« VorigeDoorgaan »
THE FIRST DAT.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1604.
The Trial of Joanna Southcott commenced at the hour of eleven this morning, by calling over the forty-eight names of the persons appointed to carry on the proceedings.
According to the directions laid down, the letter* sent by Miss Townley to the clergy, and by them returned, were laid before the meeting; and also such letters as accompanied them from several clergymen, containing their sentiments thereon. These letters were read and examined, whence it appeared, that their general tendency was mockery against the mission of Joanna, and also a condemnation of prophecy. But it is likewise necessary to mention, that among the letters thus sent by clergymen, several of them were of that indecent description, that delicacy prevents their being at all brought forward to public . notice *.
The next point brought under consideration was, the conduct of the Rev. Mr. Pomeroy to Joanna.
* When persons thus culpable, vho were not of the church, hava suffered public degradation in the pillory, for darini; to violate tha ia\vs of Christian society and decency, the Society for the Suppress sionofVice, in their zeai so often displayed, in being the means of bringing offenders to justice, could not better exert such their zea\ ♦ban in exposing some of these clergy to public disgrace and ahaae*
After this the evidences, to prove her statement of the conduct of Mr. Pomeroy, and of her life and character in general, and also the truth of her writings, were here entered upon and verified, in the following order:
The Examination of Mr. John Trimlet SvMons »/ Exeter, respecting the mission of JoAnna SoUTHCOTT.
Q. Are you acquainted with Joanna Southcott? A. I am.
Q.. How long have you been acquainted with her? A. About ten years.
Q. Were you ever employed by Joanna Southcott to copy letters, which she read to you from her own writings, and which were addressed to Mr. Pomeroy?
A. Yes, many different ones.
Q. Were you in the habits of copying from papers of Joanna's handwriting, and read by her to you, and which were afterwards published?
A. Yes, a great quantity.
Q. Were not the whole of those writings, which you copied, comprized in four volumes, or books, when published?
A. Yes, the first four of Mrs. Southcott's works.
Q. Did you not do all that with an unwilling mind?
A. In many respects I did.
Q. What were your particular reasons for being unwilling to copy them?
A. I did not at that time believe them the works of the Lord, and it was perfectly indifferent to me.
Q. Did you write a letter to any minister, at the request of Joanna Southcott?
A. Yes, many; but one in particular to Chancellor Nutcombe.
Q. Do you know the contents of that letter?
A. I cannot recollect a sentence; but I know in substance it was to request of Chancellor Nutcombe to search into Joanna Southeott's writings, and to judge, whether or not they were from the Spirit of the living God.
Q. What is your opinion of the general character of Joanna Southcott?
A. Her character in general is unblameable.
Q. Did you, in any transactions that you have seen or known of Joanna Southcott, see any thing of deceit in her?
Q. Did you, Sir, at any time have any general conversation with Mr. Pomeroy, as to the writings of Joanna Southcott.?
A. Yes, several times.
Q. I think you say, you have asked him several times his opinion of Mrs. Southeott's works?
A. Yes, in many conversations.
Qt. Generally, Sir, what were his answers to your questions, and his own opinions at that time, concerning Joanna?
A. Many and several times, in our shop at Exeter, he has told me not to be afraid, for certainly her works were very good, and from the Lord; and likewise he said, that no evil spirit would certainly work against himself.
Q. At what period did Mr, Pomeroy hold that opinion?
A. At different periods in the year 1801, when her first four books were printed.
GL. At what time did he change that opinion?
A. About November 1803, when I copied a bill from Mr. G. Turner, of Leeds, and had it printed at Exeter, and carried one of them to Mr. Pomeroy. I found Mr. Pomeroy at home, and he read the bill and laughed at it, and told me I had better have nothing more to do with that mad woman. He thought, he said, we had troubles enough in our
Family already, by believing in such nonsense, meaning the accidental deaths of my two sisters in one week. He at that time (and never before in my presence in the least) said her works were wrong, or were from the devil. I asked him why, if they were from the devil, he had first deluded me and many others to believe in her? He seemed very angry and told me he wanted to get her to her senses. Before I went, he still in greater anger said that it would be tetter for me to believe in the Church of England, and that only, and burn all the bills that I had printed. I told him I should not; he first instilled the idea, and I retained it.
Q. Pray, Sir, did you know that Joanna South cott had said any thing of the death of your sisters before it happened?
A. Not directly, but only indirectly.
Q. What sort of indirect evidence had you?
A. About ten months before the death of my sisters, Joanna had attended the funeral of my brother: she said, she was afraid this was not the only calamity that would happen in our house, in the course of twelve monthi.
J. T. Symons.
These depositions were taken by me, and signed in my presence,
The Examination of Mr. Joseph Sotjthcott, respecting the Mission of Joanna Southcott.
Q. You are the brother of Joanna Southcott ?.
Q. Of course you have known Joanna Southcott from her childhood?
A. Certainly I have.
Q. When in your respective childhood, wha^ were your thoughts of the disposition of your Sister?
A. I always thought her of a mild, placid disposition ; and, as she grew up, of a religious turn.
Q. Did you in your youthful infancy find any disposition in your Sister to falsehood, want of Charity, or inattention to her God?
Q. Did you, in those youthful follies which are incident to youth, find any thing in her which was contrary to moral or religious precepts?
A. I did not.
Cl. Did you, Sir, ever remark whether she was of a chearful or melancholy disposition?
A. I found her to possess an even temper, and a regular turn of mind.
Q. In her discharge of those duties, which belong to all-persons in a moral and temporal point of view, was she, or was she not, attentive to them?
A. She was so in the strictest terms.
Q. Did you and Joanna ever live together when grown up, and in full possession of your reasoning faculties?
Q,, Now, Sir, when you did arrive at that period, do you think you were capable of judging her natural character?
A. I do.
Q. Now, possessing that judgment, what were your general thoughts, or your opinions, respecting your Sister?
A. I at that time thought my Sister so far possessed of methodism, from her very strong propensities for reading and perusing the Bible, that I wa6