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And are those of Jesuitism, then, so much cleaner? "Our adversaries, numerous and formidable." That sentence says all. Who these so formidable enemies are, is useless to inquire. They are the Roman Catholics, and some of the Reformed Presbyterians. To read what the two factions respectively write, we may well ask which adversary is the more afraid of the other. But, what shall it profit any one to organize against a fraternity that does not even dare to have a belief of its own for fear of giving offense? And pray, how, if Masonic oaths mean anything, and Masonic penalties are regarded as more than burlesque, can any adversaries, numerous or few, feeble or strong, know what goes on inside the lodge, or penetrate beyond that "brother terrible, or the tiler, who guards, with a drawn sword, the portals of the lodge"? Is, then, this "brother terrible" no more formidable than Offenbach's General Boum, with his smoking pistol, jingling spurs, and towering panache? Of what use the millions of men that make up this great fraternity, the world over, if they cannot be so cemented together as to bid defiance to all adversaries? Can it be that the "mystic tie" is but a rope of sand, and Masonry but a toy to feed the vanity of a few leaders who rejoice in ribbons and regalia? Is its authority as false as its antiquity? It seems so, indeed; and yet, as "even the fleas have smaller fleas to bite 'em," there are Catholic alarmists, even here, who pretend to fear Masonry!
And yet, these same Catholics, in all the serenity of their traditional impudence, publicly threaten America, with its 500,000 Masons, and 34,000,000 Protestants, with a union of Church and State under the direction of Rome! The danger which threatens the free institutions of this republic, we are told, will come from "the principles of Protestantism logically developed." The present Secretary of the Navy — the Hon. R. W. Thompson, of Indiana, having actually dared, in his own free Protestant country, to publish a book recently on Papacy and the Civil Power, in which his language is as moderate as it is gentlemanly and fair, a Roman Catholic priest, at Washington, D. C. — the very seat of Government — denounces him with violence. What is better, a representative member of the Society of Jesus, Father F. X. Weninger, D. D., pours upon his devoted head a vial of wrath that seems to have been brought direct from the Vatican cellars. "The assertions," he says, "which Mr. Thompson makes on the necessary antagonism between the Catholic Church and free institutions, are characterized by pitiful ignorance and blind audacity. He is reckless of logic, of history, of common sense, of charity; and presents himself before the loyal American people as a narrow-minded bigot. No scholar would venture to repeat the stale calumnies which have so often been refuted. . . . In answer to his accu-
sations against the Church as the enemy of liberty, I tell him that, if ever this country should become a Catholic country, that is, if Catholics should ever be in the majority, and have the control of political power, then he would see the principles of our Constitution carried out to the fullest extent; he would see that these States would be in very deed United. He would behold a people living in peace and harmony; joined in the bonds of one faith, their hearts beating in unison with love of their fatherland, with charity and forbearance toward all, and respecting the rights and consciences even of their slanderers."
In behalf of this "Society of Jesus," he advises Mr. Thompson to send his book to the Czar, Alexander II., and to Frederick William, Emperor of Germany. He may expect from them, as a token of their sympathy, the orders of St. Andrew and of the Black Eagle. "From clear-minded, self-thinking, patriotic Americans, he cannot expect anything but the decoration of their contempt. As long as American hearts will beat in American bosoms, and the blood of their fathers shall flow in their veins, such efforts as Thompson's shall not succeed. True, genuine Americans will protect the Catholic Church in this country and will finally join it." After that, having thus, as he seems to think, left the corpse of his impious antagonist upon the field, he marches off emptying the dregs of his exhausted bottle after the following fashion: "We leave the volume, whose argument we have killed, as a carcass to be devoured by those Texan buzzards — those stinking birds — we mean that kind of men who love to feed on corruption, calumnies, and lies, and are attracted by the stench of them."
This last sentence is worthy to be added as an appendix to the Discorsi del Sommo Pontifice Pio IX., by Don Pasquale di Franciscis, immortalized in the contempt of Mr. Gladstone. — Tel maitre tel Valet!
Moral: This will teach fair-minded, sober, and gentlemanly writers that even so well-bred an antagonist as Mr. Thompson has shown himself in his book, cannot hope to escape the only available weapon in the Catholic armory — Billingsgate. The whole argument of the author shows that while forcible, he intends to be fair; but he might as well have attacked with a Tertullianistic violence, for his treatment would not have been worse. It will doubtless afford him some consolation to be placed in the same category with schismatic and infidel emperors and kings.
While Americans, including Masons, are now warned to prepare themselves to join the Holy Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church, we are glad to know that there are some as loyal and respected as any in Masonry who support our views. Conspicuous among them is our venerable friend, Mr. Leon Hyneman, P. M., and a member of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. For eight or nine years he was editor of the Masonic
Mirror and Keystone,and is an author of repute. He assures us personally that for over thirty years he has combated the design to erect into a Masonic dogma, belief in a personal God. In his work, Ancient York and London Grand Lodges, he says (p. 169): "Masonry, instead of unfolding professionally with the intellectual advancement of scientific knowledge and general intelligence, has departed from the original aims of the fraternity, and is apparently inclining towards a sectarian society. That is plainly to be seen . . . in the persistent determination not to expunge the sectarian innovations interpolated in the Ritual. . . . It would appear that the Masonic fraternity of this country are as indifferent to ancient landmarks and usages of Masonry, as the Masons of the past century, under the London Grand Lodge were." It was this conviction which prompted him, in 1856, when Jacques Etienne Marconis de Negre, Grand Hierophant of the Rite of Memphis, came to America and tendered him the Grand Mastership of the Rite in the United States, and the Ancient and Accepted Rite offered him an Honorary 33d — to refuse both.
The Temple was the last European secret organization which, as a body, had in its possession some of the mysteries of the East. True, there were in the past century (and perhaps still are) isolated "Brothers" faithfully and secretly working under the direction of Eastern Brotherhoods. But these, when they did belong to European societies, invariably joined them for objects unknown to the Fraternity, though at the same time for the benefit of the latter. It is through them that modern Masons have all they know of importance; and the similarity now found between the Speculative Rites of antiquity, the mysteries of the Essenes, Gnostics, and the Hindus, and the highest and oldest of the Masonic degrees well prove the fact. If these mysterious brothers became possessed of the secrets of the societies, they could never reciprocate the confidence, though in their hands these secrets were safer, perhaps, than in the keeping of European Masons. When certain of the latter were found worthy of becoming affiliates of the Orient, they were secretly instructed and initiated, but the others were none the wiser for that.
No one could ever lay hands on the Rosicrucians, and notwithstanding the alleged discoveries of "secret chambers," vellums called "T," and of fossil knights with ever-burning lamps, this ancient association and its true aims are to this day a mystery. Pretended Templars and sham Rose-Croix, with a few genuine kabalists, were occasionally burned, and some unlucky Theosophists and alchemists sought and put to the torture; delusive confessions even were wrung from them by the most ferocious means, but yet, the true Society remains to-day as it has ever been, unknown to all, especially to its cruelest enemy — the Church.
As to the modern Knights Templar and those Masonic Lodges which now claim a direct descent from the ancient Templars, their persecution by the Church was a farce from the beginning. They have not, nor have they ever had any secrets, dangerous to the Church. Quite the contrary; for we find J. G. Findel saying that the Scottish degrees, or the Templar system, only dates from 1735-1740, and "following its Catholic tendency, took up its chief residence in the Jesuit College of Clermont, in Paris, and hence was called the Clermont system." The present Swedish system has also something of the Templar element in it, but free from Jesuits and interference with politics; however, it asserts that it has Molay's Testament in the original, for a Count Beaujeu, a nephew of Molay, never heard of elsewhere — says Findel — transplanted Templarism into Freemasonry, and thus procured for his uncle's ashes a mysterious sepulchre. It is sufficient to prove this a Masonic fable that on this pretended monument the day of Molay's funeral is represented as March 11, 1313, while the day of his death was March 19, 1313. This spurious production, which is neither genuine Templarism, nor genuine Freemasonry, has never taken firm root in Germany. But the case is otherwise in France.
