« PreviousContinue »
of Berlin. As this work passes in the philosophic world for some corroboration of the Abbé Barruc!'s denunciation of the Illuminés, particularly as to the charge of Vandalism, it is necessary to analyze the tactics of the skilful, but unscrupulous author of this essay. At the period of its publication, the papers of the Illuminés had recently been seized, and their persons banished: they were in the condition of detected conspirators, with whom it is unsafe to acknowlege any relation, and to appear to sympathize. Mirabeau therefore, in order to avert the suspicion of similar views from the French philosophers, joins in the then fresh and loud outcry against the I)luminés; sacrificing the name to serve the cause: but, in diametrical opposition to fact, he ascribes to them precisely and exclusively all those fanatical and superstitious opinions, which their speaking trumpet, the Berlin magazine conducted by Nicolai and his illuminated coadjutors, had been so active in denouncing and exposing. By these means, the odium which the Illuminés had incurred was flung on their antagonists, the offuscants (as they affected to call the teachers of vulgar credulity); and the jealousy of the French government, which the political views of the Illuminés might excite, was thus pointed against superstitious and enthusiasical sectaries, and averted from the antichristian philosophists. Mirabeau's rites of initiation are invented with a bolder fancy than those of the Abbé Barruel. He breathes a browner horror over the cerenronies of his crypts; and he inserts, with a more relieving management, the Elysian scenery which succeeds. His oaths are composed in more harrowing and more orthodox terms; and his aspirants swear to venerate the aqua-tofana, by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The characters whom Mirabeau denounces all belong to the credulous party; Schroepfer, the conjurer and methodist preacher ; Bischoffswerder, the citer of spirits, and confesser of the Countess of Lichtenau ; Lavater, the pious physiognomist and exorcist; and Pernetti the editor, or author, of the works of Swedenborg. This will suffice to convince the attentive, that Mirabeau's book has no pretensions to confidence ; and that it was the coup de main of a skilful partisan, intended to intercept from popular view that idea of the Illuminés, which might have operated against the analogous party in France. “If we had still the Jesuits, (says Mirabeau,) we would let them loose against the Illuminés." His advice has not been lost; and his inventions are now used as facts.
This was not perhaps exactly the place for these observa. tions :- but what is there to say about the fourth volume of a
translation *, unless that in quality it resembles and in size ex-
wiselier chosen ones we recommend him to purchase some German grammar for beginners. We are not surprised (see Rev. vol. xxv. p. 510) at this instance of fellow-feeling.
Art. XIV. Application of Berruel's Memoirs of Jacobinism, to the
Secret Societies of Ireland and Great Britain. By the Translator
of that Work. 80. 15. 6d. Booker. AS
s we have already indicated in the Abbé Barruel's trans
lator (See Rev. vol. xxv. p. 510.) some departure, apparently voluntary, from his text, serving to misrepresent and to blacken the societies attacked, we do not now wonder at his coming forwards in his own person in the same line of hosti- . lity.
He describes (p. iii.) the English public as surprised in 1797 that the Abbé Barruel should refer an antichristian conspiracy to the philosophists of France. This surprise can only have extended to the ignorant. It cannot possibly have included the reading public; who, for thirty years past, have been perfectly aware of the avowed, systematic, and ostentatiously notorious co-operation of the Encyclopedists to overchrow Christianity. Smollet, Nugent, and others of the last generation of writers, translated into English many of the principal books composed for this purpose by the leaders of the conspiracy. The works of the foreign infidels made as little impression in this country, as those of their plundered prototypes, the deistical writers, whom Leland has enumerated. In their turn, perhaps, they will one day be known on the continent only from the Abbé Barruel's enumeration. On this portion of the work, Mr. Burke bestowed precisely the praise to which it is justly entitled,
When, however, the Abbé Barrucl advanced to assert that the republicanism of France was the result of a previous agreement of the Free-masons begun in the times of the Manicheans, or before, and handed down through the Templars to the Ja
* For an account of the original of this volume, sce Rev. vol. xxvii. Appendix, p. 509.
cobins; that the crimes and proscriptions of the executive power in France were the result of aboriginal premeditation and deliberate foresight, and formed a part of the misanthropic object and not of the accidental misfortunes of the Revolution; when he maintained that a similar ruinous crisis was an essen. tial aim and perpetual pursuit of the Free-masons' lodges throughout the world, and when he asserted that the Illuminés of Germany had undertaken, with more complete design, to effect a similar catastrophe ;-all Europe was indeed surprised, and is likely to continue so. When it is pretended that the Basedows, the Meiners', the Wiclands, the Böttigers, the Bodes, the Feders, the Nicolais, the Stolbergs, the Sonnenfels, the Weishaupts, and the Cobentzels, of Germany *, were in a confederacy to abolish property and science, who can refrain from wonder at the rival audacity of so atrocious and malignant a denunciation, or a project? We have little doubt where to attribute the absurdity. • Prudence requires that we should avoid comments on what this author says concerning the societies of Great Britain and Ireland. We may, however, recommend to his attention Wood's View of the History of Switzerland +. He wil there find that, in a country in which Free-masons and Illuminés were scarcely known, precisely the same phænomena occurred which he wishes to ascribe to the machinations of those sects. He will thence, surely, be led to infer that the part taken by all societies of persons, under whatever denomination, religious, convivial, or civil, is a consequence and not a cause of the general state of public sentiment. Combination and conspiracy against the magistrate every where result from an extensive opinion of grievance, and no where occasion it. They may therefore always be obviated in states, by a timely and qualified accommodation to rising opinions.
