"O, companions, companions, man as emanation was both man and woman; as well on the side of the Father as on the side of the Mother. And this is the sense of the words, and Elohim spoke, Let there be Light and it was Light! . . . And this is the 'two-fold man'!"+
A spiritual woman was necessary as a contrast for the spiritual man. Harmony is the universal law. In Taylor's translation, Plato's discourse upon creation is rendered so as to make him say of this universe that "He caused it to move with circular motion. . . . When, therefore, that God who is a perpetually reasoning Divinity, cogitated about that God (man) who was destined to subsist at some certain period of time, He produced his body smooth and even, and every way even and whole from the centre, and made it perfect. This perfect circle of the created God, He decussated in the form of the letter X."
The italics of both these sentences from Timeus belong to Dr. Lundy, the author of that remarkable work mentioned once before, Monumental Christianity; and attention is drawn to the words of the Greek philosopher, with the evident purpose of giving them the prophetic character which Justin Martyr applied to the same, when accusing Plato of having borrowed his "physiological discussion in the Timeus . . . concerning the Son of God placed crosswise in the universe," from Moses and his serpent of brass. The learned author seems to fully accord an unpremeditated prophecy to these words; although he does not tell us whether he believes that like Plato's created god, Jesus was originally a sphere "smooth and even, and every way even and whole from the centre." Even if Justin Martyr were excusable for his perversion of
* "The Nuctameron of the Hebrews"; see Eliphas Levi, vol. ii.
Plato, Dr. Lundy ought to know that the day for that sort of casuistry is long gone by. What the philosopher meant was man, who before being encased in matter had no use for limbs, but was a pure spiritual entity. Hence if the Deity, and his universe, and the stellar bodies are to be conceived as spheroidal, this shape would be archetypal man's. As his enveloping shell grew heavier, there came the necessity for limbs, and the limbs sprouted. If we fancy a man with arms and legs naturally extended at the same angle, by backing him against the circle that symbolizes his prior shape as a spirit, we would have the very figure described by Plato — the X cross within the circle.
All the legends of the creation, the fall of man, and the resultant deluge, belong to universal history, and are no more the property of the Israelites than that of any other nation. What specially belongs to them (kabalists excepted) are the disfigured details of every tradition. The Genesis of Enoch is by far anterior to the books of Moses,* and Guillaume Postel has presented it to the world, explaining the allegories as far as he dared; but the ground-work is still unexposed. For the Jews, the Book of Enoch is as canonical as the Mosaic books; and if the Christians accepted the latter as an authority, we do
* Such is the opinion of the erudite Dr. Jost and Donaldson. "The Old Testament. Books, as we now find them, seem to have been concluded about 150 years B.C. . . . The Jews now sought the other books, which had been dispersed during the wars, and brought them into one collection" (Ghillany, "Menschenopfer der Hebräer," p. 1). "Sod, the Son of the Man." Appendix.
not see why they should reject the former as an apocrypha. No more can the age of one than that of the other be determined with anything like certainty. At the time of the separation, the Samaritans recognized only the books of Moses and that of Joshua, says Dr. Jost.+ In 168 B.C., Jerusalem had its temple plundered, and all the sacred books were destroyed;} therefore, the few MSS. that remained were to be found only among the "teachers of tradition." The kabalistic Tanaim, and their initiates and prophets had always practised its teachings in common with the Canaanites, the Hamites, Midianites, Chaldeans, and all other nations. The story of Daniel is a proof of it.
There was a sort of Brotherhood, or Freemasonry among the kabalists scattered all over the world, since the memory of man; and, like some societies of the medieval Masonry of Europe, they called themselves Companions § and Innocents.** It is a belief (founded on knowledge) among the kabalists, that no more than the Hermetic rolls are the genuine sacred books of the seventy-two elders — books which contained the "Ancient Word" — lost, but that they have all been preserved from the remotest times among secret communities. Emanuel Swedenborg says as much, and his words are based, he says, on the information he had from certain spirits, who assured him that "they performed their worship according to this f "Jost," vol. i., p. 51.
J Burder's "Josephus," vol. ii., pp. 331-335.
** Gaffarel, Introduction to "Book of Enoch."
Ancient Word." "Seek for it in China," adds the great seer, "peradventure you may find it in Great Tartary!" Other students of occult sciences have had more than the word of "certain spirits" to rely upon in this special case — they have seen the books.
