By Albert Pike - "The thirst for power is never satisfied. It is insatiable. Neither men nor nations ever have power enough. When Rome was the mistress of the world, the Emperors caused themselves to be worshiped as gods. The Church of Rome claimed despotism over the soul, and over the whole life from the cradle to the grave.
It gave and sold absolutions for past and future sins. It claimed to be infallible in matters of faith. It decimated Europe to purge it of heretics. It decimated America to convert the Mexicans and Peruvians. It gave and took away thrones; and by excommunication and interdict closed the gates of Paradise against Nations.
Spain, haughty with its dominion over the Indies, endeavored to crush out Protestantism in the Netherlands, while Philip the Second married the Queen of England, and the pair sough t to win that kingdom back to its allegiance to the Papal throne. Afterward Spain attempted to conquer it with her "invincible" Armada. Napoleon set his relatives and captains on thrones, and parcelled among them half of Europe.
The Czar rules over an empire more gigantic than Rome.
The history of all is or will be the same,—acquisition, dismemberment, ruin. There is a judgment of God against all that is unjust.
To seek to subjugate the will of others and take the soul captive, because it is the exercise of the highest power, seems to be the highest object of human ambition. It is at the bottom of all proselyting and propagandism, from that of Mesmer to that of the Church of Rome and the French Republic. That was the apostolate alike of Joshua and of Mahomet.
Masonry alone preaches Toleration, The right of man to abide by his own faith, the right of all States to govern themselves.
It rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and subjugation."