sole claim to greatness, to recognition, is its past.
Masonry's greatness is not in the antiquity of its beginnings, neither in its conservatism, but rather in the fact that it has always been a leader of thought and action.
Its members have been the world's pioneer corps, clearing away the dense growth of ignorance, bridging the turbid waters of superstition and fanaticism, blazing ways of enlightenment whereon the mighty army of humanity...might move to nobler achievements, to grander victories.
The great leaders in Masonry as well as in the secular world have been men who, though clinging tenaciously to certain great principles, were quick to see and take advantage of everything in the line of progress and development. Theirs was no blind conservatism holding fast to a dead past, but a glorious faith in the possibilities of the future, a faith, that, like the star in the East which led the Magi of old to the lowly birthplace of the Redeemer has led mankind under the leadership of many a Moses through the wilderness of pain and travail and bitter opposition into the bright light of twentieth century civilization.
I repeat, a comprehensive understanding of the history of Masonry leads inevitably to the conclusion that not through conservatism has it most served the world, but rather through its spirit of unrest, its utter abhorrence of unnecessary restraint, its abiding love for liberty, its unconquerable desire to progress away from the old to the new and better conditions.
Wherever the conflict has been waged between the old and the new, between a narrow conservatism and real progress, our Masonic brethren have been found on the right side, witness the members of St. Andrew's lodge of the Green , Dragon who threw the tea into Boston . harbor.
We must not be content to abide in the glory of bygone days. There is need today of just such men as have made Masonry great in the past. We cannot rest on our laurels, but following in the footsteps of our sires we must make Masonry of the twentieth century as potent a factor for good as it has been in the centuries that have gone.— Masonic Tidings.
Antiquity Admitted a Century Ago.
An old book published in London in the early part of the last century contains the following in regard to Freemasonry:
"This very ancient society is so called, either from some extraordinary knowledge of Masonry, of which they are supposed to be masters, or because the first founders of this society were persons of this profession. They are now very considerable, both on account of their numbers and the rank they hold in society, being found in every country in Europe, as well as North America; and they consist principally of persons of merit and consideration. They make no small pretentions to antiquity, for they claim a standing of some thousands of years. What the design of their institution is, seems still in some measure a secret.
"The members are said to be admitted into the fraternity by being put into possession of a great number of secrets, called the Mason's word, which have been religiously kept from age to age. In a treatise on Masonry, published in 1792, by William Preston, grand master of the Lodge of Antiquity, the origin of Masonry is traced from the creation. Ever since symmetry began, and bar-
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