The Real History of the Rosicrucians

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This was the precursor to the Royal Society founded in Among these were Robert Boyle , who wrote: "the cornerstones of the Invisible or as they term themselves the Philosophical College, do now and then honour me with their company John Wilkins and John Wallis , who described those meetings in the following terms: "About the year , while I lived in London at a time when, by our civil wars, academical studies were much interrupted in both our Universities , I had the opportunity of being acquainted with divers worthy persons, inquisitive natural philosophy, and other parts of human learning; and particularly of what hath been called the New Philosophy or Experimental Philosophy.

We did by agreements, divers of us, meet weekly in London on a certain day and hour, under a certain penalty, and a weekly contribution for the charge of experiments, with certain rules agreed amongst us, to treat and discourse of such affairs According to Jean Pierre Bayard , [21] two Rosicrucian-inspired Masonic rites emerged toward the end of 18th century, the Rectified Scottish Rite , widespread in Central Europe where there was a strong presence of the "Golden and Rosy Cross", and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite , first practised in France, in which the 18th degree is called Knight of the Rose Croix.

The change from "operative" to "speculative" Masonry occurred between the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 18th century. Two of the earliest speculative Masons for whom a record of initiation exists were Sir Robert Moray and Elias Ashmole. Robert Vanloo states that earlier 17th century Rosicrucianism had a considerable influence on Anglo-Saxon Masonry.

Hans Schick sees in the works of Comenius — the ideal of the newly born English Masonry before the foundation of the Grand Lodge in Comenius was in England during Under the leadership of Hermann Fictuld the group reformed itself extensively in and again in because of political pressure. Its members claimed that the leaders of the Rosicrucian Order had invented Freemasonry and only they knew the secret meaning of Masonic symbols.

Many Freemasons became Rosicrucianists and Rosicrucianism was established in many lodges. After , this highly secretive society added Egyptian, Greek, and Druidic mysteries to its alchemy system. According to the writings of the Masonic historian E. Marconis de Negre, [24] who together with his father Gabriel M.

Marconis is held to be the founder of the " Rite of Memphis-Misraim " of Freemasonry, based on earlier conjectures by a Rosicrucian scholar Baron de Westerode [25] and also promulgated by the 18th century secret society called the " Golden and Rosy Cross ", the Rosicrucian Order was created in the year 46 when an Alexandrian Gnostic sage named Ormus and his six followers were converted by one of Jesus' disciples, Mark. Their symbol was said to be a red cross surmounted by a rose, thus the designation of Rosy Cross.

From this conversion, Rosicrucianism was supposedly born, by purifying Egyptian mysteries with the new higher teachings of early Christianity.

  1. Theoretische Grundlagen der europäischen Metropolregion Rhein-Ruhr (German Edition);
  2. Lees de eerste pagina's.
  3. LAtelier volant (Poésie) (French Edition).

According to Maurice Magre — in his book Magicians, Seers, and Mystics , Rosenkreutz was the last descendant of the Germelshausen, a German family from the 13th century. Their castle stood in the Thuringian Forest on the border of Hesse , and they embraced Albigensian doctrines. The whole family was put to death by Landgrave Conrad of Thuringia , except for the youngest son, who was then five years old.

He was carried away secretly by a monk, an Albigensian adept from Languedoc , and placed in a monastery under the influence of the Albigenses, where he was educated and met the four Brothers later to be associated with him in the founding of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. Magre's account supposedly derives from oral tradition. Around , more than eighty years before the publication of the first manifesto, the association of cross and rose already existed in Portugal in the Convent of the Order of Christ , home of the Knights Templar , later renamed Order of Christ.

The rose can clearly be seen at the center of the cross. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, various groups styled themselves Rosicrucian. Esoteric Christian Rosicrucian schools provide esoteric knowledge related to the inner teachings of Christianity. According to Masonic writers, the Order of the Rose Cross is expounded in a major Christian literary work that molded the subsequent spiritual beliefs of western civilization: The Divine Comedy ca.

The Real History of the Rosicrucians

Many of these groups generally speak of a lineal descent from earlier branches of the ancient Rosicrucian Order in England, France, Egypt, or other countries. However, some groups speak of a spiritual affiliation with a true and invisible Rosicrucian Order. Note that there are other Rosicrucian groups not listed here. Some do not use the name "Rosicrucian" to name themselves. Some groups listed have been dissolved or are no longer operating. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ron Hubbard's science fiction. You send them a few hundred dollars a year for your membership, and they send you printed lessons for self study that teach you all about their mystical belief system, the "keys to universal wisdom", as they put it.

Like Scientology and Freemasonry, Rosicrucians reach various levels, or degrees, based on how much of the self-study material you've purchased and read. You can even perform your own initiation ceremonies into each new degree at home. In your first five years as a Rosicrucian, you'll cover the three "neophyte" degrees from First Atrium through Third Atrium, and then the "temple" section from First Temple Degree through Ninth Temple Degree.

