11. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE SECRET SOCIETY
One reference to a secret society in Bacon's New Atlantis is scarcely less than a proclamation
of the Society of Unknown philosophers, but has gone unnoticed for three hundred years. ...
This fable is of the land of Bensalem, meaning the Son of Peace, which with its merchandise,
the Light of Truth, maintained a trade with Atlantis, which was declared to be the same
as America. ... Every thing indicates that it was Sir Francis Bacon's dream
that the enlarging of the bounds of human empire should be instituted on our own continent,
an area peculiarly set aside by Nature for the perfection of philosophy and the sciences.
THE writings of Sir Francis Bacon are generally grouped under three headings--professional, literary, and philosophical. Each of these groups contains a variety of important works. But Lord Bacon's mind, taste, and conviction are best revealed through his philosophical writings. In this group are works that are strictly philosophical, others that verge toward the sciences, and still others which sum up convictions relating to all branches of knowledge.
Possibly the most remarkable of Lord Bacon's ethical contributions is the fragment called the New Atlantis, which forms a kind of gloss upon his principal philosophical production, the Instauratio Magna. To Bacon, the greater part of learning was the application of knowledge to the necessities of the human state. It was only natural that he should envision the results should his inductive system be given Universal application.
The New Atlantis was first published in 1627, as a kind of appendix to the Sylva Sylvarum, a natural history in ten centuries. On the title page is a curious design. It shows the figure of an ancient creature representing Time drawing a female figure from a dark cavern. The meaning is obvious: Through time, the hidden truth shall be revealed. This figure is one of the most famous of the seals or symbols of the Order of the Quest. Contained within it is the whole promise of the resurrection of man, and the restitution of the divine theology.
The New Atlantis was not published during the recorded lifetime of Lord Bacon. It was issued the year following his death by His Lordship's chaplain, William Rawley. This man was Bacon's close friend and familiar over a period of many years, and most of Bacon's papers were entrusted to Rawley's care. In his admiration for Bacon's personal character and philosophical powers he left the expressed wish to be buried at his master's feet, and his wish was fulfilled.
Rawley writes in his introduction to Bacon's the New Atlantis, "This fable My Lord devised, to the end that he might exhibit therein, a model or description of a college, instituted for the interpreting of nature, and the producing of great and marvelous works, for the benefit of men; under the name of Solomon's house, or the college of the six days work."
The college of the six days work is, of course, a thinly veiled reference to the perfection of nature through art. The six days are the days of creation by which the natural world was brought into existence, according to the account given in Genesis. As God created the Universe in six symbolic days, so man by art--that is, philosophy--must create the condition of his own perfection by means of six philosophical steps.
The college is the secret school--the wise man's 'house' wherein are taught all arts and sciences, and not according to a materialistic interpretation, but according to a divine understanding of causes.
Rawley stated that it had been His Lordship's intention to complete the fable of the New Atlantis with a second part, to contain the laws of the Ideal State, or commonwealth of the wise. Since it was Bacon's custom to prepare numerous drafts of his writings in the process of perfecting them, it is probable that the second part existed at least in outline; but Rawley would not have felt it proper to publish the part which His Lordship had not perfected in literary form.
It is well known among the secret societies of Europe that the second part of the New Atlantis exists. It includes a description of a great room in Solomon's house wherein are displayed the crests and the coats of arms of the governors of the philosophic empire. It may be for this reason that the writings were suppressed, for these crests and arms belonged to real persons who might have been subjected to persecution, as Sir Walter Raleigh was, if their association with the secret order had been openly announced.
The fable of the New Atlantis begins with a ship sailing from Peru for China and Japan being driven from its course by contrary winds. Those aboard after many months faced death by starvation and disease. They prayed to God for help, and their prayer was answered; the ship came at last to the fair harbor of a great city in an unknown land. Here the mariners were hospitably received and after certain formalities were permitted to land; and the wonders of the city were then revealed to them.
The title page of Bacon's masterpiece, Novum Organum, features a small sailing ship between two columns. These columns are the pillars of Hercules, the Strait of Gibraltar, which marked the western boundary of the sea. The little ship is science, sailing forth from the limits and boundaries of the old world into the unknown sea of Universal learning. Is not this the same ship that finally came to haven in the Wise Man's City ?
The New Atlantis describes the magnificence of the college of the six days work. Here the wise dwelt together in a gentle commonwealth of learning. One of the wise men makes the following statement in a prayer:
"Lord God of Heaven and Earth; Thou hast vouchsafed of Thy grace to those of our Order, to know Thy works of creation, and the secrets of them; and to discern (as far as appertaineth to the generations of men) between divine miracles, works of nature, works of art, and impostures and illusions of all sorts."
