Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe carried on in the secret meetings of free masons, illuminati, and reading societies. Author: John Robison

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  OF A















  _Nam tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet._


  To which is added a POSTSCRIPT.





_It was with great satisfaction that I learned from a Friend that
you coincided with me in the opinion, that the information contained
in this Performance would make a useful impression on the minds of
my Countrymen._

_I have presumed to inscribe it with your Name, that I may publicly
express the pleasure which I felt, when I found that neither
a separation for thirty years, nor the pressure of the most
important business, had effaced your kind remembrance of a College
Acquaintance, or abated that obliging and polite attention with
which you favoured me in those early days of life._

_The friendship of the accomplished and the worthy is the highest
honour; and to him who is cut off, by want of health, from almost
every other enjoyment, it is an inestimable blessing. Accept,
therefore, I pray, of my grateful acknowledgments, and of my earnest
wishes for your Health, Prosperity, and increasing Honour._

_With sentiments of the greatest Esteem and Respect_,

  _I am, SIR,
  Your most obedient,
  and most humble Servant_,

  _September 5, 1797._

  _Quod si quis verâ vitam ratione gubernet,
  Divitiæ grandes homini sunt, vivere parcè
  Æquo animo: neque enim est unquam penuria parvi.
  At claros se homines voluêrunt atque potentes,
  Ut fundamento stabili fortuna maneret,
  Et placidam possent opulenti degere vitam:
  Nequicquam,--quoniam ad summum succedere honorem
  Certantes, iter infestum fecêre viaï,
  Et tamen è summo quasi fulmen dejicit ictos
  Invidia interdum contemptim in Tartara tetra._

  _Ergo, Regibus occisis, subversa jacebat
  Pristina majestas soliorum, et sceptra superba;
  Et capitis summi præclarum insigne, cruentum,
  Sub pedibus volgi magnum lugebat honorum:
  Nam cupidè conculcatur nimis ante metutum.
  Res itaque ad summam fæcem, turbasque redibat,
  Imperium sibi cum ac summatum quisque petebat._

  LUCRETIUS, V. 1116.


Being at a friend's house in the country during some part of the
summer 1795, I there saw a volume of a German periodical work,
called _Religions Begebenheiten_, _i. e._ Religious Occurrences: in
which there was an account of the various schisms in the Fraternity
of Free Masons, with frequent allusions to the origin and history of
that celebrated association. This account interested me a good deal,
because, in my early life, I had taken some part in the occupations
(shall I call them) of Free Masonry; and, having chiefly frequented
the Lodges on the Continent, I had learned many doctrines, and seen
many ceremonials which have no place in the simple system of Free
Masonry which obtains in this country. I had also remarked, that
the whole was much more the object of reflection and thought than
I could remember it to have been among my acquaintances at home.
There, I had seen a Mason Lodge considered merely as a pretext
for passing an hour or two in a sort of decent conviviality, not
altogether void of some rational occupation. I had sometimes heard
of differences of doctrines or of ceremonies, but in terms which
marked them as mere frivolities. But, on the Continent, I found them
matters of serious concern and debate. Such too is the contagion of
example, that I could not hinder myself from thinking one opinion
better founded, or one Ritual more apposite and significant than
another; and I even felt something like an anxiety for its being
adopted, and a zeal for making it a general practice. I had been
initiated in a very splendid Lodge at Liege, of which the Prince
Bishop, his Trefonciers, and the chief Noblesse of the State were
members. I visited the French Lodges at Valenciennes, at Brussels,
at Aix-la-Chapelle, at Berlin, and Koningsberg; and I picked up some
printed discourses delivered by the Brother-orators of the Lodges.
At St. Petersburgh I connected myself with the English Lodge, and
occasionally visited the German and Russian Lodges held there. I
found myself received with particular respect as a Scotch Mason,
and as an Eleve of the _Lodge de la Parfait Intelligence_ at Liege.
I was importuned by persons of the first rank to pursue my masonic
career through many degrees unknown in this country. But all the
splendor and elegance that I saw could not conceal a frivolity in
every part. It appeared a baseless fabric, and I could not think
of engaging in an occupation which would consume much time, cost
me a good deal of money, and might perhaps excite in me some of
that fanaticism, or at least, enthusiasm, that I saw in others, and
perceived to be void of any rational support. I therefore remained
in the English Lodge, contented with the rank of Scotch Master,
which was in a manner forced on me in a private Lodge of French
Masons, but is not given in the English Lodge. My masonic rank
admitted me to a very elegant entertainment in the female _Loge de
la Fidelité_, where every ceremonial was composed in the highest
degree of elegance, and every thing conduced with the most delicate
respect for our fair sisters, and the old song of brotherly love was
chanted in the most refined strain of sentiment. I do not suppose
that the Parisian Free Masonry of forty-five degrees could give
me more entertainment. I had profited so much by it, that I had
the honour of being appointed the Brother-orator. In this office I
gave such satisfaction, that a worthy Brother sent me at midnight
a box, which he committed to my care, as a person far advanced in
masonic science, zealously attached to the order, and therefore a
fit depository of important writings. I learned next day that this
gentleman had found it convenient to leave the empire in a hurry,
but taking with him the funds of an establishment of which her
Imperial Majesty had made him the manager. I was desired to keep
these writings till he should see me again. I obeyed. About ten
years afterward I saw the gentleman on the street in Edinburgh,
conversing with a foreigner. As I passed by him, I saluted him
softly in the Russian language; but without stopping, or looking
him directly in the face. He coloured, but made no return. I
endeavoured, in vain, to meet with him, wishing to make a proper
return for much civility and kindness which I had received from him
in his own country.

I now considered the box as accessible to myself, and opened
it. I found it to contain all the degrees of the _Parfait Maçon
Ecossois_, with the Rituals, Catechisms, and Instructions, and also
four other degrees of Free Masonry, as cultivated in the Parisian
Lodges. I have kept them with all care, and mean to give them to
some respectable Lodge. But as I am bound by no engagement of any
kind, I hold myself at liberty to make such use of them as may be
serviceable to the public, without enabling any uninitiated person
to enter the Lodges of these degrees.

This acquisition might have roused my former relish for masonry,
had it been merely dormant; but, after so long separation from the
_Lodge de la Fidelité_, the masonic spirit had evaporated. Some
curiosity however remained, and some wish to trace this plastic
mystery to the pit from which the clay had been dug, which has been
moulded into so many different shapes, "some to honour, and some to
dishonour." But my opportunities were now gone. I have given away
(when in Russia) my volumes of discourses, and some far-fetched and
gratuitous histories, and nothing remained but the pitiful work of
Anderson, and the _Maçonnerie Adonhiramique devoilêe_, which are in
every one's hands.

My curiosity was strongly roused by the accounts given in the
_Religions Begebenheiten_. There I saw quotations without
number, systems and schisms of which I had never heard; but what
particularly struck me was a zeal and a fanaticism about what I
thought trifles, which astonished me. Men of rank and fortune,
and engaged in serious and honourable public employments, not
only frequenting the Lodges of the cities where they resided, but
journeying from one end of Germany or France to the other, to
visit new Lodges, or to learn new secrets or new doctrines. I saw
conventions held at Wisinar, at Wisbad, at Kohlo, at Brunswick, and
at Willemsbad, consulting of some hundreds of persons of respectable
stations. I saw adventurers coming to a city, professing some new
secret, and in a few days forming new Lodges, and instructing in a
troublesome and expensive manner hundreds of brethren.

German Masonry appeared a very serious concern, and to be
implicated with other subjects with which I had never suspected
it to have any connection. I saw it much connected with many
occurrences and schisms in the Christian church; I saw that the
Jesuits had several times interfered in it; and that most of the
exceptionable innovations and dissentions had arisen about the
time that the order of _Loyola_ was suppressed; so that it should
seem, that these intriguing brethren had attempted to maintain
their influence by the help of Free Masonry. I saw it much
disturbed by the mystical whims of J. Behmen and Swedenborg--by
the fanatical and knavish doctrines of the modern Rosycrucians--by
Magicians--Magnetisers--Exorcists, &c. And I observed that these
different facts reprobated each other, as not only maintaining
erroneous opinions, but even inculcating opinions which were
contrary to the established religions of Germany, and contrary to
the principles of the civil establishments. At the same time they
charged each other with mistakes and corruptions, both in doctrine
and in practice; and particularly with falsification of the first
principles of Free Masonry, and with ignorance of its origin and its
history; and they supported these charges by authorities from many
different books which were unknown to me.

My curiosity was now greatly excited. I got from a much
respected friend many of the preceding volumes of the _Religions
Begebenheiten_, in hopes of much information from the patient
industry of German erudition. This opened a new and very interesting
scene; I was frequently sent back to England, from whence all agreed
that Free Masonry had been imported into Germany. I was frequently
led into France and into Italy. There, and more remarkably in
France, I found that the Lodges had become the haunts of many
projectors and fanatics, both in science, in religion, and in
politics, who had availed themselves of the secrecy and the freedom
of speech maintained in these meetings, to broach their particular
whims or suspicious doctrines, which, if published to the world in
the usual manner, would have exposed the authors to ridicule or
to censure. These projectors had contrived to tag their peculiar
nostrums to the mummery of Masonry, and were even allowed to twist
the masonic emblems and ceremonies to to their purpose; so that
in their hands Free Masonry became a thing totally unlike, and
almost in direct opposition to the system (if it may get such a
name) imported from England; and some Lodges had become schools of
irreligion and licentiousness.

No nation in modern times has so particularly turned its attention
to the cultivation of every thing that is refined or ornamental
as France, and it has long been the resort of all who hunt after
entertainment in its most refined form; the French have come to
consider themselves as the instructors of the world in every
thing that ornaments life, and feeling themselves received as
such, they have formed their manners accordingly--full of the
most condescending complaisance to _all who acknowledge_ their
superiority. Delighted, in a high degree, with this office, they
have become zealous missionaries of refinement in every department
of human pursuit, and have reduced their apostolic employment to
a system, which they prosecute with ardour and delight. This is
not groundless declamation, but sober historical truth. It was the
professed aim (and it was a magnificent and wise aim) of the great
Colbert, to make the court of Louis XIV. the fountain of human
refinement, and Paris the Athens of Europe. We need only look, in
the present day, at the plunder of Italy by the French army, to be
convinced that their low-born generals and statesmen have in this
respect the same notions with the Colberts and the Richlieus.

I know no subject in which this aim at universal influence on the
opinions of men, by holding themselves forth as the models of
excellence and elegance, is more clearly seen than in the care that
they have been pleased to take of Free Masonry. It seems indeed
peculiarly suited to the talents and taste of that vain and ardent
people. Baseless and frivolous, it admits of every form that Gallic
refinement can invent, to recommend it to the young, the gay, the
luxurious; that class of society which alone deserves their care,
because, in one way or another, it leads all other classes of

It has accordingly happened, that the homely Free Masonry imported
from England has been totally changed in every country of Europe
either by the imposing ascendency of French brethren, who are
to be found every where, ready to instruct the world; or by the
importation of the doctrines, and ceremonies, and ornaments of
the Parisian Lodges. Even England, the birth-place of Masonry,
has experienced the French innovations; and all the repeated
injunctions, admonitions, and reproofs of the old Lodges, cannot
prevent those in different parts of the kingdom from admitting the
French novelties, full of tinsel and glitter, and high-sounding

Were this all, the harm would not be great. But long before good
opportunities had occurred for spreading the refinements on the
simple Free Masonry of England, the Lodges in France had become
places of very serious discussion, where opinions in morals, in
religion, and in politics, had been promulgated and maintained with
a freedom and a keenness, of which we in this favoured land have no
adequate notion, because we are unacquainted with the restraints
which, in other countries, are laid on ordinary conversation. In
consequence of this, the French innovations in Free Masonry were
quickly followed in all parts of Europe, by the admission of similar
discussions, although in direct opposition to a standing rule, and
a declaration made to every newly received Brother, "that nothing
touching the religion or government shall ever be spoken of in the
Lodge." But the Lodges in other countries followed the example of
France, and have frequently become the rendezvous of innovators in
religion and politics, and other disturbers of the public peace.
In short, I have found that the covert of a Mason Lodge had been
employed in every country for venting and propagating sentiments
in religion and politics, that could not have circulated in public
without exposing the author to great danger. I found, that this
impunity had gradually encouraged men of licentious principles to
become more bold, and to teach doctrines subversive of all our
notions of morality--of all our confidence in the moral government
of the universe--of all our hopes of improvement in a future state
of existence--and of all satisfaction and contentment with our
present life, so long as we live in a state of civil subordination.
I have been able to trace these attempts, made, through a course of
fifty years, under the specious pretext of enlightening the world by
the torch of philosophy, and of dispelling the clouds of civil and
religious superstition which keep the nations of Europe in darkness
and slavery. I have observed these doctrines gradually diffusing
and mixing with all the different systems of Free Masonry; till,
at last, AN ASSOCIATION HAS BEEN FORMED for the express purpose of
THE EXISTING GOVERNMENTS OF EUROPE. I have seen this Association
exerting itself zealously and systematically, till it has become
almost irresistible: And I have seen that the most active leaders
in the French Revolution were members of this Association, and
conducted their first movements according to its principles, and
by means of its instructions and assistance, _formally requested
and obtained_: And, lastly, I have seen that this Association still
exists, still works in secret, and that not only several appearances
among ourselves show that its emissaries are endeavouring to
propagate their detestable doctrines among us, but that the
Association has Lodges in Britain corresponding with the mother
Lodge at Munich ever since 1784.

If all this were a matter of mere curiosity, and susceptible of no
good use, it would have been better to have kept it to myself, than
to disturb my neighbours with the knowledge of a state of things
which they cannot amend. But if it shall appear that the minds of
my countrymen are misled in the very same manner as were those
of our continental neighbours--if I can show that the reasonings
which make a very strong impression on some persons in this country
are the same which actually produced the dangerous association in
Germany; and that they had this unhappy influence solely because
they were thought to be sincere, and the expressions of the
sentiments of the speakers--if I can show that this was all a cheat,
and that the Leaders of this Association disbelieved _every word_
that they uttered, and every doctrine that they taught; and that
their real intention was to abolish _all_ religion, overturn every
government, and make the world a general plunder and a wreck--if
I can show, that the principles which the Founder and Leaders of
this Association held forth as the perfection of human virtue, and
the most powerful and efficacious for forming the minds of men, and
making them good and happy, had no influence on the Founder and
Leaders themselves, and that they were, almost without exception,
the most insignificant, worthless, and profligate of men; I cannot
but think, that such information will make my countrymen hesitate a
little, and receive with caution, and even distrust, addresses and
instructions which flatter our self-conceit, and which, by buoying
us up with the gay prospect of what seems attainable by a change,
may make us discontented with our present condition, and forget that
there never was a government on earth where the people of a great
and luxurious nation enjoyed so much freedom and security in the
possession of every thing that is dear and valuable.

When we see that these boasted principles had not that effect on
the Leaders which they assert to be their native, certain, and
inevitable consequences, we shall distrust the fine descriptions
of the happiness that should result from such a change. And when
we see that the methods which were practised by this Association
for the express purpose of breaking all the bands of society, were
employed solely in order that the Leaders might rule the world with
uncontroulable power, while all the rest, even of the associated,
should be degraded in their own estimation, corrupted in their
principles, and employed as mere tools of the ambition of their
_unknown superiors_; surely a free-born Briton will not hesitate to
reject at once, and without any farther examination, a plan so big
with mischief, so disgraceful to its underling adherents, and so
uncertain in its issue.

These hopes have induced me to lay before the public a short
abstract of the information which I think I have received. It will
be short, but I hope sufficient for establishing the fact, that
_this detestable Association exists, and its emissaries are busy
among ourselves_.

I was not contented with the quotations which I found in the
Religions Begebenheiten, but procured from abroad some of the chief
writings from which they are taken. This both gave me confidence in
the quotations from books which I could not procure, and furnished
me with more materials. Much, however, remains untold, richly
deserving the attention of all those who _feel_ themselves disposed
to listen to the tales of a possible happiness that may be enjoyed
in a society where all the magistrates are wise and just, and all
the people are honest and kind.

I hope that I am honest and candid. I have been at all pains to
give the true sense of the authors. My knowledge of the German
language is but scanty, but I have had the assistance of friends
whenever I was in doubt. In compressing into one paragraph what I
have collected from many, I have, as much as I was able, stuck to
the words of the author, and have been anxious to give his precise
meaning. I doubt not but that I have sometimes failed, and will
receive correction with deference. I entreat the reader not to
expect a piece of good literary composition. I am very sensible that
it is far from it--it is written during bad health, when I am not at
ease--and I wish to conceal my name--but my motive is, without the
smallest mixture of another, to do some good in the only way I am
able, and I think that what I say will come with better grace, and
be received with more confidence, than any anonymous publication. Of
these I am now most heartily sick. I throw myself on my country with
a free heart, and I bow with deference to its decision.

The association of which I have been speaking is the Order of
ILLUMINATI, founded, in 1775, by Dr. Adam Weishaupt, professor of
Canon law in the university of Ingolstadt, and abolished in 1786
by the Elector of Bavaria, but revived immediately after, under
another name, and in a different form, all over Germany. It was
again detected, and seemingly broken up; but it had by this time
taken so deep root that it still subsists without being detected,
and has spread into all the countries of Europe. It took its
first rise among the Free Masons, but is totally different from
Free Masonry. It was not, however, the mere protection gained by
the secrecy of the Lodges that gave occasion to it, but it arose
naturally from the corruptions that had gradually crept into that
fraternity, the violence of the party spirit which pervaded it, and
from the total uncertainty and darkness that hangs over the whole
of that mysterious Association. It is necessary, therefore, to give
some account of the innovations that have been introduced into Free
Masonry from the time that it made its appearance on the continent
of Europe as a mystical society, possessing secrets different from
those of the mechanical employment whose name it assumed, and thus
affording entertainment and occupation to persons of all ranks and
professions. It is by no means intended to give a history of Free
Masonry. This would lead to a very long discussion. The patient
industry of German erudition has been very seriously employed on
this subject, and many performances have been published, of which
some account is given in the different volumes of the Religions
Begebenheiten, particularly in those for 1779, 1785, and 1786.
It is evident, from the nature of the thing, that they cannot be
very instructive to the public; because the obligation of secrecy
respecting the important matters which are the very subjects of
debate, prevents the author from giving that full information that
is required from an historian; and the writers have not, in general,
been persons qualified for the task. Scanty erudition, credulity,
and enthusiasm, appear in almost all their writings; and they have
neither attempted to remove the heap of rubbish with which Anderson
has disgraced his _Constitutions of Free Masonry_, (the basis of
masonic history,) nor to avail themselves of informations which
history really affords to a sober enquirer. Their Royal art must
never forsooth appear in a state of infancy or childhood, like all
other human acquirements; and therefore, when they cannot give
proofs of its existence in a state of manhood, possessed of all its
mysterious treasures, they suppose what they do not see, and say
that they are concealed by the oath of secrecy. Of such instruction
I can make no use, even if I were disposed to write a history of
the Fraternity. I shall content myself with an account of such
particulars as are admitted by all the masonic parties, and which
illustrate or confirm my general proposition, making such use of the
accounts of the higher degrees in my possession as I can without
admitting the profane into their Lodges. Being under no tie of
secrecy with regard to these, I am with-held by discretion alone
from putting the public in possession of all their mysteries.



_Schisms in Free Masonry._

There is undoubtedly a dignity in the art of building, or in
architecture, which no other art possesses, and this, whether we
consider it in its rudest state, occupied in raising a hut, or as
practised in a cultivated nation, in the erection of a magnificent
and ornamented temple. As the arts in general improve in any nation,
this must always maintain its pre-eminence; for it employs them
all, and no man can be eminent as an architect who does not possess
a considerable knowledge of almost every science and art already
cultivated in his nation. His great works are undertakings of the
most serious concern, connect him with the public, or with the
rulers of the state, and attach to him the practitioners of other
arts, who are occupied in executing his orders: His works are the
objects of public attention, and are not the transient spectacles of
the day, but hand down to posterity his invention, his knowledge,
and his taste. No wonder then that he thinks highly of his
profession, and that the public should acquiesce in his pretensions,
even when in some degree extravagant.

It is not at all surprising, therefore, that the incorporated
architects in all cultivated nations should arrogate to themselves
a pre-eminence over the similar associations of other tradesmen.
We find traces of this in the remotest antiquity. The Dionysiacs
of Asia Minor were undoubtedly an association of architects and
engineers, who had the exclusive privilege of building temples,
stadia, and theatres, under the mysterious tutelage of Bacchus,
and distinguished from the uninitiated or profane inhabitants by
the science which they possessed, and by many private signs and
tokens, by which they recognised each other. This association came
into Ionia from Syria, into which country it had come from Persia,
along with that style of architecture that we call Grecian. We are
also certain that there was a similar trading association, during
the dark ages, in Christian Europe, which monopolized the building
of great churches and castles, working under the patronage and
protection of the Sovereigns and Princes of Europe, and possessing
many privileges. Circumstances, which it would be tedious to
enumerate and discuss, continued this association later in Britain
than on the Continent.

But it is quite uncertain when and why persons who were not
builders by profession first sought admission into this Fraternity.
The first distinct and unequivocal instance that we have of this
is the admission of Mr. Ashmole, the famous antiquary, in 1648,
into a Lodge at Warrington, along with his father-in-law Colonel
Mainwaring. It is not improbable that the covert of secrecy in those
assemblies had made them courted by the Royalists, as occasions
of meeting. Nay, the Ritual of the Master's degree seems to have
been formed, or perhaps twisted from its original institution, so
as to give an opportunity of sounding the political principles of
the candidate, and of the whole Brethren present. For it bears so
easy an adaption to the death of the King, to the overturning of the
venerable constitution of the English government of three orders by
a mean democracy, and its re-establishment by the efforts of the
loyalists, that this would start into every person's mind during
the ceremonial, and could hardly fail to show, by the countenances
and behaviour of the Brethren, how they were affected. I recommend
this hint to the consideration of the Brethren. I have met with
many particular facts, which convince me that this use had been
made of the meetings of Masons, and that at this time the Jesuits
interfered considerably, insinuating themselves into the Lodges,
and contributing to encrease that religious mysticism that is to be
observed in all the ceremonies of the order. This society is well
known to have put on every shape, and to have made use of every
mean that could promote the power and influence of the order. And
we know that at this time they were by no means without hopes of
re-establishing the dominion of the Church of Rome in England. Their
services were not scrupled at by the distressed royalists, even such
as were Protestants, while they were highly prized by the Sovereign.
We also know that Charles II. was made a Mason, and frequented
the Lodges. It is not unlikely, that besides the amusement of a
vacant hour, which was always agreeable to him, he had pleasure in
the meeting with his loyal friends, and in the occupations of the
Lodge, which recalled to his mind their attachment and services.
His brother and successor James II. was of a more serious and manly
cast of mind, and had little pleasure in the frivolous ceremonies
of Masonry. He did not frequent the Lodges. But, by this time, they
were the resort of many persons who were not of the profession,
or members of the trading corporation. This circumstance, in all
probability, produced the denominations of FREE and ACCEPTED. A
person who has the privilege of working at any incorporated trade,
is said to be a _freeman_ of that trade. Others were _accepted_ as
Brethren, and admitted to a kind of honorary freedom, as is the case
in many other trades and incorporations, without having (as far as
we can learn for certain) a legal title to earn a livelihood by the
exercise of it.

The Lodges being in this manner frequented by persons of various
professions, and in various ranks of civil society, it cannot be
supposed that the employment in those meetings related entirely
to the ostensible profession of Masonry. We have no authentic
information by which the public can form any opinion about it. It
was not till some years after this period that the Lodges made
open profession of the cultivation of general benevolence, and
that the grand aim of the Fraternity was to enforce the exercise
of all the social virtues. It is not unlikely that this was an
after-thought. The political purposes of the association being once
obtained, the conversation and occupations of the members must
take some particular turn, in order to be generally acceptable.
The establishment of a fund for the relief of unfortunate Brethren
did not take place till the very end of last century; and we may
presume that it was brought about by the warm recommendations
of some benevolent members, who would naturally enforce it by
addresses to their assembled Brethren. This is the probable origin
of those philanthropic discourses which were delivered in the
Lodges by one of the Brethren as an official talk. Brotherly love
was the general topic, and this, with great propriety, when we
consider the object aimed at in those addresses. Nor was this
object altogether a novelty. For while the manners of society were
yet but rude, Brother Masons, who were frequently led by their
employment far from home and from their friends, stood in need of
such helps, and might be greatly benefited by such an institution,
which gave them introduction and citizenship wherever they went,
and a right to share in the charitable contributions of Brethren
who were strangers to them. Other incorporated trades had similar
provisions for their poor. But their poor were townsmen and
neighbours, well known to them. There was more persuasion necessary
in this Fraternity, where the objects of our immediate beneficence
were not of our acquaintance. But when the Lodges consisted of
many who were not Masons, and who had no particular claim to good
offices from a stranger, and their number might be great, it is
evident that stronger persuasions were now necessary, and that
every topic of philanthropy must now be employed. When the funds
became considerable, the effects naturally took the public eye,
and recommended the Society to notice and respect. And now the
Brethren were induced to dwell on the same topic, to join in the
commendations bestowed on the Society, and to say that universal
beneficence was the great aim of the Order. And this is all that
could be said in public, without infringing the obligation to
secrecy. The inquisitive are always prying and teazing, and this
is the only point on which a Brother is at liberty to speak. He
will therefore do it with affectionate zeal, till perhaps he has
heated his own fancy a little, and overlooks the inconsistency of
this universal beneficence and philanthropy with the exclusive and
monopolizing spirit of an Association, which not only confines
its benevolence to its own Members, (like any other charitable
association,) but hoards up in its bosom inestimable secrets, whose
natural tendency, they say, is to form the heart to this generous
and kind conduct, and inspire us with love to all mankind. The
profane world cannot see the beneficence of concealing from public
view a principle or a motive which so powerfully induces a Mason to
be good and kind. The Brother says that publicity would rob it of
its force, and we must take him at his word; and our curiosity is so
much the more excited to learn what are the secrets which have so
singular a quality.

Thus did the Fraternity conduct themselves, and thus were they
considered by the public, when it was carried over from England
to the continent; and here it is to be particularly remarked that
all our Brethren abroad profess to have received the Mystery of
Free Masonry from Britain. This is surely a puzzle in the history;
and we must leave it to others to reconcile this with the repeated
assertions in Anderson's book of Constitutions, "That the Fraternity
existed all over the World," and the numberless examples which he
adduces of its exertions in other countries; nay, with his repeated
assertions, "that it frequently was near perishing in Britain, and
that our Princes were obliged to send to France and other countries,
for leading men, to restore it to its former energy among us." We
shall find by and by that it is not a point of mere historical
curiosity, but that much hinges on it.

In the mean time, let us just remember, that the plain tale of
Brotherly love had been polished up to protestations of universal
benevolence, and had taken place of loyalty and attachment to the
unfortunate Family of Stuart, which was now totally forgotten in the
English Lodges. The Revolution had taken place, and King James, with
many of his most zealous adherents, had taken refuge in France.

But they took Free Masonry with them to the continent, where it
was immediately received by the French, and was cultivated with
great zeal in a manner suited to the taste and habits of that
highly polished people. The Lodges in France naturally became the
rendezvous of the adherents to the exiled King, and the means of
carrying on a correspondence with their friends in England. At
this time also the Jesuits took a more active hand in Free Masonry
than ever. They insinuated themselves into the English Lodges,
where they were caressed by the Catholics, who panted after the
re-establishment of their faith, and tolerated by the Protestant
royalists, who thought no concession too great a compensation for
their services. At this time changes were made in some of the
Masonic symbols, particularly in the tracing of the Lodge, which
bear evident marks of Jesuitical interference.

It was in the Lodge held at St. Germain's that the degree of
_Chevalier Maçon Ecossois_ was added to the three SYMBOLICAL degrees
of English Masonry. The constitution, as imported, appeared too
coarse for the refined taste of our neighbours, and they must make
Masonry more like the occupation of a gentleman. Therefore, the
English degrees of Apprentice, Fellow-craft, and Master, were called
_symbolical_, and the whole contrivance was considered either as
typical of something more elegant, or as a preparation for it.
The degrees afterwards superadded to this leave us in doubt which
of these views the French entertained of our Masonry. But at all
events, this rank of Scotch Knight was called the _first_ degree
of the _Maçon Parfait_. There is a device belonging to this Lodge
which deserves notice. A lion, wounded by an arrow, and escaped
from the stake to which he had been bound, with the broken rope
still about his neck, is represented lying at the mouth of a cave,
and occupied with mathematical instruments which are lying near
him. A broken crown lies at the foot of the stake. There can be
little doubt but that this emblem alludes to the dethronement, the
captivity, the escape, and the asylum of James II. and his hopes of
re-establishment by the help of the loyal Brethren. This emblem is
worn as the gorget of the Scotch Knight. It is not very certain,
however, when this degree was added, whether immediately after
king James's Abdication, or about the time of the attempt to set
his son on the British Throne. But it is certain, that in 1716,
this and still higher degrees of Masonry were much in vogue in the
Court of France. The refining genius of the French, and their love
of show, made the humble denominations of the English Brethren
disgusting; and their passion for military rank, the only character
that connected them with the court of an absolute monarch, made
them adapt Free Masonry to the same scale of public estimation, and
invent ranks of _Maçons Chevaliers_, ornamented with titles, and
ribands, and stars. These were highly relished by that vain people;
and the price of reception, which was very high, became a rich fund,
that was generally applied to relieve the wants of the banished
British and Irish adherents of the unfortunate Family who had taken
refuge among them. Three new degrees, of _Novice_, _Eleve_, and
_Chevalier_, were soon added, and the _Parfait Maçon_ had now seven
receptions to go through, for each of which a handsome contribution
was made. Afterwards, when the first beneficent purpose of this
contribution ceased to exist, the finery that now glittered in all
the Lodges made a still more craving demand for reception-money,
and ingenuity was set to work to invent new baits for the _Parfait
Maçon_. More degrees of chivalry were added, interspersed with
degrees of _Philosophe_, _Pellerin_, _Clairvoyant_, &c. &c. till
some Parisian Lodges had forty-five ranks of Masonry, having
fifteen orders of chivalry. For a Knighthood, with a Riband and a
Star, was a _bonne bouche_, given at every third step. For a long
while these degrees of chivalry proceeded on some faint analogies
with several orders of chivalry which had been erected in Europe.
All of these had some reference to some mystical doctrines of the
Christian church, and were, in fact, contrivances of the Church of
Rome for securing and extending her influence on the laymen of rank
and fortune, whom she retained in her service by these play-things.
The Knights Templars of Jerusalem, and the Knights of the Desert,
whose office it was to protect pilgrims, and to defend the holy
city, afforded very apt models for Masonic mimicry, because the
Temple of Solomon, and the Holy Sepulchre, always shared the same
fate. Many contested doctrines of the theologians had also their
Chevaliers to defend them.

In all this progressive mummery we see much of the hand of the
Jesuits, and it would seem that it was encouraged by the church.
But a thing happened which might easily have been foreseen. The
Lodges had become familiar with this kind of invention; the
professed object of many _real_ Orders of Knighthood was often
very whimsical, or very refined and far-fetched, and it required
all the finesse of the clergy to give to it some slight connection
with religion or morality. The Masons, protected by their secrecy,
ventured to go farther. The declamations in the lodges by the
Brother orator, must naturally resemble the compositions of the
ancient sophists, and consist of wire-drawn dissertations on the
social duties, where every thing is amplified and strained to
hyperbole, in their far-fetched and fanciful explanations of the
symbols of Masonry. Thus accustomed to allegory, to fiction, to
finesse, and to a sort of innocent hypocrisy by which they cajoled
themselves into a notion that this child's-play had at bottom
a serious and important meaning, the zealous champions of Free
Masonry found no inclination to check this inventive spirit or
circumscribe its flights. Under the protection of Masonic secrecy,
they planned schemes of a different kind, and instead of more Orders
of Chivalry directed against the enemies of their faith, they
formed associations in opposition to the ridiculous and oppressive
ceremonies and superstitions of the church. There can be no doubt,
that in those hidden assemblies, a free communication of sentiment
was highly relished and much indulged. It was soon suspected that
such use was made of the covert of a Mason Lodge; and the church
dreaded the consequences, and endeavoured to suppress the Lodges.
But in vain. And when it was found, that even auricular confession,
and the spiritual threatenings of the church, could not make the
Brethren break their oath of secrecy; a full confidence in their
security made these free-thinking Brethren bring forward, with all
the eagerness of a missionary, such sentiments as they were afraid
to hazard in ordinary society. This was long suspected; but the
rigours of the church only served to knit the Brethren more firmly
together, and provoked them to a more eager exercise of their bold
criticisms. The Lodges became schools of scepticism and infidelity,
and the spirit of conversion or proselytism grew every day stronger.
Cardinal Dubois had before this time laboured with all his might
to corrupt the minds of the courtiers, by patronising, directly
and indirectly, all sceptics who were otherwise men of talents. He
gave the young courtiers to understand, that if he should obtain
the reins of government, they should be entirely freed from the
bigotry of Louis XIV. and the oppression of the church, and should
have the free indulgence of their inclinations. His own plans were
disappointed by his death; but the Regent Orleans was equally
indulgent, and in a few years there was hardly a man in France
who pretended knowledge and reflection, who did not laugh at all
religion. Amidst the almost infinite number of publications from
the French presses, there is hardly a dozen to be found where the
author attempts to vindicate religion from the charges of universal
superstition and falsehood. And it must be acknowledged that little
else was to be seen in the established religion of the kingdom.
The people found nothing in Christianity but a never-ceasing round
of insignificant and troublesome ceremonies, which consumed their
time, and furnished a fund for supporting a set of lordly and
oppressive dignitaries, who declared in the plainest manner their
own disbelief of their religion, by their total disregard of common
decency, by their continual residence at court, and by absolute
neglect, and even the most haughty and oppressive treatment of the
only part of their order that took any concern about the religious
sentiments of the nation, namely the Curés or parish-priests.
The monks appeared only as lazy drones; but the parish-priests
instructed the people, visited the sick, reconciled the offender and
the offended, and were the great mediators between the landlords
and their vassals, an office which endeared them more to the people
than all the other circumstances of their profession. And it is
remarkable, that in all the licentious writings and bitter satirical
tales of the philosophic freethinkers, such as Voltaire, who never
fails to have a taunting hit at the clergy, the Curé is generally
an amiable personage, a charitable man, a friend to the poor and
unfortunate, a peace-maker, and a man of piety and worth. Yet these
men were kept in a state of the most slavish and cruel subjection
by the higher orders of the clergy, and all hopes of advancement
cut off. Rarely, hardly ever, does it happen, that a Curé becomes
a Bishop. The Abbés step into every line of preferment. When such
procedure is observed by a whole nation, what opinion can be formed
but that the whole is a vile cheat? This however was the case in
France, and therefore infidelity was almost universal. Nor was
this overstrained freedom or licentiousness confined to religious
opinions. It was perhaps more naturally directed to the restraints
arising from civil subordination. The familiar name of Brother could
not but tickle the fancy of those of inferior rank, when they found
themselves side by side with persons whom they cannot approach out
of doors but with cautious respect; and while these men of rank
have their pride lulled a little, and perhaps their hearts a little
softened by the hackneyed cant of sentimental declamation on the
topic of Brotherly love and Utopian felicity, the others begin to
fancy the happy days arrived, and the light of philanthropy beaming
from the east and illuminating the Lodge. The Garret Pamphleteer
enjoys his fancied authority as Senior Warden, and conducts with
affectionate solemnity the young nobleman, who pants for the honour
of Mastership, and he praises the trusty Brother who has guarded him
in his perilous journies round the room. What topic of declamation
can be more agreeable than the equality of the worthy Brethren? and
how naturally will the Brother Orator in support of this favourite
topic, slide into all the common-place pictures of human society,
freed from all the anxieties attending civil distinction, and
passing their days in happy simplicity and equality. From this state
of the fancy, it is hardly a step to descant on the propriety, the
expediency, and at last, the justice of such an arrangement of civil
society; and in doing this, one cannot avoid taking notice of the
great obstructions to human felicity which we see in every quarter,
proceeding from the abuses of those distinctions of rank and fortune
which have arisen in the world: and as the mischiefs and horrors of
superstition are topics of continual declamation to those who wish
to throw off the restraints of religion; so the oppression of the
rulers of this world, and the sufferings of talents and worth in
inferior stations, will be no less greedily listened to by all whose
notions of morality are not very pure, and who would be glad to have
the enjoyments of the wealthy without the trouble of labouring for
them. Free Masonry may be affirmed to have a natural tendency to
foster such levelling wishes; and we cannot doubt but that great
liberties are taken with those subjects in the Lodges, especially in
countries where the distinctions of rank and fortune are strongly
expressed and noticed.

But it is not a matter of mere probability that the Mason Lodges
were the seminaries of these libertine instructions. We have
distinct proof of it, even in some of the French degrees. In the
degree called the _Chevalier de Soleil_, the whole instruction is
aimed against the established religion of the kingdom. The professed
object is the emancipation from error and the discovery of truth.
The inscription in the east is _Sagesse_, that in the north is
_Liberté_, that in the south is _Fermeté_, and in the west it is
_Caution_; terms which are very significant. The _Tres Venerable_ is
Adam; the Senior Warden is Truth, and all the Brethren are Children
of Truth. The process of reception is very well contrived: the
whole ritual is decent and circumspect, and nothing occurs which
can alarm the most timid. Brother Truth is asked, What is the hour?
He informs Father Adam, that among men it is the hour of darkness,
but that it is mid-day in the Lodge. The candidate is asked, Why he
has knocked at the door, and what is become of his eight companions
(he is one of the _Elus_)? He says, that the world is in darkness,
and his companions and he have lost each other; that _Hesperus_,
the star of Europe, is obscured by clouds of incense, offered up
by superstition to despots, who have made themselves gods, and
have retired into the inmost recesses of their palaces, that they
may not be recognised to be men, while their priests are deceiving
the people, and causing them to worship these divinities. This and
many similar sentiments are evident allusions to the pernicious
doctrine of the book called _Origine du Despotisme Oriental_, where
the religion of all countries is considered as a mere engine of
state; where it is declared that reason is the only light which
nature has given to man: that our anxiety about futurity has made us
imagine endless torments in a future world; and that princes, taking
advantage of our weakness, have taken the management of our hopes
and fears, and directed them so as to suit their own purposes; and
emancipation from the fear of death is declared to be the greatest
of all deliverances. Questions are put to the candidate, tending to
discover whether and how far he may be trusted, and what sacrifices
he is willing to make in search after truth.

This shape given to the plastic mysteries of Masonry was much
relished, and in a very short time this new path was completely
explored, and a new series of degrees was added to the list,
viz. the _Novice_, and the _Elû de la Verité_, and the _Sublime
Philosophe_. In the progress through these degrees, the Brethren
must forget that they have formerly been _Chevaliers de l'Orient_,
_Chevaliers de l'Aigle_, when the symbols were all explained as
typical of the life and immortality brought to light by the gospel.
Indeed they are taught to class this among the other clouds which
have been dispelled by the sun of reason. Even in the _Chevalerie
de l'Aigle_ there is a twofold explanation given of the symbols,
by which a lively imagination may conceive the whole history and
peculiar doctrines of the New Testament, as being typical of the
final triumph of reason and philosophy over error. And perhaps this
degree is the very first step in the plan of ILLUMINATION.

We are not to suppose that this was carried to extremity at once.
But it is certain, that before 1743, it had become universal, and
that the Lodges of Free Masons had become the places for making
proselytes to every strange and obnoxious doctrine. _Theurgy_,
_Cosmogony_, _Cabala_, and many whimsical and mystical doctrines
which have been grafted on the distinguishing tenets and the pure
morality of the Jews and Christians, were subjects of frequent
discussion in the Lodges. The celebrated Chevalier Ramsay had a
great share in all this business. Affectionately attached to the
family of Stuart, and to his native country, he had co-operated
heartily with those who endeavoured to employ Masonry in the service
of the Pretender, and, availing himself of the pre-eminence given
(at first perhaps as a courtly compliment) to Scotch Masonry, he
laboured to shew that it existed, and indeed arose, during the
Crusades, and that there really was either an order of chivalry
whose business it was to rebuild the Christian churches destroyed
by the Saracens, or that a fraternity of Scotch Masons were thus
employed in the east, under the protection of the Knights of St.
John of Jerusalem. He found some facts which were thought sufficient
grounds for such an opinion, such as the building of the college
of these Knights in London, called the Temple, which was actually
done by the public Fraternity of Masons who had been in the holy
wars. It is chiefly to him that we are indebted for that rage of
Masonic chivalry which distinguishes the French Free Masonry. Ramsay
was as eminent for his piety as he was for his enthusiasm, but his
opinions were singular. His eminent learning, his elegant talents,
his amiable character, and particularly his estimation at court,
gave great influence to every thing he said on a subject which was
merely a matter of fashion and amusement. Whoever has attended much
to human affairs, knows the eagerness with which men propagate all
singular opinions, and the delight which attends their favourable
reception. None are more zealous than the apostles of infidelity
and atheism. It is in human nature to catch with greediness any
opportunity of doing what lies under general restraint. And if
our apprehensions are not completely quieted, in a case where our
wishes lead us strongly to some favourite but hazardous object, we
are conscious of a kind of self bullying. This naturally gets into
our discourse, and in our eagerness to get the encouragement of
joint adventurers, we enforce our tenets with an energy, and even a
violence, that is very inconsistent with the subject in hand. If I
am an Atheist, and my neighbour a Theist, there is surely nothing
that should make me violent in my endeavours to rid him of his
error. Yet how violent were the people of this party in France.

These facts and observations fully account for the zeal with
which all this patch-work addition to the simple Free Masonry of
England was prosecuted in France. It surprises us Britons, who are
accustomed to consider the whole as a matter of amusement for young
men, who are glad of any pretext for indulging in conviviality.
We generally consider a man advanced in life with less respect,
if he shows any serious attachment to such things. But in France,
the civil and religious restraints in conversation made these
secret assemblies very precious; and they were much frequented by
men of letters, who there found an opportunity of expressing in
safety their dissatisfaction with those restraints, and with that
inferiority of rank and condition to which they were subjected, and
which appeared to themselves so inadequate to their own talents
and merits. The _Avocats au Parlement_, the unbeneficed Abbés,
the young men of no fortune, and the _soidisant_ philosophers,
formed a numerous band, frequented the Lodges, and there discussed
every topic of religion and politics. Specimens of this occupation
appeared from time to time in Collections of Discourses delivered
by the _Frere Orateur_. I once had in my possession two volumes of
these discourses, which I now regret that I left in a Lodge on the
continent, when my relish for Free Masonry had forsaken me. One of
these is a discourse by Brother Robinet, delivered in the _Loge des
Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Sainte Cité_ at Lyons, at a visitation
by the Grand Master the _Duc de Chartres_, afterwards _Orleans_
and _Egalité_. In this discourse we have the germ and substance of
his noted work, _La Nature, ou l'Homme moral et physique_.[1] In
another discourse, delivered by Brother Condorcet in the _Loge des
Philalethes_ at Strasbourg, we have the outlines of his posthumous
work, _Le Progres de l'Esprit humain_; and in another, delivered
by Mirabeau in the _Loge des Chevaliers Bienfaisants_ at Paris, we
have a great deal of the levelling principles, and cosmopolitism,[2]
which he thundered from the tribunes of the National Assembly. But
the most remarkable performances of this kind are, the _Archives
Mystico-Hermetiques_, and the _Des Erreurs, et de la Verité_. The
first is considered as an account, historical and dogmatical, of
the procedure and system of the _Loge des Chevaliers Bienfaisants_
at Lyons. This was the most zealous and systematical of all the
cosmopolitical Lodges in France. It worked long under the patronage
of its Grand Master the _Duc des Chartres_, afterwards _Orleans_,
and at last _Ph. Egalité_. It sent out many affiliated Lodges,
which were erected in various parts of the French dominions. The
daughter Lodges at Paris, Strasbourg, Lille, Thoulouse, took the
additional title of _Philalethes_. There arose some schisms, as may
be expected, in an Association where every man is encouraged to
broach and to propagate any the most singular opinion. These schisms
were continued with some heat, but were in a great measure repaired
in Lodges which took the name of _Amis reunis de la Verité_. One of
this denomination at Paris became very eminent. The mother Lodge at
Lyons extended its correspondence into Germany, and other foreign
countries, and sent constitutions or systems, by which the Lodges
conducted their operations.

  [1] And I may add the _Systeme de la Nature_ of Diderot, who
  corrected the crude whims of Robinet by the more refined mechanism
  of Hartley.

  [2] Citizenship of the World, from the Greek words _Cosmos_, world,
  and _Polis_, a city.

I have not been able to trace the steps by which this Lodge acquired
such an ascendancy; but I see, that in 1769 and 1770, all the
refined or philosophical Lodges in Alsace and Lorraine united,
and in a convention at Lyons, formally put themselves under the
patronage of this Lodge, cultivated a continual correspondence, and
considered themselves as professing one Masonic Faith, sufficiently
distinguishable from that of other Lodges. What this was we do not
very distinctly know. We can only infer it from some historical
circumstances. One of its favourite daughters, the Lodge _Theodor
von der guten Rath_, at Munich, became so remarkable for discourses
dangerous to church and state, that the Elector of Bavaria, after
repeated admonitions during a course of five or six years, was
obliged to suppress it in 1786. Another of its suffragan Lodges
at Regensburgh became exceedingly obnoxious to the state, and
occasioned several commotions and insurrections. Another, at Paris,
gradually refined into the Jacobin club--And in the year 1791,
the Lodges in Alsace and Lorraine, with those of Spire and Worms,
invited Custine into Germany, and delivered Mentz into his hands.

When we reflect on these historical facts, we get some key to the
better understanding of the two performances which I mentioned
as descriptive of the opinions and occupations of this Sect of
Free-Masons. The _Archives Mystico-Hermetiques_ exhibit a very
strange mixture of Mysticism, Theosophy, Cabalistic whim, real
Science, Fanaticism, and Freethinking, both in religion and
politics. They must not be considered as an account of any settled
system, but rather as annals of the proceedings of the Lodge, and
abstracts of the strange doctrines which made their sucessive
appearance in it. But if an intelligent and cautious reader examine
them attentively, he will see, that the book is the work of one
hand, and that all the wonders and oddities are caricatured, so as
to engross the general attention, while they also are twisted a
little, so that in one way or another they accord with a general
spirit of licentiousness in morals, religion, and politics.
Although every thing is expressed decently, and with some caution
and moderation, atheism, materialism, and discontent with civil
subordination, pervade the whole. It is a work of great art. By
keeping the ridicule and the danger of superstition and ignorance
continually in view, the mind is captivated by the relief which
free enquiry and communication of sentiment seems to secure, and we
are put off our guard against the risk of delusion, to which we are
exposed when our judgment is warped by our passions.

The other book, "Des Erreurs et de la Verité," came from the same
school, and is a sort of holy scripture, or at least a Talmud among
the Free Masons of France. It is intended only for the initiated,
and is indeed a mystery to any other reader. But as the object of it
was to spread the favourite opinions of some enthusiastic Brethren,
every thing is said that does not directly betray the secrets of the
Order. It contains a system of Theosophy that has often appeared
in the writings of philosophers, both in ancient and modern times.
"All the intelligence and moral sentiment that appears in the
universe, either directly, as in the minds of men, or indirectly,
as an inference from the marks of design that we see around us,
some of which show us that men have acted, and many more that some
other intelligence has acted, are considered as parts or portions
of a general mass of intelligence which exists in the universe,
in the same manner as matter exists in it. This intelligence has
an inscrutable connection with the material part of the universe,
perhaps resembling the connection, equally unsearchable, that
subsists between the mind and body of man; and it may be considered
as the _Soul of the World_. It is this substance, the natural object
of wonder and respect, that men have called God, and have made the
object of religious worship. In doing so they have fallen into gross
mistakes, and have created for themselves numberless unfounded
hopes and fears, which have been the source of superstition and
fanaticism, the most destructive plagues that have ever afflicted
the human race. The Soul of Man is separated from the general mass
of intelligence by some of the operations of nature, which we
shall never understand, just as water is raised from the ground by
evaporation, or taken up by the root of a plant. And as the water,
after an unsearchable train of changes, in which it sometimes
makes part of a flower, sometimes part of an animal, &c. is at
last reunited, in its original form, to the great mass of waters,
ready to run over the same circle again; so the Soul of Man, after
performing its office, and exhibiting all that train of intellectual
phenomena that we call human life, is at last swallowed up in the
great ocean of intelligence." The author then may sing

    "Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas,
    Atque metus omnes et inexorabile fatum
    Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari."

For he has now got to his asylum. This deity of his may be the
object of wonder, like every thing great and incomprehensible,
but not of worship, as the moral Governor of the universe. The
hopes are at end, which rest on our notions of the immortality and
individuality of the human soul, and on the encouragement which
religion holds forth to believe, that improvement of the mind in
the course of this life, by the exercise of wisdom and of virtuous
dispositions, is but the beginning of an endless progress in all
that can give delight to the rational and well-disposed mind. No
relation now subsists between man and Deity that can warm the
heart. But, as this is contrary to some natural propensity in
the human mind, which in all ages and nations has panted after
some connection with Deity, the author strives to avail himself
of some cold principles of symmetry in the works of nature, some
ill-supported notions of propriety, and other such considerations,
to make this _anima mundi_ an object of love and respect. This is
done in greater detail in another work, _Tableau, des rapports entre
l'Homme, Dieu, et l'Univers_, which is undoubtedly by the same hand.
But the intelligent reader will readily see, that such incongruous
things cannot be reconciled, and that we can expect nothing here
but sophistry. The author proceeds, in the next place, to consider
man as related to man, and to trace out the path to happiness in
this life. Here we have the same overstrained morality as in the
other work, the same universal benevolence, the same lamentations
over the miserable state of mankind, resulting from the oppression
of the powerful, the great ones of the earth, who have combined
against the happiness of mankind, and have succeeded, by debasing
their minds, so that they have become willing slaves. This could
not have been brought about without the assistance of superstition.
But the princes of this world enlisted into their service the
priests, who exerted themselves in darkening the understandings
of men, and filled their minds with religious terrors. The altar
became the chief pillar of the throne, and men were held in complete
subjection. Nothing can recover them from this abject state but
knowledge. While this dispels their fears, it will also show them
their rights, and the way to attain them.

It deserves particularly to be remarked, that this system of
opinions (if such an inconsistent mass of assertions can be called
a system) bears a great resemblance to a performance of Toland's,
published in 1720, called _Pantheisticon, seu Celebratio Sodalitii
Socratici_. It is an account of the principles of a Fraternity which
he calls Socratica, and the Brothers Pantheistæ. They are supposed
to hold a Lodge, and the author gives a ritual of the procedure in
this Lodge; the ceremonies of opening and shutting of the Lodge, the
admission of Members into its different degrees, &c. Reason is the
Sun that illuminates the whole, and Liberty and Equality are the
objects of their occupations.

We shall see afterwards that this book was fondly pushed into
Germany, translated, commented upon, and so misrepresented, as to
call off the attention from the real spirit of the book, which is
intentionally wrapped up in cabala and enigma. Mirabeau was at much
pains to procure it notice; and it must therefore be considered
as a treasure of the cosmo-political opinions of the Association
of _Chevaliers Bienfaisants_, _Philalethes_, and _Amis Reunis_,
who were called the _improved_ Lodges, working under the D. de
Chartres--of these there were 266 in 1784. This will be found a very
important remark. Let it also be recollected afterwards, that this
Lodge of Lyons sent a deputy to a grand Convention in Germany in
1772, viz. Mr. Willermooz, and that the business was thought of such
importance, that he remained there two years.

The book _Des Erreurs et de la Verité_, must therefore be considered
as a classical book of these opinions. We know that it originated
in the _Loge des Chev. Bienfaisants _at Lyons. We know that this
Lodge stood as it were at the head of French Free Masonry, and
that the fictitious Order of Masonic Knights Templars was formed
in this Lodge, and was considered as the model of all the rest of
this mimic chivalry. They proceeded so far in this mummery, as
even to have the clerical tonsure. The Duke of Orleans, his son,
the Elector of Bavaria, and some other German Princes, did not
scruple at this mummery in their own persons. In all the Lodges of
reception, the Brother Orator never failed to exclaim on the topics
of superstition, blind to the exhibition he was then making, or
indifferent as to the vile hypocrisy of it. We have, in the lists
of Orators and Office-bearers, many names of persons, who have had
an opportunity at last of proclaiming their sentiments in public.
The Abbé Sieyes was of the Lodge of Philalethes at Paris, and also
at Lyons. Lequinio, author of the most profligate book that ever
disgraced a press, the _Prejuges vaincus par la Raison_, was Warden
in the Lodge _Compacte Sociale_. Despremenil, Bailly, Fauchet,
Maury, Mounier, were of the same system, though in different Lodges.
They were called Martinists, from a St. Martin, who formed a schism
in the system of the _Chevaliers Bienfaisants_, of which we have not
any very precise account. Mercier gives some account of it in his
_Tableau de Paris_, and in his _Anné_ 2440. The breach alarmed the
Brethren, and occasioned great heats. But it was healed, and the
Fraternity took the name of _Misa du Renis_, which is an anagram of
_des Amis Reunis_. The Bishop of Autun, the man so bepraised as the
benevolent Citizen of the World, the friend of mankind and of good
order, was Senior Warden of another Lodge at Paris, established in
1786, (I think chiefly by Orleans and himself,) which afterwards
became the Jacobin Club. In short, we may assert with confidence,
that the Mason Lodges in France were the hot-beds, where the seeds
were sown, and tenderly reared, of all the pernicious doctrines
which soon after choaked every moral or religious cultivation, and
have made the Society worse than a waste, have made it a noisome
marsh of human corruption, filled with every rank and poisonous weed.

These Lodges were frequented by persons of all ranks, and of
every profession. The idle and the frivolous found amusement, and
glittering things to tickle their satiated fancies. There they
became the dupes of the declamations of the crafty and licentious
Abbés, and writers of every denomination. Mutual encouragement in
the indulgence of hazardous thoughts and opinions which flatter
our wishes or propensities is a lure which few minds can resist.
I believe that most men have felt this in some period of their
lives. I can find no other way of accounting for the company
that I have sometimes seen in a Mason Lodge. The Lodge _de la
Parfaite Intelligence_ at Liege, contained, in December 1770, the
Prince Bishop, and the greatest part of his Chapter, and all the
Office-bearers were dignitaries of the church; yet a discourse given
by the Brother Orator was as poignant a satire on superstition and
credulity, as if it had been written by Voltaire. It was under the
auspices of this Lodge that the collection of discourses, which I
mentioned above, was published, and there is no fault found with
Brother Robinet, nor Brother Condorcet. Indeed the Trefonciers of
Liege were proverbial, even in Brabant, for their Epicurism in the
most extensive sense of the word.

Thus was corruption spread over the kingdom under the mask of moral
instruction. For these discourses were full of the most refined and
strained morality, and florid paintings of Utopian felicity, in a
state where all are Brothers and citizens of the world. But alas!
these wire-drawn principles seem to have had little influence on
the hearts, even of those who could best display their beauties.
Read the tragedies of Voltaire, and some of his grave performances
in prose--What man is there who seems better to know his Master's
will? No man expresses with more propriety, with more exactness,
the feelings of a good mind. No man seems more sensible of the
immutable obligation of justice and of truth. Yet this man, in
his transactions with his booksellers, with the very men to whom
he was immediately indebted for his affluence and his fame, was
repeatedly, nay incessantly, guilty of the meanest, the vilest
tricks. When he sold a work for an enormous price to one bookseller,
(even to Cramer, whom he really respected,) he took care that a
surreptitious edition should appear in Holland, almost at the same
moment. Proof-sheets have been traced from Ferney to Amsterdam. When
a friend of Cramer's expostulated with Voltaire on the injustice of
this conduct, he said, grinning, _Oh le bon Cramer--eh bien--il_
_n'a que d' etre du parti_--he may take a share--he will not give
me a livre the less for the first piece I offer him. Where shall
we see more tenderness, more honour, more love of every thing that
is good and fair, than in Diderot's _Pere de Famille_?--Yet this
man did not scruple to sell to the Empress of Russia an immense
library, which he did not possess, for an enormous price, having
got her promise that it should remain in his possession in Paris
during his life. When her ambassador wanted to see it, after a year
or two's payments, and the visitation could be no longer staved off,
Diderot was obliged to set off in a hurry, and run through all the
booksellers shops in Germany, to help him to fill his empty shelves.
He had the good fortune to save appearances--but the trick took air,
because he had been niggardly in his attention to the ambassador's
secretary. This, however, did not hinder him from honouring his
Imperial pupil with a visit. He expected adoration, as the light of
the world, and was indeed received by the Russian courtiers with
all the childish fondness that they feel for every Parisian mode.
But they did not understand him, and as he did not like to lose
money at play, they did not long court his company. He found his
pupil too clear sighted. _Ces philosophes_, said she, _sont beaux,
vús de loin; mais de plus prés, le diamant parait crystal_. He
had contrived a poor story, by which he hoped to get his daughter
married in parade, and portioned by her Majesty--but it was seen
through, and he was disappointed.

When we see the inefficacy of this refined humanity on these two
apostles of philosophical virtue, we see ground for doubting of
the propriety and expediency of trusting entirely to it for the
peace and happiness of a state, and we should be on our guard
when we listen to the florid speeches of the Brother Orator, and
his congratulations on the emancipation from superstition and
oppression, which will in a short time be effectuated by the
_Chevaliers Bienfaisants_, the _Philalethes_, or any other sect of
cosmo-political Brethren.

I do not mean by all this to maintain, that the Mason Lodges were
the sole corrupters of the public mind in France.--No.--In all
nations that have made much progress in cultivation, there is a
great tendency to corruption, and it requires all the vigilance
and exertions of magistrates, and of moral instructors, to prevent
the spreading of licentious principles and maxims of conduct. They
arise naturally of themselves, as weeds in a rich soil; and, like
weeds, they are pernicious, only because they are, where they should
not be, in a cultivated field. Virtue is the cultivation of the
human soul, and not the mere possession of good dispositions; all
men have these in some degree, and occasionally exhibit them. But
virtue supposes exertion; and, as the husbandman must be incited to
his laborious task by some cogent motive, so must man be prompted
to that exertion which is necessary on the part of every individual
for the very existence of a great society: For man is indolent,
and he is luxurious; he wishes for enjoyment, and this with little
trouble. The less fortunate envy the enjoyments of others, and
repine at their own inability to obtain the like. They see the idle
in affluence. Few, even of good men, have the candour, nay, I may
call it the wisdom, to think on the activity and the labour which
had procured those comforts to the rich or to their ancestors; and
to believe that they are idle only because they are wealthy, but
would be active if they were needy.--Such spontaneous reflexions
cannot be expected in persons who are engaged in unceasing labour,
to procure a very moderate share (in their estimation at least) of
the comforts of life. Yet such reflexions would, in the main, be
just, and surely they would greatly tend to quiet the minds of the

This excellent purpose may be greatly forwarded by a national
establishment for moral instruction and admonition; and if the
public instructors should add all the motives to virtuous moderation
which are suggested by the considerations of genuine religion,
every advice would have a tenfold influence. Religious and moral
instructions are therefore, in their own nature, unequivocal
supports to that moderate exertion of the authority arising from
civil subordination, which the most refined philanthropist or
cosmo-polite acknowledges to be necessary for the very existence
of a great and cultivated society. I have never seen a scheme of
Utopian happiness that did not contain some system of education, and
I cannot conceive any system of education of which moral instruction
is not a principal part. Such establishments are dictates of nature,
and obtrude themselves on the mind of every person who begins to
form plans of civil union. And in all existing societies they have
indeed been formed, and are considered as the greatest corrector
and soother of those discontents that are unavoidable in the minds
of the unsuccessful and the unfortunate. The magistrate, therefore,
whose professional habits lead him frequently to exert himself for
the maintenance of public peace, cannot but see the advantages of
such stated remembrancers of our duty. He will therefore support and
cherish this public establishment, which so evidently assists him in
his beneficent and important labours.

But all the evils of society do not spring from the discontents
and the vices of the poor. The rich come in for a large and a
conspicuous share. They frequently abuse their advantages. Pride
and haughty behaviour on their part rankle in the breasts, and
affect the tempers of their inferiors, already fretted by the
hardships of their own condition. The rich also are luxurious; and
are often needy. Grasping at every mean of gratification, they are
inattentive to the rights of inferiors whom they despise, and,
despising, oppress. Perhaps their own superiority has been acquired
by injustice. Perhaps most sovereignties have been acquired by
oppression. Princes and Rulers are but men; as such, they abuse many
of their greatest blessings. Observing that religious hopes make the
good resigned under the hardships of the present scene, and that
its terrors frequently restrain the bad; they avail themselves of
these observations, and support religion as an engine of state, and
a mean of their own security. But they are not contented with its
real advantages; and they are much more afraid of the resentment and
the crimes of the offended profligate, than of the murmurs of the
suffering worthy. Therefore they encourage superstition, and call to
their aid the vices of the priesthood. The priests are men of like
passions as other men, and it is no ground of peculiar blame that
they also frequently yield to the temptations of their situation.
They are encouraged to the indulgence of the love of influence
natural to all men, and they heap terror upon terror, to subdue
the minds of men, and darken their understandings. Thus the most
honourable of all employments, the moral instruction of the state,
is degraded to a vile trade, and is practised with all the deceit
and rapacity of any other trade; and religion, from being the honour
and the safeguard of nation, becomes its greatest disgrace and curse.

When a nation has fallen into this lamentable state, it is extremely
difficult to reform. Although nothing would so immediately and so
completely remove all ground of complaint, as the re-establishing
private virtue, this is of all others the least likely to be
adopted. The really worthy, who see the mischief where it actually
is, but who view this life as the school of improvement, and know
that man is to be made perfect through suffering, are the last
persons to complain. The worthless are the most discontented, the
most noisy in their complaints, and the least scrupulous about
the means of redress. Not to improve the nation, but to advance
themselves, they turn the attention to the abuses of power and
influence. And they begin their attack where they think the place
most defenceless, and where perhaps they expect assistance from a
discontented garrison. They attack superstition, and are not at all
solicitous that true religion shall not suffer along with it. It is
not perhaps, with any direct intention to ruin the state, but merely
to obtain indulgence for themselves and the co-operation of the
wealthy. They expect to be listened to by many who wish for the same
indulgence; and thus it is that religious free-thinking is generally
the first step of anarchy and revolution. For in a corrupted state,
persons of all ranks have the same licentious wishes, and if
superstitious fear be really an ingredient of the human mind, it
requires some _struggle_ to shake it off. Nothing is so effectual as
mutual encouragement, and therefore all join against priest-craft;
even the rulers forget their interest, which should lead them to
support it. In such a state, the pure morality of true religion
vanishes from the sight. There is commonly no remains of it in the
religion of the nation, and therefore all goes together.

Perhaps there never was a nation where all these co-operating
causes had acquired greater strength than in France. Oppressions
of all kinds were at a height. The luxuries of life were enjoyed
exclusively by the upper classes, and this in the highest degree
of refinement; so that the desires of the rest were whetted to the
utmost. Religion appeared in its worst form, and seemed calculated
solely for procuring establishments for the younger sons of the
insolent and useless noblesse. The morals of the higher orders
of the clergy and of the laity were equally corrupted. Thousands
of literary men were excluded by their station from all hopes of
advancement to the more respectable offices in the church. These
vented their discontents as far as there was safety, and were
encouraged by many of the upper classes, who joined them in their
satires on the priesthood. The clergy opposed them, it is true,
but feebly, because they could not support their opposition by
examples of their own virtuous behaviour, but were always obliged
to have recourse to the power of the church, the very object of
hatred and disgust. The whole nation became infidel; and when in
a few instances a worthy Curé uttered the small still voice of
true religion, it was not heard amidst the general noise of satire
and reproach. The misconduct of administration, and the abuse of
the public treasures, were every day growing more impudent and
glaring, and exposed the government to continual criticism. But it
was still too powerful to suffer this to proceed to extremities;
while therefore infidelity and loose sentiments of morality passed
unpunished, it was still very hazardous to publish any thing against
the state. It was in this respect, chiefly, that the Mason Lodges
contributed to the dissemination of dangerous opinions, and they
were employed for this purpose all over the kingdom. This is not an
assertion hazarded merely on account of its probability. Abundant
proof will appear by and by, that the most turbulent characters in
the nation frequented the Lodges. We cannot doubt, but that under
this covert they indulged their factious dispositions; nay, we shall
find the greatest part of the Lodges of France, converted, in the
course of a very few weeks, into corresponding political societies.

But it is now time to turn our eyes to the progress of Free Masonry
in Germany and the north of Europe; there it took a more serious
turn. Free Masonry was imported into Germany somewhat later than
into France. The first German Lodge that we have any account of is
that at Cologne, erected in 1716, but very soon suppressed. Before
the year 1725 there were many, both in Protestant and Catholic
Germany. Those of Wetzlar, Frankfort on the Mayne, Brunswick, and
Hamburg, are the oldest, and their priority is doubtful. All of
them received their institution from England, and had patents from
a mother Lodge in London. All seem to have got the mystery through
the same channel, the banished friends of the Stuart family. Many of
these were Catholics, and entered into the service of Austria and
the Catholic princes.

The true hospitality, that is no where more conspicuous than in the
character of the Germans, made this institution a most agreeable
and useful passport to these gentlemen; and as many of them were
in military stations, and in garrison, they found it a very easy
matter to set up Lodges in all parts of Germany. These afforded a
very agreeable pastime to the officers, who had little to occupy
them, and were already accustomed to a subordination which did not
affect their vanity on account of family distinctions. As the Ensign
and the General were equally gentlemen, the allegory or play of
universal Brotherhood was neither novel nor disgusting. Free Masonry
was then of the simplest form, consisting of the three degrees of
Apprentice, Fellow-craft, and Master. It is remarkable, that the
Germans had been long accustomed to the word, the sign, and the
gripe of the Masons, and some other handicraft trades. In many
parts of Germany there was a distinction of operative Masons into
Wort-Maurers and Schrift-Maurers. The Wort-Maurers had no other
proof to give of their having been regularly brought up to the trade
of builders, but the word and signs; the Schrift-Maurers had written
indentures to shew. There are extant and in force, borough-laws,
enjoining the Masters of Masons to give employment to journeymen
who had the proper words and sign. In particular it appears, that
some cities had more extensive privileges in this respect than
others. The word given at Wetzlar, the seat of the great council of
revision for the empire, entitled the possessor to work over the
whole empire. We may infer from the processes and decisions in some
of those municipal courts, that a master gave a word and token for
each year's progress of his apprentice. He gave the word of the
incorporated Imperial city or borough on which he depended, and
also a word peculiar to himself, by which all his own pupils could
recognise each other. This mode of recognisance was probably the
only document of education in old times, while writing was confined
to a very small part of the community. When we reflect on the nature
of the German empire, a confederation of small independent states,
we see that this profession cannot keep pace with the other mechanic
arts, unless its practitioners are invested with greater privileges
than others. Their great works exceed the strength of the immediate
neighbourhood, and the workmen must be brought together from a
distance. Their association must therefore be more cared for by the

  [3] Note. The Wort or Gruss-Maurer were abolished by an Imperial
  edict in 1731, and none were intitled to the privileges of the
  corporation but such as could shew written indentures.

When English Free Masonry was carried into Germany, it was
hospitably received. It required little effort to give it
respectability, and to make it the occupation of a gentleman, and
its secrets and mysteries were not such novelties as in France.
It spread rapidly, and the simple topic of Brotherly love was
sufficient for recommending it to the honest and hospitable Germans.
But it soon took a very different turn. The German character is the
very opposite of frivolity. It tends to seriousness, and requires
serious occupation. The Germans are eminent for their turn for
investigation; and perhaps they indulge this to excess. We call them
plodding and dull, because we have little relish for enquiry for its
own sake. But this is surely the occupation of a rational nature,
and deserves any name but stupidity. At the same time it must be
acknowledged, that the spirit of enquiry requires regulation as
much as any propensity of the human mind. But it appears that the
Germans are not nice in their choice of their objects; it appears
that singularity, and wonder, and difficulty of research, are to
them irresistible recommendations and incitements. They have always
exhibited a strong predilection for every thing that is wonderful,
or solemn, or terrible; and in spite of the great progress which
men have made in the course of these two last centuries, in the
knowledge of nature, a progress too in which we should be very
unjust if we did not acknowledge that the Germans have been
generally in the foremost ranks, the gross absurdities of magic,
exorcism, witchcraft, fortune-telling, transmutation of metals,
and universal medicine, have always had their zealous partizans,
who have listened with greedy ears to the nonsense and jargon of
fanatics and cheats; and though they every day saw examples of many
who had been ruined or rendered ridiculous by their credulity, every
new pretender to secrets found numbers ready to listen to him, and
to run over the same course.

