The Promise of the Redeemer
After the Fall of Man, God made known to the angels His plan for the restoration of the human race.
I saw the throne of God. I saw the Most Holy Trinity and a movement in the Divine Persons. I saw the nine choirs of angels and God announcing to them the way by which He would restore the fallen race. I saw the inexpressible joy and jubilation of the angels at the announcement.
I saw Adam’s glittering rock of precious stones arise before the throne of God, as if borne up by angels. It had steps cut in it, it increased in size, it became a throne, a tower, and it extended on all sides until it embraced all things. I saw the nine choirs of angels around it, and above the angels in Heaven, I saw the image of the Virgin. It was not Mary in time; it was Mary in eternity, Mary in God. The Virgin entered the tower, which opened to receive her, and she appeared to become one with it. Then I saw issuing from the Most Holy Trinity an apparition which, likewise, went into the tower.
Among the angels, I noticed a kind of ostensorium at which all were working. It was in shape like a tower, and on it were all kinds of mysterious carving. Near it on either side stood two figures, their joined hands embracing it. At every instant it became larger and more magnificent. I saw something from God passing through the angelic choirs and going into the ostensorium. It was a shining Holy Thing, and it became more clearly defined the nearer it drew to the ostensorium. It appeared to me to be the germ of the divine Blessing for a pure offspring which had been given to Adam, but withdrawn when he was on the point of hearkening to Eve and consenting to eat the forbidden fruit. It was the Blessing that was again bestowed upon Abraham, withdrawn from Jacob, by Moses deposited in the Ark of the Covenant, and lastly received by Joachim, the father of Mary, in order that Mary might be as pure and stainless in her Conception as was Eve upon coming forth from the side of the sleeping Adam. The ostensorium, likewise, went into the tower.
I saw too, a chalice prepared by the angels. It was of the same shape as that used at the Last Supper, and it also went into the tower. To the right of the tower, I saw, as if on the edge of a golden cloud, grapevines and wheat intertwining like the fingers of clasped hands. From them sprang a branch, a whole genealogical tree upon whose boughs were little figures of males and females reaching hands to one another. Its highest blossom was the Crib with the Child.
Then I saw in pictures the mystery of Redemption from the Promise down to the fullness of time, and in side pictures I saw counteracting influences at work. At last, over the shining rock, I saw a large and magnificent church. It was the One, Holy, Catholic Church, which bears living in itself the salvation of the whole world. The connection of these pictures one with another and their transition from one to another was wonderful. Even what was evil and opposed to the end in view, even what was rejected by the angels as unfit, was made subservient to the development of Redemption. And so, I saw the ancient Temple rising from below; it was very large and like a church, but it had no tower. It was pushed to one side by the angels, and there it stood slanting. I saw a great mussel shell1 make its appearance and try to force its way into the old Temple; but it, too, was hurried aside.
I saw appear a broad, lopped-off tower through whose numerous gateways figures like Abraham.
At last, I saw a vision on earth such as God had shown to Adam; viz., that a Virgin would arise and restore to him the salvation he had forfeited. Adam knew not when it would take place, and I saw his deep sadness because Eve bore him only sons. But at last she had a daughter.
I saw Noe and his sacrifice at the time in which he received from God the Blessing. Then I had visions of Abraham, of his Blessing, and of the promise of a son Isaac. I saw the Blessing descending from firstborn to firstborn, and always transmitted with a sacramental action. I saw Moses on the night of Israel’s departure from Egypt, getting possession of the Mystery, the Holy Thing, of which none other knew save Aaron. I saw It afterward in the Ark of the Covenant. Only the High Priests and certain saints, by a revelation from God, had any knowledge of it. I saw the transmitting of this Mystery through the ancestry of Jesus Christ down to Joachim and Anne, the purest and holiest couple that ever existed, and from whom was born Mary, the spotless Virgin. And then I saw Mary becoming the living Ark of God’s Covenant.
Adam and Eve Driven from Paradise
After some time, I saw Adam and Eve wandering about in great distress. They were no longer beaming with light, and they went about, one here, the other there, as if seeking something they had lost. They were ashamed of each other. Every step they took led them downward, as if the ground gave way beneath their feet. They carried gloom wherever they went; the plants lost their bright colors and turned gray, and the animals fled before them. They sought large leaves and wove them into a cincture for their loins. They always wandered about separate.
After they had thus fled for a considerable time, the region of refulgent light whence they had come began to look like the summit of a distant mountain. Among the bushes of a gloomy-looking plain, they hid themselves, but apart. Then a voice from above called them, but they would not obey the call. They were frightened, they fled still further, and hid still deeper among the bushes. It made me sad to see that. But the voice became more imperative, and, in spite of their desire to flee and hide, they were compelled to come forth.
The majestic Figure shining with light again appeared. Adam and Eve with bowed head stepped from their hiding places, but they dared not look upon their Lord. They glanced at each other, and both acknowledged their guilt. And now God pointed out to them a plain still lower than the one on which they stood. On it were bushes and trees. On reaching it, they became humble, and for the first time, rightly understood their miserable condition. I saw them praying when left there alone. They separated, fell on their knees, and raised up their hands with tears and cries. I thought as I gazed upon them how good it is to be alone in prayer.