It is difficult to understand how this reference to a secret order has passed unnoticed for so long, for it is scarcely less than a proclamation of the Society of Unknown Philosophers.
The name of the land in which stood the Wise Man's City was Bensalem; this means the Son of Peace. Bensalem maintained a trade with all parts of the world, but not for gold, silver, jewels, silks, spices, nor any other material commodity; its merchandise was the Light of Truth. Among the nations traded with was Atlantis, which was declared to be the same as America.
The college of Solomon's house had ambassadors, agents, and representatives among all the nations of the world, so that all discoveries in the arts and sciences might be known to it. In great libraries all useful records were stored up for the service of future ages.
The book closes with a long lecture delivered by one of the Fathers of Solomon's house. This great dignitary summarized the work of the brotherhood in the following magnificent statement--one which might well be inscribed over the doors of learning and in the hearts of all scholars, scientists, and philosophers:
"The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible."
The Father of the wise men then described the laboratories, observatories, mines and hospitals; and the various engines and inventions by which the elements could be controlled and the secrets of Nature discovered. There were gardens for the study of plants, and parks filled with birds and animals so that men could investigate their habits. Even reptiles, insects, and fishes were considered and their uses classified.
Medicines of all kinds were distilled and compounded, and mechanical arts were perfected according to the laws of Nature.
There were houses where the senses of man were studied with the aid of perfumes, flavors, sounds, music, and extraordinary accoustical devices.
And there were houses where only deceits were on record, so that the methods by which men can be deceived could be made known and studied.
In the philosophical city all men were employed according to their tastes and ability, and each contributed in his own way to the sum of useful knowledge. There were museums where rare and excellent inventions were preserved, and galleries containing the statues of great men who had contributed to the improvement of the human race. Among the statues was one to Christopher Columbus; another to the man who had invented bread.
The narration ends abruptly with the word of the editor that the rest was not perfected.
Missing is that part which was to describe the laws of a philosophical commonwealth. It is safe to assume that these laws, like the whole pattern of the story, were the same set forth by Plato for the government of the wise.
Everything indicates that it was Bacon's dream that the college of the six days should be erected in America, an area peculiarly set aside by Nature for the perfection of philosophy and the sciences.
Part of this dream has been realized. In this land are the greatest laboratories, observatories, and institutions of research that the world has ever known. We are exploring into the mysteries of the atoms and the electrons, and have brought the heavenly fire, electricity, to be the servant of our purposes.
All that remains is to crown science with philosophy. As we perfect the inner part of learning the philosophic empire will arise in human society.
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12. WESTERN CULTURE A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE COLUMBUS
In the Mexican area the civilization then existing was the most advanced on the earth ...
The ancient Mayas had massive public buildings and observatories in at least a hundred cities,
and these were connected by broad paved highways. Rulers were elected by the common agreement
of the people. The Mayas hold the world record for a continued peace of five hundred years;
this has been attributed to their having possessed no monetary symbol or currency for goods exchange.
Theirs was the first democratic State on a continent set aside for the perfection of the dream of democracy.
... Long before the coming of the white man, the spirit of human equality, human cooperation, and freedom of worship had flourished here.
As today's archeologists continuously study the massive ruins of the Mayan civilization we know that this ancient culture of the American continent included at least a hundred cities connected by an intricate pattern of broad paved highways. Their language was suited to the expression of exact knowledge
IN the jungles of Yucatan, Guatemala, and Honduras are the ruined cities of a lost civilization which flourished on the North American continent a thousand years before the voyage of Columbus.
Stuart Chase has made the observation that in the five centuries immediately following the beginning of the Christian era, the civilization of the Mayas was the most advanced existing on the earth.
Very little is known of the Mayas, their origin, history, religion or culture, because of the wholesale destruction of Mayan writings and historical records in the early years of the Spanish conquest. Massive ruins of their buildings remain, and great stone tablets; but these are in a language as yet undeciphered. From the physical evidence and the material remains we know that the empire of the Mayas extended over a very large area; included were at least a hundred cities, connected by an intricate pattern of broad paved highways. Enough of the art of the Mayas has survived to entitle them to a high place in the sphere of creative aesthetics; and their massive stone and plaster buildings prove that they possessed a well developed knowledge of architectonics. They had observatories for the study of the arts and developed a highly accurate calendar. Their written language, more complicated than the Chinese, is of a type suited to the expression of exact knowledge and the most refined mental and emotional reflexes.
