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 his life 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 distinguish between the Faithful and the Profane." There are three Degrees in Blue Masonry; and in addition to the two words of two syllables each, embodying the binary, three, of three syllables each. There were three Grand Masters, the two Kings, and Khir-Om the Artificer. The candidate gains 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 the Temple, all in the East, West, and South. The three lights represent the Sun, the Moon, and Mercury; Osiris, Isis, and Horus; the Father, the Mother, and the Child; Wisdom, 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 escape by 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 Steps. A Master works with Chalk, Charcoal, and a vessel of Clay; there are -.hree movable and three immovable jewels. The Triangle appears among the Symbols: the two parallel lines enclosing the circle are connected at top, as are the Columns Jachin and Boaz, symbolizing the equilibrium which explains the great Mysteries of Nature.
This continual reproduction of the number three is not accidental, nor without a profound meaning: and we shall find the same repeated in all the Ancient philosophies. 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, Neph, Sate, and Anoukë. Osiris, Isis, and Horus were the Father, Mother, and Son; the latter being Light, the Soul of the World, the Son, the Protogonos or First-Begotten. Sometimes this Triad was regarded as SPIRIT, or the active Principle or Generative 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: Osiris-Ra. the 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 account of the different effects of the Sun on those three Seasons, the Deity appears in these three forms. The Phoenician Trinity was Ulomos, Chusoros, and the Egg out of which the Universe proceeded. The Chaldean Triad consisted of Bel, [the Persian Zervana Akherana], Oromasdes, and Ahriman; the Good and Evil Principle alike outflowing from the Father, by their equilibrium and alternating preponderance to produce harmony. Each was to rule, in turn, for equal periods, until finally the Evil Principle should itself become good. The Chaldean and Persian oracles of Zoroaster give us the Triad, Fire, Light, and Ether. Orpheus celebrates the Triad of Phanes, Ouranos, and Kronos. Corry says the Orphic Trinity consisted of Metis, Phanes, and Ericapaeus; Will, Light or Love, and Life.
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 we readily 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 once 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 calls the 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 Offspring and Genesis."
The Pythagorean fragments say: "Therefore, before the Heaven was made, there existed Idea and Matter, and God the Demiourgos [workman or active instrument], of the former. He made the world out of matter, perfect, only-begotten, with a soul and intellect, and constituted it a divinity." Plato gives us Thought, the Father; Primitive Matter, the Mother; and Kosmos, the Son, the issue of the two Principles. Kosmos is the ensouled Universe. With the later Platonists, the Triad was Potence, Intellect, and Spirit, Philo represents Sanchoniathon's as Fire, Light, and Flame, the three Sons of Genos; but this is the Alexandrian, not the Phœnician idea.
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: [ and , … 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 there 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, and 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 , put on 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 world of emanations, and exalted above all conception or designation [ ], were evolved seven living, self-subsistent, ever-active hyposatized powers:
1st. NOUS .................
2d. LOGOS ...............
3d. Phronesis ............
4th. Sophia................

5th. Dunamis.............
6th. Dikaiosunë .........
7th. Eirënë.................

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 spiritual life proceeded to evolve out of itself continually many gradations of existence, each lower one being still the impression, the antetype, of the immediate higher one.

He supposed there were 365 of these regions or gradations, expressed by the mystical word FIRST:
...................... The Mind.
................ The Reason.
........... The Thinking Power.
................. Wisdom.
............ Might, accomplishing the purposes of Wisdom.

...... 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: which is 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 Universe.
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. Self-limitation is 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 further self-developing manifestation of the Divine Essence. From this primal link in the chain of life there are evolved, in the first place, the manifold powers or attributes inherent in the divine Essence, which, until that first selfcomprehension, were all hidden in the Abyss of His Essence.
Each of these attributes presents the whole divine Essence under one particular aspect; and to each, therefore, in this respect, the title of God may appropriately be applied.
These Divine Powers evolving themselves to self-subsistence, become thereupon the germs and principles of all further developments of life. The life contained in them unfolds and individualizes itself more and more, but in such a way that the successive grades of this evolution of life continually sink lower and lower; the spirits become feebler, the further they are removed from the first link in the series.
The first manifestation they termed heautou] or was hypostatically represented in a or [protë katalëpsis [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 the evolution of life in its gradually advancing progression, whereby the Perfect is 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 light;
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.
As, however, 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 )