I have indicated also a correspondence between Mr. Gladstone and the Hebrew leader, Moses, whose figure still looms so large through the mists of history, in spite of all that sacerdotalism has done to blacken, and science to efface, his lineaments.
Moses, we read, forfeited iris claim to enter the promised land because, when commanded to speak to the rock from which a supply of water was to be obtained, he distrusted the power of the free Word, and twice struck it violently. To this twice does England owe it that she may yet find Mr. Gladstone her leader into the promised land of her Regeneration, Commanded to speak to one of our national “rocks,” Mr. Gladstone, like Moses, distrusted the power of the free Word, and struck the rock violently once. The rock of the waters of a nation’s salvation is no other than the Church. For the function of the Church is the culture of the ideal; and the ideal is that which alone redeems. The Word cannot have free course and be glorified in a Church in which thought, speech, and expression are fettered and dictated by tests and dogmas, and prescribed observances and utterances. Had
Mr. Gladstone possessed the smallest conception of the correspondence subsisting between the various planes of the Divine Existence, he would have seen that there is precisely the same essential need for freedom in the sphere of the soul as in that of the body; and that if freedom be the life of politics, so also is it the life of religion. He had a true intuition in the one case, as far as the spirit went, though he was wrong in the fact. In the other case, where he was allied with sacerdotalism, he was wrong on both counts. Hence it came that when commanded to speak to the rock of the Irish Church, in order that by releasing it from the bonds in which its thought was fettered, he might set the fervid hearts and tongues of its ministers free to give their people that for which their souls thirsted, he struck it a blow that severed it from the parent mass of the English Church; and having converted it into a mere sect, set it adrift on the ocean without compass, steersman, or helm, but waterlogged with internal divisions, and sunk to the water’s edge with its cargo of unfloatable dogmas. Had he been more of a physician, and less of a surgeon, he would at least have tried the effect of giving greater freedom to the circulation by removing the
ligaments by which the currents of its life were restrained, and only as a last resource have had recourse to amputation. But, as of old in the Wilderness, the people chode and were impatient; a political crisis was imminent. And so, without pausing to discover some legitimate mode of satisfying their not unreasonable wants, he also lost his patience, and did violence to his intuitions; and instead of trusting the free Word, gave the preference to force, in so far as regarded both his own act and the future action of the Church.
Should Mr. Gladstone a second time yield to popular demand, and strike that second and far more serious blow which has been so urgently pressed upon him by two great sections of his countrymen – the orthodoxies respectively of Sacerdotalism and Radicalism – should he smite the rock of the English Church as he smote that of the Irish, and send her likewise adrift on the ocean without helm or compass, and waterlogged as she is by a dead weight of dogmas, which unassisted she can by no means throw overboard, then will he have courted the fate of Moses, and have done so with his eyes open. But if, on the contrary, he learn in time that the Word must have free course if it is to be glorified; if he learn in time that the Divine Existence is not
a fateful relentless Will, but that the universe is alive and conscious throughout its whole being, inasmuch as there are but two things in it, of which one is the Divine Mind, and the other is the Divine Thought; and if he learn in time that for man to do as the orthodoxies have done with the Churches, in fettering thought and utterance therein, and so quenching the Spirit and the Word both, is to commit precisely that sin against the Holy Ghost which “shall never be forgiven,” – if, I say, he learn all this in time, he may escape the doom of Moses, and instead of dying on Pisgah in sight of the promised land of England’s Regeneration, may be her leader across the Jordan she is nearing to “the long wished-for end.”
True though it be that a dogma
less Church is a thing unknown in the world, even almost of theory, it is also
true that a Church emancipated from the blighting influence of the Antichrist,
Orthodoxy, is likewise unknown. But does Mr. Gladstone really know the pass to
which, under the regime of restriction, our
class. I, on the contrary, so far as I have maintained relations with the clergy, have associated mainly with the class last indicated. They may be less courtly and solemn, but they are far more genuine and entertaining; and not a few are the illustrations I have had from them of the potency of our present system to make good-hearted fellows into hypocrites and liars. Here is a sample of what at this moment to an enormous extent prevails in the Establishment. A clerical friend of mine recently described to me the relief a brother incumbent had derived from the institution in his church of a choral service. He had always found a difficulty in reciting the Creed; and now that ho had a choir, all he had to say was, “I believe in God;” and the choir saved his conscience the guilt of the rest. My friend couldn’t get so far. All this will be changed now that not only is the current orthodoxy, with its hideous and degrading presentation of God and existence, demonstrated to be the most disastrous falsehood ever palmed upon an unhappy world, but the very mode and motive of its degeneration from the truth intended to be symbolised are discovered to view. Never more from this moment can Christianity be that which it has ever been the persistent determination of sacerdotalism to make it. So far from its ever again being a religion
of blood and selfishness, and a worship of the devil, it will be universally recognised as the most perfect form of Pantheism ever devised. The fear that under a regime of perfect freedom of thought and utterance it will again suffer degradation, is every whit as well founded as, and no more so than would be, the fear that under a like freedom the human consciousness would cease to recognise the truth of any axiom or other necessary truth, which is so obvious as to be deemed self-evident. Properly regarded, the dogmas of the Churches are nothing but precisely such necessary truths. And when, by the substitution of a freedom which encourages thinking, for a compulsion which by first restraining men from thinking, goes on to make them incapable of thought, we shall have so developed the general consciousness as to make thought a delight instead of a terror; then will dogmas, even the most abstract and recondite, be discerned as truths every whit as self-evident and necessary as that the whole is greater than the part, or that time and space are unlimited.
