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Title: Mysticism and its Results - Being an Inquiry into the Uses and Abuses of Secrecy
Author: Delafield, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are listed at the end of the text.

       *       *       *       *       *









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Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, in and
for the
District of Missouri.

       *       *       *       *       *

13 Chambers Street, N.Y.

       *       *       *       *       *

This Essay is respectfully Inscribed,

       *       *       *       *       *



"THE WORD WAS GOD." That "WORD IS TRUTH." Truth can never change, or it
would contradict itself. Past, present, and future, must be governed by
immutable laws. Experience is acquired by the careful study of history, and
the present condition of all things. All is governed now by that same law
of truth, which was from the beginning of the world, and ever shall be.
What serious lessons, then, may be learned by a careful examination of past
ages; and how useful may they not be to us and our children for future
ages? We can only judge of that which is to come hereafter, by studying the
past, and carefully noting the present.

This little book has collated some facts, perhaps, somewhat out of the
usual range of reading; but which it is sincerely trusted may be of
practical {6} utility. If it only induces thought, study, or research, by
intellectual and honest minds, its object will have been attained. The
writer can only claim the indulgence of the reader to consider the essay
suggestive--not didactic. Many a far abler pen may enlarge upon and carry
out the ideas presented. May it be

J. D.

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


Secrecy; its Uses and Abuses.--Mystery; its Definition.--Mysticism, and its
Definition. ... PAGE 9


The Distinction between the Early Elohistic and Jehovahstic Ages of
Primeval Patriarchal Times.--The Secrecy of Original Worship on Mountain
Tops.--The Collation and Reconciliation of the Patriarchal Traditions
brought together by Moses.--The Commencement of the Jehovahstic Age.--The
Origin of Mythology.--The Magi; their Organization and Modes of
Worship.--The Deification of Nimrod, and the Source of Political Power at
its Beginning.--The Secret Writings they adopted.--The Dead Invokers.--The
Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. ... 16


The Origin of the Cabbalistæ; the Chaldeans, and their Antagonism to
Patriarchal Tradition.--The Hand-Writing on Belshazzar's Wall.--The Secret
Writings of the Cabbalistæ.--How Daniel read the Same.--Ezra.--The Origin
of the Masoretic Text.--Zoroaster.--His Reformation and Reconstruction of
the Religion of the Magi.--Pythagoras, and his "League."--The Thugs.--The
Druids. ... 41


The Discipline of the Secret in the Origin of the Christian Church.--The
Inquisition.--The Mystics.--The Rise of Monachism.--The Mendicant
Orders.--The Orders of Knighthood.--The Jesuits, their Organization and
History.--The Rosicrucians, &c. ... 71


The Struggle between an alleged _Jus Divinum Regum_, and Popular
Sovereignty.--And the Efforts now attempted to destroy our Grand Experiment
of Self-Government.--Practical Results. ... 104

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


    Secrecy; its Uses and Abuses.--Mystery; its Definition.--Mysticism, and
    its Definition.

It is not true, as has been sometimes said, that wherever there is secrecy
there is error.

Secrecy, like most all else, hath its uses and abuses: its uses, as
developed in modesty and domestic virtue, in religious meditation,
self-examination, and prayer, and in prudence in the affairs of life: its
abuses, in prudery, asceticism, superstitious awe, undue veneration of
power, and when used as a cloud to conceal crime so hideous that nothing
but the truth of God, vindicated by human laws founded thereon, directed by
wisdom, can dispel it.

Virtue and modesty shrink from public gaze. Each looks alone to its innate
sense, the gift of God, and to the sole approval of the great "I AM."

The hidden sincere aspirations of the heart are known only to Him who
"breathed into man the {10} breath of life, and he became a living soul."
These are a secret between the created being and its Almighty Father. At
the lonely hour, when the burdened soul, knowing no earthly refuge from
overwhelming troubles, but a mightier Hand than that of man, seeks on
bended knee and with penitential tear, a blessing from on high, no word is
spoken, no sound uttered save the sob from a contrite heart. The aspiration
has gone forth inaudibly to Him who said to all mankind, then and for
future ages, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will
give you rest."[1]

 "Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
  Uttered or unexpressed,
  The motion of a hidden fire
  That trembles in the breast.
  It is the burden of a sigh,
  The falling of a tear,
  The upward glancing of an eye
  When none but God is near."[2]

What knoweth the outer world of this? Yet wrong can not exist in such
secret communion between a penitent heart and its Maker. Pure religious
meditation, leading us from earth to heaven, is only promoted by secret
study and reflection in solitude. Neither philosophy nor religion can be
cultivated in the midst of the vortices of commerce or other business
requiring constant intercourse with hundreds of {11} men during the day,
nor in the whirl of fashion in the evening.

Thus, then, do we trace one of the uses of secrecy. Both its use and its
abuse we shall hereinafter find exemplified in marked effects not only on
individual minds, but also on the masses of mankind in past history: its
use, in the development of true piety: its abuse, in asceticism,
superstition, and overweening spiritual power resulting in crimes, which
were "a sin unto death." Another abuse of secrecy has been manifested in
means heretofore employed in the constant effort to obtain and maintain
worldly power. This was by affecting the imagination and blinding the
reason of the masses. Some time ago, an ephemeral work was published, even
the name of which is not recollected by this writer, wherein was a picture
showing the section of a handsome tent with curtains closely drawn. Within,
is a man eating and feasting like other mortals. Without, is a stand on
which are exposed to view the usual emblems and insignia of royalty, before
which there is a kneeling crowd. An admirable illustration! True it is,
that "no man is a hero to his valet-de-chambre." Fashionable wealth and
power depend upon exclusiveness to accomplish their usual attendant
influences. Royalty hides every hour in secrecy from public gaze, except
when it occasionally becomes necessary to treat the subjects to a mere
pageant or show of military costume and outside appearances. When Lola
Montes displayed to {12} the world the mere humanity of the old king of
Bavaria, where had he any _prestige_ left? Schamyl has attained his
extraordinary influence and power by his seclusion, asceticism, and
pretended revelations; and bravery having crowned his efforts, he is a
favorite of fortune, and the idol of a superstitious veneration. What did
not Mohammed accomplish in the same manner? But, in illustration of the
opposite effect, so well known to the sad experience of all, hath not a
mightier One testified that, "a prophet hath no honor in his own

But doth not also common prudence in worldly affairs demand the use of

What good general will detail, even to his own forces, and still less make
public for the use of his adversary, his plans and intentions for an
ensuing campaign?--what business man communicate to the public or to his
rivals his hard thought and well-planned speculation?--what inventor
publish his new machine or discovery until he has secured his patent-right?

In what follows, then, let us discriminate between the use and abuse of
secrecy; so that, by the lessons of the past and the present, we may be
safely guided in our course through the future.

Before going into matters of historic detail, it were well to understand
the definition of the word "mystery." {13}

Many suppose it to mean "something which is incomprehensible." This is all
a mistake.

"[Greek: Mustêrion]" means simply "a revealed secret." In other words,
"mystery," which we derive from the Greek word quoted, means neither more
nor less than a secret revealed and explained to us. A man of mature years
and finished education knows that which no school-boy can comprehend. To
the elder a secret has been revealed. He is in possession of the mystery.
To the younger it is yet a secret, not incomprehensible, but which can only
be attained in the progress of learning. To the scientific many of the
mysteries of nature are unfolded, but they are a secret to the world at
large. To those Christians in the earlier days of the church, who had
attained its highest instruction, and after the "Ite, missa est" had
dismissed the rest of the congregation, remained to participate in the
"pure offering" (or "clean oblation") prophesied by Malachi[4] to be
thereafter offered in every place to Him whose name thenceforth should be
great among the Gentiles--to them "it was given to know the mysteries of
God:"[5] not to understand things incomprehensible. That would be a
contradiction in terms: a thing impossible. How can a person comprehend
that which passeth all understanding? But it may be said, there are things
which are incomprehensible. Not so. They may be a secret to us while, in
this school-house, the earth, the {14} pedagogue Necessity is teaching us
only the rudiments of the laws of God as developed in nature or in mind;
but, when the _scintilla divinitatis_, hidden in these "earthen
vessels,"[6] shall have been set free, and (while "the dust returns to the
earth as it was") rises unto Him that breathed into us that "spiritus" or
"breath of life"--when we shall hereafter have been "newly born" into a
spiritual state of higher existence--then may we hope that what is secret
to us now, may become a mystery or revealed secret to us hereafter. It is
not all of life to terminate our existence on this earth. This is but the
school-house in the commencement of eternity. These mysteries, now secrets
to us, are created and maintained by the fixed laws of Him "who is without
variableness or shadow of turning." The revelations thereof belong to a
higher kingdom, which "flesh and blood can not inherit," yet in which every
soul "shall be made alive."[7] Then shall these secrets be unfolded in
proportion to the cultivation of the mind and talents here: for the
unchangeable laws of God have placed all matter in constant and regular
mutation; and whether of matter or of mind, all is governed by a certain
law of progress, compelling us to attain excellence and strength only by
constant endeavors to surmount difficulties: and it is thus alone we can,
by severe study and deep meditation, in investigating these laws of
mutation and progress in things physical and {15} moral, bring the mind,
even in this life, to a nearer approximation to, and capability of,
appreciating the wonderful truths we must hereafter learn. As in all other
laws of God, the cultivation of our talents must then carry its
proportionate reward hereafter.[8]

Let us then examine into the uses and abuses of secrecy in past history,
and at the present day--but more particularly will these be manifested by
"MYSTICISM;" by which is meant, _the revelation of learning, social,
religious, and political, the teaching of which has been, and is, preserved
secret from the world, by societies, associations, and confraternities_.[9]

       *       *       *       *       *



    The Distinction between the Early Elohistic and Jehovahstic Ages of
    Primeval Patriarchal Times.--The Secrecy of Original Worship on
    Mountain Tops.--The Collation and Reconciliation of the patriarchal
    Traditions brought together by Moses.--The Commencement of the
    Jehovahstic Age.--The Origin of Mythology.--The Magi; their
    Organization and Modes of Worship.--The Deification of Nimrod, and the
    Source of Political Power at its Beginning.--The Secret Writings they
    adopted.--The Dead Invokers.--The Mysteries of Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

In a critical study of the books of Moses two eras seem to be discernible.
The earlier, the Elohistic, when God was only known by the name, "Elohim."
The latter, the "Jehovahstic," beginning at a later period.[10]

Though not altogether germain to our subject, may we here be permitted to
inquire--_par parenthese_--whether this simple rule does not furnish to us
the means of reconciliation of apparent contradictions?

All instruction originally was traditional alone. The patriarch was priest
and teacher, as well as ruler of his tribe. Each handed down to his
successor the {17} traditions he had received from his ancestors orally. As
tribes became nomadic, or else sought permanently new settlements and
homes, traditions in course of time necessarily became variant. Moses seems
honestly to have collated these traditions, and has, no doubt, given them
in their respective versions as he received them from Jethro, his
father-in-law, and from the patriarchal instruction among the elders of his
people in Egypt. Thus we can recognize those in which the name Elohim is
used as being of much earlier date than the same tradition differently
told, where the word Jehovah indicates the name of Deity. For instance, we
find in one place[11] the command of God to Noah to take the beasts and
fowls, &c., into the ark by sevens. But again, in the same chapter,[12] we
find them taken only by pairs. Are these not variant traditions of one
event? So, of the story of Abraham passing off his wife for his sister
before Pharaoh, king of Egypt,[13] and also before Abimelech, king of
Gerar,[14] and the farther tradition of Isaac and Rebecca having done the
same thing before Abimelech, king of Gerar.[15] Are not these variant
traditions of one fact? The legal experience of the writer for many years,
convinces him that no two persons without collusion view a transaction
generally exactly alike. Frequently--and each equally sincere and
honest--they widely vary in their testimony. {18} Collusion may produce a
story without contradiction. Slight discrepancies show there is no fraud,
only that the witnesses occupied different stand points, or gave more or
less attention to what was the subject matter.

But, asking pardon for this digression, let us return to our theme.

We know little or nothing about the teaching of the patriarchs in the
Elohistic age. Neither writing nor sculpture thereof existed in the time of
Moses, except, perhaps, the lost book of Enoch, or, unless--which we are
inclined to doubt--the book of Job had just before his era been reduced to
writing by the Idumean, Assyrian, or Chaldean priesthood. We find at that
period that sacrifices were offered on mountain tops. Why? Abraham went to
such a place to offer up his son. Was it not for secrecy in the religious
rite? If the earliest instruction was from God, whose truth is unchangeable
and eternal, were not the earliest sacrifices offered in secret by reason
of the same command which subsequently obliged the high priest of his
chosen people to offer the great sacrifice in secret within the veils,
first of the Tabernacle, afterward of the Temple? The Elohistic age ended
with the first official act of Moses, after he, also, had met with Aaron on
"the mount of God."[16]

A new era then commenced. As men dispersed {19} themselves over the earth,
the original belief in the one true God (Monotheism) was lost, and people
fell into the worship of many deities (Polytheism), adoring the visible
works of creation, more particularly the sun and the stars of heaven, or
else reverencing the operative powers of nature as divine beings. Faith in
the one Great JEHOVAH was preserved by the children of Israel alone. Idols
were erected within gorgeous temples. With the Chaldean, Phoenician, and
Assyrian, Moloch began the dreadful cruelty of human sacrifices, chiefly of
children. If, at first, the image of the idol was only a visible symbol of
a spiritual conception, or of an invisible power, this higher meaning was
lost in progress of time in the minds of most nations, and they came at
length to pay worship to the lifeless image itself. The priests alone were
acquainted with any deeper meaning, but refused to share it with the
people; they reserved it under the veil of esoteric (secret) doctrines, as
the peculiar appanage of their own class. They invented endless fables
which gave rise to Mythology. They ruled the people by the might of
superstition, and acquired wealth, honor, and power, for themselves.[17] We
arrive then at nearly the culminating point of Egyptian priestcraft, the
days of "wise men," "sorcerers," and "magicians."[18] Such men ever {20}
have, and we presume ever will employ secrecy as the chief element of their
clever jugglery. Mankind love to be deceived. Let an Adrian, Blitz, or
Alexander--while they tell you, and you well know it, that their tricks are
a deception--put forth notices of an exhibition, and they will attract
crowds, where an Arago, or a Faraday, would not be listened to. Maelzel's
automata, or Vaucanson's duck, will attract the world, when Bacon's, or
Newton's, or Laplace's works may remain in dust on the book-shelves. Human
nature is always the same, and thus it was in the days of Moses and
Pharaoh. The wise men, sorcerers, and magicians, held undisputed sway, not
only over the superstitions of the people, but over their educated monarchs
and princes. Egypt possessed, at an inconceivably early period, numberless
towns and villages, and a high amount of civilization. Arts, sciences, and
civil professions, were cherished there, so that the Nile-land has
generally been regarded as the mysterious cradle of human culture; but the
system of castes checked free development and continuous improvement.
Everything subserved a gloomy religion and a powerful priesthood, who held
the people in terror and superstition. Their doctrine, that, after the
death of man, the soul could not enter into her everlasting repose unless
the body were preserved, occasioned the singular custom of embalming the
corpses of the departed to preserve them from decay, and of treasuring them
up in the shape of {21} mummies in shaft-like passages and mortuary
chambers. Through this belief, the priests, who, as judges of the dead,
possessed the power of giving up the bodies of the sinful to corruption,
and by this means occasioning the transmigration of their souls into the
bodies of animals, obtained immense authority. Notwithstanding the
magnificence of their architectural productions, and the vast technical
skill and dexterity in sculpture and mechanical appliances which they
display, the Egyptians have produced but little in literature or the
sciences; and even this little was locked up from the people in the
mysterious hieroglyphical writing, which was understood by the priests
alone.[19] The following translation is a quotation from a Latin work:
"Among the ancient Egyptians, from whom we learn the rudiments of speech,
besides the three common kinds of letters, other descriptions of characters
are used which have been generally consecrated to their peculiar mysteries.
In a dissertation on this subject, that celebrated antiquarian (_conditor
stromatum_), Clement, of Alexandria, teaches in his writings, thus: 'Those
who are taught Egyptian, first, indeed, learn the grammar and chirography
called letter-writing, that is, which is apt for ordinary correspondence;
secondly, however, that used by the priests, called sacred writing, to
commemorate sacred things; the last also, hieroglyphic, meaning sacred
sculpture, one of the first elements of which is {22} cyriologism, meaning,
properly speaking, enunciating truth by one or another symbol, or in other
words, portraying the meaning by significant emblems.' With Clement agrees
the Arabian, Abenephi, who uses this language: (This Arabic writing is
preserved in the Vatican library, but not as yet printed: it is often
quoted by Athanasius Kircher, in his Treatise on the Pamphilian Obelisk,
whence these and other matters stated by us have been taken.) 'But there
were four kinds of writing among the Egyptians: First, that in use among
the populace and the ignorant; secondly, that in vogue among the
philosophers and the educated; thirdly, one compounded of letters and
symbols, without drawn figures or representations of things; the fourth was
confined solely to the priesthood, the figures or letters of which were
those of birds, by which they represented the sacred things of Deity.' From
which last testimony we learn that erudite Egyptians used a peculiar and
different system of writing from that of the populace, and it was for the
purpose of teaching their peculiar doctrines. For example, they show that
this writing consisted of symbols, partly of opinions and ideas, partly of
historic fables accommodated to a more secret method of teaching. But
Clement, of Alexandria, went further. In book v. of Antiquities
(_stromata_, 'foundation of things'), he says: 'All who controlled
theological matters, Barbarian as well as Greek, have concealed their
principles, hiding the truth in enigmas, signs, symbols, as {23} well as
allegories, and also in tropes, and have handed them down in various
symbols and methods.'"[20] This passage led subsequently to the brilliant
discoveries of Champollion.