We must choose therefore perforce between two methods — either to accept the Bible exoterically or esoterically. Against the former we have the following facts: That, after the first copy of the Book of God has been edited and launched on the world by Hilkiah, this copy disappears, and Ezra has to make a new Bible, which Judas Maccabeus finishes; that when it was copied from the horned letters into square letters, it was corrupted beyond recognition; that the Masorah completed the work of destruction; that, finally, we have a text, not 900 years old, abounding with omissions, interpolations, and premeditated perversions; and that, consequently, as this Masoretic Hebrew text has fossilized its mistakes, and the key to the "Word of God" is lost, no one has a right to enforce upon so-called "Christians" the divagations of a series of hallucinated and, perhaps, spurious prophets, under the unwarranted and untenable assumption that the author of it was the "Holy Ghost" in propria persons.
Hence, we reject this pretended monotheistic Scripture, made up just when the priests of Jerusalem found their political profit in violently breaking off all connection with the Gentiles. It is at this moment only that we find them persecuting kabalists, and banning the "old wisdom" of both Pagans and Jews. The real Hebrew Bible was a secret volume, unknown to the masses, and even the Samaritan Pentateuch is far more ancient than the Septuagint. As for the former, the Fathers of the Church never even heard of it. We prefer decidedly to take the word of Swedenborg that the "Ancient Word" is somewhere in China or the Great Tartary. The more so, as the Swedish seer is declared, at least by one clergyman, namely, the Reverend Dr. R. L. Tafel, of London, to have been in a state of "inspiration from God," while writing his theological works. He is given even the superiority over the penmen of the Bible, for, while the latter had the words spoken to them in their ears, Swedenborg was made to understand them rationally and was, therefore, internally and not externally illuminated. "When," says the reverend author, "a conscientious member of the New Church hears any charges made against the divinity and the infallibility of either the soul or the body of the doctrines of the New Jerusalem, he must at once place himself on the unequivocal declaration made in those doctrines, that the Lord has effected His second coming in and by means of those writings which were published by Emanuel Swedenborg, as His servant, and that, therefore, those charges are not and cannot be true." And if it is "the Lord" that spoke through Swedenborg, then there is a hope for us that at least one divine will corroborate our assertions, that the ancient "word of God" is nowhere but in the heathen countries, especially Buddhistic Tartary, Thibet, and China!
"The primitive history of Greece is the primitive history of India," exclaims Pococke in his India in Greece. In view of subsequent fruits of critical research, we may paraphrase the sentence and say: "The primitive history of Judea is a distortion of Indian fable engrafted on that of Egypt." Many scientists, encountering stubborn facts, and being reluctant to contrast the narratives of the "divine" revelation with those of the Brahmanical books, merely present them to the reading public. Meanwhile they limit their conclusions to criticisms and contradictions of each other. So Max Müller opposes the theories of Spiegel, and some one else; and Professor Whitney those of the Oxford Orientalist; and Dr. Haug made onslaughts on Spiegel, while Dr. Spiegel chose some other victim; and now even the time-honored Akkadians and Turanians have had their day of glory. The Proto-Kasdeans, Kasdeo-Scyths, Sumirians, and what not, have to make room for some other fictions. Alas! for the Akkads, Halevy, the Assyriologist attacks the Akkado-Sumirian language of old Babylon, and Chabas, the Egyptologist, not content with dethroning the Turanian speech, which has rendered such eminent services to Orientalists when perplexed, calls the venerable parent of the Akkadians — Francois Lenormant — himself, a charlatan. Profiting by the learned turmoil, the Christian clergy take heart for their fantastic theology on the ground that when the jury disagree there is a gain of time at least for the indicted party. And thus is overlooked the vital question whether Christendom would not be the better for adopting Christism in place of Christianity, with its Bible, its vicarious atonement and its Devil. But to so important a personage as the latter, we could not do less than devote a special chapter.
"Get thee behind me, Satan" (Jesus to Peter)
"Such a deal of skimble-skamble stuff As puts me from my faith. I tell you what — He held me, last night, at least nine hours In reckoning up the several devils' names."
"La force terrible et juste qui tue eternellement les avortons a ete nommee par les Egyptiens Typhon, par les Hebreux Samael; par les orientaux Satan; et par les Latins Lucifer. Le Lucifer de la Cabale n'est pas un ange maudit et foudroye; c'est l'ange qui eclaire et qui regenere en tombant."
