THE CHARACTER, CLAIMS AND PRACTICAL WORKINGS OF FREEMASONRY
By Rev. C. G. FINNEY
SWORN TO PERSECUTE
Masons are sworn to "persecute unto death anyone who violates Masonic obligation. In the oath of the THRICE ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER of the CROSS the candidate swears, as follows, "Light on Masonry," eighth edition, page 199: "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 person 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 of the world, during his whole natural life." The penalty of this obligation is as follows: "To all and every part thereof we then bind you, and by ancient usage you bind yourself, under the no less infamous penalty than dying the death of a traitor, by having a spear, or other sharp instrument, like our Divine Master, thrust into your left side, bearing testimony, even in death, to the power and justice of the mark of the Holy Cross." Upon this obligation I remark:
1. Here we have an explanation of the notorious fact that Freemasons try, in every way, to ruin the reputation of all who renounce Masonry. The air has almost been darkened by the immense number of falsehoods that have been circulated, by Freemasons, to destroy the reputation of every man who has renounced Freemasonry, and published it to the world, or has written against it. No pains have been spared to destroy all confidence in the testimony of such men. Does not this oath render it impossible for us to believe what Freemasons say of the character of those who violate their obligations? Who of us that lived forty years ago does not remember how Freemasons endeavored to destroy the reputation of William Morgan, of Elder Bernard, of EIder Stearns, and also of Mr. Allyn, and who that is at all acquainted with facts does not know that the utmost pains are taken to destroy the reputation of every man that dares to take his pen and expose their institution. When I had occasion to quote Elder Bernard's book, in preaching on the subject of Freemasonry a few months ago, I was told in the streets, before I got home, that he was a man of bad character. I knew better, and knew well how to understand such representations, for this is the way in which the testimony of all such men is sought to be disposed of by Freemasons. Will this be denied? What, then, is the meaning of this oath? Are not Masons under oath to do this? Indeed they are. A few months since I received the following letter. For reasons which will be appreciated, I omit name and date. The writer says: "About a week since, a man calling himself Professor W. E. Moore, the great South American explorer, came to this place, lecturing on Freemasonry. He is a Mason, and has given private lectures to the lodges here, and has lectured once before the public. He claims to have been at Oberlin, recently, and that while there he had an interview with you, and that he tested you sufficiently to satisfy himself that you had never been a Mason; and further, he says that the conversation he had with you resulted to his great satisfaction, and to your great discomfiture." At nearly the same date of this letter, I received, from the same place, a letter from a Freemason of my acquaintance, giving substantially the same account of this Professor Moore. In this letter, however, it is added that his conversation with me compelled me to confess that I never had been a Mason, and to say I would publish no more against Masonry. This last letter I have mislaid, so that I can not lay my hand upon it. From the first I quote verbatim et literatim. I replied to these letters, as I now assert, that every word of what this man says of me is false. That I never saw or heard of this man, to my knowledge, until I received those letters. But this is nothing new or strange. Such false representations are just what we are to expect, if Freemasons of this and the higher degrees fulfill their vows. Why should they be believed, and how can they complain of us for not believing what they say of men who have renounced Masonry and oppose it? It is mere folly and madness to believe them. It is not difficult, if Freemasons desire it, to produce almost any amount of testimony to prove that every manner and degree of falsehood is resorted to to destroy the testimony of men who witness against them. Any man who will renounce these horrid oaths, and expose their profanity to the public, should make up his mind beforehand to endure any amount of slander and persecution which the ingenuity of Freemasons can invent.
In the degree of Knights Adepts of the Eagle or Sun, "Light on Masonry," eighth edition, page 269, we have the following: "The man peeping. 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 TRAITORS!!!" Here we find that Freemasons of this and the higher degrees are solemnly pledged to destroy the lives of those who violate their obligations. Deacon William A. Bartlett, of Pella, Iowa, in his public renunciation of Freemasonry, says--"Letters on Masonry," by EIder John G. Stearns, page 169--"During the winter or spring following my initiation, a resolution was offered in the lodge for adoption, and to be published outside the lodge, condemning the abduction of Morgan. After much discussion, the Worshipful Master called another to the chair, and said, 'Brethren, what do you mean by offering such a resolution as this? Had we been at Batavia, we would have done just what those brethren have done, and taken the life of Morgan, because the oaths of Masonry demand it at our hands. And will you condemn brethren for doing what you would have done had you been there? I trust not.' When the vote to condemn them was taken, but three voted in favor of the resolution." There is abundant proof that Freemasons generally, at first, denied the murder of Morgan, and when they could no longer have courage to deny it, they justified it, until public indignation was so much aroused as to make them ashamed to justify it. Let those who wish for proof on the question of their justifying it read the volume of EIder Stearns, to be had at the bookstores, and he will find evidence enough of the fact.
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