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He trusts that none of them will be disappointed in its perusal, and that they will by kindly words, en‑courage, others to purchase it, that he may receive at least some return for his months of labor.He will be grateful, also, to any one who may be able to add any facts concerning the order that will be of interest, that can be used in a second edition of the work.
Although the writer of this book has been an active worker in the Order of the Eastern Star for twenty‑eight years, and during all that time has been a diligent gatherer of material and facts concerning it, and has, by the favor of his fellow‑members been placed in positions of trust and responsibility, which have given him rare opportunities to learn much of the workings of the order, yet he had no idea, when he undertook the production of this history, how great the task would prove, for he has undertaken to be doubly sure of the facts stated and has spent days in running down some particular item that, perhaps, when secured, would not add a dozen lines to the work.The titles, Jephthah's Daughter, Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa, sufficiently denote the histories comprehended in the degrees.* * * The following extracts from the published ritual, translated into English, are in point: "The Sisterhood of the Eastern Star is manifest, to the world by its adoring virtues - five.Honor in bright loneliness is the sanctity and moral guarantee of all the obligations of the Eastern Star.What I intended to say in that book was, that the French officers introduced adoptive Masonry into the colonies in 1775, but nothing like the degree called the Eastern Star, which is strictly my own origination. Morris, I recall even the trivial occurrences connected with the work, how I hesitated for a theme, how I dallied over a name, how I wrought face to face with the clock that I might keep may drama within due limits of time, etc.The name was first settled upon, The five androgynous degrees, combined under the above title (The Eastern Star Degrees), are supposed to have been introduced into this country by the French officers who assisted our government during the struggle for liberty.This is read by the enlightened in the cabalistic motto of the order.
Upon that foundation (honor) stands the following pillars: - to be true; to be aiding; to be counseling; to be loving; to be secret; to be the servant of Jesus Christ.
Among other requirements was one that each Lodge should be placed under the charge and held under the sanction and warrant of some regularly constituted Masonic Lodge, whose master, or his deputy should be the presiding officer, assisted by a woman president or mistress.
We are unable to learn whether the ritual used from 1730 was continued in use, or a new one adopted.
That it is perfect, and that every essential fact that it is possible to ascertain in regard to the order is contained in it, he would not pretend to say; but he does say that he has made an honest effort in that direction flow far he has succeeded perhaps time only can demonstrate.
Although there have been brief historical sketches of the order written, they have been produced generally for a purpose other than a simple development of the truth, and the writer knows of none, however brief, that has not contained more or less inaccurate statements, even as his may be found to do, but none have been knowingly made, and he has tried to present every fact in an unbiased manner.
This will be understood when it is stated that when the secrets were given by communication the singular number was used in the early days, but when given in constellations or Chapters, they were spoken of in the plural, and I have followed this custom.