Freemasonry is incapable of being honestly defended, and hence the votaries of that vile system must necessarily resort to the contemptible subterfuge of trying to cast discredit upon the testimony of seceding Masons. They prefer to believe that when once a man has taken the fierce and terrible oaths of the Masonic institution, and has bound himself under its ferocious death penalties, he ought to keep them inviolable as long as he lives, whether right or wrong; and to any one who repudiates these wicked and illegal obligations, and who renounces all further connection with the Christ-rejecting and God-dishonoring ceremonies and philosophy of the lodge room, the very mildest epithet which they can apply is, "perjured villain," " abandoned apostate," or "detestable wretch." Although this is but the argument of an impostor, yet they set it forth in such a plausible manner as to deceive the general public, and hence the urgent necessity for its refutation. In the following pages, then, this question is fully, and I trust, finally, disposed of, as it is there clearly demonstrated that Freemasonry has no secret and never had any since 1730; that taking it's degrees is a mere matter of purchase and sale; that the only condition upon which this sale is effected, is an imposture and a fraud from the very beginning on the part of Masonry itself; that no promise made to the candidate by the Worshipful Master, has ever been kept; that the Masonic obligations are, in themselves, a double violation of the law of the land and the law of God; and consequently that, so far from being bound in any way by such a wicked and fraudulent imposition, it is a Mason's duty to renounce forever and to denounce such a miserable piece of sham and outrageous folly.
This book is intended, however, not so much to defend seceding Masons, as to enlighten the minds of honest and conscientious adhering members, and so to lead from them the false philosophy and worship of Hiram Abiff, to that glorious liberty wherewith Christ alone can make them free.
Past Master Keystone Lodge, No., 639.
Chicago, Ill., June, 1880.
Table of Contents
Masonic Obligations Under what Condition Binding Masonry a Gross Imposture Possesses no Secret A Matter of Purchase and Sale Sold under False Pretenses Contract Null and Void. 7
Master's Charge Guarantee to the Candidate Covenant Mutually binding if at all Obligations profane the Name of God Masonry violates its own pledge Obligations Null and Void. 30
Obedience to Masonic Law, dishonoring to God Rejects the Mediatorship of Christ Ancient Charges Sectarian Tenets excluded Masonic Prayers Masonry is pure Theism Either the Bible or Masonry, False Masonry purely anti-Christian Its Obligation Null and Void. 43
God's Word dishonored by Masonry Three Great Lights Three Lesser Lights Holy Bible and Pagan Writings Masonic Law conflicts with Duty to God The Bible a sufficient Rule of Faith and Practice Why add the Square and Compass? The Scriptures Mutilated Christ's name Expunged Masonry in direct Conflict with God's Word Its Obligations Null and Void from the first. 57
How Masonry conflicts with Duty May Jesuit and Pagan Priests renounce their vows? Masonic Oaths utterly forbidden by God's Law Administered through Fraud and Hypocrisy Obedience, Right or Wrong Must yield Private Judgment Masonic Obligations impose Blasphemy The Violation of Law The Commission of Crime Oaths defined by the Episcopal Church Rash and profane Swearing forbidden by God's Word Masonic Oaths Null and Void. 75
The real Controversy between Masonry and Seceders "Master's Charge" Masonic Guarantee Masonic Oaths illegal In their Administration In their ferocious death Penalties Who is to inflict them? Masonry a Secret Conspiracy Conflicting Obligations Sworn to Answer and Obey Secret Signals Also to keep Crime a Secret Horrible Combination of Ideas Who is the "Perjured Villain," the Masonic Agent or seceding Mason? 91
Masonic Benevolence Wonderful Provision for Widows and Orphans Law in relation to "Worthy Distressed Brothers" Shams and Jugglery never made a Man Charitable Dishonest Suspicions Clandestine and suspended Masons Masonic Law Paramount to all other Woman's True Position, according to Masonry Young Men Excluded Gospel Morality and Masonic Morality Contrasted Evil Effects of Masonic Oaths Necessarily Null and Void. 114
Masonic Obligations both Positive and Negative Masonic Fables Men become Masons for the sake of Business Masonic Promises, Impostures Masonry does not Produce Friendship Freemasons themselves Despise the System Partial Honesty Warns Criminals Why Bad Men are Masons Masonic Chastity A Lady's Argument Masonic LawGod's LawWhich to be Obeyed? A Case Supposed. 136
Masonic Argument Masonic Claim How do Seceders Violate Masonic Obligations? What are Masonic Secrets The better the Mason, the bigger the Liar The Whole Obligation must be Observed, or none King Herod's Oath Peter's Oath Oath of Jewish Conspirators Washington's Oath Was Washington a "Perjured Villain?" Oath of Catholic Bishop Oath to kill Hiram Masonic Oaths to be Disregarded and Renounced Why. 157
Masonic Obligations Under what Condition Binding Masonry a gross Imposture Possesses no Secret A Matter of Purchase and Sale Sold under False Pretences Contract Null and Void.
The following are the so-called OATHS, "full of sound and fury," which are being almost nightly administered in Masonic secret lodges, without the slightest color of law, and which every man may take minister as well as layman before he can receive the several degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry:" (See the author's "Hand Book," pp. 35, 66 and 99.)
8 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED
OBLIGATION OF AN ENTERED APPRENTICE.
"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this Worshipful Lodge, erected to Him and dedicated to the Holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear:
1. "That I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the hidden mysteries of ancient Freemasonry which have been heretofore, may at this time or shall at any future period he communicated to me as such, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother Mason, or within a regularly constituted lodge of Masons; and neither unto him nor them until by strict trial, due examination or legal information, I shall have found him or them as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.
2. "I furthermore solemnly promise and swear that I will not write, print, paint, stamp, stain, cut, carve, mark or engrave them, cause the same to be done, upon anything movable or immovable capable of receiving the least impression of a word, syllable, letter or character, whereby the same may become legible or intelligible to myself or to any person under the whole canopy of heaven, and the secrets of Freemasonry be thereby unlawfully obtained through my unworthiness.
3. "To all of this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same, without any equivocation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatever.
"Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and buried in the rough sands of the sea at
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 9
low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn oath and obligation as an Entered Apprentice Mason, So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
OBLIGATION OF A FELLOW-CRAFT.
"I, A. B., of my own freewill and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this worshipful Lodge, erected to Him and dedicated to the Holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear:
I. "That I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the Fellow-Crafts' degree, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother Fellow-Craft, or within a regularly constituted lodge of Fellow-Crafts, and neither unto him nor them until by strict trial, due examination or legal information, I shall have found him or them as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.
10 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED
2. "I furthermore solemnly promise and swear that I will stand to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Fellow Craft degree, so far as the same shall come to my knowledge.
3. "Furthermore, that I will answer and obey all due signs and summons sent to me from a lodge of Fellow Crafts, or given to me by a another of this degree, if within the length of my cable-tow.
4. "Furthermore, that I will aid and assist all distressed worthy brother Fellow Crafts, they applying to me as such so far as their necessities may require and my ability permit, without material injury to myself.
5. " Furthermore, that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Fellow Crafts, nor a brother of this degree, knowingly, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings.
6. " To all of this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same, without any equivocation mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatever.
"Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open, my heart plucked out, and given as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn obligation as a Fellow Craft Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
MASTER MASONS OBLIGATION.
"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this Worshipful Lodge erected to Him and dedicated to the Holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear:
"That I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the Master Mason's degree, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother Master Mason, or within a regularly constituted lodge of Master Masons, and neither unto him nor them until by strict trial, due examination or legal information I shall have found him or them as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 11
2. "I furthermore solemnly promise and swear, that I will conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree, and of the lodge of which I may hereafter become a member, and that I will ever maintain and support the constitution, laws, and edicts of the Grand Lodge, under which the same shall be holden, so far as the same shall come to my knowledge.
3. "Furthermore, that I will answer and obey all due signs and summons sent to me from a lodge of Master Masons, or given to me by a brother of this degree, if within the length of my cable-tow.
12 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
4. "Furthermore, that I will keep the secrets of worthy brother Master Mason as inviolable as my own, when communicated to, and received by me as such, MURDER and TREASON excepted, and these only at my own option.
5. "Furthermore, that I will aid and assist all worthy, distressed brother Master Masons, their widows and orphans, they applying to me as such, so far as their necessities may require and my ability permit, without material injury to myself or family.
6. "Furthermore, that I will not sit in a lodge of clandestine Masons, nor converse upon the secrets of Freemasonry with a clandestine-made Mason, nor with one who is under the sentence of suspension or expulsion, to my knowledge while under such sentence.
7. "Furthermore, that I will not assist in, or be present at, the initiating, passing or raising of a woman, an old man in dotage, a young man under age, an atheist, a madman or a fool, I knowing them to he such.
8. "Furthermore, that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Master Masons, nor a brother of this degree, knowingly, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings, but will give him due and timely notice that he may ward off approaching danger, if in my power.
9. "Furthermore, that I will not knowingly strike a brother Master Mason, nor otherwise do him personal violence in anger, except it be in the necessary defense of my person, family or property.
10. "Furthermore, that I will not have illicit carnal intercourse with a Master Mason's wife, mother, sister or daughter, I knowing them to be such; nor suffer it to be done by others if in my power to prevent it.
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 13
11. "Furthermore, that I will not give the Grand Hailing Sign, or sign of distress of a Master Mason, except in real distress; in case of the most imminent danger; within a regularly constituted lodge of Master Masons; or in some secure place for Masonic instruction. And should I see the sign given, or hear the words accompanying it, I WILL IMMEDIATELY REPAIR TO THE RELIEF OF THE PERSON SO GIVING IT, should there be a greater probability of saving his life than of losing my own.
12. "Furthermore, that I will not give the Grand Masonic word in any other manner or form than that in which I shall hereafter receive it, and then only in low breath.
13. "To all of this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same, without any equivocation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind whatever.
"Binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in twain, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that no more trace or remembrance may be had of so vile and perjured a wretch as I, should I ever knowingly or willingly violate this my solemn obligation as a Master Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
These are the so-called obligations, these the terrible penalties of death, and these the rnock-solemn imprecations in the name of God, which every candidate, without distinction of rank or station, must take upon himself, in order to become a member of the Masonic fraternity, and before he can be put in
14 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
possession of any of the wonderful secrets! and the unspeakable mysteries! of that fabled and hoary-headed imposture! We see that, in order to make a man a full-fledged orthodox Master Mason, he is supposed to be found under the weight of twenty-two distinct and separate obligations; or at least he must repeat the words which purport to constitute these obligations. And now the question naturally presents itself, and is in fact the one of most paramount importance of all others, in the mind of every person who has thought at all upon this all-important subject: Is a man who assumes these obligations, or who, even voluntarily, enters into such a covenant, ever justified in seceding from the Masonic institution, and in making his public as may be, the pretended mysteries, the secret ceremonies, and the symbolic philosophy of the order?
The answer to these questions lies at the very foundation of the whole Masonic discussion at the present time. If the Masonic Covenant is binding; if it possesses such terrible and tremendous force as is arrogantly claimed for it by the celebrated Dr. Morris, Past Grand Master of Kentucky, and by all the other Grand Masters, Grand Kings, Grand Sovereigns, and the rest of our Masonic teachers and rulers throughout the country, who declare concerning it with one unanimous voice, that "no law of the land can effect it; no anathema of the Church can weaken it. It is irrevocable." I say if this be true; if a man who has once assumed these Masonic so-called obligations, is bound to observe them as long as he lives; then most unquestionably the principle of Anti-masonry is wrong, and seceding Masons are, to say the
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 15
least, guilty of a willful breach of trust, and are worthy of but very little confidence and respect. But on the other hand, if a person, in taking the Masonic obligations, is designedly deceived; if there are false promises held out to him; if the Masonic authorities administer the obligations under false pretences; if they knowingly and willfully misrepresent the real facts in the case; and if the Masonic covenant be thus imposed upon the candidate through falsehood and deception ; then most assuredly every Mason is bound by all the duties which he may owe as a man, a citizen or a Christian, to disregard at once and forever such a fraudulent imposture; to expose to the very extent of his ability and power such a deliberate swindle, and to call public attention to the perpetrators of such a base and wicked deception. Let us carefully investigate the question then, to ascertain bow the matter really stands; and while we do so, let us make our friends, the Masons themselves, be the referees in the case; and so let us judge Freemasonry out of its own mouth.
The figure on the following page is a correct representation of the relative positions occupied by the Worshipful Master of a Masonic lodge, and the candidate for initiation, just immediately previous to his taking the obligation. These two men are about to enter into a covenant, one with the other, The Worshipful Master is the representative or the agent of the Masonic institution, and is in reality, "the party of the first part," while the candidate acts upon his own personal responsibility, and is "the party of the second part."
As the representative or agent of the Masonic
16 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
institution, the Worshipful Master is SELLING Freemasonry, the candidate is BUYING it. It is a mere business transaction a simple matter of purchase and sale, as in the case of buying and selling real estate, dry-goods, groceries, or any other kind of merchandise or commodity which constitute the mercantile relations of every day life. Masonry is the seller, and engages and empowers the Worshipful Master to act as its special agent; while the candidate is the BUYER, and acts on his own behalf. Under these conditions then, these two men are brought, face to face, together and enter into a mutual covenant, contract or agreement which, like all other business contracts or covenants, contains certain clauses which are equally binding upon both parties. Now what are the conditions upon which the Masonic covenant is assumed
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 17
and administered? What guarantee, if any, does Freemasonry give to the candidate? What impression is sought to be made upon his mind in connection with the Masonic system? And how much of truth or falsehood is contained in all the Masonic mysticism, which is associated with the taking of these so-called obligations? The Worshipful Master, standing as in the foregoing figure, and addressing the candidate, says to him as follows:
"Rev. Dr. James Hunt" (or whatever his name may be), "you are now standing before the (sacred) altar of Freemasonry for the first time; but before proceeding any further in these solemn ceremonies, it becomes my duty, as Worshipful Master of this Lodge, to inform you that it is necessary for you to take upon yourself a solemn oath or obligation pertaining to this degree. It is one such as we all have taken, but I assure you upon the honor of a man and a Mason that, in this obligation, there is nothing which can conflict with any of these exalted duties you may owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family, or yourself." Hand-Book of Freemasonry, p. 35.)
This is the main part of the "charge" delivered to the candidate, as we see him standing before the altar, just previous to his taking the obligation, and in this "charge" are contained the conditions upon which he is required to assume it. And now, what are these conditions ? How much of truth and honesty is there connected with the administering of these Masonic obligations ? And what does "the honor of a man and a Mason" amount to, as expressed in this declaration by the Worshipful Master of a Masonic lodge?
In the first place it is stated that "as Worship-
18 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
ful Master of the lodge, it becomes his duty to inform the candidate that, before proceeding any further, it is necessary for him to take upon himself a solemn oath or obligation pertaining to this degree." Now, why is it the "duty of the Worshipful Master to thus inform" the candidate of this particular fact? Who imposes this "duty " upon him? By whose authority is he acting? And why is it really "necessary" at all, and at this stage of the proceedings, that the candidate should assent to, or assume, such an obligation? The Worshipful Master is acting by, or with the authority of the Grand Lodge of the State or Territory in which the lodge is held. As already stated, he is the agent of Masonry, invested with full power to act in its behalf; and in as much as the Grand Lodge, and also the subordinate constituent Lodge, into which the candidate is seeking admission, pretend that Freemasonry is a secret; that it contains "secret arts, parts, and points," and "hidden mysteries;" therefore, "it becomes necessary," or rather, it is pretended that "it becomes necessary" for the candidate "to take upon himself a solemn oath or obligation" to still maintain this pretendedly secret character of Masonry unimpaired. The Masonic Lodge virtually declares to the candidate, through the mouth of its Worshipful Master: "Freemasonry is a profound secret. It has descended to us, as such, through ages back. We are about to entrust this wonderful secret into your keeping; and if we confer this great honor upon you, you must, on your part, enter into a most solemn and binding obligation with us, to keep this great, mysterious secret inviolable to the end of your life." In a word, the Worshipful Master declares to the candidate, standing
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 19
as you see him in the foregoing figure: "Dr. hunt, Freemasonry is a secret; as such, we sell it to you; as such, we entrust it to your keeping; and you must therefore take a solemn oath or obligation to keep it a secret forever."
This is the first, and one of the main, conditions upon which the obligation is administered that Freemasonry contains some great, valuable, profound, mysterious, unearthly secret, which must never be revealed; and hence the candidate is asked to take an obligation to "ever conceal and never reveal " this alleged mystery.
But, is Freemasonry really a secret? does it comprise within itself any mystery or secret, valuable or worthless, which a man can learn in no way, except by initiation within the tiled recesses of a Lodge-room? Or does it contain any secret whatever? And does the Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge utter a truth or a falsehood to the candidate, when he alleges in the obligation, that there are "secret arts, parts and points," and "hidden mysteries " in ancient Freemasonry? What is it that's a secret? and in what does the "hidden mystery consist?
In 1730, when Freemasonry, in its present outward form of Grand Lodge government, was only just thirteen years old, and before even the Master Mason's degree was fully perfected, all its secret, and so-called mysteries, were printed and published by one Samuel Pritchard, of London, England, in a work entitled, Masonry Dissected. This book can be procured, even today, of L. Fitzgerald, publisher, New York, or through any other respectable book-seller.
20 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
In 1776, a book entitled Jachin and Boaz was also published in England, which revealed and explained in the fullest manner possible, all the alleged secrets and pretended mysteries of Ancient Masonry.
In 1825, the celebrated Richard Carlisle, of England, published all the pretended Secrets of Masonry; first, in The Republican, and afterward in book form under the title of Manual of Freemasonry; and this work is today the standard text-book among all the English and Colonial lodges, and from which the members post themselves in the correct ritual of the Order. I have a copy of this work now before me, and any bookseller can procure a similar one for any who may call for it.
In 1826, in the village of Batavia, N.Y., Captain William Morgan, a member in high standing in Batavia Lodge, wrote out the so-called secrets and pretended mysteries of Freemasonry, up to and including the Royal Arch degree; but the members of the Craft in that part of Western New York, not only stole from Morgan's wife the manuscript of the four Chapter degrees, but they actually abducted Captain Morgan himself, confined him as a prisoner in old Fort Niagara, and finally, on the 19th of September, 1826, they rowed him out in a boat into the middle of the Niagara River; and having tied ropes with heavy weights attached around his body, they threw the poor, unfortunate man into the river, where he sank beneath the dark waters, and was drowned.
In July, 1828, in the town of LeRoy, New York, a convention of seceding Masons was held, consisting of one hundred and three members, men who had taken from one to twenty degrees in Freemasonry;
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 21
and, having written out and signed a "Declaration of Independence" from the Masonic institution, they exposed, revealed and explained all the alleged secrets and unearthly mysteries of that blood stained system, from the Entered Apprentice, up to the degree of Knight of Kadosh inclusive. And not only so, but that same convention of seceding Masons, appointed fifteen of their number as a committee of which the Rev. David Bernard was chairman, whose business it was to write out fully and in proper form all the degrees of Masonry, and of every rite practiced in this country at that time, and publish them in book form. This great work was soon afterwards accomplished by Mr. Bernard under the title of Light on Masonry; a book containing, in all, twentv-seven degrees, and which can be procured today at the United Brethren Publishing Home, Dayton, O., from Ezra A. Cook & Co. of Chicago, or through any other respectable bookseller in the country.
In addition to the celebrated revelation of Masonry by Richard Carlisle, and those written at an earlier period by Samuel Pritchard and the author of Jachin and Boaz, another complete revelation of the Grand Lodge of England was made by "A Member of the Craft," Member of Witham Lodge, No. 297, Lincoln ; and afterwards of "Virtue Lodge," No. 152, Manchester, England; and was published in 1871 by S. Lippincott & Co., and can be procured from that publishing firm today.
The secrets of Freemasonry, such as they are, were also written out and published by Avery Allyn, by Jabez Richardson, by Malcom Duncan, by Dr. Robert Morris, Past Grand Master of Kentucky, by
22 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
President Charles G. Finney of Oberlin College, by Rev. J. G. Stearns, and by a host of other eminent adhering and seceding Masons. Add to this, that the Masonic Publishing Company, of the city of New York, has issued the three symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, a very plain and easy so-called cypher, under the name of Ecce Orienti; and the four Chapter degrees, under that of The Caballa; and that any man or woman, with an ordinary degree of intelligence can readily understand, and very easily read and learn all the secrets of Freemasonry from either of these books And last of all, the writer of these pages, who ruse to the highest position in the gift of his Lodge, in this city of Chicago, being Worshipful Master in 1872 and 1873; but who publicly seceded from the Order in the early part of 1875, and who not only worked the degrees in public, but actually wrote Masonry out just as it is, just as it is worked in the Lodge room, word for word, and published it to the world under the name of Hand Book of Freemasonry.
This book gives the "standard work" as it was rehearsed and promulgated by the National Masonic Convention, held at Baltimore Md., in 1843; and is really what its name indicates, a hand-book of Freemasonry, revealing all its so-called secrets, and exposing all its pretended mysteries; and of which twenty thousand copies have been printed and circulated from January, 1876, to January, 1880. This book is now generally used by Masons themselves, all over the country, as a secret monitor. Now in the face of all this vast array of Masonic expositions, and in
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 23
the very presence of such a mighty army of Masons of the highest rank, both as adhering Masons and steed. em, all testifying with one unanimous voice, that Freemasonry is no secret; all revealing its pretended mysteries; all exposing its so-called secret workings; all exemplifying in the clearest and plainest possible language the performance of its various buffoon and heathenish ceremonies; and all illustrating, even with well executed wood engravings, the very manner, in fact, in which even its different signs, grips, steps and passwords are given and exchanged between brethren; in the face of all this testimony) I say, how can any intelligent Mason, and more especially, how can any Worshipful Master of a Lodge pretend to say, that Masonry, as a whole, is a secret, or that it contains any secret whatever, which any reading man, woman or child on earth cannot learn without lodge initiation? Every Worshipful Master of a Lodge knows only too well that Masonry contains no secret. Every Grand Master knows this; every member of every Grand Lodge on earth knows it. And therefore it is nothing more or less than the consummation of the most outrageous fraud, to try to impose upon the candidate the notorious falsehood that Freemasonry is a secret; and that, as such, he must receive and swear to preserve it. And not only this, but it is a down-right, deliberate swindle on the part of the Masonic rulers, to sell Masonry as a secret, and charge, as they do, all over this land, from twenty to seventy-five and one hundred dollars, for its three symbolic degrees. What! Charge twenty, thirty and even fifty dollars, for that which can be purchased through any book store in America for fifty cents at least. If this
24 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
is not swindling, then will some "bright Mason" please rise up and explain to us what the term "swindle " means, in the very fullest and plainest acceptation of the term?
The true facts then, as regards Freemasonry, are willfully and knowingly misrepresented to the candidate, before taking his obligation. He is deceived by the Worshipful Master, as to the true character of the system which he is asked to pay his money for. A deliberate fraud is practiced upon him; a positive falsehood is uttered to him. And yet, with the full knowledge of all this misrepresentation, deception and imposture in the heart and mind of the Worshipful Master, he actually assures the candidate, as they stand facing each other, as represented in the foregoing figure, that it becomes necessary for him to take upon himself a solemn oath or obligation to keep inviolate the wonderful secrets of this still more wonderful institution. To keep that a secret which has been published to the world, time and again, during the last one hundred and fifty years! To keep that a secret which every school-boy and school-girl in the land can procure and learn, just as readily, and just as intelligently, as they can Algebra, Chemistry, Phonography, Surveying, or any other branch of the common English sciences. And hence, in entering into such a covenant as this, as is quite apparent to every one, he actually swears to lie; because, Masonry being already published in book form, he cannot possibly keep it a secret, nor can he even pretend that it is such, without uttering a positive falsehood.
Under these circumstances, then, the question becomes quite pertinent and proper, "Who is the liar"
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 25
and the "villain," the Worshipful Master, who knowingly and willfully deceives the candidate, or the candidate himself, who is foolish enough to pay his money for such an imposition and a fraud? And where does the alleged "perjury" come in? Is it when the candidate swears to lie and to deceive, or when he renounces such an abominable sham, and frees himself forever from such a stupendous yoke of wicked bondage?
And further, if the action of the Masonic agent, in thus willfully deceiving and defrauding the candidate, be not a flagrant crime against society, then one indeed is at a loss to understand what the true meaning of the word "crime" really is, or how a criminal act could he more surely, or more unmistakably committed. And then, again, let it be remembered that this crime is perpetrated, that this fraud is practiced, and that this falsehood is uttered, intentionally, knowingly, deliberately, and with the primary design of deceiving the poor, denuded, degraded, but selfish candidate, and of obtaining his money and his influence, whatever it may be.
And yet, after all this, and in view of all this accumulation of criminality and false pretences, on the side of our Masonic teachers, we are unblushingly informed that the obligation taken under these circumstances, and based upon such a stupendous mass of falsehood and fraud, is binding on the conscience of him who foolishly and wickedly assumes it.
What real or apparent difference is there between the criminal act committed by the Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge, who pretends that Masonry is a secret, and sells it as such to a confiding or misguided candidate, and that committed by a "confidence man,"
26 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
or a "mock auctioneer," who pretends that a bogus cheque, or a spurious brass watch, is genuine, and palms it off as such upon his unsuspecting victim? Masonry is sold by the Grand Lodges of America at from $25 to $75, under the positive guarantee that it is secret, that it is ancient, that it is a science, that it never has been, and never can be revealed, while every Grand Master, and every Worshipful Master in the country knows just as well as he knows his right hand from his left, that every such averment is false as the very father of lies himself, and that Masonry is now no more a secret than is Phonography, Algebra, Civil Engineering or any other branch of the English sciences. Brass or tin watches, made to look like gold or silver, and represented to be such, in reality, are sold in our "mock auction shops" in Chicago and in other large cities, at prices ranging from $5 up to $50 and $75. The auctioneer, in order to sell these watches, must lie about them, must misrepresent the real facts concerning them; and so be obtains money under false pretences amid thus becomes amenable to the law as a criminal.
Masonic degrees are likewise sold in all our Lodges for fabulous prices, and are misrepresented in precisely the same manner as to their real value. The Worshipful Master, as in the case of the "mock auctioneer," must also utter a deliberate falsehood; he must vehemently assert that his Masonic degrees are a profound secret; that they never have been, and never can be, obtained in any other way, than by regular initiation. And hence, like his fellow trader of the "mock auction store," he also obtains money under false pretences, by charging $25 to $75 for that which can be procured in
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 27
or through any respectable book store in the land for at least seventy-five cents.
Now which is the greatest criminal, the Masonic Lodge, or the "mock auctioneer? " And if the latter becomes amenable to the law and is punished for his criminality, why not the former?
The Grand Lodge of Illinois is dishonest as a body, in charging one hundred dollars, as pedlar's license, by the way of Charters, empowering men to sell Masonry, while every member of that body knows that all the Freemasonry there is in the world can be bought, even in Masonic book stores, for at least $3.
