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

(1910) [MARC] Author: Mary Karadja
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anyone earned went into the common purse. They de-
spised riches, and neither bought nor sold anything.
Each one gave freely away all that was superfluous to
him and received in exchange all that he needed. They
had houses in most places in Palestine, where all mem-
bers of the sect were received and supplied with all they
There were practical and theoretical members. The
former devoted their time to deeds of mercy ; the latter
lived in solitude in perpetual contemplation.
A candidate for admission had to pass through a
year’s novitiate. He then received certain symbolic gifts
—an apron and a shovel—symbols which also meet us in
Freemasonry. At the end of this probation his character
was submitted to a fresh trial «f two years. The full
membership was only acquired at the end of this second,
P!h(ilo describes their oOoupatttoiis in the Ifollowing
words: —"Some cultivate the soil, others pursue peace-
ful arts, toiling only for the provision of their necessary
wants. Among all men they alone are without money,
but, nevertheless, they are the richest of all, because
they have few wants, and are content with their lot.
Among them no one follows any occupation that leads
to injustice or covetousness. There is not a single slave
amongst them, but they are all free, serving one another.
They condemn masters as representing a principle of
unrighteousness, violating the law of Nature, which has
made us all brethren.
" They devote all their attention to ethics, using as in-
structor the Divine Spirit, without the outpouring of
which the human mind could possess no knowledge of
God and the beginning of all things. Following their
ancient tradition they obtain their philosophy by means
of allegorial interpretation.
" Their houses are open to all adherents coming from
other quarters. They bring their -wages to the common
treasury, for the use of all. They do not neglect the
sick, as they have aimple means to offer relief to those in
need. Their institution is not based on family connec-
tion, but upon zeal for virtue and philanthropy. They
only aooe^pt as members of the Community full grown
men, who are no longer carried away by tihe vehemence
of the flelsih, but enjoy genuine and true liberty.
" They live in the most happy state, being treated with
a respect which springs from spontaneous attachment
rather than from kinship."
The Essenes eschewed marriage, but brought up as-

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