The Principles of Masonic Law: A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages and Landmarks of Freemasonry (Hardcover)
As a contributor to the literature and science of Freemasonry, Albert Gallatin Mackey was rightly considered one of the greatest American Masonic historian. His works have been more extensive than those of any other in America or in Europe. He was widely respected by the Masonic world for his ripe scholarship, his profound knowledge of Masonic law and usage, his view of Masonic philosophy and for his invaluable, literary labourist in the service of the Order.
Mackey's book on the topic deserves to be read since it is still used in most courses that discuss Freemasonry and still attracts contemporary spiritual seekers. In this work, he focuses, inter alia, on the Law of Grand Lodges, the Laws of Subordinate Lodges, the Law of Individuals and the Masonic Crimes and Punishments.
This edition contains fourth book and complete footnotes (>100).
Excerpt: "In presenting to the fraternity a work on the Principles of Masonic Law, it is due to those for whom it is intended, that something should be said of the design with which it has been written, and of the plan on which it has been composed. It is not pretended to present to the craft an encyclopedia of jurisprudence, in which every question that can possibly arise, in the transactions of a Lodge, is decided with an especial reference to its particular circumstances. Were the accomplishment of such an herculean task possible, except after years of intense and unremitting labor, the unwieldy size of the book produced, and the heterogeneous nature of its contents, so far from inviting, would rather tend to distract attention, and the object of communicating a knowledge of the Principles of Masonic Law, would be lost in the tedious collation of precedents, arranged without scientific system, and enunciated without explanation.
When I first contemplated the composition of a work on this subject, a distinguished friend and Brother, whose opinion I much respect, and with whose advice I am always anxious to comply, unless for the most satisfactory reasons, suggested the expediency of collecting the decisions of all Grand Masters, Grand Lodges, and other masonic authorities upon every subject of Masonic Law, and of presenting them, without commentary, to the fraternity."