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vineyard.” He who knows no other difference between himself and his dog than their dress,” wishes to “ die on a heap of Christians immolated at his feet.” “The fecret watchword of the 'confpirators was, • Ecrafez l'Infame”.(.. Crush Christ"), while the “ cri de guerre” (““ call to arms") was “ toleration, humanity, reafon.” When Voltaire gives his reasons for tolerating the Socinians during this war with Christ, he says, it is, “ because "Julian would have favoured them; and that he hates what Julian would have hated, and despises what Julian would have despised." Voltaire at first “ did not pretend to enlighten housemaids and shoemakers," “ equally contemning the rabble, whether for or against them.” But we shall find, that in the progress of their work, the rabble become an object of the greatest importance. The cautious D'Alembert complains that Voltaire “ shews his fangs too much in the Encyclopedia,” and represents that " this is the time for stepping back to make the better leap :" he says however, “ without doubt we have several wretched articles in our divinity and metaphysics ; but with divines for cenfors, and a privilege. (permission from the King to publish), I
defy you to make them better. There are articles less exposed where all is set to rights again.” In 1762 Voltaire urges more direct measures : '“ You have now a fair opportunity of filling the Encyclopedia with those truths that we should not have dared to utter twenty years ago.” But finding it necessary on some occasion to write in favour of the Christian religion, he bitterly laments“ being obliged to write directly contrary to what he thinks.”
The liberty he enjoyed in Holland to print his blafphemous and licentious productions, first gave Voltaire a bias in favour of republics; for he had defended monarchy till he found himself thwarted in his great design upon Christianity by the press of France. Of this press however he afterwards took possession, having by his intrigues gained all the academicians, and all the ministers of state except one (M. de Muy), to be partizans in the cause of reason and liberty, according to his definition of these terms. But when he had tried the strength of his principles upon Geneva, which was conveniently situated in his neighbourhood, we find him writing thus upon government. “ The most tolerable, without doubt, VOL. II. M
is the republican, because under that form men approach the nearest to the equality of nature.”
Let us now look into some of the books expressly written for general circulation : and there we shall find the following doctrines, some of them standing alone in all their naked horrors, others furrounded by fophistry and meretricious ornament, to entice the mind into their net before it perceives their nature. « The universal Cause, that God of the Philosophers, of the Jews, and of the Christians, is but a chimera, and a phantom.” “ The phenomena of nature only prove the existence of God to a few prepollessed men; so far from bespeaking a God, they are but the neceffary effects of matter prodigiously diverfified.” “ It is more reasonable to admit with Manes, of a twofold God, than of the God of Christianity.” “We cannot know whether a God really exists, or whether there is the smallest difference between good and evil, or vice and virtue.” “ Nothing can be more absurd than to believe the foul a fpiritual being.” “ The immortality of the soul, fo far from stimulating man to the practice of virtue, is nothing
but a barbarous, desperate, fatal tenet, and contrary to all legislation.” “ All ideas of justice and injustice, of virtue and vice, of glory and infamy, are purely arbitrary, and dependent on custom.” “ Conscience and remorse are nothing but the foresight of those physical penalties to which crimes expose us. The man who is above the law can commit without remorse the dishonest act that may serve his purpose.” “The fear of God, fo far from being the beginning of wisdom), would be the beginning of folly.” “ The command to love one's parents is more the work of education than of nature.” “Modesty is only an invention of refined voluptuousness." “ The law which condemns married people to live together, becomes barbarous and cruel on the day they cease to love one another." These extracts from the Secret correspondence and the public writings of these men, will surely suffice to prove that their system “ speaks as the dragon." Their end was universal demolition ; their means deceit, fraud, and falsehood. .
When time had ripened the plot so far as almost to ensure impunity, if not success, they instituted a club at the house of
Baron Holbach in Paris, about the year 1764, of which Voltaire was elected honorary and perpetual president. To conceal their real design, which was the diffusion of this new philosophy, they called themselves Economists. From this club was issued an inundation of books and pamphlets, cal. culated to impair and overturn religion, morals, and government; and which spreading over all Europe imperceptibly took possession of Public Opinion. “ As soon as the fale was sufficient to pay the expences, inferior editions were printed and given away, or sold at a very low price, circulating libraries of them formed, and reading focieties instituted. While they constantly denied these productions to the world, they contrived to give them a false celebrity, through their confidential agents and correspondents, who were not themselves always trusted with the entire fecret d.” By degrees they got possession of nearly all the reviews and periodical publications, established a general intercourse, by means of hawkers and pedlars, with the distant provinces, and instituted an office to supply all schools with teachers; and
d Annual Register.