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Louis-Claude Saint-Martin
The Decades

Texts in English

1912 - 1910
«The books inform!»

Edition du C R P Noeux les mines 2011



In a world full of noughts comes a man who used the words of God to show us the life, the real life! Thus come to us the strange reappearance of initiations! What a word: initiation! A word with all its spires and gateways!

The doctrines and literature of initiations are offered here not to a silly approval, but for the use of some “discernement”! Is there a secret? Is there a secret tradition? If yes, what is the purpose? If no, why did “they claim” an oath! How dare any Grand Master to deal his personal reveries for Truth!

You have to be concerned with questions belonging to any critical scholarship! To read a text is not to swallow it! If you want to understand, you have to learn more and more, till you know it valuable! Valuable for you, at least!

The texts below represent the views of some writers of the 20th Century. It is their understanding of some facts. Is it more? You have to use your own mind and some Reason, no more, no less! Then, it is possible to learn from the way of the heart to marry Sophia! Cyvard MARIETTE-LENGAGNE


A history of French literature? - Page 603 Charles Henry Conrad Wright - 1912 - 964 pages

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY France CHAPTER I THE EMPIRE THE liberator Napoleon soon proved a tyrant: literature and oratory languished under the censorship and threats of imprisonment. The discourses of politicians were no longer heard, and Napoleon alone was free to harangue his troops and tell them how "forty centuries looked down on them from the Pyramids," or disguise in the language of moderation and statesmanship the lawlessness of the usurper. One group of men Napoleon could not crush: these were the philosophers, the Ideologists, whom he scornfully called the ideologues. They were no new invention, but the successors and disciples of Condillac, Helvétius, and the philosophes; and Condorcet, and Volney, whom we have already studied, belong to the line of filiation. But under the new régime, these "nebulous metaphysicians," as Napoleon also called them, still inspired by the principles of freedom which the Revolution had failed to establish, represented the spirit of liberal opposition in politics, literature, and philosophy, or the rights of reason untrammelled by imperial discipline. Their influence, too, made itself felt in many of the newly-established scientific schools and bodies: the Normal, Central, and Polytechnic schools, the Institute. At the Normal School, established under the Convention, the lecturers had included Volney, no less than Saint-Pierre and La Harpe, and the mathematicians Laplace, Lagrange, and Monge. The periodical of this school of thinkers was the Décade philosophique, and the social centre was the group of Auteuil, gathered about the widow of Condorcet and her sister, the wife of Cabanis. The school, it may be seen, stands for the anti-religious attitude. [601]

Without going so far as the mystic Saint-Martin. Cabanis was the creator of physiological psychology in France." with emphasis on the former as more accessible to direct experiment. Vol. The Ideologists are neglected today. the translator of Jacob Bohme and follower of Swedenborg. had the hard-headed logical aptitudes of both origins. the friend of Franklin. and he and De Tracy were the precursors. He described the relation. not merely of worn-out creeds. so that Daunou. there were opposed to them those thinkers. J. the “philosophe inconnu” as he called himself. and devoted himself to physiology and psychology. just as the stomach acts and reacts on food for the production of tissues. but of more vital systems of evolution and of positivism. Ginguene. Cf . disclaimed any real knowledge of first causes. Fauriel occupied somewhat the position of a French Herder. critics more than 1 Daunou (1761-1840) initiated Sainte-Beuve into both the literary and the philosophical traditions of the eighteenth century. His interest is in logic and the problems of knowledge. Portraits contemporains.-B." swept away metaphysics. Say in economics. but they belong to I the genealogy of positive science. of Scotch origin and a collateral descendant of the Jansenist Arnauld. by what was perhaps even to him only a figure of speech. far from being a ''nebulous metaphysician. but he still rested philosophy on physiology. and his Logic. the author of the Rapports du physique et du moral. Cabanis (1757-1808) a doctor. helped to introduce a better method into their fields of study." and its function is to produce images and group them. he united them and made physiology and psychology one. Fauriel11. 4 . in his Elements d'idéologie. in saying that "the brain digests impressions and secretes thought. such as the phrenology of Gall and Spurzheim.[page 602 vue 620] The chief Ideologists were Cabanis and Destutt de Tracy. Raynouard in historical research. The Ideologists did not represent the only philosophical [603] school of their time. Studying the relations between the body and "soul. IV. Destutt de Tracy (1781-1864). Cabanis and Destutt de Tracy are but the most prominent representatives of a whole scientific school occupied with the various divisions of the intellectual life. his Grammar. and Fauriel (1772-1844) into historical method and the widening of knowledge and sympathy of the nineteenth.

not regulating [604] every action. They stood for the reaction against the French Revolution and a return to the spirit of Catholicism. His treatise on Baconian philosophy is a mass of vituperation and abuse. but attacked it with its own tools of argumentation and reason. An intellectual descendant of the old Scholastic and rigidly argumentative theologians. His life was not a happy one: whether by his own fault or not. though his Soirées de Saint-Pétersbourg take the form of fluid Platonic entretiens. called the Traditionalists. The chief of these thinkers were the comte Joseph de Maistre and the vicomte de Bonald. As God is the source of authority. And so Maistre comes to justify warfare and the executioner. between whom there were great similarities. Like those French thinkers who at the end of the nineteenth century announced the bankruptcy of science. the world is a gross representation of the celestial reality. was not a Frenchman and came to Paris only once in his life for a brief period. much as in the old allegorical interpretations. The individual may suffer unjustly. Joseph de Maistre (1754-1821). the judge. but leaving to men a certain freedom that sins may be the better punished. applying the lex talionis. and men of science called forth his curses. though their conclusions were independently of science. though a great name in French literature. he places religion above everything else. His disappointments seem. To him. He might seem to have about him something of the "man with a grievance. For by chastisement men's sins are atoned. they proclaimed at its beginning the failure of eighteenth-century philosophism. on him depend the representatives 5 . he spent nearly fifteen years as minister of his sovereign in Russia." did not the brilliancy of his conversation and the amenity of his correspondence testify to wit and graces. and his theory is one of cruelty and inhumanity. but he is a part of humanity undergoing retribution for collective misdeeds. The spirit of modem times was to him anathema. he was constantly struggling against injustice and lack of appreciation on the part of the king. as the agent of God. however. A native of Savoy and an official of the king of Sardinia. to have soured his view of life. God rules the world by the principle of authority. Maistre is the chief religious mediaevalist of modem times.

Thus Maistre is the great religious reactionary of modem times. was entrusted by the Academy with the drawing-up of an orthodox Tableau of literature since 1789. the fiercest political iconoclasts tended to be literary conservatives. the pope above the monarch in the religious sphere. Maistre is the firm partisan of kingship against any form of government which. and he did more than any one else to create the state of mind which resulted in the proclamation of papal infallibility in 1870. Marie. but the active cause is God instead of sensation. at every step. means. and effect. to Rousseau's doctrines of the independence of primitive man and the free contract. 6 . He is no less hostile to what seemed to him to verge on heresy in the Catholic church.Joseph Ch6nier.of sovereignty: the monarch in the temporal. encountered persecution. Bonald2 considers man as passive. such as that of Mme de Staël. implies a solution of continuity. Gallicanism (De l'église gallicane). The world is created by God and in the image of God. Thus Bonald is nothing but an inverted eighteenth-century philosophe. It is obvious how. The reaction against the Revolution necessitated [605] conservative judgments and the rule of the old Classical spirit expressed in the grand style. the bar and the pulpit had to re-echo the praises of Napoleon. Independence of mind. The legislative bodies were reduced to impotence. become Journal de l'Empire. The newspapers were closely watched and the Journal des Débats. like republicanism. The other important Traditionalist was Louis de Bonald (1754-1840). or the even worse Jansenism. who undertook to prove everything by a sort of rule of three in which the terms were cause. all that the others had attributed to matter. Joseph de Maistre is opposed to the spirit of the eighteenth century: to the anti-religious Voltairianism. Under the Empire criticism had to be subordinate to the censorship. Moreover. was alone smiled upon by authority. replacing by the word "God" and thus ranging himself as a spiritualist. Among critics occupied in rhetorical compositions on the 2 Passage à comparer avec lcsm sur sa différenciation entre table rase et table rasée. he is in his treatise Du Pape the leader in doctrines of "ultramontanism" and papal infallibility. a tabula rasa without innate ideas. Therefore. a cut and dried logician. the former Jacobin. just as the most pronounced Condillacian would have done. by a peculiar but not unparalleled manifestation.

such as the Mysteries of Udolpho. ou l'enfant de la forêt and Coelina. Victor. or in reviling the audacity of the scientists. Joubert is but little read by the French. Joseph Joubert (1754-1824). His preferences were for the seventeenth century. 7 . the friend of men like Fontanes and Chateaubriand. and particularly of Corneille. perhaps partly because Voltaire had ventured to criticise that poet in his Commentaire. "take it away!" But writers like Ducray-Duminil flourished. Dussault. His chief books. of women of talent like Mme de Beaumont and Mme de Vintimille. The production of novels in the Empire days was large. and is perhaps more appreciated by the cultivated English-speaking people as a result of Matthew Arnold's essay. became the dramatic critic of the Journal des Débats and the founder of the feuilleton criticism of current dramatic literature. Napoleon was a prolific reader of literature of a certain kind. a partisan of the seventeenth century. Napoleon himself liked to lay down the law with regard to the drama besides listening to his favorite actor Talma. the valetudinarian and recluse. ou l'enfant du 3 1. and his wise judgments place him high among the interpreters of literature. was gathered. and would analyse the Cornelian heroes from the standpoint of the imperial usurper. though Hoffman. Radcliffe's novels. and Vauvenargues. He was a dry and narrow as well as vicious critic. Ossianesque in vagueness and sentimental in plot. who had begun his career as the successor of Fréron in the Année littéraire. Feletz had reputation in their day.3 1 Louis Fontanes (1757-1821). He could not stand Mme de Stael or Chateaubriand for political reasons. the Pensées. La Rochefoucauld. after composing placid stories for the young. Julien-Louis Geoffroy (1743-1814). with reservations. who had begun his career by mildmannered but not immeritorious meditative poetry. as opposed to the eighteenth. left at his death many papers. "More novels ending in A!" he said when Atala appeared. This author.beauties of the seventeenth-century literature. fell under the influence of translations of Mrs. became finally Grand Master of the University and dispenser of Napoleon's literary favors. But as a moralist be deserves a place after Pascal. from which in 1838 a posthumous volume [606] of fragments afterwards enlarged. only Geoffroy and Fontanes stand in the first rank.

strange disguises. imprisoned heroines. had tremendous vogue. or "pompier. the Russian Swedenborgian mystic.mystère. But its mechanical side in its degeneracy may be seen in Brifaut's play. and for political considerations due to the war in Spain. Lemercier's Pinto is looked upon as a precursor of the historical comedy and Romantic drama." because the heroes of Classical painting and play. with their Greek or Roman helmets. originally intended to be a Spanish drama named Don Sanche. the brother of Joseph de Maistre and himself a general in the Russian service. Pigault-Lebrun was the counterpart of Ducray-Duminil from the standpoint of popularity in "improper" literature. transferred to Assyria and changed without difficulty into Ninus II. and the Lépreux de la vallée d'Aoste. Mme Cottin's no less eminently moral but calmer stories such as Elisabeth are still known to oldfashioned English readers. all embalmed in moralisings and virtuous instructions. was the author of Valerie. Népomucène Lemercier's Agamemnon in 1797 marked the real climax of the Classical school. [607] Poetry and the drama ran in a very thin stream under the Empire. modified under orders from the censor. murders. They were of the type of literature that the irreverent Romanticists were to call "vieille perruque. and the like. There were. Ducray-Duminil's stories had the usual paraphernalia of the English "School of Terror. The greatest popular success of the period was Raynouard's Templiers. Mechanical tragedies patterned after Corneille and Voltaire were galvanised into life by Talma. fatally suggested a French fireman's headpiece. however. Xavier de Maistre." ruined houses. novels of a different character. in which the author drew his subject from French history instead of from antiquity. such as the Voyage autour de ma chambre. the instigator of the Holy Alliance. Mme de Krüdener." because of the wigs of the old fogey conservatives faithful to the fashions of their youth. and through her influence over the emperor Alexander of Russia. or by Mlle Georges and Mlle Mars. mysterious bells. and then only if they passed the censorship. published in 1803. Luce de Lancival's Hector was another epoch-making play. wrote several works of fiction under the influence of Sterne. though he hated the Romanticists. 8 .

precursors of Lamartine. Macpherson's Ossian itself. The dreamy sentiment of Millevoye. and fables. Fortunately all poetry was not given over to gloom. found a translator in Baour-Lormian (1770-1854). Clotilde de Surville. as became the bards of imperial heroism. already discussed. The specific comedy writers were Picard. among other things. and of Chênedollé (1769-1833). or poured forth verses to order for state functions. there was less pretence. of which the Meunier de Sans-Souci remains in all anthologies. and said it at great length. was in vogue. the marquis de Surville. ballads and songs of pseudo-mediaevalism. Arnault (1766-1834) was another ambitious playwright who 9 . As he came riding Home from the war. in his Veillées poétiques et morales. comedies. inspired by Young. and caused great discussion. still accepted without controversy. though there was little vigor and originality. Often the lyricism found expression in the genre troubadour. of which we have an example in English in some of the songs of Thomas Haynes Bayly: Gaily the troubadour Touched his guitar. and Etienne. verse stories. The Classicists wrote solemn epics drawn from national history. The witty Classicist Andrieux (1759-1833) wrote. Chateaubriand complained of the way [608] in which Chênedollé ransacked him for motives and inspiration. Delille and his school gave out their descriptive poetry and drawing-room treatises on agriculture.His Christophe Colomb caused riots and deaths at the performance because of some bold rhymes and epithets. In lyric and elegiac verse. even tried the experiment of Chatterton and of Macpherson. and wrote a large collection of archaic stanzas which were published as the authentic productions of a fifteenthcentury ancestress. who likewise. Alexandre Duval. The poets were numerous and voluble: they had nothing to say. developed the willow and cypress melancholy which was an element of the milder form of Romanticism. One writer.

which had its ultimate source in the lunatic Rousseau. François-René de Chateaubriand was born in 1768 at Saint-Malo in Brittany.won a name with posterity rather for his epigrammatic fables. and one of his sisters became insane and probably committed suicide. stamped on his school. the founder of Romantic literature and the most important figure of the first half of the nineteenth century. It was she who went insane. backed up by his insidious footnotes. after all. had. In 1786. or Rennes. but who awakened in him his literary taste. The “Caveau moderne” a successor to the eighteenth-century associations. and Romanticism. one whose melancholy. and the unfavourable criticism of Sainte-Beuve. and his Monsieur et Madame Denis and Paris à cinq heures du matin belong to the undying répertoire of the French chanson. oppressed by the melancholy and ennui from which he was never free. His only consolation was the sympathetic companionship of his sister Lucile. he became an 10 . the greatest song writer along with Stranger. a prey to childish visions and dreams. an example of the vicissitudes of literary renown. Dinan. Chateaubriand was. a creature more morbid and unfit to live than he. During his lifetime no one in the universe more nearly reached deification. had as chief founder Désaugiers (1772-1827). came near being pathological. Chateaubriand was not a normal being. Yet no sooner was he gone than unfortunate circumstances connected with the publication of his memoirs. When not at school at Dol. He was the son of a morbidly taciturn man. … CHAPTER III CHATEAUBRIAND CHATEAUBRIAND is. and which led him to think of suicide. destroyed a reputation which has only recently been recovered. just before his father's death. as father. he spent his time in the gloomy parental manor of Combourg. with Ronsard and Hugo.

but it is one of the great dates in French literature. but who proved to be of the saintly type. hununing-birds. and will admire his descriptions. like his landscapes. It marked the true awakening of the man of letters. As to his crazy American flora and fauna. past forests with trees bound together by festooned creepers.officer in the army. On the other hand. was tropical. he gave up his journey and returned at once to France. A royalist nobleman and partisan of the king. One night in the wilderness Chateaubriand came upon a tattered newspaper in English. blue herons. including the sea voyages. reaching home penniless. he was no scientific observer but an imaginative writer who put into nature what he thought should be there. and Beltrami's Pilgrimage. and water-lilies. he started in 1791 to America to discover the Northwest Passage. if he had remained near Niagara. and who lived almost as long as he did. where stagger bears drunk with grapes. The ferret-critic will also add that he had read the Père Charlevoix's Histoire et description de la Nouvelle France. He soon let his family marry [618] him to a young woman for whom he felt no predilection. as it has been suggested he did. he could have found there as much material for literary treatment as in the south where the scenes of his stories lie. oaks. not for their exactness but for their beauty. This journey to the United States lasted less than a year. it disclosed a new source of local coloring which set the fashion and gave Chateaubriand material that lasted him through life. So Americans may smile in reading of the Meschacébé (Mississippi) rolling past meadows where dwell green snakes. the whims and manias of a man of genius. restless and impatient and with something of [616] [vue 637 page 617] the wanderlust of Rousseau about him. or where green parrots with yellow heads mingle with cardinals. and hissing serpents. or on which young crocodiles go sailing down on floating islands of pines. forgiving his infidelities and neglect. telling of the flight of the king and the incident of Varennes. William Bartram's Travels. The judicious will conclude that Chateaubriand's imagination. but a few years later. Within a few months Chateaubriand joined the 11 . The whole trip has been the subject of harsh criticism : it has been incorrectly denied that he ever could have seen General Washington. and it is difficult to believe that he could have made the long expeditions he indicates to the West and the Mississippi valley. and pink flamingoes.

To occupy his leisure. drawn from the as yet unpublished Natchez. Chateaubriand again found a psychological moment for his political pamphlet De Bonaparte et des Bourbons. ambassador to Rome. was another fruit of this journey. appointed Chateaubriand secretary of the embassy at Rome. and before long. The Natchez. and became prominent in politics under the Restoration. to London. weakened by fever and smallpox. translating. But he never hesitated. made a precarious living by hackwriting. and responsible for the war of intervention in Spain. At this moment took place the execution of the duc d'Enghien. It appeared in 1802 on the eve of the establishment of the Concordat with the pope. a panegyric of the moral and poetic beauties of Christianity. anxious to win over influential people. for the preparation of which he made a journey to the Orient. The Aventures du dernier Abencérage. Chateaubriand's philosophical attitude had verged on scepticism. It was well timed and from that moment Chateaubriand was the most famous man in of the émigrés. Meanwhile he worked at the Natchez and the Essai historique sur les révolutions. caused an emotional crisis in him: "J'ai pleuré et j'ai cru. and then incorporated in the Génie du Christianisme. He had already won much renown in 1801 by the episode of Atala. This was soon followed by René. of which the external history was similar. or teaching. to follow the impulses of his conscience. followed by her death and that of his elder sister Julie. tête de linotte. which was published in 1797. and the last chapter of this book was entitled: Quelle sera la religion qui remplacera le Christianisme? But his pious mother's grief on reading the book. did not appear until long after. minister of foreign affairs. an attack on the Revolution and the doctrines of perfectibility. at least so the author said. delegate to the Congress of Verona. with many varying moods. he planned a sort of prose epic in glorification of Christianity. ambassador to Berlin. This [619] was the Martyrs . described in the Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem. he wrote the Génie du Christianisme. left for years in a trunk in London. and then minister to the Swiss Valais. called "Shatterbrain4" by his pupils. wounded and diseased. So far. Chateaubriand resigned and became Napoleon's fierce enemy. published much later. Napoleon." As expiation. étourneau ? 12 . if that can be distinguished from his vanity: “Bourbon par 4 Brain cerveau shatter éclat … tête en l'air. and seemed the justification and consecration of the religious revival. he was peer of the realm. he found himself in 1793 a penniless refugee in London. sometimes actually hungry. There the proud aristocrat.

je suis républicain par goût et par caractère.'' 13 .” So it came about that after many ups and downs. he wrote: "I did my best to be melancholy. but he had qualities which partly justified him. He died in 1848. under the name of mal de René or mal du siècle to the pessimism which stamped itself on the literature of the whole following generation. His perceptions were almost entirely aesthetic. who stands for Chateaubriand himself. This he was far from originating. tristesse physique"). sometimes magnified by the imagination. the reaction from impression. at one exceptional moment. but he gave it a greater place in literature. Chateaubriand was one of the great poseurs and one of the worst liars and plagiarists in literature. he seemed to take pleasure in his gloom." this portrayer of the Indians has been called. — a melancholy much more acute than the sentimental meditations . in whom people recognised the unhappy Lucile. cheered not so much by the solicitude of his wife as by his intimacy with Mme Récamier and by those friends of her salon at the Abbaye-aux-Bois who remained faithful in his declining years. and his writings the expression of these experiences. Chateaubriand faced an old age of comparative poverty. René wanders through Italy with a "sainte et poétique horreur. This. burdened with a curse. Kindly and sociable in prosperity. gave rise. yet haughty in adversity. and drawing after him disaster. He is the father of Romanticism and contributes to it a large part of its definite content: Le sachem du romantisme. suffering from an incurable ennui (" j'ai le spleen. hitherto in vogue. intended for posthumous publication as his message to posterity. royaliste par raison et par conviction.honneur. véritable maladie. A kindred contribution of Chateaubriand was general emotionalism. But much leaked out before his death. Years before he had begun the writing of the Mémoires d'Outre-tombe. made his life a Series of emotional adventures. and the final piecemeal publication in a newspaper fell flat amid the stirring events of the Revolution of 1848. The story of René. after a [620] treatment at the baths of Cauterets. but could not. and of the morbid love of his sister Amélie. and he influenced his times as perhaps no other man since Rousseau." Thus he seemed the type of the man destined to be the hero of the Romanticists. with something of the English reserve acquired by his sojourn in England. combined with his artistic temperament. There was little real reflection in his nature.

which found vent in prose. High Church ritualism. If we turn to a more direct consideration of the content of Chateaubriand's mind. and of the communion with nature or conflicts between man and his sodal environment. and has put his descriptions among the most beautiful in the French language. The journey to America came. What more specifically differentiate Chateaubriand from many other great writers is that. Hence. vistas opened into a beautiful world of which persons had never suspected the existence.Chateaubriand responds in feeling to the majesty of primitive nature at Niagara. Finally. at the most impressionable period of his life. he inspired his fellow-countrymen weary of the unbelief of the eighteenth [621] century and disheartened by the failure of its substitutes for Christianity. to the glory of the Acropolis. of course. following Saint-Pierre. he was not remarkable. he was the leader and instigator. As Chateaubriand's imagination roamed over time and space. Chateaubriand. See the abbé Bertrin's la Sincérité religieuse de Chateaubriand 14 . by his religious feeling. and he felt the poetry of Gothic art and the beauty of cathedrals. to the desolation of the Roman Campagna. Intellectually considered. the novelists and the historians. produced the Oxford Movement. instead of being a mere mouthpiece for the moods of his contemporaries. as a disciple of Rousseau. and Puseyism. the discovery of a new world to imaginative and descriptive literature. moreover. Consumed by an extraordinary vanity and the resulting self-assurance that imposes on so many people. was the example of the egoist who saw his life and the world-life as vast heroic poems. coming with all their sonorousness and richness of coloring as a heightened contrast to the blank platitudes of a decayed Voltairianism. he opened up by the Génie du Christianisme the Middle Ages to the dramatists. Not only is 5 1 The question of the sincerity or literary pose of Chateaubriand religious attitude has been the subject of much discussion. as mediaeval Romanticism. to his contemporaries. the memories awakened by the Holy Land. they were. so useful to the Romanticists. Moreover. except in exotic works not accessible to all.5 Chateaubriand is the counterpart of the influence which in England. Chateaubriand is. like Ossian. our praise must be qualified. it was. the most important author in the development of local coloring. he was gifted with a wonderful poetical expression.

in which he never lost sight of the stage-setting: he took much thought as to his own burial. and all the writings where the personal element so constantly enters. heedless of the suffering he may cause to the women who come under his influence. He not only stimulated the study of history. Mme de Mouchy. There is much that is 15 . but Chateaubriand won the victory. Mme Récamier. as he finally decided. or. He rescued the French language from inanition and made it poetical and imaginative. but he opened outlooks upon regions where men were seen suffering from the same sorrows. voilà tout. his wife. emotional and passionate. Mme de Beaumont. In the same way the Mémoires d'Outre-tombe are not to be compared with the Confessions of Rousseau. Rousseau and Saint-Pierre had pointed the way.” Taking. we may come to this judgment upon his achievements: He finally swept away the ideals of Classicism in form and content. yet he never knew what became of his sister Lucile's body. on a storm-beaten island in Brittany. since in them Chateaubriand appears only in his best light: “I1 ne faut présenter au monde que ce qui est beau. almost to the one form of taedium miae the outlet of the poet and novelist. His life was one of aesthetic self-preoccupation. at least in its picturesque aspects.the Martyrs a prose epic. and disregarding slight differences of chronological periods. est-ce une goutte de votre pluie ?" was to take the place of the "brûlé de plus de feux que je n'en allumai" of the Classical lover. the English clergyman's daughter. whether it should be in a Roman sarcophagus. not taking the form of rigid analysis [622] but merely of vague yearnings and waitings. a new literature." The "orage de mon coeur. are a series of epic scenes of which Chateaubriand is the great hero. but disclosed the beauty and consoling power of a religion which had been scorned and neglected. Charlotte Ives. Mme de Duras. He exposes himself . it is true. Of the Itinéraire he said: " J'allais chercher des images. Chateaubriand's work as a whole. and substituted for a literature of rationalised generalisations from the reading of ancient authors. in becoming draperies and suitable surroundings to the pity of all people. based on individual experience and on new sources of inspiration: the remote wilderness of distant continents or the remote days of past history. but the Mémoires d'Outre-tombe. then. bringing into it new figures and similes drawn from a wider field of vision and expressed in a less hackneyed vocabulary. He narrowed. Mme de Custine.

I see Jesus. and to whom rites and ceremonials are the essence rather than the symbol of their belief. So he tells the story of the young lovers in the days of Diocletian. He accompanies their tale with semi-historical descriptions and episodes seemingly irrelevant but beautiful in themselves. the one a Christian. and Chateaubriand is the ancestor of those who found their faith not on religion but on religiosity. once again reacting against the trappings of Classicism by opposing the merveilleux chrétien to the merveilleux païen which the school of Boileau had admitted only." to point out the beauties of the Christian faith." And Chateaubriand said himself: "Where Mme de Stael sees perfectibility. of history and of geography. on the principle that "there is nothing beautiful which is not divine. whose love ends in martyrdom. [624] Chateaubriand was a master of the art of writing. Hence in the Génie du Christianisme he proceeds. be remembered that this aesthetic and sensuous glorification of Christianity did not add a particle to its moral strength. but it has about it the glow of the sublime rhetorician." In the Martyrs he writes the great Christian prose epic. and bombastic. and the relations of art and literature to religion: Sainte-Beuve calls him also the "avocat poétique du christianisme. but to those who are susceptible to the harmony of words and who can visualise 16 . and Chactas in Europe is no untutored barbarian ignorant of civilised feelings. however. It should. the other daughter of a pagan priest.unnatural in Chateaubriand's nature: there is something theatrical. as the Mémoires d'Outre-tombe are the lay epic of his own times. Eudore and Cymodocée. sometimes with Bossuet added. to show the poetry of its dogmas and ceremonies. in the actions of his own political career. however chivalrous and even quixotic. Not least among Chateaubriand's services was to show that the Christian faith need not be considered as either the teaching of knaves and fools or a tool for tyrannical oppression. turgid. His nature was fitted for this interpretation and the conciliation of the beautiful and the good: it was Sainte-Beuve who called him an epicurean with a Catholic imagination. It is often diffuse and verbose. The result is a mixture of Homer and Milton. To the Classicist and to the unimaginative critic he seems lush. his savages are sophisticated [623] beings voicing his own sentiments. The Natchez or Iroquois of Chateaubriand is as untrue as the Huron of Voltaire or the Inca of Marmontel. as in Book VI.

His sensitive youth was darkened by Jansenist family influences. and posterity can at least understand what she meant: "Le style de M. in part a revelation of temperament and of feeling. and so. opposed to his disciples. he was a Titan in his influence. and some of the extant episodes are examples of overwrought literary method. Only then did it have its true vogue. but he made himself more so. Not that he was pleased with his literary descendants of the Romantic school: he wanted to remain alone in his glory. valuing least the book on which his fame now rests: for his Reveries sur la nature primitive de [625] l'homme are less important. the author pours forth his disenchantment and expresses the premature senile decay of the resolution. after long neglect." He was guilty of many lapses from good taste. in reality." It was Mme de Beaumont who said. and. as is often the case. rather than of incident. What plot it contains is probably in part fiction. never a widely popular 17 . who wished to republish it unmodified. But. the "éternel célibataire des mondes. he was all his life a struggling writer and journalist. A spirit kindred to Chateaubriand's world-weariness is to be found in Senancour's Obermann (1804). His position in French literature is not unlike that of Byron with regard to Pope. and Sainte-Beuve saw to it that these should not remain unknown. such as calling God in the early editions of the Génie du Christianisme. de Chateaubriand joue du clavecin sur toutes mes fibres. and was responsible for ridiculous exaggerations on the part of his disciples. however. Etienne Pivert de Senancour (1770-1846) had many reasons for being unhappy.the scenes which his imagination called up. for good or evil. but in the form of letters. a pseudo-epic verging on unconscious parody. a traditionalist. Yet. like Sainte-Beuve. he married unhappily. partly describing wanderings through Switzerland and the forest of Fontainebleau. Moreover Chateaubriand was. and the time has passed when it is permissible to scoff at him. Chateaubriand will always be a great name. Senancour was not wholly pleased when. though its author was jealous of Chateaubriand and disliked him intensely. Obermann can hardly even be called a novel. He was no slapdash writer. There is no knowing how much Chateaubriand was indebted to the keen judgment of his faithful friends Fontanes and Joubert: perhaps to one of them was due the elimination of solecisms of taste. many of his passages were rewritten more than once. Obermann was "rediscovered" by leaders of the generation of 1830. none the less. lonely.

instead of resting. [626] including the irony8 of Voltaire and scorn for the current religion of the people. though with different postulates and environment. 7 Cf. more rarely found now but none the less occasionally met. The type of personal narrative. coffee. Senancour was a man of religious temperament left without a religion. Catholicism. 6 Disheartening and discouraging as the book is in itself to read. it is like Constant's Adolphe. and he found a kindred feeling in Saint-Martin. and his struggles were often those between scepticism and religious feeling. Merlant. Obermann en a pu être pour sa bonne part responsable. His self loomed large and he magnified his sufferings: "Peut-être quelques jours paisibles me seront-ils donnés: mais plus de charme. what Philarète Chasles is quoted as calling an "intellectual and moral eunuch." The names Senancour and Obermann are now used practically from whom he got the title of his Reveries and similar egoism. Matthew Arnold has made Amiel almost as well known in England as in France. Senancour had the temperament of a Rousseau. reaping the corresponding fatigue. plus d'ivresse. half fiction. 6 Amiel represents among modem writers in French most truly the hundred paralysis of the will. jamais un moment de pure joie. which it preceded. toutes choses à la mode dans les ateliers de 1830. Intellectually he had inherited the destructive traditions of the eighteenth-century philosophers (going back beyond them to Montaigne). as he hopelessly endeavored to create for himself a satisfactory creed. His inclinations led him to a mystical Spinozistic pantheism. Senancour 18 . But everywhere his mysticism left him disquieted. quotation from Hugo's Marion Delorme p. in a self-satisfied ataraxy." — J. like many moral hedonists and epicureans. moral and social rather than metaphysical. half truth. jamais! et je n'ai pas vingt et un ans 7!" He yielded to the cult of sensation. an important human document and study of a type of mind. le délire métaphysique. opium. 701 8 Irony was to Senancour the mark of the superior mind: "Le mépris du philistin l'amour du macabre. At his death Senancour was a quite forgotten man. Thus Senancour is a connecting-link between such opposite tendencies as eighteenth-century philosophism and nineteenthcentury Romanticism. may be illustrated by Gissing's Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft.

in 1782. William James Hughan – 1912 … [vue 100 page 75] Architect. It was probably first invented at Lyons. and chastity. Hawkins. An encyclopedia of freemasonry and its kindred sciences. comprising the . Both are perhaps right. (Chevalier bienfaisant de la Cité Sainte.) The Order of Beneficent Knights of the Holy City of Jerusalem was created. Thus. The Twenty-fourth Degree of the third series in the collection of the Metropolitan Chapter of France. 299) says it was rectified at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad. but the members attempted to convert Free-masonry into Templarism. 2. at one time a prolific field for the hauts grades. according to Ragon. The Order and the doctrine sprang from the Templar system of Ramsay. … [305 vue 348] 19 . at Lyons. (Architecte.. i. Edward L. grand) 1. The Twenty-third Degree of the Rite of Misraim.? .. The Order professed the Rite of Martinism.. in France. Beneficent. poverty. Grand. obedience. and afterwards adopted at Wilhelmsbad. 3. whence it began to exercise a great influence over the Lodges of Strict Observance. by the brethren of the Lodge of Chevaliers Bienfaisants..Page 660 Albert Gallatin Mackey. they interpreted the two pillars of the porch and their names as alluding to Jacobus Burgundus or James the Burgundian. The Sixth Degree of the Rite of Martinism. The theory of its Jesuitic origin can scarcely be admitted. 4.. the last Grand Master of the Templars. But Thory (Acta Lat. meaning James de Molay. The Fourth Degree of the Rite of Elect Cohens. [Vue 447] Knight of the Holy City. the three gates of the Temple signifies the three vows of the Knights Templar. and transferred all the symbols of the former to the latter system. and the sprig of acacia referred to that which was planted over the ashes of De Molay when they were transferred to Heredom in Scotland.

9. Martin.. (See 20 . The Sixty-third Degree of the Rite of Mizraim. 5. Knight of Palestine. of whose Rite it was pretended to be a reform. Past Master. II. The Fourteenth (sic) of the Rite of Elected Cohens. by some French refugees under the authority of the Grand Orient of France. was instituted at Lyons. 4. Prince of Jerusalem. The Ninth Degree of the Reform of St. and the seventh in the reformed rite of St. Mason of the Secret. 3.. … [347 vue 392] Illuminati of Stockolm. 10. 6. Fellow-Craft. 321. … [page 458 vue 17] . Martin. 8. by the Marquis de St. Kadosh. Elect. The Rite of Martinism. Grand Architect. (Thory. (Chevalier de la Palestine.. 2.. Temple. in 1800. Temple. A degree in several of the Rites modeled upon the Twelfth of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Master Mason. Maçon du Secret. 2. 3. 1. called Temples. Martinism. Martinism was divided into two classes. 2. It is. Martin. … [vue 443] Knight of Palestine. Martin. 1.) … [471 vue 30] . Acta Lat.. The decrees of Martinism abounded in the reveries of the Mystics. An Order but little known. The Twenty-third of the Rite of Mizraim: and 4. 7. The Sixth Degree of the Reform of St. mentioned by Ragon in his Catalogue as having been instituted for the propagation of Martinism. a disciple of Martines Paschalis. and said to have been introduced into Bristol. called also the Rectified Rite.I.Grand Architect. The Twenty-fourth of the Metropolitan Chapter of France.) 1. One of the series of degrees formerly given in the Baldwyn Encampment of England. (The Mason of the Secret) The sixth grade of the reformed rite of Baron Tschoudy. Apprentice. in which were the following degrees: I. 3.

