Rosicrucian Society ™

 

 

Confessio Fraternitatis R.C - AD Eruditos Europa

The Rosicrucian Masonic Metaphysics and Handbook - Order of The Rosy Cross Temple and The Loge de Parfait 1764

The Manifesto of The American Rosicrucian Order - ARO 



An inkling of the substance of Rosicrucianism--its esoteric doctrines--can be gleaned from an analysis of its shadow--its exoteric writings. In one of the most important of their manifestos, the Confessio Fraternitatis, the Brethren of the Fraternity of R.C. seek to justify their existence and explain the purposes and activities of their Order. In its original form the Confessio is divided into fourteen chapters, which are here summarized. The Confessio is important as a motivator of the peoples who were oppressed by both politics and religion at the time, however, the manifesto was not a code or doctrine of virtues and spiritual truth. The mysteries and insights were delivered in the lodges and in secret. These mysteries were delivered to BUILD the MAN on a mental, physical, and spiritual level with a distinct focus on CHARACTER and VIRTUE.

Chapter I. Do not through hasty judgment or prejudice misinterpret the statements concerning our Fraternity published in our previous manifesto--the Fama Fraternitatis. The true purpose of our Order was set forth in the Fama Fraternitatis. In this document, we hope so to clarify our position so that you will be moved to join with us in the dissemination of spiritual knowledge according to the secrets of our illustrious brotherhood.

Chapter II. The Rose Croix Fraternity has provided a remedy for the infirmities of the world's philosophic systems. The secret philosophy of the R.C. is founded upon that knowledge which is the sum and head of all faculties, sciences, and arts. By our divinely revealed system--which partakes much of theology and spiritual- mental medicine but little of jurisprudence--we analyze the heavens and the earth; but mostly we study man himself, within whose nature is concealed the supreme secret. If the people of our day accept our invitation and join themselves to our Fraternity, we will reveal to them undreamed-of secrets and wonders concerning the hidden workings of the Universe.

Chapter III. Do not believe that the secrets discussed in this brief document are lightly esteemed by us. We cannot describe fully the marvels of our Fraternity lest the uninformed be overwhelmed by our astonishing declarations and the vulgar ridicule the mysteries which they do not comprehend. We also fear that many will be confused by the unexpected generosity of our proclamation, for not understanding the wonders of this age, they do not realize the great changes which are to come. Like blind men living in a world full of light, they discern only through the sense of feeling. [By sight is implied spiritual cognition: by feeling, the material senses.]

Chapter IV. Because of the great depth and perfection of our knowledge, those desiring to understand the mysteries of the Fraternity of R. C. cannot attain to that wisdom immediately, but must grow in understanding and knowledge. Therefore, our Fraternity is divided into grades through which each must ascend step by step to the Great Arcanum. Furthermore, those who receive this knowledge shall become masters of all arts and crafts; no secret shall be hidden from them; and all good works of the past, present, and future shall be accessible to them. The whole world shall become as one book and the contradictions of science and theology shall be reconciled. Rejoice, O humanity! for the time has come when God has decreed that the number of our Fraternity shall be increased, a labor that we have joyously undertaken. The right to receive spiritual truth cannot be inherited: it must be evolved within the soul of man himself.

Chapter V. Though we may be accused of indiscretion in offering our treasures so freely --without discriminating between the godly, the wise, the prince, the peasant--we affirm that we have not betrayed our trust. Seekers will find us worldwide.

Chapter VII. Because of the need of brevity, it is enough to say that our Father C.R.C. was born in the year 1378 and departed at the age of 106, leaving to us the labor of spreading the doctrine of philosophic religion to the entire world. Our Fraternity is open to all who sincerely seek for truth; but we publicly warn the false and impious that they cannot betray or injure us, for God has protected our Fraternity, and all who seek to do it harm shall have their evil designs return and destroy them, while the treasures of our Fraternity shall remain untouched, to be used by the Lion in the establishment of his kingdom.

Chapter VII. We declare that God, before the end of the world, shall create a great flood of spiritual light to alleviate the sufferings of humankind. Falsehood and darkness which have crept into the arts, sciences, religions, and governments of humanity--making it difficult for even the wise to discover the path of reality--shall be forever removed and a single standard established, so that all may enjoy the fruitage of truth. We shall not be recognized as those responsible for this change, for people shall say that it is the result of the progressiveness of the age. Great are the reforms about to take place; but we of the Fraternity of R.C. do not arrogate to ourselves the glory for this divine reformation, since many there are, not members of our Fraternity but honest, true and wise men, who by their intelligence and their writings shall hasten its coming. We testify that sooner the stones shall rise up and offer their services than that there shall be any lack of righteous persons to execute the will of God upon earth.

Chapter VIII. That no one may doubt, we declare that God has sent messengers and signs in the heavens, namely, the new stars in Serpentarius and Cygnus, to show that a great Council of the Elect is to take place. This proves that God reveals in visible nature--for the discerning few--signs and symbols of all things that are coming to pass. God has given man two eyes, two nostrils, and two ears, but only one tongue. Whereas the eyes, the nostrils, and the ears admit the wisdom of Nature into the mind, the tongue alone may give it forth. In various ages there have been illumined ones who have seen, smelt, tasted, or heard the will of God, but it will shortly come to pass that those who have seen, smelt, tasted, or heard shall speak, and truth shall be revealed. Before this revelation of righteousness is possible, however, the world must sleep away the intoxication of her poisoned chalice (filled with the false life of the theological vine) and, opening her heart to virtue and understanding, welcome the rising sun of Truth.

