Diagoras, the Melian, revealed the Orphic and Eleusian mysteries ; and was condemned by the people as an atheist. He also dissuaded his friends from being initiated into these mysteries, with the result that the city of Athens pro- scribed him and even set a price on his head. Socrates was no initiate but knew many of the truths and tried to teach the people ; the result was, a poison cup.
It has ever been thus and we of this twentieth century can no longer blame the Initiates of the Priesthood for not teaching the people the truth for they, as Christ, tried to teach them, but the masses were not willing to receive their teaching. Aristides stated that the welfare of Greece was secured by the Eleusinian mysteries alone.
In fact, the Greeks placed their chief happiness in them. Euripides makes Hercules say, ' ' I was blest when I got sight of the mysteries;" and it was a proverbial speech, when any one thought himself in the highest degree happy, to say, "I seem as if I had been initiated in the Higher Mysteries.
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It is no wonder that all countries received these degenerates. They could not give the truth nor the true initiation and the result was a prostitution of the real mysteries with the con- sequent foul deeds. Such was the original of those horrid impieties committed in the mysteries of Bacchus at Rome, of which the historian Livy has given an account, for, in the beginning of his story, he tells of the mischief which was occasioned by one of these priests?
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The words of Livy show that the mysteries were, in their own nature, a very different affair, and were for the improvement of knowledge and virtue. The Hierophants, Priests and Initiates were not to blame, they kept the mysteries in their first purity; — it was those who knew nothing who did the evil. And just as fast as these profane mysteries were taken up by the people, just that much did the real Initiates draw away from the people until at last only the foul remains of clandestine priests remained and the true mysteries were no longer known to the people.
Christ and many of his disciples were Initiates of these mysteries, as is easily proven. The Eucharist they emphatically denominated the mystery of mysteries; and also, by autonomy, the mystery, or in the plural, the mysteries.
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And you may everywhere read in the writings of the fathers, when treating of the holy communion, the words phrieta, mysteria, or aporeton, mysterion, referring to those that were to be divulged and those that were not. Christ and his teachers, or co-teachers, were Initiates and knew the truths as taught in the initia- tion. They tried to teach the mysteries to the people but found they could not teach the masses without the forms and rites of the mysteries. It is thus simply the same old story as in the time of Ancient Egypt. It is ever thus. An inner and an outer mystery..
The inner which belonged to the fathers or Initiates, and an outer which was to be given to the masses.
In the Greek liturgies and elsewhere hiera telete and cryphia kai epiphobos telete the hidden and awful mystery means the Eucharist. Tully had before affirmed that the Athenian mysteries brought to the dying tThe Lord's Supper is nothing more or less than the con- summation of the development or initiation of an aspirant.
When he reached the last of the mysteries, i. This is the meaning of that much abused term.
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This was known centuries before the Christian period. It corresponds correctly with both the number of ceremonies and with the seasons of the Ancient Mysteries and there is again nothing new in this, or anything which originated with the Christians. SThis also is exactly that which we find in the Ancient Mysteries. The entering of the aspirant, during which stage he had to purify himself in thoughts, in living and in all other things. The training and development and the final mysteries. The consummation, in which he found that he was the very "Son of God," or in other words, that he was the " living temple of the living God," as Christ taught us that we were.
And, therefore, you may read in the fathers that the end of the holy mystagogies was deification, and that those who faithfully received them should in the life to come be Gods. Athanasias has used the verb theopoiesilta to deity in the same sense, and subse- quently confirmed it by saying', 'that by partaking of the spirit we are united to the God-head.
The mystery of Christ is no less than to find the Christ within ourselves through certain de- velopment, purification, mediation, etc. This can be ac- complished as the sacred fraternity at this day is proving. Jesus taught that we, like him, were all the ''Sons of the Living God" and that it was only necessary to follow his instructions in order to obtain the book of immortality, or the becoming of the Sons of God.
In other words, if, in accordance with the words of Jesus himself, God can be brought to dwell in us, why then are we not deified? Surely this must be so or the very foundation of the Christian religion is a farce. It is truth however, as true as it was in the true Egyptian Mysteries or Initiation.
However, the belief or disbelief of man neither hurts nor does any good to either the old or the new mysteries. And we show that the same were used in the Ancient Mysteries. The formula pronounced by the deacons, 'De- part hence, all ye catechumens, all ye possessed and un- initiated,' corresponds with the 'procul este prof am' of the ancients.
Many rites of the ancients were performed in the night, and Guadentius has the expression ' splendidissima nox vigiliarium, the brightest night of the vigils. And as to what we have said of the silence observed by the ancients in their secret devotions, the ancient or first Christians so far approved, that they exceeded all their mysteries in that ob- servance.
And as Seneca has observed, the most holy of the sacred rites were known to the initiated only; and Jam- blichus on the philosophy of the Pythagoreans has dis- tinguished between the aporreta which could not be carried aboard, and the exphora, which might ; so the early Chris- tians distinguished their whole doctrines into those which might be divulged to all the exphora and the aporreta, or arcana, which were not rashly to be disclosed. Their dogmas, says Basilus, they kept secret, their preaching was public.
And Chrysostom, treating of those who were baptized for the dead, says, 'I verily desire to relate the matter fully, but I dare not be particular, because of the uninitiated. Towards the end of the first century, Christians were divided into two orders, distinguished by the names of believers and catechumens.
As they were not allowed to assist at the celebration of the eucharist the deacon dismissed them, after sermon, with this formula, "Itc catcchumeni missa est.