And the Blue or Subordinate Lodges are equally dishonest in charging $25 to $75 for that which every intelligent man among them knows, just as well as he knows his own name, is worth only fifty cent, if it be worth even that. Under these circumstances then, and in view of all the fraud, and imposture, and deception that must necessarily be practiced, in order to induce men to buy this thing called Masonry, how can any man, possessing not only honor, but even the very smallest modicum of common honesty, pretend to affirm that an obligation assumed, or a promise made, in connection with such a nefarious scheme, is binding to the end of life on the conscience of him who is ensnared in such a miserable trap.
If it were a fact that Masonry is a secret, and that a knowledge of its mysteries, be they good or bad, could be obtained in no other way than by Lodge initiation; if it were true, what is so vauntingly asserted in the ritual of the Fellow Craft degree, that "the attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue; and
28 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
that the mysteries of Masonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts;" I say, if all this were true, then, indeed, there might be some plausible reason why an obligation of secrecy should be imposed upon Masonic candidates. But knowing that all its so-called mysteries and secrets were printed and published years ago; knowing that every ceremony, sign, grip, password, emblem, legend and step in Freemasonry can be procured in book form from any respectable book seller in the country; then to sell it as a secret, is just as much an act of dishonesty, as it is for a "mock auctioneer " to sell a brass watch for gold. And the money obtained for Masonic degrees, is obtained under false pretences quite as much as, if not more, than that which the "mock auctioneer " receives for his worthless trinket. The crime is in both cases the same; and by right, the punishment ought to be the same.
When the candidate is in the act of buying Masonry, he is informed by the Worshipful Master that it is a profound secret, and as such, worth at least $25, and can be sold for no less a price; while in his heart of hearts he knows, that he is just then uttering a deliberate and wicked falsehood, and charging his poor, silly dupe at least $24.50 too much, and so, is absolutely cheating him out of so much money.
When the country granger is buying a bogus watch at the "mock auction" store, he is positively assured by the by auctioneer that it is pure gold, and worth from $25 to $75; while at the same time, he knows it's only brass or tin, coated over with some substance to imitate gold; and therefore, he deliberately lies, so as to obtain the money of his unsuspecting victim, and cheats him just so much.
POSSESSES NO SECRET. 29
Now will some Masonic Minister, some of those very pious, God-fearing men, who stand blindfolded, cable-towed, semi-nude and semi-slippered before the door of a Masonic Lodge, seeking for divine truth; I say will some of these men be good enough to tell us us what is the difference between the crime committed by the mock auctioneer, in selling spurious watches, and that committed by the Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge? There is no difference. Both practice deception, falsehood, fraud and cunning, in order to sell their respective wares; both knowingly and willfully cheat and defraud in their respective positions; both obtain money under the fakest of false pretences; both are dishonest; and hence there is, and there ought to be, no more faith kept with the one than with the other.
And to tell a man who has been thus imposed upon, whose money has been thus obtained by fraud and misrepresentation, that he must never tell of it; that he must never disclose the cheat, nor the names of those who have cheated him, is simply to add insult to injury and manifests a degree of brazen impudence, which is enough to make Satan himself blush for very shame.
An obligation assumed under such scheming deception, binding! Why, the very bare idea of such a thing, is a direct insult to common sense and a base caricature upon common honesty.
Master's Charge Guarantee to the Candidate Covenant Mutually binding if at all Obligations profane the Name of God Masonry violates its own pledge Obligations Null and Void
But we observe further that the Masonic obligation is administered and assumed under another condition; and in order to understand fully the nature of this condition, the relative positions of the parties to the contract must still be kept carefully in view. The Worshipful Master, the party of the first part, the candidate, the party of the second part; the one selling, the other buying. Thus situated, they enter into a mutual covenant, one with the other. Masonry makes certain promises and gives certain guarantees to the candidate; and the candidate, on his part, makes certain promises and gives certain guarantees to Masonry, but of course, conditioned upon those he receives.
Masonry says, through the mouth of its accredited agent, #150; the Worshipful Master, "Now, Dr. Hunt, you are about to become a Mason. You want to enjoy all the various 'rights and privileges' of Freemasonry. That is all very good and very desirable. We also want your influence and cooperation. We want you as a member of the Order; but before you can unit with us; before you can enjoy, or be entitled to any of our extraordinary privileges, you must take upon yourself such an obligation as we enjoin upon all our candidates. This obligation you must assume in the first place,
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD. 31
because Masonry is a profound secret. This is the first condition, and the main reason, in fact, why such an obligation 'becomes necessary' at all. But as 'the party of the first part;' as the duly accredited Masonic agent; as the Worshipful Master of the Lodge; 'I assure you upon the honor of a man and a Mason that, in this obligation, there is nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties you may owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family or yourself.' "
This is the solemn promise made to every candidate; this is the positive assurance given. And it is only in strict compliance with the terms of this promise that the Masonic obligation can have any binding force whatever. Freemasonry, through its accredited agent, makes a solemn promise to the candidate, it gives him a positive guarantee, it "assures him on the honor of a man and a Mason," that such and such things are so; and upon the absolute honesty and good faith of this promise and guarantee and assurance, it demands certain promises from the candidate. It declares, in effect, "I, as the party of the first part, do covenant and agree, and I further most solemnly promise and declare that 'there is nothing in the Masonic obligation which can conflict with any of those exalted duties you may owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family or yourself.' And now Dr. Hunt, with this assurance on my party, and under the express terms of this positive guaranty, are you willing, as the party of the second part, to enter into a mutual covenant with me, and make me certain promises, provided always that these promises which I make to you are strictly and faithfully adhered to and carried out?"
32 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
And so both parties covenant and agree together; Masonry promises certain things to the candidate, and the candidate promises certain things to Masonry. But let it be understood that the promises made by the candidate, are always conditional upon the honest and conscientious fulfillment of those given by the Lodge. If Masonry violates its own part of the solemn covenant, then will any reasonable person presume to assert that the candidate is bound to observe his party?
If the party of the first part willfully violates his part of the contract, mutually entered into, will any honest, unprejudiced person dare to maintain that the party of the second part is under obligation to keep inviolate his part of the covenant? Most assuredly not. "The terms of the contract must be faithfully observed by both, or else the whole becomes null and void; for in contracts, the obligations must be mutual; both must be bound, or neither." -[ 1 Blackstone's Com., Chap. XV.]
Let us now, therefore, examine how the conditions of this Masonic covenant are fulfilled, and by whom, and thus ascertain beyond a question, who it is that really violates the Masonic obligation, and becomes, according to Masonic interpretation, "a perjured villain." And first of all, let it be born in mind, that it is the obligation that makes the Mason. Take away the obligation, and Freemasonry falls, as one of the most corrupt and vicious institutions on the face of the earth. In every degree, the Masonic obligation is prominently set forth as being the very life and support of the entire system. In the Entered Apprentice degree, the question is asked: "What makes you a Mason?" Answer: "My obligation." [Hand Book, p. 52.]
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD. 33
In the Fellow Craft degree it is: "What makes you a Fellow Craft? "My obligation." [Hand Book, p. 84.]
And in the Master Mason's degree: "What makes you a Master Mason?" "My obligation." [Hand Book, p. 144.]
In every instance, it is the Masonic obligation that makes the Mason; and it is upon that obligation, therefore, that the whole system rests. And hence it must necessarily follow that, when the solemn and positive assurance is given to the candidate that: "There is nothing in the obligation that can conflict with any of those exalted duties he may owe to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself," it simply means that there is nothing in the entire system of Freemasonry at large, "which can conflict with any of those exalted duties." This averment is a deliberate, a wicked and a vicious falsehood; and like the assurance given in regard to the pretended secrecy of the Order, is an absolute deception, a fraud, and a misrepresentation from beginning to end. And hence, the candidate not only is not bound to observe any part of the Masonic covenant, contract, obligation, or whatever else it may be called; but it is in fact his bounden duty to repudiate at once and forever any pretended claim which Masonry may have upon him, and to expose the imposture which it so deceitfully and so basefully practices, so that others may be warned from being entrapped in the same snare.
Freemasonry guarantees that it is a secret. It also guarantees that it contains nothing in any one part of the system, whether in its obligations, ritual, philoso-
34 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
phy, symbolism, legends or emblems "which can conflict with any of those exalted duties which a man may owe to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself." These are the two principal conditions upon which the Masonic obligations are based, and they are both absolutely and unquestionably false. And until Freemasonry itself fulfills to the very letter those solemn and binding promises which it makes to the candidate, before its obligation is administered, it is not only the manifestation of the utmost folly, but it is also the consummation of a worse fraud than any other it can possibly be guilty of, to ask the candidate to fulfill his part. Let Masonry first keep its own pledge inviolate, and then it can with some semblance of justice, demand of the candidate to keep his. But as has been heretofore stated, Masonic pledges are never kept; and what is more, it was never intended that they should be.
We have already seen how defiantly Freemasonry violates its first promise. Let us now see with what equal audacity and treachery it violates the second.
The first assurance or guarantee given to the candidate in the Master's charge, as they both stand on opposite sides of the altar, is as follows:
"I assure you upon the honor of a man and a Mason that, in this obligation there is nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties you may owe to God."
Now let us hear what the obligation itself says, and so prove the truth or falsity of the statement contained in this assurance.
In the Entered Apprentice degree, as we see from page 8, the obligation begins:
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD. 35
"I, James Hunt, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and this Worshipful Lodge, erected to him and dedicated to the Holy Saints John, " &c.
This is the very first phrase of the Masonic obligation in any or all of its three symbolic degrees. And now, what does this simple and innocent looking phrase really contain? Why, it contains a direct and positive violation of the Law of God, that is, if the God alluded to in this section of the Masonic obligation, be the God of the Bible the Creator of Heaven and Earth. It is expressly commanded, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain." (Ex. xx, 7.) And yet, here in the very first sentence of the Masonic obligation, Masonry puts words in the mouth of the candidate, which cause him to make a most profane use of God's name, and thus to violate the positive and emphatic law of Jehovah just as much as if he had committed murder, or stolen a horse.
And yet the candidate has been most solemnly assured, not five minutes before these words were uttered, that there is nothing in the obligation which can conflict with his duty to God. In taking the Masonic obligation, you must, of necessity, take God's name in vain, you must violate one of the simplest and plainest of God's commands, that is, if the words "God" and "Lord" in the ritual, refer to the God of the Bible. And if that act of sinful disobedience is not in direct conflict "with your duty," then it is utterly impossible to understand in what a man's duty to God really consists. God speaks through his Word and commands: "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain."
36 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
Masonry speaks through its obligations, and willfully and deliberately violates this command, while yet it assures the candidate that "there is nothing in that obligation which can conflict with his duty to God." And therefore, the inevitable conclusion is, either that God has spoken falsely in the 20th chapter of Exodus, or else that taking God's name in vain is a positive duty, as understood Masonically. In order to obey the terms of God's command, we must not take his name in vain. In order to obey the terms of the Masonic covenant, we must take God's name in vain. And yet Masonry has given the most positive assurance to the candidate that "there was nothing in that covenant that could conflict with his duty to God." And thus, before scarcely a dozen words, even, of this Masonic obligation are uttered, Freemasonry itself, deliberately and designedly violates its own part of the contract or agreement.
Will any Mason then, presume to argue that if "the party of the first part" violates his part of the contract, "the party of the second part" must observe and maintain intact, his part of the same contract? Most assuredly not. The Masonic covenant, then, is violated, not by the seceding Mason, but by Masonry itself.
But the obligation goes on to say: "Erected to him (God), and dedicated to the holy Saints John."
Now if it be really true that the Masonic Lodge is erected to God, what possible necessity can exist for dedicating it to the holy Saints John? Or does Masonry here mean to inculcate the Romish doctrine that a building erected to the worship and service of God, must always be dedicated to some Saint, before it can
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD. 37
become holy enough to be used for religious purposes? If Masonry really "erects its Lodges to God," and then afterwards dedicates those same Lodges "to the holy Saints John," is not that virtually placing God and the Saints John on the same level? Or rather, is it not putting the Saints John far above and before Almighty God, and so committing the very idolatry which the heathen were guilty of when "they worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is God, blessed forever?"
The Church of Rome, in her prayers and other religious services, places Jesus, Mary and Joseph on the same level. Freemasonry places God and the Saints John on the same level. What difference then, can be discovered in this respect between the idolatry of Romanism, and that of Freemasonry? Non whatever. And yet the Masonic agent guarantees to every candidate that "there is nothing in the obligation to conflict with his duty to God." Is idolatry in harmony with God's law? or does it, or does it not, "conflict" with a man's duty?
In order to assume the Masonic obligation, and so become obedient to the law of Masonry, one must disobey the law of God; and therefore, in as much as Freemasonry itself violates the covenant it voluntarily makes with the candidate, it must necessarily become and bounden duty of the candidate to repudiate his covenant with Masonry. The obligation must be mutually binding, or not at all.
But again the Masonic obligation proceeds: "do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear."
38 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
"Hereby and hereon" what? On what, and by what, is the Masonic candidate compelled to take the obligation? On the Word of God alone? No; but on the Word of God accompanied by the Square and Compass. Then what must be the plain, unmistakable meaning of this portion of the Masonic covenant? Why, it simply means that the Word of God, the Square and the Compass, are placed upon an equal footing, and are considered of equal value in the Masonic philosophy. (See pp. 7, 9, 11.)
In a former clause, we have already found how Freemasonry places Almighty God and the holy Saints John on the same level; while in this clause, it places the Word of God and the Square and Compass on the same level. If this be not blasphemy, and if it does not directly conflict with a man's duty to God, then it is utterly impossible to say in what that duty really consists.
But further: Suppose that, through neglect, or by some other mistake, the Square and Compass are absent from the Masonic altar, and that the candidate's right hand rests on the Holy Bible alone, then what? Why, in that case the obligation would be null and void, and the whole thing should have to be repeated over again. From all this, then, we learn the startling lesson that, although the Word of God is to be found upon the Masonic altar, (though only as an article of furniture), yet in order to give validity and power and force to the obligation which is administered, the Square and Compass must always rest upon it. And therefore it unquestionably follows that, the Square and Compass are considered by Masonic law as being far superior to, and of more value than,
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD. 39
God's Word. An obligation taken on the Bible alone, would be null and void; but an obligation taken on the Holy Bible, Square and Compass is considered binding to the end of life.
If this be not dishonoring, degrading and debasing the Word of God, then, in deed, I am at a loss to understand how such a thing can be done. Is it a man's duty to God, to debase His Holy Word below the Pagan emblems of the Square and Compass? Or can any argument besides slander, calumny and vituperation, be adduced to sustain the position that, an obligation taken in connection with such blasphemy, can have any moral or biding force whatever?
But if the beginning of the Masonic obligation be of such a wicked and profane character, what shall we say of its conclusion? At the close of every so-called Masonic oath, the candidate must repeat the words, in solemn mockery, "so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
"So help me God" to do what? "To keep me steadfast in the due performance" of what? What is it, among many other things, which the candidate here calls upon God to help him to do? To cut throats, to tear out tongues by the roots, to tear open left breasts and pluck out hearts; and to cut bodies in two, take out the bowels, burn them to ashes and scatter the ashes "to the four winds of heaven."
If to do all these wicked and barbarous acts, be a man's duty to God, then the candidate has a perfect right to call upon Him to help him, and the
40 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
Masonic obligation is undoubtedly binding. But if it be not his duty to cut men's throats, and otherwise to inhumanly mutilate their bodies, then the Masonic obligation is positive blasphemy.
In the Entered Apprentice degree, the horrible imprecation must be repeated "binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low water mark."
In the Fellow Craft degree it is "binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my left breast torn open; my heart plucked out and given as a prey to the wild beasts of the field and the fowls of the air."
And in the Master Mason's degree it is "binding myself under no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in twain; my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven."
Now the question arises, does Freemasonry, as a sworn, secret organization, pretend to claim the power of inflicting on its contumacious and seceding members, any or all of these awful and inhuman penalties? It does, or it does not. If it does claim such a power, then it is simply an organized system of horrible butchery, and its members are not better than a band of assassins, in thought, word and spirit, if not in actual fact. But if it does not claim the power of life and death over its members; if it does not pretend to have the power to cut men's throats and burn men's bowels: then why does it demand from every candidate, a solemn repetition of the foregoing horrible imprecations? And above
PROFANES THE NAME OF GOD.. 41
all, why does it make its candidates swear "So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same?"
If Freemasonry really means to carry out its penalties of death, in the horrid mutilation of the bodies of its refractory or repentant members, then it is no better and no worse than the Molly McGuire institution, the Ku Klux Klan, or the Thugs of India. But if it does not mean to inflict its horrible penalties for the so-called violation of any of its pretended secrets, then without any controversy, it is the most wicked blasphemy on the face of the earth; because it compels its candidates to call upon God to "help them and keep them steadfast in the due performance" of that which it has no power to do, and which it does not even pretend, and in fact never intended, to do.
Freemasonry, then, is either positively illegal, or else positively blasphemous; and in either case, it is in direct conflict with man's duty, and its obligations are null and void, even according to its own showing. If a man lives in strict obedience to his Masonic obligation, he is bound to, he must of very necessity, commit crime the crime of murder by assassination, that is it Masonic law be enforced; for he positively swears to have his own life taken, under certain contingencies; and so, by implication, to take the life of another. And hence it follows, as clearly as day follows night, that the assurance he received before taking the obligation, was a deliberate falsehood; and the condition upon which he assumed it, was a snare, a deception and a fraud; and consequently, that this so-called obligation was null and void from the very beginning.
42 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
Who is it that makes the first promise? The Masonic agent does. The candidate is assured that there is nothing in the obligation "that can conflict with his duty to God." Who breaks this promise? willfully, deliberately and knowingly breaks it? Freemasonry does, most unquestionably. who, then, is the "liar," and the "perjured villain"? Masonry willfully lies to the candidate; Masonry, through its accredited agent, knowingly deceives him; Masonry, through its accredited agent, knowingly deceives him; Masonry makes him promise, in order to induce him to take the obligations which are absolutely fraudulent and false. And therefore, to Freemasonry itself, and not the the seceding Mason, ought the foul epithets of "liar" and "perjured villain" be applied.
Obedience to Masonic Law, dishonoring to God Rejects the Mediatorship of Christ Ancient Charges Sectarian Tenets excluded Masonic Prayers Masonry is pure Theism Either the Bible or Masonry, False Masonry purely anti-Christian Its Obligation Null and Void.
But not only does the Masonic obligation, in its very terms, conflict with a man's duty to God, thus rendering the contract entered into, between the candidate and Masonry, null and void; but in fact every part of the Masonic system, its ceremonies of preparation, its initiatory rites, its philosophy, its ritual, it religious services, both inside and outside of the Lodge, its pagan legend of the mythical death and restoration of Hiram, or the god of nature; its emblems, symbols, traditions and landmarks; all impose upon him certain onerous and responsible duties which, if performed in strict compliance with Masonic law and usage, make it utterly impossible for him to obey the divine command. And not only so, but if a man lives in strict obedience to his Masonic obligation, and to the despotic requirements of Masonic law, he must, of very necessity, not only disobey, but absolutely dishonor, Almighty God.
Freemasonry, in the first place, (aside altogether from the obligation itself), comes in direct conflict with a man's duty to God, because it deliberately ignores
44 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
and rejects the mediatorship of the Lord Jesus Christ
In God's Word Mat. xvii, 5, we read:
"While he yet spake, behold! a bright cloud overshadowed them; and behold! a voice out of the cloud which said: This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear ye him."
Again in John v, 22, 23:
"For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the son, that all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father: he that HONORETH NOT THE SON, HONORETH NOT THE FATHER, which hath sent him."
And in John vi, 28, 29:
"Then said they unto him, What shall we do that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."
And again, in John xiv, 6:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me."
And in Eph. ii, 18:
"For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father."
And lastly, in 1 Tim. ii, 5:
"For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
This is God's infallible, immutable law; and strict obedience to this law, is a duty which he requires from every man Mason or non-Mason.
All men are commanded to hear the Lord Jesus Christ; all men are commanded to honor and to
REJECTS THE MEDIATORSHIP OF CHRIST. 45
obey Christ. All men are commanded to come to the Father through Him, for He is the only Mediator between God and men; and the assurance is emphatic that no man can come to the Father, except by Him. This is what God requires of us; and to comply with these reasonable demands, especially when it is for our own eternal good, is not only our duty, but even our very highest privilege. But the laws and landmarks and usages of Masonry are in direct conflict with this duty. These forbid the name of Christ being used in any prayer or other religious ceremony of the Lodge whatever. They pretend to teach men another way to the Father than through Christ. In a word, Freemasonry is pure theism, in connection with which the name of Christ, as an object of faith or worship, must never be mentioned, as that would necessarily destroy the boasted universality of the system. The proofs of these facts are almost innumerable.
In the "Charges of a Freemason" by James Anderson, and published in Mackey's Manual of the Lodge, page 215, we read as follows:
"Though in ancient times, Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was, it is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree."
This is one of the oldest landmarks of the Masonic system in the world, and furnishes a truly wonderful picture of the flexible and Jesuitical character of that notorious and infidel institution. Just observe
46 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
the terms of the law as stated: "In ancient times Masons were charged in every country to be of the religion of that country or nation, whatever it was." So that, if a Mason went to Turkey, he was charged to be Mohammedan; if he went to India, he was charged to be a Brahmin or Boodhist. In China he was to be a Confucian; in Rome, a Roman Catholic. Among the Indians of North America, he was to recognize only the Manitou or Great Spirit; and in central Africa, he was to be an idolator of some other character.
Now supposing that you and I, my dear reader, had lived in those "ancient times" specified in the "Charges of a Freemason" above quoted, would it be obligatory upon us to comply with the Masonic law there laid down? Would it be our duty to turn Mohamedan or Brahmin, or Boodhist, or Parsee, or Papist, simply because Masonry "charged" us to do so? Or would this law, or would it not, be in direct conflict with our duty to God? Most assuredly it would. The bare possibility of obedience to such an idolatrous injunction, would be a direct insult to the Lord Jesus Christ, and a positive denial and a rejection of the only true and living God.
But supposing that you and I were made Masons in that "ancient time," and that, before taking the obligation, the assurance was positively given to us that there was nothing in it that could conflict with our duty to God, would we be bound by the terms of that obligation when we made the discovery that among the Jews we were "charged" to be Jews; that among the Turks, we were "charged" to be Mohamedans; and that among the pagans in general,
REJECTS THE MEDIATORSHIP OF CHRIST. 47
we were "charged" to be pagans? Why the very bare though of such a thing is simply a gross caricature upon our common intelligence and a direct insult to our common sense.
But how much better is the law in force at the present time? and how much more does it now harmonize with the requirements of the Gospel then formerly?
Hear again what the "ancient charges" say:
"It is now thought more expedient only to oblige them to that religion in which all men agree."
Now will some "bright," intelligent Mason have the extreme goodness to publish at the earliest possible moment what is "that religion in which all men agree," and where does it exist. Is it Christianity or Judaism, or Mohamedanism, or Mormonism, or Boodhism, or Brahminism? Or what is it?
Because whatever it is, according to the very oldest Masonic document in existence, and in fact, the very foundation of all Masonic law, a Mason is now obliged to be of that religion. The Word of God commands men to acknowledge and submit to the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept the terms of His Gospel. The law of Masonry "obliges" its members "to that religion in which all men agree," and consequently obliges them to ignore and reject the Mediatorial office of the Son of God, because no proof is necessary to show that all men do not accept Christ.
Does not this Masonic law then, conflict with my duty? Is it not diametrically opposed to the express command of God? And will not God bring me into severe judgment for thus denying His author-
48 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
ity, and for despising and dishonoring His Word, if I comply with the foregoing mandate? Then how dare Freemasonry so misrepresent the facts in the case, and utter such a wicked and bare-faced falsehood as to assert that, "there is nothing in the obligation, and consequently nothing in Freemasonry in general, which can conflict with my duty to God?" And further, when the Worshipful Master makes such a promise, the condition upon which the obligation is assumed; and when afterwards that condition is knowingly and recklessly violated and ignored by Masonry itself; then how can it be honestly maintained that that same violated covenant ought to be observed inviolate by the already deceived and defrauded candidate?
But again: In "Webb's Monitor of Freemasonry" by Dr. Robert Morris, P. G. M., Kentucky, p. 285, I read:
"So broad is the religion of Masonry, and so carefully are all sectarian tenets excluded from the system, that the Christian, the Jew and the Mahomedan in all their numberless sects and divisions, may, and do, harmoniously combine in its moral and intellectual work with the Budhist, the Parsee, the Confucian and the worshipers of Deity under every form."
Now, what is the plain meaning of the language of this law? It simply means that, in going into a Masonic Lodge, the Christian must exclude his Christianity, the Jew his Judaism, the Turk his Mohamedanism; and that each must meet "upon the level" on the floor of the Lodge around the Masonic altar, not as Christians, Jews, Mohamedans, or Budhists, but simply as Masons. It means just what it says, that all sectarian tenets must be carefully excluded; or in other
REJECTS THE MEDIATORSHIP OF CHRIST. 49
words, that the Christian must exclude all reference to the name of Christ in prayer or in any other religious ceremony; and that he must simply unite in such a form as will not be offensive to any brother present, no matter from what part of the globe he may have come.
This is the true interpretation of the law; and it can bear no other construction, as may be clearly seen from the following section, given in the same book and page by Dr. Morris, as explanatory of that already quoted
Prayer in Masonic Lodges should be of a general character, containing nothing offensive to any class of conscientious brethren. In theory, the whole world of Masons is supposed to be present at every meeting of every Lodge; and the instruction, moral and religious should be directed accordingly."
The plain import of these words cannot for a moment be either mistaken or doubted. This explanatory clause gives forth no uncertain sound. The name of Christ would be offensive to Jews, Mohamedans, Budhists, Parsees and Pagans in general; and consequently it must on no account be used in Lodge prayers, or be in any way connected with the other religious ceremonies of the Order.
"Prayers in Masonic Lodges," we are expressly informed, "should contain nothing offensive to any class of conscientious brethren."
Is this rule, then, in accordance with my duty to God? Or when the Word of God declares that "all men should honor the Son, even as they honor the Father," is it my duty toward God to disobey His command, to disbelieve His Word, and to despise and dishonor His name, by ignoring the name of the Lord
50 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
Jesus Christ? The Word of God declares the Lord Jesus Christ:
"This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
Freemasonry declares in the above law and landmark that Christ must not be heard in Lodge prayers, nor in any of the other religious services of the institution. And yet the assurance is given that, "there is nothing in Masonry that con conflict with one's duty to God."
It is also an unchangeable landmark or usage in Masonry that "no Lodge can be regularly opened or closed without religious services of some sort." [See Webb's Monitor, by Morris, p. 13.] Freemasonry has "religious services" in all its assemblies, public or private. At its Lodge meetings, funerals, cornerstone plantings; at the dedication of its halls and in the consecration of its temples, a form of prayer, falsely so called, must always be repeated; and from every such form, the name of Christ must be carefully excluded.