Free Masonry, professing mysteries, instantly roused all these
people, and the Lodges appeared to the adventurers who wanted
to profit by the enthusiasm or the avarice of their dupes, the
fittest places in the world for the scene of their operations.
The Rosycrucians were the first who availed themselves of the
opportunity. This was not the Society which had appeared formerly
under that name, and was now extinct, but a set of Alchymists,
pretenders to the transmutation of metals and the universal
medicine, who, the better to inveigle their votaries, had mixed
with their own tricks a good deal of the absurd superstitions of
that sect, in order to give a greater air of mystery to the whole,
to protract the time of instruction, and to afford more room for
evasions, by making so many difficult conditions necessary for
perfecting the grand work, that the unfortunate gull, who had thrown
away his time and his money, might believe that the failure was
owing to his own incapacity or unfitness for being the possessor of
the grand secret. These cheats found it convenient to make Masonry
one of their conditions, and by a small degree of art, persuaded
their pupils that they were the only true Masons. These Rosycrucian
Lodges were soon established, and became numerous, because their
mysteries were addressed, both to the curiosity, the sensuality, and
the avarice of men. They became a very formidable band, adopting
the constitution of the Jesuits, dividing the Fraternity into
circles, each under the management of its own superior, known to
the president, but unknown to the individuals of the Lodges. These
superiors were connected with each other in a way known only to
themselves, and the whole was under one General. At least this is
the account which they wish to be believed. If it be just, nothing
but the absurdity of the ostensible motives of their occupations
could have prevented this combination from carrying on schemes big
with hazard to the peace of the world. But the Rosycrucian Lodges
have always been considered by other Free Masons as bad Societies,
and as gross schismatics. This did not hinder, however, their
alchymical and medical secrets from being frequently introduced into
the Lodges of simple Free Masonry; and in like manner, exorcism,
or ghost-raising, magic, and other gross superstitions, were often
held out in their meetings as attainable mysteries, which would
be immense acquisitions to the Fraternity, without any necessity
of admitting along with them the religious deliriums of the

In 1743, Baron Hunde, a gentleman of honourable character and
independent fortune, was in Paris, where he said he had got
acquainted with the Earl of Kilmarnock and some other gentlemen who
were about the Pretender, and learned from them that they had some
wonderful secrets in their Lodges. He was admitted, through the
medium of that nobleman, and of a Lord Clifford, and his Masonic
patent was signed _George_ (said to be the signature of Kilmarnock).
Hunde had attached himself to the fortunes of the Pretender,
in hopes (as he says himself) of rising in the world under his
protection. The mighty secret was this. "When the Order of Knights
Templars was abolished by Philip the Fair, and cruelly persecuted,
some worthy persons escaped, and took refuge in the Highlands of
Scotland, where they concealed themselves in caves. These persons
possessed the true secrets of Masonry, which had always been in that
Order, having been acquired by the Knights, during their services
in the East, from the pilgrims whom they occasionally protected
or delivered. The _Chevaliers de la Rose-Croix_ continued to have
the same duties as formerly, though robbed of their emoluments.
In fine, every true Mason is a Knight Templar." It is very true
that a clever fancy can accommodate the ritual of reception of the
_Chevalier de l'Epée_, &c. to something like the institution of the
Knights Templars, and perhaps this explanation of young Zerobabel's
pilgrimage, and of the rebuilding of the Temple by Ezra, is the most
significant explanation that has been given of the meagre symbols of
Free Masonry.

When Baron Hunde returned to Germany, he exhibited to some friends
his extensive powers for propagating this system of Masonry, and
made a few Knights. But he was not very active. Probably the failure
of the Pretender's attempt to recover the throne of his ancestors
had put an end to Hunde's hopes of making a figure. In the mean
time Free Masonry was cultivated with zeal in Germany, and many
adventurers found their advantage in supporting particular schisms.

But in 1756, or 1757, a complete revolution took place. The French
officers who were prisoners at large in Berlin, undertook, with
the assurance peculiar to their nation, to instruct the simple
Germans in every thing that embellishes society. They said, that
the homespun Free Masonry, which had been imported from England,
was fit only for the unpolished minds of the British; but that in
France it had grown into an elegant system, fit for the profession
of Gentlemen. Nay, they said, that the English were ignorant of
true Masonry, and possessed nothing but the introduction to it;
and even this was not understood by them. When the ribbands and
stars, with which the French had ornamented the Order, were shown
to the Germans, they could not resist the enchantment. A Mr. Rosa,
a French commissary, brought from Paris a complete waggon load of
Masonic ornaments, which were all distributed before it had reached
Berlin, and he was obliged to order another, to furnish the Lodges
of that city. It became for a while a most profitable business
to many French officers and commissaries dispersed over Germany,
having little else to do. Every body gaped for instruction, and
these kind teachers were always ready to bestow it. In half a year
Free Masonry underwent a complete revolution all over Germany, and
Chevaliers multiplied without number. The Rosaic system was a gospel
to the Masons, and the poor British system was despised. But the
new Lodges of Berlin, as they had been the teachers of the whole
empire, wanted also to be the governors, and insisted on complete
subjection from all the others. This startled the Free Masons at a
distance, and awakened them from their golden dreams. Now began a
struggle for dominion and for independency. This made the old Lodges
think a little about the whole affair. The result of this was a
counter revolution. Though no man could pretend that he understood
the true meaning of Free Masonry, its origin, its history, or its
real aim, all saw that the interpretations of their hieroglyphics,
and the rituals of the new degrees imported from France, were quite
gratuitous. It appeared, therefore, that the safest thing for them
was an appeal to the birth-place of Masonry. They sent to London for
instructions. There they learned, that nothing was acknowledged for
genuine unsophisticated Masonry but the three degrees; and that the
mother Lodge of London alone could, by her instructions, prevent
the most dangerous schisms and innovations. Many Lodges, therefore,
applied for patents and instructions. Patents were easily made out,
and most willingly sent to the zealous Brethren; and these were
thankfully received and paid for. But instruction was not so easy a
matter. At that time we had nothing but the book of constitutions,
drawn up about 1720, by Anderson and Desaguilliers, two persons of
little education, and of low manners, who had aimed at little more
than making a pretext, not altogether contemptible, for a convivial
meeting. This, however, was received with respect. We are apt to
smile at grave men's being satisfied with such coarse and scanty
fare. But it was of use, merely because it gave an ostensible
reason for resisting the despotism of the Lodges of Berlin. Several
respectable Lodges, particularly that of Frankfort on the Mayne,
that of Brunswick, that of Wetzlar, and the Royal York of Berlin,
resolutely adhered to the English system, and denied themselves all
the enjoyment of the French degrees, rather than acknowledge the
supremacy of the Rosaic Lodges of Berlin.

About the year 1764 a new revolution took place. An adventurer, who
called himself Johnson, and passed himself for an Englishman, but
who was really a German or Bohemian named Leucht, said that he was
ambassador from the Chapter of Knights Templars at Old Aberdeen
in Scotland, sent to teach the Germans what was true Masonry. He
pretended to transmute metals, and some of the Brethren declared
that they had seen him do it repeatedly. This reached Baron Hunde,
and brought back all his former enthusiasm. There is something very
dark in this part of the history; for in a little Johnson told his
partisans that the only point he had to inform them of was, that
Baron Hunde was the Grand Master of the 7th province of Masonry,
which included the whole of Germany, and the royal dominions of
Prussia. He showed them a map of the Masonic Empire arranged into
provinces, each of which had distinguishing emblems. These are
all taken from an old forgotten and insignificant book, _Typotii
Symbola Divina et Humana_, published in 1601. There is not the
least trace in this book either of Masonry of Templars, and the
emblems are taken out without the smallest ground of selection.
Some inconsistency with the former magnificent promises of Johnson
startled them at first, but they acquiesced and submitted to Baron
Hunde as Grand Master of Germany. Soon after Johnson turned out to
be a cheat, escaped, was taken, and put in prison, where he died.
Yet this seems not to have ruined the credit of Baron Hunde. He
erected Lodges, gave a few simple instructions, all in the system
of English Masonry, and promised, that when they had approved
themselves as good Masons, he would then impart the mighty secret.
After two or three years of noviciate, a convention was held at
Altenberg; and he told them that his whole secret was, _that
every true Mason was a Knight Templar_. They were astonished, and
disappointed; for they expected in general that he would teach them
the philosopher's stone, or ghost-raising, or magic. After much
discontent, falling out, and dispute, many Lodges united in this
system, made somewhat moderate and palatable, under the name of the
STRICT DISCIPLINARIANS, _Strickten Observanz_. It was acceptable to
many, because they insisted that they were really Knights, properly
consecrated, though without temporalities; and they seriously set
themselves about forming a fund which should secure the Order in a
landed property and revenue, which would give them a respectable
civil existence. Hunde declared that his whole estate should
devolve on the Order. But the vexations which he afterwards met
with, and his falling in love with a lady who prevailed on him to
become Roman Catholic, made him alter his intention. The Order
went on, however, and acquired considerable credit by the serious
regularity of their proceedings; and, although in the mean time a
new apostle of Mysteries, a Dr. Zinzendorff, one of the _Strict
Observanz_, introduced a new system, which he said was from Sweden,
distinguished by some of the mystical doctrines of the Swedenborgh
sect, and though the system obtained the Royal patronage, and a
National Lodge was established at Berlin by patent, still the
_Tempelorden_, or _Orden des Stricten Observanz_, continued to be
very respectable. The German gentry were better pleased with a Grand
Master of their own choosing, than with any imposed on them by

During this state of things, one Stark, a Protestant divine, well
known in Germany by his writings, made another trial of public
faith. One Gugomos, (a private gentleman, but who would pass for son
to a King of Cyprus), and one Schropfer, keeper of a coffee-house
at Nuremberg, drew crowds of Free Masons around them, to learn
ghost-raising, exorcism, and alchymy. Numbers came from a great
distance to Weisbad to see and learn these mysteries, and Free
Masonry was on the point of another revolution. Dr. Stark was an
adept in all these things, and had contended with Cagliostro in
Courland for the palm of superiority. He saw that this deception
could not long stand its ground. He therefore came forward, at
a convention at Braunschweig in 1772, and said to the Strict
Disciplinarians or Templars, That he was of their Order, but of the
spiritual department, and was deputed by the Chapter of K--m--d--t
in Scotland, where he was Chancellor of the Congregation, and
had the name of Archidemides, _Eques ab Aquila fulva_: That this
Chapter had the superintendance of the Order: That they alone could
consecrate the Knights, or the unknown superiors; and that he was
deputed to instruct them in the real principles of the Order, and
impart its inestimable secrets, which could not be known to Baron
Hunde, as he would readily acknowledge when he should converse with
him. Johnson, he said, had been a cheat, and probably a murderer.
He had got some knowledge from papers which he must have stolen
from a missionary, who had disappeared, and was probably killed.
Gugomos and Schropfer must have had some similar information; and
Schropfer had even deceived him for a time. He was ready to execute
his commission, upon their coming under the necessary obligations
of secrecy and of submission. Hunde (whose name in the Order was
the _Eques ab Ense_) acquiesced at once, and proposed a convention,
with full powers to decide and accept. But a Schubart, a gentleman
of character, who was treasurer to the Templar Masons, and had an
employment which gave him considerable influence in the Order,
strongly dissuaded them from such a measure. The most unqualified
submission to unknown superiors, and to conditions equally
unknown, was required previous to the smallest communication, or
any knowledge of the powers which Archidemides had to treat with
them. Many meetings were held, and many attempts were made to learn
something of this spiritual court, and of what they might expect
from them. Dr. Stark, Baron Weggensak, Baron von Raven, and some
others of his coadjutors in the Lodges at Koningsberg in Prussia,
and at Wismar, were received into the Order. But in vain--nothing
was obtained from these ghostly Knights but some insignificant
ceremonials of receptions and consecrations. Of this kind of
novelties they were already heartily sick; and though they all
panted after the expected wonders, they were so much frightened by
the unconditional submission, that they could come to no agreement,
and the secrets of the Scotch Congregation of K--m--d--t still
remain with Dr. Stark. They did, however, a sensible thing; they
sent a deputation to Old Aberdeen, to enquire after the caves where
their venerable mysteries were known, and their treasures were hid.
They had, as they thought, merited some more confidence; for they
had remitted annual contributions to these unknown superiors, to the
amount of some thousands of rix dollars. But alas! their ambassadors
found the Free Masons of Old Aberdeen ignorant of all this, and as
eager to learn from the ambassadors what was the true origin and
meaning of Free Masonry, of which they knew nothing but the simple
tale of Old Hiram. This broke Stark's credit; but he still insisted
on the reality of his commission, and said that the Brethren at
Aberdeen were indeed ignorant, but that he had never said otherwise;
their expectations from that quarter had rested on the scraps
purloined by Johnson. He reminded them of a thing well known to
themselves; that one of them had been sent for by a dying nobleman
to receive papers on this subject, and that his visit having been
delayed a few hours by an unavoidable accident, he found all burnt
but a fragment of a capitulary, and a thing in cypher, part of which
he (Dr. Stark) had explained to them. They had employed another
gentleman, a H. Wachter, to make similar enquiries in Italy, where
Schropfer and others (even Hunde) had told them great secrets were
to be obtained from the Pretender's secretary Approsi, and others.
Wachter told them, that all this was a fiction, but that he had
seen at Florence some Brethren from the Holy Land, who really
possessed wonderful secrets, which he was willing to impart, on
proper conditions. These, however, they could not accede to; but
they were cruelly tortured by seeing Wachter, who had left Germany
in sober circumstances, now a man of great wealth and expence. He
would not acknowledge that he had got the secret of gold-making from
the Asiatic Brethren; but said that no man had any right to ask
him how he had come by his fortune. It was enough that he behaved
honorably, and owed no man any thing. He broke off all connections
with them, and left them in great distress about their Order, and
panting after his secrets. _Risum teneatis amici?_

Stark, in revenge for the opposition he had met with from Schubart,
left no stone unturned to hurt him with his Brethren, and succeeded,
so that he left them in disgust. Hunde died about this time. A book
appeared, called, _The Stumbling Block and Rock of Offence_, which
betrayed (by their own confession) the whole secrets of the Order of
Templars, and soon made an end of it, as far as it went beyond the
simple English Masonry.

Thus was the faith of Free Masons quite unhinged in Germany. But
the rage for mysteries and wonder was not in the least abated; and
the habits of these secret Assemblies were becoming every day more
craving. Dissension and schism was multiplying in every quarter;
and the Institution, instead of being an incitement to mutual
complaisance and Brotherly love, had become a source of contention,
and of bitter enmity. Not satisfied with defending the propriety
of its own Institutions, each System of Free Masonry was busy in
enticing away the partisans of other Systems, shut their Lodges
against each other, and proceeded even to vilify and persecute the
adherents of every System but their own.

These animosities arose chiefly from the quarrels about precedency,
and the arrogance (as it was thought) of the patent Lodge of Berlin,
in pretending to have any authority in the other parts of the
empire. But these pretensions were not the result of mere vanity.
The French importers of the new degrees, always true to the glory of
their nation, hoped by this means to secure the dependence even of
this frivolous society; perhaps they might foresee political uses
and benefits which might arise from it. One thing is worth notice:
The French Lodges had all emanated from the great Confederation
under the Duke de Chartres; and, even if we had no other proof, we
might presume that they would cultivate the same principles that
characterised that Sect. But we are certain that infidelity and
laxity of moral principles were prevalent in the Rosaic Lodges,
and that the observation of this corruption had offended many of
the sober old-fashioned Lodges, and was one great cause of any
check that was given to the brilliant Masonry of France. It is the
observation of this circumstance, in which they all resembled,
and which soon ceased to be a distinction, because it pervaded
the other Lodges, that has induced me to expatiate more on this
history of Free Masonry in Germany, than may appear to my readers
to be adequate to the importance of Free Masonry in the general
subject-matter of these pages. But I hope that it will appear in the
course of my narration that I have not given it a greater value than
it deserves.

About this very time there was a great revolution of the public
mind in Germany, and scepticism, infidelity, and irreligion, not
only were prevalent in the minds and manners of the wealthy and
luxurious, and of the profligate of lower ranks, but began to appear
in the productions of the press. Some circumstances, peculiar to
Germany, occasioned these declensions from the former acquiescence
in the faith of their forefathers to become more uniform and
remarkable than they would otherwise have been. The confessions
of Germany are the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran, (which they
call Protestant,) and the Calvinist, (which they call Reformed).
These are professed in many small contiguous principalities, and
there is hardly one of them in which all the three have not free
exercise. The desire of making proselytes is natural to all serious
professors of a rational faith, and was frequently exercised. The
Roman Catholics are supposed by us to be particularly zealous, and
the Protestants (Lutherans and Calvinists) were careful to oppose
them by every kind of argument, among which those of ridicule and
reproach were not spared. The Catholics accused them of infidelity
respecting the fundamental doctrines of Christianity which they
professed to believe, and even with respect to the doctrines of
natural religion. This accusation was long very slightly supported;
but, of late, by better proofs. The spirit of free enquiry was
the great boast of the Protestants, and the only support against
the Catholics, securing them both in their religious and civil
rights. It was therefore encouraged by their governments. It
is not to be wondered at that it should be indulged to excess,
or improperly, even by serious men, liable to error, in their
disputes with the Catholics. In the progress of this contest,
even their own Confessions did not escape criticism, and it was
asserted that the Reformation which those Confessions express was
not complete. Further Reformations were proposed. The Scriptures,
the foundation of our faith, were examined by clergymen of very
different capacities, dispositions, and views, till by explaining,
correcting, allegorising, and otherwise twisting the Bible, men's
minds had hardly any thing left to rest on as a doctrine of revealed
religion. This encouraged others to go farther, and to say that
revelation was a solecism, as plainly appeared by the irreconcilable
differences among those Enlighteners (so they were called) of the
public, and that man had nothing to trust to but the dictates of
natural reason. Another set of writers, proceeding from this as a
point already settled, proscribed all religion whatever, and openly
taught the doctrines of materialism and atheism. Most of these
innovations were the work of Protestant divines, from the causes
that I have mentioned. Teller, Semler, Eberhardt, Lessing, Bahrdt,
Riem, and Shultz, had the chief hand in all these innovations.
But no man contributed more than Nicholai, an eminent and learned
bookseller in Berlin. He has been for many years the publisher of
a periodical work, called the General German Library, (_Algemein
deutsche Bibliothek_,) consisting of original dissertations, and
reviews of the writings of others. The great merit of this work,
on account of many learned dissertations which appear in it, has
procured it much influence on that class of readers whose leisure
or capacity did not allow them a more profound kind of reading.
This is the bulk of readers in every country. Nicholai gives a
decided preference to the writings of the Enlighteners, and in his
reviews treats them with particular notice, makes the public fully
acquainted with their works, and makes the most favourable comments;
whereas the performances of their opponents, or more properly
speaking, the defenders of the National Creeds, are neglected,
omitted, or barely mentioned, or they are criticised with every
severity of ridicule and reproach. He fell upon a very sure method
of rendering the orthodox writers disagreeable to the public, by
representing them as the abetters of superstition, and as secret
Jesuits. He asserted, that the abolition of the Order of _Loyola_
is only apparent. The Brethren still retained their connection, and
most part of their property, under the secret patronage of Catholic
Princes. They are, therefore, in every corner, in every habit and
character, working with unwearied zeal for the restoration of their
empire. He raised a general alarm, and made a journey through
Germany, hunting for Jesuits, and for this purpose, became Free
Mason and Rosycrucian, being introduced by his friends Gedicke and
Biester, clergymen, publishers of the _Berlin Monatschrift_, and
most zealous promoters of the new doctrines. This favour he has
repaid at his return, by betraying the mysteries of the Lodges, and
by much bitter satire. His journey was published in several volumes,
and is full of frightful Jesuitisms. This man, as I have said, found
the greatest success in his method of slandering the defenders of
Bible-Christianity, by representing them as concealed Jesuits.
But, not contented with open discussion, he long ago published
a sort of romance, called _Sebaldus Nothanker_, in which these
divines are introduced under feigned names, and made as ridiculous
and detestable as possible. All this was a good trading job; for
sceptical and free-thinking writings have every where a good market;
and Nicholai was not only reviewer, but publisher, having presses in
different cities of the Empire. The immense literary manufacture of
Germany, far exceeding that of any nation of Europe, is carried on
in a very particular way. The books go in sheets to the great fairs
of Leipsic and Frankfort, twice a-year. The booksellers meet there,
and see at one glance the state of literature; and having speculated
and made their bargains, the books are instantly dispersed through
every part of the Empire, and appear at once in all quarters.
Although every Principality has an officer for licensing, it is
impossible to prevent the currency of a performance, although it
may be prohibited; for it is to be had by the carrier at three or
four miles distance in another state. By this mode of traffic,
a plot may be formed, and actually has been formed, for giving
any particular turn to the literature of the country. There is
an excellent work printed at Bern by the author Heinzmann, a
bookseller, called, _Appeal to my Country, concerning a Combination
of Writers, and Booksellers, to rule the Literature of Germany, and
form the Public Mind into a Contempt for the Religion and Civil
Establishments of the Empire_. It contains a historical account of
the publications in every branch of literature for about thirty
years. The author shows, in the most convincing manner, that the
prodigious change from the former satisfaction of the Germans on
those subjects to their present discontent and attacks from every
quarter, is neither a fair picture of the prevailing sentiments,
nor has been the simple operation of things, but the result of a
combination of trading Infidels.

I have here somewhat anticipated, (for I hope to point out the
sources of this combination,) because it helps to explain or
illustrate the progress of infidelity and irreligion that I was
speaking of. It was much accelerated by another circumstance.
One _Basedow_, a man of talents and learning, set up, in the
Principality of Anhalt-Dessau, a PHILANTHROPINE, or academy of
general education, on a plan extremely different from those of the
Universities and Academies. By this appellation, the founder hoped
to make parents expect that much attention would be paid to the
morals of the pupils; and indeed the programs or advertisements by
which Basedow announced his institution to the public, described
it as the professed seminary of practical Ethics. Languages,
sciences, and the ornamental exercises, were here considered as mere
accessories, and the great aim was to form the young mind to the
love of mankind and of virtue, by a plan of moral education which
was very specious and unexceptionable. But there was a circumstance
which greatly obstructed the wide prospects of the founder. How were
the religious opinions of the youth to be cared for? Catholics,
Lutherans, and Calvinists, were almost equally numerous in the
adjoining Principalities; and the exclusion of any two of these
communions would prodigiously limit the proposed usefulness of
the institution. Basedow was a man of talents, a good scholar,
and a persuasive writer. He framed a set of rules, by which the
education should be conducted, and which, he thought, should make
every parent easy; and the plan is very judicious and manly. But
none came but Lutherans. His zeal and interest in the thing made
him endeavour to interest others; and he found this no hard matter.
The people of condition, and all sensible men, saw that it would be
a very great advantage to the place, could they induce men to send
their children from all the neighbouring states. What we wish, we
readily believe to be the truth; and Basedow's plan and reasonings
appeared complete, and had the support of all classes of men. The
moderate Calvinists, after some time, were not averse from them, and
the literary manufacture of Germany was soon very busy in making
pamphlets, defending, improving, attacking, and reprobating the
plans. Innumerable were the projects for moderating the differences
between the three Christian communions of Germany, and making it
possible for the members of them all, not only to live amicably
among each other, and to worship God in the same church, but even
to communicate together. This attempt naturally gave rise to much
speculation and refinement; and the proposals for amendment of the
formulas and the instructions from the pulpit were prosecuted with
so much keenness, that the ground-work, Christianity, was refined
and refined, till it vanished altogether, leaving Deism, or Natural,
or, as it was called, Philosophical Religion, in its place. I am
not much mistaken as to historical fact, when I say, that the
astonishing change in religious doctrine which has taken place
in Protestant Germany within these last thirty years was chiefly
occasioned by this scheme of Basedow's. The predisposing causes
existed, indeed, and were general and powerful, and the disorder
had already broken out. But this specious and enticing object first
gave a title to Protestant clergymen to put to their hand without
risk of being censured.

Basedow corrected, and corrected again, but not one Catholic came
to the Philanthropine. He seems to have thought that the best plan
would be, to banish all positive religion whatever, and that he
would then be sure of Catholic scholars. Cardinal Dubois was so
far right with respect to the first Catholic pupil of the church.
He had recommended a man of his own stamp to Louis XIV. to fill
some important office. The monarch was astonished, and told the
Cardinal, that "that would never do, for the man was a Jansenist;
_Eh! que non, Sire_," said the Cardinal, "_il n'est qu' Athée_;"
all was safe, and the man got the priory. But though all was in
vain, Basedow's Philanthropine at Dessau got a high character. He
published many volumes on education that have much merit.

It were well had this been all. But most unfortunately, though
most naturally, writers of loose moral principles and of wicked
hearts were encouraged by the impunity which the sceptical writers
experienced, and ventured to publish things of the vilest tendency,
inflaming the passions and justifying licentious manners. These
maxims are congenial with irreligion and Atheism, and the books
found a quick market. It was chiefly in the Prussian States
that this went on. The late King was, to say the best of him, a
naturalist, and, holding this life for his all, gave full liberty
to his subjects to write what they pleased, provided they did not
touch on state matters. He declared, however, to a minister of his
court, long before his death, that "he was extremely sorry that his
indifference had produced such effects; that he was sensible it had
greatly contributed to hurt the peace and mutual good treatment
of his subjects;" and he said, "that he would willingly give up
the glory of his best-fought battle, to have the satisfaction of
leaving his people in the same state of peace and satisfaction
with their religious establishments, that he found them in at his
accession to the throne." His successor Frederick William found
that things had gone much too far, and determined to support the
church-establishment in the most peremptory manner; but at the
same time to allow perfect freedom of thinking and conversing to
the professors of every Christian faith, provided it was enjoyed
without disturbing the general peace, or any encroachment on the
rights of those already supported by law. He published an edict
to this effect, which is really a model worthy of imitation in
every country. This was the epoch of a strange revolution. It
was attacked from all hands, and criticisms, satires, slanders,
threatenings, poured in from every quarter. The independency of the
neighbouring states, and the monarch's not being a great favourite
among several of his neighbours, permitted the publication of those
pieces in the adjoining principalities, and it was impossible to
prevent their circulation even in the Prussian States. His edict was
called an unjustifiable tyranny over the consciences of men; the
dogmas supported by it were termed absurd superstitions; the King's
private character, and his opinions in religious matters, were
treated with little reverence, nay, were ridiculed and scandalously
abused. This field of discussion being thus thrown open, the writers
did not confine themselves to religious matters. After flatly
denying that the prince of any country had the smallest right to
prescribe, or even direct the faith of his subjects, they extended
their discussions to the rights of princes in general; and now
they fairly opened their trenches, and made an attack in form on
the constitutions of the German confederacy, and, after the usual
approaches, they set up the standard of universal citizenship on
the very ridge of the glacis, and summoned the fort to surrender.
The most daring of these attacks was a collection of anonymous
letters on the constitution of the Prussian States. It was printed
(or said to be so) at Utrecht; but by comparing the faults of some
types with some books printed in Berlin, it was supposed by all
to be the production of one of Nicholai's presses. It was thought
to be the composition of Mirabeau. It is certain that he wrote a
French translation, with a preface and notes, more impudent than the
work itself. The monarch is declared to be a tyrant; the people are
addressed as a parcel of tame wretches crouching under oppression.
The people of Silesia are represented as still in a worse condition,
and are repeatedly called to rouse themselves, and to rise up and
assert their rights. The King is told, that there is a combination
of philosophers (_conjuration_) who are leagued together in defence
of truth and reason, and which no power can withstand; that they
are to be found in every country, and are connected by mutual and
solemn engagement, and will put in practice every mean of attack.
Enlightening, instruction, was the general cry among the writers.
The triumph of reason over error, the overthrow of superstition
and slavish fear, freedom from religious and political prejudices,
and the establishment of liberty and equality, the natural and
unalienable rights of man, were the topics of general declamation;
and it was openly maintained, that secret societies, where the
communication of sentiment should be free from every restraint, was
the most effectual means for instructing and enlightening the world.

And thus it appears, that Germany has experienced the same gradual
progress, from Religion to Atheism, from decency to dissoluteness,
and from loyalty to rebellion, which has had its course in France.
And I must now add, that this progress has been effected in the
same manner, and by the same means; and that one of the chief means
of seduction has been the Lodges of the Free Masons. The French,
along with their numerous chevaleries, and stars, and ribands, had
brought in the custom of haranguing in the Lodges, and as human
nature has a considerable uniformity every where, the same topics
became favourite subjects of declamation that had tickled the ear in
France; there were the same corruptions of sentiments and manners
among the luxurious or profligate, and the same incitements to
the utterance of these sentiments, wherever it could be done with
safety; and I may say, that the zealots in all these tracts of
freethinking were more serious, more grave, and fanatical. These are
not assertions _a priori_. I can produce proofs. There was a Baron
Knigge residing at that time in the neighbourhood of Frankfort,
of whom I shall afterwards have occasion frequently to speak.
This man was an enthusiast in Masonry from his youth, and had run
through every possible degree of it. He was dissatisfied with them
all, and particularly with the frivolity of the French chivalry;
but he still believed that Masonry contained invaluable secrets.
He imagined that he saw a glimpse of them in the cosmo-political
and sceptical discourses in their Lodges; he sat down to meditate
on these, and soon collected his thoughts, and found that those
French orators were right without knowing it; and that Masonry was
pure natural religion and universal citizenship, and that this was
also true Christianity. In this faith he immediately began his
career of Brotherly love, and published three volumes of sermons;
the first and third published at Frankfort, and the second at
Heidelberg, but without his name. He published also a popular system
of religion. In all these publications, of which there are extracts
in the _Religions Begebenheiten_, Christianity is considered as a
mere allegory, or a Masonic type of natural religion; the moral
duties are spun into the common-place declamations of universal
benevolence; and the attention is continually directed to the
absurdities and horrors of superstition, the sufferings of the poor,
the tyranny and oppression of the great, the tricks of the priests,
and the indolent simplicity and patience of the laity and of the
common people. The happiness of the patriarchal life, and sweets of
universal equality and freedom, are the burden of every paragraph;
and the general tenor of the whole is to make men discontented
with their condition of civil subordination, and the restraints of
revealed religion.

All the proceedings of Knigge in the Masonic schisms show that he
was a zealous apostle of cosmo-politism, and that he was continually
dealing with people in the Lodges who were associated with him in
propagating those notions among the Brethren; so that we are certain
that such conversations were common in the German Lodges.

When the reader considers all these circumstances, he will abate
of that surprise which naturally affects a Briton, when he reads
accounts of conventions for discussing and fixing the dogmatic
tenets of Free Masonry. The perfect freedom, civil and religious,
which we enjoy in this happy country, being familiar to every man,
we indulge it with calmness and moderation, and secret assemblies
hardly differ from the common meetings of friends and neighbours.
We do not forget the expediency of civil subordination, and of
those distinctions which arise from secure possession of our
rights, and the gradual accumulation of the comforts of life in
the families of the sober and industrious. These have, by prudence
and a respectable oeconomy, preserved the acquisitions of their
ancestors. Every man feels in his own breast the strong call of
nature to procure for himself and his children, by every honest
and commendable exertion, the means of public consideration and
respect. No man is so totally without spirit, as not to think the
better of his condition when he is come of creditable parents, and
has creditable connections; and without thinking that he is in any
respect generous, he presumes that others have the same sentiments,
and therefore allows the moderate expression of them, without
thinking it insolence or haughtiness. All these things are familiar,
are not thought of, and we enjoy them as we enjoy ordinary health,
without perceiving it. But in the same manner as a young man who
has been long confined by sickness, exults in returning health, and
is apt to riot in the enjoyment of what he so distinctly feels;
so those who are under continual check in open society, feel this
emancipation in those hidden assemblies, and indulge with eagerness
in the expression of sentiments which in public they must smother
within their own breast. Such meetings, therefore, have a zest that
is very alluring, and they are frequented with avidity. There is no
country in Europe where this kind of enjoyment is so poignant as in
Germany. Very insignificant principalities have the same rank in
the General Federation with very extensive dominions. The internal
constitution of each petty state being modelled in nearly the same
manner, the official honours of their little courts become ludicrous
and even farcical. The Geheim Hofrath, the Hofmareschal, and all the
Kammerhers of a Prince, whose dominions do not equal the estates
of many English Squires, cause the whole to appear like the play
of children, and must give frequent occasion for discontent and
ridicule. Mason Lodges even keep this alive. The fraternal equality
professed in them is very flattering to those who have not succeeded
in the scramble for civil distinctions. Such persons become the
most zealous Masons, and generally obtain the active offices in the
Lodges, and have an opportunity of treating with authority persons
whom in public society they must look up to with some respect.

These considerations account, in some measure, for the importance
which Free Masonry has acquired in Germany. For a long while the
hopes of learning some wonderful secret made a German Baron think
nothing of long and expensive journies in quest of some new degree.
Of late, the cosmo-political doctrines encouraged and propagated in
the Lodges, and some hopes of producing a Revolution in society, by
which men of talents should obtain the management of public affairs,
seem to be the cause of all the zeal with which the order is still
cherished and promoted. In a periodical work, published at Neuwied,
called _Algemein Zeitung der Freymaurerey_, we have the list of the
Lodges in 1782, with the names of the Office-bearers. Four-fifths
of these are clergymen, professors, persons having offices in the
common law-courts, men of letters by trade, such as reviewers and
journalists, and other pamphleteers; a class of men, who generally
think that they have not attained that rank in society to which
their talents entitle them, and imagine that they could discharge
the important offices of the state with reputation to themselves and
advantage to the public.

The miserable uncertainty and instability of the Masonic faith,
which I described above, was not altogether the effect of mere
chance, but had been greatly accelerated by the machinations of
Baron Knigge, and some other cosmo-political Brethren whom he had
called to his assistance. Knigge had now formed a scheme for uniting
the whole Fraternity, for the purpose of promoting his Utopian plan
of universal benevolence in a state of liberty and equality. He
hoped to do this more readily by completing their embarrassment,
and showing each system how infirm its foundation was, and how
little chance it had of obtaining a general adherence. The _Stricten
Observanz_ had now completely lost its credit, by which it had hoped
to get the better of all the rest. Knigge therefore proposed a plan
to the Lodges of Frankfort and Wetzlar, by which all the systems
might, in some measure, be united, or at least be brought to a state
of mutual forbearance and intercourse. He proposed that the English
system should be taken for the ground-work, and to receive all and
only those who had taken the three symbolical degrees, as they were
now generally called. After thus guarding this general point of
faith, he proposed to allow the validity of every degree or rank
which should be received in any Lodge, or be made the character of
any particular system. These Lodges having secured the adherence of
several others, brought about a general convention at Willemsbad
in Hainault, where every different system should communicate its
peculiar tenets. It was then hoped, that after an examination of
them all, a constitution might be formed, which should comprehend
every thing that was most worthy of selection, and therefore be far
better than the accommodating system already described. By this he
hoped to get his favourite scheme introduced into the whole Order,
and Free Masons made zealous Citizens of the World. I believe he
was sincere in these intentions, and did not wish to disturb the
public peace. The convention was accordingly held, and lasted
a long while, the deputies consulting about the frivolities of
Masonry, with all the seriousness of state ambassadors. But there
was great shyness in their communications; and Knigge was making
but small progress in his plan, when he met with another Mason, the
Marquis of Constanza, who in an instant converted him, and changed
all his measures, by showing him that he (Knigge) was only doing by
halves what was already accomplished by another Society, which had
carried it to its full extent. They immediately set about undoing
what he had been occupied with, and heightened as much as they
could the dissentions already sufficiently great, and, in the mean
time, got the Lodges of Frankfort and Wetzlar, and several others,
to unite, and pick out the best of the things they had obtained by
the communications from the other systems, and they formed a plan
of what they called, the _Eclectic or Syncritic Masonry of the
United Lodges_ of Germany. They composed a constitution, ritual, and
catechism, which has merit, and is indeed the completest body of
Free Masonry that we have.

Such was the state of this celebrated and mysterious Fraternity
in Germany in 1776. The spirit of innovation had seized all the
Brethren. No man could give a tolerable account of the origin,
history, or object of the Order, and it appeared to all as a lost
or forgotten mystery. The symbols seemed to be equally susceptible
of every interpretation, and none of these seemed entitled to any
decided preference.


_The Illuminati._

I have now arrived at what I should call the great epoch of
Cosmo-politism, the scheme communicated to Baron Knigge by the
_Marchese di Constanza_. This obliges me to mention a remarkable
Lodge of the Eclectic Masonry, erected at Munich in Bavaria in 1775,
under the worshipful Master, Professor Baader. It was called _The
Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel_. It had its constitutional patent
from the Royal York at Berlin, but had formed a particular system of
its own, by instructions from the _Loge des Chevaliers Bienfaisants_
at Lyons, with which it kept up a correspondence. This respect
to the Lodge at Lyons had arisen from the preponderance acquired
in general by the French party in the convention at Willemsbad.
The deputies of the Rosaic Lodges, as well as the remains of the
Templars, and _Stricten Observanz_, all looking up to this as the
mother Lodge of what they called the _Grand Orient de la France_,
consisting in (in 1782) of 266 improved Lodges united under the _D.
de Chartres_. Accordingly the Lodge at Lyons sent Mr. Wilermooz
as deputy to this convention at Willemsbad. Refining gradually
on the simple British Masonry, the Lodge had formed a system of
practical morality, which it asserted to be the aim of genuine
Masonry, saying, that a true mason, and a man of upright heart and
active virtue, are synonimous characters, and that the great aim
of Free Masonry is to promote the happiness of mankind by every
mean in our power. In pursuance of these principles, the Lodge
Theodore professedly occupied itself with oeconomical, statistical,
and political matters, and not only published from time to time
discourses on such subjects by the Brother Orator, but the Members
considered themselves as in duty bound to propagate and inculcate
the same doctrines out of doors.

Of the zealous members of the Lodge Theodore the most conspicuous
was Dr. Adam Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law in the University of
Ingolstadt. This person had been educated among the Jesuits; but the
abolition of their order made him change his views, and from being
their pupil, he became their most bitter enemy. He had acquired a
high reputation in his profession, and was attended not only by
those intended for the practice in the law-courts, but also by young
gentlemen at large in their course of general education; and he
brought numbers from the neighbouring states to this university, and
gave a _ton_ to the studies of the place. He embraced with great
keenness this opportunity of spreading the favorite doctrines of
the Lodge, and his auditory became the seminary of Cosmo-politism.
The engaging pictures of the possible felicity of a society where
every office is held by a man of talents and virtue, and where
every talent is set in a place fitted for its exertion, forcibly
catches the generous and unsuspecting minds of youth, and in a Roman
Catholic state, far advanced in the habits of gross superstition
(a character given to Bavaria by its neighbours) and abounding in
monks and idle dignitaries, the opportunities must be frequent
for observing the inconsiderate dominion of the clergy, and the
abject and indolent submission of the laity. Accordingly Professor
Weishaupt says, in his Apology for Illuminatism, that Deism,
Infidelity, and Atheism are more prevalent in Bavaria than in any
country he was acquainted with. Discourses, therefore, in which
the absurdity and horrors of superstition and spiritual tyranny
were strongly painted, could not fail of making a deep impression.
And during this state of the minds of the auditory the transition
to general infidelity and irreligion is so easy, and so inviting
to sanguine youth, prompted perhaps by a latent wish that the
restraints which religion imposes on the expectants of a future
state might be found, on enquiry, to be nothing but groundless
terrors, that I imagine it requires the most anxious care of the
public teacher to keep the minds of his audience impressed with
the reality and importance of the great truths of religion, while
he frees them from the shackles of blind and absurd superstition.
I fear that this celebrated instructor had none of this anxiety,
but was satisfied with his great success in the last part of this
task, the emancipation of his young hearers from the terrors of
superstition. I suppose also that this was the more agreeable to
him, as it procured him the triumph over the Jesuits, with whom he
had long struggled for the direction of the university.

This was in 1777. Weishaupt had long been scheming the establishment
of an Association or Order, which, in time, should govern the
world. In his first fervour and high expectations, he hinted to
several Ex-Jesuits the probability of their recovering, under a new
name, the influence which they formerly possessed, and of being
again of great service to society, by directing the education of
youth of distinction, now emancipated from all civil and religious
prejudices. He prevailed on some to join him, but they all
retracted but two. After this disappointment Weishaupt became the
implacable enemy of the Jesuits; and his sanguine temper made him
frequently lay himself open to their piercing eye, and drew on him
their keenest resentment, and at last made him the victim of their

The Lodge Theodore was the place where the above-mentioned doctrines
were most zealously propagated. But Weishaupt's emissaries had
already procured the adherence of many other Lodges; and the
Eclectic Masonry had been brought into vogue chiefly by their
exertions at the Willemsbad convention. The Lodge Theodore was
perhaps less guarded in its proceedings, for it became remarkable
for the very bold sentiments in politics and religion which were
frequently uttered in their harangues; and its members were noted
for their zeal in making proselytes. Many bitter pasquinades,
satires, and other offensive pamphlets were in secret circulation,
and even larger works of very dangerous tendency, and several of
them were traced to that Lodge. The Elector often expressed his
disapprobation of such proceedings, and sent them kind messages,
desiring them to be careful not to disturb the peace of the country,
and particularly to recollect the solemn declaration made to every
entrant into the Fraternity of Free Masons, "That no subject of
religion or politics shall ever be touched on in the Lodge;" a
declaration which alone could have procured his permission of any
secret assembly whatever, and on the sincerity and honour of which
he had reckoned when he gave his sanction to their establishment.
But repeated accounts of the same kind increased the alarms, and the
Elector ordered a judicial enquiry into the proceedings of the Lodge

It was then discovered that this and several associated Lodges were
the nursery or preparation school for another Order of Masons,
who called themselves the ILLUMINATED, and that the express aim
of this Order was to abolish Christianity, and overturn all civil
government. But the result of the enquiry was very imperfect and
unsatisfactory. No illuminati were to be found. They were unknown
in the Lodge. Some of the members occasionally heard of certain
candidates for illumination called MINERVALS, who were sometimes
seen among them. But whether these had been admitted, or who
received them, was known only to themselves. Some of these were
examined in private by the Elector himself. They said that they
were bound by honour to secrecy: But they assured the Elector, on
their honour, that the aim of the Order was in the highest degree
praise-worthy, and useful both to church and state. But this could
not allay the anxiety of the profane public; and it was repeatedly
stated to the Elector, that members of the Lodge Theodore had
unguardedly spoken of this Order as one that in time must rule the
world. He therefore issued an order forbidding, during his pleasure,
all secret assemblies, and shutting up the Mason Lodges. It was not
meant to be rigorously enforced, but was intended as a trial of
the deference of these Associations for civil authority. The Lodge
Theodore distinguished itself by pointed opposition, continuing
its meetings; and the members, out of doors, openly reprobated the
prohibition as an absurd and unjustifiable tyranny.

In the beginning of 1783, four professors of the Marianen Academy,
founded by the widow of the late Elector, viz. Utschneider,
Cossandey, Renner, and Grunberger, with two others, were summoned
before the Court of Enquiry, and questioned, on their allegiance,
respecting the Order of the Illuminati. They acknowledged that
they belonged to it, and when more closely examined, they related
several circumstances of its constitution and principles. Their
declarations were immediately published, and were very unfavourable.
The Order was said to abjure Christianity, and to refuse admission
into the higher degrees to all who adhered to any of the three
confessions. Sensual pleasures were restored to the rank they held
in the Epicurean philosophy. Self-murder was justified on Stoical
principles. In the Lodges death was declared an eternal sleep;
patriotism and loyalty were called narrow-minded prejudices, and
incompatible with universal benevolence; continual declamations
were made on liberty and equality as the unalienable rights of
man. The baneful influence of accumulated property was declared an
insurmountable obstacle to the happiness of any nation whose chief
laws were framed for its protection and increase. Nothing was so
frequently discoursed of as the propriety of employing, for a good
purpose, the means which the wicked employed for evil purposes;
and it was taught, that the preponderancy of good in the ultimate
result consecrated every mean employed; and that wisdom and virtue
consisted in properly determining this balance. This appeared
big with danger, because it seemed evident that nothing would be
scrupled at, if it could be made appear that the Order would derive
advantage from it, because the great object of the Order was held
as superior to every consideration. They concluded by saying that
the method of education made them all spies on each other and on
all around them. But all this was denied by the Illuminati. Some of
these tenets were said to be absolutely false; and the rest were
said to be mistakes. The apostate professors had acknowledged their
ignorance of many things. Two of them were only Minervals, another
was an Illuminatus of the lowest class, and the fourth was but one
step farther advanced. Pamphlets appeared on both sides, with very
little effect. The Elector called before him one of the superiors,
a young nobleman, who denied those injurious charges, and said that
they were ready to lay before his Highness their whole archives and
all constitutional papers.

Notwithstanding all this, the government had received such an
impression of the dangerous tendency of the Order, that the Elector
issued another edict, forbidding all hidden assemblies; and a third,
expressly abolishing the Order of Illuminati. It was followed by
a search after their papers. The Lodge Theodore was immediately
searched, but none were to be found. They said now that they burnt
them all, as of no use, since that Order was at an end.

It was now discovered, that Weishaupt was the head and founder of
the Order. He was deprived of his Professor's chair, and banished
from the Bavarian States; but with a pension of 800 florins, which
he refused. He went to Regensburgh, on the confines of Switzerland.
Two Italians, the Marquis Constanza and Marquis Savioli, were also
banished, with equal pensions, (about L. 40,) which they accepted.
One Zwack, a counsellor, holding some law-office, was also banished.
Others were imprisoned for some time. Weishaupt went afterwards into
the service of the D. of Saxe Gotha, a person of a romantic turn of
mind, and whom we shall again meet with. Zwack went into the service
of the Pr. de Salms, who soon after had so great a hand in the
disturbances in Holland.

By destroying the papers, all opportunity was lost for
authenticating the innocence and usefulness of the Order. After
much altercation and paper war, Weishaupt, now safe in Regensburg,
published an account of the Order, namely, the account which was
given to every _Novice_ in a discourse read at his reception.
To this were added the statutes and the rules of proceeding, as
far as the degree of _Illuminatus Minor_, included. This account
he affirmed to be conformable to the real practice of the Order.
But this publication did by no means satisfy the public mind. It
differed exceedingly from the accounts given by the four professors.
It made no mention of the higher degrees, which had been most blamed
by them. Besides, it was alleged, that it was all a fiction, written
in order to lull the suspicions which had been raised (and this was
found to be the case, except in respect of the very lowest degree).
The real constitution was brought to light by degrees, and shall
be laid before the reader, in the order in which it was gradually
discovered, that we may the better judge of things not fully known
by the conduct of the leaders during the detection. The first
account given by Weishaupt is correct, as far as I shall make use of
it, and shows clearly the methods that were taken to recommend the
Order to strangers.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Order of ILLUMINATI appears as an accessory to Free Masonry. It
is in the Lodges of Free Masons that the Minervals are found, and
there they are prepared for Illumination. They must have previously
obtained the three English degrees. The founder says more. He says
that his doctrines are the only true Free Masonry. He was the chief
promoter of the _Eclectic System_. This he urged as the best method
for getting information of all the explanations which have been
given of the Masonic Mysteries. He was also a _Strict Observanz_,
and an adept Rosycrucian. The result of all his knowledge is worthy
of particular remark, and shall therefore be given at large.

"I declare," says he, "and I challenge all mankind to contradict
my declaration, that no man can give any account of the Order of
Free Masonry, of its origin, of its history, of its object, nor
any explanation of its mysteries and symbols, which does not leave
the mind in total uncertainty on all these points. Every man is
entitled, therefore, to give any explanation of the symbols, and
any system of the doctrines, that he can render palatable. Hence
have sprung up that variety of systems which for twenty years have
divided the Order. The simple tale of the English, and the fifty
degrees of the French, and the Knights of Baron Hunde, are equally
authentic, and have equally had the support of intelligent and
zealous Brethren. These systems are in fact but one. They have all
sprung from the Blue Lodge of Three degrees; take these for their
standard, and found on these all the improvements by which each
system is afterwards suited to the particular object which it keeps
in view. There is no man, nor system, in the world, which can show
by undoubted succession that it should stand at the head of the
Order. Our ignorance in this particular frets me. Do but consider
our short history of 120 years.--Who will show me the Mother Lodge?
Those of London we have discovered to be self-erected in 1716. Ask
for their archives. They tell you they were burnt. They have nothing
but the wretched sophistications of the Englishman Anderson, and the
Frenchman Desaguilliers. Where is the Lodge of York, which pretends
to the priority, with their King Bouden, and the archives that he
brought from the East? These too are all burnt. What is the Chapter
of Old Aberdeen, and its Holy Clericate? Did we not find it unknown,
and the Mason Lodges there the most ignorant of all the ignorant,
gaping for instruction from our deputies? Did we not find the same
thing at London? and have not their missionaries been among us,
prying into our mysteries, and eager to learn from us what is true
Free Masonry? It is in vain, therefore, to appeal to judges; they
are no where to be found; all claim for themselves the sceptre
of the Order; all indeed are on an equal footing. They obtained
followers, not from their authenticity, but from their conduciveness
to the end which they proposed, and from the importance of that
end. It is by this scale that we must measure the mad and wicked
explanations of the Rosycrucians, the Exorcists, and Cabalists.
These are rejected by all good Masons, because incompatible with
social happiness. Only such systems as promote this are retained.
But alas, they are all sadly deficient, because they leave us under
the dominion of political and religious prejudices; and they are as
inefficient as the sleepy dose of an ordinary sermon.

"But I have contrived an explanation which has every advantage; is
inviting to Christians of every communion; gradually frees them
from all religious prejudices; cultivates the social virtues; and
animates them by a great, a feasible, and _speedy_ prospect of
universal happiness, in a state of liberty and moral equality,
freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches,
continually throw in our way. My explanation is accurate, and
complete, my means are effectual, and irresistible. Our secret
Association works in a way that nothing can withstand, _and man
shall soon be free and happy_.

"This is the great object held out by this Association, and
the means of attaining it is Illumination, enlightening the
understanding by the sun of reason, which will dispel the clouds of
superstition and of prejudice. The proficients in this Order are
therefore justly named the Illuminated. And of all Illumination
which human reason can give, none is comparable to the discovery
of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what happiness we are
capable of, and what are the means of attaining it. In comparison
with this, the most brilliant sciences are but amusements for the
idle and luxurious. To fit man by Illumination for active virtue, to
engage him to it by the strongest motives, to render the attainment
of it easy and certain, by finding employment for every talent, and
by placing every talent in its proper sphere of action, so that all,
without feeling any extraordinary effort, and in conjunction with
and completion of ordinary business, shall urge forward, with united
powers, the general task. This indeed will be an employment, suited
to noble natures, grand in its views, and delightful in its exercise.

"And what is this general object? THE HAPPINESS OF THE HUMAN RACE.
Is it not distressing to a generous mind, after contemplating what
human nature is capable of, to see how little we enjoy? When we look
at this goodly world, and see that every man _may_ be happy, but
that the happiness of one depends on the conduct of another; when
we see the wicked so powerful and the good so weak; and that it is
in vain to strive singly and alone, against the general current of
vice and oppression: the wish naturally arises in the mind, that
it were possible to form a durable combination of the most worthy
persons, who should work together in removing the obstacles to human
happiness, become terrible to the wicked, and give their aid to
all the good without distinction, and should, by the most powerful
means, first fetter, and by fettering, lessen vice; means which at
the same time should promote virtue, by rendering the inclination to
rectitude hitherto so feeble, more powerful and engaging. Would not
such an association be a blessing to the world?

"But where are the proper persons, the good, the generous, and the
accomplished, to be found; and how, and by what strong motives, are
they to be induced to engage in a task so vast, so incessant, so
difficult, and so laborious? This Association must be gradual. There
_are_ some such persons to be found in every society. Such noble
minds will be engaged by the heart-warming object. The first task
of the Association must therefore be to form the young members. As
these multiply and advance, they become the apostles of beneficence,
and the work is now on foot, and advances with a speed encreasing
every day. The slightest observation shows that nothing will so much
contribute to increase the zeal of the members as secret union.
We see with what keenness and zeal the frivolous business of Free
Masonry is conducted, by persons knit together by the secrecy of
their union. It is needless to enquire into the causes of this zeal
which secrecy produces. It is an universal fact, confirmed by the
history of every age. Let this circumstance of our constitution
therefore be directed to this noble purpose, and then all the
objections urged against it by jealous tyranny and affrighted
superstition will vanish. The order will thus work silently, and
securely; and though the generous benefactors of the human race are
thus deprived of the applause of the world, they have the noble
pleasure of seeing their work prosper in their hands."

Such is the aim, and such are the hopes of the Order of the
Illuminated. Let us now see how these were to be accomplished. We
cannot judge with perfect certainty of this, because the account
given of the constitution of the Order by its founder includes only
the lowest degree, and even this is liable to great suspicion. The
accounts given by the four Professors, even of this part of the
Order, make a very different impression on the mind, although they
differ only in a few particulars.

The only ostensible members of the Order were the Minervals. They
were to be found only in the Lodges of Free Masons. A candidate for
admission must make his wish known to some Minerval; he reports
it to a Superior, who, by a channel to be explained presently,
intimates it to the Council. No notice is farther taken of it for
some time. The candidate is carefully observed in silence, and if
thought unfit for the Order, no notice is taken of his solicitation.
But if otherwise, the candidate receives privately an invitation
to a conference. Here he meets with a person unknown to him, and,
previous to all further conference, he is required to peruse and to
sign the following oath:

"I, N. N. hereby bind myself, by mine honour and good name,
forswearing all mental reservation, never to reveal, by hint,
word, writing, or in any manner whatever, even to my most trusted
friend, any thing that shall now be said or done to me respecting
my wished-for reception, and this whether my reception shall follow
or not, I being previously assured that it shall contain nothing
contrary to religion, the state, nor good manners. I promise, that
I shall make no intelligible extract from any papers which shall be
shewn me now or during my noviciate. All this I swear, as I am, and
as I hope to continue, a Man of Honour."

The urbanity of this protestation must agreeably impress the mind
of a person who recollects the dreadful imprecations which he made
at his reception into the different ranks of Free Masonry. The
candidate is then introduced to an _Illuminatus Dirigens_, whom
perhaps he knows, and is told that this person is to be his future
instructor. There is now presented to the candidate, what they call
a table, in which he writes his name, place of birth, age, rank,
place of residence, profession, and favourite studies. He is then
made to read several articles of this table. It contains, 1_st_, a
very concise account of the Order, its connection with Free Masonry,
and its great object, the promoting the happiness of mankind by
means of instruction and confirmation in virtuous principles. 2_d_,
Several questions relative to the Order. Among these are, "What
advantages he hopes to derive from being a member? What he most
particularly wishes to learn? What delicate questions relative to
the life, the prospects, the duties of man, as an individual, and
as a citizen, he wishes to have particularly discussed to him? In
what respects he thinks he can be of use to the Order? Who are his
ancestors, relations, friends, correspondents, or enemies? Whom he
thinks proper persons to be received into the Order, or whom he
thinks unfit for it, and the reasons for both opinions?" To each of
these questions he must give some answer in writing.

The Novice and his Mentor are known only to each other; perhaps
nothing more follows upon this; if otherwise, the Mentor appoints
another conference, and begins his instructions, by giving him in
detail certain portions of the constitution, and of the fundamental
rules of the Order. Of these the Novice must give a weekly account
in writing. He must also read, in the Mentor's house, a book
containing more of the instructions of the Order; but he must make
no extracts. Yet from this reading he must derive all his knowledge;
and he must give an account in writing of his progress. All
writings received from his Superiors must be returned with a stated
punctuality.--These writings consist chiefly of important and
delicate questions, suited, either to the particular inclination,
or to the peculiar taste which the candidate had discovered in
his subscriptions of the articles of the table, and in his former
rescripts, or to the direction which the Mentor wishes to give to
his thoughts.

Enlightening the understanding, and the rooting out of prejudices,
are pointed out to him as the principal tasks of his noviciate.
The knowledge of himself is considered as preparatory to all other
knowledge. To disclose to him, by means of the calm and unbiassed
observation of his instructor, what is his own character, his
most vulnerable side, either in respect of temper, passions, or
prepossessions, is therefore the most essential service that can be
done him. For this purpose there is required of him some account
of his own conduct on occasions where he doubted of its propriety;
some account of his friendships, of his differences of opinion, and
of his conduct on such occasions. From such relations the Superior
learns his manner of thinking and judging, and those propensities
which require his chief attention.

Having made the candidate acquainted with himself, he is apprised
that the Order is not a speculative, but an active association,
engaged in doing good to others. The knowledge of human character
is therefore of all others the most important. This is acquired
only by observation, assisted by the instructions of his teacher.
Characters in history are proposed to him for observation, and his
opinion is required. After this he is directed to look around him,
and to notice the conduct of other men; and part of his weekly
rescripts must consist of accounts of all interesting occurrences
in his neighbourhood, whether of a public or private nature.
Cossandey, one of the four Professors, gives a particular account
of the instructions relating to this kind of science. "The Novice
must be attentive to trifles: For in frivolous occurrences a man
is indolent, and makes no effort to act a part, so that his real
character is then acting alone. Nothing will have such influence
with the Superiors in promoting the advancement of a candidate as
very copious narrations of this kind, because the candidate, if
promoted, is to be employed in an active station, and it is from
this kind of information only that the Superiors can judge of his
fitness. These characteristic anecdotes are not for the instruction
of the Superiors, who are men of long experience, and familiar with
such occupation. But they inform the Order concerning the talents
and proficiency of the young member. Scientific instruction, being
connected by system, is soon communicated, and may in general be
very completely obtained from the books which are recommended to the
Novice, and acquired in the public seminaries of instruction. But
knowledge of character is more multifarious and more delicate. For
this there is no college, and it must therefore require longer time
for its attainment. Besides, this assiduous and long continued study
of men, enables the possessor of such knowledge to act with men, and
by his knowledge of their character, to influence their conduct.
For such reasons this study is continued, and these rescripts are
required, during the whole progress through the Order, and attention
to them is recommended as the only mean of advancement. Remarks
on Physiognomy in these narrations are accounted of considerable
value." So far Mr. Cossandey.

During all this trial, which may last one, two, or three years,
the Novice knows no person of the Order but his own instructor,
with whom he has frequent meetings, along with other Minervals. In
these conversations he learns the importance of the Order, and
the opportunities he will afterwards have of acquiring much hidden
science. The employment of his unknown Superiors naturally causes
him to entertain very high notions of their abilities and worth.
He is counselled to aim at a resemblance to them by getting rid by
degrees of all those prejudices or prepossessions which checked
his own former progress; and he is assisted in this endeavour
by an invitation to a correspondence with them. He may address
his Provincial Superior, by directing his letter _Soli_, or the
General by _Primo_, or the Superiors in general by _Quibus licet_.
In these letters he may mention whatever he thinks conducive to
the advancement of the Order; he may Inform the Superiors how his
instructor behaves to him; if assiduous or remiss, indulgent or
severe. The Superiors are enjoined by the strongest motives to
convey these letters wherever addressed. None but the General and
Council know the result of all this; and all are enjoined to keep
themselves and their proceedings unknown to all the world.

If three years of this Noviciate have elapsed without further
notice, the Minerval must look for no further advancement; he is
found unfit, and remains a Free Mason of the highest class. This is
called a _Sta bene_.

But should his Superiors judge more favourably of him, he is drawn
out of the general mass of Free Masons, and becomes _Illuminatus
Minor_. When called to a conference for this purpose, he is told in
the most serious manner, that "it is vain for him to hope to acquire
wisdom by mere systematic instruction; for such instruction the
Superiors have no leisure. Their duty is not to form speculators,
but active men, whom they must _immediately_ employ in the service
of the Order. He must therefore grow wise and able entirely by
the unfolding and exertion of his own talents. His Superiors have
already discovered what these are, and know what service he may be
capable of rendering the Order, provided he now heartily acquiesces
in being thus honourably employed. They will assist him in bringing
his talents into action, and will place him in the situations most
favourable for their exertion, so that he may be _assured_ of
success. Hitherto he has been a mere scholar, but his first step
farther carries him into action; he must therefore now consider
himself as an instrument in the hands of his Superiors, to be used
for the noblest purposes." The aim of the order is now more fully
told him. It is, in one sentence, "to make of the human race,
without any distinction of nation, condition, or profession, one
good and happy family." To this aim, demonstrably attainable, every
smaller consideration must give way. This may sometimes require
sacrifices which no man standing alone has fortitude to make; but
which become light, and a source of the purest enjoyment, when
supported and encouraged by the countenance and co-operation of the
united wise and good, such as are the Superiors of the Order. If the
candidate, warmed by the alluring picture of the possible happiness
of a virtuous Society, says that he is sensible of the propriety of
this procedure, and still wishes to be of the Order, he is required
to sign the following obligation.

"I, N. N. protest before you, the worthy Plenipotentiary of the
venerable Order into which I wish to be admitted, that I acknowledge
my natural weakness and inability, and that I, with all my
possessions, rank, honours, and titles which I hold in political
society, am, at bottom, only a man; I can enjoy these things only
through my fellow-men, and through them also I may lose them. The
approbation and consideration of my fellow-men are indispensably
necessary, and I must try to maintain them by all my talents.
These I will never use to the prejudice of universal good, but
will oppose, with all my might, the enemies of the human race, and
of political society. I will embrace every opportunity of saving
mankind, by improving my understanding and my affections, and by
imparting all important knowledge, as the good and statutes of
this Order require of me. I bind myself to perpetual silence and
unshaken loyalty and submission to the Order, in the persons of
my Superiors; here making a faithful and complete surrender of my
private judgment, my own will, and every narrow-minded employment
of my power and influence. I pledge myself to account the good of
the Order as my own, and am ready to serve it with my fortune, my
honour, and my blood. Should I, through omission, neglect, passion,
or wickedness, behave contrary to this good of the Order, I subject
myself to what reproof or punishment my Superiors shall enjoin. The
friends and enemies of the Order shall be my friends and enemies;
and with respect to both I will conduct myself as directed by the
Order, and am ready, in every lawful way, to devote myself to its
increase and promotion, and therein to employ all my ability. All
this I promise, and protest, without secret reservation, according
to the intention of the Society which require from me this
engagement. This I do as I am, and as I hope to continue, a Man of

A drawn sword is then pointed at his breast, and he is asked, Will
you be obedient to the commands of your Superiors? He is threatened
with unavoidable vengeance, from which no potentate can defend him,
if he should ever betray the Order. He is then asked, 1. What aim
does he wish the Order to have? 2. What means he would choose to
advance this aim? 3. Whom he wishes to keep out of the Order? 4.
What subjects he wishes not to be discussed in it?

Our candidate is now ILLUMINATUS MINOR. It is needless to narrate
the mummery of reception, and it is enough to say, that it nearly
resembles that of the _Masonic Chevalier du Soleil_, known to every
one much conversant in Masonry. Weishaupt's preparatory discourse
of reception is a piece of good composition, whether considered
as argumentative, (from topics indeed, that are very gratuitous
and fanciful,) or as a specimen of that declamation which was so
much practiced by Libanius and the other Sophists, and it gives a
distinct and captivating account of the professed aim of the Order.

The _Illuminatus Minor_ learns a good deal more of the Order, but
by very sparing morsels, under the same instructor. The task has
now become more delicate and difficult. The chief part of it is the
rooting out of prejudices in politics and religion; and Weishaupt
has shown much address in the method which he has employed. Not the
most hurtful, but the most easily refuted were the first subjects
of discussion, so that the pupil gets into the habits of victory;
and his reverence for the systems of either kind is diminished
when they are found to have harboured such untenable opinions. The
proceedings in the Eclectic Lodges of Masonry, and the harangues
of the Brother Orators, teemed with the boldest sentiments both in
politics and religion. Enlightening, and the triumph of reason,
had been the _ton_ of the country for some time past, and every
institution, civil and religious, had been the subject of the
most free criticism. Above all, the Cosmopolitism, imported from
France, where it had been the favourite topic of the enthusiastical
oeconomists, was now become a general theme of discussion in all
societies that had any pretensions to cultivation. It was a subject
of easy and agreeable declamation; and the Literati found in it a
subject admirably fitted for shewing their talents, and ingratiating
themselves with the young men of fortune, whose minds, unsuspicious
as yet and generous, were fired with the fair prospects set before
them of universal and attainable happiness. And the pupils of the
Illuminati were still more warmed by the thought that they were to
be the happy instruments of accomplishing all this. And though the
doctrines of universal liberty and equality, as imprescriptible
rights of man, might sometimes startle those who possessed the
advantage of fortune, there were thousands of younger sons, and of
men of talents without fortune, to whom these were agreeable sounds.
And we must particularly observe, that those who were now the
pupils were a set of picked subjects, whose characters and peculiar
biases were well known by their conduct during their noviciate
as Minervals. They were therefore such as, in all probability,
would not boggle at very free sentiments. We might rather expect
a partiality to doctrines which removed some restraints which
formerly checked them in the indulgence of youthful passions. Their
instructors, who have thus relieved their minds from several anxious
thoughts, must appear men of superior minds. This was a notion most
carefully inculcated; and they could see nothing to contradict
it; for, except their own Mentor, they knew none; they heard of
Superiors of different ranks, but never saw them; and the same
mode of instruction that was practised during their noviciate was
still retained. More particulars of the Order were slowly unfolded
to them, and they were taught that their Superiors were men of
distinguished talents, and were Superiors for this reason alone.
They were taught, that the great opportunities which the Superiors
had for observation, and their habits of continually occupying their
thoughts with the great objects of this Order, had enlarged their
views, even far beyond the narrow limits of nations and kingdoms,
which they hoped would one day coalesce into one great Society,
where consideration would attach to talents and worth alone, and
that pre-eminence in these would be invariably attended with all
the enjoyments of influence and power. And they were told that they
would gradually become acquainted with these great and venerable
Characters, as they advanced in the Order. In earnest of this, they
were made acquainted with one or two Superiors, and with several
Illuminati of their own rank. Also, to whet their zeal, they are now
made instructors of one or two Minervals, and report their progress
to their Superiors. They are given to understand that nothing can
so much recommend them as the success with which they perform this
task. It is declared to be the best evidence of their usefulness in
the great designs of the Order.

The baleful effects of general superstition, and even of any
peculiar religious prepossession, are now strongly inculcated,
and the discernment of the pupils in these matters is learned by
questions which are given them from time to time to discuss. These
are managed with delicacy and circumspection, that the timid may
not be alarmed. In like manner, the political doctrines of the
Order are inculcated with the utmost caution. After the mind of the
pupil has been warmed by the pictures of universal happiness, and
convinced that it is a possible thing to unite all the inhabitants
of the earth in one great society; and after it has been made out,
in some measure to the satisfaction of the pupil, that a great
addition of happiness would be gained by the abolition of national
distinctions and animosities; it may frequently be no hard task
to make him think that patriotism is a narrow-minded monopolising
sentiment, and even incompatible with the more enlarged views of the
Order; namely, the uniting the whole human race into one great and
happy society. Princes are a chief feature of national distinction.
Princes, therefore, may now be safely represented as unnecessary.
If so, loyalty to Princes loses much of its sacred character; and
the so frequent enforcing of it in our common political discussions
may now be easily made to appear a selfish maxim of rulers, by
which they may more easily enslave the people; and thus, it may at
last appear, that religion, the love of our particular country, and
loyalty to our Prince, should be resisted, if, by these partial or
narrow views, we prevent the accomplishment of that Cosmo-political
happiness which is continually held forth as the great object of
the Order. It is in this point of view that the terms of devotion
to the Order, which are inserted in the oath of admission, are
now explained. The authority of the ruling powers is therefore
represented as of inferior moral weight to that of the Order. "These
powers are despots, when they do not conduct themselves by its
principles; and it is therefore our duty to surround them with its
members, so that the profane may have no access to them. Thus we are
able most powerfully to promote its interests. If any person is more
disposed to listen to Princes than to the Order, he is not fit for
it, and must rise no higher. We must do our utmost to procure the
advancement of Illuminati into all important civil offices."

Accordingly the Order laboured in this with great zeal and success.
A correspondence was discovered, in which it is plain, that by
their influence, one of the greatest ecclesiastical dignities was
filled up in opposition to the right and authority of the Archbishop
of Spire, who is there represented as a tyrannical and bigoted
priest. They contrived to place their Members as tutors to the youth
of distinction. One of them, Baron Leuchtsenring, took the charge
of a young prince without any salary. They insinuated themselves
into all public offices, and particularly into courts of justice. In
like manner, the chairs in the University of Ingolstadt were (with
only two exceptions) occupied by Illuminati. "Rulers who are members
must be promoted through the ranks of the Order only in proportion
as they acknowledge the goodness of its great object, and manner of
procedure. Its object may be said to be the checking the tyranny of
princes, nobles, and priests, and establishing an universal equality
of condition and of religion." The pupil is now informed, "that
such a religion is contained in the Order, is the perfection of
Christianity, and will be imparted to him in due time."

These and other principles and maxims of the Order are partly
communicated by the verbal instruction of the Mentor, partly by
writings, which must be punctually returned, and partly read by the
pupil at the Mentor's house, (but without taking extracts,) in such
portions as he shall direct. The rescripts by the pupil must contain
discussions on these subjects, and anecdotes and descriptions of
living characters; and these must be zealously continued, as the
chief mean of advancement. All this while the pupil knows only his
Mentor, the Minervals, and a few others of his own rank. All mention
of degrees, or other business of the Order, must be carefully
avoided, even in the meetings with other members: "For the Order
wishes to be secret, and to work in silence; for thus it is better
secured from the oppression of the ruling powers, and because this
secrecy gives a greater zest to the whole."

