stimulate you to prudence and caution. Weigh the subject candidly over. Give it a fair investigation. Put it in the balance of Godís word. Weigh it in those scales of truth. If you then conclude it inconsistent therewith, you will be fully justified in rejecting it as heretical, &c.
Our present and future happiness arises entirely from the meritorious undertaking of the ever blessed and precious Redeemer; but this does not render obedience unnecessary. Obedience is still better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. If ye love me keep my sayings. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Try the spirits, &c. These are divine commands whether we obey them or not, and are as obligatory as any injunction in the Bible; therefore the violators thereof cannot escape with impunity. When you obey these divine commands, and act according to your own declaration, in copying after the Lordís people in old times.
I shall then be yours in Christian practice and
____________ o0o ____________
The following is the copy of a letter sent to three Baptist Preachers, at the Rev. Mr. Steadmanís Academy at Little Horton, near Bradford, who boldly challenged any of the believers in Joanna Southcottís visitation to meet them at the house of one of their friends in Bradford, on the 2nd December, 1813, to dispute whether she was visited by the Lord or not. We took the challenge and met them accordingly. They had the lead in the dispute, and they continued on every point so long as they found it agreeable to themselves, as the Scriptures evidently bore them down in everything they took in hand; yet there was one point, which time had not allowed us to touch upon, which they consented to have discussed on a future night; and which was by themselves afterwards, fixed to be on the 16th of the same month. The point to be discussed at this second meeting was, whether the power of the Lord had been manifested in behalf of this womanís visitation, as it was in behalf of the prophets of old. The question was stated, and the discussion agreed upon, in the presence of a great number of people, who had come in to hear the contest; but prior to the time appointed we received the following note, which though it was only signed by one, was found on application being made to them, to contain the intentions of all.
"To MR. RUSHER,
As you and your friends have entirely altered the design of our proposed conference, in making it so public, I therefore decline having anything more to do in the business.
Little Horton, Dec. 14th, 1813. JOHN JACKSON."
TO THIS WE RETURNED THE FOLLOWING ANSWER:
"To Messrs. Jackson, Sykes, and Williamson,
IN Mr. Jacksonís note to Mr. Rusher, wherein you decline having anything more to do in the contest you had entered into with us
relative to Joanna Southcottís visitation, you attempt to cover your retreat, by a charge against us, of altering the design, by making it public; had you withdrawn without this charge, perhaps we might never have troubled you further about it, but we cannot do justice to ourselves except we repel it, and prove, that it is not the reason why you have given up the dispute, which you so boldly, and confidently engaged in. At the beginning you gave the challenge, and after a long discussion upon some of the leading topics of our faith, all of which were proposed by yourselves, a second meeting was proposed by your friend Mr. Illingworth, and agreed to by you, in the presence of, perhaps thirty, or forty people; some of whom were your friends, some were ours, and some might be separate from both. When you had made your proposals in this manner, how could publicity possibly be avoided? But you may say the time was not fixed. We grant it; but it was afterwards appointed by you, when you thus knew that it was a matter with which the town of Bradford would ring; and of course publicity cannot be the cause. When we proposed to discuss the matter further by writing, or otherwise to have our next meeting publicly in our meeting place, you opposed it, on the ground that Mr. Steadman was not acquainted with it, and therefore it might be injurious to you, we then gave every thing up of that sort, and agreed to have it again at your friendís house, with a limited number on each side; and it was not our intention to break this agreement, but both our friends and yours, were engaged in circulating a knowledge thereof. But to view the case on another side: If you could prove Joanna Southcott an impostor, ought the inhabitants of this town and neighbourhood be kept ignorant of it, when many of them are greedily drinking in the delusion? And on the other hand, if we could prove her the messenger of the Lord, sent to warn the world of the near approach of their Saviour, ought not every means be taken to make this public? Is it consistent either with the example of the Lordís servants of old, or with the precepts and commands contained in the Scriptures? Was our Lord and Saviour ashamed to have it known that he both conversed and disputed with the Jews? Did he not even dispute with the devil himself and permitted it to be published? And did not Paul dispute in the Synagogues and Market places? And were not those he disputed with opposing the Gospel of Christ? Now if we are doing the same as is generally believed, how comes it to be a scandal to Christian ministers to dispute with us? Have they forgotten that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his ways, shall save a soul from death, and hide a multitude of sins? Do not the preachers also constantly inform their hearers, that it is the love of souls, which prompts them to preach? But we cannot ascertain the truth of this, because preaching is at this day both honourable and beneficial; but if anyone would endure scandal in order that he might be instrumental in saving souls, it would be an argument in his favour. If we had proved Joannaís visitation from the Lord, though we had never discussed your sentiments, yet it would have been a proof, that part of them would soon tumble to the ground; perhaps
you might fear this; but if you did, you could not believe yourselves of the church which our Lord says, the gates of hell shall not prevail against. We believe that the Lord will now completely fulfil that promise and will overthrow every attempt made by the powers of darkness, against the church he is building upon the visitation of his spirit to the woman, and therefore, we fear no attacks either from the wise or learned; yet if we should be mistaken, we still do not fear the most minute and strict investigation, for the discovery of our errors would be to our advantage; but as long as the learned manifest a fear, and dread the light that is come into the world, our faith must necessarily be strengthened.
Before you declined the contest Mr. Steadman was informed of it; therefore, that could not be a reason for privacy, but as you fixed the numbers that were to be present yourselves, you might have brought him at your head, as he would have been met with as much gladness and candour as another. From the above we think it plainly proved, that privacy is neither according to reason nor Scripture; and also, that the publicity of the intended meeting, was not the cause of your declining it; and therefore, we are willing for our own advantage, as well as the country in general, (and yours not excepted) to transfer the contest from a private house into the columns of Newspaper; where we shall meet any one, or any number, provided there be a proper signature, we mean the name of any one of the persons engaged, and we fear not the issue thereof, believing it to be an easy matter to prove, that Joanna Southcottís visitation is absolutely necessary to fulfil the Scriptures, and that without it not a preacher in Christendom can prove his Bible true, but armed with the advantages and information received thereby, not an infidel in the world can prove the Bible false. You may, perhaps, begin to think that your precipitate retreat hath filled us with arrogancy; but it is not the case, we have tried the ground we tread, and have often before now, made these fair and honest proposals, and that in a more public manner than we are doing now. If you consider to enter into controversy as proposed above, please to inform us a little beforehand what newspaper you decide upon, that we may put ourselves in possession of it; but if you remain silent, you may depend upon it, the populace will continue their opinion, which is at present rapidly spreading, that it is not publicity, but fear, and fear alone, which has induced you to discontinue the contest.
Here it was our intention to conclude, had not certain false reports reached our ears, respecting our late conference, which are circulated by your friends, and we have reason to believe by yourselves also, which will render it necessary to address you again, provided the offer in this Letter is not embraced; but as the vacation is at hand, we must defer it till that is over.
Bradford, Dec. 20th, 1813. Yours &c.
By order, JOHN CROSSLEY.
P.S. Anything directed for Mr. Rusher, or left with him, will be duly attended to."