Who, then, were the "erudite Egyptians" who used a peculiar system of
writing" for the purpose of teaching their peculiar doctrines?" Who were
{24} these "magi," "wise men," "sorcerers," and "magicians"? Nowhere do we
find Pharaoh in the midst of his troubles calling for a priest. It is
always for the wise men, magicians, and sorcerers. Were they not the
priests?--were they not those who controlled the mysteries--who practised
divination? When Moses and Aaron cast down their rods, the magicians of
Egypt "also did in like manner with their enchantments," and the result was
the same.[21] When Moses smote the waters that they became blood, the
acuteness of the priests, or magi, in their mysteries taught them a lesson
whereby they were able to do the same.[22] When the frogs came up on
Pharaoh and on all his people, and on all his servants, and covered the
land of Egypt, we learn "the magicians did so with their enchantments, and
brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt."[23] If the ancient Egyptians were
like their descendants, it is singular the magi could not accomplish the
next plague, that is, of lice. But here their power ended. The magi
originated in Media. According to oriental custom, to them was intrusted
the preservation of scientific knowledge, and the performance of the holy
exercises of Religion. Afterward, in a special sense, the magi were a caste
of priests of the Medes and Persians, deriving the name of Pehlvi; Mag, or
Mog, generally signifies in that language, _a priest_. They are expressly
mentioned by Herodotus as a Median tribe. Zoroaster was not their founder,
{25} but was their reformer, and the purifier of their doctrines. The Magi
of his time were opposed to his innovations; and they, therefore, were
condemned by him. When afterward, however, they adopted his reforms, he
effected their thorough organization, dividing them into APPRENTICES,
MASTERS, and PERFECT MASTERS. Their study and science consisted in
observation of their holy rites, in the knowledge of their sacred forms of
prayer, and liturgies by which Ormuzd was worshipped, and in the ceremonies
attendant on their prayers and sacrifices. They only were permitted to act
as mediators between God and man. To them alone was the will of God
declared. They only could penetrate the future. And they alone predicted
the future to those who sought of them therefor. In later days the name
Magi became synonymous with sorcerer, magician, alchemist, &c.[24]


The magi of Egypt were the priests, the founders and preservers of the
mysteries of the secret grades of instruction, and of the hieratic and
hieroglyphic writings and sculptures. In secret they were the priesthood.
In public, in religious matters, the same. But in public secular affairs
they seem to be recognised as Magi.

When mythology was invented, most of the gods, if not all of them, were
received as symbolical, physical beings, the poets made of them moral
agents; and as such they appear in the religions of the people of earlier
days. The symbolical meaning would have been lost, if no means had been
provided to insure its preservation. The MYSTERIES, it seems, afforded such
means. Their great end, therefore, was to preserve the knowledge of the
peculiar attributes of those divinities which had been incorparated into
the popular religion under new forms; what powers and objects of nature
they represented; how these, and how the universe came into being; in a
word, cosmogonies, like those contained in the Orphic instructions. But
this knowledge, though it was preserved by oral instruction, was
perpetuated no less by {27} symbolic representations and usages; which, at
least in part, consisted of sacred traditions and fables. "In the sanctuary
of Sais," says Herodotus (l.c.), "representations are given by night of the
adventures of the goddess; and these are called by the Egyptians
_mysteries_; of which, however, I will relate no more. It was thence that
these mysteries were introduced into Greece."[25] The temples of India and
of Egypt seem to be identical in architecture and in sculpture.[26] Both
nations seem to have sprung from the old Assyrian stock.[27] The magi of
both countries appear to have had a common origin; and their teachings must
have been, therefore, traditionally the same. We may, then, presume that
there were three grades in the instructions of these mysteries, by whatever
name they may have been called--whether Apprentices, Masters, and Perfect
Masters, or otherwise; that they were sacred in their character; and that
their symbolic meanings were revealed in these MYSTERIES, and in no other
manner, while they were kept a secret from the world at large. But this was
not all. They spread, with emigration and commerce, into all then known
countries. Their common origin, or at least that of most of them, is still
perceptible. CERES had long wandered over the earth, before she was
received at Eleusis, and erected there her {28} sanctuary. (Isocrat. Paneg.
op., p. 46, ed. Steph., and many other places in Meursii Eleusin., cap. 1.)
Her secret service in the Thesmophoria, according to the account of
Herodotus (iv. 172), was first introduced by Danaus; who brought it from
Egypt to the Peloponnesus.[28] One writer says that mysteries were, among
the Greeks, and afterward also among the Romans, secret religious
assemblies, which no uninitiated person was permitted to approach. They
originated at a very early period. They were designed to interpret those
mythological fables and religious rites, the true meaning of which it was
thought expedient to conceal from the people. They were perhaps necessary
in those times, in which the superstitions, the errors, and the prejudices
of the people, could not be openly exposed without danger to the public
peace. Upon this ground they were tolerated and protected by the state.
Their first and fundamental law was a profound secrecy. In all mysteries
there were dramatic exhibitions, relating to the exploits of the deities in
whose honor they were celebrated.[29] We may thus trace all ancient pagan
religion to a common origin, with similarity of human means to accomplish a
general result, variant in name, or in practice, as to the deity, or form
of its worship, but resting on a unity as to its commencement and its


We can hardly penetrate the veil which hides from us the pagan worship of
that early human stock the race of Ham, which--without the divine light
granted only to the Israelites--was the origin of false worship. We can
only arrive at conclusions, but these are the result of strong presumptions
arising from undisputed historical facts. What are they?

One of the principal chiefs of the earliest race, whence came the magi,
&c., was Nimrod, afterward deified by the name of Bel to the Chaldeans,
Baal to the Hebrews, [Greek: Bêlos] to the Greeks, and Belus to the Romans;
and when, in later days, statues received adoration (which at first was
only accorded to the being of whom the statue was a type), he became
worshipped under a multiplication of statues, they were in the Hebrew
language called "Baalim," or the plural of Baal. Nimrod was the son of
Cush, grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah. "And Cush begat Nimrod:
he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the
Lord: wherefore it is said, 'Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the
Lord.' And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad,
and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. And out of that land he went forth to
Assyria, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen
between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city."[30] While, then, {30}
the children of Shem and Japheth pursued the patriarchal course, and
preserved the ancient traditions subsequently handed down, the descendants
of Ham, suffering under the patriarchal malediction of Noah, built cities
composed of families, and a great kingdom composed of cities and nations.
This kingdom was the origin of pagan worship. They lost the patriarchal
traditions, and were the first to establish on this earth the concentration
of power in a political system. That power once attained, the daring energy
of the king became in the hand of the priesthood a subject of deification
for two reasons. 1. The king was mortal, and must die. 2. The power must be
preserved. When afterward, under Peleg, this race, at their {31} building
of Ba-Bel--their temple of Bel--became dispersed, and left to us only their
ruin of that temple, now called _Birs Nimroud_, the magi, or priests,
preserved the power he attained to themselves, by means of secrecy in their
mysteries, and which were dispersed subsequently through the earth in
different languages and forms, varying with the poetry and climate of the
country or countries thereafter occupied, and adapted from time to time to
the existing exigencies of the times. Thence sprang the origin of
mythologies, or, in other words, fabulous histories of the fructifying
energies of Nature, whether developed in the germination of the vegetable
kingdom, or in an occasional poetical version of some heroic act of one in

This nation, the old Assyrian, became dispersed at the destruction of their
great temple. But their political power everywhere was mysteriously
preserved. When the magi became organized in Media, they spread in every
direction. From earliest days we find their worship amid the nations
conquered by Joshua. We see them in the traces of the [Greek: Oi Poimenes],
or shepherd-kings of Egypt, and in the sorcerers of the days of Moses. We,
find them reformed by Zoroaster in Persia. They are conspicuous among the
Greeks, who derived their mysteries from Egypt; and in the worship of Isis
at Rome, never indigenous there. And even in later days (those of Darius,
Belshazzar, and Cyrus), they seem to be thoroughly {32} re-established in
their original birthplace. And, strange as it may appear, we find their
power over kings, generals, nations, and people, in the hands of the
priesthood, by means of their mysteries, from all early history, until
affected by the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Regarding, then, the off-shoot from patriarchal tradition to be the origin
of pagan worship; referring also to the first formation of cities, and of
one immense kingdom, by the descendants of Ham (accursed by his prophetic
ancestor), by whom an empire was first established; to Nimrod's
deification; to the preservation in the priesthood of future political
power; to the fact that after his death they would and might thereby
perpetuate the same; that wherever thereafter dispersed, they did so by
their revelations by mysteries, in which they controlled not only the
masses of the people, but those who governed them, in whatsoever nation
then known--we arrive at the conclusion that the mysteries were the
elements of religious and consequently of political power.

The important Greek mysteries, of the details whereof we know most,
were--1. The _Eleusinian_. 2. The _Samothracian_, which originated in Crete
and Phrygia, and were celebrated in the former country in honor of Jupiter.
From these countries they were introduced among the Thracians or Pelasgians
in the island of Samothrace, and extended thence into Greece. They were
sometimes celebrated in honor {33} of Jupiter, sometimes of Bacchus, and
sometimes of Ceres. 3. The _Dionysia_, which were brought from Thrace to
Thebes, and were very similar to the former. They were celebrated every
second year. The transition of men from barbarism to civilization was
likewise represented in them. The women were clothed in skins of beasts.
With a spear (_thyrsus_), bound with ivy, in their hands, they ascended
Mount Cithæron; when, after the religious ceremonies, wild dances were
performed, which ended with the dispersion of the priestesses and the
initiated in the neighboring woods. They had also symbols, chiefly relating
to Bacchus, who was the hero of these mysteries. These celebrations were
forbidden in Thebes, even in the time of Epaminondas, and afterward in all
Greece, as prejudicial to the public peace and morals. 4. The _Orphic_,
chiefly deserving mention as the probable foundation of the Eleusinian. 5.
The mysteries of Isis, not in vogue in Greece, but very popular in
Rome.[31] The offspring of Egyptian priestcraft, they were instituted with
a view to aggrandize that order of men, to extend their influence, and
enlarge their revenues. To accomplish these selfish projects, they applied
every engine toward besotting the multitude with superstition and
enthusiasm. They taught them to believe that they were the distinguished
favorites of Heaven; that celestial doctrines had been revealed to them,
too holy to be communicated to the profane {34} rabble, and too sublime to
be comprehended by vulgar capacities. Princes and legislators, who found
their advantage in overawing and humbling the multitude, readily adopted a
plan so artfully fabricated to answer these purposes. The views of those in
power were congenial with those of the priests, and both united in the same
spirit to thus control the respect, admiration, and dependence, of the

They made their disciples believe that in the next world the souls of the
uninitiated should roll in mire and dirt, and with difficulty reach their
destined mansion. Hence, Plato introduces Socrates as observing that "the
sages who introduced the Teletæ had positively affirmed that whatever soul
should arrive in the infernal mansions _unhouselled_ and _unannealed_
should lie there immersed in mire and filth."--"And as to a future state,"
says Aristides, "the initiated shall not roll in mire and grope in
darkness, a fate which awaits the unholy and uninitiated." When the
Athenians advised Diogenes to be initiated, "It will be pretty enough,"
replied he, "to see Agesilaus and Epaminondas wallowing in the mire, while
the most contemptible rascals who have been initiated are strolling in the
islands of bliss!" When Antisthenes was to be initiated, and the priests
were boasting of the wonderful benefit to ensue, "Why, forsooth, 'tis
wonder your reverence don't hang yourself, in order to come at it sooner,"
was his remark. When, however, such benefits were expected to be derived
from the {35} mysteries, it is no wonder the world crowded to the
Eleusinian standard. Initiation was, in reality, a consecration to Ceres
and Proserpine. Its result was, honor and reverence from the masses. They
believed all virtue to be inspired by these goddesses. Pericles says: "I am
convinced that the deities of Eleusis inspired me with this sentiment, and
that this stratagem was suggested by the principle of the mystic rites." So
also Aristophanes makes the chorus of the initiated, in his Ranæ, to

 "Let us to flowery mead repair,
  With deathless roses blooming,
  Whose balmy sweets impregn the air,
  Both hills and dales perfuming.
  Since fate benign one choir has joined,
  We'll trip in mystic measure;
  In sweetest harmony combined,
  We'll quaff full draughts of pleasure.
  For us alone the power of day
  A milder light dispenses,
  And sheds benign a mellow ray
  To cheer our ravished senses.
  For we beheld the mystic show,
  And braved Eleusis' dangers;
  We do and know the deeds we owe
  To neighbors, friends, and strangers."

It is believed that the higher orders of magi went further, and pretended
to hold intercourse with, and cause to appear, the very [Greek: eidôlon] of
the dead. In the days of Moses it was practised. "There shall not be found
among you ... a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard,
or a necromancer."[32] {36} Diodorus Siculus mentions an oracle near Lake
Avernus, where the dead were raised, as having been in existence before the
age of Hercules.[33] Plutarch, in his life of Cimon, relates that
Pausanias, in his distress, applied to the Psychagogi, or dead-evokers, at
Heraclea, to call up the spirit of Cleonice (whose injured apparition
haunted him incessantly), in order that he might entreat her forgiveness.
She appeared accordingly, and informed him that, on his return to Sparta,
he would be delivered from all his sorrows--meaning, by death. This was
five hundred years before Christ. The story resembles that of the
apparition of Samuel before Saul: "To-morrow shalt thou and thy sons be
with me."[34] The appearance of Samuel was regarded as a real transaction
by the writer of Ecclesiasticus, for he says: "By his faithfulness he was
found a true prophet, and by his word he was known to be faithful in
vision; for after his death he showed the king his end, and lift up his
voice from the earth in prophecy."[35] The rabbins say that the woman was
the mother of Abner; she is said to have had the spirit of _Ob_, which Dean
Milman has remarked is singularly similar in sound to the name of the
_Obeah_ women in Africa and the West Indies. Herodotus also mentions
_Thesprotia_, in Epirus, as the place where Periander evoked the spirit of
his wife Melissa, whom he had murdered.[36]


It was a very general opinion, in later days, that demons had power over
the souls of the dead, until Christ descended into Hades and delivered them
from the thrall of the "Prince of Darkness." The dead were sometimes raised
by those who did not possess a familiar spirit. These consulters repaired
to the grave at night, and there lying down, repeated certain words in a
low, muttering tone, and the spirit thus summoned appeared. "And thou shalt
be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be
low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar
spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the

Euripides also refers to necromancy.[38]

  [Greek: hora ge mê ti phasma nerterôn tod ê]?
  [Greek: ou psuchagôgon tond' epoiêsô xenon].

  ADM. See! is not this some spectre from the dead?

  HER. No dead-invoker for thy guest hast thou.

Seneca describes the spirits of the dead as being evoked by the Psychagogus
in a cave rendered gloomy and as dark as night by the cypress, laurel, and
other like trees.[39] Claudian refers to the same superstition.[40] And
Lucan,[41] where Erictho recalls a spirit to animate {38} the body it had
left, by horrid ceremonies. So Tibullus:[42]--

 "Hæc cantu finditque solum, manesque sepulchris,
  Elicit, et tepido devocat ossa toro."

The celebrated Heeren, in his "Politics of Ancient Greece" (ch. iii., p.
67, Am. ed.), remarks, in reference to the mysteries of Eleusis, that they
exhibited the superiority of civilized over savage life, and gave
instructions respecting a future life and its nature. For what was this
more than an interpretation of the sacred traditions which were told of the
goddess as the instructress in agriculture, of the forced descent of her
daughter to the lower world, etc.? And we need not be more astonished if,
in some of their sacred rites, we perceive an excitement carried to a
degree of enthusiastic madness which belonged peculiarly to the East, but
which the Hellenes were very willing to receive. For we must not neglect to
bear in mind that they shared the spirit of the East; and did they not live
on the very boundary-line between the East and the West? As those
institutions were propagated farther to the west, they lost their original
character. We know what the Bacchanalian rites became at Rome; and had they
been introduced north of the Alps, what form would they have there assumed?
But to those countries it was possible to {39} transplant the vine, not the
service of the god to whom the vine was sacred. The orgies of Bacchus
suited the cold soil and inclement forests of the North as little as the
character of its inhabitants.

Without going further into detail (the minutiæ of which are thus opened to
every scholar), we must presume that the mythology of the children of Ham,
the origin of pagan worship, fostered by variant mysteries to obtain and
maintain temporal power, spread itself through the then known world. So far
as we know, the secret doctrines which were taught in the mysteries may
have finally degenerated into mere forms and an unmeaning ritual. And yet
the mysteries exercised a great influence on the spirit of the nation, not
of the initiated only, but also on the great mass of the people; and
perhaps they influenced the latter still more than the former. They
preserved the reverence for sacred things, and this gave them their
political importance. They produced that effect better than any modern
secret societies have been able to do. The mysteries had their secrets, but
not everything connected with them was secret. They had, like those of
Eleusis, their public festivals, processions, and pilgrimages, in which
none but the initiated took a part, but of which no one was prohibited from
being a spectator. While the multitude was permitted to gaze at them, it
learned to believe that there was something sublimer than anything with
which it was acquainted, revealed only to the initiated; and {40} while the
worth of that sublimer knowledge did not consist in secrecy alone, it did
not lose any of its value by being concealed. Thus the popular religion and
the secret doctrines, although always distinguished from each other, united
in serving to curb the people. The condition and the influence of religion
on a nation were always closely connected with the situation of those
persons who were particularly appointed for the service of the gods, the
priests. The scholar will readily call to mind a Calchas, a Chryses, and
others. The leaders and commanders themselves, in those days, offered their
sacrifices (see the description which Nestor makes to Pallas, Od. iii.,
430, &c.), performed the prayers, and observed the signs which indicated
the result of an undertaking. In a word, kings and leaders were at the same
time PRIESTS.[43]

How far may this have been a reason why Pharaoh did not call on a priest
for help, but rely on the supposed superior knowledge of the Magi? a higher
grade of secret instruction, perhaps, than he had received.