We should find, for instance, no objection to the definition of religion as consisting in the culture of Existence, or of Existence as comprising both the individual and the universal
life. We should find no one declining to invest existence with the attributes of personality and consciousness, when once those terms were properly interpreted to all; because it would be self-evident to all that they simply claim for existence, as a whole and immeasurably, the attributes, qualities, and properties appertaining measurably to the parts. Neither should we find any objection taken to the affirmation of the unity of existence, since it is impossible to conceive of space as tenanted by two infinite beings. The impossibility of rejecting the consciousness, personality, and unity of existence, would suggest the propriety of giving distinguishing names to the universal and to the particular modes of existence, if only for convenience sake; and so we should find the term God recurring as one impossible to be dispensed with. Having thus arrived at the conception of universal existence as that of which we ourselves are necessarily a part, we should very soon see how impossible it is to conceive of a living and producing unity, without conceiving also of a duality into which that unity separates on manifesting itself in operation. And inasmuch as it is impossible to conceive of a living duality, whose constituents do not by their mutual interaction produce a
third element, which while not identical with either, yet partakes of the nature of both, which are to it as parents, we should not be long in coming to the conviction that, granted the fact of our own existence, and our consciousness of it, it is absolutely impossible for the mind to refuse to receive the doctrines of the duality and trinity, and even multiplicity of existence, or “God,” as self-evident and necessary truths. And, following the process a little further, as has already been done in this book, we should also receive as a truth, of which the contrary is inconceivable, the declaration that only by according practical recognition to these doctrines respecting the absolute Existence, can we make our own existence even tolerably satisfactory to ourselves; and in so doing give our sanction even to the condemnatory clauses of the Athanasian Creed. All this would come of allowing men to think freely concerning the meaning of the doctrines of the Churches, instead of prompting them to abstain from thinking at all, through fear lest they might come to find that they think otherwise than they have undertaken to believe. As it is, we have produced the impression that the truths of religion are a special property of religion, instead of their being, as they really
are, the common property of all thought, and like any other truth, accessible by thought to any one who will but have the faith and courage to think and to feel freely, using both sides of his nature, his rational and his intuitional, his masculine and his feminine, perfectly blended in a happy marriage, not caring overmuch what direction be taken at the outset. Just as it was by following its true self that Israel found Christ, and by following its false self that it lost Christ, so does every man, and every people, find or lose Christ according as the true or false self is the object of culture. Go where we will in the universe of the Divine Existence, we cannot get away from the essential attributes of that existence. It is as a mere blind that the Churches have put forward so prominently the doctrine of the Trinity. A false orthodoxy has used that true doctrine expressly for the purpose of concealing the Duality. The “woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered,” has ever found the great red dragon of orthodoxy standing before her ready to devour her child as soon as ever it should be born. True, she brought forth her child; and under the
influence of that dragon he has ruled the nations with a rod of iron, while the woman has fled into the wilderness, that she might not be a witness of the million cruelties perpetrated under the rule of the man. But true it also is that the time has now expired, and that it is her coming forth once more to claim an equal place beside the man, that is now bringing into array against her that same dragon and his angels.
Let me give an instance from my
own history in illustration of what I have said respecting the effect of
retaining the “woman” within one-self ever beside the man, when engaged in the
pursuit of truth. I said just now that, so long as they are together in a happy
marriage, it is no matter in what direction they take their start. The solitary
places, the most howling wildernesses of the world – the world physical as well
as of the world spiritual – “shall be glad for them; and the desert shall
rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Have I not myself proved this on both planes?
What was it that enabled me to bring back from the most unregenerate of this
world’s wildernesses – those physical and moral wastes which then were wholly
the lands of
which, ten years ago, forced the typical organ of the orthodoxies to yield for a moment to a healthy intuition, and, with an enthusiasm unknown to it before or since, to pronounce its author “an artist who approached very nearly to his own brilliant ideal?” – well has the Saturday Review atoned in the interval for its momentary lapse! – what was it that enabled me to write The Pilgrim and the Shrine, but the fact, little suspected then by myself, but now clear as daylight, that I had never been unfaithful to my intuition of the equal place of the man and of the woman, of the reason and of the intuition, within me? And, lately, when yielding through dint of sheer sympathy to the influences under which all around me were being overwhelmed, I sought for the Sangrail of absolute truth in the depths of the prevailing pessimism, – what was it that enabled me to come out unharmed but the fact that I had taken with me the lamp of my intuition of the ideal, so that the depths were illumined to my gaze, and the monster of that worse than atheism was forced to vomit me, Jonah-like, safe and sound to the firm ground? Is not the history thereof written in The Keys of the Creeds?
When a few pages back I took down a copy of
Higher Law, in order to make an extract from it, I was startled at recognising on the cover the monogram which I had nearly te n years ago devised expressly to illustrate the doctrine, then in its genesis, of which this book is the full revelation. So unconscious to myself has been the instinct of which this life-consistency has been the outcome, that only at this moment do I begin to recognise its full meaning. I had totally forgotten the monogram; yet it contained the whole of this book, as well as of my own spiritual history. Hence there is a certain fitness in my being the one to point out the true nature of the crisis in its spiritual history through which the world is now passing. I can now explain the monogram as I never could have done before.
The Cross of Christendom, the Star and Crescent of Islam, and the three emblems which compose the monogram, have each the same significance; for they one and all symbolise, explicitly, the Unity and the Duality, and implicitly the Trinity, of the Divine Existence. The Hebrew words are the declaration in Genesis, – that “God made man in his own image, male and female.” The serpent coiling itself into the circle, in which the Hebrew text is enclosed,
represents the circle of eternal generation. For, by virtue of its ability to represent both masculine rigidity and feminine suppleness, the unit of initiative and creative energy, and the cipher of responsive and productive energy, – the serpent has, from before history began, been for the world the emblem of the Divine Existence. This, and this alone, is the significance of those equally ancient and universal symbolisms known to the student as the Phallic and Arkite. So far from these, or the worships in which they were employed, having necessarily been obscene and degrading, as those who have collected the facts have for the most part hastily decided; the express object of their use was to exhibit, together with the duality, the unity, and with these the purity and sanctity, of all existence, when vitalised into health by the infusion of a pure spirit. The truth they were specially designed to teach – that of the dualism of the Divine Existence – was thus no other than the truth of which Christianity, undegraded by orthodoxy, was the full expression; namely, that woman is the Mother of God in man, and that the God of which she is the mother is a dual God, inasmuch as He comprises in His own nature those male and female elements which characterise all existence.
