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my intentions) were just, then I hope you will do me the honour of calling me a faithful brother. And that the God of all light and truth (who is the giver of all good gifts and graces) may bless, prosper, and direct you, in all your public and private (lawful) undertakings, is the hearty prayer of,

GENTLEMEN,

Your faithful and obedient servant,

LAURENCE DERMOTT,

Late Deputy Grand Master.

2

Having taken my leave of the strangers, I now beg leave to address myself to the GENTLEMEN

OF THE MOST ANCIENT AND HONOURABLE FRATERNITY.

Within 1778. See pr. 44.

GENTLEMEN AND BRETHREN,

SEVERAL eminent craftsmen residing in Scotland, Ireland, America, and other parts both abroad and at home, have greatly importuned me, to give them some account of what is called modern masonry in London. I cannot be displeased with such importunities, because I had the like curiosity myself in 1748, when I was first introduced into that society. However, before I proceed any farther concerning the difference between ancient and modern, I think it my duty, to declare solemnly before God and man, that I have not the least antipathy against the gentlemen members of the modern society*; but, on the contrary, love and respect many of them, because I have found the generality of them to be hearty cocks and good fellows [as the bacchanalian phrase is] and many of them I believe to be worthy of receiving every blessing that good men can ask or heaven bestow. I hope that this declaration

*Such was my declaration in the second edition of this book, nevertheless some of the modern society have been extremely malapart of late. Not satisfied with saying the Ancient Masons in England had no Grand Master, some of them descended so far from truth, as to report the author had forged the Grand Master's hand writing to masonical warrants, &c. Upon application his Grace the most Noble Prince John Duke of Athol, our present Right Worshipful Grand Master, avowed his Grace's hand writing, supported the ancient Craft, and vindicated the author in the public news papers.

will acquit me of any design of giving offence especially if the following queries and answers be rightly considered:

Quere 1st. Whether free masonry, as practised in ancient lodges, is universal?

Answer. Yes.

2d. Whether what is called modern masonry is universal?

Answer. No.

3d. Whether there is any material difference between the ancient and modern?

Ans. A great deal, because an ancient mason can not only make himself known to his brother, but in case of necessity can discover his very thoughts to him in the presence of a modern,

But

As they differ in matters of masonry, so they did in matters of calumny, for while some were charg ing me with forgery, others said, that I was so illiterate as not to know how to write my name. what may appear more strange is, that some insisted, that I had neither father nor mother; but that I grew up spontaneously in the corner of a potatoe garden in Ireland.

I cannot reconcile myself to the idea of having neither father nor mother; But am so far from contradicting the latter part of this charge that I freely confess there is a probability of the seedling from whence I sprung being planted in a potatoe garden.

Be that as it may, as I do not find that the calumny of a few modern masons has not done me any real -injury, I shall continue in the same mind as expressed in the declaration to which this note is written.

without being able to distinguish that either of them are free masons*.

4th. Whether a modern mason may, with safety. communicate all his secrets to an ancient mason?

Ans. Yes.

5th. Whether an ancient mason may, with the like safety, communicate all his secrets to a modern mason, without further ceremony?

Ans. No. For as a Science comprehends an art, [though an art cannot comprehend a science] even so ancient masonry contains every thing valuable amongst the moderns, as well as many other things that cannot be revealed without additional ceremonies.

6th. Whether a person made in a modern manner, and not after the ancient custom of the craft, has a right to be called free and accepted, according to the intent and meaning of the words?

Ans. His being unqualified to appear in a master's lodge, according to the universal system of masonry, renders the appellation improper.

7th. Whether it is possible to initiate or introduce. a modern mason into the royal arch lodge (the very essence of masonry) without making him go through the ancient ceremonies.

Ans. No.

8th. Whether the present members of modern lodges are blameable for deviating so much from the old land marks?

*See Locke's letter with notes, annexed to this book.

Ans. No. Because the innovation was made in the reign of king George the first, * and the new form was delivered as orthodox to the present members.

9th. Therefore as it is natural for each party, to maintain the orthodoxy of their masonical preceptors, how shall we distinguish the original and most useful system?

Ans. The number of ancient masons, compared with the moderns, being as ninety-nine to one, proves the universality of the old order, and the utility thereof appears, by the love and respect shewn to the brethren, in consequence of their superior abilities in conversing with, and distinguishing the masons of all countries and denominations, a circumstance, peculiar to ancient masons.

I am so well acquainted with the truth of what I have just now inserted, that I am not in the least apprehensive of being contradicted. But if any person should hereafter labour under the spirit of opposition, I shall (even then) be, contented, as I am sure of having the majority upon my side.

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Therefore, in order to satisfy the importunities of my good brethren [particularly the right worshipful and very worthy Freemasons of America, who for their charitable disposition, prudent choice of members and good conduct in general, deserve the unanimous thanks and applause of the masonical world] be it known, that the innovation, already mentioned, arose upon the fall of a

Anthony Sayer the first Grand Master of modern masons assumed the Grand Masterskip on the 24th of June, 1717.

This is so well known in Great Britain, Ireland, America, &c. &c. that further assertion is needless.

D

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