OLD WINE IN NEW BOTTLES
It is more than likely, that the Protestants in the days of the Reformation knew nothing of the true origin of Christianity, or, to be more explicit and correct, of Latin Ecclesiasticism. Nor is it probable that the Greek Church knew much of it, the separation between the two having occurred at a time when, in the struggle for political power, the Latin Church was securing, at any cost, the alliance of the highly educated, the ambitious and influential Pagans, while these were willing to assume the outward appearance of the new worship, provided they were themselves kept in power. There is no need to remind the reader here of the details of that struggle, well-known to every educated man. It is certain that the highly cultivated Gnostics and their leaders–such men as Saturninus, an uncompromising ascetic, as Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, Menander and Cerinthus–were not stigmatised by the (now) Latin Church because they were heretics, nor because their tenets and practices were indeed “ob turpitudinem portentosam nimium et horribilem,”* “monstrous, revolting abominations,” as Baronius says of those of Carpocrates; but simply because they knew too much of fact and truth. Kenneth R. H. MacKenzie correctly remarks;
They were stigmatized by the later Roman Church because they came into conflict with the purer Church of Christianity–the possession of which was usurped by the Bishops of Rome, but which original continues in its docility towards the founder, in the Primitive Orthodox Greek Church. †
Unwilling to accept the responsibility of gratuitous assumptions, the writer deems it best to prove this inference by more than one personal and defiant admission of an ardent Roman Catholic writer, evidently entrusted with the delicate task by the Vatican. The Marquis de Mirville makes desperate efforts to explain in the Catholic interest certain remarkable discoveries in Archaeology and Palaeography, though the Church is cleverly made to remain outside of the quarrel and defence. This is
* [“on account of excessively monstrous and fearful infamy (baseness turpitude).”]
† The Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, s.v. “Gnosticism.”
undeniably shown by his ponderous volumes addressed to the Academy of France between 1851 and 1868. Seizing the pretext of drawing the attention of the materialistic “Immortals” to the “epidemic of Spiritualism,” the invasion of Europe and America by a numberless host of Satanic forces, he directs his efforts towards proving the same, by giving the full Genealogies and the Theogony of the Christian and Pagan Deities, and by drawing parallels between the two. All such wonderful likenesses and identities are only “seeming and superficial,” he assures the reader. Christian symbols, and even characters, Christ, the Virgin, Angels and Saints, he tells them, were all personated centuries beforehand by the fiends of hell, in order to discredit eternal truth by their ungodly copies. By their knowledge of futurity the devils anticipated events, having “discovered the secrets of the Angels.” Heathen Deities, all the Sun-Gods, named Soters–Saviors–born of immaculate mothers and dying a violent death, were only Ferouers*–as they were
* In the Ferouers and Devs of Jacobi (Letters F. and D.) the word “ferouer” is explained in the following manner: The Ferouer is a part of the creature (whether man or animal) of which it is the type and which it survives. It is the Nous of the Greeks, therefore divine and immortal, and thus can hardly be the Devil or the satanic copy de Mirville would represent it. Foucher contradicts him entirely. The Ferouer was never the “principle of sensations,” but always referred to the most divine and pure portion of Man’s Ego–the spiritual principle. Anquetil says the Ferouer is the purest portion of man’s soul. The Persian Dev is the antithesis of the Ferouer, for the Dev has been transformed by Zoroaster into the Genius of Evil (whence the Christian Devil), but even the Dev is only finite; for having become possessed of the soul of man by usurpation, it will have to leave it at the great day of Retribution. The Dev obsesses the soul of the defunct for three days, during which the soul wanders about the spot at which it was forcibly separated from its body, the Ferouer ascends to the region of eternal Light. [See Mémoires. . . de l’Academie Royale des Inscriptions . . . Vol. XXXVII, p. 623, and Chap. XXXIX, p. 749. Paris, de L’imprimerie Royale, 1774. This early series carries several full articles by M. Anquetil du Perron on the Zoroastrian teachings.] It was an unfortunate idea that made the noble Marquis de Mirville imagine the Ferouer to be a “satanic copy” of a divine original. By calling all the Gods of the Pagans–Apollo, Osiris, Brahma, Ormazd, Bel, etc., the “Ferouers of Christ and of the chief Angels,” he merely exhibits the God and the Angels he would honor as inferior to the Pagan Gods, as man is inferior to his Soul and Spirit; since the Ferouer is the immortal part of the mortal being of which it is the type and which it survives. Perchance the poor author is
called by the Zoroastrians–the demon-ante-dated copies (copies anticipées) of the Messiah to come.