       *       *       *       *       *



    The Origin of the Cabbalistæ; the Chaldeans, and their Antagonism to
    Patriarchal Tradition.--The Hand-writing on Belshazzar's Wall.--The
    Secret Writings of the Cabbalistæ.--How Daniel read the
    Same.--Ezra.--The Origin of the Masoretic Text.--Zoroaster.--His
    Reformation and Reconstruction of the Religion of the
    Magi.--Pythagoras, and his "League."--The Thugs.--The Druids.

So far as the children of Shem and Japheth are concerned, it is believed
true religion was preserved, except where tradition became adulterated with
extraneous matter. And for the preservation of that religion, Almighty God,
in his mercy, established of that lineage a certain race, with rules,
partly signifying his truth, partly merely political, which should
thereafter shine as a moral light to the world, no matter how dim the light
might be, through the imperfection of human nature under peculiar
circumstances of temptation or otherwise.

Here, at once, was an antagonism with the pagan religion, which was of the
children of Ham, under his father's patriarchal curse.

When Moses, the servant with the watchword, "I AM THAT I AM," presented
himself to the Shemitic and {42} Japhetic races, he was everywhere received
and acknowledged by them as their leader, in opposition to both the
temporal and theological power of the Magi and of Pharaoh.

Here came the clashing between pagan and traditional theology preserved by
the patriarchs. And Almighty God, to show the truth of his laws, sanctioned
their promulgation by signs and miracles, which the Magi could not equal
nor counteract.

Pass by the Israelitish history until the loss and destruction of the first
temple, when we find this religious race, although imbued with the
principles of truth, fallen from their high estate, and led captive into a
strange land, subject to the very people that insisted on the opposite of
their own religion. They were then under the control of a monarch who was
governed by the laws of the Medes and Persians, that is, of the Magi; and
who, in turn, relied upon their emperor, who trusted only to his magicians,
sorcerers, and Chaldeans. They were in BABYLON itself.

To confirm what has been said, and to elucidate what is to follow, we will
pause a moment to learn what is meant by "the Chaldeans."

The accounts that have been transmitted to us by the Chaldeans themselves
of the antiquity of their learning, are blended with fable, and involved in
considerable uncertainty. At the time when Callisthenes was requested by
Aristotle to gain information concerning the origin of science in Chaldea,
he was {43} informed that the ancestors of the Chaldeans had continued
their astronomical observations through a period of 470,000 years; but upon
examining the ground of this report, he found that the Chaldean observation
reached no further backward than 1,903 years, or that, of course (adding
this number to 331, B.C., the year in which Babylon was taken by
Alexander), they had commenced in the year 2,234, B.C. Besides, Ptolemy
mentions no Chaldean observations prior to the era of Nabonassar, which
commenced 747 years B.C. Aristotle, however, on the credit of the most
ancient records, speaks of the Chaldean Magi as prior to the Egyptian
priests, who, it is well known, cultivated learning before the time of
Moses. It appears probable that the philosophers of Chaldea were the
priests of the Babylonian nation, who instructed the people in the
principles of religion, interpreted its laws, and conducted its ceremonies.
Their character was similar to that of the Persian Magi, and they are often
confounded by the Greek historians. Like the priests in most other nations,
they employed religion in subserviency to the ruling powers, and made use
of imposture to serve the purposes of civil policy. Accordingly Diodorus
Siculus relates (lib. ii., p. 31, compared with Daniel ii. 1, &c., Eccles.
xliv. 3) that they pretended to predict future events by divination, to
explain prodigies, interpret dreams, and avert evils or confer benefits by
means of augury and incantations. For many ages they {44} retained a
principal place among diviners. In the reign of Marcus Antoninus, when the
emperor and his army, who were perishing with thirst, were suddenly
relieved by a shower, the prodigy was ascribed to the power and skill of
the Chaldean soothsayers. Thus accredited for their miraculous powers, they
maintained their consequence in the courts of princes. (See Cic. de Divin.
l. i., Strabo l. xv.--Sext. Emp. adv. Matt. l. v. § 2, Aul. Gell. l. xiv.
s. 1, Strabo l.c.) The mysteries of Chaldean philosophy were revealed only
to a select few, and studiously concealed from the multitude; and thus a
veil of sanctity was cast over their doctrine, so that it might more easily
be employed in the support of civil and religious tyranny. The sum of the
Chaldean cosmogony, as it is given in Syncellus (Chronic. p. 28), divested
of allegory is, that in the beginning all things consisted of darkness and
water; that BELUS, or a divine power, dividing this humid mass formed the
world, and that the human mind is an emanation from the divine nature.
(Perizon. in Orig. Bab. Voss. de Scient. Math. c. xxx. § 5. Hottinger Hist.
Or. p. 365. Herbelot Bib. Or. Voc. Zor. Anc. Un. Hist. vol. iii. Prid.
Conn. b. iv. Shuckford, b. viii. Burnet Archæol. Phil. l. i. c. 4.
Brucker's Hist. Phil., by Enfield, vol. i. b. i, c. 3.)[44]

Now, we read that, "in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar,
Nebuchadnezzar dreamed {45} dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and
his sleep brake from him. Then the king commanded to call the magicians,
and the astrologers, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the
king his dreams. So they came and stood before the king."[45] But when by
the king required not only to interpret but to reveal the very phantasm
itself, they declared it beyond the power of their own or human art.
Daniel, however, of the captive race, revealed it by supernal influence.
Then did the monarch admit as to Deity, that God (JAH, Ps. lxviii. v. 4)
was God of gods (_Baalim_, the representations of Baal).[46] His second
dream was again only understood by the inspired representative of the
Hebrews. But when, finally, appeared the stupendous handwriting on the
wall, and when Belshazzar and his court were overwhelmed with amazement, so
that "the king's countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so
that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against
another, the king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans,
and the soothsayers."[47] They came; but all in vain. Daniel interpreted
the hand-writing at sight, and his reading proved true. Some theories
prevail about this, which, whether correct or not, are entitled to be
understood and considered. They have, at least, direct reference to our
subject of secret instruction and writing.


The wonderful miracles of God at the exodus did not prevent that nation
from repeated lapse into paganism, and acts of open disobedience to the
Theocratic law. Still less were they debarred thereby the mere oriental
customs of imparting moral instruction in secret associations, or the
pursuit of science in hidden confraternities. But the train of thought and
instruction in the Hebrew societies was singularly pure, and directly at
variance with the mysteries of paganism. While the whole result of the
teaching of the heathen mysteries was to represent, symbolically, the
fructifying energies of nature (which they supposed to be the sum of both
science and theology), that of the Israelites was the inculcation alone of
virtue, the acquisition of science, and the preservation of the name of
Deity under peculiar forms and ceremonies, the recognition of which by
members of the initiated, opened from one to the other every heart in
perfect confidence, constantly reminding them of their duty to him as well
as to each other. The whole system of oriental instruction, save that
proclaimed in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, was secret. Even the name of Deity
could not be pronounced except at low breath, or in a whisper, under
prescribed forms. Has the reader ever asked himself the meaning of the
passage in the Lord's Prayer, "_Hallowed be thy name_?" The Hebrews had a
visible manifestation of God. That was not the only object of reverence. It
was limited {47} not to any manifestation, but to the _name_ of Deity. And
that teaching has received the express recognition of our Saviour, by his
making it a part of the selections from the Jewish euchologies which form
his prayers. We profess to worship Deity in spirit and in truth. Do we
hallow his _name_? Mere abstinence from profanation is a negative duty. How
must it be hallowed? That is a positive duty. Christianity, rejecting the
Hebrew form, regards this as a mere Hebraism, substituting the name for the
being himself. The Israelites do not: and one secret society still
existing, whose origin we shall trace in this essay, still preserves the
Hebraistic sanctification of the original holy name as their form of
recognition of each other, under solemnities which hallow it.

We know that Moses[48] "was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and
was mighty in words and deeds." At his day pagan hieratic and hieroglyphic
symbols only were written on papyrus, or carved and engraved on stone.

Take, then, the fact, that the Hebrew patriarchs and their tribes of his
time were suffering under the persecution of hard task-masters in Egypt.
How could their patriarchs teach to their classes the lessons of virtue and
morality? We can readily suppose at the conclusion of a toilsome day, when
all is dark, and tired nature would otherwise be at rest, he that had
patriarchal authority, at dead of night, when {48} their pagan rulers could
not hear, and while due guard was kept, whether on high hills, or in low
vales, would summon together those who were worthy TO RECEIVE instruction
in moral science, virtue, and their patriarchal traditions, and
there--taking as emblems their instruments of daily toil--preserve the
lessons which thus alone could be imparted. This we believe to be the
origin of the CABBALISTS, or _Kabbalistæ_, a secret society among the
Hebrews, whose origin is lost in antiquity, yet whose knowledge may, under
God's blessing, have been an instrument in accomplishing his great results.
Their very name is derived from the Hebrew word [Hebrew: QBL] (Cabbala, "to
receive"). This society of Cabbalistæ, had various methods of secret
writing. Their first was the scriptura coelestis; the second, that of
angels, or kingly or dominant power; the third, that of the passage of the
flood (_Scriptura transitus fluvii_). Breithaupt[49] says: "It is to be
recollected, that the more ancient of the Kabbalistæ, studied out even a
secret method of writing, consisting of four lines intersecting each other
at right angles, forming a square in the middle, {49} after the following
method. The figure of the four lines is thus:--

                   |                 |
  shin lamed gimel | resh kaph beth  | qoph yod aleph
                   |                 |
                   |                 |
  mem* samekh vav  | kaph* nun he    | tav mem daleth
                   |                 |
                   |                 |
  tsade* tsade tet | pe* pe chet     | nun* ayin zayin

In each section three letters they place from right to left. When,
therefore, they intend the first of the three, they write the figure of
that section in which it is found, with one point ([Symbol: L with one
dot]). If another (or the next), the same figure with two points ([Symbol:
L with two dots]); if the third, the same again with three points ([Symbol:
L with three dots]), and so on. But the Cabbalistæ had also a simpler
writing: "The sublime philosophy of those who are called the Kabbala,
embraces within itself different kinds to which the following appertain. In
their most famous magic pamphlet _Rasiel_, which the Kabbalistæ hold in
great respect, in the first place three secret alphabets are read, which,
in many things, are wanting in the common form and syntax of usual Hebrew.
The first is called _Scriptura coelestis_ (the writing of heaven); the
next, [Hebrew: ML'KYM] or [Hebrew: MLKYM], that is, of angels or kings
(_angelorum sive regum_); and the third the writing of the crossing of the
flood."[50] There {50} are extant also, drawings of these letters preserved
by Hern. Corn. Agrippa, in his work "_De Occult. Phil._ lib. iii. c. 30,"
the copying of which would be merely matter of curiosity to no end.

But Breithaupt goes much further, and refers to a book, "In Oenigmatibus
Judæorum Religiosissimis. Helmst. 1708, editio, p. 49," wherein he
says,[51] that Herm. Vonder Hardt, the most celebrated philologist of our
age, remembers two singular alphabets used by the Jews in preparing their
amulets. The first is {51} when the next succeeding is substituted for the
preceding letter in every instance, as to wit: [Hebrew: B] for [Hebrew: '],
[Hebrew: G] for [Hebrew: B], and so forth. They are said to have concealed
in this manner their recognition of the one true God, which they recite
daily, early and toward evening, and as to which they persuade themselves
that it is the most efficacious safeguard against idolatry, fortified
wherewith they can not lapse from true to false religion. The other secret
alphabet consisted in this, that in inversed order they change the last
letter [Hebrew: T] with the first [Hebrew: '], and this and another in
turn, and so on through the rest, which inversion it is the custom to call
[Hebrew: 'TBSH]. From this they produce, by such letters, in their more
elaborate amulets, the noted symbol [Hebrew: MTSPTS], which is nothing else
than the name of God, [Hebrew: YHWH]. St. Jerome,[52] a celebrated father
of the early church, contends that the prophet Jeremiah used this kind of
writing, and not to irritate the king of Babylon against the Hebrews, for
king, [Hebrew: BBL], said [Hebrew: SHSHK]. But some, also, among the Jews,
declare that these words in Daniel,

  [Hebrew: MN' MN' TQL WPRSYN,]

which, at the supper of the King Belzhazzar miraculously appeared upon the
wall, to the astonishment of all, were written in this mode; and hence
think this artificial transposition of letters originated with God. But
these things are to be passed by as {52} uncertain. If this last be true,
the handwriting on the wall would have appeared thus:

  [Hebrew: YT`T YT`T 'RB PWGCHMT`][53]

But according to the first system referred to, the following would have
been the appearance.[54]


(See Conf. Jan. Hercvles de Svnde in Steganologia, lib. v., num. 4., p.
148. seqq.)

If the society of Kabbalistæ originated among the Israelites as early as
the time of Moses, their secret writings must having been only known to him
and few besides, with their successors. Solomon, to whom Almighty God
declared "wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee,"[55] must have learned
them; or, if it originated with him, Daniel and Ezra, who lived in a
succeeding age; after the great temple had been destroyed, during the
captivity, and at the rebuilding of the second temple, both inspired
servants of God, equally knew them; and when the inscriptions on the wall,
or on the ark, or in the sacred rolls, were lost and unknown to the people,
they were easily deciphered by means of the knowledge of the Kabbalistic
character, no matter what its form. Thus when Daniel saw the handwriting on
{53} the wall he read it at once, possessed as he may have been of the
knowledge how to read that cipher, while it can readily be seen why the
Magi of Chaldea, and of Media and Persia, were at fault. It was a secret
writing of the Hebrews, known only to the select few. Ezra, in the reign of
Artaxerxes, king of Persia, "was chief-priest. This Ezra went up from
Babylon, and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God
of Israel had given."[56] This was, then, no new matter to him. The book of
the law had been lost during the captivity. Yet, at the rebuilding of the
temple, Ezra was a ready scribe in that lost writing. As such he went up
from Babylon to Jerusalem.

The wisdom of God granted to Solomon, must have provided against the
foreseen loss of the sacred rolls, and determined a way for their
discovery, and the manner of reading them. The lost rolls were brought
forth by Ezra, and were read, notwithstanding the ignorance of their
ancient language. In what way, so consistent with reason, as by his
understanding the secret writing known only to the learned of that
race--the hidden scripture and instruction of a mysterious society, whose
only teaching was pure, in accordance with the divine commands of the
theocracy, and with the oriental manner of instruction in matters of
science and morality? Did this not furnish him a key to the original text?
The words of {54} the one must have been recognised by their original use
in application to the reading of the other; and though the language may
have changed, the old cipher must have interpreted all. We learn that,
"after the second veil, the tabernacle, which is called the holiest of all,
which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round
about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod
that budded, and the tables of the covenant," were entered.[57]

The book (or rolls) of the law was commanded to be put within the ark.[58]
The end of laying it there was, that it, as the original, might be reserved
there as the authentic copy, by which all others were to be corrected and
set right.[59] Prideaux contends that, the ark deposited in the second
temple was only a representative of a former ark on the great day of
expiation, and to be a repository of the Holy Scriptures, that is, of the
original copy of that collection which was made of them after the
captivity, by Ezra and the men of the great synagogue; for when this copy
was perfected, it was then laid up in it. And in imitation hereof, the
Jews, in all their synagogues, have a like ark or coffer,[60] of the same
size or form, in which they keep the Scriptures belonging to the {55}
Synagogue; and whence they take it out with great solemnity, whenever they
use it, and return it with the like when they have done with it. What
became of the old ark, on the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar,
is a dispute among the Rabbins. The Jews--and herein they are supported by
the traditions of the most ancient secret society on earth--contend that it
was hid and preserved, by Jeremiah, say some, out of the second book of
Maccabees.[61] But most of them will have it, that King Josiah, being
foretold by Huldah, the prophetess, that the temple would speedily, after
his death, be destroyed, caused the ark to be put in a vault under ground,
which Solomon, foreseeing this destruction, had caused of purpose to be
built for the preserving of it. And, for the proof hereof, they produce the
text where Josiah commands the Levites[62] to put the holy ark in the
house, "which Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel, did build."[63]
Whether within or without the ark, or within a secret vault or not, EZRA,
the scribe, brought forth the lost book or rolls of the law, and
established the rules for its future perpetuity, whether by writing, or in
oral explanation. And here, again, we note the use of secrecy in matters of
power. From him is derived the present method of reading Hebrew, by what is
usually known as the {56} vowel points in the Masoretic text. The Masorites
were a set of men whose profession it was to write out copies of the Hebrew
Scriptures. And the present vowel points were used by them, as derived from
the secret writings of the Cabbalists. The Jews believe that, when God gave
to Moses the law in Mount Sinai, he taught him first the true readings of
it; and, secondly, the true interpretation of it; and that both these were
handed down, from generation to generation, by oral tradition only, till at
length the readings were written by the accents and vowels, in like manner
as the interpretations were, by the Mishna and Gemara. The former they call
Masorah, which signifieth "tradition." The other is called Cabbala, which
signifieth "reception;" but both of them denote the same thing, that is, a
knowledge down from generation to generation, in the doing of which, there
being tradition on the one hand, and reception on the other, that which
relates to the readings of the Hebrew Scriptures hath its name from the
former, and that which relates to the interpretations of them from the
latter. As those who studied and taught the Cabbala were called the
Cabbalists, so those who studied and taught the Masorah were called the
Masorites. As the whole business of the Cabbalists and Masorites was the
study of the true reading of the Hebrew Scriptures, to preserve and teach
the proper text, they certainly are justly held the most likely to have
invented, or at least {57} received and preserved these vowel points,
because the whole use of these points is to serve to this purpose.[64]