) 1. … [546 vue 111] Past. The Sixth degree of the Rite of Tschoudy. Ancient. (Maître Ancien.) The Fourth Degree of the Rite of Martinism. and the Past High Priest one who. with a similar meaning... who has never before presided. When a brother. such as installations. (Maçon du Secret. Past Master. 2. processions. . an emergent Lodge of Past Masters. for the same period. and has then retired. An honorary degree conferred on the Master of a Lodge at his installation into office. The Seventh Degree of the Rite of Saint Martin. This would more properly be translated Past Master. the laying of comer-stones. Mason of the Secret. who had retired from the chair at the expiration of his term of service.. Thus. Thus. the degree is conferred upon the newly elected officer. 21 . they would call the official Past Master. [472 vue 31] . … [473 vue 32] … Master. The French use the word passé in the same sense. an Ancien Vénérable or Ancien Maître. has presided over a Chapter. while they would employ Maître passé to designate the degree of Past Master. Louis Claude de St. has been elected the Master of a Lodge.. etc. but they have also the word ancien.) Martin. for it has the same position in the régime of St. a Past Master is one who has presided for twelve months over a Lodge. consisting of not leas than three. In this degree the necessary instructions are conferred respecting the various ceremonies of the Order. Martin that the Past Master has in the English system. and all but Past Masters retiring. See Saint-Martin.Saint Martin. An epithet applied in Masonry to an officer who has held an office for the prescribed period for which he was elected. is convened.

In 1856. When the Chapters became independent. Often the rituals tell us that this ceremony consisted only in the outgoing Master communicating certain modes of recognition to his successor. The conferring of this degree. for that would have been an innovation. but the order has only been partially obeyed. constitutes the essential ingredient of the Past Master's Degree. and he is said to use "some other expressions that are proper and usual on that occasion. by making every candidate for the degree of Royal Arch a Past Virtual Master before his exaltation. but seems to have lingered on in some parts until 1850. And this actually. were at an early period introduced into America. in a Chapter.Some form of ceremony at the installation of a new Master seems to have been adopted at an early period after the revival. In the ''manner of constituting a new Lodge. and many Chapters still continue what one can scarcely help calling the indecorous form of initiation into the degree. by no means to their inventor. the language used by the Grand Master when placing the candidate in the chair is given. [Under the English Constitution this practise was forbidden in 1826. 150.) Whence we conclude that there was an esoteric ceremony. it was a part of the regulations that no one could receive the Royal Arch Degree unless he had previously presided in the Lodge as Master. the difficulty has. For several years past the question has been agitated in some of the Grand Lodges of the United States. by a unanimous vote. the regulation could not be abolished. who was Grand Master in 1723. arises from the following circumstance: Originally. whether this degree is within the 22 . when Chapters of Royal Arch Masonry were under the government of Lodges in which the degree was then always conferred. The degree is also conferred in Royal Arch Chapters. but not proper to be written. which has no historical connection with the rest of the degrees.] Some extraneous ceremonies. therefore. been obviated." as practised by the Duke of Wharton. and the simpler mode of investiture to be used. ordered these ceremonies to be discontinued. where it succeeds the Mark Master's Degree. p. the General Grand Chapter." (Constitutions. 1738. even at this day.

and. and they call in their own system one who has formerly resided over a Lodge an Ancien Maître. and the general. just given. called by him the Rite of elected Cohens or Priests. and not by inherent right. and in the second. The founder of a new Rite or modification of Masonry. 8. … [545 vue 110] … Paschalis Martinez. Past Masters are admitted to membership in many Grand Lodges. In England it was formerly the square on a quadrant. 6. Apprentice Cohen. and by some the inherent right has been claimed to sit in those bodies. Grand Architect. manifestly demonstrates that the jurisdiction over it by Chapters is altogether an assumed one. and in consequence of local regulations. and afterward. Fellow-Craft Cohen. Master Cohen. The indiscriminate use of these titles sometimes leads to confusion in the translation of their rituals and treatises. Master. Knight Commander. The Past Master of a Chapter is only a quasi Past Master. Fellow-Craft. he extended it to Paris. almost universal opinion now is that Past Masters obtain their seats in Grand Lodges by courtesy.jurisdiction of Symbolic or of Royal Arch Masonry. indeed. 9. 4 Grand Elect: 5. the true and legitimate Past Master is the one who has presided over a Symbolic Lodge. The jewel of a Past Master in the United States is a pair of compasses extended to sixty degrees on the fourth part of a circle. but is at present the square with the forty-seventh problem of Euclid engraved on a silver plate suspended within it. and Bordeaux. in 1767. The French have two titles to express this degree. 7. Apprentice. But the most eminent Masonic authorities have made a contrary decision. 2. It was divided into two classes. It consisted of nine degrees. The explanation of its introduction into Chapters. in the first of which was represented the fall of man from virtue and happiness. Toulouse. 23 . They apply Maitre passé to the Past Master of the English and American system. Paschalis first introduced this Rite into some of the Lodges of Marseille. his final restoration. 3. namely: 1. with a sun in the center.

where." the members devoted themselves to the study of all kinds of knowledge that were connected with the occult sciences. Mesmer. The Rite aid not increase very rapidly. for a short time. Paschalis was the Master of St. but in its reunions. 9. de Sainte-Jamos. Called also the Seekers of Truth. At the age of sixteen he acquired a knowledge of Greek and Latin10. Elect. 11. which was principally founded on the system of Martinism. 239-253). une de plus sur l'ensemble des erreurs de l'article? Reghellini donne cette information dans Esprit du dogme de la Franche-maçonnerie. Initiate. Paschalis was a German9. with whom were associated the Vicomte de Tavannes. and Saint Martin. … [561 vue 128] Philalethes. 9 Quelle est la source de cette « erreur ». Fellow-Craft. has given very full details of this Rite and of its receptions. 6. (Court de Gébelin. who afterward reformed his Rite. Unknown Philosopher: 10. although the word literally means Friends of Truth. in his histoire de la Fondation du Grand Orient de France (pp. of poor but respectable parentage. where he died in 1779. 8. Rose Croix. He subsequently repaired to Paris. and Palestine. by Savalette de Lances. and thus they welcomed to their association all who had made themselves remarkable b. He then traveled through Turkey Arabia. Scottish Master. and the Prince of Hesse. Thory. Domingo. 10 Martinès was unable to any translation from latin to french ! C'est à Paris avec l'abbé Fournié qu'il semble avoir traduit de latin à français des textes importants pour son rite! 24 . Master. Rite of the. keeper of the Royal Treasury. Martin. 3. The first six degrees were called Petty (sic). 5. It was divided into twelve classes or chambers of instruction. born about the year 1700. Apprentice. did not confine itself to any particular mode of instruction. 4. 12. Sublime Philosopher. such as Cagliostro. Knight of the Temple. Philalethes. The Rite. The names of these classes or degrees were as follows: 1. where he made himself acquainted with the Kabbalistic learning of the Jews.^ the singularity or the novelty of their opinions. it was rather popular. and the last six High Masonry. M. It has now ceased to exist. the President d'Hericourt. called "convents. ranking some of the Parisian literati among its disciples. 2. he went to St. Knight of the East: 7. in the Lodge of Amis Réunis. or Searcher after Truth. where he established his Rite. It was a Rite founded in 1773 at Paris. After living for some years at Paris.

nine years after its institution. Such was 25 . It is. It was so called in reference to St. Ancient Craft Masonry. It signifies a method of conferring Masonic light by a collection and distribution of degrees. As a Masonic term its application is therefore apparent. It counted only twenty Lodges in France and in foreign countries which were of its obedience. 2.) 1. Martin. Philosopher.) The ninth class of the Rite of the Philalethes. (Sublime Philosophe Inconnu. … [562 vue 129] Philosopher. metaphorically. . The original system of Speculative Masonry consisted of only the three Symbolic degrees. or an external observance. whence literally it signifies a trodden path. (Sublime Philosophe.) A degree in the collection of Pyron. Sublime. the Rite. Vossius derives it by metathesis from the Greek ***. and Savalette de Langes dying in 1788.. (Le petit Philosophe. Philosopher Unknown. The Fifty-third Degree of the Rite of Mizraim. in other words.. ceased to exist. Sublime Unknown. and. (Philosophe Inconnu. whence we get the English rite. The tenth class of the Rite of the Philalethes. The Little. and the Lodge of Amis Réunis was dissolved. Rite The Latin word ritus. therefore. signifies an approved usage or custom. of which he alone was the soul. In 1785 it attempted a radical reform in Masonry. and for this purpose invited the most distinguished Masons of all countries to a congress at Paris.) The Seventy-ninth Degree of the Metropolitan Chapter of France. the method and order observed in the government of a Masonic system. But the project failed. and was universally known by it among his disciples. who had adopted that title as his pseudonym. a long-followed custom. Philosopher. called.

the condition of Free-masonry at the time of what is called the revival m 1717. a Master Mason. the three symbolic degrees being common to all the Rites. under the different titles of Rites. and still continue to divide the Masonic family. only diverse methods of attaining to the same great end. Some of them have lived only with their authors. They were intended as an expansion and development of the Masonic ideas contained in these degrees. in every instance. It is only after that degree is passed that the exclusiveness of each Rite begins to operate. and by the invention of what are known as the high degrees a multitude of Rites was established. Others have had a more permanent existence. in any one of the Rites. furnishing. being merely of a political. may visit and labor in a Master's Lodge of every other Rite. the acquisition of Divine Truth by Masonic light. however. They were the text. and Academies. that whatever may be the constitution and teachings of any Rite as to the higher degrees peculiar to it. Ragon. and so it continued in England until the year 1813. the organization of new systems began at a much earlier period. and thus the English Rite was made legitimately to consist of four degrees. The Apprentice. They were built upon the three Symbolic degrees. in his Tuileur Général supplies us with the names of a hundred and eight. The following catalogue embraces the most important of those which have hitherto or still continue to arrest the attention of the Masonic student. There has been a multitude of these Rites. when at the union of the two Grand Lodges the "Holy Royal Arch'' was declared to be a part of the system. All of these agreed in one important essential. Fellow-Craft. Hence. But on the Continent of Europe. this was the original Rite or approved usage. social. and died when their parental energy in fostering them ceased to exert itself. constituted the fundamental basis upon which they were erected. But many of these are unmasonics. and Master's degrees were the porch through which every initiate was required to pass before he could gain entrance into the inner temple which had been erected by the founders of the Rite. Orders. which. 26 . Hence arises the law. and the high degrees the commentary. or literary character.

26. 14. 18. 34. 33. Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. 36. Reformed Helvetic Rite. 13. 28. Reformed Rite. 10. Rite of the Chapter of Clermont.1. Rite of Martinism. Primitive Scottish Rite. Rite of the Blazing Star. Rite of Swedenborg. Swedish Rite. 16. Philosophic Scottish Rite. Fessler's Rite. York Rite. Primitive Rite of the Philadelphians. Pemetty's Rite. 30. 11. American Rite. 20. French or Modem Rite. Rite of Strict Observance. 6. 15. Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro. Primitive Rite of Narbonne. 27. 7. Rite of the Philalethes. 8. 9. 31. 3. 5. Rite of Brother Henoch. 2. 24. Rite of Zinnendorf . 27 . Rite of the Order of the Temple. 19. 4. 22. 29. Rite of Lax Observance. 23. 12. Chastanier's Rite. 21. Rite of Elected Cohens. Rite of the Vielle Bru. 32. Rite of African Architects. Schröder's Rite. Rite of Misraim. Rite of the Emperors of the East and West. 17. Rite of Memphis. Rite of the Grand Lodge of the Three Globes. Rite of the Elect of Truth. 25. Rite of Brothers of Asia. 35. Rite of Perfection.

Rite of the Beneficent Knights of the Holy City. Bordeaux. It is the body which is unchangeable — remaining always and everywhere the same. the symbolism and the religion. have varied at different periods. and Toulouse. The distinct history of each will be found under its appropriate title. 4. of conferring the degrees. Maître Coen. or ritual. as it is. The devotees of Martinez Pasqualis. of installation. Grand Architecte. 9. Maître. 7. A system adopted in 1750. 2. Much of this ritual is esoteric. 6. that the ritual shall be the same. and other duties. 5. Marseille.37. is communicated only by oral instruction. 28 . not being permitted to be committed to writing. Rite des Elus Coens. … Ritual The mode of opening and closing a Lodge. The doctrine of Freemasonry is everywhere the same. Compagnon Coen. the founder. by the superintending authority. But if this be impossible. Martinez was a religious man. Grand Elu. Apprenti. The grades were as follows: 1. The ritual is only the external and extrinsic form. But this does not affect the universality of Masonry. to be the same wherever true Masonry is practiced. constitute a system of ceremonies which are called the Ritual. which is subject to continual variation. that while the ceremonies. were called Martinistes. but it more or less differs in the different Rites and jurisdictions. [627 vue 196] These Rites are not here given in the order of date or of importance. … 11 Il est possible d'attribuer cette erreur à une lecture papusienne d'informations. when Lodges were opened in Paris. this at least will console us. The ritual is but the outer garment which covers this body. In each Masonic jurisdiction it is required. and will continue. Apprenti Coen. of Freemasonry continue. Compagnon. 8. and everywhere alike. 3. Grand Commandeur. ou Prêtres. It is right and desirable that the ritual should be made perfect. and based his teachings partly on the Jewish Kabbala and partly on Hermetic supernaturalism. and. and still vary in different countries. but which did not attain its full vigor until twenty-five years thereafter. and were partly Hermetic and partly Swedenborgian11 in their teachings. the science and philosophy.

where. Saint Martin. he became himself a mystic of no mean pretensions. who were content. without understanding. Louis Claude. He then repaired to Pans. This work. acquired for its author. whose system was in fact a compound of theosophy and mysticism. and highly recommended by the Order of the Initiated Knights and Brothers of Asia. Saint Martin when a youth made great progress in his studies. by its unintelligible transcendentalism. he entered the army. and finally retired to Lyons. of whom he was one of the most prominent 29 . and became the master of several ancient and modem languages. known to but few persons. and attracted around him a crowd of disciples. 1743. He then traveled in Switzerland. A mystical writer and Masonic leader of considerable reputation in the last century." Saint Martin had published this work under the pseudonym of the ''Unknown Philosopher" (Philosophe inconnu) . entitled Des Erreurs et de la Vérité ou les Hommes rappelés au principe universel de la Science. where he remained for three years in a state of almost absolute seclusion. and the founder of the Rite of Martinism. Germany. Attracted by the mystical systems of Boehme and Swedenborg. The treatise Des Erreurs et de la Vérité was in fact made a sort of text-book by the Philalethans. to hear. But after six years of service. in the commencement of his Masonic career. and intent only on the prosecution of his theosophic studies. It was so popular. in accordance with the custom of his family. whence he was subsequently known by this name. the title of the ''Kant of Germany. attached himself to Martinez Paschalis. notwithstanding the tumultuous scenes of the revolution which was working around. and even a degree bearing that title was invented and inserted in the Rite of Philalethes. in France. that between 1775 and 1784 it had been through five editions. becoming a member of the regiment of Foix. which was also assumed by some of his Masonic adherents. and Italy. which contained an exposition of the ideology of Saint Martin. He was born at Amboise. and pursuing his philosophic studies. the teachings of their leader. on January 18. being descended from a family distinguished in the military service of the kingdom. After leaving school. he retired from a profession which he found uncongenial with his fondness for metaphysical pursuits. In 1775 appeared his first and most important work. he remained unmoved by the terrible events of the day. as they said. Em^land.[660 vue 231] Saint Martin.

like Voltaire. and soon became popular. The character of Saint Martin has been much mistaken. It is said to be still practised by some of the Swedish Lodges. His theory of the origin of Freemasonry was not. being reduced to seven degrees. and his varied and extensive erudition. … [747 vue 324] Swedenborg. Reghellini. 3. Fellow-Craft. Master Neophyte. in his Esprit du Dogme. gives it as consisting of eight degrees. But he subsequently attempted a reform of the system of Paschalis. seem to have forgotten the excellence of his private character. and the ritualism of which also partakes of a Swedenborgian character. the history of whose foundation has been given in the preceding article. It was itself subsequently reformed. 4. based on any historical research. for he believed that it was an emanation of the Divinity. but which is better known as the Rite or system of Martinism. his kindness of heart. Those who. which consisted of ten degrees. especially by Masonic writers. was introduced into some of the Lodges of Germany under the name of the Reformed Ecossism of Saint Martin. his amiable manners. consists of six degrees: 1. Bed Brother. Illuminated Theosophits. and is of no value. and. but he has evidently confounded it with the Rite of Martinism. Under them the Martinists Lodges of Russia became distinguished not only for their Masonic and religious spirit — although too much tinged with the mysticism of Jacob Boehme and their founder -but for an active zeal in practical works of charity of both a private and public character. Blue Brother. The theosophic doctrines of Saint Martin were introduced into the Masonic Lodges of Russia by Count Gabrianko and Admiral Pleshcheyeff. also a theosophic Rite. … [vue 363 782] 30 . however. have derided his metaphysical theories. 2. and established what he called a Rectified Rite. 6. Apprentice. and was to be traced to the very beginning of the world. Nor should it be forgotten that the true object of all his Masonic labors was to introduce into the Lodges of France a spirit of pure religion. 5.disciples. but is elsewhere extinct. The so-called Rite of Swedenborg. Rite of.

in his Hours with the Mystics (II. of Swedenborg [vue 364 page 783] and other mystical philosophers of the same class. the means of converse with the potentates of heaven. the object of whose association is said to have been originally the propagation of the Gospel under the Masonic veil . beneath all the floods of change. to whom we owe the Order of Illuminati at Avignon. who was the inventer of the Rite of Illuminated Theosophists. of all trees. with a proneness to give to everything Divine a symbolic interpretation. the founder of the Philalethans: Pernetty. had continued to spread the strength of their invulnerable arms below the waters of the deluge. Theosophic Masonry was. The object proposed in all these theosophic degrees was the regeneration of man. There were many theosophists — enthusiasts whom Vaughan calls “noble specimens of the mystic” -but those with whom the history of Masonry has most to do were the mystical religious thinkers of the last century. or who regarded the foundation of their mystical tenets as resting on a sort of Divine intuition.Theosophists. They rejoiced in the hidden lore of that book as in a treasure rich with the germs of all philosophy. For more of this subject. and his reintegration into the primitive innocence from which he had fallen of original sin. St. the mysteries of the Divine nature. see the article on Saint Martin. They maintained that from its marvelous leaves man might learn the angelic heraldry of the skies. thus describes the earlier theosophists of the fourteenth century: "They believed devoutly in the genuineness of the Kabbala. nothing else than an application of the speculative ideas of Jacob Boehme. has supplied the materials of many degrees. if not himself a Masonic reformer. They were persuaded that. who supposed that they were possessed of a knowledge of the Divinity and his works by supernatural inspiration." Add to this an equal reverence for the unfathomable mysteries contained in the prophecies of Daniel and the vision of the Evangelist. Nothing now remains of theosophic Masonry except the few traces 31 . Martin. who. in fact. the Moravian brethren. 46). Vaughan. this oral tradition had perpetuated its life unharmed from the days of Moses downward — even as Jewish fable taught them that the cedars alone. and Chastanier. and you have the true character of those later theosophists who labored to invent their particular systems of Masonry. Such were Swedenborg.

left through the influence of Zinnendorf in the Swedish system. meant really Societas Jesu. i. suspecting that Jesuitism was at the bottom in all the Masonry of that day. or The Unknown Philosopher. … [817 vue 400] Unknown Philosopher. When the Baron Von Hund established his system or Rite of Strict Observance. 1. e. The systems of Swedenborg. Pernetty. St.. Many Masonic writers. Paschalis. It is scarcely necessary now to say that the whole story of the Unknown Superiors was a myth. he declared that the Order was directed by certain Masons of superior rank. the founder of the Rite of Martinism. and what we find in the Apocalyptic degrees of the Scottish Rite. and Chastanier have all become obsolete. Martin. whose names as well as their designs were to be kept secret from all the brethren of the lower degrees. A degree of his Rite also received the same name. the initials of Superiores Incogniti. whence the appellation was often given by his disciples to the author. asserted that S. Unknown Superiors." or Unknown Superiors. One of the mystical and theosophic works written by Saint Martin. the Society of Jesus or the Jesuits. 32 . To these secret dignitaries he gave the title of "Superiores Incogniti. although there was an insinuation that they were to be found or to be heard of in Scotland. was entitled Le Philosophe Inconnu..

The Cambridge History of English Literature: From Steele and Addison to Pope . its outlook on life and its mind as expressed in philosophy. for the predominating character of that age. only to be proved.? . shallowness of thought is often found combined with unrivalled clearness of expression . have men written so much about religion.Page 522 Sir Adolphus William Ward.. and it may be described in its widest sense as an attitude of mind founded upon an intuitive or experienced conviction of fundamental unity. however. This view. while practising it so little. is not complete. All mystical thought springs from this as base.. This tendency of thought is called mysticism. The one quality in Scripture which interests writers and readers alike is its credibility. not to be lived. The poet mystic. In no age. like a proposition in Euclid. because he knows it is not something called ' 33 . in religion and philosophy. rejoices in it with a purer joy and studies it with a deeper reverence than other men. in general outlook. Alfred Rayney Waller – 1912 … CHAPTER XII WILLIAM LAW AND THE MYSTICS To speak of mystical thought in the first half of the eighteenth century in England seems almost a contradiction in terms . There is also an undercurrent of thought of a kind that never quite disappears and that helps to keep the earth green during the somewhat dry and arid seasons when rationalism or materialism gains the upper hand. but. the practically universal appeal to “rational” evidence as supreme arbiter. of the main tendency of the time. was in every way opposed to what is understood by mystical. the conception of a mechanical world made by an outside Creator. religion and literature. and the impression gathered by the student of the religious controversies of the day is that Christianity was held to exist. though representative. of alikeness in all things. looking out on the natural world. In literature. it would seem.

though. M. however. also. had become lifeless. whereupon. words [306] generally fail him. They all held that salvation was the effect of a spiritual principle. there were not only new influences from without but. these various sects were mystical in thought. 1909. in dealing with the things of the spirit. but. So far. Behmenists and seekers. had planted nurseries of freedom in Holland. a seed quickened invisibly by God. K. they considered learning useless. XVI and XVII. Elizabeth. and. Behmenists. 34 . in addition to this older thought. in ceasing to be understood. by Jones. They all agreed in deeming it more important to spiritualize this life than to dogmatize about the life to come. tended to foster this type of thought in England. Large numbers of these three sects. therefore. can know God through that part of his nature which is akin to Him. instead of attempting to reason or analyse or deduce. with full references to original documents. consequently. which waxed strong and sent back over seas in the next century a persistent stream of opinion and literature132. anabaptists. in the seventeenth century. thinking to quell independent religious thought at home. The religious mystic has for goal the union of himself with God. To this can be traced the root-ideas which animated alike quakers. they cannot unreservedly be classed as mystics. familists and numberless other sects which embodied a reaction against forms and ceremonies that. the smouldering embers of which had been fanned to flame in the ardent forge of the Florentine renascence121. The little group of Cambridge Platonists gave new expression to great neo-Platonic ideas. and he becomes obscure. and he conceives this possible because man is ' a God though in the germ. The mystic philosopher. They all believed in the ' innerlight. became ' children of 12 See vol.. seekers. A strong vein of mysticism had been kept alive in Amsterdam. or even mischievous. see Studies in Mystical Religion. but that it is — as he is — spirit itself made visible. the actual contact with the Divine Presence.' and. chap. whither the first body of exiled separatists had gone in 1593. chaps. new conditions within which must be indicated. seeks merely to tell of his vision. There were many strains of influence which.matter ' and alien to him. with the exception of familists.' in the immediate revelation of God within the soul as the supreme and all-important experience. x 13 2 For an interesting detailed account of this phase of religious life. VIII.

light,' thus helping to give greater prominence to the strong mystical element in early quakerism. It only needed the release from the crushing hand of Laud, and the upheaval of the civil war, to set free the religious revival [307] which had long been seething, and to distract England, for a time, with religious excitement. Contemporary writers refer with horror to the swarm of ' sects, heresies and schisms ' which now came into being 14 1, and Milton alone seems to have understood that the turmoil was but the outward sign of a great spiritual awakening152. Unhappily, there were few who, with him, could perceive that the 'opinion of good men is but knowledge in the making,' and that these many sects were but various aspects of one main movement towards freedom and individualism, towards a religion of the heart rather than of the head. The terrible persecutions of the quakers under Charles II16 3 tended to withdraw them from active life, and to throw them in the direction of a more personal and introspective religion17 4 It was then that the writings of Antoinette Bourignon, Madame Guyon and Fénelon became popular, and were much read among a certain section of thinkers, while the teachings of Jacob Boehme, whose works had been put into English between the years 1644 and 1692, bore fruit in many ways185 Whether directly or indirectly, they permeated the thought of the founders of the Society of Friends196, they were widely read both in cottage and study20 7 and they produced a distinct Behmenite sect218. Their influence can be seen
14 See, for instance, Pagitt's Heresiography, 1645, dedication to the lord mayor ; or Edwards, who, in his Gangraena, 1646, names 176, and, later, 23 more, ' errors, heresies, blasphemies.' 15 Areopagitica, 1644 16 3 13,562 Friends suffered imprisonment during the years 1661 — 97, while 198 were transported overseas and 338 died in prison or of their wounds. See Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth, by Barclay, pp. 474 — 8. 17 For further observations on early quakerism in its connection with literature, see vol. VIII, chap. IV. 18 Charles I, who, shortly before his death, read Boehme's Forty Questions, just then translated into English, much admired it. See a most interesting MS letter in Latin from Francis Lee to P. Poiret in Dr Williams's library, C 5 . 30. 19 Jacob Behmont's Books were the chief books that the Quakers bought, for there is the Principle or Foundation of their Religion.' A Looking Glass for George Fox, 1667, p. 5. But Boehme was not wholly approved of even among the early quakers ; see Liner Life of the Religious Societies, p. 479. For the influence of Boehme on Fox and Winstauley, see Studies in Mystical Religion, pp. 494—5; cf., also. Fox's Journal for 1648, 8th ed., vol. i, pp. 28 — 9, with Boehme's Three Principles, chap, xx, §§ 39 — 42 ; also, life of J. B. in ' Law's edition,' vol. i, p. xiii, or the Signatura Rerum. 20 See Way to Divine Knowledge, Law's Works, vol. vii, pp. 84, 85 ; Byrom's Journal vol. I, part 2, pp. 560, 598 ; vol. II, part 2, pp. 193, 216, 236, 285, 310—11, 328, 377, 380. 21 See Eichard Baxter's Autobiography, Reliquiae Baxterianae, 1696, part I p. 77.


in the writings of Thomas Tryon, John Pordage, George Cheyne, Francis Lee, Jane Lead, Thomas Bromley, Richard Roach and others ; in the foundation and transactions of the [308] Philadelphian society; in the gibes of satirists221; in forgotten tracts; in the increase of interest in alchemy 232; in the voluminous MS commentaries of Freher, or even in Newton's great discovery ; for it is almost certain that the idea of the three laws of motion first reached Newton through his eager study of Boehme. The tracing of this mystical thought, however, during the period under discussion and later, mainly among obscure sects and little-known thinkers, would not form part of a history of English literature, were it not that our greatest prose mystic lived and wrote in the same age. William Law had a curiously paradoxical career. After graduating as B.A. and M.A. at Cambridge, in 1708 and 1712, and being, in 1711, ordained and elected fellow of his college (Emmanuel), he refused to take the oaths of allegiance to George I, and thus lost his fellowship and vocation. Though an ardent high churchman, he was the father of methodism. Though deprived of employment in his church, he wrote the book which, of all others for a century to come, had the most profound and far-reaching influence upon the religious thought of his country. Though a sincere, and, so he believed, an orthodox Christian, he was the classic exponent of Boehme, a thinker abhorred and mistrusted alike by eighteenth century divines and by Wesleyan leaders. About the year 1727, Edward Gibbon selected Law as tutor for his only son, the father of the historian, and, in 1730, when his pupil went abroad. Law lived on with the elder Gibbon in the ' spacious house with gardens and land at Putney,' where he was ' the much honoured friend and spiritual director of the whole family24 3' During these years at Putney, Law's reputation as a writer became assured. He was already known as the ablest defender of nonjuror
22 “He Anthroposophus and Floud, And Jacob Behmen understood.” Hudibras, i, canto 1, cf. A Tale of a Tub, sect, v, and Martinus Scriblerus, end of chap. I. 23 See Aubrey's Lives. 24 Gibbon's Memoirs, ed. Hill, G. B., 1900, p. 24.


principles; the publication of A Serious Call in 1729 had brought him renown, and he was revered and consulted by an admiring band of disciples. His later life was spent at his birthplace. King's Cliffe, near Stamford. He settled there in 1737 or 1740, and was joined by Hester Gibbon, the historian's aunt, and Mrs Hutcheson, a widow with considerable means. This oddly assorted trio gave themselves to a life of retirement and good deeds, the whole being regulated by Law. With a united income of over £3000 a year, they lived in the simplest fashion. [309] They spent large sums in founding schools and almshouses, and in general charity, which took the form of free daily distribution of food, money and clothes, no beggar being turned away from the door, until the countryside became so demoralized with vagrants that the inhabitants protested and the rector preached against these proceedings from the pulpit251. The trouble, however, seems to have abated when the three kindhearted and guileless offenders threatened to leave the parish, and, possibly, it may have caused them to exercise a little discrimination in their giving. Here, at King's Cliffe, after more than twenty years of residence, passed in the strictest routine of study and good works, Law died, after a short illness, almost in the act of singing a hymn. Law's writings fall naturally into three divisions, controversial, practical and mystical. His three great controversial works are directed against a curious assortment of opponents: Hoadly, latitudinarian bishop of Bangor, Mandeville, a sceptical pessimist, and Tindal, a deistical optimist. These writers represent three main sections of the religious opinion of the day, and much light is thrown on Law's character and beliefs by the method with which he meets them and turns their own weapons against themselves. It was a time of theological pamphleteering, and the famous Bangorian controversy is a good specimen of the kind of discussion which abounded in the days of George I. It is, on the whole, good reading, clear,
25 1 See Walton's Notes, p. 499. The duty on which Law most insisted was charity ; see his defence of indiscriminate giving, in A Serious Call, Works, vol. iv, pp. 114 — 18.


p. the king's chaplain. J. bishop of Bangor. and not upon His ministers. Hoadly's pamphlet and sermon raised a cloud of controversy282. and the claims of the Stewarts were set aside in favour of a parliamentary king from Hanover. 29 3 See Hoadly's Works. and. ii. the business of the city was at a standstill. and. 156. and the Nature and Consequences of Schism. he attempts to justify the civil power by reducing to a minimum the idea of church authority and even that of creeds. preached before the king on 31 March 1717. High churchmen were forced either to eat their own words. principle. 28 2 In the course of July 1717. 13 — 16. Hoadly was an able thinker and writer. the nonjuring bishop. 1716. and. indeed. William Law. presents an admirable object lesson as to the advance made during the intervening years in the writing of English prose. compare Law's letter from Cambridge. he gave strong proof of his acuteness by leaving his brilliant young opponent severely alone29 3. pp. at one crisis. Feeling naturally ran very high when. 74 pamphlets appeared on the subject. for a day or two. Non juror and Mystic. as opposed to the parliamentary. Law is a prominent example of this latter and smaller class. 26 For an excellent illustration of the principles and arguments on both sides. 694 — 5. See Hoadly's Works. 27 The Constitution of the Catholic Church. ii. The bishop never replied to Law. ii. 385. in his Preservative against the Principles and Practices of the Non-Jurors. committed absolutely to the hereditary. He tells Christians to depend upon Christ alone for their religion. 38 . where he gives his reasons for not answering Law. little was done on the Exchange and many shops were shut. and. pp. written to his brother at the time. 1881. H. came forward as champion of the crown and church. vol. vol. When queen Anne died. vol. On this last point he dwells more fully and exclusively in his famous sermon.. with that of his future friend Byrom at the same date. 429 . and he urges sincerity as the sole test of truth. in answer to the posthumous [310] papers of George Hickes271. the second generation of non-jurors.pointed and even witty. The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ. found itself on the horns of a dilemma. if compared with similar controversies in the reign of Charles I. or to refuse to take the oaths of allegiance to the new king and of abjuration to the pretender26 2. the church. Both are quoted by Overton. also Sir Leslie Stephen's English Thought in the 18th Century. but by far the ablest answer he received on the part of the nonjurors was that contained in Law's Three Letters to the Bishop of Bangor (1717 — 19). Benjamin Hoadly. pp. who charged the church with schism.

To reply to such arguments as those of Tindal and the deists in general was. there is no difference between the episcopalian communion and any other lay body of teachers326. Remarks on the Fable of the Bees (1723). 32 6 Ibid. an easy task. 31 5 Works. and shows that if. nor church. and. vol. witty and caustic. Deists saw a universe 30 4 For some of the side issues which were vehemently discussed by other writers. 15. 1714. 7. 7. and which admirably sums up the fundamental difference of outlook between the mystic and the rationalist temper in the things of the spirit. Letter 1. Bee Leslie Stephen. regularity of ordination and uninterrupted succession be mere niceties and dreams. 157. to Tindal's Christianity as Old as the Creation (1730). pp. p. 34 2 The Grumbling Hive. p. and. nor sacraments. I. vol. as Hoadly says. 14. Law's next work. 6. first printed 1705. ii. He demolishes Hoadly's remarks on the exclusion of the papist [311] succession. Law deals with church authority. is an answer to Mandeville's poem342. and his answer is mainly directed against the danger of this tendency 30 4. it matters not what Religion he is of315'. and he ends the first letter by refuting the bishop's definition of prayer. the moral of which is that 'private vices are public benefits. to a man of Law's insight and intellect. He brings out well the fundamental difference between his and their points of view. for they imagine that he intends to dissolve the church as a society . 33 1 So defined by Hoadly in his sermon The Nature of the Kingdom or Church of Christ. more especially.' and Law. indeed. undisturbed address to God33 1 in a passage which is one of the finest pleas in our language for the right use of passion.Law instantly detected that Hoadly's arguments tended to do away altogether with the conception of the church as a living spiritual society. since the bishop leaves neither authorised ministers. pp. as a ' calm. He begins by pointing out that there are no libertines or loose thinkers in England who are not pleased with the bishop. 39 . they seem to have good grounds for their assumption. The Case of Reason (1731) is Law's answer to the deists. deals with his definition of the nature of man and of virtue in a style at once buoyant. characteristically seizing on the fallacy underlying Mandeville's clever paradoxes. and intimates that 'if a man be not a Hypocrite. republished with explanatory notes under the title The Fable of the Bees.

'but what judges are we of the fitness of things? ' We can no more judge the divine nature than we can raise ourselves to a state of infinite wisdom . and the rule by which God acts 'must in many instances be entirely inconceivable by us . we can see many indications of the future mystic . Why complain of mysteries in revelation. many of Law's more characteristic beliefs. for the first time. Works. but in some human bodily form. 1 The Case of Reason. that. for the simple reason that we are not capable of knowing them. he would have to appear. he says. 9. p. he says. a scheme of creation which was 'plain and perspicuous353. in his opinion. and a settled belief that the human mind cannot possibly know anything as it really is. p. 4 The Case of Reason. p. the fundamental assumption of the deists. a strong sense of man's capacity for spiritual development. for the crudely material thought of his opponent seems to have called into expression.' says Law. 7. in his later writings especially. perfectly clear to the minds of his creatures. 5 Ibid. that human reason is all-sufficient to guide us to truth. or should be. p. 3 40 . is the great error which [312] William Law and the Mystics Law. and they believed in a magnified man God outside the universe. If an angel were to appear to us. so that his appearance might be 35 36 37 38 Christianity as Old as the Creation. Things supernatural or divine. cannot be revealed to us in their own nature. set himself to combat .' capable of accurate investigation. 20. it is devilish pride. methods and aims were. men can know nothing whatsoever. There is. or of the reason or fitness of his actions.governed by fixed laws. and believed in a God who was so infinitely greater than man. . wrapped in impenetrable mystery. the sin by which the angels fell 38 1 . ' I readily grant this. than the state of human life itself364' ? Tindal asserts that the ' fitness of things ' must be the sole rule of God's actions. Law saw a living universe. of His nature. and in no instances fully known or perfectly comprehended37 5' In short. not as he really is. ii. whose nature. . when 'no revealed mysteries can more exceed the comprehension of man. vol. but can only know things in so far as it is able to apprehend them through symbol or analogy. In the further development of his position in The Case of Reason. throughout.

