"Christian and Catholic sons may accuse their fathers of the crime of heresy . . . although they may know that their parents will be burnt with fire and put to death for it. . . . And not only may they refuse them food, if they attempt to turn them from the Catholic faith, but they may also justly kill them." — Jesuit Precept (F. Stephen Fagundez, in Proecepta Decalogi. Lugduni, 1640).
"Most Wise. — What hour is it?
"Respect. K. S. Warden. — It is the first hour of the day, the time when the veil of the temple was rent asunder, when darkness and consternation were spread over the earth — when the light was darkened — when the implements of Masonry were broken — when the flaming star disappeared — when the cubic stone was broken — when the 'word' was lost." — Magna est Veritas et Praevalebit.
The greatest of the kabalistic works of the Hebrews — Sohar — was compiled by Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iochai. According to some critics, this was done years before the Christian era; according to others only after the destruction of the temple. However, it was completed only by the son of Simeon, Rabbi Eleazar, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba; for the work is so immense and the subjects treated so abstruse that even the whole life of this Rabbi, called the Prince of kabalists, did not suffice for the task. On account of its being known that he was in possession of this knowledge, and of the Mercaba, which insured the reception of the "Word," his very life was endangered, and he had to fly to the wilderness, where he lived in a cave for twelve years, surrounded by faithful disciples, and finally died there amid signs and wonders.*
But voluminous as is the work, and containing as it does the main points of the secret and oral tradition, it still does not embrace it all. It
is well known that this venerable kabalist never imparted the most important points of his doctrine otherwise than orally, and to a very limited number of friends and disciples, including his only son. Therefore, without the final initiation into the Mercaba the study of the Kabala will be ever incomplete, and the Mercaba can be taught only in "darkness, in a deserted place, and after many and terrific trials." Since the death of Simeon Ben-Iochai this hidden doctrine has remained an inviolate secret for the outside world. Delivered only as a mystery, it was communicated to the candidate orally, "face to face and mouth to ear."
This Masonic commandment, "mouth to ear, and the word at low breath," is an inheritance from the Tanaim and the old Pagan Mysteries. Its modern use must certainly be due to the indiscretion of some renegade kabalist, though the "word" itself is but a "substitute" for the "lost word," and is a comparatively modern invention, as we will further show. The real sentence has remained forever in the sole possession of the adepts of various countries of the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Only a limited number among the chiefs of the Templars, and some Rosicrucians of the seventeenth century, always in close relations with Arabian alchemists and initiates, could really boast of its possession. From the seventh to the fifteenth centuries there was no one who could claim it in Europe; and although there had been alchemists before the days of Paracelsus, he was the first who had passed through the true initiation, that last ceremony which conferred on the adept the power of travelling toward the "burning bush" over the holy ground, and to "burn the golden calf in the fire, grind it to powder, and strow it upon the water." Verily, then, this magic water, and the "lost word," resuscitated more than one of the pre-Mosaic Adonirams, Gedaliahs, and Hiram Abiffs. The real word now substituted by Mac Benac and Mah was used ages before its pseudo-magical effect was tried on the "widow's sons" of the last two centuries. Who was, in fact, the first operative Mason of any consequence? Elias Ashmole, the last of the Rosicrucians and alchemists. Admitted to the freedom of the Operative Masons' Company in London, in 1646, he died in 1692. At that time Masonry was not what it became later; it was neither a political nor a Christian institution, but a true secret organization, which admitted into the ties of fellowship all men anxious to obtain the priceless boon of liberty of conscience, and avoid clerical persecution.* Not until about thirty years after his death did what is now termed modern Freemasonry see the light. It was born on the 24th day of June, 1717, in the Apple-tree Tavern, Charles Street, Covent Garden, London. And it was then, as we are told in Anderson's
Constitutions, that the only four lodges in the south of England elected Anthony Sayer first Grand Master of Masons. Notwithstanding its great youth, this grand lodge has ever claimed the acknowledgment of its supremacy by the whole body of the fraternity throughout the whole world, as the Latin inscription on the plate put beneath the corner-stone of Freemasons' Hall, London, in 1775, would tell to those who could see it. But of this more anon.
In Die Kabbala, by Franck, the author, following its "esoteric ravings," as he expresses it, gives us, in addition to the translations, his commentaries. Speaking of his predecessors, he says that Simeon Ben-Iochai mentions repeatedly what the "companions" have taught in the older works. And the author cites one "Ieba, the old, and Hamnuna, the old."* But what the two "old" ones mean, or who they were, in fact, he tells us not, for he does not know himself.
Among the venerable sect of the Tanaim, or rather the Tananim, the wise men, there were those who taught the secrets practically and initiated some disciples into the grand and final Mystery. But the Mishna Hagiga, 2d section, say that the table of contents of the Mercaba "must only be delivered to wise old ones."† The Gemara is still more dogmatic. "The more important secrets of the Mysteries were not even revealed to all priests. Alone the initiates had them divulged." And so we find the same great secresy prevalent in every ancient religion.
But, as we see, neither the Sohar nor any other kabalistic volume contains merely Jewish wisdom. The doctrine itself being the result of whole millenniums of thought, is therefore the joint property of adepts of every nation under the sun. Nevertheless, the Sohar teaches practical occultism more than any other work on that subject; not as it is translated though, and commented upon by its various critics, but with the secret signs on its margins. These signs contain the hidden instructions, apart from the metaphysical interpretations and apparent absurdities so fully credited by Josephus, who was never initiated, and gave out the dead letter as he had received it.‡
The real practical magic contained in the Sohar and other kabalistic works, is only of use to those who read it within. The Christian apos-
tles — at least, those who are said to have produced "miracles" at will* — had to be acquainted with this science. It ill-behooves a Christian to look with horror or derision upon "magic" gems, amulets, and other talismans against the "evil eye," which serve as charms to exercise a mysterious influence, either on the possessor, or the person whom the magician desires to control. There are still extant a number of such charmed amulets in public and private collections of antiquities. Illustrations of convex gems, with mysterious legends — the meaning of which baffles all scientific inquiry — are given by many collectors. King shows several such in his Gnostics, and he describes a white carnelian (chalcedony), covered on both sides with interminable legends, to interpret which would ever prove a failure; yes, in every case, perhaps, but that of a Hermetic student or an adept. But we refer the reader to his interesting work, and the talismans described in his plates, to show that even the "Seer of Patmos" himself was well-versed in this kabalistic science of talismans and gems. St. John clearly alludes to the potent "white carnelian" — a gem well-known among adepts, as the "alba petra," or the stone of initiation, on which the word "prize" is generally found engraved, as it was given to the candidate who had successfully passed through all the preliminary trials of a neophyte. The fact is, that no less than the Book of Job, the whole Revelation, is simply an allegorical narrative of the Mysteries and initiation therein of a candidate, who is John himself. No high Mason, well versed in the different degrees, can fail to see it. The numbers seven, twelve, and others are all so many lights thrown over the obscurity of the work. Paracelsus maintained the same some centuries ago. And when we find the "one like unto the Son of man" saying (chap. ii. 17): "To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written" — the word — which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it, what Master Mason can doubt but it refers to the last head-line of this chapter?
