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   ISIS UNVEILED:

A MASTER-KEY

TO THE

MYSTERIES OF ANCIENT AND MODERN

SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY.

BY

H. P. BLAVATSKY

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.

"Cecy est un livre de bonne Foy." — MONTAIGNE.

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VOL. II   : THEOLOGY.
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VOL. I : SCIENCE

 NEW YORK :
J. W. BOUTON , 706 BROADWAY .
LONDON : BERNARD QUARITCH .
1877 .

 PREFACE TO PART II.

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WERE it possible, we would keep this work out of the hands of many Christians whom its perusal would not benefit, and for whom it was not written. We allude to those whose faith in their respective churches is pure and sincere, and those whose sinless lives reflect the glorious example of that Prophet of Nazareth, by whose mouth the spirit of truth spake loudly to humanity. Such there have been at all times. History preserves the names of many as heroes, philosophers, philanthropists, martyrs, and holy men and women; but how many more have lived and died, unknown but to their intimate acquaintance, unblessed but by their humble beneficiaries! These have ennobled Christianity, but would have shed the same lustre upon any other faith they might have professed — for they were higher than their creed. The benevolence of Peter Cooper and Elizabeth Thompson, of America, who are not orthodox Christians, is no less Christ-like than that of the Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts, of England, who is one. And yet, in comparison with the millions who have been accounted Christians, such have always formed a small minority. They are to be found at this day, in pulpit and pew, in palace and cottage; but the increasing materialism, worldliness and hypocrisy are fast diminishing their proportionate number. Their charity, and simple, child-like faith in the infallibility of their Bible, their dogmas, and their clergy, bring into full activity all the virtues


 iv                                                                                                                 PREFACE TO PART II.

that are implanted in our common nature. We have personally known such God-fearing priests and clergymen, and we have always avoided debate with them, lest we might be guilty of the cruelty of hurting their feelings; nor would we rob a single layman of his blind confidence, if it alone made possible for him holy living and serene dying.

       An analysis of religious beliefs in general, this volume is in particular directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man's faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.

       We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic theologians who would enslave both history and science; and especially at the Vatican, whose despotic pretensions have become hateful to the greater portion of enlightened Christendom. The clergy apart, none but the logician, the investigator, the dauntless explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers after truth have the courage of their opinions.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

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PREFACE  . . . . . . . . iv
Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson and Baroness Burdett-Coutts.

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Volume Second.

THE "INFALLIBILITY" OF MODERN RELIGION.

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CHAPTER I.
THE CHURCH: WHERE IS IT?

Church statistics . . . 1
Catholic "miracles" and spiritualistic "phenomena" . . . 4
Christian and Pagan beliefs compared . . . 10
Magic and sorcery practised by Christian clergy . . . 20
Comparative theology a new science . . . 25
Eastern traditions as to Alexandrian Library . . . 27
Roman pontiffs imitators of the Hindu Brahm-ātma . . . 30
Christian dogmas derived from heathen philosophy . . . 33
Doctrine of the Trinity of Pagan origin . . . 45
Disputes between Gnostics and Church Fathers . . . 51
Bloody records of Christianity . . . 53

CHAPTER II.
CHRISTIAN CRIMES AND HEATHEN VIRTUES.

Sorceries of Catherine of Medicis . . . 55
Occult arts practised by the clergy . . . 59
Witch-burnings and auto-da-fe of little children . . . 62
Lying Catholic saints . . . 74
Pretensions of missionaries in India and China . . . 79
Sacrilegious tricks of Catholic clergy . . . 82
Paul a kabalist . . . 91
Peter not the founder of Roman church . . . 91
Strict lives of Pagan hierophants . . . 98
High character of ancient "mysteries" . . . 101

 CONTENTS.

Jacolliot's account of Hindu fakirs . . . 103
Christian symbolism derived from Phallic worship . . . 109
Hindu doctrine of the Pitris . . . 114
Brahminic spirit-communion ... 115
Dangers of untrained mediumship . . . 117

CHAPTER III.
DIVISIONS AMONGST THE EARLY CHRISTIANS.

Resemblance between early Christianity and Buddhism . . . 123
Peter never in Rome . . . 124
Meanings of "Nazar" and "Nazarene" . . . 129
Baptism a derived right . . . 134
Is Zoroaster a generic name? . . . 141
Pythagorean teachings of Jesus . . . 147
The Apocalypse kabalistic . . . 147
Jesus considered an adept by some Pagan philosophers and early Christians . . . 150
Doctrine of permutation . . . 152
The meaning of God-Incarnate . . . 153
Dogmas of the Gnostics . . . 155
Ideas of Marcion, the "heresiarch" . . . 159
Precepts of Manu . . . 163
Jehovah identical with Bacchus . . . 165

CHAPTER IV.
ORIENTAL COSMOGONIES AND BIBLE RECORDS.

Discrepancies in the Pentateuch . . . 167
Indian, Chaldean and Ophite systems compared . . . 170
Who were the first Christians? . . . 178
Christos and Sophia-Achamoth . . . 183
Secret doctrine taught by Jesus . . . 191
Jesus never claimed to be God . . . 193
New Testament narratives and Hindu legends . . . 199
Antiquity of the "Logos" and "Christ" . . . 205
Comparative Virgin-worship . . . 209

CHAPTER V.
MYSTERIES OF THE KABALA.

En-Soph and the Sephiroth . . . 212
The primitive wisdom-religion . . . 216
The book of Genesis a compilation of Old World legends . . . 217
The Trinity of the Kabala . . . 222

 CONTENTS.

Gnostic and Nazarene systems contrasted with Hindu myths . . . 225
Kabalism in the book of Ezekiel . . . 232
Story of the resurrection of Jairus's daughter found in the history of Christna . . . 241
Untrustworthy teachings of the early Fathers . . . 248
Their persecuting spirit . . . 249

CHAPTER VI.
ESOTERIC DOCTRINES OF BUDDHISM PARODIED IN CHRISTIANITY.

Decisions of Nicean Council, how arrived at . . . 251
Murder of Hypatia . . . 252
Origin of the fish-symbol of Vishnu . . . 256
Kabalistic doctrine of the Cosmogony . . . 264
Diagrams of Hindu and Chaldeo-Jewish systems . . . 265
Ten mythical Avatars of Vishnu . . . 274
Trinity of man taught by Paul . . . 281
Socrates and Plato on soul and spirit . . . 283
True Buddhism, what it is . . . 288

CHAPTER VII.
EARLY CHRISTIAN HERESIES AND SECRET SOCIETIES.

Nazareans, Ophites, and modern Druzes . . . 291
Etymology of IAO . . . 298
"Hermetic Brothers" of Egypt . . . 307
True meaning of Nirvana . . . 319
The Jayna sect . . . 321
Christians and Chrestians . . . 323
The Gnostics and their detractors . . . 325
Buddha, Jesus, and Apollonius of Tyana . . . 341

CHAPTER VIII.
JESUITRY AND MASONRY.

The Sohar and Rabbi Simeon . . . 348
The Order of Jesuits and its relation to some of the Masonic orders . . . 352
Crimes permitted to its members . . . 355
Principles of Jesuitry compared with those of Pagan moralists . . . 364
Trinity of man in Egyptian Book of the Dead . . . 367
Freemasonry no longer esoteric . . . 372
Persecution of Templars by the Church . . . 381
Secret Masonic ciphers . . . 395
Jehovah not the "Ineffable Name" . . . 398

 
   CONTENTS.

                                                     
CHAPTER IX.
                                        THE VEDAS AND THE BIBLE.

Nearly every myth based on some great truth . . . 405
Whence the Christian Sabbath . . . 406
Antiquity of the Vedas . . . 410
Pythagorean doctrine of the potentialities of numbers . . . 417
"Days" of Genesis and "Days" of Brahma . . . 422
Fall of man and the Deluge in the Hindu books . . . 425
Antiquity of the Mahabharata . . . 429
Were the ancient Egyptians of the Aryan race? . . . 434
Samuel, David, and Solomon mythical personages . . . 439
Symbolism of Noah's Ark . . . 447
The Patriarchs identical with zodiacal signs . . . 459
All Bible legends belong to universal history . . . 469
                                                          CHAPTER X.
                                                     THE DEVIL-MYTH.
The devil officially recognized by the Church . . . 477
Satan the mainstay of sacerdotalism . . . 480
Identity of Satan with the Egyptian Typhon . . . 483
His relation to serpent-worship . . . 489
The Book of Job and the Book of the Dead . . . 493
The Hindu devil a metaphysical abstraction . . . 501
Satan and the Prince of Hell in the Gospel of Nicodemus . . . 515
                                                          CHAPTER XI.
                    COMPARATIVE RESULTS OF BUDDHISM AND CHRISTIANITY.

The age of philosophy produced no atheists . . . 530
The legends of three Saviours . . . 537
Christian doctrine of the Atonement illogical . . . 542
Cause of the failure of missionaries to convert Buddhists and Brahmanists . . . 553
Neither Buddha nor Jesus left written records . . . 559
The grandest mysteries of religion in the Bagaved-gita . . . 562
The meaning of regeneration explained in the Satapa-Brāhmana . . . 565
The sacrifice of blood interpreted . . . 566
Demoralization of British India by Christian missionaries . . . 573
The Bible less authenticated than any other sacred book . . . 577
Knowledge of chemistry and physics displayed by Indian jugglers . . . 583

 
CONTENTS.
                                                     CHAPTER XII.
                                CONCLUSIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
Recapitulation of fundamental propositions . . . 587
Seership of the soul and of the spirit . . . 590


The phenomenon of the so-called spirit-hand . . . 594
Difference between mediums and adepts . . . 595
Interview of an English ambassador with a reincarnated Buddha . . . 598
Flight of a lama’s astral body related by Abbé Huc . . . 604
Schools of magic in Buddhist lamaseries . . . 609
The unknown race of Hindu Todas . . . 613
Will-power of fakirs and yogis . . . 617
Taming of wild beasts by fakirs . . . 622
Evocation of a living spirit by a Shaman, witnessed by the writer . . . 626
Sorcery by the breath of a Jesuit Father . . . 633
Why the study of magic is almost impracticable in Europe . . . 635
Conclusion . . . 635

 
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PART TWO. — RELIGION
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 CHAPTER I.

       "Yea, the time cometh, that whomsoever killeth you, will think that he doeth God service." — Gospel according to John, xvi. 2.


       "Let him be A
NATHEMA
. . . who shall say that human Sciences ought to be pursued in such a spirit of freedom that one may be allowed to hold as true their assertions even when opposed to revealed doctrines." — Ecumenical Council of 1870.

       "GLOUC. — The Church! Where is it?" — King Henry VI., Act i., Sc. 1.

IN the United States of America, sixty thousand (60,428) men are paid salaries to teach the Science of God and His relations to His creatures.

       These men contract to impart to us the knowledge which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of our Creator; His laws and government; the doctrines we are to believe and the duties we are to practice. Five thousand (5,141) of them,* with the prospect of 1273 theological students to help them in time, teach this science according to a formula prescribed by the Bishop of Rome, to five million people. Fifty-five thousand (55,287) local and travelling ministers, representing fifteen different denominations each contradicting the other upon more or less vital theololical questions, instruct, in their respective doctrines, thirty-three million (33,500,000) other persons. Many of these teach according to the canons of the cis-Atlantic branch of an establishment which acknowledges a daughter of the late Duke of Kent as its spiritual
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*
These figures are copied from the "Religious Statistics of the United States for the year 1871."

† These are: The Baptists, Congregationalists, Episcopalians, Northern Methodists, Southern Methodists, Methodists various, Northern Presbyterians, Southern Presbyterians, United Presbyterians, United Brethren, Brethren in Christ, Reformed Dutch, Reformed German, Reformed Presbyterians, Cumberland Presbyterians.


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head. There are many hundred thousand Jews; some thousands of Orientals of all kinds; and a very few who belong to the Greek Church. A man at Salt Lake City, with nineteen wives and more than one hundred children and grandchildren, is the supreme spiritual ruler over ninety thousand people, who believe that he is in frequent intercourse with the gods — for the Mormons are Polytheists as well as Polygamists, and their chief god is represented as living in a planet they call Colob.

       The God of the Unitarians is a bachelor; the Deity of the Presbyterians, Methodists, Congregationalists, and the other orthodox Protestant sects a spouseless Father with one Son, who is identical with Himself. In the attempt to outvie each other in the erection of their sixty-two thousand and odd churches, prayer-houses, and meeting-halls, in which to teach these conflicting theological doctrines, $354,485,581 have been spent. The value of the Protestant parsonages alone, in which are sheltered the disputants and their families, is roughly calculated to approximate $54,115,297. Sixteen million (16,179,387) dollars, are, moreover, contributed every year for current expenses of the Protestant denominations only. One Presbyterian church in New York cost a round million; a Catholic altar alone, one-fourth as much!

       We will not mention the multitude of smaller sects, communities, and extravagantly original little heresies in this country which spring up one year to die out the next, like so many spores of fungi after a rainy day. We will not even stop to consider the alleged millions of Spiritualists; for the majority lack the courage to break away from their respective religious denominations. These are the back-door Nicodemuses.

       And now, with Pilate, let us inquire, What is truth? Where is it to be searched for amid this multitude of warring sects? Each claims to be based upon divine revelation, and each to have the keys of the celestial gates. Is either in possession of this rare truth? Or, must we exclaim with the Buddhist philosopher, "There is but one truth on earth, and it is unchangeable: and this is — that there is no truth on it!"

       Though we have no disposition whatever to trench upon the ground that has been so exhaustively gleaned by those learned scholars who have shown that every Christian dogma has its origin in a heathen rite, still the facts which they have exhumed, since the enfranchisement of science, will lose nothing by repetition. Besides, we propose to examine these facts from a different and perhaps rather novel point of view: that of the old philosophies as esoterically understood. These we have barely glanced at in our first volume. We will use them as the standard by which to compare Christian dogmas and miracles with the doctrines and phenomena of ancient magic, and the modern "New Dispensation," as Spiritualism is called by its votaries. Since the materialists deny the phenom-


3                                                                                                          "THE CHURCH! WHERE IS IT?"

ena without investigation, and since the theologians in admitting them offer us the poor choice of two palpable absurdities — the Devil and miracles — we can lose little by applying to the theurgists, and they may actually help us to throw a great light upon a very dark subject.

       Professor A. Butlerof, of the Imperial University of St. Petersburg, remarks in a recent pamphlet, entitled Mediumistic Manifestations, as follows: "Let the facts (of modern spiritualism) belong if you will to the number of those which were more or less known by the ancients; let them be identical with those which in the dark ages gave importance to the office of Egyptian priest or Roman augur; let them even furnish the basis of the sorcery of our Siberian Shaman; . . . let them be all these, and, if they are real facts, it is no business of ours. All the facts in nature belong to science, and every addition to the store of science enriches instead of impoverishing her. If humanity has once admitted a truth, and then in the blindness of self-conceit denied it, to return to its realization is a step forward and not backward."

       Since the day that modern science gave what may be considered the death-blow to dogmatic theology, by assuming the ground that religion was full of mystery, and mystery is unscientific, the mental state of the educated class has presented a curious aspect. Society seems from that time to have been ever balancing itself upon one leg, on an unseen tight-rope stretched from our visible universe into the invisible one; uncertain whether the end hooked on faith in the latter might not suddenly break, and hurl it into final annihilation.

       The great body of nominal Christians may be divided into three unequal portions: materialists, spiritualists, and Christians proper. The materialists and spiritualists make common cause against the hierarchical pretensions of the clergy; who, in retaliation, denounce both with equal acerbity. The materialists are as little in harmony as the Christian sects themselves — the Comtists, or, as they call themselves, the positivists, being despised and hated to the last degree by the schools of thinkers, one of which Maudsley honorably represents in England. Positivism, be it remembered, is that "religion" of the future about whose founder even Huxley has made himself wrathful in his famous lecture, The Physical Basis of Life; and Maudsley felt obliged, in behalf of modern science, to express himself thus: "It is no wonder that scientific men should be anxious to disclaim Comte as their law-giver, and to protest against such a king being set up to reign over them. Not conscious of any personal obligation to his writings — conscious how much, in some respects, he has misrepresented the spirit and pretensions of science — they repudiate the allegiance which his enthusiastic disciples would force upon them, and which popular opinion is fast coming to think a natural one. They do


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well in thus making a timely assertion of independence; for if it be not done soon, it will soon be too late to be done well." * When a materialistic doctrine is repudiated so strongly by two such materialists as Huxley and Maudsley, then we must think indeed that it is absurdity itself.

       Among Christians there is nothing but dissension. Their various churches represent every degree of religious belief, from the omnivorous credulity of blind faith to a condescending and high-toned deference to the Deity which thinly masks an evident conviction of their own deific wisdom. All these sects believe more or less in the immortality of the soul. Some admit the intercourse between the two worlds as a fact; some entertain the opinion as a sentiment; some positively deny it; and only a few maintain an attitude of attention and expectancy.

       Impatient of restraint, longing for the return of the dark ages, the Romish Church frowns at the diabolical manifestations, and indicates what she would do to their champions had she but the power of old. Were it not for the self-evident fact that she herself is placed by science on trial, and that she is handcuffed, she would be ready at a moment's notice to repeat in the nineteenth century the revolting scenes of former days. As to the Protestant clergy, so furious is their common hatred toward spiritualism, that as a secular paper very truly remarks: "They seem willing to undermine the public faith in all the spiritual phenomena of the past, as recorded in the Bible, if they can only see the pestilent modern heresy stabbed to the heart." †

       Summoning back the long-forgotten memories of the Mosaic laws, the Romish Church claims the monopoly of miracles, and of the right to sit in judgment over them, as being the sole heir thereto by direct inheritance. The Old Testament, exiled by Colenso, his predecessors and contemporaries, is recalled from its banishment. The prophets, whom his Holiness the Pope condescends at last to place, if not on the same level with himself, at least at a less respectful distance, ‡ are dusted and cleaned. The memory of all the diabolical abracadabra is evoked anew. The blasphemous horrors perpetrated by Paganism, its
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*
H. Maudsley: "Body and Mind."

† "Boston Sunday Herald," November 5, 1876.

‡ See the self-glorification of the present Pope in the work entitled, "Speeches of Pope Pius IX." by Don Pascale de Franciscis; and the famous pamphlet of that name by the Rt. Hon. W. E. Gladstone. The latter quotes from the work named the following sentence pronounced by the Pope: "My wish is that all governments should know that I am speaking in this strain. . . . And I have the right to speak, even more than Nathan the prophet to David the king, and a great deal more than St. Ambrose had to Theodosius"!!


5                                                                                              PAGAN PHALLISM IN CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS.

phallic worship, thaumaturgical wonders wrought by Satan, human sacrifices, incantations, witchcraft, magic, and sorcery are recalled and DEMONISM is confronted with spiritualism for mutual recognition and identification. Our modern demonologists conveniently overlook a few insignificant details, among which is the undeniable presence of heathen phallism in the Christian symbols. A strong spiritual element of this worship may be easily demonstrated in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God; and a physical element equally proved in the fetish-worship of the holy limbs of Sts. Cosmo and Damiano, at Isernia, near Naples; a successful traffic in which ex-voto in wax was carried on by the clergy, annually, until barely a half century ago.*

       We find it rather unwise on the part of Catholic writers to pour out their vials of wrath in such sentences as these: "In a multitude of pagodas, the phallic stone, ever and always assuming, like the Grecian batylos, the brutally indecent form of the lingham . . . the Maha Deva." † Before casting slurs on a symbol whose profound metaphysical meaning is too much for the modern champions of that religion of sensualism par excellence, Roman Catholicism, to grasp, they are in duty bound to destroy their oldest churches, and change the form of the cupolas of their own temples. The Mahody of Elephanta, the Round Tower of Bhangulpore, the minarets of Islam — either rounded or pointed — are the originals of the Campanile column of San Marco, at Venice, of the Rochester Cathedral, and of the modern Duomo of Milan. All of these steeples, turrets, domes, and Christian temples, are the reproductions of the primitive idea of the lithos, the upright phallus. "The western tower of St. Paul's Cathedral, London," says the author of The Rosicrucians, "is one of the double lithoi placed always in front of every temple, Christian as well as heathen." ‡ Moreover, in all Christian Churches, "particularly in Protestant churches, where they figure most conspicuously, the two tables of stone of the Mosaic Dispensation are placed over the altar, side by side, as a united stone, the tops of which are rounded.. . . The right stone is masculine, the left feminine." Therefore neither Catholics nor Protestants have a right to talk of the "indecent forms" of heathen monuments so long as they ornament their own churches with the symbols of the Lingham and Yoni, and even write the laws of their God upon them.

       Another detail not redounding very particularly to the honor of the Christian clergy might be recalled in the word Inquisition. The torrents
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*
See King's "Gnostics," and other works.

† Des Mousseaux: "La Magie au XIXme Sičcle," chap. i.

‡ Hargrave Jennings: "The Rosicrucians," pp. 228-241.


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of human blood shed by this Christian institution, and the number of its human sacrifices, are unparalleled in the annals of Paganism. Another still more prominent feature in which the clergy surpassed their masters, the "heathen," is sorcery. Certainly in no Pagan temple was black magic, in its real and true sense, more practiced than in the Vatican. While strongly supporting exorcism as an important source of revenue, they neglected magic as little as the ancient heathen. It is easy to prove that the sortilegium, or sorcery, was widely practiced among the clergy and monks so late as the last century, and is practiced occasionally even now.

       Anathematizing every manifestation of occult nature outside the precincts of the Church, the clergy — notwithstanding proofs to the contrary — call it "the work of Satan," "the snares of the fallen angels," who "rush in and out from the bottomless pit," mentioned by John in his kabalistic Revelation, "from whence arises a smoke as the smoke of a great furnace." "Intoxicated by its fumes, around this pit are daily gathering millions of Spiritualists, to worship at 'the Abyss of Baal.' " *

       More than ever arrogant, stubborn, and despotic, now that she has been nearly upset by modern research, not daring to interfere with the powerful champions of science, the Latin Church revenges herself upon the unpopular phenomena. A despot without a victim, is a word void of sense; a power which neglects to assert itself through outward, well-calculated effects, risks being doubted in the end. The Church has no intention to fall into the oblivion of the ancient myths, or to suffer her authority to be too closely questioned. Hence she pursues, as well as the times permit, her traditional policy. Lamenting the enforced extinction of her ally, the Holy Inquisition, she makes a virtue of necessity. The only victims now within reach are the Spiritists of France. Recent events have shown that the meek spouse of Christ never disdains to retaliate on helpless victims.

       Having successfully performed her part of Deus-ex-Machina from behind the French Bench, which has not scrupled to disgrace itself for her, the Church of Rome sets to work and shows in the year 1876 what she can do. From the whirling tables and dancing pencils of profane Spiritualism, the Christian world is warned to turn to the divine "miracles" of Lourdes. Meanwhile, the ecclesiastical authorities utilize their time in arranging for other more easy triumphs, calculated to scare the superstitious out of their senses. So, acting under orders, the clergy hurl dramatic, if not very impressive anathemas from every Catholic diocese; threaten right and left; excommunicate and curse. Per-
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*
Des Mousseaux: "Hauts Phénomenes de la Magie."


7                                                                                                     EXAMPLES OF PAPAL VITUPERATION.

ceiving, finally, that her thunderbolts directed even against crowned heads fall about as harmlessly as the Jupiterean lightnings of Offenbach's Calchas, Rome turns about in powerless fury against the victimized proteges of the Emperor of Russia — the unfortunate Bulgarians and Servians. Undisturbed by evidence and sarcasm, unbaffled by proof, "the lamb of the Vatican" impartially divides his wrath between the liberals of Italy, "the impious whose breath has the stench of the sepulchre," * the "schismatic Russian Sarmates," and the heretics and spiritualists, "who worship at the bottomless pit where the great Dragon lies in wait."

       Mr. Gladstone went to the trouble of making a catalogue of what he terms the "flowers of speech," disseminated through these Papal discourses. Let us cull a few of the chosen terms used by this vicegerent of Him who said that, "whosoever shall say Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire." They are selected from authentic discourses. Those who oppose the Pope are "wolves, Pharisees, thieves, liars, hypocrites, dropsical children of Satan, sons of perdition, of sin, and corruption, satellites of Satan in human flesh, monsters of hell, demons incarnate, stinking corpses, men issued from the pits of hell, traitors and Judases led by the spirit of hell; children of the deepest pits of hell," etc., etc.; the whole piously collected and published by Don Pasquale di Franciscis, whom Gladstone has, with perfect propriety, termed, "an accomplished professor of flunkeyism in things spiritual." †

       Since his Holiness the Pope has such a rich vocabulary of invectives at his command, why wonder that the Bishop of Toulouse did not scruple to utter the most undignified falsehoods about the Protestants and Spiritualists of America — people doubly odious to a Catholic — in his address to his diocese: "Nothing," he remarks, "is more common in an era of unbelief than to see a false revelation substitute itself for the true one, and minds neglect the teachings of the Holy Church, to devote themselves to the study of divination and the occult sciences." With a fine episcopal contempt for statistics, and strangely confounding in his memory the audiences of the revivalists, Moody and Sankey, and the patrons of darkened seance-rooms, he utters the unwarranted and fallacious assertion that "it has been proven that Spiritualism, in the United States, has caused one-sixth of all the cases of suicide and insanity." He says that it is not possible that the spirits "teach either an exact science, because they are lying demons, or a useful science, because the character
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*
Don Pasquale di Franciscis: "Discorsi del Sommo Pontefice Pio IX.," Part i., p. 340.

† "Speeches of Pius IX.," p. 14. Am. Edition.


8                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

of the word of Satan, like Satan himself, is sterile." He warns his dear collaborateurs, that "the writings in favor of Spiritualism are under the ban"; and he advises them to let it be known that "to frequent spiritual circles with the intention of accepting the doctrine, is to apostatize from the Holy Church, and assume the risk of excommunication"; finally, says he, "Publish the fact that the teaching of no spirit should prevail against that of the pulpit of Peter, which is the teaching of the Spirit of God Himself"!!

       Aware of the many false teachings attributed by the Roman Church to the Creator, we prefer disbelieving the latter assertion. The famous Catholic theologian, Tillemont, assures us in his work that "all the illustrious Pagans are condemned to the eternal torments of hell, because they lived before the time of Jesus, and, therefore, could not be benefited by the redemption"!! He also assures us that the Virgin Mary personally testified to this truth over her own signature in a letter to a saint. Therefore, this is also a revelation — "the Spirit of God Himself" teaching such charitable doctrines.

      We have also read with great advantage the topographical descriptions of Hell and Purgatory in the celebrated treatise under that name by a Jesuit, the Cardinal Bellarmin. A critic found that the author, who gives the description from a divine vision with which he was favored, "appears to possess all the knowledge of a land-measurer" about the secret tracts and formidable divisions of the "bottomless pit." Justin Martyr having actually committed to paper the heretical thought that after all Socrates might not be altogether fixed in hell, his Benedictine editor criticises this too benevolent father very severely. Whoever doubts the Christian charity of the Church of Rome in this direction is invited to peruse the Censure of the Sorbonne, on Marmontel's Belisarius. The odium theologicum blazes in it on the dark sky of orthodox theology like an aurora borealis — the precursor of God's wrath, according to the teaching of certain medięval divines.

       We have attempted in the first part of this work to show, by historical examples, how completely men of science have deserved the stinging sarcasm of the late Professor de Morgan, who remarked of them that "they wear the priest's cast-off garb, dyed to escape detection." The Christian clergy are, in like manner, attired in the cast-off garb of the heathen priesthood; acting diametrically in opposition to their God's moral precepts, but nevertheless, sitting in judgment over the whole world.

       When dying on the cross, the martyred Man of Sorrows forgave his enemies. His last words were a prayer in their behalf. He taught his disciples to curse not, but to bless, even their foes. But the heirs of


9
                                                                                            CATHOLIC BLASPHEMY AGAINST HEAVEN.

St. Peter, the self-constituted representatives on earth of that same meek Jesus, unhesitatingly curse whoever resists their despotic will. Besides, was not the "Son" long since crowded by them into the background? They make their obeisance only to the Dowager Mother, for — according to their teaching — again through "the direct Spirit of God," she alone acts as a mediatrix. The Œcumenical Council of 1870 embodied the teaching into a dogma, to disbelieve which is to be doomed forever to the 'bottomless pit.' The work of Don Pasquale di Franciscis is positive on that point; for he tells us that, as the Queen of Heaven owes to the present Pope "the finest gem in her coronet," since he has conferred on her the unexpected honor of becoming suddenly immaculate, there is nothing she cannot obtain from her Son for "her Church." *

       Some years ago, certain travellers saw in Barri, Italy, a statue of the Madonna, arrayed in a flounced pink skirt over a swelling crinoline! Pious pilgrims who may be anxious to examine the regulation wardrobe of their God's mother may do so by going to Southern Italy, Spain, and Catholic North and South America. The Madonna of Barri must still be there — between two vineyards and a locanda (gin-shop). When last seen, a half-successful attempt had been made to clothe the infant Jesus; they had covered his legs with a pair of dirty, scollop-edged pantaloons. An English traveller having presented the "Mediatrix" with a green silk parasol, the grateful population of the contadini, accompanied by the village-priest, went in procession to the spot. They managed to stick the sunshade, opened, between the infant's back and the arm of the Virgin which embraced him. The scene and ceremony were both solemn and highly refreshing to our religious feelings. For there stood the image of the goddess in its niche, surrounded with a row of ever-burning lamps, the flames of which, flickering in the breeze, infect God's pure air with an offensive smell of olive oil. The Mother and Son truly represent the two most conspicuous idols of Monotheistic Christianity!

       For a companion to the idol of the poor contadini of Barri, go to the rich city of Rio Janeiro. In the Church of the Duomo del Candelaria, in a long hall running along one side of the church, there might be seen, a few years ago, another Madonna. Along the walls of the hall there is a line of saints, each standing on a contribution-box, which thus forms a fit pedestal. In the centre of this line, under a gorgeously rich canopy of blue silk, is exhibited the Virgin Mary leaning on the arm of Christ. "Our Lady" is arrayed in a very décolleté blue satin dress with short
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* Vide "Speeches of Pope Pius IX.," by Don Pasq. di Franciscis; Gladstone's pamphlet on this book; Draper's "Conflict between Religion and Science," and others.


10                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

sleeves, showing, to great advantage, a snow-white, exquisitely-moulded neck, shoulders, and arms. The skirt equally of blue satin with an overskirt of rich lace and gauze puffs, is as short as that of a ballet-dancer; hardly reaching the knee, it exhibits a pair of finely-shaped legs covered with flesh colored silk tights, and blue satin French boots with very high red heels! The blonde hair of this "Mother of God" is arranged in the latest fashion, with a voluminous chignon and curls. As she leans on her Son's arm, her face is lovingly turned toward her Only-Begotten, whose dress and attitude are equally worthy of admiration. Christ wears an evening dress-coat, with swallow-tail, black trousers, and low cut white vest; varnished boots, and white kid gloves, over one of which sparkles a rich diamond ring, worth many thousands we must suppose — a precious Brazilian jewel. Above this body of a modern Portuguese dandy, is a head with the hair parted in the middle; a sad and solemn face, and eyes whose patient look seems to reflect all the bitterness of this last insult flung at the majesty of the Crucified. *

       The Egyptian Isis was also represented as a Virgin Mother by her devotees, and as holding her infant son, Horus, in her arms. In some statues and basso-relievos, when she appears alone she is either completely nude or veiled from head to foot. But in the Mysteries, in common with nearly every other goddess, she is entirely veiled from head to foot, as a symbol of a mother's chastity. It would not do us any harm were we to borrow from the ancients some of the poetic sentiment in their religions, and the innate veneration they entertained for their symbols.

       It is but fair to say at once that the last of the true Christians died with the last of the direct apostles. Max Müller forcibly asks: "How can a missionary in such circumstances meet the surprise and questions of his pupils, unless he may point to that seed, † and tell them what Christianity was meant to be? unless he may show that, like all other religions, Christianity too, has had its history; that the Christianity of the nineteenth century is not the Christianity of the middle ages, and that the Christianity of the middle ages was not that of the early Councils; that the Christianity of the early Councils was not that of the Apostles, and that what has been said by Christ, that alone was well said?" ‡

       Thus we may infer that the only characteristic difference between modern Christianity and the old heathen faiths is the belief of the former in a personal devil and in hell. "The Aryan nations had no devil," says Max Müller. "Pluto, though of a sombre character, was a very
————————————————————————————————————
*
The fact is given to us by an eye-witness who has visited the church several times; a Roman Catholic, who felt perfectly horrified, as he expressed it.

† Referring to the seed planted by Jesus and his Apostles.

‡
"Chips," vol. i., p. 26, Preface.


11                                                                                                    THE HELLS OF VARIOUS NATIONS.

respectable personage; and Loki (the Scandinavian), though a mischievous person, was not a fiend. The German Goddess, Hell, too, like Proserpine, had once seen better days. Thus, when the Germans were indoctrinated with the idea of a real devil, the Semitic Seth, Satan or Diabolus, they treated him in the most good-humored way."

       The same may be said of hell. Hades was quite a different place from our region of eternal damnation, and might be termed rather an intermediate state of purification. Neither does the Scandinavian Hel or Hela, imply either a state or a place of punishment; for when Frigga, the grief-stricken mother of Bal-dur, the white god, who died and found himself in the dark abodes of the shadows (Hades) sent Hermod, a son of Thor, in quest of her beloved child, the messenger found him in the inexorable region — alas! but still comfortably seated on a rock, and reading a book.* The Norse kingdom of the dead is moreover situated in the higher latitudes of the Polar regions; it is a cold and cheerless abode, and neither the gelid halls of Hela, nor the occupation of Baldur present the least similitude to the blazing hell of eternal fire and the miserable "damned" sinners with which the Church so generously peoples it. No more is it the Egyptian Amenthes, the region of judgment and purification; nor the Onderah — the abyss of darkness of the Hindus; for even the fallen angels hurled into it by Siva, are allowed by Parabrahma to consider it as an intermediate state, in which an opportunity is afforded them to prepare for higher degrees of purification and redemption from their wretched condition. The Gehenna of the New Testament was a locality outside the walls of Jerusalem; and in mentioning it, Jesus used but an ordinary metaphor. Whence then came the dreary dogma of hell, that Archimedean lever of Christian theology, with which they have succeeded to hold in subjection the numberless millions of Christians for nineteen centuries? Assuredly not from the Jewish Scriptures, and we appeal for corroboration to any well-informed Hebrew scholar.

       The only designation of something approaching hell in the Bible is Gehenna or Hinnom, a valley near Jerusalem, where was situated Tophet, a place where a fire was perpetually kept for sanitary purposes. The prophet Jeremiah informs us that the Israelites used to sacrifice their children to Moloch-Hercules on that spot; and later we find Christians quietly replacing this divinity by their god of mercy, whose wrath will not be appeased, unless the Church sacrifices to him her unbaptized children and sinning sons on the altar of "eternal damnation"!

       Whence then did the divine learn so well the conditions of hell, as
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* Mallet: "Northern Antiquities."


12                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

to actually divide its torments into two kinds, the pœna damni and pęnę sensus, the former being the privation of the beatific vision; the latter the eternal pains in a lake of fire and brimstone? If they answer us that it is in the Apocalypse (xx. 10), we are prepared to demonstrate whence the theologist John himself derived the idea, "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented for ever and ever," he says. Laying aside the esoteric interpretation that the "devil" or tempting demon meant our own earthly body, which after death will surely dissolve in the fiery or ethereal elements,* the word "eternal" by which our theologians interpret the words "for ever and ever" does not exist in the Hebrew language, either as a word or meaning. There is no Hebrew word which properly expresses eternity; ~lw[ oulam, according to Le Clerc, only imports a time whose beginning or end is not known. While showing that this word does not mean infinite duration, and that in the Old Testament the word forever only signifies a long time, Archbishop Tillotson has completely perverted its sense with respect to the idea of hell-torments. According to his doctrine, when Sodom and Gomorrah are said to be suffering "eternal fire," we must understand it only in the sense of that fire not being extinguished till both cities were entirely consumed. But, as to hell-fire the words must be understood in the strictest sense of infinite duration. Such is the decree of the learned divine. For the duration of the punishment of the wicked must be proportionate to the eternal happiness of the righteous. So he says, "These (speaking of the wicked) shall go away eiß kovlasin aiw'nion  into eternal punishment; but the righteous  eiß zwhn aiwniun  into life eternal."

       The Reverend T. Surnden, † commenting on the speculations of his predecessors, fills a whole volume with unanswerable arguments, tending to show that the locality of Hell is in the sun. We suspect that the reverend speculator had read the Apocalypse in bed, and had the nightmare in consequence. There are two verses in the Revelation of John reading thus: "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun, and power was given him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God." ‡ This is simply Pythagorean and kabalistic allegory. The idea is new neither with the above-mentioned author nor with John. Pythagoras placed the "sphere of purification in the sun," which sun, with its sphere, he moreover
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*
Ether is both pure and impure fire. The composition of the latter comprises all its visible forms, such as the "correlation of forces" — heat, flame, electricity, etc. The former is the Spirit of Fire. The difference is purely alchemical.

† See "Inquiry into the Nature and Place of Hell," by Rev. T. Surnden.

‡
 Revelation xvi. 8-9.


13                                                                                                       AUGUSTINE'S GEOCENTRIC HELL.

locates in the middle of the universe,* the allegory having a double meaning: 1. Symbolically, the central, spiritual sun, the Supreme Deity. Arrived at this region every soul becomes purified of its sins, and unites itself forever with its spirit, having previously suffered throughout all the lower spheres. 2. By placing the sphere of visible fire in the middle of the universe, he simply taught the heliocentric system which appertained to the Mysteries, and was imparted only in the higher degree of initiation. John gives to his Word a purely kabalistic significance, which no "Fathers," except those who had belonged to the Neo-platonic school, were able to comprehend. Origen understood it well, having been a pupil of Ammonius Saccas; therefore we see him bravely denying the perpetuity of hell-torments. He maintains that not only men, but even devils (by which term he meant disembodied human sinners), after a certain duration of punishment shall be pardoned and finally restored to heaven. † In consequence of this and other such heresies Origen was, as a matter of course, exiled.

       Many have been the learned and truly-inspired speculations as to the locality of hell. The most popular were those which placed it in the centre of the earth. At a certain time, however, skeptical doubts which disturbed the placidity of faith in this highly-refreshing doctrine arose in consequence of the meddling scientists of those days. As a Mr. Swinden in our own century observes, the theory was inadmissible because of two objections: 1st, that a fund of fuel or sulphur sufficient to maintain so furious and constant a fire could not be there supposed; and, 2d, that it must want the nitrous particles in the air to sustain and keep it alive. "And how," says he, "can a fire be eternal, when, by degrees, the whole substance of the earth must be consumed thereby?"  ‡

      The skeptical gentleman had evidently forgotten that centuries ago St. Augustine solved the difficulty. Have we not the word of this learned divine that hell, nevertheless, is in the centre of the earth, for "God supplies the central fire with air by a miracle"? The argument is unanswerable, and so we will not seek to upset it.

       The Christians were the first to make the existence of Satan a dogma of the Church. And once that she had established it, she had to struggle for over 1,700 years for the repression of a mysterious force which it was her policy to make appear of diabolical origin. Unfortunately, in manifesting itself, this force invariably tends to upset such a belief by the ridiculous discrepancy it presents between the alleged cause and the effects. If the clergy have not over-estimated the real power of
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*
Aristotle mentions Pythagoreans who placed the sphere of fire in the sun, and named it Jupiter's Prison.
See "De Coelo," lib. ii.

† "De Civit. Dei," I, xxi., c. 17.           
‡ "Demonologia and Hell," p. 289.


14                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

the "Arch-Enemy of God," it must be confessed that he takes mighty precautions against being recognized as the "Prince of Darkness" who aims at our souls. If modern "spirits" are devils at all, as preached by the clergy, then they can only be those "poor" or "stupid devils" whom Max Müller describes as appearing so often in the German and Norwegian tales.

        Notwithstanding this, the clergy fear above all to be forced to relinquish this hold on humanity. They are not willing to let us judge of the tree by its fruits, for that might sometimes force them into dangerous dilemmas. They refuse, likewise, to admit, with unprejudiced people, that the phenomena of Spiritualism has unquestionably spiritualized and reclaimed from evil courses many an indomitable atheist and skeptic. But, as they confess themselves, what is the use in a Pope, if there is no Devil?

        And so Rome sends her ablest advocates and preachers to the rescue of those perishing in "the bottomless pit." Rome employs her cleverest writers for this purpose — albeit they all indignantly deny the accusation — and in the preface to every book put forth by the prolific des Mousseaux, the French Tertullian of our century, we find undeniable proofs of the fact. Among other certificates of ecclesiastical approval, every volume is ornamented with the text of a certain original letter addressed to the very pious author by the world-known Father Ventura de Raulica, of Rome. Few are those who have not heard this famous name. It is the name of one of the chief pillars of the Latin Church, the ex-General of the Order of the Theatins, Consultor of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Examiner of Bishops, and of the Roman Clergy, etc., etc., etc. This strikingly characteristic document will remain to astonish future generations by its spirit of unsophisticated demonolatry and unblushing sincerity. We translate a fragment verbatim, and by thus helping its circulation hope to merit the blessings of Mother Church: *

"MONSIEUR AND EXCELLENT FRIEND:
        "The greatest victory of Satan was gained on that day when he succeeded in making himself denied.

        "To demonstrate the existence of Satan, is to reėstablish one of the fundamental dogmas of the Church, which serve as a basis for Christianity, and, without which, Satan would be but a name. . .

        "Magic, mesmerism, magnetism, somnambulism, spiritualism, spiritism, hypnotism . . . are only other names for SATANISM.

        "To bring out such a truth and show it in its proper light, is to unmask the enemy; it is to unveil the immense danger of certain practices, reputed innocent; it is to deserve well in the eyes of humanity and of religion.
                                                                       "FATHER VENTURA DE RAULICA."
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* "Les Hauts Phenomenes de la Magie," p. v., Preface.


15                                                                                                     THE BIOGRAPHERS OF THE DEVIL

       A—men!

       This is an unexpected honor indeed, for our American "controls" in general, and the innocent "Indian guides" in particular. To be thus introduced in Rome as princes of the Empire of Eblis, is more than they could ever hope for in other lands.

       Without in the least suspecting that she was working for the future welfare of her enemies — the spiritualists and spiritists — the Church, some twenty years since, in tolerating des Mousseaux and de Mirville as the biographers of the Devil, and giving her approbation thereto, tacitly confessed the literary copartnership.

       M. the Chevalier Gougenot des Mousseaux, and his friend and collaborateur, the Marquis Eudes de Mirville, to judge by their long titles, must be aristocrats pur sang, and they are, moreover, writers of no small erudition and talent. Were they to show themselves a little more parsimonious of double points of exclamation following every vituperation, and invective against Satan and his worshippers, their style would be faultless. As it is, the crusade against the enemy of mankind was fierce, and lasted for over twenty years.

       What with the Catholics piling up their psychological phenomena to prove the existence of a personal devil, and the Count de Gasparin, an ancient minister of Louis Philippe, collecting volumes of other facts to prove the contrary, the spiritists of France have contracted an everlasting debt of gratitude toward the disputants. The existence of an unseen spiritual universe peopled with invisible beings has now been demonstrated beyond question. Ransacking the oldest libraries, they have distilled from the historical records the quintessence of evidence. All epochs, from the Homeric ages down to the present day, have supplied their choicest materials to these indefatigable authors. In trying to prove the authenticity of the miracles wrought by Satan in the days preceding the Christian era, as well as throughout the middle ages, they have simply laid a firm foundation for a study of the phenomena in our modern times.

       Though an ardent, uncompromising enthusiast, des Mousseaux unwittingly transforms himself into the tempting demon, or — as he is fond of calling the Devil — the "serpent of Genesis." In his desire to demonstrate in every manifestation the presence of the Evil One, he only succeeds in demonstrating that Spiritualism and magic are no new things in the world, but very ancient twin-brothers, whose origin must be sought for in the earliest infancy of ancient India, Chaldea, Babylonia, Egypt, Persia, and Greece.

       He proves the existence of "spirits," whether these be angels or devils, with such a clearness of argument and logic, and such an amount


16                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

of evidence, historical, irrefutable, and strictly authenticated, that little is left for spiritualist authors who may come after him. How unfortunate that the scientists, who believe neither in devil nor spirit, are more than likely to ridicule M. des Mousseaux's books without reading them, for they really contain so many facts of profound scientific interest!

       But what can we expect in our own age of unbelief, when we find Plato, over twenty-two centuries ago, complaining of the same? "Me, too," says he, in his Euthyphron, "when I say anything in the public assembly concerning divine things, and predict to them what is going to happen, they ridicule as mad; and although nothing that I have predicted has proved untrue, yet they envy all such men as we are. However, we ought not to heed, but pursue our own way."

     The literary resources of the Vatican and other Catholic repositories of learning must have been freely placed at the disposal of these modern authors. When one has such treasures at hand — original manuscripts, papyri, and books pillaged from the richest heathen libraries; old treatises on magic and alchemy; and records of all the trials for witchcraft, and sentences for the same to rack, stake, and torture, it is mighty easy to write volumes of accusations against the Devil. We affirm on good grounds that there are hundreds of the most valuable works on the occult sciences, which are sentenced to eternal concealment from the public, but are attentively read and studied by the privileged who have access to the Vatican Library. The laws of nature are the same for heathen sorcerer as for Catholic saint; and a "miracle" may be produced as well by one as by the other, without the slightest intervention of God or devil.

     Hardly had the manifestations begun to attract attention in Europe, than the clergy commenced their outcry that their traditional enemy had reappeared under another name, and "divine miracles" also began to be heard of in isolated instances. First they were confined to humble individuals, some of whom claimed to have them produced through the intervention of the Virgin Mary, saints and angels; others — according to the clergy — began to suffer from obsession and possession; for the Devil must have his share of fame as well as the Deity. Finding that, notwithstanding the warning, the independent, or so-called spiritual phenomena went on increasing and multiplying, and that these manifestations threatened to upset the carefully-constructed dogmas of the Church, the world was suddenly startled by extraordinary intelligence. In 1864, a whole community became possessed of the Devil. Morzine, and the awful stories of its demoniacs; Valleyres, and the narratives of its well-authenticated exhibitions of sorcery; and those of the Presbytere de Cideville curdled the blood in Catholic veins.

     Strange to say, the question has been asked over and over again,


17                                                                                            WHY THERE ARE NO MIRACLES IN RUSSIA.

why the "divine" miracles and most of the obsessions are so strictly confined to Roman Catholic dioceses and countries? Why is it that since the Reformation there has been scarcely one single divine "miracle" in a Protestant land? Of course, the answer we must expect from Catholics is, that the latter are peopled by heretics, and abandoned by God. Then why are there no more Church-miracles in Russia, a country whose religion differs from the Roman Catholic faith but in external forms of rites, its fundamental dogmas being identically the same, except as to the emanation of the Holy Ghost? Russia has her accepted saints and thaumaturgical relics, and miracle-working images. The St. Mitrophaniy of Voroneg is an authenticated miracle-worker, but his miracles are limited to healing; and though hundreds upon hundreds have been healed through faith, and though the old cathedral is full of magnetic effluvia, and whole generations will go on believing in his power, and some persons will always be healed, still no such miracles are heard of in Russia as the Madonna-walking, and Madonna letter-writing, and statue-talking of Catholic countries. Why is this so? Simply because the emperors have strictly forbidden that sort of thing. The Czar, Peter the Great, stopped every spurious "divine" miracle with one frown of his mighty brow. He declared he would have no false miracles played by the holy icones (images of saints), and they disappeared forever.*

     There are cases on record of isolated and independent phenomena exhibited by certain images in the last century; the latest was the bleeding of the cheek of an image of the Virgin, when a soldier of Napoleon cut her face in two. This miracle, alleged to have happened in 1812, in the days of the invasion by the "grand army," was the final farewell. †
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*
Dr. Stanley: "Lectures on the Eastern Church," p. 407.

† In the government of Tambov, a gentleman, a rich landed proprietor, had a curious case happen in his family during the Hungarian campaign of 1848. His only and much-beloved nephew, whom, having no children, he had adopted as a son, was in the Russian army. The elderly couple had a portrait of his — a water-color painting — constantly, during the meals, placed on the table in front of the young man's usual seat. One evening as the family, with some friends, were at their early tea, the glass over the portrait, without any one touching it, was shattered to atoms with a loud explosion. As the aunt of the young soldier caught the picture in her hand she saw the forehead and head besmeared with blood. The guests, in order to quiet her, attributed the blood to her having cut her fingers with the broken glass. But, examine as they would, they could not find the vestige of a cut on her fingers, and no one had touched the picture but herself. Alarmed at her state of excitement the husband, pretending to examine the portrait more closely, cut his finger on purpose, and then tried to assure her that it was his blood and that, in the first excitement, he had touched the frame without any one remarking it. All was in vain, the old lady felt sure that Dimitry was killed. She began to have masses said for him daily at the village church, and arrayed the whole household in deep mourning. Several weeks later, an official communication was received from the colonel of the regiment, stating that their nephew was killed by a fragment of a shell which had carried off the upper part of his head.


18                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

       But since then, although the three successive emperors have been pious men, their will has been respected, and the images and saints have remained quiet, and hardly been spoken of except as connected with religious worship. In Poland, a land of furious ultramontanism, there were, at different times, desperate attempts at miracle-doing. They died at birth, however, for the argus-eyed police were there; a Catholic miracle in Poland, made public by the priests, generally meaning political revolution, bloodshed, and war.

       Is it then, not permissible to at least suspect that if, in one country divine miracles may be arrested by civil and military law, and in another they never occur, we must search for the explanation of the two facts in some natural cause, instead of attributing them to either god or devil? In our opinion — if it is worth anything — the whole secret may be accounted for as follows. In Russia, the clergy know better than to bewilder their parishes, whose piety is sincere and faith strong without miracles; they know that nothing is better calculated than the latter to sow seeds of distrust, doubt, and finally of skepticism which leads directly to atheism. Moreover the climate is less propitious, and the magnetism of the average population too positive, too healthy, to call forth independent phenomena; and fraud would not answer. On the other hand, neither in Protestant Germany, nor England, nor yet in America, since the days of the Reformation, has the clergy had access to any of the Vatican secret libraries. Hence they are all but poor hands at the magic of Albertus Magnus.

       As for America being overflowed with sensitives and mediums, the reason for it is partially attributable to climatic influence and especially to the physiological condition of the population. Since the days of the Salem witchcraft, 200 years ago, when the comparatively few settlers had pure and unadulterated blood in their veins, nothing much had been heard of "spirits" or "mediums" until 1840. * The phenomena then first appeared among the ascetic and exalted Shakers, whose religious aspirations, peculiar mode of life, moral purity, and physical chastity all led to the production of independent phenomena of a psychological
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* Executions for witchcraft took place, not much later than a century ago, in other of the American provinces. Notoriously there were negroes executed in New Jersey by burning at the stake — the penalty denounced in several States. Even in South Carolina, in 1865, when the State government was "reconstructed," after the civil war, the statutes inflicting death for witchcraft were found to be still unrepealed. It is not a hundred years since they have been enforced to the murderous letter of their text.


19                                                                                           THE PHYSICO-PSYCOLOGICAL AMERICAN TYPE.

as well as physical nature. Hundreds of thousands, and even millions of men from various climates and of different constitutions and habits, have, since 1692, invaded North America, and by intermarrying have substantially changed the physical type of the inhabitants. Of what country in the world do the women's constitutions bear comparison with the delicate, nervous, and sensitive constitutions of the feminine portion of the population of the United States? We were struck on our arrival in the country with the semi-transparent delicacy of skin of the natives of both sexes. Compare a hard-working Irish factory girl or boy, with one from a genuine American family. Look at their hands. One works as hard as the other; they are of equal age, and both seemingly healthy; and still, while the hands of the one, after an hour's soaping, will show a skin little softer than that of a young alligator, those of the other, notwithstanding constant use, will allow you to observe the circulation of the blood under the thin and delicate epidermis. No wonder, then, that while America is the conservatory of sensitives the majority of its clergy, unable to produce divine or any other miracles, stoutly deny the possibility of any phenomena except those produced by tricks and juggling. And no wonder also that the Catholic priesthood, who are practically aware of the existence of magic and spiritual phenomena, and believe in them while dreading their consequences, try to attribute the whole to the agency of the Devil.

       Let us adduce one more argument, if only for the sake of circumstantial evidence. In what countries have "divine miracles" flourished most, been most frequent and most stupendous? Catholic Spain, and Pontifical Italy, beyond question. And which more than these two, has had access to ancient literature? Spain was famous for her libraries; the Moors were celebrated for their profound learning in alchemy and other sciences. The Vatican is the storehouse of an immense number of ancient manuscripts. During the long interval of nearly 1,500 years they have been accumulating, from trial after trial, books and manuscripts confiscated from their sentenced victims, to their own profit. The Catholics may plead that the books were generally committed to the flames; that the treatises of famous sorcerers and enchanters perished with their accursed authors. But the Vatican, if it could speak, could tell a different story. It knows too well of the existence of certain closets and rooms, access to which is had but by the very few. It knows that the entrances to these secret hiding-places are so cleverly concealed from sight in the carved frame-work and under the profuse ornamentation of the library-walls, that there have even been Popes who lived and died within the precincts of the palace without ever suspecting their existence. But these Popes were neither Sylvester II., Benedict IX., John XX., nor


20                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

the VIth and VIIth Gregory; nor yet the famous Borgia of toxicological memory. Neither were those who remained ignorant of the hidden lore friends of the sons of Loyola.

        Where, in the records of European Magic, can we find cleverer enchanters than in the mysterious solitudes of the cloister? Albert Magnus, the famous Bishop and conjurer of Ratisbon, was never surpassed in his art. Roger Bacon was a monk, and Thomas Aquinas one of the most learned pupils of Albertus. Trithemius, Abbott of the Spanheim Benedictines, was the teacher, friend, and confidant of Cornelius Agrippa; and while the confederations of the Theosophists were scattered broadcast about Germany, where they first originated, assisting one another, and struggling for years for the acquirement of esoteric knowledge, any person who knew how to become the favored pupil of certain monks, might very soon be proficient in all the important branches of occult learning.

        This is all in history and cannot be easily denied. Magic, in all its aspects, was widely and nearly openly practiced by the clergy till the Reformation. And even he who was once called the "Father of the Reformation," the famous John Reuchlin,* author of the Mirific Word and friend of Pico di Mirandola, the teacher and instructor of Erasmus, Luther, and Melancthon, was a kabalist and occultist.

        The ancient Sortilegium, or divination by means of Sortes or lots — an art and practice now decried by the clergy as an abomination, designated by Stat. 10 Jac. as felony, † and by Stat. 12 Carolus II excepted out of the general pardons, on the ground of being sorcery — was widely practiced by the clergy and monks. Nay, it was sanctioned by St. Augustine himself, who does not "disapprove of this method of learning futurity, provided it be not used for worldly purposes." More than that, he confesses having practiced it himself. ‡

        Aye; but the clergy called it Sortes Sanctorum, when it was they who practiced it; while the Sortes Praenestinę, succeeded by the Sortes Homericę and Sortes Virgilianę, were abominable heathenism, the worship of the Devil, when used by any one else.

        Gregory de Tours informs us that when the clergy resorted to the Sortes their custom was to lay the Bible on the altar, and to pray the Lord that He would discover His will, and disclose to them futurity in one of the verses of the book. Gilbert de Nogent writes that in his days
————————————————————————————————————
*
Vide the title-page on the English translation of Mayerhoff's "Reuchlin und Seine Zeit," Berlin, 1830. "The Life and Times of John Reuchlin, or Capnion, the Father of the German Reformation," by F. Barham, London, 1843.

† Lord Coke: 3 "Institutes," fol. 44.

‡  
Vide "The Life of St. Gregory of Tours."


21                                                                                                EPISCOPAL DIVINATION BY THE "LOT."

(about the twelfth century) the custom was, at the consecration of bishops, to consult the Sortes Sanctorum, to thereby learn the success and fate of the episcopate. On the other hand, we are told that the Sortes Sanctorum were condemned by the Council of Agda, in 506. In this case again we are left to inquire, in which instance has the infallibility of the Church failed? Was it when she prohibited that which was practiced by her greatest saint and patron, Augustine, or in the twelfth century, when it was openly and with the sanction of the same Church practiced by the clergy for the benefit of the bishop's elections? Or, must we still believe that in both of these contradictory cases the Vatican was inspired by the direct "spirit of God"?

       If any doubt that Gregory of Tours approved of a practice that prevails to this day, more or less, even among strict Protestants, let them read this: "Lendastus, Earl of Tours, who was for ruining me with Queen Fredegonde, coming to Tours, big with evil designs against me, I withdrew to my oratory under a deep concern, where I took the Psalms, . . . My heart revived within me when I cast my eyes on this of the seventy-seventh Psalm: 'He caused them to go on with confidence, whilst the sea swallowed up their enemies.' Accordingly, the count spoke not a word to my prejudice; and leaving Tours that very day, the boat in which he was, sunk in a storm, but his skill in swimming saved him."

       The sainted bishop simply confesses here to having practiced a bit of sorcery. Every mesmerizer knows the power of will during an intense desire bent on any particular subject. Whether in consequence of "co-incidents" or otherwise, the opened verse suggested to his mind revenge by drowning. Passing the remainder of the day in "deep concern," and possessed by this all-absorbing thought, the saint — it may be unconsciously — exercises his will on the subject; and thus while imagining in the accident the hand of God, he simply becomes a sorcerer exercising his magnetic will which reacts on the person feared; and the count barely escapes with his life. Were the accident decreed by God, the culprit would have been drowned; for a simple bath could not have altered his malevolent resolution against St. Gregory had he been very intent on it.

       Furthermore, we find anathemas fulminated against this lottery of fate, at the council of Varres, which forbids "all ecclesiastics, under pain of excommunication, to perform that kind of divination, or to pry into futurity, by looking into any book, or writing, whatsoever." The same prohibition is pronounced at the councils of Agda in 506, of Orleans, in 511, of Auxerre in 595, and finally at the council of Aenham in 1110; the latter condemning "sorcerers, witches, diviners, such as occasioned death by magical operations, and who practiced fortune-telling by the


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holy-book lots"; and the complaint of the joint clergy against de Garlande, their bishop at Orleans, and addressed to Pope Alexander III., concludes in this manner: "Let your apostolical hands put on strength to strip naked the iniquity of this man, that the curse prognosticated on the day of his consecration may overtake him; for the gospels being opened on the altar according to custom, the first words were: and the young man, leaving his linen cloth, fled from them naked." *

       Why then roast the lay-magicians and consulters of books, and canonize the ecclesiastics? Simply because the medięval as well as the modern phenomena, manifested through laymen, whether produced through occult knowledge or happening independently, upset the claims of both the Catholic and Protestant Churches to divine miracles. In the face of reiterated and unimpeachable evidence it became impossible for the former to maintain successfully the assertion that seemingly miraculous manifestations by the "good angels" and God's direct intervention could be produced exclusively by her chosen ministers and holy saints. Neither could the Protestant well maintain on the same ground that miracles had ended with the apostolic ages. For, whether of the same nature or not, the modern phenomena claimed close kinship with the biblical ones. The magnetists and healers of our century came into direct and open competition with the apostles. The Zouave Jacob, of France, had outrivalled the prophet Elijah in recalling to life persons who were seemingly dead; and Alexis, the somnambulist, mentioned by Mr. Wallace in his work, † was, by his lucidity, putting to shame apostles, prophets, and the Sibyls of old. Since the burning of the last witch, the great Revolution of France, so elaborately prepared by the league of the secret societies and their clever emissaries, had blown over Europe and awakened terror in the bosom of the clergy. It had, like a destroying hurricane, swept away in its course those best allies of the Church, the Roman Catholic aristocracy. A sure foundation was now laid for the right of individual opinion. The world was freed from ecclesiastical tyranny by opening an unobstructed path to Napoleon the Great, who had given the deathblow to the Inquisition. This great slaughter-house of the Christian Church — wherein she butchered, in the name of the Lamb, all the sheep arbitrarily declared scurvy — was in ruins, and she found herself left to her own responsibility and resources.

       So long as the phenomena had appeared only sporadically, she had always felt herself powerful enough to repress the consequences. Super-
————————————————————————————————————
*
Translated from the original document in the Archives of Orleans, France; also see "Sortes and Sortilegium"; "Life of Peter de Blois."

† "Miracles and Modern Spiritualism."


23                                                                                                                  MIRACLES BY THE LAITY.

stition and belief in the Devil were as strong as ever, and Science had not yet dared to publicly measure her forces with those of supernatural Religion. Meanwhile the enemy had slowly but surely gained ground. All at once it broke out with an unexpected violence. "Miracles" began to appear in full daylight, and passed from their mystic seclusion into the domain of natural law, where the profane hand of Science was ready to strip off their sacerdotal mask. Still, for a time, the Church held her position, and with the powerful help of superstitious fear checked the progress of the intruding force. But, when in succession appeared mesmerists and somnambulists, reproducing the physical and mental phenomenon of ecstasy, hitherto believed to be the special gift of saints; when the passion for the turning tables had reached in France and elsewhere its climax of fury; when the psychography — alleged spiritual — from a simple curiosity had developed itself and settled into an unabated interest, and finally ebbed into religious mysticism; when the echoes aroused by the first raps of Rochester, crossing the oceans, spread until they were re-percussed from nearly every corner of the world — then, and only then, the Latin Church was fully awakened to a sense of danger. Wonder after wonder was reported to have occurred in the spiritual circles and the lecture-rooms of the mesmerists; the sick were healed, the blind made to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear. J. R. Newton in America, and Du Potet in France, were healing the multitude without the slightest claim to divine intervention. The great discovery of Mesmer, which reveals to the earnest inquirer the mechanism of nature, mastered, as if by magical power, organic and inorganic bodies.

       But this was not the worst. A more direful calamity for the Church occurred in the evocation from the upper and nether worlds of a multitude of "spirits," whose private bearing and conversation gave the direct lie to the most cherished and profitable dogmas of the Church. These "spirits" claimed to be the identical entities, in a disembodied state, of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, friends and acquaintances of the persons viewing the weird phenomena. The Devil seemed to have no objective existence, and this struck at the very foundation upon which the chair of St. Peter rested.* Not a spirit except the mocking manni-
————————————————————————————————————
*
There were two chairs of the titular apostle at Rome. The clergy, frightened at the uninterrupted evidence furnished by scientific research, at last decided to confront the enemy, and we find the "Chronique des Arts" giving the cleverest, and at the same time most Jesuitical, explanation of the fact. According to their story, "The increase in the number of the faithful decided Peter upon making Rome henceforth the centre of his action. The cemetery of Ostrianum was too distant and would not suffice for the reunions of the Christians. The motive which had induced the Apostle to confer on Linus and Cletus successively the episcopal character, in order to render them capable of sharing the solicitudes of a church whose extent was to be without limits, led naturally to a multiplication of the places of meeting. The particular residence of Peter was therefore fixed at Viminal; and there was established that mysterious Chair, the symbol of power and truth. The august seat which was venerated at the Ostrian Catacombs was not, however, removed. Peter still visited this cradle of the Roman Church, and often, without doubt, exercised his holy functions there. A second Chair, expressing the same mystery as the first, was set up at Cornelia, and it is this which has come down to us through the ages."
       Now, so far from it being possible that there ever were two genuine chairs of this kind, the majority of critics show that Peter never was at Rome at all; the reasons are many and unanswerable. Perhaps we had best begin by pointing to the works of Justin Martyr. This great champion of Christianity, writing in the early part of the second century in Rome, where he fixed his abode, eager to get hold of the least proof in favor of the truth for which he suffered, seems perfectly unconscious of St. Peter's existence!!
       Neither does any other writer of any consequence mention him in connection with the Church of Rome, earlier than the days of Irenęus, when the latter set himself to invent a new religion, drawn from the depths of his imagination. We refer the reader anxious to learn more to the able work of Mr. George Reber, entitled "The Christ of Paul." The arguments of this author are conclusive. The above article in the "Chronique des Arts," speaks of the increase of the faithful to such an extent that Ostrianum could not contain the number of Christians. Now, if Peter was at Rome at all — runs Mr. Reber's argument — it must have been between the years A.D. 64 and 69; for at 64 he was at Babylon, from whence he wrote epistles and letters to Rome, and at some time between 64 and 68 (the reign of Nero) he either died a martyr or in his bed, for Irenęus makes him deliver the Church of Rome, together with Paul (! ?) (whom he persecuted and quarrelled with all his life), into the hands of Linus, who became bishop in 69 (see Reber's "Christ of Paul," p. 122). We will treat of it more fully in chapter iii.
       Now, we ask, in the name of common sense, how could the faithful of Peter's Church increase at such a rate, when Nero trapped and killed them like so many mice during his reign? History shows the few Christians fleeing from Rome, wherever they could, to avoid the persecution of the emperor, and the "Chronique des Arts" makes them increase and multiply! "Christ," the article goes on to say, "willed that this visible sign of the doctrinal authority of his vicar should also have its portion of immortality; one can follow it from age to age in the documents of the Roman Church." Tertullian formally attests its existence in his book "De Pręscriptionibus." Eager to learn everything concerning so interesting a subject, we would like to be shown when  did Christ WILL anything of the kind? However: "Ornaments of ivory have been fitted to the front and back of the chair, but only on those parts repaired with acacia-wood. Those which cover the panel in front are divided into three superimposed rows, each containing six plaques of ivory, on which are engraved various subjects, among others the 'Labors of Hercules.' Several of the plaques were wrongly placed, and seemed to have been affixed to the chair at a time when the remains of antiquity were employed as ornaments, without much regard to fitness." This is the point. The article was written simply as a clever answer to several facts published during the present century. Bower, in his "History of the Popes" (vol. ii., p. 7), narrates that in the year 1662, while cleaning one of the chairs, "the 'Twelve Labors of Hercules' unluckily appeared engraved upon it," after which the chair was removed and another substituted. But in 1795, when Bonaparte's troops occupied Rome, the chair was again examined. This time there was found the Mahometan confession of faith, in Arabic letters: "There is no Deity but Allah, and Mahomet is his Apostle." (See appendix to "Ancient Symbol-Worship," by H. M. Westropp and C. Staniland Wake.) In the appendix Prof. Alexander Wilder very justly remarks as follows: "We presume that the Apostle of the Circumcision, as Paul, his great rival, styles him, was never at the Imperial City, nor had a successor there, not even in the ghetto. The 'Chair of Peter,' therefore, is sacred rather than apostolical. Its sanctity proceeded, however, from the esoteric religion of the former times of Rome. The hierophant of the Mysteries probably occupied it on the day of initiations, when exhibiting to the candidates the Petroma (stone tablet containing the last revelation made by the hierophant to the neophyte for initiation)."

