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En:Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma 18

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Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871.

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XVIII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX. ( Part 2 of 2 )


The Religion of Love proved to be, for seventeen long centuries, as much the Religion of Hate, and infinitely more the Religion of Persecution, than Mahometanism, its unconquerable rival. Heresies grew up before the Apostles died; and God hated the Nicolaitans, while John, at Patmos, proclaimed His coming wrath. Sects wrangled, and each, as it gained the power, persecuted the other, until the soil of the whole Christian world was watered with the blood, and fattened on the flesh, and whitened with the bones, of martyrs, and human ingenuity was taxed to its utmost to invent new modes by which tortures and agonies could be prolonged and made more exquisite.
"By what right," whispers the Voice, "does this savage, merciless, persecuting animal, to which the sufferings and writhings of others of its wretched kind furnish the most pleasurable sensations, and the mass of which care only to eat, sleep, be clothed, and wallow in sensual pleasures, and the best of which wrangle, hate, envy, and, with few exceptions, regard their own interests alone,- with what right does it endeavor to delude itself into the conviction that it is not an animal, as the wolf, the hyena, and the tiger are but a somewhat nobler, a spirit destined to be immortal, a spark of the essential Light, Fire and Reason, which are God? What other immortality than one of selfishness could this creature enjoy? Of what other is it capable? Must not immortality commence here and is not life a part of it? How shall death change the base nature of the base soul ? Why have not those other ani- mals that only faintly imitate the wanton, savage, human cruelty and thirst for blood, the same right as man has, to expect a resur- rection and an Eternity of existence, or a Heaven of Love? The world improves. Man ceases to persecute,--when the per- secuted become too numerous and strong, longer to submit to it. That source of pleasure closed, men exercise the ingenuities of their cruelty on the animals and other living things below them. To deprive other creatures of the life which God gave them, and this not only that we may eat their flesh for food, but out of mere savage wantonness, is the agreeable employment and amusement of man, who prides himself on being the Lord of Creation, and a little lower than the Angels. If he can no longer use the rack, the gibbet, the pincers, and the stake, he can hate, and slander, and delight in the thought that he will, hereafter, luxuriously enjoying the sensual beatitudes of Heaven, see with pleasure the writhing agonies of those justly damned for daring to hold opinions contrary to his own, upon subjects totally beyond the comprehension both of them and him.
Where the armies of the despots cease to slay and ravage, the armies of "Freedom" take their place, and, the black and white commingled, slaughter and burn and ravish. Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody hutcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations.
Of the whole of mankind, not one in ten thousand has any aspi- rations beyond the daily needs of the gross animal life. In this age and in all others, all men except a few, in most countries, are born to be mere beasts of burden, colaborers with the horse and the ox. Profoundly ignorant, even in "civilized" lands, they think and reason like the animals by the side of which they toil. For them, God, Soul, Spirit, Immortality, are mere words, without any real meaning. The God of nineteen-twentieths of the Christian world is only Bel, Moloch, Zeus, or at best Osiris, Mithras, or Adonai, under another name, worshipped with the old Pagan cere- monies and ritualistic formulas. It is the Statue of Olympian Jove, worshipped as the Father, in the Christian Church that was a Pagan Temple;it is the Statue of Venus, become the Virgin Mary. For the most part, men do not in their hearts believe that God is either just or merciful. They fear and shrink from His lightnings and dread His wrath. For the most part, they only think they believe that there is another life, a judgment, and a punishment for sin. Yet they will none the less persecute as Infidels and Atheists those who do not believe what they themselves imagine they believe, and which yet they do not believe, because it is incomprehensible to them in their ignorance and want of intellect. To the vast majority of mankind, God is but the reflected image, in infi- nite space, of the earthly Tyrant on his Throne, only more powerful, more inscrutable, and more implacable. To curse Humanity, the Despot need only be, what the popular mind has, in every age, imagined God. In the great cities, the lower strata of the populace are equally without faith and without hope. The others have, for the most part, a mere blind faith, imposed by education and circumstances, and not as productive of moral excellence or even common honesty as Mohammedanism. "Your property will be safe here," said the Moslem; "There are no Christians here." The philosophical and scientific world becomes daily more and more unbelieving. Faith and Reason are not opposites, in equilibrium; but antago- nistic and hostile to each other; the result being the darkness and despair of scepticism, avowed, or half-veiled as rationalism. Over more than three-fourths of the habitable globe, humanity still kneels, like the camels, to take upon itself the burthens to be tamely borne for its tyrants. If a Republic occasionally rises like a Star, it hastens with all speed to set in blood. The kings need not make war upon it, to crush it out of their way. It is only neces- sary to let it alone, and it soon lays violent hands upon itself. And when a people long enslaved shake off its fetters, it may well be incredulously asked,
Shall the braggart shout For some blind glimpse of Freedom, link itself, Through madness, hated by the wise, to law, System and Empire?
