« הקודםהמשך »
FROM JULY 8, TO DECEMBER 30.
Perseverance in a righteous cause becomes the tyrant of tyranny-
turns tyranny into servility.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY R. CARLILE, 135, FLEET
SIR, I DEDICATE this the twelfth Volume of “The Republican," to you; because it contains a complete exposure of the mummeries of the association of Freemasons, of which you are the self-styled Grand Patron. In doing this, my aim is not so much to insult, as to shame; not so much to wound any man who is a Mason, as to instruct those who are not, in what Masonry consists.
As a native and an inhabitant of this Island, whether in or out of a gaol, I have felt ashamed to think, that the magistracy and the legislature of the country, particularly the chief magistrate, should patronize such a social abomination. A social abomination it is; for masonry is the practice of idle ceremonies that instruct not, of a sectarianism that divides mankind without adding to their morality, and that is in itself a process of lying and deception, a pretension to teach an important matter that turns out a vacuity, a trick that engenders nothing but base tricks, a game that must unman all who are identified with it, and lessen that sense of dignity which the upright and honest man, the man free from such tricks, can alone feel.
In the pages of the present volume, Masonry stands exposed in a manner in which it was never before exposed. It stands convicted of the most gross ignorance of its own emblems, and cannot further impose upon the credulous, where this volume is read. But more than this must be done; the oaths of Masonry must be submitted to the Legislature, in its next session, and evidence offered as to the correctness of the whole exposure.
In Masonry, we have found nothing but frivolities, such as unwarlike kings, and courtiers and priests, are fond of, and the mummeries practised at its meetings, are disgraceful to the otherwise progressing intelligence of the age. We want to exchange such frivolities for mechanic and literary institutions: we want a further knowledge of matter, and not of what were the secrets of men gone by, nor of who were the greatest fools in past ages.
I have before advised you to patronize the mechanic institutions, as a substitute for your patronage of Masonry. Were you to do this, you would become a greater monarch than Alexander; than Frederic; than Bonaparte. Kings must come to this, and he will be the wisest, who does it first and voluntarily. But if you neglect this and continue your patronage to Freemasonry, you will but rank among the last of royal fools. I have no objection to kings, if they will be but the wisest of men; if they will but seek a wisdom corresponding with their influence in society; but if they will place themselves at the head of all the fools and rogues in the country, both man and office should be warred with.
The association of Masons is an association of fools, of which the pages of this volume bear ample testimony: He who pa. tronizes them must be the patron of fools, and the more grand the more ridiculous. Let us suppose the Masonic association public; let us suppose a free admission to the public to witness all the ceremonies: would they be borne with ?'Could such an institution maintain itself in the face of day? No. Then why should it be kept up in secret, and why should it have the patronage of you, the Chief Magistrate ?
It is known, even among Masons, that what is called the charitable part of Masonry is an addition, which the scrutinizing eye of the public rendered necessary, in the early part of the last century, as a cloak for the mysterious, the nonsensical parts. Without the pretence to charity and brotherhood, Masonry could not have survived the last century. This, therefore, is no reason why it should be now continued, as, whatever is good, may be preserved or transferred, and whatever is foolish and frivolous abolished.
There is evidence of progressing shame among the Masons, in the circumstance of the United Grand Lodge having abrogated the host of degrees above or beyond the Royal Arch.
That was a curtailing of the nonsense, and we may hope that the shame will grow toward its immediate extinction, or that it be legislatively dealt with as all other secret associations have been dealt with. I pride myself upon the exposure, and from good information I learn, that I have shamed hundreds of Masons from the association, and even some of those who have not left it have expressed their shame, and pronounced it all trick and nonsense. Some person, professing to be a Secretary to a London Lodge, came to our shop in Fleet-street, and said, that new words, grips, and signs, had been rendered imperative, and were about to be adopted; he also observed, that the Grand Lodge had better have paid my fines than have witnessed such an exposure.
Other exposures have been made, during the last half year : that of the Odd Fellows is complete : and we are deficient in exposing none of the secret associations, but that called the “ Orange," of which your brother of York is the secret Grand Patron.
The exposure of the Idol of the Jews and Christians, of which I sent your Majesty a copy, has also made, and is still making, a great noise. The Vice Society threatens a prosecution, and we wait for them, not in tears, but in smiles. This morning an elderly and respectable looking gentleman entered the shop and insisted that the painted God was not the idol of the Jews and Christians : " it is Carlile's God which you sell for a shilling :" and vain was the answer, that Carlile kept no God, that he had “ no idol but your Majesty.'
I crave your Majesty's patronage for the present volume of “ The Republican," and I pledge myself to your Majesty, in return, to go onward in making all the necessary and useful exposures of the abuses which exist among,or are imposed upon, mankind. And in case the Vice Society prosecute, and a jury be found to perjure themselves by finding law offended where no Taw exists—that your Majesty will order your Attorney-General to enter a check to further proceedings- --to further imprisonment, for an exposure of an abuse of this kind. Respectfully, Fleet-street, Dec. 28, 1825.