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· This bold design...
But it may now be asked what this new Religion and Philosophy would set up, in the place of what it seeks to destroy? I answer again—“Nothing but Iin
piety, opening the Doors of Heaven, by vile Super. “ stitions, and gross Deceptions, to the most worthless " and wicked of men?”—Men shall I call them, or Apostates of the deepest die?-daring to set themselves up as Teachers and Apostles, in opposition to JESUS Christ and his Apostles, to propagate another Gospel than what they have preached and taught, and we have received and believed, down from the Apostles and their Successors, and the first Fathers of the ChurchMen Illuminated indeed! deriving Light from the great Fountain of all Light! Confessors and Martyrs, who have suffered and bled, and contended earnestly, and met Death undaunted, for the Faith which was once delivered unto the Saints*, in every age, and in every country, during the long period of near Two Thousand Years; whereas we have never heard of a modern Illuminatus, major or minor, even in the wildest or earliest stages of his zeal, suffering death or any other inconvenience, for his Gospel; but rather, as Weishaupt teaches—“ Speaking sometimes one Way, sometimes another, in order to conceal their true way of Thinking, and be able to change their Creeds, under every shifting scene, where there is an appearance of more toleration, in the great country where they were rocked into existence!
But not so can be spoken of the Blessed Gospel and Religion of Jesus Christ. It teaches, and expects from his Disciples and Followers, far better and more consistent things, in respect both to this world and the next!
• Jude, verse 3.
Respecting the fallen condition of Man in this world, it teaches him to lift his eye to Heaven and Glory, and to comfort himself, whatever may be his Lot here, with the rich prospect of Life and Immortality, there! The true Christian exults in the prospect—he looks forward to it with Joy full of Hope, and embraces the Gospel with a thankful heart, as worthy of the Father of Mankind to give-admiring above all things, the Simplicity of its Morality, comprehended in one Sentence ; " Do unto Another what You can reasonably
expect, Another should do unto you, in similar cir-
The Blessed Gospel is also distinguished by Purity of Thought and Manners, from all the Systems of Moral Instruction, that have ever been offered to Men; yielding them ground of Consolation and Resignation, under the burden of Life, and a Support in the Hour of Death, quite suited to the diffidence of their own Character; and no where else to be found, among all the Writings and Speculations of the Wise Men, or Sages of ancient, or of modern, Days!
When Religion takes her flight (as hath already been suggested) She takes off with Her every sense of duty-every thing for which a Good Man could bear to Live, or dare to Die! Children will applaud the Execution of their Fathers; and Fathers denounce their own Children-But let us turn our Thoughts from the horrifying Idea, and more so our Eyes from the horrifying Spectacle of such Misdeeds; seeking our Illumination, from the Doctrines and Precepts of our Holy Religion; never forgetting our own high Descent and Alliance--. and therefore that we are not the accidental Production of a fatal Chaos, but the work of a Great Artist, born to noble prospects, and conducted to them by the plainest and most simple Rules; not bewildered in our Searches after Happiness, by the fluttering Glare of a false Philosophy, but guided by a clear and single Light, perceivable by all men!
Hear what a fine Christian Poet (Mason) sings on this occasion; to support us against the dreary Thoughts of Future Annihilation, or a Death that is to become an Everlasting Sleep!
Contracts with Bigot-frown her sullen Brow,
Heirs as ye are of Heaven's eternal day;
Your Doubts, your Fears, in gloomy dullness steep;
Who breath'd on man a portion of his fire,
By vain Philosophy be e'er destroy'd;
Shall be, by all, or suffer'd, or enjoy'd.
Safely, therefore, may we now rest our argument Safely may we conclude ---" That pure Christianity, as it is taught by its true Ministers, is a Common Concern, and ought to receive a Common Support; for it impresses on the hearts of men those things which make for mutual Love and mutual Peace. It teaches Submission to the Powers that be, not merely for Wrath's sake and the Terrors of the Law, but for Conscience-sake, and the Love of the Gospel. It teaches that Subjects, in all things Lawful, are to obey; and Rulers are to govern, in Justice and in Mercy; and that all of us ought to consider ourselves as Fellow Men or Pilgrims, journeying together, through a troublesome Country, towards a better world—and not to fall out by the way.
I have before considered these Illuminati (to whom I now wish to bid an everlasting farewel), as men from whom we have now little to fear. They may assemble at their Pandemonium, as Milton has described Satan and his Peers after their Fall, to sit in deep consultation on their desperate affairs—but there they must sit, as in Stygian Darkness; Crest-fallen and in thinner Ranks, viewing each other aside with ghastly glance, as the Devil (their Father and Master,) together with his Peers, now view each other; beginning “ to fear and tremble;" and, at length, at least half to believe that the Gospel of Christ is more than a Name; and that it will yet rise and shine, and spread itself (as hath been promised,) refulgent and in its full glory, to the Ends of the Earth; consuming in its blaze all other gods and gospels, and the vain Philosophy of Men!
Ye, therefore, who begin to doubt, and who wish to return and seek the God you have lost, I will yet embrace you! Return, O Return! and seek him where he may be found! Turn yourselves out of the way of that thick Darkness and Labyrinth of Errors, in which you have involved yourselves; and then you may hope to find Him, arrayed in all His glorious attributes of Peace, Mercy, and Love; “ dwelling in that Wisdom “ which descendeth not from above; which is earthly, “ sensual, devilish—for where envying and strife are, “ there are Confusion and every evil work; but dwelling “ in that Wisdom which is from above; and is first pure, " then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of “Mercy and Good Fruits, without Partiality and with“ out Hypocrisy; for the Fruit of Righteousness is complaisantly declared themselves persuaded—“That the “ Interests of Religion and practical Godliness might “ be thereby greatly promoted; and that, being well sa“tisfied of the Author's Soundness in the Faith, and ** eminent Abilities for the Work, they testified their
sown in Peace of them that make Peace*."
" James, Chap. III. Ver. 15—18.
3 P 1-2
Approbation of the same and of their desire to en. “ courage it, by annexing their names,” &c.
I hope I have not disappointed them, nor fallen short of their expectations, and that I never shall (especially now in the closing Period of my Life!) I harbour no enmity to any of those Philosophers, who may think themselves implicated herein. They have done me no harm; and have been so much HUNTED on this subject, that they may be considered as no longer GAME. I wish them only to remember, that Spirits are active-there is no standing still in Life-they must either return to find Joy in God as the Center of their Felicity; or proceed downward in their degradation, till they feel a wish to return; yet, even then, after their re-establishment, they must follow far behind those who have kept their first Love!
“ This, (says Ramsay) is not by an arbitrary de“cree of God; but by the nature of things—For the
same Law of Centripetal forces holds in the Intellec“ tual, as in the Material, world. Souls that draw, or “ return, to their Center soonest, will forever and ever
approach nearer to it, than those that began after them; " and so must advance later and far slower towards Perfection, Happiness and Glory!"
Of the same sentiment is Virgil..
“ Easy is the path that leads down to Hell; grim " Pluto's Gate stands open night and day. But to re“ ascend and to escape from thence to the upper Re“ gions, this is an arduous work, this a laborious task “indeed!"
Facilis descensus Aterni ;
IXD OF THE SUPPLEMENT TO SERMON XX.