Writing upon this subject, we must hear what Wilcke has to say of these pretensions:
"The present Knight Templars of Paris will have it, that they are direct descendants from the ancient Knights, and endeavor to prove this by documents, interior regulations, and secret doctrines. Foraisse says the Fraternity of Freemasons was founded in Egypt, Moses communicating the secret teaching to the Israelites, Jesus to the Apostles, and thence it found its way to the Knight Templars. Such inventions are necessary . . . to the assertion that the Parisian Templars are the offspring of the ancient order. All these asseverations, unsupported by history, were fabricated in the High Chapter of Clermont (Jesuits), and preserved by the Parisian Templars as a legacy left them by those political revolutionists, the Stuarts and the Jesuits." Hence we find the Bishops Gregoire* and Munter** supporting them.
Connecting the modern with the ancient Templars, we can at best, therefore, allow them an adoption of certain rites and ceremonies of purely ecclesiastical character after they had been cunningly inoculated into that grand and antique Order by the clergy. Since this desecration, it gradually lost its primitive and simple character, and went fast to its final ruin. Founded in 1118 by the Knights Hugh de Payens and Geoffrey
* "Histoire des sectes religieuses," vol. ii., pp. 392-428.
** "Notitia codicis graeci evangelium Johannis variatum continentis," Havaniae, 1828.
de St. Omer, nominally for the protection of the pilgrims, its true aim was the restoration of the primitive secret worship. The true version of the history of Jesus, and the early Christianity was imparted to Hugh de Payens, by the Grand-Pontiff of the Order of the Temple (of the Nazarene or Johanite sect), one named Theocletes, after which it was learned by some Knights in Palestine, from the higher and more intellectual members of the St. John sect, who were initiated into its mysteries.* Freedom of intellectual thought and the restoration of one and universal religion was their secret object. Sworn to the vow of obedience, poverty, and chastity, they were at first the true Knights of John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness and living on wild honey and locusts. Such is the tradition and the true kabalistic version.
It is a mistake to state that the Order became only later anti-Catholic. It was so from the beginning, and the red cross on the white mantle, the vestment of the Order, had the same significance as with the initiates in every other country. It pointed to the four quarters of the compass, and was the emblem of the universe.** When, later, the Brotherhood was transformed into a Lodge, the Templars had, in order to avoid persecution, to perform their own ceremonies in the greatest secresy, generally in the hall of the chapter, more frequently in isolated caves or country houses built amidst woods, while the ecclesiastical form of worship was carried on publicly in the chapels belonging to the Order.
Though of the accusations brought against them by order of Philip IV., many were infamously false, the main charges were certainly correct, from the stand-point of what is considered by the Church, heresy. The present-day Templars, adhering strictly as they do to the Bible, can hardly claim descent from those who did not believe in Christ, as God-man, or as the Saviour of the world; who rejected the miracle of his birth, and those performed by himself; who did not believe in transubstantiation, the saints, holy relics, purgatory, etc. The Christ Jesus was, in their opinion, a false prophet, but the man Jesus a Brother. They regarded John the Baptist as their patron, but never viewed him in the light in which he is presented in the Bible. They reverenced the doc-
* This is the reason why unto this day the fanatical and kabalistic members of the Nazarenes of Basra (Persia), have a tradition of the glory, wealth, and power of their "Brothers," agents, or messengers as they term them in Malta and Europe. There are some few remaining yet, they say, who will sooner or later restore the doctrine of their Prophet Iohanan (St. John), the son of Lord Jordan, and eliminate from the hearts of humanity every other false teaching.
** The two great pagodas of Madura and Benares, are built in the form of a cross, each wing being equal in extent (See Mauri: "Indian Antiquities," vol. iii., pp. 360-376).
trines of alchemy, astrology, magic, kabalistic talismans, and adhered to the secret teachings of their chiefs in the East. "In the last century," says Findel, "when Freemasonry erroneously supposed herself the daughter of Templarism, great pains were taken to regard the Order of Knights-Templars as innocent. . . . For this purpose not only legends and unrecorded events were fabricated, but pains were taken to repress the truth. The Masonic admirers of the Knights-Templars bought up the whole of the documents of the lawsuit published by Moldenwaher, because they proved the culpability of the Order."*
This culpability consisted in their "heresy" against the Roman Catholic Church. While the real "Brothers" died an ignominious death, the spurious Order which tried to step into their shoes became exclusively a branch of the Jesuits under the immediate tutelage of the latter. True-hearted, honest Masons, ought to reject with horror any connection, let alone descent from these.
"The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem," writes Commander Gourdin,** "sometimes called the Knights Hospitallers, and the Knights of Malta, were not Freemasons. On the contrary, they seem to have been inimical to Freemasonry, for in 1740, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta caused the Bull of Pope Clement XII. to be published in that island, and forbade the meetings of the Freemasons. On this occasion several Knights and many citizens left the island; and in 1741, the Inquisition persecuted the Freemasons at Malta. The Grand Master proscribed their assemblies under severe penalties, and six Knights were banished from the island in perpetuity for having assisted at a meeting. In fact, unlike the Templars, they had not even a secret form of reception. Reghellini says that he was unable to procure a copy of the secret Ritual of the Knights of Malta. The reason is obvious — there was none!"
And yet American Templarism comprises three degrees. 1, Knight of the Red Cross; 2, Knight Templar; and 3, Knight of Malta. It was introduced from France into the United States, in 1808, and the first Grand Encampment General was organized on June 20, 1816, with Governor De Witt Clinton, of New York, as Grand Master.
This inheritance of the Jesuits should hardly be boasted of. If the Knights Templar desire to make good their claims, they must choose between a descent from the "heretical," anti-Christian, kabalistic, primitive Templars, or connect themselves with the Jesuits, and nail
* Findel: "History of Freemasonry," Appendix.
** "A Sketch of the Knight Templars and the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem," by Richard Woof, F.S.A., Commander of the Order of Masonic Knight Templars.
their tesselated carpets directly on the platform of ultra-Catholicism! Otherwise, their claims become a mere pretense.
So impossible does it become for the originators of the ecclesiastical pseudo-order of Templars, invented, according to Dupuy, in France, by the adherents of the Stuarts, to avoid being considered a branch of the Order of the Jesuits, that we are not surprised to see an anonymous author, rightly suspected of belonging to the Jesuit Chapter at Clermont, publishing a work in 1751, in Brussels, on the lawsuit of the Knights Templar. In this volume, in sundry mutilated notes, additions, and commentaries, he represents the innocence of the Templars of the accusation of "heresy," thus robbing them of the greatest title to respect and admiration that these early free-thinkers and martyrs have won!
This last pseudo-order was constituted at Paris, on the 4th of November, 1804, by virtue of a forged Constitution, and ever since it has "contaminated genuine Freemasonry," as the highest Masons themselves tell us. La Charte de transmission (tabula aurea Larmenii) presents the outward appearance of such extreme antiquity "that Gregoire confesses that if all the other relics of the Parisian treasury of the Order had not silenced his doubts as to their ancient descent, the sight of this charter would at the very first glance have persuaded him."* The first Grand Master of this spurious Order was a physician of Paris, Dr. Fahre-Palaprat, who assumed the name of Bernard Raymond.
