I entreat that my readers will recollect this advertisement whenever they shall see the Original Writings cited.
III. “The True Illuminee, or the real and perfect Ritual of the Illuminee; of the Illuminee; comprehending the Preparation, the Noviciate, the Minerval Degree, that of the Minor and Major Illuminee, all without addition or omission.”—With respect to the authenticity of this work, we need only quote the testimony of the Baron Knigge, surnamed Philo, the most famous of the Illuminees after the Founder of the Sect; and who was actually the chief compiler of its Code, as he tells us himself: “All these degrees (says he), such as I composed them, have been printed this year at Edesse (Frankfort on the Mein) under the title of the True Illuminee. I am ignorant of the author; but they appear exactly as they flowed from my pen; that is to say, as I compiled them.” 7 This certainly is an authenticated document on the Sect, and recognized by the compiler himself.
IV. I now proceed to a work which was published by this same Philo,—under the title of “Last Observations, or Last Words of Philo, and Answers to divers Questions on my connections with the Illuminees.” In this work Philo-Knigge gives us an account of himself and of his Illuminism, of his agreements with the chiefs of the Sect, and of his labours for it. His vanity, however, makes this narrative fulsome. The reader will observe in his writings one of those pretended Philosophers who treat all religious objects with that contempt which they themselves deserve. This is of no consequence; he attempts to justify his own conduct; his avowals may therefore be received in testimony against the Sect.
V. “The last Works of Spartacus and Philo,” Die neusten Arbeiten des Spartacus und Philo. Except the Original Writings, this is the most intelligent and important work that has been published on the Illuminees. It contains the two degrees of the greatest consideration both on account of the mysteries revealed in them by the Sect, and of the laws laid down for the adepts.—Not a shadow of doubt can be maintained as to the authenticity of this work. These degrees and laws are published with a certificate of Philo attesting their conformity with the original, and under the seal of the Order. This certificate was scarcely necessary. Whoever can read must easily perceive that these degrees and these laws are no other than a compilation, and often (in the most essential parts) but a copy of the discourses, precepts, and principles, contained in the Original Writings. The publisher is a man who has passed through all the degrees of Illuminism. More dexterous than Philo, he makes himself master of his secret, and of that of the whole Sect. The better to unmask Illuminism, he becomes an Illuminee; and he has so well succeeded, that no member of the Order was better acquainted with it than himself.
VI. The same writer has published A Critical History of the Degrees of Illuminism, a valuable work, in which every thing is proved from the very letters of the grand adepts.
VII. The Directing Illuminee, or the Scotch Knight. This may be said to be the counterpart of the Last Works of Philo and Spartacus. It is a description of the most important intermediary degree of Illuminism. The Editor does not indeed publish it under the signet of the Order; but when the reader has compared it with the Original Writings, and even with the criticism on it by the chief, who was not much pleased with the compiler, he will soon decide that the grand seal of the Order is not necessary to authenticate it.
VIII. Remarkable Depositions respecting the Illuminees. These are three juridical depositions on oath, and signed 1st by Mr. Cosandy, Canon and Professor at Munich; 2dly by Mr. Renner, Priest and Professor of the same Academy; 3dly by Mr. Utzschneider, Counsellor of the Electoral Chamber; 4thly by Mr. George Grümberg, a member of the Academy of Sciences, and Professor of Mathematics. As every thing is juridical in these depositions, it would be useless for me to insist on the weight they must carry with them. These were four pupils, who did not wait to be initiated in the grand mysteries of the Sect to form their judgement on, and to quit the Sect. They
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