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The Conjuror’s Magazine

Vol 1 No 8 (March 1792) pp 337-341.

INTRODUCTION ON THE TRUTH AND IMPORTANCE OF ASTROLOGY

If the Sun, Moon, and Planets, are allowed to belong to this system; a position to which universal consent is yielded; it is an undeniable deduction, that they must have correspondent parts in it. They exist in all, and through all; so saith David in the 19th Psalm, 3d and 4th verses, “There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard; their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words [1] unto the end of the world.”

If so far be acknowledged, there is autopsical demonstration of a connexion through the erratic bodies with the fixed stars; so that every part of creation is linked together. Did the Holy Spirit speak unphilosophically, or ignorantly of the connexion and dependencies of his own creation, when prophesying to the inhabitants of this Planet of convulsion and grand changes? it connected them with the same “shaking in the Powers of Heaven [2] and the fall of Christianity with the “falling of the Stars?” [3] Shallow reasoning and superstition say, how can the Stars fall from Heaven? I answer, how can the Stuart Family fall? Or ask Mr. Burke, how a King can be hurled from his Throne, by the arm of God? When these questions are fairly answered in a palpable sense, it will not be difficult to perceive, that the stars have been fallen from Heaven for a considerable time; their voice has not been attended to, their influence held in vulgar contempt. They were instituted “to give light upon the earth;” but this light, because small and glimmering, is despised by the Philosopher, the Priest, the Bishop, the Dissenter, the Statesman, the Legislators of England. With all these, the “Stars are fallen, and the Powers of Heaven are shaken;” therefore, “upon all these are the ends of the world come.”

Once, a star appeared in the world, of so little splendour, that WISE men had travelled a considerable distance to see its immediate correspondent on earth, before the inhabitants of the place, where it was VERTICAL, knew anything about it. Matth.ii. 7. They had reversed it to their Antipodes, and resolutely kept it there: there were too many brilliant constellations in their zenith for this obscure Georgean [4], to be visible: a via lactea of Priesthood outshone it. The circumstance of its moving, and afterwards becoming stationary, proves it a PLANET.

After recollecting this little circumstance, which ushered in “the visit of the DAY-STAR from on high;” “the LIGHT of the gentiles and the GLORY of Israel;” no candid person will demand obtrusive lustre in the signs foretold to be in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars, Luke xxi. 25.: since the least visible star is an informant for a wise Gentile, and a cometary eclipse [5] for three hours, and a rending of the veil of the temple, and a splitting of rocks, insufficient for a foolish Jew. But they were unbelieving Jews, not believing Christians, says some Priest Philosopher. It is out of doubt, if people are to decide on their own wisdom, that the Jews were as wise in their own conceit as the Christians, and knew just as much about the Messiah’s first coming as the Christians do about his second; when they refuse the new lights of his second advent, with the same pertinacity and insolence that the Jews did those of his first.

Observe farther, that among the Jews was a prophecy, Numbers xxiv. 17, that, “a star should arise out of Jacob.” How much wiser they chose to be for it, or how far warned by the prophecy, and what effect the appearance of its fulfilment had in the massacre of a multitude of infants, are very well known. But you will find, that those to whom less light was entrusted, made a better use of it; for Chalcidius, a Platonic Philosopher, or Academic, cotemporary with Christ, says, writing on Plato’s Timæus: There is a more HOLY and DIVINE HISTORY, which imports, that, by the late appearing of a certain extraordinary star, not diseases and deaths are foreshewn, but THE VENERABLE DESCENT OF GOD FOR MAN’S SALVATION; which star was observed by the CHALDEANS, who worshipped GOD new born, and become Man, and OFFERED HIM GIFTS.”

Is Christianity, then, measured by Astrology? IT WAS FIRST RECOGNISED BY ASTROLOGY. Besides, there is no Christianity without an intimate moral knowledge of the works of GOD; because a Christian is his moral work, Rom. i. 20. David, after deducing a knowledge of the statutes and judgments of GOD, from the words of the stars or astrology, and praising their excellence, adds, “Moreover, by them is thy servant warned, and in keeping of them is great reward, Psalm xix. 11. But does the Christian borrow his light from the same sources as David? I have already anticipated this question, in what I have just said; but I will enlarge upon it.