In the pre-Christian Mithraic Mysteries, the candidate who fearlessly overcame the "twelve Tortures," which preceded the final initiation, received a small round cake or wafer of unleavened bread, symbolizing, in one of its meanings, the solar disk and known as the heavenly bread or "manna," and having figures traced on it. A lamb, or a bull was killed, and with the blood the candidate had to be sprinkled, as in the case of the Emperor Julian's initiation. The seven rules or mysteries
were then delivered to the "newly-born" that are represented in the Revelation as the seven seals which are opened "in order" (see chap. v. and vi.). There can be no doubt that the Seer of Patmos referred to this ceremony.
The origin of the Roman Catholic amulets and "relics" blessed by the Pope, is the same as that of the "Ephesian Spell," or magical characters engraved either on a stone or drawn on a piece of parchment; the Jewish amulets with verses out of the Law, and called phylacteria, [[Phulakteria]], and the Mahometan charms with verses of the Koran. All these were used as protective magic spells; and worn by the believers on their persons. Epiphanius, the worthy ex-Marcosian, who speaks of these charms when used by the Manicheans as amulets, that is to say, things worn round the neck (Periapta), and "incantations and such-like trickery," cannot well throw a slur upon the "trickery" of the Pagans and Gnostics, without including the Roman Catholic and Popish amulets.
But consistency is a virtue which we fear is losing, under Jesuit influence, the slight hold it may ever have had on the Church. That crafty, learned, conscienceless, terrible soul of Jesuitism, within the body of Romanism, is slowly but surely possessing itself of the whole prestige and spiritual power that clings to it. For the better exemplification of our theme it will be necessary to contrast the moral principles of the ancient Tanaim and Theurgists with those professed by the modern Jesuits, who practically control Romanism to-day, and are the hidden enemy that would-be reformers must encounter and overcome. Throughout the whole of antiquity, where, in what land, can we find anything like this Order or anything even approaching it? We owe a place to the Jesuits in this chapter on secret societies, for more than any other they are a secret body, and have a far closer connection with actual Masonry — in France and Germany at least — than people are generally aware of. The cry of an outraged public morality was raised against this Order from its very birth.* Barely fifteen years had elapsed after the bull approving its constitution was promulgated, when its members began to be driven away from one place to the other. Portugal and the Low Countries got rid of them, in 1578; France in 1594; Venice in 1606; Naples in 1622. From St. Petersburg they were expelled in 1815, and from all Russia in 1820.
It was a promising child from its very teens. What it grew up to be every one knows well. The Jesuits have done more moral harm in this world than all the fiendish armies of the mythical Satan. Whatever extravagance may seem to be involved in this remark, will disappear when
our readers in America, who now know little about them, are made acquainted with their principles (principia) and rules as they appear in various works written by the Jesuits themselves. We beg leave to remind the public that every one of the statements which follow in quotation marks are extracted from authenticated manuscripts, or folios printed by this distinguished body. Many are copied from the large Quarto* published by the authority of, and verified and collated by the Commissioners of the French Parliament. The statements therein were collected and presented to the King, in order that, as the "Arrest du Parlement du 5 Mars, 1762," expresses it, "the elder son of the Church might be made aware of the perversity of this doctrine. . . . A doctrine authorizing Theft, Lying, Perjury, Impurity, every Passion and Crime, teaching Homicide, Parricide, and Regicide, overthrowing religion in order to substitute for it superstition, by favoring Sorcery, Blasphemy, Irreligion, and Idolatry . . . etc." Let us then examine the ideas on magic of the Jesuits. Writing on this subject in his secret instructions, Anthony Escobart† says:
"It is lawful . . . to make use of the science acquired through the assistance of the Devil, provided the preservation and use of that knowledge do not depend upon the Devil, for the knowledge is good in itself, and the sin by which it was acquired has gone by."‡ Hence, why should not a Jesuit cheat the Devil as well as he cheats every layman?
"Astrologers and soothsayers are either bound, or are not bound, to restore the reward of their divination, if the event does not come to pass. I own," remarks the good Father Escobar, "that the former opinion does not at all please me, because, when the astrologer or diviner has exerted all the diligence in the diabolic art which is essential to his purpose, he has fulfilled his duty, whatever may be the result. As the physician . . . is not bound to restore his fee . . . if his patient should die; so neither is the astrologer bound to restore his charge . . . ex-
cept where he has used no effort, or was ignorant of his diabolic art; because, when he has used his endeavors he has not deceived."*
Further, we find the following on astrology: "If any one affirms, through conjecture founded upon the influence of the stars and the character, disposition of a man, that he will be a soldier, an ecclesiastic, or a bishop, this divination may be devoid of all sin; because the stars and the disposition of the man may have the power of inclining the human will to a certain lot or rank, but not of constraining it."†
Busembaum and Lacroix, in Theologia Moralis,‡ say, "Palmistry may be considered lawful, if from the lines and divisions of the hands it can ascertain the disposition of the body, and conjecture, with probability, the propensities and affections of the soul."§
This noble fraternity, which many preachers have of late so vehemently denied to have ever been a secret one, has been sufficiently proved as such. Their constitutions were translated into Latin by the Jesuit Polancus, and printed in the college of the Society at Rome, in 1558. "They were jealously kept secret, the greater part of the Jesuits themselves knowing only extracts from them.|| They were never produced to the light until 1761, when they were published by order of the French Parliament in 1761, 1762, in the famous process of Father Lavalette." The degrees of the Order are: I. Novices; II. Lay Brothers, or temporal Coadjutors; III. Scholastics; IV. Spiritual Coadjutors; V. Professed of Three Vows; VI. Professed of Five Vows. "There is also a secret class, known only to the General and a few faithful Jesuits, which, perhaps more than any other, contributed to the dreaded and mysterious power of the Order," says Niccolini. The Jesuits reckon it among the greatest achievements of their Order that Loyola supported, by a special memorial to the Pope, a petition for the reorganization of that abominable and abhorred instrument of wholesale butchery — the infamous tribunal of the Inquisition.