About this time, in the reign of Darius, otherwise Artaxerxes, who sent
Ezra and Nehemiah to Jerusalem to restore the state of the Jews, first
appeared in Persia the famous prophet of the Magi, whom the Persians call
Zerdusht, or Zaratush, and the Greeks Zoroastres: born of mean and obscure
parentage, with all the craft and enterprising boldness of Mohammed, but
much more knowledge. He was excellently skilled in all the learning of the
East that was in his time; whereas the other could neither read nor write.
He was thoroughly versed in the Jewish religion, and in all the sacred
writings of the Old Testament that were then extant, which makes it most
likely that he was, in his origin, a Jew. It is generally said of him, that
he had been a servant to one of the prophets of Israel, and that it was by
this means that he came to be so well skilled in the Holy Scriptures, and
all other Jewish knowledge. From the collation of authorities made by Dr.
Prideaux,[65] it would seem that it was Daniel under whom he served;
besides whom there was not any other master in those times, under whom he
could acquire all that knowledge, both in things sacred and profane, which
he was so well furnished with. He founded no new {58} religion, but only
reformed the old one. He found that the eminent of the Magi usurped the
sovereignty after the death of Cambyses. But they were destroyed, and by
the slaughter which was then made of all the chief men among them, it sunk
so low, that it became almost extinct, and Sabianism everywhere prevailed
against it, Darius and most of his followers on that occasion going over to
it. But the affection which the people had for the religion of their
forefathers, and which they had all been brought up in, not being easily to
be rooted out, Zoroastres saw that the revival of this was the best game of
imposture that he could then play; and having so good an old stock to
engraft upon, he with greater ease made his new scions grow. He first made
his appearance in Media, now called Aderbijan, in the city of Xix, say
some; in that of Ecbatana, now Tauris, say others. The chief reformation
which he made in the Magian religion was in the first principles of it: for
whereas before they had held the being of TWO FIRST CAUSES, the first
light, or the good God, who was the author of all good; and the other
darkness, or the evil god, who was the author of all evil; and that of the
mixture of these two, as they were in a continual struggle with each other,
all things were made; he introduced a principle superior to them both, ONE
SUPREME GOD, who created both light and darkness, and out of these two,
according to the alone pleasure of his own will, made all things else that
are, according to what is {59} said:[66] "I am the Lord, and there is none
else, there is no God besides me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known
me: that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that
there is none besides me. I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the
light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do
all these things." These words, directed to Cyrus, king of Persia, must be
understood as spoken in reference to the Persian sect of the Magians, who
then held light and darkness, or good and evil, to be the supreme beings,
without acknowledging the great God who is superior to both. To avoid
making God the author of evil, Zoroaster's doctrine was, that God
originally and directly created only light or good, and that darkness, or
evil, followed it by consequence, as the shadow doth the person; that light
or good had only a real production from God, and the other afterward
resulted from it as the defect thereof. In sum, his doctrine as to this
particular was, that there was one Supreme Being, independent and
self-existent from all eternity. That under him were two angels, one the
angel of light, who is the author and director of all good; and the other
the angel of darkness, who is the author and director of all evil; and that
these two, out of the mixture of light and darkness, made all things that
are; that they are in a perpetual struggle with each other; and that when
the angel of light prevails, then the most {60} is good, and when the angel
of darkness prevails, then the most is evil; that this struggle shall
continue to the end of the world; that then there shall be a general
resurrection, and a day of judgment, wherein just retribution shall be
rendered to all according to their works, &c. And all this the remainder of
that sect, which is _now_ in Persia and India do, without any variation,
after so many ages still hold, even to this day. Another reformation which
he made in the Magian religion was, that he caused fire temples to be built
wherever he came: this being to prevent their sacred fires, on the tops of
hills, from being put out by storms, and that the public offices of their
religion might be the better performed before the people. Zoroaster
pretended he was taken up into heaven, there to be instructed in those
doctrines which he was to deliver unto men. Mohammed pretended to have seen
God. Zoroaster was too well informed for such imposture. He only claimed to
have heard him speaking to him out of the midst of a great and most bright
flame of fire; and he, therefore, taught his followers that fire was the
truest _shechinah_ of the divine presence. His followers thereafter
worshipped the sun as the most perfect fire of God. But this was an
original usage of the Magi (referred to in Ezekiel viii. 16), where it is
related, that the prophet being carried in a vision to Jerusalem, had there
shown him "about five-and-twenty men standing between the porch and the
altar, with {61} their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces
toward the east; and they worshipped the sun." The meaning of which is,
that they had turned their backs upon the true worship of God, and had gone
over to that of the Magians.[67] The _Kebla_, or point of the heavens
toward which they directed their worship being toward the rising sun, that
of the Jews in Jerusalem to the Holy of Holies on the west end of the
temple; of those elsewhere toward Jerusalem; of the Mohammedans toward
Mecca, and the Sabians toward the meridian.

Come whence it may, what is the meaning of the use of fire in any divine

1. Burnt-offerings of old required it.

2. It descended on the altars of Elijah, and of Solomon, from God himself.

3. The Magi, from the time of Zoroaster, have deemed it the symbol of

4. The pagan mysteries in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, all preserved the
"sacred fire." Most religions seem to have adopted its use. Why?

5. The Catholic church has ever preserved its use in burning tapers, lamps,
and smoking incense.

In his reformation of the customs and rites of the Magi, Zoroaster, as has
been hereinbefore said, preserved their three grades of APPRENTICES,
MASTERS, and PERFECT MASTERS.[68] The first were the inferior clergy, who
served in all the common offices of their {62} divine worship; next above
them were the superintendents, who in their several districts governed the
inferior clergy, as bishops do with us; and above all was the
perfect-master, the archimagus, who was the head of the whole religion.
Accordingly their places of worship were of three sorts. The lowest sort
were parochial oratories served by the inferior clergy, where they read the
daily offices out of their liturgy, and on solemn occasions read part of
their sacred writings to the people. In these churches there were no fire
altars; but the small scintilla of sacred fire preserved in them, was kept
only in a lamp. Next above these were their fire temples, in which fire was
continually burning on a sacred altar. The highest church of all was "_the
fire-temple_," the residence of the archimagus, first established by
Zoroaster at Balch, but removed in the seventh century to Kerman, a
province in Persia on the southern ocean. To gain the better reputation to
his pretensions, Zoroaster first retired to a cave, and there lived a long
time as a recluse, pretending to be abstracted from all earthly
considerations, and to be given wholly to prayer and divine meditations;
and the more to amuse the people who there resorted to him, he dressed up
his cave with several mystical figures, representing Mithra, and other
mysteries of their religion. In this cave he wrote his book, called
Zendavesta, or Zend, meaning "fire-kindler," or "tinder-box." This book
contains much borrowed {63} from the Old Testament. He even called it the
book of Abraham, and his religion the religion of Abraham; for he pretended
that the reformation which he introduced was no more than to bring back the
religion of the Persians to that original purity in which Abraham practised
it, by purging it of all those defects, abuses, and innovations, which the
corruptions of after-times had introduced into it.[69]

Is it not singular that all the nations of the earth still trace their
teaching in pure religion to Abraham, whether under the name of Brahma, or

These ancient Magi were great mathematicians, philosophers, and divines of
the ages in which they lived, and had no other knowledge but what by their
own study, and the instructions of the ancients of their sect they had
improved themselves in. All of the Magi were not thus learned, only those
of the higher order. The priesthood, like the Jewish, was communicated only
from father to son, except to the royal family,[70] whom they were bound to
instruct, the better to fit them for government. Whether it were that these
Magians thought it would bring the greater credit to them, or the kings,
that it would add a greater sacredness to their persons, or from both these
causes, the royal family of Persia, so long as the Magi prevailed among
them, was always reckoned {64} of the sacerdotal tribe.[71] The kings of
Persia were looked on to be of that sacerdotal order, and were always
initiated into the sacred rites of the Magians, before they took on them
the crown, or were inaugurated into the kingdom.[72]

PYTHAGORAS next assumed, in the west, the most prominent place for
learning. He was the scholar of Zoroaster at Babylon, and learned of him
most of that knowledge which afterward rendered him so famous. So saith
Apulcius (Floridorum secundo), and so say Jamblichus (in vita Pythag. c.
4), Porphyry (Ibid. p. 185. edit. Cant.), and Clemens Alexandrinus
(Stromata i. p. 223) for the Zabratus or Zaratus of Porphyry, and the
Na-Zaratus of Clemens, were none other than this Zoroaster; and they relate
the matter thus: that when Cambyses conquered Egypt he found Pythagoras
there on his travels, for the improvement of himself in the learning of
that country; that, having taken him prisoner, he sent him, with other
captives, to Babylon, where Zoroaster (or Zabratus, as Porphyry calls him)
then lived; and that he there became his disciple, and learned many things
of him in the eastern learning. There may be error as to date, but that
Pythagoras was at Babylon, and learned there a great part of that knowledge
which he was afterward so famous for, is agreed by {65} all. His stay
there, Jamblichus tells us, was twelve years; and that, in his converse
with the Magians, he learned from them arithmetic, music, the knowledge of
divine things, and the sacred mysteries pertaining thereto. But the most
important doctrine which he brought home thence, was that of the
immortality of the soul; for it was generally agreed among the ancients
(Porphysius in vita Pythagoræ p. 188, edit., Cant. Jamblichus in vita Pyth.
c. 30), that he was the first of all the Greeks that taught it. Prideaux
says he takes this for certain, that Pythagoras had this from Zoroaster,
for it was his doctrine, and he is the earliest heathen on record who
taught it.[73] But Pythagoras seems to have combined the notions he then
received with those of the Egyptian Magi; for he taught immortality to
consist in constant transmigration from one body to another. The Egyptian
Magi claimed to be judges of the dead,[74] and taught this doctrine.
Zoroaster taught a resurrection from the dead, and an immortal state as we
understand it. And it is probable Pythagoras adopted this notion after he
fled from Samos to Egypt to escape from the government of Polycrates.

Be this as it may, he was a master-spirit in a secret society with its
lodges spread through Magna Græcia, originating in one he established at
Crotona in Lower Italy. Like that of the Cabbalists, this society had no
connection whatever with the dominant religion. {66} The Kabbalistæ taught
virtue and science, and thus were, perhaps, an auxiliary, but certainly no
opponent to the sacred teachings of the holy law. The Pythagorean league
taught philosophy alone; full instruction was given in the liberal arts and
sciences in accordance with the learning of that age. But, after it was
thought destroyed (and it was suppressed by Cylon and his faction, about
the year 500 B.C.), it still exercised a great influence over all Greece,
in such manner as that Heeren speaks of it as a phenomenon which is in many
respects without a parallel. The grand object of the moral reform of
Pythagoras was SELF-GOVERNMENT. By his dignity, moral purity, dress, and
eloquence, he excited not only attention but enthusiasm. In that day an
aristocracy prevailed in Magna Græcia, based chiefly on the corrupting
tendencies of wealth and luxury. Against this class a popular movement
commenced, by the influence whereof Sybaris was destroyed, and thereupon
five hundred nobles fled for safety to Crotona, and prayed for protection
from that city, which they obtained principally by the advice of
Pythagoras. (Diod. Sic. xii. p. 77. Wechel.) Aristocratic evils he
abrogated. A friend of the people, he recognised their equal rights: and it
would seem that, while he adopted grades in knowledge and moral worth, he
considered mankind on "a level" so far as all political power was
concerned. To accomplish this end, he prescribed in his own society, and
their affiliated {67} lodges, or meetings, a certain manner of life,
distinguished by a most cleanly but not luxurious clothing, a regular diet,
a methodical division of time, part of which was to be appropriated to
one's self, and part to the state. Heeren remarks, that when a secret
society pursues political ends, it naturally follows that an opposing party
increases in the same degree in which the preponderating influence of such
a society becomes more felt. In this case, the opposition existed already
in the popular party. It therefore only needed a daring leader, like Cylon,
to scatter the society by violence; the assembly was surprised, and most of
them cut down, while a few only, with their master, escaped. They are said,
so far as their political views were concerned, to have regarded anarchy as
the greatest evil, because man can not exist without social order. They
held that everything depended on the relation between the governing and the
governed; that the former should be not only prudent but mild; and that the
latter should not only obey, but love their magistrates; that it was
necessary to grow accustomed, even in boyhood, to regard order and harmony
as beautiful and useful, disorder and confusion as hateful and injurious.
They were not blindly attached to a single form of government, but insisted
that there should be no unlawful tyranny. Where a regal government existed,
kings should be subject to the laws, and act only as the chief magistrates.
They regarded a {68} mixed constitution as the best, and where the
administration rested principally in the hands of the upper class, they
reserved a share of it for the people. The writings of the Pythagoreans
commanded high prices, but gained political importance only so far as they
contributed to the education of distinguished men, of whom Epaminondas was

Another scion of these methods of secret instruction, wherein, however,
religion was the engine of political power, came from the ancient Assyrian
stock with Phoenician emigration to Great Britain. The DRUIDS controlled
the learning of that country in religion as in science; and by their
mysteries exerted an overwhelming influence upon the rulers and the masses.

Dr. Parsons[76] says, what were the filids, and bards, and the Druids, but
professors of the sciences among the Gomerians, and Magogians or Scythians,
and it is plain that, from Phenius downward, there were always, in every
established kingdom among the Scythians, philosophers and wise men, who, at
certain times, visited the Greek sages, after they had found their schools?
It is no easy matter to point out the first rise and ages of the Druids.
They taught the same opinions of the renovated state of the earth, and of
souls, with the Magi. According to Cæsar, in his time these Druids
instructed their youth in the {69} nature and motion of the stars, in the
theory of the earth, its magnitude, and of the world, and in the power of
the immortal gods. On the continent of Europe, he says, the Druids grew
into such power and ascendency over the minds of the people, that even the
kings themselves paid an implicit slavish obedience to their dictates;
insomuch, that their armies were brave in battle, or abject enough to
decline even the most advantageous prospects of success, according to the
arbitrary prognostics of this set of religious tyrants; and their decisions
became at last peremptory in civil, as well as in the affairs of religion.
One of the kings of Ireland, the learned _Carmac o' Quin_, great in law and
philosophy, who was not afraid to inveigh openly against the corruptions
and superstition of the Druids, and maintained, in his disputations against
them, that the original theology consisted in the worship of one
omnipotent, eternal Being, that created all things; that this was the true
religion of their ancestors; and that the numerous gods of the Druids were
only absurdity and superstition--proved fatal to him. For, as this society
saw an impending danger of their dissolution, they formed a deep conspiracy
against him, and he was murdered. The Druids on the continent never
committed their mysteries to writing, but taught their pupils _memoriter_.
The Irish and Scotch Druids wrote theirs, but in secret character. These
were well understood by the learned men who were in great numbers, and had
{70} not only genius but an ardent inclination to make researches into
science. St. Patrick, then, with the general consent and applause of the
learned of that day, committed to the flames almost two hundred tracts of
their pagan mysteries.[77] And with his day ended the last of druidical
superstition. The Druids preserved the mistletoe evergreen as an emblem of
nature's fructifying energy, and of immortality.

The Thugs, Assassins, Phanzigars, or by what other name they may be known,
were no society for the development of philosophy or religion; and,
although they began about this time, are unworthy of farther mention. Their
mysteries, if any, were only those of the highway robber, murderer, or
other violater of God's law. Their only secrecy was the concealment of
their crime.

       *       *       *       *       *



    The Discipline of the Secret in the Origin of the Christian
    Church.--The Inquisition.--The Mystics.--The rise of Monachism.--The
    Mendicant Orders.--The Order of Knighthood.--The Jesuits, their
    Organization, and History.--The Rosicrucians, &c.

