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WHAT Dr. PvOBISON and the 



"" For they are the Spirits of devils." Rev. xvi. I4> 

* ■•" " Here nature breeds 

Perverfe, all monflrous, all prodigious things 

Abominable, unutterable, and worfe 

Than fables yet have feign 'd, or fear conceiv'd." 


Puhlijbed according to ASi of Congtefs. 


For the AUTHOR, 


-> •■« 



XH E efforts which have been made to dif- 
credit the exijftence of Illumlnirm, and the torrents of 
abufe which have been fo Hberally poured on fuch as 
have attempted, apparently from the pureft motives, 
to unveil this myftery of iniquity, have in part pro- 
duced the end defigned. Some have miflaken vocifer- 
ation for argument, and confident ailertions for proofs ;, 
while others have been prevented from publifhing their 
behef and their fears, not choofing to encounter the 
fhafts of ridicule and defamation ; weapons found to 
be of great importance in this age of reafon, A general 
ftupor has hence taken place of that juii alarm, occa- 
fioned by the firft difcovery of this infernal combination^ 
But has the caufe of alarm ceafed ? There has been 
much clamor indeed, but have any folid, fatisfying 
proofs been exhibited, either that there has not been^ 
or is not now exifting, a confpiracy, which has for its 
ultimate obje£l, the abolition of chriftianity and gov- 
ernment ? Solid proofs alone ought to fatisfy us on a 
fubje<ft fo highly interefting to mankind. Such proofs 
have not, I confefs, come to my knowledge. Recent 
events do, on the contrary, confirm my belief, that a 
fyftematical attempt is nov/ in operation to undermine 
the foundation of every religious, moral, and focial 
eflablifliment. To thofe who have this belief, it muft 
appear important that the impending danger be placed 
in the moil confpicuous point of view ^ that the evi-^ 


dence of this fa£l, now difFufed tlirou-gh expeniive, and 
voiuminou.s tra<fts, and ariilng from a variety of cir- 
cumitances, fhould be coile^Tied into one point, freed 
from the obfcurity in which it has been indufirioufiy 
involvedj and the whole comprifed in a volumcj eufy to 
the purchafcr, and intelligible to every reader. The 
importance of fuch a publication at the prefent critical 
period, and which I have expedled, and hoped to fes 
from fome abler hand, is all the apology I have to- offer 
for undertaking the talk. 

To defend religion, by expofing the plots concerted 
for its deflru^lion, is the principal objedt of this publi- 
cation : and if any thing of a political nature is intro- 
duced, it is with a view of detecting, and counteracting 
that dark policy, which has connected the fubverfion of 
every good government, with the overthrow of chrif- 

I claim no merit for difcovering what I could not 
avoid feeing, but by fhutting my eyes *, and I fear no 
cenfure, for I have obeyed the call of duty. I have no 
hope of convincing thofe who have had sccefs to the 
evidence here referred to, but for reafons beft known to 
themi elves, have rejeded it ; nor the many who have 
prefumed to give judgment without examination : this 
ilatement of evidence is for thofe v/no have no medium 
of vifion ; and thofe, whofe optics have been injured 
by the duil; which fophiftry, prejudice, and the powerj 
of darknefshave raifed. Could I contribute but a mite, 
which is my all, to preferve my country from that vor- 
•tcx of anarchy, which has ingulphed the liberties, civii 
and religious, and the peace, property, and lives of mlU 
lions, my labor ^vill net be unrewarded. 





The AdorS) Exiflencey Objecf, and Secret of the Con- 

/piracy, - . - - - . 30 


The means of the Confpirators, - - - 39. 


The Progrefs of the Con/piracy ; Triumph and Death 

of the Chiefs, - - - _ r^ 


Occult Mafonry, _ - - . » ^^ 


llluminifm -, its Origin, ASfors, and different 

grades, - - - - - - 81 


Code of the lllimiinees, - - - - ga 


The Myfleries and Government of the Order, - 103 


The Difcovery of the SeB, - - - - lie 

IX. 4 

German Unign^ - - - - - 13? 



French Revolutioft^ _ , - ^ 



Summary 'view of Ilhiminifmy 



OhjeElions conjtderedj - - 



Collateral Proofs, and general Obfervations in 
relation to Europe-, 



The fame i in relation to the United States, 



In Continuation, - - 


An ADDRESS, - - - , . 


CONCLUSION, . = . - - 



1 G remove the obftrudions which prej- 
udiced and defigning men have raifed, is often 
a neceffary, but laborious and ungrateful talk, 
attending our inquiries after truth. No fooner 
is the precious gem brought to viev/, than its 
enemies, who hate its light, and cannot endure 
its brilliancy, are bufily employed in covering 
it v/ith filth and rubbiih ; hence much of the 
labor of thofe who wiih to pofiefs the heav- 
enly boon, ■ 

The teftimony of ProfeiTor Robifon, and 
Abbe Barruel, would doubtlefs have been con- 
fidered as ample, in any cafe which did not 
intereft the prejudices and paflions of men 
againft them. The fcurriiity and odium with 
which they have been loaded is perfectly nat- 
ural, and what the nature of their teftimony 
would have led any one to expect. Men will • 
endeavor to invalidate that evidence v/hich 


6 Proofs of the Exifrcnce 

tends to unveil their dark defigns : and it can* 
not be expected that thofe who believe that 
''- the end fan6i:ilies the means," will be very 
Scrupulous as to their meafures. Certainly he 
\vas not, who invented the following charac- 
ter, and arbitrarily applied it to Dr. Robifon, 
Vs^hich might have been applied with as much 
propriety to any other perfon in Europe or 
America. The character here referred to, is 
taken from the American Mercury, printed at 
Hartford, Sept, 26, 1799, by E. Babcock. In 
this paper, on the pretended authority of Pro 
feiTor Ebeling,* we are told, " That Robifon 
had lived too faft for his income, and to fup- 
ply deficiencies, had undertaken to alter a bank 
bill ) that he v/as detected, and fled to France ; 
that liaviiiiT been exnelled the Lodo;e in Edin- 
burgh^ he applied in France for the fecond 
grade, but was refufed y that he made the 
Hime attempt in Germany, and afterwards isi 

* It Is but juRIce to the charn^^ler of Profe/Ibr Ebeling,- 
to (dj^ that in none of his Letters to his American Ccr- 
rcfpondent?, of which T have information, h/as he given 
the Icafl intimation that ProfefTor Robifon was guilty 
of tlie crimes here imputed to him. Nor has he, to my 
knowledge, ever criminated his moral character. Thcle 
bafe columnies originated, not from Mr. Ebeling, but 
from a fplrit of malignant oppofition to Dr. Robifon ; 
and they furnifh (Irong evidence of the truth of hi^s 
\M"i lings. 

and Effeds of llltmlnTfm, *j 

Ruflla, but never fucceeded ; and from this 
entertained the bittereft hatred to mafonry ; 
that after wandering about Europe, for two 
years, by writing to Secretary Dundas, and 
prefenting a copy of his book, which, it was 
judged, would anfwer certain purpofes of the 
miniflry, the proiecution againft him was (lop- 
ped, the ProfeiTor returned in triumph to his 
country, and now lives upon a handfome pen- 
fion, inflead of fuffering the fate of his preda- 
ceflbr Dodd.'" 

A writer, in the National Intelligencer^ of 
Jan. 1801, who flyles himfelf " A friend to 
Truth," and from whom, (if conjedure has 
pointed out the real author) better things 
ought to have been expeded, fpeaks of Dr. 
Robifon as " a man diftinguijQied by abjed 
dependence on a party ; by the bafe crimes of 
forgery, and adultery ; and by frequent pa» 
roxyiims of infanity.'* 

As Dr» Robifon is a principal evidence in 
the caufe now pending, it will be necelTary to 
inquire, whether this is indeed a juft view of 
the man. The refult of this inquiry, contraft- 
ed with the above charader, will ferve to give 
the public fome idea of the means which have 
been made ufe of to difcredit Illuminifm, and 

2 Proofs of the Exifience 

how benevolently difpofed fome among us afe^ 
to prevent their countrymen from being mif- 
led by what are called, the ridiculous reveries of 
Robifon. The reader's patience, it is feared, 
will be exhaufted by the detail of credentials 
which the effrontery of his accufers have ren- 
dered neceflary ; but the chara6ler of a wit- 
nefs is of the firft importance. The follow- 
ing fl^etch of the principal events of the life 
of Dr. Robifon, was drawn up from authen- 
tic documents, received dire6l from Edin= 
burgh, through a refpedabie channel.* 

" The father of the Profeffor, a refpeclable 
country gentleman, intended him for the 
church, and gave him eight years of an Uni- 
verfity education at Glafgow. Prefering a 
different profefiion, he accepted an o5er of go- 
ing into the Navy, with very flattering prof- 
peds. He was appointed Mathematical In- 
ilru6lor to his Royal Highnefs the Duke of 
York. In that oiHce, he accordingly entered 
the Navy in February, 1759, being that day 

* Concerning the fads contained in this hiilorical 
fketch, which were communicated to Dr. Erikine, he 
writes thus. *' The moft Important fadts in it I liave 
had acceis to know, being firft fettled at Kirkintillock, 
the neighbouring parifh to Boderoch, where hiy the eftate 
of his worthy father. For the few fiicts of which I know 
kfo; full and unexceptionable vouchers can be produced." 

and Effeds of lUuminifni» 9 

twenty years old. He was prefent at the fiege 
of Quebec. With the late Admiral Knowles, 
he was particularly connected, and his fon, 
afterwards captain Knowles, one of the moft 
promifing young officers in the Britifli Navy, 
was committed to his charge. 

In 1761, he was fentby the board of Admi- 
ralty, to make trial of Harrifon's Watch at Ja- 
maica. At the peace of 1763, he returned to 
College. In 1764, he was again appointed by 
the Admiralty to make trial of Harrifon's 
improved Watch at Barbadoes ; but his pat- 
ron. Lord Anfon, being dead, and the condi- 
tions not fuch as pleafed him, he declined the 
employment, returned again to College, and 
took under his care the only remaining fon of 
his friend. Sir Charles Knowles. This fon is 
the prefent Admiral Sir Charles Knowles. In 
1770, Sir Charles was invited by the Emprefs 
of Ruffia to take charge of her Navy. He 
took Mr. Robifon with him as his Secretary. 
In 1772, Mr. Robifon was appointed fuperin- 
tendant of the education in the Marine Caflet 
Corps, where he had under his direclion about 
500 youth, 350 of wliom were fons of noble- 
men and gentlemen, and 26 mailers in the dif- 
ferent {Indies. The Academy being burnt, Mn 
Robifon, with his pupils, removed to ?,u 

lo Proofs of the Exiflence 

ancient palace of Peter the Great at Cronftadt,^ 
a moft miferable, defolate iiland, where, find- 
ing no agreeable fociety, he availed himfelf of 
the firft opportunity, of quitting fo unpleafant 
a fituation, and accepted an invitation from, 
the Magiftrates of Edinburgh, to the Profef- 
forfliip of Natural Phiiofophy in the Univer- 
fity in that city, which ranks among the firft 
Univerfities in the v/orld. To this very hon- 
orable office he acceded in Auguft, 1774, and 
from that time continued his lectures, without 
interruption, till 1792, when illnefs obliged 
him to afk for an afTiftant. To enable him to 
give fuch a falary to his affiftant, as would 
make the place worth the acceptance of a man 
of talents, the King v/as pleafed to give him a 
peniion of ;^. 100 a year. After five years con- 
finement, by a painful diforder, he refumed his 
chair, in 1797- 

In 1 786, he wao ele<9:cd a member of the Phi- 
lofophical Society at Philadelphia, of which Mr. 
Jefferfon is Preiident \ and in 1797, a mem- 
ber of the Royal Society of Manchefter. In 
1799, after the publication of his book, the 
Univerfity of Glafgcw, where he received his 
education, conferred on him, unfoiicited, the 
honor of a Doctor's degree in Law, in which, 
contrary to the ufual cuftom in thefe cafes, is 
given'-a very particular and flattering account of - 

cind EffeBs of lllumlnifnu 1 1 

ills nine years ftudies in that Univerfity. This 
peculiar evidence of efteem and refpecl was 
given in this way, in order that his Diploma 
might have all the civil confequences which 
long ftanding could give. When he publifli- 
€d his book, in 1797, he was Secretary of the 
.Royal Society of Edinburgh. In April, 1800, 
without folicitation of a iingle friend, he was 
unanimoufly elected a Foreign Member (there 
are but fix) of the Imperial Academ.y of Sci- 
ences, at St. Peteriburg, (which, in point of 
reputation, is efteemed the third on the con- 
tinent of Europe) in the room of the much 
lamented and highly celebrated Dr. Black, 
To prepare for the prefs, and fuperintend the 
publication of the Chemical writings of this 
great man, required the ableft Chemift in 
Great Britain. This diftinguifhed honor has 
been conferred on ProfelTor Robifon, who has 
undertaken this important work. This ap- 
pointment, for which no man perhaps is more 
competent, together with the numerous, learn- 
ed, and copious articles which he has furnifli- 
cd for the Encyclopedia Brittanica, fully evince 
that in reputation and folid learning, he ranks 
among the firft literary characters in Europe. 
Add to all this, hefujlains a moral charader^ 
fo fair and unbleniifhed, that any man mayfafely be 


Proofs of the Exijlencc 

challetiged to lay any thing to his charge of which an 
bonefi man need he afhamed^ 

The following account of Profeffor Robi- 
fon, is from a Work, entitled " Literary Me- 
moirs of Living Authors of Great Britain, 
&c.*' in two volumes, 8vo. publiflied in Lon- 
doDj 1798, for R. Faulder ; 

" John Robifon, Efq. M. A. Secretary to 
the Royal Society at Edinburgh, and Profef- 
for of Natural Philofophy in the Univerfity. 
Profeffor Robifon is diftinguiflied for his ac- 
curate and extenfive knowledge, efpecially on 
fubjecls of fcience. He contributed to the 
Encyclopedia Brittanica the valuable articles, 
Phylics, Pneumatics, PrsecelTion of the Equi- 
noxes, Projediles, Pumps, Refiftance of Flu- 
ids, River, Roof. Rope making. Rotation, 
Seamanlhip, Signals, Sound, Specific Gravity, 
Statics, Steam, Steam-Engine, Strength of 
Materials, Telefcope, Tide, Articulating Trum- 
pet. Variation of the Compafs, and Water- 
Works, alfo Philofophy, in aflociation v^dth 
Dr. Gleig. 

In the autumn of the year 1797, Profeffor 
Robifon publifhed an o6lavo volume, entitled 
<' Proofs of a Confpiracy, &c/' This volume 

and Efficls of llliimimfiiu i -: 

has been favorably received, and although 
too hafty a performance for a work of fo 
much confequence, is well entitled, both from 
its fubjccl: and its authenticity, to the feri- 
ous attention of every reader. It arrives at 
the fame remarkable conclufion as the cele- 
brated Memoirs of the AbbeBarruel, illuflrat- 
ing the hiilory of Jacobinifm, though the au- 
thors were perfec1:ly unconneaed with each 
other, and purfued their inquiries in very dif- 
ferent ways. It has raifcd (we are forry for 
fuch an appearance) a confiderable clamor and 
enmity againfl the Profefibr ; though it v/as 
written, Vv^e are fully convinced, froiii the beil 
of motives. We cannot conclude this article 
without obferving that the principles, and 
Iioneft zeal, which ProfelTor Robifon has dif- 
played upon this occafion, are highly credita- 
bie to him, and merit the warmeft acknowl- 
edgements from fociety in general" 

The following is an extract of a letter from 
one of the moft refpeclable literary cliaraders 
which Scotland has produced, dated March, 
1800. The writer of this letter is now in 
America. I have not his leave to mention 
his name. 

" ProfejQTor Roblfon's charaaer is fo well 
eftabliilied among thofe who know hiin beft^ 

14 F roofs of the Ex'iftence 

that it would be ridiculous, at Edinburgh, to 
pall. in Queftion his veracity or ability. I had 
read many of bis authorities in the German crigim^k 
before his hook was puhJifned ; and the firft notice 
I received of it Vv-^as, in the preface to Dr. 
ErfKine's Iketches of ecclefiaftical hiftory, 
where you will fee the honorable teftimony 
that he gives Mr. Robifon, and the great ex- 
pectation that he had from his pubUcatio.n." 

The Rev. Dr. Erikine, whofe characler i$ 
generally known, and refpccled in America, 
and who is a neighbor to Dr. Robifon, in a 
letter, dated Edinburgh, September 25, 1800, 
fays, " I think highly of .Frofeffor Robifon's 
.book. Some of ihe mofl {hocking facts 
it contains, I knew before its publication, 
from a periGdictil account of the church hit- 
tory of the times, by Frofeffor JCoeiler at 
Gieiien., of v/hich I lent him all the numbers 
relating to that fubjed. For three years, that 
valuable work has been difcontinued, whether 
from the artificec of Illum/mati bookfellers,, 
to prevent its fale and fpread, or from the au- 
4:hor's bad h<^alth.p I know not." 

In a fubfequent letter, of June 13, 1801, 
:^peaking of the forementioned criminations 
Dr. Robifon's characfler^ which have been 

and EffcBs cf Ilhmnnijm, 1 5 

circulated in America, the Dr. fays, " Had 
they been fent to Edinburgh, for their palpa'- 

BLE FALSEHOOD, they would have been defpif-- 
ed and detejied'' 

Tn the appendix to the Centurial Sermon of 
Dr. Dwight, Prefident of Yale College, pub- 
lilhed Jan. 7, 1801, is an atteftation to the 
characler of Profeffor Robifon, taken front 
a letter of Mr. J. Walker, a refpeclable inhab- 
itant of Great Britain, to Profeffor Eoettiger, 
of Weimar in Germany ; publillied in the 
Mercury of that city, April, iSco'^. *^ It was 
written inaniwerto fonre very fevere afper- 
iions on Mr. Robifon, by Mr, Boettiger ; and 
fiich was the cliaracler of the writer, and 
fach the weight of his tcitimony, that Mr. 
Boettiger amply, as well as honorably, re- 
tracted his afperllons.^' P^eferiiig to the ex- 
alted character he had given of Dr. Robifon, 
he fliys, '' Nor is this the exaggerated praife 
of a friend ; no one who knows Mr. Robi- 
fon, as r have knov/n him, and he is almoll 
univerfilly known in Britain, will dare to 
aili it in queftion."* 

* I have further evidence on this fitbje<fl:j but I con- 
ceive it needlefs to introduce it. What is laid before ths 
reader is more tlian fufncient to efcabliih Dr. Robifon's 
characler. It adds no fmall weight to his opinion \ and 

1 6 Proofs of the Extjience 

The characler of the Abbe Barruel, fo far 
as it refpecls his credibility as a witnefs, I be- 
lieve has not been impeached. The honeft 
warmth, apparent in every part of his cele- 
brated work, renders it difficult for us to 
doubt his fmcerity, whatever opinion we may 
form of his judgment. If the fervor of his 
2eal has hurried him into a raih cenfure, or 
an unwarrantable conclufion, does not the 
f.ime fervor compel us to refoed him as a 
writer, who felt the truth and importance of 
his fabjecl ? Shall we condemn him becaufe 
he v/rites with the ardor of the mofl: exqui- 
fite feelings ? How could he but feel, when 
he faw the religion and government which he 
loved, demoliihed, and the country, above 
all others dear to him, converted into a field 
of carnage, and bleeding at every pore, pierc- 
ed with the daggers of men, who " owed 
their greatnefs to their country's ruin V His 
attachment to principles not admitted in 
America, has doubtlefs weakened the im- 
preilions v/hich his tcflimony ought to have 

alTords us a degree of aflbrance, that what he has pub- 
liflied upon the fubject of Illumhiifm, is neither vifionaiy 
nor trifling. The reputation he had acquired in the liter- 
ary world, forbids us to fuppofe that he w^ould have added 
his name to fuch a publication, uulefs convinced that the 
fads lie dates, and atteils, were important and \v=U au- 

and Efecls of Illunilnlpn. 17 

itiadc. . While we Lear him pleading in fup- 
port of fentiments in religion, which in our 
view are abfurd ; advocating a government, 
which we confider as tyrannical; and denounc- 
ing focieties as dangerous, of which we our- 
felves, perhaps, are innocent members, we nat- 
urally conned the abiurdity of thefe fenti- 
ments, with the fafts adduced in their fup- 
port. It is an obvious remark, that the value 
of thefe Memoirs confiR's, not in the religious 
or political opinions, but in the important 
fads, they contain. Thefe appear, generally, 
to be ftated with great accuracy, and with a 
ilrid regard to truth ; and from thefe, the 
author candidly invites us to judge for our- 
felvesv As became an honefl man, together 
with his opinion, he has given us the fa6i3 
and circumilances upon which- that opinion 
was founded ; leaving the reader to corred'^ 
if he fee caufe, his too haity judgment. 

That the Abbe, by making his own fenti^-- 
ments the ftandard in politics and religion, 
has cenfured fome perfons whom proteilants 
and republicans would juilify, is not to be 
denied ; but has he aflerted any thing as a fad, 
w^ithout flaiing carefully the evidence upoii 
which his opinion was founded? 

£ 2 

1 3 Proofs of the Exiflcnce- 

It is obvious that the teftimony of tliefe 
%vnters is greatly Rrengthened by its remark- 
able coincidence. It appears that Dr. Robi- 
fon's work was publiihed juft as the third 
volume of the Abbe's Memoirs was going to 
tlie prefs, and preciiely in thofe circumftances, 
which mull have prevented either of them 
from fuggefting to the otlier, either the plan 
of their propofed publications, or the princi- 
pal authorities by which they are authenti- 
cated. The remarkable difference which ap- 
pears in thefe two writers with refpect to 
their methods of arranoino-, and communi- 
eating their thoughts ; their very different 
ideas of religious and political truth ; the ob^ 
fcurity v^^ilch, from the nature of it, at- 
tendeci the fubject ; tlie many remote circum- 
fiances with vWiich it was connecled, and ef- 
pecially the different plans they purfue ; Dr. 
Robifon combining, in one paragraph, what 
Ills m.emory compiled from m.any, while the 
Abbe, as he declares, " never made a quota- 
tion but with the original before him ; and 
when," fliys lie, " I make a tranflation which 
may ftagger the reader, I fubjoin the original, 
that each may explain and verify the text ;" 
thefe things taken into view, a greater degree 
of harmony could not be expected from any 

and EffeHs of lUuminifm, ' 19 

two hiftorians relating events of equal mag- 

But we have to encounter ilill more for- 
midable oppofition than any which has yet 
appeared, and that is Profeilor Ebeling's 
letter to his correfpondent in MaiTachu- 
fetts, and publiihed in the Worcefter Gaz- 
ette, October 9, 1799. This letter appears 
to have been coniidered, by fome, as contain- 
ing plenary evidence againil the veracity of 
Dr. Robiion, and the credibility of his book. 
But, had not this letter been read with the 
flime hafie and eagernefs with which it ap- 
pears to have been written, certainly fo much 
importance would not have been attached 
to it. 

* The following teftimony, in favor of the authenticity 
of the works in queftion, is from a late lefpeclable writer. 

" The rife and progrefs of Jacoblnifrii, which feems 
to Include every fpecies of Infidelity, have been exam- 
ined with indudry, and difplayed with corre«5Enefs, by 
the Abbe Barruel and ProfciFor Robifon. The faifls 
brought forward in fupport of their a/Iertions, have baf- 
fled the ingenuity of Jacobinifm itfelf to difprove. And 
thefe fadls have clearly fliown, that a confplracy was a<5tu- 
ally formed for the extindicn of Chridianity, and the 
abolition of government and focial order, by a fet of 
men whofe names demand the execration of mankind." 
Kett, ou Prophecy, Lond, edition, 1800, Vol. II, p. 119, 

2 a Proofi of the Exif,cnc3^ 

Upon reading this letter we naturally" 
recoiled an obfervation made by Profeffor 
Renner, one of the witneiTes from whom the 
public received the firft difclofure of the Illu- 
minated focieties. " There are men ;" fays 
he, " who defend the order with great 
warmth, though they do not declare them- 
fclves to belong to it. Such condud cer- 
tainly deferves a little animadverdon. Either 
thefe defenders belong to the order, or they 
do not ; if they do not, can they pretend 
to defend that which they neither know, nor 
have any poflibility of knowing ? If they be- 
long to the order, that very circumftance 
renders them unworthy of belief."* The 
propriety of this remark will imprefs the' 
reader more forcibly, when he is better ac- 
quainted with the arts by which the Illuminees 
conceal themfelvss from the public. 

The great ilrefs which has been laid upon 
this letter, and the ufe which has been miade 
of it, will j'uftify our bellowing on it particu- 
lar attention. 

It may be of fome importance to recoiled, 
that Mr. Ebeiing has acknowledged that it. 

* Barrucl's Memoirs, Vol. '^^\ y* 149. 

and Effects of lUumlmfnu i \ 

was written in hafte, and was, confequently, 
inaccurate. It was unfortunate that this in- 
formation was not communicated, as ufual, 
at the clofe of the letter, where it might 
have been ufeful to guard ils againft placing 
too much dependence on a hafty and inaccu- 
rate performance ; but it was given in a fub- 
fcquent letter, after being informed that the 
previous one had been made public. Though 
this apology came too late for us, it may 
be ufeful to the Profellbr, and afford him 
a retreat, fhould fome of his many con- 
fident declarations, hereafter appear to be 
founded in error. 

Mr. Ebeling confiders Dr. Robifon's mif- 
reprefentations, as the refult of wicked inten- 
tion ; fpeaks of him as "an Englijh hired ^ mimf- 
ferial writer ;" and tells us, " his book is cer- 
tainly a party work, and not without -impolitic' 
al deftgn.'' In another part of the fam.e letter 
he afcribes Robifon's mifreprefentations to 
his' ^'' great ignorance of men^ manners^ and hifiory^ 
and of German c/baraders^ and language in partic- 
ular." Perhaps Mr. Ebeling can reconcile 
thefe two contradictory caufes of the fame ef- 
fed. The talk is beyond my ability. From 
thefe very different reprefentations, I can 
obtain no idea but this abfurd one, that Dr, 

2 2 Proofs of the Exijlenre 

R obifon was hired by the Britifli minlftry, to 
give fuch a v/rong view of tilings as would 
ferve their political purpofes : that he under- 
took the talk, and by the luckieft miftake 
flumbled upon that very fpot at which he was 
aiming, and which, had it not been for his 
grols ignorance of men, manners, and hiilory, 
of Germian characters, and language, he proba- 
bly never would have attained. Let this form. 
a new item among the advantages of igno- 

But we have more important remarks to 
make upon this celebrated letter, Mr. Ebel- 
ing fpeaks of the exiilence of Illuminifm in 
Germany, as a matter of public notoriety • but,. 
to prefer ve the impremoR of its harmlefs na- 
ture, he fays of the Uluminees,. '' tlieir deiiga 
was undoubtedly to prevent political and 
religious cpprelTion ;" and with a particuhir 
reference to Weiiliaupt, the grand projector of 
Illuminifm, further adds,, "he was, as I fun- 
pofe commonly Catholics are, when 
they fee the errors of faperftition, and know 
nothing of the proteftant faith, or truerelig- 
ion, at a Icf what to fuhjlltutc:' Weilhaupt 
then, it is confeifed, wiihed to deflroy the bed 
rehgion he was acquainted with. He confid- 
ered popery as the religion of the Bible., and 

and Effecls of Illimilnifm, 23 

tills was hateful fuperftitioa. It appears, there- 
fore, from this flatement of his Apologiil, 
tliat he would have fpared no religion, for ia 
his view there Vv'-as no fubftitute for popery. 
The reader will ohferve, that Weidtaupt was a 
Profeflbr in an Univcrfity, and diilinguiflied 
for his literary acquirements : that he had 
framed many new fyftems of Chriflianity- to 
(deceive his adepts ; that Germany abounded 
v/ich proteilants of every denomination, but 
{till there was no religion to his tafte, no fub- 
,|^:itute for popery, 

Mr. Ebeling alfo acknowledges that Weifli- 
aupt, " in his younger life, was guilty oi great 
de'viaiiQiu from pure morality^'' but in the fame 
paragrapji in which he gives us this view of 
his moral char.a<5ler^ and in the fame paragraph 
-in which he acknowledges, that Weifliaupt 
could fmd no .religion in all Germany, nor in 
the Bible, better than popery, which he hatcdj 
and was endeavoring to overturn ; Mr. Ebel- 
ing difplays his invincible charity by adding, 
" but I am.not convinced that he (Weifliaupt) 
was ever ii.i theory.^ or pn.icriCE^ an enemy to rclig' 
ion! I'' Left the reader fhould not extend that 
charity to Mr. Ebeling, of which he himfelf is 
fo liberal, it may be neceiliiry here to remind 
him.^ tl>at the Frofeflbj: wrote in halle. In the 

24 Proofs of the Exiflence 

confuiion of his thoughts he muft have loft 
the impreilion which V/eifhaupt's charader had 
formerly made upon his mind, and in the hur- 
i-y of the moment, he marked the tjifuiel and 
the debauchee^ for a ckrifiian ; for nothing lefs 
can he be who never w^as, " either in theory 
or pradice, an enemy to religion.'* 

One great difadvantage, indeed, refults from 
this exuberance of the Profefibr's hafty chari- 
ty, for who can aflure us, that he has not 
equally miilaken the many other characters^ 
he introduces into his letter ? This confidera- 
tlon mull diminiili that fund of correal infor- 
mation, which fome imagine they poflefs in 
this long epiftle, and leave us room to doubt, 
at leaft, whether Dn Robifon %vas fo very igiio^ 
rant of men and manners as he is rcprefented. 

But will not this letter aCift us in attaining 
fomething beyond probabilities and conject- 
ure ? Mr. Ebeling has faid much to difcredit 
the other authorities to which Dr. Robifon 
occafionally recurs for proof; but I fmd noth- 
ing to UTaken the evidence refulting from the 
teflimony of the four very refpeclablc witneff- 
es, given under oath, refpecling the practices 
of the Ilium inees ; nor, as far as I am able to 
afcertaitty does he cxprefs a doubt refpecting 

and Effects of llluminijnu 25 

the writings, letters, and documents, found 
in the hands of thq Society on the fearch made 
in confequence of the teiiimony abovemen- 
tioned. Here we have the code of the Socie- 
ty, their private correfpondence, and their 
own rernarks upon the nature and defign of 
the inftitution ; thefe are admitted to be 
genuine ; and on thefe, as their proper ba- 
ils, Robifon and Barruel raife their fuper- 
flruclure. Have we not here a clue, which 
will lead us out of this labyrinth of difcordant 
opinions r Let us examine carefully, the 
ground on which we (land. 

It is agreed, that a Society of Illuminees ex- 
ifted in Germany, inftituted by Weiiliaupt, 
abvout the year 1776. It is agreed, that the 
papers found in the poiTeilion of Counfellor 
Zwack, in 1786, and thofe found in the Caftle 
of Sanderdorf, in 1787, on fearch made by or- 
der of his Highnefs the Eledor of Bavaria, are 
authentic documents, drawn up by the Illu- 
minees, expreiling the plan and object of the 
order. It is agreed, that the object of this in- 
flitution is the overthrow of all religion, and 
all government. No ; — this, though ftrange- 
ly afferted by Meilrs. Robifon and Barruel, 
Mr. Ebeling denies. To determine on which 
fide the truth lies, we mull appeal to the pa- 

2 6 Proofs of the Esijjence 

pers wlilch are admitted to be authentk, and 
from them }udg;e for ourfelves what were the 
real view? of the Illuminees. By attacking 
every other witnefs in the caufe, Mr. Ebeling, 
by his filence, concerning the papers, has im- " 
plicitly acknowledged their truth and validity. 

The reader is here reminded, that the quef- 
tion to be determined is not, whether Iliu- 
minifm had an exiftence ; this is admitted: 
Nor whether it exifted as an organized body, 
poiFeffing its code of laws, and defmite mode 
of operation ; for Mr. Ebeling himfelf inforni$ 
us, that the Illuminees were inflituted, or 
formed into a body, about 1776. Nor is it a 
queilion whether this order of men had any 
thing in view beyond their own amufement, 
for the fame advocate of their caufe obferves. 
" that their delign undoubtedly v/as, to pre- 
vent political and religious oppreiTion." But 
the important quefdon to be determined is, 
v/hether this com.bination of men had not a 
liigher objecl ? whether their ultimate aim 
^vas not the fubveriion of every focial, moral, 
and religious obligation ? Taking this for our 
object, it will be needlefs to introduce into 
this work tha.t part of the evidence above re- 
jPerred to, which relates particularly to the fub- 
Tcrfion of the Romifb hierarchy and defpot- 

and Effects cf lllumimfnu 2 7 

ii\'ii, or political and religious oppreffion ; for 
all acknowledge that thefe were aimed at by 
the confplracy. Our prefent concern is, with 
that part only of thefe writings which relates 
to the principal queftion, and is calculated to 
prove, that the Iliuminees were oppofed to the 
fundamental principles of all religion, and fe- 
cial order. 

The i^bbe Barruel's Memoirs comprehend 
1 larger period of time than Dr. Robifon's 
work ; his arrangements are more fyllemat- 
i'cal, and he traces the evil to its fource ; his 
method, without, however, being confined to 
it, will be principally follov/ed. 

The Abbe. Barruel's plan Includes, 

Fin!:. The AntUchriJiian Confplracy^ or that 
Qi the Sophifters of impiety againft Chriftiani- 
ty, under every form and denomination. 

Secondly.. The Ami'Mmarchical Confplracy, 
This part will be omitted in the following 
w^ork, as unconneded w^ith the queflion in 
view, and becaufe it is- involved in the 

Third, or Anti'Soclal Confplracy^ in which 
the fophifters of impiety, coalefce with the 
fophifters of Anarchy againft every religion,; 

s8 Froofs of the Ex'ijlenee 

aMid every government, under the denomin- 
ation of llluminees ; and, thefe again unite 
themfelves with the occult Lodges of Free Ma- 
fons, and thus form the club of the Jacobins 
at Paris, v/ho are the real directors of the 
French Revolution, This third part embraces 
the fubjed of the Confpiracy of which Dr. 
Robifon treats ; and is more particularly in* 
terefling in our prefent inquiry. 

The evidence adduced in proof of the Anti'^ 
Chr'iftian Cojzfpiracy^ are the writings of th^ 
Confpirators themfelves ; efpecially the Edi^ 
tion of Voltaire's Works, by Beaumarchis, 
Thefe Works, it appears, were publifhcd 
when the fentiments they contain, were no 
longer confidered as infamous in France.* 

* The prooFs of the Anti-Social Confpiracy will be 
noticed in connexion with that part of the fubjed to which 
they relate. The reader will not expeft to find, in this 
work, the particular references of the larger work, tran- 
fcrihed ; except v/here fome authority, not before mention- 
ed, is introduced. This would be needlefs, as the few, who 
wouldwifh to recur to the original authorities^may find eve- 
ry neceffary reference in the tranflation of Barruel's Me- 
moirs, printed at Hartford, by Htidfon and Goodwin, 1799 j 
and in the fourth Edition of Robifon's Proofs, &c. printed 
at New- York, by George Forman, in 1799 ; which are the 
Editions made ufe pf in formuig this ahilra(^. 

and Effects of llliminlfnu 29 

The Author of thefe Memoirs declares It to 
be the important and friendly defign of his 
undertaking, to warn governments and man- 
kind of their danger, by proving to them, 
that the French Revolution, in all the circum- 
ilances of horror which attended it, was the 
natural refult of the principles from which it 
proceeded ; and Xh^it fnmlar principles will pro- 
duce fimilar effects. Left any^ confiding in their 
leagues of amity with France, and her pro- 
fefiions of friendiliip, fhould imagine the 
warning ncedlefs with refpecl to themfelves, 
he again founds the alarm. Let America. 
hear !. 

" When the phantom of peace iliallfeem to^ 
terminate the prefent war, between the Jaco- 
bins and the combined powers, it certainly will 
be the intereft of all governments to afcertain 
how far fuch a peace can be relied on. At 
that period, more than any other, will it be ne- 
ceffary to ftudy the fecret hiftory of that feci 5 
at that period v/e mufi: remember, that it is 
not in the field of Mars that the w^ar a2:ain{l 
feels is the- moil dangerous ; that is a w^ar of 
plots and confpiracies, and againll them public 
treaties can- never avail."* 

"^^ ^i-I'r. ' .-e, Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. I, 

30 F roofs of the Exijlence 


The Actors^ Exlflence^ OhjcB^ and Secret of the 

Phenomena of the moft aftonifhing 

nature have, within a few years paft, arretted 
the attention of mankind. Manners, and the 
fiate of fociety, have undergone a revolution 
which lias appeared to extinguiili, in many, 
everv natural affedion, and to transform the 
mofc civilized and poliilied, into the moil fe- 
rocious of men. The beil eftabliihed principles 
of natural and revealed religion, and the very 
foundations of moral and focial duty, obliga- 
tions never before controverted, have been 
attacked by an hoft of enemies. A Hood of 
infidelity has deluged the greater part of the 
Chriftianized world, threatening to fweep a- 
way every veflige of Chriftianity. And may 
it not be faid, almoft without a metaphor, 
that by an horrid Anti-Chridian regeneration, 
a nation of Atheifls have been born in a day ? 

and EffeBs of llluminifm* 31 

Thefe are plain fa6ls ; and they demand the 
mod ferious attention of mankind. It is not 
by framing fanciful theories, but by carefully 
tracing effects to their caufes, that we acquire 
ufeful knowledge and experience. Some ad- 
equate caufe, there muft have been, of this 
mighty mifchief. Whence fhall we date its 
origin ? To what ftiali we afcribe its rife and 
progrefs ? In anfwer to thefe queries we pre- 
fume to fay, that however acceffary other 
caufes may have been, the principal caufe is to 
be found in the following hiflorical abftrad. 

About the middle of the laft century there 
appeared three men, leagued in the moil in- 
veterate hatred againft Chriftianity, Volt aire 
the Chief, D'Alembert, diflinguifhed for 
his fubtilty, and Frederic II. King of PruiHa ; 
to which number was afterwards added Di- 
derot, whom, probably on account of his 
frantic impiety, the hillorian chara^lerifeSj 
the forlorn hope. 

The neceffary brevity of this work will not 
permit us to defcend to a particular view of 
their feveral characters, yet the firfl of thefe 
confpirators is fo diftinguiflied in this work, 
and in the literary world, as to juilify a more 
particular attention. 

^1 T roofs of the Exyhnce- 

Voltaire, the fon of an ancient notaiy of 
tlie Chatelet, was born at Paris, February 20^ 
1694. His original name was Mary Francis 
Arouet, which, through vanity, he changed 
to Voltaire, as more fonorous, and more con- 
formable, to the reputation at which he aimed. 
He was eminently diftinguiflied for his abili- 
ties, and for his thirft of dominion over the 
literary world. His talents, however, were 
more brilUant than folid, lefs fitted for deep 
inveftigation, but eminently calculated to a- 
mufe and captivate. He pofLeiTed all thofe 
paffions which render abilities dangerous; and, 
unhappily, his appeared to^be all early devoted 
to the overthrow of religion.- While a Itu^ 
dent,. he received the following prophetic re- 
buke from his FtofeiTor : " Unfortunate young , 
man, you will one day come to be the llandr- 
ard bearer of infidelity."* 

After leaving the College he aiTociated witlii 
men of abandoned morals ; and having given ■ 
offence to the French government by fome fa- 
tirical effays, he fought an afylum in England,. 
There he firft conceived the defign of overv 
throwing religion, by blending Philofophy with 
Impiety, Condoixetj his adept, his confident^,, 

* Life of Voltaire, Edit, of Kell. 

and EfcSls of llluminifnu 33 

his hlflorian, and panegyrift, afferts in pofitlve 

terms, " There it was that Vcltaire /wore to ded^ 
icate his life to the accomplftoment of that projed ; 
and he has kept his word*"^ 

On his return to Paris, about the year i j^)^, 
he became fo open in his defigns, and fo fan- 
guine in his hopes, that Mr. Herault, the lieu- 
tenant of Police, remarked to him, " T^ou may 

do or write what you pleafe^ you will never be able 
to dejlroy the Chriflian religion,'' Voltaire, with- 
out hefitation, anfwered, " That is what we 

While he yet flattered himfelf with the 
hopes of enjoying, alone, the whole glory of 
deftroying the Chriftian religion, (though he 
foon found that affociates would be necelTary) 
^^ I am weary/' he would fay, ^' of hearing people 
repeat, that twelve men have beefi firfficient to 
eftablifh Chriftianity , and I will prove that or^ 
may fnffice to overthrow it^'\ 

Frederic alfo, dignified among the fophif- 
ters, with the title of " the Solomon of the 
North," and by the hiftorian with the epithet 
of " The Great," claim.s, even in this brief 

-^ Life of Voltaire, Edit, of KelL t Ibid, % Ibid. 

34 Proofs of the Exiflence 

fketcb, a more particular notice. To expreis 
his contrary, and almoft irreconcileable quali- 
ties, we find him painted a double man, exhib- 
iting two diftincl and oppoiite characters. In 
QViQ, view of him, we fee the hero, and the 
father of his people, giving life to agriculture 
and commerce ; in another, the fophifter, the 
philofophical pedant, the confpirator againfi 
Chriftianity. The contradictions in his char- 
after are tranfcribed in his letters ; at one 
time, extolling, in glowing terms, the morality 
of the gofpel ; and at another, aflerting, that 
Chriftianity fields none but pofonous weed's^^ 


There can be no doubt, however, that" 
Frederic united cordially, as he did early, with, 
the enemies of religion. Even at that carlv 
age, when he was only Prince- Royal, in his cor- 
reipondence with Voltaire, he had adopted the- 
itylc of the modern Philoiopher ; for he thus 
writes, '^ To fpeak with my ufual freedom, I 
muft naturally ov/n, that whatever regards the 
God made man^ difpleafes me in the mouth of a 
Philofopher, who fhould be above popular er- 
ror. We may fpeak of fables, but merely as 
fables ; and a profound filence, in my opinion,, 
iliould be kept, concerning thofe fables of the: 

and Effects of lUiimin[fi)u 35 

Chriitians, fanclified by time and the credulity 
rf ilic abfurd and R.upid,"* 

But what did this boafted wifdom avail I 
While foaring, in imagination, far above 
.their fellow mortals, we fee them in the fame 
£tuation in which every pcrfon will find him- 
felf, who relinquiflies the guiding light of 
Revelation, wandering in the wild ernefs with- 
out a path, and without a compafs. " Is there 
.a God fuch as he is faid to be ? A foul fuch as 
is imagined ? Is there any thing to be hoped 
for after this life ?" Thefe queftions, the com^ 
fort able fruits of infidelity, were propofed by 
yoltaire to D'Alembert ; to which he anfwers, 
with the fame admirable philofophic wifdom, 
that " Bo^ in miCtaphyfics, appeared to him 
not much v/ifer than yt'j ; and that non liquet (it 
is not clear) vvas generally the only rational 

* As Frederic Is another of Mr. Ebeling's Chriftians, 
who, he Ir.timates, died in the hope of a better life, I beg 
leave to introduce a Ihort ^fketch of his character,' dra\Yn 
by a fkilful, and apparently, impartial pen. " Moft unjnft- 
ly (fays the writer) is he ftyled great ; a philofophical 
.monarch, the nio-fl: defpotic, perhaps, who ever exifted, but 
who has contributed more to the difTolution of fociety, by 
cvrrupting the principles and morals of all within the 
fphere of his innuence, than any individual of his time. 
See Appendix to Vol. 6, of Anti-Jacobin Review, p. 565, 

36 Proofs of the Ex'ijience 

anfwer."* Who would not give up the Bible 
for the honor and comfort of being fo nobly 
and philofophically bewildered ? 

