« EdellinenJatka »
this Order, “are to treat of morality, and of morality alone." -Let us now consider the dem finition of this morality, which is given in this discourse_" Nor is true morality any other than the art of teaching men to Thake off their wardships, to attain the age of manhood, and thus to need neither princes nor governments.
No; man is not fo wicked as an 'arbitrary morality would make him appear he is wicked because religion, the state, and bad example, pervert him.--May our principles become the foundation of all morals”! Let REASO'N at length be the religion of man; and the problem is solved P." . The morality which is to perform this miracle, is not a morality of vain subtléties. It is not that mo. rality' which, degrading man, renders him careTess of the goods (or blessings) of this world's forbids him the enjoyment of the innocent pleasures of life, and inspires him with the hatred of his neighbour. It must not be a morality favouring the interests only of its reachers;" which prescribes persecution and intolerațion ; which militates against reason;
This pressing exhortation will enable the Reader coo solve the problem of the altars, the worship, and the festivals of Reason, in the French Revolution ; nor will they be any. longer at a loss to know from what loathfome den their Thameless goddess rose.' Barruel, vol. iii. p: 200. *1.7) M4
which forbids the prudent use of the paffions ; whose virtues are no other than inaction, idleness, and the heaping up of riches, on the slothful.. Above all, it must not be that mos rality which, adding to the miseries of the miserable, throws them into a state of pufillanimity and despair, by the threats of hell, and the fear of devils. It must, on the contrary, be that morality so much disregarded and defaced at the present day of selfishness, and replete with heterogeneous principles. It. must be a divine do&trine, such as Jefus taught to his disciples, and of which he gave the real interpretation in his secret conferences.”..
. Before we enter farther into this mystery of blasphemous iniquity, I shall prefent the Reader with the following extracts as a more full explanation of this wonder-working morality: si" Only that is fin which is ultimately productive of mischief." All things are lawful when taken in thii proper connexion." " Every thing which is useful is an act of virtue. The fource of the pafsions is puré ; it is necessary that every one should be able to gratify his, within the bounds of virtue, and that our Order should furnish him with the means.".
But the whole will be found comprised in the following “ Theory of Human Nature," ace cording to the opinion of one of their teachers. “ The leading propensities of the human mind are three ; instinctive liberty, instinctive activity, and instinctive love." If a man is. obstructed in the exercise of any of these prapenfities, be suffers an injury. The business of a good education therefore is to teach us how they are to be enjoyed in the highest degree;" or, in other words, how he may be restored to the imprescriptible rights of man in a state of favage life. Si vou .'**77*..
: Before we return to the discourse of the Hierophant, let us alfo read the account of this degree, which is given in their private letters. “We must consider the ruling pro. pensities of every age in 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, superftition and fanaticism rule with unlimited dominion, and the understanding of man really seems to be going backwards. Our talk therefore is doubled. We must give such
4. See p. 124. of this Volume, concerning the origin of Infidelity.', ; TO
: w ave ord
an account of things; o that fanatics shall not be alarmed, and that Nall, notwithstanding, excité a spirit of free enquiry. We must make the fecret do&trines of Christianity be received as the lifecrets of genuine Free Mafonry. But farther, we have to deal with the defpotism of Princes. This increases every day. But then, the spirit of freedom breathes and fighs in every corner , and by the affiftance of bidden: Schools of wisdom, liberty and equality, the natural and imprescriptible rights of many warm and glow. in every breaftWe must therefore unite these extremes. We proceed in this manner. Jesus Christ established no new teligion; he would only set Religion and Reason in their antrent rights. q * For this purpofe he would unite meni in a common band. He would fit them for this, by spread ing a juft marality, by enlightening the underftanding, and by afsifting the mind to shake off all prejudices. He would teach all men in the first place, to govern themselves. Rulers dvould then be needlefs, and equality and liberiy 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 purposés; and he forbids all wrangling among his scholars, because every man may
there find a reafonable application to his peču. har doctrines.---Let this be true or falle, it does not hgnify:--This was a fimple religion, and it was fo 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 his Elect were intrusted the most important secrets ; and even among them there were degrees of information. There was a leventy, 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 in the possession of the genuine Free-Masons.”
" And now 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 fo contrived things, that I would admit even popes and kings, after the trial I have prefixed.”.