But next appeared upon the stage of human life, our Lord and Saviour, JESUS
CHRIST; "The sun of Righteousness, rising with healing on his wings:" that
LIGHT of this world, which was to draw all men unto him, at the mention of
whose name "every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in
earth, and things under the earth."[78]

His lessons to man were all oral. The church he established received none
but traditional instruction. The gospels of his life were written more than
half a century after the crucifixion. The apostles, commissioned to go
forth and preach the Gospel, held their meetings in upper chambers, and in
secrecy, and part of their manner of teaching, if not all, was founded upon
the still-prevailing systems of the Kabbalistæ and philosophers. There were
grades observed in the orders of ministry. The diaconate, the {72}
presbyter, priest or elder, and the [Greek: episkopos] or bishop. So there
were three grades of the laity--catechumens, (not yet baptized,) baptized
persons, and "the faithful." The policy of the apostles (who, when they
were taught to be harmless, were to be wise) adapted itself to the then
existing state of affairs. It was not only for fear of the Jews, as at
first, that they adopted the method of instruction in secret, and which is
to this day recognised by the catholic church as the then _disciplina
arcani_, or "discipline of the secret;" but they kept it up even during the
times of persecution, down to the time of St. Augustin. When our Saviour
was insulted by the scribes and Pharisees, saying, "why do thy disciples
transgress the tradition of the elders?" &c. He said to them, "why do ye
also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?"[79] Still more
did he rebuke them, when they asked him, "why walk not thy disciples
according to the traditions of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen
hands?" In his answer, he replied, "laying aside the commandment of God, ye
hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups, &c., &c. And he
said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may
keep your own tradition."[80] St. Paul afterward, well knowing the then
systems of philosophy, and their then traditional instruction, wrote to
them at Philippi,[81] "Beware lest any man spoil you through {73}
philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men, after the rudiments
(or elements) of this world, and not after Christ." Then St. Paul, guarding
the early Christians so carefully, writes to the faithful in Thessaly, "Now
we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye
withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not
after the tradition which ye have received _of us_,"[82] &c. When St. Paul
preached on the first day of the week when the disciples came together to
break bread, it was in an upper chamber where they were gathered
together.[83] At an earlier date, the first day of the week after the
crucifixion, in the evening, "when the doors were shut where the disciples
were assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst,"
&c.[84] When Pliny was proconsul in Judea, such charges were made against
the Christians on account of their secrecy, as caused severe persecution,
not for matters of religion, but for supposed cannibalism. He writes to
Trajan, that he took all pains to inform himself as to the character of the
Christian sect. To do this he questioned such as had for many years been
separated from the Christian community, but though apostates rarely speak
well of the society to which they formerly belonged, he could find out
nothing. He then applied torture to two female-slaves, deaconesses, to
extort from them the truth. After all, he could learn only that the {74}
Christians were in the habit of meeting together on a certain day; that
they then united in a hymn of praise to their God, Christ; and that they
bound one another--not to commit crimes, but to refrain from theft, from
adultery, to be faithful in performing their promises, to withhold from
none the property intrusted to their keeping; and then separated and
afterward assembled at a simple and innocent meal.[85]

Evidently, the Christian mysteries were preserved secret from the Romans as
from the Jews, or such crime could never have been imputed to them.
Alluding to the secret traditional instruction prevalent in Judea and
adopted by the early church, St. Augustin writes, "You have heard the great
mystery. Ask a man, 'Are you a Christian?' He answers you, 'I am not.'
'Perhaps you are a pagan, or a Jew?' But if he has answered 'I am not;'
then put this question to him, 'Are you a catechumen, or one of the faith?'
If he shall answer you, 'I am a catechumen;' he is anointed but not yet
baptized. But, whence anointed? ask him. And he replies. Ask of him in whom
he believes. From the fact that he is a catechumen, he says, in Christ."

This is the third lecture of St. Augustin on the ninth chapter of St.
John's gospel, where our Saviour is portrayed as healing the blind man, by
mixing earth with spittle and anointing his eyes therewith. And St.
Augustin adds, "Why have I spoken of {75} spittle and of mud? Because the
word is made flesh; this the catechumens hear; but it is not sufficient for
them as to what they were anointed; let them hasten to the font, if they
desire light."[86]

But still further to mark the distinction between these grades of Christian
secret instruction, St. Augustin, in the eleventh tract on the Gospel of
St. John, treating of the conversation between Nicodemus and our Saviour,
as to regeneration, says, "If, therefore, Nicodemus was of the multitude
who believed in his name, now in that Nicodemus we comprehend why Jesus did
not trust them. Jesus answered and said to him, 'Verily, verily I say unto
you, unless any one shall have been born again, he can not see the kingdom
of God.' Jesus placed faith, therefore, in those who were born again. Lo!
they believed in him, and Jesus did not trust in them. Such are all
catechumens: they now believe in the name of Christ, but Jesus does not
confide in them. Let your love comprehend and understand this. If we say to
a catechumen, 'Do you believe in Christ?' He answers, {76} 'I do,' and
signs himself with Christ's cross: he bears it on his forehead, and blushes
not at his Lord's cross. Lo! he believes in his name. Let us ask him, 'Do
you eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood?' He knows not
what we say, because Jesus has not trusted him."[87]

Now we are told in Holy Writ in reference to this matter. St. Paul,
alluding to this secret traditional instruction in the several degrees of
Christian learning, says to those advanced to a higher or more perfect
degree: "and I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but
as unto carnal, even as to babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and
not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now
are ye able."[88] Even their first lessons in the great mystery were
imperfect. Other and further instruction was to complete it. So also St.
Peter saith in his general letter, "Wherefore laying aside all malice and
all guile and hypocrisies and envies {77} and all evil speakings, as
new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may _grow_
thereby."[89] And again, St. Paul saith,[90] "For when for the time ye
ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the
first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of
milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in
the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to
them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use" (_habit, or
perfection_) "have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Therefore leaving the principles" (the word of the beginning of Christ) "of
the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection,"[91] &c. We need not
here refer to the wonderful spread of Christianity. We learn a plain and
simple lesson taught by Jesus, as to the administration of his church.
"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the
way of the Gentiles," &c. "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the
dead, cast out devils: freely have ye received, freely give. Provide
neither gold, nor silver, nor brass, in your purses: nor scrip for your
journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet a staff; for the workman
is worthy of his meat."[92] When questioned before Pilate, he declared, "My
kingdom is not of this world."[93] Whether the successors of the {78}
apostles have or not, since that day, established a kingdom of this world,
is not for us here to discuss. Whether those that claim such succession
obey the precept quoted, or not, we do not interfere with.

To insure unity in the church throughout the world, prudence would suggest
that there should be some place, free from the control of worldly politics,
whence its teachings should issue, and its counsels be heard. In its
infancy the Christian church suffered bitterly from persecution. The
faithful everywhere received a crown of martyrdom. When earthly terrors
interposed, the blood of the martyrs proved the seed of the church.

It is for us, however, to trace in history the secret teachings of those
who have claimed its highest authority in any denomination, and if we do
not reach their private counsels, their acts proclaim them.

Has, or not, each Christian church been tempted by worldly power, wealth,
and honor, like all other systems of religion?

Have there existed within their jurisdiction, confraternities, with secular
power, directly or indirectly under their control, seeking by secret
measures to manage the government of the nations of this earth?

That great Creator, whose word is truth which can not change, declared as
law to govern all his creatures, "THOU SHALT NOT KILL." What saith history
of those who claim to have acted in his name? Why, and in what manner did
they act? {79}

The south of France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries became a scene
of blood, the immediate cause of which was the erections of the "tribunals
of faith," better known to us as a secret society called "THE INQUISITION."
Innocent III., who ascended the papal chair in 1198, conceived the project
thereof, to extirpate the rebellious members of the church--the
Albigenses--and to extend the papal power at the expense of the bishops:
and his successors carried out his plan. This tribunal, "_the holy office_"
or "inquisition" (sanctum officium), was under the immediate direction of
the papal chair: it was to seek out heretics and adherents of false
doctrines, and to pronounce its dreadful sentence against their fortune,
their honor, and _their lives_, without appeal. The process of this
tribunal differed entirely from that of the civil courts. The informer was
not only concealed, but rewarded by the inquisition. The accused was
obliged to be his own accuser. Suspected persons were secretly seized and
thrown into prison. No better instruments could be found for inquisitors
than the mendicant orders of monks, particularly the Franciscans and
Dominicans, whom the pope employed to destroy the heretics, and inquire
into the conduct of bishops. Pope Gregory IX., in 1233, completed the
design of his predecessors, and, as they had succeeded in giving these
inquisitorial monks, who were wholly dependent on the pope, an unlimited
power, and in rendering the interference {80} of the temporal magistrates
only nominal, the inquisition was successively introduced into several
parts of Italy, and into some provinces of France; its power in the latter
country being more limited than in the former. The tribunals of faith were
admitted into Spain in the middle of the thirteenth century, but a firm
opposition was made to them, particularly in Castile and Leon, and the
bishops there maintained their exclusive jurisdiction in spiritual matters.
For a time this power waned, when, afterward in the fifteenth century, it
assumed an aspect truly alarming. Three religions then prevailed in Spain:
Christians, Jews, and Mahommedans. The power of the nobles was a bar, at
the same time, to the absolute power of Ferdinand and Isabella. But this
engine of religious tyranny accomplished their ends, and became the most
powerful instrument of their policy. Owing to the fanatical preaching of
Fernando Nuñez, who taught the persecution of the Jews to be a good work,
popular tumults prevailed, in which this people was plundered, robbed, and
murdered. Cardinal Mendoza, at Seville, in 1477, condemned and punished
many who persevered in opposition to the doctrines of his faith.

Mendoza recommended the establishment of the inquisition to Ferdinand and
Isabella. Dependent entirely upon the court, what better engine could they
use to render their power absolute, by confiscation of estates to fill
their treasury, and to limit the {81} power of the nobles and superior
clergy? In the assembly of the estates, therefore, held at Toledo, 1480, in
spite of all opposition, it was determined to establish a tribunal, under
the name of the general inquisition (_general inquisicion suprema_). This
was opened in Seville, 1481. Thomas de Torquenada, prior of the Dominican
convent at Segovia, father-confessor to Mendoza, had been appointed first
grand inquisitor by the king and queen, in 1478. The peaceful teachings of
the meek and lowly Jesus do not seem to have had much influence on this
political Boanerges. He had two hundred familiars, and a guard of fifty
horsemen, but he lived in continual fear of poison. The Dominican monastery
at Seville soon became insufficient to contain the numerous prisoners, and
the king removed the court to the castle in the suburb of Triana. At the
first _auto da fè_ (act of faith), seven apostate Christians were burnt,
and the number of penitents was much greater. Spanish writers relate that
above seventeen thousand were given up to the inquisition. More than two
thousand were condemned to the flames the first year, and great numbers
fled to neighboring countries. The then pope, Sixtus IV., opposed the
establishment of this court, as being the conversion of an ecclesiastical
into a secular tribunal: but he was compelled to submit to circumstances,
and actually promulgated a bull subjecting Aragon, Valencia, and Sicily,
the hereditary dominions of Ferdinand, to the {82} inquisitor-general of
Castile. The introduction of the new tribunal was attended with risings and
oppositions in many places, excited by the cruelty of the inquisitors, and
encouraged, perhaps, by the jealousy of the bishops. Saragossa and other
places refused admission to the inquisitors, many of whom lost their lives;
but the people were obliged to yield in the contest; and _the kings not
only became the absolute judges in matters of faith, but the honor,
property, and life of every subject were in their hands_. The political
importance of this institution may be estimated by the following statement.
In every community, the grand inquisitor must fix a period, from thirty to
forty days, within which time heretics, and those who have lapsed from the
faith, shall deliver themselves up to the inquisition. Penitent heretics
and apostates, although pardoned, could hold no public office, nor become
lessees, lawyers, physicians, apothecaries, or grocers; nor wear gold,
silver, or precious stones; nor ride; nor carry arms; during their whole
life, under a penalty of being declared guilty of a relapse into heresy:
and they were obliged to give up a part of their property for the support
of the war against the Moors. Those who did not surrender themselves within
the time fixed were deprived of their property irrevocably. The absent,
also, and those who had been long dead, could be condemned, provided there
was sufficient evidence against them. The bones of those who were condemned
after death were dug up, {83} and the property which they had left
escheated to the king.

At first the jurisdiction of the inquisition was not accurately defined;
but it was regularly organized by the ordinance of 1484, establishing
branches in the different provinces of Spain, under the direction of the
inquisitor-general. The inquisitor-general presided, with aid of six or
seven counsellers nominated by the king; and his officers were a fiscal (or
quasi prosecuting attorney), two secretaries, a receiver, two relators, a
secuestrador (or escheator), and officials. In an ordinance of 1732, it was
made the duty of all believers, to inform the inquisition, if they knew any
one, living or dead, present or absent, who had wandered from the faith,
who did observe, or had observed the laws of Moses, or even spoken
favorably of them: if they knew any one who followed, or had followed the
doctrines of Luther; any one who had concluded an alliance with the devil,
either expressly or virtually; any one who possessed any heretical book, or
the Koran, or the Bible in the Spanish tongue; or, in fine, if they knew
any one who had harbored, received, or favored heretics. If the accused did
not appear at the third summons he was excommunicated. From the moment that
the prisoner was in the power of the court he was cut off from the world.
Then followed tortures, solitary confinement, and death in flames, with
every attendant of abject humiliation, while his name, with that {84} of
his children and grand-children, was officially declared infamous. Napoleon
crushed this monstrous iniquity December 4, 1808. According to the estimate
of Llorente, the number of victims of the Spanish inquisition, from 1481 to
1808, amounted to 341,021 persons.

In Portugal the inquisition was established in 1557. Whence they also
carried a branch of it to Goa, in the East Indies; in like manner as the
Spaniards established one in America.[94]

From the earlier days, however, of the Christian religion we find a select
few known as the MYSTICS, steadily pursuing a peaceful course in the
investigation of truth. Of them it is said, that they exercised a powerful
influence both upon life and literature: and, although the inculcation of
meekness and self-humiliation paralyzed active exertion, and a life devoted
to emotions and sentiments occasionally produced fanaticism, yet this
influence, especially in the middle ages was highly beneficial. John
Tauler, of Strasbourg, Henry Suss, of Constance, and Thomas à Kempis, were
active mystics, and eminent among their fraternity which was called "the
brethren of the common life." Theirs was a religion of feeling, poetry, and
imagination, in contrast with philosophical rules and forms of reasoning,
as taught by the school-men. They excused their fanaticism, by appealing to
the words of St. Paul: {85} "The spirit prays in us by sighs and groans
that are unutterable." Now, if the spirit, say they, prays in us, we must
resign ourselves to its motions, and be swayed and guided by its impulse,
by remaining in mere inaction. Hence, passive contemplation they considered
the highest state of perfection. The number of the mystics increased in the
fourth century under the influence of the Grecian fanatic, who gave himself
out as Dionysius, the Areopagite, a disciple of St. Paul, and probably
lived about this period; and by pretending to higher degrees of perfection
than other Christians, and practising greater austerities, their cause
gained ground, especially in the eastern provinces in the fifth century. A
copy of the pretended works of Dionysius, was sent by Balbus to Louis the
Meek, in the year 824, which kindled the flame of mysticism in the western
provinces, and filled the Latins with the most enthusiastic admiration of
this new religion. In the twelfth century these mystics took the lead in
their method of expounding Scripture; and by searching for mysteries and
hidden meanings in the plainest expressions, forced the word of God into a
conformity with their visionary doctrines, their enthusiastic feelings, and
the system of discipline which they had drawn from the excursion of their
irregular fancies. In the thirteenth century they were the most formidable
antagonists of the schoolmen, and toward the close of the fourteenth many
of them resided and propagated their tenets in {86} almost every part of
Europe. In the fifteenth century they had many persons of distinguished
merit in their number; and in the sixteenth, previously to the Reformation,
it is said that the only true sparks of real piety were to be found among

Let us, then, examine the rise of confraternities attached to, and of, the
Christian church, yet not necessarily more than its other laity entitled to
authority which they afterward usurped.

Monachism took its rise in the East, where a solitary and contemplative
life, devoted to the consideration of divine subjects, had always been
considered more meritorious than active exertion. This calling was
gradually adopted by so many, that at the end of the third century, the
Egyptian Antonius, who had cast away his vast possessions, and chosen the
desert for his residence, collected together the hitherto dispersed
anchorites (monachi) into fenced places (monasteria, cænobia, claustra,
cloisters), that they might live together in fellowship; and his disciple,
Pachomius, soon gave the brotherhood a rule. Monachism soon extended to the
west. In the sixth century, Benedict, of Nursia, established the first
monastery on Mount Casius, in Lower Italy, and became, by this means, the
founder of the widely-spread order of Benedictines, which rapidly extended
itself among all nations, and built many convents. These monasteries,
erected, for the most part, in {87} beautiful and remote situations, and
the inhabitants of which were obliged to take the three vows of chastity
(celibacy), personal poverty, and obedience, proved in those days of
lawlessness and barbarism, a blessing to mankind. They converted heaths and
forests into flourishing farms. They afforded a place of refuge (asylum) to
the persecuted and oppressed. They ennobled the rude minds of men by the
preaching of the Gospel. They planted the seeds of morality and
civilization in the bosoms of the young by their schools for education. And
they preserved the remains of ancient literature and philosophy from utter
destruction. Many of the Benedictine monasteries were the nurseries of
education, the arts, and the sciences, as St. Gallen, Fulda, Reichenau, and
Corvey (in Westphalia), and many others. When the Benedictine order became
relaxed, the monastery in Clugny, in Burgundy, separated itself from them
in the tenth century, and introduced a more rigid discipline. In the
twelfth century the monks of Clugny numbered upward of two thousand
cloisters. But this order, also, soon proved insufficient to satisfy the
strong demands of the middle age, against the allurements of sin, and the
seductions of the flesh; so that, at the end of the eleventh century, the
Cistercians, and, a few decades later, the Premonstrants sprang up: the
former in Burgundy (Citeaux), the latter in a woody country near Laon
(Premontré). The order of Carthusians, founded about the year {88} 1084,
which commenced with a cloister of anchorites (Carthusia, Chartreuse) in a
rugged valley near Grenoble, was the most austere in its practice. A life
of solitude and silence in a cell, a spare and meagre diet, a penitential
garment of hair, flagellations, and the rigid practices of devotional
exercises, were duties imposed upon every member of this fraternity.

