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within, held in adoration by the Mohammedans, as containing the black stone said to have been given by an angel to Abraham.
The word is derived from the Hebrew Kabal, signifying to receive, because it is the doctrine received from the elders.
Buxtorf (Lexicon of the Talmud) defines the Cabala to be a secret science, which treats in a mystical and enigmatical manner of things divine, angelical, theological, celestial, and metaphysical; the subjects being enveloped in striking symbols and secret modes of teaching.
Much use is made of it in the advanced degrees, and entire Rites have been constructed on its principles.
As they were preparing for his obsequies, a voice was heard from heaven, saying, " Come ye to the marriage of Simon ben Jochai; he is entering into peace, and shall rest in his chamber!
" A flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by and burning like fire.
The doctrine of emanation is, says King (Gnostics, page10), "the soul, the essential element of the Cabala; it is likewise the essential element of Zoroastrism.
" But as we advance in the study of each we will find important differences, showing that, while the idea of the Cabalistic theosophy was borrowed from the Zendavesta, the sacred book of the Persian sage, it was not a copy, but a development of it.
Here in this subterranean abode, he occupied himself entirely with the contemplation of the sublime Cabalah, and was constantly visited by the prophet Elias, who disclosed to him some of its secrets, which were still concealed from the theosophical Rabbi.After the Fall, the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts With the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity.From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out.The origin of the Cabala has been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day.It has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of Zoroaster, but whether its inventors were the contemporaries or the successors of that philosopher and reformer it is impossible to say.