By this time your teaching will include topics such as:. One of the benefits available to modern Rosicrucians is magical assistance to those in need of actual assistance, which they provide to successful petitioners via their "Council of Solace".

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Their website describes how this works:. The Council does this by putting certain spiritual energies into motion and directing them in accordance with mystical law and natural principles. Metaphysical aid is thus directed to individuals The aid of the Council of Solace operates on the cosmic plane.

Rosicrucians: Facts And History About The Mysterious Secret Society

Its activity is solely metaphysical and in no way interferes with any professional or health-care assistance being received on the physical plane. So at this point you're probably yawning at this yet-another "spin the wheel and invent a New Age philosophy". So it's a good time to introduce William Walker Atkinson, an author who wrote about books in the early 20th century under many pseudonyms.

He is credited with being one of the principal architects of the New Thought movement, which evolved into today's New Age movement. His book The Law of Attraction in the Thought World is one of the primary influences of Rhonda Byrne's book and movie The Secret , and in fact the word "Rosicrucian" appears subtly on screen throughout the movie's title transitions.

Many of the principal writings of the Dharmic movement of the 's, so popular with the Beatles and attributed to various swamis and yogis, were in fact written by Atkinson. But one of Atkinson's books broke the pattern and was written not to promote the New Thought mysticism, but rather to expose it. In it, Atkinson claims that the true Rosicrucian order does not accept fees, has no formal organization, and is in fact secret.

He then gives away all the contents of the Rosicrucian degrees. Why would he write this book? The original founder, Harvey Spencer Lewis, and its first leader or "Imperator" as they call it , is said to have borrowed quite heavily from the works of Yogi Ramacharaka in developing the Atrium and Temple Degree series. Who was the real author behind the name Yogi Ramacharaka? You guessed it, William Walker Atkinson. Apparently annoyed that his work had been so broadly and obviously "borrowed from" to put it politely without attribution, Atkinson quickly produced The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians by retitling some of his own earlier works that contained the material used in the Rosicrucian lessons, and adding a few jabs like "real Rosicrucians would never take your money the way AMORC does".

Atkinson also reminded us that the term Rosicrucian and the rosy cross symbol have both been in the public domain for centuries, so nobody has any exclusive right to use them; and in fact that there are many competing Rosicrucian groups out there. Although AMORC has clearly won in the marketplace with its expansive San Jose headquarters, you might also choose to join the Ancient Order of the Rosicrucians , the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua , the Lectorium Rosicrucianum , or any of a dozen others , all based on essentially the same occult New Age mystical traditions.

Ever since the original manifestos were published by the first in this long line of clever authors, it seems everyone's been trying to get in on the Rosicrucian action; either directly by name or by rebranding it the way Rhonda Byrne, and in fact William Atkinson himself, have done. It's even been borrowed by whole nations in search of a defining philosophy. And thus we have a ten-cent tour of the history of Rosicrucian mysticism.

It was invented in the early 's by European intellectuals who wrote allegorical tales blending alchemy with Protestant Christianity. It was revived in the early 's by the New Thought movement seeking ancient forms of mysticism that appealed to the notions of a population just beginning to learn that such a thing as a cosmic universe existed, and searching for meaning within it. And a century later, Rosicrucianism remains just one more flavor of for-profit New Age products, leveraging claims to ancient wisdom into bank deposits.

His brief and turbulent career closed tragically in the y ear , but the works which he left secured him a vast posthumous audience, an d the audacity of his speculations were undoubtedly instrumental in the emancipa tion of the German mind from the influence of traditional authority. The secret of the transmutation of metals, or of the magnum opus, an d applying to chemistry the usages of Kabbalism and ancient astrology.

T he universal medicine, which included the Catholicon, or Elixir of Life and the Panacea, the first insuring to its possessor the prolongation or perpetuity of e xistence, the second restoring strength and health to debilitated or diseased or ganisms. Thus the initiate aspired to that infallible knowledge and wisdom which is afforded by divine illumination, h is search for which is sometimes spoken of as the search for the quadrature of t he circle, that is, for the extent or area of all sciences human and divine.

Among the concourse of inquirers, and the clamour of supposed and pretended disc overers, there rose gradually into deserved prominence an advanced school of ill uminati, who, employing the terminology of the turba philosophorum, under the pr etence of alchemical pursuits appear to have concealed a more exalted aim. The c hief representative of this sect at the end of the sixteenth century was Henry K hunrath, and the work in which its principles are most adequately expressed is t he "Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae.

Physical transmutation, the one and supreme end of the practical alchemist, sin ks into complete insignificance; nevertheless, it is performed by the adept and is a landmark in his sublime progress. The result of this singular division in the camp of the alchemists was the inevi table mental confusion of that great [p.

Every year books and pamphlets were issued from the German press, and purported to contain the secret of the Magnum Opus, expressed for the first time in plain, unmistakeable terms, but no writer proved more intelligible than his predecessors; the student, surrounded by authors whose search had been crown ed with complete and unexampled success, could himself make no progress, new met hods, though warranted infallible, were as barren as the old in their operation, and the universal interest in the subject was an incentive to innumerable impos tors, who reaped large profits from the publication of worthless speculations an d lying recipes.

