XVIII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX. ( Part 2 of 2 )
The Religion of Love proved to be, for seventeen long cen-
turies, as much the Religion of Hate, and infinitely more the Re-
ligion of Persecution, than Mahometanism, its unconquerable rival.
Heresies grew up before the Apostles died; and God hated the
Nicolaitans, while John, at Patmos, proclaimed His coming wrath.
Sects wrangled, and each, as it gained the power, persecuted
the other, until the soil of the whole Christian world was watered
with the blood, and fattened on the flesh, and whitened with the
bones, of martyrs, and human ingenuity was taxed to its utmost
to invent new modes by which tortures and agonies could be pro-
longed and made more exquisite.
"By what right," whispers the Voice, "does this savage, merci-
less, persecuting animal, to which the sufferings and writhings of
others of its wretched kind furnish the most pleasurable sensa-
tions, and the mass of which care only to eat, sleep, be clothed, and
wallow in sensual pleasures, and the best of which wrangle, hate,
envy, and, with few exceptions, regard their own interests alone,-
with what right does it endeavor to delude itself into the convic-
tion that it is not an animal, as the wolf, the hyena, and the tiger
are but a somewhat nobler, a spirit destined to be immortal, a
spark of the essential Light, Fire and Reason, which are God?
What other immortality than one of selfishness could this creature
enjoy? Of what other is it capable? Must not immortality com-
mence here and is not life a part of it? How shall death change
the base nature of the base soul ?
Why have not those other ani-
mals that only faintly imitate the wanton, savage, human cruelty
and thirst for blood, the same right as man has, to expect a resur-
rection and an Eternity of existence, or a Heaven of Love?
The world improves. Man ceases to persecute,--when the per-
secuted become too numerous and strong, longer to submit to it.
That source of pleasure closed, men exercise the ingenuities of
their cruelty on the animals and other living things below them.
To deprive other creatures of the life which God gave them, and
this not only that we may eat their flesh for food, but out of mere
savage wantonness, is the agreeable employment and amusement
of man, who prides himself on being the Lord of Creation, and a
little lower than the Angels.
If he can no longer use the rack, the
gibbet, the pincers, and the stake, he can hate, and slander,
and delight in the thought that he will, hereafter, luxuriously
enjoying the sensual beatitudes of Heaven, see with pleasure the
writhing agonies of those justly damned for daring to hold opin-
ions contrary to his own, upon subjects totally beyond the compre-
hension both of them and him.
Where the armies of the despots cease to slay and ravage, the
armies of "Freedom" take their place, and, the black and white
commingled, slaughter and burn and ravish. Each age re-enacts
the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war
licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is
thanked in the Churches for bloody hutcheries, and the remorse-
less devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with
laurels and receive ovations.
Of the whole of mankind, not one in ten thousand has any aspi-
rations beyond the daily needs of the gross animal life. In this
age and in all others, all men except a few, in most countries, are
born to be mere beasts of burden, co-laborers with the horse and
the ox. Profoundly ignorant, even in "civilized" lands, they think
and reason like the animals by the side of which they toil.
them, God, Soul, Spirit, Immortality, are mere words, without any
real meaning. The God of nineteen-twentieths of the Christian
world is only Bel, Moloch, Zeus, or at best Osiris, Mithras, or
Adonai, under another name, worshipped with the old Pagan cere-
monies and ritualistic formulas.
It is the Statue of Olympian Jove,
worshipped as the Father, in the Christian Church that was a
Pagan Temple;it is the Statue of Venus, become the Virgin Mary.
For the most part, men do not in their hearts believe that God is
either just or merciful. They fear and shrink from His lightnings
and dread His wrath. For the most part, they only think they
believe that there is another life, a judgment, and a punishment
for sin. Yet they will none the less persecute as Infidels and Athe-
ists those who do not believe what they themselves imagine they
believe, and which yet they do not believe, because it is incompre-
hensible to them in their ignorance and want of intellect. To the
vast majority of mankind, God is but the reflected image, in infi-
nite space, of the earthly Tyrant on his Throne, only more power-
ful, more inscrutable, and more implacable. To curse Humanity,
the Despot need only be, what the popular mind has, in every age,
In the great cities, the lower strata of the populace are equally
without faith and without hope. The others have, for the most
part, a mere blind faith, imposed by education and circumstances,
and not as productive of moral excellence or even common honesty
as Mohammedanism. "Your property will be safe here," said the
Moslem; "There are no Christians here."
and scientific world becomes daily more and more unbelieving.
