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FREE MASONRY - Its Pretensions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of its Standard Authors; ... And Further Illustrated in its Base Service to the Illuminati (New York, 1828)

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FREE MASONRY - Its Pretensions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of its Standard Authors; ... And Further Illustrated in its Base Service to the Illuminati (New York, 1828)

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FREE MASONRY - Its Pretensions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of its Standard Authors; ... And Further Illustrated in its Base Service to the Illuminati (New York, 1828)

495.00

[Illuminati] A Master Mason (attributed to Henry Dana Ward, with contributions by Dwight Farmer). Free Masonry - Its Pretensions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of its Standard Authors; with A Review of Town’s Speculative Masonry: Its Liability to Pervert the Doctrines of Revealed Religion, Discovered in the Spirit of its Doctrines, and in the Application of its Emblems: Its Dangerous Tendency Exhibited in Extracts from The Abbe Barruel and Professor Robison; And Further Illustrated in its Base Service to the Illuminati. New York: No Publisher Listed, 1828. 

First Edition. Hardcover. 8vo. Bound in full calf with black leather title label to spine. Blind stamped border to front and back. 399 pages. With rubbing, edge and corner wear to leather, Moderate to heavy foxing throughout, former owner’s name and address in pencil to front free endpaper, ghosted owner’s name (in reverse) to front pastedown, browning to edges of preliminaries. A few light penciling brackets in the margins of some pages. All pages present. Binding is firm and sound. A solid, very good copy. An extremely scarce volume. 

 

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An excellent, though perhaps partially one-sided, look at what Freemasonry used to be or should be considered to be, as opposed to what the author states about its current status (1828), of which he declares: “I am thoroughly convinced that the ancient landmarks are removed, that our old customs are irreparably infringed, and the established usages of the Art are in utter confusion, bringing great discredit upon the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, and concealed daggers of infidelity to the hearts of our brethren”. In discussing oaths, rituals, service to the order, and other peculiar signs of loyalty (and control), the book serves as somewhat of a warning to the lesser brethren about the secret plots and designs of the higher initiates. The author was initiated up to the third degree of Master Mason yet stresses the uselessness of the higher degrees, arguing that everything of improtance is included in the first three degrees (how would he know?). He also challenges many author's claims to Freemasonry being older than the 17th century. You know, the usual. There are occasional references to the higher degrees teaching alchemy, hermetic science, cabala and the black arts (wonder-working), especially in the French and German lodges. Some of the more interesting passages are the author’s thoughts about (and quotes by) Adam Weishaupt and the Illuminati including Weishaupt’s “impressive views of the nature of secret societies”, his thoughts on the origins of Freemasonry, the Illuminee’s plans to destroy Christianity (and all forms of religion), as well as any accepted notion of politics, and more. The works of many masonic scholars and writers are quoted throughout this work and there is a list of sources at the beginning of the volume.