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Bode, Johann Joachim Christoph

Born in Brunswick, 16th of January, 1730. One of the most distinguished Freemasons of his time. In his youth he was a professional musician, but in 1757 he established himself at Hamburg as a bookseller, and was initiated into the Masonic Order. He obtained much reputation by the translation of Sterne's Sentimental Journey and Tristram Shandy, of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield; Smollett's Humphrey Clinker; and of Fielding's Tom Jones, from the English; and of Montaigne's works from the French. To Masonic literature he made many valuable contributions; among others, he translated from the French Bonneville's celebrated work entitled Les Jsuites chasss de la Maonnerie et leur poignard bris par les Maons, meaning The Jesuits driven from Freemasonry and their weapon broken by the Freemasons, which contains a comparison of Scottish Freemasonry with the Templarism of the fourteenth century, and with sundry peculiar practices of the Jesuits themselves.

Bode was at one time a zealous promoter of the Rite of Strict Observance, but afterward became one of its most active opponents. In 1790 he joined the Order of the Illuminati, obtaining the highest Degree in its second class, and at the Congress of Wilhelmsbad he advocated the opinions of Weishaupt,. No man of his day was better versed than he in the history of Freemasonry, or possessed a more valuable and extensive library; no one was more diligent in increasing his stock of Masonic knowledge, or more anxious to avail himself of the rarest sources of learning. Hence, he has always held an exalted position among the Masonic scholars of Germany. The theory which he had conceived on the origin of Freemasonry--a theory, however, which the investigations of subsequent historians have proved to be untenable--was, that the Order was invented by the Jesuits, in the seventeenth century, as an instrument for the re-establishment of the Roman Church in England, covering it for their own purposes under the mantle of Templarism. Bode died at Weimar on the 13th of December, 1793.

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