A second observation well worthy the notice of our readers is, the extreme importance which the Sect gives to secret societies, and what mighty expectations it grounds on their mysterious existence. Let nations and chiefs of nations examine themselves, reflect whether they have ever calculated the means and importance of these secret societies so well as those who founded them; and say, whether fear and diffidence on the one side should not keep pace with the expectations and confidence of the other. But let us return to the Lodge wherein Weishaupt initiates his adepts.

Continuing his enthusiastic strain, the Hierophant informs the proselyte, that Nature, having a great plan to develope, begins by the lesser and most imperfect parts; that she then regularly proceeds to the middle terms, to bring things to a state of perfection; which state may serve as a point whence she may again depart, to raise them to a higher order of perfection.

p. 475

“Nature (says he) makes us begin at infancy, from infancy she raises us to manhood. She at first left us in the savage state, but soon brought us to civilization, perhaps that we might be more sensible, more enraptured and tenacious of what we are, from viewing the contrast of what we were. But to what changes, and those of an order infinitely more important, does our future destiny lead us!”

Were the candidate master of his own reason, he must conclude from these principles, that human nature had acquired perfection when passing from the savage state to that of civil society; that if he. is still to acquire perfection it can never be by returning to his primitive state. But sophisters have their tortuosities, and the adepts are involved in a folly and blindness, with which the Almighty God permits them to be stricken, since they prefer error to truth, and impiety to Christianity.

“As has the individual man (continues the Hierophant) so human nature in the aggregate has its childhood, its youth, its manhood, and its old age. At each of these periods mankind learn and are subject to fresh wants–hence arise their political and moral revolutions—It is at the age of manhood that human nature appears in all its dignity. It is then that, taught by long experience, man conceives at length how great a misfortune it is for hire to invade the rights of others, to avail himself of some few advantages, purely exterior, to raise himself, to the prejudice of others. It is then that he sees and feels the happiness and dignity of man.”

“The first age of mankind is that of savage and uncouth nature. A family is the whole society; hunger and thirst easily quenched, a shelter from the inclemency of the seasons, a woman, and, after fatigue, rest, are then the only wants. At that period men enjoyed the two most inestimable blessings Equality and Liberty; they enjoyed them to their utmost extent; they would have forever enjoyed them, had they chosen to follow the track which Nature had traced for them—or had it not entered the plans of God and Nature first to show man for what happiness he was destined; happiness the more precious, as he had begun by tasting it; happiness so early lost, but instantaneously regretted and fruitlessly sought after, until he should have learned how to make proper use of his strength, and how to conduct himself in his intercourse with the rest of mankind. In his primitive state he was destitute of the conveniencies of life, but he was not on that account unhappy; not knowing them, he did not feel the want of them. Health was his ordinary state, and physical pain was his only source of uneasiness—Oh happy mortals! who were not sufficiently enlightened to disturb the repose of your mind, or to feel those great agents of our miseries the love of power and of distinctions, the propensity to sensuality, the thirst after the representative signs of all wealth, those truly original sins with all their progeny, envy, avarice, intemperance, sickness, and all the tortures of imagination!”

Thus we see this primitive and savage state, this first essay of Nature, already transformed (in the mouth of the Hierophant) into the happiest state that man ever knew: Equality and Liberty are the sovereign principles of happiness in that state. Should the reader be as much blinded as the proselyte,

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