This Letter was kept about two days, and then contemptuously returned, though only designed to encourage a continuance of that fair investigation of the truth, which they challenged us to, and which every reasonable man must say, they would have persisted in, if they had not found that we were in the preponderating scale. The Letter, notwithstanding, is not published so much on their account, as those who have laboured to justify them, by representing us as a contemptible and deluded people, totally unworthy of their notice. The preachers in and about Bradford, have not been inactive on this point. The respectable characters of these three men must be rescued from infamy, at the expense of ours. They seem almost anxious to bring on their own heads, and the heads of one another, the WOE pronounced by our Lord, in the sixth chapter of Lukeís Gospel, ver. 26, by causing all men to speak well of them. Indeed it is highly necessary, that those who intend to live upon the public, should endeavour to procure to themselves public esteem; but while they are thus seeking the applause of the world, they are unconscious that they are honouring us with the badge of our blessed Lord and Saviour, and holding us forth as heirs to the blessings promised by him to those who suffer persecution for his sake.
Before I enter upon a few remarks, on the unscriptural conduct of such professed ministers of the Gospel, it may be necessary just to notice the false reports circulated, and referred to in the above letter; they amounted to a denial, either wholly or in part, of the fettered and confounded state into which they were brought by the irresistible force and power of the word of God, contained in the Scriptures in behalf of Joanna Southcottís mission; and which they had not the assurance to deny in our presence, but we are now before the public, and are not contending for the mastery, but for the truth. I only mention it to satisfy the mind of the reader. Our proposal of writing to them again, after the Christmas vacation, was prevented by the Letter being returned.
Whether the writings now published to the world, under the profession of a visitation from the Lord, be in reality so or not, is a question of the first importance. Men of learning and talents may tell us they carry with them their own refutation; but even the ignorant in some cases, require a reason, as well as an assertion, from their superiors; and this they have a right to do, from the information communicated to us in the word of God. By St. Paul we learn, that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. It is probable I may here be answered, that the men who are foremost in condemning this visitation, without assigning their reasons, are such as have renounced the wisdom of the world, and received the wisdom that cometh from God. If this be true, how happens it, that the world which is going on without any regard for the knowledge of God should join with them? Is the world also, whose wisdom is foolishness with God become so wise, that they can determine without examination, what is from him, and what is not? Or are they watching the conclusions of these learned Divines and making Gods of them, by carelessly pursuing their footsteps?
If the latter be the case, it is no wonder that their wisdom should be foolishness with God; but if the former, the Scriptures cannot be proved true. The Apostle Peter strictly commands us, to be clothed with humility. 1 Epistle v. 5: But where is the proof of this humility, in those who consider themselves so far perfect in the knowledge of God, that he either cannot, or otherwise sees it altogether unnecessary to give them any more?
Again: in the same chapter he exhorts the Elders to feed the flock of God and to be ensamples to them. Now the pattern set by these men, who profess to be feeding the Lordís flock, ought to be such as the Scriptures point out, and with respect to prophecy, our Lord has bid us try the tree by its fruits, Matt. vii. 15, and following verses, assuring us that a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit, nor a good tree bad fruit. What is the answer now given to this rule laid down by our Saviour? We have no need to try the tree by its fruits? for we know if any one pretends to prophesy, that tree must be a bad one. A most serious reflection presents itself here; Jesus Christ, by whom the Apostle to the Colossians says, all things were created, whether in heaven or earth, knowing our weak and limited capacities, and how much we are exposed to deception, has directed us how to avoid the false prophets, and know and receive the true ones: but the creature, as if better acquainted with his own powers than he who gave them, can condemn the tree without a trial of the fruit. Is this the example which Peter bid them set to their flocks? If the tree that has now appeared, should prove a good one, and the fruit the real word of God, are they not famishing their flocks by their untried condemnation, rather than feeding them with that bread which the Lord in mercy hath provided for them? Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good, is likewise the injunction given by Paul to the Thessalonians. What kind of food then do the ministers feed their flocks with, who tell them, if they hear of prophecy, they must despise, as unworthy of their notice, both the prophecy, the prophet or prophetess, and every one of their fellow creatures who prove all things, in order that they may refuse the bad fruit, and hold fast that which is good? I have found no command between the covers of the Bible, to feed the Lordís flock with such food as this, and as this spiritual bread, as it is termed, which they deal out to their congregation, is advancing in price, as fast, or faster, than the food which keeps our bodies alive; I think it highly advisable, for the poor sheep to insist upon having it unadulterated.
The present visitation is enticing to the minds of such as are weary of sin, and all its bitter consequences; and therefore if it be a delusion, there is so much more need of our Divines stepping forward, to investigate and fully disprove it. From age to age it has been the employment of this body of men, to warn the people in general, of the dangerous state in which they stood, being exposed to the wiles and deceptions of the devil; who, as Peter observes, is like a roaring lion going about, seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter v. 8. And after delivering these faithful warnings from the pulpit, they have
caused their hearers solemnly to worship God, by singing
a Hymn suited to their discourse, such as the following by Dr.
ĎI hate the tempter and his charms,
I hate his flattering breath;
The Serpent takes a thousand forms,
To cheat our souls to death.
Almighty God cut short his power,
Let him in darkness dwell!
And that he vex the earth no more,
Confine him down to hell.í
The spirit now gives testimony to these truths, and announces to all the world, that this deceiver of the whole world shall be cast down, and chained in the bottomless pit. I ask then, if it be not well calculated, to draw the minds of such as hate deception? But if any one should teach a congregation, to offer up their prayers in singing to almighty God, to cut short his power, and confine him in hell, and at the same time not expecting, or desiring such a glorious event to take place; he cannot be one of those who hate deception; because he is a practitioner in it, and there is not much danger of him being led astray, by any spirit, which proclaims Satanís downfall.
The mind which is weary of evil and its author, is easily led by the spirit which visits the woman, because on examining her Books, it finds demonstrative proof, from the light which is thrown on the Scriptures, that such a visitation must appear, before the Serpent can be separated from this world; for our Lord says in the 16 Chap. of Johnís Gospel, that when the Comforter is come, he will reprove the world of judgment because the Prince of this world is judged. We do not find any such work proformed, by the Holy Ghost, when it fell on the disciples at the day of Pentecost, or afterwards; hence the Spirit of Truth, which can by no means acknowledge any notion, which invalidates the words of the Son, in whose name it comes, assures us, that he must be judged, prior to his being cast out, and by our Lord saying he would reprove the world concerning it, we are induced to believe, that the world must have the chance of joining with the Spirit, in concluding the sentence just which is foretold in Rev. xx. namely, that he shall be chained down in the bottomless pit for a thousand years. I am well aware of the opposition I shall meet with here; especially from such, as are not disposed to seek for an end to be put to evil; for they well know, if he stands a trial, and is judged, he must certainly fall. But perhaps many who are enemies to him, may think it a matter, in which no human being must take a part. I should wish all such, seriously to ask themselves, why the world must be reproved concerning the judgement, of the Prince of this world, if the Lord does not permit them, to take a part therein. To give the reader a fair chance of forming his judgement right, on this important subject, I shall divide it into four parts.
