Comte de Gabalis , at sacred-texts.com
It crossed my mind that what he had said concerning the false gods, for whom he had substituted the Sylphs and other Elementary Peoples, might be refuted by the
p. 70 p. 71
[paragraph continues] Pagan Oracles whom Scripture everywhere calls devils, and not Sylphs. But not knowing whether the Comte might not in the tenets of his Cabala attribute the answer of the Oracles to some natural cause, I believed that it would be to the point to make him explain what he thought about them.
He gave me an opportunity to broach the subject when, before entering the labyrinth, he .turned towards the garden. "This is very fine," he said, "and these statues are rather effective."
"The Cardinal who had them brought here XLIX," I replied, "had a fancy little worthy of his great genius. He believed the majority of these figures to have given forth Oracles in bygone days, and paid exceedingly dear for them on that account."
"That is a failing of many people," the Comte reoined. "Every day ignorance causes a very criminal kind of idolatry to be committed, since people preserve with such great care and consider so precious those very idols which they believe the Devil formerly employed to make himself worshipped. O God, will people never in this world know that Thou hast precipated Thine enemies beneath Thy footstool from the birth of time, and that Thou dost hold the demons prisoners under the earth in the vortex of darkness? This unpraiseworthy desire to conect these counterfeit instruments of the demons might become innocent, my Son, if people would let themselves be persuaded that the
p. 72 p. 73
angels of darkness have never been allowed to speak through the Oracles."
"I do not believe," I interrupted, "that it would be easy to establish that hypothesis amongst the antiquarians, but possibly it might be amongst the free thinkers. For not long ago it was decided by the leading minds of the day, in a conference called for the purpose, that all these pretended Oracles were either a fraud due to the avarice of the Gentile priests, or but a political trick of the Sovereigns."
"Was this conference held and this question thus de-cided by the members of the Muhammedan Embassy L sent to your King?"
"No Sir," I answered.
"Then of what religion are these gentlemen," he retorted "since they set at naught the Holy Scriptures which make mention in so many instances of so many different Oracles, especially of the Pythian Oracles who made their abode and gave forth their replies in places destined for the multiplication of the image of God?"
"I mentioned all those ventriloquists," I answered, "and I reminded the company that King Saul LI had banished them from his kingdom where, notwithstanding, he found one of them on the evening ofthe day before his death, whose voice had the wondrous power ofraising Samuel from the dead in answer to his prayer, and to his ruin. But these learned men did not alter their decision that there never had been any Oracles."
p. 74 p. 75
"If the Scripture made no impression upon them," a said the Comte, "you should have convinced them by all antiquity, wherein it would have been easy to point out a thousand marvellous proofs. There were so many virgins pregnant with the destiny of mortals, who brought forth the good and bad fortunes of those who consulted them. What do you allege as to Chrysostom, Origen and Oecumenius, who make mention of those divine men whom the Greeks called 'Engastrimyths,' LII whose prophetic abdomens articulated such famous Oracles? And if your gentlemen did not care for the Scriptures and the Fathers, you should have reminded them of those miraculous maidens of whom the Greek Pausanias speaks, who changed themselves into doves and in that form delivered the celebrated Oracles of the Doves of Dodona LIII. Or else you might have said, to the glory of your nation, that there were of old in Gaul illustrious maidens LIV who transformed their entire appearance at the will of those who consulted them and who, in addition to the famous Oracles which they delivered, had a wonderful power over the waters and a salutary authority over the most incurable diseases."
"They would have treated all these fine proofs as apocryphal," said I.
"Does their antiquity render them suspect? " he reoined. "If so, you had only to adduce the Oracles which are still delivered every day."
"And in what part of the world? " said I.
p. 76 p. 77
"In Paris," he replied.
"In Paris!" I exclaimed.
"In Paris," he repeated, "'Art thou a master of Israel LV and knowest not these things?' Do not people daily consult Aquatic Oracles in glasses of water or in basins, and Aerial Oracles in mirrors and on the hands of virgins? Do they not recover lost beads and pilfered watches? Do they not learn news from distant countries in this way, and see the absent?"
"Eh, Sir, what are you saying?" said I.
"I am recounting that which I am positive happens every day," he answered, "and it would not be difficult to find a thousand eyewitnesses of it."
"I cannot believe that Sir," I returned. "The magistrates would make an example of such culprits and people would not permit idolatry------"
"Ah! how hasty you are!" interrupted the Comte. "There is not so much evil in all this as you might suppose, and Providence will not permit the total destruction of that remnant of Philosophy which has escaped the lamentable shipwreck Truth has sustained. If there yet remains among the people any vestige of the dread power of the Divine Names LVI, are you of the opinion that it should be blotted out and that they should lose the respect and recognition due to the great name AGLA LVII, which works all these wonders, even when invoked by the ignorant and sinful and which, spoken by a Cabalist, would perform many other miracles. Ifs
p. 78 p. 79
you had wished to convince your gentlemen ofthe truth of the Oracles, you had only to exalt your imagination and your faith, and turning towards the East cry aloud 'AG' ------"
"Sir," I interposed, "I was careful not to advance that kind of argument to such proper folk as those with whom I was debating. They would have taken me for a fanatic for, depend upon it, they have no faith whatever in that sort of thing, and even if I had known the Cabalistic Procedure to which you refer, it would not have succeeded when pronounced by me; I have even less faith than they."
"Well, well," said the Comte, "If you lack faith we shall supply it. If you had reason to believe, however, that your gentlemen would not credit that which they can see any day in Paris, you might have cited a story of rather recent date. That Oracle, which Celius Rhodeginius LVIII says he himself witnessed, delivered towards the end of the last century by that extraordinary woman who spoke and predicted the future by means of the same organ as did the Eurycles of Plutarch."
