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lieved, fulfilled the casting of the floods from the mouth of the old serpent, Rev. xii. 15, to sweep from the earth the church of Christ.*
* Let the reader please to compare Rev. xiii. 3–8; verse 8 of our context; Rev. xix. 19; Dan. vii. 11 ; and xi. 36-40 ; as given in Lecture XI. Then read the following note as a history of the origin of their fulfilment.
Voltaire, a noted French philosopher (born in the year 1694, and who died a little before the French Revolution of 1789), formed, in his early youth, a design to destroy the Christian religion. One man may set a fire, which a thousand cannot extinguish.“ Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth !” He most solemnly vowed to devote his life to this object. He would say, "I am weary of hearing people repeat, that twelve men were sufficient to establish Christianity. I will prove that one may suffice to overthrow it." And such were his genius and early turn of mind for this work, that he received from a tutor this hint; “ Unfortunate young man ! you will one day come to be the standard-bearer of infidelity. This was indeed fulfilled. “Christianity (he said) yields nothing but poisonous weeds.” And he engaged to destroy it; and associated with himself a band of infidel philosophers; such as Diderot, D'Alembert, Rousseau, and Frederic of Prussia, for this purpose. And soon he found means to unite in the same cause six crowned heads in Europe. The number and influence of this impious conspiracy rapidly increased, and their success was astonishing even to themselves ; so that they would exult among themselves at the amaz. ing power of secret societies, and the ease with which the world may be bound by invisible hands. It was a noted watchword of their order, speaking of Christ, “Crush the wretch.” Closing a letter thus, “Crush the wretch, then; crush the wretch !” This code, (having the old and powerful code of the Jesuits upon which to improve) was deep, powerful, cautious, provident, subtle, and extensive ; as has been shown from the best of documents, in Payon's Modern Antichrist, Robinson, and Barruel. And this system took effect, in old corrupt papal countries, like fire in a field of the most combustible matter. The mummery of popery had prepared the millions of the papal delusions to fall at once before a subtle system of infidelity. Voltaire boasted that “from Geneva to Berne, not a Christian was to be found; and that if things went at this rate, in twenty years God would be in a pretty plight” (to use his own words). Secrecy was the soul of their
order. And their plans were prosecuted with incredible vigour in halls hidden from the world, and under cover of Masonry, whose lodges they drew into their order. One of their noted watchwords was, “Strike deep, but hide the hand that gives the blow.” Another; « The world must be bound by invisible hands." Their leaders received fictitious names : and their official business was transacted in figures invented for the purpose. They succeeded to poison the fountains of education. The highest literary societies they filled with their members,and rendered them subservient
to their views. And although the ruin of Christianity was at first the express object of the order, the subversion of civil government came to be united with it. And it became a principle of their scheme, that all restraint upon the inclinations of man is but an insupportable usurpation : that the goodness of the end justifies the means, of whatever kind, to destroy all such usurpations. “ Bundles of lies” (to use their own words), were the means on which they placed their chief reliance. And many thousands became leagued with them in hidden concert, to reform and save the world by the doctrine of " Liberty and Equality.”
.” Meaning liberty from all the restraints of Christianity, and of the governments of the world. Their highest secret was, that there is no God, no future state; That death is an eternal sleep. And all restraint on the feelings of man, is an abridgment of his rights." These sentiments it was the business of their leaders and adepts to instil into the minds of people, especially of youth ; but to do it with the utmost caution, not to overact, nor to be betrayed. Their means of doing this were deep, subtle, and most dangerous to the candidate selected. They would allure those marked out for their prey with hints, seemingly incidental, of the amazing power and benefit of secret societies. That such societies did exist, embracing the greatest characters who were able to govern and reform the world, and to render it most happy. Where it was perceived that such hints took effect, the candidates were slyly induced to engage in their scheme, and to bind themselves to yield full obedience to unknown leaders, whose orders should, in some way, be made known to them. Of such leaders, they were led to have the most exalted opinion, that they were great, wise, and good. These admiring candidates were taught that there were various grades in these secret societies; and that new and wonderful discoveries were to be made to them at every grade. The power of ambition and of novelty were thus made to bear upon them, and to arrest their ignorance and vanity. The leaders and adepts were in the mean time, insidiously engaged in watching their pupils, and erasing from their minds all impressions derived from religious instruction; thus preparing them to pass, without alarm, to higher grades of infidelity. To such grades they were admitted with various imposing ceremonies, so soon as it was perceived they were prepared for them, and would not retreat, and expose the order. When it was found, by cautious leaders, that they would not be likely to receive the infidelity of higher orders; the candidate found himself neglected, and not admitted to higher grades. This was called sta bene ! or, very well, stay where you are. In this secret and gradual process, many thousands were led up to their higher secrets, of atheism, anarchy, anú licentiousness.
In that deep system of infidelity, the aid of the press was called in, as a powerful engine of their order. A learned encyclopedia was by them formed, and given to the world, in which infidelity was interwoven, in the most deep, sly, and curious manner. And other publications innumerable, and even down to the smallest tracts were given, with a view to fill the world with the fatal seeds of infidelity. And books of_licentious tendency were profusely scattered. through the nations. Printers and booksellers were artfully enlisted in the same cause; and funds were raised to indemnify them in
suppressing evangelical publications; and in giving the readiest curreney to their infidel productions. Reading societies too, were formed, to give the infidel publications the most fatal effect. And the direction of schools was extensively obtained by the leaders of this infidelity ; who filled them with such instructers as they chose, who would be sure to guard against all pious instructions, to efface, as far as possible, all religious impressions from their members, and to introduce their skeptical sentiments as far as practicable.
