[Master of Royal Secret.]
THE Occult Science of the Ancient Magi was concealed under the shadows of the Ancient Mysteries: it was imperfectly revealed or rather disfigured by the Gnostics: it is guessed at under the obscurities that cover the pretended crimes of the Templars; and it is found enveloped in enigmas that seem impenetrable, in the Rites of the Highest Masonry.
Magism was the Science of Abraham and Orpheus, of Confucius and Zoroaster. It was the dogmas of this Science that were engraven on the tables of stone by Hanoch and Trismegistus. Moses purified and re-veiled them, for that is the meaning of the word reveal. He covered them with a new veil, when he made of the Holy Kabalah the exclusive heritage of the people of Israel,
and the inviolable Secret of its priests. The Mysteries of Thebes and Eleusis preserved among the nations some symbols of it, al-ready altered, and the mysterious key whereof was lost among the instruments of an ever-growing superstition. Jerusalem, the murderess of her prophets, and so often prostituted to the false gods of the Syrians and Babylonians, had at length in its turn lost the Holy Word, when a Prophet announced to the Magi by the consecrated Star of Initiation, came to rend asunder the worn veil of the old Temple, in order to give the Church a new tissue of legends and symbols, that still and ever conceals from the Profane, and ever preserves to the Elect the same truths.
It was the remembrance of this scientific and religious Absolute, of this doctrine that is summed up in a word, of this Word, in fine, alternately lost and found again, that was transmitted to the Elect of all the Ancient Initiations: it was this same remembrance, preserved, or perhaps profaned in the celebrated Order of the Templars, that became for all the secret associations, of the Rose-Croix, of the Illuminati, and of the Hermetic Freemasons, the reason of their strange rites, of their signs more or less conventional, and, above all, of their mutual devotedness and of their power.
The Gnostics caused the Gnosis to be proscribed by the Christians, and the official Sanctuary was closed against the high initiation. Thus the Hierarchy of Knowledge was compromitted by the violences of usurping ignorance, and the disorders of the Sanctuary are reproduced in the State; for always, willingly or unwillingly, the King is sustained by the Priest, and it is from the eternal Sanctuary of the Divine instruction that the Powers of the Earth, to insure themselves durability, must receive their consecration and their force.
The Hermetic Science of the early Christian ages, cultivated also by Geber, Alfarabius, and others of the Arabs, studied by the Chiefs of the Templars, and embodied in certain symbols of the higher Degrees of Freemasonry, may be accurately defined as the Kabalah in active realization, or the Magic of Works. It has three analogous Degrees, religious, philosophical, and physical realization.
Its religious realization is the durable foundation of the true Empire and the true Priesthood that rule in the realm of human intellect: its philosophical realization is the establishment of an absolute Doctrine, known in all times as the "HOLY Doctrine,"
and of which PLUTARCH, in the Treatise "de Iside et Osiride," speaks at large but mysteriously; and of a Hierarchical instruction to secure the uninterrupted succession of Adepts among the Initiates: its physical realization is the discovery and application, in the Microcosm, or Little World, of the creative law that incessantly peoples the great Universe.
Measure a corner of the Creation, and multiply that space in proportional progression, and the entire Infinite will multiply its circles filled with universes, which will pass in proportional segments between the ideal and elongating branches of your Compass. Now suppose that from any point whatever of the Infinite above you a hand holds another Compass or a Square, the lines of the Celestial triangle will necessarily meet those of the Compass of Science, to form the Mysterious Star of Solomon.