The Worldly Wise,
AS GIVEN THROUGH
"Here is Wisdom: let him who hath greater answer it; but let it not be answered by a Fool: or, in so doing, he will expose his Folly."
HANN'S remarks on the history of my life. He begins with saying, "Joanna Southcott was born at Getsham*, a small town in Devonshire, in the year 1753. According to Joanna's own account, at a very early period her mind was susceptible of religious impressions, and was much influenced by the truths of the Gospel. This is her own account: 'From my early age, the fear of the Lord was deeply placed on my mind and heart: reading the Gospel of Christ, and all the persecution he went through, made me love him, and fear to offend him; and I felt my heart burn with indignation against his accusers; and that as I grew in years, I grew in grace, and in the fear of the Lord.'
"Under these impressions, we may naturally suppose, that Joanna exercised herself very much in reading the Bible; and the more so as her mind was not diverted from it by other pursuits; for it is evident that she received but a very illiberal education. Thus given up to the reading and study of the Scripture, she of course became very conversant with the Bible, and retained a great deal of it in her memory. This was a good beginning; and when I compare such a beginning with the present state of her religious pursuits and the history thereof, since her religious frenzy took possession of her mind, it fills me with surprise, with pity, with indignation, and with horror. To Joanna may fitly be applied St. Paul's address to the Galatians: "Ye did run well; who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the Truth?" It was in the year 1792, that Joanna first gave herself up to the spirit of delusion."
I answer: As he began without knowledge where I was born, or what year I was born in, so without knowledge he hath went on in every thing concerning me, from his own suppositions. I do not understand the meaning of his words, saying I had a very illiberal education; without he means, that I had not a learned education; and this is true. I was not brought up to learning; yet I was brought up in the strictest religion, to be taught my duty towards God and man. But as Hann hath simply supposed, that I spent my time in reading the Bible, not having other pursuits, he is greatly mistaken; for I was brought up to industry, from my early age; and had so much employment, that I had but little time for reading; neither did I give my mind to study the Scriptures. But the love of God in Christ Jesus, set forth in the Gospel, made a deep impression on my mind and heart in my early age; and which was deeply explained to me from my mother; so that what I did not understand myself, I was instructed by her, as to what belonged to my own salvation; and that was all my knowledge, or thoughts concerning the Scriptures, and what I set my mind and heart upon as to what I should do to be saved. For the thoughts of death were always before me: when I saw the young die, I thought I might be cut off, a
* Joanna Southcott was born in 1750 at Tarford, and christened at Ottery St. Mary’s near Exeter.
s well as them; and when I saw the aged die, though they had lived to a great age, yet their sands ran out at last; so that whether I was cut off a flower in its bud, or whether I lived to old age, I well knew death must put a stop, sooner or later, to my life in this world. As this is no continuing city, therefore my heart was fixed on a better world, where joys will never end, and where sorrow can never come, if I had a building with God, eternal in the heavens. These were my pondering thoughts, without having much time to read the Scriptures, which I meditated upon in my employment, and made me earnest in prayer to the Lord for some assurance, that I had found favour with the Lord. My petition and answer may be seen in the 205th page of the Strange Effects of Faith. This was in the year 1772; and from that time I had always directions for myself, in every time of trouble and difficulty, which is already published. So that the visiting Spirit, which Hann calls a delusion, that came to me in ninety-two, had been my guide and guard from the year 1772 to that time: but then it came with power, to warn me of what was coming upon the whole earth; and from the past, that I have mentioned, never being deceived by the Spirit, and the holy fear that seized me, when the visitation came with power to call all the past to my remembrance, it fully assured me, that the Visitation was from the Lord. But as many religious people strove to persuade me, that none of the things I was warned of would take place, and that Satan was come as an angel of light to deceive me, and that I myself was not ignorant of his devices, this filled me with fear mixed with my faith, fearing that Satan might deceive me; therefore my earnest prayer was to the Lord, that He would be my guide, guard, and keeper, and not suffer the devil to deceive, by coming in His name; as I could not be a judge of invisible spirits, if they came in the name of the Lord, as an angel of light, to deceive; but as all knowledge was in the Lord, and all power was in His hands, in Him was all my trust, and to know His will, and obey it, was the desire of my soul, earnestly praying, that I might not be deceived by the subtlety of Satan's arts. To my petition I was answered.-The Lord would set signs before me, whereby I should know, that the Visitation was from the Lord; and various signs of trifling things, as well as those of greater consequence, what should happen in all nations, were then foretold me; which may be seen in the Book of the Trial; and which Mrs. Taylor gave evidence of. (60th page.) When she was questioned, if any particular circumstance took place, according to my predictions, she answered,-"There was scarce anything happened to the nation, or to particular families, or individuals, with whom she was acquainted, that she, Joanna, did not inform me would happen before it did; and all were fulfilled, as Joanna predicted; and this continued for two or three years."
But as Hann hath brought forward my being deceived concerning my father's death, as a proof of my being led by the devil, I shall here give the account concerning my father; and at what time I was deceived by the devil; and the reasons assigned to me, why the Lord permitted it, as I have now my writings open by me, that were written at the time. As Hann hath said, that I predicted my father's death would take place in ninety-nine, I shall pen the particulars from my writings. In July, 1799, my father came to my sister's at Plymtree, when I was there; he was taken very ill at that time, and we judged him dying. I was answered-"In all thy writings, I have compared thy father to the nation in his life, and so he must end in his death; but the end is not yet." After this my father grew better, and I was shewn, in a dream, a length of chain, that went across a large field, which was compared to my father's life. My sister inquired, if the length of chain lasted a month; as we judged he could not recover; to her inquiry I was answered-
"The type is deep what lies behind,
Beyond the reach of human eye,
Or what your wisdom can discern,
When I from types and shadows warn.
When I explain this simple thing,
That I from types and shadows bring,
Doth she discern how I do warn?
Or know what's hastening on?
Thy father's death, thou know'st I've said,
Must like your nation come.
The type that's deep would make some weep,
If they could see it plain:
One month thy sister doth allow,
Before she judge the end;
One month you'll see your destiny,
What will befall your land,
From every step thy father takes,
And how his end doth come;
For suddenly I say to thee,
I'll take him unaware;
And like your land he now doth stand-
Let sinners all take care!"
This Communication did not explain at what time my father would die; but I judged, from the words, that he would die at that time. My sister said, if the answer was from the Lord, he would not die then. But the following year, 1800, in July, I was ordered to go to my father's house, and stay with him some time, which I did; and then was the time that the devil was permitted to deceive me concerning him, and told me, that my father would die on St. Swithin's day, and there would be thunder, lightning, and floods of rain. After the time was past, and I found I had been deceived by the devil, I was in the greatest distress of mind, and said I was punished for my sins. I penned my feelings in the following manner: My only hope and trust is in the Lord, that He will take me out of this world, that I have been so many years weary of; and I hope to go down to the cold chambers of the grave, where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest; and I trust, the Lord will pardon my offences and forgive my sins; for it is against Him, and Him only, that I have transgressed; as to man, I can wash my hands in innocence; no man can lay anything to my charge. When I had penned the distress of my mind, on being deceived, and determined to go home and burn my writings, I was answered in the following manner:
"Now thou hast ended I'll begin
To justify thy written hand;
For where's the man that can appear
To prove that wrong thou'st written here?
No: earth and hell may now combine,
I'll justify the heart of thine;
For I have tried thee to the end.
The arts of hell must now be penned:
He said, if I did thee disgrace,
Thou soon wouldst curse me to My face;
Therefore I tried thee all along,
To shame the tempter's lying tongue;
Because thy heart I well did know,
That with no lies thou home wouldst go;
Nor neither curse Me to My face;
But if from hell thou judg'dst 'twas placed,
Thou then wouldst curse the tempter's art,
That on thee cast such fatal dart;
If thou didst judge it came from hell,
Thy written hand the truth will tell.
But here the tempter thou hast foiled,
To say if I have thee beguiled,
To break thy heart, that I am just;
Then here the tempter's arts are cast,
Another way he did appear,
And said thou'dst hate thy father here;
If he should live, and did not die,
No more wouldst thou regard of him;
Therefore I tried thee to the end,
To see how then thy heart would bend;
Still for thy father thou'dst provide.
So here the tempter thee belied,
As thou hast for thy father done,
When all thy money here was gone,
And for thy father still thou'dst feel.
So here the fiery darts of hell
Are cast against thee all in vain;
For to thy God thou'dst still complain,
That thou hadst sinned in My sight.
I'll bring the mysteries all to light:
He said if I deceived thee here,
There was no way I could appear
To make thee to believe My word,
And judge thy writings came from God.
But now thou seest another way;
Thou knowest, like Job, I first did say,
That it would prove thy every cost;
For so the tempter's arts were placed;
The field is wide, thy heart is tried,
The tempter must stand mute.
