Search This Blog


Inside The llluminati

I AM now arrived at what I should call the great epoch of Cosmo-politism; the scheme communicated to Baron Knigge by the Marchese di Constanza. This obliges me to mention a remarkable Lodge of the Eclectic Masonry, erected at Munich in Bavaria, in 1775; under the worshipful Master; Professor Baader. It was called The Lodge Theodore of Good Counsel. It had its constitutionat patent from the Royal York at Berlin, but had formed a particular system of its own, by instructions from the Loge des Chevaliers Bienfaisants at Lyons; with which it kept up a correspondence. This respect to the Lodge at Lyons had arisen from the preponderance acquired in general by the French party in the convention at Willemsbad.

The deputies of the Rosaic Lodges, as well as the remains of the Templars, and Stricten Observanz, all looking up to this as the mother Lodge of what they called the Grand Orient de la France, consisting (in 1782) of 266 improved Lodges, united under the D. de Chartres. Accordingly the Lodge at Lyons sent Mr. Willermooz as deputy to this convention at Willemsbad.
Refining gradually on the simple British Masonry, the Lodge had formed a system of practical morality, which it asserted to be the aim of genuine Masonry, saying, that a true Mason, and a man of upright heart and active virtue are synonymous characters, and that the great aim of Free Masonry is to promote the happiness of mankind by every mean in our power. In pursuance of these principles, the Lodge Theodore professedly occupied itself with economical, statistical, and political matters, and not only published from time to time discourses on such subjects by the Brother Orator, but the Members considered themselves as in duty bound to propagate and inculcate the same doctrines out of doors.

Of the zealous members of the Lodge Theodore the most conspicuous was Dr. Adam Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law in the university of Ingolstadt. This person had been educated among the Jesuits; but the abolition of their order made him change his views, and from being their pupil, he became their most bitter enemy.

He had acquired a high reputation in his profession, and was attended not only by those intended for the practice in the law-courts, but also by the young gentlemen at large, in their course of general education; and he brought numbers from the neighbouring states to this university, and gave a ton to the studies of the place. He embraced with great keenness this opportunity of spreading the favorite doctrines of the Lodge; and his auditory became the seminary of Cosmopolitism.
The engaging pictures of the possible felicity of a society where every office is held by a man of talents and virtue, and where every talent is set in a place fitted for its exertion, forcibly catches the generous and unsuspecting minds of youth, and in a Roman Catholic state, far advanced in the habits of gross superstition (a character given to Bavaria by its neighbours) and abounding in monks and idle dignitaries, the opportunities must be frequent for observing the inconsiderate dominion of the clergy, and the abject and indolent submission of the laity.

Accordingly Professor Weishaupt says, in his Apology for llluminatism, that Deism, Infidelity, and Atheism are more prevalent in Bavaria than in any country he was acquainted with. Discourses, therefore, in which the absurdity and horrors of superstition and spiritual tyranny were strongly painted, could not fail of making a deep impression.
And during this state of the minds of the auditory the transition to general infidelity and irreligion is so easy, and so inviting to sanguine youth, prompted perhaps by a latent wish that the restraints which religion imposes on the expectants of a future state might be found, on enquiry, to be nothing but groundless terrors; that I imagine it requires the most anxious care of the public teacher to keep the minds of his audience impressed with the reality and importance of the great truths of religion, while he frees them from the shackles of blind and absurd superstition.
I fear that this celebrated instructor had none of this anxiety, but was satisfied with his great success in the last part of this task, the emancipation of his young hearers from the terrors of superstition. I suppose also that this was the more agreeable to him, as it procured him the triumph over the Jesuits, with whom he had long struggled for the direction of the university.

This was in 1777. Weishaupt had long been scheming the establishment of an Association or Order; which, in time, should govern the world. In his first fervour and high expectations; he hinted to several Ex-Jesuits the probability of their recovering, under a new name, the influence which they formerly possessed, and of being again of great service to society, by directing the education of youth of distinction, now emancipated from all civil and religious prejudices. He prevailed on some to join him, but they all retracted but two.

After this disappointment Weishaupt became the implacable enemy of the Jesuits; and his sanguine temper made him frequently lay himself open to their piercing eye, and drew on him their keenest resentment; and at last made him the victim of their enmity.

The Lodge Theodore was the place where the abovementioned doctrines were most zealously propagated. But Weishaupfs emissaries had already procured the adherence of many other Lodges; and the Eclectic Masonry had been brought into vogue chiefty by their exertions at the Willemsbad convention. The Lodge Theodore was perhaps less guarded in its proceedings, for it became remarkable for the very bold sentiments in politics and religion which were frequently uttered in their harangues; and its members were noted for their zeal in making proselytes.

Many bitter pasquinades, satires, and other offensive pamphlets were in secret circulation, and even larger works of very dangerous tendency, and several of them were traced to that Lodge. The Elector often expressed his disapprobation of such proceedings, and sent them kind messages, desiring them to be careful not to disturb the peace of the country; and particularly to recollect the solemn declaration made to every entrant into the Fraternity of Free Masons, “That no subject of religion or politics shall ever be touched on in the Lodge;” a declaration which alone could have procured his permission of any secret assembly whatever, and on the sincerity and honor of which he had reckoned when he gave his sanction to their establishment.

But repeated accounts of the same kind increased the alarm, and the Elector ordered a judicial enquiry into the proceedings of the Lodge Theodore.

It was then discovered that this and several associated Lodges were the nursery or preparation-school for another Order of Masons, who called themselves the ILLUMINATED, and that the express aim of this Order was to abolish Christianity, and overturn all civil government.

But the result of the enquiry was very imperfect and unsatisfactory. No llluminati were to be found. They were unknown in the Lodge. Some of the members occasionally heard of certain candidates for illumination called Ml NERVALS, who were sometimes seen among them. But whether these had been admitted, or who received them, was known only to themselves: Some of these were examined in private by the Elector himself.
They said that they were bound by honor to secrecy: But they assured the Elector, on their honor, that the aim of the Order was in the highest degree praiseworthy, and useful both to church and state: But this could not allay the anxiety of the profane public; and it was repeatedly stated to the Elector, that members of the Lodge Theodore had unguardedly spoken of this Order as one that in time must rule the world.

He therefore issued an order forbidding, during his pleasure, all secret assemblies, and shutting up the Mason Lodges. It was not meant to be rigorously enforced, but was intended as a trial of the deference of these Associations for civil authority. The Lodge Theodore distinguished itself by pointed opposition, continuing its meetings; and the members, out of doors, openly reprobated the prohibition as an absurd and unjustifiable tyranny.

In the beginning of 1783, four professors of the Marianen Academy, founded by the widow of the late Elector, viz. Utschneider, Cossandey, Renner, and Grunberger, with two others, were summoned before the Court of Enquiry, and questioned, on their allegiance, respecting the Order of the llluminati. They acknowledged that they belonged to it, and when more closely examined, they related several circumstances of its constitution and principles. Their declarations were immediately published, and were very unfavorable.

The Order was said to abjure Christianity, and to refuse admission into the higher degrees to all who adhered to any of the three confessions. Sensual pleasures were restored to the rank they held in the Epicurean philosophy. Self-murder was justified on Stoical principles. In the Lodges death was declared an eternal sleep; patriotism and loyalty were called narrow-minded prejudices, and incompatible with universal benevolence; continual declamations were made on liberty and equality as the unalienable rights of man.
The baneful influence of accumulated property was declared an insurmountable obstacle to the happiness of any nation whose chief laws were framed for its protection and increase. Nothing was so frequently discoursed of as the propriety of employing, for a good purpose, the means which the wicked employed for evil purposes; and it was taught, that the preponderancy of good in the ultimate result consecrated every mean employed; and that wisdom and virtue consisted in properly determining this balance.

This appeared big with danger; because it appeared that nothing would be scrupled at, if we could make it appear that the Order could derive advantage from it, because the great object of the Order was held as superior to every consideration. They concluded by saying that the method of education made them all spies on each other and on all around them. But all this was denied by the llluminati. Some of them were said to be absolutely false; and the rest were said to be mistakes. The apostate professors had acknowledged their ignorance of many things. Two of them were only Minervals, another was an llluminatus of the lowest class, and the fourth was but one step farther advanced. Pamphlets appeared on both sides, with very little effect.

The Elector called before him one of the superiors, a young nobleman; who denied these injurious charges, and said that they were ready to lay before his Highness their whole archives and all constitutional papers.

Notwithstanding all this, the government had received such an impression of the dangerous tendency of the Order, that the Elector issued another edict, forbidding all hidden assemblies; and a third, expressly abolishing the Order of llluminati. It was followed by a search after their papers. The Lodge Theodore was immediately searched, but none were to be found. They said now that they had burnt them all, as of no use , since that Order was at an end.

It was now discovered, that Weishaupt was the head and founder of the Order. He was deprived of his Professor’s chair, and banished from the Bavarian States; but with a pension of 800 florins, which he refused. He went to Regensburg, on the confines of Switzerland. Two Italians, the Marquis Constanza and Marquis Savioli, were also banished, with equal pensions (about L.40) which they accepted. One Zwack, a counsellor, holding some law-office, was also banished. Others were imprisoned for some time.
Weishaupt went afterwards into the service of the D. of Saxe Gotha, a person of romantic turn of mind, and who we shall again meet with. Zwack went into the service of the Pr. de Salms, who soon after had so great a hand in the disturbances in Holland.

By destroying the papers, all opportunity was lost for authenticating the innocence and usefulness of the Order. After much altercation and paper war, Weishaupt, now safe in Regensburg, published an account of the Order, namely an account which was given to every Novice in a discourse read at his reception. To this were added, the statutes and the rules proceeding, as far as the degree of llluminatus Minor, inclusive.
This account he affirmed to be conform to the real practice of the Order. But this publication did by no means satisfy the public mind. It differed exceedingly from the accounts given by the four professors. It made no mention of the higher degrees, which had been most blamed of them. Besides, it was alleged, that it was all a fiction, written in order to lull the suspicions which had been raised (and this was found to be the case in respect of the very lowest degree.)
The real constitution was brought to light by degrees, and shall be laid before the reader, in the order in which it was gradually discovered, that we may be the better judge of things not fully known by the leaders during the detection. The first account given by Weishaupt is correct, as far as I shall make use of it, and shows clearly the methods that were taken to recommend the Order to strangers.

The Order of ILLUMINATI appears as an accessory to Free Masonry. It is in the Lodges of Free Masons that the Minervals are found, and there they are prepared for Illumination. They must have previously obtained the three English degrees. The founder says more. He says that his doctrines are the only true Free Masonry. He was the chief promoter of the Eclectic System. This he urged as the best method of getting information of all the explanations which have been given of the Masonic Mysteries. He was also a Strict Observanz, and an adept Rosycrucian.
The result of all his knowledge is worthy of particular remark, and shall therefore be given at Large.
“I declare,” says he, “and I will challenge all mankind to contradict my declaration, that no man can give any account of the Order of Free Masonry, of its origin, of its history, of its object, nor any explanation of its mysteries and symbols, which does not leave the mind in total uncertainty on these points. Every man is entitled, therefore, to give any explanation of the symbols, and any system of the doctrines, that he can render palatable. Hence have sprung up that variety of systems which for twenty years have divided the Order.

The simple tale of the English, and the fifty degrees of the French, and the knights of the French, and the knights of Baron Hunde, are equally authentic, and have equally had the support of intelligent and zealous Brethren. These systems are in fact but one. They have all sprung from the blue lodge of Three degrees; take these for their standard, and found on these all the improvements by which each system is afterwards suited to the particular object which it keeps in view.

