Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Rosicrucians

The Rosicrucians

by Karl Kisewetter

'Translated from the "Sphinx" and printed in "The Theosophist"
also reprinted in “Theosophical Siftings” Volume 3

The Theosophical Publishing Society, England

IT is a remarkable historical fact that the Rosicrucian order sprang into existence, some three centuries ago, like Minerva from the head of Zeus, completely formed and organized without any visible source whence the exoteric world might trace its beginnings. Indeed the members of the order themselves are by no means certain as to its precise origin, and the most far-fetched theories thereupon are to be found in their writings.

All the accounts, however, agree in pointing to an origin outside Europe in Oriental lands, and for this opinion there must have been some historical grounds that have been either lost or completely shrouded beneath the veil of symbolism. On the one hand, it is impossible that a detailed constitution such as that of the Order, together with a system of occult science that embraces every domain of transcendental knowledge, should have been the product of a single man and a single epoch. There must rather have been the co-operation of many men of high spiritual attainments; and thus those hypotheses which attribute the foundation of the Order to a single man such as Studion or Valentine Andrea are untenable, and can only have arisen through the prevailing ignorance about the Order.

It is known that every form of occultism was cultivated among the Egyptian priesthood, that magic, magnetism, astrology, and the secrets of chemistry found their votaries in the temples. Since Moses was said to be learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, which wisdom, as we know, included magic, there is no inherent improbability in the kabbalistic tradition according to which Moses, with whom the Rosicrucians claim a certain connection, communicated his knowledge to certain chosen members of his nation. Perhaps we ought to consider the Essenes and the Therapeutae of the earliest Christian times, as bearers of the Mosaic tradition, while the depositaries of the Egyptian temple secrets must be looked for in the Neo-Platonists, especially Jamblichus.

It is certain that from some such elements as these, among Europeans of Greco-Roman culture, there existed in the first centuries of our era a secret society, the principal aim of which was, together with magico-mystical studies, the transmutation of metals or alchemy. Such a society is referred to in the following passage from Thoelden's (Tollii) "Coelum reseratum chemicum": "Our ancestors again united themselves in the time of Valerius Diocletian, in the year 248. This tyrant reigned twenty years, and during his reign many of the good old men were martyred through his cruel rage, which not only learned men but others also were compelled to flee for safety to other lands with their wives and children, etc.". Reference is plainly here made to a mystical society, which was in course of time destroyed through hostile circumstances, but afterwards reconstituted.

This view is supported by Professor Kopp in his "History of Chemistry" and "Materials for a History of Chemistry". Kopp accounts in this way for the remarkable fact that, from the fourth to the sixth century, there was quite a flood of alchemical writings in the Greek language containing an amount of practical chemical knowledge, of which the prose writers of the classical age, such as Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, Dioscorides, and others, give no indication that they knew anything. This is further confirmed by the fixity of chemical symbolism and the mystical properties attributed to certain chemical substances, so that we are obliged to suppose that these things were more universal and of more ancient origin, because isolated searchers, during the confusion of the great migrations, would hardly have been able to find either leisure for such studies or a receptive public to appreciate them. We can therefore only conclude that the long course of experimental research undertaken by a closed body was written down, and thus communicated to the new members, who were admitted from time to time into its ranks.

As we find that the Arabians were the guardians of the sciences, so we find existing among them various secret unions having mystical and alchemical studies as their object. These are referred to in the different accounts of the schools of magic at Toledo, Salamanca, Barcelona, and other places, the existence of which is confirmed by Bernhard Hasinus in his "De cultibus magicis" and by Martin Delrio in his "De disquisionibus magicis", both these writers being Spaniards living at a time when these schools were still flourishing. It is needless to mention that these schools of magic were not establishments where instruction was given in the art of "raising the devil", but centres of meeting for societies such as have been already described. It is well known that the Arabians were deep students of alchemy, magic, astrology, etc., and in proof that this was so I need only mention the names of Geber, Avicenna, Rhases, and Averrhoes.

