J. M. Roberts, Esq.
In submitting to the reader Antiquity Unveiled, we feel sure that its contents will fill a vacancy that has long existed in the field of literature. Shrouded in mystery as the origin of Christianity has always been, the evidence contained within this volume seems destined to draw aside the veil and let the light of truth shine upon its history. Antiquity Unveiled comprises a series of remarkable communications from ancient and modern spirits bearing upon Oriental religions and their relation to Christianity with the comments thereon by the late J. M Roberts, Esq. The following is a brief account of the manner in which they came into existence:
On March 26th, 1880, Mr. Roberts, then editor of "Mind and Matter," received through the medium the communication from Potamon, the founder of Eclecticism, which opened this regular series. This was followed by communications from other spirits upon the same subject. These continued until 1886,* and were printed in a weekly journal as received. They contain in a small space a vast amount of knowledge, most of which was unknown to the world before. It is this valuable information, with the comments by Mr. Roberts, which we now place before our readers.
*In stating that the first communication of the regular series was received in March, 1880, we do not wish the reader to infer that none were received prior to that date. On the contrary, Aronamar, the presiding spirit of the band under whose ministrations they were all given, communicated with Mr. Roberts as early as April, 1878, as will be seen from the following extract. Mr. Roberts in his notes says: "Little did I think when I received the communication from Aronamar, April 25th, 1878, what was to follow it two years later through the same medium. On March 26th, 1880, I received the communication from Potamon, the founder of the Alexandrian or Eclectic school of philosophy, which opened this remarkable series, since which time I have never received any communication which referred to myself personally, but all were in the line of this work.
The object of publishing these important and startling revelations is not only because they are of universal interest, but to preserve them to the world as well as meet the popular demand of progressive minds in all civilized lands, civilized not by Christiantiy, but through education and intelligence. The corroborative evidence embraced in them demonstrates conclusively that Apollonius of Tyana was the Jesus of Nazareth, the so-called Saviour of the Christian Scriptures. This great teacher now returns to earth, and inspires a medium through whom he explains the mysteries which have surrounded the origin of so-called Christianity. These facts being so highly important, it seems imperative that they should be widely disseminated; therefore we have concluded to issue them in a volume entitled Antiquity Unveiled.
The work would have been published by Mr. Roberts, in book form, had he remained in earth life a few years longer and received the encouragement and support he was entitled to in view of the great work he was called upon to fulfill for the enlightenment of mankind. We can not hope to compile the work so completely and ably as Mr. Roberts would have done, he being fully prepared with all the details, as well as possessing marked ability and wonderful adaptation for such a task. The only thing which now seems possible, in view of the demise of Mr. Roberts, is to insert the communications in the order they were received as far as practical, [Many of these spirit witnesses could not deliver their testimony in the order arranged by the spirit guides of the medium, for the reason that conditions were unfavorable.] and as much of his comments as the size of the volume will admit. These will rest upon their merits as bearing upon the religious history of the world. The work will at least be suggestive of thought, and cause many minds to look below the surface of the present religious teachings.
A considerable number of publications have been brought to the attention of the reading world heretofore by able authors and scholars upon the subject of ancient religions. These works, however, have been based upon what history of past ages has not been destroyed and is now accessible, and such researches as could be made at a time so remote from the age in which these religions had their origin.
Other works have been published within the last twelve years, whose authors have had the opportunity to draw facts and data from these communications and comments, which have been in print since 1880, and therefore accessible as sources of information upon the subject since that date. While it is gratifying to know that other writers have seen their value and importance, it is only just to the authors of these spirit messages, as well as to Mr. Roberts, in view of his exhaustive labors in this field of research, that we accord them due credit by placing on record the time when they were first received and published.
