Wednesday, 6 November 2013



(By F. Hugh O'Donnell, M.P., in the Dublin Freeman.)


Between the death of Faustus Socinus, in 16O4, and the appearance of regular Masonic Lodges in England, little more than a generation elapsed, and that generation was full of the efforts of the Socinians to propagate their association. Many Socinian emissaries penetrated Holland from Germany, and reached England from Holland. The increasing vigour of the Polish laws against the treasonable confederation which was sapping the strength of the kingdom also drove many of the most notorious sectaries into banishment, and numbers of them took refuge in England, where they found a ready welcome among the endless swarm of Anabaptists, Fifth Monarchy men, and other Puritan fanatics who were then preparing the advent of the Cromwellian Commonwealth, the motto of which was to be toleration for everything except the Mass." It was a time of religious and intellectual aberration. Alchemy and astrology were pursued by the Society of the Rosicrucians, who possessed, or pretended to possess, secret traditions of mysterious knowledge and occult science. Among fanatics and charlatans the new seed fell on favourable soil. A century and a half later the famous charlatan, Cagliostro, was a trusted instrument and leader of Freemasonry, and the so-called Egyptian Rite, or "Rite of Misraim," established by him, is still a high institution of the contemporary craft. Cagliostro, whose real name was Joseph Balsamo, of Palermo, but whose Masonic designation was "the Grand Copt of Egypt," was one of the most accomplished scoundrels of any country or century and were I to describe his combined success as arch-Mason and arch-swindler among the Freethinking Society of the eighteenth century, the story might astonish many even of those who know how Freethinkers, who disdain to believe the plainest truths of religion, are often quite ready to swallow any absurdity and to worship any impostor.
I find that the learned antiquarian Ashmole, who, as a professed Alchemist and Rosicrucian, was ripe for mystic proceedings, was chosen a member, along with a Colonel Mainwaring, of a fraternity of Masons at Warrington in the year 1646, and that in the same year a Rosicrucian Society met in the hall of the Freemasons at London. At this time, and for seventy years later, the Secret Freemasons continued to employ the pretence of nominally including actual artisan-masons in their associations. The handicraftsmen were, however, left outside the veils of the secret organisation unless they qualified themselves by other arts than manual labour for initiation in the hidden designs of the unseen Brotherhood.
All this English period, which may be said to stretch from the middle of the seventeenth to the commencement of the eighteenth century, is of vital importance in the development of modern Masonry. The secrecy of the new association commended itself to the partisans of both sides in the civil strife in England, and Cavaliers as well as Roundheads sought the shelter of its watchwords and its oaths. Ashmole himself, used Freemasonry to serve the cause of the Stuart restoration after the head of the first Charles fell on the Whitehall scaffold in 1649 and in Scotland the persecuted Cavaliers made the  lodges strongholds of Stuart devotion. The devotion of a section of English Masonry to the Stuart cause later on powerfully contributed to prepare the way to introduce the order into France on the flight of so many hundreds of Jacobites to that country after the fall of James the Second.
Fostered in this manner by the spirit and circumstances of the time, Masonry became more and more carefully organised, and though party politics probably occupied the brethren as much as any other objects, the improvement of its organisation and the elaboration of its ritual materially facilitated its subsequent propaganda of social and religious revolution on the continent. The contingent had exported to England the broad idea and loose framework of the Socinian scheme. The practical bent of England sent back to the continent, carefully compacted and skilfully fashioned, organisations calculated to force their way, and held their ground, and extend their operation among the careless and unsuspicious nations of continental Christendom. The author of the work, "Orthodox Masonry," Ragon, himself a Mason of high authority, gives the following list of continental lodges, each the parent of innumerable others, which were established under what he not unjustly calls the active and intelligent direction of the Grand Lodge of England.
In France, at Dunkirk in 1721; at Paris in 1725 ;at Valenciennes in 1733.
In Germany at Hamburg in 1737; and the Grand Lodge of Hamburg soon rose to enormous power and extension.
In Spain, at Gibraltar 1726, just a year subsequent to the first lodge in France and at Madrid in the year 1727, and for half a century down to 1779, the lodge or torre of Madrid regularly received its documents and powers from the Grand Lodge of England.
In Portugal about the year 1735 several lodges were founded at Lisbon and in the Portuguese provinces by the Grand Lodge England.
In Italy in the year 1739, Savoy, Piedmont, and Sardinia a provincial Grand Master, nominated by the English Grand Lodge. Little more than a century later the English Arch-Mason Palmerston was able to use the same Savoy, Piedmont, and Sardinia, for the accomplishment of the cherished designs of Masonry against the Rome of the Popes.
