Strange Effects of Faith;
(MADE IN 1792, &c.)
OF THINGS WHICH ARE TO COME:
Also, some Account of my Life.
The Lord is coming (as he hath spoken by his Prophets) to be the Mighty Counsellor, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, and the Desire of every Nation: And this is his Counsel-To deal with Men after the Manner of Men; to have these Writings tried by Judges and Jury: The Judges are the Ministers of the Lord: the Jury are the Sheep of his Flock: So I give myself up to the Judgment of Men, to be tried according to the Laws of God and Man. Now, if I am refused so just and fair a Trial, I must judge myself in a Land that Darkness hath overspread, and gross Darkness the Eyes of the People; where Justice is fallen in the Streets, and Equity cannot enter.
Exeter, Jan. 1801.
In the first Edition, the second Page was left a Blank, and the following is permitted to be added to fill up that Blank Page. It was given by the Spirit to Joanna, on the 29th Oct., 1802. She was then told she should not only have the knowledge from the Spirit, but also the Power, and it was by divine Power she had been kept to go on, not only in opposition to men and devils, but against her own will. For she had often determined to burn all her writings.
Now these are the Words that were given to Joanna from the Spirit:-"They will see the truth of my Words in thy Writings, from thy own hand; and here is the truth of thy dream (see page 32 of this book), trying to break the feathers, but could not, for my decrees are unalterable, and change not; and now thou shalt find thyself the little Bird that plucked the feathers from the great ones.--
For now, I say, thou'lt pluck them all,
When you to the purpose come,
Their lofty feathers they shall fall;
The Great Bird will be known,
Whose feathers hard they were of brass,
The gold was spangled there;
For I shall then unveil my face,
And like the bird appear.
For none shall pluck, and none shall break
The things that I've decreed;
And they shall find the simple bird
Confound the wisest head;
Whoe'er do come, with words most strong
Thou shalt confound them all;
And they shall know, before 'tis long,
Their feathers all shall fall
Unto the ground, in every sound;
My Word they cannot break,
That it was I did visit thee,
And I in thee do speak.
So high or low, let mortals know,
'Tis I direct thy hand:
The spangled gold thou didst behold
Upon the Bird to stand,
Whose feathers there did so appear
As solid Brass to thee;
From it the nations all shall know
The firm decrees of Me.
So 'tis in vain, ye sons of men,
Ever to break my word;
The spangled gold I now shall bring
To those that judge the Lord
Will now go on, as I've begun,
Until I've made an end;
And then the gold I'll give to man
That now will stand my friend.
So I'll end here and say no more,
For all is hastening on."
As in every age of the world, when the Lord began to work on the heart of man, to prophesy in his name, Satan began to work on the hearts of others to prophesy by him, that the Prophets of the Lord might not be believed: so now, in the last days, when the Lord intends to do as he spoke in the Prophet Joel, pouring his Spirit upon all flesh, and upon his handmaids, that they shall prophesy, he well knows Satan will do the same: therefore, it is written, False Prophets and False Christs will arise.
And that no man might be deceived in this matter, I say, that the Gospel of Christ, and the Visions of John in the Revelation (chap. xii, xix, and last) show who are the Prophets to be believed: but no living Man can give an explanation. 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: for it was sealed up in the bosom of the Father, till he thought proper to break the seals, and reveal it to a Woman, as it is written in the Revelation.
Had these things been known or understood by man, the world would have seen many of these women in every age and century; but the Lord hath concealed it from man, as he did from the Jews the manner in which Christ should be born, which was a stumbling-block to them; and now the case is the same with the Gentiles; for neither Jews nor Gentiles understand their Bibles.
We are commanded to try the spirits, whether they be of God, or not. If they be of God, the truth will make manifest.
Now, if any twelve Ministers, who are worthy and good men, will prove these writings come from the Devil and his foreknowledge of things; and explain clearly to me those mysteries of the Bible that I shall propose to them, I will refrain from further printing: but if they cannot, I shall go on, till I have made public all the mysteries of the Bible-the times which are to come-and what shall happen till Christ's Kingdom be established; sometimes from parables, sometimes from types and shadows, sometimes from dreams and visions, and also from the Bible, which showeth, by the account of the tree of knowledge, that knowledge must come to man from the woman. As she at first plucked the fruit, and brought the knowledge of the evil fruit, so at last she must bring the knowledge of the good fruit.
The Strange Effects of Faith.
As I have begun to publish to the world, I shall give some short account of my Life, which hath been singular, from my youth up to this day. I shall omit former particulars, and begin with informing the Reader, that, in 1792, I was strangely visited, by day and night, concerning what was coming upon the whole earth. I was then ordered to set it down in writing. I obeyed, though not without strong external opposition; and so it has continued to the present time.
In 1792, my Sister told me, I was growing out of my senses. She said, "You say there will be a war. Who shall we go to war with? The French are destroying themselves. As to the dearth of provision you speak of, you are wrong; for corn will come down very low; I could not make 4s. 6d. a bushel of the best of the wheat this year. As to the distresses of the nation, you are wrong there; for England was never in a more flourishing state than it is at present."-I answered, "Well, if it be of God, it will come to pass, however likely or unlikely it may appear at present. If not, I shall hurt no one but myself in writing it. I am the fool, and must be the sufferer, if it be not of God. If it be of God, I would not refuse for the world, and am determined to err on the safest side." My Sister thought she should err on the safest side, by preventing me from doing it; and said, I should not do it in her house. However, I took advantage of her absence; and, in 1792, I wrote of what has since followed in this nation and all others; but the end is not yet.-I left my writings at Plymtree, and came back to Exeter.
In 1793, the war broke out; and in this year, three remarkable things happened, which I had written of in 1792. These events strengthened my judgment that it was of God; for it was said, "Whatever I put into thy mouth, I will do upon the earth."
In 1793, I told the Rev. Mr. L. how I had been warned of what was coming. After hearing me in silence, he said, "It comes from the Devil; for not one thing you have mentioned will come to pass. You have the war in your favour, which is all that will come true of your prophecies; and the war will be over in a quarter of a year. It is from the devil, to disturb your peace: Satan hath a design to sift you as wheat. Yet I believe you to be a good woman; your friends speak of you in the highest terms; but what you have said will never come true. Besides, if it were, the Lord would never have revealed it to you. There are a thousand in Exeter, whom I could point out, to whom the Lord would have revealed it before he would to you."-Of these observations I had been warned, before I saw him; yet it made a deep impression on my heart, tears and prayers were my private companions. But the next day, I was answered, "Who made him a judge? He neither knows thee, nor thy forefathers, who walked before me with a perfect and upright heart." Thus the feeling of my heart was deeply answered; with further sayings used by him, which at present I shall not mention.
Soon after this, I went to St. Peter's Cathedral, and heard the Rev. Mr.---; whose text was Walk ye in the light, while ye have light, lest darkness come upon you. He remarked on the neighbouring nations abroad, and on the seven churches of Asia; made application to the affairs of our own land; and concluded with the words of Samuel, Yet for all this God will save you, because ye are his people, if ye obey him; if not--" -As soon as his sermon was over, I was answered, "Thou must say unto him, as our Saviour said unto Peter-Blessed art thou, Barjonah-for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to him, but the Spirit of God. What he hath this day preached is the will of God. If L. give it up, go to him [the Preacher] for he will not; for the laws of the Lord are written in his heart." I had been answered, that the truth of my writings must be brought to light by one man; either by the Rev. Mr. L. or the Rev. Mr.---- the Preacher above mentioned. This was at the end of 1793, not long after I had been with Mr. L. and it was said to me, "I shall set signs before thee. He that bringeth to light shall come unto thee; for that shall be the sign unto thee, my servant. He shall come; for I will so incline his heart, that my will may be done." But I was not to write to Mr.---- the Preacher till Mr. L. gave it up. I told my friends of the signs; but bound them to secrecy, that no one might be any way influenced by my writing.
The next summer, 1794, corn grew dear, and distress began in our land. Thus commenced the shadow of my writings; and I was told the substance was behind. I then sent another letter to Mr. L.; but he was not so confident as in 1793. He wrote to me as follows: "The Lord may have revealed to you what he has not to me; but I am of opinion with many, we are going to see good days."-The substance of his letter confounded me; and made me earnest in prayer. I was answered, "He erreth in judgment, as well as stumbleth in visions, to judge that the storm is blown over."-I took his letter, and the answer to it, and sealed them up together, thinking time would show whose words were most true, those of the Spirit that visited me, or those of Mr. L. and such as joined him in opinion.
