War of Anti-Christ with the Church - Rev. G. E. Dillon

The Convent of Wilhelmsbad

From its rise Freemasonry appears as a kind of dark parody of the Church of Christ. The names taken by its dignitaries, the form of its hierarchy, the designations affected by its lodges and "obediences," the language of its rituals, all seem to be a kind of aping after the usages of Christianity. When Saint Martin wished to spread his Illuminism in France, he managed to have a meeting of deputy Masons from all the lodges in that country. This was designated the "Convent of the Gauls"; and Lyons, the place of its meeting, was called "The Holy City."

Weishaupt had more extended views. He meant to reach all humanity by means of Masonry, and looked for a "Convent" far more general than that of Lyons. When, therefore, he had matured his plans for impregnating the Masonry of the world with his infernal system, he began to cast about for means to call that Convent. The Illuminism of Saint Martin was in full sympathy with him, but it could not effect his purpose. He wanted a kind of General Council of the Masonry extended at the time throughout the earth to be called together; and he hoped that, by adroitly manipulating the representatives whom he knew would be sent to it by the lodges of every nationality of Masons, his own Illuminism might be adopted as a kind of high, arch, or hidden, Masonry, throughout its entire extent.

He succeeded in his design, and in 1781, under the official convocation of the Duke of Brunswick, acting as Supreme Grand Master, deputies from every country where Freemasonry existed were summoned to meet at Wilhelmsbad in council. They came from every portion of the British Empire; from the newly formed United States of America; from all the Nations of Continental Europe, every one of which, at that period, had lodges; from the territories of the Grand Turk, and from the Indian and Colonial possessions of France, Spain, Portugal, and Holland. The principal and most numerous representatives were, however, from Germany and France.

Through the skillful agency of the notorious Baron Knigge, and another still more astute adept of his, named Dittfort, Weishaupt completely controlled this Council. He further caused measures to be there concerted which in a few years led to the French Revolution, and afterwards handed Germany over to the French revolutionary Generals acting under the Girondins, the Jacobins, and the Directory. I would wish, if time permitted, to enter at length into the proofs of this fact. It will suffice, however, for my present purpose, to state that more than sufficient evidence of it was found by the Bavarian Government, which had, some five years later, to suppress the Illuminati, and that one of the members of the convent, the Count de Virene, was struck with such horror at the depravity of the body that he abandoned Illuminism and became a fervent Catholic. He said to a friend:—"I will not tell you the secrets which I bring, but I can say that a conspiracy is laid so secret and so deep that it will be very difficult for monarchy and religion not to succumb to it." It may be also of use to remark that many of the leaders of the French Revolution, and notably most of those who lived through it, and profited by it, were deputy Masons sent from various lodges in France to the Convent of Wilhelmsbad.