MYSTICS OF PETERSBURG

Famous masons: Novikov

While the thoughts of masons were secluded by "the small world", i.e. by the internal state of the human being, they didn't worry the empress Catherine the Second much, but as soon as in the centre or their attention appeared "the big world", she found in this a threat for herself and pricked up her ears.

This is the essence of conflict between Catherine and the main enlightener of that time Nicolai Novikov, journalist and publisher

As one of historians has precisely noticed, Novikov begun with a negative method (satirical magazines), and then has passed to the positive one (moral magazines and work in lodges).

His publishing activitity, according to many reliable opinions, "has created the Reader in Russia" thanks to surprisingly wide for those times scope of the business.

The "circle" of his editions is huge and sometimes contains non-comparable with each other texts: from works of well-known fathers of church like Blissful Augustin and Fomo Kempijsky to Moliere comedies and popular in that time Richardson's novels, from Erazm Rotterdam to "Robinzon Crusoe" by Defoe.

In the preface to Ancient Russian Vifliofika (Library) Novikov wrote: It is useful to know customs, and ceremonies of the ancient foreign people: but it is much more useful to have such data about our ancestors; is it laudable to love and do justice to advantages foreign, but it is a shame to despise the compatriots, and it is even more and to shun these.

Paying a tribute to "the first Russian mason, Novikov also published well-known Peter the Great Act by famous historian Nikolay Golikov.

Source:
The historical encyclopaedia "the Freemasonry and masons: three centuries in Russia".