Eliphas Levi, Dogme et Rituel
"Bad as he is, the Devil may be abus'd,
Be falsely charg'd, and causelessly accus'd,
When Men, unwilling to be blam'd alone,
Shift off those Crimes on Him which are their Own."
Several years ago, a distinguished writer and persecuted kabalist suggested a creed for the Protestant and Roman Catholic bodies, which may be thus formulated:
"I believe in the Devil, the Father Almighty of Evil, the Destroyer of all things, Perturbator of Heaven and Earth;
And in Anti-Christ, his only Son, our Persecutor,
Who was conceived of the Evil Spirit;
Born of a sacrilegious, foolish Virgin;
Was glorified by mankind, reigned over them,
And ascended to the throne of Almighty God,
From which he crowds Him aside, and from which he insults the living and the dead;
I believe in the Spirit of Evil;
The Synagogue of Satan;
The coalition of the wicked;
The perdition of the body;
And the Death and Hell everlasting. Amen."
Does this offend? Does it seem extravagant, cruel, blasphemous? Listen. In the city of New York, on the ninth day of April, 1877 — that is to say, in the last quarter of what is proudly styled the century of discovery and the age of illumination — the following scandalous ideas were broached. We quote from the report in the Sun of the following morning:
"The Baptist preachers met yesterday in the Mariners' Chapel, in Oliver Street. Several foreign missionaries were present. The Rev. John W. Sarles, of Brooklyn, read an essay, in which he maintained the proposition that all adult heathen, dying without the knowledge of the Gospel, are damned eternally. Otherwise, the reverend essayist argued, the Gospel is a curse instead of a blessing, the men who crucified Christ served him right, and the whole structure of revealed religion tumbles to the ground.
"Brother Stoddard, a missionary from India, indorsed the views of the Brooklyn pastor. The Hindus were great sinners. One day, after he had preached in the market place, a Brahman got up and said: 'We Hindus beat the world in lying, but this man beats us. How can he say that God loves us? Look at the poisonous serpents, tigers, lions, and all kinds of dangerous animals around us. If God loves us, why doesn't He take them away?'
"The Rev. Mr. Pixley, of Hamilton, N. Y., heartily subscribed to the doctrine of Brother Sarles's essay, and asked for $5,000 to fit out young men for the ministry."
And these men — we will not say teach the doctrine of Jesus, for that would be to insult his memory, but — are paid to teach his doctrine! Can we wonder that intelligent persons prefer annihilation to a faith encumbered by such a monstrous doctrine? We doubt whether any respectable Brahman would have confessed to the vice of lying — an art cultivated only in those portions of British India where the most Christians are found.*
* So firmly established seems to have been the reputation of the Brahmans and Buddhists for the highest morality, and that since time immemorial, that we find Colonel Henry Yule, in his admirable edition of "Marco Polo," giving the following testimony: "The high virtues ascribed to the Brahman and Indian merchants were, perhaps, in part, matter of tradition . . . but the eulogy is so constant among medieval travellers that it must have had a solid foundation. In fact, it would not be difficult to trace a chain of similar testimony from ancient times down to our own. Arrian says no Indian was ever accused of falsehood. Hwen T'sang ascribes to the people of India eminent uprightness, honesty, and
But we challenge any honest man in the wide world to say whether he thinks the Brahman was far from the truth in saying of the missionary Stoddard, "this man beats us all" in lying. What else would he say, if the latter preached to them the doctrine of eternal damnation, because, indeed, they had passed their lives without reading a Jewish book of which they never heard, or asked salvation of a Christ whose existence they never suspected! But Baptist clergymen who need a few thousand dollars must devise terrifying sensations to fire the congregational heart.
We abstain, as a rule, from giving our own experience when we can call acceptable witnesses, and so, upon reading missionary Stoddard's outrageous remarks, we requested our disinterestedness. Friar Jordanus (circa 1330) says the people of Lesser India (Sindh and Western India) were true in speech and eminent in justice; and we may also refer to the high character given to the Hindus by Abul Fazl. But after 150 years of European trade, indeed, we find a sad deterioration. . . . Yet Pallas, in the last century, noticing the Bamyan colony at Astrakhan, says its members were notable for an upright dealing that made them greatly preferable to Armenians. And that wise and admirable public servant, the late Sir William Sleeman, in our own time, has said that he knew no class of men in the world more strictly honorable than the mercantile classes of India.
