The Revelation of Jesus Christ by Anne Wentworth, an electronic edition. Edited with an introduction by Vickie Taft
- Section: Revelation XIII. July 24.
collection: Early Modern through the 18th Century
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Revelation XIII. July 24.
The Lord said unto me, Though the people be a little awakned85
, and afraid of Judgments, yet they repent not, neither forsake their sins, which bring down those Judgments; and none are so sensible, as they should be, of my near approaching and coming.
But I the Lord upon my Children now do call,
That in Faith and Prayer you now do keep:
Then shall my Angels now guard you all,
If you with others now do not sleep.
My promises, that I the Lord to you have made,
Now trust in my word for all your aid,
And you shall see whole Babylon fall,
That would kill and destroy you all:
That painted Whore, that decks her self so very fine,
And paints her face so fair, to make it shine;
That the poor Souls may cheat and delude,
She surely will fall, you may conclude.
For to Babylon I the Lord have no more to say,
Seeing they are resolved, to go on in their own way,
And run a whoring after their own Idol God86 ,
Until I the Lord plague them with my own Rod;
And say, No longer shall they cumber the ground87 ,
I the Lord will cut them off88 before the year go round.
Awake! Awake! my dear Children, and sleep no more;
Now come, see the fall of the great Whore:
And when she is burnt, then will you hear her cry;
How she will say, Alas ! alas ! we dye ! we dye !
And when we thought, others this cup should have, 89
It falls upon our selves, and we go to the Grave.
This will be the portion of whole Babylon,
To cry and weep, and she sink like a Mill-stone90 .
Thousands ready to fall I the Lord see stand,
Thousands and thousands undone in poor England;
That into the bottomless Pit91 will now fall,
Which will devour, and swallow them up all.
Against them all will I the Lord shut the door92 ,
Where they can never enter in any more:
For I the Lord do not know any of them,
That would kill and slay my own Children:
Would starve them to death with hunger and cold,
As I the Lord do see, and did it oft behold:
They would destroy my Church, even whole Zion,
But I the Lord am come to save my own:
And those that follow me, and my commands do keep,
They shall with me for ever most sweetly sleep.
Come now whole Zion, come now and sing,
All Honour and Glory unto your God and King,
Who will deliver them, and set thee free,
I the Lord will do for them, as I have done for thee.
85. "Awakned" is a compositor's error.
86. In Ezekiel 6:9, the Lord tells Ezekiel that he will destroy the children of Israel, who "go whoring after their idols."
87. In Luke 13:6-9, the parable of the barren fig tree, Christ asks the dresser of the vineyard, "Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?" The vineyard dresser answers that he will fertilize and tend the tree for one year, and, if it still does not bear fruit, Christ may cut it down. Wentworth suggests that the people of England are spiritually barren, and the Lord will consequently destroy them. Wentworth may also allude to this passage because of its proximity to Luke 13:10-17, in which her Scriptural analogue, the woman suffering from an 18-year-long infirmity, is healed by Christ.
88. When the Lord says that he will destroy his enemies, he often says he will "cut them off." See, for example, Exodus 23:23 and Psalm 54:5.
89. Jeremiah 49:12: "For thus saith the Lord; Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunken; and art thou he that shall altogether go unpunished? thou shalt not go unpunished, but thou shalt surely drink of it."
90. In Matthew 18:6, Christ says, "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone was hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Wentworth again posits herself as the humble, innocent, childlike "little one" as she does in "Revelation VII," thereby emphasizing the particular injustice of her persecution and the surety of her persecutors' damnation.
91. This is a reference to the "bottomless pit" of Revelation 9.
92. 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, Apocalypse, Chapter 11 (n.p., 164?) 8, A4.verso.