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Now, Sir, after sending you these awful words, no person can, from reading them, say, they are from any other authority than the pure spi Rir of wisDoM. In this proposal there is nothing but justice and equity : when the truth appears, the impostor is no more. And I should not presume to add a word from myself, but my character stands condemned by you, as well as all Joanna's friends, for having encouraged blasphemy, and lies, unless you suppose us to be madmen or fools, and you have the exclusive possession of a sound mind. You desire me to prove the sincerity of my profession in signing myself your sincere friend, and wellwisher; which I have now faithfully done, not only in my endeavours to prevent you any further from degrading yourself, but begging of you to accept the gracious invitation, by coming forth with your friends to meet Joanna's friends. If you refuse, you stand condemned, as you condemn us by your letter, in casting on us the reproach of supporting Joanna in lies, and encouraging her to be an impostor. You say your own name is both respectable and sacred ; I have a name also, which I will not disgrace; I have a character to lose, which I am not to be cheated out of by any arts that you may contrive by vain boasting words. That deceit and imposition may be exposed, your letter and others now are before the public, because you refuse the usual correspondence; and the sincere conduct of Joanna's friends will appear to the public, in consequence of your refusal; who are all condemned without trial. You have brought your respectable and sacred character into that situation from which you shall not retreat; for you declare, un

der your own hand, and here are your very words, “I

shall be ready at all times, and in all places, to bear my testimony to what appears to me to be true.”

Now, Sir, instead of your letter being burnt, you

have produced the opportunity of seeing yourself in


pfint, that we may all come to the standard of truth. I ?>hall for the present soy no more, as the rest oF Joanna's friends, who perfectly understand the value of character, better than yourself, will vindicate their injured honour, and they will not be trifled with to pass over your conduct with impunity. I How expect your answer to this just proposal, and you will well consider, if you act in opposition to divine authority, your family has more claim to your compassion and tenderness, than your pride. These, Sir, are the concluding words of your sincere friend, and wellwisher,

William Sharp.

P. S. I particularly desire you to attend to the former part of this letter, as far as the name of Joanna's two faithful friends, for they are the words of the Lord to you. Your answer must be sent to me.


Bev. sift, London, Oct. \7, 180-1.

Your letters, dated the 1st and the 4th instant, sent to the Rev. Stanhope Bruce, and to Mr. Sharp, in conseqence 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 zeal for honesty and truth, we trust that the simplicity and openness with which our animadversion^ 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's made by those gentleman 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 know nothing of her, but from the insulting 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 'how 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 Joanna seems most cordially studied to wound her feelings. You intended, no doubt, that it should operate several ways, when you insinuate that s,he is deranged in mind; but your principal aim, by such an imputation, js 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 themselves.

Now, Sir, we think it highly incumbent upon you to reconsider the charges, which you have made; and also your conduct in various ways towards Joanna: for, be assured, they are of two serious a nature to be passed over by us in silence.

In the first place, what must you judge our principles to be, to support a cause as of divine origin, that we should abandon it, because you think it convenient to assert that Joauaa has uttered falsehoods, and that she is an irnpostoi; and in the sarne 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 w^ should do violence to our own understanding, by condemning the innocent, or clearing the guihy, without evidence. And again, how are we tq know whether any falsehood can be attributed to Joanna,' if we follow your 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 yiil we relinquish you, Sir, until we have cleared. 9ur 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 attrocious crime, and 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 to 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 have made. For we are now determined to investigate the matter thoroughly ; and to find out whether the fault is to be attributed to Joanna, or to yourself; because that one or the other must clearly be guilty of falsehood. We have characters to support, Sir, as well as you, and hitherto unimpeached; therefore we will not dishonour our pretensions, by suporting falsehood. We have done nothing artfully, nor deceitfully; neither will we consent thereto, nor conceal it where we find it done. This cause, in which we are engaged, we consider as a cause of honour; and in it we know of neither fraud nor collusion. The object of our pursuit is truth ; and the truth we are determined to stand by ; and to expose whoever makes lies his refuge. We contend for the honour of Joanna, and of ourselves; and that no folly may be laid to our charge, through any base and interested motives, or through prejudice’. we contend for justice and for truth; we contend

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