Freemasonry: Sketch Of Its Origin And Early Progress; Its Moral And Political Tendency

Freemasonry: Sketch Of Its Origin And Early Progress; Its Moral And Political Tendency

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Published In Dublin In 1862.

This Is A Lecture, Delivered Before The Historical Society, Connected With The Catholic University, On The 26th May, 1862 By James Burton Robertson, Esq., Professor Of Modern History And Geography In That University.

With Appendix, Containing A Synopsis Of The Papal Bulls Respecting Secret Societies By The Rev. Dr. Murray, Of Maynooth.

The Publisher has copy-edited this book to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of the text to make it readable. This did not involve changing the substance of the text.


......"The Society of Freemasons", says a living Italian historian, "retained in Great Britain a serious character; but in other countries it was soon converted into convivial meetings, and became a sort of gay heresy, apparently innoxious, and which even by acts of beneficence sought to render itself useful. Its mysteriousness served to attract and to excite the imagination: the visionary thought to perceive in the Order a school of chimerical perfection and of transcendental mysticism: the charlatan, an abundant source of illusions: some, under the mantle of its name, practiced knavery; but a greater number looked on this institution as a means for the relief of indigence. It was impossible that governments should not look with distrust on those secret assemblies, and on that mysterious understanding between men belonging to different countries. Hence, all masonic lodges were proscribed, first in France in the year 1729, then in Holland in 1735, and successively in Flanders, in Sweden, in Poland, in Spain, in Portugal, in Hungary, and in Switzerland. At Vienna in the year 1743, a lodge was burst into by soldiers: the freemasons had to give up their swords, and were conducted to prison, or set at large on their parole. As personages of high rank were of the number, great sensation was excited, and rumors were rife. But the masons declared, that as they were bound by the promise of secrecy, they were unable to reply to any judicial interrogatory. The government, satisfied with this plea, set the prisoners free, and contented itself with prohibiting any more assemblies of the kind.
......How then could an institution, apparently so praiseworthy, have drawn down the censures of the Church? How could it have aroused the suspicions and the hostility of so many different governments?
......Let us investigate the matter calmly and with care. In the first place, the Catholic Church condemns all societies which, like that of the freemasons, impose secret oaths. The Scripture tells us, that "our speech should be yea, yea, and nay, nay; and that it is not lawful to swear". The Church, which brings a message from God, and speaks to us in the name of God, can exact an oath of us; and so can the civil power; for it has received from God the sword of justice, and, for the ends of justice, it bids us invoke the name of the Supreme Author of all right.
......Secondly, the oaths of the freemason are not only secret, but, at the best, unnecessary; for, should we even be unable to prove that in very many countries the ultimate objects of Freemasonry are most culpable, yet all admit that the matters sworn to in the minor grades are most frivolous and puerile. But a frivolous or unnecessary oath is in the eyes of the Church a guilty oath.
......Next to secret oaths, there is another offence chargeable on the Masonic, as on all other secret societies. This is, that it destroys human freedom, as it removes all individual responsibility. The mason of one grade knows not the projects of the brothers of a higher degree, nor the lodges of one country, the schemes, the principles, and the workings of those of another. The individual is the blind, passive instrument of an order, whose ultimate aims are wrapped up in secrecy. He is like a man who without a lamp enters into a dark cavern, whose length and breadth he knows not, nor the tortuous passages that cross the main path. Where the ends of an institution are kept secret, and the means only are avowed, judgment is at fault, and the individual cannot estimate the extent of the responsibility he incurs for the errors of his order.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012344151
Publisher: Digital Text Publishing Company
Publication date: 03/25/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 60
File size: 41 KB

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