Senlible that the individual infidelity of 
thefe perfons did not conilitute a confpiracy 
againft Chriftianity, without a union and cor- 
refpondence in the attack, the hiftorian has 
furniflied us with the proofs of fuch a confed- 
eracy, in which their efforts, and thofe of their 
adepts, appear combined and fteadily pointed 
to the accompiifliment of their grand object. 
To this objecl they direcled and ftimulated 
each other by a watchword, ftrikingly expreif- 
ive of their rancorous enmity to the Saviour, 
ecrafez /' infame ! cnijh the wretch. But could 
this mean Chrift, and that adorable religion 
preached by him and his apoftles ? What other 
interpretation can we annex to the phrafe in 
the mouth of a man, who, in his intrigues 
ao-ainil " the wretch," exclaims, " Could not 
five or fix men of parts, and who rightly un- 
derftood each other, fucceed, after the exam- 
ples of twelve fcoundrels^ w^ho have already fuc- 
ceeded?" And who thus writes to D' Alembert, 
" Both you and Demilaville muft be well 
pleafed, to fee the contempt into which «' the 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. I. Chap. i. 

and Jijfccls of lihimhufm* 37 

wretch'* is iallen among the better fort of 
people tlirougliout Europe. They were all 
we wiflied for, or that were neceflary. We 
Fxever pretended to enlighten the liouiC maids, 
and fhoe makers ; v/c leave them to the apof- 
ties.''* The apoftles furely were neither Jefu- 
its nor Janfcniils ; tlieir only crime, in Vol- 
taire's view, doubtlefs was, attachment to their 
mafter and his caufe. 

In the true flyle of confpirators, they had 
alfo their enigmatical language, and fecret ap- 
propriate names. The general term for the 
confpirators was Cacouac ; they fay one is a 
good Cacouac, when he can be perfectly de- 
pended on. In their correfpondence, Frederic 
is called Duluc ; Voltaire, Raton ; D'Alem- 
bert, Protagoras and Bertrand ; Diderot, Pla- 
to or Tamplot. Secrecy appears to have been 
. coniidered by them as effential to their fuccefs. 
Their Chief v/ould therefore often remind 
them that in the war they waged, '' they were 
to acl as confpirators, and not as zealots. 
Strike,^' he would fay, ^' hurl the Javelin, but 
hide your hand." 


■■■ Bamiel's Meraoirs,. Vol. I. Cljat:. -i^ 


8 Proofs of the Exlftence 

Voltaire had long before vented his rage 
againft Chriftianity, and been the oflicious de- 
fender of every impious publication \ but, a- 
bout 1752, when he returned from Berlin, 
the confpiracy aiTumed a regular form, and he, 
by his age, reputation, and genius, naturally 
became the chief. *^ 

* Bamiers Memoirs, Vol, I. Chap. 5. 

and EffeSis cf llluminifm. 39 

CHAP. il. 

The Means ef the Coii/piraior:. 

Established in the general procefs 
of undermining the Chriftian Edifice, and thus 
obliging it to fall of itfelf, as one powerful 
mean of efFetting this end 5 an Encyclopedia 
was projected by D'Alembert, and announced 
to the world, as a cciTiplete treafure of all hu- 
man arts and fciences. but v/hiclu in reality, 
was defigned to be the emporium of all the 
fophiQns and ca-lummies which had ever been 
invented againfl religion. This poifon, liovv- 
ever, was to be conveyed in the moft fecret 
and unfufpicious manner, and it was declared, 
that all the religious articles fhould be compil- 
ed by learned and orthodox divines. Particular 
care was taken in the com.pilation of the firil 
volume, not to alarm the friends of religion ; 
referving a clearer expreflion of their fenti^ 
ir.ents for iucceeding volumes-. 

40 Proofs of the Ex'iflence 

Among tlic many artful means adopted to 
communicate the fecret infection, one was, to 
infinuate error and infidelity, not where it 
would have been expelled, but into thofe arti- 
cles deemed the leaft fufceptible of them ; fiich 
as Hiilory, Natural Pliilofophy, and Chym- 

Another was that o^ references, by which, 
after being prefented with fom.e religious 
truths, the reader is invited to feek further 
information in articles of a different cafl:. 
Sometimes the reference would direcl; to an 
epigram, or farcafm. After having treated a 
religious fubiecl with all poiTible refpec^. It 
would be fimply added. See the article Frcju- 
dke^ or SiiperjTition^ or Fanaticifm.'\ 

The folio win rr may fcrve as a fpcclmen of 
the artful ufe of references, in this w^ork, for 

* Mr. Paley, in his SyPcem of Moral Phllofophv, has 
noticed, and very juftly defcribed, the ftibtle arts of modern 
Impiety. " Infidelity is now fervcd up in every Ihape th:^t 
is hkely to allure, furprife or beguile the imagination ; in 
•a fable, a tale, a novA, a poemj in interfpcrfed and broken 
tiiuts 5 remote and oblique furm^fes ; in books of travels, 
of philofophy, of natural hiftory ; in a word, in any form 
rather than that of a profefled and regular difquifilion.'* 
Palcy, BoRon Edit. 1795, p- 302. 

i Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. L Chap. x. 

and Effed's of Illu?nlnif?iu 41 

undermining religious truth. Under the ar- 
ticle God, you find found fcntiments, togeth- 
er with a direct and complete proof of his ex- 
iftence. From this the reader is referred to 
the article Demonftratioiu There ail direct 
demonflrations of the exiftence of God difap- 
pear ; and we are told, that a fmgle infed 
more forcibly proves the being of a God, than 
any other arguments whatever. But the rea-d- 
er is ftill referred to the article Corrupiloii. 
There it h aiferted, that daily experiments 
feem to prove, that " corruption may pro-- 
duce animated bodies." The reader is thus 
left to infer, if he plcafes, that the ftrongeil 
proof of the exiftence of a God is contradid- 
ed by daily experimentSa- 

Notwithftanding all this art and conceal- 
ment, the work met with great oppofition, 
and was for a time fufpended. At lengthj 
however, it v/as completed, and all the adepts 
were loud in its praifes. The learned were 
duped* The work fold. Various editions were 
publifhed, and under the pretence of correct- 
ing, each fucceeding edition was m.ore highly 
charged v/ith infidelity.* 

* BarrueVs Memoirs; Vol, L Chap, 4. Note. 

4 - F roofs of the Exijicfice 

I'he Encyclopedia having prepared the way, 
was lucceeded by an attempt to overturn the 
religious orders. This ended in the fuppref^ 
iion of many of them, and in the expuihon of 
tlie Jefuits, in 1764. The artful movements^, 
by which tliis was effeded, are not fufficient- 
ly intcrelling. to claim a particular detail. 
Some, who appear to have been friendly to 
the Romiili eftablifliment, but not fuiScicntly 
confidering the connection between a church 
and its clergy, were drawn by thefe fophifters 
to countenance, and even promote the fuppref- 
lion of the religious orders ; and we fee thefe. 
confpirators riiiculing, in fecret, the fmiplicity 
of their dupes«* 

Mankind were extremely deceived by the 
infmcere profeilxons of the confpirators. Noth- 
ing, perhaps, contributed more to their fuccefs 
than their pretenfions to tolcraiiony reafon^ and 
humanity. But nctwithdanding thefe high 
founding words, their fecret correfpondence 
betrays the fame fpirit which has fmce been 
exhibited in the revolution. Was it humanity 
which dictated to Voltaire his wifii, " to fee 
every Jefuit at the bottom of the ocean, with 
a Janfenift at his neck r" He was much en- 
gaged to deprive the ecclefiailical princes of 

* Bar rucl's Memoirs, Vol. I. Chap. 5, 6, 

ciid Effefis of Ilhiininlfjn, ,45^ 

their poffefTions, and the clergy of their meanis 
of fupport ) and exerted his influence, with 
Frederic, and the Duke of Praflin in particu- 
lar, for this end. Writing to Count Argenta.1 
upon this fubjed, he lays, " Had I but an hun- 
dred thoufand men, I well know what I would 
do with them.'' Would he then preach toler- 
ation and humanity ? We may judge from his 
own expreffions what his views were. " It is 
noble, he writes to Frederic, to feoff at thefe 
■ Harlequin Bull-givers. I hke to cover them 
with ridicule^ but Ibad rather plunder them,''^ 

Proteflants will perhaps confider the fuppref- 
Son of thefe orders as having no connection 
with the intercfts of religion ; but they were 
the great props of this cauie as it exifled 
in France ; v/ere aclive in withflanding the 
progrefs of infidelity, and their overthrow was 
undoubtedly, as it was viewed by thefe con- 
fpirators, of great importance to the comple- 
tion of their ultimate defign j the eflabliTnment 
of univerfal infidelity. 

Wearied wiih the oppofition he met with in 
France, and the eonflant conflraint to which he 
was fubjected,. Voltaire projeded the cflablifK- 

* BarrucVs Memoirs; Vol. I. Chap. io> 

44 Proofs of the Exiftence 

ment of a colony of Philofophers, at Cleves, 
under the jurifdiclion of Frederic, who might 
there, as he exprelTes his views, ''freely and bold- 
ly fpeak the truth, without fearing minifters, 
priefts, or parliaments.'" But this, though a 
favorite objecl with the projector, proved 
abortive. The confpirators were too much 
captivated with the pieafures of Paris, and the 
applaufe they found in the circles of their ad- 
mirers, to be fond of fuch a retirement ; and 
leaft of all, was it eligible, in company with 
Voltaire, whofe more fplendid genius would 
eclipfe his fatellitcs."* 

But a more important attempt, met witii' 
different fucccefs. The higheft literary hon- 
or in France was a feat in the French Acad- 
emy, This inftitution, defigned to be both 
a ilimulus, and reward to literary merit, had 
enjoyed the fpecial favor and prote^flion of the 
kings of France ; and none but men of emi- 
nence in fome branch of literature, and who 
were viev/cd as friendly to morals and relig- 
ion, had been admitted as members. The 
tirtful D'Alcmbert concealed his infidelity un- 
til he had gained his feat. Voltaire was for 
a long time unable to gain admilTion, and- 

* Barrucrs Memoir?; Vol.1. Chap. 7, 

and EflBs of lllumlmpu 45 

at length Only fucceeded by means of high 
protection, and that low hypocriiy which 
he recommended to his dilcipies. 

The confpirators juftly eflimated the ad- 
vantao-cs which would refult to their erand 
objcd, by removing the difqualifying bar of 
inhdelity, and annexing to philofophifm the 
rcfpeclabiUty and influence of fuch an inftitu^ 
tion. Upon Voltaire and D'Alembert lay the 
ta&, of convening thefe dignified feats of 
fcience into the haunts of Atheifm. We may 
judge of their fuccefs, from the following an- 
ecdote. Mr. Beauzet, a memberof the acad- 
emy, refpeclable for his piety, when afked 
«ow he could ever have been alTociated with 
fuch notorious unbelievers ? " The very fame 
queftion,'' faid he, " I put to D'Alembert. At 
one of the fittings, feeing that Ivjas nearlj the 
only perfon zi'bo beUeved in God, I aiked him, hovv^ 
he poilibly could ever have thought of me for 
a member, when he knew that my fentim.ents 
and opinions differed fo widely from thofe of 
his brethren ? D'Alembert, without hefitatiox!, 
anfwered, " We were in want of a fsiiful 
grammarian, and among our party, not one 
had made himfelf a reputation in that line." 
It is almoO: needlefs to remark, that the re- 
wards of library merit were henceforthtranf- 

46 Proofs of the Exijicnce 

ferred to the advocates of impiety, while re- 
proach and infamy were profufely call upon 
thofe who efpoufed the caufe of truth.* 

Their fucccfs in fccuring the Academy to 
themfelves, prepared the way for that variety 
of Anti-Chriftian writings, which of late have 
been {o widely diffeminated, and which have 
been pointed againft religion. Aftonifhing 
efforts were made to weaken the evidences of 
the Chriftian hiftory. The furface of the 
earth underwent a new furvey, and its bowels 
v/ere explored, not to promote the interefls of 
literature, which was the ofleniible objed, nor 
to obtain the pious pleafure which the good 
man feels in contemplating the v/orks of the 
Creator ^ butj. 

" Some drill and bore 

The folid earth, and from the ftrata there 
Extract a reglfter, by which we learn 
That he who made it and reveal'd ius date 
To Mofes, was miftaken in its age." 

Yet then, as now, they who were alarmed by 
thefe Anti-Chriflian theories, and gave warn- 
ing of the danger, were held up to the public 
as weakly timid, ''• For what," it was impji- 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. L Chap. 8, 

and Effeds of lllumhwnu 47 

dently afked, " have philofophical treatlfes to 
do with religion r" 

But while Voltaire faw the expediency, of 
what he calls, '•^ fojne ferkus luork^'' fome pub- 
lication which fhould have the femblance of 
reafon and philofophy, the weapon on whicli 
he principally depended, was ridicule. Deifls 
have long found this their beft mode of at- 
tack ; but the genius of Voltaire was pecu- 
liarly fruitful in anecdotes, jeds, and farcafms. 
" I only afk," he writes to D*Alembert, " five 
or fix witticifms a day, that would fuilice. 
It (meaning " the wretch") would not get 
the better of them. Laugh Democritus, make 
me laugh, and the fages Ihall carry the day." 

But not content with engroffing literary hon- 
ors, the confpirators condefcended, at length, 
to enlighten thofe whom they had contemptu- 
oufly called the houfe maids and flioe makers. 
Writings, in every form and fhape, <:alculated 
to excite licentious delires, to deprave the 
moral tafte, to communicate the infedion of 
infidelity, and exhibit religion in a ridiculous 
view, were crov/ded upon the public. 

Upon the commencement of the revolution, 
it appeared, by the confeffion of Le Roy, who 

4:3 Proofs of the Exijlence 

had been their fecretary, tliat a fociety, wlucli 
had exifted for a confiderable time, holding 
their meetings at the Hotel de Holbach, at 
Paris, under the name of Economifts, was 
com^ofed of thefe confpirators and their prin- 
cipal adepts ; and who, while profeffedly en« 
gaged in promoting economy, agriculture, and 
the ufeful arts, were more adively promoting 
the caufe of infidelity. A multitude of writ- 
ers were employed to prepare fuitable publica- 
tions. Thefe, previous to their going to the 
prefs, were fabjecled to the infpcclion of the 
fociety, whofe care it was to charge them witli 
a due proportion of the poifonous leaven 
they were defigned to diffeminate. To add 
refpeclabiiity to thefe writings, and conceal 
the author, the fociety appointed under what 
title they fliould be publiflied. For inftance, 
^' Cbrijlianity Unveiled,'' was attributed to Bou- 
langer, after his death, but was the work of 

Eleo-ant editions of thefe works were firft 
printed to defray the expenfe, and then an im- 
menfe number on the pooreft paper. Thefe 
latter, were diflributed in bales, free of coft, or 
at a very low price, to hawkers and pedlars, 
who would difperfc them through tlie coun- 
try, and left any fliould efcapc the infcftion^ 

nnd Efffch of lilumhufni, 49 

clubs were formed^ and pcrfons lured to read 
tlicm to fucli as were ur.a blc to read. 

Mr. Berlin, one of the French minlflry, de- 
clares, that in his excurfions into the country, 
he found the pecilars loaded with the writings 
of Voltaire, Diderot, and other philofophifts ; 
and that, qucftioning them how the country 
people could find money for fuch dear works, 
their conRant anfwer was, " We have them 
at a much cheaper rate than Frajcr Books ; we 
may fell them at ten fols (5.^/.) a volume, and 
have a pretty profit into the bargain 5 and 
m.any of themx owned that thefe books coft 
them nothing." 

But the queflion in which we are principal- 
ly interefted is, whether it was the defign of 
thefe numerous publications to affecf any thing 
more than that deformed excrefcenceof Chrift- 
ianity, popery ? If it hasnot been made evi- 
dent that thefe writings were aimed, not at 
the abufes of Chriftianity, but at Chriilianity 
ilfclf, a view of the leading fen timents in thefe 
publications, mud remove every doubt. 

Freret tells us exprefsly, that, " The God of 
the Jews, and of the Chriftians, is but a plian- 
^.)•.n and chimera y^ and that, ^' all ideas of 


50 T roofs of the Ex'y'lcnce 

juftice and injuftice, of virtue and vice, are ar- 
bitrary, and dependent on cufconi.'* 

The author of " Good ^eife^^ a work which 
D'Alembcrt wiilied to fee abridged, that it 
might be fold for f,vc pence to the poor and ig- 
norant, teaches, '' That the wonders of nature, 
fo far from befpeaking a God, are but the ne- 
.ceiiary efFc(3:s of matter, prodigiouily diverii- 
lied, and that the foul is a chimera." 

The author of the " Doubts'^ tells mankind., 
" That they cannot know whether a God 
really exifts, or whether there cxifts the fmall» 
eil difference between virtue and vice." 

Helvetius inform.s the fair fex, " That mod=- 
edy is only an invention of refined voluptu- 
oufne(^>/' He teaches children, " That ihe 
commandm.ent of loving their parents, is more 
the v/ork of education than nature ;" and 
the married couple, " That the law which 
condemns to live togjether, becomes barbarous 
a'nd cruel on the day they ceaie to love each 

Tlie author of " Chviftianlt^ Un-vcilcd^' has 
this remark, " The Bible fays, the fear of the 
Lord is the beo-inninfT; of wifdom. I think it 
either the beginning of folly." 

and EfftSIs of lUumlmfm. gt 

But I fliall only add to this detail, joLvi Mcf 
lier^s Jnjl ivlll^ in which h« is rcprefentcd " on 
his death bed, imploring forgivenefs of his 
God for having taught Chriilianity ;" a work, 
of which Vokaire urges D'Alembert to print 
and diflribnte four or ^^^q thoufand copies ^ 
complaining " that there were not fo many in 
all Paris, as he himfelf had diflributcd through- 
out the mountains of Switzerland."* 

The confpirators appear to have been avv^j-e 
of the importance of youth, and the advan- 
tage to be derived to their caufe, by an early 
imprefiion on tlie young mind. D*Alembert, 
lefs qualified to promote the views of the con- 
fpirators by his pen, attended more particular- 
ly to providing inftruclcrSo Care v/as taken 
that he fhould receive early notice of vacant 
profefforiliips in colleges, and of vacant ichools, 
that they might be filled agreeably to their 
v.'iilies. It v/iil be readily conceived that pu- 
pils of rank, wealth, and talents, would engage 
fpecb.1 attention^ D'Alembert was the open 
protector of all iuch, who villted Paris. The 
exteniive correfpcndencc of Voltaire, and the 
eclat of his genius, gave him a vail opportu- 
nity of infecling youth, even in foreign courtSc 

* Earruel's Memoirs^ Vol. L Ch>ip. r, 17: --nd -Note, 

^2 Proofs of itc Exijience 

At that time the court of Parma was feek- 
ing men worthy to preiide over the education 

(vf the vouniT: infant. The account which Vol- 

■^re gave of tlie refult of that buiinef^j will 

undantly explain the views of the confplra- 

lors in this point. Writing to D'Alembert, 

!ie fays, '^ It appears to me that the Parmicfaii 

iild will be well furrounded. He will have 

.1 Condilhac and a de Leire. If \vith all that h^ 

■' ii b'got^ grace mujl be poiverfid indcecL'^^ 

Among the innumerable attempts of thefc 
ever plotting philofophifts, the following curi- 
ous inilance of zeal is related of Diderot and 
D'Alembert. They frequently met in the 
coffee Iioufes at Paris, to difcufs religious quef- 
tions, before the idle Pariiians. In thefe dif. 
putes Diderot v/ould appear in his proper 
clnracler of an infidel, D'Alembert afluming 
that of an advocate for religion ; and appa- 
rently efpouung its caufe with great warmth, 
until driven by the victorious iniidel from ev- 
ery ground of defence, he would retreat, to 
appearance chagrined, and regretting that his 
religion ailbrdccl no better arguments for its 
defence. The impreinon vvhich fucli a fcene 
mufc leave upon the minds of thofe prcfcnt, 

* Barrutri Memoirs Vo]. I. Chap, lu 

arid Effe&s of lllumlmfm. ^'% 

\vlio were ignonmt of the deception, need not 
be told.* 

Their defire to ^^ crujlj the vjretch^' fuggeft- 
ed alfo to thefe confpirators the idea of- re- 
building the temple at Jerufalem, with a view 
of defeating the predictions of Chrift, 2nd the 
prophet Daniel, This had been long iince at- 
tempted by Julian the apoftate, with the fame 
defign, when flames and balls of fire burfting 
from the foundations, and repeatedly deftroy- 
ing the workmen, com.pelled him to defiil 
from his purpofe.f This rendered D'Alem* 
bert and Voltaire more defirous of depriving 
Scripture prophecy of fuch a glorious attefta- 
tion to its truth.- With this view, application 
was made both to Frederic and the Em:prefs 
of Ruilia, to engage them to ufe their influ- 

E 2 

*' Barruel's Memoirs, VoL I. Chap. ii. 

t This miracle is recorded by many witneiTes, and 
more particularly by Ammianus Ivlarcellinus, a pagaa 
author, and friend ot Julian. The truth of this miracle is 
denied, indeed, by Bafnage ; but its authenticity appears 
'10 be fully eftablifhed in a learned diiTertation upon ti:2 
fubjefl, by Dr. Warbarton, in which the objections of- 
5:vifnag-e are^ particularly examined, and refuted. 

54 F roofs of the Exiflence 

€nce with tlie Turkiili powers, to wliofe jii- 
rifdiclion Jeruf.ilem pertained, to promote 
the defign ; but the fear of lofmg many 
wealthy Jews, whom they found profitable 
fubjecls, andwlio, in that cafe, w^oiild hava 
repaired to their new temple, prevented the 

To reconcile many things, of a very difFereni: 
nfpecl in the conduct and writings of thefe 
men, wiilx the purpofcs here attributed to- 
ihem, it is necelTary the reader fliould be in» 
formed, that all thefe deiigns were induftri- 
ouPiy concealed under a covert of hypocrify. 
Voltaire had completely convinced them of 
the utility of his favorite maxim, " ilrike, 
but hide year hand," Their real views were 
obvious, indeed, to the m.ore difcerning, but 
many were duped by what D'Alembert calls, 
" bis vo-Tvs to religion^-' and Voltaire boafts much 
of the {liccefs of his mafter ilroke of policy, 
"' in erecting a church, and conftantly receiv- 
ing commiUnion/'t 

? Barmel's Memoirs, Vol, L Chap. ii. f Ibid 

and Effe5is of lllumhilfi]u jr- 

C H A P, III. 

Progrefs of the Ccnf piracy ; the Triumph^ and Death 
of the Chiefs, 

Powerful muft have been the 
operation of fuch abilities, fubtlety, and zeal. 
With Frederic of Pruffia, Voltaire clalTes, in 
the number of his adepts, Jofeph II, emperor 
of Germany, Catharine II, emprefs of Ruffia-, 
Chriftiern VII, king of Denm.ark, Guflavus 
III, king of Sweden, Ukica, queen of Sv/e» 
den, and Poniatowlki, king of Pohind. 

Among the princes and princeffes, Frederic, 
landgrave of HeiTe CaiTel, the Duke of Brunf- 
wick, Lois Eugene, duke of Wirtemberg, and 
Lois, prince of Wirtemberg, Charles Theo- 
dora, elector palatine, the princefs Anhault 
Zerbfl, and Vv^ilhelmina, margr^vvine of Bari- 
eth, are alfo ranked with the initiated.* 

* That thefe per/bnages were in the habits of a friendly 
correfpondetic©^ with Voltaire, w?rc captivated with his 

'5 5 "Proofs of the Exi/tence 

A great part of the miniilry, the no- 
blefs, and higher clafs of citizens in France, 
and, (excepting the clergy, who for the moft 
part remained firm in the caufe of religion) the 
literati, not of France only, but of Europe 
in general, appear to have been enfnared with 
this fafcinating pHilofophy. Nor was it con- 
fined to men of fcience. Voltaire boafts, 
" That there v/as not a Chriilian to be found 
from Geneva to Bern ; that Germany gave 
him great hopes ; R-uffia ftill greater, and that 
in Spain as well as Italy a great revolution was 
operating in ideas." 

It was thefe profpedsof fuccefs, probably, - 
which led him to utter that moil: biafj^hem.ous 

prediction, " That in twenty years more^ God 
will be in a pretty plight, '^^^^ 

The amazing influence of thefe writings is^ 
to be found, not in their fuperior excellence of 

abliltles, and cliarnied with the pleafmg founds of reafon 
and phllofophy, is undoubted ; but that they wifhed the 
deftrudion of reKgion, feparate froin the abufes of pope- 
ry, does not appear, unlefs from the boaitings of the con- 
li:>irator5. Frederic, ChriRiern of Denmark, the hmd- 
gravc of HefTe, Wilhelmina of Barieth, if no more, are 
however to be excepted from this remark. Barruel's 
Memoirs, VoL I. Chap. 12 and 13. 

f Barru^l's Mgnaoirs, Vol. I. Chap. 1 b\ 

and Ejftds of llluminifnu ^^ 

any kiiKl, but in the magic founds of reafon 
and philofopliy. The hiftorian jullly re- 
marks, that had Voltau'e and D'Alem.bert 
called themfelves enem.ies of Chriftiaiuty, they 
would have been the execration of P^urope. 
}3ut while only calling themfelves pliilofo- 
pheri, they are miftaken iox fuch. Voltaire, 
by his fuperior abilities, had gained fuch af- 
ecndency in the literary world, that whatever 
lie was pleafed to call philofophy, became cur- 
rent with all whofe abjecl: minds depended on 
the opinions of others ; and Voltaire w^as very 
liberal in applying the term to whatever was 
impious. lie boafts of many philofophers in 
Paris behind the counter J^ What ! iliali every 

* If VoltaIre*s judgment was not entirely psrveited by 
his enmity to religion, whenever he reflcCled upon his curi- 
ous herd of philofophers, he muft have been di^'erted 
with the ridiculous idea. A man may, indeed, be igno- 
rant of philofophy, and the liberal art?, and yet be 
higlily refpe6tai;L^, while his profefTional employment 
does not render an acquaintance with thefe fubjects ne- 
ccffiry. But for fach a man to claim tlie title of phi- 
lofopher, and to claim it fmiply upon the foundation of 
his ridiculing that holy religion as abfurd, Vvhich a New- 
ton, a Locke, an Addifon, a Jones, and fome of the 
greateft men of every age have believed and defene'ed \ 
if any thing is a proper object of difguil-, it is fuch a 
wretched compound of pride and ignorance. Of fuch 
*j philofophers it is emphatically true, *' That prcfejp'ig thsm?- 
klvss tc he ivijl-^, they hecome fools P 

5 8 Proofs of tks Exijlence 

wanton coquette ; ihall every hufDaRd or wife 
who feoffs at conjugal fidelity j fhall every fon, 
wlio denies the authority of a. parent ; the 
courtier deilitute of ni orals, and the man who 
is a Have to his paffions 5 iliallthefe be faded 
pliilofophcrs ?* 

As a ufeful comment on the foregoing ex- 
hibition of fuccefsful wickednefs, v/e are now 
called to witnefs the cloiins: fcene of the 
tragic aclors. 

I beg leave here to remark- for my felf, that 
I feel a fenfible concern in republiiliing this 
Icene, not to offend againft that reverence 
whichbecomesan imperfecf creature, in tracing 
the awful footfteps of Jekovah ; nor would I 
willingly become accellary in promoting an 
imdue ufe of providential difpenfations. Ever 
odious to m.e is the practice of fupporting our 
particular opinions and party diftinclions, by 
a bold and unwarranted application of God's 
high and myfterious providence ; and far am 
I from v/ifliing to encourage • this fentiment, 
that men will receive, in this world, according 
to their v/orks ; but, that many events in 
providence may be, and ought to be confld> 
cred, as confirmations of revealed truth, and. 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. I. Chap. 190 

and Effects of llhwilmfnu 5^ 

that God Is fonetimcs to he knozvn by the judg^ 
7?icnts ivhicb he executes^ none, I prefurrie, who 
admit the truth of revelation, will deny. 

The confpiracy exhibited an inftance iin- 
paralleled in the hiflory of man. In Voltaire 
we behold, not amply an unbeliever, a man 
hurried into finfui indulgences by the impulfe 
of violent appetites, but the bold, acftive, de- 
termined enemy of God and religion, deliber- 
ately devoting his uncommon abilities to the 
diihonor of the giver, and the feducfion of 
his fellow creatures from their allegiance to 
their Maker. Did not this mifchief, this com- 
municated pv)ifon feeni to require a povv'erful 
antidote ? And may we not im.agine compaf 
fion as imploring the Father of his creatures, 
to afford fome extraordinary means for de- 
livering the minds of men from the violence 
they had fuitered, by the perverfion of fuch 
uncommon talents ? 

Such is the tendency of the following in- 
terefling fccne. Let the vv'orld draw near and 
receive inftruclion ! Let mankind duly eili- 
mate the boailed pov/ers of human reafon, 
and the fruits of that philofophy, which 
proudly rejeds the oliered comforts of the 
gofpel i 

Co Proofs of the Exytoice 

The French govcrniPient had tcuified then* 
dlfapprobatlon of Voltaire's writings, by pro- 
]]lbidn2: his viritino; Paris. His numerous 
partifans, at length, fucceed in procuring a 
fufpenfion of this fentence ; and their chief, 
now in the eighty fourth year of his age, is 
once more permitted to make his appearance 
at the capital. The academies and theatres 
confer on him their richeft honors ; and the 
adepts, in his triumph, celebrate their own. 
So fennbly did he enjoy this adulation, that he 
exclaimed, " Ton then ivfo to make me expire 
-,vith glory'' But whatever was their defign, 
the will of Providence was very different from 
tliis ; for, in the midft of his trium.phs, he v/as 
feizcd with a violent hem.orrhage,* and his 
confcience was alarmed with the more infup- 
portable terrors of the Almighty. In the firft 
part of his ficknefs, he applied to a Romifli 
prieft, and gave in a declaration of his re- 
pentance ; but the fophifters interfered, and 
prevented its being completed according to 
the ritual of that church. Remorfe and rage 
filled the remainder of his wretched days ; 
now fupplicating, and now blafpheming that 
Saviour whom he had fworn to crujh ; and in 
plaintive accents he would cry out^ '^ Oh 

* A violent flax of blood. 

and Effc6ls of lllumimfm, 61 

Chrlft ! Oh Jcfus Clirift !*' And then com- 
plain that he was abandoned by God and 
man. The hand which had traced the fen- 
tence of an impious, revelHng king, feemed 
to trace before his eyes, '' Crujl:> then^ do crtfjh 
the wretch,'^ 

" Begonc^^' he would exclaim to the con- 
fpirators who approached him, " // is you who 
have brought me to my prefenf Jiate^ and what a 
wretched glory have you procured me I " His phy- 
ficians and attendants were compelled, by the 
horrors of the fcene, to retire. Mr. Tron- 
chin, his principal phyfician, declared, that 
" the furies of Arefies could give but a faint idea of 
thofe of Voltaire.*^ 

Tlius died, on the 30th of May, 1778, three 
months after his firft feizure, worn out by 
his own fury, rather than by difeafe and the 
decay of years, the moft malignant confpir- 
ator againft Chriftianity that had lived fmce 
the time of the apoftles.* 

* The above fa<51s are grounded on juridical minutes, de- 
pofited at Paris, in the hands of Monf. Momet, Notary- 
Public, and on the teftimony of the celebrated Mr. Tron- 
chin. This teftimony is coniirmed by a letter frc^m M. 
De Luc, fent to Abbe Barruel, after the appearance of 
the firft volume of thefe Memoirs, and which may be 
f€cn in the appendix to the third volume. 

62 Proofs of the Exiftence 

After the death of Voltaire, D'Alembcrt 
conducled the affairs of the confpiracy, of 
which he was proclaimed chief. He died 
November 1783, five years after his patron ; 
and from what can be colleded, it appears, 
that he derived no better comforts from his 
boafled philofophy. Condorcet undertook to 
render him inacceffible to all who would wil- 
lingly declare the truth, and in particular, 
violently excluded the Reclor of St. Ger- 
main's, who prefented himfelf in the quality 
of a pailor ; yet when firil relating the circum- 
ilances of his death, he hefitated not to add, 
^^ Had I iiGt been there he would have jlinched 
alfo''* The adept, Grim, writing an account 
of his death to Frederic, fays, " That ficknefs 
had greatly weakened D'Alembert's mind in 
his lafl moments." 

Diderot in his laft ficknefs, upon being 
faithfully admoniflied of his danger by 3 
young man w^ho attended him, melted into 
tears ; applied to a clergyman, Mr. De Ter- 
fac, and was preparing a recantation of his 
errors, when his fituation Vv^as difcovered by 
the fophiilers. "With much difficulty they 
perfuaded him that a country air would 

■^ pjftorical Dictionary, article D'Alembert. 

a7id Effcds of llluminiftn. C^ 

relieve him. The wretches concealed his de- 
parture, and fupported him with thefe delu- 
^WQ. hopes, when they knew his laft hour was 
faft approaching. They watched him till they 
had feen him expire, and then reprefented that 
he died in all his atheifm, without any figns 
of remorfe. 

Frederic alone, fucceeded in perfuading 
hirafelf, that death was an everlailing fxeep.=^ 

* BarruePs Memoirs^ Vol. L Chap, iS. 

... \ 

§4 Froofs of the Exijlence 



By Occult Mafonry Is here to be un- 
derllood thofe Lodges of Free Mafons, which, 
leavmo" their original fimple inllitutions, in- 
troduced fubjecls and practices which had no 
^onnedion with Mafonry, and of which the 
lod^-eswhichremainedpure, had noknowledge. 

* Tlie aiuhorlties on whicli Dr. Robifon chiefly relies, 
to fupport his narrative {befides the original writings) are, 

1 GrolTe Abficht des Illuminaten Ordens. 

2 Nachtrages (3) denfelben. 

3 Weilhaupt's improved fyftem. 

4 Sytem des Ilium. Ordens aus dem Original 
Schriften gezogen. Rob. p. 162. 

Rev. Dr. J. Erfkine, in a letter to a correfpondent In 
New England, dated June 13, J 801, adds his teftlmony 
to the authenticity of the books, and mod alarming fads 
to which Dr. Robifon refers ; and adds, " I am willmg 
you fhould make what ufe of my letter you may think 
proper." [Manufcript Letter.] 

and Effeft's of iHimlnipiu % 

To exhibit a brief view of what may be 
collected of importance ' refpeding thefe adul- 
terated Lodges, from Robifon's Proofs and 
BarruePs Memoirs, is the defign of this chap- 
ter. Such a view is a neceffary introduction 
to the hiflory of Illuminifm, and its connedion- 
with the Mafonic orders. 

Dr. Robifon obferves, that in the early part^ 
of his life he commenced an acquaintance Vvdth 
Mafonry, which he coniidered as affording a 
pretext for fpending an hour or two in decent 
conviviality. That, though he had been fuc>' 
cefsiul in his mafonic career, and attained 
lome diilinguiilied degrees, yet he was in- 
duced to fufpend his intercourfe with the 
lodges, viewing Mafonry as an unprofitable 
amufement, and in a degree inconiiftent with 
the more ferious duties of life. That while 
in this flate of indifference refpeding Free 
Mafonry, his attention v/as awakened, and 
his curiofity excited by fome new circum.ftan" 
ces, particularly by what he met with in a 
German work, called Religions Begehenheiten^ 
i. e. Religious Occurrences^ a periodical work, 
publiihed by Profeffor Koeefler of Gieffen, 
v/hich convinced him that Mafonry v/as ap- 
plied to purpofes of which he had been wholly 
ignorant. That he found the lodges th^ 

66 Proofs of the Exi/lcncs- 

liaunts of many projeclors in religion and 
politics, in direct oppolition to that eftablifhed 
rule in Mafonry, " That nothing of religion or 
politics fhall ever he introduced into the lodges ^^ 
and that purfuing the fubjecl, he found alTo- 
ciations riling out of thefe abufes, deftruclive 
of religion and fociety. In this work he pra- 
feiTes the benevolent defign of teaching man- 
kind the danorer refultinor from thefe combi- 

o o 

nations ; and left the freedom with which he 
cxpofes thefe perverted lodges, ihould be con- 
sidered as inconfiftent v/ith his mafonic en- 
gagements, he vindicates himfelf by obferv- 
ingr that he lias not divuh:j;ed the fecrets of 
original Mafonry, and that he is under no ob- 
ligations to conceal its abufes, and new in^ 
vented deg-rees.* 


Abbe Barruel introduces the fabje(5i: cf 
Mafonry by bearing a moft honorable tefti*- 
mony of many lodges, in England in particu- 
lar, whofe members he confiders as ignorant 

* Introduiflion to Robifon's Proofs. Dr. Robllbn, in 
a letter to a correfpondent In America, dated Sept. 23, 
1 800, vvrites, that fmce the publication of his book, he 
)ias " greatly increafed the body of his evidence, by 
means of many German publications ;" but that his ill 
health and official duties, prevent his arranging and pub- 
iiihin2; this evidence. 

and Efftcls of llhmintfnu 67 

of the real obje6l of the inftitution, which he 
pronounces to be radically evil. In fupport 
of this idea he attempts to prove, that the 
words liberty and equality^ which are common 
to all lodges, imply, not fimply that Mafonic 
fraternity of which they are ufually confidered 
as expreHive, but what they have been ex- 
plained to intend in France, during the late 
revolution. A liberty or fredom from all re- 
ligious and moral obligation \ an equality fuh- 
verlive of all focial order and fubordination. 

It cannot be expeded that his obfervations 
on this fubjed fhould be introduced here, as 
they have no very intimate connection with 
the objed of our prefent inquiry ; but they 
who wiili to become more fully acquainted 
with his laborious review and explanation of 
mafonic myfteries, may recur to the ninth and 
fucceeding chapters in the fecond volume af 
his Memoirs. He was himfelf a Mafon ; and 
at the fame time not fubjecl to the cuilomary 
bonds of fecrecy. To explain what is fo un- 
ufual, he relates, That at the time of his ad- 
miiiion, Mafonry had become fo frequent in 
France, that the fecret was lefs guarded ; that 
upon a mafonic occaiion, where all the com- 
pany, except him.felf, were Mafons, and gen- 
erally his acquaintance and intimate friends^ 

GB Proofs of the Extjlencs 

he was urged to join them, and, in a manner, 
forced with them into the lodge ; but, ftill re- 
fufing the propofed oath with great refolution, 
his firmnefs, it was faid, proved him a Mafon, 
and he was accordingly received with great 
applaufes, and at that time advanced to the 
degree of Mafter. This gave him peculiar 
advantages for treating this fubjecl, and he 
appears not to have made a difiionorable ufe 
of the privilege.* 

Whatever doubts may be entertained of his 
general theory, his inveftigation affords in- 
dubitable proofs of the accommodating nature 
of mafonic myfteries, and their pliancy to all 
the purpofes of cabal and intrigue. Robifon's 
Proofs forcibly imprefs the ikme idea. In 
England the lodge afforded a retreat to the ad° 
herents of the Stuarts, and v;as a covert for 
their meetings. In France it was made fub- 
fervient to the views of the Britifh Pretender. 
In the lodge of the Magon Parfait is the follow- 
ins: device : " A lion wounded bv an arrow, 
and efacped from the ftake to which he had 
been bound, with the broken rope fcill about 
his neck, is reprefented lying at the mouth 
of a cave, and occupied with mathematical 

* BarrueFs Memoirs, Vol. TI. p. 152, 155. 

and EffeSls of Tilumlnlfiiu ^^ 

inflruments, which are lying near -him, A 
broken crown lies at the foot of the ftake." 
There can be little doubt but that this em- 
blem alludes to the dethronement, the captivi- 
ty, the efcape, and afylum of James II,. and 
his hopes of refloration by the help of the 
loyal brethren. Great ufe w^as alfo made of 
Mafonry by the Church of Rome, for fecuring 
and extending her influence on the laymen of 
rank and fortune.* 

But this prominent feature of Mafonry, its 
accommodating- nature, will more readily be 
perceived when we come to notice its eafy 
coalefcence with the defiQ:ns of the Illuminees, 

The abufes of Mafonry, which we are now 
tracing, and which came to their full growth 
in the Illuminated lodges, appear to have orig- 
inated in a natural fpirit of inquiry, ftruggling 
v/ith the reftraints which the French govern- 
ment formerly impofed on a free difcuffion 
of religion and politics. Under the covert of 
a lodge, they found themfelves liberated from 
a painful reftraint, and experienced the pleaf- 
ure of communicating fentiments in fafety, 
which, in another place, would have expofe^^ 
them to dan2:er. 


* Robifon's Proofs, p. i%^ 31-, 

70 F roofs of the Exifencs 

We need not be told that even innocent in- 
dulgencies are liable to degenerate into the 
moft pernicious habits. This truth was forci- 
bly exemplified in the French lodges. A 
channel being once opened by which the heart 
could give vent to its feelings, the fmall ftream 
foon became a torrent, affording a paiTage to 
every abfurd, fceptical, and diforganizing idea, 
and which, in its final progrefs, not only de- 
molilhed the fuperftruclures which fuperfti- 
lion and defpotifm had raifed, but threatened 
to undermine the foundations of religion and 

The pliant forms of Mafonry were eafily 
wrought into a compliance with the new 
views of the Mafons. New explanations were 
given, and new degrees invented, which, 
while they gave pleafure by the air of myftery 
attending them, ferved as a veil to conceal 
from the young adept, a full view of the ob- 
ject: towards v/hich he was led. The veil was 
gradually removed, as his exercifed organs 
were flrengthened to endure the difcovery. 

We find a fi:riking inflance of the new ex- 
planations given to ancient fymbols, in the 

degrees of Chevaliers de rOrient^ and Chevaliers 
de I'Aigkj which were once' explained as typ- 

and EffeSis of llluriiinifm. y % 

ical of the life and immortality brought to 
light by the gofpel ; but a more modern ex« 
pianation reprefents the whole hiftory and 
peculiar doctrines of the gofpel, as being typical 
of the fmal triumph of reafon and philofophy 
over error. 

To meet the new views of the Mafons,anew 
feries of degrees was added to the lift, viz. 
the Novice, the Elil de la Verife, and the Sublime 
Philofopbe. A lively imagination would be 
gratified by tracing thefe curious allegories ; 
but the reader mull be fatisfied with one as a 
fample ; that of the Chevalier de Soldi, which 
was an early addition to the mafonic degrees. 
I have the rather chofen this inftance, as here 
Robifon and Barruel appear not to harmonize 
in their relation. This apparent difagreement, 
however, %^aniihes upon a.clofer infpedion, 
which will fhew us that they defcribe differ- 
ent parts of the fame degree. 

