The Masonic Monthly 1866

"The Congregational convention in session at Ottawa, Ill.,
have passed a series of resolutions on the subject of secret
societies, of which this one is the last: 'That there are certain
other wide-spread organizations - such as Freemasonry -
which, as we suppose, are in their nature hostile to good citi-
zenship and true religion, because they exact initiatory oaths
of blind compliance and concealment, are incompatible with
the claims of equal justice toward man and a good
conscience toward God; because they may easily, and
sometimes have actually, become combinations against the
due process of law and government; because, while claiming
a religious character, they, in their rituals, deliberately
withhold all recognition of Christ as their only Saviour, and of
Christianity as the only true religion; because, while they are,
in fact, nothing but restricted partnerships or companies for
mutual insurance and protection, they ostentatiously parade
this characterless engagement as a substitute for brotherly
love and true benevolence; because they bring good men
into confidential relations to bad men, and because, while in
theory they supplant the Church of Christ, they do also in
fact largely tend to withdraw the sympathy and active zeal of
professing Christians from their respective churches. Against
all connections with such associations we earnestly advise
the members of our churches, and exhort them, be ye not
unequally yoked with unbelievers.'

It will be noticed that these Pharisees set out with a
supposition, and, after thus admitting that they know nothing
of Freemasonry, proceed to denounce it much after the style
of the late allocution. When men talk on a subject of which
they know nothing, they are apt to get astray, and find
themselves under the necessity of making assertions
whereon to base an argument; thus they say that, I while
claiming a religious character, they in their rituals
deliberately withhold all recognition of Christ as their only
Savior, and of Christianity as the only true religion.' We do
not claim a religious character, neither do we publish our
rituals for the edification of these sainted gentry, and,
therefore, they cannot and do not know what they recognize,
or from what they withhold recognition. We do not publish
the fact that Masonry recognizes no sectarianism; that within
its fold men of all sects and forms of worship may meet and
fellowship; that while in all probability a majority of us do
believe in the divinity of Christ and the truth of the Christian
religion, many of us do neither, and they are none the less
Masons on that account, nor have we any questions to ask
as to the peculiar tenets of their religious belief; and had our
defamers followed the admonition of St. Paul, and sought a
reason for the faith which is in them, they would at least
have ascertained that their denunciations had not the ghost
of truth to rest on before they undertook to make themselves
ridiculous by asserting positive untruth, and then rearing a
card house of fallacy upon it. We can forgive the holy father
for his want of knowledge, because his surroundings are not
favorable to the progress of light or the increased circulation
of newspapers, but that in this free land where the daily
paper is one of the necessaries of life, read by the humblest
toiler as well as the millionaire, there is no excuse for such
ignorance as we find displayed by the bigots under
consideration. That characterless charity, of which they
evidently know nothing, however, inclines us to ask that they
may be forgiven, on the ground that they know not what they
do, and to whisper quietly in their ears - to long enough no
doubt for the purpose - that untruthful denunciations are apt
to recoil on those who make them."

Charity, or brotherly kindness, is as much a Masonic as it is a Christian
virtue.REV. DR. SLADE.