There is no man, nor system, in the world, which can show by undoubted succession that it should stand at the head of the Order. Our ignorance in this particular frets me. Do but consider our short history of 120 years. - Who will show me the Mother Lodge? Those of London we have discovered to be self-erected in 1716. Ask for their archives. They tell you they were burnt. They have nothing but the wretched sophistications of the Englishman Anderson, and the Frenchman Desaguilliers.

Where is the Lodge of York, which pretends to the priority, with their king Bouden, and the archives that he brought from the East? These too are all burnt. What is the Chapter of Old Aberdeen, and its Holy Clericate? Did we not find it unknown, and the Mason Lodges there the most ignorant of all the ignorant, gaping for instruction from our deputies? Did we not find the same thing at London? And have not their missionaries been among us, prying into our mysteries, and eager to learn from us what is true Free Masonry?

It is in vain, therefore, to appeal to judges; they are no where to be found; all claim for themselves the sceptre of the Order; all indeed are on an equal footing. They obtained followers, not from their authenticity, but from their conduciveness to the end which they proposed, and from the importance of that end. It is by this scale that we must measure the mad and wicked explanations of the Rosycrucians, the Exorcists, and Cabalists.

These are rejected by all good Masons, because incompatible with social happiness. Only such systems as promote this are retained. But alas, they are all sadly deficient, because they leave us under the dominion of political and religious prejudice; and they are as inefficient as the sleepy dose of an ordinary sermon.

“But I have contrived an explanation which has every advantage; is inviting to Christians of every communion; gradually frees them from all religious prejudices; cultivates the social virtues; and animates them by a great, a feasible, and speedy prospect of universal happiness, in a state of liberty and moral equality, freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches, continually throw in our way. My explanation is accurate, and complete, my means are effectual, and irresistible. Our secret Association works in a way that nothing can withstand, and man shall soon be free and happy.

“This is the great object held out by this Association: and the means of attaining it is Illumination, enlightening the understanding by the sun of reason, which will dispel the clouds of superstition and of prejudice. The proficients in this Order are therefore justly named the Illuminated. And of all Illumination which human reason can give, none is comparable to the discovery of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what happiness we are capable of, and what are the means of attaining it. In comparison with this, the most brilliant sciences are but amusements for the idle and luxurious.

To fit man by Illumination for active virtue, to engage him to it by the strongest motives, to render the attainment of it easy and certain, by finding, employment for every talent, and by placing every talent in its proper sphere of action, so that all, without feeling any extraordinary effort, and in conjunction with and completion of ordinary business, shall urge forward, with united powers, the general task. This indeed will be an employment suited to noble natures, grand in its views, and delightful in its exercise.

“And what is this general object? THE HAPPINESS OF THE HUMAN RACE. Is it not distressing to a generous mind, after contemplating what human nature is capable of, to see how little we enjoy? When we look at this goodly world; and see that every man may be happy, but that the happiness of one depends on the conduct of another; when we see the wicked so powerful, and the good so weak; and that it is in vain to strive, singly and alone, against the general current of vice and oppression; the wish naturally arises in the mind, that it were possible to form a durable combination of the most worthy persons, who should work together in removing the obstacles to human happiness, become terrible to the wicked, and give their aid to all the good without distinction, and should by the most powerful means, first fetter, and by fettering, lessen vice; means which at the same time should promote virtue, by rendering the inclination to rectitude, hitherto too feeble, more powerful and engaging. Would not such an association be a blessing to the world?

“But where are the proper persons, the good, the generous, and the accomplished, to be found? and how, and by what strong motives, are they to be induced to engage in a task so vast, so incessant, so difficult, and so laborious? This Association must be gradual. There are some such persons to be found in every society. Such noble minds will be engaged by the heart-warming object. The first task of the Association must therefore be to form the young members. As these multiply and advance, they become the apostles of beneficence, and the work is now on foot, and advances with a speed increasing every day.

The slightest observation shows that nothing will so much contribute to increase the zeal of the members as secret union. We see with what keenness and zeal the frivolous business of Free Masonry is conducted, by persons knit together by the secrecy of their union. It is needless to enquire into the causes of this zeal which secrecy produces. It is an universal fact, confirmed by the history of every age. Let this circumstance of our constitution therefore be directed to this noble purpose, and then all the objections urged against it by jealous tyranny and affrighted superstition will vanish. The Order will thus work silently, and securely; and though the generous benefactors of the human race are thus deprived of the applause of the world, they have the noble pleasure of seeing their work prosper in their hands.”
Such is the aim, and such are the hopes of the Order of the Illuminated. Let us now see how these were to be accomplished. We cannot judge precisely of this, because the account given of the constitution of the Order by its founder includes only the lowest, degree, and even this is suspected to be fictitious. The accounts given by the four Professors, even of this part of the Order, make a very different impression on the mind, although they differ only in a few particulars.
The only ostensible members of the Order were the Minervals.
They were to be found only in the Lodges of Free Masons. A candidate for admission must make his wish known to some Minerval; he reports it to a Superior, who, by a channel to be explained presently, intimates it to the Council. No notice is farther taken of it for some time. The candidate is carefully observed in silence, and if thought unfit for the Order, no notice is taken of his solicitation. But if otherwise, the candidate receives privately an invitation to a conference. Here he meets with a person unknown to him, and, previous to all further conference, he is required to peruse and to sign the following oath.
“I N. N. hereby bind myself, by mine honor and good name, forswearing all mental reservation, never to reveal, by hint, word, writing, or in any manner whatever, even to my most trusted friend, any thing that shall now be said or done to me respecting my wished-for-reception, and this whether my reception shall follow or not; I being previously assured that it shall contain nothing contrary to religion, the state, nor good manners. I promise, that I shall make no intelligible extract from any papers which shall be shewn me now or during my noviciate. All this I swear, as I am, and as I hope to continue, a Man of Honor.”
The urbanity of this protestation must agreeably impress the mind of a person who recollects the dreadful imprecations which he made at his reception into the different ranks of Free Masonry. The candidate is then introduced to an llluminatus Dirigens, whom perhaps he knows, and is told that this person is to be his future instructor. There is now presented to the candidate, what they call a table, in which he writes his name, place of birth, age, rank, place of residence, profession, and favorite studies. He is then made to read several articles of this table. It contains,
1st. a very concise account of the Order, its connection with Free Masonry, and its great object, the promoting the happiness of mankind by means of instruction and confirmation in virtuous principles.

2d. Several questions relative to the Order. Among these are, “What advantages he hopes to derive from being a member? “What he most particularly wishes to learn? What delicate questions relative to the life, the prospects, the duties of man, as an individual, and as a citizen, he wishes to have particularly discussed to him? In what respects he thinks he can be of use to the Order? Who are his ancestors, relations, friends, correspondents, or enemies? Whom he thinks proper persons to be received into the Order, or whom he thinks unfit for it, and the reasons for both opinions. To each of these questions he must give some answer in writing.
The Novice and his Mentor are known only to each other; perhaps nothing more follows upon this; if otherwise, the Mentor appoints another conference, and begins his instructions, by giving him in detail certain portions of the constitution, and of the fundamental rules of the Order. Of these the Novice must give a weekly account in writing. He must also read, in the Mentor’s house, a book containing more of the instructions of the Order; but he must make no extracts. Yet from this reading he must derive all his knowledge; and he must give an account in writing of his progress.
All writings received from his Superiors must be returned with a stated punctuality. These writings consist chiefly of important and delicate questions, suited, either to the particular inclination, or to the peculiar taste which the candidate had discovered in his subscriptions of the articles of the table, and in his former rescripts, or to the direction which the Mentor wishes to give to his thoughts.

Enlightening the understanding, and the rooting out of prejudices; are pointed out to him as the principal tasks of his noviciate. The knowledge of himself is considered as preparatory to all other knowledge. To disclose to him, by means of the calm and unbiassed observation of his instructor, what is his own character, his most vulnerable side, either in respect of temper, passions, or prepossessions, is therefore the most essential service that can be done him. For this purpose there is required of him some account of his own conduct on occasions where he doubted of its propriety; some account of his friendships, of his differences of opinion, and of his conduct on such occasions.
From such relations the Superior learns his manner of thinking and judging, and those propensities which require his chief attention:
Having made the candidate acquainted with himself, he is apprised that the Order is not a speculative, but an active association, engaged in doing good to others. The knowledge of human character is therefore of all others the most important. This is acquired only by observation, assisted by the instructions of his teacher. Characters in history are proposed to him for observation, and his opinion is required.
After this he is directed to look around him, and to notice the conduct of other men; and part of his weekly rescripts must consist of accounts of all interesting occurrences in his neigbourhood, whether of a public or private nature. Cossandey, one of the four Professors, gives a particular account of the instructions relating to this kind of science.
The Novice must be attentive to trifles: For, in frivolous occurrences a man is indolent, and makes no effort to act a part, so that his real character is then acting alone. Nothing will have such influence with the Superiors in promoting the advancement of a candidate as very copious narrations of this kind, because the candidate, if promoted, is to be employed in an active station, and it is from this kind of information only that the Superiors can judge of his fitness.
These characteristic anecdotes are not for the instruction of the Superiors, who are men of long experience, and familiar with such occupation. But they inform the Order concerning the talents and proficiency of the young member. Scientific instruction, being connected by system, is soon communicated, and may in general be very completely obtained from, the books which are recommended to the Novice, and acquired in the public seminaries of instruction. But knowledge of character is more multifarious and more delicate.
For this there is no college, and it must therefore require longer time for its attainment. Besides, this assiduous and long continued study of men, enables the possessor of such knowledge to act with men, and by his knowledge of their character, to influence their conduct. For such reasons this study is continued, and these rescripts are required, during the whole progress through the Order, and attention to them is recommended as the only mean of advancement. Remarks on Physiognomy in these narrations are accounted of considerable value.” So far Mr. Cossandey.

During all this trial, which may last one, two, or three years, the Novice knows no person of the Order but his own instructor, with whom he has frequent meetings, along with other Minervals. In. these conversations he learns the importance of the Order, and the opportunities he will afterwards have of acquiring much hidden science. The employment of his unknown Superiors naturally causes him to entertain very high notions of their abilities and worth.
He is counselled to aim at a resemblance to them by getting rid by degrees of all those prejudices or prepossessions which checked his own former progress; and he is assisted in this endeavour by an invitation to a correspondence with them. He may address his Provincial Superior, by directing his letter Soli, or the General by Primo, or the Superiors in general by Quibus licet. In. these letters he may mention whatever he thinks conducive to the advancement of the Order; he may inform the Superiors how his instructor behaves to him; if assiduous or remiss, indulgent or severe.
The Superiors are enjoined by the strongest motives to convey these letters wherever addressed. None but the General and Council know the result of all this; and all are enjoined to keep themselves and their proceedings unknown to all the world.

If three years of this Noviciate have elapsed without further notice, the Mi nerval must look for no further advancement; he is found unfit, and remains a Free Mason of the highest class. This is called a Sta Bene.

But should his Superiors judge more favorably of him, he is drawn out of the general mass of Free Masons, and becomes llluminatus Minor. When called to a conference for this purpose, he is told in the most serious manner, that
“it is vain for him to hope to acquire wisdom by mere systematic instruction; for such instruction the Superiors have no leisure. Their duty is not to form speculators, but active men, whom they must immediately employ in the service of the Order.

He must therefore grow wise and able entirely by the unfolding and exertion of his own talents. His Superiors have already discovered what these are, and know what service he may be capable of rendering the Order, provided he now heartily acquiesces in being thus honorably employed.

