Introduction to The Unknown God


The Unknown God



Published &



Publication date 1st January 1948 by Thomas Publishers



This book is an attempt to explain to any open – minded, intelligent “man in the street” the real nature and teachings of one of the most wonderful, and certainly one of the most misunderstood, books ever written: The “Book of Genesis.” It deals only with the first three chapters. It is based entirely on a close study of the original Hebrew text, and the writer’s aim is simply and solely to show what that text actually says and teaches, and then to leave it to the judgement of the reader. The type of reader who “dotes on the occult” will he disappointed in this book. It is neither occult nor mystic. Like good old 18th century Bishop Berkeley, the author is the “sworn enemy of all that is not clear, precise, completely and universally intelligible, and in harmony with that famous ‘common sense’ which has always been the guardian deity of British thought.”


Editors Note

A letter to me from the granddaughter of the author F. J. Mayers.

Hi Tony,

Thankyou so much for your kind words and your appreciation of my grandfather’s work.  I really wish I’d had the chance to meet him but my Dad always said he was a lovely man and a real gentleman.

As I think I told you he was also a carpet designer and he designed the carpets for the Original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth ships, he also published a book on carpet design.

He was obviously a religious man with strong beliefs and apparently was well aquainted with quite high ranking church men from various religions but in particular Judaism.   I understand that on a personal level he was very good friends with Stanley Baldwin the Prime Minister and in fact named one of his sons after him.  He was always friends with the Composer Elgar who I’m told taught my grandfather to play chess!

I know my Aunt has some of his manuscripts and also his diary which we had considered at one point putting in print but decided not too as we weren’t sure if anyone else apart from us would be interested as although we find him fascinating we are of course slightly biased!

I hope that these little bits of info are of interest to you I’m sorry it’s not much but I can try and find out more if you would like me too. Thank you so much again and please contact me anytime if I can help.

Kind regards
Jill Payne


MANY years ago I had the pleasure of a visit from a very well known Divine – a delightful old gentleman, and much beloved by those who knew him personally. While chatting together one evening I casually mentioned that I had been for some time interested in the study of Hebrew, and that I hoped at some future time to do a little useful work with it. My guest’s reply to the remark was not exactly encouraging: “If you mean that you think of attempting original work, my friend, I advise you not to waste your time on it. So many great scholars have devoted their whole lives to the study and have done all that is possible in the way of interpreting the language that neither you nor I could ever hope to add anything to what they have done. Be content with their work.” I had, however, already gone far enough to satisfy myself that the well – meaning old gentleman was mistaken; so I did not continue the conversation on that topic.

Shortly afterwards, I was spending the evening with another old friend, who happened to be the Principal of an important Theological Training College. He was well known both among Christian and Jewish scholars as one of the foremost Hebrew scholars in Britain. He counted among his intimate friends many of the most learned London Rabbis, and had a very high opinion of them. “Grand men, some of those Rabbis; grand men,” he would say to me. And they had as high an opinion of him. I told him of the incident mentioned above. He leaned back in his chair and laughed heartily. Then, turning to me in his humorous Scottish way, he said : “Dear old Dr. O, that’s just exactly what he would say! Stick to your studies, man.” I took his advice.

My interest in the subject had been aroused by an extraordinary book, written by an extraordinary man. I had seen references to it in the works of Edouard Shure, and other writers. The book was “La Langue Hebraique Restituee,” by Fabre d’Olivet, a writer of the time of the French Revolution. It was little known here, and only to a comparatively small circle in France. I failed to get a copy of it in London, but with the kind assistance of an acquaintance, Madame Claudel, widow of the well known French writer Leon Called. I obtained a copy in Paris. (In 1903 a Paris publisher, M. Chacornac, to whom I owe many a kindness in the way of obtaining little known books. and also personal introductions to writers of high literary and scientific standing, issued a reprint of the original. It was again reprinted by him in 1922.)

As the present book owes so much to d’Olivet’s work, a few notes about him may not be out of place.

Fabre d’Olivet was born at saint – Hypolyte (Gard) in 1769. He belonged to a French Protestant family, descendants of the Camisards and Vaudois. Probably owing to the troublous times before and during the Revolution, much of his early life was spent out of France. In a letter he wrote Lord Byron anent his remarkable translation of Byron’s poem Cain” into French blank verse, he mentions his family as being resident in Great Britain. and also that he was partly educated in Aberdeen. At another time he was living in Germany and there, under the tuition of German Rabbis, he first studied Hebrew; also Arabic under Elions Boctor. He was already an excellent Classics scholar with an exceptionally wide knowledge of Greek and Latin literature. Later he extended his studies to Sanscrit, Chinese Samaritan, Syrian, Chaldee, and Ethiopian. Whatever he studied, he studied with deep penetrating insight and understanding.

