Articles in THE INDEPENDENT of NEW YORK
CHARLES G. FINNEY
BY REV. CHAS G. FINNEY
NEW YORK, THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 1868
FREEMASONS SWORN TO COMMIT UNLAWFUL DEEDS
In this article I can only notice a few points in the oaths of Masons; and I recommend all persons to obtain the books in which their oaths, ceremonies, and secrets are fully revealed. The first of their oaths is that of the Entered Apprentice. These oaths are administered in the following manner: The candidate stands on his knees, with his hands on the Holy Bible. The Worshipful Master pronounces the oath in short sentences, and the candidate repeats after him. The oath of the Entered Apprentice is as follows: "I, A.B., of my own free will and accord, in presence of Almighty God and this worshipful lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, dedicated to God and held forth to the holy order of St. John, do hereby and hereon most sincerely promise and swear that I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal any part or parts, art or arts, point or points of the secrets, arts, and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry, which I have received, am about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in, to any person or persons in the known world, except it be a true and lawful brother Mason, or within the body of a just and lawfully constituted lodge of such; and not unto him or unto them whom I shall hear so to be, but unto him and them only whom I shall find so to be after strict trial and due examination, or lawful information.
"Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not write, print, stamp, stain, hew, cut, carve, indent, paint, or engrave it on anything movable or immovable under the whole canopy of Heaven, whereby or whereon the least letter, figure, character, mark, stain, shadow, or resemblance may become legible or intelligible to myself or to any other person in the known world, whereby the secrets of Masonry may be unlawfully obtained through my unworthiness. To all of which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without the least equivocation, mental reservation, or self evasion of mind in me whatever; binding myself under no less penalty than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
In respect to this oath, I observe, first, that the candidate here swears to keep a secret of which he has at present no knowledge.
Is it lawful for any man to make such a promise as this on oath? No! It is utterly unlawful.
But, again, observe the horrible barbarity of this penalty. "Under no less a penalty than to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the roots, and my body buried in the sands of the sea at low-water mark, etc." Now, has any man a right to incur such a penalty as this? Such a penalty is savage, barbarous, unchristian, inhuman, abominable. It should be here remarked that in this oath is really found the virus of all that follows in Freemasonry. The candidate is sworn to keep secret everything that is to revealed to him in Freemasonry of which as yet he knows absolutely nothing. This is enjoined upon, and frequently repeated in the obligations that follow.
In the Third or Master's Degree the candidate says: "Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not give the Master's word which I shall hereafter receive, neither in the lodge nor out of it, except it be on the five points of fellowship, and then not above my breath... Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not wrong this lodge, nor a brother of this degree, to the value of one cent, knowingly, myself, nor suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it... Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not be at the initiating of an old man in dotage, a young man in nonage, an atheist, irreligious libertine, idiot, madman, hermaphrodite, nor woman. Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will not speak evil of a brother Master Mason, neither behind his back nor before his face, but will apprize him of all approaching danger, if in my power. 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 suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it... Furthermore do I promise and swear that a Master Mason's secrets given me in charge as such, and I knowing them to be such, shall remain as secure and inviolable in my breast as in his own, when communicated to me, murder and treason excepted, and they left to my own election... To all which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, binding myself under no less penalty than to have my body severed in two in the midst and divided to the north and south, my bowels burnt to ashes in the center, and the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven, that there might not the least track or trace remaining among men or Masons of so vile and perjured a wretch as I should be were I ever to prove willfully guilty of violating any part of this my solemn oath or obligation of a Master Mason. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same."
Now here, observe, the candidate solemnly swears that he will not wrong a lodge, nor a brother Master Mason to the value of one cent, upon the pain of incurring the penalty just given. Again he swears that he will not speak evil of a brother Master Mason, neither behind his back nor before His face; but will apprize him of all approaching danger, if within his power, upon the same awful and barbarous penalty. He further promises to keep the secrets of a brother Master Mason, communicated to him as such--murder and treason excepted, and that left to his own election. He may commit robbery, arson, and felonies of very form. Only two forms of crime are excepted--murder and treason; and these he may or may not divulge at his own election. Now, is it lawful for any man to take or administer such an oath as this? This oath evidently amounts to a conspiracy against the government. There are many cases on record where Masons have, by their conduct, clearly revealed their understanding of this oath. That this and similar oaths have proved an effectual barrier to the administration of justice where Freemasons were concerned is a fact too often revealed to be honestly denied by Freemasons or any one else. And yet it is often said that there is nothing in these oaths that a Christian man and even a Christian minister may not consistently and honestly take!
