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MORALS and DOGMA by ALBERT PIKE

Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871.
15 - Knight of the East, 16 - Prince of Jerusalem
17 - Knight of the East and West, 18 - Knight Rose Croix .

XV. KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR OF THE SWORD

[Knight of the East, of the Sword, or of the Eagle.]



This Degree, like all others in Masonry, is symbolical. Based
upon historical truth and authentic tradition, it is still an alle-
gory. The leading lesson of this Degree is Fidelity to obligation,
and Constancy and Perseverance under difficulties and discour-
agement.
Masonry is engaged in her crusade,--against ignorance, intoler-
ance, fanaticism, superstition, uncharitableness, and error. She
does not sail with the trade-winds, upon a smooth sea, with a
steady free breeze, fair for a welcoming harbor; but meets and
must overcome many opposing currents, baffling winds, and dead
calms.
The chief obstacles to her success are the apathy and faithless-
ness of her own selfish children, and the supine indifference of
the world. In the roar and crush and hurry of life and business,
and the tumult and uproar of politics, the quiet voice of Masonry
is unheard and unheeded. The first lesson which one learns, who
engages in any great work of reform or beneficence, is, that men
are essentially careless, lukewarm, and indifferent as to every-
thing that does not concern their own personal and immediate
welfare. It is to single men, and not to the united efforts of
many, that all the great works of man, struggling toward perfec-
tion, are owing. The enthusiast, who imagines that he can in-
spire with his own enthusiasm the multitude that eddies around
him, or even the few who have associated themselves with him as
co-workers, is grievously mistaken; and most often the conviction
of his own mistake is followed by discouragement and disgust.
To do all, to pay all, and to suffer all, and then, when despite all
obstacles and hindrances, success is accomplished, and a great
work done, to see those who opposed or looked coldly on it, claim
and reap all the praise and reward, is the common and almost uni-
versal lot of the benefactor of his kind.
He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world,
is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river
lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his
head, often they beat him back and baffle him. Most men yield
to the stress of the current, and float with it to the shore, or are
swept over the rapids; and only here and there the stout, strong
heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.
It is the motionless and stationary that most frets and impedes
the current of progress; the solid rock or stupid dead tree, rested
firmly on the bottom, and around which the river whirls and
eddies: the Masons that doubt and hesitate and are discouraged;
that disbelieve in the capability of man to improve; that are not
disposed to toil and labor for the interest and well-being of gen-
eral humanity; that expect others to do all, even of that which
they do not oppose or ridicule; while they sit, applauding and
doing nothing, or perhaps prognosticating failure.
There were many such at the rebuilding of the Temple. There
were prophets of evil and misfortune--the lukewarm and the in-
different and the apathetic; those who stood by and sneered; and
those who thought they did God service enough if they now and
then faintly applauded. There were ravens croaking ill omen,
and murmurers who preached the folly and futility of the attempt.
The world is made up of such; and they were as abundant then
as they are now.
But gloomy and discouraging as was the prospect, with luke-
warmness within and bitter opposition without, our ancient breth-
ren persevered. Let us leave them engaged in the good work,
and whenever to us, as to them, success is uncertain, remote, and
contingent, let us still remember that the only question for us to
ask, as true men and Masons, is, what does duty require; and not
what will be the result and our reward if we do our duty. Work
on, the Sword in one hand, and the Trowel in the other!
Masonry teaches that God is a Paternal Being, and has an in-
terest in his creatures, such as is expressed in the title Father; an
interest unknown to all the systems of Paganism, untaught in all
the theories of philosophy; an interest not only in the glorious
beings of other spheres, the Sons of Light, the dwellers in Heav-
enly worlds, but in us, poor, ignorant, and unworthy; that He
has pity for the erring, pardon for the guilty, love for the pure,
knowledge for the humble, and promises of immortal life for
those who trust in and obey Him.
Without a belief in Him, life is miserable, the world is dark, the
Universe disrobed of its splendors, the intellectual tie to nature
broken, the charm of existence dissolved, the great hope of being
lost; and the mind, like a star struck from its sphere, wanders
through the infinite desert of its conceptions, without attraction,
tendency, destiny, or end.
Masonry teaches, that, of all the events and actions, that take
place in the universe of worlds and the eternal succession of ages,
there is not one, even the minutest, which God did not forever
forsee with all the distinctness of immediate vision, combining
all, so that man's free will should be His instrument, like all the
other forces of nature.
It teaches that the soul of man is formed by Him for a pur-
pose; that, built up in its proportions, and fashioned in every
part, by infinite skill, an emanation from His spirit, its nature,
necessity, and design are virtue. It is so formed, so moulded, so
fashioned, so exactly balanced, so exquisitely proportioned in every
part, that sin introduced into it is misery; that vicious thoughts
fall upon it like drops of poison; and guilty desires, breathing on
its delicate fibres, make plague-spots there, deadly as those of pes-
tilence upon the body. It is made for virtue, and not for vice;
for purity, as its end, rest, and happiness. Not more vainly would
we attempt to make the mountain sink to the level of the valley,
the waves of the angry sea turn back from its shores and cease to
thunder upon the beach, the stars to halt in their swift courses,
than to change any one law of our own nature. And one of those
laws, uttered by God's voice, and speaking through every nerve
and fibre, every force and element, of the moral constitution He
has given us, is that we must be upright and virtuous; that if
tempted we must resist; that we must govern our unruly pas-
sions, and hold in hand our sensual appetites. And this is not the
dictate of an arbitrary will, nor of some stern and impracticable
law; but it is part of the great firm law of harmony that binds
the Universe together: not the mere enactment of arbitrary will;
but the dictate of Infinite Wisdom.
We know that God is good, and that what He does is right.
This known, the works of creation, the changes of life, the desti-
nies of eternity, are all spread before us, as the dispensations and
counsels of infinite love. This known, we then know that the
love of God is working to issues, like itself, beyond all thought
and imagination good and glorious; and that the only reason
why we do not understand it, is that it is too glorious for us to un-
derstand. God's love takes care for all, and nothing is neglected.
It watches over all, provides for all, makes wise adaptations for
all; for age, for infancy, for maturity, for childhood; in every
scene of this or another world; for want, weakness, joy, sorrow,
and even for sin. All is good and well and right; and shall be so
forever. Through the eternal ages the light of God's beneficence
shall shine hereafter, disclosing all, consummating all, rewarding
all that deserve reward. Then we shall see, what now we can only
believe. The cloud will be lifted up, the gate of mystery be
passed, and the full light shine forever; the light of which that
of the Lodge is a symbol. Then that which caused us trial shall
yield us triumph; and that which made our heart ache shall fill
us with gladness; and we shall then feel that there, as here, the
only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve; which
could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance,
and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach
the light.


 


 

XVI. PRINCE OF JERUSALEM.



We no longer expect to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. To
us it has become but a symbol. To us the whole world is God's
Temple, as is every upright heart. To establish all over the world
the New Law and Reign of Love, Peace, Charity, and Toleration,
is to build that Temple, most acceptable to God, in erecting which
Masonry is now engaged. No longer needing to repair to Jerusa-
lem to worship, nor to offer up sacrifices and shed blood to propi-
tiate the Deity, man may make the woods and mountains his
Churches and Temples, and worship God with a devout gratitude,
and with works of charity and beneficence to his fellow-men.
Wherever the humble and contrite heart silently offers up its
adoration, under the overarching trees, in the open, level meadows,
on the hill-side, in the glen, or in the city's swarming streets; there
is God's House and the New Jerusalem.
The Princes of Jerusalem no longer sit as magistrates to judge
between the people; nor is their number limited to five. But
their duties still remain substantially the same, and their insignia
and symbols retain their old significance. Justice and Equity
are still their characteristics. To reconcile disputes and heal dis-
sensions, to restore amity and peace, to soothe dislikes and soften,
prejudices, are their peculiar duties; and they know that the
peacemakers are blessed.
Their emblems have been already explained. They are part of
language of Masonry; the same now as it was when Moses
learned it from the Egyptian Hierophants. .
Still we observe the spirit of the Divine law, as thus enunciated
to our ancient brethren, when the Temple was rebuilt, and the
book of the law again opened:
"Execute true judgment; and show mercy and compassion
every man to his brother. Oppress not the widow nor the father-
less, the stranger nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil
against his brother in his heart. Speak ye every man the truth
to his neighbor; execute the judgment of Truth and Peace in
your gates; and love no false oath; for all these I hate, saith the
Lord.
"Let those who have power rule in righteousness, and Princes
in judgment. And let him that is a judge be as an hiding-place
from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water
in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
Then the vile person shall no more be called liberal; nor the
churl bountiful; and the work of justice shall be peace; and the
effect of justice, quiet and security; and wisdom and knowledge
shall be the stability of the times. Walk ye righteously and speak
uprightly; despise the gains of oppression, shake from your hands
the contamination of bribes; stop not your ears against the cries
of the oppressed, nor shut your eyes that you may not see the
crimes of the great; and you shall dwell on high, and your place
of defence be like munitions of rocks."
Forget not these precepts of the old Law; and especially do
not forget, as you advance, that every Mason, however humble, is
your brother, and the laboring man your peer! Remember always
that all Masonry is work, and that the trowel is an emblem of the
Degrees in this Council. Labor, when rightly understood, is both
noble and ennobling, and intended to develop man's moral and
spiritual nature, and not to be deemed a disgrace or a misfortune.
Everything around us is, in its bearings and influences, moral.
The serene and bright morning, when we recover our conscious
existence from the embraces of sleep; when, from that image of
Death God calls us to a new life, and again gives us existence, and
His mercies visit us in every bright ray and glad thought, and
call for gratitude and content; the silence of that early dawn, the
hushed silence, as it were, of expectation; the holy eventide, its
cooling breeze, its lengthening shadows, its falling shades, its still
and sober hour; the sultry noontide and the stern and solemn
midnight; and Spring-time, and chastening Autumn; and Sum-
mer, that unbars our gates, and carries us forth amidst the ever-
renewed wonders of the world; and Winter, that gathers us
around the evening hearth :--all these, as they pass, touch by turns
the springs of the spiritual life in us, and are conducting that life
to good or evil. The idle watch-hand often points to something
within us; and the shadow of the gnomon on the dial often falls
upon the conscience.
A life of labor is not a state of inferiority or degradation. The
Almighty has not cast man's lot beneath the quiet shades, and
amid glad groves and lovely hills, with no task to perform; with
nothing to do but to rise up and eat, and to lie down and rest.
He has ordained that Work shall be done, in all the dwellings of
life, in every productive field, in every busy city, and on every
wave of every ocean. And this He has done, because it has
plrased Him to give man a nature destined to higher ends than
indolent repose and irresponsible profitless indulgence; and be-
cause, for developing the energies of such a nature, work was the
necessary and proper element. We might as well ask why He
could not make two and two be six, as why He could not develop
these energies without the instrumentality of work. They are
equally impossibilities.
This Masonry teaches, as a great Truth; a great moral land-
mark, that ought to guide the course of all mankind. It teaches
its toiling children that the scene of their daily life is all spiritual,
that the very implements of their toil, the fabrics they weave, the
merchandise they barter, are designed for spiritual ends; that so
believing, their daily lot may be to them a sphere for the noblest
improvement. That which we do in our intervals of relaxation,
our church-going, and our book-reading, are especially designed to
prepare our minds for the action of Life. We are to hear and read
and meditate, that we may act well; and the action of Life is itself
the great field for spiritual improvement. There is no task of in-
dustry or business, in field or forest, on the wharf or the ship's
deck, in the office or the exchange, but has spiritual ends. There
is no care or cross of our daily labor, but was especially ordained
to nurture in us patience, calmness, resolution, perseverance, gen-
tleness, disinterestedness, magnanimity. Nor is there any tool or
implement of toil, but is a part of the great spiritual instrumen-
tality.
All the relations of life, those of parent, child, brother, sister,
friend, associate, lover and beloved, husband, wife, are moral,
throughout every living tie and thrilling nerve that blnd them
together. They cannot subsist a day nor an hour without putting
the mind to a trial of its truth, fidelity, forbearance, and disinter-
estedness.
A great city is one extended scene of moral action. There is
blow struck in it but has a purpose, ultimately good or bad,
and therefore moral. There is no action performed, but has a
motive; and motives are the special jurisdiction of morality.
Equipages, houses, and furniture are symbols of what is moral,
and they in a thousand ways minister to right or wrong feeling.
Everything that belongs to us, ministering to our comfort or lux-
ury, awakens in us emotions of pride or gratitude, of selfishness
or vanity; thoughts of self-indulgence, or merciful remembrances
of the needy and the destitute.
Everything acts upon and influences us. God's great law of
sympathy and harmony is potent and inflexible as His law of
gravitation. A sentence embodying a noble thought stirs our
blood; a noise made by a child frets and exasperates us, and influ-
ences our actions.
A world of spiritual objects, influences, and relations lies around
us all. We all vaguely deem it to be so; but he only lives a
charmed life, like that of genius and poetic inspiration, who com-
munes with the spiritual scene around him, hears the voice of the
spirit in every sound, sees its signs in every passing form of
things, and feels its impulse in all action, passion, and being.
Very near to us lies the mines of wisdom; unsuspected they lie all
around us. There is a secret in the simplest things, a wonder in
the plainest, a charm in the dullest.
We are all naturally seekers of wonders. We travel far to see
the majesty of old ruins, the venerable forms of the hoary moun-
tains, great water-falls, and galleries of art. And yet the world-
wonder is all around us; the wonder of setting suns, and evening
stars, of the magic spring-time, the blossoming of the trees, the
strange transformations of the moth; the wonder of the Infinite
Divinity and of His boundless revelation. There is no splendor
beyond that which sets its morning throne in the golden East; no,
dome sublime as that of Heaven; no beauty so fair as that of the
verdant, blossoming earth; no place, however invested with the
sanctities of old time, like that home which is hushed and folded
within the embrace of the humblest wall and roof.
And all these are but the symbols of things far greater and
higher. All is but the clothing of the spirit. In this vesture of
time is wrapped the immortal nature: in this show of circum-
stance and form stands revealed the stupendous reality. Let man
but be, as he is, a living soul, communing with himself and with
God, and his vision becomes eternity; his abode, infinity; his
home, the bosom of all-embracing love.
The great problem of Humanity is wrought out in the humblest
abodes; no more than this is done in the highest. A human heart
throbs beneath the beggar's gabardine; and that and no more stirs
with its beating the Prince's mantle. The beauty of Love, the
charm of Friendship, the sacredness of Sorrow, the heroism of
Patience, the noble Self-sacrifice, these and their like, alone, make
life to be life indeed, and are its grandeur and its power. They
are the priceless treasures and glory of humanity; and they are
not things of condition. All places and all scenes are alike clothed
with the grandeur and charm of virtues such as these.
The million occasions will come to us all, in the ordinary paths
of our life, in our homes, and by our firesides, wherein we may
act as nobly, as if, all our life long, we led armies, sat in senates,
or visited beds of sickness and pain. Varying every hour, the
million occasions will come in which we may restrain our pas-
sions, subdue our hearts to gentleness and patience, resign our
own interst for another's advantage, speak words of kindness and
wisdom, raise the fallen, cheer the fainting and sick in spirit, and
soften and assuage the weariness and bitterness of their mortal lot.
To every Mason there will be opportunity enough for these. They
cannot be written on his tomb;but they will be written deep in
the hearts of men, of friends, of children, of kindred all around
him, in the book of the great account, and, in their eternal influ-
ences, on the great pages of the Universe.
To such a destiny, at least, my Brethren, let us all aspire ! These
laws of Masonry let us all strive to obey! And so may our hearts
become true temples of the Living God! And may He encourage
our zeal, sustain our hopes, and assure us of success!


