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This confidence , if real ^ soon abated ^ aisd the positive oJpiirion of the surgeon grad : aally opened her eyes to ' hef real situation and she seemed to be sensible tfe a * death was drawing near . On' the 7 th of Jfc&vember she pretended to hare received from the Holy Spirit the following * commnmrcsu tion j u Before the end is over every one ' s
faith will fail them , for her sufferings will be so great , that she will appeal * as one dead : " it was also s&M , i 6 heis no ( me be alarmed if tfomi appear ass dead before them for a while ^ I shall raise * thee up again . " If Joanna really believed that this catnmunication was made , it iiray serve to shew the great anxiety and distress of mind she experienced *
In order to relieve this anxiety and support her droning spirits , some of her followers , whose faith was greater than her own , produced one of her prophecies published so long" ago as 1792 ^ in which itwaa said , that the mother of Sbiloh previous to his birth would be ajs dead for fourdays ; hut would then revive and be delivered 1
Such was their fanaticism , that although they expected her death , yet they persuaded themselves it would he temporary and they confidently looked for her revival at the predicted time ! Joanna seems to have calmed herself in some ineasnre by this persuasion , bat her calm was of short duration , and as she
found death approaching her agitation of mind rapidly increased . On the h 9 th of November she sent for Dr . Reec « a medical attendant in whom she most confided , and a scene ensued which shews * how great were her mental ermflietS ; *< Finding hersdf ( she said ) gradually dyings she could not but consider her inspiration and prophecies as a delusion" Shfe further
saro , addressing * herself to her surrounding- friends , When you have- heard me speak of nay prophecies , you hare sometimes heard me say that I doubted my inspiration ; hat at the- same tirtie you Would never let me despair . When I have been alone , it has often appeared delusive 5 but when the communications wero ttidde to me / did not doubt them- "
" Feeling as I now do , that ttiy dissolution is drawing n «*» r , and that a day or two may terminate * my life , it all appears delusion . " One of her disciples said to her , " Mother , your feeling ' s are human . We know that you are a favoured woman of God , and that you will produce the
promised child , and' whatever you may say to the contrary will not diminish our faith . ' This assxiraftCG gave her comfort . The scene concluded with Joanna ' s giving' directions to tfho Doctor to open her body in case sihe should dfey and ascertain the cause of her feeringa fat the last nin « months . " After unme farther rnatruflticHrt respecting- her delivery if that should ttkd t > ln « c , die i \ iMcm& h * t him ** * & **> " in
5 $ Death of Joanna Southcott .
lanchfoiy oecasr < m . The Bspecrrbers of this oncfe . l ^ rg-e and numerous fanaiLy hare , within these few years by death been greatly reduced ^ in numbers—but when the links of a chain are lost and disappear —the circle is lessened , and the remaining " few ought to be drawn the closer together in ties of affection and sympathy . We are
born to die ^ and we die to live for ever . Under the present gracious dispensation of our Lord Jesus Christy who by his resurrection hath brought life and immortality to light—the good man is empowered to exclaim , amidst the ever-shifting scenes of life , and under tbe severest paroxysms of dissolution—It is well for time , and it shall be well for eternity !
Death of Joanna Soutlicott . 18 l 4 j Bec . 27 tb . —Precisely at 4 o ' clock in the morning " , died the pretended prophetess Joanna Southcott . In ^> ne of the early numbers of our last volume we recorded a prediction of this extraordinary woman , that towards the end of the year
she should usher SMloh into the world , whom she had miraculously conceived in her 66 th year . Strange and fanatical as this prediction was , it met with more believers than could have been expected , in what is termed this enlightened age . We
ha . ve now to register the circumstances of an event , which has blasted the hopes of those who were anxiously waiting * for its fulfilment . During the last ten weeks of her life , Joanna was confined to her bed by sickness and was able to take little or no
solid sustenance ; soon after her confinement she was prevailed upon to call in the assistance of a Mr . Want ^ an experienced surgeon , who > appears to have been the first who raised serious doubts in her mind concerning the reality of her pregnancy , by stating it as his decided opinion that there was no foundation for its belief , and
that her disease must eventually terminate in death . He afterwards explained more fully the grounds of his opinion in a letter to- her constant attendant and secretary , Ann Underwood , at the same time recommending" such medicines as might alleviate
the violence of her disorder though they could not effect a cure . The answer , which by the direction of Joanna he received , shews what a great degree of infatuation still possessed her ; she expressed a " determination not to take medicine unless
especially directed so to do by the Lord . " Mr . Want , anxious to discharge his professional duty , proposed that she should ttuderg-o an examination , that the precise nature and state of her disease might b « ascertained 5 but to . this prudent proposal neither she nor her friends would accede ;
nfcr refusal was accompanied by a declaration , that u if she was not pregnant with a liuntan being , she was datidfied th «« re tyfttf ftettte * bving creature witliib ifcr . " " nfcr refusal was accompanied by a declaration , that u if she was not pregnant with a liuntan being , she was datidfied thre tyfttf ftettte * living creature witliib ifcr .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1815, page 58, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1756/page/58/