Both treatises are concerned with the practical question of how to live in accordance With the teachings of Christ. 16. p. A Practical Treatise upon Christian Perfection (1726) and A Serious Call (1728). comparatively little need be said about them here. Thus. 194 41 . Wesley's Works. and they point out with peculiar force that the way consists. A Serious Call. 39. For these reasons. That is the secret of A Serious Call. Christian Perfection. and it is only able to teach so much outward knowledge of a great mystery as human language can represent403 . Law's lofty ideals acted as an electric current. 39 2 Ibid. though somewhat gloomy and austere in tone. pp. 41 4 Ibid. This is the way in which revelation teaches us. it can only be represented to us by its likeness to something that we already naturally know392. delightful and persuasive style. 42 1 Sermon CVII. and in an age distinguished for its mediocrity and easygoing laxness. John Wesley himself acknowledged that A Serious Call sowed the seed of methodism421. vol.suited to our capacities. but in a new principle of life. an entire change of temper and of aspiration. with any supernatural or divine matter. and only by the spiritual faculty that exists in us can the things of the spirit be even dimly apprehended414. moreover. have been more read and are better known than any other of his writings . VII. 17. being independent both of local controversies and of any special metaphysic. Few books in English have wielded such an influence. a book of extraordinary power. setting aflame the hearts of all who came under their power. Law's practical and ethical works. but it was quite overshadowed by the wider popularity of what many consider Law's greatest work. 37 40 3 Ibid. it is written from the heart. p. Never has the ideal of the Christian life been painted by one who lived more literally in accordance with every word he preached. has much charm and beauty . p. 1856. by a man in deep earnest.. reason is impotent in face of it. 11th ed. not in performing this or that act of devotion or ceremony. racy wit and unanswerable logic. Never have the inconsistency between Christian precept and practice been so ruthlessly exposed and the secret springs of men's hearts so [313] uncompromisingly laid bare. they explain themselves.

' he says. chap. 'I became. B. yet we know that. also vol. ' a sort of lax talker against religion. 48 1 See Recherche de la Vérité. was forced to read it through before he could go to rest) 465 are two among many other diverse characters who felt its force. G. 44 3 Boswell's Life of Johnson. he wrote a thesis entitled Malebranche. attributes his first serious thoughts to the reading of it. if it be equalled. Que nous voyons toutes choses en Dieu. But it did not appeal only to this type of mind. expecting to find it a dull book (as such books generally are).and. next to the Bible. ii. undoubtedly.. Henry Whitfield. Hill. they do not show any marked mystical tendency. p. ed. Hill. vol. and. a few months before his death.. 33.' When there. I took up Law's Serious Call to a Holy Life. Although. i. taking it up at bedtime. 319. and probably influenced by. vol. from his undergraduate-ship onwards. and [314] the Vision of All Things in God. unless we see God in some measure. p. were Law's views and writings until middle age. when at Cambridge. Henry Venn. 68. part 2. 1887..' Charles Wesley. ii. Dr Johnson. p. that. On the other hand. Gibbon454 and the first Lord Lyttelton (who. who praised it in no measured terms. Works. Law was a 'diligent reader' of mystical books47 6 and. Malebranche's view that all true knowledge is but the measure of the extent to which the individual can participate in the universal life. he spoke of it as 'a treatise which will hardly be excelled. But I found Law quite an over-match for me. It made the deepest impression on Wesley himself. there are points in Malebranche's philosophy — which curiously 43 2 Letter to Law of 1738. p. 122 45 4 Gibbon's Memoirs. either for beauty of expression or for justice and depth of thought. he preached after its model43 2 . and that it is only by union with God we are capable of knowing what we do know481. Such. G. before that time. and this lasted till I went to Oxford443. vol. specially livre iii. p. he used it as a text-book for the highest class at Kingswood school . ed. it contributed more than any other book to the spread of evangelicalism. quoted by Overton. and this was the first occasion of my thinking in earnest of religion. 46 5 Byrom's Journal. 634. 42 . Thomas Adam and James Stillingfleet are among other great methodists and evangelicals who have recorded how profoundly it affected them. we do not see anything . 23. There is no question that he was strongly attracted to. p. vi. vi. Thomas Scott. 1900. 47 6 See Some Animadversions upon Dr Trapp's late Reply. Birkbeck. for I did not much think against it . in the English tongue. very briefly.

even in Boehme's broken and faltering syllables. at any rate. the Belgian and German writers Johannes Ruysbroek. in Law's view. and. and sought for light from within. Fénelon. by the light of which he caught glimpses of mysteries and of splendours which. married the daughter of a butcher and lived quietly and humbly. in Germany. coming down from Plotinus through Meister Eckhart and Tauler. and the seventeenth century quietists. troubled only by years of bitter persecution from his pastor. Jacob Boehme (or Behmen. 1733).stops short of its logical conclusion — quite opposed to Law's later thought: more especially the belief. Everything appears to him as an image. been carried on and developed by Caspar von Schwenckfeld and Sebastian Franck . was apprenticed to a shoemaker. he came across the work of the seer who supplied just what he needed. a logical process expresses itself in a series of pictures. Among other mystics studied by Law were Dionysius the Areopagite. pp. and who set his whole nature aglow with mystical fervour. which Malebranche shared with Descartes on the one side and Locke on the other. Johann Tauler. as a boy. and an intense power of [315] visualizing. helped his father to tend cattle. Works. with him. sober and hard-working. who loved to recur to them in writing and in talk . whereas. is one of the most amazing phenomena in an amazing age. Boehme was in touch with the thought of his time. while a revival of the still older practical or ' perceptive mysticism of the east. that body and spirit are separate and contrary existences . The last two were much admired by Byrom. as he has usually been called in England). William Blake. he lived in a glory of inner illumination. Although illiterate and untrained. like him also. and. viii. 43 . and the form of his work. He saw with the eye of his mind into the heart of things. he was taught how to write and read. owes a good deal to it. they were too diffuse. like that of his fellow-seer. This was his outer life. had. He was the son of a herdsman. He had a quick and supple intelligence. but they were not altogether congenial to Law . vol. the peasant shoemaker of Gorlitz. The older speculative mysticism which rather despised nature. he was about forty-six (c. Heinrich Suso and others. When. sentimental and even hysterical to please his essentially robust and manly temper. body and spirit are but inward and outward expressions of the same being492. however. and he wrote down so much of it as he could understand with his reason. but. dazzle and blind the ordinary reader. based on a study of the 49 2 See The Spirit of Love. Madame Guyon and Antoinette Bourignon. who stirred up the civil authorities against him. 31 and 33.

and this law. the other from without. reconciled into one system by the Lutheran pastor Valentin Weigel. had been brought about by Cornelius Agrippa and Paracelsus. good can only be known through evil. resulting in rotation. These two mystical traditions. and rotation. No one more fully believed in ultimate unity than did Boehme . These two forces. They are the outcome of the 'nature' or 'no will. 44 . He asserted the uniformity of law throughout all existence. to some extent. form an endless whirl of movement. divine and human alike. being [316] forced into collision. He divides the will into two. which applies throughout nature. or will under three aspects. were. with their resultant effect. the ' yes ' and the ' no. The older mystics — eastern and western alike — had laid supreme stress on unity as seen in the nature of God and all things. God. and weakness through strength. but he lays peculiar stress on the duality. strain.' and this is brought about by seven organizing spirits or forms. within man and without. in order to enter into a struggle with it. physical and spiritual. and. the devil and the world . and are called by different names : good.' and so founds an eternal contrast to Himself out of His own hidden nature. more accurately. expansion. in modern terms.' as Blake puts it in his development of the same thesis in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. heterogeneity. centripetal and centrifugal force. the one starting from within. with whose mysticism Boehme has much in common. just as light is only visible when reflected by a dark body501 Thus. the triune principle. when God. the trinity in unity. The first three of these bring nature out of the dark element to the point where contact with light is possible. They are the 50 1 'Without contraries is no progression. finally. and the central point of his philosophy is the fundamental postulate that all manifestation necessitates opposition. both of whom owed much to the Jewish Cabbala. The first two are in deadly antagonism.' and are the basis of all manifestation. is that nothing can reveal itself without resistance. to discipline and assimilate it The object of all manifested nature is the transforming of the will which says 'no' into the will which says 'yes. or. are contraction. which. evil and life .natural sciences (in which were included astrology. or the three laws of motion. and. are to be found all through manifested nature. attraction and anguish. Boehme calls them harshness. homogeneity. alchemy and magic). desires to become manifest.

spirit and nature approach and meet. and forming the necessary basis for the light or good. A spiritual principle becomes manifest by taking on a form or quality. ii. The ' dark ' or harsh principle in God is not evil in itself when in its right place.' Neither of them alone is water. and yet water could not be if either were lacking. xiv. §§ 10 — 15. and it becomes a cross. ni. when hidden. and. contraction. in them. for all life has a double birth. or Signatura Rerum. and the evolution of the three higher forms then begins . the divine order has been transgressed. But. chap. their original form goes 'into hiddenness. A divine law is accomplished . Boehme calls them light or love. the flash brings the rotating wheel of anguish to a standstill. Suppose 'water' stands for complete good or reality as God sees it. while the last three form the principle of light. when they combine. and lies at the root of his explanation of evil.' hence. and. but see his Threefold Life of Man. they are of the spirit. chap. sound and substance . chap. in the spark of the lightning. gross and selfish in nature is consumed . lightning or fire. in the first three the dark principle which Boehme calls fire is manifested. If they are resolved into two sets of three.. with peculiar qualities of its own. These two are eternally distinct. the other remains hidden. i. In reading Boehme. §§ 5. 12 . expansion and rotation are repeated in a new sense511 The first three forms give the stuff or strength of being . and the dark side has become manifest and appears to us as evil Many chemical processes help to give a crude illustration of Boehme's thought. it must not be forgotten that he has a living intuition of the eternal forces which lie at the root of all things. iv. These principles of nature can be looked at in another way. and evolution can proceed in either direction. which is the fourth moment or essence . a new form is liberated. chap. chap. through the fall of man. §§ 23—32 . At this point. all that is dark. He is 51 1 Boehme refers to these seven forces in all his writings. i. the last three manifest the quality of being. §§ 27—36. from the shock. apart from the 'love. Of the two different gases. their conflict is terrible. good or bad . 45 . 73 .' and we get a new body ' water.'power' of God. [317] hydrogen (= evil) and oxygen (= good) each is manifested separately. suffering is the condition of joy and only in going through fire or the Cross can man reach light. With the lightning ends the development of the negative triad. and.e. § 1 . This doctrine of the hidden and manifest is peculiar to Boehme. whichever is manifested. but.

When he had released 52 1 Mysterium Magnum. he gripped him suddenly and held his head under the water until he was nearly drowned.struggling to express the stupendous world-drama which is ever being enacted. although he fully realizes their inadequacy. contrast or duality as the condition of all manifestation . biblical and alchemical terms. and. for God hath no beginning. just as it did in the beginning. 'for the eternal dwells not in time521 He has to speak of the generation of God as though it were an act in time. The whole of Boehme's practical teaching. there is no such thing as historical succession. ' in bodily fashion. as. The practical and ethical result of this living unity of nature is simple. and. also. although to do so is to use 'diabolical' (i. the relation of the hidden and the manifest . part i. VIII. Boehme's work. in common with that of all mystics. might be summed up in the story told of an Indian sage who was importuned by a young man as to how he could find God. for the sake of my readers' lack of understanding. but the four fundamental principles which he enunciated and emphasized may be thus summarized : will or desire as the original force. although he is forced to describe things in a series of images.' Unless this be remembered. that of Law. in the universe without and in the soul of man within .e. even as all the qualities he names are in everything which is manifested. what is needed is the actual union of the elements. He is never weary of explaining that. Everything he describes is going on always and simultaneously. 'I speak thus. one evening. he presses into his service symbolical. For [318] some time. is the root-force in man as it is in nature and in the Godhead. is liable to the gravest misunderstanding. chap. 'The birth of nature takes place today. whereas. and. with a final resolution into unity. 46 . development as a progressive unfolding of difference. or desire. while there. to this end.. any purely historical or intellectual knowledge of these things is as useless as if hydrogen were to study all the qualities of oxygen.' It would be impossible to give here any adequate account of Boehme's vision. Boehme's philosophy is one which can only be apprehended by living it Will.' he says. expecting thus to become water. until this is turned towards the light. but. the sage did not give any answer . he bade the youth come and bathe with him in the river. knowingly untrue) language.

St Augustine. The later book is an account of the main principles of Boehme. William Blake saw visions and spoke a tongue like that of the illuminated cobbler . 559. p. the main difference being that. in his later writings — Boehme having furnished the clue — he adds not only the reason for this conduct being right. book xi. 'A breath of air. p. spiritually. part 2.' This realization of the momentous quality of the will is the secret of every religious mystic531. we learn that. chap. or because it is right or lawful. Such was the thought of the writer who. The first of these should be read by anyone desirous of knowing Law's later thought. or Ruysbroek's answer to the priests from Paris who came to consult him on the state of their souls : 'You are as you desire to be. [319] Man was made out of the breath of God . was closely akin to our two greatest English mystics. of Boehme's teaching is that which Law most consistently emphasizes. IV . 'What did you want most when your head was under water?' and the youth replied. 7 September 1751. with a warning as to the right way to apply them. The following aspect. they put him into ' a perfect sweat. Byrom's Journal. when he first read Boehme's works. the sage asked. and of Law.' 54 2 ' Hunger is all. views . the unity of all nature and the quality of fire or desire. his soul is a spark of the 53 1 Cf. 'When you want God as you wanted that breath of air you will find Him.' The City of God. Walker. are but an expansion of his earlier. then. 541. ' Only those who combine intense mystical aspiration with a clear and imperious intellect can fully realize what the experience must have been. and it was written as an introduction to the new edition of Boehme's works which Law contemplated publishing. printed in Walton's Notes and Materials. but the means of attaining it.' See Law's letter to Langcake. Law's later. and all else will follow. vol. he urges certain temper and conduct because it is our duty to obey God. whereas. as Law calls it542.' To which the sage answered. i. in the practical treatises (Christian Perfection and A Serious Call). 55 3 See Law's letter to W. by expounding the working of the law itself. and in all worlds everything lives in it. The two most important of Law's mystical treatises are An Appeal to all that Doubt (1740). who was not a seer553.him. is the first necessity. ' To will God entirely is to have Him. and by it. for it is a clear and fine exposition of his attitude with regard more especially to the nature of man. the hunger of the soul. and The Way to Divine Knowledge (1752). 47 .

is the way of death. incomplete). hourly exercise of the mind. until the whole turn and bent of our spirit 'points as constantly to God as the needle touched with the loadstone does to the north58 3. have a sound of its own. 138 — 9. as for a grain of wheat to be alive before it dies594'. and would. for. and. in this connection. through seeking separation. and the astringent qualities are not lost or destroyed. is the will or desire605 It is the seed of everything that can grow in us . Works. cannot die. The root of all. This should be the daily. The analogy of the fruit is. 27—8. they appear as evil. 4 Ibid. luscious and good to eat. by 'the fall. so soon as the will of man ' turns to itself. but transmuted and enriched. Thus.e. vol. from this false imagination to the true one. vii. astringent. and are thus the main cause of its goodness56 1. 23. The only way to pass from this condition of 'bitterness' to ripeness. 20. but when. and everything is its work ' . desiring the knowledge of good and evil as separate things. they are separated from love. for it ' has the unbeginning unending life of God in it. And this will or desire is always active .' To be alive in God. bitter. We must die to what we are before we can be born anew572. then. p. pp. 2 The Spirit of Prayer.' man's standpoint has been dislocated from the centre to the circumference. therefore. Yet it is the same fruit. for there is nothing evil in God. and he lives in a false imagination. the root of all evil . pp. it is sour. When a fruit is unripe {i. Hence. it is the true magic power. strength and desire in the divine nature are necessary and magnificent qualities. when it has been longer exposed to the sun and air. but. p.' For it is the state of our will that makes the state of our life. vol. 3 Ibid. Every quality is equally good. if we are not 56 57 58 59 60 1 An Appeal to all that doubt or disbelieve the Truths of the Gospel. but evil appears to be through separation. 48 .' Man has fallen from his high estate through ignorance and inexperience. from whom all comes . as in the creature. taking the part for the whole. before you are dead to your own nature. 'it is the only workman in nature.Deity. vi. is 'a thing as impossible in itself. Works. 24. It. we must die to the things of this world to which we cling. p. it becomes sweet. every man's life is a continual state [320] of prayer. Works. 5 The Way to Divine Knowledge. and falls into the misery of its own discord. as it were. thus. The assertion of self is. and we must turn towards God. unwholesome . vii. a favourite one with both Law and Boehme. and for which we desire and hope. vol. it breaks off from the divine harmony.

67 7 The Spirit of Prayer. ibid. 63 3 Ibid. vol. it is not surprising 61 1 See The Spirit of Prayer. is a part of his belief in the ' Light Within.praying for the things of God. When we remember the barren controversies about externals in matters religious which raged all through his lifetime. are no higher. and.' Law's attitude towards learning. vi. and can do. See. 68. the greatest realities we have. pp. but they have their ground and reason in the nature of the thing. 69. The mysteries of religion. Works. 19—20. 64 4 Ibid. and the exaltation of the reason as the only means whereby man could know anything of the deeper truths of existence. we are praying for something else 611 For prayer is but the desire of the soul. 60. 23. therefore. Nature is God's great book of revelation. to remember his belief in the reality and actuality of the oneness of nature and of Law633. also. pp. p. There is no question of God's mercy or of His wrath 65 5. 66 6 The Way to Divine Knowledge. It is essential to the understanding of Law. vii. to ask why one person does not gain any help from the mercy and goodness of God while another does gain help is ' like asking why the refreshing dew of Heaven does not do that to flint which it does to the vegetable plant666?' Self-denial and mortification of the flesh are not things imposed upon us by the mere will of God : considered in themselves. Our imaginations and desires are. 27. p. vii. for it is an eternal principle that we can only receive what we are capable of receiving . as the death of the husk and gross part of the grain is necessary to make way for its vegetable life677. pp. which has been somewhat misunderstood. and we should look closely to what they are622. 49 . 62 2 An Appeal. and no deeper than the mysteries of nature644. vol. p. In judging of what he says as to the inadequacy of book knowledge and scholarship. 150 — 1. pp.' which he shares with all mystical thinkers. vii. vii. Works. therefore. 80 65 5 The Spirit of Prayer. Works. Works. they have nothing of goodness or holiness . vol. God Himself is subject to this law. vol. 169. pp. and are as ' absolutely necessary to make way for the new birth. vol. Works. it is necessary to call to mind the characteristics of his age and public. 91 — 2. as of Boehme. for it is nothing else but God's own outward manifestation of what He inwardly is.

was no more an enemy of learning than Ruskin was an enemy of writing and reading because he said that there were very few people in the world who got any good by either. 127. says Law. There cannot be any knowledge of things but where the thing itself is . and that. or see with his Nose 69 1 ' All true knowledge. Works. Leslie. xxv and xxviii. II.' and on the whole subject of his mystical thought as 'a melancholy topic ' are constrained to admit. pp.that. Power and Office of Reason as if he were to smell with his Eyes. p. not conveyed to you by a Hearsay Notion. 50—1. for knowledge can only be yours as Sickness and Health is yours. 3 See Bigg. it must be experienced . also. but the Fruit of your own Perception70 2. [321] He. there cannot be any knowledge ' of any unpossessed Matters. if it were not that man has the divine nature in him. with Law. As applied to him. Works. vol. no omnipotence of God could open in him the knowledge of divine things. in his introduction to A Serious Call. clear reasoner and finished writer. 2 Ibid.' Law. vol. Charles. vol. pp. who looks to his reason as the true power and light of his nature. The reason for this cumulative richness is that the history and development of Law's prose style is the history and development of his character.' Those who least understand his later views. liberal scholar. Stephen. Sincerity is 68 69 70 71 72 8 See The Way to Divine Knowledge. and. who look upon them as 'idle fancies. 405 — 9 50 . Law is among the greatest of English prose writers. Their scornful remarks on these subjects often mislead their readers. his style becomes mellower and rises to greater heights than in his earlier work724. English Thought in the 18th Century. vii. he urges. but solely to put them in their right place713. 118 — 28. and no one ever more truly possessed than he ' the splendid and imperishable excellence of sincerity and strength. for a view of Law's later thought. he should be driven to assert the utter inadequacy of the intellect by itself in all spiritual concerns688. Buffon's epigram was strictly true. but that. 'betrays the same Ignorance of the whole Nature. 93. in his mystical treatises. the pendulum should swing in the opposite direction. yet the aim of both writers was not to belittle these things in themselves. pp. must come from within. 1 See The Way to Divine Knowledge. vii. 3 Ibid. with passionate insistence. not only that he writes fine and lucid prose in A Serious Call. p. pp.

intellect. On this side. When he was still a young man. rhythmical. and at last end a careful. and. The Pond. for fear of lessening his pond. not suffering himself to drink half a draught. logical. and one which illustrates his disregard for iteration. If you should see him grow grey and old in these anxious labours. from the day when he ruined his prospects at Cambridge.the keynote of his whole nature. however. the logical and satirical side was strongest. A good instance of his method. in The Poems of John Byrom (Chetham Society. part i. but was foolish enough to be reckoned amongst idiots and madmen ? But yet foolish and absurd as this character is. to convey the precise shade of his meaning. with. which was characteristic of the man. of belief. sane. watching early and late to catch the drops of rain. 1894). in later years. A certain stiffness and lack of adaptability. gaping after every cloud. and his thought is lightened by brilliant flashes of wit or of grim satire. a touch of whimsey. but. at the same time. emotion. 73 1 Cf. he chooses the most homely similes. yet always carrying a bucket of water in his hand. never shirking the logical outcome of his convictions. sincere. for this purpose. to the later years when he suffered his considerable reputation to be eclipsed by his espousal of an uncomprehended and unpopular mysticism. is the parable of the pond in A Serious Call. 51 . except under stress of feeling. would you not say. that such a one was not only the author of all his own disquiets. Sincerity implies courage. in hopes of water. Law's first object is to be explicit. It is strong. and absurd disquiets of the covetous man. and Law was a brave man. pp. and always studying how to make every ditch empty itself into his pond. if you should see a man that had a large pond of water. thirsty life. yet living in continual thirst. makes itself felt in his prose. which was versified by Byrom731 Again. practical. rather than a profound. his sarcastic vein and his power of expressing his meaning in a simile. sincerity of thought. this was much tempered by emotion and tenderness. He had a keen. and is not in the least afraid of repetition. and running greedily into every mire and mud. by falling into his own pond. his was a true [322] eighteenth century mind. enthusiasm and great tenderness of feeling. in spite of his free use of italics and capital letters. always thirsty. 196—202. Underneath a severe and slightly stiff exterior lay. either of words or thoughts. in fetching more water to his pond. it does not represent half the follies. and a tendency to a quite unexpected lack of balance on certain subjects. This description of Law's character might equally serve as a description of his style. not especially melodious. if you should see him wasting his time and strength. of speech and of life.

Law's use of simile and analogy in argument is characteristic. while exhibiting different sides of the man. brilliant and severely logical. 52 . in addressing Mandeville. the treatise is steeped in mystic ardour.' This is the kind of unerring homely simile which abounds in Law's writing. Mandeville's poem is a vigorous satire in the Hudibrastic vein. ' Though I direct myself to you. he lights up his position in one flash. while possessed of a strength and beauty which Plotinus himself has seldom surpassed. written in pithy sentences and short paragraphs. He had the command of several instruments and could play in different keys. conveys the longing of the soul for union with the Divine. crisp. containing a large proportion of words of one syllable. The sentences and phrases are longer. are excellent examples of the variety and [323] range of his prose. The earlier work is biting. there is a tolerance. and mental and spiritual. Remarks displays to the full Law's peculiar power of illustrating the fallacy of an abstract argument. and.' he begins. ' to say that a Man is dishonest. Remarks upon the Fable of the Bees (1723). in Law's answer. By means of it. all through. but. an imaginative quality and a melody of rhythm rarely to be found in the early work. Other examples could be cited to illustrate the pungency and raciness of Law's style when he is in the mood for logical refutation. the printed page thus presenting to the eye quite a different appearance from that of his later work. and move to a different measure . processes is frequent. or with dexterity lays bare an inconsistency. and The Spirit of Prayer (1749—50). and morality only an imposture. it called out the full share of the same quality which he himself possessed. in addition. and. and which reminds us of the swift and caustic wit of Mrs Poyser. His use of analogies between natural. and is applied with power in his later writings.' he retorts. a tender charm.' The two assertions of Mandeville which Law is chiefly concerned to refute are that man is only an animal. by embodying it in a concrete example. and. when the oneness of law in the spiritual and natural worlds became the very ground of his philosophy. is making him just such a Criminal as a Horse that does not dance. But it is only necessary to glance at the first half page of The Spirit of Prayer to appreciate the marked difference in temper and phrasing. ' According to this Doctrine. The early characteristics are as strong as ever . ' I hope it will be no Offence if I sometimes speak as if I was speaking to a Christian.

not. This style of writing. Thus. to the limitations of Law's outlook. is a fine example of Law's middle style. as Sir Leslie Stephen — himself not wholly in sympathy with it — has finely said. and. This is a key. but not at all as a physician74 1. A Serious Call. its ' power can only be adequately felt by readers who can study it on their knees. with the strong sarcastic tendency restrained . the distinguishing and peculiar characteristic of Law as a prose writer is that. than the few virtuous characters he has drawn. it throbs with feeling. the scholar. indeed. very popular in the seventeenth century. a pious physician is acceptable to God as pious. for. are two of the best known and most elaborate of his portraits. 53 . as a whole. inconsistent and selfish characters.' One can well imagine how repugnant it would have been to the writer that such a work should be criticised or appraised from a purely literary point of view. and Law uses it with great skill. On the whole. and that he treats them according to his closely logical habit of mind.In A Serious Call. [324] and. and his more mundane characteristics. clear and rhythmical. Law's foolish. for the most part. more sympathetic to frail humanity. on the one hand. Law makes considerable use of his power of character drawing. are more true to life. a man's work in the world. as it has. he is occupied with things which can only be experienced emotionally and spiritually. so that one good person is precisely like another. more especially. indeed. the country gentleman or the man of affairs. of which there are indications already in Christian Perfection. 74 1 See Bigg's introduction to A Serious Call. such as the woman of fashion. and. the lofty teaching of his Serious Call would not have influenced. entire generations of English-speaking people. of his influence . Yet. xxix. 1899. if William Law had not been a great literary craftsman. perhaps. grave. in his view. had long been a favourite method for conveying moral instruction. ' the heathen and Christian sister 'as Gibbon calls them. on the other. The result is an unusual combination of reason and emotion which makes appeal at once to the intellect and the heart of the reader. nor. so illumined as The Spirit of Prayer. and yet. His sketches of Flavia and Miranda. are as nothing. p. so brilliant as the Remarks.

and see. Law's opponents. Charles Wesley. and. John Byrom. The relationship between these two men much resembles that of Johnson and Boswell. nevertheless. with mysticism in general . vegetarian and mystic. who. 54 . he had. he has many forgivable foibles and weaknesses. in very forcible language. on his return from Georgia in 1738. was another of Law's friends at this time . in his books (A Christian Perfection and A Serious Call). 113. omitted to emphasize that the only means of attaining it was through the atonement of Christ77 1. style in prose and a considerable variety of interests and pursuits. 77 1 For a full account of the relations of Wesley and Law. 268—70. though he was greatly revered by methodists and evangelists. It is easy to see that he was far too independent a thinker to be acceptable even to the high churchmen whose cause he espoused. seems suddenly to have realized. two or three times yearly.' he writes from Georgia. vol. see Overton. used to travel the whole distance from Oxford on foot in order to consult their 'oracle76 3' Later. ii. 181.Although Law's spiritual influence in his own generation was probably more profound than that of any other man of his day. 'I comprehend those and only those who slight any of the means of grace782' George Cheyne. a delightful. 112. 52. He travelled 75 2 See Overton. i. also. concealing a very real affection. having joined the Moravians. chap. because completely natural. however. that. and the text of their two famous letters. II. 80 — 92. his later mysticism was wholly abhorrent to them752. yet he had curiously few direct followers. The most famous members of the little band of disciples who visited him at Putney were the Wesleys. pp. and we find the same outspoken brusqueness. when Wesley. of the later methodists. which is the outcome of a sincere and tender nature. p. Byrom. part 1. by Thomas Jackson. he possesses something of the artless simplicity. the account in Byrom's Journal. and to have contended. vol. fashionable doctor. Letter ix. but the most charming and most lovable of his followers was his devoted admirer. pp. 76 3 Works. xxi. on the part of the mentor. vol. IX. with the same unswerving devotion and zealous record of details — even of the frequent snubs received — on the part of the disciple. in many ways. put a very high ideal before men. The Life of the Rev. 53. there was a rupture between them. 1841. reminds us of Goldsmith. 'under the term mysticism. vol. 78 2 See Byrom's Journal. [325] although Law. the rare and fragrant charm. and for later methodist views. 123. part 1. pp. as. This was largely the quarrel of Wesley. John and Charles. also. p.

abroad and studied medicine, and, though he never took a medical degree, he was always called Doctor by his friends; he was an ardent Jacobite, a poet, a mystic and the inventor of a system of shorthand, by the teaching of which he increased his income until, in 1740, he succeeded to the family property near Manchester. Byrom, though a contemporary of Law at Cambridge, evidently did not know him personally until 1729, and his first recorded meeting with his hero, as, also, the later ones, form some of the most attractive passages of an entirely delightful and too little known book, The Private Journal and Literary Remains of John Byrom. It is from this journal that we gather most of our information about Law at Putney, and from it that, incidentally, we get the fullest light on his character and personality. On 15 February 1729, Byrom bought A Serious Call, and, on the following 4 March, he and a friend named Mildmay went down in the Fulham coach to Putney to interview the author. This was the beginning of an intimacy which lasted until Law's death, and [326] which was founded on a strong community of tastes in matters of mystical philosophy, and on the unswerving devotion of Byrom to his 'master79 1'. They met at Cambridge, where Byrom gave shorthand lessons, and Law shepherded his unsatisfactory pupil ; at Putney, in Somerset gardens and, later, at King's Cliffe802. Byrom, though scarcely a poet, for he lacked imagination, had an unusual facility for turning everything into rime. He sometimes wrote in very pleasing and graceful vein813, and he had an undoubted gift of epigram824; but he was particularly fond of making verse paraphrases of prose writings, and especially of those of William Law. His two finest pieces of this kind are An Epistle to a Gentleman of the Temple (1749), which versifies Law's Spirit of Prayer; and the letter on Enthusiasm (1752),
79 1 ' how much better he from whom I draw Though deep yet clear his system — "Master Law." Master I call him...' (Epistle to a Gentleman of the Temple.) 80 2 See, for an example of their conversations, which, in the variety of its topics, and distinctive character of its sentiments, throws much light on Law's thoughts and ideals, that of Saturday, 7 June 1735. 81 3 Especially in his song 'Why prithee now' (Poems, i, 115), or his early pastoral, ' My Time, ye Muses.' 82 4 As in the famous lines upon Handel and Bononcini, often attributed to Swift (Poems, I, 35), and the Pretender toast (Poems, i, 572).


founded on the latter part of Law's Animadversions upon Dr Trapp's Reply. This last poem is written with admirable clearness and point; Law's defence of enthusiasm is one of the best things he wrote, and Byrom does full justice to it. 'Enthusiasm,' meaning, more especially 'a misconceit of inspiration83 5' the laying claim to peculiar divine guidance or 'inner light,' resulting in anything approaching fanaticism or even emotion, was a quality equally abhorred and feared in the eighteenth century by philosophers, divines and methodists, indeed, by everyone except mystics. The first care of every writer and thinker was to clear himself of any suspicion of this 'horrid thing84 6' Law's argument, which is to the effect that enthusiasm is but the kindling of the driving desire or will of every intelligent creature, is well summarized by Byrom: — [327]
Think not that you are no Enthusiast, then! All Men are such, as sure as they are Men. The Thing itself is not at all to blame 'Tis in each State of human Life the same, ... That which concerns us therefore, is to see What Species of Enthusiasts we be851.

Byrom hoped that, by turning them into verse, Law's later teachings might reach a larger public862, and, in this. Law evidently agreed with him, looking upon him as a valuable ally. Byrom's work certainly did not lack appreciation by his contemporaries; Warburton — who had no cause to love him — thought highly of it, and Wesley, who ascribes to him all the wit and humour of Swift, together with much more learning, says that in his poems are 'some of the noblest truths expressed with the utmost energy of language, and the strongest colours of poetry87 3.'
83 5 Henry More, Enthusiasmus Triumphatus, 1662, § 2. 84 6 Bishop Butler, when talking once to Wesley, exclaimed, ' Sir, the pretending to extraordinary revelation or gifts of the Holy Ghost is a horrid thing, a very horrid thing.' For an admirable account of ' Enthusiasm,' see The English Church in the 18th Century, by Abbey and Overton, vol. i, chap, ix ; also a note by Ward, A. W., in Byrom's Poems, vol. ii, pt. 1, pp. 169—79; and a note by Hill, G. Birkbeck, in Gibbon's Memoirs, 1900, p. 22. 85 1 Byrom's Poems, II, 1, pp. 190 — 1. 86 2 ' Since different ways of telling may excite In different minds Attention to what's right, And men (I measure by myself) sometimes, Averse to Reas'ning, may be taught by Rimes.' Poems, ii, 1, 164. 87 3 Wesley's Journal, Monday, 12 July 1773.


Henry Brooke884 was another writer who was deeply imbued with Boehme's thought, and his expression of it, imbedded in that curious book The Fool of Quality (1766 — 70), reached, probably, a larger public than did Law's mystical treatises89 5. In many ways, Brooke must have been a charming character, original, tender-hearted, overflowing with sentiment, but entirely incapable of concentration or even continuity of thought. His book is a brave one, full of high ideals. It is an extraordinary mixture of schoolboy pranks, romantic adventures, stories — ancient and modern — ethical dialogues, dissertations on mystical philosophy, political economy, the British constitution, the relation of the sexes, the training of a gentleman and many other topics. Mr Meekly and Mr Fenton (or Clinton) are Brooke's two exponents of a very general and diluted form of 'Behmenism.' The existence of the two wills, the formation of Christ within the soul, the reflection of God's image in matter as in a mirror, the nature of beauty, of man and of God, the fall of Lucifer and the angels, and of Adam — all these things are discussed and explained in mystical language, steeped in emotion and sentiment906.