Faith and Reason are not opposites, in equilibrium; but antago-
nistic and hostile to each other; the result being the darkness and
despair of scepticism, avowed, or half-veiled as rationalism.
Over more than three-fourths of the habitable globe, humanity
still kneels, like the camels, to take upon itself the burthens to be
tamely borne for its tyrants. If a Republic occasionally rises like a
Star, it hastens with all speed to set in blood.
The kings need not
make war upon it, to crush it out of their way. It is only neces-
sary to let it alone, and it soon lays violent hands upon itself.
when a people long enslaved shake off its fetters, it may well be
Shall the braggart shout
For some blind glimpse of Freedom, link itself,
Through madness, hated by the wise, to law,
System and Empire?
Everywhere in the world labor is, in some shape, the slave of
capital; generally, a slave to be fed only so long as he can work;
or, rather, only so long as his work is profitable to the owner of
the human chattel. There are famines in Ireland, strikes and
starvation in England, pauperism and tenement-dens in New
York, misery, squalor, ignorance, destitution, the brutality of vice
and the insensibility to shame, of despairing beggary, in all the
human cesspools and sewers everywhere. Here, a sewing-woman
famishes and freezes; there, mothers murder their children, that
those spared may live upon the bread purchased with the burial
allowances of the dead starveling; and at the next door young
girls prostitute themselves for food.
Moreover, the Voice says, this besotted race is not satisfied with
seeing its multitudes swept away by the great epidemics whose
causes are unknown, and of the justice or wisdom of which the
human mind cannot conceive. It must also be ever at war. There
has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all
the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in mur-
dering each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by
the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resources,
wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations. Now it
loads unborn posterity with crushing debt, mortgages all estates,
and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest re-
At times, the baleful fires of war light up half a Continent at
once; as when all the Thrones unite to compel a people to receive
again a hated and detestable dynasty, or States deny States the
right to dissolve an irksome union and create for themselves a
Then again the flames flicker and die away,
and the fire smoulders in its ashes, to break out again, after a
time, with renewed and a more concentrated fury. At times, the
storm, revolving, howls over small areas only; at times its lights
are seen, like the old beacon-fires on the hills, belting the whole
globe. No sea, but hears the roar of cannon; no river, but runs
red with blood; no plain, but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of
charging squadrons; no field, but is fertilized by the blood of the
dead; and everywhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf
howls in the ear of the dying soldier. No city is not tortured
by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horrid blas-
phemy of thanking a God of Love for victories and carnage.
Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the
Sicilian Vespers. Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive
powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruc-
tion, by which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and
effectually crushed, shattered, torn, and mangled; and yet hypo-
critical Humanity, drunk with blood and drenched with gore,
shrieks to Heaven at a single murder, perpetrated to gratify a re-
venge not more unchristian, or to satisfy a cupidity not more
ignoble, than those which are the promptings of the Devil in the
souls of Nations.
When we have fondly dreamed of Utopia and the Millennium,
when we have begun almost to believe that man is not, after all, a
tiger half tamed, and that the smell of blood will not wake the sav-
age within him, we are of a sudden startled from the delusive
dream, to find the thin mask of civilization rent in twain and
thrown contemptuously away. We lie down to sleep, like the peas-
ant on the lava-slopes of Vesuvius.
The mountain has been so
long inert, that we believe its fires extinguished. Round us hang
the clustering grapes, and the green leaves of the olive tremble in
the soft night-air over us. Above us shine the peaceful, patient
stars. The crash of a new eruption wakes us, the roar of the sub-
terranean thunders, the stabs of the volcanic lightning into the
shrouded bosom of the sky; and we see, aghast, the tortured Titan
hurling up its fires among the pale stars, its great tree of smoke
and cloud, the red torrents pouring down its sides. The roar and
the shriekings of Civil War are all around us: the land is a pande-
monium: man is again a Savage.
The great armies roll along their
hideous waves, and leave behind them smoking and depopulated
deserts. The pillager is in every house, plucking even the morsel
of bread from the lips of the starving child. Gray hairs are
dabbled in blood, and innocent girlhood shrieks in vain to Lust for
mercy. Laws, Courts, Constitutions, Christianity, Mercy, Pity,
disappear. God seems to have abdicated, and Moloch to reign in
His stead; while Press and Pulpit alike exult at universal murder,
and urge the extermination of the Conquered, by the sword and
the flaming torch; and to plunder and murder entitles the human
beasts of prey to the thanks of Christian Senates.
