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ten by respectable men, in whose recital of facts the utmost confidence may be reposed. In the books I refer to, the “ ascent of the revolutionary power of France, its impious and atheistical principles, and its ruinous exploits, are clearly delineated. Indeed it is impossible for any unprejudiced person, agreeing with me in my interpretation of the text, and who has only read the daily papers, reciting the dreadful transactions of the French republic, not to perceive the prototype of the “ beast of the bottomless pit" before him. For these reasons, I shall have occasion here to do no more, than take a very cursory view of the origin and “ascent” of this monstrous power.
It is necessary to observe, as it leads to the first great feature in the description of the French republic, that the prophets, when speaking of their other beasts, make use of the words “ come up," " appear,” and “ rise,” in the world : but that the prophet here informs us, that the “ beast of the bottomless pit” was to “ascend,” to denote that its political prototype should gradually and imperceptibly be rising for some time, before it should pour out its poisonous principles, and commit its ravage and havoc on mankind; as the vapours, which are to form the cloud, gradually and imperceptibly “ascend” in the atmosphere, until it is prepared to discharge its inundating storms of rain, hail, thunder, and lightning, upon the earth. Here we have an undoubted allusion to the manner, in which the atheistical republic of France was to come, For it will presently
be seen, that it has long since been conceived, and gradually and imperceptibly, within the last century, growing to maturity, and is now brought forth in the sight of all mankind.
To illustrate these truths, we must look back to the ancient pride and lust of France (“ the bottomless pit" here alluded to) for universal dominion ; to its intolerant and bloodthirsty superstition, and to the modern, mystical, and impious French philosophy: for all of them have had their share in begetting, nourishing, and bringing the revolutionary hydra to maturity. Abundant evidence is to be found in the histories of Europe, that the French nation has far surpassed all others in pride, ambition, dissipation, and licentiousness; that it has been the common disturber of the peace of Europe, and that its ceaseless aim has been the subjugating mankind to its power, its vice, bigotry, and despotism. To these inordinate passions, it has, without intermission or remorse, sacrificed all the principles of honour, justice, and humanity. Regardless of its treaties with other nations, it has no longer observed, than it wanted power to violate them with impunity. How often, by its intrigues and conspiracies, as well as by open force, has it involved Great-Britain, Germany, and the neighbouring nations, in scenes of bloodshed and desolation? And what pen can calculate the millions of the human race, that have fallen victims to its superstition, and policy, and public perfidy?
The French nation, if it was not the first was
among the first which became preverted from the Gospel of Christ, to Papal idolatry and blasphemy, and ever since, till of late, has been their principal support and protection. Twice it saved that idolatrous and plasphemous power from utter ruin, when in its infancy; and from that time has been under the influence of the Popes of Rome, the most potent and bloody persecutors of every denomination of Christians in the western hemisphere, that has differed in opinion from it. The numbers that have been massacred at home, and have perished in foreign wars, surpass calculation. Of the Waldenses and Albigenses, that small remnant of the Christian church, which existed in the twelfth century, upwards of a million of men, women, and children, were in a few years inhumanly murdered'; besides numbers, who fled into mountains, rocks, and deserts, to avoid the horrid carnage. In its long-protected wars with the Hugonot protestants, not less than a million more were sacrificed by its all-devouring sword. And for what crime, for what offence were those innocents destroyed, but for that of believing the truths, and practising the precepts revealed
by God to his creatures, through the two testaments? For these barbarous and bloody services, the French nation has been honoured by the church of Rome, with the title of the eldest son of the church!
At first view, such bigoted fanaticism seems incompatible with atheism, but the reverse is true. For it must be confessed, that every deviation and apostacy from the principles of those
truths which proceed from GOD, the great source and essence of all truth, is a step towards error ; and the greater the stride, the nearer the approach to a total disbelief of a First Cause. The Papal fanaticism is evidently a gross corruption, and departure from the divine truths, revealed by the Spirit of God, through his blessed Son. 'The belief in transubstantiation, in the power of priests ordained by man, to forgive sins, in the worship of images, saints, and dead men, and in the infallibility of the Pope, are in direct opposition to the divine truths of the Gospel. The first is a manifest perversion of the words of Christ, from their metaphorical and spiritual sense into a blasphemous mystery; the second into a daring assumption of one of the attributes of God, his infinite mercy; the third, a direct disobedience of one of his express commands; and the last, a flat denial of God's supremacy, by an unqualified assertion of the Pope's being equal to him. Thus far advanced on the high road of error and blasphemy, the French nation had only a single step more to take, to arrive at the most palpable of all falsehoods, the grossest of all lies, the non-exist- . ence of a God-ATHEISM.
Be it remembered, that about the middle of the last century, three men were born in France, who seem, from their couduct, to have been sensible of the preceding truths. They are unhappily well known in the world by the names of Voltaire, D'Alembert, and Diderot. They falsely called themselves philosophers, and yet they hated wisdom ; and their doctrines they named philosophy, although they were founded in mystical folly. They were men of strong and extensive mental powers, and men of learning, but of the most restless spirits, of pride and ambition insatiable, and of application and industry, which never lost sight of their object. Nor could they ever be discouraged in the pursuit of it. If they loved any thing except themselves, it was the perversion of truth, a relish for mischief and anarchy. Like Satan, they hated God himself only because he was their creator, benefactor, and superior. Thus disposed, they entered into a horrid conspiracy to subvert, and utterly destroy all the social order, peace, and happiness of the world, which had been founded upon the truths revealed by God in the two Testaments. But how was this black and execrable plot to be accomplished ? It was only by seducing and cheating mankind into a belief of the reverse of those sacred truths. "And as this was a work of time and immense labour, which called for all the cunning, delusion, and fraud, that the depraved sagacity of men or devils could invent, they sought for the aid of others. Nor was it difficult in this age
of too much infidelity, to find it. They were joined by the Sceptic, Spinosist, Materialist, Fatalist, and the higher atheistical orders of the occult lodges of free masonry; those dark caverns, where the “ mystery of iniquity” has for ages been concealed under the most horrid and inviolable oaths; oaths inviolate only through the dread of tremendous execrations, and threatened death! those dark and unfathomable gulfs of treason, poison,