This short account of the _Noviciate_, and of the lowest class of
illuminati, is all we can get from the authority of Mr. Weishaupt.
The higher degrees were not published by him. Many circumstances
appear suspicious, are certainly susceptible of different turns,
and may easily be pushed to very dangerous extremes. The accounts
given by the four professors confirm these suspicions. They declare
upon oath, that they make all these accusations in consequence of
what they heard in the meetings, and of what they knew of the Higher

But since the time of the suppression by the Elector, discoveries
have been made which throw great light on the subject. A collection
of original papers and correspondence was found by searching the
house of one Zwack (a Member) in 1786. The following year a much
larger collection was found at the house of Baron Bassus; and since
that time Baron Knigge, the most active Member next to Weishaupt,
published an account of some of the higher degrees, which had been
formed by himself. A long while after this were published, _Neueste
Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philo in der Illuminaten Orden_, and
_Hohere Graden des Illum. Ordens_. These two works give an account
of the whole secret constitution of the Order, its various degrees,
the manner of conferring them, the instructions to the intrants, and
an explanation of the connection of the Order with Free Masonry, and
a critical history. We shall give some extracts from such of these
as have been published.

Weishaupt was the founder in 1776. In 1778 the number of Members
was considerably increased, and the Order was fully established.
The Members took antique names. Thus Weishaupt took the name of
Spartacus, the man who headed the insurrection of slaves, which in
Pompey's time kept Rome in terror and uproar for three years. Zwack
was called Cato. Knigge was Philo. Bassus was Hannibal. Hertel
was Marius. Marquis Constanza was Diomedes.--Nicolai, an eminent
and learned bookseller in Berlin, and author of several works of
reputation, took the name of Lucian, the great scoffer at all
religion. Another was Mahomet, &c. It is remarkable, that except
Cato and Socrates, we have not a name of any ancient who was eminent
as a teacher and practiser of virtue. On the contrary, they seem
to have affected the characters of the free-thinkers and turbulent
spirits of antiquity. In the same manner they gave ancient names to
the cities and countries of Europe. Munich was Athens, Vienna was
Rome, &c.

_Spartacus to Cato, Feb. 6, 1778._

     "_Mon but est de faire valoir la raison._ As a subordinate
     object I shall endeavour to gain security to ourselves, a
     backing in case of misfortunes, and assistance from without. I
     shall therefore press the cultivation of science, especially
     such sciences as may have an influence on our reception in the
     world, and may serve to remove obstacles out of the way. We
     have to struggle with pedantry, with intolerance, with divines
     and statesmen, and above all, princes and priests are in our
     way. Men are unfit as they are, and must be formed; each class
     must be the school of trial for the next. This will be tedious,
     because it is hazardous. In the last classes I propose academics
     under the direction of the Order. This will secure us the
     adherence of the Literati. Science shall here be the lure.
     Only those who are assuredly proper subjects shall be picked
     out from among the inferior classes for the higher mysteries,
     which contain the first principles and means of promoting a
     happy life. No religionist must, on any account, be admitted
     into these: For here we work at the discovery and extirpation
     of superstition and prejudices. The instructions shall be so
     conducted that each shall disclose what he thinks he conceals
     within his own breast, what are his ruling propensities and
     passions, and how far he has advanced in the command of himself.
     This will answer all the purposes of auricular confession. And,
     in particular, every person shall be made a spy on another and
     on all around him. Nothing can escape our sight; by these means
     we shall readily discover who are contented, and receive with
     relish the peculiar state-doctrines and religious opinions that
     are laid before them; and, at last, the trust-worthy alone will
     be admitted to a participation of the whole maxims and political
     constitution of the Order. In a council composed of such members
     we shall labour at the contrivance of means to drive by degrees
     the enemies of reason and of humanity out of the world, and to
     establish a peculiar morality and religion fitted for the great
     Society of Mankind.

     "But this is a ticklish project, and requires the utmost
     circumspection. The squeamish will start at the sight of
     religious or political novelties; and they must be prepared
     for them. We must be particularly careful about the books
     which we recommend; I shall confine them at first to moralists
     and reasoning historians. This will prepare for a patient
     reception, in the higher classes, of works of a bolder
     flight, such as Robinet's _Systeme de la Nature_--_Politique
     Naturelle_--_Philosophie de la Nature_--_Systeme Social_--The
     writings of Mirabaud, &c. Helvetius is fit only for the
     strongest stomachs. If any one has a copy already, neither
     praise nor find fault with him. Say nothing on such subjects to
     intrants, for we don't know how they will be received--folks
     are not yet prepared. Marius, an excellent man, must be dealt
     with. His stomach, which cannot yet digest such strong food,
     must acquire a better tone. The allegory on which I am to found
     the mysteries of the Higher Orders is _the fire-worship of the
     Magi_. We must have some worship, and none is so apposite. LET
     THERE BE LIGHT, AND THERE SHALL BE LIGHT. This is my motto, and
     is my fundamental principle. The degrees will be _Feuer Orden_,
     _Parsen Orden_[4]; all very practicable. In the course through
     these there will be no STA BENE (this is the answer given to one
     who solicits preferment, and is refused). For I engage that none
     shall enter this class who has not laid aside his prejudices. No
     man is fit for our Order who is not a Brutus or a Catiline, and
     is not ready to go every length.--Tell me how you like this?"

       [4] This is evidently the _Mystere du Mithrus_ mentioned by
       Barruel, in his History of Jacobinism, and had been carried
       into France by Bede and Busche.

_Spartacus to Cato, March 1778._

     "To collect unpublished works, and information from the archives
     of States, will be a most useful service. We shall be able to
     show in a very ridiculous light the claims of our despots.
     Marius (keeper of the archives of the Electorate) has ferreted
     out a noble document, which we have got. He makes it, forsooth,
     a case of conscience--how silly that--since only that is _sin_
     which is _ultimately_ productive of mischief. In this case,
     where the advantage far exceeds the hurt, it is meritorious
     virtue. It will do more good in our hands than by remaining for
     1000 years on the dusty shelf."

There was found in the hand-writing of Zwack a project for a
Sisterhood, in subserviency to the designs of the Illuminati. In it
are the following passages:

"It will be of great service, and procure us both much information
_and money_, and will suit charmingly the taste of many of our
truest members, who are lovers of the sex. It should consist of two
classes, the virtuous and the freer hearted (i. e. those who fly
out of the common track of prudish manners); they must not know of
each other, and must be under the direction of men, but without
knowing it. Proper books must be put into their hands, and such (but
secretly) as are flattering to their passions."

There are, in the same hand-writing, Description of a strong
box, which, if forced open, shall blow up and destroy its
contents--Several receipts for procuring abortion--A composition
which blinds or kills when spurted in the face--A sheet, containing
a receipt for sympathetic ink--Tea for procuring abortion--_Herbæ
quae habent qualitatem deleteream_--A method for filling a
bed-chamber with pestilential vapours--How to take off impressions
of seals, so as to use them afterwards as seals--A collection of
some hundreds of such impressions, with a list of their owners,
princes, nobles, clergymen, merchants, &c.--A receipt _ad excitandum
furorem uterinum_,--A manuscript intitled, "Better than Horus."
It was afterwards printed and distributed at Leipzig fair, and
is an attack and bitter satire on all religion. This is in the
hand-writing of Ajax. As also a dissertation on suicide.--N. B. His
sister-in-law threw herself from the top of a tower. There was also
a set of portraits, or characters of eighty-five ladies in Munich;
with recommendations of some of them for members of a Lodge of
Sister Illuminatæ; also injunctions to all the Superiors to learn to
write with both hands; and that they should use more than one cypher.

Immediately after the publication of these writings, many defences
appeared. It was said that the dreadful medical apparatus were with
propriety in the hands of Counsellor Zwack, who was a judge of a
criminal court, and whose duty it was therefore to know such things.
The same excuse was offered for the collection of seals; but how
came these things to be put up with papers of the Illuminati, and
to be in the hand-writing of one of that Order? Weishaupt says,
"These things were not carried into effect--only spoken of, and
are justifiable when taken in proper connection." This however he
has not pointed out; but he appeals to the account of the Order,
which he had published at Regensburg, and in which neither these
things are to be found, nor any possibility of a connection by
which they may be justified. "All men," says he, "are subject to
errors, and the best man is he who best conceals them. I have never
been guilty of any such vices or follies: for proof, I appeal to
the whole tenor of my life, which my reputation, and my struggles
with hostile cabals, had brought completely into public view long
before the institution of this Order, without abating any thing of
that flattering regard which was paid to me by the first persons of
my country and its neighbourhood; a regard well evinced by their
confidence in me as the best instructor of their children." In some
of his private letters, we learn the means which he employed to
acquire this influence among the youth, and they are such as could
not fail. But we must not anticipate. "It is well known that I have
made the chair which I occupied in the university of Ingolstadt,
the resort of the first class of the German youth; whereas formerly
it had only brought round it the low-born practitioners in the
courts of law. I have gone through the whole circle of human
enquiry. I have exorcised spirits--raised ghosts--discovered
treasures--interrogated the Cabala--_hatte Loto gespielt_--I have
never transmuted metals."--(A very pretty and respectable circle
indeed, and what vulgar spirits would scarcely have included within
the pale of their curiosity.)--"The Tenor of my life has been the
opposite of every thing that is vile; and no man can lay any such
thing to my charge. I have reason to rejoice that these writings
have appeared; they are a vindication of the Order and of my
conduct. I can and must declare to God, and I do it now in the most
solemn manner, that in my whole life I never saw or heard of the so
much condemned secret writings; and in particular, respecting these
abominable means, such as poisoning, abortion, &c. was it ever known
to me in any case, that any of my friends or acquaintances ever
even thought of them, advised them, or made any use of them. I was
indeed always a schemer and projector, but never could engage much
in detail. My general plan is good, though in the detail there may
be faults. I had myself to form. In another situation, and in an
active station in life, I should have been keenly occupied, and the
founding an Order would never have come into my head. But I would
have executed much greater things, had not government always opposed
my exertions, and placed others in the situations which suited my
talents. It was the full conviction of this and of what could be
done, if every man were placed in the office for which he was fitted
by nature and a proper education, which first suggested to me the
plan of Illumination." Surely Mr. Weishaupt had a very serious
charge, the education of youth; and his encouragement in that charge
was the most flattering that an Illuminatus could wish for; because
he had brought round him the youth whose influence in society was
the greatest, and who would most of all contribute to the diffusing
good principles, and exciting to good conduct through the whole
state. "I did not," says he, "bring deism into Bavaria more than
into Rome. I found it here, in great vigour, more abounding than in
any of the neighbouring Protestant states. I am proud to be known to
the world as the founder of the Order of Illuminati; and I repeat my
wish to have for my epitaph,

  "_Hic situs est Phæthon, currús auriga paterni,
  Quem si non tenuit, magnis tamen excidit ausis_."

The second discovery of secret correspondence at Sandersdorff, the
seat of Baron Batz, (Hannibal,) contains still more interesting

_Spartacus to Cato._

     "What shall I do? I am deprived of all help. Socrates, who would
     insist on being a man of consequence among us, and is really a
     man of talents, and of a _right way of thinking_, is eternally
     besotted. Augustus is in the worst estimation imaginable.
     Alcibiades sits the day long with the vintner's pretty wife, and
     there he sighs and pines. A few days ago, at Corinth, Tiberius
     attempted to ravish the wife of Democides, and her husband came
     in upon them. Good heavens! what _Areopagitæ_ I have got. When
     the worthy man Marcus Aurelius comes to Athens, (Munich,) what
     will he think? What a meeting of dissolute, immoral wretches,
     whoremasters, liars, bankrupts, braggarts, and vain fools!
     When he sees all this, what will he think? He will be ashamed
     to enter into an Association," (observe Reader, that Spartacus
     writes this in August 1783, in the very time that he would have
     murdered Cato's sister, as we shall see,) "where the chiefs
     raise the highest expectations, and exhibit such wretched
     examples; and all this from self-will, from sensuality. Am I not
     in the right--that this man--that any such worthy man--whose
     name alone would give us the selection of all Germany, will
     declare that the whole province of Grecia, (Bavaria,) innocent
     and guilty, must be excluded. I tell you, we may study, and
     write, and toil till death. We may sacrifice to the Order, our
     health, our fortune, and our reputation, (alas, the loss!) and
     these Lords, following their own pleasures, will whore, cheat,
     steal, and drive on like shameless rascals; and yet must be
     _Areopagitæ_, and interfere in every thing. Indeed, my dearest
     friend, we have only enslaved ourselves."

In another part of this fine correspondence, Diomedes has had the
good fortune to intercept a Q. L. (_Quibus Licet_,) in which it is
said, and supported by proofs, that Cato had received 250 florins as
a bribe for his sentence in his capacity of a judge in a criminal
court (the end had surely sanctified the means.) In another, a
Minerval complains of his Mentor for having by lies occasioned
the dismission of a physician from a family, by which the Mentor
obtained, in the same capacity, the custom of the house and free
access, which favour he repaid by debauching the wife; and he
prays to be informed whether he may not get another Mentor, saying
that although that man had always given him the most excellent
instructions, and he doubted not would continue them, yet he felt
a disgust at the hypocrisy, which would certainly diminish the
impression of the most salutary truths. (Is it not distressing
to think, that this promising youth will by and by laugh at his
former simplicity, and follow the steps and not the instructions
of his physician.) In another place, Spartacus writes to Marius,
(in confidence,) that another worthy Brother, an _Areopagitæ_,
had stolen a gold and a silver watch, and a ring, from Brutus,
(_Savioli_,) and begs Marius, in another letter, to try, while it
was yet possible, to get the things restored, because the culprit
was a most _excellent man_, (_Vortrefflich_,) and of vast use to
the Order, having the direction of an eminent seminary of young
_gentlemen_; and because Savioli was much in good company, and did
not much care for the Order, except in so far as it gave him an
opportunity of knowing and leading some of them, and of steering his
way at court.

I cannot help inserting here, though not the most proper place,
a part of a provincial report from Knigge, the man of the whole
_Aeropagitæ_ who shows any thing like urbanity or gentleness of mind.

"Of my whole colony, (Westphalia,) the most brilliant is
Claudiopolis (_Neuwied_). There they work, and direct, and do

If there ever was a spot upon earth where men may be happy in
a state of cultivated society, it was the little principality
of Neuwied. I saw it in 1770. The town was neat, and the palace
handsome and in good taste. But the country was beyond conception
delightful; not a cottage that was out of repair, not a hedge out
of order; it had been the hobby (pardon me the word) of the Prince,
who made it his _daily_ employment to go through his principality
regularly, and assist every housholder, of whatever condition,
with his advice, and with his purse; and, when a freeholder could
not of himself put things into a thriving condition, the Prince
sent his workmen and did it for him. He endowed schools for the
common people, and two academies for the gentry and the people of
business. He gave little portions to the daughters, and prizes to
the well-behaving sons of the labouring people. His own houshold
was a pattern of elegance and economy; his sons were sent to Paris
to learn elegance, and to England to learn science and agriculture.
In short, the whole was like a romance (and was indeed romantic).
I heard it spoken of with a smile at the table of the Bishop of
Treves, at Ehrenbretstein, and was induced to see it next day as
a curiosity: And yet even here, the fanaticism of Knigge would
distribute his poison, and tell the blinded people, that they were
in a state of sin and misery, that their Prince was a despot, and
that they would never be happy till he was made to fly, and till
they were all made equal.

They got their wish; the swarm of French locusts sat down on
Neuwied's beautiful fields in 1793, and entrenched themselves;
and in three months, Prince and farmers houses, and cottages, and
schools, and academies--all had vanished; and all the subjects were
made equal. But when they complained to the French General (René
le Grand) of being plundered by his soldiers, he answered, with a
contemptuous and cutting laugh, "All is ours--we have left you your
eyes to cry."--(_Report to the Convention, 13th June 1795._)

  _Discite justitiam moniti, et non temnere divos!_

To proceed:

_Spartacus to Cato._

"By this plan we shall direct all mankind. In this manner, and by
the simplest means, we shall set all in motion and in flames. The
occupations must be so allotted and contrived, that we may, in
secret, influence all political transactions." N. B. This alludes
to a part that is with-held from the public, because it contained
the allotment of the most rebellious and profligate occupations to
several persons whose common names could not be traced. "I have
considered," says Spartacus, "every thing, and so prepared it,
that if the Order should this day go to ruin, I shall in a year
re-establish it more brilliant than ever." Accordingly it got up
again in about this space of time, under the name of the GERMAN
UNION, appearing in the form of READING SOCIETIES. One of these was
set up in Zwack's house; and this raising a suspicion, a visitation
was made at Landshut, and the first set of the private papers were
found. The scheme was, however, zealously prosecuted in other parts
of Germany, as we shall see by and by. "Nor," continues Spartacus,
"will it signify though all should be betrayed and printed. I am so
certain of success, in spite of all obstacles, (for the springs are
in every heart,) that I am indifferent, though it should involve my
life and my liberty. What! have thousands thrown away their lives
about _homoios_ and _homoiousies_ and shall not this cause warm even
the heart of a coward? But I have the art to draw advantage even
from misfortune; and when you would think me sunk to the bottom, I
shall rise with new vigour. Who would have thought, that a professor
at Ingolstadt was to become the teacher of the professors of
Gottingen, and of the greatest men in Germany?"

_Spartacus to Cato._

"Send me back my degree of _Illuminatus Minor_; it is the wonder
of all men here (I may perhaps find time to give a translation of
the discourse of reception, which contains all that can be said of
this Association to the public); as also the two last sheets of my
degree, which is in the keeping of Marius, and Celsus, under 100
locks, which contains my history of the lives of the Patriarchs."
N. B. Nothing very particular has been discovered of these lives of
the Patriarchs. He says, that there were above sixty sheets of it.
To judge by the care taken of it, it must be a favourite work, very
hazardous, and very catching.

In another letter to Cato, we have some hints of the higher degrees,
and concerning a peculiar morality, and a popular religion, which
the Order was one day to give the world. He says, "There must
(_a la Jesuite_) not a single purpose ever come in sight that is
ambiguous, and that may betray our aims against religion and the
state. One must speak sometimes one way and sometimes another, but
so as never to contradict ourselves, and so that, with respect to
our true way of thinking, we may be impenetrable. When our strongest
things chance to give offence, they must be explained as attempts to
draw answers which discover to us the sentiments of the person we
converse with." N. B. This did not always succeed with him.

Spartacus says, speaking of the priests degree, "One would almost
imagine, that this degree, as I have managed it, is genuine
Christianity, and that its end was to free the Jews from slavery.
I say, that Free Masonry is concealed Christianity. My explanation
of the hieroglyphics, at least, proceeds on this supposition; and
as I explain things, no man need be ashamed of being a Christian.
Indeed I afterwards throw away this name, and substitute _Reason_.
But I assure you this is no small affair; a new religion, and a new
state-government, which so happily explain one and all of these
symbols, and combine them in one degree. You may think that this
is my chief work; but I have three other degrees, all different,
for my class of higher mysteries, in comparison with which this is
but child's play; but these I keep for myself as General, to be
bestowed by me only on the _Benemeritissimi_," (surely such as Cato,
his dearest friend, and the possessor of such pretty secrets, as
abortives, poisons, pestilential vapours, &c.). "The promoted may
be Areopagites or not. Were you here I should give you this degree
without hesitation. But it is too important to be intrusted to
paper, or to be bestowed otherwise than from my own hand. It is the
key to history, to religion, and to every state-government in the

  [5] I observe, in other parts of his correspondence where he
  speaks of this, several singular phrases, which are to be found
  in two books; _Antiqueté devoilée par ses Usages_, and _Origine
  du Despotisme Oriental_. These contain indeed much of the maxims
  inculcated in the reception discourse of the degree _Illumanitus
  Minor_. Indeed I have found, that Weishaupt is much less an inventor
  than he is generally thought.

Spartacus proceeds, "There shall be but three copies for all
Germany. You can't imagine what respect and curiosity my
priest-degree has raised; and, which is wonderful, a famous
Protestant divine, who is now of the Order, is persuaded that the
religion contained in it is the true sense of Christianity. O MAN,
was to be the founder of a new religion?"

In this scheme of Masonic Christianity, Spartacus and Philo laboured
seriously together. Spartacus sent him the materials, and Philo
worked them up. It will therefore illustrate this capital point of
the constitution of the Order, if we take Philo's account of it.

_Philo to Cato._

"We must consider the ruling propensities of every age of the
world. At present the cheats and tricks of the priests have roused
all men against them, and against Christianity. But, at the same
time, superstition and fanaticism rule with unlimited dominion,
and the understanding of man really seems to be going backwards.
Our task, therefore, is doubled. We must give such an account
of things, that fanatics should not be alarmed, and that shall,
notwithstanding, excite a spirit of free enquiry. We must not throw
away the good with the bad, the child with the dirty water; but we
must make the secret doctrines of Christianity be received as the
secrets of genuine Free Masonry. But farther, we have to deal with
the despotism of Princes. This increases every day. But then, the
spirit of freedom breathes and sighs in every corner; and, by the
assistance of hidden schools of wisdom, Liberty and Equality, the
natural and imprescriptible rights of man, warm and glow in every
breast. We must therefore unite these extremes. We proceed in this

"Jesus Christ established no new Religion; he would only set
Religion and Reason in their ancient rights. For this purpose he
would unite men in a common bond. He would fit them for this by
spreading a just morality, by enlightening the understanding, and
by assisting the mind to shake off all prejudices. He would teach
all men, in the first place, to govern themselves. Rulers would
then be needless, and equality and liberty would take place without
any revolution, by the natural and gentle operation of reason and
expediency. This great Teacher allows himself to explain every part
of the Bible in conformity to these purposes; and he forbids all
wrangling among his scholars, because every man may there find a
reasonable application to his peculiar doctrines. Let this be true
or false, it does not signify. This was a simple Religion, and it
was so far inspired; but the minds of his hearers were not fitted
for receiving these doctrines. I told you, says he, but you could
not bear it. Many therefore were called, but few were chosen. To
this elect were entrusted the most important secrets; and even among
them there were degrees of information. There was a seventy, and a
twelve. All this was in the natural order of things, and according
to the habits of the Jews, and indeed of all antiquity. The Jewish
Theosophy was a mystery; like the Eleusinian, or the Pythagorean,
unfit for the vulgar. And thus the doctrines of Christianity were
committed to the _Adepti_, in a _Disciplina Arcani_. By these they
were maintained like the Vestal Fire.--They were kept up only in
hidden societies, who handed them down to posterity; and they are
now possessed by the genuine Free Masons."

N. B. This explains the origin of many anonymous pamphlets which
appeared about this time in Germany, showing that Free Masonry was
Christianity.--They have doubtless been the works of Spartacus
and his partisans among the Eclectic Masons. Nicholai, the great
apostle of infidelity, had given very favourable reviews of these
performances, and having always shewn himself an advocate of such
writers as depreciated Christianity, it was natural for him to
take this opportunity of bringing it still lower in the opinion
of the people. Spartacus therefore conceived a high opinion of
the importance of gaining Nicholai to the Order. He had before
this gained Leuchtsenring, a hot-headed fanatic, who had spied
Jesuits in every corner, and set Nicholai on his journey through
Germany, to hunt them out. This man finding them equally hated by
the Illuminati, was easily gained, and was most zealous in their
cause. He engaged Nicholai, and Spartacus exults exceedingly in the
acquisition, saying, "that he was an unwearied champion, _et quidem
contentissimus_." Of this man Philo says, "that he had spread this
Christianity into every corner of Germany. I have put meaning," says
Philo, "to all these dark symbols, and have prepared both degrees,
introducing beautiful ceremonies, which I have selected from among
those of the ancient communions, combined with those of the Rosaic
Masonry; and now," says he, "it will appear that _we_ are the only
true Christians. We shall now be in a condition to say a few words
to Priests and Princes. I have so contrived things, that I would
admit even Popes and Kings, after the trials which I have prefixed,
and they would be glad to be of the Order."

But how is all this to be reconciled with the plan of Illumination,
which is to banish Christianity altogether? Philo himself in many
places says, "that it is only a cloak, to prevent squeamish people
from starting back." This is done pretty much in the same way that
was practised in the French Masonry. In one of their Rituals the
Master's degree is made typical of the death of Jesus Christ, the
preacher of Brotherly love. But, in the next step, the _Chevalier
du Soleil_, it is Reason that has been destroyed and entombed, and
the Master in this degree, the _Sublime Philosophe_, occasions the
discovery of the place where the body is hid; Reason rises again,
and superstition and tyranny disappear, and all becomes clear; man
becomes free and happy.

Let us hear Spartacus again.

_Spartacus, in another place._

"We must, _1st_, gradually explain away all our preparatory pious
frauds. And when persons of discernment find fault, we must desire
them to consider the end of all our labour. This sanctifies our
means, which at any rate are harmless, and have been useful, even
in this case, because they procured us a patient hearing, when
otherwise men would have turned away from us like petted children.
This will convince them of our sentiments in all the intervening
points; and our ambiguous expressions will then be interpreted into
an endeavour to draw answers of any kind, which may show us the
minds of our pupils. _2d_, We must unfold, from history and other
writings, the origin and fabrication of all religious lies whatever;
and then, _3d_, We give a critical history of the Order. But I
cannot but laugh, when I think of the ready reception which all this
has met with from the grave and learned divines of Germany and of
England; and I wonder how their William failed when he attempted
to establish a Deistical Worship in London, (what can this mean?)
for, I am certain, that it must have been most acceptable to that
learned and free people. But they had not the enlightening of our
days." I may here remark, that Weishaupt is presuming too much on
the ignorance of his friend, for there was a great deal of this
enlightening in England at the time he speaks of, and if I am not
mistaken, even this celebrated Professor of Irreligion has borrowed
most of his scheme from this kingdom. This to be sure is nothing in
our praise. But the PANTHEISTICON of Toland resembles Weishaupt's
Illumination in every thing but its rebellion and its villainy.
Toland's Socratic Lodge is an elegant pattern for Weishaupt, and
his Triumph of Reason, his Philosophic Happiness, his God, or
_Anima Mundi_, are all so like the harsh system of Spartacus, that
I am convinced that he has copied them, stamping them with the
roughness of his own character. But to go on; Spartacus says of the
English: "Their poet Pope made his Essay on Man a system of pure
naturalism, without knowing it, as Brother Chrysippus did with my
Priest's Degree, and was equally astonished when this was pointed
out to him. Chrysippus is religious, but not superstitious. Brother
Lucian (Nicolai, of whom I have already said so much) says, that the
grave Zolikofer now allows that it would be a very proper thing to
establish a Deistical Worship at Berlin. I am not afraid but things
will go on very well. But Philo, who was entrusted with framing the
Priest's Degree, has destroyed it without any necessity; it would,
forsooth, startle those who have a hankering for Religion. But I
always told you that Philo is fanatical and prudish. I gave him fine
materials, and he has stuffed it full of ceremonies and child's
play, and as Minos says, _c'est jouer la religion_. But all this may
be corrected in the revision by the _Areopagitæ_."

N. B. I have already mentioned Baron Knigge's conversion to
Illuminatism by the M. de Constanza, whose name in the Order was
Diomedes. Knigge (henceforth Philo) was, next to Spartacus, the most
serviceable man in the Order, and procured the greatest number of
members. It was chiefly by his exertions among the Masons in the
Protestant countries, that the _Eclectic System_ was introduced,
and afterwards brought under the direction of the Illuminati. This
conquest was owing entirely to his very extensive connections
among the Masons. He travelled like a philosopher from city to
city, from Lodge to Lodge, and even from house to house, before
his Illumination, trying to unite the Masons, and he now went over
the same ground to extend the _Eclectic System_, and to get the
Lodges put under the direction of the Illuminati, by their choice
of the Master and Wardens. By this the Order had an opportunity of
noticing the conduct of individuals; and when they had found out
their manner of thinking, and that they were fit for their purpose,
they never quitted them till they had gained them over to their
party. We have seen, that he was by no means void of religious
impressions, and we often find him offended with the atheism of
Spartacus. Knigge was at the same time a man of the world, and had
kept good company. Weishaupt had passed his life in the habits of a
college: therefore he knew Knigge's value, and communicated to him
all his projects, to be dressed up by him for the taste of society.
Philo was of a much more affectionate disposition, with something
of a devotional turn, and was shocked at the hard indifference
of Spartacus. After labouring four years with great zeal, he was
provoked with the disingenuous tricks of Spartacus, and he broke
off all connection with the Society in 1784, and some time after
published a declaration of all that he had done in it. This is a
most excellent account of the plan and principles of the Order, (at
least as he conceived it, for Spartacus had much deeper views,) and
shows that the aim of it was to abolish Christianity, and all the
state-governments in Europe, and to establish a great republic. But
it is full of romantic notions and enthusiastic declamation, on the
hackneyed topics of universal citizenship, and liberty and equality.
Spartacus gave him line, and allowed him to work on, knowing that
he could discard him when he chose. I shall after this give some
extracts from Philo's letters, from which the reader will see the
vile behaviour of Spartacus, and the nature of his ultimate views.
In the mean time we may proceed with the account of the principles
of the system.

_Spartacus to Cato._

"Nothing would be more profitable to us than a right history of
mankind. Despotism has robbed them of their liberty. How can the
weak obtain protection? Only by union; but this is rare. Nothing
can bring this about but hidden societies. Hidden schools of wisdom
are the means which will one day free men from their bonds. These
have in all ages been the archives of nature, and of the rights of
men; and by them shall human nature be raised from her fallen state.
Princes and nations shall vanish from the earth. The human race
will then become one family, and the world will be the dwelling of
rational men.

"Morality alone can do this. The Head of every family will be what
Abraham was, the patriarch, the priest, and the unlettered lord of
his family, and Reason will be the code of laws to all mankind.
This," says Spartacus, "is our GREAT SECRET. True, there may be some
disturbance, but by and by the unequal will become equal; and after
the storm all will be calm. Can the unhappy consequences remain when
the grounds of dissension are removed? Rouse yourselves therefore, O
men! assert your rights; and then will Reason rule with unperceived
sway; and ALL SHALL BE HAPPY.[6]

  [6] Happy France! Cradle of Illumination, where the morning
  of Reason has dawned, dispelling the clouds of Monarchy and
  Christianity, where the babe has sucked the blood of the
  unenlightened, and Murder! Fire! Help! has been the lullaby to sing
  it to sleep.

"Morality will perform all this; and morality is the fruit of
Illumination; duties and rights are reciprocal. Where Octavius has
no right, Cato owes him no duty. Illumination shews us our rights,
and Morality follows; that Morality which teaches us to be _of age_,
to be _out of wardenship_, to be _full grown_, and to _walk without
the leading strings of priests and princes_."

"Jesus of Nazareth, the Grand Master of our Order, appeared at a
time when the world was in the utmost disorder, and among a people
who for ages had groaned under the yoke of bondage. He taught them
the lessons of Reason. To be more effective, he took in the aid of
Religion--of opinions which were current--and, in _a very clever
manner_, he combined his secret doctrines with the popular religion,
and with the customs which lay to his hand. In these he wrapped up
his lessons--he taught by parables. Never did any prophet lead men
so easily and so securely along the road of liberty. He concealed
the precious meaning and consequences of his doctrines; but fully
disclosed them to a chosen few. He speaks of a kingdom of the
upright and faithful; his Father's kingdom, whose children we also
are. Let us only take Liberty and Equality as the great aim of his
doctrines, and Morality as the way to attain it, and every thing in
the New Testament will be comprehensible; and Jesus will appear as
the Redeemer of slaves. Man is fallen from the condition of Liberty
and Equality, the STATE OF PURE NATURE. He is under subordination
and civil bondage, arising from the vices of man. This is the FALL,
and ORIGINAL SIN. The KINGDOM OF GRACE is that restoration which may
be brought about by Illumination and a just Morality. This is the
NEW BIRTH. When man lives under government, he is fallen, his worth
is gone, and his nature tarnished. By subduing our passions, or
limiting their cravings, we may recover a great deal of our original
worth, and live in a state of grace. This is the redemption of
men--this is accomplished by Morality; and when this is spread over
the world, we have THE KINGDOM OF THE JUST.

"But, alas! the task of self-formation was too hard for the subjects
of the Roman empire, corrupted by every species of profligacy. A
chosen few received the doctrines in secret, and they have been
handed down to us (but frequently almost buried under rubbish of
man's invention) by the Free Masons. These three conditions of human
society are expressed by the rough, the split, and the polished
stone. The rough stone, and the one that is split, express our
condition under civil government; rough by every fretting inequality
of condition; and split, since we are no longer one family; and
are farther divided by differences of government, rank property,
and religion; but when reunited in one family, we are represented
by the polished stone. G. is Grace; the Flaming Star is the Torch
of Reason. Those who possess this knowledge are indeed ILLUMINATI.
Hiram is our fictitious Grand Master, slain for the REDEMPTION OF
SLAVES; the Nine Masters are the Founders of the Order. Free Masonry
is a Royal Art, inasmuch as it teaches us to walk without trammels,
and to govern ourselves."

Reader, are you not curious to learn something of this all-powerful
morality, so operative on the heart of the truly illuminated--of
this _disciplina arcani_, entrusted only to the chosen few,
and handed down to Professor Weishaupt, to Spartacus, and his
associates, who have cleared it of the rubbish heaped on it by the
dim-sighted Masons, and now beaming in its native lustre on the
minds of the _Areopagitæ_? The teachers of ordinary Christianity
have been labouring for almost 2000 years, with the New Testament in
their hands; many of them with great address, and many, I believe,
with honest zeal. But alas! they cannot produce such wonderful
and certain effects, (for observe, that Weishaupt repeatedly
assures us that his means are certain,) probably for want of this
_disciplina arcani_, of whose efficacy so much is said. Most
fortunately, Spartacus has given us a brilliant specimen of the
ethics which illuminated himself on a trying occasion, where an
ordinary Christian would have been much perplexed, or would have
taken a road widely different from that of this illustrious apostle
of light. And seeing that several of the _Areopagitæ_ co-operated
in the transaction, and that it was carefully concealed from the
profane and dim-sighted world, we can have no doubt but that it was
conducted according to the _disciplina arcani_ of Illumination. I
shall give it in his own words.

_Spartacus to Marius, September 1783._

"I am now in the most embarrassing situation; it robs me of
all rest, and makes me unfit for every thing. I am in danger
of losing at once my honour and my reputation, by which I have
long had such influence. What think you?--my sister-in-law is
with child. I have sent her to Euriphon, and am endeavouring to
procure a marriage-licence from Rome. How much depends on this
uncertainty--and there is not a moment to lose. Should I fail,
what is to be done? What a return do I make by this to a person to
whom I am so much obliged!" (We shall see the probable meaning of
this exclamation by and by). "We have tried every method in our
power to destroy the child; and I hope she is determined on every
thing--even d----." (Can this mean death?) "But alas! Euriphon
is, I fear, too timid," (alas! poor woman, thou art now under the
_disciplina arcani_,) "and I see no other expedient. Could I be
but assured of the silence of Celsus, (a physician at Ingolstadt,)
he _can_ relieve me, and he _promised me as much_ three years ago.
Do speak to him, if you think he will be staunch. I would not let
Cato" (his dearest friend, and his chief or only confident in the
scheme of Illumination) "know it yet, because the affair in other
respects requires his whole friendship." (Cato had all the pretty
receipts.) "Could you but help me out of this distress, you would
give me life, honour, and peace, _and strength to work again in the
great cause_. If you cannot, be assured I will venture on the most
desperate stroke," (poor sister!) "for it is fixed.--I will not lose
my honour. I cannot conceive what devil has made me go astray--_me
who have always been so careful on such occasions_. As yet all is
quiet, and none know of it but you and Euriphon. Were it but time to
undertake any thing--but alas! it is the fourth month. Those damned
priests too--for the action is so criminally accounted by them, and
scandalises the blood. This makes the utmost efforts and the most
desperate measures absolutely necessary."

It will throw some light on this transaction if we read a letter
from Spartacus to Cato about this time.

"One thing more, my dearest friend--Would it be agreeable to you to
have me for a brother-in-law? If this should be agreeable, and if
it can be brought about without prejudice to my honour, as I hope
it may, I am not without hopes that the connection may take place.
But in the mean time keep it a secret, and only give me permission
to enter into correspondence on the subject with the good lady, to
whom I beg you will offer my respectful compliments, and I will
explain myself more fully to you by word of mouth, and tell you my
whole situation. But I repeat it--the thing must be gone about with
address and caution. I would not for all the world deceive a person
who certainly has not deserved so of me."

What interpretation can be put on this? Cato seems to be brother to
the poor woman--he was unwittingly to furnish the drugs, and he was
to be dealt with about consenting to a marriage, which could not
be altogether agreeable to him, since it required a dispensation,
she being already the sister-in-law of Weishaupt, either the sister
of his former wife, or the widow of a deceased brother. Or perhaps
Spartacus really wishes to marry Cato's sister, a different person
from the poor woman in the straw; and he conceals this adventure
from his trusty friend Cato, till he sees what becomes of it. The
child may perhaps be got rid of, and then Spartacus is a free man.
There is a letter to Cato, thanking him for his friendship in the
affair of the child--but it gives no light. I meet with another
account, that the sister of Zwack threw herself from the top of a
tower, and beat out her brains. But it is not said that it was an
only sister; if it was, the probability is, that Spartacus had paid
his addresses to her, and succeeded, and that the subsequent affair
of his marriage with his sister-in-law, or something worse, broke
her heart. This seems the best account of the matter. For Hertel
(Marius) writes to Zwack in November 1782: "Spartacus is this day
gone home, but has left his sister-in-law pregnant behind (this is
from Bassus Hoff). About the new year he hopes to be made merry by a
----, who will be before all kings and princes--a young Spartacus.
The Pope also will respect him, and legitimate him before the time."

Now, vulgar Christian, compare this with the former declaration of
Weishaupt, where he appeals to the tenor of his former life, which
had been so severely scrutinised, without diminishing his high
reputation and great influence, and his ignorance and abhorrence
of all those things found in Cato's repositories. You see this
was a surprise--he had formerly proceeded cautiously--"He is the
best man," says Spartacus, "who best conceals his faults."--He was
disappointed by Celsus, _who had promised him his assistance on such
occasions_ three years ago, during all which time he had been busy
in "forming himself." How far he has advanced, the reader may judge.

One is curious to know what became of the poor woman: she was
afterwards taken to the house of Baron Bassus; but here the foolish
woman, for want of that courage which Illumination and the bright
prospect of eternal sleep should have produced, took fright at the
_disciplini arcani_, left the house, and in the hidden society of
a midwife and nurse brought forth a young Spartacus, who now lives
to thank his father for his endeavours to murder him. A "_damned
priest_," the good Bishop of Freyfingen, knowing the cogent reasons,
procured the dispensation, and Spartacus was obliged, like another
dim-sighted mortal, to marry her. The scandal was hushed, and would
not have been discovered had it not been for these private writings.

But Spartacus says "that when you think him sunk to the bottom, he
will spring up with double vigour." In a subsequent work, called
_Short Amendment of my Plan_, he says, "If men were not habituated
to wicked manners, his letters would be their own justification."
He does not say that he is without fault; "but they are faults
of the understanding--not of the heart. He had, first of all, to
form himself; and this is a work of time." In the affair of his
sister-in-law he admits the facts, and the attempts to destroy the
child; "but this is far from proving any depravity of heart. In his
condition, his honour at stake, what else was left him to do? His
greatest enemies, the Jesuits, have taught that in such a case it
is lawful to make away with the child," and he quotes authorities
from their books.[7] "In the introductory fault he has the example
of the best of men. The second was its natural consequence, it was
altogether involuntary, and, in the eye of a philosophical judge"
(I presume of the Gallic School) "who does not square himself by
the harsh letters of a _blood-thirsty lawgiver_, he has but a very
trifling account to settle. He had become a public teacher, and was
greatly followed; this example _might have ruined many young men_.
The eyes of the Order also were fixed on him. The edifice rested
on his credit; had he fallen, _he could no longer have been in
a condition to treat the matters of virtue so as to make a lasting
impression_. It was chiefly his anxiety to support the credit of the
Order which determined him to take this step. It makes _for_ him,
but by no means _against_ him; and the persons who are most in fault
are the slavish inquisitors, who have published the transaction, in
order to make his character more remarkable, and to hurt the Order
through his person; and they have not scrupled, for this hellish
purpose, to stir up a child against his father!!!"

  [7] This is flatly contradicted in a pamphlet by F. Stuttler, a
  Catholic clergyman of most respectable character, who here exposes,
  in the most incontrovertible manner, the impious plots of Weishaupt,
  his total disregard to truth, his counterfeit antiques, and all his
  lies against the Jesuits.

I make no reflections on this very remarkable, and highly useful
story, but content myself with saying, that this justification by
Weishaupt (which I have been careful to give in his own words) is
the greatest instance of effrontery and insult on the sentiments of
mankind that I have ever met with. We are all supposed as completely
corrupted as if we had lived under the full blaze of Illumination.

In other places of this curious correspondence we learn that Minos,
and others of the _Areopagitæ_, wanted to introduce Atheism at
once, and not go hedging in the manner they did; affirming it was
easier to shew at once that Atheism was friendly to society, than to
explain all their Masonic Christianity, which they were afterwards
to shew to be a bundle of lies. Indeed this purpose, of not only
abolishing Christianity, but all positive religion whatever, was
Weishaupt's favourite scheme from the beginning. Before he canvassed
for his Order, in 1774, he published a fictitious antique, which he
called _Sidonii Apollinarus Fragmenta_, to prepare (as he expressly
says in another place) mens minds for the doctrines of Reason,
which contains all the detestable doctrines of Robinet's book
_De la Nature_. The publication of the second part was stopped.
Weishaupt says in his APOLOGY FOR THE ILLUMINATI, that before 1780
he had retracted his opinions about Materialism, and about the
inexpediency of Princes. But this is false: Philo says expressly,
that every thing remained on its original footing in the whole
practice and dogmas of the Order when he quitted it in July 1784.
All this was concealed, and even the abominable Masonry, in the
account of the Order which Weishaupt published at Regensburg; and
it required the constant efforts of Philo to prevent bare or flat
Atheism from being uniformly taught in their degrees. He had told
the council that Zeno would not be under a roof with a man who
denied the immortality of the soul. He complains of Minos's cramming
irreligion down their throats in every meeting, and says, that he
frightened many from entering the Order. "Truth," says Philo, "is
a clever, but a modest girl, who must be led by the hand like a
gentlewoman, but not kicked about like a whore." Spartacus complains
much of the squeamishness of Philo; yet Philo is not a great deal
behind him in irreligion. When deferring to Cato the Christianity of
the Priest-degree, as he had manufactured it, he says, "It is all
one whether it be true or false, we must have it, that we may tickle
those who have a hankering for religion." All the odds seems to be,
that he was of a gentler disposition, and had more deference even
for the absurd prejudices of others. In one of his angry letters
to Cato he says: "The vanity and self-conceit of Spartacus would
have got the better of all prudence, had I not checked him, and
prevailed on the _Areopagitæ_ but to defer the developement of the
bold principles till we had firmly secured the man. I even wished
to entice the candidate the more by giving him back all his former
bonds of secrecy, and leaving him at liberty to walk out without
fear; and I am certain that they were, by this time, so engaged
that we should not have lost one man. But Spartacus had composed an
exhibition of his last principles, for a discourse of reception, in
which he painted his three favourite mysterious degrees, which were
to be conferred by him alone, in colours which had fascinated his
own fancy. But they were the colours of hell, and would have scared
the most intrepid; and because I represented the danger of this,
and by force obtained the omission of this picture, he became my
implacable enemy. I abhor treachery and profligacy, and leave him to
blow himself and his Order into the air."

Accordingly this happened. It was this which terrified one of the
four professors, and made him impart his doubts to the rest. Yet
Spartacus seems to have profited by the apprehensions of Philo; for
in the last reception, he, for the first time, exacts a bond from
the intrant, engaging himself for ever to the Order, and swearing
that he will never draw back. Thus admitted, he becomes a sure
card. The course of his life is in the hands of the Order, and his
thoughts on a thousand dangerous points; his reports concerning
his neighbours and friends; in short, his honour and his neck. The
Deist, thus led on, has not far to go before he becomes a Naturalist
or Atheist; and then the eternal sleep of death crowns all his
humble hopes.

Before giving an account of the higher degrees, I shall just extract
from one letter more on a singular subject.

_Minos to Sebastian_, 1782.

"The proposal of Hercules to establish a Minerval school for
girls is excellent, but requires much circumspection. Philo and I
have long conversed on this subject. We cannot improve the world
without improving women, who have such a mighty influence on the
men. But how shall we get hold of them? How will their relations,
particularly their mothers, immersed in prejudices, consent that
others shall influence their education? We must begin with grown
girls. Hercules proposes the wife of Ptolemy Magus. I have no
objection; and I have four step-daughters, fine girls. The oldest
in particular is excellent. She is twenty-four, has read much, is
above all prejudices, and in religion she thinks as I do. They have
much acquaintance among the young ladies their relations. (N. B.
We don't know the rank of Minos, but as he does not use the word
_Damen_, but _Frauenzimmer_, it is probable that it is not high.) It
may immediately be a very pretty Society, under the management of
Ptolemy's wife, but really under _his_ management. You must contrive
pretty degrees, and dresses, and ornaments, and elegant and decent
rituals. No man must be admitted. This will make them become more
keen, and they will go much farther than if we were present, or than
if they thought that we knew of their proceedings. Leave them to
the scope of their own fancies, and they will soon invent mysteries
which will put us to the blush, and create an enthusiasm which we
can never equal. They will be our great apostles. Reflect on the
respect, nay the awe and terror inspired by the female mystics of
antiquity. (Think of the Daniads--think of the Theban _Bacchantes_.)
Ptolemy's wife must direct them, and she will be instructed by
Ptolemy, and my step daughters will consult with me. We must always
be at hand to prevent the introduction of any improper question.
We must prepare themes for their discussion--thus we shall confess
them, and inspire them with our sentiments. No man however must come
near them. This will fire their roving fancies, and we may expect
rare mysteries. But I am doubtful whether this Association will be
durable. Women are fickle and impatient. Nothing will please them
but hurrying from degree to degree, through a heap of insignificant
ceremonies, which will soon lose their novelty and influence. To
rest seriously in one rank, and to be still and silent when they
have found out that the whole is a cheat, (hear the words of an
experienced Mason,) is a task of which they are incapable. They have
not our motives to persevere for years, allowing themselves to be
led about, and even then to hold their tongues when they find that
they have been deceived. Nay there is a risk that they may take
it into their heads to give things an opposite turn, and then, by
voluptuous allurements, heightened by affected modesty and decency,
which give them an irresistible empire over the best men, they may
turn our Order upside down, and in their turn will lead the new one."

Such is the information which may be got from the private
correspondence. It is needless to make more extracts of every kind
of vice and trick. I have taken such as shew a little of the plan of
the Order, as far as the degree of _Illuminatus Minor_, and the vile
purposes which are concealed under all their specious declamation.
A very minute account is given of the plan, the ritual, ceremonies,
&c. and even the instructions and discourses, in a book called the
_Achte Illuminat_, published at _Edessa_ (Frankfurt) in 1787. Philo
says, "that this is quite accurate, but that he does not know the
author." I proceed to give an account of their higher degrees,
as they are to be seen in the book called _Neueste Arbeitung des
Spartacus und Philo_. And the authenticity of the accounts is
attested by Grollman, a private gentleman of independent fortune,
who read them, signed and sealed by Spartacus and the _Areopagitæ_.

The series of ranks and progress of the pupil were arranged as

           { Preparation,
           { Novice,
           { Minerval,
           { Illumin. Minor.

           {            { Apprentice,
           { _Symbolic_ { Fellow Craft,
           {            { Master,
           {            { _Illum. Major_, Scotch Novice
           { _Scotch_   {
           {            { _Illum. dirigens_, Scotch Knight.

             {         { Presbyter, Priest,
             { Lesser  {
             {         { Prince, Regent,
             {         { _Magus_,
             { Greater {
             {         { _Rex_.

The reader must be almost sick of so much villany, and would be
disgusted with the minute detail, in which the cant of the Order is
ringing continually in his ears. I shall therefore only give such
a short extract as may fix our notions of the object of the Order,
and the morality of the means employed for attaining it. We need not
go back to the lower degrees, and shall begin with the ILLUMINATUS

After a short introduction, teaching us how the holy secret Chapter
of Scotch Knights is assembled, we have, I. Fuller accounts and
instructions relating to the whole. II. Instructions for the lower
classes of Masonry. III. Instructions relating to Mason Lodges in
general. IV. Account of a reception into this degree, with the bond
which each subscribes before he can be admitted. V. Concerning the
Solemn Chapter for reception. VI. Opening of the Chapter. VII.
Ritual of Reception, and the Oath. VIII. Shutting of the Chapter.
IX. _Agapé_, or Love-Feast. X. Ceremonies of the consecration of
the Chapter. Appendix A, Explanation of the Symbols of Free Masonry.
B, Catechism for the Scotch Knight. C, Secret Cypher.

In N^o I. it is said that the "chief study of the Scotch Knight is
to work on all men in such a way as is most insinuating. II. He must
endeavour to acquire the possession of considerable property. III.
In all Mason Lodges we must try secretly to get the upper hand.
The Masons do not know what Free-Masonry is, their high objects,
nor their highest Superiors, and should be directed by those who
will lead them along the right road. In preparing a candidate for
the degree of Scotch Knighthood, we must bring him into dilemmas
by ensnaring questions.--We must endeavour to get the disposal of
the money of the Lodges of the Free Masons, or at least take care
that it be applied to purposes favourable to our Order--but this
must be done in a way that shall not be remarked. Above all, we
must push forward with all our skill, the plan of Eclectic Masonry,
and for this purpose follow up the circular letter already sent to
all the Lodges with every thing that can increase their present
embarrassment." In the bond of N^o IV. the candidate binds himself
to "consider and treat the Illuminati as the Superiors of Free
Masonry, and endeavour in all the Mason Lodges which he frequents,
to have the Masonry of the Illuminated, and particularly the Scotch
Novitiate, introduced into the Lodge." (This is not very different
from the Masonry of the _Chevalier de l'Aigle_ of the Rosaic
Masonry, making the Master's degree a sort of commemoration of the
passion, but without giving that character to Christianity which is
peculiar to Illuminatism.) Jesus Christ is represented as the enemy
of superstitious observances, and the assertor of the Empire of
Reason and of Brotherly love, and his death and memory as dear to
mankind. This evidently paves the way for Weishaupt's Christianity.
The Scotch Knight also engages "to consider the Superiors of the
Order as the unknown Superiors of Free Masonry, and to contribute
all he can to their gradual union." In the Oath, N^o VII. the
candidate says, "I will never more be a flatterer of the great, I
will never be a lowly servant of princes; but I will strive with
spirit, and with address, for virtue, wisdom, and liberty. I will
powerfully oppose superstition, slander, and despotism; so that,
like a true son of the Order, I may serve the world. I will never
sacrifice the general good, and the happiness of the world, to my
private interest. I will boldly defend my brother against slander,
will follow out the traces of the pure and true Religion pointed out
to me in my instructions, and in the doctrines of Masonry; and will
faithfully report to my Superiors the progress I make therein."

When he gets the stroke which dubs him a Knight, the Preses says to
him, "Now prove thyself, by thy ability, equal to Kings, and never
from this time forward bow thy knee to one who is, like thyself but
a man."

N^o IX. is an account of the Love-Feast.

_1st_, There is a Table Lodge, opened as usual, but in virtue of the
ancient Master-word. Then it is said, "Let moderation, fortitude,
morality, and genuine love of the Brethren, with the overflowing of
innocent and careless mirth reign here." (This is almost verbatim
from Toland.)

_2d_, In the middle of a bye-table is a chalice, a pot of wine, an
empty plate, and a plate of unleavened bread--All is covered with a
green cloth.

_3d_, When the Table Lodge is ended, and the Prefect sees no
obstacle, he strikes on this bye-table the stroke of Scotch Master,
and his signal is repeated by the Senior Warden. All are still and
silent. The Prefect lifts off the cloth.

_4th_, The Prefect asks, whether the Knights are in the disposition
to partake of the Love-Feast in earnest, peace, and contentment.
If none hesitates or offers to retire, he takes the plate with the
bread and says,

"J. of N. our Grand-Master, in the night in which he was betrayed
by his friends, persecuted for his love for truth, imprisoned, and
condemned to die, assembled his trusty Brethren, to celebrate his
last Love-Feast--which is signified to us in many ways. He took
bread (taking it) and broke it (breaking it) and blessed it, and
gave it to his disciples, &c.--This shall be the mark of our Holy
Union, &c. Let each of you examine his heart, whether love reigns in
it, and whether he, in full imitation of our Grand-Master, is ready
to lay down his life for his Brethren.

"Thanks be to our Grand-Master, who has appointed this feast as a
memorial of his kindness, for the uniting of the hearts of those who
love him.--Go in peace, and blessed be this new Association which we
have formed.--Blessed be ye who remain loyal and strive for the good

_5th_, The Prefect immediately closes the Chapter with the usual
ceremonies of the _Loge de Table_.

_6th_, It is to be observed, that no priest of the Order must be
present at this Love-Feast, and that even the Brother Servitor quits
the Lodge.

I must observe here, that Philo, the manufacturer of this ritual,
has done it very injudiciously; it has no resemblance whatever to
the Love-Feast of the primitive Christians, and is merely a copy
of a similar thing in one of the steps of French Masonry. Philo's
reading in church-history was probably very scanty, or he trusted
that the candidates would not be very nice in their examination of
it, and he imagined that it would do well enough, and "tickle such
as had a religious hankering." Spartacus disliked it exceedingly--it
did not accord with his serious conceptions, and he justly calls it
_Jouer la Religion_.

The discourse of reception is to be found also in the secret
correspondence (_Nachtrag_ II. _Abtheilung_, p. 44.). But it is
needless to insert it here. I have given the substance of this and
of all the Cosmo-political declamations already in the panegeric
introduction to the account of the process of education. And in
Spartacus's letter, and in Philo's, I have given an abstract of the
introduction to the explanation given in this degree of the symbols
of Free Masonry. With respect to the explanation itself, it is as
slovenly and wretched as can be imagined, and shews that Spartacus
trusted to much more operative principles in the human heart for the
reception of his nonsense than the dictates of unbiassed reason.
None but promising subjects were admitted thus far--such as would
not boggle; and their principles were already sufficiently apparent
to assure him that they would be contented with any thing that made
game of religion, and would be diverted by the seriousness which
a chance devotee might exhibit during these silly caricatures of
Christianity and Free Masonry. But there is considerable address
in the way that Spartacus prepares his pupils for having all this
mummery shewn in its true colours, and overturned.

"Examine, read, think on these symbols. There are many things
which one cannot find out without a guide, nor even learn without
instruction. They require study and zeal. Should you in any future
period think that you have conceived a clearer notion of them,
that you have found a paved road, declare your discoveries to your
Superiors; it is thus that you improve your mind; they expect this
of you; _they_ know the true path--but will not point it out--enough
if they assist you in every approach to it, and warn you when you
recede from it. They have even put things in your way to try your
powers of leading yourself through the difficult track of discovery.
In this process the weak head finds only child's play--the initiated
finds objects of thought which language cannot express, and the
thinking mind finds food for his faculties." By such forewarnings
as these Weishaupt leaves room for any deviation, for any sentiment
or opinion of the individual that he may afterwards choose to
encourage, and "to whisper in their ear (as he expresses it) many
things which he did not find it prudent to insert in a printed

But all the principles and aim of Spartacus and of his Order are
most distinctly seen in the third or Mystery Class. I proceed
therefore to give some account of it. By the Table it appears to
have two degrees, the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries, each of
which have two departments, one relating chiefly to Religion and the
other to Politics.

The Priest's degree contains, 1. an Introduction. 2. Further
Accounts of the Reception into this degree. 3. What is called
Instruction in the Third Chamber, which the candidate must read
over. 4. The Ritual of Reception. 5. Instruction for the First
Degree of the Priest's Class, called _Instructio in Scientificis_.
6. Account of the Consecration of a Dean, the Superior of this Lower
Order of Priests.

The Regent degree contains, 1. Directions to the Provincial
concerning the dispensation of this degree. 2. Ritual of Reception.
3. System of Direction for the whole Order. 4. Instruction for
the whole Regent degree. 5. Instruction for the Prefects or Local
Superiors. 6. Instruction for the Provincials.

The most remarkable thing in the Priest's degree is the
Instruction in the Third Chamber. It is to be found in the
private correspondence (_Nachtrage Original Schriften_ 1787, 2d.
_Abtheilung_, page 44.). There it has the title _Discourse to the
Illuminati Dirigentes_, or Scotch Knights. In the critical history,
which is annexed to the _Neueste Arbeitung_, there is an account
given of the reason for this denomination; and notice is taken of
some differences between the instructions here contained and that

This instruction begins with sore complaints of the low condition
of the human race; and the causes are deduced from religion and
state-government. "Men originally led a patriarchal life, in which
every father of a family was the sole lord of his house and his
property, while he himself possessed general freedom and equality.
But they suffered themselves to be oppressed--gave themselves up
to civil societies, and formed states. Even by this they fell; and
this is the fall of man, by which they were thrust into unspeakable
misery. To get out of this state, to be freed and born again, there
is no other mean than the use of pure Reason, by which a general
morality may be established, which will put man in a condition
to govern himself, regain his original worth, and dispense with
all political supports, and particularly with rulers. This can be
done in no other way but by secret associations, which will by
degrees, and in silence, possess themselves of the government of
the States, and make use of those means for this purpose, which the
wicked use for attaining their base ends. Princes and Priests are
in particular, and _kal' exochen_ the wicked, whose hands we must
tie up by means of these associations, if we cannot root them out

"Kings are parents. The paternal power ceases with the incapacity
of the child; and the father injures his child, if he pretends to
retain his right beyond this period. When a nation comes of age,
their state of wardship is at an end."

Here follows a long declamation against patriotism, as a
narrow-minded principle when compared with true Cosmo-politism.
Nobles are represented as "a race of men that serve not the nation
but the Prince, whom a hint from the Sovereign stirs up against the
nation, who are retained servants and ministers of despotism, and
the mean for oppressing national liberty. Kings are accused of a
tacit convention, under the flattering appellation of the balance of
power, to keep nations in subjection.

"The means to regain Reason her rights--to raise liberty from
its ashes--to restore to man his original rights--to produce the
previous revolution in the mind of man--to obtain an eternal
victory over oppressors--and to work the redemption of mankind, are
secret schools of wisdom. When the worthy have strengthened their
association by numbers, they are secure, and then they begin to
become powerful, and terrible to the wicked, of whom many will, for
safety, amend themselves--many will come over to our party, and we
shall bind the hands of the rest, and finally conquer them. Whoever
spreads general Illumination, augments mutual security; Illumination
and security make princes unnecessary; Illumination performs this by
creating an effective Morality, and Morality makes a nation of full
age fit to govern itself; and since it is not impossible to produce
a just Morality, it is possible to regain freedom for the world.

"We must therefore strengthen our band, and establish a legion,
which shall restore the rights of man, original liberty and

"Jesus Christ"--but I am sick of all this. The following questions
are put to the candidate:

1. "Are our civil conditions in the world the destinations that
seem to be the end of our nature, or the purposes for which man was
placed on this earth, or are they not? Do states, civil obligations,
popular religion, fulfil the intentions of men who established them?
Do secret associations promote instruction and true human happiness,
or are they the children of necessity, of the multifarious wants, of
unnatural conditions, or the inventions of vain and cunning men?"

2. "What civil association, what science do you think to the
purpose, and what are not?"

3. "Has there ever been any other in the world, is there no other
more simple condition, and what do you think of it?"

4. "Does it appear possible, after having gone through all the
nonentities of our civil constitutions, to recover for once our
first simplicity, and get back to this honourable uniformity?"

5. "How can one begin this noble attempt; by means of open support,
by forcible revolution, or by what other way?"

6. "Does Christianity give us any hint to this purpose? Does it not
recognise such a blessed condition as once the lot of man, and as
still recoverable?"

7. "But is this holy religion the religion that is now professed by
any sect on earth, or is it a better?"

8. "Can we learn this religion--can the world, as it is, bear the
light? Do you think that it would be of service, before numerous
obstacles are removed, if we taught men this purified religion,
sublime philosophy, and the art of governing themselves? Or would
not this hurt, by rousing the interested passions of men habituated
to prejudices, who would oppose this as wicked?"

9. "May it not be more advisable to do away these corruptions by
little and little, in silence, and for this purpose to propagate
these salutary and heart-consoling doctrines in secret?"

10. "Do we not perceive traces of such a secret doctrine in the
ancient schools of philosophy, in the doctrines and instructions
of the Bible, which Christ, the Redeemer and Deliverer of the
human race, gave to his trusty disciples?--Do you not observe an
education, proceeding by steps of this kind, handed down to us from
his time till the present?"

In the ceremonial of Reception, crowns and sceptres are represented
as tokens of human degradation. "The plan of operation, by which our
higher degrees act, must work powerfully on the world, and must give
another turn to all our present constitutions."

Many other questions are put to the pupil during his preparation,
and his answers are given in writing. Some of these rescripts are
to be found in the secret correspondence. Thus, "How far is the
position true, that all those means may be used for a good purpose
which the wicked have employed for a bad?" And along with this
question there is an injunction to take counsel from the opinions
and conduct of the learned and worthy out of the society. In one of
the answers, the example of a great philosopher and Cosmopolite is
adduced, who betrayed a private correspondence entrusted to him, for
the service of freedom: the case was Doctor Franklin's. In another,
the power of the Order was extended to the putting the individual to
death; and the reason given was, that "this power was allowed to
all Sovereignties, for the good of the State, and therefore belonged
to the Order, which was to govern the world."----"N. B. We must
acquire the direction of education--of church-management--of the
professorial chair, and of the pulpit. We must bring our opinions
into fashion by every art--spread them among the people by the help
of young writers. We must preach the warmest concern for humanity,
and _make people indifferent to all other relations_. We must take
care that our writers be well puffed, and that the Reviewers do not
depreciate them; therefore we must endeavour by every mean to gain
over the Reviewers and Journalists; and we must also try to gain the
booksellers, who in time will see that it is their interest to side
with us."

I conclude this account of the degree of Presbyter with remarking,
that there were two copies of it employed occasionally. In one of
them all the most offensive things in respect of church and state
were left out. The same thing was done in the degree of _Chevalier
du Soleil_ of the French Masonry. I have seen three different forms.

In the Regent degree, the proceedings and instructions are conducted
in the same manner. Here, it is said, "We must as much as possible
select for this degree persons who are free, independent of all
princes; particularly such as have frequently declared themselves
discontented with the usual institutions, and their wishes to see a
better government established."

Catching questions are put to the candidate for this degree; such as,

1. "Would the society be objectionable which should (till the
greater revolution of nature should be ripe) put monarchs and rulers
out of the condition to do harm; which should in silence prevent the
abuse of power, by surrounding the great with its members, and thus
not only prevent their doing mischief, but even make them do good?"

2. "Is not the objection unjust, That such a Society may abuse its
power? Do not our rulers frequently abuse their power, though we are
silent? This power is not so secure as in the hands of our Members,
whom we train up with so much care, and place about princes after
mature deliberation and choice. If any government can be harmless
which is erected by man, surely it must be ours, which is founded on
morality, foresight, talents, liberty, and virtue," &c.

The candidate is presented for reception in the character of
a slave; and it is demanded of him what has brought him into
this most miserable of all conditions. He answers--Society--the
State--Submissiveness--False Religion. A skeleton is pointed out to
him, at the feet of which are laid a Crown and a Sword. He is asked,
whether that is the skeleton of a King, a Nobleman, or a Beggar? As
he cannot decide, the President of the meeting says to him, "the
character of being a Man is the only one that is of importance."

In a long declamation on the hackneyed topics, we have here and
there some thoughts which have not yet come before us.

"We must allow the underlings to imagine, (but without telling them
the truth,) that we direct all the Free Mason Lodges, and even all
other Orders, and that the greatest monarchs are under our guidance,
which indeed is here and there the case.

"There is no way of influencing men so powerfully as by means of
the women. These should therefore be our chief study; we should
insinuate ourselves into their good opinion, give them hints of
emancipation from the tyranny of public opinion, and of standing
up for themselves; it will be an immense relief to their enslaved
minds to be freed from any one bond of restraint, and it will fire
them the more, and cause them to work for us with zeal, without
knowing that they do so; for they will only be indulging their own
desire of personal admiration.

"We must win the common people in every corner. This will be
obtained chiefly by means of the schools, and by open, hearty
behaviour, show, condescension, popularity, and toleration of their
prejudices, which we shall at leisure root out and dispel.

"If a writer publishes any thing that attracts notice, and is in
itself just, but does not accord with our plan, we must endeavour to
win him over, or decry him.

"A chief object of our care must be to keep down that slavish
veneration for princes which so much disgraces all nations. Even
in the _soi-disant_ free England, the silly Monarch says, We are
graciously pleased, and the more simple people say, Amen. These men,
commonly very weak heads, are only the farther corrupted by this
servile flattery. But let us at once give an example of our spirit
by our behaviour with Princes; we must avoid all familiarity--never
entrust ourselves to them--behave with precision, but with civility,
as to other men--speak of them on an equal footing--this will in
time teach them that they are by nature men, if they have sense
and spirit, and that only by convention they are Lords. We must
assiduously collect anecdotes, and the honourable and mean actions,
both of the least and the greatest; and when their names occur
in any records which are read in our meetings, let them ever be
accompanied by these marks of their real worth.

"The great strength of our Order lies in its concealment; let it
never appear in any place in its own name, but always covered by
another name, and another occupation. _None is fitter than the
three lower degrees of Free Masonry; the public is accustomed to
it; expects little from it, and therefore takes little notice of
it._ Next to this the form of a learned or literary society is best
suited to our purpose, and had Free Masonry not existed, this cover
would have been employed; and it may be much more than a cover, _it
may be a powerful engine in our hands_. _By establishing reading
societies, and subscription libraries, and taking these under our
direction, and supplying them through our labours, we may turn the
public mind which way we will._

"In like manner we must try to obtain an influence in the military
academies, (this may be of mighty consequence,) the printing-houses,
booksellers shops, chapters, and in short in all offices which have
any effect, either in forming, or in managing, or even in directing
the mind of man: painting and engraving are highly worth our

  [8] (They were strongly suspected of having published some
  scandalous caricatures, and some very immoral prints.) They scrupled
  at no mean, however base, for corrupting the nation. Mirabeau had
  done the same thing at Berlin. By political caricatures and filthy
  prints, they corrupt even such as cannot read.

"Could our Prefect" (observe it is to the _Illuminati Regentes_ he
is speaking, whose officers are _Prefecti_) "fill the judicatories
of a state with our worthy members, he does all that man can do
for the Order. It is better than to gain the Prince himself.
Princes should never get beyond the Scotch knighthood. They either
never prosecute any thing, or they twist every thing to their own

"A Literary Society is the most proper form for the introduction of
our Order into any state where we are yet strangers." (Mark this!)

"The power of the Order must surely be turned to the advantage of
its Members. All must be assisted. They must be preferred to all
persons otherwise of equal merit. Money, services, honour, goods,
and blood, must be expended for the fully proved Brethren, and the
unfortunate must be relieved by the funds of the Society."

As evidence that this was not only their instructions, but also
their assiduous practice, take the following report from the
overseer of Greece (Bavaria).

_In Cato's hand-writing._

"The number (about 600) of Members relates to Bavaria alone.

"In Munich there is a well-constituted meeting of _Illuminati
Majores_, a meeting of excellent _Illuminati Minores_, a respectable
Grand Lodge, and two Minerval Assemblies. There is a Minerval
Assembly at Freyssing, at Landsberg, at Burghausen, at Strasburg, at
Ingolstadt, and at last at Regensburg[9].

  [9] In this small _turbulent_ city there were eleven secret
  societies of Masons, Rosycrucians, Clair-voyants, &c.

"At Munich we have bought a house, and by clever measures have
brought things so far, that the citizens take no notice of it, and
even speak of us with esteem. We can openly go to the house every
day, and carry on the business of the Lodge. This is a great deal
for this city. In the house is a good museum of natural history, and
apparatus for experiments: also a library which daily increases. The
garden is well occupied by botanic specimens, and the whole has the
appearance of a society of zealous naturalists.

"We get all the literary journals. We take care, by well-timed
pieces, to make the citizens and the Princes a little more noticed
for certain little slips. We oppose the monks with all our might,
and with great success.

"The Lodge is constituted entirely according to our system, and has
broken off entirely from Berlin, and we have nearly finished our
transactions with the Lodges of Poland, and shall have them under
our direction.

"By the activity of our Brethren, the Jesuits have been kept out of
all the professorial chairs at Ingolstadt, and our friends prevail.

"The widow Duchess has set up her academy entirely according to our
plan, and we have all the Professors in the Order. Five of them are
excellent, and the pupils will be prepared for us.

"We have got Pylades put at the head of the Fisc, and he has the
church-money at his disposal. By properly using this money, we have
been enabled to put our brother ----'s household in good order;
which he had destroyed by going to the Jews. We have supported more
Brethren under similar misfortunes.

"Our Ghostly Brethren have been very fortunate this last year,
for we have procured for them several good benefices, parishes,
tutorships, &c.

"Through our means Arminius and Cortes have gotten Professorships,
and many of our younger Brethren have obtained Bursaries by our help.

"We have been very successful against the Jesuits, and brought
things to such a bearing, that their revenues, such as the Mission,
the Golden Alms, the Exercises, and the Conversion Box, are now
under the management of our friends. So are also their concerns in
the university and the German school foundations. The application of
all will be determined presently, and we have six members and four
friends in the Court. This has cost our senate some nights want of

"Two of our best youths have got journies from the Court, and they
will go to Vienna, where they will do us great service.