As Christendom began to shake off the chains of barbarism in Europe, young men of all nations turned their eager steps to Spain, to sit at the feet of the great masters and learn from them the secret sciences. Such a student was Gerhard of Cremona (about 1130), who first translated Aristotle and Ptolemy into Latin; also the celebrated doctor of medicine Arnald of Villanova (about 1243), and Petrus of Agano (died 1403), and lastly the celebrated Raymond Lully, who died in 1336 and Pope Sylvester II, a native of Lorraine.

All these men were deeply versed in the secret sciences, whence they were reputed to be magicians. They naturally sought to spread the knowledge they had acquired, and at that epoch this could only be accomplished through the means of secret societies.

Of the existence of such societies we find proofs from the writings of these men. Thus in the "Theoria" of Raymond Lully, printed in the "Theatrum chemicum Argentoratum" (1613), there is a passage in which mention is made of a society, "Societas physicorum" and of a "Rex physicorum", and in the "Rosary" of Arnald of Villanova", written about 1230 and included in the fourth volume of the "Theatrum Chemicum.” We find traces of a similar society a century before the days of Lully, as we find mention made of "sons of the Order."

In the same volume (page 1028) we further find a bishop of Treves, Count von Falkenstein, spoken of as "most illustrious and serene prince and father of philosophers" in the fourteenth century. That the above was one of the titles of the higher officers of the Rosicrucian Order is proved by the title of a manuscript in my possession called "Compendium totius Philosophiae et Alchemiae Fraternitatis Rosa Crucis ex mandato Serenissimi Comitis de Falkenstein, Imperatoris nostri Anno Domini 1374".

This manuscript contains an exposition of alchemical theories in accordance with the science of the time with a collection of such processes as are of value in practical alchemy. Although it contains no philosophy or theology in the modern sense of the words, this manuscript has still a certain historical value, as in it we find the first use of the title "Imperator" as applied to a member of the Order, and also this is the earliest extant mention of the name "Fraternitas Rosas Crucis" (Fraternity of the Rosy Cross). It is probable that the old secret brotherhoods of Alchemists and mystics had this name at the time of the appearance of the many "Rosaries” produced by such men as Arnald, Lully, Ortholanus, Roger Bacon, etc., and united the symbol of the rose which represents the secret as well as ineffable bliss, with the cross or symbol of the Christian faith. [Similar proofs, though of a less striking nature, that the Rosicrucians are descended from the above-named societies, may be found in the book of the great Kabbalist Pico de Mirandole "De Oro", which went through many editions, and is to be found in all large libraries ]

The earliest extant accounts of the Order of Rosicrucians are about contemporaneous with this manuscript, and the actual history of the Order may thus be said to commence from this time. This, however, is not very extensive, as the Order, entirely free from worldly aims or ambition, devoted its whole energy to the elevation of mankind and the search after the secrets of nature. The writer is, however, in a position to furnish some interesting facts connected with the Order, as his great-grandfather was long one of its most zealous members and held the office of Imperator. During the years from 1764 to 1802 he copied out the chief contents of the archives of the Order, and this manuscript library is still in my possession.

About the year 1378, Christian Rosenkreutz, a knight of noble family, newly returned from the East, established a secret society at some place now unknown. Rosenkreutz, who had learned many secrets during his travels in Arabia and Chaldea, was the head of this order, and its object was the study of the higher chemistry or the search for the "Philosophers' Stone".

The society began with four members, their number being afterwards increased to eight. These lived with Rosenkreutz in a building erected by him called Sancti Spiritus. Under a pledge of secrecy Rosenkreutz dictated to the other members the secrets he had learnt, and this knowledge was written out in books. Although it may have contained other similar manuscripts of older date, these books formed the nucleus of the library of the Order, and in my collection there are a number of manuscripts, beginning from the year 1400, each inscribed with the date at which it was written and the name of the Imperator by whose orders it was prepared.

