Times and Seasons, 1 April 1842

  • Source Note
Page 746
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she became the founder of a people that are  now extant; she was to bring forth in a place  appointed a son that was to be the Messiah,  which thing has failed. Independent of  this however, where do we read of a woman  that was the founder of a church in the word of  God? Paul told the women in his day “to keep  silence in the church, and that if they wished  to know any thing to ask their husbands at  home;” he would not suffer a woman “to rule,  or to usurp authority in the church;” but here  we find a woman the founder of a church, the  revelator and guide, the Alpha and Omega,  contrary to all acknowledged rule, principle,  and order.
Jemimah Wilkinson, was another prophetess  that figured largely in America in the last cen tury. She stated that she was taken sick and  died, and that her soul went to heaven where  it still continues. Soon after her body was re animated with the spirit and power of Christ,  upon which she set up as a public teacher and  declared she had an immediate revelation. Now  the scriptures positively assert that “Christ is  the first fruit, afterwards those that are Christs  at his coming; then cometh the end.” But Je mimah, according to her testimony died, and  rose again before the time mentioned in the  scriptures. The idea of her soul being in  heaven while her body was on earth is also pre posterous; when God breathed into man’s nos trils he became a living soul, before that he did  not live, and when that was taken away his  body died; and so did our Saviour when the  spirit left the body; nor did his body live until  his spirit returned in the power of his resurrec tion: but Mrs. Wilkinson’s soul, -[life]- was in  heaven and her body without the soul -[or life]-  on earth, living -[without the soul, or]- without  life.
The Irvingites, are a people that have coun terfeited the truth perhaps the nearest of any  of our modern sectarians; they commenced  about ten years ago in the city of London in  England. They have churches formed in vari ous parts of and Scotland and some  few in . Mr. [Edward] Irving their foun der was a learned and talented minister of the  church of Scotland; he was a great logician,  and a powerful orator; but withal wild and en thusiastic in his views. Moving in the higher  circles, and possessing talent and zeal, placed  him in a situation to become a conspicuous  character, and to raise up a society similar to  that which is called after his name.
The Irvingites have apostles, prophets, pas tors, teachers, evangelists, and angels. They  profess to have the gift of tongues and the in terpretation of tongues: and in some few in stances to the gift of healing.
The first prophetic spirit that was manifested  was in some Miss Campbells, that Mr. Irving  met with while on a journey in Scotland; they  had -[what is termed among their sect,]- “utter ances;”—which were evidently of a supernat ural agency. Mr. Irving falling into the com mon error of considering all supernatural man ifestations to be of God; took them to London  with him, and introduced them into his church.
They there were honored as the prophetesses  of God, and when they spoke Mr. Irving, or  any of his ministers had to keep silence; they  were peculiarly wrought upon before the con gregation, and had strange utterances, uttered  with an unnatural, shrill voice and with thrilling  intonations; they frequently made use of a few  broken unconnected sentences that were am biguous, incoherent, and incomprehensible; at  other times they were more clearly under stood. They would frequently cry out, “There  is iniquity! There is iniquity!” And Mr. Ir ving has been led under the influence of this  charge to fall down upon his knees before the  public cengregation and to confess his sin, not  knowing whether he had sinned, nor wherein;  nor whether the thing referred to him, or some body else. During these operations the bodies  of the persons speaking were powerfully  wrought upon, their countenances were dis torted, they had frequent twitchings in their  hands, and the whole system was powerfully  convulsed at intervals; they sometimes howev er (it is supposed) spoke in correct tongues, and  had true interpretations.
Under the influence of this spirit the church  was organized by these women; apostles, proph ets, &c., were soon called, and a systematic or der of things introduced, as above mentioned.  A Mr. [Robert] Baxter (afterwards one of the principal  prophets) upon going into one of their meetings,  says, I saw a power manifested and thought  that it was the power of God, and asked that it  might fall upon me; it did so and I began to  prophesy. Eight or nine years ago, they had  about sixty preachers going through the streets  of London, testifying that London was to be  the place where the ‘two witnesses,’ spoken of  by John was to prophesy: that (they) ‘the  church and the spirit’ were the witnesses, and  that at the end of three years and a half there  was to be an earthquake and great destruction,  and our saviour was to come. Their apostles  were collected together at the appointed time  watching the event; but Jesus did not come,  and the prophesy was then ambiguously ex plained away. They frequently had signs  given them by the spirit, to prove to them that  what was manifested to them should take place.  Mr. Baxter related an impression that he had  concerning a child. It was manifested to him  that he should visit the child, and lay hands  upon it, and that it should be healed:—and to  prove to him that this was of God, he should meet  his brother in a certain place who should speak  unto him certain words; his brother addressed  him precisely in the way and manner that the  manifestation designated; the sign took place, —but when he laid his hands on the child it  did not recover. I cannot vouch for the au thority of the last statement as Mr. Baxter at  that time had left the Irvingites, but it is in ac cordance with many of their proceedings, and  the thing never has been attempted to be denied.
It may be asked where is there any thing in  all this that is wrong?
1st. The church was organized by women  and ‘God placed in the church first apostles,  secondarily prophets:’ and not first women; but  Mr. Irving placed in his church first women;  secondarily apostles; and the church was found ed and organized by them. A woman has no  right to found or organize a church; God never  sent them to do it.
