« הקודםהמשך »
count Duncan: Lords Dundas and Mountford; Hon. W. Shirley, Sir M. W. Ridley, M. P., Mr. Lambton, M. P., W. Williams, Esq. M. P., J. Ramsbottom, Esq. M. P., Col. Wildman, Col. Tyote, M. P., Sir W. Rawlins, Col. Hamilton, Rev. G. A. Browne, W: Wix, Esq., Messrs. Agar, Harper, White, and other Grand Officers of the fraternity.
Here, then, we have the Duke of York, as a Royal Arch Mason. It is also on record, that he accepted the patronage of an Orange Lodge, a few years back, though clamour on the occasion induced him subsequently to renounce that patronage. This Royal Duke, who professes to be conscientious about oaths, who, by the bye, calculates npon being King, and who is, in fact, already, a menber of the legislature, is evidently already bound by contradictory oaths : and the oath which he will have to take as King, will, evidently, be an oath to violate an oath. · He will swear to maintain the general laws of the country, which will be a violation of his oath as a mason ; for, in that oath, he has already sworn to violate that general law, under certain conditions. In his kingly oath, he will have to swear, that he will administer the laws in juslice aod mercy to all the people of these realms; and he has, before hand, sworn, in the House of Lords, so help him God, that he will not shew either justice or mercy to a sect of six or seven millions of the people of these realms called Roman Catholics, that he will not admit theni to any share in the legislature, or to any public office, but that of a soldier and sailor, to be shot at or sabred or bayonetted for his amusement. What further proof need we, to perceive, that every kind of oath-making is a vice in society? and ihat the injunction of the New Testament- swear nog al all, is the best injunction in it?
Again, let us consider the degrading character of this Freemasonry. Every one of the brothers of the Royal Family is, I believe, a Freemason, at least, I recollect reading an account in the papers, of the Duke of Sussex toasting his mother, as the mother of six Masons. If she had been the mother of six practical house building masons, it would have been more to her credit. But let that pass: she was, I believe, a very good mother, though a bad mother-ic-law; a very good wife, though a bad queen. These six Royal Masons have each a chance of becoming the King of this country: one of them is already so. Here, then, we learn, from this exposure of Freemasonry, that the present King, who calls himself the grand patron of this foul oath-making, of this bare-skin exhibition, was blindfolded, stripped nearly naked naked with the exception of small-clothes and one stocking, led about at the pleasure of others in this state, required to take this oath, that he would allow his throal to be cut if he exposed the trick, the very idea of which, in my view of the matlit, would come within the law of High Treason. Certainly, it is a matter of
No. 1, Vol. XII.
High Treason, to assume the right to cut the throat of the heir apparent to the throne; and by quibbles at law, much more strained or far fetched than this, many a man has been hanged. In the reign of one of the Richards, a London grocer was hanged and quartered, for saying, that he would make his son heir to the crown; when the poor creature meant nothing more than the em. blem of the crown which was the sign of his shop, and expressive of his attachment to it. I am inclined to think, that the oath administered to the present King, or to the present Duke of York, in any degree of Freemasonry, would bring all the parties concerned, the swearer excepted, within the pale of the law of High Treason. And, as the King, or Heir Apparent, has no legal right to consent to have his own throat cut, in strict law, I incline to think, that the matter would afford a sufficient justification for his expulsion from the throne, or for withholding the crown from the Heir Apparent. The King of this country, according to the strict letter of the law, should take the crown free from all previous oaths that can affect his kingly conduct. If he cannot do this, he is not in a free state, not fit to act upon the essential character of a legal king in this country. This is taking a lawyer's view of the matter.
But this oath is equally objectionable, in every moral point of view. It binds a man to that, to which he should not be bound; and if oath-making be a sacred or serious matter, in the view of any individual, he must look upon this Freemason's oath as most foul and profane. If the oath be fairly binding, it is both illegal and immoral; if not biriding, it is a mockery of a matter, that should not be mocked. Well might Shelley observe, that the name of God is invoked to fence about all crimes with holiness.
