Taves’s Revelatory Events, pt. 6: What Jane Lead Said (pt. 2)

By June 5, 2018

The passage I cited in my previous post (“The Angelical Key”) contained the following side note: “This Vision is a more distinct Revival of a former one, that was given several Years before, and is already Published in the First Volume of this Diary, pag.22 Entitled, The Key of the Great Mystery. Which ought therefore to be compared with this.”

In that vision (see “In the Month of August”), Lead seeks a key to unlock a gate to the Holy City, but is unable to make it. Wisdom then comes to her and says that she shouldn’t feel bad since most have failed at this, and then adds,

But in as much as thou ownest and bewailest thy unskillfulness, I will make known to thee what Key will turn this great Wheel of my Wisdom, so as it may move, and manifest it self in thee, through all thy Properties, if thou canst bid up to the Price of it. For understand that it is compounded of all pure Gold…. But the great thing, saith Wisdom, now is to discipline and make thy Spirit a cunning Artist, to give it Knowledge of what Matter in Number, Weight and Measure this pure Key is made up of, which is all pure Deity in the Number THREE; which is weighty indeed, being one exceeding weighty Glory.

Once again, this was an object that Lead needed to become “a cunning Artist” in order to make. It had the number three like the three sided key in “The Angelical Key” vision, but was also “weighty” and made of gold. And though this object was a key not plates, page 22 of Lead’s first journal came right after Lead’s first three visions of Wisdom, the second of which was on page 18 of that journal (two paragraphs above “The Key of the Great Mystery.”) It said,

Now after three days, sitting under a Tree, the same Figure in greater Glory did appear, with a Crown upon her Head, full of Majesty; saying, Behold me as thy Mother, and know thou art to enter into Covenant, to obey the New Creation-Laws, that shall be revealed unto thee. Then did she hold out a Golden Book with three Seals upon it, saying, Herein lieth hidden the deep Wonders of Jehovah’s Wisdom, which hath been sealed up, that none could, or ever shall break up, but such as of her Virgin-Offspring shall appear to be; who will her Laws receive, and keep, as they shall spring daily in the New Heart and Mind.

Combining these visions with the previous one adds important elements. In the “Angelical Key,” Lead had to make an object in order to gain knowledge and that vision referred back to her “The Key of the Great Mystery” which reiterated these themes and came right after Lead’s second vision of Wisdom in which she received a gold book from Wisdom. “The Key of the Great Mystery” said the key was gold and costly and that Lead would have to become “a cunning Artist” in order to make it. The “Angelical Key” said that making the key was necessary to obtain knowledge and that it would be “formed anew by the Finger of God” similar to the BoJ’s stones.

Taken together, these three visions suggest many of the elements of Taves’s materialization argument: a command to make an object after receiving a gold book in a vision.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Do you have a sense for how Jane Lead employed the word “cunning”?

    Comment by Jacob H. — June 5, 2018 @ 6:46 pm

  2. Well, she doesn’t talk about any deception or trickery in any of these passages, so I think the context just suggests skillful. Though people could have read it in different ways.

    Comment by Steve Fleming — June 5, 2018 @ 7:39 pm

  3. BTW – an other text you might wish to look at for parallels is “The Golden Key”. It’s from 1817. While key is more figurative here, it involves communication with angels and other elements that parallel early Mormonism.

    Comment by Clark — June 11, 2018 @ 11:02 am

  4. Yes, “Key” used in this way goes back to … early stuff, hermetic or otherwise. It was used all the time early modern grimoires. But Jane Lead uses it in a particularly Mormon way (see my response on the other post).

    Comment by Steve Fleming — June 11, 2018 @ 12:17 pm


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