In 1795, I sent him another letter, telling him, that danger still stood before us, and that the truth of what I had written in 1792 was to be proved by 12 men. Mr. L. wrote me an answer, that he had taken my important question into consideration; that all were ready to serve me; and that the wisest way he could think of would be to bring the 12 men together the Monday following.-Before this answer reached me, I was told that he had not given it up; but that it would not happen according to his words. The thoughts of their hearts were laid open to me, and I was told, they proposed this, in order to convince me of my folly: So I was ordered to write him a short reply, and to go and converse with him. I was told, that it should be set before me as a sign, that Mr. E. would come to my house, and invite me to his, where I should meet Mr. L.---All this happened accordingly.--The week after, it was said unto me, "If L. come unto thee, thou hast nothing to fear from him; but if thou go unto him, he will surely stumble; for he that doth obey will come; and when he heareth he will not condemn;
"But, O thrice happy is the man
That doth begin and will go on,
Till ev'ry curtain be drawn back,
To know, and prove, if I do speak.
For happy then shall be the man,
That doth obey his call:
His talents five shall soon be ten,
My Spirit so shall fall.
Him I'll impower from on high,
My Spirit he shall feel,
The sinner's heart he shall awake,
The broken heart shall heal."
This was spoken before I had seen Mr. L. On the Monday following, Mr. E. came to my house, and asked me to come to his. Thither I went, met Mr. L. and told him what reasons I had for believing my writings came from the Lord. Mr. L. and all who were present heard me in silence. When I had delivered my reasons, I asked his judgment. He said, "What you know not now you will hereafter. If it be of God, we shall see more of it; if of yourself, your head is wiser than mine." I asked him, if he would give up inquiry into its truth. He said, "No; it requires time to consider of it." The Monday following, I asked Mr. and Mrs. L. to breakfast at my house; but they did not come. That day, I was answered thus:
"Now tell him plain, he's not the man;
For 'tis by ---- it must be done,
Back to the Church, the standard all must come;
For in the altar I was seen at first;
And in the altar did the glory burst,
Where Simeon did the holy child behold;
And in the altar are the plates of gold."
The week following, Mr. L. sent me an answer, that he had given it up, and had resigned to the minister, who (as I have said) was chosen in his room. This was at the close of summer, 1795. At the end of the year I was to have together six men of the dissenting class, to try their judgment. Four refused to attend, as they thought it from the Devil, or judged me to be both a knave and a fool: So I had other four in their room; but was told, before I met them, that their judgment would not be right, their wisdom was too weak; therefore I must be the judge myself;
If they believe that hell below
Such language e'er can speak:
But back their footsteps all will trace,
And marvel what they've done;
And wonder that they could not go
In things that were so plain.
I was ordered to meet the six men, and read to them how some particular chapters of the Bible were explained, with a few prophecies, and some remarkable instances of my life. Every man was to keep silence for the space of an hour. This they did; and great is the mystery explained to me, as the watch was laid on the seals, by which were inclosed the names of the 12 men. When the hour was past, I demanded their judgment; and quitted the room while they consulted. In some time, they came to me, saying, they had agreed, and must see the prophecies. I said, they should, if they judged them to be of God. They came again, saying, they must know who the ministers were. A third time they came, and said, they must break the seals on the ministers' names. I told them that should only be done in presence of the twelve themselves. But curiosity made them break the seals; and, thus breaking all their wisdom, they said, it was from the Devil, or myself, for they could not perceive it to be of God; and therefore they tried to persuade me to give it up, forgetting what I had read to them, and that they had fulfilled my writings.-The meaning and mystery of this meeting I shall explain another time.
Next day, I was persuaded to yield to their wisdom; but I was answered, that it should be fatal for me; for the Lord would not resign to their wisdom; therefore I should not give it up to them.-Thus I ended with the dissenting line.
At the end of 1795 and beginning of 1796, I was ordered to write to the Church ministers. At the time of the general fast, I sent a letter to the Rev. Mr.- (the preacher before alluded to) on the Gospel, Suppose ye, that those Galileans were sinners above all Galileans, because they suffered these things? The reverend gentleman sent me word by the bearer, that he would send an answer by his servant. I waited nearly a week, and did not hear from him. One day, I was above stairs writing, and the last words I wrote were, "Go down and see him." I went down and found him inquiring about me. I asked him to walk in, and said, "I suppose, Sir, my letter hath surprised you." He asked, "Was it you that sent it?" I told him, Yes, with my reasons; and that Mr. L. had judged it from the Devil. The reverend gentleman said that nothing of what I had said to him appeared likely to have come from the Devil. As to the dangers which I had said stood before us, he did not seem to doubt them; but said, if I was called of God, I ought to warn the public before the rod fell, as it would be of no use afterward. Thus finding the reverend gentleman's conversation correspond with what I had been foretold years before, I sent him a letter.
My faith grew strong, and I sent a letter (as I was ordered) to the Rev. Dignitary of the Cathedral of Exeter. I was assured, before I sent it, he would not answer it.
I dreamt soon after, that I was in a room with a well-looking gentleman and lady. On a sudden, the door was burst open, and the devil entered in disguise, and attempted to seize the gentleman, who fled to the farthest part of the room. The devil pursued him, endeavouring to put his arm around his neck; but the gentleman pushed him off. The lady and myself were affrighted, and I awoke.-The next day, it was answered me, "It is the Christian minister, he will come to thee in disguise."-I said to a person, "How differently is my dream explained to what I expected!" I thought the above-mentioned reverend gentleman Satan would try to deceive; and I was answered-
Thy thought of .............is not wrong;
For Satan will try there;
But to the purpose he will come,
And baffle all his snares:
As thou didst dream he pushed him off,
He Satan will defy.
He will appear, the truth to clear,
And steadfast he will stand.
Be not surpris'd at the disguise,
That he may take in hand.
So now I bid thee to go home,
And show thy writings there;
And, sudden as thy garden dream,
I'll make him to appear."
The last thing I had written was, that I should see him the next day. Being then at work, Mrs. T. sent me word a gentleman desired to speak with me. He was displeased, and said, a man had been at his house, and told him I had prophesied lies; that, if it were so, it could not be from God; and I was committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, and he doubted not, I should lose my senses. Mrs. T. said, she knew not of any lies I had prophesied; but she knew, that I had told of these things when there was no appearance of them. He said, that was very surprising.--Such had been their conversation, before I came.--When I came, I found it to be the Rev. Mr. -----, whom I expected, and he repeated his words to me. I told him, he had been misinformed as to the sense of my words, and explained particulars to him. He said, "Then your prophecies were not false;" yet he reasoned with me on the danger of my proceedings, if I were not called of God. Finding he could not convince me, it was not of the Lord, he said, "Then why don't you have your writings proved? You will wait till you bring the sword, the plague, and the famine, upon us. If you cannot get twelve, get six. I will meet with any." I said, "Sir, it must be twelve." He said, "Then let it be twelve; but do not wait till you bring the sword upon us." I said, I would not, if the ministers would prove them.-I was convinced, that he had disguised his real sentiment, and had thus promised to examine my writings, thinking to convince me of my folly.
"So, thou seest plain, that he did mean
To stay thy written hand:
To please a fool, he'd anger rule,
Till he could all command.
That is to see the mystery,
And then convince the whole,
It was to lay thy follies by,
Made him the cause uphold."
As these words were revealed to me, I admired his wisdom, patience, and prudence; and thought Heaven could not direct me to a wiser or a better minister; for he that can conquer his own passions is a greater hero than he who taketh a city. He must be a good man that can so condescend to convince a fool of her folly. But he knew not my strong reasons for judging my writings to be of God.
The May following, two things happened, as had been predicted. I went to the above minister's house, and put a letter into his hand, saying, "Sir, as you doubt what Spirit I am led by, be pleased to keep this letter till the end of the year; you will then judge of its truth." This he consented to do.---At the end of 1796, what I had written of came to pass. He then said to me, "Formerly, if it were asked of a prophet, how the wars would tend, he could tell. Now, if you can inform me of what will happen in Italy or England, I shall believe you."-The next day, I was earnest in prayer, that the Lord would answer his inquiries; and they were so. I sent him the answer, which was completely fulfilled, as to Italy and England, in 1797; but the three sheets of writing, which I gave him, foretold affairs for years to come, and spoke much of the present period.
The following spring, 1797, I sent a letter to a second Dignitary of the Exeter Cathedral. His servant returned it to me, saying his master would not be in Exeter to receive it till the next week. I then sent it again and met the like disappointment; but the letter was left. I was now answered, that I should have the same dissatisfaction when he came to Exeter, and that both Dignitaries would treat my letters with contempt.
"Thus both will thee deceive.
But shall they laugh thee unto shame,
For what thou dost believe?
If they agree to laugh at thee,
Their laughter I shall turn;
And in the end, thou'lt find these men,
Like thee, will sorely mourn.