Such were the opening ramifications of the great secret society established to set up a New Temple against the edifice of Catholic faith and civilisation. The wreck of society with which the eighteenth century is filled was everywhere mainly the work of the affiliates of (life?) destroying conspiracy. There might be maladministration, there might be distress, there might be decadence, but there still might have been reform,and there never could have been revolution of the terrorist and satanic kind, if every worst element had not been more worsened and every better influence remorsely opposed and incapacitated, and every effort at genuine reform skilfully prevented and frustrated by the untiring plots and unscrupulous vigilance of the cosmopolitan conspiracy.
What caused the concessions of the gentle and generous Louis XVI. to end in despair and death? What hounded on the passions of the mob against prelate and priest and noble, who were anxious to make every sacrifice for reform? What rewarded the honest desire of the vast majority of the States-General themselves, with nothing but betrayal and the gory axe of the guillotine? I call a witness, an unimpeachable witness, the ultra-republican and freethinking historian of the French revolution, Louis Blanc. Here is what Louis Blanc in his "Histoire de la Revolution Francaise" confesses and boasts to have been the decisive and supreme preponderance of the Masonic organisation in the revolutionary catastrophe:—
"It is necessary to introduce the reader into the mine which was then being dug under thrones as well as altars by a band of revolutionists far more deep and active than the Encyclopedists themselves ; revolutionists organised in an association composed of men of all countries, of all religions, of all ranks, bound together by symbolical signs, engaged under the penalty of an oath to guard inviolably the secret of their inner existence, holding themselves to be equals though divided into three classes— Apprentices, Companions, and Masters, for that is what Freemasonry is. On the eve of the French Revolution, Freemasonry had acquired an enormous development. It was spread throughout the whole of Europe. It aided the meditative genius of Germany. It obscurely agitated France. It presented everywhere the image of a society founded upon principles contrary to those of the civil society."
What a terrible confession! What a tremendous revelation ! It was Masonry that dug the mine under altars and thrones." It was Masonry that presented for the imitation of dupes and instruments "the image of a society founded upon principles contrary to those of the civil society." And yet there are sapient Catholics who believe that the awful work of terrorism and destruction which ravaged the civilisation of Europe a hundred years ago had no suggestors, had no inciters, and no agitators, and that the efforts of honest reformers only failed through some accidental fatality or chance misfortune. The men who were "digging the mine under thrones and altars" throughout Europe kept their secret well enough, for their infernal purpose. But the secret is no longer undiscoverable and undiscovered; and we know that the successors of the oathbound miners of 1789 are still sapping and mining Christian altars in 1884.
On the eve of the French Revolution in 1782 the Masonic lodge of "Candour" at Paris claimed in its encyclical letter of the 31st of May of that year that there were a million of sworn Masons in France alone.


In sketching the transitional period of Masonry in the last chapter I have been obliged to touch on matters which overlap, strictly speaking, the proper subjects of the chapter. Conversely, I am obliged to go back in dealing with Voltaire upon a time which falls within the last period. This difficulty arises from the essential nature of a time of transition. In the eighteenth century, especially, the practical work of founding lodges, to which the Grand Lodge of England devoted itself, went to a considerable extent side by side with the speculative advances of daring theorists and rationalists, who, each after his disposition, set himself to developing and cultivating what he had received from his English exemplars. The old Socinian slip which had been set in English soil had taken root and stretched out powerful branches and long tendrils to the continent back again, and continental cultivators in turn undertook to train and foster with added skill the increasing and vigorous growth.
Voltaire died in 1778. His career of satanic sarcasm had lasted for half a century. By his own repeated avowals, by the admission of his admirers, it was during his residence of three years in 1726, 1727, and 1728 in England, that he became a Past-Master in the anti-Christian Philosophy of which he was to be so mighty and unscrupulous an exponent. In the Society of Bolingbroke the Deist, and Toland the Atheist, Voltaire learned with avidity the precepts of showy scepticism and sneering infidelity, which he was afterwards to pour like a deluge over literary France. There scarcely ever was a society intellectually and morally more depraved than existed in some regions of English life in the days when Sir Robert Walpole kept a market for votes at Whitehall, and when the religious and social corruption kept the political corruption well in countenance. Hanoverian grossness had adapted to itself whatever was worst in the licence of the Restoration, and had debased and bestialised it. But let me quote what Godefroy in his great "Histoire de la Literature Francaise"— a work crowned by the French Academy— says of Voltaire's  connection with the English infidels. And here I would, in passing, recommend to every Irish student of the higher letters not to remain longer than can be helped without procuring the ten masterly volumes of Godefroy's "French Literary History":—
"The talent of Voltaire as a prose writer had hardly been suspected when be published, in 1731, 'The Letters on the English,' more commonly known as 'The Philosophical Letters.' It was after his return from England, where he had passed three years in the company of the Freethinkers. The 'Philosophical Letters' had the double object of popularising in France the opinions and the reputation of the English infidels. They were accordingly denounced by the clergy, and a decree of the Parliament of Paris of the 10th of June, 1734, condemned them to be burned by the common executioner as contrary to religion, morals, and the respect due to legitimate authority. All the letters insinuate an epicurian deism, and exalt the superiority of England, in religion, philosophy, law, war, art, and commerce."