[328] The Fool of Quality found favour with John Wesley, who reprinted it in 1781, under the title The History of Henry Earl of Moreland. In doing this, he reduced it from five volumes to two, omitting, as he says in his preface, ' a great part of the mystic Divinity, as it is more philosophical than Scriptural.' He goes on to speak of the book with the highest praise, 'I now venture to recommend the following Treatise as the most excellent in its kind of any that I have seen, either in the English, or any other language' ; its greatest excellence being 'that it continually strikes at the heart ... I know not who can survey it with tearless eyes, unless he has a heart of stone.' Launched thus, with the imprimatur of their great leader, it became favourite reading with generations of devout
88 4 The uncle of the Henry Brooke of Dublin, who knew Law and greatly admired him. 89 5 Brooke also wrote a large number of plays and poems, two of the latter being full of mystical thought. Universal Beauty (1735 — (i) and Redemption (1772). As to Brooke's novels of. vol. x, chapter III, post. 90 6 See The Fool of Quality, ed. Baker, E. A., 1906, pp. 30, 31, 33, 39, 133—6, 142, 258—60, 328—30, 336, 367—9, 394.


ii. pp. Blake's prophetic books are only now. and. for his appreciation of them see Biographia Literaria.ideas of Boehme returned to England by way of Hegel. conclusion.Wesleyans. in spite of various strains of a mystic tendency. and notes to Southey's Life of Wesley. in Memorials of Coleorton. ed. … 91 1 Wesley's alterations in wording are most instructive and interesting. p. the mysticism of Law and his small circle of followers had no marked influence on the main stream of eighteenth century thought. It is. Later. W. 367. P. ed. 93 3 Coleridge also knew both Law and Boehme at first hand . Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin. some of the root . the impulse given by Law in this direction spending itself finally among littleknown dreamers and eccentrics922. however. beginning to find readers. Aids to Reflexion.. i. Thomas Erskine of Linlathen was indebted to both Law and Boehme. Maurice and others. pp. with Brooke. influenced F. They influenced Coleridge93 3. if it were more widely known. not surprising that. since mysticism can neither age nor die. 476. Cf. later. in his turn. have little chronological development. Law's Appeal. in this form. Francis Okely.. of 1781. thus preparing the way for the better understanding of mystical thought. passed through many editions91 1. For his projected work on Boehme. Greaves and Christopher Walton. ed. to be traced an influence which bore fruit in the nineteenth century. for instance. Mystics. and in connection with his philosophy. for he has not hesitated to alter as well as to omit passages. in the twentieth century. 1906. 286 — 7. 58 . Schelling. see letter to Lady Beaumont. J. The atmosphere of the age was antagonistic to it. Knight. They rarely found schools of thought in their own day. would. 1810. 3rd ed. undoubtedly. 1887. 1 vol. vol. after a hundred years. or. and profoundly modified nineteenth century conceptions. and it remained an undercurrent only. vol. 1846. ix. p. chap. unlike other thinkers. scientific or philosophical. ii. There remains. Clinton's account of the nature of man and God in Wesley. and. therefore. and he. or through Boehme's French disciple. win the response for which it has long been waiting. 92 2 As. vol. D. 105—7. Jung-Stilling and Friedrich Schlegel.

1807. 1776 . was the latest comedy. however. It must manifested itself in the works of Saint-Martin (+ 1804). and the latter is reported to have said "that it was a pretty capuchinade.. 1819 . 1790. either that one or another.History of the church? .1912 These enactments sufficiently show that the First Consul either would not or dared not adopt so liberal a policy toward the Church as had been anticipated. thus piecing out a sort of mystico-theodophic system. which. He wove into grotesque and fantastical forms the mystical ideas of nature contained in the works of Boehm and others. And had there existed no Pope. who. that these Laws had not been submitted to him. executed all the same. when he had no longer any motive to disguise his real thoughts.) 59 . 1800. Ecce Homo. l'homme et l'univers. 1792. 2 vol. and to complete it required only the presence of the two millions of men who had been sacrificed in pulling down what the First Consul was now engaged in building up. Oeuvres posthumes. The Democrats and Napoleon's companions in arms sneered at this ceremony. L'Homme de désir. Paris. " I have never regretted signing the Concordat. (Tr. " I had to have one of some kind. it would have been necessary to create one. 2 vol. De l'esprit des choses Paris. The Concordat was. Thomas Sebastian Byrne . they said." said he. and that he was fully satisfied with what he had done is shown by his [§ 890. Tableau naturel des rapports qui existent entre Dieu. 941 Martin Ducrey did good service in the cause of God by the school which he opened at 941 Des erreurs et de la vérité par un philosophe inconnu. Napoleon asked General Delmas how the celebration pleased him. Tours. Swedenborg." The religious reaction setting in was everywhere visible. which he propagated chiefly among the Free-masons of the higher degrees." Still the purpose of Napoleon was unshaken. uttered at St. owing that we must explain things by man and not man by things. did not exert the influence that should be looked for from one of his high moral character and unusual intellectual gifts. Helena. and its promulgation was celebrated in the Church of France by a solemn feast. 1802. but in vain. Pontificate of Pius VII 659] words. and boasted that the French flag had never been more glorious than since the day it had ceased to be blessed. April 18. because the reveries of Jacob Boehm. Lyon. Lyon. and Pordage had a greater fascination for his mind than the teachings of the Church. Lyon. Lps.Page 659 Johannes Baptist Alzog. The Pope protested. 1782. Its influence was marked on most of the literature of the day.

During the early days of his life he had drifted into scepticism and infidelity . and still later by the Carthusian monastery founded by him at Malan. and. with his eloquent pen. But the one who beyond I others contributed to the restoration of religion and the glorifying of the Christian name at this time was unquestionably Chateaubriand who. touched the hearts of all Frenchmen. as an evidence of his sincerity. moved by the appeal of his dying mother. but. wrote the Genius of Christianity. and enlisted them in a cause that id long since been set aside and made to give place to the subjects that filled the literature of the day. he returned to the faith of his youth.Sattanches (after 1800). 60 .

13.? . he accompanied Prince Gallitzin to 95 Affirmation habituelle. des sommeils selon le système de Mesmer? 97 Lcsm semble ne jamais avoir apprécié Cagliostro. After studying law. To propagate his views St. d. l'homme et l'univers (Lyons [ostensibly Edinburgh]. LOUIS CLAUDE DE: French mystic. and original sin. His travels gained him new acquaintances.Page 173 Johann Jakob Herzog. 1782). At this period he published his first work. Martin communicated. the spirit world. where he moved in aristocratic circles.. writing his emanational tenets in his Tableau naturel des rapports qui existent entre Dieu. his “revelation” on God. 18. 10 … SAINT-MARTIN.. At Lyons and Paris St. Philip Schaff – 1911 Notes sur l'article: vol. he entered the army and at Bordeaux became acquainted with a Portuguese 95 Jew named Martinez de Pasqualis. whose freemasonry increased St. In England he met William Law and Best. non validée. Martin now removed to Paris. Martin tried all sorts of experiments 96 at Lyons (1774-76) to gain fellowship with the Logos. ou les hommes rappelés au principe universel de la science (Lyons. 1803. he gradually withdrew from Pasqualis and his followers. under the pseudonym of “un philosophe inc(onnu)” Des erreurs et de la vérité. at Paris Oct. in mysterious phraseology and ceremony. the fall.the new Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia of religious knowledge: Embracing . 1775). 61 . at Amboise Jan. and read Swedenborg. b. on whom St. Among his hearers was a Count d'Hauterive. a book which aroused the anger of Voltaire. 1743. formed a cautious friendship97 with Cagliostro. 96 La source historique de cette donnée pourrait être intéressante... mais d'où cela vient-il? Des leçons aux élus coëns. Martin's tendency to mysticism. Meanwhile.

la confession d'Augsbourg. 1795). At the same time. where his theories found little sympathy. but in the latter year his father's illness forced him to return to Amboise. St. and juggling with numbers and the tetragrammaton. il ne fut donc jamais « titulaire » 100Données véhiculées par l'ordre martiniste. This position he held until his death. he held it the aim of man to be still higher than Christ. yet fell into all sorts of clairvoyance. St. the highest type of humanity. Before long. Pierre. considérations politiques. in his daily life St. Esprit des choses ou coup d'oeil philosophiques sur la nature des êtres et sur l'objet de leur existence (1800) . he bitterly hated101 the Church.102) 98 Le terme emprisonné est inexact. and during his incumbency he wrote Lettre à un ami. can scarcely be reduced to a system. encore faut-il prouver ces éléments! 101Il me paraît inexact de parler de haine. besides translating a number of the works of Boehme. comme d'une utilisation superstitieuse des nombres. Pastor of St. To this period of his career belong his L'Homme de désir (Lyons. 62 . Martin sought simply to live like a pious Christian. a mixture of cabalistic. conjuring. les nobles étaient éloignés de Paris décret du 24 germinal (16 avril 1794) 99 La durée de vie de l'école normale fut courte. Éclair sur l'association humaine (1797)... in 1788 he resided in Montbéliard with Duchess Dorothea of Württemberg. 1792). St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church. he was sent back to Paris as a teacher99 [178] at the new normal school there. and after being appointed tutor. through whom he was kept informed of mystic movements abroad during the French Revolution. and Le Nouvel Homme (1792).. to the Dauphin in 1791. however.Italy in 1787. and neoplatonic doctrines100 on a Christian basis. de l'exemple du Christ. with Condorcet. Paris pasteur luthérien. Martin's last close friendship was formed with Baron Kirchberger of Bern. faculté de théologie de Strasbourg. Gnostic.. (C. Sieyès. For his following see Martinist Order. His favorite sphere was anthropology. . Martin Luther. Martin himself was later imprisoned98 and exiled to Amboise. la suite de la phrase est « particulière »! 102Pfender Charles. Ecce homo (Paris. This latter upheaval was greeted by him with joy. philosophiques et religieuses sur la révolution française (Paris. he became one of his jailers two years later. Until 1791 he lived in Strasburg. and Bemardin de St. Ministère de l'homme esprit (1802). 1790). where he studied the writings of Jacob Bohme. Pfender. lcsm n'exerça jamais. Martin's views.

L. Une activité coën persistera quelques temps. J. B. 1863. J. Exeter. Saint-Martin applied himself to personal development. . et l'ordre selon Papus. 1862. who seemed to him adapted to the purpose and taught them by a severe. open to those who become adepts.Martin." The order was founded by Martinez de Pasqualis. Selections from the . M. toutefois on considère généralement que l'ordre comptait 10 degrés. Chuquet.). Schauer and A. . open to “men of desire. ib. and gave to the ritual the name of the rectified rite106 of St. certains émules pouvant revendiquer une succession. . 1823. L. de Saint-Martin . ib. C. To his initiates Pasqualis applied the name “elect priests”. C. who selected individuals. 1850. ? Les articles contiennent trop d'erreurs pour être affirmatif! 107Cela rappelle les distinctions des années 50 du 20e siècle par Philippe Encausse et Ambelain. Saint-Martin. Franek.v.Bibliography : La Correspondance inédite de L. Moreau. SaintMartin et son maître Martinez Pasqually.. Paris.. assumed direction104 of the order and reduced the degrees to three105. 1862.” The government is in five 103Le nombre de degrés semble avoir varié. Du mysticisme au 18e siècle. A. 105L'affirmation est de la responsabilité de Papus Teder et s'imprime dans le rituel martiniste de 1912. 1852. E. cf. ib. Amsterdam. Notice biographique sur L. Martin. and persistent discipline to develop their inner and hidden powers. some of them of prominent position. . ed. Correspondence between . mais ni lcsm. 63 .. systematic. . 104Ils n'ont jamais présidé l'ordre de Martinès. de Saint Martin." As he left the system it had seven degrees103.. Caro. and the exterior or practical and scientific. ni Willermoz. Saint-Martin . Réflexions sur lee idées de L. Essai sur la vie et la doctrine de Saint-Martin. and Kirchberger. lequel avait désigné Caignet de Lester mort en 1778 qui désigne Las Casas dernier grand maître (officiel) clôt les activités des 8 temples encore actifs en 1781. ib. Mystical Philosophy and Spiritual Manifestations. M. There are two parts in the order107: the inner or spiritual. La Philosophie mystique en France à la fin du 18e siècle. a Portuguese emigrant to France at [217 vue 242] the end of the eighteenth century. . Jean Baptiste Willermoz and Louis Claude de SaintMartin (q. Gence. 1866. 106Ce n'est pas le Régime écossais rectifié de Willermoz! est-ce un signe de plus sur la piste d'un rite écossais réformé de Saint-martin. le philosophe inconnu. Willermoz devoted his energies to founding lodges. Matter.C de Saint. Volume 7 Martinist Order The : "A spiritualized freemasonry. After his death two of his pupils.

Dr. does not require fees for initiations. It was introduced into America in the year 1894. or instruction. It differs from freemasonry in that it admits men and women on equal footing. appointed by the inspectors.(inspectress-) general. France. dues. Peeke was chosen by the 'Supreme Council' to replace Blitz (it is said Blitz do not want to be associated with a clandestine masonic order! 64 . lodges. aims to bring man into pristine relations with God.degrees: the supreme council located at Paris. in 1902 Blitz broke with the Martinists in France and founded the "AMERICAN RECTIFIED MARTINIST ORDER. and groups. president. the government there being by an inspector. Margaret B. inspectors. Peek108 ? 108Edouard Blitz was the "Souverain Délégate" for the 'Ordre Martiniste' in America. Gérard Encausse). and it receives orders from the unknown philosopher and thus depends from the invisible world. delegates. appointed by the supreme council. Margaret B.

which spurs man on towards his unknown destiny. for more than any other age. 28 SECRET SOCIETIES AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION THE spiritual life of nations. 51. direct or indirect. 58. rather than with their psychological significance. new motives for speech and action. Because of this preference. Nearly all secular historians have ignored the secret Utopian societies which flourished before its outbreak . Since the world has always been at the mercy of the idealists. de. certain conventions have grown up amongst the writers of history.3 . or have agreed that they had no bearing. how much more does it need divination to read aright the principles and incentives that lay behind historic actions ? Diviners have not written history. at the cost of repudiating that mystical and vague. More than any other age does the eighteenth century need its psychologist. if it could be fully revealed. but ever constant idealism.Secret societies and the French revolution: together with some kindred .? . 49. 61 Pasqually. Especially has this been the case in dealing with the origin of the French Revolution.261 pages Saint Martin.. if interpreted. new inspirations for revolution and war might then present themselves for the consideration of the historian.. . it is hard to believe that the greatest experiment of modern history was engineered without their co-operation. and certain obvious economic and social conflicts and conditions have been accepted as the cause of events. 29. upon the actual subversion of affairs. New interpretations of ancient tragedies and crimes. and professional historians have generally chosen to deal with facts. L. and since human society has ever been the object of their unending empiricism. could it illumine the horizons of generations to come. would alter many of the judgments of posterity. de. M. If it needs divination to discern the aspiration and desire enclosed within the ordinary human soul. 30. 65 .Page 248 Una Pope-Hennessy 1911 . C.

Amongst the historians who have attempted to explain the forces which brought about the great upheaval of the eighteenth century there have been priests of the Catholic Church. de Luchet. but we must recognise that the black cassock is the uniform of an army drilled .4 and maintained for a specific purpose. but the overthrow of the Church. Barruel and Deschamps.5 . Many general histories of masonry have been published exalting masonic influences. the destruction of Christian society. However much preparation may have been required to enfranchise thought. In the . and in the early nineteenth century the works of Mounier. and the re-establishment of Paganism. the greater activity of lodges of all rites during the years that preceded the Revolution.* professed to have access to 109* " Les Sectes et les Societes Secretes. wrote books to prove that the purpose of the secret societies before and after the great Revolution was not the betterment of the condition of the people. but. speaking solely with reference to France. no great measure of organisation or mystery was or is needful to enable men to live as Pagans if they so desire. Nor has it been attempted to place these important factors in progress in right relation with the other inducements and tendencies which drove eighteenthcentury France to accomplish her own liberation.books which have appeared since that date there has been a conspicuous absence of any new material or of any fresh treatment of old theories. Secular amateurs of the curious and unexplained have written desultory books on the same secret societies. Two priests. no effort has been made by any scientific or unprejudiced person outside masonry to explain the increasing membership of secret societies. who feared the cryptic confederacies. but save for these special pleaders it has been accepted that there is little of practical moment to be noted of the connection between secret societies and the Revolution. To the elucidation of the great problems involved they have brought to bear knowledge and diligent research. and the sudden disappearance of those lodges in the early months of 1789. who wrote on the general question of the secret societies of the eighteenth century109. and little meaning is to be extracted from this theory unless it be realised that in some of these works freedom of thought and Paganism are interchangeable terms." 66 . and Robison attracted a good deal of attention . Le Couteulx de Canteleu. and that purpose is war against much that the Revolution stood for.

" a living exhortation. Taine. books dealing with these matters are incomplete and partial accounts of what.6 . and the difficulty of grasping the work of the confederates as a whole is insurmountable until further light is cast upon their methods and instruments . does not number them among the origins of the new conditions in France. The published information is fragmentary. The former speaks of masonry as "a denunciation indirect but real and continuous of the miseries of the social order. might prove to be a vast co-ordinated attempt at the reconstruction of society. Louis Blanc and Henri Martin. for though the general drift of the underground social currents has frequently been discussed. and his book. privilege. . as well as a short summary of the influence of masonry on the great Revolution.documents that gave his words importance and weight. and though occasionally a microscopic inquiry has been made into ceremonial and the lives of individuals. and Amiable. an eminent mason. but it does not cover the intellectual and social reforms which were the kernel of the Revolution. historians have elucidated the crisis of the eighteenth century with no estimate of their influence.each devote a chapter to the discussion of secret societies. The Great Revolution has been assumed to be a spontaneous national uprising against oppression." With the exception of these and a few other authors who from time to time allude to the secret societies.7 . as is to be expected in view of the nature of the subject. Papus (Gerard Encausse) has written . has published a pleasant record of a particular lodge up till the year 1789. and its true objective. Such a theory would cover the rebellion that razed the Bastille and caused the clamour at Versailles. though slight in character. that destroyed the country houses and killed the nobles. properly investigated. in their respective histories.on individual founders of rites and on some mystical teachers of the day. immorality in high places. It has been the convention for most historians to ignore such activities. just as it has been the practice of priests to recognise in them the destroyers of all morality. and conditions of life making existence a burden for the proletariat. on the other 67 . owing either to lack of material or lack of sincerity. These. is one of the most interesting studies on the subject. of whom it may be said that his thesis occasionally determined the choice of his facts." as " a propaganda in action.

by Beccaria. the Hague. how much less would it have done so in the 9 . but this suggestion is meaningless. The rationalist presses in Dublin. Books were undoubtedly partially responsible for the awakening of the educated classes.10 . and that no one could so much as breathe without inhaling them . have been too easily attributed to the publication of the " Encyclopaedia.olden days when the poorest classes were completely unlettered ? The “Encyclopaedia " and the works of economists and philosophers made their appeal in intellectual circles.hand. since a spontaneous upheaval is unthinkable. for to say ideas are " in the air " is to say many people hold them. and the 68 . A suggestion so unsatisfying constrains us to seek the causes of contagion in a theory of more direct contact. which is hardly a way of accounting for their being held by many people. was a national movement towards a new order of affairs. had been the custom to silence murmuring minorities by sword or fire. yet they could not have been spread by ordinary demagogic means .8 . though they too formed one of the contributory agencies of that cataclysm. In 1762 the pastor Rochette died for his opinions. it probably originated in a certain co-ordination or ideas and doctrines. and London. Therefore. These ideas and doctrines must have been widely diffused and widely apprehended. poured pamphlets into France to be sold by itinerant booksellers. for not only was freedom of speech prohibited. and it can hardly be argued that these irregularly distributed volumes were directly responsible for the Revolution. much less have penetrated the darkness in which the peasant classes lived." and of certain other volumes . But the pamphlets and books more often found their way to the public pyre than to the domestic hearth. and both Frederick the Great and Catherine of Russia offered asylum to its authors. Yet the Revolution. If a book would not set a midland village on fire to-day. and not a general declension towards anarchy. and the history of smaller revolutions leads us to infer that revolution is always the result of associative agitation. The publication of the " Encyclopaedia " was forbidden in 1759. Till a few years before the Revolution . as its results testify. or Voltaire. who hawked them in country districts concealed beneath a thin layer of prayer-books and catechisms. but it was illegal to publish unorthodox books. and those words of reasonableness and light scarcely could have illumined the mental twilight of the lower bourgeoisie. Men have said that liberal ideas were in the air.

292. ideas of progress could be cherished in thousands of minds. ii. i. or was it the inevitable result of coordinated ideas in action ? Taine was of the opinion that the doctrines propagated themselves." men speculated whether his death could be attributed to natural causes111. an obligation to private judgment. 168 69 . vol. for reading a paper in favour of inoculation before an assembly of the Academy in Paris. and the passion for social regeneration flame in countless souls ? Though there was no enunciation of liberal hopes in the market-places. de Marmontel. "which treats of Tolerance. .12 The obvious inference to be drawn from his opinion is that the social idealists of the eighteenth century lacked either the courage or the zeal to further their beliefs . It was what the publication of the Bible had been to Germany. "Belisaire. as in the day of Daniel. p."112 In consequence the book was suppressed.Foi d'un Vicaire Savoyard " exerted an extraordinary influence in unseating existing authorities." vol. p. or did the theory of the modern State generate spontaneously in the minds of Frenchmen ? Was the great Revolution a mere accident. to be accounted for by the spirit of the age . So associated had imprisonment and execution become with the holding of liberal ideas that when Boulanger died almost coincidently with the publication of his book " Les Recherches sur le Despotisme Oriental. ostensibly for street brawling. and that they.. How is it possible that. yet an invisible hand. unlike their forerunners or their 110 Memoires Secret de Bachaumont. carried like thistle-down upon the winds of chance. but in reality for their faith. p. 110* His defence was that by his advocacy he hoped to preserve to France the lives of the fifty thousand persons who died annually of small-pox. Bachaumont relates that the Sorbonne saw fit to protest against Chapter XV. Was the dissemination of ideas. when such penalties threatened the efforts of writers and speakers. The author of this book after this effort fell back on making laces since he could not take up his pen without making every power in Europe tremble. provoked a tumult. had written in flaming letters the word " brotherhood " across the tablets of French hearts. and the diffusion of enthusiasm. 286 111 Ibid. iii. vol. "La profession de – 11 ." a moral and political romance by M. Monsieur de Laraguais was presented with a "lettre de cachet" for the citadel at Metz.three Protestant brothers Grenier were decapitated. 112 Ibid.

successors, were ready to entrust their hopes to the written word, and leave the rest to the gods. It is making too great a demand on human credulity to ask man to believe this, and many significant facts witness to the hitherto unestimated work of the secret societies in furthering the cause of popular emancipation. Ideas are not suddenly converted into swords. Men must have hammered patiently and hard upon the anvil of the national soul to produce the keen-edged, swift-striking blade of revolution. "The aim of all social institutions should be the amelioration of the physical, mental and moral condition of the poorest classes," said one whom Barruel alluded to as " a demon hating Jesus Christ." The speaker was Condorcet,113* a man acquainted with the ideals of the secret societies. In announcing the eventual publication of the " History of the Progress of the 13 - Human Mind," a work interrupted by his death, he spoke of the destruction of old authorities by invisible associations. " There are moments in history," said George Sand, "when Empires exist but in name, and when their only life lies in the societies that are hidden in their heart." Such a moment for France was the reign of Louis XVI. Legends of secret societies survived in every part of Europe at the opening of the eighteenth century. They existed for the prosecution of Theurgia as well as Goetia, for masonry as well as mystical philosophy. Speaking generally, their interest did not lie in the region of politics or polemics, but in that of study, experiment, and speculation ; and their chief care was the preservation and elucidation of ancient hermetic and traditional secrets. As a rule the Church had persecuted such societies, though her prelates had frequently condescended to the study of magic, and a few among them like Pope John XXII. had spent long nights in alchemical experiment. It remained for the Utopians of the eighteenth century so to interpret the symbolism of the secret societies, so to affiliate them, and so to organise the forces of masonry, mysticism and magic, as - 14 - for a few years to unite them into a power capable not only of inspiring but of precipitating the greatest social upheaval of Christendom. It is difficult to believe or understand, that bodies holding differing doctrines, adherents of many rites, disciples of divergent masters, ever
113 At the Loge des Philalethes, Strasbourg, p. 41. Robison.


commingled for a day in their enthusiasm for the common cause ; yet this singular and Hegelian amalgamation seems in practice to have taken place.114 The principal force in the trinity of masonry, mysticism, and magic was masonry, and it, like many other innovations, was introduced into France from England. Just as Voltaire and Rousseau derived their philosophy from English sources, and applied the theories they absorbed in a direct manner to the life of their own country, so did the French people derive their masonic institutions from England, and apply them for purposes of social regeneration in a fashion never even contemplated in the land of their origin. The English Deists, Hume, Locke, and Toland, were responsible for the intellectual regeneration of France, just as the Legitimist lodges planted in that country after the Stuart downfall were responsible for the – 15 - many lodges of tolerance, charity, truth, and candour which disseminated the seeds of the humanitarian movement on French soil. The Pantheisticon became the model of French societies. Until the sixteenth century masonic corporations in England and other countries consisted of three purely professional grades holding the secrets of the architectural craft, the mysteries of proportion, and the true canon of building. The epics in grey stone our cathedral towns enclose memorialise the tradition of the older masonry, and testify to the inviolability of its secret formulae. In every Catholic land, from Paris to Batalha, from Salisbury to Cologne, rise the superb conceptions of the masonic mind: serene, unchallengeable symbols of doctrines, mysteries, and myths, the venerable shrines of uncounted memories. During the sixteenth century England became the motherland of a newer masonry. Another spirit then permeated the craft; mysteries as ancient as the canon of building and the lost word of the Temple, Egyptian rites and Greek initiations, were blended with the purer traditions of the past. Rosicrucians, like Francis Bacon and Elias - 16 Ashmole, joined the hitherto exclusively professional body. Out of this marriage of thoughts and aims arose the modern masonic system, of which England at the end of the sixteenth century alone knew the secret. So thoroughly was the old system transfused with speculative ideas that by 1703 it had been decided that the antique guild model of masonry should be abandoned for a scheme of wider comprehension, embracing men holding certain common ideals and aspirations irrespective of craft or art. By this
114 p. 344, vol. iv. Barruel


decision masonry became really free ; though the actual bases on which the future of the new " speculative," as the development of the old " operative" masonry, was to be established, were not laid down till 1717 by a commission of the Grand Lodge of London. Sir Christopher Wren, the last of the Grand Masters of the older organisation, was followed in his great office in two successive years by foreigners A. Sayer and Desaguliers, who inaugurated a more cosmopolitan era, and assisted in weaving the strands of brotherhood between England and foreign lands. Though legend ascribes the English Revolution and the ascendency of Cromwell to masonic - 17 - influence, records reveal and attest that the associative facilities masonic gatherings afforded were found favourable during the Civil War to the contriving of Royalists' plots rather than to the promotion of Republican schemes. Charles II. was a mason, James II. was championed by lodges, and both the Pretenders instituted rites with the object of accomplishing their own restoration. The Legitimists first introduced Freemasonry into France. Lord Derwentwater, the brother of the Lord Derwentwater who had been beheaded in 1716, was one of the earliest masonic missionaries. Together with Maskelyne, Heguerty, and others, he founded the first lodge in France at Dunkerque in 1721, the year in which the Regent died. Other lodges were inaugurated in Paris in 1725, all with the intention of rallying supporters of the Stuart cause. These were granted charters from London, and were ruled over by a Grand Master, called Lord Harnwester, of whom little is known. The most interesting personality among the Legitimist votaries was Andrew Michael Ramsay, commonly called the Chevalier. The son of a baker, he was educated at Edinburgh University, -18 - and became tutor to the two sons of Lord Wemyss ; then going to the Netherlands with the English auxiliaries, he made friends with the mystical theologist Poiret, and in consequence of the latter's quietist influence, gave up soldiering, and went to consult Fenelon about his future. He soon became the Archbishop's intimate friend, as well as a convert to his Church, and remaining with him till his death found himself the legatee of all his papers, and thus the designated chronicler of his life. This life was published at the Hague in 1723, and in the following year Ramsay went as travelling tutor to the two sons of James Francis Edward. On his return to Paris he continued his

It was easy then to parody their practices." while the Jesuits of the Dubois College at Caen made their rites the subject of a pantomime. condemned Freemasonry in a bull. These edicts stimulated the curiosity of the public. and even threatened with the Bastille those who attended lodge gatherings. combining it with the most strenuously active masonic life. the newspapers alarmed the public by announcing that Freemasonry had become the vogue. Masons surprised at the Hotel de Soissons were imprisoned in Fort l'Eveque. Jean de Lespinay. Mademoiselle Cambon. Eight dancing-girls executed at her instigation a " Freemason ballet. managed to extract a document from . and every one became inquisitive as to the aims and objects of the mysterious association. and some exclusively French lodges were founded.20 ." He alluded in his speech to the experiment made previously 73 . He professed to have derived his elaborate and numerous rites from Godfrey de Bouillon. In 1737 the old and amiable councillor of Louis XV..her lover containing instruction on masonic ritual. and the next year Clement XII. and notice was given to innkeepers that on sheltering such gatherings they made themselves liable to a fine of three thousand francs. He went meekly enough. A zealous commissary of police. and so long as they remained concerned with the affairs of a foreign kingdom they were left undisturbed by the officials of their adopted – 19 country. and fined a thousand francs. and managed to popularise masonry and exalt it into a fashionable pursuit. forbade good Catholics to attend at the lodges. but the Duc d'Antin responded by commanding the official interloper to retire. and under the protective influence of the Grand Master. and Louis XV. When. Police regulations were at once issued to prohibit meetings. ordered the assembly to dissolve . but Chapelot was deprived of his licence a few days later. some of the educational work which forms their greatest claim to historic recognition was undertaken. and to assist in forming " that library which in one work should contain the light of all nations.tutorial work in other families. forbade gentlemen his Court. spying on a meeting held at Chapelot's inn. In 1738 the Grand Master urged all masons to help in the work of the great Encyclopaedia. Gradually the English lodges in Paris became a subject of curiosity and conversation in society. Cardinal Fleury. Frenchmen began to enrol themselves as masons. the Duc d'Antin. an operasinger. however. Notwithstanding this opposition the craft grew numerically.

des pays qu'ils occupent. on créera un peuple nouveau qui étant composé de plusieurs nations. love. Quelle obligation n'a-t-on pas à ces hommes supérieurs qui. non seulement pour – 22 . and appealed for subscriptions for the furtherance of the French work. et former dans la suite des temps une nation toute spirituelle ou sans déroger aux divers devoirs que la différence des états exige. ."115* A well-informed person revealed to the world some of the masonic secrets of equality and tolerance. en quelque sorte par le lien de la vertu et de la science. sans même écouter 1'envie naturelle de dominer ont imagine un établissement dont 1'unique but est la réunion des esprits et des coeurs pour les rendre meilleurs. et d'une humeur agréable. A discourse delivered by him at the " Grande Loge solennellement assemblée.116 The author. des habits qu'ils portent. que notre société fut d'abord établie. Masonic subscription made possible the commencement of the work by Diderot in 1741. de science et de religion. in its most corrupt days. and freedom. prises dans la nature de l'homme. II 116 La Franc-Maçonnerie. "Les hommes ne sont pas distingués essentiellement par la différence des langues qu'ils parlent.l'amour des beaux-arts mais encore plus par les grands principes de vertu. Le monde entier n'est qu'une grande république. sans intérêt London. whose ladyhood was . sans renoncer à leur patrie." p. His secret correspondence with enlightened sympathisers in all parts of Europe enabled him to announce to the lodges in 1740 that the advent of the great – 21 . ou toutes les nations peuvent puiser des connaissances solides. Paris " reveals his attitude and that of his associates towards the feudal society of his day . Nous voulons réunir tous les hommes d'un esprit éclairé. who was a Revolutionary half a century before the Revolution. ou révélations des mystères des franc-maçons. dont chaque nation est une famille et chaque particulier un enfant. ou 1'intérêt de confraternité devient celui du genre humain was eagerly awaited in every foreign land. ni des dignités dont ils sont revêtus. de moeurs douces. It proof were needed to show that in France. . the proof exists in the speeches of the Duc d'Antin. equality." Par Madame * * * 74 . et ou les sujets de tous les royaumes peuvent apprendre à se chérir mutuellement. men existed who were preaching brotherhood.23 115 "Une Loge Maçonnique d'avant 1789. les cimentera toutes. . C'est pour faire revivre et répandre ces essentielles maximes.

and to prepare reports for the . et le conseil suprême 1'assemblée des sages. the cause of continual scandal. ils se répandent dans le monde entier avec la même uniformité. dont le secret consiste à bâtir insensiblement une république. Androgynous societies. concluais-je. In consequence of these reports it was decided that the association should be reorganised on a more democratic 75 . ils mangent ensemble pèle-mêle . a temporary debasement of masonry resulted. and remained quiescent till the Comte de Clermont's death in 1771. lodges were irregularly established. and showed himself as useless a general as he afterwards proved himself a Grand Master.24 . Ils entrent sans distinction les grands et les petits : ils se mesurent tous au même niveau .organisation. and dignities were sold. The Society of Jesus also endeavoured to disrupt masonic . and subsequently dowered with rich abbeys.25 . the Comte de Clermont. for under his successsor. justifying only too accurately the strictures of the Church. He had blended the careers of cleric and soldier in a curious manner.central committee. he was enabled later. For eighteen years the " Grande Loge de France " was convulsed by discord and evil practice. and very speedily the " Grande Loge " split up into factions. was merely printing and making public the aspirations of all those who were longing to assist at the eventual social regeneration of France : " Il est très naturel de deviner le secret des francs-maçons par l'examen de ce qu'on leur voit pratiquer constamment. universelle et démocratique. where he quickly rose to commanding rank. to enter the army. The Comte de Clermont possibly was the servant of the Church and the real promoter of the schisms of his society. and a dancing-master named Lacorne. II est donc plus que probable. In this year it was proposed to reform its organisation thoroughly." When the Duc d'Antin's grand mastership ceased. for though tonsured at nine years old. As his working substitutes in the " Grande Loge de France " he nominated a financier named Baure. It obeyed with something like relief the order of the civil authorities in 1767 to hold no further meetings. Emissaries were sent into all parts of France to take count of the situation. qu'il n'est question chez eux que d'une maçonnerie purement symbolique. were established. dont la reine sera la raison. through a Papal dispensation.probably fictitious. Great abuses crept into the craft.

qui par la voie de leurs représentants donnent les lois . In consequence of their teaching it came about that a great number of sects and rites were instituted in all parts of Europe. et par conséquent le plus parfait des gouvernements117. whose 117 Une Loge Maçonnique d'avant 1789. C'est le plus libre." though in 1773 an assembly met. The "Empereurs d'Orient et d'Occident" and the "Chevaliers d'Orient" also worked separately.council." The meeting convened for this occasion at Folie-Titon. Swedenborg and Martinez de Pasqually always regarded masonry as a school of instruction." p. every office being made annually elective. le plus juste. installed him with great solemnity in his office as head of the " Grand Orient. The Duc de Chartres was chosen as Grand Master. As the Duc de Chartres did not at once accept the Grand Mastership. while bonds of common interest drew together lodges that would. though not all the lodges consented to send representatives to it. however.26 ."* The council of the new organisation sat in the former Jesuit novitiate of the rue Pot de Fer. which. Not only was France the home of many masonic lodges. 29 76 . A section of the "Grande Loge de France" refused to obey the " Grand Orient. and owned allegiance to no supreme . " Le Grand Orient n'est plus qu'un corps forme par la réunion des représentants libres de toutes les loges : ce sont les loges elles-mêmes. and the Duc de Luxembourg as general administrator. nor would they take part in the amalgamation." constituted the parliament of masonry. he never in point of action was Grand Master of the " Loge de France. Nul .27 . and worked with increasing power and industry until the outbreak of the Revolution that was to realise their ideals.n'obéit qu'à la loi qu'il s'est imposée luimême. after confirming the elections of 1771. always have been divided. le plus naturel." and continued to operate independently. qui les font observer d'une part et qui les observent de l'autre. without the political interest. and considered it the elementary and inferior step that led to the higher mysteries. Later on.basis. great changes took place in masonic opinion. ce sont tous les maçons membres de ces loges. a " maison de plaisance. but its social system was riddled with mystical societies which gathered their initiates from among the adepts of masonic grades.