Thou build'st so high, that none can fly,
To rob thee of thy brood.
The fowler's net cannot come nigh;
Nor can the shooter's load.
Tho' heavy charges men prepare,
And point them from their breast:
They are afraid to let them off,
Lest they their aim should miss.
Besides they fear, I may be there;
And terror stops the blow:
Thus I thee guard from every snare,
And that they all shall know."
In this manner, from simple types and shadows, I was foretold how every man would act; and that I had nothing to fear, as no man would hurt me, if the truth of my writings should provoke them to anger.
These promises, and the proofs of the truth of my writings, strengthened my confidence in the Lord; but I have often marvelled, why I was ordered to send to ministers who would not give themselves the trouble of searching out the truth; and, for this reason have often doubted whether the calling were of God, or not. But the pondering of my heart was thus answered:
"How can the fruit be ever tried?
How can the truth be e'er applied?
The godly men will so decay,
If I shall prove as weak as thee.
I say, the fruit shall surely fall:
Let ............. stand, and hear his call;
And now a Moses let him be,
Or else my judgments all shall see;
Then all together you may feast
And all together fast;
I'll bring a mystery in the end,
That shall for ever last."
These words were delivered to me in 1796, in answer to a sermon, preached on the 29th of May, by the first mentioned Dignitary, to whom I had sent a letter. I fancied that he reproached me in his sermon; and his words pierced my heart. I marvelled, that a gentleman, to whom I had appealed, should decline seeing me to convince me of my error, if I were wrong; and in solitary tears, I repeated the words of David,
"Since godly men decay, O Lord,
Do thou my cause defend;
For scarce these wretched times afford
One just and faithful friend."
I was answered:
"Since godly men do so decay,
And thou dost sore complain,
Then the good Shepherd shall appear,
The sheep for to redeem;
For faithful labourers now shall come
And in my vineyard go;
My harvest it is hastening on,
Which every soul shall know."
After this, it was said to me, "As men increase thy sorrows, I will increase theirs: and the general burden shall increase, till men take the load from thee."-Yet I marvelled, how the 12th chapter of Revelation could be fulfilled, of the woman travailing in birth, and longing to be delivered? but the wonders John saw in heaven must take place on earth.
What wonders there would then appear
To an enlighten'd race,
When every mystery is made clear,
And seen without a glass.
No veil between then being seen,
No wonders you'd behold;
For all alike is clearly bright,
As pearly streets with gold.
Should wonders there to you appear,
You'd wonder then of all.
To see them clothed with the sun,
Could wonder none at all.
Such is the mystery to man-(that a woman should be clothed with the Sun of Righteousness, who is now coming with healing in his wings)-because they know not the Scriptures, which indicate, that to fulfil all righteousness, the woman must be a helpmate to man, to complete his happiness. This men marvel at, because they never conceived what the Lord hath in store for them, in fulfilling his Promise given to the woman.
So men, I see, do stand in wonder,
While angels also gaze;
Satan broke man's bliss asunder;
Man wandereth in a maze.
So, with amaze, you all may gaze;
The angels wonder here,
You cannot see the mystery,
Nor find the Bible clear.
There Eden's tree you shall see
Preserved for your sake;
The flaming sword is God's own word,
'Twill break the serpent's neck.
Thus, by types, shadows, dreams, and visions, I have been led on from 1792, to the present day; whereby the mysteries of the Bible, with the future destinies of nations have been revealed to me, which will all terminate in the Second Coming of Christ; and the Day of Judgment, when the seven thousand years are ended.
"Now, should men say, all this by thee is done,
Thy head is wiser than each mortal's son.
And if they say it cometh from the Devil,
Then plainly tell them, that their thoughts are evil;
For Satan's wisdom never lay so deep;
Yet to thyself thou must the secret keep.
But if men say, it cometh from on high,
My judges shall appear, the truth to try.
Then in thy faith be steadfast still,
With salt be season'd well.
Remember thy baptismal vow,
And triumph over hell.
Your Captain too shall quickly come
And bring all to an end,
And fix his glorious Empire o'er
The wise, whose hearts will bend.
As in a humble manger here,
Kings did their Sovereign see,
So my low handmaid doth appear
To all a mystery.
Now, can you longer make dispute,
From whence you hear the sound
Thus Satan must henceforth be mute,
Nor talk the faithful down.
The reasons all are none at all
Of those that won't believe:
Thus when the Bible forth I call,
What answer will you give?"
I omitted to mentioned, in the proper place, that, at the end of 1794 I had a strange vision-As soon as I had laid down in my bed, a light came over the room. I looked at the window; but saw no light proceed from thence. I looked at the door, to see if any one was entering with a candle; but no person was there. The room now appeared to me to be full of lighted candles, hanging, in candlesticks, on lines crossing the room. Being astonished and frightened, I covered my head with the bed-clothes, and then saw a spacious room, with a chandelier of many branches, and lighted lamps sparkling with great lustre. In the midst of the room stood a large table, with large lighted candles thereon, so that the light equalled the noon day. I exclaimed, "What can this mean?" I was answered, "Arise and shine, for the light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen."
The next day, being perfectly awake, I was ordered to write down my vision, which was thus explained to me:-That my writings must be proved by 12 men; and, when met for that purpose, that the candle of the Lord would burn brightly among them, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding be given them; for as the day of Pentecost was to the Disciples, so should that day be to them; and every one present should see it was the Lord's doing. The names of the appointed 12 I put into the hand of one of the 6 persons mentioned in p. 10, and charged them not to break the seals upon them, till the 12 were assembled. However, as I said before, the watch that was laid on the seals was removed and the seals broken thro' unbelief, so that darkness came upon the minds of them. Thus is the mystery explained, that this circumstance is set as a watch before mankind.
The harvest of 1796 was remarkably good, and great plenty followed: And it was said unto me, "As they (the men mentioned in p. 10) kept silence for the space of one hour, the Lord hath withheld the rain in time of harvest."
Now, if this publication awaken the ministers to search out the truth, or the Rev. Mr.----, (the preacher) return to examination of my writings, the next three following harvests are promised to be plentiful. "Prove me now (saith the Lord), and try me, if I will not shower down blessings upon you." But, if the many truths laid before you, with the threatenings put into the hands of ministers, do not awaken them to search out the truth, the Lord will fulfil his word.
"If by the wise men I am mock'd now,
Like Herod's fury, I'll fulfil my vow.
Who my anger shall appease,
If all deny my will?
My thunderbolts shall loudly roll,
And men's proud hearts shall chill."
Now, let the Reader look deep into the mystery, and behold what Divine Wisdom hath directed me to show to mankind. I was foretold how ministers would act, and that the truth would be brought to light by one man. I was now ordered to have my writings copied, and put into the printer's hand. This I did; and the very day I had given them to the printer, the chosen minister returned to Exeter. I thought, I would not send to him till the book was printed; but was answered, "How weak is thy judgment!" and was ordered to send to him next day. I found he was offended by my putting his name in the newspaper. He said, if I published his name, he had done with me; otherwise he would comply with my request. Two friends of mine wrote to him, of the truth of my writings: and at his request, I waited on him with one of my friends. He said, he found argument fruitless in persuading me to stop my hand, and should argue with me no more. He bade me get the writings of 1792 copied out, as he could not set the originals before ministers, who would not attend to manuscripts which they could not read; and they would not trust to what I should read to them: Therefore, he bade me open the seals on the writings of 1792, and send them with the fair copy; and if the ministers he consulted should judge them to be of God, I might have 12 or 14 afterwards.
When I returned home, I was ordered to follow his advice, remembering what had been told me in 1793, "I will direct thee to a man, whose talents are greater than thine; he shall have five talents; he shall direct thee." So I had my writings broken open before witnesses, marked, copied, and some part sent to him.
The week after, I waited on him again. He said, what I had sent was not enough to convince ministers, and I must open the seals set in 1794 and 1795. The next day (Sunday) I was ordered to have them opened in the presence of 12 witnesses, who were to set their names on them. Three weeks were then allowed him, to examine, to consult ministers, and to judge whether the writings were of God, or not.
Soon after, I was ordered to write to three ministers (the letters will be hereafter given); and I was told it would be fatal for me for time and eternity, if I did not publish my writings, should these ministers remain silent seven days after. It was said to me, "I do not need the ministers to prove whether they be of God or not; for that shall be proved by the truth: But this I command thee to do, to keep thee from the snares of men, who may charge and condemn thee for imposture; saying, thou hast signed thy name to what thou hast not written. I have so ordered every truth to be made plain, that no man can prove one false report in thy writings, or dispute what spirit inspires thee. Thy writings must be submitted to the judgment of learned ministers of my Word. Let them be disputed before they be proved; let ministers be the judges, and common men the witnesses and jury, to try the truth of this ordination. All thou hast done and all the letters thou hast sent, have proceeded from the command of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty Counsellor, and the Desire of every nation."
