« AnteriorContinuar »
signs and appearances to draw away Israel: and this was called the Essen, the fowler from their young ones;] Consequently, to announce themselves the other, that in case, after all, some as the Society of the Essen—was to suspicion should arise, and the enemy express a peculiar solicitude for the again break in, there must be three or children of Israel. Under this masque four barriers to storm before he can get nobody could suspect any hostility to to the stronghold in the centre." Jerusalem or its temple ; nobody,
Upon this principle all was arranged. therefore, under the existing misconFirst, for the name that was to disarm ception of Christian objects and the suspicion—what name could do that? Christian character, could suspect a Why, what was the suspicion ? A sus- Christian society: picion that Christian embers were But was not this liypocritical dissleeping under the ashes. True: but guise ? Not at all. A profession was why was that suspicious ? Why had thus made of paramount regard to it ever been suspicious ? For two rea- Judea and her children. Why not? sons : because the Christian faith was Christians every where turned with supposed to carry a secret hostility to love, and yearning, and thankfulness the Temple and its whole ritual eco- the profoundest, to that “ Holy City,” nomy ; secondly, for an earnest politi. (so called by Christ himself,) which cal reason, because it was believed to had kept alive for a thousand years tend, by mere necessity, to such tu- the sole vestiges of pure faith, and mults or revolutions as would furnish which, for a far longer term, mysti. the Roman, on tiptoe for this excuse, cally represented that people which with a plea for taking away the Jewish had known the true God, - when all name and nation ; that is, for taking our fathers worshipped stocks and away their Jewish autonomy, (or admi- stones.” Christians, or they would nistration by their own Mosaic code,) have been no Christians, every where which they still had, though otherwise prayed for her peace. And if the in a state of dependency. Well now, for downfal of Jerusalem was connected this sort of suspicion, no name could be with the rise of Christianity, that was so admirablyfitted as one drawn from the not through any enmity borne to very ritual service of that very Temple Jerusalem by Christians, (as the Jews which was supposed to be in danger. falsely imagine ;) but because it was That Temple was in danger: the rocks not suitable for the majesty of God, as on which it stood were already quak- the father of truth, to keep up a sepaing beneath it. All was accomplished. ration amongst the nations when the Its doom had gone forth. Shadows fulness of time in his counsels required of the coming fate were spreading that all separation should be at an thick before it. Its defenders had a dim end. At his bidding the Temple had misgiving of the storm that was ga- been raised. At his bidding the Temple thering. But they mistook utterly must be destroyed. Nothing could have the quarter from which it was to come. saved it but becoming Christian. The And they closed the great gates against end was accomplished for which it had an enemy that entered by the postern. existed ; a great river had been kept However, they could not apprehend a pure; that was now to expand into an foe in a society that professed a special ocean. interest in Israel. The name chosen, But, as to any hypocrisy in the fatherefore, was derived from the very thers of this indispensable scheme for costume of the Jewish High Priest, keeping alive the fire that burned on the pontifical ruler of the temple. the altar of Christianity, that was imThis great officer wore upon bis breast possible. So far from needing to asa splendid piece of jewellery ; twelve sume more love for Judaism than they precious stones were inserted in the had, we know that their very infirmity breast-plate, representing the twelve was to have by much too sectarian and sons of Jacob, or twelves tribes * of exclusive a regard for those who were
*" The twelve tribes." It is a beautiful circumstance in the symbology of the Jewish ritual, where all is symbolic and all significant, where all in Milton's language
was meant mysteriously,” that the ten tribes were not blotted out from the breastplate after their revolt; no, nor after their idolatrous lapse, nor after their captivity, nor after their supposed utter dispersion. Their names still burned in the breastplate, though their earthly place knew them no more.
represented by the Temple. The the consciousness
The the consciousness of a peculiar deBible, which conceals nothing of any pendence on God on the other, all men's errors, does not conceal that. thoughtful Jews were disturbed in And we know that all the weight of mind. The more conscientious, the the great intellectual apostle was ne- more they were agitated. Was it their cessary to overrule the errors, in this duty to resist the Romans? God could point, of St Peter. The fervid apostle deliver them doubtless; but God work
and St Paul “withstood him to ed oftentimes by buman means. Was it his face." But his very error proves his pleasure that they should resist by the more certainly his sincerity and arms ? Others again replied If you singleness of heart in setting up a so- do, then you prepare an excuse for the ciety that should profess in its name Romans to extirpate your nation. the service of Jerusalem and her chil- Many, again, turned more to religious dren as its primary function. The hopes: these were they who, in Scripname Essen and Essenes was sent bę- tural language, “ waited for the con
fore to disarm suspicion and as a pledge solation of Israel : that is, they se of loyal fidelity.
