“GOING TO AND FRO IN THE EARTH”
[Lucifer, Vol. V, No. 27, November, 1889, pp. 251-254]
In the benevolence of their hearts, the editors of Lucifer offer their sincere condolences to their equitable neighbours and impartial, generous critics, the English clergy and editors, whose cause has just received a bad stab under the ribs from one of their most learned and distinguished prelates. His Grace the Bishop of Peterborough, presiding at the Diocesan Conference at Leicester, on the 25th of October last, made the following direful admission:—
The bishop, summing up a discussion on Socialism, said they must be careful, while knowing that many of the advocates of Socialism held doctrines which were very dangerous, that they gave full credit to the nobility of motive and tenderness of sympathy with suffering and wrong which had stirred many of those persons. Christianity, however, made no claim to rearrange the economic relations of men in the State and in Society, and he hoped he would be understood when he said plainly that it was his firm belief that any Christian State carrying out in all its relations the Sermon on the Mount could not exist a week.
Henceforth, let editors disposed to hold up to public condemnation the Theosophical Society because of dissensions among members, and to write comic editorials on “Kilkenny Theosophy,” be more reserved, lest this pregnant confession of the Great Anglican Bishop be quoted against them. When Col. Olcott, in his South Place Institute lecture, replying to a carping questioner who sought to confound him by charging ill-temper and uncharitableness on his colleagues, said that the theosophical ideal was so high, that few could fully realize it practically, he spoke a profound truth. If it now be alleged that the Lord Bishop has but placed Christianity and Theosophy on the same level, the natural reply will be that this should make the Christian adversaries of our Society a little more just in their
behaviour towards us. There is one notable difference, however, between the Christian Churches and our Society, and it is this: Whereas every baptised child or adult is called a Christian, we have always drawn a clear and broad line between a Theosophist and a simple member of the T. S. A Theosophist, with us, is one who makes Theosophy a living power in his life. We have been often accused of hating Christianity. This is as untrue as it is unjust. Some of the teaching ascribed to Christ, teaching which he has in common with other great religious leaders, is admirable. But we would be as untruthful as our accusers, were we to show anything like a friendly feeling or sympathy for dogmas and ritual or that which the late Lawrence Oliphant called Churchianity. For it is this which deserves far more than the T. S. ever has, to be loudly and fearlessly proclaimed— especially after the Bishop of Peterborough’s confession— Kilkenny Christianity. VERB. SAP.
THE AGE OF MAN AND THE CONTINENTS
We are happy to find Mr. Grant Allen confessing to Esoteric Buddhism doctrines, and his agreement with The Secret Doctrine. For this is what he is alleged to have said to a Pall Mall reporter who interviewed Mr. Grant Allen upon his views.
“. . . . . All the higher forms of religion even now contain traces of the earlier stages. The human race goes so far back.” Here I intervened. “Yes; where do you cradle its infancy—in far Chaldea or, as the new theory has it, in North West Europe, or do you hold the ‘glacial-period-primeval man’?” “Oh,” was the smiling reply, “in my opinion the human race goes as far back as the Miocene period, so far hack that our existing continents hardly have assumed their present shapes when man first appeared, and as the whole world was then tropical in climate, man may have appeared anywhere.”
The reader of the above, is asked at his first leisure to open Esoteric Buddhism, 4th edition, at p. 60, and compare. It is soothing to find that the beaux esprits se rencontrent—at any rate the antediluvian spirit of Dzyan and
the spirit of modern anthropological and geological speculation as represented by Mr. Grant Allen. But there, we believe, all agreement ceases, especially on metaphysical and physical teachings. So much more the pity—for modern science.
AMUCK! IN THE NAME OF CHRIST!!
Our friends, the Methodist Times are at their old tricks again. Finding their own little . . . . . intellectual variations on Fiction unequal to the occasion, they call in their Madras ally—the Christian College Magazine, the paradoxical organ of the “heathen” College of the never-to-be-converted Hindus, which plays once more its old fugue in the orchestra of slander. We are told again in the “Patterson Correspondence” that Madame Blavatsky fled from India in 1885, leaving Madras secretly. Considering (1) that Mrs. Dr. Sharlieb’s certificate was published more than once in various papers; (2) the fact that a kind friend, then and to this day, one of the Madras magistrates, himself saw Mme. Blavatsky off to the steamer; (3) that he kindly sent an invalid chair and his own police peons to carry in it the personality now accused of having left the country “secretly”; and that, moreover (4), her departure took place publicly, and in full daylight—the charge is rather risky!
Plain truth and known facts hold good, however, to the present day, and with all men. Therefore it is quite needless to disprove point by point the other dozen or so ruses, all as uncanny as this above-mentioned fabrication. As to the elegant epithets and insulting terms sent by Mr. Patterson to the address of Mme. Blavatsky, they really do not matter. What, or where is she, when compared with the great and eminent men and even a god, who were far worse ill-treated than she is, by the bigots of their respective countries, and this invariably only because the victims were in their way? No comparison, of course, is here contemplated, as any such would be absurd. Yet the records of history are there to show false accusations lavished, in every case, on innocent
men and women when the life and reputation of such became a danger to those who envied or feared them. Witness Socrates and Hypatia, Bruno and Joan of Arc, etc., etc. Remember the hundreds of martyrs, the latchet of whose shoes Mme. B. is not worthy of loosening, who suffered tortures and death at the hands of unscrupulous liars, of false witnesses and fanatical murderers. Does not Jesus himself head the hosts of the martyrs for truth in the Christian era? Were the reverend detractors to exhaust the whole vocabulary of Hungerford Market to abuse and vilify her, they would still never approach, let alone surpass, the insults lavished by the Pharisees on the head of Jesus—their Christ. “Thou hast the Devil,” said these dignitaries of the “grandmother” Church, the Synagogue, to the God of the present mother Church—”the Man of Sorrows.” And did they not denounce Christ as “that deceiver who said . . . . After three days I will arise again”? And for that “deception” was Jesus flogged, and spat upon, and crucified; all of which in no wise prevented Mr. Patterson and a host of Mme. B.’s slanderers from worshipping that same Jesus as their God and Master. Nor does it prevent the descendants of those who put the prophet of Nazareth to death, adding, “His blood be on us, and on our children,” from holding their victim to this day as a “deceiver”; and yet prospering, the curse notwithstanding, having wealth enough to buy into bondage the whole of Christendom, and holding actually in durance vile all the crowned heads of Christian Europe!
All of which proves that fate plays ducks and drakes with gods as with mortals; that all of us are born, live and die under Karmic law, in consequence of which law few of us can know who is who, or what is what, in this world of maya. Our sincere advice to the irrepressible Mr. Patterson is, not to attempt, in the words of Job, to bore leviathan’s “jaw through with a thorn,” lest Karma “put an hook into his (own) nose” for the trouble.