It was at this intere sting period that the Rosicrucian Fraternity made public for the first time the fact of its existence, and attracted universal attention by its extraordinary hi story, and by the nature of its claims. Bohn, p. The first is the Subject of Philosophy, considered in the s tate of its first Preparation, in which it is truly a stone, since it is solid, hard, heavy, brittle, frangible. The Philosophick Stone is the same Stone of the Philosophers, when by the secret magistery it is exalted to the perfectio n of the third order, transmuting all imperfect metals into pure gold or silver, according to the nature of the ferment adjoined to it.

At the beginning of the seventeenth century "a gre at and general reformation," says Buhle,--a reformation far more radical and mor e directed to the moral improvement of mankind than that accomplished by Luther, --"was believed to be impending over the human race, as a necessary [p. Paracelsus, however, h ad recorded a still more precise prediction, namely, that "soon after the deceas e of the Emperor Rudolph, there would be found three treasures that had never be en revealed before that time.

Somewhere about the year a pamphlet was published anonymously in German, ca lled "Die Reformation der Ganzen Weiten Welt," which, according to De Quincey, c ontained a distinct proposition to inaugurate a secret society, having for its o bject the general welfare of mankind. This description is simply untrue; the "Un iversal Reformation" is an amusing and satirical account of an abortive attempt made by the god Apollo to derive assistance towards the improvement of the age f rom the wise men of antiquity and modern times.

It is a fairly literal translati on of Advertisement 77 of Boccalini's "Ragguagli di Parnasso, Centuria Prima;" i ts internal connection with Rosicrucianism is not clear, but it has been general ly reprinted with the society's manifestos, alchemical interpretations have been placed on it, and it is cited by various authors as the first publication of th e Fraternity. I have determined to include it in this collection of authoritativ e documents, and have made use for this purpose three versions already existing [p.

It is needless to say that the unfortunate Trajano Boccalini had no connection h imself with the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. The first "Centuria" appeared in a t Venice, and he met his tragical and violent death in the following year. The Emperor Justinian, that famed compiler of the Digests and Code, the other da y presented to Apollo, for the royal approbation, a new law against self-murder. And whereas I have hitherto given pensions to an infinite number of moral philosophers, only that [p.

And am I amongst all the disorders of my Litterati all this while supinely asleep? Apollo then began diligently to inform himself, and found that the world was so impaired, that many valued not their lives nor estate, so they might be out of i t. The disorders necessitated his Majesty to provide against them with all possi ble speed, and he absolutely resolved to institute a society of the men most fam ous in his dominions for wisdom and good life.

But in the entrance into so weigh ty a business he met with insuperable difficulties, for amongst so many philosop hers, and the almost infinite number of vertuosi, he could not find so much as o ne who was endowed with half the requisite qualifications to reform his fellow-c reatures, his Majesty knowing well that men are better improved by the exemplary life of their reformers than by the best rules that can be given. In this penur y of fitting personages, Apollo gave the charge of the Universal Reformation to the Seven Wise Men of Greece, who are of great repute in Parnassus, and are conc eived by all men to have found the receipt of washing blackmoors white, which an tiquity laboured after in vain.

The Grecians were rejoiced at this news for the honour which Apollo had done their nation, but the Latins were grieved, thinking themselves thereby much injured. Wherefore Apollo, well knowing [p. On the fourteenth of the last month the seven wise men, with the aforesaid addit ion, accompanied by a train of the choicest vertuosi of this State, went to the Delfick Palace, the place appropriated for the Reformation.

The Litterati were w ell pleased to see the great number of pedants, who, baskets in hands, went gath ering up the sentences and apothegms which fell from those wise men as they went along. The day after the solemn entrance they assembled for the first time, and 'tis said that Thales the Milesian, the first of the Grecian sages, spake thus: -- "The business, most wise philosophers, about which we are met, is the greatest t hat can be treated on by human understanding; and though there be nothing harder then to set bones that have been long broken, wounds that are fistuled, and inc urable cancers, yet difficulties which are able to affright others ought not to make us despair, for the impossibility will increase our glory, and I do assure you that I have already found out the true antydote against the poyson of these present corruptions.

Apply yourselves to these, evils, gentlemen; make use of fire and razor, lay corrosive plasters to these wounds which I discover unto you, and mankind, which by reason of their vices, that lead them the highway to death, may be said to be given over by physitians, will soon be made whole, beco me sincere and plain in their proceedings, true in what they say, and such in th eir sanctity of life as they were in former times. The true and immediate cure, then, for these present evils consists in necessitating men to live with candour of mind and purity of heart, which cannot be better effected then by making tha t little window in men's breasts which his Majesty hath often promised to his mo st faithful vertuosi; for when those who use such art in their proceedings shall be forced to speak and act, having a window whereby one may see into their hear ts, they will learn the excellent virtue of being, and not appearing to be; they will conform deeds to words, and their tongues to sincerity of heart; all men w ill banish lies and falsehood, and the diabolical spirit of hypocrisy will aband on many who are now possest with so foul a fiend.