"All the German Schools, and the Benevolent Society, are at last
under our direction.

"We have got several zealous members in the courts of justice, and
we are able to afford them pay, and other good additions.

"Lately, we have got possession of the Bartholomew Institution for
young clergymen, having secured all its supporters. Through this we
shall be able to supply Bavaria with fit priests.

"By a letter from Philo we learn, that one of the highest dignities
in the church was obtained for a zealous Illuminatus, in opposition
even to the authority and right of the Bishop of Spire, who is
represented as a bigoted and tyrannical priest."

Such were the lesser mysteries of the Illuminati. But there remain
the higher mysteries. The system of these has not been printed, and
the degrees were conferred only by Spartacus himself, from papers
which he never entrusted to any person. They were only read to the
candidate, but no copy was taken. The publisher of the _Neueste
Arbeitung_ says that he has read them (so says Grollman). He says,
"that in the first degree of MAGUS or PHILOSOPHUS, the doctrines
are the same with those of Spinoza, where all is material, God
and the world are the same thing, and all religion whatever is
without foundation, and, the contrivance of ambitious men." The
second degree, or REX, teaches, "that every peasant, citizen, and
householder is a sovereign, as in the Patriarchal state, and that
nations must be brought back to that state, by whatever means are
conducible--peaceably, if it can be done; but, if not, then by
force--for all subordination must vanish from the face of the earth."

The author says further, that the German Union was, to his certain
knowledge, the work of the Illuminati.

The private correspondence that has been published is by no means
the whole of what was discovered at Landshut and Bassus Hoss,
and government got a great deal of useful information, which was
concealed, both out of regard to the families of the persons
concerned, and also that the rest might not know the utmost extent
of the discovery, and be less on their guard. A third collection was
found under the foundation of the house in which the Lodge _Theodor
vom guten Rath_ had been held. But none of this has appeared. Enough
surely has been discovered to give the public a very just idea of
the designs of the Society and its connections.

Lodges were discovered, and are mentioned in the private papers
already published, in the following places.

Munich                  Westphalia (several)
Ingolstadt              Heidelberg
Frankfort               Manheim
Echstadt                Strasburgh (5)
Hanover                 Spire
Brunswick               Worms
Calbe                   Dusseldorff
Magdeburgh              Cologne
Cassel                  Bonn (4)
Osnabruck               Livonia (many)
Weimar                  Courland (many)
Upper Saxony (several)  Frankendahl
Austria (14)            Alsace (many)
Vienna (4)              Deuxponts
Hesse (many)            Cousel
Buchenwerter            Treves (2)
Mompeliard              Aix-la-Chapelle (2)
Stutgard (3)            Bartschied
Carlsruhe               Hahrenberg
Anspach                 Switzerland (many)
Neuwied (2)             Rome
Mentz (2)               Naples
Poland (many)           Ancona
Turin                   Florence
England (8)             France
Scotland (2)            Holland (many)
Warsaw (2)              Dresden (4)
America (several.)      N. B. This was before 1786.

I have picked up the names of the following members.

  Spartacus,             Weishaupt, Professor.
  Philo,                 Knigge, Freyherr, i. e. Gentleman.
  Amelius,               Bode, F. H.
  Bayard,                Busche, F. H.
  Diomedes,              Constanza, Marq.
  Cato,                  Zwack, Lawyer.
                         Torring, Count.
                         Khreitmaier, Prince.
                         Utschneider, Professor.
                         Cossandey, Professor.
                         Renner, Professor.
                         Grunberger, Professor.
                         Balderbusch, F. H.
                         Lippert, Counsellor.
                         Kundl, ditto.
                         Bart, ditto.
                         Leiberhauer, Priest.
                         Kundler, Professor.
                         Lowling, Professor.
                         Vachency, Counsellor.
                         Morausky, Count.
                         Hoffstetter, Surveyor of Roads.
                         Strobl, Bookseller.
  Pythagoras,            Westenrieder, Professor.
                         Babo, Professor.
                         Baader, Professor.
                         Burzes, Priest.
                         Pfruntz, Priest.
  Hannibal,              Bassus, Baron.
  Brutus,                Savioli, Count.
  Lucian,                Nicholai, Bookseller.
                         Bahrdt, Clergyman.
  Zoroaster, Confucius,  Baierhamer.
  Hermes Trismegistus,   Socher, School Inspector.
                         Dillis, Abbé.
  Sulla,                 Meggenhoff, Paymaster.
                         Danzer, Canon.
                         Braun, ditto.
                         Fischer, Magistrate.
                         Frauenberger, Baron.
                         Kaltner, Lieutenant.
  Pythagoras, (2d,)      Drexl, Librarian.
  Marius,                Hertel, Canon.
                         Dilling, Counsellor.
                         Seefeld, Count.
                         Gunsheim, ditto.
                         Morgellan, ditto.
  Saladin,               Ecker, ditto.
                         Ow, Major.
                         Werner, Counsellor.
  Cornelius Scipio,      Berger, Counsellor.
                         Wortz, Apothecary.
                         Mauvillon, Colonel,
                         Mirabeau, Count.
                         Orleans, Duke.
  Tycho Brahe,           Gaspar, Merchant.
  Thales,                Kapfinger.
  Attila,                Sauer.
  Ludovicus Bavarus,     Losi.
  Shaftesbury,           Steger.
  Coriolanus,            Tropponero, Zuschwartz.
  Timon,                 Michel.
  Tamerlane,             Lange.
  Livius,                Badorffer.
  Cicero,                Pfest.
  Ajax,                  Massenhausen, Count.

I have not been able to find who personated Minos, Euriphon,
Celsius, Mahomet, Hercules, Socrates, Philippo Strozzi, Euclides,
and some others who have been uncommonly active in carrying forward
the great cause.

The chief publications for giving us regular accounts of the whole,
(besides the original writings,) are,

  1. _Grosse Absicht des Illuminaten Ordens._
  2. ---- _Nachtrages_ (3.) _an denselben_.
  3. _Weishaupt's improved System._
  4. _System des Illum. Ordens aus dem Original-schriften gezogen._

I may now be permitted to make a few reflections on the accounts
already given of this Order, which has so distinctly concentrated
the casual and scattered efforts of its prompters, _the Chevaliers
Bienfaisants_, the _Philalethes_, and _Amis Reunis_ of France, and
carried on the system of enlightening and reforming the world.

The great aim professed by the Order is to _make men happy_;
and the means professed to be employed, as the only and surely
effective, is _making them good_; and this is to be brought about
by _enlightening the mind_, and _freeing it from the dominion of
superstition and prejudices_. This purpose is effected by its
_producing a just and steady morality_. This done, and becoming
universal, there can be little doubt but that the peace of society
will be the consequence,--that government, subordination, and
all the disagreeable coercions of civil governments will be
unnecessary,--and that society may go on peaceably in a state of
perfect liberty and equality.

But surely it requires no angel from heaven to tell us that if
every man is virtuous, there will be no vice; and that there will
be peace on earth, and good-will between man and man, whatever be
the differences of rank and fortune; so that Liberty and Equality
seem not to be the necessary consequences of this just Morality, nor
necessary requisites for this national happiness. We may question,
therefore, whether the Illumination which makes this a necessary
condition is a clear and a pure light. It may be a false glare
showing the object only on one side, tinged with partial colours
thrown on it by neighbouring objects. We see so much wisdom in the
general plans of nature, that we are apt to think that there is the
same in what relates to the human mind, and that the God of nature
accomplishes his plans in this as well as in other instances. We are
even disposed to think that human nature would suffer by it. The
rational nature of man is not contented with meat and drink, and
raiment, and shelter, but is also pleased with exerting many powers
and faculties, and with gratifying many tastes, which could hardly
have existence in a society where all are equal. We say that there
can be no doubt but that the pleasure arising from the contemplation
of the works of art--the pleasure of intellectual cultivation,
the pleasure of mere ornament, are rational, distinguish man
from a brute, and are so general, that there is hardly a mind so
rude as not to feel them. Of all these, and of all the difficult
sciences, all most rational, and in themselves most innocent, and
most delightful to a cultivated mind, we should be deprived in a
society where all are equal. No individual could give employment to
the talents necessary for creating and improving these ornamental
comforts of life. We are absolutely certain that, even in the most
favourable situations on the face of the earth, the most untainted
virtue in every breast could not raise man to that degree of
cultivation that is possessed by citizens very low in any of the
states of Europe; and in the situation of most countries we are
acquainted with, the state of man would be much lower: for, at our
very setting out, we must grant that the liberty and equality here
spoken of must be complete; for there must not be such a thing as a
farmer and his cottager. This would be as unjust, as much the cause
of discontent, as the gentleman and the farmer.

This scheme therefore seems contrary to the designs of our Creator,
who has every where placed us in those situations of inequality that
are here so much reprobated, and has given us strong propensities
by which we relish those enjoyments. We also find that they may
be enjoyed in peace and innocence. And lastly, we imagine that
the villain, who, in the station of a professor, would plunder a
prince, would also plunder the farmer if he were his cottager.
The Illumination therefore that appears to have the best chance
of making mankind happy is that which will teach us the Morality
which will respect the comforts of cultivated Society, and teach us
to protect the possessors in the innocent enjoyment of them; that
will enable us to perceive and admire the taste and elegance of
Architecture and Gardening, without any wish to sweep the palaces,
the gardens, and their owner, from off the earth, merely because he
is their owner.

We are therefore suspicious of this Illumination, and apt to
ascribe this violent antipathy to Princes and subordination to
the very cause that makes true Illumination, and just Morality
proceeding from it, so necessary to public happiness, namely,
the vice and injustice of those who cannot innocently have the
command of those offensive elegancies of human life. Luxurious
taste, keen desires, and unbridled passions, would prompt to all
this; and this Illumination is, as we see, equivalent to them in
effect. The aim of the Order is not to enlighten the mind of man,
and shew him his moral obligations, and by the practice of his
duties to make society peaceable, possession secure, and coercion
unnecessary, so that all may be at rest and happy, even though all
_were_ equal; but to get rid of the coercion which must be employed
in the place of Morality, that the innocent rich may be robbed
with impunity by the idle and profligate poor. But to do this, an
unjust casuistry must be employed instead of a just Morality; and
this must be defended or suggested, by misrepresenting the true
state of man, and of his relation to the universe, and by removing
the restrictions of religion, and giving a superlative value to
all those constituents of human enjoyment, which true Illumination
shews us to be but very small concerns of a rational and virtuous
mind. The more closely we examine the principles and practice of
the Illuminati, the more clearly do we perceive that this is the
case. Their first and immediate aim is to get the possession of
riches, power, and influence, without industry; and to accomplish
this, they want to abolish Christianity; and then dissolute manners
and universal profligacy will procure them the adherence of all the
wicked, and enable them to overturn all the civil governments of
Europe; after which they will think of farther conquests, and extend
their operations to the other quarters of the globe, till they have
reduced mankind to the state of one undistinguishable chaotic mass.

But this is too chimerical to be thought their real aim. Their
Founder, I dare say, never entertained such hopes, nor troubled
himself with the fate of distant lands. But it comes in his way when
he puts on the mask of humanity and benevolence: it must embrace
all mankind, only because it must be stronger than patriotism and
loyalty, which stand in his way. Observe that Weishaupt took a name
expressive of his principles. Spartacus was a gladiator, who headed
an insurrection of Roman slaves, and for three years kept the city
in terror. Weishaupt says in one of his letters, "I never was fond
of empty titles; but surely that man has a childish soul who would
not as readily chuse the name of Spartacus as that of Octavius
Augustus." The names which he gives to several of his gang express
their differences of sentiments. Philo, Lucian, and others, are very
significantly given to Knigge, Nicholai, &c. He was vain of the
name Spartacus, because he considered himself as employed somewhat
in the same way, leading slaves to freedom. Princes and Priests are
mentioned by him on all occasions in terms of abhorrence.

Spartacus employs powerful means. The style of the Jesuits, (as he
says,) he considers every mean as consecrated by the end for which
it is employed, and he says with great truth,

  "_Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo._"

To save his reputation, he scruples not to murder his innocent
child, and the woman whom he had held in his arms with emotions of
fondness and affection. But lest this should appear too selfish
a motive, he says, "Had I fallen, my precious Order would have
fallen with me; the Order which is to bless mankind. I should not
again have been able to speak of virtue so as to make any lasting
impression. My example might have ruined many young men." This he
thinks will excuse, nay sanctify any thing. "My letters are my
greatest vindication." He employs the Christian Religion, which he
thinks a falsehood, and which he is afterwards to explode, as the
mean for inviting Christians of every denomination, and gradually
cajoling them, by clearing up their Christian doubts in succession,
till he lands them in Deism; or if he finds them unfit, and too
religious, he gives them a _Sta bene_, and then laughs at the fears,
or perhaps madness, in which he leaves them. Having got them the
length of Deism, they are declared to be fit, and he receives them
into the higher mysteries. But lest they should still shrink back,
dazzled by the Pandemonian glare of Illumination which will now
burst upon them, he exacts from them, for the first time, a bond
of perseverance. But, as Philo says, there is little chance of
tergiversation. The life and honour of most of the candidates are
by this time in his hand. They have been long occupied in the vile
and corrupting office of spies on all around them, and they are
found fit for their present honours, because they have discharged
this office to his satisfaction, by the reports which they have
given in, containing stories of their neighbours, nay even of their
own gang. They may be ruined in the world by disclosing these,
either privately or publicly. A man who had once brought himself
into this perilous situation durst not go back. He might have been
left indeed in any degree of Illumination; and, if Religion has not
been quite eradicated from his mind, he must be in that condition
of painful anxiety and doubt that makes him desperate, fit for the
full operation of fanaticism, and he may be engaged, _in the cause
of God_, "to commit all kind of wickedness and greediness." In this
state of mind, a man shuts his eyes, and rushes on. Had Spartacus
supposed that he was dealing with good men, his conduct would have
been the reverse of all this. There is no occasion for this bond
from a person convinced of the excellency of the Order. But he knew
them to be unprincipled, and that the higher mysteries were so
daring, that even some of such men would start at them. But they
must not blab.

Having thus got rid of Religion, Spartacus could with more safety
bring into view the great aim of all his efforts--to rule the world
by means of his Order. As the immediate mean for attaining this,
he holds out the prospect of freedom from civil subordination.
Perfect Liberty and Equality are interwoven with every thing; and
the flattering thought is continually kept up, that "by the wise
contrivance of this Order, the most complete knowledge is obtained
of the real worth of every person; the Order will, _for its own
sake_, and therefore _certainly_, place every man in that situation
in which he can be most effective. The pupils are convinced that
the Order _will_ rule the world. Every member therefore becomes a
ruler." We all think ourselves qualified to rule. The difficult
task is to obey with propriety; but we are honestly generous in our
prospects of future command. It is therefore an alluring thought,
both to good and bad men. By this lure the Order will spread. If
they are active in insinuating their members into offices, and in
keeping out others, (which the private correspondence shews to have
been the case,) they may have had frequent experience of their
success in gaining an influence on the world. This must whet their
zeal. If Weishaupt was a sincere Cosmo-polite, he had the pleasure
of seeing "his work prospering in his hands."

It surely needs little argument now to prove, that the Order
of Illuminati had for its immediate object the abolishing of
Christianity, (at least this was the intention of the Founder,) with
the sole view of overturning the civil government, by introducing
universal dissoluteness and profligacy of manners, and then getting
the assistance of the corrupted subjects to overset the throne. The
whole conduct in the preparation and instruction of the Presbyter
and _Regens_ is directed to this point. Philo says, "I have been
at unwearied pains to remove the fears of some who imagine that
our Superiors want to abolish Christianity; but by and by their
prejudices will wear off, and they will be more at their ease. Were
I to let them know that our General holds all Religion to be a lie,
and uses even Deism, only to lead men by the nose--Were I to connect
myself again with the Free Masons, and tell them our designs to ruin
their Fraternity by this circular letter (a letter to the Lodge in
Courland)--Were I but to give the least hint to any of the Princes
of Greece (Bavaria)--No, my anger shall not carry me so far.--An
Order, forsooth, which in this manner abuses human nature--which
will subject men to a bondage more intolerable than Jesuitism--I
could put it on a respectable footing, and the world would be
ours. Should I mention our fundamental principles, (even after
all the pains I have been at to mitigate them,) so unquestionably
dangerous to the world, who would remain? What signifies the
innocent ceremonies of the Priest's degree, as I have composed it,
in comparison with your maxim, that we may use for a good end those
means which the wicked employ for a base purpose?"

Brutus writes, "Numenius now acquiesces in the mortality of
the soul; but, I fear we shall lose Ludovicus Bavarus. He told
Spartacus, that he was mistaken when he thought that he had
swallowed his stupid Masonry. No, he saw the trick, and did not
admire the end that required it. I don't know what to do; a _Sta
bene_ would make him mad, and he will blow us all up.

"The Order must possess the power of life and death in consequence
of our Oath; and with propriety, for the same reason, and by the
same right, that any government in the world possesses it: for the
Order comes in their place, making them unnecessary. When things
cannot be otherwise, and ruin would ensue if the Association did not
employ this mean, the Order must, as well as public rulers, employ
it for the good of mankind; therefore for its own preservation."
(N. B. Observe here the casuistry.) "Nor will the political
constitutions suffer by this, for there are always thousands equally
ready and able to supply the place."

We need not wonder that Diomedes told the Professors, "that death,
inevitable death, from which no potentate could protect them,
awaited every traitor of the Order;" nor that the French Convention
proposed to take off the German Princes and Generals by sword or
poison, &c.

Spartacus might tickle the fancy of his Order with the notion of
ruling the world; but I imagine that his own immediate object was
ruling the Order. The happiness of mankind was, like Weishaupt's
Christianity, a mere tool, a tool which the _Regentes_ made a joke
of. But Spartacus would rule the _Regentes_; this he could not
so easily accomplish. His despotism was insupportable to most of
them, and finally brought all to light. When he could not persuade
them by his own firmness, and indeed by his superior talents and
disinterestedness in other respects, and his unwearied activity,
he employed jesuitical tricks, causing them to fall out with each
other, setting them as spies on each other, and separating any two
that he saw attached to each other, by making the one a Master of
the other; and, in short, he left nothing undone that could secure
his uncontrolled command. This caused Philo to quit the Order,
and made _Bassus_, _Ton Torring_, _Kreitmaier_, and several other
gentlemen, cease attending the meetings; and it was their mutual
dissensions which made them speak too freely in public, and call on
themselves so much notice. At the time of the discovery, the party
of Weishaupt consisted chiefly of very mean people, devoted to him,
and willing to execute his orders, that by being his servants, they
might have the pleasure of commanding others.

The objects, the undoubted objects of this Association, are
surely dangerous and detestable; namely, to overturn the present
constitutions of the European States, in order to introduce a
chimera which the history of mankind shews to be contrary to the
nature of man.

  _Naturam expellas furcâ, tamen usque recurret._

Suppose it possible, and done in peace, the new system could not
stand unless every principle of activity in the human mind be
enthralled, all incitement to exertion and industry removed, and man
brought into a condition incapable of improvement; and this at the
expence of every thing that is valued by the best of men--by misery
and devastation--by loosening all the bands of society. To talk of
morality and virtue in conjunction with such schemes is an insult to
common sense; dissoluteness of manners alone can bring men to think
of it.

Is it not astonishing, therefore, to hear people in this country
express any regard for this institution? Is it not most mortifying
to think that there are Lodges of Illuminated among us? I think that
nothing bids fairer for weaning our inconsiderate countrymen from
having any connection with them, than the faithful account here
given. I hope that there are few, very few of our countrymen, and
none whom we call friend, who can think that an Order which held
such doctrines, and which practised such things, can be any thing
else than a ruinous Association, a gang of profligates. All their
professions of the love of mankind are vain; their Illumination must
be a bewildering blaze, and totally ineffectual for its purpose,
for it has had no such influence on the leaders of the band; yet it
seems quite adequate to the effects it has produced; for such are
the characters of those who forget God.

If we in the next place attend to their mode of education, and
examine it by those rules of common sense that we apply in other
cases of conduct, we shall find it equally unpromising. The system
of Illuminatism is one of the explanations of Free Masonry; and it
has gained many partisans. These explanations rest their credit
and their preference on their own merits. There is something in
themselves, or in one of them as distinguished from another, which
procures it the preference for its own sake. Therefore, to give
this Order any dependence on Free Masonry is to degrade the Order.
To introduce a Masonic Ritual into a manly institution, is to
degrade it to a frivolous amusement for great children. Men really
exerting themselves to reform the world, and qualified for the
task, must have been disgusted with such occupations. They betray a
frivolous conception of the task in which they are really engaged.
To imagine that men engaged in the struggle and rivalship of life,
under the influence of selfish, or mean, or impetuous passions,
are to be wheedled into candid sentiments, or a generous conduct,
as a froward child may sometimes be made gentle and tractable by a
rattle or humming-top, betrays a great ignorance of human nature,
and an arrogant self-conceit in those who can imagine that all but
themselves are babies. The further we proceed, the more do we see
of this _want of wisdom_. The whole procedure of their instruction
supposes such a complete surrender of freedom of thought, of common
sense, and of common caution, that it seems impossible that it
should not have alarmed every sensible mind. This indeed happened
before the Order was seven years old. It was wise indeed to keep
their _Areopagitæ_ out of sight; but who can be so silly as to
believe that their unknown Superiors were all and always faultless
men? But had they been the men they were represented to be,--If
I have any knowledge of my own heart, or any capacity of drawing
just inferences from the conduct of others, I am persuaded that the
knowing his Superiors would have animated the pupil to exertion,
that he might exhibit a pleasing spectacle to such intelligent
and worthy judges. Did not the Stoics profess themselves to be
encouraged in the scheme of life, by the thought that the immortal
Gods were looking on and passing their judgments on their manner
of acting the part assigned them? But what abject spirit will be
contented with working, zealously working, for years, after a
plan of which he is _never_ to learn the full meaning? In short,
the only knowledge that he can perceive is knowledge in its worst
form, _Cunning_. This must appear in the contrivances by which he
will soon find that he is kept in complete subjection. If he is a
true and zealous Brother, he has put himself in the power of his
Superiors by his rescripts, which they required of him on pretence
of their learning his own character, and of his learning how to
know the characters of other men. In these rescripts they have got
his thoughts on many delicate points, and on the conduct of others.
His Directors may ruin him by betraying him; and this without being
seen in it. I should think that wise men would know that none but
weak or bad men would subject themselves to such a task. They
exclude the good, the manly, the only fit persons for assisting
them in their endeavours to inform and to rule the world. Indeed I
may say that this exclusion is almost made already by connecting
the Order with Free Masonry. Lodges are not the resorts of such
men. They may sometimes be found there for an hour's relaxation.
But these places are the haunts of the young, the thoughtless, the
idle, the weak, the vain, or of designing Literati; and accordingly
this is the condition of three-fourths of the Illuminati whose
names are known to the public. I own that the reasons given to the
pupil for prescribing these tasks are artful, and well adapted
to produce their effect. During the flurry of reception, and the
glow of expectation, the danger may not be suspected; but I hardly
imagine that it will remain unperceived when the pupil sits down to
write his first lesson. Mason Lodges, however, were the most likely
places for finding and enlisting members. Young men, warmed by
declamations teeming with the flimsy moral cant of Cosmo-politism,
are in the proper frame of mind for this Illumination. It now
appears also, that the dissensions in Free Masonry must have had
great influence in promoting this scheme of Weishaupt's, which
was, in many particulars, so unpromising, because it pre-supposes
such a degradation of the mind. But when the schismatics in
Masonry disputed with warmth, trifles came to acquire unspeakable
importance. The hankering after wonder was not in the least abated
by all the tricks which had been detected, and the impossibility
of the wished-for discovery had never been demonstrated to persons
prepossessed in its favour. They still _chose_ to believe that the
symbols contained some important secret; and happy will be the man
who finds it out. The more frivolous the symbols, the more does the
heart cling to the mystery; and, to a mind in this anxious state,
Weishaupt's proffer was enticing. He laid before them a scheme which
was somewhat feasible, was magnificent, surpassing our conceptions,
but at the same time such as permitted us to expatiate on the
subject, and even to amplify it at pleasure in our imaginations
without absurdity. It does not appear to me wonderful, therefore,
that so many were fascinated till they became at last regardless
of the absurdity and inconsistency of the means by which this
splendid object was to be attained. Hear what Spartacus himself
says of hidden mysteries. "Of all the means I know to lead men,
the most effectual is a concealed mystery. The hankering of the
mind is irresistible; and if once a man has taken it into his head
that there is a mystery in a thing, it is impossible to get it out,
either by argument or experience. And then, we can so change notions
by merely changing a word. What more contemptible than _fanaticism_;
but call it _enthusiasm_; then add the little word _noble_, and
you may lead him over the world. Nor are we, in these bright days,
a bit better than our fathers, who found the pardon of their sins
mysteriously contained in a much greater sin, viz. leaving their
family, and going barefooted to Rome."

Such being the employment, and such the disciples, should we expect
the fruits to be very precious? No. The doctrines which were
gradually unfolded were such as suited those who continued in the
_Cursus Academicus_. Those who did not, because they did not like
them, got a _Sta bene_; they were not fit for advancement. The
numbers however were great; Spartacus boasted of 600 in Bavaria
alone in 1783. We don't know many of them; few of those we know
were in the upper ranks of life; and I can see that it required
much wheedling, and many letters of long worded German compliments
from the proud Spartacus, to win even a young Baron or a Graf just
come of age. Men in an easy situation in life could not brook the
employment of a spy, which is base, cowardly, and corrupting, and
has in all ages and countries degraded the person who engages in
it. Can the person be called wise who thus enslaves himself? Such
persons give up the right of private judgment, and rely on their
unknown Superiors with the blindest and most abject confidence.
For their sakes, and to rivet still faster their own fetters,
they engage in the most corrupting of all employments--and for
what?--To learn something more of an Order, of which every degree
explodes the doctrine of a former one. Would it have hurt the young
_Illuminatus_ to have it explained to him all at once? Would not
this fire his mind--when he sees with the same glance the great
object, and the fitness of the means for attaining it? Would not
the exalted characters of the Superiors, so much excelling himself
in talents, and virtue, and happiness, (otherwise the Order is good
for nothing,) warm his heart, and fill him with emulation, since
he sees in them, that what is so strongly preached to him is an
attainable thing? No, no--it is all a trick; he must be kept like
a child, amused with rattles, and stars, and ribands--and all the
satisfaction he obtains is, like the Masons, the diversion of seeing
others running the same gauntlet.

Weishaupt acknowledges that the great influence of the Order may be
abused. Surely, in no way so easily or so fatally as by corrupting
or seductive lessons in the beginning. The mistake or error of
the pupil is undiscoverable by himself, (according to the genuine
principles of Illumination,) for the pupil must believe his Mentor
to be infallible--with him alone he is connected--his lessons only
must he learn. Who can tell him that he has gone wrong--or who can
set him right?

Here, therefore, there is confusion and deficiency. There must be
some standard to which appeal can be made; but this is inaccessible
to all within the pale of the Order; it is therefore without this
pale, and independent of the Order--and it is attainable only by
abandoning the Order. The QUIBUS LICET, the PRIMO, the SOLI, can
procure no light to the person who does not know that he has been
led out of the right road to virtue and happiness. The Superiors
indeed draw much useful information from these reports, though they
affect to stand in no need of it, and they make a cruel return.

All this is so much out of the natural road of instruction, that,
on this account alone, we may presume that it is wrong. We are
generally safe when we follow nature's plans. A child learns in
his father's house, by seeing, and by imitating, and in common
domestic education, he gets much useful knowledge, and the chief
habits which are afterwards to regulate his conduct. Example
does almost every thing; and, with respect to what may be called
living, as distinguishable from profession, speculation and
argumentative instruction are seldom employed, or of any use. The
indispensableness of mutual forbearance and obedience, for domestic
peace and happiness, forms most of these habits; and the child,
under good parents, is kept in a situation that makes virtue easier
than vice, and he becomes wise and good without any express study
about the matter.

But this Illumination plan is darkness over all--it is too
artificial--and the topics, from which counsel is to be drawn,
cannot be taken from the peculiar views of the Order--for these are
yet a secret for the pupil--and must ever be a secret for him while
under tuition. They must therefore be drawn from common sources, and
the Order is of no use; all that can naturally be effectuated by
this Association is the forming, and assiduously fostering a narrow,
Jewish, corporation spirit, totally opposite to the benevolent
pretensions of the Order. The pupil can see nothing but this, that
there is a set of men, whom he does not know, who may acquire
incontroulable power, and may perhaps make use of him, but for what
purpose, and in what way, he does not know; how can he know that his
endeavours are to make man happier, any other way than as he might
have known it without having put this collar round his own neck?

These reflections address themselves to all men who profess to
conduct themselves by the principles and dictates of common sense
and prudence, and who have the ordinary share of candour and
good-will to others. It requires no singular sensibility of heart,
nor great generosity, to make such people think the doctrines and
views of the Illuminati false, absurd, foolish, and ruinous. But I
hope that I address them to thousands of my countrymen and friends,
who have much higher notions of human nature, and who cherish with
care the affections and the hopes that are suited to a rational, a
benevolent, and a high-minded being, capable of endless improvement.

To those who enjoy the cheering confidence in the superintendance
and providence of God, who consider themselves as creatures whom
he has made, and whom he cares for, as the subjects of his moral
government, this Order must appear with every character of falsehood
and absurdity on its countenance. What CAN BE MORE IMPROBABLE than
this, that He, whom we look up to as the contriver, the maker,
and director of this goodly frame of things, should have so far
mistaken his own plans, that this world of rational creatures should
have subsisted for thousands of years, before a way could be found
out, by which his intention of making men good and happy could be
accomplished; and that this method did not occur to the great Artist
himself, nor even to the wisest, and happiest, and best men upon
earth; but to a few insignificant persons at Munich in Bavaria,
who had been trying to raise ghosts, to change lead into gold, to
tell fortunes, or discover treasures, but had failed in all their
attempts; men who had been engaged for years in every whim which
characterises a weak, a greedy, or a gloomy mind? Finding all these
beyond their reach, they combined their powers, and, at once, found
out this infinitely more important SECRET--for secret it must still
be, otherwise not only the Deity, but even these philosophers, will
still be disappointed.

Yet this is the doctrine that must be swallowed by the Minervals and
the _Illuminati Minores_, to whom it is not yet safe to disclose
the grand secret, _that there is no such superintendance of Deity_.
At last, however, when the pupil has conceived such exalted notions
of the knowledge of his teachers, and such low notions of the
blundering projector of this world, it may be no difficult matter
to persuade him that all his former notions were only old wives
tales. By this time he must have heard much about superstition, and
how men's minds have been dazzled by this splendid picture of a
Providence and a moral government of the universe. It now appears
incompatible with the great object of the Order, the principles of
universal liberty and equality--it is therefore rejected without
farther examination, for this reason alone. This was precisely the
argument used in France for rejecting revealed religion. It was
incompatible with their Rights of Man.

It is richly worth observing how this principle can warp the
judgment, and give quite another appearance to the same object. The
reader will not be displeased with a most remarkable instance of it,
which I beg leave to give at length.

Our immortal Newton, whom the philosophers of Europe look up to as
the honour of our species, whom even Mr. Bailly, the President of
the National Assembly of France, and Mayor of Paris, cannot find
words sufficiently energetic to praise; this patient, sagacious,
and successful observer of nature, after having exhibited to the
wondering world the characteristic property of that principle of
material nature by which all the bodies of the solar system are made
to form a connected and permanent universe; and after having shown
that this law of action alone was adapted to this end, and that
if gravity had deviated but one thousandth part from the inverse
duplicate ratio of the distances, the system must, in the course of
a very few revolutions, have gone into confusion and ruin--he sits
down, and views the goodly scene,--and then closes his Principles of
Natural Philosophy with this reflection (his _Scholium generale_):

"This most elegant frame of things could not have arisen, unless
by the contrivance and the direction of a wise and powerful Being;
and if the fixed stars are the centres of systems, these systems
must be similar; and all these, constructed according to the same
plan, are subject to the government of _one_ Being. All these
he governs, not as the soul of the world, but as the Lord of
all; therefore, on account of his government, he is called the
Lord God--_Pantokrator_; for God is a relative term, and refers
to subjects. Deity is God's government, not of his own body, as
those think who consider him as the soul of the world, but of his
servants. The supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely
perfect. But a being, however perfect, without government, is not
God; for we say, _my_ God, your God, the God of Israel. We cannot
say _my_ eternal, _my_ infinite. We may have some notions indeed of
his attributes, but can have none of his nature. With respect to
bodies, we see only shapes and colour--hear only sounds--touch only
surfaces. These are attributes of bodies; but of their essence we
know nothing. As a blind man can form no notion of colours, we can
form none of the manner in which God perceives, and understands, and
influences every thing.

"Therefore we know God only by his attributes. What are these? The
wise and excellent contrivance, structure, and final aim of all
things. In these his perfections we admire him, and we wonder. In
his direction or government, we venerate and worship him--we worship
him as his servants; and God, without dominion, without providence,
and final aims, is Fate--not the object either of reverence, of
hope, of love, or of fear."

But mark the emotions which affected the mind of another excellent
observer of Nature, the admirer of Newton, and the person who has
put the finishing stroke to the Newtonian philosophy, by showing
that the acceleration of the moon's mean motion, is the genuine
result of a gravitation decreasing in the precise duplicate ratio
of the distance inversely; I mean Mr. Delaplace, one of the most
brilliant ornaments of the French academy of sciences. He has
lately published the _Systeme du Monde_, a most beautiful compend
of astronomy and of the Newtonian philosophy. Having finished
his work with the same observation, "That a gravitation inversely
proportional to the squares of the distances was the only principle
which could unite material Nature into a permanent system;" _he_
also sits down--surveys the scene--points out the parts which
he had brought within our ken--and then makes this reflection:
"Beheld in its totality, astronomy is the noblest monument of the
human mind, its chief title to intelligence. But, seduced by the
illusions of sense, and by self-conceit, we have long considered
ourselves as the centre of these motions; and our pride has been
punished by the groundless fears which we have created to ourselves.
We imagine, forsooth, that all this is for us, and that the stars
influence our destinies! But the labours of ages have convinced us
of our error, and we find ourselves on an insignificant planet,
almost imperceptible in the immensity of space. But the sublime
discoveries we have made richly repay this humble situation. Let us
cherish these with care, as the delight of thinking beings--they
have destroyed our mistakes as to our relation to the rest of the
universe; errors which were the more fatal, because the social
Order depends on justice and truth alone. Far be from us the
dangerous maxim, that it is sometimes useful to depart from these,
and to deceive men, in order to insure their happiness; but cruel
experience has shewn us that these laws are never totally extinct."

There can be no doubt as to the meaning of these last words--they
cannot relate to astrology--this was entirely out of date. The
"attempts to deceive men, in order to insure their happiness,"
can only be those by which we are made to think too highly of
ourselves. "Inhabitants of this pepper-corn, we think ourselves
the peculiar favourites of Heaven, nay the chief objects of care
to a Being, the Maker of all; and then we imagine that, after this
life, we are to be happy or miserable, according as we accede or
not to this subjugation to opinions which enslave us. But truth and
justice have broken these bonds."--But where is the force of the
argument which entitles this perfecter of the Newtonian philosophy
to exult so much? It all rests on this, That this earth is but as
a grain of mustard-seed. Man would be more worth attention had he
inhabited Jupiter or the Sun. Thus may a Frenchman look down on the
noble creatures who inhabit Orolong or Pelew. But whence arises
the absurdity of the intellectual inhabitants of this pepper-corn
being a proper object of attention? it is because our shallow
comprehensions cannot, at the same glance, see an extensive scene,
and perceive its most minute detail.

David, a King, and a soldier, had some notions of this kind. The
heavens, it is true, pointed out to him a Maker and Ruler, which
is more than they seem to have done to the Gallic philosopher;
but David was afraid that he would be forgotten in the crowd, and
cries out, "Lord what is man that thou art mindful of _him_?" But
David gets rid of his fears, not by becoming a philosopher, and
discovering all this to be absurd,--he would still be forgotten,--he
at once thinks of what he is--a noble creature--high in the scale
of nature. "But," says he, "I had forgotten myself. Thou hast made
man but a little lower than the angels--thou hast crowned him with
glory and honour--thou hast put all things under his feet." Here are
exalted sentiments, fit for the creature whose ken pierces through
the immensity of the visible universe, and who sees his relation to
the universe, being nearly allied to its Sovereign, and capable of
rising continually in his rank, by cultivating those talents which
distinguish and adorn it.

Thousands, I trust, there are, who think that this life is but
a preparation for another, in which the mind of man will have
the whole wonders of creation and of providence laid open to its
enraptured view--where it will see and comprehend with one glance
what Newton, the most patient and successful of all the observers
of nature, took years of meditation to find out--where it will
attain that pitch of wisdom, goodness, and enjoyment, of which our
consciences tell us we are capable, though it far surpasses that of
the wisest, the best, and the happiest of men. Such persons will
consider this Order as degrading and detestable, and as in direct
opposition to their most confident expectations: For it pretends
to what is impossible, to perfect peace and happiness in this
life. They believe, and they feel, that man must be made perfect
through sufferings, which shall call into action powers of mind
that otherwise would never have unfolded themselves--powers which
are frequently sources of the purest and most soothing pleasures,
and naturally make us rest our eyes and hopes on that state where
every tear shall be wiped away, and where the kind affections shall
become the never-failing sources of pure and unfading delight. Such
persons see the palpable absurdity of a preparation which is equally
necessary for all, and yet must be confined to the minds of a few,
who have the low and indelicate appetite for frivolous play-things,
and for gross sensual pleasures. Such minds will turn away from this
boasted treat with loathing and abhorrence.

I am well aware that some of my readers may smile at this, and think
it an enthusiastical working up of the imagination, similar to what
I reprobate in the case of Utopian happiness in a state of universal
Liberty and Equality. It is like, they will say, to the declamation
in a sermon by persons of the trade, who are trained up to finesse,
by which they allure and tickle weak minds.

I acknowledge that in the present case I do not address myself to
the cold hearts, who contentedly

  "_Sink and slumber in their cells of clay_;"

----Peace to all such;----but to the "_felices animæ, quibus hæc
cognoscere cura_;"--to those who _have enjoyed_ the pleasures of
science, who have been successful--who have made discoveries--who
have really illuminated the world--to the Bacons, the Newtons,
the Lockes.--Allow me to mention one, Daniel Bernoulli, the most
elegant mathematician, the only philosopher, and the most worthy
man, of that celebrated family. He said to a gentleman, (Dr.
Staehling,) who repeated it to me, that "when reading some of those
wonderful guesses of Sir Isaac Newton, the subsequent demonstration
of which has been the chief source of fame to his most celebrated
commentators--his mind has sometimes been so overpowered by
thrilling emotions, that he has wished that moment to be his last;
and that it was this which gave him the clearest conception of the
happiness of heaven." If such delightful emotions could be excited
by the perception of mere truth, what must they be when each of
these truths is an instance of wisdom, and when we recollect, that
what we call wisdom in the works of nature, is always the nice
adaptation of means for producing _beneficent_ ends; and that each
of these affecting qualities is susceptible of degrees which are
boundless, and exceed our highest conceptions? What can this complex
emotion or feeling be but rapture? But Bernoulli is a Doctor of
Theology--and therefore a suspicious person, perhaps one of the
combination hired by despots to enslave us. I will take another man,
a gentleman of rank and family, a soldier, who often signalised
himself as a naval commander--who at one time forced his way through
a powerful fleet of the Venetians with a small squadron, and brought
relief to a distressed garrison. I would desire the reader to peruse
the conclusion of Sir Kenhelm Digby's _Treatises on Body and Mind_;
and after having reflected on the state of science at the time this
author wrote, let him coolly weigh the incitements to manly conduct
which this soldier finds in the differences observed between body
and mind; and then let him say, on his conscience, whether they are
more feeble than those which he can draw from the eternal sleep of
death. If he thinks that they are--he is in the proper frame for
initiation into Spartacus's higher mysteries. He may be either MAGUS
or REX.

Were this a proper place for considering the question as a question
of science or truth, I would say, that every man who has been a
_successful_ student of nature, and who will rest his conclusions
on the same maxims of probable reasoning that have procured him
success in his past researches, will consider it as next to certain
that there is another state of existence for rational man. For he
must own, that if this be not the case, there is a most singular
exception to a proposition which the whole course of his experience
has made him consider as a truth founded on universal induction,
viz. that _nature accomplishes all her plans_, and that every class
of beings attains all the improvement of which it is capable. Let
him but turn his thoughts inward, he will feel that his intellect
is capable of improvement, in comparison with which Newton is but a
child. I could pursue this argument very far, and (I think) warm the
heart of every man whom I should wish to call my friend.

What opinion will be formed of this Association by the modest, the
lowly-minded, the candid, who acknowledge that they too often feel
the superior force of present and sensible pleasures, by which their
minds are drawn off from the contemplation of what their consciences
tell them to be right,--to be their dutiful and filial sentiments
and emotions respecting their great and good Parent--to be their
dutiful and neighbourly affections, and their proper conduct to all
around them--and which diminish their veneration for that purity
of thought and moderation of appetite which becomes their noble
natures? What must _they_ think of this Order? Conscious of frequent
faults, which would offend themselves if committed by their dearest
children, they look up to their Maker with anxiety--are grieved
to have so far forgotten their duty, and fearful that they may
again forget it. Their painful experience tells them that their
reason is often too weak, their information too scanty, or its
light is obstructed by passion and prejudices, which distort and
discolour every thing; or it is unheeded during their attention to
present objects. Happy should they be, if it should please their
kind Parent to remind them of their duty from time to time, or to
influence their mind in any way that would compensate for their
own ignorance, their own weakness, or even their indolence and
neglect. They dare not expect such a favour, which their modesty
tells them they do not deserve, and which they fear may be unfit
to be granted; but when such a comfort is held out to them, with
eager hearts they receive it--they bless the kindness that granted
it, and the hand that brings it.----Such amiable characters have
appeared in all ages, and in all situations of mankind. They have
not in all instances been wise--often have they been precipitate,
and have too readily caught at any thing which pretended to give
them the so much wished-for assistances; and, unfortunately, there
have been enthusiasts, or villains, who have taken advantage of
this, universal wish of anxious man; and the world has been darkened
by cheats, who have misrepresented God to mankind, have filled us
with vain terrors, and have then quieted our fears by fines, and
sacrifices, and mortifications, and services, which they said were
more than sufficient to expiate all our faults. Thus was our duty
to our neighbour, to our own dignity, and to our Maker and Parent,
kept out of sight, and religion no longer came in aid to our sense
of right and wrong; but, on the contrary, by these superstitions it
opened the doors of heaven to the worthless and the wicked.--But I
wish not to speak of these men, but of the good, the candid, the
MODEST, the HUMBLE, who know their failings, who love their duties,
but wish to know, to perceive, and to love them still more. These
are they who think and believe that "the Gospel has brought life and
immortality to light," that is, within their reach. They think it
worthy of the Father of mankind, and they receive it with thankful
hearts, admiring above all things the simplicity of its morality,
comprehended in one sentence, "Do to another what you can reasonably
wish that another should do to you," and THAT PURITY OF THOUGHT
ground of resignation under the troubles of life, and a support
in the hour of death, quite suited to the diffidence or their own
character. Such men are ready to grant that the Stoics were persons
of noble and exalted minds, and that they had worthy conceptions
of the rank of man in the scale of God's works; but they confess
that they themselves do not feel all that support from Stoical
principles which man too frequently needs; and they say that they
are not singular in their opinions, but that the bulk of mankind are
prevented, by their want of heroic fortitude, by their situation, or
their want of the opportunities of cultivating their native strength
of mind, from ever attaining this hearty submission to the will of
the Deity. They maintain, that the Stoics were but a few, a very
few, from among many millions--and therefore _their_ being satisfied
was but a trifle amidst the general discontent, and anxiety,
and despair.--Such men will most certainly start back from this
Illumination with horror and fright--from a Society which gives the
lie to their fondest expectations, makes a sport of their grounds
of hope, and of their deliverer; and which, after laughing at their
credulity, bids them shake off all religion whatever, and denies the
existence of that Supreme Mind, the pattern of all excellence, who
till now had filled their thoughts with admiration and love--from
an Order which pretends to free them from spiritual bondage, and
then lays on their necks a load ten times more oppressive and
intolerable, from which they have no power of ever escaping. Men
of sense and virtue will spurn at such a proposal; and even the
profligate, who trade with Deity, must be sensible that they will be
better off with their priests, whom they know, and among whom they
may make a selection of such as will with patience and gentleness
clear up their doubts, calm their fears, and encourage their hopes.

And all good men, all lovers of peace and of justice, will abhor
and reject the thought of overturning the present constitution of
things, faulty as it may be, merely in the endeavour to establish
another, which the vices of mankind may subvert again in a
twelvemonth. They must see, that in order to gain their point,
the proposers have found it necessary to destroy the grounds of
morality, by permitting the most wicked means for accomplishing any
end that our fancy, warped by passion or interest, may represent
to us as of great importance. They see, that instead of morality,
vice must prevail, and that therefore there is no security for
the continuance of this Utopian felicity; and, in the mean time,
desolation and misery must lay the world waste during the struggle,
and half of those for whom we are striving will be swept from the
face of the earth. We have but to look to France, where in eight
years there have been more executions and spoliations and distresses
of every kind by the _pouvoir revolutionnaire_, than can be found in
the long records of that despotic monarchy.

There is nothing in the whole constitution of the Illuminati that
strikes me with more horror than the proposals of Hercules and
Minos to enlist the women in this shocking warfare with all that
"is good, and pure, and lovely, and of good report." They could not
have fallen on any expedient that will be more effectual and fatal.
If any of my countrywomen shall honour these pages with a reading,
I would call on them, in the most earnest manner, to consider this
as an affair of the utmost importance to themselves. I would conjure
them by the regard they have for their own dignity, and for their
rank in society, to join against these enemies of human nature and
profligate degraders of the sex; and I would assure them that the
present state of things almost puts it in their power to be the
saviours of the world. But if they are remiss, and yield to the
seduction, they will fall from that high state to which they have
arisen in Christian Europe, and again sink into that insignificancy
or slavery in which the sex is found in all ages and countries out
of the hearing of Christianity.

I hope that my countrywomen will consider this solemn address to
them as a proof of the high esteem in which I hold them. They will
not be offended then if, in this season of alarm and anxiety, when
I wish to impress their minds with a serious truth, I shall wave
ceremony, which is always designing, and speak of them in honest but
decent plainness.

Man is immersed in luxury. Our accommodations are now so numerous
that every thing is pleasure. Even in very sober situations in
this highly-cultivated Society, there is hardly a thing that
remains in the form of a necessary of life, or even of a mere
conveniency--every thing is ornamented--it must not appear of
use--it must appear as giving some sensible pleasure. I do not
say this by way of blaming--it is nature--man is a refining
creature, and our most boasted acquirements are but refinements
on our necessary wants. Our hut becomes a palace, our blanket a
fine dress, and our arts become sciences. This discontent with the
natural condition of things, and this disposition to refinement,
is a characteristic of our species, and is the great employment
of our lives. The direction which this propensity chances to take
in any age or nation, marks its character in the most conspicuous
and interesting manner. All have it in some degree, and it is very
conceivable that, in some, it may constitute the chief object of
attention. If this be the case in any nations, it is surely most
likely to be so in those where the accommodations of life are the
most numerous--therefore in a rich and luxurious nation. I may
surely, without exaggeration or reproach, give that appellation to
our own nation at this moment. If you do not go to the very lowest
class of people, who must labour all day, is it not the chief object
of all to procure _perceptible pleasure_ in one way or another? The
sober and busy struggle in the thoughts and hopes of getting the
means of enjoying the _comforts_ of life without farther labour--and
many have no other object than pleasure.

Then let us reflect that it is woman that is to _grace_ the
whole.--It is in nature, it is the very constitution of man, that
woman, and every thing connected with woman, must appear as the
ornament of life. That this mixes with every other social sentiment,
appears from the conduct of our species in all ages and in every
situation. This I presume would be the case even though there were
no qualities in the sex to justify it. This sentiment respecting
the sex is necessary, in order to rear so helpless, so nice, and so
improveable a creature as man; without it, the long abiding task
could not be performed:--and I think that I may venture to say
that it is performed in the different states of society nearly in
proportion as this preparatory and indispensable sentiment is in

On the other hand, I think it no less evident that it is the
desire of the women to be agreeable to the men, and that they will
model themselves according to what they think will please. Without
this adjustment of sentiments by nature, nothing would go on. We
never observe any such want of symmetry in the works of God. If,
therefore, those who take the lead, and give the fashion in society,
were wise and virtuous, I have no doubt but that the women would set
the brightest pattern of every thing that is excellent. But if the
men are nice and fastidious sensualists, the women will be refined
and elegant voluptuaries.

There is no deficiency in the female mind, either in talents or
in dispositions; nor can we say with certainty that there is any
subject of intellectual or moral discussion in which women have
not excelled. If the delicacy of their constitution, and other
physical causes, allow the female sex a smaller share of some mental
powers, they possess others in a superior degree, which are no
less respectable in their own nature, and of as great importance
to society. Instead of descanting at large on their powers of
mind, and supporting my assertions by the instances of a Hypatia,
a Schurman, a Zenobia, an Elizabeth, &c. I may repeat the account
given of the sex by a person of uncommon experience, who saw them
without disguise, or any motive that could lead them to play a
feigned part--Mr. Ledyard, who traversed the greatest part of the
world, for the mere indulgence of his taste for observation of human
nature; generally in want, and often in extreme misery.

"I have (says he) always remarked that women, in all countries, are
civil, obliging, tender, and humane: that they are ever inclined
to be gay and cheerful, timorous and modest; and that they do not
hesitate, like men, to perform a kind or generous action.--Not
haughty, not arrogant, not supercilious, they are full of courtesy,
and fond of society--more liable in general to err than man, but
in general, also, more virtuous, and performing more good actions
than he. To a woman, whether civilized or savage, I never addressed
myself in the language of decency and friendship--without receiving
a decent and friendly answer--with man it has often been otherwise.

"In wandering over the barren plains of inhospitable Denmark,
through honest Sweden, and frozen Lapland, rude and churlish
Finland, unprincipled Russia, and the wide spread regions of the
wandering Tartar,--if hungry, dry, cold, wet, or sick, the women
have ever been friendly to me, and uniformly so; and to add to this
virtue, (so worthy of the appellation of benevolence,) these actions
have been performed in so free and so kind a manner, that if I was
thirsty, I drank the sweetest draught, and if hungry, I ate the
coarse meal with a double relish."

And these are they whom Weishaupt would corrupt! One of these,
whom he had embraced with fondness, would he have murdered, to
save his honour, and qualify himself to preach virtue! But let us
not be too severe on Weishaupt--let us wash ourselves clear of all
stain before we think of reprobating him. Are we not guilty in
some degree, when we do not cultivate in the women those powers of
mind, and those dispositions of heart, which would equally dignify
them in every station as in those humble ranks in which Mr. Ledyard
most frequently saw them? I cannot think that we do this. They
are not only to _grace_ the whole of cultivated society, but it
is in their faithful and affectionate personal attachment that we
are to find the sweetest pleasures that life can give. Yet in all
these situations where the manner in which they are treated is not
dictated by the stern laws of necessity, are they not trained up
for mere amusement--are not serious occupations considered as a
task which hurts their loveliness? What is this but selfishness,
or as if they had no virtues worth cultivating? Their _business_
is supposed to be the ornamenting themselves, as if nature did
not dictate this to them already, with at least as much force as
is necessary. Every thing is prescribed to them _because it makes
them more lovely_--even their moral lessons are enforced by this
argument, and Miss Woolstoncraft is perfectly right when she says
that the fine lessons given to young women by Fordyce or Rousseau
are nothing but selfish and refined voluptuousness. This advocate
of her sex puts her sisters in the proper point of view, when
she tells them that they are, like man, the subjects of God's
moral government,--like man, preparing themselves for boundless
improvement in a better state of existence. Had she adhered to
this view of the matter, and kept it constantly in sight, her book
(which doubtless contains many excellent things, highly deserving
of their serious consideration) would have been a most valuable
work. She justly observes, that the virtues of the sex are great and
respectable, but that in our mad chace of pleasure, only pleasure,
they are little thought of or attended to. Man trusts to his own
uncontroulable power, or to the general goodness of the sex, that
their virtues will appear when we have occasion for them;--"but we
will send for these some other time:"--Many noble displays do they
make of the most difficult attainments. Such is the patient bearing
up under misfortunes, which has no brilliancy to support it in the
effort. This is more difficult than braving danger in an active and
conspicuous situation. How often is a woman left with a family, and
the shattered remains of a fortune, lost perhaps by dissipation
or by indolence--and how seldom, how very seldom, do we see woman
shrink from the task, or discharge it with negligence? Is it not
therefore folly next to madness, not to be careful of this our
greatest blessing--of things which so nearly concern our peace--nor
guard ourselves, and these our best companions and friends, from
the effects of this fatal Illumination? It has indeed brought to
light what dreadful lengths men will go, when under the fanatical
and dazzling glare of happiness in a state of liberty and equality,
and spurred on by insatiable luxury, and not held in check by moral
feelings and the restraints of religion--and mark, reader, that
the women have here also taken the complexion of the men, and have
even gone beyond them. If we have seen a son present himself to the
National Assembly of France, professing his satisfaction with the
execution of his father three days before, and declaring himself a
true citizen, who prefers the nation to all other considerations; we
have also seen, on the same day, wives denouncing their husbands,
and (O shocking to human nature!) mothers denouncing their sons,
as bad citizens and traitors. Mark too what return the women have
met with for all their horrid services, where, to express their
sentiments of civism and abhorrence of royalty, they threw away
the character of their sex, and bit the amputated limbs of their
murdered countrymen[10]. Surely these patriotic women merited that
the rights of their sex should be considered in full council, and
they were well entitled to a seat; but there is not a single act of
their government in which the sex is considered as having any rights
whatever, or that they are things to be cared for.

  [10] I say this on the authority of a young gentleman, an emigrant,
  who saw it, and who said, that they were women, not of the dregs of
  the Palais Royal, nor of infamous character, but well dressed.--I am
  sorry to add, that the relation, accompanied with looks of horror
  and disgust, only provoked a contemptuous smile from an illuminated
  British Fair-one.

Are not the accursed fruits of Illumination to be seen in the
present humiliating condition of woman in France? pampered in
every thing that can reduce them to the mere instruments of animal
pleasure. In their present state of national moderation (as they
call it) and security, see Madame Tallien come into the public
theatre, accompanied by other _beautiful_ women, (I was about to
have misnamed them Ladies,) laying aside all modesty, and presenting
themselves to the public view, with bared limbs, _à la Sauvage_, as
the alluring objects of desire. I make no doubt but that this is a
serious matter, encouraged, nay, prompted by government. To keep the
minds of the Parisians in the present fever of dissolute gaiety,
they are at more expence from the national treasury for the support
of the sixty theatres, than all the pensions and honorary offices
in Britain, three times told, amount to. Was not their abominable
farce in the church of Notre Dame a bate of the same kind in the
true spirit of Weishaupt's _Eroterion_? "We do not," said the
high priest, "call you to the worship of inanimate idols. Behold a
master-piece of nature, (lifting up the veil which concealed the
naked charms of the beautiful Madms. Barbier): This sacred image
should inflame all hearts." And it did so; the people shouted out,
"No more altars, no more priests, no God but the God of Nature."

Orleans, the first prince of the blood, did not scruple to
prostitute his daughter, if not to the embraces, yet to the wanton
view of the public, with the precise intention of inflaming their
desires. (See the account given of the dinners at Sillery's, by
Camille Desmoulines, in his speech against the Brissotins.) But
what will be the end of all this? The fondlings of the wealthy will
be pampered in all the indulgences which fastidious voluptuousness
finds necessary for varying or enhancing its pleasures; but they
will either be slighted as toys, or they will be immured; and the
companions of the poor will be drudges and slaves.

I am fully persuaded that it was the enthusiastic admiration of
Grecian democracy that recommended to the French nation the dress
_à la Grecque_, which exhibits not the elegant, ornamented beauty,
but the alluring female, fully as well as Madame Tallien's dress _à
la Sauvage_. It was no doubt with the same adherence to _serious
principle_, that Mademoiselle Therouanne was most beautifully
dressed _à l'Amazonne_ on the 5th of October 1789, when she turned
the heads of so many young officers of the regiments at Versailles.
The Cythera, the _hominum divunque voluptas_, at the cathedral of
Notre Dame, was also dressed _à la Grecque_: There is a most evident
and characteristic change in the whole system of female dress in
France. The _Filles de l'Opera_ always gave the _ton_, and were
surely withheld by no rigid principle. They sometimes produced very
extravagant and fantastic forms, but these were almost always in
the style of the highest ornament, and they trusted, for the rest
of the impression which they wished to make, to the fascinating
expression of elegant movements. This indeed was wonderful, and
hardly conceivable by any who have not seen a grand ballet performed
by good actors. I have shed tears of the most sincere and tender
sorrow during the exhibition of Antigone, set to music by Traëtta,
and performed by Madame Meilcour and S^{re} Torelli, and Zantini.
I can easily conceive the impression to be still stronger, though
perhaps of another kind, when the former superb dresses are changed
for the expressive simplicity of the Grecian. I cannot help
thinking that the female ornaments in the rest of Europe, and even
among ourselves, have less elegance since we lost the sanction of
the French court. But see how all this will terminate, when we
shall have brought the sex so low, and will not even wait for a
Mahometan paradise. What can we expect but such a dissoluteness of
manners, that the endearing ties of relation and family, and mutual
confidence within doors, will be slighted, and will cease; and every
man must stand up for himself, single and alone?

    _Foecunda culpæ sæcula nuptias
    Primum inquinavêre, et genus, et domos.
      Hoc fonte derivata clades
        In patriam populumque fluxit._

    HOR. iii. 6. 17.

This is not the suggestion of prudish fear, I think it is the
natural course of things, and that France is at this moment giving
to the world the fullest proof of Weishaupt's sagacity, and the
judgment with which he has formed his plans. Can it tend to the
improvement of our morals or manners to have our ladies frequent the
gymnastic theatres, and see them decide, like the Roman matrons, on
the merits of a naked gladiator or wrestler? Have we not enough of
this already with our vaulters and posture-masters, and should we
admire any lady who had a rage for such spectacles? Will it improve
our taste to have our rooms ornamented with such paintings and
sculptures as filled the cenaculum, and the study of the refined and
elegant moralist Horace, who had the art--_ridendo dicere verum_?
Shall we be improved when such indulgences are thought compatible
with such lessons as he generally gives for the conduct of life? The
pure Morality of Illuminatism is now employed in stripping Italy
of all those precious remains of ancient art and voluptuousness;
and Paris will ere long be the deposit and the resort of artists
from all nations, there to study the works of ancient masters, and
to return from thence panders of public corruption. The plan is
masterly, and the low-born Statesmen and Generals of France may in
this respect be set on a level with a Colbert or a Condé. But the
consequences of this Gallic dominion over the minds of fallen man
will be as dreadful as their dominion over their lives and fortunes.

Recollect in what manner Spartacus proposed to corrupt his sisters
(for we need not speak of the manner in which he expected that
this would promote his plan--this is abundantly plain). It was by
destroying their moral sentiments, and their sentiments of religion.
Recollect what is the recommendation that the Atheist Minos gives
of his step-daughters, when he speaks of them, as proper persons
for the Lodge of Sisters. "They have got over all prejudices, and,
in matters of religion they think as I do." These profligates
judged rightly that this affair required much caution, and that the
utmost attention to decency, and even delicacy, must be observed
in their rituals and ceremonies, otherwise the women would be
_disgusted_. This was judging fairly of the feelings of a female
mind. But they judged falsely, and only according to their own
coarse experience, when they attributed their _disgust_ and their
fears to coyness. Coyness is indeed the instinctive attribute of the
female. In woman it is very great, and it is perhaps the genuine
source of the disgust of which the Illuminati were suspicious. But
they have been dim-sighted indeed, or very unfortunate in their
acquaintance, if they never observed any other source of repugnance
in the mind of woman to what is immoral or immodest--if they did
not see dislike--moral disapprobation. Do they mean to insinuate,
that in that regard which modest women express in all their words
and actions, for what every one understands by the terms decency,
modesty, and the disapprobation of every thing that violates those
feelings, the women only show female coyness? Then are they very
blind instructors. But they are not so blind. The account given of
the initiation of a young Sister at Frankfort, under the feigned
name _Psycharion_, shows the most scrupulous attention to the moral
feelings of the sex; and the confusion and disturbance which,
after all their care, it occasioned among the ladies, shows, that
when they thought all right and delicate, they had been but coarse
judges. Minos damns the ladies there, because they are too free,
too rich, too republican, and too wise, for being led about by the
nose (this is his own expression). But Philo certainly thought more
correctly of the sex in general, when he says, Truth is a modest
girl: She may be handed about like a lady, by good sense and good
manners, but must not be bullied and driven about like a strumpet.
I would here insert the discourses or addresses which were made on
that occasion to the different classes of the assembly, girls, young
ladies, wives, young men, and strangers, which are really ingenious
and well composed, were they not such as would offend my fair

The religious sentiments by which mortals are to be assisted,
even in the discharge of their moral duties, and still more, the
sentiments which are purely religious, and have no reference to any
thing here, are precisely those which are most easily excited in the
mind of woman. Affection, admiration, filial reverence, are, if I
mistake not exceedingly, those in which the women far surpass the
men; and it is on this account that we generally find them so much
disposed to devotion, which is nothing but a sort of fond indulgence
of those affections without limit to the imagination. The enraptured
devotee pours out her soul in expressions of these feelings, just as
a fond mother mixes the caresses given to her child with the most
extravagant expressions of love. The devotee even endeavours to
excite higher degrees of these affections, by expatiating on such
circumstances in the divine conduct with respect to man as naturally
awaken them; and he does this without any fear of exceeding; because
Infinite Wisdom and Goodness will always justify the sentiment,
and free the expression of it from all charge of hyperbole or

I am convinced, therefore, that the female mind is well adapted to
cultivation by means of religion, and that their native softness
and kindness of heart will always be sufficient for procuring it a
favourable reception from them. It is therefore with double regret
that I see any of them join in the arrogant pretensions of our
Illuminated philosophers, who see no need of such assistances for
the knowledge and discharge of their duties. There is nothing so
unlike that general modesty of thought, and that diffidence, which
we are disposed to think the character of the female mind. I am
inclined to think, that such deviations from the general conduct of
the sex are marks of a harsher character, of a heart that has less
sensibility, and is on the whole less amiable than that of others.
Yet it must be owned that there are some such among us. Much, if not
the whole of this perversion, has, I am persuaded, been owing to the
contagion of bad example in the men. They are made familiar with
such expressions--their first horror is gone, and (would to heaven
that I were mistaken!) some of them have already wounded their
consciences to such a degree, that they have some reason to wish
that religion may be without foundation.

But I would call upon all, and _these_ women in particular, to
consider this matter in another light--as it may affect themselves
in this life; as it may affect their rank and treatment in ordinary
society. I would say to them, that if the world shall once adopt the
belief that this life is our all, then the true maxim of rational
conduct will be, to "eat and to drink, since to-morrow we are to
die;" and that when they have nothing to trust to but the fondness
of the men, they will soon find themselves reduced to slavery. The
crown which they now wear will fall from their heads, and they
will no longer be the arbiters of what is lovely in human life.
The empire of beauty is but short; and even in republican France,
it will not be many years that Madame Tallien can fascinate the
Parisian Theatre by the exhibition of her charms. Man is fastidious
and changeable, he is the stronger animal, and can always take
his own will with respect to woman. At present he is with-held by
respect for her moral worth--and many are with-held by religion--and
many more are with-held by public laws, which laws were framed at a
time when religious truths influenced the minds and the conduct of
men. When the sentiments of men change, they will not be so foolish
as to keep in force laws which cramp their strongest desires. Then
will the rich have their Harems, and the poor their drudges.

Nay, it is not merely the circumstance of woman's being considered
as the moral companion of man that gives the sex its empire among
us. There is something of this to be observed in all nations. Of
all the distinctions which set our species above the other sentient
inhabitants of this globe, making us as unlike to the best of them
as they are to a piece of inanimate matter, there is none more
remarkable than the differences observable in the appearances of
those desires by which the race is continued. As I observed already,
such a distinction is indispensably necessary. There must be a
_moral_ connexion, in order that the human species may be a race
of rational creatures, improveable, not only by the increasing
experience of the individual, but also by the heritable experience
of the successive generations. It may be observed between the
solitary pairs in Labrador, where human nature starves, like the
stunted oak in the crevice of a baron rock and it is seen in the
cultivated societies of Europe, where our nature in a series of
ages becomes a majestic tree. Whatever may be the native powers
of mind in the poor but gentle Esquimaux, she can do nothing
for the species but nurse a young one, who cannot run his race
of life without incessant and hard labour to keep soul and body
together--here therefore her station in society can hardly have a
name, because there can hardly be said to be any association, except
what is necessary for repelling the hostile attacks of Indians, who
seem to hunt them without provocation as the dog does the hare. In
other parts of the world, we see that the consideration in which
the sex is held, nearly follows the proportions of that aggregate
of many different particulars, which we consider as constituting
the cultivation of a society. We may perhaps err, and we probably
do err, in our estimation of those degrees, because we are not
perfectly acquainted with what is the real excellence of man. But
as far as we _can_ judge of it, I believe that my assertion is
acknowledged. On this authority, I might presume to say, that it is
in Christian Europe that man _has_ attained his highest degree of
cultivation--and it is undoubtedly here that the women have attained
the highest rank. I may even add, that it is in that part of Europe
where the essential and distinguishing doctrines of Christian
morality are most generally acknowledged and attended to by the laws
of the country, that woman acts the highest part in general society.
But here we must be very careful how we form our notion, either of
the society, or of the female rank--it is surely not from the two or
three dozens who fill the highest ranks in the state. Their number
is too small, and their situation is too particular, to afford the
proper average. Besides, the situation of the individuals of this
class in all countries is very much the same--and in all it is very
artificial--accordingly their character is fantastical. Nor are we
to take it from that class that is the most numerous of all, the
lowest class of society, for these are the labouring poor, whose
conduct and occupations are so much dictated to them by the hard
circumstances of their situation, that scarcely any thing is left to
their choice. The situation of women of this class must be nearly
the same in all nations. But this class is still susceptible of
some variety--and we see it--and I think that even here there is a
perceptible superiority of the female rank in those countries where
the purest Christianity prevails. We must however take our measures
or proportions from a numerous class, but also a class in somewhat
of easy circumstances, where moral sentiments call some attention,
and persons have some choice in their conduct. And here, although I
cannot pretend to have had many opportunities of observation, yet
I have had some. I can venture to say that it is not in Russia,
nor in Spain, that woman is, on the whole, the most important as a
member of the community. I would say, that in Britain her important
rights are more generally respected than any where else. No where
is a man's character so much hurt by conjugal infidelity--no where
is it so difficult to rub off the stigma of bastardy, or to procure
a decent reception or society for an improper connection; and I
believe it will readily be granted, that the share of the women in
successions, their authority in all matters of domestic trust, and
even their opinions in what concerns life and manners, are fully
more respected here than in any country.

I have long been of the opinion, (and every observation that I have
been able to make since I first formed it confirms me in it,) that
woman is indebted to Christianity alone for the high rank she holds
in society. Look into the writings of antiquity--into the works
of the Greek and Latin poets--into the numberless panegyrics of
the sex, to be found both in prose and verse--I can find little,
very little indeed, where woman is treated with respect--there is
no want of love, that is, of fondness, of beauty, of charms, of
graces. But of woman as the equal of man, as a moral companion,
travelling with him the road to felicity--as his adviser--his
solace in misfortune--as a pattern from which he may sometimes
copy with advantage;--of all this there is hardly a trace. Woman
is always mentioned as an object of passion. Chastity, modesty,
sober-mindedness, are all considered in relation to this single
point; or sometimes as of importance in respect of economy or
domestic quiet. Recollect the famous speech of Meteltellus Numidicus
to the Roman people, when, as, Censor, he was recommending marriage.

"Si fine uxore possemus Quirites esse, omnes eâ molestiâ careremus.
Sed quoniam ita natura tradidit, ut nec cum illis commodè, nec fine
illis ullo modo vivi posset, saluti perpetuæ potius quam brevi
voluptati consulendum."

  _Aul. Gell. Noct. Att. I. 6._

       *       *       *       *       *

What does Ovid, the great panegyrist of the sex, say for his beloved
daughter, whom he had praised for her attractions in various
places of his Tristia and other compositions? He is writing her
Epitaph--and the only thing he can say of her as a rational creature
is, that she was--_Domisida_--not a Gadabout.--Search Apuleius,
where you will find many female characters _in abstracto_--You will
find that his little Photis (a cook-maid and strumpet) was nearest
to his heart, after all his philosophy. Nay, in his pretty story
of Cupid and Psyche, which the very wise will tell you is a fine
lesson of moral philosophy, and a representation of the operations
of the intellectual and moral faculties of the human soul, a story
which gave him the finest opportunity, nay, almost made it necessary
for him to insert whatever can ornament the female character; what
is his Psyche but a beautiful, fond, and silly girl; and what are
the whole fruits of any acquaintance with the sex?--Pleasure.
But why take more pains in the search?--Look at their immortal
goddesses--is there one among them whom a wise man would select for
a wife or a friend?--I grant that a Lucretia is praised--a Portia,
an Arria, a Zenobia--but these are individual characters--not
representatives of the sex. The only Grecian ladies who made a
figure by intellectual talents, were your Aspasias, Sapphos,
Phrynes, and other nymphs of this cast, who had emerged from the
general insignificance of the sex, by throwing away what we are
accustomed to call its greatest ornament.