According to their own legends the Mayas owed their cultural superiority to a mysterious old man who came out of the sea riding on a raft of serpents. Among various tribes this man has different names, but he is best known by the title conferred upon him in the Mexican area. Here he was called Quetzalcoatl. He is said to have come from the east from the land of the many colored rocks. Quetzalcoatl carried with him the symbol of the cross. His name means the "feathered snake," or the "serpent covered with the plumes of the Quetzal bird."
The Feathered Snake taught the people of Central America all of the useful arts and raised them from a primitive state to one of an excellent civilization. He instructed them in agriculture, architecture, medicine, science, language, religion, and statesmanship. Having accomplished the civilization of the Indian tribes, he ruled over them for a time as a benevolent priest-king. Then he returned to the shore of the sea, called to his raft of serpents, and then floated away to the east, with the promise to return at a distant day to rule over his nation.
When Cortez reached the coast of Mexico the Aztec King, Montezuma, dispatched messengers of State bearing with them the plumed crown of Mexico. The trusting Aztec thought that Cortez was Quetzalcoatl returned, and was ready immediately to surrender the throne !
The Mayan Empire was the highest civilization to be developed in the Americas. Also, it was the first great democratic State on a continent curiously set aside for the perfection of the dream of democracy.
So far as we know, the rulers of the Mayas were not hereditary, but were elected for life by the common agreement of the people. They seemed to have governed wisely and to have fulfilled the classical requirements of priest-kings. The priesthood itself was powerful but benevolent, given to learning, and a patron of the arts and sciences. The religion consisted of a monotheism, that is, the worship of one Supreme Principle abiding in the sun.
Next to Deity, peculiar veneration was given to the Feathered Snake, who was regarded as a kind of Messiah, who suffered, died, and arose again. The legend of Quetzalcoatl was thus in parallel with the myth of the dying God, very much as in Egypt, Chaldea, Greece, and as expressed by the early Christian Church.
The Mayas were not a warlike people, and there is no support for popular belief that they were by nature cruel or barbaric. On the altars of their gods they offered only flowers and fruit; and it was not until the decline of the empire and its domination by less advanced tribes that human sacrifice was practiced, and then only on the rarest occasions.
It is believed that the Mayas hold the world record for continued peace. They flourished as a great powerful nation for five hundred years without war with other tribes or internal strife.
The high civilization attained by the Mayas was due primarily to the laws given them by Quetzalcoatl. So long as they obeyed these laws they continued to prosper. Unfortunately we have no complete record of their legal codes, but we do know a few of the outstanding principles which lay at the root of their State.
The Mayan nation was a collective commonwealth living under an advanced form of socialized order. They possessed all goods in common, and shared equally in the benefits of their production. They possessed no money or monetary symbol of any kind; and it has been suggested that this lack of currency was in part responsible for their five hundred years of peace.
To them the wheel was the symbol of death, and they never developed any form of mechanized industry. Each gave a part of his goods to maintain the State, and this contribution was employed to build public buildings, parks, schools, and places of public sport.
There seems to have been no poverty, and little if any crime. No buildings have been found which suggest prisons or other places of confinement.
The Mayas were hospitable, kindly, gentle, and industrious; their cities were beautiful in every way; they were public spirited, well governed, and according to the order of their time, highly educated.
The religious temper of the people can be gathered from remnants that still survive. It is common to all the Indians of the Americas that religious intolerance is utterly beyond their comprehension. They look upon each man's religion as his own particular belief, and if it suits his needs it deserves the respect of all other right-minded men.
Thus we see that the archetype for a generous and enlightened way of life is part of the American continent's common inheritance.
It is well to note in passing that many of the simpler virtues practiced by the Mayas were shared by other tribes that inhabited North and South America. Although the North American Indians never achieved the high culture reached by the Mayas, all lived according to a democratic tradition. The members of all tribes took care of their aged, provided for the widowed and the fatherless, and severely punished in the rare instances when some tribesman attempted to exploit another. Tribal government was invested in a council of the older and the wiser, and all matters relating to the common good were submitted to them for arbitration and solution. Crime was almost unknown.
As most tribes were nomadic they had little opportunity to develop inter-tribal points of view, and so there was considerable strife between tribes, but even in their warfare, North American Indians respected valor and developed chivalry to a marked degree.
The first League of Nations was created among the Great Lakes Indians of the American North east. First, five tribes, and later seven, combined under the leadership of the brilliant Indian leader, Great Rabbit, whose life has descended to us in Longfellow's poem, Hiawatha. The league of the seven nations was originally intended to be defensive, but also useful in settling inter-tribal disputes. It resulted from the simple discovery by aboriginal minds that one lived longer, more safely, and more happily if disputes among peoples were solved by arbitration rather than by open strife.
