Joanna's handwriting was illegibly bad; so that at last she found it advisable to pretend that she had received orders from heaven to discard the pen, and deliver her oracles verbally, and the words flowed from her faster than the scribes could write them down. Her prophecies were words, and words only, a rhapsody of texts and vulgar applications; the verse the vilest doggerel ever written, and the rhyme and grammar equally bad. She made a pretty penny, not only by the sale of her books, but also by her "Certificates for the Millennium," and her "Sealings of the Faithful," passports to paradise. Of these she sold between six and seven thousand, some at twelve shillings, but most at a guinea; and she continued the sale until a woman, Mary Bateman, a Leeds murderess, who had poisoned a Mrs. Perigo, and had attempted to poison Mr. Perigo, was hanged in 1809, and it was ascertained that this poisoner had been furnished by Joanna with one of her passports to paradise.
In 1813, she first announced that she was to become the mother of Shiloh, that she was the Woman spoken of in the Apocalypse as having the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; the twelve stars were twelve evangelists or apostles whom she sent abroad to declare her revelations. In herself, she asserted, the scheme of redemption would be completed, by woman came the fall of man, and by woman must come his restoration. She was the Bride, the promised seed who was to bruise the serpent's head. The evening-star was placed in the firmament to be her type. The immediate object of her call was to destroy the devil; of this Satan was fully aware; and that it might not be said he had foul play, a regular dispute of seven days was agreed upon between him and Joanna, in which she was to be alone; the conditions were that