I think that the first piece in which woman is pictured as a
respectable character, is the oldest novel that I am acquainted
with, written by a Christian Bishop, Heliodorus--I mean the
Adventures of Theagenes and Chariclea. I think that the Heroine is
a greater character than you will meet with in all the annals of
antiquity. And it is worth while to observe what was the effect
of this painting. The poor Bishop had been deposed, and even
excommunicated, for doctrinal errors, and for drawing such a picture
of a heathen. The magistrates of Antioch, the most voluptuous and
corrupted city of the East, wrote to the Emperor, telling him that
this book had reformed the ladies of their city, where Julian the
Emperor and his Sophists had formerly preached in vain, and they
therefore prayed that the good Bishop might not be deprived of his
mitre.--It is true, we read of Hypatia, daughter of Theon, the
mathematician at Alexandria, who was a prodigy of excellence, and
taught philosophy, _i. e._ the art of leading a good and happy life,
with great applause in the famous Alexandrian school.--But she also
was in the times of Christianity, and was the intimate friend of
Syncellus and other Christian Bishops.

It is undoubtedly Christianity that has set woman on her throne,
making her in every respect the equal of man, bound to the same
duties, and candidate for the same happiness. Mark how woman is
described by a Christian poet,

      ----"Yet when I approach
    Her loveliness, so absolute she seems,
    And in herself complete, so well to know
    Her own, that what she wills to do or say
    Seems _wisest_, _virtuousest_, _discreetest_, _best_.

      Neither her outside, form'd so fair,----
    So much delights me, as _those graceful acts_,
    _Those thousand decencies_ that daily flow
    From all her words and actions, mix'd with love
    And sweet compliance, which declare unfeign'd
    _Union of mind, or in us both one soul_.

      ----And, to consummate all,
    _Greatness of mind_, and _nobleness_, their seat
    Build in her loveliest, _and create an awe
    About her, as a guard angelic plac'd_."


This is really moral painting, without any abatement of female charms.

This is the natural consequence of that purity of heart, which is
so much insisted on in the Christian morality. In the instructions
of the heathen philosophers, it is either not mentioned at all, or
at most, it is recommended coldly, as a thing proper, and worthy
of a mind attentive to great things.--But, in Christianity, it is
insisted on as an indispensable duty, and enforced by many arguments
peculiar to itself.

It is worthy of observation, that the most prominent superstitions
which have dishonoured the Christian churches, have been the
excessive refinements which the enthusiastic admiration of heroic
purity has allowed the holy trade to introduce into the manufacture
of our spiritual fetters. Without this enthusiasm, cold expediency
would not have been able to make the Monastic vow so general, nor
have given us such numbers of convents. These were generally founded
by such enthusiasts--the rulers indeed of the church _encouraged_
this to the utmost, as the best levy for the spiritual power--but
they could not _enjoin_ such foundations. From the same source we
may derive the chief influence of auricular confession. When these
were firmly established, and were venerated, almost all the other
corruptions of Christianity followed of course. I may almost add,
that though it is here that Christianity has suffered the most
violent attacks, it is here that the place is most tenable.--Nothing
tends so much to knit all the ties of society as the endearing
connections of family, and whatever tends to lessen our veneration
for the marriage-contract, weakens them in the most effectual
manner. Purity of manners is the most effectual support, and pure
thoughts are the only sources from which pure manners can flow. I
readily grant that in former times this veneration for personal
purity was carried to an extravagant height, and that several very
ridiculous fancies and customs arose from this. Romantic love
and chivalry are strong instances of the strange vagaries of our
imagination, when carried along by this enthusiastic admiration of
female purity; and so unnatural and forced, that they could only be
temporary fashions. But I believe that, with all their ridicule,
it would be a happy nation where this was the general creed and
practice. Nor can I help thinking a nation on its decline, when the
domestic connections cease to be venerated, and the illegitimate
offspring of a nabob or a nobleman are received with ease into good

Nothing is more clear than that the design of the Illuminati was to
abolish Christianity--and we now see how effectual this would be for
the corruption of the fair sex, a purpose which they eagerly wished
to gain, that they might corrupt the men. But if the women would
retain the rank they now hold, they will be careful to preserve
in full force on their minds this religion, so congenial to their
dispositions, which nature has made affectionate and kind.

And with respect to the men, is it not egregious folly to encourage
any thing that can tend to blast our sweetest enjoyments? Shall we
not do this most effectually if we attempt to corrupt what nature
will always make us consider as the highest elegance of life? The
divinity of the Stoics was, "_Mens sana in corpore sano_,"--but it
is equally true,

  "_Gratior est pulchro veniens e corpore virtus_."

If, therefore, instead of professedly tainting what is of itself
beautiful, we could really work it up to

  "That fair form, which, wove in fancy's loom,
  "Floats in light visions round the poet's head,"

and make woman a pattern of perfection, we should undoubtedly add
more to the heartfelt happiness of life than by all the discoveries
of the Illuminati. See what was the effect of Theagenes and

And we should remember that with the fate of woman that of man is
indissolubly knit. The voice of nature spoke through our immortal
bard, when he made Adam say,

                        ----"From thy state
  "Mine never shall be parted, bliss or woe."

Should we suffer the contagion to touch our fair partner, all is gone,
and too late shall we say,

    "O fairest of creation! last and best
    "Of all God's works, creature in whom excell'd
    "Whatever can to sight or thought be form'd,
    "_Holy, divine, good, amiable, or sweet_!
    "How art thou lost,--and now to death devote?
    "And _me_ with _thee_ hast ruin'd; for with thee
    "Certain my resolution is to die."


_The German Union._

When such a fermentation had been excited in the public mind, it
cannot be supposed that the formal suppression of the Order of
the Illuminati in Bavaria, and in the Duchy of Wirtemberg, by the
reigning princes, would bring all to rest again. By no means. The
minds of men were predisposed for a change by the restless spirit
of speculation in every kind of enquiry, and the leaven had been
carefully and skilfully disseminated in every quarter of the empire,
and even in foreign countries. Weishaupt said, on good grounds,
that "if the Order should be discovered and suppressed, he would
restore it with tenfold energy in a twelvemonth." Even in those
states where it was formally abolished, nothing could hinder the
enlisting new members, and carrying on all the purposes of the
Order. The Areopagitæ might indeed be changed, and the seat of
the direction transferred to some other place, but the Minerval
and his Mentor could meet as formerly, and a ride of a few miles
into another State, would bring him to a Lodge, where the young
would be amused, and the more advanced would be engaged in serious
mischief. Weishaupt never liked children's play. He indulged Philo
in it, because he saw him taken with such rattles: but his own
projects were dark and solemn, and it was a relief to him now to
be freed from that mummery. He soon found the bent of the person's
mind on whom he had set his talons, and, he says, that "no man
ever escaped him whom he thought it worth while to secure." He had
already filled the lists with enough of the young and gay, and when
the present condition of the Order required sly and experienced
heads, he no longer courted them by play-things. He communicated
the ranks and the instructions by a letter, without any ceremony.
The correspondence with Philo at the time of the breach with him,
shews the superiority of Spartacus. Philo is in a rage, provoked
to find a pitiful professor discontented with the immense services
which he had received from a gentleman of his rank, and treating
him with authority, and with disingenuity.--He tells Spartacus what
still greater services he can do the Order, and that he can also
ruin it with a breath.--But in the midst of this rage, he proposes
a thousand modes of reconcilement. The smallest concession would
make him hug Spartacus in his arms. But Spartacus is deaf to all
his threats, and firm as a rock. Though he is conscious of his own
vile conduct, he abates not in the smallest point, his absolute
authority--requires the most implicit submission, which he says "is
due not to him, but to the Order, and without which the Order must
immediately go to ruin."--He does not even deign to challenge Philo
to do his worst, but allows him to go out of the Order without one
angry word. This shows his confidence in the energy of that spirit
of restless discontent, and that hankering after reform which he had
so successfully spread abroad.

This had indeed arisen to an unparalleled height, unexpected even by
the seditious themselves. This appeared in a remarkable manner by
the reception given to the infamous letters on the constitution of
the Prussian States.

The general opinion was, that Mirabeau was the author of the letters
themselves, and it was perfectly understood by every person, that
the translation into French was a joint contrivance of Mirabeau
and Nicholai. I was assured of this by the British Minister at
that Court. There are some blunders in respect of names, which
an inhabitant of the country could hardly be guilty of, but are
very consistent with the self-conceit and precipitancy of this
Frenchman.--There are several instances of the same kind in two
pieces, which are known for certain to be his, viz. the _Chronique
scandaleuse_ and the _Histoire secrette de la Cour de Berlin_.
These letters were in every hand, and were mentioned in every
conversation, even in the Prussian dominions--and in other places of
the empire they were quoted, and praised, and commented on, although
some of their contents were nothing short of rebellion.

Mirabeau had a large portion of that self-conceit which
distinguishes his countrymen. He thought himself qualified not only
for any high office in administration, but even for managing the
whole affairs of the new King. He therefore endeavoured to obtain
some post of honour. But he was disappointed, and, in revenge, did
every thing in his power to make those in administration the objects
of public ridicule and reproach. His licentious and profligate
manners were such as excluded him from the society of the people of
the first classes, whom it behoved to pay some attention to personal
dignity. His opinions were in the highest degree corrupted, and he
openly professed Atheism. This made him peculiarly obnoxious to the
King, who was determined to correct the disturbances and disquiets
which had arisen in the Prussian states from the indifference of his
predecessor in those matters. Mirabeau therefore attached himself
to a junto of writers and scribblers, who had united in order to
disseminate licentious principles, both in respect of religion and
of government. His wit and fancy were great, and he had not perhaps
his equal for eloquent and biting satire. He was therefore caressed
by those writers as a most valuable acquisition to their Society.
He took all this deference as his just due; and was so confident in
his powers, and so foolish, as to advise, and even to admonish, the
King. Highly obnoxious by such conduct, he was excluded from any
chance of preferment, and was exceedingly out of humour. In this
state of mind he was in a fit frame for Illumination. Spartacus had
been eyeing him for some time, and at last communicated this honour
to him through the intermedium of Mauvillon, another Frenchman,
Lieutenant-Colonel in the service of the Duke of Brunswick. This
person had been most active during the formal existence of the
Order, and had contributed much to its reception in the Protestant
states--he remained long concealed. Indeed his Illumination was not
known till the invasion of Holland by the French. Mauvillon then
stepped forth, avowed his principles, and recommended the example
of the French to the Germans. This encouragement brought even
Philo again on the stage, notwithstanding his resentment against
Spartacus, and his solemn declaration of having abjured all such
societies.--These, and a thousand such facts, show that the seeds
of licentious Cosmopolitism had taken deep root, and that cutting
down the crop had by no means destroyed the baneful plant.--But
this is not all--a new method of cultivation had been invented,
and immediately adopted, and it was now growing over all Europe in
another form.

I have already taken notice of the general perversion of the
public mind which co-operated with the schisms of Free Masonry
in procuring a listening ear to Spartacus and his associates. It
will not be doubted but that the machinations of the Illuminati
increased this, even among those who did not enter into the Order.
It was easier to diminish the respect for civil establishments in
Germany than in almost any other country. The frivolity of the
ranks and court-offices in the different confederated petty states
made it impossible to combine dignity with the habits of a scanty
income.--It was still easier to expose to ridicule and reproach
those numberless abuses which the folly and the vices of men had
introduced into religion. The influence on the public mind which
naturally attaches to the venerable office of a moral instructor,
was prodigiously diminished by the continual disputes of the
Catholics and Protestants, which were carried on with great heat
in every little principality. The freedom of enquiry, which was
supported by the state in Protestant Germany, was terribly abused,
(for what will the folly of man not abuse?) and degenerated into
a wanton licentiousness of thought, and a rage for speculation
and scepticism on every subject whatever. The struggle, which was
originally between the Catholics and the Protestants, had changed,
during the gradual progress of luxury and immorality, into a
contest between reason and superstition. And in this contest the
denomination of superstition had been gradually extended to every
doctrine which professed to be of divine revelation, and reason was
declared to be, for certain, the only way in which the Deity can
inform the human mind.

Some respectable Catholics had published works filled with liberal
sentiments. These were represented as villainous machinations to
inveigle Protestants. On the other hand, some Protestant divines
had proposed to imitate this liberality by making concessions
which might enable a good Catholic to live more at ease among the
Protestants, and might even accelerate an union of faiths. This
was hooted beyond measure, as Jesuitical, and big with danger.
While the sceptical junto, headed by the editors of the _Deutsche
Bibliothek_ and the _Berlin Monatschrift_, were recommending every
performance that was hostile to the established faith of the
country, Leuchtsenring was equally busy, finding Jesuits in every
corner, and went about with all the inquietude of a madman, picking
up anecdotes. Zimmerman, the respectable physician of Frederick
King of Prussia, gives a diverting account of a visit which he had
from Leuchtsenring at Hanover, all trembling with fears of Jesuits,
and wishing to persuade him that his life was in danger from them.
Nicholai was now on the hunt, and during this crusade Philo laid
hands on him, being introduced to his acquaintance by Leuchtsenring,
who was, by this time, cured of his zeal for Protestantism, and had
become a disciple of Illuminatism. Philo had gained his good opinion
by the violent attack which he had published on the Jesuits and
Rosycrucians by the orders of Spartacus.--He had not far to go in
gaining over Nicholai, who was at this time making a tour through
the Lodges. The sparks of Illumination which he perceived in many of
them pleased him exceedingly, and he very cheerfully received the
precious secret from Philo.

This acquisition to the Order was made in January 1782. Spartacus
was delighted with it, considered Nicholai as a most excellent
champion, and gave him the name of _Lucian_, the great scoffer at
all religion, as aptly expressing his character.

Nicholai, on his return to Berlin, published many volumes of his
discoveries. One would imagine that not a Jesuit had escaped
him. He mentions many strange schismatics, both in religion and
in Masonry--But he never once mentions an _Illuminatus_.--When
they were first checked, and before the discovery of the secret
correspondence, he defended them, and strongly reprobated
the proceedings of the Elector of Bavaria, calling it vile
persecution.--Nay, after the discovery of the letters found
in Zwack's house, he persisted in his defence, vindicated the
possession of the abominable receipts, and highly extolled the
character of Weishaupt.--But when the discovery of papers in the
house of Batz informed the public that he himself had long been
an _Illuminatus_, he was sadly put to it to reconcile his defence
with any pretensions to religion[11].----Weishaupt saved him from
disgrace, as he thought, by his publication of the system of
Illuminatism--Nicholai then boldly said that he knew no more of the
Order than was contained in that book, that is, only the two first

  [11] He impudently pretended that the papers containing the system
  and doctrines of Illuminatism, came to him at Berlin, from an
  unknown hand. But no one believed him--it was inconsistent with
  what is said of him in the secret correspondence. He had said the
  same thing concerning the French translation of the Letters on the
  Constitution of the Prussian States. Fifty copies were found in his
  ware-house. He said that they had been sent from Strasburg, and that
  he had never sold one of them.--Supposing both these assertions to
  be true, it appears that Nicholai was considered as a very proper
  hand for dispersing such poison.

But before this, Nicholai had made to himself a most formidable
enemy. The history of this contest is curious in itself, and
gives us a very instructive picture of the machinations of that
_conjuration des philosophes_, or gang of scribblers who were
leagued against the peace of the world. The reader will therefore
find it to our purpose. On the authority of a lady in Courland,
a Countess von der Recke, Nicholai had accused Dr. Stark of
Darmstadt (who made such a figure in Free Masonry) of Jesuitism,
and of having even submitted to the _tonsure_. Stark was a most
restless spirit--had gone through every mystery in Germany,
Illuminatism excepted, and had ferreted out many of Nicholai's
hidden transactions. He was also an unwearied book-maker, and dealt
out these discoveries by degrees, keeping the eye of the public
continually upon Nicholai. He had suspected his Illumination for
some time past, and when the secret came out, by Spartacus' letter,
where he boasts of his acquisition, calling Nicholai a most sturdy
combatant, and saying that he was _contentissimus_, Stark left no
stone unturned till he discovered that Nicholai had been initiated
in all the horrid and most profligate mysteries of Illuminatism, and
that Spartacus had at the very first entrusted him with his most
darling secrets, and advised with him on many occasions[12].

  [12] Of this we have complete proof in the private correspondence.
  Philo, speaking in one of his letters of the gradual change which
  was to be produced in the minds of their pupils from Christianity to
  Deism, says, "Nicholai informs me, that even the pious Zollikofer
  has now been convinced that it would be proper to set up a deistical
  church in Berlin." It is in vain that Nicholai says that his
  knowledge of the Order was only of what Weishaupt had published; for
  Philo says that that corrected system had not been introduced into
  it when he quitted it in 1784. But Nicholai deserves no credit--he
  is one of the most scandalous examples of the operation of the
  principles of Weishaupt. He procured admission into the Lodges
  of Free Masons and Rosycrucians, merely to act the dishonourable
  part of a spy, and he betrayed their secrets as far as he could.
  In the appendix to the 7th volume of his journey, he declaims
  against the Templar Masons, Rosycrucians, and Jesuits, for their
  blind submission to unknown superiors, for their superstitions,
  their priesthoods, and their base principles--and yet had been five
  years in a society in which all these were carried to the greatest
  height. He remains true to the Illuminati alone, because they had
  the same object in view with himself and his atheistical associates,
  His defence of Protestantism is all a cheat; and perhaps he may be
  considered as an enemy equally formidable with Weishaupt himself.
  This is the reason why he occupies so many of these pages.

This complete blasting of his moral character could not be patiently
borne, and Nicholai was in his turn the bitter enemy of Stark, and,
in the paroxysms of his anger, published every idle tale, although
he was often obliged to contradict them in the next Review. In the
course of this attack and defence, Dr. Stark discovered the revival
of the Illuminati, or at least a society which carried on the same
great work in a somewhat different way.

Dr. Stark had written a defence against one of Nicholai's
accusations, and wished to have it printed at Leipzig. He therefore
sent the manuscript to a friend, who resided there. This friend
immediately proposed it to a most improper person, Mr. Pott, who
had written an anonymous commentary on the King of Prussia's edict
for the uniformity of religious worship in his dominions. This
is one of the most shameless attacks on the established faith of
the nation, and the authority and conduct of the Prince, that can
be imagined. Stark's friend was ignorant of this, and spoke to
Pott, as the partner of the great publisher Walther. They, without
hesitation, undertook the publishing; but when six weeks had passed
over, Stark's friend found that it was not begun. Some exceptionable
passages, which treated with disrespect the religion of Reason, were
given as the cause of delay; and he was told that the author had
been written to about them, but had not yet returned an answer. This
was afterwards found to be false. Then a passage in the preface was
objected to, as treating roughly a lady in Courland, which Walther
could not print, because he had connections with that court. The
author must be entreated to change his expressions. After another
delay, paper was wanting. The MS. was withdrawn. Walther now said
that he would print it immediately, and again got it into his hands,
promising to send the sheets as they came from the press. These
not appearing for a long time, the agent made enquiry, and found
that it was sent to Michaelis at Halle, to be printed there. The
agent immediately went thither, and found that it was printing with
great alterations, another title, and a guide or key, in which the
work was perverted and turned into ridicule by a Dr. Bahrdt, who
resided in that neighborhood. An action of recovery and damages
was immediately commenced at Leipzig, and after much contest, an
interdict was put on Michaelis's edition, and a proper edition was
ordered immediately from Walther, with securitty that it should
appear before Bahrdt's key. Yet when it was produced at the next
fair, the booksellers had been already supplied with the spurious
edition; and as this was accompanied by the key, it was much more
saleable ware, and completely supplanted the other.

This is surely a strong instance of the machinations by which the
Illuminati have attempted to destroy the Liberty of the Press,
and the power they have to discourage or suppress any thing that
is not agreeable to the taste of the literary junto. It was in
the course of this transaction that Dr. Stark's agent found
people talking in the coffee-houses of Leipzig and Halle of the
advantages of public libraries, and of libraries by subscription,
in every town, where persons could, at a small expence, see what
was passing in the learned world. As he could not but acquiesce
in these points, they who held this language began to talk of a
general Association, which should act in concert over all Germany,
and make a full communication of its numerous literary productions
by forming societies for reading and instruction, which should
be regularly supplied with every publication. Flying sheets and
pamphlets were afterwards put into his hands, stating the great
use of such an Association, and the effect which it would speedily
produce by enlightening the nation. By and by he learned that such
an Association did really exist, and that it was called the GERMAN
TRUE CHRISTIANITY. On enquiry, however, he found that this was to
be a Secret Society, because it had to combat prejudices which were
supported by the great of this world, and because its aim was to
promote that general information which priests and despots dreaded
above all things. This Association was accessible only through the
reading societies, and oaths of secrecy and fidelity were required.
In short, it appeared to be the old song of the Illuminati.

This discovery was immediately announced to the public, in an
anonymous publication in defence of Dr. Stark. It is supposed to be
his own performance. It discloses a scene of complicated villiany
and folly, in which the Lady in Courland makes a very strange
figure. She appears to be a wild fanatic, deeply engaged in magic
and ghost-raising, and leagued with Nicholai, Gedicke, and Biester,
against Dr. Stark. He is very completely cleared of the facts
alledged against him; and his three male opponents appear void of
all principle and enemies of all religion. Stark however would, in
Britain, be a very singular character, considered as a clergyman.
The frivolous secrets of Masonry have either engrossed his whole
mind, or he has laboured in them as a lucrative trade, by which he
took advantage of the folly of others. The contest between Stark and
the Triumvirate at Berlin engaged the public attention much more
than we should imagine that a thing of so private a nature would do.
But the characters were very notorious; and it turned the attention
of the public to those clandestine attacks which were made in every
quarter on the civil and religious establishments. It was obvious
to every person, that these reading societies had all on a sudden
become very numerous; and the characters of those who patronised
them only increased the suspicions which were now raised.

The first work that speaks expressly of the German Union, is a
very sensible performance "_On the Right of Princes to direct the
Religion of their Subjects_." The next is a curious work, a sort
of narrative _Dialogue on the Characters of Nicholai, Gedicke, and
Biester_. It is chiefly occupied with the contest with Dr. Stark,
but in the 5th part, it treats particularly of the German Union.

About the same time appeared some farther account, in a book called
_Archives of Fanaticism and Illuminatism_. But all these accounts
are very vague and unsatisfactory. The fullest account is to be had
in a work published at Leipzig by Goschen the bookseller. It is
entitled, "_More Notes than Text, or the German Union of XXII, a
new Secret Society for the Good of Mankind_," _Leipzig_ 1789. The
publisher says that it was sent him by an unknown hand, and that he
published it with all speed, on account of the many mischiefs which
this Society, (of which he had before heard several reports,) might
do to the world, and to the trade, if allowed to go on working in
secret. From this work, therefore, we may form a notion of this
redoubtable Society, and judge how far it is practicable to prevent
such secret machinations against the peace and happiness of mankind.

There is another work, "_Further information concerning the German
Union_ (Nahere Beleuchtung der Deutsche Union,) _also showing how,
for a moderate price, one may become a Scotch Free Mason_."
_Frankford and Leipzig_, 1789. The author says that he had all the
papers in his hands; whereas the author of _More Notes than Text_
acknowledges the want of some. But very little additional light is
thrown on the subject by this work, and the first is still the most
instructive, and will chiefly be followed in the account which is
now to be laid before the reader.

The book _More Notes than Text_ contains plans and letters, which
the Twenty-two United Brethren have allowed to be given out, and of
which the greatest part were printed, but were entrusted only to
assured members.

No. I. is the first plan, printed on a single quarto page, and
is addressed, _To all the Friends of Reason, of Truth, and of
Virtue_. It is pretty well written, and states among other things,
that "because a great number of persons are labouring, with
united effort, to bring Reason under the yoke, and to prevent all
instruction, it is therefore necessary that there be a combination
which shall work in opposition to them so that mankind may not sink
anew into irrecoverable barbarism, when Reason and Virtue shall have
been completely subdued, overpowered by the restraints which are put
on our opinions."----"For this noble purpose a company of twenty-two
persons, public instructors, and men in private stations, have
united themselves, according to a plan which they have had under
consideration for more than a year and a half, and which, in their
opinion, contains a method that is fair and irresistible by any
human power, for promoting the enlightening and forming of mankind,
and that will gradually remove all the obstacles which superstition
supported by force has hitherto put in the way."

This address is intended for an enlisting advertisement, and, after
a few insignificant remarks on the Association, a rix-dahler is
required along with the subscription of acquiescence in the plan, as
a compensation for the expences attending this mode of intimation
and consent.

Whoever pays the rix-dahler, and declares his wish to join the
Association, receives in a few days, No. II. which is a form of
the Oath of secrecy, also printed on a single 4to page. Having
subscribed this, and given a full designation of himself, he returns
it agreeably to a certain address; and soon after, he gets No. III.
printed on a 4to sheet. This number contains what is called the
Second Plan, to which all the subsequent plans and circular letters
refer. A copy therefore of this will give us a pretty full and just
notion of the Order, and its mode of declaration. It is intitled,

     _The Plan of the Twenty-Two_,

     and begins with this declaration: "We have united, in order
     to accomplish the aim of the exalted Founder of Christianity,
     viz. the enlightening of mankind, and the dethronement of
     superstition and fanaticism, by means of a secret fraternization
     of all who love the work of God.

     "Our first exertion, which has already been very extensive,
     consists in this, that, by means of confidential persons, we
     allow ourselves to be announced every where as a Society united
     for the above-mentioned purpose; and we invite and admit into
     brotherhood with ourselves every person who has a sense of the
     importance of this matter, and wishes to apply to us and see our

     "We labour first of all to draw into our Association all
     good and learned writers. This we imagine will be the easier
     obtained, as they must derive an evident advantage from it. Next
     to such men, we seek to gain the masters and secretaries of the
     Post-offices, in order to facilitate our correspondence.

     "Besides these, we receive persons of every condition and
     station, excepting princes and their ministers. Their
     favourites, however, may be admitted, and may be useful by their
     influence in behalf of Truth and Virtue.

     "When any person writes to us, we send him an oath, by which
     he must abjure all treachery or discovery of the Association,
     till circumstances shall make it proper for us to come forward
     and show ourselves to the world. When he subscribes the oath,
     he receives the plan, and if he finds this to be what satisfies
     his mind as a thing good and honourable, he becomes our friend
     only in so far as he endeavours to gain over his friends and
     acquaintances. Thus we learn who are really our zealous friends,
     and our numbers increase in a double proportion.

     "This procedure is to continue till Providence shall so far
     bless our endeavours, that we acquire an active Brother and
     coadjutor in every place of note, where there is any literary
     profession; and for this purpose we have a secretary and proper
     office in the center of the Association, where every thing is
     expedited, and all reports received. When this happy epoch
     arrives, we begin our second operation." That is to say,

     "We intimate to all the Brotherhood in every quarter, on a
     certain day, _that_ THE GERMAN UNION _has now acquired a
     consistence_, and we now divide the fraternised part of the
     nation into ten or twelve _Provinces_ or _Dioceses_, each
     directed by its _Diocesan_ at his office; and these are so
     arranged in due subordination, that all business comes into the
     UNION-HOUSE as into the center of the whole.

     "Agreeably to this manner of proceeding there are two classes
     of the Brotherhood, the _Ordinary_ and the _Managing_ Brethren.
     The latter alone know the aim of the association, and all the
     means for attaining it; and they alone constitute the UNION, the
     name, and the connection of which is not intended to be at all
     conspicuous in the world.

     "To this end the business takes a new external form. The
     Brethren, to wit, speak not of the Union in the places where
     they reside, nor of a Society, nor of enlightening the people;
     but they assemble, and act together in every quarter, merely
     as a LITERARY SOCIETY, bring into it all the lovers of reading
     and of useful knowledge; and such in fact are the _Ordinary
     Brethren_, who only know that an Association exists in their
     place of residence for the encouragement of literary men, but
     by no means that it has any connection with any other similar
     Society, and that they all constitute one whole. But these
     Societies will naturally point out to the intelligent Brethren
     such persons as are proper to be selected for carrying forward
     the great work. For persons of a serious turn of mind are not
     mere loungers in such company, but show in their conversation
     the interest they take in real instruction. And the cast of
     their reading, which must not be checked in the beginning in
     the smallest degree, although it may be gradually directed
     to proper subjects of information, will point out in the most
     unequivocal manner their peculiar ways of thinking on the
     important subjects connected with our great object. Here,
     therefore, the active Brethren will observe in secret, and will
     select those whom they think valuable acquisitions to the sacred
     Union. They will invite such persons to unite with themselves in
     their endeavours to enlighten the rest of mankind, by calling
     their attention to profitable subjects of reading, and to
     proper books. Reading Societies, therefore, are to be formed in
     every quarter, and to be furnished with proper books. In this
     provision attention must be paid to two things. The taste of
     the public must be complied with, that the Society may have any
     effect at all in bringing men together who are born for somewhat
     more than just to look about them. But the general taste may,
     and must also be carefully and skilfully directed to subjects
     that will enlarge the comprehension, will fortify the heart,
     and, by habituating the mind to novelty, and to successful
     discovery, both in physics and in morals, will hinder the timid
     from being startled at doctrines and maxims which are singular,
     or perhaps opposite to those which are current in ordinary
     society. Commonly a man speaks as if he thought he was uttering
     his own sentiments, while he is only echoing the general sound.
     Our minds are dressed in a prevailing fashion as much as our
     bodies, and with stuff as little congenial to sentiment, as a
     piece of woollen cloth is to the human skin. So careless and
     indolent are men, even in what they call serious conversation.
     Till reflection becomes a habit, what is really a thought
     startles, however simple, and, if really uncommon, it astonishes
     and confounds. Nothing, therefore, can so powerfully tend to
     the improvement of the human character, as well-managed Reading

     "When these have been established in different places, we must
     endeavour to accomplish the following intermediate plans: 1.
     To introduce a general literary Gazette or Review, which, by
     uniting all the learned Brethren, and combining with judgment
     and address all their talents, and steadily proceeding according
     to a distinct and precise plan, may in time supplant every other
     Gazette, a thing which its intrinsic merit and comprehensive
     plan will easily accomplish. 2. To select a secretary for our
     Society, who shall have it in charge to commission the books
     which they shall select in conformity to the great aim of the
     Association, and who shall undertake to commission all other
     books for the curious in his neighbourhood. If there be a
     bookseller in the place, who can be gained over and sworn into
     the Society, it will be proper to choose him for this office,
     since, as will be made more plain afterwards, the trade will
     gradually come into the plan, and fall into the hands of the

     "And now, every eye can perceive the progressive moral influence
     which the Union will acquire on the nation. Let us only conceive
     what superstition will lose, and what instruction must gain by
     this; when, 1. In every Reading Society the books are selected
     by our Fraternity. 2. When we have confidential persons in every
     quarter, who will make it their serious concern to spread
     such performances as promote the enlightening of mankind, and
     to introduce them even into every cottage. 3. When we have the
     loud voice of the public on our side, and since we are able,
     either to banish into the shade all the fanatical writings
     which appear in the reviews that are commonly read, or to warn
     the public against them; and, on the other hand, to bring into
     notice and recommend those performances alone which give light
     to the human mind. 4. When we by degrees bring the whole trade
     of bookselling into our hands, (as the good writers will send
     all their performances into the market through our means) we
     shall bring it about, that at last the writers who labour in
     the cause of superstition and restraint, will have neither a
     publisher nor readers. 5. When, lastly, by the spreading of our
     Fraternity, all good hearts and sensible men will adhere to us,
     and by our means will be put in a condition that enables them to
     work in silence upon all courts, families, and individuals in
     every quarter, and acquire an influence in the appointment of
     court-officers, stewards, secretaries, parish-priests, public
     teachers, and private tutors.

     "Remark, That we shall speedily get the trade into our hands,
     (which was formerly the aim of the Association called the
     _Gelehrtenbuchhandlung_) is conceivable by this, that every
     writer who unites with us immediately acquires a triple number
     of readers, and finds friends in every place who promote the
     sale of his performance; so that his gain is increased manifold,
     and consequently all will quit the booksellers, and accede to us
     by degrees. Had the above named Association been constructed in
     this manner, it would, long ere now, have been the only shop in

The book called _Fuller Information_, &c. gives a more particular
account of the advantages held forth to the literary manufacturers
of Germany by this Union _for God's work_. The Class of literary
Brothers, or writers by trade, was divided into _Mesopolites_,
_Aldermen_, _Men_, and _Cadets_.

The MESOPOLITES, or Metropolitans, are to be attached to the
archive-office, and to be taken care of in the Union-house, when
in straits through age or misfortune. They will be occupied in the
department of the sciences or arts, which this Association profess
principally to cherish. They are also Brethren of the third degree
of Scotch Free Masonry, a qualification to be explained afterwards.
The Union-house is a building which the ostensible Founder of the
Union professed to have acquired, or speedily to acquire at ----,
through the favour and protection of a German Prince, who is not

ALDERMEN are persons who hold public offices, and are engaged to
exercise their genius and talents in the sciences. These also are
Brothers of the third rank of Scotch Free Masonry, and out of their
number are the Diocesans and the Directors of the Reading Societies

The members who are designed simply MEN, are Brothers of the second
rank of Masonry, and have also a definite scientific occupation
assigned them.

The CADETS are writers who have not yet merited any particular
honours, but have exhibited sufficient dispositions and talents for
different kinds of literary manufacture.

Every member is bound to bring the productions of his genius to
market through the Union. An Alderman receives for an original work
80 per cent. of the returns, and 70 for a translation. The member
of the next class receives 60, and the Cadet 50. As to the expence
of printing, the Alderman pays nothing, even though the work should
lie on hand unsold; but the _Man_ and the _Cadet_ must pay one-half.
Three months after publication at the fairs an account is brought
in, and after this, yearly, when and in what manner the author shall

In every Diocese will be established at least one Reading Society,
of which near 800 are proposed. To each of these will a copy of
an _Alderman's_ work be sent. The same favour will be shown to
a dissertation by a _Man_, or by a _Cadet_, provided that the
manuscript is documented by an Alderman, or formally approved by him
upon serious perusal. This _imprimatur_, which must be considered
as a powerful recommendation of the work, is to be published in the
_General Review_ or _Gazette_. This is to be a vehicle of political
as well as of literary news; and it is hoped that, by its intrinsic
worth, and the recommendation of the members, it will soon supplant
all others. (With respect to affairs of the Union, a sort of cypher
was to be employed in it. Each Diocesan was there designed by a
letter, of a size that marked his rank, and each member by a number.
It was to appear weekly, at the very small price of five-and-twenty
shillings.)--But let us return to the plan.

When every thing has been established in the manner set forth above,
the Union will assume the following republican form, (the reader
always recollecting that this is not to appear to the world, and to
be known only to the _managing_ Brethren.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here, however, there is a great blank. The above-named sketch of
this Constitution did not come to the hands of the person who
furnished the bookseller with the rest of the information. But we
have other documents which give sufficient information for our
purpose. In the mean time, let us just take the papers as they stand.

No. IV. Contains a list of the German Union, which the sender
received in manuscript. Here we find many names which we should not
have expected, and miss many that were much more likely to have
been partners in this patriotic scheme. There are several hundred
names, but very few designations; so that it is difficult to point
out the individuals to the public. Some however are designed, and
the writer observes that names are found, which, when applied
to some individuals whom he knows, accord surprisingly with the
anecdotes that are to be seen in the private correspondence of the
Illuminati, and in the romance called Materials for the History
of Socratism (Illuminatism)[13]. It is but a disagreeable remark,
that the list of the Union contains the names of many public
teachers, both from the pulpit, and from the accademic chair in all
its degrees; and among these are several whose cyphers show that
they have been active hands. Some of these have in their writings
given evident proofs of their misconception of the simple truths,
whether dogmatical or historical, of revealed religion, or of their
inclination to twist and manufacture them so as to chime in with
the religion and morality of the Sages of France. But it is more
distressing to meet with unequivocal names of some who profess in
their writings to consider these subjects as an honest man should
consider them, that is, according to the plain and common sense of
the words; whereas we have demonstrative proofs that the German
Union had the diametrically opposite purpose in view. The only
female in the list is the _Grafin von der Recke_, the Lady who gave
Dr. Stark of Darmstadt so much trouble about his _Tonsure_. This
Lady, as we have already seen, could not occupy herself with the
frivolity of dress, flirtation, or domestic cares. "_Femina fonte
patet, vir pectore._" She was not pleased however at finding her
name in such a Plebeian list, and gave oath, along with Biester at
the centre, that she was not of the Association. I see that the
public was not satisfied with this denial. The Lady has published
some more scandal against Stark since that time, and takes no
notice of it; and there have appeared many accounts of very serious
literary connections between these two persons and the man who was
afterwards discovered to be the chief agent of the Union.

  [13] This, by the by, is a very curious and entertaining work, and,
  had the whole affair been better known in this country, would have
  been a much better antidote against the baneful effects of that
  Association than any thing that I can give to the public, being
  written with much accuteness and knowledge of the human mind, and
  agreeably diversified with anecdote and ironical exhibition of the
  affected wisdom and philanthropy of the knavish Founder and his
  coadjutors. If the present imperfect and desultory account shall be
  found to interest the public, I doubt not but that a translation of
  this novel, and some other fanciful performances on the subject,
  will be read with entertainment and profit.

No. V. is an important document. It is a letter addressed to the
sworn members of the Union, reminding the beloved fellow-workers
that "the bygone management of the business has been expensive, and
that the XXII. do not mean to make any particular charge for their
own compensation. But that it was necessary that all and each of the
members should know precisely the object of the Association, and the
way which mature consideration had pointed out as the most effectual
method of attaining this object. Then, and not till then, could the
worthy members act by one plan, and consequently with united force.
To accomplish this purpose, one of their number had composed a
Treatise _on Instruction, and the means of promoting it_.[14]" This
work has been revised by the whole number, and may be considered
as the result of their deepest reflection. They say, that it would
be a signal misfortune should this Association, this undertaking,
so important for the happiness of mankind, be cramped in the very
beginning of its brilliant progress. They therefore propose to print
this work, this Holy Scripture of their faith and practice, by
subscription. (They here give a short account of the work.) And they
request the members to encourage the work by subscribing, and by
exerting more than their usual activity in procuring subscriptions,
and in recommending the performance in the newspapers. Four persons
are named as Diocesans, who are to receive the money, which they beg
may be speedily advanced in order to purchase paper, that the work
may be ready for the first fair (Easter 1788.)

  [14] _Ueber AUFFKLARUNG und deren Beforderungs-Mittel._ The
  only proper translation of this word would be, _clearing up_ or
  _enlightening_. _Instruction_ seems the single word that comes
  nearest to the precise meaning of _Auffklarung_, but is not

No. VI. is a printed paper (as is No. V.) without date, farther
recommending the Essay on Instruction. No. VII. is in manuscript,
without date. It is addressed to "a worthy man," intimating that
the like are sent to others, to whom will also speedily be forwarded
an improved plan, with a request to cancel or destroy the former
contained in No. III. It is added, that the Union now contains,
among many others, more than two hundred of the most respectable
persons in Germany, of every rank and condition, and that in the
course of the year, (1788,) a general list will be sent, with
a request that the receiver will point out such as he does not
think worthy of perfect confidence. It concludes with another
recommendation of the book _on Instruction_, on the returns from
which first work of the German Union the support of the secretary's
office is to depend.

Accordingly No. VIII. contains this plan, but it is not entitled
_The Improved Plan_. Such a denomination would have called in
doubt the infallibility of the XXII. It is therefore called the
_Progressive_ (vorlaufig) plan, a title which leaves room for
every subsequent change. It differs from the former only in some
unimportant circumstances. Some expressions, which had given offence
or raised suspicions, are softened or cancelled. Two copies of
this, which we may call A and B, are given, differing also in some

"The great aim of the German Union is the good of mankind, which is
to be attained only by means of mental illumination (_Auffklarung_)
and the dethroning of fanaticism and moral despotism." Neither paper
has the expression which immediately followed in the former plan,
"that this had been the aim of the exalted founder of Christianity."
The paper A refers, on the present subject, to a dissertation
printed in 1787, without a name, _On the freedom of the Press and
its Limitation_. This is one of the most licentious pieces that
has been published on the subject, not only enforcing the most
unqualified liberty of publishing every thing a man pleases, but
exemplifying it in the most scandalous manner; libelling characters
of every sort, and persons of every condition, and this frequently
in the most abusive language, and expressions so coarse, as shewed
the author to be either habituated to the coarsest company, or
determined to try boldly once for all, what the public eye can bear.
The piece goes on: "The Union considers it as a chief part of its
secret plan of operation, to include the trade of bookselling in
their circle. By getting hold of this, they have it in their power
to increase the number of writings which promote instruction, and
to lessen that of those which mar it, since the authors of the
latter will by degrees lose both their publishers and their readers.
That the present booksellers may do them no harm, they will by
degrees draw in the greater part of them to unite with them."--The
literary newspaper is here strongly insisted on, and, in addition
to what was said in the former plan, it is said, "that they will
include political news, as of mighty influence on the public mind,
and as a subject that merits the closest attention of the moral
instructor. For what illumination is that mind susceptible of, that
is so blinded by the prejudice created and nursed by the habits of
civil subordination, that it worships stupidity or wickedness under
a coronet, and neglects talents and virtue under the bearskin cap
of the boor? We must therefore represent political transactions,
and public occurrences, not as they affect that artificial and
fantastical creature of imagination that we see every where around
us wheeled about in a chariot, but as it affects a MAN, rational,
active, free born man. By thus stripping the transaction of all
foreign circumstances, we see it as it affects, or ought to affect,
ourselves. Be assured that this new form of political intelligence
will be highly interesting, and that the Gazette of the Union will
soon supersede all others, and, of itself, will defray all our
necessary expences."

This is followed by some allusions to a secret correspondence
that is quick, unsusceptible of all discovery or treachery, and
attended with no expence, by which the business of the secret plan
(_different from either of those communicated to the sworn Brethren
at large_) is carried on, and which puts the members in a condition
to learn every thing that goes on in the world, for or against their
cause, and also teaches them to know mankind, to gain an influence
over all, and enables them effectually to promote their best
subjects into all offices, &c. and finally, from which every member,
whether statesman, merchant, or writer, can draw his own advantages.
Some passages here and in another place make me imagine that the
Union hoped to get the command of the post-offices, by having their
Brethren in the direction.

It is then said, that "it is supposed that the levy will be
sufficiently numerous in the spring of the ensuing year. When this
takes place, a general synod will be held, in which the _plan of
secret operations_ will be finally adjusted, and accommodated to
local circumstances, so as to be digested into a law that will
need no farther alteration. A proper person will set off from
this synod, with full powers to visit every quarter where there
are sworn Brethren, and he will there establish a Lodge after the
ancient simple ritual, and will communicate verbally the _plan of
secret operation_, and certain instructions. These Lodges will then
establish a managing fund or box. Each Lodge will also establish
a Reading Society, under the management of a bookseller residing
in the place, or of some person acquainted with the mechanical
conduct of things of this nature. There must also be a collector and
agent, (_Expediteur_,) so that in a moment the Union will have its
offices or _comptoirs_ in every quarter, through which it carries
on the trade of bookselling, and guides the ebb and flow of its
correspondence. And thus the whole machine will be set in motion,
and its activity is all directed from the centre."

I remark, that here we have not that exclusion of Princes and
ministers that was in the former plan; they are not even mentioned.
The exclusion in express terms could not but surprise people, and
appear somewhat suspicious.

No. IX. is a printed circular letter to the sworn Brethren,
and is subscribed "by their truly associated Brother Barthels,
_Oberamtsman_ (first bailiff) for the King of Prussia, at Halle on
the Saal."

In this letter the Brethren are informed that "the XXII. were wont
to meet sometimes at Halle, and sometimes at Berlin. But unavoidable
circumstances oblige them not only to remain concealed for sometime,
but even to give up their relation to the Union, and withdraw
themselves from any share in its proceedings. These circumstances
are but temporary, and will be completely explained in due time.
They trust, however, that this necessary step on their part will not
abate the zeal and activity of men of noble minds, engaged in the
cause by the conviction of their own hearts. They have therefore
communicated to their worthy Brother BARTHELS all necessary
informations, and have unanimously conferred on him the direction of
the secretary's office, and have provided him with every document
and mean of carrying on the correspondence. He has devoted himself
to the honourable office, giving up all other employments. They
observe that by this change in the manner of proceeding, the
Association is freed from an objection made with justice to all
other secret societies, namely, that the members subject themselves
to blind and unqualified submission to unknown superiors."--"The
Society is now in the hands of its own avowed members. Every thing
will soon be arranged according to a constitution purely republican;
a Diocesan will be chosen, and will direct in every province, and
report to the centre every second month, and instructions and other
informations will issue in like manner from the centre.

"If this plan shall be approved of by the Associated, H. Barthels
will transmit to all the Dioceses general lists of the Union, and
the PLAN OF SECRET OPERATION, the result of deep meditation of the
XXII. and admirably calculated for carrying on with irresistable
effect their noble and patriotic plan. To stop all cabal, and put
an end to all slander and suspicion, H. Barthels thinks it proper
that the Union shall step forward, and declare itself to the world,
and openly name some of its most respectable members. The public
must however be informed only with respect to the _exterior_ of the
Society, for which purpose he had written a sheet to be annexed as
an appendix to the work, _On Instruction_, declaring that to be
the work of the Society, and a sufficient indication of its most
honourable aim. He desires such members as choose to share the
honour with him, to send him their names and proper designations,
that they may appear in that Appendix. And, lastly, he requests
them to instruct him, and co-operate with him, according to the
concerted rules of the Union, in promoting the cause of God and the
happiness of mankind."

The appendix now alluded to makes No. X. of the packet sent to the
Bookseller Goschen of Leipzig, and is dated December 1788. It is
also found in the book _On Instruction_, &c. printed at Leipzig in
1789, by Walther. Here, however, the Appendix is dated January 1789.
This edition agrees in the main with that in the book from which I
have made such copious extracts, but differs in some particulars
that are not unworthy of remark.

In the packet it is written, "_The Undersigned as Member and Agent
of the German Union_, in order to rectify several mistakes and
injurious slanders and accusations, thinks it necessary that the
public itself should judge of their object and conduct."--Towards
the end it is said, "and all who have any doubts may apply to
those named below, and are invited to write to them." No names
however are subjoined. In the Appendix to the book it is only said,
"the agent of the German Union," &c. and "persons who wish to be
better informed may write to the agent, under the address, _To the
German Union_--under cover to the shop of Walther, bookseller in
Leipzig."--Here too there are no names, and it does not appear that
any person has chosen to come from behind the curtain[15].

  [15] Walther is an eminent bookseller, and carries on the business
  of publishing to a great extent, both at Leipzig and other places.
  He was the publisher of the most virulent attacks on the King of
  Prussia's Edict on Religion, and was brought into much trouble about
  the Commentary by Pott which is mentioned above. He also publishes
  many of the sceptical and licentious writings which have so much
  disturbed the peace of Germany.

There has already been so much said about _Enlightening_, that the
reader must be almost tired of it. He is assured in this performance
that the Illumination proposed by the Union is not that of the
_Wolfenbuttle Fragments_, nor that of HORUS, nor that of _Bahrdt_.
The _Fragments_ and _Horus_ are books which aim directly, and
without any concealment, to destroy the authority of our Scriptures,
either as historical narrations or as revelations of the intentions
of providence and of the future prospects of man. The Theological
writings of _Bahrdt_ are gross perversions, both of the sense of
the text, and of the moral instructions contained in it, and are
perhaps the most exceptionable performances on the subject. They
are stigmatised as absurd, and coarse, and indecent, even by the
writers on the same side; yet the work recommended so often as
containing the elements of that Illumination which the world has to
expect from the Union, not only coincides in its general principles
with these performances, but is almost an abstract of some of
them, particularly of his _Popular Religion_, his _Paraphrase on
the Sermon on the Mount_, and his _Morality of Religion_. We have
also seen that the book on the Liberty of the Press is quoted and
recommended as an elementary book. Nay both the work on Instruction
and that on the Liberty of the Press are now known to be Bahrdt's.

But these principles, exceptionable as they may be, are probably
not the worst of the institution. We see that the _outside_ alone
of the Union is to be shewn to the public. Barthels felicitates the
public that there is no subordination and blind obedience to unknown
Superiors; yet, in the same paragraph, he tells us that there is
a secret plan of operations, that is known only to the Centre and
the Confidential Brethren. The author of _Fuller Information_ says
that he has this plan, and would print it, were he not restrained
by a promise[16]. He gives us enough however to show us that the
higher mysteries of the Union are precisely the same with those
of the Illuminati. Christianity is expressly said to have been a
Mystical Association, and its founder the Grand Master of a Lodge.
The Apostles, Peter, James, John, and Andrew, were the _Elect_, and
Brethren of the Third Degree, and initiated into all the mysteries.
The remaining Apostles were only of the Second Degree; and the
Seventy-two were of the First degree. Into this degree ordinary
Christians may be admitted, and prepared for further advancement.
The great mistery is, that J---- C---- was a _Naturalist_, and
taught the doctrine of a Supreme Mind, the Spectator, but not the
Governer of the World, pretty nearly in the sense of the Stoics.
The Initiated Brethren were to be instructed by reading proper
books. Those particularly recommended are _Basedow's Practical
Knowledge_, _Eberhard's Apology for Socrates_, _Bahrdt's Apology
for Reason_, _Steinbardt's System of Moral Education_, _Meiner's
Ancient Mysteries_, _Bahrdt's Letters on the Bible_, and _Bahrdt's
Completion of the Plan and Aim of J---- C----_. These books are of
the most Antichristian character, and some of them aim at shaking
off all moral obligation whatever.

  [16] This I find to be false, and the book a common job.

Along with these religious doctrines, are inculcated the most
dangerous maxims of civil conduct. The despotism that is aimed
at over the minds of men, and the machinations and intrigues for
obtaining possession of places of trust and influence, are equally
alarming; but being perfectly similar to those of the Illuminati, it
is needless to mention them.

The chief intelligence that we get from this author is that the
CENTRE of the Union is at a house in the neighbourhood of Halle.
It is a sort of tavern, in a vineyard immediately without the city.
This was bought by Doctor KARL FRIEDERICH BAHRDT, and fitted up for
the amusement of the University Students. He calls it BAHRDT'S RUHE
(Bahrdt's Repose). The author thinks that this must have been the
work of the Association, because Bahrdt had not a farthing, and was
totally unable for such an undertaking. He may however have been the
contriver of the institution. He has never affirmed or denied this
in explicit terms; nor has he ever said who are the XXII coadjutors.
Wucherer, an eminent bookseller at Vienna, seems to have been one
of the most active hands, and in one year admitted near two hundred
members, among whom is his own shoemaker. He has published some of
the most profligate pamphlets which have yet appeared in Germany.

The publication of the list of members alarmed the nation; persons
were astonished to find themselves in every quarter in the midst
of villains who were plotting against the peace and happiness of
the country, and destroying every sentiment of religion, morality,
or loyalty. Many persons published in the newspapers and literary
journals affirmations and proofs of the false insertion of their
names. Some acknowledged that curiosity had made them enter the
Association, and even continue their correspondence with the Centre,
in order to learn something of what the Fraternity had in view, but
declared that they had never taken any part in its proceedings.
But, at the same time, it is certain that many Reading Societies
had been set up during these transactions, in every quarter of
Germany, and that the ostensible managers were in general of
very suspicious characters, both as to morals and loyalty. The
Union had actually set up a press of their own at Calbe, in the
neighbourhood of Halberstadt. Every day there appeared stronger
proofs of a combination of the Journalists, Reviewers, and even
of the publishers and booksellers, to suppress the writings which
appeared in defence of the civil and ecclesiastical constitutions
of the States of Germany. The extensive literary manufacture of
Germany is carried on in such a manner that it is impossible for any
thing less than the joint operation of the whole federated powers to
prevent this. The spirit of freethinking and innovating in religious
matters had been remarkably prevalent in the dominions of the King
of Prussia, having been much encouraged by the indifference of the
late King. One of the vilest things published on this occasion
was an abominable farce, called the Religion Edict. This was
traced to Bahrdt's Ruhe, and the Doctor was arrested, and all his
papers seized and ransacked. The civil Magistrate was glad of an
opportunity of expiscating the German Union, which common fame had
also traced hither. The correspondence was accordingly examined,
and many discoveries were made, which there was no occasion to
communicate to the public, and the prosecution of the business of
the Union was by this means stopped. But the persons in high office
at Berlin agree in saying that the Association of writers and other
turbulent persons in Germany has been but very faintly hit by this
blow, and is almost as active as ever.

The German Union appears a mean and precipitate Association. The
Centre, the Archives, and the Secretary are contemptible. All the
Archives that were found were the plans and lists of the members and
a parcel of letters of correspondence. The correspondence and other
business was managed by an old man in some very inferior office or
judicatory, who lived at bed and board in Bahrdt's house for about
six shillings a week, having a chest of papers and a writing-desk in
the corner of the common room of the house.

Bahrdt gives a long narration of his concern in she affair, but we
can put little confidence in what he says: yet as we have no better
authority, I shall give a very short abstract of it, as follows:

He said, that he learned Cosmo-political Free Masonry in England,
when he was there getting pupils for his academy--but neglected it
on his return to Germany. Some time after his settlement he was
roused by a visit from a stranger who passed for an Englishman,
but whom he afterwards found to be a Dutch officer--(he gives a
description which bears considerable resemblance to the Prince
or General Salms who gave so much disturbance to the States
General)--He was still more excited by an anonymous letter giving
him an account of a Society which was employed in the instruction
of mankind, and a plan of their mode of operations, nearly the same
with that of No. III. He then set up a Lodge of Free Masonry on
Cosmo-political principles, as a preparation for engaging in this
great plan--he was stopped by the National Lodge, because he had
no patent from it.--This obliged him to work in secret.--He met
with a gentleman in a coffee-house, who entreated him to go on, and
promised him great assistance--this he got from time to time, as he
stood most in need of it, and he now found that he was working in
concert with many powerful though unknown friends, each in his own
circle. The plan of operation of the XXII. was gradually unfolded
to him, and he got solemn promises of being made acquainted with
his colleagues. But he now found, that after he had so essentially
served their noble cause, he was dropped by them in the hour of
danger, and thus was made the sacrifice for the public good. The
last packet which he received was a request from a _Friend to the
Union_ to print two performances sent him, with a promise of 100
dahlers for his trouble. These were the abominable farce called the
Religion Edict, and some Dissertations on that Royal Proclamation.

He then gives an account of his system of Free Masonry, not
very different from Weishaupt's Masonic Christianity--and
concludes with the following abstract of the advantages of the
Union--Advancement of Science--A general interest and concern for
Arts and Learning--Excitement of Talents--Check of Scribbling--Good
Education--Liberty--Equality--Hospitality--Delivery of many from
Misfortunes--Union of the Learned--and at last--perhaps--Amen.

What the meaning of this enigmatical conclusion is we can only
guess--and our conjectures cannot be very favourable.

The narration, of which this is a very short index, is abundantly
entertaining; but the opinion of the most intelligent is, that it is
in a great measure fictitious, and that the contrivance of the Union
is mostly his own. Although it could not be legally proved that he
was the author of the farce, every person in court was convinced
that he was, and indeed it is perfectly in Bahrdt's very singular
manner. This invalidates the whole of his story--and he afterwards
acknowledges the farce (at least by implication) in several
writings, and boasts of it.

For these reasons I have omitted the narration in detail. Some
information, however, which I have received since, seems to confirm
his account, while it diminishes its importance. I now find that the
book called _Fuller Information_ is the performance of a clergyman
called _Schutz_, of the lowest class, and by no means of an eminent
character.--Another performance in the form of a dialogue between
X, Y, and Z, giving nearly the same account, is by Pott, the dear
friend of Bahrdt and of his Union, and author of the Commentary on
the Edict. Schutz got his materials from one Roper, an expelled
student of debauched morals, who subsisted by copying and vending
filthy manuscripts. Bahrdt says, that he found him naked and
starving, and, out of pity, took him into his house, and employed
him as an amanuensis. Roper stole the papers at various times,
taking them with him to Leipzig, whither he went on pretence of
sickness. At last Schutz and he went to Berlin together, and gave
the information on which Bahrdt was put in prison. In short they all
appear to have been equally profligates and traitors to each other,
and exhibit a dreadful, but I hope a useful picture of the influence
of this Illumination which so wonderfully fascinates Germany.

This is all the direct information that I can pick up of the founder
and the proceedings of the German Union. The project is coarse, and
palpably mean, aiming at the dahlers of entry-money and of annual
contribution, and at the publication and profitable sale of Dr.
Bahrdt's books. This circumstance gives it strong features of its
parentage--Philo speaks of Bahrdt in his _Final Declaration_ in
terms of contempt and abhorence. There is nothing ingenious, nothing
new, nothing enticing, in the plans; and the immediate purpose of
indulging the licentious taste of the public comes so frequently
before the eye, that it bears all the marks of that grossness of
mind, precipitancy, and impatient oversight that are to be found
in all the voluminous writings of Dr. Bahrdt. Many in Germany,
however, ascribe the Union to Weishaupt, and say that it is the
Illuminati working in another form. There is no denying that the
principles, and even the manner of proceeding, are the same in
every essential circumstance. Many paragraphs of the declamations
circulated through Germany with the plans, are transcribed verbatim
from Weishaupt's _Corrected system of Illuminatism_. Much of the
work _On Instruction, and the Means for promoting it_, is very
nearly a copy of the same work, blended with slovenly extracts from
some of his own writings--There is the same series of delusions from
the beginning, as in Illuminatism--Free Masonry and Christianity
are compounded--first with marks of respect--then Christianity is
twisted to a purpose foreign from it, but the same with that aimed
at by Weishaupt--then it is thrown away altogether, and Natural
Religion and Atheism substituted for it--For no person will have
a moment's hesitation in saying, that this is the creed of the
author of the books _On Instruction_ and _On the Liberty of the
Press_. Nor can he doubt that the political principles are equally
anarchical with those of the Illuminati.--The endeavours also to get
possession of public offices--of places of education--of the public
mind, by the Reading Societies, and by publications--are so many
transcripts from the Illuminati. Add to this, that Dr. Bahrdt was an
_Illuminatus_--and wrote the _Better than Horus_, at the command of
Weishaupt. Nay, it is well known that Weishaupt was twice or thrice
at Bahrdt's Ruhe during those transactions, and that he zealously
promoted the formation of Reading Societies in several places.--But
I am rather of the opinion that Weishaupt made those visits in order
to keep Dr. Bahrdt within some bounds of decency, and to hinder
him from hurting the cause by his precipitancy, when spurred on by
the want of money. Weishaupt could not work in such an unskilful
manner. But he would be very glad of such help as this coarse
tool could give him--and Bahrdt gave great help; for, when he was
imprisoned and his papers seized, his Archives, as he called them,
shewed that there were many Reading Societies which his project had
drawn together. The Prussian States had above thirty, and the number
of readers was astonishingly great--and it was found, that the
pernicious books had really found their way into every hut. Bahrdt,
by descending a story lower than Weishaupt, has greatly increased
the number of his pupils.

But, although I cannot consider the German Union as a formal revival
of the Order under another name, I must hold those _United_, and the
members of those Reading Societies, as _Illuminati_ and _Minervals_.
I must even consider the Union as a part of Spartacus' work.
The plans of Weishaupt were partly carried into effect in their
different branches--they were pointed out, and the way to carry
them on are distinctly described in the private correspondence of
the Order--It required little genius to attempt them in imitation.
Bahrdt made the attempt, and in part succeeded. Weishaupt's hopes
were well founded--The leaven was not only distributed, but the
management of the fermentation was now understood, and it went on

It is to be remarked, that nothing was found among Bahrdt's
papers to support the story he writes in his diary--no such
correspondences--but enough for detecting many of these Societies.
Many others however were found unconnected with Bahrdt's Ruhe, not
of better character, either as to Morality or Loyalty, and some of
them considerable and expensive; and many proofs were found of a
combination to force the public to a certain way of thinking, by the
management of the Reviews and Journals. The extensive dealings of
Nicholai of Berlin gave him great weight in the book-making trade,
which in Germany surpasses all our conceptions. The catalogues of
_new_ writings in sheets, which are printed twice a-year for each
of the fairs at Leipzig and Frankfort, would astonish a British
reader by the number. The booksellers meet there, and at one glance
see the whole republic of literature, and, like Roman senators,
decide the sentiments of distant provinces. By thus seeing the whole
together, their speculations are national, and they really have it
in their power to give what turn they please to the literature and
to the sentiments of Germany. Still however they must be induced by
motives. The motive of a merchant is gain, and every object appears
in his eye something by which money may be made. Therefore in a
luxurious and voluptuous nation, licentious and free-thinking books
will abound. The writers suggest and the booksellers think how the
thing will tickle. Yet it must not be inferred, from the prevalence
of such books, that such is the common sense of mankind, and that
the writings are not the corrupters, but the corrupted, or that they
are what they ought to be, because they please the public. We need
only push the matter to an extremity, and its cause appears plain.
Filthy prints will always create a greater crowd before the shop
window than the finest performances of Wollett. Licentious books
will be read with a fluttering eagerness, as long as they are not
universally permitted; and pitiable will be the state of the nation
when their number makes them familiar and no longer captivating.

But although it must be confessed that great encouragement was
given to the sceptical, infidel, and licentious writings in
Germany, we see that it was still necessary to practise seduction.
The _Religionist_ was made to expect some engaging exhibition of
his faith. The _Citizen_ must be told that his civil connections
are respected, and will be improved; and _all_ are told that good
manners or virtue is to be supported. Man is supposed to be, in
very essential circumstances, what he wishes to be, and feels he
ought to be: and he is corrupted by means of falsehood and trick.
The principles by which he is wheedled into wickedness in the first
instance, are therefore such as are really addressed to the general
sentiments of mankind: these therefore should be considered as more
expressive of the public mind than those which he afterwards adopts,
after this artificial education. Therefore Virtue, Patriotism,
Loyalty, Veneration for true and undefiled Religion, are really
acknowledged by those corrupters to be the _prevailing_ sentiments;
and they are good if this prevalence is to be the test of worth. The
mind that is otherwise affected by them, and hypocritically uses
them in order to get hold of the uninitiated, that he may in time
be made to cherish the contrary sentiments, cannot be a good mind,
notwithstanding any pretensions it may make to the love of mankind.

No man, not Weishaupt himself, has made stronger professions of
benevolence, of regard for the happiness of mankind, and of every
thing that is amiable, than Dr. Bahrdt. It may not be useless to
enquire what effect such principles have had on his own mind,
and those of his chief coadjutors. Deceit of every kind is
dishonourable; and the deceit that is professedly employed in the
proceedings of the Union is no exception. No pious fraud _whatever_
must be used, and pure religion must be presented to the view
without all disguise.

    "The more fair Virtue's seen, the more she charms.
    Safe, plain, and easy, are her artless ways.
    With face erect, her eyes look strait before;
    For dauntless is her march, her step secure.

    Not so, pale Fraud--now here she turns, now there,
    Still seeking darker shades, secure in none,
    Looks often back, and wheeling round and round,
    Sinks headlong in the danger she would shun."

The mean motive of the Protestant Sceptic is as inconsistent with
our notions of honesty as with our notions of honour; and our
suspicions are justly raised of the character of Dr. Bahrdt and
his associates, even although we do not suppose that their aim is
the total abolishing of religion. With propriety therefore may we
make some enquiry about their lives and conduct. Fortunately this
is easy in the present instance. A man that has turned every eye
upon himself can hardly escape observation. But it is not so easy
to get fair information. The peculiar situation of Dr. Bahrdt, and
the cause between him and the public, are of all others the most
productive of mistake, misrepresentation, obloquy, and injustice.
But even here we are fortunate. Many remarkable parts of his life
are established by the most respectable testimony, or by judicial
evidences; and, to make all sure, he has written his own life. I
shall insert nothing here that is not made out by the two last modes
of proof, resting nothing on the first, however respectable the
evidence may be. But I must observe, that his life was also written
by his dear friend Pott, the partner of Walther the bookseller. The
story of this publication is curious, and it is instructive.

Bahrdt was in prison, and in great poverty. He intended to write
his own life, to be printed by Walther, under a fictitious name,
and in this work he intended to indulge his spleen and his dislike
of all those who had offended him, and in particular all priests,
and rulers, and judges, who had given him so much trouble. He knew
that the strange, and many of them scandalous anecdotes, with which
he had so liberally interlarded many of his former publications,
would set curiosity on tiptoe, and would procure a rapid sale as
soon as the public should guess that it was his own performance, by
the singular but significant name which the pretended author would
assume. He had almost agreed with Walther for a thousand dahlers,
(about L. 200), when he was imprisoned for being the author of the
farce so often named, and of the commentary on the _Religion Edict_,
written by Pott, and for the proceedings of the German Union. He
was refused the use of pen and ink. He then applied to Pott, and
found means to correspond with him, and to give him part of his life
already written, and materials for the rest, consisting of stories,
and anecdotes, and correspondence. Pott sent him several sheets,
with which he was so pleased, that they concluded a bargain. Bahrdt
says, that Pott was to have 400 copies, and that the rest was to
go to the maintenance of Bahrdt and his family, consisting of his
wife, daughter, a Christina and her children who lived with them,
&c. Pott gives a different account, and the truth was different
from both, but of little consequence to us. Bahrdt's papers had
been seized, and searched for evidence of his transactions, but
the strictest attention was paid to the precise points of the
charge, and no paper was abstracted which did not relate to these.
All others were kept in a sealed room. Pott procured the removal
of the seals and got possession of them. Bahrdt says, that his
wife and daughter came to him in prison, almost starving, and told
him that now that the room was opened, Pott had made an offer to
write for their support, if he had the use of these papers--that
this was the conclusion of the bargain, and that Pott took away all
the papers. N. B. Pott was the associate of Walther, who had great
confidence in him (_Anecdotenbuch fur meinen lieben Amtsbruder,
p. 400_) and had conducted the business of Stark's book, as has
been already mentioned. No man was better known to Bahrdt, for
they had long acted together as chief hands in the Union. He would
therefore write the life of its founder _con amore_, and it might
be expected to be a rare and tickling performance. And indeed it
was. The first part of it only was published at this time; and
the narration reaches from the birth of the hero till his leaving
Leipzig in 1768. The attention is kept fully awake, but the emotions
which successively occupy the mind of the reader are nothing but
strong degrees of aversion, disgust, and horror. The figure set up
to view is a monster, a man of talents indeed, and capable of great
things; but lost to truth, to virtue, and even to the affectation of
common decency--In short, a shameless profligate.--Poor Bahrdt was
astonished,--stared--but, having his wits about him, saw that this
life would sell, and would also sell another.--Without loss of time,
he said that he would hold Pott to his bargain--but he reckoned
without his host. "No, no," said Pott, "your are not the man I took
you for--your correspondence was put into my hands--I saw that you
had deceived me, and it was my duty, as a man _who loves truth
above all things_, to hinder you from deceiving the world. I have
not written the book you desired me. I did not work for you, but for
myself--therefore you get not a groschen." "Why, Sir," said Bahrdt,
"we both know that this won't do. You and I have already tried it.
You received Stark's manuscript, to be printed by Walther--Walther
and you sent it hither to Michaelis, that I might see it during
the printing. I wrote an illustration and a key, which made the
fellow very ridiculous, and they were printed together, with one
title page.--You know that we were cast in court.--Walther was
obliged to print the work as Stark first ordered, and we lost all
our labour.--So shall you now, for I will commence an action this
instant, and let me see with what face you will defend yourself,
within a few weeks of your last appearance in court." Pott said,
"You may try this. My work is already sold, and dispersed over all
Germany--and I have no objection to begin yours to-morrow--believe
me, it will sell." Bahrdt pondered--and resolved to write one

This is another specimen of the _Union_.

