“Who the enemies of the “Lord” were, according to the Christians, is not difficult to surmise; the few inside the Augustinian fold were His new children and favorites, who had supplanted in His affections the sons of Israel, His “chosen people”. The rest of mankind were His natural foes. The teeming multitudes of heathendom were proper food for the flames of hell; the handful within the Church communion, “heirs of salvation.”
But if such a proscriptive policy was just, and its enforcement was “sweet savor” in the nostrils of the “Lord”, why not scorn, also, the Pagan rites and philosophy? Why draw so deep from the wells of wisdom, dug, and filled up to brim by the same heathen? Or did the fathers, in their desire to imitate the chosen people whose time-worn shoes they were trying to fit upon their feet, contemplate the re-enaction of the spoliation-scene of the Exodus? Did they propose, in fleeing from heathendom as the Jews did from Egypt, to carry off the valuables of its religious allegories, as the “chosen ones” did the gold and silver ornaments?
It certainly does seem as if the events of the first centuries of Christianity were, but the reflection of the images thrown upon the mirror of the future at the time of the Exodus. During the stormy days of Irenaeus, the Platonic philosophy, with its mystical submersion into Deity, was not so obnoxious after all to the new doctrine, as to prevent the Christians from helping themselves to its abstruse metaphysics in every way and manner.
Allying themselves with the ascetical Therapeutae – forefathers and models of the Christian monks and hermits, it was in Alexandria, let it be remembered, that they laid the first foundations of the purely Platonic trinitarian doctrine. It became the Plato-Philonean doctrine later, and such as we find it now. Plato considered the divine nature under a three-fold modification of the First Cause, the reason or Logos, and the soul or spirit of the universe. “The three archial or original principles”, says Gibbon, “were represented in the Platonic system as three gods, united with each other by a mysterious and ineffable generation”.
Blending this transcendental idea with the more hypostatic figure of the Logos of Philo, whose doctrine was that of the oldest Kabala, and who viewed the King Messiah, as the Metatron, or “the angel of the Lord”, the Legatus descended in flesh, but not the Ancient of Days Himself; the Christians clothed with this mystical representation of the Mediator for the fallen race of Adam, Jesus, the son of Mary. Under this unexpected garb his personality was all but lost. In the modern Jesus of the Christian Church, we find the ideal of the imaginative Irenaeus, not the adept of the Essenes, the obscure reformer from Galilee. We see him under the disfigured Plato-Philonean mask, not as the disciples heard him on the mount.”
H. P. Blavatsky