But at t he very instant that the surgeons took their instruments in hand, Homer, Virgil, Plato, Aristotle, Averroes, and other eminent Litterati went to Apollo, and sai d his Majesty must needs know that the prime means whereby men do govern the wor ld with facility is the reputation of those who command, and they hoped his Maje sty would be tender of the [p. If his Majesty s hould unexpectedly open every man's breast, the philosophers who formerly were m ost highly esteemed ran evident hazard of being shamed, and that he might, perad venture, find fowlest faults in those whom he had held to be immaculate.

Therefo re, before a business of such importance should be taken in hand, they entreated that he would afford his vertuosi a competent time to wash and cleanse their so uls. Apollo was greatly pleased by the advice of so famous poets and philosopher s, and, by a publick edict, prorogued the day of incision for eight days, during which everyone did so attend the cleansing of their souls from all fallacies, h idden vice, hatred, and counterfeit love, that there was no more honey of roses, succory, cassia, scena, scamony, nor laxative syrups to be found in any grocer' s or apothecary's shop in all Parnassus; and the more curious did observe that i n the parts where the Platonicks, Peripateticks, and Moral Philosophers did live , there was then such a stink as if all the privies of the country had been empt ied, whereas the quarters of Latin and Italian poets smelt only of cabbadg-porra ge.

The time allotted for the general purging was already past, when, the day before the operation was to begin, Hippocrates, Galen, Cornelius, Celsus, and other th e most skilful Physitians of this State, went to Apollo, and said"Is it possi ble, Sire, you that are the Lord of the Liberal Sciences, that this Microcosmos must be deformed, which is so nobly and miraculously framed, for the advantage o f a few ignorant people?

For not only the wiser sort of men, but even those of a n indifferent capacity, who have [p. Then Solon thus began"In my opinion, gentlemen, that which hath put the prese nt age into so great confusion is the cruel hatred and spiteful envy which is se en to reign generally amongst men. All hope then for these present evils is from the infusion of charity, reciprocal affection, and that sanctified love of our neighbour which is God's chiefest commandment to mankind. We ought, therefore, t o employ all our skill in removing the occasions of those hatreds which reign in men's hearts, which, if we be able to effect, men will agree like other animals , who, by instinct, love their own species, and will, consequently, drive away a ll hatred and rancor of mind.

I have been long thinking, my friends, what the tr ue spring's head may be of all human hatred, and am still more established in my old opinion that it proceeds from the disparity of means, from the hellish cust om of meum and tuum, which, if it were introduced among the beasts, even they wo uld consume and waste themselves with the same hatred wherewith we so much disqu iet ourselves, whereas the equality in which they live, and their having nothing of their own, are the blessings which preserve that peace among them which we h ave cause to envy.

Rosicrucian | Definition, History, & Facts |

Men are likewise creatures, but rational; this world was crea ted by Almighty God, that mankind might live thereon in peace, not that the avar itious should divide it amongst themselves, and should turn what was common into that meum and tuum which hath [p. So it clearly appears, that the depravation of m en's souls by avarice, ambition, and tyranny, hath occasioned the present inequa lity, and if it be true, as we all confess it is, that the world is an inheritan ce left to mankind by one father and mother, from whom we are all descended like brethren, what justice is it that men should not all have a brother's share?

Wh at greater disproportion can be imagined then that this world should be such tha t some possess more than they can govern, and others have not so much as they co uld govern? But that which doth infinitely aggravate this disorder is, that usua lly vertuous men are beggars, whereas wicked and ignorant people are wealthy. Fr om the root of this inequality it then ariseth, that the rich are injurious to t he poor, and that the poor envy the rich. To reform the age no better course can be taken then to divide t he world anew, allotting an equal part to everyone, and, that we may fall no mor e upon the like disorders, I advise, that, for the future, all buying and sellin g be forbidden, to the end that there may be established that parity of goods, t he mother of publick peace, which my self and other lawmakers have formerly so m uch laboured to procure.

Solon's opinion being laid aside, Chilo argued as follows--"Which of you, most w ise philosophers, doth not know that the immoderate thirst after gold hath now a daies filled the world with all the mischiefs which we see and feel. What wicked ness, how execrable soever it be, will men not willingly commit, if thereby they may accumulate riches? Conclude, therefore, unanimously with me, that no better way can be found out, whereby to extirpate all the vices with which our age is opprest, then for ever to banish out of the world the two infamous mettals, gold and silver, for so the occasion of our present disorders being removed, the evi ls will necessarily cease.

Cleobulus , particularly, being very hot in refuting this opinion, said, with much perturb ation of mind: My Masters, banish iron out of the world, for that is the mettal which hath put us into the present condition. Gold and silver serve the purpose ordained by God, whereas iron, which Nature produced for the making of plow-shea rs, spades, and mattocks, is by the malice and mischief of [p.

