Principles of Jesuitry Compared with Those of Pagan Moralists

So far, good. We are informed by the highest authorities what a man in the Catholic communion may do that the common law and public morality stamp as criminal, and still continue in the odor of Jesuitical sanctity. Now suppose we again turn the medal and see what principles were inculcated by Pagan Egyptian moralists before the world was blessed with these modern improvements in ethics.

In Egypt every city of importance was separated from its burial place by a sacred lake. The same ceremony of judgment which the Book of the Dead describes as taking place f Opinion of John de Dicastille, Sect. xv., "De Justitia et Jure," etc., cens. pp. 319, 320.

J "Cursus Theologici," Tomus v., Duaci, 1642, Disp. 36, Sect. 5, n. 118.

in the world of Spirit, took place on earth during the burial of the mummy. Forty-two judges or assessors assembled on the shore and judged the departed "soul" according to its actions when in the body, and it was only upon a unanimous approval of this post-mortem jury that the boatman, who represented the Spirit of Death, could convey the justified defunct's body to its last resting-place. After that the priests returned within the sacred precincts and instructed the neophytes upon the probable solemn drama which was then taking place in the invisible realm whither the soul had fled. The immortality of the spirit was strongly inculcated by the Al-om-jah.* In the Crata Repoa+ the following is described as the seven degrees of the initiation.

After a preliminary trial at Thebes, where the neophyte had to pass through many trials, called the "Twelve Tortures," he was commanded to govern his passions and never lose for a moment the idea of his God. Then as a symbol of the wanderings of the unpurified soul, he had to ascend several ladders and wander in darkness in a cave with many doors, all of which were locked. When he had overcome the dreadful trials, he received the degree of Pastopkoris, the second and third degrees being called the Neocoris, and the Melanephoris. Brought into a vast subterranean chamber thickly furnished with mummies lying in state, he was placed in presence of the coffin which contained the mutilated body of Osiris covered with blood. This was the hall called "Gates

* Name of the highest Egyptian hierophants. f "Crata Repoa, or the Mysteries of the Ancient Egyptian Priests."

of Death," and it is most certainly to this mystery that the passages in the Book of Job (xxxviii. 17) and other portions of the Bible allude when these gates are spoken of.} In chapter x., we give the esoteric interpretation of the "Book of Job," which is the poem of initiation par excellence.

"Have the gates of death been opened to thee?

Hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?"

asks the "Lord" — i.e., the Al-om-jah, the Initiator — of Job, alluding to this third degree of initiation.

When the neophyte had conquered the terrors of this trial, he was conducted to the "Hall of Spirits," to be judged by them. Among the rules in which he was instructed, he was commanded "never to either desire or seek revenge; to be always ready to help a brother in danger, even unto the risk of his own life; to bury every dead body; to honor his parents above all; respect old age and protect those weaker than himself; and finally, to ever bear in mind the hour of death, and that of resurrection, in a new and imperishable body."§ Purity and chastity were highly recommended, and adultery threatened with death.

Then the Egyptian neophyte was made a Kristophores. In this degree the mystery-name of IAO was communicated to him. The fifth degree was that of Balahala, and he was instructed by Horus, in alchemy, the "word" being chemia. In the sixth, the priestly dance in the circle was taught him, in which he was instructed in astronomy, for it represented the

J See Matthew xvi. 18, where it is mistranslated "the gates of Hell."

§ Humberto Malhandrini, "Ritual of Initiations," p. 105. Venice, 1657.

course of the planets. In the seventh degree, he was initiated into the final Mysteries. After a final probation in a building set apart for it, the Astronomus, as he was now called, emerged from these sacred apartments called Manneras, and received a cross — the Tau, which, at death, had to be laid upon his breast. He was a hierophant.

We have read above the rules of these holy initiates of the Christian Society of Jesus. Compare them with those enforced upon the Pagan postulant, and Christian (!) morality with that inculcated in those mysteries of the Pagans upon which all the thunders of an avenging Deity are invoked by the Church. Had the latter no mysteries of its own? Or were they in any wise purer, nobler, or more inciting to a holy, virtuous life? Let us hear what Niccolini has to say, in his able History of the Jesuits, of the modern mysteries of the Christian cloister.*

"In most monasteries, and more particularly in those of the Capuchins and reformed (reformati), there begins at Christmas a series of feasts, which continues till Lent. All sorts of games are played, the most splendid banquets are given, and in the small towns, above all, the refectory of the convent is the best place of amusement for the greater number of the inhabitants. At carnivals, two or three very magnificent entertainments take place; the board so profusely spread that one might imagine that Copia had here poured forth the whole contents of her horn. It must be remembered

* Pages 43, 44, note f. Niccolini of Rome, author of "The History of the Pontificate of Pius IX."; "The Life of Father Gavazzi," etc.

that these two orders live by alms.+ The sombre silence of the cloister is replaced by a confused sound of merry-making, and its gloomy vaults now echo with other songs than those of the psalmist. A ball enlivens and terminates the feast; and, to render it still more animated, and perhaps to show how completely their vow of chastity has eradicated all their carnal appetite, some of the young monks appear coquettishly dressed in the garb of the fair sex, and begin the dance, along with others, transformed into gay cavaliers. To describe the scandalous scene which ensues would be but to disgust my readers. I will only say that I have myself often been a spectator at such saturnalia."

The cycle is moving down, and, as it descends, the physical and bestial nature of man develops more and more at the expense of the Spiritual Self.} With what disgust may f And begged in the name of Him who had nowhere to lay his head! J In "Egypt's Place in Universal History," Bunsen gives the cycle of 21,000 years, which he adopts to facilitate the chronological calculations for the reconstruction of the universal history of mankind. He shows that this cycle "for the nutation of the ecliptic," arrived at its apex in the year 1240 of our era. He says:

"The cycle divides itself into two halves of 10,500 (or twice 5,250) years each.

"The beginning of the first half:

The highest point will be 19,760 B. C.

The lowest 9,260

Consequently the middle of the descending line (beginning of second quarter) will be 14,510

we not turn from this religious farce called modern Christianity, to the noble faiths of old!

The middle of the ascending line (beginning of fourth quarter) 4,010

"The new cycle, which began in 1240 of our era, will come to the end of its first quarter in 4010 A.D."

The Baron explains that "in round numbers, the most favorable epochs for our hemisphere since the great catastrophe in Middle Asia (Deluge 10,000 years B.C.) are: "the 4,000 years before, and the 4,000 years after Christ; and the beginning of the first epoch, of which alone we can judge, as it alone is complete before us, coincides exactly with the beginnings of national history, or (what is identical) with the beginning of our consciousness of continuous existence" ("Egypt's Place in Universal History," Key, p. 102).

"Our consciousness" must mean, we suppose, the consciousness of scientists, who accept nothing on faith, but much on unverified hypotheses. We do not say this with reference to the above-quoted author, earnest scholar and noble champion that he is, of freedom in the Christian Church, but generally. Baron Bunsen has well found for himself that a man cannot remain an honest scientist and please the clerical party. Even the little concessions he made in favor of the antiquity of mankind, brought on him, in 1859, the most insolent denunciations, such as "We lose all faith in the author's judgment . . . he has yet to learn the very first principles of historical criticisms . . . extravagant and unscientific exaggeration," and so on — the pious vituperator closing his learned denunciations by assuring the public that Baron Bunsen "cannot even construct a Greek sentence ("Quarterly Review," 1859; see also "Egypt's Place in Universal History," chap. on Egyptological Works and English Reviews). But we do regret that Baron Bunsen had no better opportunity to examine the "Kabala" and the Brahmanical books of the Zodiacs.

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