DR. CARL FREDERICK BAHRDT was born in 1741. His father was then
a parish minister, and afterwards Professor of Theology at
Leipzig, where he died, in 1775. The youth, when at College,
enlisted in the Prussian service as a hussar, but was bought off
by his father. He was M. A. in 1761. He became catechist in his
father's church, was a popular preacher, and published sermons in
1765, and some controversial writings, which did him honour--But
he then began to indulge in conviviality, and in anonymous
pasquinades, uncommonly bitter and offensive. No person was
safe--Professors--Magistrates--Clergymen, had his chief notice--also
students--and even comrades and friends. (Bahrdt says, that these
things might cut to the quick but they were all just.) Unluckily
his temperament was what the atomical philosophers (who can explain
every thing by æthers and vibrations) call sanguine. He _therefore_
(his own word) was a passionate admirer of the ladies. Coming
home from supper he frequently met a young Miss in the way to his
lodgings, neatly dressed in a rose-coloured silk jacket and train,
and a sable bonnet, costly, and like a lady. One evening (after some
old Renish, as he says,) he saw the lady home. Some time after, the
mistress of the house, Madam Godschusky, came into his room, and
said that the poor maiden was pregnant. He could not help that--but
it was very unfortunate, and would ruin him if known.--He therefore
gave the old lady a bond for 200 dahlers, to be paid by instalments
of twenty-five.----"The girl was sensible, and good, and as he had
already paid for it, and her conversation was agreeable, he did not
discontinue his acquaintance." A comrade one day told him, that
one Bel, a magistrate, whom he had lampooned, knew the affair, and
would bring it into court, unless he immediately retrieved the bond.
This bond was the only evidence, but it was enough. Neither Bahrdt
nor his friend could raise the money. But they fell on another
contrivance. They got Madam Godschusky to meet them at another
house, in order to receive the money. Bahrdt was in a closet, and
his comrade wore a sword. The woman could not be prevailed on to
produce the bond till Bahrdt should arrive, and the money be put
into her hands, with a present to herself. The comrade tried to
flutter her, and, drawing his sword, shewed her how men fenced--made
passes at the wall--and then at her--but she was too firm--he then
threw away his sword, and began to try to force the paper from her.
She defended herself a good while, but at length he got the paper
out of her pocket, tore it in pieces, opened the closet door, and
said, "There you b----, there is the honourable fellow whom you and
your wh-- have bullied--but it is with me you have to do now, and
you know that I can bring you to the gallows." There was a great
squabble to be sure, says Bahrdt, but it ended, and I thought all
was now over.--But Mr. Bel had got word of it, and brought it into
court the very day that Bahrdt was to have made some very reverend
appearance at church. In short, after many attempts of his poor
father to save him, he was obliged to send in his gown and band,
and to quit the place. It was some comfort, however, that Madam
Godschusky and the young Miss did not fare much better. They were
both imprisoned. Madam G. died sometime after of some shocking
disease. The court records give a very different account of the
whole, and particularly of the scuffle; but Bahrdt's story is enough.

Bahrdt says, that his father was severe--but acknowledges that his
own temperament was hasty, (why does not his fathers temperament
excuse something? _Vibratiunculæ_ will explain every thing or
nothing.) "_Therefore_ (again) I sometimes forgot myself. One day I
laid a loaded pistol on the table, and told him that he should meet
with that if he went on so. But I was only seventeen."

Dr. Bahrdt was, of course, obliged to leave the place. His friends,
and Semler in particular, an eminent theological writer, who had
formed a very favourable opinion of his uncommon talents, were
assiduous in their endeavours to get an establishment for him. But
his high opinion of himself, his temper, impetuous, precipitant,
and overbearing, and a bitter satirical habit which he had freely
indulged in his outset of life, made their endeavours very

At last he got a professorship at Erlangen, then at Erfurth, and
in 1771, at Giessen. But in all these places he was no sooner
settled than he got into disputes with his colleagues and with the
established church, being a strenuous partizan of the innovations
which were attempted to be made in the doctrines of christianity. In
his anonymous publications, he did not trust to rational discussion
alone, but had recourse to ridicule and personal anecdotes, and
indulged in the most cutting sarcasms and gross scurrility. Being
fond of convivial company, his income was insufficient for the
craving demand, and as soon as he found that anecdote and slander
always procured readers, he never ceased writing. He had wonderful
readiness and activity, and spared neither friends nor foes in his
anonymous performances. But this could not last, and his avowed
theological writings were such as could not be suffered in a
Professor of Divinity. The very students at Giessen were shocked
with some of his liberties. After much wrangling in the church
judicatories he was just going to be dismissed, when he got an
invitation to Marschlins in Switzerland to superintend an academy.
He went thither about the year 1776, and formed the seminary after
the model of Basedow's Philanthropine, or academy, at Dessau, of
which I have already given some account. It had acquired some
celebrity, and the plan was peculiarly suited to Bahrdt's taste,
because it left him at liberty to introduce any system of religious
or irreligious opinions that he pleased. He resolved to avail
himself of this liberty, and though a clergyman and Doctor of
Theology, he would outstrip even Basedow, who had no ecclesiastical
orders to restrain him. But he wanted the moderation, the prudence
and the principle of Basedow. He had, by this time, formed his
opinion of mankind, by meditating on the feelings of his own mind.
His theory of human nature was simple--"The leading propensities,
says he, of the human mind are three--Instinctive liberty
(Freyheitstriebe)-instinctive activity (Triebe fur Thatigkeit)--and
instinctive love (Liebes triebe)." I do not wish to misunderstand
him, but I can give no other translation.--"If a man is obstructed
in the exercise of any of these propensities he suffers an
injury.--The business of a good education therefore is to teach us
how they are to be enjoyed in the highest degree."

We need not be surprised although the Doctor should find it
difficult to manage the Cyclopedia in his Philanthropine in such
a manner as to give satisfaction to the neighbourhood, which was
habituated to very different sentiments,--Accordingly he found his
situation as uncomfortable as at Giessen. He says, in one of his
latest performances, "that the Grisons were a strong instance of
the immense importance of education. They knew nothing but their
handicrafts, and their minds were as coarse as their persons." He
quarrelled with them all, and was obliged to abscond after lying
sometime in arrest.

He came to Durkheim or Turkheim, where his father was or had been
minister. His literary talents were well known.--After some little
time he got an association formed for erecting and supporting a
Philanthropine or house of education. A large fund was collected,
and he was enabled to travel into Holland and England, to engage
pupils, and was furnished with proper recommendations.--On his
return the plan was carried into execution. The castle or residence
of Count Leining Hartzburgh, at Heidesheim, having gardens, park,
and every handsome accommodation, had been fitted up for it, and it
was consecrated by a solemn religious festival in 1778.

But his old misfortunes pursued him. He had indeed no colleagues
to quarrel with, but his avowed publications became every day more
obnoxious--and when any of his anonymous pieces had a great run, he
could not stifle his vanity and conceal the author's name. Of these
pieces, some were even shocking to decency. It was indifferent to
him whether it was friend or foe that he abused; and some of them
were so horribly injurious to the characters of the most respectable
men in the state, that he was continually under the correction
of the courts of justice. There was hardly a man of letters that
had ever been in his company who did not suffer by it. For his
constant practice was to father every new step that he took towards
Atheism on some other person; and, whenever the reader sees, in the
beginning of a book, any person celebrated by the author for sound
sense, profound judgment, accurate reasoning, or praised for acts of
friendship and kindness to himself, he may be assured that, before
the close of the book, this man will convince Dr. Bahrdt in some
private conversation, that some doctrine, cherished and venerated by
all Christians, is a piece of knavish superstition. So lost was Dr.
Bahrdt to all sense of shame. He said that he held his own opinions
independent of all mankind, and was indifferent about their praise
or their reproach.

Bahrdt's licentious, very licentious life, was the cause of most of
these enormities. No income could suffice and he wrote for bread.
The artful manner in which the literary manufacture of Germany was
conducted, made it impossible to hinder the rapid dispersion of
his writings over all Germany; and the indelicate and coarse maw
of the public was as ravenous as the sensuality of Dr. Bahrdt, who
really battened in the Epicurean sty. The consequence of all this
was that he was obliged to fly from Heidesheim, leaving his sureties
in the _Philanthropine_ to pay about 14,000 dahlers, besides debts
without number to his friends. He was imprisoned at Dienheim, but
was released I know not how, and settled at Halle. There he sunk to
be a keeper of a tavern and billiard-table, and his house became
the resort and the bane of the students in the University.--He
was obliged therefore to leave the city. He had somehow got funds
which enabled him to buy a little vineyard, prettily situated in
the neighbourhood. This he fitted up with every accommodation that
could invite the students, and called it _Bahrdt's Ruhe_. We have
already seen the occupations of Dr. B. in this _Buen Retiro_--Can
we call it _otium cum dignitate_? Alas, no! He had not lived two
years here, bustling and toiling for the German Union, sometimes
without a bit of bread--when he was sent to prison at Halle, and
then to Magdeburg, where he was more than a year in jail. He was
set at liberty, and returned to _Bahrdt's Ruhe_, not, alas, to
live at ease, but to lie down on a sick-bed, where, after more
than a year's suffering increasing pain, he died on the 23d of
April 1793, the most wretched and loathsome victim of unbridled
sensuality. The account of his case is written by a friend, a Dr.
Jung, who professes to defend his memory and his principles. The
medical description melted my heart, and I am certain would make his
bitterest enemy weep. Jung repeatedly says, that the case was not
venereal--calls it the vineyard disease--the quicksilver disease,
(he was dying of an unconquerable salivation,) and yet, through the
whole of his narration, relates symptoms and sufferings, which, as
a medical man, he could not possibly mean to be taken in any other
sense than as effects of pox. He meant to please the enemies of poor
Bahrdt, knowing that such a man could have no friends, and being
himself ignorant of what friendship or goodness is. The fate of this
poor creature affected me more than any thing I have read of a great
while. All his open enemies put together have not said so much ill
of him as his trusted friend Pott, and another confident, whose name
I cannot recollect, who published in his lifetime an anonymous book
called _Bahrdt with the Iron Brow_--and this fellow Jung, under the
absurd mask of friendship, exhibited the loathsome carcase for a
florin, like a malefactor's at Surgeon's Hall. Such were the fruits
of the German Union, of that Illumination that was to refine the
heart of man, and bring to maturity the seeds of native virtue,
which are choaked in the hearts of other men by superstition and
despotism. We see nothing but mutual treachery and base desertion.

I do not concern myself with the gradual perversion of Dr. Bahrdt's
moral and religious opinions. But he affected to be the enlightener
and reformer of mankind; and affirmed that all the mischiefs in
life originated from despotism supported by superstition. "In
vain," says he, "do we complain of the inefficacy of religion. All
positive religion is founded on injustice. No Prince has a right
to prescribe or sanction any such system. Nor would he do it, were
not the priests the firmest pillars of his tyranny, and superstition
the strongest fetters for his subjects. He dares not show Religion
as she is--pure and undefiled----She would charm the eyes and the
hearts of mankind, would immediately produce true morality, would
open the eyes of freeborn man, would teach him what are his rights,
and who are his oppressors, and Princes would vanish from the face
of the earth."

Therefore, without troubling ourselves with the truth or falsehood
of his religion of Nature, and assuming it as an indisputable point,
that Dr. Bahrdt has seen it in this natural and so effective purity,
it is surely a very pertinent question, "Whether has the sight
produced on his mind an effect so far superior to the acknowledged
faintness of the impression of Christianity on the bulk of mankind,
that it will be prudent to adopt the plan of the German Union, and
at once put an end to the divisions which so unfortunately alienate
the minds of professing Christians from each other?" The account
here given of Dr. Bahrdt's life seems to decide the question.

But it will be said, that I have only related so many instances
of the quarrels of Priests and their slavish adherents, with Dr.
Bahrdt. Let us view him in his ordinary conduct, not as the champion
and martyr of Illumination, but as an ordinary citizen, a husband, a
father, a friend, a teacher of youth, a clergyman.

When Dr. Bahrdt was a parish-minister, and president of some
inferior ecclesiastical district, he was empowered to take off the
censures of the church from a young woman who had born a bastard
child. By violence he again reduced her to the same condition, and
escaped censure, by the poor girl's dying of a fever before her
pregnancy was far advanced, or even legally documented. Also, on the
night of the solemn farce of consecrating his Philanthropine, he
debauched the maid-servant, who bore twins, and gave him up for the
father. The thing, I presume, was not judicially proved, otherwise
he would have surely been disgraced; but it was afterwards made
evident, by the letters which were found by Pott, when he undertook
to write his life. A series of these letters had passed between him
and one Graf, a steward, who was employed by him to give the woman
the small pittance by which she and the infants were maintained.
Remonstrances were made when the money was not advanced; and there
are particularly letters about the end of 1779, which show that
Bahrdt had ceased giving any thing. On the ** of February 1780,
the infants (three years old) were taken away in the night, and
were found exposed, the one at Usstein, and the other at Worms,
many miles distant from each other, and almost frozen to death. The
first was discovered by its moans, by a shoemaker in a field by the
road-side, about six in the morning; the other was found by two
girls between the hedges in a lane, set between two great stones,
past all crying. The poor mother travelled up and down the country
in quest of her infants, and hearing these accounts, found them
both, and took one of them home; but not being able to maintain
both, when Bahrdt's commissioner refused contributing any more, it
remained with the good woman who had taken it in[17].

  [17] This is worse than Rousseau's conduct, who only sent his
  children to the Foundling hospital, that he might never know them
  again. (See his Confessions.)

Bahrdt was married in 1772, while at Giessen; but after wasting the
greatest part of his wife's little fortune left her by a former
husband, he was provoked by losing 1000 florins (about 110l.) in
the hands of her brother who would not pay it up. After this he
used her very ill, and speaks very contemptuously of her in his
own account of his life, calling her a dowdy, jealous, and every
thing contemptible. In two infamous novels, he exhibits characters,
in which she is represented in a most cruel manner; yet this
woman (perhaps during the honey-moon) was enticed by him one day
into the bath, in the pond of the garden of the Philanthropine at
Heidesheim, and there, in the sight of all the pupils did he (also
undressed) toy with his naked wife in the water. When at Halle,
he used the poor woman extremely ill, keeping a mistress in the
house, and giving her the whole command of the family, while the
wife and daughter were confined to a separate part of it. When in
prison at Magdeburgh, the strumpet lived with him, and bore him two
children. He brought them all to his house when he was at liberty.
Such barbarous usage made the poor woman at last leave him and
live with her brother. The daughter died about a year before him,
of an overdose of laudanum given by her father, to procure sleep,
when ill of a fever. He ended his own wretched life in the same
manner, unable, poor man, to bear his distress, without the smallest
compunction or sorrow for his conduct; and the last thing he did was
to send for a bookseller, (Vipink of Halle, who had published some
of his vile pieces,) and recommend his strumpet and her children to
his protection, without one thought of his injured wife.

I shall end my account of this profligate monster with a specimen of
his way of using his friends.

"Of all the acquisitions which I made in England, Mr. ---- (the
name appears at full length) was the most important. This person
was accomplished in the highest degree. With sound judgment, great
genius, and correct taste, he was perfectly a man of the world. He
was my friend, and the only person who warmly interested himself for
my institution. To his warm and repeated recommendations I owe all
the pupils I got in England, and many most respectable connections;
for he was universally esteemed as a man of learning and of the most
unblemished worth. He was my friend, my conductor, and I may say my
preserver; for when I had not bread for two days, he took me to his
house, and supplied all my wants. This gentleman was a clergyman,
and had a small but genteel and selected congregation, a flock
which required strong food. My friend preached to them pure natural
religion, and was beloved by them. His sermons were excellent, and
delivered with native energy and grace, because they came from
the heart. I had once the honour of preaching for him. But what a
difference--I found myself afraid--I feared to speak too boldly,
because I did not know where I was, and thought myself speaking to
my crouching countrymen. But the liberty of England opens every
heart, and makes it accessible to morality. I can give a very
remarkable instance.

"The women of the town in London do not, to be sure, meet with
my unqualified approbation in all respects. But it is impossible
not to be struck with the propriety and decency of their manners,
so unlike the clownish impudence of our German wh--. I could not
distinguish them from modest women, otherwise than by their greater
attention and eagerness to shew me civility. My friend used to
laugh at my mistakes, and I could not believe him when he told me
that the lady who had kindly shewed the way to me, a foreigner, was
a votary of Venus. He maintained that English liberty naturally
produced morality and kindness. I still doubted, and he said
that he would convince me by my own experience. These girls are
to be seen in crowds every evening in every quarter of the town.
Although some of them may not have even a shift, they come out in
the evening dressed like princesses, in hired clothes, which are
entrusted to them without any fear of their making off with them.
Their fine shape, their beautiful skin, and dark brown hair, their
bosoms, so prettily set off by their black silk dress, and above
all, the gentle sweetness of their manners, makes an impression in
the highest degree favourable to them. They civilly offer their arm
and say, "My dear, will you give me a glass of wine." If you give
them no encouragement, they pass on, and give no farther trouble.
I went with my friend to Covent Garden, and after admiring the
innumerable beauties we saw in the piazzas, we gave our arm to
three very agreeable girls, and immediately turned into a temple of
the Cytherean Goddess, which is to be found at every second door
in the city, and were shewn into a parlour elegantly carpeted and
furnished, and lighted with wax, with every other accommodation at
hand.--My friend called for a pint of wine, and this was all the
expence for which we received so much civility. The conversation and
other behaviour of the ladies was agreeable in the highest degree,
and _not a word_ passed that would have distinguished them from
nuns, or that was not in the highest degree mannerly and elegant. We
parted in the street--and such is the liberty of England, that my
friend ran not the smallest risk of suffering either in his honour
or usefulness.--Such is the effect of freedom."

We may be sure, the poor man was astonished when he saw his name
before the public as one of the enlighteners of Christian Europe. He
is really a man of worth, and of the most irreproachable character,
and knew that whatever might be the protection of British liberty,
such conduct would ruin him with his own hearers, and in the minds
of all his respectable countrymen. He therefore sent a vindication
of his character from this slanderous abuse to the publishers of
the principal newspapers and literary journals in Germany. The
vindication is complete, and B. is convicted of having related what
he _could not possibly have seen_. It is worthy of remark, that the
vindication did not appear in the _Berlin Monatschrift_, nor in any
of the journals which made favorable mention of the performances of
the Enlighteners.

"Think not, indignant reader," says Arbuthnot, "that this man's
life is useless to mortals." It shews in a strong light the falsity
of all his declamations in favour of his so much praised natural
religion and universal kindness and humanity. No man of the party
writes with more persuasive energy, and, though his petulance and
precipitant self-conceit lead him frequently astray, no man has
occasionally put all the arguments of these philosophers in a
clearer light; yet we see that all is false and hollow. He is a vile
hypocrite, and the real aim of all his writings is to make money,
by fostering the sensual propensities of human nature, although
he sees and feels that the completion of the plan of the German
Union would be an event more destructive and lamentable than any
that can be pointed out in the annals of superstition. I will not
say that all partisans of Illumination are hogs of the sty of
Epicurus like this wretch. But the reader must acknowledge that, in
the institution of Weishaupt, there is the same train of sensual
indulgence laid along the whole, and that purity of heart and life
is no part of the morality that is held forth as the perfection of
human nature. The final abolition of Christianity is undoubtedly
one of its objects--whether as an end of their efforts, or as a
mean for the attainment of some end still more important. Purity
of heart is perhaps the most distinctive feature of Christian
morality. Of this Dr. Bahrdt seems to have had no conception; and
his institution, as well as his writings, shew him to have been a
very coarse sensualist. But his taste, though coarse, accorded with
what Weishaupt considered as a ruling propensity, by which he had
the best chance of securing the fidelity of his subjects.--Craving
desires, beyond the bonds of our means, were the natural
consequences of indulgence; and since the purity of Christian
morality stood in his way, his first care was to clear the road by
rooting it out altogether--What can follow but general dissoluteness
of manners?

Nothing can more distinctly prove the crooked politics of the
Reformers than this. It may be considered as the main-spring of
their whole machine. Their pupils were to be led by means of their
sensual appetites, and the aim of their conductors was not to
inform them, but merely to lead them; not to reform, but to rule
the world.--They would reign, though in hell, rather than serve in
heaven.--Dr. Bahrdt was a true Apostle of Illuminatism; and though
his torch was made of the grossest materials, and "served only to
discover sights of woe," the horrid glare darted into every corner,
rousing hundreds of filthy vermin, and directing their flight to
the rotten carrion where they could best deposit their poison and
their eggs; in the breasts, to wit, of the sensual and profligate,
there to fester and burst forth in a new and filthy progeny; and it
is astonishing what numbers were thus roused into action. The scheme
of Reading Societies had taken prodigiously, and became a very
profitable part of the literary trade of Germany. The booksellers
and writers soon perceived its importance, and acted in concert.

I might fill a volume with extracts from the criticisms which were
published on the _Religion Edict_ so often mentioned already.
The Leipzig catalogue for one year contained 173. Although it
concerned the Prussian States alone, these appeared in every
corner of Germany; nay, also in Holland, in Flanders, in Hungary,
in Switzerland, in Courland, and in Livonia. This shows it to
have been the operation of an Associated Band, as was intimated
to the King, with so much petulance by Mirabeau. There was (past
all doubt) such a combination among the innumerable scribblers who
supplied the fairs of Leipzig and Frankfort. Mirabeau calls it a
_Conjuration des Philosophes_, an expression very clear to himself,
for the myriads of gareteers who have long fed the craving mouth of
Paris (always thirsting after some "new thing") called themselves
philosophers, and, like the gangs of St. Giles's, conversed with
each other in a cant of their own, full of _morale_, of _energie_,
of _bienvillance_, &c. &c. &c. unintelligible or misunderstood by
other men, and used for the purpose of deceit. While Mirabeau lived
too, they formed a _Conjuration_. The 14th of July 1790, the most
solemn invocation of the Divine presence ever made on the face of
this earth, put an end to the propriety of this appellation; for
it became necessary (in the progress of political Illumination) to
declare that oaths were nonsense, because the invoked was a creature
of the imagination, and the grand federation, like Wieshaupt and
Bahrdt's Masonic Christianity, is declared, to those initiated
into the higher mysteries, to be a lie. But if we have no longer a
_Conjuration des Philosophes_, we have a gang of scribblers that
has got possession of the public mind by their management of the
literary Journals of Germany, and have made licentious sentiments in
politics, in morals, and in religion, as familiar as were formerly
the articles of ordinary news. All the sceptical writings of England
put together will not make half the number that have appeared in
Protestant Germany during the last twelve or fifteen years. And, in
the Criticisms on the Edict, it is hard to say whether infidelity or
disloyalty fills the most pages.

To such a degree had the Illuminati carried this favourite and
important point that they obtained the direction even of those
whose office it was to prevent it. There is at Vienna, as at
Berlin, an office for examining and licensing writings before
they can have their course in the market. This office publishes
annually an index of forbidden books. In this index are included
the account of the last _Operations of Spartacus and Philo in the
Order of Illuminati_, and a dissertation on _The Final Overthrow of
Free Masonry_, a most excellent performance, showing the gradual
corruption and final perversion of that society to a seminary of
sedition. Also the Vienna _Magazine of Literature and Arts_, which
contains many accounts of the interferences of the Illuminati in the
disturbances of Europe. The Censor who occasioned this prohibition
was an _Illuminatus_ named _Retzer_. He makes a most pitiful and
Jesuitical defence, showing himself completely versant in all
the chicane of the _Illuminati_, and devoted to their Infidel
principles. (See _Rel. Begebenh._ 1795, p. 493.)

There are two performances which give us much information respecting
the state of moral and political opinions in Germany about this
time. One of them is called, _Proofs of a hidden Combination to
destroy the Freedom of Thought and Writing in Germany_. These
proofs are general, taken from many concurring circumstances in the
condition of German literature. They are convincing to a thinking
mind, but are too abstracted to be very impressive on ordinary
readers. The other is the _Appeal to my Country_, which I mentioned
in page 84. This is much more striking, and in each branch of
literature, gives a progressive account of the changes of sentiment,
all supported by the evidence of the books themselves. The author
puts it past contradiction, that in every species of literary
composition into which it was possible, without palpable absurdity,
to introduce licentious and seditious principles, it was done. Many
romances, novels, journeys through Germany and other countries[18],
are written on purpose to attach praise or reproach to certain
sentiments, characters, and pieces of conduct. The Prince, the
nobleman, is made despotic, oppressive, unfeeling or ridiculous--the
poor, and the man of talents, are unfortunate and neglected--and
here and there a fictitious Graff or Baron is made a divinity,
by philanthropy expressed in romantic charity and kindness, or
ostentatious indifference for the little honours which are so
precious in the eyes of a German.--In short, the system of Weishaupt
and Knigge is carried into vigorous effect over all. In both these
performances, and indeed in a vast number of other pieces, I see
that the influence of Nicholai is much commented on, and considered
as having had the chief hand in all those innovations.

  [18] A plan adopted within these few years in our own country,
  which, if prosecuted with the same industry with which it has been
  begun, will soon render our circulating Libraries so many Nurseries
  of Sedition and Impiety. (See Travels into Germany by Este.)

Thus I think it clearly appears, that the suppression of the
Illuminati in Bavaria and of the Union in Brandenburgh, were
insufficient for removing the evils which they had introduced. The
Elector of Bavaria was obliged to issue another proclamation in
November 1790, warning his subjects of their repeated machinations,
and particularly enjoining the magistrates to observe carefully the
assemblies in the Reading Societies, which were multiplying in his
States. A similar proclamation was made and repeated by the Regency
of Hanover, and it was on this occasion that Mauvillon impudently
avowed the most anarchical opinions.--But Weishaupt and his agents
were still busy and successful. The habit of plotting had formed
itself into a regular system. Societies now acted every where in
secret, in correspondence with similar societies in other places.
And thus a mode of co-operation was furnished to the discontented,
the restless, and the unprincipled in all places, without even the
trouble of formal initiations, and without any external appearances
by which the existence and occupations of the members could be
distinguished. The hydra's teeth were already sown, and each grew
up, independent of the rest, and soon sent out its own offsets.--In
all places where such secret practices were going on, there did
not fail to appear some individuals of more than common zeal and
activity, who took the lead, each in his own circle. This gave a
consistency and unity to the operations of the rest, and they,
encouraged by this co-operation, could now attempt things which they
would not otherwise have ventured on. It is not till this state
of things obtains, that this influence becomes sensible to the
public. Philo, in his public declaration, unwarily lets this appear.
Speaking of the numerous little societies in which their principles
were cultivated, he says, "we thus begin to be formidable." It may
now alarm--but it is now too late. The same germ is now sprouting in
another place.

I must not forget to take notice that about this time (1787 or
1788,) there appeared an invitation from a Baron or Prince S----,
Governor of the Dutch fortress H----, before the troubles in
Holland, to form a society _for the Protection of Princes_.--The
plan is expressed in very enigmatical terms, but such as plainly
shew it to be merely an odd title, to catch the public eye; for the
Association is of the same seditious kind with all those already
spoken of, viz. professing to enlighten the minds of men, and making
them imagine that all their hardships proceed from superstition,
which subjects them to useless and crafty priests; and from their
own indolence and want of patriotism, which make them submit to
the mal-administration of ministers. The Sovereign is supposed to
be innocent, but to be a cypher, and every magistrate, who is not
chosen by the people actually under him, is held to be a despot,
and is to be bound hand and foot.--Many circumstances concur to
prove that the projector of this insidious plan is the Prince Salms,
who so assiduously fomented all the disturbances in the Dutch and
Austrian Netherlands. He had, before this time, taken into his
service Zwack, the Cato of the Illuminati. The project had gone some
length when it was discovered and suppressed by the States.

Zimmerman, who had been President of the Illuminati in Manheim, was
also a most active person in propagating their doctrines in other
countries. He was employed as a missionary, and erected some Lodges
even in Rome--also at Neufchatel--and in Hungary. He was frequently
seen in the latter place by a gentleman of my acquaintance, and
preached up all the ostensible doctrines of Illuminatism in the most
public manner, and made many proselytes. But when it was discovered
that their real and fundamental doctrines were different from those
which he professed in order to draw in proselytes, Zimmerman left
the country in haste.--Some time after this he was arrested in
Prussia for seditious harangues--but he escaped, and has not been
heard of since.--When he was in Hungary he boasted of having erected
above an hundred Lodges in different parts of Europe, some of which
were in England.

       *       *       *       *       *

That the Illuminati and other hidden Cosmo-political societies had
some influence in bringing about the French Revolution, or at least
in accelerating it, can hardly be doubted. In reading the secret
correspondence, I was always surprised at not finding any reports
from France, and something like a hesitation about establishing a
mission there; nor am I yet able thoroughly to account for it. But
there is abundant evidence that they interfered, both in preparing
for it in the same manner as in Germany, and in accelerating
its progress. Some letters in the Brunswick Journal from one
_Campe_, who was an inspector of the seminaries of education, a
man of talents, and an _Illuminatus_, put it beyond doubt. He was
residing in Paris during its first movements, and gives a minute
account of them, lamenting their excesses, on account of their
imprudence, and the risk of shocking the nation, and thus destroying
the project, but justifying the motives, on the true principles
of Cosmo-politism. The Vienna Zeitschrift and the Magazine of
Literature and Fine Arts for 1790, and other pamphlets of that
date, say the same thing in a clearer manner. I shall lay together
some passages from such as I have met with, which I think will shew
beyond all possibility of doubt that the Illuminati took an active
part in the whole transaction, and may be said to have been its
chief contrivers. I shall premise a few observations, which will
give a clearer view of the matter.


_The French Revolution._

During these dissensions and discontents, and this general
fermentation of the public mind in Germany, political occurrences
in France gave exercise and full scope for the operation of that
spirit of revolt which had long growled in secret in the different
corners of that great empire. The Cosmo-political and sceptical
opinions and sentiments so much cultivated in all the Lodges of the
_Philalethes_ had by this time been openly professed by many of the
sages of France, and artfully interwoven with their statistical
economics. The many contests between the King and the Parliament of
Paris about the registration of his edicts, had given occasion to
much discussion, and had made the public familiarly acquainted with
topics altogether unsuitable to the absolute monarchy of France.

This acquaintance with the natural expectations of the subject,
and the expediency of a candid attention on the part of Government
to these expectations, and a view of Legislation and Government
founded on a very liberal interpretation of all these things, was
prodigiously promoted by the rash interference of France in the
dispute between Great Britain and her colonies. In this attempt to
ruin Britain, even the court of France was obliged to preach the
doctrines of Liberty, and to take its chance that Frenchman would
consent to be the only slaves. But their officers and soldiers, who
returned from America, imported the American principles, and in
every company found hearers who listened with delight and regret
to their fascinating tale of American independence. During the
war, the Minister, who had too confidently pledged himself for the
destruction of Britain, was obliged to allow the Parisians to amuse
themselves with theatrical entertainments, where English law was
represented as oppression, and every fretful extravagance of the
Americans was applauded as a noble struggle for native freedom.--All
wished for a taste of that liberty and equality which they were
allowed to applaud on the stage; but as soon as they came from the
theatre into the street, they found themselves under all their
former restraints. The sweet charm had found its way into their
hearts, and all the luxuries of France became as dull as common life
does to a fond girl when she lays down her novel.

In this irritable state of mind a spark was sufficient for kindling
a flame. To import this dangerous delicacy of American growth,
France had expended many millions, and was drowned in debts. The
mad prodigality of the Royal Family and the Court had drained the
treasury, and forestalled every livre of the revenue. The edicts for
new taxes and forced loans were most unwelcome and oppressive.

The _Avocats au parlement_ had nothing to do with state-affairs,
being very little more than barristers in the highest court of
justice; and the highest claim of the Presidents of this court was
to be a sort of humble counsellors to the King in common matters. It
was a very strange inconsistency in that ingenious nation to permit
such people to touch on those state-subjects; for, in fact, the King
of France was an absolute Monarch, and the subjects were slaves.
This is the result of all their painful research, notwithstanding
that glimmerings of natural justice and of freedom are to be met
with in their records. There could not be found in their history so
much as a tolerable account of the manner of calling the nation
together, to learn from the people how their chains would best
please their fancy. But all this was against nature, and it was
necessary that it should come to an end, the first time that the
monarch confessed that he could not do every thing unless they put
the tools into his hands. As things were approaching gradually but
rapidly to this condition, the impertinent interference (for so a
Frenchman, subject of the Grand Monarch, _must_ think it) of the
advocates of the Parliament of Paris was popular in the highest
degree; and it must be confessed, that in general it was patriotic,
however inconsistent with the constitution. They felt themselves
pleading the cause of humanity and natural justice. This would
embolden honest and worthy men to speak truth, however unwelcome
to the court. In general, it must also be granted that they spoke
with caution and with respect to the sovereign powers; and they had
frequently the pleasure of being the means of mitigating the burdens
of the people. The Parliament of Paris, by this conduct, came to
be looked up to as a sort of mediator between the King and his
subjects; and as the avocats saw this, they naturally rose in their
own estimation far above the rank in which the constitution of their
government had placed them. For it must always be kept in mind, that
the robe was never considered as the dress of a Nobleman, although
the cassock was. An advocate was merely not a rotourier; and though
we can hardly conceive a profession more truly honourable than the
dispensing of distributive justice, nor any skill more congenial to
a rational mind than that of the practical morality which we, in
theory, consider as the light by which they are always conducted;
and although even the artificial constitution of France had long
been obliged to bow to the dictates of nature and humanity, and
confer nobility, and even title, on such of the professors of the
municipal law as had, by their skill and their honourable character,
risen to the first offices of their profession, yet the Noblesse
de la Robe never could incorporate with the Noblesse du Sang, nor
even with the Noblesse de l'Epee. The descendants of a Marquis
de la Robe never could rise to certain dignities in the church
and at court. The avocats de la parlement felt this, and smarted
under the exclusion from court-honours; and though they eagerly
courted such nobility as they could attain, they seldom omitted any
opportunity that occurred during their junior practice, of exposing
the arrogance of the Noblesse, and the dominion of the court. This
increased their popularity, and in the present situation of things,
being certain of support, they went beyond their former cautious
bounds, and introduced in their pleadings, and particularly in their
joint remonstrances against the registration of edicts, all the
wire-drawn morality, and cosmo-political jurisprudence, which they
had so often rehearsed in the Lodges, and which had of late been
openly preached by the economists and philosophers.

A signal was given to the nation for engaging "en masse" in
political discussion. The _Notables_ were called upon to come and
advise the King; and the points were laid before them, in which
his Majesty, (infallible till now) acknowledged his ignorance or
his doubts. But who were the Notables? Were they more knowing
than the King, or less in need of instruction? The nation thought
otherwise; nay, the court thought otherwise; for in some of the
royal proclamations on this occasion, men of letters were invited
to assist with their counsels, and to give what information their
reading and experience should suggest as to the best method of
convoking the States General, and of conducting their deliberations.
When a Minister thus solicits advice from all the world how to
govern, he most assuredly declares his own incapacity, and tells
the people that now they must govern themselves. This however was
done, and the Minister, Neckar the Philosopher and Philanthropist
of Geneva, set the example, by sending in _his_ opinion, to be laid
on the council-table with the rest. On this signal, counsel poured
in from every garret, and the press groaned with advice in every
shape. Ponderous volumes were written for the Bishop or the Duke;
a handsome 8vo for the _Notable_ Officer of eighteen; pamphlets
and single sheets for the loungers in the _Palais Royal_. The
fermentation was astonishing; but it was no more than should have
been expected from the most cultivated, the most ingenious, and
the least bashful nation on earth. All wrote, and all read. Not
contented with bringing forth all the fruits which the illumination
of these bright days of reason had raised in such abundance in the
conservatories of the _Philalethes_, and which had been gathered
from the writings of Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Raynal, &c.
the patriotic counsellors of the Notables had ransacked all the
writings of former ages. They discovered THAT FRANCE HAD ALWAYS
BEEN FREE! One would have thought, that they had travelled with
Sir John Mandeville in that country where even the speeches of
former times had been frozen, and were now thawing apace under
the beams of the sun of Reason. For many of these essays were as
incongruous and mal a-propos as the broken sentences recorded by
Mr. Addison in the Spectator. A gentleman who was in Paris at
this time, a person of great judgment, and well informed in every
thing respecting the constitution and present condition of his
country, assured me that this invitation, followed by the memorial
of Mr. Neckar, operated like an electrical shock. In the course
of four or five days, the appearance of Paris was completely
changed. Every where one saw crowds staring at papers pasted on
the walls--breaking into little parties--walking up and down the
streets in eager conversation--adjourning to coffee-houses--and the
conversation in all companies turned to politics alone; and in all
these conversations a new vocabulary, where every second word was
Morality, Philanthropy, Toleration, Freedom, and Equalisation of
property. Even at this early period persons were listened to without
censure, or even surprise, who said that it was nonsense to think of
reforming their government, and that it must be completely changed.
In short, in the course of a month, a spirit of licentiousness and
a rage for innovation had completely pervaded the minds of the
Parisians. The most conspicuous proof of this was the unexpected
fate of the Parliament. It met earlier than usual, and to give
greater eclat to its patriotic efforts, and completely to secure the
gratitude of the people, it issued an arret on the present state
of the nation, containing a number of resolutions on the different
leading points of national liberty. A few months ago these would
have been joyfully received as the Magna Charta of Freedom, and
really contained all that a wise people should desire; but because
the Parliament had sometime before given it as their opinion as
the constitutional counsel of the Crown, that the States should be
convoked on the principles of their last meeting in 1614, which
preserved the distinctions of rank, all their past services were
forgotten--all their hard struggle with the former administration,
and their unconquerable courage and perseverance, which ended only
with their downfal, all were forgotten; and those distinguished
members whose zeal and sufferings ranked them with the most
renowned heroes and martyrs of patriotism, were now regarded as the
contemptible tools of Aristocracy. The Parliament now set, in a
fiery troubled sky--to rise no more.

Of all the barristers in the Parliament of Paris, the most
conspicuous for the display of the enchanting doctrines of Liberty
and Equality was Mr. Duval, son of an Avocat in the same court,
and ennobled about this time under the name of Despresmenil. He
was member of a Lodge of the _Amis Reunis_ at Paris, called the
_Contract Social_, and of the Lodge of _Chevaliers Bienfaisants_
at Lyons. His reputation as a barrister had been prodigiously
increased about this time by his management of a cause, where the
descendant of the unfortunate General Lally, after having obtained
the restoration of the family honours, was striving to get back some
of the estates. Mr. Lally Tollendahl had even trained himself to the
profession, and pleaded his own cause with astonishing abilities.
But Despresmenil had near connections with the family which was in
possession of the estates, and opposed him with equal powers, and
more address. He was on the side which was most agreeable to his
favourite topics of declamation, and his pleadings attracted much
notice both in Paris and in some of the provincial Parliaments.
I mention these things with some interest, because this was the
beginning of that marked rivalship between Lally Tollendahl and
Despresmenil, which made such a figure in the Journals of the
National Assembly. It ended fatally for both. Lally Tollendahl was
obliged to quit the Assembly, when he saw it determined on the
destruction of the monarchy and of all civil order, and at last to
emigrate from his country with the loss of all his property, and
to subsist on the kindness of England. Despresmenil attained his
meridian of popularity by his discovery of the secret plan of the
Court to establish the _Cour pleniere_, and ever after this took the
lead in all the strong measures of the Parliament of Paris, which
was now overstepping all bounds of moderation or propriety, in hopes
of preserving its influence after it had rendered itself impotent
by an unguarded stroke. Despresmenil was the first martyr of that
Liberty and Equality which it was now boldly preaching, having
voluntarily surrendered himself a prisoner to the officer sent to
demand him from the Parliament. He was also a martyr to any thing
that remained of the very shadow of liberty after the Revolution,
being guillotined by Robespierre.

I have already mentioned the intrigues of Count Mirabeau at the
Court of Berlin, and his seditious preface and notes on the
anonymous letters on the Rights of the Prussian States. He also,
while at Berlin, published an _Essai sur la Secte des Illumines_,
one of the strangest and most impudent performances that ever
appeared. He there describes a sect existing in Germany, called the
_Illuminated_, and says, that they are the most absurd and gross
fanatics imaginable, waging war with every appearance of Reason, and
maintaining the most ridiculous superstitions. He gives some account
of these, and of their rituals, ceremonies, &c. as if he had seen
them all. His sect is a confused mixture of Christian superstitions,
Rosycrucian nonsense, and every thing that can raise contempt and
hatred. But no such Society ever existed, and Mirabeau confided in
his own powers of deception, in order to screen from observation
those who were known to be Illuminati, and to hinder the rulers from
attending to their real machinations, by means of this Ignis fatuus
of his own brain. He knew perfectly that the Illuminati were of a
stamp diametrically opposite; for he was illuminated by Mauvillon
long before. He gained his point in some measure, for Nicholai and
others of the junto immediately adopted the whim, and called them
_Obscurantem_, and joined with Mirabeau in placing on the list of
_Obscurantem_ several persons whom they wished to make ridiculous.

Mirabeau was not more discontented with the Court of Berlin for
the small regard it had testified for his eminent talents, than he
was with his own Court, or rather with the minister Calonne, who
had sent him thither. Calonne had been greatly dissatisfied with
his conduct at Berlin, where his self-conceit, and his private
projects, had made him act in a way almost contrary to the purposes
of his mission. Mirabeau was therefore in a rage at the minister,
and published a pamphlet, in which his celebrated memorial on the
state of the nation, and the means of relieving it, was treated with
the utmost severity of reproach; and in this contest his mind was
wrought up to that violent pitch of opposition which he ever after
maintained. To be noticed, and to lead, were his sole objects--and
he found, that taking the side of the discontented was the best
field for his eloquence and restless ambition.--Yet there was no
man that was more devoted to the principles of a court than count
Mirabeau, provided he had a share in the administration; and he
would have obtained it, if any thing moderate would have satisfied
him--but he thought nothing worthy of him but a place of active
trust, and a high department. For such offices all knew him to
be totally unfit. He wanted knowledge of great things, and was
learned only in the bustling detail of intrigue, and at any time
would sacrifice every thing to have an opportunity of exercising
his brilliant eloquence, and indulging his passion for satire and
reproach.--The greatest obstacle to his advancement was the abject
worthlessness of his character. What we usually call profligacy,
viz. debauchery, gaming, impiety, and every kind of sensuality, were
not enough--he was destitute of decency in his vices--tricks which
would disgrace a thief-catcher, were never boggled at in order to
supply his expences. For instance,--His father and mother had a
process of separation--Mirabeau had just been liberated from prison
for a gross misdemeanour, and was in want of money--He went to his
father, sided with him in invectives against his mother, and, for
100 guineas, wrote his father's memorial for the court.--He then
went to his mother, and by a similar conduct got the same sum from
her--and both memorials were presented. Drinking was the only vice
in which he did not indulge--his exhausted constitution did not
permit it. His brother, the Viscount, on the contrary, was apt to
exceed in jollity. One day the Count said to him, "How can you,
Brother, so expose yourself?"--"What!" says the Viscount, "how
insatiable you are--Nature has given you every vice, and having
left me only this one, you grudge it me."--When the elections were
making for the States-General, he offered himself a candidate in
his own order at Aix--But he was so abhorred by the Noblesse, that
they not only rejected him but even drove him from their meetings.
This affront settled his measures, and he determined on their ruin.
He went to the Commons, disclaimed his being a gentleman, sat up a
little shop in the market place of Aix, and sold trifles--and now,
fully resolved what line he should pursue, he courted the Commons,
by joining in all their excesses against the Noblesse, and was at
last returned a member of the Assembly.

From this account of Mirabeau we can easily foretel the use he would
make of the Illumination which he had received in Germany. Its grand
truths and just morality seem to have had the same effects on his
mind as on that of Weishaupt or Bahrdt.

In the year 1768, Mirabeau, in conjunction with the duke de Lauzun
and the Abbe Perigord, afterwards Bishop of Autun (the man so puffed
in the National Assemblies as the brightest pattern of humanity)
reformed a Lodge of Philalethes in Paris, which met in the Jacobin
College or Convent. It was one of the _Amis Reunis_, which had now
rid itself of all the insignificant mysticism of the sect. This was
now become troublesome, and took up the time which would be much
better employed by the _Chevaliers du Soliel_, and other still more
refined champions of reason and universal citizenship. Mirabeau had
imparted to it some of that Illumination which had beamed upon him
when he was in Berlin. In 1788, he and the Abbe were wardens of
the lodge. They found that they had not acquired all the dexterity
of management that he understood was practised by his Brethren in
Germany, for keeping up their connection, and conducting their
correspondence. A letter was therefore sent from this Lodge, signed
by these two gentlemen, to the Brethren in Germany, requesting their
assistance and instruction. In the course of this year, and during
the sitting of the Notables, A DEPUTATION WAS SENT from the German
Illuminati to catch this glorious opportunity of carrying their
plan into full execution with the greatest eclat.

Nothing can more convincingly demonstrate the early intentions
of a party, and this a great party, in France to overturn the
constitution completely, and plant a democracy or oligarchy on
its ruins. The Illuminati had no other object.--They accounted
all Princes usurpers and tyrants, and all privileged orders their
abettors. They intended to establish a government of Morality, as
they called it, (_Sittenregiment_) where talents and character (to
be estimated by their own scale, and by themselves) should alone
lead to preferment. They meant to abolish the laws which protected
property accumulated by long continued and successful industry, and
to prevent for the future any such accumulation. They intended to
establish universal Liberty and Equality, the imprescriptible Rights
of Man, (at least they pretended all this to those who were neither
Magi or Regentes.) And, as necessary preparations for all this, they
intended to root out all religion and ordinary morality, and even
to break the bonds of domestic life, by destroying the veneration
for marriage-vows, and by taking the education of children out of
the hands of the parents. _This was all that the Illuminati could

I cannot proceed in the narration without defiling the page with
the detested name of _Orleans_, stained with every thing that can
degrade or disgrace human nature. He only wanted Illumination, to
shew him in a system all the opinions, dispositions, and principles
which filled his own wicked heart. This contemptible being was
illuminated by Mirabeau, and has shown himself the most zealous
disciple of the Order. In his oath of allegiance he declares,
"That the interests and the object of the Order shall be rated by
him above all other relations, and that he will serve it with his
honour, his fortune, and his blood."--He has kept his word, and has
sacrificed them all--And he has been treated in the true spirit of
the Order--used as a mere tool, cheated and ruined.--For I must now
add, that the French borrowed from the Illuminati a maxim, unheard
of in any other association of banditti, viz. that of cheating
each other. As the managers had the sole possession of the higher
mysteries, and led the rest by principles which they held to be
false, and which they employed only for the purpose of securing the
co-operation of the inferior Brethren, so Mirabeau, Sieyes, Pethion,
and others, led the Duke of Orleans at first by his wicked ambition,
and the expectation of obtaining that crown which they intended to
break in pieces, that they might get the use of his immense fortune,
and of his influence on the thousands of his depending sycophants,
who ate his bread and pandered to his gross appetites. Although we
very soon find him acting as an _Illuminatus_, we cannot suppose
him so lost to common sense as to contribute his fortune, and risk
his life, merely in order that the one should be afterwards taken
from him by law, and the other put on a level with that of his groom
or his pimp. He surely hoped to obtain the crown of his indolent
relation. And indeed Mirabeau said to Bergasse, that "when the
project was mentioned to the Duke of Orleans, he received it with
all possible graciousness," (_avec toute la grace imaginable_.)
During the contests between the Court and the Parliament of Paris,
he courted popularity with an indecency and folly that nothing
can explain but a mad and fiery ambition which blinded his eyes
to all consequences. This is put out of doubt by his behaviour
at Versailles on the dreadful 5th and 6th of October, 1789. The
depositions at the Chatelet prove in the most incontestible manner,
that during the horrors of those two days he was repeatedly seen,
and that whenever he was recognized by the crowd, he was huzzaed
with _Vive Orleans, Vive notre Roi Orleans, &c._--He then withdrew,
and was seen in other places. While all about the unfortunate Royal
Family were in the utmost concern for their fate, he was in gay
humour, chatting on indifferent subjects. His last appearance in the
evening of the 5th was about nine o'clock, conversing in a corner
with men disguised in mean dress, and some in women's clothes;
among whom were Mirabeau, Barnave, Duport, and other deputies of
the Republican party--and these men were seen immediately after,
concealed among the lines of the regiment de Flandre, the corruption
of which they had that day compleated. He was seen again next
morning, conversing with the same persons in women's dress. And when
the insulted Sovereign was dragged in triumph to Paris, Orleans was
again seen skulking in a balcony behind his children, to view the
procession of devils and furies; anxiously hoping all the while that
some disturbance would arise in which the King might perish.--I
should have added that he was seen in the morning at the top of the
stairs, pointing the way with his hand to the mob, where they should
go, while he went by another road to the King. In short, he went
about trembling like a coward, waiting for the explosion which might
render it safe for him to shew himself. Mirabeau said of him, "The
fellow carries a loaded pistol in his bosom, but will never dare
to pull the trigger." He was saved, notwithstanding his own folly,
by being joined in the accusation with Mirabeau, who could not
rescue himself without striving also for Orleans, whom he despised,
while he made use of his fortune.--In short, Orleans was but half
illuminated at this time, and hoped to be King or Regent.

Yet he was deeply versed in the preparatory lessons of Illuminatism,
and well convinced of its fundamental truths. He was well assured
of the great influence of the women in society, and he employed
this influence like a true disciple of Weishaupt.--Above three
hundred nymphs from the purlieus of the Palais Royal were provided
with ecus and Louis d'ors, by his grand procureur the Abbe Sieyes,
and were sent to meet and to illuminate the two battalions of
the Regiment de Flandre, who were coming to Versailles for the
protection of the Royal Family. The privates of one of these
regiments came and informed their officers of this attempt made on
their loyalty--45,000l. livres were given them at St. Denys, to make
them disband themselves--and the poor lads were at first dazzled
by the name of a sum that was not familiar to them--but when some
thinking head among them told them that it only amounted to two
Louis d'ors a piece, they disclosed the bribery. They were then
offered 90,000, but never saw it. (Depositions at, the Chatelet
No. 317.) Mademoiselle Therouane, the _favorita_ of the day, at
the Palais Royal, was the most active person of the armed mob from
Paris, dressed _en Amazonne_, with all the elegance of the opera,
and turned many young heads that day which were afterwards taken
off by the guillotine. The Duke of Orleans acknowledged, before his
death, that he had expended above 50,000l. sterling in corrupting
the _Gardes Francoises_. The armed mob which came from Paris to
Versailles on the 5th of October, importuning the King for bread,
had their pockets filled with crown pieces--and Orleans was seen
on that day by two gentlemen, with a bag of money so heavy that it
was fastened to his clothes with a strap, to hinder it from being
oppressive, and to keep it in such a position that it should be
accessible in an instant. (See the Depositions at the Chatelet, No.

But such was the contempt into which his gross profligacy, his
cowardice, and his niggardly disposition, had brought him with
all parties, that, if he had not been quite blinded by his wicked
ambition, and by his implacable resentment of some bitter taunts
he had gotten from the King and Queen, he must have seen very
early that he was to be sacrificed as soon as he had served the
purposes of the faction. At present, his assistance was of the
utmost consequence. His immense fortune, much above three millions
sterling, was almost exhausted during the three first years of
the Revolution. But (what was of more consequence) he had almost
unbounded authority among the Free Masons.

In this country we have no conception of the authority of a National
Grand Master. When Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, by great exertions
among the jarring sects in Germany, had got himself elected
Grand Master of the _Strict Observanz_, it gave serious alarm to
the Emperor, and to all the Princes of Germany, and contributed
greatly to their connivance at the attempts of the _Illuminati_
to discredit that party. In the great cities of Germany, the
inhabitants paid more respect to the Grand Master of the Masons than
to their respective Princes. The authority of the D. of Orleans
in France was still greater, in consequence of his employing his
fortune to support it. About eight years before the Revolution he
had (not without much intrigue and many bribes and promises) been
elected Grand Master of France, having under his directions all
the _Improved_ Lodges. The whole Association was called the _Grand
Orient de la France_, and in 1785 contained 266 of these Lodges;
(see _Freymaurerische Zeitung, Neuwied_ 1787.) Thus he had the
management of all those Secret Societies; and the licentious and
irreligious sentiments which were currently preached there, were
sure of his hearty concurrence. The same intrigue which procured him
the supreme chair, must have filled the Lodges with his dependents
and emissaries, and these men could not better earn their pay, than
by doing their utmost to propagate infidelity, immorality, and
impurity of manners.

But something more was wanted: Disrespect for the higher Orders of
the State, and disloyalty to the Sovereign.--It is not so easy to
conceive how these sentiments, and particularly the latter, could
meet with toleration, and even encouragement, in a nation noted for
its professions of veneration for its Monarch, and for the pride of
its Noblesse. Yet I am certain that such doctrines were habitually
preached in the Lodges of _Philalethes_, and _Amis Reunis de la
Verite_. That they should be very current in Lodges of low-born
Literati, and other Brethren in inferior stations, is natural, and
I have already said enough on this head. But the French Lodges
contained many gentlemen in easy, and affluent circumstances. I do
not expect such confidence in my assertions, that even in these the
same opinions were very prevalent. I was therefore much pleased with
a piece of information which I got while these sheets were printing
off, which corroborates my assertions.

This is a performance called _La voile retiree, ou le Secret de la
Revolution explique par la Franc Maconnerie_. It was written by a
Mr. Lefranc, President of the Seminary of the _Eudists_ at Caen in
Normandy, and a second edition was published at Paris in 1792. The
author was butchered in the massacre of September. He says, that on
the death of a friend, who had been a very zealous Mason, and many
years Master of a respectable Lodge, he found among his papers a
collection of Masonic writings, containing the rituals, catechisms,
and symbols of every kind, belonging to a long train of degrees of
Free Masonry, together with many discourses delivered in different
Lodges, and minutes of their proceedings. The perusal filled him
with astonishment and anxiety. For he found that doctrines were
taught, and maxims of conduct were inculcated, which were subversive
of religion and of all good order in the state; and which not only
countenanced disloyalty and sedition, but even invited to it. He
thought them so dangerous to the state, that he sent an account of
them to she Archbishop of Paris long before the Revolution, and
always hoped that that Reverend Prelate would represent the matter
to his Majesty's Ministers, and that they would put an end to the
meetings of this dangerous Society, or would at least restrain them
from such excesses. But he was disappointed, and therefore thought
it his duty to lay them before the public[19].

  [19] Had the good man been spared but a few months, his surprise at
  this neglect would have ceased. For, on the 19th of November 1793,
  the Archbishop of Paris came to the Bar of the Assembly, accompanied
  by his Vicar and eleven other Clergymen, who there renounced their
  Christianity and their clerical vows; acknowledging that they
  had played the villain for many years against their consciences,
  teaching what they knew to be a lie, and were now resolved to be
  honest men. The Vicar indeed had behaved like a true _Illuminatus_
  some time before, by running off with another man's wife and his
  strong box.--None of them, however, seem to have attained the higher
  mysteries, for they were all guillotined not long after.

Mr. Lefranc says expressly, that this shocking perversion of Free
Masonry to seditious purposes was, in a great measure, but a late
thing, and was chiefly brought about by the agents of the Grand
Master, the Duke of Orleans. He was, however, of opinion that the
whole Masonic Fraternity was hostile to Christianity and to good
morals, and that it was the contrivance of the great schismatic
Faustus Socinus, who being terrified by the fate of Servetus, at
Geneva, fell on this method of promulgating his doctrines among
the great in secret. This opinion is but ill supported, and is
incompatible with many circumstances in Free Masonry--But it is out
of our way at present. Mr. Lefranc then takes particular notice
of the many degrees of Chivalry cultivated in the Lodges, and
shows how, by artful changes in the successive explanations of the
same symbols, the doctrines of Christianity, and of all revealed
religion, are completely exploded, and the _Philosophe Inconnu_
becomes at last a professed Atheist.--He then takes notice of the
political doctrines which are in like manner gradually unfolded,
by which "patriotism and loyalty to the prince are declared to be
narrow principles, inconsistent with universal benevolence, and with
the native and imprescriptible rights of man; civil subordination
is actual oppression, and Princes are _ex officio_ usurpers and
tyrants." These principles he fairly deduces from the Catechisms
of the _Chevalier du Soliel_, and of the _Philosophe Inconnu_. He
then proceeds to notice more particularly the intrigues of the
Duke of Orleans. From these it appears evident that his ambitious
views and hopes had been of long standing, and that it was entirely
by his support and encouragement that seditious doctrines were
permitted in the Lodges. Many noblemen and gentlemen were disgusted
and left these Lodges, and advantage was taken of their absence to
_improve_ the Lodges still more, that is to make them still more
anarchical and seditious. Numbers of paltry scribblers who haunted
the Palace Royal, were admitted into the Lodges, and there vented
their poisonous doctrines. The Duke turned his chief attention to
the French guards, introducing many of the privates and inferior
officers into the obscure and even the more respectable Lodges, so
that the officers were frequently disgusted in the Lodges by the
insolent behaviour of their own soldiers under the mask of Masonic
Brotherhood and Equality--and this behaviour became not unfrequent
even out of doors. He asserts with great confidence that the troops
were much corrupted by these intrigues--and that when they sometimes
declared, on service, that they would not fire _on their Brethren_,
the phrase had a particular reference to their Masonic Fraternity,
because they recognised many of their Brother Masons in every
crowd.--And the corruption was by no means confined to Paris and
its neighbourhood, but extended to every place in the kingdom where
there was a Municipality and a Mason Lodge.

Mr. Lefranc then turns our attention to many peculiarities in the
Revolution, which have a resemblance to the practices in Free
Masonry. Not only was the arch rebel the Duke of Orleans, the Grand
Master, but the chief actors in the Revolution, Mirabeau, Condorcet,
Rochefoucault, and others, were distinguished office-bearers in
the great Lodges. He says that the distribution of France into
departments, districts, circles, cantons, &c. is perfectly similar,
with the same denominations, to a distribution which he had remarked
in the correspondence of the Grand Orient[20]. The President's hat
in the National Assembly is copied from that of a _Tres Venerable
Grand Maitre_.--The scarf of a Municipal Officer is the same with
that of a Brother Apprentice.--When the Assembly celebrated the
Revolution in the Cathedral, they accepted of the highest honours of
Masonry by passing under the _Arch of Steel_, formed by the drawn
swords of two ranks of Brethren.--Also it is worthy of remark,
that the National Assembly protected the meetings of Free Masons,
while it peremptorily prohibited every other private meeting. The
obligation of laying aside all stars, ribbands, crosses, and other
honourable distinctions, under the pretext of Fraternal Equality,
was not merely a prelude, but was intended as a preparation for
the destruction of all civil distinctions, which took place almost
at the beginning of the Revolution,--_and the first proposal of a
surrender_, says Mr. Lefranc, _was made by a zealous Mason_.--He
farther observes, that the horrible and sanguinary oaths, the
daggers, death-heads, cross-bones, the imaginary combats with the
murderers of Hiram, and many other gloomy ceremonies, have a natural
tendency to harden the heart, to remove its natural disgust at deeds
of horror, and have paved the way for those shocking barbarities
which have made the name of Frenchmen abhorred over all Europe.
These deeds were indeed perpetrated by a mob of fanatics; but the
principles were promulgated and fostered by persons who style
themselves philosophers.

  [20] I cannot help observing, that it is perfectly similar to
  the arrangement and denominations which appear in the secret
  correspondence of the Bavarian Illuminati.

I see more evidence of these important facts in another book just
published by an emigrant gentleman (Mr. Latocnaye). He confirms
my repeated assertions, that all the irreligious and seditious
doctrines were the subjects of repeated harangues in the Mason
Lodges, and that all the principles of the Revolution, by which
the public mind was as it were set on fire, were nothing but
enthusiastic amplifications of the common-place cant of Free
Masonry, and arose naturally out of it. He even thinks "that this
_must of necessity_ be the case in every country where the minds of
the lower classes of the State are in any way considerably fretted
or irritated; it is almost impossible to avoid being drawn into this
vortex, whenever a discontented mind enters into a Mason Lodge. The
stale story of brotherly love, which at another time would only lull
the hearer asleep, now makes him prick up his ears, and listen with
avidity to the silly tale, and he cannot hinder fretting thoughts
from continually rankling in his mind."

Mr. Latocnaye says expressly, "That notwithstanding the general
contempt of the public for the Duke of Orleans, his authority as
Grand Master of the Masons gave him the greatest opportunity that
a seditious mind could desire for helping forward the Revolution.
He had ready to his hand a connected system of hidden Societies,
protected by the State, habituated to secrecy and artifice, and
already tinged with the very enthusiasm he wished to inspire. In
these he formed political committees, into which only his agents
were admitted. He filled the Lodges with the French guards, whom he
corrupted with money and hopes of preferment; and by means of the
Abbe Sieyes, and other emissaries, they were harangued with all the
sophistical declamation, or cant of Masonry."

Mr. Latocnaye says, that all this was peculiar to the Lodges of the
Grand Orient; but that there were many (not very many, if we judge
by the Neuwied almanac, which reckons only 289 in all France in
1784, of which 266 were of the Grand Orient) Lodges who continued on
the old plan of amusing themselves with a little solemn trifling. He
coincides with Mr. Lefranc in the opinion that the awful and gloomy
rituals of Masonry, and particularly the severe trials of confidence
and submission, must have a great tendency to harden the heart, and
fit a man for attrocious actions. No one can doubt of this who reads
the following instance:

"A candidate for reception into one of the highest Orders, after
having heard many threatenings denounced against all who should
betray the Secrets of the Order, was conducted to a place where he
saw the dead bodies of several who were said to have suffered for
their treachery. He then saw his own brother tied hand and foot,
begging his mercy and intercession. He was informed that this person
was about to suffer the punishment due to this offence, and be that
it was reserved for him (the candidate) to be the instrument of this
just vengeance, and that this gave him an opportunity of manifesting
that he was completely devoted to the Order. It being observed that
his countenance gave signs of inward horror, (the person in bonds
imploring his mercy all the while) he was told that in order to
spare his feelings, a bandage should be put over his eyes. A dagger
was then put into his right hand, and being hood-winked, his left
hand was laid upon the palpitating heart of the criminal, and he was
then ordered to strike. He instantly obeyed; and when the bandage
was taken from his eyes, he saw that it was a lamb that he had
stabbed. Surely such trials and such wanton cruelty are fit only for
training conspirators."

Mr. Latocnaye adds, that "when he had been initiated, an old
gentleman asked him what he thought of the whole?" He answered, "A
great deal of noise, and much nonsense." "Nonsense." said the other,
"don't judge so rashly, young man; I have worked these twenty-five
years, and the farther I advanced, it interested me the more; but
I stopped short, and nothing shall prevail on me to advance a step
farther." In another conversation the gentleman said, "I imagine
that my stoppage was owing to my refusal about nine years ago, to
listen to some persons who made to me, out of the Lodge, proposals
which were seditious and horrible; for ever since that time I have
remarked, that my higher Brethren treat me with a much greater
reserve than they had done before, and that, under the pretext of
further instruction; they have laboured to confute the notions which
I had already acquired, by giving some of the most delicate subjects
a different turn. I saw that they wanted to remove some suspicions
which I was beginning to form concerning the ultimate scope of the

I imagine that these observations will leave no doubt in the mind of
the reader with respect to the influence of the secret Fraternity of
Free Masonry in the French Revolution, and that he will allow it to
be highly probable that the infamous Duke of Orleans had, from the
beginning, entertained hopes of mounting the throne of France. It is
not my province to prove or disprove this point, only I think it no
less evident, from many circumstances in the transactions of those
tumultuous days, that the active leaders had quite different views,
and were impelled by fanatical notions of democratic felicity,
or, more probably, by their own ambition to be the movers of this
vast machine, to overturn the ancient government, and erect a
republic, of which they hoped to be the managers[21]. Mirabeau had
learned when in Germany that the principles of anarchy had been well
digested into a system, and therefore wished for some instruction
as to the subordinate detail of the business, and for this purpose
requested a deputation from the _Illuminati_.

  [21] The depositions at the Chatelet, which I have already quoted,
  give repeated and unequivocal proofs, that he, with a considerable
  number of the deputies of the National Assembly, had formed this
  plot before the 5th of October 1789. That trial was conducted in a
  strange manner, partly out of respect for the Royal Family, which
  still had some hearts affectionately attached to it, and to the
  monarchy, and partly by reason of the fears of the members of this
  court. There was now no safety for any person who differed from
  the opinion of the frantic populace of Paris. The chief points of
  accusation were written in a schedule which is not published, and
  the witnesses were ordered to depose on these in one general Yes
  or No; so that it is only the least important part of the evidence
  that has been printed. I am well informed that the whole of it is
  carefully preserved, and will one day appear.

In such a cause as this, we may be certain that no ordinary
person would be sent. One of the deputies was Amelius, the next
person in the order to Spartacus and Philo. His worldly name was
Johann. J. C. Bode, at Weimar, privy-counsellor to the Prince of
Hesse-Darmstadt. (See _Fragmente der Biographie des verstorbenes
Freyherr Bode in Weimar, mit zuverlassigen Urkunder, 8vo. Riom._
1795. See also _Endliche Shickfall der Freymaurerey_, 1794; also
_Wiener Zeitschrift fur 1793_.)--This person has played a principal
part in the whole scheme of Illumination. He was a person of
considerable and showy talents as a writer. He had great talents
for conversation, and had kept good company. With respect to his
mystical character, his experience was great. He was one of the
Templar Masons, and among them was _Eques a Liliis Convallium_. He
had speculated much about the origin and history of Masonry, and
when at the Willemsbad convention, was converted to Illuminatism.
He was the great instigator of Nicholai, Gedicke, and Biester, to
the hunt after Jesuits which so much occupied them, and suggested
to Nicholai his journey through Germany. Leuchtsenring whom I
mentioned before, was only the letter-carrier between Bode and these
three authors. He was just such a man as Weishaupt wished for; his
head filled with Masonic fanaticism, attaching infinite importance
to the frivolities of Masonry, and engaged in an enthusiastic and
fruitless research after its origin and history. He had collected,
however, such a number of archives (as they were called) of Free
Masonry, that he sold his manuscript to the Duke of Saxe Gotha,
(into whose service Weishaupt engaged himself when he was driven
from Bavaria), for 150 dahlers. This little anecdote shows the
high importance attributed to those matters by persons of whom we
should expect better things. Bode was also a most determined and
violent materialist. Besides all these qualities, so acceptable
to the Illuminati, he was a discontented Templar Mason, having
been repeatedly disappointed of the preferment which he thought
himself entitled to. When he learned that the first operations
of the Illuminati were to be the obtaining the sole direction of
the Mason Lodges, and of the whole Fraternity, his hopes revived
of rising to some of the Commanderies, which his enthusiasm, or
rather fanaticism, had made him hope to see one day regained by
the Order:--but when he found that the next and favourite object
was to root out the _Strict Observanz_ altogether, he started
back. But Philo saw that the understanding (shall we call it?)
that can be dazzled with one whim, may be dazzled with another,
and he now attached him to Illuminatism, by a magnificent display
of a world ruled by the Order, and conducted to happiness by means
of Liberty and Equality. This did the business, as we see by the
private correspondence, where Philo informs Spartacus of his first
difficulties with Amelius. Amelius was gained over in August 1782,
and we see by the same correspondence, that the greatest affairs
were soon entrusted to him--he was generally employed to deal with
the great. When a Graf or a Baron was to be wheedled into the
Order, Amelius was the agent.--He was also the chief operator in
all their contests with the Jesuits and the Rosycrucians. It was
also Bode that procured the important accession of Nicholai to the
Order. This he brought about through Leuchtsenring; and lastly, his
numerous connections among the Free Masons, together with Knigge's
influence among them, enabled the Illuminati to worm themselves into
every Lodge, and at last gave them almost the entire command of the

Such was the first of the deputies to France. The other was a
Mr. Bussche, called in the Order Bayard; therefore probably a
man of respectable character; for most of Spartacus's names were
significant like his own. He was a military man, Lieutenant-Colonel
in the service of Hesse Darmstadt.--This man also was a discontented
Templar Mason, and his name in that Fraternity had been _Eques a
Fontibus Eremi_. He was illuminated by Knigge. He had also been
unsuccessful both at court and in the field, in both of which
situations he had been attempting to make a distinguished figure.
He, as well as Bode, were immersed in debts. They were therefore
just in the proper temper for Cosmo-political enterprise.

They went to Paris in the end of 1788, while the Notables were
sitting, and all Paris was giving advice. The alarm that was raised
about Animal Magnetism, which was indeed making much noise at that
time, and particularly at Paris, was assigned by them as the great
motive of the journey. Bode also said that he was anxious to learn
what were the corrections made on the system of the _Chevaliers
Bienfaisants_. They had taken that name at first, to screen
themselves from the charges against them under the name of Templars.
They had corrected something in their system when they took the
name _Philalethes_. And now when the Schisms of the _Philalethes_
were healed, and the Brethren again united under the name of _Amis
Reunis_, he suspected that Jesuits had interfered; and because he
had heard that the principles of the _Amis Reunis_ were very noble,
he wished to be more certain that they were purged of every thing

The deputies accordingly arrived at Paris, and immediately obtained
admission into these two Fraternities[22]. They found both of
them in the ripest state for Illumination, having shaken off all
the cabalistical, chemical, and mystical whims that had formerly
disturbed them, and would now take up too much of their time. They
were now cultivating with great zeal the philosophico political
doctrines of universal citizenship. Their leaders, to the number
of twenty, are mentioned by name in the Berlin Monatschrift for
1785, and among them are several of the first actors in the French
Revolution. But this is nothing distinctive, because persons of all
opinions were Masons.

  [22] To prevent interruptions, I may just mention here the
  authorities for this journey and co-operation of the two deputies.

  1. _Ein wichtiger Ausschluss über en noch wenig bekannte
  Veranlassung der Französchen Revolution_, in the Vienna Zeitschrift
  for 1793, p. 145.

  2. _Endliche Shickfall des Freymaurer Ordens_, 1794, p. 19.

  3. _Neueste Arbeitung des Spartacus and Philo, Munich_, 1793, p.