In principle, he does: you will find in the 19th Psalm, these words: “In them (the Heavens) hath he set a tabernacle for the Sun;” and the following is the 16th verse of the first chapter of Revelations. “He had in his hand [6] seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the SUN shining in his strength.” Whether David were a Christian or not, or whether he were so spiritual as this most excellent, and that most excellent and pious man, who intercept me so often on every side, that it seems strange “there is no deliverance wrought in the earth, nor the inhabitants of the world fallen,” Isaiah, xxvi. 18.; yet, when he said that by the JUDGMENTS of GOD, deduced from the Sun and Stars, he was warned, he seems to have paid a very wise attention to the circumstance of a two-edged sword, introduced in the apocalyptical description of the Sun and the Stars; and thus, his description of the natural Manifestation of GOD, in the system and œconomy of creation, corresponds exactly with the MOST SPIRITUAL view of CHRIST on record, or to be recorded. And here, David stands remarkably opposed to those with whom “the Powers of HEAVEN are shaken, and the stars fallen;” and to those “wicked,” of whom he says, “the Judgments of GOD are far above out of their sight.” He also says, Psalm xxxviii. 5. “Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operation of his HANDS, he shall destroy them.” Now let us refer to the Message to the Church of Sardis, which begins the 3d chapter of Revelations, delivered from Christ, as “having the Seven Spirits of GOD and the Seven Stars,” and we shall find David’s estimate of the fate of those, who pay no attention to the operation of the  HANDS of GOD, viz. destruction, to be accurate. There is but one of the seven churches, who is condemned in the aggregate, and whereof only repenting individuals escape; and that one is Sardis, or the Methodists: it is told her, “thou hast a name, that thou livest, and art DEAD.” Again, “I have not found thy works perfect before GOD?” Again, “I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” How should they, when they contumaciously refuse the “signs in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars,” even when their meaning and application is pointed out, and though in the 32d verse of Matthew, xxiv.  and the 20, 30, and 31, of the 21st  chap. of Luke, they might have been taught, (had they come under the description of those, “to whom it was given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven; [7] or those, “with whom the secret of the lord was, and to whom he showed his Covenant [8],” Psalm xxv, 14 )  from the parable of the fig-tree, and all trees putting forth leaves when summer is nigh, that the signs of the Heaven, on which a dependence was directed to be placed, were ordinary, and those of the moral season. Finally, they are surprised by the day of GOD, because with them, “the sun, intellectually is darkened, and the moon doth not give her light,” Matthew xxiv. 29.

But says some purblind owly caviller, these prophecies were relative to the Jews. They related to those, who were offered the love and the wisdom of GOD and refused them, because they loved themselves, and chose to “walk by the light of their fire and by the sparks they had kindled”—Isaiah v. 11. to those who “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil—THIS being the condemnation.”—John iii. 19. Jerusalem is Jerusalem—A temple built with hands is a temple built with hands—Life through Alpha and Omega is life through Alpha and Omega—and death through sin is death through sin—whether predicated of Jew or gentile. And does your apostle Paul, make any distinction of punishment for Jew or gentile, between the figurative temple prophaned in Europe, and that prophaned in old Jerusalem? No. “Know ye not, that ye are The Temple of GOD, that the spirit of GOD dwelleth in you? If any man defile the Temple of GOD, him shall GOD destroy, 1 Cor. iii.16,17. To the Romans more pointedly—“The wrath of GOD is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that, which may be known of GOD is manifest IN them, for GOD hath shewn it unto them (Psalm xix.) for the INVISIBLE things of Him from the creation of the world are CLEARLY SEEN, being understood by the things that ARE MADE , [9] even his eternal power and godhead—so, that they are without excuse,” Rom. i. 18,19,20. “Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew FIRST, and ALSO of the Gentile, for there is no respect of persons with GOD,” Rom. ii. 8, 9,11.

Now I hear some pseudo philosopher or sprig, more or less sturdy, of academic philosophy, who has been imbibing Sir Isaac Newton’s lies and absurdities, have the puny insolence to say, that David, who wrote the 19th Psalm was no philosopher, because he says, “That the sun rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race, that his going forth is from the end of the Heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it.”

David’s theosophy taught him with Isaiah, chap. xxvi. 12—that it was “GOD who wrought all his works in him,” and with Paul, that “it was “GOD who worked in him both to will and to do all of his good pleasure,” and “it is GOD who worketh all in all”. He knew, that the Sun of the natural world was an accurate, though dim, outbeaming and correspondent of the Sun of righteousness: and he knew also, that man as well as the planets appeared to have life, i.e. primary life and motion within themselves; while, in fact, both in their proper Sun “lived and moved and had their being.” Acts xvii. 28.

Hence, he came to a positive conclusion, that there was no revolution in human events, which had not its prototype in the Divine Will; nor any planetary revolution, which did not borrow its form and direction as well as original motion in the constituents of motion, life and heat, from the Sun. Every motion, therefore, in the planets, has its rise in the Sun, though in the magnitude of that majestic orb, and from the want of bodies sufficiently near and independent of the system to present a scale of distances, almost imperceptible. Sir I. N. may keep his nonsense of vacuum and attraction out of the way, for we are not indebted to mythology and superstition for life and presiding genii in the sun, planets, and all creation, but to sound reason, genuine theosophy, and the oracles of GOD.

