THIRTEEN YEARS LATER Timothy Dwight was still warning the public that Voltaire's deists had "inserted themselves into every place," "swarmed in the palace," "haunted the church"; that "every individual illuminée, and almost, if not quite, every infidel, on the continent of Europe, lent his labours" for the accomplishment of the French Revolution. Few Yale students before or since have heard quite as scathing and vitriolic a polemic as their president delivered in 1812:
The spirit of infidelity has the heart of a wolf, the fangs of a tyger, and the talons of a vulture. Blood is its proper nourishment: and it scents its prey with the nerves of a hound, and cowers over a field of death on the sooty pinions of a fiend...Enemies to all men, they were of course enemies to each other. Butchers of the human race, they soon whetted the knife for each other's throats...Knell tolled upon knell; hearse followed hearse; and coffin rumbled after coffin; without a mourner to shed a tear upon the corpse, or a solitary attendant to mark the place of the grave.
Since the coming of war in 1792, the final battle of Armageddon had begun, and it continued to rage even in 1812. "We are come upon a day of wrath," concluded Dwight.