The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- Section: Revelation IV. October 8.
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
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Revelation IV. October 8.
Came the word of the Lord unto me, and said thus:
When Judgments are come to the door,
Babylon will be burnt, that painted Whore!
All in a Fire and great Flame34 will she be,
Her Plagues35 come, and they will not see.
They stop their Ears, they shut their Eyes
Against the Truth, and are deceived by Lyes:
And when they are called, to come out of her,
The voice of God they do not mind, but it abhor.
Rase her down root and branch36 flat to the ground,
All Europe over will the Lord do it round.
In Scotland Judgments first there begun, 37
But upon England greater now will come.
Ireland surely will also deeply suffer then,
England also shall lose her brave men.
Hol38 and, France, Italy, and also Spain,
By all our loss they will not gain.
All Nations will suffer round about,
For the Whore hath spread her self throughout.
Where shall Gods Children now then hide,
When God is so very angry, and doth chide?
No safety upon Earth, but to get within the Ark,
In the Covenant of Grace, and from God have a mark.
Make ready, get Oyl to your Lamp39 ,
That God may hide you in his Camp.Give up to God our all, and wholly in him let us trust;
Fear not Men, nor Devils, but yield to God we must,
34. God sets fire to Babylon in Revelation 8:7: "The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."
35. This is a reference to the plagues unleashed by God to torment sinners during the Apocalypse (Revelation 9:20; 11:6).
36. Malachi 4:1: "For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch." For other instances where Wentworth uses this phrase to describe the complete destruction of her enemies, see also "Revelation XVII" in this text and A true Account, 19, C3.
37. It is likely that Wentworth alludes to the 1679 Covenanters Rebellion here. Those Scottish Presbyterians who refused to worship within the Church of Scotland after Anglican elements were introduced into it openly rebelled against the government in June 1679. They were defeated at Bothwell Bridge. See Ian Donnachie and George Hewitt, A Companion to Scottish History From the Reformation to the Present (London: B.T. Batsford, Ltd., 1989) 51-52.
38. Wentworth's personal abbreviation for "Holland." "Hol" does not appear in the OED.
39. 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.