Everywhere in the world labor is, in some shape, the slave of capital; generally, a slave to be fed only so long as he can work; or, rather, only so long as his work is profitable to the owner of the human chattel. There are famines in Ireland, strikes and starvation in England, pauperism and tenement-dens in New York, misery, squalor, ignorance, destitution, the brutality of vice and the insensibility to shame, of despairing beggary, in all the human cesspools and sewers everywhere. Here, a sewing-woman famishes and freezes; there, mothers murder their children, that those spared may live upon the bread purchased with the burial allowances of the dead starveling; and at the next door young girls prostitute themselves for food. Moreover, the Voice says, this besotted race is not satisfied with seeing its multitudes swept away by the great epidemics whose causes are unknown, and of the justice or wisdom of which the human mind cannot conceive. It must also be ever at war. There has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in mur- dering each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resources, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations. Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing debt, mortgages all estates, and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest re- pudiation.
At times, the baleful fires of war light up half a Continent at once; as when all the Thrones unite to compel a people to receive again a hated and detestable dynasty, or States deny States the right to dissolve an irksome union and create for themselves a seperate government. Then again the flames flicker and die away, and the fire smoulders in its ashes, to break out again, after a time, with renewed and a more concentrated fury. At times, the storm, revolving, howls over small areas only; at times its lights are seen, like the old beacon-fires on the hills, belting the whole globe. No sea, but hears the roar of cannon; no river, but runs red with blood; no plain, but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons; no field, but is fertilized by the blood of the dead; and everywhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier. No city is not tortured by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horrid blas- phemy of thanking a God of Love for victories and carnage. Te Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers. Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruc- tion, by which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, torn, and mangled; and yet hypocritical Humanity, drunk with blood and drenched with gore, shrieks to Heaven at a single murder, perpetrated to gratify a revenge not more unchristian, or to satisfy a cupidity not more ignoble, than those which are the promptings of the Devil in the souls of Nations.
When we have fondly dreamed of Utopia and the Millennium, when we have begun almost to believe that man is not, after all, a tiger half tamed, and that the smell of blood will not wake the sav- age within him, we are of a sudden startled from the delusive dream, to find the thin mask of civilization rent in twain and thrown contemptuously away. We lie down to sleep, like the peasant on the lava-slopes of Vesuvius. The mountain has been so long inert, that we believe its fires extinguished. Round us hang the clustering grapes, and the green leaves of the olive tremble in the soft night-air over us. Above us shine the peaceful, patient stars. The crash of a new eruption wakes us, the roar of the sub- terranean thunders, the stabs of the volcanic lightning into the shrouded bosom of the sky; and we see, aghast, the tortured Titan hurling up its fires among the pale stars, its great tree of smoke and cloud, the red torrents pouring down its sides. The roar and the shriekings of Civil War are all around us: the land is a pandemonium: man is again a Savage. The great armies roll along their hideous waves, and leave behind them smoking and depopulated deserts. The pillager is in every house, plucking even the morsel of bread from the lips of the starving child. Gray hairs are dabbled in blood, and innocent girlhood shrieks in vain to Lust for mercy. Laws, Courts, Constitutions, Christianity, Mercy, Pity, disappear. God seems to have abdicated, and Moloch to reign in His stead; while Press and Pulpit alike exult at universal murder, and urge the extermination of the Conquered, by the sword and the flaming torch; and to plunder and murder entitles the human beasts of prey to the thanks of Christian Senates. Commercial greed deadens the nerves of sympathy of Nations, and makes them deaf to the demands of honor, the impulses of generosity, the appeals of those who suffer under injustice. Elsewhere, the universal pursuit of wealth dethrones God and pays divine honors to Mammon and Baalzebub. Selfishness rules supreme: to win wealth becomes the whole business of life. The villanies of legalized gaming and speculation become epidemic; treacery is but evidence of shrewdness; office becomes the prey of successful faction; the Country, like Actaeon, is torn by its own hounds, and the villains it has carefully educated to their trade, most greedily plunder it, when it is in extremis.