2nd. Those women would speak in the midst  of a meeting and rebuke Mr. Irving, or any of  the church: now the scripture positively says,  ‘thou shalt not rebuke an elder, but entreat  him as a father;’ not only this but they frequent [p. 746]
she became the founder of a people that are now extant; she was to bring forth in a place appointed a son that was to be the Messiah, which thing has failed. Independent of this however, where do we read of a woman that was the founder of a church in the word of God? Paul told the women in his day “to keep silence in the church, and that if they wished to know any thing to ask their husbands at home;” he would not suffer a woman “to rule, or to usurp authority in the church;” but here we find a woman the founder of a church, the revelator and guide, the Alpha and Omega, contrary to all acknowledged rule, principle, and order.
Jemimah Wilkinson, was another prophetess that figured largely in America in the last century. She stated that she was taken sick and died, and that her soul went to heaven where it still continues. Soon after her body was reanimated with the spirit and power of Christ, upon which she set up as a public teacher and declared she had an immediate revelation. Now the scriptures positively assert that “Christ is the first fruit, afterwards those that are Christs at his coming; then cometh the end.” But Jemimah, according to her testimony died, and rose again before the time mentioned in the scriptures. The idea of her soul being in heaven while her body was on earth is also preposterous; when God breathed into man’s nostrils he became a living soul, before that he did not live, and when that was taken away his body died; and so did our Saviour when the spirit left the body; nor did his body live until his spirit returned in the power of his resurrection: but Mrs. Wilkinson’s soul, -[life]- was in heaven and her body without the soul -[or life]- on earth, living -[without the soul, or]- without life.
The Irvingites, are a people that have counterfeited the truth perhaps the nearest of any of our modern sectarians; they commenced about ten years ago in the city of London in England. They have churches formed in various parts of and Scotland and some few in . Mr. Edward Irving their founder was a learned and talented minister of the church of Scotland; he was a great logician, and a powerful orator; but withal wild and enthusiastic in his views. Moving in the higher circles, and possessing talent and zeal, placed him in a situation to become a conspicuous character, and to raise up a society similar to that which is called after his name.
The Irvingites have apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and angels. They profess to have the gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues: and in some few instances to the gift of healing.
The first prophetic spirit that was manifested was in some Miss Campbells, that Mr. Irving met with while on a journey in Scotland; they had -[what is termed among their sect,]- “utterances;”—which were evidently of a supernatural agency. Mr. Irving falling into the common error of considering all supernatural manifestations to be of God; took them to London with him, and introduced them into his church.
They there were honored as the prophetesses of God, and when they spoke Mr. Irving, or any of his ministers had to keep silence; they were peculiarly wrought upon before the congregation, and had strange utterances, uttered with an unnatural, shrill voice and with thrilling intonations; they frequently made use of a few broken unconnected sentences that were ambiguous, incoherent, and incomprehensible; at other times they were more clearly understood. They would frequently cry out, “There is iniquity! There is iniquity!” And Mr. Irving has been led under the influence of this charge to fall down upon his knees before the public cengregation and to confess his sin, not knowing whether he had sinned, nor wherein; nor whether the thing referred to him, or somebody else. During these operations the bodies of the persons speaking were powerfully wrought upon, their countenances were distorted, they had frequent twitchings in their hands, and the whole system was powerfully convulsed at intervals; they sometimes however (it is supposed) spoke in correct tongues, and had true interpretations.
Under the influence of this spirit the church was organized by these women; apostles, prophets, &c., were soon called, and a systematic order of things introduced, as above mentioned. A Mr. Robert Baxter (afterwards one of the principal prophets) upon going into one of their meetings, says, I saw a power manifested and thought that it was the power of God, and asked that it might fall upon me; it did so and I began to prophesy. Eight or nine years ago, they had about sixty preachers going through the streets of London, testifying that London was to be the place where the ‘two witnesses,’ spoken of by John was to prophesy: that (they) ‘the church and the spirit’ were the witnesses, and that at the end of three years and a half there was to be an earthquake and great destruction, and our saviour was to come. Their apostles were collected together at the appointed time watching the event; but Jesus did not come, and the prophesy was then ambiguously explained away. They frequently had signs given them by the spirit, to prove to them that what was manifested to them should take place. Mr. Baxter related an impression that he had concerning a child. It was manifested to him that he should visit the child, and lay hands upon it, and that it should be healed:—and to prove to him that this was of God, he should meet his brother in a certain place who should speak unto him certain words; his brother addressed him precisely in the way and manner that the manifestation designated; the sign took place,—but when he laid his hands on the child it did not recover. I cannot vouch for the authority of the last statement as Mr. Baxter at that time had left the Irvingites, but it is in accordance with many of their proceedings, and the thing never has been attempted to be denied.
It may be asked where is there any thing in all this that is wrong?
1st. The church was organized by women and ‘God placed in the church first apostles, secondarily prophets:’ and not first women; but Mr. Irving placed in his church first women; secondarily apostles; and the church was founded and organized by them. A woman has no right to found or organize a church; God never sent them to do it.
2nd. Those women would speak in the midst of a meeting and rebuke Mr. Irving, or any of the church: now the scripture positively says, ‘thou shalt not rebuke an elder, but entreat him as a father;’ not only this but they frequent [p. 746]
Page 746