For now to men I mean to come,
And with them all dispute;
I'll make it clear, I've spoken here-
Your Harvest now is come,
More fatal than it was last year;
The truth will soon be known,
That men appear like Satan here,
And all did boast too soon;
But when you see your harvest clear,
Your sun will cloud ere noon.
Like Satan stands, I say your land;
The end will make them mute.
"But thou sayest thou art deceived in whom thou hast believed. Hitherto was My permission, to give Satan the advantage over thee, concerning thy father's death; but My words I shall fulfil, concerning the harvest, and they will find, that this boasted plenty will bring a scarcity; for ye do not discern, that man cannot live by bread alone: your pastures are dried up; your green fields are become white; the heart of the earth is become as dry and unfruitful as the hearts of men. Last year I sent rain to make the grain as soft as men, to judge thou couldest foretell what was to come of thyself; and now I have sent the scorching sun, to make your land as dry as the hearts of men. Yet, I said I would preserve My wheat; but as I told thee before, that Satan's arts were strong against thee; therefore I tried thee to the utmost, in thy father's house to see what was in thee, and to see if thou wouldest proceed, if thou judgedst thy writings were not from God; and when I saw the sorrows of thy heart, when thou hadst room to judge thyself deceived, and thy resolution fixed to go home and destroy all thy writings, if thou couldest judge them not of God, thou wouldest not invent any cunningly devised fable to deceive mankind; nor proceed to say the Lord saith, if thou hadst room to believe the Lord had not spoken; I then told thee what Satan had said concerning thee, and the reason why thy father's days were prolonged-
"In the beginning Satan came,
Now in the ending 'tis the same;
And let them judge thy written hand,
How his temptations there do stand;
And now the ending doth appear,
I tell thee plain he did tempt thee here,
When he did tell thee such a lie,
To say thy father he would die,
Before that August did appear,
On Swithin's day, now thou seest clear;
But all his arts proved there in vain;
Thy hand will prove how great thy pain,
When thou didst fear thou wast misled,
And by the tempter wast betrayed.
In the beginning it was so-
The heart of Eve no man doth know,
When she saw plain she was betrayed,
And by the serpent so misled,
How much her heart within did bleed;
And in the ending this is said,
The woman's conqueror shall appear,
To wound the head of Satan here;
And now the ending it is come,
My promise great I'll now perform:
For great My promise was at first,
And I'll fulfil it at the last."
The above Communications I have had copied from my writings, written in 1799 and 1800, that every one may judge for himself, from the reasons assigned, why the Lord permitted Satan to deceive me concerning my father's death. After this was copied off, I had the following answer given me, February 6th, 1811.-
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Let him that reproves answer, how Satan, that had no knowledge to speak the truth concerning a man, that appeared dying daily before you, should have a knowledge of all the events that have taken place since 1792. Had one spirit told thee the whole, in one likeness all would have come; but it was to show thee in what likeness men and devils stand together, where Satan's working is strong in men, that ye may see his arts in them, that I ordered thee to go to thy father, to be tempted of the devil, that thou mayest be a clear judge, that no truth comes from him, and to show thee, from his arts, what his working is in mankind; but now let all men discern, where I permitted the devil to deceive thee, it was in a thing that was of no consequence to mankind, and wherein they could be no judges, that thy Visitation was from the Lord. If thou hadst prophesied of thy father's death, and he had died at the time, know, thy father was old and stricken in years, judged to be on a dying bed; had I told thee that that sickness was unto death, that he would die within a month, I ask thee, what prophecy that would have been, to convince any? Would not men say, thou judgedst by appearance; but now discern what I told thee-He was in a chain, like the nation; and now discern how thy father went on in that chain: did not his weakness increase? his sorrows increase? his burden increase? Call to thy remembrance what he went through; and how the dearth began that year; how it increased the following year. So that like the nation thy father's sorrows increased: he was but raised from a sick bed to go through greater sorrows than he experienced before; so now discern your nation, when they were freed from one sorrow of the war, that brought distresses upon them at first, see how their burdens have increased to rise greater by the last. This ye may discern, from what followed thy father, and what followed the nation; but now I ask thee, what type could I have brought round of thy father, to be deep and weighty to the nation, if I had taken him at that time? But know, I told thee in the beginning, that it would be in a day unknown; and perfectly so it happened to thee. But when I ordered thee to put the Bishop's death in Pomeroy's hand, as a sign to him, that thy visitation was from the Lord, I told thee he would die at the end of the year, though he was then in perfect health, when I ordered thee to put it into his hands; but at the end of the year he died; and so thou knowest, concerning the war, what I ordered thee to put in his hands, that was unknown to all men, what the event of that year would be, yet thou knowest, it followed as I had revealed it to thee; the same thou knowest of the harvests, that I warned thee of (the years 1799 and 1800) the one to be hurt by rain, the other by the sun, and the greatest injury would be done by the sun. These were perfectly fulfilled to my words; and let them discern, in the time of peace, what I told thee was hastening on, of the war, and how it hath hastened on, as I told thee. Now let him that reproves answer, how all these things, that appeared so unlikely to men, that they had no knowledge of, what the harvests would be, or how the war would break out, and how Buonaparte would go on to conquer; let them answer, how this knowledge came from the devil, which they see and feel, before their eyes; when they see that the devil hath not knowledge enough to tell thee one truth concerning thy father. Yet that was a thing they would not have discerned, or felt, if the devil had had knowledge enough to have told thee the time of his death; but this, thou knowest, he could not do; and therefore I permitted him to tempt and try thee, to prove to mankind, that there is no truth nor knowledge in the devil. But if thy Visitation had been from him, all would have been like thy father's death, without any truth to follow; for when Satan assured thee he would die My wisdom was to prolong his life; because I told thee it would be in a day unaware. So let not men boast any more, that knowledge is in Satan, or in thee, as the case of thy father proves the contrary, that Satan could not tell thee one word of truth concerning him. So what happened concerning thy father is to prove the folly in mankind, to place knowledge and wisdom in the devil, who could not foretell what would happen in a thing that appeared likely: let them answer, how he could foretell what appeared so unlikely."
The Communications concerning my father, and the answer that is now given me, I was ordered to put in print, and leave every one to judge for himself. As it is the Spirit that visits me Hann hath condemned, it is the answers given by the Spirit I am ordered to publish: my own thoughts I shall conceal.
Hann hath brought forward these words in mockery, from the 119th page, Second Book of Sealed Prophecies:-
"In the green tree this was done:
Thou must suffer like thy Master,
For the stubborn sons of men;
Their chastisement is laid on thee,
By thy stripes they healed must be,
If they will be healed at all:
Now is the time to stand or fall."