By what right, the Voice demands, does a creature always engaged in the work of mutual robbery and slaughter, and who makes his own interest his God, claim to be of a nature superior to the savage beasts of which he is the prototype? Then the shadows of a horrible doubt fall upon the soul that would fain love, trust and believe; a darkness, of which this that surrounded you was a symbol. It doubts the truth of Revelation, its own spirituality, the very existence of a beneficent God. It asks itself if it is not idle to hope for any great progress of Humanity toward perfection, and whether, when it advances in one respect, it does not retrogress in some other, by way of com- pensation: whether advance in civilization is not increase of selfishness: whether freedom does not necessarily lead to license and anarchy: whether the destitution and debasement of the masses does not inevitably follow increase of population and commercial and manufacturing prosperity. It asks itself whether man is not the sport of blind, merciless Fate: whether all philosophies are not delusions, and all religions the fantastic creations of human vanity and self-conceit; and above all, whether, when Reason is abandoned as a guide, the faith of Buddhist and Brahmin has not the same claims to sovereignty and implicit, unreasoning credence, as any other.
He asks himself whether it is not, after all, the evident and pal- pable injustices of this life, the success and prosperity of the Bad, the calamities, oppressions, and miseries of the Good, that are the bases of all beliefs in a future state of existence? Doubting man's capacity for indefinite progress here, he doubts the possibility of it anywher; and if he does not doubt whether God exists, and is just and beneficent, he at least cannot silence the constantly recurring whisper, that the miseries and calamities of men, their lives and deaths, their pains and sorrows, their extermination by war and epidemics, are phenomena of no higher dignity, significance, and importance, in the eye of God, than what things of the same nature occur to other organisms of matter; and that the fish of the ancient seas, destroyed by myriads to make room for other species, the contorted shapes in which they are found as fossils testifying to their agonies; the coral insects, the animals and birds and vermin slain by man, have as much right as he to clamor at the injustice of the dispensations of God, and to demand an immortality of life in a new universe, as compensation for their pains and sufferings and untimely death in this world. This is not a picture painted by the imagination. Many a thoughtful mind has so doubted and despaired. How many of us can say that our own faith is so well grounded and complete that we never hear those painful whisperings within the soul? Thrice blessed are they who never doubt, who ruminate in patient con- tentment like the kine, or doze under the opiate of a blind faith; on whose souls never rests that Awful Shadow which is the ab- sence of the Divine Light.
To explain to themselves the existence of Evil and Suffering, the Ancient Persians imagined that there were two Principles or Deities in the Universe, the one of Good and the other of Evil, constantly in conflict with each other in struggle for the mastery, and alternately overcoming and overcome. Over both, for the SAGES, was the One Supreme; and for them Light was in the end to prevail over Darkness, the Good over the Evil, and even Ahriman and his Demons to part with their wicked and vicious natures and share the universal Salvation. It did not occur to them that the existence of the Evil Principle, by the consent of the Omnipotent Supreme, presented the same difficulty, and left the existence of Evil as unexplained as before. The human mind is always content, if it can remove a difficulty a step further off. It cannot believe that the world rests on nothing, but is devoutly content when taught that it is borne on the back of an immense elephant, who himself stands on the back of a tortoise. Given the tortoise, Faith is always satisfied; and it has been a great source of happiness to multitudes that they could believe in a Devil who could relieve God of the odium of being the Author of Sin. But not to all is Faith sufficient to overcome this great difficulty. They say, with the Suppliant, "Lord! I believe!"--but like him they are constrained to add, "Help Thou my unbelief!"--Rea- son must, for these, co-operate and coincide with Faith, or they remain still in the darkness of doubt,--most miserable of all conditions of the human mind.