Robifon confines himfelf to the introducto- 
ry formula, in which we are to obferve, that 
the Tres Venerable is Adam ; the Senior War- 
den is Truth ; and all the Brethren are Chil- 
dren of Truth. In the procefs of reception, 
brother Truth is afked. What is the hour ? 
He informs father Adam, that amonar men it 

»-2 Proofs of the Exifience 

is the hour of darknefs, but that it is mid-day 
in the lodge. The candidate is afked, Why 
he has knocked at the door, and what is be- 
come of the eight companions ? He fays, that 
the world is in darknefs, and his companions 
and he have loft each other \ that Hefperus, 
the ftar of Europe, is obfcured by clouds of 
incenfe, offered up by fuperftition to defpots, 
who have made themfeives gods, and have 
retired into the inmoft recelTes of their palaces, 
that they may not be recognized to be men, 
while their priefts are deceiving the people, 
and caufmg them to worfhip thefe divinities/^ 

Barruel's account of this degree, contains an 
explanation of the implements which the new- 
ly received brother finds in the lodge, and the 
inftruclions there given him.. A part of thefe 
inftruaions, which fucceed the foregoing in- 
troductory explanations, follow. 

" By the Bible you are to underftand, that 
you are to acknowledge no other law than 
that of Adam, the law that the Almighty en- 
graved on his heart, and that is what is called 
die law of nature. The campajs recals to your 
mind, that God is the central point of every 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 33> 35' 

and EffcHs of tlnminifm. 73 

tiling, from which every thing h equally dif- 
tant, and to which every thing is equally near. 
By t\\tfqua?'e we learn, that God has made 
every thing equal ; and by the Cubic Jioyie^ that 
all your adions are equal %vhh refpecl to the Jove* 
reign good J* 

The mofl effential part of this difcourfe m 
that which brother Veritas (or Truth) gives 
of the degree of the Eled. Among others is 
the following pafTage : " If you afk me what 
are the necelTary qualities to enable a Mafon to 
arrive at the center of real. perfection, I anfwer, 

that to attain it, he mafl have cruflied the 
head of the ferpent of worldly ignorance, and 
have call ofFthofe prejudices of youth concern- 
ing the myfteries of the predominant religion 
'Cf his native country. All religious worjhip be^ 
ing only invented in hopes of acquiring pozver^ a?id t5 
gain precedency ainong men ; and by a floth which 
covets^ under the falfe pretence of piety ^ its neighbor^! 
riches* This, my dear brother, is what you 
have to combat ; fach is the monfter you have 
to crufli under the emblem of the ferpent. It 
is a faithful reprefentation of that which the igno- 
rant vulgar adore^ under the name of religion*'^* 
Such dodrines need no comment. 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. XL p. 163. 

j^4 Troojs of the Exijience 

With thefe new degrees and explanations, 
the French lodges appear to have undergone 
feme new modifications with refpecl to their 
connecliqn andcorrefpondence with each oth- 
er. The Bienfaifants^ at Lyons, rofe into high 
reputation. This lodge leems to have taken 
the lead in the diforganizing fentiments of the 
day, and was acknowledged as a parent lodge 
by feveral foreign focieties. But the moft dif- 
tinguiihed, was the Grand Orient^ at Paris. This 
may be confidered, rather as a Mafonic Parlia- 
ment^ compofed qi delegates from all the prin- 
cipal lodges, and in which m?.fonic concern? 
were ultimately determined. In 1782 this fo- 
ciety had under its dirediion 266 improved 
lodges ; the whole united under the Duke of 
Orleans as Grand Mafler, at leaft apparently, 
but really guided by the moft profound adepts^ 
who made ufe of his interefl and influence tp 
promote their views, and then refigned him to 
that deftruclion, which was pronounced juft^ 
by the unanimous vote of mankind.* 

While the lodges in France were paflmg 
this metamorphofis, thofe in Germany retain- 
ed their original, fimple conftitutions, which 

* BarruePs Memoirs, Vol. II. p. 239 ; and Robifon's 

Proofs, p, 37, 48. 

and Effects of Illuminijhu fs 

tfiey firfl received from England, in 171 6. It 
is remarkable that the Germans had been lonir 
accuftomed to the wGrd, the Jign, and the gripe 
of the Mafons ; and there are exiant, and in 
force, borough laws, enjoining the mailers of 
Mafons to give employment to journeymen 
v/ho had the proper xVord and iign. But the 
hrtl German lodge, was eftabliflied at Co- 
logne, in- the year abovcmentioned. 

The Genxians, always fond of the marvel- 
lous, had attributed ilrange powers to Mafon^ 
ry, and been feeking, with their characleriilio 
patience, the povv-er of tranfmuting metals, of 
raifrng ghoils, and other wonderful fecrets 
which they imagined were concealed in ma- 
ibnic myfterics. This difpofition had render- 
ed them the dupes of Hunde, Johnfon, Stark^ 
and other adventurers who found their ad- 
vantages in German credulity. 

But about the year 1757, an entire revolu- 
tion took place. Some French OiHccrs, then 
refiding at Berlin, undertook to communicate 
to the Germans their refinements in Mafonry. 
They could not reiill the enchantment of the 
ribbands and liars with which the French had 
decorated the order. A Mr. Rofa, a French 
eommilTary, brought from Paris a complete 

*^6 Proofs of the Exiftence 

■waggon load of mafonic ornaments, wliicli 
were all diihibuted before it had reached Ber-- 
lin, and he was obliged to order another to 
furnifii the lodges of that city. The mafonic 
fpirit was revived throughout Germany ; All 
were eager to hear and learn. New degrees 
ivere invented, and Mafanry underwent a gen? 
cral revolution, i^ll proclaiming the excel- 
lencies of Mafonry ; while not one could tell 
in wliat its excellency conhfted ; their zeal. 
but f^^rved to increafe their confufion and dii- 

Thofe who believed that mafonic myileries- 
concealed the v/onderful powers of magic and 
alchymy, engaged, with freih zeal, in chafe of 
the airy phantom ; and freili adventurers ap- 
peared, who, in their turn, railed and difap- 
pointed the hopes of their admirers. Happy 
would it have been, had no worfe confequen:- 
ces enfued than the wafte of their time and 
money, in the purfuit of thefe fooleries ; but 
thcfe French inilruclors, together with their 
new formes and degrees, had communicated 
new notions refpecling government and rellg* 
ion, and introduced the Guilom of harangu- 
ing on thefe fubjecl:s in the lodges. A clofe 
connexion was formed between the Frenclv 
and fomc of the German lodges, and the for* 

and EffeBs of lllumimfnu jy 

mer were not unwilling to communicate their 
new difcoveries. Philofophically illuminated, 
the German adepts began to difcern, that re- 
ligion was the flavery of the free born mind ; 
that reafon was the only fafe guide, and the 
Only deity whom mankind ought to worihip j 
that the eftablifliment of government was the 
original fin ; and emancipation from all legal 
reftraint, the true regeneration taught by je- 
fus Chriil ; and which can be effected only 
by the wonderful power of thofe two words, 
liberty and equality,^ 

The reader, who has not been acquainted 
%vith the hiftory of modern philofophy, will 
hardly believe, perhaps, that this is a ferious 
ftatement of fa<^s, or find it cafy to conceive 
that luch abfurdities were ever dignified with 
the title of philofophy. But thefe fentiments 
are all to be found in the code of the Illumi- 
nees 5 anxd to poflefs the m.ind with thefe fen- 
timents, is the grand defign of that fyftem of 
policy expreffed by Illuminifm j the hiftory of 
which will be given in the fucceeding chapters. 


♦ Robifon's Proofs, p. 6^, 75. 

7 8 Proofs of the Exijience 

It is proper to obferve here, that at this 
time. Baron PInigge, reiided in the neighbor- 
hood of Francktbrt, who from his youth had 
been an enthufiafl: in Mafonry, and a believer 
in its cabaliilic powers. Defpairing, at length, 
of ever finding the Philofopher's Stone, in 
purililt of which his father had fpent his for- 
tune, and he his time, his enthufiafm was now 
diverted into another channel. The fceptical 
difcourfes delivered in the lodcres, aflifted him 
to clifcover that Mafonry was pure natural re- 
ligion, and that the whole duty of man was 
comprifed in Cofmopolitifm, or facrificing all 
private interefts for the promotion of univerfal 
happinefs. Inflamed with thefe romantic ideas, 
he labored to propagate them through the 

The authority allumed by the lodges of 
Berlin, had difguflcd m^any of their brethren, 
and produced divifions, which were further 
incrcafed by a variety of adventurers, each of 
which had his adherents. The Baron, found 
thefe circumflances a bar to his fuccefs, for 
the removal of which he projected a general 
congrefs from all the mafonic focieties in Eu- 
rope and America. The deranged fituatioa 
of mafonic concerns feemed to render fuch a 
meeting expedient j and by the afliftange gf 

and EjfcSls of lllumlnlfm. 75- 

the lodges of Fraackfort and Wetzlar it was 
obtained, and held at Willemfbad, in 1780^ 
Here deputies, affembled from the four quar=» 
tersof the globe, were bufied for fix months, 
debating about the myfleries of Mafonry with 
all the ferioufnefs of ilate ambailadors. 

While Knigge was laboring to poiTefs the 
deputies with his fentiments, he was met' by 
another Mafon, the Marquis of Conftanza, 
who convinced him that his new ideas refpecl- 
ing Mafonry had been reduced to a regular 
fyftem, and were now rapidly fpreading in 
feveral mafonic focieties. Tranfported with 
this difcovery, he eagerly united himfclf to 
the Illuminces, which was the feci to which 
the Marquis introduced him, and joined his 
eitorts with thofe of his new inftructor to gain 
over deputies, and to give a direclion to the 
proceedings of the convention favorable to- 
the defigns of the llluminees^ 

In thefe attempts they were not witliout 
fuccefs. Numbers entered fully into their 
views, and the general refult of the congrefs 
was agreeable to their wiflies. It was decreed, 
that any Mafon of the three firfl degrees 
fhould be admitted to every lodge of whatever 
dcfcription j which opened all the lodges to 

Bo Proofs of the Exi/ience 

the agents of Illuminifm. It was alfo decreed, 
that every lodge fiiould have the liberty of de^ 
daring to which grand lodge it would be fub- 
jecl. The plan of union was termed Eclectic,, 
which was alfo favorable to the new order, as 
it was in lodges of that denomination that it 
began its exiflence,* 

We fhall now proceed to take a view of that 
memorable fociety, in which all the Anti- 
Chrillian, and Anti-Social opinions of the day- 
were reduced to a regular fyflem, and propa- 
gated with a zeal wprthy of a better caufe. 

'* T lately met with the following remark, in a letter 
from ProfeiTor Ebeling, which I beg leave to introduce 
for the fatisfa*5tion of thofe who may be difpofed to doubt 
the above reprefentation of Germanic Mafonry. " Ma- 
fonry (he writes) was much in vogue in Germany from 
the year 1740 to 1760, but made no noife ; but in later 
years the Mafonry of Germany was ftrangely corrupted ; 
divifions arofe, of which Robifon fpeaks pretty exa<5l as 
far as I know." 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 76, 83. Bairuel's MemoirS;. 
Vol. IV. p. 101; 104. 

and EffcSij of llluminifm, %% 

G HA P. V. 

Illuminism. Its Origin^ Adors^ and d'lffercm 

1 HE lodge Theodore, of Municii in 
Bavariaj was the moil remarkable of the Ec- 
le^lic lodges ; and had formed a conflitution 
of its own,, in confequence of inftrudions re* 
eeived from the lodge Bienfaifants at Lyons* 
Diftinguiihed among the members of this 
lodge, was Dr. Adam Weiihaupt, ProfeObr of 
Canon Law in the Univerilty at Ingolftadt. 
He had acquired a high reputation in his pro- 
fcffion, which drew around him numbers from 
the neighboring Univeriities, The advantages 
which thefe circumftances gave him for im- 
prelluig his own views upon the minds of 
youth, perhaps hrft fuggefted to him the. idea 
of becomino; the leader of a more numerous 
fociety, and it certainly was the means of h^'s 
fuccefs in fpreading his pernicious fentimentSa 

Bz Proofs of the Exifience 

The bold opinions in religion and politics, 
%v'liicli v/ere more openly taught in the lodge 
Theodore than in any other, and which Knigge 
labored to propagate, Weifhaupt was the firft 
to reduce to a regular code. His fcheme ap- 
pears to be calculated, not fo much for uniting 
perfons of iimilar fentiments in one fociety, 
as for feducing thofe of oppofite inclinations, 
and by a moft artful and deteftable procefs, 
gradually obliterating from their minds every 
moral and religious fentiment. It is in this 
view principally that this plan of feduclion calls 
for the attention of mankind, as it developes 
the fecret, iniidious policy by which the agents 
of faction and infidelity lead on their difciples, 
flill concealing their real defigns, until the 
iiiind is involved in a maze of error, or 
entangled in fnares from which there is no 

Another trait which deferves particular no- 
tice in this prime theory of deception, is th^t 
artful ftruclure by which the deluded vidim is 
led to give his fupport to a fyftem, which, in 
its invifible operation, is undermining the ob- 
ject of his fondeft attachment. Perfons have 
fubfcribed to this conftitution who, had they 
been aware of its tendency and iffuc, would 

and Efeds of lllumimfnu 83 

fooner have committed their hand to the 

What thofe particulars were in Weifliaupt's 
early life, which were confeffedly " great de- 
viations from pure morality/' we are not told ; 
but the hiftory of his illuminated career, and 
his condud while he fuftained the dignified of- 
fice of a profeflbr in a Univerfity, certainly 
give us no favorable idea of that part of his life, 
which is acknowledged to be immoral. 

We here lay before the reader a letter, 
found among the original writings of the Illu- 
minees in Bavaria, from Weifliaupt to Hertel 
Canon of Munich, but under the feigned 
names of Spartacus to Marias, 

^^' September, 1783, 

** Now let me, under the moil profound fe«. 
crecy, lay open the fituation of my heart ; I 
am almoft defparate. My honor is in danger, 
and I am on the eve of lofing that reputation 
which gave me fo great an authority over our people. 
Myfifier in lazv is with child. How fliall I reflore 
the honor of a perfon who is the victim of a 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. ^2, 85. EarruePs Memoirs, 
Vol. III. Chap. I, 

,^4 F roofs of the Er.iftence 

crime that is wholly mine ? ¥7e have already 
7nade feveral attempts to deflroy the child ; fhe was 
determined to undergo all ; but Euriphon is too 
timid. Could I depend on Celie's fecrecy, 
(Profeiibr Buder at Munich) he could be of 
great fervice to me ^ he had promfed me his aid 
three years ago. Mention it to him if you think 
proper. If you could extricate me from this 
unfortunate ilep, you would reftore me to life, 
to reft, to honor, and to authority. If you 
cannot, I forewarn you of it, / will hazard a 
defper ate blow ^ fori neither can nor will lofe 
my honor. I know not what devil * * * [Here 
decency obliges us to be filent.] It is not too 
late to make an attempt, for ilie is only in her 
fourth month. Do think of fome means which 
can extricate me from this afiair. 

I am yours, 


Other letters to different perfons upon the 
fame fubjed, and of a fmiilar im^port, were 
found with this. Though he had folemnly 
denied his having ufed, or even being acquaint- 
ed with m.eans of abortion ♦, yet, when the 
matter became public, he admits the facls re- 
fpefting his fitter in law, and the attempt to 
deftroy the child, but juftifies himfelf with an 
effrontery which difcovers ftili more than the 

and Effeeis of Illuminffru 8^ 

crime itfelf, a mind left to every; fentiinent of 
goodnefs. " Tills," lie fays, " is far from prov- 
ing any depravity of heart. In bis condition, 
his honor at fiake^ what-elfe was left him tq 
do ? His greateO: enemies, the Jefuits, have 
taught, that in fuch a cafe it is lawful to make 
way with the child. In the introductory fault, 
he has the example of the befl of men. The 
fecond w^as its natural confequence ; it was aU 
together involuntary ; and, in tke -eye of a 
{ihilofophical judge, who does not fquare him- 
felf by the harfli letters of a blood thirily law- 
giver, -he has but a very trifling account -to 

In connexion v»:ith the characler of the 
founder of the fed, it may be proper to bring 
ilitQ view, thofe of his Areopagites, in whom' 
he principally confided, and who were feated 
next himfelf in the government of the fociety. 
He himfelf furniihes the portrait m a letter to 
Gato, (Zwack.) 

" I have received," he wTites, ^^ the moft fatal 
intelligence from Thebes. They have given 


^ Ilobiron*s Proo-fs, p. 130 to 134.. Barniel^s Men: 
VoL III, Chap, u 

86 T roofs of the Exiftence 

a public fcandal, by admitting into the lodges 
that vile Fropertius^ a libertine, loaded with 
debts, and a moft deteftable being. Our 5^- 
crates^ Vv^ho could be of the greateft ufe to us, 
is always dinink ; our Augtijlus has acquired 
the woril of reputations ; the brother Alcibi" 
ades is perpetually fighing and pining away at 
the feet of his landlady ; Tiberius attempted 
to lay violent hands on Diomede's fifter, alid 
fafFered himfelf to be caught by the hufband j 
Heavens I what men have I got for Arecpagites /'* 

It appears that it was not the deteftable na- 
ture of thefe actions which excited his difguft, 
but their influence on th^ reputation of hts 
order, for he further v/rites, '' Judge your- 
felves v/hat would be the confequence, if fuch 
a man as our Marcus Aurelius (Feder) were 
once to know what Tifet of men^ defiiiute of mor- 
ah ; zvbat a fet of debauchees^ liars ^ fpendthrifts^ 
hragadodos^ and fools ^ replete with vanity and pride ^ 
you have among you^ &*^/'* 

From feveral expreffions in his letters, it 
appears that V/eifhaupt had, for a-confiderable 
time, been meditating the plan of an order 
which ihould in time govern the world 5 but 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 114. 

and Effects of lllumlnlfnu 87 

it was not fully completed when he firfl put 
his fyftem in operation, and inftituted the 
order of the llluminees. This was done in May, 
1776, by the initiation of tv/o of his Univcr- 
fity pupils j but the order was not fully eftab- 
liihed till 1778,* 

Weiiliaupt's aim in the frequent reviews, 
and nice touches which he gave his plan, was 
firft, to explore every avenue to the heart, 
every procefs by which he might- moftefiectu- 
ally feduce, and lead men blindfold ; and in 
the next place, to provide fufliciently for his 
own fecurity 5 for, notwithftandlng the fen- 
tence of bariilhment which .he was under 
drew from him the moft grievous complaints^^* 
of defpotic cruelty, he confidered it a much 
lighter puniihment than that which awaited 
him in cafe of detection. 

In a letter to Cato, he vmtes, " I daily put 
to the teft what I made lad year, and I find 
that my performances of this year are far fupe- 
rior, You know the fituation in which I 
ftand. It is abfolutely necelTary that Ifnould, 
during my life, remain unknown to the 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 107. Barrue?s Memoir?, Vol. 
m. Chap. I, Xbid. Vol. IV. p. %^, ^^, 


Proofs if the Exijtence 

greater part of the adepts tliemfelves.. lam 

often overwhelme'd with the idea that all my medita- 
tions^ all my fernjices and toils are fferhaps^ only tzvift-^- 
inz a rope^ or planting a gall oivs for myfelf^'* 

The followin^^' fcheme exhibits the diiTerent 

grades through which the candidate progreffcs 

t-o the perfeccion of iilumination. 



Miner val, 

Iliumin. Pviinora 

f Apprentice^. 

Symbolic, <| Fellov.xraft, 


C Ilium, Major, Novice^ 

C Ilium. Dirigeiis, Knight. 

f - ^ CPrefbyter, Prieil,, 
Lrffsr, ] . ^ 

c. Prince, Regent, 




^ ^ C Magus, 

There \i a part conmion to all thefe dc:- 
grees,,vjz: that GF.theInrinuator.,or.Recruitorj 
the duty of whofe oiFice is to find and bring 
forward' members for the firft and fucceed'ing 


* Barrucl's Memoirs, Vol. IIT. p. I2. f ^•^' V' ^9' 
1 RoMfcu's rioufs, p. 1 39. 

and Effeds of IHuminiftn. 89 


The Code of the Illuminees. 

It was neceffary that fome members of 
the order fhould be known as fuch, that they 
might ferve as guides to thofe who fhould 
have a defire to be initiated. Thefe are the 
Minervals^ \v\\o are the only vifible members 
of the fociety. A candidate for admilTion 
mufl make his wifli known to fome Minerval ; 
he reports it to a fiiperior. by whom, in an ap- 
pointed channel, it is communi-cated to the 
council. No farther notice is taken of it for 
fome tim.e. The candidate is obferved in 
filence, if judged unlit for the order no notice 
IS taken of his requeft \ but if otherwife, he 
receives privately an invitation to a confer- 
ence, and upon iigning the declaration requir-- 
ed of the preparation clafs, is admitted to the 


t * Roblfon's Proofs, p^ 9^* 

S'O • Pfoofi of ike Exyieme^ 

But the hifinuators are the principal agents 
for propagating the order. Thefe are inviiible 
iV^Q3jfeekmg whom ihey may. devour y who enter 
on their tablets, with which they are always 
to be furniiiied, the names of fuch as they 
judge would be ufeful to the order, with the 
r^afons for or ao^ainif their admiillob. 


The directions of the iniinuator teach him 
to feek after young men from eighteen to 
thirty, thofe in particuhr who have not com^. 
pleted their education, and thofc whole exte- 
rior prepofieffes one in their fivor. His at- 
tention is likewife direcl:ed to men of rank, 
weakh, and influence. Mtn of an infmuat- 
ing, intriguing dirpcfition, mechanics of all 
profeiiions, bookfellers, fchool mafters, poll 
maflers, thofe who keep poil horfes, and the 
difcon tented of every clafs of people. 

Of thefe minutes the Infmuator is required 
to make a return- twice every month to hii 
fuperiors, who form a lift of fuch as thej 
judge fuitable prey, and put it into the hands 
of an Infmuator, not the one perhaps who fent 
in the name, but one whom the fuperiors cf 
the order ffiall fee fit to appoint. And he 
now begins the labor of gaining over his pu- 
pil to the fovlety. The perfgii tlius- marked 

and Efftds of lllumlnifm. gf' 

as the object of feduclion, thougii he has ex- 
preiled no dedre of uniting with the order^ i^ ^ 
phiced in th^ grade of 

Preparation, It would be a talk indeed t<5 
trace minutely the arts of infinuation, and the 
cautious ftcps by which the Recruiter is to 
proceed. In general, the curiolity of the fub- 
jed is to be excited by fuggefllons, made as 
by accident, of the exifience and power of 
fuch a fociety ; his mind is to be ifripreiTed^ 
with the mofl honorable views of the defign of 
this inftitutio.n^ his affe(5lions and confidence ' 
are to be gained by every art of insinuation ; • 
the power of fecret focieties, andthe pleafure 
of fecretly reigning, aTe to be prefented to his 
imagination, and books provided by the focie- 
ty, and correfponding with its view^s, are to be 
put into his hands. Should he break from all 
thefe fnares, he is marked for an enemy whofe 
character and influence the fociety is hence- - 
fordi. concerned to deilroy. They, nwji be 
gained-^ or ruined, in the public apinion^ is the law of 
the order. But fliould the candidate, by thefe 
arts, be led to exprefs a deiire to join this in=- 
vifible combination, he is required to fubfcribe 
an exprefs and folemn declaration, '' never to 
reveal, by fign, woixl,, or any other way, even 
to the moft intimate friend, whatever ^aU b^ 

cjZ Proofs of the Exi/lence ' 

entrufted to him relative to his entrance intc ' 
a fecret foclety, and this whether his reception 
take place or not ; and that he fubje6ts himfelf 
to this fecrecy the more willingly, as his intro- 
ducer ajfures bim^ thai nothing is ever tranfailed in 
this focieiy hurtful to religion^ morals orthefiateJ^*' 
The candidate having fubfc rib ed this declara-*' 
tion commences 

Novice*- He is nov^r introduced to an in- 
flruclor, the only one perhaps of the order 
whom he is permitted to know. By this in- 
ftrucbor he is taught, that fiknce and fecrecy are 
the very foul of the order ^ and enjoined never to 
fpeak of any thing belonging to it, even be- 
fore thofe Vvdiom he may fuppofe to be initi- 
ated, without the flrongeit necelTity. He is 
alfo furniilied with a nev/ fupply of books and 
writings, calculated for his advancement. ' 

Here a cautionary direcliori is introduced^ 
which extends to all the different degrees, that 
if any of the brotherhood fall fick, the other 
brethren are to vilit him, to prevent his mak- 
ing any unfavorable declarations, and to fe- 
cure any papers with which he may have been 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 94.. Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. Ill* 
Chap. 3, 

J! id Effects of Ulunuiupn. 93 . 

T'o qualify the Novice for the practice of 
'that lecrecy which has been reprefented as of 
fuch importance, he is furniflicd with what 
may be called the Dlclionary of Illuminifm, He 
here learns that no brother bears the £ime 
-name iu, the order which he does in the workL 
He receives a name for himfelf, and is made 
acquainted w^ith that of his inftruclor, and 
with thofc of the other brethren, as he is- ad- 
mitted to know them. 

The following is a brief fample of this vo^ 
cabulary. The fictitious name of Weifliaupt, 
was Spartacus ; of Knigge, Pbilo ; of the Mar*. 
quis Conftanza, Diomedts ; of Zwack,^Ci7?'a;- of 
Baron BalTus, Hannibal ; of Count Savioli, 
Brutus ; of Nicola i, L^/r/^^ ; of Count MalV 
fenhaufen, Ajax ; of Councellor Hoheneicherj 
Alcihlades ; of Merz, Tiberius ; &c.* 

The Novice is alfo put upon the fiudy of i 
new Geography^ from which he learns, that 
places, as well as perfons, bear a new iiamfe, 
Bavaria, is denominated Achaia^ and Auftrla. 
Egypt ; Munich is called Athens^ and Ylcnna^ 
'.Rome^ &c. 

* BarniePs- Memoirs, Vol. III. Chap- ^ -.vANc^l-Pn 
^p. 173,. Robiibn's Proofs,, p. I 6q>. 

94 1^ roofs of the Ex'i/lence 

Time too, he finds, has undergone a new ar- 
rangement, and he muft again ftudy his calen- 
dar. The Perlian era, beginning A. D. 630, i^ 
adopted by the-Illuminees. The months are 
known by new, and are of very dif- 
ferent lengths ; Pharavardin has no lefs than- 
forty one days, while Afphandar has only 

Nor is the candidate yet qualified to corref-- 
pond with his new brethren, untilKe has ac- 
quired the cypher of the order. A fimple one 
is prepared for the lower grades, but the fu-- 
periors make ufe of hieroglyphics. 

He ndw begins the fludy of the ftatutes of 
the fociety, and a morality extraded from 
heathen writers ; but is told that the knowl- 
edge of mankind is above all other things im- 
portant, and to acquire this, tracing charac- 
ters, and noticing occurrences, are llrenuoufly 
recommended ; his obfervations are to be 
fubmitted to the review of his fuperiors. 

In this ilage of his noviciate, he is required 
to prefent the order with a written account of 
his name, place of birth and reiidence, age, 
rank, profeffion, favorite ftudies, books, fe- 
cret writings, revenues, friends, enemies^. 

and Effcds of Uluminifnu 9 j 

parents, &c. A fimilar table is prepared by 
his inftru(5i:or, of whatever he has been able 
to difcover ; and from a comparifon of thefe, 
and his anfwers to a number of interefling 
queftions, the fuperiors judge of the expedi- 
ency of admitting him to the lafi; proofs. 

His admiflion being agreed upon, in the 
^ead of the night he is led to a gloomy apart* 
ment, and being repeatedly queftioned re=> 
Tpeding his readinefs to devote himfelf to the 
order, he con-firms his confent with a folemn 
oath, of which the following is a part, " / vow 
-an eternal fiknce^ an inviolable obedience and fidelity 
to all my fuperiors^ and to the Jiatutes of the order. 
With refped to what may be the objed of the order ^ 
I fully and abfolutely renounce my own penetration, 
and my own judgment, I promife to look 
upon the interefls of the order as my own \ 
and as long as I fhall be a member of it, / 
promife to ferve it with my life, my honor, and my 
eflates^ Having iigned this oath, and with a 
fword pointed at his breaft, being threatened 
with unavoidable vengeance, from which no 
potentate on earth can defend him, ftiould he 
betray the order, he commxcnces 

Minerval, and becomes a member of a 

96 Broofs of ihc E^'^-- 

lodge.* Here illuurhiifm commences its con- 
iTe<5llon with Mafoiiry ; and here thofe, who 
do not difcover a difpofition fully compliant 
with the views of their guides, are left to 
divert themfelves with the three degrees of 
apprentice, fellowcraft, and ni after, and never 
attain any further acquaintance with liiumin- 
iiin. this, it v/as foiind, vf ould aof fat- 
isfy all candidates, and in particular, thofe. 
"^hp had previouily been members of lodges ; 
'^'-^ ^ Intermediate degrees were therefore add- 
. the minor and major lUuminee, and 
. . . jii iKnight. 

1 he ivi I nervals hold frequent meetings nrb- 
Ucr the diredion of fome more illuminated 
fuperior. Thefe meetings are profelfedly de- 
■\ oted to literary purfuits, but particular care 
is taken to give the difcullions a direction 
which ffiail coincide with the deiigns of lilu- 
minifm. That /ukide is lawful under pr effing 
dangers and calamities ; that the end fanclifi^s the 
?neans^ or that theft and murder become com- 
mendable w^hen committed to advance a good 
caufe, are fentiments frequently brought into 
view in the meetino^s of the Minervals. From 


thefe difcullions the fupcriors judge of the 
* Barrud's Memoirs, Vol. III. Chap, 4, 

and EffcHs of Tihnnimfm, 97 

propriety of adv^ancing the candidate to the 
next degree, which is that of* 

Jllumtnalus Minor, The members of this 
clafs have m.eetings fimilar to thofe of the 
former degree, but their inftruclors are taken 
only from among thofe who have attained 
the rank of prieft, and who are directed to 
labor to remove what, in the language of 
Illuminifm, is termed political and religious 
prejudices. The candidates are now to be 
formed for ufeful laborers. They are put 
upon ftudying the fecret arts of controiing 
the mind, of feizing the favorable moment, 
of difcovering and addrefllng the ruling paf- 
fion, of acquiring a pliancy and verfatility 
of addrefs, and of concealing their views and 
feelings from others. As they are found 
qualified, they have more or lefs of the mi- 
nerval degree committed to their infpeclion. 

Previous to his advancement to the next de- 
gree, the candidate is fubje6led to another 
Icrutinizing examination refpecling his views, 
and devotednefs to the interefts of Illuminifm. 

'■'' RobIfon'£ Proofs, p, 9B, Barruel-s Memoirs, Vol 
III, Cbap, 5. 

98 proofs of the Extjlence 

He is likewife required to give the order a 
new proof of his confidence, by exhibiting 
an exact record of his whole life written with- 
out refervation. The defign of the Inftitutor 
.in requiring this, appears from his own re- 
marks on this part of his code ; " Iho^jo I hold 
him; if he jhoidd wifo to betray us^ %ve have alji 
his fecrets,''^ 

The hiftory which the candidate gives of 
"himfelf, is compared with the one already 
^formed, in the records of the order, from 
the returns made by his Inftruclor, and the 
difcoveries of invifible fpies, in which, every 
thing relating to his character, abilities, weak- 
neiTes, paffions, profpe6ls, attachments, aver- 
fions, education, and even language, gait, 
and phyflognomy, are noticed in perhaps fif- 
teen hundred particubrs. To imprefs the 
mind of the adept with the ftrongeft fenfe of 
the activity of the order, and the folly of 
expelling to cfcape its vigilance, this portrait 
of himfelf is put into his hands, and he is 
again queflioned refpeding his difpofition to 
.unite with fuch a fociety. 

The difpofition of the candidate being 
founded by a new feries pf queftions, and hav- 
ing repeated the former oaths of fecrecy, and 

and EffeSls of lllumhnfm, 99 

devotednefs to the order, he paffes through 
the initiating forms, by which he becomes* 

Illuminatus Major ^ or Scotch Novice. It is 
impoilible, I find, in this brief fivetch, to give a 
full view of the llow,' artful, and iniidious 
procefs by which the mind is powerfully, 
though infenfibly, drawn from the poildlion of 
its former principles, and fired with a fanciful 
idea of fcon attaining the regions of fubliuie 

The adept has ftlll an Inflruacr, who now 
calls him to attend to the miferies under 
which mankind are groaning, and the ineill- 
cacy of all the means uf^cl for their relief. 
This is attributed to the reftraints to Vvdncli 
they are fubjeaed by princes and the priefi- 
hood. The importance oi fur rounding the povj- 
crs of the earth with inv if ble agents^ and inferfibly 
binding their hands ^ and the neceflity of union 
among the friends of Riffering hum.anity, to 
accomplifli this defirable end, are flrongly in- 
culcated. The. tradable pupil has but one 
grade more to afcend before he enters the fe- 
crets of Illumdnifm, This is term.ed by the 

* Roblfon's Proofs, p. 102— ic56. Earruel's Memoirs, 
Vol. III. Chap. 6 and 7. 

t Earruel's Memoirs,, Vol IIL Chap. 7, 

i oo Proofs of the Exljtence 

Scotch Knight, In tlie late mafonic revo- 
lution, this new degree, Vvliich had been 
brought from France, was adopted by feveral 
of the German lodges. The welcome reception 
which thofe of this degree met with in all the 
lodges, determined the Illuminees to unite it 
with their fyilem.. This becomes a St a hene^ or 
tVitio.nary degree, to fiich as they fee fit to ad- 
vance above the common degrees of Mafonry, 
but are not judged worthy of being admitted 
") the hi3:her fecrcts. 

Initead of the Icencs of darknefs and horror 
which attended the introduction to the other 
degfrees, the candidate is now introduced into 
a fplendid lodge, where all the Knights are 
prefent in the habiliments of their order ; and 
here, he is told, is a part of thofe unknown 
legions, united by indilToluble bands, to defend 
the caule of humanity. 

In the courfe of the ceremonies, Jefus Chrijl 
is declared to be the grand mafter of the order ^ the 
enemy of fuperftition, and alTerter of reafon ; 
and in comim-cmoration of him, a mockrepre- 
fcntation is exhibited of the Lord's Supper. 

The inftruclions given the new Knight, 
direct him to promote the increafe of Eclecl:k 

and Efeth of Illumlnifnu loi 

Mafonry ; to endeavor to gain an afcendancy 
in all oiher mafonic lodges, either to reform 
or deflroy them j and, as far as poiilble, to con- 
vert their funds to the advancement of the 
caufe of Illuminifm.* 

Here we come to the door vvhich leads to 
the m.yileries of IlluminifLii 5 and here we 
mufl leave behind all thofe, who, though pleaf- 
ed with romanti<: ideas of Cofmopolitifm^ and 
of undermining what appeared to them fuper- 
flition, and v/ho, > under thefe impreilions, 
might adively difcharge the inftruclions laft 
received, yet were not to be truiled with the 
higher myileries of Uiuminiim, 

The reader will naturally contlude, that ali« 
who were admitted. to this order, were not 
fubjecled to thefe tedious preparatory forms ; 
fomewere found (as Knigge for inftance) who 
met the warm.eft wiilies of the fociety, and 
without any preparation were introduced to 
its myfteries. 

I 2 

Proof?; p. 141 to 145, Meir.oirs, Vol III. Chap. %. 

rc2 Proofs of the ExijUncs 


The Mvjlerlcs and Government of the Order, 

W E mud not expect, on entering tliefe 
fecret chambers, to find the veil which con- 
ceals the real defigns or the Illuminees wholly 
removed. The terrifying imprelTions of the 
rope, which Weliliaupt was ^o confcious of 
meriting, kept him much behind the curtain. 
This induced him to divide his myfteries into 
the leffer and the greater, tTich of which have two 
departments, one relating chiefly to Religion, 
and the other to Politics. The firft degree in 
the leffer myfleries is that of the 

Epopt, or Pricfi. As introdudory to this 
degree, federal queftions are propofed to the 
candidate, which i«iply, that no religion, 
government, or civil affociation on earth, 
correfponds with the wants of mankind j 
and that fecret focieties are the fafe, and on- 
ly effectual remedies to fupply this defe6l. 
He ia alked, and the (lueftiga merits the 

and Effecls of llluminlfnu 1 03 

confideration of thofc who ridicule the apprc- 
henfion of _danger from Illuminifin, " Have 

you any idea offecretfocieties ; of the rank they hold ^ 
or the farts they -perform in the events of this 
world ? Do you vieiv them as inftgnifcant and tran- 
ftent meteors ? O brother ! God and Nature 
had their admirable ends in view, and they 
make ufe of thefe fecret focieties as the only, 
and as the indifpenfible, means of conducting 
us thither. Thefe fecret fchools of philofophy fhall 
one day retrieve the fall of hwnian nature^ and 
princes and nations floal I difapp ear from the face of 
the earthy and that without any violence, Reafou 
fhall be the only book of laws^ the f ok code of man!''' 

The objed of the fecret of Jefus, he is told, 
was to reinilate mankind in their original lib- 
erty and equality, but that this fecret was dif- 
clofed only to a few. In proof of this he 
quotes thefe words of Chrift. '' To you is 
given to know the myilery of the kingdom 
of God ; but to them that are without, all 
things are done in parables.' 


This do(flrine, the profelyte Is then told, is 
the origin of Mafonry, and the true explana- 
tion of its hieroglyphics. The rough flone of 

* Mark, iv. J2, 

104 Proofs of the Exijicncf 

Mafonry, is the fymbol of the primitive flate 
of man, favage, but free. The ftone fpiit, 
reprefents the flate of faileu nature, of man- 
kind divided according to their ftates, gov- 
ernments, or religions. 

On this occafion the profelytCp previous tc 
his receiving the prieftly unction, is invefted 
with a white tunic ; the lieeve is tied at the 
extremity and middle with bandages of fcarlet, 
and he wears a broad filken belt of the fame 
color. This drefs is particularly defcribed, be- 
cauie it was in a fimilar one that, during the 
French revolution, a comedian appeared per- 
fonally attacking Almighty God, faying, ''No 1 
thou doft not ez^-dft. If thou haft power over 
the thunder bolts, grafp them y aim them at 
the m.a-n who dares fet thee at dehance in the 
face of thy altars. But no, I blafoheme thee, 
and I Hill live. No, thou doll not exift.'^* 
The next degree in the leiler myfterics is that 
of the 

Recent. As preparatory to the intro- 
duclion of the candidate to this degree, he 
is brought to the lodge in the habit of a Have 
loaded with chains. " It is inquired, who 
reduced him to that mxofl miferable of all con- 

* Proofs, p. 14510 151. Memoirs, Vol. III. Cfnn. 10. 

and Effects of Ulumhiijh, 1 05 

dkiorxS ? It is anfwcred, focicty, govcrnnieiits, 
the Iciences, and falfe religion. A voice from 
within denies him entrance, declaring, that 
none but freemen can enter there. His guide 
then anfwers for him, that his will is to be 
free ; that he has been illuminated ; flies from 
his tyrants, and fecks refuge among freemen." 

It is needlefs to detail the hacknied fenti- 
ments found in the in[lruc1:ions given on this 
occafion, as, excepting the mode of expreiling 
them, they are very iimilar to thofe -which 
have been already mentioned, and which will 
be found in their private correfpondcnce lefs 
veiled in myilery. 

One part of thefe inftruclions, however, ar- 
refts the attention, which follows ; '* The great 
flrength 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 Mafonry ; the public is accuf- 
tomed to it^ expeds little from it^ and therefore takes 
little notice of it. Next to this^ the form of a literary 
focicty is befl fuited to our purpofesJ' 

Upon the admiilion of the Regent, his for- 
mcr oaths and iecrets are relinquiilied, with 

1 06 Proofs of I be Exiflence 

an expreilion of entire confidence in his firm- 
nefs ; and in return he gives the order an in- 
flrument, legally executed, by which they are 
empowered, in cafe of his deceafe, to claim 
any private papers v/ith v/hich he may be 

Such were the lelTcr myfleries of the Illu^ 
minees. Thofe w^hich they term the greater, 
v/ere likev/ife diilineuiflied into tliofe of Ma- 
jus^ or Philofopher, and i?^x, or Man King. 
Thefe degrees were not found with the other 
writings \ and the caufe appears in a letter 
from Spartacus (Weifhaupt) to Cato, in 
which, fpeaking of one of his higher degrees, 
he fays, "I never fufTer it to go cut of myhands. 
// h of too ferious an import,'' ' Philo, (Knigge) 
who it feems afTrfted in forming the higher 
degrees, writes to the fame perfon ; " I have 
made ufc of fuch precaution in the degrees of 
of Epopt, and of Regent^ that I fhould not be 
afraid of conferring them on Kings or Popes, 
provided they had undergone the proper pre- 
vious trials. In our laft myfleries we have 
acknowledged this fioiL' fraud. ' ' t 

* Proofs, p. 15110 154. Memoirs, Vol. III. Ch» 1 1, 15-. 
t Barrud's Memoirs, Vol. III. Chap. 12. 

and Effeds of lllumtnifm. 107 

Dr. Robifon here quotes the publiilier of 
"the Neuefte Arbitung, and Grollman ; and 
Abbe Barruel quotes Biederman, and a writer, 
who had left his name with the editors of the 
Eudemonia, (a Journal printed at Franckfort 
-on the Main) to be publiihed if neceflary, who 
all profefs to have read thefe degrees, and 
-unite in their teflimony, " that in the degree 
<of Majus the doclrines are the fame with thofe 
.of Spinoza, where all is material. God and 
:the world are the fame thing, and all religions 
,are reprefented as chimerical, and the inven- 
tion of ambitious men." The fecond degree, 
• or Rex^ teaches, " that, every citizen, or houfe- 
holder is a fovereign, as in the Patriarchal 
ftate ; that all authority, and all magiilracy 
mull be deflroyed, and that democratic gov- 
ernments are not more confonant v/ith nature 
than any others."* 

The reader doubtlefs will remark the incon« 
fiftency between thefe fentiments upon gov- 
ernment, and the attempt which Weifliaupt 
was then making to render the government 
of the Illuminees univerfal and abfolute. All 
that appears to remove this inconiiftency, is 
to be found under the degree of Regent, 

* Proofs, p, 158. Mem. Vol. III. Ch, 12. and Note. 

