The earth is conceived of as a round disk, slightly sloping towards the south, surrounded on three sides by the sea, but on the north by a high mountain of turquoises; behind this is the abode of the blest, a sort of inferior paradise, inhabited by the Egyptians who were saved from drowning with Pharaoh in the Red Sea, and whom the Mandaeans look upon as their ancestors, Pharaoh himself having been their first high priest and king.
ISLES OF THE BLEST, or FORTUNATE ISLANDS (Gr.
Viii.) or the Celtic Avalon and St Brendan's island, the Isles of the Blest are represented as a land of perpetual summer and abundance of all good things.
John Gambold, a member of the Holy Club, who afterwards became a Moravian bishop, says "he was blest with such activity as to be always gaining ground, and such steadiness that he Iost none.
Cvii.) and inscriptions preserve the knowledge that the mystic, sacratus, passed through seven degrees, which probably corresponded to the seven planetary spheres traversed by the soul in its progress to wisdom, perfect purity, and the abode of the blest: Corax, Raven, so named because the raven in Mithraic mythology was the servant of the Sun; Cryphius, Occult, a degree in the taking of which the mystic was perhaps hidden from others in the sanctuary by a veil, the removal of which was a solemn ceremonial; Miles, Soldier, signifying the holy warfare against evil in the service of the god; Leo, Lion, symbolic of the element of fire; Perses, Persian, clad in Asiatic costume, a reminiscence of the ancient origin of the religion; Heliodromus, Courier of the Sun, with whom Mithras was identified; Pater, Father, a degree bringing the mystic among those who had the general direction of the cult for the rest of their lives.
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