trusted in that Messiah who had been Next, however, this society was to promised, and they yearned for his be a secret society-an Eleusinian so- manifestation. They mourned over ciety—a Freemason society. For, if Judea ; they felt that she had rebelled; it were not, how was it to provide for but she had been afflicted, and perhaps the culture of Christianity ? Now, if her transgressions might now be blotthe reader pauses a moment to review ted out, and her glory might now be the condition of Palestine and the approaching. Of this class was he neighbouring countries at that time, who took Christ in his arms when an he will begin to see the opening there infant in the temple. Of this class was for such a society. The condition were the two rich men, Joseph and of the times was agitated and tumul- Nicodemus, who united to bury him. tuous beyond any thing witnessed But even of this class many there were amongst men, except at the Reforma- who took different views of the function and the French Revolution. The tions properly belonging to the Mesflame on the Pagan altars was growing siah ; and many that either through pale, the oracles over the earth were this difference of original views, or muttering their alarm, panic terrors from imperfect acquaintance with the were falling upon nations, murmurs life of Jesus, doubted whether he were were arising, whispers circulating indeed the promised Messiah. Even from nobody knew whence that out John the Baptist doubted that, and his of the East about this time should question upon that point, addressed arise some great and mysterious de- to Christ himself, “ Art thou he who liverer
. This whisper had spread to should come, or do we look for anRome - was current every
where. other?" has been generally fancied sinIt was one of those awful whispers gularly at war with his own earlier testhat have no author. Nobody could timony, “Behold the Lamb of God, ever trace it.
Nobody could ever that taketh away the sins of the world.” guess by what path it had travelled. But it is not. The offices of mysterious But observe, in that generation, at change for Israel were prophetically Rome and all parts of the Mediter. announced as coming through a series ranean to the west of Palestine, the and succession of characters-Elias, word “Oriens" had a technical and " that prophet," and the Messiah. limited meaning ; it was restricted to the succession might even be more Syria, of which Palestine formed 'a divided. And the Baptist, who did section. This use of the word will not know himself to be Elias, might explain itself to any body who looks reasonably be in doubt (and at a time at a map of the Mediterranean as seen when his career was only beginning) from Italy. But some years after the whether Jesus were the Messiah. Epichristian generation, the word be
Now, out of these mixed elements gan to extend ; and very naturally, as
men in every stage and gradation of the Roman armies began to make belief or spiritual knowledge, but all permanent conquests nearer to the
musing, pondering, fermenting in their Euphrates. Under these remarkable minds-all tempest-shaken, sorrowcircumstances, and agitated beyond haunted, perplexed, hoping, seeking; Reasure between the oppression of the doubting, trusting-the apostles would Roman armies on the one hand and see abundant means for peopling the
lower or initiatory ranks of their new that, after this probationary attendance society. Such a craving for light is finished, “ they are parted into four from above probably never existed. classes ;" and these classes, he tells us, The land was on the brink of convul. so severely separated from all sions, and all men felt it. Even intercommunion, that merely to have amongst the rulers in Jerusalem had touched each other was a pollution that been some who saw the truth of Christ's required a solemn purification. Finally, mission, though selfish terrors had as if all this were nothing, though kept back their testimony. From otherwise disallowing of oaths, yet in every rank and order of men, would this as in a service of God, oaths, press in the meditative to a society which Josephus styles “tremendous," where they would all receive sympathy are exacted of each member, that he whatever might be their views, and will reveal nothing of what he learns. many would receive light.