Adam and Eve were at this time clothed in a garment that reached from the shoulders to the knee, and which was girded at the waist by a strip of the inner bark of a tree.
While our first parents were descending lower and lower from the place of their creation, Paradise itself appeared, like a cloud, to be mounting higher and higher above them. Then a fiery ring, like the circle sometimes seen around the sun and moon, came down from Heaven and settled around the height upon which was Paradise.
Adam and Eve had been only one day in Paradise. I now see Paradise far, far off like a strip of land directly under the point of sunrise. When the sun rises, it mounts up from the right of that strip of land which lies east of the Prophet Mountain and just where the sun rises. It looks to me like an egg hanging over indescribably clear water which separates it from the earth. The Prophet Mountain is, as it were, a promontory rising up through that water. On that mountain, one sees extraordinarily verdant regions broken here and there by deep abysses and ravines full of water. I have, indeed, seen people climbing up the Prophet Mountain, but they did not go far.
I saw Adam and Eve reach the earth, their place of penance. Oh, what a touching sight—those two creatures expiating their fault upon the naked earth! Adam had been allowed to bring an olive branch with him from Paradise, and now he planted it. Later on, the Cross was made from its wood. Adam and Eve were unspeakably sad. Where I saw them, they could scarcely get a glimpse of Paradise, and they were constantly descending lower and lower. It seemed as if something revolved and they came at last, through night and darkness, to the wretched, miserable place upon which they had to do penance.
The Family of Adam
It was to the region of Mount Olivet that I saw Adam and Eve come. The country was very differ-ent from what it is at present, but I was assured that it was the same. I saw Adam and Eve living and doing penance on that part of Mount Olivet upon which Jesus sweat Blood. They cultivated the soil. I saw them surrounded by sons. They were in great distress, and they implored God to bestow upon them a daughter, for they had received the Promise that the woman’s seed should crush the serpent’s head.
Eve bore children at stated intervals. After each birth a number of years was always devoted to penance. It was after seven years of penance that Seth, the child of promise, was born of Eve in the Grotto of the Crib, where, also, an angel announced to Eve that Seth was the seed given her by God in the place of Abel. For a long time, Seth was concealed in that Grotto, likewise in the cave in which Abraham was afterward suckled, for his brothers like those of Joseph sought his life.
Once I saw about twelve people: Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, two sisters, and some young children. All were clothed in skins thrown over their shoulders like a scapular and girded at the waist. The female dress was large and full around the breast where it served as a pocket. It fell down around the limbs, and was fastened at the sides and once under the arm. The men wore shorter dresses, which had a pocket fastened to them. The skins from which their dresses were made were, from the neck to the elbow, exceedingly fine and white. They all looked very noble and beautiful in their clothing. They had huts in those days, partly sunk in the earth and covered with plants. Their household was quite well-arranged. I saw orchards of low, but tolerably vigorous fruit trees. There was grain also, such as wheat, which God had given to Adam for seed.
I do not remember having seen either grapevines or wheat in Paradise. None of the productions of Paradise had to be prepared for eating. Such preparation is a consequence of sin and, therefore, a symbol of labor and suffering. God gave to Adam whatever it was necessary for him to sow. I remember having seen men who looked like angels, taking something to Noe when he went into the ark. It appeared to me to be a vine branch stuck in an apple.
A certain kind of grain grew wild at that time, and among it Adam had to sow the good wheat. That improved it for awhile, but it again degenerated and became worse and worse. The wild grain was excellent in those early times. It was most luxuriant further to the east, in India or China, where as yet there were but few inhabitants. It does not thrive where wine is largely made and fish abound.
The milk of animals was drunk in those days, and they likewise ate cheese dried in the sun. Among the animals, I noticed sheep in particular. All that Adam had named followed him from Paradise, but afterward they fled from him. He had to entice them back with food, that is the domestic animals, and familiarize them to himself. I saw birds hopping about, little animals running around, and all sorts of bounding creatures, such as antelopes, deer, etc.
The household order was quite patriarchal. I saw Adam’s children in their separate huts, reclining around a stone at meals. I saw them also praying and giving thanks.
God had taught Adam to offer sacrifice; he was the priest in his family. Cain and Abel also were priests. I saw that even the preparations for their sacrifice took place in a separate hut.
On the head, they wore caps made of leaves and their stalks woven together. They were shaped like a ship and had a rim in front by which they could be raised from the head. Those first human beings had beautiful skin of a yellowish tinge, which shone like silk, and their hair was reddish-yellow like gold. Adam wore his hair long. His beard was short at first, but later he let it grow. Eve at first wore her long hair hanging around her; but later on she wound it around her head in a coil like a cap.
Fire I always saw like a hidden flame, and it appeared to be in the earth. It was given to man from Heaven, and God Himself taught him the use of it. They burned for fuel a yellow substance that looked like earth. I saw no cooking going on. In the beginning, the food was merely dried in the sun; and the wheat, after being crushed, was exposed under twisted covers to the heat of the sun to dry.
