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If the appellants could truly make the declaration, and would make it, that they are guiltless of having taken these oaths, it would go far to show a fundamental error in the reasoning of anti-masons. It would be a denial of the premises from which they draw their conclusions. But so long as their premises are not denied, their reasoning must have weight with the people.
If the appellants have not done these things which the principles of masonry would warrant, it does not prove that masonry is any better than it is represented by anti
It does not prove that among 150,000 masons in the United States, there are not 100,000 who are political, and would vote for a brother mason before another person of equal qualifications; and it does not prove that there are not 50,000 masons, who would take the life of a brother for disclosing the fundamental secrets of the order.
What else, but the fear of death, prevented the disclosures of these secrets from a thousand tongues, before Morgan disclosed them ? And what has been the fate of Morgan for making the disclosures? We attribute his abduction and death to masonry. But no mason, who participated in the abduction, has been expelled the lodge. Many masons have, by the laws of the land, been convicted and imprisoned for the crime; but the laws of masonry have not been violated, and the convicts remain worthy members of the lodges ! We say these things to show the principles of masonry, and not to accuse the appellants of shedding human blood.
Fellow Citizens :— Political masonry should cease from among us, or political anti-masonry should be tolerated. We hear masons declare that there is no such thing as political masonry. Let us see what facts prove. One masonic obligation requires, that a mason shall vote for a brother in preference to any other person of equal qualifications. Is not this political masonry? The masons in Vermont are about one twentieth part of the freemen, and they hold about three-fourths of all the important offices in the State. Is this owing to their superior fitness, or to political masonry ?
This state of things is produced by political masonry. There are no masons in the State so well qualified for any
office, but that there are other freemen to be found, who are not masons, as well qualified for the same office; yet the mason must always obtain the office. We would not recommend the adoption of any rule to prevent masons obtaining office, but the freeman's oath. We will, however, act according to this oath, in resisting their shameful monopoly of offices, whenever and wherever called to give our suffrages.
In the fifth Congressional district, in this State, political masonry, for twelve months past, has effected wonders : masons have combined, in so many different shapes, to secure the election of a mason, to represent us in Congress, that their zeal and shame are now without a cover. They have presented to us four masons in succession for the office, and spared no pains to slander the patriot and statesman, WILLIAM CAHOON; but the freemen have done nobly; they have, thus far, sustained him for their Representative through seven successive trials.
And do we not see political masonry in the appeals to the people, one after another, issued from the lodge-room in Montpelier ? Were not these appeals designed to have a political effect! If masons in their lodge, can unite to make an appeal to put down anti-masonry, we see no reason why they might not unite on some other political subject as well; for instance, to stand by, and assist each other to office.
There is nothing in their obligations that restrains masons from acting on political subjects. In their lodges they have matured political plans which have made kings tremble on their thrones. They always have been, and always will be political, when circumstances require it, for their own security or aggrandizement. Not that we believe that masons would introduce party politics into a lodge; for this might occasion contention in the body. A union in thought, and in action, is a principle of political masonry ; therefore, party politics are excluded.
Political masonry, in and out of the lodge, cries aloud that anti-masonry is political, because she peaceably, and without previous concert, goes to the polls, and has the audacity to vote down political masonry. It is submitted to the people to say, whether this be a crime.
Political masonry says, anti-masons proscribe masons.
It is true, anti-masons resist masons, when they attempt to monopolize offices. And is this a fault? Anti-masons have, and will oppose ARISTOCRACY, in whatever form or shape it presents itself. They call no man in these United States, King, Lord, or Most Worshipful, they disclaim all titles of nobility. They are free citizens, and claim equal rights and privileges.
