(THE SEVENTH DEGREE IN THE ORDER OF ISRAEL.)
Plate 75. TABLET OF FONECE
[Begin at 1, and read downward; then at 2, etc.]
1. Master: Who art thou?
2. Pupil: A Son of Light. Behold the sign and emblem.12
3. What sawest thou in the light?
4. The altar of Eolin.
5. What was the fashion thereof?
6. The altar of incense and altar-fire rose up before me. The wind ascended and the stars shone in the firmament. A tree grew by the battlement and the black evil crossed the south-west. In the midst stood the cross of Eolin, studded with pearls and diamonds.
7. What more sawest thou?
8. In the south-east floor of the temple, satan, black with the smoke of blood and war, demanded my surrender. And he drew forth the flaming sword.
9. What didst thou?
10. I said, I pray to none but the Ever Present Creator. In Him I have faith. Thou I fear not.
11. What next?
12. I came to the chamber of industry and I was taught a useful trade. After that I traveled north-west.
13. And was honored for thy good work and love of peace, I suppose?
14. Nay, Master. I was confronted by a crowned king.13 He bade me halt, and ordered me to pray to the God he served. I remonstrated, saying: I only pray to the Great Spirit, trusting only in good works done unto all men. Thereupon he flew into a rage, saying: Thou art the worst of men; thy soul shall feed the fires of hell. With that he hurled a javelin at me.
15. I escaped and traveled north, and came to a country most rich and prosperous, where many Israelites had gone before me.
16. Why didst thou not tarry there?
17. I did, for a season, but warriors came and possessed the land and drove the Israelites away.
18. What next?
19. I fled to the north-east, and came amongst savages, where I barely escaped being slain and feasted upon.
20. Which direction, then?
21. I traveled east and came into a country old in religion and philosophy. They had great riches for the rich and great poverty for the poor. Their philosophers wasted their time in reading the ancients.
22. Why didst thou not remain with them?
23. I was too poor to live with the rich, and too ambitious to live with the poor, who were little better than slaves.
24. Whither next didst thou travel?
25. Toward the north part of the middle kingdom, where I came amongst magicians and necromancers.
26. What of them?
27. They consulted the stars,14 and the moon, and the palms of their hands, and called up the spirits of the dead, who did appear before them. There was no industry amongst them, and I could find no employment with them. Neither did they assist one another.
28. Where next?
29. I went further south, where I came to an uninhabited country, the most favored under the sun. It was a place of joy and praise, filled with beautiful rivers, forests, plains and valleys, and countless singing-birds, all things raising up the ceaseless voice of glory to Great Eolin. Here I sat down and wept.
30. What, wept in so fair a place?
31. Alas, I remembered the crowded cities and warring empires. Here there were no people, and I could not live alone, so I traveled still further south.
32. And certainly found a good place next?
33. Alas, me. The country was good, the climate warm, and all things grew abundantly without labor.
34. And why not most excellent?
35. Voluptuousness was an ocean for them to bathe in. And for all sins, their priests taught them, that, if before they died, they called on Daeves, Son of the sun and Savior of men, they would ascend to the upper heavens on the third day after death. Not myself loving indolence nor lust, I departed out of that country.
36. Whither next?
37. Toward the south-east, coming into a land afflicted with priests, soldiers and beggars. So I fled further east.
38. And what then?
39. I came to a small settlement of Israelites where I was received by warm hands.15 Here I prepared to settle down in peace during all my days. But the state soon became attractive by its places of learning and the beauty of the gardens and glory of its manufactories. There being no idle people nor beggars amongst us, the idolaters of Hemah, Savior of men, accused us falsely and then declared war on us, and with a powerful army marched upon us, taking all our possessions. I escaped and turned westward once more.
40. Thy fate hath been hard. Why smilest thou?
41. Because, however hard hath been my fate, it is nothing to that which I saw had once befallen another people where I came next.
42. What of them?
43. This was a country once rich in ancient temples and monuments, but now ruined and desolate. Broken pyramids and colonnades, tumbling walls, and thorns and wolves, marked the once habitable places of mighty kings and high priests. By the tablets on the moldering walls I read that these people in ancient times long past were worshipers of idols and of Gods who professed to save the souls of men. And I saw that their pride and glory lay in ships of war and mighty weapons of death. Having myself learned the trade of a potter, I took up an ancient, ruined pot, and read this inscription on it: Because I am a Faithist in the Great Spirit, Eolin, I am enslaved by these idolaters. Alas, what is my crime?
44. Most pitiful place! Whence then?
45. I met a friend whose head had been compressed in infancy in order to make him a prophet. He took me into his private habitation and taught me how the brain and nerves of flesh could be changed in infancy by pressure to make the grown-up man of any character desired. Next he taught me the monotony of sound that brings on the prophetic spell and power to see the unseen. Thus did he expound the philosophy of miracles, even to dying and coming to life again.
46. Wonderful philosophy. Wilt thou show me some of these miracles?
47. I will, O Master, but the secret of their workings I can not show. (The pupil exhibits.)
48. It is true, O friend! Surely, too, thou hast taught this wisdom to the world?
49. Nay; my teacher sent me south, to a school of prophets, where I learned the mysteries of invocation and prayer.
50. For what purpose hast thou visited my temple?16
51. To make pots.
52. What, with all thy wisdom?
53. A useful employment is the highest service to the Maker of all.
54. Thou and thy people shall be my people; my harvests shall be thine; and my gardens and orchards; for He whose eye seeth all, is upon me, and I am His servant.
55. 17There are three more chambers in my temple: The first preserveth the wisdom of the ancients. The second is the chamber of industry and inventions.
56. In the third and last chamber are the secrets of the fullness of worship. The name of this chamber is Om, because it is here the recipients repose in spirit from all the cares of the earth.
(Signs and pass-words, and form of initiation, withheld from publication, because the rites are still practiced.)
12 Initiate here reads from top of first row of Tablet downward.
13 Initiate here reads from top of second row of Tablet downward.
14 Initiate here reads from top of third row of Tablet downward.
15 Initiate here reads from top of fourth row of Tablet downward.
16 Initiate here reads from top of fifth row of Tablet downward.
17 Tus'kred becomes minod. (See Poit.) The earth's position would be Hy-wn'suat-tor, or equivalent to 9,000 years before kosmon. The Phoenician sound "Aw" required 16,000 years to become the English "A," long sound. The word Ong'wa (the speaking animal) required 10,000 years to become man (English), and only 7,000 to become Ghan (Chinese). The inscriptions of Fonece are in part found in China, India, Persia, Arabia, and belonged to the Mound-Builders of America. Ga'hoe ah mak, the position of the great serpent (solar phalanx), would therefore make these Phoenician rites common to China and America at the same period of time. The twenty degrees embraced architecture, mathematics, agriculture and astronomy, sufficient for a dense population of cultured people. And yet the ceremonies imply that there had been great empires long before that period.