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volution actually took place. This committee was the centre of union, when in 1778 the societies of France and of Germany—the Sophists and the Illuminati were united by means of Mirabeau ; and this important connexion was celebrated under the name of the German Union. Thus strengthened we find them extending their operations. “We must encompass the powers of the earth with a legion of indefatigable men, all directing their labours according to the plan of the Order, towards the happiness of human nature--and seek those places which give power, for the good of the cause. But all must be done in profound filence.” In 1786 they instituted “ The Propaganda,” “ a club aiming at nothing less than being the mover of all human nature.” It appears from their Reports, that this society “ found much difficulty in gaining footing in Holland, and only succeeded at last by persuading the people there, that they must be swept away by the general torrent.” In 1791, it drew large sums of money from all those Provinces, for the general fund. In 1792, one of the principal members writes from thence, “ The Propaganda is at present in full activity. You will soon see its effects.”
At an early period of the Revolution in France, this fraternity of Illuminated FreeMafons took the name of Jacobins, from the name of a convent where they held their meetings. “ They then counted 300,000 adepts, and were supported by two millions of men scattered through France, armed with torches and pikes, and all the neceffary implements of revolution.” “ Till the twelfth of August 1792, the French Jacobins had only dated the annals of their Revolution by the years of their prtended liberty. On that day when the King was carried prisoner to the Temple, after having been declared to have forfeited his right to the crown, the rebel Assembly decreed, that to the date of liberty, the date of equality should be added in future in all public acts, and the decree itself was dated the fourth year of liberty, the first year and day of equality. It was on that day for the first time, that the secret of FreeMasonry was made public. That secret so dear to them, and which they had preserved with all the solemnity of the most inviolable oath. . At the reading of this famous decree, they exclaimed, “We have at length succeeded, 'and France is no other than an immense Lodge. The whole French
people are Free-Masons, and the whole universe will soon follow their example.' I witnessed this enthusiasm. I heard the conversations to which it gave rise. I saw Masons, till then reserved, who freely and openly declared, “Yes, at length the grand object of Free-Masonry is accomplished liberty and equality! All men are equal and brothers; all men are free. That was the whole substance of our doctrine ; the object of our wishes, the whole of our grand secret ? !”
Now, when we consider the peculiar meaning which their own writings have proved to be annexed to these words When we recollect their own declaration, that “ none but a Brutus, or a Catiline, was fit for their bigher mysteries," I think we can scarcely avoid supposing, that the .commencement or the establishment of the REIGN OF THE IMAGE may be dated from this memorable day. I shall now therefore request the attention of the Reader to “ the Power of the image made by them which dwell on the earth, and to which the Beast gave life.”
The REVOLUTIONARY TYRANNY OF FRANCE, pown to be the exact Refemblance of THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST.
It is scarcely possible to contemplate the horrors which the Revolution in France has produced in France itfelf, without enquiring into the previous state of a country fo peculiarly afflicted. History will furnish ample evidence for the justice of exemplary punifhment, when she recites the perfecutions, the licentiousness, and the Infidelity which have long distinguished that unhappy country; and Religion, in such a case, may “ vindicate the ways of God to man,” without offence against that charity which is her peculiar characteristic.
The cruel persecutions, and “ the slaughter of the saints,” have been noticed in a former Chapter ; and for proofs of the long pre-eminence of France in open vice and irreligion, we may appeal to the numerous Memoirs which describe their manners. From them it will appear, that the court of France has been, with Thort exceptions, the seat of profligate wickedness, from the reign of Francis I. to go no far. ther back, and that she must be considered as the grand corruptress of nations, since the power of Rome declined. The universal prevalence of irreligion in this unhappy country, is thus described by a writer not at all disposed to censure those with too much severity, who intermix the refinements of Philosophy with religious inquiries. “When I was myself in France, in the year 1774, I saw sufficient reason to believe, that hardly any person of eminence in Church or State, and especially in the least degree eminent in Philosophy or literature (whose opinions in all countries are sooner or later adopted by others), were believers in Christianity; and no person will suppose, that there has been any change in favour of Christianity in the last twenty years. A person, I believe now living, and one of the best informed men in the country, assured me very gravely, that (paying me a compliment) I was the ci first person he had ever met with, of whose understanding he had any opinion, who pretended to believe Christianity. To this all the company assented. And not only VOL. II.
a See p. 35. of this volume.