From: 1948 – De Laurence’s Catalog of Books on Occultism – Magic – Mysticism – Religion – The Cabala – Yoga – Astrology and all related subjects – Occult Students’ Equipment – Talismanic and Symbolic Jewelry
Mystic and Master Occultist, de Laurence is world-famous as an Adept of the Highest Rank. His lifelong study of religious thought and emotion have brought him recognition and renown while his humanistic and sympathetic insight have endeared his name to thousands. His works are everywhere and his name stands high on the roster of independent and intrepid thinkers of all time.
It would be difficult to escape from the well-adduced proofs that the Apocalypse is the production of an initiated kabalist, when this Revelation presents whole passages taken from the Books of Enoch and Daniel, which letter is in itself an abridged imitation of the former and when, furthermore, we ascertain that the Ophite Gnostics who rejected the Old Testament entirely, as “emanating from an inferior being (Jehovah),” accepted the most ancient prophets, such as Enoch, and deduced the strongest support from this book for their religious tenets, the demonstration becomes evident. I will show further how closely related are all these doctrines. Besides, there is the history of Domitian’s persecutions of magicians and philosophers, which affords as good a proof as any that John was generally considered a kabalist. As the apostle was included among the number, and moreover, conspicuous, the imperial edict banished him not only from Rome, but even from the continent. It was not the Christians whom – confounding them with the Jews, as some historians will have it – the emperor persecuted, but the astrologers and kabalists.
The accusations against Jesus of practising the Magic of Egypt were numerous, and at one time universal, in the towns where he was known. The Pharisees, as claimed in the Bible, had been the first to fling it in his face, although Rabbi Wise considers Jesus himself a Pharisee. The Talmud certainly points to James the Just as one of that sect.* But these partisans are known to have always stoned every prophet who denounced their evil ways, and it is not on this fact that I base my assertion. These accused him of sorcery, and or driving out devils by Beelzebub, their prince, with as much justice as later the Catholic clergy had to accuse of the same more than one innocent martyr. But Justin Martyr states on better authority that the men of his time who were not Jews asserted that the miracles of Jesus were performed by magical art – the very expression used by the skeptics of those days to designate the feats of thaumaturgy accomplished in the Pagan temples. “They even ventured to call him a magician and a deceiver of the people,” complains the martyr. In the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Jews bring the same accusation before Pilate: “Did we not tell thee he was a magician?” Celeus speaks of the same charge, and as a Neo-platonist believes in it. The Talmudic literature is full of the most minute particulars, and their greatest accusation is that “Jesus could fly as easily in the air as others could walk.” St. Austin asserted that it was generally believed that he had been initiated in Egypt, and that he wrote books concerning magic, which he delivered to John.
There was a work called Magia Jesu Christi, which was attributed to Jesus** himself. In the Clementine Recognitions the charge is brought against Jesus that he did not perform his miracles as a Jewish prophet but as a magician, i. e., an initiate of the “occult” temples.
It was usual then, as it is now, among the intolerant clergy of opposing religions, as well as among the lower classes of society, and even among those patricians who, for various reasons, had been excluded from any participation in the Occult Mysteries, to accuse, sometimes, the highest Hierophants and Adepts of sorcery and black magic. So Apuleius, who had been initiated, was likewise accused of witchcraft, and of carrying about him the figure of a skeleton – a potent agent, as it is asserted, in the operations of the black art. But one of the best and most unquestionable proofs of my assertion may be found in the so-called Museo Gregoriano. On the sarcophagus, which is panelled with bas-reliefs representing the miracles of Christ,*** may be seen the full figure of Jesus, who, in the resurrection of Lazarus, appears beardless “and equipped with a magic wand in the received guise of a necromancer (?) whilst the corpse of Lazarus is swathed in bandages exactly as an Egyptian mummy.”
Had posterity been enabled to have several such representations executed during the first century when the figure, dress, and every-day habits of Jesus, the Nazarene Reformer, were still fresh in the memory of his contemporaries, perhaps the Christian world would be more Christ-like; the dozens of contradictory, groundless, and utterly meaningless speculations about the “Son of God” would have been impossible; and humanity would now have but one religion and one God. It is this absence of all proof, the lack of the least positive clew about him, whom Christianity has deified, that has caused the present state of perplexity. No pictures of Christ were posssible until after the days of Constantine, when the Jewish element was nearly eliminated among the followers of the new religion. The Jews, apostles, and disciples, whom the Zoroastrians and the Parsees and inoculated with a holy horror of any form of images, would have considered it a sacrilegious blasphemy to represent in any way or shape, their master. The only authorized image of Jesus, even in the days of Tertullian, was an allegorical representation of the “Good Shepard“, which was no portrait, but the figure of a man with a jackal-head, like Anubis. On this gem, as seen in the collection of Gnostic amulets, the Good Shepherd bears upon his shoulders the losst lamb. He seems to have a human head upon his neck; but, as King correctly observes, “it only seems so to the uninitiated eye.”
* I believe that it was the Sadducees and not the Pharisees who crucified Jesus. They were Zadokites – partisans of the house of Zadok, or the sacerdotal family. In the “Acts” the apostles were said to be persecuted by the Sadducees, but never by the Pharisees. In fact, the latter never persecuted any one. They had the scribes, rabbis, and learned men in their numbers, and were not, like the Sadducees, jealous of their order.
** Cf. “August de Consans, Evang.“, i. 9; Fabric. ; “Cod. Ap. N. T.,”, p. 305, ff.
*** King’s “Gnostics,” p. 145 ; the author places this sarcophagus among the earliest productions of that art which inundated later the world with mosaics and engravings, representing the events and personages of the “New Testament.“
END OF PART THREE