God gave them wheat, barley, and rye, and taught them how to cultivate them. He guided man in all things.
I saw no large rivers in the beginning as, for instance, the Jordan; but fountains sprang forth whose waters were conducted into reservoirs.
Flesh meat was not eaten before Abel’s death.
I once had a vision of Mount Calvary. I saw on it a prophet, the companion of Elias. The mount was at that time full of caves and sepulchers. The prophet entered one of the caves and from a stone coffin filled with bones he took up the skull of Adam. Instantly an angel appeared before him, saying: “That is Adam’s skull,” and he forbade its removal. Scattered over the skull was some thin yellow hair. From the prophet’s account of what had occurred, the spot was named “The Place of Skulls” (Calvary). Christ’s Cross stood in a straight line above that skull at the time of His Crucifixion. I was interiorly instructed that the spot upon which the skull rests is the middle point of the earth. I was told the distance east, south, and west in numbers, but I have forgotten them.
Cain. The Children of God. The Giants
I saw that Cain conceived on Mount Olivet the design to murder Abel. After the deed, he wandered about the same spot frightened and distracted planting trees and tearing them up again. Then I saw a majestic Figure in the form of a man refulgent with light appear to him. “Cain,” He said, “where is thy brother Abel?” Cain did not at first see the Figure; but when he did, he turned and answered: “I know not. He has not been given in charge to me.” But when God replied that Abel’s blood cried to Him from the earth, Cain grew more troubled, and I saw that he disputed long with God. God told him that he should be cursed upon the earth, that it should bring forth no fruit for him, and that he should forthwith flee from the land in which he then dwelt. Cain responded that everywhere his fellow men would seek to kill him. There were already many people upon the earth. Cain was very old and had children. Abel also left children, and there were other brothers and sisters, the children of Adam. But God replied that it would not be so; that whoever should kill Cain should himself be punished sevenfold, and He placed a sign upon him that no one should slay him. Cain’s posterity gradually became colored. Cham’s children also were browner than those of Sem. The nobler races were always of a lighter color. They who were distinguished by a particular mark engendered children of the same stamp; and as corruption increased, the mark also increased until at last it covered the whole body, and people became darker and darker. But yet in the beginning there were no people perfectly black; they became so only by degrees.
God pointed out to Cain a region to which he should flee. And because Cain said: “Then, wilt Thou let me starve?”—(the earth was for him accursed)—God answered no, that he should eat the flesh of animals. He told him likewise that a nation would arise from him, and that good also would come from him. Before this men ate no flesh.
Cain went forth and built a city, which he named after his son Henoch.
Abel was slain in the valley of Josaphat opposite Mount Calvary. Numerous murders and evil deeds took place there at a subsequent period. Cain slew Abel with a kind of club that he used to break soft stones and earth when planting in the fields. The club must have been of hard stone, for it was shaped like a pickaxe, the handle of wood.
We must not picture to ourselves the earth before the Deluge as it is now. Palestine was by no means so broken up by valleys and ravines. Plains were far more extensive, and single mountains less lofty.
The Mount of Olives was at that time only a gentle rising. The Crib Cave of Bethlehem was as later a wild cavern, but the surroundings were different.
The people of those early times were larger, though not out of proportion. We would regard them with astonishment, but not with fright, for they were far more beautiful in form than people of a later period. Among the old marble statues that I see in many places lying in subterranean caves, may be found similar figures.
Cain led his children and grandchildren to the region pointed out to him, and there they separated. Of Cain himself, I have never seen anything more that was sinful. His punishment appeared to consist in hard, but fruitless labor. Nothing in which he was personally engaged succeeded. I saw that he was mocked and reviled by his children and grandchildren, treated badly in every way. And yet they followed him as their leader, though as one accursed. I saw that Cain was severely punished, but not damned.
One of Cain’s descendants was Thubalcain, the originator of numerous arts, and the father of the giants. I have frequently seen that, when the angels fell, a certain number had a moment of repentance and did not in consequence fall as low as the others. Later on, these fallen spirits took up their abode on a high, desolate, and wholly inaccessible mountain whose site at the time of the Deluge became a sea, the Black Sea, I think. They were permitted to exercise their evil influence upon men in proportion as the latter strayed further from God. After the Deluge they disappeared from that region, and were confined to the air. They will not be cast into Hell before the last day.
I saw Cain’s descendants becoming more and more godless and sensual. They settled further and further up that mountain ridge where were the fallen spirits. Those spirits took possession of many of the women, ruled them completely, and taught them all sorts of seductive arts. Their children were very large. They possessed a quickness, an aptitude for everything, and they gave themselves up entirely to the wicked spirits as their instruments. And so arose on this mountain and spread far around, a wicked race which by violence and seduction sought to entangle Seth’s posterity likewise in their own corrupt ways. Then God declared to Noe His intention to send the Deluge. During the building of the ark, Noe had to suffer terribly from those people.