They will assist him in bringing his talents into action, and will place him in the situations most favorable for their exertion, so that he may be assured of success. Hitherto he has been a mere scholar, but his first step farther carries him into action; he must therefore now consider himself as an instrument in the hands of his Superiors, to be used for the noblest purposes.”
The aim of the Order is now more fully told him. It is; in one sentence,
“to make of the human race, without any distinction of nation, condition, or profession, one good and happy family.”
To this aim, demonstrably attainable, every smaller consideration must give way. This may sometimes require sacrifices which no man standing alone has fortitude to make; but which become light, and a source of the purest enjoyment, when supported and encouraged by the countenance and co-operation of the united wise and good, such as are the Superiors of the Order. If the candidate, warmed by the alluring picture of the possible happiness of a virtuous Society, says that he is sensible of the propriety of this procedure, and still wishes to be of the Order; he is required to sign the following obligation.
“I, N. N. protest before you, the worthy Plenipotentiary a of the venerable Order into which I wish to be admitted , that I acknowledge my natural weakness and inability, and that I, with all my possessions, rank, honors, and titles “ which I hold in political society, am, at bottom, only a man; I can enjoy these things only through my fellow-men, and through them also I may lose them.

The approbation and consideration of my fellow-men are indispensably necessary, and I must try to maintain them by all my talents. These I will never use to the prejudice of universal good, but will oppose, with all my might, the enemies of the human race, and of political society. I will embrace every opportunity of saving mankind, by improving my understanding and my affections, and by imparting all important knowledge, as the good and statutes of this Order require of me.

I bind myself to perpetual silence and unshaken loyalty and submission to the Order, in the persons of my Superiors; here making a faithful and complete surrender of my private judgment, my own will, and every narrow-minded employment of my power and influence. I pledge myself to account the good of the Order as my own, and am ready to serve it with my fortune, my honor, and my blood. Should I, through omission, neglect, passion, or wickedness, behave contrary to this good of the Order, I subject myself to what reproof or punishment my Superiors shall enjoin.

The friends and enemies of the Order shall be my friends and enemies; and with respect to both I will conduct myself as directed by the Order, and am ready, in every lawful way, to devote myself to its increase and promotion, and therein to employ all my ability. All this I promise, and protest, without secret reservation, according to the intention of the Society which require from me this engagement. This I do as I am, and as I hope to continue, a Man of Honour.”
A drawn sword is then pointed at his breast, and he is asked, Will you be obedient to the commands of your Superiors? He is threatened with unavoidable vengeance, from which no potentate can defend him, if he should ever betray the Order. He is then asked, 1. What aim does he wish the Order to have? 2. What means he would choose to advance this aim? 3. Whom he wishes to keep out of the Order? 4. What subjects he wishes not to be discussed in it?
Our candidate is now ILLUMINATUS MINOR. It is needless to narrate the mummery of reception, and it is enough to say, that it nearly resembles that of the Masonic Chevalier du Soleil, known to every one much conversant in Masonry. Weishaupfs preparatory discourse of reception is a piece of good composition, whether considered as argumentative (from topics, indeed, that are very gratuitous and fanciful) or as a specimen of that declamation which was so much practised by Lihanius and the other Sophists, and it gives a distinct and captivating account of the professed aim of the Order.

The lllumirnatus Minor learns a good deal more of the Order, but by very sparing morsels, under the same instructor. The task has now become more delicate and difficult. The chief part of it is the rooting out of prejudices in politics and religion; and Weishaupt has shown much address in the method which he has employed. Not the most hurtful, but the most easily refuted, were the first subjects of discussion, so that the pupil gets into the habits of victory; and his reverence for the systems of either kind is diminished when they are found to have harboured such untenable opinions.
The proceedings in the Eclectic Lodges of Masonry, and the harangues of the Brother Orators, teemed with the boldest sentiments both in politics and religion. Enlightening, and the triumph of reason, had been the ton of the country for some time past, and every institution, civil and religious, had been the subject of the most free criticism. Above all, the Cosmopolitism, which had been imported from France, where it had been the favorite topic of the enthusiastical economists, was now become a general theme of discussion in all societies of cultivated men.
It was a subject of easy and agreeable declamation; and if the Literati found in it a subject admirably fitted for showing their talents, and ingratiating themselves with the young men of fortune, whose minds, unsuspicious as yet and generous, were fired with the fair prospects set before them of universal and attainable happiness.
And the pupils of the llluminati were still more warmed by the thought that they were to be the happy instruments of accomplishing all this. And though the doctrines of universal liberty and equality, as imprescriptible rights of man, might sometimes startle those who possessed the advantage of fortune, there were thousands of younger sons, and of men of talents without fortune, to whom these were agreeable sounds.
And we must particularly observe, that those who were now the pupils were a set of picked subjects, whose characters and peculiar biases were well known by their conduct during their noviciate as Minervals. They were therefore such as, in all probability, would not boggle at very free sentiments. We might rather expect a partiality to doctrines which removed some restraints which formerly checked them in the indulgence of youthful passions.

Their instructors, who have thus relieved their minds from several anxious thoughts, must appear men of superior minds. This was a notion most carefully inculcated; and they could see nothing to contradict it: for except their own Mentor, they knew none; they heard of Superiors of different ranks, but never saw them; and the same mode of instruction that was practised during their noviciate was still retained.
More particulars of the Order were slowly unfolded to them, and they were taught that their Superiors were men of distinguished talents, and were Superiors for this reason alone. They were taught; that the great opportunities which the Superiors had for observation, and their habits of continually occupying their thoughts with the great objects of this Order, had enlarged their views, even far beyond the narrow limits of nations and kingdoms, which they hoped would one day coalesce into one great Society, where consideration would attach to talents and worth alone, and that pre-eminence in these would be invariably attended with all the enjoyments of infiuence and power.
And they were told that they would gradually become acquainted with these great and venerable Characters, as they advanced in the Order. In earnest of this, they were made acquainted with one or two Superiors, and with several llluminati of their own rank.
Also, to whet their zeal, they are now made instructors of one or two Minervals, and report their progress to their Superiors. They are given to understand that nothing can so much recommend them as the success with which they perform this task. It is declared to be the best evidence of their usefulness in the great designs of the Order.

The baleful effects of general superstition, and even of any peculiar religious prepossession, are now strongly inculcated, and the discernment of the pupils in these matters is learned by questions which are given them from time to time to discuss. These are managed with delicacy and circumspection, that the timid may not be alarmed. In like manner, the political doctrines of the Order are inculcated with the utmost caution.
After the mind of the pupil has been warmed by the pictures of universal happiness, and convinced that it is a possible thing to unite all the inhabitants of the earth in one great society, and after it has been made out, in some measure to the satisfaction of the pupil, that a great addition of happiness is gained by the abolition of national distinctions and animosities, it may frequently be no hard task to make him think that patriotism is a narrow-minded monopolizing sentiment, and even incompatible with the more enlarged views of the Order, namely, the uniting the whole human race into one great and happy society.

Princes are a chief feature of national distinction. Princes, therefore, may now be safely represented as unnecessary. If so, loyalty to Princes loses much of its sacred character; and the so frequent enforcing of it in our common political discussions may now be easily made to appear a selfish maxim of rulers, by which they may more easily enslave the people; and thus, it may at last appear, that religion, the love of our particular country, and loyalty to our Prince, should be resisted, if, by these partial or narrow views, we prevent the accomplishment of that Cosmo-political happiness which is continually held forth as the great object of the Order.

It is in this point of view that the terms of devotion to the Order which are inserted in the oath of admission are now explained. The authority of the ruling powers is therefore represented as of inferior moral weight to that of the Order.
“These powers are despots, when they do not conduct themselves by its principles; and it is therefore our duty to surround them with its members, so that the profane may have no access to them. Thus we are able most powerfully to promote its interests. If any person is more disposed to listen to Princes than to the Order, he is not fit for it, and must rise no higher. We must do our utmost to procure the advancement of llluminati into all important civil offices.”
Accordingly the Order laboured in this with great zeal and success. A correspondence was discovered, in which it is plain, that by their influence, one of the “greatest ecclesiastical dignities was filled up in opposition to the right and authority of the Archbishop of Spire, who is there represented as a tyrannical and bigotted priest.

They contrived to place their Members as tutors to the youth of distinction. One of them, Baron Leuchtsenring, took the charge of a young prince without any salary. They insinuated themselves into all public offices, and particularly into courts of justice. In like manner, the chairs in the University of Ingolstadt were (with only two exceptions) occupied by llluminati.
“Rulers who are members must be promoted through the ranks of the Order only in proportion as they acknowledge the goodness of its great object, and manner of procedure. Its object may be said to be the checking the tyranny of princes, nobles, and priests, and establishing an universal equality of condition and of religion:” The pupil is now informed “that such a religion is contained in the Order, is the perfection of Christianity, and will be imparted to him in due time.”
These and other principles and maxims of the Order are partly communicated by the verbal instruction of the Mentor, partly by writings, which must be punctually returned, and partly read by the pupil at the Mentor’s house (but without taking extracts) in such portions as he shall direct. The rescripts by the pupil must contain discussions on these subjects, and of anecdotes and descriptions of living characters; and these must be zealously continued, as the chief mean of advancement. All this while the pupil knows only his Mentor, the Minervals, and a few others of his own rank. All mention of degrees, or other business of the Order, must be carefully avoided, even in the meetings with other Members:
“For the Order wishes to be secret and to work in silence; for thus it is better secured from the oppression of the ruling powers, and because this secrecy gives a greater zest to the whole.”
This short account of the Noviciate, and of the lowest class of llluminati, is all we can get from the authority of Mr. Weishaupt. The higher degrees were not published by him. Many circumstances appear suspicious, and are certainly susceptible of different turns, and may easily be pushed to very dangerous extremes. The accounts given by the four professors confirm these suspicions. They declare upon oath, that they make all these accusations in consequence of what they heard in the Meetings, and of what they knew of the Higher Orders.

But since the time of the suppression by the Elector, discoveries have been made which throw great light on the subject. A collection of original papers and correspondence was found by searching the house of one Zwack (a Member) in 1786. The following year a much larger collection was found at the house of Baron Bassus; and since that time Baron Knigge, the most active Member next to Weishaupt, published an account of some of the higher degrees, which had been formed by himself.
A long while after this were published, Neueste Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philo in der llluminaten Orden, and Hohere Grander) des Ilium. Ordens. These two works give an account of the whole secret constitution of the Order, its various degrees, the manner of conferring them, the instructions to the intrants, and an explanation of the connection of the Order with Free Masonry; and a critical history.
We shall give some extracts from such of these as have been published.

Weishaupt was the founder in 1776. In 1778 the number of Members was considerably increased, and the Order was fully established. The Members took antique names. Thus Weishaupt took the name of Spartacus, the man who headed the insurrection of slaves, which in Pompey’s time kept Rome in terror and uproar for three years. Zwack was called Cato. Knigge was Philo. Bassus was Hannibal: Hertel was Marius. Marquis Constanza was Diomedes. Nicholai, an eminent and learned bookseller in Berlin, and author of several works of reputation, took the name of Lucian, the great scoffer at all religion. Another was Mahomet, &c.

It is remarkable, that except Cato and Socrates, we have not a name of any ancient who was eminent as a teacher and practiser of virtue. On the contrary, they seem to have affected the characters of the free-thinkers and turbulent spirits of antiquity. In the same manner they gave ancient names to the cities and countries of Europe. Munich was Athens, Vienna was Rome, &c.

