Many are the persons who have arisen since the days of John, the Evangelist and Prophet, claiming to be inspired of God to see visions, and to lead out and raise up a people for God. Mahomet arose in the seventh century, with such exhaled claims, and now has more followers than Jesus Christ.
The false prophets of Zwikau arouse in the16th century and opposed the great doctrine preached by Luther, that the Bible alone is an all-sufficient rule of faith and practice. Then follows a Sweedenborg, Ann Lee, and last, though not least, the Mormons and Spiritualists with visions and tongues, and new revelations almost innumerable.
In the midst of these absurd, contradictory and unscriptural visions, appears another Prophetess, claiming, like all the others, to be favored especially of God, with visions angels visits, transits to the New Jerusalem, views of God, Jesus and Satan. Her visions are revered so highly that many of her followers as firmly believe that there is no salvation for those who reject them, as the Mahometans believe that those will be lost who reject the Koran. We will now invite the attention of the candid reader to various claims set up in behalf of these visions, and give the reasons why we cannot receive them as a divine revelation.
"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28.
FIRST We say that an application of this scripture to these times, is a perversion of it. Peter applied it to the outpouring of the spirit on the day of Pentecost. He said, "This is that which was spoken by the Prophet Joel," —Acts 2:16. This prediction evidently relates to and was fulfilled in the apostolic age, in the work that began on the day of Pentecost and ended with the Revelations given to John on Patmos. This position is made to appear doubly sure, when we see and consider that there has been no true prophet or prophetess on earth since the days of John.
SECOND This prophecy says nothing about your old or young women seeing visions. It says "your young men shall see visions." The term man is general and may embrace women: but young men is specific and cannot have so extended an application, Therefore, we conclude that her visions come from the wrong sex to be a fulfillment of this prophecy.
"I am just as dependent upon the spirit of the Lord in relating or writing a vision, as in having the vision."—Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 2, Page 293.This claim, if true, entitles her to equal authority with Isaiah, Jeremiah, John and Jesus Christ, and exalts her books to equality with the Bible. Is this a true claim? Are these visions given by inspiration of God? This is a very important question and deserves a serious and candid investigation. That they are believed by many, is no proof of their divinity. Mormonism and Spiritualism have many sincere believers. That there are some good things in them is not proof that they are of God. The visions of Sweedenborg contain many good things—so does the Koran—but nevertheless they are not of God. Besides all the good that is in any of the above revelations is borrowed from the Bible, the great foundation of good.
We will now try to test the question. "Are these visions of God?" But how shall we do this? God has not left us in the dark on a matter of so much importance as this. He has given us an infallible rule by which to try the prophets that we may know them for ourselves.
"When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him." Deut. 18:22.We will bring this rule to bear upon some of her visions and see if they will not come short of the divine standard.