Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/202

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OPEN SECRET SOCIETIES.


1865.


━━0━━


I.


Inscribed upon the banners of the grandest Secret Societies recorded in history, as at once their motto and their vindication, we read the great words, Love, Truth, Justice. Love, when the Society has professed to discipline its members in fraternity, expanding and attuning their hearts to its cosmic laws, and thus gradually preparing an Age of Gold for the iron-bound earth. Truth, when the Society has professed to cherish for secure development some priceless germ of doctrine, too weak and tender as yet to bear the rough storms of the open air. The truth may be purely scientific, without any direct relation to the existing polity; in which case it is fostered in secret because the vulgar mind cannot comprehend it, and its cultivators fear persecution as professors of the black art. Or it may be religious, having a direct relation to the existing polity; in which case its votaries are secretly undermining a superstition or spiritual tyranny as yet too strong to be openly attacked. Justice, when the end of the Society is political or social, in immediate relation to active life; in which