Count Ramsay, a Jesuit, was the first to start the idea of the Templars being joined to the Knights of Malta. Therefore, we read from his pen the following:
"Our forefathers (! ! !), the Crusaders, assembled in the Holy Land from all Christendom, wished to unite in a fraternity embracing all nations, that when bound together, heart and soul, for mutual improvement, they might, in the course of time, represent one single intellectual people."
This is why the Templars are made to join the St. John's Knights, and the latter got into the craft of Masonry known as St. John's Masons.
In the Sceau Rompu, in 1745, we find, therefore, the following most impudent falsehood, worthy of the Sons of Loyola: "The lodges were dedicated to St. John, because the Knights-Masons had in the holy wars in Palestine joined the Knights of St. John."
In 1743, the Kadosh degree was invented at Lyons (so writes Thory, at least), and "it represents the revenge of the Templars." And here we find Findel saying that "the Order of Knights Templars had been abolished in 1311, and to that epoch they were obliged to have recourse
* Findel: "History of Freemasonry," Appendix.
when, after the banishment of several Knights from Malta, in 1740, because they were Freemasons, it was no longer possible to keep up a connection with the Order of St. John, or Knights of Malta, then in the plenitude of their power under the sovereignty of the Pope."
Turning to Clavel, one of the best Masonic authorities, we read: "It is clear that the erection of the French Order of the Knight Templars is not more ancient than the year 1804, and that it cannot lay any legitimate claim to being the continuation of the so-called society of 'la petite Resurrection des Templiers,' nor this latter, either, extend back to the ancient Order of the Knights Templars." Therefore, we see these pseudo-Templars, under the guidance of the worthy Father Jesuits, forging in Paris, 1806, the famous charter of Larmenius. Twenty years later, this nefast and subterranean body, guiding the hand of assassins, directed it toward one of the best and greatest princes in Europe, whose mysterious death, unfortunately for the interests of truth and justice, has never been — for political reasons — investigated and proclaimed to the world as it ought to have been. It is this prince, a Freemason himself, who was the last depository of the secrets of the true Knights Templar. For long centuries these had remained unknown and unsuspected. Holding their meetings once every thirteen years, at Malta, and their Grand Master advising the European brothers of the place of rendezvous but a few hours in advance, these representatives of the once mightiest and most glorious body of Knights assembled on the fixed day, from various points of the earth. Thirteen in number, in commemoration of the year of the death of Jacques Molay (1313), the now Eastern brothers, among whom were crowned heads, planned together the future religious and political fate of the nations; while the Popish Knights, their murderous and bastard successors, slept soundly in their beds, without a dream disturbing their guilty consciences.
"And yet," says Rebold, "notwithstanding the confusion they had created (1736-72), the Jesuits had accomplished but one of their designs, viz.: denaturalyzing and bringing into disrepute the Masonic Institution. Having succeeded, as they believed, in destroying it in one form, they were determined to use it in another. With this determination, they arranged the systems styled 'Clerkship of the Templars,' an amalgamation of the different histories, events, and characteristics of the crusades mixed with the reveries of the alchemists. In this combination Catholicism governed all, and the whole fabrication moved upon wheels, representing the great object for which the Society of Jesus was organized."*
Hence, the rites and symbols of Masonry which though "Pagan" in
* "General History of Freemasonry," p. 218.
origin, are all applied to and all flavor of Christianity. A Mason has to declare his belief in a personal God, Jehovah, and in the Encampment degrees also in Christ, before he can be accepted in the Lodge, while the Johanite Templars believed in the unknown and invisible Principle, whence proceeded the Creative Powers misnamed gods, and held to the Nazarene version of Ben-Panther being the sinful father of Jesus, who thus proclaimed himself "the son of god and of humanity."* This also accounts for the fearful oaths of the Masons taken on the Bible, and for their lectures servilely agreeing with the Patriarcho-Biblical Chronology. In the American Order of Rose Croix, for instance, when the neophyte approaches the altar, the "Sir Knights are called to order, and the captain of the guard makes his proclamation." "To the glory of the sublime architect of the universe (Jehovah-Binah?), under the auspices of the Sovereign Sanctuary of Ancient and Primitive Freemasonry," etc., etc. Then the Knight Orator strikes 1 and tells the neophyte that the antique legends of Masonry date back FORTY centuries; claiming no greater antiquity for the oldest of them than 622 A.M., at which time he says Noah was born. Under the circumstances this will be regarded as a liberal concession to chronological preferences. After that Masons** are apprised that it was about the year 2188 B.C., that Mizraim led colonies into Egypt, and laid the foundation of the Kingdom of Egypt, which kingdom lasted 1,663 years (! ! !). Strange chronology, which, if it piously conforms with that of the Bible, disagrees entirely with that of history. The mythical nine names of the Deity, imported into Egypt, according
* See Gaffarel's version; Eliphas Levi's "La Science des Esprits"; Mackenzie's "Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia"; "Sepher Toldos Jeshu"; and other kabalistical and Rabbinical works. The story given is this. A virgin named Mariam, betrothed to a young man of the name of Iohanan, was outraged by another man named Ben Panther or Joseph Panther, says "Sepher Toldos Jeshu." "Her betrothed, learning of her misfortune, left her, at the same time forgiving her. The child born was Jesus, named Joshua. Adopted by his uncle Rabbi Jehosuah, he was initiated into the secret doctrine by Rabbi Elhanan, a kabalist, and then by the Egyptian priests, who consecrated him High Pontiff of the Universal Secret Doctrine, on account of his great mystic qualities. Upon his return into Judea his learning and powers excited the jealousy of the Rabbis, and they publicly reproached him with his origin and insulted his mother. Hence the words attributed to Jesus at Cana: 'Woman, what have I to do with thee?' (See John ii. 4.) His disciples having rebuked him with his unkindness to his mother, Jesus repented, and having learned from them the particulars of the sad story, he declared that "My mother has not sinned, she has not lost her innocence; she is immaculate and yet she is a mother. . . . As for myself I have no father, in this world, I am the Son of God and of humanity"! Sublime words of confidence and trust in the unseen Power, but how fatal to the millions upon millions of men murdered because of these very words being so thoroughly misunderstood!
** We speak of the American Chapter of Rose Croix.
to the Masons, only in the twenty-second century B.C., are found on monuments reckoned twice as old by the best Egyptologists. Nevertheless we must take at the same time into consideration, that the Masons are themselves ignorant of these names.
The simple truth is that modern Masonry is a sadly different thing from what the once universal secret fraternity was in the days when the Brahma-worshippers of the AUM, exchanged grips and passwords with the devotees of TUM, and the adepts of every country under the sun were "Brothers."
What was then that mysterious name, that mighty "word" through whose potency the Hindu as well as the Chaldean and Egyptian initiate performed his wonders? In chapter cxv. of the Egyptian Funeral Ritual, entitled "The chapter of coming out to the Heaven . . . and of knowing the Spirits of An" (Heliopolis), Horus says: "I knew the Spirits of An. The greatly glorious does not pass over it . . . unless the gods give me the WORD." In another hymn the soul, transformed, exclaims: "Make road for me to Rusta. I am the Great One, dressed as the Great One. I have come! I have come! Delicious to me are the kings of Osiris. I am creating the water (through the power of the Word). . . . Have I not seen the hidden secrets . . . I have given truth to the Sun. I am clear. I am adored for my purity" (cxvii. — cxix. The chapters of the going into and coming out from the Rusta). In another place the mummy's roll expresses the following: "I am the Great God (spirit) existing of myself, the creator of His Name. . . . I know the name of this Great God that is there."
