If, says the Kabalah, the Justice of God, which is Severity or the Female, alone reigned, creation of imperfect beings such as man would from the beginning have been impossible, because Sin being congenital with Humanity, the Infinite Justice, measuring the Sin by the Infinity of the God offended against, must have annihilated Humanity at the instant of its creation; and not only Humanity but the Angels, since these also, like all created by God and less than perfect, are sinful. Nothing imperfect would have been possible. If, on the other hand, the Mercy or Benignity of God, the Male, were in no wise counteracted, Sin would go unpunished, and the Universe fall into a chaos of corruption.
That purely scholastic Theology, issue of the Categories of Aristotle and of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, that logic of the syllogism which argues instead of reasoning, and finds a response to every thing by subtilizing on terms, wholly ignored the Kabalistic dogma and wandered off into the drear vacuity of darkness. It was less a philosophy or a wisdom than a philosophical automaton, replying by means of springs, and uncoiling its theses like a wheeled movement. It was not the human verb but the monotonous cry of a machine, the inanimate speech of an Android. It was the fatal precision of mechanism, instead of a free application of rational necessities. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS crushed with a single blow all this scaffolding of words built one upon the other, by proclaiming the eternal Empire of Reason, in that magnificent sentence, “A thing is not just because GOD wills it; but GOD wills it because it is just.” The proximate consequence of this proposition, arguing from the greater to the less, was this: “A thing is not true because ARISTOTLE has said it; but ARISTOTLE could not reasonably say it unless it was true. Seek then, first of all, the TRUTH and JUSTICE, and the Science of ARISTOTLE will be given you in addition.”
I Am, God said to Moses, that which Is, Was and Shall forever be. But the Very God, in His unmanifested Essence, conceived of as not yet having created and as Alone, has no Name. Such was the doctrine of all the ancient Sages, and it is so expressly declared in the Kabalah. ????? is the Name of the Deity manifested in a single act, that of Creation, and containing within Himself, in idea and actuality, the whole Universe, to be invested with form and be materially developed during the eternal succession of ages. As God never WAS NOT, so He never THOUGHT not, and the Universe has no more had a beginning than the Divine Thought of which it is the utterance, no more than the Deity Himself. The duration of the Universe is but a point halfway upon the infinite line of eternity; and God was not inert and uncreative during the eternity that stretches behind that point. The Archetype of the Universe did never not exist in the Divine Mind. The Word was in the BEGINNING with God, and WAS God. And the Ineffable NAME is that, not of the Very Essence but of the Absolute, manifested as Being or Existence. For Existence or Being, said the Philosophers, is limitation; and the Very Deity is not limited nor defined, but is all that may possibly be, besides all that is, was, and shall be.
FREEMASONRY is the subjugation of the Human that is in man by the Divine; the Conquest of the Appetites and Passions by the Moral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle, and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual. That victory, when it has been achieved and secured, and the conqueror may rest upon his shield and wear the well-earned laurels, is the true HOLY EMPIRE.
The ROYAL SECRET, of which you are Prince, if you are a true Adept, if knowledge seems to you advisable, and Philosophy is, for you, radiant with a divine beauty, is that which the Sohar terms The Mystery of the BALANCE. It is the Secret of the UNIVERSAL EQUILIBRIUM:
Of that Equilibrium in the Deity, between the Infinite Divine WISDOM and the Infinite Divine POWER, from which result the Stability of the Universe, the unchangeableness of the Divine Law, and the Principles of Truth, Justice, and Right which are a part of it; and the Supreme Obligation of the Divine Law upon all men, as superior to all other law, and forming a part of all the laws of men and nations.
Of that Equilibrium also, between the Infinite Divine JUSTICE and the Infinite Divine MERCY, the result of which is the Infinite Divine EQUITY, and the Moral Harmony or Beauty of the Universe. By it the endurance of created and imperfect natures in the presence of a Perfect Deity is made possible; and for Him, also, as for us, to love is better than to hate, and Forgiveness is wiser than Revenge or Punishment.
Of that Equilibrium between NECESSITY and LIBERTY, between the action of the DIVINE Omnipotence and the Free-will of man, by which vices and base actions, and ungenerous thoughts and words are crimes and wrongs, justly punished by the law of cause and consequence, though nothing in the Universe can happen or be done contrary to the will of God; and without which co-existence of Liberty and Necessity, of Free-will in the creature and Omnipotence in the Creator, there could be no religion, nor any law of right and wrong, or merit and demerit, nor any justice in human punishments or penal laws.
Of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is the work of the Infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite Love; and that there is no rebellious demon of Evil, or Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal controversy with God, or the Principle of Light and of Good: by attaining to the knowledge of which equilibrium we can, through Faith, see that the existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness as well as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.
Sympathy and Antipathy, Attraction and Repulsion, each a Force of nature, are contraries, in the souls of men and in the Universe of spheres and worlds; and from the action and opposition of each against the other, result Harmony, and that movement which is the Life of the Universe and the Soul alike. They are not antagonists of each other. The force that repels a Planet from the Sun is no more an evil force, than that which attracts the Planet toward the central Luminary; for each is created and exerted by the Deity, and the result is the harmonious movement of the obedient Planets in their elliptic orbits, and the mathematical accuracy and unvarying regularity of their movements.
Of that Equilibrium between Authority and Individual Action which constitutes Free Government, by settling on immutable foundations Liberty with Obedience to Law, Equality with Subjection to Authority, and Fraternity with Subordination to the Wisest and the Best: and of that Equilibrium between the Active Energy of the Will of the Present, expressed by the Vote of the People, and the Passive Stability and Permanence of the Will of the Past, expressed in constitutions of government, written or unwritten, and in the laws and customs, gray with age and sanctified by time, as precedents and authority; which is represented by the arch resting on the two columns, Jachin and Boaz, that stand at the portals of the Temple builded by Wisdom, on one of which Masonry sets the celestial Globe, symbol of the spiritual part of our composite nature, and on the other the terrestrial Globe, symbol of the material part.
And, finally, of that Equilibrium, possible in ourselves, and which Masonry incessantly labors to accomplish in its Initiates, and demands of its Adepts and Princes (else unworthy of their titles), between the Spiritual and Divine and the Material and Human in man; between the Intellect, Reason, and Moral Sense on one side, and the Appetites and Passions on the other, from which result the Harmony and Beauty of a well-regulated life.
Which possible Equilibrium proves to us that our Appetites and Senses also are Forces given unto us by God, for purposes of good, and not the fruits of the malignancy of a Devil, to be detested, mortified, and, if possible, rendered inert and dead: that they are given us to be the means by which we shall be strengthened and incited to great and good deeds, and are to be wisely used, and not abused; to be controlled and kept within due bounds by the Reason and the Moral Sense; to be made useful instruments and servants, and not permitted to become the managers and masters, using our intellect and reason as base instruments for their gratification.
And this Equilibrium teaches us, above all, to reverence ourselves as immortal souls, and to have respect and charity for others, who are even such as we are, partakers with us of the Divine Nature, lighted by a ray of the Divine Intelligence, struggling, like us, toward the light; capable, like us, of progress upward toward perfection, and deserving to be loved and pitied, but never to be hated nor despised; to be aided and encouraged in this life-struggle, and not to be abandoned nor left to wander in the darkness alone, still less to be trampled upon in our own efforts to ascend.