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where least expected. From 1768 to 1778 Paschalis resided either at Paris or at Lyons. Then he suddenly crossed the ocean, and died at St. Domingo in 1779. These sudden appearances and disappearances were perhaps needed to maintain his prestige. De Maître, who had much intercourse with his disciples, states it for certain, that the Order founded by him, and called the "Rite of the elected Cohens or Priests," had superior degrees unknown to the members of the lower grades. We know the names of nine degrees, though not their rituals: they were—Apprentice, FellowCraft, Master, Grand Elect, Apprentice Cohen, Fellow-Craft Cohen, Master Cohen, Grand Architect, Knight Commander. The zeal of some of the members, among whom we find Holbach, Duchamteau, and St.-Martin, caused the Order to prolong its existence some time after the death of the founder.
267. Saint-Martin. We have seen that St. Martin was a disciple of Paschalis; he was also, for his day, a profound expounder of the doctrines of Böhme, some of whose works he translated. He to some extent reformed the rite of Paschalis, dividing it into ten degrees, classed in two temples. The first temple comprised the degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, Master, Ancient Master, Elect, Grand Architect, and Master of the Secret. The degrees of the second temple were Prince of Jerusalem, Knight of Palestine, and Knight of Kadosh. The order, as modified by him, extended from Lyons into the principal cities of France, Germany, and Russia, where the celebrated Prince Repnin (1734-1801) was its chief protector.
It is now extinct.
268. Merits of the Rosicrucians.—A halo of poetic splendour surrounds the order of the Rosicrucians; the magic lights of fancy play around their graceful day-dreams, while the mystery in which they shrouded themselves lends an additional charm to their history. But their brilliancy was that of a meteor. It just flashed across the realms of imagination and intellect, and vanished for ever; not, however, without leaving behind some permanent and lovely traces of its hasty passage, just as the momentary ray of the sun, caught on the artist's lens, leaves a lasting image on the sensitive paper. Poetry and romance are deeply indebted to the Rosicrucians for many a fascinating creation. The literature of every European country contains hundreds of pleasing fictions, whose machinery has been borrowed from their system of philosophy, though that itself has passed away; and it must be admitted that many of their ideas are highly ingenious, and attain to such heights of intellectual speculation as we find to have been reached by the Sophists of India. Before their time, alchymy had sunk down, as a rule, to a grovelling delusion, seeking but temporal advantages, and occupying itself with earthly dross only: the Rosicrucians spiritualised and refined it by giving the chimerical search after the philosopher's stone a nobler aim than the attainment of wealth, namely, the opening of the spiritual eyes, whereby man should be able to see the supernal world, and be filled with an inward light to illumine his mind with true knowledge. The physical process of the transmutation of metals was by them considered as analogical with man's restoration to his unfallen state, as set forth in Böhme's Signatura Rerum, chapters vii., x.-xii
. The true Roscrucians, therefore, may be defined as spiritual alchymists, or Theosophists.
269. Origin of the Society doubtful. The society is of very uncertain origin. It is affirmed by some writers that from
the fourteenth century there existed a society of physicists and alchymists who laboured in the search after the philosopher's stone; and a certain Nicolo Barnaud undertook journeys through Germany and France for the purpose of establishing a Hermetic society. From the preface of the work, “Echo of the Society of the Rosy Cross," it moreover follows that in 1597 meetings were held to institute a secret society for the promotion of alchymy. Another indication of the actual existence of such a society is found in a book published in 1605, and entitled, “Restoration of the Decayed Temple of Pallas,” which gives a constitution of Rosicrucians. Again, in 1610, the notary Haselmeyer pretended to have read in a MS. the Fama Fraternitatis, comprising all the laws of the Order. Four years afterwards appeared a small work, entitled “General Reformation of the World,” which in fact contains the Fama Fraternitatis, where it is related that a German, Christian Rosenkreuz, founded such a society in the fourteenth century, after having learned the sublime science in the East. Of him it is related, that when, in 1378, he was travelling in Arabia, he was called by name and greeted by some philosophers, who had never before seen him; from them he learned many secrets, among others that of prolonging life. On his return he made many disciples, and died at the age of 150 years, not because his strength failed him, but because he was tired of life. In 1604 one of his disciples had his tomb opened, and there found strange inscriptions, and a MS. in letters of gold. The grotto in which this tomb was found, by the description given of it, strongly reminds us of the Mithraic Cave. Another work, published in 1615, the Confessio Fraternitatis Rose Crucis, contains an account of the object and spirit of the Order.