I have seen many things connected with the race of giants. They could with ease carry enormous stones high up the mountain, they could accomplish the most stupendous feats. They could walk straight up trees and walls just as I have seen others possessed by the devil doing. They could effect the most wonderful things, they could do whatever they wished; but all was pure jugglery and delusion due to the agency of the demon. It is for that reason that I have such horror of every species of jugglery and fortunetelling. These people could form all kinds of images out of stone and metal; but of the knowledge of God they had no longer a trace. They sought their gods in the creatures around them. I have seen them scratch up a stone, form it into an extravagant image, and then adore it. They worshipped also a frightful animal and all kinds of ignoble things. They knew all things, they could see all things, they were skilled in the preparing of poisons, they practiced sorcery and every species of wickedness. The women invented music. I saw them going around among the better tribes trying to seduce them to their own abominations. They had no dwelling houses, no cities, but they raised massive round towers of shining stone. Under those towers were little structures leading into great caverns wherein they carried on their horrible wickedness. From the roofs of these structures, the surrounding country could be seen, and by mounting up into the towers and looking through tubes, one could see far into the distance. But it was not like looking through tubes made to bring distant objects into view. The power of the tubes to which I here allude, was effected by satanic agency. They that looked through them could see where the other tribes were settled. Then they marched against them, overcame them, and lawlessly carried all before them. That same spirit of lawlessness they exercised everywhere. I saw them sacrificing children by burying them alive in the earth. God overthrew that mountain at the time of the Deluge.
Henoch, Noe’s ancestor, opposed that wicked race by his teachings. He wrote much. Henoch was a very good man and one very grateful to God. In many parts of the open fields, he raised altars of stone and there the fruits of the earth flourished. He gave thanks to God and offered sacrifice to Him. Chiefly in his family was religion preserved and handed down to Noe. Henoch was taken up to Paradise. There he waits at the entrance gate, whence with another he will come again before the last day.
Cham’s descendants likewise had similar relations with the evil spirits after the Deluge, and from such connection sprang so many demoniacs and necromancers, so many mighty ones of the world, so many great, wild, daring men.
Semiramis herself was the offspring of demoniacs, consequently she was apt at everything save the working out of her salvation.
Later on, there arose another people esteemed as gods by the heathens. The women that first allowed themselves to be ruled by evil spirits were fully conscious of the fact, though others were ignorant of it. These women had it in them like flesh and blood, like original sin.
Noe and His Posterity. Hom and Dsemschid, Leaders of the People
I saw Noe, a simple-hearted old man, clothed in a long white garment. He was walking about in an orchard and pruning the trees with a crooked bone knife. A cloud hovered over him and in it was a human Figure. Noe fell on his knees. I saw that he was, then and there, interiorly instructed upon God’s design to destroy mankind, and he was commanded to build an ark. I saw that Noe grew sad at the announcement, and that he prayed for the punishment to be averted. He did not begin the work at once. Again the Lord appeared to him, twice in succession, commanding him to begin the building, otherwise he should perish with the rest of mankind. At last, I saw Noe removing with all his family to the country in which Zoroaster, the Shining Star, subsequently dwelt. Noe settled in a high, woody, solitary region where he and his numerous followers lived under tents. Here he raised an altar and offered sacrifice to the Lord. Neither Noe nor any of his family built permanent houses, because they put faith in the prophecy of the Deluge. But the godless nations around laid massive foundations, marked off courts, and erected all kinds of buildings designed to resist the inroads of time and the attacks of an enemy.
There were frightful deeds upon the earth in those days. Men delivered themselves up to all kinds of wickedness, even the most unnatural. They plundered one another and carried off whatever suited them best, they laid waste homes and fields, they kidnapped women and maidens. In proportion to their increase in numbers, was the wickedness of Noe’s posterity. They even robbed and insulted Noe himself. They had not fallen into this state of base degradation from want of civilization. They were not wild and barbarous; rather, they lived commodiously and had well ordered households—but they were deeply imbued with wickedness. They practiced the most shameful idolatry, everyone making his own god of whatever pleased him best. By diabolical arts, they sought to seduce Noe’s immediate family. Mosoch, the son of Japhet and grandson of Noe, was thus corrupted after he had, while working in the field, taken from them a poisonous beverage which intoxicated him. It was not wine, but the juice of a plant which they were accustomed to drink in small quantities during their work, and whose leaves and fruit they chewed. Mosoch became the father of a son, who was named Hom. When the child was born, Mosoch begged his brother Thubal to take it, and thus hide his guilt. Thubal did so out of fraternal affection. The child, with the stalks and sprouts of a certain viscous root, was laid by his mother before Thubal’s tent. She hoped thereby to acquire a right over his inheritance; but the Deluge was already at hand, and so her plans were fruitless. Thubal took the boy and had him reared in his family without betraying his origin. And so it happened in this way that the child was taken into the ark. Thubal called the boy Hom, the name of the root whose sprouts lay near him as the only sign. The child was not nourished with milk, but with the same root. If that plant is allowed to grow up straight, it will reach the height of a man; but when it creeps along the ground, it sends up shoots like the asparagus, hard with tender tops. It is used as food and as a substitute for milk. The root is bulbous, and from it rises a crown of a few brown leaves. Its stem is tolerably thick and the pith is used as meal, cooked like pap or spread in thin layers and baked. Wherever it thrives, it grows luxuriantly and covers leagues of ground. I saw it in the ark.
