George F Dillon.

War of antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization : lectures delivered in Edinburgh in October 1884 online

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this, as in all matters of importance, 'Ho be forewarned is to be
forearmed," and it is specially necessary to be forewarned when
we have to contend with an adversary who uses secrecy, fraud
and deceit. We shall see then, that all the organizations of
Atheism appear at first as does their author, Satan, clothed
in the raiment of angels of light, with their malignity, their
Infidelity, and their ultimate designs always most carefully
hidden. They come amongst all the faithful, but more
especially amongst young men, to seduce and to ruin them,
never showing, but when forced to do so, the cloven foot, and
employing a million means to seem to be what they are not. It
is, therefore, first of all, necessary to unmask them ; and this is
precisely what the Supreme Pontiff asks the pastors of the
Universal Fold to do as the best means of destroying their in-
fluence. ''But," he says in the Encyclical already quoted, ''as it
befits our pastoral ofiice that we ourselves should point out some
suitable way of proceeding, we wish it to be your rule, first of
all, to tear away the mask from Freemasonry, and to let it be
seen as it really is, and by instructions and pastoral letters to
instruct the people as to the artifices used by societies of this
kind in seducing men and enticing them into their ranks, and as
to the depravity of their opinions and the wickedness of their
acts."

In this- extract the Holy Father makes special mention of
Freemasonry ; but, remember, not of Freemasomy only. He
speaks of " other secret societies." These other secret societies
are identical with Freemasonry, no matter by what name they
may be called ; and they are frequently the most depraved forms
of Freemasonry. And though what is known in these Islands as
Freemasonry may not be so malignant as its kind is on the
Continent — though it may have little or no hold at all
upon the mass of Catholics in English-speaking countries, still
we shall see that like every secret society in existence it is



4 WAR OF ANTICHRIST WITH THE CHURCH.

a danger for the nation and for individuals, and has hidden
within it the same Atheism and hostility to Christianity which
the worst Continental Freemasonry possesses. These it develops
to the initiated in the higher degrees, and makes manifest
to all the world in time. The truth is that every secret society
is framed and adapted to make men the enemies of God and
of his Church, and to subvert faith; and there is not one, no matter
on what pretext it may be founded, which does not fall under
the management of a supreme Directory governing all the secret
societies on earth. The one aim of this directory is to uproot
Christianity, and the Christian social order as well as the Church
from the world — -in fact, to eradicate the name of Christ and the
very Christian idea from the minds and the hearts of men. This
it is determined to do by every means, but especially by fraud
and force ; that is by first using wiles and deceit until the
Atheistic conspiracy grows strong enough for measures as
violent and remorseless in all countries as it exercised in one
country during the first French Revolution. I ])elieve this
secret Atheistic organization to be nothing less than the evil which
we have been long warned against by Our Blessed Lord Himself,
as the supreme conflict between the Church and Satan's
followers. It is the commencement of the contest which must
take place between Christ and Antichrist ; and nothing there-
fore can be more necessary than that the elect of God should
be warned of its nature and its aims. With your permission
then, I shall glance to-night, first, at the rise and the nature of
Atheism itselfi* and its rapid advance amongst those sections of
Christians most liable from position and surroundings to
be led astray by it ; and then at the use it has made of Free-
masonry for its propagandism, and for its contemplated destruc-
tion of Christianity. We shall see its depravity perfected by
what is called lUuminism. And we shall see that however
checked it may have been by the reaction consequent upon the
excesses of its first Revolution, it has not only outlived that
reaction, but has grown wiser for doing an evil more extended



THE RISE OF ATHEISM IN EUROrE. 5

and more complete. We shall see how its chiefs have succeeded
in mastering and directing every kind of secret association
whether springing from itself or coming into existence by the
force of its example only ; and have used, and are using them all
to its advantage. We shall see the sleepless vigilance which
this organized Atheism exercises ; and thus come to know that our
best, our only resource, is to fly its emissaries, and draw nearer in
aifection and in effect to the teachings of the Church and her
Supreme Visible Head on earth who can never deceive us, and
whom the hosts of Satan never can deceive. We shall see that
the voice of the Vicar of Christ has been raised against secret
associations from the beginning to this hour, and that the
directions which we receive from that infallible voice can alone
save us from the wiles and deceits of a conspiracy so formidable,
so active, so malignant, and so dangerous,

II.

