MORALS AND DOGMA OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF MASONRY

by Brigadier General Albert Pike

published in 1871 without copyright

I. APPRENTICE

THE TWELVE-INCH RULE AND THE COMMON GAVEL.

FORCE, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; but, striking in the dark, and its blows meeting only the air, they recoil and bruise itself. It is destruction and ruin. It is the volcano, the earthquake, the cyclone;-not growth and progress. It is Polyphemus blinded, striking at random, and falling headlong among the sharp rocks by the impetus of his own blows.

The blind Force of the people is a Force that must be economized, and also managed, as the blind Force of steam, lifting the ponderous iron arms and turning the large wheels, is made to bore and rifle the cannon and to weave the most delicate lace. It must be regulated by Intellect. Intellect is to the people and the people's Force, what the slender needle of the compass is to the ship — its soul, always counselling the huge mass of wood and iron, and always pointing to the north. To attack the citadels built up on all sides against the human race by superstitions, despotisms, and prejudices, the Force must have a brain and a law. Then its deeds of daring produce permanent results, and there is real progress. Then there are sublime conquests. Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. The two great motors are Truth and Love. When all these Forces are combined, and guided by the Intellect, and regulated by the RULE of Right, and Justice, and of combined and systematic movement and effort, the great revolution prepared for by the ages will begin to march. The POWER of the Deity Himself is in equilibrium with His WISDOM. Hence the only results are HARMONY.

It is because Force is ill regulated, that revolutions prove failures. Therefore it is that so often insurrections, coming from those high mountains that domineer over the moral horizon, Justice, Wisdom, Reason, Right, built of the purest snow of the ideal after a long fall from rock to rock, after having reflected the sky in their transparency, and been swollen by a hundred affluents, in the majestic path of triumph, suddenly lose themselves in quagmires, like a California river in the sands.

The onward march of the human race requires that the heights around it should blaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage. Deeds of daring dazzle history, and form one class of the guiding lights of man. They are the stars and coruscations from that great sea of electricity, the Force inherent in the people. To strive, to brave all risks, to perish, to persevere, to be true to one's self, to grapple body to body with destiny, to surprise defeat by the little terror it inspires, now to confront unrighteous power, now to defy intoxicated triumph — these are the examples that the nations need and the light that electrifies them.

There are immense Forces in the great caverns of evil beneath society; in the hideous degradation, squalor, wretchedness and destitution, vices and crimes that reek and simmer in the darkness in that populace below the people, of great cities. There disinterestedness vanishes, every one howls, searches, gropes, and gnaws for himself. Ideas are ignored, and of progress there is no thought. This populace has two mothers, both of them stepmothers — Ignorance and Misery. Want is their only guide — for the appetite alone they crave satisfaction. Yet even these may be employed. The lowly sand we trample upon, cast into the furnace, melted, purified by fire, may become resplendent crystal. They have the brute force of the HAMMER, but their blows help on the great cause, when struck within the lines traced by the RULE held by wisdom and discretion.

Yet it is this very Force of the people, this Titanic power of the giants, that builds the fortifications of tyrants, and is embodied in their armies. Hence the possibility of such tyrannies as those of which it has been said, that "Rome smells worse under Vitellius than under Sulla. Under Claudius and under Domitian there is a deformity of baseness corresponding to the ugliness-of the tyranny. The foulness of the slaves is a direct result of the atrocious baseness of the despot. A miasma exhales from these crouching consciences that reflect the master; the public authorities are unclean, hearts are collapsed, consciences shrunken, souls puny. This is so under Caracalla, it is so under Commodus, it is so under Heliogabalus, while from the Roman senate, under Caesar, there comes only the rank odour peculiar to the eagle's eyrie."

It is the force of the people that sustains all these despotisms, the basest as well as the best. That force acts through armies; and these oftener enslave than liberate. Despotism there applies the RULE. Force is the MACE of steel at the saddle-bow of the knight or of the bishop in armour. Passive obedience by force supports thrones and oligarchies, Spanish kings, and Venetian senates. Might, in an army wielded by tyranny, is the enormous sum total of utter weakness; and so Humanity wages war against Humanity, in despite of Humanity. So a people willingly submits to despotism, and its workmen submit to be despised, and its soldiers to be whipped; therefore it is that battles lost by a nation are often progress attained. Less glory is more liberty. When the drum is silent, reason sometimes speaks.

Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate — that is, enyoke the people. Then they plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannonshot; while the monks mingle with the troopers, and the Church militant and jubilant, Catholic or Puritan, sings Te Deums for victories over rebellion.

The military power, not subordinate to the civil power, again the HAMMER or MACE of FORCE, independent of the RULE, is an armed tyranny, born full-grown, as Athene sprung from the brain of Zeus. It spawns a dynasty, and begins with Caesar to rot into Vitellius and Commodus. At the present day it inclines to begin where formerly dynasties ended.

Constantly the people put forth immense strength, only to end in immense weakness. The force of the people is exhausted in indefinitely prolonging things long since dead; in governing mankind by embalming old dead tyrannies of Faith; restoring dilapidated dogmas; regilding faded, worm-eaten shrines; whitening and rouging ancient and barren superstitions; saving society by multiplying parasites; perpetuating superannuated institutions; enforcing the worship of symbols as the actual means of salvation; and tying the dead corpse of the Past, mouth to mouth, with the living Present. Therefore it is that it is one of the fatalities of Humanity to be condemned to eternal struggles with phantoms, with superstitions, bigotries, hypocrisies, prejudices, the formulas of error, and the pleas of tyranny. Despotisms, seen in the past, become respectable, as the mountain, bristling with volcanic rock, rugged and horrid, seen through the haze of distance is blue and smooth and beautiful. The sight of a single dungeon of tyranny is worth more, to dispel illusions, and create a holy hatred of despotism, and to direct FORCE aright, than the most eloquent volumes. The French should have preserved the Bastile as a perpetual lesson; Italy should not destroy the dungeons of the Inquisition. The Force of the people maintained the Power that built its gloomy cells, and placed the living in their granite sepulchres.

The FORCE of the people cannot, by its unrestrained and fitful action, maintain and continue in action and existence a free Government once created. That Force must be limited, restrained, conveyed by distribution into different channels, and by roundabout courses, to outlets, whence it is to issue as the law, action, and decision of the State; as the wise old Egyptian kings conveyed in different canals, by sub-division, the swelling waters of the Nile, and compelled them to fertilize and not devastate the land. There must be the jus et norma, the law and Rule, or Gauge, of constitution and law, within which the public force must act. Make a breach in either, and the great steam-hammer, with its swift and ponderous blows, crushes all the machinery to atoms, and, at last, wrenching itself away, lies inert and dead amid the ruin it has wrought.

The FORCE of the people, or the popular will, in action and exerted, symbolized by the GAVEL, regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of LAW and ORDER, symbolized by the TWENTY-FOUR-INCH RULE, has for its fruit LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY, — liberty regulated by law; equality of rights in the eye of the law; brotherhood with its duties and obligations as well as its benefits.

You will hear shortly of the Rough ASHLAR and the Perfect ASHLAR, as part of the jewels of the Lodge. The rough Ashlar is said to be "a stone, as taken from the quarry, in its rude and natural state." The perfect Ashlar is said to be "a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow-Craft." We shall not repeat the explanations of these symbols given by the York Rite. You may read them in its printed monitors. They are declared to allude to the self-improvement of the individual craftsman, — a continuation of the same superficial interpretation.

The rough Ashlar is the PEOPLE, as a mass, rude and unorganized. The perfect Ashlar, or cubical stone, symbol of perfection, is the STATE, the rulers deriving their powers from the consent of the governed; the constitution and laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient, — its powers properly distributed and duly adjusted in equilibrium.

If we delineate a cube on a plane surface thus:

we have visible three faces, and nine external lines, drawn between seven points. The complete cube has three more faces, making six; three more lines, making twelve; and one more point, making eight. As the number 12 includes the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 3 times 3, or 9, and is produced by adding the sacred number 3 to 9; while its own two figures, 1, 2, the unit or monad, and duad, added together, make the same sacred number 3; it was called the perfect number; and the cube became the symbol of perfection.

Produced by FORCE, acting by RULE; hammered in accordance with lines measured by the Gauge, out of the rough Ashlar, it is an appropriate symbol of the Force of the people, expressed as the constitution and law of the State; and of the State itself the three visible faces represent the three departments, — the Executive, which executes the laws; the Legislative, which makes the laws; the Judiciary, which interprets the laws, applies and enforces them, between man and man, between the State and the citizens. The three invisible faces, are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, the threefold soul of the State — its vitality, spirit, and intellect.

Though Masonry neither usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. It is the aspiration of the soul toward the Absolute and Infinite Intelligence, which is the One Supreme Deity, most feebly and misunderstandingly characterized as an "ARCHITECT." Certain faculties of man are directed toward the Unknown — thought, meditation, prayer. The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle. It is a spiritual magnetism that thus connects the human soul with the Deity. These majestic irradiations of the soul pierce through the shadow toward the light.

It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is not possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a starting-point, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamour are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air.

Every Lodge is a Temple, and as a whole, and in its details symbolic. The Universe itself supplied man with the model for the first temples reared to the Divinity. The arrangement of the Temple of Solomon, the symbolic ornaments which formed its chief decorations, and the dress of the High-Priest, all had reference to the order of the Universe, as then understood. The Temple contained many emblems of the seasons — the sun, the moon, the planets, the constellations Ursa Major and Minor, the zodiac, the elements, and the other parts of the world. It is the Master of this Lodge, of the Universe, Hermes, of whom Khurum is the representative, that is one of the lights of the Lodge.

For further instruction as to the symbolism of the heavenly bodies, and of the sacred numbers, and of the temple and its details, you must wait patiently until you advance in Masonry, in the mean time exercising your intellect in studying them for yourself. To study and seek to interpret correctly the symbols of the Universe, is the work of the sage and philosopher. It is to decipher the writing of God, and penetrate into His thoughts.

This is what is asked and answered in our catechism, in regard to the Lodge.


A "Lodge" is defined to be "an assemblage of Freemasons, duly congregated, having the sacred writings, square, and compass, and a charter, or warrant of constitution, authorizing them to work." The room or place in which they meet, representing some part of King Solomon's Temple, is also called the Lodge; and it is that we are now considering.

It is said to be supported by three great columns, WISDOM, FORCE or STRENGTH, and BEAUTY, represented by the Master, the Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden; and these are said to be the columns that support the Lodge, "because Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, are the perfections of everything, and nothing can endure without them." "Because," the York Rite says, "it is necessary that there should be Wisdom to conceive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings." "Know ye not," says the Apostle Paul, "that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man desecrate the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

The Wisdom and Power of the Deity are in equilibrium. The laws of nature and the moral laws are not the mere despotic mandates of His Omnipotent will; for, then they might be changed by Him, and order become disorder, and good and right become evil and wrong; honesty and loyalty, vices; and fraud, ingratitude, and vice, virtues. Omnipotent power, infinite, and existing alone, would necessarily not be constrained to consistency. Its decrees and laws could not be immutable. The laws of God are not obligatory on us because they are the enactments of His POWER, or the expression of His WILL; but because they express His infinite WISDOM. They are not right because they are His laws, but His laws because they are right. From the equilibrium of infinite wisdom and infinite force, results perfect harmony, in physics and in the moral universe. Wisdom, rower, and Harmony constitute one Masonic triad. They have other and profounder meanings, that may at some time be unveiled to you.

As to the ordinary and commonplace explanation, it may be added, that the wisdom of the Architect is displayed in combining, as only a skillful Architect can do, and as God has done everywhere, — for example, in the tree, the human frame, the egg, the cells of the honeycomb — strength, with grace, beauty, symmetry, proportion, lightness, ornamentation. That, too, is the perfection of the orator and poet — to combine force, strength, energy, with grace of style, musical cadences, the beauty of figures, the play and irradiation of imagination and fancy; and so, in a State, the warlike and industrial force of the people, and their Titanic strength, must be combined with the beauty of the arts, the sciences, and the intellect, if the State would scale the heights of excellence, and the people be really free. Harmony in this, as in all the Divine, the material, and the human, is the result of equilibrium, of the sympathy and opposite action of contraries; a single Wisdom above them holding the beam of the scales. To reconcile the moral law, human responsibility, free-will, with the absolute power of God; and the existence of evil with His absolute wisdom, and goodness, and mercy, — these are the great enigmas of the Sphynx.

You entered the Lodge between two columns. They represent the two which stood in the porch of the Temple, on each side of the great eastern gateway. These pillars, of bronze, four fingers breadth in thickness, were, according to the most authentic account — that in the First and that in the Second Book of Kings, confirmed in Jeremiah — eighteen cubits high, with a capital five cubits high. The shaft of each was four cubits in diameter. A cubit is one foot and 707/1000. That is, the shaft of each was a little over thirty feet eight inches in height, the capital of each a little over eight feet six inches in height, and the diameter of the shaft six feet ten inches. The capitals were enriched by pomegranates of bronze, covered by bronze net-work, and ornamented with wreaths of bronze; and appear to have imitated the shape of the seed-vessel of the lotus or Egyptian lily, a sacred symbol to the Hindus and Egyptians. The pillar or column on the right, or in the south, was named, as the Hebrew word is rendered in our translation of the Bible, JACHIN: and that on the left BOAZ. Our translators say that the first word means, "He shall establish;" and the second, "In it is strength."

These columns were imitations, by Khurum, the Tyrian artist, of the great columns consecrated to the Winds and Fire, at the entrance to the famous Temple of Malkarth, in the city of Tyre. It is customary, in Lodges of the York Rite, to see a celestial globe on one, and a terrestrial globe on the other; but these are not warranted, if the object be to imitate the original two columns of the Temple. The symbolic meaning of these columns we shall leave for the present unexplained, only adding that Entered Apprentices keep their working-tools in the column JACHIN; and giving you the etymology and literal meaning of the two names.

The word JACHIN, in Hebrew, probably pronounced Ya-kayan, and meant, as a verbal noun, He that strengthens; and thence, firm, stable, upright.

The word Boaz is Baaz which means Strong, Strength, Power, Might, Refuge, Source of Strength, a Fort. The prefix means "with" or "in," and gives the word the force of the Latin gerund, roborando — Strengthening

The former word also means he will establish, or plant in an erect position — from the verb Kun, he stood erect. It probably meant Active and Vivifying Energy and Force; and Boaz, Stability, Permanence, in the passive sense.

The Dimensions of the Lodge, our Brethren of the York Rite say, "are unlimited, and its covering no less than the canopy of Heaven." "To this object," they say, "the mason's mind is continually directed, and thither he hopes at last to arrive by the aid of the theological ladder which Jacob in his vision saw ascending from earth to Heaven; the three principal rounds of which are denominated Faith, Hope, and Charity; and which admonish us to have Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity to all mankind." Accordingly a ladder, sometimes with nine rounds, is seen on the chart, resting at the bottom on the earth, its top in the clouds, the stars shining above it; and this is deemed to represent that mystic ladder, which Jacob saw in his dream, set up on the earth, and the top of it reaching to Heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The addition of the three principal rounds to the symbolism, is wholly modern and incongruous.

The ancients counted seven planets, thus arranged: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There were seven heavens and seven spheres of these planets; on all the monuments of Mithras are seven altars or pyres, consecrated to the seven planets, as were the seven lamps of the golden candelabrum in the Temple. That these represented the planets, we are assured by Clemens of Alexandria, in his Stromata, and by Philo Judaeus.

To return to its source in the Infinite, the human soul, the ancients held, had to ascend, as it had descended, through the seven spheres. The Ladder by which it reascends, has, according to Marsilius Ficinus, in his Commentary on the Ennead of Plotinus, seven degrees or steps; and in the Mysteries of Mithras, carried to Rome under the Emperors, the ladder, with its seven rounds, was a symbol referring to this ascent through the spheres of the seven planets. Jacob saw the Spirits of God ascending and descending on it; and above it the Deity Himself. The Mithraic Mysteries were celebrated in caves, where gates were marked at the four equinoctial and solstitial points of the Zodiac; and the seven planetary spheres were represented, which souls needs must traverse in descending from the heaven of the fixed stars to the elements that envelop the earth; and seven gates were marked, one for each planet, through which they pass, in descending or returning.

We learn this from Celsus, in Origen, who says that the symbolic image of this passage among the stars, used in the Mithraic Mysteries, was a ladder reaching from earth to Heaven, divided into seven steps or stages, to each of which was a gate, and at the summit an eighth one, that of the fixed stars. The symbol was the same as that of the seven stages of Borsippa, the Pyramid of vitrified brick, near Babylon, built of seven stages, and each of a different colour. In the Mithraic ceremonies, the candidate went through seven stages of initiation, passing through many fearful trials — and of these the high ladder with seven rounds or steps was the symbol.

You see the Lodge, its details and ornaments, by its Lights. You have already heard what these Lights, the greater and lesser, are said to be, and how they are spoken of by our Brethren of the York Rite.

The Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses, are not only styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from our Lodges, because they cannot regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed.

The Square is a right angle, formed by two right lines. It is adapted only to a plane surface, and belongs only to geometry, earth-measurement, that trigonometry which deals only with planes, and with the earth, which the ancients supposed to be a plane. The Compass describes circles, and deals with spherical trigonometry, the science of the spheres and-heavens. The former, therefore, is an emblem of what concerns the earth and the body; the latter of what concerns the heavens and the soul. Yet the Compass is also used in plane trigonometry, as in erecting perpendiculars; and, therefore, you are reminded that, although in this Degree both points of the Compass are under the Square, and you are now dealing only with the moral and political meaning of the symbols, and not with their philosophical and spiritual meanings, still the divine ever mingles with the human; with the earthly the spiritual intermixes; and there is something spiritual in the commonest duties of life. The nations are not bodies politic alone, but also souls-politic; and woe to that people which, seeking the material only, forgets that it has a soul. Then we have a race, petrified in dogma, which presupposes the absence of a soul and the presence only of memory and instinct, or demoralized by lucre. Such a nature can never lead civilization. Genuflexion before the idol or the dollar atrophies the muscle which walks and the will which moves. Hieratic or mercantile absorption diminishes the radiance of a people, lowers its horizon by lowering its level, and deprives it of that understanding of the universal aim, at the same time human and divine, which makes the missionary nations. A free people, forgetting that it has a soul to be cared for, devotes all its energies to its material advancement. If it makes war, it is to subserve its commercial interests. The citizens copy after the State, and regard wealth, pomp, and luxury as the great goods of life. Such a nation creates wealth rapidly, and distributes it badly. Thence the two extremes, of monstrous opulence and monstrous misery; all the enjoyment to a few, all the privations to the rest, that is to say, to the people; Privilege, Exception, Monopoly, Feudality, springing up from Labour itself: a false and dangerous situation, which, making Labour a blinded and chained Cyclops, in the mine, at the forge, in the workshop, at the loom, in the field, over poisonous fumes, in miasmatic cells, in unventilated factories, founds public power upon private misery, and plants the greatness of the State in the suffering of the individual. It is a greatness ill constituted, in which all the material elements are combined, and into which no moral element enters. If a people, like a star, has the right of eclipse, the light ought to return. The eclipse should not degenerate into night.

The three lesser, or the Sublime Lights, you have heard, are the Sun, the Moon, and the Master of the Lodge; and you have heard what our Brethren of the York Rite say in regard to them, and why they hold them to be Lights of the Lodge. But the Sun and Moon do in no sense light the Lodge, unless it be symbolically, and then the lights are not they, but those things of which they are the symbols. Of what they are the symbols the Mason in that Rite is not told. Nor does the Moon in any sense rule the night with regularity.

The Sun is the ancient symbol of the life-giving and generative power of the Deity. To the ancients, light was the cause of life; and God was the source from which all light flowed; the essence of Light, the Invisible Fire, developed as Flame manifested as light and splendour. The Sun was His manifestation and visible image; and the Sabaeans worshipping the Light — God, seemed to worship the Sun, in whom they saw the manifestation of the Deity.

The Moon was the symbol of the passive capacity of nature to produce, the female, of which the life-giving power and energy was the male. It was the symbol of Isis, Astarte, and Artemis, or Diana. The "Master of Life" was the Supreme Deity, above both, and manifested through both; Zeus, the Son of Saturn, become King of the Gods; Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, become the Master of Life; Dionusos or Bacchus, like Mithras, become the author of Light and Life and Truth.


The Master of Light and Life, the Sun and the Moon, are symbolized in every Lodge by the Master and Wardens: and this makes it the duty of the Master to dispense light to the Brethren, by himself, and through the Wardens, who are his ministers.

"Thy sun," says ISAIAH to Jerusalem, "shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever." Such is the type of a free people.

Our northern ancestors worshipped this tri-une Deity; ODIN, the Almighty FATHER; FREA, his wife, emblem of universal matter; and THOR, his son, the mediator. But above all these was the Supreme God, "the author of everything that existeth, the Eternal, the Ancient, the Living and Awful Being, the Searcher into concealed things, the Being that never changeth." In the Temple of Eleusis (a sanctuary lighted only by a window in the roof, and representing the Universe), the images of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, were represented.

"The Sun and Moon," says the learned Bro.'. DELAUNAY, "represent the two grand principles of all generations, the active and passive, the male and the female. The Sun represents the actual light. He pours upon the Moon his fecundating rays; both shed their light upon their offspring, the Blazing Star, or HORUS, and the three form the great Equilateral Triangle, in the centre of which is the omnific letter of the Kabalah, by which creation is said to have been effected."

The ORNAMENTS of a Lodge are said to be "the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star." The Mosaic Pavement, chequered in squares or lozenges, is said to represent the ground-floor of King Solomon's Temple; and the Indented Tessel "that beautiful tessellated border which surrounded it." The Blazing Star in the centre is said to be "an emblem of Divine Providence, and commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of the East to the place of our Saviour's nativity." But "there was no stone seen" within the Temple. The walls were covered with planks of cedar, and the floor was covered with planks of fir. There is no evidence that there was such a pavement or floor in the Temple, or such a bordering. In England, anciently, the Tracing-Board was surrounded with an indented border; and it is only in America that such a border is put around the Mosaic pavement. The tesserae, indeed, are the squares or lozenges of the pavement. In England, also, "the indented or denticulated border" is called "tessellated," because it has four "tassels," said to represent Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. It was termed the Indented Trassel; but this is a misuse of words. It is a tesserated pavement, with an indented border round it.

The pavement, alternately black and white, symbolizes, whether so intended or not, the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creed. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel.

The edges of this pavement, if in lozenges, will necessarily be indented or denticulated, toothed like a saw; and to complete and finish it a bordering is necessary. It is completed by tassels as ornaments at the corners. If these and the bordering have any symbolic meaning, it is fanciful and arbitrary.

To find in the BLAZING STAR of five points an allusion to the Divine Providence, is also fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi, is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally it represented SIRIUS, or the Dog-star, the forerunner of the inundation of the Nile; the God ANUBIS, companion of ISIS in her search for the body of OSIRIS, her brother and husband. Then it became the image of HORUS, the son of OSIRIS, himself symbolized also by the Sun, the author of the Seasons, and the God of Time; Son of ISIS, who was the universal nature, himself the primitive matter, inexhaustible source of Life, spark of uncreated fire, universal seed of all beings. It was HERMES, also, the Master of Learning, whose name in Greek is that of the God Mercury. It became the sacred and potent sign or character of the Magi, the PENTALPHA, and is the significant emblem of Liberty and Freedom, blazing with a steady radiance amid the weltering elements of good and evil of Revolutions, and promising serene skies and fertile seasons to the nations, after the storms of change and tumult.

In the East of the Lodge, over the Master, inclosed in a triangle, is the Hebrew letter YOD. In the English and American Lodges the Letter G.'. is substituted for this, as the initial of the word GOD, with as little reason as if the letter D., initial of DIEU, were used in French Lodges instead of the proper letter. YOD is, in the Kabalah, the symbol of Unity, of the Supreme Deity, the first letter of the Holy Name; and also a symbol of the Great Kabalistic Triads. To understand its mystic meanings, you must open the pages of the Sohar and Siphra de Zeniutha, and other kabalistic books, and ponder deeply on their meaning. It must suffice to say, that it is the Creative Energy of the Deity, is represented as a point, and that point in the centre of the Circle of immensity. It is to us in this Degree, the symbol of that unmanifested Deity, the Absolute, who has no name.

Our French Brethren place this letter YOD in the centre of the Blazing Star. And in the old Lectures, our ancient English Brethren said, "The Blazing Star or Glory in the centre refers us to that grand luminary, the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind." They called it also in the same lectures, an emblem of PRUDENCE. The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight; and, accordingly, the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-seeing Eye, which to the Egyptian Initiates was the emblem of Osiris, the Creator. With the YOD in the centre, it has the kabalistic meaning of the Divine Energy, manifested as Light, creating the Universe.

The Jewels of the Lodge are said to be six in number. Three are called "Movable," and three "Immovable." The SQUARE, the LEVEL, and the PLUMB were anciently and properly called the Movable Jewels, because they pass from one Brother to another. It is a modern innovation to call them immovable, because they must always be present in the Lodge. The immovable jewels are the ROUGH ASHLAR, the PERFECT ASHLAR or CUBICAL, STONE, or, in some Rituals, the DOUBLE CUBE, and the TRACING-BOARD, or TRESTLE-BOARD.

Of these jewels our Brethren of the York Rite say: "The Square inculcates Morality; the Level, Equality; and the Plumb, Rectitude of Conduct." Their explanation of the immovable Jewels may be read in their monitors.

Our Brethren of the York Rite say that "there is represented in every well-governed Lodge, a certain point, within a circle; the point representing an individual Brother; the Circle, the boundary line of his conduct, beyond which he is never to suffer his prejudices or passions to betray him."

This is not to interpret the symbols of Masonry. It is said by some, with a nearer approach to interpretation, that the point within the circle represents God in the centre of the Universe. It is a common Egyptian sign for the Sun and Osiris, and is still used as the astronomical sign of the great luminary. In the Kabalah the point is YOD, the Creative Energy of God, irradiating with light the circular space which God, the universal Light, left vacant, wherein to create the worlds, by withdrawing His substance of Light back on all sides from one point.

Our Brethren add that, "this circle is embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures" (an open book). "In going round this circle," they say, "we necessarily touch upon these two lines as well as upon the Holy Scriptures; and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their precepts, it is impossible that he should materially err."

It would be a waste of time to comment upon this. Some writers have imagined that the parallel lines represent the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which the Sun alternately touches upon at the Summer and Winter solstices. But the tropics are not perpendicular lines, and the idea is merely fanciful. If the parallel lines ever belonged to the ancient symbol, they had some more recondite and more fruitful meaning. They probably had the same meaning as the twin columns Jachin and Boaz. That meaning is not for the Apprentice. The adept may find it in the Kabalah. The JUSTICE and MERCY of God are in equilibrium, and the result is HARMONY, because a Single and Perfect Wisdom presides over both.

The Holy Scriptures are an entirely modern addition to the symbol, like the terrestrial and celestial globes on the columns of the portico. Thus the ancient symbol has been denaturalized by incongruous additions, like that of Isis weeping over the broken column containing the remains of Osiris at Byblos.


Masonry has its decalogue, which is a law to its Initiates. These are its Ten Commandments:

I. God is the Eternal, Omnipotent, Immutable WISDOM and Supreme INTELLIGENCE and Exhaustless Love.

Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him !

Thou shalt honour Him by practising the virtues!

II. Thy religion shall be, to do good because it is a pleasure to thee, and not merely because it is a duty.

That thou mayest become the friend of the wise man, thou shalt obey his precepts !

Thy soul is immortal ! Thou shalt do nothing to degrade it !

III. Thou shalt unceasingly war against vice!

Thou shalt not do unto others that which thou wouldst not wish them to do unto thee !

Thou shalt be submissive to thy fortunes, and keep burning the light of wisdom !

IV. Thou shalt honour thy parents !

Thou shalt pay respect and homage to the aged!

Thou shalt instruct the young!

Thou shalt protect and defend infancy and innocence !

V. Thou shalt cherish thy wife and thy children!

Thou shalt love thy country, and obey its laws!

VI. Thy friend shall be to thee a second self !

Misfortune shall not estrange thee from him !

Thou shalt do for his memory whatever thou wouldst do for him, if he were living!

VII. Thou shalt avoid and flee from insincere friendships !

Thou shalt in everything refrain from excess.

Thou shalt fear to be the cause of a stain on thy memory!

VIII. Thou shalt allow no passions to become thy master !

Thou shalt make the passions of others profitable lessons to thyself!

Thou shalt be indulgent to error !

IX. Thou shalt hear much: Thou shalt speak little: Thou shalt act well !

Thou shalt forget injuries!

Thou shalt render good for evil !

Thou shalt not misuse either thy strength or thy superiority !

X. Thou shalt study to know men; that thereby thou mayest learn to know thyself !

Thou shalt ever seek after virtue !

Thou shalt be just!

Thou shalt avoid idleness !

But the great commandment of Masonry is this: "A new commandment give I unto you: that ye love one another! He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, remaineth still in the darkness."

Such are the moral duties of a Mason. But it is also the duty of Masonry to assist in elevating the moral and intellectual level of society; in coining knowledge, bringing ideas into circulation, and causing the mind of youth to grow; and in putting, gradually, by the teachings of axioms and the promulgation of positive laws, the human race in harmony with its destinies.

To this duty and work the Initiate is apprenticed. He must not imagine that he can effect nothing, and, therefore, despairing, become inert. It is in this, as in a man's daily life. Many great deeds are done in the small struggles of life. There is, we are told, a determined though unseen bravery, which defends itself, foot to foot, in the darkness, against the fatal invasion of necessity and of baseness. There are noble and mysterious triumphs, which no eye sees, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets salutes. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battle-fields, which have their heroes, — heroes obscure, but sometimes greater than those who become illustrious. The Mason should struggle in the same manner, and with the same bravery, against those invasions of necessity and baseness, which come to nations as well as to men. He should meet them, too, foot to foot, even in the darkness, and protest against the national wrongs and follies; against usurpation and the first inroads of that hydra, Tyranny. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the truth in indignation. It is more difficult for a people to keep than to gain their freedom. The Protests of Truth are always needed. Continually, the right must protest against the fact. There is, in fact, Eternity in the Right. The Mason should be the Priest and Soldier of that Right. If his country should be robbed of her liberties, he should still not despair. The protest of the Right against the Fact persists forever. The robbery of a people never becomes prescriptive. Reclamation of its rights is barred by no length of time. Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teutonic. A people may endure military usurpation, and subjugated States kneel to States and wear the yoke, while under the stress of necessity; but when the necessity disappears, if the people is fit to be free, the submerged country will float to the surface and reappear, and Tyranny be adjudged by History to have murdered its victims.

Whatever occurs, we should have Faith in the Justice and overruling Wisdom of God, and Hope for the Future, and Lovingkindness for those who are in error. God makes visible to men His will in events; an obscure text, written in a mysterious language. Men make their translations of it forthwith, hasty, incorrect, full of faults, omissions, and misreadings. We see so short a way along the arc of the great circle! Few minds comprehend the Divine tongue. The most sagacious, the most calm, the most profound, decipher the hieroglyphs slowly; and when they arrive with their text, perhaps the need has long gone by; there are already twenty translations in the public square — the most incorrect being, as of course, the most accepted and popular. From each translation, a party is born; and from each misreading, a faction. Each party believes or pretends that it has the only true text, and each faction believes or pretends that it alone possesses the light. Moreover, factions are blind men, who aim straight, errors are excellent projectiles, striking skillfully, and with all the violence that springs from false reasoning, wherever a want of logic in those who defend the right, like a defect in a cuirass, makes them vulnerable.

Therefore it is that we shall often be discomfited in combating error before the people. Antaeus long resisted Hercules; and the heads of the Hydra grew as fast as they were cut off. It is absurd to say that Error, wounded, writhes in pain, and dies amid her worshippers. Truth conquers slowly. There is a wondrous vitality in Error. Truth, indeed, for the most part, shoots over the heads of the masses; or if an error is prostrated for a moment, it is up again in a moment, and as vigorous as ever. It will not die when the brains are out, and the most stupid and irrational errors are the longest-lived.

Nevertheless, Masonry, which is Morality and Philosophy, must not cease to do its duty. We never know at what moment success awaits our efforts — generally when most unexpected — nor with what effect our efforts are or are not to be attended. Succeed or fail, Masonry must not bow to error, or succumb under discouragement. There were at Rome a few Carthaginian soldiers, taken prisoners, who refused to bow to Flaminius, and had a little of Hannibal's magnanimity. Masons should possess an equal greatness of soul. Masonry should be an energy; finding its aim and effect in the amelioration of mankind. Socrates should enter into Adam, and produce Marcus Aurelius, in other words, bring forth from the man of enjoyments, the man of wisdom. Masonry should not be a mere watch-tower, built upon mystery, from which to gaze at ease upon the world, with no other result than to be a convenience for the curious. To hold the full cup of thought to the thirsty lips of men; to give to all the true ideas of Deity; to harmonize conscience and science, are the province of Philosophy. Morality is Faith in full bloom. Contemplation should lead to action, and the absolute be practical; the ideal be made air and food and drink to the human mind. Wisdom is a sacred communion. It is only on that condition that it ceases to be a sterile love of Science, and becomes the one and supreme method by which to unite Humanity and arouse it to concerted action. Then Philosophy becomes Religion.

And Masonry, like History and Philosophy, has eternal duties — eternal, and, at the same time, simple — to oppose Caiaphas as Bishop, Draco or Jefferies as Judge, Trimalcion as Legislator, and Tiberius as Emperor. These are the symbols of the tyranny that degrades and crushes, and the corruption that defiles and infests. In the works published for the use of the Craft we are told that the three great tenets of a Mason's profession, are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. And it is true that a Brotherly affection and kindness should govern us in all our intercourse and relations with our brethren; and a generous and liberal philanthropy actuate us in regard to all men. To relieve the distressed is peculiarly the duty of Masons — a sacred duty, not to be omitted, neglected, or coldly or inefficiently complied with. It is also most true, that Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be true, and to seek to find and learn the Truth, are the great objects of every good Mason.

As the Ancients did, Masonry styles Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, the four cardinal virtues. They are as necessary to nations as to individuals. The people that would be Free and Independent, must possess Sagacity, Forethought, Foresight, and careful Circumspection, all which are included in the meaning of the word Prudence. It must be temperate in asserting its rights, temperate in its councils, economical in its expenses; it must be bold, brave, courageous, patient under reverses, undismayed by disasters, hopeful amid calamities, like Rome when she sold the field at which Hannibal had his camp. No Cannae or Pharsalia or Pavia or Agincourt or Waterloo must discourage her. Let her Senate sit in their seats until the Gauls pluck them by the beard. She must, above all things, be just, not truckling to the strong and warring on or plundering the weak; she must act on the square with all nations, and the feeblest tribes; always keeping her faith, honest in her legislation, upright in all her dealings. Whenever such a Republic exists, it will be immortal: for rashness, injustice, intemperance and luxury in prosperity, and despair and disorder in adversity, are the causes of the decay and dilapidation of nations.

II. FELLOW-CRAFT

In the Ancient Orient, all religion was more or less a mystery and there was no divorce from it of philosophy. The popular theology, taking the multitude of allegories and symbols for realities, degenerated into a worship of the celestial luminaries, of imaginary Deities with human feelings, passions, appetites, and lusts, of idols, stones, animals, reptiles. The Onion was sacred to the Egyptians, because its different layers were a symbol of the concentric heavenly spheres. Of course the popular religion could not satisfy the deeper longings and thoughts, the loftier aspirations of the Spirit, or the logic of reason. The first, therefore, was taught to the initiated in the Mysteries. There, also, it was taught by symbols. The vagueness of symbolism, capable of many interpretations, reached what the palpable and conventional creed could not. Its indefiniteness acknowledged the abstruseness of the subject: it treated that mysterious subject mystically: it endeavored to illustrate what it could not explain; to excite an appropriate feeling, if it could not develop an adequate idea; and to make the image a mere subordinate conveyance for the conception, which itself never became obvious or familiar.

Thus the knowledge now imparted by books and letters, was of old conveyed by symbols; and the priests invented or perpetuated a display of rites and exhibitions, which were not only more attractive to the eye than words, but often more suggestive and more pregnant with meaning to the mind.

Masonry, successor of the Mysteries, still follows the ancient manner of teaching. Her ceremonies are like the ancient mystic shows, — not the reading of an essay, but the opening of a problem, requiring research, and constituting philosophy the arch-expounder. Her symbols are the instruction she gives. The lectures are endeavors, often partial and one-sided, to interpret these symbols. He who would become an accomplished Mason must not be content merely to hear, or even to understand, the lectures; he must, aided by them, and they having, as it were, marked out the way for him, study, interpret, and develop these symbols for himself


Though Masonry is identical with the ancient Mysteries, it is so only in this qualified sense: that it presents but an imperfect image of their brilliancy, the ruins only of their grandeur, and a system that has experienced progressive alterations, the fruits of social events, political circumstances, and the ambitious imbecility of its improvers. After leaving Egypt, the Mysteries were modified by the habits of the different nations among whom they were introduced, and especially by the religious systems of the countries into which they were transplanted. To maintain the established government, laws, and religion, was the obligation of the Initiate everywhere; and everywhere they were the heritage of the priests, who were nowhere willing to make the common people co-proprietors with themselves of philosophical truth.

Masonry is not the Coliseum in ruins. It is rather a Roman palace of the middle ages, disfigured by moderll architectural improvements, yet built on a Cyclopcean foundation laid by the Etruscans, and with many a stone of the superstructure taken from dwellings and temples of the age of Hadrian and Antoninus.

Christianity taught the doctrine of FRATERNITY; but repudiated that of political EQUALITY, by continually inculcating obedience to Caesar, and to those lawfully in authority. Masonry was the first apostle of EQUALITY. In the Monastery there is fraternity and equality, but no liberty. Masonry added that also, and claimed for man the three-fold heritage, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY.

It was but a development of the original purpose of the Mysteries, which was to teach men to know and practice their duties to themselves and their fellows, the great practical end of all philosophy and all knowledge.

Truths are the springs from which duties flow; and it is but a few hundred years since a new Truth began to be distinctly seen; that MAN IS SUPREME OVER INSTITUTIONS, AND NOT THEY OVER HIM. Man has natural empire over all institutions. They are for him, aecording to his development; not he for them. This seems to us a very simple statement, one to which all men, everywhere, ought to assent. But once it was a great new Truth, — not revealed until governments had been in existence for at least five thousand years. Once revealed, it imposed new duties on men. Man owed it to himself to be free. He owed it to his country to seek to give her freedom, or maintain her in that possession. It made Tyranny and Usurpation the enemies of the Human Race. It created a general outlawry of Despots and Despotisms, temporal and spiritual. The sphere of Duty was immensely enlarged. Patriotism had, henceforth, a new and wider meaning. Free Government, Free Thought, Free Conscience, Free Speech! All these came to be inalienable rights, which those who had parted with them or been robbed of them, or whose ancestors had lost them, had the right summarily to retake. Unfortunately, as Truths always become perverted into falsehoods, and are falsehoods when misapplied, this Truth became the Gospel of Anarchy, soon after it was first preached.

Masonry early comprehended this Truth, and recognized its own enlarged duties. Its symbols then came to have a wider meaning; but it also assumed the mask of Stone-masonry, and borrowed its working-tools, and so was supplied with new and apt symbols. It aided in bringing about the French Revolution, disappeared with the Girondists, was born again with the restoration of order, and sustained Napoleon, because, though Emperor, he acknowledged the right of the people to select its rulers, and was at the head of a nation refusing to receive back its old kings. He pleaded, with sabre, musket, and cannon, the great cause of the People against Royalty, the right of the French people even to make a Corsican General their Emperor, if it pleased them.

Masonry felt that this Truth had the Omnipotence of God on its side; and that neither Pope nor Potentate could overcome it. It was a truth dropped into the world's wide treasury, and forming a part of the heritage which each generation receives, enlarges, and holds in trust, and of necessity bequeaths to mankind; the personal estate of man, entailed of nature to the end of time. And Masonry early recognized it as true, that to set forth and develop a truth, or any human excellence of gift or growth, is to make greater the spiritual glory of the race; that whosoever aids the march of a Truth, and makes the thought a thing, writes in the same line with MOSES, and with Him who died upon the cross; and has an intellectual sympathy with the Deity Himself.

The best gift we can bestow on man is manhood. It is that which Masonry is ordained of God to bestow on its votaries: not sectarianism and religious dogma; not a rudimental morality, that may be found in the writings of Confucius, Zoroaster, Seneca, and the Rabbis, in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; not a little and cheap common-school knowledge; but manhood and science and philosophy.

Not that Philosophy or Science is in opposition to Religion. For Philosophy is but that knowledge of God and the Soul, which is derived from observation of the manifested action of God and the Soul, and from a wise analogy. It is the intellectual guide which the religious sentiment needs. The true religious philosophy of an imperfect being, is not a system of creed, but, as SOCRATES thought, an infinite search or approximation. Philosophy is that intellectual and moral progress, which the religious sentiment inspires and ennobles.

As to Science, it could not walk alone, while religion was stationary. It consists of those matured inferences from experience which all other experience confirms. It realizes and unites all that was truly valuable in both the old schemes of mediation, — one heroic, or the system of action and effort; and the mystical theory of spiritual, ccntemplative commullion. "Listen to me," says GALEN, "as to the voice of the Eleusinian Hierophant, and believe that the study of Nature is a mystery no less important than theirs, nor less adapted to display the wisdom and power of the Great Creator. Their lessons and demonstrations were obscure, but ours are clear and unmistakable."

We deem that to be the best knowledge we can obtain of the Soul of another man, which is furnished by his actions and his life-long conduct. Evidence to the contrary, supplied by what another man informs us that this Soul has said to his, would weigh little against the former. The first Scriptures for the human race were written by God on the Earth and Heavens. The reading of these Scriptures is Science. Familiarity with the grass and trees, the insects and the infusoria, teaches us deeper lessons of love and faith than we can glean from the writings of FENELON and AUGUSTINE. The great Bible of God is ever open before mankind.

Knowledge is convertible into power, and axioms into rules of utility and duty. But knowledge itself is not Power. Wisdom is Power; and her Prime Minister is JUSTICE, which is the perfected law of TRUTH. The purpose, therefore, of Education and Science is to make a man wise. If knowledge does not make him so, it is wasted, like water poured on the sands. To know the formulas of Masonry, is of as little value, by itself, as to know so many words and sentences in some barbarous African or Australasian dialect. To know even the meaning of the symbols, is but little, unless that adds to our wisdom, and also to our charity, which is to justice like one hemisphere of the brain to the other.

Do not lose sight, then, of the true object of your studies in Masonry. It is to add to your estate of wisdom, and not merely to your knowledge. A man may spend a lifetime in studying a single specialty of knowledge, — botany, conchology, or entomology, for instance, — in committing to memory names derived from the Greek, and classifying and reclassifying; and yet be no wiser than when he began. It is the great truths as to all that most concerns a man, as to his rights, interests, and duties, that Masonry seeks to teach her Initiates.

The wiser a man becomes, the less will he be inclined to submit tamely to the imposition of fetters or a yoke, on his conscience or his person. For, by increase of wisdom he not only better knows his rights, but the more highly values them, and is more conscious of his worth and dignity. His pride then urges him to assert his independence. He becomes better able to assert it also; and better able to assist others or his country, when they or she stake all, even existence, upon the same assertion. But mere knowledge makes no one independent, nor fits him to be free. It often only makes him a more useful slave. Liberty is a curse to the ignorant and brutal.

