The Lament of Hermes

I thought this was interesting.

Translated from the Latin the Greek having been lost:

Trismegistus:

“Do you not know, Asclepius, that Egypt is an image of heaven, or, to speak more exactly, in Egypt all the operations of the powers which rule and work in heaven have been transferred to earth below?

Nay, it should rather be said that the whole Kosmos dwells in this our land as in its sanctuary. And yet, since it is fitting that wise men should have knowledge of all events before they come to pass, you must not be left in ignorance of this: there will come a time when it will be seen that in vain have the Egyptians honoured the deity with heartfelt piety and assiduous service; and all our holy worship will be found bootless and ineffectual. For the gods will return from earth to heaven.

Egypt will be forsaken, and the land which was once the home of religion will be left desolate, bereft of the presence of its deities.

This land and region will be filled with foreigners; not only will men neglect the service of the gods, but … ; and Egypt will be occupied by Scythians or Indians or by some such race from the barbarian countries thereabout. In that day will our most holy land, this land of shrines and temples, be filled with funerals and corpses. To thee, most holy Nile, I cry, to thee I foretell that which shall be; swollen with torrents of blood, thou wilt rise to the level of thy banks, and thy sacred waves will be not only stained, but utterly fouled with gore.

Do you weep at this, Asclepius? There is worse to come; Egypt herself will have yet more to suffer; she will fall into a far more piteous plight, and will be infected with yet more, grievous plagues; and this land, which once was holy, a land which loved the gods, and wherein alone, in reward for her devotion, the gods deigned to sojourn upon earth, a land which was the teacher of mankind in holiness and piety, this land will go beyond all in cruel deeds. The dead will far outnumber the living; and the survivors will be known for Egyptians by their tongue alone, but in their actions they will seem to be men of another race.

O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to come will not believe; nothing will be left but graven words, and only the stones will tell of thy piety. And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and of worship. And so religion, the greatest of all blessings, for there is nothing, nor has been, nor ever shall be, that can be deemed a greater boon, will be threatened with destruction; men will think it a burden, and will come to scorn it. They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which he has built, this sum of good made up of things of many diverse forms, this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which be has made, ungrudgingly favouring man’s welfare, this combination and accumulation of all the manifold things that can call forth the veneration, praise, and love of the beholder.

Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life; no one will raise his eyes to heaven ; the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise; the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good. As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you, all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false. No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.

And so the gods will depart from mankind, a grievous thing!, and only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul. Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships; heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven; all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb; the fruits of the earth will rot; the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation. After this manner will old age come upon the world. Religion will be no more; all things will be disordered and awry; all good will disappear.

But when all this has befallen, Asclepius, then the Master and Father, God, the first before all, the maker of that god who first came into being, will look on that which has come to pass, and will stay the disorder by the counterworking of his will, which is the good. He will call back to the right path those who have gone astray; he will cleanse the world from evil, now washing it away with water-floods, now burning it out with fiercest fire, or again expelling it by war and pestilence. And thus he will bring back his world to its former aspect, so that the Kosmos will once more be deemed worthy of worship and wondering reverence, and God, the maker and restorer of the mighty fabric, will be adored by the men of that day with unceasing hymns of praise and blessing.

Such is the new birth of the Kosmos; it is a making again of all things good, a holy and awe-striking restoration of all nature; and it is wrought in the process of time by the eternal will of God. For Gods will has no beginning; it is ever the same, and as it now is, even so it has ever been, without beginning. For it is the very being of God to purpose good.” source

 

Origin and identity of Hermes:

“Hermes Trismegistus may be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Greeks in Hellenistic Egypt recognized the equivalence of Hermes and Thoth. Consequently, the two gods were worshiped as one, in what had been the Temple of Thoth in Khemnu, which the Greeks called Hermopolis.

Both Hermes and Thoth were gods of writing and of magic in their respective cultures. Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, guiding souls to the afterlife. The Egyptian priest and polymath Imhotep had been deified long after his death and therefore assimilated to Thoth in the classical and Hellenistic period. The renowned scribe Amenhotep and a wise man named Teôs were co-equal deities of wisdom, science, and medicine; and, thus, they were placed alongside Imhotep in shrines dedicated to Thoth-Hermes during the Ptolemaic period.

A Mycenaean Greek reference to a deity or semi-deity called ti-ri-se-ro-e (Linear B: Tris Hḗrōs, “thrice or triple hero”) was found on two Linear B clay tablets at Pylos and could be connected to the later epithet “thrice great”, Trismegistos, applied to Hermes/Thoth. On the aforementioned PY Tn 316 tablet—as well as other Linear B tablets found in Pylos, Knossos, and Thebes—there appears the name of the deity “Hermes” as e-ma-ha (Linear B:), but not in any apparent connection with the “Trisheros”. This interpretation of poorly-understood Mycenaean material is disputed, since Hermes Trismegistus is not referenced in any of the copious sources before he emerges in Hellenistic Egypt.