Let us now briefly examine one of these pretended prayers, that we may see how rigidly and faithfully the anti-Christian requirements of the foregoing law are complied with, and that we may learn, still more clearly, whether or not the Masonic obligation imposes duties which do not conflict with one's duty to God.
I take at random one of those forms used at the opening of a Lodge; and this will serve as a fair specimen of all the others, as all Masonic prayers are alike in character.
From the General Ahiman Rezon by Sickles, p. 231,
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"Great Architect of the Universe! In thy name we have assembled; and in thy name we desire to proceed in all our doings. Grant that the sublime principles of Freemasonry may so subdue every discordant passion within us; so harmonize and enrich our hearts with thin own love and goodness; that the lodge at this time may humbly reflect that order and beauty which reign forever before thy throne. Amen. So mote it be."
In this form we notice four different points; 1st, that it is addressed to a god called the G. A. O. T. U. "Great Architect of the Universe;" 2nd, that the principles of Freemasonry are alluded to as being "sublime principles;" 3d, that the G. A. O. T. U., or "Great Architect of the Universe," is requested to
52 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
"grant" that these "sublime principles may subdue every discordant passion" within the Masonic heart; and 4th, that this so-called prayer offered without any reference whatever to Christ, or without the slightest allusion to His name.
Now in regard to this prayer, it will be sufficient to remark that it is addressed either to the only living and true God, or it is not. If it is addressed to the true God, to the God of the Bible, to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, then it is a positive denial of God's Word, and consequently a direct insult to God; for it emphatically stated in 2. Tim. 11, 5, that: "There is one God , and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."
And again, in John, xiv 6:
"I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, No man cometh unto the Father but by me."
While in this and all other Masonic so-called prayers, no mediator whatever is acknowledged, and men are taught to come to God in prayer and worship without the faintest allusion to the name of Christ.
But on the other hand, if this and all other Masonic prayers be not addressed to the God of the Bible, and hence, if the words "God" and "Lord" as used in the Masonic ritual, do not refer to the true God then Freemasonry is rank idolatry. And in either case, the obligation which binds a man to support such a system of infidelity, or else such a system of idolatry, must be in absolute conflict with his duty to God. And therefore, according to the very express terms upon which the covenant was administered, it is neither morally nor religiously binding upon the candidate.
REJECTS THE MEDIATORSHIP OF CHRIST. 53
And then, characterizing the principles of Freemasonry as "sublime," and praying that these "sublime principles may subdue the discordant passions" of the heart, is simply a mockery of God and a miserable burlesque on the special work of the Holy Ghost. Can anything be more infidel or anti-Christian, than asserting that that "principle" which entirely ignores and rejects the Lord Jesus Christ is "sublime?" And yet Masonic ministers and other so-called Christians, join hands with those very men who propagate this false doctrine; salute and support them as brethren; and try to make outsiders believe that there is nothing in Freemasonry which conflicts with Christian duty, and that its so-called obligations ought to be kept inviolate.
With regard to this point, however, the Word of God is again clear and emphatic. In II John, verses 9, 10, 11 we read:
"Whoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God: He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
"If there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house; neither bid him God speed.
"For he that biddeth God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds."
But again, in the Lexicon of Freemasonry, by Dr. A. G. Mackey, Past Grand Master, Past General Grand High Priest, &c., &c., &c., p. 404, we read:
"The religion, then, of Masonry is pure theism, on which its different members engraft their own peculiar opinions; but they are not permitted to introduce them into the Lodge, or to connect their truth or falsehood with the truth of Masonry."
54 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
This is, perhaps, the most important Masonic rule yet presented. Here we have it distinctly stated that "the religion of Masonry is pure theism." Secondly, that whatever may be the peculiar religious opinions of the candidate, or of the Masonic brother, he is not permitted to introduce them into the Lodge. And thirdly, that whether these opinions be true or false, Freemasonry is always the truth.
Now, is it really my duty to God "to always hail" pure theism? to always respect, and honor and obey it? Is it my duty to God to "always conform to, and abide by, and ever maintain and support" pure theism, as I swear to do in the second section of the Master Mason's obligation? Then, if it be, it is undoubtedly my duty to deny the Trinity; to reject Revelation; to ignore Christ; and to disbelieve in the Holy Ghost; because that is precisely what pure theism means, a belief in a god, but a rejection of Revelation, and hence a rejection of the Trinity.
The Word of God expressly teaches that there are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and commands all men to honor and worship God as such. Freemasonry distinctly asserts that its religion is pure theism, and calls upon the candidate to take an obligation to "conform to, and support, that peculiar system," assuring him at the same time, that there is nothing in that obligation which can conflict with his duty to God.
Now, surely, both these cannot be true. If the Word of God be true, Masonry must be false. And on the other hand, if Masonry be true, then the Bible must be false. And yet the poor, hoodwinked, cable-towed, semi-nude and degraded candidate is solemnly
REJECTS THE MEDIATORSHIP OF CHRIST. 55
assured that, there is nothing in Masonry that can conflict with his duty to God. And that solemn assurance is a solemn falsehood.
These Masonic laws and landmarks, showing that Christ's name must be carefully excluded from the Masonic system, could be easily multiplied, did the limits of this chapter permit; but those already given must suffice to establish the fact, beyond the possibility of a doubt, that Freemasonry, from beginning to end, is thoroughly and purely anti-Christian and infidel, and therefore in direct conflict with a Christian's duty; and hence, that the obligation which is imposed upon the candidate, under the false pretence that it contains nothing which can conflict with his duty to God, is no more binding upon him, than if he took an obligation to be true to the blasphemous vaporings of Bob Ingersoll, or to the raving fanaticism of the Mormon Endowment House.
Discipleship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and discipleship with a Masonic Lodge from whose prayers and other religious services, both the name and atonement of Christ must be "carefully excluded," is an utter impossibility. And although the laws of Masonry may sternly demand a constant and unquestioning obedience; and although a hypocritical respect for Masonic so-called obligations, may be urged as a reason why the innate corruption and the demoralizing tendencies of that notorious system should not be exposed and denounced; yet it is a man's bounden duty, as indeed it is his very highest privilege, to obey the teaching of God's Word, and to renounce everything, even life itself, that may in any manner be a hindrance or an obstacle to his closer fellowship
56 MASONRY SELF-CONVICTED.
with the Son of God. Entire and unreserved consecration to Christ, is the constant and unvarying lesson we are called upon to learn from every part of the sacred Scriptures. Our blessed Lord himself expressly teaches in Luke xiv., 26:
"If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yea, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple."
How, under these circumstances, then can that man be a disciple of Christ, who pretends to worship him in the church on Sunday, while, in order to please the Jew, the Mohamedan, the Confucian, the Unitarian or the pagan, he willfully and knowingly rejects and repudiates his name in the Masonic Lodge on some other night of the week? No, it cannot be. Freemasonry and Christianity are absolutely incompatible, no matter what people may think about it; and hence the laws of Masonry and the base requirements of its wicked obligations are in direct and positive conflict with Christian duty; and this being undoubtedly the case, of course the obligation becomes null and void, according to the express terms of the mutual contract.
God's Word dishonored by Masonry Three Great Lights Three Lesser Lights Holy Bible and Pagan Writings Masonic Law conflicts with Duty to God The Bible a sufficient Rule of Faith and Practice Why add the Square and Compass? The Scriptures Mutilated Christ's name Expunged Masonry in direct Conflict with God's Word Its Obligations Null and Void from the First.
But the Masonic ritual and philosophy not only dishonor God in the total rejection of the name of Christ, but it also dishonors Him in the profane use which it makes of His Holy Word.
The Lord God is very jealous concerning his Word; and to doubt his Word, or to deny it, or reject it, or dishonor it in any way, is one of the greatest insults that can possibly be put upon Him. Even He places it higher than His name, and calls upon all men, everywhere, to obey and to honor it.
The Psalmist says, Psalm. 137, 2:
"Thou hast magnified thy Word above all they name."
And again in Psalm. 119, 105 he says of God's Word:
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
And in Prov. vi, 23:
"The commandment is a lamp, and the law is light."
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It is called "the sword of the Spirit." In Eph. vi, 17, we read:
"Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
It is called the "oracles of God." In Rom. III, 1, 2, it is written:
"What advantage then hath the Jew, or what profit is there in circumcision? Much every way; chiefly because that unto them were committed the ORACLES OF GOD."
The Apostle Peter calls it the "more sure word of prophecy." 2 Pet. 1, 19:
"We have also a MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY, where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn, and the day star arises in your hearts."
The people of Berea are pronounced noble because they searched the Scriptures daily. Acts xvii, 2:
"These are more noble than those in Thesalonica in that, they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily whether those things were so."
Our blessed Lord himself commands every one to search the Scriptures, because they bear witness of Him." John v, 39:
"Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life; and they are they which testify of me."
These is a blessing pronounced upon those who even hear the Scriptures read. Rev. 1, 3:
"Blessed is he that readeth and they that hear the words of his prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand."
They have been given by inspiration of God. I Tim. III, 16:
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"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for connection, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
From all this testimony, then, it will be seen at once that the Holy Scriptures are everywhere set forth as God's Word, as God's Revelation to man; and that all men are commanded to honor them as such, and to use them for that purpose and for that only, for which they have been given. Now let us see how Masonry uses the Scriptures, and what respect is shown by the Masonic philosophy to the Word of God.
In the Ritual of the Entered Apprentice degree, "Hand Book of Freemasonry," p. 37, the Worshipful Master addresses the candidate as follows, immediately after the hoodwink is removed from his eyes, as represented in the following engraving:
"My brother, on being brought to light in Masonry, you behold before you the THREE GREAT LIGHTS IN MASONRY by the aid of the three lesser lights. The THREE GREAT LIGHTS IN MASONRY ARE THE HOLY BIBLE, SQUARE AND COMPASS."
Here it will be observed that Masonry makes no distinction whatever between the Holy Bible, the Square and the Compass as Great Lights. The Bible is a great light, the Square is a great light, and the Compass is a great light. But the one is just as much a great light as the other, and as much honored and respected in the Masonic philosophy. Now surely this placing of God's Word on an equality with the useless pagan symbols of the Compass and Square, must be highly displeasing to Almighty God, and is
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unquestionably in direct conflict with man's duty. How can the Square and Compass be regarded by the side of the Word of the living God as equally great lights? And how can any man put such a gross insult as this upon the Word of God, without grossly insulting and dishonoring God himself?
And therefore, when the Worshipful Master assures the candidate "upon the honor of a man and a Mason, that there is nothing in the obligation he is called upon to take, and consequently nothing in Masonry in general, that can conflict with his duty to God," he simply tells him what is absolutely and positively false; and consequently he, himself, or rather, Freemasonry through him, knowingly and willfully forfeits that "honor and word" so mockingly pledged.
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But again, the candidate is informed that he "now beholds the three great lights in Masonry, by the aid of the three lesser lights; and farther, that the three lesser lights represent the Sun, the Moon, and the Master of the Lodge."
Now what is the true meaning of this portion of the Masonic ritual? What does this teach? and what is the real impression which is sought to be made here on the candidate's mind? The words are very simple and are easily understood; and hence there can be no difficulty in arriving at a correct knowledge of what is meant. "You now behold," says the Masonic agent, " the Holy Bible, the Square and the Compass as the three great lights of the Masonic philosophy, by the aid of the representatives of the Sun, the Moon and the Master of the Lodge." But who is "the Master of the Lodge?" He is the representative of the Sun rising in the East, while the Senior and Junior Wards are simply manifestations of his power in the West and South, as both the ritual and Masonic text books abundantly testify. In the Freemason's Guide, by Sickles, p. 66, we read:
"The Worshipful Master represents the Sun in its rising; the Senior Warden represents the Sun at its setting; and the Junior Warden represents the Sun at meridian."
And in the Masonic ritual itself we find the following questions and answers, both in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Lodge:
"Why are you in the South, brother Junior Warden, and what are your duties there?"
"As the Sun in the South at meridian height is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior
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Warden in the South, the better to observe the time," &c.
"Why are you in the West, brother Senior Warden, and what are your duties there?"
"As the Sun is in the West at the close of the day, so is the Senior Warden in the West," &c.
"Brother Senior Warden, the Worshipful Master's station?" "In the East, Worshipful." "Why in the East?" "As the Sun rises in the East to open and govern the day, so rises the Worshipful Master in the East to open and govern his Lodge," &c. Hand Book, p. 12, 13.
Freemasonry being the "Ancient Mysteries" of Paganism revived; and the Sun, or the god of Nature, being the only object of worship recognized by its philosophy; so to impress this symbolism more forcibly on the mind, the Worshipful Master is made to represent the sun-god, and the Lodge the world.
And therefore, when it is stated above that "we behold the Holy Bible, Square and Compass as Masonic great lights, by the aid of the representatives of the Sun, the Moon and the Worshipful Master," the symbolism clearly indicates that, so far at least as Freemasonry is concerned, we must place the Holy Bible, Square and Compass on the same equality, and study their meaning and significance, and accept the lessons to be derived from them, only in connection with the worship of the god of Nature (the sun-god), and as they are interpreted to us by Masonry, through the Master of the Lodge. The Word of God is placed side by side with the Square and Compass, the emblems of natural religion, and the impression is sought to be made that henceforth we must study and interpret the Bible only in harmony with that
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religion, and as accepted and understood by the Masonic philosophy through the Worshipful Master, who is accredited agent or mouthpiece of the institution.
That this is the true meaning, and in fact the only meaning, of the above portion of the ritual, is abundantly attested by the following extracts from the great law book of Masonry itself. In the Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence, p. 502, I read:
"Every Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law" (old charges of 1722). Now this moral law is not to be considered as confined to the decalogue of Moses, within which narrow limits the ecclesiastical writers technically retain it, but rather as alluding to what is called the LEX NATURA, or THE LAW OF NATURE. This is the moral law to which the old charge, already cited, refers; and which it declares to be the law of Masonry."
And hence as the only legitimate deduction, if the law of Masonry is the law of Nature, the god of Masonry must without any question or controversy be the god of nature; and consequently the Word of God must be received and accepted only through the inspiration of that mythical abomination, and as interpreted by the Masonic philosophy, through the rulings and decisions of the Master of the Lodge.
Again on page 33 I read:
"Landmark XXI. It is a landmark that a " 'Book of the Law' shall constitute an indispensable part of the furniture of every Lodge. I say advisedly a 'Book of the Law,' because it is not absolutely required that everywhere the Old and the New Testament shall be used. The 'Book of the Law' is that volume which, by the religion of the country, is believed to contain the revealed will of the Grand Architect of the Universe."
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And so, according to the express terms of an unchangeable "Landmark," the law of Masonry regards the Word of God as no better than the Koran of Mohammed, the Book of Confucious, the book of Mormon, the Shasters, the Vedas, or the Zend Avesta. Does Freemasonry then, under these circumstances, contain nothing which can conflict with a man's duty to God? Or is it in accordance with a man's highest duty to regard the Word of God as of no more value than the word of Mohammed, or Zoroaster, or Joe Smith?
But again, the Masonic ritual already quoted, goes on to say (Hand Book, p. 37):
"The Holy Bible is given to us as the rule and guide of our faith; the Square, to square our actions; and the Compass to circumscribe our desires and passions within due bounds towards all mankind, but more especially towards our brethren in Freemasonry."
Now let us carefully examine this Masonic lesson for a moment, and see what it contains. And first of all, let me enquire who "gives us the Holy Bible to be the rule and guide of our faith?" Is it given to us by God, or by Masonry? If it be given to us by God himself, then it is our bounden duty to receive and accept it as such, and to obey its divine precepts. And hence, when it calls upon us in the most positive and express terms possible "not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers;" and to "come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing," we ought to repent of our Masonic affiliation and secede at once from that wicked and infidel system. We are surely "yoked together with unbelievers" in a Lodge of Masons, if anywhere in
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the world; and hence when the Word of God calls upon us to throw off that "yoke" and be "separate," and "touch not the unclean thing," then if we rightly fulfill our duty to God and to ourselves, we must heed that divine command and so leave the Masonic order forever.
But will Masonry permit this? Does Freemasonry ever allow a man to repent of his folly, should he realize that it is sinful and wicked for him to continue his membership in that notorious institution? By no means. The obligation imposed upon him expressly states that he must "always hail." Not for a time, for for a certain limited period; but that he will "always hail," "always" respect, "always" honor, "always" uphold the Masonic philosophy; and consequently, that he will never, never repent of the sin he committed in promising to support and maintain the pagan worship of Masonry." God calls upon him, through his Word, to throw off the "unequal yoke" which binds him to the unbelievers of the Lodge-room, and to take upon him the "easy yoke" of the Lord Jesus Christ; but Masonry forbids him to obey his call and will persecute him even to strange cities, should he dare to assert his freedom from Lodge despotism and Lodge idolatry. Does this look as if the Masonic obligation, or the Masonic philosophy, "contained nothing which could conflict with a man's duty to God?" Or does it appear from this that Freemasonry honestly regards the Bible as man's rule of faith in any sense of the term whatever?
With respect to the Masonic covenant or obligation, it is expressly stated that "no law of the land can affect it, no anathema of the Church can weaken
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it. It is irrevocable." Webb's Monitor, by Robert Morris, p. 240 And consequently, the Masonic obligation comes in direct and absolute conflict with God's Word.
But still further: If the Holy Bible be sufficient of itself, as the only rule and guide of our faith and practice, what business have we adding the Square and Compass to it? And if God has given us His Word to be the rule and guide of our faith, who has given us the Square and Compass, and for what purpose? Freemasonry undoubtedly has added the Square and Compass, to supply an alleged deficiency in the Word of God, "to square our actions and circumscribe our desires," which of course it is claimed the Holy Bible does not do; else why place these symbolic emblems alongside of the Bible, and at least on an equality with it.
But to understand in all its fullness the real value which Freemasonry places upon the Word of God, in connection with its own pagan philosophy, and as the only rule and guide of man's faith and practice, we must listen to its authoritative and universal teaching, as found in the Manual of the Lodge, by Mackey, p. 30. In explaining the relative value of the Holy Bible, Square and Compass as "the three Great Lights of Masonry," the Masonic text book goes on to say:
"And hence the Bible is the light which enlightens the path of our duty to God; the Square, that which enlightens the path of our duty to our fellow men; and the Compass, that which enlightens the path of our duty to ourselves."
Here, then we have three grades, or degrees, of duty distinctly specified by the Masonic philosophy, viz.: Our duty to God, to our neighbor and to ourselves; and
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we have also three separate guides or sources of enlightenment clearly set before us, as the means by which these respective duties are supposed to be performed. The bible, we are informed, teaches us our duty to God, and no more; the Square teaches us our duty to our fellow men; while the Compass teaches us our duty to ourselves.
And so the Square and Compass both fill up that which is lacking in the Bible, and supply a most lamentable deficiency in the teaching of God's Word.
And in the Master Mason's obligation, we are pretendedly sworn to "conform to, and abide by, and ever maintain and support," this monstrous doctrine of infidelity and "pure theism." Is it really a Mason's duty to keep such a promise as this? Is it really his duty to live up to such a wicked obligation? Or rather, is it not his imperative and express duty to repent at once and forever of the terrible sin of casting such a dishonor and reproach upon the blessed Word of God?
In one of the leading Roman Catholic catechisms of the world, Dr. Doyle's Abridgment of Christian Doctrine, the following question and answer occurs, on page 10:
"Is it not enough to believe all that is written in the Bible?"
"No, it is not; for we must also believe all apostolical traditions.
Now will some "well-tried, true and trusty" Protestant Masonic divine have the extreme goodness to inform the Christian public what is the real or apparent difference between the teaching of Freemasonry and that of Romanism, as regards the Holy Bible?
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Formulating the teaching of Masonry we have the following:
"Is it not enough to believe all that is written in the Bible?"
"No, it is not; for we must also believe and accept all the symbolic teaching of the Square and Compass," while Romanism expresses it:
"Is it not enough to believe all that is written in the Bible?"
"No, it is not; for we must also believe all apostolical traditions."
Neither in Romanism nor in Masonry is it "enough to believe all that is written in the Bible." Something must always be added to it, to supply the deficiency; and hence we have the so-called apostolical traditions on the one hand, and the symbolism of the Square and Compass on the other.
Now hear what the Holy Ghost says, speaking through the inspired apostle, and tell me which it is my duty to follow, Masonic and Romish teaching, or the teaching of God's Word:
2 Tim. III., 16, 17:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the MAN OF GOD may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
This is God's estimate of his own Word. It is "profitable for doctrine." It is a complete and thorough rule of faith. But it is also profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;" it "squares the actions and circumscribes the desires;" it enlightens the path of our duty to God, our neighbor
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and Ourselves; it makes the man of God perfect, and thoroughly furnishes him unto all good works. and for all these glorious purposes, neither Compasses nor Squares nor apostolic traditions are needed. It is a direct insult to God to add the Square and Compass to his Holy Word; and the obligation or the law which enforces such an impious doctrine, must inevitably conflict with every duty which the Christian owes to God.
But again, the laws and obligations of Masonry conflict with my duty to God, because by a strict obedience to these laws and obligations, I am compelled to function the willful mutilation of the Bible and that even the name of Christ should be designedly expunged from every passage in which it occurs, when that passage is copied into the Masonic text books. This will appear evident from the following brief extracts, which are designedly placed in juxtaposition:
From "Sickles Monitor," From the Word of God.
Part II., p. 5.
"Charge to be read at opening:" I. Pet. II., 1-17.
"Wherefore brethren lay aside all malice and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies and all evil speaking." . . . . "If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious; to whom, coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious; ye also as living stones, be ye built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up
I Pet. II., 1-17.
"Wherefore laying aside all malice and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking. As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be, ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious; to whom, coming as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God and precious; ye also as lively stones, are built up a spirit-
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sacrifices to God.* * * * * * &c.
And again in Part II., p. 51. 2 Thes., III., 6-16. "Charge at Opening:"
"Now we command you brethren * * * * * * that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition ye received of us," &c.
And again in verse 12:
"Now them that are such we command and exhort * * * * that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread," &c.
ual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God BY JESUS CHRIST."
From the Word of God, 2 Thes., III., 6-16:
"Now we command you brethren, IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition ye received of us" &c.
And again in verse 12:
"Now them that are such we command and exhort, BY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread," &c.
In calling attention to the above quotations, it will be sufficient to observe that the stars indicate those places where the name of Christ is expunged in the Masonic text book, while the periods mark the omission of one entire passage. This is precisely the manner in which all these Scriptures are copies into every "Manual" and "Monitor" in the United States; and the only remark that need be made in relation to the matter is, that no valid excuse or palliation can be offered for thus sacrilegiously mutilating the Holy Scriptures; and more especially, for knowingly and designedly stealing the name of the Lord Jesus Christ out of his own Word.
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It may be necessary for Freemasonry to do this, to be sure, in order to enforce and maintain its own peculiar laws and the true teaching of its pagan philosophy; but it does not at all follow, from this, that it is right or proper to do it; that professing Christians ought to sanction such a reproach and dishonor to be put upon the name of Christ; or that having once consented to, or sanctioned, such impious rejection and repudiation of his name, that they should never repent of their wicked folly, but still continue, during all their lives, adding sin to sin, and so "treasuring up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." [Rom. II., 5.]
To alter the records, to commit forgery or to corrupt testimony, is one of the highest crimes known to the law; but who shall measure the extent of the awful crime committed by Freemasonry, when it willfully alters the record of God's word, designedly expunges His name from His own divine Revelation, and corrupts the testimony of the Holy Ghost? And to support this iniquity, and to sanction this sacrilegious imposture, we are asked to keep our pretended obligations inviolate, and taunted with falsehood and deception, if we ever repent of our wicked folly.
Almighty God expressly commands, in relation to His word:
"Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command; neither shall ye diminish ought from it." [Deut. iv., 2.]
And again, in Deut. xii., 32:
"What things soever I command you, do it; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." See also Rev. xxii., 18, 19.
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Freemasonry, then, in willfully mutilating God's Word, and more especially, in designedly stealing the name of Christ out of the bible, offers such a gross insult to God, and puts such a deep dishonor upon Him, that it is utterly impossible to find suitable language, in which to express the enormity of the wicked act. And yet, in taking the Masonic obligation, the candidate is basely seduced into the belief, by the agent of the Grand Lodge, that "there is nothing in it which can conflict with his duty to God."
And last of all, the obligations, laws and usages of Masonry conflict with my duty to God, because I am compelled to make such a profane and blasphemous use of God's name, in connection with the mock death, and the pretended putrification, of the candidate in the Master Mason's Sublime degree, under the supposed title of Hiram Abiff.
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In the Masonic ritual, the following incidents are related. See Hand Book of Freemasonry, pp. 120, 121.
After marching in mock-solemn procession three times around the grace of the supposed dead Hiram, singing a doleful ditty, as represented in the foregoing figure, the Master stands at the head, and addressing the Junior Warden, says:
"One of you Fellow Crafts will now take the body by the Entered Apprentice grip, and see if it can be so raised."
The Junior Warden, stepping forward, takes hold of the candidate's right hand, pressing his thumb upon the first knuckle, and with his left hand catches him by the arm above the elbow, as if trying to raise him up; and after making one or two pretended efforts to pull him, as it were, out of the supposed grace, he slips his hand off, and reports that:
"Owing to the high state of putrification, the body having been already dead fifteen days the skin slips from the flesh, and the body cannot be so raised."
The Master and all the brethren then, on hearing this report, raise their hands perpendicularly above their heads, and let them fall again by three distinct motions, at the same time exclaiming:
"Oh, Lord! my God! is there no help for the widow's son?"
And after a second sham effort is made by the Senior Warden to raise the putrid body of the bogus Hiram, they all raise their hands again in the same manner as before, and exclaim:
"Oh, Lord! my God! I fear the Master's word is forever lost."
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This wicked and profane use of the name of God, is entirely inexcusable. It is diametrically opposed to God's law, and is in direct and positive conflict with the duty which I owe to Him.
And it being expressly stipulated and guaranteed that the Masonic obligation contained nothing which could so conflict with my religious duties, it must necessarily follow that, inasmuch as Masonry itself thus willfully repudiates its own part of the contract, the obligation must be null and void, and of no binding force from the very first.
How Masonry conflicts with Duty May Jesuit and Pagan Priests renounce their vows? Masonic Oaths utterly forbidden by God's Law Administered through Fraud and Hypocrisy Obedience, Right or Wrong Must yield Private Judgment Masonic Obligations impose Blasphemy The Violation of Law The Commission of Crime Oaths defined by the Episcopal Church Rash and profane Swearing forbidden by God's Word Masonic Oaths Null and Void.
We have it clearly established then, beyond the possibility of disputation or doubt, that the whole Masonic system in all its various phases, in its vicious obligations of secrecy, in its ritual, its symbolism, its philosophy, and in the stupid mummery of its farcical degrees, imposes upon every professing Christian at least, who is so inconsistent and so unfortunate as to be " unequally yoked with unbelievers," scoffers, deists and dram-drinkers, in the dark recesses of its Lodge. rooms, the performance of certain duties and obedience to certain laws and usages which, from the very nature of the case, must come in direct "conflict with his duty to God," and which therefore must render the Masonic obligations without any controversy, of no binding force whatever, according to the express terms upon which they were administered and assumed.