 


 

XVII. KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST.



This is the first of the Philosophical Degrees of the Ancient
and Accepted Scottish Rite; and the beginning of a course of in-
struction which will fully unveil to you the heart and inner mys-
teries of Masonry. Do not despair because you have often seemed
on the point of attaining the inmost light, and have as often been
disappointed. In all time, truth has been hidden under symbols,
and often under a succession of allegories: where veil after veil
had to be penetrated before the true Light was reached, and the
essential truth stood revealed. The Human Light is but an im-
perfect reflection of a ray of the Infinite and Divine.
We are about to approach those ancient Religions which once
ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of
the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie
bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us, those
old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths, shrouded in the mists
of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefined along the line which
divides Time from Eternity; and forms of strange, wild, startling
beauty mingled in the vast throngs of figures with shapes mon-
strous, grotesque, and hideous.
The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt,
enuciated the principle of exclusion, borrowed, at every period
of its existence, from all the creeds with which it came in contact.
While, by the studies of the learned and wise, it enriched itself
with the most admirable principles of the religions of Egypt and
Asia, it was changed, in the wanderings of the People, by every-
thing that was most impure or seductive in the pagan manners
and superstitions. It was one thing in the times of Moses and
Aaron, another in those of David and Solomon, and still another
in those of Daniel and Philo.
At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the
desert, near the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical
and religious systems were approximating toward each other. A
general lassitude inclined the minds of all toward the quietude of
that amalgamation of doctrines for which the expeditions of Alex-
ander and the more peaceful occurrences that followed, with the
establishment in Asia and Africa of many Grecian dynasties and
a great number of Grecian colonies, had prepared the way. After
the intermingling of different nations, which resulted from the
wars of Alexander in three-quarters of the globe, the doctrines of
Greece, of Egypt, of Persia, and of India, met and intermingled
everywhere. All the barriers that had formerly kept the nations
apart, were thrown down; and while the People of the West
readily connected their faith with those of the East, those of the
Orient hastened to learn the traditions of Rome and the legends
of Athens. While the Philosophers of Greece, all (except the dis-
ciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonists, seized eargerly upon
the beliefs and doctrines of the East,--the Jews and Egyptians, be-
fore then the most exclusive of all peoples, yielded to that eclecti-
cism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans.
Under the same influences of toleration, even those who em-
braced Christianity, mingled together the old and the new, Chris-
tianity and Philosophy, the Apostolic teachings and the traditions
of Mythology The man of intellect, devotee of one system,
rarely displaces it with another in all its purity. The people take
such a creed as is offered them. Accordingly, the distinction be-
tween the esoteric and the exoteric doctrine, immemorial in other
creeds, easily gained a foothold among many of the Christians;
and it was held by a vast number, even during the preaching of
Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were incomplete; that they
contained only the germs of another doctrine, which must receive
from the hands of philosophy, not only the systematic arrange-
ment which was wanting, but all the development which lay con-
cealed therein. The writings of the Apostles, they said, in address-
ing themselves to mankind in general, enunciated only the articles
of the vulgar faith; but transmitted the mysteries of knowledge to
superior minds, to the Elect,--mysteries handed down from gen-
eration to generation in esoteric traditions; and to this science of
the mysteries they gave the name of Gnosis.
The Gnostics derived their leading doctrines and ideas from
Plato and Philo, the Zend-avesta and the Kabalah, and the Sacred
books of India and Egypt; and thus introduced into the bosom
of Christianity the cosmological and theosophical speculations,
which had formed the larger portion of the ancient religions of
the Orient, joined to those of the Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish
doctrines, which the Neo-Platonists had equally adopted in the
Occident.
Emanation from the Deity of all spiritual beings, progressive
degeneration of these beings from emanation to emanation, re-
demption and return of all to the purity of the Creator; and,
after the re-establishment of the primitive harmony of all, a for-
tunate and truly divine condition of all, in the bosom of God;
such were the fundamental teachings of Gnosticism. The genius
of the Orient, with its contemplations, irradiations, and intuitions,
dictated its doctrines. Its language corresponded to its origin.
Full of imagery, it had all the magnificence, the inconsistencies,
and the mobility of the figurative style.
Behold, it said, the light, which emanates from an immense
centre of Light, that spreads everywhere its benevolent rays; so
do the spirits of Light emanate from the Divine Light. Behold,
all the springs which nourish, embellish, fertilize, and purify the
Earth; they emanate from one and the same ocean; so from the
bosom of the Divinity emanate so many streams, which form and
fill the universe of intelligences. Behold numbers, which all
emanate from one primitive number, all resemble it, all are com-
posed of its essence, and still vary infinitely; and utterances, de-
composable into so many syllables and elements, all contained in
the primitive Word, and still infinitely various; so the world of
Intelligences emanated from a Primary Intelligence, and they all
resemble it, and yet display an infinite variety of existences.
It revived and combined the old doctrines of the Orient and the
Occident; and it found in many passages of the Gospels and the
Pastoral letters, a warrant for doing so. Christ himself spoke in
parables and allegories, John borrowed the enigmatical language
of the Platonists, and Paul often indulged in incomprehensible
rhapsodies, the meaning of which could have been clear to the
Initiates alone.
It is admitted that the cradle of Gnosticism is probably to be
looked for in Syria, and even in Palestine. Most of its expound-
ers wrote in that corrupted form of the Greek used by the Hellen-
istic Jews, and in the Septuagint and the New Testament; and
there is a striking analogy between their doctrines and those of
the Judaeo-Egyptian Philo, of Alexandria; itself the seat of three
schools, at once philosophic and religious--the Greek, the Egyp-
tian, and the Jewish.
Pythagoras and Plato, the most mystical of the Grecian Philos-
ophers (the latter heir to the doctrines of the former), and who
had travelled, the latter in Egypt, and the former in Phoenicia,
India, and Persia, also taught the esoteric doctrine and the distinc-
tion between the initiated and the profane. The dominant doc-
trines of Platonism were found in Gnosticism. Emanation of
Intelligences from the bosom of the Deity; the going astray in
error and the sufferings of spirits, so long as they are remote from
God, and imprisoned in matter; vain and long-continued efforts
to arrive at the knowledge of the Truth, and re-enter into their
primitive union with the Supreme Being; alliance of a pure and
divine soul with an irrational soul, the seat of evil desires; angels
or demons who dwell in and govern the planets, having but an
imperfect knowledge of the ideas that presided at the creation;
regeneration of all beings by their return to the kosmos
noetos, the world of Intelligences, and its Chief, the
Supreme Being; sole possible mode of re-establishing that primi-
tive harmony of the creation, of which the music of the spheres
of Pythagoras was the image; these were the analogies of the two
systems; and we discover in them some of the ideas that form a
part of Masonry; in which, in the present mutilated condition of
the symbolic Degrees, they are disguised and overlaid with fiction
and absurdity, or present themselves as casual hints that are pass-
ed by wholly unnoticed.
The distinction between the esoteric and exoteric doctrines (a
distinction purely Masonic), was always and from the very earliest
times preserved among the Greeks. It remounted to the fabulous
times of Orpheus; and the mysteries of Theosophy were found in
all their traditions and myths. And after the time of Alexander,
they resorted for instruction, dogmas, and mysteries, to all the
schools, to those of Egypt and Asia, as well as those of Ancient
Thrace, Sicily, Etruria, and Attica.
The Jewish-Greek School of Alexandria is known only by two
of its Chiefs, Aristobulus and Philo, both Jews of Alexandria in
Egypt. Belonging to Asia by its origin, to Egypt by its residence,
to Greece by its language and studies, it strove to show that all
truths embedded in the philosophies of other countries were trans-
planted thither from Palestine. Aristobulus declared that all the
facts and details of the Jewish Scriptures were so many allegories,
concealing the most profound meanings, and that Plato had bor-
rowed from them all his finest ideas. Philo, who lived a century
after him, following the same theory, endeavored to show that the
Hebrew writings, by their system of allegories, were the true
source of all religious and philosophical doctrines. According to
him, the literal meaning is for the vulgar alone. Whoever has
meditated on philosophy, purified himself by virtue, and raised
himself by contemplation, to God and the intellectual world, and
received their inspiration, pierces the gross envelope of the letter,
discovers a wholly different order of things, and is initiated into
mysteries, of which the elementary or literal instruction offers but
an imperfect image. A historical fact, a figure, a word, a letter, a
number, a rite, a custom, the parable or vision of a prophet, veils
the most profound truths; and he who has the key of science will
interpret all according to the light he possesses.
Again we see the symbolism of Masonry, and the search of the
Candidate for light. "Let men of narrow minds withdraw," he
says, "with closed ears. We transmit the divine mysteries to
those who have received the sacred initiation, to those who prac-
tise true piety and who are not enslaved by the empty trappings
of words or the preconceived opinions of the pagans."
To Philo, the Supreme Being was the Primitive Light, or the
Archetype of Light, Source whence the rays emanate that illumi-
nate Souls. He was also the Soul of the Universe, and as such
acted in all its parts. He Himself fills and limits His whole Being.
His Powers and Virtues fill and penetrate all. These Powers
(dunameis) are Spirits distinct from God, the "Ideas"
of Plato personified. He is without beginning, and lives in the
prototype of Time (aion).
His image is THE WORD, a form more brilliant than
fire; that not being the pure light. This LOGOS dwells in God;
for the Supreme Being makes to Himself within His Intelligence
the types or ideas of everything that is to become reality in this
World. The LOGOS is the vehicle by which God acts on the Uni-
verse, and may be compared to the speech of man.
The LOGOS being the World of Ideas, by means
whereof God has created visible things, He is the most ancient
God, in comparison with the World, which is the youngest pro-
duction. The LOGOS, Chief of Intelligence, of which He is the
general representative, is named Archangel, type and representa-
tive of all spirits, even those of mortals. He is also styled the
man-type and primitive man, Adam Kadmon.
God only is Wise. The wisdom of man is but the reflection and
image of that of God. He is the Father, and His WISDOM the
mother of creation: for He united Himself with WISDOM (Sophia),
and communicated to it the germ of creation, and it
brought forth the material world. He created the ideal world
only, and caused the material world to be made real after its type,
by His LOGOS, which is His speech, and at the same time the Idea
of Ideas, the Intellectual World. The Intellectual City was but
the Thought of the Architect, who meditated the creation, accord-
ing to that plan of the Material City.
The Word is not only the Creator, but occupies the place of the
Supreme Being. Through Him all the Powers and Attributes of
God act. On the other side, as first representative of the Human
Family, He is the Protector of men and their Shepherd.
God gives to man the Soul or Intelligence, which exists before
the body, and which he unites with the body. The reasoning
Principle comes from God through the Word, and communes with
God and with the Word; but there is also in man an irrational
Principle, that of the inclinations and passions which produce
disorder, emanating from inferior spirits who fill the air as
ministers of God. The body, taken from the Earth, and the
irrational Principle that animates it concurrently with the rational
Principle, are hated by God, while the rational soul which He
has given it, is, as it were, captive in this prison, this coffin, that
encompasses it. The present condition of man is not his primi-
tive condition, when he was the image of the Logos. He has
fallen from his first estate. But he may raise himself again, by
following the directions of WISDOM and of the Angels
which God has commissioned to aid him in freeing himself from
the bonds of the body, and combating Evil, the existence whereof
God has permitted, to furnish him the means of exercising his
liberty. The souls that are purified, not by the Law but by light,
rise to the Heavenly regions, to enjoy there a perfect felicity.
Those that persevere in evil go from body to body, the seats of
passions and evil desires. The familiar lineaments of these doc-
trines will be recognized by all who read the Epistles of St. Paul,
who wrote after Philo, the latter living till the reign of Caligula,
and being the contemporary of Christ.
And the Mason is familiar with these doctrines of Philo: that
the Supreme Being is a centre of Light whose rays or emanations
pervade the Universe; for that is the Light for which all Masonic
journeys are a search, and of which the sun and moon in our
Lodges are only emblems: that Light and Darkness, chief enemies
from the beginning of Time, dispute with each other the empire
of the world; which we symbolize by the candidate wandering in
darkness and being brought to light: that the world was created,
not by the Supreme Being, but by a secondary agent, who is but
His WORD, and by types which are but his ideas,
aided by an INTELLIGENCE, or WISDOM, which gives one
of His Attributes; in which we see the occult meaning of the ne-
cessity of recovering "the Word"; and of our two columns of
STRENGTH and WISDOM, which are also the two parallel lines that
bound the circle representing the Universe: that the visible world
is the image of the invisible world; that the essence of the Human
Soul is the image of God, and it existed before the body; that the
object of its terrestrial life is to disengage itself of its body or its
sepulchre; and that it will ascend to the Heavenly regions when-
ever it shall be purified; in which we see the meaning, now almost
forgotten in our Lodges, of the mode of preparation of the candi-
date for apprenticeship, and his tests and purifications in the first
Degree, according to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
Philo incorporated in his eclecticism neither Egyptian nor
Oriental elements. But there were other Jewish Teachers in Alex-
andria who did both. The Jews of Egypt were slightly jealous of,
and a little hostile to, those of Palestine, particularly after the
erection of the sanctuary at Leontopolis by the High-Priest Onias;
and therefore they admired and magnified those sages, who, like
Jeremiah, had resided in Egypt. "The wisdom of Solomon" was
written at Alexandria, and, in the time of St. Jerome, was attrib-
uted to Philo; but it contains principles at variance with his.
It personifies Wisdom, and draws between its children and the
Profane, the same line of demarcation that Egypt had long before
taught to the Jews. That distinction existed at the beginning of
the Mosaic creed. Moshah himself was an Initiate in the mysteries
of Egypt, as he was compelled to be, as the adopted son of the
daughter of Pharaoh, Thouoris, daughter of Sesostris-Ramses;
who, as her tomb and monuments show, was, in the right of her
infant husband, Regent of Lower Egypt or the Delta at the time
of the Hebrew Prophet's birth, reigning at Heliopolis. She was
also, as the reliefs on her tomb show, a Priestess of HATHOR and
NEITH, the two great primeval goddesses. As her adopted son,
living in her Palace and presence forty years, and during that
time scarcely acquainted with his brethren the Jews, the law of
Egypt compelled his initiation: and we find in many of his enact-
ments the intention of preserving, between the common people
and the Initiates, the line of separation which he found in Egypt.
Moshah and Aharun his brother, the whole series of High-Priests,
the Council of the 70 Elders, Salomoh and the entire succession
of Prophets, were in possession of a higher science; and of that
science Masonry is, at least, the lineal descendant. It was famili-
arly known as THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD.
AMUN, at first the God of Lower Egypt only, where Moshah
was reared (a word that in Hebrew means Truth), was the Su-
preme God. He was styled "the Celestial Lord, who sheds Light
on hidden things." He was the source of that divine life, of which
the crux ansata is the symbol; and the source of all power. He
united all the attributes that the Ancient Oriental Theosophy
assigned to the Supreme Being. He was the Pleroma,
or "Fullness of things," for He comprehended in Himself every-
thing; and the LIGHT; for he was the Sun-God. He was un-
changeable in the midst of everything phenomenal in his worlds.
He created nothing; but everything emanated from Him; and of
Him all the other Gods were but manifestations.
The Ram was His living symbol; which you see reproduced in
this Degree, lying on the book with seven seals on the tracing-
board. He caused the creation of the world by the Primitive
Thought (Ennoia), or Spirit (Pneuma), that
issued from him by means of his Voice or the WORD; and which
Thought or Spirit was personified as the Goddess NEITH. She,
too, was a divinity of Light, and mother of the Sun; and the Feast
of Lamps was celebrated in her honor at Sais. The Creative
Power, another manifestation of Deity, proceeding to the creation
conceived of in her, the Divine Intelligence, produced with its
Word the Universe, symbolized by an egg issuing from the mouth
of KNEPH; from which egg came PHTHA, image of the Supreme
Intelligence as realized in the world, and the type of that mani-
fested in man; the principal agent, also, of Nature, or the creative
and productive Fire. PHRE or RS, the Sun, or Celestial Light,
whose symbol was the point within a circle, was the son of
PHTHA; and TIPHE, his wife, or the celestial firmament, with the
seven celestial bodies, animated by spirits of genii that govern
them, was represented on many of the monuments, clad in blue
or yellow, her garments sprinkled with stars, and accompanied by
the sun, moon, and five planets; and she was the type of Wisdom,
and they of the Seven Planetary Spirits of the Gnostics, that with
her presided over and governed the sublunary world.
In this Degree, unknown for a hundred years to those who have
practised it, these emblems reproduced refer to these old doctrines.
The lamb, the yellow hangings strewed with stars, the seven
columns, candlesticks, and seals all recall them to us.
The Lion was the symbol of ATHOM-RE, the Great God of
Upper Egypt; the Hawk, of RA or PHRE; the Eagle, of MENDES;
the Bull, of APIS; and three of these are seen under the platform
on which our altar stands.
The first HERMES was the INTELLIGENCE, or WORD of God.
Moved with compassion for a race living without law, and wishing
to teach them that they sprang from His bosom, and to point out
to them the way that they should go (the books which the first
Hermes, the same with Enoch, had written on the mysteries of
divine science, in the sacred characters, being unknown to those
who lived after the flood), God sent to man OSIRIS and ISIS, ac-
accompanied by THOTH, the incarnation or terrestrial repetition of
the first Hermes; who taught men the arts, science, and the cer-
emonies of religion; and then ascended to Heaven or the Moon.
OSIRIS was the Principle of Good. TYPHON, like AHRIMAN, was
the principle and source of all that is evil in the moral and physi-
cal order. Like the Satan of Gnosticism, he was confounded
with Matter.
From Egypt or Persia the new Platonists borrowed the idea,
and the Gnostics received it from them, that man, in his terres-
trial career, is successively under the influence of the Moon, of
Mercury, of Venus, of the Sun, of Mars, of Jupiter, and of
Saturn, until he finally reaches the Elysian Fields; an idea again
symbolized in the Seven Seals.
The Jews of Syria and Judea were the direct precursors of
Gnosticism; and in their doctrines were ample oriental elements.
These Jews had had with the Orient, at two different periods, inti-
mate relations, familiarizing them with the doctrines of Asia, and
especially of Chaldea and Persia;--their forced residence in Cen-
tral Asia under the Assyrians and Persians; and their voluntary
dispersion over the whole East, when subjects of the Seleucidae
and the Romans. Living near two-thirds of a century, and many
of them long afterward, in Mesopotamia, the cradle of their race;
speaking the same language, and their children reared with those
of the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, and receiving
from them their names (as the case of Danayal, who was called
Baeltasatsar, proves), they necessarily adopted many of the doc-
trines of their conquerors. Their descendants, as Azra and Na-
hamaiah show us, hardly desired to leave Persia, when they were
allowed to do so. They had a special jurisdiction, and governors
and judges taken from their own people; many of them held high
office, and their children were educated with those of the highest
nobles. Danayal was the friend and minister of the King, and
the Chief of the College of the Magi at Babylon; if we may be-
lieve the book which bears his name, and trust to the incidents
related in its highly figurative and imaginative style. Mordecai,
too, occupied a high station, no less than that of Prime Minister,
and Esther or Astar, his cousin, was the Monarch's wife.
The Magi of Babylon were expounders of figurative writings,
interpreters of nature, and of dreams,--astronomers and divines;
and from their influences arose among the Jews, after their rescue
