Passing to the final signification of the scheme, that with which we are now especially concerned, we find the Zodiac setting forth both the character and the periods of the great cycles of man’s religious creation or development, precisely after the manner of the previous creations. For the constellation Virgo, which contains the figures of Isis and Ceres, and the tree of generation, indicates man’s earliest worship, – namely, that of Nature as an all-sufficient mother. In the next, Leo, which contains a serpent, are represented light and darkness, or good and evil, of the
difference between which humanity (as individual or as race) becomes cognisant through the agency of “the woman” in the previous stage. It is only after passing through several stages, of which each grows necessarily out of its predecessor, that man attains the full conception of the meaning of existence. The exaltation of the woman, both within and without him, equally with the man, as representing two essential constituents of the Divine Existence, constitutes the final perfection by virtue of which he ascends into the highest heaven of spiritual bliss. In the constellation Aries, which corresponds to the fourth day of creation, man learns to recognise the sun, or the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” and its mate the moon, as at once the instruments of the light and heat, the energy and love, from which he derives his own existence. These, on the physical plane of humanity, have their counterparts or impersonations in Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Deucalion and Pyrrha, Tae-Keih and Yang (for the Chinese), Protogonos and Æon (for the Phœnicians), and their children Genos and Genea, all of whom are but types of man and woman on the physical plane of the consciousness. The spiritual signification of this sign finds its fulfilment in
humanity taken up into Deity, as in Osiris and Isis, Christ and Mary, and finally in the taking up of all humanity, by means of “the same spirit,” which is ever, as the history of the world shows, seeking to incarnate itself in Nature at large, in order to make of it a fitting body for itself. And this is no other than the perfect human because perfect Divine soul we know, or rather do not know, as “Christ,” the soul of which every people in the world, “from China to Peru,” has had an intuition; and which found its most perfect expression in Israel only to be rejected and judicially murdered, and which is now seeking to find its full expression in and be found of England, in order that it may at length be manifested to the world for its final redemption from the dominion of “the Beast.”
Of that “Beast”
Reformation has been tried and found wanting. Hence the sentence bas gone forth, – “Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” “Sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee,” unless it repent in time and recognise the whole Christ.
Aries is the constellation which, by being in the ascendant during. The later period of Egyptian history, gave its name to the period, and dictated the nature of the sacrifices of the various religions. It was in honour of the sun in Aries that the Egyptian sun-god Horus, and the Hebrew deliverer Moses, were represented as having horns; as Michael Angelo seems to have comprehended when he represented Moses thus decorated. When the sun was in the previous sign, Taurus, the Bull was every-where the principal object of worship. The selection of certain animals to be held sacred arose from the fact that they represented the signs of the Zodiac through which the sun passed on his daily, yearly, and periodical tour of beneficence. Taurus represents an earlier stage in both the physical and the spiritual development of creation. It is the sign of the third day of Genesis, that of the earth’s fertilisation and cultivation, by the procreative powers of Nature, as represented by the Bull or Ox.
humanity, which we have so long worshipped in
the Bible and in Christ without having the least notion of what we were doing;
but doing it by compulsion of the same divine instinct which has governed the
whole course of creation from the moment that it first issued from the Divine
Mind. It is the religious consciousness of
The termination of the fourth day of Genesis,
in the appearance of the sun and moon, which were thenceforth to play the chief part in the work of existence, corresponds on the spiritual plane with man’s recognition of the existence of the soul as the sun, centre, and true self of himself and of all things, – the soul and universal Ego. The revelation of the sun was the revelation of the moon also. In them the skies presented man with “two witnesses” to the duality of the Divine Existence ever in correspondence with those that he had in his own nature. With the great doctrine thus attested, it could only have been by the most strenuous exertions that the “serpent” succeeded in closing man’s eyes to the truth. Thick indeed must have been the pall of blood drawn across the heavens to shut out the sight of the sun of the true life! Yet so effectually has the serpent done its work that it is not the “babes and sucklings,” but the learned and mighty, the powers of this lower world, its priests of religion and science, philosophy and art, who have been the foremost to declare that
earth and flesh are all, and that there is no sun, no God, within or above us; and it is only because they have found that man would and must have a God, simply because he was made by God in his own image, that they have given him
substitutes of their own fabrication, and said to him, – “If you are such a fool as to have a religious sense, and to insist on worshipping something, worship us and the things we put before you; not an imaginary sun or soul, but something tangible, something that you can see and feel, and touch and taste, and hear and smell. Sense is all. Its only antithesis is nonsense. There is no Life, or we should have found it out long ago with our chemical and mechanical tests. Worship death, and its symbol, blood.”
The fifth day, Pisces, has a
correspondence to the season of the flooding of the
This day also has a spiritual significance for us. It witnessed the full manifestation of Him who, as a second Noah, was the son of a carpenter, and built himself an ark of refuge for the soul of man when threatened, as it now is once
more after another cycle of two thousand
years, again to be overwhelmed by the deluge of unbelief and unreason. We, like
The period we are entering will see the completion and fulfilment of the work of the fourth and fifth days. We have had with us the revelation of the two divine witnesses, the sun and moon, the man and woman, the light and dark races of humanity. But, owing to our absorption in the things of sense, we have not recognised their spiritual significance. The very anxiety shown about their souls by those not dead, has been a sin. For it has been such as to show that they had no real faith in the goodness of the Divine Existence. What would a father think of his children if they manifested so little trust in his goodness as to be always besieging him with entreaties for the necessaries of life, and seeking to win his favour by all sorts of petty bribes and self-mortifications? Would he not rightly be disgusted, and bid them to set about their proper tasks, and leave him to do what was best for their sustenance, and assure them that he only wanted their love and obedience, and that all the rest was a proof of unbelief in him? And supposing one of
them had offended him, and was longing to be forgiven and received back into favour, what would the father think of an estimate of his goodness that could prompt his child to go and kill one of its animal pets, – to say nothing of one of its brethren, – and then come and offer its blood as an atonement for its own fault? Would not the father be rightly indignant at such utter failure to recognise his justice and tenderness?
The fifth day has passed. The religion of the Fisherman has conquered; and sailing in the “ship of Grace” we have peopled the waters. We have endured also the reign of “the man-child,” with his “rod of iron;” and have witnessed the elevation of the dragon to a height it has never before attained. Once more the only hope for man is by a new outpouring of the Spirit and a new incarnation in the flesh. This time humanity must fight under the banner of a whole soul. Man has learnt by his past failures that it is not good for man to be alone. The sun must summon the moon to his aid against the spirits of night. The true marriage must be consummated. The serpent has already shown its enmity to the woman when under its influence in the sign of Virgo. It has bruised more than her heel. It is as bad for woman to be alone as for man; and the
head is apt to be filled with morbid fancies. Celibacy is the parent of all diseases. Nature will not be cheated. Repressed in a healthy direction, it will find vent in an unhealthy one. The serpent knew well what he was about when by the device of the “immaculate conception” he degraded love as impure, and exalted asceticism.