It is in spite of the attempt of orthodoxy to expunge it from the New Testament, that the doctrine of the Divine dualism is still to be found there. To the modern world it is wholly unknown; as was demonstrated a few years ago by the extraordinary success of the work entitled Ecce Homo, a work which won the special admiration of Mr. Gladstone. No one who then read that book can fail to remember how the public mind was impressed by the rendering of the scene between Christ and the representatives of the Jewish orthodoxies of the time, in reference to the woman taken in adultery; so far at least as its male readers were concerned. With the woman it was different. They knew instinctively that the Christ of Professor Seely – the Christ who could be ashamed to look a poor sinning woman in the face – was no true Son of man, but the offspring of an emasculate asceticism. Their true insight and faith, by which they thus judged, entitles them to have the true rendering of Christs demeanour on that occasion put clearly before them. Let them then at once fearlessly dismiss from their minds all the high-flown description of the shame and the burning blushes with which the Redeemer is represented as suffused, and to hide which, it is said, he
“stooped down and wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.”
No Redeemer of woman as well as of man would Jesus have shown himself had he been thus ignorant of humanity. Neither is that a knowledge which comes of true sympathy which can thus misconceive the nature of Jesus, for of that nature the author wholly ignored the feminine and intuitional half. A Redeemer who confounds the act with the spirit of the act! who so loses the spirit that he condemns the act irrespective of the spirit which prompted it! No, the true reading is a very different one, for it is not the reading of a meagre, prudish, semi-vitalised, and essentially impure humanity, but of a humanity, so full and overflowing with humanity, as by virtue of its perfect humanity to be very Deity.
Let us project ourselves back to the time and place, and behold the scene and judge it for ourselves. There stands the shrinking woman brutally exposed to public gaze; around her are the respectabilities of the local orthodoxies; before her sits the Christ, the validity of whose claim to represent a full humanity by comprising its masculine and feminine elements – its justice and its sympathy – it is proposed to test. He
hears the accusation, blurted remorselessly out by the moral vivisectors of the orthodoxies. She hears it too; and, ready to sink into the ground with shame, dares not look her accusers, much less her judge, in the. Face. He, the judge, hears it also, and knows that those from whom he hears it are themselves ten thousand fold greater sinners in respect of that of which they accuse her than the culprit herself, inasmuch as that which she has yielded through exigency either of passion or of compassion, has for them been a cold-blooded habit engendered of merest animal gross-ness in their every thought, word, and deed.
In contrast with her accusers the woman stands out in his mind an angel of purity. And an overpowering indignation takes possession of him, KO that he will not at once trust himself to speak. So mighty is the impulse in him to drive them from his presence as once already he had driven the money-changers from the temple, that he forces himself to stoop down and write with his finger on the ground, – no matter what; perhaps the Lord’s Prayer backwards; anything to keep him from exploding with wrath. In the exercise his spirit calms. Indignation is too noble a thing to be expended on insensates such as these. He will try sarcasm. So he raises
himself up. He looks at them very quietly, and even assentingly. Yes, they are quite right; so flagrant a sin must be severely punished, But of course only the man who is himself unfallen has a right to punish the fallen. Therefore, he says, “He of you who is blameless in this respect, let him first cast a stone at her.” What! no rush for ammunition wherewith to pound to death this “inhuman specimen of humanity”! What can be the meaning of the general move? “They which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last.” It is not a little significant that the only one of the Evangelists who records this incident should be the “beloved disciple,” who represents in the first trinity of apostolic graces the feminine element of love. The very name John is identical with that of the Hindoo symbol for the female’ principle in nature, – yoni, a term which comprises also the male, and is identical with Jove and Jehovah. The letters I, O, which form the basis of all these names, have always been used, as Moses used them, to indicate the recognition of the essential duality in unity of the Divine Existence, – a doctrine the assertion of which meets the student of comparative theology at every turn.
The proposition that all history,
religious, political, and other, represents more or less a war of the sexes,
does not fail to find support in the New Testament. Read by the light of it,
both the selection and the composition of the Gospels which form the canon
indicate it as their governing principle. The feminine element is through-out
these carefully depressed, in order that they might minister exclusively to the
exaltation of the “man-child.” A comparison of the canonical with the apocryphal
Gospels exhibits the two opposed views between which the parties were divided,
the woman being correspondingly exalted in the latter. Hence the Gospels are in
reality polemical rather than historical documents; and the history and
character of Christ as given in them are modelled in accordance with
preconceived ideals. Few though the facts be, they are to a healthy intuition as
pregnant with significance as is a single bone of an extinct animal to the
skilled comparative anatomist. He can reconstruct the whole from it. It was in
order to make the character of Jesus coincide with that by following which
his mother. It was with a view to perpetuating and intensifying the ancient Jewish contempt for woman, that they denied her the ability to produce a perfect man without the intervention of a miracle. For them only a God could neutralise the evil influence of her nature. It will serve our purpose doubly to glance at the truth concerning the facts of the birth of Jesus. The stumbling-block of the “immaculate conception” removed, not only is woman demonstrated as capable in herself of becoming the “mother of God” in man, and Earth is “redeemed” in her; but the chief obstacle to a reunion between Christian, Moslem, and Jew will disappear. The exhibition of the ideal woman, which will be disclosed in the process, will moreover minister to the revival of that ideal to a world which, through having become wholly male, is brutalised for want of it.
Remembering that Jesus differed from other men only in his possession of a perfectly healthy and well-balanced nature, it needs not Revelation to assure us that he must have been singularly fortunate in the characters and constitutions of his parents. We see in the father a tender self-abnegating husband, of quiet contained temperament, intensely proud of his wife; and so far from grudging her claim to be the exclusive parent of
her favourite son, enjoying the sentiment which made her regard herself in that light, and consenting to be as it were but the reputed father of the young prodigy.
On her part, Mary seems to have been one of those women who inspire the supremest love in men by their complete renunciation of self and identification with the interests of their families. The only sense in which Mary was a “virgin” was in respect of the total subordination in her of the physical to the moral and spiritual nature. The ideal woman brings herself to her male affinity as a sheet of blankest paper for him to write upon it that which he pleases. The Madonna was absolutely unselfish, in that it never occurred to her to have a wish of her own in opposition to that of her husband, or to the good of her children. In fact, she was such a one as some of us have known among our own English wives and mothers, – women who have been so perfect in all the relations of their lives that they never seemed to us to want anything on their own account; but in that boundless love of which woman is the special representative on earth, subordinate themselves without effort to the good of those about them, until by sinking themselves far below the man in respect of the things of the
flesh, they rise far above him i n respect of those of the spirit. Who better than I, who am doubly son of such a one, should know how to describe them?