Commercial greed deadens the nerves of sympathy of Nations,
and makes them deaf to the demands of honor, the impulses of
generosity, the appeals of those who suffer under injustice. Else-
where, the universal pursuit of wealth dethrones God and pays
divine honors to Mammon and Baalzebub. Selfishness rules su-
preme: to win wealth becomes the whole business of life. The
villanies of legalized gaming and speculation become epidemic;
treacery is but evidence of shrewdness; office becomes the prey
of successful faction; the Country, like Actaeon, is torn by its own
hounds, and the villains it has carefully educated to their trade,
most greedily plunder it, when it is in extremis.
By what right, the Voice demands, does a creature always
engaged in the work of mutual robbery and slaughter, and who
makes his own interest his God, claim to be of a nature superior
to the savage beasts of which he is the prototype?
Then the shadows of a horrible doubt fall upon the soul that
would fain love, trust and believe; a darkness, of which this that
surrounded you was a symbol. It doubts the truth of Revelation,
its own spirituality, the very existence of a beneficent God. It
asks itself if it is not idle to hope for any great progress of
Humanity toward perfection, and whether, when it advances in
one respect, it does not retrogress in some other, by way of com-
pensation: whether advance in civilization is not increase of self-
ishness: whether freedom does not necessarily lead to license and
anarchy: whether the destitution and debasement of the masses
does not inevitably follow increase of population and commercial
and manufacturing prosperity.
It asks itself whether man is not
the sport of blind, merciless Fate: whether all philosophies are
not delusions, and all religions the fantastic creations of human
vanity and self-conceit; and above all, whether, when Reason is
abandoned as a guide, the faith of Buddhist and Brahmin has not
the same claims to sovereignty and implicit, unreasoning credence,
as any other.
He asks himself whether it is not, after all, the evident and pal-
pable injustices of this life, the success and prosperity of the Bad,
the calamities, oppressions, and miseries of the Good, that are the
bases of all beliefs in a future state of existence?
capacity for indefinite progress here, he doubts the possibility of it
anywher; and if he does not doubt whether God exists, and is
just and beneficent, he at least cannot silence the constantly recur-
ring whisper, that the miseries and calamities of men, their lives
and deaths, their pains and sorrows, their extermination by war
and epidemics, are phenomena of no higher dignity, significance,
and importance, in the eye of God, than what things of the same
nature occur to other organisms of matter; and that the fish of
the ancient seas, destroyed by myriads to make room for other
species, the contorted shapes in which they are found as fossils
testifying to their agonies; the coral insects, the animals and
birds and vermin slain by man, have as much right as he to clamor
at the injustice of the dispensations of God, and to demand an
immortality of life in a new universe, as compensation for their
pains and sufferings and untimely death in this world.
This is not a picture painted by the imagination. Many a
thoughtful mind has so doubted and despaired. How many of us
can say that our own faith is so well grounded and complete that
we never hear those painful whisperings within the soul? Thrice
blessed are they who never doubt, who ruminate in patient con-
tentment like the kine, or doze under the opiate of a blind faith;
on whose souls never rests that Awful Shadow which is the ab-
sence of the Divine Light.
To explain to themselves the existence of Evil and Suffering,
the Ancient Persians imagined that there were two Principles or
Deities in the Universe, the one of Good and the other of Evil,
constantly in conflict with each other in struggle for the mastery,
and alternately overcoming and overcome. Over both, for the
SAGES, was the One Supreme; and for them Light was in the end
to prevail over Darkness, the Good over the Evil, and even Ahri-
man and his Demons to part with their wicked and vicious natures
and share the universal Salvation.
It did not occur to them that
the existence of the Evil Principle, by the consent of the Omnipo-
tent Supreme, presented the same difficulty, and left the existence
of Evil as unexplained as before. The human mind is always
content, if it can remove a difficulty a step further off. It cannot
believe that the world rests on nothing, but is devoutly content
when taught that it is borne on the back of an immense elephant,
who himself stands on the back of a tortoise. Given the tortoise,
Faith is always satisfied; and it has been a great source of happi-
ness to multitudes that they could believe in a Devil who could
relieve God of the odium of being the Author of Sin.
But not to all is Faith sufficient to overcome this great diffi-
culty. They say, with the Suppliant, "Lord! I believe!"--but like
him they are constrained to add, "Help Thou my unbelief!"--Rea-
son must, for these, co-operate and coincide with Faith, or they
remain still in the darkness of doubt,--most miserable of all con-
ditions of the human mind.
