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(p. 42)



            “THE fire of the soul must be kept alive by the Divine Breath, if it is to live for ever. It must converge, not diverge. If it diverge it will be dissipated. The end of progress is unity; the end of degradation is division. The soul, therefore, which ascends, tends more and more to union with the Divine.” This, the final state of the soul, is described in the Apocalypse under the figure of a marriage, wherein the contracting parties are the soul herself and the now divine spirit of the man, which is called the “Lamb.” The description of this Lamb as “slain from the foundation of the world,” denotes the original and eternal act of self-immolation – typified in the Eucharist – whereby Deity descends into conditions and distributes of itself to be the substance and life of the universe, alike for its creation, its sustentation and its redemption. In the crowning act of this stupendous drama – the act which, mystically, is called the “consummation of the marriage of the Son of God” – the “Spirit and the Bride,” as King and Queen of the perfected individuality, are indissolubly united, and the human taken up into the divine, having received the “gift of God,” which is life eternal, not merely a gift from God, although God is the giver, but a gift of God’s own substantial Self, the infinite and eternal I AM being individuated in him. (1)

            The initial and final stages of man’s spiritual evolution are indicated by “Paul the mystic” when, read in the interior sense and translated into the eternal now, he says, “He is at first Adam, a living soul,” or soul possessing a temporary life; “he is at last Christ, a life-giving spirit,” or spirit that is itself divine. “In

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the former stage all die; in the latter all live for ever.” From this it appears that the Bible sets forth the higher evolution, “new creation” or “redemption” of man, as a dual process occurring simultaneously in his two constituents, himself and his soul; and whereas for the former and masculine moiety the first and last terms are respectively Adam and Christ, for the latter and feminine moiety they are Eve and Mary.

            Between these stages there stands, as a half-way house, one which is especially conspicuous in the Bible. This is the stage represented by “David,” of whom the Christ is said to be emphatically the son. Here also the rule holds good that no physical reference is intended. The sense in which the Christ is the “son of David,” is that in which the elder man is son of the younger. David is the type of the man who, being but partially regenerate, is liable to oscillate between the two extremes of his nature, ascending under the influence of his regenerated part to the heights of spiritual perception and divine communion; and, under the influence of his still unregenerate part, descending to the depths of sensuality and cruelty. Nevertheless, the regenerative or Christ-process, has begun in him, in due time to be completed. And it is because this process when once it has laid hold of the man, never lets him go, but continues to its due issue, it is said that “nothing shall separate him from the love of Christ,” and, “Of those who are given to Christ, he loses none.” Not that the love that thus saves is all on one side, for the love of Christ means also the love which the man himself has for spiritual perfection, and this of itself is a saviour to him. For it is only in one aspect of the term that Christ denotes a person. It denotes, also, a principle, a process, and a state, all of which are interior to the individual. (1)

            And as none of these terms imply actual persons or have any physical import, but refer solely to man in his spiritual capacity, so also, when it is said that “the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin,” the reference is in no wise to the physical blood of anyone. For there

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is no congruous relation between physical blood-shedding and moral or spiritual guilt; and it is the first essential to sound science in things spiritual, no less than in things physical, to “compare like with like and preserve the affinity of similars.” And so far, moreover, from the Divine justice being satisfied by any sacrifice of the innocent for the guilty, it would be outraged thereby, if only for the reason that the Divine justice is just. Hence, the Orthodox doctrine of substitutory sacrifice, or “vicarious atonement,” is a blasphemous travesty of the truth. And it is that which, more than any other of the many sacerdotal perversions of religion, has ministered to the degradation of man’s conception of God. The worshippers of the letter, singing, as is their wont, their favourite hymn,


“There is a fountain filled with blood

Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,”


in the physical and gross sense of the words, really conceive of the Supreme Being but as the great master-butcher (1). Hence it comes that, grossly blasphemous as may be, and are, many of the utterances of Materialists and Agnostics against Scripture and religion, they are but directed against the Orthodox perversions of these, and not against that which is really true and divine. Whereas, Orthodoxy, by libelling the Divine character itself, and so making God evil, outdoes the Atheist, who merely denies the existence of God. Since, as Bacon remarks, it is a far less offence to doubt or deny a person’s existence than to malign his character. Wherefore there may be more true faith and piety in the very denials of the unbeliever than in the most positive protestations of the professor.