The rules of the society founded by Christian Rosenkreutz were as follows: The members were to heal the sick without accepting remuneration for so doing. There was to be no distinct uniform worn by members of the brotherhood as such, but each was to dress in accordance with the customs of his country. At a certain day in every year all the brothers were to meet in the building above mentioned, or assign good reasons for their absence. Each was to choose out a worthy person to be his successor in case of death. The letters R. C. were to form their seal and watchword. The brotherhood was to remain a secret one for a period of one hundred years.

Rosenkreutz is said to have died at the age of 106. The other members knew of his death, but they did not know where he was buried, it being a maxim with the first Rosicrucians that their place of burial should be concealed even from the members of the Order. In the same building other masters were chosen as necessity required, and the society continued for about 120 years, never having more than eight members, new ones being admitted only to take the place of those that died, under an oath of silence and fidelity.

After this time a door was discovered in the building (probably somewhere in South Germany), and on its being opened it was found to lead to a burial vault. The door bore the inscription "Post annos CXX patebo". The vault had seven sides and corners, each side being five feet broad and eight feet high. It was lighted by an artificial sun. In the middle, instead of a tomb-stone, there was a round altar, and on it a small plate of brass bearing the inscription, "A.C.R.C. Hoc Universi Compendium vivus mihi Sepulchrum feci". (While alive I made this my sepulchre the compendium of the universe) Round the edge was "Jesus mihi omnia". In the middle were four figures with the inscription: "Nequaquam vacuum. Legis Jugum. Libertas Evangelii. Dei gloria Intacta".

The vault was divided by the brothers into roof or sky, wall or sides, and earth or pavement. The roof and the pavement were in triangles towards the seven sides, and each side was divided into ten squares, which were to be explained to those newly admitted. Each side had a door to a chest in which different things were kept, especially the secret books of the Order and other writings, which latter also might be seen by the profane. In these chests were found among other things, "mirrors possessing many virtues, little bells, burning lamps, all so arranged that even after many hundred years, when the whole order had been destroyed, it could, by means of the things in this vault, be again restored".

Under the altar, after removing the brass plate, the brothers found the body of Rosenkreutz, undecayed and uninjured. In his hand he held a book written on parchment with golden characters, with the letter T on the cover, [ Perhaps the original of the manuscript in my possession, entitled "Testamentum Fratrum Rosae et Aurae Crucis", the above-mentioned dictation of Rosenkreutz, which, next to the Bible, was considered the most precious treasure of the Order.] and at the end signed by eight brothers "in two different circles, who had been present at the death and burial of the father of the Rosicrucians".

In the testament the society offers its secrets to the whole world; it declares that it belongs to the Christian religion, but to no particular sect; that it honours all government; "that the making of gold is but a small thing to them, and that they have a thousand better objects". The writing ends with the words: "Our building Sancti Spiritus, though a hundred thousand men have seen it, shall remain for ever undisturbed, undestroyed, unseen, and well hidden from the godless world".

The manuscripts in my possession are the only record of the doings of the Rosicrucians during the fifteenth century. Among these there is especially a Clavis Sapientia (key of wisdom) or "a dialogue on wisdom (Alchemy) with a scholar of note". This is dated 1468, and bears the name of the Imperator Johann Carl Friesen; it contains a collection of important alchemical processes of which some few were known, though in an incomplete form, to the celebrated chemist Johann Kunkel von Loewenstern, [Kunkel von Loewenstern was the discoverer of phosphorus. He was alchemist to the Kurfurst Johann George II. of Saxony, to Frederick William and Frederick III. of Brandenburg, as well as Charles XI. of Sweden, who ennobled him on account of his eminent services ] who, as is stated in the chapter on Antimony, and Crocus Martis, in his "Laboratorium chymicum", made gold from one of them.