Political science has for its object to ascertain in what manner and by means of what institutions political and personal freedom may be secured and perpetuated: not license, or the mere right of every man to vote, but entire and absolute freedom of thought and opinion, alike free of the despotism of monarch and mob and prelate; freedom of action within the limits of the general law enacted for all; the Courts of Justice, with impartial Judges and juries, open to all alike; weakness and poverty equally potent in those Court.s as power and wealth; the avenues to office and honor open alike to all the worthy; the military powers, in war oY peaee, in strict subordination to the civil power; arbitrary arrests for acts not known to the law as crimes, impossible; Romish Inquisitions, Star-Chambers, Military Commissions, unknown; the means of instruction within reach of the children of all; the right of Free Speech; and accountability of all public omcers, civil and military.

If Masonry needed to be justified for imposing political as well as moral duties on its Initiates, it would be enough to point to the sad history of the world. It would not even need that she should turn back the pages of history to the chapters written by Tacitus: that she should recite the incredible horrors of despotism under Caligula and Domitian, Caracalla and Commodus, Vitellius and Maximin. She need only point to the centuries of calamity through which the gay French nation passed; to the long oppression of the feudal ages, of the selfish Bourbon kings; to those times when the peasants were robbed and slaughtered by their own lords and princes, like sheep; when the lord claimed the firstfruits of the peasant's marriage-bed; when the captured city was given up to merciless rape and massacre; when the State-prisons groaned with innocent victims, and the Church blessed the banners of pitiless murderers, and sang Te Deums for the crowning mercy of the Eve of St. Bartholomew.

We might turn over the pages, to a later chapter, — that of the reign of the Fifteenth Louis, when young girls, hardly more than children, were kidnapped to serve his lusts; when lettres de cachet filled the Bastile with persons accused of no crime, with husbands who were in the way of the pleasures of lascivious wives and of villains wearing orders of nobility; when the people were ground between the upper and the nether millstone of taxes, customs, and excises; and when the Pope's Nuncio and the Cardinal de la Roche-Ayman, devoutly kneeling, one on each side of Madame du Barry, the king's abandoned prostitute, put the slippers on her naked feet, as she rose from the adulterous bed. Then, indeed, suffering and toil were the two forms of man, and the people were but beasts of burden.

The true Mason is he who labors strenuously to help his Order effect its great purposes. Not that the Order can effect them by itself; but that it, too, can help. It also is one of God's instruments. It is a Force and a Power; and shame upon it, if it did not exert itself, and, if need be, sacrihce its children in the cause of humanity, as Abraham was ready to offer up Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. It will not forget that noble allegory of Curtius leaping, all in armor, into the great yawning gulf that opened to swallow Rome. It will TRY. It shall not be its fault if the day never comes when man will no longer have to fear a conquest, an invasion, a usurpation, a rivalry of nations with the armed hand, an interruption of civilization depending on a marriage-royal, or a birth in the hereditary tyrannies; a partition of the peoples by a Congress, a dismemberment by the downfall of a dynasty, a combat of two religions, meeting head to head, like two goats of darkness on the bridge of the Infinite: when they will no longer have to fear famine, spoliation, prostitution from distress, misery from lack of work, and all the brigandages of chance in the forest of events: when nations will gravitate about the Truth, like stars about the light, each in its own orbit, without clashing or collision; and everywhere Freedom, cinctured with stars, crowned with the celestial splendors, and with wisdom and justice on either hand, will reign supreme.

In your studies as a Fellow-Craft you must be guided by REASON, LOVE and FAITH.

We do not now discuss the differences between Reason and Faith, and undertake to define the domain of each. But it is necessary to say, that even in the ordinary affairs of life we are governed far more by what we believe than by what we know; by FAITH and ANALOGY, than by REASON. The "Age of Reason" of the French Revolution taught, we know, what a folly it is to enthrone Reason by itself as supreme. Reason is at fault when it deals with the Infinite. There we must revere and believe. Notwithstanding the calamities of the virtuous, the miseries of the deserving, the prosperity of tyrants and the murder of martyrs, we must believe there is a wise, just, merciful, and loving God, an Intelligence and a Providence, supreme over all, and caring for the minutest things and events. A Faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes nothing!

We believe that the soul of another is of a certain nature and possesses certain qualities, that he is generous and honest, or penurious and knavish, that she is virtuous and amiable, or vicious and ill-tempered, from the countenance alone, from little more than a glimpse of it, without the means of knowing. We venture our fortune on the signature of a man on the other side of the world, whom we never saw, upon the belief that he is honest and trustworthy. We believe that occurrences have taken place, upon the assertion of others. We believe that one will acts upon another, and in the reality of a multitude of other phenomena that Reason cannot explain.

But we ought not to believe what Reason authoritatively denies, that at which the sense of right revolts, that which is absurd or self-contradictory, or at issue with experience or science, or that which degrades the character of the Deity, and would make Him revengeful, malignant, cruel, or unjust.

A man's Faith is as much his own as his Reason is. His Freedom consists as much in his faith being free as in his will being uncontrolled by power. All the Priests and Augurs of Rome or Greece had not the right to require Cicero or Socrates to believe in the absurd mythology of the vulgar. All the Imaums of Mohammedanism have not the right to require a Pagan to believe that Gabriel dictated the Koran to the Prophet. All the Brahmins that ever lived, if assembled in one conclave like the Cardinals, could not gain a right to compel a single human being to believe in the Hindu Cosmogony. No man or body of men can be infallible, and authorized to decide what other men shall believe, as to any tenet of faith. Except to those who first receive it, every religion and the truth of all inspired writings depend on human testimony and internal evidences, to be judged of by Reason and the wise analogies of Faith. Each man must necessarily have the right to judge of their truth for himself; because no one man can have any higher or better right to judge than another of equal information and intelligence.

Domitian claimed to be the Lord God; and statues and images of him, in silver and gold, were found throughout the known world. He claimed to be regarded as the God of all men; and, according to Suetonius, began his letters thus: "Our Lord and God commands that it should be done so and so;" and formally decreed that no one should address him otherwise, either in writing or by word of mouth. Palfurius Sura, the philosopher, who was his chief delator, accusing those who refused to recognize his divinity, however much he may have believed in that divinity, had not the right to demand that a single Christian in Rome or the provinces should do the same.

Reason is far from being the only guide, in morals or in political science. Love or loving-kindness must keep it company, to exclude fanaticism, intolerance, and persecution, to all of which a morality too ascetic, and extreme political principles, invariably lead. We must also have faith in ourselves, and in our fellows and the people, or we shall be easily discouraged by reverses, and our ardor cooled by obstacles. We must not listen to Reason alone. Force comes more from Faitll and Love: and it is by the aid of these that man scales the loftiest heights of morality, or becomes the Saviour and Redeemer of a People. Reason must hold the helm; but these supply the motive power. They are the wings of the soul. Enthusiasm is generally unreasoning; and without it, and Love and Faith, there would have been no RIENZI, or TELL, or SYDNEY, or any other of the great patriots whose names are immortal. If the Deity had been merely and only All-wise and All-mighty, He would never have created the Universe.


It is GENIUS that gets Power; and its prime lieutenants are FORCE and WISDOM. The unruliest of men bend before the leader that has the sense to see and the will to do. It is Genius that rules with God-like Power; that unveils, with its counsellors, the hidden human mysteries, cuts asunder with its word the huge knots, and builds up with its word the crumbled ruins. At its glance fall down the senseless idols, whose altars have been on all the high places and in all the sacred groves. Dishonesty and imbecility stand abashed before it. Its single Yea or Nay revokes the wrongs of ages, and is heard among the future generations. Its power is immense, because its wisdom is immense. Genius is the Sun of the political sphere. Force and Wisdom, its ministers, are the orbs that carry its light into darkness, and answer it with their solid reflecting Truth.

Development is symbolized by the use of the Mallet and Chisel; the development of the energies and intellect, of the individual and the people. Genius may place itself at the head of an unintellectual, uneducated, unenergetic nation; but in a free country, to cultivate the intellect of those who elect, is the only mode of securing intellect and genius for rulers. The world is seldom ruled by the great spirits, except after dissolution and new birth. In periods of transition and convulsion, the Long Parliaments, the Robespierres and Marats, and the semi-respectabilities of intellect, too often hold the reins of power. The Cromwells and Napoleons come later. After Marius and Sulla and Cicero the rhetorician, CAESAR. The great intellect is often too sharp for the granite of this life. Legislators may be very ordinary men; for legislation is very ordinary work; it is but the final issue of a million minds.

The power of the purse or the sword, compared to that of the spirit, is poor and contemptible. As to lands, you may have agrarian laws, and equal partition. But a man's intellect is all his own, held direct from God, an inalienable fief. It is the most potent of weapons in the hands of a paladin. If the people comprehend Force in the physical sense, how much more do tlley revelence the intellectual! Ask Hildebrand, or Luther, or Loyola. They fall prostrate before it, as before an idol. The mastery of mind over mind is the only conquest worth having. The other injures both, and dissolves at a breath; rude as it is, the great cable falls down and snaps at last. But this dimly resembles the dominion of the Creator. It does not need a subject like that of Peter the Hermit. If the stream be but bright and strong, it will sweep like a spring-tide to the popular heart. Not in word only, but in intellectual act lies the fascination. It is the homage to the Invisible. This power, knotted with Love, is the golden chain let down into the well of Truth, or the invisible chain that binds the ranks of mankind together.

Influence of man over man is a law of nature, whether it be by a great estate in land or in intellect. It may mean slavery, a deference to the eminent human judgment. Society hangs spiritually together, like the revoiving spheres above. The free country, in which intellect and genius govern, will endure. Where they serve, and other influences govern, the national life is short. All the nations that have tried to govern themselves by their smallest, by the incapables, or merely respectables, have come to nought. Constitutions and Laws, without Genius and Intellect to govern, will not prevent decay. In that case they have the dry-rot and the life dies out of them by degrees.

To give a nation the franchise of the Intellect is the only sure mode of perpetuating freedom. This will compel exertion and generous care for the people from those on the higher seats, and honorable and intelligent allegiance from those below. Then political public life will protect all men from self-abasement in sensual pursuits, from vulgar acts and low greed, by giving the noble ambition of just imperial rule. To elevate the people by teaching loving-kindness and wisdom, with power to him who teaches best: and so to develop the free State from the rough ashlar: — this is the great labor in which Masonry desires to lend a helping hand.

All of us should labor in building up the great monument of a nation, the Holy House of the Temple. The cardinal virtues must not be partitioned among men, becoming the exclusive property of some, like the common crafts. ALL are apprenticed to the partners, Duty and Honor.

Masonry is a march and a struggle toward the Light. For the individual as well as the nation, Light is Virtue, Manliness, Intelligence, Liberty. Tyranny over the soul or body, is darkness. The freest people, like the freest man, is always in danger of relapsing into servitude. Wars are almost always fatal to Republics. They create tyrants, and consolidate their power. They spring, for the most part, from evil counsels. When the small and the base are intrusted with power, legislation and administration become but two parallel series of errors and blunders, ending in war, calamity, and the necessity for a tyrant. When the nation feels its feet sliding backward, as if it walked on the ice, the time has come for a supreme effort. The magnificent tyrants of the past are but the types of those of the future. Men and nations will always sell themselves into slavery, to gratify their passions and obtain revenge. The tyrant's plea, necessity, is always available; and the tyrant once in power, the necessity of providing for his safety makes him savage. Religion is a power, and he must control that. Independent, its sanctuaries might rebel. Then it becomes unlawful for the people to worship God in their own way, and the old spiritual despotisms revive. Men must believe as Power wills, or die; and even if they may believe as they will, all they have, lands, houses, body, and soul, are stamped with the royal brand. "I am the State," said Louis the Fourteenth to his peasants; "the very shirts on your backs are mine, and I can take them if I will."

And dynasties so established endure, like that of the Caesars of Rome, of the Caesars of Constantinople, of the Caliphs, the Stuarts, the Spaniards, the Goths, the Valois, until the race wears out, and ends with lunatics and idiots, who still rule. There is no concord among men, to end the horrible bondage. The State falls inwardly, as well as by the outward blows of the incoherent elements. The furious human passions, the sleeping human indolence, the stolid human ignorance, the rivalry of human castes, are as good for the kirlgs as the swords of the Paladins. The worshippers have all bowed so long to the old idol, that they cannot go into the streets and choose another Grand Llama. And so the effete State floats on down the puddled stream of Time, until the tempest or the tidal sea discovers that the worm has consumed its strength, and it crumbles into oblivion.


Civil and religious Freedom must go hand in hand; and Persecution matures them both. A people content with the thoughts made for them by the priests of a church will be content with Royalty by Divine Right, — the Church and the Throne mutually sustaining each other. They will smother schism and reap infidelity and indifference; and while the battle for freedom goes on around them, they will only sink the more apathetically into servitude and a deep trance, perhaps occasionally interrupted by furious fits of frenzy, followed by helpless exhaustion.

Despotism is not dimcult in any land that has only known one master from its childhood; but there is no harder problem than to perfect and perpetuate free government by the people themselves; for it is not one king that is needed: all must be kings. It is easy to set up Masaniello, that in a few days he may fall lower than before. But free govermnent grows slowly, like the individual human faculties; and like the forest-trees, from the inner heart outward. Liberty is not only the common birth-right, but it is lost as well by non-user as by mis-user. It depends far more on the universal effort than any other human property. It has no single shrine or holy well of pilgrimage for the nation; for its waters should burst out freely from the whole soil.

The free popular power is one that is only known in its strength in the hour of adversity: for all its trials, sacrifices and expectations are its own. It is trained to think for itself, and also to act for itself. When the enslaved people prostrate themselves in the dust before the hurricane, like the alarmed beasts of the field, the free people stand erect before it, in all the strength of unity, in self-reliance, in mutual reliance, with effrontery against all but the visible hand of God. It is neither cast down by calamity nor elated by success.

This vast power of endurance, of forbearance, of patience, and of performance, is only acquired by continual exercise of all the functions, like the healthful physical human vigor, like the individual moral vigor.

And the maxim is no less true than old, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It is curious to observe the universal pretext by which the tyrants of all times take away the national liberties. It is stated in the statutes of Edward II., that the justices and the sheriff should no longer be elected by the people, on account of the riots and dissensions which had arisen. The same reason was given long before for the suppression of popular election of the bishops; and there is a witness to this untruth in the yet older times, when Rome lost her freedom, and her indignant citizens declared that tumultuous liberty is better than disgraceful tranquillity.


With the Compasses and Scale, we can trace all the figures used in the mathematics of planes, or in what are called GEOMETRY and TRIGONOMETRY, two words that are themselves deficient in meaning. GEOMETRY, which the letter G. in most Lodges is said to signify, means measurement of land or the earth — or Surveying; and TRIGONOMETRY, the measurement of triangles, or figures with three sides or angles. The latter is by far the most appropriate name for the science intended to be expressed by the word "Geometry." Neither is of a meaning sufficiently wide: for although the vast surveys of great spaces of the earth's surface, and of coasts, by which shipwreck and calamity to mariners are avoided, are effected by means of triangulation; — though it was by the same method that the French astronomers measured a degree of latitude and so established a scale of measures on an immutable basis; though it is by means of the immense triangle that has for its base a line drawn in imagination between the place of the earth now and its place six months hence in space, and for its apex a planet or star, that the distance of Jupiter or Sirius from the earth is ascertained; and though there is a triangle still more vast, its base extending either way from us, with and past the horizon into immensity, and its apex infinitely distant above us; to which corresponds a similar infinite triangle below — what is above equalling what is below, immensity equalling immensity; yet the Science of Numbers, to which Pythagoras attached so much importance, and whose mysteries are found everywhere in the ancient religions, and most of all in the Kabalah and in the Bib]e, is not sufficiently expressed by either the word "Geometry" or the word "Trigonometry." For that science includes theseJ with Arithmetic, and also with Algebra, Logarithms, the Integral and Differential Calculus; and by means of it are worked out the great problems of Astronomy or the Laws of the Stars.


Virtue is but heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all temptations or menaces. Man is accountable for the uprightness of his doctrine, but not for the rightness of it. Devout enthusiasm is far easier than a good action. The end of thought is action; the sole purpose of Religion is an Ethic. Theory, in political science, is worthless, except for the purpose of being realized in practice.

In every credo, religious or political as in the soul of man, there are two regions, the Dialectic and the Ethic; and it is only when the two are harmoniously blended, that a perfect discipline is evolved. There are men who dialectically are Christians, as there are a multitude who dialectically are Masons, and yet who are ethically Infidels, as these are ethically of the Profane, in the strictest sense: — intellectual believers, but practical atheists: — men who will write you "Evidences," in perfect faith in their logic, but cannot carry out the Christian or Masonic doctrine, owing to the strength, or weakness, of the flesh. On the other hand, there are many dialectical skeptics, but ethical believers, as there are many Masons who have never undergone initiation; and as ethics are the end and purpose of religion, so are ethical believers the most worthy. He who does right is better than he who thinks right.

But you must not act upon the hypothesis that all men are hypocrites, whose conduct does not square with their sentiments. No vice is more rare, for no task is more difficult, than systematic hypocrisy. When the Demagogue becomes a Usurper it does not follow that he was all the time a hypocrite. Shallow men only so judge of others.

The truth is, that creed has, in general, very little influence on the conduct; in religion, on that of the individual; in politics, on that of party. As a general thing, the Mahometan, in the Orient, is far more honest and trustworthy than the Christian. A Gospel of Love in the mouth, is an Avatar of Persecution in the heart. Men who believe in eternal damnation and a literal sea of fire and brimstone, incur the certainty of it, according to their creed, on the slightest temptation of appetite or passion. Predestination insists on the necessity of good works. In Masonry, at the least flow of passion, one speaks ill of another behind his back; and so far from the "Brotherhood" of Blue Masonry being real, and the solemn pledges contained in the use of the word "Brother" being complied with, extraordinary pains are taken to show that.Masonry is a sort of abstraction, which scorns to interfere in worldly matters. The rule may be regarded as universal, that, where there is a choice to be made, a Mason will give his vote and influence, in politics and business, to the less qualified profane in preference to the better qualified Mason. One will take an oath to oppose any unlawful usurpation of power, and then become the ready and even eager instrument of a usurper. Another will call one "Brother," and then play toward him the part of Judas Iscariot, or strike him, as Joab did Abner, under the fifth rib, with a lie whose authorship is not to be traced. Masonry does not change human nature, and cannot make honest men out of born knaves.

While you are still engaged in preparation, and in accumulating principles for future use, do not forget the words of the Apostle James: "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was; but whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his work. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.... Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being an abstraction. A man is justified by works, and not by faith only.... The devils believe, — and tremble.... As the body without the heart is dead, so is faith without works."


In political science, also, free governments are erected and free constitutions framed, upon some simple and intelligible theory. Upon whatever theory they are based, no sound conclusion is to be reached except by carrying the theory out without flinching, both in argumcnt on constitutional qucstions and in practice. Shrink from the true theory through timidity, or wander from it througll want of the logical faculty, or transgress against it througll passion or on the plea of necessity or expediency, and you have denial or invasion of rights, laws that offend against first principles, usurpation of illegal powers, or abnegation and abdication of legitimate authority.

Do not forget, either, that as the showy, superficial, impudent and self-conceited will almost always be preferred, even in utmost stress of danger and calamity of the State, to the man of solid learning, large intellect, and catholic sympathies, because he is nearer the common popular and legislative level, so the highest truth is not acceptable to the mass of mankind.

When SOLON was asked if he had given his countrymen the best laws, he answered, "The best they are capable of receiving." This is one of the profoundest utterances on record; and yet like all great truths, so simple as to be rarely comprehended. It contains the whole philosophy of History. It utters a truth which, had it been recognized, would have saved men an immensity of vain, idle disputes, and have led them into the clearer paths of knowledge in the Past. It means this, — that all truths are Truths of Period, and not truths for eternity; that whatever great fact has had strength and vitality enough to make itself real, whether of religion, morals, government, or of whatever else, and to find place in this world, has been a truth for the time, and as good as men were capable of receiving.

So, too, with great men. The intellect and capacity of a people has a single measure, — that of the great men whom Providence gives it, and whom it receives. There have always been men too great for their time or their people. Every people makes such men only its idols, as it is capable of comprehending.

To impose ideal truth or law upon an incapable and merely real man, must ever be a vain and empty speculation. The laws of sympathy govern in this as they do in regard to men who are put at the head. We do not know, as yet, what qualifications the sheep insist on in a leader. With men who are too high intellectually, the mass have as little sympathy as they have with the stars. When BURKE, the wisest statesman England ever had, rose to speak, the House of Commons was depopulated as upon an agreed signal. There is as little sympathy between the mass and the highest TRUTHS. The highest truth, being incomprehensible to the man of realities, as the highest man is, and largely above his level, will be a great unreality and falsehood to an unintellectual man. The profoundest doctrines of Christianity and Philosophy would be mere jargon and babble to a Potawatomie Indian. The popular explanations of the symbols of Masonry are fitting for the multitude that have swarmed into the Temples, — being fully up to the level of their capacity. Catholicism was a vital truth in its earliest ages, but it became obsolete, and Protestantism arose, flourished, and deteriorated. The doctrines of ZOROASTER were the best which the ancient Persians were fitted to receive; those of CONFUCIUS were fitted for the Chinese; those of MOHAMMED for the idolatrous Arabs of his age. Each was Truth for the time. Each was a GOSPEL, preached by a REFORMER; and if any men are so little fortunate as to remain content therewith, when others have attained a higher truth, it is their misfortune and not their fault. They are to be pitied for it, and not persecuted.

Do not expect easily to convince men of the truth, or to lead them to think aright. The subtle human intellect can weave its mists over even the clearest vision. Remember that it is eccentric enough to ask unanimity from a jury; but to ask it from any large number of men on any point of political faith is amazing. You can hardly get two men in any Congress or Convention to agree; — nay, you can rarely get one to agree with himself. The political church which chances to be supreme anywhere has an indefinite number of tongues. How then can we expect men to agree as to matters beyond the cognizance of the senses? How can we compass the Infinitc and the Invisible with any chain of evidence? Ask the small sea-waves what they murmur among the pebbles ! How many of those words that come from the invisible shore are lost, like the birds, in the long passage ? How vainly do we strain the eyes across the long Infinite ! We must be content, as the children are, with the pebbles that have been stranded, since it is forbidden us to explore the hidden depths.

The Fellow-Craft is especially taught by this not to become wise in his own conceit. Pride in unsound theories is worse than ignorancc. Humility becomes a Mason. Take some quiet, sober moment of life, and add together the two ideas of Pride and Man; behold him, creature of a span, stalking through infinite space in all the grandeur of littleness ! Perched on a speck of the Universe, every wind of Heaven strikes into his blood the coldness of death; his soul floats avvay from his body like the melody from the string. Day and night, like dust on the wheel, he is rolled along the heavens, through a labyrinth of worlds, and all the creations of God are flanling on every side, further than even his imagination can reach. Is this a creature to make for himself a crown of glory, to deny his own flesh, to mock at his fellow, sprung with him from that dust to which both will soon return? Does the proud man not err? Does he not suffer? Does he not die? When he reasons, is he never stopped short by difficulties ? When he acts, does he never succumb to the temptations of pleasure? When he lives, is he free from pain? Do the diseases not claim him as their prey? When he dies, can he escape the common grave ? Pride is not the heritage of man. Humility should dwell with frailty, and atone for ignorance, error and imperfection.

Neither should the Mason be over-anxious for office and honor, however certainly he rmay feel that he has the capacity to serve the State. He should neither seek nor spurn honors. It is good to enjoy the blessings of fortune; it is better to submit without a pang to their loss. The greatest deeds are not done in the glare of light, and before the eyes of the populace. He whom God has gifted with a love of retirement possesses, as it were, an additional sense; and among the vast and noble scenes of nature, w e find the balm for the wounds we have received among the pitiful shifts of policy; for the attachment to solitude is the surest preservative from the ills of life.

But Resignation is the more noble in proportion as it is the less passive. Retirement is only a morbid selfishness, if it prohibit exertions for others; as it is only dignified and noble, when it is the shade whence the oracles issue that are to instruct mankind; and retirement of this nature is the sole seclusion which a good and wise man will covet or command. The very philosophy which makes such a man covet the quiet, will make him eschew the inutility of the hermitage. Very little praiseworthy would LORD BOLINGBROKE have seemed among his haymakers and ploughmen, if among haymakers and ploughmen he had looked with an indifferent eye upon a profligate minister and a venal Parliament. Very little interest would have attached to his beans and vetches, if beans and vetches had caused him to forget that if he vvas happier on a fann he could be more useful in a Senate, and made him forego, in the sphere of a bailiff, all care for re-entering that of a legislator.

Remember, also, that therc is an education which quickens the Intellect, and leaves the heart hollower or harder than before. There are ethical lessons in the laws of the heavenly bodies, in the properties of earthly elements, in geography, chemistry, geology, and all the material sciences. Things are symbols of Truths. Properties are symbols of Truths. Science, not teaching moral and spiritual truths, is dead and dry, of little more real value than to commit to the menlory a long row of unconnected dates, or of the names of bugs or butterflies.

Christianity, it is said, begins from the burning of the false gods by the people themselves. Education begins with the burning of our intellectual and moral idols: our prejudices, notions, conceits, our worth]ess or ignoble purposes. Especially it is necessary to shake off the love of worldly gain. With Freedom comes the longing for worldly advancement. In that race men are ever falling, rising, running, and falling again. The lust for wealth and the abject dread of poverty delve the furrows on many a noble brow. The gambler grows old as he watches the chances. Lawful hazard drives Youth away before its time; and this Youth draws heavy bills of exchange on Age. Men live, like the engines, at high pressure, a hundred years in a hundred months; the ledger becomes the Bible, and the day-book the Book of the Morning Prayer.

Hence flow overreachings and sharp practice, heartless traffic in which the capitalist buys profit with the lives of the laborers, speculations that coin a nation's agonies into wealth, and all the other devilish cnginery of Mammon. This, and greed for office, are the two columns at the entrance to the Temple of Moloch. It is doubtful whether the latter, blossoming in falsehood, trickery, and fraud, is not even more pernicious than the former. At all events they are twins, and fitly mated; and as either gains control of the unfortunate subject, his soul withers away and decays, and at last dies out. The souls of half the human race leave them long before they die. The two greeds are twin plagues of the leprosy, and make the man unclean; and whenever they break out they spread until "they cover all the skin of him that hath the plague, from his head even to his foot." Even the raw flesh of the heart becomes unclean with it.

Alexander of Macedon has left a saying behind him which has survived his conquests: "Nothing is nobler than work." Work only can keep even kings respectable. And when a king is a king indeed, it is an honorable office to give tone to the manners and morals of a nation; to set the example of virtuous conduct, and restore in spirit the old schools of chivalry, in which the young manhood may be nurtured to real greatness. Work and wages will go together in men's minds, in the most royal institutions. We must ever come to the idea of real work. The rest that follows labor should be sweeter than the rest which follows rest.

Let no Fellow-Craft imagine that the work of the lowly and uninfluential is not worth the doing. There is no legal limit to the possible influences of a good deed or a wise word or a generous effort. Nothing is really small. Whoever is open to the deep penetration of nature knows this. Although, indeed, no absolute satisfaction may be vouchsafed to philosophy, any more in circumscribing the cause than in limiting the effect, the man of thought and contemplation falls into unfathomable ecstacies in view of all the decompositions of forces resulting in unity. All works for all. Destruction is not annihilation, but regeneration.

Algebra applies to the clouds; the radiance of the star benefits the rose; no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who, then, can calculate the path of the molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by the fall of grains of sand ? Who, then, understands the reciprocal flow and ebb of the inrlnitely great and the infinitely small; the echoing of causes in the abysses of beginning, and the avalanches of creation? A fleshworm is of account; the small is great; the great is small; all is in equilibrium in necessity. There are marvellous relations between beings and things; in this inexhaustible Whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn: all need each other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths, without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird which flies has the thread of the Infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor, and the tap of a swallow's bill, breaking the egg; and it leads forward the birth of an earth-worm and the advent of a Socrates. Where the telescope ends the microscope begins. Which of them the grander view ? A bit of mould is a Pleiad of flowers — a nebula is an ant-hill of stars.

There is the same and a still more wonderful interpenetration between the things of the intellect and the things of matter. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another to such a degree as to bring the material world and the moral world into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back upon themselves. In the vast cosmical changes the universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, enveloping all in the invisible mystery of the emanations, losing no dream from no single sleep, sowing an animalcule here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and winding in curves; making a force of Light, and an element of Thought; disseminated and indivisible, dissolving all save that point without length, breadth, or thickness, The MYSEF; reducing everything to the Soul-atom ; making everything blossom into God; entangling all activities, from the higllest to the lowest, in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism; hanging the flight of an insect upon the movement of the earth; subordinating, perhaps, if only by the identity of the law, the eccentric evolutions of the comet in the firmament, to the whirlings of the infusoria in the drop of water. A mechanism made of mind, the first motor of which is the gnat, and its last wheel the zodiac.

A peasant-boy, guiding Blucher by the right one of two roads, the other being impassable for artillery, enables him to reach Waterloo in time to save Wellington from a defeat that would have been a rout; and so enables the kings to imprison Napoleon on a barren rock in mid-ocean. An unfaithful smith, by the slovenly shoeing of a horse, causes his lameness, and, he stumbling, the career of his world-conquering rider ends, and the destinies of empires are changed. A generous officer permits an imprisoned monarch to end his game of chess before leading him to the block; and meanwhile the usurper dies, and the prisoner reascends the throne. An unskillful workman repairs the compass, or malice or stupidity disarranges it, the ship mistakes her course, the waves swallow a Caesar, and a new chapter is written in the history of a world. What we call accident is but the adamantine chain of indissoluble connection between all created things. The locust, hatched in the Arabian sands, the small worm that destroys the cotton-boll, one making famine in the Orient, the other closing the mills and starving the vvorkmen and their children in the Occident, with riots and massacres, are as much the ministers of God as the earthquake; and the fate of nations depends more on them than on the intellect of its kings and legislators. A civil war in America will end in shaking the world; and that war may be caused by the vote of some ignorant prize-fighter or crazed fanatic in a city or in a Congress, or of some stupid boor in an obscure country parish. The electricity of universal sympathy, of action and reaction, pervades everything, the planets and the motes in the sunbeam. FAUST, with his types, or LUTHER, with his sermons, worked greater results than Alexander or Hannibal. A single thought sometimes suffices to overturn a dynasty. A silly song did more to unseat James the Second than the acquittal of the Bishops. Voltaire, Condorcet, and Rousseau uttered words that will ring, in change and revolutions, throughout all the ages.

Remember, that though life is short, Thought and the influences of what we do or say are immortal; and that no calculus has yet pretended to ascertain the law of proportion between cause and effect. The hammer of an English blacksmith, smiting down an insolent official, led to a rebellion which came near being a revolution. The word well spoken, the deed fitly done, even by the feeblest or humblest, cannot help but have their effect. More or less, the effect is inevitable and eternal. The echoes of the greatest deeds may die away like the echoes of a cry among the cliffs, and what has been done seem to the human judgment to have been without result. The unconsidered act of the poorest of men may fire the train that leads to the subterranean mine, and an empire be rent by the explosion.

The power of a free people is often at the disposal of a single and seemingly an unimportant individual; — a terrible and truthful power; for such a people feel with one heart, and therefore can lift up their myriad arms for a single blow. And, again, there is no graduated scale for the measurement of the influences of different intellects upon the popular mind. Peter the Hermit held no office, yet what a work he wrought !


From the political point of view there is but a single principle, — the sovereignty of man over himself. This sovereignty of one's self over one's self is called LIBERTY. Where two or several of these sovereignties associate, the State begins. But in this association there is no abdication. Each sovereignty parts with a certain portion of itself to form the common right. That portion is the same for all. There is equal contribution by all to the joint sovereignty. This identity of concession which each makes to all, is EQUALITY. The common right is nothing more or less than the protection of all, pouring its rays on each. This protection of each by all, is FRATERNITY.

Liberty is the summit, Equality the base. Equality is not all vegetation on a level, a society of big spears of grass and stunted oaks, a neighborhood of jealousies, emasculatillg each other. It is, civilly, all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights.

Equality has an organ; — gratuitous and obligatory instruction. We must begin with the right to the alphabet. The primary school obligatory upon all; the higher school offered to all. Such is the law. From the same school for all springs equal society. Instruction ! Light ! all comes from Light, and all returns to it.

We must learn the thoughts of the common people, if we would be wise and do any good work. We must look at men, not so much for what Fortune has given to them with her blind old eyes, as for the gifts Nature has brought in her lap, and for the use that has been made of them. We profess to be equal in a Church and in the Lodge: we shall be equal in the sight of God when He judges the earth. We may well sit on the pavement together here, in communion and conference, for the few brief moments that constitute life.

A Democratic Government undoubtedly has its defects, because it is made and administered by men, and not by the Wise Gods. It cannot be concise and sharp, like the despotic. When its ire is aroused it develops its latent strength, and the sturdiest rebel trembles. But its habitual domestic rule is tolerant, patient, and indecisive. Men are brought together, first to differ, and then to agree. Affirmation, negation, discussion, solution: these are the means of attaining truth. Often the enemy will be at the gates before the babble of the disturbers is drowned in the chorus of consent. In the Legislative office deliberation will often defeat decision. Liberty can play the fool like the Tyrants

Refined society requires greater minuteness of regulation; and the steps of all advancing States are more and more to be picked among the old rubbish and the new matcrials. The difficulty lies in discovering the right path through the chaos of confusion. The adjustment of mutual rights and wrongs is also more difficult in democracies. We do not see and estimate the relative importance of objects so easily and clearly from the level or the waving iand as from the elevation of a lone peak, towering above the plain; for each looks through his own mist.

Abject dependence on constituents, also, is too common. It is as miserable a thing as abject dependence on a minister or the favorite of a Tyrant. It is rare to find a man who can speak out the simple truth that is in him, honestly and frankly, without fear, favor, or affection, either to Emperor or People.

Moreover, in assemblies of men, faith in each other is almost always wanting, unless a terrible pressure of calamity or danger from without produces cohesion. Hence the constructive power of such assemblies is generally deficient. The chief triumphs of modern days, in Europe, have been in pulling down and obliterating; not in building up. But Repeal is not Reform. Time must bring with him the Restorer and Rebuilder.

Speech, also, is grossly abused in Republics; and if the use of speech be glorious, its abuse is the most villainous of vices. Rhetoric, Plato says, is the art of ruling the minds of men. But in democracies it is too common to hide thought in words,to overlay it, to babble nonsense. The gleams and glitter of intellectual soap-and-water bubbles are mistaken for the rainbow-glories of genius. The worthless pyrites is continually mistaken for gold. Even intellect condescends to intellectual jugglery, balancing thoughts as a juggler balances pipes on his chin. In all Congresses we have the inexhaustible flow of babble, and Faction's clamorous knavery in discussion, until the divine power of speech, that privilege of man and great gift of God, is no better than the screech of parrots or the mimicry of monkeys. The mere talker, however fluent, is barren of deeds in the day of trial.

There are men voluble as women, and as well skilled in fencing with the tongue: prodigies of speech, misers in deeds. Too much calking, like too much thinking, destroys the power of action. In human nature, the thought is only made perfect by deed. Silence is the mother of both. The trumpeter is not the bravest of the brave. Steel and not brass wins the day. The great doer of great deeds is mostly slow and slovenly of speech. There are some men born and brcd to betray. Patriotism is their trade, and their capital is speech. But no noble spirit can plead like Paul and be false to itself as Judas.

Imposture too commonly rules in republics; they seem to be ever in their minority; their guardians are self-appointed; and tlhe unjust thrive better than the just. The Despot, like the night-lion roaring, drowns all the clamor of tongues at once, and speech, the birthright of the free man, becomes the bauble of the enslaved.

It is quite true that republics only occasionally, and as it were accidentally, select their wisest, or even the less incapable among the incapables, to govern them and legislate for them. If genius, armed with learning and knowledge, will grasp the reins, the people will reverence it; if it only modestly offers itself for office, it will be smitten on the face, even when, in the straits of distress and the agonies of calamity, it is indispensable to the salvation of the State. Put it upon the track with the showy and superficial, the conceited, the ignorant, and impudent, the trickster and charlatan, and the result shall not be a moment doubtful. The verdicts of Legislatures and the People are like the verdicts of juries, — sometimes right by accident.

Offices, it is true, are showered, like the rains of Heaven, upon the just and the unjust. The Roman Augurs that used to laugh in each other's faces at the simplicity of the vulgar, were also tickled with their own guile; but no Augur is needed to lead the people astray. They readily deceive themselves. Let a Republic begin as it may, it will not be out of its minority before imbecility will be promoted to high places; and shallow pretence, getting itself puffed into notice, will invade all the sanctuaries. The most unscrupulous partisanship will prevail, even in respect to judicial trusts; and the most unjust appointments constantly be made, although every improper promotion not merely confers one undeserved favor, but may make a hundred honest cheeks smart with injustice.

The country is stabbed in the front when those are brought into the stalled seats who should slink into the dim gallery. Every stamp of Honor, ill-clutched, is stolen from the Treasury of Merit.

Yet the entrance into the public service, and the promotion in it, affect both the rights of individuals and those of the nation. Injustice in bestowing or withholding office ought to be so intolerable in democratic communities that the least trace of it should be like the scent of Treason. It is not universally true that all citizens of equal character have an equal claim to knock at the door of every public office and demand admittance. When any man presents himself for service he has a right to aspire to the highest body at once, if he can show his fitness for such a beginning, — that he is fitter than the rest who offer themselves for the same post. The entry into it can only justly be made through the door of merit. And whenever any one aspires to and attains such high post, especially if by unfair and disreputable and indecent means, and is afterward found to be a signal failure, he should at once be beheaded. He is the worst among the public enemies.

When a man sumciently reveals himself, all others should be proud to give him due precedence. When the power of promotion is abused in the grand passages of life whether by People, Legislature, or Executive, the unjust decision recoils on the judge at once. That is not only a gross, but a willful shortness of sight, that cannot discover the deserving. If one will look hard, long, and honestly, he will not fail to discern merit, genius, and qualification; and the eyes and voice of the Press and Public should condemn and denounce injustice wherever she rears her horrid head.

"The tools to the workmen!" no other principle will save a Republic from destruction, either by civil war or the dry-rot. They tend to decay, do all we can to prevent it, like human bodies. If they try the experiment of governing themselves by their smallest, they slide downward to the unavoidable abyss with tenfold velocity; and there never has been a Republic that has not followed that fatal course.

But however palpable and gross the inherent defects of democratic governments, and fatal as the results finally and inevitably are, we need only glance at the reigns of Tiberius, Nero, and Caligula, of Heliogabalus and Caracalla, of Domitian and Commodus, to recognize that the difference between freedom and despotism is as wide as that between Heaven and Hell. The cruelty, baseness, and insanity of tyrants are incredible. Let him who complains of the fickle humors and inconstancy of a free people, read Pliny's character of Domitian. If the great man in a Republic cannot win omce without descending to low arts and whining beggary and the judicious use of sneaking lies, let him remain in retirement, and use the pen. Tacitus and Juvenal held no office. Let History and Satire punish the pretender as they crucify the despot. The revenges of the intellect are terrible and just.

Let Masonry use the pen and the printing-press in the free State against the Demagogue; in the Despotism against the Tyrant. History offers examples and encouragement. All history, for four thousand years, being filled with violated rights and the sufferings of the people, each period of history brings with it such protest as is possible to it. Under the Caesars there was no insurrection, but there was a Juvenal. The arousing of indignation replaces the Gracchi. Under the Caesars there is the exile of Syene; there is also the author of the Annals. As the Neros reign darkly they should be pictured so. Work with the graver only would be pale; into the grooves should be poured a concentrated prose that bites.

Despots are an aid to thinkers. Speech enchained is speech terrible. The writer doubles and triples his style, when silence is imposed by a master upon the people. There springs from this silence a certain mysterious fullness, which filters and freezes into brass in the thoughts. Compression in the history produces conciseness in the historian. The granitic solidity of some celebrated prose is only a condensation produced by the Tyrant. Tyranny constrains the writer to shortenings of diameter which are increases of strength. The Ciceronian period, hardly sumcient upon Verres, would lose its edge upon Caligula.

The Demagogue is the predecessor of the Despot. One springs from the other's loins. He who will basely fawn on those who have office to bestow, will betray like Iscariot, and prove a miserable and pitiable failure. Let the new Junius lash such men as they deserve, and History make them immortal in infamy; since their influences culminate in ruin. The Republic that employs and honors the shallow, the superficial, the base,

"who crouch

Unto the offal of an office promised,"

at last weeps tears of blood for its fatal error. Of such supreme folly, the sure fruit is damnation. Let the nobility of every great heart, condensed into justice and truth, strike such creatures like a thunderbolt ! If you can do no more, you can at least condemn by your vote, and ostracise by denunciation.

It is true that, as the Czars are absolute, they have it in their power to select the best for the public service. It is true that the beginner of a dynasty generally does so; and that when monarchies are in their prime, pretence and shallowness do not thrive and prosper and get power, as they do in Republics. All do not gabble in the Parliament of a Kingdom, as in the Congress of a Democracy. The incapables do not go undetected there, all their lives.

But dynasties speedily decay and run out. At last they dwindle down into imbecility; and the dull or flippant Members of Congresses are at least the intellectual peers of the vast majority of kings. The great man, the Julius Caesar, the Charlemagne, Cromwell, Napoleon, reigns of right. He is the wisest and the strongest. The incapables and imbeciles succeed and are usurpers; and fear makes them cruel. After Julius came Caracalla and Galba; after Charlemagne, the lunatic Charles the Sixth. So the Saracenic dynasty dwindled out; the Capets, the Stuarts, the Bourbc1ns; the last of these producing Bomba, the ape of Domitian.

Man is by nature cruel, like the tigers. The barbarian, and the tool of the tyrant, and the civilized fanatic, enjoy the sufferings of others, as the children enjoy the contortions of maimed flies. Absolute Power, once in fear for the safety of its tenure, cannot but be cruel.

As to ability, dynasties invariably cease to possess any after a few lives. They become mere shams, governed by ministers, favorites, or courtesans, like those old Etruscan kings, slumbering for long ages in their golden royal robes, dissolving forever at the first breath of day. Let him who complains of the shortcomings of democracy ask himself if he would prefer a Du Barry or a Pompadour, governing in the name of a Louis the Fifteenth, a Caligula making his horse a consul, a Domitian, "that most savage monster," who sometimes drank the blood of relatives, sometimes employing himself with slaughtering the most distinguished citizens before whose gates fear and terror kept watch; a tyrant of frightful aspect, pride on his forehead, fire in his eye, constantly seeking darkness and secrecy, and only emerging from his solitude to make solitude. After all, in a free government, the Laws and the Constitution are above the Incapables, the Courts correct their legislation, and posterity is the Grand Inquest that passes judgment on them. What is the exclusion of worth and intellect and knowledge from civil office compared with trials before Jeffries, tortures in the dark caverns of the Inquisition, Alvabutcheries in the Netherlands, the Eve of Saint Bartholomew, and the Sicilian Vespers?


