A

COMMUNICATION

SENT IN A LETTER TO

THE REVEREND JOSEPH POMEROY

IN 1797,

WITH AN EXPLANATION THEREON NOW GIVEN.

ALSO

THE MESSIAH

by

Alexander Pope

BOOK 64

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RESPECTING this letter the counsels of the heart have been made manifest to me; for God hath revealed, by the Spirit, that the judgment, which Mr. Pomeroy drew from it, hath caused all the discord between him and me.

"The Spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man, which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God." 1 Cor. ii. 10, iv. 5.

The counsel of the heart is now made manifest to me, in what manner he judged the letter, which caused his anger and indignation, and which I was quite ignorant of; as I

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viewed the letter in a very different light; and therefore, as Solomon saith, "all the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes, but the Lord weigheth the spirits:" and, from this revelation, it is accounted to me why Mr. P.’s conduct appeared clean in his own eyes, which I have been at a loss to account for. And both have been blamed from the letters which passed between us, and which stand in print; but now I cannot see how men of wisdom can blame either; for, as I had never such a thought, concerning the letter, as I am answered he had, that it alluded to a marriage with any man; but that it only meant threatenings if he did not faithfully search out the truth, and that the promises of God were great to him in spiritual blessings, if he acted faithfully, to search out the truth; and, as he acted faithfully till the writings went out in the world; then I judged that he had done what was required of him; but when he fell back through unbelief, and refused to give up the letters which I had put in his hands, saying he had burnt them; this kindled anger in me; in the first place, to think that he had led me on for six years, assuring me that my writings were not from the devil, and laughed at those who said they were. Thus, by his judgment I was strengthened to go on; being answered that his judgment should be right; and thus I was led on, till my writings were out in the world, and my name was publicly spread abroad, as being visited from the Lord by prophecy, from the events that had taken place, and what was hastening on; and as to which put myself to great expense in publishing six thousand pamphlets, and other expenses attending it. Now, after my name was thus gone abroad, for Mr. P. to change from his former judgment, to turn it another way, and disgrace my character, by

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saying it was from the devil, and refused to give up the prophecies which I had put in his hands, that proved the truth had followed; this kindled my anger, and I judged that he had acted deceitfully with me, which he assigned no cause for, only to prevent the mockery of the world, that mocked him for judging that the prophecies were from the Lord, and which I thought would have been to his credit, to have pointed out the truths of those events that had taken place, put in his hands, which caused him to draw the judgment he did, and to have said that the future events he must leave to time, and be a silent spectator of what was hastening on; as he saw, from the gentlemen who came to Exeter, that there were others who drew the same judgment as he had done. In this manner I judged he might have cleared himself of the mockery of the world, without doing me so great an injury, by joining with my enemies, who rose up in malice against me; but, as to the letter put in his hands in 1797, which will be brought forward in this book, he never mentioned it to me, that he drew any judgment thereon, neither was it revealed to me from whence his anger arose, any further than men and devils working upon his heart to see things in a wrong light. In 1804, when I was at Bristol, I was ordered to point out the events I had put in his hands, and require an answer from him; but, instead of giving any answer to me, he sent a letter to my friends to set them against me, if he could have done it, and refused to give any answer to the inquiries of my friends, who were then ordered to write to him; but he treated all with scorn and contempt. This conduct in him, both myself and my friends were at a loss to account for; yet I was still

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ordered to contend with him, to make him acknowledge the truth, if possible; but all to no purpose. Nevertheless, from a Communication given to me last year, that he would be convinced of his errors in the end, which I was ordered to send to the Bishops, this made me draw my judgment that he might be hastily convinced; and therefore I sent to him again, as I was directed, but finding all to no purpose, it threw a jealousy in my mind and heart, why I should be directed to contend with a man in this manner, while all appeared as a dead letter and lost labour. To my ponderings I was answered, that what kindled his anger so much against me, from the letter of 1797, which he drew his judgment from, was that he must become the Bridegroom mentioned in that letter, or the threatenings contained therein stood against him, if he refused. At this I was shocked and surprised, to think that he should draw such judgment from it; but I could no ways blame his anger and indignation, if these were his thoughts upon the letter. This might well kindle his anger against me, and which I do not marvel at, looking upon my situation at the time, and his situation, as a gentleman having a family growing up, that he must disgrace himself and family, by taking one into his house, who was his inferior, mocked and despised by all. Therefore, instead of wondering at his anger, if this was the judgment he drew from the letter, I should sooner justify his anger than condemn it. For I should have dreaded such a thing as much as he could, if I had judged the letter that way; and should have thought I might as well put my head into the fire, as to have entered into his family, which I must expect would hate and despise me. Had I ever drawn such judgment from the letter,