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Now I shall explain the meaning of the words, saying, 'By thy stripes they must be healed, if they will be healed at all'-because it is by the persecution, and by the enmity that is worked in man, so strongly kindled by the devil. Those that will be healed at all must now see their Bibles clear, that I am coming to fulfil the promise made to the woman in the Fall, that the enmity is kindled between Satan and the woman, between his seed and her seed. This, they must discern, was foretold in the beginning, what enmity would be kindled when I come to bruise his head, and cast out the prince of this world, that the kingdoms of this world might become the kingdom of the living God. This they must discern from the first; and then let them come to the last, which is the Revelation shewn to John: how the enmity would be kindled, and what floods Satan would work in man to cast out in malice against the woman, when I come to bring in the Redemption of man. These Scriptures men must discern, in what manner they were first spoken, and then they must discern in what manner I warned thee, that men would act when thy writings went out in the world: how I warned thee, when the living water gushed out, the dirty water would froth and foam, and thou wouldest see the fury appear; and how I warned thee of the believers, and shewed thee, from the different fruit, what would be the different conduct in them-that would appear in true believers and pretended believers; that some would act like My followers of old, that went back and walked no more with Me, while others would be like My faithful disciples, that stood steadfast and unshaken to the end; some I shewed thee would come in like Judas, with a black veil round them, while others would remain on the trees to ripen and be good. These things I shewed thee, before they appeared; and then I brought them to My Gospel, of the net being cast into the sea, gathering in good and bad; and some coming in without faith, which I told thee were thieves and robbers. Now let man discern in what manner My Bible stands, and what visions I shewed thee, to prove that the likeness would appear; then let men discern in what manner every likeness is come together, and how thou hast went through all the persecution, that is spoken of in the Fall, where the promise stands of My bruising the head of the adversary, that betrayed the woman. Let them weigh it with My Gospel, and the visions shewn to John; then they may discern the meaning of My words, saying, 'By thy stripes they must be healed,' seeing, according to the Scriptures, as all is foretold, and all the visions I have shewn thee, before thy writings went out in the world, to have the truth tried and proved; and now they see the truth appear according to My Bible, and the Visitation of My Spirit, that thou hast went through the whole, it is these stripes that must convince them, that I am coming to fulfil the promise; as all these persecutions were foretold in the Scriptures what the woman had to go through, when I come to avenge her of her adversary, and bring in the Redemption of man. Therefore I said thou must suffer, like thy master, the temptations of the devil, and the persecutions of men, before they would be convinced, that the fulfilment of My Bible was at hand. Now from all these things, they must be convinced, if they will be convinced at all, that I suffered My heel to be bruised, for the transgression of man, to fulfil the promise, that was made to the woman; therefore it is by men's discerning in what manner I visited thee at first, and what I warned thee would go from nation to nation, and what thou hadst to go through thyself, seeing the truth of all fulfilled, and how it was spoken in the Creation of man; these things they must discern, before they will look unto me to the ends of the Earth to be saved. Therefore the persecution thou hast went through must convince them, to turn unto me, and look for their Redemption, to be redeemed from the Fall; for though they are not healed by thy stripes, but mine; yet, by thy going through what was spoken in My Bible, and what I warned thee of, it must convince them of the promise being petitioned for, before I shall come to fulfil it; and they must be convinced of the truth of My visitation, that I am come to warn of the end, and grant men their petition at last, as I gave up My life by man's petition at first. Thus, by thy stripes, that thou hast suffered, through the persecution of men, they must have the eyes of their understanding opened, to discern the promise, how it stood, how it must be pleaded, and how it will be fulfilled. This is the meaning of My words; and they must discern from My Gospel, that I bid them ask, to receive in my name, that their joys might be full; and now I will tell thee why I bade them ask in My name, to have their joys to be full; because I took man's nature upon me to suffer for the transgression of the Fall, and have My heel bruised, that I might bruise the Serpent's head; therefore it is My sufferings must be pleaded, that through them I might destroy your adversary. And let them discern, I taught them to pray for My Kingdom to come; all I promised in My Gospel to fulfil I ordered men to petition for. I promised your Redemption; and the prayer I taught men was to pray for My Kingdom to come, and My will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven; then it must be a Kingdom of Righteousness and Peace; and I have revealed to thee what they ask for-to have their adversary cast out, that My Gospel may be fulfilled, that your Redemption may take place. Here I have shewn thee the meaning of My words, how by thy stripes they must be healed, seeing the truth before them, that they could not see another way. Hadst thou not went through a life that the Scriptures foretell, and I warned thee of before, to give eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and understanding to those that never understood the meaning of My Gospel, any more than Hann understood the meaning of the words he hath brought forward to upbraid thee with, men might be filled with unbelief. Yet I do not tell thee, that men like him will ever have the eyes of their understanding opened to discern the promise that was made in the Fall, or My Gospel, how men can be healed by My stripes, any more than he understood how they were healed by thine; and yet I tell thee there are thousands, that do not understand the meaning of the words, but they will see it clear hereafter, the way they must be healed of their unbelief, by comparing the whole together. But these things were never thought of by thee, before the Visitation of My Spirit came, to order thee to prophesy in My name-it was never a thought of thy heart what was coming upon the whole earth, before I revealed it to thee-it was never a thought of thy heart, that My Kingdom was at hand, before it was revealed to thee by me-it was never a thought of thy heart, that the promise made in the Fall should be pleaded, before it was fulfilled, of casting out the Serpent, that betrayed the woman-this was no more in thy thoughts than others, before I revealed it to thee-neither hadst thou a thought in thy heart, that, as men pleaded for My death, before I gave up My life for the transgression of man, so in like manner men must plead for Satan's destruction, and his power to be cut off-but these thoughts never came into thy mind, before My will was revealed unto thee-neither was it a thought in thy heart, that to fulfil the Scriptures, and prove I was the desire of nations, that that desire should be made manifest by men's petitions and request, that My sayings might be fulfilled-Ask and receive, that your joys may be full-but these were no thoughts of thine, before they were all revealed by me. Then now I ask men, who they make the impostor, thee or me? In thy heart thou answerest, it is the Spirit that visits thee is made the impostor by mankind; then now let them discern, that they are doing despite to the Spirit of God, and crucifying the Lord afresh; because it is the Spirit they are condemning-and in thy heart thou answerest, it is the Spirit they must condemn, if thou art deceived, in whom thou hast believed; and the thoughts of thy heart thou canst not conceal; for all thy ponderings are known to me. Thou hast pondered deeply in thy heart of all the truths that have followed My words, and how the signs, that were set before thee to prove it came from the Spirit of Truth, were placed by wisdom beyond the understanding of man, far beyond any wisdom that could ever be in thee, from the way it was placed and fulfilled; and thou hast discerned from My Gospel how I promised to send the Spirit of Truth in the end; that the Comforter should come to warn you of the end; that I was to come to bring in the Redemption of man, to those that believe in me, that in the end I shall overcome the world that is full of sin and sorrow, and then in me ye shall find peace; because I shall establish My Kingdom in peace; and thou hast discerned, from My Gospel, how strong was the command given by Paul, that ye should not quench the Spirit, nor despise Prophecies; and how often the Apostles spoke of My being revealed in the end; that the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. These things thou hast been pondering in thy heart, since Hann's books came to thee; therefore thou sayest within, if thou art deceived, the Scriptures cannot be true, for the eye of the Lord to be everywhere present, and for everything to be open to His view, to be a strong tower and rock of defence unto them that trust wholly in Him, and to have all power in His hands; this thou sayest cannot be, if I have permitted Satan to deceive thee, by giving him knowledge to foreknow and power to fulfil, and to come according to My Gospel; this thou sayest, thou canst not believe, that he hath power to accomplish, if the Scriptures be of God, as thy heart and thoughts were known to Him, that to know the will of the Lord and obey it was the earnest desire of thy heart. But if Satan, by arts, had tried to hinder thee from running well, by setting signs before thee to deceive thee, the Lord would never put it in his power to accomplish them, but soon convince thee of the whole, as he convinced thee in the lies, that Satan told thee of thy father's death. This thou wast soon convinced of, by the truth not following; for which reason thou wast determined in thy heart to destroy thy writings, before I told thee for what reason I permitted Satan to deceive thee; and My truth of the harvest immediately followed, which truth thou judgedst in thy heart would not have followed, if the words had been spoken by the devil; and to convince thee if it was so, the Lord would not have fulfilled His words. Thus thou hast been pondering in thy heart, that all would have come like thy father's death, which did not take place as it was spoken by the father of lies; in like manner thou hast judged of the whole; for which reason thou sayest in thy heart, thou canst not fear death, if there is a possibility for thee to be deceived: for then the Prophets and Apostles must be deceived the same, as their words are not yet fulfilled, but in part, like thy prophecies. Now to thy thoughts I shall answer, and let men answer, what they judge of the Scriptures, what they judge of My Gospel, and what they judge of their Creator, if they judge thou art deceived by My giving knowledge to the devil, that he may come as an angel of light to deceive thee. For I now tell thee, it is perfectly like Hann's judgment, in the Creation-that I gave a command to man, and what should befall him if he broke My command; and then gave wisdom and knowledge to the serpent, and gave him a speech, that he might betray. In this judgment what doth he make of his Creator, in the beginning; but in such judgment he is going on to judge his God; because, in reading thy writings through, he must have discerned the truths that have followed. And now, out of his own mouth, will I condemn him, as he hath owned, that thou didst run well from the years fifty-three to ninety-two, before some spirit deceived thee; then let him discern, thou hadst nine years to prove that spirit, before thou publishedst to the world, and what truths followed in that time; then let men answer, what a man like him must judge of his Creator; for was he to be called to My Bible, that he hath mocked thee for saying it is a "Sealed Book," sealed up from the knowledge and wisdom of man, to point out the way that I shall fulfil it-was this demand to be made of him, he would be more at a loss to explain the Scripture, and make it true, how it can be fulfilled, without the visitation of My Spirit, to make the crooked paths straight before them, to bring men to the knowledge of their God, to know My ways and My decrees, that the whole earth may be filled with My goodness, that all may know the Lord, from the greatest to the least. This is impossible for Hann to explain, or the Bishop that he hath sent to; they cannot explain so clearly the truth of the Scriptures, in the part that stands for the end, as thou canst explain the truth of thy writings, that hath been fulfilled since ninety-two.