This Order of Jesuits is now all-powerful in Rome. They have been reinstalled in the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, in the Department of the Secretary of State, and in the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. The Pontifical Government was for years previous to Victor Emanuel's occupation of Rome entirely in their hands. The Society now numbers 8,584 members. But we must see what are their chief rules. By what is seen above, in becoming acquainted with their mode of action, we may ascertain what the whole Catholic body is likely to be. Says Mackenzie: "The Order has secret signs and passwords, according to the degrees to which the members belong, and as they wear no particular dress, it is very difficult to recognize them, unless they reveal themselves as members of the Order; for they may appear as Protestants or Catholics, democrats or aristocrats, infidels or bigots, according to the special mission with which they are entrusted. Their spies are everywhere, of all apparent ranks of society, and they may appear learned and wise, or simple or foolish, as their instructions run. There are Jesuits of both sexes, and all ages, and it is a well-known fact that members of the Order, of high family and delicate nurture, are acting as menial servants in Protestant families, and doing other things of a similar nature in aid of the Society's purposes. We cannot be too much on our guard, for the whole Society, being founded on a law of unhesitating obedience, can bring its force on any given point with unerring and fatal accuracy."*
The Jesuits maintain that "the Society of Jesus is not of human invention, but it proceeded from him whose name it bears. For Jesus himself described that rule of life which the Society follows, first by his example, and afterwards by his words."†
Let, then, all pious Christians listen and acquaint themselves with this alleged "rule of life" and precepts of their God, as exemplified by the Jesuits. Peter Alagona (St. Thomae Aquinatis Summae Theologiae Compendium) says: "By the command of God it is lawful to kill an innocent person, to steal, or commit . . . (Ex mandato Dei licet occidere innocentem, furari, fornicari); because he is the Lord of life and death, and all things, and it is due to him thus to fulfil his command" (Ex prima secundae, Quaest., 94).
"A man of a religious order, who for a short time lays aside his habit for a sinful purpose, is free from heinous sin, and does not incur the penalty of excommunication" (Lib. iii., sec. 2., Probl. 44, D. 212).‡
John Baptist Taberna (Synopsis Theologiae Practicae), propounds the following question: "Is a judge bound to restore the bribe which he has received for passing sentence?" Answer: "If he has received the bribe for passing an -unjust sentence, it is probable that he may keep it. . . . This opinion is maintained and defended by fifty-eight doctors"* (Jesuits).
We must abstain at present from proceeding further. So disgustingly licentious, hypocritical, and demoralizing are nearly all of these precepts, that it was found impossible to put many of them in print, except in the Latin language.† We will return to some of the more decent as we proceed, for the sake of comparison. But what are we to think of the future of the Catholic world, if it is to be controlled in word and deed by this villainous society? And that it is to be so, we can hardly doubt, as we find the Cardinal Archbishop of Cambrai loudly proclaiming the same to all the faithful? His pastoral has made a certain noise in France; and yet, as two centuries have rolled away since the expose of these infamous principles, the Jesuits have had ample time to lie so successfully in denying the just charges, that most Catholics will never believe such a thing. The infallible Pope, Clement XIV. (Ganganelli), suppressed them on the 23d of July, 1773, and yet they came to life again; and another equally infallible Pope, Pius VII., reestablished them on the 7th of August, 1814.
But we will hear what Monseigneur of Cambrai is swift to proclaim in 1876. We quote from a secular paper:
"Among other things, he maintains that Clericalism, Ultramontanism, and Jesuitism are one and the same thing — that is to say, Catholicism — and that the distinctions between them have been created by the enemies of religion. There was a time, he says, when a certain theological opinion was commonly professed in France concerning the authority of the Pope. It was restricted to our nation, and was of recent origin. The civil power during a century and a half imposed official instruction. Those who profess these opinions were called Gallicans, and those who protested were called Ultramontanes, because they had their doctrinal centre beyond the Alps, at Rome. To-day the distinction between the two schools is no longer admissible. Theological Gallicanism can no longer exist, since this opinion has ceased to be tolerated by the Church. It has been solemnly condemned, past all return, by the OEcumenical Council of the Vatican. One cannot now be Catholic without being Ultramontane — and Jesuit."‡
This settles the question. We leave inferences for the present, and proceed to compare some of the practices and precepts of the Jesuits, with those of individual mystics and organized castes and societies of the ancient time. Thus the fair-minded reader may be placed in a position to judge between them as to the tendency of their doctrines to benefit or degrade humanity.
Rabbi Jehoshua Ben Chananea, who died about A. D. 72, openly declared that he had performed "miracles" by means of the Book of Sepher Jezireh, and challenged every skeptic.* Franck, quoting from the Babylonian Talmud, names two other thaumaturgists, Rabbis Chanina and Oshoi.†
Simon Magus was doubtless a pupil of the Tanaim of Samaria, the reputation which he left behind, together with the title given to him of "the Great Power of God," testifies strongly in favor of the ability of his teachers. The calumnies so zealously disseminated against him by the unknown authors and compilers of the Acts and other writings, could not cripple the truth to such an extent as to conceal the fact that no Christian could rival him in thaumaturgic deeds. The story told about his falling during an aerial flight, breaking both his legs, and then committing suicide, is ridiculous. Instead of praying mentally that it should so happen, why did not the apostles pray rather that they should be allowed to outdo Simon in wonders and miracles, for then they might have proved their case far more easily than they did, and so converted thousands to Christianity. Posterity has heard but one side of the story. Were the disciples of Simon to have a chance, we might find, perhaps, that it was Peter who broke both his legs, had we not known that this apostle was too prudent ever to venture himself in Rome. On the confession of several ecclesiastical writers, no apostle ever performed such "supernatural wonders." Of course pious people will say this only the more proves that it was the "Devil" who worked through Simon.
Simon was accused of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, because he introduced it as the "Holy Spiritus, the Mens (Intelligence), or the mother of all." But we find the same expression used in the Book of Enoch, in which, in contradistinction to the "Son of Man," he says "Son of the Woman." In the Codex of the Nazarenes, and in the Sohar, as well in the Books of Hermes, the expression is usual; and even in the apocryphal Evangelium of the Hebrews we read that Jesus himself admitted the sex of the Holy Ghost by using the expression, "My mother, the Holy Pneuma."
But what is the heresy of Simon, or what the blasphemies of all the
heretics, in comparison with that of the same Jesuits who have now so completely mastered the Pope, ecclesiastical Rome, and the entire Catholic world? Listen again to their profession of faith.
Does not this — but no! words fail to do justice to the emotions that these astonishing precepts must awaken in the breast of every honest person. Let silence, resulting from invincible disgust, be our only adequate tribute to such unparalleled moral obliquity.
The popular feeling in Venice (1606), when the Jesuits were driven out from that city, expressed itself most forcibly. Great crowds had accompanied the exiles to the sea-shore, and the farewell cry which resounded after them over the waves, was, "Ande in malora!" (Get away! and woe be to you.) "That cry was echoed throughout the two following centuries"; says Michelet, who gives this statement, "in Bohemia in 1618 . . . in India in 1623 . . . and throughout all Christendom in 1773."
In what particular was then Simon Magus a blasphemer, if he only did that which his conscience invincibly told him was true? And in what particular were ever the "Heretics," or even infidels of the worst kind more reprehensible than the Jesuits — those of Caen,|| for instance — who say the following:
"The Christian religion is . . . evidently credible, but not evidently true. It is evidently credible; for it is evident that whoever embraces
it is prudent. It is not evidently true; for it either teaches obscurely or the things which it teaches are obscure. And they who affirm that the Christian religion is evidently true, are obliged to confess that it is evidently false."
"Infer from hence —
"1. That it is not evident that there is now any true religion in the world.