I may also observe, that the same Being who is called the SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS is also called THE WORD; and, as all the planets receive their virtues with their light from the Sun, they are properly considered by David as being, or delivering, words also. I have said, they derive virtues as well as light; perhaps, it may not be generally known in the present opaque days, that light is a medium of conveying physical infection; it is so, however, and has been known to be so, for centuries.

Concerning what I have asserted on the signs preceding the consummation of the Judaico-Gentile church, namely, that they are ordinary and SEASONABLE, it may be observed, on the authority of history, that very prodigious signs preceded the destruction of Jerusalem. Here my track will be shortened, as it is pretty generally acknowledged that meteors and all vapoury ignitions in the atmosphere have an immediate connexion with this planet, or, generally with the terraqueous system, if above the atmosphere.

As I take it for granted, you know “the signs of the times” naturally, though you may not have traced out or perceived one moral correspondence, let me ask, if there had been excessively hot and calm weather for an unusual length of time, whether you would not expect the physical equilibrium to be restored with extraordinary convulsions? Certainly. And if any ignorant peasant on the event of this explosion, should consider it as preternatural, would you not pronounce him ignorant of the ordinary and seasonable operations of nature, though the identical circumstance was extraordinary? You would—and probably, with no small share of self-complacency, and sneer at superstition.

To make you still more fully comprehend my exposition of a sign, I must lay the scene of another question in a part of the globe, where the signs of weather are more palpable than in England. In the West-Indies a hurricane is preceded by a calm, by a remarkably clear atmosphere, by a heavy swell of the sea, &c. These are certainly prominent and strong symptoms; but, while they are precursors, they are also EFFECTS of the distant, increasing and coming gale. I also say, that a “debilitating sun-shine and pestilential calm,” [10] in morals, together with a boisterous and heavy swell in an imperious but barren ocean, together with an extraordinary clearness in the political horizon, when a man of moral sense knows, there must be an awful conspiracy of poisoned vapors somewhere, are to him decisive indications of a coming storm, and he will flee to the mountains—He will not rest short of the summits of virtue, of an elevation from whence he may securely see,

 “Rude EARTH-BRED storms o’er meaner vallies blow,
         And poison’d mists roll black’ning far below.
                                                                                    SAVAGE

 

Though HE wander alone and unfriended to it; for these are in fact new signs, and accelerate and confirm his step.

Now, gentlemen philosophers, that I have finished my argument on signs, wherein I have determined them to be symptoms of inherent disease, what great comfort do you find in having discovered, that all the meteors which have appeared in the atmosphere, or above the atmosphere, including the aurora borealis, all the earthquakes, all the haloes and parelii, grow out of the system of nature? What doctrine of revelation, do you contradict or futilize by it? Does the Bible, or did even any apology for a divine, however learned and ignorant, ever assert, that the poisons of the world are not indigenous, but exotic, and miraculously intruded by the “Father of mercies and GOD of all consolation?”

I shall select the aurora borealis for a subject to display more clearly the correspondence between the natural and mental or moral world. My favourite English poet caught its moral analogy, applied, indeed, particularly to his own country, when he wrote—

 “Bright over Europe bursts the BOREAL MORN.” [E1]

 A house cannot be held enlightened, where there is a dark corner; no more can a world. The north is a dark corner, heat and life are low, wisdom dim. The aurora borealis hath been noticed in Europe, concurrently with the progress of moral light; in Muscovy it became more and more frequent, till it grew common. It was known in the north, some time before it became visible so far south as Britain.

Job says, “fair weather cometh from the north;” then adds, “with the LORD is TERRIBLE MAJESTY.” A text elucidated by the comparison with the sanguinary corruscations of the northern dawn.

I find, that I must complete my general argument on Astrology, by a few remarks on another sense, in which the “Sun is darkened, and the Moon doth not give her light;” before the grand day of God. It is this: the natural, derivatively from the moral world, Gen. iii.17,18, has its plain so intersected with evils, that it cannot by its own unrenovated powers clear itself, but must, without a fresh and FINAL infusion of divine virtues, sink to utter destruction. All its reason is clouded and uncertain. Even the CHRISTIAN ASTROLOGER therefore, and his Correspondent, the moral observer of mankind, for the purposes of reformation and instruction in godliness, will find their attempts to deduce truth from scientific fountains, so embarrassed, as well from scarcity in the body of water, as from both natural and purposed obstructions of ground; and the lights of astrological emanation so weak, scattered, and refracted, that in order respectively to arrive at that “day, when the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun be sevenfold as the light of seven days,” Isa. xxx. 26. i.e. COMPLETE, they will be obliged to submit to an intervening night, wherein “the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, and the stars, whose virtues are acquired from the sun, and collected and applied by the moon, shall withdraw their shining; i.e. both astrology and morals will fail them. This Jacob Boehmen foretold. In a word, the powers of the natural heaven must be shaken with the spiritual man, that is, he must close his eyes on all the false lights of the world, as completely as the mere man of the earth has closed his on all the lights of heaven. His reward is, that on opening them again, “the man of the earth shall be no more exalted against him;” he is in established day.

