Jane Leade - A Brief Bio

by Adam McClean circa 1906


    "Jane Leade (1624 — 1704) was born and brought up in Norfolk, England in an honorable and esteemed family. Of her early life little is recorded, except for a profound spiritual experience which came to her, aged fifteen, while dancing at a Christmas Eve party. Without any warning she heard a voice from the spiritual world saying to her, "Cease from this, I have another dance to lead thee in, for this is vanity." This sudden experience of the Spirit affected her very deeply and she was plunged into melancholy. In time she began to relate positively to this experience, and undertook to search for a spiritual dimension to her life.

    She married and brought up a family of four daughters, and outwardly lived an ordinary, tranquil and stable life. This marriage, which lasted for some twenty-seven years until the death of her husband in 1670, gave her a solid inner security and stability that enabled her to relate positively to her inner spiritual voices and visions, so as not to be driven into extreme and distorted perceptions, as is regrettably the case with many people who have received mystical communications. There is a great peace of soul about Jane Leade; she is no tortured mystic.

    "The core of her visionary experiences can be traced back to 1670 when her vision of the Virgin-Wisdom, a Sophia figure, appeared to her. She had for some years been meditating upon the spiritual and how to make a relationship with the Virgin-Wisdom archetypal ground of the spiritual world. One day while walking about absorbed in these thoughts, she was suddenly overshadowed by a bright cloud, in the center of which she beheld a woman richly adorned with gold and with her hair hanging down.

    The woman said, "Behold, I am God's eternal Virgin-Wisdom, whom thou hast been inquiring after." She had a further two visions of this Virgin-Wisdom, and the final one was the vision of her calling, "then these words from the Virgin proceeded, saying, 'I shall now cease to appear in a visible figure unto thee but will not fail to transfigure myself in thy mind and therefore open the Spring of Wisdom and Understanding.'" From that time Jane Leade had an inner fount of spiritual experience which poured out into her various books.

    "Jane Leade's role as a woman mystic is, I believe, of the greatest import, in that her soul was open to certain experiences that perhaps men are often closed to inwardly. Her vision of the Revelation of Revelations never tends to the horror and destructive wrathful facet of the Apocalypse that some male mystics have envisaged. Her vision is a gentle and healing one that focuses on growth to spirituality and not the destructive calling down of wrath upon the sinner." — by Adam McClean circa 1906.

    May God bless these truths to your heart and make them good in you.


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