Engaged in shaping American ideas and molding American life, Freemasonry must, in all fairness, be con-ceded a prominent place. Its principles are scattered broadcast by our daily press; its labors for humanity are the constant theme of tongue and pen; its members are, in great part, our lawgivers, our judges, our rulers ; even the presidents of our republic openly join its ranks; the educators of our youth in school and university are often its adherents, and encourage among their pupils societies which ape its secrecy and methods and prepare the young to become its zealous partisans in after life. To crown all, Protestant ministers and bishops are its initiates and advocates, so that often not only the corner stones of our public buildings, but even those of Protestant churches, are laid by its officers and consecrated by its mysticrites. To deny its influence among us, would be todeny a fact plainer that the light of day.
" A Study in American Freemasonry ... is based upon Pike's ' Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,' Mackey's works, and publications of other Masonic writers. It is written in a calm, argumentative manner, giving authorities for all the al-legations that the author makes, so that no offense is felt by a Mason while reading it, though he may see the mistake of the author in the conclusion given by him."
This " mistake " our critic specifies as follows : " The majority of American Masons adopt the York Rite of Masonry leading from the Blue Lodge through the Chapter to the Commandery of Knights Templar. In the Scottish Rite leading from the same Lodge to the 33rd degree there is more of philosophic teaching, but Masons would reply to the assertions of the author, that in neither branch is there taught any concealed religion, philosophy or science, but that these are all fully set forth in the monitorial or exoteric Masonry, the esoteric Masonry being merely the forms of initiation and not a changing or addition to the monitorial part."
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