These words, or, as expressed in Greek, Isasin oi pemuemenoi, forms what may be called the watchword of the secret, and occur constantly in the fathers. Thus St. Chrysostom, for instance — in whose writings Casaubon remarked the recur- rence of this phrase at least fifty times, in speaking of the tongue comment in Psalm , says, "reflect that this is the member with which we receive the tremendous sacri- fice — the faithful know ivhat I speak of. Hardly less fre- quent is the occurrence of the same phrase in St.
Augustin, who seldom ventures to intimate the eucharist in any other way than by the words "quod norunt fideles. The first for all, in which all people could share, but the second only for those who were preparing them- selves for the greater. There is no difference whatever be- tween the Ancient and the Christian Mysteries except in the name. How much more must it be due to such mysteries as, if they were once discovered, could not escape immediate punish- ment from the hands of man. But they wanted the means of knowing esactly the time when it should be necessary for them to prepare for the inundation.
The flowing of the river beyond its banks hap- pened some days sooner or later, when the sun was under the stars of the lion. Near the stars of Cancer, though pretty far from the band of the Zodiac towards the south, and a few weeks after their rising, they saw in the morning one of the most brilliant, if not the largest star of the whole heavens, ascending the horizon. It appeared a little before the rising of the sun, which had rendered it almost invisible for a month or two before.
The Egyptians then took the rising of this magnificent star as the infallible sign of the sun's passing under the stars of Leo, and the beginning of the inundation. The star thus became the public mark, on which every one was to keep a watchful eye, not to miss the instant of retiring to the higher ground.
It warn- ed them of the danger, whereupon they called it Thaaut or Thayuat, the dog; they called it also the Barker, the Travels in Search of a Religion, Phila. The connection of this star and the rising of the river caused the people to call it more commonly the Nile star, or simply the Nile. The Egyptians gave it also in later times, the name of Sothis or Thotes, which is the same with his other name, Thot, the God, with simply a different pronunciation.
It was thus necessary for the Egyptians to carefully observe the termi- nation of the vernal winds, the return of the northern, which began with the summer, and at last the rising of the dog-star,t which had so much importance to them. When this wind failed to occur at this period, or was too light to be of use in causing the swelling of the Nile to a sufficient height, a general sadness of the people ensued. The constant blowing during the forty days that followed the rising of the dog star are called the dog days, and from this comes our modern dog days.
Sirius is the second decan or constellation of the zodiacal sign "Gemini. On the Den- clera zodiac Sirius is represented as the eagle or hawk. This symbol was peculiarly applicable to the Egyptians who inhabited the delta, who by placing a reliance upon the warning providently given by this star, and in consequence retiring to the high ground with the produce of their agri- culture, might enjoy the comforts that surrounded them.
This same necessity which rendered the Egyptians astronomers made them also painters and writers. The in- spection of the heavens had taught them at last how to regu- late their tillage, so strangely crossed by that disposition which was peculiar to Egypt. The custom of giving sym- bolical names to the objects that served them as rules most naturally led them to delineate the figures of these symbols in order to inform the nation of the works in common to be done, and the annual events with regard to which it was dangerous to misreckon.
This service was performed by a Guardian, the Victorious. So the rod that promised to come forth from the root of Jesse is called Netzer in the Hebrew Bible and is there translated "the branch," the princely scion who should "smithe the earth with the rod of His mouth, and slay the wicked with the sign of His breath," and this Prince is at once "the Sent Prince, the Messiah," the Netzer of Isaiah and the Naz-Seir of these equally prophetic constellations.
And this is Him of whom Matthew said, "He came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophets, He shall be called Naz- Seir-ener Matt. The Hawk and the Hoop. The hawk and the hoop were the names and the sym- bolical figures given the two winds, the return of which the Egyptians were most concerned to observe. The hawk sig- nified the Etesian northern wind, which, in the beginning of the summer, drove the vapors towards the south, and which, covering Ethiopia with thick clouds, there resolved into rains, and made the Nile swell all along its course.
The hoop, on the contrary, signified the southern wind, which promoted the draining of the waters, and the return of which proclaimed the measuring of the lands and the time of sowing. As to the analogy, and their peculiar resem- blance, between a hawk and the northern, and a hoop and the southern winds: Naturalists observed that the hawk delights in the north ; but that at the return of mild weather, and when she casts her feathers, she makes southward with her wings spread, and looks towards the place whence a warm air comes, which may assist the falling of her own feathers, and re- store to her the beauties of youth.
In times of the remotest antiquity, and even before Moses, the Arabians, who were the neighbors and allies of the Egyptians, had an idea of the hawk in all respects like that which naturalists now give us.
In the conversation which God had with Job, and in which he shows that it is not man, but the Creator, who, by a special providence, has varied all the parts of nature, and to good purpose has regulated the inclinations of ani- mals: "Does the hawk, He said to him, by thy wisdom shake her old feathers, to get rid of them, and stretch her wings towards the south f" Job The hoop, on the contrary, makes her way from south to north. She lived on the small worms, an infinite number of which were hatched in the mud of the Nile.
She took her flight from Ethiopia into higher Egypt, and from thence towards Memphis, where the Nile divided. She always followed the course of the Nile, as it retired within its banks, down to the sea. From this method of hers she w r as eminently fit to characterize the direction of the south wind. The warning given by the dog star being their most important concern, the Egyptians from its rising anciently dated the beginning of their year, and the whole series of their feasts.