The Abbe Barruel in his Memoirs for the History of Jacobinism, declares that Masonry in France gave, as its secret, the words Equality and Liberty, leaving it for every honest and religious Mason to explain them as would best suit his principles; but retained the privilege of unveiling in the higher Degrees the meaning of those words, as interpreted by the French Revolution. And he also excepts English Masons from his anathemas, because in England a Mason is a peaceable subject of the civil authorities, no matter where he resides, engaging in no plots or conspiracies against even the worst government. England, he says, disgusted with an Equality and a Liberty, the consequences of which she had felt in the struggles of her Lollards, Anabaptists, and Presbyterians, had "purged her Masonry" from all explanations tending to overturn empires; but there still remained adepts whom disorganizing principles bound to the Ancient Mysteries.

Because true Masonry, unemasculated, bore the banners of Freedom and Equal Rights, and was in rebellion against temporal and spiritual tyranny, its Lodges were proscribed in 1735, by an edict of the States of Holland. In 1737, Louis XV. forbade them in France. In 1738, Pope Clement XII. issued against them his famous Bull of Excommunication, which was renewed by Benedict XIV.; and in 1743 the Council of Berne also proscribed them. The title of the Rull of Clement is, "The Condemnation of the Society of Conventicles de Liberi Muratori, or of the Freemasons, under the penalty of ipso facto excommunication, the absolution from which is reserved to the Pope alone, except at the point of death." And by it all bishops, ordinaries, and inquisitors were empowered to punish Freemasons, "as vehemently suspected of heresy," and to call in, if necessary, the help of the secular arm; that is, to cause the civil authority to put them to death.


Also, false and slavish political theories end in brutalizing the State. For example, adopt the theory that offices and employments in it are to be given as rewards for services rendered to party, and they soon become the prey and spoil of faction, the booty of the victory of faction; — and leprosy is in the flesh of the State. The body of the commonwealth becomes a mass of corruption, like a living carcass rotten with syphilis. All unsound theories in the end develop themselves in one foul and loathsome disease or other of the body politic. The State, like the man, must use constant effort to stay in the paths of virtue and manliness. The habit of electioneering and begging for office culminates in bribery with office, and corruption in office.

A chosen man has a visible trust from God, as plainly as if the commission were engrossed by the notary. A nation cannot renounce the executorship of the Divine decrees. As little can Masonry. It must labor to do its duty knowingly and wisely. We must remember that, in free States, as well as in despotisms, Injustice, the spouse of Oppression, is the fruitful parent of Deceit, Distrust, Hatred, Conspiracy, Treason, and Unfaithfulness. Even in assailing Tyranny we must have Truth and Reason as our chief weapons. We must march into that fight like the old Puritans, or into the battle with the abuses that spring up in free government, with the flaming sword in one hand, and the Oracles of God in the other.

The citizen who cannot accomplish well the smaller purposes of public life, cannot compass the larger. The vast power of endurance, forbearance, patience, and performance, of a free people, is acquired only by continual exercise of all the functions, like the healthful physical human vigor. If the individual citizens have it not, the State must equally be without it. It is of the essence of a free government, that the people should not only be concerned in making the laws, but also in their execution. No man ought to be more ready to obey and administer the law than he who has helped to make it. The business of government is carried on for the benefit of all, and every co-partner should give counsel and cooperation.

Remember also, as another shoal on which States are wrecked, that free States always tend toward the depositing of the citizens in strata, the creation of castes, the perpetuation of the jus divinurn to office in families. The more democratic the State, the more sure this result. For, as free States advance in power, there is a strong tendency toward centralization, not from deliberate evil intention, but from the course of events and the indolence of human nature. The executive powers swell and enlarge to inordinate dimensions; and the Executive is always aggressive with respect to the nation. Offices of all kinds are multiplied to reward partisans; the brute force of the sewerage and lower strata of the mob obtains large representation, first in the lower offices, and at last in Senates; and Bureaucracy raises its bald head, bristling with pens, girded with spectacles, and bunched with ribbon. The art of Government becomes like a Craft, and its guilds tend to become exclusive, as those of the Middle Ages.

Political science may be much improved as a subject of speculation; but it should never be divorced from the actual national necessity. The science of governing men must always be practical, rather than philosophical. There is not the same amount of positive or universal truth here as in the abstract sciences; what is true in one country may be very false in another; what is untrue to-day may become true in another generation, and the truth of to-day be reversed by the judgment of to-morrow. To distinguish the casual from the enduring, to separate the unsuitable from the suitable, and to make progress even possible, are the proper ends of policy. But without actual knowledge and experience, and communion of labor, the dreams of the political doctors may be no better than those of the doctors of divinity. The reign of such a caste, with its mysteries, its myrmidons, and its corrupting influence, may be as fatal as that of the despots. Thirty tyrants are thirty times worse than one.

Moreover, there is a strong temptation for the governing people to become as much slothful and sluggards as the weakest of absolute kings. Only give them the power to get rid, when caprice prompts them, of the great and wise men, and elect the little, and as to all the rest they will relapse into indolence and indifference. The central power, creation of the people, organized and cunning if not enlightened, is the perpetual tribunal set up by them for the redress of wrong and the rule of justice. It soon supplies itself with all the requisite machinery, and is ready and apt for all kinds of interference. The people may be a child all its life. The central power may not be able to suggest the best scientific solution of a problem; but it has the easiest means of carrying an idea into effect. If the purpose to be attained is a large one, it requires a large comprehension; it is proper for the action of the central power. If it be a small one, it may be thwarted by disagreement. The central power must step in as an arbitrator and prevent this. The people may be too averse to change, too slothful in their own business, unjust to a minority or a majority. The central power must take the reins when the people drop them.

France became centralized in its government more by the apathy and ignorance of its people than by the tyranny of its kings. When the inmost parish-life is given up to the direct guardianship of the State, and the repair of the belfry of a country church requires a written order from the central power, a people is in its dotage. Men are thus nurtured in imbecility, from the dawn of social life. When the central government feeds part of the people it prepares all to be slaves. When it directs parish and county affairs, they are slaves already. The next step is to regulate labor and its wages.

Nevertheless, whatever follies the free people may commit, even to the putting of the powers of legislation in the hands of the little competent and less honest, despair not of the final result. The terrible teacher, EXPERIENCE, writing his lessons on hearts desolated with calamity and wrung by agony, will make them wiser in time. Pretence and grimace and sordid beggary for votes will some day cease to avail. Have FAITH, and struggle on, against all evil influences and discouragements! FAITH is the Saviour and Redeemer of nations. When Christianity had grown weak, profitless, and powerless, the Arab Restorer and Iconoclast came, like a cleansing hurricane. When the battle of Damascus was about to be fought, the Christian bishop, at the early dawn, in his robes, at the head of his clergy, witll trle Cross once so triumphant raised in the air, came down to the gates of the city, and laid open before the army the Testament of Christ. The Christian general, THOMAS, laid his hand on the book, and said, "Oh God ! If our faith be true, aid us, and deliver us not into the hands of its enemies!" But KHALED, "the Sword of God," who had marched from victory to victory, exclaimed to his wearied soldiers, "Let no man sleep! There will be rest enough in the bowers of Paradise; sweet will be the repose never more to be followed by labor." The faith of the Arab had become stronger than that of the Christian, and he conquered.

The Sword is also, in the Bible, an emblem of SPEECH, or of the utterance of thought. Thus, in that vision or apocalypse of the sublime exile of Patmos, a protest in the name of the ideal, overwhelming the real world, a tremendous satire uttered in the name of Religion and Liberty, and with its fiery reverberations smiting the throne of the Gesars, a sharp two-edged sword comes out of the mouth of the Semblance of the Son of Man, encircled by the seven golden candlesticks, and holding in his right hand seven stars. "The Lord," says Isaiah, "hath made my mouth like a sharp sword." "I have slain them," says Hosea, "by the words of my mouth." "The word of God," says the writer of the apostolic letter to the Hebrews, "is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit." "The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," says Paul, writing to the Christians at Ephesus. "I will fight against them with the sword of my mouth," it is said in the Apocalypse, to the angel of the church at Pergamos.


The spoken discourse may roll on strongly as the great tidal wave; but, like the wave, it dies at last feebly on the sands. It is heard by few, remembered by still fewer, and fades away, like an echo in the mountains, leaving no token of power. It is nothing to tlle living and coming generations of men. It was the written hulllan speech, that gave power and permanence to human thought. It is this that makes the whole human history but one individual life.

To write on the rock is to write on a solid parchment; but it requires a pilgrimage to see it. There is but one copy, and Time wears even that. To write on skins or papyrus was to give, as it were, but one tardy edition, and the rich only could procure it. The Chinese stereotyped not only the unchanging wisdom of oid sages, but also the passing events. The process tended to suffocate thought, and to hinder progress; for there is continual wandering in the wisest minds, and Truth writes her last words, not on clean tablets, but on the scrawl that Error has made and often mended.

Printing made the movable letters prolific. Thenceforth the orator spoke almost visibly to listening nations; and the author wrote, like the Pope, his cecumenic decreesJ urbi et orbi, and ordered them to be posted up in all the market-places; remaining, if he chose, impervious to human sight. The doom of tyrannies was thenceforth sealed. Satire and invective became potent as armies. The unseen hands of the Juniuses could launch the thunderbolts, and make the ministers tremble. One whisper from this giant fills the earth as easily as Demosthenes filled the Agora. It will soon be heard at the antipodes as easily as in the next street. It travels with the lightning under the oceans. It makes the mass one man, speaks to it in the same comtnon language, and elicits a sure and single response. Speech passes into thought, and thence promptly into act. A nation becomes truly one, with one large heart and a single throbbing pulse. Men are invisibly present to each other, as if already spiritual beings; and the thinker who sits in an Alpine solitude, unknown to or forgotten by all the world, among the silent herds and hills, may flash his words to all tlle cities and over all the seas.

Select the thinkers to be Legislators; and avoid the gabblers. Wisdom is rarely loquacious. Weight and depth of thougbt are unfavorable to volubility. The shallow and superficial are generally voluble and often pass for eloquent. More words, less thought, — is the general rule. The man who endeavors to say something worth remembering in every sentence, becomes fastidious, and condenses like Tacitus. The vulgar love a more diffuse stream. The ornamentation that does not cover strength is the gewgaws of babble.

Neither is dialectic subtlety valuable to public men. The Christian faith has it, had it formerly more than now; a subtlety that might have entangled Plato, and which has rivalled in a fruitless fashion the mystic lore of Jewish Rabbis and Indian Sages. It is not this which converts the heathen. It is a vain task to balance the great thoughts of the earth, like hollow straws, on the fingertips of disputation. It is not this kind of warfare whicll makes the Cross triumphant in the hearts of the unbelievers; but the actual power that lives in the Faith.

So there is a political scholasticism that is merely useless. The dexterities of subtle logic rarely stir the hearts of the people, or convince them. The true apostle of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality makes it a matter of life and death. His combats are like those of Bossuet, — combats to the death. The true apostolic fire is like the lightning: it flashes conviction into the soul. The true word is verily a two-edged sword. Matters of government and political science can be fairly dealt with only by sound reason, and the logic of common sense: not the common sense of the ignorant, but of the wise. The acutest thinkers rarely succeed in becoming leaders of men. A watchword or a catchword is more potent with the people than logic, especially if this be the least metaphysical. When a political prophet arises, to stir the dreaming, stagnant nation, and hold back its feet from the irretrievable descent, to heave the land as with an earthquake, and shake the silly-shallow idols from their seats, his words vvill come straight from God's own nlouth, and be thundered into the conscience. He will reason, teach, warn, and rule. The real "Sword of the Spirit" is keener than the brightest blade of Damascus. Such men rule a land, in the strength of justice, with wisdom and with power. Still, the men of dialectic subtlety often rule well, because in practice they forget their finely-spun theories, and use the trenchant logic of common sense. But when the great heart and large intellect are left to the rust in private life, and small attorneys, brawlers in politics, and those who in the cities would be only the clerks of notaries, or practitioners in the disreputable courts, are made national Legislators, the country is in her dotage. even if the beard has not yet grown upon her chin.

In a free country, human speech must needs be free; and the State must listen to the maunderings of folly, and the screechings of its geese, and the brayings of its asses, as well as to the golden oracles of its wise and great men. Even the despotic old kings allowed their wise fools to say what they liked. The true alchelllist will extract the lessons of wisdom from the babblings of folly. He will hear what a man has to say on any given subject, even if the speaker end only in proving himself prince of fools. Even a fool will sometimes hit the mark. There is some truth in all men who are not compelled to suppress their souls and speak other men's thoughts. The finger even of the idiot may point to the great highway.

A people, as well as the sages, must learn to forget. If it neither learns the new nor forgets the old, it is fated, even if it has been royal for thirty generations. To unlearn is to learn; and also it is sometimes needful to learn again the forgotten. The antics of fools make the current follies more palpable, as fashions are shown to be absurd by caricatures, which so lead to their extirpation. The buffoon and the zany are useful in their places. The ingenious artificer and craftsman, like Solomon, searches the earth for his materials, and transforms the misshapen matter into glorious workmanship. The world is conquered by the head even more than by the hands. Nor will any assembly talk forever. After a time, when it has listened long enough, it quietly puts the silly, the shallow, and the superficial to one side, — it thinks, and sets to work.

The human thought, especially in popular assemblies, runs in the most singularly crooked channels, harder to trace and follow than the blind currents of the ocean. No notion is so absurd that it may not find a place there. The master-workman must train these notions and vagaries with his two-handed hammer. They twist out of the way of the sword-thrusts; and are invulnerable all over, even in the heel, against logic. The martel or mace, the battle-axe, the great double-edged two-handed sword must deal with follies; the rapier is no better against them than a wand, unless it be the rapier of ridicule.

The SWORD is also the symbol of war and of the soldier. Wars, like thunder-storms, are often necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon, without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of fire. When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is the baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to chasten.

In the mutual appeal of nations to God, there is the acknowledgment of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of Duty, the stirring sense of Honor, the measureless solemn sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of Fraternity.

Two, or the Duad, is the symbol of Antagonism; of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. It is Cain and Abel, Eve and Lilith, Jachin and Boaz, Ormuzd and Ahriman, Osiris and Typhon.

THREE, or the Triad, is most significantly expressed by the equilateral and the right-angled triangles. There are three principal colors or rays in the rainbow, which by intermixture make seven. The three are the blue, the yelloW, and the red. The Trinity of the Deity, in one mode or other, has been an article in all creeds. He creates, preserves, and destroys. He is the generative power, the productive capacity, and the result. The immaterial man, according to the Kabalah, is composed of vitality, or life, the breath of life; of soul or mind, and spirit. Salt, sulphur, and mercury are the great symbols of the alchemists. To them man was body, soul, and spirit.

FOUR is expressed by the square, or four-sided right-angled figure. Out of the symbolic Garden of Eden flowed a river, dividing into four streams, — PISON, which flows around the land of gold, or light; GIHON, which flows around the land of Ethiopia or Darkness; HIDDEKEL, running eastward to Assyria; and the EUPHRATES. Zechariah saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains of bronze, in the first of which were red horses; in the second, black; in the third, white; and in the fourth, grizzled: "and these were the four winds of the heavens, that go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." Ezekiel saw the four living creatures, each with four faces and four wings, the faces of a man and a lion, an ox and an eagle; and the four wheels going upon their four sides; and Saint John beheld the four beasts, full of eyes before and behind, the LION, the young Ox, the MAN, and the flying EAGLE. Four was the signature of the Earth. Therefore, in the 148th Psalm, of those who must praise the Lord on the land, there are four times four, and four in particular of living creatures. Visible nature is described as the four quarters of the world, and the four corners of the earth. "There are four," says the old Jewish saying, "which take the first place in this world: man, among the creatures; the eagle among birds; the ox among cattle; and the lion among wild beasts." Daniel saw four great beasts come up from the sea.

FIVE is the Duad added to the Triad. It is expressed by the five-pointed or blazing star, the mysterious Pentalpha of Pythagoras. It is indissolubly connected with the number seven. Christ fed His disciples and the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, and of the fragments there remained twelve, that is, five and seven, baskets full. Again He fed them with seven loaves and a few little fishes, and there remained seven baskets full. The five apparently small planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with the two greater ones, the Sun and Moon, constituted the seven celestial spheres.

SEVEN was the peculiarly sacred number. There were seven planets and spheres presided over by seven archangels. There were seven colors in the rainbow; and the Phoenician Deity was called the HEPTAKIS or God of seven rays; seven days of the week; and seven and five made the number of months, tribes, ancl apostles. Zechariah saw a golden candlestick, with seven lamps and seven pipes to the lamps, and an olive-tree on each side. Since he says, "the seven eyes of the Lord shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel." John, in the Apocalypse, writes seven epistles to the seven churches. In the seven epistles there are twelve promises. What is said of the churches in praise or blame, is completed in the number three. The refrain, "who has ears to hear," etc., has ten words, divided by three and seven, and the seven by three and four; and the seven epistles are also so divided. In the seals, trumpets, and vials, also, of this symbolic vision, the seven are divided by four and three. He who sends his message to Ephesus, "holds the seven stars in his right hand, and walks amid the seven golden lamps."

In six days, or periods, God created the Universe, and paused on the seventh day. Of clean beasts, Noah was directed to take by sevens into the ark; and of fowls by sevens; because in seven days the rain was to commence. On the seventeenth day of the month. the rain began; on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark rested on Ararat. When the dove returned, Noah waited seven days before he sent her forth again; and again seven, after she returned with the olive-leaf. Enoch was the seventh patriarch, Adam included, and Lamech lived 777 years.

There were seven lamps in the great candlestick of the Tabernacle and Temple, representing the seven planets. Seven times Moses sprinkled the anointing oil upon the altar. The days of consecration of Aaron and his sons were seven in number. A woman was unclean seven days after child-birth; one infected with leprosy was shut up seven days; seven times the leper was sprinkled with the blood of a slain bird; and seven days afterwards he must remain abroad out of his tent. Seven times, in purifying the leper, the priest was to sprinkle the consecrated oil; and seven times to sprinkle with the blood of the sacrificed bird the house to be purified. Seven times the blood of the slain bullock was sprinkled on the mercy-seat; and seven times on the altar. The seventh year was a Sabbath of rest; and at the end of seven times seven years came the great year of jubilee. Seven days the people ate unleavened bread, in the month of Abib. Seven weeks were counted from the time of first putting the sickle to the wheat. The Feast of the Tabernacles lasted seven days.

Israel was in the hand of Midian seven years before Gideon delivered them. The bullock sacrificed by him was seven years old. Samson told Delilah to bind him with seven green withes; and she wove the seven locks of his head, and afterwards shaved them off. Balaam told Barak to build for him seven altars. Jacob served seven years for Leah and seven for Rachel. Job had seven sons and three daughters, making the perfect number ten. He had also seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels. His friends sat down with him seven days and seven nights. His friends were ordered to sacrifice seven bullocks and seven rams; and again, at the end, he had seven sons and three daughters, and twice seven thousand sheep, and lived an hundred and forty, or twice seven times ten years. Pharaoh saw in his dream seven fat and seven lean kine, seven good ears and seven blasted ears of wheat; and there were seven years of plenty, and seven of famine. Jericho fell, when seven priests, with seven trumpets, made the circuit of the city on seven successive days; once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh. "The seven eyes of the Lord," says Zechariah, "run to and fro through the whole earth." Solomon was seven years in building the Temple. Seven angels, in the Apocalypse, pour out seven plagues, from seven vials of wrath. The scarlet-colored beast, on which the woman sits in the wilderness, has seven heads and ten horns. So also has the beast that rises Up out of the sea. Seven thunders uttered their voices. Seven angels sounded seven trumpets. Seven lamps of fire, the seven spirits of God, burned before the throne; and the Lamb that was slain had seven horns and seven eyes.

EIGHT is the first cube, that of two. NINE is the square of three, and represented by the triple triangle.

TEN includes all the other numbers. It is especially seven and three; and is called the number of perfection. Pythagoras represented it by the TETRACTYS, which had many mystic meanings. This symbol is sometimes composed of dots or points, sometimes of commas or yods, and in the Kabalah, of the letters of the name of Deity. It is thus arranged:

,

, ,

, , ,

, , , ,

The Patriarchs from Adam to Noah, inclusive, are ten in number, and the same number is that of the Commandments.

TWELVE is the number of the lines of equal length that form a cube. It is the number of the months, the tribes, and the apostles; of the oxen under the Brazen Sea, of the stones on the breast-plate of the high priest.

III. MASTER

To understand literally the symbols and allegories of Oriental books as to ante-historical matters, is willfully to close our eyes against the Light. To translate the symbols into the trivial and commonplace, is the blundering of mediocrity.

All religious expression is symbolism; since we can describe only what we see, and the true objects of religion are THE SEEN. The earliest instruments of education were symbols; and they and all other religious forms differed and still differ according to external circumstances and imagery, and according to differences of knowledge and mental cultivation. All language is symbolic, so far as it is applied to mental and spiritual phenomena and action. All words have, primarily, a material sense, however they may afterward get, for the ignorant, a spiritual non-sense. "To retract," for example, is to draw back, and when applied to a statement, is symbolic, as much so as a picture of an arm drawn back, to express the same thing, would be. The very word "spirit" means "breath," from the Latin verb spiro, breathe.

To present a visible symbol to the eye of another is not necessarily to inform him of the meaning which that symbol has to you. Hence the philosopher soon superadded to the symbols explanations addressed to the ear, susceptible of more precision, but less effective and impressive than the painted or sculptured forms which he endeavored to explain. Out of these explanations grew by degrees a variety of narrations, whose true object and meaning were gradually forgotten, or lost in contradictions and incongruities. And when these were abandoned, and Philosophy resorted to definitions and formulas, its language was but a more complicated symbolism, attempting in the dark to grapple with and picture ideas impossible to be expressed. For as with the visible symbol, so with the word: to utter it to you does not inform you of the exact meaning which it has to me; and thus religion and philosophy became to a great extent disputes as to the meaning of words. The most abstract expression for DEITY, which language can supply, is but a sign or symbol for an object beyond our comprehension, and not more truthful and adequate than the images of OSIRIS and VISHNU, or their names, except as being less sensuous and explicit. We avoid sensuousness only by resorting to simple negation. We come at last to define spirit by saying that it is not matter. Spirit is — spirit.

A single example of the symbolism of words will indicate to you one branch of Masonic study. We find in the English Rite this phrase: "I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal;" and in the Catechism, these:

Q.'. "I hail."

A.'. "I conceal,"

and ignorance, misunderstanding the word "hail," has interpolated the phrase, "From whence do you hail."

But the word is really "hele," from the Anglo-Saxon verb elan, helan, to cover, hide, or conceal. And this word is rendered by the Latin verb tegere, to cover or roof over. "That ye fro me no thynge woll hele," says Gower. "They hele fro me no priuyte," says the Romaunt of the Rose. "To heal a house," is a common phrase in Sussex; and in the west of England, he that covers a house with slates is called a Healer. Wherefore, to "heal" means the same thing as to "tile," — itself symbolic, as meaning, primarily, to cover a house with tiles, — and means to cover, hide, or conceal. Thus language too is symbolism, and words are as much misunderstood and misused as more material symbols are.

Symbolism tended continually to become more complicated; and all the powers of Heaven were reproduced on earth, until a web of fiction and allegory was woven, partly by art and partly by the ignorance of error, which the wit of man, with his limited means of explanation, will never unravel. Even the Hebrew Theism became involved in symbolism and image-worship, borrowed probably from an older creed and remote regions of Asia, — the worship of the Great Semitic Nature-God AL or ELS and its symbolical representations of JEHOVA Himself were not even confined to poetical or illustrative language. The priests were monotheists: the people idolaters.

There are dangers inseparable from symbolism, which afford an impressive lesson in regard to the similar risks attendant on the use of language. The imagination, called in to assist the reason, usurps its place or leaves its ally helplessly entangled in itsweb. Names which stand for things are confounded with them; the means are mistaken for the end; the instrument of interpretation for the object; and thus symbols come to usurp an independent character as truths and persons. Though perhaps a necessary path, they were a dangerous one by which to approach the Deity; in which many, says PLUTARCH, "mistaking the sign for the thing signified, fell into a ridiculous superstition; while others, in avoiding one extreme, plunged into the no less hideous gulf of irreligion and impiety."

It is through the Mysteries, CICERO says, that we have learned the first principles of life; wherefore the term "initiation" is used with good reason; and they not only teach us to live more happily and agrceably, but they soften the pains of death by the hope of a better life hereafter.

The Mysteries were a Sacred Drama, exhibiting some legend significant of nature's changes, of the visible Universe in which the Divinity is revealed, and whose import was in many respects as open to the Pagan as to the Christian. Nature is thc great Teacher of man; for it is the Revelation of God. It neither dogmatizes nor attempts to tyrannize by compelling to a particular creed or special interpretation. It presents its symbols to us, and adds nothing by way of explanation. It is the text without the commentary; and, as we well know, it is chiefly the commentary and gloss that lead to error and heresesy and persecution. The earliest instructors of mankind not only adopted the lessons of Nature, but as far as possible adhered to her method of imparting them. In the Mysteries, beyond the current traditions or sacred and enigimatic recitals of the Temples, few explanations were given to the spectators, who were left, as in the school of nature, to make inferences for themselves. No other method could have suited every degree of cultivation and capacity. To employ nature's universal symbolism instead of the technicalities of language, rewards the humblest inquirer, and discloses its secrets to every one in proportion to his preparatory training and his power to con1prellend them. If their philosophical meaning was above the comlirellension of some, their moral and political meanlngs are within the reach of all.

These mystic shows and performances were not the reading of a lecture, but the opening of a problem. Requiring research, they were calculated to arouse the dormant intellect. They implied no hostility to Philosophy, because Philosophy is the great expounder of symbolism; although its ancient interpretations were often illfounded and incorrect. The alteration from symbol to dogma is fatal to beauty of expression, and leads to intolerance and assumed infallibility.


If, in teaching the great doctrine of the divine nature of the Soul, and in striving to explain its longings after immortality, and in proving its superiority over the souls of the animals, which have no aspirations Heavenward, the ancients struggled in vain to express the nature of the soul, by comparing it to FIRE and LIGHT, it will be well for us to consider whether, with all our boasted knowledge, we have any better or clearer idea of its nature, and whether we have not despairingly taken refuge in having none at all. And if they erred as to its original place of abode, and understood literally the mode and path of its descent, these were but the accessories of the great Truth, and probably, to the Initiates, mere allegories, designed to make the idea more palpable and impressive to the mind.

They are at least no more fit to be smiled at by the self-conceit of a vain ignorance, the wealth of whose knowledge consists solely in words, than the bosom of Abraham, as a home for the spirits of the just dead; the gulf of actual fire, for the eternal torture of spirits; and the City of the New Jerusalem, with its walls of jasper and its edifices of pure gold like clear glass, its foundations of precious stones, and its gates each of a single pearl. "I knew a man," says PAUL, "caught up to the third Heaven;.... that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard ineffable words, which it is not possible for a man to utter." And nowhere is the antagonism and conflict between the spirit and body more frequently and forcibly insisted on than in the writings of this apostle, nowhere the Divine nature of the soul more strongly asserted. "With the mind," he says, "I serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin....As many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of GOD.... The earnest expectation of the created waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.... The created shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, of the flesh liable to decay, into the glorious liberty of the children of God."


Two forms of government are favorable to the prevalence of falsehood and deceit. Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful through fear, like slaves dreading the lash. Under a Democracy they are so as a means of attaining popularity and office, and because of the greed for wealth. Experience will probably prove that these odious and detestable vices will grow most rankly and spread most rapidly in a Republic. When office and wealth become the gods of a people, and the most unworthy and unfit most aspire to the former, and fraud becomes the highway to the latter, the land will reek with falsehood and sweat lies and chicane. When the offices are open to all, merit and stern integrity and the dignity of unsullied honor will attain them only rarely and by accident. To be able to serve the country well, will cease to be a reason why the great and wise and learned should be selected to render service. Other qualifications, less honorable, will be more available. To adapt one's opinions to the popular humor; to defend, apologize for, and justify the popular follies; to advocate the expedient and the plausible; to caress, cajole, and flatter the elector; to beg like a spaniel for his vote, even if he be a negro three removes from barbarism; to profess friendship for a competitor and stab him by innuendo; to set on foot that which at third hand shall become a lie, being cousin-german to it when uttered, and yet capable of being explained away, — who is there that has not seen these low arts and base appliances put into practice, and becoming general, until success cannot be surely had by any more honorable means ? — the result being a State ruled and ruined by ignorant and shallow mediocrity, pert self-conceit, the greenness of unripe intellect, vain of a school-boy's smattering of knowledge.

The faithless and the false in public and in political life, will be faithless and false in private. The jockey in politics, like the jockey on the race-course, is rotten from skin to core. Everywhere he will see first to his own interests, and whoso leans on him will be pierced with a broken reed. His ambition is ignoble, like himself; and therefore he will seek to attain omce by ignoble means, as he will seek to attain any other coveted object, — land, money, or reputation.

At length, office and honor are divorced. The place that the small and shallow, the knave or the trickster, is deemed competent and fit to fill, ceases to be worthy the ambition of the great and capable; or if not, these shrink from a contest, the weapons to be used wherein are unfit for a gentleman to handle. Then the habits of unprincipled advocates in law courts are naturalized in Senates, and pettifoggers wrangle there, when the fate of the nation and the lives of millions are at stake. States are even begotten by villainy and brought forth by fraud, and rascalities are justified by legislators claiming to be honorable. Then contested elections are decided by perjured votes or party considerations; and all the practices of the worst times of corruption are revived and exaggerated in Republics.

It is strange that reverence for truth, that manliness and genuine loyalty, and scorn of littleness and unfair advantage, and genuine faith and godliness and large-heartedness should diminish, among statesmen and people, as civilization advances, and freedom becomes more general, and universal suffrage implies universal worth and fitness ! In the age of Elizabeth, without universal suffrage, or Societies for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or popular lecturers, or Lycaea, the statesman, the merchant, the burgher, the sailor, were all alike heroic, fearing God only, and man not at all. Let but a hundred or two years elapse, and in a Monarchy or Republic of the same race, nothing is less heroic than the merchant, the shrewd speculator, the office-seeker, fearing man only, and God not at all. Reverence for greatness dies out, and is succeeded by base envy of greatness. Every man is in the way of many, either in the path to popularity or wealth. There is a general feeling of satisfaction when a great statesman is displaced, or a general, who has been for his brief hour the popular idol, is unfortunate and sinks from his high estate. It becomes a misfortune, if not a crime, to be above the popular level.

We should naturally suppose that a nation in distress would take counsel with the wisest of its sons. But, on the contrary, great men seem never so scarce as when they are most needed, and small men never so bold to insist on infesting place, as when mediocrity and incapable pretence and sophomoric greenness, and showy and sprightly incompetency are most dangerous. When France was in the extremity of revolutionary agony, she was governed by an assembly of provincial pettifoggers, and Robespierre, Marat, and Couthon ruled in the place of Mirabeau, Vergniaud, and Carnot. England was governed by the Rump Parliament, after she had beheaded her king. Cromwell extinguished one body, and Napoleon the other.

Fraud, falsehood, trickery, and deceit in national affairs are the signs of decadence in States and precede convulsions or paralysis. To bully the weak and crouch to the strong, is the policy of nations governed by small mediocrity. The tricks of the canvass for office are re-enacted in Senates. The Executive becomes the dispenser of patronage, chiefly to the most unworthy; and men are bribed with offices instead of money, to the greater ruin of the Commonwealth. The Divine in human nature disappears, and interest, grced, and selfishness takes it place. That is a sad and true allegory which represents the companions of Ulysses changed by the enchantments of Circe into swine.


"Ye cannot," said the Great Teacher, "serve God and Mammon." When the thirst for wealth becomes general, it will be sought for as well dishonestly as honestly; by frauds and overreachings, by the knaveries of trade, the heartlessness of greedy speculation, by gambling in stocks and commodities that soon demoralizes a whole community. Men will speculate upon the needs of their neighbors and the distresses of their country. Bubbles that, bursting, impoverish multitudes, will be blown up by cunning knavery, with stupid credulity as its assistants and instrument. Huge bankruptcies, that startle a country like the earthquakes, and are more fatal, fraudulent assignments, engulfment of the savings of the poor, expansions and collapses of the currency, the crash of banks, the depreciation of Government securities, prey on the savings of self-denial, and trouble with their depredations the first nourishment of infancy and the last sands of life, and fill with inmates the churchyards and lunatic asylums. But the sharper and speculator thrives and fattens. If his country is fighting by a levy en masse for her very existence, he aids her by depreciating her paper, so that he may accumulate fabulous amounts with little outlay. If his neighbor is distressed, he buys his property for a song. If he administers upon an estate, it turns out insolvent, and the orphans are paupers. If his bank explodes, he is found to have taken care of himself in time. Society worships its paper-and-credit kings, as the old Hindus and Egyptians worshipped their worthless idols, and often the most obsequiously when in actual solid wealth they are the veriest paupers. No wonder men think there ought to be another world, in which the injustices of this may be atoned for, when they see the friends of ruined families begging the wealthy sharpers to give alms to prevent the orphaned victims from starving, until they may findways of supporting themselves.


States are chiefly avaricious of commerce and of territory. The latter leads to the violation of treaties, encroachments upon feeble neighbors, and rapacity toward their wards whose lands are coveted. Republics are, in this, as rapacious and unprincipled as Despots, never learning from history that inordinate expansion by rapine and fraud has its inevitable consequences in dismen1berment or subjugation. When a Republic begins to plunder its neighbors, the words of doom are already written on its walls. There is a judgment already pronounced of God upon whatever is unrighteous in the conduct of national affairs. When civil war tears the vitals of a Republic, let it look back and see if it has not been guilty of injustices; and if it has, let it humble itself in the dust !

When a nation becomes possessed with a spirit of commercial greed, beyond those just and fair limits set by a due regard to a moderate and reasonable degree of general and individual prosperity, it is a nation possessed by the devil of commercial avarice, a passion as ignoble and demoralizing as avarice in the individual; and as this sordid passion is baser and more unscrupulous than ambition, so it is more hateful, and at last makes the infected nation to be regarded as the enemy of the human race. To grasp at the lion's share of commerce, has always at last proven the ruin of States, because it invariably leads to injustices that make a State detestable; to a selfishness and crooked policy that forbid other nations to be the friends of a State that cares only for itself.

Commercial avarice in India was the parent of more atrocities and greater rapacity, and cost more human lives, than the nobler ambition for extended empire of Consular Rome. The nation that grasps at the commerce of the world cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the noblest impulses and sympathies which ought to actuate States. It will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its commercial interests by war; while, to subserve those interests, it will wage unjust war, on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has dared to exile its kings and elect its own ruler.

Thus the cold calculations of a sordid self-interest, in nations commercially avaricious, always at last displace the sentiments and lofty impulses of Honor and Generosity by which they rose to greatness; which made Elizabeth and Cromwell alike the protectors of Protestants beyond the four seas of England, against crowned Tyranny and mitred Persecution; and, if they had lasted, would have forbidden alliances with Czars and Autocrats and Bourbons to re-enthrone the Tyrannies of Incapacity, and arm the Inquisition anew with its instruments of torture. The soul of the avaricious nation petrifies, like the soul of the individual who makes gold his god. The Despot will occasionally act upon noble and generous impulses, and help the weak against the strong, the right against the wrong. But commercial avarice is essentially egotistic, grasping, faithless, overreaching, crafty, cold, ungenerous, selfish, and calculating, controlled by considerations of self-interest alone. Heartless and merciless, it has no sentiments of pity, sympathy, or honor, to make it pause in its remorseless career; and it crushes down all that is of impediment in its way, as its keels of commerce crush under them the murmuring and unheeded waves.

A war for a great principle ennobles a nation. A war for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext, is despicable, and more than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness men and nations can descend. Commercial greed values the lives of men no more than it values the lives of ants. The slave-trade is as acceptable to a people enthralled by that greed, as the trade in ivory or spices, if the profits are as large. It will by-and-by endeavor to compound with God and quiet its own conscience, by compelling those to whom it sold the slaves it bought or stole, to set them free, and slaughtering them by hecatombs if they refuse to obey the edicts of its philanthropy.

Justice in no wise consists in meting out to another that exact measure of reward or punishment which we think and decree his merit, or what we call his crime, which is more often merely his error, deserves. The justice of the father is not incompatible with forgiveness by him of the errors and offences of his child. The Infinite Justice of God does not consist in meting out exact measures of punishment for human frailties and sins. We are too apt to erect our own little and narrow notions of what is right and just into the law of justice, and to insist that God shall adopt that as His law; to measure off something with our own little tape-line, and call it God's love of justice. Continually we seek to ennoble our own ignoble love of revenge and retaliationJ by misnaming it justice.

Nor does justice consist in strictly governing our conduct toward other men by the rigid rules of legal right. If there were a community anywhere, in which all stood upon the strictness of this rule, there should be written over its gates, as a warning to the unfortunates desiring admission to that inhospitable realm, the words which DANTE says are written over the great gate of Hell: LET THOSE WHO ENTER HERE LEAVE HOPE BEHIND ! It is not just to pay the laborer in field or factory or workshop his current wages and no more, the lowest market-value of his labor, for so long only as we need that labor and he is able to work; for when sickness or old age overtakes him, that is to leave him and his family to starve; and God will curse with calamity the people in which the children of the laborer out of work eat the boiled grass of the field, and mothers strangle their children, that they may buy food for themselves with the charitable pittance given for burial expenses. The rules of what is ordinarily termed "Justice," may be punctiliously observed among the fallen spirits that are the aristocracy of Hell.


Justice, divorced from sympathy, is selfish indifference, not in the least more laudable than misanthropic isolation. There is sympathy even among the hair-like oscillatorias, a tribe of simple plants, armies of which may be discovered with the aid of the microscope, in the tiniest bit of scum from a stagnant pool. For these will place themselves, as if it were by agreement, in separate companies, on the side of a vessel containing them, and seem marching upward in rows; and when a swarm grows weary of its situation, and has a mind to change its quarters, each army holds on its way without confusion or intermixture, proceeding with great regularity and order, as if under the directions of wise leaders. The ants and bees give each other mutual assistance, beyond what is required by that which human creatures are apt to regard as the strict law of justice.

Surely we need but reflect a little, to be convinced that the individual man is but a fraction of the unit of society, and that he is indissolubly connected with the rest of his race. Not only the actions, but the will and thoughts of other men make or mar his fortunes, control his destinies, are unto him life or death, dishonor or honor. The epidemics, physical and moral, contagious and infectious, public opinion, popular delusions, enthusiasms, and the other great electric phenomena and currents, moral and intellectual, prove the universal sympathy. The vote of a single and obscure n1an, the utterance of self-will, ignorance, conceit, or spite, deciding an election and placing Folly or Incapacity or Baseness in a Senate, involves the country in war, sweeps away our fortunes, slaughters our sons, renders the labors of a life unavailing, and pushes on, helpless, with all our intellect to resist, into the grave.

These considerations ought to teach us that justice to others and to ourselves is the same; that we cannot define our duties by mathematical lines ruled by the square, but must fill with them the great circle traced by the compasses; that the circle of humanity is the limit, and we are but the point in its centre, the drops in the great Atlantic, the atom or particle, bound by a mys terious law of attraction which we term sympathy to every other atom in the mass; that the physical and moral welfare of others cannot be indifferent to us; that we have a direct and immediate interest in the public morality and popular intelligence, in the well-being and physical comfort of the people at large. The ignorance of the people, their pauperism and destitution, and consequent degradation, their brutalization and demoralization, are all diseases; and we cannot rise high enough above the people, nor shut ourselves up from them enough, to escape the miasmatic contagion and the great magnetic currents.

Justice is peculiarly indispensable to nations. The unjust State is doomed of God to calamity and ruin. This is the teaching of the Eternal Wisdom and of history. "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but wrong is a reproach to nations." "The Throne is established by Righteousness. Let the lips of the Ruler pronounce the sentence that is Divine; and his mouth do no wrong in judgment !" The nation that adds province to province by fraud and violence, that encroaches on the weak and plunders its wards, and violates its treaties and the obligation of its contracts, and for the law of honor and fair-dealing substitutes the exigencies of greed and the base precepts of policy and craft and the ignoble tenets of expediency, is predestined to destruction; for here, as with the individual, the consequences of wrong are inevitable and eternal.

A sentence is written against all that is unjust, written by God in the nature of man and in the nature of the Universe, because it is in the nature of the Infinite God. No wrong is really successful. The gain of injustice is a loss; its pleasure, suffering. Iniquity often seems to prosper, but its success is its defeat and shame. If its consequences pass by the doer, they fall upon and crush his children. It is a philosophical, physical, and moral truth, in the form of a threat, that God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of those who violate His laws. After a long while, the day of reckoning always comes, to nation as to individual; and always the knave deceives himself, and proves a failure.

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice and wrong pay to virtue and justice. It is Satan attempting to clothe himself in the angelic vesture of light. It is equally detestable in morals, politics, and religion; in the man and in the nation. To do injustice under the pretence of equity and fairness; to reprove vice in public and commit it in private; to pretend to charitable opinion and censoriously condemn; to profess the principles of Masonic beneficence, and close the ear to the wail of distress and the cry of suffering; to eulogize the intelligence of the people, and plot to deceive and betray them by means of their ignorance and simplicity; to prate of purity, and peculate; of honor, and basely abandon a sinking cause; of disinterestedness, and sell one's vote for place and power, are hypocrisies as common as they are infamous and disgraceful. To steal the livery of the Court of God to serve the Devil withal; to pretend to believe in a God of mercy and a Redeemer of love, and persecute those of a different faith; to devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers; to preach continence, and wallow in lust; to inculcate humility, and in pride surpass Lucifer; to pay tithe, and omit the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith; to strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel; to make clean the outside of the cup and platter, keeping them full within of extortion and excess; to appear outwardly righteous unto men, but within be full of hypocrisy and iniquity, is indeed to be like unto whited sepulchres, which appear beautiful outward, but are within full of bones of the dead and of all uncleanness.

The Republic cloaks its ambition with the pretence of a desire and duty to "extend the area of freedom," and claims it as its "manifest destiny" to annex other Republics or the States or Provinces of others to itself, by open violence, or under obsolete, empty, and fraudulent titles. The Empire founded by a successful soldier, claims its ancient or natural boundaries, and makes necessity and its safety tlle plea for open robbery. The great Merchant Nation, gaining foothold in the Orient, finds a continual necessity for extending its dominion by arms, and subjugates India. The great Royalties and Despotisms, without a plea, partition among themselves a Kingdom, dismember Poland, and prepare to wrangle over the dominions of the Crescent. To maintain the balance of power is a plea for the obliteration of States. Carthage, Genoa, and Venice, commercial Cities only, must acquire territory by force or fraud, and become States. Alexander marches to the Indus; Tamerlane seeks universal empire; the Saracens conquer Spain and threaten Vienna.