 

24                                                                                                                             ISIS UNVEILED.

kins of Planchette would confess to the most distant relationship with the Satanic majesty, or accredit him with the governorship of a single inch of territory. The clergy felt their prestige growing weaker every day, as they saw the people impatiently shaking off, in the broad daylight of truth, the dark veils with which they had been blindfolded for so many centuries. Then finally, fortune, which previously had been on their side in the long-waged conflict between theology and science, deserted to their adversary. The help of the latter to the study of the occult side of nature was truly precious and timely, and science has unwittingly widened the once narrow path of the phenomena into a broad highway. Had not
 

25                                                                                                         HISTORY OF THE CHAIR OF PETER.

this conflict culminated at the nick of time, we might have seen reproduced on a miniature scale the disgraceful scenes of the episodes of Salem witchcraft and the Nuns of Loudun. As it was, the clergy were muzzled.

       But if Science has unintentionally helped the progress of the occult phenomena, the latter have reciprocally aided science herself. Until the days when newly-reincarnated philosophy boldly claimed its place in the world, there had been but few scholars who had undertaken the difficult task of studying comparative theology. This science occupies a domain heretofore penetrated by few explorers. The necessity which it involved of being well acquainted with the dead languages, necessarily limited the number of students. Besides, there was less popular need for it so long as people could not replace the Christian orthodoxy by something more tangible. It is one of the most undeniable facts of psychology, that the average man can as little exist out of a religious element of some kind, as a fish out of the water. The voice of truth, "a voice stronger than the voice of the mightiest thunder," speaks to the inner man in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, as it spoke in the corresponding century B.C. It is a useless and unprofitable task to offer to humanity the choice between a future life and annihilation. The only chance that remains for those friends of human progress who seek to establish for the good of mankind a faith, henceforth stripped entirely of superstition


26                                                                                                                            ISIS UNVEILED.

and dogmatic fetters is to address them in the words of Joshua: "Choose ye this day whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell." *

       "The science of religion," wrote Max Müller in 1860, "is only just beginning. . . . During the last fifty years the authentic documents of the most important religions in the world have been recovered in a most unexpected and almost miraculous manner. † We have now before us the Canonical books of Buddhism; the Zend-Avesta of Zoroaster is no longer a sealed book; and the hymns of the Rig-Veda have revealed a state of religions anterior to the first beginnings of that mythology which in Homer and Hesiod stands before us as a mouldering ruin." ‡

       In their insatiable desire to extend the dominion of blind faith, the early architects of Christian theology had been forced to conceal, as much as it was possible, the true sources of the same. To this end they are said to have burned or otherwise destroyed all the original manuscripts on the Kabala, magic, and occult sciences upon which they could lay their hands. They ignorantly supposed that the most dangerous writings of this class had perished with the last Gnostic; but some day they may discover their mistake. Other authentic and as important documents will perhaps reappear in a "most unexpected and almost miraculous manner."
————————————————————————————————————
*
Joshua xxiv., 15.

† One of the most surprising facts that have come under our observation, is that students of profound research should not couple the frequent recurrence of these "unexpected and almost miraculous" discoveries of important documents, at the most opportune moments, with a premeditated design. Is it so strange that the custodians of "Pagan" lore, seeing that the proper moment had arrived, should cause the needed document, book, or relic to fall as if by accident in the right man's way? Geological surveyors and explorers even as competent as Humboldt and Tschuddi, have not discovered the hidden mines from which the Peruvian Incas dug their treasure, although the latter confesses that the present degenerate Indians have the secret. In 1839, Perring, the archęologist, proposed to the sheik of an Arab village two purses of gold, if he helped him to discover the entrance to the hidden passage leading to the sepulchral chambers in the North Pyramid of Doshoor. But though his men were out of employment and half-starved, the sheik proudly refused to "sell the secret of the dead," promising to show it gratis, when the time would come for it. Is it, then, impossible that in some other regions of the earth are guarded the remains of that glorious literature of the past, which was the fruit of its majestic civilization? What is there so surprising in the idea? Who knows but that as the Christian Church has unconsciously begotten free thought by reaction against her own cruelty, rapacity, and dogmatism, the public mind may be glad to follow the lead of the Orientalists, away from Jerusalem and towards Ellora; and that then much more will be discovered that is now hidden?

 ‡ "Chips from a German Workshop," vol. i., p. 373; Semitic Monotheism.


27                                                                                           WHAT WAS SAVED FROM THE BRUCKION.

       There are strange traditions current in various parts of the East — on Mount Athos and in the Desert of Nitria, for instance — among certain monks, and with learned Rabbis in Palestine, who pass their lives in commenting upon the Talmud. They say that not all the rolls and manuscripts, reported in history to have been burned by Cęsar, by the Christian mob, in 389, and by the Arab General Amru, perished as it is commonly believed; and the story they tell is the following: At the time of the contest for the throne, in 51 B.C., between Cleopatra and her brother Dionysius Ptolemy, the Bruckion, which contained over seven hundred thousand rolls, all bound in wood and fire-proof parchment, was undergoing repairs, and a great portion of the original manuscripts, considered among the most precious, and which were not duplicated, were stored away in the house of one of the librarians. As the fire which consumed the rest was but the result of accident, no precautions had been taken at the time. But they add, that several hours passed between the burning of the fleet, set on fire by Cęsar's order, and the moment when the first buildings situated near the harbor caught fire in their turn; and that all the librarians, aided by several hundred slaves attached to the museum, succeeded in saving the most precious of the rolls. So perfect and solid was the fabric of the parchment, that while in some rolls the inner pages and the wood-binding were reduced to ashes, of others the parchment binding remained unscorched. These particulars were all written out in Greek, Latin, and the Chaldeo-Syriac dialect, by a learned youth named Theodas, one of the scribes employed in the museum. One of these manuscripts is alleged to be preserved till now in a Greek convent; and the person who narrated the tradition to us had seen it himself. He said that many more will see it and learn where to look for important documents, when a certain prophecy will be fulfilled; adding, that most of these works could be found in Tartary and India.* The monk showed us a copy of the original, which, of course, we could read but poorly, as we claim but little erudition in the matter of dead languages. But we were so particularly struck by the
————————————————————————————————————
*
An after-thought has made us fancy that we can understand what is meant by the following sentences of Moses of Chorenč: "The ancient Asiatics," says he, "five centuries before our era — and especially the Hindus, the Persians, and the Chaldeans, had in their possession a quantity of historical and scientific books. These works were partially borrowed, partially translated in the Greek language, mostly since the Ptolemies had established the Alexandrian library and encouraged the writers by their liberalities, so that the Greek language became the deposit of all the sciences" ("History of Armenia"). Therefore, the greater part of the literature included in the 700,000 volumes of the Alexandrian Library was due to India, and her next neighbors.


28                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

the vivid and picturesque translation of the holy father, that we perfectly remember some curious paragraphs, which run, as far as we can recall them, as follows: — "When the Queen of the Sun (Cleopatra) was brought back to the half-ruined city, after the fire had devoured the Glory of the World; and when she saw the mountains of books — or rolls — covering the half-consumed steps of the estrada; and when she perceived that the inside was gone and the indestructible covers alone remained, she wept in rage and fury, and cursed the meanness of her fathers who had grudged the cost of the real Pergamos for the inside as well as the outside of the precious rolls." Further, our author, Theodas, indulges in a joke at the expense of the queen for believing that nearly all the library was burned; when, in fact, hundreds and thousands of the choicest books were safely stored in his own house and those of other scribes, librarians, students, and philosophers.

       No more do sundry very learned Copts scattered all over the East in Asia Minor, Egypt, and Palestine believe in the total destruction of the subsequent libraries. For instance, they say that out of the library of Attalus III. of Pergamus, presented by Antony to Cleopatra, not a volume was destroyed. At that time, according to their assertions, from the moment that the Christians began to gain power in Alexandria — about the end of the fourth century — and Anatolius, Bishop of Laodicea, began to insult the national gods, the Pagan philosophers and learned theurgists adopted effective measures to preserve the repositories of their sacred learning. Theophilus, a bishop, who left behind him the reputation of a most rascally and mercenary villain, was accused by one named Antoninus, a famous theurgist and eminent scholar of occult science of Alexandria, with bribing the slaves of the Serapion to steal books which he sold to foreigners at great prices. History tells us how Theophilus had the best of the philosophers, in A.D. 389; and how his successor and nephew, the no less infamous Cyril, butchered Hypatia. Suidas gives us some details about Antoninus, whom he calls Antonius, and his eloquent friend Olympus, the defender of the Serapion. But history is far from being complete in the miserable remnants of books, which, crossing so many ages, have reached our own learned century; it fails to give the facts relating to the first five centuries of Christianity which are preserved in the numerous traditions current in the East. Unauthenticated as these may appear, there is unquestionably in the heap of chaff much good grain. That these traditions are not oftener communicated to Europeans is not strange, when we consider how apt our travellers are to render themselves antagonistic to the natives by their skeptical bearing and, occasionally, dogmatic intolerance. When exceptional men like some archęologists, who knew how to win the


29                                                                                                   THE HIDDEN LIBRARY AT ISHMONIA.

confidence and even friendship of certain Arabs, are favored with precious documents, it is declared simply a "coincidence." And yet there are widespread traditions of the existence of certain subterranean, and immense galleries, in the neighborhood of Ishmonia — the "petrified City," in which are stored numberless manuscripts and rolls. For no amount of money would the Arabs go near it. At night, they say, from the crevices of the desolate ruins, sunk deep in the unwatered sands of the desert, stream the rays from lights carried to and fro in the galleries by no human hands. The Afrites study the literature of the antediluvian ages, according to their belief, and the Djin learns from the magic rolls the lesson of the following day.

       The Encyclopedia Britannica, in its article on Alexandria, says: "When the temple of Serapis was demolished . . .the valuable library was pillaged or destroyed; and twenty years afterwards * the empty shelves excited the regret. . . etc." But it does not state the subsequent fate of the pillaged books.

       In rivalry of the fierce Mary-worshippers of the fourth century, the modern clerical persecutors of liberalism and "heresy" would willingly shut up all the heretics and their books in some modern Serapion and burn them alive. † The cause of this hatred is natural. Modern research has more than ever unveiled the secret. "Is not the worship of saints and angels now," said Bishop Newton, years ago, "in all respects the same that the worship of demons was in former times? The name only is different, the thing is identically the same . . . the very same temples, the very same images, which were once consecrated to Jupiter and the other demons, are now consecrated to the Virgin Mary and other saints . . . the whole of Paganism is converted and applied to Popery."

       Why not be impartial and add that "a good portion of it was adopted by Protestant religions also"?

       The very apostolic designation Peter is from the Mysteries. The hierophant or supreme pontiff bore the Chaldean title dtp Peter, or interpreter. The names Phtah, Peth'r, the residence of Balaam, Patara, and Patras, the names of oracle-cities, pateres or pateras and, perhaps,
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*
Bonamy says in "La Bibliotheque d'Alexandrie," quoting, we suppose, the Presbyter Orosius, who was an eye-witness, "thirty years later."

† Since the above was written, the spirit here described has been beautifully exemplified at Barcelona, Spain, where the Bishop Fray Joachim invited the local spiritualists to witness a formal burning of spiritual books. We find the account in a paper called "The Revelation," published at Alicante, which sensibly adds that the performance was "a caricature of the memorable epoch of the Inquisition."


30                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

Buddha,* all come from the same root. Jesus says: "Upon this petra I will build my Church, and the gates, or rulers of Hades, shall not prevail against it"; meaning by petra the rock-temple, and by metaphor, the Christian Mysteries; the adversaries to which were the old mystery-gods of the underworld, who were worshipped in the rites of Isis, Adonis, Atys, Sabazius, Dionysus, and the Eleusinia. No apostle Peter was ever at Rome; but the Pope, seizing the sceptre of the Pontifex Maximus, the keys of Janus and Kubelé, and adorning his Christian head with the cap of the Magna Mater, copied from that of the tiara of Brahmātma, the Supreme Pontiff of the Initiates of old India, became the successor of the Pagan high priest, the real Peter-Roma, or Petroma. †

        The Roman Catholic Church has two far mightier enemies than the "heretics" and the "infidels"; and these are — Comparative Mythology and Philology. When such eminent divines as the Rev. James Freeman Clarke go so much out of their way to prove to their readers that "Critical Theology from the time of Origen and Jerome . . . and the Controversial Theology during fifteen centuries, has not consisted in accepting on authority the opinions of other people," but has shown, on the contrary, much "acute and comprehensive reasoning," we can but regret that so much scholarship should have been wasted in attempting to prove that which a fair survey of the history of theology upsets at every step. In these "controversies" and critical treatment of the doctrines of the Church one can certainly find any amount of "acute reasoning," but far more of a still acuter sophistry.

       Recently the mass of cumulative evidence has been re-inforced to an extent which leaves little, if any, room for further controversy. A conclusive opinion is furnished by too many scholars to doubt the fact that India was the Alma-Mater, not only of the civilization, arts, and sciences, but also of all the great religions of antiquity; Judaism, and hence Christianity, included. Herder places the cradle of humanity in India, and shows Moses as a clever and relatively modern compiler of the ancient Brahmanical traditions: "The river which encircles the country (India) is the sacred Ganges, which all Asia considers as the paradisaical river. There, also, is the biblical Gihon, which is none else but the Indus. The Arabs call it so unto this day, and the names of the countries watered by it are yet existing among the Hindus." Jacolliot claims to have translated every ancient palm-leaf manuscript which he had the fortune of being allowed by the Brahmans of the pagodas to see. In one of his
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*
E. Pococke gives the variations of the name Buddha as: Bud'ha, Buddha, Booddha, Butta, Pout, Pote, Pto, Pte, Phte, Phtha, Phut, etc., etc. See "India in Greece," Note, Appendix, 397.

† The tiara of the Pope is also a perfect copy of that of the Dalai-Lama of Thibet.


31                                                                                            ORIGIN OF THE PAPAL TIARA AND KEYS.

translations, we found passages which reveal to us the undoubted origin of the keys of St. Peter, and account for the subsequent adoption of the symbol by their Holinesses, the Popes of Rome.

       He shows us, on the testimony of the Agrouchada Parikshai, which he freely translates as "the Book of Spirits" (Pitris), that centuries before our era the initiates of the temple chose a Superior Council, presided over by the Brahm-ātma or supreme chief of all these Initiates. That this pontificate, which could be exercised only by a Brahman who had reached the age of eighty years; * that the Brahm-ātma was sole guardian of the mystic formula, résumé of every science, contained in the three mysterious letters,

A

U           M

which signify creation, conservation, and transformation. He alone could expound its meaning in the presence of the initiates of the third and supreme degree. Whomsoever among these initiates revealed to a profane a single one of the truths, even the smallest of the secrets entrusted to his care, was put to death. He who received the confidence had to share his fate.

      "Finally, to crown this able system," says Jacolliot, "there existed a word still more superior to the mysterious monosyllable —
A U M
, and which rendered him who came into the possession of its key nearly the equal of Brahma himself. The Brahm-ātma alone possessed this key, and transmitted it in a sealed casket to his successor.

      "This unknown word, of which no human power could, even to-day, when the Brahmanical authority has been crushed under the Mongolian and European invasions, to-day, when each pagoda has its Brahm-ātma † force the disclosure, was engraved in a golden triangle and preserved in a sanctuary of the temple of Asgartha, whose Brahm-ātma alone held the keys. He also bore upon his tiara two crossed keys supported by two kneeling Brahmans, symbol of the precious deposit of which he had the keeping
. . . This word and this triangle were engraved upon the tablet of the ring that this religious chief wore as one of the signs of his dignity; it was also framed in a golden sun on the altar, where every morning the Supreme Pontiff offered the sacrifice of the sarvameda, or sacrifice to all the forces of nature." ‡
————————————————————————————————————
*
It is the traditional policy of the College of Cardinals to elect, whenever practicable, the new Pope among the oldest valetudinarians. The hierophant of the Eleusinia was likewise always an old man, and unmarried.

† This is not correct.                                        ‡ "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 28.


32                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

    Is this clear enough? And will the Catholics still maintain that it was the Brahmans of 4,000 years ago who copied the ritual, symbols, and dress of the Roman Pontiffs? We would not feel in the least surprised.

       Without going very far back into antiquity for comparisons, if we only stop at the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and contrast the so-called "heathenism" of the third Neo-platonic Eclectic School with the growing Christianity, the result may not be favorable to the latter. Even at that early period, when the new religion had hardly outlined its contradictory dogmas; when the champions of the bloodthirsty Cyril knew not themselves whether Mary was to become "the Mother of God," or rank as a "demon" in company with Isis; when the memory of the meek and lowly Jesus still lingered lovingly in every Christian heart, and his words of mercy and charity vibrated still in the air, even then the Christians were outdoing the Pagans in every kind of ferocity and religious intolerance.

       And if we look still farther back, and seek for examples of true Christism, in ages when Buddhism had hardly superseded Brahmanism in India, and the name of Jesus was only to be pronounced three centuries later, what do we find? Which of the holy pillars of the Church has ever elevated himself to the level of religious tolerance and noble simplicity of character of some heathen? Compare, for instance, the Hindu Asoka, who lived 300 B.C., and the Carthaginian St. Augustine, who flourished three centuries after Christ. According to Max Müller, this is what is found engraved on the rocks of Girnar, Dhauli, and Kapurdigiri:

       "Piyadasi, the king beloved of the gods, desires that the ascetics of all creeds might reside in all places. All these ascetics profess alike the command which people should exercise over themselves, and the purity of the soul. But people have different opinions and different inclinations."

       And here is what Augustine wrote after his baptism: "Wondrous depth of thy words! whose surface, behold! is before us, inviting to little ones; yet are they a wondrous depth, O my God, a wondrous depth! It is awful to look therein; yes . . . an awfulness of honor, and a trembling of love. Thy enemies [read Pagans] thereof I hate vehemently; Oh, that thou wouldst slay them with thy two-edged sword, that they might no longer be enemies to it; for so do I love to have them slain." *

       Wonderful spirit of Christianity; and that from a Manichean converted to the religion of one who even on his cross prayed for his enemies!
————————————————————————————————————
* Translated by Prof. Draper for "Conflict between Religion and Science"; book xii.


33                                                                                                                   THE ANCIENT OF DAYS.

       Who the enemies of the "Lord" were, according to the Christians, is not difficult to surmise; the few inside the Augustinian fold were His new children and favorites, who had supplanted in His affections the sons of Israel, His "chosen people." The rest of mankind were His natural foes. The teeming multitudes of heathendom were proper food for the flames of hell; the handful within the Church communion, "heirs of salvation."

       But if such a proscriptive policy was just, and its enforcement was "sweet savor" in the nostrils of the "Lord," why not scorn also the Pagan rites and philosophy? Why draw so deep from the wells of wisdom, dug and filled up to brim by the same heathen? Or did the fathers, in their desire to imitate the chosen people whose time-worn shoes they were trying to fit upon their feet, contemplate the reėnaction of the spoliation-scene of the Exodus? Did they propose, in fleeing from heathendom as the Jews did from Egypt, to carry off the valuables of its religious allegories, as the "chosen ones" did the gold and silver ornaments?

       It certainly does seem as if the events of the first centuries of Christianity were but the reflection of the images thrown upon the mirror of the future at the time of the Exodus. During the stormy days of Irenęus the Platonic philosophy, with its mystical submersion into Deity, was not so obnoxious after all to the new doctrine as to prevent the Christians from helping themselves to its abstruse metaphysics in every way and manner. Allying themselves with the ascetical therapeutę — forefathers and models of the Christian monks and hermits, it was in Alexandria, let it be remembered, that they laid the first foundations of the purely Platonic trinitarian doctrine. It became the Plato-Philonean doctrine later, and such as we find it now. Plato considered the divine nature under a three-fold modification of the First Cause, the reason or Logos, and the soul or spirit of the universe. "The three archial or original principles," says Gibbon,* "were represented in the Platonic system as three gods, united with each other by a mysterious and ineffable generation." Blending this transcendental idea with the more hypostatic figure of the Logos of Philo, whose doctrine was that of the oldest Kabala, and who viewed the King Messiah, as the metatron, or "the angel of the Lord," the Legatus descended in flesh, but not the Ancient of Days Himself; † the Christians clothed with this mythical representation of the Mediator for the fallen race of Adam, Jesus, the son of Mary. Under this unexpected garb his personality was all but lost. In the modern Jesus of the Christian Church, we find the ideal of the imaginative Irenęus, not the adept
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."

† "Sohar Comment.," Gen. A. 10; "Kabbal. Denud.," i., 528.


 34                                                                                                                            ISIS UNVEILED.

of the Essenes, the obscure reformer from Galilee. We see him under the disfigured Plato-Philonean mask, not as the disciples heard him on the mount.

      So far then the heathen philosophy had helped them in the building of the principal dogma. But when the theurgists of the third Neo-platonic school, deprived of their ancient Mysteries, strove to blend the doctrines of Plato with those of Aristotle, and by combining the two philosophies added to their theosophy the primeval doctrines of the Oriental Kabala, then the Christians from rivals became persecutors. Once that the metaphysical allegories of Plato were being prepared to be discussed in public in the form of Grecian dialectics, all the elaborate system of the Christian trinity would be unravelled and the divine prestige completely upset. The eclectic school, reversing the order, had adopted the inductive method; and this method became its death-knell. Of all things on earth, logic and reasonable explanations were the most hateful to the new religion of mystery; for they threatened to unveil the whole ground-work of the trinitarian conception; to apprise the multitude of the doctrine of emanations, and thus destroy the unity of the whole. It could not be permitted, and it was not. History records the Christ-like means that were resorted to.

       The universal doctrine of emanations, adopted from time immemorial by the greatest schools which taught the kabalistic, Alexandrian, and Oriental philosophers, gives the key to that panic among the Christian fathers. That spirit of Jesuitism and clerical craft, which prompted Parkhurst, many centuries later, to suppress in his Hebrew Lexicon the true meaning of the first word of Genesis, originated in those days of war against the expiring Neo-platonic and eclectic school. The fathers had decided to pervert the meaning of the word "daimon," * and they dreaded above all to have the esoteric and true meaning of the word Rasit unveiled to the multitudes; for if once the true sense of this sentence, as well as that of the Hebrew word asdt (translated in the Septuagint "angels," while it means emanations),† were understood rightly, the mystery of the Christian trinity would have crumbled, carrying in its downfall the new religion into the same heap of ruins with the ancient Mysteries. This is the true reason why dialecticians, as well as Aristotle himself, the "prying philosopher," were ever obnoxious to Christian theology. Even Luther, while on his work of reform, feeling the ground insecure under his feet, notwithstanding that the dogmas had
————————————————————————————————————

*
"The beings which the philosophers of other peoples distinguish by the name 'Dęmons,' Moses names 'Angels,' " says Philo Judęus.—"De Gigant," i. 253.

† Deuteronomy xxxiii. 2.,
tr X a is translated "fiery law" in the English Bible.


35                                                                                                             ORPHEAN VIEWS OF ETHER.

been reduced by him to their simplest expression, gave full vent to his fear and hatred for Aristotle. The amount of abuse he heaped upon the memory of the great logician can only be equalled — never surpassed — by the Pope's anathemas and invectives against the liberals of the Italian government. Compiled together, they might easily fill a copy of a new encyclopędia with models for monkish diatribes.

       Of course the Christian clergy can never get reconciled with a doctrine based on the application of strict logic to discursive reasoning? The number of those who have abandoned theology on this account has never been made known. They have asked questions and been forbidden to ask them; hence, separation, disgust, and often a despairing plunge into the abyss of atheism. The Orphean views of ether as chief medium between God and created matter were likewise denounced. The Orphic Ęther recalled too vividly the Archeus, the Soul of the World, and the latter was in its metaphysical sense as closely related to the emanations, being the first manifestation — Sephira, or Divine Light. And when could the latter be more feared than at that critical moment?

       Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, Chalcidius, Methodius, and Maimonides, on the authority of the Targum of Jerusalem, the orthodox and greatest authority of the Jews, held that the first two words in the book of Genesis — B-RASIT, mean Wisdom, or the Principle. And that the idea of these words meaning "in the beginning" was never shared but by the profane, who were not allowed to penetrate any deeper into the esoteric sense of the sentence. Beausobre, and after him Godfrey Higgins, have demonstrated the fact. "All things," says the Kabala, "are derived from one great Principle, and this principle is the unknown and invisible God. From Him a substantial power immediately proceeds, which is the image of God, and the source of all subsequent emanations. This second principle sends forth, by the energy (or will and force) of emanation, other natures, which are more or less perfect, according to their different degrees of distance, in the scale of emanation, from the First Source of existence, and which constitute different worlds, or orders of being, all united to the eternal power from which they proceed. Matter is nothing more than the most remote effect of the emanative energy of the Deity. The material world receives its form from the immediate agency of powers far beneath the First Source of Being * . . . Beausobref † makes St. Augustine the Manichean say thus: 'And if by Rasit we understand the active Principle of the creation, instead of its beginning, in such a case we will clearly perceive that Moses never meant to say
————————————————————————————————————
*
See Rees's "Encyclopędia," art. Kabala.

† "Histor. Manich.," Liv. vi., ch. i., p. 291.


36                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

that heaven and earth were the first works of God. He only said that God created heaven and earth through the Principle, who is His Son. It is not the time he points to, but to the immediate author of the creation.' Angels, according to Augustine, were created before the firmament, and according to the esoteric interpretation, the heaven and earth were created after that, evolving from the second Principle or the Logos — the creative Deity. "The word principle," says Beausobre, "does not mean that the heaven and earth were created before anything else, for, to begin with, the angels were created before that; but that God did everything through His Wisdom, which is His Verbum, and which the Christian Bible named the Beginning," thus adopting the exoteric meaning of the word abandoned to the multitudes. The Kabala — the Oriental as well as the Jewish — shows that a number of emanations (the Jewish Sephiroth) issued from the First Principle, the chief of which was Wisdom. This Wisdom is the Logos of Philo, and Michael, the chief of the Gnostic Eons; it is the Ormazd of the Persians; Minerva, goddess of wisdom, of the Greeks, who emanated from the head of Jupiter; and the second Person of the Christian Trinity. The early Fathers of the Church had not much to exert their imagination; they found a ready-made doctrine that had existed in every theogony for thousands of years before the Christian era. Their trinity is but the trio of Sephiroth, the first three kabalistic lights of which Moses Nachmanides says, that "they have never been seen by any one; there is not any defect in them, nor any disunion." The first eternal number is the Father, or the Chaldean primeval, invisible, and incomprehensible chaos, out of which proceeded the Intelligible one. The Egyptian Phtah, or "the Principle of Light — not the light itself, and the Principle of Life, though himself no life." The Wisdom by which the Father created the heavens is the Son, or the kabalistic androgynous Adam Kadmon. The Son is at once the male Ra, or Light of Wisdom, Prudence or Intelligence, Sephira, the female part of Himself; while from this dual being proceeds the third emanation, the Binah or Reason, the second Intelligence — the Holy Ghost of the Christians. Therefore, strictly speaking, there is a TETRAKTIS or quaternary, consisting of the Unintelligible First monad, and its triple emanation, which properly constitute our Trinity.

        How then avoid perceiving at once, that had not the Christians purposely disfigured in their interpretation and translation the Mosaic Genesis to fit their own views, their religion, with its present dogmas, would have been impossible? The word Rasit, once taught in its new sense of the Principle and not the Beginning, and the anathematized doctrine of emanations accepted, the position of the second trinitarian personage


37                                                                                                       THE FIRST EMANATION OF EN-SOPH.

becomes untenable. For, if the angels are the first divine emanations from the Divine Substance, and were in existence before the Second Principle, then the anthropomorphized Son is at best an emanation like themselves, and cannot be God hypostatically any more than our visible works are ourselves. That these metaphysical subtleties never entered into the head of the honest-minded, sincere Paul, is evident; as it is furthermore evident, that like all learned Jews he was well acquainted with the doctrine of emanations and never thought of corrupting it. How can any one imagine that Paul identified the Son with the Father, when he tells us that God made Jesus "a little lower than the angels" (Hebrews ii. 9), and a little higher than Moses! "For this MAN was counted worthy of more glory than Moses" (Hebrews iii. 3). Of whatever, or how many forgeries, interlined later in the Acts, the Fathers are guilty we know not; but that Paul never considered Christ more than a man "full of the Spirit of God" is but too evident: "In the arche was the Logos, and the Logos was adnate to the Theos."

       Wisdom, the first emanation of En-Soph; the Protogonos, the Hypostasis; the Adam Kadmon of the kabalist, the Brahma of the Hindu; the Logos of Plato, and the "Beginning" of St. John — is the Rasit — tyXar , of the Book of Genesis. If rightly interpreted it overturns, as we have remarked, the whole elaborate system of Christian theology, for it proves that behind the creative Deity, there was a HIGHER god; a planner, an architect; and that the former was but His executive agent — a simple POWER!

       They persecuted the Gnostics, murdered the philosophers, and burned the kabalists and the masons; and when the day of the great reckoning arrives, and the light shines in darkness, what will they have to offer in the place of the departed, expired religion? What will they answer, these pretended monotheists, these worshippers and pseudo-servants of the one living God, to their Creator? How will they account for this long persecution of them who were the true followers of the grand Megalistor, the supreme great master of the Rosicrucians, the FIRST of masons. "For he is the Builder and Architect of the Temple of the universe; He is the Verbum Sapienti." *

       "Every one knows," wrote the great Manichean of the third century, Fauste, "that the Evangeliums were written neither by Jesus Christ,
————————————————————————————————————
*
"The altogether mystical coloring of Christianity harmonized with the Essene rules of life and opinions, and it is not improbable that Jesus and John the Baptist were initiated into the Essene Mysteries, to which Christianity may be indebted for many a form of expression; as indeed the community of Therapeutę, an offspring of the Essene order, soon belonged wholly to Christianity" ("Yost," i., 411 — quoted by the author of "Sod, the Son of the Man").


38                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

nor his apostles, but long after their time by some unknown persons, who, judging well that they would hardly be believed when telling of things they had not seen themselves, headed their narratives with the names of the apostles or of disciples contemporaneous with the latter."

       Commenting upon the subject, A. Franck, the learned Hebrew scholar of the Institute and translator of the Kabala, expresses the same idea. "Are we not authorized," he asks, "to view the Kabala as a precious remnant of religious philosophy of the Orient, which, transported into Alexandria, got mixed to the doctrine of Plato, and under the usurped name of Dionysius the Areopagite, bishop of Athens, converted and consecrated by St. Paul, was thus enabled to penetrate into the mysticism of the medięval ages?" *

       Says Jacolliot: "What is then this religious philosophy of the Orient, which has penetrated into the mystic symbolism of Christianity? We answer: This philosophy, the traces of which we find among the Magians, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Hebrew kabalists and the Christians, is none other than that of the Hindu Brahmans, the sectarians of the pitris, or the spirits of the invisible worlds which surround us." †

       But if the Gnostics were destroyed, the Gnosis, based on the secret science of sciences, still lives. It is the earth which helps the woman, and which is destined to open her mouth to swallow up medięval Christianity, the usurper and assassin of the great master's doctrine. The ancient Kabala, the Gnosis, or traditional secret knowledge, was never without its representatives in any age or country. The trinities of initiates, whether passed into history or concealed under the impenetrable veil of mystery, are preserved and impressed throughout the ages. They are known as Moses, Aholiab, and Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, as Plato, Philo, and Pythagoras, etc. At the Transfiguration we see them as Jesus, Moses, and Elias, the three Trismegisti; and three kabalists, Peter, James, and John — whose revelation is the key to all wisdom. We found them in the twilight of Jewish history as Zoroaster, Abraham, and Terah, and later as Henoch, Ezekiel, and Daniel.

       Who, of those who ever studied the ancient philosophies, who understand intuitionally the grandeur of their conceptions, the boundless sublimity of their views of the Unknown Deity, can hesitate for a moment to give the preference to their doctrines over the incomprehensible dogmatic and contradictory theology of the hundreds of Christian sects? Who that ever read Plato and fathomed his To On , "whom no person has seen except the Son," can doubt that Jesus was a disciple of the same
————————————————————————————————————
*
A. Franck: "Die Kabbala."

† "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde."


 39                                                                                                             PLATO'S PRUDENT RESERVE.

secret doctrine which had instructed the great philosopher? For, as we have shown before now, Plato never claimed to be the inventor of all that he wrote, but gave credit for it to Pythagoras, who, in his turn, pointed to the remote East as the source whence he derived his information and his philosophy. Colebrooke shows that Plato confesses it in his epistles, and says that he has taken his teachings from ancient and sacred doctrines! * Moreover, it is undeniable that the theologies of all the great nations dovetail together and show that each is a part of "one stupendous whole." Like the rest of the initiates we see Plato taking great pains to conceal the true meaning of his allegories. Every time the subject touches the greater secrets of the Oriental Kabala, secret of the true cosmogony of the universe and of the ideal, preėxisting world, Plato shrouds his philosophy in the profoundest darkness. His Timęus is so confused that no one but an initiate can understand the secret meaning. And Mosheim thinks that Philo has filled his works with passages directly contradicting each other for the sole purpose of concealing the true doctrine. For once we see a critic on the right track.

       And this very trinitarian idea, as well as the so bitterly denounced doctrine of emanations, whence their remotest origin? The answer is easy, and every proof is now at hand. In the sublime and profoundest of all philosophies, that of the universal "Wisdom-Religion," the first traces of which, historical research now finds in the old pre-Vedic religion of India. As the much-abused Jacolliot well remarks, "It is not in the religious works of antiquity, such as the Vedas, the Zend Avesta, the Bible, that we have to search for the exact expression of the ennobling and sublime beliefs of those epochs." †

       "The holy primitive syllable, composed of the three letters A — U — M., in which is contained the Vedic Trimurti (Trinity), must be kept secret, like another triple Veda," says Manu, in book xi., sloka 265.

       Swayambhouva is the unrevealed Deity; it is the Being existent through and of itself; he is the central and immortal germ of all that exists in the universe. Three trinities emanate and are confounded in him, forming a Supreme unity. These trinities, or the triple Trimurti, are: the Nara, Nari, and Viradyi — the initial triad; the Agni, Vaya, and Sourya — the manifested triad; Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, the creative triad. Each of these triads becomes less metaphysical and more adapted to the vulgar intelligence as it descends. Thus the last becomes but the symbol in its concrete expression; the necessarianism of a purely meta-
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Asiat. Trans.," i., p. 579.

† Louis Jacolliot: "The Initiates of the Ancient Temples."


 40                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

physical conception. Together with Swayambhouva, they are the ten Sephiroth of the Hebrew kabalists, the ten Hindu Prajapatis — the En-Soph of the former, answering to the great Unknown, expressed by the mystic A U M of the latter.

          Says Franck, the translator of the Kabala:

        "The ten Sephiroth are divided into three classes, each of them presenting to us the divinity under a different aspect, the whole still remaining an indivisible Trinity.

        "The first three Sephiroth are purely intellectual in metaphysics, they express the absolute identity of existence and thought, and form what the modern kabalists called the intelligible world — which is the first manifestation of God.

        "The three that follow, make us conceive God in one of their aspects, as the identity of goodness and wisdom; in the other they show to us, in the Supreme good, the origin of beauty and magnificence (in the creation). Therefore, they are named the virtues, or the sensible world.

        "Finally, we learn, by the last three Sephiroth, that the Universal Providence, that the Supreme artist is also absolute Force, the all-powerful cause, and that, at the same time, this cause is the generative element of all that is. It is these last Sephiroth that constitute the natural world, or nature in its essence and in its active principle. Natura naturans." *

        This kabalistic conception is thus proved identical with that of the Hindu philosophy. Whoever reads Plato and his Dialogue Timęus, will find these ideas as faithfully re-echoed by the Greek philosopher. Moreover, the injunction of secrecy was as strict with the kabalists, as with the initiates of the Adyta and the Hindu Yogis.

        "Close thy mouth, lest thou shouldst speak of this (the mystery), and thy heart, lest thou shouldst think aloud; and if thy heart has escaped thee, bring it back to its place, for such is the object of our alliance" (Sepher Jezireh, Book of Creation).

        "This is a secret which gives death: close thy mouth lest thou shouldst reveal to the vulgar; compress thy brain lest something should escape from it and fall outside" (Agrouchada-Parikshai).

         Truly the fate of many a future generation hung on a gossamer thread, in the days of the third and fourth centuries. Had not the Emperor sent in 389 to Alexandria a rescript — which was forced from him by the Christians — for the destruction of every idol, our own century would never have had a Christian mythological Pantheon of its own. Never
————————————————————————————————————
*
Franck: "Die Kabbala."


41                                                                                                 MARY-VIRGIN ONLY ISIS RECHRISTENED.

did the Neo-platonic school reach such a height of philosophy as when nearest its end. Uniting the mystic theosophy of old Egypt with the refined philosophy of the Greeks; nearer to the ancient Mysteries of Thebes and Memphis than they had been for centuries; versed in the science of soothsaying and divination, as in the art of the Therapeutists; friendly with the acutest men of the Jewish nation, who were deeply imbued with the Zoroastrian ideas, the Neo-platonists tended to amalgamate the old wisdom of the Oriental Kabala with the more refined conceptions of the Occidental Theosophists. Notwithstanding the treason of the Christians, who saw fit, for political reasons, after the days of Constantine, to repudiate their tutors, the influence of the new Platonic philosophy is conspicuous in the subsequent adoption of dogmas, the origin of which can be traced but too easily to that remarkable school. Though mutilated and disfigured, they still preserve a strong family likeness, which nothing can obliterate.

       But, if the knowledge of the occult powers of nature opens the spiritual sight of man, enlarges his intellectual faculties, and leads him unerringly to a profounder veneration for the Creator, on the other hand ignorance, dogmatic narrow-mindedness, and a childish fear of looking to the bottom of things, invariably leads to fetish-worship and superstition.

       When Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria, had openly embraced the cause of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, and had anthropomorphized her into Mary, the mother of God; and the trinitarian controversy had taken place; from that moment the Egyptian doctrine of the emanation of the creative God out of Emepht began to be tortured in a thousand ways, until the Councils had agreed upon the adoption of it as it now stands — the disfigured Ternary of the kabalistic Solomon and Philo! But as its origin was yet too evident, the Word was no longer called the "Heavenly man," the primal Adam Kadmon, but became the Logos — Christ, and was made as old as the "Ancient of the Ancient," his father. The concealed  WISDOM became identical with its emanation, the DIVINE THOUGHT, and made to be regarded coėqual and coėternal with its first manifestation.

        If we now stop to consider another of the fundamental dogmas of Christianity, the doctrine of atonement, we may trace it as easily back to heathendom. This corner-stone of a Church which had believed herself built on a firm rock for long centuries, is now excavated by science and proved to come from the Gnostics. Professor Draper shows it as hardly known in the days of Tertullian, and as having "originated among the Gnostic heretics." * We will not permit ourselves to contradict such a
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*
See "Conflict between Religion and Science," p. 224.


42                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

learned authority, farther than to state that it originated among them no more than their "anointed" Christos and Sophia. The former they modelled on the original of the "King Messiah," the male principle of wisdom, and the latter on the third Sephiroth, from the Chaldean Kabala,* and even from the Hindu Brahma and Sara-asvati, † and the Pagan Dionysus and Demeter. And here we are on firm ground, if it were only because it is now proved that the New Testament never appeared in its complete form, such as we find it now, till 300 years after the period of apostles, ‡ and the Sohar and other kabalistic books are found to belong to the first century before our era, if not to be far older still.

       The Gnostics entertained many of the Essenean ideas; and the Essenes had their "greater" and "minor" Mysteries at least two centuries before our era. They were the Isarim or Initiates, the descendants of the Egyptian hierophants, in whose country they had been settled for several centuries before they were converted to Buddhistic monasticism by the missionaries of King Asoka, and amalgamated later with the earliest Christians; and they existed, probably, before the old Egyptian temples were desecrated and ruined in the incessant invasions of Persians, Greeks, and other conquering hordes. The hierophants had their atonement enacted in the Mystery of Initiation ages before the Gnostics, or even the Essenes, had appeared. It was known among hierophants as the BAPTISM OF BLOOD, and was considered not as an atonement for the "fall of man" in Eden, but simply as an expiation for the past, present, and future sins of ignorant but nevertheless polluted mankind. The hierophant had the option of either offering his pure and sinless life as a sacrifice for his race to the gods whom he hoped to rejoin, or an animal victim. The former depended entirely on their own will. At the last moment of the solemn "new birth," the initiator passed "the word" to the initiated, and immediately after that the latter had a weapon placed in his right hand, and was ordered to strike.§ This is the true origin of the Christian dogma of atonement.
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*
See "Sohar"; "Kab. Den."; "The Book of Mystery," the oldest book of the kabalists; and Milman: "History of Christianity," pp. 212, 213-215.

† Milman: "History of Christianity," p. 280. The Kurios and Kora are mentioned repeatedly in "Justin Martyr." See p. 97.

‡ See Olshausen: "Biblischer Commentar uber sammtliche Schriften des Neuen Testaments," ii.

§ There is a wide-spread superstition (?), especially among the Slavonians and Russians, that the magician or wizard cannot die before he has passed the "word" to a successor. So deeply is it rooted among the popular beliefs, that we do not imagine there is a person in Russia who has not heard of it. It is but too easy to trace the origin of this superstition to the old Mysteries which had been for ages spread all over  the globe. The ancient Variago-Rouss had his Mysteries in the North as well as in the South of Russia; and there are many relics of the by-gone faith scattered in the lands watered by the sacred Dnieper, the baptismal Jordan of all Russia. No Znachar (the knowing one) or Koldoun (sorcerer), male or female, can die in fact before he has passed the mysterious word to some one. The popular belief is that unless he does that he will linger and suffer for weeks and months, and were he even finally to get liberated, it would be only to wander on earth, unable to quit its region unless he finds a successor even after death. How far the belief may be verified by others, we do not know, but we have seen a case which, for its tragical and mysterious denoument, deserves to be given here as an illustration of the subject in hand. An old man, of over one hundred years of age, a peasant-serf in the government of S——, having a wide reputation as a sorcerer and healer, was said to be dying for several days, and still unable to die. The report spread like lightning, and the poor old fellow was shunned by even the members of his own family, as the latter were afraid of receiving the unwelcome inheritance. At last the public rumor in the village was that he had sent a message to a colleague less versed than himself in the art, and who, although he lived in a distant district, was nevertheless coming at the call, and would be on hand early on the following morning. There was at that time on a visit to the proprietor of the village a young physician who, belonging to the famous school of Nihilism of that day, laughed outrageously at the idea. The master of the house, being a very pious man, and but half inclined to make so cheap of the "superstition," smiled — as the saying goes — but with one corner of his mouth. Meanwhile the young skeptic, to gratify his curiosity, had made a visit to the dying man, had found that he could not live twenty-four hours longer, and, determined to prove the absurdity of the "superstition," had taken means to detain the coming "successor" at a neighboring village.
       Early in the morning a company of four persons, comprising the physician, the master of the place, his daughter, and the writer of the present lines, went to the but in which was to be achieved the triumph of skepticism. The dying man was expecting his liberator every moment, and his agony at the delay became extreme. We tried to persuade the physician to humor the patient, were it for humanity's sake. He only laughed. Getting hold with one hand of the old wizard's pulse, he took out his watch with the other, and remarking in French that all would be over in a few moments, remained absorbed in his professional experiment. The scene was solemn and appalling. Suddenly the door opened, and a young boy entered with the intelligence, addressed to the doctor, that the koum was lying dead drunk at a neighboring village, and, according to his orders, could not be with "grandfather" till the next day. The young doctor felt confused, and was just going to address the old man, when, as quick as lightning, the Znachar snatched his hand from his grasp and raised himself in bed. His deep-sunken eyes flashed; his yellow-white beard and hair streaming round his livid face made him a dreadful sight. One instant more, and his long, sinewy arms were clasped round the physician's neck, as with a supernatural force he drew the doctor's head closer and closer to his own face, where he held him as in a vise, while whispering words inaudible to us in his ear. The skeptic struggled to free himself, but before he had time to make one effective motion the work had evidently been done; the hands relaxed their grasp, and the old sorcerer fell on his back — a corpse! A strange and ghostly smile had settled on the stony lips — a smile of fiendish triumph and satisfied revenge; but the doctor looked paler and more ghastly than the dead man himself. He stared round with an expression of terror difficult to describe, and without answering our inquiries rushed out wildly from the hut, in the direction of the woods. Messengers were sent after him, but he was nowhere to be found. About sunset a report was heard in the forest. An hour later his body was brought home, with a bullet through his head, for the skeptic had blown out his brains!
     What made him commit suicide? What magic spell of sorcery had the "word" of the dying wizard left on his mind? Who can tell?


 43                                                                                          THE SORCERER'S TERRIFYING DEATH-BED.

       Verily the "Christs" of the pre-Christian ages were many. But they died unknown to the world, and disappeared as silently and as mysteriously from the sight of man as Moses from the top of Pisgah, the mountain of Nebo (oracular wisdom), after he had laid his hands upon Joshua, who thus became "full of the spirit of wisdom" (i.e., initiated).

       Nor does the Mystery of the Eucharist pertain to Christians alone. Godfrey Higgins proves that it was instituted many hundreds of years before the "Paschal Supper," and says that "the sacrifice of bread and


44                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

wine was common to many ancient nations." * Cicero mentions it in his works, and wonders at the strangeness of the rite. There had been an esoteric meaning attached to it from the first establishment of the Mysteries, and the Eucharistia is one of the oldest rites of antiquity. With the hierophants it had nearly the same significance as with the Christians. Ceres was bread, and Bacchus was wine; the former meaning regeneration of life from the seed, and the latter — the grape — the emblem of wisdom and knowledge; the accumulation of the spirit of things, and the fermentation and subsequent strength of that esoteric knowledge being justly symbolized by wine. The mystery related to the drama of Eden; it is said to have been first taught by Janus, who was also the first to introduce in the temples the sacrifices of "bread" and "wine" in commemoration of the "fall into generation" as the symbol of the "seed." "I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman," says Jesus, alluding to the secret knowledge that could be imparted by him. "I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God."

       The festival of the Eleusinian Mysteries began in the month of Boėdromion, which corresponds with the month of September, the time of grape-gathering, and lasted from the 15th to the 22d of the month, seven days. † The Hebrew festival of the Feast of Tabernacles began on the 15th and ended on the 22d of the month of Ethanim, which Dunlap shows as derived from Adonim, Adonia, Attenim, Ethanim; ‡ and this feast is named in Exodus (xxiii. 16) the feast of ingatherings. "All the men of Israel assembled unto King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh." §

       Plutarch thinks the feast of the booths to be the Bacchic rites, not the
————————————————————————————————————
* "Anacalypsis"; also Tertullian.                 † "Anthon," art. Eleusinia.

‡ Dunlap: "Musah, His Mysteries," p. 71.                    § Kings, viii. 2.


45                                                                                                              THE HEBREW KADESHIM.

the Eleusinian. Thus "Bacchus was directly called upon," he says. The Sabazian worship was Sabbatic; the names Evius, or Hevius, and Luaios are identical with Hivite and Levite. The French name Louis is the Hebrew Levi; Iacchus again is Iao or Jehovah; and Baal or Adon, like Bacchus, was a phallic god. "Who shall ascend into the hill (the high place) of the Lord?" asks the holy king David, "who shall stand in the place of his Kadushu w Xr q "? (Psalms xxiv. 3). Kadesh may mean in one sense to devote, hallow, sanctify, and even to initiate or to set apart; but it also means the ministers of lascivious rites (the Venus-worship) and the true interpretation of the word Kadesh is bluntly rendered in Deuteronomy xxiii. 17; Hosea iv. 14; and Genesis xxxviii., from verses 15 to 22. The "holy" Kadeshuth of the Bible were identical as to the duties of their office with the Nautch-girls of the later Hindu pagodas. The Hebrew Kadeshim or galli lived "by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove," or bust of Venus-Astarte, says verse the seventh in the twenty-third chapter of 2 Kings.

       The dance performed by David round the ark was the "circle-dance" said to have been prescribed by the Amazons for the Mysteries. Such was the dance of the daughters of Shiloh (Judges xxi. 21, 23 et passim), and the leaping of the prophets of Baal (I Kings xviii. 26). It was simply a characteristic of the Sabean worship, for it denoted the motion of the planets round the sun. That the dance was a Bacchic frenzy is apparent. Sistra were used on the occasion, and the taunt of Michael and the king's reply are very expressive. "The king of Israel uncovered himself before his maid-servants as one of the vain (or debauched) fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself." And he retorts: "I will play (act wantonly) before hyhy , and I will be yet more vile than this, and I will be base in my own sight." When we remember that David had sojourned among the Tyrians and Philistines, where their rites were common; and that indeed he had conquered that land away from the house of Saul, by the aid of mercenaries from their country, the countenancing and even, perhaps, the introduction of such a Pagan-like worship by the weak "psalmist" seems very natural. David knew nothing of Moses, it seems, and if he introduced the Jehovah-worship it was not in its monotheistic character, but simply as that of one of the many gods of the neighboring nations — a tutelary deity to whom he had given the preference, and chosen among "all other gods."

       Following the Christian dogmas seriatim, if we concentrate our attention upon one which provoked the fiercest battles until its recognition, that of the Trinity, what do we find? We meet it, as we have shown, northeast of the Indus; and tracing it to Asia Minor and Europe, recognize it among every people who had anything like an established re-

 
46                                                                                                                             ISIS UNVEILED.

ligion. It was taught in the oldest Chaldean, Egyptian, and Mithraitic schools. The Chaldean Sun-god, Mithra, was called "Triple," and the trinitarian idea of the Chaldeans was a doctrine of the Akkadians, who, themselves, belonged to a race which was the first to conceive a metaphysical trinity. The Chaldeans are a tribe of the Akkadians, according to Rawlinson, who lived in Babylonia from the earliest times. They were Turanians, according to others, and instructed the Babylonians into the first notions of religion. But these same Akkadians, who were they? Those scientists who would ascribe to them a Turanian origin, make of them the inventors of the cuneiform characters; others call them Sumerians; others again, respectively, make their language, of which (for very good reasons) no traces whatever remain — Kasdean, Chaldaic, Proto-Chaldean, Kasdo-Scythic, and so on. The only tradition worthy of credence is that these Akkadians instructed the Babylonians in the Mysteries, and taught them the sacerdotal or Mystery-language. These Akkadians were then simply a tribe of the Hindu-Brahmans, now called Aryans — their vernacular language, the Sanscrit * of the Vedas; and the sacred or Mystery-language, that which, even in our own age, is used by the Hindu fakirs and initiated Brahmans in their magical evocations.† It has been, from time immemorial, and still is employed by the initiates of all countries, and the Thibetan lamas claim that it is in this tongue that appear the mysterious characters on the leaves and bark of the sacred Koumboum.

       Jacolliot, who took such pains to penetrate the mysteries of the Brahmanical initiation in translating and commenting upon the Agrouchada-Parikshai, confesses the following:

       "It is pretended also, without our being able to verify the assertion, that the magical evocations were pronounced in a particular language, and that it was forbidden, under pain of death, to translate them into vulgar dialects. The rare expressions that we have been able to catch like — L'rhom, h'hom, sh'hrum, sho'rhim, are in fact most curious, and do not seem to belong to any known idiom." ‡

       Those who have seen a fakir or a lama reciting his mantras and con-
————————————————————————————————————
*
Let us remember in this connection that Col. Vans Kennedy has long ago declared his opinion that Babylonia was once the seat of the Sanscrit language and of Brahmanical influence.

† " 'The Agrouchada-Parikshai,' which discloses, to a certain extent, the order of initiation, does not give the formula of evocation," says Jacolliot, and he adds that, according to some Brahmans, "these formulę were never written, they were and still are imparted in a whisper in the ear of the adepts" ("mouth to ear, and the word at low breath," say the Masons). — "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 108.

‡ "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 108.


 47                                                                                     IS  JACOLLIOT  AN  UNMITIGATED  HUMBUG?

jurations, know that he never pronounces the words audibly when preparing for a phenomenon. His lips move, and none will ever hear the terrible formula pronounced, except in the interior of the temples, and then in a cautious whisper. This, then, was the language now respectively baptized by every scientist, and, according to his imaginative and philological propensities, Kasdeo-Semitic, Scythic, Proto-Chaldean, and the like.

       Scarcely two of even the most learned Sanscrit philologists are agreed as to the true interpretation of Vedic words. Let one put forth an essay, a lecture, a treatise, a translation, a dictionary, and straightway all the others fall to quarrelling with each other and with him as to his sins of omission and commission. Professor Whitney, greatest of American Orientalists, says that Professor Müller's notes on the Rig Veda Sānhita "are far from showing that sound and thoughtful judgment, that moderation and economy which are among the most precious qualities of an exegete." Professor Müller angrily retorts upon his critics that "not only is the joy embittered which is the inherent reward of all bona fide work, but selfishness, malignity, aye, even untruthfulness, gain the upper hand, and the healthy growth of science is stunted." He differs "in many cases from the explanations of Vedic words given by Professor Roth" in his Sanscrit Dictionary, and Professor Whitney shampooes both their heads by saying that there are, unquestionably, words and phrases "as to which both alike will hereafter be set right."

       In volume i. of his Chips, Professor Müller stigmatizes all the Vedas except the Rik, the Atharva-Veda included, as "theological twaddle," while Professor Whitney regards the latter as "the most comprehensive and valuable of the four collections, next after the Rik." To return to the case of Jacolliot. Professor Whitney brands him as a "bungler and a humbug," and, as we remarked above, this is the very general verdict. But when the Bible dans l'Inde appeared, the Societe Academique de Saint Quentin requested M. Textor de Ravisi, a learned Indianist, ten years Governor of Karikal, India, to report upon its merits. He was an ardent Catholic, and bitterly opposed Jacolliot's conclusions where they discredited the Mosaic and Catholic revelations; but he was forced to say: "Written with good faith, in an easy, vigorous, and passionate style, of an easy and varied argumentation, the work of M. Jacolliot is of absorbing interest . . . a learned work on known facts and with familiar arguments."

       Enough. Let Jacolliot have the benefit of the doubt when such very imposing authorities are doing their best to show up each other as incompetents and literary journeymen. We quite agree with Professor Whitney that "the truism, that [for European critics?] it is far easier to


48                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

pull to pieces than to build up, is nowhere truer than in matters affecting the archęology and history of India." *

       Babylonia happened to be situated on the way of the great stream of the earliest Hindu emigration, and the Babylonians were one of the first peoples benefited thereby. † These Khaldi were the worshippers of the Moon-god, Deus Lunus, from which fact we may infer that the Akkadians — if such must be their name — belonged to the race of the Kings of the Moon, whom tradition shows as having reigned in Pruyay — now Allahabad. With them the trinity of Deus Lunus was manifested in the three lunar phases, completing the quaternary with the fourth, and typifying the death of the Moon-god in its gradual waning and final disappearance. This death was allegorized by them, and attributed to the triumph of the genius of evil over the light-giving deity; as the later nations allegorized the death of their Sun-gods, Osiris and Apollo, at the hands of Typhon and the great Dragon Python, when the sun entered the winter solstice. Babel, Arach, and Akkad are names of the sun. The Zoroastrian Oracles are full and explicit upon the subject of the Divine Triad. "A triad of Deity shines forth throughout the whole world, of which a Monad is the head," admits the Reverend Dr. Maurice.

      "For from this Triad, in the bosoms, are all things governed," says a Chaldean oracle. The Phos, Pur, and Phlox, of Sanchoniathon, ‡ are Light, Fire, and Flame, three manifestations of the Sun who is one. Bel-Saturn, Jupiter-Bel, and Bel or Baal-Chom are the Chaldean trinity; § "The Babylonian Bel was regarded in the Triune aspect of Belitan, Zeus-Belus (the mediator) and Baal-Chom who is Apollo Chomęus. This was the Triune aspect of the 'Highest God,' who is, according to Berosus, either El (the Hebrew), Bel, Belitan, Mithra, or Zervana, and has the name pathr , "the Father." ∫∫ The Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, corresponding to Power, Wisdom, and Justice, which answer in their turn
——————————————————————————————————
*
W. D. Whitney: "Oriental and Linguistic Studies, The Veda, etc."

† Jacolliot seems to have very logically demonstrated the absurd contradictions of some philologists, anthropologists, and Orientalists, in regard to their Akkado and Semito mania. "There is not, perhaps, much of good faith in their negations," he writes. "The scientists who invent Turanian peoples know very well that in Manu alone, there is more of veritable science and philosophy than in all that this pretended Semitism has hitherto furnished us with; but they are the slaves of a path which some of them are following the last fifteen, twenty, or even thirty years. . . . We expect, therefore, nothing of the present. India will owe its reconstitution to the scientists of the next generation" ("La Genese de l'Humanité," pp. 60-61).

‡ Cory: "Anc. Frag."              § Movers: "Phoinizer," 263.

∫∫  Dunlap: "Sp. Hist. of Man," p. 281.

Siva is not a god of the Vedas, strictly speaking. When the Vedas were written, he held the rank of Maha-Deva or Bel among the gods of aboriginal India.


49                                                                                                   THE TRINITIES OF VARIOUS RELIGIONS.

to Spirit, Matter, Time, and the Past, Present, and Future, can be found in the temple of Gharipuri; thousands of dogmatic Brahmans worship these attributes of the Vedic Deity, while the severe monks and nuns of Buddhistic Thibet recognize but the sacred trinity of the three cardinal virtues: Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, professed by the Christians, practiced by the Buddhists and some Hindus alone.

       The Persian triplicate Deity also consists of three persons, Ormazd, Mithra, and Ahriman. "That is that principle," says Porphyry, * "which the author of the Chaldaic Summary saith, 'They conceive there is one principle of all things, and declare that is one and good.' " The Chinese idol Sanpao, consists of three equal in all respects; † and the Peruvians "supposed their Tanga-tanga to be one in three, and three in one," says Faben. ‡ The Egyptians have their Emepht, Eicton, and Phta; and the triple god seated on the Lotos can be seen in the St. Petersburg Museum, on a medal of the Northern Tartars.

       Among the Church dogmas which have most seriously suffered of late at the hands of the Orientalists, the last in question stands conspicuous. The reputation of each of the three personages of the anthropomorphic godhead as an original revelation to the Christians through Divine will, has been badly compromised by inquiry into its predecessors and origin. Orientalists have published more about the similarity between Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Christianity than was strictly agreeable to the Vatican. Draper's assertion that "Paganism was modified by Christianity, Christianity by Paganism," § is being daily verified. "Olympus was restored but the divinities passed under other names," he says, treating of the Constantine period. "The more powerful provinces insisted on the adoption of their time-honored conceptions. Views of the trinity in accordance with the Egyptian traditions were established. Not only was the adoration of Isis under a new name restored, but even her image, standing on the crescent moon, reappeared. The well-known effigy of that goddess with the infant Horus in her arms has descended to our days, in the beautiful artistic creations of the Madonna and child."

       But a still earlier origin than the Egyptian and Chaldean can be assigned to the Virgin "Mother of God," Queen of Heaven. Though
————————————————————————————————————
*
"De Antro Nympharum."

† "Navarette," book ii., c. x.

‡ "On the Origin of Heathen Idolatry."

§ Isis and Osiris are said, in the Egyptian sacred books, to have appeared (i.e., been worshipped), on earth, later than Thot, the first Hermes, called Trismegistus, who wrote all their sacred books according to the command of God or by "divine revelation." The companion and instructor of Isis and Osiris was Thot, or Hermes II., who was an incarnation of the celestial Hermes.


50                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

Isis is also by right the Queen of Heaven, and is generally represented carrying in her hand the Crux Ansata composed of the mundane cross, and of the Stauros of the Gnostics, she is a great deal younger than the celestial virgin, Neith. In one of the tombs of the Pharaohs — Rhameses, in the valley of Biban-el-Molouk, in Thebes, Champollion, Junior, discovered a picture, according to his opinion the most ancient ever yet found. It represents the heavens symbolized by the figure of a woman bedecked with stars. The birth of the Sun is figured by the form of a little child, issuing from the bosom of its "Divine Mother."

        In the Book of Hermes, "Pimander" is enunciated in distinct and unequivocal sentences, the whole trinitarian dogma accepted by the Christians. "The light is me," says Pimander, the DIVINE THOUGHT. "I am the nous or intelligence, and I am thy god, and I am far older than the human principle which escapes from the shadow. I am the germ of thought, the resplendent WORD, the SON of God. Think that what thus sees and hears in thee, is the Verbum of the Master, it is the Thought, which is God the Father. . . . The celestial ocean, the ĘTHER, which flows from east to west, is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving Principle, the HOLY GHOST!" "For they are not at all separated and their union is LIFE."

        Ancient as may be the origin of Hermes, lost in the unknown days of Egyptian colonization, there is yet a far older prophecy, directly relating to the Hindu Christna, according to the Brahmans. It is, to say the least, strange that the Christians claim to base their religion upon a prophecy of the Bible, which exists nowhere in that book. In what chapter or verse does Jehovah, the "Lord God," promise Adam and Eve to send them a Redeemer who will save humanity? "I will put enmity between thee and the woman," says the Lord God to the serpent, "and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

        In these words there is not the slightest allusion to a Redeemer, and the subtilest of intellects could not extract from them, as they stand in the third chapter of Genesis, anything like that which the Christians have contrived to find. On the other hand, in the traditions and Manu, Brahma promises directly to the first couple to send them a Saviour who will teach them the way to salvation.

        "It is from the lips of a messenger of Brahma, who will be born in Kuroukshetra, Matsya, and the land of Pantchola, also called Kanya-Cubja (mountain of the Virgin), that all men on earth will learn their duty," says Manu (book ii., slokas 19 and 20).

        The Mexicans call the Father of their Trinity Yzona, the Son Bacab, and the Holy Ghost Echvah, "and say they received it (the doctrine)

 
51                                                                               PAGAN RITES AND DOGMAS ADOPTED BY CHRISTIANS.

from their ancestors." * Among the Semitic nations we can trace the trinity to the prehistorical days of the fabled Sesostris, who is identified by more than one critic with Nimrod, "the mighty hunter." Manetho makes the oracle rebuke the king, when the latter asks, "Tell me, O thou strong in fire, who before me could subjugate all things? and who shall after me?" And the oracle saith thus: "First God, then the Word, and then 'the Spirit.' " †

        In the foregoing lies the foundation of the fierce hatred of the Christians toward the "Pagans" and the theurgists. Too much had been borrowed; the ancient religions and the Neo-platonists had been laid by them under contribution sufficiently to perplex the world for several thousand years. Had not the ancient creeds been speedily obliterated, it would have been found impossible to preach the Christian religion as a New Dispensation, or the direct Revelation from God the Father, through God the Son, and under the influence of God the Holy Ghost. As a political exigence the Fathers had — to gratify the wishes of their rich converts — instituted even the festivals of Pan. They went so far as to accept the ceremonies hitherto celebrated by the Pagan world in honor of the God of the gardens, in all their primitive sincerity. ‡ It was time to sever the connection. Either the Pagan worship and the Neo-platonic theurgy, with all ceremonial of magic, must be crushed out forever, or the Christians become Neo-platonists.

    The fierce polemics and single-handed battles between Irenęus and the Gnostics are too well known to need repetition. They were carried on for over two centuries after the unscrupulous Bishop of Lyons had uttered his last religious paradox. Celsus, the Neo-platonist, and a disciple of the school of Ammonius Saccas, had thrown the Christians into perturbation, and even had arrested for a time the progress of proselytism by successfully proving that the original and purer forms of the most important dogmas of Christianity were to be found only in the teachings of Plato. Celsus accused them of accepting the worst superstitions of Paganism, and of interpolating passages from the books of the Sybils, without rightly understanding their meaning. The accusations were so plausible, and the facts so patent, that for a long time no Christian writer had ventured to answer the challenge. Origen, at the fervent request of his friend, Ambrosius, was the first to take the defense in hand, for, having belonged to the same Platonic school of Ammonius, he was considered the most competent man to refute the well-founded charges. But his eloquence failed, and the only remedy that could be found was to destroy the writings of
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*
Lord Kingsborough: "Ant. Mex.," p. 165.

