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and was probably killed. Gugomos and Schropfer must have had some similar information; and Schropfer had even deceived him for a time. He was ready to execute his commission, upon their coming under the necessary obligations of secrecy and of submission. Hunde (whose name in the Order was the Eques ab Ense) acquiesced at once, and proposed a convention, with full powers to decide and accept. But a Schubart, a gentleman of character, who was treasurer to the Templar Masons, and had an employment which gave him considerable influence in the Order, strongly dissuaded them from such a measure. The most unqualified submission to unknown superiors, and to conditions equally unknown, was required previous to the smallest communication, or any knowledge of the powers which Archidemides had to treat with them. Many meetings were held, and many attempts were made to learn something of this spiritual court, and of what they might expect from them. Dr. Stark, Baron Weggensak, Baron Von Raven, and some others of his coadjutors in the Lodges at Koningsberg in Prussia, and at Wismar, were received into the Order. But in vain--nothing was obtained from these ghostly Knights but some insignificant ceremonials of receptions and consecrations. Of this kind of novelties they were already heartily sick; and though they all panted after the expected wonders, they were so much frightened by the unconditional submission, that they could come to no agreement, and the secrets of the Scotch Congregation of K--m--d--t still remain with Dr. Stark. They did, however, a sensible thing; they sent a deputation to Old Aberdeen, to enquire after the caves where their venerable mysteries were known, and their treasures were hid. They had, as they thought, merited some more confidence; for they had remitted annual contributions to these unknown superiors, to the amount of some thousands of rix-dollars. But alas, their ambassadors found the Free Masons of Old Aberdeen ignorant of all this, and as eager to learn from the ambassadors what was the true origin and meaning of Free Masonry, of which they knew nothing but the simple tale of Old Hiram. This broke Stark's credit; but he still insisted on the reality of his commission, and said that the Brethren at Aberdeen were indeed ignorant, but that he had never said otherwise; their expectations from that quarter had rested on the scraps purloined by Johnson. He reminded



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them of a thing well known to themselves; that one of them had been sent for by a dying nobleman to receive papers on this subject, and that his visit having been delayed a few hours by an unavoidable accident, he found all burnt but a fragment of a capitulary and a thing in cypher, part of which he (Dr. Stark) had explained to them. They had employed another gentleman, a H. Wachter, to make similar enquiries in Italy, where Schropfer and others (even Hunde) had told them great secrets were to be obtained from the Pretender's secretary Approsi, and others. Wachter told them, that all this was a fiction, but that he had seen at Florence some Brethren from the Holy Land, who really possessed wonderful secrets, which he was willing to impart, on proper conditions. These, however, they could not accede to; but they were cruelly tortured by seeing Wachter, who had left Germany in sober circumstances, now a man of great wealth and expence. He would not acknowledge that he had got the secret of gold-making from the Asiatic Brethren; but said that no man had any right to ask him how he had come by his fortune. It was enough that he behaved honorably, and owed no man any thing. He broke off all connections with them, and left them in great distress about their Order, and panting after his secrets. Risum teneatis amici. Stark, in revenge for the opposition he had met with from Schubart, left no stone unturned to hurt him with his Brethren, and succeeded, so that he left them in disgust. Hunde died about this time. A book appeared, called, The Stumbling Block and Rock of Offence, which betrayed (by their own confession) the whole secrets of the Order of Templars, and soon made an end of it, as far as it went beyond the simple English Masonry. Thus was the faith of Free Masons quite unhinged in Germany. But the rage for mysteries and wonder was not in the least abated; and the habits of these secret assemblies were becoming every day more craving. Dissension and schism was multiplying in every quarter; and the Institution, instead of being an incitement to mutual complaisance and Brotherly love, had become a source of contention, and of bitter enmity. Not satisfied with defending the propriety of its own Institutions, each System of Free