His first important literary work was to collect from every possible source all the existing fragments of the “Golden Verses” of Pythagoras, which he translated and accompanied by a valuable philosophic commentary. That work was followed by “L’Histoire Philosophique du Genre Humain,” a large and important work which has provided many writers of recent years with valuable “material” (not always acknowledged by the borrowers). But undoubtedly his greatest achievement was “La Langue Hebraique Restituee.” Saint – Yves d’Alvedre, the author of “The Mission of the Jews,” describes it as “the real monument which will make the memory of Fabre d’Olivet immortal.” He adds: “Thanks to it the ‘Sepher’ (The Book) is no longer a collection of ‘tales of a grandmother,’ as it has hitherto been considered, but a Book which is veritably sacred, and which contains the substance of all Truth and Science.” D’Olivet’s interests were not theological but linguistic. He states emphatically in his book that he had no intentions whatever of making it a “commentary on the Mosaic writings. “My sole purpose,” he says, “ is to give my readers the means of reading and understanding those writings for themselves.” That was really a wise decision for more than one reason. Perhaps it was the only possible one at that time. As a matter of fact, it was only through the intervention of a very influential friend, Lazare Carnot. that he obtained the necessary permit to get the book printed at all. Fortunately, difficulties of that particular kind are less known to us today. I, therefore, feel at liberty now, as far as my very limited abilities permit, to make – in part at least – the commentary” which d’Olivet abstained from making. Whether my interpretation of the first three Chapters of Genesis (which is as much as I feel able to deal with just now) will bear any resemblance to what d’Olivet might have written. it is of course impossible to say. Most likely it will not. He would probably have treated the subject in a more strictly philosophic manner.

I may perhaps mention that before finally accepting d’Olivet’s principles as the basis of my work, I made some study of other authorities on the language and also took lessons from a competent Jewish Professor of Hebrew, an enthusiastic devotee of the “Holy Language.” I am entirely convinced that if d’Olivet’s work had been’ known and used in English Theological Colleges from the time it was published in 1815, the so – called “Higher Criticism” would never have made any headway here. Neither would the Darwinian interpretation of the fact of “Evolution” have had any power to produce the fatal effect, which it did produce, on the old Faith in the Bible as Divine Revelation, if the Book – of Genesis had been understood aright. It was not Moses, but his misinterpreters who were responsible for the absurdities which were taught in the Churches, and which Science could not fail – sooner or later – to scatter like dust to the four winds. Moses did indeed say that the Universe was “created” as a perfect conception in “six manifestations of the Divine Intelligence,” but he never said that it was “made “realised and perfected in six periods of twenty four hours each. He was very far indeed from any such idea. On the contrary, he himself proposed a doctrine of “Evolution” more complete and more scientific than the hypotheses of Darwin and Haeckel. Science did but sweep away the cobwebs. The real trouble was that the churches were unprepared with anything to put in place of the errors which they had taught too long. Science had a much too hasty victory – and made the mistake of overrating the extent of its success. It was, after all, only a relatively small part of the whole Truth which Science had conquered.

However, it is not too late to undo some of the evil that was done – and there are some favourable omens. When the doctrine of the “literal inspiration” of the Scriptures (which was applied not, as it should have been, to the original text but to very imperfect translations, and “second – hand” translations at that) – when that failed the Churches, they were forced to search for something more spiritual They knew from the most positive personal experience that the Bible held “Divine Truth,” and yet that something must be wrong with their reading of it. The result has been that the pulpit in Britain has been growing much more “spiritual” than it was even fifty years ago. That at least is one great gain. WHAT IS NOW NEEDED IS A KNOWLEDGE OF THE REAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK OF GENESIS, AND POSITIVE EVIDENCE FOR THAT TEACHING BEING CONTAINED WITHIN THE ANCIENT TEXT. Make that evidence known and new life will come into all religious activity, new Faith into many doubt – haunted minds – new Hope into many despondent hearts; and new Love for a God Who has been woefully misunderstood and misrepresented.


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-scott mead 2016-10-29 21:26:28

this is not about you…
i dont care about the letter you got from mayers granddaughter!
maybe you need to check your ego and focus on the goal, not any progress you feel youve made…
please put up the real work by mayers, un-tainted

    -Tony Crisp 2016-10-31 8:59:13

    Scott – Maybe you need to check you ego, for you are so sure of yourself, a sign of a massive ego.

    It is all there untainted, from the word Introduction is is all scanned and is an unchanged copy.


-Farrah 2015-06-13 11:27:13


I’m writing an essay based on the Self and God and I will be quoting from this very fascinating book. As I’ll need provide quotations Harvard referencing style I’m wondering with you have the date of publication as well?

Hope to hear from you very soon!

-Tony Crisp 2013-04-24 8:08:19

Tony – Thank you for your appreciation. Of course I would welcome any link you may wish to make.

Have you seen – It is my own small attempt to put Genesis into flowing expression.


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