1st. Because in the obligation itself; the name of God is most wickedly and impiously profaned, in positive violation of the assurance given by the Masonic agent.
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2nd. Because, according to the "laws, rules and regulations" of Masonry, which the obligation calls upon us to "maintain and support," the mediatorial office of the Lord Jesus Christ must be entirely ignored, and his name and atonement utterly rejected.
3d. Because, in the Masonic system the Holy Scriptures, as God's divine Revelation, are not only recklessly and wickedly profaned, but their complete-sufficiency as the only rule and guide of our faith and practice, is virtually ignored, and they are simply placed upon an equality with the pretended religious books of paganism.
4th. Because, to sustain the universalism of Freemasonry and to enforce its pagan philosophy, the Word of God must be basely falsified, its pages mutilated, and even the very name of Jesus Christ must be knowingly and designedly expunged from every Scripture quotation that may be profanely used in the manufacture of its degrading ritual.
5th. And lastly, the "laws, rules and regulations of Masonry compel the name of God to be awfully blasphemed in connection with the miserable imposture of the Hiram Abiff tragedy in the Master Mason's degree.
Inasmuch, then, as every part of the Masonic system is thus at variance with the express teaching of God's Word, and is in direct conflict with a man's duty ; and inasmuch as it was absolutely stipulated and guaranteed to the candidate, as one of the conditions upon which he was asked to assume the obligation, that it would not so conflict with his duty; it must therefore unquestionably follow that, the Masonic obli-
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gation is always administered through fraud and deception, and consequently is null and void from the very beginning. The Worshipful Master in every degree gives a most solemn assurance, as we have already seen, that "there is nothing in the obligation which can conflict with a man's duty to God.'' But it does contain that which most emphatically conflicts with his duty. Is the Masonic candidate, then, bound under these circumstances to abide by the deceptive and ungodly terms of such an obligation? Most assuredly not. Is a Jesuit priest bound to observe forever the despotic obligations which bind him to the idolatries and superstitions of Rome? Is a Brahmin priest bound to observe forever the vicious obligations which bind him to his ancient paganism? Is the Mohammedan, the Parsee, the Budhist and the Confucian bound to keep in violate forever the obligations and covenants which bind them to any of those systems of error, superstition and idolatry, to which they respectively belong? If they are, then let all missionary effort be stopped at once; let the preaching of the Gospel forever cease; let the standard of the Cross be lowered; and let Masonry, Romanism and paganism be permitted to run riot through the world.
But not only does the Masonic obligation come in direct conflict with a man's duty to God, by compelling him to obey certain laws and conform to certain usages which are in themselves ungodly and infidel, but God himself most emphatically commands that no such oath or obligation shall be taken on any account whatever, and declares expressly that who-
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soever takes such an oath, or binds himself under such an obligation is "GUILTY in that thing."
In Leviticus V., 4, we read these emphatic words:
"If a soul swear, pronouncing with his lips to do evil or to do good, whatsoever it shall be that a man shall pronounce with an oath, and it be hid from him in when he knoweth of it, then he shall be guilty in one of these; and it shall be that when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing."
This is the express declaration of Almighty God; this is the plain simple teaching of that Holy Bible, which Freemasonry pretends to say, is to be the "rule and guide of our faith.'' If a man swears to do evil or then to do good: whatever obligation he takes, whatever covenant he enters into, whatever oath he may bind himself under; if at the time of taking that oath or binding himself under that covenant he does not know all the consequences that may follow from that rash act, then God distinctly declares that he commits a most heinous sin in doing that thing, and pronounces him guilty.
Now let us briefly examine the terms of the Masonic obligations up to and including the Master's degree and note how truly and terribly they conflict with this emphatic and positive declaration of Gods Word.
In the Entered Apprentice degree the candidate is made to swear:
"I (James Hunt,) of my own free-will, and accord in the presence of Almighty God and this worshipful lodge, erected to him and dedicated to the holy Saints John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear that I will always hail, ever conceal and never reveal any of the secret arts, parts or points of the hidden mysteries of ancient Freemasonry &c."
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Now how does he really know that he can "always hail" or respect or honor the Masonic so-called secrets? As yet he is entirely ignorant of the nature and character of those secrets. He knows nothing whatever about them, and consequently he can no more truly and honestly promise that he will always hail conceal and never reveal, what the Worshipful Master of the Lodge may see fit to communicate to him on a subsequent occasion, as the pretended secrets of Masonry, then he can swear what he shall do on a certain hour of a certain day, ten or fifteen years from that time. The result of this obligation is unquestionably hid from him, and consequently, according to God's law, he is guilty in the very act of making such a rash promise, and hence without any doubt, even the very first clause of this first Masonic obligation, most positively conflicts with his duty to God. But again in the first section of the Fellow Craft degree, he makes the same promise in regard to the alleged secrets of that degree, and further swears in the second section as follows:
"I furthermore solemnly promise and swear that I will stand to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations, of the Fellow Craft degree, so far as the same shall come to my knowledge."
Now let it be remembered that at the time the candidate takes this oath, he is just as ignorant of the "laws, rules and regulations of the Fellow Craft degree," as he is of what is going on in the planet Jupiter; nay more, some of the very laws, rules and regulations of the Fellow Craft degree to which he thus promises obedience, may not be passed for twenty years to comes and yet he positively swears that he will stand to and abide by all these laws, rules and regulations, whatever they
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may require and whenever enacted, so far as the same shall come to his knowledge. Now how can any man, and much less how can a professing Christian, and more especially a Christian minister, honestly and conscientiously swear to act in such a rash and reckless manner as this clause of the Masonic obligation requires?
How can the candidate tell at the time of taking this obligation but that the "laws, rules and regulations of the Fellow Craft degree, may impose upon him certain duties which might be, (and actually are) in direct variance with those which ought to govern his actions as a professing Christian? He has only the word of the Worshipful Master for it, and then that Worshipful Master perhaps is a Jew, a rum seller, a profane swearer, or an infidel. Is a man like that, the proper person, to decide what is and what is not the candidate's duty to God? We would not allow this same Worshipful Master to decide for us in relation to the very smallest matter of business in the purchase of a horse, or in the buying of a piece of real estate, and yet we pretend to believe him when be solemnly asserts that "there is nothing in the Masonic obligation which can conflict with our duty to God." How does he know what is and what is not my duty to God. Is a Christian to entrust his conscience to the keeping of a libertine, or must a Christian minister yield his private judgment to, and be instructed in his duty to God, by rum-sellers, pot-house politicians and scheming knaves. How can a Jew, a Turk, a Chinaman, a saloon-keeper or a gambler decide for me what is and what is not my Christian duty?
He cannot do it. The whole averment and the action based upon it is a gross piece of hypocrisy and deception from beginning to end, and hence the so-called ob-
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ligation administered in connection with such knavery, instead of being binding on the conscience, is a positive insult to God and to our common sense, and ought to be repented of at once and forever. But again in the Master Masons degree, the obligation is still worse, and binds the already enslaved candidate under a far more terrible yoke of bondage. In addition to the clause requiring him to keep the pretended secrets of the order as in the two preceding obligations, the second section requires him to swear as follows:
"I furthermore solemnly promise and swear that I will conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree, and of the lodge of which I may hereafter become a member, and that I will ever maintain and support the constitution, laws and edicts of the Grand lodge, under which the same shall he holden so far as the same shall come to my knowledge."
Now in this clause of the obligation, it will at once be noticed that the candidate swears to three things:
First to "conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree." Second, to "conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Lodge, of which he may hereafter become a member." And lastly he swears that he "will maintain and support the constitution, laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge, under which the same shall be holden."
First it is obedience to the general laws of the Master's degree, then obedience to the particular or special laws of the lodge, and last of all he must promise implicit obedience to all the laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge.
But upon what condition is this obedience to unknown and undefined laws demanded? Suppose the
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candidate should ever make the discovery, (as he surely will) that the general laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree are opposed to the requirements of the duty which he owes to God or to his family, or to the State, then what? Or suppose that the lodge should enact some law or pass some resolution, that he cannot conscientiously sanction? Or suppose further that the Grand Lodge at some future time should admit certain articles in its constitution, and promulgate certain decrees which he feels he cannot honestly support, then under such circumstances as these what is every adhering Mason bound by his obligation to do? He must simply obey all the laws, rules and edicts of either the Grand or Subordinate Lodge, which may be thus enacted, and do it by without question or condition whether rigid or wrong. On this point Masonic law is both unyielding and uncompromising, and presents such a spectacle of despotism and mental enslavement as is scarcely to be met with, even inside the walls of a convent or among the superstitious follows of Ignatious Loyala.
In Webb's Monitor by Morris p. 196, ("Synopsis of Masonic Laws") we read:
"The first duty of the reader of this Synopsis is to obey the edicts of his Grand Lodge Right or Wrong, his very existence as a Mason hangs upon obedience to the powers immediately set above him. "The one unpardonable crime in a Mason is contumacy or disobedience."
Again in "Tradition of Freemasonry" by Pierson, p. 30.
"We may not call in question the propriety of this organization, if we would be Masons we must yield private judgment."
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Here then we have the whole matter of Masonic obedience to unknown laws and decrees, as clearly set forth as it is possible for language to make it. Every Mason must yield his private judgment and "obey the powers immediately set above him" in the government of the Craft, whether right or wrong. He must ask no questions as to the propriety or justice of any law or decision enacted by these powers, he must simply obey them implicitly and unconditionally. And hence when the candidate repeats after the Master the words of the above section, of the Master Mason's obligations, he absolutely swears that he will "conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree," right or wrong; "and of the lodge of which he may hereafter become a member," right or wrong; and "that he will ever maintain and support the constitution, laws, and edicts of the Grand Lodge under which the same shall be holden," right or wrong.
This doctrine of the Masonic system is simply monstrous, and has no parallel in any other institution on the face of the earth, popery not even excepted.
The very Bible on which both the candidate's hands are resting when he takes this wicked obligation, declares in the most positive and express terms possible, that when a man swears by an oath, or binds himself under a covenant, and if the result or the consequences of that oath or covenant are hidden from him, that he sins in doing that thing, and consequently that he is guilty in the sight of God. But the laws of Masonry and its "ancient usages" not only compel the candidate to swear unconditional obedience to "laws, rules and regulations," of which he is then
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in perfect ignorance, but he is bound in fact to "conform to and abide by" these very same laws, when they come to his knowledge, whether right or wrong.
The word of God utterly forbids a man to take such an oath at all, but Freemasonry, not only requires and induces the taking of such oaths, but it absolutely compels a man to swear that he will conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of Masonry, whether right or wrong, and yet, it falsely and deceitfully promises before the obligation is taken, that there is nothing in it which can conflict with one's duty to God. Is the candidate bound then by his part of the Masonic Covenant while Freemasonry violates its part of it? Or is the covenant mutually binding? And if mutually binding, who is it that violates the obligation? The Masonic lodge or the seceding Mason? Let honor, honesty and an unprejudiced judgment decide, seceding Masons are satisfied to abide the issue.
But observe once more what the candidate in the Masonic Lodge must pretend to swear to. First, that he " will conform to, and abide by, all the laws, rules and regulation of the Master Mason's degree," unconditionally, and whether right or wrong. "But the laws, rules and regulations of the M. M. degree compel him to "exclude carefully all sectarian tenets from the system, to ignore and reject the atonement and mediatorship of Christ, to worship with Jews, Mohammedans, Chinese Budhists, or pagans of any other form, and to join in prayers suitable to all; to mutilate the Holy Scriptures, and to expunge from its quoted passages the name of the Lord Jesus Christ; to place the Bible below the Square and Compass, and on an
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equality with the pretended revelations of paganism; to make a profane use of the name of God; to burlesque the resurrection; to caricature religion; to support a system of pure theism; &$150; and in the event of his repenting of all this infidelity and wicked folly, and refusing to comply with these vicious requirements, to be assassinated in the most barbarous and inhuman manner which it is possible for the imagination of man to conceive. And in fact he calls upon God to help him, and to keep him steadfast in the due performance of all this monstrous blasphemy and in this wicked and unnatural barbarism. Honor bright, is a man bound by such an obligation as this?
Secondly, the candidate must swear that he "will conform to, and abide by, all the laws, rules and regulations of the Lodge of which he may hereafter become a member," right or wrong.
But it is one of the laws, rules and regulations of every Lodge, that its private business transactions be kept as much a secret as all other parts of the system. Now suppose the laws of this country should call upon the candidate, the very next day after he makes the promise to obey all Lodge laws right or wrong, to reveal the private transactions of the Lodge in any court of justice before which he may be summoned to appear; or suppose the legislature of the State should call upon him to reveal them, or the congress of the United States; what, under any or all of these circumstances, is the adhering Mason bound to do? We have seen it expressly stated that "no law of the land," national, state or municipal, can affect the Masonic so-called oath. Must a member of the Masonic institution therefore willfully and
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knowingly violate the laws of his country, in order to live up to the laws of Masonry and to obey his Masonic obligation?
And let it be remembered again that the promise is unconditional, that the "laws, rules and regulations of the Lodge" are to be obeyed, whether right or wrong; and now I want to know what, under the foregoing train of possible circumstances, is it a man's honest, patriotic bounden duty to do? To violate the Masonic so-called oath, or to violate the oath administered by law? And if a man is justified in violating this particular part of the Masonic covenant, and under circumstances like these, then I would like some bright, intelligent Mason, or some pious, modest, moral Masonic minister, to inform the public what part of the Masonic covenant is binding, and under what conditions is a man ever absolved from his pretended oath, and by whom? The only condition attached to the Masonic obligation is, obedience right or wrong. Upon what grounds, then, can a man at any time excuse himself for disobedience? Or having once sworn "to conform to, and abide by," certain laws, rules and regulations, right or wrong, how can he, without the grossest infidelity to his Masonic trust, violate such an oath? According to the Masonic interpretation of the oath, all its terms must be implicitly obeyed; and hence, if the "ancient usages and established customs of the fraternity" be strictly enforced, a man may be called upon to murder his bosom friend, or a son, to assassinate his father, provided Masonic penalties be inflicted. And yet, the Masonic agent assures the candidate that, there is "nothing in the obligation that can conflict with his duty to God," and
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demands his assent to it on that condition alone. The Word of God explicitly declares that, if a man takes such an oath as this he is guilty.
And lastly, the candidate swears to "maintain and support the constitution, laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge, under which the Lodge shall be held whether right or wrong." Now is it not very singular and very inconsistent, that a man will thus swear obedience to laws and edicts of which he is entirely ignorant, and do it even on the bare promise, it may be, of a rumseller, an infidel or gambler; and yet he will not accept the promise of the gospel, when extended to him by the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the mouth of his chosen ministers. He will implicitly trust the Worshipful Master, or at least pretend to do so, and believe what Masonry teaches, expressing the most pious horror at a supposed violation of his Masonic so-called oath; and yet he will not trust the Son of God, and believe in great and precious promises of the gospel. Taking it all in all, every part of Freemasonry, and everything connected with its obligations, its philosophy and its ritualism are directly at variance with the plain, emphatic teaching of the Bible, and are in positive conflict with a man's duty to God. God's express law is, that every oath must be taken in justice, judgment and truth; and that no oath be taken, and no covenant be entered into, unless the result is known from the very first, and the consequences that follow from it be thoroughly understood.
Freemasonry then is not only unscriptural, but it is also anti-scriptural. It openly and boldly dishonors God; not merely by enforcing laws and usages, which are in themselves sinful and infidel, but the very fact
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of administering the so-called obligations, which cement the whole system together, and which are in reality its only foundation and support, is a glaring and defiant violation of the express and positive command of God's Word.
In relation to this matter perhaps, the utterance of the Episcopal Church in its "Articles of Religion," is as clear and unmistakable as any that can be produced, and yet strange as it may appear, very many Ministers of that same Church knowingly and deliberately violate their ordination vow "to be ready with all faithful diligence to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word" and become members of the Masonic institution.
In the last of the "Thirty-nine Articles" we read as follows:
"As we confess that vain and rash swearing is forbidden Christian men by our Lord Jesus Christ and James his Apostle, so we judge that Christian religion doth not prohibit, but that a man may swear when the Magistrate requireth in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the Prophets' teaching in judgment, justice and truth."
But are Masonic so-called oaths, taken in the cause of faith and charity? Does the magistrate require them to be taken for any purpose whatever? Or are they administered in accordance with the teaching of the Prophet, in "justice, judgment and truth?" Is not every one of them in direct violation of every tenet and principle of the Christian faith? Has it not been abundantly and clearly demonstrated that the Masonic obligation both in
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whole and in part, so far as we have yet examined them, are a direct insult and a dishonor to the God of the Bible? And under these circumstances, then how an Episcopal Minister can so utterly disregard the lawful vows of his ordination, as to "maintain and support" the unlawful vows of the lodge, administered to him perhaps by an infidel or dram-drinking Worshipful Master, is a mystery in connection with human depravity, more inexplicable than the death of Hiram or the "five points of fellowship."
In Jeremiah iv. 1, 2, we read this solemn admonition:
"If thou wilt return O Israel saith the Lord, return unto me; and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove. And thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth in truth, in judgment and in righteousness, (or in justice,) and the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him shall they glory."
How grandly sublime and how noble are these lofty sentiments of the inspired prophet! And how forcibly does the Holy Ghost give expression to the deep solemnity, and the profound reverence for the name of God, with which an oath should always be taken! "Thou shalt swear the Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment and in righteousness."
In Mat. v, 34, 35, 36, 37, our blessed Lord expressly teaches:
"But I say unto you, swear not at all, neither by heaven for it is God's throne; nor by the earth for it is his footstool; neither by Jerusalem for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white
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or black. But let your communications be yea, yea, nay, nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."
So also the Apostle James Chap v. 12.
"But above all things my brethren swear not neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, but let your yea be yea, and your nay nay, lest ye fall into condemnation."
This is what God imperatively commands regarding rash, profane, unnecessary and ungodly swearing, and perfect and implicit obedience to this divine law, is my first and highest duty. But how can a man obey these commands and at the same time take upon himself the monstrous oaths and bind himself under the horrible death penalties of the Masonic institution? He cannot possibly do it. They are utterly at variance with every duty which he owes to God, and consequently according to the very conditions upon which the Masonic obligation is taken, that obligation becomes null and void from the beginning.
The real Controversy between Masonry and Seceders "Master's Charge" Masonic Guarantee Masonic Oaths illegal In their Administration In their ferocious death Penalties Who is to inflict them? Masonry a Secret Conspiracy Conflicting Obligations Sworn to Answer and Obey Secret Signals Also to keep Crime a Secret Horrible Combination of Ideas Who is the "Perjured Villain," the Masonic Agent or seceding Mason?
When the chief priests and pharisees strictly commanded the Apostles Peter and John, on the occasion of healing the impotent man as record in the third and fourth Chapter of the Acts, and threatened them that "they should not speak at all, nor teach in the name of Jesus," they answered and said unto them "whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God judge ye."
This is precisely the relative positions occupied to-day by the Masonic institution and seceding Masons. Freemasonry through its "ancient usages and established customs," as well as through its landmarks, and written laws, utterly forbids that the name of Christ be used at all in any of its prayers, or be in any way whatever, associated with, or alluded to, in any of its other religious ceremonies, while seceding Masons on the other hand, insist upon it as did Peter and John, that we are bound to hearken unto God more than unto men, and consequently that we
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must renounce Freemasonry with all its demoralizing and anti-Christian philosophy, and obey the teaching of God's Word. This is the real and the only question at issue between Freemasonry and its contumacious or seceding members at the present time. Freemasonry commands, as we have already seen, that the professing Christian, or Christian Minister, must not "speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus," in any of its lodges, chapters, councils or other assemblies, while the Scriptures expressly enjoin that "whatever ye do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks unto God, and the Father by him" (Col. III. 17). And as no man can honestly obey both these commands because "no man can serve God and mammon;" seceding Masons feel it to be their bounden duty to renounce the hidden things of dishonesty, to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, and they obey God rather than man by throwing off the "unequal yoke" which binds them to that pagan and Christless institution. But in doing this they commit no breach of trust, and they violate no covenant whatever, as Masons themselves very well know. Every man who joins the Masonic organization is imposed upon and betrayed, the stipulated guarantee upon which its obligations are administered as has been abundantly demonstrated in a base deception, a mean, miserable delusion and a fraud; the condition upon which the candidate is asked to give his assent to the Masonic oath, is a falsehood and an imposture throughout; and consequently no covenant is ever in force as between himself and Masonry, and no obligation exists. The words
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of the so-called oath may have been uttered, it is true, but those words never had any binding force, because the condition upon which they were repeated by the candidate is knowingly and willfully violated by Freemasonry itself.
But not only is the Masonic "obligation" (as it is termed,) null and void from the very first, because it conflicts with a man's duty to God, but it is also null and void and of no account whatever, because it comes in direct conflict with a man's duty in every possible relation of life.
In the "Master's charge" to the candidate, before kneeling in "due form" to take the obligation as seen in the figure, on page 16, the full assurance or guarantee given to him is expressed in these emphatic terms:
"I assure you upon the honor of a man and a Mason that, in this obligation, there is nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties you may owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family or yourself. In your advancement thus far, you have repeatedly assured us it was of your own free will and accord. If you are still of the same mind, and satisfied with the assurance I have given you, you will advance to the altar."
The candidate advances to the Masonic altar and takes the Masonic obligation, only and solely upon the express condition that it "contains nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties he may owe to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself: and even before the Master requests him to advance to the altar, he desires to know if he is satisfied with that assurance. If there is
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nothing in the obligation, then, which can conflict with his duty, the Worshipful Master has spoken truly, and the terms of the covenant may in some measure be binding; but on the contrary, if the Masonic so-called oath directly and absolutely conflicts with every known duty which any man may owe to God, to his country, his neighbor, his family or himself, then most questionably the Worshipful Master, as the Masonic agent, has uttered a willful and deliberate falsehood; and the candidate's assent to the terms of the oath has been obtained through fraud and deception, the pretended stipulation is a gross imposture, and therefore without any controversy the whole transaction is null and void throughout. This is the true condition of all the facts in relation to the Masonic covenant, and no honest or unprejudiced person can put any other construction upon it.
We have already seen in the preceding pages how terribly the Masonic obligations conflict with a man's duty to God; let us now see how equally true it is, that they come in direct conflict with his duty to his country, his neighbor, his family and himself.
The so-called oaths of Masonry are at variance with a man's duty to his country because, in the first place, they are administered and assumed contrary to the express requirements of civil law. There is no legal authority, nor, in fact, any other authority whatever, outside of Masonry itself, for administering Masonic oaths in the secret Lodges of the order, nor anywhere else. Every oath taken and administered in a Masonic Lodge is illegal and extra-judicial;
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and consequently the very bare act of administering such an oath, is a direct violation of the law of the land, and is therefore in "conflict with a man's duty to his country." But the candidate is assured that, there is nothing in the obligation which can so conflict with his duty; and how this assurance can be truthfully given, in relation to an oath, the very administration of which is in itself a direct violation of law, is one of those Masonic mysteries, or Masonic riddles, which the "profane," but law abiding citizen, is utterly unable to understand.
But further: The Masonic obligations are in direct conflict with every known duty which a man may owe to his country, his neighbor, his family and himself, because of the horrible ideas of which the various penalties of those obligations are composed. "It is an oath," as John Quincy Adams says, in his letter to Col. Stone, "of which a common cannibal should be ashamed." And he further declares that, "no butcher would mutilate the carcass of a bullock or a swine as the Masonic candidate swears consent to the mutilation of his own, for the breach of an absurd and senseless secret." In the first degree he swears to have his throat cut across, and his tongue torn out by the roots; in the second degree, to have his left breast torn open, and his heart plucked out; in the third degree, to have his body severed in twain, his bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes; in the Mark Mason's degree it is, "to have his right ear smitten off, and his right hand chopped off;" In the Past Master's degree it is to "have his tongue split from tip to root, and his body severed from the left should to the right hip;"
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in the Most Excellent Master's degree, it is to "have his breast torn open, his heart and vitals taken from thence, and exposed to rot on the dung hill;" and in the Holy(?) Royal Arch degree, it is to "have his skull smote off and his brains exposed to the scorching rays of the meridian sun."
But with regard to this terrible array of human butcheries, the question might be very properly asked: Who is going to execute all these ferocious penalties? If Freemasonry prescribes a certain mode of death, as a punishment or penalty for the violation of its laws, it must unquestionably make suitable provision to have that penalty inflicted. Who, then, is to he the Masonic executioner? Who is to do all this throat-cutting and body-mangling, so awfully mentioned in the Masonic ritual? The answer to this question can only be found in the obligation itself. Every Mason swears to become the assassin of every other Mason who may violate his so-called oath. Of course, if Masonic law provides that death shall be the penalty inflicted upon him who transgresses against its precepts, it must undoubtedly follow that it provides the means of producing that death: And who shall be more likely to accomplish this than those who remain loyal to the order? Every Freemason, therefore, must swear to take human life. But has Freemasonry the power of inflicting its barbarous penalties? Dare the Grand Lodge of Illinois to issue an edict that my throat shall be cut and my bowels burned to ashes? And dare Joe Dixon. Chancy King, Morris Pflaum, or any other member of Keystone Lodge, (my former associates) to become the
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foul assassin of him who initiated and taught them Masonry?
The constitution and laws of the several States of this Union utterly prohibit the infliction of cruel or inhuman punishments, even as a penalty for the commission of crime: while the constitution of the United States most emphatically declares that: "No man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, except by due process of law." By what authority, then, does Freemasonry pretend to inflict its barbarous and sanguinary death penalties? And if it has no authority to inflict those penalties, or to see them inflicted, why does it swear every one of its candidates to have his body thus horribly mutilated for the violation of a trifling, silly, senseless, so-called secret? And further, why does it prescribe a form by which the sacred name of God is solemnly invoked to assist in and keep him steadfast in the due performance of such outrageous and unheard of barbarism?
If the Freemasons of the United States would only live up to the strict requirements of their abominable oaths and imprecations, every seceding Mason throughout the country would be treacherously butchered inside of three months. And the very fact that the Masonic penalties are not inflicted upon those who expose and denounce the rascality and corruption of that notorious system of fraud and imposture, only demonstrates beyond a question that the so-called oaths of Freemasonry are never kept, and that the "perjured villains" are really those who, in violation of the express terms of their Masonic promises, are either too honest or too cowardly to become the blood-stained assassins of their former brother Masons.
