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One of the most disgraceful exhibitions ever witnessed in the States was given recently in the Chamber street Presbyterian Church, Boston, when two clergymen. Revs. J. P. Stoddard and D. P. Rathbun, of lowa, undertook to expose Masonry. The object of the exposures was to break up the order by divulging the secrets. They say that Masonry is organised infidelity, and in the interest of religion they seek its overthrow. Both of the gentlemen claim to be Masons, and they announced their intention to hold up the rites and ceremonies to ridicule. The forms and oaths necessary to taking the first degree were illustrated by the exposers. They were assisted by eight or ten persons, and were all attired in Masonic .regalia. The pulpit served as a lodge-room, three large lighted candles being arranged in a row in front, and the Senior and Junior Wardens, Grand Worshipful Master, and other officers, in the persons of clergymen and others, being seated behind and on the sides. The “ candidate,” an individual whose skin had apparently not seen soap and water for many days, was about an hour and a half in passing through the ordeal, and as the “ceremony” developed the scene became disgraceful, and many ladies left, the remaining spectators also becoming restless. The “ candidate,” while' taking the degree, was dressed, according to the “exposers,” in the customary manner, but this was simply disgusting, as , his only garments were an old blue flannel undershirt and white under drawers, the left leg of which was rolled up to the knee. Over his eyes was a green shade, such as is worn at night by the working staff of a newspaper office. Here, barefooted, with one leg bared and only partially clad, the candidate received his instructions from the various grand officers, and then came the adrainistrationof the various oaths. An immense crowd filled the building, and during the performance of the disgusting farce the wildest confusion prevailed. Hymn-books were pelted at the performers by the people in building, while a large force of roughs and street loafers stood on the sidewalks and pelted snowballs into the building. Captain Ford, of the third precinct police, fearing a riot, tried to put a stop to the exhibition, but it kept on for half an hour, while a storm of hisses and indignant yells greeted every word of the speakers. Ex-chief of police, Damrell, made a speech in which he freely and forcibly denounced the two rev. exposers, and vyas loudly applauded, the spectators cheering loudly at the several points made. He claimed to belong to the same denomination as Mr. Rathbun, and asserted that the Conference that would recognise him as a minister of Christ’s gospel ought to bow its head in shaihe. The police broke up the meeting about half-past ten. It was the intention of the two ministers to remain in Boston for a week, and continue their exposures, but they changed their minds and left next day. The minister who gave the use of his church for such purposes is stoutly-abused by all classes.

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 119, 29 June 1880

Word Count

A DISGRACEFUL EXHIBITION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 119, 29 June 1880