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Rosicrucian mysteries may communicate with them, namely, by means of printed pamphlets-" for though at the present time we name neither ourselves nor our place of meeting, yet in whatever language they write, full surely will it come to our knowledge. Nor shall any one, who gives his name, fail either of a meeting with some of us, or of a written reply. This too we say for certain, whoever means well and fairly by us shall have the benefit of it both in soul and body. But he who is false of heart, or who is only looking after gold, he shall do no harm to us, but shall bring assured destruction upon himself. As to our House of the Holy Spirit, though thousands may have seen it, yet shall it ever remain unvisited, and undisturbed, and to the godless world a mystery."
The Rosicrucians were quite correct in saying there was nothing new in their system, though they certainly had no occasion to travel all the way to Adam for it; the whole affair lay much nearer home. With the exception of Father Rosenkreutz, his fraternity of eight, and the House of the Sanctus Spiritus, there was not a syllable in the whole pamphlet that might not be found in the writings of Paracelsus and his followers. Nay even the mysterious building can hardly be called an original erection; it was in all probability taken from the Arabian institution of the same name, of which I shall have occasion to speak presently; or they might even have found it without leaving Europe; we meet with something very like it in the New Atlantis of Bacon, which, as it appeared in Latin as well as English, may easily have been known to the author of the Fama. The SOLOMON'S HOUSE, or COLLEGE OF THE SIX DAYES' WORKS, though of a sound and philosophic nature as befitted the genius of Bacon, is yet full of fanciful devices, and even while of so opposite a tendency may have given rise to the Rosicrucian building. It is true
that the one looks upon the work of the seven days as a volume open to the eyes of all, and which is to be studied by the usual means, while the others considered it as a profound mystery, that, defying the usual forms of exoteric enquiry was only to be attained by light from the east ; yet I can see nothing in this opposition of ideas and objects that at all militates against the notion of the thing having been derived from the source mentioned.
However little claims the Fama might in truth have to novelty, it did not fail to set all Germany in commotion, and to give a keener edge to the war between the Paracelsists and their opponents, the attack and defence assuming all the shapes of Proteus. While some maintained that the Fama was intended only as a satire upon the alchemists and cabalists, and that there was no such thing as a society of Rosicrucians in existence, others allowed the entity of the brotherhood, but would insist that they had their art from the devil, who indeed would seem in their day to have been very fond of playing the schoolmaster. This, however, was "the unkindest cut of all" to the Rosicrucians, and they resisted it accordingly. They declared themselves zealous Lutherans, equally opposed to Catholic and Calvinist, Jew and Mahomedan, in which there seems no reason for disbelieving them. So far as Rosicrucianism is connected with religion, its tenets are Protestant, and the state of the European world in that age, when the thirty years' war was raging throughout Germany, admitted of no compromise between the two great divisions of Christianity, even if Catholicism had not in its principles been opposed to a society having a secret theology for one of its objects. Besides, we have the repeated declarations of the Rosicrucian writers on the subject, themselves zealous Protestants. To quote one of many such instances, Flood says in his Compendious Apology; "Thus Lutherans, Calvinists, and others of the kind-thus also the BROTHERS-because they con
demn the Pope, and Mahomet, are to be deemed heretics, if we may believe the vain and threatening declarations of the Papists."*
Nor were they at less pains to shew the difference between their magia,† which they interpreted to mean wis
"Sic Lutherani, Calviniani, et hujusmodi alii, sic etiam fratres isti-quoniam Papam cum Mahumetâ damnaverunt-pro hæreticis habendi sunt, si Papistarum assertionibus vanis et minabundis fides adhibenda."—Apologia Compendiaria-Proœmiùm, p. 11.
In another part of the same work (p. 23,) he tells us that Magia is a Persian word signifying wisdom, and that there are different sorts of it, “naturalis,” “mathematica,” “venefica,” “necromantica," and "præstigiatrix."
The author of the Echo says, "So muss man wissen das nehmlich dreyerley Magie sey. Die erste, und allein rechte Magie ist die Göttliche, so sonsten Magia Cælestis, oder Divina Sapientia, das ist die Himlische oder Göttliche Weisheit, mag genennet werden, und von den Hebreern Mercana, zu Latein Sapientia Divinitatis, genandt wird, sonsten von ihnen Cabala geheissen." Echo, &c., Vorrede, p. 9. "It must be understood that there are three sorts of magic. first, and the only right one, is the Heavenly, which may be otherwise called Magia Cælestis, or Divina Sapientia, (that is the Celestial or Divine Wisdom) and is named by the Hebrews Mercana (Sapientia Divinitatis) or sometimes Cabala.
