Jane Lead in the Millennial Star

By June 15, 2016

In my first post on Jane Lead, I noted an 1858 article that the editor of the Millennial Star, Samuel Richards, wrote about Jane Lead.[1]  He’d found an 1807 German translation of her works and posted two passages, translated back into English.[2]  Of those quotes, Richards declared, “We have seldom read anything more pointed or expressive of the Latter-day Work than the foregoing.  It is another evidence that those who are spiritually minded, according to the light and advantages they have, can seek after God and learn of His ways—that He giveth liberally to all who ask wisdom of Him, and upbraideth not.”  When I did that first post, I was unable to track down the quotes, but now that I’ve found them, I’m posting what Richards cited along with the English originals.  

The first passage that Richards cited,

It was show unto me that the different existing modes of worship are nothing more than Babylonian fantasies, and that an angel is commissions from the Chief Shepherd to make know that all man-made systems of religion must pass away, like a shadow, before the brightness of a day when nothing but the power of God and the Lamb will endure.

The time is not yet come, but it is not very far off, when the everlasting Gospel will break forth will power that nothing can withstand; and nothing that is from men will be mixed with it; for it is only those that are like children that will confide therein.

To preach this, an agency will come that will bring back all which was lost in the first Adam.  How great the blessing for those that first lay their hands to the foundation of the spotless Church; and how greater still for that man who is chosen from his mother’s womb to be such a remarkable instrument in the hand of God.  He will raise a mighty standard to which the dove-like spirits will flee for shelter.  The trumpet of the Priesthood will be blown, and the children of bondage will hear the call to come beneath the banner of our God.

All from Abraham’s seed groan in slavery; but the Most High will raise up a Prophet that will bring His people from Babylonian witchcraft, and from the tyranny of the Prince of Darkness.  Like as Moses, Joshua, and Aaron were anointed, as types to lead the way to the rest of the promised land, even so must this Chieftain be raised up as a terror to unbelievers and a joy to those who are led back to Mount Zion.

The Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek shall be brought forth, that the way to the Holy of Holies may be made known.  The sign of these Priests will be the Urim and Thummim, and they will have a right to hold communion with God.  And thus will man come back to the state and condition he had before the material world existed, so that he will again have a place above the angels; for to which of them had God said ‘Thou are my son.”

These lines come from Lead’s A Message to the Phildelphian Society, Whithersoever dispersed over the Whole Earth. Together with a Call to the Several Gathered Churches among Protestants in this Nation of England (London 1696).  Either the German translation or Richards seems to have pulled out a handful of lines, and even mixed up the order.  Furthermore, the line about Adam in the third paragraph and last line of the last paragraph aren’t in A Message to the Philadelphian Society, but she does say things like that in other works.

The following is what the original looks like.  On pages 7 and 8 she lists seven churches and how they’ve all been rejected (sort of like the first paragraph).  Then on page 28 she says,

From the same Spirit therefore of Faith, Truth and Purity, shall the New Covenant be established, for an holy Priestly Convocation, as the First Covenant was with him, according to the Figurative Ceremony of things. So where the same Spirit shall spring again, they shall substantially bring their Priestly Offerings into the very Holy of Holies; because the Mediation is now doing away.

O the great Blessing, without all controversie! that will be doubled upon them, who shall put to their hands to cut the first Stone out of this Mountain-Rock, for the Foundation building of this unblemished Church, which will be upon a daily Increase, till that it come up unto Wisdom’s Number (29) Seven: who hath built her Temple upon so many Pillars, and calleth aloud for every one to come, and enter into it. And thrice great will be the Blessing of him, who is chosen from the Womb, to raise up this Temple, and to be made such a singular Instrument in the Hand of his God. A mighty Standard will be lifted up, to which the Dove Spirits will flock apace, and shelter themselves under it. The Priestly Trumpets are now going forth to summon in the Children of the Captivity under this glorious Standard of the Great God and Saviour, which shall be pitched in the Valley of Decision. Many things further in order hereunto were shewed me, and not without great matter of Encouragement unto any such, who find their Hearts bent thereunto.