Jesus is accused by his enemies of having wrought miracles, and shown by his own apostles to have expelled demons by the power of the INEFFABLE NAME. The former firmly believed that he had stolen it in the Sanctuary. "And he cast the spirits with his word . . . and healed all that were sick" (Matthew xviii. 16). When the Jewish rulers ask Peter (Acts iv. 7): "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?" Peter replies, "By the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth." But does this mean the name of Christ, as the interpreters would make us believe; or does it signify, "'by the NAME which was in the possession of Jesus of Nazareth," the initiate, who was accused by the Jews to have learned it but who had it really through initiation? Besides, he states repeatedly that all that he does he does in "His Father's Name," not in his own.
But who of the modern Masons has ever heard it pronounced? In their own Ritual, they confess that they never have. The "Sir Orator" tells the "Sir Knight," that the passwords which he received in the preceding degrees are all "so many corruptions" of the true name
of God engraved on the triangle; and that therefore they have adopted a "substitute" for it. Such also is the case in the Blue Lodge, where the Master, representing King Solomon, agrees with King Hiram that the Word * * * "shall be used as a substitute for the Master's word, until wiser ages shall discover the true one." What Senior Deacon, of all the thousands who have assisted in bringing candidates from darkness to light; or what Master who has whispered this mystic "word" into the ears of supposititious Hiram Abiffs, while holding them on the five points of fellowship, has suspected the real meaning of even this substitute, which they impart "at low breath"? How few new-made Master Masons but go away imagining that it has some occult connection with the "marrow in the bone." What do they know of that mystical personage known to some adepts as the "venerable MAH," or of the mysterious Eastern Brothers who obey him, whose name is abbreviated in the first syllable of the three which compose the Masonic substitute — The MAH, who lives at this very day in a spot unknown to all but initiates, and the approaches to which are through trackless wildernesses, untrodden by Jesuit or missionary foot, for it is beset by dangers fit to appall the most courageous explorers? And yet, for generations this meaningless jingle of vowels and consonants has been repeated in noviciate ears, as though it possessed even so much potency as would deflect from its course a thistledown floating in the air! Like Christianity, Freemasonry is a corpse from which the spirit long ago fled.
In this connection, place may well be given to a letter from Mr. Charles Sotheran, Corresponding Secretary of the New York Liberal Club, which was received by us on the day after the date it bears. Mr. Sotheran is known as a writer and lecturer on antiquarian, mystical, and other subjects. In Masonry, he has taken so many of the degrees as to be a competent authority as regards the Craft. He is 32 A. and P. R., and P. R., 94 Memphis, K. R , K. Kadosh, M. M. 104, Eng., etc. He is also an initiate of the modern English Brotherhood of the Rosie Cross and other secret societies, and Masonic editor of the New York Advocate. Following is the letter, which we place before the Masons as we desire that they should see what one of their own number has to say:
"NEW YORK PRESS CLUB, January 11th, 1877.
"In response to your letter, I willingly furnish the information desired with respect to the antiquity and present condition of Freemasonry. This I do the more cheerfully since we belong to the same secret societies, and you can thus better appreciate the necessity for the reserve which at times I shall be obliged to exhibit. You rightly refer to the fact that Freemasonry, no less than the effete theologies of the day, has its fabulous history to narrate. Clogged up as the Order has been by the rubbish and drift of absurd biblical legends, it is no wonder that its usefulness has been impaired and its
work as a civilizer hampered. Fortunately the great anti-Masonic excitement that raged in the United States during a portion of this century, forced a considerable band of workers to delve into the true origin of the Craft, and bring about a healthier state of things. The agitation in America also spread to Europe and the literary efforts of Masonic authors on both sides of the Atlantic, such as Rebold, Findel, Hyneman, Mitchell, Mackenzie, Hughan, Yarker and others well-known to the fraternity, is now a matter of history. One effect of their labors has been, in a great measure, to bring the history of Masonry into an open daylight, where even its teachings, jurisprudence, and ritual are no longer secret from those of the 'profane,' who have the wit to read as they run.
"You are correct in saying that the Bible is the 'great light' of European and American Masonry. In consequence of this the theistic conception of God and the biblical cosmogony have been ever considered two of its great corner-stones. Its chronology seems also to have been based upon the same pseudo-revelation. Thus Dr. Dalcho, in one of his treatises asserts that the principles of the Masonic Order were presented at and coeval with the creation. It is therefore not astonishing that such a pundit should go on to state that God was the first Grand Master, Adam the second, and the last named initiated Eve into the Great Mystery, as I suppose many a Priestess of Cybele and 'Lady' Kadosh were afterward. The Rev. Dr. Oliver, another Masonic authority, gravely records what may be termed the minutes of a Lodge where Moses presided as Grand Master, Joshua as Deputy Grand Master, and Aholiab and Bezaleel as Grand Wardens! The temple at Jerusalem, which recent archaeologists have shown to be a structure with nothing like the pretended antiquity of its erection, and incorrectly called after a monarch whose name proves his mystical character, Sol-Om-On (the name of the sun in three languages), plays, as you correctly observe, a considerable share in Masonic mystery. Such fables as these, and the traditional Masonic colonization of ancient Egypt, have given the Craft the credit of an illustrious origin to which it has no right, and before whose forty centuries of legendary history, the mythologies of Greece and Rome fade into insignificance. The Egyptian, Chaldean, and other theories necessary to each fabricator of 'high degrees' have also each had their short period of prominence. The last 'axe to grind' has consecutively been the fruitful mother of unproductiveness.
"We both agree that all the ancient priesthoods had their esoteric doctrines and secret ceremonies. From the Essenic brotherhood, an evolution of the Hindu Gymnosophists, doubtless proceeded the Solidarities of Greece and Rome as described by so-called 'Pagan' writers. Founded on these and copying them in the matter of ritual, signs, grips, passwords, etc., were developed the mediaeval guilds. Like the present livery companies of London, the relics of the English trade-guilds, the operative Masons were but a guild of workmen with higher pretensions. From the French name 'Macon,' derived from 'Mas,' an old Norman noun meaning 'a house,' comes our English 'Mason,' a house builder. As the London companies alluded to present now and again the Freedom of the 'Liveries' to outsiders, so we find the trade-guilds of Masons doing the same. Thus the founder of the Ashmolean Museum was made free of the Masons at Warrington, in Lancashire, England, on the 16th October, 1646. The entrance of such men as Elias Ashmole into the Operative Fraternity paved the way for the great 'Masonic Revolution of 1717,' when SPECULATIVE Masonry came into existence. The Constitutions of 1723 and 1738, by the Masonic impostor Anderson, were written up for the newly-fledged and first Grand Lodge of 'Free and Accepted Masons' of England, from which body all others over the world hail to-day.
"These bogus constitutions, written by Anderson, were compiled about then, and in order to palm off his miserable rubbish yclept history, on the Craft, he had the audacity to state that nearly all the documents relating to Masonry in England had been destroyed by the 1717 reformers. Happily, in the British Museum, Bodleian Library, and other public institutions, Rebold, Hughan and others have discovered sufficient evidence in the shape of old Operative Masonic charges to disprove this statement.
