Secret societies : a discussion of their character and by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, Edward Beecher

By David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, Edward Beecher

Mystery Societies is an engaging dialogue of mystery societies similar to the Masons and abnormal Fellows, written from a nineteenth century Christian viewpoint.

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It is his glory to conceal his designs. In part, this is inevitable by reason of his greatness; in part, he resorts to it of set purpose. It is a special honor and blessing of the good that he discloses his secrets to them. Secrecy, then, is not of necessity wrong. Its character depends upon the ends for which it is used, and the circumstances and spirit in which it is used. There is a secrecy of wisdom, love, and justice, as well as a secrecy of selfish, malevolent, and evil deeds. II. Secret societies.

The cathedrals of the middle ages were each erected by such a corporation, and attest their skill and energy. But these corporations of working masons have passed away, and Masonry is now, even in profession, only theoretical, and in fact, so far as this art is concerned, is not even this. It does not teach the theory of architecture. The transition took place in 1717, after a period of decline in the lodges of working masons. All pretences to a history back of this, or to any connection with Solomon or Hiram, are mere false pretences and delusion for effect.

Christian disciple, decide this question of secret societies with candor, with solemn prayer, and with a purpose to please God. * * * * * A PAPER ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS OF THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES, AT THEIR MEETING IN OTTAWA, 1866. * * * * * The topics committed to us involve the following points: 1. The moral character of secrecy. Is it an element of an invariable moral character? and, if so, what? and, if not, what are the decisive criteria of its character? 2. Associations or combinations involving secrecy.

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