† "Ap. Malal.," lib. i., cap. iv.                  ‡ Payne Knight: "Phallic Worship."

 
52                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

Celsus themselves.* This could be achieved only in the fifth century, when copies had been taken from this work, and many were those who had read and studied them. If no copy of it has descended to our present generation of scientists, it is not because there is none extant at present, but for the simple reason that the monks of a certain Oriental church on Mount Athos will neither show nor confess they have one in their possession.† Perhaps they do not even know themselves the value of the contents of their manuscripts, on account of their great ignorance.

        The dispersion of the Eclectic school had become the fondest hope of the Christians. It had been looked for and contemplated with intense anxiety. It was finally achieved. The members were scattered by the
————————————————————————————————————
*
The Celsus above mentioned, who lived between the second and third centuries, is not Celsus the Epicurean. The latter wrote several works against Magic, and lived earlier, during the reign of Hadrian.

† We have the facts from a trustworthy witness, having no interest to invent such a story. Having injured his leg in a fall from the steamer into the boat in which he was to land at the Mount, he was taken care of by these monks, and during his convalescence, through gifts of money and presents, became their greatest friend, and finally won their entire confidence. Having asked for the loan of some books, he was taken by the Superior to a large cellar in which they keep their sacred vessels and other property. Opening a great trunk, full of old musty manuscripts and rolls, he was invited by the Superior to "amuse himself." The gentleman was a scholar, and well versed in Greek and Latin text. "I was amazed," he says, in a private letter, "and had my breath taken away, on finding among these old parchments, so unceremoniously treated, some of the most valuable relics of the first centuries, hitherto believed to have been lost." Among others he found a half-destroyed manuscript, which he is perfectly sure must be a copy of the "True Doctrine," the  Aogo" alhqhv"  of Celsus, out of which Origen quoted whole pages. The traveller took as many notes as he could on that day, but when he came to offer to the Superior to purchase some of these writings he found, to his great surprise, that no amount of money would tempt the monks. They did not know what the manuscripts contained, nor "did they care," they said. But the "heap of writing," they added, was transmitted to them from one generation to another, and there was a tradition among them that these papers would one day become the means of crushing the "Great Beast of the Apocalypse," their hereditary enemy, the Church of Rome. They were constantly quarrelling and fighting with the Catholic monks, and among the whole "heap" they knew that there was a "holy" relic which protected them. They did not know which, and so in their doubt abstained. It appears that the Superior, a shrewd Greek, understood his bevue and repented of his kindness, for first of all he made the traveller give him his most sacred word of honor, strengthened by an oath he made him take on the image of the Holy Patroness of the Island, never to betray their secret, and never mention, at least, the name of their convent. And finally, when the anxious student who had passed a fortnight in reading all sorts of antiquated trash before he happened to stumble over some precious manuscript, expressed the desire to have the key, to "amuse himself" with the writings once more, he was very naively informed that the "key had been lost," and that they did not know where to look for it. And thus he was left to the few notes he had taken.


53                                                                                       A SAINT BUTCHERED, AND BUTCHERS SAINTED.

hand of the monsters Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, and his nephew Cyril — the murderer of the young, the learned, and the innocent Hypatia! *

        With the death of the martyred daughter of Theon, the mathematician, there remained no possibility for the Neo-platonists to continue their school at Alexandria. During the life-time of the youthful Hypatia her friendship and influence with Orestes, the governor of the city, had assured the philosophers security and protection against their murderous enemies. With her death they had lost their strongest friend. How much she was revered by all who knew her for her erudition, noble virtues, and character, we can infer from the letters addressed to her by Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais, fragments of which have reached us. "My heart yearns for the presence of your divine spirit," he wrote in 413 A.D., "which more than anything else could alleviate the bitterness of my fortunes." At another time he says: "Oh, my mother, my sister, my teacher, my benefactor! My soul is very sad. The recollection of my children I have lost is killing me. . . . When I have news of you and learn, as I hope, that you are more fortunate than myself, I am at least only half-unhappy."

        What would have been the feelings of this most noble and worthy of Christian bishops, who had surrendered family and children and happiness for the faith into which he had been attracted, had a prophetic vision disclosed to him that the only friend that had been left to him, his "mother, sister, benefactor," would soon become an unrecognizable mass of flesh and blood, pounded to jelly under the blows of the club of Peter the Reader — that her youthful, innocent body would be cut to pieces, "the flesh scraped from the bones," by oyster-shells and the rest of her cast into the fire, by order of the same Bishop Cyril he knew so well — Cyril, the CANONIZED Saint!! †

        There has never been a religion in the annals of the world with such a bloody record as Christianity. All the rest, including the traditional fierce fights of the "chosen people" with their next of kin, the idolatrous tribes of Israel, pale before the murderous fanaticism of the alleged followers of Christ! Even the rapid spread of Mahometanism before the conquering sword of the Islam prophet, is a direct consequence of the
————————————————————————————————————
*
See the historical romance of Canon Kingsley, "Hypatia," for a highly picturesque account of the tragical fate of this young martyr.

† We beg the reader to bear in mind that it is the same Cyril who was accused and proved guilty of having sold the gold and silver ornaments of his church, and spent the money. He pleaded guilty, but tried to excuse himself on the ground that he had used the money for the poor, but could not give evidence of it. His duplicity with Arius and his party is well known. Thus one of the first Christian saints, and the founder of the Trinity, appears on the pages of history as a murderer and a thief!

 
54                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

bloody riots and fights among Christians. It was the intestine war between the Nestorians and Cyrilians that engendered Islamism; and it is in the convent of Bozrah that the prolific seed was first sown by Bahira, the Nestorian monk. Freely watered by rivers of blood, the tree of Mecca has grown till we find it in the present century overshadowing nearly two hundred millions of people. The recent Bulgarian atrocities are but the natural outgrowth of the triumph of Cyril and the Mariolaters.

        The cruel, crafty politician, the plotting monk, glorified by ecclesiastical history with the aureole of a martyred saint. The despoiled philosophers, the Neo-platonists, and the Gnostics, daily anathematized by the Church all over the world for long and dreary centuries. The curse of the unconcerned Deity hourly invoked on the magian rites and theurgic practice, and the Christian clergy themselves using sorcery for ages. Hypatia, the glorious maiden-philosopher, torn to pieces by the Christian mob. And such as Catherine de Medicis, Lucrezia Borgia, Joanna of Naples, and the Isabellas of Spain, presented to the world as the faithful daughters of the Church — some even decorated by the Pope with the order of the "Immaculate Rose," the highest emblem of womanly purity and virtue, a symbol sacred to the Virgin-mother of God! Such are the examples of human justice! How far less blasphemous appears a total rejection of Mary as an immaculate goddess, than an idolatrous worship of her, accompanied by such practices.

        In the next chapter we will present a few illustrations of sorcery, as practiced under the patronage of the Roman Church.

 
CHAPTER II.

"They undertake by scales of miles to tell
    The bounds, dimensions, and extent of hell;

* * * * * * * * * *
     Where bloated souls in smoky durance hung
     Like a Westphalia gammon or neat's tongue,
To be redeemed with masses and a song."
                                       — O
LDHAM: Satires upon the Jesuits.

            "York. — But you are more inhuman, more inexorable —
O, ten times more — than tigers of Hyrcania."
                                                   — King Henry VI.,
Part Third, Act i., Scene iv.

"War. — And hark ye, Sirs; because she is a maid
Spare for no faggots, let there be enough;
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake."
                                               — King Henry VI.,
Part First, Act v., Scene iv.


I
N that famous work of Bodin, on sorcery, *  a frightful story is told about Catherine of Medicis. The author was a learned publicist, who, during twenty years of his life, collected authentic documents from the archives of nearly every important city of France, to make up a complete work on sorcery, magic, and the power of various "demons." To use an expression of Eliphas Levi, his book offers a most remarkable collection of "bloody and hideous facts; acts of revolting superstition, arrests, and executions of stupid ferocity." "Burn every body!" the Inquisition seemed to say — God will easily sort out His own! Poor fools, hysterical women, and idiots were roasted alive, without mercy, for the crime of "magic." But, "at the same time, how many great culprits escaped this unjust and sanguinary justice! This is what Bodin makes us fully appreciate."

       Catherine, the pious Christian — who has so well deserved in the eyes of the Church of Christ for the atrocious and never-to-be-forgotten massacre of St. Bartholomew — the Queen Catherine, kept in her service an apostate Jacobin priest. Well versed in the "black art," so fully patronized by the Medici family, he had won the gratitude and protection of his pious mistress, by his unparalleled skill in killing people at a distance, by torturing with various incantations their wax simulacra. The process has been described over and over again, and we scarcely need repeat it.
————————————————————————————————————
*
"La Demonomanie, ou traite des Sorciers." Paris, 1587.


 56                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

        Charles was lying sick of an incurable disease. The queen-mother, had everything to lose in case of his death, resorted to necromancy, consulted the oracle of the "bleeding head." This infernal operation required the decapitation of a child who must be possessed of great beauty and purity. He had been prepared in secret for his first communion, by the chaplain of the palace, who was apprised of the plot, and at midnight of the appointed day, in the chamber of the sick man, and in presence only of Catherine and a few of her confederates, the "devil's mass" was celebrated. Let us give the rest of the story as we find it in one of Levi's works: "At this mass, celebrated before the image of the demon, having under his feet a reversed cross, the sorcerer consecrated two wafers, one black and one white. The white was given to the child, whom they brought clothed as for baptism, and who was murdered upon the very steps of the altar, immediately after his communion. His head, separated from the trunk by a single blow, was placed, all palpitating, upon the great black wafer which covered the bottom of the paten, then placed upon a table where some mysterious lamps were burning. The exorcism then began, and the demon was charged to pronounce an oracle, and reply by the mouth of this head to a secret question that the king dared not speak aloud, and that had been confided to no one. Then a feeble voice, a strange voice, which had nothing of human character about it, made itself audible in this poor little martyr's head." The sorcery availed nothing; the king died, and — Catherine remained the faithful daughter of Rome!

        How strange, that des Mousseaux, who makes such free use of Bodin's materials to construct his formidable indictment against Spiritualists and other sorcerers, should have overlooked this interesting episode!

        It is a well-attested fact that Pope Sylvester II. was publicly accused by Cardinal Benno with being a sorcerer and an enchanter. The brazen "oracular head" made by his Holiness was of the same kind as the one fabricated by Albertus Magnus. The latter was smashed to pieces by Thomas Aquinas, not because it was the work of or inhabited by a "demon," but because the spook who was fixed inside, by mesmeric power, talked incessantly, and his verbiage prevented the eloquent saint from working out his mathematical problems. These heads and other talking statues, trophies of the magical skill of monks and bishops, were fac-similes of the "animated" gods of the ancient temples. The accusation against the Pope was proved at the time. It was also demonstrated that he was constantly attended by "demons" or spirits. In the preceding chapter we have mentioned Benedict IX., John XX., and the VIth and VIIth Gregory, who were all known as magicians. The latter Pope, moreover, was the famous Hildebrand, who was said to have


57                                                                                         POPES, BISHOPS, AND PRIESTS AS SORCERERS.

been so expert at "shaking lightning out of his sleeve." An expression which makes the venerable spiritualistic writer, Mr. Howitt, think that "it was the origin of the celebrated thunder of the Vatican."

        The magical achievements of the Bishop of Ratisbon and those of the "angelic doctor," Thomas Aquinas, are too well known to need repetition; but we may explain farther how the "illusions" of the former were produced. If the Catholic bishop was so clever in making people believe on a bitter winter night that they were enjoying the delights of a splendid summer day, and cause the icicles hanging from the boughs of the trees in the garden to seem like so many tropical fruits, the Hindu magicians also practice such biological powers unto this very day, and claim the assistance of neither god nor devil. Such "miracles" are all produced by the same human power that is inherent in every man, if he only knew how to develop it.

        About the time of the Reformation, the study of alchemy and magic had become so prevalent among the clergy as to produce great scandal. Cardinal Wolsey was openly accused before the court and the privy-council of confederacy with a man named Wood, a sorcerer, who said that "My Lord Cardinale had suche a rynge that whatsomevere he askyd of the Kynges grace that he hadd yt"; adding that "Master Cromwell, when he . . . was servaunt in my lord cardynales housse . . . rede many bokes and specyally the boke of Salamon . . . and studied mettells and what vertues they had after the canon of Salamon." This case, with several others equally curious, is to be found among the Cromwell papers in the Record Office of the Rolls House.

        A priest named William Stapleton was arrested as a conjurer, during the reign of Henry VIII., and an account of his adventures is still preserved in the Rolls House records. The Sicilian priest whom Benvenuto Cellini calls a necromancer, became famous through his successful conjurations, and was never molested. The remarkable adventure of Cellini with him in the Colosseum, where the priest conjured up a whole host of devils, is well known to the reading public. The subsequent meeting of Cellini with his mistress, as predicted and brought about by the conjurer, at the precise time fixed by him, is to be considered, as a matter of course, a "curious coincidence." In the latter part of the sixteenth century there was hardly a parish to be found in which the priests did not study magic and alchemy. The practice of exorcism to cast out devils "in imitation of Christ," who by the way never used exorcism at all, led the clergy to devote themselves openly to "sacred" magic in contradistinction to black art, of which latter crime were accused all those who were neither priests nor monks.


 58                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED.

        The occult knowledge gleaned by the Roman Church from the once fat fields of theurgy she sedulously guarded for her own use, and sent to the stake only those practitioners who "poached" on her lands of the Scientia Scientiarum, and those whose sins could not be concealed by the friar's frock. The proof of it lies in the records of history. "In the course only of fifteen years, between 1580 to 1595, and only in the single province of Lorraine, the President Remigius burned 900 witches," says Thomas Wright, in his Sorcery and Magic. It was during these days, prolific in ecclesiastical murder and unrivalled for cruelty and ferocity, that Jean Bodin wrote.

        While the orthodox clergy called forth whole legions of "demons" through magical incantations, unmolested by the authorities, provided they held fast to the established dogmas and taught no heresy, on the other hand, acts of unparalleled atrocity were perpetrated on poor, unfortunate fools. Gabriel Malagrida, an old man of eighty, was burnt by these evangelical Jack Ketches in 1761. In the Amsterdam library there is a copy of the report of his famous trial, translated from the Lisbon edition. He was accused of sorcery and illicit intercourse with the Devil, who had "disclosed to him futurity." (?) The prophecy imparted by the Arch-Enemy to the poor visionary Jesuit is reported in the following terms: "The culprit hath confessed that the demon, under the form of the blessed Virgin, having commanded him to write the life of Antichrist (?), told him that he, Malagrida, was a second John, but more clear than John the Evangelist; that there were to be three Antichrists, and that the last should be born at Milan, of a monk and a nun, in the year 1920; that he would marry Proserpine, one of the infernal furies," etc.

        The prophecy is to be verified forty-three years hence. Even were all the children born of monks and nuns really to become antichrists if allowed to grow up to maturity, the fact would seem far less deplorable than the discoveries made in so many convents when the foundations have been removed for some reason. If the assertion of Luther is to be disbelieved on account of his hatred for popery, then we may name discoveries of the same character made quite recently in Austrian and Russian Poland. Luther speaks of a fish-pond at Rome, situated near a convent of nuns, which, having been cleared out by order of Pope Gregory, disclosed, at the bottom, over six thousand infant skulls; and of a nunnery at Neinburg, in Austria, whose foundations, when searched, disclosed the same relics of celibacy and chastity!

        "Ecclesia non novit Sanguinem!" meekly repeated the scarlet-robed cardinals. And to avoid the spilling of blood which horrified them, they instituted the Holy Inquisition. If, as the occultists maintain, and science half confirms, our most trifling acts and thoughts are indelibly impressed

 
59                                                                                                   THE BLOODY RECORD OF TORQUEMADA.

upon the eternal mirror of the astral ether, there must be somewhere, in the boundless realm of the unseen universe, the imprint of a curious picture. It is that of a gorgeous standard waving in the heavenly breeze at the foot of the great "white throne" of the Almighty. On its crimson damask face a cross, symbol of "the Son of God who died for mankind," with an olive branch on one side, and a sword, stained to the hilt with human gore, on the other. A legend selected from the Psalms emblazoned in golden letters, reading thus: "Exurge, Domine, et judica causam meam." For such appears the standard of the Inquisition, on a photograph in our possession, from an original procured at the Escurial of Madrid.

        Under this Christian standard, in the brief space of fourteen years, Tomas de Torquemada, the confessor of Queen Isabella, burned over ten thousand persons, and sentenced to the torture eighty thousand more. Orobio, the well-known writer, who was detained so long in prison, and who hardly escaped the flames of the Inquisition, immortalized this institution in his works when once at liberty in Holland. He found no better argument against the Holy Church than to embrace the Judaic faith and submit even to circumcision. "In the cathedral of Saragossa," says a writer on the Inquisition, "is the tomb of a famous inquisitor. Six pillars surround the tomb; to each is chained a Moor, as preparatory to being burned." On this St. Foix ingenuously observes: "If ever the Jack Ketch of any country should be rich enough to have a splendid tomb, this might serve as an excellent model!" To make it complete, however, the builders of the tomb ought not to have omitted a bas-relief of the famous horse which was burnt for sorcery and witchcraft. Granger tells the story, describing it as having occurred in his time. The poor animal "had been taught to tell the spots upon cards, and the hour of the day by the watch. Horse and owner were both indicted by the sacred office for dealing with the Devil, and both were burned, with a great ceremony of auto-da-fé, at Lisbon, in 1601, as wizards!"

        This immortal institution of Christianity did not remain without its Dante to sing its praise. "Macedo, a Portuguese Jesuit," says the author of Demonologia, "has discovered the origin of the Inquisition, in the terrestrial Paradise, and presumes to allege that God was the first who began the functions of an inquisitor over Cain and the workmen of Babel!"

        Nowhere, during the middle ages, were the arts of magic and sorcery more practiced by the clergy than in Spain and Portugal. The Moors were profoundly versed in the occult sciences, and at Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca, were, once upon a time, the great schools of magic. The kabalists of the latter town were skilled in all the abstruse sciences; they


 60                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

knew the virtues of precious stones and other minerals, and had extracted from alchemy its most profound secrets.

        The authentic documents pertaining to the great trial of the Marechale d'Ancre, during the regency of Marie de Medicis, disclose that the unfortunate woman perished through the fault of the priests with whom, like a true Italian, she surrounded herself. She was accused by the people of Paris of sorcery, because it had been asserted that she had used, after the ceremony of exorcism, newly-killed white cocks. Believing herself constantly bewitched, and being in very delicate health, the Marechale had the ceremony of exorcism publicly applied to herself in the Church of the Augustins; as to the birds, she used them as an application to the forehead on account of dreadful pains in the head, and had been advised to do so by Montalto, the Jew physician of the queen, and the Italian priests.

        In the sixteenth century, the Cure de Barjota, of the diocese of Callahora, Spain, became the world's wonder for his magical powers. His most extraordinary feat consisted, it was said, in transporting himself to any distant country, witnessing political and other events, and then returning home to predict them in his own country. He had a familiar demon, who served him faithfully for long years, says the Chronicle, but the cure turned ungrateful and cheated him. Having been apprised by his demon of a conspiracy against the Pope's life, in consequence of an intrigue of the latter with a fair lady, the cure transported himself to Rome (in his double, of course) and thus saved his Holiness' life. After which he repented, confessed his sins to the gallant Pope, and got absolution. "On his return he was delivered, as a matter of form, into the custody of the inquisitors of Logrono, but was acquitted and restored to his liberty very soon."

        Friar Pietro, a Dominican monk of the fourteenth century — the magician who presented the famous Dr. Eugenio Torralva, a physician attached to the house of the admiral of Castile, with a demon named Zequiel — won his fame through the subsequent trial of Torralva. The procedure and circumstances attendant upon the extraordinary trial are described in the original papers preserved in the Archives of the Inquisition. The Cardinal of Volterra, and the Cardinal of Santa Cruz, both saw and communicated with Zequiel, who proved, during the whole of Torralva's life, to be a pure, kind, elemental spirit, doing many beneficent actions, and remaining faithful to the physician to the last hour of his life. Even the Inquisition acquitted Torralva, on that account; and, although an immortality of fame was insured to him by the satire of Cervantes, neither Torralva nor the monk Pietro are fictitious heroes, but historical personages, recorded in ecclesiastical documents of Rome and Cuenēa,


 61                                                                                WITCH-BURNINGS AT BAMBERG AND WURZBURG.

in which town the trial of the physician took place, January the 29th, 1530.

        The book of Dr. W. G. Soldan, of Stuttgart, has become as famous in Germany, as Bodin's book on Demonomania in France. It is the most complete German treatise on witchcraft of the sixteenth century. One interested to learn the secret machinery underlying these thousands of legal murders, perpetrated by a clergy who pretended to believe in the Devil, and succeeded in making others believe in him, will find it divulged in the above-mentioned work.* The true origin of the daily accusations and death-sentences for sorcery are cleverly traced to personal and political enmities, and, above all, to the hatred of the Catholics toward the Protestants. The crafty work of the Jesuits is seen at every page of the bloody tragedies; and it is in Bamberg and Wurzburg, where these worthy sons of Loyola were most powerful at that time, that the cases of witchcraft were most numerous. On the next page we give a curious list of some victims, many of whom were children between the ages of seven and eight years, and Protestants. "Of the multitudes of persons who perished at the stake in Germany during the first half of the seventeenth century for sorcery, the crime of many was their attachment to the religion of Luther," says T. Wright, " . . . and the petty princes were not unwilling to seize upon any pretense to fill their coffers . . . the persons most persecuted being those whose property was a matter of consideration. . . . At Bamberg, as well as at Würzburg, the bishop was a sovereign prince in his dominions. The Prince-Bishop, John George II., who ruled Bamberg . . . after several unsuccessful attempts to root out Lutheranism, distinguished his reign by a series of sanguinary witch-trials, which disgrace the annals of that city. . . . We may form some notion of the proceedings of his worthy agent, † from the statement of the most authentic historians, that between 1625 and 1630, not less than 900 trials took place in the two courts of Bamberg and Zeil; and a pamphlet published at Bamberg by authority, in 1659, states the number of persons whom Bishop John George had caused to be burned for sorcery, to have been 600." ‡

        Regretting that space should prevent our giving one of the most curious lists in the world of burned witches, we will nevertheless make a few extracts from the original record as printed in Hauber's Bibliotheca
————————————————————————————————————
*
Dr. W. G. Soldan: "Geschichte der Hexenprocesse, aus den Quellen dargestellt," Stuttgart, 1843.

† Frederick Forner, Suffragan of Bamberg, author of a treatise against heretics and sorcerers, under the title of "Panoplia Armaturoe Dei."

‡ "Sorcery and Magic," by T. Wright, M.A., F.S.A., etc., Corresponding Member of the National Institute of France, vol. ii., p. 185.


62                                                                                                                            ISIS UNVEILED.

Magica. One glance at this horrible catalogue of murders in Christ's name, is sufficient to discover that out of 162 persons burned, more than one-half of them are designated as strangers (i.e., Protestants) in this hospitable town; and of the other half we find thirty-four children, the oldest of whom was fourteen, the youngest an infant child of Dr. Schutz. To make the catalogue shorter we will present of each of the twenty-nine burnings, but the most remarkable.*

                          IN THE FIRST BURNING, FOUR PERSONS.

Old Ancker's widow.
The wife of Liebler.
The wife of Gutbrodt.
The wife of Hocker.

                          IN THE SECOND BURNING, FOUR PERSONS.

Two strange women (names unknown).
The old wife of Beutler.

                          IN THE THIRD BURNING, FIVE PERSONS.

Tungersleber, a minstrel.
Four wives of citizens.
                        
                          IN THE FOURTH BURNING, FIVE PERSONS.
A strange man.
                         
                          IN THE FIFTH BURNING, NINE PERSONS.
Lutz, an eminent shop-keeper.
The wife of Baunach, a senator.

                          IN THE SIXTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
The fat tailor's wife.
A strange man.
A strange woman.
————————————————————————————————————
*
Besides these burnings in Germany, which amount to many thousands, we find some very interesting statements in Prof. Draper's "Conflict between Religion and Science." On page 146, he says: "The families of the convicted were plunged into irretrievable ruin. Llorente, the historian of the Inquisition, computes that Torquemada and his collaborators, in the course of eighteen years, burned at the stake 10,220 persons, 6,860 in effigy, and otherwise punished 97,321! . . . With unutterable disgust and indignation, we learn that the papal government realized much money by selling to the rich, dispensations to secure them from the Inquisition."


63                                                                                                     
A RECORD OF FIENDISH CRUELTY.

                         IN THE SEVENTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.
A strange girl of twelve years old.
A strange man, a strange woman.
A strange bailiff (Schultheiss).
Three strange women.

                        IN THE EIGHTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.
Baunach, a senator, the fattest citizen in Wurzburg.
A strange man.
Two strange women.

                        IN THE NINTH BURNING, FIVE PERSONS.
A strange man.
A mother and daughter.

                        IN THE TENTH BURNING, THREE PERSONS.
Steinacher, a very rich man.
A strange man, a strange woman.

                        IN THE ELEVENTH BURNING, FOUR PERSONS.
Two women and two men.

                        IN THE TWELFTH BURNING, TWO PERSONS.
Two strange women.

                          IN THE THIRTEENTH BURNING, FOUR PERSONS.
A little girl nine or ten years old.
A younger girl, her little sister.

                           IN THE FOURTEENTH BURNING, TWO PERSONS.
The mother of the two little girls before mentioned.
A girl twenty-four years old.

                           IN THE FIFTEENTH BURNING, TWO PERSONS.
A boy twelve years of age, in the first school.
A woman.

                           IN THE SIXTEENTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
A boy of ten years of age.

                           IN THE SEVENTEENTH BURNING, FOUR PERSONS.
A boy eleven years old.
A mother and daughter.


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                        IN THE EIGHTEENTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
Two boys, twelve years old.
The daughter of Dr. Junge.
A girl of fifteen years of age.
A strange woman.

                        IN THE NINETEENTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
A boy of ten years of age.
Another boy, twelve years old.

                        IN THE TWENTIETH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
Gobel's child, the most beautiful girl in Wurzburg.
Two boys, each twelve years old.
Stepper's little daughter.

                        IN THE TWENTY-FIRST BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
A boy fourteen years old.
The little son of Senator Stolzenberger.
Two alumni.

                          IN THE TWENTY-SECOND BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
Sturman, a rich cooper.
A strange boy.

                          IN THE TWENTY-THIRD BURNING, NINE PERSONS.
David Croten's boy, nine years old.
The two sons of the prince's cook, one fourteen, the other ten years old.

                          IN THE TWENTY-FOURTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.
Two boys in the hospital.
A rich cooper.

                           IN THE TWENTY-FIFTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
A strange boy.

                           IN THE TWENTY-SIXTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.Weydenbush, a senator.
The little daughter of Valkenberger.
The little son of the town council bailiff.

                          IN THE TWENTY-SEVENTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.A strange boy.
A strange woman.
Another boy.


65                                                                                                                   THE HORRID TOTAL.

                  IN THE TWENTY-EIGHTH BURNING, SIX PERSONS.
 
The infant daughter of Dr. Schütz.
A blind girl.

                  IN THE TWENTY-NINTH BURNING, SEVEN PERSONS.
 
The fat noble lady (Edelfrau).
A doctor of divinity.

Item.
Summary:

"Strange" men and women, i.e., Protestants,    28
Citizens, apparently all WEALTHY people,    100
Boys, girls, and little children,                            34
                                 In nineteen months,                          162 persons.

        "There were," says Wright, "little girls of from seven to ten years of age among the witches, and seven and twenty of them were convicted and burnt," at some of the other brände, or burnings. "The numbers brought to trial in these terrible proceedings were so great, and they were treated with so little consideration, that it was usual not even to take the trouble of setting down their names, but they were cited as the accused No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, and so on.* The Jesuits took their confessions in private."
   What room is there in a theology which exacts such holocausts as these to appease the bloody appetites of its priests for the following gentle words:

       "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven." "Even so it is not the will of your Father . . . that one of these little ones should perish." "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea."
  
        We sincerely hope that the above words have proved no vain threat to these child-burners.

        Did this butchery in the name of their Moloch-god prevent these treasure-hunters from resorting to the black art themselves? Not in the least; for in no class were such consulters of "familiar" spirits more numerous than among the clergy during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. True, there were some Catholic priests among the victims, but though these were generally accused of having "been
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Sorcery and Magic"; "The Burnings at Würzburg," p. 186.


 66                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

led into practices too dreadful to be described," it was not so. In the twenty-nine burnings above catalogued we find the names of twelve vicars, four canons, and two doctors of divinity burnt alive. But we have only to turn to such works as were published at the time to assure ourselves that each popish priest executed was accused of "damnable heresy," i.e., a tendency to reformation — a crime more heinous far than sorcery.

        We refer those who would learn how the Catholic clergy united duty with pleasure in the matter of exorcisms, revenge, and treasure-hunting, to volume II., chapter i., of W. Howitt's History of the Supernatural. "In the book called Pneumatologia Occulta et Vera, all the forms of adjuration and conjuration were laid down," says this veteran writer. He then proceeds to give a long description of the favorite modus operandi. The Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie of the late Eliphas Levi, treated with so much abuse and contempt by des Mousseaux, tells nothing of the weird ceremonies and practices but what was practiced legally and with the tacit if not open consent of the Church, by the priests of the middle ages. The exorcist-priest entered a circle at midnight; he was clad in a new surplice, and had a consecrated band hanging from the neck, covered with sacred characters. He wore on the head a tall pointed cap, on the front of which was written in Hebrew the holy word, Tetragrammaton — the ineffable name. It was written with a new pen dipped in the blood of a white dove. What the exorcists most yearned after, was to release miserable spirits which haunt spots where hidden treasures lie. The exorcist sprinkles the circle with the blood of a black lamb and a white pigeon. The priest had to adjure the evil spirits of hell — Acheront, Magoth, Asmodei, Beelzebub, Belial, and all the damned souls, in the mighty names of Jehovah, Adonay, Elohah, and Sabaioth, which latter was the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who dwelt in the Urim and Thummim. When the damned souls flung in the face of the exorcist that he was a sinner, and could not get the treasure from them, the priest-sorcerer had to reply that "all his sins were washed out in the blood of Christ ,* and he bid them depart as cursed ghosts and damned flies." When the exorcist dislodged them at last, the poor soul was "comforted in the name of the Saviour, and consigned to the care of good angels," who were less powerful, we must think, than the exorcising Catholic worthies, "and the rescued treasure, of course, was secured for the Church."

        "Certain days," adds Howitt, "are laid down in the calendar of the
————————————————————————————————————
*
And retinted in the blood of the millions murdered in his name — in the no less innocent blood than his own, of the little child-witches!


 67                                                                                                  SOLOMON'S SEVEN ABOMINATIONS.

Church as most favorable for the practice of exorcism; and, if the devils are difficult to drive, a fume of sulphur, assafœtida, bear's gall, and rue is recommended, which, it was presumed, would outstench even devils."

        This is the Church, and this the priesthood, which, in the nineteenth century, pays 5,000 priests to teach the people of the United States the infidelity of science and the infallibility of the Bishop of Rome!

        We have already noticed the confession of an eminent prelate that the elimination of Satan from theology would be fatal to the perpetuity of the Church. But this is only partially true. The Prince of Sin would be gone, but sin itself would survive. If the Devil were annihilated, the Articles of Faith and the Bible would remain. In short there would still be a pretended divine revelation, and the necessity for self-assumed inspired interpreters. We must, therefore, consider the authenticity of the Bible itself. We must study its pages, and see if they, indeed, contain the commands of the Deity, or but a compendium of ancient traditions and hoary myths. We must try to interpret them for ourselves — if possible. As to its pretended interpreters, the only possible assimilation we can find for them in the Bible is to compare them with the man described by the wise King Solomon in his Proverbs, with the perpetrator of these "six things . . . yea seven . . . which doth the Lord hate," and which are an abomination unto Him, to wit: "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood; an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief; a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (Proverbs vi. 16, 17, 18, 19).

        Of which of these accusations are the long line of men who have left the imprint of their feet in the Vatican guiltless?

        "When the demons," says Augustine, "insinuate themselves in the creatures, they begin by conforming themselves to the will of every one. . . . In order to attract men, they begin by seducing them, by simulating obedience. . . . How could one know, had he not been taught by the demons themselves, what they like or what they hate; the name which attracts, or that which forces them into obedience; all this art, in short, of magic, the whole science of the magicians?" *

        To this impressive dissertation of the "saint," we will add that no magician has ever denied that he had learned the art from "spirits," whether, being a medium, they acted independently on him, or he had been initiated into the science of "evocation" by his fathers who knew it before himself. But who was it then that taught the exorcist? The priest
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*
St. Augustine: "City of God," i, xxi., ch. vi.; des Mousseaux: "Mœurs et Pratiques des Demons."


 68                                                                                                                         ISIS UNVEILED.

who clothes himself with an authority not only over the magician, but even over all these "spirits," whom he calls demons and devils as soon as he finds them obeying any one but himself? He must have learned somewhere from some one that power which he pretends to possess. For, ". . . how could one know had he not been taught by the demons themselves . . . the name which attracts, or that which forces them into obedience?" asks Augustine.

    Useless to remark that we know the answer beforehand: "Revelation . . . divine gift . . . the Son of God; nay, God Himself, through His direct Spirit, who descended on the apostles as the Pentecostal fire," and who is now alleged to overshadow every priest who sees fit to exorcise for either glory or a gift. Are we then to believe that the recent scandal of public exorcism, performed about the 14th of October, 1876, by the senior priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit, at Barcelona, Spain, was also done under the direct superintendence of the Holy Ghost? *
————————————————————————————————————
*
A correspondent of the London "Times" describes the Catalonian exorcist in the following lines:
        "About the 14th of October it was privately announced that a young woman of seventeen or eighteen years of age, of the lower class, having long been afflicted with 'a hatred of holy things,' the senior priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit would cure her of her disease. The exhibition was to be held in a church frequented by the best part of the community. The church was dark, but a sickly light was shed by wax lights on the sable forms of some eighty or a hundred persons who clustered round the presbyterio, or sanctuary, in front of the altar. Within the little enclosure or sanctuary, separated from the crowd by a light railing, lay, on a common bench, with a little pillow for her head to recline upon, a poorly-clad girl, probably of the peasant or artisan class; her brother or husband stood at her feet to restrain her (at times) frantic kicking by holding her legs. The door of the vestry opened; the exhibitor — I mean the priest — came in. The poor girl, not without just reason, 'had an aversion to holy things,' or, at least, the 400 devils within her distorted body had such an aversion, and in the confusion of the moment, thinking that the father was 'a holy thing,' she doubled up her legs, screamed out with twitching mouth, her whole body writhing, and threw herself nearly off the bench. The male attendant seized her legs, the women supported her head and swept out her dishevelled hair. The priest advanced and, mingling familiarly with the shuddering and horror-struck crowd, said, pointing at the suffering child, now sobbing and twitching on the bench, 'Promise me, my children, that you will be prudent (prudentes), and of a truth, sons and daughters mine, you shall see marvels.' The promise was given. The exhibitor went to procure stole and short surplice (estola y roquete), and returned in a moment, taking his stand at the side of the 'possessed with the devils,' with his face toward the group of students. The order of the day's proceedings was a lecture to the bystanders, and the operation of exorcising the devils. 'You know,' said the priest, 'that so great is this girl's aversion to holy things, myself included, that she goes into convulsions, kicks, screams, and distorts her body the moment she arrives at the corner of this street, and her convulsive struggles reach their climax when she enters the sacred house of the Most High.' Turning to the prostrate, shuddering, most unhappy object of his attack, the priest commenced: 'In the name of God, of the saints, of the blessed Host, of every holy sacrament of our Church, I adjure thee, Rusbel, come out of her.' (N. B. 'Rusbel' is the name of a devil, the devil having 257 names in Catalonia.) Thus adjured, the girl threw herself — in an agony of convulsion, till her distorted face, foam-bespattered lips and writhing limbs grew well-nigh stiff — at full length upon the floor, and, in language semi-obscene, semi-violent, screamed out, 'I don't choose to come out, you thieves, scamps, robbers.' At last, from the quivering lips of the girl, came the words, 'I will'; but the devil added, with traditional perversity, 'I will cast the 100 out, but by the mouth of the girl.' The priest objected. The exit, he said, of 100 devils out of the small Spanish mouth of the woman would 'leave her suffocated.' Then the maddened girl said she must undress herself for the devils to escape. This petition the holy father refused. 'Then I will come out through the right foot, but first' — the girl had on a hempen sandal, she was obviously of the poorest class — 'you must take off her sandal.' The sandal was untied; the foot gave a convulsive plunge; the devil and his myrmidons (so the cura said, looking round triumphantly) had gone to their own place. And, assured of this, the wretched dupe of a girl lay quite still. The bishop was not cognizant of this freak of the clergy, and the moment it came to the ears of the civil authorities, the sharpest means were taken to prevent a repetition of the scandal."
 

69                                                                                                  A PAPAL BULL AGAINST SPIRITUALISM.

It will be urged that the "bishop was not cognizant of this freak of the clergy"; but even if he were, how could he have protested against a rite considered since the days of the apostles, one of the most holy prerogatives of the Church of Rome? So late as in 1852, only twenty-five years ago, these rites received a public and solemn sanction from the Vatican, and a new Ritual of Exorcism was published in Rome, Paris, and other Catholic capitals. Des Mousseaux, writing under the immediate patronage of Father Ventura, the General of the Theatines of Rome, even favors us with lengthy extracts from this famous ritual, and explains the reason why it was enforced again. It was in consequence of the revival of Magic under the name of Modern Spiritualism. The bull of Pope Innocent VIII. is exhumed, and translated for the benefit of des Mousseaux's readers. "We have heard," exclaims the Sovereign Pontiff, "that a great number of persons of both sexes have feared not to enter into relations with the spirits of hell; and that, by their practice of sorcery . . . they strike with sterility the conjugal bed, destroy the germs of humanity in the bosom of the mother, and throw spells on them, and set a barrier to the multiplication of animals . . . etc., etc."; then follow curses and anathemas against the practice.

        This belief of the Sovereign Pontiffs of an enlightened Christian country is a direct inheritance by the most ignorant multitudes from the southern Hindu rabble — the "heathen." The diabolical arts of certain kangalins (witches) and jadugar (sorcerers) are firmly believed in by these people. The following are among their most dreaded powers: to inspire love and hatred at will; to send a devil to take possession of a person and torture
 

70                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

him; to expel him; to cause sudden death or an incurable disease; to either strike cattle with or protect them from epidemics; to compose philtres that will either strike with sterility or provoke unbounded passions in men and women, etc., etc. The sight alone of a man said to be such a sorcerer excites in a Hindu profound terror.

        And now we will quote in this connection the truthful remark of a writer who passed years in India in the study of the origin of such superstitions: "Vulgar magic in India, like a degenerated infiltration, goes hand-in-hand with the most ennobling beliefs of the sectarians of the Pitris. It was the work of the lowest clergy, and designed to hold the populace in a perpetual state of fear. It is thus that in all ages and under every latitude, side by side with philosophical speculations of the highest character, one always finds the religion of the rabble." * In India it was the work of the lowest clergy; in Rome, that of the highest Pontiffs. But then, have they not as authority their greatest saint, Augustine, who declares that "whoever believes not in the evil spirits, refuses to believe in Holy Writ?" †

        Therefore, in the second half of the nineteenth century, we find the counsel for the Sacred Congregation of Rites (exorcism of demons included), Father Ventura de Raulica, writing thus, in a letter published by des Mousseaux, in 1865:

       "We are in full magic! and under false names; the Spirit of lies and impudicity goes on perpetrating his horrible deprecations. . . . The most grievous feature in this is that among the most serious persons they do not attach the importance to the strange phenomena which they deserve, these manifestations that we witness, and which become with every day more weird, striking, as well as most fatal.

       "I cannot sufficiently admire and praise, from this standpoint, the zeal and courage displayed by you in your work. The facts which you have collected are calculated to throw light and conviction into the most skeptical minds; and after reading this remarkable work, written with so much learnedness and consciousness, blindness is no longer possible.

       "If anything could surprise us, it would be the indifference with which these phenomena have been treated by false Science, endeavoring as she has, to turn into ridicule so grave a subject; the childish simplicity exhibited by her in the desire to explain the facts by absurd and contradictory hypotheses. . . .  ‡
                                                              [Signed] "The Father Ventura de Raulica, etc., etc."

        Thus encouraged by the greatest authorities of the Church of Rome, ancient and modern, the Chevalier argues the necessity and the efficacy of exorcism by the priests. He tries to demonstrate — on faith, as usual —
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*
Louis Jacolliot: "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 162.

† St. Augustine: "City of God."

‡ "Mœurs et Pratiques des Demons," p. ii.


71                                                                                                  A MUSEUM OF ASTONISHING RELICS.

that the power of the spirits of hell is closely related to certain rites, words, and formal signs. "In the diabolical Catholicism," he says, "as well as in the divine Catholicism, potential grace is bound (liée) to certain signs." While the power of the Catholic priest proceeds from God, that of the Pagan priest proceeds from the Devil. The Devil, he adds, "is forced to submission" before the holy minister of God — "he dares not LIE." *

        We beg the reader to note well the underlined sentence, as we mean to test its truth impartially. We are prepared to adduce proofs, undeniable and undenied even by the Popish Church — forced, as she was, into the confession — proofs of hundreds of cases in relation to the most solemn of her dogmas, wherein the "spirits" lied from beginning to end. How about certain holy relics authenticated by visions of the blessed Virgin, and a host of saints? We have at hand a treatise by a pious Catholic, Jilbert de Nogen, on the relics of saints. With honest despair he acknowledges the "great number of false relics, as well as false legends," and severely censures the inventors of these lying miracles. "It was on the occasion of one of our Saviour's teeth," writes the author of Demonologia, "that de Nogen took up his pen on this subject, by which the monks of St. Medard de Soissons pretended to work miracles; a pretension which he asserted to be as chimerical as that of several persons who believed they possessed the navel, and other parts less comely, of the body of Christ." †

        "A monk of St. Antony," says Stephens, ‡ "having been at Jerusalem, saw there several relics, among which was a bit of the finger of the Holy Ghost, as sound and entire as it had ever been; the snout of the seraph that appeared to St. Francis; one of the nails of a cherub; one of the ribs of the Verbum caro factum (the Word made flesh); some rays of the star that appeared to the three kings of the East; a phial of St. Michael's sweat, that exuded when he was fighting against the Devil, etc. 'All which things,' observes the monkish treasurer of relics, 'I have brought with me home very devoutly.' "

        And if the foregoing is set aside as the invention of a Protestant enemy, may we not be allowed to refer the reader to the History of England and authentic documents which state the existence of a relic not less extraordinary than the best of the others? Henry III. received from the Grand Master of the Templars a phial containing a small portion of the sacred blood of Christ which he had shed upon the cross. It was attested to be genuine by the seals of the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and others. The
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*
Des Mousseaux: "Table des Matieres."

† "Demonologia"; London, 1827, J. Bumpus, 23 Skinner Street.

‡ "Traite Preparatif a l'Apologie pour Herodote," c. 39.


72                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

procession bearing the sacred phial from St. Paul's to Westminster Abbey is described by the historian: "Two monks received the phial, and deposited it in the Abbey . . . which made all England shine with glory, dedicating it to God and St. Edward."

        The story of the Prince Radzivil is well known. It was the undeniable deception of the monks and nuns surrounding him and his own confessor which made the Polish nobleman become a Lutheran. He felt at first so indignant at the "heresy" of the Reformation spreading in Lithuania, that he travelled all the way to Rome to pay his homage of sympathy and veneration to the Pope. The latter presented him with a precious box of relics. On his return home, his confessor saw the Virgin, who descended from her glorious abode for the sole purpose of blessing these relics and authenticating them. The superior of the neighboring convent and the mother-abbess of a nunnery both saw the same vision, with a reėnforcement of several saints and martyrs; they prophesied and "felt the Holy Ghost" ascending from the box of relics and overshadowing the prince. A demoniac provided for the purpose by the clergy was exorcised in full ceremony, and upon being touched by the box immediately recovered, and rendered thanks on the spot to the Pope and the Holy Ghost. After the ceremony was over the guardian of the treasury in which the relics were kept, threw himself at the feet of the prince, and confessed that on their way back from Rome he had lost the box of relics. Dreading the wrath of his master, he had procured a similar box, "which he had filled with the small bones of dogs and cats"; but seeing how the prince was deceived, he preferred confessing his guilt to such blasphemous tricks. The prince said nothing, but continued for some time testing — not the relics, but his confessor and the vision-seers. Their mock raptures made him discover so thoroughly the gross impositions of the monks and nuns that he joined the Reformed Church.

        This is history. Bayle shows that when the Roman Church is no longer able to deny that there have been false relics, she resorts to sophistry, and replies that if false relics have wrought miracles it is "because of the good intentions of the believers, who thus obtained from God a reward of their good faith!" The same Bayle shows, by numerous instances, that whenever it was proved that several bodies of the same saint, or three heads of him, or three arms (as in the case of Augustine) were said to exist in different places, and that they could not well be all authentic, the cool and invariable answer of the Church was that they were all genuine; for "God had multiplied and miraculously reproduced them for the greater glory of His Holy Church!" In other words they would have the faithful believe that the body of a deceased saint may, through divine miracle, acquire the physiological peculiarities of a crawfish!


 73                                                                                          A DECEIVING CLERGY AND LYING SPIRITS.

        We fancy that it would be hard to demonstrate to satisfaction that the visions of Catholic saints, are, in any one particular instance, better or more trustworthy than the average visions and prophecies of our modern "mediums." The visions of Andrew Jackson Davis — however our critics may sneer at them — are by long odds more philosophical and more compatible with modern science than the Augustinian speculations. Whenever the visions of Swedenborg, the greatest among the modern seers, run astray from philosophy and scientific truth, it is when they most run parallel with theology. Nor are these visions any more useless to either science or humanity than those of the great orthodox saints. In the life of St. Bernard it is narrated that as he was once in church, upon a Christmas eve, he prayed that the very hour in which Christ was born might be revealed to him; and when the "true and correct hour came, he saw the divine babe appear in his manger." What a pity that the divine babe did not embrace so favorable an opportunity to fix the correct day and year of his death, and thereby reconcile the controversies of his putative historians. The Tischendorfs, Lardners, and Colensos, as well as many a Catholic divine, who have vainly squeezed the marrow out of historical records and their own brains, in the useless search, would at least have had something for which to thank the saint.

        As it is, we are hopelessly left to infer that most of the beatific and divine visions of the Golden Legend, and those to be found in the more complete biographies of the most important "saints," as well as most of the visions of our own persecuted seers and seeresses, were produced by ignorant and undeveloped "spirits" passionately fond of personating great historical characters. We are quite ready to agree with the Chevalier des Mousseaux, and other unrelenting persecutors of magic and spiritualism in the name of the Church, that modern spirits are often "lying spirits"; that they are ever on hand to humor the respective hobbies of the persons who communicate with them at "circles"; that they deceive them and, therefore, are not always good "spirits."

        But, having conceded so much, we will now ask of any impartial person: is it possible to believe at the same time that the power given to the exorcist-priest, that supreme and divine power of which he boasts, has been given to him by God for the purpose of deceiving people? That the prayer pronounced by him in the name of Christ, and which, forcing the demon into submission, makes him reveal himself, is calculated at the same time to make the devil confess not the truth, but that only which it is the interest of the church to which the exorcist belongs, should pass for truth? And this is what invariably happens. Compare, for instance, the responses given by the demon to Luther, with those obtained from the devils by St. Dominick. The one argues against the


74                                                                                                                            ISIS UNVEILED.

private mass, and upbraids Luther with placing the Virgin Mary and saints before Christ, and thus dishonoring the Son of God; * while the demons exorcised by St. Dominick, upon seeing the Virgin whom the holy father had also evoked to help him, roar out: "Oh! our enemy! oh! our damner! . . . why didst thou descend from heaven to torment us? Why art thou so powerful an intercessor for sinners! Oh! thou most certain and secure way to heaven . . . thou commandest us and we are forced to confess that nobody is damned who only perseveres in thy holy worship, etc., etc." † Luther's "Saint Satan" assures him that while believing in the transubstantiation of Christ's body and blood he had been worshipping merely bread and wine; and the devils of all the Catholic saints promise eternal damnation to whomsoever disbelieves or even so much as doubts the dogma!

        Before leaving the subject, let us give one or two more instances from the Chronicles of the Lives of the Saints, selected from such narratives as are fully accepted by the Church. We might fill volumes with proofs of undeniable confederacy between the exorcisers and the demons. Their very nature betrays them. Instead of being independent, crafty entities bent on the destruction of men's souls and spirits, the majority of them are simply the elementals of the kabalists; creatures with no intellect of their own, but faithful mirrors of the WILL which evokes, controls, and guides them. We will not waste our time in drawing the reader's attention to doubtful or obscure thaumaturgists and exorcisers, but take as our standard one of the greatest saints of Catholicism, and select a bouquet from that same prolific conservatory of pious lies, The Golden Legend, of James de Voragine. ‡

        St. Dominick, the founder of the famous order of that name, is one of the mightiest saints on the calendar. His order was the first that received a solemn confirmation from the Pope, § and he is well known in history as the associate and counsellor of the infamous Simon de Montfort, the papal general, whom he helped to butcher the unfortunate Albigenses in and near Toulouse. The story goes that this saint and the Church after him, claim that he received from the Virgin, in propria persona, a rosary, whose virtues produced such stupendous miracles that they throw entirely into the shade those of the apostles, and even of Jesus himself. A man, says the biographer, an abandoned sinner, was bold enough to doubt the
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*
De Missa Privata et Unctione Sacerdotum.

† See the "Life of St. Dominick" and the story about the miraculous Rosary; also the "Golden Legend."

‡ James de Varasse, known by the Latin name of James de Voragine, was Vicar General of the Dominicans and Bishop of Genoa in 1290.

§ Thirteenth century.


75                                                                                           DOMINICK'S DIALOGUE WITH THE DEVILS.

virtue of the Dominican rosary; and for this unparalleled blasphemy was punished on the spot by having 15,000 devils take possession of him. Seeing the great suffering of the tortured demoniac, St. Dominick forgot the insult and called the devils to account.
        Following is the colloquy between the "blessed exorcist" and the demons:
        Question. — How did you take possession of this man, and how many are you?
        Answer of the Devils. —We came into him for having spoken disrespectfully of the rosary. We are 15,000.

        Question. —
Why did so many as 15,000 enter him?
        Answer. — Because there are fifteen decades in the rosary which he derided, etc.

        Dominick. —
Is not all true I have said of the virtues of the rosary?
        Devils. — Yes! Yes! (they emit flames through the nostrils of the demoniac). Know all ye Christians that Dominick never said one word concerning the rosary that is not most true; and know ye further, that if you do not believe him, great calamities will befall you.

        Dominick. —
Who is the man in the world the Devil hates the most?
        Devils. — (In chorus.) Thou art the very man (here follow verbose compliments).

        Dominick
. — Of which state of Christians are there the most damned?
        Devils. —
In hell we have merchants, pawnbrokers, fraudulent bankers, grocers, Jews, apothecaries, etc., etc.

        Dominick. —
Are there any priests or monks in hell?
        Devils. — There are a great number of priests, but no monks, with the exception of such as have transgressed the rule of their order.

        Dominick. —
Have you any Dominicans?
        Devils. — Alas! alas! we have not one yet, but we expect a great number of them after their devotion is a little cooled.

        We do not pretend to give the questions and answers literally, for they occupy twenty-three pages; but the substance is here, as may be seen by any one who cares to read the Golden Legend. The full description of the hideous bellowings of the demons, their enforced glorification of the saint, and so on, is too long for this chapter. Suffice it to say that as we read the numerous questions offered by Dominick and the answers of the demons, we become fully convinced that they corroborate in every detail the unwarranted assertions and support the interests of the Church. The narrative is suggestive. The legend graphically describes the battle of the exorcist with the legion from the bottomless pit. The sulphurous flames which burst forth from the nose, mouth, eyes, and ears, of the demoniac; the sudden appearance of over a hun-


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dred angels, clad in golden armor; and, finally, the descent of the blessed Virgin herself, in person, bearing a golden rod, with which she administers a sound thrashing to the demoniac, to force the devils to confess that of herself which we scarcely need repeat. The whole catalogue of theological truths uttered by Dominick's devils were embodied in so many articles of faith by his Holiness, the present Pope, in 1870, at the last Œcumenical Council.

        From the foregoing it is easy to see that the only substantial difference between infidel "mediums" and orthodox saints lies in the relative usefulness of the demons, if demons we must call them. While the Devil faithfully supports the Christian exorcist in his orthodox (?) views, the modern spook generally leaves his medium in the lurch. For, by lying, he acts against his or her interests rather than otherwise, and thereby too often casts foul suspicion on the genuineness of the mediumship. Were modern "spirits" devils, they would evidently display a little more discrimination and cunning than they do. They would act as the demons of the saint which, compelled by the ecclesiastical magician and by the power of "the name . . . which forces them into submission," lie in accordance with the direct interest of the exorcist and his church. The moral of the parallel we leave to the sagacity of the reader.

        "Observe well," exclaims des Mousseaux, "that there are demons which sometimes will speak the truth." "The exorcist," he adds, quoting the Ritual, "must command the demon to tell him whether he is detained in the body of the demoniac through some magic art, or by signs, or any objects which usually serve for this evil practice. In case the exorcised person has swallowed the latter, he must vomit them back; and if they are not in his body, the demon must indicate the proper place where they are to be found; and having found them they must be burned." * Thus some "demons reveal the existence of the bewitchment, tell who is its author, and indicate the means to destroy the malefice. But beware to ever resort, in such a case, to magicians, sorcerers, or mediums. You must call to help you but the minister of your Church!" "The Church believes in magic, as you well see," he adds, "since she expresses it so formally. And those who disbelieve in magic, can they still hope to share the faith of their own Church? And who can teach them better? To whom did Christ say: 'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations . . . and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world?' " †

        Are we to believe that he said this but to those who wear these black
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*
"Rituale Romanum," pp. 475-478. Parisiis, 1852.

† "Mœurs et Pratiques des Demons," p. 177.


77                                                                                         HALF-CONVERTED DRAGONS AND WOLVES.

or scarlet liveries of Rome? Must we then credit the story that this power was given by Christ to Simon Stylites, the saint who sanctified himself by perching on a pillar (stylos) sixty feet high, for thirty-six years of his life, without ever descending from it, in order that, among other miracles stated in the Golden Legend, he might cure a dragon of a sore eye? "Near Simon's pillar was the dwelling of a dragon, so very venomous that the stench was spread for miles round his cave." This ophidian-hermit met with an accident; he got a thorn in his eye, and, becoming blind, crept to the saint's pillar, and pressed his eye against it for three days, without touching any one. Then the blessed saint, from his aėrial seat, "three feet in diameter," ordered earth and water to be placed on the dragon's eye, out of which suddenly emerged a thorn (or stake), a cubit in length; when the people saw the "miracle" they glorified the Creator. As to the grateful dragon, he arose and, "having adored God for two hours, returned to his cave" * — a half-converted ophidian, we must suppose.

        And what are we to think of that other narrative, to disbelieve in which is "to risk one's salvation," as we were informed by a Pope's missionary, of the Order of the Franciscans? When St. Francis preached a sermon in the wilderness, the birds assembled from the four cardinal points of the world. They warbled and applauded every sentence; they sang a holy mass in chorus; finally they dispersed to carry the glad tidings all over the universe. A grasshopper, profiting by the absence of the Holy Virgin, who generally kept company with the saint, remained perched on the head of the "blessed one" for a whole week. Attacked by a ferocious wolf, the saint, who had no other weapon but the sign of the cross which he made upon himself, instead of running away from his rabid assailant, began arguing with the beast. Having imparted to him the benefit to be derived from the holy religion, St. Francis never ceased talking until the wolf became as meek as a lamb, and even shed tears of repentance over his past sins. Finally, he "stretched his paws in the hands of the saint, followed him like a dog through all the towns in which he preached, and became half a Christian"! † Wonders of zoology! a horse turned sorcerer, a wolf and a dragon turned Christians!

        These two anecdotes, chosen at random from among hundreds, if rivalled are not surpassed by the wildest romances of the Pagan thaumaturgists, magicians, and spiritualists! And yet, when Pythagoras is said to have subdued animals, even wild beasts, merely through a power-
————————————————————————————————————
*
See the narrative selected from the "Golden Legend," by Alban Butler.

† See the "Golden Legend"; "Life of St. Francis"; "Demonologia."

 
78                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

ful mesmeric influence, he is pronounced by one-half of the Catholics a bare-faced impostor, and by the rest a sorcerer, who worked magic in confederacy with the Devil. Neither the she-bear, nor the eagle, nor yet the bull that Pythagoras is said to have persuaded to give up eating beans, were alleged to have answered with human voices; while St. Benedict's "black raven," whom he called "brother," argues with him, and croaks his answers like a born casuist. When the saint offers him one-half of a poisoned loaf, the raven grows indignant and reproaches him in Latin as though he had just graduated at the Propaganda!

        If it be objected that the Golden Legend is now but half supported by the Church; and that it is known to have been compiled by the writer from a collection of the lives of the saints, for the most part unauthenticated, we can show that, at least in one instance, the biography is no legendary compilation, but the history of one man, by another one who was his contemporary. Jortin and Gibbon demonstrated years ago, that the early fathers used to select narratives, wherewith to ornament the lives of their apocryphal saints, from Ovid, Homer, Livy, and even from the unwritten popular legends of Pagan nations. But such is not the case in the above instances. St. Bernard lived in the twelfth century, and St. Dominick was nearly contemporaneous with the author of the Golden Legend. De Voragine died in 1298, and Dominick, whose exorcisms and life he describes so minutely, instituted his order in the first quarter of the thirteenth century. Moreover, de Voragine was Vicar-General of the Dominicans himself, in the middle of the same century, and therefore described the miracles wrought by his hero and patron but a few years after they were alleged to have happened. He wrote them in the same convent; and while narrating these wonders he had probably fifty persons at hand who had been eye-witnesses to the saint's mode of living. What must we think, in such a case, of a biographer who seriously describes the following: One day, as the blessed saint was occupied in his study, the Devil began pestering him, in the shape of a flea. He frisked and jumped about the pages of his book until the harassed saint, unwilling as he was to act unkindly, even toward a devil, felt compelled to punish him by fixing the troublesome devil on the very sentence on which he stopped, by clasping the book. At another time the same devil appeared under the shape of a monkey. He grinned so horribly that Dominick, in order to get rid of him, ordered the devil-monkey to take the candle and hold it for him until he had done reading. The poor imp did so, and held it until it was consumed to the very end of the wick; and, notwithstanding his pitiful cries for mercy, the saint compelled him to hold it till his fingers were burned to the bones!

        Enough! The approbation with which this book was received by the

 
79                                                                                           THE INDECENCY OF THE "GOLDEN LEGEND."

Church, and the peculiar sanctity attributed to it, is sufficient to show the estimation in which veracity was held by its patrons. We may add, in conclusion, that the finest quintessence of Boccaccio's Decameron appears prudery itself by comparison with the filthy realism of the Golden Legend.

        We cannot regard with too much astonishment the pretensions of the Catholic Church in seeking to convert Hindus and Buddhists to Christianity. While the "heathen" keeps to the faith of his fathers, he has at least the one redeeming quality — that of not having apostatized for the mere pleasure of exchanging one set of idols for another. There may be for him some novelty in his embracing Protestantism; for in that he gains the advantage, at least, of limiting his religious views to their simplest expression. But when a Buddhist has been enticed into exchanging his Shoe Dagoon for the Slipper of the Vatican, or the eight hairs from the head of Gautama and Buddha's tooth, which work miracles, for the locks of a Christian saint, and a tooth of Jesus, which work far less clever miracles, he has no cause to boast of his choice. In his address to the Literary Society of Java, Sir T. S. Raffles is said to have narrated the following characteristic anecdote: "On visiting the great temple on the hills of Nagasaki, the English commissioner was received with marked regard and respect by the venerable patriarch of the northern provinces, a man eighty years of age, who entertained him most sumptuously. On showing him round the courts of the temple, one of the English officers present heedlessly exclaimed, in surprise, 'Jesus Christus!' The patriarch turning half round, with a placid smile, bowed significantly, with the expression: 'We know your Jasus Christus! Well, don't obtrude him upon us in our temples, and we remain friends.' And so, with a hearty shake of the hands, these two opposites parted." *

        There is scarcely a report sent by the missionaries from India, Thibet, and China, but laments the diabolical "obscenity" of the heathen rites, their lamentable impudicity; all of which "are so strongly suggestive of devil-worship," as des Mousseaux tells us. We can scarcely be assured that the morality of the Pagans would be in the least improved were they allowed a free inquiry into the life of say the psalmist-king, the author of those sweet Psalms which are so rapturously repeated by Christians. The difference between David performing a phallic dance before the holy ark — emblem of the female principle — and a Hindu Vishnavite bearing the same emblem on his forehead, favors the former only in the eyes of those who have studied neither the ancient faith nor their own. When a religion which compelled David to cut off and deliver two hundred foreskins of his enemies before he could become the king's son-in-law (I Sam.
————————————————————————————————————
*
"The Mythology of the Hindus," by Charles Coleman. Japan.


 80                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

xviii.) is accepted as a standard by Christians, they would do well not to cast into the teeth of heathen the impudicities of their faiths. Remembering the suggestive parable of Jesus, they ought to cast the beam out of their own eye before plucking at the mote in their neighbor's. The sexual element is as marked in Christianity as in any one of the "heathen religions." Certainly, nowhere in the Vedas can be found the coarseness and downright immodesty of language, that Hebraists now discover throughout the Mosaic Bible.

        It would profit little were we to dwell much upon subjects which have been disposed of in such a masterly way by an anonymous author whose work electrified England and Germany last year; * while as regards the particular topic under notice, we cannot do better than recommend the scholarly writings of Dr. Inman. Albeit one-sided, and in many instances unjust to the ancient heathen, Pagan, and Jewish religions, the facts treated in the Ancient and Pagan Christian Symbolism, are unimpeachable. Neither can we agree with some English critics who charge him with an intent to destroy Christianity. If by Christianity is meant the external religious forms of worship, then he certainly seeks to destroy it, for in his eyes, as well as in those of every truly religious man, who has studied ancient exoteric faiths, and their symbology, Christianity is pure heathenism, and Catholicism, with its fetish-worshipping, is far worse and more pernicious than Hinduism in its most idolatrous aspect. But while denouncing the exoteric forms and unmasking the symbols, it is not the religion of Christ that the author attacks, but the artificial system of theology. We will allow him to illustrate the position in his own language, and quote from his preface:

        "When vampires were discovered by the acumen of any observer," he says, "they were, we are told, ignominiously killed, by a stake being driven through the body; but experience showed them to have such tenacity of life that they rose, again and again, notwithstanding renewed impalement, and were not ultimately laid to rest till wholly burned. In like manner, the regenerated heathendom, which dominates over the followers of Jesus of Nazareth, has risen again and again, after being transfixed. Still cherished by the many, it is denounced by the few. Amongst other accusers, I raise my voice against the Paganism which exists so extensively in ecclesiastical Christianity, and will do my utmost to expose the imposture. . . . In a vampire story told in Thalaba, by Southey, the resuscitated being takes the form of a dearly-beloved maiden, and the hero is obliged to kill her with his own hand. He does so; but, whilst he strikes the form of the loved one, he feels sure that he slays
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Supernatural Religion."


 81                                                                                                 THE POPE FRATERNIZING WITH ISLAM.

only a demon. In like manner, when I endeavor to destroy the current heathenism, which has assumed the garb of Christianity, I do not attack real religion. * Few would accuse a workman of malignancy, who cleanses from filth the surface of a noble statue. There may be some who are too nice to touch a nasty subject, yet even they will rejoice when some one else removes the dirt. Such a scavenger is wanted." †

        But is it merely Pagans and heathen that the Catholics persecute, and about whom, like Augustine, they cry to the Deity, "Oh, my God! so do I wish Thy enemies to be slain"? Oh, no! their aspirations are more Mosaic and Cain-like than that. It is against their next of kin in faith, against their schismatic brothers that they are now intriguing within the walls which sheltered the murderous Borgias. The larvę of the infanticidal, parricidal, and fratricidal Popes have proved themselves fit counsellors for the Cains of Castelfidardo and Mentana. It is now the turn of the Slavonian Christians, the Oriental Schismatics — the Philistines of the Greek Church!

        His Holiness the Pope, after exhausting, in a metaphor of self-laudation, every point of assimilation between the great biblical prophets and himself, has finally and truly compared himself with the Patriarch Jacob "wrestling against his God." He now crowns the edifice of Catholic piety by openly sympathizing with the Turks! The vicegerent of God inaugurates his infallibility by encouraging, in a true Christian spirit, the acts of that Moslem David, the modern Bashi-Bazuk; and it seems as if nothing would more please his Holiness than to be presented by the latter with several thousands of the Bulgarian or Servian "foreskins." True to her policy to be all things to all men to promote her own interests, the Romish Church is, at this writing (1876), benevolently viewing the Bulgarian and Servian atrocities, and, probably, manœuvring with Turkey against Russia. Better Islam, and the hitherto-hated Crescent over the sepulchre of the Christian god, than the Greek Church established at Constantinople and Jerusalem as the state religion. Like a decrepit and toothless ex-tyrant in exile, the Vatican is eager for any alliance that promises, if not a restoration of its own power, at least the weakening of its rival. The axe its inquisitors once swung, it now toys
————————————————————————————————————
*
Neither do we, if by true religion the world shall at last understand the adoration of one Supreme, invisible, and Unknown Deity, by works and acts, not by the profession of vain human dogmas. But our intention is to go farther. We desire to demonstrate that if we exclude ceremonial and fetish worship from being regarded as essential parts of religion, then the true Christ-like principles have been exemplified, and true Christianity practiced since the days of the apostles, exclusively among Buddhists and "heathen."