"The same writers, I think, have conclusively upset the tenability of two other documents palmed upon Masonry, namely, the spurious charter of Cologne of 1535, and the forged questions, supposed to have been written by Leylande, the antiquary,
from a MS. of King Henry VI. of England. In the last named, Pythagoras is referred to as having — 'formed a great lodge, at Crotona, and made many Masons, some of whom travelled into France, and there made many, from whence, in process of time, the art passed into England.' Sir Christopher Wren, architect of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, often called the 'Grand Master of Freemasons,' was simply the Master or President of the London Operative Masons Company. If such a tissue of fable could interweave itself into the history of the Grand Lodges which now have charge of the first three symbolical degrees, it is hardly astonishing that the same fate should befall nearly all of the High Masonic Degrees which have been aptly termed 'an incoherent medley of opposite principles.'
"It is curious to note too that most of the bodies which work these, such as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, the Rite of Avignon, the Order of the Temple, Fessler's Rite, the 'Grand Council of the Emperors of the East and West — Sovereign Prince Masons,' etc., etc., are nearly all the offspring of the sons of Ignatius Loyola. The Baron Hundt, Chevalier Ramsay, Tschoudy, Zinnendorf, and numerous others who founded the grades in these rites, worked under instructions from the General of the Jesuits. The nest where these high degrees were hatched, and no Masonic rite is free from their baleful influence more or less, was the Jesuit College of Clermont at Paris.
"That bastard foundling of Freemasonry, the 'Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,' which is unrecognized by the Blue Lodges was the enunciation, primarily, of the brain of the Jesuit Chevalier Ramsay. It was brought by him to England in 1736-38, to aid the cause of the Catholic Stuarts. The rite in its present form of thirty-three degrees was reorganized at the end of the eighteenth century by some half dozen Masonic adventurers at Charleston, South Carolina. Two of these, Pirlet a tailor, and a dancing master named Lacorne, were fitting predecessors for a later resuscitation by a gentleman of the name of Gourgas, employed in the aristocratic occupation of a ship's clerk, on a boat trading between New York and Liverpool. Dr. Crucefix, alias Goss, the inventor of certain patent medicines of an objectionable character, ran the institution in England. The powers under which these worthies acted was a document claimed to have been signed by Frederick the Great at Berlin, on May 1st, 1786, and by which were revised the Masonic Constitution and Status of the High Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. This paper was an impudent forgery and necessitated the issuing of a protocol by the Grand Lodges of the Three Globes of Berlin, which conclusively proved the whole arrangement to be false in every particular. On claims supported by this supposititious document, the Ancient and Accepted Rite have swindled their confiding brothers in the Americas and Europe out of thousands of dollars, to the shame and discredit of humanity.
"The modern Templars, whom you refer to in your letter, are but mere magpies in peacock's plumes. The aim of the Masonic Templars is the sectarianization, or rather the Christianizing of Masonry, a fraternity which is supposed to admit the Jew, Parsee, Mahometan, Buddhist, in fact every religionist within its portals who accepts the doctrine of a personal god, and spirit-immortality. According to the belief of a section, if not all the Israelites, belonging to the Craft in America — Templarism is Jesuitism.
"It seems strange, now that the belief in a personal God is becoming extinct, and that even the theologian has transformed his deity into an indescribable nondescript, that there are those who stand in the way of the general acceptation of the sublime pantheism of the primeval Orientals, of Jacob Boehme, of Spinoza. Often in the Grand Lodge and subordinate lodges of this and other jurisdictions, the old doxology is sung, with its 'Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,' to the disgust of Israelites and free-thinking brethren, who are thus unnecessarily insulted. This could never occur in India, where the great light in a lodge may be the Koran, the Zend-Avesta, or one of the Vedas. The sectarian Christian spirit in Masonry must be put down. To-day there are German Grand Lodges which will not allow Jews to be initiated, or Israelites from foreign countries to be accepted as brethren within their jurisdiction. The French Masons have, however, revolted against this tyranny, and the Grand Orient of France does now permit the atheist and materialist to fellowship in the Craft. A standing rebuke upon the claimed universality of Masonry is the fact that the French brethren are now repudiated.
"Notwithstanding its many faults — and speculative Masonry is but human, and
therefore fallible — there is no institution that has done so much, and is yet capable of such great undertakings in the future, for human, religious, and political improvement. In the last century the Illuminati taught, 'peace with the cottage, war with the palace,' throughout the length and breadth of Europe. In the last century the United States was freed from the tyranny of the mother country by the action of the Secret Societies more than is commonly imagined. Washington, Lafayette, Franklin, Jefferson, Hamilton, were Masons. And in the nineteenth century it was Grand Master Garibaldi, 33, who unified Italy, working in accordance with the spirit of the faithful brotherhood, as the Masonic, or rather carbonari, principles of 'liberty, equality, humanity, independence, unity,' taught for years by brother Joseph Mazzini.
"Speculative Masonry has much, too, within its ranks to do. One is to accept woman as a co-worker of man in the struggle of life, as the Hungarian Masons have done lately by initiating the Countess Haideck. Another important thing is also to recognize practically the brotherhood of all humanity by refusing none on account of color, race, position, or creed. The dark-skinned should not be only theoretically the brother of the light. The colored Masons who have been duly and regularly raised stand at every lodge-door in America craving admission, and they are refused. And there is South America to be conquered to a participation in the duties of humanity.
"If Masonry be, as claimed, a progressive science and a school of pure religion, it should ever be found in the advance guard of civilization, not in the rear. If it be but an empirical effort, a crude attempt of humanity to solve some of the deepest problems of the race, and no more, then it must give place to fitter successors, perchance one of those that you and I know of, one that may have acted the prompter at the side of the chiefs of the Order, during its greatest triumphs, whispering to them as the daemon did in the ear of Socrates.
"Yours most Sincerely,
Thus falls to ruins the grand epic poem of Masons, sung by so many mysterious Knights as another revealed gospel. As we see, the Temple of Solomon is being undermined and brought to the ground by its own chief "Master Masons," of this century. But if, following the ingenious exoteric description of the Bible, there are yet Masons who persist in regarding it as once an actual structure, who, of the students of the esoteric doctrine will ever consider this mythic temple otherwise than an allegory, embodying the secret science? Whether or not there ever was a real temple of that name, we may well leave to archaeologists to decide; but that the detailed description thereof in 1 Kings is purely allegorical, no serious scholar, proficient in the ancient as well as mediaeval jargon of the kabalists and alchemists, can doubt. The building of the Temple of Solomon is the symbolical representation of the gradual acquirement of the secret wisdom, or magic; the erection and development of the spiritual from the earthly; the manifestation of the power and splendor of the spirit in the physical world, through the wisdom and genius of the builder. The latter, when he has become an adept, is a mightier king than Solomon himself, the emblem of the sun or Light himself — the light of the real subjective world, shining in the darkness of the objective universe. This is the "Temple" which can be reared without the sound of the hammer, or any tool of iron being heard in the house while it is "in building."
In the East, this science is called, in some places, the "seven-storied," in others, the "nine-storied" Temple; every story answers allegorically to a degree of knowledge acquired. Throughout the countries of the Orient, wherever magic and the wisdom-religion are studied, its practitioners and students are known among their craft as Builders — for they build the temple of knowledge, of secret science. Those of the adepts who are active, are styled practical or operative Builders, while the students, or neophytes are classed as speculative or theoretical. The former exemplify in works their control over the forces of inanimate as well as animate nature; the latter are but perfecting themselves in the rudiments of the sacred science. These terms were evidently borrowed at the beginning by the unknown founders of the first Masonic guilds.