Those only, who care for nothing beyond the interests and pur- suits of this life, are uninterested in these great Problems. The animals, also, do not consider them. It is the characteristic of an immortal Soul, that it should seek to satisfy itself of its immor- tality, and to understand this great enigma, the Universe. If the Hottentot and the Papuan are not troubled and tortured by these doubts and speculations, they are not, for that, to be regarded as either wise or fortunate. The swine, also, are indifferent to the great riddles of the Universe, and are happy in being wholly un- aware that it is the vast Revelation and Manifestation, in Time and Space, of a Single Thought of the Infinite God. Exalt and magnify Faith as we will, and say that it begins where Reason ends, it must, after all, have a foundation, either in Reason, Analogy, the Consciousness, or human testimony. The worshipper of Brahma also has implicit Faith in what seems to us palpably false and absurd. His faith rests neither in Reason, Analogy, or the Consciousness, but on the testimony of his Spirit- ual teachers, and of the Holy Books. The Moslem also believes, on the positive testimony of the Prophet; and the Mormon also can say, "I believe this, because it is impossible." No faith, however absurd or degrading, has ever wanted these foundations, testimony, and the books. Miracles, proven by unimpeachable testimony have been used as a foundation for Faith, in every age; and the modern miracles are better authenticated, a hundred times, than the ancient ones. So that, after all, Faith must flow out from some source within us, when the evidence of that which we are to believe is not presented to our senses, or it will in no case be the assurance of the truth of what is believed.
The Consciousness, or inhering and innate conviction, or the instinct divinely implanted, of the verity of things, is the highest possible evidence, if not the only real proof, of the verity of cer- tain things, but only of truths of a limited class. What we call the Reason, that is, our imperfect human reason, not only may, but assuredly will, lead us away from the Truth in regard to things invisible and especially those of the Infinite, if we determine to believe nothing but that which it can demonstrate or not to believe that which it can by its processes of logic prove to be contradictory, unreasonable, or absurd. Its tape-line cannot measure the arcs of Infinity. For example, to the Human reason, an Infinite Justice and an Infinite Mercy or Love, in the same Being, are inconsistent and impossible. One, it can demonstrate, necessarily excludes the other. So it can demonstrate that as the Creation had a beginning, it necessarily follows that an Eternity had elapsed before the Deity began to create, during which He was inactive. When we gaze, of a moonless clear night, on the Heavens glittering with stars, and know that each fixed star of all the myriads is a Sun, and each probably possessing its retinue of worlds, all peopled with living beings, we sensibly feel our own unimportance in the scale of Creation, and at once reflect that much of what has in different ages been religious faith, could never have been be- lieved, if the nature, size, and distance of those Suns, and of our own Sun, Moon, and Planets, had been known to the Ancients as they are to us.
To them, all the lights of the firmament were created only to give light to the earth, as its lamps or candles hung above it. The earth was supposed to be the only inhabited portion of the Uni- verse. The world and the Universe were synonymous terms. Of the immense size and distance of the heavenly bodies, men had no conception. The Sages had, in Chaldaea, Egypt, India, China, and in Persia, and therefore the sages always had, an esoteric creed, taught only in the mysteries and unknown to the vulgar. No Sage, in either country, or in Greece or Rome, believed the popular creed. To them the Gods and the Idols of the Gods were symbols, and symbols of great and mysterious truths. The Vulgar imagined the attention of the Gods to be continu- ally centred upon the earth and man. The Grecian Divinities inhabited Olympus, an insignificant mountain of the Earth. There was the Court of Zeus, to which Neptune came from the Sea, and Pluto and Persephone from the glooms of Tartarus in the un- fathomable depths of the Earth's bosom. God came down from Heaven and on Sinai dictated laws for the Hebrews to His servant Moses. The Stars were the guardians of mortals whose fates and fortunes were to be read in their movements, conjunctions, and oppositions. The Moon was the Bride and Sister of the Sun, at the same distance above the Earth, and, like the Sun, made for the service of mankind alone. If, with the great telescope of Lord Rosse, we examine the vast nebulae of Hercules, Orion, and Andromeda, and find them resolvable into Stars more numerous than the sands on the sea- shore; if we reflect that each of these Stars is a Sun, like and even many times larger than ours,--each, beyond a doubt, with its retinue of worlds swarming with life; --if we go further in imagi- nation and endeavor to conceive of all the infinities of space, filled with similar suns and worlds, we seem at once to shrink into an incredible insignificance.