Poitiers. Pasqually is said to have been a Rosicrucian adept. The term " Illuminates " is applied to them equally with the Swedenborgians. and to lead man to enter into communication with the invisible. and several germane societies." Rousseau gave the name of conscience to " the innate principle of justice and virtue which.28 . holding that Providence had planted a religion in man's heart " which could not be contaminated by priestly traffic. and soon after meeting him he threw up his commission in the army with the object of devoting his life to meditation." the enigmatic name he gave to the highest secret. Saint-Martin absorbed and developed his master's teaching in a peculiar and personal manner. and the book he published in 1775." produced an immense sensation. comparable to that created by the publication of " La Profession de Foi d'un Vicaire Savoyard.29 . The Martinezists. " Des Erreurs et de la Vérité. and the study of Jacob Boehme. He is chiefly interesting as having been the first to permeate the higher grades of French masonry with illuminism. He became the mystical philosopher of the Revolution. and his avowed object was to develop the somnolent divine faculties in humanity. and other places. he believed in the infinite possibilities of man. SaintMartin saw in such a movement the awakening of men from the sleep of 77 . On the belief in man's essential goodness both founded their demand for social revolution. doctrines. He had been an officer in the regiment of Foix at Bordeaux when he first became acquainted with Pasqually. claiming an opportunity for men to be indeed men and not slaves. Martinists. a Lyonese merchant. a chance for climbing back to that old God-designed level of happiness from which they had descended. an example followed afterwards .unity consisted in a common masonic initiation. nor tainted by imposture. Marseille. His teaching was theurgic and moral.independently of experience and in spite of ourselves. . also by the celebrated Louis Claude de Saint-Martin. or followers of Martinez de Pasqually. forms the basis of our judgments" . by means of "La Chose. Saint-Martin thought it the divine instinct. and through his philosophy became an important influence on then current affairs. and practices were often irreconcilable." Like Rousseau. When Pasqually died in Haiti his teaching was taken up by Willermooz. they had lodges in Paris in 1754. but whose aims. and also at Toulouse.with conspicuous success by the disciples of Weishaupt. were a distinctively French sect.

Martinist societies were everywhere founded to study the doctrines contained in his book. and their very number makes choice of those deserving peculiar mention bewildering. 1780. was that of the " Neuf Soeurs " in Paris. carried on an important correspondence with lodges in every quarter of Europe. which. and with deep conviction he responded to the cry " All men are priests." This society arranged for courses of lectures . if it held a secret. The well-known "Loge des Amis Réunis. One of the most famous. Condorcet and De la Croix on chemistry. " Humanity and Tolerance. Under the pretext of pleasant gatherings and luxurious dinners these " friends of truth " prosecuted the dark and dangerous work of preparing that reformation of society which in practice became Revolution." inaugurated by " the man of all conspiracies/' Savalette de Lange. and to expound the teachings of the mystical philosopher who." or " Philalèthes. founded in memory of Helvetius. Since all the secondary education in France was in the hands of a clerical corporation." including the reformed laws of criminal 118 November 17.lodges and rites in France during this time ." It was intended to be an encyclopaedic workshop.30 ." uttered three centuries earlier by Luther. but changed its name to " Lycée Républicain. and La Harpe was to be seen lecturing in a red cap. of the intellectual be given by its more eminent members . the " Neuf Soeurs " organised118 * " la Société Apollonienne. with the cry "All men are kings!" The answer to the social enigmas of the century was whispered by him in the " ternaire sacré " of Liberty. like Lamartine in a later day. Equality. for example. and it echoed with reverberating clangor through all the lodges of France.31 . if not the most interesting. Fraternity . A volume might easily be written upon the . and the Sorbonne was dedicated to theology. Marmontel and Garat. held the secret of Voltaire. lectured on history. Some useful institutions seem to have been evolved out of the conclaves of the " Neuf Soeurs. 78 ." Its professors conformed to Republican usages. and his friends. La Harpe on literature. contemplated the Revolution as Christianity applied to politics. The improvised college did not shut its doors during the Revolution.death. Fourcroy and Sue on anatomy and physiology. a complement to the already existing Lodge of Sciences.

33 . at the opening of the Revolution. " Bienfaisance " was a paricularly fashionable 119 " Une Loge Maçonnique d'avant 1789. was Grand Mistress of the adoptive lodge of " la Candeur " in 1775. and Amiable. took [32] conspicuous shares in the work of reformation. Camille Desmoulins." p. Guillotin. Petion. The lodge has received historic consecration at the hands of Louis Blanc. just as were the decorous fetes held within the lodges in which both men and women participated. Siéyès. Danton. The work of these fashionable dames cannot." The Duchess de Bourbon. Fauchet. It was a pastime . Together they form an illustrious company who. Voltaire. Having accomplished a great work. Franklin. or of homage to some humanitarian quality. Egalite's sister.for them. be taken seriously. Romme. so was Forster. The share that women took in promoting social changes has not received the attention it deserves. and Princesse de Lamballe and Madame de Genlis also wielded the hammer. often taking the form of the illustration of a virtue such as benevolence. Commemorative assemblies and processions were organised by this lodge on the occasions of the deaths of Franklin. The entertainments were elegant and refined. the liberators. it disappeared. 243. Paul Jones. all in their varying ways. Rabaud Saint Etienne. and Paul Jones. Cabanis. Dom Gerle. The ladies of her lodge were enthusiastic at such generosity. and caused the poor woman to be exhibited at one of their reunions in a tableau surrounded by the ten children.procedure embodied in the Code Napoleon. Bailly. but it does not seem to be usually recognised that apart from the " Loges de la Félicité. one day a lady discovered that a poor working woman with nine children had added to her burdens by adopting the orphan of a friend. many regular and well-conducted " lodges of adoption" for women were recognised by the " Grand Orient. who sailed round the world with Captain Cook. Cerutti. who was later condemned as leader of the Girondins. 79 . like all the other lodges.119* The Duc de la Rochefoucauld." which had been the occasion of frequent scandal. Readers of Dumas are familiar with the fact that in country districts fraternal societies welcoming members of both sexes met regularly in barns and farms . however. Henri Martin. For example. and Voltaire. Hanna. Brissot. Andre Chénier. After considerable acclamation she was allowed to go her way with clothes and money presented by her admirers. was an associate of the lodge. translator of the American Constitution.

librarian of Frederick the Great. in laboratories. Madame de Genlis. While the world of fashion was playing with science and masonry. to form even an approximate estimate of the number of members of either sex belonging to these associations. and one of her friends wielded the scalpel with grace . and a very large proportion of them had acknowledged " lodges of adoption " for women. and Pernetti is but an example of dozens of other missionaries. and it became the vogue for ladies to attend scientific lectures ." at Angers the " Tendre Accueil. It is impossible from the material published on the subject. Poignant satires on credulity were delivered at the " Loge de la Parfaite Intelligence " at Liege to which the Prince Bishop and the greater part of his chapter belonged. the opinions and beliefs of its social inferiors were gradually crystallising into action. and physics were well attended . alludes in her memoirs to the intense pleasure she derived from some geological lectures." at Saint-Malo – 35 . Women of society raised altars in their rooms dedicated to this quality. a Benedictine. and how the ternaire sacré could be translated into fact. ladies were no longer painted as goddesses. and of which all the office-bearers were dignitaries of the Church. had founded a Swedenborgian brotherhood at Avignon. but the claim to a million adherents made by the " Loge de la Candeur " in 1785 is clearly greatly in excess of actual fact. chemistry. surrounded by telescopes and retorts . At the lowest computation there were seven hundred lodges in France before the Revolution. classes in drawing-rooms on mineralogy. Pernetti.virtue.dissections. It was very large. At Bayonne "La Zélèe. The system seems to have permeated every section of French national life. but as students. who by some is supposed to have been Cagliostro. however. however. was not wholly sentimental .34 ." at Reims the " Triple Union” at Tours the "Amis de la Vertu" flourished. Countess Voyer attended . Serious women of the bourgeoisie and farmer classes attended meetings and discussions and taught their sons and their husbands what it meant to fight for an ideal . whose self-satisfaction is almost priggish.the “Triple Esperance. Everywhere gatherings 80 . it was also reasonable. The tone of society. in company with a Polish noble Gabrionka.

Barruel. and rites into a powerful political lever upon society.and associations existed. but in order to study masonic methods he was received as a mason in Munich. Louis Blanc. Professor of Canon Law at the University of Ingoldstadt.36 . In 1776 the order of the Perfectibilists was founded. One thing only was needed to transform this heterogeneous collection of lodges." said Weishaupt . after the 81 . and are disposed to detract from the reputation of the marvellous organiser Weishaupt. Masonic writers have of late made but little allusion to the influence of the German " illuminates " on the French lodges. for they purposed to work independently of existing conditions. but united in intention by their common love for and faith in the creed of brotherhood. where one Zwack. afterwards one of Weishaupt's confederates. and Deschamps unite. of which Von Knigge was the most able missionary. Weishaupt became Spartacus. They began by creating a new world. sold him the ultimate secrets of masonry. the fact exists. Secret idealistic societies had done a wonderful work in fostering . and that was a mind which could devise a common course of action or a common political understanding to unite them." In conformity with this belief he recruited the new secret society which he intended should absorb all the others. that is enough. He was no free-mason when he invented his design. however. a legal member of the lodge. they took unto themselves the appellations of Greece and Rome. in regarding him as the most profound of conspirators. Equipped with this knowledge [37] he allied himself with Von Knigge of the "Strict Observance” and caused all his own disciples to become masons. They invented their own calendar. Le Couteulx de Canteleu considers the young professor of Ingolstadt as the originator of a remarkable system. sects. but in order to become effective in action transmutation of some kind was necessary. With Weishaupt alone lay the credit not only of realising the cause of the ineffectiveness of societies upon society.principles and hopes and ideals. " Every secret engagement is a source of enthusiasm. but of elaborating an homogeneous scheme which was destined to embrace and eventually absorb all lodges and all rites. "it is useless to seek for the reasons . with new divisions of time and new names for days and periods . separated by rites and by practices.

Lucian. that of "preparations" and that [38] of " mysteries. illuminate minor. He saw like them that the future class struggle for survival and supremacy in France would lie between the bourgeoisie and the people. regent. philosopher. might delude the people into the belief that all was well. Zwack. Von Knigge became Philo . The associates who possessed the full confidence of Weishaupt were called Areopagites.39 . The organisation of the Perfectibilists was designed to enlist all professions and both sexes." He feared that the concessions of kings. and France Illyria. "Salvation does not lie where shining thrones are defended by swords. Diomedes . and he imparted his fear to his disciples. The revolution which is about to break upon us will be sterile if it is not complete. France was the country selected for the great experiment. Costanzo. He knew that the commercial classes were extremely rich. and Weishaupt faced with courage the problem that students of social questions realised in the latter half of the eighteenth century would be the difficulty in any revolution.first and perhaps the only power in the country. or where thousands of starving men pace the rich fields of harvest.leader of the servile insurrection in the time of Pompey . minerval. and moreover that it was unlikely that they would ever have a voice in the management of affairs. Austria Egypt . unless their claims were enforced by well organised and wide reaching secret societies. that the nobles would count for nothing in the contest. and illuminate major. It consisted of two large classes. and man-king. Cato . As a disciple of Rousseau he did not favour the establishment of commercial supremacy as a substitute for the old system of autocracy. that in so far as the actual administrative work went it was in the hands of the third estate." In the former there were four grades : novice. In the latter there were also four grades : priest. and the removal of food taxes. that in the event of revolution it would become the . A consideration of the representative institutions of France before the Revolution convinces us of the fact that the actual people were unrepresented. His object in establishing the 82 . and a class in which women were trained to influence men. where the smoke of the censors ascends to heaven. in their correspondence Munich was Athens. Nicolai. There was also a "plant-nursery” for children. Weishaupt's scheme was intended to prevent the bourgeoisie reaping all the revolutionary harvest. The order was designed as the directing instrument of that social revolution which Weishaupt and many others knew to be imminent. The map of Europe was re-named .

and all the dialectic of casuistry were his chosen tools.they should be contended with as definite evils.* Being an ex-Jesuit and acquainted with the organisation of that order. when human beings would return to that happy state in which they form but one family120. in " Les sociétés secrètes et la société. social authority. Of this class are all systems which are opposed to the ennobling and perfecting of human nature . all systems which depreciate the merit and the dignity of man. for the Perfectibilists were the enemies of institutional Christianity. And the Church feared him. and represent them as greater than they really are . universal espionage. that happiness. and in his instructions to his disciples urged that . said: "He who would work for the happiness of the human race. and represented themselves as professors of the purest Christian Socialism. and so successful was the undertaking that in four years a system of communication and information with every part of Europe had been established. p. for the contentment and peace of man. 160. that content. The Church was regarded unrelentingly as a foe. for did he not declare that men were still slaves because they still knelt ? Did he not command the people to rise from their knees ? Abbé Deschamps. The unseen hands of the society were in all affairs. should examine and then enfeeble the principles which trouble that peace. Passive obedience. on the other hand.Perfectibilists was the literal realisation of Rousseau's theories. All the maxims and rules of Jesuit administration were to be pushed further and applied more rigorously than had been contemplated by their inventors. and so open the way for imposture. its ears in the cabinets of princes and cardinals." expresses his dread of the machinations of so terrible an Order. Robison 83 .abolition of property. which decry human reason.40 . He dreamt of and schemed for a day when the . for the diminishing of discontent. Weishaupt classed the theological and sacerdotal systems among the worst enemies of man. to make as it were a counter-society of Jesus. he determined to adapt its system to his own scheme." 120 Letter of Spartacus to Cato. and points out that "once dechristianised the masses will claim absolute equality and the right to enjoy life ! " Weishaupt.41 . and nationality would be facts. which diminish his confidence in his own natural forces. all systems which unnecessarily multiply the evils of the world.

or . ' if this crown and sceptre. Later on." whose business it was to find out everything about every member of their society. In the lower grades of Illuminism recruits had no knowledge of such ceremonies. and fears were read out loud. The candidate was tonsured.The candidate for the grade of epopt. among the Perfectibilists was. Weishaupt thought this a very important preliminary to higher knowledge.44 . wherin stood a magnificent dais surmounted by a throne. tempt thee . on the contrary. . When all this was over a curtain was drawn aside. confidences. loves.42 . If.priest. . introduced into a hall. we will place thee as near a throne as thou desirest .book called the " Code Scrutateur " was opened. and all the faults of the candidate. but our sanctuary will be closed to thee. They were allowed to think that they were supporting orthodox Christianity and old authorities. These had been extracted from the unconscious victim. a sceptre. monuments of human degradation and imbecility. it means more than the crown of kings" a prophecy verified by the Revolution.' said the epopt chief. vested with sacerdotal garments. or from his friends. " “Look. Camilla Desmoulins invoked the "Sans-culotte Jesus " during the 84 . Decide ! ' After decision the would-be initiate had to make a frank and detailed confession of all the actions of his life. gold coins. crown. and given the red Phrygian cap of the epopt. by the " insinuating brethren.of humanity. revealing an altar surmounted by a large crucifix. In front of the throne stood a table laden with jewels. with these words : "Wear this cap . decorated with symbols and emblems of mystery. and sword. because it gave him cognisance of personal secrets which would make betrayal of the order on the part of the novice dangerous and often impossible. his hates. . The verification of the confession was proceeded with in a dark room. be welcome here. before his initiation into the higher mysteries. and unsuitable members were weeded out. thou art willing to devote thyself to making men happy and free. if thou wouldst help kings to oppress men. it was revealed to them that Jesus had come to teach men reasonableness and not superstition. and that His only precepts were love of God and love . as they gradually climbed the ladder of initiation. and in this way time was gained for studying the character of recruits.43 . if thy heart is with them . A . and we shall abandon thee for ever to thy folly.

for hierarchical religion is dear to all supporters of autocracy. It was a policy of disarmament. just because it was all so impossible and unlike life. came to dissipate prejudice. It has been argued with some plausibility that since such harmless and conservative people as the Duke of Sachs-Gotha and Prince August of Sachs-Weimar were illuminates. and what is still better. and therefore are not worthy of the serious consideration of the historian. illuminism and masonry were but charming social amusements. Jesus. in winning the ecclesiastics. to spread light and wise morality. and disarm the greatest enemies of all innovation . and the teacher of equality and liberty. He was the true liberator of man. it is also very important to win over the ecclesiastical seminaries and their superiors . " If it is to our interest to have the ordinary schools on our side. The study of the organisation of the great secret service reveals the reason of this contention and also its futility. for anything was better for the cause than open enmity. men played at the comedy of equality with zest and good temper. assemblies were but the occasion of [46] fun and feasting . And may not autocrats like 85 . we should have the people in our hands. all seemed but quaint and often crude allegories . claiming Him as the pattern Socialist. and Weishaupt was quite candid as to this. for in that way we should secure the best part of the country. and that of proving the worthiness of earnest searchers after social regeneration to enter those higher grades. Louis XVI. Yet it was politic to lull the suspicions of the conservative and governing classes by admitting them with apparent freedom and joy into the Order.45 keep at arm's length from realities. the Illuminists said. and Frederick the Great masons. The lower grades of masonry and Illuminism served a double-edged purpose : that of concealing the existence of the higher grades. signifying nothing.Revolution. to show men how to govern themselves. and Illuminism allured many dupes whom it was necessary to ." To many Perfectibilists. Mystery of any kind always attracts the weak-minded. the creeds and dogmas of sudden death. The doctrines of social subversion. The existence of serious purpose had also studiously to be concealed from royalties and prelates. the secret societies could have had no direct influence on the social upheaval.

or as they sat round the pool of Mesmer. Undismayed by portent or prophecy. in a magic mirror his successor decapitated . for had he not promised to reappear to his disciples at a given moment after death ? Interpretations of the Apocalypse were published. Eagerly watched and eagerly worshipped. who had shown Louis XV. Suzanne Labrousse of Perigord121. and in that mind was clearly reflected the spirit and tendency of the agitated world of action. The Lisbon earthquake had unsettled many minds. " Saint-Martin122 had 121 En 1784. The theurgists Saint-Germain and Cagliostro flitted hither and thither like brilliant Oriental birds against the neutral background of a Europe at peace but in travail. and it was asserted that yet more ancient prophecies were about to be fulfilled. People of all classes became nervous and disturbed. or consulted Cazotte. displaying sometimes conspicuous charlatanry. amazed the gaping crowds. they performed miracles and cures that dazzled the imagination. and gazed on that living tissue through [ 48 ] which in the weaving " shimmered unceasingly the irrefragable justice of God. 122 No proof of such a thing in the known papers of Saint-Martin 86 . men felt the fluttering of unseen wings and the breath of unrecognised forces. " What would be the end thereof?" Great changes were in the air. Their magical shows. their expectations kept them restless and eager. Men asked themselves as they met in their lodges and their homes. One mind at least in France was able to contemplate with calmness the weaving of strange threads into the texture of society .47 .Frederick the Great and the Emperor of Austria have blindly served the enterprise of the people and have assisted in converting their own comedy into tragedy ? Recruits for the secret service were not difficult to attract. The Queen . the unknown philosopher meditated as he watched the shuttles darting through the giant loom of the social system. and served to disguise their primary mission from the Courts and the governing classes.* being in chapel. threw herself at the foot of the Crucifix and announced precisely the date of the convocation of the StatesGeneral.of Prussia and her waiting-women had seen " the white lady." Crowds in the market-place of Leipzig awaited the ghost of wonder-working Schroepfer.

and there led a life of philanthropy. Weishaupt was too shrewd an organiser to neglect any instrument of advantage. was known all over Europe as the" " Priest of Mystery. At the initiation he learnt that the first blows of the Illuminates would be aimed at France.securing such men as the magicians for the furtherance of his purpose. His portrait was in great request on medallions and fans. One of his emissaries. and that after the fall of that monarchy the Church herself would be assailed. When he went to Paris in 1781 his elegant house in the Rue Saint Claude was soon besieged by admirers. The Perfectibilists annexed him and initiated him into their ritual. estimating justly the credulity of the day. and. together with objects of necromantic design and thaumaturgic virtue. Cagliostro. 87 . he proceeded to Strasburg.P. Men grasped eagerly after the fruit of the travail of his soul and were satisfied." He received his clients in a large room furnished with Oriental – 50 . The ternaire which proved the miraculous seed-corn of the revolutionary harvest had been scattered by him broadcast over the land to germinate in the furrows of France against the reaping-time. giving to the poor his money. After receiving instructions and money from Weishaupt (a secret which he is said later to have confessed to the Inquisition).49 . To a great extent he transfused the masonic thought with that faith which makes the movement of mountains no impossibility. he saw the extreme importance of . fell before his personal charm. He was veritably adored by the people.already formulated that ternaire sacré which many were diligently and in different ways seeking to attain. in an underground cave near however sceptical of his powers.D. inaugural work seems to have been undertaken by Cagliostro and SaintGermain. and his bust in marble and in bronze figured in the houses of the great with this inscription : "Le divin Cagliostro." and nearly every one. which contained the bust of Hippocrates. Long before accredited Illuminist agents were sent to instruct the lodges of the Grand Orient. to the sick his help. to the rich his advice. Meanwhile the ambassadors of Weishaupt surveyed the countries which were to be the stage of the great drama. His mysterious device L. the " Universal Prayer " of Pope. By studying his doctrines their apprehension was quickened and their efforts enhanced and spiritualised. as he himself describes.

were converted to Illuminism. It might well have been Saint-Martin and not Mesmer who said.. “that the life of man is part of the universal movement” for they were both exponents of the truth of the solidarity of the race.converted audiences. another of Weishaupt's ambassadors. one life was probably only the cloak for the other. but also the agent of masonic and other societies working for the regeneration of humanity ." Though Mesmer's experiments were rejected by the French savants of the day as worthless. scientists. Perfectibilist doctrines percolated everywhere through the lodges of Europe. De Rohan entertained her with tales of Cagliostro .. and was one of the visitors who clustered round the mysterious fluid of the hypnotic doctor Mesmer. and who listened to his dictum." at the instigation of Mirabeau. magicians. as well as statesmen. as Saint-Martin enforced the laws of mutual dependence and of unity in the spiritual world. they preached to already half.(Lilia pedibus destrue) was reputed to be full of sinister meaning for the kings of France. she consulted Saint-Germain. became the missionary agents of Illuminism. or to sit. Saint-Germain was probably not only the secret missionary and entertainer of Louis XV. Mesmer enforced the law of mutual dependence and of unity in the natural world. and magistrates from all countries. as tradition has it. " There is but one health. At the great Convention of Masonry held at Wilhelmsbad in 1782 the Order of the Strict Observance was suspended. . upon his golden altar in an attitude of Oriental absorption. and one remedy. and Von Knigge disclosed the scheme of Weishaupt to the assembled representatives of the masonic and mystical fraternities. and when the " Philalèthes. they were eagerly taken up in other parts of Europe. which was calculated to heal all ills.52 . Then and there disciples of Saint-Martin and of Willermoz. partly on account of the bitter pamphlet he launched against Cagliostro and partly because in " La Monarchic Prussienne " he denounced all secret societies and asserted that they should be tolerated by 88 . one illness. The fact that Mirabeau had any connection with such schemes has been occasionally denied. and sinks again to work in the great secret service. emerges at intervals upon the surface of affairs a brilliant and accomplished personage. Marie Antoinette was deeply interested in matters and men of this nature.51 The Comte de Saint-Germain.

89 ." to further the views of the initiates. like the " Berlin Journal " and the “Jena Gazette. Chénier. acting in a vague and general manner on the sentiments of its adherents. A scheme for recruiting a citizen army was drawn up. Garat. when all the while he was founding a club and gaining possession of newspapers. is said to have been responsible for [54] its execution. Marat. humanity. and to obtain peace to work with greater efficiency and freedom. mais j'ai donne 1'exemple .53 . ordonnez que tous les citoyens le suivent. At the opening of the Revolution he appeared before the municipal councillors of Paris. Petion. from being a simple instrument of tolerance. je suis simplement caporal." p. Barnave. Hebert. Gregoire." he said : " Voici des citoyens que j'ai exerces a manier les armes pour la défense de la patrie . introduced the German doctrines at the lodge of the " Amis . je me suis point fait leur majeur ou leur général. et la liberté est 123 Le Couteulx de Canteleu. Brissot. On returning to Paris he. From the time or the inoculation of the Grand Orient of France with the German doctrines. Danton. State. Plans of the most practical nature were discussed. Saint-Just. masonry. and many other men whose names are immortalised in the annals of the Revolution. Baboeuf. Santerre. " Let us save the country. is said to have been initiated into the last mysteries of the Perfectibilists at Brunswick. So well did the Perfectibilist missionaries work that by 1788 every lodge under the Grand Orient and they numbered in that year 629 is said to have been indoctrinated with the system of Weishaupt. nous sommes tous égaux. and that by subterfuges such as these Mirabeau and Nicolai sought to avert suspicion from themselves. Sieyes. and fraternity.Réunis. together with Bonneville. que la nation prenne les armes. became a direct instrument of social transformation. Camille Desmoulins. followed by a few men crying. of the royal household. The charge of actually disseminating the doctrines throughout France was given to Bode (Aurelius) and Busch (Bayard). This proves no more than the work which Nicolai produced explaining that secret societies existed for no other purpose than to serve the Stuart cause. owing to his friendship with Nicolai while in Berlin. and Savalette de Lange. Savalette."123* Among his auditors were the Duke of Orleans. 168. “Messieurs. It must be remembered that everything that conduced to the welfare of the society and the furtherance of the mission was justifiable." thereby exciting no little emulation. Condorcet.

torches and hatchets. and expanded exoterically as clubs and popular societies. holding pikes. The old theoretical discussions within the lodges as to how the Revolution should be conducted. Dantonists." a club admitting women. Girondins. the advent of a Prince Egalite. delivered at various lodges by eminent masons. " Voilà la victime. Robespierrists. in consequence destroyed each other.124"* The next day the army of the " gardes nationaux " was formed. p. were ready to serve the cause of humanity. the convocation of the States-General . It has been the habit for so long to regard the Revolution as an undefined catastrophe that it is hardly possible to persuade men that at least some foreknowledge of its course and destination existed in the mind of the Illuminists. many an arm which was ready in 1789 to strike a blow for liberty had been nerved by the teachings of the secret societies. and that this body of zealots had been created by the adepts. who would abolish lettres de cachet ." as he indicated the King at the opening of the States-General at Versailles125. and Jacobins. foretelling the Revolution and the destruction of the Bastille and monarchy .55 . i. chap.56 . The Grand Orient ceased its direction of affairs. produced in action the widest divergences. 335 90 . the destruction of ecclesiasticism and the substitution of the religion of . 125 Mémoires de Weber.Reason.* Two volumes of addresses. Hebertists.invincible. When Cagliostro wrote his celebrated letter from England in 1787 predicting for the French people the realisation of the schemes of the secret societies . for example." vol. ix. Nearly all the masonic and illuminist lodges . he probably wrote of the things he had heard debated in the lodges of Paris. La Loge des Neuf Soeurs. prove how truly the situation had been gauged by Condorcet and Mirabeau. In fantastic phraseology the philosopher announced at Strasbourg that in France the " idolatry of monarchy had 124 Le Couteulx de Canteleu. 211." p. became “La Société Nationale des Neuf Soeurs. Prescience might also explain the remark attributed to Mirabeau. Barruel relates that at the outbreak of the Revolution two million hands. Whether this be a true estimate or not.shrank to their smallest esoteric dimensions in 1789.

their foolish ways prove how false is the base on which they rest. for it upholds the monstrous injustice of not only killing guilt but also repentance." in which religion is treated as the engine of the State and the source of despotic power. through the lodges.of the self-consciousness of the philosopher of the Revolution. Religions ? their very diversity condemns them." The doctrine of brotherhood can no further go. had been awakened to a sense of their own responsibility and their own power in furthering the great movement towards a new order of affairs. A very curious symbol is preserved in the National Library in Paris which illustrates the decline of the sentiment and principle and faith wherein the Revolution originated." springing as it did out . After considering presently available materials we must conclude that at the lowest estimate a coordinated working basis of ideas had been established through the agency of the lodges of France . especially criminal law. " Des Erreurs et de la Vérité. It consists of a medal struck under the Convention in which two men regard each other without demonstration of affection. It became the Talmud of such people and the classic whence they drew their opinions. 91 . the feeling of the mystical aspirants after a reign of brotherhood and love. men willing to believe that man alone has created evil. men willing to work for that reign of brotherhood which meant the restoration of man's lost happiness. more than any other book. that God at least must be exonerated from so monstrous a charge.tue. All is wrong. not of individuals. and to have directed the enthusiasm excited to the welfare. and all around runs the inscription : " Sois mon frère ou je te .58 . It remains to the eternal credit of the workers in the great secret service to have elicited a vigorous personal response to the call of great ideals. Saint-Martin spoke to eager ears when he spoke thus to men.126 The path to the overthrow of religious authority had to a great extent been made smooth by the distribution." while the states-man uttered in the recesses of the lodge of the " Chevaliers Bienfaisants " in Paris.received a death-blow from the daughters of the Order of the Templars. Governments ? their instability. Robison. 41. that thousands of men.57 . but of society as a 126 p. of Boulanger's "Origines du Despotisme Oriental. unable to form a political opinion or judgment for themselves. the levelling principles and liberal ideas which he afterwards thundered from the tribune of the Assembly. represents.

The great subversive work had been silently . Past time was broken with. The half-mystical phantasies of the lodges became the habits of daily life. Egalite. and denounced masonry as the " mystery of iniquity " . The Phrygian cap of the " illuminate " became the headgear of the populace. and many another agent of the secret service were guillotined .60 . and Cazotte. as is the . The conjectural realm of the inception of political ideas is a morass into which few historians care to venture. Equality. influences altogether malign. yet the mine which had been dug under altar and throne was too deep to be filled up by either persecution or calumny. the country is dark and unmapped. though Saint-Germain and Saint-Martin were decried by the Jesuits. The true history of the eighteenth century is the history of the aspiration of the human race. The ternaire Liberty. and the word of Rousseau law. and a calendar modelled on those in use among the secret confederates became the symbol of the new epoch. was stencilled on all the public buildings of France . a few months sufficed to depose ecclesiasticism from its pedestal and monarchy from its throne . though Weishaupt was persecuted and the German Perfectibilists suppressed . and the red banner which had symbolised universal love within the lodges was carried by the ragged battalions of the people on errands of pillage and destruction. Though the Church spread the report that Illuminates worshipped a devil. The spiritual life 92 . and the adoption of the classic appellations used by Spartacus and his Aréopagites the earnest of good citizenship. It is to be hoped that one day a contribution to the spiritual history of the eighteenth century will be made which will neither ignore the Utopian confederacies nor attribute to them. Proved paths are lacking. and a false step may ruin the reputation of years.habit of ecclesiastics.whole. though Cagliostro died in the Inquisitors' prison of Sant Angelo. At the great Revolution the doctrines of the lodges were at last translated from the silent world of secrecy to the common world of practice . to make the army republican. In France it was epitomised.59 . Fraternity instead of merely adorning the meeting-places of masonic bodies.and ruthlessly accomplished in the face of popes and kings. and named it Christ.

the belief in the divinity of man and in the true brotherhood and unity of humanity symbolised in the triple watchword of the Martinists. but beneath the philosophers and their works of light other nameless powers were striving toward enfranchisement..116 . Equality. by faith were empowered to dedicate the future to the Unknown God. An attempt has been made in a previous essay to describe the extensive and intensive influence of the secret societies in France during the eighteenth century. How many men have died in chains. Although nowadays men can further such ends openly.117 . . a divine fever laying hold of mystics. but the secret societies made their appeal to the uneducated and the poor. had been cherished through dark years by the preachers of Freedom. how many crypts have concealed nameless cruelties from the sunlight. the watch-fires of great hope tended by those priests of progress who. from Martinist Lyons. The appeal of the Encyclopaedists was to the . Undoubtedly their work and influence were both serious and important. there flashed on the grey night of feudalism. peasants. Equality. quakers. from Munich. for the effort to emancipate the human race and enable it to grow to the full stature of its manhood is an ancient endeavour. theosophists.but to the initiates. Both Voltaire and the Encyclopaedists have had recognition of men for the share which they took in destroying the prestige of the Church. and all who cannot accustom themselves to the ugly inequalities of social life. End of chapter . poets.. and many another citadel of many redeemers have sacrificed the dear gift of life 93 . from Narbonne.of that nation. who were not for their ignorance or poverty debarred from comprehending the great belief. " Liberty.61 . and the generations of victims and martyrs who lie in the catacombs of feudalism could attest the danger of their enterprise. which was to lift the weight of material oppression from the shoulders of multitudes. From the Swedenborgian stronghold of Avignon." Men have banded themselves together in all ages in order to attack tyranny by destroying the idolatrous esteem in which it was held . though unable to lift the veil that shrouds the destiny of man and the end of worlds. which inspired nearly all the mystical societies of the Middle Ages and modern days. Fraternity.educated. and Brotherhood. in other centuries they had to work stealthily in clandestine ways. unseen .

It has been thought strange that a powerful organisation like the Church fell so easily before the innovators. however. The secret societies. Fraternal societies. Ecclesiastical edicts of the eighteenth century witness to the existence and spread of workmen's unions. since they had no definite new religion to substitute for the old creed. with their enthusiasm for humanity. which all proved too cold and unattractive to compete successfully with the warm humanity and familiar pageants of the Church's feasts. Long before the outbreak of the Revolution. no man can tell . I will oppose with all my might the enemies of the human race and of liberty. and discussed the problems of the people. am only a man. . met in country districts. . were to be found bands of men professing the new faith of brotherhood. with all the possessions. but without that secret soul of progress. . rank. I enjoy these things only through my fellow men. That strong views were held on brotherhood by masons and members of other secret societies may be gathered from the terms of their members' obligation : " I. The reformers. though they could not hold the advantage gained. the banners of secret societies working for the good of humanity bore the words : " Down with the double despotism of Priests and Kings. history would have been but a monotonous record of military and monachal despotism. formed deep below the consciousness of political thought and action. . admitting members of both sexes." … 94 . honours and titles which I hold in political society. realising that the only efficient destruction is reconstruction. made sundry attempts at civic and secular religion. and through them also I may lose them. A network of freemasonry had been successfully established over the greater part of France a few years before the outbreak of the Revolution. were greatly responsible for the Church's temporary discomfiture.118 .as well as in many country districts.that tyrannies might cease." and in every important town in France.

" At the end of 1810. the Rosicrucian. 95 . and when he left Coppet not only had Benjamin Constant come under his influence. but so also had William Schlegel : both contemplated writing religious works.” she was visited by the devout and fascinating Madame de Krüdener and her fellow missionary Zacharias Werner. . she became extremely religious. Coppet might have been the haven of a society of religious.. Schlegel read Saint-Martin with deep attention. Werner read " The History of Religion " by Stolberg with her...229 Madame de Staël and Napoleon Back again at Coppet " in the prison of the soul. Under their influence. Madame de Staël plunged into the " Imitation of Jesus Christ.

