The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- Section: Revelation II March 22. .
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
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Revelation II March 22. .11
Thus the Lord spake, and said unto me: I stand ready, to execute my righteous Judgments upon England, for their abominations are great. And seeing they will not believe, that I the Lord did send thee, they shall know with a witness, it is I the Lord [that sent thee to speak unto them & for their disregarding of] 12
my word, and great contempt of thee, my Messenger; and gross abuse, and great neglect of thee, whilst thou art in my service, I am risen. Their sins are so great, that my hand and rod shall be heavy upon them.
Woe to England! for she will now smart,
Who wounded thee deep unto the heart.
Woe unto England! for she will bleed,
For Gods commands they will not heed.
Woe to England! that doth not love God,< LB >Therefore shall she feel King Jesus Rod.< LB >Woe to England! that love themselves more than him,
Therefore he will severely scourge all of them;
Who preach, and pray, and do call upon his Name,
When no love to God is in doing of the same.
For if you love God, why do ye then me so hate?
And why so high, will not repent, before it be too late?
What cause do I give, but that Gods commands I keep?
And why are you so angry at this, to make me oft to weep?
Is there any other cause I have given unto thee,
To be so angry, but because the Love of God is great to me?
There is little of sound Christianity for to be seen,
But very much of cruelty a long time hath been.
And because Englands Christianity is grown so cool,
It will make sweet England13 Passing-Bell14 to toll.
It doth begin to ring, and calls unto the Grave
For those, that no mercy to their fellow Creatures have.
Heark! Heark! do you not hear the great Bell ring?
Will you not hear, nor believe, until you see the King?
And hear him speak in wrath and anger unto all you,
And then alas! how will ye answer? or what will you do?
If he should once say, Depart away from him 15 ,
How can you offer any more to come to him again?
Do you think with all your Lyes, that you will enter then
Into Heaven? when he saith, No Liar there shall come16 ?
Will you sleep unto death, and not see King Jesus on his Throne?
Will you not awake, and trim your Lamps, to meet the Bridegroom17 ?
Will you not hear, until the great Thunder-clap18 doth come?
Will you not awake, to hear him roar aloud out of Zion 19 ?
Will you not see, how it is now the dead time of the night20
Will you not see the Lord come in the Clouds21 [?]22 you fright?
If you will neither hear, nor see, how can I help it then?
What need I say any more unto you, that are wise men?
If you will not hear the words of the Lord,
It is sure, my words you will not regard;
But slight all, as heretofore you have done,
So now I leave all to God, and let you alone,
For him and you to fight out the Battel23 begun,
And he will not give out, or go back until he have done.
11. Though "Revelation II" is placed under revelations written in 1677, it is more likely that it was written in 1678 because all of the other revelations except this one appear in chronological order. The printer may have simply erred in placing "Anno 1678" after, rather than before, "Revelation II."
12. A handwritten insertion by an unknown source at the end of the introductory prose to "Revelation II" which indicates a missing sentence where the text was cropped at the top of page 2, A3 verso.
13. Compositor's error. "England" should be in the possessive case.
14. According to the OED, "passing-bell" has a figurative definition of "that which forebodes or signalizes the death or passing away of anything." Wentworth uses the phrase "England['s] passing-bell to toll" as a metaphor for England's destruction during the Apocalypse.
15. This may be a reference to Matthew 7:23, "And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity," to Matthew 25:41, "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels," or to Luke 13:27, "But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." Wentworth again emphasizes the fact that many people only practice the outward forms of religion without follow ing the laws of God, and that these people will be damned.
16. In Revelation 21:8, liars are included among those who will be punished in Hell.
17. The story of the wise and foolish virgins appears in Matthew 25. The wise virgins take oil with which to fill their lamps when they wait to "wed" Christ and the foolish virgins do not. When Christ calls out to the virgins at midnight to come to Him, the foolish virgins have to go buy oil for their lamps whereas the wise virgins may proceed directly to the marriage feast. To the foolish virgins who arrive late, Christ says, "I do not know you" and He shuts the doors of the feast against them (Matthew 25:12). Wentworth, then, uses the story of wise and foolish virgins to underscore the importance of preparing for the Apocalypse. A similar allusion to the story of the wise and foolish virgins occurs in Wentworth's A true Account: "[do not] deceive your own selves by thinking either moral honesty, or formality, or any thing of our own righteousness, or going as far as the five foolish Virgins, just to Heavens Gate, and yet could not enter into eternal bliss" (14, B4 verso). The prophet Lady Eleanor Douglas also employs an allusion to this Biblical story to emphasize the importance of preparing for God's coming when she tells the people of England to keep "oyl in their lamps, or watchful." See Lady Eleanor Douglas, Apocalyps, Chapter 11 (n.p., 164?) 8, A4.verso.
18. Throughout Revelation, thunder accompanies the apocalyptic actions of God. According to the editors of the Dictionary of the Bible, thunder "is the expression of His resistless power...and of His inexorable vengeance" throughout the Bible. See Hastings, ed., The Dictionary of the Bible, 999.
19. In the Bible, Zion refers both to the fortress of Jerusalem and to Jerusalem as a whole. Wentworth uses the term to refer to the metaphorical "church" of true believers to which she belongs. See Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible, 1058.
20. This is a likely reference to Mark 13:35-36: "Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh [Christ], at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping" (brackets added).
21. An anonymous source has inserted a handwritten, inscrutable symbol between "Clouds" and "you."
22. In Revelation 1:07, John says that God will come with the clouds. In Revelation 14:14-16, the Son of Man makes his appearance during the Apocalypse while sitting on a cloud.
23. This is a reference to the great battle between God's and Satan's forces during the Apocalypse which John prophesies in Revelation 19:19.