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Francis Lee was the editor and publisher of most of the later printed works of the Prophetess, Jane Lead, including three volumes of her Journals, named A Fountain of Gardens This on-line representation is a transcription of Francis Lee's Introduction to the authentic manuscript of Jane Lead's The Wars of David and the Peaceable Reign of Solomon printed in 1700.


 

The Wars of David and the Peaceable Reign of Solomon

T h e      P  R  E  F  A  C  E

O f    t h e    P u b l i s h e r.

This Preface was unsigned, but known to be written by the Publisher,

Francis Lee, M.D.

THE Treatment which the former Books of this Author, {Jane Lead} for the space now of about Twenty Years since they began here to Appear, have met with from her own Native Country, is such;  as might be enough indeed to discourage any New Attempt of this Nature, and might have prevented the sending abroad in these Kingdoms, the two following Divine and Mystical Treatises;  so that they were like to have been the Portion only of those Foreign Nations, that desire them not a little, and know how to value them:  had there not been the Intervention of the Hand of Providence, in a manner very Extraordinary to command them forth at this Time, with a special Excitement of the Holy Spirit, to blow the Trumpet yet louder and louder, and to try this Adulterous Nation once more, whether they will hear, or whether they will refuse.

Whatever sinister Suspicions we may before have of any one, when they lie upon their Death-Bed, we are willing to hear what they have to say for or against themselves.    The Wills not only of the Good, but even of Flagitious Livers are regarded, and thought to be somewhat Sacred:  And the Dying Speeches of the worst of Criminals, such as have utterly Shipwreck'd their Credit, are not altogether slighted, but are looked into, and search'd after.  How much more then ought we to look into, and search after, and have an esteem for the Dying Declarations (and especially if they be more than ordinary) of Persons that have been any whit Singular and Eminent in their Lives, by having made a good Profession before God and Man, against the general Stream and Torrent of the World?    But if moreover the Finger of GOD shall shew itself, to give an Honour to what is by them Declared, will it not still be the more reasonable for us to make a Sober and Impartial Inquiry into the Subject of it?   Now upon these Considerations What is here presented to the Publick, may justly claim a serious Scrutiny, and a fair Examination from all manner of Persons:  who cannot but have their Interest herein, if what is said be true;  and if it be false, to detect it.   For though the Author (Blessed be God) be yet living, (being now Aged Seventy Seven Years) this will not in the least derogate from the Authority of what is here Delivered from her Mouth, and Written down with all Faithfulness;  as if the same were not to have the value of a Dying Declaration to all intents and purposes.   Nay it ought to be greater;  for as much as it has pleased the Mighty Conqueror over Death, whose Name is called  THE WORD OF GOD, to exert his Power upon this occasion, in restoring and reviving That which drew near to Corruption, and in bringing up from the Gates of the Grave:  that it might be for a Memorial of his Glory and Praise, and for an Encouragement to many, unto whom this shall come, that they may Believe, and be Obedient to the Call that is now sounding in many (yea Most) parts of Europe, and is not heard only in a Corner.

Now whereas there are several Things in the Journals, and in Other Writings of this Author, before Published, that have given Offence to some Persons of Sincere Intentions, and Lovers of the Truth, yet not set quite free from the Traditions of Men;  She was pleased to Declare to them that were about her in the time of her Sickness, and in the greatest Extremity of it, that though she knew her self to be an unworthy Instrument, taken up by GOD out of his free and abounding Grace, yet she had endeavour'd (to her utmost,) to be faithful to the Gift committed to her, and to discharge her Trust, in delivering what she had received;  which she did not doubt but he would Vindicate, and go on to Bless, as he had begun to Bless already in several Nations:  And that she was certainly assured, by the Testimony of JESUS her Lord, that the Work which was in this Kingdom begun (howsoever contemptible it did generally appear) should never be stop'd, but should prevail against all manner of Opposition, till his Holy and Peaceable Reign should be Here fully Established, according to all what she had had a Prospect of in the Spirit, and what had been set forth for a publick Good, if not in this, yet in the approaching Age.    Many sweet Admonitions at the same Time, and Encouragements to Perseverance, without shewing the least Hesitation or Doubt all the while, came from her with much Power:  And she expressed the greatest Satisfaction to put off her Vile Tabernacle, and to be with the Lord; desiring to be dissolved for this End, and so to go to her Predecessors in the Faith, unless he had some further Word to will and command her.

