Dr. Albert G. Mackey, also the author of The Lexicon of Freemasonry appears as author of this " Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences," which, being a library in inself, superseded most of the Masonic works which have been tolerated by the craft—chiefly because none better could be obtained. Here, in one giant volume is a work which fulfils the hope which sustained the author through ten years' literary labor, that, under one cover he "would furnish every Mason who might consult its pages the means of acquiring a knowledge of all matters connected with the science, the philosophy, and the history of his order."
For more than thirty years Dr. Mackey has devoted earnest and constant study and research to the history, the objects, and the condition of Masonry. In the present work, the crowning and successful result of a life's labors, he has received no assistance from any one. He says, " Every article was written by myself," and he adds, which would extenuate errors, had he fallen into any, "For twelve months, too, of the time occupied upon this work, I suffered from an affection of the sight, which forbade all use of the eyes for purposes of study. During that time, now happily passed, all authorities were consulted by the willing eyes of my daughters—all writing was done by their hands. I realized for a time the picture so often painted of the blind bard dictating his sublime verses to his daughters," and his preface closes with the words, "Were I to dedicate this work at all, my dedication should be—To Filial Affection."
Up to the present time the modern literature of Freemasonry has been diffuse, lumbering, unreliable, and, out of all reasonable proportions.