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Montana Freemason  August 2013                           Volume 87 Number 3

to-day lives of men at this period. Consider this: the   call antagonists in countries under civil war: rebels, or
men we call heroes now were traitors, disloyal to their  revolutionaries? It suggests how we the audience are
country-England. The English referred to them as         supposed to understand them).
Rebels. They were involved in a rebellion, a treasonous
act. They risked capital punishment. We only call            When we think of the “revolutionaries” in our
them revolutionaries now because they ultimately         country’s past, and claim that “Freemasons made
won. Even today, the later American “Civil War”          America,” I am left wondering what it is about our
refers to those loyal to the government as Federalists   fraternity that we are referring to. I am going to
or Unionists, and those who were not loyal to the        examine some quotations from men whose ideas
government as “rebels.” Why rebels? Because they         were prominent in the war for independence, and see
lost. (For this reason I am always fascinated to hear    if we can find a theme that might give us some idea of
what television personalities known as “reporters”       where to look in Freemasonry.

1. I think with you, that nothing is more important for the public weal, than to form and train up youth
    in wisdom and virtue. Wise and good men are in my opinion, the strength of the state; more so than
    riches or arms... - Benjamin Franklin

2. The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess
    most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next
    place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold
    their public trust. - Alexander Hamilton

3. No government can continue good but under the control of the people; and . . . . their minds are to be
    informed by education what is right and what wrong; to be encouraged in habits of virtue and to be
    deterred from those of vice . . . . These are the inculcations necessary to render the people a sure basis
    for the structure and order of government. - Thomas Jefferson

4. Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people
    whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country
    who tries most to promote its virtue, and who ... will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of
    power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. - Samuel Adams

5. We ought to consider what is the end of government before we determine which is the best form. Upon
    this point all speculative politicians will agree that the happiness of society is the end of government,
    as all divines and moral philosophers will agree that the happiness of the individual is the end of
    man.... All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that
    the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. - John Adams

6. Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people. The general government . . . can never be
    in danger of degenerating into a monarchy, an oligarchy, an aristocracy, or any despotic or oppressive
    form so long as there is any virtue in the body of the people. - George Washington

7. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence
    to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental
    principles. - Virginia Bill of Rights

8. Whenever we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
    - Thomas Paine

9. Let a man's zeal, profession, or even principles as to political measures be what they will, if he is without
    personal integrity and private virtue, as a man he is not to be trusted. - John Witherspoon

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