The majority of Greeks, and later Romans, did not accept Hermes Trismegistus in the place of Hermes.[citation needed] The two gods were regarded as distinct. Cicero enumerates several deities referred to as “Hermes”: a “fourth Mercury (Hermes) was the son of the Nile, whose name may not be spoken by the Egyptians”; and “the fifth, who is worshiped by the people of Pheneus [in Arcadia], is said to have killed Argus, and for this reason to have fled to Egypt, and to have given the Egyptians their laws and alphabet: he it is whom the Egyptians call Theyt”. The most likely interpretation of this passage is as two variants on the same syncretism of Greek Hermes and Egyptian Thoth (or sometimes other gods): the fourth (where Hermes turns out “actually” to have been a “son of the Nile,” i.e. a native god) being viewed from the Egyptian perspective, the fifth (who went from Greece to Egypt) being viewed from the Greek-Arcadian perspective. Both of these early references in Cicero (most ancient Trismegistus material is from the early centuries AD) corroborate the view that Thrice-Great Hermes originated in Hellenistic Egypt through syncretism between Greek and Egyptian gods (the Hermetica refer most often to Thoth and Amun).

The Hermetic literature among the Egyptians, which was concerned with conjuring spirits and animating statues, inform the oldest Hellenistic writings on Greco-Babylonian astrology and on the newly developed practice of alchemy. In a parallel tradition, Hermetic philosophy rationalized and systematized religious cult practices and offered the adept a means of personal ascension from the constraints of physical being. This latter tradition has led to the confusion of Hermeticism with Gnosticism, which was developing contemporaneously.

As a divine source of wisdom, Hermes Trismegistus was credited with tens of thousands of highly esteemed writings, which were reputed to be of immense antiquity. Plato’s Timaeus and Critias state that in the temple of Neith at Sais there were secret halls containing historical records which had been kept for 9,000 years. Clement of Alexandria was under the impression that the Egyptians had forty-two sacred writings by Hermes, writings that detailed the training of Egyptian priests. Siegfried Morenz has suggested, in Egyptian Religion: “The reference to Thoth’s authorship… is based on ancient tradition; the figure forty-two probably stems from the number of Egyptian nomes, and thus conveys the notion of completeness.” The Neo-Platonic writers took up Clement’s “forty-two essential texts”.

The Hermetica is a category of papyri containing spells and initiatory induction procedures. The dialogue called the Asclepius (after the Greek god of healing) describes the art of imprisoning the souls of demons or of angels in statues with the help of herbs, gems, and odors, so that the statue could speak and engage in prophecy. In other papyri, there are recipes for constructing such images and animating them, such as when images are to be fashioned hollow so as to enclose a magic name inscribed on gold leaf.” source

“Long before John allegedly wrote the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, an unknown Egyptian wrote down the Lament, which some have titled “The Apocalypse”, for it prophesized the demise of the Egyptian religion. The Asclepius is sometimes not treated as part of the Corpus Hermeticum, as its Greek text was lost and it is only partially preserved in Latin. Some have described it as “one of the most moving passages of prose I have read from Classical Antiquity”. It predicted that “there will come a time when it will be seen that in vain have the Egyptians honoured the divinity with a pious mind and with assiduous service. All their holy worship will become inefficacious.” It predicted the end of the world – the Egyptian world.” source

 

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Impassibility

Impassibility (from Latin in-, “not”, passibilis, “able to suffer, experience emotion”) describes the theological doctrine that God does not experience pain or pleasure from the actions of another being. – Wiki

Sermons on the subject here.

Check out this Chick!

CHICKF. A. Chick on Forgiveness

The Gospel Messenger–August 1884

I remember once when I had thought that a brother had not treated me right, I shortly afterwards heard him preach. I desired to hear him gladly and with hearty sympathy, as I had many times before and I could not. I was conscious of a feeling of resentment within me that would not let me receive the word at his hands. I was ashamed of myself and humbled. I was grieved at my hardness of heart and lack of the spirit of forgiveness. While he was yet preaching I tried to lift up my heart in prayer for us both—for myself that I might be made to feel right, and for him that he might preach with liberty and power, and I was shut up from prayer. I can never tell how I was ashamed and grieved. I thought, “Is it possible that I cannot forgive?” But yet, hard and stubborn as my heart then was, in less than six hours afterwards I was softened in feeling and felt at perfect peace with that brother, and as entirely one with him as I had ever done. And this feeling lasted, and the next four days were days of happiness beyond measure. And the feeling of oneness to that brother, and of perfect forgetfulness all the injury which I thought I had received, has never left me. The next week I heard him preach again with all the joy that I had ever done. So that I knew that forgiveness is not a grace beyond what we may feel in our daily experience, the grace of God being our helper. [This very thing happened to me and I shall never forget it. It is a blessing to learn to truly forgive!–DM]

