Jane Lead’s Inclusive Monotheism

By October 13, 2015

I wanted to put up some quotes from Jane Lead on the issue of inclusive monotheism because her writings generally look so very Mormon and because she addresses issues related to another post I want to do.

In her Enochian Walks with God (1694), Lead talks about holy people becoming deified in the next life who then seek to aid holy people on earth. “For those Angelical Spirits that once liv’d in Flesh, do more nearly sympathise with us in all our Infirmities, and therefore all feelingly they tenderly consider our tempting-state, and give themselves out most readily for our help; they are Advocates, and to remind the Lord Jesus of their Prophecies, that they may have their fulfilling upon us. Of this sort and degree, they are the choicest and greatest in the Kingdom of our Lord, and have very stately Pavilions which are pitched round the Majesty of the Jehovah God” (25).

Such beings should even be venerated, said Lead. “Now as any Soul here below do find Christ their Root of Love in them, as their true Original, for securing their Love, first in the eternal Father, and Spirit in Christ the Lord, then most easily may we, without being guilty of Spiritual Idolatry in this, pay a veneration of Love, and high respect to these great Potentates, that have Power to befriend us upon many Accounts, that we may need their assistance. For during the time of our Probation in this Life, so it is altogether expedient that we get acquainted with the Servants in this high and Heavenly Court, for they may do us many Kindnesses, as they are in Offices of great trust from their head Prince and King” (24).

Lead in particular focuses on seven angels: “There are seven Angels (or they may be called seven Spirits) that are appointed to be the Guard of the travelling Soul, whilst in this dangerous way” (8). These seven archangels were found in numerous apocalypses including Revelation (10:3-4). Clement of Alexandria called the seven protactists (or Gods) and such were mentioned in various early modern grimoires.[1] “When I enquired about them what their Office was,” Lead said of her heavenly vision, “one of the chief Elders told me they were the seven Invisible Counsellors, and mighty Powers, equal with the Trinity, by which the old Heavens and Earth should pass away in Mortal Creatures, and also in the room of which should spring all new” (25).

In addition to these seven who were “equal with the trinity,” in the highest (third) heaven, Jane Lead also sees “the Virgin; Her Place and Mansion was pitched betwixt the Supream Majesty of the Father, and the Throne of Glory of the Lord Christ” (26).  So just as Barbara Newman argues, inclusive monotheism allows for a Goddess.

More on these themes in my next post.

[1] Bogdan G. Bucur, “The Other Clement of Alexandria: Cosmic Hierarchy and Interiorized Apocalypticism,” Vigiliae Christianae 60 (2006): 256, 260, 264; Clement of Alexandria, Ecolae Propheticae 57; Jane Lead, The Enochian Walks with God, Found out be a Spiritual-Traveller Whose Face towards Mount-Sion above Was Set (London 1694), 23, 25. Agrippa spoke of “those seven intelligences, who stand before the face of God,” (Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, 587) and Scot’s third edition said, “According to the deepest Magicians, there by seven good Angels, who do most frequently become particular Guardians, of all others, each to their respective capacities,” (Reginald Scot, The Discoverie of Witchcraft, ed. Brinsley Nocholson [1584, reprint; London, 1886], 497).

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