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bining a great body of active members of the community in one secret fraternity, teaching them its own highly valued lessons, and enabling them to act without the responsibilities attached to the independent yeomanry of our country. It also has a great revenue.
If every lodge make three Masons annually, at twenty dollars each, lodges 2000 x 3= 6000 new members, each $20 x 6000 = $120,000 per annum, the revenue of the lodges.
I say nothing of chapters and others.
Such a combination of activity, mystery, talents, and money, accompanied with magnificent titles, and splendid professions, and ornaments captivating to youth, is not unworthy of the attention both of statesmen and moralists.*
For a history, it has none tolerably satisfactory; Lawrie's may be found in our public libraries. (Ency. Brit. art. Masonry.)
Its learning is scattered in many volumes, and its doctrines are so covered with ceremonies, and the fog of mystery, that few, even of its highest adepts, are thoroughly instructed in its claims and character.
The writer has, therefore, sought with all diligence to compile a mass of information, drawn from purely masonic sources, which should throw a ray of light upon Free Masonry visible to all; and if, in the execution of this task, the feelings excited by the subject have not always been restrained, pardon me; gravely to contemplate inconsistencies, is neither natural nor safe; it is necessary sometimes to laugh at folly, as an antidote to infection; and sometimes to repel falsehood with indignation, lest it fasten upon the simple.
Names do not affect the value of arguments. Where par
* What it can do politically is seen in Mexico at this moment, where the national parties are fearfully violent, and take the names of Ecossars, and York, from different rituals of Free Masonry.
ties exist they often hurt: for the reader's attention will be turned from the argument to the orator, from truth immutable and eternal, to the frail and peccable mortal uttering it. And this is an evil, whether in friends or foes; for the undivided attention necessary to discern and appreciate truth, is distracted with prejudice, or partiality towards the speaker.
The opinions of the writer cannot be mistaken; but they have no value that you do not give them; and if they are not justified by a perusal of the copious authorities within the two covers of this book, neither his nor any other name will justify them. He asks no credit for facts, or for assertions: these are made and furnished by Webb, Town, Cross, Preston, Hutchinson, Cole, Lawrie, Dermott, Smith, Greenleaf, Dalcho, Tannehill, Hardie, and the various grand officers and grand lodges, who have sanctioned their labours. The writer is a compiler from their pages, with only the remarks suitable for refreshment; and, if Free Masonry is condemned, it must be from just quotations of her own commentators, the title and every instance accompanying the quotation.
The whole merit of the question lies between faithful extracts of masonic authors here given, and the truth. The attorney collects, arranges, and illustrates facts ; the reader is to decide the case; the reader is the judge ; and if your attorney appear before you in a respectful manner, address you in plain English, and argue his case diligently, not travelling out of the record, I trust you will give him a patient hearing; and, believe, if his name could be valuable to you, it should be forthcoming with the promptness of truth, and without fear of the mystery whose doctrine is Vengeance, and whose daring defies both the laws of God and of man.
" Yet all are not satisfied.”
All cannot be satisfied. Having carefully sought to know what is duty, the writer is satisfied, any name beneath the starry heavens would be a detriment attached to this volume. Suppose for a moment, reader, it were Truthwell.
She who run down the Abbé Barruel's and Professor Robison's Free Masonry, would also run down Truthwell's. It would be vanity in the writer to suppose otherwise. But she may run against “Free Masonry" until out of wind, and it will hold way with her. She will escape from it, when the horse escapes from his shadow. Every assault upon “ Free Masonry" will surely be well directed; she has liberty; let no name parry her blows.
Again, what can any name add to the author's view of this subject? Suppose the name were Jefferson ; she would array against it, in a single paragraph, Washington, Franklin, Warren, La Fayette, George the King, the Dukes of York, and of Sussex, &c. and what could he do? With one flourish of her magical wand, she would marshal against it the Patriarchs, the Kings of Israel, and the Prophets; with another, all the heathen philosophers of Greece and of Rome; what could the supposed Jefferson say? Only that truth will stand in its own name against the assembled universe. So let it stand ; and the foe may array all the names of glory upon the page of history, against “ Free Masonry;" far be it from the author to interfere.
