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Gerald Massey Lectures

Gerald Massey Lectures

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Published by David Bailey

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Published by: David Bailey on Jul 02, 2012
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Gerald Massey's Lectures
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Gerald Massey, a man of many talents, distinguished himself as a social reformer, a poetand an Egyptologist. His fame rested mainly on the six monumental volumes in which hedealt at length on the mythology and religion of Ancient Egypt, and on his poetry.Although he was a capable lecturer, the lectures were not widely circulated, and were privately printed in an obscure volume. It is timely that this valuable collection is onceagain presented to Massey's increasing public.Relatively little is known of Massey's career. His humble birth at Gamble Wharf,Hertfordshire, England in 1829 held scant promise for the future. His parents wereilliterate--his father was a poorly paid canal boatman. His own early education wasmeager. Only occasionally was the young Massey able to attend the neighboring school,for which he paid one penny a week. From the age of eight he labored twelve hours aday. At first he found employment in a silk mill. When it was destroyed by fire, heworked as a straw-plaiter. Doubtless there were many such jobs until at fifteen he went toLondon as an errand boy. Later he was fortunate enough to become a haberdasher's clerk.It is evident that Massey improved his life at every opportunity. Not only did his
 positions become more responsible, but in his spare time he read literature, and wasinspired to write poetry. He even composed a popular song, which was so well-receivedthat it was exhibited in a London shop window. In passing the Editor of "TheAthenaeum", London's most distinguished periodical, noticed and bought a copy. Thesong, "The People's Advent," caught the Editor's fancy to the extent that the composer'sname--Gerald Massey--remained in his memory.A year later, his book of poetry readied for publication, Massey brought it with hope andhumility to the Editor of "The Athenaeum." The Editor, recognizing the author's name asthe composer of "The People's Advent," was predisposed to like the poems beforereading them. He wrote a brilliant, laudatory review of the poetry. The book-sellers of London, impressed by the review ordered the book with no hesitation. In one day the firstedition was sold out.Gerald Massey became increasingly interested in Egyptology. He studied the extensiveEgyptian records housed in the British Museum. He eventually taught himself to decipher the hieroglyphics. Finally after many years of study he wrote a series of scholarly workson the Religion and Mythology of Ancient Egypt. In 1881 he published in two volumes"A Book of the Beginnings," in 1883 "The Natural Genesis" followed, and finally in1907 he published in two volumes "Ancient Egypt: The Light of the World,".Through those long years of devoted study at the British Museum, Massey enjoyed thefriendship and wise counsel of Dr. Samuel Birch, an outstanding Egyptologist. Heattracted a following of dedicated students, who later were privileged to assist in hisresearch. Two of his most prominent co-workers were George St. Clair who authored"Creation Records Discovered in Egypt," and Dr. Albert Churchward, who wrote "TheOrigin and Evolution of the Human Race."When Massey lectured in America and Canada, he found himself surrounded with ablestudents. Miss E. Valentia Straiton, author of "The Celestial Ship of the North," and Dr.Alvin Boyd Kuhn, who wrote extensively on comparative religion. Dr. Kuhnacknowledged that in Gerald Massey had been a great inspiration to him. In fact in his posthumous work, "A Rebirth for Christianity," Dr. Kuhn called attention to the greatworth of Massey's research on Christian origins, as follows:"With brilliant scholarship and insight he pierced Egypt's enigmatic scriptology, anddocumented the provenance of both Old and New Testament literature from remoteEgyptian sources. He forced us to ask how the four Gospels of the Christian canon could be the biography of any Messianic personality living in the first Christian century, whenhe traced their texts back to Egyptian documents that must have been venerable even in3500 B.C."We are faced with the inescapable realization that if Jesus actually lived in the flesh inthe first century A.D., and if he had been able to read the documents of old Egypt, hewould have been amazed to find his own biography already substantially written somefour or five thousand years previously. Tertullian, Justin Martyr and other writers havenoted that the leaders of the Christian movement confessed that many of their doctrines,rites, creeds and symbols were identical with Egyptian antetypes. The late outstandingAmerican Egyptologist, James H. Breasted, found evidence of such similarities betweenthe Old Testament book, Proverbs, and addresses to the Pharaoh of Egypt dating as far  back as 3500 B.C. All this confirms Massey's conclusions." (pp. 39-40)Gerald Massey so impressed the novelist, George Eliot, that she made him the hero of one of her famous romances. Thus Massey became immortalized in literature as "FelixHolt the Radical."Among Massey's American friends and admirers was a prominent New York Journalistand publisher, D. M. Bernett. In the second edition of his "The World's Sages, Thinkersand Reformers" on page 967, Bernett says,"Gerald Massey is a warm-hearted, genial man, and as a companion and friend he has
few superiors. His interests and incentives are decidedly in the direction of Science andRationalism. He has many years been freed from the binding and blinding theologicalcreeds and obligations. He regards priestcraft as one of the great evils which mankind for thousands of years have been compelled to endure and support; and regards it as one of the most important works that men of the present time can engage in to demolish theidols of the past dark ages; to liberate the mind from the dwarfing and blighting effect of  pagan and Christian mythology and to dispense with the officious and expensive servicesof a designing, useless, aristocratic and wily priesthood. He most desires to see thehuman race advance in knowledge and truth and mental freedom, which science and philosophy imparts to the diligent investigator. He believes ignorance to be the Devil,Science the Savior of the world."For those who finish the reading of these lectures and desire a further acquaintance withthe works of Gerald Massey, there are his greater works beginning with "Ancient Egypt,the Light of the World."
Gerald Massey, though a poet, Shakespearian scholar, and renowned Egyptologist, is bestremembered by his unswerving convictions. His research led him to the conclusion thatin Africa alone could be found the origins of myths, mysteries, symbols, languages andreligions. Egypt was the mouthpiece.He did not hesitate to undertake to prove that all Christendom were the dupes of delusions. His zeal caused him to challenge the scientists, the theologians, the philologists, the anthropologists and sociologists. However, he did not rest his case there.He was too much the honest scholar for that. Therefore, he presented to his peers theabundant evidence resulting from his immense amount of research, which had been siftedthrough the most reliable authorities.In these present lectures Gerald Massey renewed his contention that the gnosis of Christianity was primarily derived from Egypt on various lines of descent--Hebrew,Persian, Greek, Alexandrian, Essenian and Nazarene. These converged in Rome wherethe history was manufactured from identifiable matter recorded in the ancient Book of Wisdom.It was during this period that he delivered the lecture on GNOSTIC AND HISTORICCHRISTIANITY. He clearly depicts the origin of Christianity and makes it unequivocalthat it was not derived from Buddhism. Jesus spoke repeatedly about the Father. Masseysaid, "The Buddha is the veiled God unveiled, the unmanifested made manifest, but not by the line of descent from Father to Son. Buddha was begotten by his own becoming before the time of divine paternity."Long before man uttered a verbal prayer, he expressed himself by actions or gesturelanguage.Massey discussed this at length in MAN IN SEARCH OF HIS SOULDURING FIFTY THOUSAND YEARS AND HOW HE FOUND IT. Present-day psychologists recognize gesture-language as an indication of man's true unexpressedattitudes, for unconsciously he assumes gestures revealing his thinking. The old cliché,"Actions speak louder than words," has come full circle and vindicated Massey.Massey had but one desire. He wanted to gain all the knowledge the past could affordhim, and then to supplement it with all that is known in the present. He maintained it wasimpossible to understand the present without a profound knowledge of the past. Unlessman comprehended the laws of evolution and past development, and of present survival,it was impossible to form an opinion that would be of value to anyone. With patience and

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