The Incas of Peru are second to the Mayas in the building of empire in America. Inca communities were also cooperative, and many of these villages still survive in the distant and less accessible high lands of the Andes. These were the only civilized communities in our land that never learned that there was a world depression beginning in 1929.
Rooted in the American continent is a long and distinguished tradition that points toward ability for leadership in the postwar world, along lines of cooperation and the international point of view.
The democracy established by thirteen colonies in 1776 was not the first American democracy. At least two thousand years before the coming of the white man, the spirit of human equality, human cooperation, and freedom of worship flourished here.
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13. BACON'S SECRET SOCIETY IS SET UP IN AMERICA
Men bound by a secret oath to labor in the cause of world democracy decided that in
the American colonies they would plant the roots of a new way of life. Brotherhoods
were established to meet secretly, and they quietly and industriously conditioned America
to its destiny for leadership in a free world. ... Benjamin Franklin
exercised an enormous psychological influence in Colonial politics as the appointed spokesman
of the unknown philosophers; he did not make laws, but his words became law.
COLONIZATION of the Western Hemisphere was largely motivated in the desire to pillage the fabulous treasures of the new world. The explorers, led on by legends of hoards of gold and silver, and palaces encrusted with jewels, formed expeditions often financed from their own purses but sometimes subsidized by the State. The Spanish were the most successful in their quest for riches; the majority of the other adventurers profited little and suffered much; and it soon became apparent that only by sober colonization was any sizeable reward to be gained in the new world.
For the promulgation of the Christian faith, the Western Hemisphere offered virgin territory. With the Conquistadores came priests, eager to convert pagan tribes and nations to the faith of the old world. A holy inquisition was set up in New Spain, and Indians by the tens of thousands were tortured and killed for the good of their immortal souls. It was due to the zeal of the priests that the libraries of the Mayans were burned and their historical records destroyed.
To this day there stands in Merida, on the peninsula of Yucatan, the house of the Conquistador Montejo. Over the door of this house are the heraldic arms of this Spanish adventurer. The shield and crest are upheld by Spanish soldiers standing on the heads of tortured and enslaved Mayan Indians.
Reasonably accurate accounts of the natural advantages and resources of the Americas were in time brought back by the explorers and adventurers who had opened the new territories of the West, and only then did the European nations give serious consideration to actual development of their newly acquired colonial empires. The French, the Dutch, and the English entered upon programs of establishing permanent settlements along the Atlantic seaboard. The English program was under the direction of Sir Francis Bacon, and it was his genius that gave purpose to the enterprise.
Bacon quickly realized that here in the new world was the proper environment for the accomplishment of his great dream, the establishment of the philosophic empire. It must be remembered that Bacon did not play a lone hand; he was the head of a secret society including in its membership the most brilliant intellectuals of his day. All these men were bound together by a common oath to labor in the cause of a world democracy. Bacon's society of the unknown philosophers included men of high rank and broad influence. Together with Bacon, they devised the colonization scheme.
Word was passed about through secret channels that here in the Western Hemisphere was the promised land of the future. Here men of right purpose could build a new way of life, free from the religious intolerance and political despotism that held Europe in its clutches.
The history books tell us that the colonists made the long and dangerous journey in small ships in order to find a place where they could worship God, each according to the dictates of his own conscience. There is however much more to the story than our historians have dared to suggest.
Among the colonizers were some who belonged to the Order of the Quest, but it was not long before religious strife broke out in the colonies, for men do not change their natures merely by changing their place of habitation. Much of the intolerance of the old world came over to plague the beginnings of the new civilization. It was not easy to preserve high principles in pioneering a country. A lot had to be done before the philosophic empire could emerge out of the simple struggle for existence. And much has yet to be accomplished; we are still pioneering in the sphere of right thinking and right living.
Bacon's secret society was set up in America before the middle of the 17th Century. Bacon himself had given up all hope of bringing his dream to fruition in his own country, and he concentrated his attention upon rooting it in the new world. He made sure that the American colonists were thoroughly indoctrinated with the principles of religious tolerance, political democracy, and social equality. Through carefully appointed representatives, the machinery of democracy was set up at least a hundred years before the period of the Revolutionary War.
Bacon's secret society membership was not limited to England; it was most powerful in Germany, in France, and in the Netherlands, and most of the leaders of European thought were involved in the vast pattern of his purpose. The mystic empire of the wise had no national boundaries and its citizenry was made up of men of good purpose in every land. The Alchemists, Cabalists, Mystics, and Rosicrucians were the incisive instruments of Bacon's plan. Representatives of these groups migrated to the colonies at an early date and set up their organization in suitable places.
