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in consequence of their extraordinary contents were submitted to our consideration; therefore it is presumed that you will not be greatly surprised at receiving this address upon the subject; and as we are plain men, aspiring to no other pretensions than a zeai for honesty and truth, we trust that the simplicity and openness with which our animadversions may be made will have some effect with you.
It appears to us that the general tenor of your two letters is, in the first place, to avoid what might have the semblance of a candid answer to the appeal made by those gentlemen to you, as well as to withhold every information; then to make your letters serve as vehicles of abuse against Joanna Southcott; and ultimately to obtain the applause of the world, by charging her friends with wilful dishonesty, and with folly, in supporting her cause.
From the style in which you have written, we feel no kind of disappointment, by seeing that you designedly avoid to disclose truths that must be well known to you; but that you should have recourse to a quibbling evasion, in order to put on the appearance of candor and openness, we conceive to be very unsuitable to your sacred character. We need not point out to you what is alluded to; but to the public, who cannot be supposed to be acquainted with your conduct to Joanna, we shall explain wherein you amused yourself in trying to find the depth of our folly. Knowing that Joanna had evidence of your saying in 1802, that you had burnt her papers, you now come to assure us, that you "have no letters, or writings whatsoever of, or belonging to, that deluded, ungrateful woman. She herself," you also say, "knew this near two years since; so that to charge you with having any of her papers now, is
to deceive the public." Thus it is intended it should be understood, by the ambiguity of your expressions, that you never had any of her papers in your possession. And, you also insinuate that you knoro nothing of her, but from the insulling letters you have received; yet you contradict this where you charge her with misrepresenting "the confidential conversation, which at the earnest request of her friends, and out of compassion to the disordered state of her mind, you were induced to permit her to hold with you." You then proceed by calling it virulent abuse on her part for claiming her property; and which you artfully say is impossible for you to do; but you refrain, probably out of tenderness of conscience, from saying that it never was possible, or haw that possibility has been put out of your power.
What gratification it may have been to you, Sir, we know not, but your calumny against Joanua leems most cordially studied to wound her feelings. You intended, no doubt, that it should operate several ways, when you insinuate that she is deranged in mind; but your ptincipal aim, by luch an imputation, is to ridicule her friends for want of discernment, in not having made a similar discovery with yourself; and then to implicate them in a criminal collusion, for the purpose of deceiving others more ignorant than themielves.
Now, Sir, we think it highly incumbent upc you to reconsider the charges, which you i tnade; and also your conduct in various wa; wards Joanna; for, be assured, thty are lerious a nature to be passed over i lence.
In the first place, what must yoi principles to be, to support a cause a origin, that we should abandon it,
think it convenient to assert that Joanna has titr terdd falsehoods, and that she is an impostor; and in the same breath, with very little consistency, that she is deranged in mind? Then we must be the most arrant fools indeed, to believe your malicious report, before you come forward to prove your assertions. For thus we should do violence to our own understanding, by condemning the innocent, or clearing the guilty, without evidence. And again, how are we to know whether any falsehood can be attributed to Joanna, if wc follow ycur advice? and, should we either acquit our consciences, or have any pretensions to honesty, by so doing? No, Sir; our reason must inform us, that for our own honour we can in no wise give up the cause in such a manner; neither will we relinquish you, Sir, until we have cleared our honour from the injurious aspersions contained in your letters. And we shall further observe to you, that if we did not believe Joanna's calling to be from the Supreme Being, we must certainly be guilty of the most atrocious crime, aud your slanderous charges must then be well-founded ; but, as this is our firm belief, we are compelled to act as we are commanded; whether it be to print any thing concerning your most deceitful conduct tq her; or to be under the necessity of noticing your malicious, though impotent, insinuations against her friends.
To come more immediately to the purpose of our addressing you, we say, that your accusations, if they are false, must reflect great dishonour upon your sacred character; but, if true, they throw disgrace upon Joanna, and upon her friends. We therefore solemnly call upon you, sir, to clear up your honour, if it be in your power, by proving the' assertions and insinuations, which you hftjF .made.. For we are now determined to investh1"
the matter thoroughly; and to find out whether
Again: we call upon you, reve i retrospect of your conduct. x judge to be indubitable evidence
expressed very different sentiment^ respecting the mission of Joanna, compared with the artful, opprobrious, and insulting tenor of your late letters. You may imagine, Sir, that they may lie well suited to screen you from the ridicule of the world, by appearing to do away the imputation of your having been formerly more attentive to the pretensions of one whom you now call a poor, deluded woman. But it may be worthy of your consideration, that the cause at issue between you- and Joanna claims a different mode of conduct; for the only way remaining for you to act honourably is to bring your charges forward; and we are ready to meet you to examine them, ami to exhibit our evidence upon the subject.
To conclude: you must be sufficiently aware, reverend sir, that at all times, when any great good has been designed for mankind, the evil power has never failed to gain over human agents to counteract it; and now that universal blessings are promised, and the destruction of that power threatened, that he will make more than usual exertions to aver,t his destiny; let us all therefore watch and pray, that he may not be able to uphold his reign by means of any respectable, name and sacred character!
(Signed) Rev. Stanhopk Bruce;
Rev. T. P. Foley,
I hereby subjoin an Extract of a Letter from the Rev. T. r. Foley, to skew that my Friends in the Country agree in the Sentiments expressed in the foregoing Letters.
"I must confess that Mr. Pomerov's letters provoked my indignation in a great degree. Can lie