"I should not have cared to cite Rhodeginius," I answered, "it would have seemed pedantic to do so, moreover they would certainly have told me that the woman was beyond question a demoniac."
"They would have said that very monachally," he replied.
"Sir," I ventured to say, "notwithstanding the
p. 80 p. 81
Cabalistic aversion to monks which I perceive you to entertain, I cannot help siding with them on this occasion. I believe that there would not be so much harm in absolutely denying that Oracles ever existed as there is in saying it was not the Devil who spoke through them because, in short, the Fathers and the theologians--"
"Because, in short," he interrupted, "do not the theologians agree that the learned Sambethe, the most ancient of the Sibyls was the daughter of Noah LIX?"
"Eh! what has that to do with it?" I retorted.
"Does not Plutarch say," he rejoined, "that the most ancient of the Sibyls was the first to deliver Oracles at Delphi? Therefore the Spirit which Sambethe harboured in her breast was not a devil nor was her Apollo a false god, for idolatry did not begin until long after the division of languages, and it would be far from the truth to attribute to the Father of Lies the sacred books of the Sibyls LX, and all the proofs of the true religion which the Fathers have drawn from them. And then, too, my Son," he laughingly continued, "it is not for you to annul the marriage of David and the Sibyl which was made by a celebrated cardinal, nor to accuse that learned personage of having placed side by side a great prophet and a wretched demoniac. Since either David strengthens the testimony of the Sibyl or the Sibyl weakens the authority of David."
p. 82 p. 83
"Sir," I exclaimed, "I entreat you again to become serious."
"Willingly," said he, "provided you will not accuse me of being too much so. Is it your opinion that the Devil is sometimes divided against himself and against his own interests?"
"Why not?" said I.
"Why not!" said he, "Because that which Tertullian has so felicitously and so grandly termed 'the Reason of God' does not find it fitting. Satan is never divided against himself. It therefore follows either, that the Devil has never spoken through the Oracles, or that he has never spoken through them against his own interests; and therefore if the Oracles have spoken against the interests of the Devil, it was not the Devil who was speaking through the Oracles."
"But," said I, 'has not God been able to compel the Devil to bear witness to the truth and to speak against himself?"
"But," he answered, "What if God has not compelled him to do so?"
"Ah, in that case," I replied, "you are more in the right than the monks."
p. 84 p. 85
"Let us look into this matter then," he continued, "and that I may proceed invincibly and in good faith, I do not care to introduce the evidence concerning Oracles cited by the Fathers of the Church, although I am aware of the veneration you entertain for those great men. Their religion and the interest they took in the matter might have prejudiced them, and seeing Truth to be rather poor and naked in their own time, their love of her might have caused them to borrow from LXI Falsehood's self some robe and ornament for Truth's adornment. They were men and consequently capable of bearing false witness, according to the maxim of the Poet of the Synagogue. I shall therefore take a man who cannot be suspected of such a motive, a Pagan, and a Pagan of a very different kind to Lucretius, or Lucian, or the Epicureans. A Pagan thoroughly imbued with the belief that there are gods and devils without number, immeasurably superstitious, a mighty magician, or supposedly so, and consequently a great partisan of devils namely Porphyry. Here are word for word some Oracles which he reports.
p. 86 p. 87
Above the Celestial Fire there is an Incorruptible Flame, ever sparkling, Source of Life, Fountain of all Beings, and Principle of all Things. This Flame produces all, and nothing perishes save that which it consumes. It reveals itself by virtue of itself This Fire cannot he contained in any place; it is without form and without substance, it girdles the Heavens and from it there proceeds a tiny spark which: makes the whole fire of the Sun, Moon and Stars. This is what I know of God. Seek not to know more, for this passes thy comprehension howsoever wise thou mayest be. Nevertheless, know that the unjust and wicked man cannot hide himself from God, nor can craft nor excuse disguise aught fröm His piercing eyes. All is full of God, God is everywhere.
p. 88 p. 89
"You will admit, my Son, that this Oracle is not too greatly influenced by his devil."
"At least," I answered "the Devil in this instance rather departs from his character."
"Here is another," said he, "that preaches still better."
There is in God an immense depth of Flame. The heart must not, however, fear to touch this adorable Fire nor to be touched by it. It will in no wise he consumed by this gentle Flame, whose tranquil and peaceful warmth causes the union, harmony and duration of the world. Nothing exists save by this Fire, which is God himself It is uncreate, it is without mother, it is omniscient and unteachable: it is unchanging in purposes, and its Name is Inefable. This is God; as for us who are His messengers, WE ARE BUT A LITTLE PART OF GOD.
"Well! What say you to that?"
"I should say of both," I replied, "that God can force the Father of Lies to bear witness to the truth."
"Here is another," rejoined the. Comte, "which will remove that scruple."
p. 90 p. 91
Alas Tripods! Weep and make funeral oration for your Apollo. HE IS MORTAL, HE IS ABOUT TO DIE, HE EXPIRES; because the Light of the Celestial Flame extinguishes him.
"You see, my child, that whoever this may be who speaks through these Oracles, and who so admirably explains to the Pagans the Essence, Unity, Immensity and Eternity of God, he owns that he is mortal and but a spark of God. Therefore it cannot be the Devil who is speaking, since he is immortal, and God would not compel him to say that he is not. It is therefore proven that Satan is not divided against himself. Is it a way to make himself worshipped to say that there is but one God? The Oracle says that he is mortal, since when is the Devil become so humble as to deprive himself of even his natural qualities? Therefore you see, my Son, that if the principle of Him who is called par excellence the God of the Sciences exists, it cannot have been the Devil who spoke through the Oracles."
p. 92 p. 93
"But if it was not the Devil," said I, "either lying from gaiety of heart when he speaks of himself as mortal, or telling the truth under compulsion when he speaks of God, then to what will your Cabala ascribe all the Oracles which you maintain to have been actually delivered? Is it to an exhalation of the earth, as Aristotle, Cicero and Plutarch say?" LXIV
"Ah! not to that my child," said the Comte. "Thanks to the Sacred Cabala my imagination has not led me astray to that extent."