I o8 Proofs of the Exijlence 

where, in a feries of queftlons, tlie candidate 
is led to fay, " That mankind ought to think 
themfelves happy in \\2.v\t.<2^ fuperlors of tried 
7nerit; and who, unknown to each other, could 
not polTibly fupport each other in treafonable 
combinations againft the general welfare ; and 
that, fuppofmg defpotifra were to enfue, it could 
not be dangerous in the hands of men, who from 
the very iirft ftep we took in the order, 
taught us no-tiling but fcience^ liberty and 

Having thus traced the artful procefs by 
which Weiihaupt led his difciples to expe6l, 
like the deluded parents of our race, to become 
as Gods, but which, in facl, was calculated to 
deprive them of light, truth, and righteouf- 
nefs ; we here fubjoin a brief view of the 
arrangement and governmental regulations 
of the fociety. At the head of the order, 
Iiowever cxtenilve, is the 

General ; to whom regular returns are to 
be made of whatever relates to its general, 
or more particular interefts. A conftant com- 
munication and correfpondence is to be pre- 
ferved between him and the 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol III. p. 133. 

j/i?c/ Ljfcth of lUu-mnipu. 109 

Arcopagiics^ or councilor twelve, wlio com« 
peie the next degree in the general govern- 
ment. The General of the order is to be 
elected by this councij, and from their own 
number, and to them only is lie known, ex- 
cept to fuch immediate coniidents, agents, and 
f€cret?,ries as he fliall fee fit to employ. The 
bnfmefs of this fupreme coimcil is to receive 
the returns that are made, and prepare them 
for the infpeclion of the General ; and they 
are particularly ciireded to " project and ex- 
amine plans to be adopted for gradually ena- 
bling the fociety to attack the enem.y of rea- 
fon and human nature, /i?;y^;^^//v." Next in 
oilicc is the 

K^fmial Dlre^or ; who fuftains the fame 
relation to the liluminees of a particular na- 
tion, which the General does to the whole or- 
der. The views of the fociety were not con- 
fined to one nation. He too, as the General, 
has his council of twelve.* Subordinate to 
liim are the 

Provincials^ who have the direclion of the 
affairs of the order in the feveral provinceso 

* Bavrud's Memoii-s, Vol. III. Chnp.. 18, 

1 1 o Proofs of the Exijiaice 

The Provincial is empowered to aiiemble fuch 
regents of his province as he iliall chooie to 
afiift in council.* The next in dignity, 
though not in the direct line. of the general 
arrangement, is the 

Becvu He is chofen by the Epopts, and 
prefides in their academy. The 

Epopts, or Priefis^ form a curious and im- 
portant part in the general fyftem. From 
this clafs is formed an academy or cham.ber of 
fclence, confiiling of their mod learned men 
in the various arts and fciences. The perfons 
compofmg this academy, were to be fupport- 
ed by the funds of the focicty, that they 
might devote their tivcic to the objecls of their 
appointment. All queftions of diiliculty pro- 
pofed by any of the inferior degrees, were re- 
quired to be given In writing, to their imme- 
diate fuperiors, and by them tranfmitted to 
the academy for folution ; from thence, in the 
fame channel, the querift received his an- 
fwer, but from a fource to him unknown. 
The reader will obferve the tendency of this 
inftitutlon to promote the literary reputation 
of the order, and to perfuade the adept that 

* BarrucPs Memoirs, Vol. IIL Ch:ip. jy. 

and Effccls of llhtralmfm, iii 

he is conncclccl with the fountain head of 

" T/je Occi'Jf Sciences^'' form one branch par- 
ticularly recommended to the attention of the 
academy, under which is comprehended. 
*^ The ftudy of tlic oriental tongues, and 
others little known ; fccret rneihods of writ- 
ing, and the art of decyphering j the art cf 
ra'ijiug the Jails cf the letters of others^ and of 
preferving their own from hmihr practices^ 
the ftudy of ancient and modern liicroglyph- 
ics, of fecret focieties, mafonlc fyftems, &c.* 
Subordinate to the Provincial, In a direcl line, 
we find the 

Prefcds^ each of which may have the in- 
fpetflion of ciglit lodges, in whofe meetinf^s 
they are required to preiide. To thefe, prin- 
cipally, IS entrufted the care cf the lov/er part 
of the edifice. 

The regents alone are eligiWe to the above 
ofHces ; and thofe of this degree who have 
no p.irticular appointments, are charged vA'di 
the general infpedion of the lower orders, 
and to Rudy the advancement of the intercfts 
of the fociety by all pofTible means, 

^^ BarruePs Memoirs, Vol TIL Chap. 14, 

112 Pro:fs of the Esijldiice 

A degree of iupcrviforralp and infpeCciuii 
is likcwife committed to the Scotch Knights, 
und even to the IMajor and Mhior Illuminees, 
over the Mlncrvai, and other preparatory 
claiTes, but at the fame time they themfelves 
are under the conilant inrpeclion of Prefecls 
and Regents, to whom alone the real' views 
of the order arc known.'* 

The inrtructions [riven to thefe feveral aG:ents 
oF Illuminifm, v^'ould ferve greatly to unfold 
the art, and difcover the object, ox the inlli- 
tution. They are a compound of wdiatever 
the higheil machivclian policy could fuggefl:, 
to conceal, and yet advance the ends of 
the fubtle prelector, and to acquire and 
maintain a tyrannical afcendency over the 
.u^.lnds of men ; but they are too numerous to 
be introduced here.j 

Very jufl: is the remark made by ProfefTor 
Rcnner, one of the deponents on the fubjed. 
That tie great firoigih of the order confjls in its 
invlflbility, A brother may know the fecrets 
of his ciafs, and thofe of an inferior one, but 
all above Jiim are entirely unknown ; unlefs 
his fupcriors have conferred on him the com-- 

* B;irruel'3 Memoirs, Vol. III. Chap. i6. f Ibid 

p. 17^ 24^. 

and Effetls of lUumlnljiiu 1 1 3 

muTion of Direclor, Vifitor, or Spy. The 
chiefs, by this method, watch an inferior, 
while they themfelves are concealed ; they 
know how far he is devoted to the order, and 
true to the fecrets with which he is entrufted. 
If he has doubts, to whom can he reveal them 
v/ith confidence, v/hen the perfon to whom 
he commits himfelf, may be one employed to 
fift him, and who encourages his confidence 
only to betray. him f 

"An advantage ilill more important, refults 
from this concealment, for iliould any one be 
difpofed, he is incapable of difcovering the fu- 
fuperiors of the order, v/hile they at the fame 
time can give their fupport to any of the ac- 
cufed without a fufpicicn, perhaps, of being, 
connected with them," 

Tins inviiibility, as they call it, of the real 
iliuminees, it may be imagined excludes all 
communication from the lovvcr to the fupcrior 
degrees ; whereas, in facl, any perfon belong- 
ing cO the lower grades may exhibit a com- 
plaint againft his inftrudor, or aik any privi- 
lege of tlie Provincial, National, or General, 
accordine; to his ftandino;, while at the fame 
time he remains wholly ignorant of the perfon 
he addrcffes, and even of the place of his refi- 
K 2 

1 14 F roofs cf the E:aJ}e7ice 

dencc. Indeed, tlie inferiors of the order are 
required to make, in this way, a monthly re- 
turn to their inviiible fuperiors, of the condu<5t 
of thofe under their infoeclion, and of what- 
ever they concei%'e m?.terkuly int-erelllng- to 
the inftitution. 

This curious correfpondence is condu^led in 
the foHo\ving manner : A letter, with the di- 
rection of S^jjibus Licef^ i. e. to whom it be- 
longs, and marked with the fign of the clafs 
of which the writer is a micmber, is opened 
by the next fuperiars. Thofe having the ad* 
dition of Soli or Pr'unOj are conveyed to the 
Provincial, National, or General, according to 
the rank of the writer, and the directioa 
which is given, whether Soli or Frimo* 

* Eobifoii's Proofs, p. 177. Barruel's Trlemoir'5, VoL.. 

III. f: 225,. Vol.. IV. p. 145 to 149, 

end Fffc^s of llluvnnifm, 115 


The Difccvery of the Sc8. 


i HE firft alarm was given by a difcov- 
ry of many dangerous publications which were 
fecretly circulated ; fevcral of theie were traced 
back to the lodge Theodore, of which vVei«. 
fliaupt was a member. Friendly remonftrances 
were firft made by the Ele^ior of Bavaria, on 
the fubjecl, but thefe abufes continuing, he 
ordered a judicial inquiry into the proceedings 
of this lodge. It was found that this, and 
feveral aiTociated lodges, v/ere preparatory 
fchools for another order of Mafons, who de- 
nominated themfelves 

'Xke Illuminated^ Several called Minervals, 
were faid to belong to this order, but the per- 
fons, by whom they were admitted, were un- 
known. Some of tliefe were privately exam- 
ined by the EkaoT himfe]£ They faid they 
were bound to fccrccy ) but they aifured the 

Ii6 Proofs cf thcLxiJlcnce^ 

Elc(ftor, on their honor, that the aim of the 
order was ufeful both to church and ftate. 

This not relieving the public anxiety, an 
order was publifhed on the 2 2d of June, 1784^ 
forbidding all fecret alTemblies, and fhutting 
up the Mafon lodges. The members of the 
lodge Theodore diflinguifhed themfelves by 
a pointed oppofition to this order ; reprobat- 
ing the prohibition as cruel, and continuing 
their meetings. By a fubfequent edicl, the 
order of the Illuminees was abolifhed, and 
fearch was made, in tlie lodge Theodore, for 
papers ; none of importance, however, wxre 

In 1 7 85, four ProfelTors of the Marianen 
Academy, viz. Utfchneider, Cofandey, Ren- 
ner, and Grunberger, with fome others, who 
appear to have withdrawn from the order, un- 
der a ccnvifiiion of its evil tendency, were 
fummoned before a court of inquiry^ None 
of thefe had been admitted to the miyfleries, 
yet their evidence was. alarming. Their 
teflimony agreed with what has been relat- 
ed refpecling the lower degrees, and they 
further declared, '' that, in the lodges, 
fenfaal pleifares were advocated, and felf- 
murder juilified, on epicurian and ftoical. 
principles ^ that death was reprefcnted as an 

and Effects of lllumiuifiiu i i 7 

eternal fle.p ; patriotifrn and loyalty were call- 
ed narrow-minded prejudices, incompatible 
with univerfal benevolence. Nothing was^To 
frequently difcufled as the propriety of em- 
ploying, for a good purpofe, the means whi^h 
the wicked employed for evil purpofes." 

Tliefe depofitions, given feparately, under 
oath, and the iignature of the deponents, were 
perfectly harmonious ; but the moft oiTenfive 
parts were denied by the Illuminees, and much 
clamor v/as raifed. Weifiiaupt, however, was 
deprived of his ProfeiTor's chair, arid baniilied 
from Bavaria. Ke went iiril to RegeniBurg, 
and afterwards entered into the fervice of the 
Duke of Saxe Gotha, whofe name in the or- 
der was Timoleon.*- 

In 1786, a colledion of cng*nal'p-apers and 
correfpondence, was found in the houfe of 
counfellor Zwack ; and fooifi after, a much 
larger colleclion in the caftle of Sanderdorf, 
belonging to Baron Baffus. This colleclion 
has been pubhilied, by order of the Elector, 
under the title of " Original Writings,^'' From 
thefe papers, principally, were taken the 

* T^obiron's Proofs, p. 8 c to 89, Bairuel's Meirtoirs, . 
Vol IV. Chap, 7, 

A iS I^ roofs of the Exiftence 

details refpccling the code and government of 
the Illuminees.* Some extracts from the epil- 
tolary part of thefe writings will now be pre- 
fcnted to the reader, more fully to bring into 
view the objed of the order, and the means 
adopted to attain this objecl. 

Spartacus, writing to Cato, on the fubjecl of 
eftablifhing a peculiar morality and religion, 
fitted for the great body of mankind, fays, 
" But this is a ticklifh projecl, and requires 
the utmoft circumfped:ion. The fqueamilh 
will ftart at the fight of religious and political 
novelties ; and tliey mull be prepared for 
them. We mull be particularly, careful about 
the books we recommend. I fhall confme 
them at firft to moralifls, and reafoning hiflo- 
rians. Robinet^ Miraheau^ the Social S\fiem^ Nat- 
ural Polity^ the Phllofophy of Nature^ and fuch 
works are referved for our higher degrees. 
At prefent they mud not even be mentioned 
to our adepts, and particularly Hehetius on 
Man.'' The reader here fees a lift of the moil 
anti-religious, atheiiliical produclions, and that 
they are referv^ed for the laft myileries. " Ma- 
rius," he adds, " an excellent man, mud be 
dealt with. His flomach, which cannot yet 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. lo-. Barrucl's Memoirs. Vcl. 

in. p. .45. 

end Llffcfts of lllumlnlfnu 1 19 

digeft fuch ftrong food, muft acquire a better 
tone."* But after all the cautious ileps of 
the leader, Knigge, in a letter to Zwack, e» 
prelTes his apprehenilons, that "-^ fuch afupcra- 
bundance cf atbeifmzvoidd betray the tendency of the 
feci toofoon*^\ 

Brutus writes, "Numenius (Count KolIo\i- 
rath) now acquiefces in the mortality of the 
foul, but, I fear we fliall lofe Ludovicus Bava- 
rus. He told Spartacus that he was miftaken 
when he thought that he had fwallowed his 
ftupid Mafonry/'l 

Weifliaupt, writing to Cato, an account of 
Jiis degree of priefls, fays, " One would al- 
moil imagine, that tKis degree, as 1 have man- 
aged itj is real Chriflianity. In this fenfe, 
no man need be afhamicd of being a Chrift- 
ian, for I preferve the name, and fubflitute 

* Robifun's rrocfs, p^ IC9. B.arruePs Memoirs, Vol. 
IV. p. 43, 

t BaiTuel's Memoirs, Vol. IV. Obfervations, p. 8. 

X Robifon's Proofs, p. 1 69. 

^ Robifon's Proofs, p. 119, BarrueP^ Memoirs, VoL 
TILp. 144. 

r^o Ft oofs of the Ex/lcJ'ce 

The Areopagites, though united in their ob- 
jcfl, appear to have differed much with refpe<9: 
to the bed means of attaining it ; while fome 
were fearful of alarming the adepts by too 
hafty difcoveries, others were difgufted with 
the tedious flownefs of this procefs of deceit. 
Minos (Baron Dittfurt) '* wanted to intro- 
duce atheifm at once, and not go hedging in 
the manner they did ; aihrming, it was eafier 
to lliow at once that a^theifm was friendly to 
fociety, than to explain all their mafonic 
Chriflianity, which they were afterwards to 
iliow to be a bundle of lies'' "^ Language cannot 
furnifh a phrafe, more defcriptive than this, of 
the nature of liluminifm j the whole fyftem was 
"a bundle of lies," a plan of concealed falfehood 
and deception. The means perfe6lly corref- 
pond with the defign of the projectors, and 
fufiiciently explain the nature of that defign. 

We have 'before been led to notice the im- 
portance which thefe confpirators attribute to 
fecret focieties, as the main fpring of their de- 
ilruclive machinery. While they are perpet- 
ually reminding each other, that here lay their 
hopes of fuccefs, it becomes us not to lofe 
fight of this engine of mifchicf. The follow- 
ing^ is an extract from a lecture, which Wei- 


Robifoa's Proofs, J), 135. 

and Effeds cf lllumimfnu 1 2 1 

ihaupt read to his adepts on this fubjed, 
'" When the objc6l is an univerfal revolution, 
all the members of thefe focieties muft find 
means of governing invifibly, and without 
any appearance of violence, men of all flations, 
of all nations, and of every religion. Infmuate 
the fam.e fpirit every where. In iilence, but 
with the greateft activity poillble, direcl the feat* 
tered inhabitants of the earth toward the fame 
point." In proof of the importance of fuch a 
fecret union, he reafons thus : " The fiighteft 
obfervation (hews that nothing will fo much 
contribute to increafe the zeal of the members 
as fecret union. We fee with what keennefs 
and zeal the frivolous bufmefs of Free Mafon- 
ry is conducted by perfons knit together by 
the fecrecy of their union.''* 

Among their plans of deception was found 
a fcheme " for a public literary academy, to 
confift of two clalles of men ; the one of m^en 
remarkable for their zeal in religion, the other 
of profound Illuminees, Each mxmbcr to 
wear on his bread a medal with this infcrip- 
tion, Religwni ct Scienfiisy' (to religion and 

* Barraql's Memoirs, Vol. III. p. i8> Rcbifoti's 
Proofs, p. 93, 

%22 Proofs of the Exifkuce 

fciences.)* " ^nd no marvel ; for Satan hinf:^ 
is trans formed into an angel of light, ^^ 

Spartacus, writing to C^to, fays, ^' There 
niuft not a fingle purpofe come in fight that is 
ambiguous, and that may betray our ' aims 
againft religion and the ftate. That we may 
be uncontroled in our difcourfe, let our pu- 
pils rem^irk that the fuperiors enjoy great lat- 
itude in that refpecl ; that wc fo?netiines fpeak in 
®ne waVy and fonietlnies in another^ only to found 
the opinions of thpfe we converfe with.'* 
This the pupil is told ; but he is not told that 
the real delign is, to fecure a retreat, when 
they have incautioufly gone too far ; and to 
^•ender their real fentiments impenetrable tp 
their inferiors. "f 

Among the inftruclions which Weiihaupt 
gives his difciples, " he exhorts, and ferioufly 
admoniflies thofe who have the care of rare 
books or precious manufcripts, in the libraries 
of princes, ricbles, and religious orders, to 
take them for the benefit of thofe to whom 
4hey would be more ufefd." .Sending a lift 
pi what he would have taken from the libra- 

* Berruel's Memoirs, Vol. IV. Obfervation, p. 9. 
', Tb^Ll Vol. in. p. 177. Robiren^s Proofs, p. 119. 

and Effetls of llluminifm. 1 2 J 

ry of the Cannes, he fays, " a/I thefe ivoidd he 
cf much greater iife if they were in our hands. 
What do thofe rafcah do vAth all ihcfe hooks V^ 

Writing to Cato on the fame fubjecl he 
fays, " Marius (keeper of the archives of the 
Electorate) has ferreted out a noble document, 
which we have got. He makes it, forfooth, 
a cafe of confcience. How filly that ; iince 
only that is fn^ which is ultimately produclivc 
of mifchief. In this cafe, where the advan^ 
tage far exceeds the difadvantage, it is msriiC' 
rious virtue J*^^ 

But not fatisned with robbing mankind of 
their money and books, he contrived as un- 
juftly to pilfer their fame, and appropriate to 
his order, their deferved reputation. At one 
time his direction is, '* to endeavor to gain, or 
ruin every riiing character." At another, he 
gives the Regents the following inflrudions ; 
" It is very proper to make your inferiors be- 
lieve, without telhng them the real ftate of 
the cafe, that all other fecret focieties, particu- 
larly that of Free Mafonry, are fecretly di- 
rected by us. Or elfe, and it is really the fac't 
in fome ftates. that do tent nicnarchs are eov- 
erned by our order. When any thing re- 

^* Robifon's Proofs, p. no. Earruel's Memoirs, VoL 
IIL p. 57. 

124 Proofs of the Exijlence 

markablc or important conies to pals, hint 
that it orighiated with our order. Should any 
perfon. by his merit acquire a great reputation ^ let it 
be generally iinderficod that he is one ofiis*^^* 

There was found in the hand writing c^ 
Zwack, a project for a hilerhood. It contains 
the following pailages. " It will be of great 
fervice^ and procure us much information and 
money, and will fuit charmingly many of our 
trued members, who are lovers of the fex. It 
ilioukl coniiit of two dalles, the virtuous, 
and the freer hearted ; they muft not know 
each other, and m/afc be under the direclion 
of men, but without knov/ing it. Proper 
books muft be put into their hands, and 
fuch (but fecretly) as are flattering to their 

A lift and defcription of eighty five young 
ladies of Manheim, was found w^ith this pro- 
ved. Minos makes an oiler of his v/ife, and 
his four daughters in law to be the firft adepts. 
"Theeldcil/' he fays, " is excelknt. She is 
twenty four, has read much, is above all pre- 
judices, and in religion, thinks as I do,'' 

It appears that the inftitution of a lodge 
was attempted at Frankfort, and a difcourfe^ 

* BaiTuel's Memoirs, Vol> IIL p, 204., 

and Effeds of lllumlnifm. r^ig 

as delicate as the fentiments of fuch men could 
conceive, was prepared for the occalion. Af- 
t€r much of the tortuous eloquence of Illumin- 
ifm, the orator thus addreiTes his fair affem- 
bly. " Rejoice in the dawn of Illumination 
and freedom. Nature at lail enjoys her facred 
never fading rights. Long v/as her voice kept 
dov^n by civil fubordination ^ but the days of 
your majority now draw nigh, and you will 
nro longer, under the authority of guardians, 
account it a reproach to confider with en- 
lightened eyes the fecret work fliops of na- 
ture, and to enjoy your work and duty." 
Minos thought this very fine, but it raifed a ter- 
ribie ditturbance, and broke up the alTembly** 

Among thefe papers was likewife found the 
defcriptlon of a ftrong box, which, if forced 
open, would blow up and deflroy the con- 
tents ; feveral receipts for procuring abortion ; 
a compofition which blinds or kills when 
thrown in the face ; a- method for filling a bed 
chamber with peftilential vapors ; the fecret 
of taking oii and imitating the imprellions of 
feals, fo as to ufe them afterwards j a coilec- 

L 2 

''foil's Proofs, p. no, 137, S^S' Barruel'sMe^ 
- TIL p. 24. 

: 20 Proofs of the E^iftenee 

tion of one hundred and thirty feals of prin- 
ces, nobles, clergymen, merchants, &c. a re- 
ceipt ad excltandum furorem uterinam ; a 
manufcript entitled, " Better than Horus,'^ 
which contained all the blafphemies of athe- 
ifm ; a diiTertation on fuiclde : alfo injunctions 
to all the fuperiors to learn to write with both 
handi ; and that they fhould ufe more than 
one cypher. 

The reader, perhaps, will find it difficult to 
conceive Iiow this horrid artillery could be 
made conducive to the ends which the order 
profeifed to have in view, the advancement 
of relig-ion, and focial sjood. The Illuminees 
have furnifhed us with a folution. " This 
apparatus, they faid, was with propriety in 
the hands of counfellor Zwack who was a 
judge of a criminal court, and whofe duty it 
was to know fuch things/* Admitting this^ 
one thing flill remains unaccounted for, viz. 
how they come to be put with the papers of 
the Illiiminees ?* 

In confequence of thefe difcoveries, fomc 
were depofed from offices they fuftained, and 
feveral baniHied. Apologies, and partial rep- 

* Robifon's Proofs; p. iii, U2. BarrueVs Memoirs, 
Vol. IV. p. 167. 

andEffeBs of Illuminifnu 127 

refentations of Illuminifm were publiflied, 
and great was the outcry of cruelty which 
refounded from all quarters \ while others, 
imputed the lenity of government on this occa- 
fion, to the inviftble influence which the order 
had gained over the meafures of the court.* 

It appears that Illuminifm had made a prog- 
refs proportionate to the zeal of the adors 5 
Bavaria alone is faid to have contained about 
fix hundred. Three of the witnefles above 
mentioned declare, " that while connected 
with the order, they were feveral times in» 
formed that it had extended to Italy, to Ven=» 
ice, to Auftria, to Holland, Saxony on the 
Rhine, and even to America.'' In the original 
writings feveral lodges in America are put on 
the lift. This was before 1786, 

A report refpecling the progrefs of the or- 
der in Greece (Bavaria,) was found among 
the papers of Zwack, in his hand writing, 
which prefents an alarming view of the prev- 
alence of Illuminifm, at a time when the 
public fcarcely knew that the order was in 
exiftence. After m.entioning a num/oer of 
lodges, under the diredion of the Illuminees, 

* Barrud's Memoirs, Vol> IV. Ghap. 8. 

12? Proofs of the E>:\flence 

in feveral parts of the eleclorate, it is nOted^ 
" At Munich we have bought an houfe, and 
have taken our meafures fo wellj that they 
even fpeak of us v/ith efteem. This is a great 
deal for this city. We have a good mufeum of 
natural hiftory, and apparatus for experi- 
ments. The garden is well occupied by bo- 
tanic fpecimens, and the whole has the ap- 
pearance of a fociety of zealous naturalifts.'' 

" The Dowager Duchefs has ^tfC up her^ L 
academy entirely according to our plan. All »' 
the ProfelTors are of cur order ^ and ail the pu- 
pils will be ours." 

^' On the recoirxiTiendation of the brethren^ 
Fylades is made the ecclefaftkal ffcal councellor^ 
and has the church money at his difpofaL 
By properly ufmg this money, we have already 
repaired the mal-admiRiftration of — ' — , and 
of ^ and have affifted more brethren un- 
der fimilar misfortunes.'' 

*• The brethren who are in orders have all" 
been provided with livings and curacies, or 
%vith preceptor's places." 

" All the German fchools, and t^v^ benevo- 
lent focieties, are at •;; ft v^'-lr^ ' " 

etnd Effcds of Uhminifnu 1 29^ 

" We £hall ihortly be mailers of the 
Bartholomew inftitution for the education of 

young ecclefiatics. By this means ive Jloall be able 
to Jlock all Bavaria with priefts both clever and' 

" We have at length got the remaining 
revenues of the Jefuits under the control 
of the order. This coil our fenate fome 
nights want of lleep."* 

This difcovery very much difconcerted the 
plans of the Illuminees, but it did not alter 
their habits or principles. Under a new name, 
and with new agents, we lliall find them, in 
the following chapter, purfuing the fame ob- 
jed, and we ihall fee the long train which in- 
fidelity has been preparing, kindled into an 
explofion which has changed the face of Eu- 
rope, and been felt by remote nations. 

He who habituates his mind to ferious re- 
fieaions, and is fuitably difpofed to derive in- 
ilruaion from the fcenes around him, will 
find means of im.provement, even among thefe 
difgufting objeds. He will at leaft, feel his- 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 1 55—159. Barruel's MejnoirS; . 
Vol. IV. p. 161, 57 — 59. 

130" Proofs of the Exijlence 

ina^livlty in a worthy caufe reproved. By the 
labors, the zeal, the unremitting perfeverance 
of thefe agents of deftrudion ; for who can- 
boaft an equal engagednefs, a mind equally 
awake to feize every opportunity and advan-- 
tage, for promoting the caufe of religion and 
the good of fociety, with v/hat thefe men dif- 
cover, in laboring for the deftruftion of both I 

M2;d Efffcis of Tdummfriu 1 3 j 

^f t^ ' it*" t«>^aa**-M-i i ]. i .mm » ju ii , » -j.mkj]n nm w 



jTX NOTE, tranfmitted from Germany 
*to England, appeared in the Monthly Maga- 
zine of January, 1798 ; in which the public 
<were allured, " that from the beginning of 
the year 1790, every .concern of the lilumin- 
ati has ceafed, and no lodge of Free Mafons 
in Germany, has, fmce that period, taken the 
lead notice of them."* It is worthy of re- 
mark, that this certificate implicitly acknowl- 
edges, that until 1790, the Illuminees did ex- 
ift, and were conneded with the lodges of 
Free Mafons in Germany ; yet thofe, who en- 
deavored to convince the public of their ex- 
igence, at the time in which it is here ac- 
knowledged, were as conteniptuoufly fcoutedj 
as thofe are, who now believe the fubjed im.« 
portant to mankind. 

* Barrviers Memoirs, Vol. IV. p. 3S9. 

;i-^32 Proofs of the Exiftence 

But are fuch men as Weifliaupt and his 
coadjutors, thus eafily beat off from their 
purpofes ? Do fuch Ethiopians fo readily 
change their fldn ? No, Weifhaupt himfelf, 
has fufEciently, though unintentionally, warn- 
ed us not to depend on fuch declarationso 
Writing to Cato, he fays, " I have forefeen 
every thing ; I have prepared every thing. 
Let my whole order go to rack and ruin ; in 
three years 1 will anfvver to reftore it, and 
that to a more powerful flate than it was 
in before. Obllacies only Simulate my 

How far he was aclive, after his banifh- 
ment, in promoting the caufe of Illuminifm,! 
does not appear, but a new confederation, on 
umilar principles, and purfuing the fame ob- 
jecl, was formed, called the German Union. It 
was expedient that known llluminees ihould 
take a lefs adive part in this new arrange- 
ment. Probably the advice which v/as found 
in the hand writing of Cato, was adopted on 
this occafion, which was this : " In order to 
re-eftablilli our affairs, let fomc of the ableft of 
thofe brethren, who have avoided our misfor- 
tunes, take the place of our founders."! 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. iV. p. 1 30c i- Ibid;.p. 1,78? 

t:ud ILjfcCh of luLiiimujm* 13;^ 

The Illuniinees, in projecling this fecond 
part, appear to have taken their clue from the 
followins: exiftini^ circurnilances. That fcheme 
of religion, which excludes from the gofpei all 
its peculiarities^ had, for fome time, been mak- 
ing a rapid progrefs in Germany. One excefs 
led on to another, till doclrines were advanc- 
ed among the clergy, which would leave the 
fuperiority of Chriftianity, to natural religion, 
very doubtfuh This tendency to infidelity, 
•appears to have been, in a great degree, owing 
to the influence of the Anti-Chrifaan confpir- 
acics^ of which we have been fpeaking ; but, 
however this may be, it was found to be a 
very convenient flock on which to ingraft a 
branch of Illuminifm. An opportunity was 
now given, to fuch as wiflied to extirpate 
Chriftianity, to take part with thofe divines 
who v/ere llriving to explain away its diflin- 
guiihing doctrineso 

On thefe circumflances was founded the 
idea of the German Union. A multitude of 
w^riters appcnred who expreffed great zeal for 
Chrillian'tty ; but the manifefl objecl of this 
zeal was, to reduce it to a fyilem of natural 
religion. The Bible was explained, correcl:- 
ed, allegorized, and otherwiic twifled, till 
the minds of men had hardly any thing left 


J 34 F roofs of the Exflence 

to reft on, as a dodrine of revealed religion. 
This was a fignal for others to come forv/ard, 
deny revelation, and affert that man had no 
other ground of confidence than the didates 
of natural reafon. Another fet of vrriters^ 
proceeding from this as a point already fet- 
tled, profcribed all religion whatever, and 
openly taught the doctrines of materialifm and 
atheifm.* But it afterwards appeared, that 
thefe movements were the effeds of combina- 
tion and defign, and that an affociation was 
formed who were unitedly ftriving to drive 
things to this extremity. 

One Barth, a dodor of divinity in the 
univerfity at Halle, was the principal agent in 
this combination. He was an liiuminee, and a 
perfon of moft infamous morals. In this inftance 
Mr. Ebeling acknowledges, that, "As to Barth, 
Robifon is not very erroneous." But, even 
here, he appears much difpofed to palliate, 
and tells us that " Barth did not write againft 
religion 5 but only attempted to modernife 
Chrijiianity:' He even feems to recommend 
his writings, from this confideration,that " He 
knew vice by experience^ and could fhew all its 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. (^d to 72. Barrucl's Memoirs, 
Vol. lY. p. 192 to i94> 

ahd ilfftcls of llluminifnu 1 3 5' 

deformity/' Yet even Mr. Ebeling does not 
pretend that he ever ceaied to love vice, or to 
practice it. 

The diflblutenefs of his morals had depriv-- 
ed him of the means of a decent fubiiflencCj 
^hen,on a fudden.he purchafed. near Halle, a 
larsre manfion, which he called Earth's ruhe. 
This became the head quarters of the Union. 
The management of this inilitution was com- 
mitted to twenty tv/o conducrors, whole 
agents were difperfed through the different 
towns. The perfons chiefly fought after, w^ere 
authors, poft mailers, printers, and bookfellers. 
While every encouragement was given to 
thofe works which favored their deiigns, it 
was found difficult, in fome inilanccSj to pro- 
cure the publication of vforks defigned to cor- 
ted thefe evils. Every obftruclion v/as given 
to the circulation of thofe of this defcription^ 
which had comxC from the prefs ; and funds 
were to be eftablilhed to indemnify thofe 
bookfeilers, who, inilead of felling fuch 
books, would conceal them in their fliops. 

But the principal means, on which they de- 
pended for corrupting the public mind, were 
literary focieiies^ or reading clubs ; which tliey 
labored to fet up in every tov/n. Thefe w^re 

1^6 Proofs of the Exijienca. 

modifications of WeiiKaupt's minerval fchools, 
they became very numerous ; and it was the 
buUnefs of the fecretaries, and initiated book- 
lellers, to have them furniilied with books of 
the moii: Anti-Chriilian character. 

One of the vileft things^ publiilied on this 
occafion. was, the '^ Edict for Religion," writ- 
ten in derifion of fome regulations, publiilied 
by the king of Pruffia, under that title. This 
was traced to Barth's ruhe. He was there- 
upon arreiled, his papers feized, and he im- 
prifoned. This put a fcop to tlie bufmefs of 
the Union ; but Dr. Robifon quotes perfons. 
in high ofice at Berlin^ as agreeing in opinion^ 
that the alTociation of writers, and other tur- 
bulent perfons in Germany, has been but very 
faintly hit by tliis blow, and is almoft as aclive 

As Mr. Ebcling fpeaks in the moft contemp- 
tuous manner^ of Dr. Robifon's perfom in high 
office at Berlin^ I beg leave to introduce here, 
the fentiments of fome of that court upon the 
fubjecl, and in particular, thofe of the king of 
PrulTia, whom Mr. Ebeling mentions in the 
hiigheft terms of refped, and ranks with the 
bcil of princes. 

*^ Proofs, p. 22 1 10245. Memoirs, Vol. IV. p. 195 to 20x 

and EffeBs of lUumlmfnu 137 

The Chevalier Von Hanielberg, a major In 
the king of Pruffia's fervice, lately tranflat- 
ed Dr. Robifon's work into the German lan- 
guage, and prefented a copy of the work to 
his fovereign, to which the king made the fol* 
lowing return : 

^* My dear Major Hamelhcrg^ 

^' The work which you have tranllated and 
communicated to me, with your letter of 
March 3d, expofes the pernicious tendency of 
all fecret focieties in the cleareft light, and is 
entitled to a conliderable degree of merit with 
your countrymen. I, therefore, moil willing- 
ly exprefs my warmed fatisfaclion, and mofl 
iincere thanks, for the copy Vv-liich has been 
tranfmitted to me, and I hereby announce my 
approbation of the work, as your afFe6lionate 

Charlottenburg, July 25, 1800. 

This was communicated to Tjx, Robifon, in 
a letter from major Hamelberg. This letter is 
io well calculated to throw light upon this 
fubjed, that I cannot refrain fron introducing 
the more intereiling parts of it. 

M 2 

ijS Proofs of the Exijthice: 


'^ I Have at laft, after a long fearch, fucceed- 
ed in my endeavors to obtain your valuable 
work on the fecret focieties, which was fo 
thoroughly fappreiled in Germany^ that it was 
not poilible to procure a copy of. As foon as 
I obtained it, I communicated it to fome 
friends, as much diftinguiflied by their charac- 
ter as by tlieir talents j who, being all convinc- 
ed of its excellence, perfuaded me to tranfiate- 
it into German. As the whole merit of the 
work is yours, fir, I feel it to be my duty to 
fend you the enclofed anfwer from the king 
my mnfter. And iliould you be of opinion that 
it will ferve the good caufe, you are at liberty to 
make t^j ufeof it v/hichyou may think pfoper, 
X think it neceffary, iir, to apprize you that I 
have added fome notes, and fome facts which 
have come within my knowledge, and which 
evidently prove (were any further proof re- 
quired) both the truth of your affertions^ and the 
reality of the dangers to which the fovereigns, as 
well as the regular governments, are expofed 
wherever thefe fo.eieties are tolerated. I beg 
you will be convinced, fir, of the diflinguifhed 
confidcration with wdiich I have the honor to 
be, fir, yours, kc* 


MiNDEN, CWeJIj)ha!iaJ July 27, i8qo. 

and Efft^is of lllumwifm,- i39.> 

The preceding letters were communicated 
by Dr. Robifon to the editors of the Anti- 
Jacobin Review, and from, that copied in the 
New England Palladium, of May 29, 1801. 

Thefe letters came attended with an anec- 
dote, which, though not fupported by equal 
vouchers, yet fo p€rfe(5iiy accords with the 
practices of the German Union, and fo fatis- 
fadtorily accounts for the fcarcity of Robifon's 
work in Germany, as induces m^e to give it a^ 
place in the conclufion of this chapter. 

" Gofchen, a bookfelier at Leipzig, had 
engaged a perfon to make a liafly tranilation 
of ProfeiTor Robifon's book, and nearly a doz- 
en ftieets had been printed, when an Engliih- 
man, who fpoke German with all the purity 
and. fluency of a native, came to his houfe,. 
and telling him, that he h'c.d himfeif already 
tranilated the Vv'ork, and that it would appear 
v^dthin a week, perfuaded Gofchen to fell hini. 
his edition, for a handfome price, which was 
immediately paid. By tliis means Gofchen's 
tranilation was fuppreffed, and the other never 
appeared. The fame thing, we have been af- 
fured, occurred at Berlin," 

%j^o Proofs of the Exifience 

C H A P. X. 


If the tendency of thofe principles^ 
which we have feen originating in France, 
atid communicated from thence to the Ger- 
man lodges, is not already apparent, we have 
a fair experiment before u-s, which fully dif- 
covers their nature. We have the fruits, to 
enable us to judge of the qualities of the tree. 
It has been obferved, that the French lodges, 
already the nurferies of every infidel and licen- 
tious fentiment, had communicated to their 
German brethren thofe doctrines, which the 
wicked ingenuity of Weifhaupt had wrought 
up into that fyftematical procefs of corruption^ 
comprifed in Uluminifm. 

Wliile thefe things were tranfafting in Ger- 
many, the fame principles were fpreading^ 
gaining ftrength, and tending to an explofion 
in France. The French lodges had become 
fchools, not for promoting revolutionary opin- 
ions merely, but for training men to that 

imd Effecls of UluminrfiiU ^'4 - 

hardinefs in iniquity, that faiTiiliarity witli 
blood and llaughter, that erafement of every 
natural affeftion, and fcntlment of tendernefs^ 
which prepare men to plunge the poignard in- 
to a brother's breaft. How well thefe mafonic 
fchools were adapted to prepare men for fucli 
fcenes as have been exhibited in France, may 
be perceived from the following ceremony 
ufed in the Grand Orient* 

" A candidate for reception into one of the 
higheil orders, after having heard m.any 
threatenings denounced againft all who fnould 
betray the fecrets of the order, was conducted 
to a place where he faw the dead bodies of 
feveral who were faid to have fuffered for 
their treachery. He then faw his own brother 
tied hand and foot, begging his mercy and 
intercelTion. He was informed that this per- 
fon was about to fuffer the puniihment due for- 
this offence, and that it was referved for him 
(the candidate) to be the inftrument of this 
juft vengeance, and that this gave him an op- 
portunity of manifefting that he was com- 
pletely devoted to the order. It being ob- 
ferved that his countenance gave figns of in- 
ward horror (the perfon in bonds knploring 
his mercy all the while) he w^as told, that in: 
order to fpare his feelings, a bandage lliouldi 

^42' Proofs of the ExUience 

be put over his eyes. A dagger was then put 
into his right hand, and being hoodwinked, 
his left hand was hud on the palpitating heart 
of the criminal, and he was then ordered to 
ftrike. He inflantly obeyed ; and w^hen the 
bandage was taken from his eyes, he fliw that 
it was a lamb h^ had ftabbed."* 

Many of the French lodges needed not ta 
be inftructed in Weiihaupt's theories, to qual- 
ify them for the highelt degrees of Iliuminifm. 
The inllr unions of Voltaire had iWiciently 
difpoireiTed them of what, in the language of 
modern philofophy, is called />r^/^<i/V^ andy^- 
prfiiiion^ i. e. every fentiment of religious or' 
moral obligation \ but a fyflem, and a regular 
fubordination and correfpondence, were want-^ 
ing to give thefe principles their full force. 

In this ftate of things, Mirabeau returned 
from Germany, highly illumdnated; and, at his 
requeft, two of the German Areopagites, viz. 
Bode, and Baron de Bufche, met him in 
France, in 1788, to form the French lodges in- 
to a duly organized body. Their bufmefs was 
eafdy tranflicled. Before the end of March, 
1789, the whole of the Grand Orient, confifl- 

"•* Roblfon's Proofs, p. 290^ 

and Effects of llluminlfnu 1 43 

itig of 266 lodges, had the fecrcts oi lilumina- 
tion communicated to them.* By the means 
of fecret committees every part of this ex- 
tenlivc body was in a ftate of clofe conneci:ion 
and correfpondence ; and it was in the power 
of the prime movers of this machine to direct 
the force of the whole to any point.f 

It is not, however, to be iinderflood that 
every member of this body entered into the 
views of the profound Illuminees. The Duke 
of Orleans himfelf, the Grand Mailer of thefe 
lodges, deceived by the confpirators with the 
vain hope of afcending the throne of "FrancCj 
was but the tool of their deligns. 

Under the direclion of the German deputies, 
a club was formed at Verfailles, compofed of 
the moft profouixi adepts, called the Breton 
Club. This fociety, by means of its comimiit- 
tees in all the illuminated lodges, obtained a 
moft powerful influence in the affairs of the 
nation. The members of this club, comipofed 
the leaders of a club, which afterwards met 
at the Convent of Jacobins in Paris, and from 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 287, 303 — 307. Barruel's Me^ 
jTioirs, Vol. IV. p. 210 — 213. 

:j- Ibid. p. 307 ; and Vol. II. p. 239, 

1 44 Proofs of the Exljlence 

that clrcumftance, was denominated the Jaco^ 
hhi Club. The proceedings of the National 
Convention were entirely iubjeci: to the influ- 
ence of this ufurping confederacy ; and by 
their fecret agents, and committees they in- 
Hamed the minds of the populace, and directed 
their blind rage at pleafure. It was the atro- 
cious meafures of thefe banditti which gave 
to the French revolution its peculiarly horrid 
features, and has attached perpetual infamy to 
the term Jacohin."^ 

As a great variety of circumftances, too 
many to be introduced into this work, and 
which cannot be abridged without v/eakening 
their force, are adduced by Barruel, in proof 
of the influence of this illuminated fociety in 

* It is really a caiife of pain to the author, that he 
finds himielf neceflitated to introduce a term in a very 
odious ienfe, which is ufed to diftingniih the particular 
political opinions of fome of his coiintrymen, M^hom, 
Vnatever names they may bear, he regards as friends to 
religion, to order, and good government ; and he now 
p-ives notice that the term Jacdnih as here iifed, is to be 
conudered as applied, not to thofe who are innocently mif- 
led, but to thofe only who neither yZ^jr Gody nor regard 

Rcbifon's Proofs, p. 311, 3 7 '5. Barruel's Memoirs, 
Vol. IV. Chap. II and 12. 

and Effects of llliimmifnu 145 

direcllng the revolution \ I beg leave to ad- 
duce fome evidence of this fact from another 

That judicious and accurate obferver, John 
Moore, m. d. was, at the period of which we 
are fpeaking, occarionally in Paris, and fre- 
quently attended at the national adembly, and 
at the Jacobin club, and though then igno- 
rant of the fyftematical combination which 
guided the revolution, yet remarked, that 
" moil queflions of great importance are diC. 
cuffed in the Jacobin fociety of Paris, before 
they are introduced into the national affembly; 
and the fuccefs they are likely to have in the 
fecond, may be generally knov\m by that 
which thev have in the firft. Societies of the 
fame name and nature are eftablifhed all over 
France, v/hich hold a regular correfpondence 
v/ith the parent fociety at Paris, and by mu- 
tually commxunicating information and ad- 
vice, acl with wonderful efficacy on imporc- 
ant occafions." 

He alfo quotes, with approbation, a letter 
from M. la Fayette, of June 16, 1792, who 
then perceived that he had been kept ignorant 
of the real views of fome whom he had con- 
lidered as the friends of a juft and equal lib- 


J 46 Ft oofs of the Exijlence 

erty. His expreflions are, " The Jacobin fac- 
tion has produced all the diforders ; it is that 
fociety which 1 loudly accufe of it. Organ- 
ized like a feparate empire, and blindly gov- 
erned by fome ambitious men, this fociety 
forms a diflincl corporation in the middle of 
the French nation, whofe power it ufurps, 
and whofe reprefentatives it fubdues." Thi3 
letter proved the ruin of the Marquis.* 

The American Revolution doubtlefs haftened 
the final cataftrophe of affairs in France. The 
Fi jnch officers and foldiers, by the new idea^ 
which they had acquired in America, of lib- 
erty and the rights of man, were prepared to 
efpoufe this caufe in their own country. It 
is obvious, however, that the aim of the 
leaders in France was not to deftroy the 
power which oppreifed the nation, but to 
transfer that power into their own hands, 
Fayette and his companions became tools of 
-their ambitious defigns ; and, when they had 
aded the parts afiigned them, were facrificed. 
Nothing was further from the views of the 
French nation, at the beginning of the revolu- 
tion, than what has taken place. The objed 
held up to them was perpetually varying, 

* Moore's Jour. Vol. I. p. 67—70. Eofton edi. 1794. 

an d Effeds of lilmninifm. 1-4/ 

They were firft illuminated, literally blind- 
folded and wheedled, till by bribes, by threat- 
enings, and by having their paflions inflamed 
by falfe reprefentations, they were prepared 
to follow their leaders. 