"2. That it is not evident that of all religions existing upon the earth, the Christian religion is the most true; for have you travelled over all countries of the world, or do you know that others have? . . .
. . . . . . . .
"4. That it is not evident that the predictions of the prophets were given by inspiration of God; for what refutation will you bring against me, if I deny that they were true prophecies, or assert that they were only conjectures?
"5. That it is not evident that the miracles were real, which are recorded to have been wrought by Christ; although no one can prudently deny them (Position 6).
"Neither is an avowed belief in Jesus Christ, in the Trinity, in all the articles of Faith, and in the Decalogue, necessary to Christians. The only explicit belief which was necessary to the former (Jews) and is necessary to the latter (Christians) is 1, of God; 2, of a rewarding God" (Position 8).
Hence, it is also more than "evident" that there are moments in the life of the greatest liar when he may utter some truths. It is in this case so perfectly exemplified by the "good Fathers," that we can see more clearly than ever whence proceeded the solemn condemnations at the OEcumenical Council of 1870, of certain "heresies," and the enforcement of other articles of faith in which none believed less than those who inspired the Pope to issue them. History has yet perhaps to learn that the octogenarian Pope, intoxicated with the fumes of his newly-enforced infallibility, was but the faithful echo of the Jesuits. "An old man is raised trembling upon the pavois of the Vatican"; says Michelet, "every thing becomes absorbed and confined in him. . . . For fifteen centuries Christendom had submitted to the spiritual yoke of the Church. . . . But that yoke was not sufficient for them; they wanted the whole world to bend under the hand of one master. Here my own words are too weak; I shall borrow those of others. They (the Jesuits) wanted (this is the accusation flung in their faces by the Bishop of Paris in the full Council of Trent) faire de l'epouse de Jesus Christ une prostituee aux volontes d'un homme."*
They have succeeded. The Church is henceforth an inert tool, and the Pope a poor weak instrument in the hands of this Order. But for how long Until the end comes, well may sincere Christians remember the prophetic lamentations of the thrice-great Trismegistus over his own country: "Alas, alas, my son, a day will come when the sacred hieroglyphics will become but idols. The world will mistake the emblems of science for gods, and accuse grand Egypt of having worshipped hell-monsters. But those who will calumniate us thus, will themselves worship Death instead of Life, folly in place of wisdom; they will denounce love and fecundity, fill their temples with dead men's bones, as relics, and waste their youth in solitude and tears. Their virgins will be widows (nuns) before being wives, and consume themselves in grief; because men will have despised and profaned the sacred mysteries of Isis."*
How correct this prophecy has proved we find in the following Jesuit precept, which again we extract from the Report of the Commissioners to the Parliament of Paris:
"The more true opinion is, that all inanimate and irrational things may be legitimately worshipped," says Father Gabriel Vasquez, treating of Idolatry. "If the doctrine which we have established be rightly understood, not only may a painted image and every holy thing, set forth by public authority for the worship of God, be properly adored with God as the image of Himself, but also any other thing of this world, whether it be inanimate and irrational, or in its nature rational."†
"Why may we not adore and worship with God, apart from danger, anything whatsoever of this world; for God is in it according to His essence . . . [This is precisely what the Pantheist and Hindu philosophy maintains.] and preserves it continually by His power; and when we bow down ourselves before it and impress it with a kiss, we present ourselves before God, the author of it, with the whole soul, as unto the prototype of the image [follow instances of relics, etc.] . . . . To this we may add that, since everything of this world is the work of God, and God is always abiding and working in it, we may more readily conceive Him to be in it than a saint in the vesture which belonged to him. And, therefore, without regarding in any way the dignity of the thing created, to direct our thoughts to God, while we give to the creature the sign and mark of submission by a kiss or prostration, is neither vain nor superstitious, but an act of the purest religion."‡
A precept this, which, whether or not doing honor to the Christian Church, may at least be profitably quoted by any Hindu, Japanese, or
other heathen when rebuked for his worship of idols. We purposely quote it for the benefit of our respected "heathen" friends who will see these lines.
The prophecy of Hermes is less equivocal than either of the alleged prophecies of Isaiah, which have furnished a pretext for saying that the gods of all the nations were demons. Only, facts are stronger, sometimes, than the strongest faith. All that the Jews learned, they had from older nations than themselves. The Chaldean Magi were their masters in the secret doctrine, and it was during the Babylonian captivity that they learned its metaphysical as well as practical tenets. Pliny mentions three schools of Magi: one that he shows to have been founded at an unknown antiquity; the other established by Osthanes and Zoroaster; the third by Moses and Jambres. And all the knowledge possessed by these different schools, whether Magian, Egyptian, or Jewish, was derived from India, or rather from both sides of the Himalayas. Many a lost secret lies buried under wastes of sand, in the Gobi Desert of Eastern Turkestan, and the wise men of Khotan have preserved strange traditions and knowledge of alchemy.
Baron Bunsen shows that the origin of the ancient prayers and hymns of the Egyptian Book of the Dead is anterior to Menes, and belongs, probably, to the pre-Menite Dynasty of Abydos, between 3100 and 4500 B.C. The learned Egyptologist makes the era of Menes, or National Empire, as not later than 3059 B.C., and demonstrates that "the system of Osirian worship and mythology was already formed"* before this era of Menes.
We find in the hymns of this scientifically-established pre-Edenic epoch (for Bunsen carries us back several centuries beyond the year of the creation of the world, 4004 B.C., as fixed by biblical chronology) precise lessons of morality, identical in substance, and nearly so in form of expression, with those preached by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. We give the authority of the most eminent Egyptologists and hierologists for our statement. "The inscriptions of the twelfth Dynasty are filled with ritualistic formulae," says Bunsen. Extracts from the Hermetic books are found on monuments of the earliest dynasties, and "on those of the twelfth (dynasty) portions of an earlier ritual are by no means uncommon. . . . To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead . . . formed the first duty of a pious man. . . . The doctrine of the immortality of the soul is as old as this period" (Tablet, Brit. Mus., 562).†
And far older, perhaps. It dates from the time when the soul was an objective being, hence when it could hardly be denied by itself; when humanity was a spiritual race and death existed not. Toward the decline of the cycle of life, the ethereal man-spirit then fell into the sweet slumber of temporary unconsciousness in one sphere, only to find himself awakening in the still brighter light of a higher one. But while the spiritual man is ever striving to ascend higher and higher toward its source of being, passing through the cycles and spheres of individual life, physical man had to descend with the great cycle of universal creation until it found itself clothed with the terrestrial garments. Thenceforth the soul was too deeply buried under physical clothing to reassert its existence, except in the cases of those more spiritual natures, which, with every cycle, became more rare. And yet none of the pre-historical nations ever thought of denying either the existence or the immortality of the inner man, the real "self." Only, we must bear in mind the teachings of the old philosophies: the spirit alone is immortal — the soul, per se, is neither eternal nor divine. When linked too closely with the physical brain of its terrestrial casket, it gradually becomes a finite mind, a simple animal and sentient life-principle, the nephesh of the Hebrew Bible.*
The doctrine of man's triune nature is as clearly defined in the Hermetic books as it is in Plato's system, or again in that of the Buddhist and Brahmanical philosophies. And this is one of the most important as well as least understood of the doctrines of Hermetic science. The Egyptian Mysteries, so imperfectly known by the world, and only through
the few brief allusions to them in the Metamorphoses of Apuleius, taught the greatest virtues. They unveiled to the aspirant in the "higher" mysteries of initiation that which many of our modern Hermetic students vainly search for in the kabalistic books, and which no obscure teachings of the Church, under the guidance of the Order of Jesuits, will ever be able to unveil. To compare, then, the ancient secret societies of the hierophants with the artificially-produced hallucinations of those few followers of Loyola, who were, perchance, sincere at the beginning of their career, is to insult the former. And yet, in justice to them, we are compelled to do so.