1. The promise that our Lord should have his heel bruised. Gen. iii. 15.
2. The promise that Satanís head should be bruised in the same verse.
3. The crucifixion of Christ, to fulfil the first.
4. The bruising of Satanís head, or his being chained down to fulfil the second.
With respect to the first, then I ask: Did the Lord pass sentence upon his Son, before the man Adam, had charged him, with being the cause of his fall, by giving him the woman? The answer must be, NO. The man in the 12th verse said, The woman who THOU gavest to be with me, she gave me and I did eat. With respect to the second then I ask; did he pronounce sentence on the serpent, to have his head bruised, before he had been charged by the woman with having beguiled her? The answer must again be, NO. Then the man and woman had a part in the beginning, relating both to the death of our Saviour, and the destruction of the adversary, and without them, the Lord did not declare his intentions. It is highly probable then, that He will pursue the same plan in the execution thereof, and that man must be allowed to take a part therein. But we live in an age when we can speak positively on this point, the death of our Lord having put it beyond a doubt, that the Lord will no more execute it at last, without manís participation, than He pronounced sentence at first without it. When He appeared on earth to die for man, if it had not been the Lordís will for man to give his voice in it, He might have died a natural death; for He could both lay down his life and take it again. But it may be said, the power was given to the devil in the fall, to bruise his heel. This I freely grant; but if the devil had had power to effect this any other way, than by working in man to kill him, he might have cast him down from the pinnacle of the temple, where he had placed him, and killed him in the fall. From these and such like considerations, it is very evident, that there was no other way, to execute the sentence on Jesus Christ, but by Satan working in the minds of such as had already suffered themselves to be blinded, and infatuated by his subtlety. A further corroboration whereof may be found by Peter, in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles: where he says, he was delivered by the determinate counsel, and foreknowledge of God; that is, he was delivered up to the judgment of men who had concluded that it was not fit, that such a fellow should live and therefore, there was a general cry of, Crucify him! Crucify him!
The chaining down of that vile fountain of all disobedience, and rebellion against God, which is the fourth part, only now remains to be done; and is it reasonable to suppose, after the unchangeable God has pursued the same plan thus far, that he should now deviate from it? NO. The Comforter forbids it, and warmly reproves the world, because they are more cold and indifferent now, in joining in judgment against the Prince of this world, than they were against the Lord of Life and Glory: Nevertheless, there are a few, and their number is increasing, who join with the Comforter, which hath visited the woman, in judging, and condemning that wicked adversary of God and man; and for their sakes the fountain of all goodness,
hath promised to remove him, if their number should not be more than fifty.
Those who hate evil are further encouraged to receive the teachings of this heavenly visitor, because it lays open to us certain things which are necessary for us to know, to enable us to judge the Prince of this world aright; and which we find are founded on the Scriptures, but which the human mind, beclouded by the fall, could not comprehend, until they were revealed by the Spirit, which searcheth the deep things of God. This revelation so needful at present, is promised by St. Paul, in the second chapter of his second Epistle to the Thessalonians, where, after having exhorted them not to expect the day of Christ at that time, he says, "it shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." I suppose this is generally understood to signify the Pope, though it is certain that neither the Pope nor any other human being, ever did, or could perform what is said of the man of sin; but if applied to the devil, it proves beyond all doubt, that we must receive certain information from the Lord, concerning him, the way he must be caught at last, by the wisdom of the WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR, working his will in the human race, to come forward against him, as he (Satan) wrought his will in the Jews, when they nailed their Lord and Master to the tree. The first argument I shall offer, in behalf of its being that infernal author of all evil, is his being called, the man of sin, an appellation which seems to me, to be neither properly, nor scripturally applied to a human being. In the twelfth chapter of the Revelations, ninth verse, it is said, that the old dragon, which is called the devil and Satan, deceiveth the whole world. Now, if he deceiveth the whole world, he deceiveth the Pope; and if the Pope is deceived, he is not all sin; but in this man of sin, there appears to be nothing else. This remark is not designed to justify the Pope in the blasphemous titles he has assumed, for though the devil is the great deceiver of all, yet the duty of man is to watch and guard, and by faith in Christ Jesus, to shun all his deceptions, so far as is possible in our present state and condition. If we take the Bible in our hand, and search from the beginning to the end, we shall not find anything but sin, or evil, in the devil. The difference between man and him is clearly seen in the death of Christ; for when he hung on the Cross he said of men, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." This was not the case with him for the devils had at different times, during our Lordís ministry on earth, acknowledged him to be the Son of God; and said they knew him, yet the very first opportunity, when the restraining hand of God had ceased was seized upon, by that hellish influence, to put an end to his life; so he is a complete man of sin, without the least mixture of anything that is good.
Again: Paul says, "He who now letteth will let until he be taken out of the way." That is, he who now letteth or hindereth the way of Christ, will hinder it till his removal. He who prevents Christís
dwelling with men, will continue to prevent that happy union, till he be banished from this world. Can the Pope perform this? If he can, who was it that prevented it, when there was no Pope? The complete union between God and man was put an end to by the man of sin, in the garden of Eden, and he hath stood in the way, and hindered a reunion from that day to this. The Lord can never dwell with man so long as sin dwells in him, and sin will dwell in him, till the man of sin be taken out of the way; therefore, it is said, in the twelfth chapter of Revelations, when he is cast down; now is come salvation and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ. He whom Paul says now letteth, and he whom John there says is cast down, are evidently both one; because his removal in both places, makes way for Christ; consequently, if we say the man of sin is the Pope, we must say the old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan is the Pope likewise; which I think is too absurd for anyone to receive. It is also said that he exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; and that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. The arrogant titles and professions of the Pope, are astonishing I freely grant; but whoever will candidly read a book published by Joanna Southcott, called "A Dispute between the Woman and the Powers of Darkness;" will see this blasphemous exaltation much clearer in Satanís account of his own greatness; and the want of power, wisdom, justice, and truth with which he charges God. Paul to the Corinthians also tells us, that he transforms himself, into an angel of light; and in this transformation working upon the mind of man, he certainly professes to be God himself. Thus the passage evidently proves that a revelation of the devil must be given by the Lord before the day of Christ can come; and when this revelation is complete, and he has had his full time, to work with all signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness, in them that perish; then as is said in the eighth and ninth verses, (2 Thess. ii.) there comes one after who destroys him with the brightness of his coming. My limits will not allow me to enter any further into the nature of the revelation of this man of sin; but must refer the reader to Joanna Southcottís Writings, where he will find a fulfilment of the prophecy, by his deeds from first to last being laid open, and the justice of God in all his dealings with him made manifest; as well as all necessary instructions for us, in consequence of being called upon, to join with the Spirit of Truth, in judgment against him.
