Jane Lead & the Early Shakers

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On-line at PTW: April 2, 2000
  Last update: April 12, 2013


It is interesting to find evidence among the old Shaker writings, that perhaps there was a connection between the teaching of the Shakers and the earlier prophetic writings of English Mystic, Jane Lead.

Hand-copied excerpts from the works of Jane Lead were found among the Early Shaker papers.

This information comes from those who have faithfully copied and prepared documents in electronic form to be shared through this web site.

They have reported locating the writings of Jane Lead among Shaker manuscripts as detailed below.

We did locate a couple of places in the Western Reserve Historical Society microfilms where Jane Leade's writings were found among the Shakers. There may be more places than the following two, but the first one listed below has all of her writings compiled into one section.

  1. Book # VI: B-39 Reel 52 (starting on page 149) Different Kinds of Inspiration, With Jane Leeds Own Experience - Between the Years 1676-1701

    *The Translated State
    *The Bride - The Daughter of Wisdom
    *The Divine Sophia Or Wisdom
    *The New Jerusalem
    *Mount Sion - The Second Heavens
    *Elementary Region
    *A Call To The Holy Warriors
    *Testimony Of The Kingdom
    *Sixty Propositions To The Philadelphia Society
    *The Morning Dawn
    *The Virgin Mother
    *Virgin Wisdom
    *The Sea Of Glass
    *Paradise, Or The First Heavens
    *Some Account of the Underworld
    *More Joy In Heaven
    *Light In A Seven Fold Degree
    *Divine Opening Of The Twelve Fruits Of The Tree Of Life
    *Extract From The Book Of The Eight Worlds

    Note- These writings of Jane Leade's were found in the middle of Rebecca Jackson's (a Shaker at Watervliet, NY) writings.
  2. Book # VII: B-203 Reel 61: 60 Propositions "The Prophecy of Jane Leeds (1676), copied by Catherine Van Houten, followed by sayings and writings of James Whittaker and Ann Lee "not found anywhere in print," copied by Alonzo
    G. Hollister, Mount Lebanon, NY

We hope this will be useful to inquiring minds.”

One of these Early Shaker copies, The Translated State, has been transcribed and may be found on this site.  A search of Jane Leads writings finds essentially  the same text contained within a Journal Entry of Lead's Fountain of Gardens, Volume III, Part One, dated January 18, 1678.

Jane Lead often wrote of her desire to see a people wholly set apart in the Nazarite life, living in harmony and dedicated to the pursuit of holiness.  The Shakers recognized that they were the "initial prototype" of her vision — they were to be the pattern held up to the world — showing how the laying down of the "generative" life in favor of the "regenerative" life can work in humanity, and work well; the historical record shows  the amazing accomplishments of a people, called together from all age groups and walks of life, and what God can bring to pass upon the Earth through them.

The modern public fascination with things to do with the Shakers, shows that those who have made the "Ascent to Mount Zion" still continue their outreach today, in ways we are only beginning to perceive.

Printing the Manuscripts:  For step by step instructions, how to possibly deal with printer problems, how to customize page headers/footers, suggestions for those with no computer/printer, and more information about the on-line documents at PasstheWORD.

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Jane Lead Manuscripts On-Line

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