Spirituality-Religions Gnostic Studies Gnostics and Their Remains : Ancient and Mediaeval

Gnostics and Their Remains : Ancient and Mediaeval

Gnostics and Their Remains : Ancient and Mediaeval
Catalog # SKU1579
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name C. W. King


The Gnostics
and Their Remains
Ancient and Mediæval

C.W. King

The seeds of the Gnosis were originally of Indian growth, carried so far westward by the influence of that Buddhistic movement which had previously overspread all the East, from Thibet to Ceylon, was the great truth faintly discerned by Matter, but which became evident to me upon acquiring even a slight acquaintance with the chief doctrines of Indian theosophy.


To display this in the most incontrovertible manner, the two systems, each in its highest form of development--that of Valentinus, and that of the Nepalese Buddhists--are described and confronted for the sake of establishing their original identity: and throughout these pages innumerable other points of affinity will be found noticed as they present themselves.

Actual historical proof of the same fact will also be adduced, establishing the important circumstance (but hitherto entirely unnoticed, or disregarded) that Buddhism had already been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies at least as early as the times of the generation following the establishment of those dynasties, and was provided for in treaties made between those Grecian princes and the great. Hindoo promoter of the religion. In the history of the Church it is most certain that almost every notion that was subsequently denounced as heretical can be traced up to Indian speculative philosophy as its genuine fountain-head: how much that was allowed to pass current for orthodox had really flowed from the same source, it is neither expedient nor decorous now to inquire.

In order to obtain a clear view of the principal forms of Gnosticism, as well as to escape relying upon second-hand information (in this case more than elsewhere untrustworthy), I commenced the collecting materials for the present work by carefully perusing the vast 'Panarion' of Epiphanius--a laborious undertaking, but well repaid by the vivid picture he presents of the inner state of society under the Lower Empire, and of the war even at that late period so fiercely waged between Reason and Faith.

The 'Panarion' is a connected history of the Gnosis in all its developments during the first three centuries--the author quoting Irenæus for the earlier ages; for the later his account is of the highest value, having been derived from personal experience, Epiphanius having in his youth belonged to the Marcosian sect. After his days nothing new sprung up in the field of Religious philosophy, before so diversified with the vigorous and more curious flowers (or weeds) of the Gnosis; the civil now combining with the ecclesiastical power to cut down and root out all such daring and irregular growths of the human mind.

Softcover, 10.75 x 7.5", 350+ pages


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