In the now popular jargon, "Operative Masons" are understood to be the bricklayers and the handicraftsmen, who composed the Craft down to Sir Christopher Wren's time; and "Speculative Masons," all members of the Order, as now understood. The sentence attributed to Jesus, "Thou art Peter . . . upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it," disfigured, as it is, by mistranslation and misinterpretation, plainly indicates its real meaning. We have shown the signification of Pater and Petra, with the hierophants — the interpretation traced on the tables of stone of the final initiation, was handed by the initiator to the chosen future interpreter. Having acquainted himself with its mysterious contents, which revealed to him the mysteries of creation, the initiated became a builder himself, for he was made acquainted with the dodecahedron, or the geometrical figure on which the universe was built. To what he had learned in previous initiations of the use of the rule and of architectural principles, was added a cross, the perpendicular and horizontal lines of which were supposed to form the foundation of the spiritual temple, by placing them across the junction, or central primordial point, the element of all existences,* representing the first concrete idea of deity. Henceforth he could, as a Master builder (see 1 Corinthians, iii. 10), erect a temple of wisdom on that rock of Petra, for himself; and having laid a sure foundation, let "another build thereon."
The Egyptian hierophant was given a square head-dress, which he had to wear always, and a square (see Mason's marks), without which he could never go abroad. The perfect Tau formed of the perpendicular (descending male ray, or spirit) a horizontal line (or matter, female ray), and the mundane circle was an attribute of Isis, and, it is but at his death that the Egyptian cross was laid on the breast of his mummy. These
square hats are worn unto this day by the Armenian priests. The claim that the cross is purely a Christian symbol introduced after our era, is strange indeed, when we find Ezekiel stamping the foreheads of the men of Judah, who feared the Lord (Ezekiel ix. 4), with the signa Thau, as it is translated in the Vulgate. In the ancient Hebrew this sign was formed thus but in the original Egyptian hieroglyphics as a perfect Christian cross . In the Revelation, also, the "Alpha and Omega" (spirit and matter), the first and the last, stamps the name of his Father in the foreheads of the elect.
And if our statements are wrong, if Jesus was not an initiate, a Master-builder, or Master-Mason as it is now called, how comes it, that on the most ancient cathedrals we find his figure with Mason's marks about his person? In the Cathedral of Santa Croce, Florence, over the main portal can be seen the figure of Christ holding a perfect square in his hand.
The surviving "Master-builders" of the operative craft of the true Temple, may go literally half-naked and wander slipshod for ever — now not for the sake of a puerile ceremony, but because, like the "Son of man," they have not where to lay their heads — and yet be the only surviving possessors of the "Word." Their "cable-tow" is the sacred triple cord of certain Brahman-Sannyasi, or the string on which certain lamas hang their yu-stone; but with these apparently valueless talismans, not one of them would part for all the wealth of Solomon and Sheba. The seven-knotted bamboo stick of the fakir can become as powerful as the rod of Moses "which was created between the evenings, and on which was engraven and set forth the great and glorious NAME, with which he was to do the wonders in Mizraim."
But these "operative workmen" have no fear that their secrets will be disclosed by treacherous ex-high priests of chapters, though their generation may have received them through others than "Moses, Solomon, and Zerubbabel." Had Moses Michael Hayes, the Israelite Brother who introduced Royal Arch Masonry into this country (in December, 1778),* had a prophetic presentiment of future treasons, he might have instituted more efficacious obligations than he has.
Truly, the grand omnific Royal Arch word, "long lost but now found," has fulfilled its prophetic promise. The password of that degree is no more "I AM THAT I AM." It is now simply "I was but am no more!"
* The first Grand Chapter was instituted at Philadelphia, in 1797.
That we may not be accused of vain boasting, we shall give the keys to several of the secret ciphers of the most exclusive and important of the so-called higher Masonic degrees. If we mistake not, these have never before been revealed to the outside world (except that of the Royal Arch Masons, in 1830), but have been most jealously guarded within the various Orders. We are under neither promise, obligation, nor oath; and therefore violate no confidence. Our purpose is not to gratify an idle curiosity; we wish merely to show Masons and the affiliates of all other Western societies — the Company of Jesus included — that it is impossible for them to be secure in the possession of any secrets that it is worth an Eastern Brotherhood's while to discover. Inferentially, it may also show them that if the latter can lift the masks of European societies, they are nevertheless successful in wearing their own visors; for, if any one thing is universally acknowledged, it is that the real secrets of not a single surviving ancient brotherhood are in possession of the profane.
Some of these ciphers were used by the Jesuits in their secret correspondence at the time of the Jacobin conspiracy, and when Masonry (the alleged successor to the Temple) was employed by the Church for political purposes.
Findel says (see his History of Freemasonry, p. 253) that in the eighteenth century, "besides the modern Knights Templar, we see the Jesuits . . . disfiguring the fair face of Freemasonry. Many Masonic authors, who were fully cognizant of the period, and knew exactly all the incidents occurring, positively assert that then and still later the Jesuits exercised a pernicious influence, or at least endeavored to do so, upon the fraternity." Of the Rosicrucian Order he remarks, upon the authority of Prof. Woog, that its "aim at first . . . was nothing less than the support and advancement of Catholicism. When this religion manifested a determination entirely to repress liberty of thought . . . the Rosicrucians enlarged their designs likewise to check, if possible, the progress of this widely-spreading enlightenment."
In the Sincerus Renatus (the truly converted) of S. Richter, of Berlin (1714), we note that laws were communicated for the government of the "Golden Rosicrucians," which "bear unmistakable evidences of Jesuitical intervention."
We will begin with the cryptographs of the "Sovereign Princes Rose Croix," also styled Knights of St. Andrew, Knights of the Eagle and Pelican, Heredom, Rosae Crucis, Rosy Cross, Triple Cross, Perfect Brother, Prince Mason, and so on. The "Heredom Rosy Cross" also claims a Templar origin, in 1314.*
* See Yarker's "Notes on the Mysteries of Antiquity," p. 153.
The Knights Kadosh have another cipher — or rather hieroglyph — which, in this case, is taken from the Hebrew, possibly to be the more in keeping with the Bible Kadeshim of the Temple.*
* See 2 Kings, xxiii. 7, Hebrew text, and English, the former especially. In the degree of Kadosh, a lecture is given upon the descent of Masonry through Moses, Solomon, the Essenes, and the Templars. Christian K. K.'s may get some light as to the kind of "Temple" their ancestors would, in such a genealogical descent, have been attached to, by consulting verse 13 of the same chapter as above quoted.
As for the Royal Arch cipher, it has been exposed before now, but we may as well present it slightly amplified.
This cipher consists of certain combinations of right angles, with or without points or dots. Following is the basis of its Formation.
Now, the alphabet consists of twenty-six letters, and these two signs being dissected, form thirteen distinct characters, thus:
Let this suffice. We might, if we chose, give the cipher alphabets with their keys, of another method of the Royal Arch Masons, strongly resembling a certain Hindu character; of the G El of the Mystic City; of a well-known form of the Devanagari script of the (French) Sages of the Pyramids; and of the Sublime Master of the Great Work, and others. But we refrain; only, be it understood, for the reason that some of these alone of all the side branches of the original Blue Lodge Freemasonry, contain the promise of a useful future. As for the rest, they may and will go to the ash-heap of time. High Masons will understand what we mean.