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I should never have had courage to have gone to his house after the decease of Mrs. P., neither should I ever have troubled him afterwards with angry letters; because it would be putting upon me more than I could have borne, to follow the directions that were given me, if I had known his mind and thoughts on that letter, which is now revealed to me was the cause of his anger. And therefore I was ordered to send him in a letter, last winter, that the Lord would take the stumbling-block out of his way; and now I am answered, that I was the stumbling-block to him, as he judged the letter in a way it was never meant; that he might well say my writings were not consistent with a benevolent and merciful God, if he thought that the Lord threatened judgments against a man, if he did not enter into a union against his own will. This was never the design or the decrees of the Most High, to threaten judgments that way: all that was required of him was, to act faithfully to his trust, and bear testimony of the truth that was put in his hands. When this was revealed to me of the wrong judgment which he had drawn, I was ordered to have some of my friends to see the letter, and pass their judgment on it; and to let them know that what was revealed to me was Mr. P.’s judgment. They said, if he drew that judgment, it wholly accounted for his conduct afterwards, and would clear him to the world; as no one could possibly blame him in such a case. But as Mr. P. refused to give any answer to letters sent to him, I was ordered to send a friend to Bodmin to have a personal interview with him, to know the truth of what had been revealed to me, whether that was his judgment on the letter or not; and to convince him that nothing further was required of him in that communication, than

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to acknowledge the truth of its being put into his hands; and whether he drew the judgment from it, which I was answered he did. But if he refused an answer in person, as he had refused to give an answer by letter, then I was ordered to put the prophecy in print, with what is revealed to me was his judgment thereon, which was given to Mr. Hows to shew him.

Mr. Hows arrived at Bodmin on Saturday, the 26th of June, and went to Mr. P.’s house, who received him very politely; but, upon announcing the subject of his business, Mr. P. became much agitated; requested him immediately to desist from any further remarks; and said that he had long made up his mind to have nothing to do on the subject. Mr. Hows then presented him with my letter, and requested that he would read it; but he refused to take it, and said, if it was left that he would destroy it. When Mr. Hows found that he could not prevail upon Mr. P. to hear anything which he had to say, he left the house, and wrote him a letter stating the object of his journey, which was to shew him the Communication given in 1797, and the answer, which is now given to me was his judgment thereon; and requested his answer to it; that the Spirit had revealed to me that he construed the contents of that Communication into marriage, and that to be with himself; to know the truth of the Spirit in this was the object of his mission, which was easily defined, by saying yes or no: for, by this act, the persecution he complained of would for ever subside; that there was no intention of fixing anything further to him, than shewing the accuracy of the visitation; the Communication he had with him, which Mr. P. might have forgotten; and that he should stay at Bodmin till the Tuesday following, waiting Mr. P.’s answer.

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But no answer was given, though he sent him a second letter, saying that his journey to Bodmin concerned Mr. P. himself. Having no answer to either, he returned to Exeter, and shewed the letter to Mrs. Taylor, who perfectly remembered the Communication; and Mrs. Luscombe recollected copying it off for Mr. P. After Mr. Hows’s return, and hearing of Mr. P.’s determination, I was ordered to put that part of the letter in print, which I was answered he drew his judgment from; and which was given in answer to his inquiry as to another Communication, given concerning John the Baptist’s warning of the first coming of Christ; and he, in like manner, was required to search into the writings to give the warning of the second coming; which he said he did not understand; neither could I explain it; and was answered in the following manner:—

A copy of the Communication which I was ordered to put in the hands of the Rev. Mr. P. in 1797, from John iii. 29. "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly."