Those only, who care for nothing beyond the interests and pur-
suits of this life, are uninterested in these great Problems. The
animals, also, do not consider them. It is the characteristic of an
immortal Soul, that it should seek to satisfy itself of its immor-
tality, and to understand this great enigma, the Universe. If the
Hottentot and the Papuan are not troubled and tortured by these
doubts and speculations, they are not, for that, to be regarded as
either wise or fortunate. The swine, also, are indifferent to the
great riddles of the Universe, and are happy in being wholly un-
aware that it is the vast Revelation and Manifestation, in Time
and Space, of a Single Thought of the Infinite God.
Exalt and magnify Faith as we will, and say that it begins
where Reason ends, it must, after all, have a foundation, either in
Reason, Analogy, the Consciousness, or human testimony.
worshipper of Brahma also has implicit Faith in what seems to
us palpably false and absurd. His faith rests neither in Reason,
Analogy, or the Consciousness, but on the testimony of his Spirit-
ual teachers, and of the Holy Books. The Moslem also believes,
on the positive testimony of the Prophet; and the Mormon also
can say, "I believe this, because it is impossible." No faith, how-
ever absurd or degrading, has ever wanted these foundations,
testimony, and the books. Miracles, proven by unimpeachable
testimony have been used as a foundation for Faith, in every age;
and the modern miracles are better authenticated, a hundred
times, than the ancient ones.
So that, after all, Faith must flow out from some source within
us, when the evidence of that which we are to believe is not pre-
sented to our senses, or it will in no case be the assurance of the
truth of what is believed.
The Consciousness, or inhering and innate conviction, or the
instinct divinely implanted, of the verity of things, is the highest
possible evidence, if not the only real proof, of the verity of cer-
tain things, but only of truths of a limited class.
What we call the Reason, that is, our imperfect human reason,
not only may, but assuredly will, lead us away from the Truth in
regard to things invisible and especially those of the Infinite, if
we determine to believe nothing but that which it can demonstrate
or not to believe that which it can by its processes of logic prove
to be contradictory, unreasonable, or absurd. Its tape-line cannot
measure the arcs of Infinity. For example, to the Human reason,
an Infinite Justice and an Infinite Mercy or Love, in the same
Being, are inconsistent and impossible. One, it can demonstrate,
necessarily excludes the other. So it can demonstrate that as the
Creation had a beginning, it necessarily follows that an Eternity
had elapsed before the Deity began to create, during which He
When we gaze, of a moonless clear night, on the Heavens glit-
tering with stars, and know that each fixed star of all the myriads
is a Sun, and each probably possessing its retinue of worlds, all
peopled with living beings, we sensibly feel our own unimportance
in the scale of Creation, and at once reflect that much of what has
in different ages been religious faith, could never have been be-
lieved, if the nature, size, and distance of those Suns, and of our
own Sun, Moon, and Planets, had been known to the Ancients as
they are to us.
To them, all the lights of the firmament were created only to
give light to the earth, as its lamps or candles hung above it. The
earth was supposed to be the only inhabited portion of the Uni-
verse. The world and the Universe were synonymous terms. Of
the immense size and distance of the heavenly bodies, men had
no conception. The Sages had, in Chaldaea, Egypt, India, China,
and in Persia, and therefore the sages always had, an esoteric
creed, taught only in the mysteries and unknown to the vulgar.
No Sage, in either country, or in Greece or Rome, believed the
popular creed. To them the Gods and the Idols of the Gods were
symbols, and symbols of great and mysterious truths.
The Vulgar imagined the attention of the Gods to be continu-
ally centred upon the earth and man. The Grecian Divinities in-
habited Olympus, an insignificant mountain of the Earth. There
was the Court of Zeus, to which Neptune came from the Sea, and
Pluto and Persephone from the glooms of Tartarus in the un-
fathomable depths of the Earth's bosom. God came down from
Heaven and on Sinai dictated laws for the Hebrews to His servant
Moses. The Stars were the guardians of mortals whose fates and
fortunes were to be read in their movements, conjunctions, and
oppositions. The Moon was the Bride and Sister of the Sun, at
the same distance above the Earth, and, like the Sun, made for
the service of mankind alone.
If, with the great telescope of Lord Rosse, we examine the vast
nebulae of Hercules, Orion, and Andromeda, and find them re-
solvable into Stars more numerous than the sands on the sea-
shore; if we reflect that each of these Stars is a Sun, like and
even many times larger than ours,--each, beyond a doubt, with its
retinue of worlds swarming with life; --if we go further in imagi-
nation and endeavor to conceive of all the infinities of space,
filled with similar suns and worlds, we seem at once to shrink into
an incredible insignificance.