That this revelation should come to a woman, sounds as dissonant in the ears of mankind now as Christís coming out of Galilee did to the Jews; and is at the same time as weak an objection. If the object of manís creation could be ascertained, it would be a key to this mystery; but this hath never been done by the wisdom of the wise, in any age of the world; and I should think, that every man who would seriously consider, that there was a time when we
had no existence as animated beings; but that it pleased infinite Wisdom to commence a work upon the inanimate dust of the ground, to form and fashion it into a man, and then to breathe into his nostrils the breath of life, that he might become a living soul; after this to subject him, with all his unborn race, to the power of an enemy, and consequently entail upon us all, a heap of misery and wretchedness, must decisively conclude, that some design which hath hitherto been wrapt in secrecy from man, must have actuated an unerring Being in this great work. If those who object to a revelation of the Divine Will, through the channel of a female, would give these mysteries which relate to their own existence, a mature consideration, perhaps another important question might arise, namely, If I cannot discover the design of God in the creation of man, may I not be equally lost in endeavouring to fathom his intention in forming the woman, especially when I recollect she was promised for manís good, but handed to him the evil? But provided it should be proved that a woman should be able to unfold these hidden things to us, and by the knowledge communicated to her by the Spirit, make plain the purposes of God when he created man; then it must be granted, that the same Spirit is most likely to communicate to the same instrument, the reason why he afterwards divided him into two parts by taking one of his ribs and making thereof a woman. The reason then given to her why the Creator brought man into being was, that he might be an instrument in his hands, to prove his justice, in consigning Satan and his angels to the place appointed for them. This we must take and try by the law and the testimony; for the Lord may have concealed this information in his word, that the truth may be demonstrated when the Spirit opens it. In the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, and the tenth verse, after the prophet has been clearly setting forth the sufferings of Christ, he says, "The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand." If we compare this with the promise made in the third of Genesis, we shall find the reason why Christ should suffer; or in the Lordís own words, the reason why the seed of the woman should have his heel bruised, which was, that he might bruise the serpentís head; hence the pleasure of God in the sufferings of His Son, is the destruction of Satan; for he took upon him flesh and blood, that through death he might destroy him who had the power of death, which is the Devil. Heb. ii. 14. This is the pleasure of the Lord which shall prosper in the hands of our Redeemer; and if man had never been created, and subjected to Satanís temptations and cruelties, the necessity of the complete annihilation of his power, could not have been made visibly manifest. In order to make it still more clear, John tells us in the fourth chapter of Revelation, that the four and twenty elders fell down before him that sat upon the throne, saying, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure THEY ARE AND WERE CREATED." If the pleasure of the Lord which was to prosper in the hands of Jesus Christ, be the bruising of Satanís head, which is the destruction of his power, or his being chained down in the bottomless pit; then for that pleasure,
the four and twenty elders sayWe were created. Now if this was the end for which we were created, do the four and twenty elders exclude the woman, in that great plan of Jehovah? The man at first was created, but the unerring wisdom of his Creator, (who had brought him into existence for his own pleasure, which pleasure was to prosper in the hands of Jesus Christ, by suffering death for Satanís destruction,) said, in the second chapter of Genesis, It was not good that he should be alone, therefore he would make him an help-meet for him. He then made a woman to be an assistant to him, that the pleasure of the Lord might be complete. This information is come by the woman. It is now proved to be consistent with the Scriptures, and the great end the Lord had in view in the creation of man is ascertained. The usefulness of the woman is demonstrative in three cases: First, in condemning the serpent, as having beguiled her; second, in bringing forth the son of God in the flesh, who was born for Satanís overthrow; and third, in claiming the promise, that he should suffer the curse pronounced upon him, which evinces the necessity of a help-mate being made for man, as he either could not, or would not do any of these things: so we conclude with the Apostle, that the man was not made for the woman, but the woman for man, and both were made, and suffered to fall under the power of evil to prove that the wicked one was not fit to be endowed with that power, which he claimed in the realms above. Here I must again cut short my subject, and again refer the reader to Joanna Southcottís books for further information.
From the foregoing perhaps it may be judged, that the happiness of man is excluded in the sufferings of Christ. Certainly not. The promises of God, throughout the Scriptures, are great to all those who obey and serve him, and many of them consist in the downfall of the adversary; consequently that same blood of the Lamb, which falls with vengeance on the serpentís head, shall purify and cleanse all those from iniquity, who now join with him, and freely yield themselves up as instruments in his hands, for the accomplishment of his purposes. In the eighth chapter of Proverbs, where Solomon is speaking of wisdom, which is generally understood to represent Christ, he says, I was his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men. The reason now is evident, because it is the sons of men who must be workers together with him, in completely bringing to naught all the hellish devices of that infernal fiend, who sought to dethrone him in heaven, and took away his life when he appeared on earth. When he sees men begin to partake of the same mind which was in him, he begins to see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied, as is said of him in Isaiah liii. 11. These words immediately follow those which have been before quoted from that chapter, namely, that the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand, and as that is clearly explained and substantiated, it will necessarily follow, that it is the same inclination, to have the enemy confined in that place which is appointed for him, which will give satisfaction to him who died for it, and his delight will be with such, as delight to see justice done to
him. He will therefore hear and answer their prayers, which are now made in faith, saying, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is done in heaven; also deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, &c. This prayer is repeated perhaps some hundreds of thousands of times every day in England; yet with no expectation or desire to be heard or answered; but in a customary manner, sound the words with their tongues, with as little knowledge what they are asking for, as the Jews had when they offered sacrifices of the typical representation of the death of Christ. So they expected the types of the Mosaic law ever to continue, and just the same do Christians expect, that they are always to pray to be delivered from evil, that they may do Godís will on earth, as it is done in heaven, but never receive that deliverance. This is not the case with those, who have believed the visitation of the Spirit, they are taught to understand that the Lord is faithful, and will not deceive the children of men, by bidding them ask what he never intends to give; but will cleanse and purify them from all iniquity; for while his blood calls in vengeance on Satanís head, it will fall in love on all those who are faithfully looking for his coming, and though their sins are as scarlet they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.(a) A complete new creation shall take place, and the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.(b) For he shall judge among the heathen and rebuke many countries, and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.(c) And all the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord, and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him. For the kingdom will be the Lordís, and he will be the governor among the nations.(d) In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of PEACE so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.(e) And then will he turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent. The king of Israel, even the Lord, shall be in the midst of them, and they shall see evil no more. For the Lord in the midst of them is mighty, he will save, he will rejoice over them with joy, he will rest in his love, he will joy over them with singing.(f) And their soul shall be made as a watered garden, they shall not sorrow any more at all.(g)
These Scriptures and many others, describe the glories and happiness of that kingdom, which God according to his determinate counsel will bestow on man here below, even on those, who obediently seek his honour and glory, and the overthrow of his foe; for his delight shall be with such sons of men, and their delight is with him, for like the four and twenty elders, they judge he is worthy to receive glory, and honour and power, but they have discovered no worth in the enemy, and therefore are at a loss to know why so many religious
(a) Isaiah 1:18 (b) Rev 11:15 (c) Isaiah 2:4 (d) Psalm 22:27,28 (e) Psalm 72:7,8 (f) Zephaniah 3: 9, 15, 17 (g) Jeremiah 31:12
people are now pleading for him. These promises, however, being held forth in the visitation to the woman, must have a tendency to draw the minds of such as delight in happiness, and also delight to see others enjoy it as well as themselves, which, I think, every impartial reader of the New Testament must allow to be a true Christian spirit; and hence, if the cause is a delusion, it is high time for the shepherds to inquire how they will stand, who either gaze in sullen silence, or condemn without examination; and thereby strengthen the faith of those who are led astray by a deception, so fully calculated to beguile the most upright mind.