"Then simple here do both appear,
The BRIDEGROOM and the BRIDE.
The man in wedlock doth appear,
Then see the field is wide;
The woman here doth now appear
Unmarried to your view.
I ask what bride is here applied,
The single woman too?
Then to the Lord, it must be known,
The bride she must appear;
To have my Gospel fly abroad,
I fixed my standard there.
So here’s the bride must be applied
A shadow of the rest;
For brides I’ll call, and wed you all,
And all alike possess.

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Now from the King I shall explain,
Or to your Bishop go.
You do ordain another man
Your office to go through;
When you are not there, it doth appear,
Another in your stead.
But will you say, you bishops are,
Or take it in your head
That you must be as great as he,
His title who intrusts?
Then sure mock bishops you may be,
And so mock all the rest;
But if as men from types begin,
And think yourselves no more;
The bishop he may raise you high,
And give you titles here;
Because as man you humbly come
His office to go through,
And judge no more than heretofore,
And give him honour due.
Now mark from man how this doth stand,
What shadows do appear;
And now like man I will begin,
And fix my standard there;
My BISHOP call, be it known to all,
That must my OFFICE bear,
And all my offices go through,
Before I do appear.
If he refuse, I now will choose
Another in his stead;
But he shall see such destiny
Shall make his heart to bleed;
A Judas he shall be to ME,
If he do Me deny;
His days in sorrow shall appear,
And tremble for to die.
For now to man once more I’ll come;
Suppose your bishop here
Should ask of you for to go through
The office he must bear,
And you refuse, and did not choose
This thing to undertake;
How would your bishop now appear?
Would not his anger break,
When he did come to see the man
He judged before his friend,

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But then the trial could not hear,
On whom he did depend?
He must be found an empty sound,
And hollow all within;
I ask the bishop how he’d look
On such deceitful men?
Now Pomeroy here must so appear,
If he do me deny:
For all your sermons I do hear,
And Pomeroy sounds for ME,
To be my friend, in what he’th penned:
Then now I’ll try the man,
And I shall prove him in the end.
To reason I’ll begin:
His conscience here must now appear
To judge thy written hand,
And see if he can now be clear
The way I have chosen the man.
Dost thou deceive, will he believe?
Then let him stay two years;
The blood of all from thee shall fall;
I’ll surely free thee here.
So from this day, mark what I say,
When Pomeroy thou dost see,
Tell him thou’st done what he commands,
But none will follow thee;
That’s not to hear, and now be clear;
Then he must take in hand,
And like a bishop be to ME,
And let him understand,
Some others choose, if those refuse;
But let him faithful prove,
And shew the letter thou hast sent,
If they refuse my love.
Because my love they there will prove.
To be my chosen men
Is greater than the heart of man
Did e’er conceive would come.
Like Channon I to thee may cry,
Thou dost not understand
The mysteries deep that thou dost write,
Nor know thy written hand;
And why ’tis so thou now shalt know;
Thy senses are too weak,
Thy spirit would too headlong go,
And anger soon would break,
If thou could’st see the mystery,
And every truth discern.

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Therefore ’tis wiser heads than thee
Must see how I do warn,
That will conceal, and not reveal,
Before the time do come,
But only warn the sinners now,
That they must all return.
For judgments here do now appear,
My strange works are begun;
Then righteousness must now appear;
And let them see the line,
That judgment here doth now appear
Perfect in every line;
Then now the plummet they’ll see clear,
The mystery lies behind."

The above letter was sent to the Rev. Mr. P. in 1797, after I had put into his hands the events of that year, which would take place at home and abroad, the truth of which he saw followed; yet he did not seem offended with the contents of the letter, but said he would do all in his power to get the ministers to come forward. So I am clear that he drew no other judgment from it at first than I did, that the threatenings meant no further than if he refused to receive the letter of events, which were put in his hands. This was the judgment I drew of the letter, from what was spoken of his preaching so strongly in support of the Gospel; and therefore he was tried, to see if he would act according to his preaching, not to quench the Spirit, or despise prophecies; but to try all things, and prove all things; and hold fast that which was good, according to the directions of the Apostles: and, as he never mentioned to me any judgment he drew from this letter, I never had the least thoughts of his seeing it in the point of view it is now revealed to me he did; and therefore I was never more surprised in my life than I was when it was revealed to me what judgment he drew of that letter, when he fell back; which justly accounts to me for all his anger

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. But had he told me of his judgment on the letter, I should have been answered then, as I am now, that nothing further was required of him, than to answer to the truth, which was put into his hands.*

* The friends are requested not to trouble Mr. Pomeroy any more, either by letter or in any other way.