We must now give some proofs of what we have stated, and demonstrate that the word Jehovah, if Masonry adheres to it, will ever remain as a substitute, never be identical with the lost mirific name. This is so well known to the kabalists, that in their careful etymology of the they show it beyond doubt to be only one of the many substitutes for the real name, and composed of the two-fold name of the first androgyne — Adam and Eve, Jod (or Yodh), Vau and He-Va — the female serpent as a symbol of Divine Intelligence proceeding from the ONE-Generative or Creative Spirit.* Thus, Jehovah is not the sacred name at all. Had Moses given to Pharaoh the true "name," the latter would not have answered as he did, for the Egyptian King-Initiates knew it as well as Moses, who had learned it with them. The "name" was at that time the common property of the adepts of all the nations in the world, and Pharaoh knew certainly the "name" of the Highest God mentioned in the Book of the Dead. But instead of that, Moses (if we accept the allegory of Exodus literally), gives Pharaoh the name of Yeva, the expression or form of the Divine name used by all the Targums as passed by Moses. Hence Pharaoh's reply: "And who is that Yeva** that I should obey his voice?"
"Jehovah" dates only from the Masoretic innovation. When the Rabbis, for fear that they should lose the keys to their own doctrines, then written exclusively in consonants, began to insert their vowel-points in their manuscripts, they were utterly ignorant of the true pronunciation of the NAME. Hence, they gave it the sound of Adonah, and made it read Ja-ho-vah. Thus the latter is simply a fancy, a perversion of the Holy Name. And how could they know it? Alone, out of all their nation the high priests had it in their possession, and respectively passed it to their successors, as the Hindu Brahmatma does before his death. Once a year only, on the day of atonement, the high priest was
* See Eliphas Levi's "Dogme et Rituel," Vol. i.
** Yeva is Heva, the feminine counterpart of Jehovah-Binah.
allowed to pronounce it in a whisper. Passing behind the veil into the inner chamber of the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, with trembling lips and downcast eyes he called upon the dreaded NAME. The bitter persecution of the kabalists, who received the precious syllables after deserving the favor by a whole life of sanctity, was due to a suspicion that they misused it. At the opening of this chapter we have told the story of Simeon Ben-Iochai, one of the victims to this priceless knowledge, and see how little he deserved his cruel treatment.
The Book of Jasher, a work — as we are told by a very learned Hebrew divine, of New York — composed in Spain in the twelfth century as "a popular tale," and that had not "the sanction of the Rabbinical College of Venice," is full of kabalistical, alchemical, and magical allegories. Admitting so much, it must still be said that there are few popular tales but are based on historical truths. The Norsemen in Iceland, by Dr. G. W. Dasent, is also a collection of popular tales, but they contain the key to the primitive religious worship of that people. So with the Book of Jasher. It contains the whole of the Old Testament in a condensed form, and as the Samaritans held, i.e., the five Books of Moses, without the Prophets. Although rejected by the orthodox Rabbis, we cannot help thinking that, as in the case of the apocryphal Gospels, which were written earlier than the canonical ones, the Book of Jasher is the true original from which the subsequent Bible was in part composed. Both the apocryphal Gospels and Jasher, are a series of religious tales, in which miracle is heaped upon miracle, and which narrate the popular legends as they first originated, without any regard to either chronology or dogma. Still both are corner-stones of the Mosaic and Christian religions. That there was a Book of Jasher prior to the Mosaic Pentateuch is clear, for it is mentioned in Joshua, Isaiah, and 2 Samuel.
Nowhere is the difference between the Elohists and Jehovists so clearly shown as in Jasher. Jehovah is here spoken of as the Ophites held him to be, a Son of Ilda-Baoth, or Saturn. In this Book, the Egyptian Magi, when asked by Pharaoh "Who is he, of whom Moses speaks as the I am?" reply that the God of Moses "we have learned, is the Son of the Wise, the Son of ancient kings" (ch. lxxix. 45).* Now, those who assert that Jasher is a forgery of the twelfth century — and we readily believe it — should nevertheless explain the curious fact that, while the above text is not to be found in the Bible, the answer to it is,
*We find a very suggestive point in connection with this appellation of Jehovah, "Son of ancient Kings," in the Jaina sect of Hindustan, known as the Sauryas. They admit that Brahma is a Devata, but deny his creative power, and call him the "Son of a King." See "Asiatic Researches," vol. ix., p. 279.
and is, moreover, couched in unequivocal terms. At Isaiah xix. 11, the "Lord God" complains of it very wrathfully to the prophet, and says: "Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish; how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the Son of the Wise, the Son of ancient kings?" which is evidently a reply to the above. At Joshua x. 13, Jasher is referred to in corroboration of the outrageous assertion that the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves. "Is not this written in the Book of Jasher?" says the text. And at 2 Samuel, i. 19, the same book is again quoted. "Behold," it says, "it is written in the Book of Jasher." Clearly, Jasher must have existed; it must have been regarded as authority; must have been older than Joshua; and, since the verse in Isaiah unerringly points to the passage above quoted, we have at least as much reason to accept the current edition of Jasher as a transcription, excerpt, or compilation of the original work, as we have to revere the Septuagint Pentateuch, as the primitive Hebraic sacred records.
At all events, Jehovah is not the ancient of the ancient, or "aged of the aged," of the Sohar; for we find him, in this book, counselling with God the Father as to the creation of the world. "The work-master spoke to the Lord. Let us make man after our image" (Sohar i., fol. 25). Jehovah is but the Metatron, and perhaps, not even the highest, but only one of the AEons; for he whom Onkelos calls Memro, the "Word," is not the exoteric Jehovah of the Bible, nor is he Jahve the Existing One.
It was the secresy of the early kabalists, who were anxious to screen the real Mystery name of the "Eternal" from profanation, and later the prudence which the mediaeval alchemists and occultists were compelled to adopt to save their lives, that caused the inextricable confusion of divine names. This is what led the people to accept the Jehovah of the Bible as the name of the "One living God." Every Jewish elder, prophet, and other man of any importance knew the difference; but as the difference lay in the vocalization of the "name," and its right pronunciation led to death, the common people were ignorant of it, for no initiate would risk his life by teaching it to them. Thus the Sinaitic deity came gradually to be regarded as identical with "Him whose name is known but to the wise." When Capellus translates: "Whosoever shall pronounce the name of Jehovah, shall suffer death," he makes two mistakes. The first is in adding the final letter h to the name, if he wants this deity to be considered either male or androgynous, for the letter makes the name feminine, as it really should be, considering it is one of the names of Binah, the third emanation; his second error is in asserting that the word nokeb means only to pronounce distinctly. It means to pronounce cor-
rectly. Therefore, the biblical name Jehovah may be considered simply a substitute, which, as belonging to one of the "powers" got to be viewed as that of the "Eternal." There is an evident mistake (one of the very many), in one of the texts in Leviticus, which has been corrected by Cahen, and which proves that the interdiction did not at all concern the name of the exoteric Jehovah, whose numerous other names could also be pronounced without any penalty being incurred.* In the vicious English version, the translation runs thus: "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall surely be put to death," Levit. xxiv. 16. Cahen renders it far more correctly, thus: "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Eternal shall die," etc. The "Eternal" being something higher than the exoteric and personal "Lord."**
As with the Gentile nations, the symbols of the Israelites were ever bearing, directly or indirectly, upon sun-worship. The exoteric Jehovah of the Bible is a dual god, like all the other gods; and the fact that David — who is entirely ignorant of Moses — praises his "Lord," and assures him that the "Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods," may be of a very great importance to the descendants of Jacob and David, but their national God concerns us in no wise. We are quite ready to show the "Lord God" of Israel the same respect as we do to Brahma, Zeus, or any other secondary deity. But we decline, most emphatically, to recognize in him either the Deity worshipped by Moses, or the "Father" of Jesus, or yet the "Ineffable Name" of the kabalists. Jehovah is, perhaps, one of the Elohim, who was concerned in the formation (which is not creation) of the universe, one of the architects who built from pre-existing matter, but he never was the "Unknowable" Cause that created "bara," in the night of the Eternity. These Elohim first form and bless; then they curse and destroy; as one of these Powers, Jehovah is therefore by turns beneficent and malevolent; at one moment he punishes and then repents. He is the antitype of several of the patriarchs — of Esau and of Jacob, the allegorical twins, emblems of the ever manifest dual principle in nature. So Jacob, who is Israel, is the left pillar — the feminine principle of Esau, who is the right pillar and the male principle. When he wrestles with Malach-Iho, the Lord, it is the latter who becomes the right pillar, and Jacob-Israel names God; although the Bible-interpreters have endeavored to transform him into a mere "angel of the Lord" (Genesis xxxii.), Jacob conquers him — as matter will but too often conquer spirit — but his thigh is put out of joint in the fight.