I wish to ask the preachers now, who represent both us, and the cause we have espoused, as too contemptible to be noticed; what there is still wanting to complete the deception, and beguile the faithful followers of Christ? Do not they themselves profess to believe, that Christianity is comprehended in three things, namely; a hatred to evil, a desire to promote the honour and glory of God, and the universal happiness of mankind? This is what we call religion, and those who think it contemptible, had best give us a sketch of theirs. But it so happens, that many preachers only find out, that silent contempt is best, when they have already fettered themselves, by some kind of malignant observations, without being able to vindicate them. We have been informed, and apparently on good authority, that the Rev. Mr. Vint, Minister of the Independent Chapel, and the Master of the Academy at Idle, being in conversation on our dispute with the Baptist Preachers, said; It was beneath any man of PARTS to have anything to do with us. Had the Scriptures borne us down in the contest, I cannot suppose that he would have come to any such conclusions; but it is a shift which remains when all others are gone; and there is more deception in it, than in any other; because thereby, they think to keep their impotence covered up; however we are become so far captivated by the visitation of the Spirit, that we cannot remain silent. We are persuaded that the Lord is now waiting to be gracious to man, and that an incorruptible, and undefiled inheritance, is in reserve for those that wait for him. A man who is persuaded, that he is heir to a large estate, will not easily be prevailed upon to treat the person who prevents him taking possession of it, with silent contempt; he will take such measures, as he believes will be effectual, in recovering his rights; so neither can we treat with silent contempt, the attempts which are made to prolong Satanís reign, and to prevent man from seeking his destruction, and of course, to deprive him of the enjoyment of that kingdom, which was prepared for him from the foundation of the world. But what can be Mr. Vintís reason for considering us beneath the notice of any man of PARTS? We are either the little flock mentioned by our Lord, Lukeís Gospel, xii. 32, to whom he says he will give the kingdom, or we are deceiving the people; and there are some in his own neighbourhood, who are active in propagating the deception. What kind of PARTS then, can such a man have got, who exalts himself to such a height, that either the kingdom of Christ or a deception which may prove fatal
to multitudes around him, is beneath his notice? Is it the example set by our Lord, who came to seek and to save that which was lost? Did not Paul also exhort Timothy, in meekness to instruct those that oppose themselves? It is well known that both Joanna Southcott, and those who believe the Spirit that visits her, wish for nothing but real and substantial proof that it is not of God; and they will trouble the country in general, and the ministers in particular no more. If they are in possession of that knowledge which will perform this, why do they not bestow it upon us? The Lord hath bid us ask that we may receive, and seek that we may find; but when we only ask of these men, the very things which they profess to be commissioned from heaven to communicate to their fellow creatures, they say we are beneath their notice; because they are men of PARTS. It would be unfortunate for us indeed, if the Lord possessed such PARTS; for we might then use all the efforts we were capable of, and afterwards eternally languish under the weight of his displeasure. But it is evident he does not possess them, nor did the apostles, as they were ready to hand out to all descriptions of men, the truths which were made known to them, and to point out the errors, and delusions that were in the world. I cannot avoid believing, that Mr. Vint well knows that we are most of us in very humble situations in life, from whom of course, little could be expected, even if convinced. This may have some weight with men of PARTS; while such as make the Scriptures their rule, will recollect the words of St. James, who says, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? We therefore are not unworthy the notice of our Maker, he not being a God of PARTS. Perhaps if Mr. Vint would so far condescend to lay aside his PARTS, as to give his reason why he judged us so contemptible, a principal one might be, because we were illiterate, and even foolish; though St. Paul to the Corinthians says, God hath chosen the foolish things of this world, to confound the wise: And again, If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool that he may be wise. We have reason, therefore, in the midst of our folly, to be thankful to our kind, and merciful Father, because he hath not permitted any evil Spirit, to bestow on us these ungodly and inhuman PARTS. If the report, though apparently authentic, should not be in reality so, we hope Mr. Vint, for his own credit as a Christian minister, will contradict it.
The clergy of the Established Church seem disposed also, along with the other, to condemn us without examination, and when called upon, to treat us with silent contempt. The Rev. Mr. Hardy of Bradford, lately cautioned his audience to beware of, and avoid certain false doctrines, which were in the neighbourhood; and which he said, was a belief in the redemption of devils: his hearers charged it upon us, as being the people whom he meant, and who were propagating these false doctrines; nor could we suppose he meant any others; for which reason, our friend Maud sent him a note, wishing him to speak plainly, and inform him who these dangerous people were, that his advice might be attended to: He received
the note but made no reply to the request; thereby proving he either did not know that such a people were in the neighbourhood, or otherwise he did not judge the doctrine of the redemption of devils, so dangerous as he represented in the pulpit; but whatever knowledge he has of us, or our sentiments, I shall here answer to the charge; and if we, together with his congregation, be wrong in making the application, he may have another opportunity of informing us whom he did mean.
According to Joanna Southcottís writings, when man has answered the end for which he was created, by being an instrument in Godís hand to prove his justice clear, in condemning and punishing these fallen angels; then the faithful shall be exalted to those seats of bliss which they had occupied before their fall; and as we hope by the grace of God through Christ Jesus, to be a part of them, we feel very unwilling to resign those blessed abodes at any future time into their possession; but we do not know of any passage in the Scripture, or in the visitation of the Spirit, which lays any foundation for fear on that account. According to the best conclusion I am hitherto able to draw, Satan and his angels will be separated at the day of judgment, and that finally from the society of men, and the angels who remained faithful. When that separation takes place, it is said in the book called, The Answer of the Lord to the Powers of Darkness, that the Lord will sit, and judge in righteousness; and pass a just sentence,
"And to eternity it must endure,
Firm as the heavens, and never alter more."
Hence I cannot suppose, that they will evermore enjoy an union, with Godís other creatures; nor do I think it my duty at present, to seek for their recovery, for I do not find any reason to believe, that they have sought for mine. We comfort ourselves with a hope, that we shall soon be delivered from them for a thousand years; and we believe, if the Lord spares us to enjoy that rest here below, we shall not be permitted to fall a prey to his deceptions at the end: then, after he has had a little season he is said to be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which to the best of my knowledge, is the last account we have of him, so here I shall leave him to the management of his own cause. But why should Mr. Hardy charge us, with harbouring sentiments favourable to devils, when a principal charge brought against us by religious people is, that we are too severe upon them? The ministers of most denominations liberally proclaim to their hearers, that Satan must remain in his present situation as Prince and God of this world until the final day of judgment; at which time, by far the greatest part of the human race, will be eternally consigned to his rage and malice. Supposing this to be true, what greater pleasure could he wish for, except the Lord would leave his throne and place him there? Does he not want power over the creatures of God, together also with an opportunity of exercising his cruelty over them? And would they not gratify him, by committing millions of millions of those creatures into his hands, on
purpose to be tormented by him? Those who preach this doctrine, need not cry out about others being favourable to devils? We have abandoned these notions, on purpose to join with the Spirit of truth, to vindicate the justice of God, in pouring his vengeance upon him? But what ground could a minister of the Established Church have to complain against us, if we were propagating false doctrines? The cause which we have espoused, has lain at their feet eighteen years, with a promise, that whenever they would give themselves the trouble, to try it fairly, it should be relinquished, provided it could not be proved to come from God; and the offer has lately been made in the public papers, that if the bishops and the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy would come forward they should soon be convinced of its truth. Now if they should come and not be convinced, the cause must fall. And how can any man suppose, that a woman could convince them, except the power and wisdom of the Lord enabled her? Again, Joanna now says to all the clergy who condemn her, as she said in a Letter to the Rev. Chancellor Nutcombe, of Exeter, in 1799, and which is lately published; that if they will condemn her writings, when they have seen them, she will give up to their superior judgment; hence we must conclude, that if the clergy will not take so easy a method to deliver the people from false doctrine, they ought never to caution them to beware of it. It is rather singular to hear them call upon their congregations to join with them in prayer, saying, good Lord deliver us from all false doctrine, heresy and schism; and at the same time, to suffer false doctrine to spread around them, when it is given wholly into their power, to be instruments in the hands of that God, to whom they pray, to put a final end to it. Whether this can spring from ignorance, or sincerity I shall leave the reader to judge. If it springs from the former, I should think it could not be amiss to propose, as the Church Bible Society is in the habit of distributing Common Prayer Books also, that one should be given to each of them, to be used as a private companion, till they have better learnt the nature of the supplications, which they both use themselves and teach others; but if it springs from the latter, I know no remedy, only, that they truly repent, and unfeignedly believe the gospel, and that the rest of their lives hereafter may be pure and holy.