The thirst for power is never satisfied. It is insatiable. Neither men nor nations ever have power enough. When Rome was the mistress of the world, the Emperors caused themselves to be worshipped as gods. The Church of Rome claimed despotism over the soul, and over the whole life from the cradle to the grave. It gave and sold absolutions for past and future sins. It claimed to be infallible in matters of faith. It decimated Europe to purge it of heretics. It decimated America to convert the Mexicans and Peruvians. It gave and took away thrones; and by excommunication and interdict closed the gates of Paradise against Nations, Spain, haughty with its dominion over the Indies, endeavored to crush out Protestantism in the Netherlands, while Philip the Second married the Queen of England, and the pair sought to win that kingdom back to its allegiance to the Papal throne. Afterward Spain attempted to conquer it with her "invincible" Armada. Napoleon set his relatives and captains on thrones, and parcelled among them half of Europe. The Czar rules over an empire more gigantic than Rome. The history of all is or will be the same, — acquisition, dismemberment, ruin. There is a judgment of God against all that is unjust.

To seek to subjugate the will of others and take the soul captive, because it is the exercise of thc highest power, seems to be the highest object of human ambition. It is at the bottom of all proselyting and propagandism, from that of Mesmer to that of the Church of Rome and the French Republic. That was the apostolate alike of Joshua and of Mahomet. Masonry alone preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by his own faith, the right of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and subjugation.

It is natural, when we are wronged, to desire revenge; and to persuade ourselves that we desire it less for our own satisfaction than to prevent a repetition of the wrong, to which the doer would be encouraged by immunity coupled with the profit of the wrong. To submit to be cheated is to encourage the cheater to continue; and we are quite apt to regard ourselves as God's chosen instruments to inflict His vengeance, and for Him and in His stead to discourage wrong by making it fruitless and its punishment sure. Revenge has been said to be "a kind of wild justice;" but it is always taken in anger, and therefore is unworthy of a great soul, which ought not to suffer its equanimity to be disturbed by ingratitude or villainy. The injuries done us by the base are as much unworthy of our angry notice as those done us by the insects and the beasts; and when we crush the adder, or slay the wolf or hyena, we should do it without being moved to anger, and with no more feeling of revenge than we have in rooting up a noxious weed.

And if it be not in human nature not to take revenge by way of punishment, let the Mason truly consider that in doing so he is God's agent, and so let his revenge be measured by justice and tempered by mercy. The law of God is, that the consequences of wrong and cruelty and crime shall be their punishment; and the injured and the wronged and the indignant are as much His instruments to enforce that law, as the diseases and public detestation, and the verdict of history and the execration of posterity are. No one will say that the Inquisitor who has racked and burned the innocent; the Spaniard who hewed Indian infants, living, into pieces with his sword, and fed the mangled limbs to his bloodhounds; the military tyrant who has shot men without trial, the knave who has robbed or betrayed his State, the fraudulent banker or bankrupt who has beggared orphans, the public officer who has violated his oath, the judge who has sold injustice, the legislator who has enabled Incapacity to work the ruin of the State, ought not to be punished. Let them be so; and let the injured or the sympathizing be the instruments of God's just vengeance; but always out of a higher feeling than mere personal revenge.

Remember that every moral characteristic of man finds its prototype an1ong creatures of lower intelligence; that the cruel foulness of the hyena, the savage rapacity of the wolf, the merciless rage of the tiger, the crafty treachery of the panther, are found among mankind, and ought to excite no other emotion, when found in the man, than when found in the beast. Why should the true man be angry with the geese that hiss, the peacocks that strut, the asses that bray, and the apes that imitate and chatter, although they wear the human form? Always, also, it remains true, that it is more noble to forgive than to take revenge; and that, in general, we ought too much to despise those who wrong us, to feel the emotion of anger, or to desire revenge.

At the sphere of the Sun, you are in the region of LIGHT. * * * * The Hebrew word for gold, ZAHAB, also means Light, of which the Sun is to the Earth the great source. So, in the great Oriental allegory of the Hebrews, the River PISON compasses the land of Gold or Light; and the River GIHON the land of Ethiopia or Darkness.

What light is, we no more know than the ancients did. According to the modern hypothesis, it is not composed of luminous particles shot out from the sun with immense velocity; but that body only impresses, on the ether which fills all space, a powerful vibratory movement that extends, in the form of luminous waves, beyond the most distant planets, supplying them with light and heat. To the ancients, it was an outflowing from the Deity. To us, as to them, it is the apt symbol of truth and knowledge. To us, also, the upward journey of the soul through the Spheres is symbolical; but we are as little informed as they whence the soul comes, where it has its origin, and whither it goes after death. They endeavored to have some belief and faith, some creed, upon those points. At the present day, men are satisfied to think nothing in regard to all that, and only to believe that the soul is a something separate from the body and out-living it, but whether existing before it, neither to inquire nor care. No one asks whether it emanates from the Deity, or is created out of nothing, or is generated like the body, and the issue of the souls of the father and the mother. Let us not smile, therefore, at the ideas of the ancients, until we have a better belief; but accept their symbols as meaning that the soul is of a Divine nature, originating in a sphere nearer the Deity, and returning to that when freed from the enthralhment of the body; and that it can only return there when purified of all the sordidness and sin which have, as it were, become part of its substance, by its connection with the body.

It is not strange that, thousands of years ago, men worshipped the Sun, and that to-day that worship continues among the Parsees. Originally they looked beyond the orb to the invisible God, of whom the Sun's light, seemingly identical with generation and life, was the manifestation and outflowing. Long before the Chaldcean shepherds watched it on their plains, it came up regularly, as it now does, in the morning, like a god, and again sank, like a king retiring, in the west, to return again in due time in the same array of majesty. We worship Immutability. It was that steadfast, immutable character of the Sun that the men of Baalbec worshipped. His light-giving and life-giving powers were secondary attributes. The one grand idea that compelled worship was the characteristic of God which they saw reflected in his light, and fancied they saw in its originality the changelessness of Deity. He had seen thrones crwnble, earthquakes shake the world and hurl down mountains. Beyond Olympus, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, he had gone daily to his abode, and had come daily again in the morning to behold the temples they built to his worsl1ip. They personified him as BRAHMA, AMUN, OSRIS, BEL, ADONIS, MALKARTH, MITHRAS, and APOLLO; and the nations that did so grew old and died. Moss grew on the capitals of the great columns of his temples, and he shone on the moss. Grain by grain the dust of his temples crumbled and fell, and was borne off on the wind, and still he shone on crumbling column and architrave. The roof fell crashing on the pavement, and he shone in on the Holy of Holies with unchanging rays. It was not strange that men worshipped the Sun.

There is a water-plant, on whose broad leaves the drops of water roll about without uniting, like drops of mercury. So arguments on points of faith, in politics or religion, roll over the surface of the mind. An argument that convinces one mind has no effect on another. Few intellects, or souls that are the negations of intellect, have any logical power or capacity. There is a singular obliquity in the human mind that makes the false logic more effective than the true with nine-tenths of those who are regarded as men of intellect. Even among the judges, not one in ten can argue logically. Each mind sees the truth, distorted through its own medium. Truth, to most men, is like matter in the spheroidal state. Like a drop of cold water on the surface of a red-hot metal plate, it dances, trembles, and spins, and never comes into contact with it; and the mind may be plunged into truth, as the hand moistened with sulphurous acid may into melted metal, and be not even warmed by the immersion.


The word Khairum or Khurum is a compound one. Gesenius renders Khurum by the word noble or free-born: Khur meaning white, noble. It also means the opening of a window, the socket of the eye. Khri also means white, or an opening; and Khris, the orb of the Sun, in Job viii. 13 and x. 7. Krishna is the Hindu Sun-God. Khur, the Parsi word, is the literal name of the Sun.

From Kur or Khur, the Sun, comes Khora, a name of Lower Egypt. The Sun, Bryant says in his Mythology, was called Kur; and Plutarch says that the Persians called the Sun Kuros. Kurios, Lord, in Greek, like Adonai, Lord, in Phcenician and Hebrew, was applied to the Sun. Many places were sacred to the Sun, and called Kura, Kuria, Kuropolis, Kurene, Kureschata, Kuresta, and Corusia in Scythia.

The Egyptian Deity called by the Greeks "Horus," was Her-Ra, or Har-oeris, Hor or Har, the Sun. Hari is a Hindu name of the Sun. Ari-al, Ar-es, Ar, Aryaman, Areimonios, the AR meaning Fire or Flame, are of the same kindred. Hewnes or Har-mes, (Aram, Remus, Haram, Harameias), was Kadmos, the Divine Light or Wisdom. Mar-kuri, says Movers, is Mar, the Sun.

In the Hebrew, AOOR, is Light, Fire, or the Sun. Cyrus, said Ctesias, was so named from Kuros, the Sun. Kuris, Hesychius says, was Adonis. Apollo, the Sun-god, was called Kurraios, from Kurra, a city in Phocis. The people of Kurene, originally Ethiopians or Cuthites, worshipped the Sun under the title of Achoor and Achor.

We know, through a precise testimony in the ancient annals of Tsur, that the principal festivity of Mal-karth, the incarnation of the Sun at the Winter Solstice, held at Tsur, was called his rebirth or his awakening, and that it was celebrated by means of a pyre, on which the god was supposed to regain, through the aid of fire, a new life. This festival was celebrated in the month Peritius (Barith), the second day of which corresponded to the 25th of December. KHUR-UM, King of Tyre, Movers says, first performed this ceremony. These facts we learn from Josephus, Servius on the AEneid, and the Dionysiacs of Nonnus; and through a coincidence that cannot be fortuitous, the same day was at Rome the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the festal day of the invincible Sun. Under this title, HERCULES, HAR-acles, was worshipped at Tsur. Thus, while the temple was being erected, the death and resurrection of a Sun-God was annually represented at Tsur, by Solomon's ally, at the winter solstice, by the pyre of MAL-KARIH, the Tsurian Haracles.

AROERIS or HAR-oeris, the elder HORUS, is from the same old root that in the Hebrew has the form Aur, or, with the definite article prefixed, Haur, Light, or the Light, splendor, flame, the Sun and his rays. The hieroglyphic of the younger HORUS was the point in a circle; of the Elder, a pair of eyes; and the festival of the thirtieth day of the month Epiphi, when the sun and moon were supposed to be in the same right line with the earth, was called "The birth-day of the eyes of Horus."

In a papyrus published by Champollion, this god is styled "Haroeri, Lord of the Solar Spirits, the beneficent eye of the Sun." Plutarch calls him "Har-pocrates," but there is no trace of the latter part of the name in the hieroglyphic legends. He is the son of OSIRIS and Isrs; and is represented sitting on a throne supported by lions; the same word, in Egyptian, meaning Lion and Sun. So Solomon made a great throne of ivory, plated with gold, with six steps, at each arm of which was a lion, and one on each side to each step, making seven on each side.

Again, the Hebrewword Khi, means "living;" and ram, "was, or shall be, raised or lifted up." The latter is the same as room, aroom, harum, whence Aram, for Syria, or Aramoea, High-land. Khairum, therefore, would mean "was raised up to life, or living."

So, in Arabic, hrm, an unused root, meant, "was high," "made great," "exalted;" and Hirm means an ox, the symbol of the Sun in Taurus, at the Vernal Equinox.

KHURUM, therefore, improperly called Hiram, is KHUR-OM, the same as Her-ra, Her-mes, and Her-acles, the "Heracles Tyrius Invictus," the personification of Light and the Son, the Mediator, Redeemer, and Saviour. From the Egyptian word Ra came the Coptic Ouro, and the Hebrew Aur, Light. Har-oeri, is Hor or Har, the chief or master. Hor is also heat; and hora, season or hour; and hence in several African dialects, as names of the Sun, Airo, Ayero, eer, uiro, ghurrah, and the like. The royal name rendered Pharaoh, was PHRA, that is, Pai-ra, the Sun.

The legend of the contest between Hor-ra and Set, or Set-nu-bi, the same as Bar or Bal, is older than that of the strife between Osiris and Typhon; as old, at least, as the nineteenth dynasty. It is called in the Book of the Dead, "The day of the battle between Horus and Set." The later myth connects itself with Phoenicia and Syria. The body of OSIRIS went ashore at Gebal or Byblos, sixty miles above Tsur. You will not fail to notice that in the name of each murderer of Khurum, that of the Evil God Bal is found.


Har-oeri was the god of TIME, as well as of Life. The Egyptian legend was that the King of Byblos cut down the tamarisk-tree containing the body of OSIRIS, and made of it a column for his palace. Isis, employed in the palace, obtained possession of the column, took the body out of it, and carried it away. Apuleius describes her as "a beautiful female, over whose divine neck her long thick hair hung in graceful ringlets ;" and in the procession female attendants, with ivory combs, seemed to dress and ornament the royal hair of the goddess. The palm-tree, and the lamp in the shape of a boat, appeared in the procession. If the symbol we are speaking of is not a mere modern invention, it is to these things it alludes.

The identity of the legends is also confirmed by this hieroglyphic picture, copied from an ancient Egyptian monument, which may also enlighten you as to the Lion's grip and the Master's gavel.

in the ancient Phcenician character, and in the Samaritan, A B, (the two letters representing the numbers 1, 2, or Unity and Duality, means Father, and is a primitive noun, common to all the Semitic languages.

It also means an Ancestor, Originator, Inventor, Head, Chief or Ruler, Manager, Overseer, Master, Priest, Prophet.

is simply Father, when it is in construction, that is, when it precedes another word, and in English the preposition "of" is interposed, as Abi-Al, the Father of Al.

Also, the final Yod means "my"; so that by itself means "My father. David my father, 2 Chron. ii. 3.

(Vav) final is the possessive pronoun "his"; and Abiu (which we read "Abif") means "of my father's." Its full meaning, as connected with the name of Khurum, no doubt is, "formerly one of my father's servants," or "slaves."

The name of the Phcenician artificer is, in Samuel and Kings, [2 Sam. v. 11; 1 Kings v. 15; 1 Kings vii. 40]. In Chronicles it is with the addition of [2 Chron. ii. 12]; and of [2 Chron. iv. 16].

It is merely absurd to add the word "Abif," or "Abiff," as part of the name of the artificer. And it is almost as absurd to add the word "Abi," which was a title and not part of the name. Joseph says [Gen. xlv. 8], "God has constituted me 'Ab l'Paraah, as Father to Paraah, i.e., Vizier or Prime Minister." So Haman was called the Second Father of Artaxerxes; and when King Khurum used the phrase "Khurum Abi," he meant that the artificer he sent Schlomoh was the principal or chief workman in his line at Tsur.

A medal copied by Montfaucon exhibits a female nursing a child, with ears of wheat in her hand, and the legend (Iao). She is seated on clouds, a star at her head, and three ears of wheat rising from an altar before her.

HORUS was the mediator, who was buried three days, was regenerated, and triumphed over the evil principle.

The word HERI, in Sanscrit, means Shepherd, as well as Savior. CRISHNA is called Heri, as Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd.

Khur, means an aperture of a window, a cave, or the eye. Also it means white.

It also means an opening, and noble, free-born, high-born.

KHURM means consecrated, devoted; in AEthiopic. It is the name of a city, [Josh. xix. 38]; and of a man, [Ezr. ii. 32, x. 31; Neh. iii. 11].

Khirah, means nobility, a noble race.

Buddha is declared to comprehend in his own person the essence of the Hindu Trimurti; and hence the tri-literal monosyllable Om or Aum is applied to him as being essentially the same as Brahma-Vishnu-Siva. He is the same as Hermes, Thoth, Taut, and Teutates. One of his names is Heri-maya or Hermaya, which are evidently the same name as Hermes and Khirm or Khurm. Heri, in Sanscrit, means Lord.

A learned Brother places over the two symbolic pillars, from right to left, the two words IHU and BAL: followed by the hieroglyphic equivalent, of the Sun-God, Amun-ra. Is it an accidental coincidence, that in the name of each murderer are the two names of the Good and Evil Deities of the Hebrews; for Yu-bel is but Yehu-Bal or Yeho-Bal? and that the three final syllables of the names, a, o, um, make A.'.U.'.M.'. the sacred word of the Hindoos, meaning the Triune God, Life-giving, Life-preserving, Life-destroying: represented by the mystic character ?

The genuine acacia, also, is the thorny tamarisk, the same tree which grew up around the body of Osiris. It was a sacred tree among the Arabs, who made of it the idol Al-Uzza, which Mohammed destroyed. It is abundant as a bush in the Desert of Thur: and of it the "crown of thorns" was composed, which was set on the forehead of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a fit type of immortality on account of its tenacity of life; for it has been known, when planted as a door-post, to take root again and shoot out budding boughs over the threshold.


Every commonwealth must have its periods of trial and transition, especially if it engages in war. It is certain at some time to be wholly governed by agitators appealing to all the baser elements of the popular nature; by moneyed corporations; by those enriched by the depreciation of government securities or paper; by small attorneys, schemers, money-jobbers, speculators and adventurers — an ignoble oligarchy, enriched by the distresses of the State, and fattened on the miseries of the people. Then all the deceitful visions of equality and the rights of man end; and the wronged and plundered State can regain a real liberty only by passing through "great varieties of untried being," purified in its transmigration by fire and blood.

In a Republic, it soon comes to pass that parties gather round the negative and positive poles of some opinion or notion, and that the intolerant spirit of a triumphant majority will allow no deviation from the standard of orthodoxy which it has set up for itself. Freedom of opinion will be professed and pretended to, but every one will exercise it at the peril of being banished from political communion with those who hold the reins and prescribe the policy to be pursued. Slavishness to party and obsequiousness to the popular whims go hand in hand. Political independence only occurs in a fossil state; and men's opinions grow out of the acts they have been constrained to do or sanction. Flattery, either of individual or people, corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings. A Ccesar, securely seated in power, cares less for it than a free democracy; nor will his appetite for it grow to exorbitance, as that of a people will, until it becomes insatiate. The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; to a people, it is to a great extent the same. If accessible to flattery, as this is always interested, and resorted to on low and base motives, and for evil purposes, either individual or people is sure, in doing what it pleases, to do what in honor and conscience should have been left undone. One ought not even to risk congratulations, which may soon be turned into complaints; and as both individuals and peoples are prone to make a bad use of power, to flatter them, which is a sure way to mislead them, well deserves to be called a crime.

The first principle in a Republic ought to be, "that no man or set of men is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the omces of magistrate, legislature, nor judge, to be hereditary." It is a volume of Truth and Wisdom, a lesson for the study of nations, embodied in a single sentence, and expressed in language which every man can understand. If a deluge of despotism were to overthrow the world, and destroy all institutions under which freedom is protected, so that they should no longer be remembered among men, this sentence, preserved, would be sufficient to rekindle the fires of liberty and revive the race of freemen.

But, to preserve liberty, another must be added: "that a free State does not confer office as a reward, especially for questionable services, unless she seeks her own ruin; but all officers are employed by her, in consideration solely of their will and ability to render service in the future; and therefore that the best and most competent are always to be preferred."

For, if there is to be any other rule, that of hereditary succession is perhaps as good as any. By no other rule is it possible to preserve the liberties of the State. By no other to intrust the power of making the laws to those only who have that keen instinctive sense of injustice and wrong which enables them to detect baseness and corruption in their most secret hiding-places, and that moral courage and generous manliness and gallant independence that make them fearless in dragging out the perpetrators to the light of day, and calling down upon them the scorn and indignation of the world. The flatterers of the people are never such men. On the contrary, a time always comes to a Republic, when it is not content, like Liberius, with a single Sejanus, but must have a host; and when those most prominent in the lead of affairs are men without reputation, statesmanship, ability, or information, the mere hacks of party, owing their places to trickery and want of qualification, with none of the qualities of head or heart that make great and wise men, and, at the same time, filled with all the narrow conceptions and bitter intolerance of political bigotry. These die; and the world is none the wiser for what they have said and done. Their names sink in the bottomless pit of oblivion; but their acts of folly or knavery curse the body politic and at last prove its ruin.

Politicians, in a free State, are generally hollow, heartless, and selfish. Their own aggrandisement is the end of their patriotism; and they always look with secret satisfaction on the disappointment or fall of one whose loftier genius and superior talents overshadow their own self-importance, or whose integrity and incorruptible honor are in the way of their selfish ends. The influence of the small aspirants is always against the great man. His accession to power may be almost for a lifetime. One of themselves will be more easily displaced, and each hopes to succeed him; and so it at length comes to pass that men impudently aspire to and actually win the highest stations, who are unfit for the lowest clerkships; and incapacity and mediocrity become the surest passports to once.

The consequence is, that those who feel themselves competent and qualified to serve the people, refuse with digust to enter into the struggle for office, where the wicked and jesuitical doctrine that all is fair in politics is an excuse for every species of low villainy; and those who seek even the highest places of the State do not rely upon the power of a magnanimous spirit, on the sympathizing impulses of a great soul, to stir and move the people to generous, noble, and heroic resolves, and to wise and manly action; but, like spaniels erect on their hind legs, with fore-paws obsequiously suppliant, fawn, flatter, and actually beg for votes. Rather than descend to this, they stand contemptuously aloof, disdainfully refusing to court the people, and acting on the maxim, that "mankind has no title to demand that we shall serve them in spite of themselves."


It is lamentable to see a country split into factions, each following this or that great or brazen-fronted leader with a blind, unreasoning, unquestioning hero-worship; it is contemptible to see it divided into parties, whose sole end is the spoils of victory, and their chiefs the low, the base, the venal and the snlall. Such a country is in the last stages of decay, and near its end, no matter how prosperous it may seem to be. It wrangles over the volcano and the earthquake. But it is certain that no government can be conducted by the men of the people, and for the people, without a rigid adherence to those principles which our reason commends as fixed and sound. These must be the tests of parties, men, and measures. Once determined, they must be inexorable in their application, and all must either come up to the standard or declare against it. Men may betray: principles never can. Oppression is one invariable consequence of misplaced confidence in treacherous man, it is never the result of the working or application of a sound, just, well-tried principle. Compromises which bring fundamental principles into doubt, in order to unite in one party men of antagonistic creeds, are frauds, and end in ruin, the just and natural consequence of fraud. Whenever you have settled upon your theory and creed, sanction no departure from it in practice, on any ground of expediency. It is the Master's word. Yield it up neither to flattery nor force ! Let no defeat or persecution rob you of it! Believe that he who once blundered in statesmanship will blunder again; that such blunders are as fatal as crimes; and that political near-sightedness does not improve by age. There are always more impostors than seers among public men, more false prophets than true ones, more prophets of Baal than of Jehovah; and Jerusalem is always in danger from the Assyrians.

Sallust said that after a State has been corrupted by luxury and idleness, it may by its mere greatness bear up under the burden of its vices. But even while he wrote, Rome, of which he spoke, had played out her masquerade of freedom Other causes than luxury and sloth destroy Republics. If small, their larger neighbors extinguish them by absorption. If of great extent, the cohesive force is too feeble to hold them together, and they fall to pieces by their own weight. The paltry ambition of small men disintegrates them. The want of wisdom in their councils creates exasperating issues. Usurpation of power plays its part, incapacity seconds corruption, the storm rises, and the fragments of the incoherent raft strew the sandy shores, reading to mankind another lesson for it to disregard.

The Forty-seventh Proposition is older than Pythagoras. It is this: "In every right-angled triangle, the sum of the squares of the base and perpendicular is equal to the square of the hypothenuse."

The square of a number is the product of that number, multiplied by itself. Thus, 4 is the square of 2, and 9 of 3.

The first ten numbers are: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10;

their squares are .........1, 4, 9,16,25,36,49,64,81,100;

and ...........................3,5, 7, 9,11,13,15,17, 19

are the differences between each square and that which precedes it; giving us the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 9

Of these numbers, the square of 3 and 4, added together, gives the square of 5; and those of 6 and 8, the square of 10; and if a right-angled triangle be formed, the base measuring 3 or 6 parts, and the perpendicular 4 or 8 parts, the hypothenuse will be 5 or 10 parts; and if a square is erected on each side, these squares being subdivided into squares each side of which is one part in length, there will be as many of these in the square erected on the hypothenuse as in the other two squares together.

Now the Egyptians arranged their deities in Triads the FATHER or the Spirit or Active Principle or Generative Power; the MOTHER, or Matter, or the Passive Principle, or the Conceptive Power; and the SON, Issue or Product, the Universe, proceeding from the two principles. These were OSRIS, ISIS, and HORUS. In the same way, PLATO gives us thought the Father; Primitive Matter the Mother; and Kosmos the World, the Son, the Universe animated by a soul. Triads of the same kind are found in the Kabalah.

PLUTARCH says, in his book De Iside et Osiride, "But the better and diviner nature consists of three, — that which exists within the Intellect only, and Matter, and that which proceeds from these, which the Greeks call Kosmos; of which three, Plato is wont to call the Intelligible, the 'Idea, Exemplar, and Father', Matter, 'the Mother, the Nurse, and the place and receptacle of generation'; and the issue of these two, 'the Offspring and Genesis,"' the KOSMOS, "a word signifying equally Beauty and Order, or the Universe itself." You will not fail to notice that Beauty is symbolized by the Junior Warden in the South. Plutarch continues to say that the Egyptians compared the universal nature to what they called the most beautiful and perfect triangle, as Plato does, in that nuptial diagram, as it is termed, which he has introduced into his Commonwealth. When he adds that this triangle is right-angled, and its sides respectively as 3, 4, and 5; and he says, "We must suppose that the perpendicular is designed by them to represent the masculine nature, the base the feminine, and that the hypothenuse is to be looked upon as the offspring of both; and accordingly the first of them will aptly enough represent OSIRIS, or the prime cause; the second, ISIS, or the receptive capacity; the last, HORUS, or the common effect of the other two. For 3 is the first number which is composed of even and odd; and 4 is a square whose side is equal to the even number 2; but 5, being generated, as it were, out of the preceding numbers, 2 and 3, may be said to have an equal relation to both of them, as to its common parents."


The clasped hands is another symbol which was used by PYTHAGORAS. It represented the number 10, the sacred number in which all the preceding numbers were contained; the number expressed by the mysterious TERACTYS, a figure borrowed by him and the Hebrew priests alike from the Egyptian sacred science, and which ought to be replaced among the symbols of the Master's degree, where it of right belongs. The Hebrews formed it thus, with the letters of the Divine name:

The Tetractys thus leads you, not only to the study of the Pythagorean philosophy as to numbers, but also to the Kabalah, and will aid you in discovering the True Word, and understanding what was meant by "The Music of the Spheres." Modern science strikingly confirms the ideas of Pythagoras in regard to the properties of numbers, and that they govern in the Universe. Long before his time, nature had extracted her cube-roots and her squares.


All the FORCES at man's disposal or under man's control, or subject to man's influence, are his working tools. The friendship and sympathy that knit heart to heart are a force like the attraction of cohesion, by which the sandy particles became the solid rock. If this law of attraction or cohesion were taken away, the material worlds and suns would dissolve in an instant into thin invisible vapor. If the ties of friendship, affection, and love were annulled, mankind would become a raging multitude of wild and savage beasts of prey. The sand hardens into rock under the immense superincumbent pressure of the ocean, aided sometimes by the irresistible energy of fire; and when the pressure of calamity and danger is upon an order or a country, the members or the citizens ought to be the more closely united by the cohesion of sympathy and inter-dependence.

Morality is a force. It is the magnetic attraction of the heart toward Truth and Virtue. The needle, imbued with this mystic property, and pointing unerringly to the north, carries the mariner safely over the trackless ocean, through storm and darkness, until his glad eyes behold the beneficent beacons that welcome him to safe and hospitable harbor. Then the hearts of those who love him are gladdened, and his home made happy; and this gladness and happiness are due to the silent, unostentatious, unerring monitor that was the sailor's guide over the weltering waters. But if drifted too far northward, he finds the needle no longer true, but pointing elsewhere than to the north, what a feeling of helplessness falls upon the dismayed mariner, what utter loss of energy and courage ! It is as if the great axioms of morality were to fail and be no longer true, leaving the human soul to drift helplessly, eyeless like Prometheus, at the mercy of the uncertain, faithless currents of the deep.

Honor and Duty are the pole-stars of a Mason, the Dioscuri, by never losing sight of which he may avoid disastrous shipwreck. These Palinurus watched, until, overcome by sleep, and the vessel no longer guided truly, he fell into and was swallowed up by the insatiable sea. So the Mason who loses sight of these, and is no longer governed by their beneficent and potential force, is lost, and sinking out of sight, will disappear unhonored and unwept.

The force of electricity, analogous to that of sympathy, and by means of which great thoughts or base suggestions, the utterances of noble or ignoble natures, flash instantaneously over the nerves of nations; the force of growth, fit type of immortality, Iying dormant three thousand years in the wheat-grains buried with their mummies by the old Egyptians; the forces of expansion and contraction, developed in the earthquake and the tornado, and giving birth to the wonderful achievements of steam, have their parallelisms in the moral world, in individuals, and nations. Growth is a necessity for nations as for men. Its cessation is the beginning of decay. In the nation as well as the plant it is mysterious, and it is irresistible. The earthquakes that rend nations asunder, overturn thrones, and engulf monarchies and republics, have been long prepared for, like the volcanic eruption. Revolutions have long roots in the past. The force exerted is in direct proportion to the previous restraint and compression. The true statesman ought to see in progress the causes that are in due time to produce them; and he who does not is but a blind leader of the blind.

The great changes in nations, like the geological changes of the earth, are slowly and continuously wrought. The waters, falling from Heaven as rain and dews, slowly disintegrate the granite mountains; abrade the plains, leaving hills and ridges of denudation as their monuments; scoop out the valleys, fill up the seas, narrow the rivers, and after the lapse of thousands on thousands of silent centuries, prepare the great alluvia for the growth of that plant, the snowy envelope of whose seeds is to employ the looms of the world, and the abundance or penury of whose crops shall determine whether the weavers and spinners of other realms shall have work to do or starve.

So Public Opinion is an immense force; and its currents are as inconstant and incomprehensible as those of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, in free governments, it is omnipotent; and the business of the statesman is to find the means to shape, control, and direct it. According as that is done, it is beneficial and conservative, or destructive and ruinous. The Public Opinion of the civilized world is International Law; and it is so great a force, though with no certain and fixed boundaries, that it can even constrain the victorious despot to be generous, and aid an oppressed people in its struggle for independence.

Habit is a great force; it is second nature, even in trees. It is as strong in nations as in men. So also are Prejudices, which are given to men and nations as the passions are, — as forces, valuable, if properly and skillfully availed of; destructive, if unskillfully handled.

Above all, the Love of Country, State Pride, the Love of Home, are forces of immense power. Encourage them all. Insist upon them in your public men. Permanency of home is necessary to patriotism. A migratory race will have little love of country. State pride is a mere theory and chimera, where men remove from State to State with indifference, like the Arabs, who camp here to-day and there to-morrow.

If you have Eloquence, it is a mighty force. See that you use it for good purposes — to teach, exhort, ennoble the people, and not to mislead and corrupt them. Corrupt and venal orators are the assassins of the public liberties and of public morals.

The Will is a force; its limits as yet unknown. It is in the power of the will that we chiefly see the spiritual and divine in man. There is a seeming identity between his will that moves other men, and the Creative Will whose action seems so incomprehensible. It is the men of will and action, not the men of pure intellect, that govern the world.

Finally, the three greatest moral forces are FAITH, which is the only true WISDOM, and the very foundation of all government; HOPE, which is STRENGTH, and insures success; and CHARITY, which is BEAUTY, and alone makes animated, united effort possible. These forces are within the reach of all men; and an association of men, actuated by them, ought to exercise an immense power in the world. If Masonry does not, it is because she has ceased to possess them.

Wisdom in the man or statesman, in king or priest, largely consists in the due appreciation of these forces; and upon the general non-appreciation of some of them the fate of nations often depends. What hecatombs of lives often hang upon the not weighing or not sumciently weighing the force of an idea, such as, for example, the reverence for a flag, or the blind attachment to a form or constitution of government!

What errors in political economy and statesmanship are committed in consequence of the over-estimation or under-estimation of particular values, or the non-estimation of some among them ! Everything, it is asserted, is the product of human labor; but the gold or the diamond which one accidentally finds without labor is not so. What is the value of the labor bestowed by the husbandman upon his crops, compared with the value of the sunshine and rain, without which his labor avails nothing? Commerce carried on by the labor of man, adds to the value of the products of the field, the mine, or the workshop, by their transportation to different markcts; but how much of this increase is due to the rivers down which these products float, to the winds that urge the keels of commerce over the ocean !

Who can estimate the value of morality and manliness in a State, of moral worth and intellectual knowledge ? These are the sunshine and rain of the State. The winds, with their changeable, fickle, fluctuating currents, are apt emblems of the fickle humors of the populace, its passions, its heroic impulses, its enthusiasms. Woe to the statesman who does not estimate these as values !

Even music and song are sometimes found to have an incalculable value. Every nation has some song of a proven value, more easily counted in lives than dollars. The Marseillaise was worth to revolutionary France, who shall say how many thousand men?

Peace also is a great element of prosperity and wealth; a value not to be calculated. Social intercourse and association of men in beneficent Orders have a value not to be estimated in coin. The illustrious examples of the Past of a nation, the memories and immortal thoughts of her great and wise thinkers, statesmen, and heroes, are the invaluable legacy of that Past to the Present and Future. And all these have not only the values of the loftier and more excellent and priceless kind, but also an actual money-value, since it is only when co-operating with or aided or enabled by these, that human labor creates wealth. They are of the chief elements of material wealth, as they are of national manliness, heroism., glory, prosperity, and immortal renown.

Providence has appointed the three great disciplines of War, the Monarchy and the Priesthood, all that the CAMP, the PALACE, and the TEMPLE may symbolize, to train the multitudes forward to intelligent and premeditated combinations for all the great purposes of society. The result will at length be free governments among men, when virtue and intelligence become qualities of the multitudes; but for ignorance such governments are impossible. Man advances only by degrees. The removal of one pressing calamity gives courage to attempt the removal of the remaining evils, rendering men more sensitive to them, or perhaps sensitive for the first time. Serfs that writhe under the whip are not disquieted about tbeir political rights; manumitted from personal slavery, they be come sensitive to political oppression. Liberated from arbitrary power, and governed by the law alone, they begin to scrutinize the law itself, and desire to be governed, not only by law, but by what they deem the best law. And when the civil or temporal despotism has been set aside, and the municipal law has been moulded on the principles of an enlightened jurisprudence, they may wake to the discovery that they are living under some priestly or ecclesiastical despotism, and become desirous of working a reformation there also.

It is quite true that the advance of humanity is slow, and that it often pauses and retrogrades. In the kingdoms of the earth we do not see despotisms retiring and yielding the ground to self-governing communities. We do not see the churches and priesthoods of Christendom relinquishing their old task of governing men by imaginary terrors. Nowhere do we see a populace that could be safely manumitted from such a government. We do not see the great religious teachers aiming to discover truth for themselves and for others; but still ruling the world, and contented and compelled to rule the world, by whatever dogma is already accredited; themselves as much bound down by this necessity to govern, as the populace by their need of government. Poverty in all its most hideous forms still exists in the great cities; and the cancer of pauperism has its roots in the hearts of kingdoms. Men there take no measure of their wants and their own power to supply them, but live and multiply like the beasts of the field, — Providence having apparently ceased to care for them. Intelligence never visits these, or it makes its appearance as some new development of villainy. War has not ceased; still there are battles and sieges. Homes are still unhappy, and tears and anger aud spite make hells where there should be heavens. So much the more necessity for Masonry ! So much wider the field of its labors ! So much the more need for it to begin to be true to itself, to revive from its asphyxia, to repent of its apostasy to its true creed !

Undoubtedly, labor and death and the sexual passion are essential and permanent conditions of human existence, and render perfection and a millennium on earth impossible. Always, — it is the decree of Fate ! — the vast majority of men must toil to live, and cannot find time to cultivate the intelligence. Man, knowing he is to die, will not sacrifice the present enjoyment for a greater one in the future. The love of woman cannot die out; and it has a terrible and uncontrollable fate, increased by the refinements of civilization. Woman is the veritable syren or goddess of the young. But society can be improved; and free government is possible for States; and freedom of thought and conscience is no longer wholly utopian. Already we see that Emperors prefer to be elected by universal suffrage; that States are conveyed to Empires by vote; and that Empires are administered with something of the spirit of a Republic, being little else than democracies with a single head, ruling through one man, one representative, instead of an assembly of representatives. And if Priesthoods still govern, they now come before the laity to prove, by stress of argument, that they ougllt to govern. They are obliged to evoke the very reason which they are bent on supplanting.

Accordingly, men become daily more free, because the freedom of the man lies in his reason. He can reflect upon his own future conduct, and summon up its consequences; he can take wide views of human life, and lay down rules for constant guidance. Thus he is relieved of the tyranny of sense and passion, and enabled at any time to live according to the whole light of the knowledge that is within him, instead of being driven, like a dry leaf on the wings of the wind, by every present impulse. Herein lies the freedom of the man as regarded in connection with the necessity imposed by the omnipotence and fore-knowledge of God. So much light, so much liberty. When emperor and church appeal to reason there is naturally universal suffrage.

Therefore no one need lose courage, nor believe that labor in the cause of Progress will be labor wasted. There is no waste in nature, either of Matter, Force, Act, or Thought. A Thought is as much the end of life as an Action; and a single Thought sometimes works greater results than a Revolution, even Revolutions themselves. Still there should not be divorce between Thought and Action. The true Thought is that in which life culminates. But all wise and true Thought produces Action. It is generative, like the light; and light and the deep shadow of the passing cloud are the gifts of the prophets of the race. Knowledge, laboriously acquired, and inducing habits of sound Thought, — the reflective character, — must necessarily be rare. The multitude of laborers cannot acquire it. Most men attain to a very low standard of it. It is incompatible with the ordinary and indispensable avocations of life. A whole world of error as well as of labor, go to make one reflective man. In the most advanced nation of Europe there are more ignorant than wise, more poor than rich, more autornatic laborers, the mere creatures of habit, than reasoning and reflective men. The proportion is at least a thousand to one. Unanimity of opinion is so obtained. It only exists among the multitude who do not think, and the political or spiritual priesthood who think for that multitude, who think how to guide and govern them. When men begin to reflect, they begin to differ. The great problem is to find guides who will not seek to be tyrants. This is needed even more in respect to the heart than the head. Now, every man earns his special share of the produce of human labor, by an incessant scramble, by trickery and deceit. Useful knowledge, honorably acquired, is too often used after a fashion not honest or reasonable, so that the studies of youth are far more noble than the practices of manhood. The labor of the farmer in his fields, the generous returns of the earth, the benignant and favoring skies, tend to make him earnest, provident, and grateful; the education of the market-place makes him querulous, crafty, envious, and an intolerable niggard.

Masonry seeks to be this beneficent, unambitious, disinterested guide; and it is the very condition of all great structures that the sound of the hammer and the clink of the trowel should be always heard in some part of the building. With faith in man, hope for the future of humanity, loving-kindness for our fellows, Masonry and the Mason must always work and teach. Let each do that for which he is best fitted. The teacher also is a workman. Praiseworthy as the active navigator is, who comes and goes and makes one clime partake of the treasures of the other, and one to share the treasures of all, he who keeps the beacon-light upon the hill is also at his post.

Masonry has already helped cast down some idols from their pedestals, and grind to impalpable dust some of the links of the chains that held men's souls in bondage. That there has been progress needs no other demonstration than that you may now reason with men, and urge upon them, without danger of the rack or stake, that no doctrines can be apprehended as truths if they contradict each other, or contradict other truths given us by God. Long before the Reformation, a monk, who had found his way to heresy without the help of Martin Luther, not venturine to breathe aloud into any living ear his anti-papal and treasonable doctrines, wrote them on parchment, and sealing up theperilous record, hid it in the massive walls of his monastery. There was no friend or brother to whom he could intrust his secret or pour forth his soul. It was some consolation to imagine that in a future age some one might find the parchment, and the seed be found not to have been sown in vain. What if the truth should have to lie dormant as long before germinating as the wheat in the Egyptian mummy ? Speak it, nevertheless, again and again, and let it take its chance !

The rose of Jericho grows in the sandy deserts of Arabia and on the Syrian housetops. Scarcely six inches high, it loses its leaves after the flowering season, and dries up into the form of a ball. Then it is uprooted by the winds, and carried, blown, or tossed across the desert, into the sea. There, feeling the contact of the water, it unfolds itself, expands its branches, and expels its seeds from their seed-vessels. These, when saturated with water, are carried by the tide and laid on the sea-shore. Many are lost, as many individual lives of men are useless. But many are thrown back again from the sea-shore into the desert, where, by the virtue of the sea-water that they have imbibed, the roots and leaves sprout and they grow into fruitful plants, which will, in their turns, like their ancestors, be whirled into the sea. God will not be less careful to provide for the germination of the truths you may boldly utter forth. "Cast," He has said, "thy bread upon the waters, and after many days it shall return to thee again."

Initiation does not change: we find it again and again, and always the same, through all the ages. The last disciples of Pascalis Martinez are still the children of Orpheus; but they adore the realizer of the antique philosophy, the Incarnate Word of the Christians.

Pythagoras, the great divulger of the philosophy of numbers, visited all the sanctuaries of the world. He went into Judaea, where he procured himself to be circumcised, that he might be admitted to the secrets of the Kabalah, which the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, not without some reservations, communicated to him. Then, not without some difficulty, he succeeded in being admitted to the Egyptian initiation, upon the recommendation of King Amasis. The power of his genius supplied the deficiencies of the imperfect communications of the Hierophants, and he himself became a Master and a Revealer.

Pythagoras defined God: a Living and Absolute Verity clothed with Light.

He said that the Word was Number manifested by Form.

He made all descend from the Tetyactys, that is to say, from the Quaternary.

God, he said again, is the Supreme Music, the nature of which is Harmony.

Pythagoras gave the magistrates of Crotona this great religious, political and social precept:

"There is no evil that is not preferable to Anarchy."

Pythagoras said, "Even as there are three divine notions and free intelligible regions, so there is a triple word, for the Hierarehical Order always manifests itself by threes. There are the word simple, the word hieroglyphical, and the word symbolic: in other terms, there are the word that expresses, the word that conceals, and the word that signifies; the whole hieratic intelligence is in the perfect knowledge of these three degrees."

Pythagoras enveloped doctrine with symbols, but carefully eschewed personifications and images, which, he thought, sooner or later produced idolatry.

The Holy Kabalah, or tradition of the children of Seth, was carried from Chaldcea by Abraham, taught to the Egyptian priesthood by Joseph, recovered and purified by Moses, concealed under symbols in the Bible, revealed by the Saviour to Saint John, and contained, entire, under hieratic figures analogous to those of all antiquity, in the Apocalypse of that Apostle.

The Kabalists consider God as the Intelligent, Animated, Living Infinite. He is not, for them, either the aggregate of existences, or existence in the abstract, or a being philosophically definable. He is in all, distinct from all, and greater than all. His name even is ineffable; and yet this name only expresses the human ideal of His divinity. What God is in Himself, it is not given to man to comprehend.

God is the absolute of Faith; but the absolute of Reason is BEING, "I am that I am," is a wretched translation.

Being, Existence, is by itself, and because it Is. The reason of Being, is Being itself. We may inquire, "Why does something exist?" that is, "Why does such or such a thing exist?" But we cannot, without being absurd, ask, "Why Is Being?" That would be to suppose Being before Being. If Being had a cause, that cause would necessarily Be; that is, the cause and effect would be identical.

