JOANNA SOUTHCOTT: HER LIFE AND MESSAGE
(By my understanding---E.R.M.)
The words in ( ) are mine, so that I might bring a greater understanding).
Thru a friend from Texas we have come in contact with the writings of a lady whom we had never heard of. Since studying her writings we believe that she was a lady of our race, and faith then we decided to see what her message was to the nation of which she was apart, as well as to her race, at her time of writing.
Joanna Southcott was born April 1750 A. D. in the beautiful west country on a humble farm in the parish of Ottery, St. Mary. She is described by those who believed in her message as a woman of a race that bred men and women of blunt honesty and great courage, tenacity of purpose, and deeply rooted love of liberty, civil, and religious. Her family was an old and also a proud one and having fallen on 'evil days,' had been reduced to farming on a small scale. Her mother was a deeply religious woman and stated that she had great promise made to her before this child was born, that she would be both a fighter, and a prevailer.
Thus at the age of 18, then Joanna went out into the world to seek her living. And she tells us that in 1792---"The Spirit of truth' visited her, and she began to write of the things she thought were told to her by this 'spirit of truth'. She testified that this 'spirit of truth' which came to her was in audible words, very distinct as to what was to come upon the whole earth. She was commanded to write of these things as the ‘Spirit of truth' dictated, but was forbidden to publish them at that time. Thus she wrote and these writings were sealed and witnessed and given into the care of friends, and then placed in a box at the end of each year.
She then wrote for nine years in spare moments of a hard working life. She wrote also as a prophetess, and her writings were to be understood in this manner.
Now it would take an open mind to comprehend that this 'Spirit of truth' would come to speak to this young woman, born of a poor family, and help her put forth these writings that were to warn the whole earth that there would be a ‘second advent,' and that there should over these 2000 years of history be warnings from our Heavenly Father that His people were getting off the beaten path.
But did not YAHSHUA say that as HE left, HE would send the Comforter to help His people and that this comforter would be 'The spirit of truth?’ (John 14:26)
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost (spirit) whom YAHWEH will send in my name (YAHSHUA), He shall teach you of all things, and bring all things to your remembrance of whatsoever I (YAHSHUA) have said unto you."
I (Mrs. E.M.) I believe that you should also read the next verse. "Peace I leave with you, MY Peace (Understanding) I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
(Since the word Peace as written here means Understanding, then it would not be an unheard of thing that this lady would have some type of visitation where she was then able to hear voices, and that she being on of the race as she believed, of the 'Woman of Revelation 12,' could then put down her thoughts which later would disturb men of the Church of England very much.)
As you read further in the chapter 14 of the writings of St. John, you understand that always before it comes to pass our Heavenly Father tells his family here in earth so that when it comes to pass-----"So that ye might believe." Thus the reason that HE was sending this 'Spirit of truth' was because by foreknowledge HE knew that the prince of this world (Lucifer, the devil) cometh and now he has nothing for you that is from me.’ Thus we have always that warning that you are to be renewing by the renewing of your mind.
This then is why I am willing to search for myself as to the writings of this lady, Joanna Southcott, and if I find them enlightening I will pass them on to you as a matter of information, for as you know from the book of Revelations, that the organization called the church of today has been infiltrated, and the dogma changed over the years as prophecy was fulfilled that there would be a great falling away, before the Great Day when our savior once more stepped into the physical affairs of this world.
(I was interested in finding out what disturbed the church men of that time when her writings finally were published, and why they were still disturbing them 100 years later as they were discussed again. Then here we are again another 100 years later and now we are discussing them to see what she had to say as to what the 'Spirit of Truth' had to say.
Today as knowledge comes forth like a stream, we must keep in mind, that man made explanations of what the Spirit alone can teach is not to be followed, for the things of the spirit ‘knoweth no man.' Always those who maintained her writings as 'truth' and I also believe that YAHWEH'S Word has always been revealed to the seeking sons and daughters. And as knowledge increases the hearts of His people find that the 'spirit’ in them glows again, and Christianity once again becomes a vital, dynamic force, as the mantle of unbelief drops off forever. It is thru the understandings of the writings of one guided by the 'spirit' within that recognizes what is written by a son or daughter, given this 'spirit of truth' revealed by an Omnipotent God.