His chief works are – Lettre à un ami sur la révolution française. by his father's desire he tried first law and then the army as a profession. Eclair sur l'association humaine. to Italy and to Switzerland. près de l'aéroport de Roissy 129 Le 13 octobre 1803 96 . was born at Amboise of a poor127 but noble family. and always remained attached to the church. At Strasbourg in 1788 he met Charlotte de Boecklin. While in garrison at Bordeaux he came under the influence of Martinez de Pasquales. known as " le philosophe inconnu. but his real zeal led him to England. where he made the acquaintance of William Law. usually called a Portuguese Jew (although later research has made it probable that he was a Spanish Catholic). 127 Pauvre ? Qu'est-ce qu'un pauvre noble qui peut payer à son fils une charge d'avocat à Tours pour environ 1 million d'euro.? . his property was confiscated after the Revolution because of his social position. His later years were devoted almost entirely to the composition of his chief works and to the translation of those of Boehme. and endeavoured to found thereon a secret cult with magical or theurgical rites.. nord est de Paris. literature and . LOUIS CLAUDE DE (1743-1803).Page 29 Volume 24 Hugh Chisholm .1911 SAINT-MARTIN. on the 18th of January 1743. although his first work.The Encyclopædia britannica: a dictionary of arts. as well as to the chief towns of France. who initiated him into the writings of Jacob Boehme." the name under which his works were published. Ministère de l'homme-esprit. sciences. Although he was not subjected to any persecution in consequence of his [30] opinions. the English mystic. He was brought up a strict Catholic.. on the 23rd129 of October 1803. His conversational powers made him welcome in Parisian salons. de l'esprit des choses. In 1771 SaintMartin left the army to become a preacher of mysticism. near Paris. was placed upon the index. He died at Aunay128.. 128 Aunay = Aulnay = Aulnay-sous-bois. and inspired in his breast a semi-romantic attachment. who taught a species of mysticism drawn from cabbalistic sources. Of Errors and Truth. French philosopher. Other treatises appeared in his “oeuvres posthumes” (1807)..

But divine love. His ideal society was “a natural ans spiritual theocracy”. . giving place to a purely spiritual Christianity. The human soul. B. Causeries du Lundi X 190. Penny. has fallen from his high estate. in which God would raise up men of mark and endowment. le philosophe inconnu (1862). there are English translations of “the ministry of Man the Spirit (1864) and of Select Correspondence (1863) by E. was to disappear.Saint-Martin regarded the French Revolution as a sermon in action. which was unable to contain itself. Saint-Martin. the life of Louis-Claude de SaintMartin (1901). Franck. 97 . and nature in turn a reflection of man. if not indeed a miniature of last judgement. the spirit of the universe. man being the immediate reflection of God. however. and the creation is an overflowing or the divine love. Man. based on the assertion of a faculty superior to the reason-moral sense. Moreau. God exists as en eternal personality. and the elements or matter are the four stages of his divine emanation. will work the final regeneration. Waite. from which we derive knowledge of God. le philosophe inconnu (1850). and matter is one of the consequences of the fall. who would regard themselves strictly as “divine commissioners” to guide the people. Caro. Matter. Essai sur la vie et la doctrine de Saint-Martin (1852). See J. notice biographique (1824). united to humanity in Christ. la philosophie mystique en France à la fin du dix-huitième siècle (1866). All ecclesiastical organisation. the human intellect or spirit. Gence. Sainte-Beuve. B.

If. full of strange beauties though they be. psychology. It is probable that almost every such reader. each of which is really complete in itself.. Certainly the general reader has this excuse. the first is intended rather to provide an introduction to the general subject of mysticism. But different types of mind will find this unnecessary elaboration in different places. Those mystics. to provide the necessary preparation . will here find a good deal which seems to him superfluous.? . and to exhibit the relation in which mysticism stands to other forms of life.. Whilst the second and longest part contains a somewhat detailed study of the nature and development of man's spiritual or mystical consciousness. In the first seven chapters of this book I have tried to remove a few of these difficulties . the readers of this section are enabled by it to come to the encounter of mystical literature with a greater power of sympathetic comprehension than they previously possessed. Exhibiting it by turns from the point of view of metaphysics. though they are in a sense complementary to one another. it will have served the purpose for which it has been composed. and to give the student in a compact form at least the elementary facts in regard to each of those subjects which are most closely connected with the study of the mystics. that the masterpieces of mystical literature. can only be studied in their works : works which are for the most part left unread by those who now talk much about mysticism. according to [VII] the angle from which he approaches the subject. it is an attempt to gather between the covers of one volume information at present scattered amongst many monographs and text-books written in divers tongues. The psychologist.Page 575 Evelyn Underhill .Mysticism: a study in the nature and development of man's spiritual . and symbolism. properly speaking.1911 600 pages PREFACE THIS book falls naturally into two parts. offer considerable difficulties to those who come to them unprepared. approaching 98 . then.

seldom admires the proceedings of psychology. Inge's scholarly Bampton lectures. however. and theologians to practise the same charity in respect of the section dealing with their science. I believe. it asks the indulgence which really kind hearted adults are always ready to extend towards the efforts of youth. can afford to neglect any of the aspects on which these pages venture to touch. Many books upon mysticism have been based on the historical method : amongst them two such very different works [IX] as Vaughan's supercilious and unworthy " Hours with the Mystics" and Dr. eager for morbid phenomena. The metaphysician and the psychologist are unwise if they do not consider the light thrown upon the ideas of the mystics by their attitude towards orthodox theology. But this book does not venture to address itself to specialists. It is a method which seems to be open to some objection : since mysticism avowedly deals with the individual not as he stands in relation to the civilization of his time. as a form of life. Finally the persistence amongst us of the false opinion which confuses mysticism with occult philosophy and psychic phenomena. and who may care to be provided with a clue to the symbolic and allegorical element in the writings of the contemplatives.from the scientific standpoint. but as he stands in relation to truths that are 99 . From those who are already fully conversant with the matters touched upon. a short section on those symbols of which they most often make use has been added. The symbolist. has little use for disquisitions on symbolism. the history of the spirit of man. The giving of merely historical information is no part of the present plan : except in so far as chronology has a bearing upon the most fascinating of all histories. Specialists in any of these great departments of knowledge will probably be disgusted by the elementary and superficial manner in which their specific sciences are here treated. religious or other. For the benefit of those whose interest in mysticism is chiefly literary. that none who wish to obtain an idea of mysticism in its wholeness. The theologian is still more unwise if he refuse to hear the evidence of psychology. has made it necessary to deal with the vital distinction which exists between it and every form of magic. approaching from the artistic standpoint. Philosophers are earnestly advised to pass over the first two chapters.

Each of these stages — and also the characteristically mystical and still largely mysterious experiences of visions and voices. is avowedly psychological." This book. Also. The second part of the book. the state of equilibrium towards which he tends." though unable to accept his conclusions : and here gladly take the opportunity of acknowledging my debt to him and also to Baron von Hügel's classic " Mystical Element of Religion. It is an attempt to set out and justify a definite theory of the nature of man's mystical consciousness : the necessary stages of organic growth through which the typical mystic passes. speak the same language and come from the same country. and where possible in their own words. for dilute transcendentalism. said Saint-Martin. Finally. vapid symbolism. which only came [X] into my hands when my own was planned and partly written. All mystics. those who are unfamiliar with the history of mysticism properly so called. and to whom the names of the great contemplatives convey no accurate suggestion of period or nationality. Nevertheless. for which the first seven chapters are intended to provide a preparation. may be glad to have a short statement of their order in time and distribution in space. has since been a constant source of stimulus and encouragement.timeless. religious or aesthetic sentimentality. is illustrated from the lives of the mystics . In planning these chapters I have been considerably helped by M. As against that fact. the place which they happen to occupy in the kingdom of this world matters little. since few things are more disagreeable than the constant encounter of persons to whom we have not been introduced. Those entirely unacquainted with these matters may find it helpful to glance at the Appendix before proceeding to the body of the work . contemplation and ecstasy — though viewed from the standpoint of psychology. it has been used in different and often mutually exclusive senses by religion. it is perhaps well to say something as to the exact sense in which the term " Mysticism " is here understood. and philosophy : has been claimed as an excuse for every kind of occultism. poetry. 100 . Delacroix's brilliant " Études sur le Mysticisme. One of the most abused words in the English language. some knowledge of the genealogy of mysticism is desirable if we are to distinguish the original contributions of each individual from the mass of speculation and statement which he inherits from the past.

for much valuable. generous. Others who have given me much help in various directions. it has been freely employed as a term of contempt by those who have criticized these things. John of the Cross. Inge. whatever be the theological formula under which that order is understood. have been kindly read by the Rev." attains its end. of all shades of opinion.and bad metaphysics. by Miss May Sinclair. Scott Palmer. as the science or art of the spiritual life. who have given me their help and encouragement. the World-soul of Pantheism. On the other hand. To Mr. since it is owing to his generous permission that I am able to make full use of his beautiful translations of the poems of St. the desire to attain it and the movement towards it — so long as this is a genuine life process and not an intellectual speculation — is the proper subject of mysticism. and by Miss Eleanor Gregory . [XI] Sections of the MS. Arthur Symons my thanks and those of my readers are specially due . and painstaking assistance. Dr. those who use the term " Mysticism " are bound in selfdefence to explain what they mean by it. in the experience called “mystic union. I believe this movement to represent the true line of development of the highest form of human consciousness. It is a pleasant duty to offer my heartiest thanks to the many kind friends and fellow students. has made all the translations from Meister Eckhart and Mechthild of Magdeburg here given. particularly in respect of the chapter upon Vitalism : and Miss Margaret Robinson. This tendency. from all of whom I have received much helpful and expert advice. and to whom most grateful acknowledgements are here 101 . It is much to be hoped that it may be restored sooner or later to its old meaning. I understand it to be the expression of the innate tendency of the human spirit towards complete harmony with the transcendental order . gradually captures the whole field of consciousness . W. Broadly speaking. in great mystics. Meanwhile. Amongst those to whom my heaviest debt of gratitude is due are Mr. who in addition to many other kind offices. it dominates their life and. Whether that end be called the God of Christianity. the Absolute of Philosophy.

Waite. and Mr. A. Herbert of the British Museum — who first brought to my notice the newly discovered " Mirror of Simple Souls " — the Rev. Dr. Feast of St. John of the Cross 1910 Amboise_castel_nef 102 .S. The substance of two chapters — those upon " The Characteristics of Mysticism " and " Mysticism and Magic " — has already appeared in the pages of The Quest and The Fortnightly Review. Mr. U. J. Miss Ethel Barker. Stuart Moore. F.A. E. These sections are here reprinted by kind permission of their respective editors. H. are Miss Constance Jones.offered. Arbuthnot Nairn. A. E. Mr.

for them.CHAPTER I THE POINT OF DEPARTURE The mystic type— its persistence—Man's quest of Truth— The Mystics claim to have attained it — The foundations of experience — The Self— its sensations — its concepts — The sense-world — its unreal character — Philosophy — its classic theories of Reality — Naturalism — its failures — Idealism — its limitations — Philosophic Scepticism — the logical end of Intellectualism — Failure of philosophy and science to discover Reality — Emotional and spiritual experience — its validity— Religion — Suffering — Beauty — Their mystical aspects — Mysticism as the science of the Real — Its statements — its practice — It claims direct communion with the Absolute THE most highly developed branches of the human family have in common one peculiar characteristic. and usually in the teeth of adverse external circumstances — a curious and definite type of personality . in the ancient. which must be taken into account before we can add up the sum of the energies and potentialities of the human spirit. their aims. Their experience. that whatever the place or period in which [3] [4] they have arisen. curiously self-consistent and often mutually explanatory. Their one passion appears to be the prosecution of a certain spiritual and intangible quest : the finding of a " way out " or a " way back " to some desirable state in which alone they can satisfy their craving for absolute truth. They tend to produce — sporadically it is true. a type which refuses to be satisfied with that which other men call experience. mediaeval." We meet these persons in the east and the west . forms a body of evidence. to " deny the world in order that it may find reality. have fallen in love with the veiled 103 . doctrines and methods have been substantially the same. and modern worlds. All men. This quest. and is inclined. in the words of its enemies. therefore. or reasonably speculate on its relations to the unknown world which lies outside the boundaries of sense. has constituted the whole meaning of life : they have made for it without effort sacrifices which have appeared enormous to other men : and it is an indirect testimony to its objective actuality. at one time or another.

and also — though this is needless for those who read that description in good faith — a justification of these experiences and the conclusions which have been drawn from them. But if we may trust the reports of the mystics — and they are reports given with a strange accent of certainty and good faith — they have succeeded where all these others have failed. the vision which they make unto themselves of the beloved object. are these matters from our ordinary habits of thought. Last stage of all. The extreme pragmatists have even sought her in the kitchen . This. a certain definite preparation : a purging of the 104 . declaring that she may best be recognized by her utility. varies enormously. demanding payment and betraying her lover at the last. they should claim from us the same attention that we give to other explorers of countries in which we are not competent to adventure ourselves. With most. Some see Truth as Dante saw Beatrice : a figure adorable yet intangible. others in the slime. Some have seen her in a test tube. none of these seekers Have ever been able to assure the world that they have found. and we have no right to deny validity to their discoveries. the only satisfying goal of his quest. It is the object of this book to attempt a description. in all those who would attempt to understand them. and that " only Reality. Under whatsoever symbols they may have objectified their quest. But there are others who remain all their lives the devout lovers of reality : though the manner of their love. and most theologians call God. and some in a poet's dream : some before the altar. however. seen face to face. To others she seems rather an evil yet an irresistible enchantress : enticing. which some philosophers call the Absolute. the philosophic sceptic has comforted an unsuccessful courtship by assuring himself that his mistress is not really there. So remote. that their investigation entails. they say — and here many who are not mystics agree with them — is the hidden Truth which is the object of man's craving . this has been but a passing passion : they have early seen its hopelessness and turned to more practical things. found in this world yet revealing the next. entangled as they declare amongst material things. merely because we lack the opportunity or the courage necessary to those who would prosecute such explorations for themselves. in establishing immediate communication between the spirit of man. the Reality behind the veil. Hence.Isis whom they call Truth." that immaterial and final Being. for the mystics are the pioneers [5] of the spiritual world.

and which declares. the self-conscious subject which is writing this book. Let us then begin at the beginning : and remind ourselves of a few of the trite and primary facts which all practical persons agree to ignore. That ground covers the whole area of first principles : and it is to first principles that we must go. Nevertheless. as the mystics say. " into our nothingness" — and examine for ourselves the foundations of all possible human experience. and the saints. is of course combated by certain schools of philosophy. assumption. must deliberately break with our inveterate habit of taking the " visible world " for granted . I need hardly say that this book is not written by a philosopher. We must pull down our own card houses — descend. That beginning. amateurs though we be. for human thought. As with those who came of old to the Mysteries. have devoted much destructive criticism to the concept of the Ego as the starting-point of philosophy : looking upon it as a large. before we are in a position to criticize the buildings of the visionaries. and logically unwarrantable. is of course the I. the poets. if we would understand the true significance of the mystic type. We must not begin to talk of the unreal world of these dreamers until we have discovered — if we can — a real world with which it may be compared. the Ego. The uncertainties only begin for most of us when we ask what else is. " can be spoken by no creature but by God only : for it becomes the creature to testify of itself Non Sum. purification is here the gate of knowledge.130 1 [6] Here is a point as to which we all feel quite sure. in the teeth of all arguments. No metaphysician has yet shaken the ordinary individual's belief in his own existence. or the other self-conscious subject which is reading it . Such a criticism of reality is of course the business of philosophy. and after him Bradley and other modern writers.intellect." In a less mystical strain Lotze. our lazy assumption that somehow science is " real " and metaphysics is not. 130 1 Even this I AM." said Eckhart long ago. " The word Sum. We must come to this encounter with minds cleared of prejudice and convention. 105 . I AM. which has seemed safe ground to most metaphysicians. nor is it addressed to students of that imperial science. we cannot reach our proper starting-point without trespassing to some extent on philosophic ground.

combines : and then triumphantly produces from them a "concept" which is. 132 2 Thus Eckhart. as for the philosopher Hume. Phaedrus. As the impressions come in — or rather those interpretations of the original impressions which her nervous system supplies — she pounces on them. that this sense-world. What do these experiences mean ? The first answer of the unsophisticated Self of course is. She sorts.132 2 It is a work of art. For her. rejects. Chief amongst these are the stimulation of the tactile nerves whose result we call touch. (" Mystische Schriften." — Meister Eckhart. From the messages received through those senses. In this way arises the soul's knowledge of created things. 106 ." p. and the soul can only approach created things by the voluntary reception of images. i. they receive and create images and likenesses from the created thing and absorb them. this conscious self " imprisoned in the body like an oyster in his shell. Pred. whilst it 131 1 Plato. she constructs that “ senseworld” which is the " real and solid world " of normal men. this seemingly real external universe — though it may be useful and valid in other respects — cannot be the external world. Does the soul want to know the nature of a stone — a horse — a man? She forms an image. The stars. when she is asked what that world is like."131 1 come. as we know. the vibrations taken up by the optic nerve which we call light. however. she says. "reality consists in impressions and ideas." It is immediately apparent. she says. much as players in the spelling-game pounce on the separate letters dealt out to them. § 250. but only the Self's projected picture of it. and. are bright. which pour in on her whether she will or no. the external world. that they indicate the nature of the external world : it is to the " evidence of her senses " that she turns. a constant stream of messages and experiences. the grass is green. "Every time that the powers of the soul come into contact with created things. And it is through the presence of the image that the soul approaches the created world : for the image is a Thing.To this I. accepts. With an enviable and amazing simplicity she attributes her own sensations to the unknown universe. not [7] a scientific fact . 15). Created things cannot come nearer to the soul than this. batter upon her gateways at every instant and from every side. and those taken up by the ear and perceived as sound. which the soul creates with her own powers.

She does not know. Therefore this message. Nor can their testimony disconcert those seekers whose reports they appear to contradict. The sphere of our possible intellectual knowledge is thus strictly conditioned by the limits of our own personality. it is her one channel of communication with the hypothetical " external world.may well possess the profound significance proper to great works of art. are the termini of our explorations : and to " know oneself" is really to know one's universe. happened to be arranged upon a different plan. the reality at the other end of the wire. and which would have no meaning for selves whose senses. That which is conveyed as dash and dot. On [8] this basis. others which it confuses together. but the external termini of our own sensory nerves. and — so long as she remains dependent on that instrument — never can know. by which those messages are sent . colour and shape." Did some mischievous Demiurge 107 . though it may in a partial sense be relevant to the supposed reality at the other end. may have been received in a very different form. not the ends of the earth. at the receiving end of a telegraph wire. But she is justified on the whole in accepting them as evidence that something exists beyond herself and her receiving instrument. can never be adequate to it. The evidence of the senses. in other language. then. there are aspects of the world which we can never know. neither can the messages truly disclose the nature of that object. or channels of communication. Very slight investigation will be enough to suggest that it is a picture whose relation to reality is at best symbolic and approximate. On any other theory than that of mysticism. There will be fine vibrations which it fails to take up. It is obvious that the structural peculiarities of the telegraphic instrument will have exerted a modifying effect upon the message. they are dangerous guides. the object. Eckhart's words are still final for us : " the soul can only approach created things by the voluntary reception of images. The conscious self sits. is dangerous if treated as a subject of analysis. or." The receiving instrument registers certain messages. Hence a portion of the message is always lost . cannot safely be accepted as evidence of the nature of ultimate reality : useful servants. so to speak. We are locked up with our receiving instruments : we cannot get up and walk away in the hope of seeing whither the lines lead.

Beauty would still be ours. though speaking another tongue. Were such an alteration of our senses to take place the world would still be sending us the same messages — that strange unknown world from which." p." like the soul in the Palace of Art. This " world of common sense " is a conceptual world. and colour and sound are known as aspects of the same thing. and on the reports of certain other mystics concerning a rare moment of consciousness in which the senses are fused into a single and ineffable act of perception . we should receive by this act a new universe.choose to tickle our sensory apparatus in a new way. " The perception seems to be one in which all the senses unite into one sense " (quoted in Bucke's " Cosmic Consciousness. It may represent an external universe : it certainly does represent the activity of the human mind. we are hermetically sealed — but we should have interpreted them differently. the cadences of stormy skies. The bird's song would then strike our retina as a pageant of colour : we should see all the magical tones of the wind. and colour an interpretation of other vibrations performed by the eye. if. Within that mind it is built up : and there most of us are content "at ease for aye to dwell. and saw notes that shone " . Such a remark as this throws a sudden light on the strange and apparently insane statement of the visionary Saint-Martin. The late Professor James once suggested as a useful exercise for young idealists a consideration of the changes which would be worked in our ordinary world if the various branches of our receiving instruments happened to exchange duties . on this hypothesis. 133 1 Thus Edward Carpenter says of his own experience of the onset of mystical consciousness.133 1 Since music is but an interpretation of certain vibrations undertaken by the ear. hear as a great fugue the repeated and harmonized greens of the forest. for instance. we heard all colours and saw all sounds. Did we realize how slight an adjustment of our own organs is needed to initiate us into such a world. we should perhaps be less [9] contemptuous of those mystics who tell us that they apprehended the Absolute as " heavenly music " or " Uncreated Light * : less fanatical in our determination to make the "real and solid world of common sense" the only standard of reality. all this is less mad than it sounds. 198). 108 . " I heard flowers that sounded.

of vision rather than of argument. like a living religion. is at bottom a strictly personal affair — a matter. as personal religion may and should outwardly attach itself to a traditional church.134 1 Nevertheless such a living metaphysic may — and if sound generally does — escape the stigma of subjectivism by outwardly attaching itself to a traditional School . has been able to achieve." p. he hungers for reality. to the comfort of persons of this type to form for themselves some image of the Something or Nothing which is at the end of their telegraph lines : some " conception of being. 10. It is necessary. as it seems. ache for first principles. But there persists in the race a type of personality which does realize this limitation : and cannot be content with the sham realities that furnish the universe of normal men." They are tormented by the Unknowable. We cannot know the reality. In them we see crystallized the best that the human intellect." some "theory of knowledge. Let us then consider shortly the results arrived at by these traditional schools — the great classic theories concerning the nature of reality.A direct encounter with absolute truth. of the simplest object : though this is a limitation which few people realize acutely and most would strenuously deny. though he may not be filled. and must satisfy that hunger as best he can : staving off starvation. as Professor James reminded us. In so far as man possesses this temperament. left to itself. … 134 1 "A Pluralistic Universe. Now it is doubtful whether any two selves have offered themselves exactly the same image of the truth outside their gates : for a living metaphysic. 109 . or even prove the existence. appears to be impossible for normal non-mystical consciousness. then. demand some background to the shadow show of things.

John of the Cross — Theologia Germanica — Second characteristic illustrated — Tauler — Plotinus — Third characteristic illustrated — Mystic love — Rolle — A Kempis — Gertrude More — Fourth characteristic illustrated — Mechthild of Magdeburg — The Mystic Way — Unity of the mystical experience — A fifth characteristic : disinterestedness — Self-surrender — Pure love — Summary EVER since the world began. Between them lie the great religions. instruments. (4) his object is union with the Absolute — Mysticism defined — First characteristic illustrated — St.CHAPTER IV THE CHARACTERISTICS OF MYSTICISM Mysticism and Magic — Distinction between them — The Way of Love and the Way of Knowledge — Characteristics of Mysticism — Difficulty of fixing them — The Mystic has obtained contact with the Absolute — He is a spiritual genius— All men have latent mystical feeling — Such feeling is the source of the arts — Mystic and Artist — Their likenesses and differences — Difficulties of mystical expression — Mysticism and music — Richard Rolle — Symbolic expression — Vision — An accident not an implicit or mysticism — A method of communication — Suggestive power of symbols — Four characteristics of true mysticism — It is (i) practical. I propose to call these methods the " way of magic " and the “way of mysticism. (2) transcendental. they often confuse the inquirer by using the same language. (3) the mystic is a lover. pure [84] mysticism "shades off" into religion — from some points of view seems to grow out of it. one must at once add that although in their extreme forms these arts are sharply contrasted with one another." Having said so much. and through them has developed two methods of getting in touch with it. Hence. and methods. Hence it is that so much which is really magic is loosely and popularly described as mysticism. They represent as a matter of fact the opposite poles of the same thing : the transcendental consciousness of humanity. No 110 . their frontiers are far from being clearly defined : that. starting from the same point. at one end of the scale. man has had two distinct and fundamental attitudes towards the unseen . For the purpose of our present inquiry. which might be described under this metaphor as representing the ordinarily habitable regions of that consciousness.

subconscious. the congregational prayer for rain of orthodox Churchmen. and the ends to which those powers are applied differ enormously.seeking transcendentalism. to bear on their undertaking : both claim that they produce in their initiates powers unknown to ordinary men. conscious and. This is the intellectual. and no mystic can be other than religious. or the healing of disease. in the psychological if not in the theological sense of the word. until it includes the supersensual world : obviously the antithesis of mysticism. The fundamental difference between the two is this : magic wants to get. the will unites with the intellect in an impassioned desire for supersensible knowledge. In magic. or the consciously self-hypnotizing devices of " New Thought " : whether the end proposed be the evocation of an angel. w It matters little whether the apparatus which they use be the incantations of the old magicians. It is an individualistic and acquisitive science : in all its forms an activity of the intellect. This is the poetic and religious temperament acting upon the plane of reality. religion. whose existence is intuitively perceived by that which we used to call the soul. mysticism wants to give — immortal and antagonistic attitudes. shades off into magic. Both magic and mysticism in their full development bring the whole mental machinery.deeply religious man is without a touch of mysticism . no less surely. though often adopting its title and style. and scientific temperament trying to extend its field of consciousness. which turn up under one disguise or another in every age of thought. It will be our business later on to consider in more detail the characteristics and significance of magic. At the other end of the scale. the power of transcending circumstance. but now find it easier to refer to as the " Cosmic " or " transcendental " sense. seeking 111 . as we shall see later on. aggressive. till it transcends its usual limitations and obtains for the self or group of selves something which it [85] or they did not previously possess. Now it is enough to say that we may class broadly as magical all forms of self. the reasons of that undertaking. But the centre round which that machinery is grouped. The object of the thing is always the same : the deliberate exaltation of the will. In mysticism the will is united with the emotions in an impassioned desire to transcend the sense-world in order that the self may be joined by love to the one eternal and ultimate Object of love .

indeed. Me. Its performances are useful. It implies. that of transcendental philosophy. as diagrams are useful. before we want to act on this hard and heroic scale. is utterly different from this. Such philosophy is often wrongly called mysticism because it tries to make maps of the countries which the mystic explores. that " I. the desire of love and the desire of knowledge : severally representing the hunger of heart and intellect for ultimate truth. It is essentially a movement of the heart. the abolition of individuality . the synthesis of its love and will. The third attitude towards the supersensual world. of that hard separateness. and in their methods strictly empirical. though of course it does and must entail interest of some kind. The mystic is " in love with the Absolute " not in any idle or sentimental manner. Mysticism. It is non-individualistic.Reality for its own purposes. mysticism. the very source of its energy and life." " the organ of tender emotion. and feel acutely. hardly comes within the scope of the present inquiry . like art. whose great name is too often given to these supersensual activities. We must feel. or for those of humanity at large. Hence. We at once see that these two activities correspond to the two eternal passions of the self." which makes of man a finite isolated thing. but in that deep and vital sense which presses forward at all costs and through all dangers towards union with the object beloved. but purely from an instinct of love. where the practice of magic — like the practice of science — does not necessarily entail any passionate emotion. seeking to transcend the limitations of the individual standpoint and to surrender itself to ultimate Reality . Mine. since it is purely academic where both magic and mysticism are practical. [86] What then do we really mean by mysticism? A word which is impartially 112 . By the word heart." and the like : but rather the inmost sanctuary of personal being. remembering that the only final thing is personal experience — the personal exploration of the exalted and truth-loving soul. cannot exist without it. so long as they do not ape finality . to obtain no other-worldly joys. for no personal gain. to satisfy no transcendental curiosity. of course we here mean not merely " the seat of the affections.

is the science of ultimates. personal. and that the mystic is the person who attains to this union. Hence we must look carefully at all the pilgrims on the road . to " menticulture " and sorcery. desirous and desired.applied to the performances of mediums and the ecstasies of the saints. "The Drunken Consciousness is a bit of the Mystic Consciousness. In the mystic this union is conscious. dreamy poetry and mediaeval art. so to speak. discover. that Abyss of the Godhead. This it is 135 1 See "Varieties of Religious Experience. to fix its true characteristics: to restate the fact that Mysticism. More or less according to [87] his measure. as it does." Hence it is necessary." p. this All. the motive of their travels. who usually emerges from his struggle with the ever-increasing mass of theosophical and psychical literature possessed by a vague idea that every kind of supersensual theory and practice is somehow "mystical. but to Be. the doctrinal excesses of Gnosticism. not merely its manifestation in life. and the tepid speculations of the Cambridge Platonists — even. of the boundaries of existence — and passes over into that boundless life where Subject and Object. Its employment merely confuses the inexperienced student. No sharp line. to the higher branches of intoxication135 1 — soon ceases to have any useful meaning. and complete. he has touched the substantial Being of Deity. if we can. in its pure form. the Uncreated Light in which the Universe is bathed. But there is — must be — contact " in an intelligible where " between every individual self and this Supreme Self. the science of union with the Absolute." 113 . the luggage which they take. not the person who talks about it. That Divine Dark. Not to know about. and which — transcending. 387. is the mark of the real practitioner. of which he sometimes speaks as the goal of his quest. according to William James. if possible. Now we have said that the end which the mystic sets before him on his pilgrimage is conscious union with a living Absolute. The difficulty lies in determining the point at which supersensual experience ceases to be merely a practical and interesting extension of sensual experience — an enlarging. to prayer and palmistry. but rather an infinite series of gradations separate the two states. and nothing else. the maps which they use. is just this Absolute. are one. all human powers of expression — he can only describe to us as dark. the end which they attain.

Just as genius in any of the arts is — humanly speaking — the final term of a power of which each individual possesses the rudiments. that unsearchable ground whence the World of Becoming comes forth " eternally generated in an eternal Now. Stewart. Few people pass through life without knowing what it is to be at least touched by this mystical feeling." p. sees the light that never was on sea or land — a vaguely pretty phrase to those who have not seen it." Gazing with him into that ultimate Abyss. catches a 136 1 Compare above. What ? Nothing less than the secret plan of the Universe. 114 . or as we say " undergoes conversion " : all these have truly known for an instant something of the secret of the world. but a scientific statement to the rest — he who falls in love with invisible things. . A. 24. falling in love with nature." we may see only the icy darkness of perpetual negations : but he looks upon the face of Perfect Love. pp. Now and again something stings it into consciousness. " the science of self-evident Reality. "The Myths of Plato. that is to say." At such moments "Transcendental Feeling. of so perceiving transcendent reality. . 42. and man is caught up to the spiritual level. 57.136 1 “ . so mysticism may be looked upon as the final term. Ever and anon a trumpet sounds From the hid battlements of Eternity. and makes his science. Those shaken mists a space unsettle. 137 2 T. then Round the half-glimpsed turrets slowly wash again. the active expression. And what is that secret plan ? The other ' Part of the Soul ' indeed comprehends it in silence as it is. in Patmore's words. welling up from another ' Part of the Soul ' whispers to Understanding and Sense that they are leaving out something. 26. in this spark or " part of the soul " is the fountain [88] alike of the creative imagination and the mystic life. but can explain it to the Understanding only in the symbolical language of the interpreter. He who falls in love with a woman and perceives — as the lover really does perceive — that the categorical term " girl " veils a wondrous and unspeakable reality : he who.which distinguishes him from the best and most brilliant of other men. Imagination — in Vision. of a power latent in the whole race : the power."137 2 -— Here.

" Painting as well as music and poetry exists and exults in immortal thoughts. A living critic. We know that the picture which is " like a photograph. which baffle their more rational interpreters. man escapes the sense-world.glimpse of the " secret plan. in a measure. a unity whose note is ineffable peace. and awe. adoration." 1908. the barrier of personality is broken. This intuition of the Real lying at the root of the visible world and sustaining its life. if you like. in whom poetic genius has brought about the unusual alliance of intuition with scholarship. It is difficult to say why this should be so unless it were because these things have neglected their true business . manifesting the living spirit of things with a clearer beauty and intenser power than the gross impediments of complex matter allow to be transmitted to our senses in the visible world around us. must be present if these arts are to justify themselves as heightened forms of experience > It is this which gives to them that peculiar vitality. testifies to this same truth when he says of the ideals which governed early Chinese painting. and enters for a brief period into the more extended life of the All. which was not to reproduce the illusions of ordinary men but to catch and translate for us something of that " secret plan." that reality which the artistic consciousness is able. to perceive. awakening in the self a sentiment of love.138 1 That " lifeenhancing power " which has been recognized by modern critics as the supreme quality of good painting. the transcendental — world : the underlying verity of things." Then hints of a marvellous truth. 9. shine in created things . " In this theory every work of art is thought of as an incarnation of the genius of rhythm.139 2 has its origin in this contact of the artistic mind with the archetypal — or. the novel which is a perfect transcript of life. is present in a modified form in the arts : perhaps it were better to say. half torment and half joy. 140 1 Laurence Binyon. Its life is enhanced. 115 . "Parallel Paths." the building which is at once handsome and commodious. that strange power of communicating a poignant emotion." says Blake. " Painting in the Far East. A [89] picture is conceived as a sort of apparition from a more real world of essential life?140'1 138 1 "Descriptive Catalogue." p." 139 2 See Rolleston. ascends to the apex of his spirit. fail to satisfy us.