From all these considerations then we are forced to the conclusion that the Masonic so-called oath, is a double violation both of the law of the land and of the law of God, and yet the Worshipful Master solemnly assures the candidate that it contains nothing which can conflict with any of his social, religious, or political duties. Referring to this dishonest treachery on the part of Masonry itself, and showing the absolute invalidity of this pretended contract from first to last, John Q. Adams uses the following forcible argument in one of his letters to Col. Stone, page 68:
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"If" he says "the administration of the oath is of itself a violation of the laws both of God and man, as well by him who administers as by him who takes it, is it not a further mockery of both for the Master in the very act of transgressing the laws, and of suborning the candidate to transgress them with him, to say to him 'This obligation contains nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties you may owe to God, your country, your neighbor, your family or yourself.' Is there not falsehood and hypocrisy superadded to the breach of the law, and profanation of the name of God in the injunction and explanation itself? He calls upon the candidate to perform an unlawful act; and he tells him that it is not to interfere with his religion or politics, or with deeper duplicity, that it is not to interfere with none of his civil, moral or religious duties."
And yet regardless of the fact that this solemn promise is never kept, and in the very face of all this duplicity and hypocrisy, the candidate is still called upon to keep inviolable his part of the contract! First it is mockery of truth and then an insult.
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But again the Masonic obligations are in direct and positive conflict with a man's duty to his country, because the very express terms of these different obligations impose upon the candidate, the performance of certain other acts in addition to those already mentioned, which are in themselves diametrically at variance with every honest requirement of duty.
In the Fellow Craft's degree Section 3d of the obligation the candidate is made to repeat after the Master as follows: ("Hand Book" p. 67).
"Furthermore that I will answer and obey all due signs and summons sent to me from a lodge of Fellow Crafts or given to me by a brother of this degree, if within the length of my cable-tow."
And again in the Master Mason's obligation Sec. 3d, page 100
"Furthermore that I will answer and obey all due signs and summons sent to me from a lodge of Master Masons, or given to me by a brother of this degree, if within the length of my cable-tow."
Here it will be observed that every "accepted" Mason is bound to do two things. He must answer and obey; and furthermore he must answer and obey the demands of Masonry under two conditions. He must answer and obey all due signs, and he must also answer and obey all due summons. But the summons is always issued by order of the Worshipful Master under the seal of the Lodge, while the signs are given, thrown or sent by the hands of a brother, and therefore the obligation imperatively demands of every Mason that he will answer and obey all summons sent by the lodge and further that he will answer and obey all due signs given,
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thrown or sent, by the hands of a brother, "if within the length of his cable-tow." Now what is the real meaning of this section, and how are its different requirements to be observed and "conformed to" by the adhering and worthy Master Mason?
How is a man to answer and obey a summons? Simply by doing that which the summons requires of him. A mason is summoned under seal of the Lodge to attend at lodge meeting, on such and such a night, and he answers and obeys that summons by merely appearing in the lodge room as required. And in the event of his not being able to be present, if he send to the lodge either a written or verbal apology for his non-attendance, all the conditions of that part of his obligation will be sufficiently complied with. But now how is a man to answer and obey "all due signs" given, thrown or sent to him by the hands of a brother? Precisely as in the case of the summons. He must just do that which the sign demands of him, whatever it may be. To answer a Masonic sign, of course is to acknowledge or recognize it in any way you may deem proper, when you see it given, but to obey a Masonic sign, you must do that which the sign demands, "if within the length of your cable-tow," that is if it is at all within the bounds of possibility. What a terrible bondage then a strict obedience to this part of the Masonic obligation must involve, and what a fruitful source of conspiracy Freemasonry must become, capable as it is of being converted to any evil purpose of associated power, and screened from the danger of detection. If Freemasonry be a good
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institution; if its three symbolic degrees as is alleged "form such a perfect and harmonious whole, that nothing can be suggested more which the soul of man requires," General Ahimon Rizon, p. 189), if it "teaches symbolically piety, morality, science, charity and self-discipline;" (Webb's Monitor, by Morris, p. 7.) if "it be exactly the institution that is most needed in this age;" (General History Cyclopedia &c., p. 298:) if as is further asserted, it "enlightens our ignorance, purifies our evil nature, rescues us from the world" and accomplishes within us the "new birth," (Mackey's Manual, pages 39, 29.) If Freemasonry I say is all this, and that it brings about all these great and glorious results, then let a knowledge of its unearthly mysteries be imparted to all alike, let the doors of its lodges be thrown as wide open as are the doors of our churches, communicate its wonderful signs, grips and pass-words to the general public, and what must necessarily and inevitably be the result? Why that Masonry in that case would speedily sink out of existence as an object of utter scorn, and as the greatest imposture and the most consummate swindle of modern times. It will only live and flourish so long as it can be made use of by the initiated few, as a means of conspiring against the many, and hence we find that in those various localities where its principles have been thoroughly discussed and where its so-called secrets and mysteries have been fully exposed, its pass-words have become a byword and a scorn, and its clownish pagan mummeries of initiation, the jeer and scoff of the entire
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community. Freemasonry is a gigantic conspiracy, as well as a gigantic swindle. It operates through means of signs and grips, and it prospers and becomes popular only under the cover of darkness and deceit, with closed shutters and blinds, barred and bolted doors, surrounded with an air of mystery and guarded by the drawn sword of the Tyler. Remove all these: let the light of day enter its dark Lodges; make its signs, grips and passwords public property; let is Shibboleths and Tubalcains and Mah-Hah-bones be heard on every street corner in the country, and you kill it so effectually, and you bury it down so deep, that even "the strong grip of a Master Mason or the lion's paw" can never raise it.
In Mackey's Masonic Ritualist, p. 14, we learn that the meeting of every Lodge is for "sacred and religious purposes," and that "the peculiar object of each degree is to inculcate symbolic teachings and divine lessons." And yet it is admitted by all Masonic teachers, and so stated in the text books of the order, that if those "sacred and religious purposes" and "divine lessons" were generally known and thoroughly understood, Freemasonry would sink into merited oblivion as the grandest humbug and the most stupendous fraud of modern times.
In Webb's Monitor, by Morris, p. 6, we read as follows:
"If the secrets of Masonry are replete with such advantages to mankind, it may be asked, Why are they not divulged for the general good of society? To which it may be answered. Were the privileges of Masonry to be indiscriminately bestowed, the design of the institution would be subverted, and being
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familiar, like many other important matters, they would soon lose their value and sink into disregard."
What strange language this is, coming as it does from the acknowledged father of our American system! If "the privileges of Masonry were indiscriminately bestowed," if its "symbolic teachings and divine lessons" were communicated to the general public, if the "sacred and religious purposes" of its midnight Lodges were made manifest to every man and woman in Christendom, "the design of the institution would be subverted." Most assuredly it would. The imposture would at once be detected. the fraud would be discovered, and the so-called secret signs and grips being "familiar" to all, and consequently useless (because there would be none to conspire against), "would soon lose their value and sink into disregard."
Masons are sworn to answer and obey one another's signs. These are a secret language, by means of which they can communicate to each other their intentions and desires; and so long as this secret language is known only to a comparatively small portion of the population; and so long as Masons can persuade the general public that Freemasonry is still a secret; just so long will it flourish and be enabled to execute its plans and purposes successfully, and without fear of detection. What use can an honest man find for secret signs and grips? and what possible emergency can arise in the life of a Christian minister, when it would be proper for him to obey a secret signal given, thrown, or sent to him by a saloon keeper, a gambler, a libertine, an infidel or a Jew peddler? Let a man who is not a Mason have a suit at law,
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either civil or criminal, with one who is, and the chances are ten to nothing that the Mason will come off the victor, in spite even of the injustice of his cause or the weight of testimony against him; and this result will almost invariably be brought about by men keeping that part of the Masonic obligation which calls upon them "to obey all due signs." Hence I repeat again, and I do so without any qualification whatever, that if the signs, grips and passwords of Freemasonry; if its so-called secret language were communicated to all indiscriminately, so that all may have an equal chance in every pursuit of life, it would simply crush it out of existence. It must necessarily follow therefore that it is a vicious and a wicked conspiracy, where the sign-possessing few are enabled by means of their secret language, to prey upon the non-Masonic many. Is there nothing in that obligation then, upon which such a notorious imposture as this is based, which can conflict with a man's duty? Or rather, is not every single part of this illegal and anti-republican combination in direct conflict with every duty which he owes to his country, to the State, to himself and to his fellow man?
But suppose that an "accepted" and adhering Mason is summoned into court as a witness against another brother Mason, and that the latter, knowing his evidence to be hurtful to his cause, should give him one of the customary Masonic signs; what in that case is the witness bound to do, according to the express terms of his Masonic oath? He must obey the sign given by his brother Mason, and so commit perjury by partly withholding his testimony, or else he will disregard the sign and so violate his Masonic
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oath by telling "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." No man in a court of justice can strictly obey the terms of the Masonic oath and this legal oath, at one and the same time. They are both at variance, one with the other, and it is therefore utterly impossible to comply with the requirements of each at the same instant. But to understand this point a little more fully, let us suppose once more that the prisoner, in a case of criminal prosecution, is a Mason, as very frequently happens; and that one of the jurors, sitting upon his trial, is also a Mason. The culprit is in imminent danger. He is fully conscious of his guilt, and knows that he merits, perhaps, the very severest punishment known to the law. Under these distressing circumstances, he makes the "Grand Hailing sign, or sign of distress of a Master Mason," so that the Masonic juryman can see it. Now, then, if that Masonic juror is a "good Mason," and therefore lives in strict obedience to all the requirements of his Masonic obligation, how must he receive and respond to that sign? He must simply obey it; he must do what it commands him; he must fly to the relief of the person so giving it, even at the risk of his own life; of if he fails to do so, he violates his Masonic oath, and so incurs the death penalty. Hear the Master Mason's obligation, Sec. II. (See page 13.)
"Furthermore, that I will not give the Grand Hailing sign, or sign of distress of a Master Mason, except in real distress; and should I see the sign given, * * * I will immediately repair to the relief of the person so giving it, should there be a greater probability of saving his life than of losing my own."
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Now here are two conflicting positions which a man may be forced to occupy, in the strict performance of his duty. His civil oath legally and honestly binds him to perform his whole duty, with impartial and conscientious regard to truth, either as a witness or a juror; while the Masonic oath most solemnly binds him to obey his brother Mason's secret sign, to repair, if possible, to his immediate relief, and to rescue him from his distressing and perilous position, even at the risk of his own life. Are both these obligations, then, in harmony, one with the other? Or is it possible that a man can honestly and conscientiously obey the oath of a Master Mason, and that of the civil law, at one and the same time? It is utterly impossible. The one is in direct and absolute conflict with the other; and consequently the Masonic obligation is null and void from the very beginning, according tot he express condition upon which it was administered and assumed.
But again we read in the Master Mason's obligation, Section 4th as follows:
"Furthermore that I will keep the secrets of a brother Master Mason as inviolable as my own when communicated to and received by me as such, murder and treason, excepted and then only at my own option.
In the Entered Apprentice obligation and in the first section of that of the two subsequent degrees, the candidate is called upon to pledge himself to keep undefined secrets, but now the secrets which he is sworn to keep are distinctly specified. In the first instance they were "the secret arts, parts and points of the hidden mysteries of ancient Freemasonry," but now they are "the secrets of a
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brother Master Mason." Altogether there are three classes of secrets which the Masonic obligation calls upon a man to keep. First the general secrets of the order as in the Entered Apprentice degree; Second the particular secrets of a brother Master Mason, as in the section already quoted, and thirdly the routine business or general transactions of the lodge as mentioned in its by-laws. But what can those particular "secrets of a brother Master Mason," possibly be which the candidate is called upon to keep inviolable? We notice that in this section of the Master Mason's obligation in which special mention is made of a brother's secrets, two crimes are particularly specified as possible exceptions namely murder and treason, the two highest crimes know to the law, and that the candidate is made to promise that he will keep "all the secrets of his brother Master Mason, as inviolable as his own, except these two crimes, and the disclosure of these even left entirely to his own option. Now what is the real meaning of this fourth clause of the Master Mason's oath, and what is the only inference which can possibly be drawn from this particular promise? Simply this,that every Mason is solemnly sworn to keep the crimes of his brother Mason a secret, except murder and treason. He is made to swear that he "will keep the secrets of a brother Master Mason as inviolable as his own" except the two highest crimes known to the law, and consequently by direct inference, the other secrets mentioned in the obligation, are those crimes of less magnitude than murder and treason. The single exception made in regard to murder and treason,
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necessarily includes in the obligation all other crimes. The only construction then that can possibly be put upon this particular clause of the Master Mason's obligation, and the only meaning which it can convey to the candidate's mind is, that he absolutely swears to keep all the crimes of a brother Master Mason a secret as inviolable as his own, except murder and treason, and these even left to his own option." Is an oath like this in harmony with a man's duty, under any condition whatever? Or is there nothing in such an obligation as this "which can conflict with his duty to his country, his neighbor, his family, or himself?" Here is a sworn conspiracy to keep crime a secret, and therefore to commit crime, to become an accessory after the fact, and yet the candidate is unblushingly assured that the obligation he is called upon to take, contains nothing which can conflict with his duty! But to examine this question a little further. There are as we have already noticed three classes of secrets to which every accepted Mason is alleged to have been bound. First to "the secret arts, parts, points of the hidden mysteries of ancient Freemasonry;" Secondly to "the secrets of a brother Mason communicated to and received by him as such," and thirdly to the private transactions of the lodge. This last class of secrets is deemed binding upon him however, only by virtue of the promise which he is supposed to have made in the second clause of the Master Mason's obligation, where it is stated that he "will conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the lodge, of which he may hereafter be-
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come a member," while the other two classes are claimed to be binding upon him by virtue of a direct and positive covenant with penalty, which he entered into to keep those secrets inviolable. He is bound to keep the transactions of the lodge a secret, in obedience to a lodge by law, while he is bound to conceal the general secrets of the order and the secrets of a brother Mason, because of the positive requirements of his Masonic obligation. But now suppose that a man should disclose the private transactions of the lodge of which he is a member, and so lay himself liable to Masonic discipline, to what extent in that case does he violate his Masonic covenant? and what is the usual Masonic penalty attached to such disobedience? To answer these questions satisfactorily, let us take the by-laws of any lodge whatever, as for instance those of "Rising Sun Lodge No. 49. A. F. and A. Mason's of Minnesota," and which contains the following authentic endorsement:
"GRAND LODGE OF MINNESOTA "A. F. & A. M.
"Office of the Grand Master,
"St. Paul, Minn., May 23, 1868.
"The By-Laws of Rising Sun Lodge No. 49 A. F. and A. M. are hereby approved."
"C. Marsh Grand Master."
In these by-laws then Art. IX, page 12, I read
Sec. 1. If any member of this lodge shall be convicted of publicly exposing any of the transactions of this lodge, he shall be deemed guilty of un-masonic
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conduct, and shall for the first offense be reprimanded by the W. M. in open lodge, and suspended for a definite period for the second offense, and for the third he may be expelled."
Sec. 2. "Should any visiting brother be guilty of any of the above named offenses, on conviction thereof, he shall at once be ejected from the Lodge and be forbidden to visit the same for ever thereafter."
Here then we have the law expressly defined, (and it is the same in all lodges,) that if a man "publicly discloses the transactions of the lodge," his punishment shall be a public reprimand for the first offense, definite suspension for the second and possible expulsion from the order, for the third offense, and this penalty is always enforced. But now suppose he should publicly disclose the secrets of Masonry or that he should reveal "the secrets of a brother Master Mason," then under these circumstances how is the magnitude of his offense to be measured and what punishment is prescribed for such disobedient and un-masonic conduct? The only penalty known to the Masonic code for a public disclosure or revelation of Masonic secrets, other than the private transactions of the lodge is death by assassination death in the most inhuman and barbarous and abominable manner, which it is possible for the mind of man to conceive. John Quincy Adams in discussing with Col. Stone, this particular phase of the Masonic system uses the following clear and unanswerable language:
"In all other oaths and obligations subsequent to the degree of the Entered Apprentice the promise includes the secrets of a brother Mason commun-
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icated as such, but not the transactions of the Lodge, Chapter or Encampment. These are deemed binding only by virtue of the other promise of the Candidate that he will conform to the usages customs and regulations of the fraternity. But this distinction itself proves that in Masonic contemplation, the obligation to keep secret the transactions of the Lodge, is not the obligation with oath and penalty to keep the essential secrets of the Craft, (or the secrets of a brother Master Mason.) For disclosing the secrets of the Lodge the penalty is expulsion. But the by-laws contain no such penalty for disclosing the secrets of the Craft, (nor those of a brother Mason.) What is this but a recognition, that the penalty for divulging the secrets of the Craft (or the secrets of a brother Master Mason,) is different from the penalty for revealing the transactions of the Lodge? that it is a crime of much higher order sanctioned by the oath with its penalty, and for which it would be alike inconsistent and absurd to provide by a by-law or regulation of the Lodge."
There can be no question whatever then but that the penalty for divulging the "transaction of the Lodge," is expulsion, and that the penalty for revealing "the secrets of a brother Master Mason," is death by violence. The by-law of the lodge nor the Masonic obligation is incapable of any other construction and susceptible of no other meaning. But it may be asked if the Masonic penalty is invariably inflicted for a willful violation of this particular clause of the by-laws, why is it not inflicted in the other case also? To this question it will be enough to reply that we are not discussing what the members of the Masonic fraternity do, but what Freemasonry is. We are not at all investigating what is in the Mason's mind or heart, or even what to him may be within the bounds of pos-
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sible accomplishment, but we are simply showing what is in the Masonic obligation and incorporated in the whole Masonic system at the time when the candidate is assured that "it contains nothing that can conflict with any of those exalted duties he may owe to God, his country, his neighbor, his family or himself." And we unhesitatingly assert, without the least fear of successful contradiction, that if Masonic penalties, as prescribed in its various obligations, be not inflicted for the disclosure of Masonic so-called secrets, or for revealing those of a brother Mason, it is simply owing to the undisputed fact that they are entirely illegal, inhuman, outrageous and abominable, and dare not be inflicted in civilized countries, or in this Christian and civilized age. What a horrible combination of ideas that ministers of the gospel, deacons of the church, elders, sunday-school superintendents, class-leaders, pastors, presbyters and other profession Christians will go into our various Masonic Lodges, about the dead of night, in a semi-nude condition, blindfolded and cable-towed, and placing their hands on the Holy Bible, will deliberately swear that they will keep all the crimes of their brother Masons a secret, except murder and treason, and these even left to their own option, and that, should they ever thereafter violate this obligation, that they "will have their bodies severed in twin, their bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, and the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven."
In the preceding section of the Master Mason's obligation, the candidate is made to swear that he will answer and obey all the secret signals of a Masonic criminal, if in his power to do so; while, in this
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section, he is made to swear that he will conceal all his crimes except murder and treason, and these even left to his own option. And yet, the Worshipful Master, as the accredited agent of Masonry, has the dishonest audacity to assure him, "on the honor of a man and a Mason," that there is nothing in the obligation he is about to take which can conflict with any of his religious, civil, social or moral duties. And what is still more brazenly inconsistent and insulting, he is afterwards informed that he must never secede from this outrageous compact; that he must never repent of having entered into such a criminal and law-defying conspiracy, but the must keep his Masonic obligation inviolate to the end of life, whether right or wrong.
If the taking of such an oath as this be a duty; if obedience to it be a duty; if connection or compact with it in any manner or form whatever be a duty; then it must also be a man's duty to lie, to murder, to become an accessory after the fact, or to commit any other crime.
Under these circumstances then, the enquiry might properly be put: Who violates his "honor and word?" the Worshipful Master, who knowingly and willfully deceives the Masonic candidate by misrepresenting to him the true character of such a miserable imposture, or the seceding Mason, who shrinks with loathing and disgust from any further affiliation with an institution, whose very basis is conspiracy and crime, and whose boasted philosophy is pagan, falsehood and anti-Christian mockery?
Masonic Benevolence Wonderful Provision for Widows and Orphans Law in relation to "Worthy Distressed Brothers" Shams and Jugglery never made a Man Charitable Dishonest Suspicions Clandestine and suspended Masons Masonic Law Paramount to all other Woman's True Position, according to Masonry Young Men Excluded Gospel Morality and Masonic Morality Contrasted Evil Effects of Masonic Oaths Necessarily Null and Void.
But not only does the Masonic obligation contain that which is in direct conflict with a man's duty, because of its being a double violation both of the laws of the land and of the law of God; but it also conflicts with his duty; in that it makes him personally more selfish than before; it leads him to doubt and distrust his fellow men; it begets within him a narrow clanish spirit of partiality, it weakens his reverence for the sanctity of an oath; and it generally results in the stumbling-block of universalism if not in positive infidelity. Freemasonry destroys it never creates. It robs a man of his money obtaining it under false pretenses. It robs him of his time, of his manhood, of his self-respect, of his manly truthfulness, and it leads him into the company and companionship of the depraved, the debauchee, and the vicious. It robs a man of the pleasant associations of home, and introduces him to convivial clubs, drinking parties and late hours. It robs the wife and children of his company; it robs
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society at large of his confidence and cooperation; it robs the church of God of his influence, his money and his personal interest, and it robs himself of his religion and of his faith, in Christ. Masonry has never benefited and never can benefit any man permanently. Hiram Abiff, the widow's son the central figure and the great exemplar in the Masonic philosophy, is not to be compared to the Son of God. The moral lessons inculcated in the name of Hiram cannot be mentioned for a single moment, beside the sublime and beautiful morality of the gospel of Christ, while the benevolence and friendship, and the so-called brotherhood of the lodge, are but base caricatures and clumsy counterfeits of these same virtues as they are defined and set forth by the Word of God. This will become apparent from a further discussion of its precepts.
In the Fellow Craft's obligation, Sec. 4., and in the Master Mason's obligation, Sec. 5, we read as follows: (pp. 10, 12 also Hand Book pages 67 and 99.)
"Furthermore that I will aid and assist all distressed worthy brother Fellow Crafts, they applying to me as such, so far as their necessities may require, and my ability permit without material injury to myself." Again, "Furthermore that I will aid and assist all worthy distressed brother Master Masons, their widows and orphans, they applying to me as such, so far as their necessities may require, and my ability permit without material injury to myself or family."
This is the only foundation for all the wonderful charity and benevolence, of which designing members of the Masonic institution so loudly boast, and which outsiders so ignorantly believe, and now let us examine for a brief moment what all this vaunted goodness means, and how broad and extensive this benevolence
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and charity to be practiced, according to the express terms of the pretendedly "solemn and binding obligations." In the first place it will be noticed that, as a Fellow Craft, the candidate is made to repeat the promise, to relive only "distressed, worthy brother Fellow Crafts" while in the Master Mason's obligation, he is made to say that he "will aid and assist all distressed worthy brother Master Masons their widows and orphans." In the two preceding degrees there is no mention whatever made of the "widow and the orphan," and the obligation to assist them in any way, occurs for the first time in the Master's degree, only. In the Entered Apprentice degree the members are in no way bound to assist one another at all, in the Fellow Craft degree they are required only to "assist worthy distressed brother Fellow Crafts," leaving the Apprentices still uncared for, while in the Master's degree the first mention is made of the "widows and orphans of deceased Masons." The Entered Apprentice pays from ten to twenty or thirty dollars for his initiation taken from the very substance which belongs to his wife and children. He is supposed to be bound by a solemn obligation to Masonry and to its sham secrets, and yet should he die before becoming a Master Mason, his wife and children have not the slightest claim on the Lodge, and the Masonic institution is in no manner whatever bound to recognize him even as a Mason. This is fair-dealing unprecedented and charity with a vengeance. But among the Fellow Crafts, matters are a trifling shade better. There they pretend to inculcate charity among those who have taken the obligation of that degree, leaving the widows and orphans however, still out in the cold, while in the
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Master Mason's lodge they make a pretense of helping one another also, but then they now include "widows and orphans" of deceased Masons, though under peculiarly strange conditions. In speculative Masonry it is always self. By paying large sums of money and taking an extra number of so-called oaths, you become entitled to its "rights and privileges," such as they are, and even after assuming all its iron-clad oaths and binding yourself under the terrible weight of all its ferocious death penalties, if you don't still continue to pay into the lodge treasury, you forfeit all claims upon the institution, and you may die in the poor-house, or starve by the road side, for all Masonry will care either for yourself, your widow or your orphan children. Whatever Masonry gives must be paid for and paid for too at an outrageously exorbitant figure. And as for relieving the widow and the orphan, it is hard to say how that can be done, when even the Mason himself the husband and father is cast off, unless he continues to pay his money into the lodge treasury. But let us examine this matter a little further. In the Fellow Craft's degree it will be noticed that the promise is "to aid and assist all distressed worthy brother Fellow Crafts," and in the Master Mason's obligation to "aid and assist all distressed worthy brother Master Masons, their widows and orphans." Here then the obligation is, not to assist the needy not to relieve suffering for the sake of relieving it, and because God commands it, but to "aid and assist" upon certain conditions. First the applicant if a man must be either a Fellow Craft or a Master Mason, he must have previously paid for the relief. He must also be able to thumb one's knuckles in a certain mysterious man-
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ner, and to pronounce Jachin and Shibboleth, Tubal-Cain and mah-hah-bone, according to the "ancient" orthodox ritual of genuine York Masonry. Secondly he must be a worthy Mason clear on the books of his lodge, all his dues paid up, no charges pending against him, mentally, morally and physically perfect, and withal a firm believer in the abominable superstitious trash of the Masonic traditions. Thirdly he must be in real distress, and lastly the Masonically charitable brother to whom the applicant appeals for alms, must be the only judge as to whether all these essential qualifications exist in each particular case or not. And if they don't exist or if any one of them is wanting, of course the poor unfortunate Masonic tramp may go hungry and ragged, for all the Masonic obligation will provide for him, or the Masonic institution assist him. Before a man can receive any assistance whatever, or even before he becomes entitled to receive any, he must prove himself to be a Master Mason, to be a worthy Master Mason, and to be in real distress, and unless he can satisfactorily establish all these three conditions he may starve or die, for all Freemasonry cares, or will assist him. But the law in this particular case is worthy of careful notice, and therefore I shall insert it here in full.
In "Webb's Monitor," by Dr. Robt. Morris, "Synopsis of Masonic Law," p. 296, I read as follows:
TRAVEL: A Master Mason on his travels has a right to visit every regular lodge in his way. It is indeed a privilege and when convenient a duty for him to do so; for there is no other method of acquir-
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ing esoteric knowledge on a large scale except by travel. Every well-regulated Lodge will have a seat and a welcome for him, every intelligent brother a hand and a word of greeting."
And now mark the conditions upon which he is considered entitled to this "seat and welcome," and an account of which this "hand and word of greeting" are to be extended to him.
"To secure this greeting and this welcome the traveling brother must have 'the pass of King Solomon?' He must be at least in outward semblance mentally, morally, and physically perfect.
He must be a hale, strong, healthy man of mature age, able to earn his own living, unless too lazy to do so, but if he is a poor miserable, helpless cripple, a one-armed soldier for instance, or a poor unfortunate, rendered blind or deaf by some unavoidable accident, then he has not got the 'pass of King Solomon,' and so he must stay outside with all the rest of the profane cowans, and die of starvation or disease for all Masonic benevolence will do for him. But let us hear the law still further.