One example will indicate the trend. About 1690, the German Pietist theologian, Magistar Johannes Kelpius, sailed for America with a group of followers all of whom practiced mystical and esoteric rites. The Pietists settled in Pennsylvania and their clescendents still flourish in Lancaster county. Kelpius for some years lived as an Anchorite in a cave located in what is now Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. The Pietists brought with them the writings of the German mystic, Jacob Boehme, books on magic, astrology, alchemy, and the cabala. They had curious manuscripts illuminated with strange designs, and their principal text was called "An A B C Book for Young Students Studying in the College of the Holy Ghost." The Pietists brought the order of the Mustard Seed, and the Order of the Woman in the Wilderness to the new world.
Kelpius was a man of feeble health and after a few years died from the hardships and exposures of his religious austerity. The inner circle of his order was composed entirely of celibates, and as these died there were none to take their places; and so far as the public knows, his secret society did not survive. Actually it did continue; but with the changing of the times it returned again to its secret foundations, disappearing entirely from the public view.
The early years of the 18th Century brought with them many changes in the social and political life of the American colonies. By this time most of the Atlantic seaboard was dominated by the English. Cities had sprung up, important trade flourished with the mother country, and the colonial atmosphere was in small counterpart that of the English countryside.
By this time most of the important secret societies of Europe were well represented in this country. The brotherhoods met in their rooms over inns and similar public buildings, practicing their ancient rituals exactly according to the fashion in Europe and England. These American organizations were branches under European sovereignty, with the members in the two hemispheres bound together with the strongest bonds of sympathy and understanding. The program that Bacon had outlined was working out according to schedule. Quietly and industriously, America was being conditioned for its destiny--leadership in a free world.
Any account of secret societies in America would have to include tribute to the man who has been called the "First American Gentleman"--Benjamin Franklin. Although Dr. Franklin was never the country's President, nor a military general, he stands out as one of the most important figures in the struggle for American independence. Quiet, dignified, scholarly and gentle, Franklin foresaw a new goal for an ever changing world through the square bi-focal glasses of which he was the inventor.
Historians have never ceased to wonder at the enormous psychological influence which Franklin exercised in colonial politics. But up to the present day, few indeed are those who have realized that the source of his power lay in the secret societies to which he belonged and of which he was the appointed spokesman. Franklin was not a law maker, but his words became law. Beneath the homely wisdom which he circulated in his Almanac, under the pseudonym of Poor Richard, was a profundity of scientific and philosophic learning. He understood both the farmer and the philosopher, and could speak the languages of both.
When Benjamin Franklin went to France to be honored by the State, he was received too by the Lodge of Perfection, the most famous of all the French secret orders; and his name, written in his own fine hand, is in their record ledger, close to that of the Marquis de Lafayette.
Franklin spoke for the Order of the Quest, and most of the men who worked with him in the early days of the American Revolution were also members. The plan was working out, the New Atlantis was coming into being, in accordance with the program laid down by Francis Bacon a hundred and fifty years earlier.
The rise of American democracy was necessary to a world program. At the appointed hour, the freedom of man was publicly declared.
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14. A PROPHECY WRITTEN IN THE YEAR OF WASHINGTON'S BIRTH
Sir William Hope noted the birth overseas of an infant starred by fate to rule both freemen and slaves,
and named the year of the American Declaration of Independence forty-four years before
it was signed. He gave in Cabalistic form the patriot leader's name, and the years of his lifetime span.
... The prophecy also singled out Abraham Lincoln, designated the term of Benjamin Harrison
as the one to mark the first century of the new nation's progress. ... It is a reasonable assumption
that the Hope prophecy is a genuine example of fore-knowledge of the destiny of the United States.
George Washington had just been born when the governor of Edinburg Castle wrote a prophecy that this infant born overseas was starred by fate to lead the colonies to freedom; this prediction also named, four decades in advance, the year of the Declaration of Independence
IN the Congressional Library at Washington, D.C., is a curious little book entitled, Vindication of the True Art of Self Defense. It is a work on fencing and dueling, published in 1724 by Sir William Hope, Bart., a deputy governor of Edinburg Castle. In this copy and facing the title page an engraving has been inserted of the badge of the Royal Society of Swordsmen; underneath it is written, "Private Library of Sir William Hope." The Library of Congress has had this book since 1879.
The text of this curious little book is of no special interest, but on the blank flyleaves is written in the hand of Sir William Hope an extraordinary prediction concerning the destiny of the United States of America. It was written, signed and dated forty-four years before the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
At the time the thirteen American colonies semingly had no dream of independence. George Washington had just been born, in Virginia. Twenty of the fifty-six men who were to sign the Declaration of Independence were then small boys, and eighteen others were yet unborn.