Were the author's name here, she would scorn to notice his book ; she would make the war personal; she would turn the attention of her dupes upon him ; and with her ten thousand tongues, she would force honest people, by the irresistible torrent of her malice, to sneer at the name of any man's Free Masonry : while she is free to abuse, or to feed upon “ Free Masonry ;" that will make her faint and sick, when an honest name to devour, would strengthen her heart.
So persuaded is he of the propriety of this course, that the author will sooner submit to the mortification of seeing his labour come before the public without even the honest name of the printer, than, by placing another on the titlepage, shield Free Masonry from her own arrows: and were he, by solemn act of Providence, removed this night from his earthly labours, he would leave it in charge, that no
name of the author should appear in the work; not that it would shame the reader; but his work is truth, which is irresistible, while the author is a mortal that can be barked down.
He received the secret of the lodges in due form, under able masters ; laboured at the lectures with the resolution of a hale man taking patent medicines; others found them so beneficial, he would not fail of their benefit for the want of a fair trial, All the language of the lodges, and the tedious details of the lectures, he learned by dint of perseverance, and could once rehearse equal to his satisfaction: still the charm refused to operate, the talismanic influence failed to exert itself; and, like one fairly innoculated with genuine matter, he, to the disappointment of the doctor, .yet took the disease the natural way.
With great simplicity he sought the meaning of this, modestly inquiring of the Royal Arch and great Masons; but a sure hint at the master's entire ignorance of the subject, was always sufficient, when coming from men four, seven, and ten degrees above him, completely to shut his mouth. He could not presume to doubt what they, from their elevation, saw clearly; and having no disposition further to climb the eminence, nor relish for the twilight of the lodges, he withdrew from the connexion ; travelling, but neither giving nor receiving lion's paws, due guards, or grips ; neither knowing a man, nor being known, as a Free Mason.
From this state of tranquillity he was disturbed by an event, which, unworthy as it might seem to its agents, disturbed every Mason, and shook every lodge, in the Union; agitated, and does yet greatly agitate, the public mind; severing friendships, dividing families, rending churches.
A citizen of New York, it may be a most unworthy man, yet an American citizen, in the autumn of 1826, was maliciously taken with the form of legal process, from his fireside and family at Batavia, New York, by Free Masons, was transported sixty miles to Candaigua for trial. At once discharged by the law, he was again arrested for debt to
the amount of two dollars; and, far removed from his friends, he was immured in a prison for that petty sum, while they could mature their plans.* This accomplished, they paid the debt to release him from prison, nine o'clock, P. M., and contrived, by strong drink, or drugs, or both, to take and to transport him, by night and by day, in the public, and in private conveyances, from Canandaigua to Lewiston, through a populous part of this free country, one hundred miles; thence to a deserted fort on the lonely point where Niagara enters Ontario lake, and kept him three days, seeking with anxiety to rid the country of him without his blood. Here the veil drops; the victim can be traced no further, except in the reports of his merciless death, which are not a little strengthened by the flight, and continued absence in foreign parts, or in distant territories, of three active masonic conspirators.
Proclamation, with reward, was repeatedly issued by the lamented Clinton ; suits were instituted, and several Free Masons have suffered, or are now suffering, in prison, the penalty of the law, for the forcible abduction of a fellow citizen ;t while, in other cases, the course of justice has
* Being at Canandaigua, he borrowed linen for cleanliness; and, having reached hoine, was arrested for petit larceny. When discharged from cri. minal process, he was seized in an action on account for the same shirt and cravat, valued at two dollars.
+ Trial at Canandaigua, first week in January, 1827. Judge Throop proceeded to sentence the defendants in the following terms: “ You have been convicted of a daring, wicked, and presumptuous crime; such an one as we did hope, would not, in our day, have polluted this land. You have robbed the state of a citizen, a citizen of his liberty, a wife of her husband, and a family of helpless children of the endearments and protecting care of a parent; and, whether the unfortunate victim of your rage has been immolated, or is in the land of the living, we are ignorant, and even you do not pretend to know.
" It is admitted in this case, and stands proved, that Morgan was, by a hypocritical pretence of friendship and charity, and that, too, in the imposing shape of pecuniary relief to a distressed and poverty-bound prisoner, beguiled to intrust himself to one of your number, who seized him as soon