The Universe, which is the uttered Word of God, is infinite in extent. There is no empty space beyond creation on any side. The Universe, which is the Thought of God pronounced, never was not, since God never was inert; nor WAS, without thinking and creating. The forms of creation change, the suns and worlds live and die like the leaves and the insects, but the Universe itself is infinite and eternal, because God Is, Was, and Will forever Be, and never did not think and create. Reason is fain to admit that a Supreme Intelligence, infinitely powerful and wise, must have created this boundless Universe; but it also tells us that we are as unimportant in it as the zoophytes and entozoa, or as the invisible particles of animated life that float upon the air or swarm in the water-drop. The foundations of our faith, resting upon the imagined inter- est of God in our race, an interest easily supposable when man believed himself the only intelligent created being, and therefore eminently worthy the especial care and watchful anxiety of a God who had only this earth to look after, and its house-keeping alone to superintend, and who was content to create, in all the infinite Universe, only one single being, possessing a soul, and not a mere animal, are rudely shaken as the Universe broadens and expands for us; and the darkness of doubt and distrust settles heavy upon Soul. The modes in which it is ordinarily endeavored to satisfy our doubts, only increase them. To demonstrate the necessity for a cause of the creation, is equally to demonstrate the necessity of a cause for that cause. The argument from plan and design only removes the difficulty a step further off. We rest the world on the elephant, and the elephant on the tortoise, and the tortoise on ---nothing.
To tell us that the animals possess instinct only and that Rea- son belongs to us alone, in no way tends to satisfy us of the radi- cal difference between us and them. For if the mental phenomena exhibited by animals that think, dream, remember, argue from cause to effect, plan, devise, combine, and communicate their thoughts to each other, so as to act rationally in concert,--if their love, hate, and revenge, can be conceived of as results of the organization of matter, like color and perfume, the resort to the hypothesis of an immaterial Soul to explain phenomena of the same kind, only more perfect, manifested by the human being, is supremely absurd. That organized matter can think or even feel, at all, is the great insoluble mystery. "Instinct" is but a word without a meaning, or else it means inspiration. It is either the animal itself, or God in the animal, that thinks, remembers, and reasons; and instinct, according to the common acceptation of the term, would be the greatest and most wonderful of mysteries,- no less a thing than the direct, immediate, and continual prompt- ings of the Deity,--for the animals are not machines, or automata moved by springs, and the ape is but a dumb Australian. Must we always remain in this darkness of uncertainty, of doubt? Is there no mode of escaping from the labyrinth except by means of a blind faith, which explains nothing, and in many creeds, ancient and modern, sets Reason at defiance, and leads to the belief either in a God without a Universe, a Universe without a God, or a Universe which is itself a God ? We read in the Hebrew Chronicles that Schlomoh the wise King caused to be placed in front of the entrance to the Temple two huge columns of bronze, one of which was called YAKAYIN and the other BAHAZ; and these words are rendered in our ver- sion Strength and Establishment. The Masonry of the Blue Lodges gives no explanation of these symbolic columns; nor do the Hebrew Books advise us that they were symbolic. If not so intended as symbols, they were subsequently understood to be such.