It is necessary to a “Christ” that he have such a woman for his mother. Always is her conception of him “immaculate,” in that while she recognises in her husband the father of his body, she knows by a divine instinct that she is the mother of his spirit. She knows too that his spirit is no other than the pure and noble soul of her race, which has rewarded her faithfulness to her intuition of the ideal of perfection by making her the mother of one who shall be the typical man of his people. But not the actual mother only of the man may be “mother of God” in him. The function is one which Magdalen as well as Madonna is capable of exercising. He, she, or it, is first “mother of God” in a man that first ministers to his recognition of an ideal in the phenomenal.
Such is the healthy, because natural, genesis of the complete man. As one in whom all planes of man’s nature exist and are harmoniously balanced, in all he thinks, says, and does, the masculine and feminine influences of his spirit bear equal share. Representing thus in himself the perfect
marriage of the perfect humanity, he represents also the perfect manifestation in humanity of the Deity, – “God manifest in the flesh.” And this by no violation of natural law. For the very necessity for this would have proved not the redemption but the condemnation of humanity, inasmuch as it would have exhibited humanity as so defective as to be incapable of producing a perfect specimen of itself. The orthodox doctrine of the immaculate conception is thus but a subtle device of the “devil” for the suppression of woman and the redeeming influence of her finer intuition. It damns humanity yet further even while pretending to redeem it.
Just as it is by being true to her intuition that the woman becomes mother of God in man, so is it by being true to his intuition that the man becomes the Christ and the Saviour of the world. “No man can save his brother” so long as that brother persists in following the promptings of his false and outer self against the intuitions of his soul. It is true that a man may go wrong when following an intuition which is not sufficiently enlightened; but in this case the wrong is but an intellectual, and not a moral one. He makes a mistake, and that is all. Not so when he follows reason in opposition to his intuition. To do a thing while feeling it to be
wrong is to commit the unpardonable sin, – the sin against the Holy Ghost. It is unpardonable, because no result, however fortunate externally it may appear, can counterbalance the injury inflicted on the moral nature of the doer. Orthodox science shares the fatal defect of orthodox religion, in that it exhibits the exaltation of the male, to the exclusion of the female, side of human character, and ignores intuition. Emotion, imagination, sympathy, are wholly repudiated in favour of sense, reason, and selfish-ness. Indeed, the typical scientist represents not even the half, but only the quarter, of the full-statured man. The consciousness of the fullydeveloped man consists, in the first place, of the four known planes – the physical, the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual – and of these the two last are wholly wanting in the orthodox scientist. Instead, again, of comprising in himself the dualism corresponding to masculine and feminine, he possesses the masculine only, and so virtually sees with but one eye, and that the male one; to which belongs form without colour, thought without feeling, energy without productiveness, knowledge without Love. There is little of modern work which is not wholly vitiated through this defect.
As I read Mr. Gladstone, he possesses one
characteristic that eminently fits him to be
sacerdotal orthodoxy, and the whole brood of observances, rites, and dogmas founded on the doctrine of vicarious atonement. Buddhism was little else than such a religion of the intuitions. Possibilities in this direction crowd upon me of such a nature that I abstain from indicating them, through fear that the prophecy defeat itself. There seem to me to be no limits to the spiritual heights to which a dogmaless Church may aspire, – a Church that shall recognise as its function the free culture at once of the true self of man and of the universe, as part and whole of the same Divine Existence.
We have seen how simple and necessary are the truths set forth in the Athanasian Creed. Those in the Apostles’ Creed are no less capable of ministering to the culture of our common existence. For a right understanding of that Creed shows that, so far from its involving any supernatural or miraculous significance in the usual sense of those words, it but sets forth with perfect accuracy the spiritual history of every vitalised human soul, and that, in virtue of man’s being in body and spirit the offspring of that living organism the solar system, it is inevitable that there should be, as between all parents and their children, a correspondence
between the history, as there is between the natures, real and phenomenal, which they possess in common. And thus, under a regime of freedom, would the doctrine of an immaculately-conceived, struggling, dying, rising, ascending, and triumphant soul, as the redeeming influence within humanity, readily find as a necessary and self-evident truth that assent which no w, under a regime of compulsion, is wholly withheld from it. As ordinarily employed, the term “immaculate,” while expressing a truth, is a false and blasphemous libel on humanity, Nature, and God.
My more immediate purpose in going at such length into what must seem to most to be wholly beside our main question, is to show Mr. Gladstone that, in parting company with the sacerdotalists who have hitherto constituted the incumbrance which has withheld him from throwing himself freely open to the appeal of the soul of England, and in undertaking the task of translating the National Church from the plane of the Reformation to that of the Regeneration, he would not by any means necessarily be ministering to the negation of the doctrines on which he sets value. Of course he must renounce his doctrine of blood. He cannot otherwise perfect his intuition, or detach himself from the
orthodoxies which are compassing the
rejection of the soul of
I think it must now be perfectly clear what is the precise meaning of being so thoroughly vitalised by the national soul of a people as to be as it were a Christ and a Saviour to that people, and able by their faith to do every kind of mighty work that may be required for their benefit. It is of no use to seek for instances abroad. There is no other people in existence
whose national soul has so nearly attained
its perfection, no other people in whom the national soul has found so full an
expression, as ourselves. “Christ” is simply the full attainment of the
consciousness of the true self in both the spirit and the flesh. Humanity
perfected, that is, in perfect health in all the planes of its consciousness,
recognises its identity with God.
Man could no more return to “nothing” in
they know in deference to the expediencies? Methinks they have missed their chance by their “prudence.”