† "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. xvi.

 
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with in secret, feeling its edge, and waiting, and hoping against hope. In her time, the Popish Church has lain with strange bedfellows, but never before now sunk to the degradation of giving her moral support to those who for over 1200 years spat in her face, called her adherents "infidel dogs," repudiated her teachings, and denied godhood to her God!

        The press of even Catholic France is fairly aroused at this indignity, and openly accuses the Ultramontane portion of the Catholic Church and the Vatican of siding, during the present Eastern struggle, with the Mahometan against the Christian. "When the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the French Legislature spoke some mild words in favor of the Greek Christians, he was only applauded by the liberal Catholics, and received coldly by the Ultramontane party," says the French correspondent of a New York paper.

        "So pronounced was this, that M. Lemoinne, the well-known editor of the great liberal Catholic journal, the Debats, was moved to say that the Roman Church felt more sympathy for the Moslem than the schismatic, just as they preferred an infidel to the Protestant. 'There is at bottom,' says this writer, 'a great affinity between the Syllabus and the Koran, and between the two heads of the faithful. The two systems are of the same nature, and are united on the common ground of a one and unchangeable theory.' In Italy, in like manner, the King and Liberal Catholics are in warm sympathy with the unfortunate Christians, while the Pope and Ultramontane faction are believed to be inclining to the Mahometans."

        The civilized world may yet expect the apparition of the materialized Virgin Mary within the walls of the Vatican. The so often-repeated "miracle" of the Immaculate Visitor in the medięval ages has recently been enacted at Lourdes, and why not once more, as a coup de grāce to all heretics, schismatics, and infidels? The miraculous wax taper is yet seen at Arras, the chief city of Artois; and at every new calamity threatening her beloved Church, the "Blessed Lady" appears personally, and lights it with her own fair hands, in view of a whole "biologized" congregation. This sort of "miracle," says E. Worsley, wrought by the Roman Catholic Church, "being most certain, and never doubted of by any." * Neither has the private correspondence with which the most "Gracious Lady" honors her friends been doubted. There are two precious missives from her in the archives of the Church. The first purports to be a letter in answer to one addressed to her by Ignatius. She confirms all things learned by her correspondent from "her friend" —
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Discourses of Miracles wrought in the Roman Catholic Church; or a full Refutation of Dr. Stillingfleet's unjust Exceptions against Miracles." Octavo, 1676, p. 64.


83                                                                                                            A LETTER FROM MARY VIRGIN.

meaning the Apostle John. She bids him hold fast to his vows, and adds as an inducement: "I and John will come together and pay you a visit." *

       Nothing was known of this unblushing fraud till the letters were published at Paris, in 1495. By a curious accident it appeared at a time when threatening inquiries began to be made as to the genuineness of the fourth Synoptic. Who could doubt, after such a confirmation from headquarters! But the climax of effrontery was capped in 1534, when another letter was received from the "Mediatrix," which sounds more like the report of a lobby-agent to a brother-politician. It was written in excellent Latin, and was found in the Cathedral of Messina, together with the image to which it alludes. Its contents run as follows:

       "Mary Virgin, Mother of the Redeemer of the world, to the Bishop, Clergy, and the other faithful of Messina, sendeth health and benediction from herself and son: †

        "Whereas ye have been mindful of establishing the worship of me; now this is to let you know that by so doing ye have found great favor in my sight. I have a long time reflected with pain upon your city, which is exposed to much danger from its contiguity to the fire of Etna, and I have often had words about it with my son, for he was vexed with you because of your guilty neglect of my worship, so that he would not care a pin about my intercession. Now, however, that you have come to your senses, and have happily begun to worship me, he has conferred upon me the right to become your everlasting protectress; but, at the same time, I warn you to mind what you are about, and give me no cause of repenting of my kindness to you. The prayers and festivals instituted in my honor please me tremendously (vehementer), and if you faithfully persevere in these things, and provided you oppose to the utmost of your power, the heretics which now-a-days are spreading through the world, by which both my worship and that of the other saints, male and female, are so endangered, you shall enjoy my perpetual protection.

        "In sign of this compact, I send you down from Heaven the image of myself, cast by celestial hands, and if ye hold it in the honor to which it is entitled, it will be an evidence to me of your obedience and your faith. Farewell. Dated in Heaven, whilst sitting near the throne of my son, in the month of December, of the 1534th year from his incarnation.

                                                                                                                                                       "MARY VIRGIN"

        The reader should understand that this document is no anti-Catholic forgery. The author from whom it is taken, † says that the authenticity of the missive "is attested by the Bishop himself, his Vicar-General,
————————————————————————————————————
*
After this, why should the Roman Catholics object to the claims of the Spiritualists? If, without proof, they believe in the "materialization" of Mary and John, for Ignatius, how can they logically deny the materialization of Katie and John (King), when it is attested by the careful experiments of Mr. Crookes, the English chemist, and the cumulative testimony of a large number of witnesses?

† The "Mother of God" takes precedence therefore of God?

‡ See the "New Era" for July, 1875. N. Y.

 
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Secretary, and six Canons of the Cathedral Church of Messina, all of whom have signed that attestation with their names, and confirmed it upon oath.

         "Both the epistle and image were found upon the high altar, where they had been placed by angels from heaven."

        A Church must have reached the last stages of degradation, when such sacrilegious trickery as this could be resorted to by its clergy, and accepted with or without question by the people.

        No! far from the man who feels the workings of an immortal spirit within him, be such a religion! There never was nor ever will be a truly philosophical mind, whether of Pagan, heathen, Jew, or Christian, but has followed the same path of thought. Gautama-Buddha is mirrored in the precepts of Christ; Paul and Philo Judęus are faithful echoes of Plato; and Ammonius Saccas and Plotinus won their immortal fame by combining the teachings of all these grand masters of true philosophy. "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good," ought to be the motto of all brothers on earth. Not so is it with the interpreters of the Bible. The seed of the Reformation was sown on the day that the second chapter of The Catholic Epistle of James, jostled the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the same New Testament. One who believes in Paul cannot believe in James, Peter, and John. The Paulists, to remain Christians with their apostle, must withstand Peter "to the face"; and if Peter "was to be blamed" and was wrong, then he was not infallible. How then can his successor (?) boast of his infallibility? Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every house divided against itself must fall. A plurality of masters has proved as fatal in religions as in politics. What Paul preached, was preached by every other mystic philosopher. "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage!" exclaims the honest apostle-philosopher; and adds, as if prophetically inspired: "But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another."

        That the Neo-platonists were not always despised or accused of demonolatry is evidenced in the adoption by the Roman Church of their very rites and theurgy. The identical evocations and incantations of the Pagan and Jewish Kabalist, are now repeated by the Christian exorcist, and the theurgy of Iamblichus was adopted word for word. "Distinct as were the Platonists and Pauline Christians of the earlier centuries," writes Professor A. Wilder, "many of the more distinguished teachers of the new faith were deeply tinctured with the philosophical leaven. Synesius, the Bishop of Cyrene, was the disciple of Hypatia. St. Anthony reiterated the theurgy of Iamblichus. The Logos, or word of the Gospel


85                                                                                                 PAGAN ORIGIN OF CATHOLIC RITUAL.
according to John, was a Gnostic personification. Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and others of the fathers drank deeply from the fountains of philosophy. The ascetic idea which carried away the Church was like that which was practiced by Plotinus . . . all through the middle ages there rose up men who accepted the interior doctrines which were promulgated by the renowned teacher of the Academy." *

     To substantiate our accusation that the Latin Church first despoiled the kabalists and theurgists of their magical rites and ceremonies, before hurling anathemas upon their devoted heads, we will now translate for the reader fragments from the forms of exorcism employed by kabalists and Christians. The identity in phraseology, may, perhaps, disclose one of the reasons why the Romish Church has always desired to keep the faithful in ignorance of the meaning of her Latin prayers and ritual. Only those directly interested in the deception have had the opportunity to compare the rituals of the Church and the magicians. The best Latin scholars were, until a comparatively recent date, either churchmen, or dependent upon the Church. Common people could not read Latin, and even if they could, the reading of the books on magic was prohibited, under the penalty of anathema and excommunication. The cunning device of the confessional made it almost impossible to consult, even surreptitiously, what the priests call a grimoire (a devil's scrawl), or Ritual of Magic. To make assurance doubly sure, the Church began destroying or concealing everything of the kind she could lay her hands upon.
     The following are translated from the Kabalistic Ritual, and that generally known as the Roman Ritual. The latter was promulgated in 1851 and 1852, under the sanction of Cardinal Engelbert, Archbishop of Malines, and of the Archbishop of Paris. Speaking of it, the demonologist des Mousseaux says: "It is the ritual of Paul V., revised by the most learned of modern Popes, by the contemporary of Voltaire, Benedict
XIV." † 

                            KABALISTIC. (Jewish and Pagan.)                                                      ROMAN CATHOLIC
                                        Exorcism of Salt.                                                                         Exorcism of Salt.
§

      The Priest-Magician blesses the Salt, and says:                          The Priest blesses the Salt and says: "Creature of Salt, I
"Creature of Salt, ‡ in thee may remain the
WISDOM                       exorcise thee in the name of the living God . . . become
(of God); and may it preserve from all corruption                           the health of the soul and of the body! Every-
our minds and

——————————————————————————
*
"Paul and Plato."                 † See "La Magie au XIXme Siecle," p. 168.

‡ Creature of salt, air, water, or of any object to be enchanted or blessed, is a technical word in magic, adopted by the Christian clergy.

§ "Rom. Rit.," edit. of 1851, pp. 291-296, etc., etc.


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bodies. Through Hochmael ( lawkbx God of wisdom),                                where where thou art thrown may the unclean spirit
and the power of Ruach Hochmael (Spirit of the                                         be put to  flight. . . . Amen."
Holy Ghost) may the Spirits of matter (bad spirits)
before it recede. . . . Amen."
 

               Exorcism of Water (and Ashes).                                                                           Exorcism of Water.
   "Creature of the Water, I exorcise thee . . . by the                                      "Creature of the water, in the name of the Almighty God,
three names
which are Netsah, Hod, and Jerod                                               the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost . . . be exorcised
(kabalistic trinity), in the beginning and in the end,                                      . . . . I adjure thee in the name of the Lamb . . . (the
by Alpha and Omega, which are in the Spirit Azoth                                    magician  says bull or ox — per alas Tauri) of the Lamb
(Holy Ghost, or the 'Universal Soul'), I exorcise and                                      that trod upon the basilisk and the aspic, and who crushes
adjure thee. . . . Wandering eagle, may the Lord                                           under his foot the lion and the dragon."
command thee by the wings of the bull and his
flaming sword.
" (The cherub placed at the east
gate of Eden.)

            Exorcism of an Elemental Spirit.                                                                        Exorcism of the Devil.
    "Serpent, in the name of the Tetragrammaton,                                                     .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .
the Lord; He commands thee, by the angel and                                            "O Lord, let him who carries along with him the terror,
the lion.                                                                                                               flee, struck in his turn by terror and defeated. O thou,
    "Angel of darkness, obey, and run away with                                             who art the Ancient Serpent . . . tremble before the hand
this holy (exorcised) water. Eagle in chains, obey                                          of him who, having triumphed of the tortures of hell (?)
this sign, and retreat before the breath. Moving                                            devictis gemitibus inferni, recalled the souls to light. . . .
serpent, crawl at my feet, or be tortured by this                                            The more whilst thou decay, the more terrible will be thy
sacred fire,
and evaporate before this holy incense.                                        torture . . . by Him who reigns over the living and the
Let water return to water (the elemental spirit of                                           dead . . . and who will judge the century by fire, sęculum
water); let the fire burn, and the air circulate; let                                            per ignem, etc. In the name of the Father, Son, and the
the earth return to earth by the virtue of the                                                  Holy Ghost. Amen."
*
Pentagram, which is the Morning Star, and in
the name of the tetragrammaton which is traced
in the centre of the Cross of Light. Amen."

        It is unnecessary to try the patience of the reader any longer, although we might multiply examples. It must not be forgotten that we have quoted from the latest revision of the Ritual, that of 1851-2. If we were to go back to the former one we would find a far more striking identity, not merely of phraseology but of ceremonial form. For the purpose of comparison we have not even availed ourselves of the ritual of ceremonial magic of the Christian kabalists of the middle ages, wherein the language modelled upon a belief in the divinity of Christ is, with the exception of a stray expression here and there, identical with the Catholic
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Rom. Rit.," pp. 421-435.


87                                                                                                                 THE SIGN OF THE CROSS KABALISTIC.

Ritual.* The latter, however, makes one improvement, for the originality of which the Church should be allowed all credit. Certainly nothing so fantastical could be found in a ritual of magic. "Give place," apostrophizing the "Demon," it says, "give place to Jesus Christ . . . thou filthy, stinking, and ferocious beast . . . dost thou rebel? Listen and tremble, Satan; enemy of the faith, enemy of the human race, introducer of death . . . root of all evil, promoter of vice, soul of envy, origin of avarice, cause of discord, prince of homicide, whom God curses; author of incest and sacrilege, inventor of all obscenity, professor of the most detestable actions, and Grand Master of Heretics (!!) (Doctor Hęreticorum!) What! . . . dost thou still stand? Dost dare to resist, and thou knowest that Christ, our Lord, is coming? . . . Give place to Jesus Christ, give place to the Holy Ghost, which, by His blessed Apostle Peter, has flung thee down before the public, in the person of Simon the Magician" (te manifeste stravit in Simone mago). †

        After such a shower of abuse, no devil having the slightest feeling of self-respect could remain in such company; unless, indeed, he should chance to be an Italian Liberal, or King Victor Emmanuel himself both of whom, thanks to Pius IX., have become anathema-proof.

        It really seems too bad to strip Rome of all her symbols at once; but justice must be done to the despoiled hierophants. Long before the sign of the Cross was adopted as a Christian symbol, it was employed as a secret sign of recognition among neophytes and adepts. Says Levi: "The sign of the Cross adopted by the Christians does not belong exclusively to them. It is kabalistic, and represents the oppositions and quaternary equilibrium of the elements. We see by the occult verse of the Pater, to which we have called attention in another work, that there were originally two ways of making it, or, at least, two very different formulas to express its meaning — one reserved for priests and initiates; the other given to neophytes and the profane. Thus, for example, the initiate, carrying his hand to his forehead, said: To thee; then he added, belong; and continued, while carrying his hand to the breast — the kingdom; then, to the left shoulder — justice; to the right shoulder — and mercy. Then he joined the two hands, adding: throughout the generating cycles: 'Tibi sunt Malchut, et Geburah et Chassed per Ęonas' — a sign of the Cross, absolutely and magnificently kabalistic, which the profanations of Gnosticism made the militant and official Church completely lose." ‡
————————————————————————————————————
*
See "Art-Magic," art. Peter d'Abano.

† "Ritual," pp. 429-433; see "La Magie au XIXme Siecle," pp. 171, 172.

‡ "Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie," vol. ii., p. 88.


 
88                                                                                                                      ISIS UNVEILED.

        How fantastical, therefore, is the assertion of Father Ventura, that, while Augustine was a Manichean, a philosopher, ignorant of and refusing to humble himself before the sublimity of the "grand Christian revelation," he knew nothing, understood naught of God, man, or universe; ". . . he remained poor, small, obscure, sterile, and wrote nothing, did nothing really grand or useful." But, hardly had he become a Christian ". . . when his reasoning powers and intellect, enlightened at the luminary of faith, elevated him to the most sublime heights of philosophy and theology." And his other proposition that Augustine's genius, as a consequence, "developed itself in all its grandeur and prodigious fecundity . . . his intellect radiated with that immense splendor which, reflecting itself in his immortal writings, has never ceased for one moment during fourteen centuries to illuminate the Church and the world"! *

        Whatever Augustine was as a Manichean, we leave Father Ventura to discover; but that his accession to Christianity established an everlasting enmity between theology and science is beyond doubt. While forced to confess that "the Gentiles had possibly something divine and true in their doctrines," he, nevertheless, declared that for their superstition, idolatry, and pride, they had "to be detested, and, unless they improved, to be punished by divine judgment." This furnishes the clew to the subsequent policy of the Christian Church, even to our day. If the Gentiles did not choose to come into the Church, all that was divine in their philosophy should go for naught, and the divine wrath of God should be visited upon their heads. What effect this produced is succinctly stated by Draper: "No one did more than this Father to bring science and religion into antagonism; it was mainly he who diverted the Bible from its true office — a guide to purity of life — and placed it in the perilous position of being the arbiter of human knowledge, an audacious tyranny over the mind of man. The example once set, there was no want of followers; the works of the Greek philosophers were stigmatized as profane; the transcendently glorious achievements of the Museum of Alexandria were hidden from sight by a cloud of ignorance, mysticism, and unintelligible jargon, out of which there too often flashed the destroying lightnings of ecclesiastical vengeance." †

        Augustine and Cyprian ‡ admit that Hermes and Hostanes believed in one true god; the first two maintaining, as well as the two Pagans, that he is invisible and incomprehensible, except spiritually. Moreover we invite any man of intelligence — provided he be not a religious fanatic — after reading fragments chosen at random from the works of Hermes
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Conferences," by Le Pere Ventura, vol. ii., part i., p. lvi., Preface.

† "Conflict between Religion and Science," p. 62.

‡ "De Baptismo Contra Donatistas," lib. vi., ch. xliv.


89                                                                                                   WAS "SIMON MAGUS" ST. PAUL?

and Augustine on the Deity, to decide which of the two gives a more philosophical definition of the "unseen Father." We have at least one writer of fame who is of our opinion. Draper calls the Augustinian productions a "rhapsodical conversation" with God; an "incoherent dream." *

        Father Ventura depicts the saint as attitudinizing before an astonished world upon "the most sublime heights of philosophy." But here steps in again the same unprejudiced critic, who passes the following remarks on this colossus of Patristic philosophy. "Was it for this preposterous scheme," he asks, "this product of ignorance and audacity, that the works of the Greek philosophers were to be given up? It was none too soon that the great critics who appeared at the Reformation, by comparing the works of these writers with one another, brought them to their proper level, and taught us to look upon them all with contempt." †

        For such men as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Apollonius, and even Simon Magus, to be accused of having formed a pact with the Devil, whether the latter personage exist or not, is so absurd as to need but little refutation. If Simon Magus — the most problematical of all in an historical sense — ever existed otherwise than in the overheated fancy of Peter and the other apostles, he was evidently no worse than any of his adversaries. A difference in religious views, however great, is insufficient per se to send one person to heaven and the other to hell. Such uncharitable and peremptory doctrines might have been taught in the middle ages; but it is too late now for even the Church to put forward this traditional scarecrow. Research begins to suggest that which, if ever verified, will bring eternal disgrace on the Church of the Apostle Peter, whose very imposition of herself upon that disciple must be regarded as the most unverified and unverifiable of the assumptions of the Catholic clergy.

        The erudite author of Supernatural Religion assiduously endeavors to prove that by Simon Magus we must understand the apostle Paul, whose Epistles were secretly as well as openly calumniated by Peter, and charged with containing "dysnoėtic learning." The Apostle of the Gentiles was brave, outspoken, sincere, and very learned; the Apostle of Circumcision, cowardly, cautious, insincere, and very ignorant. That Paul had been, partially, at least, if not completely, initiated into the theurgic mysteries, admits of little doubt. His language, the phraseology so peculiar to the Greek philosophers, certain expressions used but by the initiates, are so many sure ear-marks to that supposition. Our suspicion has been strengthened by an able article in one of the New York peri-
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Conflict, etc.," p. 37.              † Ibid.


 90                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

odicals, entitled Paul and Plato, * in which the author puts forward one remarkable and, for us, very precious observation. In his Epistles to the Corinthians he shows Paul abounding with "expressions suggested by the initiations of Sabazius and Eleusis, and the lectures of the (Greek) philosophers. He (Paul) designates himself an idiotes — a person unskilful in the Word, but not in the gnosis or philosophical learning. 'We speak wisdom among the perfect or initiated,' he writes; 'not the wisdom of this world, nor of the archons of this world, but divine wisdom in a mystery, secret — which none of the Archons of this world knew.' " † What else can the apostle mean by these unequivocal words, but that he himself, as belonging to the mystę (initiated), spoke of things shown and explained only in the Mysteries? The "divine wisdom in a mystery which none of the archons of this world knew," has evidently some direct reference to the basileus of the Eleusinian initiation who did know. The basileus belonged to the staff of the great hierophant, and was an archon of Athens; and as such was one of the chief mystę, belonging to the interior Mysteries, to which a very select and small number obtained an entrance. ‡ The magistrates supervising the Eleusinians were called archons.

       Another proof that Paul belonged to the circle of the "Initiates" lies in the following fact. The apostle had his head shorn at Cenchrea (where Lucius, Apulcius, was initiated) because "he had a vow." The nazars — or set apart — as we see in the Jewish Scriptures, had to cut their hair which they wore long, and which "no razor touched" at any other time, and sacrifice it on the altar of initiation. And the nazars were a class of Chaldean theurgists. We will show further that Jesus belonged to this class.

       Paul declares that: "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation." §

        This expression, master-builder, used only once in the whole Bible, and by Paul, may be considered as a whole revelation. In the Mysteries, the third part of the sacred rites was called Epopteia, or revelation, reception into the secrets. In substance it means that stage of divine clairvoyance when everything pertaining to this earth disappears, and earthly sight is paralyzed, and the soul is united free and pure with its Spirit, or God. But the real significance of the word is "overseeing," from  optomai — I see myself. In Sanscrit the word evāpto has the same meaning,
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Paul and Plato," by A. Wilder, editor of "The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries," of Thomas Taylor.

† "Paul and Plato."                   ‡ See Taylor's "Eleus. and Bacchic Myst."

§ I Corin., iii. 10.


91                                                                                                         PETER'S HATRED OF PAUL.

as well as to obtain. * The word epopteia is a compound one, from  Epi;  — upon, and  ovptomai — to look, or an overseer, an inspector — also used for a master-builder. The title of master-mason, in Freemasonry, is derived from this, in the sense used in the Mysteries. Therefore, when Paul entitles himself a "master-builder," he is using a word pre-eminently kabalistic, theurgic, and masonic, and one which no other apostle uses. He thus declares himself an adept, having the right to initiate others.

        If we search in this direction, with those sure guides, the Grecian Mysteries and the Kabala, before us, it will be easy to find the secret reason why Paul was so persecuted and hated by Peter, John, and James. The author of the Revelation was a Jewish kabalist pur sang, with all the hatred inherited by him from his forefathers toward the MysteriesHis jealousy during the life of Jesus extended even to Peter; and it is but after the death of their common master that we see the two apostles — the former of whom wore the Mitre and the Petaloon of the Jewish Rabbis — preach so zealously the rite of circumcision. In the eyes of Peter, Paul, who had humiliated him, and whom he felt so much his superior in "Greek learning" and philosophy, must have naturally appeared as a magician, a man polluted with the "Gnosis," with the "wisdom" of the Greek Mysteries — hence, perhaps, "Simon ‡ the Magician."

        As to Peter, biblical criticism has shown before now that he had probably no more to do with the foundation of the Latin Church at Rome, than to furnish the pretext so readily seized upon by the cunning Irenęus to benefit this Church with the new name of the apostle — Petra or Kiffa, a name which allowed so readily, by an easy play upon words to connect it with Petroma, the double set of stone tablets used
————————————————————————————————————
*
In its most extensive meaning, the Sanscrit word has the same literal sense as the Greek term; both imply "revelation," by no human agent, but through the "receiving of the sacred drink." In India the initiated received the "Soma," sacred drink, which helped to liberate his soul from the body; and in the Eleusinian Mysteries it was the sacred drink offered at the Epopteia. The Grecian Mysteries are wholly derived from the Brahmanical Vedic rites, and the latter from the ante-vedic religious Mysteries — primitive Buddhist philosophy.

† It is needless to state that the Gospel according to John was not written by John but by a Platonist or a Gnostic belonging to the Neo-platonic school.

‡ The fact that Peter persecuted the "Apostle to the Gentiles," under that name, does not necessarily imply that there was no Simon Magus individually distinct from Paul. It may have become a generic name of abuse. Theodoret and Chrysostom, the earliest and most prolific commentators on the Gnosticism of those days, seem actually to make of Simon a rival of Paul, and to state that between them passed frequent messages. The former, as a diligent propagandist of what Paul terms the "antitheses of the Gnosis" (1st Epistle to Timothy), must have been a sore thorn in the side of the apostle. There are sufficient proofs of the actual existence of Simon Magus.

 
92                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

by the hierophant at the initiations, during the final Mystery. In this, perhaps, lies concealed the whole secret of the claims of the Vatican. As Professor Wilder happily suggests: "In the Oriental countries the designation rTp , Peter (in Phœnician and Chaldaic, an interpreter) appears to have been the title of this personage (the hierophant). . . . There is in these facts some reminder of the peculiar circumstances of the Mosaic Law . . . and also of the claim of the Pope to be the successor of Peter, the hierophant or interpreter of the Christian religion." *

        As such, we must concede to him, to some extent, the right to be such an interpreter. The Latin Church has faithfully preserved in symbols, rites, ceremonies, architecture, and even in the very dress of her clergy, the tradition of the Pagan worship — of the public or exoteric ceremonies, we should add; otherwise her dogmas would embody more sense and contain less blasphemy against the majesty of the Supreme and Invisible God.

        An inscription found on the coffin of Queen Mentuhept, of the eleventh dynasty (2250 B.C.), now proved to have been transcribed from the seventeenth chapter of the Book of the Dead (dating not later than 4500 B.C.), is more than suggestive. This monumental text contains a group of hieroglyphics, which, when interpreted, read thus:

PTR.         RF.                  SU.
peter-             ref-                su.

        Baron Bunsen shows this sacred formulary mixed up with a whole series of glosses and various interpretations on a monument forty centuries old. "This is identical with saying that the record (the true interpretation) was at that time no longer intelligible. . . . We beg our readers to understand," he adds, "that a sacred text, a hymn, containing the words of a departed spirit, existed in such a state about 4,000 years ago . . . as to be all but unintelligible to royal scribes." †

        That it was unintelligible to the uninitiated among the latter is as well proved by the confused and contradictory glossaries, as that it was a "mystery"-word, known to the hierophants of the sanctuaries, and, moreover, a word chosen by Jesus, to designate the office assigned by him to one of his apostles. This word, PTR, was partially interpreted, owing to another word similarly written in another group of hieroglyphics, on a
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Introd. to Eleus. and Bacchic Mysteries," p. x. Had we not trustworthy kabalistic tradition to rely upon, we might be, perhaps, forced to question whether the authorship of the Revelation is to be ascribed to the apostle of that name. He seems to be termed John the Theologist.

† Bunsen: "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 90.

 
93                                                                                          THE TRUE INTERPRETATION OF "PETRUM."

stele, the sign used for it being an opened eye.* Bunsen mentions as another explanation of PTR — "to show." "It appears to me," he remarks, "that our PTR is literally the old Aramaic and Hebrew 'Patar,' which occurs in the history of Joseph as the specific word for interpreting; whence also Pitrum is the term for interpretation of a text, a dream."† In a manuscript of the first century, a combination of the Demotic and Greek texts, ‡ and most probably one of the few which miraculously escaped the Christian vandalism of the second and third centuries, when all such precious manuscripts were burned as magical, we find occurring in several places a phrase, which, perhaps, may throw some light upon this question. One of the principal heroes of the manuscript, who is constantly referred to as "the Judean Illuminator" or Initiate,  Teleiwth;" , is made to communicate but with his Patar; the latter being written in Chaldaic characters. Once the latter word is coupled with the name Shimeon. Several times, the "Illuminator," who rarely breaks his contemplative solitude, is shown inhabiting a  Kruvpte  (cave), and teaching the multitudes of eager scholars standing outside, not orally, but through this Patar. The latter receives the words of wisdom by applying his ear to a circular hole in a partition which conceals the teacher from the listeners, and then conveys them, with explanations and glossaries, to the crowd. This, with a slight change, was the method used by Pythagoras, who, as we know, never allowed his neophytes to see him during the years of probation, but instructed them from behind a curtain in his cave.

        But, whether the "Illuminator" of the Gręco-Demotic manuscript is identical with Jesus or not, the fact remains, that we find him selecting a "mystery"-appellation for one who is made to appear later by the Catholic Church as the janitor of the Kingdom of Heaven and the interpreter of Christ's will. The word Patar or Peter locates both master and disciple in the circle of initiation, and connects them with the "Secret Doctrine." The great hierophant of the ancient Mysteries never allowed the candidates to see or hear him personally. He was the Deus-ex-Machina, the presiding but invisible Deity, uttering his will and instructions through a second party; and 2,000 years later, we discover that the Dalai-Lamas of Thibet had been following for centuries the same traditional programme during the most important religious mysteries of lamaism.
————————————————————————————————————
*
See de Rougé : "Stele," p. 44; PTAR (videus) is interpreted on it "to appear," with a sign of interrogation after it — the usual mark of scientific perplexity. In Bunsen's fifth volume of "Egypte," the interpretation following is "Illuminator," which is more correct.

† Bunsen's "Egypt," vol. v., p. 90.

‡
It is the property of a mystic whom we met in Syria.

 
94                                                                                                                      ISIS UNVEILED.

If Jesus knew the secret meaning of the title bestowed by him on Simon, then he must have been initiated; otherwise he could not have learned it; and if he was an initiate of either the Pythagorean Essenes, the Chaldean Magi, or the Egyptian Priests, then the doctrine taught by him was but a portion of the "Secret Doctrine" taught by the Pagan hierophants to the few select adepts admitted within the sacred adyta.

        But we will discuss this question further on. For the present we will endeavor to briefly indicate the extraordinary similarity — or rather identity, we should say — of rites and ceremonial dress of the Christian clergy with that of the old Babylonians, Assyrians, Phœnicians, Egyptians, and other Pagans of the hoary antiquity.

        If we would find the model of the Papal tiara, we must search the annals of the ancient Assyrian tablets. We invite the reader to give his attention to Dr. Inman's illustrated work, Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism. On page sixty-four, he will readily recognize the head-gear of the successor of St. Peter in the coiffure worn by gods or angels in ancient Assyria, "where it appears crowned by an emblem of the male trinity" (the Christian Cross). "We may mention, in passing," adds Dr. Inman, "that, as the Romanists adopted the mitre and the tiara from 'the cursed brood of Ham,' so they adopted the Episcopalian crook from the augurs of Etruria, and the artistic form with which they clothe their angels from the painters and urn-makers of Magna Grecia and Central Italy."

         Would we push our inquiries farther, and seek to ascertain as much in relation to the nimbus and the tonsure of the Catholic priest and monk? * We shall find undeniable proofs that they are solar emblems. Knight, in his Old England Pictorially Illustrated, gives a drawing by St. Augustine, representing an ancient Christian bishop, in a dress probably identical with that worn by the great "saint" himself. The pallium, or the ancient stole of the bishop, is the feminine sign when worn by a priest in worship. On St. Augustine's picture it is bedecked with Buddhistic crosses, and in its whole appearance it is a representation of the Egyptian
T (tau), assuming slightly the figure of the letter Y . "Its lower end is the mark of the masculine triad," says Inman; "the right hand (of the figure) has the forefinger extended, like the Assyrian priests while doing homage to the grove. . . . When a male dons the pallium in worship, he becomes the representative of the trinity in the unity, the arba, or mystic four." †

        "Immaculate is our Lady Isis," is the legend around an engraving
————————————————————————————————————
*
The Priests of Isis were tonsured.
 
†
See "Ancient Faiths," vol. ii., pp. 915-918.


 95                                                                                 CATHOLIC BELLS FROM THE BUDDHIST PAGODAS.

of Serapis and Isis, described by King, in The Gnostics and their Remains,  ŌH KURIA ICIC AGNH  ". . . the very terms applied afterwards to that personage (the Virgin Mary) who succeeded to her form, titles, symbols, rites, and ceremonies. . . . Thus, her devotees carried into the new priesthood the former badges of their profession, the obligation to celibacy, the tonsure, and the surplice, omitting, unfortunately, the frequent ablutions prescribed by the ancient creed." "The 'Black Virgins,' so highly reverenced in certain French cathedrals . . . proved, when at last critically examined, basalt figures of Isis"! *

        Before the shrine of Jupiter Ammon were suspended tinkling bells, from the sound of whose chiming the priests gathered the auguries; "A golden bell and a pomegranate . . . round about the hem of the robe," was the result with the Mosaic Jews. But in the Buddhistic system, during the religious services, the gods of the Deva Loka are always invoked, and invited to descend upon the altars by the ringing of bells suspended in the pagodas. The bell of the sacred table of Siva at Kuhama is described in Kailasa, and every Buddhist vihara and lamasery has its bells.

        We thus see that the bells used by Christians come to them directly from the Buddhist Thibetans and Chinese. The beads and rosaries have the same origin, and have been used by Buddhist monks for over 2,300 years. The Linghams in the Hindu temples are ornamented upon certain days with large berries, from a tree sacred to Mahadeva, which are strung into rosaries. The title of "nun" is an Egyptian word, and had with them the actual meaning; the Christians did not even take the trouble of translating the word Nonna. The aureole of the saints was used by the antediluvian artists of Babylonia, whenever they desired to honor or deify a mortal's head. In a celebrated picture in Moore's Hindoo Pantheon, entitled, "Christna nursed by Devaki, from a highly-finished picture," the Hindu Virgin is represented as seated on a lounge and nursing Christna. The hair brushed back, the long veil, and the golden aureole around the Virgin's head, as well as around that of the Hindu Saviour, are striking. No Catholic, well versed as he might be in the mysterious symbolism of iconology, would hesitate for a moment to worship at that shrine the Virgin Mary, the mother of his God! † In Indur Subba, the south entrance of the Caves of Ellora, may be seen to this day the figure of Indra's wife, Indranee, sitting with her infant son-god, pointing the finger to heaven with the same gesture as the Italian Madonna and child. In Pagan and Christian Symbolism, the author gives a figure from a
————————————————————————————————————
* "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 71.

† See illustration in Inman's "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. 27.


96                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

medięval woodcut — the like of which we have seen by dozens in old psalters — in which the Virgin Mary, with her infant, is represented as the Queen of Heaven, on the crescent moon, emblem of virginity. "Being before the sun, she almost eclipses its light. Than this, nothing could more completely identify the Christian mother and child with Isis and Horus, Ishtar, Venus, Juno, and a host of other Pagan goddesses, who have been called 'Queen of Heaven,' 'Queen of the Universe,' 'Mother of God,' 'Spouse of God,' 'the Celestial Virgin,' 'the Heavenly Peace-Maker,' etc." *

        Such pictures are not purely astronomical. They represent the male god and the female goddess, as the sun and moon in conjunction, "the union of the triad with the unit." The horns of the cow on the head of Isis have the same significance.

        And so above, below, outside, and inside, the Christian Church, in the priestly garments, and the religious rites, we recognize the stamp of exoteric heathenism. On no subject within the wide range of human knowledge, has the world been more blinded or deceived with such persistent misrepresentation as on that of antiquity. Its hoary past and its religious faiths have been misrepresented and trampled under the feet of its successors. Its hierophants and prophets, mystę and epoptę, † of the once sacred adyta of the temple shown as demoniacs and devil-worshippers. Donned in the despoiled garments of the victim, the Christian priest now anathematizes the latter with rites and ceremonies which he has learned from the theurgists themselves. The Mosaic Bible is used as a weapon against the people who furnished it. The heathen philosopher is cursed under the very roof which has witnessed his initiation; and the "monkey of God" (i.e., the devil of Tertullian), "the originator and founder of magical theurgy, the science of illusions and lies, whose father and author is the demon," is exorcised with holy water by the hand which holds the identical lituus  ‡ with which the ancient augur, after a solemn prayer, used to determine the regions of heaven, and evoke, in the name of the HIGHEST, the minor god (now termed the Devil), who unveiled to his eyes futurity, and enabled him to prophesy! On the part of the Christians and the clergy it is nothing but shameful ignorance, prejudice, and that contemptible pride so boldly denounced by one of their own reverend ministers, T. Gross, § which rails against all investigation "as a useless or a criminal labor, when it must be feared that they will result in the overthrow of preėstablished systems of faith." On the part of the scholars it is the same apprehension of the possible necessity of having to
————————————————————————————————————
*
Ibid., p. 76.                                                           † Initiates and seers.

‡ The augur's, and now bishop's, pastoral crook.         § "The Heathen Religion."


97                                                                       JUSTIN MARTYR'S CONFESSION ABOUT THEURGIC AMULETS.

modify some of their erroneously-established theories of science. "Nothing but such pitiable prejudice," says Gross, "can have thus misrepresented the theology of heathenism, and distorted — nay, caricatured — its forms of religious worship. It is time that posterity should raise its voice in vindication of violated truth, and that the present age should learn a little of that common sense of which it boasts with as much self-complacency as if the prerogative of reason was the birthright only of modern times."

        All this gives a sure clew to the real cause of the hatred felt by the early and medięval Christian toward his Pagan brother and dangerous rival. We hate but what we fear. The Christian thaumaturgist once having broken all association with the Mysteries of the temples and with "these schools so renowned for magic," described by St. Hilarion,* could certainly expect but little to rival the Pagan wonder-workers. No apostle, with the exception perhaps of healing by mesmeric power, has ever equalled Apollonius of Tyana; and the scandal created among the apostles by the miracle-doing Simon Magus, is too notorious to be repeated here again. "How is it," asks Justin Martyr, in evident dismay, "how is it that the talismans of Apollonius (the  telesmata ) have power in certain members of creation, for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves, and the violence of the winds, and the attacks of wild beasts; and whilst our Lord's miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested in present facts, so as to lead astray all beholders?" † This perplexed martyr solves the problem by attributing very correctly the efficacy and potency of the charms used by Apollonius to his profound knowledge of the sympathies and antipathies (or repugnances) of nature.

        Unable to deny the evident superiority of their enemies' powers, the fathers had recourse to the old but ever successful method — that of slander. They honored the theurgists with the same insinuating calumny that had been resorted to by the Pharisees against Jesus. "Thou hast a dęmon," the elders of the Jewish Synagogue had said to him. "Thou hast the Devil," repeated the cunning fathers, with equal truth, addressing the Pagan thaumaturgist; and the widely-bruited charge, erected later into an article of faith, won the day.

        But the modern heirs of these ecclesiastical falsifiers, who charge magic, spiritualism, and even magnetism with being produced by a demon, forget or perhaps never read the classics. None of our bigots has ever looked with more scorn on the abuses of magic than did the true initiate
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Peres du Desert d'Orient," vol. ii., p. 283.

† Justin Martyr: "Quęst.," xxiv.

 
98                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

of old. No modern or even medięval law could be more severe than that of the hierophant. True, he had more discrimination, charity, and justice, than the Christian clergy; for while banishing the "unconscious" sorcerer, the person troubled with a demon, from within the sacred precincts of the adyta, the priests, instead of mercilessly burning him, took care of the unfortunate "possessed one." Having hospitals expressly for that purpose in the neighborhood of temples, the ancient "medium," if obsessed, was taken care of and restored to health. But with one who had, by conscious witchcraft, acquired powers dangerous to his fellow-creatures, the priests of old were as severe as justice herself. "Any person accidentally guilty of homicide, or of any crime, or convicted of witchcraft, was excluded from the Eleusinian Mysteries." * And so were they from all others. This law, mentioned by all writers on the ancient initiation, speaks for itself. The claim of Augustine, that all the explanations given by the Neo-platonists were invented by themselves is absurd. For nearly every ceremony in their true and successive order is given by Plato himself, in a more or less covered way. The Mysteries are as old as the world, and one well versed in the esoteric mythologies of various nations can trace them back to the days of the ante-Vedic period in India. A condition of the strictest virtue and purity is required from the Vatou, or candidate in India before he can become an initiate, whether he aims to be a simple fakir, a Purohita (public priest) or a Sannyāsi, a saint of the second degree of initiation, the most holy as the most revered of them all. After having conquered, in the terrible trials preliminary to admittance to the inner temple in the subterranean crypts of his pagoda, the sannyāsi passes the rest of his life in the temple, practicing the eighty-four rules and ten virtues prescribed to the Yogis.

        "No one who has not practiced, during his whole life, the ten virtues which the divine Manu makes incumbent as a duty, can be initiated into the Mysteries of the council," say the Hindu books of initiation.

        These virtues are: "Resignation; the act of rendering good for evil; temperance; probity; purity; chastity; repression of the physical senses; the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures; that of the Superior soul (spirit); worship of truth; abstinence from anger." These virtues must alone direct the life of a true Yogi. "No unworthy adept ought to defile the ranks of the holy initiates by his presence for twenty-four hours." The adept becomes guilty after having once broken any one of these vows. Surely the exercise of such virtues is inconsistent with the idea one has of devil-worship and lasciviousness of purpose!

        And now we will try to give a clear insight into one of the chief ob-
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* See Taylor's "Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries"; Porphyry and others.

 
99                                                                                        THE WHISPERED SECRETS OF INITIATION.

jects of this work. What we desire to prove is, that underlying every ancient popular religion was the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practiced by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance. To ascertain its origin, and the precise age in which it was matured, is now beyond human possibility. A single glance, however, is enough to assure one that it could not have attained the marvellous perfection in which we find it pictured to us in the relics of the various esoteric systems, except after a succession of ages. A philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable is not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch. Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape. The proofs of this identity of fundamental doctrine in the old religions are found in the prevalence of a system of initiation; in the secret sacerdotal castes who had the guardianship of mystical words of power, and a public display of a phenomenal control over natural forces, indicating association with preterhuman beings. Every approach to the Mysteries of all these nations was guarded with the same jealous care, and in all, the penalty of death was inflicted upon initiates of any degree who divulged the secrets entrusted to them. We have seen that such was the case in the Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, among the Chaldean Magi, and the Egyptian hierophants; while with the Hindus, from whom they were all derived, the same rule has prevailed from time immemorial. We are left in no doubt upon this point; for the Agrushada Parikshai says explicitly, "Every initiate, to whatever degree he may belong, who reveals the great sacred formula, must be put to death."

        Naturally enough, this same extreme penalty was prescribed in all the multifarious sects and brotherhoods which at different periods have sprung from the ancient stock. We find it with the early Essenes, Gnostics, theurgic Neo-platonists, and medięval philosophers; and in our day, even the Masons perpetuate the memory of the old obligations in the penalties of throat-cutting, dismemberment, and disemboweling, with which the candidate is threatened. As the Masonic "master's word" is communicated only at "low breath," so the selfsame precaution is prescribed in the Chaldean Book of Numbers and the Jewish Mercaba. When initiated, the neophyte was led by an ancient to a secluded spot, and there the latter whispered in his ear the great secret. * The Mason swears, under the most frightful penalties, that he will not communicate the secrets of
————————————————————————————————————
*
Franck: "Die Kabbala."


 100                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

any degree "to a brother of an inferior degree"; and the Agrushada Parikshai says: "Any initiate of the third degree who reveals before the prescribed time, to the initiates of the second degree, the superior truths, must be put to death." Again, the Masonic apprentice consents to have his "tongue torn out by the roots" if he divulge anything to a profane; and in the Hindu books of initiation, the same Agrushada Parikshai, we find that any initiate of the first degree (the lowest) who betrays the secrets of his initiation, to members of other castes, for whom the science should be a closed book, must have "his tongue cut out," and suffer other mutilations.

        As we proceed, we will point out the evidences of this identity of vows, formulas, rites, and doctrines, between the ancient faiths. We will also show that not only their memory is still preserved in India, but also that the Secret Association is still alive and as active as ever. That, after reading what we have to say, it may be inferred that the chief pontiff and hierophants, the Brahmātma, is still accessible to those "who know," though perhaps recognized by another name; and that the ramifications of his influence extend throughout the world. But we will now return again to the early Christian period.

        As though he were not aware that there was any esoteric significance to the exoteric symbols, and that the Mysteries themselves were composed of two parts, the lesser at Agrę, and the higher ones at Eleusinia, Clemens Alexandrinus, with a rancorous bigotry that one might expect from a renegade Neo-platonist, but is astonished to find in this generally honest and learned Father, stigmatized the Mysteries as indecent and diabolical. Whatever were the rites enacted among the neophytes before they passed to a higher form of instruction; however misunderstood were the trials of Katharsis or purification, during which they were submitted to every kind of probation; and however much the immaterial or physical aspect might have led to calumny, it is but wicked prejudice which can compel a person to say that under this external meaning there was not a far deeper and spiritual significance.

        It is positively absurd to judge the ancients from our own standpoint of propriety and virtue. And most assuredly it is not for the Church — which now stands accused by all the modern symbologists of having adopted precisely these same emblems in their coarsest aspect, and feels herself powerless to refute the accusations — to throw the stone at those who were her models. When men like Pythagoras, Plato, and Iamblichus, renowned for their severe morality, took part in the Mysteries, and spoke of them with veneration, it ill behooves our modern critics to judge them so rashly upon their merely external aspects. Iamblichus explains the worst; and his explanation, for an unprejudiced mind, ought to be


101                                                                                   THE MYSTERIES ENNOBLING IN TENDENCY.

perfectly plausible. "Exhibitions of this kind," he says, "in the Mysteries were designed to free us from licentious passions, by gratifying the sight, and at the same time vanquishing all evil thought, through the awful sanctity with which these rites were accompanied." * "The wisest and best men in the Pagan world," adds Dr. Warburton, "are unanimous in this, that the Mysteries were instituted pure, and proposed the noblest ends by the worthiest means." †

        In these celebrated rites, although persons of both sexes and all classes were allowed to take a part, and a participation in them was even obligatory, very few indeed attained the higher and final initiation. The gradation of the Mysteries is given us by Proclus in the fourth book of his Theology of Plato. "The perfective rite teleth , precedes in order the initiation — Muesis — and the initiation, Epopteia, or the final apocalypse (revelation)." Theon of Smyrna, in Mathematica, also divides the mystic rites into five parts: "the first of which is the previous purification; for neither are the Mysteries communicated to all who are willing to receive them; . . . there are certain persons who are prevented by the voice of the crier ( Khrux ) . . . since it is necessary that such as are not expelled from the Mysteries should first be refined by certain purifications which the reception of the sacred rites succeeds. The third part is denominated epopteia or reception. And the fourth, which is the end and design of the revelation, is the binding of the head and fixing of the crowns  ‡ . . . whether after this he (the initiated person) becomes . . . an hierophant or sustains some other part of the sacerdotal office. But the fifth, which is produced from all these, is friendship and interior communion with God." And this was the last and most awful of all the Mysteries.

        There are writers who have often wondered at the meaning of this claim to a "friendship and interior communion with God." Christian authors have denied the pretensions of the "Pagans" to such "communion," affirming that only Christian saints were and are capable of enjoying it; materialistic skeptics have altogether scoffed at the idea of both. After long ages of religious materialism and spiritual stagnation, it has most certainly become difficult if not altogether impossible to substantiate the claims of either party. The old Greeks, who had once crowded
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians."

† "Divine Legation of Moses"; The "Eleusinian Mysteries" as quoted by Thos. Taylor.

‡ This expression must not be understood literally; for as in the initiation of certain Brotherhoods it has a secret meaning, hinted at by Pythagoras, when he describes his feelings after the initiation and tells that he was crowned by the gods in whose presence he had drunk "the waters of life" — in Hindu, ā-bi-hayāt, fount of life.


 102                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

around the Agora of Athens, with its altar to the "Unknown God," are no more; and their descendants firmly believe that they have found the "Unknown" in the Jewish Jehova. The divine ecstasies of the early Christians have made room for visions of a more modern character, in perfect keeping with progress and civilization. The "Son of man" appearing to the rapt vision of the ancient Christian as coming from the seventh heaven, in a cloud of glory, and surrounded with angels and winged seraphim, has made room for a more prosaic and at the same time more business-like Jesus. The latter is now shown as making morning calls upon Mary and Martha in Bethany; as seating himself on "the ottoman" with the younger sister, a lover of "ethics," while Martha goes off to the kitchen to cook. Anon the heated fancy of a blasphemous Brooklyn preacher and harlequin, the Reverend Dr. Talmage, makes us see her rushing back "with besweated brow, a pitcher in one hand and the tongs in the other . . . into the presence of Christ," and blowing him up for not caring that her sister hath left her "to serve alone." *

        From the birth of the solemn and majestic conception of the unrevealed Deity of the ancient adepts to such caricatured descriptions of him who died on the Cross for his philanthropic devotion to humanity, long centuries have intervened, and their heavy tread seems to have almost entirely obliterated all sense of a spiritual religion from the hearts of his professed followers. No wonder then, that the sentence of Proclus is no longer understood by the Christians, and is rejected as a "vaglary" by the materialists, who, in their negation, are less blasphemous and atheistical than many of the reverends and members of the churches. But, although the Greek epoptai are no more, we have now, in our own age, a people far more ancient than the oldest Hellenes, who practice the so-called "preterhuman" gifts to the same extent as did their ancestors far earlier than the days of Troy. It is to this people that we draw the attention of the psychologist and philosopher.

        One need not go very deep into the literature of the Orientalists to become convinced that in most cases they do not even suspect that in
————————————————————————————————————
*
This original and very long sermon was preached in a church at Brooklyn, N. Y., on the 15th day of April, 1877. On the following morning, the reverend orator was called in the "Sun" a gibbering charlatan; but this deserved epithet will not prevent other reverend buffoons doing the same and even worse. And this is the religion of Christ! Far better disbelieve in him altogether than caricature one's God in such a manner. We heartily applaud the "Sun" for the following views: "And then when Talmage makes Christ say to Martha in the tantrums: 'Don't worry, but sit down on this ottoman,' he adds the climax to a scene that the inspired writers had nothing to say about. Talmage's buffoonery is going too far. If he were the worst heretic in the land, instead of being straight in his orthodoxy, he would not do so much evil to religion as he does by his familiar blasphemies."


 103                                                                                 THE HINDU DEMI-GODS OF THE THIRD DEGREE.

the arcane philosophy of India there are depths which they have not sounded, and cannot sound, for they pass on without perceiving them. There is a pervading tone of conscious superiority, a ring of contempt in the treatment of Hindu metaphysics, as though the European mind is alone enlightened enough to polish the rough diamond of the old Sanscrit writers, and separate right from wrong for the benefit of their descendants. We see them disputing over the external forms of expression without a conception of the great vital truths these hide from the profane view.

        "As a rule, the Brahmans," says Jacolliot, "rarely go beyond the class of grihesta [priests of the vulgar castes] and purahita [exorcisers, divines, prophets, and evocators of spirits]. And yet, we shall see . . . once that we have touched upon the question and study of manifestations and phenomena, that these initiates of the first degree (the lowest) attribute to themselves, and in appearance possess faculties developed to a degree which has never been equalled in Europe. As to the initiates of the second and especially of the third category, they pretend to be enabled to ignore time, space, and to command life and death." *

        Such initiates as these M. Jacolliot did not meet; for, as he says himself, they only appear on the most solemn occasions, and when the faith of the multitudes has to be strengthened by phenomena of a superior order. "They are never seen, either in the neighborhood of, or even inside the temples, except at the grand quinquennial festival of the fire. On that occasion, they appear about the middle of the night, on a platform erected in the centre of the sacred lake, like so many phantoms, and by their conjurations they illumine the space. A fiery column of light ascends from around them, rushing from earth to heaven. Unfamiliar sounds vibrate through the air, and five or six hundred thousand Hindus, gathered from every part of India to contemplate these demi-gods, throw themselves with their faces buried in the dust, invoking the souls of their ancestors." †

        Let any impartial person read the Spiritisme dans le Monde, and he cannot believe that this "implacable rationalist," as Jacolliot takes pride in terming himself, said one word more than is warranted by what he had seen. His statements support and are corroborated by those of other skeptics. As a rule, the missionaries, even after passing half a lifetime in the country of "devil-worship," as they call India, either disingenuously deny altogether what they cannot help knowing to be true, or ridiculously attribute phenomena to this power of the Devil, that outrival the "miracles" of the apostolic ages. And what do we see this French
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 68.              † Ibid., pp. 78, 79.


 104                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

author, notwithstanding his incorrigible rationalism, forced to admit, after having narrated the greatest wonders? Watch the fakirs as he would, he is compelled to bear the strongest testimony to their perfect honesty in the matter of their miraculous phenomena. "Never," he says, "have we succeeded in detecting a single one in the act of deceit." One fact should be noted by all who, without having been in India, still fancy they are clever enough to expose the fraud of pretended magicians. This skilled and cool observer, this redoubtable materialist, after his long sojourn in India, affirms, "We unhesitatingly avow that we have not met, either in India or in Ceylon, a single European, even among the oldest residents, who has been able to indicate the means employed by these devotees for the production of these phenomena!"

        And how should they? Does not this zealous Orientalist confess to us that even he, who had every available means at hand to learn many of their rites and doctrines at first hand, failed in his attempts to make the Brahmans explain to him their secrets. "All that our most diligent inquiries of the Pourohitas could elicit from them respecting the acts of their superiors (the invisible initiates of the temples), amounts to very little." And again, speaking of one of the books, he confesses that, while purporting to reveal all that is desirable to know, it "falls back into mysterious formulas, in combinations of magical and occult letters, the secret of which it has been impossible for us to penetrate," etc.

        The fakirs, although they can never reach beyond the first degree of initiation, are, notwithstanding, the only agents between the living world and the "silent brothers," or those initiates who never cross the thresholds of their sacred dwellings. The Fūkara-Yogis belong to the temples, and who knows but these cenobites of the sanctuary have far more to do with the psychological phenomena which attend the fakirs, and have been so graphically described by Jacolliot, than the Pitris themselves? Who can tell but that the fluidic spectre of the ancient Brahman seen by Jacolliot was the Scin-lecca, the spiritual double, of one of these mysterious sannyāsi?

        Although the story has been translated and commented upon by Professor Perty, of Geneva, still we will venture to give it in Jacolliot's own words: "A moment after the disappearance of the hands, the fakir continuing his evocations (mantras) more earnestly than ever, a cloud like the first, but more opalescent and more opaque, began to hover near the small brasier, which, by request of the Hindu, I had constantly fed with live coals. Little by little it assumed a form entire human, and I distinguished the spectre — for I cannot call it otherwise — of an old Brahman sacrificator, kneeling near the little brasier.

        "He bore on his forehead the signs sacred to Vishnu, and around his


105                                                                                      THE LIVING SPECTRE OF A BRAHMAN.

body the triple cord, sign of the initiates of the priestly caste. He joined his hands above his head, as during the sacrifices, and his lips moved as if they were reciting prayers. At a given moment, he took a pinch of perfumed powder, and threw it upon the coals; it must have been a strong compound, for a thick smoke arose on the instant, and filled the two chambers.

        "When it was dissipated, I perceived the spectre, which, two steps from me, was extending to me its fleshless hand; I took it in mine, making a salutation, and I was astonished to find it, although bony and hard, warm and living.

        " 'Art thou, indeed,' said I at this moment, in a loud voice, 'an ancient inhabitant of the earth?'

        "I had not finished the question, when the word AM, (yes) appeared and then disappeared in letters of fire, on the breast of the old Brahman, with an effect much like that which the word would produce if written in the dark with a stick of phosphorus.

        " 'Will you leave me nothing in token of your visit?' I continued.
 
       "The spirit broke the triple cord, composed of three strands of cotton, which
begirt his loins, gave it to me, and vanished at my feet." *

        "Oh Brahma! what is this mystery which takes place every night? . . . When lying on the matting, with eyes closed, the body is lost sight of, and the soul escapes to enter into conversation with the Pitris. . . . Watch over it, O Brahma, when, forsaking the resting body, it goes away to hover over the waters, to wander in the immensity of heaven, and penetrate into the dark and mysterious nooks of the valleys and grand forests of the Hymavat! " (Agroushada Parikshai.)

       The fakirs, when belonging to some particular temple, never act but under orders. Not one of them, unless he has reached a degree of extraordinary sanctity, is freed from the influence and guidance of his guru, his teacher, who first initiated and instructed him in the mysteries of the occult sciences. Like the subject of the European mesmerizer, the average fakir can never rid himself entirely of the psychological influence exercised on him by his guru. Having passed two or three hours in the silence and solitude of the inner temple in prayer and meditation, the fakir, when he emerges thence, is mesmerically strengthened and prepared; he produces wonders far more varied and powerful than before he entered. The "master" has laid his hands upon him, and the fakir feels strong.

    It may be shown, on the authority of many Brahmanical and Buddhist sacred books, that there has ever existed a great difference between
————————————————————————————————————
*
Louis Jacolliot: "Phénomenes et Manifestations."


 106                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

adepts of the higher order, and purely psychological subjects — like many of these fakirs, who are mediums in a certain qualified sense. True, the fakir is ever talking of Pitris, and this is natural; for they are his protecting deities. But are the Pitris disembodied human beings of our race? This is the question, and we will discuss it in a moment.

        We say that the fakir may be regarded in a degree as a medium; for he is — what is not generally known — under the direct mesmeric influence of a living adept, his sannyāsi or guru. When the latter dies, the power of the former, unless he has received the last transfer of spiritual forces, wanes and often even disappears. Why, if it were otherwise, should the fakirs have been excluded from the right of advancing to the second and third degree? The lives of many of them exemplify a degree of self-sacrifice and sanctity unknown and utterly incomprehensible to Europeans, who shudder at the bare thought of such self-inflicted tortures. But however shielded from control by vulgar and earth-bound spirits, however wide the chasm between a debasing influence and their self-controlled souls; and however well protected by the seven-knotted magical bamboo rod which he receives from the guru, still the fakir lives in the outer world of sin and matter, and it is possible that his soul may be tainted, perchance, by the magnetic emanations from profane objects and persons, and thereby open an access to strange spirits and gods. To admit one so situated, one not under any and all circumstances sure of the mastery over himself, to a knowledge of the awful mysteries and priceless secrets of initiation, would be impracticable. It would not only imperil the security of that which must, at all hazards, be guarded from profanation, but it would be consenting to admit behind the veil a fellow being, whose mediumistic irresponsibility might at any moment cause him to lose his life through an involuntary indiscretion. The same law which prevailed in the Eleusinian Mysteries before our era, holds good now in India.

        Not only must the adept have mastery over himself, but he must be able to control the inferior grades of spiritual beings, nature-spirits, and earthbound souls, in short the very ones by whom, if by any, the fakir is liable to be affected.

        For the objector to affirm that the Brahman-adepts and the fakirs admit that of themselves they are powerless, and can only act with the help of disembodied human spirits, is to state that these Hindus are unacquainted with the laws of their sacred books and even the meaning of the word Pitris. The Laws of Manu, the Atharva-Veda, and other books, prove what we now say. "All that exists," says the Atharva-Veda, "is in the power of the gods. The gods are under the power of magical conjurations. The magical conjurations are under the control of the Brahmans. Hence


107                                                                                                                 WHAT THE PITRIS ARE AND ARE NOT.

the gods are in the power of the Brahmans." This is logical, albeit seemingly paradoxical, and it is the fact. And this fact will explain to those who have not hitherto had the clew (among whom Jacolliot must be numbered, as will appear on reading his works), why the fakir should be confined to the first, or lowest degree of that course of initiation whose highest adepts, or hierophants, are the sannyāsis, or members of the ancient Supreme Council of Seventy.

        Moreover, in Book I., of the Hindu Genesis, or Book of Creation of Manu, the Pitris are called the lunar ancestors of the human race. They belong to a race of beings different from ourselves, and cannot properly be called "human spirits" in the sense in which the spiritualists use this term. This is what is said of them:

        "Then they (the gods) created the Jackshas, the Rakshasas, the Pisatshas, * the Gandarbas † and the Apsaras, and the Asuras, the Nagas, the Sarpas and the Suparnas, ‡ and the Pitris — lunar ancestors of the human race" (See Institutes of Manu, Book I., sloka 37, where the Pitris are termed "progenitors of mankind").

        The Pitris are a distinct race of spirits belonging to the mythological hierarchy or rather to the kabalistical nomenclature, and must be included with the good genii, the dęmons of the Greeks, or the inferior gods of the invisible world; and when a fakir attributes his phenomena to the Pitris, he means only what the ancient philosophers and theurgists meant when they maintained that all the "miracles" were obtained through the intervention of the gods, or the good and bad dęmons, who control the powers of nature, the elementals, who are subordinate to the power of him "who knows." A ghost or human phantom would be termed by a fakir palīt, or chutnā, as that of a female human spirit pichhalpai, not pitris. True, pitara means (plural) fathers, ancestors; and
pitrā-i is a kinsman; but these words are used in quite a different sense from that of the Pitris invoked in the mantras.

        To maintain before a devout Brahman or a fakir that any one can converse with the spirits of the dead, would be to shock him with what would appear to him blasphemy. Does not the concluding verse of the Bagavat state that this supreme felicity is alone reserved to the holy sannyāsis, the gurus, and yogis?

        "Long before they finally rid themselves of their mortal envelopes, the souls who have practiced only good, such as those of the sannyāsis and the vanaprasthas, acquire the faculty of conversing with the souls which preceded them to the swarga."
————————————————————————————————————
*
Pisatshas, dęmons of the race of the gnomes, the giants and the vampires.

† Gandarbas, good dęmon, celestial seraphs, singers.

‡ Asuras and Nagas are the Titanic spirits and the dragon or serpent-headed spirits.


108                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

        In this case the Pitris instead of genii are the spirits, or rather souls, of the departed ones. But they will freely communicate only with those whose atmosphere is as pure as their own, and to whose prayerful kalassa (invocation) they can respond without the risk of defiling their own celestial purity. When the soul of the invocator has reached the Sayadyam, or perfect identity of essence with the Universal Soul, when matter is utterly conquered, then the adept can freely enter into daily and hourly communion with those who, though unburdened with their corporeal forms, are still themselves progressing through the endless series of transformations included in the gradual approach to the Paramatma, or the grand Universal Soul.

        Bearing in mind that the Christian fathers have always claimed for themselves and their saints the name of "friends of God," and knowing that they borrowed this expression, with many others, from the technology of the Pagan temples, it is but natural to expect them to show an evil temper whenever alluding to these rites. Ignorant, as a rule, and having had biographers as ignorant as themselves, we could not well expect them to find in the accounts of their beatific visions a descriptive beauty such as we find in the Pagan classics. Whether the visions and objective phenomena claimed by both the fathers of the desert and the hierophants of the sanctuary are to be discredited, or accepted as facts, the splendid imagery employed by Proclus and Apuleius in narrating the small portion of the final initiation that they dared reveal, throws completely into the shade the plagiaristic tales of the Christian ascetics, faithful copies though they were intended to be. The story of the temptation of St. Anthony in the desert by the female demon, is a parody upon the preliminary trials of the neophyte during the Mikra, or minor Mysteries of Agrę— those rites at the thought of which Clemens railed so bitterly, and which represented the bereaved Demeter in search of her child, and her good-natured hostess Baubo .*

        Without entering again into a demonstration that in Christian, and especially Irish Roman Catholic, churches † the same apparently indecent customs as the above prevailed until the end of the last century, we will recur to the untiring labors of that honest and brave defender of the ancient faith, Thomas Taylor, and his works. However much dogmatic Greek scholarship may have found to say against his "mistranslations," his memory must be dear to every true Platonist, who seeks rather to learn the inner thought of the great philosopher than enjoy the mere external mechanism of his writings. Better classical translators may have
————————————————————————————————————
*
See Arnolius: "Op. Cit.," pp. 249, 250.

† See Inman's "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism."


109                                                                                            DESERVED PRAISE OF THOMAS TAYLOR.

rendered us, in more correct phraseology, Plato's words, but Taylor shows us Plato's meaning, and this is more than can be said of Zeller, Jowett, and their predecessors. Yet, as writes Professor A. Wilder, "Taylor's works have met with favor at the hands of men capable of profound and recondite thinking; and it must be conceded that he was endowed with a superior qualification — that of an intuitive perception of the interior meaning of the subjects which he considered. Others may have known more Greek, but he knew more Plato." *

        Taylor devoted his whole useful life to the search after such old manuscripts as would enable him to have his own speculations concerning several obscure rites in the Mysteries corroborated by writers who had been initiated themselves. It is with full confidence in the assertions of various classical writers that we say that ridiculous, perhaps licentious in some cases, as may appear ancient worship to the modern critic, it ought not to have so appeared to the Christians. During the medięval ages, and even later, they accepted pretty nearly the same without understanding the secret import of its rites, and quite satisfied with the obscure and rather fantastic interpretations of their clergy, who accepted the exterior form and distorted the inner meaning. We are ready to concede, in full justice, that centuries have passed since the great majority of the Christian clergy, who are not allowed to pry into God's mysteries nor seek to explain that which the Church has once accepted and established, have had the remotest idea of their symbolism, whether in its exoteric or esoteric meaning. Not so with the head of the Church and its highest dignitaries. And if we fully agree with Inman that it is "difficult to believe that the ecclesiastics who sanctioned the publication of such prints † could have been as ignorant as modern ritualists," we are not at all prepared to believe with the same author "that the latter, if they knew the real meaning of the symbols commonly used by the Roman Church, would not have adopted them."

