« הקודםהמשך »
currences of the Society both at home and abroad, with some account of the principal Patrons and Protectors of the Fraternity at different periods. The progress of Masonry on the continent, as well as in India and America, is also traced, while the
f>roceedings of the Brethren of Scotland particularly claim attention. Throughout the whole are interspersed several explanatory notes, containing some useful information; and a few general remarks are introduced on some of the late publications against the Society of Freemasons.
At the end of the volume is given a collection of Anthems and Songs; which, being occasionally introduced in our assemblies, may tend greatly to enliven the proceedings.
The success of this Treatise has far exceeded its merit; the Author, therefore, shall only observe that should his additions or corrections be considered real improvements, he will be amply gratified for any pains he may have taken.
Dean Street, Fetter Lane,
Whoever attentively considers the nature and tendency of the Masonic Institution, must readily perceive its general utility. From an anxious desire to display its value, I have been induced to offer the following sheets to the Public. Many reasons might have withheld me from the attempt; my inexperience as a writer, my attention to the duties of a laborious profession, and the many abler hands who have treated the subject before me :yet, under all these disadvantages, the persuasion of friends, added to a warm zeal in the cause, have stimulated me to risk my reputation on the fate of my performance.
When I first had the honour to be elected Master of the Lodge, I thought it proper to inform myself fully of the general rules of the Society, that I might be better enabled to execute my own duty, and officially enforce obedience in others. The methods which I adopted with this view, excited in some of superficial knowledge an absolute dislike of what they considered as innovations; and in others, who were better informed, a jealousy of pre-eminence which the principles of Masonry ought to have checked. Notwithstanding these discouragements, however, I persevered in my intention of supporting the dignity of the Society, and of discharging with fidelity the duties of my office.
As candour and integrity, uninfluenced by interest or favour, will ever support a good cause, some of my opponents (pardon the expression) soon began to discover their error, and cheerfully concurred in the execution of my measures; while others of less liberality tacitly approved, what their former declared opinions forbad them publicly to adopt.
This success, which exceeded my most sanguine wishes, encouraged me to examine with more attention the contents of our Lectures. The rude and imperfect state in which I found them, the variety of modes established at our meetings, and the difficulties I had to encounter in my researches, rather discouraged my first attempt: persevering, however, in the design, I continued the pursuit; and with the assistance of a few Brethren, who had carefully preserved what ignorance and degeneracy had rejected as unintelligible and absurd, I diligently sought for, and at length happily acquired, some of the ancient and venerable landmarks of the Order.
Fortunate in the acquisition of friends, and fully determined to pursue the design of effecting a general reformation, we persevered in an attempt to correct the irregularities which had crept into our assemblies, and exemplify at all our meetings the beauty and utility of the Masonic system.
We commenced our plan by enforcing the value of the ancient charges and regulations of theOrder, which inattention had suffered to sink into oblivion, and established those charges as the basis of our work. To imprint on the memory a faithful discharge of our duty, we reduced the more material parts of the system into practice ; and, in order to encourage others to promote theplan, we made a general ruleof reading one or more of these charges at every regular meeting, and elucidating such passages as seemed obscure. The useful hints which were afforded by these means enabled us gradually to improve theplan, till we at last succeeded in bringing into a connected form all the Sections which now compose the three Lectures of Masonry.
The progress daily made by our system pointed out the propriety of obtaining the sanction of our Patrons; several Brethren, of acknowledged honour and integrity, therefore, united in an application to the most respectable Members of the Society for countenance and support. They happily succeeded to the utmost of their wishes, and since that time the plan has been universally admitted as the basis of our Moral Lectures. To that circumstance the present publication owes its success.
%* The Lines in italics are not inserted in any of the former
The Excellency of Masonry displayed.
Laws relating to persons eligible for initiation - IS note
Masonic impostors - - 20 note
Prayer used at opening the Lodge - - 29 at closing the Lodge - - ib.
instance of kindness to a prisoner of war who
was a Freemason - - - 42 note