I shall next turn my attention to the Methodist Preachers; but as my book is nearly at an end, I must be brief with them. One of our friends at Ashton Under Lyne, in Lancashire, being solicited by an old acquaintance in their connexion, to give up her faith, and join their society again, put a book, called The Long-Wished-for Revolution, published by Joanna Southcott, into her hands; saying, if the Methodists could prove that book was not agreeable to the Scriptures, she would return to them again. The Methodist says, she carried it to the itinerant preachers of that circuit, the Rev. Messrs. Manners and Scott, and it was returned with abusive scribblings at the sides and bottom of the pages, though I do not hear that they produced any law of our land, which authorizes them to spoil another personís property; but if they are as ignorant of our civil code, as they would
make themselves appear, respecting the contents of the book, it is not at all marvellous, that they should never consider that there was any difference between their own property and that of others. Their remarks which charge the Lordís messenger with foolishness, presumption, and fabrication, with being a shameful liar, destitute of common sense, an impostor, a bedlamite, &c., are principally grounded upon parts of sentences, as if they had never seen a book before in their lives, and of course had no knowledge of any connexion. They accuse her of refuting herself, because in some places, she speaks of Jesus Christ as the Redeemer; and in others says, man is not yet redeemed. In the sixty-second page she quotes a part of the fifth chapter of the Revelations, where the four beasts and four and twenty elders fall down before the Lamb, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof, for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood; and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. Surely if they had been wholly free from that Bedlamitish state of mind, which they charge her with, they might have discovered that these beasts and elders joined the redemption, with being made kings and priests, and beginning to reign on the earth. Have they ever made their appearance as kings and priests? If they have not, where is their evidence that they are redeemed? Nothing is more clear from Scripture than this, namely, that the blood of Christ was shed, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and raise us from the fall of Adam; and it will be accomplished, when he makes his people kings and priests unto God, which according to Daniel in the seventh chapter, will be at his Second Coming; as the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High. Again, our Lord says, when he is describing the dreadful evils, which shall precede and attend his second coming, in the twenty-first chapter of Lukeís Gospel; and when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh. If redemption took place when he died upon the Cross, it drew near when he spoke these words; and consequently there could neither be sense, nor truth in them; for if it was so near at that time, it could not draw near again at a time so distant as is prophesied of in that chapter. Paul also proves to us that redemption had not taken place in his day, for he says, they who had received the first fruits of the Spirit, groaned within themselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of their body, Romans viii. 23. And to the Ephesians he speaks of being sealed to the day of redemption; and likewise until the redemption of the purchased possession. All these passages prove, that the redemption of man has not yet been accomplished. They quote Peterís first Epistle, first chapter, 18th and 19th verses; but they have not noticed, that the apostle is there speaking of being redeemed from the vain conversation, received by tradition from their fathers. How near this approaches to a redemption from the fall, may perhaps be a question, which neither I nor they are capable of answering. But I suppose they mean to insist upon it, that it
could not be said, ye are redeemed, except it had already been done. Upon this point, professors of Christianity seem to be more ignorant than the Jews; as it must be allowed, that very many things relating to Jesus Christ, were spoken of by the prophets, as being already done; yet the Jews believe them to be prophetic. The New Testament is evidently the same, as is demonstrated, by the following passages, Colossians, i. 13. "Who HATH delivered us from the power of darkness." First Epistle by Peter, v. 8. "Be sober be vigilant, because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." How are Paul and Peter to be reconciled in these apparent contradictions? Not by such arguments, as are made use of by Messrs. Manners, and Scott; but by allowing Paulís word to be prophetic, and Peterís descriptive of the present state of man exposed to Satanís wiles and temptations; though Paul spoke as if it had been already done; but if they had been delivered from the powers of darkness, they could not afterwards have to resist him as a roaring lion; hence it appears, that if these great and learned divines, who assert in their notes, on the 43rd. page, that the way the redemption would be brought in, and the Scriptures fulfilled, is plainly written in the New Testament, and has been explained a thousand times, were only so far acquainted with the Lordís method of communicating his will to man, as the Jews were, when they were both blind and deaf, they would not accuse the harbinger of Christís second coming, with refuting herself, and telling a shameful lie, in declaring to us the truth of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
They seem to be much opposed to the Lord setting bounds for Satan by giving him a command, and then removing him from the earth, for breaking that command. Perhaps they may think it impossible to do without him. But why is it said the Prince of this world should be judged, if there be no bounds set, or law made, whereby he must be judged? Does not Paul to the Romans say, where no law is there is no transgression! Then if no law is made, or bounds fixed for Satan, how is he to be cast down, and the sentence executed upon him? Again Paul says, "The law worketh wrath." But how is the wrath of God to be wrought against Satan, except there be first a law made for him, and it be broken by him? They say this is the production of Joannaís vain imagination. I cannot retort this upon themselves, for I do not believe, that their opposition to it, is the production of their vain imagination, but the effect of Satanís working upon their minds, who is very angry at the thought of having his bounds fixed, for he never intends to keep them, and therefore is jealous, lest it should terminate in his being cast into that everlasting fire, which is prepared for him, and his angels. We are happy however, under a persuasion, that all the Christian ministers in the world cannot keep him out.
In answer to Joannaís speaking of the accomplishment of the prophecies, which had been given her in the forty-second page, they say, What things has she foretold? They have heard of her assertions proving utterly false, &c. To this I answer, it was foretold
in her writings in 1801, as I myself am a witness, that Satan would stir man up against her. If this be not fulfilled, how happened this same Mr. Scott, when he was preaching near Huddersfield, about two or three years since; to say, "that the best of us, would both swear, and curse, and lie, and break the Sabbath." I know very well, from the acquaintance he has had with some of our friends that he knew he was telling a lie when he said it. And can we suppose that any man can stand up and profess to teach people the ways of God, and maliciously break out in wilful falsehood against his neighbour, if his heart were not set on fire from hell? Our Lord says, the devil is a liar, and the father of it; so I have heard of an assertion of hers, which has come true, and if he denies this statement, I have a witness ready who heard him. I think it would be advisable for our enemies to hold a general consultation, and try if they can find out a way to come against the woman, without fulfilling her prophecies; for their method of attacking us, has hitherto been a support to us. In the sixty-first page she is again speaking on the same subject; and arguing, that her writings could not come from the devil, because a liar could not foretell every truth. Here they remark, that if she pretend it, it is usurping the prerogative of God. I wish to refer all my readers, who have an opportunity of seeing the book called The Long-wished-for Revolution, &c., particularly to this page, and they will find she is pleading that a foreknowledge of all things is in God alone. What then can they mean, by insinuating, that she professes of herself, to foretell every truth? They must either be devoted to the father of lies, or they have read the book with that degree of passion, which has disabled them from knowing scarce anything of its contents; and in either case, we may discern, that vile and corrupt fountain of all evil, who is at enmity both against God and man, but who is at present come down in great wrath because he knows his time is short.