The Universe, which is the uttered Word of God, is infinite in
extent. There is no empty space beyond creation on any side.
The Universe, which is the Thought of God pronounced, never
was not, since God never was inert; nor WAS, without thinking
and creating. The forms of creation change, the suns and worlds
live and die like the leaves and the insects, but the Universe itself
is infinite and eternal, because God Is, Was, and Will forever Be,
and never did not think and create.
Reason is fain to admit that a Supreme Intelligence, infinitely
powerful and wise, must have created this boundless Universe;
but it also tells us that we are as unimportant in it as the zoophytes
and entozoa, or as the invisible particles of animated life that
float upon the air or swarm in the water-drop.
The foundations of our faith, resting upon the imagined inter-
est of God in our race, an interest easily supposable when man
believed himself the only intelligent created being, and therefore
eminently worthy the especial care and watchful anxiety of a God
who had only this earth to look after, and its house-keeping alone
to superintend, and who was content to create, in all the infinite
Universe, only one single being, possessing a soul, and not a mere
animal, are rudely shaken as the Universe broadens and expands
for us; and the darkness of doubt and distrust settles heavy upon
The modes in which it is ordinarily endeavored to satisfy our
doubts, only increase them. To demonstrate the necessity for a
cause of the creation, is equally to demonstrate the necessity of a
cause for that cause. The argument from plan and design only
removes the difficulty a step further off. We rest the world on
the elephant, and the elephant on the tortoise, and the tortoise on
To tell us that the animals possess instinct only and that Rea-
son belongs to us alone, in no way tends to satisfy us of the radi-
cal difference between us and them. For if the mental phenomena
exhibited by animals that think, dream, remember, argue from
cause to effect, plan, devise, combine, and communicate their
thoughts to each other, so as to act rationally in concert,--if their
love, hate, and revenge, can be conceived of as results of the
organization of matter, like color and perfume, the resort to the
hypothesis of an immaterial Soul to explain phenomena of the
same kind, only more perfect, manifested by the human being, is
supremely absurd. That organized matter can think or even feel,
at all, is the great insoluble mystery. "Instinct" is but a word
without a meaning, or else it means inspiration. It is either the
animal itself, or God in the animal, that thinks, remembers, and
reasons; and instinct, according to the common acceptation of the
term, would be the greatest and most wonderful of mysteries,-
no less a thing than the direct, immediate, and continual prompt-
ings of the Deity,--for the animals are not machines, or automata
moved by springs, and the ape is but a dumb Australian.
Must we always remain in this darkness of uncertainty, of
doubt? Is there no mode of escaping from the labyrinth except
by means of a blind faith, which explains nothing, and in many
creeds, ancient and modern, sets Reason at defiance, and leads to
the belief either in a God without a Universe, a Universe without
a God, or a Universe which is itself a God ?
We read in the Hebrew Chronicles that Schlomoh the wise
King caused to be placed in front of the entrance to the Temple
two huge columns of bronze, one of which was called YAKAYIN
and the other BAHAZ; and these words are rendered in our ver-
sion Strength and Establishment. The Masonry of the Blue
Lodges gives no explanation of these symbolic columns; nor do
the Hebrew Books advise us that they were symbolic. If not so
intended as symbols, they were subsequently understood to be
But as we are certain that everything within the Temple was
symbolic, and that the whole structure was intended to represent
the Universe, we may reasonably conclude that the columns of the
portico also had a symbolic signification. It would be tedious to
repeat all the interpretations which fancy or dullness has found
The key to their true meaning is not undiscoverable. The per-
fect and eternal distinction of the two primitive terms of the cre-
ative syllogism, in order to attain to the demonstration of their
harmony by the analogy of contraries, is the second grand prin-
ciple of that occult philosophy veiled under the name "Kabalah,"
and indicated by all the sacred hieroglyphs of the Ancient Sanctu-
aries, and of the rites, so little understood by the mass of the
Initiates, of the Ancient and Modern Free-Masonry.
The Sohar declares that everything in the Universe proceeds by
the mystery of "the Balance," that is, of Equilibrium. Of the
Sephiroth, or Divine Emanations, Wisdom and Understanding,
Severity and Benignity, or Justice and Mercy, and Victory and
Glory, constitute pairs.