"Now come to the words that Hann hath mocked as My severity, in giving a command to thee: and so have the Atheists mocked the Scriptures, where My threatenings stand; for I now tell thee, there is not anything that Hann hath brought forward in mockery against thee, or thy Prophecies, but what is brought forward by mankind against the Scriptures, from the beginning to the ending; and as he hath brought forward the prophecies that are not fulfilled, and left those that have been fulfilled, perfectly so have the Atheists brought forward the Scriptures; for which reason they are so fast increasing; and there are many, that have good hearts, that are blinded and deceived by such artful writers, whom Satan's arts stir up at the first. But now I ask the worldly wise men, how they will convince such men from the Scriptures, before the day comes upon them unaware? Let them see Hann's remarks on thy writings, how he hath mocked My saying, that the end of all things was at hand, that My Kingdom of righteousness and peace should be established. This I warned thee of; but as it is not fulfilled already, he hath mocked thy Visitation, judging it will never be, without discerning what I said should first take place, to awaken all nations. Now, as he hath mocked, that there is no fulfilment, because righteousness and peace are not established in the earth in so few years, what must men like him judge of the Scriptures, that are not yet fulfilled in so many years? For men like Hann overlook the progress of the Bible, in what manner the prophets prophesied of My coming, first to suffer for the transgression of man, before I come in power to destroy the power of evil, and to be the Prince of Peace to all men. This they do not discern from the Scriptures, nor how the days were placed in the beginning, of the six days' labour, before it came to the day of rest; but the days of labour I said should be shortened, as men shortened My life, by the malice of the devil. But these things men do not discern, who draw their judgment as Hann hath drawn his; and so, from the Scriptures, no man upon earth can convince these men of infidelity, which is fast increasing, because the Scriptures being spoken some thousand years back, what the end should be, from the prophets that have not yet been fulfilled; from the Scriptures they never will be convinced, that they will be fulfilled. So marvel not in thy heart, that I have spoken in the same manner to thee, as I spoke to the prophets of old; and that men should have the same room to mock, from dreams and visions, types and shadows, that I have placed in thee, and to thee, as they have from the prophets of old; because, in the end, when they see thy prophecies come round, to their own shame and confusion, in a way they never discerned, and things go on to be fulfilled perfectly to the words that I have spoken to thee, but not as hasty as men expected; then thousands and tens of thousands will be as brands plucked out of the burning, and know the Scriptures to be the word of God, that what I spoke by the mouth of My prophets was spoken for the end; but if I had never spoken by the mouth of My prophets, that old things should be done away, and all things should become new; that there should be new Heavens and a new Earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness; and the rebuke of My people should be taken away from off all the earth; and tears be wiped from off all faces; if I had never spoken this by the mouth of the prophets, then there would be room for Satan to plead in men, to prove clearly that this Visitation was not from the Lord; because they were promises that never were made before, then they might plead it was not the word of God to say, that the power of evil should ever be done away, and righteousness and peace established on the earth. But as it was foretold by the prophets, before My coming into the world, and I told them I came to fulfil their words, that I should come again in power to destroy their adversary, and bring in the Redemption of man; yet, as years have rolled on and the fulfilments hath not yet taken place, I now tell thee, from the Scriptures, men will never be convinced, who judge of them as Hann hath judged of the prophecies given to thee; and therefore it is the prophecies, that I have given thee, that will convince thousands in the end, when they see they have been mocked by unbelievers, in the same manner as the unbelievers of the Scriptures have mocked the Bible through; and when they see from believers, that they have drawn a wrong and hasty judgment, as the believers in the Scriptures have drawn from them; so that in one likeness men will discern hereafter both will appear, the Atheists with the Scriptures like the unbelievers in My Visitation to thee; and the wrong judgment in the believers will prove the wrong judgment, hereafter, that the believers in the Scriptures draw from them, from My saying, "It was finished," without discerning the meaning of My words, that Satan's power was then finished over me, when I gave up My life a sacrifice for man; for he could have no power over me, when I come, in Might, Majesty, and Glory, to claim the Kingdom I died to redeem. But this men do not discern, and therefore they draw their judgment wrong, as the believers drew theirs, without discerning how I had ordered thee to mark what was hastening on, of wars and tumults, to fulfil the sign of the ten years. This they did not discern; and yet, in the end, they will see it clear; but if I had given all things in a straight line to thee, that believers could not be stumbled thereby, then it could not come round like My Bible, in a way and manner men did not understand; therefore I knew, as the Atheists had mocked the Scriptures, because they were not plain for men to understand them, so the unbelievers in My Visitation to thee would mock My words and sayings the same. Therefore I said the mock of fools they first must bear, as I bore the mock of fools, when I became flesh, and dwelt amongst them: for as Satan worked in the Jews to point out a light to them, what I must do, if I was the Messiah come to be the Prince of Peace, they judged, at that time I must have shewn My power to be as a prince and a king amongst them, and to have redeemed them from the power of all their enemies. This was a light that shined in darkness amongst the Jews; they discerned the ending, but not the beginning, what was prophesied of me, that I had first to go through. And know I told thee, that the same light would now shine in darkness; that Satan would work in the minds of men to point out such light as to deny the whole; and now thou seest what light he hath pointed out, to say, if thy visitation was from me the living Lord, the promise I have made of man's Redemption, to be freed from the power of death, hell, and sin, that I have said My Visitation was to warn you of My coming to do it at the last, Hann hath drawn his judgment, that it must be done at the first, without discerning all the other prophecies, that I said should be fulfilled, to bring the nations low; that I might be the desire of nations; that men may be looking and waiting for My Coming, to free them from all the miseries they are surrounded with; and to cut off those that are hardened, that would not that I should come and reign over them. But this Hann hath no more discerned, what is to go on from nation to nation, before I come to make an end of sin, and establish everlasting righteousness on the earth; this is no more discerned by him, than the Jews discerned at My first coming, that I should be rejected of them, and be wounded for the transgression of man. But had it come to their wisdom, the words of the prophets could not have been true, neither could the words of David have been true; but this the Jews will never discern, before thy prophecies come round to be fulfilled in a more clear and powerful manner than any thing that hath happened already. Yet in the end, by the Visitation of My Spirit, and the fulfilment of thy prophecies, I shall convince the Jews and Gentiles of the truth of My Gospel and the Scriptures, that I came to fulfil them as I said. This I shall do where the hearts are not hardened in sin, so that they have no desire of the knowledge of My ways, or to be delivered from the power of evil. Such there are amongst mankind, that will stand out to the end, and be cut off, having no desire to be convinced; but where the hearts are good in men, when they see the truth come on brighter and brighter, like the noon-day sun, they will have a desire to know whether I the Lord have spoken by thee.
"And now I shall answer thee further of Hann. He hath went on to make the Scriptures appear, as he said of thy writings, low and silly; as he saith, that My dealings with the prophet were according to his capacity, of what men were in his days; but was it now that I was to visit, he judges it would be in language more adapted to the wisdom and understanding of this present age. Here thy thoughts are right, to inquire if I did not know what this present age would be, as My Bible stands for the end: here he hath condemned the Lord for want of knowledge. To thy thoughts I answer: it must be for want of knowledge in the Lord, to speak by the prophets what stood for the end, if it was designed for the succeeding generations to understand it before the end; then knowledge must be wanting in the Lord, of what those generations would be. So he must charge God for want of knowledge, or want of wisdom to know how to adapt the Scriptures to the capacity of men, that should arise in this present age. But now I shall call thee back to the age that was in the time of the prophets; and let men discern how the prophets were persecuted and put to death; and let them discern the prophets that prophesied of My Coming: did they understand, in their days, in what manner I should come to fulfil their words? If they had understood this, then the Jews would not have sought My life, had it been spoken plain for men to understand it, then they must have sinned against light and knowledge, and My coming must have been for man's destruction, for their hurt and not for their good. But what was spoken by the mouth of the prophets was no more adapted to the wisdom of men in their days, for them to understand all the words of the prophets, than it is adapted to this present age. For, if all the Bible, and all that was spoken by the mouth of the prophets had been plain and easy to be understood, it would have given Satan greater advantage over them, to fill them with murmuring, and complaining, that they were not fulfilled-all the promises that stand for the end, to remove the evil and establish the good. This, I tell thee like Satan's working in Hann, of its not being fulfilled, would have been his working in all ages; and so the Scriptures would be despised; therefore it was My wisdom to conceal from the understanding of men the meaning of the Scriptures, that stand for the end; for which reason, various things of blessings and judgments are mixed together, in a manner that men do not understand; and therefore they draw different judgments, according to the different minds of men. But however simple the Scriptures may appear to the weak judgment and understanding of men, and however foolish the types and shadows may be, let them know, as I began I shall go on. If I acted simply with the ages past, I shall act simply with the age that is present, that all men may discern in the end, that in one likeness I have went on. But I ask thee and all mankind, how I could be a God, the same to-day as yesterday and for ever, in whom is no variableness, nor a shadow of turning, if I turn from the types and shadows that I began with man at first? This wisdom in man, that Hann hath brought forward, is from the devil, who worked in the hearts of men to have My ways appear foolishness to them; but had My visitation been to thee in a different way, and different language, in the highest learning that could be, without placing any types or shadows, any signs or landmarks, for men to walk by, in more eloquent language than ever was spoken by man, or even spoken by the mouth of the prophets; then Satan would have worked another way in man, and brought forward the very Scriptures I have mentioned to thee, to say, if it was of God, it would be in the likeness of the prophets of old as I spoke to them from types and shadows; and the Gospel would be discerned, that I spoke by parables, and the likeness of parables I compared the kingdom of heaven to; but what likeness of the Scriptures, would be men's reasoning, was there now in all My Visitation to thee? If it was to his judgment adapted to this present age, and in words and wisdom like the learned, then the judgment which men would draw would be, that from the learned all proceeded; for I now tell thee, that Satan will work every way to deceive mankind: and when the arts of Satan are joined with the wisdom of men, that their working is together, there is more subtlety and art; and, according to the wisdom of men, it shines brighter to deceive than Satan's wisdom when it shines alone. Look to thy Disputes with the powers of darkness, and Hann's Books, and then discern which of the two is most adapted to deceive the human race: and yet, from the folly of Hann, I shall shew plainly to mankind in what manner they wrest the Scriptures, and how Satan blinds the eyes and darkens the understanding of men, that give themselves up to be led by his will. This I shall prove by the judgment he hath drawn of the Creation, and the Fall. Let his words appear."