270. Rosicrucian Literature.—The Thesaurinella Chymicaaurea, already referred to (sect. 244), may have been a Rosicrucian work, as also Raymundii Lullii Theoria. In 1615, Michael Meyer published at Cologne his Themis Aurea, hoc est, de legibus Fraternitatis Rosece Crucis, which purported to contain all the laws and ordinances of the brotherhood. Another work, entitled “The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreuz," and published in 1616, in the shape of a comic romance, is really a satire on the alchymistical delusions of the author's time. Both works were written, as we learn from his autobiography, by Valentine Andreä, a Lutheran clergyman of Herrenberg, near Tübingen. But instead of being taken for what the author intended them—satires on the follies of Paracelsus,
Weigel, and the alchymists—the public swallowed his fictions as facts: printed letters and pamphlets appeared everywhere, addressed to the imaginary brotherhood, whilst others denounced and condemned it. One Christopher Nigrinus wrote a book to prove the Rosicrucians were Calvinists, but a passage taken from one of their writings showed them to be zealous Lutherans. Andreä himself, in
Turris Babel” and “ Mythologia Christiana,” published circa 1619, condemns Rosicrucianism. Impostors, indeed, pretended to belong to the fraternity, and to possess its secrets, and found plenty of dupes. Numerous works also continued to appear.
Here are the titles of a few of them :“Epistola ad patres de Rosea Cruce.” Frankfurt, 1617.
“Quick Message to the Philosophical Society of the Rosy Cross." By Valentine Ischirnessus. Danzig, 1617.
“ The Whole Art and Science of the God-Illuminated Fraternity of Christian Rosenkreuz.” By Theophilus Schweighart. 1617.
"Discovery of the Colleges and Axioms of the Illuminated Fraternity of Christian Rosenkreuz.” By Theophilus Schweighart. 1618.
“De naturæ secretis quibusdam at Vulcaniam artem chymica ante omnia necessariis, addressed to the Masters of the Philosophic Fraternity of the Rosy Cross." 1618. N. P.
“Sisters of the Rosy Cross; or, Short Discovery of these Ladies, and what Religion, Knowledge of Divine and Natural Things, Trades and Arts, Medicines, &c., may be found therein.” Parthenopolis, 1620.
“The Most Secret and Hitherto Unknown Mysteries of All Nature." By the Collegium Rosianum. Leyden, 1630.
Of course the scientific value of all these writings was nil, the literary scarcely more.
271. Real Objects and Results of Andreä's Writings.—The account given in the preceding paragraph of the literary performances of John Valentine
Andreä is the popular one. But certain explanations are necessary. Andrea's Rosicrucian writings concealed political objects, the chief of which was the support of the Lutheran religion, which the Rosicrucians themselves followed. Andreä made two journeys to Austriathe first in 1612, when the Emperor Mathias ascended the throne; and the second in 1619, a few months after the Emperor's death. At Linz he had private interviews with several Austrian noblemen, all of them Lutherans. Rosicrucian lodges, to further the objects of the Reformation, were established, but numerous Catholics obtained admission
to them, and gradually turned their tendencies in the very opposite direction. Andreä perceiving this withdrew from Rosicrucianism, and endeavoured by the subsequent writings, mentioned above, to disavow his former connection with it. With the same object also he, during his second residence in Austria, founded the “Fraternitas Christi,” to which many members of the Protestant Austrian nobility sought admission. Three years after the society was prohibited by the Government, and its final suppression hastened by an opposition society, founded by the Catholics, with the sanction of the Pope, first at Olmütz and then at Vienna, the leaders being the Counts Althan, Gonzaga, and Sforza; the order was called that of the “Blue Cross." The Rosicrucians, being no longer under the influence of Andreä, broke up into a number of independent lodges, which quickly degenerated into mere traps to catch credulous dupes and their money ; hence the duration of most was short. But on the accession of Joseph II., whose liberal principles were known, the Rosicrucians, as well as other secret societies, sprang into life again. Freemasonry became the fashion of the day. Masonic implements were worn as charms; "the ladies carried muffs of white silk edged with blue, to represent the Mason's aprons, and so on. The Emperor found it necessary to regulate the conduct of these secret societies. He suppressed all except that of the Freemasons, to whom in 1785 he granted a patent, which began thus: “Since nothing is to exist in a well-regulated state without proper supervision, We deem it necessary thus to declare our will: The so-called Masonic Societies, whose secrets are unknown to us, since we never were curious enough to inquire into their juggleries (gauckeleien),” &c. This edict, which abolished the other societies, but allowed the Freemasons to continue their “juggleries," as the Emperor called their ceremonies, threw many of the suppressed societies, including the Rosicrucians, into the arms of the Masonic Fraternity; the Asiatic Brethren, as we shall see further on (281), transferred their activity from Vienna to Sleswick.
272. Ritual and Ceremonies.—The "juggleries” of the Rosicrucians, whom the Emperor suppressed, were those of the "constitution" of 1763, and as follows:The apartment where the initiation took place contained the tabella mystica, presently to be described. The floor was covered with a green carpet, and on it were placed the following objects :A glass globe, standing on a pedestal of seven steps, and divided into two parts, representing light and darkness;