In consideration of which, there can be no Legitimate Prejudice against the Sincerity of the Witness, or the Validity of the Testimony laid down in the following Papers:  And all the Esteem that is usually pay'd to the most Solemn and ev'n Dying Words of Persons of the strictest Probity, is due to these.    The Books of this Writer are (for the most part) to be simply look'd on as Narrations, and the value of them doth not depend upon any other Qualifications, but upon the Credibility of the Relator.    Now greater Proofs cannot be given of the Integrity of a Person, than what is here to be found;  there being so little Artifice us'd to Put upon the World, as all her Methods have been most strangely contrary to those of the World:  of which numerous Instances of her Life might be given.    Neither as to the Ability or Capacity of any Person, in order to be a Witness in such Cases, are there more favourable Presumptions to be found.    She has had long Experience:  has seen the Miscarriages of many;  has liv'd in much Watchfulness and Prayer Day and Night, all the Years of her Widow-hood, since the Year, 1671;  has had a longer Course of Observations, than would be enough to make one Excellent in the most difficult and crabbed Sciences, where there is but a Disposition in Nature;  has kept, as it were, a Calendar of these Observations, and from Year to Year did make her Calculations from the same, at the beginning of every New Year, so long as she had her Eyesight;  has been almost continually exercis'd under great Temptations and Oppositions, and been Fighting the Good Fight of Faith from her youth upwards;  has been above Threescore Years call'd by GOD, after a manner more than ordinary, and to her self exceeding Strange, as well as to others, unto a Life which the World knows not, and cannot Judge of;  and has been above half the time under the more immediate and constant Visitations of the Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, as what hath been already Publish'd doth Testifie.    

And 'tis to be observ'd that though she was Baptized, and Educated in the Church of England, in which all the Extraordinary Stirrings of the Divine Spirit are too generally Slighted, and by some Blasphemed, it pleased the Wisdom of GOD more Illustriously to break forth in the manner of her Conversion, in the Sixteenth Year of her Age:  and so to give an Evidence that the Voice of the Eternal Word of God, speaking to Souls in a distinct and sensible manner, is Real and Substantial, not Imaginary;  being to be distinguished by such, who can't be suppos'd to have had any pre-conceived Notions about it, but must have the Prejudices of Education directly against it, and all External Motives not attend to it.   

The Sober and Moral Conversation in which she was Nurtur'd, was not sufficient to give her any Rest, when this Voice first spake to her:  which was very suddenly and surprisingly.     For it was in a time of great Festivity, at the Celebration of the Nativity of CHRIST (according to custom) with Musick and Dancing, in the house of her Father, where was a Concourse for that end of the Gentry;  when of a sudden, grievous Sorrow was darted as Fire into her Bowels, and she was made to consider that this was not the way to be Conform'd to CHRIST, or to remember his Birth aright;   And a soft Whisper gently entered into her, saying,   Cease from this, I have another Dance to lead thee in; for this is Vanity.     Upon which she was constrain'd to give over abruptly her Dancing, and so presently withdrew her self from the Company, retiring to consider of this Immediate Call.    Which the Divine Spirit pursued so very hard, as after this she had no liberty to Converse, as formerly in the Family, or to mind any concern of it:  but  was so wholly taken up in the consideration of her Interiour State, and of the One Thing necessary, as to desert all things besides.    Yet though her Relations and Acquaintance took great notice, and marvelled much at what had happen'd, she diligently conceal'd the true Cause from them all;  excepting only a Chaplain in the House, who having some time afterward surpriz'd her reading in his Study, inquired into the matter, bad her be of good Courage, and believe that God had some great Good to bring about, by all this Conflict of Soul she was in.    Which was so terrible indeed, as nothing was able to give her any Satisfaction or Rest, or to ease her Wounded Spirit, that was struck through and through, for having once persisted in a falsehood about a Trifle:  The Sense of which continued upon her for a space of Three Years, with very great Anguish and Trouble;  these Words being frequently brought before her, Whoever loveth and maketh a Lye cannot enter into the New Jerusalem.   The Dreadfulness and Horrour of Sin carried her down to the Gates of Hell:  and every little Circumstance of its Evil, was continually presented to her Mind, with all the possible Aggravations thereof.   And if this were but her beginning, what may we expect of her latter End?    And if in the first Conversion only of a Soul to GOD, so great a Dread there be, for having offended against the Truth in but a Trivial matter, how great of necessity must it be in the Progress of that Soul (if it should fall again so strangely) to offend against the Truth more Highly, more Solemnly, and in matters of the very greatest Importance?    Surely this is no slight Presumption for the Validity of a Testimony, which is given afterward in the most Sacred Form, and persisted in with the greatest constancy and cheerfulness, notwithstanding all kind of Oppositions from the World and the Devil, as well as the Flesh.   

