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King the Gnostics 7

King the Gnostics 7

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Published by: Farlang on Sep 16, 2009
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06/04/2013

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THE GNOSTICS
AND
THEIR REMAINS.
d"!!
GNOSTIC TIIEOGONY.Theseveral grades in the Gnostic Theogony,through all ofwhichthe soul had to passbefore itcould attain tosupreme
perfection,arebrieflyset beforeus inthis passage ofthePistis
Sopma (^2
7)
:
"
And when
the
Saviour
had
said allthesethingsunto
11
is
disciples, Andrew came forward
and
spoke
:
'
Lord,
benot
wroth with me, but have compassion upon
meand
reveal
the
mystery of the word which
I
will
ask
Thee,
otherwiseit is
a
hard thing
in my
sight
and I
understand
it
not.' Then
the
Saviour answered
and
said unto
him:
4
Inquire whatthouwouldst inquire
and I
will declare
the
same unto
thee,
faceto
face,
and without
a
parable.' Then Andrew answered
and
said
:
'
Lord,
I
wonder
and
marvelgreatly
howmen
that
be
in this world, when they
are
departedfrom out
of
this bodyof
Mttter,
and
have gone
out ofthe
world,
how
shalltheypass through these •rirmanents, and. allthese
rulers,
and
lords,
and
gods,
and all
these Great Invisible
Ones,
and all
thesethat belong
tothe
Middle-space,
and
those that belong
to
the place
of
themupon
the
righthand,
and all the
greatemanations
ofthe
same,
so
that they
may
comewithin(beyond)them
all,
so
thatthey
may
inherit
the
kingdom
of
Light? Thisbusiness,therefore, Lord,isfullof trouble in
my
sight.' When Andrew
had
thusspoken,
the
spirit
ofthe
Saviour
was
moved withinTlim,
and he
cried
out and
said:
'
How long shall
I
bear with you,
how
long shall
I
sufferyou !Do you then
not
understand
at
all,
and
are ye
still ignorant?Know
ye
not and
do ye not
understandthat
ye
areall angels,and archangels,
and
rulers,
and
lords,
and
gods,
and the
other
Powers,
and the
glory thereof;
you
from
yourselves
and
in
yourselves
in
turn, proceeding
out of one
mass,
and one
matter,
and
one being,andall proceeding out of
one
confusion.
*
Keoao^uJts,
i.e.
the
mixture
of
which
it wasthe
object
of the
the Light Divine with bruteMatter,Saviour
s
coining
to
rectify.
 
O^i2
THE GNOSTICS AND THEIR REMAINSAnd by the commandment of theFirstMystery tins confusionmust needs be, untilthegreat emanationsof Light and the glory of thesame shall have cleansed it;and theyshall cleanse itnot ofthemselves, but through the compulsion ofthe Great Ineffable One. And they have not received torments,neither have they changed their places at all, neitherhave they despoiled themselves, nor transformed themselvesinto various figures, neither have they been in the lastaffliction.
For 
this cause chiefly ye are the dregs of theTreasury-house, and ye are the dregs of them that pertain tothe right hand, and ye are the dregs of the great Invisible
Ones,
and of all the
liulers,
and in a word ye are the dregs ofthem
all.
And ye were
m
great
sorrows,
and afflictions, andtransforniations, and
m
sundry shapes of this world; and byreason of these sorrows, ye were in agony and fought withthisworld and all theMatterthat is therein, and ye did not slackenyourhandsinfightingagainst it until ye had found out themysteries ofthekingdomof Light,which rendered
you,
who fought, a pure Light, andyewere made the pure
Light.'
"
All which implies the grand idea that Man, although madeiciior, inough cognate stun:, to tlie Angelic Powers, issusceptible, through the attainment
of knowledge, of 
a perfectionsuperior to theirs.
THE SCHEME OF THE OPHITES.
Gnostic symbols, with their uses in this life and in that tocome have thus far been the subject of our investigation
;
whichnaturally leads us to consider the ideas that their devisersentertained of the constitution of the next world and of thenature of the soul itself. As to the former of these deeplyinteresting questions, the Gnosis specially laboured to afford theexactest information to its disciples; and in this class the onepreserved by Origen (m Celsum
vi.),
leaves nothing to bedesired in point of
fulness,
and may confidently be accepted asthe most authoritative of
aft
such celestial
cartes
de route.
 
THE GNOSTICS AND THEIR REMAINS. 343This learned Father had, by some means or other, becomepossessed of a parchment chart on which were depicted thesuccessive stages of the soul's heavenward journey, with theseveral
Powers
* it must encounter in itsflight,and the properinvocations (specimens of which I have already given)whereby it should extort permission to traverse their do
minions.
This chart was known to the faitntul as the
" Schema,
or Diagramma, of the
Ophites.
Amongst theseinvocations the one addressed to lao, genius
01
trie moon, ispeculiarly important as illustrating the use of the mostnumerous class of the talismans we are considering.
(J
thouthat president over the mysteries of the Father and of the Son,lao who shinest in the
night,
who holdest the second
place,
theFirst Lord of Death, who makest part of that which is withoutGod! In presenting to thee thine own
memorial
(or likeness)as a token (or passport) I swiftly traverse thy domain afterhaving conquered through the Word of Life that which wasborn of
Thee."
The MSS>. read
rov 
LOLOV 
ira-o
VOW o-vfi.poAov,
which has no meaning, but can only be the corruption of
rryv ISiav 
inrovoiav,
a word often used by Plutarch in the sense of
symbol.
Now what else could this
"
memrrial
'
of lao be buthis own image engraved in gems? This deity is btyled
"
Lordof
Death,"
because the moon (Isis) presides over the birth,development and change, of which death is the necessary consequence, of things terrestrial.*
Tliis
was merely an adaptation have had a C'haldsoan origin, even
to the new notions of the sect of
t
lie
more a.icient than
the
r.gyptian,old Egyptian ritual always placed, Lane-Fox and others have translatedentire or in
part,
within the rnummy-
a
tahlet giving
an
accniiut
of the
case,
and
entitled,
"
The Book
of
descent
of the
goddess Islitar intothe
Gates,
concerning the manifesta-
Hades,
"the Land
of no
Leturn.
tion rinto the
Light."
These
Gates,
The Lord of Earth gives her
a
greenleading to the palace of
Osiris,
were bough of the If
tree,
and she passesone-aad-twenty iu number, and were successively through the Seven
Gates,
guarded each by its particular deity, surrendering
at
each
in
order,
her
to
be
duly addressed
in his
turn. crown, ear-rings, head-jewels, front-The papyrus of I'etamenoph, other-
lets,
finger and toe-rings,
and
neck-wise Ammonius (d. under
Hadrian),
lace.
The Lord of Hades gives
her
has been admirably explained
and a
cup of the Water
of
Life,
and
she
translated by Champolion, and pub-
returns,
receiMng
DHCK
jev\ci&
inlished
in
Caillaud's '"Voyage
a
the same order
in
which she gave
Meroe, iv.
p.
*2'_.
Or the belief may them up.

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