It is to little purpose that I have indicated the identity between the spiritual histories of England and of Israel, if it has still to be shown that there is a like identity between the national souls of the two peoples; that the soul of England is no other than that which once manifested itself in the exquisite character of Him who was so cruelly done to death at the instigation of the orthodoxies, ecclesiastical and democratic, of Israel; and that the soul of England is no other than the elder son, as it were, of the “God” of our system who has in England once more visited the earth in love, in order that through England he might once more redeem it from the thrall of the Satan of orthodoxy. The thought will not seem so strange to us if we remember that the task of every individual soul that enters mortal body is precisely the same. Let each one think a moment for himself what he is and what the work he has to do. No man can look fairly into himself without discovering that he is in himself a perfect representative of the universal existence, in that he too is a dual being, consisting of an
individualised life and an individualised body: that he represents a marriage between two modes or qualities of existence, which while quantitatively different are qualitatively the same; that the “matter” with which he comes into contact, either in his own body or in the larger sphere of his general activities, is but a portion of the concreted thought of God, while he himself in his inner and true self is but a portion of the mind of God, projected from its whole by the Divine will; that God creating can only be conceived of as expending His own spiritual substance in order to people His universe with the souls who are to find development for their consciousness by exercising themselves upon the portions of “matter” respectively entrusted to them for that purpose, and that on such development depends happiness. It is necessary to believe that every atom of material existence is but as a piece of the Divine thought entrusted to us to be vitalised by our own thought, and that in our disposal of it we are so absolutely free that we can make it at will into a heaven or a hell for ourselves. And further, that inasmuch as we are provided at the outset with the faculty of discerning intuitively in which direction lies the right and the wrong, – not the intellectual right – that is as nothing; but
the moral right; it is our own fault if instead of making the materials entrusted to us the heaven we might make it, we make it into a hell.
As it is with the souls of individual men in the material world, so it is with the greater souls of nations and races in the spiritual world. Each receives charge of some orb, or part of an orb, in order to redeem it from the waste by peopling it with beings corresponding in characteristics to their own. This they do by inciting them to vie with each other in the culture of itself as their national soul, and the development of their own individual consciousness, by means of the culture of existence on every plane and in every sphere of activity; with a view to the final building up of the whole of the members of a nation in the same spirit, to be finally raised together as one glorified and perfect individual soul consisting of innumerable others in perfect accord, to the ever increasing sense of the Divine Presence, and enjoyment of the Divine Existence.
While the end and aim of the whole of man’s religious development is the recognition of his identity with the divine source of all existence, the method by which the perfection necessary to the practical recognition of that identity is attained, is through the practical recognition, in
every sphere of life, of the absolute equality of the two modes of being assumed by the divine unity on manifesting itself in creation. It is because these modes find for man their chief expression in the dualism of the individual man, as shown in the duality of every region of his nature, and in that of the concrete humanity, as shown in sex, that the typical man Christ and the typical people must likewise exhibit a perfect balance between the two sides of their respective natures. Extending the same doctrine to man kind in respect of the light and dark races, we reach the conception of humanity itself as an individual organism, doubly bisexual, always living and incessantly growing and learning, and destined to attain perfection physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual, in exact proportion to the success with which it maintains the equal co-ordination, co-operation, and unification of its two constituent halves, however, wheresoever, and whatever the line of demarcation by which they may be distinguished. Such is the manifest idea the translation of which into fact constitutes for man his earthly destiny. It is the goal for which he is inevitably bound, and the sooner he attains it, and the less the resistance he makes to its accomplishment, the
pleasanter his journey by the way. But what-ever the pain and troubles of that journey, the end will amply repay all. For attaining such perfection, man himself finally becomes a vast organism at once physical and spiritual, composed of every individual unit of consciousness that has been perfected under the discipline of the toilsome, yet on the whole not unhappy, march through the ages and the spheres, until he shall reconstitute, as it were, the existences to the creative and redeeming self-suppression of which he owes his own. For as man i n proceeding from God becomes not-God, so in returning to God he once more becomes God.
Such is the final issue of the doctrine of the Duality of the Divine Existence, the practical recognition of which will at once accomplish and constitute the coming Regeneration. Al-though the course of my studies for many years past has consistently taken me in its direction, it is only as I am now writing that the whole significance of it becomes manifest to me, and consequently that I am able to recognise to the fullest extent the magnitude of the blunder and crime of which we should be guilty, were we by any act, omitted or committed, to promote antagonism or inequality between any two of the
corresponding integrations into which humanity bas differentiated. It is because God himself is One, that Humanity finds its perfection in unity. And it is because on manifesting Himself in creation, the divine Unity assumes a dual mode, that Humanity also is dual. To promote the only perfect union, a union on equal terms, between any two corresponding opposites between which an affinity may subsist – that is, to make a perfect marriage – is to minister at once to the satisfaction of God and of man. For it is in so far to fulfil the end for which God becomes man. Doing this with his materials on the physical plane, the Scientist ministers to the final perfection of existence, by ministering to the development of the human consciousness. Blending into one on the spiritual plane, the souls of man-kind accomplish for the spiritual world the same destiny. Refusing to blend thus on the plane of humanity, and substituting everywhere divorce and oppression for union and equality, men make the earth a hell instead of the heaven it might be. Of all the attempts known to history to accomplish such a divorce, and thereby to frustrate the divine scheme for the regeneration and perfection of mankind, the greatest and most disastrous, if not timely averted, will be that
for which our own orthodoxies are even now
conspiring, and to the significance of whose endeavour
Does it not seem proved to absolute demonstration that the whole object of the orthodoxies – first in contending over the minute particulars in the constitution of an exclusively masculine trinity, and secondly in leaguing themselves with the organised Atheism of Russia, expressly in order to sunder the marriage of affinity subsisting between the light and dark races of man in the persons of England and Turkey – is to promote at all risks a divorce between the two principal constituents of humanity, in the hope thereby of counteracting the nature and thwarting the design of the Deity in respect to the human races? The scheme is so monstrous, at once in conception and in magnitude, as to suggest the idea that it must in very deed have its source and nature in the mind of the mighty spirit, who, from being the son of the morning, became the spirit of night; who from being the sun of summer became the demon of winter; and of whose perpetual struggle between his lower and his higher nature, between his resolve to achieve yet deeper rebellion and the influences which
would win him back to his former estate, the earth and its inhabitants are the perpetual scene.
before me. It has been in doing this that I have been startled by the absolute identity of the events then seen in idea, and those which I found to be now actually in process of translation into fact. No one who has read what I have written can now turn to the Apocalypse and read, first, the warnings addressed to the seven Churches of the early Christendom; and, next, the description of the Two Witnesses and the final contest of “Michael and his Angels” with the “Dragon,” and fail to find therein the anticipation, conscious or unconscious, of the present time.