Who can fail to see, in these multiThis society-how was itconstituted? plied precautions for guarding, what In the innermost class were placed, no according to Josephus is no secret at all, doubt, all those, and those only, who nor any thing approaching to a secret, were thoroughly Christians. The that here we have a central Christian danger was from Christianity. And society, secret from necessity, cautious this danger was made operative only to excess from the extremity of the by associating with the mature and danger, and surrounding themselves in perfect Christian any false brother, their outer rings by merely Jewish disany half Christian, any hypocritical ciples, but those whose state of mind Christian, any wavering Christian. promised a hopeful soil for the solemn To meet this danger there must be a and affecting discoveries which awaited winnowing and a sifting of all candi- them in the higher stages of their prodates. And because the danger was gress. Here is the true solution of awful, involving not one but many, this mysterious society, the Essenes, not a human interest but a heavenly never mentioned in any one record of interest ; therefore these winnowings the Christian generation, and that and siftings must be many, must be because it first took its rise in the repeated, must be soul-searching necessities of the Epichristian genNay, even that will not suffice. Oaths, eration. There is more by a good pledges to God as well as to man, must deal to say of these Essenes ; but be exacted. All this the apostles did: this is enough for the present. serpents by experience, in the midst And if any man asks how they of their dove-like faith, they acted as came to be traced to so fabulous wise stewards for God. They sur- an antiquity, the account now given rounded their own central consistory easily explains that. Three authors only with lines impassable to treachery. mention them--Pliny, Philo-Judæus, Josephus, the blind Jew, blind in heart, and Josephus. Pliny builds upon we mean, and understanding, reporting these two last, and other Jewish roa matter of which he had no compre
The two last may be hension, nor could have-(for we could considered as contemporaries. And show to demonstration that, for a all that they allege as to the anspecific reason, he could not have tiquity of the sect, flows naturally belonged to the society,)-even this from the condition and circumstances man, in his utter darkness, telegraphs of the outermost circle in the series of to us by many signals, rockets thrown the classes. They were occupied exup by the apostles, which come round clusively with Judaism. And Judaism and are visible to us, but unseen by had in fact, as we all know, that real him, what it is that the apostles were antiquity in its people, and its rites, about. He tells us expressly, that a and its symbols, which these then unpreparatory or trial period of two initiated authors understand and fancy years was exacted of every candidate to have been meant of the Essenes as before his admission to any order ; a philosophical sect.
TEN THOUSAND A-YEAR!
Fortuna sævo læta negotio, et
Nunc mihi, nunc alii benigna.
HOR. CAkm. Lib. iii, 49.
When, after his return from Mring,sir—good morning, sir!-that's the Gammon's chambers, at Thavies' Inn, way out”-and he edged on Titmouse, Titmouse woke at an early hour in the till he had got him fairly into the street morning, he was labouring under the with infinite difficulty restraining ordinary effects of unaccustomed ine- himself from giving him a parting kick. briety. His mouth and lips were per.
Titmouse stood for a moment before fectly parched; there was a horrid the door, trembling and aghast, lookweight pressing on his aching eyes, ing in a bewildered manner at the shop: and upon his throbbing head. His pil. but Tag-rag again making his appearlow seemed undulating beneath him, ance, Titmouse slowly walked away and every thing swimming around him: and returned to his lodgings.-Oh but when, to crown the whole, he was that Mr Gammon had witnessed the roused from a momentary nap by the scene--thought he—and so have been insupportable - the loathed importu- satisfied that it had been Tag-rag who nities of Mrs Squallop, that he would had put an end to his service, not he just sit up and partake of three thick himself who had quitted it! rounds of hot buttered toast, and a The next day, about the same hour, great basin of smoking tea, which Mr Gammon made his appearance at would do him so much good, and settle Messrs Dowlas and Company's, and his stomach—at all events, if he'd only enquired for Mr Tag-rag, who prehave a thimbleful of gin in it-poor. sently presented himself-and, recogTitmouse was fairly overcome. He laynising Mr Gammon, who naturally in bed all that day, during which he reminded him of Titmouse, changed underwent very severe sufferings ; and colour a little. it was not till towards night that he “ What did you please to want, sir?" began to have any thing like a distinct enquired Mr Tag-rag, with a wouldrecollection of the evening he had spent be resolute air, twirling round his with Mr Gammon; who, by the way, watch-key with some energy. had sent one of the clerks, during the Only a few minutes' conversation, afternoon, to enquire afterhim. He did , sir, if you please," said Mr Gamnot get out of bed on the Tuesday till mon, with such a significant manner as past twelve o'clock, when, in a very a little disturbed Mr Tag-rag; who, rickety condition, he made his ap. with an ill-supported sneer, bowed pearance at the shop of Messrs Dowlas' very low, and led the way to his own and Co.; on approaching which he little room. Having closed the door, felt a sudden faintness, arising from he, with an exceedingly civil air, begmingled apprehension and disgust. ged Mr Gammon to be seated ; and
“ What are you doing here, sir ?- then occupied the chair opposite to You're no longer in my employment, him, and awaited the issue with illsir,” exclaimed Tag-rag, attempting disguised anxiety. to speak calmly, as he hurried down “ I am very sorry, Mr Tag.rag,” the shop to meet Titmouse, and plant. commenced Gammon, with his usual ed himself right in the way of his lan elegant and feeling manner, “that guid and pallid shopman.
any misunderstanding should have “ Sir!” — faintly exclaimed Tit- arisen between you and Mr Titmouse, with his hat in his hand. mouse.”