"What do you mean?" I inquired, "Do you consider that opinion so exceedingly visionary? Nevertheless its partisans are men of good sense."
"Not in this instance," he replied, "and it is impossible to attribute to an exhalation all that happened in the Oracles. For example, that man in Tacitus, who appeared in a dream to the priests of a temple ofHercules LXV in Armenia, and commanded them to make ready for him hunters equipped for the chase. Up to this point exhalation might account for it: but when those horses returned in the evening jaded, and their quivers emptied of shafts; and when the next day exactly the same number of dead beasts were found as there had been arrows in the quivers, you will perceive that exhalation could not have produced this effect, much less the Devil. For to believe that the Devil has been permitted to divert himself by chasing the hind and hare, is to have an irrational and uncabalistic
p. 94 p. 95
idea of the misery of the enemy of God." "Then," said I, "to what cause does the Sacred Cabala ascribe all this?"
"Wait," he answered "before I reveal this mystery to you I must overcome any prejudice you might have because of this hypothetical exhalation. For, if I remember aright, you cited Aristotle, Plutarch and Cicero with emphasis. You might likewise have cited lamblichus, who very great genius though he was, laboured for a time under this delusion, but speedily relinquished it when he had examined the matter at close range in the Book of the Mysteries.
Peter of Aponus, Pomponatius, Levinius, Sirenius, and Lucilius Vanino were also overjoyed to find this subterfuge in some of the ancient writers. All these pseudo-geniuses who, when they treat of divine things, say rather what pleases them than what they know to be true, are unwilling to admit that there is anything superhuman in the Oracles, lest they should acknow- ledge the existence of something superior to man.'' They fear lest men should make of the Oracles 'a lad= der wherewith to mount to God, Whom they''dread
to acknowledge as manifesting through gradations of His spiritual creatures LXVI, and they prefer to manufac ture a ladder to descend into nothingness. Instead of mounting towards heaven they delve into the earth, ;ày. and instead of seeking in Beings superior to man 'the cause if those transports which lift him above himself
p. 96 p. 97
and restore to him a kind of divinity, they weakly ascribe to impotent exhalations this power to penetrate the future, discover hidden things, and attain to the supreme secrets of the Divine Essence."
"Such is the misery of man when possessed by the spirit of contradiction and the disposition to think differently to others. Instead of achieving his ends he becomes involved and fettered. These intellectual libertines do not wish to make man subject to substances less material than himself, and yet they make him subject to an exhalation: and disregarding the absence of any connection whatever between this chimerical vapour and the soul of man, between this emanation and future events, between this frivolous cause and these miraculous effects, the mere singularity of their theories is to them sufficient evidence of their reasonableness. They are content to deny the existence of spirits and to assume the rôle of free thinkers."
"Then, Sir, is singularity exceeding displeasing to you?" I asked.
"Ah! my Son," said he, "’tis the bane of commonsense and the stumbling block of the greatest minds. Aristotle, great logician though he was, could not avoid the snare into which the passion for singularity leads those whom it unbalances as violently as it did him. He could not, I say, avod becoming entangled and contradicting himself. In is hook on 'The Generation of Animals' LXVII and in his 'Ethics,' he says that the
p. 98 p. 99
spirit and understanding of man come to him from without, and cannot be transmitted from father to son. And from the spirituality of the operations of man's soul he concludes it to be of a different nature to that composite material which it animates, the grossness of which only serves to becloud speculation and is far from contributing to its production. Blind Aristotle! Since you maintain LXVIII that the matter of which we are composed cannot be the source of our spiritual thoughts, how can youexpect a weak exhalation to be the source of sublime thought and of those soaring flights of spirit achieved by those who gave forth the Pythian Oracles? See, my child, how forcibly this genius contradicts himself, and how his craving for singularity leads him astray."
"You reason very logically, Sir," said I, enchanted to perceive that he was talking excellent sense, and hoping that his madness would not prove incurable, "God willing--"
"Plutarch, LXIX so sound in other respects," he said, interrupting me, "moves me to pity in his dialogue concerning the 'Cessation of the Oracles.' Convincing objections are raised which he in no wise refutes. Why does he not answer what is said to him, namely, that it is the exhalation which causes these transports, all those who approach the prophetic Tripod would be seized with enthusiasm and not merely a single maiden who moreover must be virgin. But how can this vapour articulate cries through the abdomen? Besides this exhalation
p. 100 p. 101
is a natural cause which must necessarily produce its effect regularly and at all times. Why is this maiden agitated only when consulted? And, what is more important, why has the earth ceased to breathe forth these divine vapours? Is it less earth now than then? Is it subject to other influences? Has it other seas and other rivers? Who then has stopped earth's pores or changed its nature?"
"I wonder that Pomponatius, Lucilius and the other Libertines should borrow this idea from Plutarch and cast aside his explanation. He spoke more judiciously than Cicero and Aristotle, for he was a man of great good sense and, not knowing what conclusion to draw from all these Oracles, after tedious irresolution, he decided that this exhalation, which he believed issued from the earth, was a most divine spirit. Thus he ascribed to divinity the extraordinary agitations and illuminations of the Priestesses of Apollo LXX. 'This divinatory vapour is a breath and a most divine and most holy spirit,' said he."
