- Project Runeberg -  The esoteric meaning of the seven sacraments. The ancient therapeuts. /

(1910) [MARC] Author: Mary Karadja
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Numerous records prove conclusively that disregard of
external ordinances can by no means be considered as a
token of impiety.
The Messalians, who had a very low esteem of the
Sacraments, were a Sect of Mystics, who devoted them-
selves wholly to prayer.
Ireneus informs us that the Gnostics declared all
outward and material Sacraments to be unnecessary:
their chief aim was enlightenment ; the illumination of
the soul was all that their hearts desired.
Can such a frame of mind fairly be described as
denoting particular " wickedness " ? The Gnostics did
in no way despise Divine Grace. It seems strange that
men, who apparently were eager to conquer Life Eternal,
should manifest contempt for the Ordained Means of
Salvation : there must be some cause for such an
The reason is this :
—The Gnostics, as well as the
Mystics, refuse to be fed on husks. We do not despise
the husk, as long as it serves to hide and protect the
living kernel ; but if that kernel is once removed, then
the husk has, in our eyes, no value whatever. We do
not object to outward signs, unless these signs FAIL to
transfer the Inward Grace promised. We consider
external ordinances, void of spiritual signification, to
be acts of superstition, unworthy of a cultured mind.
These, our views, prove no contempt for the Holy
Sacraments ! On the contrary. It is just because we

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