But the serpent knows that the woman is in her turn destined to “bruise his head.” Woman must yet find her mate in man, as her prototype Nature finds her mate in God. The first five days of creation may see her under the harrow of man as priest and master; but man himself has, if possible, been the greater sufferer through the suppression of the feminine attributes of existence. The sixth day will see woman also taken up, and humanity at length comprehending what is the full meaning of being “made in the image of God, male and female.”
The serpent sees that that time must come, and sets himself to avert the calamity. Looking round for allies, he is dismayed to find that his ancient and trusty ministers, the priests, have failed him. True, they are zealous as ever, as is shown by the frantic efforts with which they respond to his call. All the old arms are taken out and refurbished. Every device whereby
woman has been kept in the toils of sacerdotalism is reset. Pilgrimages, ritualistic observances, sacraments innumerable, all are exhibited with fresh and brilliant adornments; but for the most part in vain. Woman, following the man, has ceased to believe. The serpentin despair throws his old allies overboard, and turns h is attention to new ones; even those raw recruits of science whom he has in anticipation been of late drilling for his service. An idea strikes him. Yes, the woman shall indeed join the man. He cannot prevent that. But not as woman. “Her desire shall” as ever “be to the man,” but the man when he has got her shall find that she is no woman, but only a harder and inferior sort of man.
The rod of iron that under the rule of the man-child entered into man’s soul, has entered into woman’s also. She too has ceased to believe. She has abandoned her intuition. No longer of or at man’s side to infuse into him her own loving spirit, she is beside him to encourage, if not to take part in, all the devices whereby he manifests the brutal side of his nature. She looks on approvingly at, sometimes even shares, his bloody sports; and eagerly partakes his mangled spoils. She shrinks not from defiling herself by contact with the revolting barbarities of the
shambles. And though withdrawing the devotion which in her age of faith she bestowed on the priest and his sanguinary doctrine, she but transfers the observance to the home, where she constitutes herself the chief patron of the doctor whose hands are reeking with the blood of innocents whom he has just been torturing for the pretended benefit of herself and her children. Fortunate serpent, to have lighted upon such a de vice for compassing bitterest disappointment for the sweet soul of humanity! After all that the “Lamb” has done to make his bride ready for the marriage supper, in no array of “fine linen white and clean,” the linen of “the righteousness of the saints,” does she come to him; but in a “vesture dipped in blood;” no “king’s daughter all glorious within,” but a carnivorous beast!
That the” Woman’s Movement” has not suffered utter shipwreck, is not for lack of the serpent’s wiles. Once more has Eve been sorely tempted to claim the initiative. Womanhood has narrowly escaped being misrepresented by women, who by renouncing womanhood have well-nigh turned themselves into men. But as at every other turn the serpent has been foiled, so here also woman has in some measure been true to herself. The work of the sixth day shall be completed, and
with its predecessors shall by the soul, or Eloim, of the planet, be pronounced “very good.”
That there ‘may be no error respecting the nature of the “serpent,” it must be here said that evil is not an entity in the sense in which good is an entity. We have seen that opposites or contrasts are necessary to perception. There must be darkness, or we cannot recognise light. Similarly there must be evil, or we should not be conscious of good. There must be a “devil,” or the soul could have no conception of God. But the “devil” represents in himself no absolute existence. There is but one Absolute Existence in the universe, and that is God. God is, as declared alike in the Hindoo, Persian, Egyptian, and Hebrew “revelations,” the Ego, sole and universal: the one Positive Existence; the great “I Am” that includes all Egos whatsoever. But it is necessary for the purpose of his self-manifestation to differentiate himself into opposites. Essentially all is God, and cannot by any possibility be otherwise. It was therefore necessary for God to fabricate as it were a no-god, to act the part of an opposite to and contrast with himself. Evil then is, so far as God is concerned, but as’ darkness is to light. It represents its negation. That the negative has in respect to evil become
a positive, is due to the fact that in a universe in which a living God is all and in all, it is impossible for death to subsist. What we call death is change from one sphere or mode of being to another. That anything should die and become unconscious in the ordinary sense of the terms, a sense invented by orthodoxy, is absolutely impossible and inconceivable. We cannot conceive of existence as a whole ceasing to be. The perpetuity of the whole involves that of the parts. Life, then, being inherent in existence, and God being the source of healthy existence, it follows that the transference of life from the light to the shadow of God, from the place where He manifests himself as God to that where He manifests himself as no-god, signifies the manifestation of that life as individual consciousnesses bearing the same relation to good that darkness bears to light. All spiritual beings are free to choose between the contrasted opposites of the Divine Existence. If, following their natural intuition, they make the light of the Divine Presence their abode, they grow up children of light; and let what may occur to them outwardly, they have “no darkness ‘in their dwellings,” but “their whole body is full of light.” Recognising the substantial identity of their own Ego with the universal Ego, they are
one with God, and know no will but his will. If, on the contrary, they abandon the natural and primary intuition of the essential soul for the artificial and secondary reason of the outer senses, they move from the light of God’s presence as God, into the shade of his presence as no-god; where, by virtue of their indestructibility, they still continue to subsist and to develop, building themselves up into a structure corresponding to the medium they have chosen to be their habitat. That is, they create a world of darkness corresponding exactly to the world of light, in that it represents the conversion of positive good into positive evil, of the spiritual sun into a material sun, of intuition into reason, of God into the devil. For by reason that existence is personal it is inherently monarchical. And the same consciousness of a higher being that constitutes for the healthy soul the aspiration towards God, constitutes for the morbid soul an aspiration towards God’s opposite. The “devil” is thus a necessary result of the conditions. The children of the darkness of mere reason, will have a leader, just as men will have a leader, even though it be only the impulse of their own lower nature. To lead and be followed makes existence more. No place, thus waiting to be filled, can
long remain empty; and so the “devil” appears as the product of reason, precisely as the recognition of God is the product of intuition. The very demons of the pit of darkness thus bear witness to the necessary existence of God. Abandoning the true God, they find themselves compelled to make a false one. Turning their backs upon the sun, they have to use an artificial light. The poet expressed the truth as nearly as words could when he made the fiend say to “Festus,”
“I am the shadow which Creation casts
From God’s own throne.”