Not only do the signs of the coming events correspond with those there described, but the moral condition of the world is the same also. And if any one seek for a crucial proof of the absolute degradation and renunciation of all moral perception among us, except in so far as concerns that “Remnant,” in virtue of whose faithfulness England will yet safely pass through the flood to the other side, I bid him recur to that of which, while so much stress has already been laid on it, it is impossible to over-estimate the significance, both for its own inherent iniquity and as an indication of our state. So low and dim within us burns the light of the moral
sense, that our very animals refuse to accept their salvation at our hands. Flesh-eaters and sports-men ourselves, every effort we make to redeem them from the hands of the vivisector is paralysed. So absolutely are we as a people without a glimmering of perception, moral or intellectual, that even those whom we deem our model citizens – those who seek to represent the soul even, as well as those who seek to represent the min d of England – after having been, for their pre-eminence in respect of all civic excellences, selected and associated together for the express purpose of procuring the prohibition of the scientific torture of our helpless brethren of the animal world, actually procure instead the legalisation of the wrong; and then, so far from repenting in dust and ashes of the lukewarmness that has led to such a result, so far from straining every nerve to undo the evil they have done, actually retire from their posts, self-satisfied and complacent, as if they had performed the most meritorious duty in the most meritorious manner. And no doubt they will be the first to reproach me for what I have said about them, and perhaps call me a vivisector in return, on the ground that I have “hurt their feelings” by this mention of them. Little do the tormentors know how
sweet the music they make for such as I when they talk of their feelings. The vivisector appeal to feeling! Proof positive that he is not beyond punishment! Happily for him, proof positive also, that he is not beyond redemption. For so long as a man can feel, so long is there life in him, so long is there hope for him. Are not their names, then, even now written in the Book of Life? They can feel. But, alas, to think how terrible a ministry of pain must be theirs whose sympathies now are so dead that they are conscious only of a hurt to their own skins! whose intellect is so happily matured, and whose judgment so calmly balanced, that they must wait for “experience” to decide whether the torture of their fellows for their own benefit is right or wrong! Methinks that should the Inquisition once more rear its hideous form in Christendom, and seek to feed its racks and its fires with the professors of this new heresy of Agnosticism, they will not be so desirous of waiting to learn by experience whether the torture of one’s fellows be wrong. Their intuitions will find a marvellous quickening when they themselves are to be the victims.
In things such as this does the modern world show itself the abject slave of the “Dragon,” the “Antichrist,” the “Beast” of orthodoxy, “even
that old serpent called the Devil and Satan, which so long hath deceived the whole world” to its ruin. Surely of the times that are coming upon us for our worship thereof, may it be said, that “unless the Lord shorten those days there shall no flesh be saved.”
Surely the tribulation shall be “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.” In the meantime, heaps of saviours shall arise with their panaceas, and men shall say of them, Lo, here is Christ, or there, and all be wrong together. “For as the lightning cometh out of the east and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be; for wheresoever the carcass ist there will the eagles be gathered together’’. Does any one of my readers know what it is, being in perfect health, and having therefore the spiritual eyes undimmed, to move among his fellows burdened with the sense of a tremendous danger, of which no one but himself is conscious? Such is the feeling which comes upon me when, tearing myself from this present writing, I force myself to go out into the air and mingle with my kind. So utterly insensible are they to that which I seem to see so plainly, that I find myself lost in wonder to see them “eating and drinking, and
marrying, and giving in marriage,” and
absorbed as ever in the tiniest o f pains and pleasures; as if the great wave
that for me is fast gathering and hastening towards us were but a dream of my
own disordered imagination. Surely my own confidence would fail but for the
assurances impossible to be mistaken, that it has been given to me to occupy for
this moment the unenviable position of being among so many blind the only one
who sees. Of the nature of those assurances this is not the time to speak. No
man can believe upon the testimony of another. I never could myself. I have
thought my own dearest and best insane, when they have imparted experiences
which were bagatelles to those I now know. For the present it is sufficient that
they keep me up to the mark, and enable me to fulfil my part. And hereafter,
per-chance, those of us who remain and escape the coining flood, may be glad to
learn something of the signs which led to the building of the
For, “a remnant shall be saved, for He shall finish His word and cut it short in justice; because a short word shall the Lord make upon the earth!” Such is the rendering in the Douay version.
At this moment are the eagles gathering round
the carcass. The leaders are already there by their envoys. Their legions in troops are collecting at hand. The etiquette of orthodoxy requires that the formality of what is called a Conference be first gone through. Of those who take part in it one, nay two, only have the slightest conception of the meaning of it all. The rest are like a knot of schoolchildren leaning over a dissected map which has,, been given them to put together, and of which not only do they not know the plan, but they have portions of several maps before them, and do not know which belong to the map they are to arrange, and which do not; and so they keep trying one piece after another, placing it here and placing it there, to see whether it will fit. Meanwhile the two who know resist every effort which is made to complete the puzzle. One resists its construction in one direction; the other resists its construction in another direction. For these two are to each other as eagle and carcass – or rather as vulture and dove – only the carcass is not dead yet, and the dove does not mean to let the vulture tear it to pieces so long as he can prevent it.
It is a true perception, born of intuition wedded to reason, that prompts the firmness of Midhat Pasha in his resistance to every compromise
so insidiously pressed upon him. Corning of the race of the Prophets, and true in every endeavour of his life to achieve the regeneration of his countrymen, he knows absolutely that which is hidden from the mere gropers in the dark whom the nations have despatched to the hall of dispute. The other who also knows is the representative of the “dragon,” who with smiles and courtesies waits patiently till the diplomacies shall have proved abortive, and his master may enter in and take possession of the effects of the much-enduring Job, when, their patience and sympathy exhausted, his “comforters” shall have abandoned him.
Meanwhile, what is the demeanour of the envoy of the one Power whose duty and whose interests are involved in the issue? How are the white and dark sections of humanity – the masculine and feminine divisions of the duality of the Divine Existence – the wisdom and love at once of God and of man – represented in this assembly, on the part of the people to whom have been committed the oracles of God, who are his special vicegerents upon earth? Is their envoy maintaining with unflinching front the sacred tie that binds in an indissoluble marriage the two great sections of humanity, to the end
that between them they may replenish the
earth and subdue it? Is he furious in his denunciations of the fraud, the
chicanery, the hypocrisy, the treachery, the violence, whereby it is attempted
to make the Moslem do penance for the crime of the Russian? Is he instant in
season and out of season in pointing out to all about him the irrefragable fact,
that the degradation and despair of Turkey are due solely to that very Power
whose agent sits at the same Board with him, turning a deaf ear to every
overture save that which tends to place his prey at his mercy? Is he giving in
private words of counsel and encouragement to the rulers of the people whose
afflictions are culminating upon them until they are well nigh overwhelmed, and
in public indicating his detestation of the infernal machinations whereby it is
sought to make another Poland of the country in whose independence the very
existence of his own is bound up? – a
While Lord Salisbury enacts in the present crisis the part of the “man-child,” ignoring all considerations save those which spring from a hard and unsympathetic reason, Sir Henry
Elliot fulfils the part of the woman whom the dragon sought to drive into the wilderness.
