Their latest post comments on the first From mid-December to mid-February, I will read one book in the series each night and post a blog entry about it the next morning.
But how shall we get hold of them? We must begin with grown girls Religious Occurrences; in which there was an account of the various schisms in the Fraternity of Free Masons, with frequent allusions to the origin and history of that celebrated association.
This account interested me a good deal, because, in my early life, I had taken some part in the occupations shall I call them of Free Masonry; and having chiefly frequented the Lodges on the Continent, I had learned many doctrines, and seen many ceremonials, which have no place in the simple system of Free Masonry which obtains in this country.
I had also remarked, that the whole was much more the object of reflection and thought than I could remember it to have been among my acquaintances at home.
There, I had seen a Mason Lodge considered merely as a pretext for passing an hour or two in a fort of decent conviviality, not altogether void of some rational occupation. I had sometimes heard of differences of doctrines or of ceremonies, but in terms which marked them as mere frivolities.
But, on the Continent, I found them matters of serious concern and debate. Such too is the contagion of example, that I could not hinder myself from thinking one opinion better founded, or one Ritual more apposite and significant, than another; and I even felt something like an anxiety for its being adopted, and a zeal for making it a general practice.
I had been initiated in a very splendid Lodge at Liege, of which the Prince Bishop, his Trefonciers, and the chief Noblesse of the State, were members. Petersburgh I connected myself with the English Lodge, and occasionally visited the German and Russian Lodges held there.
I was importuned by persons of the first rank to pursue my masonic career through many degrees unknown in this country.
But all the splendour and elegance that I saw could not conceal a frivolity in every part.
It appeared a baseless fabric, and I could not think of engaging in an occupation which would consume much time, cost me a good deal of money, and might perhaps excite in me some of that fanaticism, or, at least, enthusiasm that I saw in others, and perceived to be void of any rational support.
I therefore remained in the English Lodge, contented with the rank of Scotch Master, which was in a manner forced on me in a private Lodge of French Masons, but is not given in the English Lodge. My masonic rank admitted me to a very elegant entertainment in the female Loge de la Fidelite, where every ceremonial was composed in the highest degree of elegance, and every thing conducted with the most delicate respect for our fair sisters, and the old song of brotherly love was chanted in the most refined strain of sentiment.
I do not suppose that the Parisian Free Masonry of forty-five degrees could give me more entertainment. I had profited so much by it, that I had the honour of being appointed the Brother-orator.
In this office I gave such satisfaction, that a worthy Brother sent me at midnight a box, which he committed to my care, as a person far advanced in masonic science, zealously attached to the order, and therefore a fit depositary of important writings.
I learned next day that this gentleman had found it convenient to leave the empire in a hurry, but taking with him the funds of an establishment of which her Imperial Majesty had made him the manager.
I was desired to keep these writings till he should see me again. About ten years afterward I saw the gentleman on the street in Edinburgh, conversing with a foreigner.
As I passed by him, I saluted him softly in the Russian language, but without stopping, or even looking him in the face. He coloured, but made no return: I endeavoured in vain to meet with him, intending to make a proper return for much civility and kindness which I had received from him in his own country.
I now considered the box as accessible to myself, and opened it. I found it to contain all the degrees of the Parfait Macon Ecossois, with the Rituals, Catechisms, and Instructions, and also four other degrees of Free Masonry, as cultivated in the Parisian Lodges.
I have kept them with all care, and mean to give them to some respectable Lodge. But as I am bound by no engagement of any kind, I hold myself as at liberty to make such use of them as may be serviceable to the public, without enabling any uninitiated person to enter the Lodges of these degrees.
This acquisition might have roused my former relish for Masonry, had it been merely dormant; but, after so long separation from the Loge de Ia Fidelite, the masonic spirit had evaporated.
Some curiosity, however, remained, and some wish to trace this plastic mystery to the pit from which the clay had been dug; which has been moulded into so many different shapes, "some to honor, and some to dishonor. My curiosity was strongly roused by the accounts given in the Religions Begebenheiten.
There I saw quotations without number; systems and schisms of which I had never heard; but what particularly struck me, was a zeal and fanaticism about what I thought trifles, which astonished me. Men of rank and fortune, and engaged in serious and honorable public employments, not only frequenting the Lodges of the cities where they resided, but journeying from one end of Germany or France to the other, to visit new Lodges, or to learn new secrets or new doctrines.
I saw conventions held at Wismar, at Wisbad, at Kohlo; at Brunswick, and at Willemsbad, consisting of some hundreds of persons of respectable stations. I saw adventurers coming to a city, professing some new secret, and in a few days forming new Lodges, and instructing in a troublesome and expensive manner hundreds of brethren.
German Masonry appeared a very serious concern, and to be implicated with other subjects with which I had never suspected it to have any connection. I saw it much connected with many occurrences and schisms in the Christian church; I saw that the Jesuits had several times interfered in it; and that most of the exceptionable innovations and dissentions had arisen about the time that the order of Loyola was suppressed; so that it should seem, that these intriguing brethren had attempted to maintain their influence by the help of Free Masonry.
I saw it much disturbed by the mystical whims of J. And I observed that these different sects reprobated each other, as not only maintaining erroneous opinions, but even inculcating opinions which were contrary to the established religions of Germany, and contrary to the principles of the civil establishments.
At the same time they charged each other with mistakes and corruptions, both in doctrine and in practice; and particularly with falsification of the first principles of Free Masonry, and with ignorance of its origin and its history; and they supported these charges by authorities from many different books which were unknown to me.
My curiosity was now greatly excited. I got from a much respected friend many of the preceding volumes of the Religions Begebenheiten, in hopes of much information from the patient industry of German erudition. This opened a new and very interesting scene; I was frequently sent back to England, from whence all agreed that Free Masonry had been imported into Germany.
I was frequently led into France and into Italy.This essay is an expression of that strong belief. He starts with the wonderful line, “Revenge is a kind of wild justice.” (I find a dozen books titled Wild Justice at Amazon.) Bacon meant ‘wild’ in both senses: uncivilized and unconstrained.
This idea, still widely held in the popular culture, suggests that venting aggression ultimately purges it from the body.
> The Complicated Psychology of Revenge. Published October 4, Comments. Gary Schouborg October 6, Nice article, but the expression is “just deserts,” meaning getting what is just and what is deserved. Reply. Free Essays on Revenge B Francis Bacon.
Search. Francis Bacon. Francis Bacon Bacons ideals were based on the total reformation of traditional thought. This theory, titled The Great Instauration rooted its basis in the assumptions that everything that has been claimed as knowledge in the past is wrong, and the human mind is completely capable.
In this essay, Bacon questions whether revenge is legally or morally defensible. Instead he presents a humanist view more in line with the Christian ideal of turning the other cheek (Matthew 5. 39–41) or leaving vengeance in the hands of God (‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay saith the Lord’, Romans 19).
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