How different were the circumflances at- 
tending the American revolution ? Here the 
object ia view was clear and definite. The 
public will was one, and that will v/as faith»^ 
fully executed. Accordingly, thofe who firfb 
flood forth the defenders of their ccun» 
try's rigiits, acquired an influence, a reputa- 
tion, and an interefl in the public confidence,- 
which furmounted all oppofuion, and which' 
remained, unimpaired, during the whole rev-^ 

The caufe of this diffimilarity, in the twO' 
revolutions, is evident. In America, the 
ftruggle was the refult of a genuine fpirit o5 
freedom, feeking the prote6lion of its rights, 
in equal laws j in France, it was the refult of 
a faction, facrificing to its deteflable views 
the mofl facred rights of man, and crufliing 
all who oppofed its ambitious defigns. The 
friends of moderation, of juflice, and a ra- 
tional liberty, when they ceafed to fecond the 
views of the confpirators were profcribed^ 

2 4^ Pi' oofs of the Exijience 

and the illuminated chiefs, by means of the 
inafonic lodges, governed the nation. 

Dr. Robifon, on the authority of Mr. Le- 
franc, Prefident of thefeminary of the Eudifts 
;;t Caen, in Normandy, and of Mr. Latocnaye, 
-xn emigrant gentleman, reprefents France as 
a vaft mafonic combination, directed by fecret 
influence. In proof of this it is obferved, 
^' that all the irreligious and feditious docN 
trines of the day, and the enthufiaftic princi- 
ples by which the public mind was, as it were, 
let on fire, were the fubjecls of perpetual har- 
angues in the Mafon lodges ; that the diftri- 
bution of France into departments, diftricTis, 
circles, cantons, &c. is perfectly fmiilar, and 
with the fame denominations, to a diftribution 
which he had remarked in the correfpondence 
of the Grand Orient ; that the Preftdent's 
hat, in the national affembly, is copied from 
that of a Grand Mailer ; that the fcarf oF a 
municipal ofticer is the fame with that of a 
brother apprentice ; that when the aiTembly 
celebrated the revolution in the cathedral, 
they accepted of the higheft honors of Ma- 
fonry, by pailing under an arch of feel, formed 
by the drawn fwords of two ranks of breth- 
ren5andthat the national aiTembly proteded the 

and EffeSis of lllumlmfnu 14^ 

n-eetings of Free Mafons, while it perempto- 
rily prohibited every other private meeting.''* 

It was a difcovery of the horrid defigns of 
thefe condudors of the French revolution, 
and not, as fome pretend, aderelidion of the 
principles of liberty, which has alienated the 
virtuous part of our countrymen from their 
attachment to the caufe of France. When it 
was announced in America, that millions of 
Frenchmen were ftriving for freedom, who 
did not beftow a benedidion on their caufe, 
and fervently pray for its fuccefs ? The tri- 
umphs of France were celebrated here with 
real joy, and her misfortunes were lamented 
as our own. Long did we ftrive to palliate 
her crimes,' and long did we mvent excufes 
for her enormities. But when at length the. 
mafk fell off, and we faw in the boafted friend 
of his country the difgufting atheift, the fac- 
tious leader, the man who could fmile at car- 
nage, and feaft on havock and war, our feelings 
revolted ; we could no longer receive as 
brethren, men who proved themfelves the 
enemies of religion, of order, of humanity. 

N 2 
* Robifon's Proofs, p, 294—298. " ~ 

1 50 ?roc>[s of ihe Exijience 

The co-operation of the lUuminees of other 
nations, and their joint exertions to extend the 
revolution, prove that It was the work of that 
order ; and that France was no lefs indebted 
to her fecret agents than to her martlai prow- 
efs, for the unexampled fuccefs of her arms. 

At the commencenient of the revolution, a 
manifeftowasfentfromthe grandnational lodge 
of Free Mafons, (fo it is entitled) at Paris,^ 
ilgned by the Duke of Orleans, as Grand Maf- 
■ter, addreffed to the lodges in aJl the refpecl-^ 
able cities ox Europe, exhorting tliem to. 
iinite for the fupport of the French revolu^ 
tion, and to kindle a fplrit of revolution; 
through all lands j fome of thefe were ad- 
drefCed to thofe, of whofe aiTiftance they were 
affured, and to fuch were given earneil: ex- 
hortations to e/labi:p, in every quarter,, fecret 
fchooh of politicat education; and fchools for the educa-. 
\i.on of children^ under thedireaion of well dfciptined 
mafiers ; andcffersof pecuniary afftJUnce for tlm fur ^ 
pofe, and for the encouragement ofzvriters in favor of 
the revolution, and for patriotic bookfellers, whofuffer 
by their endeavors to fippref publications which have- 
an oppqfite tendency. All tliisisgenuinellluminifm^ 
and may help us to account for the myfterious 
fcarcity of Dr. Ilobifon's work in Germany.^ 

* Scera-e 13S. 


ami Effcas of llluminlfm. 

Among many other foreign lodges, the 
m-and national lodge at Paris, had the partic 
Slar direftion of a club, in the form of a ma- 
fonic lodge, called Propaganda, which met 
weekly, and had its agents and emiffanes lu 
all parts of Europe. 

Thefe facls are collected from a Hamburg 
Journal, for 1790, and from a publication of 
Profeflbr Hoffman, whom the lllumineeshad 
long ftriven to gain to their interefts, and who 
was employed by the more refpeftable Mafons, 
to make public tuefe machinations of the 
occult lodges. The refult of his inquiries 
was, " that the Propaganda works in every 
corner to this hour, and its emiffaries run 
about in all the four quarters of the globe, 

and are to be found in numbers in every city 

that is a feat of government."* 

Thefe invifible agents were by no ireans 
idle or unfuccefsful. There is reafon to be- 
lieve that France was irmch indebted to 
them for their progrefs in Gerirany, Holland, 
Italy, and other parts. The proofs brought 
in fupport of thefe facls are too much involv- 
ed with circumilances to f:nd a place here, 

* Robifon's Proofs, p. 315-3^9. BarrueVs Memo^r^S 
Vol. IV. p. 2S,^ 106, 

1 5 2 Proofs of the Exi/lence 

One curious inftance, however, related in a 
book called Paragraphen j in another per- 
formance, with the title of Cri de la Raifon j 
and in a third, called Les Mafques arrachees, 
muft not be omitted. The inftance referred 
to, is the following. 

Cuftine was accufed before the revolution»- 
ary tribunal of treachery, by Zimmerman, 
for refufmg the offer of Manheim, when he 
himfelf engaged to deliver it into his handsc 
Cuftine's anfwer is remarkable. " Hardly,*' 
faid he, " had I fet my foot in Germany, 
when this man, and all the fools of his coun^ 
try, befieged me, and would have delivered up 
to me their towns and villages. What occafioa 
had I to do any thing to Manheim, when the 
prince was neutral ?"* 

Thefe fecret agents of Illuminifm, appear- 
to have had another objecT: attached to their 
miffion, viz. the removal of thofe who flood 
much in the way of the revolution. When 
it was underftood that Guflavus III, king of 
Sweden, was to command the confederate ar- 
mies, Ankerflroem, by the expeditious procefs 

* Robifcn's Proofs, p. 3 1 1—3 1 3. Bai ruel's Memoirs, 
VoL IV. Chap, 13. 

and Efctls of lllum'mifiiu 153- 

of affaffination, relieved the Jacobins from 
their fears, and. in recompcnce they honor 
him with a flatue.* 

When the expecled union of the emperor 
of Germany and the Idng of Pruflia, alarmed 
the Jacobins, the following confortable re- 
flections were annexed to the account in a 
Strafburgh Journal, No. si- " ^-^^ ^M^ ^°^^^'' 
tries ^ where the fate of fever al millions of men ^ hangs 
on a bit of pcifle^ or on the rupture of a little vein^ 
one can calculate on nothing, A fingle iadigefiion^ or 
a drop of blood forced from its proper vcffcls^ will 
be fufficiejit to diffolve this brilliant union,^^ This 
comment on the expected union was dated from 
Vienna, the 26th of February, 1792. Leo- 
pold died (poifoned) on the ill of March 

On the fucceeding Auguft, it was m.olion- 
ed in the national aflembly, '^ To levy a body 
of tw^elve hundred patriotic volunteers, by a 
peniion of two thoufand livers yearly, with a 
reverfion to their children to the third g^ener- 
ation ; whofe bulinefs it iliould be to afraflln- 

* B.irruel's Memoirs, Vol. I. p. 123. f Ibid. Vol. 
IV' p. 308. Travels of two Frenchmen ir. ths North, 
Vol. V. Chap^ 12. 

154 Proofs of the Exijlence 

ate the generals and princes who commanded' 
the armies which attacked France. An ap*- 
preheniion of reprifals prevented the adoption 
of the propofal." Mr. Moore in his account of 
this bulinefs, adds this circumftance, " That^ 
though it did not pafs in the affembly, iu 
was by them fent to the commiflion extra-^ 

The fate of the emperor taught his young 
fucceffor more caution. His firft care was to 
difmifs all the Italian cooks, that he might not 
become a viflim to what was called the Naples 
broib.i The Illuminee, who believes all means 
lawful for the attainment of a good end, can 
feel no remorfe for fuch deeds of darknefs y 
but, for the honor of modern times, it is de-- 
firable that our hiftory fhould not be ftained 
With many fimilar facls. 

* Moore's Journal, Boflon edit. 1794. Vol. I. p. 
128 — 131. 

f Barruel's Memoirs, Vol IV, p. 308. Robifoa's^ 
Proofs; p. 3 1 1 . 

and Effeds of lllwninifiiu 155 



_A Summary View of lllumhilfm, 

1 HESE are the leading features of that 
'fyftem of deception in which we fee the ene- 
mies of religion quitting the open field of ar- 
gument, in which they have fo often been 
defeated, and flying to the arts of fophiftry, 
corruption, and concealment. But it is not 
from a curfory glance that we can acquire a 
juft idea of the depths of that wicked fubtlety 
comprifed in Illuminifm. Let us take a view 
of this deftru6tive engine in a more compad 

Imagine an illuminated Infmuator attack- 
ing a youth of talents and principle, in whom 
the moral fenfe of right and wrong is yet 
vigorous ; for it is for the feduclion of fuch, 
more particularly, that the artful procefs of 
Illumination is defigned. From this Infmua- 
tor he hears, as by accident, however, that 
|:hefe are fchools of wifdom, feats of fcience, in 


156 Proofs of the E'/ifleficc 

whicli the ivfe and good are uniting for the 
important end of fecretly ruling mankind, and 
thus delivering them from thofc calamities, 
for which all other means are found to be in- 
efFedual. If, by fuch fuggeflions, he is led 
to exprefs a dehre to.become a member of this 
fociety, the Inilnuator promifes his utmoft af- 
fiftance ; but he is told, that this is the reward 
only of long approved merit. 

To excite his curiofity, it is intimated, that 
there exift dodrines iblely tranfmitted by 
fecret traditions, becaufe they are above the 
comprehenhon of common minds ; and let- 
ters, filled with myflerious characters, are, as 
it were incautiouily, expofed to his view. To 
increafe his ardor to become a member, the 
Infmuator expatiates frequently on the fu- 
preme pleaiure of fecretly reigning ; and re- 
marks, that it is eafy for one man of parts to 
lead thoufands, if he but knew his own ad- 
vantages. That he may be led to confider the 
interefts of the order as his own, he is told of 
its readinefs and power to protect him, and 
fecure his fuccefs in all the purfuits of lifc« 
queftions of the moft enfnaring nature are 
propofed to difcovcr his fentiments, and books, 
fecretly conveying the poifon of infidelity, are 
made ufe of to corrupt them. If he difcovers 

mid Effefis of Illummifm^ i ^j 

a weak part, it is note^ for a point of attack. 
If he exprelfes a doubt refpcd:ing any of the 
important principles of religion and morality, 
he is fure of being applauded for his flrength 
of mind in rifmg above the prejudices of edu- 
cation, which he is often told, are the fources 
of all our errors. He is placed in fituations 
where he hears the moft artful fophii^ry ufed 
to prove, that patriotifm and private afieclions 
are narrow minded prejudices ; that the bonds 
of marriage and parental authority are en=. 
croachments on the natural rights of man ; 
that fuicide is lawful ; that fenfual pleafures 
correfpond with the law of nature, and that 
it is proper to employ, for a good purpofe^ 
thofe means which v/icked men ufe for evil 

While every art is thus employed to under- 
mine the principles of morality and religion, 
his fears are lulled by conftant declamations 
on the excellence of virtue, and the highly 
honorable, and moft ufeful and benevolent in- 
tentions of the fuperiors of the order. It is 
one of the prime arts of Illuminifm to extol 
the nam^e of virtue, in general, and at the fame 
time, to fap its foundation in every particular^ 
The objecl is continually varying, and the 
mind, led by new invented fyftems and 

,15.3 Proofs of the Exijlence 

explanations, in athoufand different directions^ 
is, at length, totally bewildered, and all clear 
dillincTion between truth and error is loft. 
How can the unwary youth efcape thefe 
inares fo artfully fpread, and fufficient, indeed, 
^'^ if it werepojfiblej to deceive the very.eled .^" 

And what could have been the defign of 
this fubtle procefs of deception, of all thefe 
£udied phrafes, and nicely adjufted degrees ? 
Were they defigned merely to difcover the in- 
genuity of the contriver?. Or, did he who 
contrived them, in fact, contemplate fome 
<yreat revolution, which rendered the intro- 
duction of all this machinery neceffary ? The 
latter is not -denied Jiy thofe who moft zeal- 
oully advocate the innocence of Illuminifm. 
They were intended, they acknowledge, to 
demolifh the ftrong holds of fuperftition and 
defpotifm. But when the mind is difpoffeffed 
of all that thefe terms imply, in the language 
of lUuminifm, what remains ? What religious 
principle, moral fentiment, or fecial affec1:ion, 
can exift in that heart which has been the fub- 
]ect of this truly diabolical renovation ? 

Were this queftion propofed to an Illu- 
rninee, his anRver doubtlefs would be, What^ 
can exift ? The nobleft of all affec1:ions, the"' 

end EffeBs of Ilhiminifiiu i J| 

fum of all virtue, Cofmopolltifnu Far "from 
difcarding virtue, we only are her true wor- 
Ihippers, who erecl her temple, not on the nar- 
row foundation of private affection, but on 
the broad bafis of univerfal love. 

As this term comprifes every thing of dut)^ 
and moral obligation to which the llluminee 
makes any pretenfions, it becomes necelTary, 
in order to our forming a judgment of that 
fyilem, that this boafted virtue fliould pafs a 
more particular examinationo 

A Cofmopolite, then, is a citizen of the 
world, or one who has baniilied from his 
bread all partial private affedions. One vvho 
loves his country, his family, his friends, and 
benefactors, only as they are parts of the 
whole, and can facrifice them without remorfe, 
whenever he conceives it will be promotive of 
the general good. The adoption of this nom- 
inal, but ficlitious virtue, for fach it is v/heil 
oppofed to private duties, is an inflance of art 
not exceeded by any of the fubdeiies of IIlu- 
minifm. Il:s plaufibility renders it a conven- 
ient maik for men, deftitute of real gooc < 
wiih to be thought pofleiTed of the moft exait» 
ed virtue. It is a garment fuited to all the 
. foi'ms which thefe modern Proteufes can wiih 

1 6o Proofs of the Exijlcnce 

to affiime. It is a term replete -vyith fallarcy 
and deception, and is to mean nothing, 
or any thing, as the illuminated polieiror 


A principle or univerfal benevolence, or 
good v/iil to being in general, doubtlefs enters 
into the compoiition ; and, indeed, forms the 
foundation of all right focial aiieclions. He 
v/ho loves his friend merely from this coniid- 
eration, that he ishis friend, has no love to him 
as a fellow creature, and therefore, is deftitute 
of rieht focial affeclions.* But how is this 
principle of univerfal benevolence to be ex- 
preffed ? In the fame manner as the foidier 

* A late European writer on thlsfubjefl obferves, that 
'■' Extended benevolence is the lad and mod perfetft fruit 
of the private affedlions :" but if the tree be deftroyed the 
fruit certainly mail fail. And thus, according to this 
theory, if all private relations, and therewith private affec- 
tions are deftroyed, extended, or univerfal benevolence 
cannot exift, unlefs there can be fruit without a tree, or an 
effect without a caufe. See Hall's Sermon on Infidelity^ 
page 39. 

My difapprobation of this fentiment, in which I have 
taten the liberty to dilfent from this juftly celebrated 
writer, gives me an opportunity, which I gladly embrace, 
to recommend this mod excellent performance, as merit- 
ing at all times, and at the preftnt in particular, the alter*- 
tlc'ii of mankind. 

and Effeds of llluminifnu 1 6 1 

expreffes his attachment to the caufe in which 
he is engaged, and to the army of which he b> 
a member ; by firmly maintaining his poft, 
and faithfully executing the orders of his com- 
mander. To promote the general interefts of 
mankind is to difcharge the duties of our re- 
fpcdive ftations ; extending occaiional aid, as 
opportunity offers, to our fellow creatures in 
diftrefs. On the contrary, he w4io neglecls 
the duties of his private fphere, ferves the pub- 
lic as the foldier does his caufe, who forfake^ 
his poll, and wanders through the ranks cre- 
ating diforder and confuiion. 

Such is the modern Cofmopolite. Having: 
efFedually eradicated all thofe narrow minded 
prejudices which lead other men to be grate-^ 
ful to their friends, to provide for their fami- 
lies, and to ferve their country, his talk of 
focial duty is at an end, unlefs he fancies that 
he is bound to labor for the general good, by 
forming theories, projecting revolutions, or 
removing the prejudices of mankind. The 
things laft mentioned, become his duty, oa 
his fyftem, whenever he is pleafed to fancy 
that they will be promotive of the general 
good ; which juftifies the alTertion, that Cof- 
mopolitifm iignifies nothing, or any thing, a^ 
the poiicflbr pleafes, 

1 6' 2 Proofs of the Exijhncs 

The Cofmopolite, fcorning the narrow 
fphere of private duties which Providence has 
appohited him, aicends the throne of the Su- 
preme Ruler, and upon the great fcale of urd- 
vcrial being, j--g-s for himfelf, what part be- 
longs to him on the theatre of life. 

On this ground we find Weifiiaupt juftify- 
ing his attempt to procure an abortion. He 
confidently pleads, that what he did in that 
affair, was no more than what he ous^ht to 
have done to fecure his character, and feems 
to claim no fmall degree of praife for doing 
io much to preferve the order, of which he 
was the founder, and Vv'hicli would have fuf- 
fered extremely by his kxfs of reputation. The 
lame principle, in his view, would juftify his 
adepts, in plundering mafonic funds, ccclefi- 
afticai revenues, and books and v/ritings from 
libraries. It was iavv'ful, for the fame rcafon, 
to dcllroy the reputation of fuch as v/ere op- 
pofed to his order, and to make ufe of pious 
frauds to overcome men's prejudices againft 
the doctrines of llluminifm. Such practices, 
which mankind liavc been accuilomed to rep- 
robate, were deeds of virtue in Weifiiaupt's 
view, when done to promote the intercfts of 
an inftitution calculated for the advancement 
i^f human happincfij. 

and Effeds of lllumlnlfnu 1 63 

Friincc reafoned In the fame manner, liav- 
ing eilabliihed this principle, that her revoha- 
tion included whatever could exalt, refine, or 
bleis mankind, in the fulnefs of her Cofmo- 
politifm, flic fwore eternal enmity to kings ; 
fent forth her emilTaries to promote in other 
nations, infurreclions againft government ; 
proffered protedion and affiftancc to all pro- 
mota's of revolutions, and even forced confli- 
tutions, framed in Paris, on thofe who neither 
^efu'ed, or would have received them but 
under the terrors of the bayonet. Thefe be- 
nevolent plans have, indeed, been producfivc 
of the moil cruel exaclions, robberies, ailaf- 
fmations, violations of treaties, and indefcrib- 
able fcenes of mifcry ; but it is a narrow 
minded prejudice, the French Philofopher Vvill 
tell you, to compare thefe partial evils with 
the bleilings of a revolution. This, gentle 
reader, is Cofmopolitifnu 

It is happy that thefe Cofmopolltes cannot 
commiunicate their principles to the brutal 
race, left they, leaving their proper charge to 
perifh, Ihould beftow their care where it is not 
needed. No ; the great Author of nature, 
by indelible inilind, has taught them the izime 
leiTon of wifdom which he has addreifed to 
our underltaadings, ^^ hot every one provide for 

1 54 Froofs of the Exifience 

Lis oivn houfeJ^ It is happier ftill that they 
have not been able to tranfmit their univerfal 
benevolence to other worlds^ and to perfuade 
the great luminary of our fyftem to wander 
from his orbit, leaving us to froft and dark- 
nefs, to revolutionize other fyftems. No ; 
every creature, which has not rebelled againft 
the firft great law of order, promotes the gen- 
eral good, by abiding in its prefcribed fphere 
of aclion. Wherever this law is tranfgreffed 
ruin and miiery will be the confequence. 

This is the evidence on which we are to 
form our judgment of the nature and tenden- 
cy of lUuminifm ; and what do we fee, but a 
deflruclive combination againft the moft pre- 
cious interefts of mankind ? It appears, that 
the real nature and tendency of Illuminifm is 
to be found, by precifely reverfmg its oftenfi- 
ble aim, and the pretended objed of its advo- 

By univerfal citizenfhlp and difmtcrefted 
love, the Illuminee intends the deftrudion of 
all whom he cannot render the dupes of his 
defigns. Morality, with him, means the un- 
bounded indulgence of every corrupt bias of 
human n'ature, only prcferving fuch an exte- 

and Effccls of lHumuuJm. " 1 6s 

rior as fliall better enable him to impofc on 
mankind. The glorious emancipation from 
llavery, to which he invites men, confifls in 
the blind fubjedion of ail their actions to the 
unknown fuperiors of the order. His hum-an- 
ity is the extindion of every tie of nature, of 
every focial afFec1:ion j even marriage is, in the 
view of the Illuminee, an unfufferable monop- 
oly, and every check to a brutal indulgence of 
the fexual affections, a fpecies of tyranny. 
His philofophy confifls of theories contra- 
dided by univerfal experience. His religion is 
atheifm dreffed to the tafte of the fcrupulou& 
confcience. His ufeful and im.portant difccv- 
eries, are new means of affailination, abortion 5 
and peculation. His Creator is chance j and 
his future glorious hope, everlafting fleep» 

The oridnal fource of Illuminifm, and the 
principle which, in a greater or lefs degree, 
influences all who are actuated by its genuine 
fpirit, doubtlefs, is an innate enmity to Chrift- 
ianity, and a dehre to be free from the checks 
which its holy doctrines oppofe to the corrup- 
tions of the heart. 

Motives different from this have, however, 
united their operation in extending this com- 

J 66 Proofs of the Exjftencs 

bination, efpecially in its hoftility to focial or- 
der, and an energetic government. Men who 
wiih to poffefs property for which they have 
not labored, and men of property who want 
power, thefe, and men w^ho never enjoy them- 
felves but in a ftorm, and whofe revolutionary 
minds could not reft even in the calm of Para- 
dife ) all of this defcription, find their feveral 
ends promoted by difturbing the peace of fo- 
clety, removing the ancient land-mai'ks, over- 
turning ufeful eftabUfhments, and breaking 
down th^ barriers which have fecured the 
rights and property of mankind. 

For effeding thefe defigns, Illuminifm fur- 
niflies a moft artful and fyftematic procefs. It 
fupplies the want of power, by fubtle infmua- 
tions. It teaches to bind men with invifible 
bands ; to govern them by their prejudices 
and pailions, and to delude them by a falfe 
light, perpetually varying the object of pur- 
fuit, until the mind is loft in endlefs wander- 
ings, and deprived of every permanent prin- 
ciple of action. 

Another obfervable trait in the chara(5ler of 
thefe deceivers is, their pretended attachment 
to the caufe they fecrctly endeavor to under- 

and EffeSls of Hlmnimffiu 1 6y 

mine. Judging from their declarations, they 
appear the firm friends of government and re- 
ligion, at the fame time that they are plying 
every fecret art to effed their deflrudion. 
Thefe " pious frauds muft indeed be explain- 
ed away," but this is eafily done among thofe 
to whom they have communicated the fpirit 
of the order. 

i68 T roofs of the Exifleme 



1 AM fenfible that great efforts have 
been made, both in Europe and America, to 
convince mankind of the harmlefs nature 
of liiuminifm, and that its operation, whatever 
its tendency was, has long fince ceafed. But 
the wonderful zeal and bitternefs, which 
have been exhibited on this fubjecl, inftead of 
abating, juftly increafe fufpicion. If my neigh- 
bor fancies himfelf befet with ghofts and hob- 
goblins, I may well pity him, and endeavor to 
remove the painful illuflon ; but is there any 
caufe for bitter refentment ? Shall I be at the 
pains of inventing, and circulating falfehoods 
to convince mankind that my neighbor's fears 
are imaginary ? That falfehoods of the grolTeft 
nature have been moft induftrioufly propagat- 
ed, and vengeance of the moft horrid kind 
denounced againft thofe who liave exprefied 
their apprehendons of the deftrudive effects 
of Illuminifm, are facls. But why is it thus. 

avd Effccls of llluminijni, '169 

\i niuminifm is that filly, harmlefs tale which 
l>y fome it is reprefcnted to be ? Or why was 
not Robifon's work to be found in Germany? 
This is not the w^ay to remove jealoufies* 
Where there is fuch a fluttering and outcry, 
we naturally conclude that fome are deeply 

The peculiar invifibility of this order muft 
greatly invalidate the moil pohtive^ declara- 
tions in its favor, however honeftly intend- 
ed. Admiitting that Mr. Ebeling, in particu- 
lar, is, as he ailerts, neither an Illuminee nor a 
-Mafon, and that his declarations on this fub- 
ject are the refalt of conviction, muft this be 
admitted as conclufive evidence ? A fimilar 
declaration has been made by many, in the 
uprightnefs of their hearts, w^ho have been ad- 
mitted even to the threfliold of the myileries ; 
for they have all along had the moft pofitive 
alTurances, that the object of the order was 
the advancemicnt of civil and religious liberty, 
in their moft perfect degrees. 

Did thofe adepts, v/ho retained their refpeffc 
for the fcriptures, believe that they were fup- 
porting a fyftem of Spinozifm ? or did initi- 
ated princes believe that they were protecting 

fjo Proofs of the Ex'ijicnce 

an order which was aiming to reduce them to 
the rank of plebeians ? Yet perfons of each of 
the above defcriptions gave their warm fup- 
port to this Anti-Chriflian, diforganizing con- 
federacy. Is then the judgment of profeffor 
Ebeling to be deemed infallible ? 

From the peculiar nature of the fubje^:, it 
is obvious, that witnelTes of tlie higheil credi- 
bility in other matters, cannot be depended on 
in this ; here is fo much collufion, art, and 
■Rudied concealment, that nothing but ftub- 
born facls, their own wn'itings, and fecret, 
confidential communications, can be reafona- 
bly admitted to be of weight in determining 
ihe views of this order. 

If Mr. Ebeling's proximity to the fcene of 
aclion, afforded him fome fpecial advantages 
for eilimating circumftantial evidence, is he 
not likewife expofed, from this fituation, to 
fome peculiar difadvantages ? Doubtlefs he 
had frequent, and moft pofitive aflurances 
from many worthy and good men, men as 
deferving the chara^ler/at leaft, as Weifliaupt, 
of whom he fpeaks fo refpccl:fully,that lUumin- 
ifm was perfectly harmlefs, and even highly 
beneficial to mankind. Is it not very poffible 
that fuch declarations, made with that fubtl^ 

iVid Effeth of Jlhmiimfnu i / 1 

fophlftry. and plaufibility in which lUiinunifm' 
fo much abounds, fhould bias the judgment 
of the charitable profeflbr ? Then, in propor- 
tion to his nearnefs to the fuggefted, but un- 
difcovered, danger, he would naturally be- 
come confident that it did not exift. It cer- 
tainly adds importance to thefe obiervations, 
that others, who had at leail equal advantages 
with Mr. Ebeling to judge of the real views of 
thefe confpirators, yet differed much from: 
him in opiniono 

But can thefe things be real ? Can humail^ 
nature be fo debafed, fo loil to every princi- 
ple, not of religion only, but of fecial virtue I 
Or could any perfon, capable of inventing 
fuch a fyflem, imagine that it was practicable, 
and that any confidcr-able number of mankind 
•would fubmit to fuch abominpJole impoiitions ? 
Thefe reflections, I confefs, are, to this mo- 
ment, preffing on my mind, and raife a mo- 
mentary doubt, v/hich nothing but the moil 
clear and indubitable evidence can rem.ove. 
But this doubt, we find upon reiie6:ion, arifes 
more from the novelty of the fubjecl, than 
from any thing in it that is really incredible. Is 
not all wickednefs,madnels and folly? Is not the 
vv^ant of opportunity and abilities, the real caufe 
why mankind do not exhibit more frequent 
inilances. of mifchievous madnefs ? Docs the 

172: Proofs of ihe Exlftcnce 

Mftory of pad ages leave us room to wonder 
lit any a6l .of extravagance, which is credibly 
attefted, becaufe it is in the highefl degree un- 
reafonable, and deftruftive, both to the perpe- 
trator and liis fellow creatures ? If revelation 
lias not fufficiently taught us ivhat is in ?nan^ 
the French revolution may furely convince us, 
that there is no fpecies or degree of wicked- 
nefs, within the compafs of human abihty, 
which is beyond the corruption of the human 
heart. Every impious, immoral, cruel, and 
diforganizing fentiment, ever taught in the 
fchool of Spartacus, has been exemplified in 
late tranfadions which have taken place in 

It is not, indeed, to be fuppofcd that all the 
proceedings of the fociety vv'cre minutely con^ 
formable to the adopted fyftem : we know 
they vv^ere not. The machine was too un- 
wieldy to be applied in all cafes. The heads 
of the order referved a right of deviating 
according to their judgment of circumftances. 
Some needed not Weifhaupt's procefs of 
feduclion,to prepare them for the higheft myf- 
teries of liluminifm. A complete fyftem may 
be ufeful as a general directory, even when it 
is not brought into univerfal operation. In 
thisinftance the vanity of the author, doubtlefs 
excited him to render his work perfect, and 

and Effl'SIs of Ilhwimijm, i J'^ 

connected in all its parts. The objeclion 
which fome make to the exiftence of lUumin- 
ifm, that it is too complicated and cumber- 
fome ever to attain the objecl afcribcd to tiie 
projedor, cannot be important. 

While the Illuminees complain of great 
feverity in the proceedings of the government 
againft their order, others, judging of the 
degree of the crime by the punilhment, con- 
clude, from the lightnefs of the latter, that the 
former could not be equal to what has been 
reprefented. Deprivation of office, imprifon- 
rnent, and fome inftances of banifliment, 
appear indeed to have been punilhments inade- 
quate to fuch attrocious confpiracies, Wei- 
ihaupt himfclf expeded nothing ihort of the 
gallows in cafe of his detedion. That his 
expectations were not realized, was, doubtlefs, 
owing in part, t-o the fecret influence of Illu- 
minifm over the meafures of government; and 
flili more, to the many refpeclable characters 
found to be partially involved, which render- 
ed it expedient that the fubjed fhould be 
treated with all poUible lenity. 

In addition to this, it is to be obferved, that 
the weaknefs and inferiority of many of the 
German principalities, rcdvice them to the 
3? a 

1 74 F roofs of the Exifience 

iieceflity of accommodating the meafures of 
government to particular circumflances. On 
the authority of private letters from Germany, 
Barruel relates, That the Duke of Brunfwick, 
in particular, juftified his not proceeding to 
extremities with the Illuminees in his ilates, 
by faying, " Suppofmg I fhould fend them 
a way 5 they would only go elfe where and calum- 
niate me ;" adding, " a league ought to be en- 
tered into by the German princes, to fuffer 
them in no part of the Empire."* 

* Barriiel's Memoirs, Vol. IV. p. 317* 

andEffe^s of Illuminifnu 175 


Collateral Proofs, and General Obfervations, in rela- 
iion to Europe* 

1 HE evidence, and authentic documents, 

which have been exhibited, it is conceived are 

fuch, as can leave no doubt of the exigence 

and active operation of Illuminifm from i yy6^ 

until thefe works of darknefs were brought 

to light, and their promoters compelled to 

change their mode of procedure. Moil of the 

late European writers, where propriety would 

permit, allude to it as an indubitable facb. It 

is not, indeed, denied even by thofe who feem 

mod difpofed to quiet our apprehenfions onthis 

fubje^l : their efforts are directed to prove, 

either that its operation is now at an end, or, 

that it never was defigned to produce, nor 

was indeed capable of producing, the evils 

afcribed to it. Whether the fubverfion of 

fuperftition and defpotifm was the whole aim 

of thefe plotting geniufes, their writings and 

\ cpndu^a; will enable us to judge. 

lyS Proofs of the Ex'f^ence 

' The ilatements and obfervations in this 
chapter are principally defigned to fhew, that 
the contagious poifon is ilill fpreading and in- 
feding fociety, threatening the deflru(5tion of 
everything important to mankind, and there- 
fore, that the hiftory of this fed is a fubjecb 
highly interefting. 

Admitting that the order of the Illuminees 
is now extincl, their fyilems and dodrincs 
remain ; the books by which they communi- 
cated their poifon are in circulation ; the arts 
by which they inveigled and corrupted the 
minds of men are not forgotten, and the 
former members of this fociety ftill poffefs 
the ikiil, the wicked fubtlety, to which the 
care of Weifiiaupt formed his adepts. To 
prove that fuch deftrudive arts have exifled, 
is virtually to prove that they ftill exift ; that 
is, that the care and caution of the wife and 
good ought to be the fame, as if they were 
alTured of their prefent exiftence and adual 
operation. Can it be a doubt whether wick- 
ed men will ufe the moft effedual weapons in 
their power ? Whether they will adopt thofe 
means which they judge beft calculated to 
promote their purpofes ? It belongs to the art 
of fortification to provide againft every poili- 
Ue mgde gf attack. The iiwentioxi gf artillery 

and Effects of Illumlnifm* 177 

pointed out the neceflity of new means of de- 
fence, and it became the engineer to conftru^t 
works, which would repel their deftrudive 
violence. The legiflator, the inftru^lor of 
youth, the moralift, the defender of chrillian-. 
ity, have new arts to encounter, new modes 
of attack and inftruments of mifchief to guard^ 
againft ; how necelTary, then, that they fhould 
become acquainted with the weapons of their, 
enemies, and of their new modes of attack ? 

Although the dilTolution of this combina- 
tion has been confidently afferted, the evidence 
of the fad does not appear. The interruption 
it has received from detection, would natural- 
ly produce an increafe of caution ; but can it 
be fuppofed to efFed any change in the willies 
or defigns of the confpirators I Is the thing in 
itfelf probable ? The proof adduced is merely, 
of the negative kind, and much of this is con- 
tradidled by plain fa6ls. 

In 1 794, it was announced to the public, that 
from 1790, "every concern of the lUuminees 
had ceafed»" But in addition to what has 
been already related of a contrary afped:, 
many circumftances contradict this aifertion. 

1^8 Proofs of the Exiflence 

In 1 79 1 5 a fpark of Illuminifm caught in 
Ireland, and fpread with aftoniihing rapidity, 
threatening a univerfal conflagration. The 
confpirators there alTamed the denomination 
cf United Irifhmen.* This extenfive combi- 
nation was concealed under forms very fimi- 
lar to thofe of Mafonry, and the whole v/as 
methodized upon the graduated fcale of lilui- 

The fubordinate focieties confifted of thirty 
members, and were under the diredion of a 
Bai'onial commit tee, compofed of a delegate 

* See the report of the Committee of Secrecy, prcfent- 
ed to the Irifh Houfe of Commons, July, 1797, with the 
papers and teftmicnies upon wliich faid report was found- 
ed I 2d. edit. London, 1 798, for John Stockdale ; and the 
Speech of the Lord Chancellor, Feb. 19, 179B, reprinted 
for J. Stockdale. 

What is here introduced in relation to Ireland, is not 
defigned to intimate that the people of that country did 
not need a rediefs of grievances. It is noticed merely as 
an evidence of the exiftence of Illuminifm. It originated 
from foreign influence. The fyflem adopted was perfeft- 
ly in the ftyle of the new order. The pafTzons cf the peo- 
ple were inflamed, and their judgments blinded by raif- 
reprefentations. They were deceived as to the real object 
of their leaders. By the fame means infurredlions may be 
excited under any government where the people are in. 
a fimiJar flats of vice and ijnorance^ 

and Effcds of lllumlmfriu 179 

jFrom each fociety within the Barony. The 
Baronial committees in each county, in like 
manner elected delegates, who formed a coun- 
ty committee. Delegates from each county 
committee, formed, in like manner, a provin- 
cial committee for the government and 
direclion of the feveral county committees, in 
each of the four provinces ; and thefe provin- 
cial diredories appointed the general execu- 
tive, whofe reiidence was in the metropolis. 

The fecretaries of each of thefe committees, 
were to be taken from an higher committee, 
and by them the whole correfpondence was 
maintained, and the orders of the executive 
tranfrnitted through the different degrees. 
Thefe orders, for the greater fecurity, were, 
if poffible, to be communicated verbally, or 
otherwife, to be immediately deilroyed. 

One objed of the union fpecified in the 
f conftitution was, that of communicating with 
•; Imiilar fbcieties in other parts, and particu- 
larly with the Jacobin club at Paris. In addi- 
tion to the ufual oaths of fecrecy, fubmiilion, 
&c. every member was folemnly fworn never 
to give evidence againil a brother, in any 
court of juflice, ivhatever might be his crime. 

^iSo T roofs of the Exijlence 

Another requifite oath was fddify to the French 


In April, 1796, the outline of a treaty with 
France was drawn up by the general commit- 
tee of the union, and tranfmitted to the 
French diredory, in confequence of which a 
French force made its appearance at Bantry 
BayjOn the 24th of December, but by a miftake 
between the parties, with, refpect to the time 
agreed upon for the invafion, the Infurgents 
were not prepared to co-operate, and the ex-, 
pedition failed. The accounts detailed in the 
reports of the feveral committees, reprefent 
the numbers of this alTociation to be vaftly 
numerous. It is particularly ftated, that 
150,000 were organized and enrolled in the 
province of Uifter.t 

Similar focieties, in clofe union and corref- 
pondence with this, were formed in England, 
and Scotland, under different names, but 
purfuing the fame object. - 

A ftatement, ftill more interefting to Amer- 
icans, is found in the report of a provincial 

* Chancellor's Speech, p. 32— IriHi report, Appendix^l 
No. 4. 

f Append'ix, No. 31. 

aiid r^ftHs of Illianlnipu \ 8 1 

meeting, dated Randolflown, Auguft 14, 
1797, from which it appears, that a number 
of focleties were formed in l>^o'rtb America^ 
from which, in the laft eight days, Hvo hundred 
and eleven dollars had been received.* 

The cftenfible objecl of this union, was a 
parliamentary reform ; but the correfpondence 
with the directory, and the teftimony of fcv- 
eral witneffes, afford abundant proof, that this 
was held up merely to blind the people, and 
that the real objeci: of the chiefs was, a revolu- 
tion, of v.d:iich the French revolution was to 
be the model. 

Barruel relates fcveral inflances in which the 
?.depts were found fomenting confpiracies 
againft the government, both in Auftria and 
Pruflla, long after the cellation of all the ope- 
rations of Illuminifm were announced to the 
public. Thefe attempts wxre truly formida- 
ble, and were rendered abortive, only by 
thofe ftrange accidental occurrences, by which 
I a governing Providence difappoints the devi- 
ces of the crafty. One inftance is worthy of 
notice, as a curiofity. Mchalovich, formerly 

* Appendix, No, 14, 

1 8 2 "Proofs of the Exigence 

a capuchin, was a principal in a conrpira<;y" 
in Germany. While he was out one day, a 
domeilic, playing with one of his fellow fer- 
vants, for the lake of humor, put on the 
capuchin habit, which his mailer had preferv- 
ed among his clothes, when his mailer unex- 
peclediy returned. The fervant, in order to 
prevent being difcovered with the habit, hid 
liimfelf under the bed, Mehalovich, with 
two other confpirators, entered the room ^ 
and thinking themielves iecure, they con- 
verted, unreiervedly, upon the confpiracy, 
which v/as to break out in three days. Me- 
halovich took five hundred thoufand florins, 
v/hich were hidden in a harpiichord, and gave 
them to one of the confpirators for the exe- 
cution of the plan. After they left the room, 
the fervant went immediately and difcovered 
the whole plot to the minlfters of ftate. In 
the refult, Mehalovich, with eight accompli- 
ces, was executed, and many others were 
condemned to exile, or to perpetual imprii; 

This confpiracy exhibits a remarkable in- 
fiance of the means by which modern revolu- 
tions have b^en effeaed. The party, dehrous 
of a new order of things, through their in- 
fluence at court, found means of forming a 
^arrifon in Vienna, of fubftantial and honeft 

and Effeds of liliimlnifnu 1 83 

Citizens, little accuftomed to bear arms. Thefe 
new raifed corps, they treated v/ltli the great eft 
leverity, under the pretence, that what they 
did was by the order of the emperor ; hoping 
by this to render the government obnoxious' 
to them.* 

Habitually viewing Europeans as deprived 
of the rights of men, and groaning under 
oppreiTion, our attention has been naturally 
diverted from confidering the real charader ot" 
modern revolutionifts, and the tendency of 
their meafures and principles,- From the hap- 
py fuccefs of their own revolution, Ameri- 
cans, in particular, have incautiouily indulged 
the idea, that a revolution muit meliorate ib- 
ciety \ that nothing more is neceOary to ren» 
der men free, profperous. and happy, than to 
overturn ancient eftabiifiim.ents. Even under 
the adminiftrations of Washington and Ad- 
ams, thefe children of change, fancied a rev- 
olution necelTary to preferve our libertieso 
But what has been exhibited in Europe, may 
teach us that it is time to paufe, and coniider 

j Would the deluded people of Ireland proba- 
bly have improved their fituation by overturn- 

* Earruel's Memoirs., Vob IV, p. 311, 312. 

- o4 Proofs of the Exiflence 

ingtheirown government, and throwing them- 
iblves into the arms of France ? What recom- 
pence has France herfelf found for her llangh- 
tered millions, her exhaufted treafuries, and 
the fcenes of indefcribable diftrefs which have 
attended lier revolution ? Can a people enjoy, 
or preferve the bleflings of tem.perate liberty, 
until they are enlightened and virtuous ? Will 
unprincipled, ambitious men exert the influ- 
ence they gain over mankind, to make them 
free or happy ? Have none but tyrants rea- 
fon to dread this new, revolutionizing 
fpirit ? Was not SwiiTerland free ? Were the 
magifcrates of Geneva defpots ? In fine, is 
that revolutionary pov/er, which confiils in 
blinding its agents, and inflaming the bad 
pallions of a nation by falfe reprefentations, 
defirabie in any government ? 

