This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1856 edition. Excerpt: ... chapter V. cornelius A doctor of divinity. The secrets to be talked over between Cornelius and his friend related to that study of the mysteries of knowledge in which the Theosophists assisted one another. Secret societies, chiefly composed of curious and learned youths, had by this time become numerous, and numerous especially among the Germans. Not only the search after the philosopher's stone, which was then worthy to be pro? secuted by enlightened persons, but also the new realms of thought laid open by the first glance at Greek literature, and by the still more recent introduction of a study of the Hebrew language, occupied the minds of these associated scholars. Such studies often carried those who followed them within the borders of forbidden ground, and therefore secrecy was a condition necessary to their freedom of inquiry. Towards the close of the sixteenth century such associations (the foundation of which had been a desire to keep thought out of fetters) were developed into the form of brotherhoods of Rosicrucians: Physician, Theosophist, Chemist, and now, by the mercy of God, Rosicrucian, became then the style in which a brother gloried. The brotherhoods of Rosicrucians are still commonly remembered, but in the social history of Europe they are less to be considered than those first confederations of Theosophists, which nursed indeed mystical errors gathered from the Greeks and Jews, but out of whose theories there was developed much of a pure spiritualism that entered into strife with what was outwardly corrupt and sensual in the body of the Roman Church, and thus prepared the way for the more vital attacks of the Reformers. When first Greek studies were revived, the monks commonly regarded them as essentially adverse to...
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