Reason and science demonstrate to us that the modes of Existence and Being balance each other in equilibrium according to harmonious and hierarchic laws. But a hierarchy is synthetized, in ascending, and becomes ever more and more monarchial. Yet the reason cannot pause at a simle chief, without being alarmed at the abysses which it seems to leave above this Supreme Monarch. Therefore it is silent, and gives place to the Faith it adores.

What is certain, even for science and the reason, is, that the idea of God is the grandest, the most holy, and the most useful of all the aspirations of man; that upon this belief morality reposes, with its eternal sanction. This belief, then, is in humanity, the most real of the phenomena of being; and if it were false, nature would affirm the absurd; nothingness would give form to life, and God would at the same time be and not be.

It is to this philosophic and incontestable reality, which is termed The Idea of God, that the Kabalists give a name. In this name all others are contained. Its cyphers contain all the numbers; and the hieroglyphics of its letters express all the laws and all the things of nature.

BEING IS BEING: the reason of Being is in Being: in the Beginning is the Word, and the Word in logic formulated Speech, the spoken Reason; the Word is in God, and is God Himself, manifested to the Intelligence. Here is what is above all the philosophies. This we must believe, under the penalty of never truly knowing anything, and relapsing into the absurd skepticism of Pyrrho. The Priesthood, custodian of Faith, wholly rests upon this basis of knowledge, and it is in its teachings we must recognize the Divine Principle of the Eternal Word.

Light is not Spirit, as the Indian Hierophants believed it to be; but only the instrument of the Spirit. It is not the body of the Protoplastes, as the Theurgists of the school of Alexandria taught, but the first physical manifestation of the Divine afflatus. God eternally creates it, and man, in the image of God, modifies and seems to multiply it.

The high magic is styled "The Sacerdotal Art," and "The Royal Art." In Egypt, Greece, and Rome, it could not but share the greatnesses and decadences of the Priesthood and of Royalty. Every philosophy hostile to the national worship and to its mysteries, was of necessity hostile to the great political powers, whichlose their grandeur, if they cease, in the eyes of the multitudes, to be the images of the Divine Power. Every Crown is shattered, when it clashes against the Tiara.

Plato, writing to Dionysius the Younger, in regard to the nature of the First Principle, says: "I must write to you in enigmas, so that if my letter be intercepted by land or sea, he who shall read it may in no degree comprehend it." And then he says, "All things surround their King; they are, on account of Him, and He alone is the cause of good things, Second for the Seconds and Third for the Thirds."

There is in these few words a complete summary of the Theology of the Sephiroth. "The King" is AINSOPH, Being Supreme and Absolute. From this centre, which is everywhere, all things ray forth; but we especially conceive of it in three manners and in three different spheres. In the Divine world (AZILUTH), which is that of the First Cause, and wherein the whole Eternity of Things in the beginning existed as Unity, to be afterward, during Eternity uttered forth, clothed with form, and the attributes that constitute them matter, the First Principle is Single and First, and yet not the VERY Illimitable Deity, incomprehensible, undefinable; but Himself in so far as manifested by the Creative Thought. To compare littleness with infinity, — Arkwright, as inventor of the spinning-jenny, and not the man Arkwright otherwise and beyond that. All we can know of the Very God is, compared to His Wholeness, only as an infinitesimal fraction of a unit, compared with an infinity of Units.

In the World of Creation, which is that of Second Causes [the Kabalistic World BRIAH], the Autocracy of the First Principle is complete, but we conceive of it only as the Cause of the Second Causes. Here it is manifested by the Binary, and is the Creative Principle passive. Finally: in the third world, YEZIRAH, or of Formation, it is revealed in the perfect Form, the Form of Forms, the World, the Supreme Beauty and Excellence, the Created Perfection. Thus the Principle is at once the First, the Second, and the Third, since it is All in All, the Centre and Cause of all. It is not the genius of Plato that we here admire. We recognize only the exact knowledge of the Initiate.

The great Apostle Saint John did not borrow from the philosophy of Plato the opening of his Gospel. Plato, on the contrary, drank at the same springs with Saint John and Philo; and John in the opening verses of his paraphrase, states the first principles of a dogma common to many schools, but in language especially belonging to Bhilo, whom it is evident he had read. The philosophy of Plato, the greatest of human Revealers, could yearn toward the Word made man; the Gospel alone could give him to the world.

Doubt, in presence of Being and its harmonies; skepticism, in the face of the eternal mathematics and the immutable laws of Life which make the Divinity present and visible everywhere, as the Human is known and visible by its utterances of word and act, — is this not the most foolish of superstitions, and the most inexcusable as well as the most dangerous of all credulities ? Thought, we know, is not a result or consequence of the organization of matter, of the chemical or other action or reaction of its particles, like effervescence and gaseous explosions. On the contrary, the fact that Thought is manifested and realized in act human or act divine, proves the existence of an Entity, or Unity, that thinks. And the Universe is the Infinite Utterance of one of an infinite number of Infinite Thoughts, which cannot but emanate from an Infinite and Thinking Source. The cause is always equal, at least, to the effect; and matter cannot think, nor could it cause itself, or exist without cause, nor could nothing produce either forces or things; for in void nothingness no Forces can inhere. Admit a self-existent Force, and its Intelligence, or an Intelligent cause of it is admitted, and at once GOD Is.

The Hebrew allegory of the Fall of Man, which is but a special variation of a universal legend, symbolizes one of the grandest and most universal allegories of science.

Moral Evil is Falsehood in actions, as Falsehood is Crime in words.

Injustice is the essence of Falsehood; and every false word is an injustice.

Injustice is the death of the Moral Being, as Falsehood is the poison of the Intelligence.

The perception of the Light is the dawn of the Eternal Life, in Being. The Word of God, which creates the Light, seems to be uttered by every Intelligence that can take cognizance of Forms and will look. "Let the Light BE! The Light, in fact, exists, in its condition of splendor, for those eyes alone that gaze at it; and the Soul, amorous of the spectacle of the beauties of the Universe, and applying its attention to that luminous writing of the Infinite Book, which is called "The Visible," seems to utter, as God did on the dawn of the first day, that sublime and creative word, "BE! LIGHT !"

It is not beyond the tomb, but in life itself, that we are to seek for the mysteries of death. Salvation or reprobation begins here below, and the terrestrial world too has its Heaven and its Hell. Always, even here below, virtue is rewarded; always, even here below, vice is pwlished; and that which makes us sometimes believe in the impunity of evil-doers is that riches, those instruments of good and of evil, seem sometimes to be given them at hazard. But woe to unjust men, when they possess the key of gold ! It opens, for them, only the gate of the tomb and of Hell.

All the true Initiates have recognized the usefulness of toil and sorrow. "Sorrow," says a German poet, "is the dog of that unknown shepherd who guides the flock of men." To learn to suffer, to learn to die, is the discipline of Eternity, the immortal Novitiate.

The allegorical picture of Cebes, in which the Divine Comedy of Dante was sketched in Plato's time, the description whereof has been preserved for us, and which many painters of the middle age have reproduced by this description, is a monument at once philosophical and magical. It is a most complete moral synthesis, and at the same time the most audacious demonstration ever given of the Grand Arcanum, of that secret whose revelation would overturn Earth and Heaven. Let no one expect us to give them its explanation ! He who passes behind the veil that hides this mystery, understands that it is in its very nature inexplicable, and that it is death to those who win it by surprise, as well as to him who reveals it.

This secret is the Royalty of the Sages, the Crown of the Initiate whom we see redescend victorious from the summit of Trials, in the fine allegory of Cebes. The Grand Arcanun1 makes him master of gold and the light, which are at bottom the same thing, he has solved the problem of the quadrature of the circle, he directs the perpetual movement, and he possesses the philosophical stone. Here the Adepts will understand us. There is neither interruption in the toil of nature, nor gap in her work. The Harmonies of Heaven correspond to those of Earth, and the Eternal Life accomplishes its evolutions in accordance with the same laws as the life of a dog. "God has arranged all things by weight, number, and measure," says the Bible; and this luminous doctrine was also that of Plato.

Humanity has never really had but one religion and one worship. This universal light has had its uncertain mirages, its deceitful reflections, and its shadows; but always, after the nights of Error, we see it reappear, one and pure like the Sun.

The magnificences of worship are the life of religion, and if Christ wishes poor ministers, His Sovereign Divinity does not wish paltry altars. Some Protestants have not comprehended that worship is a teaching, and that we must not create in the imagination of the multitude a mean or miserable God. Those oratories that resemble poorly-furnished offices or inns, and those worthy ministers clad like notaries or lawyer's clerks, do they not necessarily cause religion to be regarded as a mere puritanic formality, and God as a Justice of the Peace?

We scoff at the Augurs. It is so easy to scoff, and so difficult well to comprehend. Did the Deity leave the whole world without Light for two score centuries, to illuminate only a little corner of Palestine and a brutal, ignorant, and ungrateful people? Why always calumniate God and the Sanctuary ? Were there never any others than rogues among the priests? Could no honest and sincere men be found among the Hierophants of Ceres or Diana, of Dionusos or Apollo, of Hermes or Mithras ? Were these, then, all deceived, like the rest? Who, then, constantly deceived them, without betraying themselves, during a series of centuries? — for the cheats are not immortal ! Arago said, that outside of the pure mathematics, he who utters the word "impossible," is wanting in prudence and good sense.

The true name of Satan, the Kabalists say, is that of Yahveh reversed; for Satan is not a black god, but the negation of God. The Devil is the personification of Atheism or Idolatry.

For the Initiates, this is not a Person, but a Force, created for good, but which may serve for evil. It is the instrument of Liberty or Free Will. They represent this Force, which presides over the physical generation, under the mythologic and horned form of the God PAN; thence came the he-goat of the Sabbat, brother of the Ancient Serpent, and the Light-bearer or Phosphor, of which the poets have made the false Lucifer of the legend.

Gold, to the eyes of the Initiates, is Light condensed. They style the sacred numbers of the Kabalah "golden numbers," and the moral teachings of Pythagoras his "golden verses." For the same reason, a mysterious book of Apuleius, in which an ass figures largely, was called "The Golden Ass."

The Pagans accused the Christians of worshipping an ass, and they did not invent this reproach, but it came from the Samaritan Jews, who, figuring the data of the Kabalah in regard to the Divinity by Egyptian symbols, also represented the Intelligence by the figure of the Magical Star adored under the name of Remphan, Science under the emblem of Anubis, whose name they changed to Nibbas, and the vulgar faith or credulity under the figure of Thartac, a god represented with a book, a cloak, and the head of an ass. According to the Samaritan Doctors, Christianity was the reign of Thartac, blind Faith and vulgar credulity erected into a universal oracle, and preferred to Intelligence and Science.

Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais, a great Kabalist, but of doubtful orthodoxy, wrote:

"The people will always mock at things easy to be misunderstood; it must needs have impostures."

"A Spirit," he said, "that loves wisdom and contemplates the Trufh close at hand, is forced to disguise it, to induce the multitudes to accept it.... Fictions are necessary to the people, and the Truth becomes deadly to those who are not strong enough to contemplate it in all its brilliance. If the sacerdotal laws allowed the reservation of judgments and the allegory of words, I would accept the proposed dignity on condition that I might be a philosopher at home, and abroad a narrator of apologues and parables..... In fact, what can there be in common between the vile multitude and sublime wisdom? The truth must be kept secret, and the masses need a teaching proportioned to their imperfect reason."

Moral disorders produce physical ugliness, and in some sort realize those frightful faces which tradition assigns to the demons.

The first Druids were the true children of the Magi, and their initiation came from Egypt and Chaldaea, that is to say, from the pure sources of the primitive Kabalah. They adored the Trinity under the names of Isis or Hesus, the Supreme Harmony; of Belerl or Bel, which in Assyrian means Lord, a name corresponding to that of ADONAI; and of Camul or Camael, a name that in the Kabalah personifies the Divine Justice. Below this triangle of Light they supposed a divine reflection, also composed of three personified rays: first, Teutates or Teuth, the same as the Thoth of the Egyptians, the Word, or the Intelligence formulated; then Force and Beauty, whose names varied like their emblems. Finally, they completed the sacred Septenary by a mysterious image that represented the progress of the dogma and its future realizations. This was a young girl veiled, holding a child in her arms; and they dedicated this image to "The Virgin who will become a mother; — Virgini pariturae."

Hertha or Wertha, the young Isis of Gaul, Queen of Heaven, the Virgin who was to bear a child, held the spindle of the Fates, filled with wool half white and half black; because she presides over all forms and all symbols, and weaves the garment of the Ideas.

One of the most mysterious pantacles of the Kabalah, contained in the Enchiridion of Leo III., represents an equilateral triangle reversed, inscribed in a double circle. On the triangle are written, in such manner as to form the prophetic Tau, the two Hebrew words so often found appended to the Ineffable Name, and ALOHAYIM, or the Powers, and TSABAOTH, or the starry Armies and their guiding spirits; words also which symbolize the Equilibrium of the Forces of Nature and the Harmony of Numbers. To the three sides of the triangle belong the three great Names IAHAVEH, ADONAI, and AGLA. Above the first is written in Latin, Formatio, above the second Reformatio, and above the third, Transformatio. So Creation is ascribed to the FATHER, Redemption or Reformation to the SON, and Sanctification or Transformation to the HOLY SPIRIT, answering unto the mathematical laws of Action, Reaction, and Equilibrium. IAHAVEH is also, in effect, the Genesis or Formation of dogma, by the elementary signification of the four letters of the Sacred Tetragram; ADONAI; is the realization of this dogma in the Human Form, in the Visible LORD, who is the Son of God or the perfect Man; and AGLA (formed of the initials of the four words Ath Gebur Laulaim Adonai) expresses the synthesis of the whole dogma and the totality of the Kabalistic science, clearly indicating by the hieroglyphics of which this admirable name is formed the Triple Secret of the Great Work.

Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it. So God Himself incapacitates many men, by color-blindness, to distinguish colors, and leads the masses away from the highest Truth, giving them the power to attain only so much of it as it is profitable to them to know. Every age has had a religion suited to its capacity.

The Teachers, even of Christianity, are, in general, the most ignorant of the true meaning of that which they teach. There is no book of which so little is known as the Bible. To most who read it, it is as incomprehensible as the Sohar.

So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray. There is no sight under the sun more pitiful and ludicrous at once, than the spectacle of the Prestons and the Webbs, not to mention the later incarnations of Dullness and Commonplace, undertaking to "explain" the old symbols of Masonry, and adding to and "improving" them, or inventing new ones.

To the Circle inclosing the central point, and itself traced between two parallel lines, a figure purely Kabalistic, these persons have added the superimposed Bible, and even reared on that the ladder with three or nine rounds, and then given a vapid interpretation of the whole, so profoundly absurd as actually to excite admiration.

IV. SECRET MASTER

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the mere vehicles of great lessons in morality and philosophy. You will more fully appreciate its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you advance in the different Degrees, which you will find to constitute a great, complete, and harmonious system.

If you have been disappointed in the first three Degrees, as you have received them, and if it has seemed to you that the performance has not come up to the promise, that the lessons of morality are not new, and the scientific instruction is but rudimentary, and the symbols are imperfectly explained, remember that the ceremonies and lessons of those Degrees have been for ages more and more accommodating themselves, by curtailment and sinking into commonplace, to the often limited memory and capacity of the Master and Instructor, and to the intellect and needs of the Pupil and Initiate; that they have come to us from an age when symbols were used, not to reveal but to conceal; when the commonest learning was confined to a select few, and the simplest principles of morality seemed newly discovered truths; and that these antique and simple Degrees now stand like the broken columns of a roofless Druidic temple, in their rude and mutilated greatness; in many parts, also, corrupted by time, and disfigured by modern additions and absurd interpretations. They are but the entrance to the great Masonic Temple, the triple columns of the portico.

You have taken the first step over its threshold, the first step toward the inner sanctuary and heart of the temple. You are in the path that leads up the slope of the mountain of Truth; and it depends upon your secrecy, obedience, and fidelity, whether you will advance or remain stationary.

Imagine not that you will become indeed a Mason by learning what is commonly called the "work," or even by becoming familiar with our traditions. Masonry has a history, a literature, a philosophy. Its allegories and traditions will teach you much; but much is to be sought elsewhere. The streams of learning that now flow full and broad must be followed to their heads in the springs that well up in the remote past, and you will there find the origin and meaning of Masonry.

A few rudimentary lessons in architecture, a few universally admitted maxims of morality, a few unimportant traditions, whose real meaning is unknown or misunderstood, will no longer satisfy the earnest inquirer after Masonic truth. Let whoso is content with these, seek to climb no higher. He who desires to understand the harmonious and beautiful proportions of Freemasonry must read, study, reflect, digest, and discriminate. The true Mason is an ardent seeker after knowledge; and he knows that both books and the antique symbols of Masonry are vessels which come down to us full-freighted with the intellectual riches of the Past; and that in the lading of these argosies is much that sheds light on the history of Masonry, and proves its claim to be acknowledged the benefactor of mankind, born in the very cradle of the race.

Knowledge is the most genuine and real of human treasures; for it is Light, as Ignorance is Darkness. It is the development of the human soul, and its acquisition the growth of the soul, which at the birth of man knows nothing, and therefore, in one sense, may be said to be nothing. It is the seed, which has in it the power to grow, to acquire, and by acquiring to be developed, as the seed is developed into the shoot, the plant, the tree. "We need not pause at the common argument that by learning man excelleth man, in that wherein man excelleth beasts; that by learning man ascendeth to the heavens and their motions, where in body he cannot come, and the like. Let us rather regard the dignity and excellency of knowledge and learning in that whereunto man's nature doth most aspire, which is immortality or continuance. For to this tendeth generation, and raising of Houses and Families; to this buildings, foundations, and monuments; to this tendeth the desire of memory, fame, and celebration, and in effect the strength of all other human desires." That our influences shall survive us, and be living forces when we are in our graves; and no merely that our names shall be remembered; but rather that our works shall be read, our acts spoken of, our names recollected an mentioned when we are dead, as evidences that those influences live and rule, sway and control some portion of mankind and of the world, — this is the aspiration of the human soul. "We see then how far the monuments of genius and learning are more durable than monuments of power or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter, during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities, have decayed and been demolished? It is no possible to have the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander Caesar, no, nor of the Kings or great personages of much late years; for the originals cannot last, and the copies cannot but lose of the life and truth. But the images of men's genius and knowledge remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages; so that if the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make age so distant to participate of the wisdom, illumination, and inventions, the one of the other."

To learn, to attain knowledge, to be wise, is a necessity for ever truly noble soul; to teach, to communicate that knowledge, to share that wisdom with others, and not churlishly to lock up his exchequer, and place a sentinel at the door to drive away the needy, is equally an impulse of a noble nature, and the worthies work of man.

"There was a little city," says the Preacher, the son of David "and few men within it; and there came a great King against it and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then said I, wisdom is better than strength nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard." If it should chance to you, my brother, to do mankind good service, and be rewarded with indifference and forgetfulness only, still be not discouraged, but remember the further advice of the wise King. "In the morning sow the seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, this or that, or whether both shall be alike good." Sow you the seed, whoever reaps. Learn, that you may be enabled to do good; and do so because it is right, finding in the act itself ample reward and recompense.

To attain the truth, and to serve our fellows, our country, and mankind — this is the noblest destiny of man. Hereafter and all your life it is to be your object. If you desire to ascend to that destiny, advance! If you have other and less noble objects, and are contented with a lower flight, halt here ! let others scale the heights, and Masonry fulfill her mission.

If you will advance, gird up your loins for the struggle ! for the way is long and toilsome. Pleasure, all smiles, will beckon you on the one hand, and Indolence will invite you to sleep among the flowers, upon the other. Prepare, by secrecy, obedience, and fidelity, to resist the allurements of both !

Secrecy is indispensable in a Mason of whatever Degree. It is the first and almost the only lesson taught to the Entered Apprentice. The obligations which we have each assumed toward every Mason that lives, requiring of us the performance of the most serious and onerous duties toward those personally unknown to us until they demand our aid, — duties that must be performed, even at the risk of life, or our solemn oaths be broken and violated, and we be branded as false Masons and faithless men, teach us how profound a folly it would be to betray our secrets to those who, bound to us by no tie of common obligation, might, by obtaining them, call on us in their extremity, when the urgency of the occasion should allow us no time for inquiry, and the peremptory mandate of our obligation compel us to do a brother's duty to a base impostor.

The secrets of our brother, when communicated to us, must be sacred, if they be such as the law of our country warrants us to keep. We are required to keep none other, when the law that we are called on to obey is indeed a law, by having emanated from the only source of power, the People. Edicts which emanate from the mere arbitrary will of a despotic power, contrary to the law of God or the Great Law of Nature, destructive of the inherent rights of man, violative of the right of free thought, free speech, free conscience, it is lawful to rebel against and strive to abrogate.

For obedience to the Law does not mean submission to tyranny nor that, by a profligate sacrifice of every noble feeling, we should offer to despotism the homage of adulation. As every new victim falls, we may lift our voice in still louder flattery. We may fall at the proud feet, we may beg, as a boon, the honour of kissing that bloody hand which has been lifted against the helpless. We may do more we may bring the altar and the sacrifice, and implore the God not to ascend too soon to Heaven. This we may do, for this we have the sad remembrance that beings of a human form and soul have done. But this is all we can do. We can constrain our tongues to be false, our features to bend themselves to the semblance of that passionate adoration which we wish to express, our knees to fall prostrate; but our heart we cannot constrain. There virtue must still have a voice which is not to be drowned by hymns and acclamations; there the crimes which we laud as virtues, are crimes still, and he whom we have made a God is the most contemptible of mankind; if, indeed, we do not feel, perhaps, that we are ourselves still more contemptible.

But that law which is the fair expression of the will and judgment of the people, is the enactment of the whole and of every individual. Consistent with the law of God and the great law of nature, consistent with pure and abstract right as tempered by necessity and the general interest, as contra-distinguished from the private interest of individuals, it is obligatory upon all, because it is the work of all, the will of all, the solemn judgment of all, from which there is no appeal.

In this Degree, my brother, you are especially to learn the duty of obedience to that law. There is one true and original law, conformable to reason and to nature, diffused over all, invariable, eternal, which calls to the fulfillment of duty and to abstinence from injustice, and calls with that irresistible voice which is felt l in all its authority wherever it is heard. This law cannot be abrogated or diminished, or its sanctions affected, by any law of man. A whole senate, a whole people, cannot dissent from its paramount obligation. It requires no commentator to render it distinctly intelligible nor is it one thing at Rome, another at Athens; one thing now, and another in the ages to come; but in all times and in all nations, it is, and has been, and will be, one and everlasting; — one as that God, its great Author and Promulgator, who is the Common Sovereign of all mankind, is Himself One. No man can disobey it without flying, as it were, from his own bosom, and repudiating his nature; and in this very act he will inflict on himself the severest of retributions, even though he escape what is regarded as punishment.

It is our duty to obey the laws of our country, and to be careful that prejudice or passion, fancy or affection, error and illusion, be not mistaken for conscience. Nothing is more usual than to pretend conscience in all the actions of man which are public and cannot be concealed. The disobedient refuse to submit to the laws, and they also in many cases pretend conscience; and so disobedience and rebellion become conscience, in which there is neither knowledge nor revelation, nor truth nor charity, nor reason nor religion. Conscience is tied to laws. Right or sure conscience is right reason reduced to practice, and conducting moral actions, while perverse conscience is seated in the fancy or affections — a heap of irregular principles and irregular defects — and is the same in conscience as deformity is in the body, or peevishness in the affections. It is not enough that the conscience be taught by nature; but it must be taught by God, conducted by reason, made operative by discourse, assisted by choice, instructed by laws and sober principles; and then it is right, and it may be sure. All the general measures of justice, are the laws of God, and therefore they constitute the general rules of government for the conscience; but necessity also hath a large voice in the arrangement of human affairs, and the disposal of human relations, and the dispositions of human laws; and these general measures, like a great river into little streams, are deduced into little rivulets and particularities, by the laws and customs, by the sentences and agreements of men, and by the absolute despotism of necessity, that will not allow perfect and abstract justice and equity to be the sole rule of civil government in an imperfect world; and that must needs be law which is for the greatest good of the greatest number.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it. It is better thou shouldest not vow than thou shouldest vow and not pay. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God for God is in Heaven, and thou art upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. Weigh well what it is you promise; but once the promise and pledge are given remember that he who is false to his obligation will be false to his family, his friends, his country, and his God.

Fides servailda est Faith plighted is ever to be kept, was a maxim and an axiom even among pagans. The virtuous Roman said, either let not that which seems expedient be base, or if it be base, let it not seem expedient. What is there which that so-called expediency can bring, so valuable as that which it takes away, if it deprives you of the name of a good man and robs you of your integrity and honour? In all ages, he who violates his plighted word has been held unspeakably base. The word of a Mason, like the word of a knight in the times of chivalry, once given must be sacred; and the judgment of his brothers, upon him who violates his pledge, should be stern as the judgments of the Roman Censors against him who violated his oath. Good faith is revered among Masons as it was among the Romans, who placed its statue in the capitol, next to that of Jupiter Maximus Optimus; and we, like them, hold that calamity should always be chosen rather than baseness; and with the knights of old, that one should always die rather than be dishonoured.

Be faithful, therefore, to the promises you make, to the pledges you give, and to the vows that you assume, since to break either is base and dishonourable.

Be faithful to your family, and perform all the duties of a good father, a good son, a good husband, and a good brother.

Be faithful to your friends; for true friendship is of a nature not only to survive through all the vicissitudes of life, but to continue through an endless duration; not only to stand the shock of conflicting opinions, and the roar of a revolution that shakes the world, but to last when the heavens are no more, and to spring fresh from the ruins of the universe.

Be faithful to your country, and prefer its dignity and honour to any degree of popularity and honour for yourself; consulting its interest rather than your own, and rather than the pleasure and gratification of the people, which are often at variance with their welfare.

Be faithful to Masonry, which is to be faithful to the best interests of mankind. Labour, by precept and example, to elevate the standard of Masonic character, to enlarge its sphere of influence, to popularize its teachings, and to make all men know it for the Great Apostle of Peace, Harmony, and Good-will on earth among men; of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

Masonry is useful to all men to the learned, because it affords them the opportunity of exercising their talents upon subjects eminently worthy of their attention; to the illiterate, because it offers them important instruction; to the young, because it presents them with salutary precepts and good examples, and accustoms them to reflect on the proper mode of living; to the man of the world, whom it furnishes with noble and useful recreation; to the traveller, whom it enables to find friends and brothers in countries where else he would be isolated and solitary; to the worthy man in misfortune, to whom it gives assistance; to the afflicted, on whom it lavishes consolation; to the charitable man, whom it enables to do more good, by uniting with those who are charitable like himself; and to all who have souls capable of appreciating its importance, and of enjoying the charms of a friendship founded on the same principles of religion, morality, and philanthropy.

A Freemason, therefore, should be a man of honour and of conscience, preferring his duty to everything beside, even to his life; independent in his opinions, and of good morals, submissive to the laws, devoted to humanity, to his country, to his family; kind and indulgent to his brethren, friend of all virtuous men, and ready to assist his fellows by all means in his power.

Thus will you be faithful to yourself, to your fellows, and to God, and thus will you do honour to the name and rank of SECRET MASTER; which, like other Masonic honours, degrades if it is not deserved.

V. PERFECT MASTER

The Master Khurum was an industrious and an honest man. What he was employed to do he did diligently, and he did it well and faithfully. He received no wages that were not his due. Industry and honesty are the virtues peculiarly inculcated in this Degree. They are common and homely virtues; but not for that beneath our notice. As the bees do not love or respect the drones, so Masonry neither loves nor respects the idle and those who live by their wits; and least of all those parasitic acari that live upon themselves. For those who are indolent are likely to become dissipated and vicious; and perfect honesty, which ought to be the common qualification of all, is more rare than diamonds. To do earnestly and steadily, and to do faithfully and honestly that which we have to do — perhaps this wants but little, when looked at from every point of view, of including the whole body of the moral law; and even in their commonest and homeliest application, these virtues belong to the character of a Perfect Master.

Idleness is the burial of a living man. For an idle person is so useless to any purposes of God and man, that he is like one who is dead, unconcerned in the changes and necessities of the world; and he only lives to spend his time, and eat the fruits of the earth. Like a vermin or a wolf, when his time comes, he dies and perishes, and in the meantime is nought. He neither ploughs nor carries burdens: all that he does is either unprofitable or mischievous.

It is a vast work that any man may do, if he never be idle: and it is a huge way that a man may go in virtue, if he never go out of his way by a vicious habit or a great crime: and he who perpetually reads good books, if his parts be answerable, will have a huge stock of knowledge.

St. Ambrose, and from his example, St. Augustine, divided every day into these tertias of employment: eight hours they spent in the necessities of nature and recreation: eight hours in charity, in doing assistance to others, dispatching their business, reconciling their enmities, reproving their vices, correcting their errors, instructing their ignorance, and in transacting the affairs of their dioceses; and the other eight hours they spent in study and prayer.

We think, at the age of twenty, that life is much too long for that which we have to learn and do; and that there is an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and according as we have profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way we have come, and cast up and endeavour to balance our accounts with time and opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown away a huge portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of our years the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours each day, during which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or ruffied by a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between us and which stood irksomely the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned and done, in half a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our forty years of manhood.

To learn and to do ! — this is the soul's work here below. The soul grows as truly as an oak grows. As the tree takes the carbon of the air, the dew, the rain, and the light, and the food that the earth supplies to its roots, and by its mysterious chemistry transmutes them into sap and fibre, into wood and leaf, and flower and fruit, and colour and perfume, so the soul imbibes knowledge and by a divine alchemy changes what it learns into its own substance, and grows from within outwardly with an inherent force and power like those that lie hidden in the grain of wheat.

The soul hath its senses, like the body, that may be cultivated, enlarged, refined, as itself grows in stature and proportion; and he who cannot appreciate a fine painting or statue, a noble poem, a sweet harmony, a heroic thought, or a disinterested action, or to whom the wisdom of philosophy is but foolishness and babble, and the loftiest truths of less importance than the price of stocks or cotton, or the elevation of baseness to once, merely lives on the level of commonplace, and fitly prides himself upon that inferiority of the soul's senses, which is the inferiority and imperfect development of the soul itself.

To sleep little, and to study much; to say little, and to hear and think much; to learn, that we may be able to do, and then to do, earnestly and vigorously, whatever may be required of us by duty, and by the good of our fellows, our country, and mankind, — these are the duties of every Mason who desires to imitate the Master Khurum.

The duty of a Mason as an honest man is plain and easy. It requires of us honesty in contracts, sincerity in arming, simplicity in bargaining, and faithfulness in performing. Lie not at all, neither in a little thing nor in a great, neither in the substance nor in the circumstance, neither in word nor deed: that is, pretend not what is false; cover not what is true; and let the measure of your affirmation or denial be the understanding of your contractor; for he who deceives the buyer or the seller by speaking what is true, in a sense not intended or understood by the other, is a liar and a thief. A Perfect Master must avoid that which deceives, equally with that which is false.

Let your prices be according to that measure of good and evil which is established in the fame and common accounts of the wisest and most merciful men, skilled in that manufacture or commodity; and the gain such, which, without scandal, is allowed to persons in all the same circumstances.

In intercourse with others, do not do all which thou mayest lawfully do; but keep something within thy power; and, because there is a latitude of gain in buying and selling, take not thou the utmost penny that is lawful, or which thou thinkest so; for although it be lawful, yet it is not safe; and he who gains all that he can gain lawfully, this year, will possibly be tempted, next year, to gain something unlawfully.

Let no man, for his own poverty, become more oppressing and cruel in his bargain; but quietly, modestly, diligently, and patiently recommend his estate to God, and follow his interest, and leave the success to Him.

Detain not the wages of the hireling; for every degree of detention of it beyond the time, is injustice and uncharitableness, and grinds his face till tears and blood come out; but pay him exactly according to covenant, or according to his needs.

Religiously keep all promises and covenants, though made to your disadvantage, though afterward you perceive you might have done better; and let not any precedent act of yours be altered by any after-accident. Let nothing make you break your promise, unless it be unlawful or impossible; that is, either out of your nature or out of your civil power, yourself being under the power of another; or that it be intolerably inconvenient to yourself, and of no advantage to another; or that you have leave expressed or reasonably presumed.

Let no man take wages or fees for a work that he cannot do, or cannot with probability undertake; or in some sense profitably, and with ease, or with advantage manage. Let no man appropriate to his own use, what God, by a special mercy, or the Republic, hath made common; for that is against both Justice and Charity.

That any man should be the worse for us, and for our direct act, and by our intention, is against the rule of equity, of justice, and of charity. We then do not that to others, which we would have done to ourselves; for we grow richer upon the ruins of their fortune.

It is not honest to receive anything from another without returning him an equivalent therefor. The gamester who wins the money of another is dishonest. There should be no such thing as bets and gaming among Masons: for no honest man should desire that for nothing which belongs to another. The merchant who sells an inferior article for a sound price, the speculator who makes the distresses and needs of others fill his exchequer are neither fair nor honest, but base, ignoble, unfit for immortality.

It should be the earnest desire of every Perfect Master so to live and deal and act, that when it comes to him to die, he may be able to say, and his conscience to adjudge, that no man on earth is poorer, because he is richer; that what he hath he has honestly earned, and no man can go before God, and claim that by the rules of equity administered in His great chancery, this house in which we die, this land we devise to our heirs this money that enriches those who survive to bear our name, is his and not ours, and we in that forum are only his trustees. For it is most certain that God is just, and will sternly enforce every such trust; and that to all whom we despoil, to all whom we defraud, to all from whom we take or win anything whatever, without fair consideration and equivalent, He will decree a full and adequate compensation.

Be careful, then, that thou receive no wages, here or elsewhere, that are not thy due ! For if thou doest, thou wrongst some one, by taking that which in God's chancery belongs to him; and whether that which thou takest thus be wealth, or rank, or influence, or reputation or affection, thou wilt surely be held to make full satisfaction.

VI. INTIMATE SECRETARY

You are especially taught in this Degree to be zealous and faithful; to be disinterested and benevolent; and to act the peacemaker, in case of dissensions, disputes, and quarrels among the brethren.

Duty is the moral magnetism which controls and guides the true Mason's course over the tumultuous seas of life. Whether the stars of honour, reputation, and reward do or do not shine, in the light of day or in the darkness of the night of trouble and adversity, in calm or storm, that unerring magnet still shows him the true course to steer, and indicates with certainty where-away lies the port which not to reach involves shipwreck and dishonour. He follows its silent bidding, as the mariner, when land is for many days not in sight, and the ocean without path or landmark spreads out all around him, follows the bidding of the needle, never doubting that it points truly to the north. To perform that duty, whether the performance be rewarded or unrewarded, is his sole care. And it doth not matter, though of this performance there may be no witnesses, and though what he does will be forever unknown to all mankind.

A little consideration will teach us that Fame has other limits than mountains and oceans; and that he who places happiness in the frequent repetition of his name, may spend his life in propagating it, without any danger of weeping for new worlds, or necessity of passing the Atlantic sea.

If, therefore, he who imagines the world to be filled with his actions and praises, shall subduct from the number of his encomiasts all those who are placed below the flight of fame, and who hear in the valley of life no voice but that of necessity; all those who imagine themselves too important to regard him, and consider the mention of his name as a usurpation of their time; all who are too much or too little pleased with themselves to attend to anything external; all who are attracted by pleasure, or chained down by pain to unvaried ideas; all who are withheld from attending his triumph by different pursuits; and all who slumber in universal negligence; he will find his renown straitened by nearer bounds than the rocks of Caucasus; and perceive that no man can be venerable or formidable, but to a small part of his fellow-creatures. And therefore, that we may not languish in our endeavors after excellence, it is necessary that, as Africanus counsels his descendants, we raise our eyes to higher prospects, and contemplate our future and eternal state, without giving up our hearts to the praise of crowds, or fixing our hopes on such rewards as human power can bestow.

We are not born for ourselves alone; and our country claims her share, and our friends their share of us. As all that the earth produces is created for the use of man, so men are created for the sake of men, that they may mutually do good to one another. In this we ought to take nature for our guide, and throw into the public stock the ounces of general utility, by a reciprocation of duties; sometimes by receiving, sometimes by giving, and sometimes to cement human society by arts, by industry, and by our resources.

Suffer others to be praised in thy presence, and entertain their good and glory with delight; but at no hand disparage them, or lessen the report, or make an objection; and think not the advancement of thy brother is a lessening of thy worth. Upbraid no man's weakness to him to discomfit him, neither report it to disparage him, neither delight to remember it to lessen him, or to set thyself above him; nor ever praise thyself or dispraise any man else, unless some sufficient worthy end do hallow it.

Remember that we usually disparage others upon slight grounds and little instances; and if a man be highly recommended, we think him sufficiently lessened, if we can but charge one sin of folly or inferiority in his account. We should either be more severe to ourselves, or less so to others, and consider that whatsoever good any one can think or say of us, we can tell him of many unworthy and foolish and perhaps worse actions of ours, any one of which, done by another, would be enough, with us, to destroy his reputation.

If we think the people wise and sagacious, and just and appreciative, when they praise and make idols of us, let us not call them unlearned and ignorant, and ill and stupid judges, when our neighbour is cried up by public fame and popular noises.

Every man hath in his own life sins enough, in his own mind trouble enough, in his own fortunes evil enough, and in performance of his offices failings more than enough, to entertain his own inquiry; so that curiosity after the affairs of others can not be without envy and an ill mind. The generous man will be solicitous and inquisitive into the beauty and order of a well-governed family, and after the virtues of an excellent person; but anything for which men keep locks and bars, or that blushes to see the light, or that is either shameful in manner or private in nature, this thing will not be his care and business.

It should be objection sufficient to exclude any man from the society of Masons, that he is not disinterested and generous, both in his acts, and in his opinions of men, and his constructions of their conduct. He who is selfish and grasping, or censorious and ungenerous, will not long remain within the strict limits of honesty and truth, but will shortly commit injustice. He who loves himself too much must needs love others too little; and he who habitually gives harsh judgment will not long delay to give unjust judgment.

The generous man is not careful to return no more than he receives; but prefers that the balances upon the ledgers of benefits shall be in his favour. He who hath received pay in full for all the benefits and favours that he has conferred, is like a spendthrift who has consumed his whole estate, and laments over an empty exchequer. He who requites my favours with ingratitude adds to, instead of diminishing, my wealth; and he who cannot return a favour is equally poor, whether his inability arises from poverty of spirit, sordidness of soul, or pecuniary indigence.

If he is wealthy who hath large sums invested, and the mass of whose fortune consists in obligations that bind other men to pay him money, he is still more so to whom many owe large returns of kindnesses and favours. Beyond a moderate sum each year, the wealthy man merely invests his means: and that which he never uses is still like favours unreturned and kindnesses unreciprocated, an actual and real portion of his fortune.

Generosity and a liberal spirit make men to be humane and genial, open-hearted, frank, and sincere, earnest to do good, easy and contented, and well-wishers of mankind. They protect the feeble against the strong, and the defenceless against rapacity and craft. They succour and comfort the poor, and are the guardians, under God, of his innocent and helpless wards. They value friends more than riches or fame, and gratitude more than money or power. They are noble by God's patent, and their escutcheons and quarterings are to be found in heaven's great book of heraldry. Nor can any man any more be a Mason than he can be a gentleman, unless he is generous, liberal, and disinterested. To be liberal, but only of that which is our own; to be generous, but only when we have first been just; to give, when to give deprives us of a luxury or a comfort, this is Masonry indeed.

He who is worldly, covetous, or sensual must change before he can be a good Mason. If we are governed by inclination and not by duty; if we are unkind, severe, censorious, or injurious, in the relations or intercourse of life; if we are unfaithful parents or undutiful children; if we are harsh masters or faithless servants; if we are treacherous friends or bad neighbours or bitter competitors or corrupt unprincipled politicians or overreaching dealers in business, we are wandering at a great distance from the true Masonic light.

Masons must be kind and affectionate one to another. Frequenting the same temples, kneeling at the same altars, they should feel that respect and that kindness for each other, which their common relation and common approach to one God should inspire. There needs to be much more of the spirit of the ancient fellowship among us; more tenderness for each other's faults, more forgiveness, more solicitude for each other's improvement and good fortune; somewhat of brotherly feeling, that it be not shame to use the word "brother."

Nothing should be allowed to interfere with that kindness and affection: neither the spirit of business, absorbing, eager, and overreaching, ungenerous and hard in its dealings, keen and bitter in its competitions, low and sordid in its purposes; nor that of ambition, selfish, mercenary, restless, circumventing, living only in the opinion of others, envious of the good fortune of others, miserably vain of its own success, unjust, unscrupulous, and slanderous.

He that does me a favour, hath bound me to make him a return of thankfulness. The obligation comes not by covenant, nor by his own express intention; but by the nature of the thing; and is a duty springing up within the spirit of the obliged person, to whom it is more natural to love his friend, and to do good for good, than to return evil for evil; because a man may forgive an injury, but he must never forget a good turn. He that refuses to do good to them whom he is bound to love, or to love that which did him good, is unnatural and monstrous in his affections, and thinks all the world born to minister to him; with a greediness worse than that of the sea, which, although it receives all rivers into itself, yet it furnishes the clouds and springs with a return of all they need. Our duty to those who are our benefactors is, to esteem and love their persons, to make them proportionable returns of service, or duty, or profit, according as we can, or as they need, or as opportunity presents itself; and according to the greatness of their kindnesses.

The generous man cannot but regret to see dissensions and disputes among his brethren. Only the base and ungenerous delight in discord. It is the poorest occupation of humanity to labour to make men think worse of each other, as the press, and too commonly the pulpit, changing places with the hustings and the tribune, do. The duty of the Mason is to endeavour to make man think better of his neighbour; to quiet, instead of aggravating difficulties; to bring together those who are severed or estranged; to keep friends from becoming foes, and to persuade foes to become friends. To do this, he must needs control his own passions, and be not rash and hasty, nor swift to take offence, nor easy to be angered.

For anger is a professed enemy to counsel. It is a direct storm, in which no man can be heard to speak or call from without; for if you counsel gently, you are disregarded; if you urge it and be vehement, you provoke it more. It is neither manly nor ingenuous. It makes marriage to be a necessary and unavoidable trouble; friendships and societies and familiarities, to be intolerable. It multiplies the evils of drunkenness, and makes the levities of wine to run into madness. It makes innocent jesting to be the beginning of tragedies. It turns friendship into hatred; it makes a man lose himself, and his reason and his argument, in disputation. It turns the desires of knowledge into an itch of wrangling. It adds insolency to power. It turns justice into cruelty, and judgment into oppression. It changes discipline into tediousness and hatred of liberal institution. It makes a prosperous man to be envied, and the unfortunate to be unpitied.

See, therefore, that first controlling your own temper, and governing your own passions, you fit yourself to keep peace and harmony among other men, and especially the brethren. Above all remember that Masonry is the realm of peace, and that "among Masons there must be no dissension, but only that noble emulation., which can best work and best agree." Wherever there is strife and hatred among the brethren, there is no Masonry; for Masonry is Peace, and Brotherly Love, and Concord.

Masonry is the great Peace Society of the world. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes; and to bind Republics, Kingdoms, and Empires together in one great band of peace and amity. It would not so often struggle in vain, if Masons knew their power and valued their oaths.

