It will be understood that the sects of Southern France, holding various offices of protestation, testified by act and word that the gates of hell had prevailed against the Latin Church and that the efficacious doctrines, the plenary rights, were in their hands. In other words, they had a special office in religion, and, I must add, the fatality of a superior process--all which instructs us precisely and fully why the Mystery of the Holy Graal was beyond their horizon and why they form no part of the Secret Tradition in Christian times. Their exponents--it is all as you please--were kings or rebels in warfare; they were unaccredited and disputatious doctors; they were errant preachers of a new-fangled scheme for the improved spiritual housing of priest-ridden classes. They trafficked--if you please otherwise--in Brummagem wares of apostolic Christianity; they were pedlars, and they carried no licence; their goods were either contraband or they were put forward under false marks. But if you prefer an alternative--since nothing in respect of them carries the least consequence--they handed down, diluted or otherwise, the remanents of some earlier heresy, gnosis, or occult confection of dogma, and if in respect thereof they concealed their real beliefs, nothing which signifies in respect of our
proper concern reposes behind the evasion. If I have any view on the subject--and honestly I have next to none--they were perhaps the Protestants of their period, dealing in poisonous nostrums of pure doctrine, simple faith, Bible Christianity, and they circulated uncorrupted interpretations of the Word of God--all horrors of that spurious simplicity which takes the wayfaring man into the first pit. We who know that omnia exeunt in mysterium have recited long since our Asperge and have turned aside from such blasphemous follies.
Outside these sects, there were two great concurrent schools of secret thought which were developing in Europe at the period of the Graal; there was the wonder and the rumour of alchemy and there was the great sacred mystery of Kabalistic Jewry. The first was scattered all over the western countries, and its reflection at the period in England was Roger Bacon, though, as it so happens, he signifies nothing for our purpose. The chief seat of the other was in Spain, but it had important academies coming into being in the South of France. I shall take my first illustration from Alchemy, and it must be understood that on the surface it claims to put forward the mystery of a material operation, behind which we discern--but this is not invariably--another subject and another intention. Speaking generally, the evidences of a Secret Tradition are very strong in alchemy and they are strong also in other schools of thought which will remain subsequently for our consideration. But seeing that it may strike the unversed student as not less than fantastic that I should choose the old and dubious science of metallic transmutation to cast light upon the Eucharistic side of the Graal Mystery, I must in the first place explain that two governing motives will actuate the whole inquest which follows hereafter: (1) To ascertain whether the concurrent or succeeding schools of secret thought, which appeared in Europe before or after the canon of the Graal was closed, offered any analogies to the notion of
an arch-national Eucharist, or--in other words--to the existence, prosecution and success of the Great Experiment; and (2) whether they offered anything which corresponds with the alternative notion of a voided House of Doctrine. The concurrence or competition which may subsist between the two theses will be mentioned at the term of the research. It is obvious, meanwhile, that we shall not expect to find secret words of consecration or some concealed form of the Mass, because we are investigating the analogies of intention which may be imbedded in distinct literatures. If we came across, for example--as we might, if we cared to seek--an occult requiem for the soul of a dead alchemist, we should set it aside simply as impertinent rather than relative. It will prove--and quite naturally--that such literatures will contain many secret verbal formulæ but not those which we should require if our zeal went before our discretion and we sought after secret words--as, for example, a super-efficacious version of the Epiclesis clause. The same counsels of prudence will teach us not to expect in the other schools a replicated claim regarding super-apostolical succession; it is sufficient--and it does not concern us either--that the epopts of these imbedded Christian and cognate mysteries were ordained specially and strangely in the paths which they followed for the proper term thereof--but this is of election to the mysteries. Lastly, we shall not look to find a plainer expression than we have met with already in the rumours of the Graal sanctuary, but though we are dealing in some cases with the most cryptic of all literatures and in others with elusive forms of initiation, we shall find as a fact that there is less room for misconception than--all things considered--might be expected. I premise, therefore, that the great Eucharistic experiment, concealed under the supposition of a secret consecration formula, has its strict analogy in the second sense attributed to the doctrines and processes of alchemical transmutation; while the loss of the Graal--or its
counterpart, the loss of the gracious and piteous words--has its analogy in the loss of the word in Kabalism and in the symbolical science of Masonry. We have seen already that the analogies of the Graal Quest are in the annals of sanctity and the present researches are the other side of the same annals. It follows that there is a super-incession between all the schools, but it is of the ideological order only and of the experience thereto belonging, and not of successive derivation. Perhaps I ought to add that the true interpretation of alchemy depends upon a construction of symbolism which has not entered previously into the heart of criticism.
