XXVI. PRINCE OF MERCY, OR SCOTTISH TRINITARIAN. ( Part 2 of 3 )
Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, was born in 354, and died in 417. He
says: "I wish to speak openly: but I dare not, on account of those who are not
initiated. I shall therefore avail myself of disguised terms, discoursing in a
shadowy manner ..... Where the holy Mysteries are celebrated, we drive
away all uninitiated persons, and then close the doors." He mentions the
acclamations of the initiated; "which," he says, "I here pass over in silence;
for it is forbidden to disclose such things to the Profane." Palladius, in
of Chrysostom, records, as a great outrage, that, a tumult having been
excited against him by his enemies, they forced their way into the penetralia,
where the uninitiated beheld what was not proper for them to see; and
Chrysostom mentions the same circumstance in his epistle to Pope Innocent.
St. Cyril of Alexandria, who was made Bishop in 412, and died in 444, says in
his 7th Book against Julian: "These Mysteries are so profound and so exalted,
that they can be comprehended by those only who are enlightened. I shall
not, therefore, attempt to speak of what is so admirable in them, lest by
discovering them to
the uninitiated, I should offend against the injunction not to give what is
holy to the impure, nor cast pearls before such as cannot estimate their
worth….. I should say much more, if I were not afraid of being heard by
those who are uninitiated: because men are apt to deride what they do
not understand. And the ignorant, not being aware of the weakness of
their minds, condemn what they ought most to venerate."
Theodoret, Bishop of Cyropolis in Syria, was born in 393, and made
Bishop in 420. In one of his three Dialogues, called the Immutable, he
introduces Orthodoxus, speaking thus: "Answer me, if you please, in
mystical or obscure terms: for perhaps there are some persons present
who are not initiated into the Mysteries." And in his preface to Ezekiel,
tracing up the secret discipline to the commencement of the Christian era,
he says: "These Mysteries are so august, that we ought to keep them with
the greatest caution."
Minucius Felix, an eminent lawyer of Rome, who lived in 212, and wrote a
defence of Christianity, says: "Many of them [the Christians] know each
other by tokens and signs (notis et insignibus), and they form a friendship
for each other, almost before they become acquainted."
The Latin Word, tessera, originally meant a square piece of wood or
stone, used in making tesselated pavements; afterward a tablet on which
anything was written, and then a cube or die. Its most general use was to
designate a piece of metal or wood, square in shape, on which the
watchword of an Army was inscribed; whence tessera came to mean the
watchword itself. There was also a tessera hospitalis, which was a piece
of wood cut into two parts, as a pledge of friendship. Each party kept one
of the parts; and they swore mutual fidelity by Jupiter. To break the
tessera was considered a dissolution of the friendship. The early
Christians used it as a Mark, the watchword of friendship. With them it
was generally in the shape of a fish, and made of bone. On its face was
inscribed the word , a fish, the initials of which represented the Greek
words, ; Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Saviour.
St. Augustine (de Fide et Svmbolis) says: "This is the faith which in a few
words is given to the Novices to be kept by a symbol; these few words are
known to all the Faithful; that by believing they may be submissive to
God; by being thus submissive, they
may live rightly; by living rightly, they may purify their hearts and with
a pure heart
may understand what they believe."
Maximus Taurinus says: "The tessera is a symbol and sign by which to
between the Faithful and the Profane."
There are three Degrees in Blue Masonry; and in addition to the two words
syllables each, embodying the binary, three, of three syllables each. There
three Grand Masters, the two Kings, and Khir-Om the Artificer. The
admission by three raps, and three raps call up the Brethren. There are three
principal officers of the Lodge, three lights at the Altar, three gates -of
all in the East, West, and South. The three lights represent the Sun, the
Mercury; Osiris, Isis, and Horus; the Father, the Mother, and the Child;
Strength, and Beauty; Hakamah, Binah, and Daath; Gedulah, Geburah, nd
Tepareth. The candidate makes three circuits of the Lodge: there were three
assassins of Khir-Om, and he was slain by three blows while seeking to
the three gates of the Temple. The ejaculation at his grave was repeated three
times. There are three* divisions of the Temple, and three, five, and seven
Master works with Chalk, Charcoal, and a vessel of Clay; there are -.hree
and three immovable jewels. The Triangle appears among the Symbols: the two
parallel lines enclosing the circle are connected at top, as are the
and Boaz, symbolizing the equilibrium which explains the great Mysteries of
This continual reproduction of the number three is not accidental, nor
profound meaning: and we shall find the same repeated in all the Ancient
The Egyptian Gods formed Triads, the third member in each proceeding from the
other two. Thus we have the Triad of Thebes, Amun, Maut, and Kharso; that of
Philae, Osiris, Isis, and Horus; that of Elephantinë and the Cataracts,
Osiris, Isis, and Horus were the Father, Mother, and Son; the latter being
Soul of the World, the Son, the Protogonos or First-Begotten.