Who can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single war? Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp and circumstance, all its glitter and glory. War comes with its bloody hand into our very dwellings. It takes from ten thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender ties of family and kindred. It drags them away, to die untended, of fever or exposure, in infectious climes; or to be hacked, torn, and mangled in the fierce fight; to fall on the gory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away, in awful agony, to noisome and horrid hospitals. The groans of the battle-field are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands of desolated hearths. There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table. Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, by the infection which he has caught, of camp-vices. The country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down, from the noble interchange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge, and base pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength, in battle. Treasures are expended, that would suffice to build ten thousand churches, hospitals, and universities, or rib and tie together a continent with rails of iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it would be calamity enough; but it is put to worse use; for it is expended in cutting into the veins and arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood.

Such are the lessons of this Degree. You have vowed to make them the rule, the law, and the guide of your life and conduct. If you do so, you will be entitled, because fitted, to advance in Masonry. If you do not, you have already gone too far.

VII. PROVOST AND JUDGE

THE lesson which this Degree inculcates is JUSTICE, in decision and judgment, and in our intercourse and dealing with other men.

In a country where trial by jury is known, every intelligent man is liable to be called on to act as a judge, either of fact alone, or of fact and law mingled; and to assume the heavy responsibilities which belong to that character.

Those who are invested with the power of judgment should judge the causes of all persons uprightly and impartially, without any personal consideration of the power of the mighty, or the bribe of the rich, or the needs of the poor. That is the cardinal rule, which no one will dispute; though many fail to observe it. But they must do more. They must divest themselves of prejudice and preconception. They must hear patiently, remember accurately, and weigh carefully the facts and the arguments offered before them. They must not leap hastily to conclusions, nor form opinions before they have heard all. They must not presume crime or fraud. They must neither be ruled by stubborn pride of opinion, nor be too facile and yielding to the views and arguments of others. In deducing the motive from the proven act, they must not assign to the act either the best or the worst motives, but those which they would think it just and fair for the world to assign to it, if they themselves had done it; nor must they endeavour to make many little circumstances, that weigh nothing separately, weigh much together, to prove their own acuteness and sagacity. These are sound rules for every juror, also, to observe.

In our intercourse with others, there are two kinds of injustice: the first, of those who offer an injury; the second, of those who have it in their power to avert an injury from those to whom it is offered, and yet do it not. So active injustice may be done in two ways — by force and by fraud, — of which force is lion-like, and aud fox-like, — both utterly repugnant to social duty, but fraud the more detestable.

Every wrong done by one man to another, whether it affect his person, his property, his happiness, or his reputation, is an offense against the law of justice. The field of this Degree is therefore a wide and vast one; and Masonry seeks for the most impressive mode of enforcing the law of justice, and the most effectual means of preventing wrong and injustice.

To this end it teaches this great and momentous truth: that wrong and injustice once done cannot be undone; but are eternal in their consequences; once committed, are numbered with the irrevocable Past; that the wrong that is done contains its own retributive penalty as surely and as naturally as the acorn contains the oak. Its consequences are its punishment; it needs no other, and can have no heavier; they are involved in its commission, and cannot be separated from it. A wrong done to another is an injury done to our own Nature, an offence against our own souls, a disfiguring of the image of the Beautiful and Good. Punishment is not the execution of a sentence, but the occurrence of an effect. It is ordained to follow guilt, not by the decree of God as a judge, but by a law enacted by Him as the Creator and Legislator of the Universe. It is not an arbitrary and artificial annexation, but an ordinary and logical consequence; and therefore must be borne by the wrong-doer, and through him may flow on to others. It is the decision of the infinite justice of God, in the form of law.

There can be no interference with, or remittance of, or protection from, the natural effects of our wrongful acts. God will not interpose between the cause and its consequence; and in that sense there can be no forgiveness of sins. The act which has debased our soul may be repented of, may be turned from; but the injury is done. The debasement may be redeemed by after-efforts, the stain obliterated by bitterer struggles and severer sufferings; but the efforts and the endurance which might have raised the soul to the loftiest heights are now exhausted in merely regaining what it has lost. There must always be a wide difference between him who only ceases to do evil, and him who has always done well.

He will certainly be a far more scrupulous watcher over his conduct, and far more careful of his deeds, who believes that those deeds will inevitably bear their natural consequences, exempt from after intervention, than he who believes that penitence and pardon will at any time unlink the chain of sequences. Surely we shall do less wrong and injustice, if the conviction is fixed and embedded in our souls that everything done is done irrevocably, that even the Omnipotence of God cannot uncommit a deed, cannot make that undone which has been done; that every act of ours must bear its allotted fruit, according to the everlasting laws, — must remain forever ineffaceably inscribed on the tablets of Universal Nature.

If you have wronged another, you may grieve, repent, and resolutely determine against any such weakness in future. You may, so far as it is possible, make reparation. It is well. The injured party may forgive you, according to the meaning of human language; but the deed is done; and all the powers of Nature, were they to conspire in your behalf, could not make it undone; the consequences to the body, the consequences to the soul, though no man may perceive them, are there, are written in the annals of the Past, and must reverberate throughout all time.

Repentance for a wrong done, bears, like every other act, its own fruit, the fruit of purifying the heart and amending the Future, but not of effacing the Past. The commission of the wrong is an irrevocable act; but it does not incapacitate the soul to do right for the future. Its consequences cannot be expunged; but its course need not be pursued. Wrong and evil perpetrated, though ineffaceable, call for no despair, but for efforts more energetic than before. Repentance is still as valid as ever; but it is valid to secure the Future, not to obliterate the Past.

Even the pulsations of the air, once set in motion by the human voice, cease not to exist with the sounds to which they gave rise. Their quickly-attenuated force soon becomes inaudible to human ears. But the waves of air thus raised perambulate the surface of earth and ocean, and in less than twenty hours, every atom of the atmosphere takes up the altered movement due to that infinitesimal portion of primitive motion which has been conveyed to it through countless channels, and which must continue to influence its path throughout its future existence. The air is one vast library, on whose pages is forever written all that man has ever said or even whispered. There, in their mutable, but unerring characters, mixed with the earliest, as well as the latest signs of mortality, stand forever recorded, vows unredeemed, promises unfulfilled; perpetuating, in the movements of each particle, all in unison, the testimony of man's changeful will. God reads that book, though we cannot.

So earth, air, and ocean are the eternal witnesses of the acts that we have done. No motion impressed by natural causes or by human agency is ever obliterated. The track of every keel which has ever disturbed the surface of the ocean remains forever registered in the future movements of all succeeding particles which may occupy its place. Every criminal is by the laws of the Almighty irrevocably chained to the testimony of his crime; for every atom of his mortal frame, through whatever changes its particles may migrate, will still retain, adhering to it through every combination, some movement derived from that very muscular effort by which the crime itself was perpetrated.

What if our faculties should be so enhanced in a future life as to enable us to perceive and trace the ineffaceable consequences of our idle words and evil deeds, and render our remorse and grief as eternal as those consequences themselves? No more fearful punishment to a superior intelligence can be conceived, than to see still in action, with the consciousness that it must continue in action forever, a cause of wrong put in motion by itself ages before.

Masonry, by its teachings, endeavours to restrain men from the commission of injustice and acts of wrong and outrage. Though it does not endeavour to usurp the place of religion, still its code of morals proceeds upon other principles than the municipal law; and it condemns and punishes offences which neither that law punishes nor public opinion condemns. In the Masonic law, to cheat and overreach in trade, at the bar, in politics, are deemed no more venial than theft; nor a deliberate lie than perjury; nor slander than robbery; nor seduction than murder.

Especially it condemns those wrongs of which the doer induces another to partake. He may repent; he may, after agonizing struggles, regain the path of virtue; his spirit may reachieve its purity through much anguish, after many strifes; but the weaker fellow-creature whom he led astray, whom he made a sharer in his guilt, but whom he cannot make a sharer in his repentance and amendment, whose downward course (the first step of which he taught) he cannot check, but is compelled to witness, — what forgiveness of sins can avail him there? There is his perpetual, his inevitable punishment, which no repentance can alleviate, and no mercy can remit.

Let us be just, also, in judging of other men's motives. We know but little of the real merits or demerits of any fellow creature. We can rarely say with certainty that this man is more guilty than that, or even that this man is very good or very wicked. Often the basest men leave behind them excellent reputations. There is scarcely one of us who has not, at some time in his life, been on the edge of the commission of a crime. Every one of us can look back, and shuddering see the time when our feet stood upon the slippery crags that overhung the abyss of guilt; and when, if temptation had been a little more urgent, or a little longer continued, if penury had pressed us a little harder, or a little more wine had further disturbed our intellect, dethroned our judgment, and aroused our passions, our feet would have slipped, and we should have fallen, never to rise again.

We may be able to say — "This man has lied, has pilfered, has forged, has embezzled moneys intrusted to him; and that man has gone through life with clean hands." But we cannot say that the former has not struggled long, though unsuccessfully, against temptations under which the second would have succumbed without an effort. We can say which has the cleanest hands before man; but not which has the cleanest soul before God. We may be able to say, this man has committed adultery, and that man has been ever chaste; but we cannot tell but that the innocence of one may have been due to the coldness of his heart, to the absence of a motive, to the presence of a fear, to the slight degree of the temptation; nor but that the fall of the other may have been preceded by the most vehement self-contest, caused by the most over-mastering frenzy, and atoned for by the most hallowing repentance. Generosity as well as niggardliness may be a mere yielding to native temperament; and in the eye of Heaven, a long life of beneficence in one man may have cost less effort, and may indicate less virtue and less sacrifice of interest, than a few rare hidden acts of kindness wrung by duty out of the reluctant and unsympathizing nature of the other. There may be more real merit, more self-sacrificing effort, more of the noblest elements of moral grandeur, in a life of failure, sin, and shame, than in a career, to our eyes, of stainless integrity.

When we condemn or pity the fallen, how do we know that, tempted like him, we should not have fallen like him, as soon, and perhaps with less resistance ? How can we know what we should do if we were out of employment, famine crouching, gaunt, and hungry, on our fireless hearth, and our children wailing for bread ? We fall not because we are not enough tempted! He that hath fallen may be at heart as honest as we. How do we know that our daughter, sister, wife, could resist the abandonment, the desolation, the distress, the temptation, that sacrificed the virtue of their poor abandoned sister of shame? Perhaps they also have not fallen, because they have not been sorely tempted! Wisely are we directed to pray that we may not be exposed to temptation.

Human justice must be ever uncertain. How many judicial murders have been committed through ignorance of the phenomena of insanity ! How many men hung for murder who were no more murderers at heart than the jury that tried and the judge that sentenced them! It may well be doubted whether the administration of human laws, in every country, is not one gigantic mass of injustice and wrong. God seeth not as man seeth; and the most abandoned criminal, black as he is before the world, may yet have continued to keep some little light burning in a corner of his soul, which would long since have gone out in that of those who walk proudly in the sunshine of immaculate fame, if they had been tried and tempted like the poor outcast.

We do not know even the outside life of men. We are not competent to pronounce even on their deeds. We do not know half the acts of wickedness or virtue, even of our most immediate fellows. We cannot say, with certainty, even of our nearest friend, that he has not committed a particular sin, and broken a particular commandment. Let each man ask his own heart ! Of how many of our best and of our worst acts and qualities are our most intimate associates utterly unconscious ! How many virtues does not the world give us credit for, that we do not possess; or vices condemn us for, of which we are not the slaves ! It is but a small portion of our evil deeds and thoughts that ever comes to light; and of our few redeeming goodnesses, the largest portion is known to God alone.

We shall, therefore, be just in judging of other men, only when we are charitable; and we should assume the prerogative of judging others only when the duty is forced upon us; since we are so almost certain to err, and the consequences of error are so serious. No man need covet the office of judge; for in assuming it he assumes the gravest and most oppressive responsibility. Yet you have assumed it; we all assume it; for man is ever ready to judge, and ever ready to condemn his neighbour, while upon the same state of case he acquits himself See, therefore, that you exercise your once cautiously and charitably, lest, in passing judgment upon the criminal, you commit a greater wrong than that for which you condemn him, and the consequences of which must be eternal.

The faults and crimes and follies of other men are not unimportant to us; but form a part of our moral discipline. War and bloodshed at a distance, and frauds which do not affect our pecuniary interest, yet touch us in our feelings, and concern our moral welfare. They have much to do with all thoughtful hearts. The public eye may look unconcernedly on the miserable victim of vice, and that shattered wreck of a man may move the multitude to laughter or to scorn. But to the Mason, it is the form of sacred humanity that is before him; it is an erring fellow-being; a desolate, forlorn, forsaken soul; and his thoughts, enfolding the poor wretch, will be far deeper than those of indifference, ridicule, or contempt. All human offences, the whole system of dishonesty, evasion, circumventing, forbidden indulgence, and intriguing ambition, in which men are struggling with each other, will be looked upon by a thoughtful Mason, not merely as a scene of mean toils and strifes, but as the solemn conflicts of immortal minds, for ends vast and momentous as their own being. It is a sad and unworthy strife, and may well be viewed with indignation; but that indignation must melt into pity. For the stakes for which these gamesters play are not those which they imagine, not those which are in sight. For example, this man plays for a petty once, and gains it; but the real stake he gains is sycophancy, uncharitableness, slander, and deceit.

Good men are too proud of their goodness. They are respectable; dishonour comes not near them; their countenance has weight and influence; their robes are unstained; the poisonous breath of calumny as never been breathed upon their fair name. How easy it is for them to look down with scorn upon the poor degraded offender; to pass him by with a lofty step; to draw up the folds of their garment around them, that they may not be soiled by his touch ! Yet the Great Master of Virtue did not so; but descended to familiar intercourse with publicans and sinners, with the Samaritan woman, with the outcasts and the Pariahs of the Hebrew world.

Many men think themselves better, in proportion as they can detect sin in others! When they go over the catalogue of their neighbour's unhappy derelictions of temper or conduct, they often, amidst much apparent concern, feel a secret exultation, that destroys all their own pretensions to wisdom and moderation, and even to virtue. Many even take actual pleasure in the sins of others; and this is the case with every one whose thoughts are often employed in agreeable comparisons of his own virtues with his neighbours' faults.

The power of gentleness is too little seen in the world; the subduing influences of pity, the might of love, the control of mildness over passion, the commanding majesty of that perfect character which mingles grave displeasure with grief and pity for the offender. So it is that a Mason should treat his brethren who go astray. Not with bitterness; nor yet with good-natured easiness, nor with worldly indifference, nor with the philosophic coldness, nor with a laxity of conscience, that accounts everything well, that passes under the seal of public opinion; but with charity, with pitying loving-kindness.

The human heart will not bow willingly to what is infirm and wrong in human nature. If it yields to us, it must yield to what is divine in us. The wickedness of my neighbour cannot submit to my wickedness; his sensuality, for instance, to my anger against his vices. My faults are not the instruments that are to arrest his faults. And therefore impatient reformers, and denouncing preachers, and hasty reprovers, and angry parents, and irritable relatives generally fail, in their several departments, to reclaim the erring.

A moral offence is sickness, pain, loss, dishonour, in the immortal part of man. It is guilt, and misery added to guilt. It is itself calamity; and brings upon itself, in addition, the calamity of God's disapproval, the abhorrence of all virtuous men, and the soul's own abhorrence. Deal faithfully, but patiently and tenderly, with this evil ! It is no matter for petty provocation, nor for personal strife, nor for selfish irritation.

Speak kindly to your erring brother ! God pities him: Christ has died for him: Providence waits for him: Heaven's mercy yearns toward him; and Heaven's spirits are ready to welcome him back with joy. Let your voice be in unison with all those powers that God is using for his recovery!

If one defrauds you, and exults at it, he is the most to be pitied of human beings. He has done himself a far deeper injury than he has done you. It is he, and not you, whom God regards with mingled displeasure and compassion; and His judgment should be your law. Among all the benedictions of the Holy Mount there is not one for this man; but for the merciful, the peacemakers, and the persecuted they are poured out freely.

We are all men of like passions, propensities, and exposures. There are elements in us all, which might have been perverted, through the successive processes of moral deterioration, to the worst of crimes. The wretch whom the execration of the thronging crowd pursues to the scaffold, is not worse than any one of that multitude might have become under similar circumstances. He is to be condemned indeed, but also deeply to be pitied.

It does not become the frail and sinful to be vindictive toward even the worst criminals. We owe much to the good Providence of God, ordaining for us a lot more favourable to virtue. We all had that within us, that might have been pushed to the same excess: Perhaps we should have fallen as he did, with less temptation. Perhaps we have done acts, that, in proportion to the temptation or provocation, were less excusable than his great crime. Silent pity and sorrow for the victim should mingle with our detestation of the guilt. Even the pirate who murders in cold blood on the high seas, is such a man as you or I might have been. Orphanage in childhood, or base and dissolute and abandoned parents; an unfriended youth; evil companions; ignorance and want of moral cultivation; the temptations of sinful pleasure or grinding poverty; familiarity with vice; a scorned and blighted name; seared and crushed affections; desperate fortunes; these are steps that might have led any one among us to unfurl upon the high seas the bloody flag of universal defiance; to wage war with our kind; to live the life and die the death of the reckless and remorseless free-booter. Many affecting relationships of humanity plead with us to pity him. His head once rested on a mother's bosom. He was once the object of sisterly love and domestic endearment. Perhaps his hand, since often red with blood, once clasped another little loving hand at the altar. Pity him then; his blighted hopes and his crushed heart! It is proper that frail and erring creatures like us should do so; should feel the crime, but feel it as weak, tempted, and rescued creatures should. It may be that when God weighs men's crimes, He will take into consideration the temptations and the adverse circumstances that led to them, and the opportunities for moral culture of the offender; and it may be that our own offences will weigh heavier than we think, and the murderer's lighter than according to man's judgment.

On all accounts, therefore, let the true Mason never forget the solemn injunction, necessary to be observed at almost every moment of a busy life: 'JUDGE NOT, LEST YOU YOURSELVES BE JUDGED FOR WHATSOEVER JUDGMENT YOU MEASURE UNTO OTHERS, THE SAME SHALL IN TURN BE MEASURED UNTO YOU. Such is the lesson taught the Provost and Judge.

VIII. INTENDANT OF THE BUILDING

IN this Degree you have been taught the important lesson, that none are entitled to advance in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, who have not by study and application made themselves familiar with Masonic learning and jurisprudence. The Degrees of this Rite are not for those who are content with the mere work and ceremonies, and do not seek to explore the mines of wisdom that lie buried beneath the surface. You still advance toward the Light, toward that star, blazing in the distance, which is an emblem of the Divine Truth, given by God to the first men, and preserved amid all the vicissitudes of ages in the traditions and teachings of Masonry. How far you will advance, depends upon yourself alone. Here, as everywhere in the world, Darkness struggles with Light, and clouds and shadows intervene between you and the Truth.

When you shall have become imbued with the morality of Masonry, with which you yet are, and for some time will be exclusively occupied, — when you shall have learned to practice all the virtues which it inculcates; when they become familiar to you as your Household Gods; then will you be prepared to receive its lofty philosophical instruction, and to scale the heights upon whose summit Light and Truth sit enthroned. Step by step men must advance toward Perfection; and each Masonic Degree is meant to be one of those steps. Each is a development of a particular duty; and in the present you are taught charity and benevolence; to be to your brethren an example of virtue; to correct your own faults; and to endeavour to correct those of your brethren.

Here, as in all the degrees, you meet with the emblems and the names of Deity, the true knowledge of whose character and attributes it has ever been a chief object of Masonry to perpetuate. To appreciate His infinite greatness and goodness, to rely implicitly upon His Providence, to revere and venerate Him as the Supreme Architect, Creator, and Legislator of the universe, is the first of Masonic duties.

The Battery of this Degree, and the five circuits which you made around the Lodge, allude to the five points of fellowship, and are intended to recall them vividly to your mind. To go upon a brother's errand or to his relief, even barefoot and upon flinty ground; to remember him in your supplications to the Deity; to clasp him to your heart, and protect him against malice and evil speaking; to uphold him when about to stumble and fall; and to give him prudent, honest, and friendly counsel, are duties plainly written upon the pages of God's great code of law, and first among the ordinances of Masonry.

The first sign of the Degree is expressive of the diffidence and humility with which we inquire into the nature and attributes of the Deity; the second, of the profound awe and reverence with which we contemplate His glories; and the third, of the sorrow with which we reflect upon our insufficient observance of our duties, and our imperfect compliance with His statutes.

The distinguishing property of man is to search for and follow after truth. Therefore, when relaxed from our necessary cares and concerns, we then covet to see, to hear, and to learn somewhat; and we esteem knowledge of things, either obscure or wonderful, to be the indispensable means of living happily. Truth, Simplicity, and Candor are most agreeable to the nature of mankind. Whatever is virtuous consists either in Sagacity, and the perception of Truth; or in the preservation of Human Society, by giving to every man his due, and observing the faith of contracts; or in the greatness and firmness of an elevated and unsubdued mind; or in observing order and regularity in all our words and in all our actions; in which consist Moderation and Temperance.

Masonry has in all times religiously preserved that enlightened faith from which flow sublime Devotedness, the sentiment of Fraternity fruitful of good works, the spirit of indulgence and peace, of sweet hopes and effectual consolations; and inflexibility in the accomplishment of the most painful and arduous duties. It has always propagated it with ardor and perseverance; and therefore it labours at the present day more zealously than ever. Scarcely a Masonic discourse is pronounced, that does not demonstrate the necessity and advantages of this faith, and especially recall the two constitutive principles of religion, that make all religion, — love of God, and love of neighbour. Masons carry these principles into the bosoms of their families and of society. While the Sectarians of former times enfeebled the religious spirit, Masonry, forming one great People over the whole globe, and marching under the great banner of Charity and Benevolence, preserves that religious feeling, strengthens it, extends it in its purity and simplicity, as it has always existed in the depths of the human heart, as it existed even under the dominion of the most ancient forms of worship, but where gross and debasing superstitions forbade its recognition.

A Masonic Lodge should resemble a bee-hive, in which all the members work together with ardor for the common good. Masonry is not made for cold souls and narrow minds, that do not comprehend its lofty mission and sublime apostolate. Here the anathema against lukewarm souls applies. To comfort misfortunes to popularize knowledge, to teach whatever is true and pure in religion and philosophy, to accustom men to respect order and the proprieties of life, to point out the way to genuine happiness, to prepare for that fortunate period, when all the factions of the Human Family, united by the bonds of Toleration and Fraternity, shall be but one household, — these are labours that may well excite zeal and even enthusiasm.

We do not now enlarge upon or elaborate these ideas. We but utter them to you briefly, as hints, upon which you may at your leisure reflect. Hereafter, if you continue to advance, they will be unfolded, explained, and developed.

Masonry utters no impracticable and extravagant precepts, certain, because they are so, to be disregarded. It asks of its initiates nothing that it is not possible and even easy for them to perform. Its teachings are eminently practical; and its statutes can be obeyed by every just, upright, and honest man, no matter what his faith or creed. Its object is to attain the greatest practical good, without seeking to make men perfect. It does not meddle with the domain of religion, nor inquire into the mysteries of regeneration. It teaches those truths that are written by the finger of God upon the heart of man, those views of duty which have been brought out by the meditations of the studious, confirmed by the allegiance of the good and wise, and stamped as sterling by the response they find in every uncorrupted mind. It does not dogmatize, nor vainly imagine dogmatic certainty to be attainable.

Masonry does not occupy itself with crying down this world, with its splendid beauty, its thrilling interests, its glorious works, its noble and holy affections; nor exhort us to detach our hearts from this earthly life, as empty, fleeting, and unworthy, and fix them upon Heaven, as the only sphere deserving the love of the loving or the meditation of the wise. It teaches that man has high duties to perform, and a high destiny to fulfill, on this earth; that this world is not merely the portal to another; and that this life, though not our only one, is an integral one, and the particular one with which we are here meant to be concerned; that the Present is our scene of action, and the Future for speculation and for trust; that man was sent upon the earth to live in it, to enjoy it, to study it, to love it, to embellish it, to make the most of it. It is his country, on which he should lavish his affections and his efforts. It is here his influences are to operate. It is his house, and not a tent; his home, and not merely a school. He is sent into this world, not to be constantly hankering after, dreaming of, preparing for another; but to do his duty and fulfill his destiny on this earth; to do all that lies in his power to improve it, to render it a scene of elevated happiness to himself, to those around him, to those who are to come after him. His life here is part of his immortality; and this world, also, is among the stars.

And thus, Masonry teaches us, will man best prepare for that Future which he hopes for. The Unseen cannot hold a higher place in our affections than the Seen and the Familiar. The law of our being is Love of Life, and its interests and adornments; love of the world in which our lot is cast, engrossment with the interests and affections of earth. Not a low or sensual love, not love of wealth, of fame, of ease, of power, of splendour. Not low worldliness; but the love of Earth as the garden on which the Creator has lavished such miracles of beauty; as the habitation of humanity, the arena of its conflicts, the scene of its illimitable progress, the dwelling-place of the wise, the good, the active, the loving, and the dear; the place of opportunity for the development by means of sin and suffering and sorrow, of the noblest passions the loftiest virtues, and the tenderest sympathies.

They take very unprofitable pains, who endeavour to persuade men that they are obliged wholly to despise this world, and all that is in it, even whilst they themselves live here. God hath not taken all that pains in forming and framing and furnishing and adorning the world, that they who were made by Him to live in it should despise it. It will be enough, if they do not love it too immoderately. It is useless to attempt to extinguish all those affections and passions which are and always will be inseparable from human nature. As long as he world lasts, and honour and virtue and industry have reputation in the world, there will be ambition and emulation and appetite in the best and most accomplished men in it; and if there were not, more barbarity and vice and wickedness would cover every nation of the world, than it now suffers under.

Those only who feel a deep interest in, and affection for, this world, will work resolutely for its amelioration. Those who undervalue this rife, naturally become querulous and discontented, and lose their interest in the welfare of their fellows. To serve them, and so to do our duty as Masons, we must feel that the object is worth the exertion; and be content with this world in which God has placed us, until He permits us to remove to a better one. He is here with us, and does not deem this an unworthy world.

It a serious thing to defame and belie a whole world; to speak of it as the abode of a poor, toiling, drudging, ignorant, contemptible race. You would not so discredit your family, your friendly circle, your village, your city, your country. The world is not a wretched and a worthless one; nor is it a misfortune, but a thing to be thankful for, to be a man. If life is worthless, so also is immortality.

In society itself, in that living mechanism of human relationships that spreads itself over the world, there is a finer essence within, that as truly moves it, as any power, heavy or expansive, moves the sounding manufactory or the swift-flying car. The man-machine hurries to and fro upon the earth, stretches out its hands on every side, to toil, to barter, to unnumbered labours and enterprises; and almost always the motive, that which moves it, is something that takes hold of the comforts, affections, and hopes of social existence. True, the mechanism often works with difficulty, drags heavily, grates and screams with harsh collision. True, the essence of finer motive, becoming intermixed with baser and coarser ingredients, often clogs, obstructs, jars, and deranges the free and noble action of social life. But he is neither grateful nor wise, who looks cynically on all this, and loses the fine sense of social good in its perversions. That I can be a friend, that I can have a friend, though it were but one in the world; that fact, that wondrous good fortune, we may set against all the sufferings of our social nature. That there is such a place on earth as a home, that resort and sanctuary of in-walled and shielded joy, we may set against all the surrounding desolations of life. That one can be a true, social man, can speak his true thoughts, amidst all the Tanglings of controversy and the warring of opinions; that fact from within, outweighs all facts from without.

In the visible aspect and action of society, often repulsive and annoying, we are apt to lose the due sense of its invisible blessings. As in Nature it is not the coarse and palpable, not soils and rains, nor even fields and flowers, that are so beautiful, as the invisible spirit of wisdom and beauty that pervades it; so in society, it is the invisible, and therefore unobserved, that is most beautiful.

What nerves the arm of toil? If man minded himself alone, he would fling down the spade and axe, and rush to the desert; or roam through the world as a wilderness, and make that world a desert. His home, which he sees not, perhaps, but once or twice in a day, is the invisible bond of the world. It is the good, strong, and noble faith that men have in each other, which gives the loftiest character to business, trade, and commerce. Fraud occurs in the rush of business; but it is the exception. Honesty is the rule; and all the frauds in the world cannot tear the great bond of human confidence. If they could, commerce would furl its sails on every sea, and all the cities of the world would crumble into ruins. The bare character of a man on the other side of the world, whom you never saw, whom you never will see, you hold good for a bond of thousands. The most striking feature of the political state is not governments, nor constitutions, nor laws, nor enactments, nor the judicial power, nor the police; but the universal will of the people to be governed by the common weal. Take off that restraint, and no government on earth could stand for an hour.

Of the many teachings of Masonry, one of the most valuable is, that we should not depreciate this life. It does not hold, that when we reflect on the destiny that awaits man on earth, we ought to bedew his cradle with our tears; but, like the Hebrews, it hails the birth of a child with joy, and holds that his birthday should be a festival.

It has no sympathy with those who profess to have proved this life, and found it little worth; who have deliberately made up their minds that it is far more miserable than happy; because its employments are tedious, and their schemes often baffled, their friendships broken, or their friends dead, its pleasures palled, and its honours faded, and its paths beaten, familiar, and dull.

Masonry deems it no mark of great piety toward God to disparage, if not despise, the state that He has ordained for us. It does not absurdly set up the claims of another world, not in comparison merely, but in competition, with the claims of this. It looks upon both as parts of one system. It holds that a man may make the best of this world and of another at the same time. It does not teach its initiates to think better of other works and dispensations of God, by thinking meanly of these. It does not look upon life as so much time lost; nor regard its employments as trifles unworthy of immortal beings; nor tell its followers to fold their arms, as if in disdain of their state and species; but it looks soberly and cheerfully upon the world, as a theatre of worthy action, of exalted usefulness, and of rational and innocent enjoyment.

It holds that, with all its evils, life is a blessing. To deny that is to destroy the basis of all religion, natural and revealed. The very foundation of all religion is laid on the firm belief that God is good; and if this life is an evil and a curse, no such belief can be rationally entertained. To level our satire at humanity and human existence, as mean and contemptible; to look on this world as the habitation of a miserable race, fit only for mockery and scorn; to consider this earth as a dungeon or a prison, which has no blessing to offer but escape from it, is to extinguish the primal light of faith and hope and happiness, to destroy the basis of religion, and Truth's foundation in the goodness of God. If it indeed be so, then it matters not what else is true or not true; speculation is vain and faith is vain; and all that belongs to man's highest being is buried in the ruins of misanthropy, melancholy, and despair.

Our love of life; the tenacity with which, in sorrow and suffering, we cling to it; our attachment to our home, to the spot that gave us birth, to any place, however rude, unsightly, or barren, on which the history of our years has been written, all show how dear are the ties of kindred and society. Misery makes a greater impression upon us than happiness; because the former is not the habit of our minds. It is a strange, unusual guest, and we are more conscious of its presence. Happiness lives with us, and we forget it. It does not excite us, nor disturb the order and course of our thoughts. A great agony is an epoch in our life. We remember our afflictions, as we do the storm and earthquake, because they are out of the common course of things. They are like disastrous events, recorded because extraordinary; and with whole and unnoticed periods of prosperity between. We mark and signalize the times of calamity; but many happy days and unnoted periods of enjoyment pass, that are unrecorded either in the book of memory, or in the scanty annals of our thanksgiving. We are little disposed and less able to call up from the dim remembrances of our past years, the peaceful moments, the easy sensations, the bright thoughts, the quiet reveries, the throngs of kind affections in which life flowed on, bearing us almost unconsciously upon its bosom, because it bore us calmly and gently.

Life is not only good; but it has been glorious in the experience of millions. The glory of all human virtue clothes it. The splendours of devotedness, beneficence, and heroism are upon it; the crown of a thousand martyrdoms is upon its brow. The brightness of the soul shines through this visible and sometimes darkened life; through all its surrounding cares and labours. The humblest life may feel its connection with its Infinite Source. There is something mighty in the frail inner man; something of immortality in this momentary and transient being. The mind stretches away, on every side, into infinity. Its thoughts flash abroad, far into the boundless, the immeasurable, the infinite; far into the great, dark, teeming future; and become powers and influences in other ages. To know its wonderful Author, to bring down wisdom from the Eternal Stars, to bear upward its homage, gratitude, and love, to the Ruler of all worlds, to be immortal in our influences projected far into the slow-approaching Future, makes life most worthy and most glorious.

Life is the wonderful creation of God. It is light, sprung from void darkness; power, waked from inertness and impotence; being created from nothing; and the contrast may well enkindle wonder and delight. It is a rill from the infinite, overflowing goodness; and from the moment when it first gushes up into the light, to that when it mingles with the ocean of Eternity, that Goodness attends it and ministers to it. It is a great and glorious gift. There is gladness in its infant voices; joy in the buoyant step of its youth; deep satisfaction in its strong maturity; and peace in its quiet age. There is good for the good; virtue for the faithful; and victory for the valiant. There is, even in this humble life, an infinity for those whose desires are boundless. There are blessings upon its birth; there is hope in its death; and eternity in its prospect. Thus earth, which binds many in chains, is to the Mason both the starting-place and goal of immortality, Many it buries in the rubbish of dull cares and wearying vanities; but to the Mason it is the lofty mount of meditation, where Heaven, and Infinity and Eternity are spread before him and around him. To the lofty-minded, the pure, and the virtuous, this life is the beginning of Heaven, and a part of immortality.

God hath appointed one remedy for all the evils in the world; and that is a contented spirit. We may be reconciled to poverty and a low fortune, if we suffer contentedness and equanimity to make the proportions. No man is poor who doth not think himself so; but if, in a full fortune, with impatience he desires more, he proclaims his wants and his beggarly condition. This virtue of contentedness was the sum of all the old moral philosophy, and is of most universal use in the whole course of our lives, and the only instrument to ease the burdens of the world and the enmities of sad chances. It is the great reasonableness of complying with the Divine Providence, which governs all the world, and hath so ordered us in the administration of His great family. It is fit that God should dispense His gifts as He pleases; and if we murmur here, we may, at the next melancholy, be troubled that He did not make us to be angels or stars.

We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a Tyrant upon us, or a sickness, or scorn, or a lessened fortune, if we fear to die, or know not how to be patient, or are proud, or covetous, then the calamity sits heavy on us. But if we know how to manage a noble principle, and fear not death so much as a dishonest action, and think impatience a worse evil than a fever, and pride to be the greatest disgrace as well as the greatest folly, and poverty far preferable to the torments of avarice, we may still bear an even mind and smile at the reverses of fortune and the ill-nature of Fate.

If thou hast lost thy land, do not also lose thy constancy; and if thou must die sooner than others, or than thou didst expect, yet do not die impatiently. For no chance is evil to him who is content, and to a man nothing is miserable unless it be unreasonable. No man can make another man to be his slave, unless that other hath first enslaved himself to life and death, to pleasure or pain, to hope or fear; command these passions, and you are freer than the Parthian Kings.

When an enemy reproaches us, let us look on him as an impartial relator of our faults; for he will tell us truer than our fondest friend will, and we may forgive his anger, whilst we make use of the plainness of his declamation. The ox, when he is weary, treads truest; and if there be nothing else in abuse, but that it makes us to walk warily, and tread sure for fear of our enemies, that is better than to be flattered into pride and carelessness.

If thou fallest from thy employment in public, take sanctuary in an honest retirement, being indifferent to thy gain abroad, or thy safety at home. When the north wind blows hard, and it rains sadly, we do not sit down in it and cry; but defend ourselves against it with a warm garment, or a good fire and a dry roof. So when the storm of a sad mischance beats upon our spirits, we may turn it into something that is good, if we resolve to make it so; and with equanimity and patience may shelter ourselves from its inclement pitiless pelting. If it develop our patience, and give occasion for heroic endurance, it hath done us good enough to recompense us sufficiently for all the temporal affliction; for so a wise man shall overrule his stars; and have a greater influence upon his own content, than all the constellations and planets of the firmament.

Compare not thy condition with the few above thee, but to secure thy content, look upon those thousands with whom thou wouldst not, for any interest, change thy fortune and condition. A soldier must not think himself unprosperous, if he be not successful as Alexander or Wellington; nor any man deem himself unfortunate that he hath not the wealth of Rothschild; but rather let the former rejoice that he is not lessened like the many generals who went down horse and man before Napoleon, and the latter that he is not the beggar who, bareheaded in the bleak winter wind holds out his tattered hat for charity. There may be many who are richer and more fortunate; but many thousands who are very miserable, compared to thee.

After the worst assaults of Fortune, there will be something left to us, — a merry countenance, a cheerful spirit, and a good conscience, the Providence of God, our hopes of Heaven, our charity for those who have injured us; perhaps a loving wife, and many friends to pity, and some to relieve us; and light and air, and all the beauties of Nature; we can read, discourse, and meditate; and having still these blessings, we should be much in love with sorrow and peevishness to lose them all, and prefer to sit down on our little handful of thorns.

Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them, and the evils of it bear patiently and calmly; for this day only is ours: we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow. When our fortunes are violently changed, our spirits are unchanged, if they always stood in the suburbs and expectation of sorrows and reverses. The blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty, and integrity deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life. We are quit from a thousand calamities, every one of which, if it were upon us, would make us insensible of our present sorrow, and glad to receive it in exchange for that other greater affliction.

Measure your desires by your fortune and condition, not your fortunes by your desires: be governed by your needs, not by your fancy; by nature, not by evil customs and ambitious principles. It is no evil to be poor, but to be vicious and impatient. Is that beast better, that hath two or three mountains to graze on, than the little bee that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every morning from the store-houses of Heaven, clouds and Providence ?

There are some instances of fortune and a fair condition that cannot stand with some others; but if you desire this, you must lose that, and unless you be content with one, you lose the comfort of both. If you covet learning, you must have leisure and a retired life; if honours of State and political distinctions, you must be ever abroad in public, and get experience, and do all men's business, and keep all company, and have no leisure at all. If you will be rich, you must be frugal; if you will be popular, you must be bountiful; if a philosopher, you must despise riches. If you would be famous as Epaminondas, accept also his poverty, for it added lustre to his person, and envy to his fortune, and his virtue without it could not have been so excellent. If you would have the reputation of a martyr, you must needs accept his persecution; if of a benefactor of the world, the world's injustice; if truly great, you must expect to see the mob prefer lesser men to yourself.

God esteems it one of His glories, that He brings good out of evil; and therefore it were but reason we should trust Him to govern His own world as He pleases; and that we should patiently wait until the change cometh, or the reason is discovered.

A Mason's contentedness must by no means be a mere contented selfishness, like his who, comfortable himself, is indifferent to the discomfort of others. There will always be in this world wrongs to forgive, suffering to alleviate, sorrow asking for sympathy, necessities and destitution to relieve, and ample occasion for the exercise of active charity and beneficence. And he who sits unconcerned amidst it all, perhaps enjoying his own comforts and luxuries the more, by contrasting them with the hungry and ragged destitution and shivering misery of his fellows, is not contented, but selfish and unfeeling.

It is the saddest of all sights upon this earth, that of a man lazy and luxurious, or hard and penurious, to whom want appeals in vain, and suffering cries in an unknown tongue. The man whose hasty anger hurries him into violence and crime is not half so unworthy to live. He is the faithless steward, that embezzles what God has given him in trust for the impoverished and suffering among his brethren. The true Mason must be and must have a right to be content with himself; and he can be so only when he lives not for himself alone, but for others also, who need his assistance and have a claim upon his sympathy.

"Charity is the great channel," it has been well said, "through which God passes all His mercy upon mankind. For we receive absolution of our sins in proportion to our forgiving our brother. This is the rule of our hopes and the measure of our desire in this world; and on the day of death and judgment, the great sentence upon mankind shall be transacted according to our alms, which is the other part of charity. God himself is love; and very degree of charity that dwells in us is the participation of the divine nature."

These principles Masonry reduces to practice. By them it expects you to be hereafter guided and governed. It especially inculcates them upon him who employs the labour of others, forbidding him to discharge them, when to want employment is to starve; or to contract for the labour of man or woman at so low a price that by over-exertion they must sell him their blood and life at the same time with the labour of their hands.

These Degrees are also intended to teach more than morals. The symbols and ceremonies of Masonry have more than one meaning. They rather conceal than disclose the Truth. They hint it only, at least; and their varied meanings are only to be discovered by reflection and study. Truth is not only symbolized by Light, but as the ray of light is separable into rays of different colours, so is truth separable into kinds. It is the province of Masonry to teach all truths — not moral truth alone, but political and philosophical, and even religious truth, so far as concerns the great and essential principles of each. The sphynx was a symbol. To whom has it disclosed its inmost meaning? Who knows the symbolic meaning of the pyramids?

You will hereafter learn who are the chief foes of human liberty symbolized by the assassins of the Master Khurum; and in their fate you may see foreshadowed that which we earnestly hope will hereafter overtake those enemies of humanity, against whom Masonry has struggled so long.

IX. ELECT OF THE NINE

[Elu of the Nine]

ORIGINALLY created to reward fidelity, obedience, and devotion, this Degree was consecrated to bravery, devotedness, and patriotism; and your obligation has made known to you the duties which you have assumed. They are summed up in the simple mandate, "Protect the oppressed against the oppressor; and devote yourself to the honour and interests of your Country."

Masonry is not "speculative," nor theoretical, but experimental; not sentimental, but practical. It requires self-renunciation and self-control. It wears a stern face toward men's vices, and interferes with many of our pursuits and our fancied pleasures. It penetrates beyond the region of vague sentiment; beyond the regions where moralizers and philosophers have woven their fine theories and elaborated their beautiful maxims, to the very depths of the heart, rebuking our littlenesses and meannesses, arraigning our prejudices and passions, and warring against the armies of our vices.

It wars against the passions that spring out of the bosom of a world of fine sentiments, a world of admirable sayings and foul practices, of good maxims and bad deeds; whose darker passions are not only restrained by custom and ceremony, but hidden even from itself by a veil of beautiful sentiments. This terrible solecism has existed in all ages. Romish sentimentalism has often covered infidelity and vice; Protestant straightness often lauds spirituality and faith, and neglects homely truth, candor, and generosity; and ultra-liberal Rationalistic refinement sometimes soars to heaven in its dreams, and wallows in the mire of earth in its deeds.

There may be a world of Masonic sentiment; and yet a world of little or no Masonry. In many minds there is a vague and general sentiment of Masonic charity, generosity, and disinterestedness, but no practical, active virtue, nor habitual kindness, self sacrifice, or liberality. Masonry plays about them like the cold though brilliant lights that flush and eddy over Northern skies. There are occasional flashes of generous and manly feeling, transitory splendours, and momentary gleams of just and noble thought, and transient coruscations, that light the Heaven of their imagination; but there is no vital warmth in the heart; and it remains as cold and sterile as the Arctic or Antarctic regions. They do nothing; they gain no victories over themselves; they make no progress; they are still in the Northeast corner of the Lodge, as when they first stood there as Apprentices; and they do not cultivate Masonry, with a cultivation, determined, resolute, and regular, like their cultivation of their estate, profession, or knowledge. Their Masonry takes its chance in general and inefficient sentiment, mournfully barren of results; in words and formulas and fine professions.

