Sacred Texts  Sub Rosa  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Code of the Illuminati: Part III of Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, by A Barruel, tr. Robert Edward Clifford [1798], at

p. 558


Instructions for the Provincial.

By far the greater part of the code of laws which has just been laid before the reader as relating to the Regents and Prefects of the Illuminées, was originally written by Weishaupt for the instruction of his Provincials. This is evident from the first digest of these laws, as they appear in the second part of the second volume of the Original Writings of the Sect, from page 17 to 43. It is even one of those parts which Knigge looked upon as a master-piece of politics. 1 So replete with artifice did he think it, that he deemed it a pity to circumscribe the knowledge of it to the Provincials alone. The reader has seen what use he has made of them, thoroughly persuaded that the Regents in general, and particularly the Local Superiors, could greatly benefit the Order by attending to them. The Areopagites and General consented to these new dispositions; but the following part of this chapter remained appropriated to the Provincials.

"I. The Provincial shall make himself perfect master of the whole constitution of the Order. The system of it should be as familiar to him as if he had invented it."

"II. As a guide for all his actions, he shall adopt the whole government and the instructions already laid down for the Regents and Local Superiors, not neglecting a single rule. "

"III. The Provincial shall be chosen by the Regents of his Province, and be confirmed by the National Superior. . . . 2 The high Superiors (the Areopage and General) have the power of deposing him."

"IV. He shall be a native of, or at least be thoroughly acquainted with the province under his inspection."

"V. He shall be engaged as little as possible in public concerns, or in any other enterprize, that he may devote all his time to the Order."

"VI. He shall assume the character of a man retired from the world, and who only seeks rest."

"VII. He shall fix his residence as nearly as possible in the centre of his province, the better to watch over the different districts."

"VIII. On his being named Provincial, he shall leave his former characteristic, and assume that which the high Superiors shall give him.—The

p. 559

same Superiors will send him the impression of the seal he is to bear, and he will wear it engraved on his ring."

"IX. The archives of the province, which the Regents will have taken care to seal up and carry away on the demise of his predecessor, are to be entrusted to him on his nomination."

"X. The Provincial will monthly transmit the general report of his province to the National Inspector immediately over him. As he himself only receives the reports of the Local Superiors a fortnight after the month is up, he will necessarily be always a month behind-hand, making, for example, the report of May about the end of June, and so on. This report will be subdivided into as many parts as he has Prefects under his inspection. He will carefully note every thing of consequence that has happened in any of the schools or lodges: also the names, ages, country, station in life, and the date of the reversal letters, of each new adept; the high Superiors wishing to have no further information concerning the new adepts until they come to the class of Regent, unless on some particular occasion."

"XI. Beside this monthly report, he is to apply to the National Superior in all extraordinary cases which are not left to his decision. He is also to send in his personal tablets every three months; and he will undertake no political enterprize without having first consulted."

"XII. He has nothing to do with the other Provincials. Let things go on well or ill in a neighbouring province, it is no business of his. If he wishes to ask any thing of the other Provincials, let him apply to the National Inspector."

"XIII. If he has any complaint to make against the Inspector, he will direct his letter Soli or Primo."

"XIV. All the Regents of the province are his counsellors; they are to second and help him in all his enterprizes. If it be convenient to him, he should have two of them near his person to serve him as secretaries."

"XV. He confirms the nominations of all the Superiors of the inferior degrees. He also names the Prefects, but they must be approved by the Director, who can refuse his sanction."

"XVI. He has a right to send the brethren who are pensioned by the Order, and to employ them in those parts of the province where he may think them most useful."

"XVII and XVIII. He transmits the characteristics of the brethren and geographical names of the lodges to the Prefects, as he receives them from the high Superiors."

"XIX. He is also to send the names of the excluded brethren, that an exact list may be preserved in all the assemblies."

"XX. When he has any reprimand to make to a Brother, whom it may be dangerous to offend, he will assume an unknown hand, and the signature of Basyle. This name, which no member of the Order bears, is peculiarly preserved for that object.

p. 560

"XXI. He will sometimes write to the Inferior degrees; and on the proposition of the Epopts he will decide what books are to be put into the hands of the young adepts according to the degrees they are in.—He is as much as possible to promote libraries, cabinets of natural philosophy, Musæums, collections of manuscripts, &c. in the most convenient parts of his Province; these, it may easily be conceived, are only intended for the adepts.