It was long before the ark was completed, for Noe often discontinued it for years at a time. Three times did God warn him to proceed with it. Each time Noe would engage workmen, recommence and again discontinue in the hope that God would relent. But at last the work was finished.
I saw that in the ark, as in the Cross, there were four kinds of wood: palm, olive, cedar, and cypress. I saw the wood felled and hewed upon the spot, and Noe bearing it himself upon his shoulders to the place of building, just as Jesus afterward carried the wood of His Cross. The spot chosen for the construction of the ark was a hill surrounded by a valley. First the bottom was put in.
The ark was rounded in the back and the keel, shaped like a trough, was smeared with pitch. It had two stories supported on hollow posts, which stood one above another. These posts were not round trunks of trees; they were in oval sections filled with a white pith which became fibrous toward the center. The trunk was knotty, or furrowed, and the great leaves grew around it without branches. I saw the workmen punching the pith out with a tool. All other trees were cut into thin planks. When Noe had carried all the materials to the appointed spot and arranged them in order, the building was begun. The bottom was put in and pitched, the first row of posts raised, and the holes in which they stood filled up with pitch. Then came the second floor with another row of posts for the third floor, and then the roof. The spaces between the posts were filled in with brown and yellow laths placed crosswise, the holes and chinks being stuffed with a kind of wool found on certain trees and plants, and a white moss that grows very abundantly around some trees. Then all was pitched inside and outside. The roof was rounded. The entrance between the two windows was in the center of one side, a little more than halfway up. In the middle of the roof likewise was a square aperture. When the ark had been entirely covered with pitch, it shone like a mirror in the sun. Noe went on working alone and for a long time at the different compartments for the animals, as all were to be separate. Two passages extended through the middle of the ark, and back in the oval part, concealed by hangings, stood a wooden altar, the table of which was semicircular. A little in the front of the altar was a pan of coals. This was their fire. Right and left, were spaces partitioned off for sleeping apartments. All kinds of chests and utensils were carried into the ark, and numerous seeds, plants, and shrubs were put into earth around the walls, which were soon covered with verdure. I saw something like vines carried in, and on them large yellow grapes, the bunches as long as one’s arm.
No words can express what Noe endured from the malice and ill will of the workmen during the whole time that the ark was building. They mocked him, they insulted him in every way, they called him a fool. He paid them well in cattle, but that did not prevent their reviling him. No one knew why he was building the ark, therefore did they ridicule him. When all was finished, I saw Noe giving thanks to God, who then appeared to him. He told him to take a reed pipe and call all the animals from the four corners of the globe. The nearer the day of chastisement approached, the darker grew the heavens. Frightful anxiety took possession of the whole earth; the sun no longer showed his face, and the roar of the thunder was unceasingly heard. I saw Noe going a short distance north, south, east, and west, and blowing upon his reed pipe. The animals came flocking at the sound and entered the ark in order, two by two, male and female. They went in by a plank laid from the entrance to the ground. When all were safe inside, the plank also was hoisted in. The largest animals, white elephants and camels, went in first. They were restless as at the approach of a storm, and it took several days for them all to enter. The birds flew in through the skylight and perched under the roof on poles and in cages, while the waterfowl went into the bottom of the vessel. The land animals were in the middle story. Of such as are slaughtered, there were seven couples.
The ark, lying there by itself on the top of the hill, shone with a bluish light. At a distance, it looked as if it were descending from the clouds. And now the time for the Deluge drew nigh. Noe had already announced it to his family. He took with him into the ark Sem, Cham, and Japhet with their wives and their children. There were in the ark grandsons from fifty to eighty years old with their children small and large. All that had labored at its construction and who were good and free from idolatry, entered with Noe. There were over one hundred people in the ark, and they were necessary to give daily food to the animals and to clean after them. I must say, for I always see it so, that Sem’s, Cham’s and Japhet’s children all went into the ark. There were many little boys and girls in it, in fact all of Noe’s family that were good. Holy Scripture mentions only three of Adam’s children, Cain, Abel, and Seth; and yet I see many others among them, and I always see them in pairs, boys and girls. And so too, in 3:20, only eight souls are mentioned as saved in the ark; viz., the four ancestral couples by whom, after the Deluge, the earth was to be peopled. I also saw Hom in the ark. The child was fastened by a skin into a bark cradle formed like a trough. I saw many infants cradled in a similar way, floating on the waters of the Deluge.
When the ark rose on the waters, when crowds of people upon the surrounding mountains and in the high trees were weeping and lamenting, when the waters were covered with the floating bodies of the drowned and with uprooted trees, Noe and his family were already safe inside. Before he and his wife, his three sons and their wives entered the ark, he once more implored God’s mercy. When all had entered, Noe drew in the plank and made fast the door. He left outside near relatives and their families who, during the building of the ark, had separated from him. Then burst forth a fearful tempest. The lightning played in fiery columns, the rains fell in torrents, and the hill upon which the ark stood soon became an island. The misery was great, so great that I trust it was the means of many a soul’s salvation. I saw a devil, black and hideous, with pointed jaws and a long tail, going to and fro through the tempest and tempting men to despair. Toads and serpents sought a hiding place in the crevices of the ark. Flies and vermin I saw not. They came into existence later to torment men.