Then Pittachus, with extraordinary gravity, thus began"The world, most learne d philosophers, is fallen into that deplorable condition which we labour to amen d because men in these daies have given over travailing by the beaten roadway of vertue, and take the bye-waies of vice, by which, in this corrupted age, they o btain the rewards only due to vertue. Things are brought to such a woful state, that none can get entrance into the palace of dignity, honor, or reward by the g ate of merit, but like thieves they climb the windows with ladders of tergeversa tion, and some, by the force of gifts and favours, have even opened the roof to get thereby into the house of honour.

If you would reform this corrupted age, my opinion is, that you should force men to walk by' the way of vertue, and make s evere laws, that whosoever will take the laborsom journey which leads to supreme dignities must travail with the waggon of desert, and with the sure guide of ve rtue.

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Consequently, you should order the stopping up of all cross-paths and croo ked lanes, discovered by ambitious men and [p. What greater affront can be put upon vertue then to see one of these rascals mounted on the throne of preferment when no man can guess what course he took to reach it?

Which makes many think they have got it by the magick of hypocrisy, whereby these magicians do inchant the minds even of wise p rinces. The opinion of those who say that it is fatal for princes to love carrion is so false, that for the least interest of State they n eglect their brethren, and wax cruel even against their own children, so far are they from ruining themselves by blind fondness for their servants.

Princes do n ot act by chance, nor suffer themselves to be guided in their proceedings by the ir passions; whatsoever they do is out of interest, and those things which to pr ivate men appear errors and negligence are accurate politick precepts. All that have written of State-affairs freely confess that the best way to govern kingdom s well is to confer places of highest dignity upon men of great merit and known worth and valour.

I, who have long studied a point of so great weight, am perswaded that ignorant and raw men, and men of no merit, are preferred before learned and deserving persons, not out of any fault in the prince, but I blush to say it through default of the vertuosi. I acknowledge that princes stand in need of learned officers and men of experienced valor, but they likewise need fa ithful servants. If deserving men and men of valor were loyal in proportion to t heir capacity, we should not complain of the present disorders in seeing undeser ving dwarfs become great giants in four daies' space, ignorance seated in the ch air of vertue, and folly in valor's tribunal.

I have known many so foolishly enamoured of their own works that they have thought it a grea ter happiness for a prince to have an occasion of honouring them then good luck for the other to meet with so liberal a prince. Such men, acknowledging all favo urs conferred upon them as debts paid to their deserts, prove so ungrateful to t heir benefactors in their necessity that they are abhorred as perfidious, and ar e causes of this grievance, that princes seek fidelity instead of more shining a ccomplishments, that they may be secure of gratitude when they stand in need of it.

But avaric e and ambition spurs which have alwaies egged on men to greatest wickedness , c ausing nations to pass into other men's countries, have caused these evils which we endeavour to amend. Why hath he mad e the infinite spacious rivers of Euphrates, Indus, Ganges, and the rest, save o nly that people might be content to live in their own countries by reason of the difficulties of fords and passages?

And the Divine Wisdom, knowing that the har mony of universal peace would be out of tune, and that the world would be filled with incurable diseases, if men should exceed their allotted bounds, added the multitude and variety of languages to all the fore-mentioned impediments, withou t which all men would speak the same tongue, as all creatures of the same specie s sing, bark, or bray after one and the same manner.

The true remedy, then , for so great disorder is, first to force every nation to return to their own c ountreys, and then, to prevent the like confusion in future, I am of opinion tha t all bridges built for the more commodious passing of rivers should be absolute ly broken down, that the ways over the mountains should be quite destroyed, and the mountains made more inaccessible by man's industry then originally by nature ; and I would have all navigation forbidden upon severest penalty, not allowing so much as the least boats to pass over rivers.

Now, this is a benefit entirely owing to navigation, which is very necessary to mankind, were it onely for that God, having created this world of an almost incomprehensi ble greatness, having filled it with pretious things, and endowed every province with somewhat of particular navigation, 'tis by that wonderful art reduced to s o small an extent that the aromatics of Molucca, though above fifteen thousand m iles from Italy, seem to the Italians to grow in their own gardens.

And to speak with the freedom which becomes this place and the weight of the business which we have in hand, it grieves my heart to find, e ven amongst us, that common defect of ambitious and slight wits, who, getting up into publike pulpits, labor more to display their ingenuity by their new and cu rious conceits, then to profit their auditors by useful precepts and sound doctr ines. To raise man out of the foul mire whereinto he has fallen, to what purpose is that dangerous operation of making little windows in their breasts, which Th ales advised?

And why should we undertake the laborious business of dividing the world into equal partitions according to Solon's proposition? Or the course men tioned by Chilo, of banishing gold and silver out of the world? Or that of Pitta cus, of forcing men to walk in the way of merit and vertue? What are these but chimaera s and sophistical fancies? The chief consideration which reformers ought to have is, that the remedy proposed be practicable, that it may work its effect soon a nd secretly, and that it may be chearfully received by those who are to be refor med, for, otherwise, we shall rather deform the world then improve it.