THE ANSWER OF THE SPIRIT.

"Now I shall answer from thy saying, if he had told thee his thoughts on the letter, thou shouldest have been answered then, as thou art now; and so the anger might have ceased, before it was kindled to a flame: and this might have been done, if he had told his mind on the subject; but as he concealed his thoughts from thee, so I concealed from thee any judgment that he had drawn from the letter, before my appointed time was come, to prove the truth of the letter, and the fulfilment thereof. But in years past no man could draw a clear judgment from the letter; because they could not see how a mock marriage should be required, in the likeness there mentioned: and now I tell thee, in the perfect likeness that that letter stood concealed from all, and could not be made clear to anyone, to prove a right judgment could be drawn till now, because a real marriage cannot be compared to a mock marriage: and before this visitation appeared no man could prove his judgment true, the way to explain the letter, though his anger was kindled the way he drew his judgment; in this perfect likeness stands my Gospel and the Prophets with the Jews: for they drew their judgment as wrong as he drew his, seeing the persecution to my disciples, and what they went through, judging that the same destruction must come upon them; and seeing no way that the words of the Prophets could be fulfilled, for their deliverance, at that time, to

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heighten their joy, but all seemed to heighten their destruction; and not understanding the meaning of my Gospel, how I came to prepare the way for the end, which was not understood by any of my Disciples, in what manner the COMFORTER should come, that I spoke of; and as I said of my Disciples, they would be put to death for my sake; this appeared as strange to the Jews as thy letter appeared to him, who saw nothing but destruction before him, if he was compelled to enter into a union with thee: and therefore he said in his letter that he could not judge thy writings were consistent with a benevolent and merciful God; as he judged the threatenings stood against him, if he did not enter into what he judged his ruin.

"Now perfectly so were the thoughts of the Jews concerning the Gospel: they knew not what was before them; if they had been all united together in faith and belief, at that time, they knew not in what manner I should have worked their deliverance, to have conquered their enemies, as their enemies conquered them, after they had rejected ME and my Gospel. Therefore, they knew no more in what manner I should bring round my Gospel, to fulfil it in the end, than Pomeroy knew in what manner that prophecy would be brought round, to be fulfilled in the end; which could not be fulfilled by any judgment he drew, or by any judgment mankind could draw, from that prophecy, till now. For this was concealed from thy knowledge and from all, what was the meaning of my saying of a mock marriage, to place it in the likeness of a king; though thou sayest, had he told his fears, his jealousies might have been removed, that no such thing was required of him; yet, at that time, the meaning could not have been explained to thee nor to him, without I had told thee in what manner I meant to visit thee in the end. But know what I said in

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the letter: it was concealed from thee the knowledge of thy written hand; because thy senses were too weak, thy spirits too headstrong, and anger would break out too soon, if thou couldest see the mystery of thy writings: and this would have been the case with thee, if I had revealed to thee the sense and meaning of the letter, in what manner I meant to fulfil it, and at what time; thy faith would have been too weak: thy spirits are too hasty to have prophecies fulfilled, when they are made plain before thee. So there would have been room for Satan to work fears and jealousies in thee, that a wrong spirit was deceiving thee: therefore I said that this must be concealed, and not revealed, until the time came of its fulfilment. For there was no warning to be given of the meaning of this Communication, or in what manner it should be fulfilled, till the end; and therefore I said, the mystery lies behind; I said my judgments appeared, my strange works were begun: and let them look to all nations, what hath followed since ninety-seven; but the end is not yet; for stranger works are hastening on, to bring the righteousness that I said must appear.