The former is the envoy of
manlike she exalts tenderness to the chief place of regard. For England will be the first of the nations in whom the soul, which men have known as Christ, will have succeeded in finding a representative for both sides of its nature, the feminine as well as the masculine. And Christ, reincarnate in England, and not rejected, not crucified when recognised, but his counsels preferred to those of Caiaphas, means the redemption of the world; for it means the coming of the “Woman’s Cycle;” the taking up of humanity as a whole.
Now do we know the meaning of the
vision that entranced the seer of
and revelation, knowledge and faith, wisdom and love, science and religion, conduct and art, seeming and being, spirit and flesh, the world and the Church, God and Nature.
This, then, is the significance of
the sympathies which, while making Israel and Ishmael such fast friends, have
also made Israel the staunch upholder of England’s dearest interests, even when
England herself was blind and knew them not.
“The lame man to the blind his eyes shall lend,
The blind upon his back the lame shall bear.”
And so shall the two be partners in a new marriage, together making one body even as they possess one soul. And the soul thus possessed in common shall be recognised as the elder perfected soul of all the souls of the nations and sons of God, the Sun of the system, and Light of the world.
This, then, is the meaning of the Apocalyptic vision of the triumph of “the Lamb.” The tribes which are sealed as saved are both of England and Israel, which henceforth shall be as one people; having overcome by that of which the Lamb is the emblem – the gentleness of a loving
spirit – saved by the shedding of their own blood for others, not by the shedding of the blood of others for themselves. The “four-and-twenty elders” are the hours of the livelong happy day, and the “four beasts” are the four quarters of the compass, whose symbols, alike for the Zodiac and for the four Evangelista, are the same. Representing Time and Space, they signify the Universal Existence; and the “Father” who sits upon the throne is Love, even the divine Two-in-One; and the mark upon the foreheads of the 144,000 “virgins” are they who, loving only for true love’s sake, have been true to their intuitions, and are not “defiled” by anything that they have done, inasmuch as they have done all in the fulness of a loving heart, and nought for trade merely. And the purity whereby they were enabled to keep true to “their first love,” or “the washing of water and of the spirit,” signifies their abjuration of the diet of blood for soul and body, whereby they became so that the divine life within them was enabled to shine through them, and to show itself in all that they did. And thus the vision appears as that of what man might and shall be when, by obeying the laws of his nature, he shall have attained perfect health for soul and body, and shall know the peace that passeth understanding.
The new heaven and new earth of the seer of
of God that we suffer the limitations of the part, instead of enjoying the perfections of the whole. Nevertheless his incorruptible spirit is in us, and it needs only that we use our absolute liberty, so as to afford the divine spark due opportunity of burning up and expanding into a blaze, to become wholly vitalised with its influences.
It is for this and no other reason that the earth has been given to man – namely, that he may redeem it by winning it from those lower planes of consciousness to which it has been projected in the Divine thought, and by the animating force of his own spirit raise it, together with himself, to God. Existence is thus both an infinite monarchy and an infinite republic. For it consists of the voluntary abdication of its king and parent, God, in favour of the commonwealth of spiritual force-points, each animated by himself, and of which each has in it so to develop itself until it shall itself also become God. And thus does it with absolute certainty become evident that the one true religion, the one true philosophy, the one true science, the one true morality, the one true policy, is that which includes, resumes, and sums up all others within itself. And this is no other than that which, under the name of
Pantheism, has ever been banned and barred by the orthodoxies. For Pantheism is no other than the worship of the Universal Existence as a Person who, while absolutely one, is also two; and who, by virtue of its energy, projects the universe, and by virtue of its sympathy recalls that universe to itself. For the universal aspiration of the religious consciousness of man, and not of man only, but of the whole creation, towards re-combination and re-differentiation, is no other than the inextinguishable yearning of all that exists to fulfil in itself the two essential functions of the Divine Nature by manifesting at once the duality and unity of it and of themselves. This, and no other than this, is the religion which, in spite of all the attempts of all the orthodoxies working both within and without to suppress it, the Bible endeavours to teach alike in the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospel, from the first chapter of Genesis to the last of the Revelation. And this is also the religion which constitutes the theme of every true Bible of every true people, and of every true man and woman. It is the religion to which Aristotle referred as the “ancient wisdom;” and under which, by command of his royal mother, Moses was instructed in all the wisdom
of the Egyptian priesthood. The same also was it in the pursuance of which the initiated or “communicants” in the ancient “mysteries” of Eleusis, of Samothracia, of Phrygia, of Cyprus, of Crete, Persia, Egypt, and all Asia Minor; of Phoenicia, Chaldaea, and Hindostan; of the Brahmins, the Cabiri, the Rosicrucians, the Mystics, the Freemasons, and the Druids; and of Moses, of Pythagoras, of Mahomet, and of the true Mormon, Joseph Smith; of Prometheus, of Buddha, and of Christ, – were all attempts, more or less complete, to declare, and all of which have failed through one and the same cause, – namely, the intrusion of the principle of orthodoxy. For orthodoxy represents the lower nature of man. So long as man was a religious animal, and attached the chief importance to the spiritual part of him, it had its manifestation in things spiritual, and took the from of sacerdotalism! But when man, contemning his soul, became absorbed in the things of the flesh, the devil of orthodoxy shifted his ground, and, taking upon him the form of physical science, discharged upon the earth a new sacerdotalism, even that of materialism, in order that, under the ministrations of that priesthood, the body of man should go the way of the soul of man, until the entire
creation of God should be beyond redemption
lost. Shall I tell you the reception I gave but lately to the piteous complaint
of one who, while far beyond the average of us in both spiritual and
intellectual discernment, has at length so nearly lost all faith in existence as
to fear that, if indeed there be a God, he must have abdicated in favour of a
fiend, and that the sooner those in whom any sense of perfection survives take
themselves out of the world the better for them? So far from finding it in me to
join in such despairing utterances, I found myself filled with satisfaction. For
I knew that when such an one as that could despair, things had indeed reached
their worst, and the turn must soon come. It assured me that the sun had sunk to