from captivity, a number of sects, and a new exposition, the mys-
tical interpretation, with all its wild fancies and infinite caprices.
The Aions of the Gnostics, the Ideas of Plato, the Angels of the
Jews, and the Demons of the Greeks, all correspond to the
Ferouers of Zoroaster.
A great number of Jewish families remained permanently in
their new country; and one of the most celebrated of their schools
was at Babylon. They were soon familiarized with the doctrine
of Zoroaster, which itself was more ancient than Kuros. From
the system of the Zend-Avesta they borrowed, and subsequently
gave large development to, everything that could be reconciled
with their own faith; and these additions to the old doctrine were
soon spread, by the constant intercourse of commerce, into Syria
and Palestine.
In the Zend-Avesta, God is Illimitable Time. No origin can be
assigned to Him: He is so entirely enveloped in His glory, His
nature and attributes are so inaccessible to human Intelligence,
that He can be only the object of a silent Veneration. Creation
took place by emanation from Him. The first emanation was the
primitive Light, and from that the King of Light, ORMUZD. By
the "WORD," Ormuzd created the world pure. He is its pre-
server and Judge; a Being Holy and Heavenly; Intelligence and
Knowledge; the First-born of Time without limits; and invested
with all the Powers of the Supreme Being.
Still he is, strictly speaking, the Fourth Being. He had a
Ferouer, a pre-existing Soul (in the language of Plato, a type or
ideal); and it is said of Him, that He existed from the beginning,
in the primitive Light. But, that Light being but an element,
and His Ferouer a type, he is, in ordinary language, the First-born
of ZEROUANE-AKHERENE. Behold again "THE WORD"
of Masonry; the Man, on the Tracing-Board of this Degree; the
LIGHT toward which all Masons travel.
He created after his own image, six Genii called Amshaspands,
who surround his Throne, are his organs of communication with
inferior spirits and men, transmit to Him their prayers, solicit for
them His favors, and serve them as models of purity and perfec-
tion. Thus we have the Demiourgos of Gnosticism, and the six
Genii that assist him. These are the Hebrew Archangels of the
Planets.
The names of these Amshaspands are Bahman, Ardibehest,
Schariver, Sapandomad, Khordad, and Amerdad.
The fourth, the Holy SAPANDOMAD, created the first man and
woman.
Then ORMUZD created 28 Iseds, of whom MITHERAS is the chief.
They watch, with Ormuzd and the Amshaspands, over the happi-
ness, purity, and preservation of the world, which is under their
government; and they are also models for mankind and interpre-
ters of men's prayers. With Mithras and Ormuzd, they make a
pleroma (or complete number) of 30, corresponding to the thirty
Aions of the Gnostics, and to the ogdoade, dodecade, and decade
of the Egyptians. Mithras was the Sun-God, invoked with, and
soon confounded with him, becoming the object of a special wor-
ship, and eclipsing Ormuzd himself.
The third order of pure spirits is more numerous. They are
the Ferouers, the THOUGHTS of Ormuzd, or the IDEAS which he
conceived before proceeding to the creation of things. They too
are superior to men. They protect them during their life on earth;
they will purify them from evil at their resurrection. They are
their tutelary genii, from the fall to the complete regeneration.
AHRIMAN, second-born of the Primitive Light, emanated from
it, pure like ORMUZD; but, proud and ambitious, yielded to jeal-
ousy of the First-born. For his hatred and pride, the Eternal
condemned him to dwell, for 12,000 years, in that part of space
where no ray of light reaches; the black empire of darkness. In
that period the struggle between Light and Darkness, Good and
Evil will be terminated.
AHRIMAN scorned to submit, and took the field against OR-
MUZD. To the good spirits created by his Brother, he opposed an
innumerable army of Evil Ones. To the seven Amshaspands he
opposed seven Archdevs, attached to the seven Planets; to the
Izeds and Ferouers an equal number of Devs, which brought
upon the world all moral and physical evils. Hence Poverty,
Maladies, Impurity, Envy, Chagrin, Drunkenness, Falsehood,
Calumny, and their horrible array.
The image of Ahriman was the Dragon, confounded by the
Jews with Satan and the Serpent-Tempter. After a reign of 3000
years, Ormuzd had created the Material World, in six periods,
calling successively into existence the Light, Water, Earth, plants,
animals, and Man. But Ahriman concurred in creatmg the earth
and water; for darkness was already an element, and Ormuzd
could not exclude its Master. So also the two concurred in pro-
ducing Man. Ormuzd produced, by his Will and Word, a Being
that was the type and source of universal life for everything that
exists under Heaven. He placed in man a pure principle, or Life,
proceeding from the Supreme Being. But Ahriman destroyed
that pure principle, in the form wherewith it was clothed; and
when Ormuzd had made, of its recovered and purified essence, the
first man and woman, Ahriman seduced and tempted them with
wine and fruits; the woman yielding first.
Often, during the three latter periods of 3000 years each, Ahri-
man and Darkness are, and are to be, triumphant. But the pure
souls are assisted by the Good Spirits; the Triumph of Good is
decreed by the Supreme Being, and the period of that triumph
will infallibly arrive. When the world shall be most afflicted with
the evils poured out upon it by the spirits of perdition, three
Prophets will come to bring relief to mortals. SOSIOSCH, the
principal of the Three, will regenerate the earth, and restore to it
its primitive beauty, strength, and purity. He will judge the good
and the wicked. After the universal resurrection of the good, he
will conduct them to a home of everlasting happiness. Ahriman,
his evil demons, and all wicked men, will also be purified in a tor-
rent of melted metal. The law of Ormuzd will reign everywhere;
all men will be happy; all, enjoying unalterable bliss, will sing
with Sosiosch the praises of the Supreme Being.
These doctrines, the details of which were sparingly borrowed
by the Pharisaic Jews, were much more fully adopted by the
Gnostics; who taught the restoration of all things, their return to
their original pure condition, the happiness of those to be saved,
and their admission to the feast of Heavenly Wisdom.
The doctrines of Zoroaster came originally from Bactria, an
Indian Province of Persia. Naturally, therefore, it would include
Hindu or Buddhist elements, as it did. The fundamental idea of
Buddhism was, matter subjugating the intelligence, and intelli-
gence freeing itself from that slavery. Perhaps something came
to Gnosticism from China. "Before the chaos which preceded
the birth of Heaven and Earth," says Lao-Tseu, "a single Being
existed, immense and silent, immovable and ever active--the
mother of the Universe. I know not its name: but I designate it
by the word Reason. Man has his type and model in the Earth;
Earth in Heaven; Heaven in Reason; and Reason in Itself."
Here again are the Ferouers, the Ideas, the Aions--the REASON
or INTELLIGENCE, SILENCE, WORD, and
WISDOM of the Gnostics.
The dominant system among the Jews after their captivity was
that of the Pharoschim or Pharisees. Whether their name was
derived from that of the Parsees, or followers of Zoroaster, or
from some other source, it is certain that they had borrowed much
of their doctrine from the Persians. Like them they claimed to
have the exclusive and mysterious knowledge, unknown to the
mass. Like them they taught that a constant war was waged be-
tween the Empire of Good and that of Evil. Like them they at-
tributed the sin and fall of man to the demons and their chief; and
like them they admitted a special protection of the righteous by
inferior beings, agents of Jehovah. All their doctrines on these
subjects were at bottom those of the Holy Books; but singularly
developed and the Orient was evidently the source from which
those developments came.
They styled themselves Interpreters; a name indicating their
claim to the exclusive possession of the true meaning of the Holy
Writings, by virtue of the oral tradition which Moses had re-
ceived on Mount Sinai, and which successive generations of Ini-
tiates had transmitted, as they claimed, unaltered, unto them.
Their very costume, their belief in the influences of the stars, and
in the immortality and transmigration of souls, their system of
angels and their astronomy, were all foreign.
Sadduceeism arose merely from an opposition essentially Jewish,
to these foreign teachings, and that mixture of doctrines, adopted
by the Pharisees, and which constituted the popular creed.
We come at last to the Essenes and Therapeuts, with whom
this Degree is particularly concerned. That intermingling of
oriental and occidental rites, of Persian and Pythagorean opinions,
which we have pointed out in the doctrines of Philo, is unmistak-
able in the creeds of these two sects.
They were less distinguished by metaphysical speculations than
by simple meditations and moral practices. But the latter always
partook of the Zoroastrian principle, that it was necessary to free
the soul from the trammels and influences of matter; which led
to a system of abstinence and maceration entirely opposed to the
ancient Hebrai cideas, favorable as they were to physical pleasures.
In general, the life and manners of these mystical associa-
tions, as Philo and Josephus describe them, and particularly their
prayers at sunrise, seem the image of what the Zend-Avesta pre-
scribes to the faithful adorer or Ormuzd; and some of their
observances cannot otherwise be explained.
The Therapeuts resided in Egypt, in the neighborhood of Alex-
andria; and the Essenes in Palestine, in the vicinity of the Dead
Sea. But there was nevertheless a striking coincidence in their
ideas, readily explained by attributing it to a foreign influence.
The Jews of Egypt, under the influence of the School of Alexan-
dria, endeavored in general to make their doctrines harmonize
with the traditions of Greece; and thence came, in the doctrines
of the Therapeuts, as stated by Philo, the many analogies between
the Pythagorean and Orphic ideas, on one side, and those of Ju-
daism on the other: while the Jews of Palestine, having less com-
munication with Greece, or contemning its teachings, rather im-
bibed the Oriental doctrines, which they drank in at the source
and with which their relations with Persia made them familiar.
This attachment was particularly shown in the Kabalah, which
belonged rather to Palestine than to Egypt, though extensively
known in the latter; and furnished the Gnostics with some of
their most striking theories.
It is a significant fact, that while Christ spoke often of the
Pharisees and Sadducees, He never once mentioned the Essenes,
between whose doctrines and His there was so great a resem-
blance, and, in many points, so perfect an identity. Indeed, they
are not named, nor even distinctly alluded to, anywhere in the
New Testament.
John, the son of a Priest who ministered in the Temple at
Jerusalem, and whose mother was of the family of Aharun, was
in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel. He drank
neither wine nor strong drink. Clad in hair-cloth, and with a
girdle of leather, and feeding upon such food as the desert afford-
ed, he preached, in the country about Jordan, the baptism of re-
pentance, for the remission of sins; that is, the necessity of repent-
ance proven by reformation. He taught the people charity and
liberality; the publicans, justice, equity, and fair dealing; the
soldiery peace, truth, and contentment; to do violence to none,
accuse none falsely, and be content with their pay. He incul-
cated necessity of a virtuous life, and the folly of trusting to
their descent from Abraham.
He denounced both Pharisees and Sadducees as a generation of
vipers threatened with the anger of God. He baptized those who
confessed their sins. He preached in the desert; and therefore in
the country where the Essenes lived, professing the same doctrines.
He was imprisoned before Christ began to preach. Matthew men-
tions him without preface or explanation; as if, apparently, his
history was too well known to need any. "In those days," he
says, "came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of
Judea." His disciples frequently fasted; for we find them with
the Pharisees coming to Jesus to inquire why His Disciples did
not fast as often as they; and He did not denounce them, as His
habit was to denounce the Pharisees; but answered them kindly
and gently.
From his prison, John sent two of his disciples to inquire of
Christ: "Art thou he that is to come, or do we look for another ?"
Christ referred them to his miracles as an answer; and declared
to the people that John was a prophet, and more than a prophet,
and that no greater man had ever been born; but that the hum-
blest Christian was his superior. He declared him to be Elias,
who was to come.
John had denounced to Herod his marriage with his brother's
wife as unlawful; and for this he was imprisoned, and finally exe-
cuted to gratify her. His disciples buried him; and Herod and
others thought he had risen from the dead and appeared again in
the person of Christ. The people all regarded John as a prophet;
and Christ silenced the Priests and Elders by asking them whether
he was inspired. They feared to excite the anger of the people by
saying that he was not. Christ declared that he came "in the way
of righteousness"; and that the lower classes believed him, though
the Priests and Pharisees did not.
Thus John, who was often consulted by Herod, and to whom
that monarch showed great deference and was often governed by
his advice; whose doctrine prevailed very extensively among the
people and the publicans, taught some creed older than Chris-
tianity. That is plain: and it is equally plain, that the very large
body of the Jews that adopted his doctrines, were neither Phari-
sees nor Sadducees, but the humble, common people. They must,
therefore, have been Essenes. It is plain, too, that Christ applied
for baptism as a sacred rite, well known and long practiced. It
was becoming to him, he said, to fulfill all righteousness.
In the 18th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we read thus:
"And a certain Jew, named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an elo-
quent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This
man was instructed in the way of the Lord, and, being fervent in
spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, know-
ing only the baptism of John; and he began to speak boldly in
the synagogue; whom, when Aquilla and Priscilla had heard, they
took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God
more perfectly."
Translating this from the symbolic and figurative language
into the true ordinary sense of the Greek text, it reads thus: "And
a certain Jew, named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent
man, and of extensive learning, came to Ephesus. He had learned
in the mysteries the true doctrine in regard to God; and, being a
zealous enthusiast, he spoke and taught diligently the truths in
regard to the Deity, having received no other baptism than that
of John." He knew nothing in regard to Christianity; for he
had resided in Alexandria, and had just then come to Ephesus;
being, probably, a disciple of Philo, and a Therapeut.
"That, in all times," says St. Augustine, "is the Christian re-
ligion, which to know and follow is the most sure and certain
health, called according to that name, but not according to the
thing itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself, which
is now called the Christian religion, really was known to the An-
cients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of the
human race, until the time when Christ came in the flesh; from
whence the true religion, which had previously existed, began to
be called Christian; and this in our days is the Christian religion,
not as having been wanting in former times, but as having, in
later times, received this name." The disciples were first called
"Christians," at Antioch, when Barnabas and Paul began to
preach there.
The Wandering or Itinerant Jews or Exorcists, who assumed
to employ the Sacred Name in exorcising evil spirits, were no
doubt Therapeutae or Essenes.
"And it it came to pass," we read in the 19th chapter of the Acts,
verses 1 to 4, "that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having
passed through the upper parts of Asia Minor, came to Ephesus;
and finding certain disciples, he said to them, 'Have ye received
the Holy Ghost since ye became Believers ?' And they said unto
him, 'We have not so much as heard that there is any Holy
Ghost.' And he said to them, 'In what, then, were you baptized ?'
And they said 'In John's baptism.' Then said Paul, 'John in-
deed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people
that they should believe in Him who was to come after him, that
is, in Jesus Christ. When they heard this, they were baptized in
the name of the Lord Jesus."
This faith, taught by John, and so nearly Christianity, could
have been nothing but the doctrine of the Essenes; and there can
be no doubt that John belonged to that sect. The place where he
preached, his macerations and frugal diet, the doctrines he taught,
all prove it conclusively. There was no other sect to which he
could have belonged; certainly none so numerous as his, except
the Essenes.
We find, from the two letters written by Paul to the brethren at
Corinth, that City of Luxury and Corruption, that there were
contentions among them. Rival sects had already, about the 57th
year of our era, reared their banners there, as followers, some of
Paul, some of Apollos, and some of Cephas. Some of them de-
nied the resurrection. Paul urged them to adhere to the doctrines
taught by himself, and had sent Timothy to them to bring them
afresh to their recollection.
According to Paul, Christ was to come again. He was to put
an end to all other Principalities and Powers, and finally to Death,
and then be Himself once more merged in God; who should then
be all in all.
The forms and ceremonies of the Essenes were symbolical.
They had, according to Philo the Jew, four Degrees; the members
being divided into two Orders, the Practici and Therapeutici;
the latter being the contemplative and medical Brethren; and the
former the active, practical, business men. They were Jews by
birth; and had a greater affection for each other than the mem-
bers of any other sect. Their brotherly love was intense. They
fulfilled the Christian law, "Love one another." They despised
riches. No one was to be found among them, having more than
another. The possessions of one were intermingled with those of
the others; so that they all had but one patrimony, and were
brethren. Their piety toward God was extraordinary. Before
sunrise they never spake a word about profane matters; but put
up certain prayers which they had received from their forefathers.
At dawn of day, and before it was light, their prayers and hymns
ascended to Heaven. They were eminently faithful and true, and
the Ministers of Peace. They had mysterious ceremonies, and
initiations into their mysteries; and the Candidate promised that
he would ever practise fidelity to all men, and especially to those
in authority, "because no one obtains the government without
God's assistance."
Whatever they said, was firmer than an oath; but they avoided
swearing, and esteemed it worse than perjury. They were simple
in their diet and mode of living, bore torture with fortitude, and
despised death. They cultivated the science of medicine and were
very skillful. They deemed it a good omen to dress in white robes.
They had their own courts, and passed righteous judgments. They
kept the Sabbath more rigorously than the Jews.
Their chief towns were Engaddi, near the Dead Sea, and
Hebron. Engaddi was about 30 miles southeast from Jerusalem,
and Hebron about 20 miles south of that city. Josephus and
Eusebius speak of them as an ancient sect; and they were no
doubt the first among the Jews to embrace Christianity: with
whose faith and doctrine their own tenets had so many points of
resemblance, and were indeed in a great measure the same. Pliny
regarded them as a very ancient people.
In their devotions they turned toward the rising sun; as the
Jews generally did toward the Temple. But they were no idola-
ters; for they observed the law of Moses with scrupulous fidelity.
They held all things in common, and despised riches, their wants
being supplied by the administration of Curators or Stewards.
The Tetractys, composed of round dots instead of jods, was re-
vered among them. This being a Pythagorean symbol, evidently
shows their connection with the school of Pythagoras; but their
peculiar tenets more resemble those of Confucius and Zoroaster;
and probably were adopted while they were prisoners in Persia;
which explains their turning toward the Sun in prayer.
Their demeanor was sober and chaste. They submitted to the
superintendence of governors whom they appointed over them-
selves. The whole of their time was spent in labor, meditation,
and prayer; and they were most sedulously attentive to every call
of justice and humanity, and every moral duty. They believed
in the unity of God. They supposed the souls of men to have
fallen, by a disastrous fate, from the regions of purity and light,
into the bodies which they occupy; during their continuance in
which they considered them confined as in a prison. Therefore
they did not believe in the resurrection of the body; but in that
of the soul only. They believed in a future state of rewards and
punishments; and they disregarded the ceremonies or external
forms enjoined in the law of Moses to be observed in the worship
og God; holding that the words of that lawgiver were to be un-
derstood in a mysterious and recondite sense, and not according to
their literal meaning. They offered no sacrifices, except at home;
and by meditation they endeavored, as far as possible, to isolate
the soul from the body, and carry it back to God.
Eusebius broadly admits "that the ancient Therapeutae were
Christians; and that their ancient writings were our Gospels and
Epistles."
The ESSENES were of the Eclectic Sect of Philosophers, and
held PLATo in the highest esteem; they believed that true philos-
ophy, the greatest and most salutary gift of God to mortals, was
scattered, in various portions, through all the different Sects; and
that it was, consequently, the duty of every wise man to gather it
from the several quarters where it lay dispersed, and to employ
it, thus reunited, in destroying the dominion of impiety and
vice.
The great festivals of the Solstices were observed in a distin-
guished manner by the Essenes; as would naturally be supposed,
from the fact that they reverenced the Sun, not as a god, but as a
symbol of light and fire; the fountain of which, the Orientals
supposed God to be. They lived in continence and abstinence,
and had establislments similar to the monasteries of the early
Christians.
The writings of the Essenes were full of mysticism, parables,
enigmas, and allegories. They believed in the esoteric and exote-