Chapter IX. We have a magic writing, copied from that divine alphabet with which God writes His will upon the face of celestial and terrestrial Nature. With this new language we read God's will for all His creatures, and just as astronomers predict eclipses so we prognosticate the obscurations of the church and how long they shall last. Our language is like unto that of Adam and Enoch before the Fall, and though we understand and can explain our mysteries in this our sacred language, we cannot do so in Latin, a tongue contaminated by the confusion of Babylon.

Chapter X. Although there are still certain powerful persons who oppose and hinder us--because of which we must remain concealed--we exhort those who would become of our Fraternity to study unceasingly the Sacred Scriptures, for such as do this cannot be far from us. We do not mean that the Bible should be continually in the mouth of man, but that he should search for its true and eternal meaning, which is seldom discovered by theologians, scientists, or mathematicians because they are blinded by the opinions of their sects. We bear witness that never since the beginning of the world has there been given to man a more excellent book than the Holy Bible. Blessed is he who possesses it, more blessed he who reads it, most blessed he who understands it, and most godlike he who obeys it.

Chapter XI. We wish the statements we made in the Fama Fraternitatis concerning the transmutation of metals and the universal medicine to be lightly understood. While we realize that both these works are attainable by man, we fear that many really great minds may be led away from the true quest of knowledge and understanding if they permit themselves to limit their investigation to the transmutation of metals. When to a man is given power to heal disease, to overcome poverty, and to reach a position of worldly dignity, that man is beset by numerous temptations and unless he possess true knowledge and full understanding he will become a terrible menace to mankind. The alchemist who attains to the art of transmuting base metals can do all manner of evil unless his understanding be as great as his self-created wealth. We therefore affirm that man must first gain knowledge, virtue, and understanding; then all other things may be added unto him. We accuse the Christian Church of the great sin of possessing power and using it unwisely; therefore we prophesy that it shall fall by the weight of its own iniquities and its crown shall be brought to naught.

Chapter XII. In concluding our Confessio, we earnestly admonish you to cast aside the worthless books of pseudo-alchemists and philosophers (of whom there are many in our age), who make light of the Holy Trinity and deceive the credulous with meaningless enigmas. One of the greatest of these is a stage player, a man with sufficient ingenuity for imposition. Such men are mingled by the Enemy of human welfare among those who seek to do good, thus making Truth more difficult of discovery. Believe us, Truth is simple and unconcealed, while falsehood is complex, deeply hidden, proud, and its fictitious worldly knowledge, seemingly a glitter with godly luster, is often mistaken for divine wisdom. You that are wise will turn from these false teachings and come to us, who seek not your money but freely offer you our greater treasure. We desire not your goods, but that you should become partakers of our goods. We do not deride parables, but invite you to understand all parables and all secrets. We do not ask you to receive us, but invite you to come unto our kingly houses and palaces, not because of ourselves but because we are so ordered by the Spirit of God, the desire of our most excellent Father C.R.C., and the need of the present moment, which is very great.

Chapter XIII. Now that we have made our position clear that we sincerely confess Christ; disavow the Papacy; devote our lives to true philosophy and worthy living; and daily invite and admit into our Fraternity the worthy of all nations, who thereafter share with us the Light of God: will you not join yourselves with us to the perfection of yourselves, the development of all the arts, and the service of the world? If you will take this step, the treasures of every part of the earth shall be at one time given unto you, and the darkness which envelopes human knowledge and which results in the vanities of material arts and sciences shall be forever dispelled.

Chapter XIV. Again we warn those who are dazzled by the glitter of gold or those who, now upright, might be turned by great riches to a life of idleness and pomp, not to disturb our sacred silence with their clamorings; for though there be a medicine which will cure all diseases and give unto all men wisdom, yet it is against the will of God that men should attain to understanding by any means other than virtue, labor, and integrity. We are not permitted to manifest ourselves to any man except it be by the will of God. Those who believe that they can partake of our spiritual wealth against the will of God or without His sanction will find that they shall sooner lose their lives in seeking us than attain happiness by finding us.

Johann Valentin Andreæ is generally reputed to be the author of the Confessio. It is a much-mooted question, however, whether Andreæ did not permit his name to be used as a pseudonym by Sir Francis Bacon. Apropos of this subject are two extremely significant references occurring in the introduction to that remarkable potpourri, The Anatomy of Melancholy. This volume first appeared in 1621 from the pen of Democritus junior, who was afterwards identified as Robert Burton, who, in turn, was a suspected intimate of Sir Francis Bacon. One reference archly suggests that at the time of publishing The Anatomy of Melancholy in 1621 the founder of the Fraternity of R.C. was still alive. This statement--concealed from general recognition by its textual involvement--has escaped the notice of most students of Rosicrucianism. In the same work there also appears a short footnote of stupendous import. It contains merely the words: "Job. Valent. Andreas, Lord Verulam." This single line definitely relates Johann Valentin Andreæ to Sir Francis Bacon, who was Lord Verulam, and by its punctuation intimates that they are one and the same individual.