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“THERE is a point,” quoth a grandiloquent pseudo-
Rosicrucian in an impressive and tragedy voice, “there is
a point,” he repeated in the conventional whisper of the
unexplainable mystic, “beyond which we inevitably must
keep silence. We are driven to take refuge in portentous
darkness and in irretrievable mystery.” The godless and
incorrigible scepticism of a coarse, unsubdued intelligence,
surrendered to a reprobate sense, and basely and wilfully
grovelling in the blind alleys of natural causes, begs leave
to believe that this is because extremes meet, that the
heights of the inexpressible are closely approximate to the
abysmal depths of bathos. But the unsubdued intelligence
is known to have covered the shame of its naked ignorance
with the “filthy rags” of a posteriori methods. Anathema
maranatha. Let it have no part in the life to come!
Nevertheless, I have found it superfluous to “keep guard
over” the secrets of the Rosicrucians, or to veil their mysteries
in inviolable silence, and this is for a simple reason,
namely, that they have never revealed any. If the manifestoes
I have published emanated in reality from a secret
society, it has stood guard over its own treasures, and as
neither Mr, Hargrave Jennings nor myself can “boast of
having ever—really and in fact—seen or known any supposed
(or suspected) member in the flesh,” we have nothing to
reveal or to withhold. “The recondite systems connected
with the illustrious Rosicrucians” are, of course, enveloped
in darkness, and, in common with other students of esoteric
lore, I am inclined to consider that this darkness does cover
a real and, possibly, a recoverable knowledge. But it is
not of our making and in our age, which has nothing to
fear from the rack or the faggot, and but little from the
milder agonies of eternal Coventry, it is no longer worth
preserving. Nihil est oportum quod non revelabitur, et occultum
quod non scietur. The time has come when that which was
muttered in darkness may be declared plainly in the full
face of day, and when that which was whispered in the ear
can be proclaimed on the house-top. The tremendous
secrets of spiritual alchemy are about to surrender at discretion
to the searching investigations of the sympathetic
and impartial student at work in the cause of truth. On
the faith of a follower of Honnes, I can promise that nothing
shall be held back from those true Sons of the Doctrine, the
sincere seekers after light who are prepared to approach the
supreme arcana of the psychic world with a c1ean heart
and an earnest aim. True Rosicrucians and true alchemical
adepts, if there be any in existence at this day, will not
resent a new procedure when circumstances have been
radically changed. The pontiffs of darkness and mystery
will probably discover that. it is too late to make use of that
policy of assassination which is supposed to have been
applied in the case of the Abbé de Villars. I appeal, therefore,
to those students of occultism who are men of method
as well as of imagination, of reason as well as of intuition, to
assist me in clearing away the dust and rubbish which have
accumulated during centuries of oblivion, misrepresentation,
and calumny in the silent sanctuaries of the transcendental
sciences, that the traditionary secrets of Nature
unencumbered by evasive veils, which preserved them perhaps
in the past from the violence of tyrants and intellectual
task-masters in the high places of religion and
science, but which are rent on every side, and “execrable
from the moment that they are useless,” may shine forth in
the darkness of doubt and uncertainty, to illuminate the
strait and narrow avenues which communicate between the
seen and the unseen.
While this work was passing through the press, Mr.
Hargrave Jennings has issued the third edition of “The
Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries.” It is spread over
the space of two large volumes of an imposing and handsome
appearance. It embodies some new but wholly
irrelevant materials, and does not contain one syllable of
additional information on its ostensible subject. The
additional illustrations are quite beside the question, having
no reference, however esoteric and remote, to the
Rosicrucian mystery. This edition, in fact, justifies still
further the severe criticism which I have been forced to
make on the purposeless and rambling speculations of its
eccentric author.