I will speak of one more instance of the power of forgiveness in the heart. I had preached one Sunday somewhat upon the theme of forgiveness, and among other things had said that some would say when injured, “O, I can forgive the wrong, but then I can never have confidence again. I never want to see that one; let him go his way and I will go mine,” etc. I said, “this is not forgiveness at all. Suppose the Lord Jesus forgave us that way, what should we do? To forgive we must have come to love and desire the fellowship of that one as much as before the wrong was done.”

Some three mouths afterwards a sister who had been baptized by me six months previous referred to this sermon. She said, “I knew that you did not mean to refer to me because you did not know the circumstances which at once came to my mind, but the sermon was a heart searching one to me.” She then went on to tell me about having had a difficulty with a step-daughter a few years previous, when she had felt herself ill-treated, but that (as she supposed) she had forgiven her step-daughter, only, she had said, “I do not care for her to come here often, and when she does come I will see as little of her as possible.” “But,” she added, “I thought I had forgiven her, else I never could have come to the church when I did; but your sermon has shown me that I have never known what forgiveness means.”

She then went on to tell me about hours of anxiety and grief over her hard heart and unforgiving spirit, and of the bitter struggle which she had to write to this step daughter and make confession of her wrong feelings toward her, and of falling upon her knees in prayer one day, and for how long a time she did not know, agonizing there for God’s blessing to help her forgive really and truly. God heard her and answered her and took away all the bitterness so that she felt that she could take the step-daughter in her arms and love her without hindrance. She said, “I can never tell you the perfect peace that filled me when the conflict was ended and God gave me the victory over my hard heart.” And she said this step daughter had visited her since and the day passed that she did not even think of the old trouble.

This seemed to me a wonderful display of the grace of God, and I felt like praising God on her behalf. We have also a Bible example of forgiveness, in the case of Joseph toward his brethren.

Affectionately, your brother,

F. A. CHICK.

The Two Witnesses

candles7THE TWO WITNESSES (taken from The Tragic Aftermath of Futurism)

see also The Witness of the Church

In Revelation 11:3-12 is described the two witnesses with their work, their death and their resurrection. From the fundamentalist, Futuristic standpoint of Biblical interpretation of prophecy, it is commonly taught that the two witnesses are two men of the Old Testament era that have been resurrected or either the two men of the Old Testament that did not die and therefore are brought back into their physical bodies and placed back on this earth as the two witnesses. Ordinarily, it is believed that the two witnesses are either Moses and Elijah, Elijah and Enoch or Moses and Enoch. There is quite a dispute over the difference of opinion as to which of the two men of these three it will be. These three men have been chosen because their lives, while they were on earth in their physical bodies, are somewhat a type of the work and description of the two witnesses described in Revelation 11. Staying true with the text, we are given the best clue as to their identity in verse four.

First, let us ascertain from the Old Testament who God refers to as His two witnesses. In Isaiah 43:10 it is stated unto Jacob which is inclusive of both houses of Israel, “Ye are my witnesses saith God and my servant whom I have chosen. . .” The prophet is referring to Jacob, yet he says, ye are my witnesses, which denotes more than one or a plurality of witnesses. In Isaiah 44:8 it is stated, “Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses.”

Here again, God is speaking through the prophet unto Jacob His servant, that the house or family of Jacob are His witnesses. In Revelation 11:3 the possessive personal pronoun “my” is used again as it was in both Scriptures in Isaiah. He says, “I will give power unto my two witnesses.” “My” must have an antecedent which is referring back to the angel in verse one. This angel is Jesus Christ. He is telling us through the prophet Isaiah, who His witnesses are. Does Christ have different witnesses than what is stated in the Old Testament? No, His witnesses would be the same.

In Psalm 114:2 the Psalmist speaks of Judah as being the Lord’s sanctuary while Israel as being His dominion. This denotes a two-fold office of religious and civil authority within the family of Jacob.

In Revelation 11:4 we are given a strong clue as to the identity of these two witnesses by the reference to the two olive trees and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the whole earth. In Haggai 1:1 and 14 is mentioned two men and their respective offices which were instrumental in the restoration of the city of Jerusalem after the Babylonian exile. Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the Governor are the two men which are types of the two witnesses of Revelation 11. It is very significant to remember that the two God-given institutions that were reestablished during this post-exilic era were civil authority under the leadership of Zerubbabel the Governor and religious authority under Joshua the High Priest. The parallel remains the same. Those two institutions are civil authority and religious authority under the dual office of the Messiah originally intended to be exercised through His Church in His Kingdom. Someday Jesus Christ will execute full authority in both of these offices as is reflected in His title, King of kings and Lord of lords.

