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An Inquiry Into the Nature And Tendency of Speculative Freemasonry, the first person account by former mason John G. Sterns, was written to provide a historical account of Free Masonry and to warn the reader about its dangers. “Free Masonry is an imposture, that is founded in error, and opposed to the Christian religion and the free institutions of our country.” The author accuses Masonry of taking verses from the Bible and transforming them to fit their needs, with direct examples. According to Sterns, masons are under no obligation to help anyone who is not a mason. If a criminal, who is also a mason, is brought to trial and gives the signal of distress and the judge or members of the jury are masons, by oath they are to risk their lives to save the criminal. Through multiple examples, Sterns states that masons have no authority to administer oaths, much less to administer them under the penalty of death (as in the case of William Morgan of Batavia, NY). Reader, heed the author’s words with caution: “There is wrong in those who administer the oaths; they know that the candidate is ignorant of the solemn vows which he is about to make; and they have good reason to believe, that if he were not, he would never consent to make them.”
Milne Library Publishing
Stearns, John G., "An Inquiry Into the Nature and Tendency of Speculative Freemasonry" (1858). Genesee Valley Historical Reprints. 4.
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