At the beginning of the sixteenth century there appeared in Paris a secret society founded by Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim in 1507. This society was connected with the Rosicrucians, and the Rosicrucian Irenaeus Philalethes, when writing in 1650, expressly calls Agrippa Imperator.

The Rosicrucians were re-organised by Theophrastus Paracelsus. During his long travels in the East he had evidently become acquainted with the Indian secret doctrine, and he drew after him in Europe a large number of disciples among the learned men of the day, and united the Rosicrucian system with the older teachings, though we cannot now easily trace how far this was done.

This "Luther of medicine" is not only called in my manuscripts Imperator, but also Reorganisator. Moreover, the title Monarcha Secretorum, adopted by Paracelsus and used against him as a proof of his insanity, points to the same circumstance.

Paracelsus was inclined to be a free-thinker in ecclesiastical matters, and was more attracted to the teachings of Luther than those of the orthodox church, and from his time we find many protestants in the ranks of the Rosicrucians, such as the doctors of medicine, Adam von Bodenstein, Michael Toxicates, Johann Hufer, Michael Maier, and Conrad Khunrath, who edited editions of the works of Paracelsus, and in a numerous collection of writings worked for the spread of the Rosicrucian doctrines. [There is a good catalogue of these works in Schmieder's "History of Alchemy", but they have no interest for the modern reader, as the symbology used in the description of persons and things at the beginning of the seventeenth century is now entirely incomprehensible. ]

We also find some theologians among the Rosicrucians, such as Johann Arndt, the celebrated author of "The true Christendom", who in 1599 wrote a Rosicrucian book, a copy of which I possess, entitled “Zweytes Silentium Dei". In this manuscript is taught the preparation of the philosophers' stone without artificial fire, by only using the heat of the sun, concentrated, by means of burning mirrors. Whatever may be thought of the value of their aims in general, it is an interesting scientific fact that the Rosicrucians were acquainted with the use of burning mirrors a century before Tschirnhausen, which mirrors were quite equal in power to the celebrated work of this Saxon philosopher who was a contemporary of Augustus the Strong.

The members of the Order must have been widely distributed in the year 1590, for in that and the following year we find the French alchemist Barnaud travelling about Germany to seek out the Hermetic masters of the Rosy Cross.

In the year 1601 he had a Latin letter printed, addressed to all the Rosicrucians in France, warmly recommending to them King Henry IV. and Maurice of Nassau. From this we must gather that Barnaud had entered into close relations with the Order and may even have been its Imperator, as also that Henry IV. and Maurice of Nassau had evinced no unfriendly disposition towards it. It is remarkable that the Emperor Rudolph II., who was known to be an eager student of magic, alchemy, and astrology, was never a member of the Order, and this is the more remarkable since he had Rosicrucians as his physicians in Gerhard Dorn, Thaddeus von Hayeck, and Michael Maier.

In 1604 a certain Simon Studion, born at Urach in Wurtemburg, wrote a mystical work, only extant in manuscript, entitled "Naometria". By this he means a new worship of the inner and outer temple — that is to say, a mystical description of the inner and outer man who is taken as the temple of God. The writer has many mystical things to say about the rose and the cross, and produces a set of allegories and apocalyptic calculations that are perfectly unintelligible. Studion was a man who was given to seeing visions, and who was affected with a sort of religious mania. Notwithstanding this, his curious work has been ignorantly supposed to be the foundation of the Rosicrucian system, and he has been looked upon as the founder of the Order.

Similar claims have been made on behalf of the well-known Wurtemburg Doctor Johann Valentine Andrea (1586-1634), a man of high culture and learning, who wrote a "Fama et Confessio fraternitatis Rosae Crucis", as well as his better known work, the "Chemical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz," and also a "General Reformation of the Whole Word".