its lowest, that the solstice of this winter of the soul was at an end, and that
our spiritual sun was on the point of rising, and the dragon of darkness about
to be put to the rout. I knew by it that the night is far spent, and the day is
at hand; and that
over all the earth, and though the sun of the soul be darkened, and the veil of the temple be rent in the midst, England has no true fellow-ship with the works of darkness; but that she is a strong son of God, immortal by her love and her faith, upon whose heights of old the freedom of a pure intuition has sat, and shall still continue to sit. And I knew too that it is not against flesh and blood merely that she has now to wrestle; but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. And I had no manner of doubt that, though she resist till the very breaking of the day, she will yet be overcome in time, and receive the blessing that si) all enable her to put on the whole armour of God, and be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. And it is because I seem to know all this, as no other that I find seems to know it, that I, the most reserved and diffident of mortals, surpassing even Moses in “meekness,” perhaps vying even with Paul as a “sinner,” have opened my mouth thus boldly to make known the mystery of the only Gospel given under heaven whereby England, or any other, can be saved, – the Gospel of the culture of the true Self,
Let it not be thought that in thus
deferring the completion of my task, and withholding so long “the little book”
that is destined to be so sweet to the world’s taste, and so bitter a tonic to
its stomach, I am heedless of the danger that presses. Intensely and
increasingly anxious as day by day I have more and more become, to thrust this
my testimony before “the peoples, the nations, the tongues, and the kings,” and
if possible to avert the impending thunderbolt, I have nevertheless felt that it
was not for me to determine the times and the seasons, even so far as concerned
my own utterance. Only now has the time come, and I know now what that is for
which it was forbidden me to speak sooner. The cause is threefold. It was
necessary for us to know more fully the nature of the land that lies beyond the
his first and his last mistake. The
expression of the national soul of
In Prince Bismarck the world’s foremost man has given proof in his own career of the irrepressible truth of the doctrine of the duality of that very unity of which, as exhibited in the person of his nation, his whole life has been a sincere and consistent worship. It is true he has not been blind to either doctrine. His every step has been a confession of its indefeasible truth. But, while in one sense Theist, monotheist, and unitarian, he has in another sunk to atheism and pessimism, solely by dint of his persistency in refusing to recognise the duality as constituting necessarily
a part of the nature of the Divine existence,
as the unity. Thus, while the soul of
Yet surely her lessons have not been lacking either in frequency or severity. The long and terrible conflict with France, which has lasted ever since sacerdotal orthodoxy saw in the Reformation the dawn of that kingdom of Heaven which was to terminate its own; the conflict with Austria, whereby she sundered the northern and southern, the male and female, halves of her own race, and so made true German unity an impossibility until the work of Bismarck shall have been done over again; the palpable fact that it is the very same cause that is now operating to tear Russia in pieces, – namely, the endeavour of the unregenerate woman in her to go after the “strange gods” of her southern neighbours; and finally, the fact, and which to any real thinker is as palpable as any of the others, that the whole issue involved in that which is called the Eastern Question, is no other than the doctrine of the duality of the divine unity of existence, in respect to the light and the dark races of
mankind; – All these lessons have been wholly
If he be a fool who says in his
heart there is no God, he is doubly and trebly a fool who with such evidences
before him says that, God being, He is one and not two, or two and not three,
three and not many and all. But the Psalmist made a slip here. No man is so
great a fool as to say in his heart there is no God. That is what he says in his
head, but only when his head is divorced from his heart. It is because
For, by declaring himself apparently on the side of Russia, and against Turkey and the union between the light and dark races in the persons of England and Islam, and thereby pretending friendship for Russia, he, Judas-like, has betrayed her to her ruin. And this he has done in full view of what he is doing, solely in
order that by bringing
I say that in thus putting the
superficial expedient before the everlasting right,
all and the heart nothing; that the man is every-body and the woman nobody;. That the animal is all and the spiritual nothing; that science is all and religion is nothing; that self is all and sympathy an imbecility; that Nature is all and there is no God, or at least any knowable or worth knowing. This is alike the philosophy of a Herbert Spencer, a Professor Clifford, and of the great translator of their teaching. These three constitute a triune monument to the “Sin of Credulity,” representing therein respectively the Father, Son, and Spirit of the negation of Existence. While one represents the simple limitation of Thought through its divorce from feeling, and thus is as the negative pole of the devitalised monad; the other, which is positive, represents the active element in their mutual systems. The one ignoring, the other denying God. The philosophy of Spencer is that of one who has never known a single heart-throb of love or religion. The philosophy of Clifford is that of one who has known but to turn away in h ate, in order to convert into deadly poison the good food of the facts of existence. A Clifford preach on the Sin of Credulity! What more stupendous act of credulity can a man commit than to suppose, as he practically does, that an
organism of which every atom of the issues are covered with a tuberculous deposit, can extract wholesome nourishment out of its food, and convert it into good flesh and blood such as alone can become good man and woman? For this is what Professor Clifford virtually asserts, when he pretends that teachers whose own minds are mutilated or defective can deduce a true and wholesome philosophy from the facts of life. His is that very Sin of Credulity against which he warns all who are incredulous of such monstrous absurdity. Wholesome waters from a poisoned fountain! A whole truth from a head without a heart, or from a system that is morbid. Fruits of life from a tree of death; a child from a single parent; sound offspring from diseased progenitors! Such are the teachers who advocate the torture of the weak for the benefit of the strong. Have I not already said, “Inasmuch as you did it unto the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto me?” I tell you, my countrymen, that the teaching you have been accustomed to receive as it were a new gospel of salvation, is rotten to the core. Its teachers and apostles are either but half men, or they are diseased men. And they, with their teaching are, intellectually speaking, from the crown of
their heads to the soles of their feet,
nothing but wounds and bruises and putrefying sores. There is no sound place in
them. And these are they who are delivering you bound hand and foot into the