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learnt the secret of the Lux, i.e. freemasonry, in Judæa, and afterwards communicated it to the Druids, who of course then must also have been Freemasons. Now, everything in this statement is mere unsupported hypothesis, and that too of the most improbable kind. It is a supposition that the Jews were Freemasons; it is a supposition that Pythagoras learnt the craft from the Jews; it is a supposition that he taught it to the Druids; it is a supposition that the Druids ever knew any thing about such a pretended mystery. Even if we admit these unproved and very improbable assertions, we have to learn how the secret was transmitted from the priests of paganism to the followers of Christianity? Where are the evidences of such a transmission? and in the total absence of any thing of the kind, by what rule of logic are we to be led into the belief of so monstrous an improbability? Nor is this the only absuronly an attribute or property of matter, inherent in it and inseparable from it-that quality in fact which compels matter perpetually into fresh organizations, and which differs from life only as life is a result, seen in a particular combination of atoms, while soul is the allpervading principle. It could not have escaped the early philosophers that break up matter as you will, you cannot crush the vital principle out of it, though mind and the sentient power are strictly dependent upon organization. They must have seen that though the human brain mouldered into a myriad forms, all equally full of life, yet none of these forms had the same degree of intelligence with the atoms in their former combination. In this sense-namely as an attribute of matter-soul is intelligible enough; but as an independent entity we can have no idea of it, and they who have talked the most positively upon the subject-the deceived or the deceivers of all times-have never explained what they meant by soul. It was not matter, it was not life, it was not intelligence. Then what was it? they could not say. How were they conscious of its existence? they did not know. In other words, they had an idea of something of which they had no idea, a very satisfactory and philosophical conclusion. Let me not, however, be misunderstood; I am neither calling in question the beautiful doctrines of Christianity, nor denying the immortality of the soul. My arguments rather go to maintain both.
dity of the fiction. If Pythagoras obtained the lux, the real light, he must have been able to distinguish truth from error. But he believed in the metempsychosis, and his belief therefore is a sufficient voucher for its truth. Will the Freemasons allow this? did they receive from him the doctrine of metempsychosis,* a genuine part and parcel of his system, and do they now put any faith in it? Let my words, however, be taken as intended; I do not for a moment deny the possibility of the Druids having been taught a part at least of what they knew by Pythagoras; it has been so affirmed by Higgins and other writers, and we know from Cæsar that they made use of the Greek letters.†
Even then the Freemasons will have to show their connexion with the Druids. But this they can not do. Whenever they have attempted to give a history of their brotherhood prior to 1630, it has always been a history of architecture. They have traced the various buildings, and styles of building, from one period to another, as if that established the existence of their order. Wherever they could find any society, of which architects, or masons, were members, they have always affected to consider it as a branch of their fraternity. Thus Higgins, who, with little faith in anything else, is yet a stanch believer in the free-masonic nonsense, would fain connect his brotherhood with the so-called mathematicians, that is astrologers, that gave so much trouble in Rome. To be sure both Tacitus and Suetonius describe them as having
* Some have endeavoured to give another signification to the metempsychosis, and suppose it means, not the transmigration of the soul from one body to another, but a new birth in another cycle or world. (See Higgins's Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 790.) But this leaves the great point of absurdity undisturbed.
† De Bello Gallico, lib. vi.-xiv.
been a set of vagabonds,* against whom the senate found it requisite to enact severe laws in the vain hope of expelling them from the city. But we are to disbelieve all such authorities and hold fast by the new faith.