At the period of the Holy Graal the books of the Hermetic Adepts were in a state of transition, or alternatively they corresponded to the elements of folklore before the Great Christian Hallow reigned in the Kingdom of Romance. In other words, the Secret School of alchemy began in an experimental operation pursued on material things, but the school was taken over subsequently, though at a time when the Graal literature was only a sacred memory. It is this mystery which was the next witness in the world.
Alchemy may not have originated much further East than Alexandria, or, alternatively, it may have travelled from China when the port of Byzantium was opened to the commerce of the world. In either case its first development, in the forms with which we are acquainted, is connected with the name of Byzantium, and the earliest alchemists of whom we have any particulars and any remains in literature constitute a class by themselves under the name of Byzantine alchemists. The records of their processes went further eastward, into Syria and Arabia, where they assumed a new mode, which bore, however, all necessary evidence of its origin. In this form the texts do not appear to have had a specific influence upon the corpus doctrinale of later days. The records were also taken West, like other mysteries of
varying importance, and when they began to assume a place in western history this was chiefly in France, Germany and England. In other words, there arose the cycle of Latin alchemy, passing at a later date, by the way of translation, into the vernaculars of the respective countries, until finally, but much later, we have original documents in various almost modern languages. It follows--but has not been noticed so far--that the entire literature is a product of Christian times and has Christianity as its motive, whether subconsciously or otherwise. This statement applies to the Latin Geber and even the tracts which are ascribed to Morien and Rhasis. The dubious and the certain exceptions which prove the rule are the colloquy of the Turba Philosophorum--about which it is difficult to speculate in respect of its source--and the Kabalistic Æsh Mezareph--which we know only by fragments included in the great collection of Rosenroth. I suppose that there is no labyrinth which it is quite so difficult to thread as that of the Theatrum Chemicum. It is beset on every side with pitfalls, and its clues, though not destroyed actually, have been buried beneath the ground. Expositors of the subject have gone astray over the generic purpose of the art, because some have believed it to be (a) the transmutation of metals, and that only, while others have interpreted it as (b) a veiled method of delineating the secrets of the soul on its way through the world within, and besides this nothing. We have on our part to realise that (a) there were two schools making use of the same language in a distinct sense, the one branch seeking the transmutation of metals and the art of prolonging life, the other branch investigating the mysteries of arch-natural life; and that (b) more than one text-book of physical alchemy would seem to have been re-edited in this more recent, exotic interest. It is to the latter that I refer when I speak of an intervention in alchemy by which it was assumed, and--while preserving the same veils of language--was transformed in
respect of its purpose. I deal therefore with the corpora spiritualia of the mystic school; we can leave to the physical alchemists those things of Cæsar which belong to them, retaining the things which concern the mysteries of divine symbolism.
The true philosophers of each school are believed to have taught the same thing, with due allowance for the generic difference of their term, and seeing that they used--as I have said--the same language, it would seem that, given a criterion of distinction in respect of the term, this should make the body of cryptogram comparatively easy to disentangle. But as one of the chief problems is held to reside in the fact that many text-books do not begin at the same point of the process, this advantage of uniformity is cancelled largely. There are affirmed to be experimental schools still existing in Europe which have carried the physical work much further than it is ever likely to be taken by an isolated student; but this must be accepted under some notable reserves, or I can at least say that, having better occasions than most people of knowing the schools and their development, I have so far found no evidence. But there are known otherwise to be--and I speak here with the certainty of first-hand acquaintance--other schools, also experimental, also existing in Europe, which claim to possess the master-key of the mystical work. How far they have been successful in using that key, and whether it opens all locks, I am not in a position to say, for reasons which those who are concerned will regard as obvious. It so happens, however, that the mystery of the process is one thing and that which lies on the surface, or more immediately beneath the externals of concealed language, is fortunately another thing. And, as in this case it occurs for our salvation, the enlightening correspondences are offering their marks and seals, if not at our very doors, at least in the official churches. Among all those places that are holy there is no holy place in which they do not abide, a mane usque ad vespertinum,
and the name of this correspondence is the Holy Eucharist.