"Pomponatius, Lucilius and modern atheists do not adapt themselves readily to fashions of speech which imply divinity. 'These exhalations', say they, 'were of the nature of those vapours which infect splenetics who speak languages they do not understand.' Fernelius refutes these impieties rather well, by proving that bile which is a peccant humour cannot cause that diversity of tongues which is one of the most marvellous
p. 102p. 103
effects under consideration and an artificial expression of thought. Nevertheless, he decided erroneously in subscribing to Psellus, and to all those who have not penetrated far enough into our Holy Philosophy for, like them, not knowing where to locate the causes of these surprising effects, he imitated the women and monks and attributed them to the Devil."
"Then to whom should one attribute them? " said I, "I have long awaited this Cabalistic secret."
"Plutarch LXXI has very well indicated it," he said, "and he would have been wise had he let matters rest there. Since this irregular method of expressing one's opinion by means of an unseemly organ was neither solemn enough nor sufficiently worthy of the majesty of the gods, says that Pagan, and since the sayings of the Oracles surpassed the powers of the soul of man, they have rendered great service to Philosophy, for they have established the existence of mortal beings between the gods and man to whom one can ascribe all that surpasses human weakness yet falls short of divine greatness."
"This is the opinion held in every ancient philosophy. The Platonists and the Pythagoreans took it from the Egyptians, and the latter from Joseph the A Saviour, and from the Hebrews who dwelt in Egypt before the crossing of the Red Sea. The Hebrews used to call these beings who are between the Angels and man Sadaim, and the Greeks, transposing the
p. 104 p. 105
letters and adding but one syllable, called them Daimonas. Among the ancient Philosophers these demons were held to be an Aerial Race, ruling over the Elements, mortal, engendering, and unknown in this century to those who rarely seek Truth in her ancient dwelling place, which is to say, in the. Cabala and in the theology of the Hebrews, who possessed the special art of holding communion with that Aerial People and of conversing with all these Inhabitants of the Air."
"Now, Sir, I think you have returned again to your Sylphs."
"Yes, my Son," he went on, "the Teraphim of the Jews was but the ceremony which had to be observed
for that communion: and that Jew Micah LXXII, who complains in the Book of Judges that his gods have been taken from him, only laments the loss of the little image through which the Sylphs used to converse with him. The gods which Rachel stole from her father were also Teraphim. Neither Micah nor Laban are reproved for idolatry, and Jacob would have taken care not to live for fourteen years with an idolater, nor to marry his daughter. It was only a commerce with Sylphs; and tradition tells us that the Synagoge considered such commerce permissible, and that the image belonging to David's wife was but the Teraphim by virtue of which she conversed with the Elementary Peoples: for you can well imagine that the Prophet after God's own heart would not have tolerated idolatry
p. 106 p. 107
in his household."
"These Elementary Nations, so long as God neglected the salvation of the world in punishment for the first sin, used to take pleasure in explaining to men through the Oracles what they knew of God, in teaching them how to live morally, and in giving them most wise and most profitable counsels, such as are seen in great number in Plutarch and in all historians. As soon as God took pity on mankind and was willing Himself to become their Teacher, these little Masters withdrew. Hence the silence of the Oracles."
"Then the upshot of your entire discourse, Sir," I remarked, "is that there certainly were Oracles, and that the Sylphs delivered them, and even to-day deliver them in goblets or in mirrors."
"The Sylphs or Salamanders, the Gnomes or Undines," corrected the Comte.
"If that be so," I replied, "all your Elementary Peoples are very dishonest folk."
"Why do you say that? " said he.
"Why? Could anything be more knavish," I pursued, "than all these responses with double meanings which they always give?"
"Always? " he replied. " Ah! not always. Did the Sylphid speak very obscurely who appeared to that Roman in Asia LXXIII and predicted to him that he would one day return to Rome with the dignity of Proconsul?
p. 108 p. 109
[paragraph continues] And does not Tacitus say that the event occurred exactly as predicted? That inscription and a those statues famous in the history of Spain which warned unfortunate King Rodriguez LXXIV that his indiscretion and incontinence would be punished by men dressed and armed exactly as they were, and that those black men would take possession of Spain and rule there for many a year. Could anything have been more explicit, and was not the prophecy verified by the event in that selfsame year? For did not the Moors come to dethrone that effeminate king? You know the story, and you must admit that the Devil, who since the reign of the Messiah does not dispose of empires, could not have been the author of this Oracle: and that it was undoubtedly some great Cabalist who had it from one of the most learned Salamanders. Since the Salamanders love chastity exceedingly, they willingly make known to us the misfortunes which must befall mankind for lack of that virtue."
"But, Sir," said I to him, "do you consider that heteroclitic organ which they made use of for the preaching of their ethics very chaste and altogether in keeping with Cabalistic modesty?"
"Ah!" said the Comte, smiling, "Your imagination is shocked, and you fail to perceive the physical reason which causes the flaming Salamander naturally to de-
light in the most igneous places and to be attracted by--" LXXV
"I understand, I understand," I interrupted, "Do
p. 110 p. 111
not take the trouble to explain further."
"As for the obscurity of some Oracles which you dub knavery," he went on seriously, "are not shadows the usual cloak of Truth? Is not God pleased to hide Himself in their sombre veil? And is not Holy Writ, that perpetual Oracle which He has left to His children, enveloped in an adorable obscurity which confounds and bewilders the proud even as its Light guides the humble?"
"If this be your only difficulty, my Son, I advise you not to postpone entering into communion with the Elementary Peoples. You will find them very sincere folk, learned, benevolent and God-fearing. I am of opinion that you should begin with the Salamanders, for you have Mars in mid-heaven in your horoscope, which signifies that there is a great deal of fire in all your actions. And as for marriage, I rather think that you should choose a Sylphid. You would be happier with her than with any of the others, for you have Jupiter in the ascendant with Venus in sextile. Now Jupiter presides over the Air and the Peoples of the Air. You must, however, consult your own heart in this matter for, as you will one day see, a Sage governs himself by the interior stars, and the stars of the exterior heaven but serve to give him a more certain knowledge of the aspects of the stars of that interior heaven LXXVI which is in every creature. Thus it rests with you to tell me what your
p. 112 p. 113
inclination is, that we may proceed to your alliance with those Elementary Peoples which are most pleasing to you."
