Wednesday, 2 March 2016
CREDULITY.—In a late number of the Observer newspaper, there was the following paragraph :—"A new sect has, it is said, appeared in the metropolis, calling themselves Christian Israelites, being the followers of a poor man named John Wroe, of Tong, in the parish of Birtsail, near Bradford. Wroe, pretends that in the year 1832, the Lord communicated spiritually to him, the 'illuminations' and 'perfections' of which the urim and thummim on the breastplate of Aaron were types. His disciples pretend that he has the power of working miracles, reading men's thoughts, and of obtaining literally by prayer, whatever he shall ask. Some of his proselytes intend proceeding shortly to Australia. John Wroe himself is about to visit London, to announce the day, when the great Millenium is to commence." The proselytes above referred to have arrived in this Colony, and been alluded to in the papers as followers of Johanna Southcote, but it appears that they are seceders from that sect. These men preach upon the Race Course, and sell tracts which profess to contain the doctrines of Wroe, and nonsensical affairs they are, if that is not an improper word to apply to blasphemy. One of the tracts contains a number of John Wroe's prophecies, which had been fulfilled by the the beginning of this year. From among them as one of the most amusing, we take the following.—"Prophecy— Devonport, 29th of 5th month, 1832.—' I will set my face against all farmers ; their cattle shall die in great abundance, because they shew no pity to their servants.' Taken from the mouth of John Wroe by Robert Wallace, of 68, Navy Row, Morrice Town, Devonport ; and sent to the bodies of friends in England and Scotland at the same time. Fulfilment —' Accounts from Sydney, New South Wales, state that the mortality amongst the cattle from heat and want of feed has been severe, and the loss of sheep alone, has been estimated at ten thousand." Until they read this paragraph, we are confident that the settlers of this colony who lost sheep and cattle during the late calamitous drought, had no idea that it was because John Wroe had set his face against them. The credulity of the ignorant masses of Great Britain is wonderful ; this man is said to have a great many followers in the manufacturing districts of the western part of England.—Herald.
JOHN WROE—A higher honor has been conferred on Victoria than any other British colony can boast of, viz., the visit of a real prophet—John Wroe, the founder of the sect known as "the Israelites," who arrived by the Digby last Friday, having in one of those visions by which the spirit is pleased to hold communication with him, been directed to undertake a mission to Victoria, Van Diemen's Land, Sydney, and a particular part of China, at which latter place he is to remain until further ordered how and when to direct his steps. The prophet states that the Australian Colonies will occupy a distinguished position in opening up the way for the gathering of "the elect" on the advent of the Millenium, and that in this great work the Colony of Victoria will be beyond all the others pre-eminently conspicuous ; but before any attempts can be successfully made, the Australian group of colonies must be formed into seven distinct and separate governments, which are in process of time to become united, and then the struggle will be commenced which is destined to end so gloriously. The prophet was born at Bradford in Yorkshire, in 1782, and must therefore be sixty-eight years of age. Two Catholic priests were among his fellow-passengers in the Digby, and notwithstanding the wide difference of their religious opinions, it is said the greatest cordiality and good feeling existed between them. He was to have occupied the preaching ground of Mr. Cartwright, near the Court house, on Sunday afternoon, but the rain prevented him from carrying this arrangement into effect. However, he preached twice in the Tabernacle at Collingwood to select and attentive congregations.
The Argus 10 Sep 1850
DEATH OF JOHN WROE.- This great fanatic and imposter, who was the founder and leader of the sect calling themselves " Christian Israelites," died in Melbourne a few weeks ago, having reached the advanced age of eighty years. He preached and taught that he was one of 144,000 whose bodies should never die but who possessed a fleshy immortality. His mortal remains were, however, interred in the Melbourne cemetery on the 27th of February last- Kynton Guardian
Border Watch 3 Apr 1863