"Then now let them see the line, in what manner I have revealed to thee, from the Scriptures, from the prophecies I have given to thee, and the manner of this visitation; then they may see the line and the plummet plain before them; for now the mystery is revealed, which hath been concealed. So marvel not in thy heart, that I ordered thee to put it in the hands of a man whose anger would break out, from the judgment he drew, but would conceal that judgment from thee; because, I tell thee, thou wouldest have been foiled in giving an answer to his judgment; as he thought he saw it clear from this letter,

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which I ordered thee to put in his hands; and therefore my answering thee that no threatenings stood against him on thy account, if he acted faithfully, to acknowledge the truth of what was put in his hands, was all that was required of him. But this would have been no convincing proof to him, as thou sayest in thy heart, nothing can be a convincing proof to him now, as he hath fixed his determination not to hear anything, nor to read anything, to convince him of his error, from such determinations.

"I have answered thee already what destruction it bringeth upon mankind, and it is to shew what wrong judgment men draw, how little they know of the ways of the Lord, and his just decrees for them that follow on to know the Lord, that I have directed thee to such men, as thou hast been greatly stumbled at in thy own mind, and which the end will shew their folly. So let him not fix his determination, what he will do, or what he will not do, in a cause so weighty as this: but let him know, what man appoints, God disappoints; for my ways are not as man’s ways, nor my thoughts as man’s thoughts. It is these determinations, that people fix in their own minds, which leads thousands into errors: it was these determinations in the Jews, not to see the truth, or to know it, but to try every way to conceal it, that brought destruction upon them, and hardened their hearts through unbelief. And so these determinations, in various sects and parties, determining to themselves not to be convinced whether they are right or wrong, which lead thousands to go on in errors; and with these determinations persecutions hath been in all ages against the word of God. So let him trace the records of the Scriptures through, and he will find what these determinations brought men to:

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it brought destruction upon the prophets, and after that upon their own heads; it brought on the persecution in my Gospel, till men were determined to put ME to death, and after that on my Disciples; as men were determined not to hear nor listen to reason. And therefore such determined minds, in spiritual things, can never preach the Scriptures aright; because, in condemning others, they must condemn themselves. How can a man go into his pulpit to condemn the stubbornness of the Jews, who were determined not to see or believe, because of the prejudice they had taken against ME and my Disciples, without condemning himself? And as I was persecuted, so men joined in the persecution, and said it was spoken against everywhere, and therefore they would not believe in my Gospel, who suffered through persecution. Then now I tell thee and all mankind, if a religion is despised, because of persecution, or a person is despised for being visited from the Lord; then, let all men know, it is to support those that were persecuted that men are called forward to preach the Gospel and to condemn their persecutors. So, if thy character is disgraced through persecution; let them know, it is from despised and disgraced characters that the Scriptures are established throughout.

"Now let them come to the words of Paul:—‘We persuade you, in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to him:’ and so, in my stead, like the Disciples of old, was my command given to Pomeroy, with promised blessings, if he went on to try the Spirit, and prove it, that he might know if it was of God; and threatened judgments, if he refused. But now it must be made known unto all men, he did not refuse receiving thy letters; he did not refuse passing his judgment,

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to assure thee they were not from the devil; and when I told thee of the sign of the other ministers, that if they kept silence; then it should go out by his judgment alone; and this be did not refuse to pass. So that he fulfilled the first, according to my Disciples, who went out to preach my Gospel, and yet many were stumbled in the end, and went back; and so I have told thee he began to be stumbled, when he saw the Communication in a different light to what he saw it at first; and therefore I told thee that I bore with the man, I pitied the man, knowing what alarmed his fears. But now as he hath refused to judge for himself, or to give an answer to the request I ordered thee to send, let him not pity Hows for taking so long a journey to search out the truth, and prove the Spirit, whether it be of God or not, by revealing to thee the secrets of his heart, and how his jealousy was alarmed, fearing the threatenings that stood in that letter were against him, if he refused to become the Bridegroom. Because this I have told thee was the reason that his anger was kindled, from the letter which I have now ordered thee to put in print, for other men to draw their judgment from; as he refused to give an answer to any inquiry made of him. But his repentance and seeing his error in the end is a prophecy put in the hands of the Bishops, which I have told thee will be fulfilled before this year hath an end. So that he can give no answer to this, for the present; because he knoweth not what a day may bring forth. Peter boasted that he would sooner die with ME, than deny ME, but know how soon he swore by an oath, ‘I know not the man:’ Paul was going to Damascus, to have my friends and followers put to death, but know how soon a change came upon him; and