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Masonry was busy in enticing away the partisans of other Systems, shut their Lodges against each other, and proceeded even to vilify and persecute the adherents of every System but their own. These animosities arose chiefly from the quarrel about precedency, and the arrogance (as it was thought) of the patent Lodge of Berlin, in pretending to have any authority in the other parts of the Empire. But these pretensions were not the result of mere vanity. The French importers of the new degrees, always true to the glory of their nation, hoped by this means to secure the dependence even of this frivolous Society; perhaps they might foresee political uses and benefits which might arise from it. One thing is worth notice: The French Lodges had all emanated from the great Confederation under the Duke de Chartres, and, even if we had no other proof, we might presume that they would cultivate the same principles that characterised that Sect. But we are certain that infidelity and laxity of moral principles were prevalent in the Rosaic Lodges, and that the observation of this corruption had offended many of the sober, oldfashioned Lodges, and was one great cause of any check that was given to the brilliant Masonry of France. It is the observation of this circumstance, in which they all resembled, and which soon ceased to be a distinction, because it pervaded the other Lodges, that induced me to expatiate more on this history of Free Masonry in Germany, than may appear to my readers to be adequate to the importance of Free Masonry in the general subject-matter of these pages. But I hope that it will appear in the course of my narration that I have not given it greater value than it deserves. About this very time there was a great revolution of the public mind in Germany, and scepticism, infidelity and irreligion, not only were prevalent in the minds and manners of the wealthy and luxurious, and of the profligate of lower ranks, but began to appear in the productions of the press. Some circumstances, peculiar to Germany, occasioned these declensions from the former acquiescence in the faith of their forefathers to become more uniform and remarkable than they would otherwise have been. The Confessions of Germany are the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran



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(which they call Protestant) and the Calvinist (which they call Reformed). These are professed in many small contiguous principalities, and there is hardly one of them in which all the three have not free exercise. The desire of making proselytes is natural to all serious professors of a rational faith, and was frequently exercised. The Roman Catholics are supposed by us to be particularly zealous; and the Protestants (Lutherans and Calvinists) were careful to oppose them by every kind of argument, among which those of ridicule and reproach were not spared. The Catholics accused them of infidelity respecting the fundamental doctrines of Christianity which they professed to believe, and even with respect to the doctrines of natural religion. This accusation was long very slightly supported; but, of late, by better proofs. The spirit of free inquiry was the great boast of the Protestants, and their only support against the Catholics, securing them both in their religious and civil rights. It was therefore supported by their governments. It is not to be wondered at that it should be indulged to excess, or improperly, even by serious men, liable to error, in their disputes with the Catholics. In the progress of this contest, even their own Confession did not escape criticism, and it was asserted that the Reformation which those Confessions express was not complete. Further Reformations were proposed. The Scriptures, the foundation of our faith, were examined by clergymen of very different capacities, dispositions, and views, till by explaining, correcting, allegorising, and otherwise twisting the Bible, men's minds had hardly any thing left to rest on as a doctrine of revealed religion. This encouraged others to go farther, and to say that revelation was a solecism, as plainly appeared by the irreconcileable differences among these Enlighteners (so they were called) of the public, and that man had nothing to trust to but the dictates of natural reason. Another set of writers, proceeding from this as a point already settled, proscribed all religion whatever, and openly taught the doctrines of materialism and atheism. Most of those innovations were the work of Protestant divines, from the causes that I have mentioned. Teller, Semler, Eberhardt, Leffing, Bahrdt, Riem, and Shultz, had the chief hand in all these innovations. But no man contributed more than Nicholai, an eminent and learned bookseller in Berlin. He has been for many years the publisher