ric meanings of the Scriptures; and, as we have already said, they
had a warrant for that in the Scriptures themselves. They found
it in the Old Testament, as the Gnostics found it in the New.
The Christian writers, and even Christ himself, recognized it as a
truth, that all Scripture had an inner and an outer meaning. Thus
we find it said as follows, in one of the Gospels:
"Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of
God; but unto men that are without, all these things are done in
parables; that seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing
they may hear and not understand .... And the disciples came
and said unto him, 'Why speakest Thou the truth in parables ?'--
He answered and said unto them, 'Because it is given unto you to
know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is
not given.'"
Paul, in the 4th chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians, speak-
ing of the simplest facts of the Old Testament, asserts that they
are an allegory. In the 3d chapter of the second letter to the
Corinthians, he declares himself a minister of the New Testament,
appointed by God; "Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the
letter killeth." Origen and St. Gregory held that the Gospels
were not to be taken in their literal sense; and Athanasius ad-
monishes us that "Should we understand sacred writ according to
the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies."
Eusebius said, "Those who preside over the Holy Scriptures,
philosophize over them, and expound their literal sense by alle-
gory."
The sources of our knowledge of the Kabalistic doctrines, are
the books of Jezirah and Sohar, the former drawn up in the second
century, and the latter a little later; but containing materials
much older than themselves. In their most characteristic ele-
ments, they go back to the time of the exile. In them, as in the
teachings of Zoroaster, everything that exists emanated from a
source of infinite LiGHT. Before everything, existed THE AN-
CIENT OF DAYS, the KING OF LIGHT; a title often given to the
Creator in the Zend-Avesta and the code of the Sabaeans. With
the idea so expressed is connected the pantheism of India.
KING OF LIGHT, THE ANCIENT, is ALL THAT IS. He is not only
the real cause of all Existences; he is Infinite (AINSOPH). He is
HIMSELF: there is nothing in Him that We can call Thou.
In the Indian doctrine, not only is the Supreme Being the real
cause of all, but he is the only real Existence: all the rest is illu-
sion. In the Kabalah, as in the Persian and Gnostic doctrines,
He is the Supreme Being unknown to all, the "Unknown Father."
The world is his revelation, and subsists only in Him. His attri-
butes are reproduced there, with different modifications, and in
different degrees, so that the Universe is His Holy Splendor:it
is but His Mantle; but it must be revered in silence. All beings
have emanated from the Supreme Being: The nearer a being is
to Him, the more perfect it is; the more remote in the scale, the
less its purity.
A ray of Light, shot from the Deity, is the cause and principle
of all that exists. It is at once Father and Mother of All, in the
sublimest sense. It penetrates everything; and without it nothing
can exist an instant. From this double FORCE, designated by the
two parts of the word I.. H.. U.. H.. emanated the FIRST-BORN
of God, the Universal Form, in which are contained all beings;
the Persian and Platonic Archetype of things, united with the
Infinite by the primitive ray of Light.
This First-Born is the Creative Agent, Conservator, and ani-
mating Principle of the Universe. It is THE LIGHT OF LIGHT. It
possesses the three Primitive Forces of the Divinity, LIGHT,
SPIRIT and LIFE. As it has received
what it gives, Light and Life, it is equally considered as the gen-
erative and conceptive Principle, the Primitive Man, ADAM
KADMON. As such, it has revealed itself in ten emanations or
Sephiroth, which are not ten different beings, nor even beings at
all; but sources of life, vessels of Omnipotence, and types of Cre-
ation. They are Sovereignty or Will, Wisdom, Intelligence,
Benignity, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Permanency, and
Empire. These are attributes of God; and this idea, that God re-
veals Himself by His attributes, and that the human mind cannot
perceive or discern God Himself, in his works, but only his mode
of manifesting Himself, is a profound Truth. We know of the
Invisible only what the Visible reveals.
Wisdom was called NOUS and LOGOS, lN-
TELLECT or the WORD. Intelligence, source of the oil of anoint-
ing, responds to the Holy Ghost of the Christian Faith.
Beauty is represented by green and yellow. Victory is YA-
HOVAH-TSABAOTH, the column on the right hand, the column
Jachin: Glory is the column Boaz, on the left hand. And thus
our symbols appear again in the Kabalah. And again the LIGHT,
the object of our labors, appears as the creative power of Deity.
The circle, also, was the special symbol of the first Sephirah,
Kether, or the Crown.
We do not further follow the Kabalah in its four Worlds of
Spirits, Aziluth, Briah, Yezirah, and Asiah, or of emanation, crea-
tion, formation, and fabrication, one inferior to and one emerging
from the other, the superior always enveloping the inferior;its
doctrine that, in all that exists, there is nothing purely material;
that all comes from God, and in all He proceeds by irradiation;
that everything subsists by the Divine ray that penetrates crea-
tion; and all is united by the Spirit of God, which is the life of
life; so that all is God; the Existences that inhabit the four
worlds, inferior to each other in proportion to their distance from
the Great King of Light: the contest between the good and evil
Angels and Principles, to endure until the Eternal Himself comes
to end it and re-establish the primitive harmony; the four distinct
parts of the Soul of Man; and the migrations of impure souls,
until they are sufficiently purified to share with the Spirits of
Light the contemplation of the Supreme Being whose Splendor
fills the Universe.
The WORD was also found in the Phoenician Creed. As in all
those of Asia, a WORD of God, written in starry characters, by the
planetary Divinities, and communicated by the Demi-Gods, as a
profound mystery, to the higher classes of the human race, to be
communicated by them to mankind, created the world. The faith
of the Phoenicians was an emanation from that ancient worship of
the Stars, which in the creed of Zoroaster alone, is connected with
a faith in one God. Light and Fire are the most important agents
in the Phoenician faith. There is a race of children of the Light.
They adored the Heaven with its Lights, deeming it the Supreme
God.
Everything emanates from a Single Principle, and a Primitive
Love, which is the Moving Power of All and governs all. Light,
by its union with Spirit, whereof it is but the vehicle or symbol,
is the Life of everything, and penetrates everything. It should
therefore be respected and honored everywhere; for everywhere
it governs and controls.
The Chaldaic and Jerusalem Paraphrasts endeavored to render
the phrase, DEBAR-YAHOVAH, the Word of God, a
personalty, wherever they met with it. The phrase, "And God
created man," is, in the Jerusalem Targum, "And the Word of
IHUH created man."
So, in xxviii. Gen. 20,21, where Jacob says: "If God
(IHIH ALHIM) will be with me... then shall IHUH be my ALHIM;
UHIH IHUH LI LALHIM; and this stone
shall be God's House (IHIH BITH ALHIM):
Onkelos paraphrases it, "If the word of IHUH will be my help
. . . . then the word of IHUH shall be my God."
So, in iii. Gen. 8, for "The Voice of the Lord God" 
(IHUH ALHIM), we have, "The Voice of the Word of IHUH."
In ix. Wisdom, 1, "O God of my Fathers and Lord of Mercy!
who has made all things with thy word."
And in xviii. Wisdom, 15, "Thine Almighty Word leap-
ed down from Heaven."
Philo speaks of the Word as being the same with God. So in
several places he calls it the Second Di-
vinity; the Image of God: the Divine Word that
made all things: substitute, of God; and the like.
Thus when John commenced to preach, had been for ages
agitated, by the Priests and Philosophers of the East and West,
the great questions concerning the eternity or creation of matter:
immediate or intermediate creation of the Universe by the Su-
preme God; the origin, object, and final extinction of evil; the
relations between the intellectual and material worlds, and be-
tween God and man; and the creation, fall, redemption, and
restoration to his first estate, of man.
The Jewish doctrine, differing in this from all the other Oriental
creeds, and even from the Alohayistic legend with which the book
of Genesis commences, attributed the creation to the immediate
action of the Supreme Being. The Theosophists of the other
Eastern Peoples interposed more than one intermediary between
God and the world. To place between them but a single Being,
to suppose for the production of the world but a single inter-
mediary, was, in their eyes, to lower the Supreme Majesty. The
interval between God, who is perfect Purity, and matter, which is
base and foul, was too great for them to clear it at a single step.
Even in the Occident, neither Plato nor Philo could thus im-
poverish the Intellectual World.
Thus, Cerinthus of Ephesus, with most of the Gnostics, Philo,
the Kabalah, the Zend-Avesta, the Puranas, and all the Orient,
deemed the distance and antipathy between the Supreme Being
and the material world too great, to attribute to the former the
creation of the latter. Below, and emanating from, or created
by, the Ancient of Days, the Central Light, the Beginning, or
First Principle, one, two, or more Principles, Existences,
or Intellectual Beings were imagined, to some one or more of
whom (without any immediate creative act on the part of the
Great Immovable, Silent Deity), the immediate creation of the
material and mental universe was due.
We have already spoken of many of the speculations on this
point. To some, the world was created by the LOGOS or WORD,
first manifestation of, or emanation from, the Deity. To others,
the beginning of creation was by the emanation of a ray of
Light, creating the principle of Light and Life. The Primitive
THOUGHT, creating the inferior Deities, a succession of INTELL-
GENCES, the Iynges of Zoroaster, his Amshaspands, Izeds, and
Ferouers, the Ideas of Plato, the Aions of the Gnostics, the
Angels of the Jews, the Nous, the Demiourgos, the DIVINE REA-
SON, the Powers or Forces of Philo, and the Alohayim, Forces or
Superior Gods of the ancient legend with which Genesis begins,-
to these and other intermediaries the creation was owing. No re-
straints were laid on the Fancy and the Imagination. The veriest
Abstractions became Existences and Realities. The attributes of
God, personified, became Powers, Spirits, Intelligences.
God was the Light of Light, Divine Fire, the Abstract Intellec-
tuality, the Root or Germ of the Universe. Simon Magus, founder
of the Gnostic faith, and many of the early Judaizing Christians,
admitted that the manifestations of the Supreme Being, as
FATHER, or JEhOVAh, SON or CHRIST, and HOLY SPIRIT, were only
so many different modes of Existence, or Forces of the
same God. To others they were, as were the multitude of Sub-
ordinate Intelligences, real and distinct beings.
The Oriental imagination revelled in the creation of these In-
ferior Intelligences, Powers of Good and Evil, and Angels. We
have spoken of those imagined by the Persians and the Kabalists.
In the Talmud, every star, every country, every town, and almost
every tongue has a Prince of Heaven as its Protector. JEHUEL, is
the guardian of fire, and MICHAEL of water. Seven spirits assist
each; those of fire being Seraphiel, Gabriel, Nitriel, Tammael,
Tchimschiel, Hadarniel, and Sarniel. These seven are represented
by the square columns of this Degree, while the columns JACHIN
and BOAZ represent the angels of fire and water. But the col-
umns are not representatives of these alone.
To Basilides, God was without name, uncreated, at first contain-
ing and concealing in Himself the Plenitude of His Perfections;
and when these are by Him displayed and nianifested, there result
as many particular Existences, all analogous to Him, and still and
always Him. To the Essenes and the Gnostics, the East and the
West both devised this faith; that the Ideas, Conceptions, or
Manifestations of the Deity were so many Creations, so many Be-
ings, all God, nothing without Him, but more than what we now
understand by the word ideas. They emanated from and were
again merged in God. They had a kind of middle existence be-
tween our modern ideas, and the intelligences or ideas, elevated to
the rank of genii, of the Oriental mythology.
These personified attributes of Deity, in the theory of Basilides,
were the First-born, Nous or Mind: from
it emanates Logos, or THE WORD from it :
Phronesis, Intellect :from it Sophia, Wisdom :from it
Dunamis, Power: and from it Dikaiosune,
Righteousness: to which latter the Jews gave the name of 
Eirene, Peace, or Calm, the essential characteristics of Divinity,
and harmonious effect of all His perfections. The whole number
of successive emanations was 365, expressed by the Gnostics, in
Greek letters, by the mystic word Abraxas; desig-
nating God as manifested, or the aggregate of his manifestations;
but not the Supreme and Secret God Himself. These three hun-
dred and sixty-five Intelligences compose altogether the Fullness
or Plenitude of the Divine Emanations.
With the Ophites, a sect of the Gnostics, there were seven infe-
rior spirits (inferior to Ialdabaoth, the Demiourgos or Actual Cre-
ator : Michael, Suriel, Raphael, Gabriel, Thauthabaoth, Erataoth,
and Athaniel, the genii of the stars called the Bull; the Dog, the
Lion, the Bear, the Serpent, the Eagle, and the Ass that formerly
figured in the constellation Cancer, and symbolized respectively
by those animals; as Ialdabaoth, Iao, Adonai, Eloi, Orai, and As-
taphai were the genii of Saturn, the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter,
Venus, and Mercury.
The WORD appears in all these creeds. It is the Ormuzd of
Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Platonism
and Philonism, and the Sophia or Demiourgos of the Gnostics.
And all these creeds, while admitting these different manifesta-
tions of the Supreme Being, held that His identity was immutable
and permanent. That was Plato's distinction between the Being
always the same and the perpetual flow of things inces-
santly changing, the Genesis.
The belief in dualism in some shape, was universal. Those
who held that everything emanated from God, aspired to God, and
re-entered into God, believed that, among those emanations were
two adverse Principles, of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil.
This prevailed in Central Asia and in Syria; while in Egypt it
assumed the form of Greek speculation. In the former, a second
Intellectual Principle was admitted, active in its Empire of Dark-
ness, audacious against the Empire of Light. So the Persians and
Sabeans understood it. In Egypt, this second Principle was Mat-
ter, as the word was used by the Platonic School, with its sad at-
tributes, Vacuity, Darkness, and Death. In their theory, matter
could be animated only by the low communication of a principle
of divine life. It resists the influences that would spiritualize it.
That resisting Power is Satan, the rebellious Matter, Matter that
does not partake of God.
To many there were two Principles; the Unknown Father, or
Supreme and Eternal God, living in the centre of the Light,
happy in the perfect purity of His being; the other, eternal Mat-
ter, that inert, shapeless, darksome mass, which they considered as
the source of all evils, the mother and dwelling-place of Satan.
To Philo and the Platonists, there was a Soul of the world, cre-
ating visible things, and active in them, as agent of the Supreme
Intelligence; realizing therein the ideas communicated to Him by
that Intelligence, and which sometimes excel His conceptions, but
which He executes without comprehending them.
The Apocalypse or Revelations, by whomever written, belongs
to the Orient and to extreme antiquity. It reproduces what is far
older than itself. It paints, with the strongest colors that the Ori-
ental genius ever employed, the closing scenes of the great strug-
gle of Light, and Truth, and Good, against Darkness, Error, and
Evil; personified in that between the New Religion on one side,
and Paganism and Judaism on the other. It is a particular appli-
cation of the ancient myth of Ormuzd and his Genii against Ahri-
man and his Devs; and it celebrates the final triumph of Truth
against the combined powers of men and demons. The ideas and
imagery are borrowed from every quarter; and allusions are found
in it to the doctrines of all ages. We are continually reminded
of the Zend-Avesta, the Jewish Codes, Philo, and the Gnosis.
The Seven Spirits surrounding the Throne of the Eternal, at the
opening of the Grand Drama, and acting so important a part
throughout, everywhere the first instruments of the Divine Will
and Vengence, are the Seven Amshaspands of Parsism; as the
Twenty-four Ancients, offering to the Supreme Being the first
supplications and the first homage, remind us of the Mysterious
Chiefs of Judaism, foreshadow the Eons of Gnosticism, and re-
produce the twenty-four Good Spirits created by Ormuzd and in-
closed in an egg.
The Christ of the Apocalypse, First-born of Creation and of the
Resurrection is invested with the characteristics of the Ormuzd
and Sosiosch of the Zend-Avesta, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah
and the Carpistes of the Gnostics. The idea that the
true Initiates and Faithful become Kings and Priests, is at once
Persian, Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic. And the definition of
the Supreme Being, that He is at once Alpha and Omega, the be-
ginning and the end--He that was, and is, and is to come,
i.e., Time illimitable, is Zoroaster's definition of Zerouane-Ak-
herene.
The depths of Satan which no man can measure; his triumph
for a time by fraud and violence; his being chained by an angel;
his reprobation and his precipitation into a sea of metal; his
names of the Serpent and the Dragon; the whole conflict of the
Good Spirits or celestial armies against the bad; are so many
ideas and designations found alike in the Zend-Avesta, the Ka-
balah, and the Gnosis.
We even find in the Apocalypse that singular Persian idea,
which regards some of the lower animals as so many Devs or ve-
hicles of Devs.
The guardianship of the earth by a good angel, the renewing of
the earth and heavens, and the final triumph of pure and holy
men, are the same victory of Good over Evil, for which the whole
Orient looked.
The gold, and white raiments of the twenty-four Elders are, as
in the Persian faith, the signs of a lofty perfection and divine
purity.
Thus the Human mind labored and struggled and tortured itself
for ages, to explain to itself what it felt, without confessing it, to
be inexplicable. A vast crowd of indistinct abstractions, hovering
in the imagination, a train of words embodying no tangible mean-
ing, an inextricable labyrinth of subtleties, was the result.
But one grand idea ever emerged and stood prominent and un-
changeable over the weltering chaos of confusion. God is great,
and good, and wise. Evil and pain and sorrow are temporary,
and for wise and beneficent purposes. They must be consistent
with God's goodness, purity, and infinite perfection; and there
must be a mode of explaining them, if we could but find it out;
as, in all ways we will endeavor to do. Ultimately, Good will pre-
vail, and Evil be overthrown. God, alone can do this, and He will
do it, by an Emanation from Himself, assuming the Human form
and redeeming the world.
Behold the object, the end, the result, of the great speculations
and logomachies of antiquity; the ultimate annihilation of evil,
and restoration of Man to his first estate, by a Redeemer, a Ma-
sayah, a Christos, the incarnate Word, Reason, or Power of Deity.
This Redeemer is the Word or Logos, the Ormuzd of Zoroaster,
the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Platonism and Philon-
ism; He that was in the Beginning with God, and was God, and
by Whom everything was made. That He was looked for by all
the People of the East is abundantly shown by the Gospel of John
and the Letters of Paul; wherein scarcely anything seemed neces-
sary to be said in proof that such a Redeemer was to come;but
all the energies of the writers are devoted to showing that Jesus
was that Christos whom all the nations were expecting; the
"Word," the Masayah, the Anointed or Consecrated One.
In this Degree the great contest between good and evil, in antici-
pation of the appearance and advent of the Word or Redeemer is
symbolized; and the mysterious esoteric teachings of the Essenes
and the Cabalists. Of the practices of the former we gain but
glimpses in the ancient writers; but we know that, as their doc-
trines were taught by John the Baptist, they greatly resembled
those of greater purity and more nearly perfect, taught by Jesus;
and that not only Palestine was full of John's disciples, so that the
Priests and Pharisees did not dare to deny John's inspiration; but
his doctrine had extended to Asia Minor, and had made converts
in luxurious Ephesus, as it also had in Alexandria in Egypt; and
that they readily embraced the Christian faith, of which they had
before not even heard.
These old controversies have died away, and the old faiths have
faded into oblivion. But Masonry still survives, vigorous and
strong, as when philosophy was taught in the schools of Alexan-
dria and under the Portico; teaching the same old truths as the
Essenes taught by the shores of the Dead Sea, and as John the
Baptist preached in the Desert; truths imperishable as the Deity,
and undeniable as Light. Those truths were gathered by the
Essenes from the doctrines of the Orient and the Occident, from
the Zend-Avesta and the Vedas, from Plato and Pythagoras, from
India, Persia, Phoenicia, and Syria, from Greece and Egypt, and
from the Holy Books of the Jews. Hence we are called Knights
of the East and West, because their doctrines came from both.
And these doctrines, the wheat sifted from the chaff, the Truth
seperated from Error, Masonry has garnered up in her heart of
hearts, and through the fires of persecution, and the storms of
calamity, has brought them and delivered them unto us. That
God is One, immutable, unchangeable, infinitely just and good;
that Light will finally overcome Darkness,--Good conquer Evil,
and Truth be victor over Error ;--these, rejecting all the wild and
useless speculations of the Zend-Avesta, the Kabalah, the Gnostics,
and the Schools, are the religion and Philosophy of Masonry.
Those speculations and fancies it is useful to study; that know-
ing in what worthless and unfruitful investigations the mind may
engage, you may the more value and appreciate the plain, simple,
sublime, universally-acknowledged truths, which have in all ages
been the Light by which Masons have been guided on their way;
the Wisdom and Strength that like imperishable columns have
sustained and will continue to sustain its glorious and magnificent
Temple.