Before entering further into this matter, I propose to tabulate certain palmary points of terminology which are common to all the adepts--including both schools indifferently, though we are dealing here, and this is understood fully, with the process of one school. By the significance of these terms we shall see to what extent the symbolism of the Higher Alchemy is in conformity with mystic symbolism and with the repose of the life of the Church in God. We shall see further in respect of the operations that some are in correspondence with that High Mass which was once said in Corbenic. It should be realised, however, that there is nothing so hard and so thankless as to elucidate one symbolism in the words of another, and this notwithstanding the identity which may be indicated as the term of each. It should be understood further, and accepted, that all alchemists, outside the distinctions of their schools, were actuated by an express determination to veil their mystery, and that seemingly they had recourse for this purpose to every kind of subterfuge.
At the same time they tell us that the whole art is contained, manifested and set forth by means of a single vessel which, amidst all manner of minor variations, is described with essential uniformity throughout the multitude of texts. This statement constitutes a certain lesser key to the art; but as on the one hand the alchemists veil their vas insigne by reference, in spite of their assurance, to many pretended vessels, so has the key itself a certain aspect of subterfuge, since the alleged unity is in respect only of the term final of the process in the unity of the recipient. This unity is the last reduction of a triad, because, according to these aspects of Hermetic philosophy, man in the course of his attainment is at first three--body, soul and spirit--that is, when he sets out on the Great Quest; he is two at a certain stage--when the soul has conceived Christ,
for the spirit has then descended and the body is for the time being outside the Divine alliance; but he is in fine one--that is to say, when the whole man has died in Christ--which is the term of his evolution. So in the Graal Mystery there are three seekers who attain after their own measure--Perceval, Bors and Galahad--who are distinguished from the hereditary incapacity of Gawain, from the particular inhibition of Lancelot, and from the external election of the King.
The black state of the alchemical matter, on which the process of the art is engaged, is the body of this death--"the dedeley flesshe"--from which the adepts have asked to be detached. It is more especially our natural life. The white state of the Stone, the confection of which is desired as a chief term of the art, is the vesture of that immortality with which the epopts are clothed upon.
The Salt of the Philosophers is that savour of life without which the material earth can neither be salted nor cleansed. The Sulphur of the Philosophers is the inward substance by which some souls are saved, yet so as by fire. The Mercury of the Sages is that which must be fixed and volatilised--naturally it is fluidic and wandering--but except under . this name, or by some analogous substitute, it must not be described literally outside the particular circles of secret knowledge. It is nearer than hands and feet.
Now, the perfect correspondence of these things in the symbolism of official Christianity, and the great mystery of perfect sanctification, is set forth in the great churches under the sacramentalism of the Holy Eucharist, behind which we see in the liturgies and ritual of the Graal a high rendering of the same subject under the same terms, as if there were secret wardens who were aware of certain insufficiencies and of the way in which they might be rectified. The same exalted mystery which lies behind the symbols of Bread and Wine, behind the undeclared priesthood which is according
to the Order of Melchisedech, was expressed by the alchemists under the guise of transmutation; but it is understood that I refer here to the secret school of adeptship which had taken over in another and transcendent interest the terminology and processes of occult metallurgy. The confusion of distinct symbolisms signifying the same thing makes for no illumination; but because of the identity in the term, because both schools deal with the same thing, and because the same thing is everywhere, the natural analogy of these symbolisms, distinct as they are, can, by maintaining their distinction--that is, without mutation of the accidents--be made to elucidate each other. In the last resource, therefore, the physician heals himself; but I am speaking here of that which wise men have termed the Medicine.
