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I leave you to form a just idea of the emotions of those present, whether they be considered as Christians, or not. The far greater part of the Senate, the legislative Body, the Tribunate, and the generals, being avowed Atheists, and notorious for the murders, thefts, and atrocities, which they had perpetrated; with their chief Magistrate, who had worshipped at the altar of Atheism, some years before in Paris; who afterwards knelt down before the Pope at Rome; and embraced the religion of Mohammed in Africa; assembled together in one place to adore a God, in whom they had no faith; and to profess a religion which they despised; merely that they might be enabled to preserve their usurped authority over the people, and to retain their places: this is an occurrence in the history of pious fraud, not to be met with since the days of Judas Iscariot. I may safely venture to affirm, that with the exception of the bishops (if they may be excepted) there was not a single person in the cathedral, who quitted this religious mockery with a sentiment of piety excited in his breast; nor one, who did not perfectly see through the whole object of the ceremo
The re-establishment of Popery in France is so far from furnishing an argument against the nation bearing the character of Antihrist, as it has been stated, that it furnishes the decisive argument in favor of it. The beast from the bottomless pit (Rev. xvii,) is bearing the Papal harlot to her execution, as has been shown. This implies that the Power symbolized by the beast has, for some sinister purposes, taken the Papal power into his arms. This same beast is presented in Rev. xvi, 13, and xix, 20, in this very connexion with Popery; which is now (since its subjection to the Antichristian beast) denominated the false prophet. The beast and the false prophet are there found unitedly instigating the coalition for the battle of the great day; and in that battle going together into perdition. The beast and the false prophet, who wrought wonders before him,
* Letters from France in 1802, vol. i, p. 269.
were taken, and cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. In chapter xx, 10, after the devil is loosed from his confinement, where he has been, during the Millennium, and is again taken, he is said to be now cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet, (or Antichrist and the Papal power) are. Here is the third passage in the Revelation where the two Powers are spoken of in this very connexion; the beast and the false prophet. And these three passages accord with Dan. vii. 11; I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words, which the horn spake, I beheld even till the beast (the Roman beast under his last head, which goeth into perdition) was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. In all these passages, Antichrist and Popery are found in this very connexion. Accordingly Paul, in sketching the character of Antichrist,* closes the description in these words, having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: Thus the present nominal religion of the French Empire is so far from furnishing an objection to that Empire's being the very Antichrist of the last time, that this very circumstance is essential to its sustaining this character; and presents an unanswerable argument in favor of its being the very Antichrist.
And no other Power, beside the French Empire, can now possibly be expected to arise on the ground of the old Roman empire, which can answer to the predictions of the last terrible beast; and which can be found in this connexion with the false prophet; and can with him go into perdition, in the battle of the great day. This argument then, in my opinion, ap proaches near to demonstration, that the French Empire is that last and terrible head of the Roman beast; and is the very Antichrist of the last time.
* 2 Thes. iii, 1–5.
Antichristian Influence in the United States.
We are not without evidence, that the systematic operations of the Infidelity of the last days, have found their way to this our highly favored nation. It could not be expected, that so fair a portion of the Christian world, as the United States, would escape the insidious attempts of modern Infidels. And we are fur. nished both with distressing indications, and direct evidence, that we have not escaped! It may be an unpleasant task to collect and exhibit this evidence. It may excite both ridicule and censure. But these are small considerations, compared with the reproaches of conscience for unfaithfulness in the watchmen. If the latter see evil approaching and do not sound the alarm, they can never answer it to their fellow men, nor to their own consciences; and much less to their Divine Lord. If Antichristian agency be lurking among us, surely it ought to be detected. No objection can be made against this, unless it be suggested by the enemies themselves, who are using every artifice to effect their own concealınent.
Should any say, Where are these wicked agents? Let us see them pointed out to us! Such ought to consider, that the strength of this Infidel order lies in concealment. All their long improvements in the knowledge of human nature, and in the most subtle arts of their order, are exerted to the uttermost to escape detection, as well as to effect their object. We cannot suppose them to have yet forgotten to “hide the hand, that gives the blow," nor to have abandoned their object, which was to “bind the world with invisible hands.” No doubt they, with their other refined sub*tleties, have learnt to suit themselves to their climate, or to adapt their operations to the times, and to the genius of the government and of the people, where they are making their innovations. Weishaupt himself has unintentionally disclosed this item of their character. Writing to Plato (Diderot) he says; “I have fore. seen every thing, I have prepared every thing. Let my whole order go to wreck and ruin, in three years I will answer to restore it; and that to a more perfect state, than it was before. Obstacles only stimulate my activity."* No doubt his followers imbibed the same sentiment.
Doubtless this order is not now known in America by any alarming appellation. But that there have been men and societies in the heart of this nation, in close connexion with the Illuminees of France, and most subtly propagating the same designs, is very evident. And it is a thought distressing to many of the warmest friends of religion, and of their country. And that the same baneful influence is now managed by the dynasty of the 'French Empire, is not by any means to be doubted.
Upon the list of Societies of Illuminism furnished by Professor Robinson,t several are mentioned as existing in America, before the year 1786. Abbe Barruelt makes mention of a lodge of this order in Portsmouth, (Virginia;) and that two lodges had descended from it; one in Virginia; and the other in St. Do. mingo.
In 1785, four Professors of Marianen Academy, viz. Utschnider, Cosandy, Remer, and Greenberger, who had withdrawn from the order of Illuminism, and exposed the wickedness of the scheme, were summon- . ed before a court of inquiry. Their depositions given separately, under oath, and with their names subscribed, on comparing, appeared perfectly har, monious, in detecting the abominations of the order. And three of these witnesses declared, that while connected with that order, they were repeatedly informed that Illuminism had extended to Italy, to Venice, to Austria, to Holland, to Saxony on the Rhine, and to America.s In the original writings of that ore
* Barruel, vol. iv, p. 130. + Proofs, p. 159.
Memoirs, vol. iv, p. 213.