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pantheon! That he was a man of great and various, talents, none can deny; but his want of sound learning, and moral qualifications, will ever prevent him from being ranked with the benefactors of mankind, by the wise and good. Such an Hero, indeed, is befitting a nation under judicial infatuation, to answer the wise ends of the GOVERNOUR of the world. If the reader has felt himself injured by the poison of this man's writings, he may find relief for his wounded mind, by perusing carefully FINDLAY's Vindication of the Sacred Books from the Misrepresentations and Cavils of VOLTAIRE; and LEFANU's Letters of certain Jews to VOLTAIRE. The hoary Infidel cuts but a very sorry figure in the hands of the Sons of Abraham.
Since the publication of the first edition of this little work, we have had an account of the last days of this extraordinary man by the Abbé BARRUEL, author of The History of the French Clergy. And it is so extremely interesting, that I will lay it before the reader in a translation of that gentleman's own words, taken from his History of Jacobinism, by the editor of the British Critic.
"It was during VOLTAIRE's last visit to Paris, when his triumph was complete, and he had even feared that he should die with glory, amidst the acclamations of an infatuated theatre, that he was struck by the hand of PROVIDENCE, and fated to make a very different termination of his career.
In the midst of his triumphs, a violent hemorrhage raised apprehensions for his life. D'ALEMBERT, DIDEROT, and MARMONTEL, hastened to support his resolution in his last moments, but were only witnesses to their mutual ignominy, as well as to his own.
Here let not the historian fear exaggeration. Rage, remorse, reproach, and blasphenry, all accompany aud characterize the long agony of the dying Atheist. His death, the most terrible that is ever recorded to have stricken the impious man, will not be denied by his companions of impiety. Their silence, however much they may wish to deny it, is the least of those corto
.borative proofs, which could be adduced. Not one of the Sophisters has ever dared to mention any sign given, of resolution or tranquillity, by the premier chief, during the space of three months, which elapsed from the time he was crowned in the theatre, until his decease. Such a silence expresses, how great their humiliation was in his death!
It was in his return from the theatre, and in the midst of the toils he was resuming in order to acquire fresh applause, when VOLTAIRE was warned, that the long career of his impiety was drawing to an end.
In spite of all the Sophisters, flocking around him, in the first days of his illness, he gave signs of wishing to return to the GOD he had so often blasphemed. He calls for the priests who ministered to Him, whom he had sworn to crush, under the appellation of THE WRETCH*. His danger increasing, he wrote the following note to the Abbé GUALTIER:-You had promised me, Sir, to come and hear me. I intreat you would take the trouble of calling as soon as possible-Signed VOLTAIRE. Paris, the 26th Feb. 1778.
A few days after he wrote the following declaration, in presence of the same Abbé GUALTIER, the Abbé MIGNOT, and the Marquis de VILLEVIEILLE, copied from the minutes deposited with Mr. MoмET, notary
at Paris :
"I, the underwritten, declare, that for these four days past, having been afflicted with a vomiting of blood, "at the age of eighty-four, and not having been able to "drag myself to the church, the Rev. the Rector of St.
SULPICE, having been pleased to add to his good "works, that of sending to me the Abbé GUALTIER, a priest; I confessed to him; and if it pleases God to dispose of me, I die in the Holy Catholic Church, in "which I was born; hoping that the divine mercy will deign to pardon all my faults. If ever I have scan
* It had been customary during many years for VOLTAIRE to call our blessed SAVIOUR-THE WRETCH. And he vowed that he would crush him. He closes many of his letters to his infidel-friends with the same words-Crush the WRETCH!
"dalized the Church, I ask pardon of GoD and of the. "Church. Second of March 1778. Signed VOLTAIRE; "in presence of the Abbé MIGNOT, my nephew, and "the Marquis de VILLEVIEILLE, my friend."
After the two witnesses had signed this declaration, VOLTAIRE added these words, copied from the same minutes:-"The Abbé GUALTIER, my confessor, having "apprized me, that it was said among a certain set of people, I should protest against every thing I did at ,46 my death;' I declare I never made such a speech, and "that it is an old jest, attributed long since to many "of the learned, more enlightened than I am.
Was this declaration a fresh instance of his former hypocrisy for he had the mean hypocrisy, even in the midst of his efforts against Christianity, to receive the sacrament regularly, and to do other acts of religion, merely to be able to deny his Infidelity, if accused of it.