"Sir," I replied, "in my opinion this affair demands a little consultation."
"I esteem you for that answer," said he, laying his hand on my shoulder. "Consult maturely as to this affair, and above all, with him who is called in an eminent degree the Angel of the Grand Council LXXVII. Go, and devote yourself to prayer, and I shall be at your house at two o'clock to-morrow afternoon."
We came back to Paris, and on the way I led him once more to discourse against atheists and libertines. I have never heard arguments so well supported by reason, nor such sublime and subtle ideas advanced for the existence of God, and against the blindness of those who go through life without wholly surrendering themselves to a serious and continual worship
of Him to whom we owe the gift and preservation of our being. I was surprised at
the character of this man, and I could
not comprehend how it was
possible for him to be at
once so strong, and so
69:XLVIII p. 70 ANCIENT RELIGION OF HIS FATHERS THE PHILOSOPHERS. The Philosophers hold that the relation of the Creator to His Creation has been the same in all ages; that all creeds evolved by man are but man's concept of this relation and in no wise alter it; that the Truth regarding the Fatherhood of God, Sonship of His Messengers, the great Teachers of humanity, and Brotherhood of all His creatures, is superior to creeds and religions, and will unify them when once apprehended.
71:XLIX p. 72 THE GARDENS OF RUEL AND THE CARDINAL.--RUel, in the department of Seine et Oise, is fourteen kilometres distant from Paris, and "is situated at the base of those heights on which stood, in olden days, the magnificent villa of Cardinal Richelieu with its two chapels, hundred fountains, and lofty and balustraded cascade." In the years 1621-42 the cardinal minister established and maintained there a château and estate which eclipsed those of the King of France. Nowhere was there to be found so vast a collection of curiosities of every discription, such extensive gardens, so superb an orangery, nor such grottoes, fountains and cascades surpassing indeed anything previously known. These celebrated gardens, extolled by contempory authors, and even envied by the great King Louis XIV who sent Le Nôtre to Ruel to study and reproduce them on a larger scale at Versailles, are a sad example of the transitoriness of the handiwork of man. A gradual deterioration culminating in their destruction during the Revolution has left almost no trace of them extant.
73:L p. 74 MOHAMMEDAN EMBASSY.--The subtle irony of this allusion to the strained relations existing between Louis xiv and the Porte at this period is made plain by the following statement of the historian, E. Lavisse when summarising the foreign policy of France from 1661-1685. "During the second half of the 16th century the alliance 'of the lily and the crescent' was lost. In 1661 France, after several ambassadors had been ill treated, was represented at the Porte solely by a merchant whom 'the nation' had chosen. There was therefore in that direction a lost position for french diplomacy to regain." E. LAVISSE, HISTOIRE DE FRANCE. VOL. 7II PAGE 203. COMPARE MUHAMMED AND THE MUHAMMEDANS. NOTE R, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
73:LI KING SAUL. NOTE S, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
75:LII p. 76 ENGASTRIMYTHS.--For it would be too absurd and puerile to conclude that God Himself, in the guise of Engastrimyths, that is to say tutelary deities speaking from within the abdomen, such as were of old called Eurycles and to-day Pythons, should the bodies of Prophets and make use of their mouths and voices as instruments for speaking. For he who thus introduces God into human affairs is lacking in reverence for His Greatness, nor does he maintain the Majesty and Glory of God's Worth. TRANSLATED FROM PLUTARCH'S CESSATION OF THE ORACLES. CHAPTER ix.
75:LIII THE ORACLE OF DODONA. NOTE T, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
75:LIV MAIDENS OF GAUL.--Sena being situate in the Britishe Sea, against the countrie of the Osis-Myes, is renowned with the Oracle of the God of the Galles, whose Vow-esses in number nine, are hallowed to continuall Virginitie. They call them Gallicens, and are of opinion, that through the singuler wisdom wherewith they are endued, they rayse the seas and winds with their charmes, and transforme themselves into what. Beastes theywill, and and heale such diseases as to others are incurable, knowe thinges to come and prophesie of them, but not unto any other than such as sayle thither for the nonce, and come of set purpose to demaund Counsell of them.
THE RARE AND SINGULER WORK OF POMPONIUS MELA, THAT EXCELLENT AND WORTHY COSMOGRAPHER. TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY ARTHUR GOLDING, GENTLEMAN, LONDON, 1590. BOOK., III., CHAPTER vi.
77:LV MASTER OF ISRAEL.--an official interpreter of the sacred books of the Jews. The Comte's words are quoted from the third chapter of the Gospel of St. John.
77:LVI DIVINE NAMES.--"It must be obsérved that these divine names were produced by scientific men energising according to a divine afflatus," THOMAS TAYLOR," THE CRATYLUS OF PLATO." NOTE PAGE 131.
77:LVII AGLA.--Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has hidden or sacred meaning, knowledge of which renders Hebrew names self interpretative. The four letters of the word AGLA and their significance are:--
A.--The First Cause, Positive Force.
A.--The First Cause.