I saw Noe offering sacrifice in the ark upon an altar covered with red over which was a white cloth. In an arched chest were preserved the bones of Adam. During prayer and sacrifice, Noe laid them on the altar. I saw on the altar, likewise, the Chalice of the Last Supper which, during the building of the ark, had been brought to Noe by three figures in long white garments. They looked like the three men that announced to Abraham the birth of a son. They came from a city that was destroyed at the time of the Deluge. They addressed Noe as one whose fame had reached them, and told him that he should take with him into the ark a mysterious something that they gave him, in order that it might escape the waters of the Deluge. The mysterious thing was that Chalice. In it lay a grain of wheat, large as a sunflower seed, and a vine branch. Noe stuck both into a yellow apple and put it into the Chalice. The Chalice had no cover, for the branch was to grow out of it. After the dispersion of men at the building of the Tower of Babel, I saw that Chalice in the possession of one of Sem’s descendants in the country of Semiramis. He was the ancestor of the Samanenses, who were established at Canaan by Melchisedech. Hither they took the Chalice.
I saw the ark driving over the waters, and dead bodies floating around. It rested upon a high rocky peak of a mountain chain far to the east of Syria, and there it remained for a long time. I saw that land was already appearing. It looked like mud covered with a greenish mold.
Immediately after the Deluge, fish and shellfish began to be eaten. Afterward, as people multiplied, they ate bread and birds. They planted gardens, and the soil was so fruitful that the wheat which they sowed produced ears as large as those of maize. The root from which Hom received his name was also planted. Noe’s tent stood on the spot where, at a later period, was that of Abraham. In the plain and in the surrounding country, Noe’s sons had their tents.
I saw the cursing of Cham. But Sem and Japhet received from Noe on their knees the Blessing. It was delivered to them with ceremonies similar to those used by Abraham when giving over the same Blessing to Isaac. I saw the curse pronounced by Noe upon Cham moving toward the latter like a black cloud and obscuring him. His skin lost its whiteness, he grew darker. His sin was the sin of sacrilege, the sin of one who would forcibly enter the Ark of the Covenant. I saw a most corrupt race descend from Cham and sink deeper and deeper in darkness. I see that the black, idolatrous, stupid nations are the descendants of Cham. Their color is due, not to the rays of the sun, but to the dark source whence those degraded races sprang.
It would be impossible for me to say how I beheld the nations increasing and extending and, in many different ways, falling into darkness and corruption. But with all that, many luminous rays streamed forth from them and sought the light.
When Thubal, the son of Japhet, with his own children and those of his brother Mosoch, sought counsel of Noe as to the country to which they should migrate, they were fifteen families in number, Noe’s children already extended far around, and the families of Thubal and Mosoch also dwelt at some distance from Noe. But when Noe’s children began to quarrel and oppress one another, Thubal desired to remove still farther off. He wanted to have nothing to do with Cham’s descendants, who were already thinking of building the Tower. He and his family heeded not the invitation received later to engage in that undertaking, and it was declined also by the children of Sem.
Thubal with his troop of followers appeared before Noe’s tent, asking for directions as to whither he should go. Noe dwelt upon a mountain range between Libanus and Caucasus. He wept when he saw Thubal and his followers, for he loved that race, because it was better, more God-fearing than others. He pointed out a region toward the northeast, charged them to be faithful to the commands of God and to the offering of sacrifice, and made them promise to guard the purity of their descent, and not to intermingle with the descendants of Cham. He gave them girdles and breast pieces that he had had in the ark. The heads of the families were to wear them when engaged in divine service and performing marriage ceremonies, in order to guard against malediction and a depraved posterity. The ceremonies used by Noe when offering sacrifice, reminded me of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There were alternate prayers and responses, and Noe moved from place to place at the altar and bowed reverently. He gave them likewise a leathern bag containing a vessel made of bark, in which was an oval golden box enclosing three other smaller vessels. They also received from him the roots or bulbs of that Hom plant, rolls of bark or skins upon which were written characters, and round wooden blocks upon which signs were engraved.
These people were of a bright, reddish-yellow complexion, and very beautiful. They were clothed in skins and woolen garments girdled at the waist, the arms alone bare. The skins they wore were scarcely drawn from the animal when they were clapped, still bloody, on the limbs. They fitted so tightly that my first thought was: Those people are hairy. Not so however, for their own skin was smooth as satin. With the exception of various kinds of seed, they did not take much baggage with them, since they were departing for a high region toward the northeast. I saw no camels, but they had horses, asses, and animals with spreading horns like stags. I saw them, Thubal’s followers, on a high mountain where they dwelt one above another in long, low huts like arbors. I saw them digging the ground, planting, and setting out trees in rows. The opposite side of the mountain was cold. Later on the whole region became much colder. In consequence of this change in the climate, one of the grandsons of Thubal, the ancestor Dsemschid, led them further toward the southwest. With a few exceptions, all who had seen Noe and had taken leave of him died in this place, that is, on the mountain to which Thubal had led them. They who followed Dsemschid were all born on the same mountain. They took with them the few surviving old men who had known Noe, carrying them very carefully in litters.