 


 

XVIII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX.
[Prince Rose Croix.]



Each of us makes such applications to his own faith and creed,
of the symbols and ceremonies of this Degree, as seems to him
proper. With these special interpretations we have here nothing
to do. Like the legend of the Master Khurum, in which some
see figured the condemnation and sufferings of Christ; others
those of the unfortunate Grand Master of the Templars; others
those of the first Charles, King of England; and others still the
annual descent of the Sun at the winter Solstice to the regions of
darkness, the basis of many an ancient legend; so the ceremonies
of this Degree receive different explanations; each interpreting
them for himself, and being offended at the interpretation of no
other.
In no other way could Masonry possess its character of Univer-
sality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its
origin; and which enables two Kings, worshippers of different
Deities, to sit together as Masters, while the walls of the first tem-
ple arose; and the men of Gebal, bowing down to the Phoenician
Gods, to work by the side of the Hebrews to whom those Gods
were abomination; and to sit with them in the same Lodge as
brethren.
You have already learned that these ceremonies have one gen-
eral significance, to every one, of every faith, who believes in God,
and the soul's immortality.
The primitive men met in no Temples made with human hands.
"God," said Sthe existence of a single uncreated
God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and trans-
formed. The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of
all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices.
The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan. The
Priests of Brahma, professing a dark and bloody creed, brutalized
by Superstition, united together against Buddhism, and with the
aid of Despotism, exterminated its followers. But their blood
fertilized the new docfirst falling themselves, and plunged in misery and darkness,
tempted man to his fall, and brought sin into the world. All be-
lieved in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in
a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a
Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be
overcome, and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures.
The belief was general, that He was to be born of a Virgin, and
suffer a painful death. The Indians called him Chrishna; the
Chinese, Kioun-tse;the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhou-
vanai; the Egyptians, Har-Oeri; Plato, Love; and the Scandina-
vians, Balder.
Chrishna,the Hindoo Redeemer, was cradled and educated
among Shepherds. A Tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered
all male children to be slain. He performed miracles, say his
legends, even raising the dead. He washed the feet of the Brah-
mins, and was meek and lowly of spirit. He was born of a Vir-
gin; descended to Hell, rose again, ascended to Heaven, charged
his disciples to teach his doctrines, and gave them the gift of mir-
acles.
The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us
by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the
Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. He called to the
Priesthood all men, without distinction of caste, who felt them-
selves inspired by God to instruct men. Those who so associated
themselves formed a Society of Prophets under the name of Sa-
maneans. They recognized the existence of a single uncreated
God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and trans-
formed. The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of
all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices.
The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan. The
Priests of Brahma, professing a dark and bloody creed, brutalized
by Superstition, united together against Buddhism, and with the
aid of Despotism, exterminated its followers. But their blood
fertilized the new doctrine, which produced a new Society under
the name of Gymnosophists; and a large number, fleeing to
Ireland, planted their doctrines there, and there erected the round
towers, some of which still stand, solid and unshaken as at first,
visible monuments of the remotest ages.
The Phoenician Cosmogony, like all others in Asia, was the
Word of God, written in astral characters, by the planetary Divin-
ities, and communicated by the Demi-gods, as a profound mystery,
to the brighter intelligences of Humanity, to be propagated by
them among men. Their doctrines resembled the Ancient Sabe-
ism, and being the faith of Hiram the King and his namesake the
Artist, are of interest to all Masons. With them, the First Prin-
ciple was half material, half spiritual, a dark air, animated and
impregnated by the spirit; and a disordered chaos, covered with
thick darkness. From this came the Word, and thence creation
and generation; and thence a race of men, children of light, who
adored Heaven and its Stars as the Supreme Being; and whose
different gods were but incarnations of the Sun, the Moon, the
Stars, and the Ether. Chrysor was the great igneous power of
Nature, and Baal and Malakarth representations of the Sun and
Moon, the latter word, in Hebrew, meaning Queen.
Man had fallen, but not by the tempting of the serpent. For,
with the Phoenicians, the serpent was deemed to partake of the
Divine Nature, and was sacred, as he was in Egypt. He was
deemed to be immortal, unless slain by violence, becoming young
again in his old age, by entering into and consuming himself.
Hence the Serpent in a circle, holding his tail in his mouth, was
an emblem of eternity. With the head of a hawk he was of a
Divine Nature, and a symbol of the sun. Hence one Sect of the
Gnostics took him for their good genius, and hence the brazen ser-
pent reared by Moses in the Desert, on which the Israelites looked
and lived.
"Before the chaos, that preceded the birth of Heaven and
Earth," said the Chinese Lao-Tseu, "a single Being existed, im-
mense and silent, immutable and always acting;the mother of
the Universe. I know not the name of that Being, but I designate
it by the word Reason. Man has his model in the earth, the
earth in Heaven, Heaven in Reason, and Reason in itself."
"I am," says Isis, "Nature;parent of all things, the sovereign
of the Elements, the primitive progeny of Time, the most exalted
of the Deities, the first of the Heavenly Gods and Goddesses, the
Queen of the Shades, the uniform countenance; who dispose
with my rod the numerous lights of Heaven, the salubrious breezes
of the sea, and the mournful silence of the dead; whose single
Divinity the whole world venerates in many forms, with various
rites and by many names. The Egyptians, skilled in ancient lore,
worship me with proper ceremonies, and call me by my true name,
Isis the Queen."
The Hindu Vedas thus define the Deity:
"He who surpasses speech, and through whose power speech is
expressed, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perish-
able things that man adores.
"He whom Intelligence cannot comprehend, and He alone, say
the sages, through whose Power the nature of Intelligence can be
understood, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perish-
able things that man adores.
"He who cannot be seen by the organ of sight, and through
whose power the organ of seeing sees, know thou that He is
Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores.
"He who cannot be heard by the organ of hearing, and through
whose power the organ of hearing hears, know thou that He is
Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores.
"He who cannot be perceived by the organ of smelling, and
through whose power the organ of smelling smells, know thou that
He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores."
"When God resolved to create the human race," said Arius,
"He made a Being that He called The WORD, The Son, Wisdom,
to the end that this Being might give existence to men." This
WORD is the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah,
the Nous of Plato and Philo, the Wisdom or Demiourgos of the
Gnostics.
That is the True Word, the knowledge of which our ancient
brethren sought as the priceless reward of their labors on the
Holy Temple: the Word of Life, the Divine Reason, "in whom
was Life, and that Life the Light of men";"which long shone in
darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;" the Infinite
Reason that is the Soul of Nature, immortal, of which the Word
of this Degree reminds us; and to believe wherein and revere it, is
the peculiar duty of every Mason.
"In the beginning," says the extract from some older work,
with which John commences his Gospel, "was the Word, and the
Word was near to God, and the Word was God. All things were
made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was
made. In Him was Life, and the life was the Light of man; and
the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not contain it."
It is an old tradition that this passage was from an older work.
And Philostorgius and Nicephorus state, that when the Emperor
Julian undertook to rebuild the Temple, a stone was taken up,
that covered the mouth of a deep square cave, into which one of
the laborers, being let down by a rope, found in the centre of
the floor a cubical pillar, on which lay a roll or book, wrapped in
a fine linen cloth, in which, in capital letters, was the foregoing
passage.
However this may have been, it is plain that John's Gospel is a
polemic against the Gnostics; and, stating at the outset the current
doctrine in regard to the creation by the Word, he then addresses
himself to show and urge that this Word was Jesus Christ.
And the first sentence, fully rendered into our language, would
read thus:"When the process of emanation, of creation or evolu-
tion of existences inferior to the Supreme God began, the Word
came into existence and was: and this word was
near to God; i.e. the immediate or first emanation from God:and
it was God Himself, developed or manifested in that particular
mode, and in action. And by that Word everything that is was
created."-And thus Tertullian says that God made the World out
of nothing, by means of His Word, Wisdom, or Power.
To Philo the Jew, as to the Gnostics, the Supreme Being was
the Primitive Light, or Archetype of Light,-Source whence the
rays emanate that illuminate Souls. He is the Soul of the World,
and as such acts everywhere. He himself fills and bounds his
whole existence, and his forces fill and penetrate everything. His
Image is the WORD [LOGOS], a form more brilliant than fire, which
is not pure light. This WORD dwells in God; for it is within His
Intelligence that the Supreme Being frames for Himself the
Types of Ideas of all that is to assume reality in the Universe.
The WORD is the Vehicle by which God acts on the Universe; the
World of Ideas by means whereof God has created visible things;
the more Ancient God, as compared with the Material World;
Chief and General Representative of all Intelligences; the Arch-
angel and representative of all spirits, even those of Mortals;
the type of Man; the primitive man himself. These ideas are
borrowed from Plato. And this Word is not only the Creator ["by
Him was everything made that was made"], but acts in the place
of God and through him act all the Powers and Attributes of
God. And also, as first representative of the human race, he is
the protector of Men and their Shepherd, the "Ben H'Adam," or
Son of Man.
The actual condition of Man is not his primitive condition, that
in which he was the image of the Word. His unruly passions
have caused him to fall from his original lofty estate. But he may
rise again, by following the teachings of Heavenly Wisdom, and
the Angels whom God commissions to aid him in escaping from
the entanglements of the body; and by fighting bravely against
Evil, the existence of which God has allowed solely to furnish him
with the means of exercising his free will.
The Supreme Being of the Egyptians was Amun, a secret and
concealed God, the Unknown Father of the Gnostics, the Source
of Divine Life, and of all force, the Plenitude of all, comprehend-
ing all things in Himself, the original Light. He creates nothing;
but everything emanates from Him: and all other Gods are but
his manifestations. From Him, by the utterance of a Word, ema-
nated Neith, the Divine Mother of all things, the Primitive
THOUGHT, the FORCE that puts everything in movement, the
SPIRIT everywhere extended, the Deity of Light and Mother of
the Sun.
Of this Supreme Being, Osiris was the image, Source of all
Good in the moral and physical world, and constant foe of
Typhon, the Genius of Evil, the Satan of Gnosticism, brute mat-
ter, deemed to be always at feud with the spirit that flowed from
the Deity; and over whom Har-Oeri, the Redeemer, Son of Isis
and Osiris, is finally to prevail.
In the Zend-Avesta of the Persians the Supreme Being is
Time without limit, ZERUANE AKHERENE.--No origin could be
assigned to Him; for He was enveloped in His own Glory, and
His Nature and Attributes were so inaccessible to human Intelli-
gence, that He was but the object of a silent veneration. The com-
mencement of Creation was by emanation from Him. The first
emanation was the Primitive Light, and from this Light emerged
Ormuzd, the King o[ Light, who, by the WORD, created the World
in its purity, is its Preserver and Judge, a Holy and Sacred Be-
ing, Intelligence and Knowledge, Himself Time without limit,
and wielding all the powers of the Supreme Being.
In this Persian faith, as taught many centuries before our era,
and embodied in the Zend-Avesta, there was in man a pure Prin-
ciple, proceeding from the Supreme Being, produced by the Will
and Word of Ormuzd. To that was united an impure principle,
proceeding from a foreign influence, that of Ahriman, the Dragon,
or principle of Evil. Tempted by Ahriman, the first man and
woman had fallen; and for twelve thousand years there was to be
war between Ormuzd and the Good Spirits created by him, and
Ahrirnan and the Evil ones whom he had called into existence.
But pure souls are assisted by the Good Spirits, the Triumph of
the Good Principle is determined upon in the decrees of the Su-
preme Being, and the period of that triumph will infallibly arrive.
At the moment when the earth shall be most afflicted with the
evils brought upon it by the Spirits of perdition, three Prophets
will appear to bring assistance to mortals. Sosiosch, Chief of the
Three, will regenerate the world, and restore to it its primitive
Beauty, Strength, and Purity. He will judge the good and the
wicked. After the universal resurrection of the Good, the pure
Spirits will conduct them to an abode of eternal happiness. Ahri-
man, his evil Demons, and all the world, will be purified in a tor-
rent of liquid burning metal. The Law of Ormuzd will rule
everywhere: all men will be happy: all, enjoying an unalterable
bliss, will unite with Sosiosch in singing the praises of the Su-
preme Being.
These doctrines, with some modifications, were adopted by the
Kabalists and afterward by the Gnostics.
Apollonius of Tyana says:"We shall render the most appropri-
ate worship to the Deity, when to that God whom we call the
First, who is One, and separate from all, and after whom we recog-
nize the others, we present no offerings whatever, kindle to Him
no fire, dedicate to Him no sensible thing; for he needs nothing,
even of all that natures more exalted than ours could give. The
earth produces no plant, the air nourishes no animal, there is in
short nothing, which would not be impure in his sight. In ad-
dressing ourselves to Him, we must use only the higher word, that,
I mean, which is not expressed by the mouth,--the silent inner
word of the spirit ..... From the most Glorious of all Beings, we
must seek for blessings, by that which is most glorious in our-
selves; and that is the spirit, which needs no organ."
Strabo says: "This one Supreme Essence is that which embraces
us all, the water and the land, that which we call the Heavens,
the World, the Nature of things. This Highest Being should be
worshipped, without any visible image, in sacred groves. In such
retreats the devout should lay themselves down to sleep, and
expect signs from God in dreams."
Aristolte says:"It has been handed down in a mythical form,
from the earliest times to posterity, that there are Gods, and that
The Divine compasses entire nature. All besides this has been
added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the
multitude, and for the interest of the laws and the advantage of
the State. Thus men have given to the Gods human forms, and
have even represented them under the figure of other beings, in
the train of which fictions followed many more of the same sort.
But if, from all this, we separate the original principle, and con-
sider it alone, namely, that the first Essences are Gods, we shall
find that this has been divinely said; and since it is probable that
philosophy and the arts have been several times, so far as that is
possible, found and lost, such doctrines may have been preserved
to our times as the remains of ancient wisdom."
Porphyry says: "By images addressed to sense, the ancients
represented God and his powers--by the visible they typified the
invisible for those who had learned to read, in these types, as in
a book, a treatise on the Gods. We need not wonder if the igno-
rant consider the images to be nothing more than wood or stone;
for just so, they who are ignorant of writing see nothing in monu-
ments but stone, nothing in tablets but wood, and in books but a
tissue of papyrus."
Apollonius of Tyana held, that birth and death are only in ap-
pearance; that which separates itself from the one substance (the
one Divine essence), and is caught up by matter, seems to be born;
that, again, which releases itself from the bonds of matter, and is
reunited with the one Divine Essence, seems to die. There is, at
most, an alteration between becoming visible and becoming in-
visible. In all there is, properly speaking, but the one essence,
which alone acts and suffers, by becoming all things to all;the
Eternal God, whom men wrong, when they deprive Him of what
properly can be attributed to Him only, and transfer it to other
names and persons.
The New Platonists substituted the idea of the Absolute, for
the Supreme Essence itself;--as the first, simplest principle, ante-
rior to all existence; of which nothing determinate can be predi-
cated; to which no consciousness, no self-contemplation can be
ascribed; inasmuch as to do so, would immediately imply a qual-
ity, a distinction of subject and object. This Supreme Entity can
be known only by an intellectual intuition of the Spirit, trans-
scending itself, and emancipating itself from its own limits.
This mere logical tendency, by means of which men thought to
arrive at the conception of such an absolute, the ov, was united
with a certain mysticism, which, by a transcendent state of feel-
ing, communicated, as it were, to this abstraction what the mind
would receive as a reality. The absorption of the Spirit into that
superexistence, so as to be entirely
identified with it, or such a revelation of the latter to the spirit
raised above itself, was regarded as the highest end which the
spiritual life could reach.
The New Platonists' idea of God, was that of One Simple Origi-
nal Essence, exalted akes a distinction between those who are in the
proper sense Sons of God, having by means of contemplation
raised themselves to the highest Being, or attained to a knowledge
of Him, in His immediate self-manifestation, and those who know
God only in his mediate revelation through his operation--such as
He declares Himself in creation--in the revelation still veiled in
the letter of Scripture--those, in short, who attach themselves
simply to the Logos, and consider this to be the Supreme God;
who aren; and after it has rid itself
from all that pertains to sense-from all manifoldness. They are
the mediators between man (amazed and stupefied by manifold-
ness) and the Supreme Unity.
Philo says:"He who disbelieves the miraculous, simply as the
miraculous, neither knows God, nor has he ever sought after Him;
for otherwise he would have understood, by looking at that truly
great and awe-inspiring sight, the miracle of the Universe, that
these miracles (in God's providential guidance of His people) are
but child's play for the Divine Power. But the truly miraculous
has become despised through familiarity. The universal, on the
contrary, although in itself insignificant, yet, through our love of
novelty, transports us with amazement."
In opposition to the anthropopathism of the Jewish Scriptures,
the Alexandrian Jews endeavored to purify the idea of God from
all admixture of the Human. By the exclusion of every human
passion, it was sublimated to a something devoid of all attributes,
and wholly transcendental; and the mere Being, the Good,
in and by itself, the Absolute of Platonism, was substituted for
the personal Deity of the Old Testament. By soaring up-
ward, beyond all created existence, the mind, disengaging itself
from the Sensible, attains to the intellectual intuition of this Ab-
solute Being; of whom, however, it can predicate nothing but
existence, and sets aside all other determinations as not answering
to the exalted nature of the Supreme Essence.
Thus Philo makes a distinction between those who are in the
proper sense Sons of God, having by means of contemplation
raised themselves to the highest Being, or attained to a knowledge
of Him, in His immediate self-manifestation, and those who know
God only in his mediate revelation through his operation--such as
He declares Himself in creation--in the revelation still veiled in
the letter of Scripture--those, in short, who attach themselves
simply to the Logos, and consider this to be the Supreme God;
who are the sons of the Logos, rather than of the True Being.
"God," says Pythagoras, "is neither the object of sense, nor
subject to passion, but invisible, only intelligible, and supremely
intelligent. In His body He is like the light, and in His soul He re-
sembles truth. He is the universal spirit that pervades and dif-
fuseth itself over all nature. All beings receive their life from
Him. There is but one only God, who is not, as some are apt to
imagine, seated above the world, beyond the orb of the Universe;
but being Himself all in all, He sees all the beings that fill His
immensity; the only Principle, the Light of Heaven, the Father
of all. He produces everything; He orders and disposes every-
thing; He is the REASON, the LIFE, and the MOTION of all being."
"I am the LIGHT of the world;he that followeth Me shall not
walk in DARKNESS, but shall have the LIGHT of LIFE." So said
the Founder of the Christian Religion, as His words are reported
by John the Apostle.
God, say the sacred writings of the Jews, appeared to Moses in
a FLAME OF FIRE, in the midst of a bush, which was not consumed.
He descended upon Mount Sinai, as the smoke of a furnace; He
went before the children of Israel, by day, in a pillar of cloud,
and, by night, in a pillar of fire, to give them light. "Call you on
the name of your Gods," said Elijah the Prophet to the Priests
of Baal, "and I will call upon the name of ADONAI; and the God
that answereth by fire, let him be God."
According to the Kabalah, as according to the doctrines of
Zoroaster, everything that exists has emanated from a source of
infinite light. Before all things, existed the Primitive Being, THE
ANCIENT OF DAYS, the Ancient King of Light; a title the more
remarkable, because it is frequently given to the Creator in the
Zend-Avesta, and in the Code of the Sabeans, and occurs in the
Jewish Scriptures.
The world was His Revelation, God revealed; and subsisted
only in Him. His attributes were there reproduced with various
modifications and in different degrees; so that the Universe was
His Holy Splendor, His Mantle. He was to be adored in silence;
and perfection consisted in a nearer approach to Him.
Before the creation of worlds, the PRIMITIVE LIGHT filled all
space, so that there was no void. When the Supreme Being, ex-
isting in this Light, resolved to display His perfections, or mani-
fest them in worlds, He withdrew within Himself, formed around
Him a void space, and shot forth His first emanation, a ray of
light; the cause and principle of everything that exists, uniting
both the generative and conceptive power, which penetrates every-
thing, and without which nothing could subsist for an instant.
Man fell, seduced by the Evil Spirits most remote from the
Great King of Light; those of the fourth world of spirits, Asiah,
whose chief was Belial. They wage incessant war against the