The danger of recognition of such facsimiles had indeed lately become dangerously great. It had lingered threateningly in the air, hanging like a sword of Damocles over the Church, since the days of Voltaire, Dupuis and other writers on similar lines. The discoveries of the Egyptologists, the finding of Assyrian and Babylonian pre-Mosaic relics bearing the legend of Moses* and especially the many rationalistic works published in England, such as Supernatural Religion, made recognition unavoidable. Hence the appearance of Protestant and Roman Catholic writers deputed to explain the inexplicable; to reconcile the fact of Divine Revelation with the mystery that the divine personages, rites, dogmas and symbols of Christianity were so often identical with those of the several great heathen religions. The former–the Protestant defenders–tried to explain it, on the ground of “prophetic, precursory ideas”; the Latinists, such as de Mirville, by inventing a double set of Angels and Gods, the one divine and true, the other–the earlier “copies ante-dating the originals” and due to a clever plagiarism by the Evil One. The Protestant stratagem is an old one, that of the Roman Catholics is so old that it has been forgotten, and is as good as new. Dr. Lundy’s Monumental Christianity and A Miracle in Stone belong to the first attempts. De Mirville’s Pneumatologie to the second. In India and China, every such effort on the part of the Scotch and other missionaries ends in laughter, and does no harm; the plan devised by the Jesuits is more serious. De Mirville’s volumes† are thus very important, as they proceed from a source which has undeniably the greatest learning of the age at its service, and this coupled with all the craft and casuistry that the sons of Loyola can furnish.
unconsciously prophetic; and Apollo, Brahma, Ormazd, Osiris, etc., are destined to survive and replace–as eternal cosmic verities–the evanescent fictions about the God, Christ and Angels of the Latin Church!
* See George Smith’s Ancient History from the Monuments, The History of Babylonia, ed. by Rev. A. H. Sayce, London,  etc., and other works. [See bibliography.]
† [Des Esprits et de leurs Manifestations . . ., par J. ––E. de Mirville. Six Vols. Paris, H. Urayet de Surcy, 1863-64; Vol. VI publ. by F. Wattelier, 1868.]
HATSHEPSUT TEMPLE, DEIR-EL-BAHARI, EGYPT
Photo by G. E. Kidder Smith. Reproduced by permission
From The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt, by
W. Stevenson Smith, 1958
The Marquis de Mirville was evidently helped by the acutest minds in the service of Rome.
He begins by not only admitting the justice of every imputation and charge made against the Latin Church as to the originality of her dogmas, but by taking a seeming delight in anticipating such charges; for he points to every dogma of Christianity as having existed in Pagan rituals in Antiquity. The whole Pantheon of Heathen Deities is passed in review by him, and each is shown to have had some point of resemblance with the Trinitarian personages and Mary. There is hardly a mystery, a dogma, or a rite in the Latin Church that is not shown by the author as having been “parodied by the Curati”–the “Curved,” the Devils. All this being admitted and explained, the Symbologists ought to be silenced. And so they would be, if there were no materialistic critics to reject such omnipotency of the Devil in this world. For, if Rome admits the likenesses, she also claims the right of judgment between the true and the false Avatara, the real and the unreal God, between the original and the copy–though the copy precedes the original by millenniums.
Our author proceeds to argue that whenever the missionaries try to convert an idolater, they are invariably answered:
“We had our Crucified before yours . . . . What do you come to show us?* Again, what should we gain by denying the mysterious side of this copy, under the plea that according to Weber all the present Purânas are remade from older ones, since here we have in the same order of personages a positive precedence which no one would ever think of contesting.†
And the author instances Buddha, Krishna, Apollo, etc. Having admitted all this he escapes the difficulty in this wise:
The Church Fathers, however, who recognized their own property under all such sheep’s clothing . . . knowing by means of the Gospel . . . all the ruses of the pretended spirits of light; the Fathers, we say, meditating upon the decisive words, “all that ever came before me are thieves and robbers” (John, x, 8), did not hesitate in recognizing the Occult agency at work, the general and superhuman direction given beforehand to falsehood, the universal attribute and environment of all these false Gods of the nations; “omnes dii Gentium daemonia (elilim).” (Psalms xcvi, 5.)‡
* This is as fanciful as it is arbitrary. Where is the Hindu or Buddhist who would speak of his “Crucified”?
† Pneumatologie, Vol. IV [Des Esprits . . .], pp. 237-38.
‡ Op. cit., p. 250.
