In another situation, and in an active station in life, I should have been keenly occupied, and the founding of an order would have never come into my head.
When man lives under government, he is fallen, his worth is gone, and his nature tarnished.
But I would have executed much greater things, had not government always opposed my exertions, and placed others in situations which would have suited my talents.
And of all illumination which human reason can give, none is comparable to the discovery of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what happiness we are capable of, and what are the means of attaining it.
It was the full conviction of this, and of what could be done, if every man were placed in the office for which he was fitted by nature and a proper education, which first suggested to me the plan of Illumination.
Nothing would be more profitable to us than a right history of mankind.
The head of every family will be what Abraham was, the patriarch, the priest and the unlettered lord of his family, and Reason will be the code of laws to all mankind.
The human race will then become one family, and the world will be the dwelling of Rational Men.
Oh mortal man, is there anything you cannot be made to believe?
Of all the means I know to lead men, the most effectual is a concealed mystery.
The hankering of the mind is irresistible.
Let this circumstance of our constitution therefore be directed to this noble purpose, and then all the objections urged against it by jealous tyranny and affrighted superstition will vanish.
G is Grace, the Flaming Star is the Torch of Reason. Those who possess this knowledge are indeed Illuminati.
My general plan is good, though in the detail there may be faults.