The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- Section: Anno 1678.
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
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Revelation III. April 6.
The Lord shewed me how he did hate the abominations of the people, in what they had done, in loving Man, more than God: And said, The words and ways of the people are loathsome in my sight, and do wound and pierce me. And then he spake thus in verse, causing me to write down.
The English people they have a God,
And who is that? it is but a man,
They love above God; so he will whip by his Rod,
And now to prevent him no one can.
If any reason would but have satisfied them,
If they had not gone so long in their shame,
Then some hopes there would have been,
That so great Judgment would not been seen,
As now will come swiftly upon the Land,
Poured down by the Lords own hand.
For when a People is given up for destruction,
They must be blind and hardened in their corruption.
And when the Lord bids his Angels kill and slay24 ,
Then all the World his hand cannot stay.
And sinners, they will not hear, until he do come,
But Saints, do ye hear, for he for you will make room.
To live, and rejoyce, and praise his most holy Name,
Who by his own Bloud wrought for you the same.
But the Hypocrites25 in Zion they will all mourn,
All the wicked, proud in heart, that did so scorn,
When they see the Battel26 of the Lord to be fought,
And how it was the Lord alone, that me taught,
And in his strength I was by Grace enabled to stand,
Against all my Enemies, with his Battel-ax in my hand27 ,
To wound, kill, amaze, put to flight, and cut them down
And when they are in their Graves, I shall wear a Crown28 .
O this God! so great in power! wonderful is his Name!
Who will exalt those of low degree, & give his Enemies shame,
When the time, to advance poor Mordecai, was come,
Then was the time, for to hang up proud Haman 29 .
Come all Saints, come sing and rejoyce with me,
At Babylons 30 fall, and the glorious days, which ye shall see:
When the great Battel31 is fought, the day past, and all done,
Then all Honour, Glory and Praise to God must be sung.
Rejoyce, ye Heavens and Prophets, for God avengeth your Cause32 ,
That Babylon would have deprived you of by her unjust Laws.
This is a great Mysterie, who now can this read?
And know it rightly, and in so narrow a path doth tread?
Who is able to bear, to have whole Babylon come down?
Who can endure to hear, that they are in Babylon?
Who doth think, that in England is the painted Whore33 ?
Who did think, they should ever hear of me any more?
When they sit as Queen, and say, they shall have no sorrow,
I am raised up again, and freed from all their horror.
When they thought, to put me in the Grave, & have me slain,
I am raised up more strong, and brought to Life again.
24. Revelation 9:15: "And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men."
25. Throughout Matthew 23, Jesus says,"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" As the editors of the Dictionary of the Bible indicate, both the Pharisees and the Hypocrites were denounced as being outward followers of religious forms who lacked inner religious faith: "The Pharisees also drew the antagonism of Jesus and His disciples...they were branded as bigoted formalists, hair-splitting legalists, and crafty hypocrites, devoid of charity and spirituality" (761); "Thus all who play the part of religion, whether consciously or unconsciously, without being religious, are hypocrites" (409). Wentworth, then, uses the terms "Pharisees" and "hypocrites" as metaphors for Englishmen and Englishwomen who lack faith even as they practice religion. Thus, this metaphor introduces the theme of the final statement of "Revelation I" that "it is not form, but power, that will secure you from the wrath of God in the evil day." See James Hastings, ed., Dictionary of the Bible (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963) 409 & 761.
26. 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.
27. In Jeremiah 51:20, the Lord says: "Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations." According to The Anchor Bible: Jeremiah, "thou" in this passage refers to Babylon, and in verses 24-26 of this chapter, God indicates that Babylon, though previously Yahweh's "agent of judgment," will "herself be judged." Wentworth envisions the battle-axe falling on England rather than being wielded by England in this passage. See John Bright, ed., The Anchor Bible: Jeremiah (Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1965) 356.
28. Elaine Hobby glosses the image of Wentworth wielding a battle ax and destroying her enemies as an "Amazonian" one through which Wentworth envisions herself as empowered by God. See Hobby, The Virtue of Necessity, 52. However, Wentworth not only seems to envision herself as becoming empowered by God here, but describes herself as actually becoming part of the Godhead; after all, Wentworth imagines herself as wielding "his" (God's) battle ax and wearing "his" (God's/Christ's) crown (Christ wears a crown in Revelation 14:14 when he arrives on earth to purge it of evil, which is exactly what Wentworth fantasizes herself as doing). Wentworth, then, assumes God's tool of vengeance and Christ's crown of victory, thereby merging her own identity with that of the Father and Son. In effect, Wentworth deifies herself here.
29. Wentworth associates herself with Mordecai from the Book of Esther. Haman, as "the enemy of the Jews" (Esther 3:10), attempts to destroy Mordecai and the Jews when Mordecai will not prostrate himself before Haman's power. Due to Esther's intervention and King Ahasue'rus gratitude to Mordecai for revealing a plot against the King's life, Mordecai is saved and Haman is hanged on the same gallows constructed for Mordecai's execution (Esther 7:10). By comparing her own situation with that of Mordecai, Wentworth posits herself as a potential victim whose righteousness is eventually rewarded with salvation and whose enemies are punished. Wentworth employs the story of Mordecai and Haman similarly in her works A true Account (12, B3 verso) and A Vindication (10, B1 verso).
30. Babylon suffers God's destructive wrath in Revelation. Wentworth applies the term to England because it is populated with disbelievers and filled with corruption.
31. 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.
32. In Revelation 16:5-6, an angel commends the Lord for punishing those who have persecuted the saints and prophets: "Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." Wentworth implies that she is a persecuted prophet and her mistreatment will be avenged upon her enemies during the Apocalypse as well.
33. This is a reference to the Whore of Babylon from Revelation 17.