If oppofition to conftituted authorities, and 
a pretended zeal for the rights of men, are 
proofs of patriotifm and benevolence, the 
prefent may well be called the golden age ; but 
we have been fufficiently entertained with 
vague declamations, it is time to attend to £ic1:s 
and experience. 

It is obvious that fociety cannot fubfift, un- 
iefs thofe are governed who will not govern 
themfclvcs. Were all the members uf a com- 

md Effeas cf Ulummfnu 1 8^5 

miinity invariably difpofed to praAice right- 
coufnefs, to fuch a community, a government 
of rcflraint would be unneceiTary. On the 
contrary, a fociety compofed of men of an 
oppofite character, need the ilrong h?.nd of 
power to preferve the public tranquillity. 
Such a government tends indeed to abufe, 
and perhaps there may not be an inftance, 
where this rigorous cxercife of authority is 
maintained, with a perfed regard to juftice 
and the rights of the fubjeci,- It is^to be 
regretted that men, invefted with power, are 
fo little difpofed to approve thernfelves the 
fathers and benefaclors of their fubjeds,- But- 
k it therefore dcfirable, in the prefent ilate 
of mankind, that every government fliGuld 
be revolutionized into a republic ? Is the mod- 
ern, faihionable oath, of " hatred to all kings,'' 
dictated by an enlightened and chriflian benev- 
olence? That man might asreafonably lay claim 
to benevolence, who Ihouldioofe the hands of 
a mad-m,an, and fet him at liberty to deftroy his 
fam/ily and him.feif. Until a people are enlight- 
ened and virtuous, republican freedom will 
degenerate into licentioufnefs, and afford an 
opportunity to the fa6liou3 and ambitious, 
by enfiaming the pafiions of men, to erecl a 
tyranny more to be dreaded dian that of the 
uiofl arbitrary defpot on earth, 

1 86 Procfs of the Exijicnce 

No nation in modern Europe has fufFercd 
more from an unlimited monarchy than 
France ; but, feparate from all the mifchiefs 
which her mad politics have produced to 
other parts of the world, there certainly has 
been no equal period under her moll defpotic 
kings, productive of evils, to be compared 
%vith thofe w^hich have attended the late rev- 
olution ; and thefe evils mufl probably have 
continued, if general Bonapap^te had not 
fortunately acquired fuxh unlimited control 
over the nation, as has reftored order and 

It is futile to attempt to avoid the conclu- 
fion, which this fad affords, by obfervingy 
that thefe evils are to be imputed, not to the 
people of France, but to factious leaders, who 
liave made them the dupes of their ambitious 
vievx^s ; for it is the wretched ignorance, and 
depravity of a people which make them dupes 
of fuch leaders. How grofs muft: be the ig- 
norance of a people who can believe, that 
fuch men asDanton, Marat, and Robefpierre, 
are friends to real liberty, and the rights of 
man ? A vitiated fociety will always have 
fuch leaders. We may fafely eilimate the 
charaaer of a people, by that of the perfons 
in whom they place confidence. This con-* 

and EffeBs of IHuminifm.^ 1 8 7 

fideration alone, proves, that virtue and in- 
formation are necciTary to the fupport of a 
free government. Where thefe are want- 
m<y^ perfons of the above defcription will 
never fail, by the cry of tyranny, and a 
pretended zeal for equal rights, to increafe 
the jealoufy of a people againll rulers of their 
own choice ; to withdraw^ from them the 
neceifary confidence, and to transfer that confi- 
dence, mofi: improperly indeed, to themfelves. 
To this evil, republican governments, from 
the lenity and indulgence which enters into 
their conftitution, have always been peculiarly 
expofed ; but the danger is greatly augmented 
fince the arts of deception have been wrought 
into a fyftem, and the adive Fropagayida of 
Illuminifm has been laboring to undermine 
every government within the reach of its in«. 
fiuence. From this caufe, every ccnfiderable 
republic in Europe has undergone a revolu- 
tion ; and the prefervation of governments of 
a more rigorous form, is their greater 
energy in repelling the invading enemy. 

Th: American revolution took place under 
the happicft omens. It did not originate from 
the blinding influence of defigning men ; it 
was not excited by the ambitious defire of 
renderiD" .Vnv^r'ca miftrefs of the world \ 

1 88 F roofs of the Exiftcnce 

but it owed its rife and progrefs to a jiiiV 
fenfe, in the Americans, of the rights of inei: j 
of what was due to themfelves, and to pofter- 
ity, and a wife, patriotic, and virtuous deter- 
mination to refifl the firft encroachments of 
arbitrary power. Simplicity of manners^ 
habits of economy, induftry, and moderation^ 
tocrether v. ith amole means of information^ 
of moral and religious inftrudion, every cir-r 
cumiilance leemed to promife permanency to 
our government, and a rich harveft of the 
bleiTings of freedom. Never was the experU 
ment of a republican governm.ent made with 
fairer profpeds of fuccefs. Yet, even here 
has anarchy reared her horrid front, and 
f^ruck terror into the hearts of Amiericans^ 
The arts of intrigue have withdrawn pubHc 
confidence from approved worth, and tried 
merit, and all the energies of governments 
have been called into adion to fupprefs a fpiri5 
of infurredion, and open oppofition to con- 
ilitutional meafures. 

There yet appears a large number of citi- 
zens, we hope a great majority, who fee m 
fenfible of the importance of clec1:ing men of 
principle, and of fupporting the moral, and re- 
ligiouslnftitutlors of our country ; and while 
fuch is our ntuation, we are not to defpair oi; 
the republic. 

a:id Effcds of lllumlnifnu 189 

It is far from the dcilgn of theie obierva- 
tions, to prove, that a republican gov- 
ernment is either undeflrable, or impradi- 
cable; they are intended merely to exhibit the 
abfurdity of the idea, which many have adopt- 
ed, that nothing m.ore is necelTary to make 
any people happy than to reject their own 
governm.ent, and receive a conilitution from 
France. Vv^hatever may be the refult of the 
experiment now making in America, the 
events which have taken place here, as well as 
in Europe, give weight to the opinion, that 
mankind are not generally prepared for the 
enjoyment of republican blellings. 

But it is not merely by exciting revolution:^ 
and confpiracies, that Illuminifm has difcover- 
ed itfeif in Europe, fnice wx were told, " that 
all the concerns of the Illuminees had ceafed.'* 

So late as February, 1798, the miagiflrates 
of Jena were compelled to puniih a number of 
the {Indents of that univerfity, who had form- 
ed an affociation, by the name of Amicifts, 
under the diredion of fome Illuminee. They 
had been taudit to confider the oath of their 
aflfociation as fuperceding all others, even the 
moil facred engagement that could be made. 
The form of this fociety was mafonic ^ and by 

190 Proofs of the Exiflence 

their fecretary, they maintained a regular cor' - 
refpondence with other lodges. Their code 
tausfht them to conilder themfelves as a Rate 
within a ilate ; enjoined the moft profound 
fecrecy, and exprefsly required, that, fhould- 
feveral of them afterwards refide in the fame 
town, they fhould eilablifh a lodge, and do ali^ 
in their power to propagate thefociety.* 

On the authority of fome private communi- 
cations from Germany, the hiftorian further 
ftates, that the univerfity at Halle, was in a 
fniiilar fituation with that at Jena. That pub- 
lic infults were, offered by the fludents, to the 
minifters of religion, while attending the du-- 
ties of their ofHce ; that dogs were fet at 
them while preaching, and that indecencies' 
took place in the churches, which would not^ 
be fuifered in the ftreets.f 

The very refpedable writer before quoted 3 
of Upper Saxony, fays, " In the great univer^ 
fities of Germany, which I have feen, or of 
which I have had any information, the flu- 

* See Minutes of the Judgment of Hamburg, No. 45» - 
^March 13. 

t Barrud's Memoirs, Voi. IV. p. 306 — 316,- 

and Effecls of lllummifm. 1 9 1 

.dents have the appearance of afct of rude and 
inlolent Jacobins. In feme univerfities, where 
the iludents amount to about a thoufand or 
twelve hundred, they are all formed into pri- 
.vate focieties ; and that, in all the German 
univerfLties, the chief ftudy is the new lyilem 
.of phiiofophy, by v/hich the mind is totally 
bev/ildered, and at length deprived of every 
folid principle of religion, morality, or found 
politics. Unfortunately,^' he adds, "the clergy, 
and many, even of tliofe Vv^ho ferve the coun- 
try pariflies, have had their m.inds bewildered 
with the metaphyfical jargon of the unlverfi- 
ties. They have come to doubt, and feme to 
deny, the truths of Chriilianity itfelf ; and to 
affert, that it is a vulgar fuperftition, adapted 
only to the ignorant. The Old Teftament has 
,very generally loil its authority ; and a coun- 
try clergyman, lately in company with a 
friend of mine, laughed heartily at the igno- 
rance and confined notions of the clergy of 
the church of England, when he heard they 
ftill believe the Mofaic hiftory of the fall 
^f man."* 

A gentleman of great refpecl:ability in Eu- 
•rope,''in a letter to his correfpondent in A- 

^ Appendix to Antl- Jacobin Review, Vol. VI. p. l^^)- 

1-92 Proofs of the Eyifzcnce 

merica, dated September,! 800, fays, " I lament 
exceedingly, the too plain ilate ct the public 
mind on the great points of religion and mo- 
rality. Religion has been fo freely dealt with 
now in Germany, that it no longer makes the 
impreiTion of former times, always mixed 
with fome tincaire of veneration. It is now 
entered upon with the fame coolnefs and eafe 
as any other matter of fcientiiic difcuilion. 
This of itfelf is a misfortune. It was furely 
of advantage to us, that the mind could not 
engage in any religious refearch, without fome- 
what of the fam.e referve (call it fuperftition if 
you \Y\X\) that one feels when difcuffing a 
pc;int of filial duty or relation. , Religion 
having thus loft all its ufe, it has even cc'afed 
to occupy its former fhare of room in the 
perman Catalogues ; and the fcribblers have 
fairly begun to treat the plain moral duties 
with the lame freedom. I received lately, a 
a fmall performance, by one Emmering, at 
Franckfort, who, even under the tyranny of 
Cuiline, in 1792, had the boldnefs to attack 
the profligate fpeeclies of Bohrner and Forfter, 
in the Convention of Mentz. He ftill pre- 
ferves the fame unfubdued fpirit ; and though 
a layman, (a Wine merchant) he nobly m.ain- 
tains the caufe of religion and virtue. In this 
httle performance lie mentions feveral tnoft 

mid EJuls cf I/li/viirafm, 193 

profligate publications, in which tl\e fidelity of 
the hufband, to the marriage bed, is fyftcmat- 
ically iliewn to be a frivolous prudery ; and 
therefore, concubinage, or polygamy, perfeclly 
proper, under certain regulations, purely civil ; 
and,whichismoftlamentable,the proper courts, 
before which this was brought by Emmering 
iiimfelf, refufed to take it up as a public of- 
fence. This, at Franckfort, grieved me ; for, 
•during the revolution at Mentz, the inhabit- 
ants of Franckfort, behaved in a manner that 
is not exceeded by any thing on record." 

" I was the more affecled by this, becaufe I 
found that Knigge and VsTeiihaupt, after hav- 
ing form^ed very high expeclations.from their 
operations in Edeifa, were difappointed ; and, 
in 1782, reprobate Edeifa in the moft rancor- 
ous terms. Phiiofiys, " the inhabitants are 
too rich, too republican, and will not be led 
about by the nofe." 

" Emmicring m.entions another publication 
by one Semler, profeiTedly v/ritten to weaken 
the parental tie, laying it down as a princi- 
ple, that a man's children liave only an artifi- 
cial title to his fortune, unlefs they have aided 
him in the acquifition of it. But the (late, by 
. giving that protcdion by which the fruits of 

194 Proofs of the Exifence 

his induftry are fecured to him, has a preferable 
and natural claim. The aim of this unnatm^al 
principle is too barefaced, I think, to be dan- 
gerous. But a companion to it by George 
Forfter, is moil atrocious. The fons and 
daughters are made the judges of their parent's 
character and conduct, and if they find either 
incivicj they are peculiarly bound to denounce 
them as undutiful to them (their children) by 
giving them pernicious principles and educa- 
tion. I mention thefe things to fhew how 
the profligate monllers have attempted to revo- 
lutionize the mind of man'^ 

We have many unequivocal proofs that 
this is a juil reprefentation of the flate of re- 
ligion and literature in Germany. To what 
views and motives iliall we then attribute the 
conduct of thofe gentlemen, who endeavor to 
compel us, by illiberal reproaches, to believe 
their unfupportcd declarations ? Do they not 
know that the mind naturally revolts againft 
iuch unreafonable violence, fuch tyrannicabat- 
..tempts to hoodwink our underflan dings ? 

and EffeSls of Illumlnifnu 195 


CoUaieral Proofs^ and General Ohfer-vaticnsy relaU 
ing to the United Staies. 

Those who alTureus that Illuminifm 
was always harmlefs, and has long fmce been 
extind in Europe, at the fame time ridicule 
the idea of its having ever exifted in America, 
or had any influence on our civil or religious 
interefts. From the peculiar fecrecy of the 
feci, thefe gentlemen came forward with the 
greatefl advantages- for gaining credit ; for, 
they confidently aik, where are thefe lilnmi- 
n€es ? Point them out to us. With the fame 
confidence they aifert that we were ignorant 
of the name.of this order until it was commu- 
nicated by Robifon. This is true, but if they 
are impartial, Why do they not lay open the 
whole truth ? Why do they not tell us that 
the flrength of the order lies principally in 
concealment, and that it alTumcs any name or 
form, rather than its own proper one t Why 

19^ Proofs of the Exijience 

do they not tell us, what they very well 
know, that, even in their native foil, Bavaria, 
their name and exiftence were equally un- 
knov/n,till their deeds difcovered their retreat, 
and induced an inquiry, which brought to 
light their hidden works of darknefs ? The 
inquiry before us does not r^fped names and 
appellations. We are not contending that 
there are, or have been, rnen in America, 
known as Illuminees. The important facl is> 
that men in America, under the direftion and 
influence of a foreign head, are, or at lead 
have been, combined in oppoiition to our 
peace, profperity and welfare. A raili, un- 
founded fuggeflion of this nature would be- 
highly criminal ; it is here made with folem- 
Xiity, and under a conviclicn, that the evidence: 
by which it is fupported, affords juil caufe o£- 

Upon the lid of illuminated lodges, furnifh-- 
ed bv t)r. Robifon, feveral are tnentioned as 
exiilingin America before 1786.* 

The zeal with v/hich Dr. Morfe has invefti-»i 
gated this matter, as it refpeds this country,, 
though it has loaded him with that kind ofj 
obloquy which is the good man's praife,h"as 

* Robi. on*s Proo f •. p. 159. 

and Effucls ofllluminlfnu 10,7 

furniftied feme important documents with 
which we fhall enrich this part of the fubject. 

In an Appendix to his Faft Sermon, of May 
9, 1798, he gives us a particular account of 
the lodge Wisdom, inftituted at Portfmouth 
in Virginia, as early as 1786, a branch of the 
Grand Orient of France, and numbered tlie 
2660th defcendant of that fleck.* From an 
original letter, for the authenticity of which 
he pledges himfelf to the public, he has fur- 
niflied us with an official hft of the numbers, 
names, ages, places of nativity, and prof ellions 
of the oiHcers and miCmbers of this lodge, to- 
gether with their, horrid feal, in v/hich, with 
fome of the ufualmafonic fym.bols, are inter- 
woven emblems of carnage and death. The 
members of this lodge, confifting of one hun^ 
dred, were chiefly emigrants from France and 
St. Domingo. This lodge had a deputy reficU 
in-g with the miOther fociety in France, to com- 
municate all needful inflrudions. Tvv o fimilar 
focieties had originated from the Portfmouth 
lodge, one inVirginia, the other at St. Domingo, 


* PartlcLrlnr mtnlion Is made of this kclge by Barrucl, 
Vol. IV. p. 213,. 

1 9B Proafs^ of the Exylena 

By the fame means he had evidence of the 
exlftence of a fimihr foclety at New York,;^ 
called '' The Grand Orient of New York,'**' 
derived, in like manner, from the lodge of the 
fame name in France. From this New York 
lodge ifiiied a French lodge, called the Union,. 
which was the i.ith branch from this feconda- 
ry ftock. The particular location of the other 
lodges, or whether the number here fpecified,. 
included the whole v/hich were then. in Ame- 
rica^ v/ere not known. 

It is an important item of information,., 
which the Docfcor further communicates oa; 
this fubject, that the bell informed Free Ma- 
fons among us, difclalm thefe focieties ; the 
titles of fome of their dignitaries, their feal 
snd motto they declare are not mafonic. In. 
the clofe he introduces the following calcula- 
tion, which, though obvious, is interefting.. 
Admitting all thefe American lodges, individ- 
ually, to contain an equal number of members 
with the lodge Wifdom, the calculation gives 
at that tim^e, no lefs than 1700 agents of Illu- 
minifm in Am.erica, in clofe connection and 
correfpondence with each other, and Vv'lth the 
Grand Orient at Paris, from which they^^rc- 
ccived conftant illumination ; und we may 

and Effecls of Illuniimfni. 199 

z\},d^ ading under the influence of a fociety, 
which was the active foul and vital fpring of 
thofe fcenes of horror exhibited in France and 
Gther^arts of Europe, 

A very refpedlable Mafon, formerly Grand 
Mailer of all the lodges in the State in which 
he reiided, informed me, that a letter, defigned 
for one of the abovementioned lodges, fell in- 
to his hands while he was Grand Mailer, by a 
very natural miilake, and which left him no 
room to doubt the accuracy and authenticity 
of what Dr. Morfe has flated on this fubjed* 
He could not afcertain particulars, as the time 
of his receiving the letter was previous to the 
difcovery of Illuminifm, and confequently it 
appeared more enigmatical than it probably 
v/ould at prefent ; and iince that time, it has 
been miilaid, or taken out of his poffeiHon. 

The following facts, received from unquef- 
lionable authority, confirm the trath and 
accuracy of the above reprefentation. A 
gentleman of high refpedlability, who fays, 
**^ he belonged to a lodge of the ancient order of 
Mafons," and was in a fituation to know per- 
fectly the character and con duel of the Portf- 
rnouth lodge, under date of March 23, 1800, 
writes thus to Dr. Morfe ; " The lodge in 

200 Proofs of the Exlflcnce 

Portfmouth, to which you allude, in your 
appendix, called the French lodge, was con- 
fidered by me as under the modern term (f 
?7iafonry. Its members, in 1789, were moftly 
French. Some men who were refpeclable, 
and attached to our government, Dickfon 
and Cox, particularly, belonged to the lodge 
at that time. It is probable about the time 
Admiral Cambis' fleet arrived there from St. 
Domingo, there might have been many en^ 
thufiaftic Frenchmen admitted, which fwell' 
the num.ber in your lift." 

April II, 1800, the fame gentleman write,?, 
*' That you had good grounds to fufpe<5l the 
deiiens of the French lodsre at Fortfmouth in 
Virginia, I have no reafons, nor ever had, to 
doubt ; and, at a time, it is evident to me, that 
their work was to effed the plans of France in 
this country; and that the bulk of the members- 
who compofed the lodge in 1797, were ready 
to further any defigns which the French gov- 
ernment may have had on this country, and 
to give their aid to carry them into effect, as 
they Vv'^ere moftly Frenchmen. The few 
Americans admitted were to prevent their be'uig 
fufpeded^'Widi they could operate without them ; 
as I am convinced they never were admitted 
to the higheft degrees/' 

a7id Effects of llhiminifm.. 20 1 

Add to the above, that this French lodge 
at Portiinouth, v/as not in fellowfliip with the 
other k)dges of the ancient order of Mafons ; 
and that one of its members froniGermanVjat 
a period when. Americans generally thought 
favorably of the French revolution, declared, 
(and the declaration can be fubflantiated) that 
he belonged to a lodge in Germ^any, in v.'hich 
that revolution was planned. Thefe. fads, 
and thofe originally Rated, together with 
credible information, received direft from 
the moil refpcclable men in Portfmouth, 
prove inconteilibly the corrednefs of the 
account which has been publifhed of this 

Although the above documents have never 
been confronted with any evidence, unlefs 
clamor and abufe may be fo called, yet, as 
this mode of reafoning has its influence with 
fome people, I muil beg leave to introduce 
another refpcdable mafonic teftimony. It is 
an extrad, furniflied by a friend, from a 
printed oration, delivered Februai-y 3d, A. L. 
5801, before the Grand Royal Arch Chapter 
for the ftate of Nev/-York, by the Rev. John 
F. Ernft, Grand Chaplin. The friend who 
furniihes the extrad, writes, that he (the 
orator) '' is held in high, very high eHima- 

202 Proofs of the Exijlence 

tion by the Mafons in thofe parts/' The 
orator, guarding his brethren againil the 
wrong ufe which he acknowledges has been 
made of Mafonry, in many inflances, intro- 
duces the following fentence. 

"The unravelled and deepdefigns of modern. 
Mafons, called the Illuminati, who have almoll 
inundated Europe, and are gaining ground fafl 
in America^ have clearly demonftrated the 
abufe, iiniykd Mafon lodges have ?net with ; and 
how they, when not prefided over, and 
guarded by men of knowledge, and genuine 
mafonic principles, can be overthrown, revolu* 
tionized, and moulded according to pleafure,^' 

Are thefe documents deferving no credit ? 
Shall we renounce our reafon, becaufe fome 
men will not believe unlefs they have 2, 
lign from heaven ? And if true, do they not 
afford juft caufe of alarm?. Admitting this 
was a full difcovery of the extent of lilumin^ 
ifm in America, at that time, and that iince 
that time, it has received no increafe, which 
is f^vr from being probable ; is a body of 
feventeen hundred men, a6ling, with the force 
of fecret focieties, and under the direclion of 
a foreign power, compatible with the peace, 
qpiet.and fafety of this country? We need 

and Effects of lllumlmfm, 203 

no longer wonder at the confidence the 
French Directory expreiled in their diplomatic 
Jiilll and- influence in America, or the prev- 
alence of the new philofophy, and the alarm- 
ing change which has taken place here, in the 
flate of religion and morals. ' It is no longer 
furprifmg, that every method has been adopted 
to excite oppofition to the meafures of the 
late adminillration of our government, to 
viHfy our bell characters, and to alienate the 
minds of the citizens from their rulers ; or, 
that native Americans have been compelled 
to yield their feats to foreigners. This 
affords an eafy explanation, of what, without 
[ this key, mxufc appear myfterious, that a 
'period, in which we have enjoyed all that 
men can enjoy of the bleflings of a free and 
\ excellent government, attended with a degree 
[ of profperity, which has fcarce its parallel in 
i the hiftory of mankind, has been a period of 
complaint, of tumult and infurrec^ion. Nor 
is it unaccountable that we lliould hear it 
afferted, with the higheft effrontery, that our 
^ greatefl danger arifes, not from France, from 
., Illuminifm, or felf-created focieties, but, from 
^4he tyranny of the clergy, and from Britifli 
influence. Thefe are among the known arts 
of Illuminifm. Whoever has carefully ob- 
ferved its progrcfs in Europe, w^iil eafily 


2G4- Proofs aj the Exigence 

difcern the features of the moiifter, under all 
its conceahrtents. It is an axiom «in lUumin- 
ifm, upon which its difciples, both in Eu- 
rope* and America, have formed their prac- 
tice, that the m.oil egregious and abfurd 
falfehoods, if told with confidence, and confi- 
dently repeated, will at length gain credit 
and influence. 

As has been ftated, we have ample proof, 
that focieties have exifled in America, derived 
from the Grand Orient in France, and inti- 
mately connected with that directing head of 
ail the improved, or illuminated lodges in 
France. This evidence, coming from different 
quarters and diftincl fources, is greatly cor- 
roberated by that circumftance, and acquires 
an additional claim to our belief. But will 
it be faid, becaufe illuminated focieties, con- 
nected with thofe in France, once exifted in 
America, it is not therefore certain that they 
were united in defign with the parent 
fociety, or wifhed to extend the empire of 
Illuminifm ? Though Jacobin clubs were 
fuddenly formed in every part of the United 
States, fimilar to thofe, in France, by means 
of w^hich, the Jacobins governed the natron at 
their pleafure, yet this, it may with as much 
truth be Hiid, is no demonftration that the 

and Effects cf llluniinifnu 2 05 

clubs in America were formed for the like 
purpofe. Thus men rcafon, who are deter- 
mined not to admit conviclion. But can any 
perfon, not blinded by prejudice, doubt 
whence arofe the oppofition made to the 
adoption of the federal conftitution, and to 
every meafure, calculated to eilabliih the 
independence, profperity, and refpedabiiity 
of our country? It is not commonly to be 
•expecled-, that we liiould be able to fubftan- 
tiate, by legal evidence, the fecret machinations 
of the emiifaries of darknefs. Their intentions 
are not to be difcovered by their profeilions, 
and oilenfible charadler ; but often they iin- 
v/arily expofe themfelves to the wakeful eye of 

Before the fyftematical arrangements of 
Illuminifm becam.e public, the active inter- 
ference of France in America was vifible to 
every perfon of difcernment, who was not 
oppofed to conviclion. It is well known that 
the activity of Genet, by granting commif- 
fions to privateers, procuring the enlillment 
of foldiers, forming clubs, extending the 
influence of France, and by his attempts to 
j excite oppofition to government, and to 
alienate the minds of the people from their 
rulers, produc ed a remonflrance on the fubjed 

a 00 Proofs , of the Exifience 

from our watchful Prefident, which rendered 
his recal unavoidable. To exculpate thofe 
under whofe commiHion Genet acled, his 
conduct in America has been attributed to his 
imprudently exceeding his commiffion. This 
is eafily faid, as many other things have been, 
without a coloring of truth. Genet had his 
recommendation for the Am.erican appoint- 
ment, in the proofs he had given of his difor- 
o-anizing qualities at Geneva, where he had 
been the fuccefsful agent of the fame deteftable 
policy. But v/e are not left to conjectures 
refpecting the grounds of his appointment, 
Robefpierre, wiiliing to crufli the BriiTotine 
faction, that he might poffefs their power and 
influence, charges them with their unjuii 
attempts againU: other governments, and with 
^•efped to America, fays exprefsly, " Genet, 
their agent at Philadelphia, made himfelf chief 
of a club there, and never ceafed to m^ike and 
excite motions equally injurious and perplex- 
ing to the governmentc" 

Defeated in this attempt, by the vigilance 
of Washington, but not difcouraged, ren- 
dered more cautious, but not lefs malicious, 
the agents of France ftill purfued, though 
with greater fecrecy, their diforganizing 
fvftcm. In 1 795, Fauchct's intercepted letter 

anclEffals of Illumlni/m. 207' 

again difclofed their dark defigns, and the 
real charader of " the pretended patriots^ of 
America." The memorable fentence, relating 
to the infurgents in the weilern counties, will 
not be foon forgotten. He informs his gov- 
ernment, that the weftern people, " Repub- 
licans by principle, independent by charader 
and fituation, they could not but accede with 
enthufiafm to the criminations which we 
have fketched.''* The grievances of thefe 
deluded people, or their criminations of gov- 
ernment, were not, it appears,, fuggefted by 
their own feelings, but by French agents, who 
dilated to them what were the cenfurable 
proceedings of their conftituted authorities. 

This is not the Uril time this oiHcious- 

nation has Iketched grievances, and excited 

thofe who were at reft, to arm themfelves 

againft their own governments. But left this 

Jkub fhould not meet the feelings, and obtain 

the full approbation of thefe repubHcans, 

Fauchet adminifters to his em.ployers, this 

further confolation, that " thefe complaints 

were fyftematizing by the converfation of 

influential men, who retired into thofe wild^ 

^ countries, and who, from principle, or by a 

"^ f erics cf particular heart-burnings, animated dif- 

contents, already too near to effervefcence."t 

* Fauchet's Letter, i©th parag. f '^'^^^" -^th panig. 

2o8 Proofs of the Exiji'ence 

It mufl now be left with the reader to deter- 
mine, whether or not he will allow Mr. 
Fauchet, and his influential coadjutors, the 
pralfe he claims of exciting an infurredion^ 
which coil the United States more than a 
inilllon of dollars. 

As Mr. Fauchet has not told us what argu- 
ments his influential asrents would ufe to 
promote the infurreclion, the defect may be 
fupplied by the following communication, 
made by a gentleman of accurate information, 
and of the firfl refpectability in Pennfylvania ; 
who warrants us to allure the public, that 
^' the plunder of the city of Philadelphia vjas pronu 
ifed to the h fur gents in 1794, hy their leaders.'* 

The focieties of United Irilhmen next mark 
the progrefs of Illuminifm in America. In 
May, 17983 the declaration and conflitution 
of the American Society of United Iriflimen 
were difcovered, and publifhed inPhiladelphia* 
This fociety was evidently founded on the 
principles of the illuminated lodges in Europe ; 
and we are not left in the dark as to their 
objefl ; for no one, who will attentively read 
their conflitution, can hefitate to fay, it was 
to enlift and ors:anize the difcontented and 
ra<5lious, and particularly foreigners^ in the 

and Effeas cf Illuminlfm. 209 

difFerent parts of the United States, in order 
to difFufe the fpirit, and promote the infernal 
defigns, of Illuminifm in this country. Their 
conftitution is drawn up with confiderabie 
ingenuity. The oftenfible objed of their 
affociation, was to ad in concert with their 
United brethren in Ireland,- ''Equality and 
Liberty to all men," was, at the fame time, 
held forth in their declaration ; and in their 
tefl, each- member pledged himfelf, that he 
would direct all his efforts to the " attainment 
o^ liberty T^ndi- equality to mani-^Tind, in ivhate'-cer 
country he may refide'' The fedion which 
immediately follows the tejt, exhibits a ftrong 
evidence, that the oftenfible objed of the fociety, 
was not the real one 5 and, that under the 
femblance of humanity, was concealed a 
projecl: far from the emancipation of mankind. 
The fedion is this: "That the /£/2 of this 
fociety, and the intention of this inftitution, 
(in all other refpecl:s than as a foclal body^ 
attached to freedom): be confidered as Jlcret 
and inviolable, in all cafes, but between mem- 
bers, and in the body of the fociety." The 
exiflence of this fociety, the intended fecrecy 
of its defigns, and the evident tendency of its 
labors, exhibit further, and ftrong proof, 
that the baneful influence of Illuminifm is- 
dijiiufing itfelf through this CQiAntry. 

2 10 Proofs of the Exijh nee 

Although our ears were daily wounded 
wdth the difgufling extravagancies of France, 
and our property fubjeded to the moft wan- 
ton fpoiiations, ftill, from fome fecret caufe, 
her influence was prevailing in America ; 
when the directory, milled by the fhameful 
pliancy of our ambaffador,* entirely mifcal- 
culated their influence, and the remaining en- 
ergy of the American chara<fl:er. Sure of 
their prey, they too foon threw ofT the mafk 
which concealed their deiigns. Their con- 
duct towards the American Envoys, who 
were fent to demand a redrefs of grievances^ 
was fo repugnant to every fentiment of juf- 
tice, good faith and propriety, as to admit of 
110 apology. The mill, which had been gath- 
ering around the minds of Americans, and 
through which France appeared great and 
magnanimous, was dilTolved in a moment. 
In vain was recourfe had to the deceptive 
2rts which heretofore had been fo fliccefsful. 
Her deteftable policy filenced her advocates, 
and united all who regarded righteoufnefs, or 
felt for the intereft, or dignity of their coun- 
try. A barrier was now formed, which ap- 
peared to be a kiting defence againft the in- 
triguing fpirit of France. We forgot our 
loffes and fufferings in the pleafmg profped 

^^ Mr. Munroc, 

and Effeds of Ilhmiinifm. 2 1 1 

that our countrymen would forever efcape 
her deceptive fnares. But, aias, thefe hopes 
have vanifned. Subfequent events, which 
have lulled the fears, and impaired the en- 
ergies of our countrymen, have furnifhed 
unhappy opportunities to thefriends of France, 
to propagate her principles, and extend her 
influence, in America ; and at no period, per- 
haps, has their fuccefs been greater, than for 
the laft three or four years. What is to be 
the refult, cannot be forefeen. 

The infxuence of Washington, more ex- 
tenfive, perhaps, than ever one man acquired 
over a nation, proved, during his adminiftra-- 
tion, a great mean, under Providence, of fe- 
curity againft the infiduous attempts of our 
enemies, and the progrefs of felf-created foci- 
eties, of the tendency of which he was 
aware, and gave faithful warning to his coun- 
try. At a later period, the full tide of wealth, 
which has poured in upon almoft all clalTes of 
citizens has operated as an antidote againR 
the libels of the enemies of our government. 
But, if thefe peculiar advantages have fcarcely 
preferved us from the mortal embraces of France j 
if a fteady oppofition has been made to a gov- 
ernment whofe meafures have been uniformly 
fuccefsful, and murmurs, complaints and in- 

0. 1 2 I" roofs cf the ExifUnce 

furreclions have marked a period, attended 
with every foothing circumllance of prof- 
perity, what may we not fear from thofe 
preffing difhcukies which may arife, and 
which, probably, will be the refult of thofe 
luxurious habits we are now forming, when 
the means of gratification, as they muft be, 
are contraded ? What indeed can we expe6l 
in any circumilances, fbould the fpirit of llluf 
minifm continue its progrefs \ fhould our re- 
newed intercourfe with France, extend the 
influence of thofe principles which have al- 
ready been too fuccefsfully diffeminated. ia 
America ? 

Although the obfervations in this chapter 
have- a political afpetl, they have not been 
introduced with a political defign, but in evi- 
dence of the progrefs of the genius of Illu- 
minifm, the conftant attendant of French 
influence. France is the region of llluminifm, 
and her policy and principles are dictated by its 
fpirit. The leading characters in her revolu- 
tion have publicly avowed the fentiments fo 
induflrioufly propagated by Voltaire, and fyf- 
tematically taught in the fchool of Weifliaupt. 

In a difcourfe, compofed by Anachariis 
CloQtS; and printed and drwlatcd by order 

and EfecJs of Illuminifnu 2 1 3 

of the National Convention, we find the 
follovvlng fentiments. " Man, when free, 
wants no other divinity than himfelf. Reafon 
dethrones both the kings of the earth, and 
the kmg of hea-oen. No monarchy above, it 
we wilh to preferve our republic below. Vol- 
umes have been written, to determine whether 
^ republic of Atheiils could exiil: I maintain, 
that every other republic is a chimera. If 
you admit the exigence of an heavenly fove- 
reign, you introduce the wooden horfe within 
your walls ; what you adore by day, will be 
your deftruaion at night.^'* By virtually 
abolifhing the chriftian fabbath, enthroning 
Reafon in the temples of the Deity, and by 
affixing to their burying-grounds the infcrip- 
tion, " Death is an everlaftingf.eep'' a fentiment 
exprelTive of the eifence of atheiim, the Con- 
vention gave the moil explicit fandion to the 
above principles. 

This is French liberty ; the liberty they 
wifli to propagate. The ftate of their finances 
required that they fliould be more immediate- 
iy active in promoting revolutions in govern- 
ments, than in propagating- atheifm; as every, 
revolution afforded a pretext for plunder,, 
and for demanding contributions, but, in 

* Relidence in France. 

214 F roofs of the Exijlence 

the mean time, they have not been inaclive w. 
their attempts to aboiifli, what they ftyle, 
" the tyranfiy of heaven.^* Their Anti-Chriftian 
writings, which have been rapidly circulated, 
even in thefe diftant regions, and their 
Propaganda^ afford ample proofs of their zeaL 
Girtanner, in his memoirs on the*French 
revolution, eilimates " the acling members of 
the club of the Fropagandifis^ at fifty thoufand,' 
and their general fund, in 1 791, at thirty 
millions of livres ; that they are extended" 
over the v/orld 5 having for their objed the 
prom.otion of revolutions, and the doctrines 
of atheifm. It is a maxim in their code, that 
it is better to defer their attempts for fifty 
years, than to fail in them through too much 

That the principles of infidelity have- 
attended the progrefs of French influence in> 
America, does not admit of a doubt. The 
truth of this remark is evident from infpec- 
tion. Who can avoid feeing, and who that 
believes the importance of religion to man- 
kind, can avoid lamenting, the alarmiing; 
revolution v/hich has taken place here, in the 
effential dodrines of natural and revealed; 

* BarruePs Memoirs, Vol II. p. 245. 

and Effi^ls of llhwmijm, 2 1 5 

.religion ? The fentiment has not yet been 
openly avowed, but I have fatisfying evidence, 
that it has been more than once alTerted, to 
this effed, that zvc never Jljould be free until the 
chriftian church was aholifloed. 

The two following articles of information 
were communicated by a gentleman of the 
firft refpeclability in Pennfylvania, to his cor- 
refpondent in New England, who has favored 
me with his letter :* He writes, " On the oc- 
cafion of the eledion of citizen M'Kean, an 
altar was ereded on the commons, on which 
the ftatues of liberty and peace were placed. 
Large libations were poured on the altar by 
,the priefts of liberty, who were clothed in 
white, with red caps, (luck round with fprigs 
of laurel. After which an ox was facrificed 
before the altar, and its flefh divided among a 
thoufand citizens, while many republican 
toails were drank by the company. The ox 
was likewife adorned with garlands, accord- 
ing to the Pagan ritual." 

The other article is as follows-: " It was 
^ lately propofed in Ricket's Circus, (at Phil^- 
! delphia) to exhibit a view of Hell, for the di- 

•^ The original is with the aiKhor. 

2 1 6 Proofs of the Exlftencc 

veriion of the good company, and fucli exhi- 
bition would have taken place, liad not the 
combuftibies, prepared for the occafion, taken 
fire too foon, and confumed the houfe." The 
firfl account, the writer fays, " is taken from 
a democratic paper, printed at York (Penn- 
fylvania) and with refpecl to both, he adds, 
" You may rely on the accuracy of the in- 

The following ftatement is taken from a 
printed abftrad of the fociety, for the propa- 
gation of the gofpel in foreign parts, for the 
year, ending the 21ft February, 1800, and an- 
nexed to Dr. Courtenay's anniverfary fermon. 

*' A fed, called New Lights, but compofed 
of the moft enthufiaftic and extravagant of 
the different denominations in Nova Scotia, 
have lately appeared in that province, whofe 
political, are faid to be equally dangerous with 
their religious principles. It is beUeved that 
the conductors of thefe people are engaged in 
the general plan of a total revolution in relig- 
ion and civil government ; and it is a certain 
fact, that the Age of Reafon, Volney on the 
Ruin of Empires, and a falfe reprefentation of 
the French Revolution, have been fecretly 
handed about by profefied New Lights/' 

and EffeBs of Illuminijm, 1 1 7 



In the former chapter, fome documents 
were introduced to prove that the noxious 
weed of Illuminifm had taken root in our 
happy foil, and was here difFufmg a poifon, 
more penetrating and mortal than that of the 
famous Bohan Upas. Let us now examine the 
afpecl of fa^ls, which are univerfally known to 
exiil, and obferve their agreement with this 
hypotheiis. If all appearances harmonize with 
the fentiment here advanced, and are unac- 
countable on every other fuppofition, this will 
give much additional weight to the proofs 
already adduced. Indeed, the evidence refult- 
ing from the exifting (late of things, often 
impreffes the mind with a con\d6tion, no lefs 
forcible, than the moil pofitive tefnmony. 
This kind of evidence, however, requires an 
equal balance ; its due weight can never 
be afcertained where tlie unfteady hand of 

^ 1 8 Froofs of the Exijlence 

palTion holds the beam, or where prejudice 
poileiTes the fcale. 

Perfuaded that. there are many of my fellow 
citizePxS, who are not guided by prejudice or 
partiality, I would invite them to a calm and 
deliberate confideration of the following que- 
ries, founded on the {late of things among us, 
as they have exifted, and do now exift. 

I ft. Whence ariles the avowed attachment 
of a numerous party, in this country, to 
France ? Why are we conftantly luearing, that 
ilie is the only nation in whom we can repofe 
confidence, on whofe fidelity we can rely ; the 
only friend of the rights of man ? Why are all 
her enormities fo induftrioufly palliated, and 
her viclories celebrated as the triumphs of 
ri2:htCQufnefs ? 

Perhaps there has never been an Inflancein 
the hiflory of man, of a more finccre and dif- 
interefted fricndfliip between two nations, 
than that which once fubfifted between Ame- 
rica and France ; and I hope there is not now 
a citizen in the United States, who would not 
feel a fmcere and ardent pleafure in the return 
of that nation to the paths of wifdom, and 
the enjoym.ent ofthefweets of civil and re- 

and EffcSls of lliumlnifm* 215 

Irgious liberty. But what muft be in the heart 
of that man, whofe feelings accord with her 
principles, and who is gratified with the fucccls 
of her prefent meafures ? Mufl not every 
friend to fociety, to order, and religion, 
adopt, with refped to France, the energetic 
language of the Patriarch, "O my foul, come 
not thou into their fecret ; unto their alTem- 
bly, mine honor, be not thou united ?'' 
Whence then the charm wliich fo flrongly 
binds fuch a numerous party in this country 
to France ? 

Is it their malicious oppoiition * to the 

* Sunday, Nov. 17, Anacharfis Cloots did homage 
to the Convention, and made the follovving propofal. 
** It is now become an acknowledged trutli, that the ad- 
verrarles of religion have, well deferved of mankind. On 
this accomit, I demand, that a ftatiie be ere<5l:cd to the 
firil: abjuring priefl, in the temple of reafon." The pro- 
pofal of Cloots was referred to a commdttee, and adopted. 

In the fame month, on the motion of Chanmette, 
^•liich was received with applaufes, it was rcfolved in the 
Council of Paris, 

T. That all the churches and temples of diiferent 
religions and worfliip, which are known to be in Paris, (hall 
be inftantly fhut. 

2. That whatever troubles may enfue in Paris, .in 
confequence of religious motives, the priells and miniders 

220 Proofs of the Exijience 

Chrillian religion, burning their bibles,* oblit- 
crating the chriilian fabbath,t paying divine 
honors to imaginary deities,| and counte- 

of the different religions, fiiall each be particularly 

3. That every perfon, requiring the opening of a 
church, or temple, fhall be put under arreft, as a fulpe<5ted 
perfon, &c. &c/* — Kett on Prophecy, London edit. 1800, 
Vol. II, p. 240. 

% ii What," fays an intelligent American gentleman, 
in a letter to his friend in Bofton, dated at Havre, Nov. 24, 
X 793, " What do our good folks think of dethroning God, 
burnhig the Bihk^ and fautting up the churches ? Before 
I came here, they burnt the bible in the public fouare, 
pulled down the images of Jefus and Mary, in tlie 
churches, and iilled the niches with thofe of Reafon and 
Liberty, &c. See Dr. Morfe's Thankfgiving Sermon, 
17985 p. 22. 

■\ " Od. 25, 1793? ^ '^^"^ calender vras propofed, and 
adopted by the Convention, with a view to obliterate the 
remembrance, as well as cbfervance of that holy day, 
which has been, from the earlieft times, confecrated to the 
exercife of public devotion. Feftlvals were appointed at 
iiated periods, fimilar to thofe which were eftablifhed in 
limes of Idolatry, to the Virtues, to Genius, to Labor, to 
Opinion, to Rewards." Kett, VoL II. p. 236. See 
alfo, Refidence in France, p. 270, New- York edit. 

