If, like the Captain of our salvation, they sincerely desired the good of souls, they would tread in the steps and follow the perfect example of that Prince of Peace, who sent out His soldiers to the subduing of nations, and gathering them into His Church, not armed with the sword, or other instruments of force, but prepared with the Gospel of peace and with the exemplary holiness of their conversation. This was His method. ***
The toleration of those that differ from others in matters of religion is so agreeable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to the genuine reason of mankind, that it seems monstrous for men to be so blind as not to perceive the necessity and advantage of it in so clear a light. John Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration.
John Locke (1632-1704) was an English philosopher. His ideas and theories on the state of nature and how it applies to government are used in many American historical documents. These documents, such as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, are essential in the way that our government functions today. John Locke, a philosopher during the Age of Enlightenment, wrote the Second Treatise on Civil Government. This writing contained his theories and opinions on the reason there is a government, and how it should be run. John Locke's theories on natural rights of man, equality, and a properly functioning government are incorporated into our earliest historical documents, and lay a foundation for the government that exists today.
I’ve been writing the last couple of weeks about my perception of Jesus’ tolerance. Glad to find that a noted philosopher agrees.
Masons should take note, especially those of Christian belief, and emulate the invitation of Jesus as well as His acknowledgment that it is our free will that allows us to accept – or reject – that invitation.
(Click on the link above for the complete Letter.)