This work differs from all others preceding it from the fact that it is dependent upon history only so far as to identify the individuals giving the communications, and to bring to notice collateral facts bearing upon their testimony. (It is clearly proven in these pages that history has been so mutilated by eliminations, forgery and interpolation in the interests of Christianity, as to render it unreliable and misleading in the extreme.) Instead of the conflicting statements of history, we have the corroborative testimony from spirit life of those who were conspicuous in the ancient history of our world. Some of these distinguished individuals were the leading lights in the propagation of the ancient religions from which the teachings of Christianity were borrowed. Others of their number lived at and subsequent to the date of the Christian era, and testify definitely as to the part they acted in the origination and promotion of Christianity, as formulated from ancient religions. Many of these witnesses now return and contradict the assertions of Christian writers, viz: that they taught and upheld Christianity while on earth. Others testify that they have learned in spirit life the fallacy of the teachings of Christianity. Still others testify, as they did in earth life, that they knew the teachings of Christianity were not in accord with truth, but were composed of fragments gathered from the decayed religions of the past, and moulded by skillful minds into the shape best suited for their purpose; after which all traces of their ancient origin were destroyed as far as possible, that they might appear as a direct inspiration from God. Hence we cannot expect to find the root of the Christian religion at the comparatively recent date of eighteen hundred years ago, but back through the dim vista of the Oriental ages. Many of these spirit witnesses it appears, fearing for their lives, withheld the truth while on earth, but return and divulge it now. A few of them, only, were unwilling witnesses, who finally yielded to the force of truth and rendered their testimony. We know of none more competent to testify upon these vital questions than those who were the religious teachers at the periods before mentioned.
Some of our readers may discredit the source of these communications, but this does not dispose of the subject-matter. The testimony remains, backed up not only by the truth which underlies it, but by the collateral facts of history. Therefore whatever the source, this mass of evidence must be met, if at all, on the basis of that logic and reason to which the subject is entitled. Others without due consideration, or the ability to comprehend the great and interesting questions involved, may consider the work a fiction. If so regarded, it must be admitted that it is a fiction of such ponderous proportions as to be unequalled in the field of romance. On the other hand, if it bears the scrutiny of the reasonable mind and proves to be generally true, it must then be conceded that the pages of this volume chronicle the most wonderful and startling revelations given to the world in any century of its history.
Though Mr. Roberts was a well-read man of great intelligence, he had heard of but very few of the authors of these spirit communications until they introduced themselves to him through the medium. He was, therefore, greatly surprised at receiving such startling historical disclosures, and found it necessary to continually refer to encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, etc., in order to establish their identity, and obtain as much evidence as possible of the correctness of their statements. This required the labor and research of years. Many of the historical sketches of these spirits had to be translated from other languages into English, and in cases where there were no historical records extant, their statements had to be tested by the light of collateral evidence. The historical accounts that could be obtained of others were evidently mutilated by writers in the interests of Christianity to an extent that rendered such records as history unreliable, as well as unjust to the subjects thereof. Mention is made in connection with each communication where such references may be found, that the critical reader may search for himself. From the fact that translation was necessary in so many instances, the idea is precluded, which some might entertain, that the medium could have originated these communications. Even if he had been a great scholar and equal to the task of translation, there remains to be accounted for the many corrections made, the missing links furnished, as well as the masterly manner in which some of these ancient scholars expose the mutilations of history and settle questions that have caused much controversy among historical writers. No scholar living on earth at the present day, however learned, unaided by spirit intelligence, could thus have laid bare the facts in this connection, and certainly not one who, as an individual, was a marked illustration of how the ignorant and unlettered are chosen by the "powers that be" to confound the wise. The spirit messages are given verbatim as received, but the biographical references are inserted in a few instances only, as it would make the volume too large. For a similar reason the comments of Mr. Roberts are only partially included. Enough of the latter, however, are given, to show the reader how deeply he entered into this vast subject, and also give him some idea of the labor required to consummate this work. At many of these sittings other individuals, in company with Mr. Roberts, were present, hence there is no lack of evidence that the communications were received through the medium and carefully recorded. During the time these interviews were in progress, many questions were put to the spirits which were suggested by their statements. These were answered with a promptness and facility which proved their ability to elucidate any point bearing upon the subject under consideration. If the medium had been simply a pretender, instead of a passive instrument under spirit control, these questions would have remained unanswered.
Some readers of this work, not knowing the essential facts connected with its history, and moved by their prejudices, born of a false education, may attempt to make it appear that the contents were produced through collusion between Mr. Roberts and the medium regardless of their misleading effects. No greater mistake could be made. From the evidence herein set forth, it appears that too much collusion has already been practiced by the Church authorities in the past for the good of mankind, the evil of which seems now in a fair way to be corrected by witnesses from whose testimony there can be no appeal. In regard to Mr. Roberts, no shadow of suspicion could reflect upon him as to collusion in this matter, for he was known to be a man of the highest integrity, whose record would bear examination even by his opponents. His ability, scholarly attainments, intelligence and earnestness, evinced in his exhaustive labors upon this subject to discover the truth, are apparent throughout the entire work.