Hann's remark. He says, "The claiming the promise claims our first attention. This promise is found, Gen. iii. 15. 'I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.' This is the promise that Joanna pretends to claim, and the court with uplifted hands joins her in so doing. A few thoughts on the subject will evince, that only a literal meaning can be drawn from the text. First, the Lord was addressing himself to the serpent, and not to the woman; therefore what was said or intended was directed immediately to the serpent, and not to the woman; and to say otherwise would be to charge the Lord with that disorder that man would blush to be thought guilty of, I mean directing his discourse to one person, and intending what he said for another. I would ask the advocates for this promise, if they (on mature deliberation) can suppose that Eve and the serpent thought as they do? That is, whether they understand, that while the Lord was apparently denouncing a curse on Satan, he was in reality giving a most gracious promise to the woman? This is certainly too great an absurdity to be admitted. Secondly, that the serpent, and not the devil, is here intended, is evident, from his being called a beast of the field; from which it is also clear, that prior to his punishment he was a beast of the field and not an angel, as some have supposed. Thou art cursed (not above every angel or devil, but) above every beast of the field; his going on his belly also is applicable to the serpent, but not to the devil; unless it be supposed, that the devil goes on his belly: for the curse is, upon thy belly shalt thou go. His punishment being to eat the dust also corroborates the same sentiment; unless we suppose, that Satan feeds on dust. The term of the sentence also unites in support of the same: all the days of thy life; not for ever and ever, (which would have been most proper, if it had been Satan) but for the term of life. The remaining part of the sentence also, in the 15th verse, is very applicable to the serpent but not to the devil: I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. This, between the woman and the serpent, is most literally fulfilled; there is a settled enmity between man and the serpent; the serpent bites the heel, or endeavours so to do, and the man turns and treads upon his head."
In another pamphlet, speaking of the prophecies, he says, "Was I not angry at such blasphemy I believe God would be angry with me."
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Out of his own mouth hath he condemned himself, because it is the God of this world, that hath blinded his eyes, whose anger he fears and dreads; but the greatest blasphemy, that can be spoken against the Creator of mankind, is spoken from his judgment of the Fall, to dishonour God and free the old serpent, which is the devil. Now come back to the Creation, in what likeness man was created at first-'In the image of God created he him; male and female created he them; and God blessed them; and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was good.' Then now let men answer, from whence comes the evil? But thou sayest in thy heart, Hann hath placed the evil to be in the serpent, whom I created for man to have dominion over. Then now I answer, from a judgment like his he hath condemned his Creator with lying, with art, and deceit, with unjust dealing, and unjust sentence; first to give a command to man, to pronounce death upon him if he broke My command, next to give wisdom to the serpent, and make him a mouth and voice to betray, and then to pronounce a curse upon him for the very thing that I Myself had done in him. So marvel not in thy heart of any thing he hath condemned thee with, or the Spirit that visits thee; because, I tell thee, it is a thing impossible for any being to be made worse, or condemned with more cruelty, more injustice, art, and deceit, than he hath condemned his Creator in the beginning; for then My curse upon the serpent must be for doing the thing that I Myself had done in him; and to man I must act deceitfully with him, and gave him a command with a design to betray. Then I ask thee what salvation any man can depend upon from such a God as he hath represented? What dependence or what trust of his justice, mercy, and truth, can he rely upon from such a God, who betrayed man in the beginning, and then cast the blame upon him for being betrayed; who spoke in the serpent to act with deceit, and then pronounced a curse upon him through hypocrisy, to screen that deceit from the man, that he might not know the Lord had done it? I tell thee, he judges God to be another such as himself.
"Here thou sayest, My answers are harsh; but I tell thee, it is the perfect judgment he must have drawn of his Creator, in the beginning; then what trust can be put in such a God, to be saved by him? Now I shall answer his own words. It is the old serpent, called the devil, who is the God of this world, that hath blinded his eyes, and hardened his heart against his Creator whom he must judge will be angry with him if he casts the blame on the devil, to use the subtlety and art to betray in the beginning. And I shall answer thee further, from his saying; if it was meant the devil, he must go on his belly as the serpent does. To this folly I shall answer; the shadow was to the serpent, as it was in that form the devil betrayed: but the substance is in him, that in the end I shall cut off his power, to have no more footing upon the earth, than the serpent had feet to walk upon. But now I tell thee like his judgment of the Creation and the Fall, mockers and despisers of the Scriptures have drawn theirs to bring them into contempt; and it is through hypocrisy with the subtlety of Satan, that he hath made any profession, that it is for the honour and glory of God, that he is now come forward to write against My Visitation to thee; therefore let him boast no more, that he is speaking for the glory of God, or the good of mankind, in what he is now coming forward to do; for an atheist that denieth the Scriptures doth not dishonour God as he hath done; but was I to demand of him what he judges of his Creator, in the beginning, for what he hath asserted concerning the Fall, what answer could I receive? Thou answerest thou canst not tell, without he answers, it is to free the devil, that he hath drawn such judgment; and to free the devil such judgment is drawn, to cast the blame on the Creator; for in one likeness as he began to condemn his Creator, just so he hath went on. Let his words appear."-
Hann in his letter to the Bishop, condemns me for saying, the Word of God is as a book that is sealed, so that neither the learned nor the unlearned can read, (that is to say understand it.) These are his words.-
"Whoever believes this doctrine, my Lord, is an infidel; for infidelity is a belief, that the Scriptures do not contain the revealed will of God; which they cannot do if the Bible is a sealed book; for to be sealed and revealed is a manifest contradiction. But the doctrine, my Lord, is also big with blasphemous reflections on the wisdom of the Deity; for it must be very absurd for God to have the Scriptures written, if none could understand them. The absurdity therefore and blasphemy of this doctrine deserves the severest treatment. This, my Lord, is not destroying the word of God by piece-meal, but is laying the axe at the root of the tree. In a late publication, Joanna complains, with much pretended concern, against a certain Society, for expunging from the Bible certain parts of it. But, however just and commendable such a complaint may be in Christians, it is in infidels notorious hypocrisy; for while those are only pruning the tree, these are destroying it root and branch. And this is done by every one who says, or believes the Bible is a sealed book. This is not all; Joanna, in saying the Bible is a sealed book, is much worse than an open infidel; for while he reflects only on the blindness of man, she casts an odium on the Deity, and indirectly charges him with the greatest absurdity."
After the above was brought to me, I was ordered to write to Hann, and to point out different passages of Scripture, and demand his explanation of them. A friend of mine carried the letter to Hann; and, in conversation on the Bible, he pointed out a passage therein, and asked him to explain it. Hann said he could not; he did not understand the meaning himself; but others might. My friend desired he would tell him of any person likely to explain it. Hann answered, that he did not understand it himself; neither did he know anyone who did. Three weeks after, my friend called upon Hann again, for his answer to my letter. He said it was not ready; but he would read to him as far as he had gone. It contained very little else but a repetition of things he formerly asserted; and my friend told Hann, that that was not what was wanted: his opinions and assertions were nothing; it was his answer to the Scriptures that was demanded. He replied, that he did not understand them; neither would he give any answer to them.
