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were cited at a tribunal to declare all they knew, and they answered with moderation and truth. Their depositions will find a place in the historical part of this work.

IX. The Apologies published by some of the leaders of the Sect are also to be classed among the incontrovertible evidence which we have acquired. These gentlemen will not be expected to have aggravated their own wickedness.

X. The list would be endless were I to subjoin all the works that have been written against the Sect. But I must distinguish in this place the works of Mr. Hoffman, Professor at the University of Vienna. I am but little acquainted with those of Doctor Zimmerman, though I have been informed by letter, that he furnished many valuable articles in a journal published at Vienna, and chiefly directed against the Sect. I often find Mr. Stark’s name mentioned as a strenuous opponent of the Sect. I have seen no publication with his name to it, except an Apology in Answer to the Calumnies of the Sect, which it continues to repeat, notwithstanding the victorious manner in which he has answered them.

Among the anonymous writings I find an excellent work entitled the Ultimate fate of the Free-masons (Endliches schicksal des Frey-maurer Ordens). It is a discourse pronounced at the breaking-up of a Freemason’s Lodge. The writer of this discourse gives an excellent statement of the reasons why the Lodges should suspend their labours since Illuminism had intruded itself into Masonry.—I believe he would have pronounced this discourse much sooner, had he known that all Lodges were not so pure as his own.

I have also perused the Biographical Fragments of the Sieur Bode, a famous Illuminee; these will be very useful in our Historical Volume. As to numberless other works which I have read on the same subject, it will suffice to give the titles of them when quoted. I have said more than enough to show that I am not in the dark with respect to the subject on which I am writing.

I could wish to express my gratitude to those virtuous men who, by their correspondence, and the memorials which they have sent me, have greatly advanced my undertaking. But open expressions of such a gratitude would prove fatal to them. To have contributed to the public utility is a sufficient reward for their virtue; and if my work is not so perfect as it ought to be, it arises not from any want of energy in their endeavours.

I find myself much against my will obliged to answer certain objections which my Translator has made, and which will, doubtless, be repeated by many other readers, grounded on the work of Mr. Robison, entitled Proof of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, &c. &c. That work was published just as this Third Volume was going to the press. Its author had not then met with my two first Volumes; but in a second Edition he is pleased to mention them in his Appendix. I am much flattered by his approbation, heartily congratulate him on the zeal he has himself shown in combating the public enemy, and am happy to see that he has wrought on the best materials. Without knowing it, we have fought for the same cause with

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the same arms, and pursued the same course; but the public are on the eve of seeing our respective quotations, and will observe a remarkable difference between them. I fear lest we should be put in competition with each other, and the cause of truth suffer in the conflict. I entreat the reader to observe, that these differences arise from the different methods followed by him and myself. Mr. Robison has adopted the easiest, though the most hazardous method. He combines together in one paragraph what his memory may have compiled from many, and sometimes makes use of the expressions of the German author when he thinks it necessary. Beside, he has seen much, and read much, and relates it all together in the paragraphs marked by inverted Commas. The warning he has given in his preface will not suffice to remove the objections of some readers. In some passages he has even adopted as truth certain assertions which the correspondence of the Illuminees evidently demonstrate to have been invented by them against their adversaries, and which in my Historical Volume I shall be obliged to treat in an opposite sense. Nor will I pretend to say, that Illuminism drew its origin from Masonry; for it is a fact demonstrated beyond all doubt, that the founder of Illuminism only became a Mason in 1777, and that two years later than that he was wholly unacquainted with the mysteries of Masonry. 8

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