[paragraph continues] Hence AGLA is seen to signify the First Cause in triple aspect and to be a synonym of the ancient Hebrew word Al--the Sun, (Creator of the Sun of our Solar system) . Al signifies the Sun behind the Sun in triple aspect, the Trinity Unmanifest symbolised thus . As in the microcosm, the physical body is informed and animated by the invisible or spiritual man, so in the macrocosm, the visible Sun derives its light and life from an invisible or Spiritual Sun, whose glory and power p. 80 can be apprehended by man solely through his Solar Principle to which the Sun behind the Sun is manifest as a radiance of unspeakable glory realised, or participated in, as an ecstacy of consciousness unframable in any medium of expression known to the finite mind. In some Christian churches this state 'is called Union with God, in the East, Yoga, and among Initiates of all races has been striven for though rarely attained. It is "the flight of the Alone to the Alone" says Porphyry. "I and my Father are one," said Christ.
Agla is here used as a substitute for the Ineffable Name of the Sun behind the Sun, which is the Lost Word of Masonry and Sacrificial Word pronounced by the First Cause of the Brahmins, and whose property it is to open the human consciousness to this estate of oneness with God. Reference is made to this Name in the Egyptian Book of the Dead "I am the Great God existing of myself, the Creator of His Name,--I know the Name of the Great God that is there." As in ancient Egypt so in our own land and day there exists that spoken Word or Name, inner key of spiritual knowledge possessed by the hierophants of all ages, to the power of which Christ testified, saying " the works that I do in my Father's Name, they bear witness of me." COMPARE THE DIVINE POWER OF LETTERS, NOTE U, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
79:LVIII CELIUS RHODIGINUS AND HIS ORACLE. NOTE V, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
81:LIX SAMBETHE, THE DAUGHTER OF NOAH. NOTE W, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
81:LX SACRED BOOKS OF THE SIBYLS.--Under the title of "Oracles of the Sibyls" there exists a collection of verses in Greek hexameter in fourteen books, which has long been regarded as an authentic collection of the prophecies of the pagan Sibyls. In Libri Divin-arum Rerum, Lactantius quotes Varro as saying that these books are not all written by one Sibyl, but are called Sibylline because by the ancients all prophetesses were called Sibyls. And Diodorus Siculus states that the Sibyl was actuated by the spirit of God and that the name Sibyl signifies "being full of God."
As these books accurately prophesied the mission, teaching, and miracles of Christ as well as his death upon the cross and resurrection, the church fathers accepted and made use of them without hesitation. The pleasantry of the Comte as to the marriage of David and the Sibyl is a reference to the words occuring in the Mass for the Dead, "Teste David cum Sibylle." (By the witness of David and the Sibyl).
The original Sibylline Books were kept concealed in the Capitol at Rome, and were lost when it was destroyed by fire in 405, A.D. They were held in p. 84 profound veneration and were consulted only by decree of the Senate. Cicero bears witness to their worth saying,"How often has our Senate enjoined the decemvirs to consult the hooks of the Sibyls," when " portentious events announced to the Romans terrible and disastrous seditions. On all these occasions the diviners and their auspices were in perfect accordance with the prophetic verses of the Sibyl." There is a famous tradition that the first Sibylline Book was sold to King Tarquin, one of the early rulers of Rome, by the Sibyl who dwelt at Cumae, in Italy.
Now Justin Martyr states that it was the ancient Babylonian Sibyl (Sambethe), who came to Cumae, and there gave Oracles which contain the true religion, and which Plato admired as divine. Thus Sambethe, the most ancient of the Sibyls, is seen to have initiated the Sibylline Oracles which guided the destinies of ancient Rome as well as the Delphic Oracles which exercised such influence over the evolution of ancient Greece. And if Justin Martyr's statement * as to the tenor of her teachings is to be believed, we must conclude that the
TRUE RELIGION EXISTED IN BOTH ROME AND GREECE PRIOR TO THE CHRISTIAN ERA AND DURING WHAT IS NOW TERMED THE PAGAN PERIOD.
81:* GIVEN NOTE X, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
SIBYLLINE PROPHECY OF WORLD PEACE. NOTE II, COMMENTARY CONCLUDED.
85:LXI p. 87 MAXIM OF THE POET OF THE SYNAGOGUE. "I said in my haste, all men are liars." PSALMS OF DAVID, CXV1, 11.
87:LXII p. 88 THE PRINCIPLE OF ALL THINGS.--BEYOND THE SUN IN THE DIRECTION OF THE DOG STAR LIES THAT INCORRUPTIBLE FLAME OR SUN, PRINCIPLE OF ALL THINGS, WILLING OBEDIENCE FROM OUR OWN SUN WHICH IS BUT A MANIFESTATION OF ITS RELEGATED FORCE. THE EXISTENCE OF THE SUN BEHIND THE SUN HAS BEEN KNOWN IN ALL AGES, as well as the fact that its influence is most potent upon earth during that period every 2000 years when it is in conjunction with the Sun of our solar system. Then gathering to itself the power of its own Source and transmitting it through our Sun to this planet, it is said to send the Sons of God into the consciousness of the earth sphere that a anew world of thought and emotion may be born in the minds of men for the stimulation of humanity's spiritual evolution. Such a manifestation marks the beginning or end of an epoch upon earth by the radiation of that divine consciousness known as the Christ Ray or Paraclete.
To the Egyptians the Sun behind the Sun was known as Osiris, * said to be the husband of Isis (Nature) and parent of Horus (the Sun), symbolically represented as a hawk because that bird flies nearest the Sun. This ancient people knew that once every year the Parent Sun is in line with the Dog Star. Therefore the Great Pyramid was so constructed that, at this sacred moment, the light of the Dog Star fell upon the square "Stone of God" at the upper end of the Great Gallery descending p. 90 upon the head of the high priest who received the Super Solar Force and sought through his own perfected Solar Body to transmit to other Initiates this added stimulation for the evolution of their Godhood. This then was the purpose of the "'Stone of God,' whereon, in the Ritual, Osiris sits to bestow upon him (the illuminate) the Atf crown of celestial light." "North and South of that crown is love" proclaims an Egyptian hymn. "And thus throughout the teaching of Egypt the visible light was but the shadow of the invisible Light; and in the wisdom of that ancient country the measures of Truth were the years of the Most High." † The adorable Fire and immense depth of Flame which the human heart must not fear to touch is that power proceeding from the Lord and Giver of Life, the Creative Principle of the Universe, the Sun behind the Sun.