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therefore ye cannot tell of things to come, what change may be worked in the heart of a man in a day and hour they little think of. For, as the eyes of the blind by nature were opened by my power and my working; so, in like manner, those that are spiritually blind may have the eyes of their understanding opened to see the daylight, when it breaketh in upon them; and therefore ye can draw no judgment of what is to come, concerning the sign that is placed of his repentance. But from what I have told thee caused his anger, if he can come boldly forward and say, that such a thought never entered his heart, neither had he ever seen the letter in that light, to make him dread seeing thy name stand with his; if he can say from his own conscience, that all is false, which thou hast been answered concerning his thoughts; then let him say that thy writings are from the devil, as he said it was the devil that ordered thee to put his name in print; but if he cannot deny what I have said concerning the language of his heart and thoughts the way and manner he judged the letter in the end; if he cannot deny the truth of my words, let him no longer say that thy writings are from the devil. For now the end is come, for ME to try and prove the man; and this is the truth I require of him to answer, from his own conscience, whether his fears were not alarmed, in the manner I have told thee? And if he answers to this question, it is all I now require of him; for as thy writings are out in the world, there are others as well as him, to come forward in the priestly office, and to bear record of what they have seen and known.

"But as to the threatenings concerning the marriage; so far from my threatening any man for rejecting thy hand in wedlock, I now tell thee the greatest threatening and the greatest danger is to any man that wishes to take thy hand without

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his heart being united with it, without seeing the calling clear, and believing the visitation to be from on high; and without saying that he regards the woman who hath run through such dangers and hazards, and such persecution as thou hast went through, to follow on to know the Lord, and to be a clear judge in whom thou hast believed, that thou canst see thy calling clear, from the manner all was spoken, and the way I have worked round to fulfil it; therefore let no man say that I threatened judgments to him, or to any man, for rejecting thy hand in wedlock. But now I tell thee where the threatenings stand; as this was a prophecy put in the hands of a minister, for such a time as this, that, like the mock bishops and mock marriages, so in that likeness it must now take place with thee; and as this is granted by your laws concerning them, so it must now be granted concerning thee, before the CHILD is born; but after that to be realized.

"Here I have shewn thee plainly in what manner the prophecy stands, and how the threatenings stand to him, if he refuses to answer the truth. But if he answers concerning the prophecy, that what I have said is true; then no man can blame him, neither do I; but if what I have said is false; then now I have put it in his power to convince thy friends that thou art led by a wrong spirit. As he saith that he pitieth him; then now let him shew his pity and his love to God and man, that no wrong spirit may come forward in the name of the Lord; and therefore I told thee I should never give him up, till it came to the awful trial in the end: and here the trial stands awful to him, if he stands to the determination he told Hows of, to give no answer, whether it be right or wrong. Because here is an answer required, which the world cannot judge from, as they could of the events put in his hands, which

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were national prophecies, which proved themselves; but this is a prophecy from his own heart and thoughts, which no man can judge of but himself, to answer whether it be true or false. But thou sayest in thy heart, if it be false, he must contradict, to prove the truth of his words, that he said thy writings were from the devil; but, if he be silent, when this power is put into his hands, then he must own that he cannot contradict it.

"So let him not say that he pities thy friends for being led astray, when I have put it in his power to prove it, if it be so; and, let him not say that he will answer to truth wherever he sees it, if he now refuses to answer to the truth of what I have said concerning him. For here I have made the prophecy plain before all men; and how the truth may be tried and proved, that the counsels of the heart are made manifest and brought to light, by the knowledge and wisdom of God, who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins of the children of men, and who inspired men with wisdom and understanding, which they themselves did not discern, and wisdom which the world admire, but cannot explain: and if you inquire of them the meaning of the words so much admired by men, they will tell thee that they do not believe it. For now I shall come to the ‘MESSIAH,’ written by Pope, which is so universally admired; but if men believed what they profess to admire in his ‘Messiah,’ they must believe in my visitation to thee, both from the Prophecies and the Son that I have told thee shall be born this year, to fulfil my Gospel and the Prophets. Now come to one of his remarks, and then let the verse follow.