141 C. He comes back to us. 139. By means of veils and symbols he must interpret his free vision. 143 4 In this connexion Godfernaux (Revue Philosophique. 37790) 142 3 Par. to other men." Try how he will. On him has been laid the duty of expressing something of that which he perceives.. si mon esprit n'eût été frappé d'un éclair par lequel s'accomplit son désir. (B. his stammering and awestruck reports can hardly be understood but by those who are already in the way. Ma non eran da ciô le proprie penne. "My secret to myself. But the artist cannot act thus. the secularization of the inner life. in che sua voglia venne' 47. Add.M."1423 The mystic may say — is indeed bound to say — with St.That "more real world of essential life " is the world in which the " free soul " of the great mystic dwells . bearing its tidings. February. 1902) has a highly significant remark to the effect that romanticism represents the invasion of secular literature by mystic or religious emotion. for art is the link between appearance and reality." 47.1434 But we do not call every one who has these partial and artistic intuitions of reality a mystic. He is the mediator between his brethren and the divine. his glimpse of the burning bush. It is. Se non che la mia mente fu percossa Da un fulgore. and who has definitely surrendered himself to the embrace of Reality. 116 . any more than we call every one a musician who has learnt to play the piano.. he says. As artists stand in a peculiar relation to the phenomenal world. "Not for this were my wings fitted : save only that my mind was smitten by a lightning flash. He is bound to tell his love. with Dante's cry upon his lips — ". Bernard. Non eran da cio le proprie penne se non che la mia mente fu percossa da un fulgore. 141 2 " The Mirror of Simple Souls. Mais point n'auraient à cela suffi mes propres ailes. 47. The true mystic is the person in whom such powers transcend the merely artistic and visionary stage. and are exalted to the point of genius : in whom the transcendental consciousness can dominate the normal consciousness. XXXIII.141 2 The artist too may cross its boundaries in his brief moments of creation : but he cannot stay. in che sua voglia venne. hovering like the six-winged seraph before the face of the Absolute. wherein came to it its desire." f. In his worship of Perfect Beauty faith must be balanced by works.

but a complete system of life — a Syntagma. His consciousness is transfigured in a particular way. before he can make use of them. tries to give us in colour. far more accurately than language will ever allow him to do : for we must remember that there is no excuse but that of convenience for the pre-eminence amongst modes of expression which we accord to words. there is the huge disparity between his unspeakable experience and the language which will most nearly approach it. it is probable that he could give his message to other musicians in the terms of that art. sound or words a hint of his ecstasy. Even the artist. because perception brings with it the imperative longing for expression. Hence his mysticism is no isolated vision. under the most favourable circumstance. caught up to something of his state. there is the great gulf fixed between his mind and the mind of the world. so the mystic is immersed in and reacts to spiritual life." He has been called a lonely soul. he lives at different levels of experience from other people : and this of course means that he sees a different world. is bound to re-arrange them in accordance with the laws of rhythm : obeying 117 . know how small a fraction of his vision he can. As other men are immersed in and react to natural or intellectual life. contrive to represent. He might more properly be described as a lonely body : for his soul. so this true mystic stands in a peculiar relation to the transcendental world . the difficulties are enormously increased. there experiencing the onslaught of what must remain for us unimaginable delights. But in his case. that we forget that they have but the faintest of relations with transcendental things. no arbitrary glimpse of reality. since the world as we know it is the product of specific scraps or aspects of reality acting upon a normal and untransfigured consciousness. to use Eucken's expressive term. The mystic too tries very hard to tell an unwilling world the only secret. before they can be made to understand. First. The earthly artist. Were he a musician. peculiarly responsive. These correspond so well to the physical plane and its adventures. his glimpse of truth.receiving rhythms and discovering truths and beauties [90] which are hidden from other men. His audience must be bewitched as well as addressed. sends out and receives communications upon every side. He moves towards that utter identification with its interests which he calls " Union with God. Only those who have tried. Next.

of another beauty than that which is formulated by sounds. another of the soul. that of Ruysbroeck. one is of the days and the vicissitudes of light and darkness . one is of number. p." Next. Richard Rolle of Hampole.144 1 The mediaeval mind. who had " the soul. play " ditties of no tone " {op. The mystery of music is seldom realized by those who so easily accept its gifts." says Hugh of St. and little of it escaped when he translated it for our ears. the music of humanity." 123 So too the mystic. another of the years and the changes of spring. another of motion. another of the months and the waxing and waning of the moon . Beethoven heard the very voice of Reality. summer. the most romantic thing in the universe. " the father of 144 1 Since this passage was written M." 118 . one is of the elements. Of that which is of the elements. discerning its operation in many phenomena which we now attribute to that dismal figment. Victor. their source and also their end. Of the music of humanity. the heart. another of Time. Mysticism. another of measure.unconsciously [91] the rule by which all arts " tend to approach the condition of music. Law. First that of Gay. one is of place. blown upon by the Holy Spirit. who. in a passage that might have been written by Keats. and the head full of music. from one point of view the art of arts. another of the planets. Yet of all the arts music alone shares with great mystical literature the power of waking us to response to the life-movement of the universe : brings us — we know not how — news of its exultant passions and its incomparable peace. more naturally mystical than ours. Of the music of the worlds. another of weights. one is of the body. I take from his pages two examples of the analogy between mystical and musical emotion. and therefore more sharply aware of the part which rhythmic harmony plays in the worlds of nature and of grace. " Didascalicon de Studio Legendi. " the music of the worlds. another of nature.. "There are three kinds of music. 145 2 Hugh of St. Hebert's brilliant monograph " Le Divin " (1907) has come into my hands.145" 2 Thus the life of the visible and invisible universe consists in a supernal fugue. 29). speaks of Contemplation and Love as " two heavenly pipes " which. Of that which is of Time. finds naturally enough its closest correspondences in the most purely artistic and most deeply significant of all forms of expression. the music of instruments. [92] One contemplative at least. Of that which is of the planets. cit. autumn and winter. another in the connexion that is between them. Victor. gave to music a Cosmic importance.

is to him. it is a " heavenly melody. He does not " see " Reality : he " hears " it.century translation. Francis of Assisi. "The Fire of Love "(Early English Text Society).English mysticism. cap." he says. cit.148" 3 So Gertrude More — "O lett me sitt alone." " In the night. " when in a plenteous soul the sweetness of eternal love with burning is taken. For him. before supper." Delle Istimati. suddenly." was acutely aware of this music of the soul. above all else. 30. and likeliest heavenly melody I took. XXIII. praying to heaven. Forsooth my thought continually to mirth of song was changed : and as it were the same that 146 1 "Fioretti. and the mind into full sweet sound is changed. as other mystics have received them in the form of pictures or words. and thought into song is turned. 149 4 " Spiritual Exercises. I. ii. silent to all the world and it to me. bk. cap. could catch and translate for him the wild rapture of Transcendent Life.149" 4 Rolle's own experience of mystic joy seems actually to have come to him in this form : the perceptions of his exalted consciousness presenting themselves to his understanding under musical conditions.146" 1 " Song I call. i. intolerably sweet. Compare bk. with me dwelling in mind. it seems. In that beautiful description of his inward experience which is one of the jewels of mystical literature.) 147 2 Richard Rolle. nothing is more remarkable than his constant and deliberate employment of musical imagery. bk. as it were the sound of readers or rather singers about me I beheld.147" 2 He who experiences this joyous exaltation "says not his prayers like other righteous men " but " is taken into marvellous mirth : and. and sometimes correcting from the Latin his somewhat obscure language. goodly sound being descended into him. as I my psalms sung. that I may learn the song of Love. the state of Song. and VI. I give in his own words the charming account of his passage from the first state of " burning love " to the second state of "songful love" — from Calor to Canor — when " into song of joy meditation is turned.. The condition of joyous and awakened love to which the mystic passes when his purification is at an end." p. This alone. in what [93] manner I wot not. slightly modernizing the spelling.. discerning in its joyous periods a response to the measured harmonies of the spiritual universe. (Arnold's translation. As the Latin version of the " Incendium Amoris" unfortunately still remains in MS. as for St. V. Whilst also. xv. as it were with notes his prayers he sings. 119 . in this and subsequent quotations from Rolle I have adopted Misyn's fifteenth . in me the sound of song I felt . caps. 148 3 Op. with all desire I took heed.

is a mystic melody having little in common with its clumsy image. XVI. and the mystic's experience then presents itself to him as " visions " or " voices " which we must look upon as the garment he has himself provided to veil that Reality upon which no man may look and live. however. Gertrude. and in prayers and psalms had said. the which in churches and elsewhere is used. ii. bk.loving I had thought. Teresa. for the words they read : but the tone and sweetness of that song they may not learn. Bodily song " lets it " . Catherine of Genoa's leaning towards the abstract conceptions of fire and light — and also by his theological education and environment . but among angels tunes it has an acceptable melody. as in the highly dogmatic visions and auditions of St. the Blessed Angela of Foligno . It discords much : for all that is man's voice is formed with bodily ears to be heard . caps. cit. cit. Catherine of Siena.”) 120 ." " for sweet ghostly song accords not with outward song. Sometimes the symbol and the perception which it represents become fused in that consciousness . earthly music. and xii. St. and " noise of janglers makes it turn again to thought.151" 2 Such symbolism as this — a living symbolism of experience and action as well as of statement — seems almost essential to mystical expression. 151 2 Op. St. in sound I showed. cap. and with marvel it is commended of them that have known it." To others it is incommunicable. Shelley is of the same opinion The world can hear not the sweet notes that move The Sphere whose light is melody to lovers (“The Triumph of Life. iii. y bk. . Suso. whose marvellous self-analyses provide the classic account of these attempts of the mind to translate transcendental intuitions into concepts with which it can deal. " Worldly lovers soothly words or ditties of our song may know.150" 1 The song. i. The nature of this garment will be largely conditioned by his temperament — as in Rolle's evident bias towards music. above all [94] of St. 150 1 Op. The mind must employ some device of the kind if its transcendental perceptions — wholly unrelated as they are to the phenomena with which intellect is able to deal — are ever to be grasped by the surface consciousness.

some hint or parallel which will stimulate the dormant intuition of the reader. (Here and throughout I quote from Lewis's translation." says Dionysius the Areopagite plainly. 152" 1 Therefore the attempt which has sometimes been made to identify mysticism with such forms and figures — with visions. through the medium of any forms or figures. John of the Cross. in his biography of St Catherine of Genoa. and also by that rhythmic and exalted language which induces in sensitive persons something of the languid ecstasy of dream. So constant is this law in some subjects that Baron von Hügel.153" 2 The mystic." i. inadequate to his vision though they must always be: for his experience must be expressed if it is to be communicated. and its actuality is inexpressible except in some side-long way. Hence the enormous part which is played in all mystical writings by symbolism and imagery. something beyond its surface sense. cannot wholly do without symbol and image. voices. that the Object of their contemplation " hath no image " : or with St. and " supernatural favours " — is clearly wrong. has adopted the presence or absence of rhythm as a test whereby to distinguish the genuine utterances of the saint from those wrongly attributed 1521 " Subida del Monte Carmelo. so far as it is possible in this life. Mystical. St. Teresa herself in her later stages — distinguish clearly between the indicible Reality which they perceive and the image under which they describe it.The greatest mystics. tends naturally — we know not why — to present itself in rhythmical [95] periods : a feature which is also strongly marked in writings obtained in the automatic state. as all poetic language does. 3." 1. no less than musical and poetic perception. John of the Cross that " the soul can never attain to the height of the divine union. " are in some way the expression of all That which the sovereign Nature of God includes: an expression which reveals to us That which escapes all thought and which has its seat beyond the heights of heaven. II. xvi. as a rule. Its further investigation will probably throw much light on ontological as well as psychological problems. and convey. Again and again they tell us with Dionysius and Eckhart. 121 . The close connection between rhythm and heightened states of consciousness is as yet little understood. however — Ruysbroeck. " The highest and most divine things which it is given us to see and to know.) 1532 " De Mystica Theologia. and St. cap.

" says her by successive editors of her legend. brings with it as music or poetry does — but in a far greater degree — a strange exhilaration. for they come from the same country. It were hardly an extravagance to say. " speak the same language. Further. stir our own deeper selves in their sleep. do but advertise their ignorance of the mechanism of the arts : like the lady who thought that Blake must be mad because he said that he had touched the sky with his finger. that the vision of the Sacred Heart involved an incredible anatomical experience. that he sometimes forgets to explain that his utterance is but symbolic . i." The deep undying life which nests within us came from that country too : and it recognizes the accents of home. Catherine or St. The symbols displayed. the actual words employed. " The Mystical Element in Religion. are not enough to account for such effect. Teresa veils a perverted sexuality. they would have been saved from many regrettable and some ludicrous misconceptions.154 1 All kinds of symbolic language come naturally to the articulate mystic. Now. the keeping company however humbly with their minds. 122 . 189. a desperate attempt to translate the truth of that world into the beauty of this. It is rather that these messages from the waking transcendental self of another. when we analyse them. it is not literal but suggestive : though the artist who uses it may sometimes lose sight of this distinction. the study of the mystics." vol. " All mystics. It is here that mysticism joins hands with music and poetry : had this fact always been recognized by its critics. that those writings which are the outcome of true and first-hand mystical experience may be known by this power of imparting to the reader the sense of exalted and [96] extended life. as if we were brought near to some mighty source of Being. Hence the persons who imagine that the " Spiritual Marriage " of St. Symbol — the clothing which the spiritual borrows from the material plane — is a form of artistic expression. That is to say. p. though it cannot always understand what they would say. returning to our original undertaking. or that the divine inebriation of the Sufis is the apotheosis of drunkenness. were at last on the verge of the secret which all seek. that of defining if we can 154 1 Von Hügel. who is usually a literary artist as well : so naturally.

I think that we have already reached a point at which William James's celebrated " four marks" of the mystic state. or improving anything in the visible universe. True mysticism is active and practical. but always under the guidance of the heart. Though he does not. This One is for the mystic. 123 . and Passivity. they are not enough. Noetic Quality. [97] Mysticism. nor from the most acute emotional longings. 380. It is not merely 155 1 " Varieties of Religious Experience. is not an opinion : it is not a philosophy. In their place I propose to set out. as his enemies declare. will fail to satisfy us. never an object of exploration. Its aims are wholly transcendental and spiritual. not passive and theoretical. The mystic brushes aside that universe even in its most supernormal manifestations. Transiency. It has nothing in common with the pursuit of occult knowledge. or rather latent. It is arrived at by a definite and arduous psychological process — the so-called Mystic Way— entailing the complete remaking of character and the liberation of a new." but is better named the Unitive State.the characteristics of true mysticism. It is obtained neither from an intellectual realization of its delights. his heart is always set upon the changeless One. I hope. not merely the Reality of all that is." p. 4. then. which imposes on the self the condition which is sometimes inaccurately called " ecstasy. 1. 3. It is an organic life-process. neglect his duty to the many. form of consciousness. exploring. Living union with this One — which is the term of his adventure — is a definite state or form of enhanced life. It draws his whole being homeward. not something as to which its intellect holds an opinion. but also a living and personal Object of Love . re-arranging. It is in no way concerned with adding to. illustrate and. a something which the whole self does . Though these must be present.155 1 Ineffability. justify four other rules or notes which may be applied as tests to any given case which claims to take rank amongst the mystics. 2.

It knits up the universe . Or. Holy Spirit — Threefold division of Reality — Neoplatonic trinities — Lady Julian on the Trinity — Its psychological justification — Goodness. Life. and Beauty — Trinitarian doctrine and the Mystics — Light. It is the name of that organic process which involves the perfect consummation of the Love of God : the achievement here and now of the immortal heritage of man. as a part of the Cosmic return through Christ to God. Teresa — her vision of the Trinity — Father. That is to say. 124 . possible of assimilation by all — which constitutes the strength of the Christian religion. it offers to the self hungry for the Absolute that Pants Angelorum. shows the phenomenal pierced in all directions by the real. Truth. and made one with it. Word. … CHAPTER V MYSTICISM AND THEOLOGY Mystic diagrams — Theology as used by the Mystics — Their conception of God — Emanatio and Immanence — Emanation discussed — Dante — the Kabalists — Aquinas — Its psychological aspect — Immanence discussed — the basis of introversion — The "ground" of soul and universe — Emanation and Immanence compared — both accepted by the Mystics — Objections to this answered — Emanation and the Mystic Way — Its reconciliation with Immanence — Both describe experience — are expressions of temperament — Mystical theology must include both — Theology is the Mystic's map — Sometimes but not always adequate — Christianity the best of such maps — It combines the metaphysical and personal aspects of the Divine — reconciles Emanation and Immanence — provides a congenial atmosphere for the Mystic — explains his adventures — All Western mystics implicitly Christian — Blake — The dogma of the Trinity — Division of Persons essential to the description of God — The indwelling and transcendent aspects of the Divine— St. if you like it better — for this means exactly the same thing — it is the art of establishing his conscious relation with the Absolute. Instead of the stony diet of the philosophers. It provides a solid basis for mysticism : a basis which is at once metaphysical and psychological : and shows that state towards which the world's deepest minds have always instinctively aspired. the vivifying principle of the world. Love — The Incarnation — its mystic aspect — The Repairer — The Drama of Faith — The Eternal Birth of the Son — The New Birth in Man — Regeneration — Conclusion … It is of course this quickening communication of grace to nature.the power of contemplating Eternity. it gives positive and experimental knowledge of and union with a supreme Personality — absorption into His mystical body — instead of the artificial conviction produced by concentration on an idea. of God to man — this claim to an influx of ultimate reality.

This is probably the reason why so many of the greatest contemplatives — Suso and St. He is thus a double link : the means of God's self-consciousness. xxxiii. an exhibition — of the essentials of all spiritual life. these mystics see in the historic life of Christ an epitome — or if you will. is the character of the Father: that in which the Ineffable Godhead knows Himself. How then. as we only know ourselves in our own characters. was a necessity if they were to retain a healthy and well-balanced inner life. so soon as it alone becomes the object of their contemplation. Hence the title of Repairer applied by Boehme and Saint-Martin to the Second Person of the Trinity. the idea of Personality evaporates and loving communion is at an end. is apt to be conceived merely as Divine Essence . by which the imperfect and broken life of sense is mended and transformed into the perfect life of spirit. In the last resort. difficult and uncongenial as is this concrete devotion to the mystical temperament." Là est la sagesse et la puissance si longtemps désirées. the Word. the means of man's consciousness of God. There they see dramatized not only the Cosmic process of the Divine 156 1 Par. could such a link complete its attachments without some such process as that which the Incarnation dramatized in time and space? The Principle of Life is also the Principle of Restitution ."156 1 This is what the Christian mystics mean to express when they declare over and over again that the return to the Divine Substance. " Here is the Wisdom and the Power which opened the ways betwixt heaven and earth. The Unconditioned Absolute. Further. 125 . The Son. can only be made through the humanity of Christ. qui ouvrirent la route entre la terre et le ciel. asks mystic theology. the Absolute. humanity of Christ. the doctrine of the Incarnation is the only safeguard of the mystics against the pantheism to which they always tend.[144] "Quivi e la sapienza e la possanza ch' apri le strade intra il cielo e la terra onde fu gia si lunga disianza. which is the end of the soul's ascent. for which there erst had been so long a yearning. Teresa are cases in point— have found that deliberate meditation upon the. 37.

upon the consciousness of dim-eyed men — is eternally going forward upon the plane of reality. its temptation. Its obscure and humble birth. its final reabsorption in its Source — all these. 126 . and attain union with Infinity. xviii. the desolation of that " dark night of the soul " in which it seems abandoned by the Divine : the painful death of the self. Moreover. " is deceived. they say. ardour. " And he who vainly thinketh otherwise." says the " Theologia Germanica157 " with uncompromising vigour. as it were." sang Jacopone da Todi. which was in the Incarnation expressing Its own nature to a supreme degree. In this drama they see described under veils the supreme and necessary adventures of the spirit. its " illuminated life " of service and contemplation. its resurrection to the glorified existence of the Unitive Way. And he who saith otherwise. and success of its transcendental activities." This is why [145] the expressions which they use to describe the evolution of the mystical consciousness from the birth of the divine in the spark of the soul to its final unification with the Absolute Life are so constantly chosen from the Drama of Faith. its education in poverty. "Apparve in questa forma Per dare a noi la norma." Those to whom such a parallel seems artificial to the last degree should remember that according to the doctrine of mysticism that drama of the self-limitation and self-sacrifice of the Absolute Life. To them the Cross of Calvary is implicit in the Rose of the World. lieth. rise to freedom.Wisdom. but also the inward experience of every soul on her way to union with that Absolute " to which the whole Creation moves. and solitude. The law of this Infinite Life. were lived once in a supreme degree in the flesh. the degree of closeness with which the individual experience adheres to this Pattern is always taken by them as a standard of the healthiness. mortification.” cap. which was once played out in the phenomenal world — forced. must then also be the law of the finite life . in so far as that life aspires to transcend individual limitations. It is this governing idea which justifies the apparently fanciful allegorizations of 157 “Theologia Germanica.

v. then. 159 3 Eckhart.158" 1 It is of this perpetual generation of the Word that Meister Eckhart speaks." 1. and concerns the eternal Birth or Generation of the Son or Divine Word. i. the which is the Birth of the Son. " Mystische Schriften. Pred. London. no less than in the Archetypal Universe.159" 2 Here in a few words the two-fold character of this Mystic Birth is exhibited. "When the soul brings forth the Son. at midnight." p. or Cosmic sense. and continues. Of these the first. real life must be born if real life is to be lived. when anyone can make without difficulty the specific attributions." he says in another place. when he says in his Christmas sermon. " Personal Religion in Egypt before Christianity.160" 3 158 1 " L'Ornement des Noces Spirituelles. that it should take place in me. 167).. See Kellner. from the Father and all that which lives in Him. "From our proper Source. 1908). iii. and the individual is reminded that in him. To exhibit these allegorizations in any detail would be tedious.' At this point. Sermon on the Nativity of Our Lady (" The Inner Way. at dawn." p.C. commemorates the Eternal Generation of the Son. Saint Augustine says this Birth is ever taking place." p. the third His birth in the heart of man. but one example : that which is referred by mystical writers to the Nativity. " But if it takes not place in me. All that is necessary is that the principle underlying [116] them should be understood. I give. It can be traced back to Egypt. 156. what avails it ? Everything lies in this." says Ruysbroeck.Christian history which swarm in the works of the mystics. dating from Patristic times. See Petrie. " it is happier than Mary. 13. Eckhart turns abruptly from speculation to immediate experience. 167. being found in the Hermetic writings of the third century B. the welling forth of the Spirit of Life from the Divine Abyss of the unconditioned Godhead. that is to say. " an eternal Ray. " We are celebrating the feast of the Eternal Birth which God the Father has borne and never ceases to bear in all Eternity : whilst this birth also comes to pass in Time and in human nature. cap. His incarnation upon earth . there shines. This Birth is in its first. Compare Tauler. The interest is suddenly deflected from its Cosmic to its personal aspect . 160 3 This idea of re-birth is probably of Oriental origin. 127 . the second. of celebrating three Masses on Christmas Day. " Heortology" (English translation. with that strong practical instinct which is characteristic of the mystics. The extreme antiquity of this idea is illustrated by the Catholic practice. p.

p." 3 This “Godlike similitude. " Louis Claude de Saint. " This change. in the stable previously inhabited by the ox of passion and the ass of prejudice1655. demanding nurture.Since the soul." or New Man. 77." p. a new consciousness — it were hardly an exaggeration to say a new Person — weak. spiritual self. which ascetical and mystical writers of all ages have agreed to call Regeneration or Re-birth. this upsetting. 63. p. that in comparison with its environment she may well regard it as Divine." p..162" 2 So Eckartshausen. the coming forth into consciousness of man's deeper. Then she feels in her inmost part a new presence. says Eckartshausen again. comes forth from the cave of illusion like a child from the womb and begins to live upon the supersensual plane. though indescribable phenomenon. E. Here its more profound and mystical side is exhibited. the self. it is clear that this birth is the initial [147] necessity. cit. in which wisdom and love languish in the bonds of individuality. 163 3 “The Enochian Walks with God. can only perceive Reality in proportion as she is real. is called re-birth. according to mystic principles. To be re-born means to return to a world where the spirit of wisdom and love governs and animalman obeys. 162 2 “The Cloud upon the Sanctuary. is described by Saint-Martin as " born in the midst of humiliations. its divine character revealed.164" 4 He is brought forth. his whole history being that of God suffering within us. as the emergence of the transcendental sense. abruptly made aware of Reality. The true and definitely directed mystical life does and must open with that most actual and stupendous." p. says Jane Lead. clearly destined to pass through many phases of development before its maturity is reached . 263 165 5 Op. yet of so strange a nature. know God by becoming God-like. To be born simply means to enter into a world in which the senses dominate. We have already considered161 1 the New Birth in its purely psychological aspect.Martin. 3 164 4 A. His 161 1 Supra. Waite. 81. " the bringing forth of a new-created Godlike similitude in the soul 163. By a process which may indifferently be described as the birth of something new or the coming forth of something which has slept — since both these phrases are but metaphors for another and more secret thing — the eye is opened on Eternity . 128 . It means.

of desire. 167 2 " Der Sinn und Wert des Lebens. Like all other maps. but man is not in Paradise unless he be born again. rushing rivers. not of illumination. or Mirror of the Being of God. It is a deliberately schematic representation of Reality. a flat and sometimes arid symbol of great landscapes." viii.167" 2 Here then are one or two characteristics of the map which we shall find the Christian mystics most inclined to use. of course. and we who treat of them. not of intellect . not of the day . 129 ." and there finds Paradise. not of the teachings of the schools . not of the Master . of the darkness. In that case. within the boundaries imposed by its form." says St. to the " spiritual level. this one at its best can but represent by harsh outline and conventional colour the living earth which those travellers have trod. the Independent Spiritual Life " not alien but his own. but of that Fire which enflames all and wraps us in God with great sweetness and most 166 1 " De Signatura Rerum. " ask it of grace. he stands therein in the New Birth 166. in a passage which all students of theology should ever keep in mind. can but set down in cold blood and with a dreadful pretence of precision. "If you would truly know how these things come to pass. is still in the world. says Boehme. One warning." p. Further. 47. Paradise. other great landmarks upon it: and these we shall meet as we follow in detail the voyages of the questing soul. the Divine Wisdom. in the transports of such a union as we. however. The boy who defined Canada as " very pink " was not much further off the track than those who would limit the Adorable Trinity to the definitions of the " Athanasian " Creed . is the Virgin Sophia.mother. There are. matters which the true explorers of Eternity were only able to apprehend in the ardours of such a passion. awful peaks : dangerous unless these its limitations be always kept in mind. Bonaventura. of the ardours of prayer. could hardly look upon and live. poor finite slaves of our frittered emotions. however useful that chart may be. and is. of the Bridegroom. of God. With the emergence of this new and sublime factor into the conscious field — this spiritual birth [148] — the mystic life begins : as the Christian epoch began with the emergence of Divine Spirit in the flesh. not of doctrine . says Boehme. all such maps. 90. must be given to amateur geographers before we go on. 1 He has been lifted. not of man . as Eucken would say.

and the hearth thereof is in Jerusalem. as Reality is best defined by means of negatives. It has dragged with it in its fall the terrific verb "to conjure. it suggests to the ordinary reader the art practised by Mr. St. " Hours with the Mystics. The which Fire most truly is God. 169 1 Supra. were it not that the true adepts of modern occultism — annoyed. The word " magic " is now out of fashion. 170 1 R." Vaughan. Thomas Aquinas. i. given as followers of the occult tradition! 130 . the dangerous liberty which she enjoys in their regard. alchemy. so the right doctrine is often more easily understood after a consideration of the wrong. and occult philosophy as " theurgic mysticism. In the case of mysticism. This cannot be so easily dismissed." vol.168" 3 But it is otherwise with the root idea whence these perverse activities most usually develop.ardent love. such a course is almost certain to help us. though its spirit was never more widely diffused than at the present time. bk.170" 1 and. A. Thanks to the gradual debasement of the verbal currency. Leaving therefore the specifically mystical error of Quietism until we come to the detailed discussion of the states of orison. p. in his rather supercilious survey of the mystics. 84. nor is it in our interest so to treat it . we will consider some of those other super-normal activities of the self which we have already agreed to classify as magic : 1169 and learn through them more of the hidden forces which she has at her command. vii. Vincent of Beauvais. v. which deals largely with the unutterable. long ago classed all forms of white magic." which. This circumstance would have little more than philological importance. Vaughan. Maskelyne. we find such diverse names as Averroes. is now content to produce rabbits from top-hats.171 2 Even the " three-fold way " of mysticism has 168 3 “De Itinerario Mentis in Deo. by this abuse of their ancient title — tend more and more to arrogate to their tenets and practices the name of " Mystical Science. and where language at once exact and affirmative is particularly hard to find." cap. on the other side of the shield. and Swedenborg. for. i. The shelf which is devoted to its literature at the London Library contains many useful works on sleight-of-[180]hand and parlour tricks. ch. one supposes. 171 2 In a list published by Papus from the archives of the Martinists. forgetting that it once compelled the spirits of men and angels. the occultists display an increasing eagerness to claim the mystics as masters in their school.

174" 1 Though certain parts of this enormous claim seem able to justify themselves in experience. We 172 3 See R.4 Now. It presents magic as a pathway to reality. In more strictly philosophical language. but a serious and philo-[181]sophic attempt to solve the riddle of the world. positive. and concerning the latent potentialities which constitute. loc.172" 3 In our search for the characteristics of mysticism we have already marked the boundary which separates it from magic : and tried to define the true nature and intention of occult philosophy173. I. because they transcend the imperfect and rudimentary faculties of a partially developed humanity. For good or ill this desire and the occult sciences and magic arts which express it. Enlightenment. according to one of the best modern writers upon occult philosophy. and its proceedings represent the intellectual and individualistic results of this conviction — his craving for the hidden knowledge. I think. We saw that it represented the instinctive human "desire to know more" applied to suprasensible things. a moyen de parvenir: not the performance of illicit tricks. cit. as in mysticism. the whole of it cannot be admitted. It is. E. the Hermetic science is a method of transcending the phenomenal world and attaining to the reality which is behind phenomena. Steiner." p. by the fact of their latency — the interior man. in 173 4 Supra. The starting-point of all magic and of all magical religion — the best and purest of occult activities — is. and realizable knowledge concerning the worlds which we denominate invisible." p. Initiation. " comprises an actual.been adopted by them. 174 1 A. No student of man dare neglect their investigation. and relabelled " Probation. 131 . man's inextinguishable conviction that there are other planes of being than those which his senses report to him . "The Occult Sciences. Its result. Waite. however distasteful to his intelligence their superficial absurdities may be. we may usefully ask of magic in its turn what it can tell us of the transcendental powers and consciousness of man. have haunted humanity from the earliest times. "The Way of Initiation. The last phrase in particular is identical with the promise which we have seen to be characteristic of mysticism. in the eyes of those who practise it.

It stands for that form of transcendentalism which does abnormal things. meet and satisfy upon the plane of reality each activity of the self: Love. personifications and mystifications.may as well say at once that this promise is not fulfilled . and Thought. magic is found to rest upon three fundamental axioms . is hardly attractive to the judicious eye of common sense. At its worst. for the apparent transcending of phenomena does not necessarily entail the attainment of the Absolute. but does not lead anywhere : and we are likely to fall victims to some kind of magic the moment that the declaration " I want to know " ousts the declaration " I want to be " from the chief place in our consciousness. Magic at its best only satisfies two of these claimants . grotesque laws and ritual acts. obtaining by this means experimental knowledge of planes of existence usually — but inaccurately — regarded as " supernatural. mystery-mongerings. as its first condition. The outward vesture. and other adventitious trappings. it satisfies none. which is all that the uninitiated are permitted to perceive. wrapped one about the other as if the bewilderment of impatient investigators were its one design. symbols. Will. for reasons which the reader is now in a position to discover for himself: but magic is merely a system whereby the self tries to assuage its transcendental curiosity by an extension of the activities of the will beyond their usual limits. Such an attainment must. magic has a body and a soul : an outward vesture of words and ceremonies and an inner doctrine. political. The true " science of ultimates " must be a science of pure Being. and this by extending rather than escaping the boundaries of the phenomenal world. Stripped of these archaic formulae. It consists of a series of confusing and often ridiculous symbolic veils : of strange words and numbers." Like the world which it professes to interpret. (1) The first of these axioms affirms the existence of an imponderable " 132 . none of which can be dismissed as ridiculous by those who listen respectfully to the amazing and ever-shifting hypotheses of fashionable psychology and physics. and social systems — which would probably appear equally irrational to a wholly ignorant yet critical observer — offer an instructive parallel to this aspect of occult philosophy. The outward vestures of our religious.

" says the Bhagavad Gita. "Above this visible nature there exists another. 48. possesses not only a respectable ancestry. when all things created perish. Egyptian. Celtic. " Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah. is known to the occultists by the unfortunate name of "Astral Light": a term. The education of the occultist is wholly directed towards this end. To live in conscious communication with the " Astral Light " is to live upon the " Astral Plane. Traces of it may even be detected under veils in the more recent speculations of orthodox physics. 133 . According to the Kabalists it is " the seat of life and vitality." or in the Astral World : to have risen. It is really identical with the " Archetypal World " or Yesod of the Kabalah — the " Perfect Land " of old Egyptian religion — in which exist the true or spirit forms of all created things. that is to say. and the nourishment of all the world. but also many prosperous relations in the world of [186] philosophic thought. Waite. 175 1 A." p. like most of our other diagrams of the transcendent. as they are preserved in the memory of man. A persistent tradition as to the existence of such a plane of being or of consciousness is found all over the world : in Indian. Various aspects of it have been identified with the "Burning Body of the Holy Ghost " of Christian Gnosticism and with the Odic force of the old-fashioned spiritualists. Greek. which. E. According to the doctrine of magic the Astral Plane constitutes the " Cosmic Memory" where the images of all beings and events are preserved. to which the religious rummage-sales of current theosophy have since given a familiarity which treads upon the margin of contempt." which is described as beyond the plane of our normal sensual perceptions yet interpenetrating and binding up the material world. and Jewish thought. This agent.175" 1 Vitalism might accept it as one of those aspects of the universe which can be perceived by a more extended rhythm than that of normal consciousness. which is not luminous and has nothing to do with the stars.medium " or " universal agent. Perhaps it is connected with the "real world" described by such visionaries as Boehme and Blake. to a new level of consciousness. This doctrine of the Astral Plane. does not perish. unseen and eternal. originally borrowed from the Martinists by Eliphas LeVi.

before being brought to birth in the material sphere. in the case of the mystic. once they are freed. Hence in occult language the all-penetrating Astral is a " universal agent " : the possible vehicle of hypnotism. telepathy. evoking the phantoms of the dead. become aware of this world : only. the Astral Light is first cousin to the intangible ether beloved of Sir Oliver Lodge and other transcendental physicists. Further. in its strictly undenominational form. The occultist. The reader who feels his brain to be whirling amidst this medley of solemn statement and unproven fairy tale must remember that at best the dogmatic part of the occult tradition can only [187] represent the attempt of an extended consciousness to find an explanation of its own experiences. outside the range of our normal senses. because this plane of perception is the one which lies " next beyond " our normal life. and here again we are reminded of Vitalism. This hypothesis also accounts for the confusing fact of an initial similarity of experience in many of the proceedings of mystic and occultist. merely call them up from the recesses of universal instead of individual remembrance. to pass through it as quickly as they can. on the contrary. It is the medium in which he works. Both must pass through the plane of consciousness which the concept of the " Astral " represents. The transcendental faculties. occult philosophy has proclaimed its knowledge of this medium : always describing its existence as a scientific fact. In it our whole selves — not merely our sentient selves — are bathed . The passion that left the ground to lose itself in the sky" — all are living in the Astral World. The possessor of such trained powers. clairvoyance. and also clairvoyance — one of the great objects of occult education — consists in opening the eyes of the mind upon this timeless Astral World: and spiritualists.The high that proved too high. There too the concepts of future creation are present in their completeness in the Eternal Now. On this theory prophecy. the heroic for earth too hard. with its unresting River of Life. and all those supernormal phenomena which science has taken out of the hands of the occultists and renamed metapsychic. 134 . is willing to rest in the "Astral" and develop his perceptions of this aspect of the world. From the earliest times. but susceptible of verification by the trained powers of the initiate.

infused new vitality into a great religious order and restored it to its duty of direct communion with the transcendental world. performed the necessary function of bringing the personal experience of the Spanish school back again into touch with the main stream of mystic tradition. flung the weight of their genius and their sanctity into the orthodox Catholic scale. the poet and contemplative St. or initiation. to do your bidding." and " New Thought. " The Way of Initiation. John of the Cross (1542-1591) — seem to have arisen in direct response to the need created by the corrupt or disordered religious life of their time. working against heavy odds. " I can and I will " the entire powers of the universe are to be set in motion" (E. which also has a curiously modern air : for it postulates simply the limitless power of the disciplined human will. and teach him to impose upon its forces the directive force of his own will. and instantly they will spring to do the rest. a scholar as well as a great mystic. is to be regarded as the true magician : and it is the first object of occult education. who." and other dilute forms of mental discipline. to give the student the power of entering into conscious communion with it." The preachers of " Joy Philosophy. John of the Cross . are the true priests of transcendental magic in the modern world." 177 1 Compare the following : " Imagine that all the world and the starry hosts are waiting. They are the " saints of the counter-Reformation ". which has guided the footsteps and explained the 176 1 For a more detailed discussion of this subject the reader is referred to Steiner's exceedingly curious and interesting little book. as easily as he imposes that will upon the " material " things of sense. practical organizers and profound contemplatives. in a period of ecclesiastical chaos. This dogma has been " taken over " without acknowledgment from occult philosophy [188] to become the trump card of menticulture. to actualize this supersensual plane of experience. exhibit in its splendour the dual character of the mystic life. Catherine of Siena. "Joy Philosophy. and. St. 52). Teresa. In this she was helped by St. these three mystics — and to them we must add St. Whilst St.177 1 Like St. Teresa's greatest disciple. " Christian Science. 135 ." p. They left behind them in their literary works an abiding influence.not the wizard or the fortune-teller. All three. Imagine that you are to touch the button now. alert and with shining eyes. The instant you say. Ignatius organized a body of spiritual soldiery.176 1 (2) This brings us to the second axiom of magic. Towne. who should attack heresy and defend the Church.

and SaintMartin are amongst those who have sat at his feet. of St. He remains one of those cloud-wrapped immortals who must be rediscovered and reinterpreted by the adventurers of every age. one of the most astonishing cases in history of a natural genius for the transcendent. The true spiritual children of these mystics are to be found. Rosicrucianism. and often using the language of the alchemists. apocalyptic prophecy. 136 . under a very different aspect. It appears at the same moment. William Law. bound up with the ideas of regeneration. where the religious life which they had lifted to transcendent levels degenerated as soon as their overmastering influence was withdrawn : but amongst the innumerable contemplative souls of succeeding generations who have fallen under the spell of the " Spiritual Exercises. has left his mark upon German philosophy as well as upon the history of mysticism. his influence would be far greater than it is. the " inspired shoemaker " Jacob Boehme (1575-1624)." the " Interior Castle. Rose of Lima (1586-1617). and other aberrations of the spiritual sense. constructive. The great sweep of Boehme's vision includes both Man and the Universe : the nature of God and of the Soul. the Peruvian nun." The Divine fire which blazed up and exhausted itself so quickly in Spain." or the " Dark Night of the Soul. sets out from the Teutonic genius of Boehme. Boehme. It achieves its successes outside the Catholic Church : and chiefly in Germany and England. where by 1650 his works were widely known. In him we find again that old doctrine of Rebirth which the earlier German mystics had loved. activistic. Were it not for the difficult symbolism in which his vision is expressed. in the person of one of the giants of mysticism. Blake. symbolic. Two main currents are to be detected in it: dividing between them the two main aspects of man's communion with the Absolute. too little [558] known to English readers. in Protestant Germany. The seventeenth century rivals the fourteenth in the richness and variety of its mystical life. In its decadent forms it runs to the occult : to alchemy. is next seen in the New World : in the beautiful figure.discoveries of succeeding generations of adventurers in the transcendental world. not in their own country. One.