These works made a great impression, and were immediately translated into other languages — the Fama was translated into five different tongues. The utility of these works is about equal to those of Studion mentioned above. In the Fama and Confessio the history of the knight Rosenkreutz is related with a number of allegorical embellishments. The "Chemical Marriage" is a very abstruse alchemical book in which the universal alchemical process is taught under the figure of a marriage. The setting is, however, so bizarre, all direct reference to chemistry being avoided, that no one — that is, no one living at the present day — can make the least sense out of it. In the "General Reformation" he gives a plan of an Utopia on a christian-theosophical basis; but the book is as unsatisfactory as his other works.

The fact that these works were translated into so many languages shows that there must have been a large number of persons who possessed the key to their dark symbolism, so that in spite of their oracular obscurity these books were a source of commercial profit to the publishers. Among those initiated into the mysteries of this hieroglyphical language there may have been a large number of exoteric alchemists, who vainly tortured their brains to arrive at the real meaning of the allegories without being ever able to tame the "red lions". All that we of this age can say is that the key to these mystical writings is now lost.

The works of Andrea were the precursors of a whole literature, in which the Rosicrucian Order was either defended or attacked. To this belong especially the "Five Letters to the Worshipful Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross" (Lintz, Austria, 1615) and the "Answer to the Enlightened Brotherhood of the Worshipful Order of the R. C." dated 12th January, 1615, in which is projected a reformation of the arts and sciences — especially of the healing art.

One of the chief studies of the Rosicrucians of the second system was that of magico-magnetic healing. The imperial physician Michael Maier, in his book entitled "Silentium post Clamores” [Frankfort, 1617, pp 142 ] has an important passage on this subject: "Nature", he says, "is still half veiled. Many of her manifestations and secret methods of working, especially those of which a knowledge is necessary for the healing art, are still quite hidden. There is especially a lack of experiment and observation, for our senses alone are unable to trace out the inner being and its qualities. Much gratitude is therefore due to the Rosicrucians, those 'Indagatoribus scientiae naturalis' for working to supply this much-felt need. Their secrets are no other than those that every one, who is but to some extent acquainted with philosophy, must discover that they enable him by researches into the unknown to complete the known and use it to advantage".

About the year 1620 Michael Maier travelled in England in order to carry on the Rosicrucian propaganda. He was very well received, and made the acquaintance of the celebrated philosopher Robert Fludd (1575-1637). Fludd was a genial man, master of all the science of his time, and having moreover a strong vein of mysticism in his character. Since about the year 1600 he had begun to study the kabbala, magic, astrology and alchemy, as is proved by his "Historia utriusque cosmi”. [Oppenheim, 1617, folio ]

In this work he unfolds a complete transcendental system; and it contains facts and theories of the most important nature. Fludd grasped the Rosicrucian scheme with fiery zeal, and was its most ardent defender in England. He wrote a book called "Summum bonum", in which he drew attention to the Rosicrucian Order, and applied the expressions used in alchemy to the mystical cleansing of the soul according to the Christian gospels. This work gave rise to the view that all alchemy had but a symbolical meaning, and that its teachings were to be interpreted in a spiritual sense only, without any reference to the actual transmutation of metals, an error which shows a complete ignorance of the history of alchemy and of chemistry.

Fludd's "Summum bonum” aroused the wrath of the well-known Father Mersennus, the "Athiestorum Princeps" and the friend of Ramus, Peirescius and Gassendi, and a bitter feud was created between Fludd and Mersennus as well as Gassendi, Theophilus Schweighardt, and others. The perusal of these controversial writings, collected in the large Oppenheim edition (1617-1638) is now, however, without interest and almost unintelligible. A passage from the "Clavis philosophiae Fluddanae" (page 50) is, however, of some importance. From this it appears that the prosperity of the Rosicrucian Order in England was but short-lived, and the transition of the Rosicrucians to the freemasons is at the same time hinted at. From this the rise of freemasonry must be placed about the years 1629-1635; though it is not used by Fludd, it does not seem as if the name of freemason was then adopted. The inventor of the name and the date of its first adoption are alike matters of uncertainty. [Compare Joh. Gottl. Buhle " Ueber den Ursprung un die vornehmsten Schicksale des Order der Rosenkreutzer und Freimaurer", 'Gottingen, 1802, page 252 ]