Little information is available concerning Sir William Hope; but from the text of his prediction it appears that he was devoted to the study of astrology, and based his strange prophetic poem upon an interpretation of the starry influences. There is also a hint of the Cabala in the manner used by Hope to indicate the men referred to in his prediction.
The prophecy of Sir William Hope begins with these lines:
'Tis Chaldee says his fate is great
Whose stars do bear him fortunate.
Of thy near fate, Amerika,
I read in stars a prophecy:
Fourteen divided, twelve the same,
Sixteen in halfs--each holds a name;
Four, eight, seven, six--added ten--
The life line's mark of Four gt. men.
From the text, the prophecy covers the period from 1732 to 1901. From the history of our country during this period of time, Hope selected four men, and the numbers which he used to indicate them are shown as the prophecy unfolds. He summarizes the lives of these four men by totaling the number of years that each lived. He does this in the line, Four, eight, seven, six--added ten--" Four plus eight, plus seven, plus six, equal 25, the added ten is the cipher making a total of 250. At the time of his death George Washington was 68, Abraham Lincoln 56, Benjamin Harrison 68, and William McKinley 58. The total of these years is 250.
The next twelve lines are devoted to a description of George Washington and the struggle of the American colonies for independence.
This day is cradled, far beyond the sea,
One starred by fate to rule both
bond and free.
The prophecy is dated 1732, and in that year George Washington was born beyond the sea, in Virginia. The reference to bond and free is believed to indicate that slavery would exist during Washington's time in the colony of Virginia.
Add double four, thus fix the destined day
When servile knees unbend 'neath
By double four we can read 44, which if added to the date, 1732, gives 1776, the year of the American Declaration of Independence.
Place six 'fore ten, then read the patriot's name
Whose deeds shall link him to a deathless fame.
Add double four, thus fix the destined day
There are six letters in the name George, and ten in Washington, and this Cabala when added to the previous and subsequent descriptions, can leave no doubt as to the man intended in the prophecy.
Whose growing love and ceaseless trust wrong none
And catch truth's colors from its glowing sun !
Death's door shall clang while yet his century waits,
His planets point the way to other's pending fates.
These lines contain not only a glowing tribute but an exact bit of prophesy. Washington died on December 14, 1799, just 17 days before his century passed into history.
Till all the names on freedom's scroll shall fade,
Two tombs be built, his lofty cenotaph be made--
Freedom's scroll is the Declaration of Independence, which is now carefully preserved under yellow cellophane because the signatures have begun to fade. The body of George Washington has rested in two tombs; and his lofty cenotaph, the Washington Monument, is 555 feet high, the tallest memorial ever constructed to the memory of a man.
Full six times ten the years must onward glide,
Nature their potent help, a constant, prudent guide.
If six times ten years, or sixty years, be added to the date of the death of Washington the result is 1859, when John Brown raided Harper's Ferry and was hanged for attempting to incite a slave revolt, a circumstance leading directly to the United States of America engaging in the great Civil War to preserve the freedom of all of its people.
Then fateful seven 'fore seven shall sign heroic son
Whom Mars and Jupiter strike down before his work is done.
When cruel fate shall pierce, though artless of its sword;
Who leaves life's gloomy stage without one farewell word.
A softly beaming star, half veiled by Mars' red cloud
Virtue, his noblest cloak, shall form a fitting shroud.
There are seven letters in Abraham, and seven letters in Lincoln. He is the "heroic son" elected to the Presidency in 1860, re-elected in 1864, and assassinated April 14, 1865. He was indeed struck down before his work was done, for slavery was not abolished by constitutional amendment until the end of that year, and the Civil War was not proclaimed to be at an end until August 20, 1866.
The reference to life's gloomy stage is the more extraordinary because Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater while watching a play; and he never spoke again after the assassin's bullet struck him although he lived for several hours.
References to President Benjamin Harrison are contained in the two following lines:
Then eight 'fore eight a later generation rules,
With light undimmed and shed in progress' school.
There are eight letters in Benjamin, and eight in Harrison. He ruled in a later generation, 1889 to 1893. His administration was justly climaxed by the great Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. Here, invention, transportation, industry, art, science, and agriculture exhibited the progress which they had made in the first century of American national existence. This is probably the 'progress school' referred to in the prediction. Harrison's administration was not dimmed by war or by any scandals in high office.
Then six again, with added six shall rise,
Resplendent ruler--good, and great--and wise.
Four sixes hold a glittering star that on his way shall shine;
And twice four sixes mark his years from birth to manhood's prime.