The Rise of Atheism in Europe.
In order, then, to comprehend thoroughly the nature of the
conspiracy I speak of, it will be necessary to go back to the
opening of the last century and contemplate the rise and advance
of the Atheism and Anti-Christianity which it now spreads
rapidly through the earth. As that century opened it disclosed
a world suffering from a multitude of evils. The so-called Refor-
mation, which arose and continued to progress during the two
preceding centuries had well nigh run its course. It had
ceased to be a persecuting force on the Continent, and only for
reasons of plunder continued to use the Aveapons of oppression
in Ireland. Scarcely a shred of the original doctrines of Luther
remained as he had left them ; yet no signs of return to the Church
were to be observed amongst his followers. Malignant hatred
of the Spouse of Christ continued, when the reasons alleged for
the malignity had departed. Amidst the multitude at that time
calling themselves Protestants little remained certain in
Christian belief.



6 WAR OF ANTICHRIST WITH THE CHURCH.

The principle of private judgment introduced in apparent zeal
for the pure worship and doctrine of Christ, had ended in leaving
no part of the teaching of Christ unchallenged. It had rendered
His Divinity disbelieved in, and His very existence doubted, by
ID any who yet called themselves His followers. Socinus and
his nephew had succeeded in binding the various groups of
Polish and German Protestants in a league where nothing was
required but undying hatred and opposition to the Catholic
Church. Bayle threw doubt upon everything, and Spinosa
destroyed the little respect left for the Deity in the system of
Socinus, by introducing Pantheism to the world. In effect, both
the Deists and the Pantheists of that period were Atheists.
Whether they held that everything was God, or that God was
not such a God as Christians hold Him to be, they did away
with belief in the true God, and raised up an impossible being
of their own imagination in His stead. In life, in conduct, and in
adoration of God, they were practical Atheists, and soon manifested
that hatred for the truth which the Atheist is sure to possess.
Their theories made headway early in the century throughout
Central Europe and England. Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury, and, the
elite amongst the statesmen and literary aristocracy of the reign
of Queen Anne were Infidels. Tindal, Collins, Wolston, Toland,
and Chubbs were as advanced as Tom Payne was, later on, in
the way of Atheism. But however much England and Germany
had advanced their Protestantism to what was called Free-
thinking, both were soon destined to be eclipsed in that sad
progress by Catholic and monarchical France. France owes
this evil pre-eminence to one individual, who, though largely
assisted in his road to ruin by Bayle, and subsequently by
association with English Infidels, had yet enough of innate Avicked-
ness in himself to outstrip them all. That individual was —

III.

Voltaire.
I shall have to occupy your attention, for some little time,
with the career of this abandoned, unhappy, but most



VOLTAIRE. 7

extraordinary man. It was in his day and by his means that
the Atheism which occupies us this evening became perfected,
generalized, and organized for the destruction of Christianity,
Christian civilization, and all religion. He was the first, and
remains still, the greatest of its Apostles. There is not one of
its dark principles which he did not teach and advocate ; and
from his writings, and by their means, the intellectual and every
other form of war against the Catholic Church and the cause
of Christ are carried on to this day and will be to the end. His
real name was Francis Mary Arouet, but, for some reason
which has never been clearly explained, he chose to call himself
Voltaire. - He was the son of good parents, and by position
and education should have been an excellent Catholic. He
was trained by the very Jesuits whom he afterwards so hated
and persecuted. He was destined for the profession of the law,
and made, good progress in literary studies. But the cor-
ruption of the age in which he lived soon seized upon him,
overmastered him, and bore him along in a current which in
his case did not end in vice only, but in vice which sought
its own justification in Infidelity. From the beginning,
the fool said in his heart "there is no God," and in the
days of Voltaire the number of these fools was indeed
infinite. Never before was vice so rampant in countries calling
themselves Christian. If the Gospel was preached at all in
that age it was certainly to the poor ; for the rich, as a rule — to
which there were, thank God, many exceptions — seemed so sunk
in vice as not to believe in a particle of it. The Courts of
Europe were, in general, corrupt to the core ; and the Court of the
Most Christian King was perhaps the most abandoned, in a wide
sense, of them all. The Court of Catherine of Russia was a
scene of unblushing lewdness. The Court of Frederick of Prussia
was so corrupt, that it cannot be described without doing violence
to decency, and even to humanity. The Regent Orleans and
Louis XV. had carried licence to such an extent, as to render
the Court of Versailles a veritable pandemonium. The vices of



