” To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Hebrews 12:2
“He must increase, but I must decrease.”—John 3:30
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”—Jude 1:21
We have discussed Brother Lawrence, his “Practice the Presence of God” book, his reference to “the All” and the tie in with paganism, specifically, Hermitic beliefs which would seem to be the basis of about every false belief system. You may also have noticed an aspect of mysteries or keeping things in secret.
Two Babylons, written by Alexander Hislop initially in 1853, gives much research relating to the roots of this all encompassing pagan system. I am going to quote from his book, giving links to the chapters that are online. Rev. Hislop wrote at a time where vocabulary and content of books took more than a casual glance. Here are a few excerpts from “Two Babylons” regarding the roots of this false system that continues to this day.
Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop
Preface to the second edition.
“…the Babylonian legends…were all intended primarily to commemorate facts that took place in the early history for the post-diluvian world. But along with them were mixed up the momentous events in the history of our first parents. These events as can be distinctly proved, were commemorated in the secret system of Babylon with a minuteness and particularity of detail of which the ordinary student of antiquity can have little conception.
The post-diluvian divinities were connected with the ante-diluvian patriarchs, and the first progenitors of the human race, by means of the mete-psychosis; and the names given to them were skillfully selected, so as to be capable of divers meanings, each of these meanings having reference to some remarkable feature in the history of the different patriarchs referred to. The knowledge of this fact is indispensable to the unravelling of the labyrintine subject of Pagan mythology, which, with all its absurdities and abominations…”
Chapter II Section II The Child in Assyria p. 25-26
“…Cush, as the son of Ham, was Her-mes or Mercury; for Hermes is just an Egyptian synonym for the “son of Ham.”**
** The composition of Her-mes is, first, from “Her,” which, in Chaldee, is synonymous with Ham, or Khem, “the burnt one.” As “her” also, like Ham, signified “The hot or burning one,” this name formed a foundation for covertly identifying Ham with the “Sun,” and so deifying the great patriarch, after whose name the land of Egypt was called, in connection with the sun…
“…Hermes… the great original prophet of idolatry…was recognised by the pagans as the author of their religious rites, and the interpreter of the gods…after that Mercury interpreted the speeches of men (whence an interpreter is called Hermeneutes), the same individual distributed the nations. Then discord began.”
Chapter 1 Distinctive Character of the 2 Systems
“…Their primary object was to introduce privately, by little and little, under the seal of secrecy and the sanction of an oath, what it would not have been safe all at once and openly to propound…The Chaldean Mysteries can be traced up to the days of Semiramis, who lived only a few centuries after the flood, and who is known to have impressed upon them the image of her own depraved and polluted mind…she was worshipped as Rhea, the great MOTHER of the gods, with such atrocious rites as identified her with Venus, the MOTHER of all impurity…”
* Even among the initiated there was a difference. Some were admitted only to the “Lesser Mysteries”; the “Greater” were for a favoured few. Wilkinson: “Ancient Egyptians”
“…That object was to bind all mankind in blind and absolute submission to a hierarchy entirely dependent on the sovereigns of Babylon…all knowledge, sacred and profane, came to be monopolised by the priesthood, who dealt it out to those who were initiated in the Mysteries exactly as they saw fit…Thus the people, wherever the Babylonian system spread, were bound neck and heel to
the priests. The priests were the only depositaries of religious knowledge…”
“But this feature of Mystery has adhered to it throughout its whole course.
When it had once succeeded in dimming the light of the Gospel, obscuring the
fulness and freeness of the grace of God, and drawing away the souls of men
from direct and immediate dealings with the One Grand Prophet and High
Priest of our profession, a mysterious power was attributed to the clergy,
which gave them dominion over the faith of the people—a dominion directly
disclaimed by apostolic men (2 Cor 1:24), but which, in connection with the
confessional, has become at least as absolute and complete as was ever
possessed by Babylonian priest over those initiated in the ancient Mysteries…Salverte refer(s) to this confession as observed in Greece, in rites that can be clearly traced to a Babylonian origin: “All the Greeks, from Delphi to Thermopylae, were initiated in the Mysteries of the temple of Delphi…”
Chapter II Section II The Deification of the Child
“…It was easy for those who controlled the Mysteries, having discovered secrets that were then unknown to the mass of mankind, and which they carefully preserved in their own exclusive keeping, to give them what might seem ocular demonstration, that Tammuz, who had been slain, and for whom such lamentations had been made, was still alive, and encompassed with divine and heavenly glory…
“Thus the whole system of the secret Mysteries of Babylon was intended to glorify a dead man; and when once the worship of one dead man was established, the worship of many more was sure to follow…Thus, too, the way was paved for bringing in all the abominations and crimes of which the Mysteries became the scenes; for, to those who liked not to retain God in their knowledge, who preferred some visible object of worship, suited to the sensuous feelings of their carnal minds, nothing could seem a more cogent reason for faith or practice than to hear with their own ears a command given forth amid so glorious a manifestation apparently by the very divinity they adored.
“The scheme, thus skilfully formed, took effect. Semiramis gained glory from
her dead and deified husband; and in course of time both of them, under the
names of Rhea and Nin, or Goddess-Mother and Son, were worshipped with
an enthusiasm that was incredible, and their images were everywhere set up
Chapter IV Section II Justification by works
“…[I]n regard to justification, the Chaldean doctrine was that it was by works
and merits of men themselves that they must be justified and accepted of God.
“The following remarks of Christie in his observations appended to Ouvaroff’s Eleusinian Mysteries, show that such was the case: “Mr. Ouvaroff has suggested that one of the great objects of the Mysteries was the presenting to fallen man the means of his return to God. These means were the cathartic virtues–(i.e., the virtues by which sin is removed), by the exercise of which a corporeal life was to be vanquished.
“Accordingly the Mysteries were termed Teletae, ‘perfections,’ because they were supposed to induce a perfectness of life. Those who were purified by them were styled Teloumenoi and Tetelesmenoi, that is, ‘brought…to perfection,’ which depended on the exertions of the individual.”
Chapter VI Section I The Sovereign Pontiff p. 208-209
“…The priest who explained the Mysteries to the initiated was sometimes called by a Greek term, the Hierophant; but in primitive Chaldee, the real language of the Mysteries, his title, as pronounced without the points, was Peter–i.e., “the interpreter.” As the revealer of that which was hidden, nothing was more natural than that, while opening up the esoteric doctrine of the Mysteries, he should be decorated with the keys of the two divinities whose mysteries he unfolded…
“…[W]e have the strongest evidence that, in countries far removed from one another, and far distant from Rome, these keys were known by initiated Pagans not merely as the keys of Peter, but as the keys of a Peter identified with Rome.
“In the Eleusinian Mysteries at Athens, when the candidates for initiation were instructed in the secret doctrine of Paganism, the explanation of that doctrine was read to them out of a book called by ordinary writers the Book Petroma;
that is, as we are told, a book formed of stone. But this is evidently just a play
upon words, according to the usual spirit of Paganism, intended to amuse the
vulgar. The nature of the case, and the history of the Mysteries, alike show that this book could be none other than the Book Pet-Roma; that is, the Book of the
Grand Interpreter, in other words, of Hermes Trismegistus, the great Interpreter
of the Gods.”
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.”—2 Thessalonians 2:8–10
“And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.”—Revelation 21:22
“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”—Revelation 21:27