Now it was in the Nineteenth Year of her Age, when the Light of Divine Countenance, which had been hitherto hid, begun to shine upon her, and to bring her Soul out of this State of Obscurity and Darkness, and out of the Pains of Hell, that had taken hold upon her, feeling the Arrows of the Wrath of the Almighty:  And she was Comforted with the sweet Message of the Free and Superabounding Love and Grace of the most Tender and Merciful Father;  and was so richly favoured by her dear and blessed Mediator, as to receive at that time the Seal of her Absolution and Assurance, in a manner very special, there being presented to her in a Vision, the form of a Pardon, with a Seal to it;   signifying that her Transgressions were blotted out, and that she was Sealed by the Spirit, for the Promise of the Father;  as a Witness whereof a mighty Gust and Power of Prayer was then given to her.    And ever since she has been a trained Soldier, under the Discipline of the Blessed JESUS, and the leadings of his Spirit:   which is a Spirit trying the Reins and the Marrow, and that will not abide but with simplicity of Heart, and Truth in the inward Parts.    Let this suffice for the Credibility of the Evidence:  for the present at least.

Now as for the Subject Matter both of the one and the other Treatise, it is a Divine Call to prepare and fit our selves against the greatest Revolution to come upon the World, that ever has been, with Directions how we ought to behave our selves in this wonderful Crisis, and what shall be the Success if we abide Faithful and Stedfast?    The stile and manner, in which they are written is not suitable to the Genius of this Polite Age, and especially of this Nation:  It is Parabolical and Emblematical, full of Figurative Speeches, and abrupt Transitions, and so utterly strange to the Modern Reformation of Language from the Stage, as it is not to be wondered at that it pleases so few;  but withal, such as it is, the Power of God is the more manifested through it, and it wants not also a Beauty and Strength which is peculiar to it, and which would be very hard (if possible) to imitate.

In the first Treatise there are these Things Remarkable, viz. the General of the Army appearing upon a White Horse, in a Triumphant manner;  the Trials, Excuses, Expostulations, and Discipline of the Person to whom he so appears;   the Parable of the Mill, which is to supply the Army;  the Decree of the Heavenly Council, and Proclamation of War;  the Alarm for the Gathering of a Priestly Host:  How they are to be Admitted into the Military Roll:  that this is already open'd in Heaven;  the Time, Place, and Persons for the Rendezvous;  an Observation upon the Continuance and Success of this War;  all the Soldiers enter into present Pay;  all that Conquer are to win a Crown;  how they are dispos'd of, that Dye in Battel, before their Warfare is accomplish'd;  the Resurrection of the Spirit of Deborah, and Prophecying in the Army;  the Discovery of Paradise, for the Recovery of which the War is undertaken;  the Heavenly Auxiliaries;  the Assurance of Victory;  the Interest of all Parties to join themselves with this Army;  a Description of the Auxiliaries riding on White Mules, with Censers in their Hands:  and the effect of their Appearance;  being the first Pitched Battel.    After this follows another Alarm to Battel;  a Prospect and Promise of greater Conquests;  the Discovery of the New Jerusalem, and repeated Encouragements to Fight for it;  a Letter from the King of this City to the Army; the Counter-plotting of the Enemy;  The Communications of the Two Jerusalems;  the Allegory of Esther and Mordecai, and the wonderful success of the Children of Wisdom;  how they are assisted by the Four and Twenty Throne-Elders;  a Gracious Encouragement to Perseverance;  how they are visited by an Heavenly Host, and from them receive Annointed Shields;  the Three Watches, and the great Power that is given in the Third;  some particular Instructions to the Soldiers and Watchmen;  the Miraculous manner of the Increase of this Holy Army;  the Spies to this Army, the Seven Spirits of the Lamb;  his Mark and Seal;  the Proclamation of the Jubilee;  the Watch-word;  Counsels and Cautions to them that would obtain the Benefit of it;  the Magical Rod of Moses, needful to the great approaching Deliverance of the Captives;  the due Preparation of the Captives, in order to partake of the promised Jubilee;  the Blessing upon them;  a Threefold Appeal, concerning the Promises, to Unbelievers, to Half-Believers, and to Believers.

