« PreviousContinue »
for want of that suspicion you complain of in Major Eyre. And now I shall come to the purport of your
letter. You complain of Wilson's inconsistency, in refusing now to pay the bills; and for saying I had told him not to pay an unjust demand. Then you ask, why he was not forbid paying miss F-s bill? This was a thing I knew nothing about, before I received your letter ; and then Mr. Wilson informed me of the whole. Now as this happened last May, and was concealed from me, no answer could be given concerning it; and as to this affair they are now in, I knew nothing of; neither did I know there was such a man as you in London ; as I' never heard your name mentioned, tilllast December, when I saw Mr. Sharp, and Mr. Wilson so much bowed down with sorrow, that they could not conceal it. I then inquired into the cause, and insisted upon it that they should tell me the cause. Mr. Sharp then told me they were in danger of being arrested for bills they had never received one penny value upon; and that Major Eyre was joined with them. But seeing me in agonies to hear it, he did not tell me the whole; neither did he mention your naine.. I wrote immediately to Major Eyre, to know the whole ; and when he laid the truth before me, in what manner they were drawn in to their destruction, for applying to borrow money of money-lenders, it went as a dagger through my heart ; as I never heard before that such evil practices and artful dealings were allowed in this nation, where our laws are so good to suppress all these unjust dealings. In the bitterness of my soul my petition was made to the Lord, to bring these evil deeds to light, and stop the torrent that was running on for their destruction. To my petition I was answered" These evil deeds should be brought to light; and it would be fatal for my friends if they strengthened the hands of evil doers, by paying these unjust demands; for by so doing they must go on to their
own destruction, and be supporting of vice. But thus far the Lord had permitied them to fall into the furnace of affliction, to turn back the fire of h s anger and indignation upon those that drew them in : for ths unknown to me were known to the Lord, of these evil practices committed by mankind, and many hearts were bowed down with sorrow, a, mine was, by these evil practices of men; and as long as men would go on to their own destruction, to cover it over to their own ruin, these evil deeds would never be brought to liglit; but, to bring the whole to light, they were permitied to fall into the snare, to bring the.w.cked to fall into the pit they were digging for others.
for others. For which reason they were strictly commanded not to pay one penny they had received no value for ; but to bring to light the hidden things that were done in darkness; and who were the authors of these evil deeds, now from your own letter, will I condemn you.
You say you contended before, and do still contend, that the evasion of justice, by a pretext of divine interposition is wrong.
This I grant, if the interference was to the evasion of justice, then your observation would be right; but you must consider, it is that justice may be done, and injustice discovered, that this divine interference is; and you must own your cause is wrong, if you try to evade bringing those to justice, who have acted wrong; as the guilt most lie in some; and this guilt must be brought to light.You say you admire my doctrine, and believe most devoutedly the divine authority I quoted.
Then now I must refer you to my first letter, and discern the Scripiures that I quoted were, -ihat justice, equity, and truth should take place between man and man; but when I wrote to you, in answer to some part of your letter, to know the way that justice was to take place, you sent me an evasive an
swer to my inquiry : and pointed out no way at all how justice was to be done ; only said my friends were in good hands, before we employed Mr. Lister. The meaning of your words I do not understand.
You complain of its being put in Mr. Lis'er's hands, and not in Mr. Edmunds's ; but you muit consider, Mr. Edmunds left town; and in the time of their unjust arrest they were obliged to apply to Major Eyre's attorney, which appears to me was the will of Heaven it should be so, by the other's leaving town just at that time ; and your speaking against Mr. Lister's being so violent, proves to me the justice in him, that as violent means have been taken, violent means must now be used. What a court of justice will say to this I must leave for the present; only say, it will be tried and proved what is in the religious Society for the Suppression of Vice, when the whole of this cause is laid open before them. Then let them answer if the ways of the Lord are unequal, to be a terror to evil doers, and demand justice between man and man, to stop the torrent of all such unjust proceedings ; or whether your ways are equal, to be strengthening the hands of evil doers, by concealing them, and bring ruin on the innocent, who trusted you as a friend that would not suffer injustice to be done them. Now I shall come to the postscript of your first letter.
You say that some one told you that all would be overturned in March ; and therefore it was as well to pay nobody
But I would not have you fill yourself up with these false notions : let such prophecies come from whom they would, believe them not ; they never came from me; and was destruction hastening on, whoever hath got these unjust thoughts in their heads may fear their own destruction is near ; because it is the honest and the upright, that wish to do justice between God and man, are the only 0ple that can expect the Lord to protect them, should
dangers come into this land, according to the words you mention in the postscript. But if you rely upon ihem, you will surely find yourself deceived; so be not led away by every foolish notion of man. My friends know better ; and Mr. Sharp hath always told you better, that if ever dangers come into this land, it was the innocent would be preserved ; and therefore he advised you to turn your talents to the glory of God and the good of mankind : and this is the way he said you might be appointed for some good work. This he spoke from hin:self, knowing how all stand on record unto every returning sinner. You conclude your letter with saying, you do not know whose hands the bills are in; but you must know in whose hands you put them, and that you will surely find ; so now judge for yourself, whether you think your ways are equal, and the ways of the Lord unequal ; or whether you judge the ways of the Lord are equal, and your ways are unequal; I am ready to answer for myself, to prove the ways of the Lord to be equal, in wisdom, mercy, justice, and truth : and by the foolishness of man is the wisdom of the Lord made manifest ; and that you will surely find in the end. You said I had been harsh to you in my first letter. In that you must condemn yourself; because my harshness is to those that circulated the bills, withoui returning the value upon them to the owners : some one or other must haye kept it in their own hands; and these you must bring forward, to clear yourself.
What I have said of divine interference I am ready to prove to the whole world.
From JOANNA SOUTHCOTT.
Now from this letter the readers will observe in what manner, and at what time, the knowledge of this transaction came to me ; and that no injustice was designed on the part of Messrs. Sharp, Wilson, and Eyre; every penny that was received by them
on the bills was tendered with reasonable interest, and paid into court. But this justice they refused, and required 300 l. usury for the loan of 200 l. on a bill for 500 l. and on a bill for 295 l. they required 1201, usury. These were the only bills they received any value upon, which they were separately arrested for. Such enormous Usury, in justice, could not be complies with by the laws of God or man. And now I shall come to the laws of God. In the 16th chapter of the prophet Ezekiel it is said, “ He hath oppressed the poor and needy: hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase : shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him.” In the 22nd chapter it is said, “ Thou hast taken usury and increase, thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord God. Behold therefore I have smitten mine hand at thy dishonest gain, which thou hast made, and at thy blood, which hath been in the midst of thee. Can thine heart endure, or can thy hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it."
So here from the Scriptures is the curse of God, pronounced by the mouth of the prophets, against such unjust usury; and therefore I can plead the laws of God in this defence, to resist such unjust usnry.
And now I shall come to the swindling. They were arrested on a bill for 3501; another for 65 1; ano: her for 351; and one for 161; which they never received one penny value for ; and these were the bills that I wrote to Mr. John King about the injurstice of these proceedings, to swindle men in this manner out of their property. But as these things had not been tried by the law, whether they were allowed or not, they were ordered through me to try