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Now, from his answer, he hath acknowledged, that he cannot understand the Scriptures; and to try and prove, that he went on to condemn me, I ordered thee to make a demand of him, to know, whether he could explain the Scriptures, or whether he condemned God with absurdity. Now, as he hath owned, that he cannot do the one, he must acknowledge he hath condemned God with the other; for after the manner of his words is my speaking to thee. And now out of his own mouth will I condemn him, that it is he and not thee, that is cutting off the Scriptures root and branch; because the root of the Scriptures is in the beginning, when I laid the foundation of the earth, and created man in it. Know what I said to Cain, after the Fall. "If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." Here was the root in the beginning, that I laid for men; but this Hann hath cut off, and laid the axe to the root, that the Creator of man was the root of the evil, and from that root the evil branches sprang, which he is now cutting off, as all to be evil, that proceed from God. Then now I ask thee, where a man like him will fly, to find mercy, justice, or truth? For in a judgment like his, the evil must come from the Lord. Therefore he hath turned the things upside down: he hath put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter: he hath called good evil and evil good: but what will such a man do in the end, if he do not repent before it is too late? Can he expect to find mercy or favour with a God he hath so disgraced, so dishonoured, and wrongfully condemned? Therefore marvel not in thy heart at any artful invention, or subtlety of working, that he hath brought round to condemn My visitation to thee; because, from his own words, he hath condemned the Lord, throughout the Scriptures; calling it absurd in the Lord, from the manner they are revealed; for he owns that he cannot explain them; neither can he point out a man to do it. Therefore his words I shall turn back upon his own head, that he is much worse than an open infidel, to cast an odium on the Deity, and indirectly charge God with the greatest absurdity, from the manner the Scriptures are revealed, as he allows they are sealed up from his knowledge to understand them; and thou knowest from the learned, that they have owned they are beyond the understanding of men. But dost thou marvel that a man like him should come forward to condemn thee, when he hath with such blasphemy condemned me? But this proves the truth of My words to thee, that the rage of hell is bursting in man; and therefore I ordered thee to contend with the powers of darkness, and pen his words against the Lord; for I well knew thou wouldest see his fury break out in that likeness, in men that he could gain to join with him; but all will find, in the end, that that old serpent was the devil, who tempted Eve in that form; and he well knew there was a curse pronounced against him; therefore it is said in the Gospel, when I became flesh and dwelt amongst men, and cast out devils, as a type and shadow of the end, they knew that a time would come, when they should receive their punishment, as well as man; and therefore they answered, 'Art thou come to torment us before our time?' Know what I said in My Gospel-the devil was a liar from the beginning; because it was with lies he betrayed; and this they will all find in the end, that it was the devil that spoke in the serpent, to betray the woman; and then worked upon Cain to destroy his brother; because he was at enmity against God, and worked enmity in Cain against his brother, that feared the Lord; and so he hath went on to this day. But let men consider, though Satan's reign hath been long, to prove My justice in the end, to cast him out of heaven, and cut off his power in the end; yet men who sought My favour and obeyed My commands had not long in this life to bear with his temptations, nor the persecution that sin hath caused; but those that were hardened, and joined with their master, let them not lament that they must suffer with him. Now come to his other observations."
Hann says in his book,-"Joanna and the sealed are to chain down Satan, when the millennium commences."
He likewise brings forward the words of the Spirit-"I am in the woman's form." From this he says, "Christ has changed his sex, and is made a woman."
I shall here insert the passage he hath drawn this judgment from.
"But all shall see the mystery:
The woman here I'm made,
That heirs of God you all may be-
Oh men, be not misled!
When first I came it was as man,
And of a woman born;
But as the sword went through her soul,
I now am in her form,
For to fulfil my Father's will,
And make your bliss complete;
I am the helpmate he did mean-
The mysteries all are great."
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Now I will show thee the folly that is in mankind, where they give themselves up to Satan's will and working; by him they are led away captive and blinded, that, in seeing, they cannot see, and, in hearing, they cannot understand; therefore, as I said by the prophet, they stumble at the noon-day sun; so at the noon-day sun he is stumbling here. For now I ask thee, where is the man, that can explain the words which he hath mentioned? Doth he not say, that thou and the sealed people are to chain down Satan? This is the judgment he hath drawn from thy writings, and the manner he hath understood them. Now, from his judgment, the whole power must be in thee and the sealed people, to accomplish this great work, which he hath said of man's Redemption; then now, from a judgment like this, what need of My power, or My visitation, or My saying I was made the helpmate to accomplish the whole, if he gives the power to thee and the sealed? A power thou hadst never a thought of; but a power I have told thee that I shall do for them in the end; therefore I said it was My power, not thine, that must be the helpmate in the end, to fulfil the promise made in the Fall. But had I not spoken in that manner, then, I tell thee, as weak and as foolish a judgment, as Hann hath drawn, might be drawn by the sons of men; but when I have told them it was me and not thee, they can ascribe no power to thee; and therefore out of his own mouth is he now condemned. How will he answer, to prove the thing is to be done by thee, when he hath brought forward My words and My saying, that it is to be done by me? Now, if he cannot understand the meaning of words, that are so plain before him, he can never understand the meaning of the Scriptures.-Now come to the Scriptures: 1 Corinthians, vi. chap. "Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? Know ye not, that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
Ezekiel iii. iv. chapters.
"Where is the man who can answer, in a temporal sense, how My body can be divided, and placed into so many members? Yet, in a spiritual sense, all are members of Christ, that are in Christ; now perfectly so is My saying, I am made the woman, and come in her form: not in a temporal sense am I either, but in a spiritual sense I am both. In the Spirit I have visited thee, and in the Spirit I have spoken within thee; and I now tell thee, it was My Spirit speaking so powerfully at Bristol in thee; it was I that gave strength within thee, when thou feltest power and strength beyond thyself: but where was thy strength when My Spirit left thee? In thy heart thou answerest, none. Then now I ask, where is thy accuser, that can prove My sex was altered, by My visiting thee in the Spirit? My Spirit is one, My power is one, whether it be to a man or a woman; but the reasons I have told thee of the end, why all My powerful visitation shall be in the woman, to make known My Coming in glory, that no man may be placed as the messiah for the Redemption of man; and, as the promise was made to the woman, in the woman it must be pleaded. But however great is the folly of this man, and however foolish is his discernment, I have brought it to the Scriptures, to confound such reasoning in others; for in like manner is the reasoning of the atheists: all that is spiritual is made temporal by them; for which reason the Scriptures are turned to ridicule; therefore I directed thy hand to Scriptures where the mockery of man is great, and where no man can understand the meaning, why it should be said to a prophet, "Eat the roll, and go speak to the house of Israel."-"Of what use," say they, "could eating a roll be to man? or what knowledge could he derive from that?" Here are reasonings strong in men, to mock the prophets, without having any knowledge of My ways, or My decrees, that, by My commanding him to eat the roll signified, that My Spirit should be within him, My words should be within him, My directions should be within him, when I sent him to the rebellious house of Israel, to warn them to repent, or I should destroy them. And all the signs I set by the prophet, were signs to the house of Israel, what should befall them hereafter.-"Son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem, and lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mountain against it." Here were types and shadows, that I commanded the prophet to set signs to the Jews, to shew them plainly what should follow them and their city, if they went on hardened and were rebellious: and let men discern, how they went on rebellious, and what followed them: and now let them look to the present time, and discern the standard in the Jews, that however greatly men mock the Scriptures, and do not believe, in the days that are past, that things happened as recorded therein,-of the miracles I wrought in Egypt, and all the miracles I wrought by the prophets; yet, now let them look to the Jews, and discern the prophet's words, how the siege was laid against them, and what mountains were cast against them, that they have never yet had power to surmount and get over. Let them discern, how the siege was laid with trifling things, by the prophet, of an iron pan,-"And set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city; and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it: this shall be a sign to the house of Israel." Now, as men mock My ways and My directions to the prophet, in dealing with men after the manner of men, to place them plain before them; let these despisers and mockers look and wonder, how these signs, that were set by the prophet are now made manifest, and fulfilled in the Jews: and let them answer, what words, or what signs could be set plainer before them, to compare the likeness together,-how they were besieged by their enemies, as strong as the strength of iron, that when made strong no man can break; and a mountain cast so high, that they could never get over. But, as the prophet, for types and shadows, was ordered to bear the iniquity of the house of Israel and of Judah, so was the iniquity and transgression of men cast upon me, when I gave up My life for their transgression. So, what was done as a type and shadow, in the prophet, was afterwards fulfilled in me, when I suffered, the just for the unjust; and died, the innocent for the guilty. Now, perfectly as I was made the prophet, to suffer the whole, to bear the iniquity and transgression of man, that by My stripes they may be healed in the end, perfectly so I must be made the woman, to avenge you of the adversary, that betrayed in the beginning. And men may as well say, that I was the prophet Ezekiel, as to say, that I am the woman. All are but types and shadows. And let men answer, where is the woman, that hath strength and power to destroy her adversary? Where is the man, or where is the woman, that had a knowledge of the promise, how it was made, or how it would be fulfilled? Is it not said, I will put enmity between thee and the woman? Then, if I put it, I must fulfil it: if I spoke it, I must accomplish it; and, as the woman's right, I must come in power and glory to avenge her of her adversary, and bruise his head. Because the power is not in her to fulfil the promise I made; and, therefore, it is I the Lord, that spoke the word at first, must fulfil it at the last. But, as the promise was made to the woman, in her form, as her right, it must be pleaded and fulfilled: for, as I have placed all things after the manner of men, that is placed amongst mankind, so, in like manner, I have placed the Scriptures. But let no man exercise himself in things that are too high for him; nor think more highly of himself than he ought to think; therefore I told thee of the title of the book-"Here is wisdom; let him that hath greater answer it;" but what wisdom canst thou see in him, that is thy accuser?
