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they are sworn to conceal. There is a society of Masons in Dublin who take the name of Druids; these Masons must be supposed to have a reason for taking that name. I come now to speak of the cause of secrecy used by the Masons.
The natural source of secrecy is fear. When any new religion over-runs a former religion, the professors of the new become the persecutors of the old. We see this in all the instances that history brings before us. When Hilkiah the priest and Shaphan the scribe, in the reign of king Josiah, found, or pretended to find, the law, called the law of Moses, a thousand years after the time of Moses, and it does not appear from the 2d Book of Kings, chapters 22, 23, that such law was ever practised or known before the time of Josiah, he established that law as a national religion, and put all the priests of the sun to death. " When the Christian religion over-ran the Jewish religion, the Jews were the continual subjects of persecution in all Christian countries. When the Protestant religion in England over-run the Roman Catholic religion, it was made death for a Catholic priest to be found in England. As this has been the case in all the instances we have any knowledge of, we are obliged to admit it with respect to the case in question, and that when the Christian religion over-ran the religion of the Druids in Italy, ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland, the Druids became the subjects of persecution. This would naturally and necessarily oblige such of them as remained attached to their original religion to meet in secret and under the strongest injunctions of secrecy. Their safety depended on it. A false brother might expose the lives of many of them to destruction; and from the remains of the religion of the Druids, thus preserved, arose the institution, which, to avoid the name of Druid, took that of Mason, and practised, under this new name, the rights and ceremonies of Druids.
District of New York, ss.
BE it remembered, that on the 14th day of September, in the thirty-fifth year of the independence of the United States of America, Margaret B. Bonneville, of the said District, has deposited in this Office, the Title of a Book, the right whereof she claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
"On the Origin of Free Masonry. By Thomas Paine."
In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the time therein mentioned," and also to an Act, entitled, "An Act supplementary to an Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned, and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of Designing, Engraving, and Etching Historical and other Prints."
CHS. CLINTON, Clerk of the District of New York.
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