The shadow is no bad thing in itself. Only those things which persist in growing up under it are noxious and deadly. The fact that this is so in the spiritual world suggests a useful thought for the benefit of the physical world. Just as the diet healthy for the soul is that which is permeated by the intuition of God, so is the diet most suitable for the body of the perfect humanity that which grows and ripens in the sunshine. Roots and herbs may sustain the lower nature. Man’s mouth is not placed close to the ground that he may subsist wholly on them. He walks erect, with a face turned upwards to behold the skies whence he has origin, even the sun.
above him, at once physical and spiritual. And his healthy, because natural, diet consists of the seeds and fruits which grow above the ground, within his reach as he walks along, and to be gathered without stooping. These the bounteous Mother prepares and sheds for us when fitted for our use by the elimination from them of every particle of fibrous and innutritious substance, shed too in such abundance that, if not used by us, they he on the ground to rot. Ah, there is no discord in Nature, if only we seek aright for her harmonies. No single pang does she willingly inflict on her children. All that they suffer, no matter of what kind, even earthquake, famine, tempest, and death, would either have no place or would be converted into sources of positive happiness, if only we would return into harmony with her. She is the body that He hath prepared for the soul, which, when Nature was ready, said, – “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God, “ by animating that body with a life higher than its own original life. Of this body of God the blood corpuscles are free and conscious beings. Life is of many grades; but to assume of the warm-blooded animals that they and we are not brethren, is to expose ourselves to the liability of eating our own kith and kin, The
earth affords of her own lower consciousness ample sustenance wholly beyond doubt, in the vegetable, perhaps also in many of the fishy tribes. If, as seems probable, the blood is not only the life, but also is the higher life, the warm-blooded animal has capacity for spiritual development, however low it may be now, which unfits it to be food. The soul once infused, though rudimentary now, is eternal. The difference between animals and men is but one of degree. In many men the soul is absolutely inert. This, however, seems to be necessarily true. As is the stage of development of the individual soul, so is the bodily form in which it is incarnated. Soul and body are co-products of the sun and the earth, of God and Nature. They are mediums chosen and anointed for the full revelation in process of time of God in the flesh. Everything that partakes the higher life shall in the flesh at length “see God.” “A body hast thou prepared.” But the living blood corpuscles of the same divine circulation must not eat and devour one another. To do that is suicidal to their own souls. True, they cannot die. But they can convert positive good into positive evil. From being “saints” in the Divine economy, they can make themselves “devils.” No; the Mother that produces, she can sustain us. Her own creatures
of the vegetable kingdom, stationary and locomotive, which indicate their nature by their temperature and nervous organisation, constitute the diet on which alone man can be fully man, on which alone humanity can so build itself up that it can become “a temple of the living God,” having the spirit dwelling in it. In speaking thus, I speak that which my own intuition, reason, and experience have combined to teach me, in addition to that which I have found in the Gospels of Moses, Pythagoras, Buddha, and Christ. It is because Nature is perfect that she requires no pang for the support of the healthy life. She has domains of being in which existence can be enjoyed without its cessation involving what we call pain. And it is from these that she gives us for food. The carnivora are a degeneration due to the same spiritual influences whereby man is induced to yield to his lower nature against the promptings of his higher. It is through man that those influences have passed downward into man’s earlier stages, the animals. When man suffers himself to be redeemed, all Nature will be redeemed in him. “The lion shall eat straw like the bullock,” and with the reign of perfect purity in man will all noxious forms of life disappear.
It is but another of the devices of “the Beast”
to represent perfection as appertaining only to an existence which, in being spiritual, is regarded by most men as unreal. As if the flesh could be necessarily evil and the spirit necessarily good, when we find that there are beings wholly spirit who are evil, and men not wholly spirit who are good! The whole aim of the Gospels of the world’s Saviour was to commence the work of redemption with man. He was seen to be the pivot on which the character of existence turned. His perfection secured, that of all the rest would follow. Moses, Pythagoras, and Buddha sought to effect by means mostly physical that which Christ sought to effect by means mostly spiritual. They worked from below upwards; He worked from above downwards. To the same end worked Spinoza, Berkeley, and Hegel, in the sphere of pure intellect. But the end of them all was the same, – namely, the building up of humanity into a perfect temple for the abode of the Divine spirit, the making of Nature a pure body for its proper soul, first of the system, then of the Universe. The conflict between the saviour and serpent may thus be summed up: – while the former seeks to turn all creatures into frugivora, the latter seeks to turn all into carnivora. How hard the orthodoxies work on this latter behalf!
Students have wearied themselves
in conjectures respecting the meaning of the chief symbols of Buddhism. Of these
is one which is called the Chakra, or wheel of the Divine law. Respecting this,
and the tree and the serpent, which in Buddhism play as conspicuous a part as do
the tree, the serpent, and the cross in Christianity, the most successful and
intelligent of all explorers in this direction is M. Senart. “While he has
obtained a key to the outward interpretation of some of his numerous facts, he
has failed wholly to discern their inner and true meaning, and has moreover
repeated the mistake of Dupuis, in regarding the history of the Typical Man as a
mere solar myth. The serpent was for Buddha what it is for all other religions,
– at once the beneficent serpent of eternal generation, and the malignant
serpent of darkness and sense. The tree was what it was in
because the Oriental orthodoxies, flesh-fed and gross, were, like all others, unable to conceive of spirit apart from matter, of the ideal apart from the phenomenal, that they represented the spiritual perfection of Buddha as annihilation, interpreting no thing to signify nothing, even as certain other orthodox bunglers have done. His final absorption into God was no other than was signified by the Christian “heaven,” when, the phenomenal done with, the perfected individual soul should return and become reincorporated with the universal Parent Soul, even as a son returns from his world-experiences to his father’s house, with his consciousness heightened and his character perfected by the things which he has suffered, not to lose his individuality, but by retaining it to contribute to the higher satisfaction of that of the whole.
Buddha was for
has always been an axiom that only God can
see and know God. Hence the satisfaction of the human consciousness on finding
that it has attained proof in one of its sons. The identity of the religious
The earth, properly, knows no soul save that which it has received from the sun; and the sun must be justified of all his children. Buddha represented a special vitalisation to that end. Assuredly we do not regard the sun as he deserves of us. Substituting the mechanical mode for the spiritual essence, we lose the beauty and significance of existence. To the sun we owe colour. Who now regards colour with any but a mechanical eye? Let us try to make existence larger and richer, by looking at it with the spiritual eye. Since the world is a living and not a dead world, they must mean something, these various glories of colour. Our Eastern question is, in a measure, a question of colour. In white we have the presence of all colour, Light purity, and innocence. In black we have the absence of all colour, and the spiritual counterpart. In the green of earth
and spring we have hope, fortitude, endurance, resurrection. In the blue, of heaven, fidelity, purity, constancy, faith, and trust. In the red, of blood, heart, heat, love, intensity of life. In the violet, colour in which the painters who knew because they were Pantheists and believed in existence, loved to clothe the Madonna, we have red combined with blue, to signify earnest longing and aspiration, mingled with tenderness and purity; a world exalted through humility, saved by forgiveness. Thus does the trinity of the divine graces – Hope, Faith, and Charity – find its corresponding expression in the familiar green, blue, and red, which we so often gaze upon without in the least perceiving it.