In the same way Higgins will have it that the Freemasons were connected with the Templars, who had also the misfortune of labouring under a particularly bad character. In claiming the relationship, therefore, it became a matter of policy to make their faces white, as a Persian would say, and above all to repel the ferocious attacks of Von Hammer, who had certainly made out a very ugly case against them. The laborious German sets out with saying that no doubt there were many good and simple folks among them, who were acquainted with the exoteric doctrines only
*"Facta," says Tacitus, "et de mathematicis magisque Italia pellendis, Senatus consulta, quorum e numero L. Pituanius saxo dejectus est." Annalium, lib. ii. s. 32. Again "Urgentibus etiam mathematicis, dum novos motus et clarum Othoni annum observatione siderum affirmant; genus hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibus fallax, quod in civitate nostrâ et vetabitur semper, et retinebitur." Hist. lib. i. sec. 22. A pretty set of kinsfolk the Freemasons must have had by their own showing. Even if we suppose the historian to have been too severe a judge, still the law against these vagabonds cannot be denied, and the whole Roman senate thus become witnesses against them. Nor can we attribute this edict to the ill will of the emperor, for at a yet earlier period similar enactments had been made against them. Valerius Maximus in his chapter upon Religion says, "C. Cornelius Hispallus, prætor peregrinus, M. Popilio Lænate, Cn. Calpurnio Coss. edicto Chaldæos-(this is the same fraternity) intra decimum diem abire ex urbe atque Italia jussit : levibus et ineptis ingeniis, fallaci siderum interpretatione, quæstuosam mendaciis suis caliginem injicientes." Val. Maxim. de Deitis, &c. lib. i. cap. iii. s. 2. But I might go on and fill pages with authorities for the utter worthlessness of these Mathematici or Chaldæi, who yet, according to Higgins, were Freemasons under another name.
+ Fundgruben des Orients. Sechster Band. Mysterium Baphometis Revelatum.
of the order, and these he admits were both moral and religious. But then he contends that the Templars had an esoteric faith, which was the exact reverse; and he proves it, I think, very sufficiently, from sculptures, stones, brasses, and a variety of idolatrous images, called Baphomets, which he explains to have been so named from two Greek words, signifying the "baptism of Mete, or Mind."'* This he supposes, with every appearance of reason, to have reference to the spiritual lustration by fire of the Gnostics, and in some of their sculptures we see goblets full of the etherial fire, and children about to undergo this heretical form of baptism. On other stones we find the hermaphrodite God of the Hindoos and Egyptians, and indeed all the symbols of some secret faith quite opposite to Christianity. Now in what way were such evidences as these to be disposed of?-simply by supposing that these idols were merely the material symbols of a spiritual philosophy, this being Mr. Higgins's mode of cutting every Gordian knot that troubles him. The Bible, the Koran, the Iliad, nay three parts of the characters that figure in poem or history are all so many emblems-mere shadows, not substances. But if we allow all this, the Gnostic worship was not exactly the creed of Moses or of Jesus. This connection, therefore, would be fatal to the extreme Christianity of the Free
Not contented with having established these doubtful relations for the brotherhood, the author of the Anacalypsis, next proceeds to identify them with the Assassins; but first, according to custom, he attempts to free the latter from the stains upon their character-in fact, to upset all history in regard to them. In Von Hammer's " History of the Assassins," he found an account of a certain House of
* Baon untεos, i. e. tinctura, seu baptisma Metis.
Wisdom that had been formed at Cairo towards the end of the tenth century by Hakem, and had thus arisen. Under Maimun, the seventh Abasside caliph, a certain Abdallah established a secret society, and divided his doctrines into seven degrees, after the fashion of Pythagoras and the Indian schools. The last degree inculcated the vanity of all religion, and the indifference of actions, which he would have it, are neither visited with recompense nor chastisement here or hereafter.* He appointed emissaries, whom he sent abroad to enlist disciples, initiating them in the different degrees according to their aptitude. In a little time these doctrines were improved upon, and Karmath, one of the most distinguished of his followers, contended of the Koran, as the most learned Jews did of Genesis, that it was to be understood allegorically, and in this way, as there is no limit to symbolical interpretation, they made the Koran say exactly what they pleased. The injunction to prayer meant nothing but obedience to a certain mysterious Imam, whom they pretended to be seeking; the injunction of alms-giving meant paying to him his tithes; and the command to fast signified silence as in regard to the Ismaelitish secrets. The Karmathites, the more violent branch of this sect, entering into open war with the Caliphs to subvert both the throne and religion, were at length rooted out with fire and the sword. But the more prudent portion, which worked in secret, under the general name of Ismaelites,
* Such too, or nearly such, was the ethic teaching of the Gnostics, who contended that prudence alone was virtue. "Hæc autem erat Gnosticorum doctrina ethica, quod omnem virtutem in prudentia sitam esse credebant, quam Ophitæ per Metem (Sophiam) et serpentem exprimebant, desumpto iterum ex Evangelii præcepto; estote prudentes ut serpentes,-ob innatam hujus animalis astutiam."—Fundgruben des Orents. tom. vi. p. 85.
Hammer, Hist. of the Assassins, p. 43.