Wisdom, or the Intellectual Generative Energy, and Under-
standing, or the Capacity to be impregnated by the Active Energy
and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically
in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and
Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Estab-
lishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a
Tpassivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY
of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UN-
DERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the
Temple, contraries like the Man and Woman, like Reason and
Faith, Omnipotence and Liberty, Infinite Justice and Infinite
Mercy, Absolute Power or Strength to do even what is most un-
just and unwise, and Absolute Wisdom that makes it impossible to
do it; Right and Duty. They were the columns of the intellectual
and moral world, the monumental hieroglyph of the antinomy
necessary to the grand law of creation.
There must be for every Force a Resistance to support it, to
every light a shadow, for every Royalty a Realm to govern, for
every affirmative a negative.
For the Kabalists, Light represents the Active Principle, and
Darkness or Shadow is analogous to the Passive Principle. There-
fore it was that they made of the Sun and Moon emblems of the
two Divine Sexes and the two creative forces; therefore, that they
ascribed to woman the Temptation and the first sin, and then the
first labor, the maternal labor of the redemption, because it is
from the bosom of the darkness itself that we see the Light born
again. The Void attracts the Full; and so it is that the abyss of
poverty and misery, the Seeming Evil, the seeming empty noth-
ingness of life, the temporary rebellion of the creatures, eternally
attracts the overflowing ocean of being, of riches, of pity, and of
love. Christ completed the Atonement on the Cross by descend-
ing into Hell.
Justice and Mercy are contraries. If each be infinite, their co-
existence seems impossible, and being equal, one cannot even
annihilate the other and reign alone. The mysteries of the Divine
Nature are beyond our finite comprehension; but so indeed are
the mysteries of our own finite nature; and it is certain that in
all nature harmony and movement are the result of the equilibrium
of opposing or contrary forces.
The analogy of contraries gives the solution of the most inter-
esting and most difficult problem of modern philosophy,--the
definite and permanent accord of Reason and Faith, of Author-
ity and Liberty of examination, of Science and Belief, of Perfec-
tion in God and Imperfection in Man. If science or knowledge
is the Sun, Belief is the Man; it is a reflection of the day in the
night. Faith is the veiled Isis, the Supplement of Reason, in the
shadows which precede or follow Reason. It emanates from the
Reason, but can never confound it nor be confounded with it. The
encroachments of Reason upon Faith, or of Faith on Reason, are
eclipses of the Sun or Moon; when they occur, they make useless
both the Source of Light and its reflection, at once.
Science perishes by systems that are nothing but beliefs; and
Faith succumbs to reasoning. For the two Columns of the Tem-
ple to uphold the edifice, they must remain separated and be
parallel to each other. As soon as it is attempted by violence to
bring them together, as Samson did, they are overturned, and the
whole edifice falls upon the head of the rash blind man or the
revolutionist whom personal or national resentments have in ad-
vance devoted to death.
Harmony is the result of an alternating preponderance of
forces. Whenever this is wanting in government, government is
a failure, because it is either Despotism or Anarchy. All theoret-
ical governments, however plausible the theory, end in one or the
other. Governments that are to endure are not made in the closet
of Locke or Shaftesbury, or in a Congress or a Convention. In a
Republic, forces that seem contraries, that indeed are contraries,
alone give movement and life. The Spheres are field in their
orbits and made to revolve harmoniously and unerringly, by the
concurrence, which seems to be the opposition, of two contrary
forces. If the centripetal force should overcome the centrifugal,
the equilibrium of forces cease, the rush of the Spheres to the
central Sun would annihilate the system. Instead of consolida-
tion, the whole would be shattered into fragments.
Man is a free agent, though Omnipotence is above and all
around him. To be free to do good, he must be free to do evil.
The Light necessitates the Shadow. A State is free like an indi-
vidual in any government worthy of the name. The State is less
potent than the Deity, and therefore the freedom of the individual
citizen is consistent with its Sovereignty. These are opposites,
but not antagonistic. So, in a union of States, the freedom of the
states is consistent with the Supremacy of the Nation.
either obtains the permanent mastery over the other, and they
cease to be in equilibrio, the encroachment continues with a ve-
locity that is accelerated like that of a falling body, until the
feebler is annihilated, and then, there being no resistance to sup-
port the stronger, it rushes into ruin.
So, when the equipoise of Reason and Faith, in the individual
or the Nation, and the alternating preponderance cease, the result
is, according as one or the other is permanent victor, Atheism or
Superstition, disbelief or blind credulity; and the Priests either
of Unfaith or of Faith become despotic.