One of the most unconquerable obstacles to initiation, with the Egyptians as with the Greeks, was any degree of murder. One of the greatest titles to admission in the Order of Jesuits is a murder in defence of Jesuitism. "Children may kill their parents if they compel them to abandon the Catholic faith."
"Christian and Catholic sons," says Stephen Fagundez, "may accuse their fathers of the crime of heresy if they wish to turn them from the faith, although they may know that their parents will be burned with fire, and put to death for it, as Tolet teaches. . . . And not only may they refuse them food . . . but they may also justly kill them."*
It is well known that Nero, the Emperor, had never dared seek initiation into the Mysteries on account of the murder of Agrippina!
Under Section XIV. of the Principles of the Jesuits, we find on Homicide the following Christian principles inculcated by Father Henry Henriquez, in Summae Theologiae Moralis. Tomus 1, Venetiis, 1600 (Ed. Coll. Sion): "If an adulterer, even though he should be an ecclesiastic . . . being attacked by the husband, kills his aggressor . . . he is not considered irregular: non ridetur irregularis" (Lib. XIV., de Irregularitae, c. 10, § 3).
"If a father were obnoxious to the State (being in banishment), and to the society at large, and there were no other means of averting such an injury, then I should approve of this" (for a son to kill his father), says Sec. XV., on Parricide and Homicide.†
"It will be lawful for an ecclesiastic, or one of the religious order, to kill a calumniator who threatens to spread atrocious accusations against himself or his religion,"‡ is the rule set forth by the Jesuit Francis Amicus.
So far, good. We are informed by the highest authorities what a man in the Catholic communion may do that the common law and public morality stamp as criminal, and still continue in the odor of Jesuitical sanctity. Now suppose we again turn the medal and see what principles were inculcated by Pagan Egyptian moralists before the world was blessed with these modern improvements in ethics.
In Egypt every city of importance was separated from its burial place by a sacred lake. The same ceremony of judgment which the Book of the Dead describes as taking place in the world of Spirit, took place on earth during the burial of the mummy. Forty-two judges or assessors assembled on the shore and judged the departed "soul" according to its actions when in the body, and it was only upon a unanimous approval of this post-mortem jury that the boatman, who represented the Spirit of Death, could convey the justified defunct's body to its last resting-place. After that the priests returned within the sacred precincts and instructed the neophytes upon the probable solemn drama which was then taking place in the invisible realm whither the soul had fled. The immortality of the spirit was strongly inculcated by the Al-om-jah.* In the Crata Repoa† the following is described as the seven degrees of the initiation.
After a preliminary trial at Thebes, where the neophyte had to pass through many trials, called the "Twelve Tortures," he was commanded to govern his passions and never lose for a moment the idea of his God. Then as a symbol of the wanderings of the unpurified soul, he had to ascend several ladders and wander in darkness in a cave with many doors, all of which were locked. When he had overcome the dreadful trials, he received the degree of Pastopkoris, the second and third degrees being called the Neocoris, and the Melanephoris. Brought into a vast subterranean chamber thickly furnished with mummies lying in state, he was placed in presence of the coffin which contained the mutilated body of Osiris covered with blood. This was the hall called "Gates of Death," and it is most certainly to this mystery that the passages in the Book of Job (xxxviii. 17) and other portions of the Bible allude when these gates are spoken of.‡ In chapter x., we give the esoteric interpretation of the "Book of Job," which is the poem of initiation par excellence.
"Have the gates of death been opened to thee?
Hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?"
asks the "Lord" — i.e., the Al-om-jah, the Initiator — of Job, alluding to this third degree of initiation.
When the neophyte had conquered the terrors of this trial, he was conducted to the "Hall of Spirits," to be judged by them. Among the rules in which he was instructed, he was commanded "never to either desire or seek revenge; to be always ready to help a brother in danger, even unto the risk of his own life; to bury every dead body; to honor his parents above all; respect old age and protect those weaker than himself; and finally, to ever bear in mind the hour of death, and that of resurrection, in a new and imperishable body."* Purity and chastity were highly recommended, and adultery threatened with death.
Then the Egyptian neophyte was made a Kristophores. In this degree the mystery-name of IAO was communicated to him. The fifth degree was that of Balahala, and he was instructed by Horus, in alchemy, the "word" being chemia. In the sixth, the priestly dance in the circle was taught him, in which he was instructed in astronomy, for it represented the course of the planets. In the seventh degree, he was initiated into the final Mysteries. After a final probation in a building set apart for it, the Astronomus, as he was now called, emerged from these sacred apartments called Manneras, and received a cross — the Tau, which, at death, had to be laid upon his breast. He was a hierophant.
We have read above the rules of these holy initiates of the Christian Society of Jesus. Compare them with those enforced upon the Pagan postulant, and Christian (!) morality with that inculcated in those mysteries of the Pagans upon which all the thunders of an avenging Deity are invoked by the Church. Had the latter no mysteries of its own? Or were they in any wise purer, nobler, or more inciting to a holy, virtuous life? Let us hear what Niccolini has to say, in his able History of the Jesuits, of the modern mysteries of the Christian cloister.†
"In most monasteries, and more particularly in those of the Capuchins and reformed (reformati), there begins at Christmas a series of feasts, which continues till Lent. All sorts of games are played, the most splendid banquets are given, and in the small towns, above all, the refectory of the convent is the best place of amusement for the greater number of the inhabitants. At carnivals, two or three very magnificent entertainments take place; the board so profusely spread that one might imagine that Copia had here poured forth the whole contents of her horn. It must be remembered that these two orders live by alms.‡ The sombre
silence of the cloister is replaced by a confused sound of merry-making, and its gloomy vaults now echo with other songs than those of the psalmist. A ball enlivens and terminates the feast; and, to render it still more animated, and perhaps to show how completely their vow of chastity has eradicated all their carnal appetite, some of the young monks appear coquettishly dressed in the garb of the fair sex, and begin the dance, along with others, transformed into gay cavaliers. To describe the scandalous scene which ensues would be but to disgust my readers. I will only say that I have myself often been a spectator at such saturnalia."
