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Here, too, his disciples resorted to be indicated by their master into these divine mysteries, and here Simon ben Jochai expired with this heavenly doctrine in his mouth, whilst discoursing on it to his disciples.Scarcely had his spirit departed, when a dazzling light filled the cavern, so that no one could look at.

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And when the remains were deposited in the tomb, another voice was heard from heaven, saying, "This is he who caused the earth to quake and the kingdoms to shake!

" His son, Rabbi Eliezer, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, then collated Rabbi Simon ben Jochai's treatises, and out of these composed the celebrated work called Sohar, that is, Splendor, which is the grand storehouse of Cabalism.

By the aid of this mysterious science, the lawgiver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and the frequent miseries oi the nation.

He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy.

The origin of the Cabala has been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day.

It has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of Zoroaster, but whether its inventors were the contemporaries or the successors of that philosopher and reformer it is impossible to say.

After the Fall, the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts With the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity.

From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out.

Hence it demands a place in any general work on Freemasonry.

In what estimation the Cabala is held by Jewish scholars, we may learn from the traditions which they teach, and which Doctor Ginsburg has given in his exhaustive work ( Kabbalah, page 84) in the following words: The Cabalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise.

Buxtorf (Lexicon of the Talmud) defines the Cabala to be a secret science, which treats in a mystical and enigmatical manner of things divine, angelical, theological, celestial, and metaphysical; the subjects being enveloped in striking symbols and secret modes of teaching.

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