They deserve, at our hands, the full benefit of an honest and severe
Christian effort to find out and nurture truth; so long as government and
political power did not control them. History next tells us of the
so-called "MENDICANT ORDERS." They originated in the thirteenth century,
and this establishment was productive of remarkable results. Francis of
Assisi (A.D. 1226), the son of a rich merchant, renounced all his
possessions, clothed himself in rags, and wandered through the world,
begging, and preaching repentance. His fiery zeal procured him disciples,
who, like himself, renounced their worldly possessions, fasted, prayed,
tore their backs with scourges, and supplied their slender wants from
voluntary alms and donations. The order of Franciscans then spread rapidly
through all countries. About the same time arose the order of Dominicans,
or preaching monks, founded by an illustrious and learned Spaniard,
Dominicus. Their chief objects were the maintenance of the predominant
faith in its considered purity, and the extinction of heretical opinions.
In {89} carrying these out, they became endowed with the greatest worldly
and temporal privileges, received the powerful patronage of the pope,
gradually obtained the chairs in the universities, and took the lead in the
murder of their fellow creatures through the inquisition. What a temptation
to brawling mendicants, too lazy to earn a living, authorized to beg, and
the supple tools of political leaders; and all this by a mysterious
society, under the guise and pretence of the Christian religion! Laic tools
for such clerical workmen!

While, from the mystics of that date, valuable works have been preserved,
what has been left us from these mendicant orders? Anything save the cry of
blood from the earth? Aught else than servile obedience in accomplishing
the mandates of those in power?

In the eleventh century, the crusades had given rise to a singular class of
men, half-military, half-monk. They had their secret means of recognition,
a peculiar garb, and a professed object. Religion was the motive cause,
while science and philosophy seem to have been secondary with them. They
were knights, of three orders, viz.: the Knights of St. John, or
Hospitallers; the Templars; and the Teutonic Knights. The Knights of St.
John are known equally by the name of the Knights of Malta, because, in
1530, Charles V. granted them the islands of Malta, Gozzo, and Comino, on
condition of perpetual war {90} against the infidels and pirates, and the
restoration of these islands to Naples, if the order should succeed in
recovering Rhodes. The chief of this order had immense possessions in most
parts of Europe. Their chief was called _Grand Master of the Holy Hospital
of St. John of Jerusalem_, and _Guardian of the Army of Jesus Christ_. He
was chosen by vote, and lived at La Villette in Malta. Foreign powers
addressed him as _Altezza eminentissima_. His income equalled a million of
guilders annually. This order still exists. Originally the affairs of the
order were exercised by "THE CHAPTER," which consisted of eight balliages
(_ballivi conventuali_), of the different languages of which the knights of
the order consisted, that is, Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon,
Germany, Castile, and England. The lands of these ballivi conventuali of
languages were divided into three classes, priories, balliages, and
commanderies. Of the priories the German had the preference, and was called
the Grand Priory.

This confraternity were free-masons. And their organization was framed
accordingly. Such was their kindness and benevolence to a wandering and
unprotected pilgrim, that when afterward accosted on his journey with the
customary inquiry, "Whence came you?" one and multitudes would answer,
"From a lodge of the Holy St. John of Jerusalem," having experienced their
hospitality and kindness in their pilgrimage. Their duty was to nurse,
accommodate, {91} and protect pilgrims to the Holy Land: and everywhere on
their travels, in whatever country, these lodges (or _hutten_) were found
for their comfort.

In the beginning of the twelfth century a secret order was formed, "for the
defence of the Holy Sepulchre, and the protection of Christian Pilgrims."
They were first called "The poor of the Holy City," and afterward assumed
the appellation of "Templars," because their house was near the Temple. The
order was founded by Baldwin II., then king of Jerusalem, with the
concurrence of the pope.

Many of the noblest knights connected themselves therewith, and they became
known, then, as the KNIGHTS TEMPLARS.

But the order degenerated, became faithless to their vows, and used the
wealth and power they had attained in such manner as to occasion their
public condemnation.

In the beginning of the fourteenth century a sect of soi-disant
philosophers appeared, known as the ROSICRUCIANS. They bound themselves
together by a solemn secret, which they all swore inviolably to preserve;
and obliged themselves, at their admission into the order, to a strict
observance of certain established rules. They pretended chiefly to devote
themselves to medicine, but above all that, to be masters of important
secrets, and among others, that of the philosopher's stone; all which they
affirmed to have received by tradition from the ancient Egyptians, {92}
Chaldeans, the Magi, and the Gymnosophists. By their pretences that they
could restore youth, they received the name of _Immortelles_. Their
pretension to all knowledge, acquired for them the title of _Illuminati_.
For years they were lost sight of. Consequently, when in later years they
once more appeared under their original organization, they have been
recognised as "_The invisible brothers_." Their name is not, as generally
supposed, derived from _rosa_ and _crux_: but it is from _ros_ (dew), the
then supposed solvent of gold, and _crux_ (the cross). To see, perhaps, a
badge of this order, mark the arms of Luther! a cross placed upon a rose.
True, a mistake as to the definition, yet does it not indicate the reason
of its use politically and otherwise?

Passing by, then, the middle ages, we commence a new era with the rise and
progress of a religious secret order, without a parallel in the history of
the world; one which has risen in influence and power far above all the
other orders of the church, prohibiting its members to accept office in the
church, yet which, in the art of ruling, has excelled the governments of
the world hitherto, no less than any of its ecclesiastical rivals of any
age or country.

The Society of Jesus--known as THE JESUITS--early raised itself to a degree
of historical importance unparalleled in its kind. This order was founded
(1539) by Ignatius Loyola, who called it the Society of Jesus, in
consequence of a vision, and bound the {93} members, in addition to the
usual vows of poverty, chastity, and implicit obedience to their superiors,
to a fourth, viz: to go, unhesitatingly, and without recompense,
whithersoever they should be sent, as missionaries for the conversion of
infidels and heretics, or for the service of the church in any other way,
and to devote all their powers and means to the accomplishment of the work.
The intention of Ignatius Loyola was originally directed rather to mystic
and ascetic contemplations; but the order, from the nature of its fourth
vow, soon took a shape adapted to the wants of the church.

The origin of this society seems to have been a vision to the over-wrought
mind of Loyola: may we call it a temporary inflammation of the brain? He
was a Spaniard of very warm imagination, and a man of great sensibility. He
declared he saw Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a vision: that she gave him
the power of chastity: that Jesus and Satan appeared to him in the form of
military officers enlisting men for service; whereupon he followed Christ.
The society designated their object by Loyola's motto--_Omnia ad majorem
Dei gloriam_. The intimate union of this society has been insured by severe
trials, constant inspection, and unconditional obedience. Thoroughly
organized by past experience, it now quietly pursues a policy deep,
powerful, and difficult to be met on account of its mysticism. After
Loyola's death the society was farther developed by Lainez, {94} and after
him, by Aquaviva, men of deep knowledge of mankind, and steadfast purpose,
who became the real authors of the present society. The seat of the society
was, in so far, in Rome, as the general of the order resided there, with
the committee of the society, and the monitor, who, totally independent of
him, controlled the general as if he were his conscience. The order was
divided into provinces, each of which was superintended by a provincial.
Under the care of these officers were the professed-houses, with each a
præpositus at its head, and the colleges, with each a rector. In the latter
there were also novices. The mutual dependence of all parts of the system
resemble the structure of a well-built fabric. The relations of
subordination are so well ordered that the society is _simplex duntaxat
unum_, without interrupting the free will of the individual, as is said,
who only had to obey in permitted things.

The popes Paul III. and Julius III., seeing what a support they would have
in the Jesuits against what is usually called "the Reformation," which was
rapidly gaining ground, granted to them privileges such as no body of men,
in church, or state, had ever before obtained. They were permitted not only
to enjoy all the rights of the mendicant and secular orders, and to be
_exempt from all episcopal and civil jurisdiction_ and taxes, so that they
acknowledged no authority but that of the pope and the superiors of their
order, and were permitted to exercise every {95} priestly function,
parochial rights notwithstanding, among all classes of men, even during an
interdict; but, also (what is not even permitted to archbishops
unconditionally), they could absolve from all sins and ecclesiastical
penalties, change the objects of the vows of the laity, acquire churches
and estates without further papal sanction, erect houses for the order, and
might, according to circumstances, dispense themselves from the canonical
observance of hours of fasts and prohibition of meats, and even from the
use of the breviary. Besides this, their general was invested with
unlimited power over the members; could send them on missions of every
kind, even among excommunicated heretics; could appoint them professors of
theology at his discretion, wherever he chose, and confer academical
dignities, which were to be reckoned equal to those given by universities.
These privileges, which secured to the Jesuits a spiritual power almost
equal to that of the pope himself, together with a greater impunity, in
point of religious observance, than the laity possessed, were granted them
to aid their missionary labors, so that they might accommodate themselves
to any profession or mode of life, among heretics, and infidels, and be
able, wherever they found admission, to organize Catholic churches without
a further authority. A general dispersion, then, of the members throughout
society with the most entire union and subordination, formed the basis of
their constitution. {96}

In the education of youth, there has been a very unjust charge against
them, that is, that they mutilated the classics. Would to God that every
pure Christian would follow such an example; and that we might thereby
present such an expurgated edition, as would create all the good they may
contain, devoid of evil. Any who have read Virgil, Ovid, Terence, or other
classic works, must acknowledge this necessity. Even Shakespeare's plays
can not be read, as printed, in a modest company. There is not, either, any
prudery in this. And, accordingly, a family expurgated edition has been
published by Dr. Bowdler, demanding a far greater circulation than it may
have as yet received. Praise, then, be awarded to all instructors of youth
who will promote such expurgation from the classics as will blot out their

The latitude in which this society has understood its rights and immunities
has given occasion to fear an unlimited extension and exercise of them,
dangerous to all existing authority, civil and ecclesiastical, as the
constitution of the order, and its erection into an independent monarchy in
the bosom of other governments, have assumed a more fixed character.

This society seems to have been divided into different ranks or classes.
The _novices_, chosen from the most talented and well-educated youths, and
men without regard to birth or external circumstances; and who were tried
for two years, in separate {97} novitiate houses, in all imaginable
exercises of self-denial and obedience, to determine whether they would be
useful to the purposes of the order, were not ranked among the actual
members, the lowest of whom are the _secular coadjutors_, who take no
monastic vows, and may, therefore, be dismissed. They serve the order
partly as subalterns, partly as confederates, and may be regarded as the
people of the Jesuit state. Distinguished laymen, public officers, and
other influential personages (e.g., Louis XIV., in his old age), were
honored with admission into this class, to promote the interests of the
order. Higher in rank, stand the _scholars_ and _spiritual coadjutors_, who
are instructed in the higher branches of learning, take upon themselves
solemn monastic vows, and are bound to devote themselves particularly to
the education of youth. These, as it were, the artists of the Jesuit
community, are employed as professors in academies, as preachers in cities,
and at courts; as rectors, and professors in colleges, as tutors and
spiritual guides in families which they wish to gain or to watch, and as
assistants in the missions. Finally, the nobility, or highest class, is
made up of _the professed_, among whom are admitted only the
most-experienced members, whose address, energy, and fidelity to the order,
have been eminently tried and proved. According to one statement, they make
profession, that is, take the vows of their order, by binding themselves in
addition to the common {98} monastic vows by the fourth vow, to the
undertaking of missions, among whom they consider heathen and heretics, as
governors in colonies in remote parts of the world, as father-confessors of
princes, and as residents of the order in places where it has no college.
They are entirely exempt, on the other hand, from the care of the education
of youth. None but the professed have a voice in the election of a general,
who must himself be of their number, and who has the right of choosing from
them the assistants, provincials, superiors, and rectors. The general holds
his office for life, and has his residence in Rome, where he is attended by
a monitor, and five assistants or counsellors, who also represent the five
chief nations: the Italians, Germans, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. He
is the centre of the government of the whole order, and receives monthly
reports from the provincials, and one every quarter from the superiors of
the professed-houses, from the rectors of the colleges, and from the
masters of the novices. These reports detail all remarkable occurrences,
political events, and the characters, capacities, and services of
individual members, and thereupon the general directs what is to be done,
and how to make use of tried and approved members. All are bound to obey
him implicitly, and even contrary to their own convictions. There is no
appeal from his orders.

Loyola died July 31, 1556, leaving to the order a sketch of this
constitution, and a mystical treatise {99} called "Exercitia Spiritualia,"
which work occupies the first four weeks of every novice. The rapid
increase of the order, and the previous purity of Loyola's life, obtained
canonization for him in 1662. Their first great missionary was St. Francis
Xavier, whose labors (1541) in the Portuguese East Indies, where he died
ten years afterward, have obtained for him the name of "the apostle of
India", and the honor of canonization. We are told that, at Goa,
Travancore, Cochin, Malacca, Ceylon, and Japan, some hundred thousand were
by him converted to the Christian religion. If so, at present the light of
it has become very dim. _Stat nominis umbra._ The inquisition at Goa,
perhaps, may have shown the people the difference between theory and
practice. Claudius Aquaviva, of the family of the dukes of Atri, general of
the Jesuits from 1581 to 1615, is the author of their system of education.
The want of deep, critical learning, with the mutilation of the classics
(for which last they deserve praise, not blame), exposed their teachers,
for a time, to the censure of philologists. Viewed with suspicion by the
French, they only were admitted into that nation in 1562, under the name of
"the Fathers of the College of Clermont," with a humiliating renunciation
of their most important privileges, but they soon united in the factions of
that country, and, notwithstanding a strong suspicion of their having had a
share in the murder of Henry III., under the {100} protection of the
Guises, they contrived to establish themselves, regain their privileges,
and deprive the French Protestants of their rights. One of their pupils,
John Chatel, attempted Henry's life (1594), and this caused their
banishment until 1603, when, at the intercession of the pope, they were
again restored by Henry IV. That they participated in the crime of
Ravaillac could never be proved. They became the confidential advisers in
Germany, of Ferdinand II. and III. They discovered remarkable political
talent in the thirty years' war; the league of the Catholics could do
nothing without them. Father Lamormain, a Jesuit, and confessor to the
emperor, effected the downfall of Wallenstein, and by means of his agents,
kept the jealous Bavarians in their alliance with Austria. Then burst upon
them in France and the Netherlands, the hurricane of the Jansenist
controversy, when Pascal's Provincial Letters scathed them, and his
sentiments were even quoted (1679) by Innocent IX., against sixty-five of
their offensive propositions. Complaints were made against some of them by
the Iroquois, who had been converted by them, as would appear by the treaty
of peace (1682). In 1759, by an edict, they were declared guilty of
high-treason, and expelled from Portugal. Owing to difficulties at
Martinique under their deputy, Father La Vallette, and the declaration of
their general, Lorenzo Ricci, refusing to make any change in their
constitution (_sint aut non sint_), "let them be as they {101} are, or not
be," the king of France (1764) issued a decree for abolishing the order in
all the French states, as being a mere political society, dangerous to
religion, whose object was self-aggrandizement. In 1767 they were driven
out of Spain, and soon after from Naples, Parma, and Malta. And the voice
of public opinion at length compelled Pope Clement XIV. to publish his
famous bull, _Dominus ac Redemptor noster_, of July 21, 1773, by which the
society of Jesus was totally abolished in all the states of Christendom.
The society, however, did not become extinct. In 1780 they were thought to
have possessed themselves of the secrets of the Rosicrucians, and to have
taken a part in the schemes of the Illuminati. In 1787, an unsuccessful
attempt was made to revive the order under the name of the _Vicentines_.
Pius VII. restored the order, in 1814, upon the issuance of the bull,
August 7, _Solicitudo omnium_. In 1815 they were restored in Spain. Russia,
by an imperial ukase, March 25, 1820, banished them thence. Since then they
have been driven from Mexico, again restored by Santa Anna, and now, though
resident, they are politically powerless under the administration of
President Comonfort. They now seem to rely on the United States of America
as their chief asylum, and upon the valley of the Mississippi river and its
tributaries, as their basis of operations. Full and perfect freedom of
thought and speech, of religious toleration, and of mode of life, monastic
or {102} otherwise, insures to them a safe home in this country. They
possess a flourishing college at Georgetown, which may almost be considered
as part of the city of Washington, the capital of the United States. Also
one at Cincinnati, and one at St. Louis, well endowed, and possessed of
great wealth. They exercise a powerful yet unseen influence over the minds
of the members of the Catholic faith where they reside, each naturalized
citizen of which has an equal voice in selecting all officers of state and
general government. An eminent writer has remarked, that everything in
history has its time, and the order of Jesuits can never rise to any great
eminence in an age in which knowledge is so rapidly spreading. We think
differently. A society so capable of adaptation to any circumstances,
whether political, religious, or social, plastic in nature to meet every
desired impression, talented, highly learned, wealthy, and among others,
embracing in its order some men of such pure and admirable life as to be
cited as examples of virtue and Christian character, with the protection
the American flag throws around all under its folds, is to be carefully
observed. Human nature is always the same. The past history, then, of this
society merits the study of every philanthropist and patriot. Once, in
Paraguay, it became a blessing to mankind. Within due limits, it may be so
anywhere. But its interference in any political affairs, under pretence of
serving him, whose "kingdom is not of this {103} world," is not to be
tolerated, as it may prove a most dangerous engine in the struggle of the
cause of popular self-government. An unconditional surrender of one's own
convictions to the will of another man is at variance with _every_
principle of republicanism.

