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The several documents comprised in the following work have been published at various times, and in different sections of our country. They have 'principally appeared in the pamphlet form; and wherever circulated have been read with avidity, and have exerted a powerful influence. Those which have been presented to the public only through the medium of newspapers have not received that general circulation and perusal which their value and importance demand, owing to the fact, that those organs of communication are for the most part subjected to masonic influence, and that but few papers are enlisted in the Antimasonic cause.
They are here republished, with the hope that they may receive from the public that attention which they merit; and that the influence which they are calculated to exert may be felt, and be widely extended.
Collectively, they form a volume which may be of some service to those who have given to the subject on which they treat but little attention, and who have not informed themselves in relation to the principles of the Masonic Institution, as they have been developed by recent investigations.
The nature and tendency of the institution are here clearly exhibited, and its principles and practices fully illustrated and exposed. From the fact that most of the writers of the pieces herein contained have been members of the institution, and consequently acquainted with its secret principles and designs; and also from the uniformity of their testimony, we may rely on their statements as correct, and consider their representation of its character as in accordance with truth.
The increasing demands of the public for information on the subject of Masoory, and the persuasion that a work which should present at one view the opinions of the most distinguished writers respecting it, would be useful, and well adapted for distribution, were the causes which led to the publication of the present volume. The compiler indulges the hope that it may subserve the cause of truth, by diffusing light on the subject of Masonry, and by exciting a more general inquiry into the nature of its claims.
Boston, Feb. 22, 1830.
The State Anti-masonic Committee of Massachusetts have examined the Prospectus, and a considerable portion of the Documents proposed to be published by Mr. JAMES C. ODIORNE, in a distinct volume. The work appears to be judiciously selected, well arranged, and ably conducted... A great mass of information, of the most important kind, is brought together in a manner deserving the attention and patronage of the public.