Gospel of the Holy Twelve
~ Explanatory Preface ~
To the New and Complete Edition
(Revised and Enlarged)
This "Gospel of the Holy Twelve" (Evangelists) of the Christian Dispensation is one of the most ancient and complete of early Christian fragments, preserved in one of the Monasteries of the Buddhist monks in Thibet, where it was hidden by some of the Essene community for safety from the hands of corrupters and now for the first time translated from the Aramaic. The contents clearly show it to be an early Essenian writing. This ancient community of the Jewish Church called Yessenes, Iessenes, Nazarites, or Nazirs, strongly resembling the Therapeutae, and the Buddhists, who practised community of goods, daily ablutions, daily worship, and renounced flesh eating, and strong drink and the sacrifice of animals, and the doctrine of "atonement" for the sins of some by the vicarious and involuntary suffering of others, as held by the Pharisees and Sadducees, and by the heathen before them; thus preparing the way for those Orders and Communities of men and women which have since arisen throughout the East and West, like cities set on hill, to shew the more perfect way to Christians living. in the world, notably those of S. Basil in the East, and S. Benedict in the West, and, with them, the Carthusians and the Franciscans, and before them all, the Carmelites (who had their headquarters on Mount Carmel) to whom they are similar in their customs, and even their dress, if not altogether identical with them, tracing their origin to Elias, abstaining from all flesh meats and strong drinks, whose symbol was, it is said, an iron cross in a circle, and among the animals, the Lamb and the Dove their special emblems. See Philo (in Loco) or Kitto's Cyclopaedia (art, Essenes), also Arthur Lillie's "Christianity and Buddhism."
That the contents of this most ancient Gospel set forth a higher moral and religious teaching, as the basis of the Christian Church, than any other that has come down to us, requires but the reading of eyes divested of prejudice, and the perception of a regenerate heart, and intelligent mind, to receive and appreciate. The giving of the New Law on the Holy Mount is a scene that, once read, can never be forgotten, though it was not "with blackness and thunder and the sound of the trump."
lnasmuch as this Gospel touches on many questions of vital moment now discussed in this age, and little known in those times, it may well be termed par excellence the prophetic and ethical Gospel, and critics and scholars will remember that the writings of Justin Martyn, Papias and others, distinctly speak of, and quote from, the "Gospel of the Hebrews " known otherwise as "the Gospel of the Twelve Apostles " and the "Gospel of the Nazarites," used then, chiefly in the Church at Jerusalem, and the original of Matthew's Gospel in Hebrew which we have in Greek. This identifies it as the original Gospel from which the others were more or less closely copied, with numerous variations and important omissions by accident, or design, to suit the corrupt taste of the worldly.
To those who may think it a difficulty, that the name of this notorious body (the Essenes) not less notorious than the Pharisees or Sadducees, so often spoken of, is not once mentioned either in this Gospel, or in the received four, the very silence ought to appeal, as an eloquent testimony to its origin.
It is the opinion, after much patient study and research of that learned traveller and author, Mr. Arthur Lillie, in his works on "Buddhism and Christianity " that "the earliest and only authentic Gospel must come from the Essenes, and all that is anti-Essene (in our four) is accretion."
This new and complete edition we have revised and enlarged, not only in the explanatory preface (itself enlarged from the second) but also by additional matter and corrections which escaped our notice in first issue, and also important notes, which may prevent misunderstanding by the unthinking, and the wrong thinking, who form the vast majority of readers in this age. These are now incorporated with this edition. The number of verses in each lecture have been better arranged, while the number of Lections remain the same. The writers have been at great pains to verify in the early Christian writers most of these older utterances of Iesus, strange in modern ears, as far as their present limitation would admit, many of them being utterly lost to the world till the present revelation.
Of Placidus (cir. 1326), he was known only by the Editor as that Carmelite monk, sitting occasionally by his bedside and discussing many questions. To the query, "Suppose that in these days of discovery of ancient documents some ancient and genuine MSS. were found in which it was clearly written, 'Joseph begat Jesus of Mary his wife, who was afterwards called the Christ,' Do you think the Church dogma of the immaculate conception would be imperilled to your mind ? " he instantly replied, "Not in the least, the Church would in that case propound and define the immaculate conception of Joseph as well as his bride - the safeguard would be doubled." Judge of the Editor's surprise, when within six months after news came from the East of the discovery by Mrs. Lewis of a most ancient and undoubtedly genuine MSS. of the Holy Gospels, with these very words in the first chapter of St. Matthew, preceding the interpolation, without which the sense of the entire is evident and complete.
Of John Wesley (d. 1791) also it may be said that he, too, was of the number that ate not flesh nor drank strong drink. Writing to the Bishop of London in 1747 , he said: " Thanks be to God, since the time that I gave up the use of flesh and wine, I have been delivered from all physical ills."
As formerly, the writers and the transmitters of sacred Scriptures (in their purity for the benefit of humanity) were sometimes forced, by motive of prudence, to conceal their personalities while in the flesh, knowing well, that for a divine message, its own truth was the best evidence of genuine inspiration, and that by reason of its truthfully rebuking the cherished views of the many, they would meet with the usual reward from the ignorant and worldly-persecution of one kind or another - misrepresentation of motives, personal depreciation (the favorite refuge of those who cannot refute, and will not accept )- so now for the same reason, seeking neither praise nor blame from men, the visible Editors of these Scriptures withhold their names. For the world is the same now as then, yea, worse, for these are the days of unbelief in God, the Good, the Beautiful and the True- "the rude latter days" of which the late Father Faber spoke so touchingly - when courtesy is almost unknown, and reverence and faith are well-nigh dead, and obedience to God is counted nought, when it would restrain or interfere with some perverse and wicked fashion or folly of the day, or some deep-rooted evil habits or customs of long standing.
As this Gospel was not addressed to the heathen, but chiefly to the true followers of Iesus, in the early days of the Church of Jerusalem, so now it is sent to modern Christians who have fallen into worse than heathen darkness, if perchance it may be received by a few men and women of "Peace and Goodwill" to whom "Peace on Earth" was originally announced. It is quite immaterial to the Editors whether it be or be not received, though to them who reject or ignore it, it may be otherwise.
For long ages, since the destruction of Jerusalem, the aspect of God, as the Eternal Mother ("Holy Spirit"), One with the Eternal Father, has been concealed from our eyes by clouds of human tradition, error and superstition, but now the Sun of Righteousness (the Divine Mother}, shines in its fulness from behind the clouds of darkness that have so long hidden it from view, and it shines alike on believer and unbeliever, on those who see and feel its warmth, and on those who will to remain in darkness, and perish for want of light. It is written, "Behold I come from behind the clouds and every eye shall see Me whom they have pierced, and all of the earth who see, shall wail because of their iniquities. "The world is deaf to the beloved Voice, and hears not, blind and sees not, but only the things which make for its own lusts. As of yore, approaching to the Holy City, Jesus wept, so now to modem Christendom He seems to say, "lerusalem, Ierusalem, thou that stonest the prophets and revilest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thee as a hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, but ye would not! Oh that thou hadst listened in this thy day to the things which make (through righteousness) for thy peace, but ye would not! Behold the day cometh, when thine enemies shall cast a trench before thee and surround thee on every side, and burn thee with fire, leaving not one stone upon another. Behold now is your house left unto you desolate, and ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed are They who come in the Name of the Holy One."
THE EDITORS OF THE GOSPEL OF THE HOLY TWELVE.
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