There is great reason for this assertion, for that Physitian deserves to be blamed, who s hould [p. Therefore is it the requisite duty of ref ormers to provide a sure remedy before they take notice of the wound; it is not onely foolishness but impiety to defame men by publishing their vices, and to sh ew the world that their maladies are grown to such a height that they are past c ure.

Therefore the Great Tacitus, who always speaks to the purpose if he be righ tly understood, doth in this particular advise men. Omittere potius praevalida e t adulta vitia, quam hoc assequi, ut palam fieret, quibus flagittiis impares ess emus. There is not any of us, my Cleobulus, that did not k now, before you were pleased to put us in [p. But give me leave to ask you, who are tho se that in this our age are perfectly good, and who exactly ill?

I would also kn ow whether your eye can discern that which could never yet be found out by any m an living, how to know true goodness from that which is counterfeit. Do not you know that modern hypocrites are arrived at that height of cunning that, in this our unhappy age, those are accounted to be cunningest in their wickedness who se em most exactly good, and that really perfect men, who live in sincerity and sin gleness of soul, with an undisguised and unartificial goodness, are thought to b e scandalous and silly?

Every one by natural instinct loves those that are good and hates those that are wicked, but princes do it both out of instinct and inte rest, and when hypocrites or other cunning cheaters are listened unto by great m en, while good men are suppressed and undervalued, it is not by the princes' own election but through the abuse of others. True vertue is known onely and reward ed by God, by whom also vices are discovered and punished. He onely penetrates i nto the depths of men's hearts, and we, by means of the window I proposed, might also have looked therein had not the enemy of mankind sown tares in the field w here I sowed the grain of good advice.

But new laws, how good and wholesome soev er, have alwaies been and ever will be withstood by those vitious people who are thereby punished. And yet, by all the reasons I have heard alledged, methinks you go about to mend the arm when it is the heart that is fistula'd. Gentlemen, since it is Apollo's pleasur e that we should do so, since our reputation stands upon it, and charity to our so afflicted age requires it at our hands, let us, I beseech you, take from our faces the mask of respect, which hath been hitherto worn by us all, and let us s peak freely.

The fatal error then which has so long confirmed mankind in their u nhappiness is this, that while the vices of the great have brought the world int o confusion, a reformation of private men's faults has been thought sufficient t o retrieve it. But the falshood, avarice, pride and hypocrisie of private men ar e not the vices though I confess them to be hanious evils, which have so much d epraved our age, for fitting punishments being by the law provided for every fau lt and foul action, man is so obedient to the laws and so apprehensive of justic e that a few ministers thereof make millions of men tremble, and men live in suc h peace that the rich cannot, without much danger to themselves, oppress the poo r, and every one may walk safely both by day and night with gold in their hand, not onely in the streets but even in the highways.

But the world's most dangerou s infirmities are discovered when publique peace is disturbed, and we must all o f us confess that the [p. The ambiti on of these men hath changed publike peace into most cruel war, vertue into vice , the love which we ought to bear our neighbours into such intestine hatred, tha t, though lyons appear lyons to their own species, yet the Scotch to the English , the Italians to the Germans, the French to the Spaniards, and every nation to another, appear not men and brethren but creatures of another kind, so that just ice being oppressed by the inexplicable ambition of potent men, our race, which was born, brought up, and did live long under the government of wholesome laws, waxing now cruel to itself, lives with the instinct of beasts, ready to oppress the weaker.

Theft which is undoubtedly base, is so persecuted by the laws that t he stealing of an egg is a capital fault, yet powerful men are so blinded with a mbition as to rob another man perfidiously of his whole state, which is not thou ght to be an execrable mischief but an noble occupation, and onely fit for kings. Tacitus, the master of policy, that he may win the good will of princes, is no t ashamed to say, In summa Fortuna id aequis quod vallidius, et sua retinere pri vatae domus, de alienis certare, regiam laudem esse.

To effect so foul an intent they muster a mu ltitude of men, who, that they may not fear the shame of stealing their neighbou rs' goods, of murthering men, and of firing cities, change the name of base thie f into that of gallant souldier and valiant commander. And that which aggravates this evil is that even good princes are forced to run upon the same rocks to de fend their own estates from the ravenousness of these harpyes, and to regain wha t they have lost, and to revenge themselves of those that have injured them, hav e in reprizal got possession of their dominions, till, lured on by gain, they be take themselves to the same shameful trade.

Thus the method of plundering others of their kingdomes is become a reputable art, and humane wit, made to admire an d contemplate the miracles of Heaven and the wonders of the earth, is wholly tur ned to invent stratagems and to plot treasons, while the hands, which were made to cultivate the earth that feeds us, are employed in the exercise of arms that we may kill one another. This is the wound which hath brought our age to its las t gasp, and the true way to remedy it is for princes who use such dealings to am end themselves, and to be content with their own fortunes, for, certainly, it ap pears very strange that there should be any king who cannot satisfie his ambitio n with the absolute command over twenty millions of men.