"XXII. The Provincial opens the letters of the Minor and Major Illuminees which are directed Soli. He also reads the Quibus Licets of the Epopts and Primos of the Novices; but can neither open the Primo of the Minerval, the Soli of the Knight, nor the Quibus Licet of the Regent." 3 This gradual power of opening the letters of the Brethren according to the degree they belong to, plainly indicates that some mark peculiar to each degree is made use of; but I have not been able to discover that mark. The reader will have observed, that all the letters, even the Quibus Licets, are opened by Brethren of a higher degree than that of the adept who writes; and consequently he can never know who it is that answers him, as the rules of this Hierarchy are only made known to the Brethren in proportion as they rise in dignity. The Provincial himself can only form a conjecture as to the persons who open his letters and those of the other Brethren which he is not permitted to open himself.

"XXIII. He shall raise no Brother to the degree of Regent, without having first obtained the consent of the National Inspector.

"XXIV. He is to inform the Dean of the branch of science which each new adept has made choice of on his admission into the Minerval Academy.

"XXV. Lest any of the Archives should be mislaid, he will take care to form but one bundle of all the tablets, reversal letters, and other documents relating to the same adept.

"XXVI. He will apply himself to procure as many co-operators as possible for the Order, in the scientific branches.

"XXVII. He will transmit to the Deans all remarkable treatises or discourses, and every thing relative to the degree of Epopt; for example, the lives historical or characteristic, dissertations, &c.

"XXVIII. If among the Epopts any men be found endowed with great talents, but little fitted for the political government of the Order, the Provincial must devise means of removing them from such functions.

"XXIX. When the Chapters of the Scotch Knights are composed of more than twelve Knights, he will raise the ablest among them to the degree of Epopt.

"XXX. In each Chapter he will have a confidential Epopt, who will be his secret censor or spy.

"XXXI. The Provincial will receive his letters patent from the National Superior—When he issues those for the Chapters of the Scotch Knights, he will make use of the following formula: 'We of the Grand Lodge of the Germanic Orient, constituted Provincial and Master of the district of N N, make known that by these presents we give to the venerable Brother (here is the characteristic and true name of the new Venerable or Master) full powers to

p. 561

erect a secret Chapter of the most holy Scotch Masonry, and to propagate this Royal Art conformably to his instructions by the establishment of new Masonic Lodges of the three symbolic degrees—Given at the Directory of the District—

(L. S.)

Secret Provincial
of the Directory

without any further signature.


"XXXII. To say every thing in a few words, the Provincial has the special charge of putting his province in a proper situation for attempting every thing for the general good, and for preventing all evil.—Happy the state where our Order shall have acquired such power! Nor will it prove a difficult task for the Provincial who shall implicitly follow the instructions of his high Superiors.—Seconded by so many able men deeply versed in moral sciences, submissive and secretly labouring like himself, there can be no noble enterprize which he may not undertake, nor evil design which he cannot avert—Therefore let there be no connivance at faults; no Nepotism, no private piques; no views but for the general good; no object, no motives but those of the Order. And let the Brethren rely upon us, that we shall never create any Provincials but such as are capable of fulfilling these duties; but let it be also remembered, that we reserve in our hands all the means necessary for chastising the man who should presume to abuse the power he has received from us." 4

"XXXIII. This power must never be employed but for the good of the Brethren. We should indeed help all whom we can help; but when the circumstances are similar, the members of our society are always to have the preference.—Particularly as to those whose fidelity is proof against all the powers of seduction. In their support let us be prodigal of our toils, our money, our honour, our goods, even our blood; and let the least affront offered to any Illuminee be the general cause of the Order."

Thus terminate the instructions for the Provincial. They forewarn us of the existence of a most tremendous power above him whence all the authority of the Order emanates; a power which reserves to itself the means of chastising whoever shall abuse that portion which it has entrusted to any of its adepts; that is to say, who shall not have made it subservient to the grand object and to all the plots of the Sect.—There are, in fact, three offices in the hierarchal Orders of Superiors above the Provincial. First, the National Directors, then the Supreme Council called the Areopagites by the Sect, the authority of which extends over the Illuminees of all nations; and that is presided over by the General of the Order. The following Chapter will give every light on these supreme Magistrates of Illuminism which the known Archives of the Sect can reflect.

p. 562


562:1 See his last Observations.

562:2 There is an omission in the copy from which these rules have been printed, which makes part of this article unintelligible. p. 562

562:3 This article is extracted from the instructions for the Prefect; but, being directly addressed to the Provincial, I have placed it here.

562:4 See the Instruction D for the degree of Regent.

Next: Chapter XVIII. Of the National Directors, of the Areopagites, and of the General of Illuminism