" ‘Imitations.
" ‘A Virgin shall conceive—All crime shall cease, &c.
" ‘Now the Virgin returns, now the kingdom

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of Saturn returns, now a new progeny is sent down from high heaven. By means of thee, whatever relics of our crimes remain shall be wiped away, and free the world from perpetual fears. He shall govern the earth in peace, with the virtues of his father.’—

MESSIAH

A sacred Eclogue, in imitation of Virgil’s Pollio.

Ye Nymphs of SOLYMA! begin the song:
To heav’nly themes sublimer strains belong.
The mossy fountains, and the sylvan shades,
The dreams of Pindus, and th’ Aonian maids,
Delight no more—O thou my voice inspire
Who touch’d ISAIAH’S hallow’d lips with fire!
Rapt into future times, the bard begun:
A VIRGIN shall conceive, a VIRGIN bear a SON!
1
From JESSE’S ROOT behold a BRANCH arise,2
Whose sacred flow’r with fragrance fills the skies;
Th’ ætherial spirit o’er its leaves shall move,
And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
Ye heav’ns! from high the dewy nectar pour,
And in soft silence shed the kindly show’r!
3
The sick and weak the healing plant shall aid,
From storms a shelter, and from heat a shade.
4
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail;
Returning Justice lift aloft the scale;
5
Peace o’er the world her olive wand extend,
And white-rob’d Innocence from heav’n descend,
Swift fly the years, and rise th’ expected morn!
Oh spring to light, auspicious BABE! be born.
See nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring,
With all the incense of the breathing spring:
6
See lofty Lebanon his head advance,
See nodding forests on the mountains dance!
7
See spicy clouds from lowly Sharon rise,
And Carmel’s flow’ry top perfume the skies!
8

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1 Isaiah vii. 14.—ix. 6, 7.
2 Chap. xi. 1.
3 Chap. xlv. 8.
4 Chap. xxv. 4.
5 Chap. ix. 7.
6 Isaiah xxv. 1.
7 Chap. xl. 13.
8 Chap. xxxv. 2.

Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers;
Prepare the way! a GOD, a GOD appears:
9
A GOD, a GOD! the vocal hills reply,
The rocks proclaim the approaching Deity.
Lo, earth receives him from the bending skies!
Sink down, ye mountains, and, ye valleys, rise;
With heads declined, ye cedars, homage pay;
Be smooth, ye rocks; ye rapid floods give way!
The SAVIOUR comes, by ancient bards foretold:
Hear him, ye deaf, and, all ye blind, behold!
He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day:
’Tis he the obstructed paths of sound shall clear,
And bid new music charm the unfolding ear:
The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego,
And leap, exulting, like the bounding roe.
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear,
From ev’ry face he wipes off ev’ry tear.
10
In adamantine chains shall death be bound,
And Hell’s grim tyrant feel th’ eternal wound.
11
As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air,
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs,
By day o’ersees them, and by night protects,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms,
Feeds from his hands, and in his bosom warms;
13
Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage,
The promised FATHER of the future age,
14
No more shall nation against nation rise,
Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes,
Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover’d o’er,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
But useless lances into scythes shall bend,
And the broad faulchion in a plowshare end.
15
Then palaces shall rise; the joyful SON
Shall finish what his short-liv’d SIRE begun;
Their vines a shadow to their race shall yield,
And the same hand that sow’d, shall reap the field.
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise;
And starts amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murm’ring in the ear.

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9 Chap. xl. 3, 4.
10 Chap. xl. 3, 4.—Chap. iv. 23.—Chap. xliii. 18.—Chap. xxxv. 5, 6.
11 Chap. xxv. 8.
12 Chap. xl. 11.
13 Chap. ix. 6.
14 Chap. ii. 4