“ Very much obliged, sir-very! by “ You're a lawyer, sir, I suppose ?" the offer of your valuable services," said Mr Gammon bowed.
« Then you Tag.rag. “ But that's the way out must know, sir, that there are always again, sir-that!-there!--good morn- two sides to a quarrel."
“ Yes-you are right, Mr Tag. “ And suppose, sir," said Tag-rag, rag; and, having already heard Mr in a would-be contemptuous tone Titmouse's version, may I be favoured
“ I should have witnesses to prove all with your account of your reasons
I've said—which of us will look funny for dismissing him ? For he tells us then, sir ? " that yesterday you dismissed him sud- " Which, indeed! However, since denly from your employment, without that is your humour, I can only assure giving him any warn”-
you that Mr Titmouse defies you to “ So I did, sir; and what of that?” prove any misconduct on his part. We enquired Tag-rag, tossing his head have taken up his cause, and, as you with an air of defiance. “ Things are may perhaps tiod, we shall not easily come to a pretty pass indeed, when a
let it drop.' man can't dismiss a drunken, idle, “ I mean no offence, sir," said Tagimpudent vagabond.”.
rag, in a mitigated tone; “ but I must “ Do you seriously charge him with say, that ever since you first came being such a character, and can you here, Titmouse has been quite another prove your charges, Mr Tag-rag ?" person. He seems not to know who enquired Gammon, gravely.
I am, nor to care either-and he's • Prove 'em! yes, sir, a hundred perfectly unbearable." times over; so will all my young men. “ My dear sir, what has he said or
“ And in a court of justice, Mr done ?—that, you know, is what you Tag-rag?"
must be prepared to prove. “Oh! he's going to law, is he? That's - Well, sir! and which of us is why you're come here-ah, ha! when likely to be best off for witnesses ? you can make a silk purse out of a Think of that, sir — I've eighteen sow's ear, you may get your bill out of Mr Tittlebat Titmouse !-ha, ha, o We shall chance that, sir," replied ha!” laughed Tag-rag, hoping thereby Gammon, shrugging his shoulders; to conceal how much he was really - but, again, I ask, what did you dis. startled.
miss him for? and I request a plain, • Well-that's our look-out, Mr straight-forward answer." Tag-rag: to Mr Titmouse, his charac- 6 What did I dismiss him for?-ter is as valuable as Mr Tag-rag's Haven't I eyes and ears ?- First and is to him. In short, he has
foremost, he's the most odious-man. himself in our hands, and we are re- nered fellow I ever came near-andsolved to go on with the case, if it he hadn't a shirt to his back, when I costs us a hundred pounds-we are first took him—the ungrateful wretch ! indeed, Mr Tag-rag.
Sir, it's not against the law, I
sup• Why-he's not a penny in the pose, to hate a man ;--and if it isn't, world to go to law with !” exclaimed how I hate Titmouse!" Tag-rag, with an air of mingled won- “ Mr Tag-rag”- said Gammon, der and contempt.
voice, and looking very “ But you forget, Mr Tag-rag, that earnestly at his companion—" can I if Mr Titmouse's account should turn say a word to you in confidence-the out to be correct, it will be your pocket strictest confidence?” that must pay all the expenses, amount- “What's it about, sir?” enquired ing probably to twenty times the sum Tag-rag, with an apprehensive air. which a jury may award to Mr Tit- " I dare say you may have felt, mouse.'
perhaps, rather surprised at the in“ Law, sir!_ It's not justice-I hate terest which 1-in fact our office, the law-give me common sense and com- office of Quirk, Gammon, and Snap, mon honesty !"
in Saffron Hill appear to have taken “ Both of them would condemn in Mr Titmouse.' your conduct, Mr Tag-rag; for I have “ Why, sir, it's your look-out heard a full account of what Mr Tit. see how you're to be paid for what mouse has suffered at your hands-of you're doing, -and I dare say lawyers the cause of your sudden warning to generally keep a pretty sharp look-out him, and your still more sudden dis- in that direction." missal of yesterday. Oh, Mr Tag-rağ! Gammon smiled, and continued upon my honour, it won't do-not for
“ It may, perhaps, a little surprise a moment--and should you go on, you, Mr Tag-rag, to hear that your rely upon what I tell you, that it will present (ought I to say, your late?) cost you dear."
shopman, Mr Tittlebat Titmouse, is