In the seventy-seventh page, she has quoted Daniel ix. 24. "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sin, and to bring in everlasting righteousness," &c. And because she says this is not yet fulfilled, they say, she is out of her depth; for it was fulfilled when Christ expired upon the cross. I ask if he made an end of sin at that time, how it happens, that we both swear, and curse, and lie, and break the Sabbath? And if we are not guilty of these heinous sins, how happened Mr. Scott, to LIE when he was preaching? Either we or he, must be great sinners, and I suppose he never means to deny this; because he gets his bread by telling people what great sinners they are; but I would not tell them at the same time, that Christ had made an end of sin nearly eighteen centuries since; except I intended them to understand, that I also was a Bedlamite. How long is it possible for such as consider these men as their spiritual guides, not to be convinced, that they are most egregiously out of their depth, when they endeavour to explain the Scriptures themselves, and to oppose the explanation, which the Lord is giving to his chosen instrument! ! !
In the eighteenth page, she mentions the promise made to her in 1792, of an addition of fifteen years to her life, which they say, must expire in 1807, therefore, say they, it was a false invention of her own, though neither they nor she knew, at the time the book was published, when those years began. I shall not here attempt a reply to this, because my bounds will not allow it; but will refer my readers to a book called, "The Master and Scholar Refuted" where objections of this kind are answered on Scriptural grounds, but if they think proper to make another attack upon that part, or any other which I have not noticed, it may serve for further discussion.
I shall now briefly reply to the itinerant preachers in the Methodist connexion at Colne; one of whom, the Rev. Mr. Worral, boldly affirms, that there are amongst us, those who make it their constant practice to sell seals, whilst the other, the Rev. Mr. Midgley, stands up in the pulpit, and addresses his hearers, concerning Jezebel, and after some comments says, I MEAN JOANNA. Hearing these accounts on the best authority when I was at Colne, on the 28th of February, I sent them a note, wishing to hear their reasons for their assertions, and acknowledging, that if either could be proved, the cause could not be of God. I informed them where I was and offered either to receive their reasons there, or wait upon them at any other place; or otherwise, to enter into a correspondence with them by writing. They received the note, and Mr. Worral gave the answer. That he believed it a work from hell, but they had something else to do than meddle with it. This seemed strange indeed to me, because I always understood, that they went out into the country, on purpose to prevent mankind, first, from being led by hell, and then from being led to hell; but now I am at a loss to know how any reasonable excuse can be given, for their traversing almost the whole world as they do. I had that morning, and the day before, received thirty names in the neighbourhood of Colne; consequently there were thirty added to Satanís number, and who may perhaps be the means of drawing many more after them, and though the preachers represented themselves as being in possession of such information, as would discover the infernal plan, yet they had something else to do than give it. I should be glad to know both from them, and all others, who are like them, how it happens that they have nothing to do, but, hold forth their neighbours as the emissaries of hell, yet have something else to do than give their reasons for it. A false witness never likes to be asked for his reasons; but if Mr. Worral cannot spare time to signify to us who it is, whose business consists in selling Joanna Southcottís Seals, he must be considered as another evidence of the truth of her prophecies, that Satan would raise up men, to cast out floods of lies, and persecution against her. I ask Mr. Midgley also wherein the likeness consists between her and Jezebel? Has she stolen a Nabothís vineyard? The rectitude of her moral character, though traduced by numbers of people professing godliness, is acknowledged, and vindicated by those who have known her from her youth, and who are not believers in her visitation. I have not yet heard of one single individual, whether friend or foe, who has had an opportunity of judging by an acquaintance with her, that
has any thing immoral to lay to her charge. Has she then sought the lives of the Lordís servants as Jezebel did? No; instead thereof, she has constantly solicited clerical aid, and humbly pleaded her own ignorance and inability. Has she seduced the Lordís servants? If she has, it is by leading the infidel to a belief in the Scriptures, and faith in the merits of Christ. It is by leading the careless, unthoughtful, and wicked, to forsake the evil of their way, to return unto the Lord who has promised to have mercy upon them, and to our God who will abundantly pardon. It is by leading the professor, who was accustomed to put too much trust in his preacher, or commentator, to the true light of the Gospel, and the patient waiting for Christ. Hence I think it behoves him, to take care, lest he should be found acting the part of Jezebel, who made it her study, to bring evil on the chosen servant and instrument of God.
Here I must draw to a conclusion, by requesting all who wish to contend against the visitation, to weigh the arguments in this Book with impartiality, and if they can be proved futile, or unscriptural, then let their pens be taken up against them, but I feel it necessary at the same time, to caution all men, to beware of anonymous scribblers, who prove to the world, that they are either afraid, or ashamed to own their own productions. Very few people are afraid to have it known, that they do good, but many wish to conceal themselves when their actions are bad. Beware also of such as the Rev. Mr. Taylor, at Queenís Head, who took the New Testament in his hand in the pulpit last Lordís day, and said, If this Book holds forth a further revelation it deserves to be burnt! ! The Lord has promised, that all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of him, and with his glory, which all the world cannot perform, but which he has promised to perform by further revelation, and his own Almighty power, and such men are so opposed to this mighty display of his goodness and power, that they would sooner consign his promises to the flames, than suffer it to be done, and if they had power they would also consign their author to the flames, or nail him once more to the cross.
Here I shall abruptly break off to insert a communication given to Joanna, concerning menís mockery, and leave the reader to wonder! ! !
The following communication was given February 4, 1814, in answer to the mockery of men against the visitation. The first was a letter we received from Sheffield, January 12, written as though it came from one of the friends, saying, they were in the greatest sorrow; for while they were worshipping Almighty God, at the chapel in the park, some incendiaries who were wrought up to madness by the Devil, set fire to the chapel in two places. In a moment all was confusion, some leaped from the gallery windows to the ground, and were dreadfully bruised; but the greater part rushed towards the door, the passage was stopped, and four were trodden to death, three perished in the flames endeavouring to save the books. When the engines came and water was obtained, some villains cut the pipes, the flames raged with great fury, and the whole of the building was burnt to the ground.
This was an invented fabrication by their enemies; and from a letter we received from a friend at Totnes in Devonshire, he says, The weather has furnished them with the means of a new kind of mockery, for there is placed on a wall opposite to his house, a large figure of a woman about six feet high, formed with the snow, and said to represent Joanna, and men, women, and children from different parts of the town, have been to see it, saying, "There is Joanna Southcott."
The following texts of Scripture Joanna was ordered to bring together: Psalm lxviii. 14. "When the Almighty scattered kings for their sake, then were they as white as snow in Salmon."