Finally, it will be observed by my readers, that the last argument is meant to elucidate in all its parts, the oblique censure passed in the close of the 8th chapter of Isaiah on those, “who look to them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter;” and to make them completely easy in admitting the familiarity of those “ministring spirits, who are sent forth to minister unto them, who shall be heirs of SALVATION,” in “coming for direction to the High priest of their profession, CHRIST JESUS; in entering boldly into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus, as a new and living way is consecrated for them through the veil, that is, the flesh;” so, that they need not fear being misguided by falsely enthusiastic spirits in their spiritual progress, for the way is open, is CONSECRATED, yea, the extremes of flesh and spirit are united, and the great river Euphrates is dried up, that the way of kings, from the rising of the Sun, may be prepared.” Rev. xvi. 12. But you are not to seek to those that peep and mutter, for “to whom should a people seek, but to their GOD?” TO HIM who takes a dauntless and impartial view of the fields of light, and “speaks as one having authority, and not as the scribes”. My readers will also find on reference to II Chronicles xvi. that Asa’s seeking to the physicians in his illness, and to the King of Syria for forces, was as completely reprobated, and actually punished, by an accumulation and fatality of the evils he though to remove, as, those are any where threatened to be, who seek for help to departed spirits, IF accompanied, as in Asa’s case, with bringing the treasures out of the house of the Lord; for if you leave GOD his full due; the aid of all creation, “the world, and life, and death,” are at your service: I Cor. iii. 22. In short, he is no christian, who goes to war without GOD; he is a fool who “prefers drawing from a cistern, when he can appropriate to himself a fountain.” John iv, 13, 14. The strength of the world was not made flesh under the Mosaical dispensation, nor the health of the world; Moses was only a perishable conductor; but NOW they are. Then, let no man stop short of the full appropriation of divine attributes, and properties, till, “GOD BE ALL IN ALL!” I Cor. xv. 28. He will then “have no need of the natural Sun nor of the natural moon to shine in his mind, for the GLORY OF GOD will lighten it, and THE LAMB be the LIGHT thereof.” Rev. xxi. 23. He will no longer draw his light from secondary sources, or foci of converged rays, however numerous, splendid, and ardent: he will run no risque of an intervening cloud: “he will know, even as also he is known.” I Cor. xiii. 12. he will himself be the SPIRIT OF A STAR, “shine as a star for ever and ever, and add light to the brightness of the firmament:” Daniel xii. 3. And in this doctrine UNITE THE CHRISTIAN AND PAGAN.

W. GILBERT.

N.B. The loss of Astrological light is immediately connected with the judgment of the world by Isaiah also, and particularly with the fall of the great: Ch. xiii. 9, 10, 11. and EXPERIENCE IS NOW AT LENGTH the clear commentator on these words.

April 13, 1792.

 


[1] Astrology, i.e. the words of the stars.

[2] Luke xxi. 26.

[3] Mark xiii.25. ii Thess. ii.3.

[4] Called in some parts of Germany Uranos, or the Cælestial; but I prefer Georgean, as expression at once, the commencement of Heaven on earth, earth as well as Heaven, and a return to earth.

[5] See Beere’s Answer to Levi.[E2]

[6] That is, he operated through their Ministry.—In the 20th verse, you will find, “the seven stars are the Angels of the seven churches;” and in the 19th verse of the 1st chap of Hebrews, it is said, that the Angels “are all Ministering Spirits.”

[7] Instead, probably, of stigmatising such as mystics.

[8] For this Covenant, see Jer. xxxiii. 25. the context of which shews also its close connexion with the christian Dispensation; and for the word “Ordinances,” mentioned there, see Job xxxviii. 31, 32, and 33. Dominion here is synonymous with Powers in the New Testament.

[9] How, then can a man presume to call himself “Created in Christ Jesus,” without this understanding?

[10] A gentleman high in office must remember to have seen these words somewhere, on the eve, or rather incipience of the French Revolution.

 

EDITORIAL NOTES

[E1] James Thomson, The Seasons, Autumn, 909

[E2] Richard Beere, A dissertation on the 13th and 14th Verses of the 8th Chapter of Daniel [etc.] (London: for the author, 1790). See Gilbert's earlier (Nov 1791) article To The Rev. Richard Beere