In the year 1622 there was a Rosicrucian society at the Hague, where it was established in a palace, and its members lived in wealth. The society also had houses in Amsterdam, Nurenberg, Hamburg, Dantzig, Mantua, Venice and Erfurt. As a sign of recognition the brothers wore a black silk cord in the top buttonhole. This sign was received by neophytes after they had promised under oath, as my manuscript says, to be strangled by such a cord rather than break the silence imposed upon them. "Their other sign is that when they go into company they all wear a blue ribbon, to which is attached a golden cross with a rose on it, and this they are given on being received into the society. This they wear round their neck under their coats so that not much of it is visible. The golden cross hangs down on the left side. The third sign is that on the top of the head they have a shaven spot about the size of a louis d'or, as you may see on myself. Hence most of them wear a wig in order not to be recognised; they are, moreover, very devout and live very quietly. The fourth sign is that on ail high festivals, very early at sunrise, they leave their residence by that same door (the one facing the sunrise, i.e., the East) and wave a small green flag. When another of them appears at the place where one lives, he goes to this same place and there they enter into conversation in order to recognise one another, for in the beginning they do not trust one another. Thus they have a certain greeting among themselves which is as follows: The stranger says to the man he is visiting, 'Ave Prater !' to which the other answers 'Rosae et Aureae'; then the first says 'Crucis'. Then both together say 'Benedictus Deus Dominus noster, qui nobis dedit Signum', Then they have a large document to which the Imperator affixes the secret seal".

I am in a position to give an exact description of this seal, since I was for many years in possession of the one formerly belonging to my great grand father, who, as mentioned above, was Imperator of the order. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the year 1874 by a fire in my parents' house. It was made of brass, and was about the size of a mark (about as large as half a rupee). It consisted of a shield within a circle; on the shield there was a cross, at the base of which was a conventional rose with five petals. At top, bottom and sides of the shield was the letter C, and these four letters signify: Crux Christi Corona Christianorum (The cross of Christ is the Christian's crown).

The Rosicrucians of these times must not be confounded with the Society of the Rose founded at Paris about the year 166o by an alchemist and apothecary named Jacob Rose. This did not last, and was dissolved in 1674 in consequence of the notorious Brinvilliers case.

A short summary will be interesting of the chief points in the history of the Order during the seventeenth century.

1604. The twelve tracts of Sendivogius on "The Stone of the Sages" were published at Prague. In 1605 a new edition was issued with an edition addressed by the Wurtemberg councilor Konrad Schuler to the German princes.

1607. Benedict Figulus, the Rosicrucian, printed a "Dialogue of Mercury with a philosopher", a work which made a great impression at the time.

1608. The above-named Konrad Schuler published an "Explanation of the writings of Basil Valentine".

1616. According to a catalogue of this year, some Rosicrucian writings were sold at Prague for the sum of 16,000 thalers.

1619. Gutmann's celebrated mystical work, "Revelation of Divine Majesty", was printed at Frankfort.

1641. Two Rosicrucians who had disclosed their wealth, were tortured to death in Bohemia, in order to extract their secrets from them.

1652. The "Lumen de Lumine" of Irenasus Philalethes appeared. In this work the "Universal Process" is taught.

1667. Johannes Lange published the "Introitus apertus in regium palatium" by Irenaeus Philalethes, at Hamburg.

1673. The same "Introitus apertus" was published at Frankfort in the German language. From this time there is a pause of forty years in Rosicrucian activity.

