Illustrations of Masonry
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Fully illustrated, this is one of the first published accounts of US Freemasonry in the early 19th century. This book has a controversial backstory which is part of the mythology of anti-Freemasonry. William Morgan, the author, was a disappointed Freemason in Batavia, New York. Rejected by the local lodge, he announced that he was going to publish a work exposing Masonic rituals and secrets. Shortly before publication in 1826, he disappeared, and three Masons were later convicted of kidnapping him. Although claims were made that Morgan had been murdered, some say that he was forced to leave the US. Either way, it was good publicity for this book, which was published in 1827, but bad for the Masons. The incident led to widespread protests against Freemasons in the US, and eventually an anti-Masonic Party, which at its height in 1832 got seven electoral votes for William Wirt for President.
This book has 136 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1827.
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Excerpt from 'Illustrations of Masonry'
One rap calls the lodge to order—one calls up the Junior and Senior Deacons—two raps call up all the subordinate officers, and three, all the members of the lodge.
The Master having called the lodge to order, and the officers all seated, the Master says to the Junior Warden, 'Brother Junior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the south?'
Ans. 'They are, Worshipful.'
Master to the Senior Warden, 'Brother Senior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the west?'
Ans. 'They are, Worshipful.'
The Master then says, 'They are, in the east,' at the same time he gives a rap with the common gavel or mallet, which calls up both Deacons.
Master to Junior Deacon, 'Brother Junior, the first care of a Mason?'
Ans. 'To see the lodge tyled, Worshipful.'
Master to Junior Deacon, 'Attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons, and direct him to tyle accordingly.' The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and gives three raps, which are answered by three raps from without; the Junior Deacon then gives one, which is also answered by the Tyler with one; the door is then partly opened and the Junior Deacon delivers his message, and resumes his situation and says, 'The door is tyled, Worshipful.' (at the same time giving the due-guard, which is never omitted when the Master is addressed.)
The Master to Junior Deacon, 'Brother, by whom?'
Ans. 'By a Master Mason without the door, armed with the proper implement of his office.'
Master to Junior Deacon, 'His duty there?'
Ans. 'To keep off all cowans and eaves-droppers, see that none pass or repass without permission from the Master.' (Some say without permission from the chair.)
Master to Junior Deacon, 'Brother Junior, your place in the lodge?'
Ans. 'At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.'
Master to Junior Deacon, 'Your business there, Brother Junior?'
Ans. 'To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, and take charge of the door.'
Master to Junior Deacon, 'The Senior Deacon's place in the lodge?'
Ans. 'At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.' [The Master, while asking the last questions gives two raps, which call up all the subordinate officers.]
Master to Senior Deacon, 'Your duty there, Brother Senior?'
Ans. 'To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, and welcome and clothe all visiting Brethren. [i.e., furnish them with an apron.]
Master to Senior Deacon, 'The Secretary's place in the lodge, Brother Senior?'
Ans. 'At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.'
Master to the Secretary, 'Your duty there, Brother Secretary?'
Ans. 'The better to observe the Worshipful Master's will and pleasure, record the proceedings of the lodge; transmit a copy of the same to the Grand Lodge, if required; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Brethren, pay them over to the Treasurer, and take his receipt for the same.'
The Master to the Secretary, 'The Treasurer's place in the lodge?'
Ans. 'At the right hand of the Worshipful Master.'
Master to Treasurer, 'Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?'
Ans. 'Duly to observe the Worshipful Master's will and pleasure; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Secretary; keep a just and true account of the same; pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Brethren.'
The Master to the Treasurer, "The Junior Warden's place in the lodge, Brother Treasurer?'
Ans. 'In the south, Worshipful.'
Master to Junior Warden, 'Your business there, Brother Junior?'
Ans. 'As the sun in the south at high meridian is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time, call the crafts from labor to refreshment, superintend them during the hours thereof, see that none convert the hours of refreshment into that of intemperance or excess; and call them out again in due season, that the Worshipful Master may have honor, and they profit and pleasure thereby.'
Master to the Junior Warden, 'The Senior Warden's place in the lodge?'
Ans. 'In the west, Worshipful.'
Master to Senior Warden, 'Your duty there, Brother Senior?'