Ritual and Monitor
by Malcolm C. Duncan
THE objects which Freemasonry
was founded to subserve are honorable and laudable; nor is it intended in the
following pages to disparage the institution or to undervalue its usefulness.
It has, at various times and in several countries, incurred the ill-will of
political parties and of religious bodies, in consequence of a belief, on
their part, that the organization was not so purely benevolent and
philanthropic as its members proclaimed it to be. In the State of New York,
many years ago, it was supposed, but we think unjustly, to wield a powerful
political influence, and to employ it unscrupulously for sinister ends. The
war between Masonry and Anti-Masonry which convulsed the State at that period
is still fresh in the remembrance of many a party veteran. The Order, however,
has long since recovered from the obloquy then heaped upon it, and is now in a
flourishing condition in most parts of the civilized world.
The purpose of this work is not
so much to gratify the curiosity of the uninitiated as to furnish a guide for
the neophytes of the Order, by means of which their progress from grade to
grade may be facilitated. Every statement in the book is authentic, as every
proficient Mason will admit to himself, if not to be public, as he turns over
its pages. The non-Masonic reader, as he peruses them, will perhaps be puzzled
to imagine why matters of so little real importance to society at large should
have been so industriously concealed for centuries, and still more surprised
that society should have been so extremely inquisitive about them. "But such,"
as Old Stapleton says, in 'Jacob Faithful,' "is human nature." The object of
the Order in making a profound mystery of its proceedings is obvious enough.
Sea-birds are not more in-variably attracted toward a lighted beacon on a dark
night, than men to whatever savors of mystery. Curiosity has had a much
greater influence in swelling the ranks of Masonry than philanthropy and
brotherly love. The institution, however, is now sufficiently popular to stand
upon its own merits, without the aid of clap-trap, so "via the mantle that
It will be observed by the
initiated, that the following exposition gives no information through which
any person not a Mason could obtain admission to a Lodge. It is due to the
Order that its meetings should not be disturbed by the intrusion of persons
who do not contribute to its support, or to the furtherance of its humane
design, and whose motives in seeking admission to its
halls would be impertinent and
ungentlemanly. The clew to the Sanctum Sanctorum is, therefore,
In its spirit and intention
Masonry is certainly not a humbug, and in its enlightened age so excellent an
institution should not incur the liability of being classed with the devices
of charlatanry by affecting to wear a mystic veil which has long been lifted,
and of which we are free to say, that, unlike that of the false prophet of
Kohrassan, it has no repulsive features behind it.
The author of the following
work does not conceive that it contains a single line which can in any way
injure the Masonic cause; while he believes, on the other hand, that it will
prove a valuable made mecum to members of the Order, for whose use and
guidance it is especially designed.
It will be seen that the "work"
quoted in this treatise differs from that of Morgan, Richardson, and Alleyn;
but as this discrepancy is fully explained at the close of the remarks on the
Third Degree, it is not deemed necessary to make further allusion to it here.
THE AUTHORITIES REFERRED
TO IN THIS WORK ARE AS FOLLOWS:
"THE HISTORICAL LANDMARKS." By the Rev. G.
Oliver, D. D. In two volumes. London: R. Spencer. 1845.
"THE THEOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY OF FREEMASONRY." By
the same author and publisher. 1840.
"ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH ROYAL ARCH." By the
same, &c., &c., &c.
"A LEXICON OF FREEMASONRY." By Albert G.
Mackey, M. D. Charleston: Burges & James. 1845.
"THE FREEMASON'S TREASURY." By the Rev. George
Oliver, D. D. London: R. Spencer. 1863.
"THE INSIGNIA OF THE ROYAL ARCH." By the same
author. London: R. Spencer. 1847.
"EXPOSITION OF THE MYSTERIES." An Inquiry into
the Origin, History, and Purport of Freemasonry. By John Fellows, A. M. New
"BOOK OF THE CHAPTER." By Albert G. Mackey, M.
D. New York: Macoy & Sickles. 1864.
"ALLYN'S RITUAL." New York: John Gowan.
"WEBB'S MONITOR." New York: Macoy & Sickles.
"TENT LIFE IN THE HOLY LAND." By Rev. Irenĉus
Prime, D. D. New York: Harper & Bros.
"MONITOR OF FREEMASONRY." By Jabez Richardson.
Apprentice, or First Degrees