"And now I shall answer thee further, from his saying, if I permitted Satan to deceive thee once, he might deceive thee often, and be deceiving thee now. Here is the folly in the man to suppose I should permit Satan to go on to deceive thee because I permitted it to try thee, and to confound men and devils in the end. Know what I told thee-Satan was the great accuser of the brethren; and so, in like manner, he accused thee; that when I justified thee, Satan condemned thee; and therefore I permitted him to try thee. And so I have told thee of Job; when I justified him, Satan condemned him; and in like manner were his accusations against Abraham; that if he was put to the trial of what was not for his own happiness, he would not obey My commands; therefore I said I would tempt Abraham, to try him if he would obey. Here I have shewn thee concerning the just, why I permitted them to be tried in various manner: Jacob was tried by his brother, and by his father-in-law, and by various ways; and Joseph was tried: and, I have told thee, that Satan is by all in accusations, as he was by Job, saying, Let them be tried, and they would depart from me, or murmur against me. Therefore, to confound the adversary, in all ages the best of men have been tried in various ways.-But now I know the thoughts of thy heart: thou sayest within, a man like Hann will condemn My ways, in suffering the just to be tried, to please the adversary of mankind. To thy thoughts I answer: it is not to please him, but to shame and confound him, when I come to make up My jewels in man; for Satan's pleading would be like the angels that fell; and this hath been his pleading,-Let men be tried, and they would rebel. Therefore I have permitted the best of men in all ages to be tried by various ways and temptations; some by afflictions and disappointments in this life, to prove the love of men, that, though they suffer for a while, they do not rebel in heart against me. And now I tell thee, it is impossible for any man of true wisdom, that hath any belief in the Scriptures, to condemn My ways and My wisdom in trying thee to prove thee, before I ordered thee to publish to the world. And now I ask thee, to what use was my trying and proving Abraham? Was not the heart of the man known to me, before I tried him? But could his adversary be confounded before I had proved him? Now perfectly so was Satan's working to condemn thee, when I justified thee; and so is his working in mankind, and this was known to me before; therefore, to confound thine accusers, I permitted Satan to try thee. But he that condemns my followers, that I have permitted to be tempted and tried, must condemn every just man upon earth. Little do men know in what manner was Satan's working concerning the prophets; or what made Jeremiah cry out in the bitterness of his soul, that I had deceived him, and he wished for death; little dost thou know what made Peter sink, when he launched into the great deep: he saw me walking upon the sea; and, had not Satan worked fears in him, his faith would have kept him up, knowing, if I had power to walk on the sea, I had power to keep him from sinking. And now I ask thee, what power tempted Peter to deny me, after he had said, If I die with thee, I will not forsake thee? And yet, thou knowest, he denied me, when I suffered Satan to tempt and try him. Therefore let no man say I do not suffer the just to be tried: for the type of Job is deep for all. And let men discern to whom I spoke, when I rebuked Peter, and said, Get thee behind me, Satan; for thy words are an offence unto me: thou savourest not the things which are of God, but of men. Did I speak this to Peter, as a man, or to the adversary, that was tempting him? Was not My answer to the devil, that he should tempt him no more, but leave Peter to submit to My will? Could men understand, from My Gospel, the manner I rebuked the tempter, when working upon Peter, and how I spoke to him on the seas, and how all the holy men of old were tried, they would not marvel, that I tried thee; neither by wisdom can they condemn My ways; for where is My servant, or where is My chosen, that was never tried, and tempted by the devil?
"And now come to the Scriptures, that I have answered and explained to thee. Where is the man, by wisdom, that can explain why all these types and shadows were placed, and why the knowledge of the Scriptures was concealed from the understanding of men? This by wisdom they cannot do. But was all put in a straight line for men to understand, then Satan's words would have been true in the temptations of the Fall, that men were placed as earthly Gods, to have all knowledge given them; but this, I have told thee, will not be, till I come to destroy his power, and reveal the mysteries, that are concealed from man; then will the words of the prophets be fulfilled, for the knowledge of the Lord to cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea; and then will My wisdom and My decrees be made manifest and known unto all men; and what now shineth in darkness will then be made bright as the noon day sun; because darkness will be done away, and the true light will shine to man. And now come to Hann's remarks on My severity."
He says, "If Joanna is to be believed, her visiting Spirit, which is her husband, is a very hard master, and exceedingly severe.-What I wish the reader to notice is the severity of Joanna's husband."
The above remark Hann hath made on the command given to me concerning My trial, in the book called, What manner of Communications are these? pages 5-10.
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"My inquiry is first to thee, whether thou judgedst any severity in me, from the command that I gave thee? Didst thou not judge it right in thy heart, if thou disobeyed, for me to take from thee the promise of blessings, that I had made to thee, and for ever to be lost to the great happiness, that I said I was coming to establish, if perfect obedience was found to do My will? Didst thou judge My commands were harsh, or severe, in what I had commanded? In thy heart thou answerest, no; but thought thou shouldest justly merit My displeasure, and lose the blessings I had promised, if thou wouldest not obey My command in so trifling a thing. This was thy judgment, that stands in print; but thou never saidst that thou judgedst me harsh, or a hard master, or severe, in giving a command to thee. Then now let him that reproves answer, whose heart, or whose spirit is most likely to be led by the Lord, to be willing and obedient to His commands, and condemn themselves, if they break it; or who is most like the devil, in his temptations in the beginning, and the hardened manner that men have went on to commit sin, and condemn the Lord for punishing them for the evil of their sin? And from a judgment like his, the Scriptures have been marked with contempt by the Atheists and Deists; and in their likeness is his heart: for, it is impossible for any man to mark My giving a command to be hard and severe, as he hath marked it, without condemning his Creator, in the beginning, as Hann hath condemned me; for, whether a man condemneth by parables, or whether he condemneth in plain terms, the condemnation is the same. Know, in parables I spoke, when I condemned the Jews; and so in parables hath he condemned the Scriptures throughout. Now come to his other observation."
Hann says, "If we read the 14th and 15th pages of What Manner of Communications are these? we shall find the bridegroom charged with leaving his bride; and that without any provocation, and suffering the devil to throw her into the greatest agonies and torments imaginable; and it was a long time before he returned, and then not without volleys of prayers and floods of tears: this is a little repugnant to conjugal affection."
THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.
"Now I shall shew thee plainly, from his own words, as I told thee of parables, that stand by the prophets, to shew the iniquity of the House of Israel, so by parables they were condemned; as a treacherous woman departing from her husband, so was the House of Israel compared, as departing from their God. And now I tell thee, in that perfect likeness Hann hath brought forward his parables, to condemn the Scriptures. Let men discern how I compared myself to a Husband and to a Bridegroom; and what were My promises made to the House of Israel, if they obeyed My command, in the chapters that I directed thee to send to him, where My promises stand great, and My threatenings severe. This, in like manner, is mocked by the Atheists, as he hath mocked My sayings to thee; that I forsook them, as Hann says I had forsaken thee; for in like manner as he hath mocked, so in like manner have the Atheists mocked the Scriptures, that I demanded of him to explain.-"Thy Maker is thine Husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall he be called*."
* Isaiah liv. 5.
"From these words the same observation is made by the Atheists, as Hann hath made by thee, or My Visitation to thee. After the promises were made, what love, or what affection did I show to the Jews? is the inquiry of the Atheists, who see them as an outcast nation; and all the Scriptures, that I pointed out to thee, to demand an explanation from him, are in like manner mocked by the Atheists; and so in like manner they are mocked by him. For, I ask thee, how he, or any man, can explain these Scriptures, to believe them the word of God, and not discern, that I forsook them, and did not fulfil My promises at that time? Therefore, if he doth not allow, that these Scriptures will be fulfilled in the end, he must mock the Scriptures, and My sayings to the prophets, much greater than he can mock My leaving thee for a short time; because thou knowest, it was but as it were for a moment, that I left thee, to be tempted and tried by the devil; but how soon was My loving kindness turned unto thee, to free thee from his power, arts, and temptations! But know what I have told thee before, he that condemneth My ways, in permitting the devil to try My friends, must condemn the Scriptures throughout, as he hath done; therefore I shall turn back his words upon his own head; for his discernment of the Scriptures is no better than his discerning of My Visitation to thee. For, as he saith, as soon as thy writings are united with the Scriptures, they quarrel with one another; perfectly so is his observation of the Scriptures, where he condemns me in My Visitation to thee, in giving a command, or in leaving thee for a while; and perfectly so he must quarrel with the Scriptures, and condemn My ways and My decrees, because I have told thee, that in one likeness both stand together; and where is the Christian that was never tried and tempted by the devil? But I ask mankind, why it should be said in the Scriptures, that he should be cast out? Why did I die to redeem man from the power of death, hell and sin, if the devil had no power to tempt any, but such as were willingly led by him, and give themselves up to his will? If the followers of the Lord, and those that have the desire in their hearts to be freed from evil, were never tried and tempted by the devil, then My casting him out, to cut off his power, would be unjust; and My sentence must be unjust, to say, that the rebuke of My people should be taken away from off all the earth, which I have told thee is the devil; and not only their rebuke, but the disturber of their peace and happiness; for which reason My sentence is just; therefore I said, hell should tremble, for I should chain the rebel down. But how couldest thou be a judge of the different spirits working within thee, and the different feelings of thy own heart, if I had never permitted Satan to try thee, that thou mayest be a clear judge? And know, without me thou couldest do nothing; and without me thou hast no knowledge of any events that should take place. But here, I tell thee, in Hann is Satan's working, as an angel of light, to condemn My ways, through hypocrisy; because he hath made a profession of religion, in bringing forward My saying, "What is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul?" This is being a wolf in sheep's clothing, that I ordered men to beware of; for I said, "Within they were ravening wolves:" and this I shall plainly prove before thee; because the subtlety of the devil, when he worked in the serpent to betray Eve, was not so greatly to My dishonour, or to disgrace your Creator, as the subtle manner this man hath worked round, to make My ways appear contemptible. For there is not an infidel nor an Atheist in the world, that ever wrote against the Scriptures in so artful a manner, to condemn My ways and My decrees, as the arts of Hann have done; for, in a judgment like his, the whole Bible is condemned throughout; and for that end it is designed; for here is Satan's working through hypocrisy, which is worse than an open enemy; because it is a cunningly devised fable, and doctrine of devils; for it was a cunningly devised fable, worked on by the devil to cast the blame of the Fall upon your Creator; and it is a cunningly devised fable to condemn the Scriptures, from the very thing that he hath condemned in My Visitation to thee; for as thou ponderest in thy heart, that, as I gave commands to thee, I had given commands through the Scriptures, just so will every one that hath a knowledge of the Scriptures discern, that they are condemned by this cunningly devised fable; because the likeness stands together; and whoever supports and encourages a man like Hann, must be an enemy to God, and all His ways and decrees, and be another such as himself, however great may be his profession of religion; for here the tree is known by its fruit: and what but thorns and thistles can be proved from his works? Now come to his sayings of the Bible, and I shall answer them."