The cycle is moving down, and, as it descends, the physical and bestial nature of man develops more and more at the expense of the Spiritual Self.* With what disgust may we not turn from this religious farce called modern Christianity, to the noble faiths of old!
In the Egyptian Funeral Ritual found among the hymns of the Book of the Dead, and which is termed by Bunsen "that precious and mysterious book," we read an address of the deceased, in the character of Horus, detailing all that he has done for his father Osiris. Among other things the deity says:
"30. I have given thee thy Spirit.
31. I have given thee thy Soul.
32. I have given thee thy force (body)," etc.
In another place the entity, addressed as "Father" by the disembodied soul, is shown to mean the "spirit" of man; for the verse says: "I have made my soul come and speak with his Father," its Spirit.*
The Egyptians regarded their Ritual as essentially a Divine inspiration; in short, as modern Hindus do the Vedas, and modern Jews their Mosaic books. Bunsen and Lepsius show that the term Hermetic means inspired; for it is Thoth, the Deity itself, that speaks and reveals to his elect among men the will of God and the arcana of divine things. Portions of them are expressly stated "to have been written by the very finger of Thoth himself"; to have been the work and composition of the great God.† "At a later period their Hermetic character is still more distinctly recognized, and on a coffin of the 26th Dynasty, Horus announces to the deceased that Thoth himself has brought him the books of his divine words, or Hermetic writings."‡
Since we are aware that Moses was an Egyptian priest, or at least that he was learned in all their wisdom, we need not be astonished that he should write in Deuteronomy (ix. 10). "And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stones written with the finger of God"; or to find in Exodus xxxi., "And he (the Lord) gave unto Moses . . . two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
In the Egyptian notions, as in those of all other faiths founded on philosophy, man was not merely, as with the Christians, a union of soul and body; he was a trinity when spirit was added to it. Besides, that doctrine made him consist of kha — body; khaba — astral form, or shadow; ka — animal soul or life-principle; ba — the higher soul; and akh — terrestrial intelligence. They had also a sixth principle named Sah — or mummy; but the functions of this one commenced only after the death of the body. After due purification, during which the soul, separated from its body, continued to revisit the latter in its mummified condition,
this astral soul "became a God," for it was finally absorbed into "the Soul of the world." It became transformed into one of the creative deities, "the god of Phtah,"* the Demiurgos, a generic name for the creators of the world, rendered in the Bible as the Elohim. In the Ritual the good or purified soul, "in conjunction with its higher or uncreated spirit, is more or less the victim of the dark influence of the dragon Apophis. If it has attained the final knowledge of the heavenly and the infernal mysteries — the gnosis, i.e., complete reunion with the spirit, it will triumph over its enemies; if not the soul could not escape its second death. It is 'the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone' (elements), into which those that are cast undergo a 'second death' "† (Apocalypse). This death is the gradual dissolution of the astral form into its primal elements, alluded to several times already in the course of this work. But this awful fate can be avoided by the knowledge of the "Mysterious Name" — the "Word,"‡ say the kabalists.
And what then was the penalty attached to the neglect of it? When man leads a naturally pure, virtuous life, there is none whatever; except delay in the world of spirits, until he finds himself sufficiently purified to receive it from his Spiritual "Lord," one of the mighty Host. But if otherwise, the "soul," as a half animal principle, becomes paralyzed, and grows unconscious of its subjective half — the Lord — and in proportion to the sensuous development of the brain and nerves, sooner or later, it finally loses sight of its divine mission on earth. Like the Vourdalak, or Vampire, of the Servian tale, the brain feeds and lives and
grows in strength and power at the expense of its spiritual parent. Then the already half-unconscious soul, now fully intoxicated by the fumes of earthly life, becomes senseless, beyond hope of redemption. It is powerless to discern the splendor of its higher spirit, to hear the warning voice of its "guardian Angel," and its "God." It aims but at the development and fuller comprehension of natural, earthly life; and thus, can discover but the mysteries of physical nature. Its grief and fear, hope and joy, are all closely blended with its terrestrial existence. It ignores all that cannot be demonstrated by either its organs of action, or sensation. It begins by becoming virtually dead; it dies at last completely. It is annihilated. Such a catastrophe may often happen long years before the final separation of the life-principle from the body. When death arrives, its iron and clammy grasp finds work with life as usual; but there is no more a soul to liberate. The whole essence of the latter has been already absorbed by the vital system of the physical man. Grim death frees but a spiritual corpse; at best an idiot. Unable either to soar higher or awaken from lethargy, it is soon dissolved in the elements of the terrestrial atmosphere.
Seers, righteous men, who had attained to the highest science of the inner man and the knowledge of truth, have, like Marcus Antoninus, received instructions "from the gods," in sleep and otherwise. Helped by the purer spirits, those that dwell in "regions of eternal bliss," they have watched the process and warned mankind repeatedly. Skepticism may sneer; faith, based on knowledge and spiritual science, believes and affirms.
Our present cycle is preeminently one of such soul-deaths. We elbow soulless men and women at every step in life. Neither can we wonder, in the present state of things, at the gigantic failure of Hegel's and Schelling's last efforts at some metaphysical construction of a system. When facts, palpable and tangible facts of phenomenal Spiritualism happen daily and hourly, and yet are denied by the majority of "civilized" nations, little chance is there for the acceptance of purely abstract metaphysics by the ever-growing crowd of materialists.
In the book called by Champollion La Manifestation a la Lumiere, there is a chapter on the Ritual which is full of mysterious dialogues, with addresses to various "Powers" by the soul. Among these dialogues there is one which is more than expressive of the potentiality of the "Word." The scene is laid in the "Hall of the Two Truths." The "Door," the "Hall of Truth," and even the various parts of the gate, address the soul which presents itself for admission. They all forbid it entrance unless it tells them their mystery, or mystic names. What student of the Secret Doctrines can fail to recognize in these names an iden-
tity of meaning and purpose with those to be met with in the Vedas, the later works of the Brahmans, and the Kabala?
Magicians, Kabalists, Mystics, Neo-platonists and Theurgists of Alexandria, who so surpassed the Christians in their achievements in the secret science; Brahmans or Samaneans (Shamans) of old; and modern Brahmans, Buddhists, and Lamaists, have all claimed that a certain power attaches to these various names, pertaining to one ineffable Word. We have shown from personal experience how deeply the belief is rooted to this day in the popular mind all over Russia,* that the Word works "miracles" and is at the bottom of every magical feat. Kabalists mysteriously connect Faith with it. So did the apostles, basing their assertions on the words of Jesus, who is made to say: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . nothing shall be impossible unto you," and Paul, repeating the words of Moses, tells that "the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith" (Romans x. 8). But who, except the initiates, can boast of comprehending its full significance?