But what a clamour do we hear about other oaths; about the oaths of the Roman Catholics, and their refusal to take certain oaths; about the oaths of men in trade combinations, or for any other even useful purpose? And where do they find the example of secret societies and of secret oaths—where, but in this idle and mischievous society of Freemasons, supported by all the Royal Family, by a large portion of the aristocracy, and by many priests? Read the following simple and even moral and useful oath of the Scotch Reformers, in the neighbourhood of Glasgow; consider what a clamour it produced, what an affectation of being shocked by all the members of the legislature, many of whom were Freemasons! Read and compare it with the abominable oath of the Masons, and then say, which ought to have been first put down the oath-making Masons, or the oath-making Reformers. I deprecate all oaths, all secret meetings, and secrecy in every shape. i see, that it produces nothing but mischief, and will ever set my face against it; therefore, I do not admire this Reformer's oath, though the end sought was moral, legal and good. The then Lord Advocate for Scotland, in 1817, read this oath in the House of Commons. All the members affected to be taken by surprise, to be dreadfully shocked, and scarcely a word was subsequently said against the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, and all the vio. lent measures of Castlereagh and his colleagues of that day. It is not to be denied, that this oath was extensively taken in the populous districts of Scotland; but it is probable, ihat it was ille iroduced by some government agent, or some person who approved the binding effects of a Freemason's oath. The Reformer's oath was as follows:
“ In the awful presence of God, I, A. B. do voluntarily swear, that I will persevere in my endeavouring to form a brotherhood of affection, amongst Britons of every description, who are considered worthy of confidence; and that I will persevere in my endeavours to obtain, for all the people in Great Britain and Ireland, not disqualified by crimes or insanity, the elective franchise at the age of twenty-one, with free and equal representation, and annual parliaments; and that I will support the same to the utmost of my power, either by moral or physical strength, as the case may require. And I do farther swear, that neither hopes, fears, rewards nor puvishments, shall induce me to inform on, or give evidence against, any member or members, collectively or individually, for any act or expression done or made, in or out, in this or similar societies, under the punishment of death, to be inflicted on me by any member or members of such societies. So help me God, and keep me steadfast,"
There is something objectionable in this oath, as there must be in all oaths; but it is not so foul and foolish as the oaths taken by Freemasons.
The conduct of the Quakers is highly commendable, in making their simple affirmation to be equal to an oath. No greater insult can be offered to a man, if the matter be fairly considered, than to compel him to take an oath. It imputes to him a disposition to lie, and that his word is of no weight, unless delivered with this ceremony. It pronounces liim a liar by anticipation, or before, perhaps, he has shewn any such disposition. And if a man has a disposition 10 lie, to whai in his character shall we look for a security upon his oath? To religion? Be religion what it may, his former habit of lying is a proof that it does not moralize his mind; and therefore, can add no new impression by an oath.
To make a distinction between a simple affirmation and an oath, is to encourage lying: it is the same as to say, that lying is not a vice whilst it is not practised under the form of an oath. This oath-making is a relic of ignorance and barbarous manners, and is a vice in its every relation. Mankind are fetiered by oaths, not one of which has a good object, not one of which produces any good. Sects in religion swear to oppose each other without saying a word about instruction, or about an inquiry or discussion whether one or both may not be wrong. Other oaths are pro
mises to maintain certain systems and offices without the least re. ference to the question, whether better may not be discovered. Oaths of allegiance to Princes make no exceptions as to the present or future character. Oaths are generally positive and indiscriminative, and are more often vows to do wrong, than to do right. Good laws would not require them-good morals would feel wounded by them : they are at once, in all cases, useless and vicious; whilst secret oaths are a horrible outrage upon a community*
* The report of a debate in the House or Commous, on Monday, Juno 27th, affords another proof of the evil of secret oaths, and exbibits plainly that Freemasonry bas been the parent of all these sccrct combinations. The subject of the debate was an amendment of the combination Jaws. Tho speaker, Mr. Wallace. The following documents are extracted :
“In Scotland, a system of the most alarming nature had been organised; and in tbe city of Glasgow its effects were formidably seen. The oaib wbich was administered to the operatives in that district was amply sufficient to prove the destructive character of the combinations It was in these torms: - I A.B. do voluntarily swear, in the awful presence of alipighty God, and befoss these wil nesses, that I will execule with zeal and alacrity, as far as in me lies, every task or injunctiou which the majority of my brethren sbali impose upon me in furtherance of our common welfaro-as the chastisement of knobs, the assassination of oppressive and tyrannical masters, or the demolition of shops tbat shall be deemed incorrigible; and also, that I will cheerfully contribute to the support of such of my brethren as shall Inse their work in consequence of their exertions against tyranny or renounce it in resistance to a reduction of wages, and I do further swear, that I will never divulge the above obligation, unless I shall have been duly authorised and appointed to administer the same to persons making application for admission, or to members constrained to become members of our fraternity.' (Hear, hear.) He put it to the House, wherber any thing could be moro horriblo or more dangerous to the peace of the community than such an association, composed of a vast multitude of persons who, under the seal of an oath, premeditated assassination, and bound themselves together by such strong and powerful ties. (Hear, hear.) If any thing could give a more frightful view of the intentions of these combined assemblies, that would be afforded by the evidence of John Kean, taken before a Magistrate, who was punished for his crime.
