philologist and presume to correct his errors! We would like to see what sort of a reception the most learned Hindu scholar in India would have from the educated public of Europe and America, if he should undertake to correct a savant, after he had sifted, accepted, rejected, explained, and declared what was good, and what “absurd and childish” in the sacred books of his forefathers. That which would finally be declared “Brahmanic misconceptions,” by the conclave of European and especially German savants, would be as little likely to be reconsidered at the appeal of the most erudite pundit of Benares or Ceylon, as the interpretation of Jewish Scripture by Maimonides and Philo-Judaeus, by Christians after the Councils of the Church had accepted the mistranslations and explanations of Irenaeus and Eusebius. What pundit, or native philosopher of India should know his ancestral language, religion, or philosophy as well as an Englishman or a German? Or why should a Hindu be more suffered to expound Brahmanism, than a Rabbinical scholar to interpret Judaism or the Isaian prophecies? Safer, and far more trustworthy translators can be had nearer home. Nevertheless, let us still hope that we may find at last, even though it be in the dim future, a European philosopher to sift the sacred books of the wisdom-religion, and not be contradicted by every other of his class.

Meanwhile, unmindful of any alleged authorities, let us try to sift for ourselves a few of these myths of old. We will search for an explanation within the popular interpretation, and feel our way with the help of the magic lamp of Trismegistus — the mysterious number seven. There must have been some reason why this figure was universally accepted as a mystic calculation. With every ancient people, the Creator, or Demiurge, was placed over the seventh heaven. “And were I to touch upon the initiation into our sacred Mysteries,” says Emperor Julian, the kabalist, “which the Chaldean bacchised respecting the seven-rayed God, lifting up the souls through Him, I should say things unknown, and very unknown to the rabble, but well known to the blessed Theurgists.” In Lydus it is said that “The Chaldeans call the God IAO, and SABAOTH he is often called, as He who is over the seven orbits (heavens, or spheres), that is the Demiurge.”

One must consult the Pythagoreans and Kabalists to learn the potentiality of this number. Exoterically the seven rays of the solar spectrum are represented concretely in the seven-rayed god Heptaktis. These seven rays epitomized into THREE primary rays, namely, the red, blue, and yellow, form the solar trinity, and typify respectively spirit-

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matter and spirit-essence. Science has also reduced of late the seven rays to three primary ones, thus corroborating the scientific conception of the ancients of at least one of the visible manifestations of the invisible deity, and the seven divided into a quaternary and a trinity.

The Pythagoreans called the number seven the vehicle of life, as it contained body and soul. They explained it by saying, that the human body consisted of four principal elements, and that the soul is triple, comprising reason, passion, and desire. The ineffable WORD was considered the Seventh and highest of all, for there are six minor substitutes, each belonging to a degree of initiation. The Jews borrowed their Sabbath from the ancients, who called it Saturn’s day and deemed it unlucky, and not the latter from the Israelites when Christianized. The people of India, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt observed weeks of seven days; and the Romans learned the hebdomadal method from these foreign countries when they became subject to the Empire. Still it was not until the fourth century that the Roman kalends, nones, and ides were abandoned, and weeks substituted in their place; and the astronomical names of the days, such as dies Solis (day of the Sun), dies Lunae (day of the Moon), dies Martis (day of Mars); dies Mercurii (day of Mercury), dies Jovis (day of Jupiter), dies Veneris (day of Venus), and dies Saturni (day of Saturn), prove that it was not from the Jews that the week of seven days was adopted. Before we examine this number kabalistically, we propose to analyse it from the standpoint of the Judaico-Christian Sabbath.

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