Sometimes this Triad was regarded as SPIRIT, or the active Principle or
Power; MATTER, or the PASSIVE Principle or Productive Capacity; and the
Universe, which proceeds from the two Principles.
We also find in Egypt this Triad or Trinity; Ammon-Ra, the Creator:
Giver of Fruitfulness: Horus-Ra the
Queller of Light; symbolized by the Summer, Autumn, and Spring Sun. For the
Egyptians had but three Seasons, the three gates of the Temple; and on
the different effects of the Sun on those three Seasons, the Deity appears
The Phoenician Trinity was Ulomos, Chusoros, and the Egg out of which the
The Chaldean Triad consisted of Bel, [the Persian Zervana Akherana],
and Ahriman; the Good and Evil Principle alike outflowing from the Father,
equilibrium and alternating preponderance to produce harmony. Each was to
turn, for equal periods, until finally the Evil Principle should itself
The Chaldean and Persian oracles of Zoroaster give us the Triad, Fire,
Orpheus celebrates the Triad of Phanes, Ouranos, and Kronos. Corry says the
Trinity consisted of Metis, Phanes, and Ericapaeus; Will, Light or Love,
Acusilaus makes it consist of Metis, Eros, and Æther: Will, Love, and Ether.
Phereycides of Syros, of Fire, Water, and Air or Spirit. In the two former
recognize Osiris and Isis, the Sun and the Nile.
The first three of the Persian Amshaspands were BAHMAN, the Lord of LIGHT;
Ardibehest, the Lord Of FIRE; and Shariver, the Lord of SPLENDOR. These at
lead us back to the Kabala.
Plutarch says: "The better and diviner nature consists of three; the
Intelligible (i.e. that
and which exists within the Intellect only as yet), and Matter; , and that
which proceeds from these, which the Greeks call Kosmos: of which Plato
Intelligible, the Idea, the Exemplar, the Father: Matter, the Mother, the
Nurse, and the
receptacle and place of generation: and the issue of these two, the
The Pythagorean fragments say: "Therefore, before the Heaven was made, there
existed Idea and Matter, and God the Demiourgos [workman or active
the former. He made the world out of matter, perfect, only-begotten, with a
intellect, and constituted it a divinity."
Plato gives us Thought, the Father; Primitive Matter, the Mother; and
Son, the issue of the two Principles. Kosmos is the ensouled Universe.
With the later Platonists, the Triad was Potence, Intellect, and Spirit,
Sanchoniathon's as Fire, Light, and
Flame, the three Sons of Genos; but this is the Alexandrian, not the
Aurelius says the Demiourgos or Creator is triple, and the three Intellects
are the three Kings: He who exists; He who possesses; He who beholds.
The first is that which exists by its essence; the second exists in the first,
and contains or possesses in itself the Universal of things; all that
afterward becomes: the third beholds this Universal, formed and
fashioned intellectually, and so having a separate existence. The Third
exists in the Second, and the Second in the First.
The most ancient Trinitarian doctrine on record is that of the Brahmins.
The Eternal Supreme Essence, called PARABRAHMA, BRAHM,
PARATMA, produced the Universe by self-reflection, and first revealed
himself as BRAHMA, the Creating Power, then as VISHNU, the
Preserving Power, and lastly as SIVA, the Destroying and Renovating
Power; the three Modes in which the Supreme Essence reveals himself in
the material Universe; but which soon to be regarded as three distinct
Deities. These three Deities came they styled the TRIMURTI, or TRIAD.
The Persians received from the Indians the doctrine of the three
principles, and changed it to that of a principle of Life, which was
individualized by the Sun, and a principle of Death, which was symbolized
by cold and darkness; parallel of the moral world; and in which the
continual and alternating struggle between light and darkness, life and
death, seemed but a phase of the great struggle between the good and
evil principles, embodied in the legend of ORMUZD and AHRIMAN.
MITHRAS, a Median reformer, was deified after his death, and invested
with the attributes of the Sun; the different astronomical phenomena being
figuratively detailed as actual incidents of his life; in the same manner as
the history of BUDDHA was invented among the Hindüs.