What shall we say of yellow? Yellow signifies, as some say, insincerity, falsehood. Yes; there is a yellow that signifies those odious things. But not the true yellow: not the yellow that is allied to the warm colouring of the heart’s blood. It is the pale, washed-out yellow that suggests evil; self-will without heart. The warm, rich golden yellow, colour ever given to the hair of the impulsive Magdalen, is also the colour of the Sun when, as if in love, he nears the earth to woo it for his bride; and pillowing his chin upon the wave, looks like God’s own head, rising or sinking in love to rest from his work of
creation or redemption. Yes; yellow is the warm and shining one of the skies, arbiter of life and death, or “judge of quick and dead;” at once giver of life and avenger of wrong, even as the name of the first prophet signified, who in his noble but impetuous indignation slew the first murderer. For Cain, name so long and so characteristically banned by sacerdotalism, signifies the shining one. In Cain the sun-god slew his libeller, the false priest. Yellow is the colour of the royal metal, the symbol of the sun and token of perfection attained in the kingdom of the metals, even gold. Among fruits and flowers also has the divine orb stamped the image of himself, as in the orange, whose periods of ripening are his own solstices of winter and summer; and in the gorgeous sunflower, whose very lack of shade of leaves makes it but the more fitting symbol of its great prototype.
Need I say that the whole significance of the search for the philosopher’s stone, that Sangrail of the alchemists, was but the search for the secret of perfection whereby all baser metals might be converted into gold, even as by the influences of the spiritual sun all men might be converted to the perfection of God? Chemistry in its first inception was not the dead mechanical thing it is now; it was a confession of Pantheism.
For it represented the conviction that the same Divine incorruptible spirit is in all things; and that could the process of conversion be discovered, all metals could be converted into gold, and into the image of the sun and of God thereby. It was for this end that the alchemists devoted themselves to the search for the magic stone, as rarely have Christians devoted themselves to the search for God and for salvation. Science for them was but a branch of theology. They knew that to work the miracle at which they aimed, the worker must himself be unblemished as the true priest. Hence the first condition of success for the alchemists was perfect purity of life. Theirs were all the old sacraments of perfection, just as they had been among the initiated of the ancient religious mysteries, and just as they have been for the same class in the Christian mysteries. The idea of the alchemists was that of the regeneration of the baser metals by their conversion through the new birth of a higher life into gold. And the first fortress of the enemy that required to be razed, was the fortress of their own self-will. The first essential of the true scientist was sympathetic self-sacrifice.
What gold is to the metals, the diamond is to stones, – the perfect Adam, as the name and
nature import; diamond, adamant, or Adam; perfect in purity and temper.
The golden yellow has a yet higher destiny in the scheme of the Divine Existence. Colour of the sun, it is the colour also of “the sons of God.” Here we come upon the problem of the “Black Madonna.” The idea was that the “daughters of men,” the dark races, were also the first races of humanity. And the Black Madonna represents Mother Nature and her offspring, ere by the appearance of the sun at the close of the fourth day, she was wooed and won to fairer and higher destiny. Thenceforth she bore sons of God as well as daughters of men: – even those two halves of humanity whom, rarely very happily wedded, the envious serpent is determined now to mate a final effort to sunder wholly in the persons of Aryan England and Semitic Moslem. He has known that the solar races, the yellow-haired and light-skinned, hare from the foundation of the world, as children of the sun, been destined to redeem to the spirit of the sun the children of this world; and that the period that should see humanity at length recognise its true character as made in the image of God, is now at hand, and that his time is becoming short.
Anciently the seasons of the year
were counted as two, summer and winter. The world itself of humanity has two
divisions to correspond, the rule of the dark and the rule of the light races of
men. The former represents the rule of Nature with merely an instinct of God; of
the “daughters of men” prior to the advent of reason by contact with the “sons
of God.” Thus the full summer of humanity is still to be realised. It will be
the mission of the white or solar races to redeem the earth by the infusion of
the spirit they have derived from their Divine Parent. Not that either race will
rule exclusively. Henceforth they are, like the two sexes of humanity, as
masculine and feminine to each other. It is against the realisation of the
world’s spiritual summer, that the serpent of winter is now arraying himself in
the person of
Everywhere apparent is the consistency of existence with regard to the manifestation of the Divine attributes. An illustration is afforded by the flame. Holding a match above it, the fire is seen to descend to the match, instead of lighting
it from below. The fire descends from heaven towards the object, and that which arises to meet the yellow divinity is the violet hue of sympathetic Nature. Even in the flames of the fire do we see typified the necessary union between the sons of God and daughters of men.
Thus does it appear that from the beginning there has been one God and one Christ; one religion and one humanity; one enemy to the soul of man, and one mode of salvation. And while it is at length made manifest that there is one existence to be worshipped, and one mode of worshipping it, it is also at length made manifest that there is no invincible obstacle between the union of the soul of humanity with the whole body of humanity, so that all may be one in the same faith, and worship of the same existence; inasmuch as the souls of the nations are not many souls but one soul, and the bodies of the peoples are not many bodies, but one body; seeing that He hath both “made of one blood” and saved by one blood, even the blood of the self-sacrifice of the perfect, “all nations of men.” It is the vision of a humanity thus united and thus perfected, and not of a humanity the product of anger, bate, selfishness, and the blood of others, that has filled with ecstasy every prophet and redeemer in whom the common consciousness of
our planet and race has found full utterance. The Sangrail is indeed the blood of the atonement, not as propounded by Caiaphas, but as made by humanity itself in its redeeming “sun-gods.” Their deaths have proved that man had it in him to be faithful to his intuition of God and the soul unto death. And they who have accepted the doctrine in this sense, have for their ‘faith in the perfection of the Divine Existence been allowed to see the full vision of that ideal which humanity is some day to realise in the flesh.
Let us illustrate this by a recent example. To say that the seers and redeemers have one and all beheld the same vision of perfection, is not to say that they have seen it in the same degree of perfection. Some have seen it as through a glass darkly; some as it were in patches of blue through gaps in the clouds of sense; and for some the intervening mists and clouds have been rolled back like a scroll, disclosing to their view the whole fair face of the true heaven of the ideal. They have seen and not been blinded. The very loss of outward sight, as in Homer and Milton, has but ministered to the fulness of their spiritual vision; showing that man needs but to have the eyes brought to a focus on his inner self, in order to
see that which is real without him. AU souls have the same nature and the same history, and every individual soul is to the universal soul, as the sun seeming is to the sun being. Reading the soul, even his own, man knows all souls, even God and the world. The soul is spirit individualised. Spirit is the basis of existence. Existence is homogeneous. To know a portion of the spirit is to know all spirit, to know all existence. To know one self is to know God, and man and the world also. Such knowledge comes only of the full vision of every pair of eyes in our nature. Humanity can see only by means of both the man’s and the woman’s eyes, with the reason and the imagination, with the head and the heart. This is the meaning of intuition. Looking within, man sees the spirit of which the world is the manifestation to sense. The orthodox, because merely materialist, scientist denying the life, fancies that its mysteries can be found through the gates of death, a death not of his own lower self! Hence the ministers of science have become priests of blood. As if they who, having no spiritual life of their own, start with the negation of that of which they are in search, could rationally expect to discern the life of the universe! When physiology renounces the
practice of torture, it may discover that man has a heart as well as a brain, and is a dual being. I commend the suggestion to Professor Ferrier and his kind; also to those students who are trying to learn even the rudiments of anatomy on living subjects; especially to those of them who – for there are such – are, if only anatomically, women.