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            The Christ whose “blood” alone saves is, then, a purely spiritual being, and, consequently, has for his “blood” – “which is the life” – only pure spirit; and it is this same pure spirit in man which saves him. But none the less does the self-sacrifice of the Christ on the outer plane minister to his salvation. For that which really saves is, in all cases, love. And it is the change wrought in men by the spectacle of an all-sacrificing love that redeems them. Hence it comes that they are not forgiven because the Christ dies; but they are changed because he loves. And the atonement is no propitiation made for them by another and from without; but an at-one-ment, or reconciliation, made in them with their own central, highest, and best indwelling spirit, the God within. This, then, and not the Orthodox doctrine, is the religion of the Bible and of Christ, whether or not it be that of Christianity. “The blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, not by the purchase of pardon with another’s gold, but because the love of God changes the life of the sinner.”

            To quote, as do the advocates of the Orthodox doctrine, the language of Paul on behalf of their revolting tenet, is to show themselves in the highest degree ignorant, dishonest, or stupid. For Paul expressly guards himself against the mistaking of the physical organism for the spiritual selfhood of Christ by protesting against any longer “knowing Christ after the flesh;” insisting on the “Christ within” as the agent of salvation, and charging his neophytes to “put on Christ.”

            In his desire to reconcile sacerdotalism with mysticism, Paul employed a mode of expression derived from the former, hoping thereby to de-materialise it and lift it to the spiritual plane. But it is a moral certainty that, had he foreseen the ghastly consequences which would ensue from the acceptance of his language in its literal sense, nothing would have induced him to employ a mode of expression which, by any process of perversion, could be made to re-inforce and perpetuate the system, sacerdotal and sacrificial, of which Jesus had been the victim, and which, like Jesus, he himself sought to supplant.

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            None the less is sacrifice of Divine appointment. But it is sacrifice as defined by the prophets, not as insisted on by the priests. And so far from the Bible countenancing the latter, it represents throughout its whole course the two orders as in unceasing conflict, making Abel and Christ its first and last types of the former, and Cain and Caiaphas of the latter. Always in its pages is the priest, as the minister to sense, represented as slaying the prophet, as the minister of the intuition. And to this day does Orthodoxy side with the Cain, Caiaphas, and priest element in religion and in man to the suppression of the Abel, Christ, and prophet element (1). The sacrifice which is of Divine appointment, that alone which is the true sacrifice of Christ, being the sacrifice whereby the Christ becomes Christ, is the sacrifice of the lower nature in oneself to the higher, and of oneself for others. “Without such sacrifice is no remission of sin.” For by it, and by it alone, man rises out of his lower nature into his higher, and becomes reconstituted of his constituent principles in their divine, because pure, condition. Wherefore the whole mystery of that which is at once the mystery of regeneration, the “mystery of godliness,” the mystery of Christ, and the “secret and method of Christ,” consists in interior purification. In such degree as man accomplishes this he becomes “God in the condition of God.” For “God is spirit,” and there is no impassable boundary between spirit and matter. And, therefore, in the text-books of the Higher Alchemy or science of the perfectionment of man, in our day for the first time in the world’s history, permitted to be rendered in plain language and given to the world, it is written in this wise: –

            “To make gold, the alchemist must have gold.

            “But he knows that to be gold which others take to be dross.

            “The Will of God is the alchemic crucible: and the dross which is cast therein is matter.

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            “And the dross shall become pure gold, seven times refined; even perfect spirit.

            “It shall leave behind it nothing: but shall be transformed into the Divine image ...

            “Cast thyself into the will of God, and thou shalt become as God.

            “For thou art God if thy will be the Divine will.

            “This is the great secret: it is the mystery of redemption.”

            But no loss of individuality is implied. Though becoming as the One, the many do not cease to be the many. But in them the One becomes the many and this without ceasing to be the One.

