|Some of the Early Shakers possessed hand-copied excerpts from the works of Jane Lead. The following example is from a list of such excerpts that the Shakers collectively described as, Different Kinds of Inspiration With Jane Lead's Own Experience.||
I shall now make out what particular and private manifestation hath opened in this matter, to be agreeable to the scripture record. If there be nothing of this great change to happen upon some hereunto especially elected, till the great General Day of Judgment, when the visible elements shall pass away and the world all broken up; then all flesh will in it expire, and none be preserved to meet Christ, in his distinct and personal revelation and coming, which will be shown in its time.
But the spirit affirms as a truth, that before this, he will come in his Kingdom to some, and so open their own heavens as he will descend and ascend in and from them, till they shall know the great Mystery of Translation out of the earth into the very heavens, where Paul and John were, since Christ ascension, both caught up in spirit, and saw his glory, and heard the voice of his mouth.
Paul, the Apostle, did not at that time, know himself in a mortal form, though after he came down into it again, he had such a divine sense of immortal clothing, that he desired to reach the Resurrection State, and to have mortality swallowed up in life.
And whether or not he reached this mark in his day, or the rest of the Apostles, we have no visible record to inform us, and so can bring no precedent from them; which is not to stumble us who are now not to look back but forward, and to expect this perfect thing, which can change this corruptible in incorruptibleness.
But the great question is WHEN! ________ Whether before Christ's visible appearance? _______ That is the thing to be solved, which, according as I have received, so I shall demonstrate it, not only as a private revelation, but from a scripture which admits of such an interpretation ___ viz. Revelation 20:4 "and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
Now consider, here is a state peculiar to some that were passed from or over death, into immortalility of life. And they are made Priests, to go in and out of the most Holy and inward Tabernacle. And Kings to reign over the earth, as they have been kept under and reigned over by the earth.
I know this has been generally, by most that expect Christ' personal coming in a distinct glorious humanity, to manifest his Kingdom in this principle. There is a great controversy about it; some believing that this reign will be before the fabric of this principle is to be quite dissolved. Others, that it will finish the whole Mystery, and fix the everlasting Kingdom, so that time shall be no more.
I shall not take upon me to decide anything of it, more than is given me by a good hand to know. I have learned to interfere with no one's light, but to wait immediately upon the springing testimony of Jesus; who thus opened the vision which John saw. First: Who these persons were that should reign in and over the earth.
They were those that had suffered their head life to be taken from them, not by an outward visible martyrdom, but by cutting off that head in which the serpent had introduced the whole working motion of sin and earthliness. These being convinced that this kind of spiritual martyrdom must be undergone, for the Word and Testimony's sake, that so through this internal death, they might cease henceforth to bear the image and mark of the Beast in themselves, or to pay homage to it in others. No way to be free but by falling upon the very head life thereof, so that the soul being separated therefrom, and being acquitted from the gross evil effects of a body of sin, may stand as a naked and abstract spirit.
Such as these, were shown to me, to be of the First Resurrection, whom no mortal death could have power over. This is that Sinless Holy Priesthood, that will proceed BEFORE CHRIST'S VISIBLE APPEARANCE, and whereas it is said they shall reign with Christ, that is, with his life of the same purity and power, and sufficiency to act and do all great and mighty wonders, as if he was manifested upon the earth in his own distinct person of glory.
The key of the government shall be entrusted and laid upon the shoulders of those who are dead, and risen with Christ their head. These are to put on their spiritual bodies. It was given me to understand that there is a threefold coming of Christ. His first coming was in the flesh. After which, before he left the world, he engaged that he would come again in spirit to his own that were in it.
This has been accomplished. This was his second coming. Upon which we have lived and spent upon this stock of life, ever since his departure. I mean such as have with great seeking obtained this worthy gift. This the Apostles had more richly and abundantly, as to the manifold workings by powers and gifts, then any since.
But they were still looking out for his next coming; for by his spirit, he was to make meet and ready; that the inward spirit, with his mind, will and senses, should be all internally transformed; as the New Testament runs much upon it, to be found sinless, spotless and blameless against the coming of the Lord.
And what is to be done at his third coming, but to change our vile bodies, and to fashion them like unto his own glorious body, by that power which shall open the element, the eternal nature which the celestial body shall evermore consist of. Christ's third coming will be to this purpose, to redeem bodies, out from all those evil events that sin brought in, so that every spirit may come to have its own native body, and the spirit may no longer draw one way, and the flesh another.
And surely that saying will forever cease, "To will is present, but power is wanting to perform," for all power will be given to his saints, as it was to the Lord Jesus ___ And as Daniel foresaw the dominion should be given to the saints of the Most High.
These are those that will be the pure and wise virgins that are all ready as the Bride of the Lamb, to meet him at his last general call and trumpet sound to them, which shall be at his third coming _____ Who shall not anticipate the descent of those who have departed in the faith, and are now in the invisible Mount Zion. They with Christ, shall appear again in this principle, in spirits, and bodies celestial.
Then will be the great overturn in this visible world, for those New Heavens and earth to be known ____ and the old visible world, heavens, and elements to pass away, and all flesh with them to be consumed. For here will be no place for terrestrial bodies when this great day will come which shall burn as an oven. This is that general conflagration that the Apostle Peter speak of; +++++
Here the fiery indignation will make the terrible dissolution in the whole visible world, and all those inhabitants who are in love and friendship with it, as it stood in the sin and curse. This will be a Dreadful Day to overtake such, for our Lord foretelleth great distress will be as never was. But on whom will it come to hurt? Only them that are found out of the Ark.