Those who are unfamiliar with this mode of spirit intercourse, will scarcely comprehend the difficulties to be surmounted before these spirits were able to accomplish their self-imposed task. It seems marvelous to those who understand the laws governing these manifestations, that these spirits should be able to return and deliver so coherently this vast array of evidence, while controlling a physical organism so unlike their own ethereal organism. The consistency with which these individuals who lived on earth, not only in the remote ages of antiquity, but down through the centuries, present their testimony, every vital part in coherence with the other, is among the most remarkable events in the history of our world. In this instance the difficulties were largely augmented by the presence of a great opposing force from the spirit side, composed of those who from the very inception of the Christian religion have been engaged in promulgating its teachings, borrowed from heathen mythology and galvanized with the name and sentimentalism of Christianity. These spirit enemies of truth evidently knew that the result of these revelations reaching the world meant annihilation of the power they had gained, therefore every obstacle they could control was placed in the way to prevent their transmission.*
*This condition of affairs, in relation to opposing spirits in the interests of Christianity, may seem very strange to those who have not had experience in that direction, but the truth of it has been demonstrated to an extent which renders doubt impossible. It must be self-evident to our readers that the millions of defenders of Christianity, who have passed to spirit life, would not permit an attempt to be made to elucidate the falsity of their religious teachings without making a most strenuous effort to prevent it. We refer more especially to the leaders in the cause of Christianity, whose power over the people it affects.
These witnesses were mostly the learned men of their time, embracing rulers, prophets and historians. They step to the front in the Nineteenth Century to reflect light on history's pages, by pointing out the criminal errors caused by interpolation and elimination, thus showing how the records of the past have been mutilated and the truth misrepresented for selfish ends. In doing this they have fearlessly laid bare the parts where personal ambition has prompted changes foreign to the truth and misleading to mankind. The light they bring includes not only what they acquired on earth, but also the clearer knowledge gained in spirit life.
Some of our readers may misunderstand the position taken here in regard to Christianity, especially the Christian devotee who invests Christianity with his ideal of all that is good, great and moral and believes that he is indebted to its teachings for all the good qualities he possesses. In dealing with Christianity, we do not refer to those qualities as they are naturally innate in man, but instead to the creedal elements formulated into so-called religion by its originators, as well as those who have been its promoters down through the centuries, for the purpose of gaining power and self-aggrandizement. To-day, as never before, is this movement being advanced by all the church machinery which can be brought to bear to inculcate and cultivate this offshoot of heathen mythology.
In order to read this work with the best results, all prejudice and preconceived opinions should be laid aside, as well as the idea of a personal God. It should be remembered that the question of a Supreme Being is not under consideration here, whether termed God, Creator, or Natural Law. Nor should the fact that it is involved with Spiritualism be allowed to prejudice the mind, for through Modern Spiritualism, which is simply a continuation of Ancient Spiritualism, intercourse between the two worlds has become an established fact, having been suppressed by Priestcraft for centuries.
Now, in view of the many opposing factions in the religious world, each claiming to be right, many minds have doubtless questioned why this testimony as to the truth concerning the great religious questions which so agitate the human mind has been deferred so long? Why, if the lines of communication were open between the two worlds, the philosophers, teachers and learned men of old, who are in touch with these matters of such vast importance have not returned ere this to dissipate the fearful delusions which envelop humanity?
To close readers of the history of man's spiritual unfoldment, it must be evident that these revelations were brought to the attention of the world as soon as the state of man's growth enabled him to comprehend and embrace them. That the great and good in the spirit realms have been struggling for centuries through the adverse conditions to consummate this great task, no unprejudiced reader can doubt. That they have failed many times in the past is equally true, consequently all efforts in that direction had to be abandoned from time to time until man had progressed to a condition which rendered success possible. Destiny, it appears, awarded that period to the latter part of the Nineteenth Century.
We need not apologize to our readers for the length of the preface. On a subject of such vast importance, with so many points to be considered, even the space we have taken does not afford scope to embrace them all.