Princes, as you all kno w, were ordained by God on earth for the good of mankind; therefore, it would do well not onely to bridle their ambitious lust after the possessions of others, but I think it necessary that the peculiar engagement which some men pretend the ir swords have over all estates, be cut up by the root, and I advise above all t hings that the [p. There never was a vast monarchy which was not in a short time lost by the negligence of its governors.

The disorders you speak o f began when the world was first peopled, and you know that the most skilful phy sitian cannot restore sight to one born blind. I mention this because it is much the same thing to cure an infirm eye as to reform antiquated errors. For as the skilful physitian betakes himself to his canters the first day he sees the dist empered eye water, but is forced to leave that patient in deserved blindness who neglected to seek a cure till his sight was quite lost, so reformers should opp ose abuses with severe remedies the very first hour that they commence, for when vice and corruption have got deep rooting, it is wiselier done to tolerate the evil, then to go about to remedy it out of time, with danger to occasion worse i nconveniences, it being more dangerous to cut an old wen then it is misbecoming to let it stand.

Moreover, we are here to call to mind the disorders of private men, and to use modesty in so doing, but to be silent in what concerns princes, for they having no superiours in this world it belongs onely to God to reform th em, He having given them the prerogative to command, us the glory to obey. Subje cts, therefore, should correct the faults of their rulers onely by their own god ly living, for the hearts of princes being in the hands [p.

Nor are your opinions, which are full of humane knowledge, gain-said here for that they are not excellent, but for that the mal ady is so habituated in the veins, and is even so grounded in the bones, that th e constitution of mankind is worn out, and their vital vertue yields to the stre ngth of the distemper; in short, the patient spits nothing but blood and putrefa ction, and the hair falls from his head.

The physitian, gentlemen, hath a hard p art to play when the sick man's maladies are many, and one so far differing from another that cooling medicines, and such as are good for a hot liver, are nough t for the stomach, and weaken it too much. Truly this is just our case, for the maladies which molest our age equal the stars of heaven, and are more various th an the flowers of the field.

I, therefore, think this cure desperate, and that t he patient is totally incapable of humane help. We must have recourse to prayers and to other divine helps, which in like case are usually implored from God; th is is the true north-star, which, in the greatest difficulties, leads men into t he harbour of perfection, for Pauci prudentia, honesta ab deterioribus, utilia a b noxiis discernunt; plures aliorum eventis docentur. And, gentlemen, when a man s ees the walls of his house all gaping and ruinous, and its foundations so weaken ed that, in all appearance, it is ready to fall, certainly it is more wisely don e to pull down the house and build it anew, then to lose money and time in pieci ng and patching it.

Therefore, since man's life is so foully depraved with vice that it is past all human power to restore it to its former health, I do with al l my heart beseech the Divine Majestie, and counsel you to do the like, that He will again open the cataracts of Heaven, and pour down upon the earth another de luge, with this restriction, that a new Ark may be made, wherein all boys not ab ove twelve years of age may be saved, and that all the female sex, of whatsoever age, be so wholly consumed, that nothing but their unhappy memory may remain. I have learnt for cert ain that as long as there shall be any women in the world men will be wicked.

It is a scandal to the physitian that the patient should die with his pre scriptions in his body, since all men will conclude that the medecine hath done him more harm then his I malady. It is a rash advice to go from one extreme to a nother, passing by the due medium; man's nature is not capable of violent mutati ons, and if it be true that the world hath been falling many thousand years into the present infirmities, he is a very fool who thinks to restore it to health i n a few days.

Moreover, in reformation the conditions of those who do reform, an d the qualities of those that are to be reformed, ought to be exactly considered. We that are the reformers are philosophers and men of learning, and if those t o be reformed be onely [p. This, I must say, is a defect frequent in us Litterati, wh o, for four cujus that we have in our heads, pretend to know all things, and are not aware that when we first swerve from our books we run riot, and say a thous and things from the purpose.

I say this, gentlemen, because nothing more obviate s reformations then to walk therein in the dark, which happens when reformers ar e not well acquainted with the vices of those with whom they have to deal. The r eason is apparent, for nothing makes men more obstinate in their errors then whe n they find their reformers ill-informed of their defects. Now, which of us is a cquainted with the falsehood of notaries, the prevarications of advocates, the s imony of judges, the tricks of attorneys, the cheats of apothecaries, the filchi ng of tailors, the roguery of butchers, and the cheating tricks of a thousand ot her artificers?

And yet all these excesses must be by us corrected, which are so far from our profession that we shall appear like so many blind fellows fumblin g to stop a leaky cask which spills the wine on every side. This, gentlemen, is enough to convince you that reformation is only likely to proceed well when mari nors discourse of navigation, souldiers of war, shepherds of sheep, and herdsmen of bullocks.

It is manifest presumption in us to pretend to know all things, an d meer malice to believe that in every occupation there are not three or four ho nest men. My opinion, therefore, is, that we ought to send for a few of each pro fession of [p. It was not wis ely advised to begin the general reformation by publishing their own weakness, f or all resolutions which detract from the credit of the publishers want that rep utation which is the very soul of business.