When I sent the letters to ministers, it was said to me, that if these things were not of God, their hearts should be worked on to stop my hand in seven days; and if they did not, I should wait no longer than New Year's Day (Old Style) 1801, and then have it printed, to be judged of by the world at large, to try the wisdom of men, and to let them see what wisdom there is in the Lord, of whom it is written in the Psalms,
"God in the great assembly stands,
Where his impartial eye
In state surveys the earthly gods,
And doth their judgments try."
New-Year's Day arriving, and the ministers, to whom I wrote, remaining silent, I consider their silence as evidence, that they cannot prove what I said not to be from the Lord, and have therefore published as I was directed.
The following is a copy of the letter I sent to the Rev. Mr.----, at Heavitree.
"Sir, I have sent you many letters, wherein you have kept silence, as being at a loss from what hand they were indited. You judged it strange, sir, the Lord should reveal his secrets to a woman: but, when you come to the knowledge of your Bible, you will not judge it strange at all. You first judged it came from the wisdom of man; and therein you erred as much as the former; for was every man on earth a Solomon for wisdom, they could not bring round such a mystery as in my writings, and make every truth agree. If there ever was so much wisdom in man, he must be a fool to give the praise to another, and not take to himself the merit due to himself.-Now I shall come to the purpose. The century is ended; the seals are cut open in the presence of six witnesses (what was written in 1792) and marked, and copied out. What was written in 1794, till 1795 and 1797, and nailed up in a box, is broken open in the presence of twelve witnesses; and they have signed their names to all the writings; so that, if the originals be demanded, no man can be deceived. Some of them were copied out, and sent to the Rev. Mr.--. So here the century ends with men. If those Ministers, that I have written to, do not go to Mr.-- before the year ends to the old style, and prove these writings are not from the Lord, their silence gives consent that it is of God, and they will be made public. The Lord was but seven days making the world, and rested on one of them; and he will allow no longer for man than seven days to judge of his works; so I am compelled to warn you all, what you do you must do quickly, or for ever after hold your tongues. When you hear me make public to the world, that it is the . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
that are bringing down the judgments of God . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and they will bring the . . . . . . . . . . . upon themselves.--Now, if any Ministers, that I have written to, can deny the truth of these things, let them bring forth their arguments, and show their strong reasons; or let them be silent before the Lord, and say we cannot answer thee one word of a thousand, in all the letters thou hast sent us: For, be it known unto you, and to all men, it is the Lord's doing, however marvellous it may appear in your eyes. My writings are in the hands of Mr.---, that you are to judge, if you think proper, in the time I have mentioned. I will give it up to no man's judgment after the seven days are expired, but shall publish them as I have said. I have understanding as well as you all, neither am I a whit behind you; but ye have all been judges of what ye know nothing about. I am clear from the blood of all men; and am, with the greatest respect, your humble servant,
The following is a copy of a letter sent to one of the Dignitaries of the Cathedral of Exeter.
Jan. 4, 1801.
I beg liberty to say unto you, (as the Voice said unto Paul) Why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee, O Paul, to kick against the pricks. And it is hard for you, Sir, to fight against God through unbelief. You have done it, till almost a . . . is come on the poor; and if you continue, you will bring the . . . . on the rich; for you will surely find, Sir, you have a God to deal with, and not (as you suppose) a simple woman, whose senses are gone you know not where. I grant, they are gone out of the reach of man, while you judge through a glass darkly; but you must judge face to face, Sir, if you will be a judge for yourself, unto whom you have done despite; either to the Spirit of the Lord or me. If it was to me, I would never trouble your Honour with this letter; for my spirit is too great to be treated with contempt. But, as you have done it to the Lord, I am ordered to warn you in his name. The time of ignorance God winketh at; but now you have no cloak for yourself, if you shut your eyes against the day-light. The letter I sent you in 1799, of the harvest, I had copied out and sent to the Rev. Mr.--. Both harvests came as I foretold. Mr.-- disputed with me, if my foreknowledge did not come of myself, and desired me to come to the purpose of what I wrote in 1792; so I opened my seals in the presence of witnesses, and had all my writings marked in the presence of 12 witnesses (what I wrote in 1794 and 1795 and 1796 and 1792) and had part of them copied out and sent to Mr.--, for him to consult with Ministers from what spirit they judged it came; from the Spirit of the Lord, or the powers of darkness. I shall not blush to say, that man is void of understanding, that says, it is from myself. But now, Sir, I must come to the purpose. The writings I have sent to the Rev. Mr.--, if they are not proved by Ministers before the year is out by the old style, that they are not of God, they will be published; that they are of God, the Ministers' silence gives consent. The . . . . . . . bringing down the judgments of God upon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; and the Lord is just, to send the . . . . on them; I was ordered, to send this to you, Sir, that you may judge for yourself, in seven days. What I say unto you, I say unto the Rev.---. You are both at liberty to judge for yourselves, and if you prove the writings are not of God in the space of seven days, I will give it up to you; but if you now keep silence, I am the judge myself, and I shall have them published, as I am directed. They are in the hands of Mr.---. If you think proper to judge them before the time, you are at liberty, or for ever after keep silence. I am, with the greatest respect, your most humble servant, Joanna Southcott."
Here I add a third letter.
"To the Rev. Mr.----, Exeter.
Rev. Sir, you may be surprised, to receive a letter from a woman, of prophecies, to appeal to your judgment. Sir, now it is come to the eleventh hour. Strange as it may appear to you, I am ordered to proceed. You preached a sermon in praise of the King; and I have his interest as much at heart as you have. My earnest prayer is for him, that the Lord will protect him through life, as being surrounded with so many enemies. I do not lay any thing to the King; but those . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This was my prophecies for years agone-there first would come an Egypt's . . . . and after that an Egypt's . . . . . But now I must come to the purpose.-I was called by the voice from heaven in 1792, what was coming upon the earth. I obeyed the summons, and have been writing ever since what the Lord would do upon the earth. And this hath been sealed up every year; and now the century is ended with men; and by the old style it will end with the Lord. My seals have been opened in the presence of twelve witnesses, and marked, and copied out, and sent to the Rev. Mr.----, for him to consult with Ministers from what spirit they judged it came. Now, Sir, I was ordered to write to you, the . . . . . . . . . bringing down the judgments of God on the land, as you find in my prophecies. And this I am going to publish to the world, unless the Ministers that I have written to meet together, and prove the writings are not of God in the space of seven days which ends with the New Year's Day to old style. If they can prove that I am wrong by that time, I will give it up to their wisdom, but not after to any one's judgment, till I see the end of another year; for the Lord will begin with a new century; and I will see what he will do, before I will hearken to any man's judgment. Now, Sir, if you are as great a friend to your King and Country as you preached, you will diligently search out the truth of these things; but you have no longer than New Year's Day to the old style. I am, with the greatest respect, your humble servant, Joanna Southcott.
Jan. 5, 1801."
These are the first of the writings made in 1792.
The Reader will observe, that the following is printed word for word according to the original. Worldly-minded Critics may cavil at the language; but I have been ordered thus to give it to the world, to try the heads of the learned. The Lord hath spoken to men, as men: and I am only permitted to allow the printer to omit such parts, as (thro' fear of man's anger) he may be unwilling to insert.
"QUENCH not the Spirit; despise not prophecy; for the time is come, that your women shall prophesy, your young men shall dream dreams, your old men shall see visions; for the day of the Lord is at hand. The day is nigh at hand, that shall burn like an oven; and all the wicked shall be burnt up as stubble; whose fan is in his hand: I will throughly purge his floor; I will gather my wheat into his garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Awake them that sleep; arise from the dead, and Christ will give them life."
This I have penned, as the Lord hath directed me; for there is none holy as the Lord; neither is there any rock like our God.
"Talk no more so proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, and they that stumble are girt with strength. The wisdom of the Lord is hid in the great deep, and his paths are past finding out; for the wisdom of God is foolishness with men, and the wisdom of men is foolishness with God. Are your ways equal, or mine unequal, O house of Israel? Judge ye: are not my ways equal? Are not your ways unequal, O house of Israel? Fear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.
The time is come, that judgments must at God's own house begin,
And if he first attacks the just, what case are sinners in?
If God the righteous, whom he lov'd, with justice doth correct,
What must the sons of violence, whom he abhors, expect?