But as we are certain that everything within the Temple was symbolic, and that the whole structure was intended to represent the Universe, we may reasonably conclude that the columns of the portico also had a symbolic signification. It would be tedious to repeat all the interpretations which fancy or dullness has found for them. The key to their true meaning is not undiscoverable. The perfect and eternal distinction of the two primitive terms of the cre- ative syllogism, in order to attain to the demonstration of their harmony by the analogy of contraries, is the second grand prin- ciple of that occult philosophy veiled under the name "Kabalah," and indicated by all the sacred hieroglyphs of the Ancient Sanctuaries, and of the rites, so little understood by the mass of the Initiates, of the Ancient and Modern Free-Masonry. The Sohar declares that everything in the Universe proceeds by the mystery of "the Balance," that is, of Equilibrium. Of the Sephiroth, or Divine Emanations, Wisdom and Understanding, Severity and Benignity, or Justice and Mercy, and Victory and Glory, constitute pairs. Wisdom, or the Intellectual Generative Energy, and Under- standing, or the Capacity to be impregnated by the Active Energy and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Estab- lishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a Tpassivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UN- DERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the Temple, contraries like the Man and Woman, like Reason and Faith, Omnipotence and Liberty, Infinite Justice and Infinite Mercy, Absolute Power or Strength to do even what is most unjust and unwise, and Absolute Wisdom that makes it impossible to do it; Right and Duty. They were the columns of the intellectual and moral world, the monumental hieroglyph of the antinomy necessary to the grand law of creation. There must be for every Force a Resistance to support it, to every light a shadow, for every Royalty a Realm to govern, for every affirmative a negative. For the Kabalists, Light represents the Active Principle, and Darkness or Shadow is analogous to the Passive Principle. Therefore it was that they made of the Sun and Moon emblems of the two Divine Sexes and the two creative forces; therefore, that they ascribed to woman the Temptation and the first sin, and then the first labor, the maternal labor of the redemption, because it is from the bosom of the darkness itself that we see the Light born again. The Void attracts the Full; and so it is that the abyss of poverty and misery, the Seeming Evil, the seeming empty noth- ingness of life, the temporary rebellion of the creatures, eternally attracts the overflowing ocean of being, of riches, of pity, and of love. Christ completed the Atonement on the Cross by descend- ing into Hell.
Justice and Mercy are contraries. If each be infinite, their coexistence seems impossible, and being equal, one cannot even annihilate the other and reign alone. The mysteries of the Divine Nature are beyond our finite comprehension; but so indeed are the mysteries of our own finite nature; and it is certain that in all nature harmony and movement are the result of the equilibrium of opposing or contrary forces. The analogy of contraries gives the solution of the most interesting and most difficult problem of modern philosophy,--the definite and permanent accord of Reason and Faith, of Author- ity and Liberty of examination, of Science and Belief, of Perfection in God and Imperfection in Man. If science or knowledge is the Sun, Belief is the Man; it is a reflection of the day in the night. Faith is the veiled Isis, the Supplement of Reason, in the shadows which precede or follow Reason. It emanates from the Reason, but can never confound it nor be confounded with it. The encroachments of Reason upon Faith, or of Faith on Reason, are eclipses of the Sun or Moon; when they occur, they make useless both the Source of Light and its reflection, at once. Science perishes by systems that are nothing but beliefs; and Faith succumbs to reasoning. For the two Columns of the Temple to uphold the edifice, they must remain separated and be parallel to each other. As soon as it is attempted by violence to bring them together, as Samson did, they are overturned, and the whole edifice falls upon the head of the rash blind man or the revolutionist whom personal or national resentments have in advance devoted to death.
Harmony is the result of an alternating preponderance of forces. Whenever this is wanting in government, government is a failure, because it is either Despotism or Anarchy. All theoretical governments, however plausible the theory, end in one or the other. Governments that are to endure are not made in the closet of Locke or Shaftesbury, or in a Congress or a Convention. In a Republic, forces that seem contraries, that indeed are contraries, alone give movement and life. The Spheres are field in their orbits and made to revolve harmoniously and unerringly, by the concurrence, which seems to be the opposition, of two contrary forces. If the centripetal force should overcome the centrifugal, the equilibrium of forces cease, the rush of the Spheres to the central Sun would annihilate the system. Instead of consolida- tion, the whole would be shattered into fragments. Man is a free agent, though Omnipotence is above and all around him. To be free to do good, he must be free to do evil. The Light necessitates the Shadow. A State is free like an individual in any government worthy of the name. The State is less potent than the Deity, and therefore the freedom of the individual citizen is consistent with its Sovereignty. These are opposites, but not antagonistic. So, in a union of States, the freedom of the states is consistent with the Supremacy of the Nation. When either obtains the permanent mastery over the other, and they cease to be in equilibrio, the encroachment continues with a velocity that is accelerated like that of a falling body, until the feebler is annihilated, and then, there being no resistance to support the stronger, it rushes into ruin. So, when the equipoise of Reason and Faith, in the individual or the Nation, and the alternating preponderance cease, the result is, according as one or the other is permanent victor, Atheism or Superstition, disbelief or blind credulity; and the Priests either of Unfaith or of Faith become despotic. "Whomsoever God loveth, him he chasteneth," is an expression that formulates a whole dogma. The trials of life are the bless- ings of life, to the individual or the Nation, if either has a Soul that is truly worthy of salvation. "Light and darkness," said ZOROASTER, "are the world's eternal ways." The Light and the Shadow are everywhere and always in proportion; the Light being the reason of being of the Shadow. It is by trials only, by the agonies of sorrow and the sharp discipline of adversities, that men and Nations attain initiation. The agonies of the garden of Geth- semane and those of the Cross on Calvary preceded the Resurrec- tion and were the means of Redemption. It is with prosperity that God afflicts Humanity.