Spartacus to Cato, Feb. 6, 1778.
« Mon but est de faire valoir a raison. As a subordinate object I shall endeavour to gain security to ourselves, a backing in case of misfortunes, and assistance from without. I shall therefore press the cultivation of science, especially such sciences as may have an influence on our reception in the world; and may serve to remove obstacles out of the way. We have to struggle with pedantry, with intolerance, with divines and statesmen, and above all, princes and priests are in our way. Men are unfit as they are, and must be formed; each class must be the school of trial for the next. This will be tedious, because it is hazardous. In the last classes I propose academies under the direction of the Order.

This will secure us the adherence of the Literati. Science shall here be the lure. Only those who are assuredly proper subjects shall be picked out from among the inferior classes for the higher mysteries, which contain the first principles and means of promoting a happy life. No religionist must, on any account, be admitted into these: For here we work at the discovery and extirpation of superstition and prejudices. The instructions shall be so conducted that each shall disclose what he thinks he conceals within his own breast, what are his ruling propensities and passions, and how far he has advanced in the command of himself. This will answer all the purposes of auricular confession.

And in particular, every person shall be made a spy on another and on all around him. Nothing can escape our sight; by these means we shall readily discover who are contented, and receive with relish the peculiar state-doctrines and religious opinions that are laid before them; and, at last, the trust-worthy alone will be admitted to a participation of the whole maxims and political constitution of the Order. In a council composed of such members we shall labour at the contrivance of means to drive by degrees the enemies of reason and of humanity out of the world, and to establish a peculiar morality and religion fitted for the great Society of mankind.

“But this is a ticklish project, and : requires the utmost circumspection. The squeamish will start at the sight of religious or political novelties; and they must be prepared for them. We must be particularly careful about the books which we recommend; I shall confine them at first to moralists and reasoning historians. This will prepare for a patient reception, in the higher classes, of works of a bolder flight, such as Robinet’s Systeme de 1a Nature - Politique Naturelle - Philosophic de la Nature - Systeme Social - The writings of Mirabaud, &c. Helvetius is fit only for the strongest stomachs. If any one has a copy already, neither praise nor find fault with him. Say nothing on such subjects to intrants, for we don’t know how they will be received - folks are not yet prepared.

Marius, an excellent man, must be dealt with. His stomach, which cannot yet digest such strong food, must acquire a better tone. The allegory on which I am to found the mysteries of the Higher Orders is the fire-worship of the Magi. We must have some worship, and none is so apposite. LET THERE BE LIGHT. AND THERE SHALL BE LIGHT. This is my motto, and is my fundamental principle.

The degrees will be Feurer Orden, Parsen Orden; (1) all very practicable. In the course through these there will be no STA BENE (this is the answer given to one who solicits preferment, and is refused. ) For I engage that none shall enter this class who has not laid aside his prejudices. No man is fit for our Order who is not a Brutus or a Catiline, and is not ready to go every length. - Tell me how you like this?”
Spartacus to Cato, March 1778.
“To collect unpublished works, and information from the archives of States, will be a most useful service. We shall be able to show in a very ridiculous light the claims of our despots. Marius (keeper of the archives of the Electorate) has ferreted out a noble document, which we have got. He makes it, forsooth, a case of conscience -how silly that - since only that is sin, which is ultimately productive of mischief. In this case, where the advantage far exceeds the hurt, it is meritorious virtue. It will do more good in our hands than by remaining for 1000 years on the dusty shelf.”
There was found in the hand-writing of Zwack a project for a Sisterhood, in subserviency to the designs of the llluminati. In it are the following passages:
“It will be of great service, and procure us both much information and money, and will suit charmingly the taste of many of our truest members, who are lovers of the sex. It should consist of two classes, the virtuous, and the freer hearted (i.e. those who fly out of the common tract of prudish manners); they must not know of each other, and must be under the direction of men, but without knowing it. Proper books must be put into their hands, and such (but secretly) as are flattering to their passions.”
There are, in the same hand-writing, Description of a strong box, which; if forced open, shall blow up and destroy its contents - Several receipts for procuring abortion - A composition which blinds or kills when spurted in the face - A sheet, containing a receipt for sympathetic ink - Tea for procuring abortion - Herboe quos habent qualitatem deleteriam - A method for filling a bed-chamber with pestilential vapours - How to take off impressions of seals, so as to use them afterwards as seals - A collection of some hundreds of such impressions, with a list of their owners, princes, nobles, clergymen, merchants, &c. - A receipt ad excitandum furorem uterinum - A manuscript entitled, “Better than Horns.”
It was afterwards printed and distributed at Leipzig fair, and is an attack and bitter satire on all religion. This is in the hand-writing of Ajax. As also a dissertation on suicide. N. B: His sister-in-law threw herself from the top of a tower. There was also a set of portraits, or characters of eighty-five ladies in Munich; with recommendations of some of them for members of a Lodge of Sister llluminatae; also injunctions to all the Superiors to learn to write with both hands; and that they should use more than one cypher.

Immediately after the publication of these writings, many defences appeared. It was said that the dreadful medical apparatus were with propriety in the hands of Counsellor Zwack, who was a judge of a criminal court, and whose duty it was therefore to know such things. The same excuse was offered for the collection of seals; but how came these things to be put up with papers of the llluminati, and to be in the hand writing of one of that Order? Weishaupt says,
“These things were not carried into effect-only spoken of, and are justifiable when taken in proper connection.”
This however he has not pointed out; but he appeals to the account of the Order; which he had published at Regensburg, and in which neither these things are to be found, nor any possibility of a connection by which they may be justified.
“All men, says he, are subject to errors; and the best man is he who best conceals them. I have never been guilty of any such vices or follies: for proof; I appeal to the whole tenor of my life, which my reputation, and my struggles with hostile cabals, had brought completely into public view long before the institution of this Order, without abating any thing of that flattering regard which was paid to me by the first persons of my country and its neighbourhood; a regard well evinced by their confidence in me as the best instructor of their children.”
In some of his private letters, we learn the means which he employed to acquire this influence among the youth, and they are such as could not fail. But we must not anticipate.
“It is well known that I have made the chair which I occupied in the university Of Ingolstadt, the resort of the first class of the German youth; whereas formerly it had only brought round it the low-born practitioners in the courts of law. I have gone through the whole circle of human” enquiry: I have exorcised spirits - raised ghosts - discovered treasures - interrogated the Cabala - hatte Loto gespielt - I have never transmuted metals.” - (A very pretty and respectable circle indeed, and what vulgar spirits would scarcely have included within the pale of their curiosity.)

“The tenor of my life has been the opposite of every thing that is vile; and no man can lay any such thing to my charge. I have reason to rejoice that these writings have appeared; they are a vindication of the Order and of my conduct. I can, and must declare to God, and I do it now in the most solemn manner; that in my whole life I never saw or heard of the so much condemned secret writings; and in particular, respecting these abominable means; such as poisoning, abortion, &c. was it ever known to me in any case, that any of my friends or acquaintances ever even thought of them; advised them, or made any use of them. I was indeed always a schemer and projector; but never could engage much in detail.
My general plan is good, though in the detail there may be faults. I had myself to form. In another situation, and in an active station in life, I should have been keenly occupied, and the founding an Order would never have come into my head. But I would have executed much greater things, had not government always opposed my exertions, and placed others in the situations which suited my talents. It was the full conviction of this, and of what could be done, if every man were placed in the office for which he was fitted by nature and a proper education, which first suggested to me the plan of illumination.”
Surely Mr. Weishaupt had a very serious charge; the education of youth; and his encouragement in that charge was the most flattering that an llluminatus could wish for, because he had brought round him the youth whose influence in society was the greatest and who would most of all contribute to the diffusing good principles, and exciting to good conduct through the whole state.
“I did not;” says he, “bring deism into Bavaria more than into Rome. I found it here, in great vigour, more abounding than in any of the neighbouring Protestant states. I am proud to be known to the world as the founder of the Order of llluminati; and I repeat my wish to have for my epitaph,
« Hie situs est Phaethon, currus auriga paterni,
« Quem si non tenuit, magnis tamen excidit ausis. »
The second discovery of secret correspondence at Sandersdorff, the feat of Baron Batz (Hannibal) contains still more interesting facts.

Spartacus to Cato.
“What shall I do? I am deprived of all help. Socrates, who would insist on being a man of consequence among us, and is really a man of talents, and of a right way of thinking, is eternally besotted. Augustus is in the worst estimation imaginable. Alcibiades sits the day long with the vintner’s pretty wife, and there he sighs and pines. A few days ago, at Corinth, Tiberius attempted to ravish the wife of Democides, and her husband came in upon them.

Good heavens! what Areopagitce I have got. When the worthy man Marcus Aurelius comes to Athens (Munich) what will he think? What a meeting with dissolute immoral wretches, whore-masters, liars, bankrupts, braggarts, and vain fools! When he sees all this, what will he think? He will be ashamed to enter into an Association,” (observe, Reader, that Spartacus writes this in August 1783, in the very time that he was trying to murder Cato’s sister) “where the chiefs raise the highest expectations, and exhibit such a wretched example; and all this from self-will, from sensuality: Am I not in the right - that this man - that any such worthy man - whose name alone would give us the selection of all Germany - will declare that the whole province of Grecia (Bavaria) innocent and guilty, must be excluded.

I tell you, we may study; and write, and toil till death. We may sacrifice to the Order, our health, our fortune; and our reputation (alas the loss!) and these Lords, following their own pleasures, will whore, cheat, steal, and drive on like shameless rascals; and yet must be Areopagitce, and interfere in every thing. Indeed, my dearest friend, we have only enslaved ourselves.”
In another part of this fine correspondence, Diomedes has had the good fortune to intercept a Q. L. (Quibus licet) in which it is said, and supported by proofs, that Cato had received 250 florins as a bribe for his sentence in his capacity as a judge in a criminal court; (the end had. surely sanctified the means.) In another, a Mi nerval complains of his Mentor for having by lies occasioned the dismission of a physician from a family, by which he obtained the custom of the house and free access, which favor he repaid by debauching the wife; and he prays to be informed whether he may not get another Mentor, saying, that although that man had always given him the most excellent instructions, and he doubted not would continue

them; yet he felt a disgust at the hypocrisy, which would certainly diminish the impression of the most salutary truths. (Is it not distressing to think, that this promising youth will by and by laugh at his former simplicity, and follow the steps and not the instructions of his physician.) In another place, Spartacus writes to Marius (in confidence) that another worthy Brother, an Areopagitoe, had stolen a gold and a silver watch, and a ring, from Brutus (Savioly) and begs Marius, in another letter, to try, while it was yet possible, to get the things restored, because the culprit was a most excellent man (Vortrefflich) and of vast use to the Order, having the direction of an eminent seminary of young gentlemen; and because Savioli was much in good company, and did not much care for the Order, except in so far as it gave him an opportunity of knowing and leading some of them, and of steering his way at court.
I cannot help inserting here, though not the most proper place, a part of a provincial report from Knigge, the man of the whole Areopagitoe who shows any thing like urbanity or gentleness of mind.
“Of my whole colony (Westphalia) the most brilliant is Claudiopolis (Neuwied.) There they work, and direct, and do wonders.”
If there ever was a spot upon earth where men may be happy in a state of cultivated society, it was the little principality of Neuwied. I saw it in 1770. The town was neat, and the palace handsome and in good taste; all was clean.
But the country was beyond conception delightful; not a cottage that was out of repair, not a hedge out of order; it had been the hobby (pardon me the word) of the Prince, who made it his daily employment to go through his principality regularly, and assist every householder, of whatever condition, with his advice, and with his purse; and, when a freeholder could not of himself put things into a thriving condition, the Prince sent his workmen and did it for him.
He endowed schools for the common people, and two academies for the gentry and the people of business. He gave little portions to the daughters, and prizes to the well-behaving sons of the labouring people. His own household was a pattern of elegance and economy; his sons were sent to Paris to learn elegance, and to England to learn science and agriculture. In short, the whole was like a romance (and was indeed romantic.)
I heard it spoken of with a smile at the table of the Bishop of Treves, at Ehrenbretstein, and was induced to see it next day as a curiosity: And yet even here; the fanaticism of Knigge would distribute his poison, and tell the blinded people, that they were in a state of sin and misery, that their Prince was a despot, and that they would never be happy till he was made to fly, and till they were all made equal.

