Having said whatever was required as regards the keeping and guarding of the treasure entrusted to us by the goodness of God that we might know that the Lord is good, because His mercy endureth for ever, we are now going to say whatever is required as regards the good use of it, on which depends the successful pursuit of the purpose for the sake of which God gave us this treasure. The good use of the treasure, however, depends on knowledge of this purpose, too. So let us first reflect as to the purpose of the treasure.
If you ask for what purpose Christ delivered to us the mystery of the Eucharist, Christ Himself answers this question for you by telling you that He did so in order that we might remain in Him and He in us. “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” By remaining in Christ, I become a partaker of Christ’s nature, and acquire all the attributes that Christ possesses. By remaining in me, Christ imparts to me the virtues of His own nature, and assimilates me to Himself, thus making me another Christ. The purpose of the sacrament of the Eucharist, therefore, is to make us virtuous and blissful like Christ, by having us eat the body and drink the blood of Christ. The perfect virtue of Christ consists in His perfect self-denial and obedience to the will of His Heavenly Father, who wants all men to be saved and to come into full knowledge of the truth. “Lo, I come,” He says, “to do thy will, O God; I have willed also thy law in the midst of my belly.”(Psalm 4:18). God wished ab initio to create a man in His image and after His likeness, for He said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” Man, however, through the Devil’s deception, failed of his divine destiny, and, as David the prophet says, “associated with the unintelligent beasts and became like them.” God wants the reformation and regeneration of corrupted man. In order to accomplish this wish, the only-begotten Son and Logos of God had to abnegate His own grandeur, and humble Himself as much as He was great. He who had in heaven the grandeur and glory of God, what had He in the womb of the Virgin? The tininess and despicableness of an embryo. Compare the tininess, the inconspicuousness, and the despicableness of an embryo at the moment of its conception with the grandeur and glory of God through whom all things were made and who beareth all things by the word of His power, in order to understand that the Son of God showed such great self-denial that He actually humbled Himself as much as He was great. Christ was willing to become so tiny, so inconspicuous, so weak as He was great, glorious, and mighty. Paul calls this condescension evacuation, saying:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but evacuated himself, and took the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in the shape of a man, be humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Paul calls this evacuation; we call it self-abnegation, because Christ renounced His natural greatness and glory, and humbled Himself even to the tininess, despicableness, and inconspicuousness of an embryo of the moment. For, as written, Christ had willed the law in the midst of His belly, which means that He willingly was conceived as an embryo to remain nine months in the belly until He was grown and born with the size of an infant. Christ could have speeded His birth, but He did not care to violate the general law of nature; on the contrary, He remained exactly nine months in His mother’s belly, just like all other men. “I have willed also thy law in the midst of my belly.” After coming out of the belly, and being nourished, and attaining to man’s estate, and beginning the task of reforming and regenerating all humanity, He behaved in consonance with the will of His Heavenly Father, denying Himself. “Father,” said He, “if possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” It is this virtue of Christ that Habakkuk the prophet has reference to where he says: “His virtue has covered heavens, and the earth is full of his praise.” (Habakkuk 3:3). Truly enough, Christ’s virtue has covered the heavens just as the brilliancy of the sun covers the light of the stars. What star can appear shining in the face of the brilliancy of the sun? What angel, what man, can appear virtuous in the face of Christ’s virtue? His virtue has covered heavens, that is, all the virtue of all the angels in heaven is covered and caused to disappear in the face of the perfect virtue of Christ. And the earth is full of His praise, because the salvation and existence of all of us men on the earth is due to the virtue of Christ. If Christ had not had so much virtue as to descend from the greatness and sublimity of divinity to the tininess and insignificance of an embryo of the moment; if Christ had not had so much virtue as to deny Himself for the sake of His Father’s will, how could I be regenerated and return to the state of being in the image and after the likeness? All of us who have been regenerated in Christ and rid of the beastly nature praise and glorify the virtue of Christ, because we owe to it the being and the well-being of our nature. We have become men in the image and after the likeness of God. We have become sons of Gods and gods, because Christ evacuated Himself, taking the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in the shape of a man, He further humbled Himself by becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. For this reason we praise and glorify Christ for ever, because He became a humble man that we might become glorious gods, and know that the Lord is good, because His mercy endureth for ever. For our standard of greatness we have neither that Moses, nor Elias, nor John the Baptist, but the virtue of Him who remains in us because we eat His body and drink His blood. Our sublimity is proportionate to Christ’s humility. We have been magnified as much as Christ humbled Himself, and we have come to know that the Lord is good, because His mercy endureth for ever. We praise and glorify Christ’s virtue, which has covered the heavens, and has elevated us to the grandeur and glory of God. The virtue of Christ, being one and perfect, comprises all particular virtues, which shone out during His life on earth, as the luminous rays shine out from the sun. They are: meekness and humility, purity of heart, peace, righteousness, mercilessness, fortitude and patience in temptations and afflictions. Christ showed Him sell meek and humble in heart, a peacemaker and a peacegiver, pure and faultless, righteous and merciful, in a word, a faithful and true martyr, having patiently endured all the mistreatment and dishonor inflicted by the impious and having conducted Himself throughout with all possible magnanimity and sufferance. He blessed with the well-known Beatitudes those having these virtues, and thus taught that true happiness consists in the acquisition of all the virtues that adorn the perfect nature of Christ.