"If his limbs are mutilated or his senses deficient so that he cannot give and receive all the Masonic means of recognition in the ancient Masonic manner he is physically imperfect and cannot visit the Lodge because he has not the 'pass of King Solomon?'"
The italics in this quotation are Past Grand Master Morris' own and if any thing was still wanting to stamp Freemasonry as a most outrageous humbug, surely this ought to be enough. If a man cannot give and receive all the signs of Masonry in the "ancient Masonic manner," that is if he has lost the thumb of his right hand, so that he cannot press the
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top of his thumb on the knuckle of a brother Mason's right hand, or what is still worse if he has had the misfortune to have lost one of his arms altogether, it does not matter which one, he cannot visit the Lodge, he is not entitled to and cannot claim any assistance, nor even be recognized at all as a Mason, in a strange place, because he has not the 'pass of King Solomon." But again?
"If he is unable from original ignorance or forgetfulness to explain to the satisfaction of his examiners all the ceremonial of the Blue Lodge Masonry, together with the rational intention of the same and do it all in the peculiar phraseology of York Masonry he is mentally imperfect, and cannot visit the Lodge, because he has not the 'pass of King Solomon.' Non-affiliating Masons receive but scant courtesy at the doors of intelligent Lodges. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts cannot travel as Masons."
So then according to Masonic law, those men above all others whom one would suppose to be most in need of charity, or of having the kind sympathetic hand of friendship extended to them are the very men who are brutally ordered away from the doors of Masonry, and upon whom the cold shoulder is scornfully turned by the members of that truly benevolent! and charitable! institution! If you are a strong able-bodies man, can pay your dues regularly, have a few dollars to spend occasionally for refreshments, and post yourself up in the silly stupid twaddle of the Masonic ritual, so that you become "a bright Mason," then you're a hail-fellow, well-met, your are popular with the brethren, and Masonry is a grand institution. But let a poor man come along with ragged clothes and an
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empty purse, with no employment, and a wife and family to provide for, and nothing in the cupboard for them to eat I say let such a man as this come along to one of our much-sworn and well-fed brethren or to the door of any of our aristocratic and richly decorated lodges, and he'll be treated with scorn and contempt, the very mildest epithets applied to him will be "fraud," "dead-beat" or "impostor," and the chances are more than favorable that, both himself and family shall suffer hunger, cold and want, unrecognized and uncared for, by this boastful and arrogant imposture. I have known hundreds of cases of this kind to occur right here in Chicago, during my own personal connection with Craft, and I have never known of a single instance where Masonry has been of any public of private benefit in relieving distress, and where the same case could not have been far better attended to without it. Every thing Freemasonry does is through selfishness and partiality, and it cannot be otherwise, for it is a well-known fact that cold ritualistic ceremonies, pagan initiations, hoodwinks, ropes, gavels, trowels, and above and beyond all, that God-dishonoring and law-defying obligations and horrible death penalties, never did, and never can, make a man good, or benevolent, or kind. These things never did, and never can change one's nature, and when we consider that a man's primary object in "becoming a Mason" is with the sole view of benefiting himself, it is not at all probable that he is going to become very charitable or benevolent through the means of putting on the old Lodge drawers or of wearing a hoodwink over his eyes, and a rope around his neck.
But how does a Master Mason now-a-days know
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that the individual applying to him for relief is a brother Mason? Or if he is fully assured as regards his Masonry, how does he know that he is "worthy?" If Pritchard Smith, Miller, Morgan, Carlile and an army of 4,500 other such men had never lived and exposed Freemasonry, then in that case perhaps, "one Mason may know another in the dark as well as in the light." But at the present time when the secrets of Masonry are published in almost every tongue, and are just as accessible to every man, woman and child in the land, as are the thirty-nine articles of the Book of Common Prayer; I would like to be informed how any Mason can be absolutely certain, that a stranger applying to him for assistance is a Mason at all, no matter under what circumstances he may meet him? The thing is utterly impossible, and hence the very first thought which invariably enters the Mason's mind is that the one presenting his claims to Masonic recognition is an impostor or a fraud. As a general thing, doubt, distrust, suspicion, and an almost total lack of faith in men's honesty and integrity, are the chief characteristics of the true Masonic nature, and these peculiar traits are all begotten of the Masonic obligation, and because individual Masons rapidly acquire the vicious habit of judging all other men by themselves.
But again the Master Mason's obligation goes on to say, (Section 6):
"Furthermore that I will not sit in a Lodge of clandestine Masons, nor converse upon the secrets of Freemasonry with a clandestine made Mason, nor with one who is under the sentence of suspension or expulsion, to my knowledge, while under such sentence."
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Now, here it will be observed that the candidate is called upon to repeat the words of the oath which, under the most horrible of death penalties, is to bind him for ever after to two distinct lines of Masonic duty; First, he is made to swear that he will not have Masonic intercourse with a clandestine lodge, nor with a clandestine made Mason; and secondly, that he will not hold Masonic intercourse with even a regularly made Mason, if he is under the sentence of suspension or expulsion, no matter for what trifling cause that sentence may have been pronounced by the lodge. This clause then, as any one can plainly see, simply calls upon the candidate to obey the behests of Masonic law, whether right or wrong, as expressed in its written code. (See page 82). But observe further than in forbidding Masonic intercourse with a "clandestine lodge, or with a clandestine made Mason," there is no fault whatever found with either the kind or character of the Masonry possessed by the former, or received by the latter. The Masonry is all right, but its clandestine character in the eyes of some particular Grand Lodge is all wrong and improper and not to be tolerated for a moment. After all when we come to investigate the real facts in the case, we find that the only difficulty is, that the clandestine lodge mentioned in the obligation is a lodge whose Masonry is just as good, whose material is just as proper, and whose work is just as perfect, as those of any other lodge on the continent; but because it has not taken out a peddler's license, called a "charter" or "warrant," from the Grand Lodge of the State, its Masonic secrets and its members must be entirely ignored, and orthodox Masons must be sworn to hold no fellowship
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whatever with them. This is simply a literal manifestation of the spirit of the inquisition a spirit of malignity, selfishness and despotism, the equal of which perhaps can be found in no other institution at the present day, except within the rancid, withered old bosom of the Romish church.
But then the candidate must swear further that he shall hold no Masonic intercourse with even a regularly made Mason, so long as the latter is under the sentence of suspension or expulsion, no matter how slight the cause why that sentence should have been passed. A young man is suspended for the non-payment of dues, or for speaking to some outsider of the trifling transactions of the lodge, and his father, if a Mason cannot converse with him Masonically. Perhaps charges have been preferred against him for making use of unbecoming language towards a brother Mason, during the heat and excitement of a political contest, as is frequently the case, and that he has been suspended. Or perhaps as in the case of young Rottsing of Keystone Lodge, No. 639. Chicago, during my administration in 1873, he has given five or six leaves of a Masonic exposition to an Entered Apprentice, that he may post himself in the ritual, and the lodge having found it out, administers discipline by suspending him from all the rights and privileges of Masonry, say for a year. In either of these cases friend dare not speak to friend, nor even father to son, Masonically, while such sentence is impending.
A good Methodist brother perhaps feels that it is his solemn Christian duty to recognize Jesus Christ as the only Mediator between God and men, and hence to pray in his name inside of the lodge, as well as out-
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side being brought to task for it by his Jewish or infidel Worshipful Master, he still persists in his contumacy or disobedience by introducing "sectarian tenets" and is therefore suspended or expelled. Under these circumstances neither his pastor, class leader, Sabbath-school superintendent, or any others of his believing brethren in the church, if Freemasons, dare converse with him upon the subject of Masonry, so long as he remains under the excommunicating sentence of his unbelieving brethren in the lodge, and thus the laws of the lodge and the Masonic obligations override and are paramount to the laws of the Church, and interpose their infidel authority directly in the way of a man's duty to God and to his fellow men.
Is this friendship and brotherly love? Is such uncharitable, and even such bigoted and unsocial conduct as this clause of the Masonic obligation would render necessary, in harmony with a man's duty to his family, to his neighbor, or even to his own honest independent manhood? Is a man not to speak to his Masonic neighbor on the supposed solemnity and greatness, and grandeur of the Masonic mysteries, unless the latter happens to have learned those mysteries in a lodge which took out a peddler's license, from some self-constituted Grand Lodge? Or is not a father to consult with his son, or the son with his father concerning the alleged wonderful lessons of morality and virtue, which may be acquired by a closer familiarity with the Hiram Abiff tragedy, if either happens to be under the sentence of temporary suspension for some insignificant violation of Masonic law? If this is what Freemasonry calls charity if this be friendship if this be the duty which men owe to one another under
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any possible circumstance whatever, then we ought to pray most heartily and fervently that some hurricane of swift and terrible destruction might speedily sweep such a miserable imposture from blighting our christian civilization any longer. And yet this is the very highest type of morality which these Masonic obligations impose, and which Masonry inculcates, and after all we are unblushing assured that in this there is nothing that conflict with our duty to our neighbor, our family, or ourselves! And what is still more glaringly insulting and contemptible than anything else, we are cooly informed, that we have got to keep inviolate, and to the very end of life, the obligation or pretended oath which would compel us to "conform to and abide by and ever maintain and support" this vicious and outrageous falsehood.
But the Masonic obligations like the degrees and philosophy which they sustain and enforce, become more selfish and exclusive, and intolerant and more to be abjured and denounced as we advance.
In section 7 of the Master Mason's so-called oath, we read as follows:
"Furthermore that I will not assist in, or be present at, the initiating, passing, or raising of a woman, an old man in dotage, a young man under age, an atheist, a madman, or a fool. I knowing them to be such."
Now what is the real honest objection to a woman an active, industrious, honorable, intelligent, American or English woman being made a Mason? I ask for the real reason, because Masonic orators and Masonic Grand High Priests have time and again, during the last hundred years, sneeringly and insultingly given us the sham or bogus reason. If Freemasonry makes
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men better, would it not make woman better also? If "the principal tenets of a Mason's profession are brotherly love, relief and truth," would it be in any manner injurious to a woman, if the tenets of her profession were also the same?
In the Synopsis of Masonic Law appended to the last edition of Webb's Monitor, Dr. Robert Morris, Past Grand Master, &c., of Kentucky, informs us that "in the Master Mason's degree the most important problems of human destiny, are considered." That "death, interment, the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul, arrest by turns the attention, and are rationally applied to the present improvement of the heart." Now if all this be true, nay more if even the fifth part of it be true, what real objection can there be to a woman being made a Mason. Masons as men, we are credibly informed "consider the most important problems of human destiny." Is there any valid reason then, why the woman of our country should not engage in the same noble discussions. Or if it be true that "death, interment, the resurrectionof the body, and the immortality of the soul arrest by turns the attention" of the Masonic mind, and "are rationally applied to the present improvement" of the Masonic heart, then why could not woman have an equal share in this grand investigation, and become a partaker with her husband, or brother, or father, in that same wonderful heart improvement? She is equally interested, her aspirations are just as lofty, her destiny is just as glorious, to say the least of it, her soul is just as precious, and eternity is just as un-ending for her as it is for man, and why then, if all that Freemasonry claims for itself be true, can not woman have an equal part in this grand and ennobling
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work? She is certainly qualified for it, she is interested in it, she is capable of bearing her share of any responsibility it may involve, and why then should she be inexorably excluded, and that even with an oath? Of if Freemasonry be ancient and honorable, is there any thing in its initiatory ceremonies, in its philosophy, or in its legend so exceedingly honorable that it would be literally "casting pearls before swine," to communicate them even to the most refined and cultured of our American ladies? And now after all, is not this last reason the genuine and the only one, according to the letter and spirit of Masonic teaching why woman is excluded from its boasted privileges? In the above mentioned clause of the Master Mason's obligation we see that WOMAN no matter who she is whether wife, mother, sister, or daughter, no matter how intelligent, how much esteemed and honored in the world no matter how benevolent, or charitable, or noble, or good must take her place, and stand in the same rank and on an equal footing, with giddy, thoughtless youths, with doting senile, childish old men, with ribald blaspheming atheists and with crazy or raving fools. What an honor it is to the womanhood of our mothers and our wives, and how proud of the fact we ourselves ought to be, that we are bound by our Masonic obligations to place them in the same category with idiots, atheists, fools and madmen. And yet the Masonic "charge" in the Worshipful Master's mouth, has the cool effrontery to assure us that in the obligation which the candidate is about to take "there is nothing which can conflict with his duty to his family." If it is my duty to my family to place my wife and my mother on the same level, and classify them in the same list
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with dolts, fools and madmen, then my obligation is certainly binding.
But again let it be noticed, that the adhering Mason is utterly forbidden under the severest of all penalties, to communicate the wonderful (!) secrets and the unspeakable (!) mysteries of Freemasonry to young men under the age of twenty-one years. Now to most people of ordinary intelligence this strange interdiction would always appear both inconsistent and unreasonable, especially when we take into account, the lofty boasting and the pompous parade, which Masonry always makes of its superlative goodness, and the extraordinary benefits resulting from a close and intimate connection with its lodges. If the "one great object of all Masonic labor is search after divine truth," why not permit the young man to join in that search as well as others? (Master's Carpet, p. 109.) Or if divine truth be the wages of a Free and Speculative Mason, why not pay those wages to a young man of nineteen, as well as to a young man of twenty-five? But no, the young man let him be ever so intelligent, or ever so moral, or ever so steady, or ever so pious, must also take his place where Freemasonry has already placed his mother, namely among the atheists, the fools, the madmen and the dotards. In the preceding section of the Masonic obligation, one Mason is forbidden to converse with another Mason, even with his son, or with his nearest personal friend, on the so-called secrets and mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry, under certain conditions, while in the clause under discussion he is absolutely made to repeat after the Master a certain form of words, which it is pretended shall bind him to the
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end of life, never to communicate to a young man under twenty-one years of age, any thing whatever, connected with the awful and mysterious death of the Tyrian tinker, or the doctrine of immortality, as it is symbolized and represented by the sham resurrection of the Master's Lodge.
And these are the moral lessons! and these are the solemn covenants! concerning which we hear some so-called Christians almost daily remark, that "if they were obliged either to leave the church or leave the lodge they would rather leave the church." And this is the miserable caricature or counterfeit which we are dishonestly and fraudulently assured nevertheless, "contains nothing which can conflict with any of those exalted duties we may owe to God." How entirely different and opposite from all this contemptible exclusiveness, and selfish bestowal of Masonic benefits upon only a certain privileged few, is the beautiful and soul-satisfying morality of the gospel of Christ, and what a very broad and distinct contract, there is between the mean, narrow, confined and limited commands of Masonry, as expressed in its obligations and ritual, and the open extensive and universal promises and commands of the Word of God. Freemasonry pretends that we must be charitable and kind, under certain conditions, even only to brother Masons, while the gospel of Christ insists upon it that we be good, and charitable, and kind to all. The teaching of our blessed Lord in Mat. v. 14-17, is contained in these beautiful words:
"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that
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ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even he publicans the same?" (This is what Freemasons and Odd Fellows also do.) "And if ye salute your brethren only what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so?" (This is precisely what Freemasonry commands to do today.) "Be ye therefore perfect even as your Father which is in heave is perfect."
And again in Luke, xiv, 12.
"Then said he also to him that bade him, when thou makest a dinner or a supper call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors, lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shall be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just."
Freemasonry most sternly and strictly commands "you must bring me no young men under twenty-one years, no women, no old men, no cripples, no colored men, no poor men, and none who are deaf, or dumb, or blind."
But the Lord Jesus Christ invites and welcomes all classes and conditions of the human family to come to him, and commands that even young children be brought to him.
In Luke xxiii, 15, 16, we read:
"And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them, but when his disciples saw it they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.
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Again in Luke xiv, 21, 22, 23.
"Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor and the maimed, and the halt and the blind. And the servant said Lord it is done as thou has commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said unto his servant, go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in that my house may be filled."
Compare Rev. xix, 9.
"Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, these are the true sayings of God."
So also in Mat. xi, 28.
Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.
Rev. xxii, 17.
"And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say Come. And let him that is athirst, come. And whosever will let him take the water of life freely."
In Freemasonry you must pay very dearly for every thing you receive, and even at the very highest figure charged, you never get anything but falsehood, imposture, infidelity, a base counterfeit of christianity, pagan jugglery, a spirit of cunningness, trickery, deceit, and a clumsy code of secret signals, by means of which, if you are naturally dishonest, you can conspire, with a reasonable hope of success against the persons and properties of your fellow men. And yet we are solemnly assured "upon the honor of a man and a Mason that there is nothing in the obligation" which supports and cements this vicious and treacherous system of fraud and deception, which can conflict with either our religious, civil or moral duties? But again as we
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have seen already, when a man proposes to become a Mason, it takes three separate and distinct obligations to make him even a simple Entered Apprentice. It takes six obligations more in addition to the three already taken to make him a Fellow Craft, and before he is permitted to sign the constitution and by-laws of a Master Mason's lodge, as a full member thereof, he has taken in all as many as twenty-two distinct and separate obligations. Now what must be the natural effect of all this rash and reckless oath-taking upon the mind of the Masonic candidate? And then again, what must we suppose, will be the inevitable consequence of seeing these very same obligations administered at each successive meeting of the lodge, week in and week out, for eight, ten, or a dozen years; Is it reasonable to think that under circumstances like these a man will at last come to have a higher appreciation of the sacred character of an oath than he ever had before? Or is it not rather more probable that from the very fact of seeing what are Masonically termed, "solemn and binding obligations," assumed so carelessly, and the sacred name of God invoked under conditions of such extreme mockery, that in the Masonic mind all real respect for the deep solemn sanctity of an oath even when legally administered will be entirely lost, and that men will at last come to regard all such oaths merely as so many empty forms? And then let us remember further that if it takes twenty-two so-called oaths to make a Master Mason, it takes just sixty-five to bring a man out from under the horrors of the "living arch," and from the all the dangers and difficulties which beset his pathway in traveling over the "rough and rugged road," in the Royal Arch degree. In the
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Master's degree the candidate must promise to keep all the crimes of his brother Mason a secret, except murder and treason, while in the Royal Arch degree he must promise to keep every crime a secret Murder and treason even not excepted, and to "extricate him from every difficulty if in his power whether right or wrong," and by the time he gets far enough to swear to that, he has just taken as already mentioned sixty-five oaths, and invoked the name of God in wicked and barbarous death penalties, upon himself, just seven different times. Viewing all these startling facts then, in the calmest possible light, can any one believe for a single moment, that habitual contact with Masonic obligations will beget in the mind and heart of the adhering Mason, that honest, solemn regard for the sanctity of a legally administered oath, that its sacred character deserves? It is simply impossible, The effect must inevitably be in the opposite direction, and that this is so to an alarming extent, is abundantly attested by the numerous I was going to say the countless defalcations, the innumerable breaches of solemn trust, and the reckless disregard of official promises, which have made this country such a by-word and a reproach among all classes of people, outside of the Masonic rings both at home and abroad, during the last twenty years. But as John Quincy Adams has most forcibly and truthfully expressed it:
"Judging this system a priori, without reference to any of the consequences which it has produced, can it be said that human ingenuity could invent an engine better suited to conspiracy of any kind? The Entered Apprentice returns from the Lodge with his curiosity stimulated, his imagination bewildered, and his reason disappointed. The mixture of religion and imposture
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which pervade all the ceremonies of initiation, is like arsenic mingled up with balm."
"If the candidate has been educated to a sincere and heartfelt reverence for religion and the Bible, and if he exercises his reason, he knows that all the tales of Jachin and Boaz, of Solomon's Temple, of Hiram Abiff, and Jubela, Jubelo and Jubulum, are impostures, poisons poured into the perennial fountain of truth, traditions exactly resembling those reprobated by Jesus Christ, as making the Word of God of none effect. If, as in this age but too often happens, he enters the lodge a skeptic, the use of the Bible there, if it have any effect upon him, will turn him out a confirmed infidel. The sincere and rational believer in the gospel can find no confirmation of his faith in the unwarrantable uses made of the Holy Scriptures to shed an unction of their sanctity around the fabulous fabric of Freemasonry: while the reprobate miscreant will be taught the use to which fraud and secrecy may turn the lessons of piety and virtue, inculcated in the sublime effusions of divine inspiration."
How terribly and evidently true is this picture of the evil effects of Masonic obligations, and the senseless pagan jugglery of its initiatory ceremonies upon the conduct and character of those who, through either selfishness or curiosity, allow themselves to be imposed upon by its mock pretensions and the glare and glitter of its pompous tom-fooleries. And yet we are informed with all the shameless impudence, for which Masonry is so proverbial, that we must "conform to and abide by, and ever maintain and support," such a wicked conspiracy and such an outrageous humbug. Is a promise made to an impostor binding? If it is, then the promise given to Masonry is binding also, for without any question, Freemasonry is the most consummate swindle of modern times.
Masonic Obligations both Positive and Negative Masonic Fables Men become Masons for the sake of Business Masonic Promises, Impostures Masonry does not Produce Friendship Freemasons themselves Despise the System Partial Honesty Warns Criminals Why Bad Men are Masons Masonic Chastity A Lady's Argument Masonic LawGod's LawWhich to be Obeyed? A Case Supposed.
By even a cursory glance at the Masonic obligations we easily discover that they may be very appropriately divided into two classes, those which may be termed positive commanding us to do certain things and those which are negative in their requirements commanding us not to do certain other things.
For instance in the Master Mason's obligation we have the positive clauses, "I will always hail every conceal and never reveal" "I will conform to and abide by" "I will keep the secrets of a brother Master Mason" "I will aid and assist." And then again we have as it were the negative part in the other sections: "I will not sit in a lodge of clandestine Masons" "I will not assist in or be present at" "I will not have illicit carnal intercourse" "I will not give the Grand Hailing Sign" "I will not give the Grand Masonic word." In one part of this pretended covenant the candidate is supposed to promise to do thus and so, while in the other part he promises not to do thus and so. In the
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one case it is I will, in the other case I will not. In our investigation thus far we have for the most part been discussing the positive side of these Masonic obligations, and so we shall for the present call brief attention to their negative side. In the ritual of the Entered Apprentice degree, we are boastingly informed that "the principal tenets of a Mason's profession are brotherly love, relief and truth," (Hand Book of Freemasonry, p. 48.) Now in the preceding pages, we have had it clearly, and unquestionably demonstrated over and over again, that there is no truth whatever in Freemasonry neither in its ritual, its philosophy, its symbolism, its vicious and anti-Christian obligations, nor in any other part of the entire system but on the contrary that it is one continued unbroken tissue of falsehood and imposture from beginning to end.
There is not an other institution perhaps on the face of the earth popery not even excepted which offers such a vast and varied number of ridiculously absurd fables for the acceptance of its deluded members as does theinstitution of Freemasonry. And while it exultingly declares its absolute freedom from what it sneeringly terms all "sectarian superstitions," yet it is in itself but one accumulated mass of the grossest and the most stupid superstitions, and the silliest and the most nonsensical falsehood that can be found in any organization, secular or religious, in the known world. In the Masonic ritual, and in connection with Masonic history, we are seriously and even solemnly assured that "King Solomon was our first most excellent Grand Master," and that Hiram King of Tyre, and Hiram the brass-finisher were intimately associated with him in the primary establishment and guidance of the Craft. If this
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is true, then who was the second Grand Master? Surely if the name of the first Grand Master is known, that of the second should be known also.
Again we are informed that the two Saints John The Forerunner and the Apostle of Christ were eminent christian patrons of Masonry, and that John the Evangelist was even Grand Master of Masons, during the last years of his life, when living at Ephesus, though at the time over ninety years old. Now this being so, will some Masonic divine or some "bright" Masonic historian have the extreme goodness to tell the world the name and number of the lodge to which St. John belonged, and also the name of the man who succeeded him in the Grand Mastership. We can tell the names of all those who have succeeded Anthony Sawyer from 1717, down to the present time, why not tell the name of St. John's successor?
Again we're assured that every man is first prepared to be made a Mason in his heart, and that he joins the order with the sole view of subduing his passions, when it is a well-known fact that he joins the Masonic institution for the mere sake of his business, or with the single object of securing some fat office.
Then it is seriously asserted that Hiram Abiff was slain at high twelve near the east gate of the Temple, by one Jubulum, when the real facts are that Hiram was not slain at all, and that the Temple of Solomon had no "East gate" to it. And in connection with this pretended murder we are also further assured that the three assailants of Hiram Jubela, Jubelo and Jubulum, were workmen from Tyre, whose names had three Latin terminations sixteen centuries at least before the Latin language was ever known.
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Again it is related of Hiram that he was slain at high twelve and concealed in the rubbish of the Temple, while the truth is that there was no rubbish whatever around the Temple, and he could not have been murdered and concealed as related, without the ruffians being at once detected.
Again, it is asserted of Hiram Abiff, that he cut a white stone, and polished and engraved upon it eight Roman letters H, T, W, S, S, T, K, S, the initials of Hiram, Tyre, Widow's Son, Sent to King Solomon, at least fifteen hundred years before the Roman letters were known in the world. And lastly, that 80,000 Fellow Crafts were paid their wages on the sixth hour of the sixth day of every week; when, in reality, it would have taken just 400 days of ten hours each to pay off that same multitude, allowing each man three minutes in the operation.
these are but a few of the ridiculous and absurd fables which, as Masons, we are called upon to accept, and which, in fact, we are solemnly sworn to "always hail," "conform to, and abide by;" and if anything more stupid or more silly can be met with in the whole category of Romish legends and Jesuit superstition, then the latter must be very absurd and very foolish indeed. But then, as before stated, every part of the system, and every doctrine set forth in its pagan philosophy, is a solid lie.
Even when the candidate stands for the very first time in the preparation room, and "declares seriously upon his honor" that he is "unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives" in seeking admission into the Masonic institution, he simply gives
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utterance to a willful and deliberate falsehood; for it is a well known fact that every man who joins the Masonic lodge, now-a-days, does so with the view of promoting his own individual interests, and consequently from motives that are more or less mercenary.
We have also seen that the boasted relief, or charity of Freemasonry, is the merest and the flimsiest sham; that its principles are altogether based upon selfishness and hypocrisy; that those persons who are always naturally most in need of sympathy and indulgent kindness, are the very person whom it peremptorily excludes from any of its so-called benefits and privileges; and that even the widows and orphans of deceased Masons, are entitled to no consideration whatever; nor the husband and father, even, to Masonic burial, unless he has attained the Master Mason's degree, is a member in good standing of some regular lodge, and has his dues paid up to the last Masonic term set forth in its by-laws. But if the relief and truth of Masonry be shams and impostures, what shall we say of its brotherly love? Does any one believe for a moment that there is any real friendship, or true, heartfelt, kindly feeling, or genuine, brotherly love, among the heterogeneous mass of individuals the dram-drinkers, gamblers, saloon keepers, Jew peddlers, spiritualists, deists, Sunday school superintendents, Methodist ministers, pot-house politicians and place-hunters that go to make up the rank and file of all the Masonic lodges in this and most other countries? Not a bit of it. There is no such thing to be found inside the walls of a Masonic Lodge, and every Mason knows it. What is it that could
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produce and foster brotherly love and friendship among the selfish membership of the Masonic institution? Is it barbarous oaths, inhuman death penalties and pagan jugglery? When did stupid, foolish, silly ceremonies of initiation ever produce kindly feelings among men, soften the heart, subdue the passions, and make them nobler and better than they were before? Never. Men may act and behave gentlemanly, one towards the other, as they naturally will; but that is not saying that there is any real, genuine, brotherly feeling among them, for there is not, and none are better aware of this fact than the Masons themselves.