Most men have sentiments, but not principles. The former are temporary sensations, the latter permanent and controlling impressions of goodness and virtue. The former are general and involuntary, and do not rise to the character of virtue. Every one feels them. They flash up spontaneously in every heart. The latter are rules of action, and shape and control our conduct; and it is these that Masonry insists upon.

We approve the right; but pursue the wrong. It is the old story of human deficiency. No one abets or praises injustice, fraud, oppression, covetousness, revenge, envy or slander; and yet how many who condemn these things, are themselves guilty of them. It is no rare thing for him whose indignation is kindled at a tale of wicked injustice, cruel oppression base slander, or misery inflicted by unbridled indulgence; whose anger flames in behalf of the injured and ruined victims of wrong; to be in some relation unjust, or oppressive, or envious, or self-indulgent, or a careless talker of others. How wonderfully indignant the penurious man often is, at the avarice or want of public spirit of another!

A great Preacher well said, "Therefore thou art inexcusable. O Man, whosoever thou art, that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest, doest the same things." It is amazing to see how men can talk of virtue and honour, whose life denies both. It is curious to see with what a marvellous facility many bad men quote Scripture. It seems to comfort their evil consciences, to use good words; and to gloze over bad deeds with holy texts, wrested to their purpose. Often, the more a man talks about Charity and Toleration, the less he has of either; the more he talks about Virtue, the smaller stock he has of it. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart; but often the very reverse of what the man practises. And the vicious and sensual often express, and in a sense feel, strong disgust at vice and sensuality. Hypocrisy is not so common as is imagined.

Here, in the Lodge, virtue and vice are matters of reflection and feeling only. There is little opportunity here, for the practice of either; and Masons yield to the argument here, with facility and readiness; because nothing is to follow. It is easy, and safe, here, too feel upon these matters. But to-morrow, when they breathe the atmosphere of worldly gains and competitions, and the passions are again stirred at the opportunities of unlawful pleasure, all their fine emotions about virtue, all their generous abhorrence of selfishness and sensuality, melt away like a morning cloud.

For the time, their emotions and sentiments are sincere and real. Men may be really, in a certain way, interested in Masonry, while fatally deficient in virtue. It is not always hypocrisy. Men pray most fervently and sincerely, and yet are constantly guilty of acts so bad and base, so ungenerous and unrighteous, that the crimes that crowd the dockets of our courts are scarcely worse.

A man may be a good sort of man in general, and yet a very bad man in particular: good in the Lodge and bad in the world; good in public, and bad in his family; good at home, and bad on a journey or in a strange city. Many a man earnestly desires to be a good Mason. He says so, and is sincere. But if you require him to resist a certain passion, to sacrifice a certain indulgence, to control his appetite at a particular feast, or to keep his temper in a dispute, you will find that he does not wish to be a good Mason, in that particular case; or, wishing, is not able to resist his worst impulses.

The duties of life are more than life. The law imposeth it upon every citizen, that he prefer the urgent service of his country before the safety of his life. If a man be commanded, saith a great writer, to bring ordnance or munition to relieve any of the King's towns that are distressed, then he cannot for any danger of tempest justify the throwing of them overboard; for there it holdeth which was spoken by the Roman, when the same necessity of weather was alleged to hold him from embarking: "Necesse est ut eam, non ut vivam :" it needs that I go: it is not necessary I should live.

How ungratefully he slinks away, who dies, and does nothing to reflect a glory to Heaven ! How barren a tree he is, who lives, and spreads, and cumbers the ground, yet leaves not one seed, not one good work to generate another after him ! All cannot leave alike; yet all may leave something, answering their proportions and their kinds. Those are dead and withered grains of corn, out of which there will not one ear spring. He will hardly find the way to Heaven, who desires to go thither alone.

Industry is never wholly unfruitful. If it bring not joy with the incoming profit, it will yet banish mischief from thy busied gates. There is a kind of good angel waiting upon Diligence that ever carries a laurel in his hand to crown her. How unworthy was that man of the world who never did aught, but only lived and died! That we have liberty to do anything, we should account it a gift from the favouring Heavens; that we have minds sometimes inclining us to use that liberty well, is a great bounty of the Deity.

Masonry is action, and not inertness. It requires its Initiates to WORK, actively and earnestly, for the benefit of their brethren, their country, and mankind. It is the patron of the oppressed, as it is the comforter and consoler of the unfortunate and wretched. It seems to it a worthier honour to be the instrument of advancement and reform, than to enjoy all that rank and office and lofty titles can bestow. It is the advocate of the common people in those things which concern the best interests of mankind. It hates insolent power and impudent usurpation. It pities the poor, the sorrowing, the disconsolate; it endeavours to raise and improve the ignorant, the sunken, and the degraded.

Its fidelity to its mission will be accurately evidenced, by the extent of the efforts it employs, and the means it sets on foot, to improve the people at large and to better their condition; chiefest of which, within its reach, is to aid in the education of the children of the poor. An intelligent people, informed of its rights, will soon come to know its power, and cannot long be oppressed; but if there be not a sound and virtuous populace, the elaborate ornaments at the top of the pyramid of society will be a wretched compensation for the want of solidity at the base. It is never safe for a nation to repose on the lap of ignorance: and if there ever was a time when public tranquillity was insured by the absence of knowledge, that season is past. Unthinking stupidity cannot sleep, without being appalled by phantoms and shaken by terrors. The improvement of the mass of the people is the grand security for popular liberty; in the neglect of which, the politeness, refinement, and knowledge accumulated in the higher orders and wealthier classes will some day perish like dry grass in the hot fire of popular fury.

It is not the mission of Masonry to engage in plots and conspiracies against the civil government. It is not the fanatical propagandist of any creed or theory; nor does it proclaim itself the enemy of kings. It is the apostle of liberty, equality, and fraternity; but it is no more the high-priest of republicanism than of constitutional monarchy. It contracts no entangling alliances with any sect of theorists, dreamers, or philosophers. It does not know those as its Initiates who assail the civil order and all lawful authority, at the same time that they propose to deprive the dying of the consolations of religion. It sits apart from all sects and creeds, in its own calm and simple dignity, the same under every government. It is still that which it was in the cradle of the human race, when no human foot had trodden the soil of Assyria and Egypt, and no colonies had crossed the Himalayas into Southern India, Media, or Etruria.

It gives no countenance to anarchy and licentiousness; and no illusion of glory, or extravagant emulation of the ancients inflames it with an unnatural thirst for ideal and Utopian liberty. It teaches that in rectitude of life and sobriety of habits is the only sure guarantee for the continuance of political freedom, and it is chiefly the soldier of the sanctity of the laws and the rights of conscience.

It recognizes it as a truth, that necessity, as well as abstract right and ideal justice, must have its part in the making of laws, the administration of affairs, and the regulation of relations in society. It sees, indeed, that necessity rules in all the affairs of man. It knows that where any man, or any number or race of men, are so imbecile of intellect, so degraded, so incapable of self control, so inferior in the scale of humanity, as to be unfit to be intrusted with the highest prerogatives of citizenship, the great law of necessity, for the peace and safety of the community and country, requires them to remain under the control of those of larger intellect and superior wisdom. It trusts and believes that God will, in his own good time, work out his own great and wise purposes; and it is willing to wait, where it does not see its own way clear to some certain good.

It hopes and longs for the day when all the races of men, even the lowest, will be elevated, and become fitted for political freedom; when, like all other evils that afflict the earth, pauperism, and bondage or abject dependence, shall cease and disappear. But it does not preach revolution to those who are fond of kings, nor rebellion that can end only in disaster and defeat, or in substituting one tyrant for another, or a multitude of despots for one.

Wherever a people is fit to be free and to govern itself, and generously strives to be so, there go all its sympathies. It detests the tyrant, the lawless oppressor, the military usurper, and him who abuses a lawful power. It frowns upon cruelty, and a wanton disregard of the rights of humanity. It abhors the selfish employer, and exerts its influence to lighten the burdens which want and dependence impose upon the workman, and to foster that humanity and kindness which man owes to even the poorest and most unfortunate brother.

It can never be employed, in any country under Heaven, to teach a toleration for cruelty, to weaken moral hatred for guilt, or to deprave and brutalize the human mind. The dread of punishment will never make a Mason an accomplice in so corrupting his countrymen, and a teacher of depravity and barbarity. If anywhere, as has heretofore happened, a tyrant should send a satirist on his tyranny to be convicted and punished as a libeller, in a court of justice, a Mason, if a juror in such a case, though in sight of the scaffold streaming with the blood of the innocent, and within hearing of the clash of the bayonets meant to overawe the court, would rescue the intrepid satirist from the tyrant's fangs, and send his officers out from the court with defeat and disgrace.

Even if all law and liberty were trampled under the feet of Jacobinical demagogues or a military banditti, and great crimes were perpetrated with a high hand against all who were deservedly the objects of public veneration; if the people, overthrowing law, roared like a sea around the courts of justice, and demanded the blood of those who, during the temporary fit of insanity and drunken delirium, had chanced to become odious to it, for true words manfully spoken, or unpopular acts bravely done, the Masonic juror, unawed alike by the single or the many-headed tyrant, would consult the dictates of duty alone, and stand with a noble firmness between the human tigers and their coveted prey.

The Mason would much rather pass his life hidden in the recesses of the deepest obscurity, feeding his mind even with the visions and imaginations of good deeds and noble actions, than to be placed on the most splendid throne of the universe, tantalized with a denial of the practice of all which can make the greatest situation any other than the greatest curse. And if he has been enabled to lend the slightest step to any great and laudable designs; if he has had any share in any measure giving quiet to private property and to private conscience, making lighter the yoke of poverty and dependence, or relieving deserving men from oppression; if he has aided in securing to his countrymen that best possession, peace; if he has joined in reconciling the different sections of his own country to each other, and the people to the government of their own creating; and in teaching the citizen to look for his protection to the laws of his country, and for his comfort to the good-will of his countrymen; if he has thus taken his part with the best of men in the best of their actions, he may well shut the book, even if he might wish to read a page or two more. It is enough for his measure. He has not lived in vain.

Masonry teaches that all power is delegated for the good, and not for the injury of the People; and that, when it is perverted from the original purpose, the compact is broken, and the right ought to be resumed; that resistance to power usurped is not merely a duty which man owes to himself and to his neighbour, but a duty which he owes to his God, in asserting and maintaining the rank which He gave him in the creation. This principle neither the rudeness of ignorance can stifle nor the enervation of refinement extinguish. It makes it base for a man to suffer when he ought to act; and, tending to preserve to him the original destinations of Providence, spurns at the arrogant assumptions of tyrants and vindicates the independent quality of the race of which we are a part.

The wise and well-informed Mason will not fail to be the votary of Liberty and Justice. He will be ready to exert himself in their defence, wherever they exist. It cannot be a matter of indifference to him when, his own liberty and that of other men, with whose merits and capacities he is acquainted, are involved in the event of the struggle to be made; but his attachment will be to the cause, as the cause of man; and not merely to the country. Wherever there is a people that understands the value of political justice, and is prepared to assert it, that is his country; wherever he can most contribute to the diffusion of these principles and the real happiness of mankind, that is his country. Nor does he desire for any country any other benefit than justice.

The true Mason identifies the honour of his country with his own. Nothing more conduces to the beauty and glory of one's country than the preservation against all enemies of its civil and religious liberty. The world will never willingly let die the names of those patriots who in her different ages have received upon their own breasts the blows aimed by insolent enemies at the bosom of their country.

But also it conduces, and in no small measure, to the beauty and glory of one's country, that justice should always be administered there to all alike, and neither denied, sold, nor delayed to any one; that the interest of the poor should be looked to, and none starve or be houseless, or clamor in vain for work; that the child and the feeble woman should not be overworked, or even the apprentice or slave be stinted of food or overtasked or mercilessly scourged; and that God's great laws of mercy, humanity, and compassion should be everywhere enforced, not only by the statutes, but also by the power of public opinion. And he who labours, often against reproach and obloquy, and oftener against indifference and apathy, to bring about that fortunate condition of things when that great code of divine law shall be everywhere and punctually obeyed, is no less a patriot than he who bares his bosom to the hostile steel in the ranks of his country's soldiery.

For fortitude is not only seen resplendent on the field of battle and amid the clash of arms, but he displays its energy under every difficulty and against every assailant. He who wars against cruelty, oppression, and hoary abuses, fights for his country's honour, which these things soil; and her honour is as important as her existence. Often, indeed, the warfare against those abuses which disgrace one's country is quite as hazardous and more discouraging than that against her enemies in the field; and merits equal, if not greater reward.

For those Greeks and Romans who are the objects of our admiration employed hardly any other virtue in the extirpation of tyrants, than that love of liberty, which made them prompt in seizing the sword, and gave them strength to use it. With facility they accomplish the undertaking, amid the general shout of praise and joy; nor did they engage in the attempt so much as an enterprise of perilous and doubtful issue, as a contest the most glorious in which virtue could be signalized; which infallibly led to present recompense; which bound their brows with wreaths of laurel, and consigned their memories to immortal fame.

But he who assails hoary abuses, regarded perhaps with a superstitious reverence, and around which old laws stand as ramparts and bastions to defend them; who denounces acts of cruelty and outrage on humanity which make every perpetrator thereof his personal enemy, and perhaps make him looked upon with suspicion by the people among whom he lives, as the assailant of an established order of things of which he assails only the abuses, and of laws of which he attacks only the violations, — he can scarcely look for present recompense, nor that his living brows will be wreathed with laurel. And if, contending against a dark array of long-received opinions, superstitions, obloquy, and fears, which most men dread more than they do an army terrible with banners, the Mason overcomes, and emerges from the contest victorious; or if he does not conquer, but is borne down and swept away by the mighty current of prejudice, passion, and interest; in either case, the loftiness of spirit which he displays merits for him more than a mediocrity of fame.

He has already lived too long who has survived the ruin of his country; and he who can enjoy life after such an event deserves not to have lived at all. Nor does he any more deserve to live who looks contentedly upon abuses that disgrace, and cruelties that dishonour, and scenes of misery and destitution and brutalization that disfigure his country; or sordid meanness and ignoble revenges that make her a by-word and a scoff among all generous nations; and does not endeavour to remedy or prevent either.

Not often is a country at war; nor can every one be allowed the privilege of offering his heart to the enemy's bullets. But in these patriotic labours of peace, in preventing, remedying, and reforming evils, oppressions, wrongs, cruelties, and outrages, every Mason can unite; and every one can effect something, and share the honour and glory of the result.

For the cardinal names in the history of the human mind are few and easily to be counted up; but thousands and tens of thousands spend their days in the preparations which are to speed the predestined change, in gathering and amassing the materials which are to kindle and give light and warmth, when the fire from heaven shall have descended on them. Numberless are the sutlers and pioneers, the engineers and artisans, who attend the march of intellect. Many move forward in detachments, and level the way over which the chariot is to pass, and cut down the obstacles that would impede its progress; and these too have their reward. If they labour diligently and faithfully in their calling, not only will they enjoy that calm contentment which diligence in the lowliest task never fails to win; not only will the sweat of their brows be sweet, and the sweetener of the rest that follows; but, when the victory is at last achieved, they will come in for a share in the glory; even as the meanest soldier who fought at Marathon or at King's Mountain became a sharer in the glory of those saving days; and within his own household circle, the approbation of which approaches the nearest to that of an approving conscience, was looked upon as the representative of all his brother-heroes; and could tell such tales as made the tear glisten on the cheek of his wife, and ]it up his boy'.s eyes with an unwonted sparkling eagerness. Or, if he fell in the fight, and his place by the fireside and at the table at home was thereafter vacant, that place was sacred; and he was often talked of there in the long winter evenings; and his family was deemed fortunate in the neighbourhood, because it had had a hero in it, who had fallen in defence of his country.

Remember that life's length is not measured by its hours and days but by that which we have done therein for our country and kind. A useless life is short. if it last a century; but that of Alexander was long as the life of the oak, though he died at thirty-five. We may do much in a few years, and we may nothing in a lifetime. If we but eat and drink and sleep, and everything go on around us as it pleases; or if we live but amass wealth or gain office or wear titles, we might as well not have lived at all; nor have we any right to expect immortality.

Forget not, therefore, to what you have devoted yourself in this Degree: defend weakness against strength, the friendless against the great, the oppressed against the oppressor ! Be ever vigilant and watchful of the interests and honour of your country! and may the Grand Architect of the Universe give you that strength and wisdom which shall enable you well and faithfully to perform these high duties!

X. ILLUSTRIOUS ELECT OF THE FIFTEEN

[Elu of the Fifteen]

THIS Degree is devoted to the same objects as those of the Elu of Nine; and also to the cause of Toleration and Liberality against Fanaticism and Persecution, political and religious; and to that of Education, Instruction, and Enlightenment against Error, Barbarism, and Ignorance. To these objects you have irrevocably and forever devoted your hand, your heart, and your intellect; and whenever in your presence a Chapter of this Degree is opened, you will be most solemnly reminded of your vows here taken at the altar.

Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours; and liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so every one should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth, and that whatever one firmly and conscientiously believes, is truth, to him — these are the mortal enemies of that fanaticism which persecutes for opinion's sake, and initiates crusades against whatever it, in its imaginary holiness, deems to be contrary to the law of God or verity of dogma. And education, instruction, and enlightenment are the most certain means by which fanaticism and intolerance can be rendered powerless.

No true Mason scoffs at honest convictions and an ardent zeal in the cause of what one believes to be truth and justice. But he does absolutely deny the right of any man to assume the prerogative of Deity, and condemn another's faith and opinions as deserving to be punished because heretical. Nor does he approve the course of those who endanger the peace and quiet of great nations, and the best interest of their own race by indulging in a chimerical and visionary philanthropy — a luxury which chiefly consists in drawing their robes around them to avoid contact with their fellows, and proclaiming themselves holier than they.

For he knows that such follies are often more calamitous than the ambition of kings; and that intolerance and bigotry have been infinitely greater curses to mankind than ignorance and error. Better any error than persecution! Better any opinion than the thumb-screw, the rack, and the stake! And he knows also how unspeakably absurd it is, for a creature to whom himself and everything around him are mysteries, to torture and slay others, because they cannot think as he does in regard to the profoundest of those mysteries, to understand which is utterly beyond the comprehension of either the persecutor or the persecuted.

Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it. The Brahmin, the Jew, the Mahometan, the Catholic, the Protestant, each professing his peculiar religion, sanctioned by the laws, by time, and by climate, must needs retain it, and cannot have two religions; for the social and sacred laws adapted to the usages, manners, and prejudices of particular countries, are the work of men.

But Masonry teaches, and has preserved in their purity, the cardinal tenets of the old primitive faith, which underlie and are the foundation of all religions. All that ever existed have had a basis of truth; and all have overlaid that truth with errors. The primitive truths taught by the Redeemer were sooner corrupted, and intermingled and alloyed with fictions than when taught to the first of our race. Masonry is the universal morality which is suitable to the inhabitants of every clime, to the man of every creed. It has taught no doctrines, except those truths that tend directly to the well-being of man; and those who have attempted to direct it toward useless vengeance, political ends, and Jesuitism, have merely perverted it to purposes foreign to its pure spirit and real nature.

Mankind outgrows the sacrifices and the mythologies of the childhood of the world. Yet it is easy for human indolence to linger near these helps, and refuse to pass further on. So the unadventurous Nomad in the Tartarian wild keeps his flock in the same close-cropped circle where they first learned to browse, while the progressive man roves ever forth "to fresh fields and pastures new." The latter is the true Mason; and the best and indeed the only good Mason is he who with the power of business does the work of life; the upright mechanic, merchant, or farmer, the man with the power of thought, of justice, or of love, he whose whole life is one great act of performance of Masonic duty. The natural case of the strength of a strong man or the wisdom of a wise one, is to do the work of a strong man or a wise one.

The natural work of Masonry is practical life; the use of all the faculties in their proper spheres, and for their natural function. Love of Truth, justice, and generosity as attributes of God, must appear in a life marked by these qualities; that is the only effectual ordinance of Masonry. A profession of one's convictions, joining the Order, assuming the obligations, assisting at the ceremonies, are of the same value in science as in Masonry; the natural form of Masonry is goodness, morality, living a true, just, affectionate, self-faithful life, from the motive of a good man. It is loyal obedience to God's law.

The good Mason does the good thing which comes in his way, and because it comes in his way; from a love of duty, and not merely because a law, enacted by man or God, commands his will to do it. He is true to his mind, his conscience, heart, and soul, and feels small temptation to do to others what he would not wish to receive from them. He will deny himself for the sake of his brother near at hand. His desire attracts in the line of his duty, both being in conjunction. Not in vain does the poor or the oppressed look up to him. You find such men in all Christian sects, Protestant and Catholic, in all the great religious parties of the civilized world, among Buddhists, Mahometans, and Jews. They are kind fathers, generous citizens, unimpeachable in their business, beautiful in their daily lives. You see their Masonry in their work and in their play. It appears in all the forms of their activity, individual, domestic, social, ecclesiastical, or political. True Masonry within must be morality without. It must become eminent morality, which is philanthropy. The true Mason loves not only his kindred and his country, but all mankind; not only the good, but also the evil, among his brethren. He has more goodness than the channels of his daily life will hold. It runs over the banks, to water and to feed a thousand thirsty plants. Not content with the duty that lies along his track, he goes out to seek it; not only willing, he has a salient longing to do good, to spread his truth, his justice, his generosity, his Masonry over all the world. His daily life is a profession of his Masonry, published in perpetual good-will to men. He can not be a persecutor.

Not more naturally does the beaver build or the mocking-bird sing his own wild, gushing melody, than the true Mason lives in this beautiful outward life. So from the perennial spring swells forth the stream, to quicken the meadow with new access of green, and perfect beauty bursting into bloom. Thus Masonry does the work it was meant to do. The Mason does not sigh and weep, and make grimaces. He lives right on. If his life is, as whose is not, marked with errors, and with sins, he ploughs over the barren spot with his remorse, sows with new seed, and the old desert blossoms like a rose. He is not confined to set forms of thought, of action, or of feeling. He accepts what his mind regards as true, what his conscience decides is right, what his heart deems generous and noble; and all else he puts far from him. Though the ancient and the honorable of the Earth bid him bow down to them, his stubborn knees bend only at the bidding of his manly soul. His Masonry is his freedom before God, not his bondage unto men. His mind acts after the universal law of the intellect, his conscience according to the universal moral law, his affections and his soul after the universal law of each, and so he is strong with the strength of God, in this four-fold way communicating with Him.

The old theologies, the philosophies of religion of ancient times, will not suffice us now. The duties of life are to be done; we are to do them, consciously obedient to the law of God, not atheistically, loving only our selfish gain. There are sins of trade to be corrected. Everywhere morality and philanthropy are needed. There are errors to be made way with, and their place supplied with new truths, radiant with the glories of Heaven.

There are great wrongs and evils, in Church and State, in domestic, social, and public life, to be righted and outgrown. Masonry cannot in our age forsake the broad way of life. She must journey on in the open street, appear in the crowded square, and teach men by her deeds, her life more eloquent than any lips.

This Degree is chiefly devoted to TOLERATION; and it inculcates in the strongest manner that great leading idea of the Ancient Art, that a belief in the one True God, and a moral and virtuous life, constitute the only religious requisites needed to enable a man to be a Mason.

Masonry has ever the most vivid remembrance of the terrible and artificial torments that were used to put down new forms of religion or extinguish the old. It sees with the eye of memory the ruthless extermination of all the people of all sexes and ages, because it was their misfortune not to know the God of the Hebrews, or to worship Him under the wrong name, by the savage troops of Moses and Joshua. It sees the thumb-screws and the racks, the whip, the gallows, and the stake, the victims of Diocletian and Alva, the miserable Covenanters, the Non-Conformists, Servetus burned, and the unoffending Quaker hung. It sees Cranmer hold his arm, now no longer erring, in the flame until the hand drops off in the consuming heat. It sees the persecutions of Peter and Paul, the martyrdom of Stephen, the trials of Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin, and Irenζus; and then in turn the sufferings of the wretched Pagans under the Christian Emperors, as of the Papists in Ireland and under Elizabeth and the bloated Henry. The Roman Virgin naked before the hungry lions; young Margaret Graham tied to a stake at low-water mark, and there left to drown, singing hymns to God until the savage waters broke over her head; and all that in all ages have suffered by hunger and nakedness, peril and prison, the rack, the stake, and the sword, — it sees them all, and shudders at the long roll of human atrocities. And it sees also the oppression still practised in the name of religion — men shot in a Christian jail in Christian Italy for reading the Christian Bible; in almost every Christian State, laws forbidding freedom of speech on matters relating to Christianity; and the gallows reaching its arm over the pulpit.

The fires of Moloch in Syria, the harsh mutilations in the name of Astarte, Cybele, Jehovah; the barbarities of imperial Pagan Torturers; the still grosser torments which Roman-Gothic Christians in Italy and Spain heaped on their brother-men; the fiendish cruelties to which Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, America, have been witnesses, are none too powerful to warn man of the unspeakable evils which follow from mistakes and errors in the matter of religion, and especially from investing the God of Love with the cruel and vindictive passions of erring humanity, and making blood to have a sweet savor in his nostrils, and groans of agony to be delicious to his ears.

Man never had the right to usurp the unexercised prerogative of God, and condemn and punish another for his belief. Born in a Protestant land, we are of that faith. If we had opened our eyes to the light under the shadows of St. Peter's at Rome, we should have been devout Catholics; born in the Jewish quarter of Aleppo, we should have contemned Christ as an imposter; in Constantinople, we should have cried "Allah il Allah, God is great and Mahomet is his prophet!" Birth, place, and education give us our faith. Few believe in any religion because they have examined the evidences of its authenticity, and made up a formal judgment, upon weighing the testimony. Not one man in ten thousand knows anything about the proofs of his faith. We believe what we are taught; and those are most fanatical who know least of the evidences on which their creed is based. Facts and testimony are not, except in very rare instances, the ground-work of faith. It is an imperative law of God's Economy, unyielding and inflexible as Himself, that man shall accept without question the belief of those among whom he is born and reared; the faith so made a part of his nature resists all evidence to the contrary; and he will disbelieve even the evidence of his own senses, rather than yield up the religious belief which has grown up in him, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.

What is truth to me is not truth to another. The same arguments and evidences that convince one mind make no impression on another. This difference is in men at their birth. No man is entitled positively to assert that he is right, where other men, equally intelligent and equally wellinformed, hold directly the opposite opinion. Each thinks it impossible for the other 'to be sincere, and each, as to that, is equally in error. "What is truth?" was a profound question, the most suggestive one ever put to man.

Many beliefs of former and present times seem incomprehensible. They startle us with a new glimpse into the human soul, that mysterious thing more mysterious the more we note its workings. Here is a man superior to myself in intellect and learning; and yet he sincerely believes what seems to me too absurd to merit confutation; and I cannot conceive, and sincerely do not believe,that he is both sane and honest.

And yet he is both. His reason is as perfect as mine, and he is as honest as I. The fancies of a lunatic are realities, to him. Our dreams are realities while they last; and, in the Past, no more unreal than what we have acted in our waking hours. No man can say that he hath as sure possession of the truth as of a chattel. When men entertain opinions diametrically opposed to each other, and each is honest, who shall decide which hath the Truth; and how can either say with certainty that he hath it? We know not what is the truth. That we ourselves believe and feel absolutely certain that our own belief is true, is in reality not the slightest proof of the fact, seem it never so certain and incapable of doubt to us. No man is responsible for the rightness of his faith; but only for the uprightness of it.

Therefore no man hath or ever had a right to persecute another for his belief; for there cannot be two antagonistic rights; and if one can persecute another, because he himself is satisfied that the belief of that other is erroneous, the other has, for the same reason, equally as certain a right to persecute him.

The truth comes to us tinged and colored with our prejudices and our preconceptions, which are as old as ourselves, and strong with a divine force. It comes to us as the image of a rod comes to us through the water, bent and distorted. An argument sinks into and convinces the mind of one man, while from that of another it rebounds like a ball of ivory dropped on marble. It is no merit in a man to have a particular faith, excellent and sound and philosophic as it may be, when he imbibed it with his mother's milk. It is no more a merit than his prejudices and his passions. The sincere Moslem has as much right to persecute us, as we to persecute him; and therefore Masonry wisely requires no more than a belief in One Great All-Powerful Deity, the Father and Preserver of the Universe. Therefore it is she teaches her votaries that toleration is one of the chief duties of every good Mason, a component part of that charity without which we are mere hollow images of true Masons, mere sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

No evil hath so afflicted the world as intolerance of religious opinion. The human beings it has slain in various ways, if once and together brought to life, would make a nation of people; left to live and increase, would have doubled the population of the civilized portion of the globe; among which civilized portion it chiefly is that religious wars are waged.

The treasure and the human labor thus lost would have made the earth a garden, in which, but for his evil passions, man might now be as happy as in Eden.

No man truly obeys the Masonic law who merely tolerates those whose religious opinions are opposed to his own. Every man's opinions are his own private property, and the rights of all men to maintain each his own are perfectly equal. Merely to tolerate, to bear with an opposing opinion, is to assume it to be heretical; and assert the right to persecute, if we would; and claim our toleration of it as a merit. The Mason's creed goes further than that. No man, it holds, has any right in any way to, interfere with the religious belief of another. It holds that each mat] is absolutely sovereign as to his own belief, and that belief is a matter absolutely foreign to all who do not entertain the same belief; and that, if there were any right of persecution at all, it would in all cases be a mutual right; because one party has the same right as the other to sit as judge in his own case; and God is the only magistrate that can rightfully decide between them. To 1hat great judge, Masonry refers the matter; and opening wide its portals, it invites to enter there and live in peace and harmony, the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew, the Moslem; every man who will lead a truly virtuous and moral life, love his brethren, sinister to the sick and distressed, and believe in the ONE, All Powerful, All-Wise, everywhere — Present GOD, Architect, Creator, and Preserver of all things, by whose universal law of Harmony ever rolls on this universe, the great, vast, infinite circle of successive Death and Life: — to whose INEFFABLE NAME let all true Masons pay profoundest homage! for whose thousand blessings poured upon us, let us feel the sincerest gratitude, now, henceforth, and forever!

We may well be tolerant of each other's creed; for in every faith there are excellent moral precepts. Far in the South of Asia, Zoroaster taught this doctrine: "On commencing a journey, the Faithful should turn his thoughts toward Ormuzd, and confess him, in the purity of his heart, to be King of the World; he should love him, do him homage, and serve him. He must be upright and charitable, despise the pleasures of the body, and avoid pride and haughtiness, and vice in all its forms, and especially 'falsehood, one of the basest sins of which man can be guilty. He must forget injuries and not avenge himself. He must honor the memory of his parents and relatives. At night, before retiring to sleep, he should rigorously examine his conscience, and repent of the faults which weakness or ill-fortune had caused him to commit." He was required to pray for strength to persevere in the Good, and to obtain forgiveness for his errors. It was his duty to confess his faults to a Magus, or to a layman renowned for his virtues, or to the Sun. Fasting and maceration were prohibited; and, on the contrary, it was his duty suitably to nourish the body and to maintain its vigor, that his soul might be strong to resist the Genius of Darkness; that he might more attentively read the Divine Word, and have more courage to perform noble deeds.

And in the North of Europe the Druids taught devotion to friends, indulgence for reciprocal wrongs, love of deserved praise, prudence, humanity, hospitality, respect for old age, disregard of the future, temperance, contempt of death, and a chivalrous deference to woman. Listen to these maxims from the Hava Maal, or Sublime Book of Odin: "If thou hast a friend, visit him often; the path will grow over with grass, and the trees soon cover it, if thou dost not constantly walk upon it. He is a faithful friend, who, having but two loaves, gives his friend one. Be never first to break with thy friend; sorrow wrings the heart of him who has no one save himself with whom to take counsel. There is no virtuous man who has not some vice, no bad man who has not some virtue. Happy he who obtains the praise and good-will of men; for all that depends on the will of another is hazardous and uncertain. Riches flit away in the twinkling of an eye; they are the most inconstant of friends; flocks and herds perish, parents die, friends are not immortal, thou thyself diest; I know but one thing that doth not die, the judgment that is passed upon the dead. Be humane toward those whom thou meetest on the road. If the guest that cometh to thy house is a — cold, give him fire; the man who has journeyed over the mountains needs food and dry garments. Mock not at the aged; for words full of sense come often from the wrinkles of age. Be moderately wise, and not over-prudent. Let no one seek to know his destiny, if he would sleep tranquilly. There is no malady more cruel than to be discontented with our lot. The glutton eats his own death; and the wise man laughs at the fool's greediness. Nothing is more injurious to the young than excessive drinking; the more one drinks the more he loses his reason; the bird of forgetfulness sings before those who intoxicate themselves, and wiles away their souls. Man devoid of sense believes he will live always if he avoids war; but, if the lances spare him, old age will give him no quarter. Better live well than live long. When a man lights a fire in his house, death comes before it goes out."

And thus said the Indian books: "Honor thy father and mother. Never forget the benefits thou hast received. Learn while thou art young. Be submissive to the laws of thy country. . Seek the company of virtuous men. Speak not of God but with respect. Live on good terms with thy fellow-citizens. Remain in thy proper place. Speak ill of no one. Mock at the bodily infirmities of none. Pursue not unrelentingly a conquered enemy. Strive to acquire a good reputation. Take counsel with wise men. The more one learns, the more he acquires the faculty of learning, Knowledge is the most permanent wealth. As well be dumb as ignorant. The true use of knowledge is to distinguish good from evil. Be not a subject of shame to thy parents. What one learns in youth endures like the engraving upon a rock. He is wise who knows himself. Let thy books be thy best friends. When thou attainest an hundred years, cease to learn. Wisdom is solidly planted, even on the shifting ocean. Deceive no one, not even thine enemy. Wisdom is a treasure that everywhere commands its value. Speak mildly, even to the poor. It is sweeter to forgive than to take vengeance. Gaming and quarrels lead to misery. There is no true merit without the practice of virtue. To honor our mother is the most fitting homage we can pay the Divinity. There is no tranquil sleep without a clear conscience. He badly understands his interest who breaks his word." Twenty-four centuries ago these were the Chinese Ethics:

"The Philosopher [Confucius] said, 'SAN! my doctrine is simple, and easy to be understood.' THSENG-TSEU replied, 'that is certain.' The Philosopher having gone out, the disciples asked what their master had meant to say. THSENG — TSEU responded, 'The doctrine of our Master consists solely in being upright of heart, and loving our neighbor as we love ourself."'

About a century later, the Hebrew law said, "If any man hate his neighbor ... then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to do unto his brother . . . Better is a neighbor that is near, than a. brother afar off ... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

In the same fifth century before Christ, SOCRATES the Grecian said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Three generations earlier, ZOROASTER had said to the Persians: "Offer up thy grateful prayers to the Lord, the most just and pure Ormuzd, the supreme and adorable God, who thus declared to his Prophet Zerdusht: 'Hold it not meet to do unto others what thou wouldst not desire done unto thyself; do that unto the people, which, when done to thyself, is not disagreeable unto thee."'

The same doctrine had been long taught in the schools of Babylon, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. A Pagan declared to the Pharisee HILLEL that he was ready to embrace the Jewish religion, if he could make known to him in a few words a summary of the whole law of Moses. "That which thou likest not done to thyself," said Hillel, "do it not unto thy neighbor. Therein is all the law: the rest is nothing but the commentary upon it." "Nothing is more natural," said CONFUCIUS, "nothing more simple, than the principles of that morality which I endeavor, by salutary maxims, to inculcate in you . . . It is humanity; which is to say, that universal charity among all of our species, without distinction. It is uprightness ; that is, that rectitude of spirit and of heart, which make; one seek for truth in everything, and desire it, without deceiving one's self or others. It is, finally, sincerity or good faith; which is to say, that frankness, that openness of heart, tempered by self-reliance, which excludes all feints and all disguising, as much in speech as in action."

To diffuse useful information, to further intellectual refinement, sure forerunner of moral improvement, to hasten the coming of the great day, when the dawn of general knowledge shalt ,chase away the lazy, lingering mists of ignorance and error, even from the base of the great social pyramid, is indeed a high calling, in which the most splendid talents and consummate virtue may well press onward, eager to bear a part. From the Masonic ranks ought to go forth those whose genius and not their ancestry ennoble them, to open to all ranks the temple of science, and by their own example to make the humblest men emulous to climb steps no longer inaccessible, and enter the unfolded gates burning in the sun. The highest intellectual cultivation is perfectly compatible with the daily cares and toils of working-men. A keen relish for the most sublime truths of science belongs alike to every class of Mankind. And, as philosophy was taught in the sacred groves of Athens, and under the Portico, and in the old Temples of Egypt and India, so in our Lodges ought Knowledge to be dispensed, the Sciences taught, and the Lectures become like the teachings of Socrates and Plato, of Agassiz and Cousin. Real knowledge never permitted either turbulence or unbelief; but its progress is the forerunner of liberality and enlightened toleration. Whoso dreads these may well tremble; for he may be well assured that their day is at length come, and must put to speedy flight the evil spirits of tyranny and persecution, which haunted the long night now gone down the sky.

And it is to be hoped that the time will soon arrive, when, as men will no longer suffer themselves to be led blindfolded in ignorance, so will they no more yield to the vile principle of judging and treating their fellowcreatures, not according to the intrinsic merit of their actions, but according to the accidental and involuntary coincidence of their opinions. Whenever we come to treat with entire respect those who conscientiously differ from ourselves, the only practical effect of a difference will be, to make us enlighten the ignorance on one side or the other, from which it springs, by instructing them, if it be theirs; ourselves, if it be our own; to the end that the only kind of unanimity may be produced which is desirable among rational beings, — the agreement proceeding from full conviction after the freest discussion.

The Elu of Fifteen ought therefore to take the lead of his fellow-citizen, not in frivolous amusements, not in the degrading pursuits of the ambitious vulgar; but in the truly noble task of enlightening the mass of his countrymen, and of leaving his own name encircled, not with barbaric splendor, or attached to courtly gewgaws, but illustrated by the honors most worthy of our rational nature; coupled with the diffusion of knowledge, and gratefully pronounced by a few, at least, whom his wise beneficence has rescued from ignorance and vice.

We say to him, in the words of the great Roman: "Men in no respect so nearly approach to the Deity, as when they confer benefits on men. To serve and do good to as many as possible, — there is nothing greater in your fortune than that you should be able, and nothing finer in your nature, than that you should be desirous to do this." This is the true mark for the aim of every man and Mason who either prizes the enjoyment of pure happiness, or sets a right value upon a high and unsullied renown. And if the benefactors of mankind, when they rest from their noble labors, shall be permitted to enjoy hereafter, as an appropriate reward of their virtue, the privilege of looking down upon the blessings with which their exertions and charities, and perhaps their toils and sufferings have clothed the scene of their former existence, it will not, in a state of exalted purity and wisdom, be the founders of mighty dynasties, the conquerors of new empires, the Cζsars, Alexanders, and Tamerlanes; nor the mere Kings and Counsellors, Presidents and Senators, who have lived for their party chiefly, and for their country only incidentally, often sacrificing to their own aggrandizement or that of their faction the good of their fellow-creatures; — it will not be they who will be gratified by contemplating the monuments of their inglorious fame; but those will enjoy that delight and march in that triumph, who can trace the remote effects of their enlightened benevolence in the improved condition of their species, and exult in the reflection, that the change which they at last, perhaps after many years, survey, with eyes that age and sorrow can make dim no more, — of Knowledge become Power, — Virtue sharing that Empire, — Superstition dethroned, and Tyranny exiled, is, if even only in some small and very slight degree, yet still in some degree, the fruit, precious if costly, and though late repaid yet long enduring, of their own self-denial and strenuous exertion, of their own mite of charity and aid to education wisely bestowed, and of the hardships and hazards which they encountered here below.

Masonry requires of its Initiates and votaries nothing that is impracticable. It does not demand that they should undertake to climb to those lofty and sublime peaks of a theoretical and imaginary unpractical virtue, high and cold and remote as the eternal snows that wrap the shoulders of Chimborazo, and at least as inaccessible as they. It asks that alone to be done which is easy to be done. It overtasks no one's strength, and asks no one to go beyond his means and capacities. It does not expect one whose business or profession yields him little more than the wants of himself and his family require, and whose time is necessarily occupied by his daily vocations, to abandon or neglect the business by which he and his children live, and devote himself and his means to the diffusion of knowledge among men. It does not expect him to publish books for the people, or to lecture, to the ruin of his private affairs, or to found academies and colleges, build up libraries, and entitle himself to statues.

But it does require and expect every man of us to do something, within and according to his means; and there is no Mason who cannot do some thing, if not alone, then by combination and association.

If a Lodge cannot aid in founding a school or an academy it can still do something. It can educate one boy or girl, at least, the child of some poor or departed brother. And it should never be forgotten, that in the poorest unregarded child that seems abandoned to ignorance and vice may slumber the virtues of a Socrates, the intellect of a Bacon or a Bossuet, the genius of a Shakespeare, the capacity to benefit mankind of a Washington; and that in rescuing him from the mire in which he is plunged, and giving him the means of education and development, the Lodge that does it may be the direct and immediate means of conferring upon the world as great a boon as that given it by John Faust the boy of Mentz; may perpetuate the liberties of a country and change the destinies of nations, and write a new chapter in the history of the world.

For we never know the importance of the act we do. The daughter of Pharaoh little thought what she was doing for the human race, and the vast unimaginable consequences that depended on her charitable act, when she drew the little child of a Hebrew woman from among the rushes that grew along the bank of the Nile, and determined to rear it as if it were her own.

How often has an act of charity, costing the doer little, given to the world a great painter, a great musician, a great inventor! How often has such an act developed the ragged boy into the benefactor of his race! On what small and apparently unimportant circumstances have turned and hinged, the fates of the world's great conquerors. There is no law that limits the returns that shall be reaped from a single good deed. The widow's mite may not only be as acceptable to God, but may produce as great results as the rich man's costly offering. The poorest boy, helped by benevolence, may come to lead armies, to control senates, to decide an peace and war, to dictate to cabinets; and his magnificent thoughts and noble words may be law many years hereafter to millions of men yet unborn.

But the opportunity to effect a great good does not often occur to any one. It is worse than folly for one to lie idle and inert, and expect the accident to befall him, by which his influences shall live forever. He can expect that to happen, only in consequence of one or many or all of a long series of acts. He can expect to benefit the world only as men attain other results; by continuance, by persistence, by a steady and uniform habit of laboring for the enlightenment of the world, to the extent of his means and capacity. For it is, in all instances, by steady labor, by giving enough of application to our work, and having enough of time for the doing of it, by regular pains-taking, and the plying of constant assiduities, and not by any process of legerdemain, that we secure the strength and the staple of real excellence. It was thus that Demosthenes, clause after clause, and sentence after sentence, elaborated to the uttermost his immortal orations. It was thus that Newton pioneered his way, by the steps of an ascending geometry, to the mechanism of the Heavens, and Le Verrier added a planet to our Solar System.

It is a most erroneous opinion that those who have left the most stupendous monuments of intellect behind them, were not differently exercised from the rest of the species, but only differently gifted; that they signalized themselves only by their talent, and hardly ever by their industry; for it is in truth to the most strenuous application of those commonplace faculties which are diffused among all, that they are indebted for the glories which now encircle their remembrance and their name.

