Masonic History of The North-West States

Masonic History of The North-West States
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The astounding diffusion and marvellous growth of Freemasonry, not less than its wonderful vitality and remarkable influence upon men and nations, have constantly excited amazement among the peoples of the earth. It has seemed as if the Institution were not only of divine origin but also under the fostering care and protection of the Godhead, to such an extent has it been patronized apparently, by the Deity. But whether the countenance which the Craft has received is resolvable to celestial approval or merely to human favor, it is certain that its basic principles have ever contained essential elements of the larger conduct of man in his relations with his fellows; and from this Masonic seed has been germinated the vital code of liberty of speech, action and conscience, which is now recognized in all civilized countries as the birthright of every individual.
Progressive, modern thought, recent development of broadly free governments, and the constant advance of the times in every direction – material, mental and spiritual – are all directly traceable to the vitalizing system of postulates enunciated by the Masonic Fraternity, which spread beyond the limits of the Society and its devotees and unerringly pointed the course toward the consummation of the greatest happiness and freedom of the individual conjoined to his highest duty to Man and the State. The opposition of kings, priests and politicians was unable to stem or overcome the ever – increasing power of the Masonic tenets. The doctrines of equality, justice and liberty appealed too strongly to the weak and oppressed to be eradicated by command, cajolery, sophistry or threat. Hence the fulminations of temporal and religious sovereigns were fruitless. Persecution of the members of this new Fraternity was the natural reward of their temerity in setting up novel standards for the guidance of Man in his worldly and spiritual walks, but even this failed of its purpose. The feeble spark became the glowing flame which melted the shackles that Ignorance, Superstition, Intolerance and illiberalism had forged, and the enlightening conflagration from this fervent blaze is gradually consuming the remnants of the fanaticism, bigotry, oppression and false gods which the past has covertly and craftily attempted to transmit in their fullness to this period of light and reason, but which happily have come down the ages more and more denuded of their terror and power.