       *       *       *       *       *



    The Struggle between an alleged _Jus Divinum Regum_, and Popular
    Sovereignty.--And the Efforts now attempted to destroy our Grand
    Experiment of Self-Government.--Practical Results.

With the differences of religious bodies as to dogmas of faith, this essay
has nothing to do; but so far as churches connected with any religion,
interfere with temporal governments, by mystic confraternities, that is a
topic directly within our scope. Any union of church and state must, from
these authorities, appear in opposition to the unprejudiced action of the
citizen in the government of his country.

The great struggle for political power, the contest as to the source
thereof--whether a fancied divine right (_jus divinum_) in any family, or
in an individual by anointment of a priest; or the free voice of a free
people governing themselves by framing a constitution, limiting power in
the hands of rulers, who are only their agents--is now undergoing a severe
test. Of this, however, more hereafter.

The history of England, from the days of James II.--yes, even from Henry
VIII., whose crimes form a strange contrast to his assumption of a title to
being {105} head of a church--presents a singular contest for political
power, by means of religious domination.

From the days of William of Orange, the parties in Ireland (which seems to
have formed the battleground of these contestants) have been not only
well-defined, but they have been organized in the most perfect mysticism,
into Orange men and Ribbon men. Let the days of Curran, Grattan, and of the
persecuting government tell that story. The blood of an Emmett has crowned
a noble effort with martyrdom. His last speech will be read as long as
school-books can perpetuate one of the finest efforts of oratory.

Meantime, a secret society still existed which softened down asperity, and
extended the blessings of fraternity even among those arrayed against each
other--not only there, but over the world. By its teachings and its
obligations, universal charity was inculcated. Is there an intelligent
FREE-MASON who has perused our previous pages, but what has recognised the
history of his own society from the origin of the Kabbalistæ? Spread
everywhere, under whatever name, emanating from a common origin, recognised
by common principles and instruction, enforcing the study of the liberal
arts and sciences, teaching philosophy throughout the world, and the hope
of a future immortality, it has, as a mystic order, taken deep root in
every nation, but more so in republics, not having fear of an interdict, or
other religious {106} fulmination. It has not and does not interfere in
politics, nor seek political power in any shape. Like its brothers of old
under Pythagoras in Magna Græcia, it teaches philosophy, and is well
calculated to promote such education as must form true statesmen. So
catholic is its every teaching, and such are its fraternal tendencies, that
one church has placed it under ban. Throughout the world, whether among the
descendants of the ancient Magi, the Hebrew Cabbalist, the Rosicrucian, or
Templar, in the deserts of Africa, the forests of America, or on the
wide-spread ocean, the symbols of recognition are known and received. Such
have been its tendencies that spurious imitations for mere political
purposes have been frequent. The Illuminati, the Carbonari, and other
secret political societies have been supposed to be Masonic lodges. But it
is a great mistake. The Kabbalists never interfered with, or acted in
opposition to the Hebrew Theocracy. Their brothers of a later date have
never interfered with politics, even to the present day; nor have they, in
any wise, inculcated a single maxim at variance with their duty to God,
their neighbor, or themselves. They have simply preserved and obeyed the
original traditional instruction handed down to them.

Another benevolent secret society has sprung up, chiefly in the United
States, calling themselves the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. This is a
charitable confraternity, intended, mainly, to promote {107} benevolence,
aid the sick and distressed, and cultivate the warmer sympathies of our
nature. It is of modern origin, and in most things seems to be an imitation
of Free-Masonry. It has been productive of great good in the accomplishment
of its benevolent purposes. Having no leaning whatever toward politics, it
quietly pursues its mission of love.

Thus, then, we have arrived at a point where we must pause.

The summary of the past seems to be as follows:--

I. From the earliest history of the world there seems to have been an
effort on the part of those who pretended to control the consciences and
religious views of others to preserve in their own hands, the predominant
_political_ power.

1. The first government recorded is that of Nimrod. He discarded
patriarchal instruction; united tribes in cities; and formed their
combination into an empire. The Magi controlled him, and, at his death,
under the pretence of his deification, preserved his power in the

2. In the extension of the Magi, every great leader, or king, was one of
them; and obedient to the rules and instructions of their general, the

3. When, in the assertion of popular right, Pythagoras was driven away by
Cylon, the then imperfect effort of self-government fell through. But
little understood, its then dim light faded.

4. The society of the _Kabbalistæ_, part of whom {108} were afterward known
as the _Pythagorean league_, as the _Collegio fabrorum_ of Numa Pompilius,
as the _Liberi Architectonici_ of the middle ages, and as the _Free-Masons_
of the present day; this society, I repeat, never interfered in politics.

5. The Christian church was tempted to forget, that Christ's kingdom was
not of this world. And its two great branches, that of Rome and England,
were seduced into the error of seeking to obtain power through public

Rome exerted her influences through her prætorian cohorts, the
confraternities of mendicants and of Jesus--the Jesuits. Unknown, and in
silence, they were domiciliated in courts and in families, throughout all
nations; and some roamed as itinerants. The will of their general, on their
unconditional subserviency to his behest, seemed to create an almost
omnipresent power to be controlled by Rome alone. Has not the exercise of
it been exemplified in the inquisition? Was it not felt in the massacre of
St. Bartholomew? I will not stop to ask the power and control of a Madame
Maintenon, or Du Barry: nor whose influences controlled them. Does not all
history portray their one effort?

But has not the Church of England endeavored to obtain temporal power,
also, by interference in the affairs of this world, politically?

Shame! shame!! If the priesthood are honest in giving an undivided
allegiance to HIM, whom they {109} have taken an oath _only_ to serve; and
yet, whose "kingdom is not of this world;" how dare they violate that
obligation? "_Ne sutor ultra crepidam,_" &c.

But we in the United States are not better than our neighbors. Man is the
same everywhere, but for education.

And this brings us to the great, practical lesson, to which end all that
has thus far been detailed has been directed.

Americans! no matter of what nation you came, consider this lesson.

We have ignored and thrown aside the priestly fable of an anointment by a
man conferring an hereditary right to rule his brother man, by any family.
This _jus divinum regum_ is an absurdity, practically discarded by those
who assert it. What divine right has been granted either to Napoleon the
Great, or to Napoleon the little? Whence came it? By whose hands? How is it
preserved? Is not the same religious power ready to crown a Bourbon one
day, and, in spite of the hereditary _jus divinum_ already granted, crown a
Corsican (who has waded through blood to his throne) the next day; over the
very rights of the Bourbon, who relies on that _jus divinum_ as his title?

A divine right (if any) is here granted to both--to the Bourbon, and to the
Corsican. Can truth contradict itself? If there be a contradiction must
there not be error somewhere? {110}

This _jus divinum_ that began with the deification of Nimrod, is still
perpetuated though in other hands.

But we must look into this a little further.

II. Although the Theocracy in the days of Moses was of temporary duration,
and human power afterward asserted a kingly right, was that divine right
ever preserved? If divine, it is immutable. Does history show this? When
Titus conquered Jerusalem, does not Jewish history tell us the voice was
heard saying, "LET US GO HENCE?"

III. History shows, among men, two classes who have governed others:--

1. Kings, emperors, and rulers.

2. Priests and clergy, controlling the superstitious feelings of mankind;
yes, even these kings, emperors, and rulers, by mysticism.

IV. There have been throughout history two classes of secret societies.

One always endeavoring to govern and control the masses politically, by
religious mysteries, &c. The other endeavoring to persuade to the study of
science and philosophy, and trying to wean men from the mere struggle of
this world's power, to a preparation for another world, into which we must
be born spiritually, by human death, and as to which this earth is only the
school-house. And this class has not interfered in any manner with politics
in any country. {111}

This bring us to the present condition of our own beloved country at this

A secret society, also political, was formed here, known as THE
KNOW-NOTHINGS. And its secrecy was about to destroy it, when that secrecy,
under the power of the press, vanished into mist.

But what was the origin thereof? And when, after gentlemen and statesmen
controlled it, and expelled its rubbish, it assumed a powerful influence,
and a new form, as an "American Party," what were the deep moving causes
which led to its prominent position?

From the days of Nimrod to the present day, all history shows an effort on
the part of a few to control temporal power, at the expense of the many.
They have always acted on the superstitions of man to accomplish this end.

But the American theory (_esto perpetua_) is, that all men are free and
equal in their political rights, when their intellect is that of control,
not of servitude; and that the people are the source and fountain of
political power. It cometh not from a priest. It is the voice of freemen
speaking and acting through their agents, whom they select.

This antagonism is now to be severely tested in coming history.

What is the source of temporal power?

Rome, England, France, and other countries, say it is from "the church,"
meaning their own particular {112} designation of a religion. That it is a
divine right communicated by priestly anointment, attended by public
ceremonies, imposing in appearance, and "_ad captandum,_" for the public

The American theory, going far beyond the bare and imperfect teaching of
Pythagoras, boldly asserts what is believed to be the true and only origin
of temporal power, the free will of a people exercised through agents of
its own selection.

For about eighty years past this first great experiment has been
successful. But that success has induced the most insidious attacks of
those who advocate the opposite policy. We must be watchful, or our
liberties will be gone. The game they now play is new in history; but, it
is one easily comprehended. It has been well said that the price of liberty
is eternal vigilance.

But two centuries since this land was the home of the savage. The Caucasian
intellect, however, has assumed its supremacy here; and the Indian,
incapable of mental culture, is gradually, but surely passing, like other
forms of animal existence, from the world.

One of the highest efforts of the human mind, is the Constitution of the
United States of America. The great principles of freemen governing
themselves, as there enunciated, must and will necessarily be attacked by
the asserters of divine right in temporal government. If our experiment
succeeds the powers of Europe must fall, or undergo an entire change. {113}
England's nobility must acknowledge, sooner or later, the equality of the
commonalty and gentry with themselves. Distinctions in France have already
gone, except as to the assertion of the power of an emperor by virtue of a
priestly coronation.

The popular masses of Europe have only displayed their first, but, as yet,
imperfect efforts to assert their political rights. It is the reflex action
of the great principle we have successfully, thus far, practised. And will
not the powers who have conquered the masses then thus far, use every
effort to destroy this experiment of ours and perpetuate thereby their own
existence? If we continue to succeed, our lesson to the world is the
death-knell of monarchy and imperial power. Foreign powers and priestly
powers are making this effort. And if we are doomed to fail, it will be by
the DISUNION their emissaries here endeavor to produce. With us, again, is
religious influence exerted. Servitude is recognised and practised in the
south. But the clergy of the north have commenced a fanatical crusade
against it. We should guard well against these influences, foreign and
domestic, now operating against us.

As a part of the history of the times, it may be proper to give the rise
and progress of the so-called order of "Know-Nothings." The plan of the
organization was conceived by a gentleman of the city of New York, who, in
1849, prepared and embodied into a system, a plan for uniting the American
{114} sentiment of the American people throughout the United States. It was
meant as a combined resistance, on the part of the native American
population, to foreign and papal influence in this country. The progress of
the plan was so slow in its development, that at the end of two years, the
number of members uniting in the organization did not exceed thirty. In
1852 the plan was examined by a few gentlemen connected with the Order of
United Americans, another secret and American organization, but not
directly political or partisan in its aims and objects. A society was
formed, and forty-three members signed their names to it, and from that
small beginning was formed a body of native Americans which, in a year or
two after, exceeded, in the state of New York alone, two hundred thousand
members. This state organization soon extended its ramifications all over
the country, and is now known as the American party. It has held three
national conventions, one in Philadelphia, one at New York, and one in
Louisville, and is now no more of a secret party than either of the two
great parties opposed to it: the national conventions having abolished all
secret meetings, and the state conventions or councils having generally
concurred in this abolition of all oaths and all forms of obligation but
those of personal honor and mutual good faith.

The ban of secrecy had made it, doubtless, an object of suspicion. Its
adversaries hurl at it these {115} unfortunate antecedents. But now all
secrecy has been abolished, and the party claims to assert only, the great
principle of an INTELLIGENT SELF-GOVERNMENT. They recognise the secret and
insidious influences of the Jesuit, and deprecate it. They call attention
to it, and to its increasing importance in this valley; but still, in the
spirit of liberty, leave the Jesuit free to act as he pleases. They
perceive that it is irreconcilable with freedom of thought and conscience
to surrender, unconditionally, one's own views and thoughts to the will of
any one man, whether he be at Rome or elsewhere. Still he is not interfered
with. Let him act with all freedom. You can vote for him for office or not,
as you please; and, here, we have reason to fear the secret influence
controlled alone at Rome. But, with all this freedom, it is called
"persecution" to say "I will not vote for such a man."

Let Europe send over all her emissaries, and our country tells them you
shall have the protection of our flag. You shall think, and speak what you
will, if it be not to the injury of your neighbor. But is there not a
spirit of self-preservation which demands that eternal vigilance which is
the price of freedom? Is it "proscription" in saying to another man, "I
will not vote for you?" If you can not exercise your own will, where is
your freedom? If a whig refuses to vote for a democrat is that

Then, if I believe another man has surrendered his {116} own will to the
unconditional control of another, in a foreign country, can I trust
him--regarding the antecedents hereinbefore referred to?

It has been said, perhaps unjustly (at least I hope so), that the teaching
of this important society, the Jesuit, so deeply-rooted here, is, that "the
end justifies the means." If this be so, and if they can exercise over the
immigrant population from Europe the power imputed to them--all this also
controlled at Rome by the general of the order and his monitor--where can
freedom be preserved to us, if they can control a majority of votes here?
In such case our liberties are gone. In such case, they have simply adopted
and ingeniously carried out the ancient powers of the priestly Magi.

Has not an Englishman, a member of parliament, come to this country, and
lectured in New England on the abolition of slavery, expressly to aid in
creating disunion of our states?

Has not the leaven of Puritanism been excited to new action to accomplish
the same result?

Have not three thousand clergymen been induced to interfere in our temporal
and political affairs; just as in past history we find the Magi and the
priests did?

Has not the word of God been set at naught? Where the command is, "Thou
shalt not kill," are not Sharpe's rifles purchased by their command?

A clever book of fiction, written by a fanatical old {117} woman, although
untrue even as a picture of southern society, has obtained for her the
cordial entrée of British aristocracy.

Then, again, regard the immense immigration from Europe. No sooner is it
possible, but we find politicians busy to influence them, and obtain their
votes. And they chiefly are opposed to slavery.

As patriots, Americans should say, you may vote. We throw around you no
restraint. Your home is our home. You are in every sense a brother, and you
shall be deprived of no privilege. But while in no manner the privileges of
a freeman should be denied to any, we must not shut our eyes to the
influences that surround us.

The Magi controlled the then known world.

The Roman church has done the same. In England a church has assumed secular

In each instance it was the fabulous _jus divinum_ by which it was

Shall they be allowed by such influences to control and so break down our
great experiment of self-government?

Rather let those peaceful and benevolent influences prevail, which were
inculcated by societies who taught equality of rights, and peace and
charity among men.

This bring us then to the great motive power which alone can save our

It is _the education of the people, and the freedom of the press, directed
through a unity of language_. {118} Through these, if properly conducted,
unless they be controlled by the hostile influences hereinbefore spoken of,
we shall be a happy and united nation.

There is no need, hereafter, of any secret teaching. Secret societies may
promote social good, but they are no longer necessary to teach either
traditional philosophy, or promote public welfare, except by benevolence.

Our duty is to encourage thought, foster public schools, create a unity of
feeling and ideas, by means of a unity of language, and a freedom of the

But, in doing so, from the history of the past, can we be too careful in
guarding against the insidious influences of societies, whose antecedents
in history have proved so dangerous?

Societies having for their object a religious influence, and, thereby
intending to control political power, are dangerous. The past has shown it.

Societies of benevolence, like the Free-Masons and Odd-Fellows, have done
much good; but each member therein votes, in political matters, as he
pleases, and without control. These societies do good to all, without view
to any particular faith.

Each person that binds himself, by an obligation, to serve only HIM, whose
"kingdom is not of this world," should be debarred thereby from interfering
in the politics of this world, which he has thus forsworn.

But what are the facts? Do not even the clergy {119} of New England try to
control our government? Are they not even endeavoring to create DISUNION?
Is this not with the desire and _empressement_ of foreign power?

How far may not the prætorian bands of Rome aid therein to carry out the

Can we be too guarded as to our great experiment?

The first practical result, then, indicated by past history, is, that
political power, in monarchies, empires, &c., has been under the control of
mere priestly mysteries.

The next is, that human nature is always the same, and will endeavor to
accomplish the same result.

Take the history of the past, what are we to anticipate for the future? Can
we judge but from the past? Have they not endeavored to govern Europe?

We can only allow the will of freemen to govern us. The will that has, on
oath, submitted itself to the control of a foreign power, is not that of a
_free man_, and our duty is to watch it.

Let, then, every secret become a mystery; or, a revealed secret. If it be
good to one, let it be good to all. Secure equality of rights. Collision of
mind strikes out the sparks of truth. Secure universal education by free
schools, ensuring unity of language, but leaving thought free; and the
result will be, that secrecy will have become a mystery, or revealed
knowledge to all.

