William Thomas Walsh on Francis Bacon and Freemasonry
I'm in the middle of a longer piece on the symbiotic relationship between paganism and Judaism based on their mutual antipathy towards Christianity. It's taking longer than expected, but I thought I'd make a separate post for this excerpt from "Philip II" by William Thomas Walsh which I found incredibly helpful in understanding the Jewish/English Origins of masonry not only as an operation against Catholicism, but as a foundation of contemporary esoteric and pagan thought.
Francis Bacon, nephew of William Cecil by marriage, and son of that Nicholas Bacon of low origin who assisted Cecil so zealously in destroying the Catholic worship of England, is the final witness for the existence of Freemasonry as an active secret organization, already "speculative," despite the twentieth-century encyclopedias, and connected in some mysterious way with the Spanish Jews. In him the old gnostic paganism of the Rosicrucians and the new ambitions of Freemasonry for the control and transformation of the world meet so strangely, with a dash here and there of Protestant idealism, that it has been much disputed whether he was a Rosicrucian, as De Quincey believed, or a Freemason, as many Masons have held. Nicolai, the friend of Lessing and editor of Moses Mendelssohn, went so far as to call him "the founder of modern Freemasonry." In support of this latter view it is pointed out that the Freemasons of London have borrowed much of their phraseology from Bacon's work.40 Another student of secret societies and Baconiana believes that the Freemasons and Rosicrucians were one and the same thing, with a joint aim of restoring paganism to the world—which is perhaps another way of saying, destroying the Church of Christ. It was the object of both, says this writer, "to shelter, preserve and hand on as lamps for posterity . . . these heathen antiquities and pagan rites" and he quotes a Masonic student to the effect that "the Freemasons' society was founded for the purpose of concealing the rites of the ancient pagan religion, under the cover of operative masonry; and that although the religion is extinct, its ceremonials remain, and clearly develop the origin of the institution."41 And Bacon, in his opinion, "was active in promoting a general reformation throughout Europe, either in league with the Rosicrucians, or in favor of Masonry." Be that as it may, this much is fact, and significant fact: the intelligent and mean-spirited Francis Bacon, Cecil's nephew, sitting in a house stolen from the Catholic Church or paid for with church loot, wrote, about 1625, a treatise called The New Atlantis, which was not published until after his death. This opus, joyfully claimed by Freemasons as their own, tells of "the erection and institution of an Order or Society, which we call Salomon's House; the noblest foundation (as we think) that ever was upon the earth" . . . It was named for King Solomon, and, says the speaker, "I find in ancient records this Order or Society is sometimes called Salomon's House, and sometimes the College of the Six Days Works." An elaborate Feast of the Family, presided over by the Tirsan or Father of the Family, is then described; its ritual very suggestive of that of Masonry. Then there is a long explanation of the purposes and activities of the Order by a mysterious Jew named Joabin. The English Christian reader, however, is assured that although "he was a Jew and circumcised: for they have some few stirps of Jews yet remaining among them, whom they leave to their own religion," yet "they are of a far differing disposition from the Jews in other parts. For whereas they hate the name of Christ; and have a secret inbred rancor against the people among whom they live: these (contrariwise) give unto our Saviour many high attributes, and love the nation of Bensalem extremely. Surely this man of whom I speak would ever acknowledge that Christ was born of a virgin and that he was more than a man; and he would tell how God made him ruler of the seraphims which guard his throne; and they call him also the Milken Way, and the Eliah of the Messiah; and many other high names; which, though they be inferior to his divine majesty, yet they are far from the language of other Jews. "And for the country of Bensalem, this man would make no end of commending it; being desirous, by tradition among the Jews there, to have it believed that the people thereof were of the generations of Abraham, by another son, whom they call Nachoran; and that Moses by a secret Cabala ordained the Laws of Bensalem which they now use; and that when the Messiah should come, and sit in his throne, at Hierusalem, the king of Bensalem should sit at his feet, whereas other kings should keep a great distance. But yet setting aside these Jewish dreams, the man was a wise man, and learned, and of great policy, and excellently seen in the laws and customs of that nation." Is Bensalem a figure for England, and are "the laws which they now use" the new dispensation of Cecil and Thomas Cromwell and their servants? Is this a subtle way of saying that Freemasonry, which claims Moses as one of its founders even to this day, had brought about the Protestant revolution in England "by a secret Cabala?" One almost hears the voice of a suave Spanish Marrano professing such a limited reverence for Christ as American rabbis still pay him in occasional sermons, and flattering the English Christian with the Talmudic-sounding legend that he is really a sort of first cousin to the Jew, and almost as good, and will get his share when the Messias finally appears? The denial that Christ is the Messias is done so deftly that the victim of the propaganda will probably not ask himself whether the future Messias to whom he is asked to give his allegiance may not turn out to be the Antichrist. Later a messenger interrupts the Jew with some secret intelligence, and he disappears. Next day he explains that "There is word come to the Governor of the city, that one of the Fathers of Salomon's House will be here this day seven-night: we have seen none of them this dozen years. His coming is in state; but the cause of his coming is secret. I will provide you and your fellows of a good standing to see his entry." The mysterious personage arrives in sumptuous clothing and kingly state, evidently from Spain; for he wears a Spanish montera, and speaks "in the Spanish tongue." Seated on a throne richly adorned, he speaks to the initiates and explains to them "the true state of Salomon's House."
Walsh, William Thomas. Philip II: (1527-1598) (pp. 316-318). TAN Books.
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