I offer this book to the Masonic public, in redemption of my pledges to the generous friends who furnished me the means both for my expedition of 1868, and for publishing the book itself. That I have been more than three years getting it up, speaks, I think, for the thorough manner of its preparation. Agreeably to original promise, “the book is adapted to the plainest reader ; one that the owner will take home and read in his domestic circle, and afterwards lend to his neighbors to read ; equally a reference book to the student, and a hand-book to the traveller ; large enough to embrace so great a subject, yet no effort has been spared to compress the information. The Common Gavel has been used remorselessly in striking off excrescences. Written in the spirit of the Holy Writings, French and German infidelity has not made sufficient inroads into American Masonry, that less than nineteen-twentieths will welcome additional light upon the Divine authenticity of the Bible, and such light I have attempted freely to diffuse through this volume.
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