8 WAR OF ANTICHRIST WITH THE CHURCH.

royalty infected the nobles and all others who were so unfor-
tunate as to be permitted to frequent Courts. Vice, in fact, was
the fashion, and numbers of all classes, not excepting the
poorest, wallowed in it. As a consequence, the libertines of the
period hated the Church, which alone, amidst the universal
depravity, raised her voice for purity. They took up warmly,
therefore, the movements which, witliin or without her pale, were
likely to do her damage. With a sure instinct they sided in
France with Gallicanism and Jansenism ; and they welcomed the
new Infidelity which came over from England and Germany, with
unconcealed gladness. Voltaire appeared in French society at
this most opportune moment for the advancement of their
views. Witty, sarcastic, gay, vivacious, he soon made his way
amongst the voluptuaries who then filled Paris. His conduct
and habit of ridiculing religion and royalty brought him,
however, into disfavour with the Government, and at the age
of twenty-seven we find him in the Bastile. Liberated from this
prison in 1727, but only on condition of exile, he crossed over
to England, where he finally adopted those Infidel and anti-
Christian principles which made him, for the half century
through which he afterwards lived, what Cretineau Jolyi very
justly calls "the most perfect incarnation of Satan that the
world ever saw." The Society of Freemasons was just then per-
fected in London, and Voltaire at the instance of his Infidel
associates joined one of its lodges ; and he left England, where he
had been during the years 1726-27 and '28, an adept in both
Infidelity and Freemasonry. He returned to the Continent with
bitterness rankling in his breast against Monarchical Govern-
ment which had imprisoned and exiled him, against the Bastile
where he was immured, and, above all, against the Catholic
Church and her Divine Founder. Christ and His Church con-
demned his excesses, and to the overthrow of both he devoted

1 L'Eglise Romaine en face de la Revolution Par J. Cretineau-Joly, ouvrage
compose sur des documents inedits et orne des portraits de Leurs Saintetes Les
Rapes Rie VII. Et Rie IX dessines par Stall. Paris : Henri Plon, Libraire-editeur,
Rue Garanciere, 8. — 1861.



VOLTAIRE. 9

himself "^vitli an ardour and a malignity more characteristic,
certainly, of a demon than of a man.

A master of French prose hardly ever equalled and never
perhaps excelled, and a graceful and correct versifier, his writings
against morality and religion grew into immense favour with the
corrupt reading-pul)lic of his day. He was a perfect adept in
the use of ridicule, and he employed it with remorseless and
blasphemous force against everything pure and sacred. He had
as little respect for the honour or welfare of his country as he
had for the sanctity of religion. His ruffian pen attacked the
fair fame of the Maid of Orleans with as little scruple as it cast
shame upon the consecrated servants of Christ. For Christ he
had but one feeling — eternal, contemptuous hatred. His watch-
word, the concluding lines of all his letters to his Infidel con-
federates was for fifty years ecrasons nous I'infame, ''let us
crush the wretch," meaning Christ and his cause. This he
boasted was his delenda est Carthago. And he believed he
could succeed. " I am tired, said he, of hearing it said that
twelve men sufficed to establish Christianity, and I desire to
show that it requires but one man to pull it down." A
lieutenant of police once said to him, that, notwithstanding all he
wrote, he should never be able to destroy Christianity. " That
is exactly what we shall see," he replied. Voltaire was never
weary of using his horrible watch-word.

Upon the news of the suppression of the Jesuits reaching
him, he exclaimed : " See, one head of the hydra has fallen. I
lift my eyes to heaven and cry 'crush the wretch.' " We have
from himself his reason for using these blasphemous 'words. He
says, "I finish all my letters by saying, Ecrasons Vinfame,
ecrasez IHnfame.'' ' Let us crush the wretch, crush the wretch,' as
Cato used one time to say, Delenda est Carthago^ Carthage
must be destroyed." Even at a time when the miscreant pro-
tested the greatest respect for religion to the Court of Rome,
he wrote to Damilaville: "We embrace the philosophers,
and we beseech them to inspire for the wretch all the horror



10 WAR OF ANTICHRIST WITH THE CHURGH.

which they can. Let all fall upon the wretch ably. That
which most concerns me is the propagation of the faith of truth,
and the making of the wretch vile, Deleiida est Carthago.''

Certainly his determination was strong to do so ; and he left
no stone unturned for that end. He was a man of amazing
industry ; and though his vanity caused him to quarrel with
many of his confreres, he had in his life time a large school of
disciples, which became still more numerous after his death.
He sketched out for them the whole mode of procedure against
the Church. His policy as revealed by the correspondence
of Frederick II. and others^ with him, was not to com-
mence an immediate persecution, but first to suppress the
Jesuits and all Religious orders, and to secularize their goods ; then
to deprive the Pope of temporal authority, and the Church of
property and state recognition. Primary and higher-class

1 To show how early the confederates of Voltaire had determined upon the
gradual impoverishment of the Church and the sujipression of the Religious orders,
the following letters from Frederick II., will be of use. In the first dated
13th August, 1775, the Monarch writes to the then very aged "Patriarch of
Ferney," who had demanded the secularization of the Khine ecclesiastical
electorates and other episcoj^al benefices in Germany, as follows : —

" All you say concerning our German bishops is but too true ; they grow
fat upon the tithes of Sion. Bwt you know, also, that in the Holy Roman
EmjDJre the ancient usage, the Bull of Gold, and other antique follies, cause abuses
established to be respected. If we wish to dimhiish fanaticism we must not
touch the bishops. But, if we manage to diminish the monks, especially the
mendicant orders, the people will grow cold and less superstitious, they will
permit the powers that be, to dispose of the bishnjjs in the manner best suited
to the good of each State. This is the only course to follow. To imdermine
silently and without noise the edifice of infatuation is to oblige it to fall of
itself. The Pope, seeing the situation in which he finds himself, is obliged to
give briefs and bulls as his dear sons demand of him. The power foimded upon
the ideal credit of the faith loses in proportion as the latter diminishes. If there
were now found at the head of nations some ministers above vulgar prejudices,
the Holy Father would become bankrupt. Without doubt posterity will enjoy
the advantage of being able to think freely."

Again, this curious compound of warrior, despot, Protestant free-thinker,
poet, and mocker, writes to Voltaire, on the 8th September, 1775 : —

"It is to Bayle, your predecessor, and to you, without doubt, that the glory
is due of that revolution which has taken place in minds, but, to say the truth, it
is not complete. The devotees have their party, and never will that be crushed
except by a greater force. It is from the Governments that the sentence must go
forth . . . Without doubt this will be done in time, but neither you nor I
will be spectators of an event so much desired."

" I have remarked," he says, also, " and others with me, that the places where
there are most convents and monks are those wherein the people are most given
to superstition. It is not doubtful that if we could succeed in destroying these



VOLTAIRE. 11

education of a lay and Infidel character was to be established,
the principle of divorce affirmed, and respect for ecclesiastics
lessened and destroyed. Lastly, when the whole body of the
Church should be sufficiently weakened and Infidelity strong
enough, the final blow was to be dealt by the sword of open,
relentless persecution. A reign of terror was to spread over the
whole earth, and to continue while a Christian should be found
obstinate enough to adhere to Christianity. This, of course,
was to be followed by a Universal Brotherhood without marriage,
family, property, God, or law, in which all men would reach
that level of social degradation aimed at by the disciples of Saint
Simon, and carried into practice whenever possible, as attempted
by the French Commune.