Modern science partially confirms these facts as to the significance of the Great Pyramid but lacks the key to them. Dr. Percival Lowell, in a recent essay entitled "Precession and the Pyramids," says--"The Great Pyramid was in fact a great observatory, the most superb one ever erected," and "The Great Gallery's floor exactly included every possible position of the Sun's shadow at noon from the year's beginning to its end. We thus reach the remarkable result that the gallery was a gigantic gnomon or sundial telling, not like ordinary sundials the hour of the day, but on a more impressive scale, the seasons of the year."
87:* AND ALSO AS AMEN-RA, THE HIDDEN SUN.
87:† MARSHAM ADAMS "THE BOOK OF THE MASTER." PAGE 141-2.
91:LXIII p. 92 THE DELPHIC ORACLE'S PROPHECY REGARDING CHRIST.--This prophecy foretells the silence of the Oracles subsequent to the cdming of Christ, the Light of the Celestial Flame." Its fulfilment is confirmed by the following authorities. Scarcely thirty years after the supposed date of Jesus' death, Lucan in his Pharsalia states that "the greatest calamity of our century is the loss of that wonderful gift of heaven, the Delphic Oracle, which is silent." Eusebius cites Porphyry as saving that since Jesus began to be worshipped no man had received any public help or benefit from the Gods. And Plutarch wrote his treatise affirming the "Cessation of the Oracles" during the first century of the Christian Era.
93:LXIV p. 94 ARISTOTLE ON EXHALATION.--Likewise there exist in many parts of the world openings through which exhalations escape, some of these cause those who approach them to become inspired, while others make people waste away, and others again, as for instance those at Delphi and Labadea, cause them to utter oracles.
TRANSLATED FROM ARISTOTELIS DE MUNDO AD ALEXANDRUM. CHAPTER IV, §10.
CICERO ON EXHALATION.--"I believe also that there were certain exhalations of certain earths, by which gifted minds were inspired to utter oracles." CICERO, "ON DIVINATION." CHAPTER L.
PLUTARCH ON EXHALATION.--For the power of the exhalation neither has a predisposing influence over all nor does it always predispose the same people in the same way hut, as has been said, it supplies a beginning and, as it were, enkindles those spirits which are prepared and fitted to receive and suffer change under its influence. This divinatory vapour is a breath and a most divine and most holy Spirit, (literally, divine it is in very fact and supernatural). TRANSLATED FROM PLUTARCH MORALIA, "DE DEFECTU ORACULORUM" §438 C, D.
93:LXV TEMPLE OF HERCULES IN ARMENIA. NOTE Y, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
95:LXVI p. 96 GRADATIONS OF HIS SPIRITUAL CREATURES.--The purpose of this book is to point out to man the possibility of his own divine evolution and to make plain to him that through obedience to the highest instincts and impulses which he knows, he may evolve from darkness into light, from knowledge into understanding, and from understanding into Wisdom Found which is the consciousness of the Universal Mind.
It is true that God manifests through the gradations of His spiritual creatures, for the Creator is omnipresent in His Creation and inseparable from it. Therefore knowledge of the Creator or true religion, and knowledge of His Creation or exact science, are in their essence one. And as the scientist of to-day re- cognises as being between the vegetable and animal kingdoms, certain forms of life which demonstrably partake of the nature of, and may be claimed by both; so the scientist of the future will have power to discern that man is by nature both human and divine, possessing at once the attributes of humanity and the elements of a Godhood, the science of whose evolution is as exact and as logical as the science of mathematics. Hence the religion of the future will be a knowledge of Truth which the science of the future will sublimely sustain, while the aim of both will be to instruct humanity as to its place in the Divine Plan and as to the Law of Nature, God, which wills obedience from all things. COMPARE PLATO ON MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE, NOTE Z, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
97:LXVII THE GENERATION OF ANIMALS.--"Plainly those principles whose activity is bodily cannot exist without a body, e.g. walking cannot exist without feet. For the same reason also they cannot enter from outside. It remains, then, for the reason alone so to enter And alone to be divine, for no bodily activity has any connection with the activity of reason." ARISTOTLELIS DE GENERATIONE ANIMALIUM. BOOK II, CHAPTER iii.
ETHICS.--"But such a life will be higher than mere human nature, because a man will live thus, not in so far as he is man, but in so far as there is in him a divine Principle. And in proportion as this Principle excels his composite nature, so far does the Energy thereof excel that in accordance with any other kind of Virtue. And therefore if pure Intellect, as compared with human nature, is divine, so too will the life in accordance with it be divine compared with man's ordinary life."
"These (the Moral Virtues), moreover, as bound up with the passions, must belong to the composite nature, and the Excellences or Virtues of the composite nature are proper to man; therefore so too will be the life and Happiness which is in accordance with them. But that of the Pure Intellect is separate and distinct." ARISTOTLE'S NICOMACHEAN ETHICS. CHASE'S TRANSLATION. EXTRACTS BOOK X, CHAPTER vi.
99:LXVIII p. 100 384 B.C. ARISTOTLE, 322 B.C., the disciple of Plato. "Aristotle and Plato are reckoned the respective heads of two schools. A wise man will see that Aristotle Platonises." *
99:LXIX 45 A.D. PLUTARCH, 120 A.D.--A Greek Initiate, for many years priest of Apollo apparently at Delphi. "You know that I have served the Pythian God for many Pythiads past, yet you would not now tell me, 'you have taken part enough in the sacrifices, processions and dances, and it is high time Plutarch, now you are an old man, to lay aside your garland, and retire as superannuated from the Oracle.'"