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of a periodical work, called the General German Library (Algemein deutsche Bibliothek) consisting of original dissertations, and reviews of the writings of others. The great merit of this work, on account of many learned dissertations which appear in it, has procured it great influence on that class of readers whose leisure or capacity did not allow them a more profound kind of reading. This is the bulk of readers in every country. Nicholai gives a decided preference to the writings of the Enlighteners, and in his reviews treats them with particular notice, makes the public fully acquainted with their works, and makes the most favorable comments; whereas the performances of their opponents, or more properly speaking, the defenders of the National Creeds, are neglected, omitted, or barely mentioned, or they are criticised with every severity of ridicule and reproach. He fell upon a very sure method of rendering the orthodox writers disagreeable to the public, by representing them as the abetters of superstition; and as secret Jesuits. He asserts, that the abolition of the Order of Loyola is only apparent. The Brethren still retain their connection, and most part of their property, under the secret patronage of Catholic Princes. They are, therefore, in every corner, in every habit and character, working with unwearied zeal for the restoration of their empire. He raised a general alarm, and made a journey through Germany, hunting for Jesuits, and for this purpose, became Free Mason and Rosycrucian, being introduced by his friends Gedicke and Biester, clergymen, publishers of the Berlin Monatschrift, and most zealous promoters of the new doctrines. This favor he has repaid at his return, by betraying the mysteries of the Lodges, and numberless falsehoods. His journey was published in several volumes, and is full of frightful Jesuitisms. This man, as I have said, found the greatest success in his method of slandering the defenders of Bible-Christianity, by representing them as concealed Jesuits. But, not contented with open discussion, he long ago published a sort of romance, called Sebaldus Nothanker, in which these divines are introduced under feigned names, and made as ridiculous and detestable as possible. All this was a good trading job, for sceptical and free-thinking writings have every where a good market; and Nicholai was not only reviewer, but publisher, having presses in different cities of the Empire. The immense literary manufacture of Germany, far



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exceeding that of any nation of Europe, is carried on in a very particular way. The books go in sheets to the great fairs of Leipsic and Frankfort, twice a year. The booksellers meet there, and see at one glance the state of literature; and having speculated and made their bargains, the books are instantly dispersed through every part of the Empire, and appear at once in all quarters. Although every Principality has an officer for licensing, it is impossible to prevent the currency of a performance, although it may be prohibited; for it is to be had by the carrier at three or four miles distance in another state. By this mode of traffic, a plot may be formed, and actually has been formed, for giving any particular turn to the literature of the country. There is an excellent work printed at Bern by the author Heinzmann, a bookseller, called, Appeal to my Country, concerning a Combination of Writers, and Booksellers, to rule the Literature of Germany, and form the public mind into a contempt for the religion and civil establishments of the Empire. It contains a historical account of the publications in every branch of literature for about thirty years. The author shows, in the most convincing manner, that the prodigious change from the former satisfaction of the Germans on those subjects to their present discontent and attacks from every quarter, is neither a fair picture of the prevailing sentiments, nor has been the simple operation of things, but the result of a combination of trading Infidels. I have here somewhat anticipated (for I hope to point out the sources of this combination,) because it helps to explain or illustrate the progress of infidelity and irreligion that I was speaking of. It was much accelerated by another circumstance. One Basedow, a man of talents and learning, set up, in the Principality of Anhalt-Dessau, a PHILANTHROPINE, or academy of general education, on a plan extremely different from those of the Universities and Academies. By this appellation, the founder hoped to make parents expect that much attention would be paid to the morals of the pupils; and indeed the programs or advertisements by which Basedow announced his institution to the public, described it as the professed seminary of practical Ethics. Languages, sciences, and the ornamental exercises, were here considered as mere accessories, and the great aim was to form the young mind to the love of mankind and of

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virtue, by a plan of moral education which was very specious and unexceptionable. But there was a circumstance which greatly obstructed the wide prospects of the founder. How were the religious opinions of the youth to be cared for? Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists, were almost equally numerous in the adjoining Principalities; and the exclusion of any two of these communions would prodigiously limit the proposed usefulness of the institution. Basedow was a man of talents, a good scholar, and a persuasive writer. He framed a set of rules, by which the education should be conducted, and which, he thought, should make every parent easy; and the plan is very judicious and manly. But none came but Lutherans. His zeal and interest in the thing made him endeavour to interest others; and he found this no hard matter. The people of condition, and all sensible men, saw that it would be a very great advantage to the place, could they induce men to send their children from all the neighbouring states. What we wish, we readily believe to be the truth; and Basedow's plan and reasonings appeared complete, and had the support of all classes of men. The moderate Calvinists, after some time, were not averse from them, and the literary manufacture of Germany was soon very busy in making pamphlets, defending, improving, attacking and reprobating the plans. Innumerable were the projects for moderating the differences between the three Christian communions of Germany, and making it possible for the members of them all, not only to live amicably among each other, and to worship God in the same church, but even to communicate together. This attempt naturally gave rise to much speculation and refinement; and the proposals for amendment of the formulas and the instructions from the pulpit were prosecuted with so much keenness, that the ground-work, Christianity, was refined and refined, till it vanished altogether, leaving Deism, or Natural, or, as it was called, Philosophical Religion, in its place. I am not much mistaken as to historical fact, when I say, that the astonishing change in religious doctrine which has taken place in Protestant Germany within these last thirty years was chiefly occasioned by this scheme of Basedow's. The pre-disposing causes existed, indeed, and were general and powerful, and the disorder had already broken out. But this specious and enticing object