  4. _Historische Nachrichten über die Franc Revolution 1792, von
  Girtanner, var. loc._

  5. _Revolutions Almanach für 1792--4, Gottingen, var. loc._

  6. _Beytrage zur Biographie des verstorbenes Frey-Herr v. Bode,

  7. _Magazin des Literatur et Kunst, for 1792, 3, 4, &c. &c._

The Amis Reunis were little behind the Illuminati in every thing
that was irreligious and anarchical, and had no inclination for any
of the formalities of ritual, &c. They were already fit for the
higher mysteries, and only wanted to learn the methods of business
which had succeeded so well in spreading their doctrines and maxims
over Germany. Besides, their doctrines had not been digested into
a system, nor had the artful methods of leading on the pupils from
bad to worse been practised. For hitherto, each individual had
vented in the Lodges his own opinions, to unburden his own mind,
and the Brethren listened for instruction and mutual encouragement.
Therefore, when Spartacus's plan was communicated to them, they
saw at once its importance, in all its branches, such as the use
of the Mason Lodges, to fish for Minervals--the rituals and ranks
to entice the young, and to lead them by degrees to opinions and
measures which, at first sight, would have shocked them. The firm
hold which is gotten of the pupils, and indeed of all the inferior
classes, by their reports in the course of their pretended training
in the knowledge of themselves and of other men--and, above all, the
provincial arrangement of the order, and the clever subordination
and entire dependence on a select band or Pandæmonium at Paris,
which should inspire and direct the whole.--I think (altho' I have
not express assertions of the fact) from the subsequent conduct of
the French revolters, that even at this early period, there were
many in those societies who were ready to go every length proposed
to them by the Illuminati, such as the abolition of royalty, and of
all privileged orders, as tyrants by nature, the annihilation and
robbery of the priesthood, the rooting out of Christianity, and the
introduction of Atheism, or a philosophical chimera which they were
to call Religion. Mirabeau had often spoken of the last branch of
the Illuminated principles, and the conversations held at Versailles
during the awful pauses of the 5th of October, (which are to be seen
in the evidence before the Chatelet in the Orleans process,) can
hardly be supposed to be the fancies of an accidental mob.

Mirabeau was, as I have said, at the head of this democratic party,
and had repeatedly said, that the only use of a King was to serve as
a pageant, in order to give weight to public measures in the opinion
of the populace.--And Mr. Latocnaye says, that this party was very
numerous, and that immediately after the imprudent or madlike
invitation of every scribbler in a garret to give his advice, the
party did not scruple to speak their sentiments in public, and
that they were encouraged in their encomiums on the advantages of
a virtuous republican government by Mr. Neckar, who had a most
extravagant and childish predilection for the constitution of
Geneva, the place of his nativity, and was also much tinged with the
Cosmo-political philosophy of the times. The King's brothers, and
the Princes of the blood, presented a memorial to his Majesty, which
concluded by saying, that "the effervesence of the public opinions
had come to such a height that the most dangerous principles,
imported from foreign parts, were avowed in print with perfect
impunity--that his majesty had unwarily encouraged every fanatic to
dictate to him, and to spread his poisonous sentiments, in which
the rights of the throne were not only disrespected, but were even
disputed--that the rights of the higher classes in the state ran
a great risk of being speedily suppressed, and that nothing would
hinder the sacred right of property from being ere long invaded,
and the unequal distribution of wealth from being thought a proper
subject of reform."

When such was the state of things in Paris; it is plain that the
business of the German deputies would be easily transacted. They
were received with open arms by the _Philalethes_, the _Amis de la
Verite_, the _Social Contract_, &c. and in the course of a very
few weeks in the end of 1788, and the beginning of 1789, (that is,
before the end of March) the whole of the Grand Orient, including
the _Philalethes_, _Amis Reunis_, _Martinistes_, &c. had the secrets
of Illumination communicated to them. The operation naturally began
with the Great National Lodge of Paris, and those in immediate
dependence on it. It would also seem, from many circumstances
that occurred to my observation, that the Lodges in Alsace and
Lorraine were Illuminated at this time, and not long before as
I had imagined. Strasburg I know had been Illuminated long ago,
while Philo was in the Order. A circumstance strikes me here as of
some moment. The sects of _Philalethes_, and _Amis Reunis_ were
refinements engrafted on the system of the _Chevaliers Bienfaisants_
at Lyons. Such refinements never fail to be considered as a sort
of heresy, and the professors will be held with a jealous and
unfriendly eye by some, who will pride themselves on adhering to the
old faith. And the greater the success of the heresy, the greater
will be the animosity between the parties.--May not this help to
explain the mutual hatred of the Parisians and the Lyonnois, which
produced the most dreadful attrocities ever perpetrated on the face
of the earth, and made a shambles and a desert of the finest city of

The first proceeding by the advice of the deputies was the formation
of a political committee in every Lodge. This committee corresponded
with the distant Lodges, and in it were discussed and settled all
the political principles which were to be inculcated on the members.
The author of the _Neueste Arbeitung_ says expressly, that "he
was thoroughly instructed in this; that it was given in charge to
these committees to frame general rules, and to carry through the
great plan (_grand auvre_) of a general overturning of religion and
government." The principal leaders of the subsequent Revolution were
members of these committees. Here were the plans laid, and they were
transmitted through the kingdom by the Corresponding Committees.

Thus were the stupid Bavarians (as the French were once pleased to
call them) their instructors in the art of overturning the world.
The French were indeed the first who put it in practice. These
committees arose from the Illuminati in Bavaria, who had by no means
given over working; and these committees produced the Jacobin Club.
It is not a frivolous remark, that the Masonic phrase of the persons
who wish to address the Brethren, (_F. S. je demande la parole_,
which the F. S. reports to the V. G. M. and which he announces to
the Brethren thus, "_Mes freres, frere tel demande la parole, la
parole lui est accordee_,") is exactly copied by the Jacobin Club.
There is surely no natural connection between Free Masonry and
Jacobinism--but we seek the link--Illuminatism.--

The office-bearers of one of the Lodges of Philalethes in Paris
were _Martin_, _Willermooz_, (who had been deputy from the
_Chevaliers Bienfaisants_ to the Willemsbad Convention) _Chappe_,
_Minet_[23], _de la Henriere_, and _Savatier de l'Ange_. In another
(the _Contract Social_) the Political Committee consisted of _La
Fayette_, _Condorcet_, _Pethion_, _d'Orleans_, _Abbe Bartholis_,
_d'Aiguillon_, _Bailly_, _Marq. de la Salle_, _Despresmenil_. This
particular Lodge had been founded and conducted by one _De Leutre_,
an adventurer and cheat of the first magnitude, who sometimes made
a figure, and at other times was without a shilling. At this very
time he was a spy attached to the office of the police of Paris[24].
_The Duke of Orleans_ was Warden of the Lodge. The _Abbe Sieyes_
was a Brother Orator, but not of this Lodge, nor, I think, of the
former. It was probably of the one conducted by Mirabeau and the
Abbe Perigord. But it appears from the piece from which I am at
present borrowing, that Sieyes was present in the meetings of both
Lodges, probably as visiting Brother, employed in bringing them to
common measures. I must observe, that the subsequent conduct of
some of these men does not just accord with my conjecture, that the
principles of the Illuminati were adopted in their full extent. But
we know that all the Bavarian Brethren were not equally Illuminated,
and it would be only copying their teachers if the cleverest of
these their scholars should hold a _sanctum sanctorum_ among
themselves, without inviting all to the conference. Observe too that
the chief lesson which they were now taking from the Germans was
_the method of doing business_, of managing their correspondence,
and of procuring and training pupils. A Frenchman does not think
that he needs instruction in any thing like principle or science. He
is ready on all occasions to be the instructor.

  [23] Minet was, I think, at this time a player. He was son of
  a surgeon at Nantes--robbed his father and fled--enlisted in
  Holland--deserted and became smuggler--was taken and burnt in the
  hand--became player and married an actress--then became priest--and
  was made Bishop of Nantes by Coustard in discharge of a debt of
  500l. Mr. Latocnaye often saw Coustard kneel to him for benediction.
  It cannot be supposed that he was much venerated in his pontificals
  in his native city.--It seems Minet, Minet, is the call of the
  children to a kitten--This was prohibited at Nantes, and many
  persons whipped for the freedom used with his name.

  [24] I am told that he now (or very lately) keeps the best company,
  and lives in elegance and affluence in London.

      _Augur, schænobates, medicus, magus omnia novit
      Græculus esuriens; in coelum jussoris, ibit*.
      Ingenium volex audacia perdita, sermo

        *All sciences a hungry Frenchman knows,
        And bid him go to hell--to hell he goes.

    _Johnson's Translation._

Thus were the Lodges of France converted in a very short time
into a set of secret affiliated societies, corresponding with the
mother Lodges of Paris, receiving from thence their principles and
instructions, and ready to rise up at once when called upon to carry
on the great work of overturning the state.

Hence it has arisen that the French aimed, in the very beginning,
at overturning the whole world. In all the revolutions of other
countries, the schemes and plots have extended no farther than the
nation where they took their rise. But here we have seen that they
take in the whole world. They have repeatedly declared this in
their manifestos, and they have declared it by their conduct--This
is the very aim of the Illuminati. Hence too may be explained how
the revolution took place in a moment in every part of France. The
revolutionary societies were early formed, and were working in
secret before the opening of the National Assembly, and the whole
nation changed, and changed again, and again, as if by beat of drum.
Those duly initiated in this mystery of iniquity were ready every
where at a call. And we see Weishaupt's wish accomplished in an
unexpected degree, and the debates in a club giving laws to solemn
assemblies of the nation, and all France bending the neck to the
city of Paris. The members of the club are Illuminati, and so are
a great part of their correspondents.--Each operates in the state
as a Minerval would do in the Order, and the whole goes on with
systematic regularity. The famous Jacobin Club was just one of those
Lodges, as has been already observed; and as, among individuals
one commonly takes the lead, and contrives for the rest, so it has
happened on the present occasion, that this Lodge, supported by
Orleans and Mirabeau, was the one that stepped forth and shewed
itself to the world and thus became the oracle of the party; and all
the rest only echoed its discourses, and at last allowed it to give
law to the whole, and even to rule the kingdom. It is to be remarked
too that the founders of the club at Mentz were Illuminati, (_Relig.
Begebenh._ 1793. p. 448.) before the Revolution, and corresponded
with another Lodge at Strasburg; and these two produced mighty
effects during the year 1790. In a performance called _Memoires
Posthumes de Custine_ it is said, that when that general was bending
his course to Holland, the Illuminati at Strasburg, Worms, and
Spire, immediately formed clubs, and invited him into that quarter,
and, by going to Mentz and encouraging their brethren in that city,
they raised a party against the garrison, and actually delivered up
the place to the French army.

A little book, just now printed with the title _Paragraphan_, says,
that Zimmerman, of whom I have spoken more than once, went to France
to preach liberty. He was employed as a missionary of Revolution
in Alsace, where he had formerly been a most successful missionary
of Illuminatism. Of his former proceedings the following is a
curious anecdote. He connected himself with a highly accomplished
and beautiful woman, whose conversation had such charms, that he
says she gained him near a hundred converts in Spire alone. Some
persons of high rank, and great exterior dignity of character,
had felt more tender impressions--and when the lady informed them
of certain consequences to their reputation, they were glad to
compound matters with her friend Mr. Zimmerman, who either passed
for her husband or took the scandal on himself. He made above
1500 Louis d'ors in this way. When he returned, as a preacher of
Revolution, he used to mount the pulpit with a sabre in his hand,
and bawl out, "Behold, Frenchmen, this is your God. This alone can
save you." The author adds, that when Custine broke into Germany,
Zimmerman got admission to him, and engaged to deliver Manheim into
his hands. To gain this purpose, he offered to set some corners of
the city on fire, and assured him of support. Custine declined the
offer.--Zimmerman appeared against him before the Revolutionary
Tribunal, and accused him of treachery to his cause.--Custine's
answer is remarkable. "Hardly," said he, "had I set my foot in
Germany, when this man, and all the fools of his country, besieged
me, and would have delivered up to me their towns and villages--What
occasion had I to do any thing to Manheim, when the Prince was
neutral?" Zimmerman found his full account in Robespierre's bloody
sway--but the short term of his attrocities was also the whole of
Zimmerman's carreer. He was arrested, but again liberated, and soon
after again imprisoned, after which I can learn no more of him. The
same thing is positively asserted in another performance, called
_Cri de la Raison_, and in a third, called _Les Masques Arrachees_.
Observe too, that it is not the clubs merely that are accused of
this treachery, but the Illuminati. _De la Metherie_ also, in his
preface to the _Journal de Physique_ for 1790, says expressly, that
"the cause and arms of France were powerfully supported in Germany
by a sect of philosophers called the Illuminated." In the preface
to the _Journal_ for 1792, he says, that "Letters and deputations
were received by the Assembly from several Corresponding Societies
in England, felicitating them on the triumph of Reason and Humanity,
and promising them their cordial assistance."----He read some of
these manifestos, and says, that "one of them recommended strongly
the political education of the children, who should be taken from
the parents and trained up for the state."----Another lamented
the baleful influence of property, saying, that "the efforts of
the Assembly would be fruitless, till the fence was removed with
which the laws so anxiously secured inordinate wealth. They should
rather be directed to the support of talents and virtue; because
property would always support itself by the too great influence
which it had in every corrupted state. The laws should prevent
the too great accumulation of it in Particular families."----In
short, the counsel was almost verbatim what the Abbe Cossandey
declared to have been preached in the meetings of the Illuminati,
which terrified him and his colleagues, and made them quit the
association. Anarcharsis Cloots, born in Prussian Westphalia, a keen
Illuminatus, came to Paris for the express purpose of forwarding the
_great work_, and by intriguing in the style of the Order, he got
himself made one of the Representatives of the Nation. He seems to
have been one of the completest fanatics in Cosmo-politism, and just
such a tool as Weishaupt would choose to employ for a coarse and
arduous job. He broke out at once into all the silly extravagance
of the unthinking herd, and his whole language is just the jargon
of Illumination. Citizen of the world--Liberty and Equality, the
imprescriptible Rights of Man--Morality, dear Morality--Kings and
Priests are useless things--they are Despots and Corrupters, &c.--He
declared himself an atheist, and zealously laboured to have atheism
established by law. He conducted that farcical procession in the
true style of the most childish ritual of Philo, where counterfeited
deputies from all quarters of the world, in the dresses of their
countries, came to congratulate the nation for its victory over
Kings and Priests. It is also worthy of remark, that by this time
Leuchtsenring, whom we have seen so zealous an _Illuminatus_, after
having been as zealous a Protestant, tutor of Princes, Hosrath and
Hosmeister, was now a secretary or clerk in one of the Bureaus of
the National Assembly of France.

I may add as a finishing touch, that the National Assembly of France
was the only body of men that I have ever heard of who openly and
systematically proposed to employ assassination, and to institute
a band of patriots, who should exercise this profession either by
sword, pistol, or poison;--and though the proposal was not carried
into execution, it might be considered as the sentiments of the
meeting; for it was only delayed till it should be considered how
far it might not be imprudent, because they might expect reprisals.
The Abbe Dubois engaged to poison the Comte d'Artois; but was
himself robbed and poisoned by his accomplices.--There were strong
reasons for thinking that the Emperor of Germany was poisoned--and
that Mirabeau was thus treated by his pupil Orleans,--also Madame de
Favras and her son.--This was copying the Illuminati very carefully.

After all these particulars, can any person have a doubt that the
Order of Illuminati formally interfered in the French Revolution,
and contributed greatly to its progress? There is no denying the
insolence and oppression of the Crown and the Nobles, nor the
misery and slavery of the people, nor that there were sufficient
provocation and cause for a total change of measures and of
principles. But the rapidity with which one opinion was declared in
every corner, and that opinion as quickly changed, and the change
announced every where, and the perfect conformity of the principles,
and sameness of the language, even in arbitrary trifles, can hardly
be explained in any other way. It may indeed be said "_que les beaux
genies se rencontrent_,--that wits jump. The principles are the
same, and the conduct of the French has been such as the Illuminati
would have exhibited; but this is all--the Illuminati no longer
existed." Enough has been said on this point already.--The facts
are as have been narrated. The Illuminati continued _as an Order_,
and even held assemblies, though not so frequently nor so formally
as before, and though their _Areopagus_ was no longer at Munich. But
let us hear what the French themselves thought of the matter.

In 1789, or the beginning of 1790, _a manifesto was sent from the
GRAND NATIONAL LODGE of Free Masons_ (so it is entitled) _at Paris,
signed by the Duke of Orleans as Grand Master, addressed and sent
to the Lodges in all the respectable cities of Europe, exhorting
them to unite for the support of the French Revolution, to gain
it friends, defenders, and dependents; and according to their
opportunities, and the practicability of the thing, to kindle and
propagate the spirit of revolution through all lands_. This is a
most important article, and deserves a very serious attention. I got
it first of all in a work called, _Hochste wichtige Erinnerungen zur
rechten Zeit uber einige der allerernsthaftesten Angelegenheiten
dieses Zeitalters, von L. A. Hoffmann_, Vienna, 1795[25].

  [25] Most important Memorandums, in proper Season, concerning one of
  the most serious Occurrences of the present Age, by L. A. Hoffmann,
  Vienna, 1795.

The author of this work says, "That every thing he advances in
these memorandums is consistent with his own personal knowledge,
and that he is ready to give convincing proofs of them to any
respectable person who will apply to him personally. He has already
given such convincing documents to the Emperor, and to several
Princes, that many of the machinations occasioned by this manifesto
have been detected and stopped; and he would have no scruple at
laying the whole before the public, did it not unavoidably involve
several worthy persons who had suffered themselves to be misled,
and heartily repented of their errors." He is naturally (being a
Catholic) very severe on the Protestants, (and indeed he has much
reason,) and by this has drawn on himself many bitter retorts. He
has however defended himself against all that are of any consequence
to his good name and veracity, in a manner that fully convinces any
impartial reader, and turns to the confusion of the slanderers.

Hoffmann says, that "he saw some of those manifestos; that they were
not all of one tenor, some being addressed to friends, of whose
support they were already allured." One very important article
of their contents is _Earnest exhortations to establish in every
quarter secret schools of political education, and schools for the
public education of the children of the people, under the direction
of well-principled masters; and offers of pecuniary assistance
for this purpose, and for the encouragement of writers in favour
of the Revolution, and for indemnifying the patriotic booksellers
who suffer by their endeavours to suppress publications which have
an opposite tendency_. We know very well that the immense revenue
of the Duke of Orleans was scattered among all the rabble of the
_Palais Royal_. Can we doubt of its being employed in this manner?
Our doubts must vanish, when we see that not long after this was
publicly said in the National Assembly, "that this method was the
most effectual for accomplishing their purpose of setting Europe in
a flame." "But much expence," says the speaker, "will attend it,
and much has already been employed, which cannot be named because
it is given in secret." The Assembly had given the Illumination
war-hoop--"_Peace with cottages, but war with palaces_"--_A pouvoir
revolutionnaire_ is mentioned, which supersedes all narrow thoughts,
all ties of morality. Lequinio publishes the most detestable book
that ever issued from a printing press, _Les Prejuges vaincus_,
containing all the principles, and expressed in the very words of

Hoffmann says, that the French _Propaganda_ had many emissaries
in Vienna, and many friends whom he could point out. Mirabeau in
particular had many connections in Vienna, and to the certain
knowledge of Hoffmann, carried on a great correspondence in cyphers.
The progress of Illumination had been very great in the Austrian
States, and a statesman gave him an account of their proceedings,
(_qui font redresser les cheveux_) which makes one's hair stand on
end. "I no longer wonder," says he, "that the _Neueste Arbeitung
des Spartacus und Philo_ was forbidden. O ye almighty _Illuminati_,
what can you not accomplish by your serpent-like insinuation and
cunning!" Your leaders say, "This book is dangerous, because it
will teach wicked men the most refined methods of rebellion, and it
must never get into the hands of the common people. They have said
with the most impudent face to some Princes, who did not perceive
the deeper-laid reason for suppressing the book. The leaders of
the _Illuminati_ are, not without reason, in anxiety, lest the
inferior classes of their own Society should make just reprisals for
having been so basely tricked, by keeping them back and in profound
ignorance of their real designs; and for working on them by the
very goodness of their hearts, to their final ruin; and lest the
Free Masons, whom they have also abused, should think of revenging
themselves, when the matchless villainy of their deceivers has been
so clearly exposed. It is in vain for them to talk of the danger of
instructing the people in the methods of fomenting rebellion by
this book. The aims are too apparent, and even in the neighbourhood
of Regensburg, where the strength of the _Illuminati_ lay, every
person said aloud, that the IIluminatism discovered by this book was
High Treason, and the most unheard of attempt to annihilate every
religion and every civil government." He goes on: "In 1790 I was as
well acquainted with the spirit of the Illumination-system as at
present, but only not so documented by their constitutional acts,
as it is now by the _Neueste Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philo_.
My Masonic connections were formerly extensive, and my publication
entitled _Eighteen Paragraphs Concerning Free Masonry_, procured
me more acquaintance with Free Masons of the greatest worth, and
of _Illuminati_ equally upright, persons of respectability and
knowledge, who had discovered and repented the trick and inveigling
conduct of the Order. All of us jointly swore opposition to the
_Illuminati_, and my friends considered me as a proper instrument
for this purpose. To whet my zeal, they put papers into my hands
which made me shudder, and raised my dislike to the highest pitch.
I received from them lists of the members, and among them saw names
which I lamented exceedingly. Thus stood matters in 1790, when the
French Revolution began to take a serious turn. The intelligent saw
in the open system of the Jacobins the complete hidden system of the
Illuminati. We knew that this system included the whole world in
its aims, and France was only the place of its first explosion. The
Propaganda works in every corner to this hour, and its emissaries
run about in all the four quarters of the world, and are to be
found in numbers in every city that is a seat of government.

"He farther relates how they in Vienna wanted to enlist him, and, as
this failed, how they have abused him even in the foreign newspapers.

"I have personal knowledge (continues he) that in Germany a second
Mirabeau, Mauvillon, had proposed in detail a plan of revolution,
entirely and precisely suited to the present state of Germany.
This he circulated among several Free Mason Lodges, among all the
Illuminated Lodges which still remained in Germany, and through
the hands of all the emissaries of the Propaganda, who had been
already dispatched to the frontiers (_vorposten_) of every district
of the empire, with means for stirring up the people." (N. B. In
1792, Mauvillon, finding abundant support and encouragement in the
appearance of things round him, when the French arms had penetrated
every where, and their invitations to revolt had met with so hearty
a reception from the discontented in every state, came boldly
forward, and, in the Brunswick Journal for March 1792, declared
that "he heartily rejoiced in the French Revolution, wished it all
success, and thought himself liable to no reproach when he declared
his hopes that a similar Revolution would speedily take place in

In the Hamburgh Political Journal, August, September, and October
1790, there are many proofs of the machinations of emissaries from
the _Mason Lodges_ of Paris among the German Free Masons--See pages
836, 963, 1087, &c. It appears that a club has taken the name of
_Propaganda_--and meets once a week at least, in the form of a
Mason Lodge. It consists of persons of all nations, and is under
the direction of the Grand Master, the Duke of Orleans. De Leutre
is one of the Wardens. They have divided Europe into colonies,
to which they give revolutionary names, such as the _Cap_, the
_Pike_, the _Lantern_, &c. They have ministers in these colonies.
(One is pointed out in Saxony, by marks which I presume are well
understood.) A secret press was found in Saxe Gotha, furnished with
German types, which printed a seditious work called the _Journal
of Humanity_. This Journal was found in the mornings lying in the
streets and highways. The house belonged to an _Illuminatus_ of
the name of Duport, a poor schoolmaster--he was associated with
another in Strasburg, who was also an _Illuminatus_.--His name
was Meyer, the writer of the Strasburg Newspaper. He had been
some time a teacher in Salzmann's accademy, who we see was also
an _Illuminatus_, but displeased with their proceedings almost at
first. (Private Correspondence.)

"I have personal knowledge (continues Professor Hoffman) that in
1791, during the temporary dearth at Vienna, several of these
emissaries were busy in corrupting the minds of the poor, by telling
them that in like manner the court had produced a famine in Paris
in 1789. I detected some of them, and exposed them in my _Patriotic
Remarks on the Present Dearth_, and had the satisfaction of seeing
my endeavours of considerable effect."

Surely these facts show that the Anarchists of France knew of the
German Illuminati, and confided in their support. They also knew to
what particular Lodges they could address themselves with safety
and confidence.--But what need is there of more argument, when we
know the zeal of the Illuminati, and the unhoped for opportunity
that the Revolution had given them of acting with immediate effect
in carrying on their great and daring work? Can we doubt that
they would eagerly put their hand to the Plough? And, to complete
the proof, do we not know from the lists found in the secret
correspondence of the Order, that they already had Lodges in France,
and that in 1790 and 1791 many Illuminated Lodges in Germany, viz.
Mentz, Worms, Spire, Frankfort, actually interfered, and produced
great effects. In Switzerland too they were no less active. They had
Lodges at Geneva and at Bern. At Bern two Jacobins were sentenced
to several years imprisonment, and among their papers were found
their patents of Illumination. I also see the fate of Geneva
ascribed to the operations of Illuminati residing there, by several
writers--particularly by Girtanner, and by the Gottingen editor of
the Revolution Almanac.

I conclude this article with an extract or two from the proceedings
of the National Assembly and Convention, which make it evident that
their principles and their practice are precisely those of the
Illuminati, on a great scale.

When the assumption of the Duchy of Savoy as an 84th Department was
debated, Danton said to the Convention.

"In the moment that we send freedom to a nation on our frontier,
we must say to them you must have no more Kings--for if we are
surrounded by tyrants, their coalition puts our own freedom in
danger.--When the French nation sent us hither, it created a great
committee for the general insurrection of the people."

On the 19th of November 1792 it was decreed, "That the Convention,
in the name of the French nation, tenders help and fraternity to all
people who would recover their liberty."

On the 21st of November, the President of the Convention said to
the pretended deputies of the Duchy of Savoy, "Representatives
of an independent people, important to mankind was the day when
the National Convention of France pronounced its sentence, _Royal
dignity is abolished_.----From that day many nations will, in
future, reckon the era of their political existence.--From the
beginning of civil establishments Kings have been in opposition to
their nations--but now they rise up to annihilate Kings.--Reason,
when she darts her rays into every corner, lays open eternal
truths----She alone enables us to pass sentence on despots, hitherto
the scare-crow of other nations."

But the most distinct exhibition of principle is to be seen in a
report from the diplomatic committee, who were commissioned to
deliberate on the conduct which France was to hold with other
nations. On this report was founded the decree of the 15th of
December 1793. The Reporter addresses the Convention as follows:

"The Committees of Finance and War ask in the beginning--What is the
object of the war which we have taken in hand? Without all doubt the
PEACE WITH THE COTTAGES. These are the principles on which _your
declaration of war_ is founded. All tyranny, all privilege, must be
treated as an enemy in the countries where we set our foot. This
is the genuine result of our principles.--But it is not with Kings
alone that we are to wage war--were these our sole enemies, we
should only have to bring down ten or twelve heads. We have to fight
with all their accomplices, with the privileged orders, who devour
and have oppressed the people during many centuries.

"We must therefore declare ourselves for a revolutionary power in
all the countries into which we enter--(Loud applauses from the
Assembly)--Nor need we put on the cloak of humanity--we disdain
such little arts.--We must clothe ourselves with all the brilliancy
of reason, and all the force of the nation. We need not mask our
principles--the despots know them already. The first thing we must
do is to ring the alarum bell, for insurrection and uproar.--We
must, in a solemn manner, let the people see the banishment of their
tyrants and privileged casts--otherwise, the people, accustomed
to their fetters, will not be able to break their bonds.--It will
effect nothing, merely to excite a rising of the people--this would
only be giving them words instead of standing by them.

"And since, in this manner, we ourselves are the Revolutionary
Administration, all that is against the rights of the people must be
overthrown at our entry--We must display our principles by actually
destroying all tyranny; and our generals after having chased away
the tyrants and their satellites, must proclaim to the people that
they have brought them happiness; and then, on the spot, they must
suppress tithes, feudal rights, and every species of servitude."

"But we shall have done nothing if we stop here. Aristocracy still
domineers--we must therefore suppress all authorities existing in
the hands of the upper classes.--When the Revolutionary Authority
appears, there must nothing of the old establishment remain.--A
popular system must be introduced--every office must be occupied by
new functionaries--and the Sans Cullottes must every where have a
share in the Administration.

"Still nothing is done, till we declare aloud the _precision_ of
our principles to such as want only half freedom.--We must say to
them--If you think of compromising with the privileged casts, we
cannot suffer such dealing with tyrants--They are our enemies,
and we must treat them as enemies, because they are neither for
Liberty nor Equality.--Show yourselves disposed to receive a free
constitution--and the Convention will not only stand by you, but
will give you permanent support; we will defend you against the
vengeance of your tyrants--against their attacks, and against their
return.--Therefore abolish from among you the Nobles, and every
ecclesiastical and military incorporation. They are incompatable
with Equality.--Henceforward you are citizens, all equal in
rights--equally called upon to rule, to defend, and to serve your
country.--The agents of the French Republic will instruct and assist
you in forming a free constitution, and assure you of happiness and

This Report was loudly applauded, and a decree formed in precise
conformity to its principles. Both were ordered to be translated
into all languages, and copies to be furnished to their generals,
with orders to have them carefully dispersed in the countries which
they invaded.

And, in completion of these decrees, their armies found it easy to
collect as many discontented or worthless persons in any country
as sufficed for setting up a tree of liberty. This they held as a
sufficient call for their interference.--Sometimes they performed
this ceremony themselves--a representation was easily made up in
the same way--and then, under the name of a free constitution,
the nation was forced to acquiesce in a form dictated at the
point of the bayonet, in which they had not the smallest liberty
to choose--and they were plundered of all they had, by way of
compensating to France for the trouble she had taken.--And this they
call Liberty.--It needs no comment.--

Thus have I attempted to prove that the present awful situation
of Europe, and the general fermentation of the public mind in
all nations, have not been altogether the natural operations of
discontent, oppression, and moral corruption, although these have
been great, and have operated with fatal energy; but that this
political fever has been carefully and systematically heightened
by bodies of men, who professed to be the physicians of the State,
and, while their open practice employed cooling medicines, and
a treatment which all approved, administered in secret the most
inflammatory poisons, which they made up so as to flatter the
diseased fancy of the patient. Although this was not a plan begun,
carried on, and completed by the same persons, it was undoubtedly
an uniform and consistent scheme, proceeding on the same unvaried
principle, and France undoubtedly now smarts under all the woes of
German Illumination.

I beg leave to suggest a few thoughts, which may enable us to draw
some advantage from this shocking mass of information.

_General Reflections._

I. I may observe, in the _first_ place, and I beg it may be
particularly attended to, that in all those villainous machinations
against the peace of the world, the attack has been first made on
the principles of Morality and Religion. The conspirators saw that
till these are extirpated, they have no chance of success; and their
manner of proceeding shews that they consider Religion and Morality
as inseparably connected together. We learn much from this--_Fas
est et ab hoste doceri_.--They endeavour to destroy our religious
sentiments, by first corrupting our morals. They try to inflame our
passions, that when the demands from this quarter become urgent, the
restraints of Religion may immediately come in sight, and stand in
the way. They are careful, on this occasion, to give such a view of
those restraints, that the real origin of them does not appear.--We
are made to believe that they have been altogether the contrivance
of Priests and despots, in order to get the command of us. They
take care to support these assertions by facts, which, to our great
shame, and greater misfortune, are but too numerous. Having now the
passions on their side, they find no difficulty in persuading the
voluptuary, or the discontented, that tyranny, actually exerted, or
resolved on in future, is the sole origin of religious restraint.
He seeks no further argument, and gives himself no trouble to find
any. Had he examined the matter with any care, he would find himself
just brought back to those very feelings of moral excellence and
moral depravity that he wishes to get rid of altogether; and these
would tell him that pure Religion does not lay a single restraint
on us that a noble nature would not have laid on itself--nor
enjoins a single duty which an ingenuous and warm heart would not
be ashamed to find itself deficient in. He would then see that all
the sanctions of Religion are fitted to his high rank in the scale
of existence. And the more he contemplates his future prospects, the
more they brighten upon his view, the more attainable they appear,
and the more he is able to know what they may probably be. Having
attained this happy state of mind, (an attainment in the power of
any kind heart that is in earnest in the enquiry) he will think that
no punishment is too great for the unthankful and groveling soul
which can forego such hopes, and reject these noble proffers, for
the comparatively frivolous and transitory gratifications of life.
He is not frightened into worthy and virtuous conduct by fears of
such merited punishment; but, if not enticed into it by his high
expectations, he is, at least, retained in the paths of virtue by a
kind of manly shame.

But all this is overlooked, or is kept out of sight, in the
instructions of Illuminatism. In these the eye must be kept always
directed to the Despot. This is the bugbear, and every thing is made
to connect with present or future tyranny and oppression--Therefore
Religion is held out as a combination of terrors--the invention
of the state-tools, the priests. But it is not easy to stifle the
suggestions of Nature--therefore no pains are spared to keep them
down, by encreasing the uncertainty and doubts which arise in the
course of all speculations on such subjects. Such difficulties occur
in all scientific discussions.--Here they must be numerous and
embarrassing--for in this enquiry we come near the first principles
of things, and the first principles of human knowledge. The geometer
does not wonder at mistakes even in _his_ science, the most simple
of all others.--Nor does the mechanic or the chemist reject all
his science, because he cannot attain clear conceptions of some
of the natural relations which operate in the phenomena under
his consideration.--Nor do any of these students of nature brand
with the name of fool, or knave, or bigot, another person who has
drawn a different conclusion from the phenomenon.----In one point
they all agree--they find themselves possessed of faculties which
enable them to speculate, and to discover; and they find, that the
operation of those faculties is quite unlike the things which they
contemplate by their means--_and they feel a satisfaction in the
possession of them_, and in this distinction.----But this seems a
misfortune to our Illuminators. I have long been struck with this.
If by deep meditation I have solved a problem which has baffled
the endeavours of others, I should hardly thank the person who
convinced me that my success was entirely owing to the particular
state of my health, by which my brain was kept free from many
irritations to which other persons are exposed. Yet this is the
conduct of the Illuminated--They are abundantly self-conceited;
and yet they continually endeavour to destroy all grounds of
self-estimation.--They rejoice in every discovery that is reported
to them of some resemblance, unnoticed before, between mankind
and the inferior creation, and would be happy to find that the
resemblance is complete. It is very true, Mr. Pope's "Poor Indian,
with untutor'd mind," had no objection to his dogs going to heaven
with him:

    "And thinks, admitted to that equal sky,
    "His faithful dog shall bear him company."

This is not an abject, but it is a modest sentiment. But our
high-minded philosophers, who, with Beatrice in the play, "cannot
brook obedience to a wayward piece of marl," if it be in the shape
of a Prince, have far other notions of the matter. Indeed they are
not yet agreed about it. Mr. de la Metherie hopes, that before the
enlightened Republic of France has got into its teens, he shall be
able to tell his fellow-citizens, in his _Journal de Physique_, that
particular form of crystallization which men have been accustomed
to call God.--Dr. Priestley again deduces all intelligence from
elastic undulations, and will probably think, that his own great
discoveries have been the quiverings of some fiery marsh _miasma_.
While Pope's poor Indian hopes to take his dog to heaven with him,
these Illuminators hope to die like dogs, and that both soul and
body shall be as if they never had been.

Is not this a melancholy result of all our Illumination? It is
of a piece with the termination of the ideal Philosophy, viz.
professed and total ignorance. Should not this make us start back
and hesitate, before we pout like wayward children at the hardships
of civil subordination, and before we make a sacrifice to our
ill humour of all that we value ourselves for? Does it not carry
ridicule and absurdity in its forehead?--Such assertions of personal
worth and dignity, (always excepting Princes and Priests,) and such
abject acknowledgments of worthlessness.--Does not this, of itself,
show that there is some radical fault in the whole? It has all
arisen from what they have called _Illumination_, and this turns
out to be worse than darkness--But we also know that it has all
arisen from self-conceited discontent, and that it has been brought
to its present state by the rage of speculation. We may venture to
put the question to any man's conscience--whether discontent did
not precede his doubts about his own nature and whether he has not
_encouraged_ the train of argument that tended to degrade him? "Thy
wish was father, Harry, to that thought."--Should not this make us
distrust, at least, the operations of this faculty of our mind,
and try to moderate and check this darling propensity.--It seems a
misfortune of the age--for we see that it is a natural source of
disturbance and revolution.

But here it will be immediately said, "What, must we give over
thinking--be no longer rational creatures, and believe every
lie that is told us?" By no means.--Let us be _really_ rational
creatures--and, taught by experience, let us, in all our
speculations on subjects which engage the passions, guard ourselves
with the most anxious care against the risk of having our judgments
warped by our desires.--There is no propensity of our nature of
which the proper and modest indulgence is not beneficial to man,
and which is not hurtful, when this indulgence is carried too
far,--and if we candidly peruse the page of history, we shall be
convinced that the abuse is great in proportion as the subject is
important. What has been so ruinously perverted as the religious
principle?--What horrid superstition has it not produced? The
Reader will not, I hope, take it amiss that I presume to direct his
attention to some maxims which ought to conduct a prudent man in his
indulgence of a speculative disposition, and apply them to the case
in hand.

Whoever will for a while call off his attention from the common
affairs of life, the _Curæ hominum, et rerum pondus inane_, and
will but reflect a little on that wonderful principle within him,
which carries him over the whole universe, and shows him its various
relations--Whoever also remarks how very small a proportion his
own individual existence bears to this immeasurable scene, cannot
but feel an inexpressible pleasure in the contemplation of his
own powers--He must rise in his own estimation, and be disposed
to cherish with fondness this principle which so eminently raises
him above all around him. Of all the sources of human vanity this
is surely the most manly, the most excusable, and the most likely
to be extravagantly indulged.--We may be certain that it will be
so indulged, and that men will frequently speculate for the sake
of speculation alone, and that they will have too much confidence
in the results of this favourite occupation.--As there have been
ages of indolent and abject credulity and superstition, it is
next to certain that there are also times of wild and extravagant
speculation--and when we see it becoming a sort of general passion,
we may be certain that this is a case in point.

This can hardly be denied to be the character of the present day. It
is not denied. On the contrary it is gloried in as the prerogative
of the eighteenth century. All the speculations of antiquity are
considered as glimmerings (with the exceptions of a few brighter
flashes) when compared with our present meridian splendor. We should
therefore listen with caution to the inferences from this boasted
Illumination. Also when we reflect on what passes in our own minds,
and on what we observe in the world, of the mighty influence of
our desires and passions on our judgments, we should carefully
notice whether any such warping of the belief is probable in the
present case. That it is so is almost certain--for the general and
immediate effect of this Illumination is to lessen or remove many
restraints which the sanctions of religion lay on the indulgence
of very strong passions, and to diminish our regard for a certain
purity or correctness of manners, which religion recommends as
the only conduct suited to our noble natures, and as absolutely
necessary for attaining that perfection and happiness of which we
are capable.--For surely if we take away religion, it will be wisdom
"to eat and to drink, since to-morrow we die." If, moreover, we see
this Illumination extolled above all science, as friendly to virtue,
as improving the heart, and as producing a just morality, which
will lead to happiness both for ourselves and others, but perceive
at the same time that these assertions are made at the expence of
principles, which our natural feelings force us to venerate as
supreme and paramount to all others, we may then be certain that
our informer is trying to mislead and deceive us.--For all virtue
and goodness both of heart and conduct, is in perfect harmony, and
there is no jarring or inconsistency. But we must pass this sentence
on the doctrines of this Illumination. For it is a melancholy truth
that they have been preached and recommended, for the most part,
by clergymen, parish-ministers, who, in the presence of invoked
Deity, and in the face of the world, have set their solemn seal to
a system of doctrines directly opposite to those recommended in
their writings; which doctrines they solemnly profess to believe,
and solemnly swear to inculcate. Surely the informations and
instructions of such men should be rejected. Where shall we find
their real opinions? In their solemn oaths?--or in these infidel
dissertations?--In either case, they are deceivers, whether misled
by vanity or by the mean desire of church-emoluments; or they are
prostitutes, courting the society of the wealthy and sensual.
Honesty, like justice, admits of no degrees. A man is honest, or he
is a knave, and who would trust a knave? But such men are unsuitable
instructors for another reason--they are unwise; for, whatever they
may think, they are not respected as men of worth, but are inwardly
despised as parasites, by the rich, who admit them into their
company, and treat them with civility, for their own reasons. We
take instructions not merely from the knowing, the learned, but from
the wise--not therefore from men who give such evidences of weakness.

Such would be the conduct of a prudent man, who listens to the
instructions of another with the serious intention of profiting by
them. In the present case he sees plain proofs of degraded self
estimation, of dishonesty, and of mean motives. But the prudent
man will go further--he will remark that dissolute manners, and
actions which are inevitably subversive of the peace and order, nay,
of the very existence of society, are the natural and necessary
consequences of irreligion. Should any doubt of this remain in his
mind; should he sometimes think of an Epictetus, or one or two
individuals of antiquity, who were eminently virtuous, without the
influence of religious sanctions, he should recollect, that the
Stoics were animated by the thought, that while the wise man was
playing the game of life, the gods were looking on, and pleased with
his skill. Let him read the beautiful account given by Dr. Smith of
the rise of the Stoic philosophy, and he will see that it was an
artificial but noble attempt of a few exalted minds, enthusiasts
in virtue, aiming to steel their souls against the dreadful but
unavoidable misfortunes to which they were continually exposed by
the daily recurring revolutions in the turbulent democracies of
ancient Greece. There, a philosopher was this day a magistrate, and
the next day a captive and a slave. He would see that this fair
picture of mental happiness and independence was fitted for the
contemplation of only a few choice spirits, but had no influence on
the bulk of mankind. He must admire the noble characters who were
animated by this manly enthusiasm, and who have really exhibited
some wonderful pictures of virtuous heroism; but he will regret,
that the influence of these manly, these natural principles, was not
more extensive. He will say to himself, "How will a whole nation
act when religious sanctions are removed, and men are actuated by
reason alone?"--He is not without instruction on this important
subject. France has given an awful lesson to surrounding nations,
by shewing them what is the natural effect of shaking off the
religious principle, and the veneration for that pure morality
which characterises Christianity. By a decree of the Convention,
(June 6, 1794) it is declared, that there is nothing criminal in
the promiscuous commerce of the sexes, and therefore nothing that
derogates from the female character, when woman forgets that she is
the depositary of all domestic satisfaction----that her honour is
the sacred bond of social life----that on her modesty and delicacy
depend all the respect and confidence that will make a man attach
himself to her society, free her from labour, share with her the
fruits of all his own exertions, and work with willingness and
delight, that she may appear on all occasions his equal, and the
ornament of all his acquisitions. In the very argument which this
selected body of senators has given for the propriety of this
decree, it has degraded woman below all estimation. "It is to
prevent her from murdering the fruit of unlawful love, by removing
her shame, and by relieving her from the fear of want." The senators
say, "the Republic wants citizens, and therefore must not only
remove this temptation of shame, but must take care of the mother
while she nurses the child. It is the property of the nation, and
must not be lost." The woman all the while is considered only as
the she-animal, the breeder of Sans Culottes. This is the _just_
morality of Illumination. It is really amusing (for things revolting
to nature now amuse) to observe with what fidelity the principles of
the Illuminati have expressed the sentiments which take possession
of a people who have shaken off the sanctions of Religion and
morality. The following is part of the address to _Psycharion_ and
the company mentioned in page 257: "Once more, Psycharion, I indulge
you with a look behind you to the flowery days of childhood. Now
look forwards, _young woman_! the holy circle of the marriageable,
(_mannbaren_) welcome you. Young men, honour the young woman, the
future breeder (_gebaererin_)!" Then, to all.--"Rejoice in the
dawn of Illumination and of Freedom. Nature at last enjoys her
sacred never-fading rights. Long was her voice kept down by civil
subordination; but the days of your majority now draw nigh, and
you will no longer, under the authority of guardians, account it a
reproach to consider with enlightened eyes the secret workshops of
nature, and to enjoy your work and duty." Minos thought this very
fine, but it raised a terrible disturbance and broke up the assembly.

Such are the effects of this boasted enlightening of the human mind
with respect to religion and morality. Let us next consider what is
the result of the mighty informations which we have got in respect
of our social or political connections.

II. We have learned the sum total of this political Illumination,
and see that, if true, it is melancholy, destructive of our present
comforts, numerous as they are, and affords no prospect of redress
from which we can profit, but, on the contrary, plunges mankind
into dissention, mutual injury, and universal misery, and all this
for the _chance_ only of prevailing in the contest, and giving
our posterity a _chance_ of going on in peace, if no change shall
be produced, as in former times, by the efforts of ambitious men.
But the Illumination appears to be partial, nay false. What is it?
It holds out to the prince nothing but the resignation of all his
possessions, rights and claims, sanctioned by the quiet possession
of ages, and by all the feelings of the human heart which give any
notion of right to his lowest subject. All these possessions and
claims are discovered to have arisen from usurpations, _and are
therefore tyranny_. It has been discovered, that all subordinate
subjections were enforced, _therefore their continuance is slavery_.
But both of these historical assertions are in a great degree false,
and the inferences from them are unreasonable. The world has gone on
as we see it go on at present. Most principalities or sovereignties
have arisen as we see personal authorities and influence arise every
day among ourselves. Business for the whole must be done. Most men
are sufficiently occupied by their private affairs, and they are
indolent even in these--they are contented when another does the
thing for them. There is not a little village, nor a society of men,
where this is not seen every day. Some men have an enjoyment in this
kind of vicarious employment. Other men like influence and power,
and thus are compensated for their trouble. Thus many petty managers
of public affairs arise in every country. The mutual animosities of
individuals, and still more, the animosities of tribes, clans, and
different associations, give rise to another kind of superiors--to
leaders, who direct the struggles of the rest, whether for offence
or defence. The descendants of Israel said, "they wanted a man to go
out before the people, like other nations." As the small business
of a few individuals requires a manager or a leader, so do some
more general affairs of these petty superiors.--Many of these also
are indolent enough to wish this trouble taken off their hands;
and thus another rank of superiors arises, and a third, and so on,
till a great State may be formed; and in this gradation each class
is a competent judge of the conduct of that class only which is
immediately above it.

All this may arise, and has often arisen, from voluntary concession
alone. This concession may proceed from various causes,--from
confidence in superior talents--from confidence in great
worth,--most generally from the respect or deference which all
men feel for great possessions. This is frequently founded in
self-interest and expectations of advantage; but it is natural to
man, and perhaps springs from our instinctive sympathy with the
satisfactions of others--we are unwilling to disturb them, and even
wish to promote them.

But this subordination may arise, and has often arisen, from other
causes--from the love of power and influence, which makes some
men _eager_ to lead others, or even to manage their concerns. We
see this every day, and it may be perfectly innocent. It often
arises from the desire of gain of one kind or another.--This also
may frequently be indulged with perfect innocence, and even with
general advantage. Frequently, however, this subordination is
produced by the love of power or of gain pushed to an immoderate
degree of ambition, and rendered unjust. Now there arise oppression,
tyranny, sufferings, and slavery. Now appears an opposition between
the rights or claims of the ruler and of the people. Now the
rulers come to consider themselves as a different class, and their
transactions are now only with each other.--Prince becomes the rival
or the enemy of Prince; and in their contests one prevails, and the
dominion is enlarged. This rivalship may have begun in any rank of
superiors; even between the first managers of the affairs of the
smallest communities; and it must be remarked that they only are the
immediate gainers or losers in the contest, while those below them
live at ease, enjoying many advantages of the delegation of their
own concerns.

No human society has ever proceeded purely in either of these
two ways, but there has always been a mixture of both.--But this
process is indispensably necessary for the formation of a great
nation, and for all the consequences that result only from such
a coalition.--Therefore it is necessary for giving rise to all
those comforts, and luxuries, and elegances, which are to be found
only in great and cultivated states. It is necessary for producing
such enjoyments as we see around us in Europe, which we prize so
highly, and for which we are making all this stir and disturbance.
I believe that no man who expects to be believed will positively
assert that human nature and human enjoyments are not meliorated
by this cultivation.--It seems to be the intention of nature, and,
notwithstanding the follies and vices of many, we can have little
hesitation in saying that there are in the most cultivated nations
of Europe, and even in the highest ranks of those nations, men of
great virtue and worth, and of high accomplishment--Nor can we deny
that such men are the finest specimens of human nature. Rosseau
indeed wrote a whimsical pamphlet, in which he had the vanity to
think that he had proved that all these fruits of cultivation were
losses to humanity and virtue--Yet Rousseau could not be contented
with the society of the rude and unpolished, although he pretended
that he was almost the sole worshipper of pure virtue.--He supported
himself, not by assisting the simple peasant, but by writing music
and luscious novels for the pampered rich.

This is the circumstance entirely overlooked, or artfully kept out
of sight, in the boasted Illumination of these days. No attention
is paid to the important changes which have happened in national
greatness, in national connection, in national improvement--yet
we never think of parting with any of the advantages, real or
imaginary, which these changes have produced--nor do we reflect
that in order to keep a great nation together--to make it act with
equality, or with preponderancy, among other nations, the individual
exertions must be concentrated, must be directed--and that this
requires a ruler vested with supreme power, and _interested by
some great and endearing motive_, such as hereditary possession of
this power and influence, to maintain and defend this coalition
of men.--All this is overlooked, and we attend only to the
subordination which is indispensably necessary. Its grievances are
immediately felt, and they are heightened tenfold by a delicacy
or sensibility which springs from the great improvements in the
accommodations and enjoyments of life, which the gradual usurpation
and subsequent subordination have produced, and continue to support.
But we are determined to have the elegance and grandeur of a palace
without the prince.--We will not give up any of our luxuries and
refinements, yet will not support those high ranks and those nice
minds which produced them, and which must continue to keep them
from degenerating into barbarous simplicity and coarse sensuality.
We would keep the philosophers, the poets, the artists, but not the
Mæcenases. It is very true that in such a state there would be no
_Conjuration des Philosophes_; for in such a state this vermin of
_philosophes_ and scribblers would not have existed. In short, we
would have what is impossible.

I have no hesitation in saying, that the British Constitution is
the form of government _for a great and refined nation_, in which
the ruling sentiments and propensities of human nature seem most
happily blended and balanced. There is no occasion to vaunt it
as the ancient rights of Britons, the wisdom of ages, &c. It has
attained its present pitch of perfection by degrees, and this not
by the efforts of wisdom, but by the struggles of vice and folly,
working on a rich fund of good nature, and of manly spirit, that are
conspicuous in the British character. I do not hesitate to say that
it is the _only_ form of government which will admit and give full
exercise to all the respectable propensities of our nature, with the
least chance of disturbance and the greatest probability of man's
arriving at the highest pitch of improvement in every thing that
raises him above the beasts of the field. Yet there is no part of
it that may not, that is not, abused, by pushing it to an improper
length, and the same watchful care is necessary for preserving our
inestimable blessings that was employed in acquiring them. This
is to be done, not by flying at once to an abstract theory of the
rights of man. There is an evident folly in this procedure. What
is this theory? It is the best general sketch that we can draw of
social life, deduced from our knowledge of human nature. And what
is this knowledge? It is a well digested abstract, or rather a
declaration _of what we have observed_ of human actions. What is
the use therefore of this intermediate picture, this theory of the
rights of man?--It has a chance of being unlike the original----it
must certainly have imperfections, therefore it can be of no use to
us. We should go at once to the original--we should consider how men
_have acted_--what _have_ been their mutual expectations--their fond
propensities--what of these are inconsistent with each other--what
are the degrees of indulgence which _have been_ admitted in them
all without disturbance.--I will venture to say that whoever does
this, will find himself imperceptibly led to contemplate a mixed
hereditary monarchy, and will figure to himself a parliament of
King, Lords, and Commons, all looking at each other with somewhat of
a cautious or jealous eye, while the rest of the nation are fitting,
"each under his own vine and under his own fig-tree, and there is
none to make him afraid;"--in one word, the Constitution of Great

A most valuable result of such contemplation will be a thorough
conviction that the grievance which is most clamorously insisted on
is the inevitable consequence of the liberty and security which we
enjoy. I mean ministerial corruption, with all the dismal tale of
placemen, and pensioners, and rotten boroughs, &c. &c. These are
never seen in a despotic government--there they are not wanted--nor
can they be very apparent in an uncultivated and poor state--but in
a luxurious nation, where pleasures abound, where the returns of
industry are secure; here an individual looks on every thing as his
own acquisition--he does not feel his relation to the state--has no
patriotism--thinks that he would be much happier if the state would
let him alone. He is fretted by the restraints which the public weal
lays on him--therefore government and governors appear as checks and
hindrances to his exertions--hence a general inclination to resist
administration. Yet public business must be done, that we may lie
down and rise again in safety and peace. Administration must be
supported--there are always persons who wish to possess the power
that is exercised by the present ministers, and would turn them
out. How is all this to be remedied? I see no way but by applying
to the selfish views of individuals--by rewarding the friends of
administration--This may be done with perfect virtue--and from
this the selfish will conceive hopes, and will support a virtuous
ministry--but they are as ready to help a wicked one. This becomes
the greatest misfortune of a free nation. Ministers are tempted to
bribe--and, if a systematic opposition be considered as a necessary
part of a practical constitution, it is almost indispensable--and
it is no where so prevalent as in a pure democracy. Laws may be
contrived to make it very troublesome, but can never extirpate
it nor greatly diminish it: this can be done only by despotism,
or by national virtue. It is a shameful complaint--we should not
reprobate a few ministers, but the thousands who take the bribes.
Nothing tends so much to diminish it in a corrupted nation as great
limitations to the eligibility of representatives--and this is the
beauty of our constitution.

_We have not discovered_, therefore, by this boasted Illumination,
that Princes and superiors are useless, and must vanish from the
earth; nor that the people have now attained full age, and are fit
to govern themselves. We want only to revel a little on the last
fruits of national cultivation, which we would quickly consume, and
never allow to be raised again. No matter how this progress began,
whether from concession or usurpation--We possess it, and, if wise,
we will preserve it, by preserving its indispensable supports. They
have indeed been frequently employed very improperly, but their most
pernicious abuse has been this breed of scribbling vermin, which
have made the body politic smart in every limb.

Hear what opinion was entertained of the sages of France by
their Prince, the father of Louis XVI. the unfortunate martyr of
Monarchy. "By the principles of our new Philosophers, the Throne
no longer wears the splendour of divinity. They maintain that
it arose from violence, and that by the same justice that force
erected it, force may again shake it, and overturn it. The people
can never give up their power. They only let it out for their own
advantage, and always retain the right to rescind the contract,
and resume it whenever their personal advantage, their only rule
of conduct, requires it. Our philosophers teach in public what our
passions suggest only in secret. They say to the Prince that all
is permitted only when all is in his power, and that his duty is
fulfilled when he has pleased his fancy. Then, surely, if the laws
of self-interest, that is, the self-will of human passions, shall
be so generally admitted, that we thereupon forget the eternal laws
of God and of Nature, all conceptions of right and wrong, of virtue
and vice, of good and evil, must be extirpated from the human heart.
The throne must totter, the subjects must become unmanageable and
mutinous, and their ruler hard-hearted and inhuman. The people will
be incessantly oppressed or in an uproar."--"What service will it be
if I order such a book to be burnt?--the author can write another
to-morrow." This opinion of a Prince is unpolished indeed, and
homely, but it is just.

Weishaupt grants, that "there will be a terrible convulsion, and a
storm--but this will be succeeded by a calm--the unequal will now be
equal--and when the cause of dissension is thus removed, the world
will be in peace."--True, when the causes of dissension are removed.
Thus, the destruction of our crop by vermin is at an end when a
flood has swept every thing away--but as new plants will spring
up in the waste, and, if not instantly devoured, will again cover
the ground with verdure, so the industry of man, and his desire of
comfort and consideration, will again accumulate in the hands of
the diligent a greater proportion of the good things of life. In
this infant state of the emerging remains of former cultivation,
comforts, which the present inhabitants of Europe would look on with
contempt, will be great, improper, and hazardous acquisitions. The
principles which authorise the proposed dreadful equalisation will
as justly entitle the idle or unsuccessful of future days to strip
the possessor of his advantages, and things must ever remain on
their savage level.

III. I think that the impression which the insincerity of conduct
of those instructors will leave on the mind, must be highly useful.
They are evidently teaching what they do not believe themselves--and
here I do not confine my remark to their preparatory doctrines,
which they afterwards explode. I make it chiefly with respect to
their grand ostensible principle, which pervades the whole, a
principle which they are obliged to adopt against their will.--They
know that the principles of virtue are rooted in the heart, and
that they can only be smothered--but did they pretend to eradicate
them and proclaim _hominem homini lupum_, all would spurn at their
instruction. We are wheedled, by tickling our fancy with a notion
that sacred virtue is not only secure, but that it is only in such
hearts that it exerts its native energy. Sensible that the levelling
maxims now spoken of are revolting to the mind, the Illuminators
are under the necessity of keeping us from looking at the shocking
picture, by displaying a beautiful scene of Utopian happiness--and
they rock us asleep by the eternal lullaby of morality and universal
philanthropy. Therefore the foregoing narration of the personal
conduct of these instructors and reformers of the world, is highly
useful. All this is to be brought about by the native loveliness of
pure virtue, purged of the corruptions which superstitious fears
have introduced, and also purged of the selfish thoughts which
are avowed by the advocates of what their opponents call true
religion. This is said to hold forth eternal rewards to the good,
and to threaten the wicked with dreadful punishment. Experience
has shown how inefficient such motives are. Can they be otherwise?
say our Illuminators. Are they not addressed to a principle that
is ungenerous and selfish? But our doctrines, say they, touch
the hearts of the worthy. Virtue is beloved for her own sake,
and all will yield to her gentle sway. But look, Reader, look at
Spartacus the murderer, at Cato the keeper of poisons and the
thief--Look at Tiberius, at Alcibiades, and the rest of the Bavarian
Pandemonium. Look at poor Bahrdt. Go to France--look at Lequinio,
at Condorcet[26]. Look at the Monster Orleans.----All were liars.
Their divinity had no influence on their profligate minds. They
only wanted to wheedle you, by touching the strings of humanity and
goodness which are yet braced up in your heart, and which still
yield sweet harmony if you will accompany their notes with those
of religion, and neither clog them with the groveling pleasures of
sense, nor damp the whole with the thought of eternal silence.

  [26] De la Metherie says, (_Journ. de Phys. Nov. 1792_,) that
  Condorcet was brought up in the house of the old Duke of
  Rochefoucault, who treated him as his son--got Turgot to create a
  lucrative office for him, and raised him to all his eminence--yet he
  pursued him with malicious reports--and actually employed ruffians
  to assassinate him. Yet is Condorcet's writing a model of humanity
  and tenderness.

A most worthy and accomplished gentleman, who took refuge in this
country, leaving behind him his property, and friends to whom he
was most tenderly attached, often said to me that nothing so much
affected him as the revolution in the hearts of men.--Characters
which were unspotted, hearts thoroughly known to himself, having
been tried by many things which search the inmost folds of
selfishness or malevolence--in short, persons whose judgments were
excellent, and on whose worth he could have rested his honour
and his life, so fascinated by the contagion, that they came at
last to behold, and even to commit the most atrocious crimes with
delight.--He used sometimes to utter a sigh which pierced my heart,
and would say, that it was caused by some of those things that had
come across his thoughts. He breathed his last among us, declaring
that it was impossible to recover peace of mind, without a total
oblivion of the wickedness and miseries he had beheld.--What a
valuable advice, "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest
he fall."--When the prophet told Hazael that he would betray his
Prince, he exclaimed, "Is thy servant a dog, that he should do such
a thing?" Yet next day he murdered him.

Never since the beginning of the world, has true religion received
so complete an acknowledgment of her excellence, as has been
extorted from the fanatics who have attempted to destroy her.
Religion stood in their way, and the wretch Marat, as well as the
steady villain Weishaupt, saw that they could not proceed till
they had eradicated all sentiments of the moral government of
the universe. Human nature, improved as it has been by religion,
shrunk from the talks that were imposed, and it must therefore
be brutalized--The grand confederation was solemnly sworn to by
millions in every corner of France--but, as Mirabeau said of the
declaration of the Rights of Man, it must be made only the "Almanack
of the bygone year"--Therefore Lequinio must write a book, declaring
oaths to be nonsense, unworthy of San Culottes, and all religion
to be a farce. Not long after, they found that they had some use
for a God--but he was gone--and they could not find another. Their
constitution was gone--and they have not yet found another. What
is now left them on which they can depend for awing a man into a
respect for truth in his judicial declarations? what but the honour
of a Citizen of France, who laughs at all engagements, which he has
broken again and again? Religion has taken off with her every sense
of human duty. What can we expect but villainy from an Archbishop
of Paris and his chapter, who made a public profession that they
had been playing the villains for many years, teaching what they
thought to be a bundle of lies? What but the very thing which they
have done, cutting each other's throats?--Have not the enlightened
citizens of France applauded the execution of their fathers? Have
not the furies of Paris denounced their own children? But turn your
eyes from the horrifying spectacle, and think on your own noble
descent and alliance. You are not the accidental productions of a
fatal chaos, but the work of a Great Artist, creatures that are
cared for, born to noble prospects, and conducted to them by the
plainest and most simple precepts, "to do justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly before God," not bewildered by the false and
fluttering glare of French Philosophy, but conduced by this clear,
single light, perceivable by all, "Do to others what you should
reasonably expect them to do to you."

    Think not the Muse whose sober voice you hear,
      Contracts with bigot frown her fallen brow,
    Casts round Religion's orb the mists of Fear,
      Or shades with horror what with smiles should glow.

    No--she would warn you with seraphic fire,
      Heirs as ye are of Heaven's eternal day,
    Would bid you boldly to that Heaven aspire,
      Not sink and slumber in your cells of clay.

    Is this the bigot's rant? Away, ye vain,
      Your doubts, your fears, in gloomy dulness steep;
    Go--soothe your souls in sickness, death, or pain,
      With the sad solace of eternal sleep.

    Yet know, vain sceptics, know, th' Almighty Mind,
      Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire,
    Bade his free soul, by earth nor time confin'd,
      To Heaven, to immortality aspire.

    Nor shall this pile of hope his bounty rear'd,
      By vain philosophy be e'er destroy'd;
    Eternity, by all or hop'd or fear'd,
      Shall be by all or suffer'd or enjoy'd.


The unfortunate Prince who has taken refuge in this kingdom, and
whose situation among us is an illustrious mark of the generosity of
the nation, and of the sovereignty of its laws, said to one of the
Gentleman about him, that "if this country was to escape the general
wreck of nations, it would owe its preservation to Religion."--When
this was doubted, and it was observed, that there had not been
wanting many Religionists in France; "True," said the Prince,
"but they were not in earnest.--I see here a serious interest in
the thing. The people know what they are doing when they go to
church--they understand something of it, and take an interest in
it." May his observation be just, and his expectations be fulfilled!

IV. I would again call upon my countrywomen with the most earnest
concern, and beseech them to consider this subject as of more
particular importance to themselves than even to the men.--While
woman is considered as a respectable moral agent, training along
with ourselves for endless improvement; then, and only then, will
she be considered by lordly man as his equal;--then, and only
then, will she be allowed to have any rights, and those rights be
respected. Strip women of this prerogative, and they become the
drudges of man's indolence, or the pampered playthings of his idle
hours, subject to his caprices, and slaves to his mean passions.
Soon will their present empire of gallantry be over. It is a
refinement of manners which sprang from Christianity; and when
Christianity is forgotten, this artificial diadem will be taken
from their heads, and unless they adopt the ferocious sentiments
of their Gallic neighbours, and join in the general uproar, they
will sink into the insignificance of the women in the turbulent
republics of Greece, where they are never seen in the busy haunts
of men, if we except four or five, who, during the course of as
many centuries, emerged from the general obscurity, and appear in
the historic page, by their uncommon talents, and by the sacrifice
of what my fair countrywomen still hold to be the ornament of their
sex. I would remind them, that they have it in their power to
retain their present honourable station in society. They are our
early instructors; and while mothers in the respectable stations
of life continued to inculcate on the tender minds of their sons
a veneration for the precepts of Religion, their pliant children,
receiving their instructions along with the affectionate caresses
of their mothers, got impressions which long retained their force,
and which protected them from the impulses of youthful passions,
till ripening years fitted their minds for listening to serious
instruction from their public teachers. Sobriety and decency of
manners were then no slur on the character of a youth, and he was
thought capable of struggling for independence, or pre-eminence,
fit either for supporting or defending the state, although he
was neither a toper nor a rake. I believe that no man who has
seen thirty or forty years of life will deny that the manners of
youth are sadly changed in this respect. And, without presuming
to say that this has proceeded from the neglect, and almost total
cessation of the moral education of the nursery, I think myself well
warranted, from my own observation, to say that this education and
the sober manners of young men have quitted us together.

Some will call this prudery, and croaking. But I am almost
transcribing from Cicero, and from Quintilian. Cornelia, Aurelia,
Attia, and other ladies of the first rank, are praised by Cicero
only for their _eminence_ in this respect; but not because they were
_singular_. Quintilian says, that in the time immediately prior to
his own, it had been the general practice of the ladies of rank to
superintend the moral education both of sons and daughters. But
of late, says he, they are so engaged in continual and corrupting
amusements, such as the shows of gladiators, horse-racing, and deep
play, that they have no time, and have yielded their places to Greek
governesses and tutors, outcasts of a nation more subdued by their
own vices than by the Roman arms----I dare say this was laughed
at, as croaking about the corruption of the age. But what was the
consequence of all this?--The Romans became the most abandoned
voluptuaries, and, to preserve their mean pleasures, they crouched
as willing slaves to a succession of the vilest tyrants that ever
disgraced humanity.

What a noble fund of self-estimation would our fair partners acquire
to themselves, if, by reforming the manners of the young generation,
they should be the means of restoring peace to the world! _They
have it in their power_, by the renewal of the good old custom of
early instruction, and perhaps still more, by impressing on the
minds of their daughters the same sentiments, and obliging them
to respect sobriety and decency in the youth, and pointedly to
withhold their smiles and civilities from all who transgress these
in the smallest degree. This is a method of proceeding that _will
most certainly be victorious_. Then indeed will the women be the
saviours of their country. While therefore the German fair have been
repeatedly branded with having welcomed the French invaders[27],
let our ladies stand up for the honour of free-born Britons, by
turning against the pretended enlighteners of the world, the arms
which nature has put into their hands, and which those profligates
have presumptuously expected to employ in extending their influence
over mankind. The empire of beauty is but short, but the empire of
virtue is durable; nor is there an instance to be met with of its
decline. If it be yet possible to reform the world, it is possible
for the fair. By the constitution of human nature, they must always
appear as the ornament of human life, and be the objects of fondness
and affection; so that if any thing can make head against the
selfish and overbearing dispositions of man, it is his respectful
regard for the sex. But mere fondness has but little of the rational
creature in it, and we see it harbour every day in the breast that
is filled with the meanest and most turbulent passions. No where
is it so strong as in the harems of the east; and as long as the
women ask nothing of the men but fondness and admiration, they will
get nothing else--they will never be respected. But let them rouse
themselves, assert their dignity, by shewing their own elevated
sentiments of human nature, and by asking up to this claim, and they
may then command the world.

  [27] I have met with this charge in many places; and one book in
  particular, written by a Prussian General Officer, who was in the
  country over-run by the French troops, gives a detail of the conduct
  of the women that is very remarkable. He also says, that infidelity
  has become very prevalent among the ladies in the higher circles.
  Indeed this melancholy account is to be found in many passages of
  the private correspondence of the Illuminati.

V. Another good consequence that should result from the account
that has been given of the proceedings of this conspiracy is, that
since the fascinating picture of human life, by which men have
been wheedled into immediate anarchy and rebellion, is insincere,
and a mere artificial creature of the imagination, it can have no
steadiness, but must be changed by every freak of fancy, or by every
ingenious sophist, who can give an equal plausibility to whatever
suits his present views. It is as much an airy phantom as any other
whim of Free Masonry, and has no prototype, no original pattern
in human nature, to which recourse may always be had, to correct
mistakes, and keep things in a constant tenor. Has not France given
the most unequivocal proofs of this? Was not the declaration of the
Rights of Man, the production of their most brilliant Illuminators,
a picture, _in abstracto_, where man was placed at a distance from
the eye, that no false light of local situation might pervert the
judgment or engage the passions? Was it not declared to be the
master-piece of human wisdom? Did not the nation consider it at
leisure? and, having it continually before their eyes, did they
not, step by step, give their assent to the different articles
of their Constitution, derived from it, and fabricated by their
most choice Illuminators? And did not this Constitution draw the
applauses of the bright geniuses of other nations, who by this
time were busy in persuading, each his countrymen, that they were
ignoramuses in statistics, and patient slaves of oppression or
of ancient prejudices? Did not panegyrics on it issue from every
garret in London? Where is it now? where is its successor? Has any
one plan of government subsisted, except while it was supported by
the incontroulable and inexorable power of the guillotine? Is not
the present administration of France as much as ever the object of
discontent and of terror, and its coercions as like as ever to the
summary justice of the Parisian mob? Is there any probability of its
permanency in a state of peace, when the fears of a foreign enemy
no longer give a consolidation to their measures, and oblige them
either to agree among themselves, or immediately to perish?

