isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter ii (sorcery)

“”Augustine and Cyprian admit that Hermes and Hostanes believed in one true god; the first two maintaining, as well as the two Pagans, that he is invisible and incomprehensible, except spiritually. Moreover, we invite any man of intelligence – provided he be not a religious fanatic – after reading fragments chosen at random from the works of Hermes and Augustine on the Deity, to decide which of the two gives a more philosophical definition of the “unseen Father””. We have at least one writer of fame who is of our opinion. Draper calls the Augustinian productions a “rhapsodical conversation” with God; an “incoherent dream”.

Father Ventura depicts the saint as attitudinizing before an astonished world upon “the most sublime heights of philosophy. ” But here steps in again the same unprejudiced critic, who passes the following remarks on this colossus of Patristic philosophy. “Was it for this preposterous scheme”, he asks, “this product of ignorance and audacity, that the works of the Greek philosophers were to be given up? It was none too soon that the great critics who appeared at the Reformation, by comparing the works of these writers with one another, brought them to their proper level, and taught us to look upon them all with contempt.”

For such men as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Apollonius, and even Simon Magus, to be accused of having formed a pact with the Devil, whether the latter personage exist or not, is so absurd as to need but little refutation. If Simon Magus – the most problematical of all in a historical sense – ever existed otherwise than in the overheated fancy of Peter and the other apostles, he was evidently no worse than any of his adversaries. A difference in religious views, however great, is insufficient per se, to send one person to heaven and the other to hell.

Such uncharitable and peremptory doctrines might have been taught in the middle ages; but it is too late now for even the Church to put forward this traditional scarecrow. Research begins to suggest that which, if ever verified, will bring eternal disgrace on the Church of the Apostle Peter, whose very imposition of herself upon that disciple, must be regarded as the most unverified and unverifiable of the assumptions of the Catholic clergy.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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