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Eighth Part of the Code of Illuminees.

When one of our Epopts has sufficiently distinguished himself to bear a part in the political government of our Order; that is to say, when he unites prudence with the liberty of thinking and of acting; when he knows how to temper boldness with precaution, resolution with complaisance; subtlety with good nature; loyalty with simplicity; singularity with method; transcendency of wit with gravity and dignity of manners; when he has learned opportunely to speak or to be silent, how to obey or to command; when he shall have gained the esteem and affection of his fellow-citizens, though feared by them at the same time; when his heart shall be entirely devoted to the interests of our Order, and the common welfare of the universe shall be uppermost in his mind; then, and only then, let the Superior of the province propose him to the National Inspector as worthy of being admitted to the degree of Regent.”

Such are the qualities required by the Sect for the admission of its adepts to the degree which in the Code is sometimes termed Regent, at others the Prince Illuminee. Such are the very words to be found in the preamble of the rules of this degree.

“Three things of the utmost consequence (says the Code) are to be observed. In the first place, the greatest reserve is necesssary with respect to this degree. Secondly, those who are admitted into it must be as much as possible free men and independent of all Princes: they must indeed have clearly manifested their hatred for the general constitution or the actual state of mankind; have shown how ardently they wish for a change in the government of the world; and how much the hints thrown out in the degree of Priest has inflamed their wishes for a better order of things.”

If all these requisites are to be found in the Candidate, then let the National Inspector once more examine, in his records, every thing relative to the conduct and character of the new adept, let him inspect the divers questions which have been put to him, and discover where he has shown his strong or his weak side. According to the result of this examination, let the Inspector propose some new questions on those articles on which the Candidate may have shown the greatest reserve. For example, some of the following: 1

p. 496

“I. Would you think a society objectionable, which should (till nature shall have ripened its grand revolutions) place itself in a situation, that would deprive Monarchs of the power of doing harm, though they should wish it; a society whose invisible means should prevent all governments from abusing their power? Would it be impossible, through the influence of such a society, to form a new state in each state, status in statu;” that is to say, would it be impossible to subject the rulers of every state to this Illuminizing Society, and to convert them into mere tools of the Order even in the government of their own dominions?

“II. Were it to be objected, that such a society would abuse its power, would not the following considerations do away such an objection?—Do not our present rulers daily abuse their power? And are not the people silent, notwithstanding such an abuse? Is this power as secure from abuse in the hands of Princes, as it would be in those of our adepts whom we train up with so much care? If then any government could be harmless, would it not be our’s, which would be entirely founded on morality, foresight, wisdom, liberty, and virtue?”

“III. Though this universal government, founded on morality, should prove chimerical, would it not be worth while to make an essay of it?

“IV. Would not the most sceptical man find a sufficient guarantee against any abuse of power on the part of our Order, in the liberty of abandoning it at pleasure; in the happiness of having Superiors of tried merit, who, unknown to each other, could not possibly support each other in their treasonable combinations against the general welfare; Superiors, in short, who would be deterred from doing harm by the fear of the existing chiefs of empires?”

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