In our days it is as it was in olden times, to believe in the biblical "miracles" requires faith; but to be enabled to produce them one's self demands a knowledge of the esoteric meaning of the "word." "If Christ," say Dr. Farrar and Canon Westcott, "wrought no miracles, then the gospels are untrustworthy." But even supposing that he did work them, would that prove that gospels written by others than himself are any more trustworthy? And if not, to what purpose is the argument? Besides, such a line of reasoning would warrant the analogy that miracles performed by other religionists than Christians ought to make their gospels trustworthy. Does not this imply at least an equality between the Christian Scriptures and the Buddhist sacred books? For these equally abound with phenomena of the most astounding character. Moreover, the Christians have no longer genuine miracles produced through their priests, for they have lost the Word. But many a Buddhist Lama or Siamese Talapoin — unless all travellers have conspired to lie — has been and now is able to duplicate every phenomenon described in the New Testament, and even do more, without any pretence of suspension of natural law or divine intervention either. In fact, Christianity proves that it is as dead in faith as it is dead in works, while Buddhism is full of vitality and supported by practical proofs.
The best argument in favor of the genuineness of Buddhist "miracles" lies in the fact that Catholic missionaries, instead of denying them or treating them as simple jugglery — as some Protestant missionaries do,
have often found themselves in such straits as to be forced to adopt the forlorn alternative of laying the whole on the back of the Devil. And so belittled do the Jesuits feel themselves in the presence of these genuine servants of God, that with an unparalleled cunning, they concluded to act in the case of the Talapoins and Buddhists as Mahomet is said to have acted with the mountain. "And seeing that it would not move toward him, the Prophet moved himself toward the mountain." Finding that they could not catch the Siamese with the birdlime of their pernicious doctrines in Christian garb, they disguised themselves, and for centuries appeared among the poor, ignorant people as Talapoins, until exposed. They have even voted and adopted a resolution forthwith, which has now all the force of an ancient article of faith. "Naaman, the Syrian," say the Jesuits of Caen, "did not dissemble his faith when he bowed the knee with the king in the house of Rimmon; neither do the Fathers of the Society of Jesus dissemble, when they adopt the institute and the habit of the Talapoins of Siam" (nec dissimulant Patres S. J. Talapoinorum Siamensium institutum vestemque affectantes. — Position 9, 30 Jan., 1693).
The potency contained in the Mantras and the Vach of the Brahmans is as much believed in at this day as it was in the early Vedic period. The "Ineffable Name" of every country and religion relates to that which the Masons affirm to be the mysterious characters emblematic of the nine names or attributes by which the Deity was known to the initiates. The Omnific Word traced by Enoch on the two deltas of purest gold, on which he engraved two of the mysterious characters, is perhaps better known to the poor, uneducated "heathen" than to the highly accomplished Grand High Priests and Grand Z.'s of the Supreme Chapters of Europe and America. Only why the companions of the Royal Arch should so bitterly and constantly lament its loss, is more than we can understand. This word of M. M. is, as they will tell themselves, entirely composed of consonants. Hence, we doubt whether any of them could ever have mastered its pronunciation, had it even been "brought to light from the secret vault," instead of its several corruptions. However, it is to the land of Mizraim that the grandson of Ham is credited with having carried the sacred delta of the Patriarch Enoch. Therefore, it is in Egypt, and in the East alone that the mysterious "Word" must be sought.
But now that so many of the most important secrets of Masonry have been divulged by friend and foe, may we not say, without suspicion of malice or ill-feeling, that since the sad catastrophe of the Templars, no "Lodge" in Europe, still less in America, has ever known anything worth concealing. Reluctant to be misunderstood, we say no Lodge,
leaving a few chosen brethren entirely out of question. The frantic denunciations of the Craft by Catholic and Protestant writers appear simply ridiculous, as also the affirmation of the Abbe Barruel that everything "betrays our Freemasons as the descendants of those proscribed Knights" Templars of 1314. The Memoirs of Jacobinism by this Abbe, an eye-witness to the horrors of the first Revolution, is devoted in great measure to the Rosicrucians and other Masonic fraternities. The fact alone that he traces the modern Masons to the Templars, and points them out as secret assassins, trained to political murder, shows how little he knew of them, but how ardently he desired, at the same time, to find in these societies convenient scape-goats for the crimes and sins of another secret society which, since its existence, has harbored more than one dangerous political assassin — the Society of Jesus.
The accusations against Masons have been mostly half guess-work, half-unquenchable malice and predetermined vilification. Nothing conclusive and certain of a criminal character has been directly proven against them. Even their abduction of Morgan has remained a matter of conjecture. The case was used at the time as a political convenience by huckstering politicians. When an unrecognizable corpse was found in Niagara River, one of the chiefs of this unscrupulous class, being informed that the identity was exceedingly questionable, unguardedly exposed the whole plot by saying: "Well, no matter, he's a good enough Morgan until after the election!" On the other hand, we find the Order of the Jesuits not only permitting, in certain cases, but actually teaching and inciting to "High treason and Regicide."*
A series of Lectures upon Freemasonry and its dangers, as delivered in 1862, by James Burton Robertson, Professor of Modern History in the Dublin University, are lying before us. In them the lecturer quotes profusely as his authorities the said Abbe (Barruel, a natural enemy of the Masons, who cannot be caught at the confessional), and Robison, a well-known apostate-Mason of 1798. As usual with every party, whether belonging to the Masonic or anti-Masonic side, the traitor from the opposing camp is welcomed with praise and encouragement, and great care is taken to whitewash him. However convenient for certain political reasons the celebrated Committee of the Anti-Masonic Convention of 1830 (U. S. of America) may have found it to adopt this most Jesuitical proposition of Puffendorf that "oaths oblige not when they are absurd and impertinent," and that other which teaches that "an oath obliges not if God does not accept it,"* yet no truly honest man would accept such sophistry. We sincerely believe that the better portion of humanity will ever bear in mind that there exists a moral code of honor far more binding than an oath, whether on the Bible, Koran, or Veda. The Essenes never swore on anything at all, but their "ayes" and "nays" were as good and far better than an oath. Besides, it seems surpassingly strange to find nations that call themselves Christian instituting customs in civil and ecclesiastical courts diametrically opposed to the command of their God,* who distinctly forbids any swearing at all, "neither by heaven . . .
nor by the earth . . . nor by the head." It seems to us that to maintain that "an oath obliges not if God does not accept it," besides being an absurdity — as no man living, whether he be fallible or infallible, can learn anything of God's secret thoughts — is anti-Christian in the full sense of the word.* The argument is brought forward only because it is convenient and answers the object. Oaths will never be binding till each man will fully understand that humanity is the highest manifestation on earth of the Unseen Supreme Deity, and each man an incarnation of his God; and when the sense of personal responsibility will be so developed in him that he will consider forswearing the greatest possible insult to himself, as well as to humanity. No oath is now binding, unless taken by one who, without any oath at all, would solemnly keep his simple promise of honor. Therefore, to bring forward as authorities such men as Barruel or Robison is simply obtaining the public confidence under false pretenses. It is not the "spirit of Masonic malice whose heart coins slanders like a mint," but far more that of the Catholic clergy and their champions; and a man who would reconcile the two ideas of honor and perjury, in any case whatever, is not to be trusted himself.
