Guide to the three Symbolic Degrees of the Ancient York Rite and to the Degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and The Royal Arch.
The purpose of this work is not so much to gratify the curiosity of the uninitiated as to furnish a guide for the neophytes of the Order, by means of which their progress from grade to grade may be facilitated. Every statement in the book is authentic, as every proficient Mason will admit to himself, if not to be public, as he turns over its pages. The non- Masonic reader, as he peruses them, will perhaps be puzzled to imagine why matters of so little real importance to society at large should have been so industriously concealed for centuries, and still more surprised that society should have been so extremely inquisitive about them. “But such,” as Old Stapleton says, in ‘Jacob Faithful,’ “is human nature.” The object of the Order in making a profound mystery of its proceedings is obvious enough. Sea-birds are not more in-variably attracted toward a lighted beacon on a dark night, than men to whatever savors of mystery. Curiosity has had a much greater influence in swelling the ranks of Masonry than philanthropy and brotherly love. The institution, however, is now sufficiently popular to stand upon its own merits, without the aid of clap-trap, so “via the mantle that shadowed Borgia.”