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Broadside entitled 'Speech of M. Dupont, the French Atheist'


Speech of M. DUPONT, the French Atheist.

The late Enormities committed in France need not be so much wondered
at, as any Man of common Humanity would otherwise do, when it is con-
sidered that the Leaders of that miserable Country have thrown off all
Regard to Religion. The following is an exact Translation from a
SPEECH made in the National Convention at Paris, (on the 14th of
December last, in a Debate on the Subject of establishing Public Schools
for the Education of Youth) by Citizen DUPONT, a Member of consider-
able Weight.?And, as the Doctrines contained in it were received with
unanimous Applause, except from two or three .of the Clergy, it may be
fairly considered as an Exposition of the Creed of that enlightened Assembly.
------Translated from LE MONITEUR of Sunday the 16th of December 1792.

WHAT ! Thrones are overturned ! Scep-
tres broken ! Kings expire ! And yet
the Altars of God remain ! (Here there is a
murmur from some Members; and the Abbé
ICHON demands, that the person speaking may
be called to order.) Tyrants in outrage to Na-
ture Continue to burn an impious Incense on
those Altars ! (Some murmurs arise, but they are
lost in the Applauses from the Majority of the
Assembly.) The Thrones that have been re-
versed, have left these Altars naked, unsup-
ported, and tottering.?A single Breath of en-
lightened Reason will now be sufficient to
make them disappear.?And if Humanity is
under Obligations to the French Nation for
the first of these Benefits, the Fall of Kings,
can it be doubted, but that the French Peo-
ple now Sovereign, will be wise enough, in
like Manner, to overthrow those Altars and
those Idols, to which those Kings have hitherto
made them subject ??Nature and Reason, these
ought to be the Gods of Men ! These are my
Gods! (Here the Abbé AUDREIN cried out,
" There is no bearing this ;" and rushed out
of the Assembly.?A great Laugh.') Admire
Nature?cultivate Reason.?And you, Legisla-
tors, if you desire that the French People
should be happy?make haste to propagate
these Principles, and to teach them in your
primary Schools, instead of those fanatical
Principles which have hitherto been taught.
The Tyranny of Kings was consined to make
their People miserable in this Life?but those
other Tyrants, the Priests, extend their Domi-
nion into another, of which they have no other
Idea than of eternal Punishments ; a. Doc-
trine which some Men have hitherto had the
Good-nature to believe.?But the Moment of
the Catastrophe is come?all these Prejudices
must fall at the same Time.?We must destroy

them, or they will destroy us.?For myself! I ho-
nestly avow to the Convention?I am an Atheist!
(Here there is some Noise and Tumult?But a
great Number of Members cry out?" What is
that to us?You are an honest Man.")   But
I defy -a single Individual, amongst the Twen-
ty-four. Millions   of Frenchmen,   to   make
against. me any well-grounded Reproach.?
I doubt whether the Christians, or the Catho-
lics, of which the last Speaker, and those of
his Opinion, have been talking to us, can
make the same challenge.?(Great Applauses.)
There is another Consideration?Paris has had
great Losses.?It has been deprived of the
Commerce of   Luxury;   of that factitious
Splendor which was found at Courts, and in-
vited Strangers hither.?Well! We must re-
pair these Losses.?-Let me then represent to
you the Times,   that are fast approaching,
when our Philosophers, whose Names are ce-
lebrated throughout Europe, PETION, SYEYES,
CONDORCET, and others?surrounded in our
Pantheon, as the Greek Philosophers were'at
Athens with a Crowd of Disciples coming
from ail parts of Europe, walking like the
Peripatetics, and teaching?this Man, the Syf-
tem of the Universe, and developing the Pro-
gress of all human Knowledge; that, persec-
tioning the Social System, and shewing in
our decree of the 17th of June 1789, the seeds
of the Insurrections of the 14th of July, and
the 10th of August, and of all those Insurrec-
tions, which are spreading with such Rapidi-
ty throughout Europe?so that these young
Strangers, on their Return to their respective
Countries, may spread the same Lights, and
I may operate for the Happiness of Mankind, simi-
lar Revolutions throughout the World.-------
(Numberless Applauses arose, almost throughout the
whole Assembly?and in the Galleries.)

Note. On a late occasion, the People of Hainault, who have been conquered by France,
presented a petition to the National Convention, complaining, that they were more miserable
than under their former Government. But the President coolly answered, " That they had
" forfeited the first fruits of Liberty by their prejudices, and especially by their Habitudes
" Theocratiques ;" that is to say, their Habit of acknowledging the Existence and Power of God.

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Probable date published: 1792   shelfmark: ABS.10.203.01(005)
Broadside entitled 'Speech of M. Dupont, the French Atheist'
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