pure Intelligences of the other worlds, who, like the Amshaspands,
Izeds, and Ferouers of the Persians are the tutelary guardians of
man. In the beginning, all was unison and harmony; full of the
same divine light and perfect purity. The Seven Kings of Evil
fell, and the Universe was troubled. Then the Creator took from
the Seven Kings the principles of Good and of Light, and divided
them among the four worlds of Spirits, giving to the first three
the Pure Intelligences, united in love and harmony, while to the
fourth were vouchsafed only some feeble glimmerings of light.
When the strife between these and the good angels shall have
continued the appointed time, and these Spirits enveloped in dark-
ness shall long and in vain have endeavored to absorb the Divine
light and life, then will the Eternal Himself come to correct them.
He will deliver them from the gross envelopes of matter that hold
them captive, will re-animate and strengthen the ray of light or
spiritual nature which they have preserved, and re-establish
throughout the Universe that primitive Harmony which was its
bliss.
Marcion, the Gnostic, said, "The Soul of the True Christian,
adopted as a child by the Supreme Being, to whom it has long
been a stranger, receives from Him the Spirit and Divine life. It
is led and confirmed, by this gift, in a pure and holy life, like that
of God; and if it so completes its earthly career, in charity,
chastity, and sanctity, it will one day be disengaged from its ma-
terial envelope, as the ripe grain is detached from the straw, and
as the young bird escapes from its shell. Like the angels, it will
share in the bliss of the Good and Perfect Father, re-clothed in an
aerial body or organ, and made like unto the Angels in Heaven."
You see, my brother, what is the meaning of Masonic "Light."
You see why the EAST of the Lodge, where the initial letter of the
Name of the Deity overhangs the Master, is the place of Light.
Light, as contradistinguished from darkness, is Good, as contradis-
tinguished from Evil: and it is that Light, the true knowledge of
Deity, the Eternal Good, for which Masons in all ages have sought.
Still Masonry marches steadily onward toward that Light that
shines in the great distance, the Light of that day when Evil,
overcome and vanquished, shall fade away and disappear forever,
and Life and Light be the one law of the Universe, and its eternal
Harmony.
The Degree of Rose Croix teaches three things;--the unity, im-
mutability and goodness of God; the immortality of the Soul;
and the ultimate defeat and extinction of evil and wrong and sor-
row, by a Redeemer or Messiah, yet to come, if he has not already
appeared.
It replaces the three pillars of the old Temple, with three that
have already been explained to you,--Faith [in God, mankind, and
man's self], Hope [in the victory over evil, the advancement of
Humanity, and a hereafter], and Charity [relieving the wants,
and tolerant of the errors and faults of others]. To be trustful,
to be hopeful, to be indulgent; these, in an age of selfishness, of ill
opinion of human nature, of harsh and bitter judgment, are the
most important Masonic Virtues, and the true supports of every
Masonic Temple. And they are the old pillars of the Temple
under different names. For he only is wise who judges others
charitably; he only is strong who is hopeful; and there is no
beauty like a firm faith in God, our fellows and ourself.
The second apartment, clothed in mourning, the columns of
the Temple shattered and prostrate, and the brethren bowed down
in the deepest dejection, represents the world under the tyranny of
the Principle of Evil; where virtue is persecuted and vice reward-
ed; where the righteous starve for bread, and the wicked live
sumptuously and dress in purple and fine linen; where insolent
ignorance rules, and learning and genius serve; where King and
Priest trample on liberty and the rights of conscience; where free-
dom hides in caves and mountains, and sycophancy and servility
fawn and thrive; where the cry of the widow and the orphan
starving for want of food, and shivering with cold, rises ever to
Heaven, from a million miserable hovels; where men, willing to
labor, and starving, they and their children and the wives of their
bosoms, beg plaintively for work, when the pampered capitalist
stops his mills; where the law punishes her who, starving, steals a
loaf, and lets the seducer go free; where the success of a party
justifies murder, and violence and rapine go unpunished; and
where he who with many years' cheating and grinding the faces of
the poor grows rich, receives office and honor in life, and after
death brave funeral and a splendid mausoleum:--this world,
where, since its making, war has never ceased, nor man paused in
the sad task of torturing and murdering his brother; and of which
ambition, avarice, envy, hatred, lust, and the rest of Ahriman's
and Typhon's army make a Pandemonium: this world, sunk in
sin, reeking with baseness, clamorous with sorrow and misery. If
any see in it also a type of the sorrow of the Craft for the death
of Hiram, the grief of the Jews at the fall of Jerusalem, the misery
of the Templars at the ruin of their order and the death of De
Molay, or the world's agony and pangs of woe at the death of the
Redeemer, it is the right of each to do so.
The third apartment represents the consequences of sin and
vice, and the hell made of the human heart, by its fiery passions.
If any see in it also a type of the Hades of the Greeks, the
Gehenna of the Hebrews, the Tartarus of the Romans, or the Hell
of the Christians, or only of the agonies of remorse and the tor-
tures of an upbraiding conscience, it is the right of each to do so.
The fourth apartment represents the Universe, freed from the
insolent dominion and tyranny of the Principle of Evil, and bril-
liant with the true Light that flows from the Supreme Deity;
when sin and wrong, and pain and sorrow, remorse and misery
shall be no more forever; when the great plans of Infinite Eternal
Wisdom shall be fully developed; and all God's creatures, seeing
that all apparent evil and individual suffering and wrong were
but the drops that went to swell the great river of infinite good-
ness, shall know that vast as is the power of Deity, His goodness
and beneficence are infinite as His power. If any see in it a type
of the peculiar mysteries of any faith or creed, or an allusion to
any past occurrences, it is their right to do so. Let each apply its
symbols as he pleases. To all of us they typify the universal rule
of Masonry,-- of its three chief virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity;
of brotherly love and universal benevolence. We labor here to
no other end. These symbols need no other interpretation.
The obligations of our Ancient Brethren of the Rose Croix were to
fulfill all the duties of friendship, cheerfulness, charity, peace, lib-
erality, temperance and chastity: and scrupulously to avoid im-
purity, haughtiness, hatred, anger, and every other kind of vice.
They took their philosophy from the old Theology of the Egyp-
tians, as Moses and Solomon had done, and borrowed its hiero-
glyphics and the ciphers of the Hebrews. Their principal rules
were to exercise the profession of medicine charitably and with-
out fee, to advance the cause of virtue, enlarge the sciences, and
induce men to live as in the primitive times of the world.
When this Degree had its origin, it is not important to inquire;
nor with what different rites it has been practised in different
countries and at various times. It is of very high antiquity. Its
ceremonies differ with the degrees of latitude and longitude, and
it receives variant interpretations. If we were to examine all the
different ceremonials, their emblems, and their formulas, we should
see that all that belongs to the primitive and essential elements
of the order, is respected in every sanctuary. All alike practise
virtue, that it may produce fruit. All labor, like us, for the ex-
tirpation of vice, the purification of man, the development of the
arts and sciences, and the relief of humanity.
None admit an adept to their lofty philosophical knowledge, and
mysterious sciences, until he has been purified at the altar of the
symbolic Degrees. Of what importance are differences of opinion
as to the age and genealogy of the Degree, or variance in the prac-
tice, ceremonial and liturgy, or the shade of color of the banner
under which each tribe of Israel marched, if all revere 'the Holy
Arch of the symbolic Degrees, first and unalterable source of Free-
Masonry; if all revere our conservative principles, and are with us
in the great purposes of our organization ?
If, anywhere, brethren of a particular religious belief have been
excluded from this Degree, it merely shows how gravely the pur-
poses and plan of Masonry may be misunderstood. For whenever
the door of any Degree is closed against him who believes in one
God and the soul's immortality, on account of the other tenets of
his faith, that Degree is Masonry no longer. No Mason has the
right to interpret the symbols of this Degree for another, or to re-
fuse him its mysteries, if he will not take them with the explana-
tion and commentary superadded.
Listen, my brother, to our explanation of the symbols of the
Degree, and then give them such further interpretation as you
think fit.
The Cross has been a sacred symbol from the earliest Antiquity.
It is found upon all the enduring monuments of the world, in
Egypt, in Assyria, in Hindostan, in Persia, and on the Buddhist
towers of Ireland. Buddha was said to have died upon it. The
Druids cut an oak into its shape and held it sacred, and built their
temples in that form. Pointing to the four quarters of the world,
it was the symbol of universal nature. It was on a cruciform tree,
that Chrishna was said to have expired, pierced with arrows. It
was revered in Mexico.
But its peculiar meaning in this Degree, is that given to it by
the Ancient Egyptians. Tltoth or Phika is represented on the old-
est monuments carrying in his hand the Crux Ansata, or Ankh,
[a Tau cross, with a ring or circle over it]. He is so seen on the
double tablet of Shufu and Nob Shufu, builders of the greatest of
the Pyramids, at Wady Meghara, in the peninsula of Sinai. It was
the hieroglyphic for life, and with a triangle prefixed meant life-
giving. To us therefore it is the symbol of Life--of that life
that emanated from the Deity, and of that Eternal Life for which
we all hope; through our faith in God's infinite goodness.
The ROSE was anciently sacred to Aurora and the Sun. It is
a symbol of Dawn, of the resurrection of Light and the renewal
of life, and therefore of the dawn of the first day, and more par-
ticularly of the resurrection: and the Cross and Rose together
are therefore hieroglyphically to be read, the Dawn of Eternal
Life which all Nations have hoped for by the advent of a Re-
deemer.
The Pelican feeding her young is an emblem of the large and
bountiful beneficence of Nature, of the Redeemer of fallen man,
and of that humanity and charity that ought to distinguish a
Knight of this Degree.
The Eagle was the living Symbol of the Egyptian God Mendes
or Menthra, whom Sesostris-Ramses made one with Amun-Re,
the God of Thebes and Upper Egypt, and the representative of
the Sun, the word RE meaning Sun or King.
The Compass surmounted with a crown signifies that notwith-
standing the high rank attained in Masonry by a Knight of the
Rose Croix, equity and impartiality are invariably to govern his
conduct.
To the word INRI, inscribed on the Crux Ansata over the
Master's Seat, many meanings have been assigned. The Christian
Initiate reverentially sees in it the initials of the inscription upon
the cross on which Christ suffered---Iesus Nazarenus Rex ludce-
orum. The sages of Antiquity connected it with one of the great-
est secrets of Nature, that of universal regeneration. They inter-
preted it thus, Igne Natura renovatur integra; [entire nature is
renovated by fire]: The Alchemical or Hermetic Masons framed
for it this aphorism, Igne nitrum roris invenitur. And the Jes-
uits are charged with having applied to it this odious axiom,
Justum necare reges impios. The four letters are the initials of
the Hebrew words that represent the four elements--lammim,
the seas or water; Nour, fire; Rouach, the air, and Iebeschah, the
dry earth. How we read it, I need not repeat to you.
The CROSS, X, was the Sign of the Creative Wisdom or Logos,
the Son of God. Plato says, "He expressed him upon the Uni-
verse in the figure of the letter X. The next Power to the Su-
preme God was decussated or figured in the shape of a Cross on
the Universe." Mithras signed his soldiers on the forehead with a 
Cross. X is the mark of 600, the mysterious cycle of the Incar-
nations.
We constantly see the Tau and the Resh united thus P . These
-|-
|
two letters, in the old Samaritan, as found in Arius, stand, the
first for 400, the second for 200=600. This is the Staff of Osiris, 
also, and his monogram, and was adopted by the Christians as a
Sign. On a medal P of Constanius is this inscription, "In hoc
X
|
signo victor eris." An inscription in the Duomo at Milan
reads, "X. et P. Christi. Nomina. Sancta. Tenei."
The Egyptians used as a Sign of their God Canobus, a T or a
-l- indifferently. The Vaishnavas of India have also the same
Sacred Tau, which they also mark with crosses, and with triangles.
The vestments of the ptiests of Horus were covered with these crosses.
So was the dress of the Lama of Thibet. The Sectarian marks of the Jains 
are similar. The distinctive badge of the Sect of Xac Jaonicus is the
swastica. It is the Sign of Fo, identical with the Cross of Christ. 
On the ruins of Mandore, in India, among other mystic emblems, are 
the mystic triangle, and the interlaced triangle. This is also found 
on ancient coins and medals, excavated from the ruins of Oojein and 
other ancient cities of India.
You entered here amid gloom and into shadow, and are clad in
the apparel of sorrow. Lament, with us, the sad condition of the
Human race, in this vale of tears! the calamities of men and the
agonies of nations! the darkness of the bewildered soul, oppressed
by doubt and apprehension!
There is no human soul that is not sad at times. There is no
thoughtful soul that does not at times despair. There is perhaps
none, of all that think at all of anything beyond the needs and in-
terests of the body, that is not at times startled and terrified by the
awful questions which, feeling as though it were a guilty thing for
doing so, it whispers to itself in its inmost depths. Some Demon
seems to torture it with doubts, and to crush it with despair, ask-
ing whether, after all, it is certain that its convictions are true,
and its faith well rounded: whether it is indeed sure that a God of
Infinite Love and Beneficence rules the Universe, or only some
great remorseless Fate and iron Necessity, hid in impenetrable
gloom, and to which men and their sufferings and sorrows. their
hopes and joys, their ambitions and deeds, are of no more interest
or importance than the motes that dance in the sunshine; or a
Being that amuses Himself with the incredible vanity and folly,
the writings and contortions of the insignificant insects that
compose Humanity, and idly imagine that they resemble the Om-
nipotent. "What are we," the Tempter asks, "but puppets in a
show-box ? O Omnipotent destiny, pull our strings gently ! Dance
us mercifully off our miserable little stage !"
"Is it not," the Demon whispers, "merely the inordinate vanity
of man that causes him now to pretend to himself that he is like
unto God in intellect, sympathies and passions, as it was that
which, at the beginning, made him believe that he was, in his bodily
shape and organs, the very image of the Deity ? Is not his God
merely his own shadow, projected in gigantic outlines upon the
clouds? Does he not create for himself a God out of himself, by
merely adding indefinite extension to his own faculties, powers,
and passions?"
"Who," the Voice that will not be always silent whispers, "has
ever thoroughly satisfied himself with his own arguments in re-
spect to his own nature ? Who ever demonstrated to himself, with
a conclusiveness that elevated the belief to certainty, that he was
an immortal spirit, dwelling only temporarily in the house and
envelope of the body, and to live on forever after that shall have
decayed? Who ever has demonstrated or ever can demonstrate
that the intellect of Man differs from that of the wiser animals,
otherwise than in degree ? Who has ever done more than to utter
nonsense and incoherencies in regard to the difference between
the instincts of the dog and the reason of Man ? The horse, the
dog, the elephant, are as conscious of their identity as we are.
They think, dream, remember, argue with themselves, devise,
plan, and reason. What is the intellect and intelligence of the man
but the intellect of the animal in a higher degree or larger quan-
tity ?" In the real explanation of a single thought of a dog, all
metaphysics will be condensed.
And with still more terrible significance, the Voice asks, in what
respect the masses of men, the vast swarms of the human race,
have proven themselves either wiser or better than the animals in
whose eyes a higher intelligence shines than in their dull, unintel-
lectural orbs; in what respect they have proven themselves worthy
of or suited for an immortal life. Would that be a prize of any
value to the vast majority? Do they show, here upon earth, any
capacity to improve, any fitness for a state of existence in which
they could not crouch to power, like hounds dreading the lash, or
tyrannize over defenceless weakness;in which they could not hate,
and persecute, and torture, and exterminate; in which they could
not trade, and speculate, and over-reach, and entrap the-unwary
and cheat the confiding and gamble and thrive, and sniff with self-
righteousness at the short-comings of others, and thank God that
they were not like other men? What, to immense numbers of
men, would be the value of a Heaven where they could not lie and
libel, and ply base avocations for profitable returns ?
Sadly we look around us, and read the gloomy and dreary rec-
ords of the old dead and rotten ages. More than eighteen centuries
have staggered away into the spectral realm of the Past, since
Christ, teaching the Religion of Love, was crucified, that it might
become a Religion of Hate; and His Doctrines are not yet even
nominally accepted as true by a fourth of mankind. Since His
death, what incalculable swarms of human beings have lived and
died in total unbelief of all that we deem essential to Salvation!
What multitudinous myriads of souls, since the darkness of idola-
trous superstition settled down, thick and impenetrable, upon the
earth, have flocked up toward the eternal Throne of God, to
receive His judgment ?
The Religion of Love proved to be, for seventeen long cen-
turies, as much the Religion of Hate, and infinitely more the Re-
ligion of Persecution, than Mahometanism, its unconquerable rival.
Heresies grew up before the Apostles died; and God hated the
Nicolaitans, while John, at Patmos, proclaimed His coming wrath.
Sects wrangled, and each, as it gained the power, persecuted
the other, until the soil of the whole Christian world was watered
with the blood, and fattened on the flesh, and whitened with the
bones, of martyrs, and human ingenuity was taxed to its utmost
to invent new modes by which tortures and agonies could be pro-
longed and made more exquisite.
"By what right," whispers the Voice, "does this savage, merci-
less, persecuting animal, to which the sufferings and writhings of
others of its wretched kind furnish the most pleasurable sensa-
tions, and the mass of which care only to eat, sleep, be clothed, and
wallow in sensual pleasures, and the best of which wrangle, hate,
envy, and, with few exceptions, regard their own interests alone,-
with what right does it endeavor to delude itself into the convic-
tion that it is not an animal, as the wolf, the hyena, and the tiger
are but a somewhat nobler, a spirit destined to be immortal, a
spark of the essential Light, Fire and Reason, which are God?
What other immortality than one of selfishness could this creature
enjoy? Of what other is it capable? Must not immortality com-
mence here and is not life a part of it? How shall death change
the base nature of the base soul ? Why have not those other ani-
mals that only faintly imitate the wanton, savage, human cruelty
and thirst for blood, the same right as man has, to expect a resur-
rection and an Eternity of existence, or a Heaven of Love?
The world improves. Man ceases to persecute,--when the per-
secuted become too numerous and strong, longer to submit to it.
That source of pleasure closed, men exercise the ingenuities of
their cruelty on the animals and other living things below them.
To deprive other creatures of the life which God gave them, and
this not only that we may eat their flesh for food, but out of mere
savage wantonness, is the agreeable employment and amusement
of man, who prides himself on being the Lord of Creation, and a
little lower than the Angels. If he can no longer use the rack, the
gibbet, the pincers, and the stake, he can hate, and slander,
and delight in the thought that he will, hereafter, luxuriously
enjoying the sensual beatitudes of Heaven, see with pleasure the
writhing agonies of those justly damned for daring to hold opin-
ions contrary to his own, upon subjects totally beyond the compre-
hension both of them and him.
Where the armies of the despots cease to slay and ravage, the
armies of "Freedom" take their place, and, the black and white
commingled, slaughter and burn and ravish. Each age re-enacts
the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war
licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is
thanked in the Churches for bloody hutcheries, and the remorse-
less devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with
laurels and receive ovations.
Of the whole of mankind, not one in ten thousand has any aspi-
rations beyond the daily needs of the gross animal life. In this
age and in all others, all men except a few, in most countries, are
born to be mere beasts of burden, co-laborers with the horse and
the ox. Profoundly ignorant, even in "civilized" lands, they think
and reason like the animals by the side of which they toil. For
them, God, Soul, Spirit, Immortality, are mere words, without any
real meaning. The God of nineteen-twentieths of the Christian
world is only Bel, Moloch, Zeus, or at best Osiris, Mithras, or
Adonai, under another name, worshipped with the old Pagan cere-
monies and ritualistic formulas. It is the Statue of Olympian Jove,
worshipped as the Father, in the Christian Church that was a
Pagan Temple;it is the Statue of Venus, become the Virgin Mary.
For the most part, men do not in their hearts believe that God is
either just or merciful. They fear and shrink from His lightnings
and dread His wrath. For the most part, they only think they
believe that there is another life, a judgment, and a punishment
for sin. Yet they will none the less persecute as Infidels and Athe-
ists those who do not believe what they themselves imagine they
believe, and which yet they do not believe, because it is incompre-
hensible to them in their ignorance and want of intellect. To the
vast majority of mankind, God is but the reflected image, in infi-
nite space, of the earthly Tyrant on his Throne, only more power-
ful, more inscrutable, and more implacable. To curse Humanity,
the Despot need only be, what the popular mind has, in every age,
imagined God.
In the great cities, the lower strata of the populace are equally
without faith and without hope. The others have, for the most
part, a mere blind faith, imposed by education and circumstances,
and not as productive of moral excellence or even common honesty
as Mohammedanism. "Your property will be safe here," said the
Moslem; "There are no Christians here." The philosophical
and scientific world becomes daily more and more unbelieving.
Faith and Reason are not opposites, in equilibrium; but antago-
nistic and hostile to each other; the result being the darkness and
despair of scepticism, avowed, or half-veiled as rationalism.
Over more than three-fourths of the habitable globe, humanity
still kneels, like the camels, to take upon itself the burthens to be
tamely borne for its tyrants. If a Republic occasionally rises like a
Star, it hastens with all speed to set in blood. The kings need not
make war upon it, to crush it out of their way. It is only neces-
sary to let it alone, and it soon lays violent hands upon itself. And
when a people long enslaved shake off its fetters, it may well be
incredulously asked,