* As, for instance, Shaddai, Elohim, Sabaoth, etc.
** Cahen's "Hebrew Bible," iii., p. 117.
The name of Israel has its derivation from Isaral or Asar, the Sun-God, who is known as Suryal, Surya, and Sur. Isra-el means "striving with God." The "sun rising upon Jacob-Israel," is the Sun-God Isaral, fecundating matter or earth, represented by the female-Jacob. As usual, the allegory has more than one hidden meaning in the Kabala. Esau, AEsaou, Asu, is also the sun. Like the "Lord," Esau fights with Jacob and prevails not. The God-Sun first strives against, and then rises on him in covenant.
"And as he passed over Penuel, the sun rose upon him, and he (Jacob) halted upon his thigh" (Genesis xxxii. 31). Israel Jacob, opposed by his brother Esau, is Samael, and "the names of Samael are Azazel and Satan" (the opposer).
If it will be argued that Moses was unacquainted with the Hindu philosophy and, therefore, could not have taken Siva, the regenerator and the destroyer, as his model for Jehovah, then we must admit that there was some miraculous international intuition which prompted every nation to choose for its exoteric national deity the dual type we find in the "Lord God" of Israel. All these fables speak for themselves. Siva, Jehovah, Osiris, are all the symbols of the active principle in nature par excellence. They are the forces which preside at the formation or regeneration of matter and its destruction. They are the types of Life and Death, ever fecundating and decomposing under the never-ceasing influx of the anima mundi, the Universal intellectual Soul, the invisible but ever-present spirit which is behind the correlation of the blind forces. This spirit alone is immutable, and therefore the forces of the universe, cause and effect, are ever in perfect harmony with this one great Immutable Law. Spiritual Life is the one primordial principle above; Physical Life is the primordial principle below, but they are one under their dual aspect. When the Spirit is completely untrammelled from the fetters of correlation, and its essence has become so purified as to be re-united with its CAUSE, it may — and yet who can tell whether it really will — have a glimpse of the Eternal Truth. Till then, let us not build ourselves idols in our own image, and accept the shadows for the Eternal Light.
The greatest mistake of the age was to attempt a comparison of the relative merits of all the ancient religions, and scoff at the doctrines of the Kabala and other superstitions.
But truth is stranger than fiction; and this world-old adage finds its application in the case in hand. The "wisdom" of the archaic ages or the "secret doctrine" embodied in the Oriental Kabala, of which, as we have said, the Rabbinical is but an abridgment, did not die out with the Philaletheans of the last Eclectic school. The Gnosis lingers still on earth, and its votaries are many, albeit unknown. Such secret
brotherhoods have been mentioned before Mackenzie's time, by more than one great author. If they have been regarded as mere fictions of the novelist, that fact has only helped the "brother-adepts" to keep their incognito the more easily. We have personally known several of them who, to their great merriment had had the story of their lodges, the communities in which they lived, and the wondrous powers which they had exercised for many long years, laughed at and denied by unsuspecting skeptics to their very faces. Some of these brothers belong to the small groups of "travellers." Until the close of the happy Louis-Philippian reign, they were pompously termed by the Parisian garcon and trader the nobles etrangers, and as innocently believed to be "Boyards," Valachian "Gospodars," Indian "Nabobs," and Hungarian "Margraves," who had gathered at the capital of the civilized world to admire its monuments and partake of its dissipations. There are, however, some insane enough to connect the presence of certain of these mysterious guests in Paris with the great political events that subsequently took place. Such recall at least as very remarkable coincidences, the breaking out of the Revolution of '93, and the earlier explosion of the South Sea Bubble, soon after the appearance of "noble foreigners," who had convulsed all Paris for more or less longer periods, by either their mystical doctrines or "supernatural gifts." The St. Germains and Cagliostros of this century, having learned bitter lessons from the vilifications and persecutions of the past, pursue different tactics now-a-days.
But there are numbers of these mystic brotherhoods which have naught to do with "civilized" countries; and it is in their unknown communities that are concealed the skeletons of the past. These "adepts" could, if they chose, lay claim to strange ancestry, and exhibit verifiable documents that would explain many a mysterious page in both sacred and profane history. Had the keys to the hieratic writings and the secret of Egyptian and Hindu symbolism been known to the Christian Fathers, they would not have allowed a single monument of old to stand unmutilated. And yet, if we are well informed — and we think we are — there was not one such in all Egypt, but the secret records of its hieroglyphics were carefully registered by the sacerdotal caste. These records still exist, though "not extant" for the general public, though perhaps the monuments may have passed away for ever out of human sight.
Of forty-seven tombs of the kings, near Gornore, recorded by the Egyptian priests on their sacred registers, only seventeen were known to the public, according to Diodorus Siculus, who visited the place about sixty years B.C. Notwithstanding this historical evidence, we assert that the whole number exist to this day, and the royal tomb discovered by
Belzoni among the sandstone mountains of Biban-el-Melook (Melech?) is but a feeble specimen of the rest. We will add, furthermore, that the Arab-Christians, the monks, scattered around in their poor, desolate convents on the borderland of the great Lybian Desert, know of the existence of such unbetrayed relics. But they are Copts, sole remnants of the true Egyptian race, and the Copt predominating over the Christian monk in their natures, they keep silent; for what reason it is not for us to tell. There are some who believe that their monkish attire is but a blind, and that they have chosen these desolate homes among arid deserts and surrounded by Mahometan tribes, for some ulterior purposes of their own. Be it as it may, they are held in great esteem by the Greek monks of Palestine; and there is a rumor current among the Christian pilgrims of Jerusalem, who throng the Holy Sepulchre at every Easter, that the holy fire from heaven will never descend so miraculously as when these monks of the desert are present to draw it down by their prayers.*
"The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Many are the candidates at the doors of those who are supposed to know the path that leads to the secret brotherhoods. The great majority are refused admittance, and these turn away interpreting the refusal as an evidence of the non-existence of any such secret society. Of the minority accepted, more than two-thirds fail upon trial. The seventh rule of the ancient Rosicrucian brotherhoods, which is universal among all true secret societies: "the Rosy-Crux becomes and is not made," is more than the generality of men can bear to have applied to them. But let no one suppose that of the candidates who fail, any will divulge to the world even the trifle they may have learned, as some Masons do. None know better than themselves how unlikely it is that a neophyte should ever talk of what was imparted to him. Thus these societies will go on and hear themselves denied without uttering a word until the day shall come for them to throw off their reserve and show how completely they are masters of the situation.
* The Greek monks have this "miracle" performed for the "faithful" every year on Easter night. Thousands of pilgrims are there waiting with their tapers to light them at this sacred fire, which at the precise hour and when needed, descends from the chapel-vault and hovers about the sepulchre in tongues of fire until every one of the thousand pilgrims has lighted his wax taper at it.