While the verses accurately describe President McKinley, this is the only instance in which the numbers do not appear to fit the name. Research, however, indicates that the original form of the family name would permit it to be divided, thus, Will-Mc Kinley, which means, Will, the son of Kinley. In this form, each of the combinations would contain six letters. Four sixes, or 24, agrees with President McKinley being the 24th man to hold the presidential office. And twice four sixes, or 48, was the age of McKinley at the time he was elected Governor of his native state, which might be said to be his 'manhood's prime'. There is no reference to McKinley's second term or his assassination. But the prophecy definitely states that it goes no farther than the end of the 79th Century. It does indicate earlier however, that McKinley's life was to be 58 years, which was correct.
The prophecy ends with four more lines:
These truths prophetic shall completion see
Ere time's deep grave receives the Nineteenth Century !
All planets, stars, twelve signs and horoscope
Attest these certain truths foretold by William Hope.
Following this, is the statement that the prophecy was 'Writ at Cornhill, London, 1732.' At the bottom of the page are four other lines written by some later member of the Hope family as a tribute to the memory of Sir William Hope:
The learned hand that writ these lines
no more shall pen for me,
Yet voice shall speak and pulses beat for long posterity.
This soul refined through love of kind bewailed life's labors spent,
Then found this truth, his search from youth, Greatness is God's accident.--
As is usual with material of this kind, efforts have been made to prove the Hope Prophecy to be a forgery; but up to the present time no tangible evidence has been advanced to disprove the prediction. Always in these matters, the critic takes the attitude that such predictions can not be made, and if a writing appears to be authentic then it must be imposture. The book has been in the Library of Congress for more than 60 years. The prediction about both Harrison and McKinley relate to incidents taking place after the book was placed in the Congressional Library.
In facsimile, one of the two pages of the original prophecy is illustrated here; both have every appearance of being genuine and authentic.
It is most reasonable to assume that the Hope prophecy is a genuine example of foreknowledge concerning the future of the United States of America.
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15. THE UNKNOWN MAN WHO DESIGNED OUR FLAG
Our flag was worked out in elements of design that provided for gradual modification
in the future as the national destiny increased. It was a learned stranger,
added by seeming accident to the committee appointed by the Colonial Congress
in 1775, who had the foresight to provide the area for the stars in subsequent
substitution for the British Union Jack. The design was adopted
by General Washington; there is no record that the committee ever made a report to Congress. ...
According to the rules laid down by Francis Bacon for works published
under the authority of the society of unknown philosophers, each book must be
so marked as to be readily recognizable. The book that tells of the presence
of the unknown designer ends with a quotation from Bacon.
ROBERT Allen Campbell in 1890 published a little book Our Flag, or The Evolution of the Stars and Stripes. Diligent research fails to uncover any data about Mr. Campbell. He states in his preface that the work is "a compilation of facts and dates from official sources, larger works, occasional pamphlets and addresses upon this and collateral subjects; and is meant, therefore, for the perusal of those who have not the time, opportunity or disposition for a more extended study in this line of research."
Then he refers specifically to the chapter of interest to our present consideration: "That part of this sketch which treats of die proceedings of the Congressional Committee in relation to the Colonial Flag, and of the unofficial consideration, by a few of our Revolutionary statesmen and heroes, in regard to the Flag of the 'Thirteen United States,' immediately preceding its adoption by Congress, has not heretofore been published."
This last statement makes it extremely difficult to trace Mr. Campbell's source of information. We are forced to the conclusion that the story must have been given to him by word of mouth.
The book itself must have been printed in a very small edition, for it has become exceedingly scarce and is seldom if ever offered for sale. On those rare occasions when copies have changed hands, the book commands a price far in excess of usual works in this field.
According to the rules laid down by Sir Francis Bacon for works published under the authority of the society of unknown philosophers, each book must be marked in some peculiar way, easily recognizable by the informed, but not conspicuous to those who are not a party to the plan. All of the older writings are so marked, either with ciphers, curious headpieces, vignettes, colophons, designs, symbols, figures, or signatures. It is possible that the book, Our Flag carries such a signature; for it ends with the following quotation, "Out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, private records and evidences, fragments of stories, passages in books, and the like, we save and recover somewhat from the deluge of time." --Bacon.
One thing is certain, Robert Allen Campbell has concluded his treatise with a curiously meaningful passage from the writings of the man responsible far the broad program of colonization in the western world that made possible the creation of the United States of America. The selection of Bacon's words to conclude the book may be accident, and it may be intent; but in the light of the text and the air of mystery which covers the history of the writing and the life of the author, it appears more than possible that intent is the answer.