The Degree of Rose is devoted to and symbolizes tne final triumph of truth over falsehood, of liberty over slavery, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The great truth it inculcates is, that notwithstanding the existence of Evil, God is infinitely wise, just, and good: that though the affairs of the world proceed by no rule of right and wrong known to us in the narrowness of our views, yet all is right, for it is the work of God; and all evils, all miseries, all misfortunes, are but as drops in the vast current that is sweeping onward, guided by Him, to a great and magnificent result: that, at the appointed time, He will redeem and regenerate the world, and the Principle, the Power, and the existence of Evil will then cease; that this will be brought about by such means and instruments as He chooses to employ; whether by the merits of a Redeemer that has already appeared, or a Messiah that is yet waited for, by an incarnation of Himself, or by an inspired prophet, it does not belong to us as Masons to decide. Let each judge and believe for himself. In the mean time, we labor to hasten the coming of that day. The morals of antiquity, of the law of Moses and of Christianity, are ours. We recognize every teacher of Morality, every Reform- er, as a brother in this great work. The Eagle is to us the symbol of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity., and our order of Fraternity. Laboring for these, with Faith, Hope, and Charity as our armor, we will wait with patience for the final triumph of Good and the complete manifestation of the Word of God. No one Mason has the right to measure for another, within the walls of a Masonic Temple, the degree of veneration which he shall feel for any Reformer, or the Founder of any Religion. We teach a belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none. Whatever higher attributes the Founder of the Christian Faith may, in our belief, have had or not have had, none can deny that He taught and practised a pure and elevated morality, even at the risk and to the ultimate loss of His life. He was not only the benefactor of a disinherited people, but a model for mankind. Devotedly He loved the children of Israel. To them He came, and to them alone He preached that Gospel which His disciples after- ward carried among foreigners. He would fain have freed the chosen People from their spiritual bondage of ignorance and deg- radation. As a lover of all mankind, laying down His life for the emancipation of His Brethren, He should be to all, to Christian, to Jew, and to Mahometan, an object of gratitude and veneration. The Roman world felt the pangs of approaching dissolution. Paganism, its Temples shattered by Socrates and Cicero, had spoken its last word. The God of the Hebrews was unknown beyond the limits of Palestine. The old religions had failed to give happiness and peace to the world. The babbling and wrangling philosophers had confounded all men's ideas, until they doubted of everything and had faith in nothing: neither in God nor in his goodness and mercy, nor in the virtue of man, nor in themselves. Mankind was divided into two great classes,-- the master and the slave; the powerful and the abject, the high and the low, the tyrants and the mob; and even the former were satiated with the servility of the latter, sunken by lassitude and despair to the low- est depths of degradation.