X " The magnificent church 6f St. Genevieve, at Paris, 
was changed, by the National Alfembly, into a repofitory 
for the remains of their great men, or rather into a pagan 
temple, and as fuch, was aptly diflinguifhed by the name 
cf die Pantheon,''* [N.B. The Fantheo?: ivas a he aut'iful edifice 

and Effc8s of llhtmlnifm, 221 

nancing, even in their National Affembly, the 

at Rome^ attcic7itly a temple^ dedicated to all the Gods. ] " To 
this temple, the remains of Voltaire and of RoiTeau were 
conveyed in folemn and magnificent proceffion. The 
bones of Voltaire were placed upon the high altar, and 
incenfe was oftered. And when the infatuated multitude 
bowed down before the relics of this arch enemy to Chrift, 
in filent adoration, a voice, a fmgle voice, was heard to 
utter, in a tone of agonv and indignation, thefe memaorable 
words ; Cod, thou nyjilt he revenged I Search was im.medl- 
ately made for the man, who thus dared to interrupt thefe 
rites, and this Abdiel was, probably, facrificed to the fury 
of the multitude." Kett, VoL II. p. 233. 

"Previous to the tenth day, on w^hich a celebration was 
to take place, a deputy arrived, accompanied by the 
female goddefs ; that is, (if the town Itfelf did not pro- 
duce one for the purpofe) a Roman drefs, of white fatin, 
V7as hired from the theatre, with which, fhe was inveded, 
her head was covered with a red cap, ornam.ented with 
oak leaves, one arm was reclined on a plough, the other 
grafped a fpear, and her feet were fupported by a globe, 
and environed by mutilated emblems of feodality. 

" Thus equipped, the divinity and her appendages 
were borne on the (lioulders of Jacobins *^en hoiinet rouge P 
and efcorted by the national guard, mayor, judges, and 
all the ccnftituted authorities, who, whether diverted or 
indignant, were obliged to preferve a refpedful gravity 
of exterior. When the whole cavalcade arrived at the 
place appointed, the goddefs was placed on an altar 
eredled for the occafion, from whence fhe harangued the 
people, who, In return, proifered their adoration, and 
fung the Carmagnole, and other republican hymns of the 
fame kind. They then proceeded In the fame order to 
the principal church, In the choir of which the fame cere= 
T 3 

2 2 2 Proofs of the Ex't/lcnce 

mofl: impious blafphemies againft the God of 
Heaven ? * 

Has France recommended herfelf to our 
edeem by thofe horrid murders, and fcenes 
of carnage and blood, which fpared neither 
the hoary head, the innocent fupplicating 
female, nor the harmlefs infant, but added 
wanton barbarity to her pretended acls of 

moriies were renewed ; a priefl; wiis procured to abjure 
his faith, and avow the whole ofChriftianity an impofture: 
and the feftival concluded with the burning of prayer 
books, faints, confeffionals, and every thing appropriated 
to the ufe of public worfhip. The greater part of the 
attendants looked on in filent terror and aftoniiliment ; 
while others, intoxicated, or probably paid to a£l the 
fcandalous farce, danced round the flames, with an ap- 
pearance of frantic and favage mirth. It is not to be 
forgotten, that reprefenti;tives of the people, often pre- 
fided as the high priefts of thefe rites ; and their official 
difpatches to the Convention, in which thefe ceremonies 
were minutely defcribed, were always heard with burfts 
of applaufe, and fanclioned by decrees of infertion in tlie 
BuUetln^ a kind of official newfpaper, diftributed at the 
expenfc of government, in large tov/ns, and polled up in 
public places." See ReridenceinFrance,p.2 7o,N.Y.ed. 

* "Nov. 1 793, the pupik of the new repubhcan fchool, 
of the fcftion des Areis, appeared at the bar, and one of 
them fet forth, that all religious worfiiip had been fup- 
prelTed in his fedion, even to the very idea of religion, 
lie added, that he and his fchool fellj'ws detcjled Cod, and 
ih:;t, inftcad of learning fcripture, they learned the decla- 

and Effects of llluminifDU 1 23 

jullice f and perfecuted the minillers of relig- 

ratlon of rights. The prefident having expreffed to the 
deputation the fatisfaaion of the Convention, they were 
admitted to the honors of the fitting, amidft the loudeft 
applaufe." Kett, p. 224. 

* " Sept. 2, 1792. The people broke open the prifon 
rA the Abbaye, and commenced a malTacre of the prif- 
oners. Many had been confined on flight fufpicions ; 
many poor priefts, on no particular accufation, but merely 
becaufe they were priells. The fame horrid fcenes were 
extended to all the prifons in Paris. 

Amon^ the unhappy vi(5tlms who fuffered on this oc* 
cafion, was Madame de Lamballe, whofe only crime was, 
the friendfhip of the queen. She was ftruck on the head 
with the bludgeon of onealfaflin, and her head feparated 
from her body by the fabre of another. The body, after 
a feries of indignities, not to be related, was trailed by 
the mob through the ftreets." Moore's Journal, Bofton 
edit. Vol. T. p. 183 — 189. 

Kett, defcribing the fame event, fays, « Three fucceff- 
Ive nights and days, fcarcely meafured their alTaffmations 
of prepared viaims, who had been, from motives of pri- 
vate hatred and revenge, imprifoned. Seven thoufand 
fix hundred and five perfons were inhumanely murdered, 
and the ajfafins publicly demanded their fwages. During 
the Ihort interval between thefe bloody fcenes, the paf- 
fions of die populace were fired ; the relentlefs Pvoland 
had the care of the general police ; the bloody Danton 
was the minifter of jufllce ; the infidious Petion was 
mayor of Paris, and tlie treacherous Manuel was procu* 
rator of the common hall. Thefe magiftrates were evi- 
dently, either the authors, or the accefiaries, of thefe 
paaiTacres." Kett, Vol. II. p. 235. 

224 T roofs of the Exiftence 

ion with marks of peculiar rancor ?* Or are 
they pleafed with the loofe morality of 
France ^t where the facred obligations of the 

*^ A fourth of thefe, our reprefentatives,'* fajs the 
author of La Conjuration, page i6o, " ripped open 
the wombs of the mothers j tore out the palpitating en^- 
bryo, to deck the point of a pike of hberty and equal* 
ity." Many inflances of the hke nature might be pro- 
duced, but I am not wiUing to torture the feehngs of 
the reader. 

* The commlilioner Garnier wrote thus to the Con- 
vention, on''the nth of December, 1793 : " Ihavecauf- 
ed fifty eight priefts to be drowned." The next month 
he writes again, " Ninety prieds have juil; been brought 
to me ; I have drowned them, 'which has given 7ne great 
pkafure.^* " It appears that there have been two milhons 
of perfons murdered in France, fnice it has called itfelf a 
republic ; among whom are reckoned 250,000 women, 
230,000 children (befides thofe murdered in the womb) 
and 24,000 chriftian priefts, many of them Proteftants." 
Kett, Vol. II. p. 252. 

The conflagration of 1820 towns, villages, and liam- 
lets, in one portion of its own territory ; the deliberate 
affafTmation of women and children, by hundreds and 
by thoufands ; the horrid pollution of female viftims, 
expiring or expired ; and the eftablilhment of a tan yard, 
under the aufpices of government, for manufaduring 
leather out of the fkins of the murdered citizens, are 
fadts, which exclufively grace the blood ftained annals of 
the gallic republic, and give to the revolution a dreadful 
pre-eminence in guilt." Kett, Vol. II. p. 251. 

t '* To keep the minds of the Parifians in the fever of 
iiilblute gaiety, they are at more expenfe, from the na- 

a}i3, Effe^s of Illuminlfvu 225 

marriage covenant are diffolved ;* proftitu- 
tion countenanced ;t fuicide publicly ap- 
plauded ;| where diffipation meets with no 
check, and the endearing charities of life are 
extinguiihed ? || Do thefe perfons find the 

tioml treafury, for the fnpport of the fixty theatres, tVaa 
all the penfions and honorary ofEces in Britain, three 
times told, amount to. Between the loth of Augnft, 
1792, and the ift of January, 1794, upwards of 200 
;;^-u; plays were aded in the Parifian theatres. Their im- 
morality and their barbarifm exceed all defcrlption.'* 
Kett, Vol. II. p. 253. 

* " In confequence of the decree relative to marriage, it 
is calculated, that, in 1793, one hundred and fifty di- 
vorces took place in every month in Paris." Kett, Vol. 
II. p. 253. 

f By a decree of the Convention, June 6, I794» *^^ ^* 
declared, that there is nothing criniinal in the promifcu- 
ous commerce of the fexes." Kett, Vol. II. p. 217. 

X " Beaurepaire Ihot himfelf at the furrender of Verdun, 
When the news reached the National AiTembly, M. De- 
launay propofed, that his remains Ihould be brought 
from St. Menehold, and interred in a French PantheoHo 
This was immediately decreed, and an honorary infcrip- 
tion put on his tomb.'* Moore, Vol. I. p. 238. 

fl « A man, or rather a monderi named Philippe, 
came to the Jacobin club, of which he was a member j 
and, with a box in his hand, mounted the tribune. Here 
he made a long fpeech on patriotifm, concluding by a 
declaration, that he looked upon every one who prefer- 

^2ffe T roofs of the Ex'ijlerm 

traits of a great nation in the cruel exactions 
pradifed in Holland 5 in their perfxdious deal- 
red the ties of blood and of nature, to patriotic duty, as 
an ariftocrat worthy of death ; and to convince them of 
the purity and fincerity of Pws own principles, he opened 
the box, and held up by the grey hair, the bloody and 
Ihrlvelled heads of his father and mother, which, faid 
the Impious wretch, I have cut off becaufe they obfti- 
nately perfifted In not hearing mafs from a condltutlona]^ 
pried. The fpeech of t?iis panlcide received the loudeft 
applaufes." Le HIRorlc du Clerge Frangois, or, Hlf^ 
tory of the French Clergy, p. 328. 

The following Information was communicated In a 
letter from a gentleman of the firfl: refpec1:ability in Eu- 
rope, to hb friend In the United States, dated Sept. 1800: 

" I cannot refrain from mentioning another particu- 
lar. A Count Soden, proprietor of lands on the borders 
of the Black Foreft, has feveral fmall Iron Works on his 
eftates, which occafioned him to be continually riding 
from place to place during the flay of Jourdan's armyj 
in that country, in 1796. He publifhed, at Nuremburg, 
an account of his own obfervations. He had many 
franfadioRs with the different detachments who ravaged 
that country, fo that he was perfcc^tly acquainted with 
the ftute and conducl: of that army. He fays, that to 
keep the army always in good humor, there was a fund 
for a theatre,. and concerts of mufic, and balls, at every 
head-quarters, and that a liberal allovrance was granted 
to the officers who took with them their wives and mif- 
trefTes. Each had as many bed-fellows as he could fup- 
port by his plunder. The ladies, of courfe, were the 
patronefTes of every gaiety and elegance. But lying in, 
and particularly, nurfuig^ was altogether incompatible 

and EffeBs of Illumintfrn. iiy 

ing with the Swifs \ or the deteftable arts by 
which Geneva was fubjugated to her will ? 
Has ilie recommended herfelf to Americans 
by her determination to plunder us of our 
property ?* By her meditated attack on the 
Ibuthcrn ftates,! or by thofe unprovoked dep- 

with this plan of the National Councils. The only rem- 
•dy for this, which occurred to their wifdom, was (hor- 

refco referats I) to the Tieiv horn infants y to 

DROWN THEM ! V\ This was adually done under military 
efcort. A ferjeant and party of foldlers accompanied 
the murderers, and proteifled them from the peafants. 
Count Soden did not fee any of thefe facrlfices with his 
own eyes, but he faw two of the innocent vi<5lims, and 
he heard feveral of thefe accounts in away that he could 
not doubt of their truth. In particular, he faw a clergy- 
man, at a village about 1 2 Englifh mJles from Nurem- 
burg, who being alfo a magiflrate, attempted to hinder 
the perpetration of the horrid deed. The foldiers threw 
him into the river, and fired fome fhots at him and at 
thofe who faved him. He was fo fortunate as to fave 
the little innocent, and took it to his houfe and provided 
a nurfe for it. The mother went away next day, with the 
reft of the party, but ftaid feven weeks at a little town 
five miles off, and in all that time, never once fent 
to inquire whether this iffue of her own blood was dead 
or alive. All this is publiflied by Count Soden, and his 
name afExed as a voucher for the truth of it. I defy the 
annals of human debafement to match this." 

* See Barlow's Letter, March i, 1798, 
t Harper's Addrefs of March 2, 1799. 

2 28 T roofs of the Exiftence 

redations on our commerce, condemned by a 
moil refpedable member of their legillature, 
as equally inconfiftent with good faith, and 
found policy ?* 

Not admitting the above as the foundation, 
of their attachment to France, her partlfans 
will probably rather recur to their ufual plea, 
which, however deflitute of fubftance, has a 
more reputable afped, viz. gratitude, yes 
gratitude^ never to be cancelled, for her af- 
forded protection. It is no fmall trial of pa- 
tience to be compelled to anfwer pleas, which 
have no foundation in reafon, nor even in the 
mind of the perfon who makes them ; and 
which are brought forward merely to conceal 
lefs honorable fentiments. It is very eafy to 
anfwer in the prefent cafe, that if gratitude 
is Hill due for ailiftance, for which the ftipu- 
lated price has been paid in full, and which was 
afforded, as every one muft be fenfible, and as 
the National AlTembly have acknowledged, not 
from a regard to the interefts of republican 
ifm, but from oppofition to England, this 
gratitude is due to the ancient, and not tc 
the prefent government of France ; and ought 
to lead us to deplore the fate of an unhappy 
king, and not to attach us to thofe who, with 

'* Piilloret's motion in the Council of 500, 1797- / 

and EffeHs of Illuminifnu 229 

'circumftances of needlefs and unfeeling cruelty, 
•have deprived him of his crown and life.* 

^ Or will they juilify their partiality for 
France by the plea, that it is a fifter republic ; 
the land of liberty ? It is ftyled, indeed, a re- 
public, but in reality, a more defpotic govern- 
ment does not exift in Europe. From the be- 
ginning of the revolution the people have been 
the dupes of fucceinve factious leaders, who 
have milled one part by falfe reprefentations, 
and drove the other by terror into a compli- 
ance with their ambitious views. But now, 
their government is in theory, as well as prac- 
tice, defpotic. However favorable to the nat- 
ural rights of men, we may believe the feveral 
conftitutions fucceffively adopted in the years 
^79^5 1793? ^^<^ 17955 to have been, the pref- 
ent leaves the people but a very faint fem- 
blance of reprefentation or legiflative power. 


* Among many Inftances m confirmation of this fa<f^3 
k is fufEcient to obferve, « that the head of the princefs 
Lamballe was hoifted on a pike, and carried before the 
temple where the royal family were imprifoned, and they 
were called to the window to fee it. A f linting fit, from 
hearing of the event, fortunately faved the queen from the 
heart-rending fight." See Moore^s and Clery's Journals. 

^T^o Proofs of the Exijlence 

Are we not then warranted in prefuming, 
that, among the more enlightened citizens, at 
leaft, the real grounds of attachment to France, 
are different from the oftenfible ones ? 

ad. To what other caufe, than the one here 
fuggefted, can we afcribe that oppofition to all 
the'^leading meafures of the late adminiftra- 
tion, which has been uniformly maintained^ 
by thofe identical perfons, who have manifeft- 
ed fuch a ftrange prediledion for French pol- 
itics ? The notoriety of this oppofition, ren- 
ders it unneceffary to adduce any proofs of 
its exiflence. That our rulers have committed 
errors, is prefumable. They were human be- 
ings, and had to explore a new, and untried 
pa^h, amidft innumerable difficuUies, without 
the ufeful aid of precedent and experience. 
But were thofe errors fuch as afforded any 
juft pretext for the perpetual clamors, the 
factions, 'cabals, and infurreclions, with which 
they have been oppofed, and impeded? What- 
ever may have been their errors, the refult of 
their meafures has been the eftablifliment of 
peace with the nations of Europe ; peace with 
ihe Indians upon the principles of humanity^ 
and with profpecTs of permanency; the prefer- 
vation of our neutrality againft artful and vio- 
Jent attempts to involve lis in European coiv 

ami Effeds of lllumhiipu 23^ 

tfcntions ; the confolidation of our feeble 
union, and the refioration of that vigor and 
enero-y which were ahuoft exhaufled. Our 
deranged finances have been reduced to a reg- 
ular fyftem, and a revenue raifed, which, 
though fcarcely perceived in its operation, has 
been adequate to the fupport of government, 
has anfwered many extraordinary demands, 
and effected a confide r able reduction of the 
public debt. To the fame judicious fyftem, 
are we indebted for the exiftence of a Navy^- 
which has enabled us to repel many wanton 
encroachments on our neutral rights, and 
been the principal means of our prefent com- 
mercial profperity. Favorable arrangements 
were alfo made for the recovery of our prop- 
erty from the hands of fpoilers y and that this 
proviiion has not been more complete has 
probably^been owing to the belief which the 
French government entertained of their influ- 
ence in the United States. With great juft- 
nefs, Prelident Jefferson announced, in his 
inaugural fpeech, that our government, at 
the clofe of our late admin iftration, Vv'as " in 
the full tide oi fuccefsful experiment,'^ 

I fiiall not attempt a further juftification 
of thofe meafures which have been fo feverely 
cenfured. Ail who have witneffed the diiEcul- 

c;32 Proofs of ihe Exiftcnce 

ties from which we have been extricated; an(f 
iheprofperity which has refulted to all claiTes: 
cf citizens, from the meafures which have 
been adopted and purfued, in the two hte 
adminiftrations, and yet remain unfatisfied, 
as to their wifdom, I can have no hope of 
convincing by any arguments I can ufe. It 
ought, however, to be remarked, that thefe 
meafures were adopted by Vv^ashington and 
Adams, and warmly recommended by them, 
as indifpeniible to the peace and profperity of 
the United States, and the perpetuity of their 
union and independence. We may probably 
iooTi be called to witnefs the efFeds of a de- 
parture from their falutaryfyftem. 

To what caufe then are we to attribute the 
oppoiition Vv^hich has been made to fuch men, 
andfuch'meafures ; men, who have given the 
moll unequivocal proofs of a v/if::, patriotic, 
and faithful adherence to the principles of ra- 
tional liberty, and the interefts of America, 
through fcenes which try men's principles \ 
meafures, wliich have procured to this coun- 
try, refpedabiiity abroad, and profperity and 
flrength at home ? The nature and fyilematic 
operations of this oppofition appear perfectly 
unaccountable and myfterious, unlefs we recur 
to iovcizfecret influence. This influence, mov- 

and Effeds of Illammi/m. 233 

ing many hidden fprings, produces tliofe uni- 
form efFeds which ^re vifible in all parts of 
our country. And this conclufionr forces itfeU" 
upon our minds when we recoiled, that the 
clafs of men who raife this outcry, and who- 
are fo extremely jealous of any encroachments 
on the privileges of mankind, are the very 
perfons who juftify all the extravagant and 
tyrannical proceedings of the French govern-^ 
ment ; not excepting that arbitrary ad of the 
diredory. In 1797, which drove into baniih- 
ment, without the form of a trial, fome of the 
bed: of her legiilators, and the mofl worthy of 
her citizens, - 

3d. Wlience is it, that this jealous concei*n 
for the liberties of America, this nice fenfe of 
the rights of man, (to which is afcribed the 
oppofition to government) originated in the 
fouthern States, is ftill moil prevalent there, 
and is thence communicated to the eaftern 
States ? I certainly have no difpofition to fo- 
ment a fpirit of divifion, nor would I fugged 
an idea detrading from the refped due to 
many fouthern gentlemen, whofe fortunes 
have been devoted to the purfuits, not of. 
pleafure, but of the liberal arts, and who have 
become bleffings and ornaments to their coun-- 
try J but; as an oppofition in principles is-^ 

234 Proofs of the Exyhnce 

known to exift, it becomes neceiTaryjin order 
to acquire juft notions of liberty, that the 
origin and tendency of thefe principles fliould 
be freely difcuffed. Some obfervations on the 
fubjecl'are evidently of importance in the 
prefent inquiry. I muft, therefore, take the 
liberty of aiking, if the principles, which have 
attached many*of the citizens of the United 
States to France, and rendered them oppofed 
to the leading meafures adopted by Wash- 
ington and Adams, flov/ from an enlightened 
fpirit of freedom, whence is it, that thefe fen- 
timents are found, originally, and principally, 
in the fouthern part of the Union ? 

Are the habits and manners of the people 
there, more congenial to the fpirit of genuine 
republicanifm ? or are the citizens generally 
better informed ? Do they acquire this pa- 
triotic fpirit in their eleclive afTemblies, where, 
we have been informed, by one of their own 
legiflators, that bludgeons are fubftituted for 
proxies, and the arguments of the citizens 
acquire weight in proportion to their bodily 
ilrength and activity ? In drawing the por- 
trait of a true republican, would you reprefent 
him with one hand contending for the rights 
of man, and with the other holding a fcourge 
over his trembling ilaves ? 

md Effe^s of llluminlfnu 2 3 5* 

It has been fuppofed of the firft importance 
in republican governments, that the lower 
claffes of the people be well informed ; that 
youth be taught to fubjed their paiHons to 
the didates of reafon and duty, and be early 
trained to habits of virtue, induftry, and 
economy. But if, as has been reprefented. 
New England be the " La Vendee of America," 
and its inhabitants ariftocrats, until they are 
politically regenerated by the fouthern ftates, 
the above principles of education muft be 
renounced as erri)neous, and the race ground, 
and the gaming table, acknovv4edged the bed 
fc-hool for the education of republicans. 

Here newparadoxesoccur-^andparadoxes they 
remain till we recollect, that Illuminifm firft 
dawned upon the fouthern ftates ; that they 
formed the principal refort for European 
emigrants, and there only, we difcover the 
lodges which derive their origin from the 
Grand Orient^ at Paris. Have we, then, no 
grounds to conclude that thefe outrageous 
pretenders to liberty, who " difpife govern- 
ment, and are not afraid to fpeak evil of 
dignities," are the genuine offspring of that 
fedt, which v/e have feen alike oppofed to the 
reftraints of religion, and the laws of fociety ? 

23^ unroofs of the Exijlence^ 

Why do we hear, from the fame quarter, 
the clergy of New England reprefented, not 
only as ufelefs, but a pabUc nuifance.* I 
lliall not undertake the defence of this order 
of men, nor attempt a refutation of the various, 
and very indefinite charges brought againfl. 
them. The people of New England are 
acquainted with their clergy, and can judge 
for themfelves, v/hether or not they are jullly 
cenfured. One charge, however, as it is 
more frequently ailed ged, and refpecls their 
fecret intentions, and therefore not fo eaiily 
refuted, demands more particular attention. 
The charge to which I refer, is, in fubflance.. 
this, that they are unfriendly to the political 
interefts of their country, and the principles of 
the American revolution. Is this a fa6l ? If 
it be proved, I prefume it mufl be by the 
fame kind of logic, by which thofe who bring 
the charge, attempt to prove that Washing- 
ton Was bhnd to the interefts of his country ; ; 
Adams, a monarchift ; and the citizens of 
New England, ariftocrats. But let us attend 
to fads. 

* In proof of the fa(5l here Intimated, T beg leave to refer 
the reader to thofe newfpapers in which Wafhington's 
fyftem of politics is condemned, an<i the meafures of 
France advocated in the grofs. 

and Effe8s cf llluiimiifnu 23/ 

It Is a matter of public notoriety, that at 
the time of the American revolution, no clafs 
of men were more united, or more aclive in 
their efforts to ^promote that caufe. Their 
public performances afford, alfo, abundant 
proofs of their warm attachment to the French 
revolution, until it became evident that the 
caufe in v/hich France had embarked, was the 
caufe of licentioufnefs, oppreilion, and atheifm. 
Have then thefe men in a body relinquilhed 
that fyftem of political faith, which, at that 
period, they fo fervently embraced ? To what 
probable caufe, can fuch a general revolution 
of fentiment be attributed ? 

Their accufers will not probably afcrlbe it 
to their ignorance, for they likewife accufe 
them of meddling too much with politics ; it 
is therefore prefumable that they have, at leaft, 
acquired political information. 

Will it be faid that the profpecls of ambition 
hive led them aftray ? This would be a very 
uncharitable fuppofition indeed \ for although 
\ they are rnen of like pajjions with others, they 
are not, in all cafes, expofed to like tempta- 
tions. Excluded, by their profefTion, from 
pods of worldly honor and profit, they are 
merely fpedators of the contentions o£ 

238 F roofs of the Exiflcnce 

ambition. Unlefs they are influenced by a 
patriotic concern for their countrymen, they 
liave no connexion with government, other 
than tq fecure for themfelves the blefUngs of 
freedom, and to tranfmit the precious inher- 
itance to their pofterity. In hafte to deprive 
them of public confidence, their accufers have' 
induflrioully, and indifcriminately applied ta 
the clergy here, the charges brought againft. 
the order in Europe. But what fimilarity in^ 
lituation is there between the cardinals,? 
biihops, and lords fpiritual, of the European, 
hierarchies, and an American clergyman ,, 
who, by the fcantinefs of his fupport is com- 
pelled to the mofl rigid economy, and often 
to labor w^ith his own hands, to obtain 
a decent fupport for his dependants \ and 
inftead of the profpect of preferment, muib 
confider himfelf fortunate if he be not difpof-- 
feffed of his oifice, and fubjecled to the 
inconveniences of a removal ? 

Their poverty, indeed, expofes them to 
temptations, in point of property, ihould fuck 
temptations prefent ; but it is fortunate, with 
refped to this charge, that the public meafures 
to which they have confcientioully given 
their fupport, have been unfavorable to their 
private inter ells. The duties of impojfts and ex» 

and Effects of liluminifnu 239 

clfc, which are taken from the confumer, and 
the eflabhfliment of banks, which has operated 
greatly to ^advance the price of every article 
of Ufe, have reduced their means of fubfifl- 
ence. This has been fo obvious, that their 
parifliioners, in general, have felt themfelves 
bound in juftice to increafe the nominal fum, 
to preferve the original value of their ftipends. 
The clergy, alone, are excluded a fliare in the 
increarmg wealth of their country ; and were 
they governed by felfifh motives, merely, 
would be the firft to oppofe, rather than the 
firft to defend the adminiftration. 

But it has alfo been fuggefled, that, in 

^fpoufmg this caufe, they have meanly courted 

the favor of the majority. For an anfwer to 

.this charge, fads declare tlie truth ; for it is 

a known fad, that many of the clergy have 

.nobly maintained their fentiments,and warned 

their hearers of their danger, at the hazard 

of their difpleafure, and of offending par- 

ticular gentlemen of influence. The author 

in particular, pleafes himfelf, that he, at leaft, 

.{hall efcape the charge of a time-ferver, as he 

is weekly notified, through the medium of the 

Worcefter Gazette, by one high in office, that 

,the caufe he here advocates, is faft finking 


F roofs of the Exifiena 

into contempt ; and that he ah'eady forefees 
the "downfall of Federal Clergymen.*' 

The above obfervations are not fo much 
defigned to vindicate the clerical order, as to 
deveiope the real defigns of their calumniators. 
Thefe accufations appear as groundlefs as the 
attachment of their authors to French politics. 
It is to be prefumed that they are not the real 
caufes of the prefent oppofition to the clergy 
of New England. No ; their attachment "to 
order, the refiftance they make to the progrefs 
of philofophifm, their exertions in defence of 
Chriftianity, and their attempts to imprefs its 
important, but unv/elcome truths, on man- 
kind, conilitute their real crime, in the judg- 
ment of their accufers. Political opinions 
prove a convenient cover for fchemes not yet 
ripe for execution. Were the enemies of 
religion among us to come forward unmafked, 
and avow their real defigns, it would be 
demonilrative proof that they had apoftatized 
from the principles of their mafler ; but the 
difciples of Voltaire and Weifhaupt are true 
to their favorite maxims, " to bind men with 
invifibk bands. To ftrike, but hide the hand." 

We accordingly fmd thofe who are endeav- 
oring to deprive the clergy of ail public 

and EfftBs of lUumlnlfm. 241 

confidence, abounding in what D*Alembert 
calls " hozvs to religion'' Religion is carefully 
fpoken of with high refpccl, in thofe publica- 
tions which denounce the body of the clergy 
as hoflile to the interefls of their country. 
'* They inufl: be gained or ruined/* the reader 
will recoiled, is a prime maxim of the order ; 
but finding that the clergy of New England 
will not be induced to betray their religion 
and country, and conilgn themfelvcs and 
their pofiierity to infamy and wretchednefs, 
they are unceafingly reprefented,as attempting 
•to fubvert thofe eftabliiliments to which they 
have invariably given their fupport, and to 
annex to their office the honors and emolu- 
ments which are peculiar to the corrupt 
religious eilablifhments in Europe. 

That friends to order and religion, by a 
feries of mifreprefentations, are led to give 
their fupport to fyftems, w^hich, if free from 
deception, they would deteft, is not to be 
doubted \ but the mian who approves the 
principles on which the French revolution 
has been conducted, and is pleafed wath that 
Hberty and independence, which have received 
the fanclion of the National AiTembly, cannot 
but wifli for the abolition of the Chrlftiau 
faith, and whatever gives it fupport, 

C42 Proofs of the Exiftence 

The reader will remark, that the fame 
evidence wliich proves that Illuminifm, or 
French influence, (for one involves the other) 
has exiiled in America, proves that it now 
exiils among us. The fimilarity of the effect, 
indicates the famenefs of the canfe. In 1794, 
we find Fauchet fketching the grievances 
Vv^hlch excited the weilern infurreclion. In 
1797, appeared the focieties of United Irifli- 
men. In the fame year, the American Envoys 
were allured, *' That it was in -vain for them 
to think of uniting their countrymicn againft 
France, by expofing the unreafonabienefs of 
their demands. You ought to know," they 
are told, " that the diplomatic fkill of France, 
and the mea7is fhe poffejfcs in your country^ are 
fuilicient to enable her, with the French party 
in America^ to throw the blame which will 
attend the rupture of the negociations, on the 
federalifts ; and you may afl'ure yourfelves 
this will be done."*^ 

At the fame period, Mr. Pinckney was told 
\y^ another Frvench negociator, ''we know we 
have a very confiderable party in America, 
who are flrongly in our interefls."t Has this 

* Dirpatches from Arnerlcan Envoys, publiihed by die 
Secretary of State, No. 2. 

t Ibid. Exhibit A. No. 4. 

and Effe8s of Illuminijm. 243 

*' French party in America," this ^^ very con- 
fiderable party," on which the Directory 
placed fo much dependance in* 1797, became 
entirely extindl ? Have they been in no 
degree active, iince that period, to excite 
jealoufies, foment divihons, alienate the citi- 
zens from their beft friends, to diffeminate 
the principles of infidel philofophy, and over- 
turn the ancient happy ellabiifhments of our 
country ? 

If, in their attempts to deprive us of our 
religion, they have not , obtained an equally 
decided vidory^ zeal has not been wanting, 
nor has their fuccefs been inconiiderable. The 
principal bulwarks are yet fafe. Our bibles are 
not configned to the flames ; nor our places 
of worfhip devoted to idolatry, and pagan 
rites. The Chriftian fabbatli, although treated 
v/ith practical contempt by fome who ought 
to give it their firm and decided fupport, is 
not yet abolifhed by law. But many of the 
outworks are in the power of the enemy, and 
they are daily making, regular and alarming 

It is not my intention, by the foregoing ob- 
fervations, to implicate all thcfe who err in 
their political opinions, as engaged in the con» 

244 T roofs of the Exifience 

fplracy agalnfl Chriftianity, and focial order. 
This is far from being the cafe ; yet I have no 
doubt that many perfons, who are iincere 
friends to religion, their country, and man- 
Idnd, are led, by a feries of mifreprefentations, 
to give their fupport to fyftems, which, if feen 
m their true nature and tendency, would ex- 
cite their abhorrence. It is, indeed, aftonifli- 
ing that good characlers, real friends to Chrifl- 
ianity, ihould be fo eaiily filled with fufpicion 
iind jealoufy tov/ards men of eftabliilied char- 
acier, for piety, talents, and patriotifm, and 
drav/n in to aid the enemies of their religion, 
and their country ; and this too, by perfons, 
whofe moral and religious characters they cannot 
but hold in abhorrence ; but Weifhaupt him- 
felf wondered at the fuccefs of his own policy, 
and in his confidential epiftles, often exclaims, 
"' What cannot men be made to believe." 

Perfuaded that many are unwarily led to 
advocate a caufe which militates againft the 
beft interefls of their country, thefe hiftorical 
iketches, and articles of evidence, have been 
coUefled for their benefit 5 and with the fame 
Ixiendly delign their calm and unprejudiced 
attention is recjueiled to the contents of the 

and EffcSls of lllummfm, 245 


Friends^ and Fellow Citizens, 

I AM very fenfible that the difcerning eye wiil 
diicover many <lefecls in the foregoing flate- 
ment, but they are errors of the head, not of 
the heart. There is not a circumftance inten- 
tionally mifreprefented, nor a fentiment ex- 
preiied, which is not the refult of conviclion. 
I am aware that fome from policy, and others 
from fentiment, will be difpofed to treat thefe 
apprehenlions as chimerical ; but to m.e they 
are real. In my view, alarming dangers^ 
hang over my country, and even now the 
lurking foe is preparing an expiofion, which, 
unlefs prevented, will level her riling glories 
with the duft. PolTeiTmg thefe fentiments, 
neither duty nor patriotifm would fufFer me 
to decline a fervice, however ungrateful, 
which afforded fome profpect of aiding a caufe 
to which I feel myfelf conneded by the flrong- 
eft ties of affection. Your country, is my 
country ; here I have a family, dear to me, 
and friends, whofe fortune, -with my own, is 
connected with that of America. Can I then 
fee her dangers, and be filent ? 

w 2 

-4^ Proofs of the Exijlence 

Warmly has my heart entered into the pleaf- 
xng' profpecls which have dawned upon the 
land of my nativity, nor will I yet defpair of 
her falvation, confiding in thatiielping hand, 
which has been her guide in darknefs, and her 
iliield in danger. NumiCrous and powerful 
ftlll are her friends, could they be roufed to 
exertion ; and exertion there muft be, or our 
ruin is inevitable. If propitious heaven has 
decreed falvation for our country, means will 
be found to dlfpel the facinating charm which 
is now drawing her into the ravenous jaws of 
iier dcvourer. She will be enabled to diftin- 
guiih real from pretended friends. While we 
are fupine and indolent, refting in the good- 
nefs of our cauie, and fondly hearkening to 
thofe wlio cry peace and fafety, the enemies 
of our peace, of our independence, of our re- 
ligion, are alert and refllefs. It is painful and 
alarming to hear v/orthy citizens applauding 
tbemfelves for the fligacious difcovery, that the 
com motions of the day are merely agitations 
excited by contending candidates ; that we are 
all aiming, 'n different ways, at the fame objed; 
*' that v/e are all federalifts, all rcpubhcans." 
Tlicfe fentiments, induftrioufly propagated by 
lliofe who wIOi to lull us into fecurity, unfor- 
tunately accord with that love of eafe, fo un- 
happily prcvalc::t in cur moft important 

and EffeBs of lllummfm. 247 

Under a like paralytic ftupor, the efi'ccl of 
French intrigue, and modern illumination, 
the Helvetic republic fell a prey to her treach- 
erous invaders. " The inhabitants feemed 
fearful of being roufed from their indiffer- 
ence, and were offended at prediclions meant 
to put them on their guard. Woe to him 
who difturbed the general quiet by peevifli 
reafoning on the future, and on the danger of 
connections in which they were fmking deeper 
and deeper ! The majority of the Swiis were 
like thofe patients who are angry with the 
phyfician for defcribing their diforder to 
them."* " We come among you as friends. 
We are your brothers. Do not be afraid of 
any ill treatment. Property and perfons 
Ihall be protected, as much as the enemies of 
liberty fhall be made to fuffer."! This was the 
language of Mengaud, commiffioner of the 
Executive Directory, in his proclamation, pre- 
faced with "Peace and fafety to all his friends." 
The too credulous Swifs greedily drank the 
lufcious poifon ♦, they believed that the Direc- 

* Mallet Dii Pan's Deftruaion of the Helvetic Rep ub- 
Iic,Boftonedit. 1799. p. 108. A book that ought now to 
be read by every American, 

f Ibid. p. 256. 

S48 Proofs of the Extjlmce 

tory were, what they pretended to be, friends 
to freedom, and the rights of man. They 
even baniflied their faithful monitor, when he 
endeavored to awaken them to a fenfe of their 
danger. But " imprifon?ne?its, infults^ rapes ^ requi- 
ftiions^ and rapine of all kinds, fignalized the 
arrival of thefe flrangers, whom Meiigaud had 
but juft announced to their vidims as brothers 
and friends,'^* 

Confide not, my countrymen, in an imagin^ 
ary power to refill the fubtle invaders, when 
once they have bound your hands with.invifi- 
ble bands. Your enemies themfelves have 
forewarned you, " that an army of principles 
will prevail, where an army o^foldiers cannot."! 
When they have fuiiiciently corrupted your 
morals,philofophized your religion, overturned 
your ancient eftabliihments, and diffeminated 
their diforganizing principles among you, then 
will they rife upon their prey, and add America 
to the lift of ''• fleeced'' republics. 

Mallet Du Pan, defcribing the iituation of 
Switzerland, previous to the late revolution 

* Mallet Du Fan's Deflruaion of Helvetic Republic, 
p. 147. 

t Thomas Paine, 

and Effcds of Illuminipm 249 

there, obferves, " There was no State in Eu- 
rope fo fecure from the contagion of French 
principles ; every thing was an antidote to 
this peftilence : The flow and phlegmatic 
charader of the inhabitants, their rooted and 
powerful habits, the experience of a govern- 
ment adapted to their difpohtions j and, in 
fine, the foundnefs of their judgments, which 
guarded them againfl the feduClions. of the 
pen, and of the tongue.'' If fuch examples 
will not teach, nor fuch warnings alarm us, our 
ruin is not far diflant.. 

It is a falfe and dangerous fentiment that 
" monarchies alone have caufe to dread the 
revolutionizing fpirit of the times )" for it is 
obvious that republics are the theatres on 
which political mountebanks moft fuccefsfully 
exhibit their diforganizing feats. Where, as 
in fuch governments, popular eleclions are fre- 
quent, and the poifon which iniecls a diftant 
member, is inftantly conveyed to the vitals. 
When an individual is gained, a lodgement is 
made in the government, of which that indi- 
vidual forms a part, either in perfon, or by his 
agent ; and his influence is inflantaneoufly 
felt. In monarchical governments it is very 
different. The difeafe, which there pervades 
the external parts, but very remotely afteds 

250 Proofs of the Exijlence 

the vital, adive powers of government. Kow 
feeble the imprelTion which France was able 
to make upon England, compared with the 
Ihock which the republics of Europe received 
from her revolutionary agents ? The combina* 
tion of United Irlfmnen^ and fimilar focieties in 
England and Scotland, produced no vifible al- 
teration in the Britiili government 5 but had it 
been fimilar to the American, a complete 
revolution muH have been the confequence. 

The fame caufe which renders republics 
more accefilble to thefe evils, proportion ably 
prevents their fuppreffion j for thofe danger- 
ous perfons form dlreclly or indirectly, that 
very power on which fociety depends to expel. 
the foe ; and hence, the government, in 
this refped, is reduced to a nulity. Nor is a 
large number of confpirators necelTary to 
raife obftruclions and impede the govern- 
ment \ for in every fociety thefe perfons fmd 
many natural allies, ever ready to join their 
forces. Such are difappointed candidates, 
who are commonly willing rather to impede 
and perplex, than to affiil their more fuccefsful 
competitors ; fuch are thofe, and they are not 
a fmail party, who, from a natural jealoufy of 
their rulers, are prepared to credit every 
unfavorable intimation concerning them. 

and Effeds of Illuminlfm. 251 

however improbable or abfurd. Such, in 
fine, are thofe felfifh beings, whom no confid- 
erations of public good v/ill induce to ad with 
any vigor : Thefe, if they do not appear in 
dired oppofition to government, are fo many 
clogs and impediments to its vigilance and 
adivity. Thefe plain obfervations are intro- 
duced to awaken you, my countrymen, to 
that virtuous watchfulnefs and firmnefs, 
neceiTary to preferve a free government, and 
to put you upon your guard againfl the 
diforganizing arts of thofe, Vv^ho, under 
whatever pretext, are endeavoring to over- 
turn the fyftems and eftablilliments which 
experience has taught you are ufeful. 

Do you afk, what is to be done ? As un« 
common abilities and penetration are lefs 
ufeful in a fearch after happinefs, than 
upright intentions and' an honeft heart, I fliall 
attempt an anfwer to the fuggefted inquiry. 
The ingredients of mental and focial happi- 
nefs, like the necelTaries of life, confift in 
fimples,^ and are eaiily obtained. When the 
theorizing geniufes of the day have invented 
a better medium of refpiration than the vital 
air, or a bodily aliment preferable to that 
which nature provides, then v/ill they merit 
a hearing, while they promife us a Utopia in 

252 F roofs of the Exifunce 

the regions of infidelity, and quiet repcfe on 
the billows of a revolution. But if you wifti 
for that kind of order and quietnefs, for 
which our favored land has been diftinguifh- 
ed, the following direclions point out a plain 
and fafe path. 

7. Attend to the education of your 
children, and let it be your principal care to 
iir.prefs their minds with religious and moral 
truth. Much has been faid, and much miOre 
might be pertinently faid, upon the import- 
ance of education. Tlie youthful mind is a 
field prepared for the reception of precious 
feed ; but if neglected, will foon be overfpread 
w4th every poifonous growth. I am con- 
vinced that faiihful endeavors to inftil the 
principles of virtue and religion into the 
minds of youth, is attended with a much 
greater probability of fuccefs than is ufually 
imagined. It is undeniable, that early im- 
preffions, w:hich have appeared to be entirely 
erafed by the influence of ftrong paffions and 
peculiar temptations, have furvived the Ihock, 
and produced the happieil effecls. Even 
where this is not attained, early habits of 
regularity, decency, and induftry, are not of 
fmail importance in fociety, nor are they eaiily 
loft. The impreflions made by fuch an educa- 

and Effcds of Ilhtmlnifm, 253 

tion have evidently had a great effecl in 
preventing the influence of the diforganizing 
principles of the day, in the New England 

A religious education was formerly repro- 
bated by infidels, under the pretence that it 
gave a bias to the mind before the judgment 
was matured ; but they themfelves , have 
removed this objection ; they are not afliamed 
to make it a maxim in their code, to feize 
the young, untutored mind, and infufe into 
the unlufpe^Sling heart the poifon of atheifm. 
Learn from your enemies the importance of 
early imprelTions, and while they are attempt- 
ing to difleminate the feeds of infidelity, let 
it be your watchful care to introduce the 
vigorous plants of piety and virtue. Furnifh 
their minds with ufeful knowledge j teacli 
them the true dignity of man ; read to them 
the lelTons of experience, habituate them to 
felf government, the regulation of their 
paflions, and a ready fubmiflion to needful 
reftraints. Attend to their books, and exclude 
the numerous publications which are either 
fecretly, or avowedly, defigned to propagate 
the immoral and irreligious fpirit of the 
times \ or, if this is not pradicable, let them 
not be without the antidote furniflied in 


254 proofs of the Exiflence 

many late able replies to the pleas of infidelity. 
We deny our profeffion as Chrilllans, if it is 
not our fiirft concern, in the education of our 
children, to imprefs their minds with the 
fear of God ; to eftablifh them in the princi- 
ples of natural and revealed religion, and the 
evidences of the Chriftian faith. 