Unfortunately, after the explanations. we have seen him give of his exterior acts of religion, might there not be room for doubt? Be that as it may, there is a public homage paid to that religion in which he declared he meant to die, notwithstanding his having perpetually conspired against it during his life. This declaration is also signed by that same friend and adept, the Marquis de VILLEVIEILLE, to whom, eleven years before, VOLTAIRE was wont to write, "Conceal your "march from the enemy, in your endeavous to CRUSH "THE WRETCH!"
VOLTAIRE had permitted this declaration to be carried to the rector of St. SULPICE, and to the archbishop of Paris, to know whether it would be sufficient. When the Abbé GUALTIER returned with the answer, it was impossible for him to gain admittance to the patient. The conspirators had strained every nerve to hinder the CHIEF from consummating his recantation, and every avenue was shut to the priest, which VOLTAIRE himself had sent for. The demons haunted every access; rage succeeds to fury, and fury to rage again, during the remainder of his life.
Then it was that D'ALEMBERT, DIDEROT, and about twenty
twenty others of the conspirators, who had beset his apartment, never approached him, but to witness their own ignominy; and often he would curse them, and exclaim: "Retire! It is you that have brought me to my present state! Begone! I could have done without you all; but you could not exist without me! And what a wretched glory have you procured me?" Then would succeed the horrid remembrance of his conspiracy. They could hear him, the prey of anguish and dread, alternately supplicating or blaspheming that GOD whom he had conspired against; and in plaintive accents would he cry out, "Oh CHRIST! Oh JESUS "CHRIST!" And then complain that he was abandoned by GoD and man. The hand which had traced in ancient writ the sentence of an impious and reviling king, seemed to trace before his eyes, CRUSH THEN, DO CRUSH THE WRETCH. In vain he turned his head away; the time was coming apace when he was to appear before the tribunal of him he had blasphemed; and his physicians, particularly Mr. TRONCHIN, calling in to administer relief, thunderstruck, retire, declaring the death of the impious man to be terrible indeed. The pride of the conspirators would willingly have suppressed these declarations, but it was in vain. The Mareschal de RICHELIEU flies from the bed-side, declaring it to be a sight too terrible to be sustained; and Mr. TRONCHIN, that the furies of ORESTES could give but a faint idea of those of VOLTAIRE*.
* DIDEROT and D'ALEMBERT also, his friends and companions in Infidelity, are said to have died with remorse of conscience somewhat similar to the above.
This account of the unhappy end of VOLTAIRE is confirmed by a letter from M. de Luc, an eminent philosopher, and a man of the strictest honour and probity.
Let the reader consult D'ALEMBERT's Account of the death of VoLTAIRE in a letter to the King of Prussia, and his Eulogium at Berlin, where it is partly denied, but denied in such a way as to give strong reason to suppose his end was without honour. See King of Prussia's Works, vol. 19, p. 130-152; and vol. 13, p. 517.
Mr. CowPER, in his Poem on Truth, has alluded to the above circumstances in the character of this rch-infidel:
6. Mr. ADDISON tells us of a Gentleman in France, who was so zealous a promoter of Infidelity, that he had got together a select company of disciples, and travelled into all parts of the kingdom to make converts. In the midst of his fantastical success he fell sick, and was reclaimed to such a sense of his condition, that after he had passed some time in great agonies and horrors of mind, he begged those who had the care of burying him, to dress his body in the habit of a Capuchin, that the Devil might not run away with it: and, to do further justice upon himself, he desired them to tie a halter about his neck, as a mark of that ignominious punishment, which, in his own thoughts, he had so justly deserved.
7. The last days of DAVID HUME, that celebrated Deist, were spent in playing at whist, in cracking his jokes about CHARON and his boat, and in reading LuCIAN, and other entertaining books. This is a consummatum est worthy of a clever fellow, whose conscience was seared as with an hot iron! Dr. JOHNSON observes upon this impenitent death-bed scene-"HUME Owned "he had never read the New Testament with attention. "Here then was a man, who had been at no pains to inquire into the truth of religion, and had continually "turned his mind the other way. It was not to be ex"pected that the prospect of death should alter his way of thinking, unless GoD should send an angel to set him right. He had a vanity in being thought easy." DIVES fared sumptuously every day, and saw no danger: but-the next thing we hear of him is-In hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torments !*
"The Frenchman first in literary fame,
"(Mention him if you please-VOLTAIRE :-The same.)
It is much to be lamented that a man of HUME's abilities should have prostituted his talents in the manner it is well known he did. With