The Spirit of the Lord is with them that fear him. On that man will I look, that is of a meek and contrite spirit; he trembleth at my word; he committeth all his ways to the Lord; he will direct his goings, for God is the same God yesterday, to day, and for ever."-Think not, for yourselves, our dear Redeemer came into the world to make you more ignorant than the Jews were. He came to enlighten our understandings, and not to darken them. But ye will not come unto him, that ye may have life: for at the second coming, he shall scarce find faith on the earth; for unless ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. "Faithless and perverse generation! looking for signs, and there shall be no signs given you, but the prophecy of the Prophet Jonah: Nineveh shall rise up in judgment against this generation."
I shall now proceed to my own experience, which hath truly convinced me, the Lord is awakened as one out of sleep; and the voice of the Lord will shake terribly the earth.
The beginning of the powerful visitation of the Lord to me was on . . . . . 1792.-"I no more intended thou shouldst go to reprove the people, than I intended Abraham should offer up his son Isaac. I did it to try thy obedience. Now will I swear unto thee, as I did unto Abraham. I will make with thee an everlasting covenant; and save thee with an everlasting salvation."
When these words came to me, my soul was troubled in the dust before God, and I began to cry out "What am I, or what is my father's house, that thou hast thus honoured me, unworthy wretch as I am? My past life makes me ashamed of myself."-These words came to me: "I will reward thy obedience; and in blessing I will bless thee: And, as I kept nothing from Abraham, I will keep nothing from thee. Thou shalt prophesy in my name; and I will bear thee witness. What I put in thy mouth, that will I do on the earth."
Then these words came to me: "The Lord is awake, as one out of sleep. The voice of the Lord shall shake terribly the earth. Pestilence and famine shall go thro' the lands. Men's hearts shall fail them for very trouble; because they have not known the visitation of the Lord." As soon as these words came to me I trembled, and was afraid of his majesty and greatness. Tears of humiliation ran down my eyes, and a holy fear seized my soul. I wept bitterly, and wondered at his divine goodness to such an unworthy creature as I was. But these words were answered me; "I have seen all thy enquiries, to know my will and obey it; and now I will reward thee. Dost thou believe it?"--I cried out, "Yea, Lord; if it be thy voice, I do believe it; for I know thou art not a man to lie, nor the son of man to be wavering. I have always found thee a God, like thyself, faithful to thy word, and faithful to thy promises."--I was answered, "Dost thou think I will now?"--I said, "Yea, Lord; if it be thy word, I know thou wilt. Thou hast been faithful to thy word throughout the Bible, in every age of the world; a God, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever." I was answered, "This thou believest, and this thou shalt find me; faithful to my word, and faithful to my promises; and next Sunday I will fulfil my promise at my table"-which, I bless God, I felt remarkably, and waited with a holy longing for the blessed promise made by Jesus Christ. I then made a solemn vow to God, to be obedient to all his commands, as far as I saw his righteous will concerning me, earnestly praying that I might not be deceived by my own weak understanding, nor deceived by the arts of Satan, praying that the Lord would keep me from every evil, and from the evil of sin; that I may be kept, as Mary, humble at the feet of the Lord--I was answered, "If pride rise in thy heart, Satan shall humble thee; but thou sayest, thou hast found me a God like myself: and so thou shalt."--I said, "Lord, I believe it; and pray thee, keep me the remainder of my life, and may I drink deep in the spirit of my dear Redeemer, and, as far as the earthly can bear the image of the heavenly, so far may I bear thy image."--This was the prayer and desire of my soul, that I may know his voice, and obey it.
One morning when I awoke, these words were sounded in my ears: "Wake, ye ministers; mourn, ye priests; for the day of the Lord is at hand."--I thought I heard the sound of preaching in my ears: "The Lord is awake, as one out of sleep; the voice of the Lord will shake terribly the earth. The sins of the nations have provoked the Lord to anger. He will go forth as a flaming fire; he will be wroth, as in the valley of Gibeon, until he hath brought forth judgment unto victory."---These words were so dreadful in my ears, that they made me tremble, and I was earnest in prayer to God, to know if these judgments were coming upon the earth.--I was answered, "I will show thee in visions, this night, what I will do."--I went to bed; I dreamt nothing, and thought I had listened to the voice of a stranger, and not of God.--I was answered, "The night is far spent; the day is at hand; lay thee down and sleep again."--So I did, and dreamt I was on a high mountain, and saw the sky as bright as noonday sun, and two men came out of the clouds, with long robes of purple and scarlet, with crowns of gold on their heads and swords in their hands, standing in the sky. Two men came out with heavy horses, and spoke to those that stood on the clouds, and soon after rode away, like lightning, in the air. Soon after I saw the men on horseback coming out of the clouds, as fast as they could, till the whole skies were covered with men in armour and spears glittering in the air. I thought I looked down, and saw the world in confusion, men in armour riding fast. This dream alarmed me; and I was meditating with what divine majesty and splendour our dear Redeemer was coming into the world. Once he came meek and lowly, persecuted by men; but now he will come as a prince and a king, conquering and to conquer. Once he came meek and lowly, riding on an ass; but now he will come riding in the chariot of his everlasting Gospel. But, who can abide the day of his coming, or who can abide the day of his wrath? The saints shall see it, and rejoice; for he will gather the wheat in the garner, and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.-Then I was answered this psalm:
"Ask, and receive thy full demands;
Now shall the heathen be,
The utmost limit of the lands
Shall be possess'd by thee.
I'll crush them everywhere,
As massy bars of iron break
The potter's brittle ware,"
This made me earnest in prayer to God, to know if this was Christ's second coming into the world, to call in his ancient people, the Jews. "Is thy last coming when thou comest to judge the world in righteousness?"-I was answered, "Thou has judged right."--In prayer and praises I spent the day. In the night in my bed, it was said to me, "I will show thee a vision this night, that shall make the ears of those that hear it to tingle." I went to bed; dreamed nothing. It was answered, "The night is far spent; the day is at hand. Lay thee down to sleep again." I was restless and uneasy, and did not believe the Lord had said it, and thought it was the devil, to deceive me, and continued restless from three to past five. I then fell asleep, and dreamed I had something in my hand. I let it fall, and it turned into a cup, and whirled up and down the room. At last it turned into a cat, which I kicked to pieces, and grew angry in my dream, and said, "Satan, this is thy miracles; this is the way thou deceivest the world, by whirling them in empty air, that neither touch top nor bottom." When I awoke, I was grieved, and afraid I had sinned in going to sleep; but I was answered, it was the Lord's permission, to show I might see Satan's miracles, how he deceived the world. This made the ways of the Lord appear more to be admired; and I meditated on my past vision, with what glory I saw the Lord in the air, and with what swiftness the angels seemed to obey him. This set all my soul on fire, and I wished I could fly in the air to the Lord, and fall at the feet of my dear Redeemer.-A powerful voice called me, "Joanna, Joanna, the angels rejoiced at thy birth, thy Saviour embraced thee. Dost thou think thou canst love him as he loved thee?" These words went through my soul, and I cried out, "No, it is that drew my heart after him in strong faith."
I went to bed and was answered, "I will show thee in vision this night." I dreamed, I was in an orchard where were trees standing together, the branches were joined one in the other, and the fruit was fallen. I thought, I was going to take them up. I thought the Lord said to me, "Open the shells; but thou shalt not taste of the first fruit; it is not good." I thought I opened the nuts; for they were like French nuts, but they were withered and dry, and a black veil round them. The Lord said to me, "The first fruits are fallen; they are not good. Look up, and thou wilt see berries; and when they are ripe, they will be good." I looked up, and saw berries like the berries of potatoes; and went to a house, where I saw the Lord. He rose up, as one out of sleep, and told me to go, and mind all I had seen. I awaked.
The same night, I dreamed I was on the sea; and I saw a large oven full of meat; and the stopper broke, and the meat swam on the sea in abundance. When I awoke, I was answered. "Thy dreams puzzle thee, but wars and tumults shall arise from abroad and at home. The sea shall be laden with ships, many shall break in pieces, and thousands shall launch in the deep. As to the dream of the fruit, couldst thou look into the hearts of men, thou wouldst see them as the fruit, withered."
Another night, I dreamed I saw my father sweeping out the barn floor clean, and would not suffer the wheat to be brought in the barn. He appeared to me to be in anger. When I awaked, I was answered, "It is thy Heavenly Father is angry with the land; and if they do not repent, as Nineveh did, they shall sow, but they shall not reap; neither shall they gather into their barns. There shall come three years, wherein there shall be neither earing nor harvest."
Another night, it was said unto me, "I will show thee in dreams, of my anger against the nations."-I dreamed I had a dish in my hand, with dirt in it; and some one threw honey over it; and the children ate it, for the sake of the honey, which made me sick. I awoke with my dream. I was answered, "So sick is the Lord of the world. They eat the honey and the poison together."
