bolster, where they will learn whether he is a hard sleeper, whether he dreams, and whether he talks when dreaming; whether he is easily or with difficulty awakened; and should he be suddenly, forcibly, or unexpectedly awakened from his sleep, what impression would it make on him?
Should any of these questions, or any part of the Candidate’s life, not have been sufficiently investigated by the Lodge, divers of the brethren are ordered to direct all their enquiries toward that point. When at length the result of all their researches is found to coincide with the wishes of the Sect, the day for his reception is appointed. Neglecting all the insignificant particularities of the Masonic rites, we shall attend entirely to those circumstances which peculiarly belong to Illuminism.
The adept, introduced into a gloomy apartment, reiterates his oath to keep secret whatever he may see or learn from the Order. He then deposits the history of his life (sealed up) in the hands of his introducer. It is read to the Lodge, and compared with the historical table which the Brethren had already formed respecting the Candidate. This done, the Introducer says to him, “You have given us a welcome and valuable proof of your confidence; but indeed we are not unworthy of it; and we hope that it will even increase in proportion as you become better acquainted with us. Among men whose sole object is to render themselves and others better, no dissimulation should subsist. Far be any reserve from us. We study the human heart—and do not hesitate or blush at revealing to each other our faults or errors.—Here then is the picture which the Lodge had drawn of your person. You must own that some features are not unlike. Read, and then answer, whether you still wish to belong to a society which (such as you are represented here) opens its arms to receive you.”
Could indignation operate more powerfully on the mind of the Candidate at the sight of his having been so treacherously watched, than the fear of abjuring a society which henceforth possesses such arms against him, he would not hesitate at asking for his dismission; but he sees the consequences of such a step, and feels that it might cost him very dear. Beside, he is so familiarized with the scrutinizing system, that he can scarcely be offended with it, though operating on himself. He is left for a certain time to his meditations. The desire of acquiring a new degree works upon him and at length turns the scales; he is introduced to the Lodge of the Brethren; and there the veil which hides the secrets of the Sect is partly raised; or, rather, he is himself still more unveiled, that the Sect may discern whether all his views and wishes coincide with theirs.
After a suitable preamble, the Initiator tells him, “that he has still some few questions to answer, relative to objects on which it is absolutely necessary that the opinions of candidates should be known.”
The reader is desired to pay particular attention to these questions; as it will enable him, when he shall come to read of the mysteries, more clearly to observe the succession and gradation with which such principles are infused
into the mind of the adept, as if he had invented and conceived them all himself.
“I. Do you find that, in the world we live in, virtue is rewarded and vice punished? Do you not on the contrary observe, that the wicked man is exteriorly more comfortable, more considered, and more powerful, than the honest man? In a word, are you content with the world in its present situation?”
“II. In order to change the present order of things, would you not, if you had it in your power, assemble the good and closely unite them, in order to render them more powerful than the wicked?”
“III. If you had your choice, in what country would you wish to have been born rather than your own?”
“IV. In what age would you wish to have lived?”
“V. Always premising the liberty of choice, what science and what state of life would you prefer?”
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