But to our illustration. Again it is a man and a book. The true man, be whose every work represents the actual stage of his own spiritual history, cannot write that which he does not see and feel in himself. Whatever he finds to be essentially true of himself, is true of all existence. The individual is the microcosm in which the macrocosm is repeated. The macrocosm repeats itself by generating its own kind. The history of a soul is the history at once of the system of sun and stars, and of the foetus in the womb. For all life is one, though on different planes. The day and the year repeat themselves in the individual. The true man’s work, if an actual expression of his own interior history, will show the spring and morning of birth initiation and promise; the summer and noon of conflict, achievement, and triumph; the autumn and evening of reflection and content; and the winter and night of declining regard for the past, and
increasing solicitude and preparation for the future. Declining, failing, and failing, such an one will ever arise again; and his rising shall be on a higher plane, with fuller powers to a more abundant existence.
All planes of existence find their symbol in the Zodiacal planisphere. At once a sphere, a vortex-ring, and a spiral, it is the history of the soul in all stages of its manifestation in the individual, from its first projection outwards to its final return. Hence it is that the first stage in which the divine idea takes visible form is that of a fluid mass, nebulous, opaque, and apparently unorganised. The various religions, whether of the individual or of the race, represent different “days” in the creation of the consciousness. In the first stage the “spirit of God moves” by reason of its divine energy and love, its male and its female qualities, “upon the face of the waters.” In the last, the system has attained its full perfection. Sun and moon, head and heart, God’s two witnesses, have appeared in the full harmony of a perfect marriage; and earth is rich with an abundant life, product of the union. Such a “divine child” is the “Christ.” At first worshipped as a man and a person, he is found later to be a spiritual influence, at once
single, dual, and triune, of which the two halves of humanity represent the two modes of operation. He, the perfect idea After which man has been constructed, finally becomes fully realised, first in the individual, then in the race.
The development of the consciousness, whether it be that of an individual or of a race, of a religion or of a system, is accompanied by, nay consists in, its accomplishment of the passage from the outer to the inner of the concentric circles of which its substance consists, and thence to the centre, or God. That is self-consciousness. From the stand-point of any circle can be discerned only that which lies without. Those within are still opaque. Reaching the centre, all becomes lucid and translucent, “full of light.” The system is then seen from the central sun, and its order and harmony fully discerned. It is no matter at what stage or on which circle one stands at any given time of one’s development. All that matters is, whether one is alive. If alive, one moves. Motion involves life. No matter about the direction at first, more than about an infants direction. The thing is to be able to stand erect and walk. Patience and perseverance, and a healthy regimen, will do the rest. No matter how awkward and devious the early attempts. Every effort
develops power. The larger the capacity of
the individual system, the greater its possibilities of perfection. The longer
also the process, and the more catastrophic the cataclysms by which its journey
towards its final perfection will be marked. A happy prospect for
The book to which I refer is illustrative of such a process. It represents the determined effort of a highly vitalised soul to “work out its own salvation,” in the way appointed to all souls, by penetrating its outer crusts of sense and intellect, and so getting to its true inner and central self and sun. The writer followed the ordinary scientific method. He went round and round the circle on which he found himself, seeking for an opening by which he could get to one yet nearer what he felt to be his true centre. That he failed to find such an opening was due to the very causes that make science itself thus far a failure. It involved that also which lies at the root of all evil, illhealth proceeding from dyspepsia, – in this case a mental dyspepsia. He gathered a larger number of facts than he had power to vitalise. Lord Amberley’s bequest to the world of the planisphere of his soul’s creation and redemption, represented the mistake which every true man is
bound to make over and over again until he finds out that it is a mistake, that of thinking that the fuel vitalises the fire, regardless of the liability of the fire to be choked by it. Had he made a light meal, as it were, of a single dish of fact, and digested and assimilated that perfectly ere taking another, he would have got from it the nourishment which it contained. His mind would have appropriated the idea. Doing this, and giving the idea time to assimilate itself to his own mind, and so to feed the flame of his soul, he would have found that in the strength of that meat he could perform the whole journey of existence, until he found himself landed safe and sound at the very portal of one of the many mansions of the Father’s house. Every idea is a fruit dropped from the tree of the eternal existence. It contains at once the soul’s best food, and the germ of a new life. It is the tree in small, the microcosm of the infinite whole. Lamenting with varied feelings his early departure, people say, “Poor Lord Amberley!” Few are there now in those “mansions” who enjoy more intensely than he and his the vision of the ideal now at length fully revealed to their longing gaze. Faithful to their intuitions unto death, theirs is now the crown of life. Yet while h ere they had reached only the stage in
which, while they could plainly discern the discords of the great music, its harmonies were so little suspected that they were inclined to disbelieve in their existence. Theirs, however, were the only ears that can hear the harmonies. For they were the ears, so rare nowadays, that could detect the discords. The power to hear the harmonies comes at length to one and to all, if only we labour and do not faint, if only we trust the intuition that tells us there is a truth and a perfection; that the truth and perfection are worth the attainment, and that their attainment is possible; and if only moreover we adopt the means implied in the injunction, “Pray without ceasing;” not merely as priests interpret prayer, – namely, as something they may be paid to do for us; nor as morbid ascetics interpret it, – namely, as begging in place of working; but by regarding as prayer whatever, being legitimate, tends to the end in question, believing that laborare est orare.