The three and a half prophetic days or three and a half literal years covers the period of time of May 5th 1545, the date of the fifth Lateran Council to October 31, 1517, when Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five thesis to the Wittenberg Castle Church door in Germany. During this time there were no protestant voices crying out against the corruption of Papal Rome. The bodies of the two witnesses were “dead” (11:18) and the Papal Church of Rome rejoiced (11:10).

Through proper Biblical interpretation, while allowing the Scriptures to speak for themselves, we are given a clean understanding who the two witnesses are. While following the Futuristic scheme ‘Protestants’ remain in darkness and once again bow to the bidding of the Jesuits.

What kind of love it is.

God loves us eternally,

“The love of God in itself is the eternal purpose and act of his will. This is no more changeable than God himself: if it were, no flesh could be saved; but it changeth not, and we are not consumed. What then? loves he his people in their sinning?

Yes; his people, — not their sinning.

Alters he not his love towards them? Not the purpose of his will, but the dispensations of his grace.

He rebukes them, he chastens them, he hides his face from them, he smites them, he fills them with a sense of [his] indignation; but woe, woe would it be to us, should he change in his love, or take away his kindness from us! Those very things which seem to be demonstrations of the change of his affections towards his, do as clearly proceed from love as those which seem to be the most genuine issues thereof. “But will not this encourage to sin?” He never tasted of the love of God that can seriously make this objection. The doctrine of grace may be turned into wantonness; the principle cannot. I shall not wrong the saints by giving another answer to this objection: Detestation of sin in any may well consist with the acceptation of their persons, and their designation to life eternal.” Of Communion with the Triune God, chp. 3

johnowenOwen on God’s love toward His people,

“It was fixed on us before the foundation of the world. Before we were, or had done the least good, then were his thoughts upon us, — then was his delight in us; — then did the Son rejoice in the thoughts of fulfilling his Father’s delight in him, Prov. viii. 30. Yea, the delight of the Father in the Son, there mentioned, is not so much his absolute delight in him as the express image of his person and the brightness of his glory, wherein he might behold all his own excellencies and perfections; as with respect unto his love and his delight in the sons of men.

So the order of the words require us to understand it: “I was daily his delight,” and, “My delights were with the sons of men;” — that is, in the thoughts of kindness and redemption for them: and in that respect, also, was he his Father’s delight. It was from eternity that he laid in his own bosom a design for our happiness. The very thought of this is enough to make all that is within us, like the babe in the womb of Elisabeth, to leap for joy. A sense of it cannot but prostrate our souls to the lowest abasement of a humble, holy reverence, and make us rejoice before him with trembling.” Of Communion with the Triune God, chp. 4

A divine religion

philpotBy J. C. Philpot

Our great desire for ourselves in personal experience and in all that we bring before our readers, either as written by our own pen or that of others, is a faith which stands not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. We dearly love vital religion; we embrace, with all the affections of our heart, the power of God, as put forth in a sinner’s soul; we see more and more the deceitfulness and hypocrisy of a religion in the letter and in the flesh, and we see more and more the beauty and blessedness, the grace and glory of a revealed Christ, and of his divine kingdom set up in the heart. Husks and shells are all that the letter gives. Marrow, fatness, honey, milk, wine, yes, more, the very flesh and blood of the Lamb—this heavenly food in the eating and drinking of which is eternal life, the Holy Spirit gives to the hungry and thirsty saints of God, when he applies the living word with a divine power to their hearts.

Get, dear friends, a taste of the sweetness and blessedness of a divine religion, and it will kill you to all other. It will be a light in your understanding, to see the miserable end of a graceless profession; a life in your soul, to stir you up to seek more and more of the inward kingdom of God; a power in your affections, to fix them more on things above; and feeling in your conscience, to depart more and more from evil.

Praise Him!

Rev. 4.1-3 “Where God is rightly seen, He will be seen exceeding stately and Glorious: O so wonderful! whom nothing can resemble, whom no tongue can express, nor eye behold, nor heart conceive! what were it to imagine thousands of mountains of the most previous stones imaginable, and thousands of Suns shining in their brightness? these are inconceivably short of God, and the Glory that is in Him; what an excellent happiness to be capacitate (to speak so) to know Him, as we are known of Him? Wonder and admire at Him, who is glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, doing wonders, terrible in Majesty, and in all perfections past finding out: To Him be praise for ever. Amen” – James Durahm, Commentary Upon The Book of the Revelation