Fellow Citizens :—We look with astonishment, when we behold the rule in Freemasonry that requires its members to point a masonic brother out to the world as an unworthy and vicious vagabond ; to oppose his interest, to derange his business, to transfer his character after him wherever he may go, to expose him to contempt during his whole natural life. This rule is wholly opposed to the gospel, which teaches us not to render evil for evil, but good for evil; to love our enemies, and do good to those who injure us. But why does the masonic rule require these things? Because the brother has offended. He has offended, perhaps, by withdrawing from Freemasonry. We fear that the principles of this rule are applied by some professing Christians, who are masons, to pious clergymen, who have honestly seceded from the lodge. And other clergymen, who have had the boldness to raise their voices against Freemasonry, we believe, have been dismissed, or threatened with a dismission, or to have their living taken from them on that account. The preachers of the gospel are to be awed into silence, and the truth is not to be told about the anti-christian principles of Freemasonry, although these principles, at this day, are as well understood by others, as by masons themselves. Is iniquity to be covered over ? Does not the prosperity of the churches require plain preaching on this subject ? We would give thanks to the Lord that so many pious persons have shaken off the shackles of Freemasonry, and it is our heart's desire, that a great multitude may soon follow their examples. We are religiously opposed to many things in Freemasonry; and wholly condemn the application of the principles of the above masonic rule to any offending brother, by an offended brother in the church. We consider the gospel rule in Matthew altogether preferable. Is it not decreed in high heaven, that Freemasonry shall soon cease to be revered
by all the saints on earth ? She has already fallen, with her robes stained in human blood. Many of her sons are astonished, and are exclaiming, “ It is not I; it is not I, who have done this wicked deed.” If you are guiltless in this matter; if you have not done any thing “immoral or irreligious," then no longer advocate Freemasonry, but be ye separate from her.
EZRA BUTLER, President. C. CALKINS,
E. S. NEWCOMB, Secretaries.
Respecting the Authenticity of the Masonic Disclosures.—Made to the Nero
York State Convention, Feb. 21, 1829. The committee appointed to inquire whether the ceremonials, obligations and secrets of the masonic order, as disclosed by the late William Morgan, before his abduction and murder, and the convention of seceding masons at Le Roy, on the 4th and 5th July last, are substantially correct and true, &c. respectfully Report :
That the subject of inquiry allotted to your committee, has received that mature deliberation, which its importance seemed to demand. Your committee are of opinion, that in the exercise of their legitimate powers, it does not appear proper to introduce in their report animadversions upon masonry, and they therefore confine the report strictly to the evidences, in relation to the disclosures, reference to which has been had.
In regard to the correctness and truth of the three first degrees as disclosed by the late William Morgan before his abduction and murder, your committee deem it unnecessary to multiply proofs-no further evidence would seemingly be necessary on that point, than what has been heretofore laid before the public.' The murder of the author has effectually and conclusively impressed the seal of authenticity upon his revelations. proof be required by any, it may be found in the clearly
But, if further
expressed concurring testimony borne by some hundreds of seceding masons and also, by the ready admission of many of the order, who still adhere to the precepts and principles of masonry, and who not only admit the truth of the degrees published, but likewise the murder of the author for a violation of his obligations in writing those degrees.
In relation to the truth of the disclosures made at Le Roy, at the period stated in the resolution, your committee have been enabled to receive from the lips of three persons of high reputation, who have taken all the degrees, such a statement of attendant facts and circumstances, as that none can doubt the general correctness and truth of the disclosures. Your committee, in preparing their report, have studied to make it as brief as the nature of the subject, and the mass of information obtained would admit. They respectfully submit the following as a statement of facts authenticated to the entire satisfaction of your committee. The Royal Arch Degree as published, was obtained through an authentic source, directly from Jeremy L. Cross, Grand Lecturer of the United States. That differences in the manner of work, and in the lectures had sprung up among the lodges and chapters, to check which, and produce uniformity, this Mr. Cross was appointed to the office he now holdsthat in administering the obligation of the Royal Arch Degree, as he instructs, the words“ murder and treason not excepted," are expressly used, while some chapters before had only required a companion's secret to be kept “in all cases without exception"-that instances have often occurred where the recipients of the Royal Arch obligation have refused to attest to certain parts of it, and that such parts, after fruitless and artful attempts to explain them to the satisfaction of the candidate, have been omitted. That on the trial of S. D. Green, of Batavia, before an ecclesiastical tribunal, three witnesses on oath, stated that the degrees as disclosed by the Le Roy Convention of the 4th and 5th July last, were substantially true--that affidavits of some ten or twelve persons to the same effect, were made and attested to, for the purpose of being used at a meeting of the Presbyterian order held in Bergen, Genesee county, in December last five of