Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Charity, Morality, Patriotism and Religion

What about Charity, Morality, Patriotism and Religion and masons? Here are their thoughts and rules about it.First. Charity has no need of them. They are not truly charitable institutions. "Mutual insurance societies" they may be, though of an inferior sort, as we have seen; but that does not elevate them into charitable institutions. To bestow on your widow and orphans, your sickness, and funeral some pittance, or the whole of what you paid during health and life, is not benevolence.
But, further, it is well to ask, in determining how greatly charity depends on them, how broadly they go forth among the poor outside their membership. During the anti-masonic excitement of 1826-1830 some two thousand lodges suspended. The resultant suffering was less, perhaps, than what would follow the suspension of a single soup association, any winter, in some city. Blot out the whole, and how small the injury to the charities of the country!
The Church of Christ is commanded to "do good unto all men"--"to remember the poor." It is engaged in this work. It blows no trumpet--it does not parade its charities; but it shrinks from comparison with no one of these orders, nor with all of them combined. Christians need not to go into them to preserve charity alive, or to find the best ways of exercising their own.
Secondly. Morality does not depend on them. We need say nothing of "what is done of them in secret." But, looking at what is open to all, we ask, What work are they doing worthy of so much organization, and expense, and time to reclaim the fallen, to banish vice, and to save its victim? We have heard them refusing him admission or cutting him off, but we have not heard of any considerable aid which they have given to public or private morality. And, further, do we not find them narrowing the circle of obligation, substituting attachment and duty to an order for love and obligations to mankind? Membership in a lodge, not character, is held to make one "worthy," opening the way to favor and society. But can all this be done without sensibly weakening the fundamental supports of morality, without lessening its broad requirements?
Thirdly. Patriotism has no need of them. They tend to destroy citizenship, to exalt love of an order above the love of country. The boast during the late rebellion was sometimes heard that their members, owing to the oaths of mutual protection, were safer among the rebels than other captives. Was the converse true? Were rebels, being Freemasons, safe or safer against restraint and due punishment when, falling captive to those of their order? How far does all this extend? To courts and suits at law? Are criminals as safe or safer before judge and jury of their order? Have rebellion and vice found greater security here? This boast is confession--confession that the ties of an order are stronger and more felt than is consistent with a proper love of country. Is justice thus to be imperiled? Are securities of property and rights thus to be imperiled? Must we beggar ourselves by paying fees and dues to one another of these orders, now becoming more plentiful every decade, to make sure of standing on equal footing and impartiality with others, in the courts and elsewhere, and imagine that all this is helpful to patriotism or even consistent with it?
Fourthly. Religion has no need of them. "The church is the pillar and ground of the truth." "The gates of hell shall not prevail against it." The preaching of Christ and him crucified is and must continue to be the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation. Religion, then, has no need of these secret orders.

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