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first gave a title to Protestant clergymen to put to their hand without risk of being censured. Basedow corrected, and corrected again, but not one Catholic came to the Philanthropine. He seems to have thought that the best plan would be, to banish all positive religion whatever, and that he would then be sure of Catholic scholars. Cardinal Dubois was so far right with respect to the first Catholic pupil of the church. He had recommended a man of his own stamp to Louis XIV. to fill some important office. The monarch was astonished, and told the Cardinal, that "that would never do, for the man was a Jansenist; Eh! que non, Sire," said the Cardinal, "il n'est qu' Athée;" all was safe, and the man got the priory. But though all was in vain, Basedow's Philanthropine at Dessau got a high character. He published many volumes on education that have much merit. It were well had this been all. But most unfortunately, though most naturally, writers of loose moral principles and of wicked hearts were encouraged by the impunity which the sceptical writers experienced, and ventured to publish things of the vilest tendency, inflaming the passions and justifying licentious manners. These maxims are congenial with irreligion and Atheism, and the books found a quick market. It was chiefly in the Prussian States that this went on. The late King was, to say the best of him, a naturalist, and, holding this life for his all, gave full liberty to his subjects to write what they pleased, provided they did not touch on state matters. He declared, however, to a minister of his court, long before his death, that "he was extremely sorry that his indifference had produced such effects; that he was sensible it had greatly contributed to hurt the peace and mutual good treatment of his subjects;" and he said, "that he would willingly give up the glory of his best fought battle, to have the satisfaction of leaving his people in the same state of peace and satisfaction with their religious establishments, that he found them in at his accession to the throne." His successor Frederick William found that things had gone much too far, and determined to support the church establishment in the most peremptory manner; but at the same time to allow perfect freedom of thinking and conversing to the professors of every christian

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faith, provided it was enjoyed without disturbing the general peace, or any encroachment on the rights of those already supported by law. He published an edict to this effect, which is really a model worthy of imitation in every country. This was the epoch of a strange revolution. It was attacked from all hands, and criticisms, satires, slanders, threatenings, poured in from every quarter. The independency of the neighbouring states, and the monarch's not being a great favorite among several of his neighbours, permitted the publication of these pieces in the adjoining principalities, and it was impossible to prevent their circulation even in the Prussian States. His edict was called an unjustifiable tyranny over the consciences of men; the dogmas supported by it, were called absurd superstitions; the King's private character, and his opinions in religious matters, were treated with little reverence, nay, were ridiculed and scandalously abused. This field of discussion being thus thrown open, the writers did not confine themselves to religious matters. After flatly denying that the prince of any country had the smallest right to prescribe, or even direct the faith of his subjects, they extended their discussions to the rights of princes in general; and now they fairly opened their trenches, and made an attack in form on the constitutions of the German confederacy, and after the usual approaches, they set up the standard of universal citizenship on the very ridge of the glacis, and summoned the fort to surrender. The most daring of these attacks was a collection of anonymous letters on the constitution of the Prussian States. It was printed (or said to be so) at Utrecht; but by comparing the faults of some types with some books printed in Berlin, it was supposed by all to be the production of one of Nicholai's presses. It was thought to be the composition of Mirabeau. It is certain that he wrote a French translation, with a preface and notes, more impudent than the work itself. The monarch was declared to be a tyrant; the people are addressed as a parcel of tame wretches crouching under oppression. The people of Silesia are represented as still in a worse condition, and are repeatedly called to rouse themselves, and to rise up and assert their rights. The King is told, that there is a combination of philosophers (conjuration) who are leagued together in defence of truth and reason, and which no power can withstand; that they are to be found in every country,



