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Breast

In one of the Old Lectures, quoted by Doctor Oliver, it is said : ''A Mason's breast should be a safe and sacred repository for all your just and lawful secrets. A brother's secrets, delivered to me as such, I would keep as my own; as to betray that trust might be doing him the greatest injury he could sustain in this mortal life; nay, it would be like the villainy of an assassin who lurks in darkness to stab his adversary when unarmed and least prepared to meet an enemy."

It is true, that the secrets of a Freemason, confided as such, should be as inviolate in the breast of him who has received them as they were in his own before they were confided. But it would be wrong to conclude that in this a Freemason is placed in a position different from that which is occupied by every honorable man. No man of honor is permitted to reveal a secret which he has received under the pledge of secrecy.

Nevertheless, it is as false as it is absurd, to assert that either the man of honor or the Freemason is bound by any such obligation to protect the criminal from the vindication of the law. It must be left to every man to determine by his own conscience whether he is at liberty to betray a knowledge of facts with which he could not have become acquainted except under some such pledge. No court of law would attempt to extort a communication of facts made known by a penitent to his confessor or a client to his lawyer for such a communication would make the person communicating it infamous. In this case, Freemasonry supplies no other rule than that which is found in the acknowledged codes of Moral Ethics.

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