In the year 1714, as a celebration of the centennial jubilee of the work of the Order from the time of the great impetus given it by the publication of the "Fama Fraternitas" of Andrea, the Silesian pastor, Sincerus Renatus (Richter) published a work entitled "The true and complete preparation of the Philosopher's Stone of the Brotherhood of the Order of the Golden and Rosy Cross for the benefit of the Sons of the Doctrine". [Breslau: bey Esaia Fellgiebels, sel, Witwe und Erben, 1716 ] In this work there is the important information that "some years ago the Masters of the Rosicrucians went to India, and since that time none of them remained in Europe”. [See the same work, page 125 ]

During the next few years, up to about the year 1762, we have no authentic news of the doings of the Rosicrucians. My grandfather merely makes mention in his writings of an "Adept" ["Adept" in the alchemical sense, is a man possessed of the secret of the transmutation of metals, Cf. the above mentioned works of Schmieder and Bopp ] under the cipher F. C. R., who lived in Dresden in a sort of honourable imprisonment, under the care of several officers, and in 1748 made some four quintals of gold for the then prince of Saxony, and left some "Tincture of health" of the bulk of a hazelnut, and vanished from his prison in some mysterious way. An assistant of this Adept, a certain Johann Gottlob Fried, who was afterwards employed at Taucha, near Leipsic, and who was a serving brother of the R. C, informed my great-grand father of this fact, and told him that from the crucible employed in making the gold he had got about twenty-one thalers worth of metal, and had also some of the tincture. My ancestor says in a note on the margin of a letter, dated 3rd July, 1765, "that he has no longer any doubt as to the reality of our stone, for he had tried the tincture. It proved to be of lead and quicksilver made into a tincture, and it was found to give true results".

My great-grandfather was made acquainted with the Order, and was admitted as one of its members at Amsterdam by a certain Tobias Schulze, the then Imperator. How this happened I am not able to say, but it appears from the manuscripts that he signed as Imperator from the year 1769. At this time the Order again made some stir in the world though why this was the case does not appear. Many who have inquired into the question, as, for instance, Nicholai, account for it on the hypothesis that the Jesuits, after the dissolution of the congregation by Pope Clement XIV. in 1774, had introduced themselves into the Order. But in contradiction to this hypothesis, it appears from my manuscripts that, so far from this being the case, the Rosicrucians took a mystico-Protestant direction in their theological views, basing their teaching on Biblical grounds and sympathizing with the mysticism of Jacob Boehme. The tendency of these last Rosicrucians is a union of the emanation theories of the Kabbala with the doctrines of Christianity and by this means the Rosicrucians set on foot an amalgamation with the Martinists and the Illuminati. Moreover the connection with the Order of such men as Schrepfer, St. Germain and Cagliostro renders it unlikely that the Jesuits had any relations with it

It appears from the papers of my great-grandfather that the last of the true Rosicrucians passed their lives in contemplative quiet, votaries of a Christian Theosophy. It is plain that the introduction of masonic elements and the tenets of the Illuminati had shaken the old structure of the Order and forced it out of its former grooves, and from a memorandum in my possession it appears that in 1792 it had been decided to release the brothers from their oath and to destroy the library and the archives. When and where this happened I am unable to say.

In 1801 the well-known author of the "Jobsiade", J. J. Kortum, endeavoured to resuscitate the Order by founding a hermetic society. This attempt was, however, entirely fruitless, for the political ferment of the time had driven all ideas of mysticism out of men's minds, and the few surviving, "Fratres Rosae et Aureae Crucis" were dying out. It is, however, possible that down to the middle of the present century there were still living some genuine Rosicrucians; but I do not think it probable that there is any collection of the writings of the Order similar to that of my great-grandfather now in existence. Although on account of the strict statutes of the Order it contains but little historical material, it is most rich in information on practical matters, and one is struck with astonishment on reading of the innumerable secret arts with which the Rosicrucians were acquainted.

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