There is a doctrine which, one of the most catholic though it be, is both damnable and damning. It is the doctrine, never so prevalent as now, that the “evils” of this life are due to defect in the nature either of the Creator or of the creature. Wholly incapable of reduction to
intelligent comprehension by any analysis whatever, this proposition constitutes for the “devil’s” creed a leading dogma. That is, it must be received or rejected at sight by the consciousness apart from the reason. A dogma when true, requires for its reception only that the consciousness be a healthy and fairly developed one. When false, its reception constitutes an infallible indication that the consciousness that receives it is a morbid one. Seeing that this dogma is received, and never so widely as now, it follows either that men are widely diseased; or that God, or existence, is evil. What I wish to suggest is that, finding ourselves placed between two propositions of which, while one is known to contain at least a very considerable proportion of truth, the other is wholly inconceivable, the plainly rational method would consist in submitting first to an exhaustive analysis the more manageable and probable of the two propositions. Doing this we should find ourselves considering, not only the question of the respective natures of the Creator and the creature; but also of the probable intention of the Creator in making the creature, and the degree moreover in which the creature had, so far as in him lay, done his best to fulfil that intention by pursuing a mode of
life calculated to enable him to fulfil it. Doing this we should, it seems to me, find that this would happen. So far from concluding that we fulfil in any degree the intention of the Creator, as plainly expressed in the laws or conditions of our well-being, we should find that we had not only not discerned the nature either of the Creator or of ourselves, or of his intentions with regard to us; but we should find that we had, without any call or necessity whatever, adopted a mode of living which absolutely incapacitates us physically, intellectually, morally, and spiritually from obtaining the smallest insight concerning the nature either of the Creator or of the creature, or of the end for which we were created.
The fact is, we have allowed the scientists to do for us in regard to our view of the physical world exactly what the sacerdotalists have done with regard to the spiritual. Both classes alike have formed their diagnosis of the healthy from the morbid subject. And as no healthy subject submits to the inspection either of doctor or of priest, they have had but diseased subjects upon which to experiment. The consequence is that they have hastily assumed that there is nowhere such a thing as a healthy subject, not even in the
Divine idea. And with all that positiveness of assertion which ordinarily characterises a total absence of thought, they infer that man being bad, God likewise must be bad. Enough has been said in this book to indicate that which, in common with every real and practical student of the question from the beginning of time, I hold to be the cause of the world’s evils, no matter of what kind, or on what plane of his consciousness. And I say, that so far as all reason, intuition, and that third person of the holy trinity of existence, experience, go, it is absolutely certain that not only is the nature of the Creator not in fault, but that neither is the nature of the creature in fault. But that we simply spoil the world and existence for ourselves and each other by our ignorant and brutal mode of sustaining our lives. And I say with the most absolute confidence, that no man has a right to pretend to know anything whatever about the nature either of the Creator or of the creature, until he has by a long, persistent, and rigidly conscientious experience of the pure and innocent regime natural to man, qualified himself for forming an opinion in the matter. As men live now, they have not in any degree approaching its natural perfection, any one faculty that they would have if
they lived in the way I am indicating. Physique, mind, and character alike are removed by an absolute interval below the perfection of which they are capable. And not only would a complete reformation in’ this respect constitute an absolute remedy for all our evils, individual and religious, but it would do so for our evils political and social, at home and abroad, in all questions, from those of population and food-supply, to questions of foreign policy. The great, primary, and absolutely certain fact to be borne in mind, is the fact that man cannot by any possibility subject any region of his nature to the unnatural diet of blood, without depraving every region of his nature, and that in respect to its every function. Sacerdotalism, or the exaltation of a sanguinary doctrine and ritual, has sustained itself in the world solely by means of its suppression of this cardinal truth.
As members of the great Aryan race, we attained our preeminence by means of the superiority of our diet. We carne from countries where, by reason of the severity of the climate, life was harder than in the tropic; and where Nature, with the infinite wisdom and kindness manifested in her every act, adapted her vegetable products to the requirements of her
children; giving in place of the cooling fruits of the torrid, the beat-producing cereals of the temperate zone. Changing its diet under seductions at once sacerdotal and devilish, the Aryan race has gradually and steadily sunk from its ancient perfection of mind and body, until it has come that, so far from aspiring to fulfil its original destiny by being the earth’s redeemer from evil and wrong of every kind, and the restorer to man of the paradise he has forfeited, it is setting down into the lowest forms of selfishness and sensuality, and even erecting into a religion and a worship, principles and practices which are absolutely incompatible, not only with happiness but with existence itself.
There is one of the senses to which, thus far, sufficient justice has not been done in this book. We have gone mainly by sight, intellectual or intuitional. Let us rest our eyes, and endeavour to go a little way by sound.
It has been ascertained that the force of the sun’s attraction is inversely as the square of the distance. From this it follows that a planet at half the distance of another planet from the sun is acted on by quadruple its gravity. A musical chord, double the length of another, must be
stretched with quadruple force to make it sound the same note. It follows from this that, if such chords were extended from the sun to each of the planets, and stretched with forces equal to the gravities of the planets, they would all sound the same note.
“Tis we musicians know.”
It is the musician who alone for the modern age has been the seer and the revealer. In music, and in music alone, has the school of the prophets survived. There only has God not left himself without a witness in the world. Melody and harmony have, as male and female, been the two witnesses to the duality of the Divine Existence, when all others have failed. It is in the fugue that the musician finds his scope for the loftiest flights of his genius. This is because the fugue is the zodiac of the universe of sound; the vortex-ring of the auricular creation.
Mendelssohn’s Scotch Symphony occurs to me in illustration. It begins on a low plane by a subdued mass of sound in which neither melody nor harmony is distinctly discernible. It is a nebula, opaque to the ear. Nevertheless it dimly suggests to the mind an idea of power, and of a possibility of order. As the music proceeds it
seems as if through some scarcely perceptible process of evolution, the chaos is not quite so much a chaos as it has been. Threads of melody keep passing across the woof, growing ever brighter and broader. The whole stage and level too have changed. What was gaseous and fluid becomes fixed and solid; what was merely mineral shows signs of vegetation. Gathering strength to express itself more fully, life moves about, vegetation acquires the faculty of locomotion, grass becomes flesh. The atmosphere clears. The waters separate from the land. Another plane or “day” has succeeded, higher than, yet corresponding to, the previous ones. The days follow each other, each raising the world to a higher level. The time comes when the mystery is cleared up. The piece is a fugue, in which the same theme continually repeats itself, on a succession of planes rising ever higher and higher, all singing parts of the same chorus, and all uttering the same melody. For all at length reveals itself as a paean and hymn of praise and rejoicing uttered by the voice of Nature in recognition of its great soul, the Creator, who by virtue of his dwelling at once within, above, and below it, and being both it and more than it, is able to do for it all that its own consciousness can conceive of perfection.
Such is the vision of the world for all who have succeeded in sinking the individual in the universal, and have thereby been permitted to see the world both as it is in the Divine idea and as it will be in fact, if only England in this present ordeal by fire remain true to her intuition of the soul, and do battle right manfully with the “dragon” on behalf of the duality of the Divine Existence, as enacted on the plane of the universal humanity.