It was strange a man who was the ver y prime sage of Latin writers should be so lavish of authority, which should be guarded more jealously then women's honor, since the wisest men did all agree th at twenty pound of blood taken from the life-vain was well imployed to gain but one ounce of jurisdiction. The whole Assembly were mightily afflicted when, by the reputation of Seneca's o pinion, they found smal hopes of effecting the reformation, for they relyed litt le on Mazzoni, who was but a novice; which though Mazzoni did by many signs perc eive, yet, no whit discouraged, he spoke thus"It was not for any merit of min e, most wise philosophers, that I was admitted by Apollo into this reverend cong regation, but out of his Majestie's special favour; and I very well know that it better becomes me to use my ears than [p.

Giv e me leave, I beseech you, to say that you, in relating your opinions, seem to m e to be like those indiscrete physitians who lose time in consulting and disputi ng without having seen the sick party, or heard from his own mouth the account o f his disease. Our business, gentlemen, is to cure the present age of the foul i nfirmities under which she labours; we have all laboured to find out the reasons of the maladies and its proper remedys, but none of us hath been so wise as to visit the sick party.

I therefore advise that we send for the present Age to com e hither and be examined, that we interrogate it of its sickness, and that we se e the ill-affected parts naked, for this will make the cure easie, which you now think desperate. He was a man full of years, but of so great and strong a complexion that he seemed likely to live yet many ages, onely he was short breathed, and his voyce was very weak, at which the phi losophers, much wondering, asked him what was the reason that he, whose ruddy fa ce was a sign of much natural heat and vigor, and of a good stomach, was neverth eless so feeble?

And they told him that a hundred years before his face was so y ellow that he seemed to have the [p. The Age answered thus"Soon after I was born, gentlemen, I fell into these mal adies under which I now labour. My face is fresh and ruddy because people have p etered it and coloured it with lakes; my sickness resembles the ebbing and flowi ng of the sea, which alwaies contains the same water, though it rises and fals, with this variation notwithstanding, that when my looks are outwardly good, my m alady is more grievous inwardly as at this present , but when my face looks ill , I am best within.

As for the infirmities which torment me, do but take off thi s gay jacket, wherewith some good people have covered a rotten carcass, and view me naked as I was made by Nature. They caused ten razors to be forthwith brought unto them, and fell to shaving it off with great diligence, but they found it so far eaten into his very bones th at in all the huge colossus there was not one inch of good live flesh, at which, being struck with horror and despair, they put on the patient's cloaths again, and dismist him.

Mazzoni writ what the rest of t he reformers dictated, a Manifesto, wherein they witnessed to the world the grea t care Apollo ever had of the virtuous lives of his Litterati, and of the welfar e of all mankind, also what pains the Reformers had [p. Then, coming to particulars, they fi xt the prices of sprats, cabbiges, and pumpkins. The Assembly had already underw ritten the Reformation when Thales put them in mind that certain higlers, who so ld pease and black-cherryes, vinted such small measures that it was a shame not to take order therein.

The Assembly thankt Thales for his advertisement, and add ed to their reformation that the measures should be made greater. Newly done into English, and adapted to the Present Times. A poor and paraphrastic rendering. Written by Trajano Boccalini.

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  • Translated by several hands. The best as regards style, but less literal than the version by the Earl of Monmouth. THE original edition of the "Universal Reformation" contained the manifesto bear ing the above title, but which the notary Haselmeyer declares to have existed in manuscript as early as the year , as would also appear from a passage in th e Cassel edition of , the earliest which I have been able to trace. In the title-page of the third Fra nckfurt edition stands--First printed at Cassel in the year But the four f irst words apply to the original edition, the four last to this.

    Seeing the only wise and merciful God in these latter days hath poured out so ri chly His mercy and goodness to mankind, whereby we do attain more and more to th e perfect knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ and of Nature, that justly we may bo ast of the happy time wherein there is not only discovered unto us the half part of the world, which was heretofore unknown and hidden, but He hath also made ma nifest unto us many wonderful and never-heretofore seen works and creatures of N ature, and, moreover, hath raised men, indued with great wisdom, which might par tly renew and reduce all arts in this our spotted and imperfect age to perfect ion, so that finally man might thereby understand his own nobleness and worth, a nd why he is called Microcosmos, and how far his knowledge extendeth in Nature.

    Although the rude world herewith will be but little pleased, but rather smile an d scoff thereat; also the pride and covetousness of the learned is so great, it will not suffer them to agree together; but were they united, they might, out of all those things which in this our age God doth so richly bestow on us, collect Librum Naturae, or, a Perfect Method of all Arts.

    But such is their opposition that they still keep, and are loth to leave, the old course, esteeming Porphyry, Aristotle, and Galen, yea, and that which hath but a meer show of learning, mor e than the clear and manifested Light and Truth. Those, if they were now living, with much joy would leave their erroneous doctrines; but here is too great weak ness for such a great work.