Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Spurious Freemasonry of Antiquity

In the vast but barren desert of polytheism—dark and dreary as were its gloomy domains—there were still, however, to be found some few oases of truth. The philosophers and sages of antiquity had, in the course of their learned researches, aided by the light of nature, discovered something of those inestimable truths in relation to God and a future state which their patriarchal contemporaries had received as a revelation made to their common ancestry before the flood, and which had been retained and promulgated after that event by Noah.

They were, with these dim but still purifying perceptions, unwilling to degrade the majesty of the First Great Cause by sharing his attributes with a Zeus and a Hera in Greece, a Jupiter and a Juno in Rome, an Osiris and an Isis in Egypt; and they did not believe that the thinking, feeling, reasoning soul, the guest and companion of the body, would, at the hour of that body's dissolution, be consigned, with it, to total annihilation.

Hence, in the earliest ages after the era of the dispersion, there were some among the heathen who believed in the unity of God and the immortality of the soul. But these doctrines they durst not publicly teach. The minds of the people, grovelling in superstition, and devoted, as St. Paul testifies of the Athenians, to the worship of unknown gods, were not prepared for the philosophic teachings of a pure theology. It was, indeed, an axiom unhesitatingly enunciated and frequently repeated by their writers, that "there are many truths with which it is useless for the people to be made acquainted, and many fables which it is not expedient that they should know to be false." 6 Such is the language of Varro, as preserved by St. Augustine; and Strabo, another of their writers, exclaims, "It is not possible for a philosopher to conduct a multitude of women and ignorant people by a method of reasoning, and thus to invite them to piety, holiness, and faith; but the philosopher must also make use of superstition, and not omit the invention of fables and the performance of wonders." 7

While, therefore, in those early ages of the world, we find the masses grovelling in the intellectual debasement of a polytheistic and idolatrous religion, with no support for the present, no hope for the future,—living without the knowledge of a supreme and superintending Providence, and dying without the expectation of a blissful immortality,—we shall at the same time find ample testimony that these consoling doctrines were secretly believed by the philosophers and their disciples.

But though believed, they were not publicly taught. They were heresies which it would have been impolitic and dangerous to have broached to the public ear; they were truths which might have led to a contempt of the established system and to the overthrow of the popular superstition. Socrates, the Athenian sage, is an illustrious instance of the punishment that was meted out to the bold innovator who attempted to insult the gods and to poison the minds of youth with the heresies of a philosophic religion. "They permitted, therefore," says a learned writer on this subject8, "the multitude to remain plunged as they were in the depth of a gross and complicated idolatry; but for those philosophic few who could bear the light of truth without being confounded by the blaze, they removed the mysterious veil, and displayed to them the Deity in the radiant glory of his unity. From the vulgar eye, however, these doctrines were kept inviolably sacred, and wrapped in the veil of impenetrable mystery."

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