"Furthermore do I promise and swear that I will aid and assist a companion Royal Arch Mason when engaged in any difficulty; and espouse his cause so far as to extricate him from the same, if in my power, whether he be right or wrong. Also that I will promote a companion R. A. Mason's political preferment in preference to another of equal qualifications. Furthermore do I promise and swear that a companion R. A. Mason's secrets, given me in charge as such, I knowing them to be such, shall remain as secure and inviolable in my breast as in his own--murder and treason not excepted."
Observe that the Royal Arch Mason promises to assist a companion when engaged in any difficulty, and espouse his cause so far as to extricate him from the same, if within his power, whether he be right or wrong. Now, does not this amount to a conspiracy among Royal Arch Masons to wrong the rest of mankind, to defraud justice?
Again, a R. A. Mason promises, under oath, to promote a companion R. A Mason's political preferment in preference to another of equal qualification.
Is this right? No wonder that Masons seize upon all the offices, and are so apt to have everything in their own way. And here we see what is the real use to which Masonry is appropriated in this country. It is to seize on all the lucrative offices, and to control the government by this secret combination. This oath reminds me of a letter which I recently received from a respectable source, saying that Masons are boasting that Andrew Johnson, being a High Mason, cannot be convicted before the Senate; and that Jefferson Davis, for the same reason, cannot be convicted in the United States. And are Andrew Johnson and Jefferson Davis expecting as much as this from their Masonic brethren? Let the country ponder this. Let the Church of God look to it.
But, again: The candidate, when he takes the oath of a Royal Arch Mason, says: "Furthermore do I promise and swear that a companion R. A. Mason's secrets, given me in charge as such, shall remain as secure and inviolable in my breast as in his own--murder and treason not excepted."
Here, then, we find in the Seventh Degree that Masons pledge themselves to conceal all the crimes and to keep all the secrets of a R. A. Mason, without exception. Is not this a conspiracy, again I ask, against mankind in general? I mean, against all outsiders--those that do not belong to this mystic order.
In the obligation of The "Thrice Illustrious Knights of the Cross" we have the following:
"You further swear that, should you know another to violate any essential point of this obligation, you will use your most decided endeavors, by the blessing of God, to bring such persons to the strictest and most condign punishment, agreeably to the rules and usages of our ancient fraternity: and this by pointing him out to the world as an unworthy vagabond; by opposing his interest; by deranging his business; by transferring his character after him wherever he may go; and by exposing him to the contempt of the whole fraternity and the world, but of our illustrious order more especially, during his whole natural life."
But, again: In the "Knights Adepts of the Eagle or Sun", it is said: "By the man you saw peeping, and who was discovered, and seized, and conducted to death, is an emblem of those who come to be initiated into our sacred mysteries through a motive of curiosity; and, if so indiscreet as to divulge their obligations, we are bound to cause their death, and take vengeance on the treason by the destruction of the traitor."
This is enough. And are such oaths as this consistent with the Christian religion, or with any true love of god or man? Is this love to enemies?
I might quote to a very great extent from their obligations, showing how utterly inconsistent they are with right, with religion, with the true interests of the Church of God, or with human society.
In several of their oaths they swear to kill or to seek the death of all who violate their oaths, as I might really show. But I forbear, beseeching the readers to get the books--"Bernard's Light on Masonry," "Richardson's Masonic Monitor," "Stearns on Masonry," or any of those books in which it is truly revealed--and read them through for themselves. Do not, I beseech you, reader, turn away and disbelieve that these are truly the oaths of Freemasons.
You may rely upon it that they are, the denials of any number of adhering Freemasons to the contrary notwithstanding. Were it not known to be true, it would be difficult to believe that such horrid oaths, with such monstrous penalties, could be administered or taken by any but the veriest savages. And yet, in the nineteenth century, in this enlightened and Christian country, Freemasonry is rapidly spreading; and even many professed Christians and Christian ministers are justifying these abominations. "Tell it not in Gath!" Lit it not be said or imagined that these oaths are not taken by Masons at this day. They are. Masons do not pretend that Masonry is reformed. They maintain the contrary. If it is reformed, why do they not inform the public of the fact, as they are bound to do. It is proved conclusive that thirty years ago these horrid oaths were taken by Freemasons; and, if they are not taken at this day, the burden of proof is on them. Until they show the contrary, we must hold them as guilty of still taking these vile oaths. Just think--these oaths and penalties not inconsistent with the Christian religion!!!
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