In the other Treatise are to be observ'd the many and wonderful Rewards of the Conquerors;  the Mighty Powers of Faith;  the Blessed Fruits of Love;  the Magnificent Conversations of distant Spirits;  the Angelical Generation and Multiplication;  the Manner and Progress of the Replanting Paradise;  the Separation from the Earth;  the Divine Cup which is the Spring of Understanding, the Fountain of Wisdom, and the Light of Knowledge;  the Communication of the Priestly, Prophetical and Royal Spirit;  with an Account of the Court of the Prince of Peace, and some Observations on his Ministers.    All is Calculated with a special regard to the New Century now upon its entering:  And indeed all the Writings of this Author do point at some great Reformation of the Church, as very near at the Door;  but carried on by an Invisible Power, and not by the Wisdom or Arm of Flesh.    And the substance of them all, as well as of these two, may be reduced to the following plain Propositions, viz.

1. That God is no Regarder of persons, but that whosoever truly fears him, and seeks to do his Will in any Tribe, Profession, or Religion, is accepted by him:  and that out of all the Tribes, Professions, and Religions that are at this Day over the whole World, he will gather to himself an Holy and Peculiar People, to be as the first Fruits of the Kingdom of his SON.

2. That the Promise of the Father concerning the Gift of the Holy Spirit was never determin'd to Place or Time:  But that it was extended Universally to as many as should Believe throughout all the Ages of the Church.

3. That this Spirit Blows where it lists, and is not controllable by the Wisdom or Power of Man.

4. That Regeneration in Man is the Work of the Spirit, and that Man ought only to cease from the Activity of his own Will therein, and to seek to become wholly Passive to the Divine Operation.

5. That in the process of Regeneration, there is a Conformity to the Blessed JESUS, as to the great Exemplar:  and that the several Degrees hereof are as so many Steps to the Kingdom of GOD.

6. That this Kingdom consists in perfect Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost:  and in the Renovation of the whole Man, Spirit, Soul and Body.

7. That this Kingdom shall comprehend the utmost Ends of the Earth, by Virtue of an Everlasting Decree:  and that Christ, as he is the second Adam, is the Head and Representative of the whole Humane Nature.

8. That not only the Justice, but also the Mercy of GOD is over all his Works:  and that as the one is not confin'd to this short Life, so also not the other; but that they may both endure for Ever.

9. That CHRIST, as he is Heir of all Things, will lose nothing that is his Right, or that the Father hath given  him:  And that therefore of his Kingdom there shall be no End, but all Creatures whether in Heaven, or in Earth, or under the Earth, shall be made to submit themselves to him, and to bow the Knee.

10. That the Times of Restitution are Now about beginning:  and that there is a Voice at present in the Wilderness, Crying, That the Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth is at hand.

And moreover it is to be remark'd, in order to a right understanding both of These and of all such Books, that they do generally turn upon these Suppositions:

1. That beside the Literal Sense of the Scriptures, there is frequently a Mystical one also. 

2. That it is not enough to Believe the Death or Resurrection of Christ, without bearing the Marks of them in our selves.