But, inasmuch as the great majority of them have joined the institution with the single design of promoting their own selfish purposes through means of the secret signals and language of its ritual, and having paid out large sums of money for their Masonic degrees, expecting some day to reap the benefits of their outlay, they naturally give their whole support and influence to the system; ajnd so they chance its popularity and increase its power.
There is not a Mason today in Chicago, nor in any other city on this continent, but knows just as well as he knows anything in this world, that Freemasonry is one of the most gigantic swindles, and one of the most consummate humbugs, that the world ever saw. Many and many a time, when I was a member in good standing of Keyston Lodge, No. 639, and during my administrationeven as Worshipful Master, in 1873, did we discuss this question privately among ourselves, when sitting around our refreshment tables, after the lodge was closed; and many a curse, both loud and deep, have I heard hurled from regular orthodox Ma-
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sonic lips at the deep deception, the fraud, the unmitigated sham and the thoroughly demoralizing tendencies of the Masonic institution. I could give hundreds of names of old Chicago Masons, one of them, at least, a former Deputy District Grand Master, whom I heard this, time and again, swearing at Masonic corruption and the positive perfidy of the entire Masonic system; but, if I did so, perhaps I might mark them out as victims for the exercise of that brotherly love and friendship for which the ancient and honorable Fraternity is so justly celebrated! And yet, after all, it may be that those very men whom I used to hear swearing at Masonry so loudly, and condemning its notorious humbuggery with so much vehemence and apparent sincerity in the days of my Masonic popularity, might be the very men who would today be the most zealous and the most loud-mouthed in their denunciations of either myself or any other seceding Mason, who dare publish to the world the speculative rascality and the unparalleled imposture of the Masonic institution. One of the highest and most honored Masons connected with the Grand Lodge of Illinois, told me in his office here in Chicago in 1873 that, "Masonry was so rotten that unless some change speedily took place, it would fall of its own weight;" and yet, that same man has never spoken to me since I left the lodge, although his own words was one of the means which impelled me to do so.
But we shall enquire somewhat further into this pretended tenet of brotherly love, as we find it enforced and explained in the Masonic obligation. In the fifth
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section of the Fellow Craft's obligation we read as follows:
"Furthermore that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Fellow Crafts, nor a brother of this degree knowingly nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings."
And in section 8 of the Master Mason's obligation we also read.
"Furthermore that I will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Master Masons, nor a brother of this degree knowingly, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings, but will give him due and timely notice that he may ward off approaching danger if in my power."
Now will the reader kindly notice the difference between these two sections of this pretended oath, as well as their points of similarity. In both cases the candidate is caused to promise that he will not cheat, wrong or defraud neither a lodge, nor any member of a lodge, above the Entered Apprentice degree. But why is he made to give this promise at all? Or in giving it why is he not bound under obligation not to "cheat, wrong or defraud" any person whomsoever? Why is he limited in the exercise of his honesty to Fellow Craft and Master Mason lodges and their members? He may cheat his neighbor; it seems he may defraud even an Entered Apprentice, if he feels so disposed, but he must not "cheat, wrong or defraud" a lodge nor a brother of a higher degree, according to the terms of these obligations? Does this betoken the inculcation of a very high type of moral rectitude within the Masonic institution, and among the members of the Masonic fraternity? Or rather does it not clearly
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and pointedly indicate the very same principle of selfishness and secret conspiracy, which we have already noticed as existing in all the preceding clauses of these notorious covenants of lodge government and lodge trickery? But the question has been asked why compel him to make such a promise at all. Why cause the candidate to swear not to cheat either a lodge of a certain degree or a brother? Why but for the very evident reason that Freemasonry and Masonic agents look upon him as a corrupt man any way; they recognize the fact that he will undoubtedly cheat if he gets anything like a fair chance, and so for their own protection and for the protection of their several lodges, they compel every candidate, no matter who he is deacon or dram-drinker minister or laymen, to register a most solemn vow, that whoever else he may swindle, he will not cheat, wrong or defraud any one of them, nor any lodge to which they may belong.
Freemasonry through its accredited agent virtually says to every candidate seeking admission to its midnight lodges. "I know my dear sir that you are an unmitigated fraud; I know that you are simply lying from the anteroom to the East all the way through, as to your motives in joining this institution. I know that you'll cheat if you possibly can, and my grips, signs and secret language will enable you to do that much better from this time forth, than you could ever have done it before. I know furthermore that you would cheat your brother Masons unless prevented, and so in order to protect ourselves from your scheming rapacity and your dishonest trickery, you must swear to spare us and to spare our lodges, and if you will or must practice your scheming propensities at all, you'll have
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to do so outside of Fellow Craft and Master Mason lodges."
What a very exalted opinion Freemasonry must entertain of the honesty and integrity of the professing christian, or the christian minister, when it causes him thus to swear that he "will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Master Masons nor a brother of that degree?" The morality of the gospel of Christ teaches us to be strictly honest in our business relations with all men friend or foe, Mason or non-Mason, while the morality of the Masonic philosophy pretends to enforce the principle of honesty, only so far as Fellow Craft and Master Masons and their secret lodges are concerned. And yet so-called christians are sometimes to be met with, who in the ignorance of their blind superstition will boastingly assert, and are not even ashamed of the stupid assertion, that if they were obliged to leave either the church or the lodge, they would rather leave the church. It is quite enough however to say of such christians (?) as these that so far as their principles and practice can be compared with God's Word, they are yet in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.
But observe again the very peculiar difference between the Fellow Craft and the Master Mason's obligation as set forth in the clauses above quote. In the obligation of a Fellow Craft the candidate is made to promise that he will not cheat, wrong or defraud a lodge of Fellow Crafts, nor a brother of that degree. In the Master Mason's obligation he must give precisely the same promise, but he must also go further, and declare that he will give his brother Mason "due and timely notice that he may ward off approaching
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danger if in his power." Now what is the meaning of this last clause of the 8th section of the Mster Mason's obligation? What duties if any does it impose upon the adhering Mason? And what peculiar relationship does it necessarily establish between the honest law-abiding citizen, and the scheming, tricky, treacherous, cunning criminal? Evidently it has no reference whatever to the promise immediately preceding it "not to cheat, wrong or defraud" for if it had, the same clause would have been doubtlessly added in the Fellow Craft obligation also. But while we notice that in both obligations the principle of honesty toward the Craft and its membership is strictly enjoined, yet in addition to that, the Master Mason must also swear that he will give his brother Master Mason "due and timely notice that he may ward off approaching danger if in his power." And then again let it be remembered that there is no particular species of danger mentioned. The term is used in its broadest and most comprehensive sense and so understood. It simply means therefore any kind of danger whatever danger from a bad business transaction danger from the slandering tongue of others danger from personal enemies and above and beyond all danger from criminal prosecution, for the violation of the law. The sheriff, the constable, the marshal or the police officer is in pursuit of a criminal, and this section of the Master Mason's obligation makes it the bounden duty of one member of a Master's lodge even though a minister of the gospel to give another member thereof "due and timely notice," so that he may have sufficient opportunity to enable him to make good his escape, or else to ward off the impending danger in some other
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way. This may be duty to a brother Mason, it may also imply a blind unquestioning obedience to Masonic obligations, but it is most undoubtedly a gross violation of the civil law, and makes a man to be an accessary after the fact.
I do not mean to say that the Freemasons of America as a general thing, are either roues or dishonest, because they are not, but I do most emphatically assert and I challenge successful contradiction as to the correctness of my statement, that the Masonic system is of such a character that bad and vicious men can easily make use of it, and do make use of it, in the ready execution of their own evil purposes. It is not, as Freemasons are sometimes heard remark, that "bad men are found in every society." This is true to a certain extent, but then bad men are found in the Masonic institution, simply because the institution itself is bad, and because by its perfect system of private signals and its secret language, it enables them more readily and more securely than any other organization in existence, perhaps, to put their schemes into practice and to execute their wicked designs, with fewer chances of detection. Let any one who reads this sentence, and who may possibly be inclined to doubt the correctness of this assertion, have the goodness to turn back to page 8, and read over the obligations which we are authoritatively informed "make the man a Mason," and then say whether there is another institution on the face of the earth, and in civilized countries, that can furnish a parallel in the wickedness of its iron-clad oaths, in the horribleness of its death penalties, or in the facility and security which it affords to criminals in carrying on their schemes of conspiracy and plunder.
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And yet American citizens would pretend to believe that once a man is foolish enough and guilty enough to be ensnared into this outrageous combination of solemn mockery, deception, fraud, falsehood, infidelity and pagan jugglery, he ought to support it durijng life, and never warn either his own children, or the children of his neighbors, against affiliation, with its midnight carousings and its court-corrupting lodges. Two singular facts are specially noticeable in connection with Freemasonry all over the country. In the first place it flourishes best in county seats where courts are held and law administered; and in the next place, wherever you find a Masonic lodge, a saloon is sure to be somewhere in the immediate neighborhood. Of course there are some noble exceptions to this latter feature of the Masonic work, but then these exceptions are like the proverbial visits of angels, "few and far between."
The Masonic obligations then inasmuch as they not only imperatively demand the concealment of crime, but also the protection and concealment of him who commits the crime, are without any doubt or disputation, null and void from the very beginning, containing as they do, that which directly conflicts with one's duty to his country. But perhaps the most grossly insulting, and the most glaring feature of the whole Masonic institution is the law which it lays down for its members to follow, in respecting the chastity of the female relatives of Masons.
In the 10th section of the Master Mason's obligation we read as follows:
"Furthermore that I will not have illicit carnal in-
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tercourse with a Master Mason's wife, mother, sister or daughter, I knowing them to be such, nor suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it."
Now let it be observed right here, that this clause of the Master's so-called oath, don't forbid the crime of adultery or fornication by any means, but rather gives as strong a hint as language can very well convey under the circumstances, that these sins may be committed but only within the limits of certain restrictions. "You must not have illicit carnal intercourse" "you must not commit adultery" The Masonic obligation says "with a Master Mason's wife, mother, sister or daughter, knowing them to be such." Ah! but suppose he don't know them to be such, then what? And if a man is going to commit the crime indicated, do you suppose he'll stop to enquire whether his victim is the female relative of a Mason in the degrees of kinship enumerated in this alleged oath? And again what about the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts? Why are they not mentioned as being as much entitled to protection from Masonic lust as are the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of Master Masons? And last of all, why are not the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of all other men included? Are not all women just as much entitled to respect and protection as the female relatives of Master Masons? And is not the crime of adultery or fornication just as heinous when committed in one case as in the other? But this whole question of "Masonic Chastity" has been already discussed by an eminent American lady, and discussed too so clearly and so thoroughly, that I can do no better than trans-
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cribe her argument here in full. I copy with very slight corrections from "Cynosure Tract, No. 21, by Mrs. Emma A. Wallace," and published by E. A. Cook & Co., 13 Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Ills. I had the honor of a personal acquaintance with this very excellent lady, (since deceased,) and I must say that I have never seen this delicate question so well discussed, nor ever met with one who has better qualified to discuss it. Mrs. Wallace says:
"When you take your seat in a neat and handsomely furnished ladies' car, and casting your eye upward, read on a card near the top of the door these words in plain English, 'Passengers are now allowed to smoke in this car,' does it strike you as anything unreasonable? If you are much of a traveler, and perhaps a smoker too, it does not, and gives you no uneasiness; for you very well know, that attached to all trains is a 'Smoking Car,' where you can smoke and chew and spit without fear of interruption.
"But we will suppose the traveler is a foreigner, entirely ignorant of the habits and customs of American people. That card unmistakably informs him of three facts: first, the Americans smoke; next, that they would smoke in this car if not prohibited; and lastly, that railroad companies understand their business, and provide the American public with accommodations for that purpose. If smoking were not tolerated upon railroads, thecard would read in plain terms, 'Positively No Smoking;' and if tobacco were not used in America, the card would not be there at all.
"Again, we will suppose that the traveler visits the rooms of a Young Men's Christian Association, and on a card against the wall reads, in large letters, 'Pos-
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tively No Profanity allowed in these Rooms on the Sabbath Day.' Monstrous as the thing would seem, the foreigner would be forced to the conclusion that our young men are frightfully given to swearing; to that extent that those who pass for the best of them, would swear in these very rooms, if they had the liberty. Moreover, this card says as plain as A-B-C, 'Upon week days, you can do as you please.' Our traveler would at once set American morals down at a shockingly low standard.
"We will suppose again that he visits one of our churches, and finds that a young man is about to be ordained to preach the gospel; and in the ordination ceremonies, hears the officiating minister read from the discipline the following among other questions: 'Brother, do you faithfully promise that you will not violate the chastity of a brother Methodist's mother, wife, sister or daughter, you knowing them to be such?' The visitor would begin to think America was not a safe country for ladies to travel in, and would feel glad that he left his female relatives at home.
"Is there a young man about to enter the ministry, who would not be insulted, or a congregation which would not be outraged by such a proceeding?
"We will now change the hour from daytime to 'low twelve' at night, and shift our scenery from a church to an 'upper room' curtained and guarded. We look in and see a number of men with queer little aprons on. The burning candles make the room sufficiently light, so that we can clearly see a man kneeling before an alter, a man with a hoodwink over his eyes, and a rope around his body, which is naked enough to
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shame a set of Digger Indians. His hands are place don an open Bible, and we distinctly hear him repeating these words after the Master:
" 'Furthermore do I promise and swear, that I will not violate the chastity of a Master Mason's wife, mother, sister or daughter, I knowing them to be such, nor allow it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it.' (See page 12.)
"The only difference between these two pictures is, that the first is a supposed case, and the last is a real one, and is a scene in a Master Mason's lodge. Every man, every minister, who has gone as far as the third degree in Masonry, has been led around in the shameful plight represented by the accompanying figure, and has repeated these very words.
"How many of them, in decent clothing, would do the same thing in a public audience, and in the presence of their female friends?
"What does this part of a Master Mason's obligation mean? what does it carry in its face? Exactly the same principle as the card above the car door in every particular.
" 'You smoke,' says the car to the public, 'and this car must protect itself accordingly.'
" 'We know your tricks,' says Masonry to 'the poor, blind candidate,' and merely from personal consideration, are compelled to enforce certain limits.'
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"Now we notice still further that the proprietors of railroads do not propose to reform the public of smoking, but on the other hand positively sanction the practice by providing a place for its indulgence.
'We take no account,' says Masonry, 'of our neighbor's wife, mother, sister or daughter, if he is not a Master Mason, adn this obligation is simply a license to that effect.'
'This thing is actually humiliating,' replies our candidate, 'I am accustomed to perfect liberty in this little particular, and will hobble myself with no such restriction.'
'Oh,' exclaims Masonry, complacently rubbing its ancient hands so to speak, 'this beautiful arrangement leaves you quite a margin, my dear sir; plenty of room outside of our immaculate brotherhood; and by the provision, 'knowing them to be such,' you have a considerable field for operation even inside.'
'I am a minister of the Gospel,' objects another candidate, 'and this obligation is insulting to my dignity, and a disgrace upon the Christian religion.'
"Tut, tut,' answers Masonry, with a prodigious frown, 'no sniveling about piety or purity here if you please. That is quite a clever little dodge with your set, but it don't go down in this place. We make no distinctions; here we treat all men alike. This is one of the divine attributes of our glorious institution.'
"This obligation is sufficient proof to every candid, sensible person, that this degree at least, we originated by the most corrupt of men, to secure themselves against the licentiousness of each other.
"Masons tell us they confer certain degrees upon
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women for protection. Protection from whom? From Masons? It certainly looks like it.
"If Masonry is unchangeable, as is claimed, men will get no better in it, and the same beastly-selfish and shameless indecency that brought it into being must continue to keep it alive.
"It is human nature to shrink from having our faith in the purity of those we love broken, and the golden apples of confidence and trust turned to ashes on our lips. It is hard for the friends of Master Masons to believe that before a minister even, could grasp the magic touchstone that finds him a friend in every land; before he can behold the beauties and enjoy the benefits of the sublime degree of a Master Mason, beyond which 'there is nothing the soul of man requires,' he does, 'of his own free will and accord,' fellowship, and place himself upon a perfect level with common libertines. But facts are stubborn things, and Masonic text-books speak for themselves. Masonry as an institution regards a minister of the Gospel as entitled to no more esteem than, and shows him no preference over and above, a companion of prostitutes. Is this purity of heart and life? Is this shunning the very appearance of evil?
"Dear lady reader, if you should happen to be the 'wife, mother, sister or daughter,' of a Master Mason, you have only to read for yourself, to be convinced that they of this heavenly degree are not called upon to, and do not as Masons respect your chastity any more than they do the chastity of other women who do not bear to them such relation. The oath says 'not to violate,' which may mean much or little, as each one
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looks at it; to some it means respect; to others, what is says and nothing more. IF a man is naturally disposed to look lightly upon female virtue, no human institution with any number of oaths and murderous penalties, can change his nature. True manhood regards the chastity of all woman as something lovely, something sacred.
"A friend of ours once said, and so say we, that 'a Masonic lodge is a standing insult to every virtuous woman in the community,' and yet this thing, this brazen siren with her lewd suggestions and harlot favors is foisted upon the world as the great promoter of virtue and morality, the twin sister of Christianity. We pity the virtue that must be truckled to this outrage upon common decency for safety; we blush for the morality born of such a parent, and nursed in such a cradle, and God help the Christianity that would sister such a twin."
This is neither an exaggerated view of Masonic virtue, nor a misrepresentation of Masonic teaching. In the obligation as we have seen, the distinction is specifically made between "Master Mason's wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, and all other women, and even in the case of the female relatives of Masons the same distinction holds good when "they are not known to be such." On this point the written law of Masonry itself leave no possible room for dispute or denial.
In the "Synopsis of Masonic Law," [Webb's Monitor, by Morris, p. 200] we read as follows under the word ADULTERY.
"There is no offense in the Masonic code treated more severely than unlawful carnal connection with the female relative of a Mason. It is considered well night unpardonable. No degree of solicitation however urgent on the part of the one; no circumstances of temp-
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tation, however great on the part of the other, and no after repentance however sincere are admitted in excuse. The penalty is expulsion, and the door of return to the order closed forever. Adultry or fornication with another party however stands upon the same footing as other offenses enumerated in the Decalogue."
The law of God expressly commands "thou shalt not commit adultery' neither with the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of a Mason, nor with any other woman and our Blessed Lord himself in explaining and enforcing this law gives further emphasis to the command by stating that "whosever looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Mat. v. 28.)
Freemasonry however makes a special exception in favor of "Master Masons' wives, mothers, sisters and daughters, knowing them to be such." And thus it literally makes the Word of God of no effect by its traditions and by its impious and wicked obligations. And yet strange to say peoples' minds will be so clouded and their intellects and judgment so warped and twisted that they will try to condemn th eman who secedes from this monstrous iniquity, and who repents of the sins he committed in becoming a member of such a vile institution, from the beginning. Suppose a Methodist or a Congregational minister should be made to swear in public, that he "would not have illicit carnal intercourse with the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters," belonging to that particular congregation, over which he is called to preside, how long do you suppose the church prescribing such an oath could live? Just long enough for the whole community to blast it out of existence. And yet every minister must take this oath in a lodge of Master Masons.
Masonic Argument Masonic Claim How do Seceders Violate Masonic Obligations? What are Masonic Secrets The better the Mason, the bigger the Liar The Whole Obligation must be Observed, or none King Herod's Oath Peter's Oath Oath of Jewish Conspirators Washington's Oath Was Washington a "Perjured Villain?" Oath of Catholic Bishop Oath to kill Hiram Masonic Oaths to be Disregarded and Renounced Why
Freemasonry will not bear to be discussed, and hence Freemasons are strictly forbidden to discuss it. Even Romanism, false and idolatrous as it undoubtedly is, will defend itself when attacked, as best it can; but Masonry is uttelry incapable of defense, and so, casting away reason and argument, it generally resorts to bluff and bluster, and endeavors to ruin where it cannot rule. It is also a most singular fact, that some members of the Masonic fraternity are awfully conscientious in regard to one clause only of the Masonic obligations, while they never make the slightest mention of, or refer in the very remotest degree of any of the other clauses. They pretend to be exceedingly particular as regards the so-called secrets of Masonry; but by watching them pretty closely, it will be generally found that they think but very little about any other part of their Masonic covenant.
It is quite a common thing, now-a-days, to hear men who pretend to be intelligent, and even religious, trying to argue after this fashion: "What can you think of a man," they say, "who has taken these
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obligations which he says he has, and is now violating them?" Or "how can we believe a man who has solemnly sworn to keep the secrets of Masonry, and is now revealing them?" The only charge worthy of notice which the Masonic agents can bring against those who secede from the institution, is that they reveal Masonic secrets; and the only part of the obligation which they accuse us of violating, is the clause relating to its pretended secrecy. But now what secrets do seceding Masons really divulge? and in what manner, if at all, do they violate their Masonic obligation?
It is exultingly declared of Freemasonry that, it is "ancient and honorable," and moreover that it is "exactly the institution that is most needed in this age." But surely the Grand Masters, and Grand K
Again, it is asserted that, "Freemasonry is a religious institution;" that it is charitable and benevolent; that it purifies our evil nature, subdues our passions, enlightens our ignorance, teaches piety and rescues us from the world. We are still further assured concerning the Masonic philosophy, that it accomplishes in every candidate the new birth; that obedience to its precepts and obligations frees from sin; that it erects a spiritual temple inn the heart, pure and spotless; that it imparts a knowledge of divine truth; that "it cannot be conceived that anything can be suggest, more which the soul of man requires;" that it illuminates the path of him who has attained it in the pilgrimage of life; and last of all, that it "fits immortal nature for that spiritual building, that
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house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
All these wonderful results and grand possibilities are universally claimed for the Masonic philosophy, throughout all its literature, and as the result of its symbolic teachings; but surely none can be found so stupid or so ignorant as to suppose that the rulers and teachers of the Craft would, for a single moment, want ot keep any of these unspeakable benefits a profound secret, imposed by an oath with a death penalty, because it would be a gross immorality for them to do so. What is it then that Masonic candidates are so solemnly sworn to conceal, and never reveal? And how, in reality, do seceding Masons violate their obligations? they cannot be accused of violating their obligations that which is said to be good in Masonry, for no Mason ought to hide his light under a bushel; and moreover, the Masonic institution, if it possesses any really good thing, ought not to be either afraid or ashamed to declare it openly to the world; and if it be bad and wicked, and demoralizing and devilish, the demand to keep it a profound secret, on the mere pretense of having been ensnared by fraud and deception into making a promise to that effect, is simply the plea of an impostor, and amount to nothing at all. How, then, let me ask once more, do seceding Masons violate their obligations?
They declare that when a man is being prepared for initiation, "all his clothing is taken off except that one unmentionable garment;" but in this they reveal no secret whatever, for that fact has been public property for more than a hundred years. They also tell us that the candidate is dressed in an old pair of drawers, with a hoodwink fastened over his eyes, a rope around
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his neck, his foot, breast and arm bare; but in all this they don't reveal even the shadow of a secret, for all those things were published to the world time and again during the last fifty or sixty years.
Seceding Masons further explain to us all that can be known about the grips, signs, pass-words, penalties, steps and modes of recognition among the fraternity everywhere, but these things are not secret, and never have been since 1730. They also tell us about that poor unfortunate Tyrian tinker or brass finisher, the story of whose pretended murder by Jubela, Jubelo and Jubulum, is related in the Masonic ritual, with all the serious gravity of a Romish bishop, counting his beads or describing some pretended apparition of the Virgin, but every school-boy in American can learn just as much about Hiram Abiff, as even the Grand Master himself knows, and hence seceding Masons in giving his supposed history reveal no secret whatever. Then how under the heavens are Masonic obligations violated and Masonic so-called secrets divulged by those who throw off the shackles of that vile system, and declare themselves absolved from its vows and unterrified by its death penalties? Masonic secrets ar enot revealed at all, for the simple reason that there are none to reveal, and never have been, since Samuel Pritchard publish his Masonry Dissected, and more especially since the days of the unfortunate Captain Morgan, when 1,500 lodges in this country were publicly broken up, and 45,000 Masons seceded from the order. And neither are Masonic obligations violated, because in reality no covenant has ever existed as between the candidate and the Masonic institution.
But some one may remark: "Well granting thus
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what you say is true granting that Freemasonry contains no secret, yet after all, it may have been a secret from the candidate at the time he took the obligation, and inasmuch as he received it as a secret and promised to keep it as such, is he not therefore bound to respect his promise? And does he not violate his obligation if he tells anything whatever about it?" This is the only way in which this question can be put by the Masonic agents, and this is the only plea they can make. And now in answer to this very weak and very shallow piece of sophistry, let us suppose a case which is liable to occur at any moment. And to make it as strong as possible, and inasmuch as the fools are not all dead, let us suppose that a young man of good moral character, sound judgment, a nice sense of honor, and of more than ordinary intelligence, is made a Mason in Blaney Lodge, Chicago. He knows nothing whatever we shall still suppose of Masonic books or Masonic expositions, at the time of his initiation, and believes according to the popular notion that Freemasonry is a profound secret. Of course the Masonic agents Cregier et al will do every thing in their power to strengthen his convictions or rather to confirm his ignorance in this respect, and so the obligations are administered, the promises made, the vows assumed, and the secrets imparted under the fanciful delusion on his party, that every thing is all right. Now let us suppose still further, that this young man having been made a Master Mason, and being tolerably "bright" is visited one evening soon after, being "raised" by an intimate acquaintance or personal friend. The conversation incidentally turns upon the subject of Masonry. The visiting friend is also "well posted," though never
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initiated, and knows all about the hood-winks, drawers, cable-tows, slippers and all the other degrading jugglery of the "preparation room," as well as the grips, signs, pass-words, ceremonies, symbols and the wonderful tragedy of Hiram Abiff, as practiced in the lodge. Now suppose that our initiated brother this young Master Mason is plainly and bluntly asked the question by his friend, whether these things are so, how would you have him to answer? Would you have him to tell the truth or to tell a lie? Suppose he were asked if men are stripped in being prepared for the Masonic ceremonies, if they're blind-folded, cable-towed led around, knocked down with a leather mallet, and caused to be on the floor rolled up in a canvass, shamming death for more than an hour, what reply would you have him to make? Would require him to deny all these facts? Or would you insist upon it, that he give his friend a correct and truthful answer? Should he deny them or even should he deny any one of them, he would be guilty of one of the lowest and meanest crimes which a man can possibly commit, namely lying, and yet should he tell his friend the real truth about these Masonic so-called secrets, his lodge brethren, if they found it out, would accuse him also of lying to them, inasmuch as they had extorted the promise form him at his initiation, that he would "always conceal and never reveal." What sort of an institution then must that be, that according to its highest moral teaching, a man lies when he tells the truth, or when he tells the truth he lies. In connection with his Masonic obligation if a man says no he lies, and if a man says yes he also lies. In fact so long as a man remains in fellowship with Freemasonry, his whole life is
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a lie. But suppose again that our young friend is a married man, and that his wife by some means becomes possessed of a Masonic exposition say of Roynayne's Hand Book and glancing over it she asks him even in the privacy of the family circle, or in all the confidence of their married relation, whether that book gives Masonry correctly, or whether he was made a Mason as there explained? What reply would you require him to make to his wife? Would you have him deny the truth, and lie to her, or else would you have him speak the truth fearlessly and honestly at all times, and under all circumstances? If he speaks the truth however, he violates his Masonic obligation, but he lives up to his Masonic obligation he must be to his wife. These being the undoubted facts, then what conclusion must we inevitably come to in relation to these Masonic covenants? Simply this that always and everywhere the adhering Mason who regards his so-called oath, and who lives in strict obedience to the despotic requirements of Masonic law, must say what he knows to be positively and absolutely false, and hence that the better the Mason, the bigger the liar. Is a man then bound to have respect to such a covenant as that? Or will any honest, fair-minded person venture to risk his reputation by asserting, that the Masonic obligation, imposing such gross immoralities ought to be faithfully observed and respected to the end of life?