For I must let you know from that spirit that revealeth things to come, that before the last general day of judgment shall come, this deluge shall be at Christ's third coming, And Another Mighty Noah Shall Be Found, who, in and by faith, shall raise and build an Ark, which no flames can devour, no more than the waters could prevail upon the first Ark.
Elijah, with his fiery chariot will also come before this great and notable day of Christ's third coming, to show, to some, the way of escape out of this corporeal state, into that other principle, the one pure eternal element, from when the Lord, the Mighty God and Savior, with all his Saints, In His Time Will Be Revealed. But know there will be in this latter day, when Christ shall appear, such an Ark, that will be all refined gold, for a harbor, and as a City, upon which the name of everlasting life, power and might, will be written; whereunto the true wise, and prudent will take sanctuary, as foreseeing the destruction that will come upon all flesh.
Therefore, those who as Noah, are warned of this surprisal day, will take instructions from the Lord's mouth how to prepare this celestial Ark, and to bring in such as are willing to wait in truth, in this body of the golden Ark, Having Put Off The Sins Of The Flesh; and as pure, naked, abstracted spirits, are free from all entanglements of the earthly life.
These are here ready to be received, and to be clothed upon with this house, that can stand in the midst of all burnings. Such a Spouse and Bride will verily be waiting for the Bridegroom, in a Perfect Virgin Life, separate and redeemed from among men, as minding no other thing but to be trimming their lamps, and making themselves all ready in pure and white robes, wherein no spot of pollution may be found.
For verily, the heavens shall no longer contain the Lord Christ, then till the Temple Body and Ark are rebuilt for his presence, and till his saints look out for his appearance. For this is the posture which the saints of old labored to put themselves into, upon the hope of his personal coming to take to him the whole dominion, and to deliver up the kingdom to his Father, all in transparent purity; every subject in it attired and put into a suitable habit for immediate entrance into the inward and most holy Jerusalem.
The true and infallible Testator witnesseth that there will be a translation at Christ's third coming, before his fourth and last coming to judgment. For these first born spirits will have power in them, by his inward rising body, to figure out a visible one, agreeable to the Lord's own body, or else they could not lift up their heads with joy, when he shall come to transmute this principle.
Know therefore for a certainty, that the Lord will have a pure and spotless Church upon the earth, that before the general day of judgment, shall have the key of power, yea of the transmuting power too, as all ethereal to ascend and descend. And they will be in such purity and separation from all of this corrupt element, that they will frequently be admitted to the Holy Circle of Deity, to know the celestial affairs that belong to their own Kingdom. This is here declared, that many hereat may be converted, and wait in a devoted life from the world.
For whoever they are who shall fully agree to this, and totally depart from the whole life, and live in an absolute virgin state, knowing henceforth nothing more according to the first man, that degenerated from his Creator; I certainly know this, that without such a full leave be taken on this worldly conversation, there will be no part for them in this matter. For this life of the Resurrection doth never spring until the earthly passes away.
Oh these are hard sayings indeed, the losing of life, that we may not taste at all death. Where in this age shall we find five wise Virgins, that have parted with all things that are drossy and impedimental, for God? And who go on making the pure Body Ark, that in it they may be able to move upon the fiery element; who have hereunto disposed and given themselves up to be in election for this high, holy, and Christ dignified state.
Faith is that great and mighty energy which may effect for us this translation. Therefore we are incited to cherish the spirit of it, and keep up with all care and tenderness, considering that by faith Enoch was translated so that he saw not death. It has various purifying properties from whence will also come mighty powerful acting for the accomplishment of the Last Day's Wonders.
Thus I have been unexpectedly carried out upon this subject, wherein I have observed the vision (the Teaching) upon which all this mysterious and deep matter appeared. The Hand of Love and Power which guided me to record it in writing, may have some service for it in its time, yea, for those who may happily find this weighty Transmuting Stone. And may the worth thereof be so great and valuable in their eyes, as with us they may not think much to suffer and endure loss of life, I mean that life which consists in the friendship, honor, pleasure, and riches of this evil world.
And to wind out and estrange themselves from all of this perishing and polluted state; which must first be resolved upon by such as shall willingly join with us in the faith, to obtain the Pure Body Ark now before the flood comes. Let us be preparing with all speed to testify that we are none of those slothful ones who take ease on a bed of thorns, being all over beset with the dark and cloudy night of the fall. ++++++++++
"Blessed are those who when their Lord comes shall be found watching that when he knocketh they may open immediately, having their loins girded about and their lamps burning;" i.e. all in readiness, entire, wanting nothing. Oh! who would not now think it worth losing and leaving all, and waiting together in a pure life of introversion, out of the noise and multiplicity of the earthly rudiments of a world that lieth wholly in pollution and deceit. For who knows how suddenly to such, who are found in a bridal habit, all pure and spotless, he may appear!
December 23, 1676.**
**A search of Jane Leads writings by PasstheWORD finds the above date to be incorrectly recorded in the Shaker copy above. However, the souce text from which this copy was taken, may be found within a Journal Entry of Jane Lead's Fountain of Gardens, Volume III, Part One, dated January 18, 1678 which is also on-line at the Jane-Lead site listed below, or it may be viewed from here directly.
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