The Trinity of the Hindüs became among the Ethiopians and Abyssinians
NEPH-AMON, PHTHA, and NEITH - the God CREATOR, whose emblem
was a ram - MATTER, or the primitive mud, symbolized by a globe or an
egg, and THOUGHT, or the LIGHT which contains the germ of everything;
triple manifestation of one and the same God (ATHOM), considered in
three aspects, as the creative power, goodness, and wisdom. Other
Deities were speedily invented; and among them OSTRIS, represented by
the Sun, ISIS, his wife, by the Moon or Earth, TYPHON, his Brother, the
Principle of Evil and Darkness, who was the son of Osiris and Isis. And
the Trinity of OSIRIS, ISIS, and HORUS became subsequently the Chief
Gods and objects of worship of the Egyptians.
The ancient Etruscans (a race that emigrated from the Rhætian Alps into
Italy, along whose route evidences of their migration have been
discovered, and whose language none have yet succeeded in reading)
acknowledged only one Supreme God; but they had images for His
different attributes, and temples to these images. Each town had one
National Temple, dedicated to the three great attributes of God,
STRENGTH, RICHES, and WISDOM, or Tina, Talna, and Minerva. The
National Deity was always a Triad under one roof; and it was the same in
Egypt, where one Supreme God alone was acknowledged, but was
worshipped as a Triad, with different names in each different home. Each
city in Etruria might have as many gods and gates and temples as it
pleased; but three sacred gates, and one Temple to three Divine
Attributes were obligatory, wherever the laws of Tages (or Taunt or Thoth)
were received. The only gate that remains in Italy, of the olden time,
undestroyed, is the Porta del Circo at Volterra; and it has upon it the three
heads of the three National Divinities, one upon the keystone of its
magnificent arch, and one above each side-pillar.
The Buddhists hold that the God SAKYA of the Hindüs, called in Ceylon,
GAUTAMA, in India beyond the Ganges, SOMONAKODOM, and in
China, CHY-KIA, or Fo, constituted a Trinity [TRIRATNA], of BUDDHA,
DHARMA, and SANGA, - Intelligence, Law, and Union or Harmony.
The Chinese Sabæans represented the Supreme Deity as composed of
CHANG-TI, the Supreme Sovereign; TIEN, the Heavens; and TAO, the
Universal Supreme Reason and Principle of Faith; and that from Chaos,
an immense silence, an immeasurable void. without perceptible forms,
alone, infinite, immutable, moving in a circle in illimitable space, without
change or alteration, when vivified by the Principle of Truth, issued all
Beings, under the influence of TAO, Principle of Faith, who produced one,
one produced two, two produced three, and three produced all that is.
The Sclavono-Vendes typified the Trinity by the three heads of the God
TRIGLAV; and the Pruczi or Prussians by the Tri-une God, PERKOUN,
PIKOLLOS, and POTRIMPOS, the Deities of Light
and Thunder, of Hell and the Earth, its fruits and animals: and the
Scandinavians by ODIN, FREA, and THOR.
In the KABALAH, or the Hebrew traditional philosophy, the Infinite Deity,
beyond the reach of the Human Intellect, and without Name, Form, or
Limitation, was represented as developing Himself, in order to create, and
by self-limitation, in ten emanations or out-flowings, called SEPHIROTH,
or rays, The first of these, in the world AZILUTH, that is, within the Deity,
was KETHER, or the Crown, by which we understand the Divine Will or
Potency. Next came, as a pair, HAI",MAH and BAINAH, ordinarily
translated "Wisdom" and "Intelligence," the former termed the FATHER,
and the latter the MOTHER. HAKEMAH is the active Power or Energy of
Deity, by which He produces within Himself Intellection or Thinking: and
BAINAH, the passive Capacity, from which, acted on by the Power, the
Intellection flows. This Intellection is called DAATH: and it is the "WORD,"
of Plato and the Gnostics; the unuttered word, within the Deity. Here is
the origin of the Trinity of the Father, the Mother or Holy Spirit, and the
Son or Word.
Another Trinity was composed of the fourth Sephirah, GEDULAH or
KHASW, Benignity or Mercy, also termed FATHER (Aba); the fifth,
GEBURAH, Severity or Strict Justice, also termed the MOTHER (Imma);
and the sixth, the SON or Issue of these, TIPHARETH, Beauty or
Harmony. "Everything," says the SOHAR, “proceeds according to the
Mystery of the Balance" - that is, by the equilibrium of Opposites: and
thus from the Infinite Mercy and the Infinite justice, in equilibrium, flows
the perfect Harmony of the Universe. Infinite POWER, which is Lawless,
and Infinite WISDOM, in Equilibrium, also produce BEAUTY or
HARMONY, as Son, Issue, or Result - the Word, or utterance of the
Thought of God. Power and Justice or Severity are the same: Wisdom
and Mercy or Benignity are the same; - in the Infinite Divine Nature.