The following account of this impious system is from the pen of the celebrated President Dwight. He says, “ They ultimately spread their design throughout a great part of Europe ; and embarked in it individuals, at little distances, over almost the whole of that continent. Their adherents inserted themselves into every place, office, and employment, in which their agency might be efficacious, and which furnished an opportunity of spreading their corruptions. They were found in every literary institution, from the lowest school to the academy of sciences ; and in every civil office, from that of the bailiff to that of the monarch. They swarmed in the palace, they haunted the church. Wherever mischief was to be done, they were found : and wherever they were found, mischief was done. 'Of books, they controlled the publication, the character, and the sale. An immense number of books they formed ; and an immense number they forged, prefixing to them the names of reputable writers, and sending them into the world to be sold for a song; and (when this could not be done) to be given away. They possessed themselves, to a great extent, of a control nearly absolute, of the literary, religious, and political state of Europe. They penetrated into every corner of human society ; and scarcely a man, woman, or child, was left unassailed wherever there was a single hope that the attack might be successful. Books were written, and published in multitudes, in which infidelity was brought down to the level of peasants, and even of children; and they were poured with immense assiduity into the cottage, and the school. Others of a superior kind crept into the shop, and farm-house; and others of a still higher class found their way to the drawing-rooms, the university, and the palace." This sketch gives an alarming view of this most fatal order of infidelity. Said a chief of this scheme, “ All the German schools and the Benevolent Society, are at last under our direction. Lately we have got possession of the Bartholomew Institution for young clergymen; having secured all their supporters. Through this we shall be able to supply Bavaria with fit priests. We must acquire the direction of education, of church management, of the professional chair, and of the pulpit. We must preach the warmest concern for humanity, and make people indifferent to all other relations. We must gain the reviewers, and journalists, and booksellers.” The following sentiments were given in their own language : “All ideas of justice and injustice, of virtue and vice, of glory and infamy, are purely arbitrary, and dependent on custom. The man who is above law, can commit, without remorse, the dishonest act that may serve his purpose. The fear of God is so far from being the beginning of wisdom, that it is the beginning of folly. Modesty is only an invention of refined voluptuousness. Virtue and honesty are only the habit of actions personally advantageous."
* The supreme
king (their code adds), the God of Jews and Christians, is but a phantom. Jesus Christ is an impostor!”It was their prime practical maxim,-gain a footing by fraud, and propagate the scheme by force. The same was carried out in the following instructions to the initiated; “Serve, assist, and mutually support each other. And when your numbers shall be augmented to a certain degree, and you have acquired strength by union; then hesitate no longer; but begin to render yourselves powerful and formidable. You will soon acquire a sufficient force to bind the hands of your opponents, and subjugate them. Extend and multiply the children of light, till force and numbers shall throw power into your hands. Nations must be brought back by whatever means : peaceably, if it can be done; if not, then by force. For all subordination must be made to vanish from the world.”
This fatal diabolical scheme spread not only through France, but in Germany, under the direction of its arch agent Doctor Adam Weishaupt, Professor of Canon Law in the university of Ingolstadt: and by thousands of other agents in the old countries. Propagators of this system were profusely extended through the civilized world, by no means excepting our States, as has been shown by the writers on the subject.
In this system, men were trained to infidelity, cruelty, and blood, by a variety of the most efficacious means. Take the following instance, as it is given by a celebrated writer, and copied by many. “ A candidate for one of the higher orders was conducted into a place where he saw the dead bodies of some who were said to have been executed for treason to their order (betraying their secrets). The candidate there saw his own brother bound hand and foot, begging for mercy, and praying this brother to intercede for him. This candidate was informed that his brother was about to be executed for having betrayed the order ; and that it was reserved for him to be the executioner of this just vengeance; that this gave him opportunity to evince his attachment and zeal for the order. He was told that, to spare his feelings, his eyes should be blindfolded. A dagger was then put into his right-hand, and his left-hand was laid on the palpitating heart of the victim, and he was told to strike ; which he did. And when the blindfold was taken off, he saw it was a lamb he had stabbed; and his brother was well, and pleased."
In such ways, men were trained up for the horrid scenes which took place in France in and after the revolution of 1789. Such was the rise of the beast from the bottomless pit:
LECTURE XXX I.
Further illustrations will here be given of verses 7-11, last recited, which speak of the beast that was, and is not, and was to ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition : which is the eighth head of the secular Roman beast, and of the seven. It has been shown that this beast rose from bottomless pit in the
oltaire system of infidelity The reign of this healed head of the old pagan beast, which is in this chapter noted as a new beast arising from the bottomless pit (and is thus known under a double figure) is noted as being short :-“ascendeth out of the bottomless pit, and goeth into perdition !”—“ whose judgment lingereth not; and whose damnation slumbereth not !”
A bright earnest was soon given of this trait of his character,-an anticipation of its fulfilment in early scenes after the revolution in France, as well as in the sinking of the dynasty of Bonaparte, its first signal leader. It was soon demonstrated that infidelity has the heart of a demon, the ferocity of a tiger, the fangs of a panther, and the fury of a lion. Its delicious food is blood : and it can fly with the wings of a fiend to the field of carnage, and feed on the flesh of a brotherhood. The first leaders of that revolution, in great numbers, soon destroyed each other. Heaven let loose these furious men upon each other, and blessed the world by committing them to an early grave. “In Aug. 26, 1792, an open profession of atheism was made by the National Convention, and corresponding societies and atheistical clubs were everywhere held fearlessly and undisguised.” Massacres and the reign of terror succeeded, to tell which would fill a volume. Hear one report of the National Convention of Jan. 30, 1795. “ Last year you maintained 1,100,000 fighting men.