When Thubal with his family separated from Noe, I saw among them that child of Mosoch, Hom, who had gone with Thubal into the ark. Hom was already grown, and later on I saw him very different from those around him. He was of large stature like a giant, and of a very serious, peculiar turn of mind. He wore a long robe, he was like a priest. He used to go alone to the summit of the mountain and there spend night after night. He observed the stars and practiced magic. He was taught by the devil to arrange what he saw in vision into a science, a religion, and thereby he vitiated and counteracted the teaching of Henoch. The evil inclinations inherited from his mother mingled in him with the pure hereditary teachings of Henoch and Noe, to which the children of Thubal clung. Hom, by his false visions and revelations, misinterpreted and changed the ancient truth. He studied and pondered, watched the stars and had visions which, by Satan’s agency, showed him deformed images of truth. Through their resemblance to truth, his doctrine and idolatry became the mothers of heresy. Thubal was a good man. Hom’s manner of acting and his teaching were very displeasing to Thubal, who was greatly grieved to see one of his sons, the father of Dsemschid, attach himself to Hom. I heard Thubal complaining: “My children are not united. Would that I had not separated from Noe!”
Hom conducted the waters of two springs from the higher part of the mountain down to the dwellings. They soon united into one stream which, after a short course, swelled into a broad torrent. I saw Dsemschid and his followers crossing it at their departure. Hom received almost divine homage from his followers. He taught them that God exists in fire. He had also much to do with water, and with that viscous root from which he derived his name. He planted it, and solemnly distributed it as a sacred medicine and nourishment. This distribution at last, became a ceremony of religion. He carried its juice or pap around with him in a brown vessel like a mortar. The axes were of the same material. They got them from people of another tribe that lived far away in a mountainous country and forged such implements by means of fire. I saw them on a mountain from which fire burst forth, sometimes in one place, sometimes in another. I think the vessel which Hom carried around with him was made out of the melted metal or rock that flowed from the mountain, and which was caught in a mold. Hom never married nor did he live to be very old. He published many of his visions referring to his own death. He himself put faith in them as did also Derketo and his other followers at a later period. But I saw him dying a frightful death, and the evil one carried him off body and soul; nothing remained of him. For that reason his followers thought, that, like Henoch, he had been taken up to a holy dwelling place. The father of Dsemschid had been a pupil of Hom, and Hom left him his spirit in order that he might then be the one who would succeed him.
On account of his knowledge, Dsemschid became the leader of his people. They soon became a nation, and were led by Dsemschid still further south. Dsemschid was very distinguished; he was well-educated, and had embraced Hom’s teachings. He was unspeakably lively and vigorous, much more active and better also than Hom, who was of a dark, rigid disposition. He practiced the religion formulated by Hom, added many things of his own thereto, and gave much attention to the stars. His followers regarded fire as sacred. They were all distinguished by a certain sign which denoted their race. People at that time kept together in tribes; they did not intermingle then as now. Dsemschid’s special aim was to improve the races and maintain them in their original purity; he separated and transplanted them as seemed best to him. He left them perfectly free, and yet they were very submissive to him. The descendants of those races, whom I now see wild and barbarous in distant lands and islands, are not to be compared with their progenitors in point of personal beauty or manly character; for those early nations were noble and simple, yet withal most valiant. The races of the present day are also far less skillful and clever, and possess less bodily strength.
On his marches, Dsemschid laid the foundations of tent cities, marked off fields, made long roads of stone, and formed settlements here and there of certain numbers of men and women, to whom he gave animals, trees, and plants. He rode around large tracks of land, striking into the earth with an instrument which he always carried in his hand, and his people then set to work in those places, grubbing and hacking, making hedges and digging ditches. Dsemschid was remarkably strict and just. I saw him as a tall old man, very thin and of a yellowish-red complexion. He rode a surprisingly nimble little animal with slender legs and black and yellow stripes, very much like an ass. Dsemschid rode around a tract of land just as our poor people go around a field on the heath by night, and thus appropriated it for cultivation. He paused here and there, plunged his grubbing axe into the ground or drove in a stake to mark the sites of future settlements. The instrument, which was afterward called Dsemschid’s golden plough share, was in form like a Latin cross. It was about the length of one’s arm and, when drawn out, formed with the shaft a right angle. With this instrument, Dsemschid made fissures in the earth. A representation of the same appeared on the side of his robe where pockets generally are. It reminded me of the symbol of office that Joseph and Aseneth always carried in Egypt, and with which they also surveyed the land, though that of Dsemschid was more like a cross. On the upper part was a ring into which it could be run.
Dsemschid wore a mantle that fell backward from the front. From his girdle to the knee hung four leathern flaps, two behind and two before, strapped at the side and fastened under the knee. His feet were bound with leather and straps. He wore a golden shield on his breast. He had several similar breastplates to suit various solemnities. His crown was a pointed circlet of gold. The point in front was higher and bent like a little horn, and on the end of it waved something like a little flag.