31 His mighty Hand must be lifted up on high, to bring them out of Egypt, that figured out this Servile Creation, under which each one of Abraham’s Seed doth groan. A Prophet will the Most High yet raise up, who shall deliver his People from all Babylonish Charms, by meer force of Spiritual Arms, and release them from the Tyranny of that Dark Prince, who doth visibly reign all over the World. And how must this be, but by the Standard of the Spirit, that will in a Moses-like Figure, stretch forth the Royal Scepter of an everlasting Throne (32) Might? For the Seed of Abraham must still expect to be under Oppression throughout every Age, until the Soveraignty of the Holy Ghost come to be annexed to some holy Souls, by which they may be enabled to do the Wonders of JEHOVAH, in the sight of their Exactors and Oppressors.  For by no other way can the Lamb of God set free his chosen Flock, whom he hath purchased with his Blood, but by raising all the Powers of a God, which may go forth in the Birth of That, which shall shake the iron-Rod over all Nations.  Then will the Reign of CHRIST have its beginning in Spirit. For before his own distinct and personal Appearance, his Birth of Power will be first brought forth in some chosen Vessel, or Vessels; as Moses, Joshua, and Aaron, were Types, anointed to be Heads (33) and Leaders unto the rest, to bring them into the Promised Land: So likewise the Lord hath expressly revealed, and shewn to me, That there shall again be raised up Head-Powers, such as are to be of great Eminency and Favour with the Trinity, whose Dread and Fear shall fall upon all Nations, because of the mighty Acting Power of the Holy Ghost which shall rest upon them; whereby they shall make way for the Ransomed Ones to return with Joy unto Mount Sion. Where the New and Living Priesthood shall according to the Covenant, and Law of the Spirit of Life, be officiously and effectually performed, after a much different manner than the First.

41 And it was also shewn, that this Urim and Thummim were only to be appropriated to the Priests of the Melchizedeck Order, that is, to such whose Descent is not to be counted, or recorded in the Genealogy of that Creation which is under the Lapse; but from the Restoration, and the Birth which is from (42) the Olive-Root, that is ever more consecrated to put on this Breast-plate, as the Signal Character of this Holy Function and Heavenly Calling; as it was given me to know from the Lord.

90 Hereupon seven Principal Pastors, or Witnesses were chosen out by him, to whom he gave this Authority, and command to sound forth their Trumpets over all the Earth, and publish the Everlasting Gospel proclaiming the Acceptable Time and Year for all to be brought in, being that which was to reach not only to the Living, but also (91) to the Dead, that were to be Born again.

The next passage that Richards cited comes from Lead’s The Ark of Faith: Or A Supplement to the Tree of Faith &c. for the Further Confirmation of the Same Together with a Discovery of the New World (London, 1696) a short work tacked on the end of her, The Tree of Faith or The Tree of Life, Springing up in the Paradise of God from which All the Wonders of the New Creation, in the Virgin Church of the First-born of Wisdom Must Proceed (London: J. Bradford, 1696).

Richards titled the passage “THE GATHERING”

I saw an Ark float through the air, as that of Noah did in ancient times over the water; but from this Ark came a voice saying, ‘Here is a refuge from the curses that will come upon the earth.’ Those that had a lofty degree of faith went in, and endeavored to bring others therein also.

I was told this Ark was the Church of the gathering from all people, and it floated here and there, and the voice of a mighty angel came therefrom, saying, ‘Come from the mazes of Babylon: here is free entrance.’  Many came from the ends of the earth; and when the Ark was full, it went to a particular land, and then came back to fetch others.  This land was a prepared place to plant the virgin Church, and the beloved Apostle John conducted the very last convoy therein.

Various temples were seen, where the Elders, in long, white, and shining robes, administered in ordinances and with power unknown before.  Some went forth with power from this new found land; and so mighty was their testimony, that many came from all quarters to breathe its pure air, and to enjoy the light of its peculiarly clear atmosphere, which changed even the weakness of the body.

I have written this vision so far as the Spirit renews it upon my mind; but the end thereof I do not remember, as I have lost my manuscripts where it was at first written.

Again, the lines are piecemeal and often out of order.  Here are the lines from Ark of Faith that best match.

4 And notwithstanding the latter Part of this, amongst many other of my Papers, has been lost, yet this which hath been by the All-wise Giver of it preserved for that end, will, I know, be of some Service and Use; and therefore have I been prevailed with, to insert it here, though I am not able to recall what either went before, or followed after it.