        To eliminate what is plainly derived from the sex and nature wor-
————————————————————————————————————
*
Introduction to Taylor's "Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries," published by J. W. Bouton.

† Illustrated figures "from an ancient Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, printed at Venice, 1524, with a license from the Inquisition." In the illustrations given by Dr. Inman the Virgin is represented in an Assyrian "grove," the abomination in the eyes of the Lord, according to the Bible prophets. "The book in question," says the author, "contains numerous figures, all resembling closely the Mesopotamian emblem of Ishtar. The presence of the woman therein identifies the two as symbolic of Isis, or la nature; and a man bowing down in adoration thereof shows the same idea as is depicted in Assyrian sculptures, where males offer to the goddess symbols of themselves" (See "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. 91. Second edition. J. W. Bouton, publisher, New York).


110                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

ship of the ancient heathens, would be equivalent to pulling down the whole Roman Catholic image-worship — the Madonna element — and reforming the faith to Protestantism. The enforcement of the late dogma of the Immaculation was prompted by this very secret reason. The science of symbology was making too rapid progress. Blind faith in the Pope's infallibility and in the immaculate nature of the Virgin and of her ancestral female lineage to a certain remove could alone save the Church from the indiscreet revelations of science. It was a clever stroke of policy on the part of the vicegerent of God. What matters it if, by "conferring upon her such an honor," as Don Pascale de Franciscis naively expresses it, he has made a goddess of the Virgin Mary, an Olympian Deity, who, having been by her very nature placed in the impossibility of sinning, can claim no virtue, no personal merit for her purity, precisely for which, as we were taught to believe in our younger days, she was chosen among all other women. If his Holiness has deprived her of this, perhaps, on the other hand, he thinks that he has endowed her with at least one physical attribute not shared by the other virgin-goddesses. But even this new dogma, which, in company with the new claim to infallibility, has quasi-revolutionized the Christian world, is not original with the Church of Rome. It is but a return to a hardly-remembered heresy of the early Christian ages, that of the Collyridians, so called from their sacrificing cakes to the Virgin, whom they claimed to be Virgin-born. * The new sentence, "O, Virgin Mary, conceived without sin," is simply a tardy acceptance of that which was at first deemed a "blasphemous heresie" by the orthodox fathers.

        To think for one moment that any of the popes, cardinals, or other high dignitaries "were not aware" from the first to the last of the external meanings of their symbols, is to do injustice to their great learning and their spirit of Machiavellism. It is to forget that the emissaries of Rome will never be stopped by any difficulty which can be skirted by the employment of Jesuitical artifice. The policy of complaisant conformity was never carried to greater lengths than by the missionaries in Ceylon, who, according to the Abbé Dubois — certainly a learned and competent authority — "conducted the images of the Virgin and Saviour on triumphal cars, imitated from the orgies of Juggernauth, and introduced the dancers from the Brahminical rites into the ceremonial of the church." † Let us at least thank these black-frocked politicians for their consistency in employing the car of Juggernauth, upon which the "wicked heathen"
————————————————————————————————————
*
See King's "Gnostics," pp. 91, 92; "The Genealogy of the Blessed Virgin Mary," by Faustus, Bishop of Riez.

† Prinseps quotes Dubois, "Edinburgh Review," April, 1851, p. 411.


 111                                                                            THE VIRGIN MARY ON THE CAR OF JUGGERNAUTH.

convey the lingham of Siva. To have used this car to carry in its turn the Romish representative of the female principle in nature, is to show discrimination and a thorough knowledge of the oldest mythological conceptions. They have blended the two deities, and thus represented, in a Christian procession, the "heathen" Brahma, or Nara (the father), Nari (the mother), and Viradj (the son).

        Says Manu: "The Sovereign Master who exists through himself, divides his body into two halves, male and female, and from the union of these two principles is born Viradj, the Son." *

        There was not a Christian Father who could have been ignorant of these symbols in their physical meaning; for it is in this latter aspect that they were abandoned to the ignorant rabble. Moreover, they all had as good reasons to suspect the occult symbolism contained in these images; although as none of them — Paul excepted, perhaps — had been initiated they could know nothing whatever about the nature of the final rites. Any person revealing these mysteries was put to death, regardless of sex, nationality, or creed. A Christian father would no more be proof against an accident than a Pagan Mysta or the Muvsthß .

        If during the Aporreta or preliminary arcanes, there were some practices which might have shocked the pudicity of a Christian convert — though we doubt the sincerity of such statements — their mystical symbolism was all sufficient to relieve the performance of any charge of licentiousness. Even the episode of the Matron Baubo — whose rather eccentric method of consolation was immortalized in the minor Mysteries — is explained by impartial mystagogues quite naturally. Ceres-Demeter and her earthly wanderings in search of her daughter are the euhemerized descriptions of one of the most metaphysico-psychological subjects ever treated of by human mind. It is a mask for the transcendent narrative of the initiated seers; the celestial vision of the freed soul of the initiate of the last hour describing the process by which the soul that has not yet been incarnated descends for the first time into matter, "Blessed is he who hath seen those common concerns of the underworld; he knows both the end of life and its divine origin from Jupiter," says Pindar. Taylor shows, on the authority of more than one initiate, that the "dramatic performances of the Lesser Mysteries were designed by their founders, to signify occultly the condition of the unpurified soul invested with an earthly body, and enveloped in a material and physical
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Manu," book I., sloka 32: Sir W. Jones, translating from the Northern "Manu," renders this sloka as follows: "Having divided his own substance, the mighty Power became half male, half female, or nature active and passive; and from that female he produced VIRAJ."

 
112                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

nature . . . that the soul, indeed, till purified by philosophy, suffers death through its union with the body."

        The body is the sepulchre, the prison of the soul, and many Christian Fathers held with Plato that the soul is punished through its union with the body. Such is the fundamental doctrine of the Buddhists and of many Brahmanists too. When Plotinus remarks that "when the soul has descended into generation (from its half-divine condition) she partakes of evil, and is carried a great way into a state the opposite of her first purity and integrity, to be entirely merged in which is nothing more than to fall into dark mire"; * he only repeats the teachings of Gautama-Buddha. If we have to believe the ancient initiates at all, we must accept their interpretation of the symbols. And if, moreover, we find them perfectly coinciding with the teachings of the greatest philosophers and that which we know symbolizes the same meaning in the modern Mysteries in the East, we must believe them to be right.

        If Demeter was considered the intellectual soul, or rather the Astral soul, half emanation from the spirit and half tainted with matter through a succession of spiritual evolutions — we may readily understand what is meant by the Matron Baubo, the Enchantress, who before she succeeds in reconciling the soul — Demeter, to its new position, finds herself obliged to assume the sexual forms of an infant. Baubo is matter, the physical body; and the intellectual, as yet pure astral soul can be ensnared into its new terrestrial prison but by the display of innocent babyhood. Until then, doomed to her fate, Demeter, or Magna-mater, the Soul, wonders and hesitates and suffers; but once having partaken of the magic potion prepared by Baubo, she forgets her sorrows; for a certain time she parts with that consciousness of higher intellect that she was possessed of before entering the body of a child. Thenceforth she must seek to rejoin it again; and when the age of reason arrives for the child, the struggle — forgotten for a few years of infancy — begins again. The astral soul is placed between matter (body) and the highest intellect (its immortal spirit or nous). Which of those two will conquer? The result of the battle of life lies between the triad. It is a question of a few years of physical enjoyment on earth and — if it has begotten abuse — of the dissolution of the earthly body being followed by death of the astral body, which thus is prevented from being united with the highest spirit of the triad, which alone confers on us individual immortality; or, on the other hand, of becoming immortal mystę; initiated before death of the body into the divine truths of the after life. Demi-gods below, and GODS above.
————————————————————————————————————
                                         *
"Enead," i., book viii.


 113                                                                                        THE SUBLIMEST PART OF THE EPOPTEIA.

        Such was the chief object of the Mysteries represented as diabolical by theology, and ridiculed by modern symbologists. To disbelieve that there exist in man certain arcane powers, which, by psychological study he can develop in himself to the highest degree, become an hierophant and then impart to others under the same conditions of earthly discipline, is to cast an imputation of falsehood and lunacy upon a number of the best, purest, and most learned men of antiquity and of the middle ages. What the hierophant was allowed to see at the last hour is hardly hinted at by them. And yet Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, and many others knew and affirmed their reality.

        Whether in the "inner temple," or through the study of theurgy carried on privately, or by the sole exertion of a whole life of spiritual labor, they all obtained the practical proof of such divine possibilities for man fighting his battle with life on earth to win a life in the eternity. What the last epopteia was is alluded to by Plato in Phędrus (64); ". . . being initiated in those Mysteries, which it is lawful to call the most blessed of all mysteries . . . we were freed from the molestations of evils which otherwise await us in a future period of time. Likewise, in consequence of this divine initiation, we became spectators of entire, simple, immovable, and blessed visions, resident in a pure light." This sentence shows that they saw visions, gods, spirits. As Taylor correctly observes, from all such passages in the works of the initiates it may be inferred, "that the most sublime part of the epopteia . . . consisted in beholding the gods themselves invested with a resplendent light," or highest planetary spirits. The statement of Proclus upon this subject is unequivocal: "In all the initiations and mysteries, the gods exhibit many forms of themselves, and appear in a variety of shapes, and sometimes, indeed, a formless light of themselves is held forth to the view; sometimes this light is according to a human form, and sometimes it proceeds into a different shape." *

        "Whatever is on earth is the resemblance and SHADOW of something that is in the sphere, while that resplendent thing (the prototype of the soul-spirit) remaineth in unchangeable condition, it is well also with its shadow. But when the resplendent one removeth far from its shadow life removeth from the latter to a distance. And yet, that very light is the shadow of something still more resplendent than itself." Thus speaks Desatir, the Persian Book of Shet, † thereby showing its identity of esoteric doctrines with those of the Greek philosophers.

        The second statement of Plato confirms our belief that the Mysteries of the ancients were identical with the Initiations, as practiced now
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Commentary upon the Republic of Plato," p, 380.      † Verses 33-41.


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among the Buddhists and the Hindu adepts. The highest visions, the most truthful, are produced, not through natural ecstatics or "mediums," as it is sometimes erroneously asserted, but through a regular discipline of gradual initiations and development of psychical powers. The Mystę were brought into close union with those whom Proclus calls "mystical natures," "resplendent gods," because, as Plato says, "we were ourselves pure and immaculate, being liberated from this surrounding vestment, which we denominate body, and to which we are now bound like an oyster to its shell." *

        So the doctrine of planetary and terrestrial Pitris was revealed entirely in ancient India, as well as now, only at the last moment of initiation, and to the adepts of superior degrees. Many are the fakirs, who, though pure, and honest, and self-devoted, have yet never seen the astral form of a purely human pitar (an ancestor or father), otherwise than at the solemn moment of their first and last initiation. It is in the presence of his instructor, the guru, and just before the vatou-fakir is dispatched into the world of the living, with his seven-knotted bamboo wand for all protection, that he is suddenly placed face to face with the unknown PRESENCE. He sees it, and falls prostrate at the feet of the evanescent form, but is not entrusted with the great secret of its evocation; for it is the supreme mystery of the holy syllable. The AUM contains the evocation of the Vedic triad, the Trimurti Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, say the Orientalists; † it contains the evocation of something more real and objective than this triune abstraction — we say, respectfully contradicting the eminent scientists. It is the trinity of man himself, on his way to become immortal through the solemn union of his inner triune SELF — the exterior, gross body, the husk not even being taken in consideration in this human trinity. ‡ It is, when this trinity, in anticipation of the final
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Phędrus," p. 64.

†
The Supreme Buddha is invoked with two of his acolytes of the theistic triad, Dharma and Sanga. This triad is addressed in Sanscrit in the following terms:

   Namo Buddhāya,
   Namo Dharmāya,
Namo Sangāya,
Aum
!
while the Thibetan Buddhists pronounce their invocations as follows:

Nan-won Fho-tho-ye,
Nan-won Tha-ma-ye,
Nan-won Seng-kia-ye,
Aan
!
See also "Journal Asiatique," tome vii., p. 286.

 ‡ The body of man — his coat of skin — is an inert mass of matter, per se; it is but the sentient living body within the man that is considered as the man's body proper, and it is that which, together with the fontal soul or purely astral body, directly connected with the immortal spirit, constitutes the trinity of man.


 115                                                                                HOW HUMAN SPIRITS CAN BE CONFERRED WITH.

triumphant reunion beyond the gates of corporeal death became for a few seconds a UNITY, that the candidate is allowed, at the moment of the initiation, to behold his future self. Thus we read in the Persian Desatir, of the "Resplendent one"; in the Greek philosopher-initiates, of the Augoeides — the self-shining "blessed vision resident in the pure light"; in Porphyry, that Plotinus was united to his "god" six times during his lifetime; and so on.

        "In ancient India, the mystery of the triad, known but to the initiates, could not, under the penalty of death, be revealed to the vulgar," says Vrihaspati.

        Neither could it in the ancient Grecian and Samothracian Mysteries. Nor can it be now. It is in the hands of the adepts, and must remain a mystery to the world so long as the materialistic savant regards it as an undemonstrated fallacy, an insane hallucination, and the dogmatic theologian, a snare of the Evil One.

        Subjective communication with the human, god-like spirits of those who have preceded us to the silent land of bliss, is in India divided into three categories. Under the spiritual training of a guru or sannyāsi, the vatou (disciple or neophyte) begins to feel them. Were he not under the immediate guidance of an adept, he would be controlled by the invisibles, and utterly at their mercy, for among these subjective influences he is unable to discern the good from the bad. Happy the sensitive who is sure of the purity of his spiritual atmosphere!

        To this subjective consciousness, which is the first degree, is, after a time, added that of clairaudience. This is the second degree or stage of development. The sensitive — when not naturally made so by psychological training — now audibly hears, but is still unable to discern; and is incapable of verifying his impressions, and one who is unprotected the tricky powers of the air but too often delude with semblances of voices and speech. But the guru's influence is there; it is the most powerful shield against the intrusion of the bhutna into the atmosphere of the vatou, consecrated to the pure, human, and celestial Pitris.

        The third degree is that when the fakir or any other candidate both feels, hears, and sees; and when he can at will produce the reflections of the Pitris on the mirror of astral light. All depends upon his psychological and mesmeric powers, which are always proportionate to the intensity of his will. But the fakir will never control the Akasa, the spiritual life-principle, the omnipotent agent of every phenomenon, in the same degree as an adept of the third and highest initiation. And the
 

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phenomena produced by the will of the latter do not generally run the market-places for the satisfaction of open-mouthed investigators.

        The unity of God, the immortality of the spirit, belief in salvation only through our works, merit and demerit; such are the principal articles of faith of the Wisdom-religion, and the ground-work of Vedaism, Buddhism, Parsism, and such we find to have been even that of the ancient Osirism, when we, after abandoning the popular sun-god to the materialism of the rabble, confine our attention to the Books of Hermes, the thrice-great.

       "The THOUGHT concealed as yet the world in silence and darkness. . . . Then the Lord who exists through Himself, and who is not to be divulged to the external senses of man; dissipated darkness, and manifested the perceptible world."

        "He that can be perceived only by the spirit, that escapes the organs of sense, who is without visible parts, eternal, the soul of all beings, that none can comprehend, displayed His own splendor" (Manu, book i., slokas, 6-7).

        Such is the ideal of the Supreme in the mind of every Hindu philosopher.

        "Of all the duties, the principal one is to acquire the knowledge of the supreme soul (the spirit); it is the first of all sciences, for it alone confers on man immortality" (Manu, book xii., sloka 85).

        And our scientists talk of the Nirvana of Buddha and the Moksha of Brahma as of a complete annihilation! It is thus that the following verse is interpreted by some materialists.

       "The man who recognizes the Supreme Soul, in his own soul, as well as in that of all creatures, and who is equally just to all (whether man or animals) obtains the happiest of all fates, that to be finally absorbed in the bosom of Brahma" (Manu, book xii., sloka 125).

          The doctrine of the Moksha and the Nirvana, as understood by the school of Max Müller, can never bear confronting with numerous texts that can be found, if required, as a final refutation. There are sculptures in many pagodas which contradict, point-blank, the imputation. Ask a Brahman to explain Moksha, address yourself to an educated Buddhist and pray him to define for you the meaning of Nirvana. Both will answer you that in every one of these religions Nirvana represents the dogma of the spirit's immortality. That, to reach the Nirvana means absorption into the great universal soul, the latter representing a state, not an individual being or an anthropomorphic god, as some understand the great EXISTENCE. That a spirit reaching such a state becomes a part of the integral whole, but never loses its individuality for all that. Henceforth, the spirit lives spiritually, without any fear of further modi-

 
117                                                                              THE VISIONS OF SEERS NOT PROVOKED BY DRUGS.

fications of form; for form pertains to matter, and the state of Nirvana implies a complete purification or a final riddance from even the most sublimated particle of matter.

        This word, absorbed, when it is proved that the Hindus and Buddhists believe in the immortality of the spirit, must necessarily mean intimate union, not annihilation. Let Christians call them idolaters, if they still dare do so, in the face of science and the latest translations of the sacred Sanscrit books; they have no right to present the speculative philosophy of ancient sages as an inconsistency and the philosophers themselves as illogical fools. With far better reason we can accuse the ancient Jews of utter nihilism. There is not a word contained in the Books of Moses — or the prophets either — which, taken literally, implies the spirit's immortality. Yet every devout Jew hopes as well to be "gathered into the bosom of A-Braham."

        The hierophants and some Brahmans are accused of having administered to their epoptai strong drinks or anęsthetics to produce visions which shall be taken by the latter as realities. They did and do use sacred beverages which, like the Soma-drink, possess the faculty of freeing the astral form from the bonds of matter; but in those visions there is as little to be attributed to hallucination as in the glimpses which the scientist, by the help of his optical instrument, gets into the microscopic world. A man cannot perceive, touch, and converse with pure spirit through any of his bodily senses. Only spirit alone can talk to and see spirit; and even our astral soul, the Doppelganger, is too gross, too much tainted yet with earthly matter to trust entirely to its perceptions and insinuations.

        How dangerous may often become untrained mediumship, and how thoroughly it was understood and provided against by the ancient sages, is perfectly exemplified in the case of Socrates. The old Grecian philosopher was a "medium"; hence, he had never been initiated into the Mysteries; for such was the rigorous law. But he had his "familiar spirit" as they call it, his daimonion; and this invisible counsellor became the cause of his death. It is generally believed that if he was not initiated into the Mysteries it was because he himself neglected to become so. But the Secret Records teach us that it was because he could not be admitted to participate in the sacred rites, and precisely, as we state, on account of his mediumship. There was a law against the admission not only of such as were convicted of deliberate witchcraft *
————————————————————————————————————
*
We really think that the word "witchcraft" ought, once for all, to be understood in the sense which properly belongs to it. Witchcraft may be either conscious or unconscious. Certain wicked and dangerous results may be obtained through the mesmeric powers of a so-called sorcerer, who misuses his potential fluid; or again they may be achieved through an easy access of malicious tricky "spirits" (so much the worse if human) to the atmosphere surrounding a medium. How many thousands of such irresponsible innocent victims have met infamous deaths through the tricks of those Elementaries!


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but even of those who were known to have "a familiar spirit." The law was just and logical, because a genuine medium is more or less irresponsible; and the eccentricities of Socrates are thus accounted for in some degree. A medium must be passive; and if a firm believer in his "spirit-guide" he will allow himself to be ruled by the latter, not by the rules of the sanctuary. A medium of olden times, like the modern "medium" was subject to be entranced at the will and pleasure of the "power" which controlled him; therefore, he could not well have been entrusted with the awful secrets of the final initiation, "never to be revealed under the penalty of death." The old sage, in unguarded moments of "spiritual inspiration," revealed that which he had never learned; and was therefore put to death as an atheist.

        How then, with such an instance as that of Socrates, in relation to the visions and spiritual wonders at the epoptai, of the Inner Temple, can any one assert that these seers, theurgists, and thaumaturgists were all "spirit-mediums"? Neither Pythagoras, Plato, nor any of the later more important Neo-platonists; neither Iamblichus, Longinus, Proclus, nor Apollonius of Tyana, were ever mediums; for in such case they would not have been admitted to the Mysteries at all. As Taylor proves — "This assertion of divine visions in the Mysteries is clearly confirmed by Plotinus. And in short, that magical evocation formed a part of the sacerdotal office in them, and that this was universally believed by all antiquity long before the era of the later Platonists," shows that apart from natural "mediumship," there has existed, from the beginning of time, a mysterious science, discussed by many, but known only to a few.

        The use of it is a longing toward our only true and real home — the after-life, and a desire to cling more closely to our parent spirit; abuse of it is sorcery, witchcraft, black magic. Between the two is placed natural "mediumship"; a soul clothed with imperfect matter, a ready agent for either the one or the other, and utterly dependent on its surroundings of life, constitutional heredity — physical as well as mental — and on the nature of the "spirits" it attracts around itself. A blessing or a curse, as fate will have it, unless the medium is purified of earthly dross.

        The reason why in every age so little has been generally known of the mysteries of initiation, is twofold. The first has already been explained by more than one author, and lies in the terrible penalty following the least indiscretion. The second, is the superhuman difficulties and even dangers which the daring candidate of old had to encounter, and either conquer, or die in the attempt, when, what is still worse, he did not lose his


 119                                                                                            THE FOUR TANAIM OF THE TALMUD.

reason. There was no real danger to him whose mind had become thoroughly spiritualized, and so prepared for every terrific sight. He who fully recognized the power of his immortal spirit, and never doubted for one moment its omnipotent protection, had naught to fear. But woe to the candidate in whom the slightest physical fear — sickly child of matter — made him lose sight and faith in his own invulnerability. He who was not wholly confident of his moral fitness to accept the burden of these tremendous secrets was doomed.

         The Talmud gives the story of the four Tanaim, who are made, in allegorical
terms, to enter into the garden of delights; i.e., to be initiated into the occult and final science.

          "According to the teaching of our holy masters the names of the four who entered the garden of delight, are: Ben Asai, Ben Zoma, Acher, and Rabbi Akiba. . . .
          "Ben Asai looked and — lost his sight.
          "Ben Zoma looked and — lost his reason.

        "Acher made depredations in the plantation" (mixed up the whole and failed). "But Akiba, who had entered in peace, came out of it in peace, for the saint whose name be blessed had said, 'This old man is worthy of serving us with glory.' "

        "The learned commentators of the Talmud, the Rabbis of the synagogue, explain that the garden of delight, in which those four personages are made to enter, is but that mysterious science, the most terrible of sciences for weak intellects, which it leads directly to insanity," says A. Franck, in his Kabbala. It is not the pure at heart and he who studies but with a view to perfecting himself and so more easily acquiring the promised immortality, who need have any fear; but rather he who makes of the science of sciences a sinful pretext for worldly motives, who should tremble. The latter will never withstand the kabalistic evocations of the supreme initiation.

        The licentious performances of the thousand and one early Christian sects, may be criticised by partial commentators as well as the ancient Eleusinian and other rites. But why should they incur the blame of the theologians, the Christians, when their own "Mysteries" of "the divine incarnation with Joseph, Mary, and the angel" in a sacred trilogue used to be enacted in more than one country, and were famous at one time in Spain and Southern France? Later, they fell like many other once secret rites into the hands of the populace. It is but a few years since, during every Christmas week, Punch-and-Judy-boxes, containing the above named personages, an additional display of the infant Jesus in his manger, were carried about the country in Poland and Southern Russia. They were called Kaliadovki, a word the correct etymology of which we are


 120                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

 unable to give unless it is from the verb Kaliadovāt, a word that we as willingly abandon to learned philologists. We have seen this show in our days of childhood. We remember the three king-Magi represented by three dolls in powdered wigs and colored tights; and it is from recollecting the simple, profound veneration depicted on the faces of the pious audience, that we can the more readily appreciate the honest and just remark by the editor, in the introduction to the Eleusinian Mysteries, who says: "It is ignorance which leads to profanation. Men ridicule what they do not properly understand. . . . The undercurrent of this world is set toward one goal; and inside of human credulity — call it human weakness, if you please — is a power almost infinite, a holy faith capable of apprehending the supremest truths of all existence."

        If that abstract sentiment called Christian charity prevailed in the Church, we would be well content to leave all this unsaid. We have no quarrel with Christians whose faith is sincere and whose practice coincides with their profession. But with an arrogant, dogmatic, and dishonest clergy, we have nothing to do except to see the ancient philosophy — antagonized by modern theology in its puny offspring — Spiritualism — defended and righted so far as we are able, so that its grandeur and sufficiency may be thoroughly displayed. It is not alone for the esoteric philosophy that we fight; nor for any modern system of moral philosophy, but for the inalienable right of private judgment, and especially for the ennobling idea of a future life of activity and accountability.

        We eagerly applaud such commentators as Godfrey Higgins, Inman, Payne Knight, King, Dunlap, and Dr. Newton, however much they disagree with our own mystical views, for their diligence is constantly being rewarded by fresh discoveries of the Pagan paternity of Christian symbols. But otherwise, all these learned works are useless. Their researches only cover half the ground. Lacking the true key of interpretation they see the symbols only in a physical aspect. They have no password to cause the gates of mystery to swing open; and ancient spiritual philosophy is to them a closed book. Diametrically opposed though they be to the clergy in their ideas respecting it, in the way of interpretation they do little more than their opponents for a questioning public. Their labors tend to strengthen materialism as those of the clergy, especially the Romish clergy, do to cultivate belief in diabolism.

        If the study of Hermetic philosophy held out no other hope of reward, it would be more than enough to know that by it we may learn with what perfection of justice the world is governed. A sermon upon this text is preached by every page of history. Among all there is not one that conveys a deeper moral than the case of the Roman Church. The divine law of compensation was never more strikingly exemplified than in the

 
121                                                                                          THE ROMISH CHURCH SELF-DOOMED.

 fact that by her own act she has deprived herself of the only possible key to her own religious mysteries. The assumption of Godfrey Higgins that there are two doctrines maintained in the Roman Church, one for the masses and the other — the esoteric — for the "perfect," or the initiates, as in the ancient Mysteries, appears to us unwarranted and rather fantastic. They have lost the key, we repeat; otherwise no terrestrial power could have prostrated her, and except a superficial knowledge of the means of producing "miracles," her clergy can in no way be compared in their wisdom with the hierophants of old.

        In burning the works of the theurgists; in proscribing those who affect their study; in affixing the stigma of demonolatry to magic in general, Rome has left her exoteric worship and Bible to be helplessly riddled by every free-thinker, her sexual emblems to be identified with coarseness, and her priests to unwittingly turn magicians and even sorcerers in their exorcisms, which are but necromantic evocations. Thus retribution, by the exquisite adjustment of divine law, is made to overtake this scheme of cruelty, injustice, and bigotry, through her own suicidal acts.

        True philosophy and divine truth are convertible terms. A religion which dreads the light cannot be a religion based on either truth or philosophy — hence, it must be false. The ancient Mysteries were mysteries to the profane only, whom the hierophant never sought nor would accept as proselytes; to the initiates the Mysteries became explained as soon as the final veil was withdrawn. No mind like that of Pythagoras or Plato would have contented itself with an unfathomable and incomprehensible mystery, like that of the Christian dogma. There can be but one truth, for two small truths on the same subject can but constitute one great error. Among thousands of exoteric or popular conflicting religions which have been propagated since the days when the first men were enabled to interchange their ideas, not a nation, not a people, nor the most abject tribe, but after their own fashion has believed in an Unseen God, the First Cause of unerring and immutable laws, and in the immortality of our spirit. No creed, no false philosophy, no religious exaggerations, could ever destroy that feeling. It must, therefore, be based upon an absolute truth. On the other hand, every one of the numberless religions and religious sects views the Deity after its own fashion; and, fathering on the unknown its own speculations, it enforces these purely human outgrowths of overheated imagination on the ignorant masses, and calls them "revelation." As the dogmas of every religion and sect often differ radically, they cannot be true. And if untrue, what are they?

        "The greatest curse to a nation," remarks Dr. Inman, "is not a bad religion, but a form of faith which prevents manly inquiry. I know of no nation of old that was priest-ridden which did not fall under the swords


122                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

of those who did not care for hierarchs. . . . The greatest danger is to be feared from those ecclesiastics who wink at vice, and encourage it as a means whereby they can gain power over their votaries. So long as every man does to other men as he would that they should do to him, and allows no one to interfere between him and his Maker, all will go well with the world." *
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," preface, p. 34.

 

CHAPTER III.

"KING. — Let us from point to point this story know."
                                                        — All's Well That Ends Well. — Act v., Scene 3.

             "He is the One, self-proceeding; and from Him all things proceed.
And in them He Himself exerts His activity; no mortal
B
EHOLDS HIM, but HE beholds all!" — Orphic Hymn.

"And Athens, O Athena, is thy own!
                  Great Goddess hear! and on my darkened mind
             Pour thy pure light in measure unconfined;
          That sacred light, O all-proceeding Queen,
           Which beams eternal from thy face serene.
                My soul, while wand'ring on the earth, inspire
         With thy own blessed and impulsive fire!"
                                                                               — P
ROCLUS; TAYLOR: To Minerva.

    "Now faith is the substance of things. . . . By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies in peace."                   — Hebrews xi. 1, 31.

    "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man hath faith, and have not works? Can FAITH save him? . . . Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?" — James ii. 14, 25.

CLEMENT describes Basilides, the Gnostic, as "a philosopher devoted to the contemplation of divine things." This very appropriate expression may be applied to many of the founders of the more important sects which later were all engulfed in one — that stupendous compound of unintelligible dogmas enforced by Irenęus, Tertullian, and others, which is now termed Christianity. If these must be called heresies, then early Christianity itself must be included in the number. Basilides and Valentinus preceded Irenęus and Tertullian; and the two latter Fathers had less facts than the two former Gnostics to show that their heresy was plausible. Neither divine right nor truth brought about the triumph of their Christianity; fate alone was propitious. We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of all these sects — Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included — but sprung from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the once universal religion, which antedated the Vedaic ages — we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which merged later into Brahmanism.

    The religion which the primitive teaching of the early few apostles most resembled — a religion preached by Jesus himself — is the elder of these two, Buddhism. The latter as taught in its primitive purity, and carried to perfection by the last of the Buddhas, Gautama, based its


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moral ethics on three fundamental principles. It alleged that  1, every thing existing, exists from natural causes; 2, that virtue brings its own reward, and vice and sin their own punishment; and, 3, that the state of man in this world is probationary. We might add that on these three principles rested the universal foundation of every religious creed; God, and individual immortality for every man — if he could but win it. However puzzling the subsequent theological tenets; however seemingly incomprehensible the metaphysical abstractions which have convulsed the theology of every one of the great religions of mankind as soon as it was placed on a sure footing, the above is found to be the essence of every religious philosophy, with the exception of later Christianity. It was that of Zoroaster, of Pythagoras, of Plato, of Jesus, and even of Moses, albeit the teachings of the Jewish law-giver have been so piously tampered with.

        We will devote the present chapter mainly to a brief survey of the numerous sects which have recognized themselves as Christians; that is to say, that have believed in a Christos, or an ANOINTED ONE. We will also endeavor to explain the latter appellation from the kabalistic stand-point, and show it reappearing in every religious system. It might be profitable, at the same time, to see how much the earliest apostles — Paul and Peter, agreed in their preaching of the new Dispensation. We will begin with Peter.

        We must once more return to that greatest of all the Patristic frauds; the one which has undeniably helped the Roman Catholic Church to its unmerited supremacy, viz.: the barefaced assertion, in the teeth of historical evidence, that Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. It is but too natural that the Latin clergy should cling to it, for, with the exposure of the fraudulent nature of this pretext, the dogma of apostolic succession must fall to the ground.

        There have been many able works of late, in refutation of this preposterous claim. Among others we note Mr. G. Reber's, The Christ of Paul, which overthrows it quite ingeniously. The author proves, 1, that there was no church established at Rome, until the reign of Antoninus Pius;  2, that as Eusebius and Irenęus both agree that Linus was the second Bishop of Rome, into whose hands "the blessed apostles" Peter and Paul committed the church after building it, it could not have been at any other time than between A.D. 64 and 68;  3, that this interval of years happens during the reign of Nero, for Eusebius states that Linus held this office twelve years (Ecclesiastical History, book iii., c. 13), entering upon it A.D. 69, one year after the death of Nero, and dying himself in 81. After that the author maintains, on very solid grounds, that Peter could not be in Rome A.D. 64, for he was then in Babylon;


125                                                                                                           THE FICTION OF APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION.

wherefrom he wrote his first Epistle, the date of which is fixed by Dr. Lardner and other critics at precisely this year. But we believe that his best argument is in proving that it was not in the character of the cowardly Peter to risk himself in such close neighborhood with Nero, who "was feeding the wild beasts of the Amphitheatre with the flesh and bones of Christians" * at that time.

        Perhaps the Church of Rome was but consistent in choosing as her titular founder the apostle who thrice denied his master at the moment of danger; and the only one, moreover, except Judas, who provoked Christ in such a way as to be addressed as the "Enemy." "Get thee behind me, SATAN!" exclaims Jesus, rebuking the taunting apostle. †

        There is a tradition in the Greek Church which has never found favor at the Vatican. The former traces its origin to one of the Gnostic leaders — Basilides, perhaps, who lived under Trajan and Adrian, at the end of the first and the beginning of the second century. With regard to this particular tradition, if the Gnostic is Basilides, then he must be accepted as a sufficient authority, having claimed to have been a disciple of the Apostle Matthew, and to have had for master Glaucias, a disciple of St. Peter himself. Were the narrative attributed to him authenticated, the London Committee for the Revision of the Bible would have to add a new verse to Matthew, Mark, and John, who tell the story of Peter's denial of Christ.

        This tradition, then, of which we have been speaking, affirms that, when frightened at the accusation of the servant of the high priest, the apostle had thrice denied his master, and the cock had crowed, Jesus, who was then passing through the hall in custody of the soldiers, turned, and, looking at Peter, said: "Verily, I say unto thee, Peter, thou shalt deny me throughout the coming ages, and never stop until thou shalt be old, and shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldst not." The latter part of this sentence, say the Greeks, relates to the Church of Rome, and prophesies her constant apostasy from Christ, under the mask of false religion. Later, it was inserted in the twenty-first chapter of John, but the whole of this chapter had been pronounced a forgery, even before it was found that this Gospel was never written by John the Apostle at all.

        The anonymous author of Supernatural Religion, a work which in two years passed through several editions, and which is alleged to have been written by an eminent theologian, proves conclusively the spuriousness of the four gospels, or at least their complete transformation in the hands
————————————————————————————————————
*
"The Christ of Paul," p. 123.

† Gospel according to Mark, viii. 33.

 
126                                                                                                                            ISIS UNVEILED.

of the too-zealous Irenęus and his champions. The fourth gospel is completely upset by this able author; the extraordinary forgeries of the Fathers of the early centuries are plainly demonstrated, and the relative value of the synoptics is discussed with an unprecedented power of logic. The work carries conviction in its every line. From it we quote the following: "We gain infinitely more than we lose in abandoning belief in the reality of Divine Revelation. Whilst we retain, pure and unimpaired, the treasure of Christian morality, we relinquish nothing but the debasing elements added to it by human superstition. We are no longer bound to believe a theology which outrages reason and moral sense. We are freed from base anthropomorphic views of God and His government of the Universe, and from Jewish Mythology we rise to higher conceptions of an infinitely wise and beneficent Being, hidden from our finite minds, it is true, in the impenetrable glory of Divinity, but whose laws of wondrous comprehensiveness and perfection we ever perceive in operation around us. . . . The argument so often employed by theologians, that Divine revelation is necessary for man, and that certain views contained in that revelation are required for our moral consciousness, is purely imaginary, and derived from the revelation which it seeks to maintain. The only thing absolutely necessary for man is TRUTH, and to that, and that alone, must our moral consciousness adapt itself." *

        We will consider farther in what light was regarded the Divine revelation of the Jewish Bible by the Gnostics, who yet believed in Christ in their own way, a far better and less blasphemous one than the Roman Catholic. The Fathers have forced on the believers in Christ a Bible, the laws prescribed in which he was the first to break; the teachings of which he utterly rejected; and for which crimes he was finally crucified. Of whatever else the Christian world can boast, it can hardly claim logic and consistency as its chief virtues.

        The fact alone that Peter remained to the last an "apostle of the circumcision," speaks for itself. Whosoever else might have built the Church of Rome it was not Peter. If such were the case, the successors of this apostle would have to submit themselves to circumcision, if it were but for the sake of consistency, and to show that the claims of the popes are not utterly groundless, Dr. Inman asserts that report says that "in our Christian times popes have to be privately perfect," † but we do not know whether it is carried to the extent of the Levitical Jewish law. The first fifteen Christian bishops of Jerusalem, commencing with James and including Judas, were all circumcised Jews. ‡
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., p. 489.

† "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. 28.

‡ See Eusebius, "Ex. H.," bk. iv., ch. v.; "Sulpicius Severus," vol. ii., p. 31.


127                                                                                                       WHO AND WHAT WAS PETER?

        In the Sepher Toldos Jeshu, * a Hebrew manuscript of great antiquity, the version about Peter is different. Simon Peter, it says, was one of their own brethren, though he had somewhat departed from the laws, and the Jewish hatred and persecution of the apostle seems to have existed but in the fecund imagination of the fathers. The author speaks of him with great respect and fairness, calling him "a faithful servant of the living God," who passed his life in austerity and meditation, "living in Babylon at the summit of a tower," composing hymns, and preaching charity. He adds that Peter always recommended to the Christians not to molest the Jews, but as soon as he was dead, behold another preacher went to Rome and pretended that Simon Peter had altered the teachings of his master. He invented a burning hell and threatened every one with it; promised miracles, but worked none.

        How much there is in the above of fiction and how much of truth, it is for others to decide; but it certainly bears more the evidence of sincerity and fact on its face, than the fables concocted by the fathers to answer their end.

        We may the more readily credit this friendship between Peter and his late co-religionists as we find in Theodoret the following assertion: "The Nazarenes are Jews, honoring the ANOINTED (Jesus) as a just man and using the Evangel according to Peter." † Peter was a Nazarene, according to the Talmud. He belonged to the sect of the later Nazarenes, which dissented from the followers of John the Baptist, and became a rival sect; and which — as tradition goes — was instituted by Jesus himself.

        History finds the first Christian sects to have been either Nazarenes like John the Baptist; or Ebionites, among whom were many of the relatives of Jesus; or Essenes (Iessaens) the Therapeutę, healers, of which the Nazaria were a branch. All these sects, which only in the days of Irenęus began to be considered heretical, were more or less kabalistic. They believed in the expulsion of demons by magical incantations, and practiced this method; Jervis terms the Nabatheans and other such sects "wandering Jewish exorcists," ‡ the Arabic word Nabę, meaning to wander, and the Hebrew abn  naba, to prophesy. The Talmud indiscrimi-
————————————————————————————————————
*
It appears that the Jews attribute a very high antiquity to "Sepher Toldos Jeshu." It was mentioned for the first time by Martin, about the beginning of the thirteenth century, for the Talmudists took great care to conceal it from the Christians. Levi says that Porchetus Salvaticus published some portions of it, which were used by Luther (see vol. viii., Jena Ed.). The Hebrew text, which was missing, was at last found by Munster and Buxtorf, and published in 1681, by Christopher Wagenseilius, in Nuremberg, and in Frankfort, in a collection entitled "Tela Ignea Satanę," or The Burning Darts of Satan (See Levi's "Science des Esprits").

† Theodoret: "Hęretic. Fab.," lib. ii., 11.

‡ Jervis W. Jervis: "Genesis," p. 324.

 
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nately calls all the Christians Nozari .* All the Gnostic sects equally believed in magic. Irenęus, in describing the followers of Basilides, says, "They use images, invocations, incantations, and all other things pertaining unto magic." Dunlap, on the authority of Lightfoot, shows that Jesus was called Nazaraios, in reference to his humble and mean external condition; "for Nazaraios means separation, alienation from other men." †

          The real meaning of the word nazar
rzn signifies to vow or consecrate one's self to the service of God. As a noun it is a diadem or emblem of such consecration, a head so consecrated. ‡ Joseph was styled a nazar. § "The head of Joseph, the vertex of the nazar among his brethren." Samson and Samuel ( !wXmX  la‐wmX Semes-on and Sem-va-el) are described alike as nazars. Porphyry, treating of Pythagoras, says that he was purified and initiated at Babylon by Zar-adas, the head of the sacred college. May it not be surmised, therefore, that the Zoro-Aster was the nazar of Ishtar, Zar-adas or Na-Zar-Ad, ∫∫ being the same with change of idiom? Ezra, or arw[ , was a priest and scribe, a hierophant; and the first Hebrew colonizer of Judea was lbbwrz Zeru-Babel or the Zoro or nazar of Babylon.

        The Jewish Scriptures indicate two distinct worships and religions among the Israelites; that of Bacchus-worship under the mask of Jehovah, and that of the Chaldean initiates to whom belonged some of the nazars, the theurgists, and a few of the prophets. The headquarters of these were always at Babylon and Chaldea, where two rival schools of Magians can be distinctly shown. Those who would doubt the statement will have in such a case to account for the discrepancy between history and Plato, who of all men of his day was certainly one of the best informed. Speaking of the Magians, he shows them as instructing the Persian kings of Zoroaster, as the son or priest of Oromasdes; and yet Darius, in the inscription at Bihistun, boasts of having restored the cultus of Ormazd and put down the Magian rites! Evidently there were two distinct and antagonistic Magian schools. The oldest and the most esoteric of the two being that which, satisfied with its unassailable knowledge and secret power, was content to apparently relinquish her exoteric popularity, and concede her supremacy into the hands of the reforming Darius. The later Gnostics showed the same prudent policy by accommodating themselves in every country to the prevailing religious forms, still secretly adhering to their own essential doctrines.
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Lightfoot," 501.             † Dunlap: "Sod, the Son of the Man," p. x.

‡ Jeremiah vii. 29: "Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places."

§ Genesis xlix. 26.            ∫∫ Nazareth?


129                                                                                                THE ARISTĘUS — EURYDIKÉ FABLE EXPLAINED.

        There is another hypothesis possible, which is that Zero-Ishtar was the high priest of the Chaldean worship, or Magian hierophant. When the Aryans of Persia, under Darius Hystaspes, overthrew the Magian Gomates, and restored the Masdean worship, there ensued an amalgamation by which the Magian Zoro-astar became the Zara-tushra of the Vendidad. This was not acceptable to the other Aryans, who adopted the Vedic religion as distinguished from that of Avesta. But this is but an hypothesis.

        And whatever Moses is now believed to have been, we will demonstrate that he was an initiate. The Mosaic religion was at best a sun-and-serpent worship, diluted, perhaps, with some slight monotheistic notions before the latter were forcibly crammed into the so-called "inspired Scriptures" by Ezra, at the time he was alleged to have rewritten the Mosaic books. At all events the Book of Numbers was a later book; and there the sun-and-serpent worship is as plainly traceable as in any Pagan story. The tale of the fiery serpents is an allegory in more than one sense. The "serpents" were the Levites or Ophites, who were Moses' body-guard (see Exodus xxxii. 26); and the command of the "Lord" to Moses to hang the heads of the people "before the Lord against the sun," which is the emblem of this Lord, is unequivocal.

        The nazars or prophets, as well as the Nazarenes, were an anti-Bacchus caste, in so far that, in common with all the initiated prophets, they held to the spirit of the symbolical religions and offered a strong opposition to the idolatrous and exoteric practices of the dead letter. Hence, the frequent stoning of the prophets by the populace and under the leadership of those priests who made a profitable living out of the popular superstitions. Otfried Müller shows how much the Orphic Mysteries differed from the popular rites of Bacchus,* although the Orphikoi are known to have followed the worship of Bacchus. The system of the purest morality and of a severe asceticism promulgated in the teachings of Orpheus, and so strictly adhered to by his votaries, are incompatible with the lasciviousness and gross immorality of the popular rites. The fable of Aristęus pursuing Eurydiké into the woods where a serpent occasions her death, is a very plain allegory, which was in part explained at the earliest times. Aristęus is brutal power, pursuing Eurydike, the esoteric doctrine, into the woods where the serpent (emblem of every sun-god, and worshipped under its grosser aspect even by the Jews) kills her; i.e., forces truth to become still more esoteric, and seek shelter in the Underworld, which is not the hell of our theologians. Moreover, the fate of Orpheus, torn to pieces by the Bacchantes, is
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*
Otfried Müller: "Historical Greek Literature," pp. 230-240.


 130                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

another allegory to show that the gross and popular rites are always more welcome than divine but simple truth, and proves the great difference that must have existed between the esoteric and the popular worship. As the poems of both Orpheus and Musęus were said to have been lost since the earliest ages, so that neither Plato nor Aristotle recognized anything authentic in the poems extant in their time, it is difficult to say with precision what constituted their peculiar rites. Still we have the oral tradition, and every inference to draw therefrom; and this tradition points to Orpheus as having brought his doctrines from India. As one whose religion was that of the oldest Magians — hence, that to which belonged the initiates of all countries, beginning with Moses, the "sons of the Prophets," and the ascetic nazars (who must not be confounded with those against whom thundered Hosea and other prophets) to the Essenes. This latter sect were Pythagoreans before they rather degenerated, than became perfected in their system by the Buddhist missionaries, whom Pliny tells us established themselves on the shores of the Dead Sea, ages before his time, "per sęculorum millia." But if, on the one hand, these Buddhist monks were the first to establish monastic communities and inculcate the strict observance of dogmatic conventual rule, on the other they were also the first to enforce and popularize those stern virtues so exemplified by Sakya-muni, and which were previously exercised only in isolated cases of well-known philosophers and their followers; virtues preached two or three centuries later by Jesus, practiced by a few Christian ascetics, and gradually abandoned, and even entirely forgotten by the Christian Church.

         The initiated nazars had ever held to this rule, which had to be followed before them by the adepts of every age; and the disciples of John were but a dissenting branch of the Essenes. Therefore, we cannot well confound them with all the nazars spoken of in the Old Testament, and who are accused by Hosea with having separated or consecrated themselves to Bosheth; tXb  ( see Hebrew text ) which implied the greatest possible abomination. To infer, as some critics and theologians do, that it means to separate one's self to chastity or continence, is either to advisedly pervert the true meaning, or to be totally ignorant of the Hebrew language. The eleventh verse of the first chapter of Micah half explains the word in its veiled translation: "Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, etc.," and in the original text the word is Bosheth. Certainly neither Baal, nor Iahoh Kadosh, with his Kadeshim, was a god of ascetic virtue, albeit the Septuaginta terms them, as well as the galli — the perfected priests — tetelesmevnou" ,the initiated and the consecrated. *
————————————————————————————————————
*
See "Movers," p. 683.

 
131                                                                                                THE NAZARS AND NAZIREATES.

The great Sod of the Kadeshim, translated in Psalm lxxxix. 7, by "assembly of the saints," was anything but a mystery of the "sanctified" in the sense given to the latter word by Webster.


        The Nazireate sect existed long before the laws of Moses, and originated among people most inimical to the "chosen" ones of Israel, viz., the people of Galilee, the ancient olla-podrida of idolatrous nations, where was built Nazara, the present Nazareth. It is in Nazara that the ancient Nazoria or Nazireates held their "Mysteries of Life" or "assemblies," as the word now stands in the translation,* which were but the secret mysteries of initiation, † utterly distinct in their practical form from the popular Mysteries which were held at Byblus in honor of Adonis. While the true initiates of the ostracised Galilee were worshipping the true God and enjoying transcendent visions, what were the "chosen" ones about? Ezekiel tells it to us (chap. viii) when, in describing what he saw, he says that the form of a hand took him by a lock of his head and transported him from Chaldea unto Jerusalem. "And there stood seventy men of the senators of the house of Israel. . . . 'Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients . . . do in the dark?' " inquires the "Lord." "At the door of the house of the Lord . . . behold there sat women weeping for Tammuz" (Adonis). We really cannot suppose that the Pagans have ever surpassed the "chosen" people in certain shameful abominations of which their own prophets accuse them so profusely. To admit this truth, one hardly needs even to be a Hebrew scholar; let him read the Bible in English and meditate over the language of the "holy" prophets.

        This accounts for the hatred of the later Nazarenes for the orthodox Jews — followers of the exoteric Mosaic Law — who are ever taunted by this sect with being the worshippers of Iurbo-Adunai, or Lord Bacchus. Passing under the disguise of Adoni-Iachoh (original text, Isaiah lxi. 1), Iahoh and Lord Sabaoth, the Baal-Adonis, or Bacchus, worshipped in the groves and public sods or Mysteries, under the polishing hand of Ezra becomes finally the later-vowelled Adonai of the Massorah — the One and Supreme God of the Christians!

        "Thou shalt not worship the Sun who is named Adunai," says the Codex of the Nazarenes; "whose name is also Kadush  ‡ and
El-El. This Adunai will elect to himself a nation and congregate in crowds (his worship will be exoteric) . . . Jerusalem will become the refuge and city of the Abortive, who shall perfect themselves (circumcise) with a sword . . . and shall adore Adunai."
§
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*
"Codex Nazaręus," ii., 305.                 † See Lucian: "De Syria Dea."

‡ See Psalm lxxxix.
18.                           § "Codex Nazaręus," i. 47.

 
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        The oldest Nazarenes, who were the descendants of the Scripture nazars, and whose last prominent leader was John the Baptist, although never very orthodox in the sight of the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem were, nevertheless, respected and left unmolested. Even Herod "feared the multitude" because they regarded John as a prophet (Matthew xiv. 5). But the followers of Jesus evidently adhered to a sect which became a still more exasperating thorn in their side. It appeared as a heresy within another heresy; for while the nazars of the olden times, the "Sons of the Prophets," were Chaldean kabalists, the adepts of the new dissenting sect showed themselves reformers and innovators from the first. The great similitude traced by some critics between the rites and observances of the earliest Christians and those of the Essenes may be accounted for without the slightest difficulty. The Essenes, as we remarked just now, were the converts of Buddhist missionaries who had overrun Egypt, Greece, and even Judea at one time, since the reign of Asoka the zealous propagandist; and while it is evidently to the Essenes that belongs the honor of having had the Nazarene reformer, Jesus, as a pupil, still the latter is found disagreeing with his early teachers on several questions of formal observance. He cannot strictly be called an Essene, for reasons which we will indicate further on, neither was he a nazar, or Nazaria of the older sect. What Jesus was, may be found in the Codex Nazaręus, in the unjust accusations of the Bardesanian Gnostics.

        "Jesu is Nebu, the false Messiah, the destroyer of the old orthodox religion," says the Codex .* He is the founder of the sect of the new nazars, and, as the words clearly imply, a follower of the Buddhist doctrine. In Hebrew the word naba abn means to speak of inspiration; and wbn is nebo, a god of wisdom. But Nebo is also Mercury, and Mercury is Buddha in the Hindu monogram of planets. Moreover, we find the Talmudists holding that Jesus was inspired by the genius of Mercury.†

        The Nazarene reformer had undoubtedly belonged to one of these sects; though, perhaps, it would be next to impossible to decide absolutely which. But what is self-evident is that he preached the philosophy of Buddha-Sakyamūni. Denounced by the later prophets, cursed by the Sanhedrim, the nazars — they were confounded with others of that name "who separated themselves unto that shame," ‡ they were secretly, if not openly persecuted by the orthodox synagogue. It be-
————————————————————————————————————
* Ibid.; Norberg: "Onomasticon," 74.

†
Alph. de Spire: "Fortalicium Fidei," ii., 2.

‡ Hosea ix. 10.

 
133                                                                                               BLUNDERS OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.

comes clear why Jesus was treated with such contempt from the first, and deprecatingly called "the Galilean." Nathaniel inquires — "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John i. 46) at the very beginning of his career; and merely because he knows him to be a nazar. Does not this clearly hint, that even the older nazars were not really Hebrew religionists, but rather a class of Chaldean theurgists? Besides, as the New Testament is noted for its mistranslations and transparent falsifications of texts, we may justly suspect that the word Nazareth was substituted for that of nasaria, or nozari. That it originally read "Can any good thing come from a nozari, or Nazarene"; a follower of St. John the Baptist, with whom we see him associating from his first appearance on the stage of action, after having been lost sight of for a period of nearly twenty years. The blunders of the Old Testament are as nothing to those of the gospels. Nothing shows better than these self-evident contradictions the system of pious fraud upon which the super-structure of the Messiahship rests. "This is Elias which was for to come," says Matthew of John the Baptist, thus forcing an ancient kabalistic tradition into the frame of evidence (xi. 14). But when addressing the Baptist himself, they ask him (John i. 21), "Art thou Elias?" "And he saith I am not"! Which knew best — John or his biographer? And which is divine revelation?

        The motive of Jesus was evidently like that of Gautama-Buddha, to benefit humanity at large by producing a religious reform which should give it a religion of pure ethics; the true knowledge of God and nature having remained until then solely in the hands of the esoteric sects, and their adepts. As Jesus used oil and the Essenes never used aught but pure water, * he cannot be called a strict Essene. On the other hand, the Essenes were also "set apart"; they were healers (assaya) and dwelt in the desert as all ascetics did.

        But although he did not abstain from wine he could have remained a Nazarene all the same. For in chapter vi. of Numbers, we see that after the priest has waved a part of the hair of a Nazorite for a wave-offering before the Lord, "after that a Nazarene may drink wine" (v. 20). The bitter denunciation by the reformer of the people who would be satisfied with nothing is worded in the following exclamation: "John came neither eating nor drinking and they say: 'He hath a devil.' . . . The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say: 'Behold a man gluttonous and a wine-bibber.' " And yet he was an Essene and Nazarene, for we not only find him sending a message to Herod, to say that he was one of those who cast out demons, and who performed
————————————————————————————————————
*
"The Essenes considered oil as a defilement," says Josephus: "Wars," ii., p. 7.


134                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

cures, but actually calling himself a prophet and declaring himself equal to the other prophets.*

        The author of Sod shows Matthew trying to connect the appellation of Nazarene with a prophecy, † and inquires "Why then does Matthew state that the prophet said he should be called Nazaria?" Simply "because he belonged to that sect, and a prophecy would confirm his claims to the Messiahship. . . . Now it does not appear that the prophets anywhere state that the Messiah will be called a Nazarene." ‡ The fact alone that Matthew tries in the last verse of chapter ii. to strengthen his claim that Jesus dwelt in Nazareth merely to fulfil a prophecy, does more than weaken the argument, it upsets it entirely; for the first two chapters have sufficiently been proved later forgeries.

        Baptism is one of the oldest rites and was practiced by all the nations in their Mysteries, as sacred ablutions. Dunlap seems to derive the name of the nazars from nazah, sprinkling; Bahak-Zivo is the genius who called the world into existence § out of the "dark water," say the Nazarenes; and Richardson's Persian, Arabic, and English Lexicon asserts that the word Bahak means "raining." But the Bahak-Zivo of the Nazarenes cannot be traced so easily to Bacchus, who "was the rain-god," for the nazars were the greatest opponents of Bacchus-worship. "Bacchus is brought up by the Hyades, the rain-nymphs," says Preller; ∫∫ who shows, furthermore, that at the conclusion of the religious Mysteries, the priests baptized (washed) their monuments and anointed them with oil. All this is but a very indirect proof. The Jordan baptism need not be shown a substitution for the exoteric Bacchic rites and the libations in honor of Adonis or Adoni — whom the Nazarenes abhorred — in order to prove it to have been a sect sprung from the "Mysteries" of the "Secret Doctrine"; and their rites can by no means be confounded with those of the Pagan populace, who had simply fallen into the idolatrous and unreasoning faith of all plebeian multitudes. John was the prophet of these Nazarenes, and in Galilee he was termed "the Saviour," but he was not the founder of that sect which derived its tradition from the remotest Chaldeo-Akkadian theurgy.

        "The early plebeian Israelites were Canaanites and Phœnicians, with
————————————————————————————————————
*
Luke xiii. 32.

† Matthew ii. We must bear in mind that the Gospel according to Matthew in the New Testament is not the original Gospel of the apostle of that name. The authentic Evangel was for centuries in the possession of the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, as we show further on the admission of St. Jerome himself, who confesses that he had to ask permission of the Nazarenes to translate it.

‡ Dunlap: "Sod, the Son of the Man."            § "Codex Nazaręus," vol. ii., p. 233.

∫∫
Preller: vol. i., p. 415.                                Ibid., vol. i., p. 490.

135                                                                                                 VARIOUS MODES OF BAPTISM.

the same worship of the Phallic gods — Bacchus, Baal or Adon, Iacchos — Iao or Jehovah"; but even among them there had always been a class of initiated adepts. Later, the character of this plebe was modified by Assyrian conquests; and, finally, the Persian colonizations superimposed the Pharisean and Eastern ideas and usages, from which the Old Testament and the Mosaic institutes were derived. The Asmonean priest-kings promulgated the canon of the Old Testament in contradistinction to the Apocrypha or Secret Books of the Alexandrian Jews — kabalists. * Till John Hyrcanus they were Asideans (Chasidim) and Pharisees (Parsees), but then they became Sadducees or Zadokites — asserters of sacerdotal rule as contradistinguished from rabbinical. The Pharisees were lenient and intellectual, the Sadducees, bigoted and cruel.

        Says the Codex: "John, son of the Aba-Saba-Zacharia, conceived by his mother Anasabet in her hundredth year, had baptized for forty-two years † when Jesu Messias came to the Jordan to be baptized with John's baptism. . . . But he will pervert John's doctrine, changing the baptism of the Jordan, and perverting the sayings of justice." ‡

        The baptism was changed from water to that of the Holy Ghost, undoubtedly in consequence of the ever-dominant idea of the Fathers to institute a reform, and make the Christians distinct from St. John's Nazarenes, the Nabatheans and Ebionites, in order to make room for new dogmas. Not only do the Synoptics tell us that Jesus was baptizing the same as John, but John's own disciples complained of it, though surely Jesus cannot be accused of following a purely Bacchic rite. The parenthesis in verse 2d of John iv., " . . . though Jesus himself baptized not," is so clumsy as to show upon its face that it is an interpolation, Matthew makes John say that he that should come after him would not baptize them with water "but with the Holy Ghost and fire." Mark, Luke, and John corroborate these words. Water, fire, and spirit, or Holy Ghost, have all their origin in India, as we will show.
————————————————————————————————————
*
The word Apocrypha was very erroneously adopted as doubtful and spurious. The word means hidden and secret; but that which is secret may be often more true than that which is revealed.

† The statement, if reliable, would show that Jesus was between fifty and sixty years old when baptized; for the Gospels make him but a few months younger than John. The kabalists say that Jesus was over forty years old when first appearing at the gates of Jerusalem. The present copy of the "Codex Nazaraeus" is dated in the year 1042, but Dunlap finds in Irenęus (2d century) quotations from and ample references to this book. "The basis of the material common to Irenęus and the 'Codex Nazaręus' must be at least as early as the first century," says the author in his preface to "Sod,
the Son of the Man," p. i.

 ‡ "Codex Nazaręus," vol. i., p. 109; Dunlap: Ibid., xxiv.

 
136                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED.

        Now there is one very strange peculiarity about this sentence. It is flatly denied in Acts xix. 2-5. Apollos, a Jew of Alexandria, belonged to the sect of St. John's disciples; he had been baptized, and instructed others in the doctrines of the Baptist. And yet when Paul, cleverly profiting by his absence at Corinth, finds certain disciples of Apollos' at Ephesus, and asks them whether they received the Holy Ghost, he is naively answered, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost!" "Unto what then were you baptized?" he inquires. "Unto John's baptism," they say. Then Paul is made to repeat the words attributed to John by the Synoptics; and these men "were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus," exhibiting, moreover, at the same instant, the usual polyglot gift which accompanies the descent of the Holy Ghost.

        How then? St. John the Baptist, who is called the "precursor," that "the prophecy might be fulfilled," the great prophet and martyr, whose words ought to have had such an importance in the eyes of his disciples, announces the "Holy Ghost" to his listeners; causes crowds to assemble on the shores of the Jordan, where, at the great ceremony of Christ's baptism, the promised "Holy Ghost" appears within the opened heavens, and the multitude hears the voice, and yet there are disciples of St. John who have "never so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost"!

        Verily the disciples who wrote the Codex Nazaręus were right. Only it is not Jesus himself, but those who came after him, and who concocted the Bible to suit themselves, that "perverted John's doctrine, changed the baptism of the Jordan, and perverted the sayings of justice."

        It is useless to object that the present Codex was written centuries after the direct apostles of John preached. So were our Gospels. When this astounding interview of Paul with the "Baptists" took place, Bardesanes had not yet appeared among them, and the sect was not considered a "heresy." Moreover, we are enabled to judge how little St. John's promise of the "Holy Ghost," and the appearance of the "Ghost" himself, had affected his disicples, by the displeasure shown by them toward the disciples of Jesus, and the kind of rivalry manifested from the first. Nay, so little is John himself sure of the identity of Jesus with the expected Messiah, that after the famous scene of the baptism at the Jordan, and the oral assurance by the Holy Ghost Himself that "This is my beloved Son" (Matthew iii. 17), we find "the Precursor," in Matthew xi., sending two of his disciples from his prison to inquire of Jesus: "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another"!!

        This flagrant contradiction alone ought to have long ago satisfied reasonable minds as to the putative divine inspiration of the New Testa-


137                                                                                                   JESUS A REFORMING NAZARIA.

 ment. But we may offer another question: If baptism is the sign of regeneration, and an ordinance instituted by Jesus, why do not Christians now baptize as Jesus is here represented as doing, "with the Holy Ghost and with fire," instead of following the custom of the Nazarenes? In making these palpable interpolations, what possible motive could Irenęus have had except to cause people to believe that the appellation of Nazarene, which Jesus bore, came only from his father's residence at Nazareth, and not from his affiliation with the sect of Nazaria, the healers?

        This expedient of Irenęus was a most unfortunate one, for from time immemorial the prophets of old had been thundering against the baptism of fire as practiced by their neighbors, which imparted the "spirit of prophecy," or the Holy Ghost. But the case was desperate; the Christians were universally called Nazoraens and Iessaens (according to Epiphanius), and Christ simply ranked as a Jewish prophet and healer — so self-styled, so accepted by his own disciples, and so regarded by their followers. In such a state of things there was no room for either a new hierarchy or a new God-head; and since Irenęus had undertaken the business of manufacturing both, he had to put together such materials as were available, and fill the gaps with his own fertile inventions.

        To assure ourselves that Jesus was a true Nazarene — albeit with ideas of a new reform — we must not search for the proof in the translated Gospels, but in such original versions as are accessible. Tischendorf, in his translation from the Greek of Luke iv. 34, has it "Iesou Nazarene"; and in the Syriac it reads "Iasoua, thou Nazaria." Thus, if we take in account all that is puzzling and incomprehensible in the four Gospels, revised and corrected as they now stand, we shall easily see for ourselves that the true, original Christianity, such as was preached by Jesus, is to be found only in the so-called Syrian heresies. Only from them can we extract any clear notions about what was primitive Christianity. Such was the faith of Paul, when Tertullus the orator accused the apostle before the governor Felix. What he complained of was that they had found "that man a mover of sedition . . . a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes"; * and, while Paul denies every other accusation, he confesses that "after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers." † This confession is a whole revelation. It shows: 1, that Paul admitted belonging to the sect of the Nazarenes; 2, that he worshipped the God of his fathers, not the trinitarian Christian God, of whom he knows nothing, and who was not invented until after his death; and, 3, that this unlucky confession satisfactorily explains why the treatise, Acts of the Apostles, together with John's Revelation, which at one
————————————————————————————————————
*
Acts xxiv. 5.                                      † Ibid., 14.

 
138                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

period was utterly rejected, were kept out of the canon of the New Testament for such a length of time.

        At Byblos, the neophytes as well as the hierophants were, after participating in the Mysteries, obliged to fast and remain in solitude for some time. There was strict fasting and preparation before as well as after the Bacchic, Adonian, and Eleusinian orgies; and Herodotus hints, with fear and veneration about the LAKE of Bacchus, in which "they (the priests) made at night exhibitions of his life and sufferings." * In the Mithraic sacrifices, during the initiation, a preliminary scene of death was simulated by the neophyte, and it preceded the scene showing him himself "being born again by the rite of baptism." A portion of this ceremony is still enacted in the present day by the Masons, when the neophyte, as the Grand Master Hiram Abiff, lies dead, and is raised by the strong grip of the lion's paw.

        The priests were circumcised. The neophyte could not be initiated without having been present at the solemn Mysteries of the LAKE. The Nazarenes were baptized in the Jordan; and could not be baptized elsewhere; they were also circumcised, and had to fast before as well as after the purification by baptism. Jesus is said to have fasted in the wilderness for forty days, immediately after his baptism. To the present day, there is outside every temple in India, a lake, stream, or a reservoir full of holy water, in which the Brahmans and the Hindu devotees bathe daily. Such places of consecrated water are necessary to every temple. The bathing festivals, or baptismal rites, occur twice every year; in October and April. Each lasts ten days; and, as in ancient Egypt and Greece, the statues of their gods, goddesses, and idols are immersed in water by the priests; the object of the ceremony being to wash away from them the sins of their worshippers which they have taken upon themselves, and which pollute them, until washed off by holy water. During the Aratty, the bathing ceremony, the principal god of every temple is carried in solemn procession to be baptized in the sea. The Brahman priests, carrying the sacred images, are followed generally by the Maharajah — barefoot, and nearly naked. Three times the priests enter the sea; the third time they carry with them the whole of the images. Holding them up with prayers repeated by the whole congregation, the Chief Priest plunges the statues of the gods thrice in the name of the mystic trinity, into the water; after which they are purified. † The Orphic hymn calls water the greatest purifier of men and gods.
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Herodotus," ii., p. 170.