According to Philo of Alexandria, the Supreme Being, Primitive Light or
Archetype of Light, uniting with WISDOM [ ], the mother of Creation,
forms in Himself the types of all things, and acts upon the Universe through
the WORD [ . . Logos], who dwells in God, and in whom all His powers
and attributes develop themselves; a doctrine borrowed by him from Plato.
Simon Magus and his disciples taught that the Supreme Being or Centre of
Light produced first of all, three couples of united
Existences, of both sexes, [ ... Suzugias], which were the origins of all
things: REASON and INVENTIVENESS; SPEECH and THOUGHT;
and and , CALCULATION and REFLECTION: [
… Nöus and Epinoia, Phöne and Ennoia, Logismos and
Enthumësis]; of which Ennoia or WISDOM was the first produced, and Mother
of all that exists.
Other Disciples of Simon, and with them most of the Gnostics, adopting and
… Pleröma, or PLENITUDE of modifying the doctrine, taught that the
Superior Intelligences, having the Supreme Being at their head, was
composed of eight Eons [ . . Aiönes] of different sexes; . . PROFUNDITY
and SILENCE; SPIRIT and TRUTH; the WORD and LIFE; MAN and the
; and ; and and : and CHURCH: [
…. Buthos and Sigë; Pneuma and Aletheia; Logos and
and Zöe; Anthröpos and Ekklësia].
Bardesanes, whose doctrines the Syrian Christians long embraced, taught
that the unknown Father, happy in the Plenitude of His Life and Perfections,
first produced a Companion for Himself [ ... Suzugos], whom He placed
in the Celestial Paradise and who became, by Him, the Mother of CHRISTOS,
Son of the Living God: i.e. (laying aside the allegory), that the Eternal
conceived, in the silence of His decrees, the Thought of revealing Himself by
a Being who should be His image or His Son: that to the Son succeeded his
Sister and Spouse, the Holy Spirit, and they produced four Spirits of the
elements, male and female, Maio and Jabseho, Nouro and Rucho; then Seven
Mystic Couples of Spirits, and Heaven and Earth, and all that is; then seven
spirits governing the planets, twelve governing the Constellations of the
Zodiac, and thirty-six Starry Intelligences whom he called Deacons: while the
Holy Spirit [Sophia Achamoth], being both the Holy Intelligence and the Soul
of the physical world, went from the Pleröma into that material world and
mourned her degradation, until CHRISTOS, her former spouse, coming to her
with his Divine Light and Love, guided her in the way to purification, and she
again united herself with him as his primitive Companion.
Basilides, the Christian Gnostic, taught that there were seven emanations
from the Supreme Being: The First-born, Thought, the Word, Reflection,
, , , , , Wisdom, Power, and Righteousness [ ,
and Protogonos, Nous, Logos, Phronesis, Sophia, Dunamis, and
Dikarosunë]; from whom emanated other Intelligences in succession, to the
number, in all, of three hundred and sixty-five; which were God manifested,
composed the Plenitude of the Divine Emanations, or the God Abraxas; of which
the Thought [or Intellect, . . Nous] united itself, by baptism in the river
Jordan, with the man Jesus, servant [ . Diakonos] of the human race; but
did not suffer with Him; and the disciples of Basilides taught that the ,
the appearance only of humanity, and that Simon of Cyrene was crucified in His
stead and ascended into Heaven.
Basilides held that out of the unrevealed God, who is at the head, of the
emanations, and exalted above all conception or designation
[ ], were evolved seven living, self-subsistent, ever-active
1st. NOUS .................
2d. LOGOS ...............
3d. Phronesis ............
SECOND: THE ACTIVE OR OPERATIVE POWER.
6th. Dikaiosunë .........
These Seven Powers ( .. Dunameis), with the Primal Ground out of
which they were evolved, constituted in his scheme the [Prote
Ogdoas], or First Octave, the root of all Existence. From this point, the
life proceeded to evolve out of itself continually many gradations of
each lower one being still the impression, the antetype, of the immediate
He supposed there were 365 of these regions or gradations, expressed by
the mystical word
THE INTELLECTUAL POWERS.
...................... The Mind.
................ The Reason.
........... The Thinking Power.
............ Might, accomplishing the purposes of
THIRD: THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES.
...... Holiness or Moral Perfection.
................ Inward Tranquility.