Now some of the writings of prophecy by Joanna had been printed, and, of course, some of her other thought had crept in no doubt, and the Church fathers must have been turned off by what they had read. But there was still those writings that were in the sealed box, that she had left of her thoughts and knowledge as to what the 'spirit of truth' was telling her to write, but not to print at that time. The 'Spirit of truth' had said that men were to come and of these there would be an attorney, and 24 Bishops, or their Clergy representatives, and they were to be joined with 24 believers. And then the box was to be opened. And they were to for two days examine the writings of Joanna Southcott, along with those things that had been published which should help them understand better the content of the box.
But before they came, the then Bishop of Truro--one of the presidents of that congress remarked, ‘We are perfectly willing to open the box, but we will not submit to the ridiculous conditions one of them being that we must remain for six weeks to discuss the content.’ This was of course untrue for the proceedings were only to be seven days. This same Bishop then remarked, ‘Joanna Southcott is a piteous case for she is trying to create a New Religion.’ (We would say that people of today are hungry for truth, for the 'spirit' within the children of God know that we as Christians have walked to far down the wrong road, therefore something is very wrong.)
If a new revelation is given of God to his people, and that visitation is rejected by the church, this teacher of spiritual matters that rejection must mean a very real loss of spiritual power, and if persisted in, must lead eventually to a dead church, which is the tragedy therein. People today seek a living religion. Thus they feel today as tho something is missing. And they break away and try to find soul satisfaction elsewhere. We thus ask is it not time to move out of the kindergarten of spiritual affairs, and to move on higher.
As we remember that YAHSHUA said He was going to ‘spit something out of His mouth,' you remember that it was the apostate church that He was talking about, because as He said, “it was neither hot nor cold.”
Now this was not the True Church of which His family are all members. Thus, we are interested in what has departed from the teaching of the church. Had actually departed as early as the early 1800's.
Joanna believed in the church and she had encouraged people to continue in the church to which they belonged, and to try to bring back the teaching of the scriptures as delivered by the Apostles. She seemed to just want them to look at what their church was now teaching from the standpoint of 'the spirit of truth' which she thought she was revealing. To this lady, Joanna Southcott, her heavenly Father had spoken to her in a ‘still small voice.’ And she was commanded to put on paper those words.
None of her writings were printed until 1801. And by that time her prophecies were already a matter of history, for this was the years of Napoleon of France. Thus it was not the prophecies that men of the church objected to, it was her insistence that it was 'the spirit of truth' which delivered her now printed words.
In the first publication of her writings "The Strange Effect of Truth," then friends and believers had gathered around her against the attacks from the Church of England to which she also belonged.
Over the years, Joanna had petitioned the Bishops and Clergy to search her writings. And if they could prove there were not from the 'spirit of truth,' then she would consign them to the flames. The clergy did not answer this challenge. They only condemned her position that these words came from the 'spirit of truth.' They were saying, 'would any truth come from an insignificant woman of a poor family?’--No.--All should and would come from the head of the organized church which was they supposed the spiritual center.
This reminded people that this question was also asked at the time of Christ----'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ For is it not recorded in some peoples minds that Jesus lived in a carpenter's home, and never ventured from there over 200 miles?
Today, thus, we as were not the people who believed the writings of this woman, are not afraid - ‘lest we see with our eyes, hear with our ears, understand with our hearts and be converted and healed.' We thus, investigate these writings of Joanna Southcott, then it cannot be said that we fear to find the things that the 'spirit of truth' hath declared. For we believe the spirit which is in us can reach the spirit of our Father which we possess.
From this teaching of the 'spirit of truth,' we then learn that the 'end of the world' is not the end of this our physical world. Only the 'end of sin' the ultimate defeat of death, hell, and the grave, thru the ultimate brightness of HIS coming. The dawn of a new earth under the rule of the 'Son of Peace' who will establish His kingdom in Righteousness. Then will the LORD walk again in the garden in the cool of the evening with his sons and daughters, whose soul hunger He will wholly satisfy, for HE will lead them in all truth even to the innermost heart. For God hath revealed these things by His Sprit. For the spirit searcheth all things; yea, the deep things of God.
(Now; we ask you. Is this not what we also believe? Thus, I will go thru the writings in these ancient booklets, and as I come to some questions of interpretations of scriptures, and when I find something interesting, I will share it with you, my identify family.)