They got their wish; the swarm of French locusts sat down on Neuwied’s beautiful fields in 1793, and entrenched themselves; and in three months, Prince and farmers houses, and cottages, and schools, and academies - all vanished; and all the subjects were made equal, and free (as they were expressly told by the French General) to weep.

Discite justitiam moniti, et non temnere divos!

To proceed:

Spartacus to Cato.
”By this plan we shall direct all mankind. In this manner, and by the simplest means, we shall set all in motion and in flames. The occupations must be so allotted and contrived, that we may, in secret, influence all political transactions.” N. B. This alludes to a part that is withheld from the public, because it contained the allotment of the most rebellious and profiigate occupations to several persons whose common names could not be traced. “I have considered,” says Spartacus, “every thing, and so prepared it, that if the Order should this day go to ruin, I shall in a year re-establish it more brilliant than ever.”

Accordingly it got up again in about this space of time, under the name of the GERMAN UNION, appearing in the form of READING SOCIETIES. One of these was set up in Zwack’s house; and this raising a suspicion, a visitation was made at Landshut, and the first set of the private papers were found. The scheme was, however, zealously prosecuted in other parts of Germany, as we shall see by and by.

“Nor,” continues Spartacus, “will it signify though all should be betrayed and printed. I am so certain of success, in spite of all obstacles (for the springs are in every heart) that I am indifferent, though it should involve my life and my liberty. What! Have thousands thrown away their lives about homoios and homoiousios, and shall not this cause warm even the heart of a coward? But I have the art to draw advantage even from misfortune; and when you would think me sunk to the bottom, I shall rise with new vigour. Who would have thought, that a professor at Ingolstadt was to become the teacher of the professors of Gottingen, and of the greatest men in Germany?”
Spartacus to Cato.
“Send me back my degree of llluminatus Minor; it is the wonder of all men here (I may perhaps find time to give a translation of the discourse of reception, which contains all that can be said of this Association to the public;) as also the two last sheets of my degree, which is in the keeping of Marius, and Celsus, under 100 locks which contains my history of the lives of the Patriarchs.”
N. B. Nothing very particular has been discovered of these lives of the Patriarchs. He says, that there were above sixty sheets of it. To judge by the care taken of it, it must be a favorite work, very hazardous, and very catching.
In another letter to Cato, we have some hints of the higher degrees, and concerning a peculiar morality, and a popular religion, which the Order was one day to give the world. He says,
“There must (a la Jesuite) not a single purpose ever come in sight that is ambiguous, and that may betray our aims against religion and the state. One must speak sometimes one way and sometimes another, but so as never to contradict ourselves, and so that, with respect to our true way of thinking, we may be impenetrable. When our strongest things chance to give offence, they must be explained as attempts to draw answers which discover to us the sentiments of the person we converse with.”
N. B. This did not always succeed with him.
Spartacus says, speaking of the priests degree,
“One would almost imagine, that this degree, as I have managed it, is genuine Christianity, and that its end was to free the Jews from slavery. I say, that Free Masonry is concealed Christianity. My explanation of the hieroglyphics, at least, proceeds on this supposition; and as I explain things, no man need be ashamed of being a Christian. Indeed I afterwards throw away this name, and substitute Reason.

But I assure you this is no small affair; a new religion, and a new state-government, which so happily explain one and all of these symbols, and combines them in one degree, You may think that this is my chief work; but I have three other degrees, all different, for my class of higher mysteries; in comparison with which this is but child’s play; but these I keep for myself as General, to be bestowed by me only on the Benemeritissimi,” (surely such as Cato, his dearest friend, and the possessor of such pretty secrets, as abortives, poisons, pestilential vapours, &c. )

“The promoted may be Areopagites or not. Were you here I should give you this degree without hesitation. But it is too important to be intrusted to paper, or to be bestowed otherwise than from my own hand. It is the key to history, to religion, and to every state-government in the world.”(2)
Spartacus proceeds,
“There shall be but three copies for all Germany. You can’t imagine what respect and curiosity my priest-degree has raised; and, which is wonderful, a famous Protestant divine, who is now of the Order, is persuaded that the religion contained in it is the true sense of Christianity. 0 MAN, AAAN! TO WHAT MAY’ST THOU NOT BE PERSUADED. Who would imagine that I was to be the founder of a new religion.”
In this scheme of Masonic Christianity, Spartacus and Philo laboured seriously together. Spartacus sent him the materials, and Philo worked them up. It will therefore illustrate this capital point of the constitution of the Order, if we take Philo’s account of it.

Philo to Cato.
“We must consider the ruling propensities of every age of the world. At present the cheats and tricks of the priests have roused all men against them, and against Christianity. But, at the same time superstition and fanaticism rule with unlimited dominion, and the understanding of man really seems to be going backwards. Our task, therefore, is doubled. We must give such an account of things, that fanatics shall not be alarmed, and that shall, notwithstanding, excite a spirit of free enquiry.

We must not throw away the good with the bad, the child with the dirty water; but we must make the secret doctrines of Christianity be received as the secrets of genuine Free Masonry. But farther, we have to deal with the despotism of Princes. This increases every day. But then, the spirit of freedom breathes and sighs in every corner; and, by the assistance of hidden schools of wisdom, Liberty and Equality, the natural and imprescriptible rights of man, warm and glow in every breast. We must therefore unite these extremes. We proceed in this manner.

“Jesus Christ established no new Religion; he would only set Religion and Reason in their ancient rights. For this purpose he would unite men in a common bond. He would fit them for this by spreading a just morality, by enlightening the understanding, and by assisting the mind to shake off all prejudices. He would teach all men, in the first place, to govern themselves.

Rulers would then be needless, and equality and liberty would take place without any revolution, by the natural and gentle operation of reason and expediency. This great Teacher allows himself to explain every part of the Bible in conformity to these purposes; and he forbids all wrangling among his scholars, because every man may there find a reasonable application to his peculiar doctrines. Let this be true or false, it does not signify. This was a simple Religion, and it was so far inspired; but the minds of his hearers were not fitted for receiving these doctrines. I told you, says he, but you could not bear it. Many therefore were called, but few were chosen.

To these elect were entrusted the most important secrets; and even among them there were degrees of information. There was a seventy, and a twelve. All this was in the natural order of things, and according to the habits of the Jews, and indeed of all antiquity. The Jewish Theosophy was a mystery; like the Eleusinian, or the Pythagorean, unfit for the vulgar, And thus the doctrines of Christianity were committed to the Adept)?, in a Disciplina Arcani. By these they were maintained, like the Vestal Fire.

They were kept up, only in hidden societies, who handed them down to posterity; and they are now possessed by the genuine Free Masons.”
N. B. This explains the origin of many anonymous pamphlets which appeared about this time in Germany, showing that Free Masonry was Christianity.
They have doubtless been the works of Spartacus and his partizans among the Eclectic Masons. Nicholai, the great apostle of infidelity, had given very favorable reviews of these performances, and having always shown himself an advocate of such writers as depreciated Christianity, it was natural for him to take this opportunity of bringing it still lower in the opinion of the people. Spartacus therefore conceived a high opinion of the importance of gaining Nicholai to the Order.
He had before this gained Leuchtsenring, a hot-headed fanatic, who had spied Jesuits in every corner, and set Nicholai on his journey through Germany, to hunt them out. This man finding them equally hated by the llluminati, was easily gained, and was most zealous in their cause. He engaged Nicholai, and Spartacus exults exceedingly in the acquisition, saying, “that he was an unwearied champion, et quidem contentissimus.”
Of this man Philo says,
“that he had spread this Christianity into every corner of Germany. I have put meaning,” says Philo, “to all these dark symbols, and have prepared both degrees, introducing beautiful ceremonies, which I have selected from among those of the ancient communions, combined with those of the Rosaic Masonry; and now,” says he, “it will appear that we are the only true Christians. We shall now be in a condition to say a few words to Priests and Princes. I have so contrived things, that I would admit even Popes and Kings, after the trials which I have prefixed; and they would be glad to be of the Order.”
But how is all this to be reconciled with the plan of Illumination, which is to banish Christianity altogether. Philo himself in many places says, “that it is only a cloak, to prevent squeamish people from starting back.” This is done pretty much in the same way that was practised in the French Masonry.

In one of their degrees, the Master’s degree is made typical of the death of Jesus Christ, the preacher of Brotherly love. But in the next step, the Chevalier du Soleil, it is Reason that has been destroyed and entombed, and the Master in this degree, the Sublime Philosophe, occasions the discovery of the place where the body is hid. Reason tries again, and superstition and tyranny disappear, and all becomes clear; man becomes free and happy.

Let us hear Spartacus again.

Spartacus, in another place.
“We must,
1st. gradually explain away all our preparatory pious frauds. And when persons of discernment find fault, we must desire them to consider the end of all our labour. This sanctifies our means, which at any rate are harmless, and have been useful, even in this case, because they procured us a patient hearing, when otherwise men would have turned away from us like petted children. This will convince them ofour sentiments in all the intervening points; and our ambiguous expressions will then be interpreted into an endeavour to draw answers of any kind, which may show us the minds of our pupils.
2d. We must unfold, from history and other writings, the origin and fabrication of all religious lies whatever; and then,
3d. We give a critical history of the Order. But I cannot but laugh, when I think of the ready reception which all this has met with from the grave and learned divines of Germany and of England; and I wonder how their William failed when he attempted to establish a Deistical Worship in London (what can this mean?(3)) for, I am certain, that it must have been most acceptable to that learned and free people. But they had not the enlightening of our days.”
I may here remark, that Weishaupt is presuming too much on the ignorance of his friend, for there was a great deal of this enlightening in England at the time he speaks of, and if I am not mistaken, even this celebrated Professor of Irreligion has borrowed most of his scheme from this kingdom. This to be sure is nothing in our praise.
But the PANTHEISTICON of Toland resembles Weishaupf's Illumination in every thing but its rebellion and its villany. Toland’s Socratic Lodge is an elegant pattern for Weishaupt, and his Triumph of Reason, his Philosophic Happiness, his God, or Anima Mundi, are all so like the harsh system of Spartacus, that I am convinced, that he has copied them, stamping them with the roughness of his own character. But to go on; Spartacus says of the English:
“Their poet Pope made his Essay on Man a system of pure naturalism, without knowing it, as Brother Chrysippus did with my Priest’s Degree, and was equally astonished when this was pointed out to him. Chrysippus is religious, but not superstitious. Brother Lucian (Nicholai, of whom I have already said so much) says, that the grave Zolikofer now allows that it would be a very proper thing to establish a Deistical Worship at Berlin.