Glasgow Jail, May 9, 1825. “: 1, JOAN KEAN, present prisoner in the Tolbooth of Glasgow, declare, that there are three districts in and around Glasgow, consisting of 800 cotton-' spinners or thereabouts, who were furmerly in the habit of having passwords and signs, but since the passing of Mr. Hume's Act, they make no use of them, and the object they have io view is to keep up their wages. There are two committee men'appointed from each district, whose dniy is to couduct the business of their respective districts, and to report to the select committee, who are three in number, that are also changed every three months; those three persons that are selected as committee men are not known to the operatives, except the district committees, who are sworn that they will not make known the names of the committee men. The two com. mitiee meo of the Bridgeton district are Thomas M'Gonn, cotton-spioner, Landressee-strect, and works in Barrowfield mill, and William M'Lea, residing in Mile-end, and works in Lindsay, Ewing, and Company's mill, mileend, who were the two persoos that employed the declarant; and John Gil. lan, who lodges in Bains, a shoemaker, bend of Struthere-street; Daniel Orr, residing with his mother in Mill-street, Calton; John Campbell, rosiding with his father in Muslin-street, aod who supplied them with pistols, and gave them money to buy ammunition : thinks the pistols, which were new, were bought in Paisley; Daniel Qrr and John Campbell bought the
In the description of the Masonic ceremony, I left off at the consummatiou of the oath. It proceeds as follows :
W. M. Brother Noodle, having been kept a considerable time in a state of darkness, what, in your present situation, is the most predominant wish of your heart?
powder and shol, he thinks, in Moses M‘Culloch's shop in Gallowgate. They were to receive a reward of £100 or thereabouts; and prorided they succeeded, more money was to be advanced by the committee. Messrs. Wrigbt, Dunlop, Lindsay, and Ewing, were particularly pointed out to them as persons whose lise should be taken as soon as possible. Gillan was the person who, along with the declarant, fired at Graham; beard that George M.Donald was the person that shot at Robert Walsen. The committees met at one time in the house of Peter M‘Arthur, King-street, Glasgow; and since M'Arthur left King-street, they mct in William Ewing's house (tavern), east-side High-stredt of Glasgow, every Saturday night between the hours of eight and nine o'clock.
“ JOHN KEAN.” I, also, put it to the House and to the country, whether the Freemason's oath does not encourare assassination, and whether such oaths do not lend to make assassination familiar to those who take them. Each of Mr. Wal. lace's sentences, in the way of comment, will apply to the Freemason's oath. The Freemasons prcmeditate assassination, in acknowledging the right of a brother to cut a throat on certain conditions.
We sind also that these combined workmen had signs and pass-words, which they relinquished when the law allowed them to unite to prevent oppression on the part of the masters: and so far they proved, that they were more honourably united iban are the Freemasons and for a more useful purpose. They did not fear to be open, when no penalty reached them as a Irade combination. The Freemasons are a secrci combination without a use. Sul purpose; witbout any purpose, indecd, but that of trick, cheat, and in . posture.
The above oallı, like the oath of the Scolch Reformers, us evidently of Frcemason origin. Each of them breathes Ibe spirit and is of the same lenons as the Mason's oath : and, doubtless, was drawn up by a person ac. quainted with the latter oath.
I deprecate these sccret associations among journeymen, and am sure, from experience, that no good cver did or ever can arise from them. In this, as in all otber cases, what is not fit to be done openly, is not fit to be done at all.
Mr. Wallace should renounce, if he be a Mason, as well as his colleague, or denounce, if he be not, the societies of Masons, which clearly form the example of all such combinalions as tbat of the Glasgow workmon. To be a Freemason, is certainly a legal disqualification for the Magistracy, or for any public office. A man is not competent to be a legislator, under such ties as Masonry imposes upon him. The Duke of York, so ascctedly con. scientious about the coronation oath, does not scruple to premeditale as. sassination as a Mason, and to encourage it by his oath in being made a Mason. Suppose a Mason to expose the ceremonies of Masonry, as many respectable men, ashamed of their former delusion by the light oi' the doc. Irives of materialism, have done to me; suppose a Mason, who is still in masonic DARKNESS (not LIGHT, Brother Williams) to cut the throal of one of these men, for having risen above and grown asbamed of Masonry: how is the King, as the sell styled Grand Patron of Freemasonry, conscientiously to allow the law to take its course upon the masonic cut throat? Do not bis oaths-bis oath as a Mason and bis oath as a King of this country, clash? If the Freemasons do nol break up their Lodges of themselves, before ano. ther session of Parliament, I will certainly petition the House of Commons, with an exposition of their oath, for a legal abolition of the combination. I shall like to hear what the masonic members will say, aller lhe abolition of the Catholic Association, and condemo alivn of all sccrci associations.