VI. The above accounts evince in the most uncontrovertible manner
the dangerous tendency of all mystical societies, and of all
associations who hold secret meetings. We see that their uniform
progress has been from frivolity and nonsense to wickedness and
sedition. Weishaupt has been at great pains to shew the good
effects of secrecy in the Association, and the arguments are valid
for this purpose. But all his arguments are so many dissuasive
advices to every thinking and sober mind. The man who really wishes
to discover an abstruse truth will place himself, if possible in
a _calm_ situation, and will by no means expose himself to the
impatient hankering for secrets and wonders--and he will always fear
that a thing which resolutely conceals itself cannot bear the light.
All who have seriously employed themselves in the discovery of truth
have found the great advantages of open communication of sentiment.
And it is against common sense to imagine that there is any thing
of vast importance to mankind which is yet a secret, and which must
be kept a secret in order to be useful. This is against the whole
experience of mankind--And surely to hug in one's breast a secret of
such mighty importance, is to give the lie to all our professions of
brotherly love. What a solecism! a secret to enlighten and reform
the whole world. We render all our endeavours impotent when we grasp
at a thing beyond our power. Let an association be formed with a
serious plan for reforming its own members, and let them extend in
numbers in proportion as they succeed--this might do some good. But
must the way of doing this be a secret?--It may be to many--who will
not look for it where it is to be found--It is this:

  "Do good,--seek peace,--and pursue it."

But it is almost affronting the reader to suppose arguments
necessary on this point. If there be a necessity for secrecy, the
purpose of the association is either frivolous, or it is selfish.

Now, in either case, the danger of such secret assemblies is
manifest. Mere frivolity can never seriously occupy men come to age.
And accordingly we see that in every quarter of Europe where Free
Masonry has been established, the Lodges have become seed-beds of
public mischief. I believe that no ordinary brother will say that
the occupations in the Lodges are any thing better than frivolous,
very frivolous indeed. The distribution of charity needs be no
secret, and it is but a very small part of the employment of the
meeting. This being the case it is in human nature that the greater
we suppose the frivolity of such an association to be, the greater
is the chance of its ceasing to give sufficient occupation to the
mind, and the greater is the risk that the meetings may be employed
to other purposes which require concealment. When this happens,
self-interest alone must prompt and rule, and now there is no length
that some men will not go, when they think themselves in no danger
of detection and punishment. The whole proceedings of the secret
societies of Free Masons on the Continent (and I am authorised to
say, of some Lodges in Britain) have taken one turn, and this turn
is perfectly natural. In all countries there are men of licentious
morals. Such men wish to have a safe opportunity of indulging their
wits in satire and sarcasm; and they are pleased with the support
of others. The desire of making proselytes is in every breast--and
it is whetted by the restraints of society. And all countries have
discontented men, whose grumblings will raise discontent in others,
who might not have attended to some of the trifling hardships and
injuries they met with, had they not been reminded of them. To be
discontented, and not to think of schemes of redress, is what we
cannot think natural or manly--and where can such sentiments and
schemes find such safe utterance and such probable support as in a
secret society? Free Masonry is innocent of all these things; but
Free Masonry has been abused, and at last totally perverted--and
so will and must any such secret association, as long as men are
licentious in their opinions or wicked in their dispositions.

It were devoutly to be wished therefore that the whole fraternity
would imitate the truly benevolent conduct of those German Lodges
who have formally broken up, and made a patriotic sacrifice of
their amusement to the safety of the state. I cannot think the
sacrifice great or costly. It can be no difficult matter to find as
pleasing a way of passing a vacant hour--and the charitable deeds
of the members need not diminish in the smallest degree. Every
person's little circle of acquaintance will give him opportunities
of gratifying his kind dispositions, without the chance of being
mistaken in the worth of the person on whom he bestows his favours.
There is no occasion to go to St. Petersburg for a poor Brother, nor
to India for a convert to Christianity, as long as we see so many
sufferers and infidels among ourselves.

But not only are secret societies dangerous, but all societies whose
object is mysterious. The whole history of man is a proof of this
position. In no age or country has there ever appeared a mysterious
association which did not in time become a public nuisance.
Ingenious or designing men of letters have attempted to show that
some of the ancient mysteries were useful to mankind, containing
rational doctrines of natural religion. This was the strong hold of
Weishaupt, and he quotes the Eleusinian, the Pythagorean, and other
mysteries. But surely their external signs and tokens were every
thing that is shocking to decency and civil order. It is uncommon
presumption for the learned of the eighteenth century to pretend to
know more about them than their contemporaries, the philosophers,
the lawgivers of antiquity. These give no such account of them. I
would desire any person who admires the ingenious dissertations of
Dr. Warburton to read a dull German book, called _Caracteristik
der Mysterien der Altern_, published at Frankfort in 1787. The
author contents himself with a patient collection of every scrap
of every ancient author who has said any thing about them. If the
reader can see anything in them but the most absurd and immoral
polytheism and fable, he must take words in a sense that is useless
in reading any other piece of ancient composition. I have a notion
that the Dionysiacs of Iona had some scientific secrets, viz. all
the knowledge of practical mechanics which was employed by their
architects and engineers, and that they were really a Masonic
Fraternity. But, like the _Illuminati_, they tagged to the secrets
of Masonry the secret of drunkenness and debauchery; they had their
Sister Lodges, and at last became rebels, subverters of the states
where they were protected, till aiming at the dominion of all
Ionia, they were attacked by the neighbouring states and dispersed.
They were Illuminators too, and wanted to introduce the worship of
Bacchus over the whole country, as appears in the account of them
given by _Strabo_. Perhaps the Pythagoreans had also some scientific
secrets; but they too were Illuminators, and thought it their duty
to overset the State, and were themselves overset.

Nothing is so dangerous as a mystic Association. The object
remaining a secret in the hands of the managers, the rest simply
put a ring in their own noses, by which they may be led about at
pleasure; and still panting after the secret, they are the better
pleased the less they see of their way. A mystical object enables
the leader to shift his ground as he pleases, and to accommodate
himself to every current fashion or prejudice. This again gives him
almost unlimited power; for he can make use of these prejudices
to lead men by troops. He finds them already associated by their
prejudices, and waiting for a leader to concentrate their strength
and set them in motion. And when once great bodies of men are
set in motion, with a creature of their fancy for a guide, even
the engineer himself cannot say, "Thus far shalt thou go, and no

VII. We may also gather from what we have seen that all declamations
on universal philanthropy are dangerous. Their natural and
immediate effect on the mind is to increase the discontents of
the unfortunate, and of those in the laborious ranks of life. No
one, even of the Illuminators, will deny that those ranks must be
filled, if society exists in any degree of cultivation whatever,
and that there will always be a greater number of men who have no
farther prospect. Surely it is unkind to put such men continually
in mind of a state in which they might be at their ease; and it is
unkindness unmixed, because all the change that they will produce
will be, that James will serve John, who formerly was the servant of
James. Such declamations naturally tend to cause men to make light
of the obligations and duties of common patriotism, because these
are represented as subordinate and inferior to the greater and more
noble affection of universal benevolence. I do not pretend to say
that patriotism is founded in a rationally perceived pre-eminence
or excellence of the society with which we are connected. But if
it be a fact that society will not advance unless its members take
an interest in it, and that human nature improves only in society,
surely this interest should be cherished in every breast. Perhaps
national union arises from national animosity;--but they are
plainly distinguishable, and union is not necessarily productive of
injustice. The same arguments that have any force against patriotism
are equally good against the preference which natural instinct gives
parents for their children, and surely no one can doubt of the
propriety of maintaining this in its full force, subject however to
the precise laws of justice.

But I am in the wrong to adduce paternal or filial affection
in defence of patriotism and loyalty, since even those natural
instincts are reprobated by the _Illuminati_, as hostile to the
all-comprehending philanthropy. Mr. de la Metherie says, that
among the memorials sent from the clubs in England to the National
Assembly, he read two, (printed,) in which the Assembly was
requested to establish a community of wives, and to take children
from their parents and educate them for the nation. In full
compliance with this dictate of universal philanthropy, Weishaupt
would have murdered his own child and his concubine,--and Orleans
voted the death of his near relation.

Indeed, of all the consequences of Illumination, the most melancholy
is this revolution which it seems to operate in the heart of
man,--this forcible sacrifice of every affection of the heart to
an ideal divinity, a mere creature of the imagination.--It seems
a prodigy, yet it is a matter of experience, that the farther we
advance, or vainly suppose that we do advance, in the knowledge
of our mental powers, the more are our moral feelings flattened
and done away. I remember reading, long ago, a dissertation on
the nursing of infants by a French academician, Le Cointre of
Versailles. He indelicately supports his theories by the case of his
own son, a weak puny infant, whom his mother was obliged to keep
continually applied to her bosom, so that she rarely could get two
hours of sleep during the time of suckling him. Mr. Le Cointre says,
that she contracted for this infant "_une partialite toute-a-fait
deraisonable_."--Plato, or Socrates, or Cicero, would probably have
explained this by the habitual exercise of pity, a very endearing
emotion.--But our Academician, better illuminated, solves it by
stimuli on the _papillæ_ and on the nerves of the skin, and by the
meeting of the humifying _aura_, &c. and does not seem to think that
young Le Cointre was much indebted to his mother. It would amuse me
to learn that this was the wretch Le Cointre, Major of the National
Guards of Versailles, who countenanced and encouraged the shocking
treason and barbarity of those ruffians on the 5th and 6th of
October 1789. Complete freezing of the heart would (I think) be the
consequence of a theory which could perfectly explain the affections
by vibrations or crystallizations.--Nay, any very perfect theory of
moral sentiments must have something of this tendency.--Perhaps the
ancient systems of moral philosophy, which were chiefly searches
after the _summum bonum_, and systems of moral duties, tended more
to form and strengthen the heart, and produce a worthy man, than the
most perfect theory of modern times, which explains every phenomenon
by means of a nice anatomy of our affections.

So far therefore as we are really more illuminated, it may chance
to give us an easier victory over the natural or instinctive
attachments of mankind, and make the sacrifice to universal
philanthropy less costly to the heart. I do not however pretend to
say that this is really the case: but I think myself fully warranted
to say, that increase of virtuous affections in general has not
been the fruit of modern Illumination. I will not again sicken the
reader, by calling his attention to Weishaupt and his associates or
successors. But let us candidly contemplate the world around us,
and particularly the perpetual advocates of universal philanthropy.
What have been the general effects of their continual declamations?
Surely very melancholy; nor can it easily be otherwise.--An ideal
standard is continually referred to. This is made gigantic, by being
always seen indistinctly, as through a mist, or rather a fluttering
air. In comparison with this, every feeling that we have been
accustomed to respect vanishes as insignificant; and, adopting the
Jesuitical maxim, that "the great end sanctifies every mean," this
sum of Cosmo-political good is made to eclipse or cover all the
present evils which must be endured for it. The fact now is, that
we are become so familiarised with enormities, such as brutality
to the weaker sex, cruelty to old age, wanton refinement on
barbarity, that we now hear unmoved accounts of scenes, from which,
a few years ago, we would have shrunk back with horror. With cold
hearts, and a metaphysical scale, we measure the present miseries
of our fellow creatures, and compare them with the accumulated
miseries of former times, occasioned through a course of ages, and
ascribed to the ambition of Princes. In this artificial manner are
the atrocities of France extenuated; and we struggle, and partly
succeed, in reasoning ourselves out of all the feelings which link
men together in society.--The ties of father, husband, brother,
friend--all are abandoned for an emotion which we must even strive
to excite,--universal philanthropy. But this is sad perversion of
nature. "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can
he love God whom he hath not seen?" Still less can he love this
ideal being, of which he labours to conjure up some indistinct and
fleeting notion. It is also highly absurd; for, in trying to collect
the circumstances which constitute the enjoyments of this Citizen
of the World, we find ourselves just brought back to the very moral
feelings which we are wantonly throwing away. Weishaupt allures
us by the happiness of the patriarchal life as the _summum bonum_
of man. But if it is any thing more than eating and sleeping, and
squabbling with the neighbouring patriarchs, it must consist in the
domestic and neighbourly affections, and every other agreeable moral
feeling, all which are to be had in our present state, in greater

But this is all a pretence;--the wicked corrupters of mankind have
no such views of human felicity, nor would they be contented with
it; they want to intrigue and to lead; and their patriarchal life
answers the same purpose of tickling the fancy as the Arcadia of the
poets. Horace shows the frivolity of these declamations, without
formally enouncing the moral, in his pretty Ode,

  Beatus ille qui procul negotiis.

The usurer, after expatiating on this Arcadian felicity, hurries
away to change, and puts his whole cash again out to usury.

Equally ineffective are the declamations of Cosmo-politism on
a mind filled with selfish passions;--they just serve it for a
subterfuge.--The ties of ordinary life are broken in the first
place, and the Citizen of the World is a wolf of the desart.

The unhappy consequence is, that the natural progress of liberty
is retarded. Had this _ignis fatuus_ not appeared and misled us,
the improvements which true Illumination has really produced, the
increase in sciences and arts, and the improvement in our estimate
of life and happiness, would have continued to work silently and
gradually in all nations; and those which are less fortunate in
point of government would also have improved, by little and little,
without losing any sensible portion of their present enjoyments in
the possession of riches, or honours, or power. Those pretensions
would gradually have come to balance each other, and true liberty,
such as Britons enjoy, might have taken place over all.

Instead of this, the inhabitants of every state are put into a
situation where every individual is alarmed and injured by the
success of another, because all pre-eminence is criminal. Therefore
there must be perpetual jealousy and struggle. Princes are now
alarmed, since they see the aim of the lower classes, and they
repent of their former liberal concessions. All parties maintain
a sullen distance and reserve;--the people become unruly, and the
sovereign hard-hearted; so that liberty, such as _can_ be enjoyed in
peace, is banished from the country.

VIII. When we see how eagerly the Illuminati endeavoured to
insinuate their Brethren into all offices which gave them influence
on the public mind, and particularly into seminaries of education,
we should be particularly careful to prevent them, and ought to
examine with anxious attention the manner of thinking of all who
offer themselves for teachers of youth. There is no part of the
secret correspondence of Spartacus and his Associates, in which
we see more varied and artful methods for securing pupils, than
in his own conduct respecting the students in the University, and
the injunctions he gives to others. There are two men, Socher
and Drexl, who had the general inspection of the schools in the
Electorate. They are treated by Spartacus as persons of the greatest
consequence, and the instructions given them stick at no kind of
corruption. Weishaupt is at pains, circuitous and mean arts, to
induce young gentlemen to come under his care, and, to one whom he
describes in another letter as a little master who must have much
indulgence, he causes it to be intimated, that in the quarters where
he is to be lodged, he will get the key of the street-door, so that
he can admit whom he will. In all this canvassing he never quits the
great object, the forming the mind of the young man according to
the principles of universal Liberty and Equality, and to gain this
point, scruples not to flatter, and even to excite his dangerous
passions. We may be certain, that the zeal of Cosmo-politism will
operate in the same way in other men, and we ought therefore to be
solicitous to have all that are the instructors of youth, persons
of the most decent manners. No question but sobriety and hypocrisy
may inhabit the same breast. But its immediate effect on the pupil
is at least safe, and it is always easy for a sensible parent to
represent the restrictions laid on the pupil by such a man as the
effects of uncommon anxiety for his safety. Whereas there is no cure
for the lax principles that may steal upon the tender mind that is
not early put on its guard. Weishaupt undoubtedly thought that the
principles of civil anarchy would be easiest inculcated on minds,
that had already shaken off the restraints of Religion, and entered
into habits of sensual indulgence. We shall be safe if we trust his
judgment in this matter.--We should be particularly observant of the
character and principles of _Men of Talents_, who offer themselves
for these offices, because _their_ influence must be very great.
Indeed this anxiety should extend to all offices which in any way
give holders any remarkable influence on the minds of considerable
numbers. Such should always be filled by men of immaculate
characters and approved principles; and, in times like the present,
where the most essential questions are the subjects of frequent
discussion, we should always consider with some distrust the men who
are very cautious in declaring their opinions on these questions.

It is a great misfortune undoubtedly to feel ourselves in a
situation which makes us damp the enjoyments of life with so much
suspicion. But the history of mankind shows us that many great
revolutions have been produced by remote and apparently frivolous
causes. When things come to a height, it is frequently impossible
to find a cure--at any rate _medicina sero paratur_, and it is much
better to prevent the disease--_principiis obsta--venienti occurrite

IX. Nor can it be said that these are vain fears. We know that the
enemy is working among us, and that there are many appearances in
these kingdoms which strongly resemble the contrivance of this
dangerous association. We know that before the Order of Illuminati
was broken up by the Elector of Bavaria, there were several Lodges
in Britain, and we may be certain that they are not all broken up. I
know that they are not, and that within these two years some Lodges
were ignorant or affected to be so, of the corrupted principles and
dangerous designs of the Illuminati. The constitution of the Order
shews that this may be, for the Lodges themselves were illuminated
by degrees. But I must remark, that we can hardly suppose a Lodge
to be established in any place, unless there be some very zealous
Brother at hand to instruct and direct it. And I think that a person
can hardly be advanced as far as the rank of Scotch Knight of the
Order, and be a safe man either for our Church or State. I am very
well informed, that there are several thousands of subscribing
Brethren in London alone, and we can hardly doubt, but that many of
that number are well advanced. The vocabulary also of the Illuminati
is current in certain societies among us. These societies have taken
the very name and constitution of the French and German societies.
Societies--Citizen of the World--Liberty and Equality, the
Imprescriptible Rights of Man, &c. &c. And must it not be
acknowledged that our public arbiters of literary merit have greatly
changed their manner of treatment of Theological and political
writings of late years? Till Paine's Age of Reason appeared, the
most sceptical writings of England kept within the bounds of decency
and of argument, and we have not, in the course of two centuries,
one piece that should be compared with many of the blackguard
productions of the German presses. Yet even those performances
generally met with sharp reproof as well as judicious refutation.
This is a tribute of commendation to which my country is most justly
entitled. In a former part of my life I was pretty conversant
in writings of this kind, and have seen almost every English
performance of note. I cannot express the surprise and disgust
which I felt at the number and the gross indecency of the German
dissertations which have come in my way since I began this little
history,--and many of the titles which I observe in the Leipzig
catalogues are such as I think no British writer would make use of.
I am told that the licentiousness of the press has been equally
remarkable in France, even before the Revolution.--May this sense of
propriety and decency long continue to protect us, and support the
national character for real good breeding, as our attainments in
manly science have hitherto gained us the respect of the surrounding

I cannot help thinking that British sentiment, or British delicacy,
is changed; for Paine's book is treated by most of our Reviewers
with an affected liberality and candour, and is laid before the
public as quite new matter, and a fair field for discussion--and
it strikes me as if our critics were more careful to let no fault
of his opponents pass unnoticed than to expose the futility and
rudeness of this indelicate writer. In the reviews of political
writings we see few of those kind endeavours, which real love for
our constitutional government would induce a writer to employ in
order to lessen the fretful discontents of the people; and there
is frequently betrayed a satisfaction at finding administration in
straits, either through misconduct or misfortune. Real love for
our country and its government would (I think) induce a person
to mix with his criticisms some sentiments of sympathy with the
embarrassment of a minister loaded with the business of a great
nation, in a situation never before experienced by any minister.
The critic would recollect that the minister was a man, subject
to error, but not necessarily nor altogether base. But it seems
to be an assumed principle with some of our political writers and
reviewers that government must always be in fault, and that every
thing needs a reform. Such were the beginnings on the continent,
and we cannot doubt but that attempts are made to influence the
public mind in this country, in the very way that has been practised

X. The detestable doctrines of Illuminatism have been openly
preached among us. Has not Dr. Priestley said, (I think in one of
his letters on the Birmingham riots,) "That if the condition of
other nations be as much improved as that of France will be by the
change in her system of government, the great crisis, dreadful as it
may appear, will be a consummation devoutly to be wished for;--and
though calamitous to many, perhaps to many innocent persons, will be
eventually glorious and happy?"--Is not this equivalent to Spartacus
saying, "True--there will be a storm, a convulsion--but all will be
calm again?"--Does Dr. Priestley think that the British will part
more easily than their neighbours in France with their property
and honours, secured by ages of peaceable possession, protected
by law, and acquiesced in by all who wish and hope that their own
descendants may reap the fruits of their honest industry?--Will
they make a less manly struggle?--Are they less numerous?--Must
his friends, his patrons, whom he has thanked, and praised, and
flattered, yield up all peaceably, or fall in the general struggle?
This writer has already given the most promising specimens of his
own docility in the principles of Illuminatism, and has already
passed through several degrees of initiation. He has refined and
refined on Christianity, and boasts, like another Spartacus, that
he has, at last, hit on the true secret.--Has he not been preparing
the minds of his readers for Atheism by his theory of mind, and
by his commentary on the unmeaning jargon of Dr. Hartley? I call
it unmeaning jargon, that I may avoid giving it a more apposite
and disgraceful name. For, if intelligence and design be nothing
but a certain modification of the _vibratiunculæ_ or undulations
of any kind, what is supreme intelligence, but a more extensive,
and (perhaps they will call it) refined undulation, pervading or
mixing with all others? Indeed it is in this very manner that the
universal operation of intelligence is pretended to be explained.
As any new or partial undulation may be superinduced on any other
already existing, and this without the least disturbance or
confusion, so may the inferior intelligences in the universe be
only superinductions on the operations of this supreme intelligence
which pervades them all,--And thus an undulation (of what? surely
of something prior to and independent of this modification) is the
cause of all the beings in the universe, and of all the harmony
and beauty that we observe,--And this undulation is the object of
love, and gratitude, and confidence (that is, of other kinds of
undulations.)--Fortunately all this has no meaning.--But surely,
if any thing can tend to diminish the force of our religious
sentiments, and make all Dr. Priestley's discoveries in Christianity
insignificant, this will do it.

Were it possible for the departed soul of Newton to feel pain, he
would surely recollect with regret that unhappy hour, when provoked
by Dr. Hooke's charge of plagiarism, he first threw out his whim of
a vibrating ether, to shew what might be made of an hypothesis.--For
Sir Isaac Newton must be allowed to have paved the way for much of
the atomical philosophy of the moderns. Newton's æther is assumed
as a _fac totum_ by every precipitate sciolist, who, in despite of
logic, and in contradiction to all the principles of mechanics,
gives us theories of muscular motion, of animal sensation, and
even of intelligence and volition, by the undulations of ætherial
fluids. Not one of a hundred of these theorists can go through the
fundamental theorem of all this doctrine, the 47th prop. of the 2d
book of the Principia, and not one in a thousand know that Newton's
investigation is inconclusive.--Yet they talk of the effects and
modifications of those undulations as familiarly and confidently as
if they could demonstrate the propositions in Euclid's Elements.

Yet such is the reason that satisfies Dr. Priestly.--But I do not
suppose that he has yet attained his acme of Illumination. His
genius has been cramped by British prejudices.--These need not
sway his mind any longer. He is now in that "_rara temporis (et
loci) felicitate, ubi sentire quæ velis, et quæ sentias dicere
licet_,"--in the country which was honoured by giving the world
the first avowed edition of the _Age of Reason_, with the name of
the shop and publisher. I make no doubt but that his mind will now
take a higher flight,--and we may expect to see him fire "that
train by which he boasted that he would blow up the religious
establishment of his stupid and enslaved native country."--Peace
be with him.--But I grieve that he has left any of his friends and
abettors among us, who declaim, in the most violent and unqualified
terms, against all national Establishments of Religion, and in no
friendly terms of any establishments which maintain or allow any
privileged Orders. Discanting much on such topics increases the
dissatisfaction of the less fortunate part of mankind, who naturally
repine at advantages which do not arise from the personal merit of
the possessor, although they are the natural and necessary fruits
of merit in their ancestors, and of the justice and security of our
happy Constitution. No well informed and sensible man will deny
that the greatest injury was done to pure Religion when Constantine
declared Christianity to be the Religion of the Empire, and vested
the Church with all the riches and power of the Heathen Priesthood.
But it is false that this was the source of all or of the worst
corruptions of Christianity. The merest novice in Church History
knows that the errors of the Gnostics, of the Cerinthians, and
others, long preceded this event, and that thousands lost their
lives in those metaphysical disputes. But I cannot help thinking
that, in the present condition of Europe, religion would desert the
world, if the opinions of men were not directed, in some proper
degree, by National Establishments. Teachers among the Independents
will court popularity, as they have always courted it; by fostering
some favourite and discriminating opinion of their hearers. The old
subjects of debate have now lost their zest, and I should fear that
the teachers would find it a successful, as it is an easy road to
popularity, to lead their hearers through a series of refinements,
till they are landed, much to their satisfaction, in the Materialism
of Dr. Priestley, from which it is but a step to the Atheism of
Diderot and Condorcet.

Seeing that there are such grounds of apprehension, I think that
we have cause to be upon our guard, and that every man who has
enjoyed the sweets of British liberty should be very anxious indeed
to preserve it. We should discourage all secret assemblies, which
afford opportunities to the disaffected, and all conversations which
foster any notions of political perfection, and create hankerings
after unattainable happiness. These only increase the discontents of
the unfortunate, the idle, and the worthless.--Above all, we should
be careful to discourage and check immorality and licentiousness in
every shape. For this will of itself subvert every government, and
will subject us to the vile tyranny of a profligate mob.

XI. If there has ever been a season in which it was proper to call
upon the public instructors of the nation to exert themselves in
the cause of Religion and Virtue, it is surely the present. It
appears, from the tenor of the whole narration before the reader,
that Religion and Virtue are considered as the great obstacles
to the completion of this plan for overturning the governments
of Europe--and I hope that I have made it evident that those
conspirators have presupposed that there is deeply rooted in the
heart of man a sincere veneration for unsophisticated virtue, and
an affectionate propensity to Religion; that is, to consider this
beautiful world as the production of wisdom and power, residing in
a Being different from the world itself, and the natural object
of admiration and of love--I do not speak of the truth of this
principle at present, but only of its reality, as an impression on
the heart of man. These principles must therefore be worked on,--and
they are acknowledged to be strong, because much art is employed to
eradicate them, or to overwhelm them by other powerful agents.--We
also see that Religion and Virtue are considered by those corrupters
as closely united, and as mutually supporting each other. This
they admit as a fact, and labour to prove it to be a mistake.--And
lastly, they entertain no hopes of complete success till they have
exploded both.

This being the case, I hope that I shall be clear of all charge
of impropriety, when I address our national instructors, and
earnestly desire them to consider this cause as peculiarly
theirs. The world has been corrupted under pretence of moral
instruction.----Backwardness, therefore, on their part, may do
inconceivable harm, because it will most certainly be interpreted
as an acknowledgment of defeat, and they will be accused of
indifference and insincerity. I know that a modest man reluctantly
comes forward with any thing that has the appearance of thinking
himself wiser or better than his neighbours. But if all are so
bashful, where will it end? Must we allow a parcel of worthless
profligates, whom no man would trust with the management of the
most trifling concern, to pass with the ignorant and indolent for
teachers of true wisdom, and thus entice the whole world into a
trap? They have succeeded with our unfortunate neighbours on the
continent, and, in Germany, (to their shame be it spoken) they have
been assisted even by some faithless clergymen.

But I will hope better of my countrymen, and I think that our
clergy have encouragement even from the native character of
Britons. National comparisons are indeed ungraceful, and are rarely
candid--but I think they may be indulged in this instance. It is
of his own countrymen that Voltaire speaks, when he says, that
"they resemble a mixed breed of the monkey and the tiger," animals
that mix fun with mischief, and that sport with the torments of
their prey.--They have indeed given the most shocking proofs of
the justness of his portrait. It is with a considerable degree of
national pride, therefore, that I compare the behaviour of the
French with that of the British in a very similar situation, during
the civil wars and the usurpation of Cromwell. There have been
more numerous, and infinitely more atrocious, crimes committed
in France during any one half year since the beginning of the
Revolution, than during the whole of that tumultuous period. And
it should be remembered, that in Britain, at that period, to all
other grounds of discontent was added no small share of religious
fanaticism, a passion (may I call it) which seldom fails to rouse
every angry thought of the heart.--Much may be hoped for from an
earnest and judicious address to that rich fund of manly kindness
that is conspicuous in the British character,--a fund to which
I am persuaded we owe the excellence of our constitutional
government--No where else in Europe are the claims of the different
ranks in society so generally and so candidly admitted. All feel
their force, and all allow them to others. Hence it happens that
they are enjoyed in so much peace----hence it happens that the
gentry live among the yeomen and farmers with so easy and familiar a

    _----Extrema per illos
    Justitia excedens terris vestigia fecit._

Our clergy are also well prepared for the task. For our ancestors
differed exceedingly from the present Illuminators in their notions,
and have enacted that the clergy shall be well instructed in natural
philosophy, judging that a knowledge of the symmetry of nature,
and the beautiful adjustment of all her operations, would produce
a firm belief of a wisdom and power which is the source of all
this fair order, the Author and Conductor of all, and therefore
the natural object of admiration and of love. A good heart is open
to this impression, and feels no reluctance, but on the contrary a
pleasure, in thinking man the subject of his government, and the
object of his care. This point being once gained, I should think
that the salutary truths of Religion will be highly welcome. I
should think that it will be easy to convince such minds, that in
the midst of the immense variety of the works of God there is one
great plan to which every thing seems to refer, namely, the crowding
this world, to the utmost degree of possibility, with life, with
beings that enjoy the things around them, each in its own degree and
manner. Among these, man makes a most conspicuous figure, and the
_maximum_ of his enjoyments seems a capital article in the ways of
Providence. It will, I think, require little trouble to shew that
the natural dictates of Religion, or the immediate results of the
belief of God's moral government of the universe, coincide in every
circumstance of sentiment, disposition, and conduct, with those that
are most productive of enjoyment (on the whole) in social life. The
same train of thought will shew, that the real improvements in the
pleasures of society, are, in fact, improvements of man's rational
nature, and so many steps toward that perfection which our own
consciences tell us we are capable of, and which Religion encourages
us to hope for in another state of being.--And thus will "the ways
of Wisdom appear to be ways of pleasantness, and all her paths to be

Dwelling on such topics, there is no occasion for any political
discussion. This would be equally improper and hurtful. Such
discussions never fail to produce ill-humour.--But surely the
highest complacence must result from the thought that we are
co-operating with the Author of all wisdom and goodness, and helping
forward the favourite plans of his providence. Such a thought must
elevate the mind which thus recognises a sort of alliance with the
Author of nature.--Our brethren in society appear brethren indeed,
heirs of the same hopes, and travelling to the same country.
This will be a sort of moral patriotism, and should, I think,
produce mutual forbearance, since we discover imperfections in all
creatures, and are conscious of them in ourselves--notwithstanding
which, we hope to be all equal at last in worth and in happiness.

I should gladly hope that I shall not be accused of presumption in
this address. There is no profession that I more sincerely respect
than that of the religious and moral instructor of my country. I
am saying nothing here that I am not accustomed to urge at much
greater length in the course of my professional duty. And I do not
think that I am justly chargeable with vanity, when I suppose that
many years of delightful study of the works of God have given me
somewhat more acquaintance with them than is probably attained by
those who never think of the matter, being continually engaged in
the bustle of life. Should one of this description say that all is
fate or chance, and that "the same thing happens to all," &c. as
is but too common, I should think that a prudent man will give so
much preference to _my_ assertion, as at least to think seriously
about the thing, before he allow himself any indulgence in things
which I affirm to be highly dangerous to his future peace and
happiness.----For this reason I hope not to be accused of going out
of my line, nor hear any one say "_Ne sutor ultra crepidam_." The
present is a season of anxiety, and it is the duty of every man to
contribute his mite to the general good.

It is in some such hopes that I have written these pages; and
if they have any such effect, I shall think myself fortunate
in having by chance hit on something useful, when I was only
trying to amuse myself during the tedious hours of bad health and
confinement. No person is more sensible of the many imperfections
of this performance than myself. But, as I have no motive for the
publication but the hopes of doing some good, I trust that I shall
obtain a favourable acceptance of my endeavours from an intelligent,
a candid, and a good-natured public. I must entreat that it
be remembered that these sheets are not the work of an author
determined to write a book. They were for the most part notes, which
I took from books I had borrowed, that I might occasionally have
recourse to them when occupied with Free Masonry, the first object
of my curiosity. My curiosity was diverted to many other things as
I went along, and when the Illuminati came in my way, I regretted
the time I had thrown away on Free Masonry.--But, observing their
connection, I thought that I perceived the progress of one and
the same design. This made me eager to find out any remains of
Weishaupt's Association. I was not surprized when I saw marks of
its interference in the French Revolution.--In hunting for clearer
proofs I found out the German Union--and, in fine, the whole
appeared to be one great and wicked project, fermenting and working
over all Europe.--Some highly respected friends encouraged me in
the hope of doing some service by laying my informations before the
public, and said that no time should be lost.--I therefore set about
collecting my scattered facts.--I undertook this task at a time when
my official duty pressed hard on me, and bad health made me very
unfit for study.--The effects of this must appear in many faults,
which I see, without being able at present to amend them. I owe this
apology to the public, and I trust that my good intentions will
procure it acceptance[28].

  [28] While the sheet commencing p. 341 was printing off, I got
  a sight of a work published in Paris last year entitled _La
  Conjuration d'Orleans_. It confirms all that I have said respecting
  the use made of the Free Mason Lodges.--It gives a particular
  account of the formation of the Jacobin Club, by the Club Breton.
  This last appears to have been the Association formed with the
  assistance of the German deputies. The Jacobin Club had several
  committees, similar to those of the National Assembly. Among others,
  it had a Committee of Enquiry and Correspondence, whose business it
  was to gain partizans, to discover enemies, to decide on the merits
  of the Brethren, and to form similar Clubs in other places.

The author of the above-mentioned work writes as follows, (vol.
iii. p. 19.) We may judge of what the D. of Orleans could do in
other places, by what he did during his stay in England. During his
stay in London, he gained over to his interest Lord Stanhope and
Dr. Price, two of the most respectable members of the _Revolution
Society_. This Society had no other object (it said) but to support
the Revolution, which had driven James II. from the throne of his

Orleans made of this association a true Jacobin Club.--It entered
into correspondence with the Committee of Enquiry of our Commune,
with the same Committee of our Jacobin Club, and at last with our
National Assembly. It even sent to the Assembly an ostensible
letter, in which we may see the following passages:

"The Society congratulate the National Assembly of France on
the Revolution which has taken place in that country. It cannot
but earnestly wish for the happy conclusion of so important a
Revolution, and, at the same time, express the extreme satisfaction
which it feels in reflecting on the glorious example which France
has given to the world." (The Reader will remark, that in this
example are contained all the horrors which had been exhibited in
France before the month of March 1790; and that before this time,
the conduct of the Duke of Orleans on the 5th and 6th of October
1789, with all the shocking atrocities of those days, were fully
known in England.)

"The Society resolves unanimously to invite all the people of
England to establish Societies through the kingdom, to support
the principles of the Revolution, to form correspondence between
themselves, and by these means to establish a great concerted Union
of all the true Friends of Liberty."

Accordingly (says the French author) this was executed, and Jacobin
Clubs were established in several cities of England, Scotland, and

Nothing would give me more sincere pleasure than to see the whole
proved to be a mistake;--to be convinced that there is no such plot,
and that we run no risk of the contagion; but that Britain will
continue, by the abiding prevalence of honour, of virtue, and of
true religion, to exhibit the fairest specimen of civil government
that ever was seen on earth, and a national character and conduct
not unworthy of the inestimable blessings that we enjoy. Our
excellent Sovereign, at his accession to the throne, declared to
to God that all and each of his subjects had entertained the same
lofty notions of this good fortune! Then would they have laboured,
as he has done for near forty years, to support the honour of the
British name by setting as bright an example of domestic and of
public virtue.--Then would Britons have been indeed the boast of
humanity--then we should have viewed these wicked plots of our
neighbours with a smile of contempt, and of sincere pity--and
there would have been no need of this imperfect but well-meant


Although I saw no reason to doubt of the validity of the proofs
which I have offered in the preceding pages, of a conspiracy
against the dearest interests of every nation of Europe, nor of
the importance of the information to my own countrymen, it gives
me great satisfaction to learn that it has been received with
favour and indulgence. This I may conclude from the impression's
being exhausted in a few days, and because the publisher informs
me that another edition is wanted immediately. I could have wished
that this were deferred for some time, that I might have availed
myself of the observations of others, and be enabled to correct
the mistakes into which I have been led by my scanty knowledge of
the German language, and the mistakes of the writers from whom I
derived all my informations. I should, in that case, have attempted
to make the work more worthy of the public eye, by correcting many
imperfections, which the continual distraction of bad health, and my
haste to bring it before the public, have occasioned. I should have
made the disposition more natural and perspicuous, and have lopped
off some redundances and repetitions. But the printer tells me, that
this would greatly retard the publication, by changing the series of
the pages. At any rate, I am not at present in a condition to engage
in any work that requires dispatch. I must yield therefore to those
reasons, and content myself with such corrections as can be made

I have found, after minute enquiry, that I was mistaken as to the
expression of an eminent follower of Dr. Priestley, mentioned
before. The person alluded to disclaims all sanguinary proceedings,
and my information arose from a very erroneous account which was
circulated of the conversation. But I still think the caution
equally necessary, which I recommended to the hearers of the
frequent and violent declamations made by those alluded to, against
all religious establishments.

Except the anecdote of Diderot's library, I do not recollect another
assertion in the book, for which I have not the authority of printed
evidence. This story was told me by so many persons of credit, who
were on the spot at the time, that I have no doubt of its truth.

I also find that I was mistaken in my conjecture that Mr. _Le Franc_
communicated his suspicions of the horrid designs of the Free
Masons to Archbishop _Gobet_. It must have been to Mr. _Le Clerc
de Juigne_, a most worthy prelate, whom the hatred of the Jacobins
obliged to fly into Switzerland. The Catholic clergy were butchered
or banished, and the Jacobins substituted in their places such as
would second their views. _Gobet_ was worthy of their confidence,
and the _Archbishop of Thoulouse_ (_Brienne_) himself could not have
served the cause of the philosophists more effectually, had they
succeeded in their attempts to get him continued Archbishop of Paris.

As the poetical picture of unqualified Liberty and Equality, and
the indolent pleasures of the patriarchal life, are the charm
by which the Illuminators hope to fascinate all hearts, and as
they reprobate every construction of society which tolerates any
permanent subordination, and particularly such as found this
subordination on distinctions of ranks, and scout all privileges
allowed to particular orders of men, I hope that it will not be
thought foreign to the general purpose of the foregoing Work, if, I
with great deference, lay before the Reader some of my reasons for
asserting, without hesitation, in a former part, that the British
constitution is the only one that will give permanent happiness
to a great and luxurious nation, and is peculiarly calculated to
give full exercise to the best propensities of cultivated minds.
I am the more desirous of doing this, because it seems to me that
most of the political writers on the Continent, and many of my
countrymen, have not attended to important circumstances which
distinguish our constitution from the States General of France
and other countries. The republicans in France have, since the
Revolution, employed the pains in searching their records, which
ought to have been taken before the convocation of the States, and
which would probably have prevented that step altogether. They
have shewn that the meetings of the States, if we except that in
1614 and 1483, were uniformly occasions of mutual contests between
the different Orders, in which the interests of the nation and the
authority of the Crown were equally forgotten, and the kingdom was
plunged into all the horrors of a rancorous civil war. Of this they
give us a remarkable instance during the captivity of King John in
1355 and 1356, the horrors of which were hardly exceeded by any
thing that has happened in our days. They have shewn the same dismal
consequences of the assembly of the different Orders in Brabant;
and still more remarkably in Sweden and Denmark, where they have
frequently produced a revolution and change of government, all
of which have terminated in the absolute government, either of
the Crown, or of one of the contending Orders. They laugh at the
simplicity of the British for expecting that the permanent fruits of
our constitution, which is founded on the same jarring principles,
shall be any better; and assert, that the peaceable exercise of its
several powers for somewhat more than a century, (a thing never
experienced by us in former times,) has proceeded from circumstances
merely accidental. With much address they have selected the former
disturbances, and have connected them by a sort of principle, so
as to support their system, "that a States General or Parliament,
consisting of a representation of the different classes of citizens,
can never deliberate for the general good, but must always occupy
their time in contentions about their mutual invasions of privilege,
and will saddle every aid to the executive power, with some unjust
and ruinous aggrandisement of the victorious Order." They have the
effrontery to give the MAGNA CHARTA as an instance of an usurpation
of the great feudatories, and have represented it in such a light as
to make it the game of their writers and of the tribunes.--All this
they have done in order to reconcile the minds of the few thinking
men of the nation to the abolition of the different Orders of the
State, and to their National Convention in the form of a chaotic
mass of Frenchmen, one and indivisible:

    _Non bene junctarum discordia semina rerum,
    Ubi frigida puegnabant calidis, humentia siccis,
    Mollia cum duris, sine pondere habentia pondus._

Their reasonings would be just, and their proofs from history
would be convincing, if their premises were true; if the British
Parliament were really an assembly of three Orders, either
personally, or by representation, deliberating apart, each having
a _veto_ on the decisions of the other two. And I apprehend that
most of my countrymen, who have not had occasion to canvas the
subject with much attention, suppose this to be really the British
Constitution: for, in the ordinary table conversations on the
subject, they seldom go farther, and talk with great complacence
of the balance of hostile powers, of the King as the umpire of
differences, and of the peace and prosperity that results from the

But I cannot help thinking that this is a misconception, almost in
every circumstance. I do not know any opposite interests in the
State, except the general one of the governor and the governed, the
king and the subject.--If there is an umpire in our constitution,
it is the house of Lords--but this is not as a representation of
the persons of birth, but as a court of hereditary magistrates: the
Peers do not meet to defend their own privileges as citizens, but
either as the counsellors of the King, or as judges in the last
resort. The privileges for which we see them sometimes contend, are
not the privileges of the high-born, of the great vassals of the
Crown, but the privileges of the House of Lords, of the supreme
Court of Judicature, or of the King's Council. In all the nations
on the Continent, the different Orders, as they are called, of the
State, are corporations, bodies politic, which have jurisdiction
within themselves, and rights which they can maintain at their
own hand, and privileges which mark them most distinctly, and
produce such a complete separation between the different Orders,
that they can no more mix than oil and water. Yet the great
president Montesquieu says, that the Peerage of England is a _body_
of Nobility; and he uses the term _body_ in the strict sense now
mentioned, as synonymous to corporation. He has repeatedly used
this term to denote the second order of Frenchmen, persons of
noble birth, or ennobled, (that is, vested in the privileges and
distinctions of the nobly born,) united by law, and having authority
to maintain their privileges. The history of France, nay of our own
country, shows us that this body may enjoy all its distinctions
of nobility, and that the Great Barons may enjoy the prerogatives
of their baronies, although the authority of the Crown is almost
annihilated.--We have no cogent reason, therefore, for thinking
that they will be constantly careful to support the authority of
the Crown; and much less to believe that they will, at the same
time, watch over the liberties of the people. In the election of
their representatives, (for the whole body of the gentlemen must
appear by representation,) we must not expect that they will select
such of their own number as will take care of those two essential
objects of our constitution.--Equally jealous of the authority
of the Crown and of the encroachments of all those who are not
gentlemen, and even fearful of the assumptions of the Great Barons,
the powerful individuals of their own order, they will always choose
such representatives as will defend their own rights in the first
place. Such persons are by no means fit for maintaining the proper
authority of the Crown, and keeping the representatives of the lower
classes within proper bounds.

But this is not the nature of our House of Lords in the present day.
It was so formerly in a great measure, and had the same effects
as in other countries. But since the Revolution, the Peers of
Great-Britain have no important privileges which relate merely or
chiefly to birth. These all refer to their functions as Magistrates
of the Supreme Court. The King can, at any time, place in this House
any eminent person whom he thinks worthy of the office of hereditary
magistrate. The Peers are noble--that is, remarkable, illustrious;
but are not necessarily, nor in every instance, persons of high
birth. This House therefore is not, in any sort, the representative
of what is called in France the Noblesse--a particular cast of
the nation;--nor is it a junction of the proprietors of the great
fees of the Crown, as such;--for many, very many, of the greatest
baronies are in the hands of those we call Commoners.--They sit as
the King's Counsellors, or as Judges.--Therefore the members of our
Upper House are not swayed by the prejudices of any class of the
citizens. They are hereditary magistrates, created by the Sovereign,
for his counsel, to defend his prerogatives, to hold the balance
between the throne and the people. The greatest part of the Nobility
(in the continental sense of the word) are not called into this
House, but they may be members of the Lower House, which we call the
Commons; nay the sons and the brothers of the Peers are in the same
situation. The Peers therefore cannot be hostile or indifferent to
the liberty, the rights, or the happiness of the Commons, without
being the enemies of their own families.

Nor is our House of Commons at all similar to the _Third Estate_ of
any of the neighbouring kingdoms. They are not the representatives
of the ignobly born, or of any class of citizens. The members are
the proper representatives of the _whole nation_, and consist of
persons of every class, persons of the highest birth, persons of
great fortune, persons of education, of knowledge, of talents.

Thus the causes of dissension which refer to the distinctive rights
or prerogatives of the different classes of citizens are removed,
because in each House there are many individuals selected from all
the classes.

A Peer, having attained the highest honours of the state, must be an
enemy to every revolution. Revolution must certainly degrade him,
whether it places an absolute monarch, or a democratic junto, on the

The Sovereign naturally looks for the support of the Upper House,
and in every measure agreeable to the constitution, and to the
public weal, exerts his influence on the House of Commons. Here the
character of the monarch and his choice of ministers must appear, as
in any other constitution; but with much less chance of danger to
political liberty.--The great engine of monarchy in Europe, has been
the jarring privileges of the different Orders; and the Sovereign,
by siding with one of them, obtained accessions of prerogative and
power.--It was thus that, under the House of Tudor, our constitution
advanced with hasty strides to absolute monarchy; and would have
attained it, had James the First been as able as he was willing to
secure what he firmly believed to be the divine rights of his Crown.

I do not recollect hearing the lower ranks of the State venting much
of their discontents against the Peers, and they seem to perceive
pretty clearly the advantages arising from their prerogatives.
They seem to look up to them as the first who will protect them
against the agents of sovereignty. They know that a man may rise
from the lowest station to the peerage, and that in that exaltation
he remains connected with themselves by the dearest ties; and the
House of Commons take no offence at the creation of new Peers,
because their privileges as a Court, and their private rights, are
not affected by it. Accordingly, the House has always opposed every
project of limiting the King's prerogative in this respect.

How unlike is all this to the constitution consisting of the pure
representatives of the Privileged Orders of the Continental States.
The self-conceited constitutionalists of France saw something
in the British Parliament which did not fall in with their own
_hasty_ notions, and prided themselves in not copying from us.
This would have indicated great poverty of invention in a nation
accustomed to consider itself as the teacher of mankind. The most
sensible of them, however, wished to have a constitution which they
called an _improvement_ of ours: and this was the simple plan of
a _representation_ of the two or three Orders of the State. Their
Upper House should contain the representatives of 100,000 noblesse.
The Princes of the Blood and Great Barons should sit in it of their
own right, and the rest by deputies. The Lower House, or _Tiers
Etat_, should consist of deputies from those ignobly born; such
as merchants, persons in the lower offices of the law, artisans,
peasants, and a small number of freeholders. Surely it needs no deep
reflection to teach us what sort of deliberations would occupy such
a house. It would be a most useful occupation however, to peruse
the history of France, and of other nations, and see what _really
did occupy_ the Tiers Etat thus constructed, and what were their
proceedings, their decisions, and the steps which they took to make
them effectual. I have no doubt but that this study would cure most
of our advocates for general eligibility, and for general suffrage.
I have lately read Velley and Villaret's History of France, (by the
bye, the Abbé Barruel has shewn that the Club d'Holbach managed the
publication of this History after the first eight or ten volumes,
and slipped into it many things suited to their impious project,)
and the accounts of the troublesome reigns of John, and Charles his
successor, by authors who wrote long before the Revolution; and they
filled me with horror. The only instance that I met with of any
thing like moderation in the claims and disputes of the different
Orders of their States General, and of patriotism, or regard for
the general interests of the State, is in their meetings during the
minority of Charles VIII.

With respect to the limitations of the eligibility into the
House of Commons, I think that there can be no doubt that those
should be excluded whose habits of needy and laborious life have
precluded them from all opportunities of acquiring some general
views of political relations. Such persons are totally unfit for
deliberations, where general or comprehensive views only are to be
the subjects of discussion; they can have no conceptions of the
subject, and therefore no steady notions or opinions, but must
change them after every speaker, and must become the dupes of every

But there are other circumstances which make me think that, of all
the classes of citizens, the land proprietors are the fittest for
holding this important office. I do not infer this from their having
a more real connection with the nation, and a stronger interest
in its fate--I prefer them on account of their general habits of
thought. Almost all their ordinary transactions are such as make
them acquainted with the interests of others, cause them to consider
those in general points of view; and, in short, most of their
occupations are, in some degree, national. They are accustomed
to settle differences between those of lower stations--they are
frequently in the King's commission as Justices of the Peace.
All these circumstances make them much apter scholars in that
political knowledge, which is absolutely necessary for a member
of the House of Commons. But, besides this, I have no hesitation
in saying that their turn of mind, their principles of conduct,
are more generally such as become a Senator, than those of _any
other class_ of men. This class includes almost all men of family.
I cannot help thinking that even what is called family pride is a
sentiment in their favour. I am convinced that all our propensities
are useful in society, and that their bad effects arise wholly
from want of moderation in the indulgence of them, or sometimes
from the impropriety of the occasion on which they are exerted.
What propensity is more general than the desire of acquiring
permanent consideration for ourselves and our families? Where is
the man to be found so mean-spirited as not to value himself for
being born of creditable parents, and for creditable domestic
connections? Is this wrong because it has been abused? So then
is every pre-eminence of office; and the directors of republican
France are as criminal as her former Nobles. This propensity of the
human heart should no more be rejected than the desire of power. It
should be regulated--but it should certainly be made use of as one
of the means of carrying on the national business. I think that we
know some of its good effects--It incites to a certain propriety of
conduct that is generally agreeable--its honesty is embellished by a
manner that makes it more pleasing. There is something that we call
the _behaviour of a Gentleman_ that is immediately and uniformly
understood. The plainest peasant or labourer will say of a man
whom he esteems in a certain way, "He is a Gentleman, every bit of
him,"--and he is perfectly understood by all who hear him to mean,
not a rank in life, but a turn of mind, a tenor of conduct that is
amiable and worthy, and the ground of confidence.--I remark, with
some feeling of patriotic pride, that these are phrases almost
peculiar to our language--in Russia the words would have no meaning.
But there, the Sovereign is a despot, and all but the Gentry are
slaves; and the Gentry are at no pains to recommend their class by
such a distinction, nor to give currency to such a phrase.--I would
infer from this peculiarity, that Britain is the happy land, where
the wisest use has been made of this propensity of the human heart.

If therefore there be a foundation for this peculiarity, the Gentry
are proper objects of our choice for filling the House of Commons.

If theoretical considerations are of any value in questions of
political discussion, I would say, that we have good reasons
for giving this class of citizens a great share in the public
deliberations. Besides what I have already noticed of their
habits of considering things in general points of view, and their
_feeling_ a closer connection with the nation than any other class,
I would say that the power and influence which naturally attach
to their being called to offices of public trust, will probably
be better lodged in their hands. If they are generally selected
for these offices, they come to consider them as parts of their
civil condition, as situations natural to them. They will therefore
exercise this power and influence with the moderation and calmness
of habit,--they are no novelties to them--they are not afraid of
losing them;--therefore, when in office, they do not catch at the
opportunities of exercising them. This is the ordinary conduct of
men, and therefore is a ground of probable reasoning.--In short, I
should expect from our Gentry somewhat of generosity and candour,
which would temper the commercial principle, which seems to regulate
the national transactions of modern Europe, and whose effects seem
less friendly to the best interests of humanity, than even the Roman
principle of glory.

The Reader will now believe that I would not recommend the filling
the House of Commons with merchants, although they seem to be the
natural Representatives of the monied interest of the nation.
But I do not wish to consider that House as the Representative
of any Orders whatever, or to disturb its deliberations with any
debates on their jarring interests. The man of purely commercial
notions disclaims all generosity--recommends honesty because it
is the best policy--in short, "places the value of a thing in as
much money as 'twill bring." I should watch the conduct of such
men more narrowly than that of the Nobles. Indeed, the history of
Parliament will show that the Gentry have not been the most venal
part of the House. The Illumination which now dazzles the world aims
directly at multiplying the number of venal members, by filling
the senates of Europe with men who may be bought at a low price.
Ministerial corruption is the fruit of Liberty, and freedom dawned
in this nation in Queen Elizabeth's time, when her minister bribed
Wentworth.--A wise and free Legislation will endeavour to make
this as expensive and troublesome as possible, and therefore will
neither admit universal suffrage nor a very extensive eligibility.
These two circumstances, besides opening a wider door to corruption,
tend to destroy the very intention of all civil constitutions. The
great object in them is, to make a great number of people happy.
Some men place their chief enjoyment in measuring their strength
with others, and love to be continually employed in canvassing,
intriguing, and carrying on some little pieces of a sort of public
business; to such men universal suffrage and eligibility would be
paradise--but it is to be hoped that the number of such is not very
great: for this occupation must be accompanied by much disquiet
among their neighbours, much dissension, and mutual offence and
ill-will--and the peaceable, the indolent, the studious, and the
half of the nation, the women, will be great sufferers by all this.
In a nation possessing many of the comforts and pleasures of life,
the happiest government is that which will leave the greatest number
possible totally unoccupied with national affairs, and at full
liberty to enjoy all their domestic and social pleasures, and to do
this with security and permanency. Great limitations in the right of
electing seems therefore a circumstance necessary for this purpose;
and limitations are equally necessary on the eligibility. When the
offices of power and emolument are open to all, the scramble becomes
universal, and the nation is never at peace. The _road_ to a seat in
Parliament should be accessible to all; but it should be long, so
that many things, which all may in time obtain, shall be requisite
for qualifying the candidate. The road should also be such that
all should be induced to walk in it, in the prosecution of their
ordinary business; and their admission into public offices should
depend on the progress which they have made in the advancement
of their own fortunes. Such regulations would, I think, give the
greatest chance of filling the offices with persons fittest for
them, by their talents, their experience, and their habits of
thinking. These habits, and the views of life which a man forms in
consequence of his situation, are of the utmost importance.

After all these observations, I must still recur to a position which
I have repeated more than once, namely, that our constitution,
which nearly embraces all these circumstances, has attained its
present excellence chiefly in consequence of the innate worth of the
British character. About the time of the Conquest, our constitution
hardly differed from that of France. But the clashing of interests
between the different Orders of the subjects was not so rancorous
and obstinate--these Orders melted more easily together--the
purity of the principle of Representation in the States was less
attended to; and while the French Peers gradually left off minding
any business but their own, and left the High Court of Judicature
to the lawyers, and the King to his Cabinet Council, the Peers of
Great Britain, overlooking their own less important distinctions,
attended more to the State, became a permanent Council to the
Sovereign in the administration and legislation; and, with a
patriotism and a patience that are unknown to the other Grandees of
Europe, continued to hear and to judge in all questions of justice
and property between the inferior citizens of the State. British
Liberty is the highly-prized fruit of all this worthy conduct, and
most people ascribe it to the superior spirit and independence of
the national character. It strikes me, however, as more surely
indicating superior virtue, and more judicious patriotism; and our
happy constitution is not more justly entitled to the admiration and
respect that is paid to it by all Europe, than to the affectionate
and grateful attachment of every true-hearted Briton.

Since the publication of this volume I have seen a very remarkable
work indeed, on the same subject, _Memoires pour servir a l'Histoire
du Jacobinisme, par M. l'Abbé Barruel_. This author confirms all
that I have said of the _Enlighteners_, whom he very aptly calls
_Philosophists_; and of the abuses of Free Masonry in France. He
shows, unquestionably, that a formal and systematic conspiracy
against Religion was formed and zealously prosecuted by Voltaire,
d'Alembert, and Diderot, assisted by Frederic II. King of Prussia;
and I see that their principles and their manner of procedure have
been the same with those of the German atheists and anarchists.
Like them they hired an Army of Writers; they industriously pushed
their writings into every house and every cottage. Those writings
were equally calculated for inflaming the sensual appetites of men,
and for perverting their judgments. They endeavoured to get the
command of the Schools, particularly those for the lower classes;
and they erected and managed a prodigious number of Circulating
Libraries and Reading Societies. M. Barruel says, that this gang of
public corruptors have held their meetings for many years in the
_Hotel de Holbach_ at Paris, and that Voltaire was their honorary
President. The most eminent members were _d'Alembert_, _Diderot_,
_Condorcet_, _La Harpe_, _Turgot_, _Lamoignon_. They took the name
of OECONOMISTS, and affected to be continually occupied with plans
for improving Commerce, Manufactures, Agriculture, Finance, &c.
and published from time to time respectable performances on those
subjects.--But their darling project was to destroy Christianity
and all Religion, and to bring about a total change of Government.
They employed writers to compose corrupting and impious books--these
were revised by the Society, and corrected till they suited their
purpose. A number were printed in a handsome manner, to defray the
expence; and then a much greater number were printed in the cheapest
form possible, and given for nothing, or at very low prices, to
hawkers and pedlars, with injunctions to distribute them secretly
through the cities and villages. They even hired persons to read
them to conventicles of those who had not learned to read.[29] (See
vol. i. 343-355.)

  [29] The author makes an observation which is as just as it is
  agreeable. This atrocious gang solicited, with the most anxious
  assiduity, the participation and patronage of the great ones of
  the world, and boast of several very exalted names; Frederic II.
  of Prussia, whom they call the Solomon of the North, Catharine II.
  Gustavus King of Sweden, the King of Denmark, &c. &c. But in the
  whole series of their correspondence there is not the least trace of
  any encouragement or any hopes from our excellent Sovereign George
  III. Despising the incense of such wretches, and detesting their
  science, he has truly merited the title of _Philosopher_, by having
  done more for the real Illumination of the World, by the promotion
  of true Science, than Louis XIV. with his pensioned Academicians, or
  than all the present Sovereigns of Europe united; and has uniformly
  distinguished himself by his regard for true Religion, and every
  thing that is venerable and sacred. This omission is above all

I am particularly struck by a position of Abbé Barruel, "_That
Irreligion and unqualified Liberty and Equality are the genuine and
original Secrets of Free Masonry, and the ultimatum of a regular
progress through all its degrees_." He supports this remarkable
position with great ingenuity, and many very pertinent facts. I
confess that now, when I have got this impression, I shall find it
very difficult to efface it. But I must also say, that this thought
never struck me, during all the time that I have been occupied with
it; nor have I ever heard it expressed by any Brother, except such
as had been illuminated; and such Brethren always considered this
as an innovation or improvement on genuine British Free Masonry.
I recollect, indeed, that Nicholai, in his account of the German
Rosycrucians, says, that the object of Free Masonry in England,
since the time of James II. is _Toleration_ in _Religious Opinions_,
as _Royalism_ had been the object before that time.

The account which the Abbé gives of the _Chevalerie du Soleil_ is
very conformable to one of the three rituals in my possession.
His account of the _Chevalerie de Rose Croix_, and some others,
differs considerably from those in my box. I have reason to think
that my materials are transcripts from the rituals, &c. which
Rosa introduced into the German Lodges, because the writer of the
greatest part of them is an inhabitant of that city.

I think that the Abbé Barruel's account of this matter suggests a
pleasing reflection. All the Brethren on the Continent agree in
saying, that Free Masonry was imported from Great Britain about
the beginning of this century, and this in the form of a Mystical
Society. It has been assiduously cultivated in Britain ever since
that time, and I believe that the Fraternity is more numerous here,
in proportion to the population of the country, than in any other
kingdom; yet in Britain the Brethren have never suspected that its
principles were seditious or atheistical. While the Free Masonry
of the Continent was tricked up with all the frippery of stars
and ribands, or was perverted to the most profligate and impious
purposes, and the Lodges became seminaries of Foppery, of Sedition,
and Impiety, it has retained in Britain its original form, simple
and unadorned, and the Lodges have remained the scenes of innocent
merriment, or meetings of Charity and Beneficence. As the good
sense and sound judgments of Britons have preserved them from the
absurd follies of Transmutation, of Ghost-raising, and of Magic, so
their honest hearts and their innate good dispositions have made
them detest and reject the mad projects and impious doctrines of
Cosmopolites, Epicurists, and Atheists.

    _O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint

I have more confidence than ever in the sentiment which I expressed
as an encouragement for our moral instructors; and with greater
earnestness do I call on them to rescue from corruption and
impending ruin a nation so highly deserving of their care.

Mr. Barruel, in the eighteenth chapter of his work, has suggested
some reflections, which highly merit attention, and greatly tend
to efface the impression which is naturally made on the minds
of the unthinking and precipitant, when they observe such a
list of authors, whom they have been accustomed to admire, all
leagued against Religion. I think, however, that nothing can more
effectually remove it, than what I have already shown of the vile
and disgraceful tricks which these sophists have been guilty of
to support their cause. The cause of this numerous association
is distinctly seen in their very procedure. The very first step
in their progress is _depravation of manners_. In this they have
laboured with as much earnestness as either Spartacus, or Minos, or
Bahrdt. It was a treat to me to learn that La Close's abominable
book _Les Liaisons Dangereuses_, was not merely pandering for
his patron Orleans, but also working for his masters at the Hotel
d'Holbach. Nothing gives such certain bread to those authors, in the
beginning of their career, as immoral and impure writings;--and with
such did even their chief set out, and fill his pockets; witness
his _Pucelle d'Orleans_; and even after they became the _sages of
France_, they continued, either from coarse taste or from serious
principle, for the diabolical purpose of inflaming the passions of
others, to interlard their gravest performances with impure thoughts
and sentiments. Nay, the secret of the Hotel d'Holbach shews us
that, for any thing we know to the contrary, the vilest productions
of their press may have been the compositions of the octogenary
Voltaire, of the sly d'Alembert, or of the author of the _Pere de
Famille_. What a pity it is that the _Decline of the Roman Empire_
was not all written in England, and that its learned and elegant
author, by going into their society, has allowed himself to be drawn
into this muddy and degrading vortex!

I should scarcely ask for more to disgust me with the philosophy
of these sages, and to make me distrust all their pretensions to
knowledge. The meanness of the conduct suited the original poverty
of the whole of them; but its continuance strips them of all
claims to the name of philosophers. Their pretended wisdom is only
cunning,--and we must acknowledge that their conduct was clever: for
this mean of corruption, concealed or embellished by their talents
for sentimental slang, (I can give it no better name,) made their
conversation and their writings most acceptable to their noble
patrons.--Now it is that Religion, of necessity, comes on the field;
for Religion tells us, that these are mean pleasures for creatures
born to our prospects; and Christianity tells us, that they are
gross transgressions of _the only just morality_. The progress of
the pupil will now be rapid; for he will listen with willing ears to
lessons which flatter his passions. Yet Voltaire thinks it necessary
to enliven the lessons by a little of the _salaison_, _quelques bons
mots à-propos auprès des femmes_, which he recommends to d'Alembert,
who, it seems, was deficient in this kind of small talk.

Surely all this is very unlike to wisdom; and when we see that it is
part of a plan, and this an obvious one, it should greatly lessen
our wonder at the number of these admired infidels. If we would now
proceed to examine their pretensions to science, on which they found
their claim to the name of philosophers, we must be careful to take
the word in a sense that is unequivocal. Its true meaning is by no
means what is commonly assigned to it, a lover of knowledge. It is a
lover of wisdom; and philosophy professes to teach us what are the
constituents of human felicity, and what are the means of attaining
it; what are our duties, and the general rules for our conduct. The
stoics were philosophers. The Christians are also philosophers.
The Epicureans and the Sophists of France would also be called
philosophers. I have put in my objection to this claim already, and
need not repeat my reasons for saying that their doctrines are not
dictates of wisdom. I shall only add, that their own conduct shows
plainly that their principles had no effect on themselves, because
we see, from the series of correspondence which Mr. Barruel has
laid before us, that they do not scruple to practise villanous and
hypocritical tricks, which never fail to disgrace a man, and are
totally irreconcilable with our notions of human dignity. Voltaire
patiently took a caning from an officer at Frankfort, for having
wittily told lies of his scholar Frederic, and his wisdom told him
that his honour was cleared by offering to meet the Major, each of
them provided with an injection syringe. This was thought sublime
wit at Ferney. I do not suppose that the slave Epictetus, or the
soldier Digby, would have ended the affair in this manner. Many of
the deeds of wisdom of the club d'Holbach were more degrading than
even this; and I am confident that the whole of this phalanx of
sages were conscious that they were treated by their patrons and
pupils as Voltaire was treated by the Solomon of the North, and that
their notions of the _vraie sagesse_ were also the same with his.
He gives this account of it in his letter to his niece: "Le Roi lui
avoit repondu; 'j'aurai besoin de Voltaire un an tout au plus--On
presse l'orange, et on jette l'écorce.' Je me suis fait repeter ces
douces paroles"--(How poor Voltaire would grin!)--"Je vois bien
qu'on a pressé l'orange--il faut penser à sauver l'ecorce."

But, as things stand at present, philosopher means a man of science,
and in this sense of the word our sages claim great respect. No
claim can be worse founded. It is amusing to observe the earnestness
with which they recommend the study of natural history. One does
not readily see the connection of this with their ostensible
object, the happiness of man. A perusal of Voltaire's letters
betrays the secret. Many years ago he heard that some observations
on the formation of strata, and the fossils found in them, were
incompatible with the age which the Mosaic history seems to assign
to this globe. He mentions this with great exultation in some of his
early letters; and, from that time forward, never ceases to enjoin
his colleagues to press the study of natural history and cosmogony,
and carefully to bring forward every fact which was hostile to
the Mosaic accounts. It became a serious part of the exercises of
their wealthy pupils, and their perplexing discoveries were most
ostentatiously displayed. M. de Luc, a very eminent naturalist, has
shewn, in a letter to the Chevalier Dr. Zimmermann, (published, I
think, about the year 1790,) how very scanty the knowledge of these
observers has been, and how precipitate have been their conclusions.
For my own part, I think the affair is of little consequence. Moses
writes the history, not of this globe, but of the race of Adam.

The science of these philosophers is not remarkable in other
branches, if we except M. d'Alembert's mathematics[30]. Yet the
imposing confidence of Voltaire was such, that he passes for a
person fully informed, and he pronounces on every subject with so
much authority, with such a force of expression, and generally
with so much wit or pleasantry, that his hearers and readers are
fascinated, and soon convinced of what they wish to be true.

  [30] Never was there any thing more contemptible than the physical
  and mechanical positions in Diderot's great work, the _Systeme de
  la Nature_, (Barruel affirms, that he was the author, and got 100
  pistoles for the copy, from the person who related the story to
  him,) that long ago found that Diderot had assisted Robinet to make
  a book out of his Masonic Oration, which I mentioned in page 41.
  Robinet trusted to Diderot's knowledge in natural philosophy. But
  the Junto were ashamed of the book _De la Nature_. Diderot seems to
  have, after this, read Dr. Hartley's book, and has greatly refined
  on the crude system of Robinet. But after all, the _Systeme de la
  Nature_ is contemptible, if it be considered as pretending to what
  is received as science by a mechanical philosopher.

It is not by the wisdom nor by the profound knowledge which these
writers display, that they have acquired celebrity, a fame which
has been so pernicious. It is by fine writing, by works addressed
to the imagination and to the affections, by excellent dramas, by
affecting moral essays, full of expressions of the greatest respect
for virtue, the most tender benevolence, and the highest sentiments
of honour and dignity.--By these means they fascinate all readers;
they gain the esteem of the worthy, who imagine them sincere, and
their pernicious doctrines are thus spread abroad, and steal into
the minds of the dissolute, the licentious, and the unwary.

But I am writing to Britons, who are considered by our neighbours
on the Continent as a nation of philosophers--to the countrymen
of Bacon, of Locke, of Newton--who are not to be wheedled like
children, but must be reasoned with as men.--Voltaire, who decides
without hesitation on the character of the most distant nations in
the most remote antiquity, did not know us: he came among us, in
the beginning of his career, with the highest expectations of our
support, and hoped to make his fortune by his Pucelle d'Orleans. It
was rejected with disdain--but we published his Henriade for him:
and, notwithstanding his repeated disappointments of the same kind,
he durst not offend his countrymen by slandering us, but joined in
the profound respect paid by all to British science.--Our writers,
whether on natural or moral science, are still regarded as standard
classics, and are studied with care. Lord Verulam is acknowledged
by every man of science to have given the first just description
of true philosophy, pointed out its objects, and ascertained its
mode of procedure--And Newton is equally allowed to have evinced
the propriety of the Baconian precepts by his unequalled success,
_suâ Mathesi facem preferente_.--The most celebrated philosophers
on the Continent are those who have completed by demonstration the
wonderful guesses of his penetrating genius. Bailli, or Condorcet,
(I forget which,) struck with the inconceivable reaches of Newton's
thoughts, breaks out, in the words of Lucretius,

    _Te sequor, O magnæ gentis decus, inque tuis nunc
    Fixa pedum pono pressis vestigia signis.
    Tu pater et rerum inventor, tu patria nobis
    Suppeditas precepta, tuisque ex inclute chartis,
    Floriferis ut apes in saltibus omnia libant,
    Omnia nos itidem depascimur aurea dicta;
    Aurea, perpetuâ semper dignissima vitâ._

After such avowals of our capacity to instruct ourselves, shall we
still fly to those disturbers of the world for our lessons? No--Let
us rally round our own standards--let us take the path pointed out
by Bacon--let us follow the steps of Newton--and, to conclude,
let us seriously consider a most excellent advice by the highest

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's cloathing, but
inwardly they are ravening wolves--BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW
THEM--Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"