I am not afraid but things will go on very well. But Philo; who was entrusted with framing the Priest’s Degree, has destroyed it without any necessity; it would, forsooth, startle those who have a hankering for Religion. But I always told you that Philo is fanatical and prudish. I gave him fine materials, and he has stuffed it full of ceremonies and child’s play, and as Minos says, c’est jouer la religion. But all this may be corrected in the revision by the Areopagitce.”
N.B. I have already mentioned Baron Knigge’s conversion to llluminatism by the M. de Constanza, whose name in the Order was Diomedes.
Knigge (henceforth Philo) was, next to Spartacus, the most serviceable man in the Order, and procured the greatest number of members. It was chiefly by his exertions among the Masons in the Protestant countries, that the Eclectic System was introduced, and afterwards brought under the direction of the llluminati.
This conquest was owing entirely to his very extensive connections among the Masons: He travelled like a philosopher from city to city, from Lodge to Lodge, and even from house to house, before his Illumination, trying to unite the Masons, and he now went over the same ground to extend the Eclectic System, and to get the Lodges put under the direction of the llluminati, by their choice of the Master and Wardens.
By this the Order had an opportunity of noticing the conduct of individuals; and when they had found out their manner of thinking, and that they were fit for their purpose, they never quitted them till they had gained them over to their party. We have seen, that he was by no means void of religious impressions: and we often find him offended with the atheism of Spartacus. Knigge was at the same time a man of the world, and had kept good company. Weishaupt had passed his life in the habits of a college. Therefore he knew Knigge’s value, and communicated to him all his projects, to be dressed up by him for the taste of society.

Philo was of a much more affectionate disposition, with something of a devotional turn, and was shocked at the hard indifference of Spartacus. After labouring four years with great zeal, he was provoked with the disingenuous tricks of Spartacus, and he broke off all connection with the Society in 1784, and some time after published a declaration of all that he had done in it. This is a most excellent account of the plan and principles of the Order (at least as he conceived it, for Spartacus had much deeper views) and shows that the aim of it was to abolish Christianity, and all the state-governments in Europe, and to establish a great republic.
But it is full of romantic notions and enthusiastic declamation, on the hackneyed topics of universal citizenship, and liberty and equality. Spartacus gave him line, and allowed him to work on, knowing that he could discard him when he chose. I shall after this give some extracts from Philo’s letters, from which the reader will see the vile behaviour of Spartacus, and the nature of his ultimate views. In the mean time we may proceed with the account of the principles of the system.

Spartacus to Cato.
“Nothing would be more profitable to us than a right history of mankind. Despotism has robbed them of their liberty. How can the weak obtain protection? Only by union; but this is rare. Nothing can bring this about but hidden societies. Hidden schools of wisdom are the means which will one day free men from their bonds. These have in all ages been the archives of nature, and of the rights of men; and by them shall human nature be raised from her fallen state. Princes and nations shall vanish from the earth. The human race will then become one family, and the world will be the dwelling of rational men.

“Morality alone can do this. The head of every family will be what Abraham was, the patriarch, the priest, and the unlettered lord of his family, and Reason will be the code of laws to all mankind. THIS,” says Spartacus, “is our GREAT SECRET. True, there may be some disturbance; but by and by the unequal will become equal; and after the storm all will be calm. Can the unhappy consequences remain when the grounds of dissension are removed? Rouse yourselves therefore, 0 men! assert your rights; and then will Reason rule with unperceived sway; and ALL SHALL BE HAPPY. (4)

“Morality will perform all this; and morality is the fruit of Illumination; duties and rights are reciprocal. Where Octavius has no right, Cato owes him no duty. Illumination shews us our rights, and Morality follows; that Morality which teaches us to be of age, to be out of wardenship; to be full grown, and to walk without the leading-strings of priests and princes.

“Jesus of Nazareth, the Grand Master of our Order, appeared at a time when the world was in the utmost disorder, and among a people who for ages had groaned under the yoke of bondage. He taught them the lessons of reason, To be more effective, he took in the aid of Religion - of opinions which were current - and, in a very clever manner, he combined his secret doctrines with the popular religion, and with the customs which lay to his hand. In these he wrapped up his lessons - he taught by parables. Never did any prophet lead men so easily and so securely along the road of liberty.

He concealed the precious meaning and consequences of his doctrines; but fully disclosed them to a chosen few. He speaks of a kingdom of the upright and faithful; his Father’s kingdom, whose children we also are. Let us only take Liberty and Equality as the great aim of his doctrines, and Morality as the way to attain it, and every thing in the New Testament will be comprehensible; and Jesus will appear as the Redeemer of slaves. Man is fallen from the condition of Liberty and Equality, the STATE OF PURE NATURE. He is under subordination and civil bondage, arising from the vices of man. This is the FALL, and ORIGINAL SIN. The KINGDOM OF GRACE is that restoration which may be brought about by

Illumination and a just Morality. This is the NEW BIRTH. When man lives under government, he is fallen, his worth is gone, and his nature tarnished. By subduing our passions, or limiting their cravings, we may recover a great deal of our original worth, and live in a state of grace. This is the redemption of men - this is accomplished by Morality; and when this is spread over the world, we have THE KINGDOM OF THE JUST.

“But alas! the task of self-formation was too hard for the subjects of the Roman empire, corrupted by every species of profligacy. A chosen few received the doctrines in secret, and they have been handed down to us (but frequently almost buried under rubbish of man’s invention) by the Free Masons. These three conditions of human society are expressed by the rough, the split and the polished stone.

 The rough stone, and the one that is split, express our condition under civil government; rough by every fretting inequality of condition; and split, since we are no longer one family; and are farther divided by differences of government, rank, property, and religion; but when reunited in one family, we are represented by the polished stone. G. is Grace; the Flaming Star is the Torch of Reason.

Those who possess this knowledge are indeed ILLUMINATI. Hiram is our fictitious Grand Master, slain for the REDEMPTION OF SLAVES; the Nine Masters are the Founders of the Order. Free Masonry is a Royal Art, inasmuch as it teaches us to walk without trammels, and to govern ourselves.”
Reader, are you not curious to learn something of this all-powerful morality, so operative on the heart of the truly illuminated - of this disciplines arcani, entrusted only to the chosen few, and handed down to Professor Weishaupt, to Spartacus, and his associates, who have cleared it of the rubbish heaped on it by the dim-sighted Masons, and now beaming in its native lustre on the minds of the Areopagitce?
The teachers of ordinary Christianity have been labouring for almost 2000 years, with the New Testament in their hands; many of them with great address, and many, I believe, with honest zeal. But alas! they cannot produce such wonderful and certain effects (for observe, that Weishaupt repeatedly assures us that his means are certain) probably for want of this disciplines arcani, of whose efficacy so much is said.
Most fortunately, Spartacus has given us a brilliant specimen of the ethics which illuminated himself on a trying occasion, where an ordinary Christian would have been much perplexed, or would have taken a road widely different from that of this illustrious apostle of light. And seeing that several of the Areopagitce co-operated in the transaction, and that it was carefully concealed from the profane and dim-sighted world, we can have no doubt but that it was conducted according to the disciplina arcani of Illumination. I shall give it in his own words.

Spartacus to Marius, September 1783.
“I am now in the most embarrassing situation; it robs me of all rest, and makes me unfit for every thing. I am in danger of losing at once my honor and my reputation, by which I have long had such influence. What think you - my sister-in-law is with child. I have sent her to Eurriphon, and am endeavouring to procure a marriage-licence from Rome. How much depends on this uncertainty - and there is not a moment to lose.

Should I fail, what is to be done? What a return do I make by this to a person to whom I am so much obliged! (we shall see the probable meaning of this exclamation by and by.) We have tried every method in our power to destroy the child; and I hope she is determined on every thing - even d - . (Can this mean death?) But alas! Euriphon is, I fear, too timid (alas! poor woman, thou art now under the disciplina arcani) and I see no other expedient. Could I be but assured of the silence of Celsus (a physician at Ingoldstadt) he can relieve me, and he promised me as much three years ago. Do speak to him, if you think he will be staunch. I would not let Cato (his dearest friend, and his chief or only confidant in the scheme of Illumination) know it yet, because the affair in other respects requires his whole friendship. (Cato had all the pretty receipts.)

Could you but help me out of this distress, you would give me life, honor, and peace, and strength to work again in the great cause. If you cannot, be assured I will venture on the most desperate stroke (poor sister!) for it is fixed. - I will not lose my honor. I cannot conceive what devil has made me to go astray - me who have always been so careful on such occasions. As yet all is quiet, and none know of it but you and Euriphon. Were it but time to undertake any thing - but alas! it is the fourth month. These damned priests too - for the action is so criminally accounted by them, and scandalises the blood. This makes the utmost efforts and the most desperate measures absolutely necessary.”
It will throw some light on this transaction if we read a letter from Spartacus to Cato about this time.
“One thing more, my dearest friend - Would it be agreeable to you to have me for a brother-in-law. If this should be agreeable, and if it can be brought about without prejudice to my honor, as I hope it may, I am not without hopes that the connection may take place. But in the mean time keep it a secret, and only give me permission to enter into correspondence on the subject with the good lady, to whom I beg you will offer my respectful compliments, and I will explain myself more fully to you by word of mouth, and tell you my whole situation. But I repeat it the thing must be gone about with address and caution. I would not for all the world deceive a person who certainly has not deserved so of me.”

What interpretation can be put on this? Cato seems to be brother to the poor woman - he was unwittingly to furnish the drugs, and he was to be dealt with about consenting to a marriage, which could not be altogether agreeable to him, since it required a dispensation, she being already the sister-in-law of Weishaupt, either the sister of his former wife, or the widow of a deceased brother. Or perhaps Spartacus really wishes to marry Cato’s sister, a different person from the poor woman in the straw; and he conceals this adventure from his trusty friend Cato, till he sees what becomes of it.

The child may perhaps be got rid of, and then Spartacus is a free man. There is a letter to Cato, thanking him for his friendship in the affair of the child but it gives no light. I meet with another account, that the sister of Zwack threw herself from the top of a tower, and beat out her brains. But it is not said that it was an only sister; if it was, the probability is, that Spartacus had paid his addresses to her, and succeeded, and that the subsequent affair of his marriage with his sister-in-law or something worse, broke her heart. This seems the best account of the matter. For Hertel (Marius) writes to Zwack in November 1782:

“Spartacus is this day gone home, but has left his sister-in-law pregnant behind (this is from Bassus Hoss.) About the new year he hopes to be made merry by a --; who will be before all kings and princes - a young Spartacus. The Pope also will respect him, and legitimate him before the time.”
Now, vulgar Christian, compare this with the former declaration of Weishaupt, in page 80, where he appeals to the tenor of his former life, which had been so severely scrutinised, without diminishing his high reputation and great influence, and his ignorance and abhorrence of all those things found in Cato’s repositories. You see this was a surprise - he had formerly proceeded cautiously - He is the best man;” says Spartacus, “who best conceals his faults.” - He was disappointed by Celsus, who had promised him his assistance on such occasions three years ago, during which time he had been busy in “forming himself.” How far he has advanced, the reader may judge.

One is curious to know what became of the poor woman: she was afterwards taken to the house of Baron Bassus; but here the foolish woman, for want of that courage which Illumination, and the bright prospect of eternal sleep should have produced, took fright at the disciplina arcani, left the house, and in the hidden society of a midwife and nurse brought forth a young Spartacus, who now lives to thank his father for his endeavours to murder him.
A “damned priest,” the good Bishop of Freysingen, knowing the cogent reasons, procured the dispensation, and Spartacus was obliged, like another dim-sighted mortal, to marry her. The scandal was hushed, and would not have been discovered had it not been for these private writings.

But Spartacus says (page 84) “that when you think him *’ sunk to the bottom; he will spring up with double vigour.” In a subsequent work called Short Amendment of my Plan, he says, “If men were not habituated to wicked manners, his letters would be their own justification.” He does not say that he is without fault; “but they are faults of the understanding - not of the heart. He had, first of all, to form himself; and this is a work of time.”
In the affair of his sister-in-law he admits the facts, and the attempts to destroy the child; “but this is far from proving any depravity of heart. In his condition, his honor at stake, what else was left him to do? His greatest enemies, the Jesuits, have taught that in such a case it is lawful to make away with the child,” and he quotes authorities from their books.
“In the introductory fault he has the example of the best of men. The second was its natural consequence, it was altogether involuntary, and, in the eye of a philosophical judge (I presume of the Gallic School) who does not square himself by the harsh letters of a blood-thirsty lawgiver, he has but a very trifling account to settle. He had become a public teacher, and was greatly followed; this example might have ruined many young men.