It was the fitting prelude and opening of a career henceforth devoted to one prolonged attack, varied, with inexhaustible inventiveness, against the Catholic Church. Ecrason l'infame—Let Us Crush The Infamous Thing— was the perpetual exhortation of Voltaire to his correspondents and allies to destroy the Catholic Church. If the reader will look back to a preceding Chapter he will see that English Masonry had only been introduced into France ten years previous to Voltaire's importation of sceptical philosophy.
Under Voltaire and around Voltaire laboured with furious zeal the entire array of conspirators whose grand work in the century, forerunning the elevation of a prostitute Goddess of Reason on the altar of Notre Dame, was the destruction of the vast Jesuit missions not only in Europe but in America, in Asia, in Africa, in the pagan isles of ocean. The man who still wants to know why the Italian Masonic organs and leaders demand with such relentless hatred the spoliation of the Propaganda in our own day would be amply edified on the subject of his artless curiosity by simply turning back to the eighteenth century record of the mission churches left without a ministering priest, of the mission schools left without a teacher, of the native races thrown back upon the aboriginal heathenism, while thousands and thousands of servants of God loaded with chains, fainting with starvation, were cast to rot in the dungeons of Pombal and D'Aranda amid the frantic exultation of all the Voltairians and all the Brethren of the Mystic Tie.
While Voltairianism was soddening and sapping the society of France, and while the Masonic lodges— burrowing in the edifice of the State, like the teredo in the timbers of the stout ship, it will gradually bring to the bottom— were spreading in every direction, a great organising genius of evil had arisen in Germany. This was Adam Weishaupt, a Bavarian, who from meditating upon the spread of Masonry around him, conceived the daring project of making himself master of his organisation by indoctrinating it with his pantheist philosophy, and subjecting it to his vowed disciples. For years Weishaupt pursued this end. He first established the secret society of the Illuminists or Illuminati, signifying men who were enlightened by a higher knowledge than the vulgar herd, and gradually insinuated his influence among the lodges. He early divined that Masonry was ripe for its final development. A powerful section of the French Masons, in the so-called Convention of the Gauls, held at Lyons, encouraged him by the practical adoption of his views. Lutheranism had denied the authority of the Church. Socinianism, which is the offspring of Lutheranism, had denied the Divinity of Christ, and Socinian Masonry had carried the denial into practical politics, which, while maintaining a vague deism, implied the equal value of all creeds. Weishaupt drew the legitimate deduction that "as all creeds were equally true, they must he all equally false," and the secret, or the higher knowledge, which he communicated to his Illuminati, and which his adepts conveyed under the veil of fantastic rites, and under the penalty of horrid imprecations to selected organs in the regular lodges, was—
"Religion is superstition. There is no God, Nature is God, and reason is Nature's only priest. Men are the Divine and equal children of Nature. All means are good to destroy superstition."
Thousands had arrived at the same conclusion. All the disciples of all the Freethinkers had prepared the way. Mirabeau became its apostle in France. The idea spread like wildfire, now that an organising mind had arisen. The official convocation of the Duke of Brunswick, a high and venerable Mason, and the secret influence of the Illuminist Chief gathered together at Wilhelmsbad in 1781—three years after the death of Voltaire— a vast convention of Masonic delegates from all parts of the world, and the New Non-Credo received the enthusiastic sanction of all the worshippers of the goddess of Reason and the Infinite Potentiality of Matter. The men of theory crowned the work at Wilhelmsbad. It passed into the hands of the men of action, when the sickle of the guillotine reaped its red harvest on the Place of the Revolution and when the possessions of the Church were seized by the French Republic and again, when the lying Liberalism of Spain and Portugal confiscated the property of a thousand convents and again when the Mazzinians drove Pius the Ninth to Gaeta and when Palmerston and Cavour let loose the Garibaldians on the march to the Porta Pia and when the Gambettist Jacobins, all sworn Masons, expelled the religious orders and decreed a law of Atheistic Education for the Catholics of France.