Being upon my Internal Watch in the pure stillness of my Mind, this Word came to me, saying, The Ark of Faith which the Lord hath been these many Years in raising and building, is yet not persued, and as (5) little understood although Warning upon Warning, and Sound upon Sound have gone forth for preparing and building such an Ark, which may float upon the broad River of the Holy Ghost…. Thou hast been learned and taught as another (6) Noah to prepare and build an Ark of Faith in this Invisible World: therefore slack not, but go on forward, and I will strengthen the Studs and Stakes thereof, which shall be as stable as Gold, that shall be laid in as a firm bottom.

11 Then the Great Captain of the Ark of Faith, Christ Jesus, did steer the Ark, which with flying Wings did swiftly pass, and landed us in the New Paradise.  Where we were received by the Divine Magus’s and Masters of the Faith, who understood the Mystery of all Miraculous Faith. This was a wonderful Place, the like of which I had never seen, for the Walks were all paved as with Transparent Gold, and several Temples were here, in which these Elders in Priestly Robes all glittering did pay their Homage to the Great and Mighty King, by whom they did work all their great Works, (12) and give Existency to that which never had been.  Then were we led out to view the pleasant Trees and Groves for delight and recreation: and the Trees did seem to be as of pure Gold, and the Branches to be laden as with Diamonds, and all the variety of Precious Stones. Besides which there were Trees also laden with all sorts of precious Fruits for Food: and Rivers with Fountains flowing with spiced Wine, and Cups and Flagons round about the Fountain. So we were called to drink at these Fountains, and to eat of these Fruits, being entertained by these Magi: to whose Care by the great Shepherd of this Fold we were committed. Who were to usher us back to the Ark, to bring in others, and transport them hither. Which accordingly was done.

14 For they flocked from the utmost Parts of the Earth as Doves to the Windows of this Ark, having heard the report of this Good Land, from those who had been sent thither as Spies to seek it out. And when thus the Ark was filled, it was by a Principal Angel sitting at this Helm, Steered to this Paradisiacal Land, where they were Landed with a joyful greeting; and had all their Tents here prepared for them; this being said to be the Plantation for the Virgin Philadephian Church, which has in former Treatise been Described.

16 Here I thought to have stopped, as not knowing there should be any further Addition from the Spirit of my Lord; but the next Morning, February 20, all was opened to me again, the Ark descending, and a Commission given from the Lord to the Beloved John, to steer it, with some Few Names born into the Love, and Practitioners of the High Mystery of Faith, who were here with him to abide, and as Heralds to Proclaim the Love-Message, and to call in such as were willing upon the Report made concerning this New found Paradisiacal Land, to leave the Land of the Curse, and to wind themselves (17) out of the Sensitive Principle, so as to be Disciplined into the Faith.  So accordingly as Report was made by these Persons of what they had seen in this New Paradisiacal Country, the strength and power of Faith and Love did so manifestly appear, and give such a Witness in those that were in this Ark, that they did attract many from all Parts. And when the appointed number was fulfilled, the beloved Great Apostle spread out the Wings of the Ark, in which were fixed the piercing Eyes, that did see the way by which they were to move till they came to this goodly Land; who then delivered up his Charge to the Princess and Governess of this Land.


 

[1] “Extracts for the Revelations of Jane Leade,” Millennial Star 20, no. 8 (Feb 20, 1858): 124-25.

[2] Likely either Offenbarungen der Jane Leade, di Lletzten Zeiten Betreffend: Nebst Anmerkungen und einer Lebensbeschreibung Dieser Engländerin (J. H. Silberman 1807) or Es Wird alles Neu Werden: Wichtige Offenbarungen der Jane Leade (J. H. Silberman, 1807). Neither title matches the originals.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


Comments

  1. Steve, I think I remember that when you first found these I expressed deep skepticism and told you “good luck” in running down the original quotations. The original quotations aren’t as great as the back-translated Mormon versions, but still impressive. And it’s impressive that you ran them down!

    Comment by Mark Ashurst-McGee — June 15, 2016 @ 3:02 pm

  2. Thanks, Mark. After going over Lead’s stuff quite a few times, it wasn’t to hard to find these. I think in some cases the original may be a little better. Richards has “how greater still for that man who is chosen from his mother’s womb to be such a remarkable instrument in the hand of God.” The original says, “And thrice great will be the Blessing of him, who is chosen from the Womb, to raise up this Temple, and to be made such a singular Instrument in the Hand of his God.” Pretty cool, I think.

    Comment by Steve Fleming — June 15, 2016 @ 6:42 pm

  3. Thanks, Steve. Very interesting.

    Comment by David G. — June 18, 2016 @ 5:25 pm


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