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and are connected by mutual and solemn engagement, and will put in practice every mean of attack. Enlightening, instruction, was the general cry among the writers. The triumph of reason over error, the overthrow of superstition and slavish fear, freedom from religious and political prejudices, and the establishment of liberty and equality, the natural and unalienable rights of man, were the topics of general declamation; and it was openly maintained, that secret societies, where the communication of sentiment should be free from every restraint, was the most effectual mean for instructing and enlightening the world. And thus it appears, that Germany has experienced the same gradual progress, from Religion to Atheism, from decency to dissoluteness, and from loyalty to rebellion, which has had its course in France. And I must now add, that this progress has been effected in the same manner, and by the same means; and that one of the chief means of seduction has been the Lodges of the Free Masons. The French, along with their numerous chevaleries, and stars, and ribbands, had brought in the custom of haranguing in the Lodges, and as human nature has a considerable uniformity every where, the same topics became favorite subjects of declamation that had tickled the ear in France; there were the same corruptions of sentiments and manners among the luxurious or profligate, and the same incitements to the utterance of these sentiments, wherever it could be done with safety; and I may say, that the zealots in all these tracts of free-thinking were more serious, more grave, and fanatical. These are not assertions apriori. I can produce proofs. There was a Baron Knigge residing at that time in the neighbourhood of Frankfort, of whom I shall afterwards have occasion frequently to speak. This man was an enthusiast in Masonry from his youth, and had run through every possible degree of it. He was dissatisfied with them all, and particularly with the frivolity of the French chivalry; but he still believed that Masonry contained invaluable secrets. He imagined that he saw a glimpse of them in the cosmo-political and sceptical discourses in their Lodges; he sat down to meditate on these, and soon collected his thoughts, and found that those French orators were right without knocking it; and that Masonry was pure natural religion and universal citizenship, and that this was

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also true Christianity. In this faith he immediately began his career of Brotherly love, and published three volumes of sermons; the first and third published at Frankfort, and the second at Heidelberg, but without his name. He published also a popular system of religion. In all these publications, of which there are extracts in the Religions Begebenheiten, Christianity is considered as a mere allegory, or a Masonic type of natural religion; the moral duties are spun into the common-place declamations of universal benevolence; and the attention is continually directed to the absurdities and horrors of superstition, the sufferings of the poor, the tyranny and oppression of the great, the tricks of the priests, and the indolent simplicity and patience of the laity and of the common people. The happiness of the patriarchal life, and sweets of universal equality and freedom, are the burden of every paragraph; and the general tenor of the whole is to make men discontented with their condition of civil subordination, and the restraints of revealed religion. All the proceedings of Knigge in the Masonic schisms show that he was a zealous apostle of cosmo-politism, and that he was continually dealing with people in the Lodges who were associated with him in propagating these notions among the Brethren; so that we are certain that such conversations were common in the German Lodges. When the reader considers all these circumstances, he will abate of that surprise which naturally affects a Briton, when he reads accounts of conventions for discussing and fixing the dogmatic tenets of Free Masonry. The perfect freedom, civil and religious, which we enjoy in this happy country, being familiar to every man, we indulge it with calmness and moderation, and secret assemblies hardly differ from the common meetings of friends and neighbours. We do not forget the expediency of civil subordination, and of those distinctions which arise from secure possession of our rights, and the gradual accumulation of the comforts of life in the families of the sober and industrious. These have, by prudence and a respectable conomy, preserved the acquisitions of their ancestors. Every man feels in his own breast the strong call of nature to procure for himself and his children, by every honest and commendable exertion, the means of public consideration and respect. No

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