The Conjuror’s Magazine

Vol 1 No 9 (April 1792) pp.370-2.


Although he squares up to the “sensual organs” of his readers, ramming home his point that prophecy is not prediction with a barrage of scriptural quotation , Gilbert did himself use the term “prediction” in his first astrological ‘Judgment of the Winter Solstice’ Nov 1791 p.112.  Here he addresses the temporal world in his final sentence where he mentions the death of the king of Sweden, an event which an article in this same number claims as a ‘Prediction Fulfilled’ on behalf of Gilbert.





I HAVE at last adopted the word predictions, in compliment to the sensual organs of my readers, for to spirit there is no prediction: this is only a relative to matter: a future event is a thing which exists in spirit, has proceeded thence, and is on its way to matter. When the soul, which is the intermediate of spirit and matter, feels the approach of an event from spirit, it communicates its sensation to matter. This communication is called foresight or præ-sentiment, a term which evidently is given by matter, and is descriptive of its relation to spirit. When these præ-sentiments are uttered, they become præ-dictions. Those uttered from Astrology have only this difference; that they are derived by sight from an index of spirit, instead of being felt from the touch of spirit. The Astrologer describes man from his reflexion in a magnifying mirror; inspirati imbibe their ideas from feeling, as a blind man does the structure of his members. And as it is plain, that a blind man cannot have the same ideas of space and magnitude with mankind who use their eyes, yet he will have ideas analogical, and MORE CORRECT; for they will be formed from the fountain itself of the senses, feeling; and consequently, though obscure to the man of sight, whose ideas of the whole ocean are drawn from only one stream, yet will he avoid those delusions, which even men of sight agree to, proverbially, express by visionary [1]. Isa. xlii.16,19. [E1]

Now I have turned the tables on the wise men of Gotham [E2], and condemned them out of their own mouth, I shall proceed.—I speak this month from scripture only.

Charity never faileth; but whether they be prophecies they shall fail; whether they be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away. Paul [E3]—GOD IS LOVE. John [E4]The word of GOD is quick and powerful; piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow. Paul [E5]—Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, to-day—after so long a time; as it is said, to-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts: for if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterwards have spoken of another day. THERE REMAINETH THEREFORE A REST FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD—Paul.[E6] THE THINGS THAT ARE REVEALED BELONG TO US, AND TO OUR CHILDRENMoses.[E7]

By fire, and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many. Isaiah [E8].

As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool! [E9] Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations to whom I send thee to drink it. Jerem. [E10]

In Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call—Joel. [E11] O that one might plead for a man with God as a man pleadeth with his neighbour—Job. [E12] The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth; for there is a consumption determined upon the whole earth. The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the WEST, and his GLORY from the rising of the Sun. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob—Isaiah.[E13] And this my son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, and shall destroy them without labour, by the law that is like unto fire; therefore sawest thou the multitude with Peace—Esdras. [E14] The earth abideth for EVERSolomon. [E15]

The newspapers having advanced, that the death of the Swedish monarch had not a deep ground, and that there would be an end of the matter, without farther consequences to the government; I shall just say THEY are mistaken. The Assassins triumph.    B.



[1]  The difference here marked is the cause of obscurity in the prophetic writings. The prophets  wrote of things as they are, not as they seem to shallow men of sight, which is the highest character of natural philosophers. Solomon’s writings, the Chronicles, Acts and Epistles, are in general written from appearances; as when Solomon says, it is better to go into the house of mourning, than into the house of feasting, he means as the world is turned topsy-turvy; otherwise the words would amount to a position, that hell was better than heaven. The same is to be observed when St. Paul says, “she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” [E]: for DAVID, who wrote according to reality says, “in the presence of GOD is fulness of joy—At his right hand are pleasures for evermore. With respect to myself, I have often been obliged to write and speak from appearances, that I might be intelligible. I Cor. xiv. 2. But, systematically, I speak and write in reality. St. Paul’s prophetic passages are necessarily correspondential or real. That he had light for this, see II Cor. xii. 2,3,4. That he did it, see I Cor. xv. 51,52. I Th. iv. 15,16,17. II Th. i. 7, 8, 9, 10. That divine prophecy must be according to reality, II Pet. i. 20. and examples in the same epistle, and in particular regard to Paul chap. iii. 15,16. This note is to correct the Swedenborgians.



Editorial Notes


[E1] Isaiah 42:16 “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. 42:19: “Who is blind, but my servant? or deaf, as my messenger that I sent?  Who is blind as he that is perfect, and blind as the Lord’s servant?

[E2] Wise men of Gotham. A proverbial town of fools. The Merry Tales of the Mad-Men of Gotam. By A. B., Doctor of Physick [i.e. Andrew Borde]  has a 1st BL listing 1690, but Frank E Earpe dates the original ed. to c.1540 This was followed by anonymous chapbook editions The Merry Tales of the Wise Men of Gotham. See Earpe for a full account. The switch from Mad to Wise is an indication of their appeal; although they were used as figures of fun, there is always the sense that the joke is on us, and that a strange wisdom is conveyed through their antics. Comparable to the Mullah Nasruddin stories.

[E3] I Cor. 13.8 with minor divergences.

[E4] 1John 4.8 & 4.16 both include this phrase.

[E5] Phrases from Heb. 4.12 .

[E6] Heb. 4.7-9.

[E7] Deut. 29.29 “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

[E8] Isaiah 66.16.

[E9] Prov. 26.1. In the printed text this runs into the following quote as if it is connected..

[E10] Jeremiah 25.15.

[E11] Joel 2.32

[E12] Job 16.21

[E13] A patchwork from the following sources.

The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth;

Prov. 11.31 “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more than the wicked and the sinner”.

for there is a consumption determined upon the whole earth.

Isaiah 28.22. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord GOD of hosts of a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.

The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

Isaiah 10.22.  For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the WEST, and his GLORY from the rising of the Sun.

Isaiah 59.19. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the Sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.

And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob.

Isaiah 59.20 as above + “saith the Lord”.

[E14] 2 Esdras 13.37-38 And this my Son shall rebuke the wicked inventions of those nations, which for their wicked life are fallen into the tempest; And shall lay before them their evil thoughts, and the torments wherewith they shall begin to be tormented, which are like unto a flame: and he shall destroy them without labour by the law which is like unto me.
The variant “fire” in place of  me” is not unique to Gilbert.This would seem to be the verse behind  his lost work The Law of Fire.

[E15] Ecc. 1.4 "One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever." Which comes as something of a relief after all of the above.