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Jean Meslier - Superstition in All Ages

Jean Meslier - Superstition in All Ages

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Superstition In All Ages (1732)
Project Gutenberg's Superstition In All Ages (1732), by Jean Meslier ThiseBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost norestrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re−use it underthe terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook oronline at www.gutenberg.orgTitle: Superstition In All Ages (1732) Common SenseAuthor: Jean MeslierCommentator: VoltaireTranslator: Anna KnoopRelease Date: January 25, 2006 [EBook #17607]Language: English
Superstition In All Ages (1732)1
 
Character set encoding: ISO−8859−1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOKSUPERSTITION IN ALL AGES (1732) ***Produced by Gary KleinSUPERSTITION IN ALL AGESBy Jean Meslier1732A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST, WHO, AFTER A PASTORALSERVICE OF THIRTY YEARS AT ETREPIGNY IN CHAMPAGNE,FRANCE, WHOLLY ABJURED RELIGIOUS DOGMAS, AND LEFTAS HIS LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT TO HIS PARISHIONERS,AND TO THE WORLD, TO BE PUBLISHED AFTER HIS DEATH, THEFOLLOWING PAGES, ENTITLED: COMMON SENSE.Translated from the French original by Miss Anna Knoop1878LIFE OF JEAN MESLIER BY VOLTAIRE.Jean Meslier, born 1678, in the village of Mazerny, dependency of theduchy of Rethel, was the son of a serge weaver; brought up in the country,he nevertheless pursued his studies and succeeded to the priesthood. At theseminary, where he lived with much regularity, he devoted himself to thesystem of Descartes.Becoming curate of Etrepigny in Champagne and vicar of a little annexedparish named Bue, he was remarkable for the austerity of his habits.Devoted in all his duties, every year he gave hat remained of his salary tothe poor of his parishes; enthusiastic, and of rigid virtue, he was very
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temperate, as much in regard to his appetite as in relation to women.MM. Voiri and Delavaux, the one curate of Varq, the other curate of Boulzicourt, were his confessors, and the only ones with whom heassociated.The curate Meslier was a rigid partisan of justice, and sometimes carriedhis zeal a little too far. The lord of his village, M. de Touilly, havingill−treated some peasants, he refused to pray for him in his service. M. deMailly, Archbishop of Rheims, before whom the case was brought,condemned him. But the Sunday which followed this decision, the abbotMeslier stood in his pulpit and complained of the sentence of the cardinal."This is," said he, "the general fate of the poor country priest; thearchbishops, who are great lords, scorn them and do not listen to them.Therefore, let us pray for the lord of this place. We will pray for Antoine deTouilly, that he may be converted and granted the grace that he may notwrong the poor and despoil the orphans." His lordship, who was present atthis mortifying supplication, brought new complaints before the samearchbishop, who ordered the curate Meslier to come to Donchery, where heill−treated him with abusive language.There have been scarcely any other events in his life, nor other benefice,than that of Etrepigny. He died in the odor of sanctity in the year 1733,fifty−five years old. It is believed that, disgusted with life, he expresslyrefused necessary food, because during his sickness he was not willing totake anything, not even a glass of wine.At his death he gave all he possessed, which was inconsiderable, to hisparishioners, and desired to be buried in his garden.They were greatly surprised to find in his house three manuscripts, eachcontaining three hundred and sixty−six pages, all written by his hand,signed and entitled by him, "My Testament." This work, which the authoraddressed to his parishioners and to M. Leroux, advocate and procurator forthe parliament of Meziers, is a simple refutation of all the religious dogmas,without excepting one. The grand vicar of Rheims retained one of the three
Superstition In All Ages (1732)3

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