But the voice of reason cannot penetrate into the den of conspiracy. The oracles of Weishaupt shall there be confidently repeated by the Hierophant. He draws nigher and nigher to the grand object, to the means of making those misfortunes disappear, which originate, as he pretends, in the institution of laws and governments. “Oh nature!” he continues, “how great and incontestible are thy rights? It is from the womb of disaster and mutual destruction that the means of safety spring! Oppression disappears because it meets with abettors, and reason regains its rights because people wish to stifle it. He, at least, who wishes to mislead others, should seek to govern them by the advantages of instruction and science. Kings themselves at length perceive, that there is little glory in reigning over ignorant herds—Legislators begin to acquire wisdom, and they favour property and industry:—perverse motives propagate the sciences, and Kings protect them as agents of oppression. Other men profit of them to investigate the origin of their rights. They at length seize on that unknown mean of forwarding a revolution in the human mind, and of thus triumphing for ever over oppression. But the triumph would be of short duration, and man would fall back into his degraded state, had not Providence in those distant ages husbanded the means which it has transmitted down to us, of secretly meditating and at length operating the salvation of human kind.

Those means are, the secret schools of Philosophy. Those schools have been in all ages the archives of nature and of the rights of man. These schools shall one day retrieve the fall of human nature, and Princes and Nations shall disappear from the face of the earth, and that without any violence. Human nature shall form one great family, and the earth shall become the habitation of the man of reason.—Morality shall alone produce this great Revolution. The day shall come when each father shall, like Abraham and the Patriarchs, become the Priest and absolute Sovereign of his family. Reason shall be the only book of laws, the sole Code of man. This is one of our grand mysteries. Attend to the demonstration of it, and learn how it has been transmitted down to us.”

I have already said, that had my object been only to prove the reality of a Conspiracy formed by Illuminism against the existence of every society,

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every civil Code, and every nation; these lessons of the Hierophant would render every other proof superfluous. But that the reader may know the full extent of the dangers which threaten us, it is necesssary that he should be shown how those plots of frenzy become really transformed into plots of profound wickedness; that he should be acquainted with the means employed enthusiastically to inflame the minds of whole legions of adepts. Let us then attend to the Hierophant. If patience be necessary to follow him, greater still has it been necessary to enable me to transcribe such doctrines.

“What strange blindness can have induced men to imagine that human nature was always to be governed as it has hitherto been.

“Where shall we find a man acquainted with all the resources of nature? Who dare prescribe limits, and say thus far shalt thou proceed, and no farther, to that nature, whose law is unity in the variegated infinite? Whence shall issue the command, that it shall always run the same course, and for ever renew it again—Where is the being who has condemned men, the best, the wisest, and the most enlightened of men, to perpetual slavery? Why should human nature be bereft of its most perfect attribute, that of governing itself? Why are those persons to be always led who are capable of conducting themselves? Is it then impossible for mankind or at least the greater part, to come to their majority? If one be enabled to do it why should not another; show to one person what you have taught another; teach him the grand art of mastering his passions and regulating his desires; teach him, that from his earliest youth he stands in need of others; that he must abstain from giving offence if he wishes not to be offended; that he must be beneficent if he wishes to receive favours. Let him be patient, indulgent, wise, and benevolent. Let these virtues be made easy to him by principles, experience, and examples; and you will soon see whether he needs another to conduct him? If it be true, that the greater part of mankind are too weak or too ignorant to conceive these simple truths, and to be convinced by them; Oh then our happiness will be at an end, and let us cease to labour at rendering mankind better, or at seeking to enlighten them.”

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