Art. XV. Sermons on various Subjects ; more particularly
on Christian Faith and Hope, and the Consolations of Religion. By George Henry Glasse, M. A. (late Student of Christ Church, Oxford,) Rector of Hanwell, Middlesex. 8vo.
Cadell jun. and Davies. 1798. TH He learned author of these sermons has enjoyed the reputa
tion of a popular preacher; and his name has been announced on several occasions, when it has been usual to apply
* Not all these persons belonged to the society of Illuminés, though denounced by the Abbé Barruel in connection with it. + Of this publication, an account is preparing for our Review.
to clergymen of this description. We have seen some of the discourses which he has delivered at these times, and they appeared to be adapted to the purposes for which they were written: indeed, his mode of composing, and, probably, that of his delivery, are suited to a popular audience; and we can easily conceive that they would excite attention and produce effect. The volume before us, which contains twenty discourses on different subjects, will serve to establish the character which Mr. Glasse has acquired. They were published at the sole request of a lady in whose presence they were delivered ; and if the judicious reader should not peruse them with the same satisfaction which they afforded to those who heard them, his candour will lead him to recollect that they were written for the pulpit, and not for the press. If they had been more textual and more argumentative, they would have been more acceptable to those who read sermons not merely with a view to present impressions, but to more permanent benefit. For our own part, we should have been much better pleased if they had been less desultory and declamatory, and had been addressed more to the judgment than to the feelings and passions. Instruction and lasting improvement should not be sacrificed to popularity. The effects of declamation, whatever advantage it may derive from the elegance and energy of language, or even from the graces of elocution, are very slight and transient. It conveys little knowlege to the understanding, and the impression produced by it has no long duration.
We deliver our opinion the more freely on this occasion, because the discourses belong to the superior class of such as we have now generally described. However we may diffez from the author in his theological creed, or may disapprove some reflections which have escaped from his pen in the hurry of composition, we are much pleased with many of the senti. ments that occur in the discourses, and with the animated manner in which they are generally expressed ; and we beg leave to recommend to other preachers, the ardour and solicitude which he manifests in his endeavours to promote practical religion and virtue. We cannot but regret, at the same time, that Mr. G. should so often misapply his text, and wander from the subject which it obviously suggests ; that he is desultory when he ought to be close, and methodical; that he amplifies when he ought to be concise; and that he declaims when he ought to reason.
The following extracts will enable our readers to form their own judgment.
The first discourse, on the clerical character,' which was a visitation-sermon, first printed in 1794, contains many refleca tions well adapted to the occasion on which it was delivered. Some may perhaps think, that the preacher has exaggerated the evil of which he justly complains : but the period in which he addressed his auditory was the crisis of aların; and, in order to rouse the clergy to proper exertion, he leads them to reflect that
• There are, even in this country, busy, restless, malicious adversaries, who have long been secretly meditating our destruction; and who, of late years, have attempted it in a more open and decisive manner. This is a truth which we must be blind indeed not to acknowlege.'-Our ecclesiastical and civil establishment was the ob. ject of their avowed hostility. Could they but have accomplished the overthrow of either pari of our system, they doubted not that the downfall of its associate would speedily follow. Therefore did they encourage themselves in mischief-therefore did they proclaim inveterate war against loyalty and religion, and set up their banners for tokens. Fain would they have planted their “ abomination that maketh desolate" amidst the ruins of thrones and altars : that tree, whose fruit is unto profanation, and the end thereof everlasting death: that trec, which (like the fabled poison-shrub of the eastern world) causes all other vegetation to languish and die; wlrich creates a desert around its noxious trunk, and rejoices in horror and devastation. And were the stately pines, the glory of Lebanon, and all the trees of the forest, to be abandoned for this ? Were they to fall, prostrate and overthrown, before it? Above the rest was this SACRED OAK, which for so long a period bas braved the violence of winds and storms, was this to be rooted out, though the hills are covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof are like the goodly cedars?" We have seen the
of the oppressor let loose upon mankind --we have seen the judgment beginning at the house of God. At the commencement of those events which now astonish the world, it was the privilege of one luminous mind to trace the infant monster to its horrible maturity. During the progress, and in the consum, mation of those events, we have all obtained conviction. If here the arm of the destroying angel has been arrested if here the temple, the altar, and the ministers of God are rescued from profanation, let us not be lulled into morbid and lethargic repose still less let us ascribe to merit, what is due only to mercy. Alas! were the faithful pastors, who have fallen under the daggers of assassination, singers above all the servants of Christ? Far otherwise. As gold in the furnace have they been tried, and received as a burnt-offering. How. ever we may differ from them on some important doctrinal points, we must be lost to a sense of all that is great and glorious, if we do not applaud their heroic constancy, their unconquerable zeal, and that hope, full of immortality, which surinounted ihe fear of dissolution. Faithful confessors, intrepid martyrs, they rejoiced in following the steps of their Redcen.cread their church, solitary and a widow, is