The talk of forming the youthful miind, at 
all times one of the moil important duties in 
fociety, acquires, in prefent circumftances, an 
increafed demand on our attention. Religion, 
fociety, parental affection, unite in the 
demand. It would be happy, if prefent dan- 
gers fliould prove the means of awakening 
the attention of the Chriftian world, to a 
fubjed fo deplorably neglecied. 

It is fervently to be hoped, in particular, 
that our Colleges, and other literary inftitu- 
tions, wall be preferved from contamination. 
Thefe are principal obje^ls in the view of the 
modern enemies of mankind. In obferving 
the weaknelfes of human nature, they have 
difcovered, that a youth of genius, thirfting 
for literary fame, whofe education was un- 
finiflied, and his judgment immatured, was 
precifely in a fituation to be impreifed with 
^thc fafcinating charms of Illuminifm, and 

itnd EffcHs of lUumimfm. 255- 

prepared to exchange his underftanding and 
eonfcience, for the flattering title of a philofo- 
pher. Much depends, at this day, upon the 
gaurdians of our public feminaries, and much 
we expect from their fidelity and zeal, in 
preferving thefe public fountains from im-* 

2. Support thofe inftitutions of your an- 
ceftors, which you have feen crowned with- 
peace, glory, and happinefs. When will 
mankind receive the inftruction fo forcibly 
impreffed by univerfal hiftory, by daily obfer- 
vatioh, and the word of God, that " Righteoitf- 
nefs alonee xalteth a nation ?'' That rank atheifm 
is deftrudive to fociety, receives a ready aflent 
from thofe who appear infeniible of what is 
equally true, that a departure from the habits 
and principles of ilri(5t virtue and religion, is 
an approximation to atheifm, and a departure 
from the only folid foundation of focial order 
and peace. They forget that it is religion, 
not in theory, but in practice, which confti- 
tutes the happinefs of an individual, and of a 

Men who derive their importance from 
fliowy accomplifhments, and the gewgaws of 
life, look with contempt upon the limple man- 

2^6 Proofs of the Exijience 

ners of cur venerable anceflers j but whatever 
advancements we have made in uieful dif- 
coverics and the elegant arts of life, juftice 
requires that we afcribe to their virtues our 
moil precious bleffings. In a ftrid attention 
to family government, in early habits of in- 
duftry, in a fmcerity, iim.plicity and temper- 
ance of m^anners, and in the civil, literary, 
and religious eftablifhments of our country, 
they laid the foundations of what remians of 
glory and ftrength in the American edifice. 
We do not afcribe to them perfection. Human 
nature will be attended with the charaderillics 
of weaknefs. In them, a zeal for the trutli 
degenerated into a degree of intolerance ; but 
have not we rufhed with violence into the 
oppofite and more dangerous extreme ? The 
narrow path of virtue is flretched to an 
almoft unbounded width ; and in thefe days 
of catholicifm, the idea that infidelity dif- 
qualiiies for public offices, or even for future 
happinefs,is condemned as a fpecies of bigotry. 
It is eafy to perceive that fuch a relaxation of 
moral and religious principles is, in its effecls, 
a near approach to atheifin. The checks 
neceffary to redrain the ftrong corruptions of 
the heart are taken away, and thefe corrup- 
tions, as they gain ftrength, gradually under- 
mine, and, in their progrefs, will demoliih the 
flrongeft bulwarks of fociety. 

and Effeds of lllumlmfiiu 2^^ 

When an individual loofes his habits of 
induftry, acquires a relifti for expenfivc living, 
and feeks in fcenes of dilTipation that fatisfac- 
tion which he no longer finds in the fober 
pleafures of life, we forefee his ruin, and 
withdraw our confidence ; and can a fociety 
compofed of fuch individuals, be long prof- 
perous and happy ? No ; the ruin is more 
inevitable in the latter cafe, than in the for- 
mer 5 for a profligate individual may be con- 
troled, perhaps reformed, by his fober neigh- 
bors, but when vicious manners become 
prevalent in fociety, a current is opened 
which defies all reiiraint, and carries along 
w4th it, many who nobly attempt to refill its 

I am painfully confcious that the puritanic 
iimplicity of our anceftors, will rather excite 
a fneer of contempt, than a defire of imita- 
tion in this felf-important age. Enjoying the 
full tide of profperity, moderation, temper- 
ance, and the refi;raints of religion, are un- 
w^elcome themes : But this, my countrymen, 
is the alternative eftabliflied in the high unal» 
terable decrees of Heaven, if we participate 
the vices which have wrought the ruin of 
ether nations, we mufc alfo partake oi their ' 
flagucs I 

X 2 - 

253 Proofs of the Exifeme 

It will doubtlefs be underHood tliat thefe 
obfervatlons are not deligned to recommend 
any particular uncouihnefs of manners, which 
the cuiloms of the age, or their peculiar cir- 
cumflances produced. The value of a gem is 
not diminiflied by a polifhed furface. What 
principally demands our attention and imita- 
tion in our wortliy progenitors is, their love 
of religion, and their ftricl praclical regard to 
its duties, producing undifguifed fmcerity, 
and genuine patriotifm. Religion gave d> 
reclion, vig-or, and ac1:ivitv to all their meaf- 
ures. Religion firft generated, and that alone 
can preferve^ the glory of America. 

Guard this treafure with peculiar care. 
Here let it be remembered, the efforts of your 
enemies are fecretly, but powerfully directed ; 
and never will they feel their victory con> 
plete until, as they themfelves exprefs their 
hope, " Chr^ftianlty is thrown info the back 
grmnd,^^ To this objecl they are equally 
prompted by their enmity to the holy nature 
of this religion, and by a defire to extend 
their influence over the mind ; for they can- 
not be infenfible, that v/hile virtue exifls in 
the world, their fyftem muft meet oppofition* 

But what are the confiderations by which 
thcfe m^n would induce u§ to renounce a 

Cfid Ejfetls of lllumlntfriU 259 

religion, of tlic authenticity and benign In- 
fluence of which, we have fuch convincing 
proofs ? Modern infidels appear to have 
placed their principal dependance on the artl-^ 
cles, pricjl craft and prejudice. 

Under the firfl^ they paint, in gl owning 
colors, the pride, ambition, and opprefiions 
of the papal hierarchy, and of the higher or- 
ders in other religious eflablifliments. That 
the emoluments, injudicioufly annexed to the 
clerical office in many parts of Europe, 
fhould induce men, deftitute of religion, to 
aflume the facerdotal characrer, is perfedly 
agreeable to the known principles of human 
nature ; and that fuch m^en, w^hen in office, 
Ihould difregard their folemn engagement?, 
is very probable ; but the conclufion thefe 
modern reafoners deduce from, tliefe premiife?, 
viz. That the Chriftian religion is a fyilem 
of prieftcraft, is^not fo clear. If, by afcrlbing 
religion to prieftcraft they, mean, that thefe 
wicked prieils invented the religion taught in 
the gofpel, the abfurdity of the idea, muil be 
apparent to every perfon acquainted with its 
holy, humble dodrines. It could not be crafty 
but the higheft degree of fiupidity, in fuch 
men to invent a religion, which, in the 
flrongeil terms, condemns their ambition, and 
holds them up to mankind as impoflors, 

2 6o Proofs of the Exlftenc^ 

If they mean, that the mifconduft of fome 
of its miniilers and profelTors proves that 
Chriftianity is a fable, the inference is equally 
erroneous ; for is it evident, that if revelation 
be true, hypocrify v/ould have had no exift- 
ence, or that ambitious men would not make 
religion a ftepping ftone to preferment ? Yet 
until it fliall be proved that wicked men 
would not thus pervert a true religion, this 
pcrverfion of Chriftianity, is no argument 
againft its divinity. Is gold lefs valuable be- 
caufe it has been counterfeited ; or, becaufe 
Thomas Paine pretends torcafon, is reafon a 
ufelefs faculty ? If your bibles countenance 
hypocrify, pride, and oppreilion, they are 
unworthy your regard; but while they in=. 
culcate nothing but v/hat is virtuous and 
praife worthy, bind them to your hearts, 
faithfully follow the diredions they give, and 
they will lead you to fafety and happinefs. 

Another inftance of modern fophiftry is, tc 
refolve religion into prejudice, and conftantly 
ufe thefe term.s as fynonymous. This is a 
moft popular ftroke. It is infallible with men 
of weak minds, who would be thought />Zv7^ 
ophers. The very found of vulgar prejudices 
frightens them out of that pittance of judg- 
ment which was theirs by original inheritance. 

and Effeds of lllumhnfnu 261 

But is this a fa6l, that mankind are bialTed in 
favor of do'ftrines which (land oppofcd to all 
the ftrong, leading pailions of the heart ? Uni- 
verfal obfervation teaches, that we are apt to 
be prepoilciTed in favor of what we wifh to 
be true ; but the modern dodrine of preju- 
dices, contradicts this obfervation : it reprc- 
fents mankind as unaccountably difpofed to 
believe, in oppoiition to the didates of reafon, 
and the impuife of inclination. 

That Voltaire, after writing forty volumes 
againftChri{lianity,and fpending feventy years 
in attempting to " cn^Jh the wretch^'' fliould 
be tormented by prejudices in favor of relig- 
ion, may appear credible to thofe who " be- 
lieve in all unbelief ;" but in this, and many 
limilar inftances, every unbiaiTed mind will fee 
a fuperior power impreiung the foul with an 
irrefiftible confcioufnefs of Almighty juflice. 

Not the arguments in fupport of Chriftian- 
ity, but thofe of an oppofite nature ow^e their 
influence to the power of prejudice. Thefe 
deceivers are not unmindful of the oppoiition 
of the heart to the reftraints of relisfion. On 
this principle, corruption of morals becomes 
an important part of their fyflem. They ftudi- 
oufly endeavor to inflame the paflions o£ 

262- Proofs of the Ex i/ience 

men, that the obligations of duty may be- 
come more irkfome ; and that the caufe they 
wifli to fupport, may find a more powerful 
advocate in the heart. Infidelity owes its 
flrength, not to argument, but to feeling. 
An hundredth part of the evidence which 
has been produced in fupport of the truth of 
Chriftianity, v/ould determine every perfon's 
judgment, in all cafes, where the inclinations 
had no influence. 

My countrymen, fuifer not the arts of foph- 
xftry, or your own paiTions, to rob you of that 
benign religion which was fo dear to your 
anceftors, which fupported them under their 
trials, rendered their names precious to pof- 
terity, and originated eilabliHiments fo happy 
in their efFe(5ls. 

3. Confider the importance of having your 
public oiHces filled with men of virtue and 
religion. This is indeed included in the ex- 
ample of your anceftors y for they had the 
wifdom to difcern, that none but thofe who 
were friends to religion, were friends to 
fociety ; but the prefent alarming inattention 
to this fubje6l, recommends it to more par- 
ticiolar notice. 

and Eff'eds of llluminlfm* -263 

Are magiftrates the minifters of God, and 
the reprefentatives of the Supreme Ruler ? 
Thus Chrijlians are taught to confider them« 
When, therefore, a nation, nominally Chrift- 
ian, elect to thefe offices, men avowedly, or 
pradically oppofed to the Chriflian religion, 
is it not a public affront to the righteous Ruler 
of the univerfe ? However cafuifts may de- 
termine this queftion, the afpecl, which the 
eleclion of fuch men has upon the intereft of 
fociety, is in every refpe6l; highly unfavorable, 
A perfon of this defcription, may faithfully 
ferve his country, or he may betray, or he 
may enflave it ; what courfe he will take, de- 
pends n^ierely on circumftances. A regard to 
reputation, and what is called principles of 
honor, which might have an infiuence in 
fmaller concerns, ceafe to operate when the 
high objecls of ambition are prefented to the 
mindo When a man of ambition comes within 
the reach of fupreme power, its attradion over- 
comes the influence of thofe weaker motives 
which, for a time, held him v/ithin thefphere 
of duty. In thefe circumflances men of prin- 
ciple only, fuch as was the Jewifh Moses, and 
the American Washington, and Adams, 
•will remain in their proper orbit, fuperior to 
all attradlon, but that of their country's 

26.4 Proofs of the Exifiencc 

To pretend that a man dillitute of die 
principles of religion, \^'ill be as likely to be 
faithful to the interefts of his conftituents, as 
one of an oppofite character, is to deny that 
religion tends to the good of fociety. But 
have the oaths of office, a belief of the being 
and perfeclions of God, and of a future (late 
of rewards and punifliments, no influence to 
excite men to fidelity? We know they are 
nothing to him who believes, " thai death is 
an everla/ting ficep^' but they cannot fail to 
operate on every mind which is not pad 

It is futile to attempt to juftify an inatten- 
tion to the charac1:ers of thofe we elecl to 
office, by pretending, that to fervc the pur- 
pofes of ambition, men may affume a char- 
acter which does not belong to them. It is 
not eafy for thofe who are objects of public 
notice, to conceal, for a long period, their 
ruling paffion ; and were fuitable caution ufed, 
it is not probable that a deception would fre- 
quently take place. In any event, this cannot 
-juftify inattention to the fubjecf. Shall we, 
with our eyes open, truft our deareft interefts 
with a knave, becaufe it is poffible we may be 
deceived in the man we believe to be honeft ? 
Our utmoft care to preferve our dwellings 

andlLffeEis of llhiminifnu 265 

may prove inefTe^tual, but fiiall we the}:efcrr- 
put fire to them ? 

"When due care is taken to cied men of 
good principles to public offices, even li the 
eleclors are deceived in the man of their 
choice, the objecb is not wholly loll. The 
charader of the Supreme Ruler is duly re- 
fpecled ; the public fuffrage is on the fide of 
virtue, and virtuous men are countenanced ; 
'wickednefs fuffers a public frown, and the 
perfon eleded, perceiving that he owed his 
advancement to a virtuous characrer, will be 
more careful to fupport fucha character ; and 
temptations to neglect, or betray his trufl:, 
will have lefs efFecl upon him ; but when in- 
fidelity is no bar to promotion, or Vvdien vir- 
tue and religion are confidered as of no im- 
portance in a public character, thefe reftraints 
are removed, and every temptation cperate^^ 
with full force. 

When men, deflitute of the principles of 
religion, are raifed to important public oiHces^, 
the efiect muft be extremely pernicious, as it 
refpecls the interefts of religion in fociety. 
You are not now to learn what influence ex- 
amples, and efpecially the exam.ples of the 
great, have on the general flafe of manners 


0.66 Proofi of the EKiJlcnce 

and fociety. The temper of fuch men wlH 
influence their manners. However they may 
adopt fome of the forms of piety, from a 
regard to appearances, their immoral and 
Anti^Chrifdan feelings, will give a complex- 
ion to their whole deportment. 

I do not hefitate to fay, that the man, with 
whom thefe confiderations have no weivdit, 
is a ftranger to the nature, excellence, and im- 
portance of Chriilianity, and has the heart 
of an infidel. You will not, my countrymen, 
unlcfs you are fatally blinded to your own in- 
tercfls, fuffer the glare of abilities, or the im- 
pulfe of a party fpirit, to allure you to com- 
init the interefts of your country to men, who 
are enemies to thofe principles which forra 
the pillars of focictyp 

Our inattention to the choice of public offi- 
cers is highly criminal. Many entirely ncglecl 
the right of fuffrage, while others bring for- 
ward the name which chance, or fome one 
more defigning than themfelves, prefents to 
i:heni. What IKould wc % of a ruler who 
ihe^uld make choice of his principal officers in 
the fame carclefs and capricious manner ? 
Neither an individual, nor a multitude, ought 
to have the difpofal of the affairs of a nation, 
■>y\\o is nor, more attentive to its intcrcils. 

and EffeBs of lllumimfm, 267 

Greater eleclioneering zeal is not, indeed, 
neceflary than appears in fome parts of our 
country ; but it is fervently to be wiilied, 
that this zeal were lefs under the impulfe of 
party fpirit, and that calm, difpaiiionatc citi- 
zens would make it a more ferious ohjed to 
difcover, and introduce into public oiEccSj 
charaders, Avliofc election might promife prof- 
perity to their country. 

4th. Beware of men, who feek to rob you 
of your liberties and religion, by flattering 
your pafiions, andby a pretended concern for 
your intereflsv This is not a new mode of 
deception, but, in common with other modes, 
has undergone a miodern refinem.ent. Marat, 
the greateft incendiary in France, Dr. Moore 
obferves, " addreffed the mob in the ftyle of 
a lover to his millrefs ; and the motto of a 
Journal, Vv^hich he publifhed, was " Vt redeat 
mlferis^ ahcat foriunafiipcrbis^^ that is, " Take tlye 
money from the rlch^ that it may he rejiored to the 

As a guard againil the influence of ambi- 
tious, popular men, the Athenians provided 
the fentence of oilracifm. Each citizen was 
required to write on a bone the name of the 
pcrfon, in his eilimation, the mofl popular^ ; 

' C S Proofs of the Exiftence 

and he whofe name was found on the greatefti 
number of bones, was baniihed from the 
Commonwealth, under the idea, that he had 
acquired an influence dangerous to the repub* 
lie. However abfurd in itfeif, and cruel in 
its operation, this practice was, it difcovered 
a due fenfe of the danger arifing, in a free 
government, from the afcendency ambitious 
men may acquire, by flattering the populace,, 
and gaining the direction of their pailions. 
While there are corrupt, ambitious men, this 
kind of influence will exifl, and will be princi- 
pally found in thofe governments where its 
operation is moft pernicious. Not, however^ 
in oftracifm, but in virtuous habits, and a 
watchful attention to the interefts of the pub- 
lic, fhall we find our fafety from the arts of 
tliefe iniidious foes. 

To confound the reputation which is the 
refult of faithful fervices, and approved merit, 
with the popularity of an impollor, is as inju- 
rious to the public, as to individuals. The 
former, is as beneficial, as the latter is deflruc- 
tive. A fmall degree of difcernment, duly 
exercifed, is generally fuflicient to detecl the 
infincerity of thofe who flatter but to deftroy. 
If I may be indulged a quotation fo unfafiiion- 
able, I would fay, that St. Paul has accurately 

and Effects of llluminlfiiu 269 

defcribed thefe deceivers ; " They zealoujly af- 
fect you," fays he, " but not well ; yea, they 
would exclude you, that ye might nffcd;thems\ 

The man who lives only for himfelf, while 
he pretends a deep concern for the interefts of 
fociety ; the fomenter of factions ; the feeker 
of offices; the corrupter of morals; the avow- 
ed enemy of Chrifiianity ; the man who en- 
deavors to irritate your mind, by reprefenting 
neceiiary public expenfes, as an acl of opprcf- 
fion, and thofe reflraints which the order of 
fociety requires, as tyrannical ; in fine, he wha 
addrelTes your pafiions, rather than your undcr- 
ilandingS5fuch men bear the genuine chara61er- 
iilics of impoftors ; and are either the deluded 
agents of a party, or have themfelves defigns^ 
which they willi to conceal, while they pro- 
claim themfelves the advocates of the rights^ 
of man. - 

5th. Attend to the fources from vv^hich you 
derive your political information. The dif- 
organizers of Europe were not unmindful of 
the advantage to be derived to their cauf.^ from 
having public preiTes, and periodical publica« 
tions, under their diredion. There, however, 
a degree of caution was neceflary, and an ap- 
prehenfion of confequenccs gave a check to^ 

270 F roofs of the Exijhnce 

the licentioufnefs of the prefs ; but in the 
United States, this medium of impoiition is, 
in a great meafure, unembarraffed ; and de- 
mands very ferious attention. Excepting the 
falatary reftraints impofed by the Sedition Bill^ 
thofe who were difpofed to foment divifions, 
excite jealoufies, and difunite the people from 
their government, have had an opportunity 
of incelTantly attacking the minds of the citi- 
zens with, the groffeft mifreprefentations. 

Evils of great magnitude have already orig- 
inated from this fource of mifchief. Objects 
have been prefented to the public, under every 
poiTible circumftance of diftortion, and fufpi- 
cions excited wliich were entirely groundlefs* 
It is an outrage upon common fenfe to pre- 
tend, that there has been any adequate caufe 
for the clamiors and oppoHtion which have em- 
barraiTed the meafures of the late adminiftra- 
tion. Could the citizens of the United States 
have an impartial view of their proceedings, 
it is to be prefumed, that ninety-nine hun- 
dredths of the virtuous, enlightened part of 
the community, would cordially approve of 
what, by the influence of mifreprefentation^ 
many are now led to reprobate. 

and EffeBs of Illuminlfnu 271 

An efFeclual remedy for the abufes of the 
prefs has not yet been difcovered, and perhaps, 
in a free government, no other remedy can be 
conliftently reforted to, than the virtue and 
good fenfe of the citizens ; and this, we have 
reafon to fear, vi^ill be but feeble indeed. The 
prefent flate of the public mind is evidently 
calcub.ted to increafe, rather than diminiili^ 
the evil. 

If, my countrymen, you will calmly and 
difpaflionately inquire after truth, means of 
information are not wanting. If you give no 
encouragement to the numerous productions 
of the day, which are plainly dictated by a 
defire, not to inform your judgments, but to 
inflame your pafiions, they will ceafe ; but 
while your minds are open to fcurrility, 
calumnies, and falfehoods, they will abound. 
A fpirit of party has given currency to many 
publications, from diHerent quarters, which 
ought never to have feen the light. Truth is 
more injured than aiiifted, by an alliance with 
pallion. Important truths are not, indeed, to 
be ^fupprefTed, becaufe they may irritate the 
enemies of truth ; but groundlefs afperfions, 
and needlefs provocations, fhould meet your 
pointed diiapprobation, if the falvation of 
your country is dearer than the fupport of a 

2/2 Proofs of the Exijle nee 

It is not the defign of thefe obfervations^ to 
diffuade you from an attention to pubiicT 
affairs. Your country needs, and has a right 
to demand, your vigorous efforts. It adds an 
additional fhade to the darknefs of the prefent 
day, that, where the ftimulus of party fpirit 
does not operate, there is fuch a degree of 
torpor and inattention to a fubjecl in .which 
the happinefs of millions is involved. A 
ncglecl of pxi^lic interefl mull be viewed as 
criminal in any ftate of lociety, but more 
efpecially where the people claim to be the 
fources of honor and authority. But let your 
exertions be given to your comitry^ not to a 
paj-'ty ; and being convinced that religion, 
morals, order, and a government of laws, are 
the pillars of your national profperity and- 
peace, let thefe have your firm and vigorous-^ 

6th. Renounce the Anti-ChrlRian and ir-- 
rational practice of " fpeaking evil of digni- 
ties." " Thou ihalt not fpeak evil of the ruler 
of thy people," is one of thofe divine precepts 
which commends itfelf to every man's con- 
fcience by its evident propriety, and demands 
our attention as of prime importance to the 
order of fociety. It is an evil to which free 
governments are peculiarly expofcd j and a 

aiui Effecfs of llluminifnu 273 

ftrong propeniity in human nature to this 
evil, has given an advantage to the diforgan- 
izers of the prefent day, which they have not 

The impradicability of fupporting the au- 
thority of the laws, and the energy of gov- 
ernment, when the executors of thofe laws, 
and the officers of that government, are ob- 
jects of conftant fcurrility and abufe, muft be 
obvious to every perfon of the leaft reflection* 
The experience we have had of this fpirit 
among ourielves, is furely fufficient to fatisfy 
us of its pernicious tendency ; and under a 
change of adminiftration, it is painful to fee ma- 
ny indulging the fame fpirit, which they have 
fo juftly reprobated in others. In the perfon, 
conititutionally inveiled with authority, we 
are to contemplate, not the individual whofe 
eledion v/e once oppofed, however reafonable 
and well founded that oppofition may have 
been, but the magijlrate^ in fupporting whom, 
on conftitutional ground, we fupport the gov- 
ernment of which he is the head. 

Even when the public good requires, as 
doubtlefs it may require, that the charader 
and conduct of public officers fhould be expof- 
cd, a folemn decency, and not a bitter and 

274 Proofs cfihe ExUlence 

licentious fpirit, flili lefs a fpirit of falfehoodf,- 
ought to mark the tranfadion. Nor will the 
cenfurable parts of their condud juftify our 
withholding aid, countenance, and fupport in 
the due execution of their office* 

7th. Serioufly refleft upon the nature and 
tendency of fecret focieties. Weiiliaupt him=^ 
felf propofes the queftion, " Have you any 
idea of the power of fecret focieties ?" It is 
obvious, at iv:^ view, that they ar€ not 
friendly to that harmony and cordial union 
which are fo defirable in every fociety*- 
Should fome of the children in a family form 
themfelves into a fecret club, exclude their 
brethren from their private meetings a.nd con- 
fidence, and be often whifpering their fecrets^ 
it is eafy to forefee that an undue partiality 
among the confederated brethren, andjeal- 
cufy, dillruft, and alienation of affedion on 
the other part, would be the natural ccnfe- 
quences. The effecls will be fimilar, and 
equally certain,, though they may be lefs vif- 
fible, in larger focieties. From the notorious 
tendency of fuch combinations, many weighty 
and interefting objetlions were made to the 
eftabliflmient of the order of the Cinci/wati ; but 
the development of the myileries of Illumin- 
ifrj, has given an additional weight tc tlicfe 

and Eff.ds of llluminifm, 275 

argumentr,, aad placed, in a glaring light, the 
dangerous tendency of cxcluiive confederacies. 

lam not infeniible that thcfe remarks crim^ 
inate, in a degree, the order of Mafonry. The 
refpecl I feel for many gentlemen of this order, 
•' .ong my acquaintance, who. I doubt not, 
1 the fociety with pure intentions, and 
^ ; ^ .-nainiree from this contamination ; and 
my belief of ^lic iin^^orr-iptnefs of the New- 
England Ic _ lave made it, to 
me, an ungrateful talk to relate the dark 
deiigns to which their order, after fo long 
preferving its luflre, has been fubjecled. I 
ean affure them that views, to which every 
private coniideration muft yield, have been 
my fole inducement to undertake this duty. 
This, in the minds of thofe of the order whofe 
approbation is mofl to be valued, I doubt 
not will appear a fufScient apology. To thefe 
candid Mafons I helitate not to fay, that to 
me, a fufpenfion at leaft, of mafonic opera- 
tions, appears to be a meafurc, which the fafe- 
ty of fociety, in its prefent flate, recommends ; 
and it is difficult to conceive how any perfon, 
who admits the truth of the foregoing flate- 
ments, can dilTent from this idea. It is the 
fentiment of m.any refpeclable Mafons ; and 
feveral lodges in Germany have aclyally 

276 Proofs (yf the ExJjhrue 

clofed their proceedings, on this principle. It 
is with pleafure I tranfcribe an extradl from 
a mafonic oration on fuch an occafion, hop- 
ing, that the cxartiple and. the fentiments, 
will have their due influence. 

" Brethren, and Cpmpanions, give free vent 
to your forrow ; the days of innocent equali- 
ty are gone by. However holy our^myfteries 
may have been, the lodges are now profaned 
and fullied. Brethren, and companions, let 
your tears flow ; attired in your mourning 
robes attend, and let us feal up the gates of 
our temples, for the profane have found means 
of penetrating into them. They have con- 
verted them into retreats for their impiety, 
into dens of confpirators. Within the facred 
%valls they have planned their horrid deeds, 
and the ruin of nations. Let us weep over 
our legions which they have feduced. Lodges 
that 7nay ferve as hiding places for thefe con- 
fpirators muft remain forever fliut, both to us 
and every good citizen."* 

He who thus facrifices his amufements and 
pleafures to the interefts of fociety, acquires a 
dignity beyond what the higheil honors of 
Mafonry can confer. 

* Barruel's Memoirs, Vol. IV. p. (ji. 

and of Ilhaniniftu. 27; 

8th. Cheerfully fubmit to the reftraints 
^hich the rules of religion and the good order 
of fociety require. There are principles in the 
human heart which unwillingly endure con- 
trol, and on thefe principles the diforganizers 
of the day place their chief dependence. 
They artfully endeavor to inflame the pailions^ 
to awaken a defire of forbidden objects and 
gratificaiion, and then exhibit the reftraints 
of religion and government, as tyrannically 
oppofmg enjoyment. 

This is the true import of liberty andeqiiaUu^ 
as the words are ufed by modern impoftorso 
The abufe to which thefe terms are liable is 
obvious ; for, when once unlawful pailions are 
excited, it becomes an eafy talk to perfuade 
men that whatever checks thofe inclinations, 
is an abridgment of their natural liberty ; 
and when, in this way, a popular torrent is 
formed, in vain religion, order, juftice, ot 
hutnanity oppofe their reftraints. Liberty is a 
vague term, nor do thefe men with to define 
it ; they wifh to have m^en feel that they are 
injured by whatever oppofes their inclination?, 
and w^hen they have inftilled into them this 
fentiment of fedition, it is eafy to render men 
hoftile to all the reftraints which religion and 
focial order impofe. This is the liberty which 

27S Proofs of the Exijlence 

Illumlnifm has actively propagated. Modern 
philofophers have difcovered, that the laws of 
modeily impofe an unjuft reibraint on the 
freedom of the fair fex ; that the fubjedion 
which children are required to yield to their 
parents, is an unreafonable ufurpation ; and 
the law^ which obliges married people to live 
together, aft^r their affections for each other 
are alienated, is tyrannical. 

But you, my countrymen, do not wifii for 
this kind of liberty. The glory of your con- 
fatudon is, that it preferves the citizens in 
the free enjoyment of their natural rights, 
under the protection of equal law^s and impar- 
tial jufdce. You wifli to have your lives, 
property, and privileges, both civil and 
religious, preferved to you : Guard then thofe 
of your neighbors j for know, that the mo- 
ment the enclofures which protect their rights 
are broken down, yours are no longer fecure. 
"W'latever w^eakens the force of moral and 
religious obligations ; whatever lefTens the 
reftraints, already Tufiiciently weak, which the 
laws impofe on the unruly pafTions of men, 
proportionably expofes the lives, liberties, and 
property of the quiet part of tlie community 
to tlic depredations of the lawlefs. 

and EffeHs of lUummpu 27-9 

One of the mod furpriling efiecls attending 
the diforganlzing principles of the day, is, 
that men of property fliould be induced ta 
give fupport to a fyftem which deftroys the 
barriers by which property is protecled. That 
fome few, who wifli to acquire influence,, and 
mount into places of honor and truft, fliould 
adopt thefe vialent means to " burfi: open the 
doors" leading to the emoluments of oflice, is 
not, indeed, flrange ; but the quiet, unambitious 
citizen, whofe utmoil wifli is to- preferve the 
fruit of his labor and exertion, mufl be com- 
pletely duped not to perceive, that he expofes 
to the greatefl hazard what he is principally 
defirous to preferve. Pleafed with the idea of 
faving a few fhillings, neceffary for the de- 
fence of his property, he expofes the whole. 

In the fame abfurd manner do they reafon, 
who concei%^e that the perfection of liberty 
confiils in unbounded indulgence. Extremes 
are faid to meet and produce fmiilar euecls. 
This maxim applies to the prefent cafe. When 
people grow weary of fubjecling their pafHons 
to neceffary reftraints, a ftate of diforder and 
faction enfues. Some popular leader, improv- 
ing his afcendency over the divided, diitra^t- 
ed multitude, erects a defpotifm ; and, flatter- 
ing their paffions, he at length eflabliflics his 
siuthority on a furer bafis. 

28o Proofs of the Exljlence 

Read this truth in the hiftory of ancient 
Greece and Rome. See it verified in modern 
France. Advancing, in their own opinion, to 
the very pinnacle of Hberty and equality, we fee 
them fuddenly reduced to a ftate of complete 
vailalage. The difcerning part of the nation 
were not deceived, but weary of a liberty 
v/hich left no fecurlty to their lives or 
property, they acquiefced in the ufurpation of 
the Chief Conful : Thisisthe natural and una- 
voidable confequence of licentious indul- 
gences. Hearken not then, my countrymen, 
to thofe, who endeavor to render you diilatis- 
iied with the reftraints of religion, or the ex- 
penfes necelTary for the maintenance of ufeful 
inftitutions, and the fupport of good govern* 

and Effc6fs of lllwnimfiiu 38^ 


AS this fubjecl Is particularly intererdng ta 
the American Clergy, I beg leave to prefent 
it to them in a point of view, in which it ap- 
pears to me of peculiar importance. 

Fathers and Brethreiiy 

WHILE I fee with pleafure your excrtiona 
in oppofition to prevailing infidelity, permit me 
to direct your attention to a temptation, by 
which, as we learn from the preceding hif- 
torical Iketches, the German divines v/ere 
enfnared, viz. that of attempting to reconcile 
infidels to the gofpel, by reducing it to tlieir 
taiie ; either by explaining away, or keeping 
out of light, its ofTenfive peculiarities. From 
the foregoing recital it appears, that the fecond 
branch of Illuminifm, the Germian Union, was 
grafted on a mutilated fyflem of Chriftianity* 

In the hiflory of the Chriilian church, we 
are often reminded of the injuries Chriilianity 
has received from the attempts of its advo- 
€ates to render the gofpel palatable to its. 


282 Proofs of the Exijience 

oppofers. Upon this principle, firft the Oriental, 
then the Platonic, afterwards the Ariftotelian, 
fyftems of philofophy became, in different 
ages, the ftandards for explaining the facred 
writings ; and the doftrincs of Infinite Wif- 
dom have been diilorted into a compliance 
with thofe fyftems of human weaknefs and 
folly. Hence, alfo, arofe the fcheme of an 
iiidd-sn meaning, and myftical interpretation, 
fo zealouily adopted by Origen and others. 

This doubtlefs has been fometimesdone with 
a friendly defign, but the confequences have 
always been unhapp^^ ; and unhappy they ever 
muft be. Befides the impiety of the attempt, 
it 13 very obvious, that it is merely the cor- 
ruptions, in thefe mutilated fyftems, with which 
infidels harmonize. Their hearts are no 
more reconciled to the Gofpel than before ; all 
the advantage refulting to Chriftianity confifts 
in the external aid they afford the caufe ; and 
this is incomparably overbalanced by the in- 
jury done to the purity of its do61rines. Nor 
is even this aid noxv to be expected ; for miod- 
crn infidels, renouncing their former pre- 
tended refpeli for natural religion, have taken 
their proper ground, which is abfolute atheifm. 

'' Thus did not Paul.'^ Wlnle fully fenfi- 
ble that the gofpel lie preached was, " a 

and EffeSls of Blurniniffiu ^2^3 

tumbling block to the Jew, and foolifhnefs 
to the Greek/' he complimented neither the 
one nor the other, either by adopting their 
fentiments, or relinquifhing his own ; but 
with a refolution worthy the great defender 
of Chriilianity, determined, in face of this 
oppofition, to affert the dodrine of a crucified 
Saviour ; nay, as if forefeeing the indire6i: 
meafures which fome would take to recom- 
mend Chriilianity, he pronounces " him ac- 
curfed who fhouid preach another gofpel," 
adding, that by another go/pel^ he meant the 
gofpel of Chrift perverted, or corrupted. 

In this he conformed to the will of his Di- 
vine Mafter, who ilated unalterably the terms 
of admillion into his kingdoin, declaring 
with the greateft folemnity, that unlefs they 
received the kingdom of God (the fcheme of 
doctrines he taught) with the meeknefs, and 
teachablenefs of little children, they fhouid in 
no wife enter therein. It will not be pre- 
tended that he was unmindful of the oppo- 
fition of the human heart to the doctrines he 
taught, but under a full view of that oppo- 
fition, he demanded for them a ready recep- 
tion, and the unequivocal fubmiflion of man- 
kind. The triumphof the gofpel is effedednot 
by relinquifliing its demands, in compliance 

2 84 Proofs of the Exi/ience 

with the corruptions and caprices of mankind, 
but by fubcluing the pride, enmity, and oppo'. 
lition of the heart, and " bringing into cap- 
tivity every thought to the obedience of 

I have thus, my countrymen, exprelTed my 
fentiments v^ith the freedom which is yet one 
of the happy privileges of our country ; and 
with the faithfulnefs which becomes one who 
fees his fellow men expofed to iminent dan- 
gers, I have never covered a paragraph, on 
any of the fubjecls here brought into vieu'', 
by an anonymous publication. By this ob- 
fervation I mean not to criminate, in the leaft 
degree, thofe gentlemen, who, in this way 
have enlightened and inftrucled the public ; 
but it is moil agreeable to my feelings, efpe- 
cially in prefent circumftances, to make myfelf 
refponfible to the public, for my opinions oa 
thefe fubjeds,* 

* Had the proper names of the authors been affixed to 
all the publications of the day, it is to be prefumed that 
the clergy would be found chargeable with a fmall pro- 
portion of thofe which have been fo liberally palmed upon 
them without the lead evidence, and plainly with a dcfiga 
to injure their characters. 

and Effetls of Illumimfni.. 2S5 

Confidering the fpirit of the times, a mean- 
ing and dcfign will doubtlefs be attributed to 
the writer which never entered his mind. 
V/ith refped to himfelf, this is a circumflance 
of trifling confequence \ as it refpecls the fuc- 
cefs of his labors, he is defirous to remove 
every obftacle ; and would therefore obferve, 
that nothino; has been introduced into \his 
work but what, it was conceived, would ferve 
to give weight to the directions fuggelled in 
this addrefs'. In your attention to thefe fen- 
tim.ents coniifts your ftrength. Your enemies 
muft draw you from this ground before they 
can prevail. Believe in the Lord your 
God, so shall you be established ; be- 
lieve HIS proph^ets, so shall ye prosper,* 

* 2 Chroniclesj xx. 20, 

286 Proofs of the Exijlence 


PAINFUL has it been to me, and no lef^. 
fb, I prefume, to the reader, to traverfe thefc 
regions of moral death, and to contemplate 
the direful eiFe^ls produced by torrents of cor- 
ruption, flowing from the fulnefs of the hu- 
man heart. Gladly would I relieve his mind, 
and my own, with brighter profpecls and 
more cheerful fcenes ; and fuch prefent them- 
felves to him w^ho meekly receives the inftruc» 
tions of his Maker, and fur'veys futurity 
with an eye of faith. By this light we dif- 
cover, that the plan of Providence, however 
complicated its operations^ is but one ; hav- 
ing for its benevolent objed, the produclion 
of order out of confuiion, of good from eviL 
Under the orovernment of Infinite Wifdom 
and love, this confoling truth is exemplified 
in numberlefs inftances, from the plant, w^hich 
ow^es its vigor to putrefaction, to the increaf- 
ing purification the good man derives from 
conliicls and fuffcrings ; and from thence to 
the crofs of a Saviour which gave life to the 
world. If we admit this prime truth, we 
need not a fpirit of prophecy to forefee, that 

and Effe&s of lllumlmfnu 287 

thefe efforts of infidelity will prepare the way 
for, and haften its deilruccion : That the 
convulfions excited by thefe diforganizers 
will (but not in the way which they predict, 
nor according to their intentions) purify its 
conflitution, and introduce an healthier ftatc 
into focicty : That all the attempts which 
have been made to deftroy the foundations 
of moral oblio;ation, and the evidences of 
Chriflianity, will eventually eftabliih the one^ 
and coniirm the other. 

Is it alked when this happy era will com- 
mence ? Not perhaps in this theorizing gen- 
eration ; not w^hile men's heads are filled with 
the idea of creeling a peaceful, happy repub- 
lic upon the bafis of atheifm. But the time 
will come, when w^ifdom w411 refumxC her feat, 
and man will fubmit to be taught by experi- 
ence, and by his Maker. Then will his ear 
be opened to the lelTons of wifdom, to the 
demonftrations of truth, wdiich the hiilory of 
the prefent period affords.; 

Would it be extrava2:ant to affert, that the 
collecled hiilory of all ages and nations, facred 
liiflory excepted, does not furnifh fo much 
im.portant and ufeful inftruclion, as will 
probably be derived from the events which 

2 S 8 Trcofs of the Exljlence 

have come Into view witliin the laft fixty 
years ? In the period referred to, we have 
been prefented with what may be confidered, 
as a courfe of experimental leclures on reHg- 
ion, morals, and the interefts of fociety ; in 
which many important principles and truths 
Iiave received a clear iliuilration, and beeri 
demonftrated to the fenfes* 

In many excellent treatifes has Chriftianity 
been defended, and the tendency of infidelity^ 
in its influence on the mind, and on fociety^ 
held up to the public ; but as abilracl: reafon- 
ings make but a faint imprelTion on the great 
body of mankind, infidels have confidently 
denied the charges brought againft them, 
and the juilnefs of the conclufions drawn 
from their fentiments. Infidels have formed 
•the minority in every fociety; they w^ere 
therefore naturally led to plead for toleration. 
Their principles were under a continual cheeky 
and a regard to reputation and perfonal fafety; 
induced a comphance with the cuftoms and 
m.anners of the age. In proof of the import- 
ance of religion to a civil community, the 
advocates of Chriftianity appealed to the ftate 
of fociety in heathen nations ; but this did 
not amount to a fair experiment; for the 
heathens were not infidels. The fcattered rays 

and EffcHs of lllumlnlfriu 2 S 9 

of revelation, collecled by their philofophers, 
produced fomething like a fyftem of religion, 
which, however inadequate to the principal 
purpofes of religion, had a happy efi^cl on 
fociety and morals. 

Infidelity never before appeared in her prop- 
er character. Infidels, formerly, fpake much 
of virtue and religion, applauded the morality 
of the gofpel,and aiFeded to admire many of its 
dodrines. Lord Herbert calls " the Chriftian, 
the beft religion.'' Lord Bolingbroke repre- 
fents " Chriftianity as a mod amiable and 
ufeful inftitution, and that its natural ten- 
dency is to promote the peace and happincfs 
of mankind." It was plead by the advocates 
of Chriftianity, that whoever had any real 
love to moral beauty could not but embrace 
the gofpel ; but deifts denied the truth of this 
affertion, and to fupport their argument, 
were perpetually proclaiming the beauty of 
virtue and natural religion. But now it ap- 
pears that all this was a mere fineife, adapted 
to conceal the fatal tendency of their opinions. 
Infidelity, confiding in her ftrength, and the 
increafing number of her advocates, has now 
laid afide her mafK, and we have feen her in 
France, fierce, cruel, unjuft, oppreffive, aban- 
doned and profligate, as llae is-; rejecl;ing thofe 
A a 

290 T roofs of the Exijlence^ &c. 

moral precepts die once profeiTed to admire, 
proudly affuming entire independence, and 
ranking the fovereign of heaven with the 
tyrants ofthe earth. 

We have grounds to expect, that the genu- 
ine tendency, both of infidelity and Chriftian- 
ity, as they refpecl fociety, will be fully and 
undeniably demonilrated. It is undoubtedly 
a part of the fcheme of Providence, to lay 
open the human heart, and to prove important 
truths by convincing experim.ents. Were- 
mankind duly inipreiled with that view of 
the tendency of infidelity, which late events 
have exhibited, it would afford a rational 
hope that its reign would foon ceafe ; but 
while fo many remain unconvinced, there is 
reafon to fear its more deplorable prevalence, 
before the dawning of that happy day, when 
Chriftianity, infufing its benign influence into 
every heart, fliall produce permanent peace=» 
'ind the precious fruits of univerfal love. 

jF I N I S\