To explain with any approach to completeness the part played by the great Freemasons during the past fifty years alone in executing the policy of the oath-bound order would be utterly beyond even the most generous limits of a newspaper's hospitality. The activity of any one of them, Mazzini or Proudhon for example, would be found to be inextricably involved with half the events of half of continental of Europe for generations. Who, without examination, would suspect preponderating influence of Proudhon, the Socialist philosopher, in directing the policy of the lodges? Yet the Monde MaÏ‚onique the journal which shares with the Chaine D'Union the official representation of French Masonry in the Press, in an article in December, 1881, declared that Proudhon's initiation in 1847 forms an epoch in the development of Masonry. "It was, above all, to his friends and disciples that Masonry owes the importance which marked its existence during the second half of the empire. Masonry has not forgotten Proudhon, for the life and work of Proudhon were in unison with the aspirations of Masonry." But it was Proudhon's mission he avows himself to deliver men from the ideas of the immortality of the soul and a Supreme Being, and to teach them that the idea of God was not only foreign to morality, but hurtful to morality." I could cite columns from the authorised publications of continental Masonry. I could show by innumerable extracts from the minutes of lodges and grand lodges how the Masonic temple models itself like a real anti-church and opposes anti-rites, anti-ministrations, even a blasphemous anti-sacrament to the rites, the orders, and the sacraments of the Catholic Church. I could quote the record of Masonic Baptisms where the ministering Grand Venerable proclaims over the innocent and helpless infant, "we do not baptise thee in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost." I could quote Masonic marriages where the nuptial pair make solemn promise to renounce "the confessional and the superstitions of Catholic religion" amid the applauding beat of Masonic mallets and the triumphant flourish of Masonic swords. I could quote the horrid preparation for the grave by which, the brethren vow neither themselves to seek the priest at the last hour "nor to permit "—utter and unspeakable infamy of Satanic intolerance— a dying and penitent brother to return to God on the brink of eternity.
The secret of Masonry ! Who cares for the trumpery pantomime of secrecy enacted in the lodges of inferior grades and useful dupes? Theirs is not the secret of the great arch-brethren who sap and mine the altars of Europe, and its thrones as well, when they do not find it expedient to skulk behind a show of temporal loyalty for the better prosecution of their anti-Christian designs. The secret of Masonry ! It is the secret of Faustus Socinus. It is the secret of Adam Weishaupt. It is the secret of Giuseppe Mazzini. It is the secret and the policy to have done with the Christian civilisation, and to erect the new temple on the ruins of the ancient church.
Here is an extract from the minute of the lecture of "Brother Gaston" at the meeting of the Grand Lodge of the so called Scottish Rite of Paris on the 21st of December, 1882:—
"Meeting of December 21st. Brother Gaston, member of the Lodge, delivered a most interesting lecture on the subject, 'God in the presence of Science.' . . . .  Space prevents us entering in to details. The applause of the meeting frequently emphasised the words of the lecturer. . . .  Brother Gaston intends in a few days to publish a work entitled 'God, he is the Enemy,' in which will be set forth the views he could only summarise in a lecture."
It is the worshipful Brother Dumonchel who thus reports the proceeding in the January number of the Bulletin Maconnique of the Grande Lodge Symbolique Ecossaise for the year 1882.
In the same year, 1882, a great assembly of Italian Freemasons in the theatre of Turin chanted together the fearful impiety of Josue Carducci's Infernal Hymn to the Spirit of Evil:—
Behold him as he passes, ye peoples.
Behold Satan the Great.
Beneficent he passes on his chariot of flame.
Hosannah, O Satan, hosannah, Great Rebel.
May our prayers, may our incense, mount consecrated to thee.
Thou hast conquered the Jehovah of the priests."
And this is the Secret of Freemasonry. And this is why Pope Leo XIII. renewing and amplifying the warnings and censures of his predecessors Clement XII. Benedict XIV. Pius VII. Leo XII. Pius VIII. Gregory XVI. and Pius IX. and citing and adopting Saint Augustin's celebrated Image of the City of Satan which opposes the City of God, has solemnly declared that modern Freemasonry is the City of Satan. In the words of the Pontiff—
"The ultimate purpose of the Masonic sect is the utter overthrow of that whole religious and political order of the world which the Christian teacher has produced, and the substitution of a new state of things in accordance with their ideas, of which the foundations and laws shall be drawn from mere Naturalism."
And this is "why, as Pope Leo adds"—
" There are many things like mysteries which it is the fixed rule to hide with extreme care, not only from strangers, but from very many members also; such as their secret and final designs, the names of the chief leaders, and certain secret and inner meetings, as well as their decisions, and the ways and means of carrying them out. This is, no doubt, the object of the manifold difference among the members as to right, office, and privilege— of the received distinction of orders and grades, and of that severe discipline which is maintained, candidates generally are commanded to promise— nay, with a special oath, to swear— that they will never, to any person, at any time or in any way make known the members, the passes, or the subject discussed.  Thus, with a fraudulent external appearance, and with a style of simulation which is always the same, the Freemasons, like the Manichees of old, strive, as far as possible, to conceal themselves, and to admit no witnesses but their own members."
What an authoritative commentary upon that saying of Benjamin Disraeli—who probably knew many things through the cosmopolitan fraternity of the Jews— "There are only two Powers in Europe to-day the Church and the Secret Societies."

1 August 1884, Issue 15, New Zealand Tablet, Volume 01, 

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