U M

which signify creation, conservation, and transformation. He alone could expound its meaning in the presence of the initiates of the third and supreme degree. Whomsoever among these initiates revealed to a profane a single one of the truths, even the smallest of the secrets entrusted to his care, was put to death. He who received the confidence had to share his fate.

"Finally, to crown this able system," says Jacolliot, "there existed a word still more superior to the mysterious monosyllable — A U M, and which rendered him who came into the possession of its key nearly the equal of Brahma himself. The Brahm-âtma alone possessed this key, and transmitted it in a sealed casket to his successor.

"This unknown word, of which no human power could, even to-day, when the Brahmanical authority has been crushed under the Mongolian and European invasions, to

* It is the traditional policy of the College of Cardinals to elect, whenever practicable, the new Pope among the oldest valetudinarians. The hierophant of the Eleusinia was likewise always an old man, and unmarried.

day, when each pagoda has its Brahm-atma* force the disclosure, was engraved in a golden triangle and preserved in a sanctuary of the temple of Asgartha, whose Brahm-atma alone held the keys. He also bore upon his tiara two crossed keys supported by two kneeling Brahmans, symbol of the precious deposit of which he had the keeping. . . This word and this triangle were engraved upon the tablet of the ring that this religious chief wore as one of the signs of his dignity; it was also framed in a golden sun on the altar, where every morning the Supreme Pontiff offered the sacrifice of the sarvameda, or sacrifice to all the forces of nature."+

Is this clear enough? And will the Catholics still maintain that it was the Brahmans of 4,000 years ago who copied the ritual, symbols, and dress of the Roman Pontiffs? We would not feel in the least surprised.

Without going very far back into antiquity for comparisons, if we only stop at the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and contrast the so-called "heathenism" of the third Neo-platonic Eclectic School with the growing Christianity, the result may not be favorable to the latter. Even at that early period, when the new religion had hardly outlined its contradictory dogmas; when the champions of the bloodthirsty Cyril knew not themselves whether Mary was to become "the Mother of God," or rank as a "demon" in company with isis; when the memory of the meek and lowly

* This is not correct. f "Le Spiritisme dans le Monde," p. 28.

Jesus still lingered lovingly in every Christian heart, and his words of mercy and charity vibrated still in the air, even then the Christians were outdoing the Pagans in every kind of ferocity and religious intolerance.

And if we look still farther back, and seek for examples of true Christism, in ages when Buddhism had hardly superseded Brahmanism in India, and the name of Jesus was only to be pronounced three centuries later, what do we find? Which of the holy pillars of the Church has ever elevated himself to the level of religious tolerance and noble simplicity of character of some heathen? Compare, for instance, the Hindu Asoka, who lived 300 B.C., and the Carthaginian St. Augustine, who flourished three centuries after Christ. According to Max Müller, this is what is found engraved on the rocks of Girnar, Dhauli, and Kapurdigiri:

"Piyadasi, the king beloved of the gods, desires that the ascetics of all creeds might reside in all places. All these ascetics profess alike the command which people should exercise over themselves, and the purity of the soul. But people have different opinions and different inclinations."

And here is what Augustine wrote after his baptism: "Wondrous depth of thy words! whose surface, behold! is before us, inviting to little ones; yet are they a wondrous depth, O my God, a wondrous depth! It is awful to look therein; yes . . . an awfulness of honor, and a trembling of love. Thy enemies [read Pagans] thereof I hate vehemently; Oh, that thou wouldst slay them with thy two-edged sword, that they might no longer be enemies to it; for so do I love to have them slain."*

Wonderful spirit of Christianity; and that from a Manichean converted to the religion of one who even on his cross prayed for his enemies!

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