"Whomsoever God loveth, him he chasteneth," is an expression
that formulates a whole dogma. The trials of life are the bless-
ings of life, to the individual or the Nation, if either has a Soul
that is truly worthy of salvation. "Light and darkness," said
ZOROASTER, "are the world's eternal ways." The Light and the
Shadow are everywhere and always in proportion; the Light being
the reason of being of the Shadow. It is by trials only, by the
agonies of sorrow and the sharp discipline of adversities, that men
and Nations attain initiation. The agonies of the garden of Geth-
semane and those of the Cross on Calvary preceded the Resurrec-
tion and were the means of Redemption. It is with prosperity
that God afflicts Humanity.
The Degree of Rose is devoted to and symbolizes tne final
triumph of truth over falsehood, of liberty over slavery, of light
over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil.
great truth it inculcates is, that notwithstanding the existence of
Evil, God is infinitely wise, just, and good: that though the affairs
of the world proceed by no rule of right and wrong known to us
in the narrowness of our views, yet all is right, for it is the work of
God; and all evils, all miseries, all misfortunes, are but as drops in
the vast current that is sweeping onward, guided by Him, to a
great and magnificent result: that, at the appointed time, He will
redeem and regenerate the world, and the Principle, the Power,
and the existence of Evil will then cease; that this will be brought
about by such means and instruments as He chooses to employ;
whether by the merits of a Redeemer that has already appeared,
or a Messiah that is yet waited for, by an incarnation of Himself,
or by an inspired prophet, it does not belong to us as Masons to
decide. Let each judge and believe for himself.
In the mean time, we labor to hasten the coming of that day.
The morals of antiquity, of the law of Moses and of Christianity,
are ours. We recognize every teacher of Morality, every Reform-
er, as a brother in this great work. The Eagle is to us the symbol
of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity.,
and our order of Fraternity. Laboring for these, with Faith,
Hope, and Charity as our armor, we will wait with patience for
the final triumph of Good and the complete manifestation of the
Word of God.
No one Mason has the right to measure for another, within the
walls of a Masonic Temple, the degree of veneration which he
shall feel for any Reformer, or the Founder of any Religion. We
teach a belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none.
Whatever higher attributes the Founder of the Christian Faith
may, in our belief, have had or not have had, none can deny that
He taught and practised a pure and elevated morality, even at the
risk and to the ultimate loss of His life. He was not only the
benefactor of a disinherited people, but a model for mankind. De-
votedly He loved the children of Israel. To them He came, and
to them alone He preached that Gospel which His disciples after-
ward carried among foreigners. He would fain have freed the
chosen People from their spiritual bondage of ignorance and deg-
radation. As a lover of all mankind, laying down His life for the
emancipation of His Brethren, He should be to all, to Christian, to
Jew, and to Mahometan, an object of gratitude and veneration.
The Roman world felt the pangs of approaching dissolution.
Paganism, its Temples shattered by Socrates and Cicero, had
spoken its last word. The God of the Hebrews was unknown be-
yond the limits of Palestine. The old religions had failed to give
happiness and peace to the world. The babbling and wrangling
philosophers had confounded all men's ideas, until they doubted of
everything and had faith in nothing: neither in God nor in his
goodness and mercy, nor in the virtue of man, nor in themselves.
Mankind was divided into two great classes,-- the master and the
slave; the powerful and the abject, the high and the low, the
tyrants and the mob; and even the former were satiated with the
servility of the latter, sunken by lassitude and despair to the low-
est depths of degradation.
When, lo, a voice, in the inconsiderable Roman Province of
Judea proclaims a new Gospel--a new "God's Word," to crushed,
suffering, bleeding humanity. Liberty of Thought, Equality of all
men in the eye of God, universal Fraternity! a new doctrine, a
new religion; the old Primitive Truth uttered once again!
Man is once more taught to look upward to his God. No longer
to a God hid in impenetrable mystery, and infinitely remote from
human sympathy, emerging only at intervals from the darkness to
smite and crush humanity: but a God, good, kind, beneficent, and
merciful; a Father, loving the creatures He has made, with a love
immeasurable and exhaustless; Who feels for us, and sympa-
thizes with us, and sends us pain and want and disaster only that
they may serve to develop in us the virtues and excellences that
befit us to live with Him hereafter.