† The Hindu High Pontiff — the Chief of the Namburis, who lives in the Cochin Land, is generally present during these festivals of "Holy Water" immersions. He travels sometimes to very great distances to preside over the ceremony.


139                                                                                                    ADONIS WORSHIP AT BETHLEHEM.

        Our Nazarene sect is known to have existed some 150 years B.C., and to have lived on the banks of the Jordan, and on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, according to Pliny and Josephus. * But in King's Gnostics, we find quoted another statement by Josephus from verse 13, which says that the Essenes had been established on the shores of the Dead Sea "for thousands of ages" before Pliny's time. †

        According to Munk the term "Galilean" is nearly synonymous with that of "Nazarene"; furthermore, he shows the relations of the former with the Gentiles as very intimate. The populace had probably gradually adopted, in their constant intercourse, certain rites and modes of worship of the Pagans; and the scorn with which the Galileans were regarded by the orthodox Jews is attributed by him to the same cause. Their friendly relations had certainly led them, at a later period, to adopt the "Adonia," or the sacred rites over the body of the lamented Adonis, as we find Jerome fairly lamenting this circumstance. "Over Bethlehem," he says, "the grove of Thammuz, that is of Adonis, was casting its shadow! And in the GROTTO where formerly the infant Jesus cried, the lover of Venus was being mourned." ‡

        It was after the rebellion of Bar Cochba, that the Roman Emperor established the Mysteries of Adonis at the Sacred Cave in Bethlehem; and who knows but this was the petra or rock-temple on which the church was built? The Boar of Adonis was placed above the gate of Jerusalem which looked toward Bethlehem.

        Munk says that the "Nazireate was an institution established before the laws of Musah." § This is evident; as we find this sect not only mentioned but minutely described in Numbers (chap. vi.). In the commandment given in this chapter to Moses by the "Lord," it is easy to recognize the rites and laws of the Priests of Adonis. ∫∫ The abstinence and purity strictly prescribed in both sects are identical. Both allowed
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Ant. Jud.," xiii., p. 9; xv., p., 10.

† King thinks it a great exaggeration and is inclined to believe that these Essenes, who were most undoubtedly Buddhist monks, were "merely a continuation of the associations known as Sons of the Prophets." "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 22.

‡ St. Jerome: "Epistles," p. 49 (ad. Poulmam); see Dunlap's "Spirit-History," p. 218.

§ "Munk," p. 169.

∫∫ Bacchus and Ceres — or the mystical Wine and Bread, used during the Mysteries, become, in the "Adonia," Adonis and Venus. Movers shows that "Iao is Bacchus," p. 550; and his authority is Lydus de Mens (38-74); "Spir. Hist.," p. 195. Iao is a Sun-god and the Jewish Jehovah; the intellectual or Central Sun of the kabalists. See Julian in Proclus. But this "Iao" is not the Mystery-god.

 
140                                                                                                                     ISIS UNVEILED.

their hair to grow long * as the Hindu cœnobites and fakirs do to this day, while other castes shave their hair and abstain on certain days from wine. The prophet Elijah, a Nazarene, is described in 2 Kings, and by Josephus as "a hairy man girt with a girdle of leather." † And John the Baptist and Jesus are both represented as wearing very long hair. ‡ John is "clothed with camel's hair" and wearing a girdle of hide, and Jesus in a long garment "without any seams" . . . "and very white, like snow," says Mark; the very dress worn by the Nazarene Priests and the Pythagorean and Buddhist Essenes, as described by Josephus.

        If we carefully trace the terms nazar, and nazaret, throughout the best known works of ancient writers, we will meet them in connection with "Pagan" as well as Jewish adepts. Thus, Alexander Polyhistor says of Pythagoras that he was a disciple of the Assyrian Nazaret, whom some suppose to be Ezekiel. Diogenes Laertius states most positively that Pythagoras, after being initiated into all the Mysteries of the Greeks and barbarians, "went into Egypt and afterward visited the Chaldeans and Magi"; and Apuleius maintains that it was Zoroaster who instructed Pythagoras.

        Were we to suggest that the Hebrew nazars, the railing prophets of the "Lord," had been initiated into the so-called Pagan mysteries, and belonged (or at least a majority of them) to the same Lodge or circle of adepts as those who were considered idolaters; that their "circle of prophets" was but a collateral branch of a secret association, which we may well term "international," what a visitation of Christian wrath would we not incur! And still, the case looks strangely suspicious.

        Let us first recall to our mind that which Ammianus Marcellinus, and other historians relate of Darius Hystaspes. The latter, penetrating into Upper India (Bactriana), learned pure rites, and stellar and cosmical sciences from Brahmans, and communicated them to the Magi. Now Hystaspes is shown in history to have crushed the Magi; and introduced — or rather forced upon them — the pure religion of Zoroaster, that of Ormazd. How is it, then, that an inscription is found on the tomb
————————————————————————————————————
*
Josephus: "Ant. Jud.," iv., p. 4.

† 
 Ibid., ix.; 2 Kings, i. 8.

‡ In relation to the well-known fact of Jesus wearing his hair long, and being always so represented, it becomes quite startling to find how little the unknown Editor of the "Acts" knew about the Apostle Paul, since he makes him say in 1 Corinthians xi. 14, "Doth not Nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" Certainly Paul could never have said such a thing! Therefore, if the passage is genuine, Paul knew nothing of the prophet whose doctrines he had embraced and for which he died; and if false — how much more reliable is what remains?

 
141                                                                                 WHAT PHILOLOGY PROVES ABOUT ZOROASTER.

of Darius, stating that he was "teacher and hierophant of magic, or Magianism?" Evidently there must be some historical mistake, and history confesses it. In this imbroglio of names, Zoroaster, the teacher and instructor of Pythagoras, can be neither the Zoroaster nor Zarathustra who instituted sun-worship among the Parsees; nor he who appeared at the court of Gushtasp (Hystaspes) the alleged father of Darius; nor, again, the Zoroaster who placed his magi above the kings themselves. The oldest Zoroastrian scripture — the Avesta — does not betray the slightest traces of the reformer having ever been acquainted with any of the nations that subsequently adopted his mode of worship. He seems utterly ignorant of the neighbors of Western Iran, the Medes, the Assyrians, the Persians, and others. If we had no other evidences of the great antiquity of the Zoroastrian religion than the discovery of the blunder committed by some scholars in our own century, who regarded King Vistaspa (Gushtasp) as identical with the father of Darius, whereas the Persian tradition points directly to Vistaspa as to the last of the line of Kaianian princes who ruled in Bactriana, it ought to be enough, for the Assyrian conquest of Bactriana took place 1,200 years B.C. *

        Therefore, it is but natural that we should see in the appellation of Zoroaster not a name but a generic term, whose significance must be left to philologists to agree upon. Guru, in Sanscrit, is a spiritual teacher; and as Zuruastara means in the same language he who worships the sun, why is it impossible, that by some natural change of language, due to the great number of different nations which were converted to the sun-worship, the word guru-astara, the spiritual teacher of sun-worship, so closely resembling the name of the founder of this religion, became gradually transformed in its primal form of Zuryastara or Zoroaster? The opinion of the kabalists is that there was but one Zarathustra and many guruastars or spiritual teachers, and that one such guru, or rather huru-aster, as he is called in the old manuscripts, was the instructor of Pythagoras. To philology and our readers we leave the explanation for what it is worth. Personally we believe in it, as we credit on this subject kabalistic tradition far more than the explanation of scientists, no two of whom have been able to agree up to the present year.

        Aristotle states that Zoroaster lived 6,000 years before Christ; Hermippus of Alexandria, who is said to have read the genuine books of the Zoroastrians, although Alexander the Great is accused of having destroyed
————————————————————————————————————
*
Max Müller has sufficiently proved the case in his lecture on the "Zend-Avesta." He calls Gushtasp "the mythical pupil of Zoroaster." Mythical, perhaps, only because the period in which he lived and learned with Zoroaster is too remote to allow our modern science to speculate upon it with any certainty.

 
142                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

them, shows Zoroaster as the pupil of Azonak (Azon-ach, or the Azon-God) and as having lived 5,000 years before the fall of Troy. Er or Eros, whose vision is related by Plato in the Republic, is declared by Clement to have been Zordusth. While the Magus who dethroned Cambyses was a Mede, and Darius proclaims that he put down the Magian rites to establish those of Ormazd, Xanthus of Lydia declares Zoroaster to have been the chief of the Magi!

        Which of them is wrong? or are they all right, and only the modern interpreters fail to explain the difference between the Reformer and his apostles and followers? This blundering of our commentators reminds us of that of Suetonius, who mistook the Christians for one Christos, or Crestos, as he spells it, and assured his readers that Claudius banished him for the disturbance he made among the Jews.

        Finally, and to return again to the nazars, Zaratus is mentioned by Pliny in the following words: "He was Zoroaster and Nazaret." As Zoroaster is called princeps of the Magi, and nazar signifies separated or consecrated, is it not a Hebrew rendering of mag? Volney believes so. The Persian word Na-zaruan means millions of years, and refers to the Chaldean "Ancient of Days." Hence the name of the Nazars or Nazarenes, who were consecrated to the service of the Supreme one God, the kabalistic En-Soph, or the Ancient of Days, the "Aged of the aged."

        But the word nazar may also be found in India. In Hindustani nazar is sight, internal or supernatural vision; nazar band-i means fascination, a mesmeric or magical spell; and nazaran is the word for sightseeing or vision.

        Professor Wilder thinks that as the word Zeruana is nowhere to be found in the Avesta, but only in the later Parsi books, it came from the Magians, who composed the Persian sacred caste in the Sassan period, but were originally Assyrians. "Turan, of the poets," he says, "I consider to be Aturia, or Assyria; and that Zohak (Az-dahaka, Dei-okes, or Astyages), the Serpent-king, was Assyrian, Median, and Babylonian — when those countries were united."

        This opinion does not, however, in the least implicate our statement that the secret doctrines of the Magi, of the pre-Vedic Buddhists, of the hierophants of the Egyptian Thoth or Hermes, and of the adepts of whatever age and nationality, including the Chaldean kabalists and the Jewish nazars, were identical from the beginning. When we use the term Buddhists, we do not mean to imply by it either the exoteric Buddhism instituted by the followers of Gautama-Buddha, nor the modern Buddhistic religion, but the secret philosophy of Sakyamuni, which in its essence is certainly identical with the ancient wisdom-religion of the sanctuary, the pre-Vedic Brahmanism. The "schism" of Zoroaster, as it is called, is a


143                                                                                         ZARATHUSTRA AND THE ZOROASTRIANS.

direct proof of it. For it was no schism, strictly speaking, but merely a partially-public exposition of strictly monotheistic religious truths, hitherto taught only in the sanctuaries, and that he had learned from the Brahmans. Zoroaster, the primeval institutor of sun-worship, cannot be called the founder of the dualistic system; neither was he the first to teach the unity of God, for he taught but what he had learned himself with the Brahmans. And that Zarathustra and his followers, the Zoroastrians, "had been settled in India before they immigrated into Persia," is also proved by Max Müller. "That the Zoroastrians and their ancestors started from India," he says, "during the Vaidik period, can be proved as distinctly as that the inhabitants of Massilia started from Greece. . . . Many of the gods of the Zoroastrians come out . . . as mere reflections and deflections of the primitive and authentic gods of the Veda." *

        If, now, we can prove — and we can do so on the evidence of the Kabala and the oldest traditions of the wisdom-religion, the philosophy of the old sanctuaries — that all these gods, whether of the Zoroastrians or of the Veda, are but so many personated occult powers of nature, the faithful servants of the adepts of secret wisdom — Magic — we are on secure ground.

        Thus, whether we say that Kabalism and Gnosticism proceeded from Masdeanism or Zoroastrianism, it is all the same, unless we meant the exoteric worship — which we do not. Likewise, and in this sense, we may echo King, the author of the Gnostics, and several other archęologists, and maintain that both the former proceeded from Buddhism, at once the simplest and most satisfying of philosophies, and which resulted in one of the purest religions of the world. It is only a matter of chronology to decide which of these religions, differing but in external form, is the oldest, therefore the least adulterated. But even this bears but very indirectly, if at all, on the subject we treat of. Already some time before our era, the adepts, except in India, had ceased to congregate in large communities; but whether among the Essenes, or the Neo-platonists, or, again, among the innumerable struggling sects born but to die, the same doctrines, identical in substance and spirit, if not always in form, are encountered. By Buddhism, therefore, we mean that religion signifying literally the doctrine of wisdom, and which by many ages antedates the metaphysical philosophy of Siddhārtha Sakyamuni.

        After nineteen centuries of enforced eliminations from the canonical books of every sentence which might put the investigator on the true path, it has become very difficult to show, to the satisfaction of exact science, that the "Pagan" worshippers of Adonis, their neighbors, the Naza-
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*
Max Müller: "Zend Avesta," 83.


144                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED.

renes, and the Pythagorean Essenes, the healing Therapeutes,* the Ebionites, and other sects, were all, with very slight differences, followers of the ancient theurgic Mysteries. And yet by analogy and a close study of the hidden sense of their rites and customs, we can trace their kinship.

        It was given to a contemporary of Jesus to become the means of pointing out to posterity, by his interpretation of the oldest literature of Israel, how deeply the kabalistic philosophy agreed in its esoterism with that of the profoundest Greek thinkers. This contemporary, an ardent disciple of Plato and Aristotle, was Philo Judęus. While explaining the Mosaic books according to a purely kabalistic method, he is the famous Hebrew writer whom Kingsley calls the Father of New Platonism.

        It is evident that Philo's Therapeutes are a branch of the Essenes. Their name indicates it — Essai'oi , Asaya, physician. Hence, the contradictions, forgeries, and other desperate expedients to reconcile the prophecies of the Jewish canon with the Galilean nativity and god-ship.

        Luke, who was a physician, is designated in the Syriac texts as Asaia, the Essaian or Essene. Josephus and Philo Judęus have sufficiently described this sect to leave no doubt in our mind that the Nazarene Reformer, after having received his education in their dwellings in the desert, and been duly initiated in the Mysteries, preferred the free and independent life of a wandering Nazaria, and so separated or inazarenized himself from them, thus becoming a travelling Therapeute, a Nazaria, a healer. Every Therapeute, before quitting his community, had to do the same. Both Jesus and St. John the Baptist preached the end of the Age; † which proves their knowledge of the secret computation of the priests and kabalists, who with the chiefs of the Essene communities alone had the secret of the duration of the cycles. The latter were kabalists and theurgists; "they had their mystic books, and predicted future events," says Munk.‡ 

       
Dunlap, whose personal researches seem to have been quite successful in that direction, traces the Essenes, Nazarenes, Dositheans, and some other sects as having all existed before Christ: "They rejected pleasures, despised riches, loved one another, and more than other sects, neg-
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 * Philo: "De Vita. Contemp."

† The real meaning of the division into ages is esoteric and Buddhistic. So little did the uninitiated Christians understand it that they accepted the words of Jesus literally and firmly believed that he meant the end of the world. There had been many prophecies about the forthcoming age. Virgil, in the fourth Eclogue, mentions the Metatron — a new offspring, with whom the iron age shall end and a golden one arise.

‡
"Palestine," p. 525, et seq.


145                                                                                          THE PYTHAGOREAN UTTERANCES OF JESUS.

lected wedlock, deeming the conquest of the passions to be virtuous," * he says.

      These are all virtues preached by Jesus; and if we are to take the gospels as a standard of truth, Christ was a metempsychosist "or re-incarnationist" — again like these same Essenes, whom we see were Pythagoreans in all their doctrine and habits. Iamblichus asserts that the Samian philosopher spent a certain time at Carmel with them. † In his discourses and sermons, Jesus always spoke in parables and used metaphors with his audience. This habit was again that of the Essenians and the Nazarenes; the Galileans who dwelt in cities and villages were never known to use such allegorical language. Indeed, some of his disciples being Galileans as well as himself, felt even surprised to find him using with the people such a form of expression. "Why speakest thou unto them in parables?"  ‡ they often inquired. "Because, it is given unto you to know the Mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given," was the reply, which was that of an initiate. "Therefore, I speak unto them in parables; because, they seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand." Moreover, we find Jesus expressing his thoughts still clearer — and in sentences which are purely Pythagorean — when, during the Sermon on the Mount, he says:

      "Give ye not that which is sacred to the dogs,
Neither cast ye your pearls before swine;
        For the swine will tread them under their feet
And the dogs will turn and rend you."

        Professor A. Wilder, the editor of Taylor's Eleusinian Mysteries, observes "a like disposition on the part of Jesus and Paul to classify their doctrines as esoteric and exoteric, the Mysteries of the Kingdom of God 'for the apostles,' and 'parables' for the multitude. 'We speak wisdom,' says Paul, 'among them that are perfect' (or initiated)." §

        In the Eleusinian and other Mysteries the participants were always divided into two classes, the neophytes and the perfect. The former were sometimes admitted to the preliminary initiation: the dramatic performance of Ceres, or the soul, descending to Hades. ∫∫ But it was
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*
"Sod," vol. ii., Preface, p. xi.

† "Vit. Pythag." Munk derives the name of the Iessaens or Essenes from the Syriac Asaya — the healers, or physicians, thus showing their identity with the Egyptian Therapeutę. "Palestine," p. 515.

‡ Matthew xiii. 10.

§ "Eleusinian Mysteries," p. 15.

∫∫ This descent to Hades signified the inevitable fate of each soul to be united for a time with a terrestrial body. This union, or dark prospect for the soul to find itself imprisoned within the dark tenement of a body, was considered by all the ancient philosophers and is even by the modern Buddhists, as a punishment.
 

146                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

given only to the "perfect" to enjoy and learn the Mysteries of the divine Elysium, the celestial abode of the blessed; this Elysium being unquestionably the same as the "Kingdom of Heaven." To contradict or reject the above, would be merely to shut one's eyes to the truth.

        The narrative of the Apostle Paul, in his second Epistle to the Corinthians (xii. 3, 4), has struck several scholars, well versed in the descriptions of the mystical rites of the initiation given by some classics, as alluding most undoubtedly to the final Epopteia. * "I knew a certain man — whether in body or outside of body, I know not: God knoweth — who was rapt into Paradise, and heard things ineffable  arrhta rhmata , which it is not lawful for a man to repeat." These words have rarely, so far as we know, been regarded by commentators as an allusion to the beatific visions of an "initiated" seer. But the phraseology is unequivocal. These things "which it is not lawful to repeat," are hinted at in the same words, and the reason for it assigned, is the same as that which we find repeatedly expressed by Plato, Proclus, Iamblichus, Herodotus, and other classics. "We speak WISDOM only among them who are PERFECT," says Paul; the plain and undeniable translation of the sentence being: "We speak of the profounder (or final) esoteric doctrines of the Mysteries (which were denominated wisdom) only among them who are initiated." † So in relation to the "man who was rapt into Paradise" — and who was evidently Paul himself  ‡ — the Christian word Paradise having replaced that of Elysium. To complete the proof, we might recall the words of Plato, given elsewhere, which show that before an initiate could see the gods in their purest light, he had to become liberated from his body; i.e., to separate his astral soul from it.§ Apuleius also describes his initiation into the Mysteries in the same way: "I approached the confines of death; and, having trodden on the threshold of Proserpina, returned, having been carried through all the elements. In the depths of midnight I saw the sun glittering with a splendid light, together with the infernal and supernal gods, and to these divinities approaching, I paid the tribute of devout adoration." ∫∫
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*
"Eleusinian Mysteries," p. 49, foot-note.

† "The profound or esoteric doctrines of the ancients were denominated wisdom, and afterward philosophy, and also the gnosis, or knowledge. They related to the human soul, its divine parentage, its supposed degradation from its high estate by becoming connected with "generation" or the physical world, its onward progress and restoration to God by regenerations or . . . transmigrations." Ibid, p. 2, foot-note.

‡ Cyril of Jerusalem asserts it. See vi. 10.

§ "Phędrus," 64.            ∫∫ "The Golden Ass," xi.


147                                                                                             THE KABALISM OF THE APOCALYPSE.

        Thus, in common with Pythagoras and other hierophant reformers, Jesus divided his teachings into exoteric and esoteric. Following faithfully the Pythagoreo-Essenean ways, he never sat at a meal without saying "grace." "The priest prays before his meal," says Josephus, describing the Essenes. Jesus also divided his followers into "neophytes," "brethren," and the "perfect," if we may judge by the difference he made between them. But his career at least as a public Rabbi, was of a too short duration to allow him to establish a regular school of his own; and with the exception, perhaps, of John, it does not seem that he had initiated any other apostle. The Gnostic amulets and talismans are mostly the emblems of the apocalyptic allegories. The "seven vowels" are closely related to the "seven seals"; and the mystic title Abraxas, partakes as much of the composition of Shem Hamphirosh, "the holy word" or ineffable name, as the name called: The word of God, that "no man knew but he himself," * as John expresses it.

        It would be difficult to escape from the well-adduced proofs that the Apocalypse is the production of an initiated kabalist, when this Revelation presents whole passages taken from the Books of Enoch and Daniel, which latter is in itself an abridged imitation of the former; and when, furthermore, we ascertain that the Ophite Gnostics who rejected the Old Testament entirely, as "emanating from an inferior being (Jehovah)," accepted the most ancient prophets, such as Enoch, and deduced the strongest support from this book for their religious tenets, the demonstration becomes evident. We will show further how closely related are all these doctrines. Besides, there is the history of Domitian's persecutions of magicians and philosophers, which affords as good a proof as any that John was generally considered a kabalist. As the apostle was included among the number, and, moreover, conspicuous, the imperial edict banished him not only from Rome, but even from the continent. It was not the Christians whom — confounding them with the Jews, as some historians will have it — the emperor persecuted, but the astrologers and kabalists. †

        The accusations against Jesus of practicing the magic of Egypt were numerous, and at one time universal, in the towns where he was known. The Pharisees, as claimed in the Bible, had been the first to fling it in his
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*
"Apocalypse," xix. 12.

† See Suet. in "Vita. Eutrop.," 7. It is neither cruelty, nor an insane indulgence in it, which shows this emperor in history as passing his time in catching flies and transpiercing them with a golden bodkin, but religious superstition. The Jewish astrologers had predicted to him that he had provoked the wrath of Beelzebub, the "Lord of the flies," and would perish miserably through the revenge of the dark god of Ekron, and die like King Ahaziah, because he persecuted the Jews.


148                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

face, although Rabbi Wise considers Jesus himself a Pharisee. The Talmud certainly points to James the Just as one of that sect .* But these partisans are known to have always stoned every prophet who denounced their evil ways, and it is not on this fact that we base our assertion. These accused him of sorcery, and of driving out devils by Beelzebub, their prince, with as much justice as later the Catholic clergy had to accuse of the same more than one innocent martyr. But Justin Martyr states on better authority that the men of his time who were not Jews asserted that the miracles of Jesus were performed by magical art — magikhv fantasiva — the very expression used by the skeptics of those days to designate the feats of thaumaturgy accomplished in the Pagan temples. "They even ventured to call him a magician and a deceiver of the people," complains the martyr. † In the Gospel of Nicodemus (the Acta Pilate), the Jews bring the same accusation before Pilate. "Did we not tell thee he was a magician?"  ‡ Celsus speaks of the same charge, and as a Neo-platonist believes in it.§ The Talmudic literature is full of the most minute particulars, and their greatest accusation is that "Jesus could fly as easily in the air as others could walk." ∫∫ St. Austin asserted that it was generally believed that he had been initiated in Egypt, and that he wrote books concerning magic, which he delivered to John.There was a work called Magia Jesu Christi, which was attributed to Jesus ** himself. In the Clementine Recognitions the charge is brought against Jesus that he did not perform his miracles as a Jewish prophet, but as a magician, i.e., an initiate of the "heathen" temples. ††

        It was usual then, as it is now, among the intolerant clergy of opposing religions, as well as among the lower classes of society, and even among those patricians who, for various reasons had been excluded from any participation of the Mysteries, to accuse, sometimes, the highest hierophants and adepts of sorcery and black magic. So Apuleius, who
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*
 We believe that it was the Sadducees and not the Pharisees who crucified Jesus. They were Zadokites — partisans of the house of Zadok, or the sacerdotal family. In the "Acts" the apostles were said to be persecuted by the Sadducees, but never by the Pharisees. In fact, the latter never persecuted any one. They had the scribes, rabbis, and learned men in their numbers, and were not, like the Sadducees, jealous of their order.

† "Dial.," p. 69.

‡ Fabricius: "Cod. Apoc., N. T.," i., 243; Tischendorf: "Evang. Ap.," p. 214.

§ Origen: "Cont. Cels.," II.

∫∫ Rabbi Iochan: "Mag.," 51.

"Origen," II.

** Cf. "August de Consans. Evang.," i., 9; Fabric.: "Cod. Ap. N. T.," i., p. 305, ff.

††  "Recog.," i. 58; cf., p. 40.

 
149                                                                                             JESUS IN THE GARB OF A MAGICIAN.

had been initiated, was likewise accused of witchcraft, and of carrying about him the figure of a skeleton — a potent agent, as it is asserted, in the operations of the black art. But one of the best and most unquestionable proofs of our assertion may be found in the so-called Museo Gregoriano. On the sarcophagus, which is panelled with bas-reliefs representing the miracles of Christ, * may be seen the full figure of Jesus, who, in the resurrection of Lazarus, appears beardless "and equipped with a wand in the received guise of a necromancer (?) whilst the corpse of Lazarus is swathed in bandages exactly as an Egyptian mummy."

        Had posterity been enabled to have several such representations executed during the first century when the figure, dress, and every-day habits of the Reformer were still fresh in the memory of his contemporaries, perhaps the Christian world would be more Christ-like; the dozens of contradictory, groundless, and utterly meaningless speculations about the "Son of Man" would have been impossible; and humanity would now have but one religion and one God. It is this absence of all proof, the lack of the least positive clew about him whom Christianity has deified, that has caused the present state of perplexity. No pictures of Christ were possible until after the days of Constantine, when the Jewish element was nearly eliminated among the followers of the new religion. The Jews, apostles, and disciples, whom the Zoroastrians and the Parsees had inoculated with a holy horror of any form of images, would have considered it a sacrilegious blasphemy to represent in any way or shape their master. The only authorized image of Jesus, even in the days of Tertullian, was an allegorical representation of the "Good Shepherd," † which was no portrait, but the figure of a man with a jackal-head, like Anubis. ‡ On this gem, as seen in the collection of Gnostic amulets, the Good Shepherd bears upon his shoulders the lost lamb. He seems to have a human head upon his neck; but, as King correctly observes, "it only seems so to the uninitiated eye." On closer inspection, he becomes the double-headed Anubis, having one head human, the other a jackal's, whilst his girdle assumes the form of a serpent rearing aloft its crested head. "This figure," adds the author of the Gnostics, etc., "had two meanings — one obvious for the vulgar; the other mystical, and recognizable by the initiated alone. It was perhaps the signet of some chief
————————————————————————————————————
*
King's "Gnostics," p. 145; the author places this sarcophagus among the earliest productions of that art which inundated later the world with mosaics and engravings, representing the events and personages of the "New Testament."

† "De Pudicitia." See "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 144.

‡ Ibid., plate i., p. 200.


150                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

teacher or apostle." * This affords a fresh proof that the Gnostics and early orthodox (?) Christians were not so wide apart in their secret doctrine. King deduces from a quotation from Epiphanius, that even as late as 400 A.D. it was considered an atrocious sin to attempt to represent the bodily appearance of Christ. Epiphanius † brings it as an idolatrous charge against the Carpocratians that "they kept painted portraits, and even gold and silver images, and in other materials, which they pretended to be portraits of Jesus, and made by Pilate after the likeness of Christ. . . . These they keep in secret, along with Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, and setting them all up together, they worship and offer sacrifices unto them after the Gentiles' fashion."

        What would the pious Epiphanius say were he to resuscitate and step into St. Peter's Cathedral at Rome! Ambrosius seems also very desperate at the idea — that some persons fully credited the statement of Lampridius that Alexander Severus had in his private chapel an image of Christ among other great philosophers. "That the Pagans should have preserved the likeness of Christ," he exclaims, "but the disciples have neglected to do so, is a notion the mind shudders to entertain, much less to believe."

        All this points undeniably to the fact, that except a handful of self-styled Christians who subsequently won the day, all the civilized portion of the Pagans who knew of Jesus honored him as a philosopher, an adept whom they placed on the same level with Pythagoras and Apollonius. Whence such a veneration on their part for a man, were he simply, as represented by the Synoptics, a poor, unknown Jewish carpenter from Nazareth? As an incarnated God there is no single record of him on this earth capable of withstanding the critical examination of science; as one of the greatest reformers, an inveterate enemy of every theological dogmatism, a persecutor of bigotry, a teacher of one of the most sublime codes of ethics, Jesus is one of the grandest and most clearly-defined figures on the panorama of human history. His age may, with every day, be receding farther and farther back into the gloomy and hazy mists of the past; and his theology — based on human fancy and supported by untenable dogmas may, nay, must with every day lose more of its unmerited prestige; alone the grand figure of the philosopher and moral reformer instead of growing paler will become with every century more pronounced and more clearly defined. It will reign supreme and universal only on that day when the whole of humanity recognizes but one
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* This gem is in the collection of the author of "The Gnostics and their Remains." See p. 201.

† "Hœresies," xxvii.


151                                                                                               THE LONG-HAIRED NAZARENES.

father — the UNKNOWN ONE above — and one brother — the whole of mankind below.

        In a pretended letter of Lentulus, a senator and a distinguished historian, to the Roman senate, there is a description of the personal appearance of Jesus. The letter itself, written in horrid Latin, is pronounced a bare-faced forgery; but we find therein an expression which suggests many thoughts. Albeit a forgery it is evident that whosoever invented it has nevertheless tried to follow tradition as closely as possible. The hair of Jesus is represented in it as "wavy and curling . . . flowing down upon his shoulders," and as "having a parting in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazarenes." This last sentence shows: 1. That there was such a tradition, based on the biblical description of John the Baptist, the Nazaria, and the custom of this sect. 2. Had Lentulus been the author of this letter, it is difficult to believe that Paul should never have heard of it; and had he known its contents, he would never have pronounced it a shame for men to wear their hair long, * thus shaming his Lord and Christ-God. 3. If Jesus did wear his hair long and "parted in the middle of the forehead, after the fashion of the Nazarenes (as well as John, the only one of his apostles who followed it), then we have one good reason more to say that Jesus must have belonged to the sect of the Nazarenes, and been called NASARIA for this reason and not because he was an inhabitant of Nazareth; for they never wore their hair long. The Nazarite, who separated himself unto the Lord, allowed "no razor to come upon his head." "He shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow," says Numbers (vi. 5). Samson was a Nazarite, i.e., vowed to the service of God, and in his hair was his strength. "No razor shall come upon his head; the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb" (Judges xiii. 5). But the final and most reasonable conclusion to be inferred from this is that Jesus, who was so opposed to all the orthodox Jewish practices, would not have allowed his hair to grow had he not belonged to this sect, which in the days of John the Baptist had already become a heresy in the eyes of the Sanhedrim. The Talmud, speaking of the Nazaria, or the Nazarenes (who had abandoned the world like Hindu yogis or hermits) calls them a sect of physicians, of wandering exorcists; as also does Jervis. "They went about the country, living on alms and performing cures." † Epiphanius says that the Nazarenes come next in heresy to the Corinthians whether having existed "before them or after them, nevertheless synchronous," and then adds that "all Christians at that time were equally called Nazarenes"! ‡
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*
1 Cor. xi. 14.                         †  See the "Israelite Indeed," vol. ii., p. 238; "Treatise Nazir."

 ‡ "Epiph. ed. Petar," vol. i., p. 117.


152                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

        In the very first remark made by Jesus about John the Baptist, we find him stating that he is "Elias, which was for to come." This assertion, if it is not a later interpolation for the sake of having a prophecy fulfilled, means again that Jesus was a kabalist; unless indeed we have to adopt the doctrine of the French spiritists and suspect him of believing in reincarnation. Except the kabalistic sects of the Essenes, the Nazarenes, the disciples of Simeon Ben Iochai, and Hillel, neither the orthodox Jews, nor the Galileans, believed or knew anything about the doctrine of permutation. And the Sadducees rejected even that of the resurrection.

        "But the author of this restitutionis was Mosah, our master, upon whom be peace! Who was the revolutio (transmigration) of Seth and Hebel, that he might cover the nudity of his Father Adam — Primus," says the Kabala. * Thus, Jesus hinting that John was the revolutio, or transmigration of Elias, seems to prove beyond any doubt the school to which he belonged.

        Until the present day uninitiated Kabalists and Masons believe permutation to be synonymous with transmigration and metempsychosis. But they are as much mistaken in regard to the doctrine of the true Kabalists as to that of the Buddhists. True, the Sohar says in one place, "All souls are subject to transmigration . . . men do not know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He; they do not know that they are brought before the tribunal, both before they enter this world and after they quit it," and the Pharisees also held this doctrine, as Josephus shows (Antiquities, xviii. 13). Also the doctrine of Gilgul, held to the strange theory of the "Whirling of the Soul," which taught that the bodies of Jews buried far away from the Holy Land, still preserve a particle of soul which can neither rest nor quit them, until it reaches the soil of the "Promised Land." And this "whirling" process was thought to be accomplished by the soul being conveyed back through an actual evolution of species; transmigrating from the minutest insect up to the largest animal. But this was an exoteric doctrine. We refer the reader to the Kabbala Denudata of Henry Khunrath; his language, however obscure, may yet throw some light upon the subject.

        But this doctrine of permutation, or revolutio, must not be understood as a belief in reincarnation. That Moses was considered the transmigration of Abel and Seth, does not imply that the kabalists — those who were initiated at least — believed that the identical spirit of either of Adam's sons reappeared under the corporeal form of Moses. It only shows what was the mode of expression they used when hinting at one of the profoundest mysteries of the Oriental Gnosis, one of the most majestic arti-
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*
"Kabbala Denudata," ii., 155; "Vallis Regia," Paris edition.


 153                                                                                                         WHEN A "GOD" BECOMES INCARNATE.

cles of faith of the Secret Wisdom. It was purposely veiled so as to half conceal and half reveal the truth. It implied that Moses, like certain other god-like men, was believed to have reached the highest of all states on earth: — the rarest of all psychological phenomena, the perfect union of the immortal spirit with the terrestrial duad had occurred. The trinity was complete. A god was incarnate. But how rare such incarnations!

        That expression, "Ye are gods," which, to our biblical students, is a mere abstraction, has for the kabalists a vital significance. Each immortal spirit that sheds its radiance upon a human being is a god — the Microcosmos of the Macrocosmos, part and parcel of the Unknown God, the First Cause of which it is a direct emanation. It is possessed of all the attributes of its parent source. Among these attributes are omniscience and omnipotence. Endowed with these, but yet unable to fully manifest them while in the body, during which time they are obscured, veiled, limited by the capabilities of physical nature, the thus divinely-inhabited man may tower far above his kind, evince a god-like wisdom, and display deific powers; for while the rest of mortals around him are but overshadowed by their divine SELF, with every chance given to them to become immortal hereafter, but no other security than their personal efforts to win the kingdom of heaven, the so chosen man has already become an immortal while yet on earth. His prize is secured. Henceforth he will live forever in eternal life. Not only he may have "dominion" * over all the works of creation by employing the "excellence" of the NAME (the ineffable one) but be higher in this life, not, as Paul is made to say, "a little lower than the angels." †

        The ancients never entertained the sacrilegious thought that such perfected entities were incarnations of the One Supreme and for ever invisible God. No such profanation of the awful Majesty entered into their conceptions. Moses and his antitypes and types were to them but complete men, gods on earth, for their gods (divine spirits) had entered unto their hallowed tabernacles, the purified physical bodies. The disembodied spirits of the heroes and sages were termed gods by the ancients. Hence, the accusation of polytheism and idolatry on the part of those who were the first to anthropomorphize the holiest and purest abstractions of their forefathers.
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*
Psalms viii.

† This contradiction, which is attributed to Paul in Hebrews, by making him say of Jesus in chapter i., 4: "Being made so much better than the angels," and then immediately stating in chapter ii. 9, "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels," shows how unscrupulously the writings of the apostles, if they ever wrote any, were tampered with.


154                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

        The real and hidden sense of this doctrine was known to all the initiates. The Tanaim imparted it to their elect ones, the Isarim, in the solemn solitudes of crypts and deserted places. It was one of the most esoteric and jealously guarded, for human nature was the same then as it is now, and the sacerdotal caste as confident as now in the supremacy of its knowledge, and ambitious of ascendancy over the weaker masses; with the difference perhaps that its hierophants could prove the legitimacy of their claims and the plausibility of their doctrines, whereas now, believers must be content with blind faith.

        While the kabalists called this mysterious and rare occurrence of the union of spirit with the mortal charge entrusted to its care, the "descent of the Angel Gabriel" (the latter being a kind of generic name for it), the Messenger of Life, and the angel Metatron; and while the Nazarenes termed the same Abel-Zivo,* the Delegatus sent by the Lord of Celsitude, it was universally known as the "Anointed Spirit."

        Thus it is the acceptation of this doctrine which caused the Gnostics to maintain that Jesus was a man overshadowed by the Christos or Messenger of Life, and that his despairing cry from the cross "Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani," was wrung from him at the instant when he felt that this inspiring Presence had finally abandoned him, for — as some affirmed — his faith had also abandoned him when on the cross.

        The early Nazarenes, who must be numbered among the Gnostic sects, believing that Jesus was a prophet, held, nevertheless, in relation to him the same doctrine of the divine "overshadowing," of certain "men of God," sent for the salvation of nations, and to recall them to the path of righteousness. "The Divine mind is eternal," says the Codex,† "and it is pure light, and poured out through splendid and immense space (pleroma). It is Genetrix of the Ęons. But one of them went to matter (chaos) stirring up confused (turbulentos) movements; and by a certain portion of heavenly light fashioned it, properly constituted for use and appearance, but the beginning of every evil. The Demiurge (of matter) claimed divine honor. † Therefore Christus ("the anointed"), the prince of the Ęons (powers), was sent (expeditus), who taking on the person of a most devout Jew, Iesu, was to conquer him; but who having laid it (the body) aside, departed on high." We will explain further on the full significance of the name Christos and its mystic meaning.

        And now, in order to make such passages as the above more intelligible, we will endeavor to define, as briefly as possible, the dogmas in
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*
"Codex Nazaręus," i. 23.

†
Ibid., preface, p. v., translated from Norberg.

‡ "According to the Nazarenes and Gnostics, the Demiurge, the creator of the material world, is not the highest God." (See Dunlap: "Sod, the Son of the Man.")

 
155                                                                                              BASILIDES, THE BRIGHT SUN OF GNOSTICISM.

which, with very trifling differences, nearly all the Gnostic sects believed. It is in Ephesus that flourished in those days the greatest college, wherein the abstruse Oriental speculations and the Platonic philosophy were taught in conjunction. It was a focus of the universal "secret" doctrines; the weird laboratory whence, fashioned in elegant Grecian phraseology, sprang the quintessence of Buddhistic, Zoroastrian, and Chaldean philosophy. Artemis, the gigantic concrete symbol of theosophico-pantheistic abstractions, the great mother Multimamma, androgyne and patroness of the "Ephesian writings," was conquered by Paul; but although the zealous converts of the apostles pretended to burn all their books on "curious arts," ta perierga , enough of these remained for them to study when their first zeal had cooled off. It is from Ephesus that spread nearly all the Gnosis which antagonized so fiercely with the Irenęan dogmas; and still it was Ephesus, with her numerous collateral branches of the great college of the Essenes, which proved to be the hot-bed of all the kabalistic speculations brought by the Tanaļm from the captivity. "In Ephesus," says Matter, "the notions of the Jewish-Egyptian school, and the semi-Persian speculations of the kabalists had then recently come to swell the vast conflux of Grecian and Asiatic doctrines, so there is no wonder that teachers should have sprung up there who strove to combine the religion newly preached by the apostle with the ideas there so long established."

        Had not the Christians burdened themselves with the Revelations of a little nation, and accepted the Jehovah of Moses, the Gnostic ideas would never have been termed heresies; once relieved of their dogmatic exaggerations the world would have had a religious system based on pure Platonic philosophy, and surely something would then have been gained.

        Now let us see what are the greatest heresies of the Gnostics. We will select Basilides as the standard for our comparisons, for all the founders of other Gnostic sects group round him, like a cluster of stars borrowing light from their sun.

        Basilides maintained that he had all his doctrines from the Apostle Matthew, and from Peter through Glaucus, the disciple of the latter. * According to Eusebius, † he published twenty-four volumes of Interpretations upon the Gospels, ‡ all of which were burned, a fact which makes us suppose that they contained more truthful matter than the school of Irenęus was prepared to deny. He asserted that the unknown,
————————————————————————————————————
*
Clemens: "Al. Strom." vii., 7, § 106.

† H. E., iv. 7.

‡
The gospels interpreted by Basilides were not our present gospels, which, as it is proved by the greatest authorities, were not in his days in existence. See "Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., chap. Basilides.


 156                                                                                                                           ISIS UNVEILED.

eternal, and uncreated Father having first brought forth Nous, or Mind, the latter emanated from itself — the Logos. The Logos (the Word of John) emanated in its turn Phronesis, or the Intelligences (Divine-human spirits). From Phronesis sprung Sophia, or feminine wisdom, and Dynamis — strength. These were the personified attributes of the Mysterious godhead, the Gnostic quinternion, typifying the five spiritual, but intelligible substances, personal virtues or beings external to the unknown godhead. This is preėminently a kabalistic idea. It is still more Buddhistic. The earliest system of the Buddhistic philosophy — which preceded by far Gautama-Buddha — is based upon the uncreated substance of the "Unknown," the A'di Buddha.* This eternal, infinite Monad possesses, as proper to his own essence, five acts of wisdom. From these it, by five separate acts of Dhyan, emitted five Dhyani Buddhas; these, like A'di Buddha, are quiescent in their system (passive). Neither A'di, nor either of the five Dhyani Buddhas, were ever incarnated, but seven of their emanations became Avatars, i.e., were incarnated on this earth.
————————————————————————————————————
*
The five make mystically ten. They are androgynes. "Having divided his body in two parts, the Supreme Wisdom became male and female" ("Manu," book i., sloka 32). There are many early Buddhistic ideas to be found in Brahmanism.
    The prevalent idea that the last of the Buddhas, Gautama, is the ninth incarnation of Vishnu, or the ninth Avatar, is disclaimed partially by the Brahmans, and wholly rejected by the learned Buddhist theologians. The latter insist that the worship of Buddha possesses a far higher claim to antiquity than any of the Brahmanical deities of the Vedas, which they call secular literature. The Brahmans, they show, came from other countries, and established their heresy on the already accepted popular deities. They conquered the land by the sword, and succeeded in burying truth, by building a theology of their own on the ruins of the more ancient one of Buddha, which had prevailed for ages. They admit the divinity and spiritual existence of some of the Vedantic gods; but as in the case of the Christian angel-hierarchy they believe that all these deities are greatly subordinate, even to the incarnated Buddhas. They do not even acknowledge the creation of the physical universe. Spiritually and invisibly it has existed from all eternity, and thus it was made merely visible to the human senses. When it first appeared it was called forth from the realm of the invisible into the visible by the impulse of A'di Buddha — the "Essence." They reckon twenty-two such visible appearances of the universe governed by Buddhas, and as many destructions of it, by fire and water in regular successions. After the last destruction by the flood, at the end of the precedent cycle — (the exact calculation, embracing several millions of years, is a secret cycle) the world, during the present age of the Kali Yug — Maha Bhadda Calpa — has been ruled successively by four Buddhas, the last of whom was Gautama, the "Holy One." The fifth, Maitree-Buddha, is yet to come. This latter is the expected kabalistic King Messiah, the Messenger of Light, and Sosiosh, the Persian Saviour, who will come on a white horse. It is also the Christian Second Advent. See "Apocalypse" of St. John.


 157                                                                                      GNOSTICISM HIGHLY REVERENTIAL TOWARD THE DEITY.

        Describing the Basilidean system, Irenęus, quoting the Gnostics, declares as follows:

        "When the uncreated, unnamed Father saw the corruption of mankind, he sent his first-born Nous, into the world, in the form of Christ, for the redemption of all who believe in him, out of the power of those who fabricated the world (the Demiurgus, and his six sons, the planetary genii). He appeared amongst men as the man, Jesus, and wrought miracles. This Christ did not die in person, but Simon the Cyrenian suffered in his stead, to whom he lent his bodily form; for the Divine Power, the Nous of the Eternal Father, is not corporeal, and cannot die. Whoso, therefore, maintains that Christ has died, is still the bondsman of ignorance; whoso denies the same, he is free, and hath understood the purpose of the Father." *

        So far, and taken in its abstract sense, we do not see anything blasphemous in this system. It may be a heresy against the theology of Irenęus and Tertullian, † but there is certainly nothing sacrilegious against the religious idea itself, and it will seem to every impartial thinker far more consistent with divine reverence than the anthropomorphism of actual Christianity. The Gnostics were called by the orthodox Christians, Docetę, or Illusionists, for believing that Christ did not, nor could, suffer death actually — in physical body. The later Brahmanical books contain, likewise, much that is repugnant to the reverential feeling and idea of the Divinity; and as well as the Gnostics, the Brahmans explain such legends as may shock the divine dignity of the Spiritual beings called gods by attributing them to Maya or illusion.

        A people brought up and nurtured for countless ages among all the psychological phenomena of which the civilized (!) nations read, but reject as incredible and worthless, cannot well expect to have its religious system even understood — let alone appreciated. The profoundest and most transcendental speculations of the ancient metaphysicians of India and other countries, are all based on that great Buddhistic and Brahmanical principle underlying the whole of their religious metaphysics — illusion of the senses. Everything that is finite is illusion, all that which is eternal and infinite is reality. Form, color, that which we hear and feel, or see with our mortal eyes, exists only so far as it can be conveyed to each of us through our senses. The universe for a man born blind does not exist in either form or color, but it exists in its privation (in the Aristotelean sense), and is a reality for the spiritual senses
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Irenęus," i. 23.

† Tertullian reversed the table himself by rejecting, later in life, the doctrines for which he fought with such an acerbity and by becoming a Montanist.

 
158                                                                                                                          ISIS UNVEILED.

of the blind man. We all live under the powerful dominion of phantasy. Alone the highest and invisible originals emanated from the thought of the Unknown are real and permanent beings, forms, and ideas; on earth, we see but their reflections; more or less correct, and ever dependent on the physical and mental organization of the person who beholds them.

        Ages untold before our era, the Hindu Mystic Kapila, who is considered by many scientists as a skeptic, because they judge him with their habitual superficiality, magnificently expressed this idea in the following terms:

        "Man (physical man) counts for so little, that hardly anything can demonstrate to him his proper existence and that of nature. Perhaps, that which we regard as the universe, and the divers beings which seem to compose it, have nothing real, and are but the product of continued illusion — maya — of our senses."

        And the modern Schopenhauer, repeating this philosophical idea, 10,000 years old now, says: "Nature is non-existent, per se. . . . Nature is the infinite illusion of our senses." Kant, Schelling, and other metaphysicians have said the same, and their school maintains the idea. The objects of sense being ever delusive and fluctuating, cannot be a reality. Spirit alone is unchangeable, hence — alone is no illusion. This is pure Buddhist doctrine. The religion of the Gnosis (knowledge), the most evident offshoot of Buddhism, was utterly based on this metaphysical tenet. Christos suffered spiritually for us, and far more acutely than did the illusionary Jesus while his body was being tortured on the Cross.

        In the ideas of the Christians, Christ is but another name for Jesus. The philosophy of the Gnostics, the initiates, and hierophants understood it otherwise. The word Christos, Cristo" , like all Greek words, must be sought in its philological origin — the Sanscrit. In this latter language Kris means sacred ,* and the Hindu deity was named Chris-na (the pure or the sacred) from that. On the other hand, the Greek Christos bears several meanings, as anointed (pure oil, chrism) and others. In all languages, though the synonym of the word means pure or sacred essence, it is the first emanation of the invisible Godhead, manifesting itself tangibly in spirit. The Greek Logos, the Hebrew Messiah, the
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*
In his debate with Jacolliot upon the right spelling of the Hindu Christna, Mr. Textor de Ravisi, an ultramontane Catholic, tries to prove that the name of Christna ought to be written Krishna, for, as the latter means black, and the statues of this deity are generally black, the word is derived from the color. We refer the reader to Jacolliot's answer in his recent work, "Christna et le Christ," for the conclusive evidence that the name is not derived from the color.

 
159                                                                                                  MARCION, THE NOBLE HERESIARCH.

Latin Verbum, and the Hindu Viradj (the son) are identically the same; they represent an idea of collective entities — of flames detached from the one eternal centre of light.

        "The man who accomplishes pious but interested acts (with the sole object of his salvation) may reach the ranks of the devas (saints); * but he who accomplishes, disinterestedly, the same pious acts, finds himself ridden forever of the five elements" (of matter). "Perceiving the Supreme Soul in all beings and all beings in the Supreme Soul, in offering his own soul in sacrifice, he identifies himself with the Being who shines in his own splendor" (Manu, book xii., slokas 90, 91).

        Thus, Christos, as a unity, is but an abstraction: a general idea representing the collective aggregation of the numberless spirit-entities, which are the direct emanations of the infinite, invisible, incomprehensible FIRST CAUSE — the individual spirits of men, erroneously called the souls. They are the divine sons of God, of which some only overshadow mortal men — but this the majority — some remain forever planetary spirits, and some — the smaller and rare minority — unite themselves during life with some men. Such God-like beings as Gautama-Buddha, Jesus, Tissoo, Christna, and a few others had united themselves with their spirits permanently — hence, they became gods on earth. Others, such as Moses, Pythagoras, Apollonius, Plotinus, Confucius, Plato, Iamblichus, and some Christian saints, having at intervals been so united, have taken rank in history as demi-gods and leaders of mankind. When unburthened of their terrestrial tabernacles, their freed souls, henceforth united forever with their spirits, rejoin the whole shining host, which is bound together in one spiritual solidarity of thought and deed, and called "the anointed." Hence, the meaning of the Gnostics, who, by saying that "Christos" suffered spiritually for humanity, implied that his Divine Spirit suffered mostly.

        Such, and far more elevating were the ideas of Marcion, the great "Heresiarch" of the second century, as he is termed by his opponents. He came to Rome toward the latter part of the half-century, from A.D. 139-142, according to Tertullian, Irenęus, Clemens, and most of his modern commentators, such as Bunsen, Tischendorf, Westcott, and many others. Credner and Schleiermacher † agree as to his high and irreproachable personal character, his pure religious aspirations and elevated views. His influence must have been powerful, as we find
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*
There is no equivalent for the word "miracle," in the Christian sense, among the Brahmans or Buddhists. The only correct translation would be meipo, a wonder, something remarkable; but not a violation of natural law. The "saints" only produce meipo.

† "Beiträge," vol. i., p. 40; Schleiermacher: "Sämmil. Werke," viii.; "Einl. N. T.," p. 64.


160                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED.

Epiphanius writing more than two centuries later that in his time the followers of Marcion were to be found throughout the whole world. *

        The danger must have been pressing and great indeed, if we are to judge it to have been proportioned with the opprobrious epithets and vituperation heaped upon Marcion by the "Great African," that Patristic Cerberus, whom we find ever barking at the door of the Irenęan dogmas. † We have but to open his celebrated refutation of Marcion's Antitheses, to acquaint ourselves with the fine-fleur of monkish abuse of the Christian school; an abuse so faithfully carried through the middle ages, to be renewed again in our present day — at the Vatican. "Now, then, ye hounds, yelping at the God of Truth, whom the apostles cast out, to all your questions. These are the bones of contention which ye gnaw," etc. ‡ "The poverty of the Great African's arguments keeps pace with his abuse," remarks the author of Supernatural Religion. § "Their (the Father's) religious controversy bristles with misstatements, and is turbid with pious abuse. Tertullian was a master of his style, and the vehement vituperation with which he opens and often interlards his work against 'the impious and sacrilegious Marcion,' offers anything but a guarantee of fair and legitimate criticism."

     How firm these two Fathers — Tertullian and Epiphanius — were on their theological ground, may be inferred from the curious fact that they intemperately both vehemently reproach "the beast" (Marcion) "with erasing passages from the Gospel of Luke which never were in Luke at all." ∫∫ "The lightness and inaccuracy," adds the critic, "with which Tertullian proceeds, are all the better illustrated by the fact that not only does he accuse Marcion falsely, but he actually defines the motives for which he expunged a passage which never existed; in the same chapter he also similarly accuses Marcion of erasing (from Luke) the saying that Christ had not come to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them, and he actually repeats the charge on two other occasions. ¶ Epiphanius also commits the mistake of reproaching Marcion with omitting from Luke what is only found in Matthew." **

        Having so far shown the amount of reliance to be placed in the Patristic literature, and it being unanimously conceded by the great majority of biblical critics that what the Fathers fought for was not truth, but their own interpretations and unwarranted assertions, ††  we will now
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*
"Epiph. Hęra.," xlii., p. 1.           † Tertullian: "Adv. Marc.," ii. 5; cf. 9.

‡ Ibid., ii. 5.                  § Vol. ii., p. 105.           ∫∫ Ibid., vol. ii., p. 100.

"Adv. Marc.," iv., 9, 36.

** "Supernatural Religion," p. 101; Matthew v. 17.

†† This author, vol. ii., p. 103, remarks with great justice of the "Heresiarch" Marcion, "whose high personal character exerted so powerful an influence upon his own time," that "it was the misfortune of Marcion to live in an age when Christianity had passed out of the pure morality of its infancy; when, untroubled by complicated questions of dogma, simple faith and pious enthusiasm had been the one great bond of Christian brotherhood, into a phase of ecclesiastical development in which religion was fast degenerating into theology, and complicated doctrines were rapidly assuming the rampant attitude which led to so much bitterness, persecution, and schism. In later times Marcion might have been honored as a reformer, in his own he was denounced as a heretic. Austere and ascetic in his opinions, he aimed at superhuman purity, and, although his clerical adversaries might scoff at his impracticable doctrines regarding marriage and the subjugation of the flesh, they have had their parallels amongst those whom the Church has since most delighted to honor, and, at least, the whole tendency of his system was markedly towards the side of virtue." These statements are based upon Credner's "Beitrage," i., p. 40; cf. Neander: "Allg. K. G.," ii., p. 792, f.; Schleiermacher, Milman, etc., etc.
 

161                                                                                                  THE TWO FACTIONS IN THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH.

proceed to state what were the views of Marcion, whom Tertullian desired to annihilate as the most dangerous heretic of his day. If we are to believe Hilgenfeld, one of the greatest German biblical critics, then "From the critical standing-point one must . . . consider the statements of the Fathers of the Church only as expressions of their subjective view, which itself requires proof." *

        We can do no better nor make a more correct statement of facts concerning Marcion than by quoting what our space permits from Supernatural Religion, the author of which bases his assertions on the evidence of the greatest critics, as well as on his own researches. He shows in the days of Marcion "two broad parties in the primitive Church" — one considering Christianity "a mere continuation of the law, and dwarfing it into an Israelitish institution, a narrow sect of Judaism"; the other representing the glad tidings "as the introduction of a new system, applicable to all, and supplanting the Mosaic dispensation of the law by a universal dispensation of grace." These two parties, he adds, "were popularly represented in the early Church, by the two apostles Peter and Paul, and their antagonism is faintly revealed in the Epistle to the Galatians." †
————————————————————————————————————
* Justin's "Die Evv.," p. 446, sup. B.

† But, on the other hand, this antagonism is very strongly marked in the "Clementine Homilies," in which Peter unequivocally denies that Paul, whom he calls Simon the Magician, has ever had a vision of Christ, and calls him "an enemy." Canon Westcott says: "There can be no doubt that St. Paul is referred to as 'the enemy' " ("On the Canon," p. 252, note 2; "Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., p. 35). But this antagonism, which rages unto the present day, we find even in St. Paul's "Epistles." What can be more energetic than such like sentences: "Such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. . . . I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostle" (2 Corinthians, xi.). "Paul, an apostle not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead . . . but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the Gospel of Christ . . . false brethren. . . . When Peter came to Antioch I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles, but when they were come he withdrew, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled . . . insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation," etc., etc. (Galat. i and ii.). On the other hand, we find Peter in the "Homilies," indulging in various complaints which, although alleged to be addressed to Simon Magus, are evidently all direct answers to the above-quoted sentences from the Pauline Epistles, and cannot have anything to do with Simon. So, for instance, Peter said: "For some among the Gentiles have rejected my lawful preaching, and accepted certain lawless and foolish teaching of the hostile men (enemy)" — Epist. of Peter to James, § 2. He says further: "Simon (Paul) . . . who came before me to the Gentiles . . . and I have followed him as light upon darkness, as knowledge upon ignorance, as health upon disease" ("Homil.," ii. 17). Still further, he calls him Death and a deceiver (Ibid., ii. 18). He warns the Gentiles that "our Lord and Prophet (?) (Jesus) announced that he would send from among his followers, apostles to deceive. "Therefore, above all, remember to avoid every apostle, or teacher, or prophet, who first does not accurately compare his teaching with that of James, called the brother of our Lord" (see the difference between Paul and James on faith, Epist. to Hebrews, xi., xii., and Epist. of James, ii.). "Lest the Evil One should send a false preacher . . . as he has sent to us Simon (?) preaching a counterfeit of truth in the name of our Lord, and disseminating error" ("Hom." xi., 35; see above quotation from Gal. 1, 5). He then denies Paul's assertion, in the following words: "If, therefore, our Jesus indeed appeared in a vision to you, it was only as an irritated adversary. . . . But how can any one through visions become wise in teaching? And if you say, 'it is possible,' then I ask, wherefore did the Teacher remain for a whole year and discourse to those who were attentive? And how can we believe your story that he appeared to you? And in what manner did he appear to you, when you hold opinions contrary to his teaching? . . . For you now set yourself up against me, who am a firm rock, the foundation of the Church. If you were not an opponent, you would not calumniate me, you would not revile my teaching . . . (circumcision?) in order that, in declaring what I have myself heard from the Lord, I may not be believed, as though I were condemned. . . . But if you say that I am condemned, you blame God who revealed Christ to me." "This last phrase," observes the author of "Supernatural Religion," " 'if you say that I am condemned,' is an evident allusion to Galat. ii, 11, 'I withstood him to the face, because he was condemned' " ("Supernatural Religion," p. 37). "There cannot be a doubt," adds the just-quoted author, "that the Apostle Paul is attacked in this religious romance as the great enemy of the true faith, under the hated name of Simon the Magician, whom Peter follows everywhere for the purpose of unmasking and confuting him" (p. 34). And if so, then we must believe that it was St. Paul who broke both his legs in Rome when flying in the air.


162                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

         Marcion, who recognised no other Gospels than a few Epistles of Paul, who rejected totally the anthropomorphism of the Old Testament, and drew a distinct line of demarcation between the old Judaism and Christianity, viewed Jesus neither as a King, Messiah of the Jews, nor the son of David, who was in any way connected with the law or prophets, "but, a divine being sent to reveal to man a spiritual religion, wholly new, and a God of goodness and grace hitherto unknown." The
 

 163                                                                                                               JESUS IGNORES JEHOVAH.

 "Lord God" of the Jews in his eyes, the Creator (Demiurgos), was totally different and distinct from the Deity who sent Jesus to reveal the divine truth and preach the glad tidings, to bring reconciliation and salvation to all. The mission of Jesus — according to Marcion — was to abrogate the Jewish "Lord," who "was opposed to the God and Father of Jesus Christ as matter is to spirit, impurity to purity."

        Was Marcion so far wrong? Was it blasphemy, or was it intuition, divine inspiration in him to express that which every honest heart yearning for truth, more or less feels and acknowledges? If in his sincere desire to establish a purely spiritual religion, a universal faith based on unadulterated truth, he found it necessary to make of Christianity an entirely new and separate system from that of Judaism, did not Marcion have the very words of Christ for his authority? "No man putteth a piece of new cloth into an old garment . . . for the rent is made worse. . . . Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved." In what particular does the jealous, wrathful, revengeful God of Israel resemble the unknown deity, the God of mercy preached by Jesus; — his Father who is in Heaven, and the Father of all humanity? This Father alone is the God of spirit and purity, and, to compare Him with the subordinate and capricious Sinaitic Deity is an error. Did Jesus ever pronounce the name of Jehovah? Did he ever place his Father in contrast with this severe and cruel Judge; his God of mercy, love, and justice, with the Jewish genius of retaliation? Never! From that memorable day when he preached his Sermon on the Mount, an immeasurable void opened between his God and that other deity who fulminated his commands from that other mount — Sinai. The language of Jesus is unequivocal; it implies not only rebellion but defiance of the Mosaic "Lord God." "Ye have heard," he tells us, "that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Ye have heard that it hath been said [by the same "Lord God" on Sinai]: Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you; Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew v.).

        And now, open Manu and read:

        "Resignation, the action of rendering good for evil, temperance, probity, purity, repression of the senses, the knowledge of the Sastras (the holy books), that of the supreme soul, truthfulness and abstinence from anger, such are the ten virtues in which consists duty. . . . Those who


164                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED
.

study these ten precepts of duty, and after having studied them conform their lives thereto, will reach to the supreme condition" (Manu, book vi., sloka 92).

       If Manu did not trace these words many thousands of years before the era of Christianity, at least no voice in the whole world will dare deny them a less antiquity than several centuries B.C. The same in the case of the precepts of Buddhism.
 
      If we turn to the Prātimokska Sutra and other religious tracts of the Buddhists, we read the ten following commandments:

        1. Thou shalt not kill any living creature.
        2. Thou shalt not steal.
        3. Thou shalt not break thy vow of chastity.
        4. Thou shalt not lie.
        5. Thou shalt not betray the secrets of others.
        6. Thou shalt not wish for the death of thy enemies.
        7. Thou shalt not desire the wealth of others.
        8. Thou shalt not pronounce injurious and foul words.
        9. Thou shalt not indulge in luxury (sleep on soft beds or be lazy).
        10. Thou shalt not accept gold or silver. *

        "Good master, what shall I do that I may have eternal life?" asks a man of Jesus. "Keep the commandments." "Which?" "Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness," † is the answer.

        "What shall I do to obtain possession of Bhodi? (knowledge of eternal truth)" asks a disciple of his Buddhist master. "What way is there to become an Upasaka?" "Keep the commandments." "What are they?" "Thou shalt abstain all thy life from murder, theft, adultery, and lying," answers the master. ‡

        Identical injunctions are they not? Divine injunctions, the living up to which would purify and exalt humanity. But are they more divine when uttered through one mouth than another? If it is god-like to return good for evil, does the enunciation of the precept by a Nazarene give it any greater force than its enunciation by an Indian, or Thibetan philosopher? We see that the Golden Rule was not original with Jesus; that its birth-place was India. Do what we may, we cannot deny Sakya-Muni Buddha a less remote antiquity than several centuries before the birth of Jesus. In seeking a model for his system of ethics why should Jesus have gone to the foot of the Himalayas rather than to the foot of
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*
"Prātimoksha Sutra," Pali Burmese copy; see also "Lotus de la Bonne Loi," translated by Burnouf, p. 444.

† Matthew xix. 16-18.                      ‡ "Pittakatayan," book iii., Pali Version.


165                                                                                                    JEHOVAH IDENTIFIED WITH BACCHUS.

Sinai, but that the doctrines of Manu and Gautama harmonized exactly with his own philosophy, while those of Jehovah were to him abhorrent and terrifying? The Hindus taught to return good for evil, but the Jehovistic command was: "An eye for an eye" and "a tooth for a tooth."

        Would Christians still maintain the identity of the "Father" of Jesus and Jehovah, if evidence sufficiently clear could be adduced that the "Lord God" was no other than the Pagan Bacchus, Dionysos? Well, this identity of the Jehovah at Mount Sinai with the god Bacchus is hardly disputable. The name hwhyis Yava or Iao, according to Theodoret, which is the secret name of the Phœnician Mystery-god; * and it was actually adopted from the Chaldeans with whom it also was the secret name of the creator. Wherever Bacchus was worshipped there was a tradition of Nysa and a cave where he was reared. Beth-San or Scythopolis in Palestine had that designation; so had a spot on Mount Parnassus. But Diodorus declares that Nysa was between Phoenicia and Egypt; Euripides states that Dionysos came to Greece from India; and Diodorus adds his testimony: "Osiris was brought up in Nysa, in Arabia the Happy; he was the son of Zeus, and was named from his father (nominative Zeus, genitive Dios) and the place Dio-Nysos" — the Zeus or Jove of Nysa. This identity of name or title is very significant. In Greece Dionysos was second only to Zeus, and Pindar says:

"So Father Zeus governs all things, and Bacchus he governs also."

