« EdellinenJatka »
to consider the Sect of the Illuminati to be one of the horns of the Infidel Beast, as we were to conclude the association of French Sophists to be the other. We have now seen the Beast create a power by means of these horns, unknown in the history of the world, and in a manner equally unprecedented. We have seen these borns. under the appearance of PHILANTHROPY, MORALITY, and RELIGION, TAKE POSSESSION OF AN AUTHORITY. which NO CIVIL MAGISTRA'TE COULD EVER OBTAIN, WITHOUT THE WORLD'S PERCEIVING THAT THEY POSSESSED IT-We have seen them, WITHOUT ASSUMING THE SLIGHTEST APPEARANCE OF CIVIL POWER, fecure a multitude of tried and zealous adherents, ready to contribute DIRECTLY or INDIRECTLY, according to the ranks in which (unknown to themselves) they · were placed by the supreme conductors of the plan.—We have seen them, in fine, gradually PERSUADE THESE MEN, THAT FORCE WOULD BE NECESSARY TO OVERTURN THE PRESENT REIGN OF DESPOTISM, AND RESTORE THE GOLDEN AGE; AND PREPARE THEM TO RAISE UP A CIVIL POWER IN ORDER TO EXECUTE
THIS GLORIOUS DESIGN. Reader! Is it possible for events to fulfil a Prophecy more accurately *?
Let it not be pretended that these events arose out of a series of accidental circumstances—were the natural effects of the pressure of a despotic yoke—or any other common cause of revolutions. The formation of a civil power as the instrument of its designs, was a part of the original plan fuggested by the great enemy of Christ and of mankind. In proof of this I shall quote a letter written by a nobleman well known for his literary productions y, when he visited Paris in the year 1765; and which, I beg to observe, strongly confirms the assertion in the former part of this Chapter, that the Free-Thinkers of England had not at that time any connexion with the Philosophers of France. “ The Dauphin will probably hold out a very few days. His death, that is, the near prospect of it, fills the Philosophers with the greatest joy, as it was feared he would endeayour the restoration of the Jesuits. You
* See Introductory Chapter, vol. i. p. 396. y Lord Orford's Works, vol. v. p. 123.
will think the sentiments of the Philosophers very odd stare-news--but do you know who the Philosophers aré, or what the term means HERE? In the first place, it comprehends almost every body; and in the next, means men, who, avowing war against popery, aim, many of them, at a subversion of all religion, and still many more, at the destruction of regał power. How do you know this ? you will say, you who have been confined to your chamber. True : but in the first period I went every where, and heard nothing else; in the latter, I have been extremely visited, and have had long and explicit conversations with many who think as I tell you, and with a few of the other side, who are no less persuaded that there are such intentions. In particular, I had two officers here t'other night, neither of them young, whom I had difficulty to keep from a serious quarrel, and who, in the heat of the dispute, informed me of much more than I could have learnt with
From the “ secret correspondence” of these Philosophers, it appears that in 1743, Voltaire was plotting with the King of Prussia to plunder the Ecclesiastical Princes,
and the religious Orders of their poffefsions. In 1764, he sent a Memorial to the Duke of Praslin, on the Abolition of Tythes, in hope of depriving the clergy of their subsistence. In 1770, he writes, “I like to cover these harlequin bull-givers (Popes) with ridicule, but I had rather plunder them." D'Alembert advised, that the clergy should be deprived of their consequence in the State, before they were plundered of their possessions, and that the danger of letting the clergy form a disa tinct body in the state, should therefore be represented in strong colours. Frederick says, “ If we wish to diminish fanaticism, we must not begin by the bishops. But if we succeed in lessening the friarhoods, especially the mendicant orders, the people will cool; and they being less superstitious, will then allow the powers to bring down the bishops as best suits their states. This is the only poslible mode of proceeding.” In 1761, Voltaire writes, “ Had I but 100,000 men, I well know what I would do with them.” In 1767, Frederick says, " It is not the lot of arms to destroy the wretch. It will perish by the force of truth.” But in 1775, he thinks that force must strike the last blow at religion. “ To
Bayle, your forerunner, and to yourself no doubt, is due the honour of that Revolution working in the minds of men. But to speak the truth, it is not yet complete; bigots have their party, and it will never be perfeted but by a superior force. From government muft the sentence ifjue that Mall crush the wretch. Ministers may forward it, but the will of the sovereign must accede. Without doubt this will be effe&tuated in time; but neither of us can be spectators of that long-wilhed for moment.”. Voltaire however was more fanguine; he writes in the same year, “ We hope that Philofophy, which in France is near the throne, will foon be on it."
Can any thing more exactly describe the design of these chiefs to set up a civil power for the express purpose of crushing Chriftianity? Can any thing more exactly correspond with this design, than the Power now reigning in France ? ,
The secret committee for the express purpose of executing this design against Chriftianity, was established in Baron Holbach's house at Paris, between the year 1763 and 1766, twenty-three years before the Re: