George F Dillon.

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

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lastly, coward, liar, hypocrite, and pander to the basest passions
of humanity, he Avas finally, like Satan, a murderer if he had
the power to be so. Writing to Damilaville, he says, " The
Christian religion is an infamous religion, an abominable hydra
which must be destroyed by a hundred invisible hands. It is
necessary that the philosophers should course through the streets
to destroy it as missionaries course over earth and sea to
propagate it. They ought dare all things, risk all things, even
to be burned, in order to destroy it. Let us crush the wretch !
Crush the wretch !" His doctrine thus expressed found fatal
effect in the French Revolution, and it will obtain effect when-
ever his disciples are strong enough in men and means to act.
I have no doubt his teachings have led to all the revolutions of
this century, and will lead to the final attack of Atheism on the
Church. Nor was his hatred confined to Catholicity only.
Christians of every denomination were marked out for des-
truction by him ; and our separated Christian brethren, who feel
glad at seeing his followers triumph over the Church, might well
ponder on these words of his: " Christians," he says, "of every
form of profession, are beings exceedingly injurious, fanatics,
thieves, dupes, impostors, who lie together with their gospels,
enemies of the human race." And of the system itself he writes :
" The Christian religion is evidently false, the Christian religion
is a sect which every good man ought to hold in horror. It
cannot be approved of even by those to whom it gives power
and honour." In fact, since his day, it has been a cardinal point
of policy with his follow^ers to take advantage of the unfortunate
differences between the various sects of Christians in the world
and the Church, in order to ruin both ; for the destruction of
every form of Christianity, as well as Catholicity, was the aim of
Voltaire, and remains as certainly the aim of his disciples.
Thay place, of course, the Church and the Vicar of Christ in the
first line of attack, well knowing that if the great Catholic unity


could be destroyed, the work of eradicating every kind of
separated Christianity would be easy. In dealing, therefore,
with such a foe as modern Atheism, so powerfully organized, as
we shall see it to be, Protestants as well as Catholics should
guard against its wiles and deceits. They should, at least,
regarding questions such as the religious education of rising
generations, the attempted secularisation of the Sabbath and
state-established. Christian Institutions, and the recognition of
religion by the State, all of which the Atheism of the world now
attempts to destroy, present an unbroken front of determined
union. Nothing less, certainly, can save even the Protestantism, the
national, Christian character of Great Britain and her colonies
from impending ruin.

Although Voltaire was as confirmed and malignant a hater
of Christ and of Christianity as ever lived, still he showed from
time to time that his own professed principles of Infidelity were
never really believed in by himself. In health and strength he
cried out his blasphemous " crush the wretch !" but when the
moment came for his soul to appear before the judgment-seat of
''the wretch," his faith was shown and his vaunted courage
failed him.

The miscreant always acted against his better knowledge.
His life gives us many examples of this fact. I will relate one
for you. When he broke a blood vessel on one occasion, he
begged his assistants to hurry for the priest. He confessed,
signed with his hand a profession of faith, asked pardon
of God and the Church for his offences, and ordered that his
retractation should be printed in the public newspapers ; but,
recovering, he commenced his war upon God anew, and died
refusing all spiritual aid, and crying out in the fury of despair
and agony, "I am abandoned by God and man." Dr.
Fruchen, who witnessed the awful spectacle of his death,
said to his friends, " Would that all who have been seduced
by the writings of Voltaire had been witnesses of his death, it
would be impossible to hold out, in the face of such an awful


spectacle." ^ But that spectacle was forgotten, and consequently,
before ten years passed, the world saw the effects of his works.

Speaking of the French Revolution, Condorcet, in his "Life
of Voltaire," says of him, " He did not see all that which he accom-
plished, but he did all that which we see. Enlightened observations
prove to those who know how to reflect that the. first author of
that Great Revolution was without doubt Voltaire."

I have thus far spoken of Voltaire and his teachings in
order to introduce with greater clearness the important subject to
which I ask the favour of your attention this evening. It never
was the intention of this man to let his teachings die, or beat
the air, so to speak, with mere words. He determined that his
fatal gospel should be perpetuated, and should bring forth as
speedy as possible its fruits of death. Even in his life-time, we
have evidence that he constantly conspired with his associates
for this end, and that with them he concocted in secret both the
means by which his doctrines should reach all classes in
Europe, and the methods by which civil order and Christianity
might be best destroyed. St. Beauve writes of him and of his,
in the Journal des Dehats^ 8 November, 1852 : — "All the
correspondence of Voltaire and D'Alembert is ugly. It smells
of the sect, of the conspiracy of the Brotherhood, of the secret
society. From whatever point it is viewed it does no honour to
men who make a principle of lying, and who consider contempt
of their kind the fu'st condition necessary to enlighten them.
* Enlighten and despise the human race.' A sure watchword this,
and it is theirs. ' March on always sneering, my brethren, in
the way of truth.' That is their perpetual refrain.' " But not only
did he and his, thus conspire in a manner which might seem to
arise naturally from identical sentiments and aims, but what was
of infinitely greater consequence, the demon, just as their sad
gospel was ripe for propagation, called into existence the most
efficacious means possible for its extension amongst men, and

^ See Le Secret de la Franc-Ma^oiuierie^ par Monsigneur Amand Joseph Fava,
Eveque de Grenoble. Lille, 1883, p. 08.


for the wished-for destruction of the Church, of Christian
civilization, and of every form of existing Christianity. This
was the spread amongst those already demoralized by
Voltaireanism, of Freemasonry and its cognate systems of secret
Atheistic organization.

This is the point upon which 1 am most anxious to fix your
attention this evening.


Freemasonry, we must remember always, appeared generally
and spread generally, too, in the interests of all that Voltaire
aimed at, when it best suited his purpose. The first lodge
established in France under the English obedience was in 1727.
Its founder and first master was the celebrated Jacobite, Lord
Derwentwater. It had almost immediate acceptance from the
degenerate nobility of France, who, partly because of the
influence of English and Scotch Jacobite nobles, and partly
because of its novelty, hard swearing, and mystery, joined the
strange institution. Its lodges were soon in every considerable city
of the realm. The philosophers and various schools of Atheists,
however, were the first to enter into and to extend it. For them
it had special attractions and special uses, which they Avere not
slow to appreciate and to employ. Now, though it very little
concerns us to know much of the origin of this society, which
became then and since so notorious throughout the world, still,
as that origin throws some light on its subsequent history, it will
not be lost time to glance at what is known, or supposed to be
known, about it. Monsignor Segur,^ Bishop of Grenoble, who
devoted much time to a study of Freemasonry, is persuaded that it
was first elaborated by Faustus Socinus, the nephew of the too cele-
brated Laslius Socinus, the heresiarch and founder of the sect of
Unitarians or, as they are generally called after him, Socinians.

1 Opus Cit. p. 8.


Both were of tlie ancient family of the Sozini of Sienna.
Faustus, like many of his relatives, imbibed the errors of his
uncle, and in order to escape the vigilance of the Inquisition,
to which both Italy and Spain owed much of the tran-
quillity they enjoyed in these troublesome times, he fled
to France. While in that country at Lyons, and when only tAventy
years of age, he heard of tlie death of his uncle at Zurich, and
went at once to that city to olitain the papers and effects of the
deceased. From the papers he found that L^lius had assisted
at a conference of Heretics at Vicenza, in 1547, in which the
destruction of Christianity was resolved upon, and where
resolutions were adopted for the renewal of Arianism — a system
of false doctrine calculated to sap the very foundations of existing
Faith by attacking the Trinity and the Incarnation. Feller, an
authority of considerable weight, in his reference to this
conference, says: ^'In the assembly of Vicenza, they agreed
upon the means of destroying the religion of Jesus Christ, by
, forming a society which by its progressive successes brought on,
towards the end of the eighteenth century, an almost general
apostasy. When the Republic of Venice became informed of
this conspiracy, it seized upon Julian Trevisano and Francis de
Rugo, and strangled them. Ochinus and the others saved
themselves. The society thus dispersed became only the more
dangerous, and it is that which is known to-day under the name
of Freemasons." For this information Feller refers us to a work
entitled '^The Veil Removed," Le Voile Leve, by the Abbe
Le Franc, a victim of the reign of terror, in 1792. The latter
tells us that the conspirators whom the severity of the Venetian
Republic had scattered, and who were Ochinus, La3lius Socinus,
Peruta, Gentilis, Jacques Chiari, Francis Lenoir, Darius Socinus,
Alicas, and the Abbe Leonard, carried their poison with them,
and caused it to bear fruits of death in all parts of
Europe. The success of Faustus Socinus in spreading
his uncle's theories was enormous. His aim was not only
to destroy the Church, but to raise up another temple into



which any enemy of orthodoxy might freely enter. In this
temple eyerj heterodox belief might be held. It was called
Christian but was without Christian faith, or hope, or love. It
was simply an astutely planned system for propagating the
ideas of its founders ; for a fundamental part of the policy
of Socinus, and one in which he well instructed his
disciples, was to associate either to Unitarianism or to the
confederation formed at Vicenza, the rich, the learned, the
powerful, and the influential of the world. He feigned an equal
esteem for Trinitarians and anti-Trinitarians, for Lutherans and
Calvinists. He praised the undertakings of all against the
Church of Rome, and working upon their intense hatred for
Catholicity, caused them to forget their many " isms " in order
to unite them for the destruction of the common enemy. When
that should be effected, it would be time to consider a system
agreeable to all. Until then, unity of action inspired by hatred
of the Church should reign amongst them.

He therefore wished that all his adherents should, whether
Lutheran or Calvinist, treat one another as brothers ; and
hence his disciples have been called at various times " United
Brethren," " Polish Brothers," " Moravian Brothers," " Brother
Masons," and finally "Freemasons." Mgr. Segur informs us,
on the authorities before quoted, as well as upon that of Bergier,
and the learned author of a work entitled, " Les Franc Magons
Ecrases," — the Abbe Lerudan — printed at Amsterdam, as early as
the year 1747, that the real secret of Freemasonry consisted, even
then, in disbelief in the Divinity of Christ, and a determination to
replace that doctrine, which is the very foundation of Christianity,
by Naturalism or Eationalism. Socinus having established his
sect in Poland, sent emissaries to preach his doctrines stealthily
in Germany, Holland, and England. In Germany, Protestants
and Catholics united to unmask them. In Holland, they blended
with the Anabaptists, and in England, they found partisans
amongst the Independents and various other sects into which
the people were divided.


The Abbe Lefranc believes {Le Voile Zt^i'e, Lyons, 1821).
that Oliver Cromwell was a Socinian, and that he introduced
Freemasonry into England. Certainly, Cromwell's sympathies
were not for the Church favoured by the monarch he supplanted,
and were much with the Independents. If he was a Socinian,
we can easily understand how the secret society of Vicenza could
have attractions for one of his anti-Catholic and ambitious
sentiments. He gave its members in England, as Mgr. Segur
tells us, the title of Freemasons, and invented the allegory
of the Temple of Solomon, now so much used by Masonry
of every kind, and which meant the original state of man
supposed to be a commonwealth of equality with a vague
Deism as its religion. This temple, destroyed by Christ for the
Christian order, was to be restored by Freemasonry after Christ
and the Christian order should be obliterated by conspiracy and
revolution. The state of Nature was the " Hiram " whose murder
Masonry was to avenge ; and which, having previously removed
Christ, was to resuscitate Hiram, by re-building the temple of
Nature as it had been before.

Mgr. Segur, moreover, connects modern Freemasonry with the
Jews and Templars, as Avell as with Socinus. There are
reasons which lead me to think that he is right in doing so.
The Jews for many centuries previous to the Reformation,
had formed secret societies for their own protection and for
the destruction of the Christianity which persecuted them,
and which they so much hated. The rebuilding of the
Temple of Solomon was the dream of their lives. It is un-
questionable that they wished to make common cause with other
bodies of persecuted religionists. They had special reason to
welcome with joy such heretics as were cast off by Catholicity.
It is, therefore, not at all improbable, that they admitted into
their secret conclaves some at least of the discontented Templars,
burning for revenge upon those who dispossessed and suppressed
the Order. That fact would account for the curious combination
of Jewish and conventual allusions to be found in modern


Masonry/ Then, as to its British History, we have seen that
numbers of the secret brotherhood of Socinus made their way
to England and Scothmd, where they found friends, and,
perhaps, confederates. I have, therefore, no doubt but that
the Abbe Lefranc is correct, when he says that Cromwell was
connected with them. At least, before he succeeded in his
designs, he had need of some such secret society, and would, no
doubt, be glad to use it for his purposes. But it is not so clear
that Cromwell was the first, as Lefranc thinks, to blend that
brotherhood with the real Freemasons. The ancient guild of
working masons had existed in Great Britain and in Europe
for many centuries previous to his time. They were like
every other guild of craftsmen — a body formed for mutual
protection and trade offices. But they differed from other
tradespeople in this, that from their duties they were more

^ M. Goixgenot-Demousseaiix, iu his work on the Jew, Judaism, and the Judaiza-
tion of Christian people (Paris 18G9), has brought together a great number of
indications on the relations of the high chiefs of Masonry with .Judaism. He
thus concludes : — " Masonry, that immense association, the rare initiates of which,
that is to say, the real chiefs of which, whom we must be careful not to confound
with the nominal chiefs, live in a strict and intimate alliance with the militant
members of Judaism, princes and imitators of the high cabal. For that elite of
the order — these real chiefs whom so few of the initiated know, or whom they only
know for the most part mider a nom de guerre, are employed in the profitable and
secret dependence of the cabalistic Israelites. And this phenomenon is
accomplished, thanks to the habits of rigorous discretion to which they subject
themselves by oaths and terrible menaces ; thanks also to the majority of Jewish
members which the mysterious constitutiou of Masonry seats iu its sovereign

M. Cretineau Joly gives a very interesting accomit of the correspondence
between Nubius and an ojiulent GeiTaan Jew who supplied him with money for
the purposes of his dark intrigues against the Papacy. The Jewish connection
with modern Freemasonry is an established fact everywhere manifested in its
history. The Jewish f ornudas employed by Masonry, the Jewish traditions which
rmi through its ceremonial, point to a Jewish origin, or to the work of Jewish
contrivers. It is easy to conceive how such a society could be thought necessary
to protect tliem from Christianity in power. It is easy also to understand how
the one darling object of their lives is the rebuilding of the Temple. Who knows
but behind the Atheism and desire of gain which impels them to urge on Christians
to persecute the Chui'ch and to destroy it, there lies a hidden hope to reconstruct
their Temple, and as the darkest depths of secret society plotting there lurks a
deeper society still wliich looks to a return to the land of Juda and to the re-building
of the Temple of Jerusalem. One of the works which Antichrist will do, it is
said, is to re-unite the Jews, and to proclaim himself as their long looked-for
Messias. As it is now generally believed, lie is to come from Masonry and to be
of it, this is not improbable, for in it he will find the Jews the most inveterate
haters of Christianity, the deepest plotters, and the fittest to establish his reign.


cosmopoiitan, and knew more of the ceremonies of religion
at a period when the arts of reading and writing were
not very generally understood. They travelled over every
portion of England and Scotland, and frequently crossed the
Channel, to work at the innumerable religious houses, castles,
fortifications, great abbeys, churches and cathedrals which
arose over the face of Christendom in such number and
splendour in the middle and succeeding ages. To keep away
interlopers, to sustain a uniform rate of wages, to be known
amongst strangers, and, above all, amongst foreigners of their
craft, signs were necessary 5 and these signs could be of value
only in proportion to the secrecy with which they were kept
within the craft itself They had signs for those whom they
accepted as novices, for the companion mason or journeyman,
and for the masters of the craft. In ages when a trade was
transmitted from father to son, and formed a kind of family
inheritance, we can very well imagine that its secrets were
guarded with much jealousy, and that its adepts were enjoined
not to communicate them to anyone, not even to their wives, lest
they may become known to outsiders. The masons were, if we except
the clockmakers and jewellers, the most skilled artisans of Europe.
By the cunning of their hands they knew how to make the rough
stone speak out the grand conceptions of the architects of the
middle ages ; and often, the delicate foliage and flowers and
statuary of the fanes they built, remind us of the most perfect
eras of Greek and Eoman sculpture. So closely connected with
religion and religious architecture as were these " Brothers
Masons,'' " Friar " " Era," or " Free Masons," they shared to a
large extent in the favour of the Popes. They obtained many and
valuable charters. Bat they degenerated. The era of the so-
called Reformation was a sad epoch for them. It was an era of
Church demolition rather than of Church building. Wherever the
blight of Protestantism fell, the beauty and stateliness of Church
architecture became dwarfed, stunted, and degraded, whenever
it was not utterly destroyed. The need of Brothers Masons had


passed, and succeeding Masons began to admit men to their
guilds who won a living otherwise than by the craft. In Germany
their confraternity had become a cover for the reformers, and
Socinus seeing in it a means for advancing his sect — a
method for winning adepts and progressing stealthily without
attracting the notice of Catholic governments, would desire
no doubt to use it for his purposes. We have to this
day the statutes the genuine Freemasons of Strasbourg framed
in 1462, and the same revised as late as 1563, but in them
there is absolutely nothing of heresy or hostility to the Church.
But there is a curious document called the Charter of Cologne
dated 1535, which, if it be genuine, proves to us that there
existed at that early period a body of Freemasons, having
principles identical with those professed by the Masons of our own
day. It is to be found in the archives of the Mother Lodge of
Amsterdam, which also preserves the act of its own constitution
under the date of 1519. It reveals the existence of lodges of
kindred intent in London, Edinburgh, Vienna, Amsterdam,
Paris, Lyons, Frankfort, Hamburg, Antwerp, Rotterdam,
Madrid, Venice, Goriz, Koenigsberg, Brussels, Dantzic, Magde-
burg, Bremen and Cologne; and it bears the signatures of well-
known enemies of the Church at that period, namely — Hermanns
or Herman de Weir, the immoral and heretical Archbishop-
Elector of Cologne, placed for his misdeeds under the ban
of the Empire ; De Cohgny, leader of the Huguenots of
France ; Jacob d'Anville, Prior of the Augustinians of Cologne,
who incurred the same reproaches as Archbishop Herman
Melancthon, the Reformer ; Nicholas Van Noot ; Carlton
Bruce ; Upson ; Banning ; Vireaux ; Schroeder ; Hofman
Nobel ; De la Torre ; Doria ; Uttenbow ; Falck ; Huissen
Wormer. These names reveal both the country and the celebrity
of all the men who signed the document. It was, possibly, a
society like theirs, which the Venetian Government broke up and
scattered in 1547, for we find distinct mention of a lodge existing
at Venice in 1535. However this may be, Freemason lodges


existed in Scotland from the time of the Reformation. One of
them is referred to in the Charter of Cologne, and doubtless had
many affiliations. In Scotland, as in other Catholic countries,
the Templars were suppressed ; and there, if nowhere else, that
Order had the guilds of working masons under its special
protection. It is therefore possible, as some say, that the knights
coalesced with these Masons, and protected their own machinations
with the aid of the secrets of the craft. But while this and all
else stated regarding the connection of the Templars with
Masonry may be true, there is no real evidence that it is so.
Much is said about the building of the Temple of Solomon ; and
that the Hiram killed, and whose death the craft is to avenge,
means James Molay, the Grand Master, executed in the barbarous
manner of his age for supposed complicity in the crimes with
which the Templars were everywhere charged. There is tall
talk about such things in modern Masonry, and a great deal of
the absurd and puerile ritual in which the sect indulges when
conferring the higher grades, is supposed to have reference to
them. But the Freemasonry with which we have to deal, however
connected in its origin with the Templars, with Socinus, with the
conspirators of Cologne, or those of Vicenza, or with Cromwell,
received its modern characteristics from Ellas Ashmole, the
Antiquary, and the provider, if not the founder, of the Oxford
Museum. Ashmole was an alchemist and an astrologer, and imbued
consequently with a love for the jargon and mysticism of that
strange body so busied about the philosopher's stone and other
Utopias. The existing lodges of the Freemasons had an inexpres-
sible charm for Ashmole, and in 1646 he, together with Colonel
Mainwaring, became members of the craft. He perfected it, added
various mystic symbols to those already in use, and gave partly a
scriptural, partly an Egyptian form to its jargon and ceremonies.
The Piosecroix, Rosicrucian degree, a society formed after the
ideal of Bacon's New Atlantis, appeared ; and the various grades of
companion, master, secret master, perfect master, elect, and Irish

Online LibraryGeorge F DillonWar of antichrist with the Church and Christian civilization : lectures delivered in Edinburgh in October 1884 → online text (page 4 of 26)