        But outside of Greece Bacchus was the all-powerful "Zagreus, the highest of gods." Moses seems to have worshipped him personally and together with the populace at Mount Sinai; unless we admit that he was an initiated priest, an adept, who knew how to lift the veil which hangs behind all such exoteric worship, but kept the secret. "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-NISSI"! or Iao-Nisi. What better evidence is required to show that the Sinaitic god was indifferently Bacchus, Osiris, and Jehovah? Mr. Sharpe appends also his testimony that the place where Osiris was born "was Mount Sinai, called by the Egyptians Mount Nissa." The Brazen Serpent was a nis, X xn, and the month of the Jewish Passover nisan.

        If the Mosaic "Lord God" was the only living God, and Jesus His only Son, how account for the rebellious language of the latter? Without hesitation or qualification he sweeps away the Jewish lex talionis and substitutes for it the law of charity and self-denial. If the Old Testament
————————————————————————————————————
*
See Judges xiii. 18, "And the angel of the Lord said unto him: Why askest thou after my name, seeing it is SECRET?"


166                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

is a divine revelation, how can the New Testament be? Are we required to believe and worship a Deity who contradicts himself every few hundred years? Was Moses inspired, or was Jesus not the son of God? This is a dilemma from which the theologians are bond to rescue us. It is from this very dilemma that the Gnostics endeavored to snatch the budding Christianity.

        Justice has been waiting nineteen centuries for intelligent commentators to appreciate this difference between the orthodox Tertullian and the Gnostic Marcion. The brutal violence, unfairness, and bigotry of the "great African" repulse all who accept his Christianity. "How can a god," inquired Marcion, "break his own commandments? How could he consistently prohibit idolatry and image-worship, and still cause Moses to set up the brazen serpent? How command: Thou shalt not steal, and then order the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians of their gold and silver?" Anticipating the results of modern criticism, Marcion denies the applicability to Jesus of the so-called Messianic prophecies. Writes the author of Supernatural Religion: * "The Emmanuel of Isaiah is not Christ; the 'Virgin,' his mother, is simply a 'young woman,' an alma of the temple; and the sufferings of the servant of God (Isaiah lii. 13 - liii. 3) are not predictions of the death of Jesus." †
————————————————————————————————————
*
Vol. ii., p. 106.

† Emmanuel was doubtless the son of the prophet himself, as described in the sixth chapter; what was predicted, can only be interpreted on that hypothesis. The prophet had also announced to Ahaz the extinction of his line. "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established." Next comes the prediction of the placing of a new prince on the throne — Hezekiah of Bethlehem, said to have been Isaiah's son-in-law, under whom the captives should return from the uttermost parts of the earth. Assyria should be humbled, and peace overspread the Israelitish country, compare Isaiah vii. 14-16; viii. 3, 4; ix. 6, 7; x. 12, 20, 21; xi.; Micah v., 2-7. The popular party, the party of the prophets, always opposed to the Zadokite priesthood, had resolved to set aside Ahaz and his time-serving policy, which had let in Assyria upon Palestine, and to set up Hezekiah, a man of their own, who should rebel against Assyria and overthrow the Assur-worship and Baalim (2 Kings xv. 11). Though only the prophets hint this, it being cut out from the historical books, it is noticeable that Ahaz offered his own child to Moloch, also that he died at the age of thirty-six, and Hezekiah took the throne at twenty-five, in full adult age.

 

CHAPTER IV.

    "Nothing better than those MYSTERIES, by which, from a rough and fierce life, we are polished to gentleness (humanity, kindness), and softened."
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     — C
ICERO: de Legibus, ii., 14.

    "Descend, O Soma, with that stream with which thou lightest up the Sun. . . .Soma, a Life Ocean spread through All, thou fillest creative the Sun
with beams." — Rig-Veda, ii., 143.

    ". . . the beautiful Virgin ascends, with long hair, and she holds two ears in her hand, and sits on a seat and feeds a BOY as yet little, and suckles
him and gives him food." — A
VENAR.

 

IT is alleged that the Pentateuch was written by Moses, and yet it contains the account of his own death (Deuteronomy xxxiv. 6); and in Genesis (xiv. 14), the name Dan is given to a city, which Judges (xviii. 29), tells us was only called by that name at that late day, it having previously been known as Laish. Well might Josiah have rent his clothes when he had heard the words of the Book of the Law; for there was no more of Moses in it than there is of Jesus in the Gospel according to John.

        We have one fair alternative to offer our theologians, leaving them to choose for themselves, and promising to abide by their decision. Only they will have to admit, either that Moses was an impostor, or that his books are forgeries, written at different times and by different persons; or, again, that they are full of fraudulent interpolations. In either case the work loses all claims to be considered divine Revelation. Here is the problem, which we quote from the Bible — the word of the God of Truth:

        "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name of JEHOVAH was I not known to them" (Exodus vi. 3), spake God unto Moses.

        A very startling bit of information that, when, before arriving at the book of Exodus, we are told in Genesis (xxii. 14) that "Abraham called the name of that place" — where the patriarch had been preparing to cut the throat of his only-begotten son — "JEHOVAH-jireh"! (Jehovah sees.) Which is the inspired text? — both cannot be — which the forgery?


168                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

        Now, if both Abraham and Moses had not belonged to the same holy group, we might, perhaps, help theologians by suggesting to them a convenient means of escape out of this dilemma. They ought to call the reverend Jesuit Fathers — especially those who have been missionaries in India — to their rescue. The latter would not be for a moment disconcerted. They would coolly tell us that beyond doubt Abraham had heard the name of Jehovah and borrowed it from Moses. Do they not maintain that it was they who invented the Sanscrit, edited Manu, and composed the greater portion of the Vedas?

        Marcion maintained, with the other Gnostics, the fallaciousness of the idea of an incarnate God, and therefore denied the corporeal reality of the living body of Christ. His entity was a mere illusion; it was not made of human flesh and blood, neither was it born of a human mother, for his divine nature could not be polluted with any contact with sinful flesh. * He accepted Paul as the only apostle preaching the pure gospel of truth, and accused the other disciples of "depraving the pure form of the gospel doctrines delivered to them by Jesus, mixing up matters of the Law with the words of the Saviour." †

        Finally we may add that modern biblical criticism, which unfortunately became really active and serious only toward the end of the last century, now generally admits that Marcion's text of the only gospel he knew anything about — that of Luke, is far superior and by far more correct than that of our present Synoptics. We find in Supernatural Religion the following (for every Christian) startling sentence: "We are, therefore, indebted to Marcion for the correct version even of 'the Lord's Prayer.' " ‡

        If, leaving for the present the prominent founders of Christian sects, we now turn to that of the Ophites, which assumed a definite form about the time of Marcion and the Basilideans, we may find in it the reason for the heresies of all others. Like all other Gnostics, they rejected the Mosaic Bible entirely. Nevertheless, their philosophy, apart from some deductions original with several of the most important founders of the various branches of Gnosticism was not new. Passing through the Chaldean kabalistic tradition, it gathered its materials in the Hermetic books, and pursuing its flight still farther back for its metaphysical speculations, we find it floundering among the tenets of Manu, and the earliest Hindu ante-sacerdotal genesis. Many of our eminent antiquarians trace the Gnostic philosophies right back to Buddhism, which does not impair in
————————————————————————————————————
*
Tertullian: "Adv. Marci," iii. 8 ff.

† "Sup. Rel.," vol. ii., p. 107; "Adv. Marci," iii. 2, § 2; cf. iii. 12, § 12.

‡ "Sup. Relig.," vol. ii., p. 126.

 
169                                                                                         THE INDIAN, CHALDEAN, AND OPHITE TRINITIES.

the least either their or our arguments. We repeat again, Buddhism is but the primitive source of Brahmanism. It is not against the primitive Vedas that Gautama protests. It is against the sacerdotal and official state religion of his country; and the Brahmans, who in order to make room for and give authority to the castes, at a later period crammed the ancient manuscripts with interpolated slokas, intended to prove that the castes were predetermined by the Creator by the very fact that each class of men was issued from a more or less noble limb of Brahma. Gautama-Buddha's philosophy was that taught from the beginning of time in the impenetrable secrecy of the inner sanctuaries of the pagodas. We need not be surprised, therefore, to find again, in all the fundamental dogmas of the Gnostics, the metaphysical tenets of both Brahmanism and Buddhism. They held that the Old Testament was the revelation of an inferior being, a subordinate divinity, and did not contain a single sentence of their Sophia, the Divine Wisdom. As to the New Testament, it had lost its purity when the compilers became guilty of interpolations. The revelation of divine truth was sacrificed by them to promote selfish ends and maintain quarrels. The accusation does not seem so very improbable to one who is well aware of the constant strife between the champions of circumcision and the "Law," and the apostles who had given up Judaism.

        The Gnostic Ophites taught the doctrine of Emanations, so hateful to the defenders of the unity in the trinity, and vice versa. The Unknown Deity with them had no name; but his first female emanation was called Bythos or Depth.* It answered to the Shekinah of the kabalists, the "Veil" which conceals the "Wisdom" in the cranium of the highest of the three heads. As the Pythagorean Monad, this nameless Wisdom was the Source of Light, and Ennoia or Mind, is Light itself. The latter was also called the "Primitive Man," like the Adam Kadmon, or ancient Adam of the Kabala. Indeed, if man was created after his likeness and in the image of God, then this God was like his creature in shape and figure — hence, he is the "Primitive man." The first Manu, the one evolved from Swayambhuva, "he who exists unrevealed in his own glory," is also, in one sense, the primitive man, with the Hindus.

        Thus the "nameless and the unrevealed," Bythos, his female reflection, and Ennoia, the revealed Mind proceeding from both, or their Son are the counterparts of the Chaldean first triad as well as those of the Brahmanic Trimurti. We will compare: in all the three systems we see
————————————————————————————————————
*
We give the systems according to an old diagram preserved among some Kopts and the Druses of Mount Lebanon. Irenęus had perhaps some good reasons to disfigure their doctrines.


170                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

        THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE as the ONE, the primordial germ, the unrevealed and grand ALL, existing through himself. In the

                    INDIAN PANTHEON.                                          THE CHALDEAN.                                                                IN THE OPHITE.
                       Brahma-Zyaus.                                        Ilu, Kabalistic En-Soph.                             The Nameless, or Secret Name.

        Whenever the Eternal awakes from its slumber and desires to manifest itself, it divides itself into male and female. It then becomes in every system

THE DOUBLE-SEXED DEITY, The universal Father and Mother.

                             IN INDIA.                                                      IN CHALDEA.                                                         IN THE OPHITE SYSTEM.
      Brahma. Nara (male), Nari (female)             Eikon or En-Soph. Anu (male), Anata       Nameless Spirit. Abrasax (male), Bythos
                                                                                                       (female).                                                           (female).

        From the union of the two emanates a third, or creative Principle — the SON, or the manifested Logos, the product of the Divine Mind.

                            IN INDIA.                                                       IN CHALDEA.                                                 OPHITE SYSTEM.
                        Viradj, the Son.                                                 Bel, the Son.                              Ophis (another name for Ennoia), the Son.

        Moreover, each of these systems has a triple male trinity, each proceeding separately through itself from one female Deity. So, for instance:

                  IN INDIA.                                                              IN CHALDEA.                                            IN THE OPHITE SYSTEM.
   The Trinity—Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, are         The trinity—Anu, Bel, Hoa (or Sin,            The trinity consisted of the Mystery named
    blended into O
NE, who is Brahma (neuter     Samas, Bin), blend into ONE who is Anu     Sige, Bythos, Ennoia. These become ONE
    gender), creating and being created               (double-sexed) through the Virgin               who is Abrasax, from the Virgin Sophia (or
    through the Virgin Nari (the mother of         
 Mylitta.                                                          Pneuma), who herself is an emanation of
    perpetual fecundity).                                                                                                                 Bythos and the Mystery-god and
                                                                                                                                                        emanates through them, Christos.

       To place it still clearer, the Babylonian System recognizes first — the ONE (Ad, or Ad-ad), who is never named, but only acknowledged in thought as the Hindu Swayambhuva. From this he becomes manifest as Anu or Ana — the one above all — Monas. Next comes the Demiurge called Bel or Elu, who is the active power of the Godhead. The third is the principle of Wisdom, Hea or Hoa, who also rules the sea and the underworld. Each of these has his divine consort, giving us Anata, Belta,


 171                                                                                          VARIOUS "ONLY-BEGOTTEN" SONS.

and Davkina. These, however, are only like the Saktis, and not especially remarked by theologists. But the female principle is denoted by Mylitta, the Great Mother, called also Ishtar. So with the three male gods, we have the Triad or Trimurti, and with Mylitta added, the Arba or Four (Tetraktys of Pythagoras), which perfects and potentializes all. Hence, the above-given modes of expression. The following Chaldean diagram may serve as an illustration for all others:

                                                                                                    Anu,       Mylitta—Arba-il
                                                                                      Triad  {Bel,     }                or
                                                                                                    Hoa,       Four-fold God
                                                          become, with the Christians,
                                                                            God the Father,                 Mary, or mother of these three Gods
                                                         Trinity {   God the Son,           }            since they are one,
                                                                            God the Holy Ghost,           or, the Christian Heavenly Tetraktys.

           Hence, Hebron, the city of the Kabeiri was called Kirjath-Arba, city of the Four. The Kabeiri were Axieros — the noble Eros, Axiokersos, the worthy horned one, Axiokersa, Demeter and Kadmiel, Hoa, etc.

           The Pythagorean ten denoted the Arba-Il or Divine Four, emblematized by the Hindu Lingham: Anu, 1; Bel, 2; Hoa, 3, which makes 6. The triad and Mylitta as 4 make the ten.

           Though he is termed the "Primitive Man," Ennoia, who is like the Egyptian Pimander, the "Power of the Thought Divine," the first intelligible manifestation of the Divine Spirit in material form, he is like the "Only-Begotten" Son of the "Unknown Father," of all other nations. He is the emblem of the first appearance of the divine Presence in his own works of creation, tangible and visible, and therefore comprehensible. The mystery-God, or the ever-unrevealed Deity fecundates through His will Bythos, the unfathomable and infinite depth that exists in silence (Sigč) and darkness (for our intellect), and that represents the abstract idea of all nature, the ever-producing Cosmos. As neither the male nor female principle, blended into the idea of a double-sexed Deity in ancient conceptions, could be comprehended by an ordinary human intellect, the theology of every people had to create for its religion a Logos, or manifested word, in some shape or other. With the Ophites and other Gnostics who took their models direct from more ancient originals, the unrevealed Bythos and her male counterpart produce Ennoia, and the three in their turn produce Sophia,* thus completing the Tetraktys, which will emanate Christos, the very essence of the Father
————————————————————————————————————
*
Sophia is the highest prototype of woman — the first spiritual Eve. In the Bible the system is reversed and the intervening emanation being omitted, Eve is degraded to simple humanity.


 172                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

Spirit. As the unrevealed One, or concealed Logos in its latent state, he has existed from all eternity in the Arba-Il, the metaphysical abstraction; therefore, he is ONE with all others as a unity, the latter (including all) being indifferently termed Ennoia, Sigč (silence), Bythos, etc. As the revealed one, he is Androgyne, Christos, and Sophia (Divine Wisdom), who descend into the man Jesus. Both Father and Son are shown by Irenęus to have loved the beauty (formam) of the primitive woman, * who is Bythos — Depth — as well as Sophia, and as having produced conjointly Ophis and Sophia (double-sexed unity again), male and female wisdom, one being considered as the unrevealed Holy Spirit, or elder Sophia — the Pneuma — the intellectual "Mother of all things"; the other the revealed one, or Ophis, typifying divine wisdom fallen into matter, or God-man — Jesus, whom the Gnostic Ophites represented by the serpent (Ophis).

        Fecundated by the Divine Light of the Father and Son, the highest spirit and Ennoia, Sophia produces in her turn two other emanations — one perfect Christos, the second imperfect Sophia-Achamoth, † from twjbx hakhamoth (simple wisdom), who becomes the mediatrix between the intellectual and material worlds.

        Christos was the mediator and guide between God (the Higher), and everything spiritual in man; Achamoth — the younger Sophia — held the same duty between the "Primitive man," Ennoia and matter. What was mysteriously meant by the general term, Christos, we have just explained.

    Delivering a sermon on the "Month of Mary," we find the Rev. Dr. Preston, of New York City, expressing the Christian idea of the female principle of the trinity better and more clearly than we could, and substantially in the spirit of an ancient "heathen" philosopher. He says that the "plan of the redemption made it necessary that a mother should be found, and Mary stands pre-eminently alone as the only instance when a creature was necessary to the consummation of God's work." We will beg the right to contradict the reverend gentleman. As shown above, thousands of years before our era it was found necessary by all the "heathen" theogonies to find a female principle, a "mother" for the triune male principle. Hence, Christianity does not present the "only instance" of such a consummation of God's work — albeit, as this work shows, there was more philosophy and less materialism, or rather anthropomorphism, in it. But hear the reverend Doctor express "heathen" thought in
————————————————————————————————————
*
See "Irenęus," book i., chap. 31-33.

† In King's "Gnostics," we find the system a little incorrect. The author tells us that he followed Bellermann's "Drei Programmen uber die Abraxas Gemmen."

 
173                                                                                      THE "TRINITY LISTEN FOR MARY'S ANSWER."

Christian ideas. "He" (God), he says, "prepared her (Mary's) virginal and celestial purity, for a mother defiled could not become the mother of the Most High. The holy virgin, even in her childhood, was more pleasing than all the Cherubim and Seraphim, and from infancy to the maturing maidenhood and womanhood she grew more and more pure. By her very sanctity she reigned over the heart of God. When the hour came, the whole court of heaven was hushed, and the trinity listened for the answer of Mary, for without her consent the world could not have been redeemed."

        Does it not seem as if we were reading Irenęus explaining the Gnostic "Heresy, which taught that the Father and Son loved the beauty (formam) of the celestial Virgin"? or the Egyptian system, of Isis being both wife, sister, and mother of Osiris-Horus? With the Gnostic philosophy there were but two, but the Christians have improved and perfected the system by making it completely "heathen," for it is the Chaldean Anu — Bel — Hoa, merging into Mylitta. "Then while this month (of Mary)," adds Dr. Preston, "begins in the paschal season — the month when nature decks herself with fruits and flowers, the harbingers of a bright harvest — let us, too, begin for a golden harvest. In this month the dead come up out of the earth, figuring the resurrection; so, when we are kneeling before the altar of the holy and immaculate Mary, let us remember that there should come forth from us the bud of promise, the flower of hope, and the imperishable fruit of sanctity."

        This is precisely the substratum of the Pagan thought, which, among other meanings, emblematized by the rites of the resurrection of Osiris, Adonis, Bacchus, and other slaughtered sun-gods, the resurrection of all nature in spring, the germination of seeds that had been dead and sleeping during winter, and so were allegorically said to be kept in the underworld (Hades). They are typified by the three days passed in hell before his resurrection by Hercules, by Christ, and others.

        This derivation, or rather heresy, as it is called in Christianity, is simply the Brahmanic doctrine in all its archaic purity. Vishnu, the second personage of the Hindu trinity, is also the Logos, for he is made subsequently to incarnate himself in Christna. And Lakmy (or Lakshmy) who, as in the case of Osiris and Isis, of En-Soph and Sephira, and of Bythos and Ennoia, is both his wife, sister, and daughter, through this endless correlation of male and female creative powers in the abstruse metaphysics of the ancient philosophies — is Sophia-Achamoth. Christna is the mediator promised by Brahma to mankind, and represents the same idea as the Gnostic Christos. And Lakmy, Vishnu's spiritual half, is the emblem of physical nature, the universal mother of all the material and revealed forms; the mediatrix and protector of nature, like Sophia-Achamoth, who is made by the Gnostics the mediatrix between the Great

 
174                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

Cause and Matter, as Christos is the mediator between him and spiritual humanity.

        This Brahmano-Gnostic tenet is more logical, and more consistent with the allegory of Genesis and the fall of man. When God curses the first couple, He is made to curse also the earth and everything that is on it. The New Testament gives us a Redeemer for the first sin of mankind, which was punished for having sinned; but there is not a word said about a Saviour who would take off the unmerited curse from the earth and the animals, which had never sinned at all. Thus the Gnostic allegory shows a greater sense of both justice and logic than the Christian.

        In the Ophite system, Sophia, the Androgyne Wisdom, is also the female spirit, or the Hindu female Nari (Narayana), moving on the face of the waters — chaos, or future matter. She vivifies it from afar, but not touching the abyss of darkness. She is unable to do so, for Wisdom is purely intellectual, and cannot act directly on matter. Therefore, Sophia is obliged to address herself to her Supreme Parent; but although life proceeds primally from the Unseen Cause, and his Ennoia, neither of them can, any more than herself, have anything to do with the lower chaos in which matter assumes its definite shape. Thus, Sophia is obliged to employ on the task her imperfect emanation, Sophia-Achamoth, the latter being of a mixed nature, half spiritual and half material.

        The only difference between the Ophite cosmogony and that of the St. John Nazarenes is a change of names. We find equally an identical system in the Kabala, the Book of Mystery (Liber Mysterii).* All the three systems, especially that of the kabalists and the Nazarenes, which were the models for the Ophite Cosmogony, belong to the pure Oriental Gnosticism. The Codex Nazaręus opens with: "The Supreme King of Light, Mano, the great first one," † etc., the latter being the emanation of Ferho — the unknown, formless LIFE. He is the chief of the Ęons, from whom proceed (or shoot forth) five refulgent rays of Divine light. Mano is Rex Lucis, the Bythos-Ennoia of the Ophites. "Unus est Rex Lucis in suo regno, nec ullus qui eo altior, nullus qui ejus similitudinem retulerit, nullus qui sublatis oculis, viderit Coronam quę in ejus capite est." He is the Manifested Light around the highest of the three kabalistic heads, the concealed wisdom; from him emanate the three Lives. Ębel Zivo is the revealed Logos, Christos the "Apostle Gabriel," and the first Legate or messenger of light. If Bythos and Ennoia are the Nazarene Mano, then the dual-natured, the semi-spiritual, semi-material Achamoth must be Fetahil when viewed from her spiritual aspect; and if regarded in her grosser nature, she is the Nazarene "Spiritus."
————————————————————————————————————
*
See "Idra Magna."          † "Codex Nazaręus," part i., p. 9.


175                                                                                          THE FIRST GROUPS OF CHRISTIANS.

        Fetahil,* who is the reflection of his father, Lord Abatur, the third life — as the elder Sophia is also the third emanation — is the "newest-man." Perceiving his fruitless attempts to create a perfect material world, the "Spiritus" calls to one of her progeny, the Karabtanos — Ilda-Baoth — who is without sense or judgment ("blind matter"), to unite himself with her to create something definite out of this confused (turbulentos) matter, which task she is enabled to achieve only after having produced from this union with Karabtanos the seven stellars. Like the six sons or genii of the Gnostic Ilda-Baoth, they then frame the material world. The same story is repeated over again in Sophia-Achamoth. Delegated by her purely spiritual parent, the elder Sophia, to create the world of visible forms, she descended into chaos, and, overpowered by the emanation of matter, lost her way. Still ambitious to create a world of matter of her own, she busied herself hovering to and fro about the dark abyss, and imparted life and motion to the inert elements, until she became so hopelessly entangled in matter that, like Fetahil, she is represented sitting immersed in mud, and unable to extricate herself from it; until, by the contact of matter itself, she produces the Creator of the material world. He is the Demiurgus, called by the Ophites Ilda-Baoth, and, as we will directly show, the parent of the Jewish God in the opinion of some sects, and held by others to be the "Lord God" Himself. It is at this point of the kabalistic-gnostic cosmogony that begins the Mosaic Bible. Having accepted the Jewish Old Testament as their standard, no wonder that the Christians were forced by the exceptional position in which they were placed through their own ignorance, to make the best of it.

        The first groups of Christians, whom Renan shows numbering but from seven to twelve men in each church, belonged unquestionably to the poorest and most ignorant classes. They had and could have no idea of the highly philosophical doctrines of the Platonists and Gnostics, and evidently knew as little about their own newly-made-up religion. To these, who if Jews, had been crushed under the tyrannical dominion of the "law," as enforced by the elders of the synagogues, and if Pagans had been always excluded, as the lower castes are until now in India, from the religious mysteries, the God of the Jews and the "Father" preached by Jesus were all one. The contentions which reigned from the first years following the death of Jesus, between the two parties, the Pauline and the Petrine — were deplorable. What one did, the other deemed
————————————————————————————————————
*
See "Codex Nazaręus," i., 181. Fetahil, sent to frame the world, finds himself immersed in the abyss of mud, and soliloquizes in dismay until the Spiritus (Sophia-Achamoth) unites herself completely with matter, and so creates the material world.


176                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

a sacred duty to undo. If the Homilies are considered apocryphal, and cannot very well be accepted as an infallible standard by which to measure the animosity which raged between the two apostles, we have the Bible, and the proofs afforded therein are plentiful.

        So hopelessly entangled seems Irenęus in his fruitless endeavors to describe, to all outward appearance at least, the true doctrines of the many Gnostic sects of which he treats and to present them at the same time as abominable "heresies," that he either deliberately, or through ignorance, confounds all of them in such a way that few metaphysicians would be able to disentangle them, without the Kabala and the Codex as the true keys. Thus, for instance, he cannot even tell the difference between the Sethianites and the Ophites, and tells us that they called the "God of all," "Hominem," a MAN, and his mind the SECOND man, or the "Son of man." So does Theodoret, who lived more than two centuries after Irenęus, and who makes a sad mess of the chronological order in which the various sects succeeded each other. * Neither the Sethianites, (a branch of the Jewish Nazarenes) nor the Ophites, a purely Greek sect, have ever held anything of the kind. Irenęus contradicts his own words by describing in another place the doctrines of Cerinthus, the direct disciple of Simon Magus. He says that Cerinthus taught that the world was not created by the FIRST GOD, but by a virtue (virtus) or power, an Ęon so distant from the First Cause that he was even ignorant of HIM who is above all things. This Ęon subjected Jesus, he begot him physically through Joseph from one who was not a virgin, but simply the wife of that Joseph, and Jesus was born like all other men. Viewed from this physical aspect of his nature, Jesus was called the "son of man." It is only after his baptism, that Christos, the anointed, descended from the Princeliness of above, in the figure of a dove, and then announced the UNKNOWN Father through Jesus. †

        If, therefore, Jesus was physically considered as a son of man, and spiritually as the Christos, who overshadowed him, how then could the "GOD OF ALL," the "Unknown Father," be called by the Gnostics Homo, a MAN, and his Mind, Ennoia, the SECOND man, or Son of man? Neither in the Oriental Kabala, nor in Gnosticism, was the "God of all" ever anthropomorphized. It is but the first, or rather the second emanations, for Shekinah, Sephira, Depth, and other first-manifested female virtues are also emanations, that are termed "primitive men." Thus Adam Kadmon, Ennoia (or Sigč), the logoi in short, are the "only-begotten" ones but not the Sons of man, which appellation properly be-
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Irenęus," 37, and Theodoret, quoted in the same page.

† Ibid., i, xxv.

 
177                                                                                               CHRIST'S "DESCENT INTO HELL."

longs to Christos the son of Sophia (the elder) and of the primitive man who produces him through his own vivifying light, which emanates from the source or cause of all, hence the cause of his light also, the "Unknown Father." There is a great difference made in the Gnostic metaphysics between the first unrevealed Logos and the "anointed," who is Christos. Ennoia may be termed, as Philo understands it, the Second God, but he alone is the "Primitive and First man," and by no means the Second one, as Theodoret and Irenęus have it. It is but the inveterate desire of the latter to connect Jesus in every possible way, even in the Hęresies, with the Highest God, that led him into so many falsifications.

        Such an identification with the Unknown God, even of Christos, the anointed — the Ęon who overshadowed him — let alone of the man Jesus, never entered the head of the Gnostics nor even of the direct apostles and of Paul, whatever later forgeries may have added.

        How daring and desperate were many such deliberate falsifications was shown in the first attempts to compare the original manuscripts with later ones. In Bishop Horseley's edition of Sir Isaac Newton's works, several manuscripts on theological subjects were cautiously withheld from publication. The article known as Christ's Descent into Hell, which is found in the later Apostles' Creed, is not to be found in the manuscripts of either the fourth or sixth centuries. It was an evident interpolation copied from the fables of Bacchus and Hercules and enforced upon Christendom as an article of faith. Concerning it the author of the preface to the Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King's Library (preface, p. xxi.) remarks: "I wish that the insertion of the article of Christ's Descent into Hell into the Apostles' Creed could be as well accounted for as the insertion of the said verse" (First Epistle of John, v. 7). *

        Now, this verse reads: "For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one." This verse, which has been "appointed to be read in churches," is now known to be spurious. It is not to be found in any Greek manuscript," save one at Berlin, which was transcribed from some interpolated paraphrase between the lines. In the first and second editions of Erasmus, printed in 1516 and 1519, this allusion to these three heavenly witnesses is omitted; and the text is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century. † It was not
————————————————————————————————————
*
See preface to the "Apocryphal New Testament," London, printed for W. Hone, Ludgate Hill, 1820.

† "It is first cited by Virgilius Tapsensis, a Latin writer of no credit, in the latter end of the fifth century, and by him it is suspected to have been forged."


178                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

mentioned by either of the Greek ecclesiastical writers nor by the early Latin fathers, so anxious to get at every proof in support of their trinity; and it was omitted by Luther in his German version. Edward Gibbon was early in pointing out its spurious character. Archbishop Newcome rejected it, and the Bishop of Lincoln expresses his conviction that it is spurious.* There are twenty-eight Greek authors — Irenęus, Clemens, and Athanasius included, who neither quote nor mention it; and seventeen Latin writers, numbering among them Augustine, Jerome, Ambrosius, Cyprian, and Pope Eusebius, who appear utterly ignorant of it. "It is evident that if the text of the heavenly witnesses had been known from the beginning of Christianity the ancients would have eagerly seized it, inserted it in their creeds, quoted it repeatedly against the heretics, and selected it for the brightest ornament of every book that they wrote upon the subject of the Trinity." †

        Thus falls to the ground the strongest trinitarian pillar. Another not less obvious forgery is quoted from Sir Isaac Newton's words by the editor of the Apocryphal New Testament. Newton observes "that what the Latins have done to this text (First Epistle of John, v.), the Greeks have done to that of St. Paul (Timothy iii. 16). For, by changing OS into QS , the abbreviation of  Qeo"  (God), in the Alexandrian manuscript, from which their subsequent copies were made, they now read, "Great is the mystery of godliness, GOD manifested in the flesh"; whereas all the churches, for the first four or five centuries, and the authors of all the ancient versions, Jerome, as well as the rest, read: "Great is the mystery of godliness WHICH WAS manifested in the flesh." Newton adds, that now that the disputes over this forgery are over, they that read GOD made manifest in the flesh, instead of the godliness which was manifested in the flesh, think this passage "one of the most obvious and pertinent texts for the business."

        And now we ask again the question: Who were the first Christians? Those who were readily converted by the eloquent simplicity of Paul, who promised them, with the name of Jesus, freedom from the narrow bonds of ecclesiasticism. They understood but one thing; they were the "children of promise" (Galatians iv. 28). The "allegory" of the Mosaic Bible was unveiled to them; the covenant "from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage" was Agar (Ibid., 24), the old Jewish synagogue, and she was "in bondage with her children" to Jerusalem, the new and the free, "the mother of us all." On the one hand the synagogue and the law which persecuted every one who dared to step across the narrow
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Elements of Theology," vol. ii., p. 90, note.

† Parson's "Letters to Travis," 8vo., p. 402.


179                                                                                         NIHILISTIC DOCTRINES OF THE SADDUCEES.

path of bigotry and dogmatism; on the other, Paganism * with its grand philosophical truths concealed from sight; unveiling itself but to the few, and leaving the masses hopelessly seeking to discover who was the god, among this overcrowded pantheon of deities and sub-deities. To others, the apostle of circumcision, supported by all his followers, was promising, if they obeyed the "law," a life hereafter, and a resurrection of which they had no previous idea. At the same time he never lost an occasion to contradict Paul without naming him, but indicating him so clearly that it is next to impossible to doubt whom Peter meant. While he may have converted some men, who whether they had believed in the Mosaic resurrection promised by the Pharisees, or had fallen into the nihilistic doctrines of the Sadducees, or had belonged to the polytheistic heathenism of the Pagan rabble, had no future after death, nothing but a mournful blank, we do not think that the work of contradiction, carried on so systematically by the two apostles, had helped much their work of proselytism. With the educated thinking classes they succeeded very little, as ecclesiastical history clearly shows. Where was the truth; where the inspired word of God? On the one hand as we have seen, they heard the apostle Paul explaining that of the two covenants, "which things are an allegory," the old one from Mount Sinai, "which gendereth unto bondage," was Agar the bondwoman; and Mount Sinai itself answered to "Jerusalem," which now is "in bondage" with her circumcised children; and the new covenant meant Jesus Christ — the "Jerusalem which is above and free"; and on the other Peter, who was contradicting and even abusing him. Paul vehemently exclaims, "Cast out the bondwoman and her son" (the old law and the synagogue). "The son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of
————————————————————————————————————
*
The term "Paganism" is properly used by many modern writers with hesitation. Professor Alexander Wilder, in his edition of Payne Knight's "Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology," says: "It ('Paganism') has degenerated into slang, and is generally employed with more or less of an opprobrious meaning. The correcter expression would have been 'the ancient ethnical worships,' but it would be hardly understood in its true sense, and we accordingly have adopted the term in popular use, but not disrespectfully. A religion which can develop a Plato, an Epictetus, and an Anaxagoras, is not gross, superficial, or totally unworthy of candid attention. Besides, many of the rites and doctrines included in the Christian as well as in the Jewish Institute, appeared first in the other systems. Zoroastrianism anticipated far more than has been imagined. The cross, the priestly robes and symbols, the sacraments, the Sabbath, the festivals and anniversaries, are all anterior to the Christian era by thousands of years. The ancient worship, after it had been excluded from its former shrines, and from the metropolitan towns, was maintained for a long time by the inhabitants of humble localities. To this fact it owes its later designation. From being kept up in the Pagi, or rural districts, its votaries were denominated Pagans, or provincials."

 
180                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

the free woman." "Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free; be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. . . . Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing!" (Gal. v. 2). What do we find Peter writing? Whom does he mean by saying, "These who speak great swelling words of vanity. . . . While they promise them liberty, they themselves are servants of corruption, for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. . . . For if they have escaped the pollution of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour, they are again entangled therein, and overcome . . . it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them" (Second Epistle).

        Peter certainly cannot have meant the Gnostics, for they had never seen "the holy commandment delivered unto them"; Paul had. They never promised any one "liberty" from bondage, but Paul had done so repeatedly. Moreover the latter rejects the "old covenant," Agar the bondwoman; and Peter holds fast to it. Paul warns the people against the powers and dignities (the lower angels of the kabalists); and Peter, as will be shown further, respects them and denounces those who do not. Peter preaches circumcision, and Paul forbids it.

        Later, when all these extraordinary blunders, contradictions, dissensions and inventions were forcibly crammed into a frame elaborately executed by the episcopal caste of the new religion, and called Christianity; and the chaotic picture itself cunningly preserved from too close scrutiny by a whole array of formidable Church penances and anathemas, which kept the curious back under the false pretense of sacrilege and profanation of divine mysteries; and millions of people had been butchered in the name of the God of mercy — then came the Reformation. It certainly deserves its name in its fullest paradoxical sense. It abandoned Peter and alleges to have chosen Paul for its only leader. And the apostle who thundered against the old law of bondage; who left full liberty to Christians to either observe the Sabbath or set it aside; who rejects everything anterior to John the Baptist, is now the professed standard-bearer of Protestantism, which holds to the old law more than the Jews, imprisons those who view the Sabbath as Jesus and Paul did, and outvies the synagogue of the first century in dogmatic intolerance!

        But who then were the first Christians, may still be asked? Doubtless the Ebionites; and in this we follow the authority of the best critics. "There can be little doubt that the author (of the Clementine Homilies) was a representative of Ebionitic Gnosticism, which had once been the


 181                                                                                               JESUS' OWN RELATIVES EBIONITES.

purest form of primitive Christianity. . . ." * And who were the Ebionites? The pupils and followers of the early Nazarenes, the kabalistic Gnostics. In the preface to the Codex Nazaręus, the translator says: "That also the Nazarenes did not reject . . . the Ęons is natural. For of the Ebionites who acknowledged them (the Ęons), these were the instructors." †

        We find, moreover, Epiphanius, the Christian Homer of The Heresies, telling us that "Ebion had the opinion of the Nazarenes, the form of the Cerinthians (who fable that the world was put together by angels), and the appellation of Christians." ‡ An appellation certainly more correctly applied to them than to the orthodox (so-called) Christians of the school of Irenęus and the later Vatican. Renan shows the Ebionites numbering among their sect all the surviving relatives of Jesus. John the Baptist, his cousin and precursor, was the accepted Saviour of the Nazarenes, and their prophet. His disciples dwelt on the other side of the Jordan, and the scene of the baptism of the Jordan is clearly and beyond any question proved by the author of Sod, the Son of the Man, to have been the site of the Adonis-worship. § "Over the Jordan and beyond the lake dwelt the Nazarenes, a sect said to have existed already at the birth of Jesus, and to have counted him among its number. They must have extended along the east of the Jordan, and southeasterly among the Arabians (Galat. i. 17, 21; ii. 11), and Sabęans in the direction of Bosra; and again, they must have gone far north over the Lebanon to Antioch, also to the northeast to the Nazarian settlement in Berœa, where St. Jerome found them. In the desert the Mysteries of Adonis may have still prevailed; in the mountains Aiai Adonai was still a cry." ∫∫

        "Having been united (conjunctus) to the Nazarenes, each (Ebionite) imparted to the other out of his own wickedness, and decided that Christ was of the seed of a man," writes Epiphanius.

        And if they did, we must suppose they knew more about their contemporary prophet than Epiphanius 400 years later. Theodoret, as shown elsewhere, describes the Nazarenes as Jews who "honor the Anointed as a just man," and use the evangel called "According to Peter." Jerome finds the authentic and original evangel, written in Hebrew, by Matthew the apostle-publican, in the library collected at Cęsarea, by the martyr Pamphilius. "I received permission from the Nazaręans, who at Beroea of Syria used this (gospel) to translate it," he
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Super. Relig.," vol. ii., p. 5.        † Norberg: Preface to "Cod. Naz.," p. v.

‡ Epiph.: "Contra Ebionitas."                       § See preface, from page 1 to 34.

 ∫∫  Ibid., p. 7, preface.


182                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

writes toward the end of the fourth century. * "In the evangel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use," adds Jerome, "which recently I translated from Hebrew into Greek, † and which is called by most persons the genuine Gospel of Matthew," etc.

        That the apostles had received a "secret doctrine" from Jesus, and that he himself taught one, is evident from the following words of Jerome, who confessed it in an unguarded moment. Writing to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, he complains that "a difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, DID NOT WISH TO BE OPENLY WRITTEN. For if it had not been SECRET, he (Matthew) would have added to the evangel that which he gave forth was his; but he made up this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters, which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious, who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed, and its text they related some one way and some another." ‡ And he adds further on the same page: "And it happened that this book, having been published by a disciple of Manichęus, named Seleucus, who also wrote falsely The Acts of the Apostles, exhibited matter not for edification, but for destruction; and that this book was approved in a synod which the ears of the Church properly refused to listen to." §

   He admits, himself, that the book which he authenticates as being written "by the hand of Matthew"; a book which, notwithstanding that
————————————————————————————————————
*
Hieronymus: "De Virus.," illust., cap. 3. "It is remarkable that, while all church fathers say that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, the whole of them use the Greek text as the genuine apostolic writing, without mentioning what relation the Hebrew Matthew has to our Greek one! It had many peculiar additions which are wanting in our evangel." (Olshausen: "Nachweis der Echtheit der sammtlichen Schriften des Neuen Test.," p. 32; Dunlap: "Sod, the Son of the Man," p. 44.)

† Hieronymus: "Commen. to Matthew," book ii., ch. xii., 13. Jerome adds that it was written in the Chaldaic language, but with Hebrew letters.

‡ "St. Jerome," v., 445; "Sod, the Son of the Man," p. 46.

§ This accounts also for the rejection of the works of Justin Martyr, who used only this "Gospel according to the Hebrews," as also did most probably Titian, his disciple. At what late period was fully established the divinity of Christ we can judge by the mere fact that even in the fourth century Eusebius did not denounce this book as spurious, but only classed it with such as the Apocalypse of John; and Credner ("Zur Gesch. des Kan.," p. 120) shows Nicephorus inserting it, together with the Revelation, in his "Stichometry," among the Antilegomena. The Ebionites, the genuine primitive Christians, rejecting the rest of the apostolic writings, made use only of this Gospel ("Adv. Hœr." i., 26), and the Ebionites, as Epiphanius declares, firmly believed, with the Nazarenes, that Jesus was but a man "of the seed of a man."


183                                                                                                      THE CRAFT OF ST. JEROME.

he translated it twice, was nearly unintelligible to him, for it was arcane or a secret. Nevertheless, Jerome coolly sets down every commentary upon it, except his own, as heretical. More than that, Jerome knew that this original Gospel of Matthew was the expounder of the only true doctrine of Christ; and that it was the work of an evangelist who had been the friend and companion of Jesus. He knew that if of the two Gospels, the Hebrew in question and the Greek belonging to our present Scripture, one was spurious, hence heretical, it was not that of the Nazarenes; and yet, knowing all this, Jerome becomes more zealous than ever in his persecutions of the "Hęretics." Why? Because to accept it was equivalent to reading the death-sentence of the established Church. The Gospel according to the Hebrews was but too well known to have been the only one accepted for four centuries by the Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. And neither of the latter accepted the divinity of Christ.

        If the commentaries of Jerome on the Prophets, his famous Vulgate, and numerous polemical treatises are all as trustworthy as this version of the Gospel according to Matthew, then we have a divine revelation indeed.

        Why wonder at the unfathomable mysteries of the Christian religion, since it is perfectly human? Have we not a letter written by one of the most respected Fathers of the Church to this same Jerome, which shows better than whole volumes their traditionary policy? This is what Saint Gregory of Nazianzen wrote to his friend and confidant Saint Jerome: "Nothing can impose better on a people than verbiage; the less they understand the more they admire. Our fathers and doctors have often said, not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity forced them to."

        But to return to our Sophia-Achamoth and the belief of the genuine, primitive Christians.

        After having produced Ilda-Baoth, Ilda from wly , a child, and Baoth from cywb the egg, or twxb, Baoth, a waste, a desolation, Sophia-Achamoth suffered so much from the contact with matter, that after extraordinary struggles she escapes at last out of the muddy chaos. Although unacquainted with the pleroma, the region of her mother, she reached the middle space and succeeded in shaking off the material parts which have stuck to her spiritual nature; after which she immediately built a strong barrier between the world of intelligences (spirits) and the world of matter. Ilda-Baoth, is thus the "son of darkness," the creator of our sinful world (the physical portion of it). He follows the example of Bythos and produces from himself six stellar spirits (sons). They are all in his own image, and reflections one of the other, which become darker

 
184                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

as they successively recede from their father. With the latter, they all inhabit seven regions disposed like a ladder, beginning under the middle space, the region of their mother, Sophia-Achamoth, and ending with our earth, the seventh region. Thus they are the genii of the seven planetary spheres of which the lowest is the region of our earth (the sphere which surrounds it, our ęther). The respective names of these genii of the spheres are Iove (Jehovah), Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloi, Ouraios, Astaphaios. * The first four, as every one knows, are the mystic names of the Jewish "Lord God," † he being, as C. W. King expresses it, "thus degraded by the Ophites into the appellations of the subordinates of the Creator; the two last names are those of the genii of fire and water."

        Ilda-Baoth, whom several sects regarded as the God of Moses, was not a pure spirit; he was ambitious and proud, and rejecting the spiritual light of the middle space offered him by his mother Sophia-Achamoth, he set himself to create a world of his own. Aided by his sons, the six planetary genii, he fabricated man, but this one proved a failure. It was a monster; soulless, ignorant, and crawling on all fours on the ground like a material beast. Ilda-Baoth was forced to implore the help of his spiritual mother. She communicated to him a ray of her divine light, and so animated man and endowed him with a soul. And now began the animosity of Ilda-Baoth toward his own creature. Following the impulse of the divine light, man soared higher and higher in his aspirations; very soon he began presenting not the image of his Creator Ilda-Baoth but rather that of the Supreme Being, the "primitive man," Ennoia. Then the Demiurgus was filled with rage and envy; and fixing his jealous eye on the abyss of matter, his looks envenomed with passion were suddenly reflected in it as in a mirror; the reflection became animate, and there arose out of the abyss Satan, serpent, Ophiomorphos — "the embodiment of envy and of cunning. He is the union of all that is most base in matter, with the hate, envy, and craft of a spiritual intelligence." ‡

        After that, always in spite at the perfection of man, Ilda-Baoth created the three kingdoms of nature, the mineral, vegetable, and animal, with all evil instincts and properties. Impotent to annihilate the Tree of Knowledge, which grows in his sphere as in every one of the planetary regions, but bent upon detaching "man" from his spiritual protectress, Ilda-Baoth forbade him to eat of its fruit, for fear it should reveal to mankind the
————————————————————————————————————
*
See King's "Gnostics," p. 31.

† This Iove, Iao, or Jehovah is quite distinct from the God of the Mysteries, IAO, held sacred by all the nations of antiquity.
We will show the difference presently.


‡
King's "Gnostics."


185                                                                                                THE REVENGE OF ILDA-BAOTH.

 mysteries of the superior world. But Sophia-Achamoth, who loved and protected the man whom she had animated, sent her own genius Ophis, in the form of a serpent to induce man to transgress the selfish and unjust command. And "man" suddenly became capable of comprehending the mysteries of creation.

        Ilda-Baoth revenged himself by punishing the first pair, for man, through his knowledge, had already provided for himself a companion out of his spiritual and material half. He imprisoned man and woman in a dungeon of matter, in the body so unworthy of his nature, wherein man is still enthralled. But Achamoth protected him still. She established between her celestial region and "man," a current of divine light, and kept constantly supplying him with this spiritual illumination.

        Then follow allegories embodying the idea of dualism, or the struggle between good and evil, spirit and matter, which is found in every cosmoogony, and the source of which is again to be sought in India. The types and antitypes represent the heroes of this Gnostic Pantheon, borrowed from the most ancient mythopęic ages. But, in these personages, Ophis and Ophiomorphos, Sophia and Sophia-Achamoth, Adam-Kadmon, and Adam, the planetary genii and the divine Ęons, we can also recognize very easily the models of our biblical copies — the euhemerized patriarchs. The archangels, angels, virtues and powers, are all found, under other names, in the Vedas and the Buddhistic system. The Avestic Supreme Being, Zero-ana, or "Boundless Time," is the type of all these Gnostic and kabalistic "Depths," "Crowns," and even of the Chaldean En-Soph. The six Amshaspands, created through the "Word" of Ormazd, the "First-Born," have their reflections in Bythos and his emanations, and the antitype of Ormazd — Ahriman and his devs also enter into the composition of Ilda-Baoth and his six material, though not wholly evil, planetary genii.

        Achamoth, afflicted with the evils which befall humanity, notwithstanding her protection, beseeches the celestial mother Sophia — her antitype— to prevail on the unknown DEPTH to send down Christos (the son and emanation of the "Celestial Virgin") to the help of perishing humanity. Ilda-Baoth and his six sons of matter are shutting out the divine light from mankind. Man must be saved. Ilda-Baoth had already sent his own agent, John the Baptist, from the race of Seth, whom he protects — as a prophet to his people; but only a small portion listened to him — the Nazarenes, the opponents of the Jews, on account of their worshipping Iurbo-Adunai. * Achamoth had assured her son, Ilda-Baoth, that the
————————————————————————————————————
* Iurbo and Adunai, according to the Ophites, are names of Iao-Jehovah, one of the emanations of Ilda-Baoth. "Iurbo is called by the Abortions (the Jews) Adunai" ("Codex Nazaręus," vol. iii., p. 73).


 186                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

reign of Christos would be only temporal, and thus induced him to send the forerunner, or precursor. Besides that, she made him cause the birth of the man Jesus from the Virgin Mary, her own type on earth, "for the creation of a material personage could only be the work of the Demiurgus, not falling within the province of a higher power. As soon as Jesus was born, Christos, the perfect, uniting himself with Sophia (wisdom and spirituality), descended through the seven planetary regions, assuming in each an analogous form, and concealing his true nature from their genii, while he attracted into himself the sparks of divine light which they retained in their essence. Thus, Christos entered into the man Jesus at the moment of his baptism in the Jordan. From that time Jesus began to work miracles; before that, he had been completely ignorant of his mission." *

        Ilda-Baoth, discovering that Christos was bringing to an end his own kingdom of matter, stirred up the Jews against him, and Jesus was put to death. † When on the Cross, Christos and Sophia left his body and returned to their own sphere. The material body of the man Jesus was abandoned to the earth, but he himself was given a body made up of ęther (astral soul). "Thenceforward he consisted of merely soul and spirit, which was the reason why the disciples did not recognize him after the resurrection. In this spiritual state of a simulacrum, Jesus remained on earth for eighteen months after he had risen. During this last sojourn, he received from Sophia that perfect knowledge, that true Gnosis, which he communicated to the very few among the apostles who were capable of receiving the same."

        "Thence, ascending up into the middle space, he sits on the right hand of Ilda-Baoth, but unperceived by him, and there collects all the souls which shall have been purified by the knowledge of Christ. When he has collected all the spiritual light that exists in matter, out of Ilda-Baoth's empire, the redemption will be accomplished and the world will be destroyed. Such is the meaning of the re-absorption of all the spiritual light into the pleroma or fulness, whence it originally descended."
————————————————————————————————————
*
King: "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 31.

† In the "Gospel of Nicodemus," Ilda-Baoth is called Satan by the pious and anonymous author; — evidently, one of the final flings at the half-crushed enemy. "As for me," says Satan, excusing himself to the prince of hell, "I tempted him (Jesus), and stirred up my old people, the Jews, against him" (chap. xv. 9). Of all examples of Christian ingratitude this seems almost the most conspicuous. The poor Jews are first robbed of their sacred books, and then, in a spurious "Gospel," are insulted by the representation of Satan claiming them as his "old people." If they were his people, and at the same time are "God's chosen people," then the name of this God must be written Satan and not Jehovah. This is logic, but we doubt if it can be regarded as complimentary to the "Lord God of Israel."


187                                                                                                  THE REAL OPHITE THEOGONY.

        The foregoing is from the description given by Theodoret and adopted by King in his Gnostics, with additions from Epiphanius and Irenęus. But the former gives a very imperfect version, concocted partly from the descriptions of Irenęus, and partly from his own knowledge of the later Ophites, who, toward the end of the third century, had blended already with several other sects. Irenęus also confounds them very frequently, and the real theogony of the Ophites is given by none of them correctly. With the exception of a change in names, the above-given theogony is that of all the Gnostics, and also of the Nazarenes. Ophis is but the successor of the Egyptian Chnuphis, the Good Serpent with a lion's radiating head, and was held from days of the highest antiquity as an emblem of wisdom, or Thauth, the instructor and Saviour of humanity, the "Son of God." "Oh men, live soberly . . . win your immortality" exclaims Hermes, the thrice-great Trismegistus. "Instructor and guide of humanity, I will lead you on to salvation." Thus the oldest sectarians regarded Ophis, the Agathodęmon, as identical with Christos; the serpent being the emblem of celestial wisdom and eternity, and, in the present case, the antitype of the Egyptian Chnuphis-serpent. These Gnostics, the earliest of our Christian era, held: "That the supreme Ęon, having emitted other Ęons out of himself, one of them, a female, Prunnikos (concupiscence), descended into the chaos, whence, unable to escape, she remained suspended in the mid-space, being too clogged by matter to return above, and not falling lower where there was nothing in affinity with her nature. She then produced her son Ilda-Baoth, the God of the Jews, who, in his turn, produced seven Ęons, or angels, * who created the seven heavens."

        In this plurality of heavens the Christians believed from the first, for we find Paul teaching of their existence, and speaking of a man "caught up to the third heaven" (2 Corin., xiii.). "From these seven angels Ilda-Baoth shut up all that was above him, lest they should know of anything superior to himself. † They then created man in the image of their Father, ‡ but prone and crawling on the earth like a worm. But the heavenly mother, Prunnikos, wishing to deprive Ilda-Baoth of the power
————————————————————————————————————
*
This is the Nazarene system; the Spiritus, after uniting herself with Karabtanos (matter, turbulent and senseless), brings forth seven badly-disposed stellars, in the Orcus; "Seven Figures," which she bore "witless" ("Codex Nazaręus," i., p. 118). Justin Martyr evidently adopts this idea, for he tells us of "the sacred prophets, who say that one and the same spirit is divided into seven spirits" (pneumata). "Justin ad Gręcos"; "Sod," vol. ii., p. 52. In the Apocalypse the Holy Spirit is subdivided into "seven spirits before the throne," from the Persian Mithraic mode of classifying.

† This certainly looks like the "jealous God" of the Jews.

‡ It is the Elohim (plural) who create Adam, and do not wish man to become "as one of US."


188                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

with which she had unwittingly endowed him, infused into man a celestial spark — the spirit. Immediately man rose upon his feet, soared in mind beyond the limits of the seven spheres, and glorified the Supreme Father, Him that is above Ilda-Baoth. Hence, the latter, full of jealousy, cast down his eyes upon the lowest stratum of matter, and begot a potency in the form of a serpent, whom they (the Ophites) call his son. Eve, obeying him as the son of God, was persuaded to eat of the Tree of Knowledge.* It is a self-evident fact that the serpent of the Genesis, who appears suddenly and without any preliminary introduction, must have been the antitype of the Persian Arch-Devs, whose head is Ash-Mogh, the "two-footed serpent of lies." If the Bible-serpent had been deprived of his limbs before he had tempted woman unto sin, why should God specify as a punishment that he should go "upon his belly"? Nobody supposes that he walked upon the extremity of his tail.

        This controversy about the supremacy of Jehovah, between the Presbyters and Fathers on the one hand, and the Gnostics, the Nazarenes, and all the sects declared heterodox, as a last resort, on the other, lasted till the days of Constantine, and later. That the peculiar ideas of the Gnostics about the genealogy of Jehovah, or the proper place that had to be assigned, in the Christian-Gnostic Pantheon, to the God of the Jews, were at first deemed neither blasphemous nor heterodox is evident in the difference of opinions held on this question by Clemens of Alexandria, for instance, and Tertullian. The former, who seems to have known of Basilides better than anybody else, saw nothing heterodox or blamable in the mystical and transcendental views of the new Reformer. "In his eyes," remarks the author of The Gnostics, speaking of Clemens, "Basilides was not a heretic, i.e., an innovator as regards the doctrines of the Christian Church, but a mere theosophic philosopher, who sought to express ancient truths under new forms, and perhaps to combine them with the new faith, the truth of which he could admit without necessarily renouncing the old, exactly as is the case with the learned Hindus of our day." †

        Not so with Irenęus and Tertullian. ‡ The principal works of the latter against the Heretics, were written after his separation from the Catholic Church, when he had ranged himself among the zealous followers of Montanus; and teem with unfairness and bigoted prejudice. §
————————————————————————————————————
*
Theodoret: "Hęret."; King's "Gnostics."

† "Gnostics and their Remains," p. 78.

‡ Some persons hold that he was Bishop of Rome; others, of Carthage.

§ His polemical work addressed against the so-called orthodox Church — the Catholic — notwithstanding its bitterness and usual style of vituperation, is far more fair, considering that the "great African" is said to have been expelled from the Church of Rome. If we believe St. Jerome, it is but the envy and the unmerited calumnies of the early Roman clergy against Tertullian which forced him to renounce the Catholic Church and become a Montanist. However, were the unlimited admiration of St. Cyprian, who terms Tertullian "The Master," and his estimate of him merited, we would see less error and paganism in the Church of Rome. The expression of Vincent of Lerius, "that every word of Tertullian was a sentence, and every sentence a triumph over error," does not seem very happy when we think of the respect paid to Tertullian by the Church of Rome, notwithstanding his partial apostasy and the errors in which the latter still abides and has even enforced upon the world as infallible dogmas.
 

189                                                                                           TERTULLIAN'S ABUSE OF BASILIDES.

He has exaggerated every Gnostic opinion to a monstrous absurdity, and his arguments are not based on coercive reasoning but simply on the blind stubbornness of a partisan fanatic. Discussing Basilides, the "pious, god-like, theosophic philosopher," as Clemens of Alexandria thought him, Tertullian exclaims: "After this, Basilides, the heretic, broke loose.* He asserted that there is a Supreme God, by name Abraxas, by whom Mind was created, whom the Greeks call Nous. From her emanated the Word; from the Word, Providence; from Providence, Virtue and Wisdom; from these two again, Virtues, Principalities, † and Powers were made; thence infinite productions and emissions of angels. Among the lowest angels, indeed, and those that made this world, he sets last of all the god of the Jews, whom he denies to be God himself, affirming that he is but one of the angels." ‡

        It would be equally useless to refer to the direct apostles of Christ, and show them as holding in their controversies that Jesus never made any difference between his "Father" and the "Lord-God" of Moses. For the Clementine Homilies, in which occur the greatest argumentations upon the subject, as shown in the disputations alleged to have taken place between Peter and Simon the Magician, are now also proved to have been falsely attributed to Clement the Roman. This work, if written by an Ebionite — as the author of Supernatural Religion declares in common with some other commentators § — must have been written either far later than the Pauline period, generally assigned to it, or the dispute
————————————————————————————————————
* Were not the views of the Phrygian Bishop Montanus, also deemed a HERESY by the Church of Rome? It is quite extraordinary to see how easily the Vatican encourages the abuse of one heretic Tertullian, against another heretic Basilides, when the abuse happens to further her own object.

† Does not Paul himself speak of "Principalities and Powers in heavenly places" (Ephesians iii. 10; i. 21), and confess that there be gods many and Lords many (Kurioi)? And angels, powers (Dunameis), and Principalities? (See 1 Corinthians, viii. 5; and Epistle to Romans, viii. 38.)

‡ Tertullian: "Pręscript."

§ Baur; Credner; Hilgenfeld; Kirchhofer; Lechler; Nicolas; Ritschl; Schwegler; Westcott, and Zeller; see "Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., p. 2.


 190                                                                                                               ISIS UNVEILED.

about the identity of Jehovah with God, the "Father of Jesus," have been distorted by later interpolations. This disputation is in its very essence antagonistic to the early doctrines of the Ebionites. The latter, as demonstrated by Epiphanius and Theodoret, were the direct followers of the Nazarene sect * (the Sabians), the "Disciples of John." He says, unequivocally, that the Ebionites believed in the Ęons (emanations), that the Nazarenes were their instructors, and that "each imparted to the other out of his own wickedness." Therefore, holding the same beliefs as the Nazarenes did, an Ebionite would not have given even so much chance to the doctrine supported by Peter in the Homilies. The old Nazarenes, as well as the later ones, whose views are embodied in the Codex Nazaręus, never called Jehovah otherwise than Adonai, Iurbo, the God of the Abortive † (the orthodox Jews). They kept their beliefs and religious tenets so secret that even Epiphanius, writing as early as the end of the fourth century, ‡ confesses his ignorance as to their real doctrine. "Dropping the name of Jesus," says the Bishop of Salamis, "they neither call themselves Iessaens, nor continue to hold the name of the Jews, nor name themselves Christians, but Nazarenes . . . The resurrection of the dead is confessed by them . . . but concerning Christ, I cannot say whether they think him a mere man, or as the truth is, confess that he was born through the Holy Pneuma from the Virgin." §

        While Simon Magus argues in the Homilies from the standpoint of every Gnostic (Nazarenes and Ebionites included), Peter, as a true apostle of circumcision, holds to the old Law and, as a matter of course, seeks to blend his belief in the divinity of Christ with his old Faith in the "Lord God" and ex-protector of the "chosen people." As the author of Supernatural Religion shows, the Epitome, ∫∫ "a blending of the other two, probably intended to purge them from heretical doctrine"and, together with a great majority of critics, assigns to the Homilies, a date not earlier than the end of the third century, we may well infer that they must differ widely with their original, if there ever was one. Simon the Magician proves throughout the whole work that
————————————————————————————————————
*
See Epiphanius: "Contra Ebionitas."

† The Ophites, for instance, made of Adonai the third son of Ilda-Baoth, a malignant genius, and, like his other five brothers, a constant enemy and adversary of man, whose divine and immortal spirit gave man the means of becoming the rival of these genii.

‡ The Bishop of Salamis died A. D. 403.                 § "Epiphanius," i., 122, 123.

∫∫  The "Clementines" are composed of three parts — to wit: the Homilies, the Recognitions, and an Epitome.

"Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., p. 2.

 
191                                                                                   PROOF THAT JESUS TAUGHT ESOTERICALLY.

the Demiurgus, the Architect of the World, is not the highest Deity; and he bases his assertions upon the words of Jesus himself, who states repeatedly that "no man knew the Father." Peter is made in the Homilies to repudiate, with a great show of indignation, the assertion that the Patriarchs were not deemed worthy to know the Father; to which Simon objects again by quoting the words of Jesus, who thanks the "Lord of Heaven and earth that what was concealed from the wise" he has "revealed to babes," proving very logically that according to these very words the Patriarchs could not have known the "Father." Then Peter argues, in his turn, that the expression, "what is concealed from the wise," etc., referred to the concealed mysteries of the creation.*

        This argumentation of Peter, therefore, had it even emanated from the apostle himself, instead of being a "religious romance," as the author of Supernatural Religion calls it, would prove nothing whatever in favor of the identity of the God of the Jews, with the "Father" of Jesus. At best it would only demonstrate that Peter had remained from first to last "an apostle of circumcision," a Jew faithful to his old law, and a defender of the Old Testament. This conversation proves, moreover, the weakness of the cause he defends, for we see in the apostle a man who, although in most intimate relations with Jesus, can furnish us nothing in the way of direct proof that he ever thought of teaching that the all-wise and all-good Paternity he preached was the morose and revengeful thunderer of Mount Sinai. But what the Homilies do prove, is again our assertion that there was a secret doctrine preached by Jesus to the few who were deemed worthy to become its recipients and custodians. "And Peter said: 'We remember that our Lord and teacher, as commanding, said to us, guard the mysteries for me, and the sons of my house. Wherefore also he explained to his disciples, privately, the mysteries of the kingdoms of the heavens.' " †

        If we now recall the fact that a portion of the Mysteries of the "Pagans" consisted of the aporrJhvta, aporrheta, or secret discourses; that the secret Logia or discourses of Jesus contained in the original Gospel according to Matthew, the meaning and interpretation of which St. Jerome confessed to be "a difficult task" for him to achieve, were of the same nature; and if we remember, further, that to some of the interior or final Mysteries only a very select few were admitted; and that finally it was from the number of the latter that were taken all the ministers of the holy "Pagan" rites, we will then clearly understand this expression of Jesus quoted by Peter: "Guard the Mysteries for me and the sons of my
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Homilies," xviii., 1-15.

† "Clementine Homilies"; "Supernatural Religion," vol. ii.


192                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

house," i.e., of my doctrine. And, if we understand it rightly, we cannot avoid thinking that this "secret" doctrine of Jesus, even the technical expressions of which are but so many duplications of the Gnostic and Neo-platonic mystic phraseology — that this doctrine, we say, was based on the same transcendental philosophy of Oriental Gnosis as the rest of the religions of those and earliest days. That none of the later Christian sects, despite their boasting, were the inheritors of it, is evident from the contradictions, blunders, and clumsy repatching of the mistakes of every preceding century by the discoveries of the succeeding one. These mistakes, in a number of manuscripts claimed to be authentic, are sometimes so ridiculous as to bear on their face the evidence of being pious forgeries. Thus, for instance, the utter ignorance of some patristic champions of the very gospels they claimed to defend. We have mentioned the accusation against Marcion by Tertullian and Epiphanius of mutilating the Gospel ascribed to Luke, and erasing from it that which is now proved to have never been in that Gospel at all. Finally, the method adopted by Jesus of speaking in parables, in which he only followed the example of his sect, is attributed in the Homilies to a prophecy of Isaiah! Peter is made to remark: "For Isaiah said: 'I will open my mouth in parables, and I will utter things that have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.' " This erroneous reference to Isaiah of a sentence given in Psalms lxxviii. 2, is found not only in the apocryphal Homilies, but also in the Sinaitic Codex. Commenting on the fact in the Supernatural Religion, the author states that "Porphyry, in the third century, twitted Christians with this erroneous ascription by their inspired evangelist to Isaiah of a passage from a Psalm, and reduced the Fathers to great straits." * Eusebius and Jerome tried to get out of the difficulty by ascribing the mistake to an "ignorant scribe"; and Jerome even went to the length of asserting that the name of Isaiah never stood after the above sentence in any of the old codices, but that the name of Asaph was found in its place, only "ignorant men had removed it." † To this, the author again observes that "the fact is that the reading 'Asaph' for 'Isaiah' is not found in any manuscript extant; and, although 'Isaiah' has disappeared from all but a few obscure codices, it cannot be denied that the name anciently stood in the text. In the Sinaitic Codex, which is probably the earliest manuscript extant . . . and which is assigned to the fourth century," he adds, "the prophet Isaiah stands in the text by the first hand, but is erased by the second." ‡

        It is a most suggestive fact that there is not a word in the so-called
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Supernatural Religion," p. 11.

† Hieron.: "Opp.," vii., p. 270, ff.; "Supernatural Religion," p. 11.

‡
Ibid.