The eyes of the Order also were fixed on him.

The edifice rested on his credit; had he fallen, he could no longer have been in a condition to treat the matters of virtue so as to make a lasting impression. It was chiefly his anxiety to support the credit of the Order which determined him to take this step. It makes for him, but by no means against him; and the persons who are most in fault are the slavish inquisitors, who have published the transaction, in order to make his character more remarkable, and to hurt the Order through his person; and they have not scrupled, for this hellish purpose, to stir up a child against its father ! ! I”
I make no reflections on this very remarkable, and highly useful story, but content myself with saying, that this justification by Weishaupt (which I have been careful to give in his own words) is the greatest instance of effrontery and insult on the sentiments of mankind that I have ever met with. We are all supposed as completely corrupted as if we had lived under the full blaze of Illumination.

In other places of this curious correspondence we learn that Minos, and others of the Areopagitoe, wanted to introduce Atheism at once, and not go hedging in the manner they did; affirming it was easier to show at once that Atheism was friendly to society, than to explain all their Masonic Christianity, which they were afterwards to show to be a bundle of lies. Indeed this purpose, of not only abolishing Christianity, but all positive religion whatever, was Weishaupfs favorite scheme from the beginning.
Before he canvassed for his Order, in 1774, he published a fictitious antique, which he called Sidonii Apollinahs Fragmenta, to prepare (as he expressly says in another place) mens minds for the doctrines of Reason, which contains all the detestable doctrines of Robinet’s Systeme de la Nature.
The publication of the second part was stopped. Weishaupt says, in his APOLOGY FOR THE ILLUMINATI, that before 1780 he had retracted his opinions about Materialism, and about the inexpediency of Princes. But this is false: Philo says expressly, that every thing remained on its original footing in the whole practice and dogmas of the Order when he quitted it in July 1784.
All this was concealed, and even the abominable Masonry, in the account of the Order which Weishaupt published at Regensburg; and it required the constant efforts of Philo to prevent bare or flat Atheism from being uniformly taught in their degrees. He had told the council that Zeno would not be under a roof with a man who denied the immortality of the soul. He complains of Minos’s cramming irreligion down their throats in every meeting, and says, that he frightened many from entering the Order. “Truth,” says Philo, “is a clever, but a modest girl, who must be led by the hand like a gentlewoman, but not kicked about like a whore.”
Spartacus complains much of the squeamishness of Philo; yet Philo is not a great deal behind him in irreligion. When describing to Cato the Christianity of the Priest-degree, as he had manufactured it, he says,
“It is all one whether it be true or false, we must have it, that we may tickle those who have a hankering for religion.”
All the odds seems to be, that he was of a gentler disposition, and had more deference even for the absurd prejudices of others. In one of his angry letters to Cato he says;
“The vanity and self conceit of Spartacus would have got the better of all prudence, had I not checked him, and prevailed on the Areopagitoe but to defer the developement of the bold principles till we had firmly secured the man: I even wished to entice the candidate the more by giving him back all his former bonds of secrecy, and leaving him at liberty to walk out without fear; and I am certain that they were, by this time, so engaged that we should not have lost one man.

But Spartacus had composed an exhibition of his last principles, for a discourse of reception, in which he painted his three favorite mysterious degrees, which were to be conferred by him alone, in colours which had fascinated his own fancy. But they were the colours of hell, and would have scared the most intrepid; and because I represented the danger of this, and by force obtained the omission of this picture, he became my implacable enemy. I abhor treachery and profligacy, and leave him to blow him self and his Order in the air.”
Accordingly this happened. It was this which terrified one of the four professors, and made him impart his doubts to the rest. Yet Spartacus seems to have profited by the apprehensions of Philo; for in the last reception, he, for the first time, exacts a bond from the intrant, engaging himself for ever to the Order, and swearing that he will never draw back. Thus admitted, he becomes a sure card. The course of his life is in the hands of the Order, and his thoughts on a thousand dangerous points; his reports concerning his neighbours and friends; in short, his honor and his neck. The Deist, thus led on, has not far to go before he becomes a Naturalist or Atheist; and then the eternal sleep of death crowns all his humble hopes.

Before giving an account of the higher degrees, I shall just extract from one letter more on a singular subject.

Minos to Sebastian, 1782.
“The proposal of Hercules to establish a Mi nerval school for girls is excellent, but requires much circumspection. Philo and I have long conversed on this subject. We

cannot improve the world without improving women, who have such a mighty infiuence on the men. But how shall we get hold of them? How will their relations, particularly their mothers, immersed in prejudices, consent that others shall influence their education? We must begin with grown girls. Hercules proposes the wife of Ptolemy Magus. I have no objection; and I have four step-daughters, fine girls. The oldest in particular is excellent. She is twenty-four, has read much, is above all prejudices, and in religion she thinks as I do. They have much acquaintance among the young ladies their relations (N. B. we don’t know the rank of Minos, but as he does not use the word Damen, but Frauenzimmer, it is probable that it is not high.)

It may immediately be a very pretty Society, under the management of Ptolemy’s wife, but really under his management. You must contrive pretty degrees, and dresses, and ornaments, and elegant and decent rituals. No man must be admitted. This will make them become more keen, and they will go much farther than if we were present, or than if they thought that we knew of their proceedings. Leave them to the scope of their own fancies, and they will soon invent mysteries which will put us to the blush, and create an enthusiasm which we can never equal. They will be our great apostles. Reflect on the respect, nay the awe and terror inspired by the female mystics of antiquity. (Think of the Danaids-think of the Theban Bacchantes.)

Ptolemy’s wife must direct them, and she will be instructed by Ptolemy, and my step-daughters will consult with me. We must always be at hand to prevent the introduction of any improper question. We must prepare themes for their discussion thus we shall confess them; and inspire them with our sentiments. No man however must come near them. This will fire their roving fancies; and we may expect rare mysteries. But I am doubtful whether this Association will be durable. Women are fickle and impatient. Nothing will please them but hurrying from degree to degree, through a heap of insignificant ceremonies, which will soon lose their novelty and influence.

To rest seriously in one rank, and to be still and silent when they have found out that the whole is a cheat (hear the words of an experienced Mason) is a task of which they are incapable. They have not our motives to persevere for years, allowing themselves to be led about; and even then to hold their tongues when they find that they have been deceived. Nay there is a risk that they may take it into their heads to give things an opposite turn, and then, by voluptuous allurements, heightened by affected modesty and decency, which give them an irresistible empire over the best men, they may turn our Order upside down, and in their turn will lead the new one.”
Such is the information which may be got from the private correspondence. It is needless to make more extracts of every kind of vice and trick. I have taken such as show a little of the plan of the Order, as far as the degree of llluminatus Minor, and the vile purposes which are concealed under all their specious declamation. A very minute account is given of the plan, the ritual, ceremonies, &c. and even the instructions and discourses, in a book called the Achte llluminat, published at Edessa (Frankfurt) in 1787.
Philo says, “that this is quite accurate, but that he does not know the author.” I proceed to give an account of their higher degrees, as they are to be seen in the book called Neueste Arbeitung des Spartacus und Philo. And the authenticity of the accounts is attested by Grollman, a private gentleman of independent fortune, who read them, signed and sealed by Spartacus and the Areopagitos.

The series of ranks and progress of the pupil were arranged as follows:
NURSERY,    { . . . . . Preparation,
                     { . . . . . Novice;
                     { . . . . . Minerval
                     { . . . . . Illumin. Minor.

MASONRY,    {Symbolic   { . . . . . Apprentice,
                      {                { . . . . . Fellow Craft,
                      {                { . . . . . Master,
                      { Scotch     {Illum. Major, Scotch Novice,
                      {                {Ilum. dirigens, Scotch Knight

MYSTERIES.  {Lesser,     {Presbyter, Priest,
                      {                {Prince, Regent,
                      {Greater,    {Magus,
                      {                {Rex.
The Reader must be almost sick of so much villany, and would be disgusted with the minute detail, in which the cant of the Order is ringing continually in his ears. I shall therefore only give such a short extract as may fix our notions of the object of the Order, and the morality of the means employed for attaining it. We need not go back to the lower degrees, and shall begin with the ILLUMINATUS DIRIGENS, or SCOTCH KNIGHT.

After a short introduction, teaching us how the holy secret Chapter of Scotch Knights is assembled, we have,
I. Fuller accounts and instructions relating to the whole.
II. Instructions for the lower classes of Masonry.
III. Instructions relating to Mason Lodges in general.
IV. Account of a reception into this degree, with the bond which each subscribes before he can be admitted.
V. Concerning the solemn Chapter for reception.
VI. Opening of the Chapter.
VII. Ritual of Reception, and the Oath.
VIII. Shutting of the Chapter.
IX. Agape, or Love Feast.
X. Ceremonies of the consecration of the Chapter.

A, Explanation of the Symbols of Free Masonry.
B, Catechism for the Scotch Knight.
C, Secret Cypher.
In No. I. it is said that the “chief study of the Scotch Knight is to work on all men in such a way as is most insinuating. II. He must endeavour to acquire the possession of considerable property: III. In all Mason Lodges we must try secretly to get the upper hand.
The Masons do not know what Free Masonry is, their high objects, nor their highest Superiors, and should be directed by those who will lead them along the right road. In preparing a candidate for the degree of Scotch Knighthood, we must bring him into dilemmas by catching questions: We must endeavour to get the disposal of the money of the Lodges of the Free Masons, or at least take care that it be applied to purposes favorable to our Order - but this must be done in a way that shall not be remarked.
Above all, we must push forward with all our skill, the plan of Eclectic Masonry, and for this purpose follow up the circular letter already sent to all the Lodges with every thing that can increase their present embarrassment.” In the bond of No. IV. the candidate binds himself to “consider and treat the llluminati as the Superiors of Free Masonry, and endeavour in all the Mason Lodges which he frequents, to have the Masonry of the Illuminated, and particularly the Scotch Noviciate, introduced into the Lodge.”
(This is not very different from the Masonry of the Chevalier de 1’ Aisle of the Rosaic Masonry, making the Master’s degree a sort of commemoration of the passion, but without giving that character to Christianity which is peculiar to llluminatism.)
Jesus Christ is represented as the enemy of superstitious observances, and the assertor of the Empire of Reason and of Brotherly love, and his death and memory as dear to mankind. This evidently paves the way for Weishaupfs Christianity. The Scotch Knight also engages
“to consider the Superiors of the Order as the unknown Superiors of Free Masonry, and to contribute all he can to their gradual union.”
In the Oath, No. VII. the candidate says,
“I will never more be a flatterer of the great, I will never be a lowly servant of princes; but I will strive with spirit, and with address, for virtue, wisdom, and liberty. I will powerfully oppose superstition, slander, and despotism; so, that like a true son of the Order, I may serve the world. I will never sacrifice the general good, and the happiness of the world, to my private interest. I will boldly defend my Brother against slander, will follow out the traces of the pure and true Religion pointed out to me in my instructions, and in the doctrines of Masonry; and will faithfully report to my Superiors the progress I make therein.”
When he gets the stroke which dubs him a Knight, the Preses says to him,
“Now prove thyself, by thy ability, equal to Kings, and never from this time forward bow thy knee to one who is, like thyself, but a man.”
No. IX is an account of the Love-Feast.
1st, There is a Table Lodge, opened as usual, but in virtue of the ancient Master-word. Then it is said, “Let moderation, fortitude, morality, and genuine love of the Brethren, with the overgowing of innocent and careless mirth reign here.” (This is almost verbatim from Toland.)

