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A LIST OF MASONIC AUTHORS
QUOTED IN THIS WORK,
TO ILLUSTRATE THE CHARACTER OF FREE MASONRY,
With the page furnishing their masonic reputation.
And let it be observed, that though they have not all the same value
with the fraternity, not one of them is considered apocryphal; and but in a single instance do I recollect of one evil spoken of by another. Lawrie and Dalcho both give a gibe at Ahiman Rezon; and why? Because he maintains the mechanic origin of the fraternity, and the party of the Ancients ; while Lawrie brings Free Masonry from the sinks of antiquity, and Dalcho from heaven, and both are stout supporters of the late party of Masons called Moderns.
1. Free Masons' Monitor, by Col. Thomas Smith Webb. NewYork edition, 1802. Its sanction found in this voluine, p. 30.
2. Masonic Chart, by Jeremiah L. Cross. 3d ed. New Haven, 1824. Sanction, chapter x. p. 55.
3. Book of Constitutions of Massachusetts. 4to. Sanction, p. 344.
4. Preston's Ilustrations of Masonry. 12mo. Richards' edition. Portsmouth, N. H. 1804. From Strahan's 1012 London edition.
Mr. Preston was master of the Lodge of Antiquity, London, "acting by immemorial custom." His work, dedicated to Lord Petre, P. G. M. of England, is the most complete manual and history of English Masonry, and the most approved. It has the authority of a Book of Constitutions in England, and forms the basis of the Free Mason's Monitor, and of Dalcho's Abiman Rezon, and contributes largely to every manual of Masonry published in America.
The only sanction I can quote for this book, is the favour it has enjoyed, and still enjoys, with the Masonic public, best proved by the number of editions through which it passed in London-ten, in less than thirty years.
5. Hutchinson's Spirit of Masonry. 18mo. Reprinted at NewYork, A. D. 1802. Sanctioned by the Gr. Lodge of England. p. 130.
6. Ahiman Rezon, by Lawrence Dermott, Secretary of the Ancient Masons. 8vo. p. 284. London, 1764. Noticed, p. 123.
7. Smith's Use and Abuse of Free Masonry. A large octavo, dedi. cated to Frederick of Prussia. London, A. D. 178–,
8. Calcott's Disquisitions upon Free Masonry. 8vo. Reprinted at Boston, A. D. 177-,
9. Tannehill's Manual. A handsome octavo. Tennessee. Dedica. ted to the Most Worshipful Andrew Jackson. This is one of the best historical and practical lodge books I have seen.
10. Hardie's New Free Mason's Monitor. 3d edition. New-York. 12mo. Recommended by twelve presiding officers in the lodges of New-York.
11. Town's Speculative Masonry. 12mo. Sanction, p. 171.
12. Dalcho's Orations. Charleston, South Carolina. This is an important work. Dr. Dalcho is a Sovereign Inspector General of Free Masonry; and his orations are published by the request of the Grand Lodge, and of the Sublime Grand Lodge of South Carolina.
13. Lawrie's History of Free Masonry: Edinburgh, 1804. 8vo.
This work discovers more learning and good sense together, than any other masonic treatise I have perused. The most valuable part of it may be seen in the Encyclopedia Britannica, Art. Masonry. It is far from satisfactory.
14. Greenleaf's Brief Inquiry. Portland, 1820. 8vo. A handsome volume of 100 pages
The views are with Lawrie : both make Free Masonry originate in the ancient heathen mysteries ; but the proof is deficient; not so much barren as inconsistent.
15. Templar's Chart, by J. L. Cross. New-Haven, 1821. 18mo.
16. Esprit du Dogme de la F. Maçonnerie. Brussels, 1825. 8vo. Its character may be seen in extracts, page 240 of this volume, using the emblems and pretended traditions, to dispute and pervert the sacred writings. It is the last masonic author I have read, and could not possibly have coloured these pages before it enters them.
17. Dalcho's Ahiman Rezon, which is the Book of Constitutions of South Carolina. Charleston, 1807. 8vo.
18. Free Mason's Library, by Samuel Cole. Baltimore, 1826. 2d edition. 8vo. pp. 400
This is the Book of Constitutions of Maryland. Sanction, p. 50.
These treatises have all been carefully, some of them, studiously, examined; and if from them the character of the institution cannot be fairly learned, I despair of obtaining it.
It may interest the inquirer to know, that the entire body of the first 236 pages of this volume was written, except chapters 25 and 26, before the author suffered himself to peruse a single anti-masonic author but Stearns' Inquiry. He sought to deal honourably with Free Masonry; and to judge of it solely by the testimony of its friends : having done that, he felt free to examine the opinions of others.
The first Free Mason Lodge in North America was established in New Jersey, A. D. 1730, by warrant from the mother of lodges, the Grand Lodge of England, under the hand of the Duke of Norfolk, Grand Master. (Preston.) The revolutionary struggle caused Free Masonry, for a season, to flourish; then it languished; and it was almost breathless at the time the first grand chapter was formed ; and the first edition of Webb's Free Mason's Monitor was published, A.D. 1797. Then it revived, and though checked by the works of the Abbé Barruel, and Professor Robison, it bore them down at length with the multiplicity of its assertions, and went on increasing until A. D. 1816; the official returns of lodges in the United States was estimated at 850 nearly. (Hardie.)
The Free Mason's Library, Baltimore, 1826, furnishes a list of the principal lodges in the United States, “ collated from, and compared with, copies of the original records of the several grand lodges."
This list numbers, to Maine, 46 New Jersey,
46 New-Hampshire, 40 Pennsylvania,
187 Massachusetts, 90 Delaware,
16 Rhode Island, 13 Maryland,
80 Connecticut, 62 Virginia,
100 Vermont, 34 North-Carolina,
157 South Carolina,
1293 The names and places of 1182 of these lodges are given; but the list must be quite deficient, for New York, which, in the list, is allowed but 157, had, in 1825, according to the indisputable authority of Governor Clinton, “ nearly 500 lodges, and more than 100 chapters.” (See New York Statesman, 7th October, 1825, and this same F. M. Library, p. 344.) Besides, the entire states of Indiana and Alabama, having, in 1820, a population of 291,000 souls, and rapidly increasing, are not returned in the list. Allow them 25 each,
50 New-York 500—157 = 343,
343 And for the deficiency of all other,
Add to this the actual returns, with names
Allow for increase since A. D. 1825, . .
2000 A fearful number, having enrolled thirty or forty names each, on their lists of members; say, the very lowest estimate, 30 x 2000 = 60,000. Sixty thousand Free Masons in the lodges of the United States, besides members of councils, of encampments, and of royal arch chapters.
The names which appear coupled with the offices of the craft, are often among those distinguished in the state, and in the army, and in the ministry.
Be Free Masonry what it may, it evidently has extensive influence, a powerful sway in this republic; strictly com