The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- Section: Revelation IX. April 3.
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
|<< Section||< critical introduction||Section >||Section >>|
Revelation IX. April 3.
In the morning, as I lay still in my Bed, the Lord spake thus unto me with Power and great Authority, and in much fury, concerning these four persons by name.
Wentworth, Hicks, and Dicks, and also Knowles, 60
If they repent not, they shall lose their Souls:
And they are so stout, so proud, and very high,
They will hardly repent before they die:
And there is no repentance in the Grave,
Would they from God no mercy have?
What have they done now all this while,
But their own poor Souls cheat and beguile?
In setting the people all to rage at thee,
When I the Lord their sin and wickedness see:
And do not forget, what in this House was done,
For I did remember it, when I sent thee home.
Let those four men this thing now hear,
To try if yet they will regard the Lord, and him fear.
And thou must not fear none of these four men,
For if they come to hurt thee, I will help thee then:
If they any more fright, or with their tongues wound thee,
Then I the Lord say, sad with them it shall be,
And he, that is the Ring-leader61 of them all,
He first shall feel my hand, and into the pit62 fall,
Which they have digged very deep for thee,
But shall fall therein themselves thou shalt see.
Be thou bold, for to declare this thing,
How they are Traytors unto Jesus thy Lord, and King.
A company of Priests, murther in the way by consent,
For to kill the Spirit of God in all, is their intent.
[But bid them now stop, they have done their worst,] 63
And the day, these four men set on thee, is for ever curs'd;
Like unto the barren, and unfruitful Fig-tree64 ,
So shall Idolatry, Hypocrisie, and Formality be:
Never Fruit to grow in their Garden any more,
For now they have run themselves all on shore.
And in their own colours they all now appear,
How cruelly they oppress my Elect, that is clear:
And would alway oppress my Children all my own,
If I the Lord will but alway let them alone.
As I live, saith the Lord, I will come, for I cannot bear
No longer, to hear the groans of my Children dear:
Who am their Rock, and their hiding-place65 too,
And I the Lord will all their yokes and bonds undo.
My Love, my Dove66 , my Spouse, make haste and come away,
Out of Babylon, and do not thou there stay:
Shake off thy rotten Rags, and all thy old Attire67 ,
That I may cloath thee anew, and thee admire.
My Spouse, my Church and I, we both are one,
And none, but my beloved Church will I own.
I am their Head and Shepherd, and them will I keep,
They are my Lambs, my Body, and my Sheep.
I the Lord of Life am the chief corner-stone68 ,
And for any other Body I the Lord have none:
Bu[t] 69 these, that follow me, and my Commands do keep,
I will wipe away their tears70 , that they no more do weep:
But the devouring Wolves71 I the Lord do not love,
But will cast them away, and build my church above.
60. This is a reference to Wentworth's four great enemies: her husband, two of her husband's church brethren (Thomas Hicks and William Dicks from her "Revelation XVI"), and the Anabaptist preacher Hanserd Knollys. Wentworth has evidently had an adversarial relationship with Hicks and Dicks at least since 1676 when she wrote A true Account, and it is in this tract that she identifies them as members of the same congregation to which her husband belongs: "...and let now Thomas Hicks and William Dix draw up their Bill, and all the rest of my husband's brethren what it is they have to charge me with of all they have against me in misbehaviour in life and conversation, or neglect of my duty to their Brother" (16, C1 verso).
61. Wentworth never states which of her four enemies is the "Ring-leader."
62. This is a reference to the "bottomless pit" of Revelation 9.
63. This line is horizontally cropped in half on the top of page 11, B4 recto. From the parts of the letters that do appear, combined with the handwritten marginalia, the line appears to read as such.
64. In Mark 11:12-14, on his way into Jerusalem, Jesus curses a fig-tree. On his way back out of Jerusalem, the fig-tree has withered (Mark 11:21-24). Wentworth indicates that Christ will similarly destroy her four enemies, as well as Idolatry, Hypocrisie, and Formality.
65. In Psalm 32:7, David calls God "my hiding place."
66. In the Song of Solomon 5:2, the bridegroom comes to the door of the bride and says "Open to me, my sister, my love, / my dove, my undefiled." Wentworth imagines God (the bridegroom) delivering her (the bride) from Babylon (England). In A Vindication, she says that she and God "were married" at the time of her "healing" in 1670: "Then was the full communion between Christ and my Soul, the Love knot, the comly bands of Marriage; then did he espouse me unto himself for ever" (12, B2 verso). According to Nigel Smith, the leitmotif "my love, my dove" is repeatedly used throughout the texts of Ranters Joseph Salmon and Abiezer Coppe. See Smith, Perfection Proclaimed, 337.
67. This is likely a reference to Zechariah 3: "Now Joshua was wearing filthy clothes as he stood before the angel; and the angel turned and said to those in attendance on him, 'Take off his filthy clothes.' Then he turned to him and said, 'See how I have taken away your guilt from you; I will clothe you in fine vestments.'"
68. In Ephesians 2:20, Christ is called the "chief corner stone."
69. Compositor's error. The text should read "but."
70. Of the saints in Revelation 7:17, one of the elders tells John, "God shall wipe away all the tears from their eyes."
71. "Wolves" is a common descriptive term for the enemies of God in the Bible. See, e.g., Matthew 7:15 and Ezekiel 21:27.