While faithful to the death,
without Paul knowing the full meaning of what he was saying – then will the two halves of the dual soul of humanity be incarnate in humanity, having their counterparts in the man and woman, the light and dark races, the reason and the intuition; and, completing the holy trinity of the Divine Existence by their offspring, Conduct, or the only true morality, the morality not of seeming, but of being. And so shall “we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect humanity, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” The realisation of this vision of a world’s perfection was that to realise which, next to Buddhism, Catholicism has represented the chief attempt. The failure of Catholicism has been due to precisely the same causes that have led to the failure of every attempt to redeem the world made before and since. Man could not extricate himself from the meshes of sense whereby he gave the powers of evil their control over him. Repeating the very same devices whereby he had quenched the spirit in every one of the previous religions of the world, the devil of blood and selfishness suffered indeed the light of the true Pantheism to shine for the knot of highly vitalised worshippers in the inner
sanctuary, the initiated or communicants. But in draping the Church in red, he effectually prevented its light from reaching those without. Like the ark of Noah, it rode the troubled waters of the world with the Divine life shut up in it, scarce caring to throw a rope to a single one of the wretches who were drowning around it, save only in so far as it thought they might be serviceable to itself. Like the ark of Israel, it had within it the testimony of the two witnesses to the Holy Duality, the cherubim who “covered the mercy-seat with their wings, while their faces looked toward each other;” even as they had ages before done for the Church in Egypt, whence by a true Apostolic succession Israel inherited the spirit. But the Church that should have been Catholic, and that by virtue of the ark and the two witnesses, the man and the woman, the Christ and the Mary, the power and the sympathy, the wisdom and the love, of the Divine Existence, should have built up humanity into a body for its true soul, – suffered the wings of the cherubim that covered the mercy-seat to hide that seat from its own view; and instead of leading a fallen world back into the perfected paradise of a pure and happy life, it
“shut the gates of mercy on mankind,” and “set at the east of the Garden of Eden” the very cherubim of its own ark, and the “flaming sword” of the fires of its persecutions, “which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life,” not for, but from man. Essentially Pantheist in its holy of holies, the Catholic Church became the Church of Rome, a rule of force and blood; and from being for the world polytheist, in the true and right sense, sank into a mere fetish worship. Hence it has come that its present “infallible” head, seeing the glory departing, but not seeing why, not seeing that it was for its own good being deprived of that on which it had set its heart – its outward power and adornments – has clung to the “unclean thing,” and made Christendom resound with his lamentations and maledictions. The Pope sees now; and there is hope for Home. The devils cast out of her Church, Italy may learn a new and even more perfect worship of the beauty of the Divine Existence, than ever was attained by her great, great because Pantheist, Art-priests of old.
Now that we know the spiritual
significance of the tale of
For several years past has a
little propaganda been at work in
the Hour and the Man shall come, and the voice of the living Word shall utter itself. What if some of those engaged in the work did enjoy the sight of the falling walls and flying inmates, and worked with a will at their task of demolition? The Lord must have his “besom of destruction,” – “yea, carnage is God’s daughter.”
They knew that they were pulling down the Bastille of Britain, that prison in which so many consciences had been immured and strangled, so many minds racked, so many hearts torn, by the regime of shams; and that, follow what might, it could not be worse than that which they were demolishing.
Now word comes that the work is
over. That age and infirmity have stayed the hand of the captain. That he and
his band agree that there is nothing left to be pulled down, and that the
materials are lying about ready, if fit, to be built into the new structure
whenever the Architect and the Plan shall be forthcoming. May we not accept the
fact as a sign that the end is at hand? that
doing what he has done, Thomas Scott has written his name upon the Bible of the future far more indelibly than his noted blood-exalting namesake wrote his on the Bible of the past? None more effectually than he has striven to roll back the stone from the door of the sepulchre. Even if be was in a measure disposed to suspect that the Lord had not risen but was still there; better God’s own truth, however unwelcome, than the treacherous solace of a lie. The world has not now for the first time to learn that the blasphemer of one age is the prophet of another, cry how may the chief priests and pharisees, “he hath a devil and is mad.” His work has alone made mine possible.
We come to the signs of the times
and seasons as indicated by those symbols of antiquity upon which we have so
long been dwelling. Self-seeking Sapience, essaying to be historian, declares
man can by no means withstand; and that if
How far it is true that Turkey is but the creature of the convenience of sacerdotal Europe, and how far it is the predestined link between the two halves of the perfected human body of Christ, to snap which would be to put asunder that which God has irrevocably joined together, even the halves of his own Divine Existence on the earthly plane of its manifestation; and how far, moreover, not only has the event been anticipated, but the very time of its occurrence fixed and indicated, we will now endeavour to gather from the planisphere of the Zodiac.
The great cycles of the development of the religious consciousness of our planet, through its highest product and function, man, coincide with
the periods of the phenomena known to astronomers as the precession of the equinoxes. The sun does not return at the end of each year quite to the same point in the circle of the stars from which it started at the commencement of the year; but recedes each year just so small a portion of the whole circumference of its orbit as to lose one whole circumference in about 26,000 years. The phenomena corresponds to that of the loss of a day, which is made in travelling round the earth from east to west. This number was anciently regarded as constituting a great solar year; and it was the basis of the calculations whereby the Hindoos sought to fix the duration of the earth’s existence. Dividing this number by twelve, which is the number of the signs in the Zodiac, the sun is found to recede by the space of one sign in about 2150 years. This number, together with certain subdivisions of it, constitutes the basis upon which, by means of the spiritual observation of the work’s actual history, extending over vast periods, the fabric of prophecy has been reared.
The ancient religions appear to have been governed, not only in form but in character, by the signs of the Zodiac; for their ritual consisted chiefly in the worship of the spirit of the sun.
under the form suggested by the sign which ruled the spring equinox. As the sun changes its place in the Zodiac once in a little over 2000 years, that was about the duration of any particular form of a religion.
The earliest indication we have of
the religious state of
turn are about to compose it, by the recognition of the perfect equality of the two halves of the Divine Existence, whether as subsisting originally in the Divine nature, or as subsisting in the sensible manifestation of that nature in humanity. Of this reconciliation the Lingha-yoni-poojah, still so popular in Hindoo cities, is a memorial.
The passage of the sun into the
constellation Taurus – from dualism to fecundity – led to the
substitution of the Bull for the Gemini, as the chief object of worship,
for the next 2000 years. Of this worship
The next period saw the “Bull” give place to the “Lamb,” as the constellation in which the sun underwent his annual “crucifixion” at the spring equinox. The Persians, who as Zoroastrians, or worshippers of the “sun-star,” were, esoterically, the purest of Pantheists, anticipated Christianity by worshipping God-the-Soul under the symbol of “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” for the world’s redemption from the dominion of darkness and evil. Their crucified, rising, and ascending sun-god, was called Mithras.