2d, In the middle of a bye-table is a chalice, a pot of wine, an empty plate, and a plate of unleavened bread - All is covered with a green cloth.

3d, When the Table Lodge is ended, and the Prefect sees no obstacle, he strikes on this bye-table the stroke of Scotch Master, and his signal is repeated by the Senior Warden. All are still and silent. The Prefect lifts off the cloth.

4th, The Prefect asks, whether the Knights are in the disposition to partake of the Love-Feast in earnest, peace, and contentment. If none hesitates, or offers to retire, he takes the plate with the bread and says,
“J. of N. our Grand-Master, in the night in which he was betrayed by his friends, persecuted for his love for truth, imprisoned, and condemned to die, assembled his trusty Brethren, to celebrate his last Love-Feast which is signified to us in many ways. He took bread (taking it) and broke it (breaking it) and blessed it, and gave it to his disciples, &c. - This shall be the mark of our Holy Union, &c. Let each of you examine his heart, whether love reigns in it, and whether he, in full imitation of our Grand-Master, is ready to lay down his life for his Brethren.

“Thanks be to our Grand-Master, who has appointed this feast as a memorial of his kindness, for the uniting of the hearts of those who love him. Go in peace, and blessed be this new Association which we have formed: Blessed be ye who remain loyal and strive for the good cause.”
5th, The Prefect immediately closes the Chapter with the usual ceremonies of the Loge de Table.

6th, It is to be observed, that no priest of the Order must be present at this Love-Feast, and that even the Brother Servitor quits the Lodge.
I must observe here, that Philo, the manufacturer of this ritual, has done it very injudiciously; it has no resemblance whatever to the Love-Feast of the primitive Christians, and is merely a copy of a similar thing in one of the steps of French Masonry. Philo’s reading in church-history was probably very scanty, or he trusted that the candidates would not be very nice in their examination of it, and he imagined that it would do well enough, and “tickle such as had a religious hankering.” Spartacus disliked it exceedingly - it did not accord with his serious conceptions, and he justly calls it Jouer la Religion.

The discourse of reception is to be found also in the secret correspondence (Nachtrag II. Abtheilung, p. 44). But it is needless to insert it here. I have given the substance of this and of all the Cosmo-political declamations already in the panegyric introduction to the account of the process of education. And in Spartacus’s letter, and in Philo’s I have given an abstract of the introduction to the explanation given in this degree of the symbols of Free Masonry.
With respect to the explanation itself, it is as slovenly and wretched as can be imagined, and shows that Spartacus trusted to much more operative principles in the human heart for the reception of his nonsense than the dictates of unbiased reason.
None but promising subjects were admitted thus far - such as would not boggle; and their principles were already sufficiently apparent to assure him that they would be contented with any thing that made game of religion, and would be diverted by the seriousness which a chance devotee might exhibit during these silly caricatures of Christianity and Free Masonry. But there is considerable address in the way that Spartacus prepares his pupils for having all this mummery shown in its true colours, and overturned
“Examine, read, think on these symbols. There are many things which one cannot find out without a guide nor even learn without instructions. They require study and zeal. Should you in any future period think that you have conceived a clearer notion of them, that you have found a paved road, declare your discoveries to your Superiors; it is thus that you improve your mind; they expect this of you; they know the true path but will not point it out enough if they assist you in every approach to it, and warn you when you recede from it.

They have even put things in your way to try your powers of leading yourself through the difficult track of discovery. In this process the weak head finds only child’s play the initiated finds objects of thought which language cannot express, and the thinking mind finds food for his faculties.”
By such forewarnings as these Weishaupt leaves room for any deviation, for any sentiment or opinion of the individual that he may afterwards choose to encourage, and “to whisper in their ear (as he expresses it) many things which he did not find it prudent to insert in a printed compend.”

But all the principles and aim of Spartacus and of his Order are most distinctly seen in the third or Mystery Class. I proceed therefore to give some account of it. By the Table it appears to have two degrees, the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries, each of which have two departments, one relating chiefly to Religion and the other to Politics.

The Priest’s degree contains,
1. An Introduction.
2. Further Accounts of the Reception into this degree.
3. What is called Instruction in the Third Chamber, which the candidate must read over.
4. The Ritual of Reception.
5. Instruction for the First Degree of the Priest’s Class, called Instructio in Scientificis.
6. Account of the Consecration of a Dean, the Superior of this Lower Order of Priests.
The Regent degree contains,
1. Directions to the Provincial concerning the dispensation of this degree.
2. Ritual of Reception.
3. System of Direction for the whole Order.
4. Instruction for the whole Regent degree.
5. Instruction for the Prefects or Locai Superiors.
6. Instruction for the Provincials.
The most remarkable thing in the Priest’s degree is the Instruction in the Third Chamber. It is to be found in the private correspondence. (Nachtrage Original Schriften 1787, 2nd Abtheilung, page 44.) There it has the title Discourse to the llluminati Dirigentes, or Scotch Knights. In the critical history, which is annexed to the Neueste Arbeitung, there is an account given of the reason for this denomination; and notice is taken of some differences between the instructions here contained and that discourse.

This instruction begins with sore complaints of the low condition of the human race; and the causes are deduced from religion and state-government. “Men originally led a patriarchal life, in which every father of a family was the sole lord of his house and his property, while he himself possessed general freedom and equlity. But they suffered themselves to be oppressed-gave themselves up ta civil societies, and formed states.
Even by this they fell; and this is the fall of man, by which they were thrust into unspeakable misery. To get out of this state, to be freed and born again, there is no other mean than the use of pure Reason, by which a general morality may be established, which will put man in a condition to govern himself, regain his original worth, and dispense with all political supports, and particularly with rulers.
This can be done in no other way but by secret associations, which will by degrees, and in silence, possess themselves of the government of the States, and make use of those means for this purpose which the wicked use for attaining their base ends. Princes and Priests are in particular, and kat’ exochen, the wicked, whose hands must tie up by means of these associations, if we cannot root them out altogether.
“Kings are parents. The paternal power ceases with the incapacity of the child; and the father injures his child, if he pretends to retain his right beyond this period. When a nation comes of age, their state of wardship is at an end.”
Here follows a long declamation against patriotism, as a narrow-minded principle when compared with true Cosmo-politism. Nobles are represented as “a race of men that serve not the nation but the Prince, whom a hint from the Sovereign stirs up against the nation, who are retained servants and ministers of despotism, and the mean for oppressing national liberty. Kings are accused of a tacit convention, under the flattering appellation of the balance of power, to keep nations in subjection.
“The mean to regain Reason her rights - to raise liberty from its ashes - to restore to man his original rights - to produce the previous revolution in the mind of man -to obtain an eternal victory over oppressors - and to work the redemption of mankind, is secret schools of wisdom. When the worthy have strengthened their association by numbers, they are secure, and then they begin to become powerful, and terrible to the wicked, of whom many will, for safety, amend themselves -many will come over to our party, and we shall bind the hands of the rest, and finally conquer them. Whoever spreads general illumination augments mutual security; illumination and security make princes unnessary; illumination performs this by creating an effective Morality, and Morality makes a nation of full age fit to govern itself; and since it is not impossible to produce a just Morality, it is possible to regain freedom for the world.”

“We must therefore strengthen our band, and establish a legion, which shall restore the rights of man, original liberty and independence.

“Jesus Christ” - but I am sick of all this. The following questions are put to the candidate:
1. “Are our civil conditions in the world the destinations that seem to be the end of our nature, or the purposes for which man was placed on this earth, or are they not? Do states, civil obligations, popular religion, fulfill the intentions of men who established them? Do secret associations promote instruction and true human happiness, or are they the children of necessity, of the multifarious wants, of unnatural conditions, or the inventions of vain and cunning men?”
2. “What civil association, what science do you think to the purpose, and what are not?”
3. “Has there ever been any other in the world, is there no other more simple condition, and what do you think of it?”
4. “Does it appear possible, after having gone through all the nonentities of our civil constitutions, to recover for once our first simplicity, and get back to this honorable uniformity?”
5. “How can one begin this noble attempt; by means of open support, by forcible revolution, or by what other way?”
6. “Does Christianity give us any hint to this purpose? does it not recognize such a blessed condition as once the lot of man, and as still recoverable?”
7. “But is this holy religion the religion that is now professed by any sect on earth, or is it a better?”
8. “Can we learn this religion - can the world, as it is, bear the light? Do you think that it would be of service, before numerous obstacles are removed, if we taught men this purified religion, sublime philosophy, and the art of governing themselves? Or would not this hurt, by rousing the interested passions of men habituated to prejudices, who would oppose this as wicked?”
9. “May it not be more advisable to do away these corruptions bit by bit, in silence, and for this purpose to propagate these salutary and heart-consoling doctrines in secret?”
10. “Do we not perceive traces of such a secret doctrine in the ancient schools of philosophy, in the doctrines and instructions of the Bible, which Christ, the Redeemer and Liberator of the human race, gave to his trusty disciples? Do you notobserve an education, proceeding by steps of this kind, handed down to us from his time till the present?”
In the ceremonial of Reception, crowns and sceptres are represented as tokens of human degradation.
“The plan of operation, by which our higher degrees act, must work powerfully on the world, and must give another turn to all our present constitutions.”
Many other questions are put to the pupil during his preparation, and his answers are given in writing. Some of these rescripts are to be found in the secret correspondence. Thus,
“How far is the position true, that all those means may be used for a good purpose which the wicked have employed for a bad?”
And along with this question there is an injunction to take counsel from the opinions and conduct of the learned and worthy out of the society. In one of the answers, the example of a great philosopher and Cosmo-polite is adduced, who betrayed a private correspondence entrusted to him, for the service of freedom; the case was Dr. Franklin’s. In another, the power of the Order was extended to the putting the individual to death; and the reason given, was, that
“this power was allowed to all Sovereignties, for the good of the State, and therefore belonged to the Order, which was to govern the world.”

- “N. B. We must acquire the direction of education - of church-management - of the professorial chair, and of the pulpit. We must bring our opinions into fashion by every art - spread them among the people by the help of young writers. We must preach the warmest concern for humanity, and make people indifferent to all other relations. We must take care that our writers be well puffed, and that the Reviewers do not depreciate them; therefore we must endeavour by every mean to gain over the Reviewers and Journalists; and we must also try to gain the booksellers, who in time will see that it is their interest to side with us.”
I conclude this account of the degree of Presbyter with remarking; that there were two copies of it employed occasionally. In one of them all the most offensive things in respect of church and state were left out.

In the Regent degree, the proceedings and instructions are conducted in the same manner. Here, it is said,
“We must as much as possible select for this degree persons who are free, independent of all princes; particularly such as have frequently declared themselves discontented with the usual institutions, and their wishes to see a better government established.”
Catching questions are put to the candidate for this degree; such as,
1. “Would the Society be objectionable which should (till the greater revolution of nature should be ripe) put monarchs and rulers out of the condition to do harm; which in silence prevents the abuse of power, by surrounding the great with its members, and thus not only prevents their doing mischief, but even makes them do good?”

2. “Is not the objection unjust, That such a Society may abuse its power. Do not our rulers frequently abuse their power, though we are silent? This power is not so secure as in the hands of our Members, whom we train up with so much care, and place about princes after mature deliberation and choice. If any government can be harmless which is erected by man, surely it must be ours, which is founded on morality, fore-sight, talents, liberty, and virtue,” &c.