The vessel is consequently one, but the matter thereto adapted is not designated especially, or at least after an uniform manner; it is said to be clay by those who speak at times more openly in order that they may be understood the less, as if they also were singing in their strange chorus:
[paragraph continues] It is most commonly described as metallic because on the surface of the literature there is the declared mystery of all metals, and the concealed purpose is to show that in the roots and essence of these things there is a certain similarity or analogy. The reason is that the epopt who has been translated again finds his body after many days, but under a great transmutation, as if in another sense the panis quotidianus had been changed into the panis vivus et vitalis, but--as I have just said--without mutation of the accidents. The reason is also that in normal states the body is--here and now--not without the soul, nor can we separate readily, by any intellectual process, the soul from the spirit which broods thereover,
to fertilise it in a due season. There is, however, one vessel, and this makes for simplicity; though it is not by such simplicity that the art is testified to be a ludus puerorum. The contradistinction hereto is that it is hard to be a Christian, which is the comment of the man born blind upon the light that he cannot see. It is the triumphant affirmation of the mystical counter-position, that to sin is hard indeed for the man who knows truly. The formula of this is that man is born for the heights rather than the deeps, and its verbal paradox is: facilis ascensus superno. The process of the art is without haste or violence by the mediation of a graduated fire, and the seat of this fire is in the soul. It is a mystery of the soul's love, and for this reason she is called "undaunted daughter of desire." The sense of the gradation is that love is set free from the impetuosity and violence of passion, and has become a constant and incorruptible flame. The formula of this is that the place of unity is a centre wherein there is no exaggeration. That which the fire consumes is certain materials or elements which are called recrementa, the grosser parts, the superfluities; and it should be observed that there are two purgations, of which the first is the gross and the second the subtle. The first is the normal process of conversion, by which there is such a separation of components seemingly external that what remains is as a new creature, and may be said to be reborn. The second is the exalted conversion, by which that which has been purified is so raised that it enters into a new region, or a certain heaven comes down and abides therein.
It is not my design in this place to exhaust the sources of interpretation, because such a scheme would be impossible in this sub-section, and I can allude therefore but scantily to the many forms of the parables which are concerned with the process up to this point. The ostensible object--which was material in the alternative school--was the confection of a certain Stone or Powder,
which is that of projection, and the symbolical theorem is that this powder, when added to a base metal, performs the wonder of transmutation into pure silver or gold, better than those of the mines. The Stone transmutes what is base, but in its own elements it has undergone transmutation itself, from what is base to what is perfect. In another form it prolongs life and renews youth in the adept philosopher and lover of learning. In this case it is spoken of usually as an elixir, but the transmuting powder and the renewing draught are really one thing with the spiritual alchemists. As it is certain that under any light of interpretation the Stone of the Graal is not actually and literally a stone--nor found in the nest of the phoenix--it may be held to follow as a reasonable inference that the Cup or Chalice is not a cup actually or literally, much less a vessel which contains blood, sang réal or otherwise. In like manner, if there is one thing which appears than another more clearly in the books of the Philosophers, it is that the Stone of alchemy is not a stone at all, and that the Elixir of alchemy is not a brew or an essence which can be communicated in ewers or basins. The Stone, on one side of its symbolism, represents more especially the visible sign of the mystery, and it is spoken of as offering two phases--of which one is white and the other red.
It must be affirmed further that in virtue of a very high mysticism there is an unity in the trinity of the stone--or powder--the metal and the vase. The vase is also the alchemist, for none of the instruments, the materials, the fires, the producer and the thing produced are external to the one subject. At the same time the inward man is distinguished from the outward man; we may say that the one is the alchemist and the other the vessel; it is in this sense that the art is termed both physical and spiritual. But the symbolism is many times enfolded, and the gross matter which is placed within the vessel is the untransmuted life of reason, motive, concupiscence, self-interest and all that which
constitutes the intelligent creature on the normal plane of manifestation. Hereof is the natural man enclosed in an animal body, as the metal is placed in the vessel, and from this point of view the alchemist is he who is sometimes termed arrogantly the super-man. But because there is only one vessel it must be understood that herein the Stone is confected and the base metal is converted. The alchemist is himself finally the Stone, and because many zealous aspirants to the Art have not understood this they have failed in the Great Work on the spiritual side.
The schedule which now follows may elucidate this hard subject somewhat more fully, if not indeed more plainly: There are (a) the natural, external man, whose equivalent is the one vessel; (b) the body of desire which answers to the gross matter; (c) the aspiration, the consciousness, the will of the supernatural life; (d) the process of the will working on the body of desire within the external vessel; (e) the psychic and transcendental conversion thus effected; (f) the re-action of the purified body of desire on the essential will, so that the one supports the other, the will is again exalted, and therefrom follows this further change--that the spirit of a man puts on a new quality of life, becoming an instrument which is at once feeding and itself fed; (g) herein is the symbol of the Stone and the Great Elixir; (h) the spirit is nourished from above by the analogies of Eucharistic ministry--that is to say, the Dove descends from Heaven carrying the arch-natural Host to renew the virtues of the Stone; (i) the spirit nourishes the soul, as by Bread and Wine--that is, the Bread is taken from the Graal; (k) the soul effects the higher conversion in the body of desire; (l) it comes about thus that the essence which dissolves everything is still contained in a vessel, or alternatively that God abides in man.