Another night I dreamed I heard heavenly music sounding in my ears, and a flock of sheep was gathering round it. When the music ceased, the sheep leaped for joy, and ran together, shaking their heads; and one shook his head almost off, and seemed to have nothing but ears. I went towards them and awoke.--I was answered, the sheep were the servants of the Lord; for they would be convinced, and trust no more their own understanding, but be all ears, to hear what the Lord saith.
Another night, I dreamed, I had a large bird, full of large feathers of brass gilded; and the bird flew down on the room where I was. I thought to pluck some of the feathers, but found it impossible to pluck one, or break one. I could not think there was any interpretation of this dream; but I was answered, "It is the determined will of the Lord, that cannot be altered, nor will he be pacified, without repentance." I thought with myself, why then did I dream I tried to pluck the feathers or break them? I was answered, "Thou hast strove to alter the decrees of Heaven, concerning thyself, but to no purpose. The will of the Lord must be done in thee, and by thee." This my soul would gladly obey.
The same night I dreamed I saw a little bird pecking the feathers of the great birds; but this was not explained. As I was in earnest prayer, to know what all this meant, and where it would end, a heavenly joy filled my soul, as though a company of angels had been singing in my ears these words:
"What good news the angels bring!
What glad tidings of our King!
Christ descending from his throne,
To bring his Father's glory down.
Saints shall see it and rejoice;
Hell shall tremble at his voice.
Saints rejoice, and sinners fear,
When he brings salvation near.
Jews and Gentiles shall agree,
Join in Christian unity.
Heathens, coming from afar,
Worship at the glorious star.
All the earth shall know the Lord,
And sing his praise with one accord."
What follows, concerning the blasphemies of Satan, was written before the prophecies came to me, with many more extraordinary things, that I went through, from Good Friday to Midsummer.
As I was meditating on the unbounded love of Christ to man, Satan's blasphemy broke in upon me, "Christ's love was out of pride." Here my passions grew high: "Thou devil incarnate, said I, thou hast lost thy honour, and thou enviest that Christ hath retained his. That was what cast thee out of heaven; because thou wouldst not worship him, and now thou enviest his glory, as thy proud rebellious spirit would not stoop to worship him. But we have reason to love him; we have reason to adore him. See what he hath done for us. When thou seekedst our destruction, how did he leave the heavens above, and come down in this lower world, to suffer a sorrowful life and a shameful death, for our sakes! How did he humble himself on the cross to make us happy, when thou, by thy proud rebellious spirit, sought thy own misery and ours! Thy pride is envy and malice; but the pride thou speakest of God and Christ, is meekness and humility; and it is the condescension of God to contain his honour. When a man hath lost his honour, who will trust him? Thou hast lost thy honour, and none but fools will trust thee; but Christ contained his; and every wise man will go to him; because he knoweth he will not deceive him. It is the wisdom of God, to contain his honour, that men may trust in him, and rely on him. It is for our good he contains his glory; but thou hast lost thy honour with thy shame. Christ is worthy to be loved, worthy to be adored, worthy to be had in everlasting remembrance, and worthy to be honoured; but thou hast no honour belonging to thee." Here Satan came in, with dreadful blasphemy against God and Christ. This enraged my passions, as I could not bear to hear any thing spoken against God or Christ. I cried out "Thou Devil, wherefrom didst thou come? Canst thou dare thus to trifle with God? Hast thou not sunk thyself low enough already? Dost thou want to bring the wrath of God more heavy upon thee than thou hast already? Dost thou not know all power in heaven, earth, and hell, is in his hand? He filleth the heavens with his majesty; and therefore we worship him. He fills earth with his goodness; and therefore we ought to honour and obey him, love and worship him. He fills hell with his terrors; and therefore thou oughtest to fear him."
In this manner, I continued with Satan for ten days. His answer and blasphemy were too shocking to pen; till I was worn out with rage and malice against him, I could not bear myself. When he would come in upon me with blasphemies, my spirits rose as one in a fever. My brother hath sometimes taken me by the hand, and pitied my weakness, as he thought I had a fever; for I told it to no one, for fear they would blame me. I went out of the house, sometimes in the garden; but the garden was not large enough to contain me; so I went out in the open fields; and went from field to field to dispute with the Devil, till I had got rid of him, and wearied myself out with passion. Then my spirit would sink low, and think I had all Job's troubles, and my friends like his; for I had no one to complain to. But I said, "Why do I complain? Who was grieved for the afflictions of Joseph? Who was grieved for the afflictions of Job?
Shall Simon bear the cross alone,
And other saints be free?
Each saint of them have got their own,
And there is one for me.
But now it is come unto my lot,
Let it not keep me from.
Lord, never let me be forgot,
Till thou hast lov'd me home.
But could I die with those that die,
And place me in their stead,
How would my spirit learn to fly,
And converse with the dead!"
After I had thus sunk my spirits, a heavenly joy would arise in my soul, with these words:
"Gird thy loins up, Christian Soldier:
'Tis thy Captain calls thee out,
Let the dangers make thee bolder,
War in darkness fear nor doubt.
Buckle on thy heavenly armour;
Patch up no inglorious peace;
Let the dangers wax thee warmer,
As thy fears and foes increase.
Lo, when dangers closely threaten,
And thy soul draws near to death,
When assaulted sore by Satan,
Thy object then's the shield of faith."
After I had written the blasphemy of Satan, these words came to me: "As thy spirit was enraged and provoked with the blasphemy of Satan, so is my Spirit provoked with the blasphemy of the nations: And as thy brother tried to hold thy hand from going out of the house, and pitied thy weakness; so hath my Son tried to withhold my hand, and pitied the weakness of his people. But, as thy spirit grew so high, that thou couldst not bear it, but wast forced to withdraw from him; so shall I. And as the garden was not large enough to contain thee, but thou wast forced to go out from field to field; so the heavens are not large enough to contain me. I shall come out of the heavens, and dispute with man, if their sins and blasphemy do not cease. As thou heardst all this, and kept silence; so have I. And as the fire kindleth in thy breast, and thou speakest with thy tongue; so will the fire kindle in my breast, and I shall speak. I will not always keep silence; neither will I be always chiding. I shall awake as one out of sleep;
And should my wrath for ever smoke,
Their souls must shrink beneath my yoke."
I shall add a few more words spoken in answer to man's blaming my following the commands of the Lord; as he judged it to be foolishness, and could not be the Lord's direction. I seemed to be answered powerfully, as if the Lord had spoken to me in love and anger, that man should not direct the hand of the Almighty.
'In thunder now the God the silence broke,
And from a cloud his lofty language spoke:
Who, and where, art thou, O fond and presumptuous man,
That by thy own weak measures mine would span?
Undaunted, as if an equal match for me,
Stand forth, and answer my demands of thee:
But first, let thy original be trac'd,
And tell me then what mighty thing thou wast.
When to the potent world my word gave birth
And fix'd my centre on the floating earth,
Didst thou assist me with one single thought,
Or my ideas rectify in aught?'
"Declare my loving kindness to the children of men; and my faithfulness and loving kindness thou shalt not keep back; for my loving kindness I will never take from thee; and it is impossible for man to do it. I am too full of majesty for man to attempt it."
These extraordinary things have been now explained to me.
"As she so boldly for her Master stands,
Then now in thunder I will answer men:
And first let thy original be trac'd,
And tell me now, what mighty thing thou wast,
When first I took thee from thy native dust,
And in the garden thou alone wast plac'd?
Could'st thou bring forth the world as she hath done?
Or, like the woman, bear my only Son,
Without her aid, as she did without thine?
I tell you, men, the myst'ries are behind.
As from the woman you did all proceed,
Took from your side, man is pronounc'd the head;
But you must know you are not the perfect man,
Until your bone is join'd to you again.
So both together must in judgment sit:
And tell me, men, if her disputes were right,
To say my honour I had still maintain'd,
And plead with Satan, as she hath begun:
Then both together you shall surely know,
I have gain'd my honour by his overthrow;
For if the woman stands so much my friend,
You all shall find, I'll stand hers in the end.
If from herself this love and courage came,
I tell you plain, she is the head of man.
But if from me the spirit first did fall,
I tell you plain I am the head of all:
And when her writings you've all gone through,
Much greater mysteries must come to your view.
So by the woman now I will surely stand,
As for my honour she did so long contend.
Ten days he held her with his blasphemy,
Ten days a hero she held out for me;
Then of these days I turn them now to years:
I'll prove her words, and man shall see it clear,
That every word was true what she had spoke:
I'll gain my honour, her words I'll never mock.
So if men mock them now, I'll tell them plain,
I'll gain my honour, to destroy such men."