On rifted rocks, the dragon’s late abodes,
The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods.
Waste sandy valleys, once perplex’d with thorn
The spiry fir and shapely box adorn:
To leafless shrubs the flow’ry palms succeed,
And od’rous myrtle to the noisome weed.
15
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead,
And boys in flow’ry bands the tiger lead;
16
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet,
And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim’s feet.
The smiling infant in his hand shall take
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
Pleas’d the green lustre of the scales survey,
And with their forky tongue shall innocently play.
17
Rise, crown’d with light, imperial Salem, rise!
Exalt thy tow’ry head, and lift thy eyes!
18
See a long race thy spacious courts adorn;
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
In crowding ranks on every side arise,
Demanding life, impatient for the skies!
19
See barb’rous nations at thy gates attend,
Walk in thy light, and in thy temple bend;
20
See thy bright altars throng’d with prostrate kings,
And heap’d with products of Sabæan springs!
For thee Idume’s spicy forests blow,
And seeds of gold in Ophir’s mountains glow.
21
See heav’n its sparkling portals wide display,
And break upon thee in a flood of day!
No more the rising sun shall gild the morn,
Nor ev’ning Cynthia fill her silver horn;
But lost, dissolv’d in thy superior rays,
One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
O’erflow thy courts: the LIGHT himself shall shine
Reveal’d, and GOD’S eternal day be thine!
22
The seas shall waste, the skies in smoke decay,
Rocks fall to dust, and mountains melt away;
23
But fix’d his word, his saving pow’r remains;
Thy realm for ever lasts, thy own MESSIAH reigns!

"And now I shall return to the letter, which I have ordered thee to bring forward, and which no man could understand till now: but as there are many harsh expressions in the letter, because my threatenings were severe if he refused to take

15 Chap. xli. 19.—Chap. lv. 13.
16 Chap. xi. 6, 7, 8.
17 Chap lxv. 25.
18 Chap. lx. 1.
19 Chap. lx. 4.
20 Chap. xl. 3.
21 Chap. lx. 6.
22 Chap. lx. 19.
23 Chap. li. 6.—Chap. liv. 10.

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thy writings in hand, to bring them out to the world, they may judge those threatenings stand still against him, without discerning that he went through all his office at the first; and though I have tried him every way, by ordering thee to reprove him, and thy friends also, and, as he complains, wearied him out with letters; yet know he hath never acted as a Judas to betray thee in that letter, which no man could understand till now; for though he wrote to thy friends that it was a farrago of sense and nonsense; yet he never brought forward that Communication, to prove his assertion, as a man of a wicked and malicious heart might have done, to condemn thee, and confound all thy friends; as no one could answer to it. But know, I have tried him every way, by public letters, and by a private interview; therefore I ordered thee to send Hows unto him; but as he did not bring it forward against thee, I have not ordered thee to bring it forward against him, but rather to justify him. If he acknowledges the truth of what I have said, then know I told thee that there is nothing standing against him; as my will was done in him and by him, till the writings went out, for others to judge for themselves and take the cause in hand; but no man could draw a clear judgment, to explain that letter of 1797, till now; for what title had I to entrust to any man, to raise him high at that time? Neither could this be done; however high I had raised thee in the world, the title could not come that way; but here is the title that I have told thee of—the COMFORTER’S coming, which is the PRINCE OF PEACE, which I have shewn thee, throughout the Scripture, how the CHILD is spoken of by the Prophets, and how I spoke of him in my Gospel—a SON to be revealed in the end, to have power and great glory. Then know, the title that is given to the CHILD must be entrusted to the

24

adopted FATHER of the CHILD; because he is entrusted to stand in my stead. But now I ask mankind how any one can prove his judgment clear, to say that a marriage is threatened to a man in this prophecy, to bring him low, when I have said that it is to raise him high and give him a title he had not before? Thus none discerned what they read, to judge that the threatenings were for his danger to disgrace himself and family, if he came into the mock marriage here mentioned; and now I tell thee, in like manner, that thousands may read this letter at first, and judge it stood as he judged, without observing what they read: just so do men read the Scriptures; and therefore I said, my people perish for want of knowledge; and it is for want of knowledge of the Scriptures, the way and manner they must be worked round to be fulfilled, and the strange events that must take place in the end, before men can prove the Scriptures true, or prove my Gospel true; it is for want of this knowledge of men’s not seeing what they read, to understand it aright, that makes men say all is finished, because I said it is finished, when I was on the cross to give up my life for the transgression of man: for then men nor devils could go no further; they had gone to the extent of all their malice, and completely finished it. But know, I told them I should come again, like the father who made the marriage for his son." Here I shall leave the readers to draw their judgment from this book.

From JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.

Monday, July 11th, 1814.

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