[First Crusade Address: given Sunday, June 7, 1896, at the Tremont Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts. Published in The Theosophical News: A Weekly Report of Activities (1:1), June 22, 1896, pp. 2-3.]
It is my desire to have my hearers feel that I am not addressing them tonight as ladies or gentlemen, men or women, but as immortal and eternal souls. For we meet on the common platform of Theosophy -- the wisdom of divinity -- which is no respecter of persons, but views all things in nature as aspects of the one, never-dying Spirit.
And this is really the keynote of my address -- the recognition of the soul in men, whether they be black or white, weak or strong, despairing or hopeful. It is in all men, even though our civilization, our desires, our reason may seem to choke it; even though science in its blindness may not see it -- yet it stands majestic, and as the core and heart of each man's life -- the dictator of his being, the director of his destiny. This is the one truth which Theosophy brings to the world, a truth reborn from the sacred wisdom of the ages, and which is destined to be the salvation of all humanity.
The day has come when Theosophy must emerge from its chrysalis of mystery and, like a great butterfly, spread its white wings over the whole earth to be seen and known openly by all men. If, hitherto, many have been puzzled by long and odd names, Sanscrit words and seeming obscurity connected with it, it was because pioneer work had to be done and the great and ancient religions of the East and West brought together.
The years of waiting have passed away, and today Theosophy will be reborn as a new light among all. Its simple truths are about to be recognized as necessary to the everyday life of man, and will be taught in language and by methods as readily understood by the humblest layman as the most advanced student.
Theosophy in its purity is a mystery only to those who have not recognized the higher self, in which all men find their unity and perfect life. This is the true man existing in each one of us. It is our divine nature, preached by the great teachers of humanity, sung by the poets, portrayed by all artists for ages; it is spoken of in all the religions of the world; it was the light sought by all the sages, yet it is readily found by every man who will retire within the chamber of his heart and seek for his own natural wisdom. It is not found by the mere reasoning faculties, nor by great study of books; it is understood by all, rich and poor, learned and ignorant, who will make the smallest effort towards self-sacrifice.
If on the altar of devotion to another for one brief moment even, the lower self is sacrificed, there appears the bright white light of the higher and true self, and he who sees it and lives with it, has attained to wisdom and knows all that Theosophy has to teach, nay, may himself become a teacher. This is the whole secret.
Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is Theosophy, pure and simple, and for those who can look below the surface, all that is to be known is there. Blessed indeed are they who follow the simple teachings of the carpenter's son, or of the Lord Buddha, or of the Persian prophet Zoroaster, or of any great Theosophist of the past, for under them are concealed the deep mysteries of being only to be revealed in parables to the multitude.
The closing years of this century are the epitome of the past. We are being hurried again over all the old ground covered by our forefathers in their search for truth, and passing rapidly on to the greatest era the world has yet seen. The cry for help has gone up and will be answered. Great souls are preparing to incarnate and to shed their light on the world, but they can come only as we prepare for them, as each of us does what he can to elevate the little world in which he lives; so do we make ready for a brighter age.
Parents, look to your children, for in them is not only the Kingdom of Heaven now, but they will live to see in the coming century a true peace on earth and wisdom among mankind. Your boys and girls belong to a great race; in them are the germs of a wisdom greater than that possessed by you, and much that cannot now be understood by you will be clear to them in the coming years.
When Theosophy has liberated all men, and its light has been shed on every side, and the "cable tow" of truth has encircled the world, there can be no room for sorrow. The prisons will be emptied, wars will cease; hunger and famine will be unknown; the spectacle of men utilizing their brains and all their resources to make engines of destruction will appear no more; bigotry, superstition, and religious persecution will disappear; disease, which often springs from evil acts and thoughts, will pass away; hate will be supplanted by charity; selfishness, by self-sacrifice; the day will take the place of night on our world, and under the shadowing wings of the great brotherhood, all mankind will abide in peace, unity, and love.
These are but a few of the divine blessings bestowed by the simple truths of Theosophy. Nor is this a Utopian dream. When we look back to the days when our forefathers, the pioneers of America, toiled at the plough on their farms in this State of Massachusetts, we see how much has been accomplished in a few years. It was their simplicity of life, their courage, their brave declaration of principle at Bunker Hill, their sacrifice that has made us what we are, and in our hands is the making of the future.
It is my duty before leaving you, to thank the Boston Theosophists and you all, for this great reception. It is from here that our Crusade, organized to carry the light of men all over this planet, will proceed on its mission of love.