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49 every reason to believe it is false, from what I have heard from Miss Fanny Taylor, who was with me a quarter of a year, and said she copied many of the letters for Joanna to you; especially that of the 1797, foretelling the events of England, and Italy, and many other letters, that had come true; and she perfectly remembered hearing her mother say, all that Joanna had said of you was true, who knew more particulars of private conversation than she did. Now from this assertion of Miss Fanny Taylor, and the spirited manner Joanna immediately answered for herself, ordering your letter to be put in print, giving her answer so clearly to it, that she is ready to come forward to answer to every truth, and demanding your coming forward to answer for yourself; and having daily seen Joanna ever since the 20th of April, that she came to my house in London; and having seen in her the most perfect, upright, just, and innocent dealings; that she acts with no deceit, no falsehoods, or arts, and perfectly answers the character I had heard of her, from many respectable people, that she was truth, innocence, and simplicity : and perfectly so I have found her. This makes me think you, Sir, are the transgressor, and that she is innocent of what you have laid to her charge. But if you come forward, and can prove your assertions to be true, I shall be open to conviction ; but you must think you were writing to madmen and fools, if you think we should persuade Joanna to be silent to your slan. derous letter against her; then you and the world might think we are supporting falsehood and deceit for which I should despise myself ; and as her books that are lately printed, have been taken by my hand from her mouth, I should disgrace myselfif I were not to call you to an explanation of your letter, that I may know if she had told me
anything false. If
you can prove that, I have done; but I cannot rely on your words, except you come forward to prove your assertions. Joanna is ready to meet you at the trial, and demands nothing of you but the truth. Now if you are not ashamed to
own the truth, you will certainly come forward to clear yourself. If you do not what must you think of yourself, to injure the character of an innocent woman, to try to set all her friends against her; which you must do, if we believe your assertions to be true; but if you cannot prove your assertions, I have more reason to believe an evil spirit visits you than her; as I am convinced from the manner the words flow from her mouth, since she has given up lier pen, and the beautiful manner that the Bible is explained, for the glory of God, and good of mankind, it cannot come from an evil spirit; and it is impossible for a woman of herself to go on with the explanations as she doth, as the words frequently flow faster than I can pen them. Now, Sir, what must the world think of me, after having so warmly espoused her cause, and asserted publicly my belief that her writings came from the true and living God, if, after perusing your letter to the Rev. Stanhope Bruce, I did not boldly-step forward to clear her character, if she is innocent of your charges against her, and demand you to come forward and prove your assertions ? It is a duty I owe to my God, to Joanna, myself, and all those friends who are fellow labourers with me in the Lord's vineyard : for a cause like this cannot be trifled with; and for my own honour and credit, if you do not come forward-like a gentleman, to clear up every truth, I shall conipel you to do so. Now, Sir, you talk of Joanna's injuring your character. I must appeal to your own conscience, whether you have 51 not injured it yourself? You must be assured, if Joanna's calling is of God, which I as firmly believe as my own existence, (and Joanna saith she is sure of it,) that the Lord will clear her innocence, and support me in vindicating her cause. Now I shall conclude my letter with the words, (6th chapter of Esther, i3th verse,) that Haman's wife and the wise men said unto him: “ If Mordecai be of the seed of the Jews, before whom thou hast begun to fall, thou shalt not prevail against him, but shalt surely fall before him." So if Joanna's calling be of God, and your honour begin to fall before her, I know you will never prevail against her, but will assuredly fall before her; because you have turned the grace of God into a lie, by saying she is led by an evil spirit. Now, Sir, I must intreat an answer to my letter immediately, after you receive this, or your silence will prove you guilty, and then you must expect to hear from me again : for in support of innocence and truth I fear no man. As a christian, you have my best wishes, that this letter may awaken you to a proper sense of your honour and duty to your God, Joanna Southcott, and your self, and tra's all I remain, Rev. Sir,
Your humble servant,
JANE TOWNLEY. Please to direct to me at the Rey. Stanhope Bruce's, Inglesham, near Lechlade, Gloucester shire.
To the Rev Mr. Pomeroy, Bodmin, Cornwall.
No. 50, Titchfield Street, Lordon, Sep. 28, 1894. SIR,
It will give me particular happiness if you will
attend to the subject of this letter, which is purely intended to save your character from that disgrace and ruin, which must inevitably happen, if you any longer persevere in treating with contempt the applications made to you, to restore to Joanna those papers and letters, that were placed in your hands, for some years past, as a sacred deposit, that the truth should be made known of her most extraordinary visitation, without any possibility of deception, and which yourself believed at that time to be of the most awful and serious nature; and you certainly urged her then to have an immediate examination, to prevent the rod of affliction from falling upon this land. This conduct of your's to Joanna arose from those honest dictates placed in your heart, and did you so much honour as a real minister of Christ, for you, as a clergyman, at this day to attend to the humble request of an honest, simple woman, when, according to the pride of human society, they are so neglected and despised as scarcely to be considered human beings. Now, Sir, by what I know of Joanna's grateful and feeling heart, she could not but place entire confidence in you; and she would have parted with her life rather than have deceived you; and believing, as she did, that her visi. tation was from her blessed Lord and Saviour, you appeared to be the man after her own mind, that would prevent her from being deceived, if there was any possibility. And in that case you would have done honour to yourself as a man to have stopped her in her progress : and would have prevented thousands at this day from being deluded into error, whose numbers are daily increasing, believing with her, that her calling is from the Most High; and is also a powerful motive for her to be faithful to the truth, neither to deceive either her God or yourself, that she has placed
53 confidence in. Now, Sir, I cannot, from these circumstances, but believe that the contents of the writings placed in your hands, of future events taking place, must, by your silence, have come to pass; but on the other hand as you have though proper to treat her and her friends with the most silent contempt, you are departing from your duty to the world in suffering deception to go on; you are departing from your allegiance to your king, by bringing his church, which forms a part of his government, and the bishops, into contempt, at a time when we are threatened with every calamity from a powerful and ambitious enemy. But, Sir, if her calling is from Heaven, why deprive your king and country of the light of divine wisdom, at a time when we stand most in need of divine protection? If the cause is the cause of God, which your silence proves it to be, what line of conduct has Joanna to take, but to be obedient to divine command in all things, and follow the directions of the Spirit? Therefore, Sir, the laws of your king and country are commanded to be appealed to, according to human order; for her God is the God of order; and it is commanded for you to be compelled to be just, and the truth to be brought forth according to the English laws; and the advice of a gentleman of the law has already been obtained, and I am thus far permitted to inform you, that you will be compelled by a precept from the Court of King's Bench, or some other court of justice, to produce all papers and letters deposited with you in trust, and under your own promise, as a judge of the truth for her, in the hour of confidence; and if you do not, you will be obliged to declare the whole truth upon oath, why you have refused; and give satisfactory answers to all questions that shall be demanded of you; and inform the court