Loud is the claim of the nineteenth century to preeminence in civilization over the ancients, and still more clamorous that of the churches and their sycophants that Christianity has redeemed the world from barbarism and idolatry. How little both are warranted, we have tried to prove in these two volumes. The light of Christianity has only served to show how much more hypocrisy and vice its teachings have begotten in the world since its advent, and how immensely superior were the ancients over us in every point of honor.† The clergy, by teaching the helplessness of man, his utter dependence on Providence, and the doctrine of atonement, have crushed in their faithful followers every atom of self-reliance and self-respect. So true is this, that it is becoming an axiom that the most honorable men are to be found among atheists and the so-called "infidels." We hear from Hipparchus that in the days of heathenism "the shame and disgrace that justly attended the violation of his oath threw the poor wretch into a fit of madness and despair, so that he cut his throat and perished by his own hands, and his memory was so abhorred after his death that his body lay upon the shore of the island of Samos, and had no other burial than the sands of the sea."‡ But in our own
century we find ninety-six delegates to the United States Anti-Masonic Convention, every one doubtless a member of some Protestant Church, and claiming the respect due to men of honor and gentlemen, offering the most Jesuitical arguments against the validity of a Masonic oath. The Committee, pretending to quote the authority of "the most distinguished guides in the philosophy of morals, and claiming the most ample support of the inspired* . . . who wrote before Freemasonry existed," resolved that, as an oath was "a transaction between man on one part and the Almighty Judge on the other," and the Masons were all infidels and "unfit for civil trust," therefore their oaths had to be considered illegal and not binding.†
But we will return to these Lectures of Robertson and his charges against Masonry. The greatest accusation brought against the latter is that Masons reject a personal God (this on the authority of Barruel and Robison), and that they claim to be in possession of a "secret to make men better and happier than Christ, his apostles and his Church have made them." Were the latter accusation but half true, it might yet allow the consoling hope that they had really found that secret by breaking off entirely from the mythical Christ of the Church and the official Jehovah. But both the accusations are simply as malicious as they are absurd and untrue; as we shall presently see.
Let it not be imagined that we are influenced by personal feeling in any of our reflections upon Masonry. So far from this being the case we unhesitatingly proclaim our highest respect for the original purposes of the Order and some of our most valued friends are within its membership. We say naught against Masonry as it should be, but denounce it as, thanks to the intriguing clergy, both Catholic and Protestant, it now begins to be. Professedly the most absolute of democracies, it is practically the appanage of aristocracy, wealth, and personal ambition. Professedly the teacher of true ethics, it is debased into a propaganda of anthropomorphic theology. The half-naked apprentice, brought before the master during the initiation of the first degree, is taught that at the door of the lodge every social distinction is laid aside, and the poorest brother is the peer of every other, though a reigning sovereign or an imperial prince. In practice, the Craft turns lickspittle in every monarchical country, to any regal scion who may deign, for the sake of using it as a political tool, to put on the once symbolical lambskin.
How far gone is the Masonic Fraternity in this direction, we can judge
from the words of one of its highest authorities. John Yarker, Junior, of England; Past Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Greece; Grand Master of the Rite of Swedenborg; also Grand Master of the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Masonry, and Heaven only knows what else,* says that Masonry could lose nothing by "the adoption of a higher (not pecuniary) standard of membership and morality, with exclusion from the 'purple' of all who inculcate frauds, sham, historical degrees, and other immoral abuses" (page 158). And again, on page 157: "As the Masonic Fraternity is now governed, the Craft is fast becoming the paradise of the bon vivant; of the 'charitable' hypocrite, who forgets the version of St. Paul, and decorates his breast with the 'charity jewel' (having by this judicious expenditure obtained the 'purple' he metes out judgment to other brethren of greater ability and morality but less means); the manufacturer of paltry Masonic tinsel; the rascally merchant who swindles in hundreds, and even thousands, by appealing to the tender consciences of those few who do regard their O. B.'s; and the Masonic 'Emperors' and other charlatans who make power or money out of the aristocratic pretensions which they have tacked on to our institution — ad captandum vulgus."
We have no wish to make a pretence of exposing secrets long since hawked about the world by perjured Masons. Everything vital, whether in symbolical representations, rites, or passwords, as used in modern Freemasonry, is known in the Eastern fraternities; though there seems to be no intercourse or connection between them. If Medea is described by Ovid as having "arm, breast, and knee made bare, left foot slipshod"; and Virgil, speaking of Dido, shows this "Queen herself . . . now resolute on death, having one foot bare, etc.,"† why doubt that there are in the East real "Patriarchs of the sacred Vedas," explaining the esotericism of pure Hindu theology and Brahmanism quite as thoroughly as European "Patriarchs"?
But, if there are a few Masons who, from study of kabalistic and other rare works, and coming in personal communication with "Brothers" from the far-away East, have learned something of esoteric Masonry, it is not the case with the hundreds of American Lodges. While engaged on this chapter, we have received most unexpectedly, through the kindness of a friend, a copy of Mr. Yarker's volume, from which passages are quoted above. It is brimful of learning and, what is more, of knowledge, as it
seems to us. It is especially valuable at this moment, since it corroborates, in many particulars, what we have said in this work. Thus, we read in it the following:
"We think we have sufficiently established the fact of the connection of Freemasonry with other speculative rites of antiquity, as well as the antiquity and purity of the old English Templar-Rite of seven degrees, and the spurious derivation of many of the other rites therefrom."*
Such high Masons need not be told, though Craftsmen in general do, that the time has come to remodel Masonry, and restore those ancient landmarks, borrowed from the early sodalities, which the eighteenth century founders of speculative Freemasonry meant to have incorporated in the fraternity. There are no longer any secrets left unpublished; the Order is degenerating into a convenience for selfish men to use, and bad men to debase.
It is but recently that a majority of the Supreme Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Rite assembled at Lausanne, justly revolting against such a blasphemous belief as that in a personal Deity, invested with all human attributes, pronounced the following words: "Freemasonry proclaims, as it has proclaimed from its origin, the existence of a creative principle, under the name of the great Architect of the universe." Against this, a small minority has protested, urging that "belief in a creative principle is not the belief in God, which Freemasonry requires of every candidate before he can pass its very threshold."
This confession does not sound like the rejection of a personal God. Could we have had the slightest doubt upon the subject, it would be thoroughly dispelled by the words of General Albert Pike,† perhaps the greatest authority of the day, among American Masons, who raises himself most violently against this innovation. We cannot do better than quote his words:
"This Principe Createur is no new phrase — it is but an old term revived. Our adversaries, numerous and formidable, will say, and will have the right to say, that our Principe Createur is identical with the Principe Genateur of the Indians and Egyptians, and may fitly be symbolized as it was symbolized anciently, by the Lingae. . . . To accept this, in lieu of a personal God, is TO ABANDON CHRISTIANITY, and the worship of Jehovah, and return to wallow in the styes of Paganism."
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
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-
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
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
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
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
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:
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!"
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.*
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.*
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
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,
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.
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.