our way of supporting him depends on circumstances. I suppose you want a plain statement of the whole matter rather than any uncertain and flattering promises, and I will not be kept back by fear of offending you, or by a desire for office or popularity, from stating clearly our objection to Bates, and the circumstances in which he may probably expect our support.
We do not object to his abilities, moral character, republicanism, relatives or general fitness for the place. We appreciate him for all these. Our only objection to him is, that by certain and numerous oaths which he considers binding, (we do not, however,) he has pledged his support to a monopoly which is more powerful and dangerous than those which he professes to oppose, and has sworn his allegiance to a government which claims supremacy over all other authority whether of church or state. In a word, as we are informed, Mr. Bates is a Freemason.
Now we know that everyone who enters the lodge swears “to support the constitution of the Grand Lodge of the state, and to conform to the laws of any lodge of which he shall be a member, and also to obey all regular signs, summons or tokens from any Mason or body of Masons." Now whatever he may be told before taking this oath, after he does so he is taught that the authority of the lodge is absolute, the covenant is irrevocable, and its obligations are supreme.
In General Ahiman Rezon; or, Freemason’s Guide we read:
“The candidate, entering the lodge, is on the point of binding himself voluntarily, absolutely and without reservation forever."
Webb’s Monitor says:
“The covenant is irrevocable. Even though a Mason may be suspended or expelled, though he may withdraw from the lodge, journey into countries where Masons cannot be found, or become a subject of despotic governments that persecute, or a communicant of bigoted churches that denounce Masonry, he cannot cast off or nullify his Masonic covenant. No law of the land can affect it; no anathema of the church can weaken it. It is irrevocable."
Again, this same Masonic author says:
“The first duty of the reader of this synopsis is to obey the edicts of this Grand Lodge. Right or wrong, his very existence as a Mason hangs upon obedience to the power immediately set above him. Failure in this must infallibly bring down expulsion, which as a Masonic death, ends all. The one unpardonable crime in a Mason is contumacy, or disobedience."
Although it takes much space in my letter, let me give you more testimony, with the names of the witnesses, who are all eminent members of the order and high in authority and some of whose works are in nearly every