Education, and the freedom of the press, are the {120} true safeguards of a
republic. Interfere with the exercise of no religion; but let no one system
of faith control your government. Frown down every effort of priests or
clergy to meddle with politics. Then shall we avoid the errors of the past,
preserve our present union, and hope for the spread of the true principles
of liberty. With education will be united true piety, each assisting the
other, no matter what the peculiar system of faith. Do away with secrecy
altogether, and let every blessing that knowledge can confer, be devoted to
public information, and the good of all. So, shall the abuses of secrecy be
done away with for ever--and it shine forth only in the holy sphere to
which it should be confined, to modesty and domestic virtue, religious
meditation and prayer, and prudence in the transactions of life.


       *       *       *       *       *


[1] St. Matt. xi. 28.

[2] Montgomery. Hymn 134. Book of Common Prayer.

[3] St. John, Gospel, iv. 44.

[4] Mal. i. 2.

[5] 1 Corinthians ii. 7-10, 12, 13, 16. Ibid. iv. 1, 5.

[6] 2 Corinthians iv. 7.

[7] 1 Corinthians xv. 22.

[8] St. Matthew xxv. 14 to 29, inclusive.

[9] St. Paul (Rom. xvi. 25, 26) defines "mystery" as above given: "Now to
him that is of power to establish you according to my gospel, and the
preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery, which
was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the
scriptures of the prophets," &c.

[10] Exodus vi. 2, 3. "And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am
the Lord [or JEHOVAH], and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto
Jacob, by _the name of_ God Almighty; but by my name JEHOVAH was I not
known to them."

[11] Genesis vii. 2, 3.

[12] Ibid vii. 9.

[13] Ibid xii.

[14] Ibid xx.

[15] Ibid xxvi.

[16] Exodus iv. 27, 28. "And the Lord said unto Aaron, Go into the
wilderness to meet Moses. And he went, and met him in the mount of God, and
kissed him."

[17] Weber. Outlines of Universal History. Am. Ed., p. 4.

[18] Exodus vii. 11. "Then Pharaoh also called the wise men, and the
sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with
their enchantments."

[19] Weber. Outlines Univ. Hist. § 12, p. 12.

[20] Christ. Breithaupt. Prof. &c. _De arte decifratoria._ Helmstadtii,
apud Ch. Fried. Weygand. MDccxxxvii. p. 13. "Apud veteres Ægyptios, vt ab
his dicendi initium faciamus, præter vulgares litteras, tria adhuc alia
characterum genera celebrantur, quibus _ad mysteria sua_ condenda fuerunt
usi. Diserte hoc celebris ille stromatum conditor, Clem. Alexandrinus (lib.
v. Stromatum, pag. 563, edit. Paris, de an. 1612), docet, ita scribens. s:
'Qui docentur ab Ægyptiis primum quidem discunt Ægyptiarum litterarum viam
ac rationem, quæ vocatur [Greek: epizolographikê], i.e., apta ad scribendas
epistolas: secundam autem, sacerdotalem, qua vtuntur [Greek:
hierogrammateis], i.e., qui de rebus sacris scribunt: vltimam autem [Greek:
hierogluphikên], i.e., sacram, quæ insculpitur, scripturam, cuius vna
quidem est per prima elementa [Greek: kuriologikê], i.e., propria loquens,
altera vero symbolica, i.e., per signa significans.' Cum Clementi
conferendus est Arabs Abenephi, cuius verba ita se habent: (Scriptum hoc
Arabicum asseruatur in bibliotheca Vaticana, et typis nondum expressum est;
ab Ath. Kirchero autem in Obelisco Pamphilio sæpius citatur: vnde etiam ea,
quæ hic ex illo adduximus, depromta sunt.) 'Erant autem Ægyptus quatuor
litterarum genera: primum erat in vsu apud populum et idiotas; secundum
apud philosophos et sapientes: tertium erat mixtum ex litteris et symbolis
sive imaginibus: quartum vsupabatur a sacerdotalibus, erant que litteræ
avium, quibus sacramenta indicabant divinitatis.' Ex quo posteriori
testamento hoc discimus, quod erudite inter Ægyptios peculiari et a
communibus litteris diuerso scripturæ genere vsi sint ad doctrinas suas
propagandas. Vti exempla ostendunt, constitit hoec scriptura partim ex
certis sententiis et argutis symbolis, partim ex historicis fictionibus,
secretiori docendi methodo accommodatis." ... "Omnes, qui de rebus diuinis
tractarunt, tam Barbari quam Græci rerum quidem principia occultaverint:
veritatem autem ænigmatibus, signisque & symbolis, & allegoriis rursus, &
metaphoris, & quibusdam tropis modisque tradiderunt."

[21] Exodus vii. 11, 12.

[22] Ibid vii. 22.

[23] Ibid viii. 7.

[24] Rheinisches Conversations-Lexicon. Köln und Bonn. 1827. Vol. 7, page
432. "Magier, Magie, ein ursprünglich medischer Volksstamm, dem, der Sitte
des Orients zufolge, die Erhaltung der wissenschaftlichen Kenntnisse und
die Ausübung der heiligen Gebräuche der Religion überlassen war; nachher im
speziellen Sinne die Priesterkaste der Perser und Meder. Der Name kommt aus
dem Pehlei; Mag oder Mog heißt in dieser Sprache überhaupt ein Priester.
Als eigner Stamm der Meder werden sie ausdrücklich von Herodot erwähnt.
Zoroaster war nicht der Stifter, sondern nur der Reformator der Magier oder
vielmehr ihrer Lehrsätze. Daher widersetzten sich die zu seiner Zeit
vorhandenen Magier anfangs seinen Neuerungen und werden von ihm verstucht.
Nachdem sie seine Verbesserungen angenommen hatten, organisirte er auch
ihre inneren Einrichtungen und theilte sie in Lehrlinge, Meister und
vollendete Meister. Ihr Studium und ihre Wissenschaft bestand in der
Beobachtung der heiligen Gebräuche, in der Kenntniß der heiligen
Gebetformeln oder Liturgien, mit denen Ormuzd verehrt wurde; und der bei
Gebeten und Opfern gebräuchlichen Zeremonien. Nur durch sie konnte man
Gebete und Opfer der Gottheit darbringen; nur sie waren die Mittelpersonen
zwischen der Gottheit und den Menschen; nur ihnen offenbarte jene ihren
Willen; nur sie blickten in die Zukunft, und enthüllten sie dem, der bei
ihnen darnach forsichte. Später hat man Magier überhaupt, Zauberer,
Wundershäter, Goldmacher und dergl. genannt."

[25] Heeren's Politics of Ancient Greece, ch. iii., p. 65. Bancroft, Amed.,

[26] Delafield's Antiquities of America, pp. 69-71, et notæ.

[27] Sir William Jones, vol. i., p. 92.

[28] Heeren's Politics of Ancient Greece: Am. ed., 1824, p. 64. Also
Bryant's Ancient Mythology, ii., 390.

[29] Encyclopædia Americana, vol. ix. (1835), p. 118.

[30] Gen. x. 8-12. This is adopting the marginal for the text reading of
the passage, and the reason for it is this: The above is a clear historical
account of those who journeyed to the plains of Shinar, which were only the
descendants of Cush the father of Nimrod; though Asshur is said to have
gone and builded the city of Nineveh, with the others mentioned in the
text--which Asshur was one of the sons of Shem, who perhaps was blended by
marriage, or other connections, with his relations the sons of Ham, unless
it can be shown that there was one of that name in Ham's descendants as
well as Shem's son. It was something particular (if correct) that Moses
should bring in Asshur into his account of Ham's issue, because he was very
strict in giving such relations of Japheth and Shem in their own places.
Would Noah, who was so much disgusted at his son Ham as to curse him,
permit the children of his other sons, whom he blessed, to have any
communication with his children? Bishop Cumberland, in the last century,
took some pains to unravel this, and concluded that the marginal
translation in our bibles is the right one--that in the text being, "Out of
that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh", &c.; that in the margin,
"And he [Nimrod] went out of that land into Assyria"--for Asshur generally
in scripture signifies _the Assyrian_, excepting only in the genealogies:
and in support of this he brings forward many authentic testimonies. (See
Parsons's Remains of Japheth, p. 15: London, 1767.)

[31] Encyclopædia Americana, title "Mysteries," vol. ix., p. 118.

[32] Deut. xviii. 10.

[33] Livy, iv., c. 22.

[34] 1 Sam. xxviii. 19.

[35] Eccles. xlvi.

[36] Lib. v., c. 92.

[37] Isaiah xxix. 4; also viii. 19.

[38] Alcestis, 1127.

[39] Oedipus, Act iii., 530.

[40] See Rufinius, i., 155.

[41] Phars., vi., 670. This writer proposes hereafter to publish an essay
on the intercourse between the living and the dead, as connected with
natural magic, even to the present day.

[42] Lib. i., El. ii., 45.

[43] Heeren. Politics Anc. Greece; Am. Ed., p. 68. See also page following.

[44] Rees' Cyclop. vol. vii. voc. "Chaldean Philosophy."

[45] Daniel ii.

[46] The true God, JAH, was God over the false deities, Baalim.

[47] Daniel v. 6, 7.

[48] Acts vii. 23.

[49] Disq. Hist. de variis modis occvlte scribendi, Helmstadt. MDccxxxvii.
pp. 23-26. "Illud memorandum, quod Kabbalistarum antiquiores etiam ex
figura quatuor linearum, quæ inuicem sese intersecant, & in medio quadratum
efficiunt, occultum scripturæ genus excogitarint sequentem in modum. In
singulis sectionibus tres collocant litteras a dextra ad sinistram. Quando
igitur primam extribus intelligunt, figuram sectionis istuis, in qua
reperitur, cum vno puncto scribunt; si alteram, eandam figuram cum duobus
punctis; si tertiam, rursus eandem cum tribus punctis."

[50] "Illorum philosophia sublimis, quam _Kabbalam_ vocant, diuersas sub se
complectitur species, quarum quædam huc pertinent. In famossissimo illo
libello magico Rasiel, quem Kabbalistæ in magna veneratione habent, tria
imprimis secreta alphabeta leguntur, quæ a communi Ebraicarum litterarum
forma & ductu in multis abeunt. Primum vocatur scriptura coelestis; alterum
scriptura angelorum sive regum; & tertium scriptura transitus
fluvii.--_Disq. Hist._ &c., _ibidem._

[51] Herm. Von der Hardt, celeberrimus ætatis nostræ philologus, duorum
etiam singularium alphabetorum meminit, quibus Judæi in amuletis suis
conficiendis utuntur. Primum est, si proxima semper pro proecedente
substituitur littera, nimirum [Hebrew: B] pro [Hebrew: '], [Hebrew: G] pro
[Hebrew: B] & sic porro. Hoctegere dicuntur confessionem suam de vno vero
Deo, quam quotidie mane & circa vesperam recitant, & de qua sibi
persuadent, quod effica cissimum contra idololatriam proesidium sit, quo
quasi proemuniantur, ne a veritate ad falsam religionem desciscant. Alterum
alphabetum occultum in eo consistit, quod ordine elementorum in uerso
vltimam litteram [Hebrew: T] cum prima [Hebrew: '], & hanc cum illa
vicissim permutent, & sic etiam reliquas: quam inversionem [Hebrew: 'TBSH]
dicere moris est. Ex hoc maiusculis litteris in nobilioribus amuletis
conspicuum symbolum [Hebrew: MTSPTS] conficiunt, quod nihil iterum aliud,
quam nomen Dei [Hebrew: YHWH]. HIERONYMUS, non incelebris primæ ecclesiæ
pater contendit (hereinafter quoted) prophetam _Jeremiam_ hoc scribendi
genere vsum fuisse, &, ne regem Babyloniæ adversus Ebræos irritaret, pro
rege [Hebrew: BBL] dixisse [Hebrew: SHSHK]. Quin etiam sunt inter Judæos,
qui verba illa apud Danielem [Hebrew: MN' MN' TQL WPRSYN], quæ super cænam
regis Belsazaris e pariete per miraculum ad stuporem omnium prodibant,
eodem modo scripta fuisse, atque iccirco hanc artificiosam litterarum
transpositionem a Deo ipso primam originem suam trahere existimant. Sed
incerta hoec & transeunda.

[52] Tom. iv. Oper. comment. in Jerem. cxxv., 26, p. 286, edit. Coloniens.
de an. 1616.

[53] See Conf. Lud. Henr. Hillerus, in præfat. mysterii artis stenographicæ
nouissimi Vlmæ an. 1682 editi.

[54] Breithaupt, Disq. Hist., p. 25, notis.

[55] 2 Chron. i. 12.

[56] Ezra vii. 1-6.

[57] Heb. ix. 4: and hereto agree Abarbanel on 1 Kings viii. 9, and R. Levi
Ben Gersom.--Prideaux Conn. i. 297.

[58] Deut. xxxi. 26: Or, as others interpret it, "by the side of the ark."
_Mittzad_. 1 Sam. vi. 8. 2 Kings xxii. 8. Prideaux i. 297.

[59] Prideaux i. 297.

[60] Vide Buxtorfii Synagogam. c. 14.

[61] 2 Maccabees ii.

[62] 2 Chron. xxxv. 3.

[63] Prideaux i. 303-'4. It were well to call to the reader's attention
here, the remarkable subterranean discoveries made this year (1856), and
still going on in Jerusalem, under the Austrian authorities there.

[64] Prideaux i. 285.

[65] Vol. i., Connex. pp. 383, 384.

[66] Isaiah xlv. 5-7.

[67] Prideaux, Con. i. 389.

[68] Page 25.

[69] Prideaux i. 338-'9.

[70] Plato in Alcibiade i. Stobases, p. 496. Clem. Alex. in Pædagogo i. p.

[71] Prideaux Con. i. 395.

[72] Cicero de Divinatione, l. i. Philo Judæus de spec. leg. Plutarch in

[73] Prideaux i. 404-'5.

[74] See page 21, antea.

[75] Heeren, Politics Anc. Greece, p. 292.

[76] Remains of Japheth, 136.

[77] A bad way to extirpate error. Education, reason, and piety will meet
error openly.

[78] 2 Phil. ii. 9, 10.

[79] Matthew xv. 2, 3.

[80] Mark vii. 5-9.

[81] Coloss. ii. 8.

[82] 2 Thess. iii. 6, 7.

[83] Acts xx. 7, 8.

[84] John xx. 19.

[85] Neander, Gen. Hist. of Christ. Rel. &c., p. 98.

[86] Brev. Rom., p. 251. Lectio iij. infra Hebd. quartam Quadragesimæ.
"Audistis grande mysterium. Interroga hominem: Christianus es? Respondet
tibi: non sum. Si paganus es, aut Judæus? Si autem dixerit, non sum: adhuc
quæris ab eo, Catechumenus, an fidelis? Si responderet tibi, Catechumenus:
inunctus est, nondum lotus. Sed unde inunctus? Quære, et respondet. Quære
ab illo, in quem credat? Eo ipso quo Catechumenus est, dicit, In Christum.
Ecce modo loquor et fidelibus et catechumenis. Quid dixi de sputo et luto?
Quia verbum caro factum est; hoc catechumeni audiunt: sed non eis sufficit
ad quod inuncti sunt: festinent ad lavacrum, si lumen inquirunt."

[87] Brev. Rom. p. 652. Festa Maji. Lectio viii. "Si ergo Nicodemus de
illis multis erat qui crediderunt in nomine ejus, jam in isto Nicodemo
attendamus, quare Jesus non se credebat eis. Respondit Jesus, et dixit ei:
Amen, Amen dico tibi, nisi quis renatus fuerit denuo, non potest videre
regnum Dei. Ipsis ergo se credit Jesus, qui nati fuerint denuo. Ecce illi
crediderant in eum, et Jesus non se credebat eis. Tales sunt, omnes
Catechumeni: ipsi jam credunt in nomine Christi, sed Jesus non se credit
eis. Intendat et intelligat charitas vestra. Si dixerimus catechumeno:
credis in Christum? Respondet, credo, et signat se cruce Christi: portat in
fronte, et non erubescit de cruce Domini sui. Ecce credit in nomine ejus.
Interrogemus cum: Manducas carnem filii hominis, et bibis sanguinem filii
hominis? Nescit quid dicimus, quia Jesus non se credidit ei."

[88] 1 Corinth. iii. 1, 2.

[89] 1 Peter ii. 2.

[90] Hebrews v. 12-14.

[91] Hebrews vi. 1.

[92] Matt. x. 5, &c.

[93] John xviii. 36.

[94] Llorente, Hist. Span. Inq. London. 1827.

[95] Enc. Brit. xv. 674.

       *       *       *       *       *

Corrections made to printed original.

p. 17. "Pharaoh, king of Egypt": 'Pharoah' in original. Also in Note 18.

p. 44. "more easily be employed": 'he' (for 'be') in original.

ibid. "the human mind is an emanation": 'humid' (for 'human') in original.

p. 49, diagram. Actual Hebrew letters in original. mem and tet are
transposed, kaph and vav look just like resh. * = final forms.

p. 52, note "54". Footnote marker missing, inserted in what seems to me the
most likely place.

p. 67. "kings should be subject to the laws": 'king' (ungrammatically) in

p. 72. "[Greek: episkopos] or bishop. [Greek: episkokos] in original.

p. 98. "All are bound to obey him implicitly": 'implicity' in original.

Note 20. "Christ. Breithaupt": 'Breithaurpt' in original. "MDccxxxvii": MD
in apostrophus form in text. So also in note 49, where an apostrophus is
put wrongly for the cc.

Notes 68, 74. The page numbers omitted in the original.

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