The is thus interpreted, by the usual method of reckoning Greek letters
numerically….. a,1 .. b,1 ….j,100 …. a,1 …. x,60.. a,1 . . x,200 = 365:
the whole Emanation-World, as the development of the Supreme Being.
In the system of Basilides, Light, Life, Soul, and Good were opposed to
Darkness, Death, Matter, and Evil, throughout the whole course of the
According to the Gnostic view, God was represented as the immanent,
incomprehensible and original source of all perfection; the unfathomable ABYSS
( . . buthos), according to Valentinus, exalted above all possibility of
designation; of whom, properly speaking, nothing can be predicated; the
of Basilides, the of Philo.
From this incomprehensible Essence of
God, an immediate transition to finite things is inconceivable.
the first beginning of a communication of life on the part of God - the first
passing of the hidden Deity into manifestation; and from this proceeds all
self-developing manifestation of the Divine Essence. From this primal link
chain of life there are evolved, in the first place, the manifold powers or
attributes inherent in the divine Essence, which, until that first
were all hidden in the Abyss of His Essence.
Each of these
attributes presents the whole divine Essence under one particular aspect;
each, therefore, in this respect, the title of God may appropriately be
These Divine Powers evolving themselves to self-subsistence, become
thereupon the germs and principles of all further developments of life. The
contained in them unfolds and individualizes itself more and more, but in
way that the successive grades of this evolution of life continually sink
lower; the spirits become feebler, the further they are removed from the
in the series.
The first manifestation they termed
was hypostatically represented in a or
[proton katalëpton tou Theou]; which
[Nous or Logos].
In the Alexandrian Gnosis, the Platonic notion of the [Hulë] predominates.
This is the dead, the unsubstantial - the boundary that limits from without
evolution of life in its gradually advancing progression, whereby the
ever evolving itself into the less Perfect. This again, is represented under
various images; - at one time as the darkness that exists alongside of the
at another, as the void [ ,
.... Kenoma, Kenon], in opposition to the Fullness, [ .... Plëroma] of
the Divine Life; or as the shadow that accompanies the light; or as the
chaos, or the sluggish, stagnant, dark water. This matter, dead in itself,
possesses by its own nature no inherent tendency; as life of every sort is
foreign to it, itself makes no encroachment on the Divine.
the evolutions of the Divine Life (the essences developing themselves out
of the progressive emanation) become feebler, the further they are
removed from the first link in the series; and as their connection with the
first becomes looser at each successive step, there arises at the last step
of the evolution, an imperfect, defective product, which, unable to retain
its connection with the chain of Divine Life, sinks from the World of Eons
into the material chaos: or, according to the same notion, somewhat
differently expressed [according to the Ophites and to Bardesanes], a
drop from the fullness of the Divine life bubbles over into the bordering
void. Hereupon the dead matter, by commixture with the living principle,
which it wanted, first of all receives animation. But, at the same time, also,
the divine, the living, becomes corrupted by mingling with the chaotic
mass. Existence now multiplies itself.
There arises a subordinate,
defective life; there is ground for a new world; a creation starts into being,
beyond the confines of the world of emanation.
But, on the other hand,
since the chaotic principle of matter has acquired vitality, there now arises
a more distinct and more active opposition to the God-like - a barely
negative, blind, ungodly nature-power, which obstinately resists all
influence of the Divine; hence, as products of the spirit of the (of the
.. Pneuma Hulikon), are Satan, malignant spirits, wicked men,
in none of whom is there any reasonable or moral principle, or any
principle of a rational will; but blind passions alone have the ascendency.
In them there is the same conflict, as the scheme of Platonism supposes,
between the soul under the guidance of Divine reason [the . . Nous],
and the soul blindly resisting reason - between the [pronoia] and
the [anagë], the Divine Principle and the natural.
The Syrian Gnosis assumed the existence of an active, turbulent kingdom
of evil, or of darkness, which, by its encroachments on the kingdom of
light, brought about a commixture of the light with the darkness, of the
God-like with the ungodlike.
Even among the Platonists, some thought that along with an
organized, inert matter, the substratum of the corporeal world, there
existed from the beginning a blind, lawless motive power, an ungodlike
soul, as its original motive and active principle. As the inorganic matter
was organized into a corporeal world, by the plastic power of the Deity,
so, by the same power, law and reason were communicated to that
turbulent, irrational soul. Thus the chaos of the was transformed into
an organized world, and that blind soul into a rational principle, a
mundane soul, animating the Universe. As from the latter proceeds all
rational, spiritual life in humanity, so from the former proceeds all that is
irrational, all that is under the blind sway of passion and appetite; and all
malignant spirits are its progeny.
( end Part 2 of 3 )