With such a policy everything is made easy. There is not one glaring resemblance, not one fully proven identity, that could not thus be made away with. The above-quoted cruel, selfish, self-glorifying words, placed by John in the mouth of Him who was meekness and charity personified, could never have been pronounced by Jesus. The Occultists reject the imputation indignantly, and are prepared to defend the man as against the God, by showing whence come the words, plagiarized by the author of the Fourth Gospel. They are taken bodily from the “Prophecies” in the Book of Enoch. The evidence on this head of the learned biblical scholar, Archbishop Laurence, and of the author of the Evolution of Christianity, * who edited the translation, may be brought forward to prove the fact. On the last page of the Introduction [p. xlviii] to the Book of Enoch is found the following passage:
. . . the parable of the sheep, rescued by the good Shepherd from hireling guardians and ferocious wolves, is obviously borrowed by the fourth Evangelist from Enoch, lxxxix, in which the author depicts the shepherds as killing and destroying the sheep before the advent of their Lord, and thus discloses the true meaning of that hitherto mysterious passage in the Johannine parable–“All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers”–language in which we now detect an obvious reference to the allegorical shepherds of Enoch.
“Obvious” truly, and something else besides. For, if Jesus pronounced the words in the sense attributed to him, then he must have read the Book of Enoch–a purely Kabalistic, Occult work, and he therefore recognized the worth and value of a treatise now declared apocryphal by his Churches. Moreover, he could not have been ignorant that these words belonged to the oldest ritual of Initiation.† And if he had not read it, and the
* [Charles Gill.]
† “Q.: Who knocks at the door?”
A.: The good cowherd.
Q.: Who preceded thee?
A.: The three robbers.
Q.: Who follows thee?
A.: The three murderers,” etc., etc.
Now this is the conversation that took place between the priest-initiators and the candidates for initiation during the mysteries enacted in the oldest sanctuaries of the Himalayan fastnesses. The ceremony is still performed
sentence belongs to John, or whoever wrote the Fourth Gospel, then what reliance can be placed on the authenticity of other sayings and parables attributed to the Christian Savior?
Thus, de Mirville’s illustration is an unfortunate one. Every other proof brought by the Church to show the infernal character of the ante-and-anti-Christian copyists may be as easily disposed of. This is perhaps unfortunate, but it is a fact, nevertheless––Magna est veritas et prevalebit.
The above is the answer of the Occultists to the two parties who charge them incessantly, the one with “Superstition,” and the other with “Sorcery.” To those of our Brothers who are Christians, and twit us with the secrecy imposed upon the Eastern Chelas, adding invariably that their own “Book of God” is “an open volume” for all “to read, understand, and be saved,” we would reply by asking them to study what we have just said in this Section, and then to refute it–if they can. There are very few in our day who are still prepared to assure their readers that the Bible had
God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture of error for its matter.
Could Locke be asked the question now, he would perhaps be unwilling to repeat again that the Bible is
all pure, all sincere, nothing too much, nothing wanting.
The Bible, if it is not to be shown to be the very reverse of all this, sadly needs an interpreter acquainted with the doctrines of the East, as they are to be found in its secret volumes; nor is it safe now, after Archbishop Laurence’s translation of the Book of Enoch, to cite Cowper* and assure us that the Bible
. . gives a light to every age,
It gives, but borrows none.
formed to this day in one of the most ancient temples in a secluded spot of Nepal. It originated with the Mysteries of the first Krishna, passed to the First Tirthankara and ended with Buddha, and is called the Kuruk-shetra rite, being enacted as a memorial of the great battle and death of the divine Adept. It is not Masonry, but an initiation into the Occult teachings of that Hero–Occultism, pure and simple.
* [From William Cowper’s poem, The Light and Glory of the World; in numerous collections.–Compiler.]
for it does borrow, and that very considerably; especially in the opinion of those who, ignorant of its symbolical meaning and of the universality of the truths underlying and concealed in it, are able to judge only from its dead letter appearance. It is a grand volume, a masterpiece composed of clever, ingenious fables containing great verities; but it reveals the latter only to those who, like the Initiates, have a key to its inner meaning; a tale sublime in its morality and didactics truly–still a tale and an allegory; a repertory of invented personages in its older Jewish portions, and of dark sayings and parables in its later additions, and thus quite misleading to anyone ignorant of its Esotericism. Moreover it is Astrolatry and Sabaean worship, pure and simple, that is to be found in the Pentateuch when it is read exoterically, and Archaic Science and Astronomy to a most wonderful degree, when interpreted–Esoterically.