            In the above citation is indicated a stage in the process of the Christ, the accomplishment of which is reserved for him who becomes in the fullest sense of the term a Christ. All who have, and all who are saved by, Christ must accomplish in their spiritual sense the several “acts” represented by the terms “crucifixion,” “burial,” “resurrection,” and “ascension.” By him who is in the fullest sense a Christ, they must be accomplished in their physical sense also. This is to say that, where they must crucify and bury the bodily nature in the spiritual sense, he must do this both physically and spiritually; and where they must put on a “raised” or higher order of body, and with this ascend into the heaven of a perfect doctrine and rule of life, in the spiritual sense, he must do this in both senses, re-animating his physical body after its death, in the event of its succumbing, and finally transmuting it into its original spiritual substance. For only by showing himself to be in his own system that which God is in the universe, omnipotent, can he constitute a full manifestation to humanity of its own Divine potentialities. Doing this he fulfils to the utmost the function of the Christ; which is to be a saviour of men by showing them what they themselves are, and have it in them to become, and how to become it. Accomplishing his resurrection and ascension in the physical sense also, he demonstrates the identity of his will with the supreme will by which, originally, spirit is projected into the condition of matter. Since

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only the will that projects can recall. In regard to this aspect of the Christ the recovered Gnosis discourses as follows: –

            ‘‘There is a power by means of which matter may be ingested into its original substance.

            “He who possesses this power is Christ, and he has the devil under foot (1).

            “For he reduces chaos to order, and indraws the external to the centre.

            “He has learnt that matter is illusion, and that spirit alone is real.

            “He has found his own central point: and all power is given unto him in heaven and on earth ...

            “Not that matter shall be destroyed ... but it shall be indrawn and resolved into its true self ...

            “The body, which is matter, is but the manifestation of spirit: and the Word of God shall transmute it into its inner being.” (2)




(42:1) This paragraph (from Edward Maitland’s MS.) is new in this edition. It was, according to a note of Edward Maitland, “written for The Bible’s Own Account of Itself, and omitted for want of space.” – S.H.H

(43:1) See last note. – S.H.H.

(44:1) The following recent utterance of one of the most devout of Catholic gentlewomen, “I hate God, and but for Jesus and our blessed lady I would have no religion at all,” represents a frame of mind far from rare, whether with Catholics or Protestants. It is, however, a notable sign of the times that an Anglican dignitary, Dr. Moorhouse, Bishop of Manchester, in his recent work, The Dangers of the Apostolic Age, has found grace and courage to denounce the doctrine of the substitutory sacrifice of Christ as “an outrage to his reason and an offence to his conscience.” – E.M.

(46:1) See, further on this subject, extract from Edward Maitland’s letter on The Church and the Bible, in the Appendix, p. 76. – S.H.H.

(48:1) The “devil” of the mystical Scriptures is no person, but the negation of God. “All that God is the devil is not.” God is pure being, and the devil is his antithesis, being as darkness to light, its negation, and no positive entity. He is thus not “Satan,” but the void without the kosmos, of which Satan – who also is Saturn – represents the seventh and outermost sphere. The first and innermost sphere is represented by the sun (Phoibos) as the “Spirit of Wisdom.” Wherefore Satan, as the “lord of the seventh,” is called the “Spirit of the Pear of the Lord,” which “is the beginning of wisdom,” thus denoting reverence as the first essential qualification for admission into the Divine kingdom, which, when once gained, allows of ascent to the centre and highest by mounting the steps of the “seven days” of creation, which, reversed, are those of regeneration. Wherefore nothing can surpass in importance the functions exercised by Deity under the character of Satan. – E.M.

(48:2) As the most difficult of all the acts of the soul, the indrawal of the body was the last of the labours assigned by the Greeks to their type of the man regenerate. The lower spheres of the consciousness, the material and astral, were accounted as Hades, or Hell, to the purified soul; and it was the withdrawal of the body from this region that was denoted by the dragging from Hades by Herakles (Hercules) of the “dog” Cerberus, who, with its three heads, denoted the body and its three (true) senses (taste and smell being but modes of touch). – E.M.



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