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 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 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 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 , testifying that 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]
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 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 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 , testifying that 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