Silurist. [559] Gertrude More carries on that tradition of the communion of love which flows from St. It represents the personal and intimate side of contemplation : tends to encourage passive receptivity: and produces in its exaggerated forms the aberrations of the Quietists. and in close touch with the great tradition of Christian mysticism. as we know. the Venerable Augustine Baker (15 7 5-1 641) — one of the most lucid and orderly of guides to the contemplative life — we see what were still the formative influences in the environment where her mystical powers were trained. Bernard and Thomas a Kempis. a Catholic contemplative of singular charm. Tauler. Outside that Church. St. and the preserver of her works. if not in great mystics. was in the air. Teresa and St. entirely unaffected by tradition . and in the Quaker movement itself an outbreak of genuine mysticism which is only comparable to the fourteenth-century movement of the Friends of God. the mystical poet (1622-1695) show the reaction of two very different temperaments upon the transcendental life. In the writings of her director. Augustine through St. In the seventeenth century England was peculiarly rich. the line of descent goes back to the Neoplatonists and the first founders of the Church. Angela of Foligno . Italy. John Smith (1618-1652). a "great active" of the first rank. It produced in George Fox (1624-1690) the founder of the Quakers. the group of "Cambridge Platonists." Henry More (1614-1687). Benjamin Whichcote (1609-1683). and Spain. and through these. John of the Cross . Victor. At the opposite end of the theological scale.The other current arises within the Catholic Church. Hilton and the " Cloud of Unknowing ". it shows itself in Gertrude More (1606-1633) the Benedictine nun. Richard of St. Ruysbroeck . and is the very heart of Catholic mysticism. Again. It has its chief field in the Latin countries : France. Suso. these are the authorities to whom Augustine Baker most constantly appeals. it seems. and in a very different form. and John Norris (1657-1711) developed and preached a rational philosophy which is 137 . Mysticism. broke out under many disguises and affected many forms of life. the twins Thomas Vaughan the spiritual alchemist and Henry Vaughan. at any rate in mystically-minded men.

at the beginning of the century. ruled by Dr. Such episodes as the careers of St. and the interest which these events aroused. Under the brilliant worldly life of seventeenthcentury France. He was a humble empiricist. In the saintly Bishop Hall (1574-1656) the same spirit takes a devotional form. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) sets the key of the spiritual life of the time. Pordage178 (1608-1698) and the prophetess Jane Lead (1623-1704) — we find mysticism in its least balanced aspect. Vincent de Paul. endured considerable persecutions. Lawrence shows the passive tendency of French mysticism in its most sane. The influence of these Philadelphians. The earliest in date and most exaggerated in type of the true Quietists is the Franco-Flemish Antoinette Bourignon (1616-1680): a strong-willed and wrong-headed woman who. There. mingled with mediumistic phenomena. founded a sect. An even 178 The philosophy of Pordage was founded on the writings of Jacob Boehme. Brother Lawrence (1611-1691). appearing again in Saint. laying claim to no special gifts : a striking contrast to his contemporary. there was something amounting to a cult of the inner life. symbolists. Jeanne Francoise de Chantal and St. well-balanced form." The Quietistic trend of seventeenth-century mysticism is best seen in France. wild symbolic visions. The spiritual life threatened to become fashionable. and apocalyptic prophecies. the controversies of Bossuet and Fenelon. Finally. in the crowd of Rosicrucians. the brilliant and unhappy genius Pascal (1623-1662). with a delicate but slightly sentimental application of the principles of mystic love to popular piety. lingered on for a century.Martin the " Unknown Philosopher. whose notions he attempted first to systematize and arrange 138 . having renounced the world with Franciscan thoroughness. and made a great stir in the religious life of her time. the charming personality of St. who fought his way through many psychic storms to the final vision of the Absolute. the apostolate of Madame Guyon. and other spiritually minded occultists — above all in the extraordinary sect of Philadelphians. Hence. such as the simple [560] Carmelite. the history of Port Royal.nevertheless deeply tinged with mysticism. indicate a period of considerable vitality. who were themselves strongly affected by Boehme's works. its most satisfactory initiates are those least in touch with the life of the time .

greater uproar resulted from the doctrinal excesses of the devout Spanish priest Miguel de Molinos (1640-1697). then the devoted disciple of Antoinette 139 . once a Protestant pastor. though usually quoted as a typical Quietist. came dangerously near to nihilism : and resulted in a doctrine fatal not only to all organized religion. Madame Guyon (1648-1717). her temperamental inclination to passivity would have been checked. was the expression of a need not unlike that which produced the contemporary Quaker movement in England : a need for personal contact with spiritual realities. evoked by the formal and unsatisfying quality of the official religion of the time. impersonal outlook of these mystics — she was involved in the general condemnation of " passive orison" which the aberrations of the extreme Quietists had called forth. Had she possessed the robust common sense so often found in the great contemplatives. and opposed to. The end of the seventeenth century saw a great outburst of popular Quietism . and Peter Poiret (1646-17 1 9). Madame Guyon is an instance of considerable mystical genius linked with a feeble surface intelligence. whose extreme teachings were condemned by the Church. and for a time brought the whole principle of passive contemplation into disrepute. at bottom. St. Catherine of Genoa. some within and some without the official Church. but to the healthy development of the inner life. Quietism. Hence their unbalanced propaganda. Teresa. In spite of the brilliant championship of Fenelon. whose "Theologie Mystique " contains some beautiful French translations from St. in which the principle of passivity — divorced from. and St. the contemporary of Molinos and one of the most interesting personalities of the time. I and she would hardly have made use of the unfortunate expressions which brought about the official condemnation of her works. Teresa — though lacking the wide. taught and practised a far more balanced mysticism. [561] Amongst the more respectable of these quasi-mystics — all of whom appealed to the general tradition of mysticism in support of their one-sided doctrine — were Malaval. all spiritual action — was pressed to its logical conclusion. Unfortunately the great Quietists were not great mystics. and the fact that she really continues the tradition of feminine mysticism as developed by Angela of Foligno.

in his "Bibliotheca Mysticorum. but the true tradition of Christian Mysticism. when his writings first became known. the complementary idea of rebirth is the mainspring of this school. the Quietist movement faded away. In the early years ot the eighteenth century. continued upon individual lines that [562]tradition of esoteric and 140 . in a series of writings which burn with mystic passion. In Germany. Freher was followed by William Law (1686-1761). in "The Cloud upon the Sanctuary " and other works. where that influence had been a living force from the middle of the seventeenth century. Boehme's works had been collected and published by an obscure mystic. and has left us. He rescued and edited all Madame Guyon's writings . John Gichtel (1638-1710). that other stream of spiritual vitality which arose outside the Catholic Church and flowed from the great personality of Jacob Boehme. With the close of the seventeenth century. all of whom have passed through Boehme's school. Later generations owe a considerable debt to the enthusiasm and industry of Poiret. The beginning of the eighteenth sees the triumph of its "completing opposite". In Germany. gives us three great personalities . Law. whose belief in spiritual quiescence was combined with great literary activity. a new interpretation and an abiding place in English literature to the " inspired shoemaker's " astounding vision of Man and the Universe." the memorial of many lost works on mysticism. the Anglo-German Dionysius Andreas Freher was writing between 1699 and 1720. The latter part of a century which clearly represents the steep downward trend of the mystic curve. who was converted by the reading of Boehme's works from the narrow Christianity to which he gave classic expression in the " Serious Call " to a wide and philosophic mysticism.Bourignon. and have placed themselves in opposition to the dry ecclesiasticism of their day. Eckartshausen (1 752-1 803). gave. whose life and letters constantly betray his influence. the Nonjuror: a brilliant stylist and one of the most profound of English religious writers. From this unique bibliography we can see how " orthodox " was the food which nourished even the most extreme of the Quietists : how thoroughly they believed themselves to represent not a new doctrine. If the idea of surrender be the mainspring of Quietism. In England.

The career of Blake. "the unknown philosopher. Whilst his visionary symbolism derives to a large extent from Swedenborg. one of the greatest mystics of all time. painter. which found its best and sanest interpreter in William Law. was at the same time a determined and outspoken foe of conventional Christianity." nor in his beautiful mystical paintings. who had long sunk to oblivion in their native land. like Eckartshausen and Saint-Martin. So individual in his case was this vision. provides us with a rare instance of mystical genius forcing not only rhythm and words. parted since the Reformation amongst divergent groups of explorers of the unseen. In France. An impassioned Christian of a deeply mystical type. and of rebirth as the price of man's entrance into Reality. to express its vision of truth.mystical Christianity. and prophet. William Blake (1757-1827). But. does he contrive to transmit more than great and stimulating suggestions of " things seen " in some higher and more valid state of consciousness. visionary. and probably from his English interpreters. Neither in his prophetic books "dark with excessive light. that he failed in the attempt to convey it to other men. He seems at first sight the Ishmael of the mystics. In England. he has also received and assimilated the Catholic tradition of the personal and inward 141 . shines like a solitary star in the uncongenial atmosphere of the Georgian age. almost alone amongst English Protestant mystics. and also by the works of the English " Philadelphians. so strange the elements from which his symbolic reconstructions were built up. the troubled spirit of the transcendentalist Saint-Martin (17431803). but also colour and form." was deeply affected in his passage from a merely occult to a mystical philosophy. whose works were the great influence of his youth. Blake has learned much from Boehme. wayward and individual. hardly touched by tradition j but as a matter of fact his spirit gathered up and expressed the scattered threads of that tradition." Dr. It is for this reason that his name may fitly close and complete this short survey of European mysticism. Pordage and Jane Lead. by the reading of Boehme and Eckartshausen . Blake. poet.

Teresa and Madame Guyon are amongst the " gentle souls " whom he sees guarding that Four-fold Gate which opens towards Beulah — the gate of the contemplative life — and guiding the great " Wine-press of Love " whence mankind. In his stupendous vision of " Jerusalem. at the hands of its mystics. 8. 144. in every age. 147. 96. has received. Saint-Martin. the Wine of Life. 558 seq 142 .communion of love." St.

1910 143 .

the chief stronghold of feudalism. while engaged in shadowing. so to speak. surrendered to the cynicism of the Regency.Cagliostro: the splendour and misery of a master of magic? . had passed before it. conspired to put an end to the old regime. eleven years before the death of Louis XIV. traditions shattered. Leibnitz detected "all the signs of the general Revolution with which Europe is menaced. the unbelief of their century. In spite of the disasters that dimmed the glory of the last years of Louis XIV's long reign.1910 . In 1734 Voltaire. To assist at this accouchement was the aim of all the philosophical midwifery of the age. In that insane Saturnalia chains were snapped.311 pages Eighteenth Century Occultism IV Nothing is more curious than to note the manner in which these descendants of the old alchemists. physician-in-ordinary to the century." With the passing of Louis XIV respect. Intellectually the influence [95] of France under his successors was so supreme that the decay of French civilization in the eighteenth century may be regarded as a sort of mirror in which the process of the disintegration of European society generally is reflected. Already as early as 1704. But the calm of the exquisite refinement that took its place was only superficial. and Vauvenargues' magnificent phrase became the tocsin of the philosophers. The Regency was but the Revolution in miniature." But as freedom of action is impossible without freedom of thought Vauvenargues next demanded in clarion tones that "God should be freed. 144 ." The idea of "freeing God" in order to free man was an inspiration. The orgy of licence passed in its turn. when authority still seemed to be everywhere dominant. Freedom conceived in the revels of the Regency yearned to be born. old and worn-out conventions trampled under-foot. pioneers at one and the same time of modern Occultism and modern Socialism.Page 99 de William Rutherford Hayes Trowbridge . the immense prestige that France had acquired in le grand siècle remained unchallenged. as the gloomy and bigoted hypocrisy of which it was the natural reaction. declared "action to be the chief object of mankind.

That was the revolution for which the Encyclopaedists worked. But God was not to be "freed" in a day. which had feared faith when [96] alive and despised it when dead. With Frederick the Great a race of benevolent despots sprang into existence. crawled into the shell from which the snail of belief had departed and displayed the same predatory and brutal instincts as the intolerant religion in whose iron carapace it dwelt." as it termed in ferocious jest the fall of the heads beneath the axe." Authority. the Bastille or banishment was the punishment that brute authority awarded those who dared to defy it. where the contest was destined to be decided. The efforts of the philosophers were reinforced by sovereigns imbued with the spirit of the century. and which Frederick the Great and the sovereigns who shared his enlightened opinions desired. and to a limited share of which they were willing to admit the nations they ruled. have made any distinction between the virtuous and innocent Louis XVI and Joseph II. and all sorts and conditions of athletes entered the arena to battle with prejudice and injustice. had it been possible to arraign them likewise at the bar of the Revolutionary Tribunal. and thus indirectly upon Europe. To the materialistic philosophy that analyzed and sought to control the process of decay which 145 . But to crush the rebellion of intelligence against stupidity was impossible. The gratitude of the people is even less to be depended on than that of princes. Least of all would the stupid mob that watched the victims doomed to the guillotine “spit into the basket.But the chief effect of the Regency upon France. To dislodge it was the first step towards "freeing God". Seventy-five years elapsed between Freedom's conception in the Regency and birth in the Revolution. who dazzled by the refulgence of the philosophical light they so much admired did not perceive till too late that in igniting their torches at its flame they were helping to kindle a conflagration destined to destroy the system that would deprive them of the absolute freedom they enjoyed. Nor for that matter did the philosophers themselves. Nothing was further from their intention than that it should take the form in which it eventually came. In France. To them as well as to their princely disciples "to free God" was another name for religious toleration. During this long pregnancy the century which was to die in child-bed developed an extraordinary appetite for the supernatural. It is impossible to believe that the Revolution which demanded the heads of a Lavoisier and a Bailly would have spared those of a Voltaire or a [97] Rousseau. had been to "free unbelief. or the Empress Catherine.

It alone had a clear and definite conception of the Revolution. The age of sensibility followed the age of unbelief. between the scepticism of the Encyclopaedists and the mysticism of Swedenborg who would believe there could be any affiliation? Yet the transition was natural enough. the leader of the mystical movement in France to which philosophy was destined to attach itself. It was on the eve of the birth of Freedom that “the century of Voltaire. even to one so indifferent to "signs of the times" as Louis XV. Reaction was inevitable The sneers of Voltaire were succeeded by the tears of Rousseau.Martin might be described as the reincarnation of St. communed with the Virgin and Saints. Francis of Assisi in the eighteenth century. which Louis Blanc has called the intoxication [98] of intelligence. that he chanced to read. founded a monastic order. Had he lived four hundred years earlier he would have passed his gentle flower-like life in the seclusion of some the middle of the century had become visible. and at his death been canonized by the Church. The extent of their ascendency may be gauged by the declaration of Condorcet. intellectual and moral of the most numerous and poorest class. worked miracles. Patronized by philosophy. of whose faith he would have been the champion and of its tenderness the exemplar. Louis Claude de Saint. As his 146 . Imagination." as Henri Martin expresses it. which vacillated between sentiment and reason." as he has been called. Pure and meditative by nature he had been greatly [99] influenced when a boy by an ascetic book. " that society must have as its object the amelioration. This was the hour for which a despised occultism had waited." In his desire to escape from materialism the philosopher trained in the school of Voltaire had but taken the road to perfection along which the mystics were leading France and Europe. the cult of the supernatural was an element unworthy of serious consideration. had begun to doubt everything by the middle of the century. Strange to relate. was himself the mildest and least revolutionary of men. physical." Between Voltaire and cabalistic evocations. The Art of Knowing Oneself. "that volcano covered with snow. "extended its hand to the occultists of the middle ages. had beatific visions of the Saviour of the world. The philosophers in their abuse of analysis had too persistently sacrificed sentiment to reason. But though long ignored the time was to come when it obtained from the torch-bearers of reason a questionable and dangerous patronage. it imbued it finally with its own revolutionary ideas.

Des Erreurs et de la Vérité par un philosophe inconnu. then in garrison at Bordeaux. to whom he was deeply attached. In a strange little book. but in order that he might "have leisure to continue the study of religion and philosophy. for the practice of his doctrines. supplied with arms from the arsenal of the supernatural boldly asserted the supremacy of the occult and attacked science and philosophy alike. where he died of yellow fever shortly after his arrival. and though he had no taste for the profession passed his examinations. Martinism rapidly attracted attention. At any rate. He joined the Martinists.father. then Prime Minister. which would account perhaps for his skill in the practice of the occult. but as like so many of his kind he enveloped himself in mystery it is impossible to discover who or what he was." To oblige his father the Due de Choiseul. who. Saint-Martin was the first to grasp their meaning. When Saint-Martin met him in Bordeaux he had [100] for ten years held a sort of school of theurgy. gave him a lieutenancy in the Regiment de Foix. either charlatans of genius or dreamers by temperament. the strange secrecy he maintained in regard to himself was sufficient in the eighteenth century to credit him with supernatural powers. known as Martinists after their master. At Avignon. But though 147 . which though but vaguely understood were attractive from the hopes they held out of communicating with the invisible world. He was supposed to be a Christianized Jew from one of the Portuguese colonies in the East. whose existence till then was scarcely known. But after practising six months he declared himself incapable of distinguishing in any suit between the claims of the defendant and the plaintiff. Drawn from obscurity by the personal charm and high social position of its new leader. Here he met one of those strange characters so common in this century. and requested to be allowed to exchange the legal profession for the military — not because he had any liking for the career of arms. or where he came from. and other Southern cities his pupils or disciples formed themselves into a sect. intended him for the Bar he devoted himself to the study of law. This particular individual was called Martinez Pasqualis. Toulouse. and became their chief when the dissensions to which the private life of Pasqualis had given rise were healed by his sudden and singular departure for Haiti. Saint-Martin endeavoured to detach himself and his adherents from the magic in which Pasqualis — who practised it openly — had involved this sect.

however. Of one of his books he said. It would be impossible to find two men more unlike. dying as he had lived gently. From the fact." some idea may be gained of the distance that separated him from those who also claimed connection with the invisible world. Equality. and attractive they might be. Son and Holy Ghost of Martinism — as its device. and Fraternity" — the Father. he never wholly succeeded in escaping from the grosser influence of his first initiation in the occult.he gave up the quest of supernatural phenomena as unnecessary to an acquaintance with the unseen." Nevertheless. the dead will neither hear nor dance. and when it actually came as '' the miniature of the last judgment. though philosophy failed to follow him to the remote regions of speculation to which he withdrew. "it is too far from ordinary human ideas to be successful. Adam Weishaupt was shaking their thrones. Though philosophy confusedly and unconsciously imbibed the Socialistic theories of mysticism. He was 148 . that he called himself the "Robinson Crusoe of spiritualism. It was in Germany that revolutionary mysticism [102] found its motive power. Weishaupt was the very antithesis of Saint-Martin. however daring." V The influence of Saint-Martin. it grasped enough of his meaning to apply it. I have [101] often felt in writing it as if I were playing valses on my violin in the cemetery of Montmartre. His only regret in passing from the visible to the invisible was that he had left "the mystery of numbers unsolved. Whilst Saint-Martin. original. Saint-Martin was one of the few who strove to inaugurate it whom it did not devour. And the Revolution. the French being at once a practical and an excitable people were not to be kindled by speculations of the intellect. and wandered deeper and deeper into pure mysticism." adopted his sacred ternary “Liberty. The palpable prodigies of Mesmer appealed more powerfully to them than the vague abstractions of Saint-Martin. He passed through it unmolested. which before its arrival he had regarded as the “lost word" by which the regeneration of mankind was to be effected. however. where for all the magic of my bow. was passive rather than active. proclaiming in occult language that “all men were kings” sought to efface himself at the feet of sovereigns. He did not count on being understood.

Weishaupt naturally found in them bitter enemies. From freemasonry. and as he deemed that too many precautions could not be observed in concealing the existence of a society sworn to the abolition of the Christian religion and the overthrow of the established social system. Weishaupt had been sent as a boy to the Jesuit seminary in that town. he decided to give his society a mystic character as a means of [103] recruiting followers. Though deprived of their functions the members of the suppressed Order still remained in the country. Perceiving the immense success that Gassner was having at this time by his cures. he and his accomplices adopted names by which alone they were known to the others. which the great popularity he enjoyed among the students enabled him to realize. Those who enjoyed the confidence of Weishaupt were known as areopagites. he was appointed to the professorship of jurisprudence till then held by a Jesuit. On the temporary abolition of the Order of the Jesuits. From mysticism he borrowed the name of the society: Illumines. but conceiving a great dislike for the method of instruction employed there he left it for the university. their practice of passive obedience. and furthermore always professed the greatest contempt for "supernatural tricks. To them alone was he visible. the Illumines gradually increased their numbers and sought recruits in other 149 . and fully alive to the powerful hold the passion for the supernatural had obtained on the popular imagination. Born of Catholic parents at Ingolstadt in Bavaria.not a mystic at all. Comprised at first of a few students at the University of Ingolstadt. adopting in particular their system of espionage. As Weishaupt's object was to convert them into blind instruments of his supreme will. the purpose of which was to measure the progress of the adept in assimilating the doctrine of the absolute equality of man and to excite his imagination by making him hope for the communication of some wonderful mystic secret when he reached the highest grade. and their maxim that the end justifies the means. and posing as martyrs continued to exercise in secret their malign influence as powerfully as ever. and to fight them conceived the idea of founding a secret society. having taken his degree. he modelled his organization after that of the Jesuits." But consumed with an implacable hatred of despotism and with a genius for conspiracy he perceived in the widespread attraction and revolutionary tendency of the supernatural the engine of destruction he required. the classes and grades into which they were subdivided.

However. catching the fever of philosophy from Frederick the Great and Joseph II. With a Knigge to invent and a Weishaupt to organize. in order by taking sides in the theological quarrels of the day to increase dissensions and weaken the power of the Pope. studied and analyzed everything. of which they were the secret and deadly enemy. and adopted the method of initiation of which the mysterious and terrifying rites were well calculated to impress the proselyte. the Illuming rapidly increased their numbers and activities. special attention being given to the enlistment of young men of wealth and position. irreligious and intelligent. amused themselves in trying to [104] blend despotism. He possessed the one faculty that Weishaupt lacked — imagination. the society extended within the course of four or five years all over Germany. But this rapid development was 150 . the Illumines. Admitted to the confidence of Weishaupt this young Hanoverian nobleman rapidly gained an [105] ascendency over him. As the Illumines were utterly unscrupulous. An ally at once more invaluable and more dangerous it would have been impossible for Weishaupt to have procured. philanthropy. Young. even sleight of hand tricks. they did not hesitate to seek recruits in the Church of Rome itself. He had written a number of novels which had attracted some attention and certain pamphlets on morals that had been put on the Index. and still his imagination remained as untired and inquisitive as ever. had engaged his attention. Its adepts even had a hand in affairs of State and gained the ear of many of those petty and picturesque sovereigns of the Empire who. he was consumed with an insatiable curiosity for fresh experiences.places. till Baron von Knigge joined them in 1780. the real objects of Illuminism being artfully concealed. particularly that of the Freemasons. composed of very young and passionate men carefully chosen — Weishaupt himself was scarcely twenty-eight when he founded the sect in 1776— did not make much progress. In this way. monstrously licentious. Everything that savoured of the supernatural had a profound attraction for him. He had been admitted to most of the secret societies of the day. proselytizing. and the occult. and spreading the gospel of the Revolution everywhere. it is said. It was owing to the advice of Knigge that Weishaupt divided the Illuming into grades after the manner of the Freemasons. At thirty he had seen. cleverly organized though they were. He had experimented in alchemy and studied every phase of occultism from the philosophy of the Gnostics to that of Swedenborg. Overrunning Germany they crossed the frontiers preaching.

the oldest known to the world. is that which supposes it to have been founded at the time and for the purpose of building the Temple of Solomon. On the extinction of their hopes. in France it was from the first a decidedly royalist institution and this character it preserved. ranks. it reverted to its original ideals of equality and fraternity. and treated all creeds with equal respect War between the Church of Rome and Freemasonry was thus inevitable — a. But the Freemasons refused to admit the Papal authority. and its superior organization could not fail to excite the hostility of the Church of Rome. Knigge. outwardly at least. In Germany. and to-day devoted to the practice of philanthropy on an extensive scale — has been the subject of much speculation. however. give to Illuminism both protection and the means of spreading more widely and rapidly. composed of men of all countries. he trusted. which will not tolerate within it the existence of secret and independent associations. on the contrary. most generally accepted. where since the Thirty Years' War popular aspirations and discontent had expressed themselves inarticulately in a multitude of secret societies. Freemasonry in its present form first came into prominence in the seventeenth century in England. permeated with scepticism and the desire 151 . and creeds sworn to secrecy. numbering nobles and clergy alike among its members. which by reason of its powerful connections and vast proportions would. The origin of this association. The theory. its international character. who was nothing if not resourceful. The importance it acquired from the number of its members. war that the Church in such a century as the eighteenth. bound together by strange symbols and signs. and always having a prince of the blood as Grand Master. But whatever its early history. The Jesuits had sworn allegiance to the Pope and in their ambition to control the Papacy were its staunchest defenders.not without its dangers. the principles of Freemasonry had a political rather than a social significance. and in spite of these democratic principles obtained a strong hold upon the aristocracy. conceived the idea of grafting it on to Freemasonry. Conscious that the existence of such a society if it became known would inevitably lead to its suppression. Indeed. whence it spread to France and Germany. down to the Revolution. whose real mystic meaning has long been forgotten. It was introduced into the former country by the Jacobites early in the eighteenth century with the [106] object of furthering the cause of the Stuarts.

for individual liberty, was most ill-advised to wage. For it was a war in which extermination was impossible and the victories of Rome indecisive. Anathematized by Clement XII, persecuted in Spain by the Inquisition, penalized in Catholic [107] Germany by the law, and its members decreed worthy of eternal damnation by the Sorbonne in France, Freemasonry nevertheless managed to find powerful champions. Entrenched behind the thrones of Protestant Europe, particularly that of Frederick the Great, and encouraged by the philosophers who saw in it something more than a Protestant challenge to the Church of Rome, it became the rallying ground of all the forces of discontent and disaffection of the century, the arsenal of all its hopes and ideals, the nursery of the Revolution. To render it, if possible, suspect even to its patrons Rome denied the humanity of its aims and the boasted antiquity of its origin. According to the stories circulated by the priests, which excited by their fears existed solely in their imagination, the Freemasons were the successors of the old Knights Templars sworn to avenge the abolition of that order by the bull of Pope Clement V and the death of its Grand Master, Jacques Molay, burnt alive by King Philip the Fair in the fourteenth century. But their vengeance was not to be limited to the destruction of the Papacy and the French monarchy; it included that of all altars and all thrones1791. This tradition, however, continually repeated and rendered more and more mysterious and alarming by rumour, merely helped to articulate the hatred of the enemies of the old regime who had flocked to Free-masonry as to a camp. As this association had at this period of its history no homogeneity, it was possible for [108] anybody with a few followers to form a lodge, and for each lodge to be a distinct society united to Freemasonry by the community of signs and symbols. It thus became a vast confederation of independent lodges representing all sorts of opinions, often hostile to one another, and possessing each its own "rite” or constitution. Philosophy and occultism alike both found a shelter in it. Even Saint-Martin left his mystic solitude to found lodges which observed the "Swedenborg rite." To attach themselves to the Freemasons was therefore for the Illumines as easy as it was natural. Lodges of Illuminism were founded all
179 One of the symbols of the Masons was a cross on which were the letters L.P.D. which were interpreted by the priests to mean Lilia Pcdibus Destrue, Trample the Lilies under-foot.


over Germany. The number and variety of sects, however, that had found an asylum in Freemasonry by the diversity of their aims tended to weaken rather than strengthen the association. At length, the discovery that impostors, like Schropfer, Rosicrucians and even Jesuits had founded lodges led to a general council of Freemasons for the purpose of giving the society the homogeneity it lacked. With this object a convention of Masons was held at Wilhelmsbad in 1782 to which deputies were sent from all parts of Europe. Knigge and Weishaupt attended and, perceiving the vast possibilities of the consolidation of the sects, they endeavoured to capture the whole machinery of the organization for the Illumines, much as the Socialists of to-day have endeavoured to capture the Trades Unions. The intrigue, however, not only failed, but led to a misunderstanding between the chiefs of Illuminism. Knigge definitely withdrew from the society, the existence and revolutionary aims of which were [109] betrayed two years later, in 1784, by a member who had reached the highest grade, only to discover that the mystic secrets by which he had been attracted to the Illumines did not exist This information conveyed to the Bavarian government was confirmed by domiciliary visits of the police who seized many incriminating papers. Weishaupt fled to Gotha, where he found a protector in the occultist Duke, whose friendship he had nursed for years in view of just such a contingency. But though the society he had formed was broken up, it was too late to stamp out the fire it had kindled. The subterranean rumblings of the Revolution could already be heard. Mysticism which had made use of philosophy in France to sap tyranny was in its turn in Germany turned to political account. From the seeds sown by the Illumines sprang that amazing crop of ideals of which a few years later Napoleon was to reap the benefit. Such, then, was the "curtain" of Cagliostro; woven, so to speak, on the loom of the love-of-the-marvellous out of mystical masonic principles and Schröpfer-Mesmer phenomena. And now let us turn once more to the personality of the man behind it.


Text by Savalette de Langes lodge Amis Réunis %22Savalette+de+langes%22+%22amis+r%C3%A9unis %22&source=bl&ots=3OqEgJeOkS&sig=R3Eeycxc5huMUATuUzLR9VWmxxE&hl=fr &ei=BKDgSqXBLNWH4gaL5r0P&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0 CAsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=%22Savalette%20de%20langes%22%20%22amis%20r %C3%A9unis%22&f=false

From 1771 to 1791, this lodge was one of the most prestigious in Paris and was consecrated by the Keeper of the Royal Treasury Savalette de Langes. Initially formed abroad in Rumigny, a small town of Thiérache, by a magistrate of the Parliament of Paris (banished by Chancellor Maupeou), in 1773 the lodge settled permanently in Paris. Savalette de Langes had made the inner circle of the Amis Réunis the social center of modern Freemasonry and cosmopolitanism of the late Enlightenment. Here the elite and and the talented joined together. The orchestra of the Amis Réunis was composed of six musicians of renown, like the composer [Isidore] Bertheaume, the Brothers Blasius, the King’s violinists, Boutray of the l’Académie [Royale] de Musique, and either the brothers Breval or Louis Francoeur, the King’s Superintendent of Music. The Lodge utilized a large space in a house in the Rue Popincourt, built in 1708 by the architect Dulin for the supplier of arms [Nicholas?] Dunoyer. Upon his death in 1791, Les Amis Réunis counted some 300 members with a further 37 casual brothers and brother servants. It comprised about 12% foreigners, such as the Baron de Beutz, chancellor of Saxony; the Baron de Gleichen, Minister of Denmark in Madrid, Naples and Paris; and Count Stroganoff, a Russian subject. A hundred senior officers or generals decorate the pillars, and about fifteen of their regiment. Painters and sculptors are well represented with a dozen doctors, all members of the Academy of Medicine or professors at the University of Paris – Monge was an assiduous member of the lodge for some years. But the Amis Réunis’ uniqueness is the significant number of its members who belonged to the world of finance: 37% of the Lodge in total, 84 people, were indeed financiers. We count no fewer than 15 bankers or speculators, 13 receiver generals, 7 tax collectors [fermiers généraux], 7 general treasurers including those of the Navy and War, 4 general paymasters, 19 members of the Courts

in the latter third of the 18th-century.of Finances of Paris.more of a regime . the Water Company in Paris. constituted a clearing house for all things occult or esoteric on the continent and beyond. and others with India or the islands trading sugar and rum. Many specialize in international commerce. to engage in speculative ventures. On the eve of the Revolution. At the famous East India Company. We also find Lodge members as shareholders of the arms factory in Charleville. The Lodge therefore offered a discreet setting for financial conversations and the development of protective relationships. Another group actively participated in speculation about the dollars held by the bank St. and the mines at Baïgorry. but from Germany. 155 . Members of the rite came not only from France. the Philalèthes are as noteworthy as they come. In regard to the entire milieu of high-grade Freemasonry during the Enlightenment. Sweden and Russia (and as was shown with the publishing of J. Italy. This leads to the membership of professional lobbyists. only powerful financiers could undertake large scale financial transactions. The trustworthiness of Masonic affiliation may result in more business. 7 senior officials of the Royal treasury and finally. The Rite itself . A last group is actively involved in real estate speculation in Paris. 11 brothers who were occupied with public finance. Everything is then prefaced upon trust. The success of the Amis Réunis in the financial world may be explained by the fact that. Austria. Others are shareholders of the Hudson Bay Company that traded with Canada. Charles de Madrid.and the Lodge ‘Amis Réunis’ from which it was founded. Bode’s diary in 1994. in the absence of public credit. and familial networks which are found in the Lodge. the Bavarian Illuminati had managed to officially join forces with it just two years before the revolution). the lodge of the Amis Réunis had the highest concentration of financiers. England. a number of them met in groups. one finds Lodge members as shareholders or as administrators. J. Savalette de Langes and the Marquis de Chefdebien may even be described as engaging in Masonic espionage. C. but also the slave trade. There isn’t a single volume on 18th Century Freemasonry that doesn’t give the major details of the Amis Réunis and the Philalèthes. which enables both administrators and profiteers. Decize or Rueil. or independently. philosophical bonds are then the natural extension in the world of finance.

but this report by Frick .about as complete an introduction as as you’ll find . 156 .is by far the best.I’ve read more than a few accounts of the Philalèthes over the years.

To pray and study in Pontlevoy ? MARIETTE Cyvard in Pontlevoy's church 157 .