For nearly 2000 years we have been
in Pisces, under the dominion of the Fish. This sign finds its antitype in the
supremacy of Peter the fisherman. The-coming sign always begins to exercise its
influence some time in advance of its actual arrival. Hence it is that our
present condition exhibits symptoms of the approach of the sign known as Aquarius, who is represented as humanity
rising from the affluent Mother Earth, who has just been fertilised by the
There are yet other indications prophetic of the nature of the period at which the earth has arrived in the development of its consciousness. The would be contraveners of the duality of the Divine Existence have something commonly deemed more sacred than the Zodiac with which to reckon. There are no less than nine great periods of Hebrew prophecy that now have their termination; while several others already terminated, bear their testimony to the anticipated character of the coming epoch. Among these it is sufficient to name the expiration of the 6000 years from the date of the “Creation” in Genesis; of the 2520 years, or “seven times” of Daniel, from 647 B.C.; the 2500, or fifty jubilees, from 627 B.C., the
18th year of Josiah’s reign; the 1335 years apparently referred to by Daniel as constituting the interval between the promulgation of the Code of Justinian, and the end of the religious divisions of the world. The last named event has been confounded by students of prophecy with the final “millennium” of sabbatical rest. There are also the secondary fulfilment of the 2300 years from the complete renewal of the sacrifices in the time of Nehemiah, namely, B.C. 437, to the complete purification of the Holy Land; the secondary fulfilment of the 1260 years, or forty-two months, of Rev. XI And XIII, from the decree of the Emperor Phocas acknowledging Pope Boniface III. Head of all the Churches of Christendom; and lastly the declaration in Rev. X. 6, that “there shall be time” or a prophetic period of 360 years, “no longer,” from A.D. 1517, the beginning of the Reformation, to the end of the present dispensation.
All these calculations were made long since, and in the expectation of events differing considerably from those which may now be anticipated. They represent the endeavours of devout and learned men to ascertain, by means of a process purely rational, the correspondence of the prophecies with actual history. Their failure was due to the fact that they were rational in the sense that
they possessed no sympathetic insight into the nature either of the religion of the Bible or of any other. They committed the further error of mistaking for individual persons what really are movements indicative of the prevalence of the spiritual influences which have always been at work in the world. And in conflict for the possession of the consciousness of the earth, with a view respectively to its obscuration or enlightenment.
Of the circumstance which has led to the substitute which appears at the end of this book for the intimation ordinarily rendered by the word FINIS, it will be time to speak when its contents have received the confirmation which time alone can supply. It is enough for the present that the circumstance in question constitutes for me an absolute demonstration of the reality of the spiritual world, as well as of the soundness of the intuition which has controlled my whole work. I have now only to hope that the execution of the idea by its translation into sensible fact, is so far commensurate with the importance of its nature that it may not fail of its due use through defect of the instrument employed.
In the book which constituted the spring and morning of the ten year cycle just passed of my own spiritual history – as not impossibly may
this of a new cycle just begun on another plane, I mean The Pilgrim and the Shrine – I said that it requires a revelation to interpret a revelation. It seems to me now that the sole difference between the prophet and his merely rational fellows is but one of sympathy. Loving more, the prophet feels and sees more. Feeling and seeing more, he knows more. For others life may be a cold and torpid formality, to be got through with as little expenditure of feeling as possible. For him Existence is alive with a vivid passionate life, to be made the very most of, and finished perfectly in its every minutest part, even as our own English youth so strive to do in respect of their games. If only they and we all had so high a standard of excellence in things real, and strove equally to accomplish it! No lowering shade of Pessimism then would chill and darken life!
* * * * *
One glance across the troubled
waters of the Red Sea and Jordan both of our anticipated tribulation, towards
those who seem from thence to beckon us on; and silence for a moment that we may
catch the echoes of their utterings respecting the things which for them, as for
their prototypes of so long ago, will hereafter be cherished as things which
belong to their peace. For if
whose history is a repetition of that which, already more than once commenced, only now is to be completed, we must expect to discern yet other correspondences than those already indicated. There is no need yet to suspect that the Parent Spirit of the Sun has failed of its ancient health or vigour, that its Earth-children of today should lack any of the family traits whereby their predecessors have been distinguished.
These, then, are the future things of which I seem to see and to hear somewhat respecting the Church of the coming Regeneration. Peter, who has denied his Lord but once, has in his never dying zeal again wielded his sword, not this time to cut off the ear of the faithful servitor who did but his master’s bidding, but the master himself. His weapon and his skill are now turned to uses beneficent and by no means vindictive. Nowhere within the sweep of Peter’s sword is the ear that desires to hear the free Word cut off, but only is opened the better to hear. And if so be any cutting off prove needful, it is done to the false priest who closes up in the rock the living waters of salvation, and gives of blood to the thirsty people to drink in its stead. As for Peter himself, while still as fond as ever of tabernacle building, he is careful in his worship therein, not to stop short of that of the supremest.
Decreasing, as befits the genius of the summer pole, when his lord of the winter pole increases, the Baptist was under eclipse and “in prison,” where also he lost his head. This, with the new solstice, he has regained. And with his head he has found also his heart. No longer a “Voice” merely, and “the least in the kingdom of heaven,” he has become, like his Lord, a perfected dual soul. And in that while by his possession of full knowledge he is at once prophet, evangelist, and seer, by his exaltation of love the most he has become mightiest of the company of the preachers.
Judas, long so careful of the bag, on behalf of which he sought to quench the light of the Ideal, has taken back his – nay, her? – kiss and having given the pieces of money to the poor, has concluded that there is a better way to manifest repentance than by hanging himself. So may he yet reclaim the forfeited place among the faithful thirteen.
Dwelling in the home of “John the Beloved,” the Madonna mother, in peace and joy, is tended in her age of her children in the flesh.
The tears of the Magdalen, who also in no small degree has been a “mother of God,” are all of joy. For, the passage of the grave escaped, the touch of an earthly affection is not
declined. She in her turn now casts devils out of others.
The Christ himself has not been
* * * * *
But first to the field of
Armageddon, where, backed by all the orthodoxies, the Devil shall do battle for
his kingdom. There, O
when thou fallest thou shalt arise again, and the victory will be thine, for thy soul will be on thy side.
Arm, then, O
peoples recognising shall cry, – “Habet testes! Habemus Papam!”
While thus it shall be at home, “India” shall not “perish,” but Israel and Ishmael shall together prepare and guard for England “the way of the kings of the East,” by the way of the “great river Euphrates.” Thus united in one dominion, the Man and Wife of Humanity shall, as God’s Two Witnesses, bear equal and loving testimony at once to the Unity, Duality, Trinity, and Plurality of the Divine Existence. Now can we, with such prospect to follow the Tribulation, dauntlessly cry: –
“Hail once more to the banner of battle unrolled.
Tho’ many a light shall darken, and many shall weep.
For God’s just wrath shall be wreak’d on a giant liar;
And many a darkness into the light shall leap,
And shine in the sudden. Making of splendid names,
And the heart of a people beat with one desire;
For the peace that we know no peace is over and done.
And now by the side of the Black and Baltic deep,
And deathful grinning mouths of the fortress, flames
The blood-red blossom of war with a heart of fire.”
Jan. 27, 1877.