Psalm li. 7. "Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow."
Proverbs xxxi. 21. "She is not afraid of the snow for her household, for all her household are clothed with scarlet."
Psalm cxlviii. 8. "Fire and hail; snow and vapours; stormy wind fulfilling his word."
Lamentations iv. 7. "Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk."
Daniel vii. 9. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow."
Mark ix. 3. "His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow."
Matthew xxviii. 3. "His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow."
Revelation i. 14. "His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow."
Isaiah lv. 10. "For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:"
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"I shall answer thee from the following verse, the eleventh. As they have set up thee for a way mark, and formed the figure of a woman of the snow that came down from heaven, to say there is Joanna, so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it; for as the snow cometh down from heaven, so hath my word come down from heaven to thee, and formed thee in heart and mind, in word and work, that my will may be done in thee and by thee; and thy enemies which have mocked thee by mocking thy image of the snow, let them look to the Scriptures I have ordered thee to bring forward, and let them see what they have compared thee to; therefore thou canst not be afraid of the snow because it is compared to the purifying of the soul. Come to the words of the prophet Isaiah, i. 18, "Now let us reason together saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; if ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land." Here let them see this comparison of snow, to be made white like it, is through willingness and obedience; but if ye refuse and rebel, then let them see what followeth but destruction.
Then now let them look to the standard that they have set up: I have said, the woman clothed with the sun, is for the Sun of Righteousness to arise with healing in his wings, to heal the fall of the woman, to cast out the adversary that betrayed her, and bring in the redemption of man; and this I have warned thee is near at hand, that I shall come down to do, and now thy very enemies have set up thy likeness, as they have called it, of a woman pure and white, like the snow of Salmon, at the same time they see the kings are scattering abroad, and at a time that I have said, I and my flock must stand together white as wool. Here is the wool and the snow, both mentioned by the prophet; and to the whiteness of snow, they have compared thee. Now let thy enemies be thy judges, for what they have made thee, and what they look at; snow is compared to spotless purity if men discern the Scriptures aright, and this thy enemies have compared thee to. Now out of their own mouth will I condemn them; and from the works of their own hands will I shame them, because they have made thee a form of snow, that cometh down from heaven, and I have said thou art visited from heaven, then let them see how their hands have joined with my word, without discerning what they are doing.
"Now come to the words of thy other enemies, who said the flames were occasioned by some incendiaries, wrought up to madness by the devil, that arose in persecution against thy friends, and out of their own mouths they have condemned themselves, to acknowledge the devil is stirring them up, with madness and fury against the visitation of my Spirit. Here the truth was spoken by thy foes, to say the devil was stirring them up, for in heart they would rejoice, to see their lies fulfilled, for thy friends to be destroyed; and therefore the devil filled them up with lies, thinking to frighten thee. Here was truth and falsehood mixed together, it was truth to say thy enemies were from the devil, worked on by madness, but lies to say they had accomplished their ends, and this they will surely feel and know in the end, that all thy enemies are set on by the rage and malice of the devil; but they will no more be able to prove the truth of their words in the end that they shall conquer thee, or prove thy writings came from the devil, any more than they can prove the house was burnt, and thy friends destroyed in it.
"Here I have shown thee from thy enemies, how they are their own accusers and the truth of their own words they will prove in the end, that their malice is from the devil, and they are fulfilling the Revelations, and what I said to thee of the rage of hell, that would rise up against thee; for thy enemies are casting out floods of lies, to prove they are worked on by the devil, which is the dragon, that is wroth with the woman; therefore say not in thy heart, how can I bear it, for this I warned thee of in the beginning, what persecution thou hadst to go through for my sake. And now let them compare these two letters together, and then out of their own mouths they condemn one another, like the two false witnesses thou hast had before; for under a pretence to deceive, they called thy enemies incendiaries, wrought up to madness by the devil, and to madness they are going on, and their own tongues condemn them. But now I shall return
to the snow. See at what time this image is made, that they came to look upon, calling it Joanna. This is the first month in the year that I warned thee awful judgments would take place in, and how that mockery would abound, like the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, when by the angels they were struck with blindness; yet they still went on hardened, and so I told thee hardened sinners would go on, till they were cut off by death.
"But now I shall come to the purpose; snow will melt and turn to water-floods, and so will my words melt this year and turn to water-floods against mankind, if they go on as they have begun; and as they see the snow dissolve, they will find my words will dissolve, till I shall raise the floods in the hearts of men. Let them discern in what manner they have placed the woman, as a spectacle to mankind, and let them look to Sodom and Gomorrah, how Lotís wife was turned into a pillar of salt, for disobedience; therefore I said, ye must have salt in yourselves; for I shall make the woman salt for all, to bring her back to true obedience, and now they have made her a pillar of snow, and so all old things must melt away and new things must now appear, for the shadow will dissolve of the snow, that they have compared to thy likeness, yet let them know, the substance will remain; because the substance is in thee, and my word shall remain as a substance to true believers, but turn to water floods, to the unbelieving world; because various ways they will find floods of sorrow will come on:
"In mocking thee, theyíre mocking Me,
And that they all shall find;
From their own hands, they may command,
That mysteries lie behind.
The shadow see, they have likened thee
Unto the snow thatís white,
Then how with hell, can it agree?
Vain men youíve lost your sight!
You neíer discerned what you have done,
The snow came down from heaven;
And so Iíve said, my Spiritís come,
That to mankind is given.
So from their hand, behold the land,
What likeness men have placed;
That now in mockery strong doth stand,
But neíer discerned their jest;
How both alike began to fight,
To say thy foes from hell,
The others formed thee all in white,
Though great their rage did swell
To answer here, could they appear,
To stand before thy face?
No! soon the mysteries I shall clear,
How they themselves disgraced;
Back on their heads Iíll turn the whole,
And bid them answer Me,
How that a woman led by hell,
White as the snow could be?
Can they make clear, their Bibles here,
The way the snow is named?
In innocence ítis known to all,
Then how can they thee shame?
To place that way I now do say,
They know not what theyíve done.
And now come to thy other foes,
For they no more discerned;
The rage of hell, they said did dwell,
In madness to go on
Against thy friends, they did contend,
Then now discern the man;
Against himself, and all mankind,
He surely must appear,
To say thy foes from hell were found,
And his handwritingís here?
And white as snow, thou well dost know,
They say thy foes placed thee!
Then now together this compare,
See what these judges be;
That think to mock, and think to joke,
Of things they do not know;
They neíer discerned, what they had done,
But I shall turn back the blow,
On both their heads, as I have said,
Let men their folly see.
But Iíll end here and say no more,
For deep these types now be,
If men discern the way I warn,
And how Iíve placed the two,
For in the end ítis my intend,
To bring all to their view
When Iíve gone on to show them plain,
Their sayings Iíll fulfil,
And prove from hell, where darkness dwell,
Their hearts with rage are filled;
And white as snow, they all shall know
Iíll make thee in the end,
And prove from heaven the lines were given,
That I to man have sent;
Though spoke thee, to man they be,
To warn your nation all,
And as the snow begins to melt,
Just so your hearts will fail."
The above was taken from Joanna Southcottís mouth, by me,
March 26, 1814.
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