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Jane Leade: From ‘A Fountain of Gardens’- A theosophical interpretation of the High Priest’s breastplate

Detail of the right part of The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin ensemble, depicting the Kohen Gadol (High Priest of the Temple of Jerusalem)  in his sacred vestments according to Exodus 28.  Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland. Picture by Andreas F. Borchert.


🌿Another sharing for the day from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, inaugurating forthcoming selections of theosophical writings by Jane Leade (1624-1704) of a strong visionary nature, joining fellow Philadelphian Society members, Francis Lee, John Pordage and Thomas Bromley already in the Bibliotherapy library. The excerpt come from volume I of Jane Leade’s Journal, ‘A Fountain of Gardens’ published in 1696🌿 ‘Jane Lead’s spiritual vision, although very much her own, was similar to that of Jakob Böhme (1575–1624), whose writings influenced John Pordage, the founder of the group which would become the Philadelphian Society under Lead’s leadership. Like other female Christian mystics, for example Julian of Norwich, Margery Kemp and Hildegard von Bingen, Lead’s spirituality has a strong feminine element, the Sophia, or Wisdom of God, being a recurring subject in her writing.’ (Source: Wikipedia and for below English transcription by🌿


April the 5th. 1676

In the Night-Vision, I with another Person were to make a new remove to some place, which we had no knowledge of, being under a strict limitation thereto to hasten. The way, which we were to pass, I saw as a fiery Oven, which when we came at, put us to a stop: then waiting and looking on it a while, the Flames died, and soon were vanished. Then the guiding Word said, Pass on, fear not, the place is not now too hot to set your Feet upon; which after some debate with our selves, we ventured through. Then was presented to our view, a Knot of all Precious Stones, as if they had been taken out of a Rock: truly they were for Colours, and Brightness, and Sparkling, so excelling, so wonderful Transparent, as all, and the highest of what can be illustrated out from this Creation, is but a gloomy shadow hereunto. The glance was sudden and soon passed out of my view, only pointing and leaving a great Impression, as to the late Manifestation, and the moving forward to the Jerusalem-Work. Which yet required a higher, and more Seraphick ascending up of our Spirits, then hitherto hath been: which I was in great Jeopardy about, both for that others, and also for my own sufficiency, and spiritual ability to go forward, and through paved Spirits to follow on. For the Vision shewed me, we should meet with hot work, but that it would be allayed and overcome for us. After which I saw our way made to pass through Waters, before we could come to this City: That Word still saying, Only believe, and I will pass on before you, proclaiming my Name, and opening to you the Foundation of it; from whence your strength shall arise, and your pregnant Power shall be known. Who now then must be your Master-Builder, to instruct you in this Foundation Work, but that Wisdom, which was with Jehovah from everlasting, who gave Being and Existency, according to the Spiration of the Eternal Will? Even so in like manner, must this moving Will-power again go forth, for the removing and undoing, what the dark Fire enkindled Properties have done; racing and pulling down that Babylonish Building to the Ground that its place may be found no more, nor yet its turbulent Sea. For I am making a Way for you, out of all these first desolate part of things: your Hands with me, I require you to put, and so you shall stop, and prevent the Flood-Gates of the Beast, and of the Serpent’s fury. Come now, and I will shew you where all these Foundation Stones do lie: look, see within the compass of your new Earth, and of the burning Glassy Sea, treasure-matter, for this Foundation-Building here ye may espy. Therefore the Golden Plummet of my Spirit shall be given to you, that so ye may be able not only to sound, but also to bring up what lieth couched here beneath.

ERRATA for above :
Col.1, line 3 should read Exod.28.17
Col 2, line 5 should read Rev.20.v.19,20
Col.3, line 8 should read A Topaz and a Carbuncle

The first Stone which the Spirit drew up to view, was a bright Saphire, upon which was engraven the great name Jehovah Shammah. The second was an Onyx-stone, with Everlasting Wisdom written upon it. The third was a Beryl, presenting the Flaming and Ghostly Breath, issuing forth in sparkling power. The Second Row, the first is the Jasper, which is all Light sparkling, like to the Diamond; upon this is engraven the Express Word, or Image, of God. The second Stone of this second Row is a Sardius, it is a Sardine-stone, which represents the Virgin-Purity, as meet to unite to the Jasper. The third Stone of this Row is an Amethyst, upon which is engraven the highest degree of Seraphick Love, that cements all in one. The third Row, the first of which is an Emerald, upon which is engraven rich Knowledge, or sound Judgment, to the understanding of all Spiritual Arts and Sciences whatever. The second in this Row is a Chrysolite, a Stone for all clear Revelation; engraven upon it are the seven Eyes, for its All-seeing: nothing is unsearchable to it. The third is an Adamant; in this Stone lieth Almighty Strength, great fortitude and power to resist all Batteries and Assaults whatever; it is so impregnated with virtual Power. The fourth Row, the first Stone of it a Jacynth, this sparkling Stone can live, and subsist in all Fire, and can endure the Touch from all these Fire-Stones; the engravement upon this is, all precious Faith, that is the conquerour through the long Patience. The second of this row is a Chalcedony, this Stone beareth the engraving of high Joy, Peace, and Righteousness upon it, representing the true Jerusalem-state, and the real Reign of Great Solomon. The third and last of this Row is the great Top-Stone, which is a Chrysoprasus, upon which is engraven the shout of a King; for here is Salvation and Victory. For the Lord great and mighty hath laid all the Foundation here for a sure Defence.

1. The Jasper Stone, the nature of it, it is clear as Crystal, mentioned Rev. 21.11 and Chap.4.3. He that sat was to look upon like Jasper.

2. The Saphire, a transparent Stone, mentioned in Ezek. 1.26. and Chap.10.1. A Throne as the appearance of a Saphire Stone. Also Tob. 13.16. Jerusalem shall be built with Saphires.

3. Stone, a Chalcedony, I find to be like the Carbuncle.

4. An Emrauld Stone, mentioned in Rev. 4.3. In sight like unto an Emrauld. Also Tob. 13.16.

5. A Sardonyx Stone, it is almost one with a Sardius or Sardine Stone.

6. A Sardius, or a Sardine Stone, it is a transparent Ruby: It is mentioned Rev. 4.3. He that sat was like a Sardine Stone.

7. A Chrysolite, is a Gem full of Majesty, shining throughout with a Golden Lustre.

8. A Beryl, mentioned Dan. 10.6. His Body like to Beryl. Tob. 13.17. The Streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with Beryl.

9. A Topaz or Carbuncle, mentioned Isa. 54.12. Thy Gates of Carbuncles. Ezek. 28.13. mentioned also in the Pavement of Jerusalem, Tob. 13.17.

10. A Chrysoprasus, or an Ruby, mentioned Isa. 54.12. Thy Windows of Agates. Mentioned Ezek .27.16. there Chrysoprasus and Ruby seem to be all one. It may well be called the Stone of Ophir, in the Prophecy of Old Tobias, Chap. 13.17.

11. A Jacynth, or Hyacinth, It is of the Royal Purple Colour.

12. An Amethyst.

The Diamond is mentioned, Exo. 28.18. and Exo. 39.11. and Ezek. 28.13.

The Onyx-Stone is mentioned, Exo. 28.20. and Chap. 39.13.


Heinrich Wetstein 1697 Amsterdam Edition








English text source: 🌿About Jane Leade: 🌿Jane Leade’s writings:🌿About the high priest’ breastplate:
Jane Leade: From ‘A Fountain of Gardens’- A theosophical interpretation of the High Priest’s breastplate

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