3. That the Operations of the Divine Spirit, and Openings of the Kingdom of Christ, are successive and gradual.  

Which being well understood, there will be no great difficulty found in the Reading of these, or any other Treatises of the same Author.    This was thought necessary to premise for Caution to the Readers, that so they may Apply what they Read to some of those General Propositions, or Interpret her by one or other of these Principles, and be careful not to wrest the same to their own Condemnation.    For as it is very dangerous to be impos'd upon in matters of this nature, so it is no less dangerous to impose on our selves, by perverting any thing from and against the original Design:  and more dangerous to judge Definitively in a Case that doth not properly fall under our Judicature and Cognisance;  lest haply we may be found Fighters against the Spirit of God, when we think it not.     All that is here presented, is virtually an appeal to the Sovereign Judge; to whom it belongs to Authorize, or Condemn that which is sent forth as in his Name:  And he will not suffer Judgment to be wrested out of his hands.     For the Work of every Person shall shortly be made manifest:  And the Day is at hand which shall declare it by the Revelation of Fire;  wherein the Children of the Kingdom shall be Purified in the first place.    And tho' there will be found among all of these some Hay and Stubble to be burnt up;  yet the pretious Materials will hereby suffer no loss, but will appear so much the more radiant;  and all that is Establish'd upon the Foundation of the Rock Christ (who ceases not still to follow his true Israel in the Wilderness) shall abide in the Furnace, and overcome the Flames.    The Consideration of S. Ambrose may be enough, I think, to strike Terrour into us, and to teach us to be sober in Judging:  Who after having spoken of that fiery Baptism, whereby all Iniquity shall be consum'd and the righteous shall shine as the Sun in the Kingdom of their Father, saith, Omnes, oportet probari, &c.  "All must be tried by the Fire, whoever desires to return to Paradise;  All must pass through the Flames, whether it be that John the Evangelist, whom the Lord so loved, as to say concerning him to Peter, if I will that he tarry till he come, what is that to thee?   follow thou me.    Concerning his Death some have doubted, concerning his Passage through the Fire we cannot doubt.    Whether it be that Peter who receiveth the Keys of the Kingdom, he must also say, we have passed through the Fire.    He is tried as Silver;  I shall be tried as Lead:  till all the Lead do vanish I shall burn."  And again he saith:  "With Fire shall all the children of Levi be Purified, with Fire shall Ezekiel, with Fire shall Daniel, &c. be Purified.     Woe is me if my Work burn, and I suffer the loss of my Labour:  And if the Lord save his Servants, they shall be saved by Faith, yet so saved as by Fire; and if we shall not be burnt up, yet we shall be burnt."    Also he saith farther:  "There is only one, who could not feel this Fire, even he who is the Righteousness of God, Christ ".

Wherefore for as much as the Day of this fiery Trial is at hand, which hath been spoken of both by this, and by many others of the Antient Holy Fathers, and has been also mentioned in many places of the Writings of this our Author, let us every one seek to prepare our selves according to the Word of our Lord, to watch that this Day overtake us not unawares, and to hold out in the Warfare of Faith and Love without wavering:  and especially to take heed that we judge not, that we may not be judged;  but that we leave judgment to whom judgment belongs, who in Righteousness doth Judge and make War, and out of whose Mouth goeth a sharp Sword, with which he will smite the Nations, and rule them with a Rod of Iron, who refuses to submit to his golden Scepter.    And it is hoped, that what is here Deliver'd, may be an excitement to some, yea to many, to prepare themselves accordingly, to love the Lord Jesus, and to believe the Promise of his coming:  to live the Life of Faith, according to the Pattern in the Mount; and to love one another even as he hath loved us:  that so the Beauty of the Primitive Philadelphia may break forth, and the Glory of the Apostolical Jerusalem may shine out, in the Spirit and Name of the everlasting Father;  that all Nations may go up together to the House of the Lord, and that this Nation in particular may be as a Garden of Sharon.   Amen.  Amen.

It is here thought proper to advertise, that this Preface was sent to the Press without the Advice, Consent, or Privity of the dear Author:  And without the Excitement, or so much as the Knowledge of any one Soul whatever, beside him who now holds this Pen;  and who is without all Aims and Ends but the Divine Glory.  

The World is crucified unto me, and I unto the World.       

~~~

Note from PasstheWORD:   When an edited version of the Wars of David  (which included excerpts from other Jane Lead writings) was printed in 1816, the following words of interest were added by the 1816 version's editor at the end of Lee's The Preface of the Publisher .

“The WRITER of the above is said to be Dr. Francis Lee, at whose expense principally the whole of this Author's valuable works were published, and it was him who brought forth her Diary in three volumes, and entitled it A Fountain of Gardens.” 

Lee's own explanation of Why he entitled Jane Lead's Journals as he did may be found within the The Editor to the Reader of Volume One of the Fountain of Gardens.

 

End of:  Francis Lee's 'Preface to Jane Lead's The Wars of David and the Peaceable Reign of Solomon'

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