Jesus of Nazareth, the "Son of man," is the expounder of the
new Law of Love. He calls to Him the humble, the poor, the
Paraihs of the world. The first sentence that He pronounces
blesses the world, and announces the new gospel:"Blessed are
they that mourn for they shall be comforted." He pours the oil
of consolation and peace upon every crushed and bleeding heart.
Every sufferer is His proselyte. He shares their sorrows, and
sypathizes with all their afflictions.
He raises up the sinner and the Samaritan woman, and teaches
them to hope for forgiveness. He pardons the woman taken in
adultery. He selects his disciples not among the Pharisees or the
Philosophers, but among the low and humble, even of the fisher-
men of Galilee. He heals the sick and feeds the poor.
among the destitute and the friendless. "Suffer little children,"
He said, "to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven !
Blessed are the humble-minded, for theirs is the kingdom of
Heaven; the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth; the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy; the pure in heart, for they shall see
God; the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of
God! First be reconciled to they brother, and then come and offer
thy gift at the altar. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him
that would borrow of thee turn not away! Love your enemies;
bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and
pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you! All
things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also
unto them; for this is the law and the Prophets! He that taketh
not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me.
new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as
I have loved you, that ye also love one another: by this shall all
know that ye are My disciples. Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."
The Gospel of Love He sealed with His life. The cruelty of
the Jewish Priesthood, the ignorant ferocity of the mob, and the
Roman indifference to barbarian blood, nailed Him to the cross,
and He expired uttering blessings upon humanity.
Dying thus, He bequeathed His teachings to man as an ines-
timable inheritance. Perverted and corrupted, they have served as
a basis for many creeds, and been even made the warrant for in-
tolerance and persecution. We here teach them in their purity.
They are our Masonry; for to them good men of all creeds can
That God is good and merciful, and loves and sympathizes with
the creatures He has made; that His finger is visible in all the
movements of the moral, intellectual, and material universe; that
we are His children, the objects of His paternal care and regard;
that all men are our brothers, whose wants we are to supply, their
errors to pardon, their opinions to tolerate, their injuries to for-
give; that man has an immortal soul, a free will, a right to free-
dom of thought and action; that all men are equal in God's sight;
that we best serve God by humility, meekness, gentleness, kind-
ness, and the other virtues which the lowly can practise as well as
the lofty; this is "the new Law," the "WORD," for which the
world had waited and pined so long; and every true Knight of
the Rose + will revere the memory of Him who taught it, and
look indulgently even on those who assign to Him a character far
above his own conceptions or belief, even to the extent of deem-
ing Him Divine.
Hear Philo, the Greek Jew. "The contemplative soul, un-
equally guided, sometimes toward abundance and sometimes to-
ward barrenness, though ever advancing, is illuminated by the
primitive ideas, the rays that emanate from the Divine Intelli-
gence, whenever it ascends toward the Sublime Treasures. When,
on the contrary, it descends, and is barren, it falls within the do-
main of those Intelligences that are termed Angels... for, when
the soul is deprived of the light of God, which leads it to the
knowledge of things, it no longer enjoys more than a feeble and
secondary light, which gives it, not the understanding of things,
but that of words only, as in this baser world. "
". . Let the narrow-souled withdraw, having their ears sealed
up! We communicate the divine mysteries to those only who
have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true
piety, and who are not enslaved by the empty pomp of words, or
the doctrines of the pagans. ."
"... O, ye Initiates, ye whose ears are purified, receive this in
your souls, as a mystery never to be lost! Reveal it to no Profane !
Keep and contain it within yourselves, as an incorruptible treas-
ure, not like gold or silver, but more precious than everything
besides; for it is the knowledge of the Great Cause, of Nature, and
of that which is born of both. And if you meet an Initiate, be-
siege him with your prayers, that he conceal from you no new
mysteries that he may know, and rest not until you have obtained
them! For me, although I was initiated in the Great Mysteries
by Moses, the Friend of God, yet, having seen Jeremiah, I recog-
nized him not only as an Initiate, but as a Hierophant; and I fol-
low his school."
We, like him, recognize all Initiates as our Brothers. We be-
long to no one creed or school. In all religions there is a basis of
Truth; in all there is pure Morality. All that teach the cardinal
tenets of Masonry we respect; all teachers and reformers of man-
kind we admire and revere.
Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions
reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further
back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she in-
vites all men of all religions to enlist under her banners and to
war against evil, ignorance and wrong. You are now her knight,
and to her service your sword is consecrated. May you prove a
worthy soldier in a worthy cause!
( Part 2 of 2 )end