I wanted to share this as it is amazingly relevant to the state of our world today, which by the way has me cringing in disgust and wanting to hide from everything other than Widders and my four walls. These are excerpts from a letter by Dr. E. V. Kenealy written in 1872 in response to a criticism of his understanding of St. Paul’s influence of and intent toward modern Christianity. I have edited and cherry picked for the sake of brevity, for like most Hermeticists, Dr. Kenealy can be quite verbose.
…But even if it were true that Paul wrote some few things that were good, how can this justify, or excuse, the great mass that is bad? And is not the soul-destroying doctrine of Faith without works and the blood-atonement which peoples earth with so many criminals, and hell with so many millions, attributable in a great measure to the dogmas which this man has laid down? To me it is perfectly clear that Paul wilfully and wickedly – a very Antichrist – set himself up against Jesus, and laboured in every way he could to destroy the creed which the Ninth Messenger came from heaven to beautify and renew. And in this object Paul has been too successful. For one preacher who takes his text and his doctrine from Jesus on the Sunday, there are twenty who take their text and their follies from Paul; and for one man who models his life upon the teachings of the Ninth Messenger there are a thousand who put their faith absolutely in the blood-stained homicide of the first Martyr.
…I know Europe, and I believe it to be impossible to overstate the amount of sin and hypocrisy, and misery, which it contains. In England, more especially, instead of Seven Trumpet-bearing Angels, we have seventy-seven thousand who daily proclaim from the house tops that we are the most virtuous and happy of mankind, while all around us gives the lie to the false pretence. I believe that there is more vice, wretchedness, poverty, and ignorance, in the “happy land,” with Paul for its teacher, and the Bible Society for its guardian, than in any other land of which we have record whether in the Present, or the Past; and that our political system, which accumulates all the wealth in the coffers of the rich, while it makes the poor every day poorer, will end one day in a volcano of fire, of blood, and ruin. Were I asked to point out a picture of hell in miniature I need but lead my inquirer into some of the frightful slums of this and other great European cities where, amid dirt and filth, vermin and disease, and poisoned air, and squalid raggery, and rotten food, and reeking cesspools, the poverty-stricken wretches, whom we count by thousand, and call our brethren, pass their days in blasphemy, drunkenness, and the vilest moral and physical degradation, cursing God and the blessed light, execrating the day they were born, and filled with the most malignant hatred of each other, and envy of all who are more fortunate.
Since the time of the writing it seems that the condition he ascribes to Europe is now pretty much endemic to the entire world civilization.
…And, when I go into an European Church, I find all this set down to an ordinance and institution of God, who has arbitrarily made these ranks and distinctions in society, because it is His Will; and those who pass their hideous lives in this most sad condition are meekly told that it is “that state of life to which it pleased God to call them.”
…In Europe we are taught all this, and many of us act upon it; for if God, their Father, has made these wretches so, why should we interfere, or interpose between the Tempter and the Tempted? for is not every misfortune sent to man only sent as a trial by a merciful Creator? and ought not the tempted mortal to withstand it bravely like holy Job of old?
…Hence we shut our eyes to the fact that our political and wealth-worshipping system has produced it all, and that the earth is wide enough to feed all men well, if only our rulers recognized the truth and acted upon its sacred dictates. Were it not for the holy well spring of private charity which seems to flow without cessation under the Auspice of the Holy Spirit herself, I know not what would be the condition of the poor in England; but God surely never meant that our brave and industrious people should be dependent on personal benevolence and not on their own right hands. But so it is.
This describes our current political climate very well, with our leaders saying with no remorse that the poor should be left to suffer what they will.
I have read a great deal about foreign peoples, and the result is this, that I find that they are almost always the worse for intercourse with Europeans, whether they go in the guise of merchants or missionaries. Beyond this I need not advance. I have done all I could, as far as inquiry and research can do it, to make myself well acquainted with the moral condition of each quarter, and I find with sorrow that petro-paulites (there are but few Christians), are as a rule, worse than the followers of Buddha, Brahm, or Mohammed; while, to give the crowning point to all their wickedness, they hypocritically pretend that they are the best and purest of mankind, and affect to weep over the condition of those lands from which all true Light originally came, and still belongs.