Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

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Catherine II (1729-96), Empress of Russia.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

The demoralization of Catherine's later years must not obscure the fact that in her prime she was a sceptic of high humanitarian ideals. It was the excesses of the French revolutionaries, as represented by fugitive nobles and prelates, that led to her change of views. Until that time she had been in complete sympathy and constant correspondence with Voltaire and other anti-Christian French humanitarians. She had materially helped Diderot and invited him to settle in Russia. In her letters to Paris she scorned the "mummeries" of the Russian Church and made a quaint profession of Deism: "I am one of the imbeciles who believe in God." Under French influence she founded many schools for the people, for the first time in Russia, and ordered a reform of the laws and of the administration of justice. "The people are not created for us, but we for the people," she wrote in an instruction of the year 1767. For many years she devoted herself to reform and philanthropy, but the corruption of the age defeated her good resolutions, and the outbreak of the Revolution drove her into the arms of the reactionaries. (See McCabe's Romance of the Romanoffs, 1917, Ch. XI.)


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