This process, thus delineated exhaustively in the parables of alchemy, is put with almost naked simplicity
by Eucharistic doctrine--which says that material lips receive the super-substantial Bread and Wine, that the soul is nourished and that Christ enters the soul.
The Eucharistic Bread signifies the super-substantial sustenance, and the Wine is arch-natural life. It is for this reason that the Alchemical Stone at the red has a higher tingeing and transmuting power than the Stone at the white. The first matters of the alchemical work, to make use of another language of subterfuge, are Sulphur, Mercury and Salt; but these are the elements of the Philosophers and not those of the ordinary kind. In other words, common Sulphur and Mercury correspond to the Bread and Wine before consecration, and the philosophical elements are those which have been transubstantiated by the power of the secret words. That which is produced is called Panis Vivus et Vitalis and Vinum Mirabile, instead of the daily meat and drink by which we ask to be sustained in the Lord's Prayer. The Salt is that which is called the formula of consecration; it is that which salts and transmutes the natural earth. When Christ said: "If the Salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? "this can be understood of the super-excellent and extra-valid consecration; the removal of the Graal signifies that of a certain arch-natural salting, yet the salt of sufficing grace remains, like that of nature, and in its way also it communicates. Christ further said: "You are the salt of the earth"--and this is the true priesthood.
That which the text-books have agreed from time immemorial to term a Stone is that also which we find in greater Gospel books, where it is described as a Stone not made with hands, and the transmutation performed thereby is the work of inward conversion, resulting in the condition which one of the adepts recommends to his disciples when he exclaims: "Transmutemini, transmutemini à lapidibus mortuis in lapides vivos philosophicos." The possession of the Stone is, in other words, the possession of the tingeing Christ.
It should be understood, therefore, that the First Matter in transcendence--that is, in the state of the Stone--must be taken to signify the elements after conversion has been operated by the secret words of consecration. But the words signify here the Divine Life, and the process which really takes place is represented by the most sacramental of all words: Et verbum caro factum est (And the Word was made flesh). In this new light of alchemy we may continue, if we please, to regard the elements of the Graal as the communication of the Eucharist in exaltation, of which our own Eucharist is only a shadow and substitute or we can do what is the same thing and is preferable in respect of finality, that is, we can transfer the entire symbolism to man who is the recipient of the Eucharist, the vessel of reception, the subject of conversion, the container which in the outward order is less than the thing contained, the life which receives the life above all life that is manifest and known. Without man the conversion and transmutation of elements would be void of all office, since there would be no terminus ad quem.
Prior to the efficacious consecration we may assume that the simple elements are those substances, or, if we prefer it, are that one substance variously manifested, which, as the alchemists tell us so expressly, may be found everywhere. It is of no account till the Wise have introduced their mystical ferment therein. Having concealed it under a thousand names, they say in their strange manner that it is known by these; and so also some of them have declared in their derision, as against all the untutored material operations which involve a prodigal outlay, that he who spends upon the Great Work more than thirty thalers--not including the cost of personal maintenance--has already passed aside from the whole truth of the process. It follows from these elucidations that the higher understanding of the Eucharist and the mystic side of alchemy are concerned with the same subject, that is to say, with man, his
conversion and transfiguration: the implicits are therefore the same, and of these things alchemy was the next witness in the world after the epoch of the Holy Graal.
But though it seems therefore within all reason and all truth to testify that the panis vivus et vitalis is even as the transmuting Stone and that the Chalice of the New and Eternal Testament is as the renewing Elixir, the witness is subject to the reserve of my previous indication; the closer the analogies between distinct systems of symbolism the more urgent is that prudence which counsels us not to confound them by an interchangeable use. The priest as priest neither dealt in the symbolism of alchemy nor assumed its external offices; the alchemist as alchemist did not celebrate Mass. It is true notwithstanding that all Christian mysticism--whatever its vestures--came out of the Mass-Book, and it is true that it returns therein. But the Mass-Book in the first instance came out of the heart mystic which had unfolded in Christendom. The nucleus of truth in the Missal is: Dominus prope est. The Mass shows that the Great Work is in the first sense a work of the hands of man, because it is he, officiating as a priest in his own temple, who offers the sacrifice which he has purified; but the elements of that sacrifice are taken over by an intervention from another Order, and that which follows is transfusion.