In the carrying out of his infernal designs against religion
and society, Voltaire had as little scruple in using lying and
hypocrisy as Satan himself is accredited with. In his attacks
upon religion he falsified history and fact. He made a principle
of lying, a.nd taught the same vice to his followers. Writing
to his disciple Theriot, he says (Oeuvres, t. 52, p. 326) :
*' Lying is a vice when it does evil. It is a great virtue when

asykuns of fanaticism, the people would shortly grow indifferent and lukewarm
regarding the thiu'gs which form at present the objects of their veneration. It
would be necessary then to destroy the cloisters, or at least to commence to
diminish their number. The moment is arrived because the French Government
and that of Austria are so indebted that they have exhausted the resources of
industry without being able to pay their debts. The list of rich abbeys and of
convents, with a good rent-roll, is seducing. In representing to them the evil
which the cenobites do tlie population of their States, as well as the abuse of
the great nmnber of religious who fill their provinces, and, in the meantime,
the facility of paying a part of their debts, by applying to that purpose tlie
treasures of communities which have no natm-al succession, I think they could be
brought to determine upon commencing that reform. It is to be presumed that
after having enjoyed the secularization of some benefices their avidity would soon
swallow up tlie rest. Every Government, which determines upon that operation,
will desii'e the spread of philosophers and be a partisan of all the books which
attack popular superstitions and the false zeal of hypocrites, who wish to oppose
them. Behold a little project which I wish to submit for the examination of the
Patriarch of Ferney. It is for him, as the Father of the Faithful, to rectify and
to execute it. The Patriarch may demand of me, perhaps, what is to be done
with the bishops. I answer that it is not yet the time to touch them, that it is
necessary to commence by destroying those who inflame with fanaticism the
hearts of the people. When the people shall have grown cold the bishops will
become little boys, whom the Sovereigns will dispose of iu the course of time at
their good pleasm-e."



12 WAR or ANTICHRIST WITH THE CHURCH.

it does good. Be therefore more virtuous than ever. It is
necessary to lie like a devil, not timidly and for a time, but
boldly and always."

He was also, as the school he left behind has been ever
since, a hypocrite. Infidel to the heart's core, he could, whenever
it suited his purpose, both practise, and even feign a zeal for
religion. On the expectation of a pension from the King, he
wrote to M. Argental. a disciple of his, who reproached him with
his hypocrisy and contradictions in conduct. " If I had a hundred
thousand men I know well what I would do; but as I have not got
them, I will go to communion at Easter, and you may call me a
hypocrite as long as you like." And Voltaire, on getting his
pension, went to communion the year following.^ It is needless to
say that he was in life, as well -as in his writings, immoral as it was
possible for a man to be. He lived without shame and even
ostentatiously in open adultery. He laughed at every moral
restraint. He preached libertinage and practised it. He was

1 In 1768 Voltaire wrote as follows to the Marquis de Villevielle : — " No, my
dear Marqixis, no, the modern Socrates will not drink the hemlock. The Socrates
of Athens was, between you and me, a pitiless caviller, who made himself a
thousand enemies and who braved his judges very foolishly.

" Our modern i^hilosophers are more adroit. They have not the foolish and
dangerous vanity to put their names to their works. Theirs are the invisible
hands which pierce fanaticism from one end of Eiu-ope to the other with the
arrows of truth. Damilaville recently died. He was the author of ' Christianism
unveiled,' and many other writings. No one ever knew him. His friends
preserved the secret of his name as long as he lived with a fidelity worthy of
philosophy. No one yet knows who is the author of the work given under the
name of Fieret. In Holland, during the last two years, they have printed more
than sixty volumes against superstition. The authors of them are absolutely
unknown, although they could boldly proclaim themselves. The Italian who has
written the ' Reform of Italy,' has not cared to present his work to the Pope,
but his book has a prodigious effect. A thousand pens write and a hundred thou-
sand voices arise against abuses and in favour of tolerance. Be assirred that the
revolution which has taken place in minds during the past twelve years has
served, and not a little, to drive the Jesuits from so many States, and to strongly
encourage princes to strike at the idol of Rome which caused them all to tremble
at another epoch. The people are very stupid and, nevertheless, the light has
penetrated even to them. Be very sure, for example, that there are nottwenty
persons in Geneva who do not abjure Calvin as well as the Pope, and that there
axe philosophers even in the shops of Paris.

" I shall die consoled in seeing the true religion, that of the heart, established
on the ruins of affectations. I have never preached but the adoration of one
God, beneficence and indulgence. With these sentiments I brave the devil who
does not exist and the true devils who exist only too much."



VOLTAIRE. 13

the guest and the inmate of the Court of Frederick of Prussia,
wliere crime reached proportions impossible to speak of. And



Online LibraryGeorge F DillonWar of antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization : lectures delivered in Edinburgh in October 1884 → online text (page 3 of 26)