When, lo, a voice, in the inconsiderable Roman Province of Judea proclaims a new Gospel--a new "God's Word," to crushed, suffering, bleeding humanity. Liberty of Thought, Equality of all men in the eye of God, universal Fraternity! a new doctrine, a new religion; the old Primitive Truth uttered once again! Man is once more taught to look upward to his God. No longer to a God hid in impenetrable mystery, and infinitely remote from human sympathy, emerging only at intervals from the darkness to smite and crush humanity: but a God, good, kind, beneficent, and merciful; a Father, loving the creatures He has made, with a love immeasurable and exhaustless; Who feels for us, and sympathizes with us, and sends us pain and want and disaster only that they may serve to develop in us the virtues and excellences that befit us to live with Him hereafter. Jesus of Nazareth, the "Son of man," is the expounder of the new Law of Love. He calls to Him the humble, the poor, the Paraihs of the world. The first sentence that He pronounces blesses the world, and announces the new gospel:"Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted." He pours the oil of consolation and peace upon every crushed and bleeding heart. Every sufferer is His proselyte. He shares their sorrows, and sypathizes with all their afflictions. He raises up the sinner and the Samaritan woman, and teaches them to hope for forgiveness. He pardons the woman taken in adultery. He selects his disciples not among the Pharisees or the Philosophers, but among the low and humble, even of the fishermen of Galilee. He heals the sick and feeds the poor. He lives among the destitute and the friendless. "Suffer little children," He said, "to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven ! Blessed are the humble-minded, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven; the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth; the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy; the pure in heart, for they shall see God; the peace-makers, for they shall be called the children of God! First be reconciled to they brother, and then come and offer thy gift at the altar. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away! Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you! All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also unto them; for this is the law and the Prophets! He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another: by this shall all know that ye are My disciples. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend." The Gospel of Love He sealed with His life. The cruelty of the Jewish Priesthood, the ignorant ferocity of the mob, and the Roman indifference to barbarian blood, nailed Him to the cross, and He expired uttering blessings upon humanity. Dying thus, He bequeathed His teachings to man as an inestimable inheritance. Perverted and corrupted, they have served as a basis for many creeds, and been even made the warrant for in- tolerance and persecution. We here teach them in their purity. They are our Masonry; for to them good men of all creeds can subscribe.
That God is good and merciful, and loves and sympathizes with the creatures He has made; that His finger is visible in all the movements of the moral, intellectual, and material universe; that we are His children, the objects of His paternal care and regard; that all men are our brothers, whose wants we are to supply, their errors to pardon, their opinions to tolerate, their injuries to forgive; that man has an immortal soul, a free will, a right to freedom of thought and action; that all men are equal in God's sight; that we best serve God by humility, meekness, gentleness, kind- ness, and the other virtues which the lowly can practise as well as the lofty; this is "the new Law," the "WORD," for which the world had waited and pined so long; and every true Knight of the Rose + will revere the memory of Him who taught it, and look indulgently even on those who assign to Him a character far above his own conceptions or belief, even to the extent of deeming Him Divine. Hear Philo, the Greek Jew. "The contemplative soul, un- equally guided, sometimes toward abundance and sometimes toward barrenness, though ever advancing, is illuminated by the primitive ideas, the rays that emanate from the Divine Intelli- gence, whenever it ascends toward the Sublime Treasures. When, on the contrary, it descends, and is barren, it falls within the domain of those Intelligences that are termed Angels... for, when the soul is deprived of the light of God, which leads it to the knowledge of things, it no longer enjoys more than a feeble and secondary light, which gives it, not the understanding of things, but that of words only, as in this baser world. " ". . Let the narrow-souled withdraw, having their ears sealed up! We communicate the divine mysteries to those only who have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true piety, and who are not enslaved by the empty pomp of words, or the doctrines of the pagans. ." "... O, ye Initiates, ye whose ears are purified, receive this in your souls, as a mystery never to be lost! Reveal it to no Profane! Keep and contain it within yourselves, as an incorruptible treasure, not like gold or silver, but more precious than everything besides; for it is the knowledge of the Great Cause, of Nature, and of that which is born of both. And if you meet an Initiate, besiege him with your prayers, that he conceal from you no new mysteries that he may know, and rest not until you have obtained them! For me, although I was initiated in the Great Mysteries by Moses, the Friend of God, yet, having seen Jeremiah, I recognized him not only as an Initiate, but as a Hierophant; and I follow his school."
We, like him, recognize all Initiates as our Brothers. We belong to no one creed or school. In all religions there is a basis of Truth; in all there is pure Morality. All that teach the cardinal tenets of Masonry we respect; all teachers and reformers of man- kind we admire and revere. Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she in- vites all men of all religions to enlist under her banners and to war against evil, ignorance and wrong. You are now her knight, and to her service your sword is consecrated. May you prove a worthy soldier in a worthy cause!

( Part 2 of 2 )end

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