Flood goes upon a somewhat different tack, though with the same object in view. Quid, quæso, sibi proderint fratres sermone claro et clangore quasi buccinæ operationes suas mirabiles mundo divulgare, auresque hominum vanis rumoribus permulcere, si fidem promissorum absque iniquis magiæ astutiis præstare nequeant, cum in omni republicâ Christianâ ut necromantici, venefici, et incantatores, pæna capitali, patibulo aut igne multentur, decretum sit atque lege peculiari ordinatum. Sed quoniam D. Libavius in eâ sententiâ atque opinione fixus et nullo modo ab eâ removendus videtur, &c." Apologia Compendiaria, p. 9. 12mo. Leyden 1616.-" What, I pray you, would it avail the brethren to announce their marvellous operations to the world, plainly and as with the sound of a trumpet, and to tickle men's ears with vain reports, if they are unable to fulfil their promises without the evil sleights of magic, when in every Christian republic it is decreed and ordained by a special law that all necromancers, sorcerers, and en
dom in its highest form, and that vulgar magia, or magic, which was taught by the devil to his disciples. Nature, they contended, was still only half unveiled, many of her creations and modes of working, particularly in regard to medicine, being still mysteries, for our unassisted senses are not able to understand them. Great thanks therefore were due to the Rosicrucians, those indefatigable enquirers, who have so assiduously laboured to find out the key to such knowledge. Their most important secret was an universal medicine, a polychrest lying hid in nature, as their mysteries in general were nothing but her unre
chanters shall be punished by the gibbet or by fire. But since Libau seems to be fixed in that judgment and opinion, and by no means to be moved from it, &c."-therefore he goes on to enquire whether the brethren are inspired by God or the devil. The result is that they are acquitted of all dealings or packings with Diabolus, to the satisfaction of every one except the aforesaid Andrew Libau and his followers. But in truth Master Andrew never gave any quarter to the poor Rosicrucians, whom he pelted with his satirical tracts for years, and perhaps not altogether disinterestedly, for he was himself a physician of eminence, and seems to have heartily detested Paracelsus and all his doctrines. Still, if he were not inspired by the demon of contradiction, and really wrote from knowledge, he must have been far beyond his age, for in a time of the grossest superstition he rises above quackery and prejudice of every kind. In addition to his other merits in the cause of truth he demolished, so far as reasoning could demolish, two of the most popular fallacies-namely, that wounds might be cured by anointing the weapon that had inflicted them; and that the body of the murdered would bleed anew in the presence of the murderer; nor will it be considered as any substantial drawback on his merits, that his arguments were somewhat coloured by the feelings of his age. At the same time I do not see why he should so particularly connect these two superstitions with Paracelsus, as if they had originated with him, when one at least of them most assuredly belonged to a much earlier period. Paracelsus was not born till 1493, and the bleeding of corpses in the presence of the murderers is mentioned by Ficinus in 1490, not to mention that, we find repeated notice of it in the Anglo-Saxon records, not as an idle superstition, but in connection with the judgments of the law.
vealed powers. It was not however a single means, nor did it render a theoretical knowledge of medicine unnecessary.
Specious as such replies might be, they did not convince, or even soften their adversaries. The attack continued as hot as ever, but for a long time without producing any visible effect.* The belief in a Rosicrucian brotherhood, which had grown out of the FAMA, was exceedingly general, and numerous were the pamphlets addressed to them to participate in their secrets.† In many cases the writers gave their names, while others again
* This is particularly the case throughout the Fama Remissa, a pamphlet published in answer to the Fama Fraternitatis of Andrea.
+ Buhle has given short extracts from a multitude of these letters preserved in the library at Göttingen, (p. 181, et seq.) We have moreover ample testimony to the fact in the Speculum Sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum of Schweighart, a strange title, but it pleased him to atticise the name of the Rosicrucian by the ingenious adaptation of two Greek words,—þódov, a rose ; and ☛ravpòç, a stake—and thus produce this formidable title-page. In the very outset of his work he says, "Mir ist nicht unwissend, treuherziger Leser, mit wass grossem Appetit, doch mehr theils vergeblicher Hoffnung, nach dem Collegio, Losament, und Wohnhaus der so weit beschreiten Rosen-creutzerischen Brüderschaft von hoch-und-nider-Standts Personen bis dahero ist gebracht worden, in erachtung schier kein Tag zu Frankfört, Leipzig, und andern bekanten Orthen, sonderlich aber in der Stadt Prag, vergehen kann, da nit 10, 12, ja wol 20, oder mehr underschiedliche Personen bey Kunsthändlern, Buchführern, Kupferstechern, &c. solcher Sachen sich wass besser zuerholen vermeindlich understehen, &c."-" I am not unaware, true-hearted reader, with what eager, but for the most part fallacious hopes, enquiries have been made up to the present hour after the College, or dwelling of the so much talked of Rosicrucians, and that by people both of high and low rank; I am not unaware of this, I say, seeing that scarcely a day passes at Frankfort, Leipzig, and other known places, but particularly in the city of Prague, when ten, twelve, nay twenty, or even more, persons of all sorts do not faney they can get information of such matters from printsellers, book-keepers, engravers, &c."