Chapter 2 of Our Flag is entitled, "The Colonial Flag" This in substance is what it says:
In the fall of 1775, the Colonial Congress in session at Philadelphia appointed Messrs. Franklin, Lynch, and Harrison as a committee to consider and recommend a design for a Colonial Flag. General Washington was then in camp at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Committee went there to consult with him.
While at Cambridge the committee men were entertained by a patriotic and well-to-do citizen. At that time the best room in this gentleman's residence was temporarily occupied by a peculiar old gentleman. As there was only one other guestroom, Messrs. Lynch and Harrison were given the unoccupied room, and Dr. Franklin shared apartments with the old gentleman.
Nothing is known about the mysterious old man except that he was referred to as the "Professor"; his name is not preserved. He was beyond seventy years of age but apparently in the prime of his life. He ate no flesh, fish, nor fowl, or any green things, and drank no liquor, wine, or ale. His diet consisted of cereals, well ripened fruit, nuts, tea, and such sweets as honey and molasses. He was well educated, highly cultured, of extensive as well as varied information, and very studious. He spent most of his time pondering over rare books and ancient manuscripts, which he seemed to be deciphering, translating, or rewriting. These he kept carefully locked up in a heavy iron-bound chest and never showed them to any person.
He was liberal but in no ways lavish with his money, but was well supplied with all that he needed. The Professor was a staunch advocate of democracy and his favorite statement was, "We demand no more than our just due; we will accept and be satisfied with nothing less than we demand."
On the eve of their arrival, December 13, the committee men dined with their host and hostess, also General Washington and the Professor. The Professor was introduced to the visitors without his name being given, and his ease, grace, and dignity during the introduction is especially noted. When Benjamin Franklin was presented, he stepped forward and extended his hand, which the Professor heartily accepted. As their eyes met there was an instantaneous, a very apparent, and a mutually gratified recognition.
After dinner, Washington and the committee men exchanged a few words in undertone, and then Dr. Franklin arose, saying, in substance, "As the Chairman of this committee, speaking for my associates, and with their consent, and with the approval of General Washington, I respectfully invite the Professor to meet with the committee as one of its members; and we, each one, personally and urgently, request him to accept the responsibility, and to give us, and the American Colonies, the benefit of his presence and his counsel."
After graciously accepting the invitation, the Professor made his first recommendation. He pointed out that the Committee now consisted of six persons, General Washington and the host being honorary members. Six was not an auspicious number, and as none of the members could be spared, let the hostess be included so that the number could be increased to seven. This suggestion was unanimously accepted and the hostess became the secretary of the committee.
The committee met the following evening in the Professor's room. General Washington opened the proceedings by asking Dr. Franklin for his recommendations. Franklin replied by requesting that the entire committee listen to the words of his new found and abundantly honored friend, the Professor, who had definite suggestions to make.
After a preamble, the Professor made the following extraordinary remarks:
"The sun of our political air, like the sun in the heavens, is very low in the horizon--just now approaching the winter solstice, which it will reach very soon. But, as the sun rises from his grave in Capricorn, mounts toward his resurrection in Aries, and passes onward and upward to his glorious culmination in Cancer, so will our political sun rise and continue to increase in power, in light, and in glory; and the exalted sun of summer will not have gained his full strength of heat and power in the starry Lion until our Colonial Sun will be, in its glorious exaltation, demanding a place in the governmental firmaments alongside of, coordinate with, and in no wise subordinate to, any other sun of any other nation upon earth."
The Professor went on to point out that the flag which he recommended would be subject to change in the future as the national destiny increased. This change, however, should not require a complete re-designing but a process of gradual modification: "To make it announce and represent the new nation which is already gestating in the womb of time; and which will come to birth--and that not prematurely, but fully developed and ready for the change into independent life--before the sun in its next summer's strength ripens our next harvest."
The design finally submitted consisted of a field of thirteen alternate red and white stripes, and in the area which now contains the stars was the British Union Jack. The area containing the Union Jack was the one suitable for modification. The design was formally and unanimously accepted, and the flag was adopted by General Washington as the recognized standard of the Colonial Army and Navy. There is no record of any report being made by this committee to Congress.
On January 2, 1776, at Cambridge, in the presence of the Army, General Washington with his own hands raised the newly made flag on a tall and specially prepared pine tree liberty pole. The British army at Charleston Heights could see the flag clearly. After inspecting it with their field glasses, the British officers ordered a salute of thirteen cheers, followed by a regular official salute of thirteen guns in honor of the new standard. It appears therefore, that the Colonial Flag was as pleasing to the British as it was to the Colonies.
It is easy to see why Mr. Campbell's story has received very little recorded recognition. It belongs among those shadowy and mysterious happenings which influence or change the course of empire but will ever find little favor with prosaic and unimaginative historians.
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