Shall the braggart shout
For some blind glimpse of Freedom, link itself,
Through madness, hated by the wise, to law,
System and Empire?

Everywhere in the world labor is, in some shape, the slave of
capital; generally, a slave to be fed only so long as he can work;
or, rather, only so long as his work is profitable to the owner of
the human chattel. There are famines in Ireland, strikes and
starvation in England, pauperism and tenement-dens in New
York, misery, squalor, ignorance, destitution, the brutality of vice
and the insensibility to shame, of despairing beggary, in all the
human cesspools and sewers everywhere. Here, a sewing-woman
famishes and freezes; there, mothers murder their children, that
those spared may live upon the bread purchased with the burial
allowances of the dead starveling; and at the next door young
girls prostitute themselves for food.
Moreover, the Voice says, this besotted race is not satisfied with
seeing its multitudes swept away by the great epidemics whose
causes are unknown, and of the justice or wisdom of which the
human mind cannot conceive. It must also be ever at war. There
has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all
the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in mur-
dering each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by
the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resources,
wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations. Now it
loads unborn posterity with crushing debt, mortgages all estates,
and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest re-
pudiation.
At times, the baleful fires of war light up half a Continent at
once; as when all the Thrones unite to compel a people to receive
again a hated and detestable dynasty, or States deny States the
right to dissolve an irksome union and create for themselves a
seperate government. Then again the flames flicker and die away,
and the fire smoulders in its ashes, to break out again, after a
time, with renewed and a more concentrated fury. At times, the
storm, revolving, howls over small areas only; at times its lights
are seen, like the old beacon-fires on the hills, belting the whole
globe. No sea, but hears the roar of cannon; no river, but runs
red with blood; no plain, but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of
charging squadrons; no field, but is fertilized by the blood of the
dead; and everywhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf
howls in the ear of the dying soldier. No city is not tortured
by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horrid blas-
phemy of thanking a God of Love for victories and carnage. Te
Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the
Sicilian Vespers. Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive
powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruc-
tion, by which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and
effectually crushed, shattered, torn, and mangled; and yet hypo-
critical Humanity, drunk with blood and drenched with gore, 
shrieks to Heaven at a single murder, perpetrated to gratify a re-
venge not more unchristian, or to satisfy a cupidity not more
ignoble, than those which are the promptings of the Devil in the
souls of Nations.
When we have fondly dreamed of Utopia and the Millennium,
when we have begun almost to believe that man is not, after all, a
tiger half tamed, and that the smell of blood will not wake the sav-
age within him, we are of a sudden startled from the delusive
dream, to find the thin mask of civilization rent in twain and
thrown contemptuously away. We lie down to sleep, like the peas-
ant on the lava-slopes of Vesuvius. The mountain has been so
long inert, that we believe its fires extinguished. Round us hang
the clustering grapes, and the green leaves of the olive tremble in
the soft night-air over us. Above us shine the peaceful, patient
stars. The crash of a new eruption wakes us, the roar of the sub-
terranean thunders, the stabs of the volcanic lightning into the
shrouded bosom of the sky; and we see, aghast, the tortured Titan
hurling up its fires among the pale stars, its great tree of smoke
and cloud, the red torrents pouring down its sides. The roar and
the shriekings of Civil War are all around us: the land is a pande-
monium: man is again a Savage. The great armies roll along their
hideous waves, and leave behind them smoking and depopulated
deserts. The pillager is in every house, plucking even the morsel
of bread from the lips of the starving child. Gray hairs are
dabbled in blood, and innocent girlhood shrieks in vain to Lust for
mercy. Laws, Courts, Constitutions, Christianity, Mercy, Pity,
disappear. God seems to have abdicated, and Moloch to reign in
His stead; while Press and Pulpit alike exult at universal murder,
and urge the extermination of the Conquered, by the sword and
the flaming torch; and to plunder and murder entitles the human
beasts of prey to the thanks of Christian Senates.
Commercial greed deadens the nerves of sympathy of Nations,
and makes them deaf to the demands of honor, the impulses of
generosity, the appeals of those who suffer under injustice. Else-
where, the universal pursuit of wealth dethrones God and pays
divine honors to Mammon and Baalzebub. Selfishness rules su-
preme: to win wealth becomes the whole business of life. The
villanies of legalized gaming and speculation become epidemic;
treacery is but evidence of shrewdness; office becomes the prey
of successful faction; the Country, like Actaeon, is torn by its own
hounds, and the villains it has carefully educated to their trade,
most greedily plunder it, when it is in extremis.
By what right, the Voice demands, does a creature always
engaged in the work of mutual robbery and slaughter, and who
makes his own interest his God, claim to be of a nature superior
to the savage beasts of which he is the prototype?
Then the shadows of a horrible doubt fall upon the soul that
would fain love, trust and believe; a darkness, of which this that
surrounded you was a symbol. It doubts the truth of Revelation,
its own spirituality, the very existence of a beneficent God. It
asks itself if it is not idle to hope for any great progress of
Humanity toward perfection, and whether, when it advances in
one respect, it does not retrogress in some other, by way of com-
pensation: whether advance in civilization is not increase of self-
ishness: whether freedom does not necessarily lead to license and
anarchy: whether the destitution and debasement of the masses
does not inevitably follow increase of population and commercial
and manufacturing prosperity. It asks itself whether man is not
the sport of blind, merciless Fate: whether all philosophies are
not delusions, and all religions the fantastic creations of human
vanity and self-conceit; and above all, whether, when Reason is
abandoned as a guide, the faith of Buddhist and Brahmin has not
the same claims to sovereignty and implicit, unreasoning credence,
as any other.
He asks himself whether it is not, after all, the evident and pal-
pable injustices of this life, the success and prosperity of the Bad,
the calamities, oppressions, and miseries of the Good, that are the
bases of all beliefs in a future state of existence? Doubting man's
capacity for indefinite progress here, he doubts the possibility of it
anywher; and if he does not doubt whether God exists, and is
just and beneficent, he at least cannot silence the constantly recur-
ring whisper, that the miseries and calamities of men, their lives
and deaths, their pains and sorrows, their extermination by war
and epidemics, are phenomena of no higher dignity, significance,
and importance, in the eye of God, than what things of the same
nature occur to other organisms of matter; and that the fish of
the ancient seas, destroyed by myriads to make room for other
species, the contorted shapes in which they are found as fossils
testifying to their agonies; the coral insects, the animals and
birds and vermin slain by man, have as much right as he to clamor
at the injustice of the dispensations of God, and to demand an
immortality of life in a new universe, as compensation for their
pains and sufferings and untimely death in this world.
This is not a picture painted by the imagination. Many a
thoughtful mind has so doubted and despaired. How many of us
can say that our own faith is so well grounded and complete that
we never hear those painful whisperings within the soul? Thrice
blessed are they who never doubt, who ruminate in patient con-
tentment like the kine, or doze under the opiate of a blind faith;
on whose souls never rests that Awful Shadow which is the ab-
sence of the Divine Light.
To explain to themselves the existence of Evil and Suffering,
the Ancient Persians imagined that there were two Principles or
Deities in the Universe, the one of Good and the other of Evil,
constantly in conflict with each other in struggle for the mastery,
and alternately overcoming and overcome. Over both, for the
SAGES, was the One Supreme; and for them Light was in the end
to prevail over Darkness, the Good over the Evil, and even Ahri-
man and his Demons to part with their wicked and vicious natures
and share the universal Salvation. It did not occur to them that
the existence of the Evil Principle, by the consent of the Omnipo-
tent Supreme, presented the same difficulty, and left the existence
of Evil as unexplained as before. The human mind is always
content, if it can remove a difficulty a step further off. It cannot
believe that the world rests on nothing, but is devoutly content
when taught that it is borne on the back of an immense elephant,
who himself stands on the back of a tortoise. Given the tortoise,
Faith is always satisfied; and it has been a great source of happi-
ness to multitudes that they could believe in a Devil who could
relieve God of the odium of being the Author of Sin.
But not to all is Faith sufficient to overcome this great diffi-
culty. They say, with the Suppliant, "Lord! I believe!"--but like
him they are constrained to add, "Help Thou my unbelief!"--Rea-
son must, for these, co-operate and coincide with Faith, or they
remain still in the darkness of doubt,--most miserable of all con-
ditions of the human mind.
Those only, who care for nothing beyond the interests and pur-
suits of this life, are uninterested in these great Problems. The
animals, also, do not consider them. It is the characteristic of an
immortal Soul, that it should seek to satisfy itself of its immor-
tality, and to understand this great enigma, the Universe. If the
Hottentot and the Papuan are not troubled and tortured by these
doubts and speculations, they are not, for that, to be regarded as
either wise or fortunate. The swine, also, are indifferent to the
great riddles of the Universe, and are happy in being wholly un-
aware that it is the vast Revelation and Manifestation, in Time
and Space, of a Single Thought of the Infinite God.
Exalt and magnify Faith as we will, and say that it begins
where Reason ends, it must, after all, have a foundation, either in
Reason, Analogy, the Consciousness, or human testimony. The
worshipper of Brahma also has implicit Faith in what seems to
us palpably false and absurd. His faith rests neither in Reason,
Analogy, or the Consciousness, but on the testimony of his Spirit-
ual teachers, and of the Holy Books. The Moslem also believes,
on the positive testimony of the Prophet; and the Mormon also
can say, "I believe this, because it is impossible." No faith, how-
ever absurd or degrading, has ever wanted these foundations,
testimony, and the books. Miracles, proven by unimpeachable
testimony have been used as a foundation for Faith, in every age;
and the modern miracles are better authenticated, a hundred
times, than the ancient ones.
So that, after all, Faith must flow out from some source within
us, when the evidence of that which we are to believe is not pre-
sented to our senses, or it will in no case be the assurance of the
truth of what is believed.
The Consciousness, or inhering and innate conviction, or the
instinct divinely implanted, of the verity of things, is the highest
possible evidence, if not the only real proof, of the verity of cer-
tain things, but only of truths of a limited class.
What we call the Reason, that is, our imperfect human reason,
not only may, but assuredly will, lead us away from the Truth in
regard to things invisible and especially those of the Infinite, if
we determine to believe nothing but that which it can demonstrate
or not to believe that which it can by its processes of logic prove
to be contradictory, unreasonable, or absurd. Its tape-line cannot
measure the arcs of Infinity. For example, to the Human reason,
an Infinite Justice and an Infinite Mercy or Love, in the same
Being, are inconsistent and impossible. One, it can demonstrate,
necessarily excludes the other. So it can demonstrate that as the
Creation had a beginning, it necessarily follows that an Eternity
had elapsed before the Deity began to create, during which He
was inactive.
When we gaze, of a moonless clear night, on the Heavens glit-
tering with stars, and know that each fixed star of all the myriads
is a Sun, and each probably possessing its retinue of worlds, all
peopled with living beings, we sensibly feel our own unimportance
in the scale of Creation, and at once reflect that much of what has
in different ages been religious faith, could never have been be-
lieved, if the nature, size, and distance of those Suns, and of our
own Sun, Moon, and Planets, had been known to the Ancients as
they are to us.
To them, all the lights of the firmament were created only to
give light to the earth, as its lamps or candles hung above it. The
earth was supposed to be the only inhabited portion of the Uni-
verse. The world and the Universe were synonymous terms. Of
the immense size and distance of the heavenly bodies, men had
no conception. The Sages had, in Chaldaea, Egypt, India, China,
and in Persia, and therefore the sages always had, an esoteric
creed, taught only in the mysteries and unknown to the vulgar.
No Sage, in either country, or in Greece or Rome, believed the
popular creed. To them the Gods and the Idols of the Gods were
symbols, and symbols of great and mysterious truths.
The Vulgar imagined the attention of the Gods to be continu-
ally centred upon the earth and man. The Grecian Divinities in-
habited Olympus, an insignificant mountain of the Earth. There
was the Court of Zeus, to which Neptune came from the Sea, and
Pluto and Persephone from the glooms of Tartarus in the un-
fathomable depths of the Earth's bosom. God came down from
Heaven and on Sinai dictated laws for the Hebrews to His servant
Moses. The Stars were the guardians of mortals whose fates and
fortunes were to be read in their movements, conjunctions, and
oppositions. The Moon was the Bride and Sister of the Sun, at
the same distance above the Earth, and, like the Sun, made for
the service of mankind alone.
If, with the great telescope of Lord Rosse, we examine the vast
nebulae of Hercules, Orion, and Andromeda, and find them re-
solvable into Stars more numerous than the sands on the sea-
shore; if we reflect that each of these Stars is a Sun, like and
even many times larger than ours,--each, beyond a doubt, with its
retinue of worlds swarming with life; --if we go further in imagi-
nation and endeavor to conceive of all the infinities of space,
filled with similar suns and worlds, we seem at once to shrink into
an incredible insignificance.
The Universe, which is the uttered Word of God, is infinite in
extent. There is no empty space beyond creation on any side.
The Universe, which is the Thought of God pronounced, never
was not, since God never was inert; nor WAS, without thinking
and creating. The forms of creation change, the suns and worlds
live and die like the leaves and the insects, but the Universe itself
is infinite and eternal, because God Is, Was, and Will forever Be,
and never did not think and create.
Reason is fain to admit that a Supreme Intelligence, infinitely
powerful and wise, must have created this boundless Universe;
but it also tells us that we are as unimportant in it as the zoophytes
and entozoa, or as the invisible particles of animated life that
float upon the air or swarm in the water-drop.
The foundations of our faith, resting upon the imagined inter-
est of God in our race, an interest easily supposable when man
believed himself the only intelligent created being, and therefore
eminently worthy the especial care and watchful anxiety of a God
who had only this earth to look after, and its house-keeping alone
to superintend, and who was content to create, in all the infinite
Universe, only one single being, possessing a soul, and not a mere
animal, are rudely shaken as the Universe broadens and expands
for us; and the darkness of doubt and distrust settles heavy upon
Soul.
The modes in which it is ordinarily endeavored to satisfy our
doubts, only increase them. To demonstrate the necessity for a
cause of the creation, is equally to demonstrate the necessity of a
cause for that cause. The argument from plan and design only
removes the difficulty a step further off. We rest the world on
the elephant, and the elephant on the tortoise, and the tortoise on
---nothing.
To tell us that the animals possess instinct only and that Rea-
son belongs to us alone, in no way tends to satisfy us of the radi-
cal difference between us and them. For if the mental phenomena
exhibited by animals that think, dream, remember, argue from
cause to effect, plan, devise, combine, and communicate their
thoughts to each other, so as to act rationally in concert,--if their
love, hate, and revenge, can be conceived of as results of the
organization of matter, like color and perfume, the resort to the
hypothesis of an immaterial Soul to explain phenomena of the
same kind, only more perfect, manifested by the human being, is
supremely absurd. That organized matter can think or even feel,
at all, is the great insoluble mystery. "Instinct" is but a word
without a meaning, or else it means inspiration. It is either the
animal itself, or God in the animal, that thinks, remembers, and
reasons; and instinct, according to the common acceptation of the
term, would be the greatest and most wonderful of mysteries,-
no less a thing than the direct, immediate, and continual prompt-