But how can one acquire the virtues of Christ without remaining with Christ? And how can anyone remain with Christ without eating His flesh and drinking His blood? “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” He that dwells, or remains permanently, in Christ also becomes virtuous and blissful like Christ; he becomes meek and humble in heart, righteous and merciful, a peacemaker, pure and holy, a faithful and true martyr, tolerating for God’s sake all the mistreatment and dishonor inflicted by wicked men. Moreover, he that becomes like Christ and acquires the virtues of Christ is also Moses and Elias and John the Forerunner and Peter and Paul, and Chrysostom and Basil and Gregory and everything excellent that the Holy Church of Christ can boast of. But in what way can each person acquire the virtues of Christ through the mystery of the Eucharist and become virtuous and blissful like Christ? This will be treated of in the following articles. In the present article we intended only to show what the purpose of the mystery of the Eucharist is, and, I think, we have succeeded in accomplishing our intention, having proved by Christ’s words that the purpose of the mystery is to impart to us the nature and virtues of Christ that we may become virtuous and blissful like Christ.
This truth is a fatal shaft against Masonry, which latter if shot with it, must necessarily fall dead and speechless on the field of the struggle. Let us ask, What principle of virtue does Freemasonry recognize, since it cherishes virtue as its purpose and end, and how does it make men of the system virtuous and happy? Does it recognize Christ as the sole principle of virtue, from and through whom is imparted to us every virtue, such as humility, meekness, righteousness, mercifulness, purity of heart, peacefulness, fortitude and patience, in a word, self-abnegation and obedience to the will of the Heavenly Father, or not? If it is true that Freemasonry is based upon the mysteries of Isis and of Demeter, it is evident that it is not based upon the choice, precious cornerstone laid by God in Zion, as is written:
“Behold, I lay in Zion a choice, precious cornerstone; and whosoever believeth in him shall not be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28: 16).
Any apology on the part of the apologist in question is nothing else than a denial and subversion of Christianity. Yet the apologist of Freemasonry is so foolish or cunning as to ask Makrakis what there is in it against Christianity. Since you wise Mason say that the reformation of society and the establishment of prosperity in the world is to be accomplished by means of Masonry, what else are you saying but that Christianity is lying in promising the regeneration and prosperity of humanity? Since you yourself say that the purpose and end of Freemasonry is virtue and happiness, though it denies that Christ is the principle and source of virtue and happiness, what else are you saying but that we must abjure Christ and become Masons in order to become virtuous and happy? And after saying such things, you are impudent or silly enough to ask what there is in it against Christianity. You are in truth a wonderful and high-minded fellow in trying to convince us that one who denies that Christ is the sole principle of the regeneration of the human race, that He is the sole source of virtue and happiness, is not against Christianity. We accuse Masonry of being a thief, a liar, an d an assassin: as being a thief, because it usurps the character of Christianity in claiming to reform society and to make men virtuous and blissful; as being a liar, because it denies that Christ is the sole principle of cognition and of good behavior, of virtue and of happiness; as being an assassin, because it deceitfully and surreptitiously tries to slay Christianity, without having the candor and courage to declare war upon it, and to fight until it gains the victory or suffers defeat. You the eager apologist, who promise to defend the accused logically, must prove:
- That Masonry, which worships the truth in the inmost recesses of the earth, confesses Christ as the first and universal truth, as the Truth of truths, without which there is no truth;
- That virtue and happiness are the natural possession of Masonry, and not of Christianity;
- That to deny the nature and character of Christ is not a subversion of Christianity, and that Masonry, which usurps contrary to truth the character of Christianity, is not a thief, liar, and assassin.
That is the arena of free discussion and contention to which you are invited to come and in which we await your appearance.