The sad examples of the rapid demoralization of savage American Indians, as soon as they are made to live in a close proximity with Christian officials and missionaries, are familiar in our modern days. -- The "Book of Ser Marco Polo, the Venetian," translated by Colonel Henry Yule, vol. ii., p. 354.
acquaintance, Mr. William L. D. O'Grady,* to give a fair opinion upon the missionaries. This gentleman's father and grandfather were British army officers, and he himself was born in India, and enjoyed life-long opportunities to learn what the general opinion among the English is of these religious propagandists. Following is his communication in reply to our letter:
"You ask me for my opinion of the Christian missionaries in India. In all the years I spent there, I never spoke to a single missionary. They were not in society, and, from what I heard of their proceedings and could see for myself, I don't wonder at it. Their influence on the natives is bad. Their converts are worthless, and, as a rule, of the lowest class; nor do they improve by conversion. No respectable family will employ Christian servants. They lie, they steal, they are unclean — and dirt is certainly not a Hindu vice; they drink — and no decent native of any other belief ever touches intoxicating liquor; they are outcasts from their own people and utterly despicable. Their new teachers set them a poor example of consistency. While holding forth to the Pariah that God makes no distinction of persons, they boast intolerably over the stray Brahmans, who, very much "off color," occasionally, at long intervals, fall
* At the present moment Mr. O'Grady is Editor of the "American Builder," of New York, and is well known for his interesting letters, "Indian Sketches — Life in the East," which he contributed under the pseudonym of Hadji Nicka Bauker Khan, to the Boston "Commercial Bulletin."
into the clutches of these hypocrites.
"The missionaries get very small salaries, as publicly stated in the proceedings of the societies that employ them, but, in some unaccountable way, manage to live as well as officials with ten times their income. When they come home to recover their health, shattered, as they say, by their arduous labors — which they seem to be able to afford to do quite frequently, when supposed richer people cannot — they tell childish stories on platforms, exhibit idols as procured with infinite difficulty, which is quite absurd, and give an account of their imaginary hardships which is perfectly harrowing but untrue from beginning to end. I lived some years in India myself, and nearly all my blood-relations have passed or will pass the best years of their lives there. I know hundreds of British officials, and I never heard from one of them a single word in favor of the missionaries. Natives of any position look on them with the supremest contempt, although suffering chronic exasperation from their arrogant aggressiveness; and the British Government, which continues endowments to Pagodas, granted by the East India Company, and which supports unsectarian education, gives them no countenance whatever. Protected from personal violence, they yelp and bark at natives and Europeans alike, after the fashion of ill-conditioned curs. Often recruited from the poorest specimens of theological fanaticism, they are regarded on all sides as mischievous. Their rabid, reckless, vulgar, and offensive propagandism caused the great Mutiny of 1857. They are noisome humbugs.
"Wm. L. D. O'Grady "New York, June 12, 1877"
The new creed therefore, with which we opened this chapter, coarse as it may sound, embodies the very essence of the belief of the Church as inculcated by her missionaries. It is regarded as less impious, less infidel, to doubt the personal existence of the Holy Ghost, or the equal Godhead of Jesus, than to question the personality of the Devil. But a summary of Koheleth is well-nigh forgotten.* Who ever quotes the golden words of the prophet Micah,+ or seems to care for the exposition of the Law, as given by Jesus himself?} The "bull's eye" in the target of Modern Christianity is in the simple phrase to "fear the Devil."
The Catholic clergy and some of the lay champions of the Roman Church fight still more for the existence of Satan and his imps. If Des Mousseaux maintains the objective reality of spiritual phenomena with such an unrelenting ardor, it is because, in his opinion, the latter are the most direct evidence of the Devil at work. The Chevalier is more Catholic than the Pope; and his logic and deductions from never-to-be and non-established premises are unique, and prove once more that the creed offered by us is the one which expresses the Catholic belief most eloquently.
"If magic and spiritualism," he says, "were both but chimeras, we would have to bid an eternal farewell to all the rebellious angels, now troubling the world; for thus, we would have no more demons down here. . . . And if we lost our demons, we would Lose Our Saviour likewise. For, from whom did that Saviour come to save us? And then, there would be no more Redeemer; for from whom or what could that Redeemer redeem us? Hence, there would be no more Christianity!!"§ Oh, Holy Father of Evil; Sainted Satan! We pray thee do not abandon such pious Christians as the Chevalier des Mousseaux and some Baptist clergymen!!
Was this article helpful?