ings of the Deity,--for the animals are not machines, or automata
moved by springs, and the ape is but a dumb Australian.
Must we always remain in this darkness of uncertainty, of
doubt? Is there no mode of escaping from the labyrinth except
by means of a blind faith, which explains nothing, and in many
creeds, ancient and modern, sets Reason at defiance, and leads to
the belief either in a God without a Universe, a Universe without
a God, or a Universe which is itself a God ?
We read in the Hebrew Chronicles that Schlomoh the wise
King caused to be placed in front of the entrance to the Temple
two huge columns of bronze, one of which was called YAKAYIN
and the other BAHAZ; and these words are rendered in our ver-
sion Strength and Establishment. The Masonry of the Blue
Lodges gives no explanation of these symbolic columns; nor do
the Hebrew Books advise us that they were symbolic. If not so
intended as symbols, they were subsequently understood to be
such.
But as we are certain that everything within the Temple was
symbolic, and that the whole structure was intended to represent
the Universe, we may reasonably conclude that the columns of the
portico also had a symbolic signification. It would be tedious to
repeat all the interpretations which fancy or dullness has found
for them.
The key to their true meaning is not undiscoverable. The per-
fect and eternal distinction of the two primitive terms of the cre-
ative syllogism, in order to attain to the demonstration of their
harmony by the analogy of contraries, is the second grand prin-
ciple of that occult philosophy veiled under the name "Kabalah,"
and indicated by all the sacred hieroglyphs of the Ancient Sanctu-
aries, and of the rites, so little understood by the mass of the
Initiates, of the Ancient and Modern Free-Masonry.
The Sohar declares that everything in the Universe proceeds by
the mystery of "the Balance," that is, of Equilibrium. Of the
Sephiroth, or Divine Emanations, Wisdom and Understanding,
Severity and Benignity, or Justice and Mercy, and Victory and
Glory, constitute pairs.
Wisdom, or the Intellectual Generative Energy, and Under-
standing, or the Capacity to be impregnated by the Active Energy
and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically
in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and
Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Estab-
lishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a
Tpassivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY
of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UN-
DERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the
Temple, contraries like the Man and Woman, like Reason and
Faith, Omnipotence and Liberty, Infinite Justice and Infinite
Mercy, Absolute Power or Strength to do even what is most un-
just and unwise, and Absolute Wisdom that makes it impossible to
do it; Right and Duty. They were the columns of the intellectual
and moral world, the monumental hieroglyph of the antinomy
necessary to the grand law of creation.
There must be for every Force a Resistance to support it, to
every light a shadow, for every Royalty a Realm to govern, for
every affirmative a negative.
For the Kabalists, Light represents the Active Principle, and
Darkness or Shadow is analogous to the Passive Principle. There-
fore it was that they made of the Sun and Moon emblems of the
two Divine Sexes and the two creative forces; therefore, that they
ascribed to woman the Temptation and the first sin, and then the
first labor, the maternal labor of the redemption, because it is
from the bosom of the darkness itself that we see the Light born
again. The Void attracts the Full; and so it is that the abyss of
poverty and misery, the Seeming Evil, the seeming empty noth-
ingness of life, the temporary rebellion of the creatures, eternally
attracts the overflowing ocean of being, of riches, of pity, and of
love. Christ completed the Atonement on the Cross by descend-
ing into Hell.
Justice and Mercy are contraries. If each be infinite, their co-
existence seems impossible, and being equal, one cannot even
annihilate the other and reign alone. The mysteries of the Divine
Nature are beyond our finite comprehension; but so indeed are
the mysteries of our own finite nature; and it is certain that in
all nature harmony and movement are the result of the equilibrium
of opposing or contrary forces.
The analogy of contraries gives the solution of the most inter-
esting and most difficult problem of modern philosophy,--the
definite and permanent accord of Reason and Faith, of Author-
ity and Liberty of examination, of Science and Belief, of Perfec-
tion in God and Imperfection in Man. If science or knowledge
is the Sun, Belief is the Man; it is a reflection of the day in the
night. Faith is the veiled Isis, the Supplement of Reason, in the
shadows which precede or follow Reason. It emanates from the
Reason, but can never confound it nor be confounded with it. The
encroachments of Reason upon Faith, or of Faith on Reason, are
eclipses of the Sun or Moon; when they occur, they make useless
both the Source of Light and its reflection, at once.
Science perishes by systems that are nothing but beliefs; and
Faith succumbs to reasoning. For the two Columns of the Tem-
ple to uphold the edifice, they must remain separated and be
parallel to each other. As soon as it is attempted by violence to
bring them together, as Samson did, they are overturned, and the
whole edifice falls upon the head of the rash blind man or the
revolutionist whom personal or national resentments have in ad-
vance devoted to death.
Harmony is the result of an alternating preponderance of
forces. Whenever this is wanting in government, government is
a failure, because it is either Despotism or Anarchy. All theoret-
ical governments, however plausible the theory, end in one or the
other. Governments that are to endure are not made in the closet
of Locke or Shaftesbury, or in a Congress or a Convention. In a
Republic, forces that seem contraries, that indeed are contraries,
alone give movement and life. The Spheres are field in their
orbits and made to revolve harmoniously and unerringly, by the
concurrence, which seems to be the opposition, of two contrary
forces. If the centripetal force should overcome the centrifugal,
the equilibrium of forces cease, the rush of the Spheres to the
central Sun would annihilate the system. Instead of consolida-
tion, the whole would be shattered into fragments.
Man is a free agent, though Omnipotence is above and all
around him. To be free to do good, he must be free to do evil.
The Light necessitates the Shadow. A State is free like an indi-
vidual in any government worthy of the name. The State is less
potent than the Deity, and therefore the freedom of the individual
citizen is consistent with its Sovereignty. These are opposites,
but not antagonistic. So, in a union of States, the freedom of the
states is consistent with the Supremacy of the Nation. When
either obtains the permanent mastery over the other, and they
cease to be in equilibrio, the encroachment continues with a ve-
locity that is accelerated like that of a falling body, until the
feebler is annihilated, and then, there being no resistance to sup-
port the stronger, it rushes into ruin. 
So, when the equipoise of Reason and Faith, in the individual
or the Nation, and the alternating preponderance cease, the result
is, according as one or the other is permanent victor, Atheism or
Superstition, disbelief or blind credulity; and the Priests either
of Unfaith or of Faith become despotic.
"Whomsoever God loveth, him he chasteneth," is an expression
that formulates a whole dogma. The trials of life are the bless-
ings of life, to the individual or the Nation, if either has a Soul
that is truly worthy of salvation. "Light and darkness," said
ZOROASTER, "are the world's eternal ways." The Light and the
Shadow are everywhere and always in proportion; the Light being
the reason of being of the Shadow. It is by trials only, by the
agonies of sorrow and the sharp discipline of adversities, that men
and Nations attain initiation. The agonies of the garden of Geth-
semane and those of the Cross on Calvary preceded the Resurrec-
tion and were the means of Redemption. It is with prosperity
that God afflicts Humanity.
The Degree of Rose is devoted to and symbolizes tne final
triumph of truth over falsehood, of liberty over slavery, of light
over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The
great truth it inculcates is, that notwithstanding the existence of
Evil, God is infinitely wise, just, and good: that though the affairs
of the world proceed by no rule of right and wrong known to us
in the narrowness of our views, yet all is right, for it is the work of
God; and all evils, all miseries, all misfortunes, are but as drops in
the vast current that is sweeping onward, guided by Him, to a
great and magnificent result: that, at the appointed time, He will
redeem and regenerate the world, and the Principle, the Power,
and the existence of Evil will then cease; that this will be brought
about by such means and instruments as He chooses to employ;
whether by the merits of a Redeemer that has already appeared,
or a Messiah that is yet waited for, by an incarnation of Himself,
or by an inspired prophet, it does not belong to us as Masons to
decide. Let each judge and believe for himself.
In the mean time, we labor to hasten the coming of that day.
The morals of antiquity, of the law of Moses and of Christianity,
are ours. We recognize every teacher of Morality, every Reform-
er, as a brother in this great work. The Eagle is to us the symbol
of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity.,
and our order of Fraternity. Laboring for these, with Faith,
Hope, and Charity as our armor, we will wait with patience for
the final triumph of Good and the complete manifestation of the
Word of God.
No one Mason has the right to measure for another, within the
walls of a Masonic Temple, the degree of veneration which he
shall feel for any Reformer, or the Founder of any Religion. We
teach a belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none.
Whatever higher attributes the Founder of the Christian Faith
may, in our belief, have had or not have had, none can deny that
He taught and practised a pure and elevated morality, even at the
risk and to the ultimate loss of His life. He was not only the
benefactor of a disinherited people, but a model for mankind. De-
votedly He loved the children of Israel. To them He came, and
to them alone He preached that Gospel which His disciples after-
ward carried among foreigners. He would fain have freed the
chosen People from their spiritual bondage of ignorance and deg-
radation. As a lover of all mankind, laying down His life for the
emancipation of His Brethren, He should be to all, to Christian, to
Jew, and to Mahometan, an object of gratitude and veneration.
The Roman world felt the pangs of approaching dissolution.
Paganism, its Temples shattered by Socrates and Cicero, had
spoken its last word. The God of the Hebrews was unknown be-
yond the limits of Palestine. The old religions had failed to give
happiness and peace to the world. The babbling and wrangling
philosophers had confounded all men's ideas, until they doubted of
everything and had faith in nothing: neither in God nor in his
goodness and mercy, nor in the virtue of man, nor in themselves.
Mankind was divided into two great classes,-- the master and the
slave; the powerful and the abject, the high and the low, the
tyrants and the mob; and even the former were satiated with the
servility of the latter, sunken by lassitude and despair to the low-
est depths of degradation.
When, lo, a voice, in the inconsiderable Roman Province of
Judea proclaims a new Gospel--a new "God's Word," to crushed,
suffering, bleeding humanity. Liberty of Thought, Equality of all
men in the eye of God, universal Fraternity! a new doctrine, a
new religion; the old Primitive Truth uttered once again!
Man is once more taught to look upward to his God. No longer
to a God hid in impenetrable mystery, and infinitely remote from
human sympathy, emerging only at intervals from the darkness to
smite and crush humanity: but a God, good, kind, beneficent, and
merciful; a Father, loving the creatures He has made, with a love
immeasurable and exhaustless; Who feels for us, and sympa-
thizes with us, and sends us pain and want and disaster only that
they may serve to develop in us the virtues and excellences that
befit us to live with Him hereafter.
Jesus of Nazareth, the "Son of man," is the expounder of the
new Law of Love. He calls to Him the humble, the poor, the
Paraihs of the world. The first sentence that He pronounces
blesses the world, and announces the new gospel:"Blessed are
they that mourn for they shall be comforted." He pours the oil
of consolation and peace upon every crushed and bleeding heart.
Every sufferer is His proselyte. He shares their sorrows, and
sypathizes with all their afflictions.
He raises up the sinner and the Samaritan woman, and teaches
them to hope for forgiveness. He pardons the woman taken in
adultery. He selects his disciples not among the Pharisees or the
Philosophers, but among the low and humble, even of the fisher-
men of Galilee. He heals the sick and feeds the poor. He lives
among the destitute and the friendless. "Suffer little children,"
He said, "to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven !
Blessed are the humble-minded, for theirs is the kingdom of
Heaven; the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth; the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy; the pure in heart, for they shall see
God; the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of
God! First be reconciled to they brother, and then come and offer
thy gift at the altar. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee turn not away! Love your enemies;
bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and
pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you! All
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also
unto them; for this is the law and the Prophets! He that taketh
not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. A
new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as
I have loved you, that ye also love one another: by this shall all
know that ye are My disciples. Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."
The Gospel of Love He sealed with His life. The cruelty of
the Jewish Priesthood, the ignorant ferocity of the mob, and the
Roman indifference to barbarian blood, nailed Him to the cross,
and He expired uttering blessings upon humanity.
Dying thus, He bequeathed His teachings to man as an ines-
timable inheritance. Perverted and corrupted, they have served as
a basis for many creeds, and been even made the warrant for in-
tolerance and persecution. We here teach them in their purity.
They are our Masonry; for to them good men of all creeds can
subscribe.
That God is good and merciful, and loves and sympathizes with
the creatures He has made; that His finger is visible in all the
movements of the moral, intellectual, and material universe; that
we are His children, the objects of His paternal care and regard;
that all men are our brothers, whose wants we are to supply, their
errors to pardon, their opinions to tolerate, their injuries to for-
give; that man has an immortal soul, a free will, a right to free-
dom of thought and action; that all men are equal in God's sight;
that we best serve God by humility, meekness, gentleness, kind-
ness, and the other virtues which the lowly can practise as well as
the lofty; this is "the new Law," the "WORD," for which the
world had waited and pined so long; and every true Knight of
the Rose + will revere the memory of Him who taught it, and
look indulgently even on those who assign to Him a character far
above his own conceptions or belief, even to the extent of deem-
ing Him Divine.
Hear Philo, the Greek Jew. "The contemplative soul, un-
equally guided, sometimes toward abundance and sometimes to-
ward barrenness, though ever advancing, is illuminated by the
primitive ideas, the rays that emanate from the Divine Intelli-
gence, whenever it ascends toward the Sublime Treasures. When,
on the contrary, it descends, and is barren, it falls within the do-
main of those Intelligences that are termed Angels... for, when
the soul is deprived of the light of God, which leads it to the
knowledge of things, it no longer enjoys more than a feeble and
secondary light, which gives it, not the understanding of things,
but that of words only, as in this baser world. "
". . Let the narrow-souled withdraw, having their ears sealed
up! We communicate the divine mysteries to those only who
have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true
piety, and who are not enslaved by the empty pomp of words, or
the doctrines of the pagans. ."
"... O, ye Initiates, ye whose ears are purified, receive this in
your souls, as a mystery never to be lost! Reveal it to no Profane !
Keep and contain it within yourselves, as an incorruptible treas-
ure, not like gold or silver, but more precious than everything
besides; for it is the knowledge of the Great Cause, of Nature, and
of that which is born of both. And if you meet an Initiate, be-
siege him with your prayers, that he conceal from you no new
mysteries that he may know, and rest not until you have obtained
them! For me, although I was initiated in the Great Mysteries
by Moses, the Friend of God, yet, having seen Jeremiah, I recog-
nized him not only as an Initiate, but as a Hierophant; and I fol-
low his school."
We, like him, recognize all Initiates as our Brothers. We be-
long to no one creed or school. In all religions there is a basis of
Truth; in all there is pure Morality. All that teach the cardinal
tenets of Masonry we respect; all teachers and reformers of man-
kind we admire and revere.
Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions
reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further
back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she in-
vites all men of all religions to enlist under her banners and to
war against evil, ignorance and wrong. You are now her knight,
and to her service your sword is consecrated. May you prove a
worthy soldier in a worthy cause!

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