Hann says, "The writings exclaim against the Bible, and the Bible condemns the writings."
"I answer: Where will he find thy writings exclaim against the Bible? Have I not told thee the Scriptures are the written word of God; that what I have said I shall fulfil; that not one jot or tittle shall fall to the ground, till all be fulfilled, which I told thee I am coming to fulfil? Then where is the man who can prove that assertion, that in any of My Visitations to thee, or any judgment thou hast drawn of thyself, that thou hast spoken against the Scriptures, when I have asserted them to be true, and that the whole shall be fulfilled? Where is the man who can prove the Bible is against thy writings, if I come to fulfil them, as I have told thee? This cannot be done by man. Now come further to his word."
Hann says, "The Bible says the writings are a cunningly-devised fable, and the doctrine of devils; the writings say, the Bible is full of contradictions."
"I answer: In a judgment like his, full of contradiction the Bible must be; because, from the beginning, he hath freed the devil from being the author of any evil; and so his judgment is the doctrine of devils. But now come to My answers, and what I have revealed to thee, that there is no contradiction in the Scriptures; because it is the Scriptures I shall fulfil, and cast out devils, with all their doctrine, that they have worked in the hearts of men to despise and look upon as cunningly devised fables; but I shall make the fables true, and all the crooked paths I shall make straight in the end, and fulfil the Scriptures that I have demanded of him to explain; but without the fulfilment, contradiction must stand in the Scriptures; nevertheless, this contradiction is in men, that deny the fulfilment thereof."-
Hann says, "The Bible professes to be light, the light of life; the writings declare it to be total darkness, unintelligible, and not to be understood."
"I answer: The Bible not only professes to be light, the light of life, but in reality it is so. The prophets were a light to the people of old, to set before them good and evil, and to teach men what they should do to be saved. But the mysteries, that stand for the end, would have been of no use to them; for it would have been of no use to them to see a light, that was not to shine in their days; neither was it designed for their days; but the light, that was required of them, was placed before them, if they would walk in that light. And, so the light of My Gospel, My coming to suffer for man, to bear the transgression of the Fall, was given by the prophets; and, to them that believed I was a true light of salvation, to give them a greater light than they had seen before; for as I came to fulfil the one, I promised to come again in power to fulfil the other, as I have explained it to thee already. So that the Scriptures have been a light to all them that walked in the light, and a light that led them to life everlasting. Thus there is no contradiction in the Scriptures; but the contradiction is in mankind, who often wrest them to their own condemnation, as Hann hath done: and contradictory men must make them, if they say they will never be fulfilled; because the knowledge of the end, in what way they will be fulfilled, is sealed up from the understanding of men; neither were they designed to be revealed, till the time drew near that I should come in power to fulfil them. For as all the mysteries of the Gospel, and the way that the words of the prophets would be fulfilled, concerning My birth and death was concealed, before I came to make it clear before them, perfectly so stands the end, the way the words of the prophets will be all fulfilled; and the meaning of their words, that stand for the end, and the meaning of My saying, the woman had wrought a good work on me, and what I likened the kingdom of heaven to, from the parables placed in My Gospel; as this was sealed up from the knowledge and understanding of men, before I come to make it clear, and point out a way I shall fulfil the promise made in the Fall when I come to cast out the adversary that betrayed the woman at first: all these things were sealed up from the knowledge and understanding of men; but every crooked path shall be made straight before them, and what is darkened to the understanding of men I shall enlighten and make clear to them; so that the Scriptures will be no darkness to men in the end; for, what is concealed from their knowledge is for the end. But from the judgment and wisdom of mankind, who suppose the Scriptures will never be fulfilled, that all was finished when I died on the Cross; such judgment makes the Scriptures unintelligible to thousands, who read and discern that they have not yet been fulfilled, according to the words spoken by the prophets, or My sayings in My Gospel, and what was spoken by My disciples after me, have never yet been fulfilled. Therefore those who judge all was finished, and the Scriptures were closed, darken counsel without knowledge, and make the Scriptures unintelligible to mankind, that are led away by such errors in men. But let them know this is not done by My visitation to thee; because I have told thee the Scriptures are true, they were spoken by the God of truth, who hath power to fulfil, and will accomplish according to His promise. Therefore it is impossible for all the arts of men and devils to cause unbelief in every mind; for then the Scriptures could not be fulfilled, for men to be waiting for the Coming of their Lord, or for me to be the desire of nations; all My parables must fall to the ground, if unbelief was found in all. But, from the shadow that is begun, they will find the substance to hasten on, till all My sheep are brought into My fold; and then they will find the good Shepherd to appear. But were not the days to be shortened, as I said in My Gospel, no flesh living would be saved, when I come in power at the end; for then the world would be like the antediluvian world of old. Infidelity is fast increasing in this nation, and all other nations; for ye know not the minds and hearts of men, nor what has been their minds from this war: the Romans, that put their trust in the pope and priests, seeing their power is cut off, that they have not power to save themselves, this worketh upon the minds of thousands not to believe in their power, as they were taught to believe; and having no other religion taught them, they turn to infidelity not to believe in any superior power at all. For here Satan hath power to work; and so his working is strong in the nations abroad, and at home; and were things to remain as they are, and all to be settled according to the wisdom of men, all lands would be filled with infidelity, and become, as I have told thee, that no flesh would be saved. But, as I said the days should be shortened, they shall be shortened; for I have begun, and will make an end. But what Redemption could come to man, from the Fall, to be redeemed from the power of death, hell, and sin, if unbelief was placed in all? From Hann's observations I shall confound gainsayers, and condemn thy accusers. For, without the visitation of My Spirit, they cannot prove the Scriptures true; because the fulfilment must begin before I come in power to make an end; and the things I have revealed to thee, and the meaning of the Scriptures, that I have explained to thee, is the beginning of the fulfilment of My words, and the words of the prophets."
As Hann returned no answer to My letter sent him, on January 21, I was ordered to send the following letter.
Mr. Hann, February 23, 1811.
Whether you will hear, or whether you will forbear, whether you will answer, or whether you will not, this is a command of the Lord given to me, to demand of you an explanation of the Scriptures I sent you in My last letter; and if you cannot explain them yourself, point out to me any man upon earth that can explain them. And a further demand is made of you, Where you will prove it is said in my writings, that the sword, plague, and famine, should go through this land, in 1810? and where it is said, that the millennium would take place in 1811? or where it was fixed to take place in 1807? or where you will prove, from my writings, any time fixed that the millennium would take place? This demand is made of you to prove your assertions, from my writings, or acknowledge yourself the inventor of those falsehoods, wrongfully to accuse whatever spirit you judge me to be led by. If it be of God, then you have invented them to cast an odium on the Deity; but whatever spirit I am led by, you have wrongfully accused and condemned it. An immediate answer is required of you.-
The following passages of Scripture were pointed out for him to answer: Isaiah, chapters ix, xi, xxv, xxxv, xli, xlii, lii, liii, liv, lv, lx, lxv, lxvi; Daniel, vii, ix, xii; Jeremiah, iii, 14th verse; Obadiah, 21st verse; Joel, ii, iii; Haggai, ii; Micah, iv; Malachi, iv; Matthew, v; St. John, xvi, xx.
A further explanation will be given in another publication.
This taken from Joanna Southcott's mouth by me,
Witness, Jane Townley.
March 1, 1811.
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