What you know not now you will know hereafter. The first is last, and the last is first. The end of all things is at hand; that Satan's kingdom will be destroyed, and Satan chained down for a thousand years, and Christ's kingdom established upon earth. It never entered the heart of man, to conceive the glorious days that are before those that wish Christ's kingdom to be established.
But as the dreadful thunder from on high
down the rain and then clears up the sky;
So must the dreadful thunder of his word
Sound first aloud the coming of the Lord.
Then all your swords to plough-shares you may turn,
To plough with plenty your delightful land;
And all your spears for pruning-hooks may be,
To prune with pleasure your delightful trees.
No thistles then shall hurt the reaper's hand;
But peace and plenty flow throughout your land;
No prickly thorns to hurt the binder's care;
For God will bind in bundle ev'ry tare;
And all the foxes he away will take,
That do so spoil and hurt the tender grape;
For now the singing of the birds doth come,
The turtle's voice must sound in every land;
But first his thunder must before him roll
To break in pieces the most stubborn soul.
"So now Isaiah's words are coming near;
The day of vengeance I to all shall clear,
And all shall know what I had in my heart;
It was on mockers for to turn the dart;
Because by mockers I was crucified;
And 'twas by mockers my disciples died.
And now observe the gospel and the law;
And they in sunder did Isaiah saw;
Then now in sunder I will break the whole,
And back on mockers shall my vengeance fall;
But those that humbly for my coming wait,
They all shall find my promises are great.
I know the foolish virgins and the wise;
I know the discord that will now arise.
Some will believe and eager wish for me;
And the Desire of Nations they shall see;
While others mock, and will my love despise,
And when too late, they'd wish they'd been more wise.
This is the different conduct of mankind,
And different answers they shall surely find.
The one shall find I am the sinners' friend;
But all despisers now I'll tell their end.
Like Herod's fury, I shall all destroy;
For all my friends on earth I will enjoy.
And here, I tell you ev'ry line goes deep-
Lift up your eyes; I'll save my frighted sheep,
Though unto some it seem a pleasant dream,
Like Jacob's sons, when I did them redeem.
That was to free from long captivity,
At first a pleasant dream it seem'd to be;
But in the end, they found it was no dream:
Nor is it now; for man I will redeem."
These verses were written in 1794.-Now, I must be candid with my Readers, and tell you plainly, I have not been one of them that build their faith on a sandy foundation. I have been powerfully led by a Spirit invisible for 8 years past: and though I was strongly influenced to write by it, as a Spirit invisible, and convinced in my own mind it was from God; yet knowing Satan might come as an angel of light made me earnest in prayer, that the Lord would be my Director, my Guide, and my Keeper; that I might not be permitted to say, 'The Lord saith,' if he had not spoken. In answer to my prayers, I had signs set before me of what was to happen, to assure me it was of God; that, was I to pen them all, it would fill a volume, and how true they all came. Therefore, I have not imposed upon the world with prophecies, till I was clearly convinced they were of God, and not from the Devil. The truths of the harvests I put in the hands of ministers, for them to be judges, if it came true. The war continued, as I was told it would, in 1794, continue till we were in war with the Turks, and then our arms would be victorious, as you will see in what was answered me in prayer; that as a God, the Lord would begin like man, and make the same promise to me that Herod did to the Damsel. My petition and request was, if I had found favour in the sight of the Lord, that he would defend us from the foreign enemy, that the heathen nations might not say, "Where is now the God in whom they trusted?" That Satan might be cut off from the earth, as John the Baptist was. I shall not mention all I asked in prayer; but you will see the answer of the Spirit to it. But there are storms arising; and those that clearly discern the days that are to come will shelter themselves against the storm, and screen themselves when it comes; but thousands will perish through unbelief, and many will perish through want of knowledge; but every wise man will be like Solomon-search out the mystery, to judge for themselves; but fools will judge of things they know nothing about, and stop their ears, like the deaf adder, that will not listen to the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely. By such I am sure to be cursed; but thus it must be to fulfil the Revelation-The dragon was wroth with the woman and cast out floods against her; and this he will do in the hearts of men: so I may say, with David, "If Shimea curse, let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him"-and as our Saviour said to Judas, "What thou doest, do quickly." As to my friends, I love and esteem them; and my daily prayers shall be for them. As to my enemies, I forgive and pity, knowing this must be, to fulfil the Scripture: but they cannot hurt me; for I am dead to the world, and the world to me. By my own master I must stand or fall. Deep is the mystery of my writing eight years, and keeping it sealed up, and putting it in print the new century. This is a deep type to the land, that I shall explain in my other writings. Deep is the mystery of the tree of knowledge being good and evil--I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending--the first shall be last, and the last shall be first; so the knowledge of the evil fruit came the first, the knowledge of the good fruit must come last.
I shall add some that are mysterious at present; but to me is easily known; and the reader will see it clear hereafter. Could you see all my writings through in one volume, you would be truly convinced it was of God; but that I cannot take out in a twelve-month, how the Bible is all explained, and what shall happen to every nation upon earth.
I shall now add the copy of a letter that I sent to a minister in 1796, after he had disputed with me, that the marriage of the lamb was to take place in heaven. I said, "No; the marriage of the Lamb meaneth when he cometh to unite all nations, to be as one sheep under one shepherd, and Christ to be the shepherd of the whole. The Lamb's wife meant a woman, that all these things should be revealed to; and readiness was perfect obedience to all the commands of the Lord." He seemed at a loss to believe it. I was ordered to send him the following letter:
"Now, this to him I bid thee write:
If thou art not the bride,
Tell him to bring one that is right,
My Gospel's so applied.
For to the fullness it cannot come,
Until the bride be found:
Out of her closet she must go,
With jewels deck'd around.
For here's the pearl of great price,
And unto thee 'tis given;
And are these jewels of no use;
Then she shall enter heaven,
In white appear before me there,
While you in grief will mourn;
And all shall know her words are true,
For vengeance fast shall come.
In heaven the wonder first was seen,
And you may wonder here.
The woman clothed with the sun
Shall make all nations fear;
Then let the stars begin to shine,
And publish my decree.
If these refuse, I'll others choose,
Though fatal destiny
To those that disobey their call;
'Tis me she hath obey'd.
The woman stands condemn'd by all,-
Was man by her misled?
Then now by her he must come back
That paradise will regain.
In her I'll break the serpent's neck,
And will set free her chain.
She poured the ointment on my head,
And a good work she wrought;
And with her tears she wash'd my feet,
Let man deny her not;
For at the cross the woman stood,
The sword went through her soul,
While my disciples saw and fled,
And so they left me all.
No woman in the company,
When hands on me were laid;
And Pilate's wife did pity me,
When Judas had betray'd.
When from the grave I did arise,
I ask, who there was first?
Then let the sons of men be wise,
If women love me best.
Have I her life and senses spar'd,
For to assume the bride?
Then let the sons of men beware,
That she be not denied.
More fatal now than Adam's fall
'Twill happen to the man.
For in the dark the light doth shine,
Your eyes are dazzled here;
And will you shudder at the thought
To see the mystery clear?
Or will you, like the Jews of old,
Keep seals upon the tomb?
Or will you bribe the keepers here,
The truth may not be known?
Then soon to others I'll appear,
In the highway I'll go;
And this command, without delay,
I bid thee hasty do."
This publication that I have made to the world, is to convince mankind the Bible is fulfilling and near to the end; and I must bring you to the Apostle's words: When the fullness of the time was come, God sent his Son, made of a woman, made under the law; a mystery no man can explain. But the reader will be ready to say, "What makest thou thyself?" I answer, "I make nothing of myself. I give myself up to the judgment of men, for so it must be, to fulfil the scripture. In ages past, men were tried and condemned for prophecies, until our Saviour and his disciples put an end to that persecution with man; for prophecies have ceased in so strong a manner ever since with man, as not to bring persecution on them. Again, but be it known unto all men, if it began with the woman at first, it must end with her at last; and now I must stand the trial of what I say, as I am ordered to put in print, the woman in the 12th chap. of Revelation is myself, the 19th and last. Therefore, it was written by Isaiah, Rejoice, thou barren, that does not bear; and it is written, All her children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace upon the earth. This chapter is hid from man's understanding, as well as all the others I have mentioned. Now all men must know, the man cast the blame on the Lord for the fall; and the Lord of life and glory bore it on the cross, for man and by man. The woman cast the blame on the serpent, and in the end the woman must cast the blame on him, and he must bear it, as the Lord of life and glory did for men. Here I must appeal to men's conscience, if the sentence is not just, when the Lord cometh to reason with man? and it is written, I will gather them together at the valley of Jehoshaphat, and plead with them there; that meaneth, that he will bring all nations low together, as a valley is low, and plead with them by his Spirit; and by his Spirit he will reason with men, and make plain all his Bible to their view. But although I say, it is explained to me by the Spirit, it must be judged by man, and by the truth it must be judged from whence it came, but all these truths cannot be put in print for the present. Little do men know what is hastening on. The dreams and visions, that were shown me, the end of 1794, and explained to me, cannot be put in print at present; neither was half of them ever shown any man; but what I can print of my prophecies deeper I shall in my next part. But to show my readers how I have been led on by ministers, from 1792 to this present day, hath taken up so much of my time in the first part, so I have given you a short account of many things; but, if faith increase in the readers, so that many are desirous of judging for themselves, the books will come much cheaper. Let no one think me vain, in believing these wondrous things are of God, and are come to me. I tell you all, it is but a mark for all men to walk by, to know the end is at hand. The records of the Bible are now fulfilling, as it was first written, and revealed to a woman that doth not think so high of herself, as others might think, if it had been them. Whoever thinks high of these things, let him be assured, his heart was never prepared for such a calling; but to convince you, what is the shadow to me is the substance to all, I shall give you the following lines in verse.