Re-expressing all this now in a closer summary, the apparatus of mystical alchemy is indeed, comparatively speaking, simple. The first matter is myrionymous and is yet one, corresponding to the unity of the natural will and the unlimited complexity of its motives, dispositions, desires, passions and distractions--on all of which the work of wisdom must operate. The vessel is also one, for this is the normal man complete in his own degree. The process has the seal of Nature's directness; it is the graduation and increasing maintenance of a particular fire. The initial work is a change in the substance of will, aspiration and desire, which is the
first conversion--or transmutation in the elementary sense. But it is identical, even to the end, with the term proposed by the Eucharist, which is the modification of the noumenal man by the communication of Divine Substance. Here is the lapis qui non lapis, lapis tingens, lapis angularis, lapis qui multiplicatur, lapis per quem justus ædificabit domum Domini, et jam valde ædificatur et terram possidebit per omnia, &c. When it is said that the Stone is multiplied, even to a thousandfold, we know that this is true of all seed which is sown upon good soil.
So, therefore, the Stone transmutes and the Eucharist transmutes also; the philosophical elements on the physical side go to the making of the Stone, which is also physical, and the sacramental elements to the generation of a new life in the soul. He who says Lapis Philosophorum says also: My beloved to me and I to him. Christ is therefore the Stone, and the Stone in adept humanity is the Union realised, while the Great Secret is that Christ must be manifested within.
Now, it seems to me that it has not served less than an useful purpose to establish after a new manner the intimate resemblance between the higher understanding of one part of the Secret Tradition and the fuller interpretation of one Sacrament of the Church. We are not dealing in either case with the question of attainment. The analogy would remain if Spiritual Alchemy and Christian Sacramentalism abode in the intellectual order as theorems only which have been never carried into experience. And further it is not affirmed that the Hermetic symbolism has attained a grade of perfection. When Christian symbolism took over the old legends and created out of them the literature of the Holy Graal, the work was not done perfectly, and it is the same with alchemical books. It remains that the doctrine of sanctity offered a Divine Experience, to those who entered the pathway of sanctity, as a foretaste in this life of the union which is consummated in eternity, or of that end
beyond which there is nothing whatever that is conceivable. We know from the old books that "it hath not entered into the heart of man," but the heart which has put away the things of sense may at least conceive it by representations and types. This is the great tradition of that which the early alchemists term Truth in the Art; the experience is representation after its own kind rather than felicity, but the representation is of that grade which begins in ecstasy and ends in absorption. Let no man say therefore that he loses himself in experiences of this order, for perchance it is then only that he finds himself, even in that way which suggests that after many paths of activity he is at length coming into his own.
The alchemical maxim which might be inscribed on the gate of the palais espiriteus or any Castle of the Graal should be:
[paragraph continues] The Eucharistic maxim which might be written over the laboratory of the alchemist, in addition to Laborare est orare, is:
[paragraph continues] The maxim which might be written over the temples of the official churches is Corporis Mysterium--that the mystery of the body might lead them more fully into the higher mystery of the soul. And in fine the maxim which might and would be inscribed over the one Temple of the truly Catholic Religion when the faiths of this western world have been united in the higher consciousness--that is assuredly Mysterium Fidei--the mystery which endures for ever and for ever passes into experience.
Within the domain of the Secret Tradition the initiations are many and so are the schools of thought, but
those which are true schools and those which are high orders issue from one root. Est una sola res, and they whose heart of contemplation is fixed upon this one thing may differ but can never be far apart. Personally I do not believe--and this has the ring of a commonplace--that they will be found to differ widely. I know not what systems of the æons may intervene between that which is imperishable within us and the union wherein the universe will in fine repose at the centre. But I know that the great systems--aye, even the great processes--of the times that are gone, as of those which now encompass us, do not pass away, because that which was from the beginning is now and ever shall be--is one motive, one aspiration, one term of thought remaining, as if in the stillness of an everlasting present. We really understand one another, and our terms are terms over which our collective aspirations are united world without end.