193                                                                                            HE NEVER CLAIMED TO BE GOD.

sacred Scriptures to show that Jesus was actually regarded as a God by his disciples. Neither before nor after his death did they pay him divine honors. Their relation to him was only that of disciples and "master"; by which name they addressed him, as the followers of Pythagoras and Plato addressed their respective masters before them. Whatever words may have been put into the mouths of Jesus, Peter, John, Paul, and others, there is not a single act of adoration recorded on their part, nor did Jesus himself ever declare his identity with his Father. He accused the Pharisees of stoning their prophets, not of deicide. He termed himself the son of God, but took care to assert repeatedly that they were all the children of God, who was the Heavenly Father of all. In preaching this, he but repeated a doctrine taught ages earlier by Hermes, Plato, and other philosophers. Strange contradiction! Jesus, whom we are asked to worship as the one living God, is found, immediately after his Resurrection, saying to Mary Magdalene: "I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God!" (John xx. 17.)

        Does this look like identifying himself with his Father? "My Father and your Father, my God and your God," implies, on his part, a desire to be considered on a perfect equality with his brethren — nothing more. Theodoret writes: "The hęretics agree with us respecting the beginning of all things. . . . But they say there is not one Christ (God), but one above, and the other below. And this last formerly dwelt in many; but the Jesus, they at one time say is from God, at another they call him a SPIRIT." * This spirit is the Christos, the messenger of life, who is sometimes called the Angel Gabriel (in Hebrew, the mighty one of God), and who took with the Gnostics the place of the Logos, while the Holy Spirit was considered Life. † With the sect of the Nazarenes, though, the Spiritus, or Holy Ghost, had less honor. While nearly every Gnostic sect considered it a Female Power, whether they called it Binah, hnyb , Sophia, the Divine Intellect, with the Nazarene sect it was the Female Spiritus, the astral light, the genetrix of all things of matter, the chaos in its evil aspect, made turbido by the Demiurge. At the creation of man, "it was light on the side of the FATHER, and it was light (material light) on the side of the MOTHER. And this is the 'two-fold man,' " ‡ says the Sohar. "That day (the last one) will perish the seven badly-disposed stellars, also the sons of man, who have confessed the Spiritus, the Messias (false), the Deus, and the MOTHER of the SPIRITUS shall perish." §
————————————————————————————————————
*
Theodoret: "Hęret. Fab.," ii., vii.       † See "Irenęus," I., xii., p. 86.

‡ "Auszuge aus dem Sohar," p. 12.        § "Cod. Naz.," vol. ii., p. 149.


194                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

        Jesus enforced and illustrated his doctrines with signs and wonders; and if we lay aside the claims advanced on his behalf by his deifiers, he did but what other kabalists did; and only they at that epoch, when, for two centuries the sources of prophecy had been completely dried up, and from this stagnation of public "miracles" had originated the skepticism of the unbelieving sect of the Sadducees. Describing the "heresies" of those days, Theodoret, who has no idea of the hidden meaning of the word Christos, the anointed messenger, complains that they (the Gnostics) assert that this Messenger or Delegatus changes his body from time to time, "and goes into other bodies, and at each time is differently Manifested. And these (the overshadowed prophets) use incantations and invocations of various demons and baptisms in the confession of their principles. . . . They embrace astrology and magic, and the mathematical error," (?) he says. *

        This "mathematical error," of which the pious writer complains, led subsequently to the rediscovery of the heliocentric system, erroneous as it may still be, and forgotten since the days of another "magician" who taught it — Pythagoras. Thus, the wonders of healing and the thaums of Jesus, which he imparted to his followers, show that they were learning, in their daily communication with him, the theory and practice of the new ethics, day by day, and in the familiar intercourse of intimate friendship. Their faith was progressively developed, like that of all neophytes, simultaneously with the increase of knowledge. We must bear in mind that Josephus, who certainly must have been well-informed on the subject, calls the skill of expelling demons "a science." This growth of faith is conspicuously shown in the case of Peter, who, from having lacked enough faith to support him while he could walk on the water from the boat to his Master, at last became so expert a thaumaturgist, that Simon Magus is said to have offered him money to teach him the secret of healing, and other wonders. And Philip is shown to have become an Ęthrobat as good as Abaris of Pythagorean memory, but less expert than Simon Magus.

        Neither in the Homilies nor any other early work of the apostles, is there anything to show that either of his friends and followers regarded Jesus as anything more than a prophet. The idea is as clearly established in the Clementines. Except that too much room is afforded to Peter to establish the identity of the Mosaic God with the Father of Jesus, the whole work is devoted to Monotheism. The author seems as bitter against Polytheism as against the claim to the divinity of Christ. † He seems
————————————————————————————————————
*
Theodoret: "Hęret. Fab.," ii., vii.

† "Homilies," xvi., 15 ff.; ii., 12; iii., 57-59; x., 19. Schliemann: "Die Clementinem," p. 134 ff; "Supernatural Religion," vol. ii., p. 349.


195                                                                                        THE SOURCE OF CHRIST'S INSPIRATION.

to be utterly ignorant of the Logos, and his speculation is confined to Sophia, the Gnostic wisdom. There is no trace in it of a hypostatic trinity, but the same overshadowing of the Gnostic "wisdom (Christos and Sophia) is attributed in the case of Jesus as it is in those of Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses.* These personages are all placed on one level, and called 'true prophets,' and the seven pillars of the world." More than that, Peter vehemently denies the fall of Adam, and with him, the doctrine of atonement, as taught by Christian theology, utterly falls to the ground, for he combats it as a blasphemy. † Peter's theory of sin is that of the Jewish kabalists, and even, in a certain way, Platonic. Adam not only never sinned, but, "as a true prophet, possessed of the Spirit of God, which afterwards was in Jesus, could not sin." ‡ In short, the whole of the work exhibits the belief of the author in the kabalistic doctrine of permutation. The Kabala teaches the doctrine of transmigration of the spirit. § "Mosah is the revolutio of Seth and Hebel." ∫∫

     "Tell me who it is who brings about the re-birth (the revolutio)?" is asked of the wise Hermes. "God's Son, the only man, through the will of God," is the answer of the "heathen."

     "God's son" is the immortal spirit assigned to every human being. It is this divine entity which is the "only man," for the casket which contains our soul, and the soul itself, are but half-entities, and without its overshadowing both body and astral soul, the two are but an animal duad. It requires a trinity to form the complete "man," and allow him to remain immortal at every "re-birth," or revolutio, throughout the subsequent and ascending spheres, every one of which brings him nearer to the refulgent realm of eternal and absolute light.

     "God's FIRST-BORN, who is the 'holy Veil,' the 'Light of Lights,' it is he who sends the revolutio of the Delegatus, for he is the First Power," says the kabalist.**

     "The pneuma (spirit) and the dunamis (power), which is from the God, it is right to consider nothing else than the Logos, who is also (?) First-begotten to the God," argues a Christian. ††

     "Angels and powers are in heaven!" says Justin, thus bringing forth a purely kabalistic doctrine. The Christians adopted it from the
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Homilies," iii., 20 f; ii., 16-18, etc.                                   † Ibid., iii., 20 ff.

‡ Schliemann: "Die Clementinem," pp. 130-176; quoted also in "Supernatural Religion," p. 342.

§  We will speak of this doctrine further on.

∫∫   "Kabbala Denudata," vol. ii., p. 155; "Vallis Regia."

"Hermes," X., iv., 21-23.                                           **  Idra Magna: "Kabbala Denudata."

††  Justin Martyr: "Apol.," vol. ii., p. 74.


196                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

Sohar and the heretical sects, and if Jesus mentioned them, it was not in the official synagogues that he learned the theory, but directly in the kabalistic teachings. In the Mosaic books, very little mention is made of them, and Moses, who holds direct communications with the "Lord God," troubles himself very little about them. The doctrine was a secret one, and deemed by the orthodox synagogue heretical. Josephus calls the Essenes heretics, saying: "Those admitted among the Essenes must swear to communicate their doctrines to no one any otherwise than as he received them himself, and equally to preserve the books belonging to their sect, and the names of the angels. * The Sadducees did not believe in angels, neither did the uninitiated Gentiles, who limited their Olympus to gods and demi-gods, or "spirits." Alone, the kabalists and theurgists hold to that doctrine from time immemorial, and, as a consequence, Plato, and Philo Judęus after him, followed first by the Gnostics, and then by the Christians.

         Thus, if Josephus never wrote the famous interpolation forged by Eusebius, concerning Jesus, on the other hand, he has described in the Essenes all the principal features that we find prominent in the Nazarene. When praying, they sought solitude.† "When thou prayest, enter into thy closet . . . and pray to thy Father which is in secret" (Matthew vi. 6). "Everything spoken by them (Essenes) is stronger than an oath. Swearing is shunned by them" (Josephus II., viii., 6). "But I say unto you, swear not at all . . . but let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay" (Matthew v. 34-37).

        The Nazarenes, as well as the Essenes and the Therapeutę, believed more in their own interpretations of the "hidden sense" of the more ancient Scriptures, than in the later laws of Moses. Jesus, as we have shown before, felt but little veneration for the commandments of his predecessor, with whom Irenęus is so anxious to connect him.

        The Essenes "enter into the houses of those whom they never saw previously, as if they were their intimate friends" (Josephus II., viii., 4). Such was undeniably the custom of Jesus and his disciples.

        Epiphanius, who places the Ebionite "heresy" on one level with that of the Nazarenes, also remarks that the Nazaraioi come next to the Cerinthians, ‡ so much vituperated against by Irenęus. §
————————————————————————————————————
*
Josephus: "Wars," II., chap. 8, sec. 7.

† See Josephus; Philo; Munk (35). Eusebius mentions their semneion, where they perform the mysteries of a retired life
("Ecclesiastic History," lib. ii., ch. 17).


‡ "Epiphanius," ed. Petau, i., p. 117.

§ Cerinthus is the same Gnostic — a contemporary of John the Evangelist — of whom Irenęus invented the following anecdote: "There are those who heard him (Polycarp) say that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and  perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed forth from the bath-house . . . crying out, 'Let us fly, lest the bath-house fall down, Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, being within it' " (Irenęus: "Adv. Hœr.," iii. 3, § 4).
 

 197                                                                                         THE ANCIENT AND MODERN NABATHEANS.

        Munk, in his work on Palestine, affirms that there were 4,000 Essenes living in the desert; that they had their mystical books, and predicted the future.* The Nabatheans, with very little difference indeed, adhered to the same belief as the Nazarenes and the Sabeans, and all of them honored John the Baptist more than his successor Jesus. The Persian Iezidi say that they originally came to Syria from Busrah. They use baptism, and believe in seven archangels, though paying at the same time reverence to Satan. Their prophet Iezed, who flourished long prior to Mahomet, † taught that God will send a messenger, and that the latter would reveal to him a book which is already written in heaven from the eternity. ‡ The Nabathęns inhabited the Lebanon, as their descendants do to the present day, and their religion was from its origin purely kabalistic. Maimonides speaks of them as if he identified them with the Sabeans. "I will mention to thee the writings . . . respecting the belief and institutions of the Sabeans," he says. "The most famous is the book The Agriculture of the Nabathęans, which has been translated by Ibn Waho-hijah. This book is full of heathenish foolishness. . . . It speaks of the preparations of TALISMANS, the drawing down of the powers of the SPIRITS, MAGIC, DEMONS, and ghouls, which make their abode in the desert." §

        There are traditions among the tribes living scattered about beyond the Jordan, as there are many such also among the descendants of the Samaritans at Damascus, Gaza, and at Naplosa (the ancient Shechem). Many of these tribes have, notwithstanding the persecutions of eighteen centuries, retained the faith of their fathers in its primitive simplicity. It is there that we have to go for traditions based on historical truths, however disfigured by exaggeration and inaccuracy, and compare them with the religious legends of the Fathers, which they call revelation. Eusebius states that before the siege of Jerusalem the small Christian community — comprising members of whom many, if not all, knew Jesus and his apostles personally — took refuge in the little town of Pella, on the opposite shore of the Jordan. Surely these simple people, separated for centuries from the rest of the world, ought to have preserved their traditions fresher than any other nations! It is in Palestine that we have to search for the clearest waters of Christianity, let alone its source. The first Christians, after the death of Jesus, all joined together for a time, whether
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* Munk: "Palestine," p. 525; "Sod, the Son of the Man."

† "Haxthausen," p. 229.

‡ "Shahrastani"; Dr. D. Chwolsohn: "Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus," ii., p. 625.

§ Maimonides, quoted in Dr. D. Chwolsohn: "Die Ssabier und der Ssabismus," ii., p. 458.

 
198                                                                                                                  ISIS UNVEILED.

they were Ebionites, Nazarenes, Gnostics, or others. They had no Christian dogmas in those days, and their Christianity consisted in believing Jesus to be a prophet, this belief varying from seeing in him simply a "just man," * or a holy, inspired prophet, a vehicle used by Christos and Sophia to manifest themselves through. These all united together in opposition to the synagogue and the tyrannical technicalities of the Pharisees, until the primitive group separated in two distinct branches — which, we may correctly term the Christian kabalists of the Jewish Tanaim school, and the Christian kabalists of the Platonic Gnosis. † The former were represented by the party composed of the followers of Peter, and John, the author of the Apocalypse; the latter ranged with the Pauline Christianity, blending itself, at the end of the second century, with the Platonic philosophy, and engulfing, still later, the Gnostic sects, whose symbols and misunderstood mysticism overflowed the Church of Rome.

        Amid this jumble of contradictions, what Christian is secure in confessing himself such? In the old Syriac Gospel according to Luke (iii. 22), the Holy Spirit is said to have descended in the likeness of a dove. "Jesua, full of the sacred Spirit, returned from Jordan, and the Spirit led him into the desert" (old Syriac, Luke iv. 1, Tremellius). "The difficulty," says Dunlap, "was that the Gospels declared that John the Baptist saw the Spirit (the Power of God) descend upon Jesus after he had reached manhood, and if the Spirit then first descended upon him, there was some ground for the opinion of the Ebionites and Nazarenes who denied his preceding existence, and refused him the attributes of the LOGOS. The Gnostics, on the other hand, objected to the flesh, but conceded the Logos." ‡

        John's Apocalypsis, and the explanations of sincere Christian bishops, like Synesius, who, to the last, adhered to the Platonic doctrines, make us think that the wisest and safest way is to hold to that sincere primitive faith which seems to have actuated the above-named bishop. This best, sincerest, and most unfortunate of Christians, addressing the "Unknown," exclaims: "Oh Father of the Worlds . . . Father of the Ęons . . . Artificer of the Gods, it is holy to praise!" But Synesius had Hypatia for instructor, and this is why we find him confessing in all sincerity his opinions and profession of faith. "The rabble desires
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*
"Ye have condemned and killed the just," says James in his epistle to the twelve tribes.

† Porphyry makes a distinction between what he calls "the Antique or Oriental philosophy," and the properly Grecian system, that of the Neo-platonists. King says that all these religions and systems are branches of one antique and common religion, the Asiatic or Buddhistic ("Gnostics and their Remains," p. 1).

‡ "Sod, the Son of the Man."


199                                                                                       REAL MEANING OF HEROD'S "INFANT-MASSACRE."

nothing better than to be deceived. . . . As regards myself, therefore, I will always be a philosopher with myself, but I must be priest with the people."

        "Holy is God the Father of all being, holy is God, whose wisdom is carried out into execution by his own Powers! . . . Holy art Thou, who through the Word had created all! Therefore, I believe in Thee, and bear testimony, and go into the LIFE and LIGHT." * Thus speaks Hermes Trismegistus, the heathen divine. What Christian bishop could have said better than that?

        The apparent discrepancy of the four gospels as a whole, does not prevent every narrative given in the New Testament — however much disfigured — having a ground-work of truth. To this, are cunningly adapted details made to fit the later exigencies of the Church. So, propped up partially by indirect evidence, still more by blind faith, they have become, with time, articles of faith. Even the fictitious massacre of the "Innocents" by King Herod has a certain foundation to it, in its allegorical sense. Apart from the now-discovered fact that the whole story of such a massacre of the Innocents is bodily taken from the Hindu Bagaved-gitta, and Brahmanical traditions, the legend refers, moreover, allegorically, to an historical fact. King Herod is the type of Kansa, the tyrant of Madura, the maternal uncle of Christna, to whom astrologers predicted that a son of his niece Devaki would deprive him of his throne. Therefore he gives orders to kill the male child that is born to her; but Christna escapes his fury through the protection of Mahadeva (the great God) who causes the child to be carried away to another city, out of Kansa's reach. After that, in order to be sure and kill the right boy, on whom he failed to lay his murderous hands, Kansa has all the male newborn infants within his kingdom killed. Christna is also worshipped by the gopas (the shepherds) of the land.

        Though this ancient Indian legend bears a very suspicious resemblance to the more modern biblical romance, Gaffarel and others attribute the origin of the latter to the persecutions during the Herodian reign of the kabalists and the Wise men, who had not remained strictly orthodox. The latter, as well as the prophets, were nicknamed the "Innocents," and the "Babes," on account of their holiness. As in the case of certain degrees of modern Masonry, the adepts reckoned their grade of initiation by a symbolic age. Thus Saul who, when chosen king, was "a choice and goodly man," and "from his shoulders upward was higher than any of the people," is described in Catholic versions, as "child of one year when he began to reign," which, in its literal sense, is a palpa-
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*
"Hermes Trismegistus," pp. 86, 87, 90.


200                                                                                                                    ISIS UNVEILED.

ble absurdity. But in 1 Samuel x., his anointing by Samuel and initiation are described; and at verse 6th, Samuel uses this significant language: " . . . the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man." The phrase above quoted is thus made plain — he had received one degree of initiation and was symbolically described as "a child one year old." The Catholic Bible, from which the text is quoted, with charming candor says in a foot-note: "It is extremely difficult to explain" (meaning that Saul was a child of one year). But undaunted by any difficulty the Editor, nevertheless, does take upon himself to explain it, and adds: "A child of one year. That is, he was good and like an innocent child." An interpretation as ingenious as it is pious; and which if it does no good can certainly do no harm *

        If the explanation of the kabalists is rejected, then the whole subject falls into confusion; worse still — for it becomes a direct plagiarism from the Hindu legend. All the commentators have agreed that a literal massacre of young children is nowhere mentioned in history; and that, moreover, an occurrence like that would have made such a bloody page in Roman annals that the record of it would have been preserved for us by every author of the day. Herod himself was subject to the Roman law; and undoubtedly he would have paid the penalty of such a monstrous crime, with his own life. But if, on the one hand, we have not the slightest trace of this fable in history, on the other, we find in the
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*
It is the correct interpretation of the Bible allegories that makes the Catholic clergy so wrathful with the Protestants who freely scrutinize the Bible. How bitter this feeling has become, we can judge by the following words of the Reverend Father Parker of Hyde Park, New York, who, lecturing in St. Teresa's Catholic Church, on the 10th of December, 1876, said: "To whom does the Protestant Church owe its possession of the Bible, which they wish to place in the hands of every ignorant person and child? To monkish hands, that laboriously transcribed it before the age of printing. Protestantism has produced dissension in Church, rebellions and outbreaks in State, unsoundness in social life, and will never be satisfied short of the downfall of the Bible! Protestants must admit that the Roman Church has done more to scatter Christianity and extirpate idolatry than all their sects. From one pulpit it is said that there is no hell, and from another that there is immediate and unmitigated damnation. One says that Jesus Christ was only a man; another that you must be plunged bodily into water to be baptized, and refuses the rites to infants. Most of them have no prescribed form of worship, no sacred vestments, and their doctrines are as undefined as their service is informal. The founder of Protestantism, Martin Luther, was the worst man in Europe. The advent of the Reformation was the signal for civil war, and from that time to this the world has been in a restless state, uneasy in regard to Governments, and every day becoming more skeptical. The ultimate tendency of Protestantism is clearly nothing less than the destruction of all respect for the Bible, and the disruption of government and society." Very plain talk this. The Protestants might easily return the compliment.


 201                                                                                       THE HEBREW TRADITIONS ABOUT JESUS.

official complaints of the Synagogue abundant evidence of the persecution of the initiates. The Talmud also corroborates it.

     The Jewish version of the birth of Jesus is recorded in the Sepher-Toldos Jeshu in the following words:

     "Mary having become the mother of a Son, named Jehosuah, and the boy growing up, she entrusted him to the care of the Rabbi Elhanan, and the child progressed in knowledge, for he was well gifted with spirit and understanding.

     "Rabbi Jehosuah, son of Perachiah, continued the education of Jehosuah (Jesus) after Elhanan, and initiated him in the secret knowledge"; but the King, Janneus, having given orders to slay all the initiates, Jehosuah Ben Perachiah, fled to Alexandria, in Egypt, taking the boy with him.

     While in Alexandria, continues the story, they were received in the house of a rich and learned lady (personified Egypt). Young Jesus found her beautiful, notwithstanding "a defect in her eyes," and declared so to his master. Upon hearing this, the latter became so angry that his pupil should find in the land of bondage anything good, that "he cursed him and drove the young man from his presence." Then follow a series of adventures told in allegorical language, which show that Jesus supplemented his initiation in the Jewish Kabala with an additional acquisition of the secret wisdom of Egypt. When the persecution ceased, they both returned to Judea.*

     The real grievances against Jesus are stated by the learned author of Tela Ignea Satanę (the fiery darts of Satan) to be two in number: 1st, that he had discovered the great Mysteries of their Temple, by having been initiated in Egypt; and 2d, that he had profaned them by exposing them to the vulgar, who misunderstood and disfigured them. This is what they say: †

     "There exists, in the sanctuary of the living God, a cubical stone, on which are sculptured the holy characters, the combination of which gives the explanation of the attributes and powers of the incommunicable name. This explanation is the secret key of all the occult sciences and forces in nature. It is what the Hebrews call the Scham hamphorash. This stone is watched by two lions of gold, who roar as soon as it is approached. ‡ The gates of the temple were never lost sight of, and the
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*
Eliphas Levi ascribes this narrative to the Talmudist authors of "Sota" and "Sanhedrin," p. 19, book of "Jechiel."

† This fragment is translated from the original Hebrew by Eliphas Levi in his "La Science des Esprits."

‡ Those who know anything of the rites of the Hebrews must recognize in these lions the gigantic figures of the Cherubim, whose symbolical monstrosity was well calculated to frighten and put to flight the profane.


 202                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

door of the sanctuary opened but once a year, to admit the High Priest alone. But Jesus, who had learned in Egypt the 'great secrets' at the initiation, forged for himself invisible keys, and thus was enabled to penetrate into the sanctuary unseen. . . . He copied the characters on the cubical stone, and hid them in his thigh; * after which, emerging from the temple, he went abroad and began astounding people with his miracles. The dead were raised at his command, the leprous and the obsessed were healed. He forced the stones which lay buried for ages at the bottom of the sea to rise to the surface until they formed a mountain, from the top of which he preached." The Sepher Toldos states further that, unable to displace the cubical stone of the sanctuary, Jesus fabricated one of clay, which he showed to the nations and passed it off for the true cubical stone of Israel.

        This allegory, like the rest of them in such books, is written "inside and outside" — it has its secret meaning, and ought to be read two ways. The kabalistic books explain its mystical meaning. Further, the same Talmudist says, in substance, the following: Jesus was thrown in prison,† and kept there forty days; then flogged as a seditious rebel; then stoned as a blasphemer in a place called Lud, and finally allowed to expire upon a cross. "All this," explains Levi, "because he revealed to the people the truths which they (the Pharisees) wished to bury for their own use. He had divined the occult theology of Israel, had compared it with the wisdom of Egypt, and found thereby the reason for a universal religious synthesis." ‡

        However cautious one ought to be in accepting anything about Jesus from Jewish sources, it must be confessed that in some things they seem to be more correct in their statements (whenever their direct interest in stating facts is not concerned) than our good but too jealous Fathers. One thing is certain, James, the "Brother of the Lord," is silent about the resurrection. He terms Jesus nowhere "Son of God," nor even Christ-God. Once only, speaking of Jesus, he calls him the "Lord of Glory," but so do the Nazarenes when writing about their prophet Iohanan bar Zacharia, or John, son of Zacharias (St. John Baptist). Their favorite expressions about their prophet are the same as those used by James when speaking of Jesus. A man "of the seed of a man," "Messenger of Life," of light, "my Lord Apostle," "King sprung of Light," and so on. "Have not the faith of our Lord  JESUS Christ, the Lord of Glory," etc.,
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*
Arnobius tells the same story of Jesus, and narrates how he was accused of having robbed the sanctuary of the secret names of the Holy One, by means of which knowledge he performed all the miracles.

† This is a translation of Eliphas Levi.                     ‡ "La Science des Esprits," p. 37.


203                                                                                             WHAT JESUS' BROTHER SAYS OF HIM.

says James in his epistle (ii. 1), presumably addressing Christ as GOD. "Peace to thee, my Lord, JOHN Abo Sabo, Lord of Glory!" says the Codex Nazaręus (ii., 19), known to address but a prophet. "Ye have condemned and killed the Just," says James (v. 6). "Iohanan (John) is the Just one, he comes in the way of justice," says Matthew (xxi. 32, Syriac text).

        James does not even call Jesus Messiah, in the sense given to the title by the Christians, but alludes to the kabalistic "King Messiah," who is Lord of Sabaoth * (v. 4), and repeats several times that the "Lord" will come, but identifies the latter nowhere with Jesus. "Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord . . . be patient, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh" (v. 7, 8). And he adds: "Take, my brethren, the prophet (Jesus) who has spoken in the name of the Lord for an example of suffering, affliction, and of patience." Though in the present version the word "prophet" stands in the plural, yet this is a deliberate falsification of the original, the purpose of which is too evident. James, immediately after having cited the "prophets" as an example, adds: "Behold . . . ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord" — thus combining the examples of these two admirable characters, and placing them on a perfect equality. But we have more to adduce in support of our argument. Did not Jesus himself glorify the prophet of the Jordan? "What went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. . . . Verily, I say unto you, among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist."

        And of whom was he who spoke thus born? It is but the Roman Catholics who have changed Mary, the mother of Jesus, into a goddess. In the eyes of all other Christians she was a woman, whether his own birth was immaculate or otherwise. According to strict logic, then, Jesus confessed John greater than himself. Note how completely this matter is disposed of by the language employed by the Angel Gabriel when addressing Mary: "Blessed art thou among women." These words are unequivocal. He does not adore her as the Mother of God, nor does he call her goddess; he does not even address her as "Virgin," but he calls her woman, and only distinguishes her above other women as having had better fortune, through her purity.

        The Nazarenes were known as Baptists, Sabians, and John's Christians. Their belief was that the Messiah was not the Son of God, but simply a prophet who would follow John. "Johanan, the Son of the Abo Sabo Zachariah, shall say to himself, 'Whoever will believe in my justice
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*
"Israelite Indeed," vol. iii., p. 61.


204                                                                                                                ISIS UNVEILED.

and my BAPTISM shall be joined to my association; he shall share with me the seat which is the abode of life, of the supreme Mano, and of living fire' " (Codex Nazaręus, ii., p. 115). Origen remarks "there are some who said of John (the Baptist) that he was the anointed" (Christus).* The Angel Rasiel of the kabalists is the Angel Gabriel of the Nazarenes, and it is the latter who is chosen of all the celestial hierarchy by the Christians to become the messenger of the 'annunciation.' "The genius sent by the 'Lord of Celsitude' is Ębel Zivo, whose name is also called GABRIEL Legatus." † Paul must have had the sect of the Nazarenes in mind when he said: "And last of all he (Jesus) was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time" (1 Corinth., xv. 8), thus reminding his listeners of the expression usual to the Nazarenes, who termed the Jews "the abortions, or born out of time." Paul prides himself of belonging to a hęresy. ‡

        When the metaphysical conceptions of the Gnostics, who saw in Jesus the Logos and the anointed, began to gain ground, the earliest Christians separated from the Nazarenes, who accused Jesus of perverting the doctrines of John, and changing the baptism of the Jordan.§ "Directly," says Milman, "as it (the Gospel) got beyond the borders of Palestine, and the name of 'Christ' had acquired sanctity and veneration in the Eastern cities, he became a kind of metaphysical impersonation, while the religion lost its purely moral cast and assumed the character of a speculative theogony." ∫∫ The only half-original document that has reached us from the primitive apostolic days, is the Logia of Matthew. The real, genuine doctrine has remained in the hands of the Nazarenes, in this Gospel of Matthew containing the "secret doctrine," the "Sayings of Jesus," mentioned by Papias. These sayings were, no doubt, of the same nature as the small manuscripts placed in the hands of the neophytes, who were candidates for the Initiations into the Mysteries, and which contained the Aporrheta, the revelations of some important rites and symbols. For why should Matthew take such precautions to make them "secret" were it otherwise?

         Primitive Christianity had its grip, pass-words, and degrees of initiation. The innumerable Gnostic gems and amulets are weighty proofs of it. It is a whole symbolical science. The kabalists were the first to embellish the universal Logos, with such terms as "Light of Light," the
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* "Origen," vol. ii., p. 150.

† "Codex Nazaręus," vol. i., p. 23.

‡ "In the way these call heresy I worship" (Acts xxiv. 14).

§ "Codex Nazaręus," vol. ii., p. 109.

∫∫  "Milman," p. 200.

Dunlap says in "Sod, the Son of the Man": "Mr. Hall, of India, informs us that he has seen Sanscrit philosophical treatises in which the Logos continually occurs," p. 39, foot-note.


205                                                                          VAST ANTIQUITY OF BORROWED CHRISTIAN TERMS.

Messenger of LIFE and LIGHT, * and we find these expressions adopted in toto by the Christians, with the addition of nearly all the Gnostic terms such as Pleroma (fulness), Archons, Ęons, etc. As to the "First-Born," the First, and the "Only-Begotten," these are as old as the world. Origen shows the word "Logos" as existing among the Brachmanes. "The Brachmanes say that the God is Light, not such as one sees, nor such as the sun and fire; but they have the God  LOGOS, not the articulate, the Logos of the Gnosis, through whom the highest MYSTERIES of the Gnosis are seen by the wise." † The Acts and the fourth Gospel teem with Gnostic expressions. The kabalistic: "God's first-born emanated from the Most High," together with that which is the "Spirit of the Anointing"; and again "they called him the anointed of the Highest," ‡ are reproduced in Spirit and substance by the author of the Gospel according to John. "That was the true light," and "the light shineth in darkness." "And the WORD was made flesh." "And his fulness (pleroma) have all we received," etc. (John i. et seq.).

        The "Christ," then, and the "Logos" existed ages before Christianity; the Oriental Gnosis was studied long before the days of Moses, and we have to seek for the origin of all these in the archaic periods of the primeval Asiatic philosophy. Peter's second Epistle and Jude's fragment, preserved in the New Testament, show by their phraseology that they belong to the kabalistic Oriental Gnosis, for they use the same expressions as did the Christian Gnostics who built a part of their system from the Oriental Kabala. "Presumptuous are they (the Ophites), self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of DIGNITIES," says Peter (2d Epistle ii. 10), the original model for the later abusive Tertullian and Irenęus. § "Likewise (even as Sodom and Gomorrah) also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise DOMINION and speak evil of DIGNITIES," says Jude, repeating the very words of Peter, and thereby expressions consecrated in the Kabala. Dominion is the "Empire," the tenth of the kabalistic sephiroth. ∫∫ The Powers and Dignities are the subordinate
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*
See John i.

† Origen: "Philosophumena," xxiv.

‡ Kleuker: "Natur und Ursprung der Emanationslehre bei den Kabbalisten," pp. 10, 11; see "Libri Mysterii."

§ "These as natural brute beasts." "The dog has turned to its own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire" (22).

∫∫  The types of the creation, or the attributes of the Supreme Being, are through the emanations of Adam Kadmon; these are: "The Crown, Wisdom, Prudence, Magnificence, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Foundation, Empire. Wisdom is called Jeh; Prudence, Jehovah; Severity, Elohim; Magnificence, El; Victory and Glory, SABAOTH; Empire or Dominion, ADONAI." Thus when the Nazarenes and other Gnostics of the more Platonic tendency twitted the Jews as "abortions who worship their god Iurbo, Adunai," we need not wonder at the wrath of those who had accepted the old Mosaic system, but at that of Peter and Jude who claim to be followers of Jesus and dissent from the views of him who was also a Nazarene.


 206                                                                                                                 ISIS UNVEILED.

genii of the Archangels and Angels of the Sohar. * These emanations are the very life and soul of the Kabala and Zoroastrianism; and the Talmud itself, in its present state, is all borrowed from the Zendavesta. Therefore, by adopting the views of Peter, Jude, and other Jewish apostles, the Christians have become but a dissenting sect of the Persians, for they do not even interpret the meaning of all such Powers as the true kabalists do. Paul's warning his converts against the worshipping of angels, shows how well he appreciated, even so early as his period, the dangers of borrowing from a metaphysical doctrine the philosophy of which could be rightly interpreted but by its well-learned adherents, the Magi and the Jewish Tanaim. "Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind," † is a sentence laid right at the door of Peter and his champions. In the Talmud, Michael is Prince of Water, who has seven inferior spirits subordinate to him. He is the patron, the guardian angel of the Jews, as Daniel informs us (v. 21), and the Greek Ophites, who identified him with their Ophiomorphos, the personified creation of the envy and malice of Ilda-Baoth, the Demiurgus (Creator of the material world), and undertook to prove that he was also Samuel, the Hebrew prince of the evil spirits, or Persian devs, were naturally regarded by the Jews as blasphemers. But did Jesus ever sanction this belief in angels except in so far as hinting that they were the messengers and subordinates of God? And here the origin of the later splits between Christian beliefs is directly traceable to these two early contradictory views.

        Paul, believing in all such occult powers in the world "unseen," but ever "present," says: "Ye walked according to the Ęon of this world, according to the Archon (Ilda-Baoth, the Demiurge) that has the domination of the air," and "We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the dominations, the powers; the lords of darkness, the mischievousness of spirits in the upper regions." This sentence, "Ye were dead in sin and error," for "ye walked according to the Archon," or Ilda-Baoth, the God and creator of matter of the Ophites, shows unequivocally that: 1st, Paul, notwithstanding some dissensions with the more important doctrines of the Gnostics, shared more or less their cosmogonical views on the emanations; and 2d, that he was fully aware that this Demi-
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* According to the "Kabala," Empire or Dominion is "the consuming fire, and his wife is the Temple or the Church."

† Colossians ii. 18.

 
207                                                                        "DIGNITIES," "POWERS," "DOMINIONS," ETC., EXPLAINED.

urge, whose Jewish name was Jehovah, was not the God preached by Jesus. And now, if we compare the doctrine of Paul with the religious views of Peter and Jude, we find that, not only did they worship Michael, the Archangel, but that also they reverenced  SATAN, because the latter was also, before his fall, an angel! This they do quite openly, and abuse the Gnostics * for speaking "evil" of him. No one can deny the following: Peter, when denouncing those who are not afraid to speak evil of "dignities," adds immediately, "Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusations against them (the dignities) before the Lord" (ii. 11). Who are the dignities? Jude, in his general epistle, makes the word as clear as day. The dignities are the DEVILS!! Complaining of the disrespect shown by the Gnostics to the powers and dominions, Jude argues in the very words of Peter: "And yet, Michael, the Archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee" (i. 9). Is this plain enough? If not, then we have the Kabala to prove who were the dignities.

        Considering that Deuteronomy tells us that the "Lord" Himself buried Moses in a valley of Moab (xxxiv. 6), "and no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day," this biblical lapsus inguę of Jude gives a strong coloring to the assertions of some of the Gnostics. They claimed but what was secretly taught by the Jewish kabalists themselves; to wit: that the highest supreme God was unknown and invisible; "the King of Light is a closed eye"; that Ilda-Baoth, the Jewish second Adam, was the real Demiurge; and that Iao, Adonai, Sabaoth, and Eloi were the quaternary emanation which formed the unity of the God of the Hebrews — Jehovah. Moreover, the latter was also called Michael and Samael by them, and regarded but as an angel, several removes from the Godhead. In holding to such a belief, the Gnostics countenanced the teachings of the greatest of the Jewish doctors, Hillel, and other Babylonian divines. Josephus shows the great deference of the official Synagogue in Jerusalem to the wisdom of the schools of Central Asia. The colleges of Sora, Pumbiditha, and Nahaidea were considered the headquarters of esoteric and theological learning by all the schools of Palestine. The Chaldean version of the Pentateuch, made by the well-known Babylonian divine, Onkelos, was regarded as the most authoritative of all; and it is according to this learned Rabbi that Hillel and other Tanaim after him held that the Being who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, on Mount Sinai, and who finally buried him, was the angel of the Lord,
————————————————————————————————————
*
It is more likely that both abused Paul, who preached against this belief; and that the Gnostics were only a pretext. (See Peter's second Epistle.)

 
208                                                                                                                      ISIS UNVEILED.

Memro, and not the Lord Himself; and that he whom the Hebrews of the Old Testament mistook for Iahoh was but His messenger, one of His sons, or emanations. All this establishes but one logical conclusion — namely, that the Gnostics were by far the superiors of the disciples, in point of education and general information; even in a knowledge of the religious tenets of the Jews themselves. While they were perfectly well-versed in the Chaldean wisdom, the well-meaning, pious, but fanatical as well as ignorant disciples, unable to fully understand or grasp the religious spirit of their own system, were driven in their disputations to such convincing logic as the use of "brute beasts," "sows," "dogs," and other epithets so freely bestowed by Peter.

        Since then, the epidemic has reached the apex of the sacerdotal hierarchy. From the day when the founder of Christianity uttered the warning, that he who shall say to his brother, "Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire," all who have passed as its leaders, beginning with the ragged fishermen of Galilee, and ending with the jewelled pontiffs, have seemed to vie with each other in the invention of opprobrious epithets for their opponents. So we find Luther passing a final sentence on the Catholics, and exclaiming that "The Papists are all asses, put them in whatever form you like; whether they are boiled, roasted, baked, fried, skinned, hashed, they will be always the same asses." Calvin called the victims he persecuted, and occasionally burned, "malicious barking dogs, full of bestiality and insolence, base corrupters of the sacred writings," etc. Dr. Warburton terms the Popish religion "an impious farce," and Monseigneur Dupanloup asserts that the Protestant Sabbath service is the "Devil's mass," and all clergymen are "thieves and ministers of the Devil."

        The same spirit of incomplete inquiry and ignorance has led the Christian Church to bestow on its most holy apostles, titles assumed by their most desperate opponents, the "Hęretics" and Gnostics. So we find, for instance, Paul termed the vase of election "Vas Electionis," a title chosen by Manes, * the greatest heretic of his day in the eyes of the Church, Manes meaning, in the Babylonian language, the chosen vessel or receptacle. †

        So with the Virgin Mary. They were so little gifted with originality, that they copied from the Egyptian and Hindu religions their several
————————————————————————————————————
*
The true name of Manes — who was a Persian by birth — was Cubricus. (See Epiph. "Life of Manes," Hęret. lxv.) He was flayed alive at the instance of the Magi, by the Persian King Varanes I. Plutarch says that Manes or Manis means Masses or ANOINTED. The vessel, or vase of election, is, therefore, the vessel full of that light of God, which he pours on one he has selected for his interpreter.

† See King's "Gnostics," p. 38.


209                                                                    APOSTROPHES TO THREE VIRGIN-MOTHERS COMPARED.

apostrophes to their respective Virgin-mothers. The juxtaposition of a few examples will make this clear.

                      HINDU.                                                          EGYPTIAN.                                                         ROMAN CATHOLIC.

   Litany of our Lady Nari: Virgin                         Litany of our Lady Isis: Virgin.                        Litany of our Lady of Loretto: Virgin.
           (Also Devanaki.)

  1. Holy Nari — Marićma, Mother of             1. Holy Isis, universal mother — Muth.          1  . Holy Mary, mother of divine grace.
 perpetual fecundity.

  2. Mother of an incarnated God—Vishnu      2. Mother of Gods — Athyr.                             2. Mother of God.
 (Devanaki).

  3. Mother of Christna                                       3. Mother of Horus.                                            3. Mother of Christ.

  4. Eternal Virginity — Kanyabāva                 4. Virgo generatrix — Neith.                             4 . Virgin of Virgins.

  5. Mother — Pure Essence, Akasa.                 5. Mother-soul of the universe—Anouke.         5. Mother of Divine Grace.

  6. Virgin most chaste — Kanya.                     6. Virgin sacred earth—Isis.                                6. Virgin most chaste.

 7. Mother Taumatra, of the five virtues or      7. Mother of all the virtues—Thmei, with           7. Mother most pure.
elements.                                                                  the same qualities.                                               Mother undefiled.
                                                                                                                                                                Mother inviolate.
                                                                                                                                                                Mother most amiable.
                                                                                                                                                                Mother most admirable.

  8. Virgin Trigana (of the three elements,         8. Illustrious Isis, most powerful, merciful,        
8. Virgin most powerful.
 power or richness, love, and mercy.)                     just. (Book of the Dead.)                                        Virgin most merciful.
                                                                                                                                                                 Virgin most faithful.

  9. Mirror of Supreme Conscience—                 9. Mirror of Justice and Truth—Thmei.             9. Mirror of Justice.
 Ahancara.

 10. Wise Mother—Saraswati.                           10. Mysterious mother of the world—               
10. Seat of Wisdom.
                                                                                    Buto (secret wisdom).

 11. Virgin of the white Lotos, Pedma or           11. Sacred Lotus.                                                 
11. Mystical Rose.
 Kamala.

  12. Womb of Gold — Hyrania.                         12. Sistrum of Gold.                                           
12. House of Gold.

  13. Celestial Light — Lakshmi.                         13. Astarte (Syrian), Astaroth (Jewish).              13. Morning Star.

  14. Ditto.                                                              14. Argua of the Moon.                                       14. Ark of the Covenant.

  15. Queen of Heaven, and of the universe        15. Queen of Heaven, and of the universe         15. Queen of Heaven.
 —Sakti                                                                         —Sati.

  16. Mother soul of all beings—                           16. Model of all mothers — Athor.                    
16. Mater Dolorosa.
        Paramatma.

  17. Devanaki is conceived without sin,              
17. Isis is a Virgin Mother.                                  17. Mary conceived without sin. (In
and immaculate herself. (According to the                                                                                               accordance with later orders.)
Brahmanic fancy.)

 

210                                                                                                                   ISIS UNVEILED.

        If the Virgin Mary has her nuns, who are consecrated to her and bound to live in chastity, so had Isis her nuns in Egypt, as Vesta had hers at Rome, and the Hindu Nari, "mother of the world" hers. The virgins consecrated to her cultus — the Devadasi of the temples, who were the nuns of the days of old — lived in great chastity, and were objects of the most extraordinary veneration, as the holy women of the goddess. Would the missionaries and some travellers reproachfully point to the modern Devadasis, or Nautch-girls? For all response, we would beg them to consult the official reports of the last quarter century, cited in chapter II., as to certain discoveries made at the razing of convents, in Austria and Italy. Thousands of infants' skulls were exhumed from ponds, subterranean vaults, and gardens of convents. Nothing to match this was ever found in heathen lands.

         Christian theology, getting the doctrine of the archangels and angels directly from the Oriental Kabala, of which the Mosaic Bible is but an allegorical screen, ought at least to remember the hierarchy invented by the former for these personified emanations. The hosts of the Cherubim and Seraphim, with which we generally see the Catholic Madonnas surrounded in their pictures, belong, together with the Elohim and Beni Elohim of the Hebrews, to the third kabalistic world, Jezirah. This world is but one remove higher than Asiah, the fourth and lowest world, in which dwell the grossest and most material beings — the klippoth, who delight in evil and mischief, and whose chief is Belial!

         Explaining, in his way, of course, the various "heresies" of the first two centuries, Iren
ęus says: "Our Hęretics hold . . . that PROPATOR is known but to the only-begotten son, that is to the mind" (the nous). It was the Valentinians, the followers of the "profoundest doctor of the Gnosis," Valentinus, who held that "there was a perfect AION, who existed before Bythos, or Buthon (the Depth), called Propator. This is again kabalistic, for in the Sohar of Simon Ben Iochai, we read the following: "Senior occultatus est et absconditus; Microprosopus manifestus est, et non manifestus" (Rosenroth: The Sohar Liber Mysteries, iv., 1).

     In the religious metaphysics of the Hebrews, the Highest One is an abstraction; he is "without form or being," "with no likeness with anything else." * And even Philo calls the Creator, the Logos who stands next God, "the SECOND God." "The second God who is his WISDOM." † God is NOTHING, he is nameless, and therefore called Ain-Soph — the word Ain meaning nothing. ‡ But if, according to the older Jews, Jehovah is the God, and He manifested Himself several times to Moses and the
————————————————————————————————————
*
Franck: "Die Kabbala," p. 126.                † Philo: "Quęst. et Solut."

‡ See Franck: "Die Kabbala," p. 153 ff.


 211                                                                                THE FOURTH GOSPEL NOT WRITTEN BY JOHN.

prophets, and the Christian Church anathematized the Gnostics who denied the fact — how comes it, then, that we read in the fourth gospel that "No man hath seen God AT ANY TIME, but the only-begotten Son . . . he hath declared him"? The very words of the Gnostics, in spirit and substance. This sentence of St. John — or rather whoever wrote the gospel now bearing his name — floors all the Petrine arguments against Simon Magus, without appeal. The words are repeated and emphasized in chapter vi.: "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he (Jesus) hath seen the Father" (46) — the very objection brought forward by Simon in the Homilies. These words prove that either the author of the fourth evangel had no idea of the existence of the Homilies, or that he was not John, the friend and companion of Peter, whom he contradicts point-blank with this emphatic assertion. Be it as it may, this sentence, like many more that might be profitably cited, blends Christianity completely with the Oriental Gnosis, and hence with the KABALA.

        While the doctrines, ethical code, and observances of the Christian religion were all appropriated from Brahmanism and Buddhism, its ceremonials, vestments, and pageantry were taken bodily from Lamaism. The Romish monastery and nunnery are almost servile copies of similar religious houses in Thibet and Mongolia, and interested explorers of Buddhist lands, when obliged to mention the unwelcome fact, have had no other alternative left them but, with an anachronism unsurpassed in recklessness, to charge the offense of plagiarism upon the religious system their own mother Church had despoiled. This makeshift has served its purpose and had its day. The time has at last come when this page of history must be written.

 

CHAPTER V.

        "Learn to know all, but keep thyself unknown." — GNOSTIC MAXIM.

"There is one God supreme over all gods, diviner than mortals,
Whose form is not like unto man's, and as unlike his nature;
      But vain mortals imagine that gods like themselves are begotten
With human sensations, and voice, and corporeal members."
                                                                     — X
ENOPHANES: Clem. Al. Strom., v. 14, § 110.

            "TYCHIADES. — Can you tell me the reason, Philocles, why most men desire to lye, and delight not only to speak fictions themselves, but give busie attention to others who do?
            "P
HILOCLES. — There be many reasons, Tychiades, which compell some to speak lyes, because they see 'tis profitable." — A Dialogue of Lucian.

            "SPARTAN. — Is it to thee, or to God, that I must confess?
            "P
RIEST. — To God.
            "
SPARTAN. — Then, MAN, stand back!" — PLUTARCH: Remarkable Lacedemonian Sayings.

WE will now give attention to some of the most important Mysteries of the Kabala, and trace their relations to the philosophical myths of various nations.

        In the oldest Oriental Kabala, the Deity is represented as three circles in one, shrouded in a certain smoke or chaotic exhalation. In the preface to the Sohar, which transforms the three primordial circles into THREE HEADS, over these is described an exhalation or smoke, neither black nor white, but colorless, and circumscribed within a circle. This is the unknown Essence.* The origin of the Jewish image may, perhaps, be traced to Hermes' Pimander, the Egyptian Logos, who appears within a cloud of a humid nature, with a smoke escaping from it. † In the Sohar the highest God is, as we have shown in the preceding chapter, and as in the case of the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, a pure abstraction, whose objective existence is denied by the latter. It is Hakama, the "SUPREME WISDOM, that cannot be understood by reflection," and that lies within and without the CRANIUM of LONG FACE ‡ (Sephira), the uppermost of the three "Heads." It is the "boundless and the infinite En-Soph," the No-Thing.

        The "three Heads," superposed above each other, are evidently taken from the three mystic triangles of the Hindus, which also superpose each other. The highest "head" contains the Trinity in Chaos, out of which springs the manifested trinity. En-Soph, the unrevealed forever, who is
————————————————————————————————————
*
"Kabbala Denudata"; preface to the "Sohar," ii., p. 242.

† See Champollion's "Egypte."

‡ "Idra Rabba," vi., p. 58.


213                                                                                                  THE SUPREME ESSENCE NOT THE CREATOR.

boundless and unconditioned, cannot create, and therefore it seems to us a great error to attribute to him a "creative thought," as is commonly done by the interpreters. In every cosmogony this supreme Essence is passive; if boundless, infinite, and unconditioned, it can have no thought nor idea. It acts not as the result of volition, but in obedience to its own nature, and according to the fatality of the law of which it is itself the embodiment. Thus, with the Hebrew kabalists, En-Soph is non-existent  w`a , for it is incomprehensible to our finite intellects, and therefore cannot exist to our minds. Its first emanation was Sephira, the crown rtb . When the time for an active period had come, then was produced a natural expansion of this Divine essence from within outwardly, obedient to eternal and immutable law; and from this eternal and infinite light (which to us is darkness) was emitted a spiritual substance.* This was the First Sephiroth, containing in herself the other nine twryps Sephiroth, or intelligences. In their totality and unity they represent the archetypal man, Adam Kadmon, the  prowtovgono" , who in his individuality or unity is yet dual, or bisexual, the Greek Didumos, for he is the prototype of all humanity. Thus we obtain three trinities, each contained in a "head." In the first head, or face (the three-faced Hindu Trimurti), we find Sephira, the first androgyne, at the apex of the upper triangle, emitting Hackama, or Wisdom, a masculine and active potency — also called Jah, xyŅ — and Binah, hnyb , or Intelligence, a female and passive potency, also represented by the name Jehovah xwxy . These three form the first trinity or "face" of the Sephiroth. This triad emanated Hesed, rsx , or Mercy, a masculine active potency, also called El, from which emanated Geburah wyr , or Justice, also called Eloha, a feminine passive potency; from the union of these two was produced Tiphereth trapt , Beauty, Clemency, the Spiritual Sun, known by the divine name Elohim; and the second triad, "face," or "head," was formed. These emanating, in their turn, the masculine potency Netzah, hcn , Firmness, or Jehovah Sabaoth, who issued the feminine passive potency Hod, rwh , Splendor, or Elohim Sabaoth; the two produced Jesod, rwsy , Foundation, who is the mighty living one El-Chai, thus yielding the third trinity or "head." The tenth Sephiroth is rather a duad, and is represented on the diagrams as the lowest circle. It is Malchuth or Kingdom, twblm , and Shekinah hnybX , also called Adonai, and Cherubim among the angelic hosts. The first "Head" is called the Intellectual world; the second "Head" is the Sensuous, or the world of Perception, and the third is the Material or Physical world.

        "Before he gave any shape to the universe," says the Kabala, "before
————————————————————————————————————
*
Idra Suta: "Sohar," ii.


 214                                                                                                                        ISIS UNVEILED.

he produced any form, he was alone without any form and resemblance to anything else. Who, then, can comprehend him, how he was before the creation, since he was formless? Hence, it is forbidden to represent him by any form, similitude, or even by his sacred name, by a single letter, or a single point. . . . The Aged of the Aged, the Unknown of the Unknown, has a form, and yet no form. He has a form whereby the universe is preserved, and yet has no form, because he cannot be comprehended. When he first assumed a form (in Sephira, his first emanation), he caused nine splendid lights to emanate from it." *
     And now we will turn to the Hindu esoteric Cosmogony and definition of "Him who is, and yet is not."

        "From him who is,† from this immortal Principle which exists in our minds but cannot be perceived by the senses, is born Purusha, the Divine male and female, who became Narayana, or the Divine Spirit moving on the water."

        Swayambhuva, the unknown essence of the Brahmans, is identical with En-Soph, the unknown essence of the kabalists. As with the latter, the ineffable name could not be pronounced by the Hindus, under the penalty of death. In the ancient primitive trinity of India, that which may be certainly considered as pre-Vedic, the germ which fecundates the mother-principle, the mundane egg, or the universal womb, is called Nara, the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, which emanates from the primordial essence. It is like Sephira, the oldest emanation, called the primordial point, and the White Head, for it is the point of divine light appearing from within the fathomless and boundless darkness. In Manu it is "NARA, or the Spirit of God, which moves on Ayana (Chaos, or place of motion), and is called NARAYANA, or moving on the waters." ‡ In Hermes, the Egyptian, we read: "In the beginning of the time there was naught in the chaos." But when the "verbum," issuing from the void like a "colorless smoke," makes its appearance, then "this verbum moved on the humid principle." § And in Genesis we find: "And darkness was upon the face of the deep (chaos). And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." In the Kabala, the emanation of the primordial passive principle (Sephira), by dividing itself into two parts, active and passive, emits Chochma-Wisdom and Binah-Jehovah, and in conjunction with these two acolytes, which complete the trinity, becomes the Creator of the abstract Universe; the physical world being the production of later and still more material powers. ∫∫ In the Hindu Cosmogony, Swayambhuva emits
————————————————————————————————————
*
Idra Suta: "Sohar," iii., p. 288 a.                              † Ego sum qui sum (see "Bible").

‡ See "Institutes of Manu," translated by Sir William Jones.

§ Champollion.

∫∫  We are fully aware that some Christian kabalists term En-Soph the "Crown," identify him with Sephira; call En-Soph "an emanation from God," and make the ten Sephiroth comprise "En-Soph" as a unity. They also very erroneously reverse the first two emanations of Sephira — Chochma and Binah. The greatest kabalists have always held Chochma (Wisdom) as a male and active intelligence, Jah
hy , and placed it under the No. 2 on the right side of the triangle, whose apex is the crown, while Binah (Intelligence) or hnyb , is under No. 3 on the left hand. But the latter, being represented by its divine name as Jehovah hwhy , very naturally showed the God of Israel as only a third emanation, as well as a feminine, passive principle. Hence when the time came for the Talmudists to transform their multifarious deities into one living God, they resorted to their Masoretic points and combined to transform Jehovah into Adonai, "the Lord." This, under the persecution of the Medięval kabalists by the Church, also forced some of the former to change their female Sephiroth into male, and vice versa, so as to avoid being accused of disrespect and blasphemy to Jehovah; whose name, moreover, by mutual and secret agreement they accepted as a substitute for Jah, or the mystery name IAO. Alone the initiated knew of it, but later it gave rise to a great confusion among the uninitiated. It would be worth while — were it not for lack of space — to quote a few of the many passages in the oldest Jewish authorities, such as Rabbi Akiba, and the "Sohar," which corroborate our assertion. Chochma-Wisdom is a male principle everywhere, and Binah-Jehovah, a female potency. The writings of Irenęus, Theodoret, and Epiphanius, teeming with accusations against the Gnostics and "Hęresies," repeatedly show Simon Magus and Cerinthus making of Binah the feminine divine Spirit which inspired Simon. Binah is Sophia, and the Sophia of the Gnostics is surely not a male potency, but simply the feminine Wisdom, or Intelligence. (See any ancient "Arbor Kabbalistica," or Tree of the Sephiroth.) Eliphas Levi, in the "Rituel de la Haute Magie," vol. i., pp. 223 and 231, places Chochma as No. 2 and as a male Sephiroth on the right hand of the Tree. In the "Kabala" the three male Sephiroth — Chochma, Chesed, Netsah — are known as the Pillar of Mercy; and the three feminine on the left, namely, Binah, Geburah, Hod, are named the Pillar of Judgment; while the four Sephiroth of the centre — Kether, Tiphereth, Jesod, and Malchuth — are called the Middle Pillar. And, as Mackenzie, in the "Royal Masonic Cyclopędia," shows, "there is an analogy in these three pillars to the three Pillars of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty in a Craft Lodge of Masonry, while the En-Soph forms the mysterious blazing star, or mystic light of the East" (p. 407).
 

 215                                                                           ALL WORLD-RELIGIONS FUNDAMENTALLY IDENTICAL.

Nara and Nari, its bisexual emanation, and dividing its parts into two halves, male and female, these fecundate the mundane egg, within which develops Brahma, or rather Viradj, the Creator. "The starting-point of the Egyptian mythology," says Champollion, "is a triad . . . namely, Kneph, Neith, and Phtah; and Ammon, the male, the father; Muth, the female and mother; and Khons, the son."

        The ten Sephiroth are copies taken from the ten Prādjapatis created by Viradj, called the "Lords of all beings," and answering to the biblical Patriarchs.

        Justin Martyr explains some of the "heresies" of the day, but in a very unsatisfactory manner. He shows, however, the identity of all the world-religions at their starting-points. The first beginning opens invariably with the unknown and passive deity, producing from himself a cer-
 

216                                                                                                                       ISIS UNVEILED.

tain active power or virtue, "Rational," which is sometimes called WISDOM, sometimes the SON, very often God, Angel, Lord, and LOGOS.* The latter is sometimes applied to the very first emanation, but in several systems it proceeds from the first androgyne or double ray produced at the beginning by the unseen. Philo depicts this wisdom as male and female. But though its first manifestation had a beginning, for it proceeded from Oulom † (Aiōn, time), the highest of the Ęons, when emitted from the Fathers, it had remained with him before all creations, for it is part of him. ‡ Therefore, Philo Judęus calls Adam Kadmon "mind" (the Ennoia of Bythos in the Gnostic system). "The mind, let it be named Adam." §

        Strictly speaking, it is difficult to view the Jewish Book of Genesis otherwise than as a chip from the trunk of the mundane tree of universal Cosmogony, rendered in Oriental allegories. As cycle succeeded cycle, and one nation after another came upon the world's stage to play its brief part in the majestic drama of human life, each new people evolved from ancestral traditions its own religion, giving it a local color, and stamping it with its individual characteristics. While each of these religions had its distinguishing traits, by which, were there no other archaic vestiges, the physical and psychological status of its creators could be estimated, all preserved a common likeness to one prototype. This parent cult was none other than the primitive "wisdom-religion." The Israelitish Scriptures are no exception. Their national history — if they can claim any autonomy before the return from Babylon, and were anything more than migratory septs of Hindu pariahs, cannot be carried back a day beyond Moses; and if this ex-Egyptian priest must, from theological necessity, be transformed into a Hebrew patriarch, we must insist that the Jewish nation was lifted with that smiling infant out of the bulrushes of Lake Moeris. Abraham, their alleged father, belongs to the universal mythology. Most likely he is but one of the numerous aliases of Zeruan (Saturn), the king of the golden age, who is also called the old man (emblem of time). ∫∫ It is now demonstrated by Assyriologists that in the old Chaldean books Abraham is called Zeru-an, or Zerb-an — meaning one very rich in gold and silver, and a mighty prince.He is also called Zarouan and Zarman — a decrepit old man. **
————————————————————————————————————
*
Justin: "Cum. Trypho," p. 284.

† A division indicative of time.

‡ Sanchoniathon calls time the oldest Ęon, Protogonos, the "first-born."

§ Philo Judęus: "Cain and his Birth," p. xvii.

∫∫  Azrael, angel of death, is also Israel. Ab-ram means father of elevation, high-placed father, for Saturn is the highest or outmost planet.

See Genesis xiii. 2.

** Saturn is generally represented as a very old man, with a sickle in his hand.


217                                                                                                THE BABYLONIAN LEGEND OF XISUTHRUS.

        The ancient Babylonian legend is that Xisuthrus (Hasisadra of the Tablets, or Xisuthrus) sailed with his ark to Armenia, and his son Sim became supreme king. Pliny says that Sim was called Zeruan; and Sim is Shem. In Hebrew, his name writes mX , Shem — a sign. Assyria is held by the ethnologists to be the land of Shem, and Egypt called that of Ham, Shem, in the tenth chapter of Genesis is made the father of all the children of Eber, of Elam (Oulam or Eilam), and Ashur (Assur or Assyria). The "nephelim," or fallen men, Gebers, mighty men spoken of in Genesis (vi. 4), come from Oulam, "men of Shem." Even Ophir, which is evidently to be sought for in the India of the days of Hiram, is made a descendant of Shem. The records are purposely mixed up to make them fit into the frame of the Mosaic Bible. But Genesis, from its first verse down to the last, has naught to do with the "chosen people"; it belongs to the world's history. Its appropriation by the Jewish authors in the days of the so-called restoration of the destroyed books of the Israelites, by Ezra, proves nothing, and, until now, has been self-propped on an alleged divine revelation. It is simply a compilation of the universal legends of the universal humanity. Bunsen says that in the "Chaldean tribe immediately connected with Abraham, we find reminiscences of dates disfigured and misunderstood, as genealogies of single men, or indications of epochs. The Abrahamic recollections go back at least three millennia beyond the grandfather of Jacob." *

        Alexander Polyhistor says that Abraham was born at Kamarina or Uria, a city of soothsayers, and invented astronomy. Josephus claims the same for Terah, Abraham's father. The tower of Babel was built as much by the direct descendants of Shem as by those of the "accursed" Ham and Canaan, for the people in those days were "one," and the "whole earth was of one language"; and Babel was simply an astrological tower, and its builders were astrologers and adepts of the primitive Wisdom-Religion, or, again, what we term Secret Doctrine.

        The Berosian Sibyl says: Before the Tower, Zeru-an, Titan, and Yapetosthe governed the earth, Zeru-an wished to be supreme, but his two brothers resisted, when their sister, Astlik, intervened and appeased them. It was agreed that Zeru-an should rule, but his male children should be put to death; and strong Titans were appointed to carry this into effect.

        Sar (circle, saros) is the Babylonian god of the sky. He is also Assaros or Asshur (the son of Shem), and Zero — Zero-ana, the chakkra, or wheel, boundless time. Hence, as the first step taken by Zoroaster, while founding his new religion, was to change the most sacred deities
————————————————————————————————————
*
Bunsen: "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 85.


218                                                                                                                      ISIS UNVEILED.

of the Sanscrit Veda into names of evil spirits, in his Zend Scriptures, and even to reject a number of them, we find no traces in the Avesta of Chakkra — the symbolic circle of the sky.

        Elam, another of the sons of Shem, is Oulam mlw[  and refers to an order or cycle of events. In Ecclesiastes iii. 11, it is termed "world." In Ezekiel xxvi. 20, "of old time." In Genesis iii. 22, the word stands as "forever"; and in chapter ix. 16, "eternal." Finally, the term is completely defined in Genesis vi. 4, in the following words: "There were nephelim (giants, fallen men, or Titans) on the earth." The word is synonymous with Ęon, aiwn . In Proverbs viii. 23, it reads: "I was effused from Oulam, from Ras" (wisdom). By this sentence, the wise king-kabalist refers to one of the mysteries of the human spirit — the immortal crown of the man-trinity. While it ought to read as above, and be interpreted kabalistically to mean that the I (or my eternal, immortal Ego), the spiritual entity, was effused from the boundless and nameless eternity, through the creative wisdom of the unknown God, it reads in the canonical translation: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old"! which is unintelligible nonsense, without the kabalistic interpretation. When Solomon is made to say that I was "from the beginning . . . while, as yet, he (the Supreme Deity) had not made the earth nor the highest part of the dust of the world . . . I was there," and "when he appointed the foundations of the earth . . . then I was by him, as one brought up with him," what can the kabalist mean by the "I," but his own divine spirit, a drop effused from that eternal fountain of light and wisdom — the universal spirit of the Deity?

        The thread of glory emitted by En-Soph from the highest of the three kabalistic heads, through which "all things shine with light," the thread which makes its exit through Adam Primus, is the individual spirit of every man. "I was daily his (En-Soph's) delight, rejoicing always before him . . . and my delights were with the sons of men," adds Solomon, in the same chapter of the Proverbs. The immortal spirit delights in the sons of men, who, without this spirit, are but dualities (physical body and astral soul, or that life-principle which animates even the lowest of the animal kingdom). But, we have seen that the doctrine teaches that this spirit cannot unite itself with that man in whom matter and the grossest propensities of his animal soul will be ever crowding it out. Therefore, Solomon, who is made to speak under the inspiration of his own spirit, that possesses him for the time being, utters the following words of wisdom: "Hearken unto me, my son" (the dual man), "blessed are they who keep my ways. . . . Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates. . . . For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. . . . But he that


219                                                                                                  MEANING OF THE GNOSTIC ĘON.

sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul . . . and loves death" (Proverbs vii. 1-36).

        This chapter, as interpreted, is made by some theologians, like everything else, to apply to Christ, the "Son of God," who states repeatedly, that he who follows him obtains eternal life, and conquers death. But even in its distorted translation it can be demonstrated that it referred to anything but to the alleged Saviour. Were we to accept it in this sense, then, the Christian theology would have to return, nolens volens, to Averroism and Buddhism; to the doctrine of emanation, in short; for Solomon says: "I was effused" from Oulam and Rasit, both of which are a part of the Deity; and thus Christ would not be as their doctrine claims, God himself, but only an emanation of Him, like the Christos of the Gnostics. Hence, the meaning of the personified Gnostic Ęon, the word signifying cycles or determined periods in the eternity and at the same time, representing a hierarchy of celestial beings — spirits. Thus Christ is sometimes termed the "Eternal Ęon." But the word "eternal" is erroneous in relation to the Ęons. Eternal is that which has neither beginning nor end; but the "Emanations" or Ęons, although having lived as absorbed in the divine essence from the eternity, when once individually emanated, must be said to have a beginning. They may be therefor