99:* Ralph Waldo Emerson.
101:LXX p. 102 PRIESTESSES OF APOLLO.--"But the prophetess at Delphi, whether she gives oracles to mankind through an attenuated and fiery spirit, bursting from the mouth of the cavern, or whether being seated in the adytum on a brazen tripod, or on a stool with four feet, she becomes sacred to the God; which so ever of these is the case, she entirely gives herself up to a divine spirit, and is illuminated with a ray of divine fire. And when, indeed, fire ascending from the mouth of the cavern, circularly invests her in collected abundance, she becomes filled from it with a divine splendour. But when she places herself on the seat of the God, she becomes co-adapted to his stable prophetic power; and from both those preparatory operations she becomes wholly possessed by the God. And then, indeed, he is present with and illuminates her in a separate manner, and is different from the fire, the spirit the proper seat, and, in short, from all the visible apparatus of the place, whether physical or sacred." IAMBLICHUS ON THE MYSTERIES. SECTION III, CHAPTER xi. THOMAS TAYLOR'S TRANSLATION.
103:LXXI p. 103 PLUTARCH ON THE ORACLES.--"We have formerly shown that he (Plutarch) owned the unity of a Godhead; whom, according to his attributes, he calls by several names, as Jupiter from his almighty power, Apollo from his wisdom, and so of the rest; but under him he places those beings whom he styles Genii or Daemons, of a middle nature, between divine and human; for he thinks it absurd that there should be no mean between the two extremes of an immortal and a mortal being; that there cannot be in nature so vast a flaw, without some intermedial kind of life, partaking of them both. As, therefore, we find the intercourse between the soul and body to be made by the animal spirits, so between divinity and humanity there is this species of daemons. Who, having first been men, and followed the stria rules of virtue, having purged off the grossness and feculency of their earthly being, are exalted into these genii; and are from thence either raised higher into an ethereal life, if they still continue virtuous, or tumbled down again into mortal bodies, and sinking into flesh after they have lost that purity which constituted their glorious being. And this sort of Genii are those who, as our author imagines, presided over oracles." A. H. CLOUGH: INTRODUCTION TO PLUTARCH'S LIVES. COMPARE SIR THOMAS BROWNE ON MAN'S PLACE IN NATURE, NOTE AA, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
105:LXXII p. 106 MICAH.--"And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and conse- crated one of his sons, who became his priest. And there was a young man out of Bethlehem-judah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite; and Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest. And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan. And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company?' And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more?'" EXTRACTS FROM BOOK OF JUDGES, CHAPTERS xvii. AND xviii.
MICHAL AND DAVID.--"Saul also sent messenger unto David's house to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal, David's wife told him. saying, If thou save not thy life to-night, to-morrov, thou shalt be slain.' So Michal let David dowr through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed and put a pillow of goat's hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth." I SAMUEL, xix., 11-13.
RACHEL, JACOB AND LABAN.--"Yet wherefore has p. 108 thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered and said to Laban, 'With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live.' For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them. Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not." EXTRACTS FROM BOOK OF GENESIS, CHAPTER XXXI.
TERAPHIM.--"The use of these Images was to consult with them as with Oracles, concerning things for the present unknown, or future to come. To this purpose they were made by Astrologers under certain constellations, capable of heavenly influences, whereby they were enabled to speak. The teraphims have spoken vanity, (Zacharias x. 2). And among other reasons why Rachel stole away her father's images, this is thought to be one, that Laban might not, by consulting with these Images, discover what way Jacob took his flight." THOMAS GODWYN.
107:LXXIII LCOMMENTARY. THAT ROMAN IN ASIA WAS CURTIUS RUFUS. NOTE BB, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
109:LXXIV p. 110 KING RODRIGUEZ.--NOTE CC, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
109:LXXV DUAL ASPECT OF SOLAR FORCE.--Allusion is here made to the fact that the force manifesting in generation is identical with that which, when rightly controlled, becomes the instrument of regeneration, the upbuilding of the Spiritual or Solar Body.
"In love is found the secret of divine unity: it is love that unites the higher and lower stages, and that lifts every thing to that stage where all must be one." ZOHAR.
"Oh height of love, thou openest the double Gate of the Horizon." EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD.
"Men have called Love Eros, because he has wings the Gods have called him Pteros, because he has the virtue of giving wings." PLATO, "THE BANQUET."
111:LXXVI p. 112 INTERIOR STARS.--Reference is here made to the seven principal ganglia of the sympathetic nervous system. When awakened and stimulated by the inflowing Solar Force, these centres appear to the seer as flaming rapidly revolving wheels or stars of great luminositly. In Sanskrit works the planets are held to govern these ganglia as follows: Saturn the sacral, Jupiter the prostatic, Mars the epigastric, Venus the cardiac, Mercury the pharyngeal, Moon the post nasal, Sun the pineal. COMPARE THE INMATES OF THE CAVE, OR THE STORY OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS, AS RELATED IN THE KORAN. NOTE DD, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
ANGEL OF THE GRAND COUNCIL.--when a group of souls is sent forth from the Infinite Mind to perform a desired work and to gain a definite range of experience, these souls descend into matter and lose consciousness for a time of their own true estate. A chosen member remains upon the loftiest plane of consciousness in which it is possible to fun ion while maintaining constant communication with the most highly evolved soul of the group now immersed in matter. This chosen member is the Angel of the Grand Council, whose office it is to be the channel of that Source which sent them forth in the beginning. This exalted being retains and makes known to those of his own
Order, working in the lower states
of consciousness, a knowledge
of the divine plan and purpose
for which they
SLEEP. NOTE EE,