No contract, covenant, bond, oath or any other promise can ever make it obligatory upon a man to do that which is wrong to violate either the law of the land or the law of God because from the very beginning every man is first of all morally bound to do
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right. But as we have had it already abundantly proved, the Masonic obligations if strictly lived up to will unquestionably lead to the commission of crime, to the aiding of criminals, to falsehood, hypocrisy, immorality, deceit, and to the general violation of God's law, as we have it expressly revealed to us in the Holy Scriptures. These Masonic so-called obligations therefore and the whole superstructure which is so cleverly erected upon them are without any disputation or doubt, in direct conflict with a man's every duty, and consequently null and void from the very first.
But to pursue our examination a little further. In the last or 13th clause of the Master Mason's so-called oath, we read as follows:
"To all of this I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear with a firm and steadfast resolution to keep and perform the same without any equivocation, mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever."
"To all of this" he says "I most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear." To all of what? What is it that the Masonic candidate is in reality called upon here to swear to? To keep Freemasonry a secret? To "always hail ever conceal and never reveal" any of the Masonic jugglery, through which he was made to pass at his initiation? Not at all. This is what Freemasons would try to make people believe. But as we see, he swears to all the obligation to every clause of it, to every word and to every requirement of it, both positive and negative; and now I want any member of the Masonic fraternity in these United States, lay or clerical, who has ever kept even all the obligations of the first three degrees, or who knows of any Mason
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that he has kept them, to stand up and declare that fact over his own signature. There is not a man in the country nor even in the world at large, that can do it. No man ever did, ever can, or ever will, keep ALL of what is demanded to be done in the twenty two obligations embraced in the three symbolic degrees. To take such an obligation therefore as is imposed upon the candidate by this particular section of the Masonic code is aabsolutely forswearing oneself, and is trictly prohibited by God's Word, and consequently null and void.
But now supposing that a man could strictly live up to every part of the so-called obligations of even symbolic Masonry, and granting still further that they have been administered and assumed through fraud and misrepresentation, yet after all he is a man ever justified in repudiating even such a promise, having once solemnly entered into all its responsibilities and taken such a vow upon him of "his own free will and accord?" Having once made the promise; having once given the pledge, and sworn the Masonic oath so-called, which is it a man's duty to do? To renounce it forever and so be a true, free, man? Or else to observe it forever and be false, deceitful, and unreliable, at least so far as Masonry is concerned? To answer this question I shall briefly examine a few of those cases in which similar obligations or rather obligation of even a more biding nature have been heretofore taken by other men, and shall then leave it to the candor and moral sense of the reader Mason or non-Mason to decide, whether, the men who assumed those obligations were justified in violating them or not. The first case then to which I shall direct attention is
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THE OATH OF KING HEROD.
In Mat. xiv. 6-10, we read as follows:
"But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she being before instructed of her mother said, give me here John Baptist's head in a charger, and the King was sorry; nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat he commanded it to be given her. And he sent and beheaded John in the prison."
Now observe the marked coincidence between this oath taken by Herod at his birthday feast, and that which is taken by the candidate in the Masonic lodge. Herod promised with an oath to give Herodias' daughter whatever she would ask toi obey her in all that she would command him to do and the Masonic candidate promises with an oath to do whatsoever Freemasonry commands "to conform to and abide by all the laws, rules and regulations of the Master Mason's degree;" "all the laws, rules and regulations of the lodge," and all the constitutions, laws and edicts of the Grand Lodge unconditionally and without questioning whether right or wrong.
Now the question at once arises, what was Herod's real honest duty with regard to this oath? To violate it and so to save the innocent life of John the Baptist? Or else to abide by the terms of his rash and wicked oath, and thus become the murderer of the prophet? Now which ought he to have done? His oath was undoubtedly sinful, as well as foolish, it was taken in the presence of witnesses, and it was taken too at a time when he was not capable of exercising calm reason in the solemn promise he made, and so of judg-
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ing rightly what the terrible consequences of that promise might be. But under any circumstances whatever, was Herod justified in keeping his rash and wicked oath?
In Mathew Henry's Commentary, Vol. 4th, we read as follows, in regard to this oath of Herod's, and his manifest duty in relation to it:
"It was a very extravagant obligation which Herod here entered into, and no way becoming a prudent man that is afraid of being 'snared in the words of his mouth.' (Prov., vi., 2.) To put this blank into her hands, and enable her to draw upon him at pleasure, was too great a recompense for such a sorry piece of merit. Promissory oaths are ensnaring things, and when made rashly, are the products of inward corruption and the occasions of many temptations."
And speaking of Herod's fulfillment of his oath and his flimsy excuse for doing so, the commentator further explains:
"Here is a pretended conscience of his oath with the specious show of honor and honesty; he must needs do something for the oath's sake. It is a great mistake to think that a wicked oath will justify a wicked action. It was implied so necessarily and it needed not be expressed that he would do anything for her that was lawful and honest; and when she demanded what was otherwise, he ought to have declared, and he might have done it knowingly, that the oath was null and void, and the obligation of it ceased. No man can lay himself under obligation to sin, because God has already so strongly obliged every man against sin."
"All this is applicable in a special manner to the Masonic so-called oaths, and to the duty of those who rashly assume them. The Masonic candidate puts pre-
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cisely the same blank into the hands of Masonry that Herod put into the hands of the wanton girl, whose charmes of motion for a time so beclouded his judgment; and the consequences in both cases are also the very same, provided Masonic obligations are lived up to, viz.: the commission of crime and a violation of God's law. And so the question comes right back again, which ought Herod to have done, to violate, or to keep his oath? If Herod ought to have kept his rash and wicked oath, sworn to a wicked girl, then the Masonic candidate ought to keep his rash and wicked oath, sworn to a wicked, pagan, infidel and anti-Christian institution. But on the other hand, if Herod, as Mathew Henry expresses it, ought "to have declared that the oath was null and void, and that the obligation of it had ceased," then so ought the Masonic candidate to make precisely the same declaration, and repent of his wicked folly and recede from the terrible consequences of his sinful act.
Again in Mat. xxvi., 69-74, we read concerning
PETER'S RASH OATH:
"Now Peter sat without in the palace; and a damsel came unto him saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest. And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him and said unto them that were there. This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man. And after a while came unto him they that stood by and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech betrayeth thee. Then began he to curse and to swear saying, I know not the man."
Here we have an account of Peter denying Christ with an oath, and cursing and swearing that he did
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not know the man. Now when Peter took that wicked oath, "in the presence of them all," that he had not knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth, which was he afterwards justified in doing? To repent of his cowardly and wicked act, and to "go out and weep bitterly," as he did, or else to stick to his oath and so still continue to deny Christ forever? We find the chief speaker on the day of Pentecost, proclaiming to the assembled thousands of the Jewish nation, "the unsearchable riches of Christ," and exercising that wonderful power with which Jesus invested him, of opening to his own nation the door of the kingdom of heaven. We also find him sent as a special messenger to Cornelius, and declaring to him also, "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil, for God was with him," and so fulfilling again the Savior's commission by "opening the door of faith unto the Gentiles."
Now, according to the illogical reasoning of some of our would-be Christians in this advanced period of the nineeteenth century, neither the Jews nor Cornelius ought to have accepted the testimony of Peter concerning Christ, because, on at least two occasions, having sworn an oath, and a very solemn one at that, that he had no knowledge of Him, and then having turned right around and deliberately repudiated that oath with tears of repentance, he became an unreliable witness, and consequently ought not to be credited, because as our friends the Masons will confidently tell us "having lied in one case, he will lie in the other also"! What an intelligent conclusion this is, surely, and how very singular that men strictly honest and conscientious in
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almost all other matters, will act with such strange inconsistency and with so little judgment on the subject of Masonry! When Peter denied Christ with an oath, what was his bounden duty in the matter? To stick faithfully by that rash oath, or else to violate it? My dear brother Mason, what do you think of this? And remember as you answer, that Peter never denied the Lord Jesus Christ any more truly than you and I did in the Masonic Lodge.
But again we read in Acts xxiii, 12, 13, concerning
"And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under a curse [WITH AN OATH OF EXECRATION], saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. And they were more than forty which had made this conspiracy."
Now here we have an account of more than forty Jews, as we would say, about five lodges, who entered into a wicked conspiracy cemented with "an oath of execration," that they would kill the Apostle Paul. This oath which they took was administered just as we administer the oaths in a Masonic lodge. They did not take it before a magistrate, or before any one else who had any authority whatever to administer it, but they simply took it, one from the other, just as we do in Masonry. And now observe carefully the terms of this "solemn obligation." They positively swore to do either one of two things; they swore that they would kill Paul, and furthermore that, until they had killed him, they would neither eat nor drink. But Paul's nephew having discovered the plot, told the chief captain what the Jews intended doing, and so Paul was removed that same night, under a strong
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escort of soldiers to Ceserea; and thus he escaped the murderous designs of his enemies.
Now, under all the circumstances, what ought those forty-five or fifty Jews to have done in this matter? They bound themselves under a mighty oath to kill Paul. Were they therefore justified in keeping that oath, or in violating it? But inasmuch as they could not possibly keep that particular clause of it relating to Paul's edeath, were they bound further, according to the second clause, to starve themselves to death, because they obligated themselves, under a mighty oath, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed the Apostle? Which was it their plain duty to do then? to kill Paul if they could, starve themselves to death in case of failure, or else to repent of their ferocious conspiracy and to renounce forever their illegal and wicked obligation? If the Masonic candidate, now-a-days, is bound by every sense of duty and honor, as they will tell us, to keep his obligation inviolate, so were those associated Jews bound to keep their. But if the rash and wicked oath taken by those Jewish conspirators might be violated, and in fact ought to have been, why not that which is taken today in a Masonic lodge?
GEO. WASHINGTON'S OATH.
And above and beyond all, was George Washington a perjured villain? To the ordinary American reader perhaps this question may at first sight appear somewhat startling, but if the Masonic doctrine of "strict obedience" to the rash and demoralizing obligations of the lodge room under all circumstances, be correct, it is rather difficult to determine how the memory of Washington can be consistently defended from the
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stigma that must necessarily rest upon it for the wilfull and deli berate violation of the legal oath which he took as Colonel of the Virginia Militia to "His most Sovereign Lord King George, III." This oath which is given on next page, let it also be remembered was a lawful and constitutional one, while the Masonic so-called oath is both illegal and unconstitutional. Then again the oath of allegiance which Washington took was lawfully ordained or prescribed, lawfully administered, and lawfully taken or received by him, while the oath of allegiance taken by the Masonic candidate is not only administered and assumed without any warrant or color of law whatever, but in fact every thing connected with it, and the several duties which it imposes, as has already been abundantly shown, are in direct conflict with both the law of God and the law of man. Now was George Washington justified in deliberately violating a lawful and constitutional oath, while the Masonic candidate is a "perjured villain" if he violates the outrageous and illegal imposture, which is very often administered to him by some infidel or dram-drinker in a lodge of Masons? And if the Masonic candidate becomes perjured for violating the oath of the lodge, how is it that George Washington was not perjured for violating the oath of George III? But to the oath itself. In 1832 the editor of the National Observer delivered a course of anti-Masonic lectures at Catskill and Hudson, N.Y., which were reported in Giddins' Almanac of that same year. E. A. Cook & Co., of Chicago, in one of their publications, entitled "George Washington opposed to Secret Societies," copies Giddins' report, and from that publication the following extract is taken with but a very trifling correction in the comments upon the oath
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itself, so that instead of referring to an assembled audience it may refer to citizens generally.
"Let us look, for a moment" the lecturer says, "at the oath of allegiance, as taken by GEORGE WASHINGTON:
"I, GEORGE WASHINGTON, DO TAKE ALMIGHTY GOD TO WITNESS, that I will be faithful ande bear true allegiance to our most Sovereign Lord, King George the Third, and him will defend to the utmost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatever, that shall be made against his person, crown and dignity: And I do faithfully promise, to maintain, support and defend to the utmost of my power, the succession of the Throne, in his Majesty's family, against any person, or persons whatsoever. Thereby utterly abjuring any allegiance or obedience, to the person taking upon himself the style and title of Prince of Wales, in the lifetime of his father, and who, since his death is said to have assumed the style and title of King of Great Britain and Ireland, by the name of Charles the Third, and to any other person claiming or pretending a right, to the crown of these realms. And I do swear, that I do reject and detest as un-christian and impious, to believe, that it is lawful to murder or destroy any person or persons whatsoever, for or under pretence of their being heretics, and also that unchristian and impious principles, that no faith is to be kept with heretics. I further declare, that it is no article of my faith; and that I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion that Princes excommunicated by the Pope and Council, or by any authority of the See of Rome, or by any authority whatsoever, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or by
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any person whatsoever; and I do promise, that I will not hold, maintain, or abet any such opinion, or any other opinion, contrary to what is expressed in this declaration. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, and of his only Son JESUS CHRIST, our redeemer, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, and without any dispensation already granted by the Pope, or any authority from the See of Rome, or any persons whatsoever; and without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or man, or absolved of this declaration, or any part thereof, although the Pope, or any other person or persons, or any authority whatsoever, shall dispense with or annul the same, or declare that it was null and void from the beginning.'
"Now, then, let me see the American in all this land who will rise up and declare GEORGE WASHINGTON a perjured villain, for drawing his sword against the monarch, whose 'person, crown, and dignity,' he had so solemnly, in the name of the ever-living God, sworn to defend!
"He swore to maintain the person, crown and dignity of George the Third, and yet he did not hesitate when George the Third lent his name, his person, his crown and dignity to the vile purposes of tyranny and oppression, as Freemasonry did, when she decreed the murder of Morgan, Miller and others, to buckle on his armor, and go forth to the field of battle, for the prostration of that tyrant, his crown and his dignity!
"He swore to defend, to the utmost of his power, the succession of the throne in the family of George
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the Third; and he did not hesitate to exert himself to the utmost of his power, to destroy that succession, to cut it off, both root and branch!
"He swore that it was not article of his faith, that princes like George the Third, could be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or by the authority of the Pope, or by any authority whatsoever: and yet he drew his sword by the authority of the American Congress of of '76, to depose George the Third, so far as power extended to these States, then the province of George the Third and had he come in contact with him or seen him killed, with the same feelings, that he killed or saw killed, or instigated and exhorted, by all the powers of his mind and body, his fellow soldiers to kill any or all, if necessary, of those were sent hither by George the Third, to subjugate our fathers.
"He swore, too, that he took the whole of his oath, which I have just recited, without thinking that he could be absolved from it by any authority whatever; and yet he absolved himself from it, and violated every clause of it; And where, I repeat it, is the American in the Masonic loedge, or elsewhere, that will dare to brand him, on this account as a traitor and a villain? Where is the man, or rather the miscreant who will have the hardihood to bestow upon the name of the father of his country, the immortal GEORGE WASHINGTON, the foul epithets of 'perjured apostate,' 'abandoned outcast,' 'detestable wretch,' as we are styled, who have, I fear not say, as virtuously and as justly violated, and renounced forever, in the sight of God and man, our unlawful vicious, all-corrupting, and blasphemous obligations?
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And now I will submit the oath which must be taken by every Roman Catholic bishop at his consecration, and shall ask my Masonic friends and others whether in their honest judgmetn the Romish Hierarchy ofAmerica would be justifieed or not, in violating the anti-christian and anti-republican oath. Dowling's History of Romanism, pp. 615, 616. Debate between Rev. Alexander Campbell and Arch Bishop Parcell, pp. 280-317.
OATH OF ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS
1. I, N elect of the church of N, from henceforward will be faithful and obedient to St. Peter the Apostle and to the Holy Roman Church and to our Lord, the Lord N, Pope N, and to his successors canonically entering.
2. I will neither advise, consent, nor do anything that they may lose life or member, or that their persons may be seized, or hands in any wise laid upon them, or any injuries offered them under any pretense whatsoever.
3. I will help them to defend and keep the Roman papacy and the Royalties of St. Peter saving my order against all men.
4. The Counsel with which they shall intrust me by themselves, their messengers, or letters I will not knowingly reveal to any to their prejudice.
5. The legate of the Apostolic See going and coming I will honorably treat and help in his necessities.
6. The rights, honors, privileges, and authority of the Holy Roman Church, of our Lord the Pope,
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and his aforesaid successors, I will endeavor to preserve, defend, increase and advance.
7. I will not be in any counsel, action, or treaty, in which shall be plotted against our said Lord, and the said roman Church, anything to the hurt of prejudice of their persons right, honor, state or power, and if I shall know any such thing to be treated or agitated by any whatsoever, I will hinder it to my utmost, and as soon as I can, will signify it to our said Lord, or to some other by whom it may come to his knowledge.
8. The rules of the Holy Fathers, the Apostolic decrees, ordinances or disposals, reservations, provisions and mandates, I will observe with all my might and cause to be observed by others.
9. Heretics, schismatics and rebels to our said Lord, or his aforesaid successors, I will to my utmost persecute and oppose.
10. I will come to a council when I am called, unless I be hindered by a canonical impediment.
11. I will by myself in person visit the threshold of the Apostles every three years, and give an account of our Lord and his aforesaid successors, of all my pastoral office and of all things anywise belonging to the state of my church, to the discipline of my clergy and people, and lastly to the salvation of souls committed to my trust, and will in like manner humbly receive and diligently execute the apostolic commands.
12. And if I be detained by a lawful impediment, I will perform all the things aforesaid by a certain messenger hereto specially empowered, a member of my chapter, or some other in ecclesiastical dignity,
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or else having a personage or in default of those by a priest of the diocese, or in default of one of the clergy of the diocese, by some other secular priest of approved integrity and religion, fully instructed in all things above mentioned. And such impediment I will make out by lawful proofs to be transmitted by the foresaid messenger, to the cardinal proponent of the Holy Roman Church, in the congregation of the sacred council.
13. The possessions belonging to my table I will neither sell nor give away, nor mortgage, nor grant anew in fee, nor any wise alienate, not even with the consent of the chapter of my church, without consulting the Roman Pontiff.
14. And if I shall make any alteration, I will thereby incur the penalties contained in a certain constitution put forth about this matter. So help me God and these Holy Gospels of God."
And now with regard to this solemn and terrible oath, I would respectfully as the entire Protestant population of America whether Masons or non-Masons what they would think of the Romish Bishop, who would repudiate and renounce these anti-christian and papal vows, and secede from the idolatrous communion of Rome? Would they consider him a "perjured villain?" Or would they not rather applaud him as a reformer, and become enthusiastically insane over his conversion, and renunciation of the superstitions and idolatries of the papacy. Let a Roman Catholic Bishop or priest secede from Romanism, repudiate his oath (though legal,) and reveal its hypocrisy and corruption, and he becomes a popular hero, with Masonic Protestants. But let a High Priest or Worshipful Master of Masonry secede, and let him divulge but the tenth part of the ras-
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cality and corruption of the Masonic institution, and these very same men will have no milder epithet to bestow upon him, than "perjured villain," a "scoundrel" or "a fraud." If Father Gavazzi, Dr. Dollinger, Pere Hyacinthe, and other Bishops and priests in Europe, as well as Bishop McNamara, Rev. J. A. O'Connor, Father Chiniquy and several other ecclesiastics in America have been justified in repudiating their solemn vows, voluntarily taken to the Romish Church, why should it not be right and proper for a Master Mason to repudiate his Masonic vows, assumed through imposture and deception, and secede from the corrupt institution of Freemasonry? If Martin Luther was justified in throwing off the yoke of Rome, the seceding Mason is still more justified in throwing off the yoke of Masonry, because of the two systems popery is the least dangerous, and the least anti-Christian. To understand the very marked coincidence between them however, reference ought to be had to the Master's Carpet, which explains not only the philosophy of Masonry, but also the close similarity between the teaching of the lodge and the teaching of the mass-house.
THE OATH TO KILL HIRAM ABIFF.
But more conclusive than all, Freemasonry itself furnishes, the strongest and the most convincing proof, perhaps, of any that can possibly be produced that its own obligations ought to be entirely set aside, and that its so-called covenants and wicked oaths are null and void throughout, and therefore ought to be repudiated form the very first.
In the Ritual of the Master Mason's degree, in the very heart, as it were, of the sanctum sancto-
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rum of the system, we are taught the following important lesson:
"Fifteen Fellow Crafts seeing the temple about to be completed, and being desirous of obtaining the secrets of a Master Mason or the Master's word, whereby they might travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master's wages, entered into a horrid conspiracy to extort them from our Grand Master Hiram Abiff, or to take his life. But reflecting with horror upon the atrocity of the crimes, twelve of them recanted; the other three, however, persisted in their murderous design." [Hand Book of Freemasonry, p. 128.]
Here, then, we have a most notable instance furnished us by Masonic usage of the positive violation of a solemn oath, even by Masons themselves. Those fifteen Fellow Crafts entered into a conspoiracy, one with the other. They bound themselves, as all conspirators do, under as solemn and binding an obligation as it was possible for them to impose. They vowed, and pledged and covenanted, and faithfully promised to keep one another's secret, whatever it might be, and to be true and loyal in their engagements; and of course, according to Masonic argument, they ought to have complied with the terms of their oath, and ot have fulfilled their vows and kept their promises, let the consequences be what they might. But strange as it may seem, the Masonic ritual most authoritatively assures us that "twelve of them recanted." Twelve out of the fifteen absolutely seceded twelve Freemasons (accepting Masonry's own words for it), deliberately and willfully violated their solemn oath, broke their sacred promise and revealed the secret which had existed among them. Twelve of them actually became traitors to their brethren,betrayed their trust and publicly divulged what they had so solemnly sworn to conceal and never reveal.
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and now the question arises, were those twelve Fellow Crafts right, or were they wrong, in thus violating their solemn oath, and in revealing to the public at large what they had so faithfully promised to keep secret? They were justified in so doing, or they wer enot. If those twelve recanting Fellow Crafts were justified in repudiating a wicked oath, administered and assumed without the shadow of authority from either God or man, why should not Fellow Crafts or Master Masons today be equally justified in repudiating their wicked oaths, administered and assumed in a similar manner? And if they were not justified in doing what they did, how comes it that we find them honored and extolled by the Masonic ritual, while the three individuals who remained faithful to their solemn vows are treated with the utmost scorn, and are everywhere characterized by the ignominious name of ruffian?
In the Masonic Legend (Hand Book, p. 129), we read as follows:
"About this time," that is, on the day following their recantation, "the Fellow Crafts who recanted presented themselves before King Solomon, clothed in white gloves and aprons, tokens of innocence, freely acknowledged their premeditated guilt, and most humbly implored his pardon."
They confessed their wicked act, they revealed the secret, they seceded publicly from the conspiracy into which they had, on a former occasion, voluntarily entered; and for so doing they are esteemed and applauded, while the other three who kept their oaths and faithfully lived up to all the requirements of their obligation, are scorned, cursed and reprobated. Now which of these two classes of Masons were really the "perjured villains?" those who kept their oath and
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slew Hiram Abiff, as alleged, or those who seceded from the conspiracy and confessed and revealed the wicked plot? When Freemasons can decide this question, in the very sanctum sanctorum as it were of the Masonic system itself, it will then be time enough for them to accuse their seceding brethren of the present day with a breach of trust, for repudiating the wicked oaths, the horrible and ferocious death penalties, the pagan rites, and the anti-Christian doctirnes and practices of the Masonic institution.
And, now, the judgment of wise men confirming our own, and unanimously assenting to the soundness of the preceding arguments, and to the righteousness of our conclusions, we as seceding Masons are ready to treat the oaths of Freemasonry, as a man has a right, both by human and divine law, to treat the marriage oath in case of adultery. No man would hesitate instantly to repudiate a wife, whose life was stained with transgressions against purity. Because he took solemn vows to be pure and chaste, is he held to his marriage vow, after he knows that she is an adulteress? It is not possible. freemasonry we wedded as the truth of God; we repudiate it as the falsehood of the devil.
"Thou mayest hold a serpent by the tongue,
A caged lion by the mortal paw,
A fasting tiger safer by the tooth,
Than keep in peace the hand which thou dost hold."
We were taught to believe that Freemasonry has virgin purity; but we find it is corrupt; we were taught to believe that it was founded and patronized at least three thousand years ago, by men acknowledge to be of God in the Holy Scriptures; but we find it was
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founded in the era of the South Sea Company, by men whose names are no warrant for truth or righteousness; we were taught to believe that Freemasonry is the handmaid of religion; but we find that it is the very anti-Christ itself, and, in an extensive and thorough, a protracted and patient examination of the subject, we have found Freemasonry, by its own showing, carefully collated from its approved writers, and books of constitutions, to be the synagogue of Satan.
We have sworn to it in the belief which was taught us; we abjure it in the convictions which careful investigation has produced. We gave it the pledge of our right hand, believing it to be a blessinng from the Lord, fraught with heavenly mercies; we withdraw that pledge, upon finding Freemasonry to be the work of the father of lies, fraught with hidden mischief. We received it as sanctioned by the best of names, both ancient and modern, patriarchs and prophets, statesmen and divines; we renounce it as the angel of light, so cunningly attired that he deceives even the elect.
As the forefathers of our country broke the yoke of foreign bondage, so we break the yoke of internal tyranny; as they performed their duty to God, to their posterity, and to their country, by renouncing their allegiance to George III, and to the British constitution; so we, in the fear of God, in the service of our country, and posterity, and with a view to a day of final retribution, renounce and make void our allegiance to Freemasonry. (Ancient Document.)