Dsemschid constantly spoke of Henoch. He knew that he had been taken away from the earth without undergoing death. He taught that Henoch had delivered over to Noe all goodness and all truth, had appointed him the father and guardian of all blessings, and that from Noe all these blessings had passed over to himself. He wore about him a golden egg shaped vessel in which, as he said, was contained something precious that had been preserved by Noe in the ark, and which had been handed down to himself. Wherever he pitched his tent, there the golden vessel was placed on a column, and over it, on elegant posts carved with all kinds of figures, a covering was stretched. It looked like a little temple. The cover of the vessel was a crown of filigree work. When Dsemschid lighted fire, he threw into it something that he took out of the vessel. The vessel had indeed been used in the ark, for Noe had preserved the fire in it; but it was now the treasured idol of Dsemschid and his people. When it was set up, fire burned before it to which prayers were offered and animals sacrificed, for Dsemschid taught that the great God dwells in light and fire, and that He has many inferior gods and spirits serving Him.
All submitted to Dsemschid. He established colonies of men and women here and there, gave them herds and permitted them to plant and build. They were now allowed to follow their own pleasure in the matter of marriage, for Dsemschid treated them like cattle, assigning wives to his followers in accordance with his own views. He himself had several. One was very beautiful and of a better family than the others. Dsemschid destined his son by her to be his successor. By his orders, great round towers were built, which were ascended by steps for the purpose of observing the stars. The women lived apart and in subjection. They wore short garments, the bodice and breast of material like leather, and some kind of stuff hung behind. Around the neck and over the shoulders they wore a full, circular cloak, which fell below the knee. On the shoulders and breast, it was ornamented with signs or letters. From every country that he settled, Dsemschid caused straight roads to be made in the direction of Babel.
Dsemschid always led his people to uninhabited regions, where there were no nations to expel. He marched everywhere with perfect freedom, for he was only a founder, a settler. His race was of a bright reddish yellow complexion like ochre, very handsome people. All were marked in order to distinguish the pure from these of mixed descent. Dsemschid marched over a high mountain covered with ice. I do not remember how he succeeded in crossing, but many of his followers perished. They had horses or asses; Dsemschid rode on a little striped animal. A change of climate had driven them from their country. It became too cold for them, but it is warmer there now. Occasionally he met on his march a helpless tribe either escaping from the tyranny of their chief, or awaiting in distress the advent of some leader. They willingly submitted to Dsemschid, for he was gentle, and he brought them grain and blessings. They were destitute exiles who, like Job, had been plundered and banished. I saw some poor people who had no fire and who were obliged to bake their bread on hot stones in the sun. When Dsemschid gave them fire, they looked upon him as a god. He fell in with another tribe that sacrificed children who were deformed or who did not reach their standard of beauty. The little ones were buried up to the waist, and a fire kindled around them. Dsemschid abolished this custom. He delivered many poor children, whom he placed in a tent and confided to the care of some women. He afterward made use of them, here and there, as servants. He was very careful to keep the genealogical line pure.
Dsemschid first marched in a southwesterly direction, keeping the Prophet Mountain to the south on his left; then he turned to the south, the mountain still on his left, but to the east. I think he afterward crossed the Caucasus. At that period, when those regions were swarming with human beings, when all was life and activity, our countries were but forests, wildernesses, and marshes; only off toward the east might be met a small, wandering tribe. The Shining Star (Zoroaster), who lived long after, was descended from Dsemschid’s son, whose teachings he revived. Dsemschid wrote all kinds of laws on bark and tables of stone. One long letter often stood for a whole sen-tence. Their language was as yet the primitive one, to which ours still bears some resemblance. Dsemschid lived just prior to Derketo and her daughter, the mother of Semiramis. He did not go to Babel himself, though his career ran in that direction.
I saw the history of Hom and Dsemschid as Jesus spoke of it before the pagan philosophers, at Lanifa in the isle of Cyprus. These philosophers had in Jesus’ presence spoken of Dsemschid as the most ancient of the wise kings who had come from far beyond India. With a golden dagger received from God, he had divided off and peopled many lands, and had scattered blessings everywhere. They questioned Jesus about him and the various wonders related to him. Jesus responded to their questions by saying that Dsemschid was by nature a prudent man, a man wise according to flesh and blood; that he had been a leader of the nations; that upon the dispersion of men at the building of the Tower of Babel, he had led one race and settled countries according to a certain order; that there had been other leaders of that kind who had, indeed, led a worse life than he, because his race had not fallen into so great ignorance as many others. But Jesus showed them also what fables had been written about him and that he was a false side picture, a counterfeit type of the priest and king Melchisedech. He told them to notice the difference between Dsemschid’s race and that of Abraham. As the stream of nations moved along, God had sent Melchisedech to the best families, to lead and unite them, to prepare for them lands and abiding places, in order that they might preserve themselves unsullied and, in proportion to their degree of worthiness, be found more or less fit to receive the grace of the Promise. Who Melchisedech was, Jesus left to themselves to determine; but of one thing they might be certain, he was an ancient type of the future, but then fast approaching fulfillment of the Promise. The sacrifice of bread and wine which he had offered would be fulfilled and perfected, and would continue till the end of time.