"If to my voice you will but hearken,
And obey my strict command,
You shall know, from what I've spoken,
This shall be a happy land.
Like Jehoshaphat be doing
Never fight but with my word.
Do you know what I am pursuing,
To make all men know the Lord?
By the heavens! (I'll swear no greater)
Mark the words I say to thee;
I have indited every letter
That was sent, they all shall see.
'Tis the wood that next shall kindle,
And I will make it for to burn.
Plain as thou didst hear the sermon,
Full as plain shall I return.
If the first appeared a mystery,
Yet the next, thou know'st was plain;
Perfect so, I now do tell thee,
I will make it to all men;
For the truth shall come before them,
And I'll tell them who I am.
By prophecies my Bible stands
By every age was past;
By prophecies I'll make them good,
And prove them in the last.
And let them bow as low as thee,
Think of themselves no more,
And put their faith as strong in me,
Then all alike you are;
For if one star doth now appear,
The others soon may shine;
The firmament fix'd it here,
That all may know my mind.
I said the servant was the chief,
But not above the rest;
Before nor after cannot be,
But with her followers blest:
And who they are it shall appear,
That like her do believe,
And humbly stand with faith and fear,
I will not one deceive.
But as in order things do come,
The heavens do show the sign;
To what confusion all would go,
If I should tell my mind
To every one, as things do stand,
Your hearts are not prepar'd?
And would you do as she hath done,
When I first warned her here?
You'll answer, No; the truth is so,
You would it not believe;
For higher wisdom you would show,
And therein be deceived;
Because your wisdom you would trust,
And would not trust in me;
Then sure self-wisdom must be cast,
And think as low as she,
That in the man was merit none,
And she had none to boast;
But free my promise was to all
That in me put their trust.
So now then come, as she hath done;
Believe my Bible true,
Then now as brides you all shall be;
The Bridegroom all shall know.
Like David first I'll be the last,
And have more wives than he;
And Solomon did wisdom show,
And with them I'll agree.
But when begun it was with one,
Was all together wed;
Then let my hundred wives be come,
My royal palace made.
To take you all alike, I call;
My hand and heart resign:
And now the marriage I'll read o'er
To those that will be mine.
Wedded to sin you all have been,
Ever since Adam's fall:
And 'twas from Eve, you do believe,
That brought it on you all:
So one was curs'd, the rest was cast;
There was moreover one;
Then now the mystery comes at last,
And so turn back again;
For Satan came, the strong man arm'd,
And bolted every door,
That scarce a virgin could be found
That was not tainted here.
This hath run thro' every vein,
Till now the strong is come.
I'll make him tremble now like Cain,
And bring you back again.
So now, like Eve, let all believe,
The Bridegroom is at hand;
That all the earth I shall reprieve-
The stronger now shall stand;
For Satan's reign hath been so strong,
With thousands he did clear;
'Tis time for David now to come,
With his ten thousands here.
Your Mighty Counsellor, I'll begin,
Your Advocate and Friend;
Then I will come your Priest and King,
Your Brother in the end;
Your Husband too, you all shall know,
For I shall all protect;
And if by one you all came down,
By one then all come back.
Then all will be as wise as she,
Or yet as simple here;
Then wives alike you all shall be;
The marriage I shall clear."
Now I shall begin with the 19th chapter of the Revelation.-After I had seen the truth of my writings come on, and my faith began to grow strong, in January 1794, I was powerfully visited with these words: "I will say to the south, Give up; and to the north, Keep not back. I will call my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth."-I was earnest in prayer, to know the meaning, and was answered, "Knowest thou not the words of thy Saviour, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a woman having a little leaven, which she hideth in three measures of meal, until the whole be leavened? And now I will open to thy view the Revelations; and when thou hast leavened it, thou shalt leaven the whole lump; for, as I kept nothing from Abraham, so I keep nothing from thee; for the Lamb is come, and the Bride hath made herself ready. By thy obedience thou hast done it; and the end of all things is at hand."-These words threw me in a flood of tears. I put down my pen and was silent. I thought it too high for me, and would not write it; but I was answered, "The marriage of the Lamb meaneth the uniting of all nations together. As marriage unites two together, so the marriage of the Lamb unites all together, to be as sheep under one shepherd; and Christ to be the shepherd of the whole. By the Lamb's Wife was meant a woman, that all this should be revealed to; and she should be in perfect obedience to all the commands of the Lord. Readiness is obedience; and for thee to conceal these things would be as wrong, as it would be in Mary to conceal the nativity of Christ, for fear men should think it was pride and vain-glory in her. Fear not the judgments of men. The Lord is thy judge, and knows thy heart. To conceal the secrets of a king is honourable; but to conceal the secrets of the Lord is sinful; for the Lord will never reveal to man what he thinks proper to conceal to himself."-These arguments made me pen them, unworthy as I am to receive them. But, knowing it is not our merits, but Christ's mercies, that we are what we are, I was answered, "None is before nor after another; none is greater nor less than another; but he that is greatest amongst you let him be your minister; he that is chiefest amongst you shall be a servant to you all." Deep and weighty reasons were assigned to me, why I had gone through so strange and singular a life, as my readers will see hereafter. Then was explained to me the 7th chap. Matt. of our Saviour in the Mount.-The winds blew, and the storms descended, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock; but he that built on the sand, the storms came and the wind blew, and it fell, and great was the fall thereof. The meaning of these words is, "The powers of darkness that hath strongly assaulted thee, and all the powerful persuasion of thy friends that hath tried to prevent thee: but thy faith fell not; for it was founded on the Rock of Ages; and the words of thy Saviour shall be made manifest in thee and by thee: but those that built on the sand, are those that build on their own wisdom; and when the winds blow, and the storms descend, (that is, when the truth of all come upon them) their wisdom will fall, and great will be the fall thereof, for man's wisdom will all fall together."
When I had written these things, I was reading, one Sunday, in the Bible, 21st chapter of Revelation, Come hither, and I will show thee the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. And he carried me away in the spirit unto a great high mountain, where I saw the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven. Hearing these words, I blushed, though alone by myself, and began to doubt by what spirit I had written, or what I had believed. I went up and was earnest in prayer, and was answered, "Thou wast in the spirit, when thou sawest the New Jerusalem descending, with all the host of heaven; and thou wast on a high mountain, where John saw the Spirit. The Spirit is the Spirit of God, that hath visited thee. What do they make of the Spirit and the Bride? What do they make of their Bibles?"-But the explanation of these chapters I shall defer to a future publication.
END OF PART FIRST.
*** In my Second Part, I shall acquaint the reader with what was explained to me, twelve Sundays, from Michaelmas to Christmas, 1794.-I was ordered to fast eleven Sundays, and the Lord would send me strength from the sanctuary. I went from the sacrament to my chamber, and different things were explained to me every Sunday;-the type of ringing the bells for prayers, in different parishes, some at seven o'clock, some at eight, at nine, at ten, and at eleven;- the one o'clock bell in the afternoon, at all parishes, a great type for all lands;-the meaning of the seven stars;-of the leprous men;-why David was a man after God's own heart;-the type of Herod's destroying the children;-the meaning of circumcision,-the second chapter of Joel explained;-Athanasius's Creed explained;-the type of the two candlesticks at the altar;-and what our Saviour meant, when he said, As the days of Noah and Lot were, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be;-then followed the dreams and visions, that were shown me in the 12 days of Christmas 1794, and how they were explained, and many more strange things which I shall publish; for there is nothing hid but shall be made known; what hath been done in the secret chamber shall now be revealed on the house top.
*** The first edition was printed with many errors, which remain in this, because the book was not to be altered.
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