We must not imagine it to be a vulgarizing of genius, that it should be lighted up in any other way than by a direct inspiration from Heaven nor overlook the steadfastness of purpose, the devotion to some single but great object, the unweariedness of labor that is given, not in convulsive and preternatural throes, but by little and little as the strength of the mind may bear it; the accumulation of many small efforts, instead of a few grand and gigantic, but perhaps irregular movements, on the part of energies that are marvellous; by which former alone the great results are brought out that write their enduring records on the face of the earth and in the history of nations and of man.

We must not overlook these elements, to which genius owes the best and proudest of her achievements; nor imagine that qualities so generally possessed as patience and pains-taking, and resolute industry, have no share in upholding a distinction so illustrious as that of the benefactor of his kind.

We must not forget that great results are most ordinarily produced by an aggregate of many contributions and exertions; as it is the invisible particles of vapor, each separate and distinct from the other, that, rising from the oceans and their bays and gulfs, from lakes and rivers, and wide morasses and overflowed plains, float away as clouds, and distill upon the earth in dews, and fall in showers and rain and snows upon the broad plains and rude mountains, and make the great navigable streams that are the arteries along which flows the life-blood of a country.

And so Masonry can do much, if each Mason be content to do his share, and if their united efforts are directed by wise counsels to a common purpose. "It is for God and for Omnipotency to do mighty things in a moment; but by degrees to grow to greatness is the course that He hath left for man." If Masonry will but be true to her mission, and Masons to their promises and obligations — if, re-entering vigorously upon a career of beneficence, she and they will but pursue it earnestly and unfalteringly, remembering that our contributions to the cause of charity and education then deserve the greatest credit when it costs us something, the curtailing of a comfort or the relinquishment of a luxury, to make them — if we will but give aid to what were once Masonry's great schemes for human improvement, not fitfully and spasmodically, but regularly and incessantly, as the vapors rise and the springs run, and as the sun rises and the stars come up into the heavens, then we may be sure that great results will be attained and a great work done. And then it will most surely be seen that Masonry is not effete or impotent, nor degenerated nor drooping to a fatal decay.

XI. SUBLIME ELECT OF THE TWELVE OR PRINCE AMETH

[Elu of the Twelve]

The duties of a Prince Ameth are, to be earnest, true, reliable, and sincere; to protect the people against illegal impositions and exactions; to contend for their political rights, and to see, as far as he may or can, that those bear the burdens who reap the benefits of the Government.

You are to be true unto all men.

You are to be frank and sincere in all things.

You are to be earnest in doing whatever it is your duty to do.

And no man must repent that he has relied upon your resolve, your profession, or your word.

The great distinguishing characteristic of a Mason is sympathy with his kind. He recognizes in the human race one great family, all connected with himself by those invisible links, and that mighty net-work of circumstance, forged and woven by God.

Feeling that sympathy, it is his first Masonic duty to serve his fellow-man. At his first entrance into the Order, he ceases to be isolated, and becomes one of a great brotherhood, assuming now duties toward every Mason that lives, as every Mason at the same moment assumes them toward him.

Nor are those duties on his part confined to Masons alone. He assumes many in regard to his country, and especially toward the great, suffering masses of the common people; for they too are his brethren, and God hears them, inarticulate as the moanings of their misery are. By all proper means, of persuasion and influence, and otherwise, if the occasion and emergency require, he is bound to defend them against oppression, and tyrannical and illegal exactions.

He labors equally to defend and to improve the people. He does not flatter them to mislead them, nor fawn upon them to rule them, nor conceal his opinions to humor them, nor tell them that they can never err, and that their voice is the voice of God. He knows that the safety of every free government, and its continuance and perpetuity depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the common people; and that, unless their liberty is of such a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away; unless it is the fruit of manly courage, of justice, temperance, and generous virtue — unless, being such, it has taken deep root in the minds and hearts of the people at large, there will not long be wanting those who will snatch from them by treachery what they have acquired by arms or institutions.

He knows that if, after being released from the toils of war, the people neglect the arts of peace; if their peace and liberty be a state of warfare; if war be their only virtue, and the summit of their praise, they will soon find peace the most adverse to their interests. It will be only a more distressing war; and that which they imagined liberty will be the worst of slavery. For, unless by the means of knowledge and morality, not frothy and loquacious, but genuine, unadulterated, and sincere, they clear the horizon of the mind from those mists of error and passion which arise from ignorance and vice, they will always have those who will bend their necks to the yoke as if they were brutes; who, notwithstanding all their triumphs, will put them up to the highest bidder, as if they were mere booty made in war; and find an exuberant source of wealth and power, in the people's ignorance, prejudice, and passions.

The people that does not subjugate the propensity of the wealthy to avarice, ambition, and sensuality, expel luxury from them and their families, keep down pauperism, diffuse knowledge among the poor, and labor to raise the abject from the mire of vice and low indulgence, and to keep the industrious from starving in sight of luxurious festivals, will find that it has cherished, in that avarice, ambition, sensuality, selfishness, and luxury of the one class, and that degradation, misery, drunkenness, ignorance, and brutalization of the other, more stubborn and intractable despots at home than it ever encountered in the field; and even its very bowels will be continually teeming with the intolerable progeny of tyrants. These are the first enemies to be subdued; this constitutes the campaign of Peace; these are triumphs, difficult indeed, but bloodless; and far more honorable than those trophies which are purchased only by slaughter and rapine; and if not victors in this service, it is in vain to have been victorious over the despotic enemy in the field.

For if any people thinks that it is a grander; a more beneficial, or a wiser policy, to invent subtle expedients by stamps and imposts, for increasing the revenue and draining the life-blood of an impoverished people; to multiply its naval and military force; to rival in craft the ambassadors of foreign states; to plot the swallowing up of foreign territory; to make crafty treaties and alliances; to rule prostrate states and abject provinces by fear and force; than to administer unpolluted justice to the people, to relieve the condition and raise the estate of the toiling masses, redress the injured and succor the distressed and conciliate the discontented, and speedily restore to every one his own; then that people is involved in a cloud of error, and will too late perceive, when the illusion of these mighty benefits has vanished, that in neglecting these, which it thought inferior considerations, it has only been precipitating its own ruin and despair.

Unfortunately, every age presents its own special problem, most difficult and often impossible to solve; and that which this age offers, and forces upon the consideration of all chinking men, is this — how, in a populous and wealthy country, blessed with free institutions and a constitutional government, are the great masses of the manual-labor class to be enabled to have steady work at fair wages, to be kept from starvation, and their children from vice and debauchery, and to be furnished with that degree, not of mere reading and writing, but of knowledge, that shall fit them intelligently to do the duties and exercise the privileges of freemen; even to be intrusted with the dangerous right of suffrage?

For though we do not know why God, being infinitely merciful as well as wise, has so ordered it, it seems to be unquestionably his law, that even in civilized and Christian countries, the large mass of the population shall be fortunate, if, during their whole life, from infancy to old age, in health and sickness, they have enough of the commonest and coarsest food to keep themselves and their children from the continual gnawing of hunger — enough of the commonest and coarsest clothing to protect themselves and their little ones from indecent exposure and the bitter cold; and if they have over their heads the rudest shelter.

And He seems to have enacted this law — which no human community has yet found the means to abrogate — that when a country becomes populous, capital shall concentrate in the hands of a limited number of persons, and labor become more and more at its mercy, until mere manual labor, that of the weaver and ironworker, and other artisans, eventually ceases to be worth more than a bare subsistence, and often, in great cities and vast extents of country not even that, and goes or crawls about in rags, begging, and starving for want of work.

While every ox and horse can find work, and is worth being fed, it is not always so with man. To be employed, to have a chance to work at anything like fair wages, becomes the great engrossing object of a man's life. The capitalist can live without employing the laborer, and discharges him whenever that labor ceases to be profitable. At the moment when the weather is most inclement, provisions dearest, and rents highest, he turns him off to starve. If the day-laborer is taken sick, his wages stop. When old, he has no pension to retire upon. His children cannot be sent to school; for before their bones are hardened they must get to work lest they starve. The man, strong and able-bodied, works for a shilling or two a day, and the woman shivering over her little pan of coals, when the mercury drops far below zero, after her hungry children have wailed themselves to sleep, sews by the dim light of her lonely candle, for a bare pittance, selling her life to him who bargained only for the work of her needle.

Fathers and mothers slay their children, to have the burial-fees, that with the price of one child's life they may continue life in those that survive. Little girls with bare feet sweep the street-crossings, when the winter wind pinches them, and beg piteously for pennies of those who wear warm furs. Children grow up in squalid misery and brutal ignorance; want compels virgin and wife to prostitute themselves; women starve and freeze, and lean up against the walls of workhouses, like bundles of foul rags, all night long, and night after night, when the cold rain falls, and there chances to be no room for them within; and hundreds of families are crowded into a single building, rife with horrors and teeming with foul air and pestilence; where men, women and children huddle together in their filth; all ages and all colors sleeping indiscriminately together; while, in a great, free, Republican State, in the full vigor of its youth and strength, one person in every seventeen is a pauper receiving charity.

How to deal with this apparently inevitable evil and mortal disease is by far the most important of all social problems. What is to be done with pauperism and over-supply of labor? How is the life of any country to last, when brutality and drunken semi-barbarism vote, and hold offices in their gift, and by fit representatives of themselves control a government? How, if not wisdom and authority, but turbulence and low vice are to exalt to senatorships miscreants reeking with the odors and pollution of the hell, the prize-ring, the brothel, and the stock-exchange, where gambling is legalized and rascality is laudable?

Masonry will do all in its power, by direct exertion and cooperation, to improve and inform as well as to protect the people; to better their physical condition, relieve their miseries, supply their wants, and minister to their necessities. Let every Mason in this good work do all that may be in his power.

For it is true now, as it always was and always will be, that to be free is the same thing as to be pious, to be wise, to be temperate and just, to be frugal and abstinent, and to be magnanimous and brave; and to be the opposite of all these is the same as to be a slave. And it usually happens, by the appointment, and, as it were, retributive justice of the Deity, that that people which cannot govern themselves, and moderate their passions, but crouch under the slavery of their lusts and vices, are delivered up to the sway of those whom they abhor, and made to submit to an involuntary servitude.

And it is also sanctioned by the dictates of justice and by the constitution of Nature, that he who, from the imbecility or derangement of his intellect, is incapable of governing himself, should, like a minor, be committed to the government of another.

Above all things let us never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other.

For no tower of Pride was ever yet high enough to lift its possessor above the trials and fears and frailities of humanity. No human hand ever built the wall, nor ever shall, that will keep out affliction, pain, and infirmity. Sickness and sorrow, trouble and death, are dispensations that level everything. They know none, high nor low. The chief wants of life, the great and grave necessities of the human soul, give exemption to none. They make all poor, all weak. They put supplication in the mouth of every human being, as truly as in that of the meanest beggar.

But the principle of misery is not an evil principle. We err, and the consequences teach us wisdom. All elements, all the laws of things around us, minister to this end; and through the paths of painful error and mistake, it is the design of Providence to lead us to truth and happiness. If erring only taught us to err; if mistakes confirmed us in imprudence; if the miseries caused by vicious indulgence had a natural tendency to make us more abject slaves of vice, then suffering would be wholly evil. But, on the contrary, all tends and is designed to produce amendment and improvement. Suffering is the discipline of virtue; of that which is infinitely better than happiness, and yet embraces in itself all essential happiness.

It nourishes, invigorates, and perfects it. Virtue is the prize of the severely-contested race and hard-fought battle; and it is worth all the fatigue and wounds of the conflict. Man should go forth with a brave and strong heart, to battle with calamity. He is to master it, and not let it become his master. He is not to forsake the post of trial and of peril; but to stand firmly in his lot, until the great word of Providence shall bid him fly, or bid him sink. With resolution and courage the Mason is to do the work which it is appointed for him to do, looking through the dark cloud of human calamity, to the end that rises high and bright before him. The lot of sorrow is great and sublime. None suffer forever, nor for nought, nor without purpose. It is the ordinance of God's wisdom, and of His Infinite Love, to procure for us infinite happiness and glory.

Virtue is the truest liberty; nor is he free who stoops to passions; nor he in bondage who serves a noble master. Examples are the best and most lasting lectures; virtue the best example. He that hath done good deeds and set good precedents, in sincerity, is happy. Time shall not outlive his worth. He lives truly after death, whose good deeds are his pillars of remembrance; and no day but adds some grains to his heap of glory.

Good works are seeds, that after sowing return us a continual harvest; and the memory of noble actions is more enduring than monuments of marble.

Life is a school. The world is neither prison nor penitentiary, nor a palace of ease, nor an amphitheatre for games and spectacles; but a place of instruction, and discipline. Life is given for moral and spiritual training; and the entire course of the great school of life is an education for virtue, happiness, and a future existence. The periods of Life are its terms; all human conditions, its forms; all human employments, its lessons. Families are the primary departments of this moral education; the various circles of society, its advanced stages; Kingdoms and Republics, its universities. Riches and Poverty, Gayeties and Sorrows, Marriages and Funerals, the ties of life bound or broken, fit and fortunate, or untoward and painful, are all lessons. Events are not blindly and carelessly flung together.

Providence does not school one man, and screen another from the fiery trial of its lessons. It has neither rich favorites nor poor victims. One event happeneth to all. One end and one design concern and urge all men.

The prosperous man has been at school. Perhaps he has thought that it was a great thing, and he a great personage; but he has been merely a pupil. He thought, perhaps, that he was Master, and had nothing to do, but to direct and command; but there was ever a Master above him, the Master of Life. He looks not at our splendid state, or our many pretensions, nor at the aids and appliances of our learning; but at our learning itself. He puts the poor and the rich upon the same form; and knows no difference between them, but their progress.

If from prosperity we have learned moderation, temperance, candor, modesty, gratitude to God, and generosity to man, then we are entitled to be honored and rewarded. If we have learned selfishness, selfindulgence, wrong-doing, and vice, to forget and overlook our less fortunate brother, and to scoff at the providence of God, then we are unworthy and dishonored, though we have been nursed in affluence, or taken our degrees from the lineage of an hundred noble descents; as truly so, in the eye of Heaven, and of all right-thinking men, as though we lay, victims of beggary and disease, in the hospital, by the hedge, or on the dung-hill. The most ordinary human equity looks not at the school, but at the scholar; and the equity of Heaven will not look beneath that mark.

The poor man also is at school. Let him take care that he learn, rather than complain. Let him hold to his integrity, his candor, and his kindness of heart. Let him beware of envy, and of bondage, and keep his self-respect. The body's toil is nothing. Let him beware of the mind's drudgery and degradation. While he betters his condition if he can, let him be more anxious to better his soul. Let him be willing, while poor, and even if always poor, to learn poverty's great lessons, fortitude, cheerfulness, contentment, and implicit confidence in God's Providence.

With these, and patience, calmness, self-command, disinterestedness, and affectionate kindness, the humble dwelling may be hallowed, and made more dear and noble than the loftiest palace. Let him, above all things, see that he lose not his independence. Let him not cast himself, a creature poorer than the poor, an indolent, helpless, despised beggar, oft the kindness of others. Every man should choose to have God for his Master, rather than man; and escape not from this school, either by dishonesty or alms-taking, lest he fall into that state, worse than disgrace, where he can have no respect for himself.

The ties of Society teach us to love one another. That is a miserable society, where the absence of affectionate kindness is sought to be supplied by punctilious decorum, graceful urbanity, and polished insincerity; where ambition, jealousy, and distrust rule, in place of simplicity, confidence, and kindness.

So, too, the social state teaches modesty and gentleness; and from neglect, and notice unworthily bestowed on others, and injustice, and the world's failure to appreciate us, we learn patience and quietness, to be superior to society's opinion, not cynical and bitter, but gentle, candid, and affectionate still.

Death is the great Teacher, stern, cold, inexorable, irresistible; whom the collected might of the world cannot stay or ward off. The breath, that parting from the lips of King or beggar, scarcely stirs the hushed air, cannot be bought, or brought back for a moment, with the wealth of Empires. What a lesson is this, teaching our frailty and feebleness, and an Infinite Power beyond us! It is a fearful lesson, that never becomes familiar. It walks through the earth in dread mystery, and lays it hands upon all. It is a universal lesson, that is read everywhere and by all men.

Its message comes every year and every day. The past years are crowded with its sad and solemn mementoes; and death's finger traces its handwriting upon the walls of every human habitation.

It teaches us Duty; to act our part well; to fulfill the work assigned us. When one is dying, and after he is dead, there is but one question: Has he lived well? There is no evil in death but that which life makes.

There are hard lessons in the school of God's Providence; and yet the school of life is carefully adjusted, in all its arrangements and tasks, to man's powers and passions. There is no extravagance in its teachings; nor is anything done for 'the sake of present effect. The whole course of human life is a conflict with difficulties; and, if rightly conducted, a progress in improvement. It is never too late for man to learn. Not part only, but the whole, of life is a school. There never comes a time, even amidst the decays of age, when it is fit to lay aside the eagerness of acquisition, or the cheerfulness of endeavor. Man walks, all through the course of life, in patience and strife, and sometimes in darkness; for, from patience is to come perfection; from strife, triumph is to issue; from the cloud of darkness the lightning is to flash that shall open the way to eternity.

Let the Mason be faithful in the school of life, and to all its lessons! Let him not learn nothing, nor care not whether he learns or not. Let not the years pass over him, witnesses of only his sloth and indifference; or see him zealous to acquire everything but virtue. Nor let him labor only for himself; nor forget that the humblest man that lives is his brother, and hath a claim on his sympathies and kind offices; and that beneath the rough garments which labor wears may beat hearts as noble as throb under the stars of princes.

God, who counts by souls, not stations,

Loves and pities you and me;

For to Him all vain distinctions

Are as pebbles on the sea.

Nor are the other duties inculcated in this Degree of less importance. Truth, a Mason is early told, is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue; and frankness, reliability, sincerity, straightforwardness, plain-dealing, are but different modes in which Truth develops itself. The dead, the absent, the innocent, and those that trust him, no Mason will deceive willingly. To all these he owes a nobler justice, in that they are the most certain trials of human Equity. Only the most abandoned of men, said Cicero, will deceive him, who would have remained uninjured if he had not trusted. All the noble deeds that have beat their marches through succeeding ages have proceeded from men of truth and genuine courage.

The man who is always true is both virtuous and wise; and thus possesses the greatest guards of safety: for the law has not power to strike the virtuous; nor can fortune subvert the wise.

The bases of Masonry being morality and virtue, it is by studying one and practising the other, that the conduct of a Mason becomes irreproachable.

The good of Humanity being its principal object, disinterestedness is one of the first virtues that it requires of its members; for that is the source of justice and beneficence.

To pity the misfortunes of others; to be humble, but without meanness; to be proud, but without arrogance; to abjure every sentiment of hatred and revenge; to show himself magnanimous and liberal, without ostentation and without profusion; to be the enemy of vice; to pay homage to wisdom and virtue; to respect innocence; to be constant and patient in adversity, and modest in prosperity; to avoid every irregularity that stains the soul and distempers the body — it is by following these precepts that a Mason will become a good citizen, a faithful husband, a tender father, an obedient son, and a true brother; will honor friendship, and fulfill with ardor the duties which virtue and the social relations impose upon him.

It is because Masonry imposes upon us these duties that it is properly and significantly styled work; and he who imagines that he becomes a Mason by merely taking the first two or three Degrees, and that he may, having leisurely stepped upon that small elevation, thenceforward worthily wear the honors of Masonry, without labor or exertion, or self-denial or sacrifice, and that there is nothing to be done in Masonry, is strangely deceived.

Is it true that nothing remains to be done in Masonry?

Does one Brother no longer proceed by law against another Brother of his Lodge, in regard to matters that could be easily settled within the Masonic family circle?

Has the duel, that hideous heritage of barbarism, interdicted among Brethren by our fundamental laws, and denounced by the municipal code, yet disappeared from the soil we inhabit? Do Masons of high rank religiously refrain from it; or do they not, bowing to a corrupt public opinion, submit to its arbitrament, despite the scandal which it occasions to the Order, and in violation of the feeble restraint of their oath?

Do Masons no longer form uncharitable opinions of their Brethren, enter harsh judgments against them, and judge themselves by one rule and their Brethren by another?

Has Masonry any well-regulated system of charity? Has it done that which it should have done for the cause of education? Where are its schools, its academies, its colleges, its hospitals, and infirmaries?

Are political controversies now conducted with no violence and bitterness? Do Masons refrain from defaming and denouncing their Brethren who differ with them in religious or political opinions?

What grand social problems or useful projects engage our attention at our communications? Where in our Lodges are lectures habitually delivered for the real instruction of the Brethren? Do not our sessions pass in the discussion of minor matters of business, the settlement of points of order and questions of mere administration, and the admission and advancement of Candidates, whom after their admission we take no pains to instruct?

In what Lodge are our ceremonies explained and elucidated; corrupted as they are by time, until their true features can scarcely be distinguished; and where are those great primitive truths of revelation taught, which Masonry has preserved to the world?

We have high dignities and sounding titles. Do their possessors qualify themselves to enlighten the world in respect to the aims and objects of Masonry? Descendants of those Initiates who governed empires, does your influence enter into practical life and operate efficiently in behalf of wellregulated and constitutional liberty?

Your debates should be but friendly conversations. You need concord, union, and peace. Why then do you retain among you men who excite rivalries and jealousies; why permit great and violent controversy and ambitious pretensions'? Now do your own words and acts agree? If your Masonry is a nullity, how can you exercise any influence on others?

Continually you praise each other, and utter elaborate and high wrought eulogies upon the Order. Everywhere you assume that you are what you should be, and nowhere do you look upon yourselves as you are. Is it true that all our actions are so many acts of homage to virtue?

Explore the recesses of your hearts; let us examine ourselves with an impartial eye, and make answer to our own questioning! Can we bear to ourselves the consoling testimony that we always rigidly perform our duties; that we even half perform them?

Let us away with this odious self-flattery! Let us be men, if we cannot be sages! The laws of Masonry, above others excellent, cannot wholly change men's natures. They enlighten them, they point out the true way; but they can lead them in it, only by repressing the fire of their passions, and subjugating their selfishness. Alas, these conquer, and Masonry is forgotten!

After praising each other all our lives, there are always excellent Brethren, who, over our coffins, shower unlimited eulogies. Every one of us who dies, however useless his life, has been a model of all the virtues, a very child of the celestial light. In Egypt, among our old Masters, where Masonry was more cultivated than vanity, no one could gain admittance to the sacred asylum of the tomb until he had passed under the most solemn judgment. A grave tribunal sat in judgment upon all, even the kings. They said to the dead, "Whoever thou art, give account to thy country of thy actions! What hast thou done with thy time and life? The law interrogates thee, thy country hears thee, Truth sits in judgment on thee!" Princes came there to be judged, escorted only by their virtues and their vices. A public accuser recounted the history of the dead man's life, and threw the blaze of the torch of truth on all his actions. If it were adjudged that he had led an evil life, his memory was condemned in the presence of the nation, and his body was denied the honors of sepulture. What a lesson the old Masonry taught to the sons of the people!

Is it true that Masonry is effete; that the acacia, withered, affords no shade; that Masonry no longer marches in the advance-guard of Truth?

No. Is freedom yet universal? Have ignorance and prejudice disappeared from the earth? Are there no longer enmities among men? Do cupidity and falsehood no longer exist? Do toleration and harmony prevail among religious and political sects? There are works yet left for Masonry to accomplish, greater than the twelve labors of Hercules: to advance ever resolutely and steadily; to enlighten the minds of the people, to reconstruct society, to reform the laws, and to improve the public morals.

The eternity in front of it is as infinite as the one behind. And Masonry cannot cease to labor in the cause of social progress, without ceasing to be true to itself, Masonry.

XII. GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT

[Master Architect.]

THE great duties that are inculcated by the lessons taught by the workinginstruments of a Grand Master Architect, demanding so much of us, and taking for granted the capacity to perform them faithfully and fully, bring us at once to reflect upon the dignity of human nature, and the vast powers and capacities of the human soul; and to that theme we invite your attention in this Degree. Let us begin to rise from earth toward the Stars.

Evermore the human soul struggles toward the light, toward God, and the Infinite. It is especially so in its afflictions. Words go but a little way into the depths of sorrow. The thoughts that writhe there in silence, that go into the stillness of Infinitude and Eternity, have no emblems. Thoughts enough come there, such as no tongue ever uttered. They do not so much want human sympathy, as higher help. There is a loneliness in deep sorrow which the Deity alone can relieve. Alone, the mind wrestles with the great problem of calamity, and seeks the solution from the Infinite Providence of Heaven, and thus is led directly to God.

There are many things in us of which we are not distinctly conscious. To waken that slumbering consciousness into life, and so to lead the soul up to the Light, is one office of every great ministration to human nature, whether its vehicle be the pen, the pencil, or the tongue. We are unconscious of the intensity and awfulness of the life within us. Health and sickness, joy and sorrow, success and disappointment, life and death, love and loss, are familiar words upon our lips; and we do not know to what depths they point within us.

We seem never to know what any thing means or is worth until we have lost it. Many an organ, nerve, and fibre in our bodily frame performs its silent part for years, and we are quite unconscious of its value. It is not until it is injured that we discover that value, and find how essential it was to our happiness and comfort. We never know the full significance of the words “property," "ease," and "health;" the wealth of meaning in the fond epithets, "parent,” “child," "beloved," and "friend," until the thing or the person is taken away; until, in place of the bright, visible being, comes the awful and desolate shadow, where nothing is: where we stretch out our hands in vain, and strain our eyes upon dark and dismal vacuity. Yet, in that vacuity, we do not lose the object that we loved. It becomes only the more real to us. Our blessings not only brighten when they depart, but are fixed in enduring reality; and love and friendship receive their everlasting seal under the cold impress of death.

A dim consciousness of infinite mystery and grandeur lies beneath all the commonplace of life. There is an awfulness and a majesty around us, in all our little worldliness. The rude peasant from the Apennines, asleep at the foot of a pillar in a majestic Roman church, seems not to hear or see, but to, dream only of the herd he feeds or the ground he tills in the mountains. But the choral symphonies fall softly upon his ear, and the gilded arches are dimly seen through his half-slumbering eyelids.

So the soul, however given up to the occupations of daily life, cannot quite lose the sense of where it is, and of what is above it and around it. The scene of its actual engagements may be small; the path of its steps, beaten and familiar; the objects it handles, easily spanned, and quite worn out with daily uses. So it may be, and amidst such things that we all live.

So we live our little life; but Heaven is above us and all around and close to us; and Eternity is before us and behind us; and suns and stars are silent witnesses and watchers over us. We are enfolded by Infinity. Infinite Powers and Infinite spaces lie all around us. The dread arch of Mystery spreads over us, and no voice ever pierced it. Eternity is enthroned amid Heaven's myriad starry heights; and no utterance or word ever came from those far-off and silent spaces. Above, is that awful majesty; around us, everywhere, it stretches off into infinity; and beneath it is this little struggle of life, this poor day's conflict, this busy ant-hill of Time.

But from that ant-hill, not only the talk of the streets, the sounds of music and revelling, the stir and tread of a multitude, the shout of joy and the shriek of agony go up into the silent and all-surrounding Infinitude; but also, amidst the stir and noise of visible life, from the inmost bosom of the visible man, there goes up an imploring call, a beseeching cry, an asking, unuttered, and unutterable, for revelation, wailingly and in almost speechless agony praying the dread arch of mystery to break, and the stars that roll above the waves of mortal trouble, to speak; the enthroned majesty of those awful heights to find a voice; the mysterious and reserved heavens to come near; and all to tell us what they alone know; to give us information of the loved and lost; to make known to us what we are, and whither we are going.

Man is encompassed with a dome of incomprehensible wonders. In him and about him is that which should fill his life with majesty and sacredness. Something of sublimity and sanctity has thus flashed down from heaven into the heart of every one that lives. There is no being so base and abandoned but hath some traits of that sacredness left upon him; something, so much perhaps in discordance with his general repute, that he hides it from all around him; some sanctuary in his soul, where no one may enter; some sacred inclosure, where the memory of a child is, or the image of a venerated parent, or the remembrance of a pure love, or the echo of some word of kindness once spoken to him; an echo that will never die away.

Life is no negative, or superficial or worldly existence. Our steps are evermore haunted with thoughts, far beyond their own range, which some have regarded as the reminiscences of a preexistent state. So it is with us all, in the beaten and worn track of this worldly pilgrimage. There is more here, than the world we live in. It is not all of life to live. An unseen and infinite presence is here; a sense of something greater than we possess; a seeking, through all the void wastes of life, for a good beyond it; a crying out of the heart for interpretation; a memory of the dead, touching continually some vibrating thread in this great tissue of mystery.

We all not only have better intimations, but are capable of better things than we know. The pressure of some great emergency would develop in us powers, beyond the worldly bias of our spirits; and Heaven so deals with us, from time to time, as to call forth those better things. There is hardly a family in the world go selfish, but that, if one in it were doomed to die — one, to be selected by the others, — it would be utterly impossible for its members, parents and children, to choose out that victim; but that each would say, "I will die; but I cannot choose." And in how many, if that dire extremity had come, would not one and another step forth, freed from the vile meshes of ordinary selfishness, and say, like the Roman father and son, "Let the blow fall on me!" There are greater and better things in us all, than the world takes account of, or than we take note of; if we would but find them out. And it is one part of our Masonic culture to find these traits of power and sublime devotion, to revive these faded impressions of generosity and self-sacrifice, the almost squandered bequests of God's love and kindness to our souls; and to induce us to yield ourselves to their guidance and control.

Upon all conditions of men presses down one impartial law. To all situations, to all fortunes, high or low, the mind gives their character. They are, in effect, not what they are in themselves, but what they are to the feeling of their possessors. The King may be mean, degraded, miserable; the slave of ambition, fear, voluptuousness, and every low passion. The Peasant may be the real Monarch, the moral master of his fate, a free and lofty being, more than a Prince in happiness, more than a King in honor.

Man is no bubble upon the sea of his fortunes, helpless and irresponsible upon the tide of events. Out of the same circumstances, different men bring totally different results. The same difficulty, distress, poverty, or misfortune, that breaks down one man, builds up another and makes him strong. It is the very attribute and glory of a man, that he can bend the circumstances of his condition to the intellectual and moral purposes of his nature, and it is the power and mastery of his will that chiefly distinguish him from the brute.

The faculty of moral will, developed in the child, is a new element of his nature. It is a new power brought upon the scene, and a ruling power, delegated from Heaven. Never was a human being sunk so low that he had not, by God's gift, the power to rise, Because God commands him to rise, it is certain that he can rise.

Every man has the power, and should use it, to make all situations, trials, and temptations instruments to promote his virtue and happiness; and is so far from being the creature of circumstances, that he creates and controls them, making them to be all that they are, of evil or of good, to him as a moral being.

Life is what we make it, and the world is what we make it. The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the same creation; but very different are the aspects which it bears to them. To the one, it is all beauty and gladness; the waves of ocean roll in light, and the mountains are covered with day. Life, to him, flashes, rejoicing, upon every flower and every tree that trembles in the breeze. There is more to him, everywhere, than the eye sees; a presence of profound joy on hill and valley, and bright, dancing water. The other idly or mournfully gazes at the same scene, and everything wears a dull, dim, and sickly aspect. The murmuring of the brooks is a discord to him, the great roar of the sea has an angry and threatening emphasis, the solemn music of the pines sings the requiem of his departed happiness; the cheerful light shines garishly upon his eyes and offends him. The great train of the seasons passes before him like a funeral procession; and he sighs, and turns impatiently away. The eye makes that which it looks upon; the ear makes its own melodies and discords; the world without reflects the world within.

Let the Mason never forget that life and the world are what we make them by our social character; by our adaptation, or want of adaptation to the social conditions, relationships, and pursuits of the world. To the selfish, the cold, and the insensible, to the haughty and presuming, to the proud, who demand more than they are likely to receive, to the jealous, ever afraid they shall not receive enough, to those who are unreasonably sensitive about the good or ill opinions of others, to all violators of the social laws, the rude, the violent, the dishonest, and the sensual, — to all these, the social condition, from its very nature, will present annoyances, disappointments, and pains, appropriate to their several characters. The benevolent affections will not revolve around selfishness; the cold-hearted must expect to meet coldness; the proud, haughtiness; the passionate, anger; and the violent, rudeness. Those who forget the rights of others, must not be surprised if their own are forgotten; and those who stoop to the lowest embraces of sense must not wonder, if others are not concerned to find their prostrate honor, and lift it up to the remembrance and respect of the world.

To the gentle, many will be gentle; to the kind, many will be kind. A good man will find that there is goodness in the world; an honest man will find that there is honesty in the world; and a man of principle will find principle and integrity in the minds of others.

There are no blessings which the mind may not convert into the bitterest of evils; and no trials which it may not transform into the noblest and divinest blessings. There are no temptations from which assailed virtue may not gain strength, instead of falling before them, vanquished and subdued. It is true that temptations have a great power, and virtue often falls; but the might of these temptations lies not in themselves, but in the feebleness of our own virtue, and the weakness of our own hearts. We rely too much on the strength of our ramparts and bastions, and allow the enemy to make his approaches, by trench and parallel, at his leisure. The offer of dishonest gain and guilty pleasure makes the honest man more honest, and the pure man more pure. They raise his virtue to the height of towering indignation. The fair occasion, the safe opportunity, the tempting chance become the defeat and disgrace of the tempter. The honest and upright man does not wait until temptation has made its approaches and mounted its batteries on the last parallel.

But to the impure, the dishonest, the false-hearted, the corrupt, and the sensual, occasions come every day, and in every scene, and through every avenue of thought and imagination. He is prepared to capitulate before the first approach is commenced; and sends out the white flag when the enemy's advance comes in sight of his walls. He makes occasions; or, if opportunities come not, evil thoughts come, and he throws wide open the gates of his heart and welcomes those bad visitors, and entertains them with a lavish hospitality.

The business of the world absorbs, corrupts, and degrades one mind, while in another it feeds and nurses the noblest independence, integrity, and generosity. Pleasure is a poison to some, and a healthful refreshment to others. To one, the world is a great harmony, like a noble strain of music with infinite modulations; to another, it is a huge factory, the clash and clang of whose machinery jars upon his ears and frets him to madness. Life is substantially the same thing to all who partake of its lot. Yet some rise to virtue and glory; while others, undergoing the same discipline, and enjoying the same privileges, sink to shame and perdition.

Thorough, faithful, and honest endeavor to improve, is always successful, and the highest happiness. To sigh sentimentally over human misfortune, is fit only for the mind's childhood; and the mind's misery is chiefly its own fault; appointed, under the good Providence of God, as the punisher and corrector of its fault. In the long run, the mind will be happy, just in proportion to its fidelity and wisdom. When it is miserable, it has planted the thorns in its own path; it grasps them, and cries out in loud complaint; and that complaint is but the louder confession that the thorns which grew there, it planted.

A certain kind and degree of spirituality enter into the largest part of even the most ordinary life. You can carry on no business, without some faith in man. You cannot even dig in the ground, without a reliance on the unseen result. You cannot think or reason or even step, without confiding in the inward, spiritual principles of your nature. All the affections and bonds, and hopes and interests of life centre in the spiritual; and you know that if that central bond were broken, the world would rush to chaos.

Believe that there is a God; that He is our father; that He has a paternal interest in our welfare and improvement; that He has given us powers, by means of which we may escape from sin and ruin; that He has destined us to a future life of endless progress toward perfection and a knowledge of Himself — believe this, as every Mason should, and you can live calmly, endure patiently, labor resolutely, deny yourselves cheerfully, hope steadfastly, and be conquerors in the great struggle of life. Take away any one of these principles, and what remains for us? Say that there is no God; or no way opened for hope and reformation and triumph, no heaven to come, no rest for the weary, no home in the bosom of God for the afflicted and disconsolate soul; or that God is but an ugly blind Chance that stabs in the dark; or a somewhat that is, when attempted to be defined, a nowhat, emotionless, passionless, the Supreme Apathy to which all things, good and evil, are alike indifferent; or a jealous God who revengefully visits the sins of the fathers on the children, and when the fathers have eaten sour grapes, sets the children's teeth on edge; an arbitrary supreme Will, that has made it right to be virtuous, and wrong to lie and steal, because IT pleased to make it so rather than otherwise, retaining the power to reverse the law; or a fickle, vacillating, inconstant Deity, or a cruel, bloodthirsty, savage Hebrew or Puritanic one; and we are but the sport of chance and the victims of despair; hapless wanderers upon the face of a desolate, forsaken, or accursed and hated earth; surrounded by darkness, struggling with obstacles, toiling for barren results and empty purposes, distracted with doubts, and misled by false gleams of light; wanderers with no way, no prospect, no home; doomed and deserted mariners on a dark and stormy sea, without compass or course, to whom no stars appear; tossing helmless upon the weltering, angry waves, with no blessed haven in the distance whose guiding-star invites us to its welcome rest.

The religious faith thus taught by Masonry is indispensable to the attainment of the great ends of life; and must therefore have been designed to be a part of it. We are made for this faith; and there must be something, somewhere, for us to believe in. We cannot grow healthfully, nor live happily, without it. It is therefore true. If we could cut off from any soul all the principles taught by Masonry, the faith in a God, in immortality, in virtue, in essential rectitude, that soul would sink into sin, misery, darkness, and ruin. If we could cut off all sense of these truths, the man would sink at once to the grade of the animal.

No man can suffer and be patient, can struggle and conquer, can improve and be happy, otherwise than as the swine are, without conscience, without hope, without a reliance on a just, wise, and beneficent God. We must, of necessity, embrace the great truths taught by Masonry, and live by them, to live happily. "I put my trust in God," is the protest of Masonry against the belief in a cruel, angry, and revengeful God, to be feared and not reverenced by His creatures.

Society, in its great relations, is as much the creation of Heaven as is the system of the Universe. If that bond of gravitation that holds all worlds and systems together, were suddenly severed, the universe would fly into wild and boundless chaos. And if we were to sever all the moral bonds that hold society together; if we could cut off from it every conviction of Truth and Integrity, of an authority above it, and of a conscience within it, it would immediately rush to disorder and frightful anarchy and ruin.

The religion we teach is therefore as really a principle of things, and as certain and true, as gravitation.

Faith in moral principles, in virtue, and in God, is as necessary for the guidance of a man, as instinct is for the guidance of an animal. And therefore this faith, as a principle of man's nature, has a mission as truly authentic in God's Providence, as the principle of instinct. The pleasures of the soul, too, must depend on certain principles. They must recognize a soul, its properties and responsibilities, a conscience, and the sense of an authority above us; and these are the principles of faith. No man can suffer and be patient, can struggle and conquer, can improve and be happy, without conscience, without hope, without a reliance on a just, wise, and beneficent God. We must of necessity embrace the great truths taught by Masonry, and live by them, to live happily. Everything in the universe has fixed and certain laws and principles for its action; — the star in its orbit, the animal in its activity, the physical man in his functions. And he has likewise fixed and certain laws and principles as a spiritual being. His soul does not die for want of aliment or guidance. For the rational soul there is ample provision. From the lofty pine, rocked in the darkening tempest, the cry of the young raven is heard; and it would be most strange if there were no answer for the cry and call of the soul, tortured by want and sorrow and agony. The total rejection of all moral and religious belief would strike out a principle from human nature, as essential to it as gravitation to the stars, instinct to animal life, the circulation of the blood to the human body.

God has ordained that life shall be a social state. We are members of a civil community. The life of that community depends upon its moral condition. Public spirit, intelligence, uprightness, temperance, kindness, domestic purity, will make it a happy community, and give it prosperity and continuance. Wide-spread selfishness, dishonesty, intemperance, libertinism, corruption, and crime, will make it miserable, and bring about dissolution and speedy ruin. A whole people lives one life; one mighty heart heaves in its bosom; it is one great pulse of existence that throbs there. One stream of life flows there, with ten thousand intermingled branches and channels, through all the homes of human love. One sound as of many waters, a rapturous jubilee or a mournful sighing, comes up from the congregated dwellings of a whole nation.

The Public is no vague abstraction; nor should that which is done against that Public, against public interest, law, or virtue, press but lightly on the conscience. It is but a vast expansion of individual life; an ocean of tears, an atmosphere of sighs, or a great whole of joy and gladness. It suffers with the suffering of millions; it rejoices with the joy of millions. What a vast crime does he commit, — private man or public man, agent or contractor, legislator or magistrate, secretary or president,-who dares, with indignity and wrong, to strike the bosom of the Public Welfare, to encourage venality and corruption, and shameful sale of the elective franchise, or of office; to sow dissension, and to weaken the bonds of amity that bind a Nation together! What a huge iniquity, he who, with vices like the daggers of a parricide, dares to pierce that mighty heart, in which the ocean of existence is flowing!

What an unequalled interest lies in the virtue of every one whom we love!

In his virtue, nowhere but in his virtue, is garnered up the incomparable treasure. What care we for brother or friend, compared with what we care for his honor, his fidelity, his reputation, his kindness? How venerable is the rectitude of a parent! How sacred his reputation! No blight that can fall upon a child, is like a parent's dishonor. Heathen or Christian, every parent would have his child do well; and pours out upon him all the fullness of parental love, in the one desire that he may do well; that he may be worthy of his cares, and his freely bestowed pains; that he may walk in the way of honor and happiness. In that way he cannot walk one step without virtue. Such is life, in its relationships. A thousand ties embrace it, like the fine nerves of a delicate organization; like the strings of an instrument capable of sweet melodies, but easily put out of tune or broken, by rudeness, anger, and selfish indulgence.

If life could, by any process, be made insensible to pain and pleasure; if the human heart were hard as adamant, then avarice, ambition, and sensuality might channel out their paths in it, and make it their beaten way; and none would wonder or protest. If we could be patient under the load of a mere worldly life; if we could bear that burden as the beasts bear it; then, like beasts, we might bend all our thoughts to the earth; and no call from the great Heavens above us would startle us from our plodding and earthly course.

But we art not insensible brutes, who can refuse the call of reason and conscience. The soul is capable of remorse. When the great dispensations of life press down upon us, we weep, and suffer and sorrow. And sorrow and agony desire other companionships than worldliness and irreligion. We are not willing to bear those burdens of the heart, fear, anxiety, disappointment, and trouble, without any object or use. We are not willing to suffer, to be sick and afflicted, to have our days and months lost to comfort and joy, and overshadowed with calamity and grief, without advantage or compensation; to barter away the dearest treasures, the very sufferings, of the heart; to sell the life-blood from failing frame and fading cheek, our tears of bitterness and groans of anguish, for nothing. Human nature, frail, feeling, sensitive, and sorrowing, cannot bear to suffer for nought.

Everywhere, human life is a great and solemn dispensation. Man, suffering, enjoying, loving, hating, hoping, and fearing, chained to the earth and yet exploring the far recesses of the universe, has the power to commune with God and His angels. Around this great action of existence the curtains of Time are drawn; but there are openings through them which give us glimpses of eternity. God looks down upon this scene of human probation. The wise and the good in all ages have interposed for it with their teachings and their blood. Everything that exists around us, every movement in nature every counsel of Providence, every interposition of God, centres upon one point — the fidelity of man. And even if the ghosts of the departed and remembered could come at midnight through the barred doors of our dwellings, and the shrouded dead should glide through the aisles of our churches and sit in our Masonic Temples, their teachings would be no more eloquent and impressive than the Great realities of life; than those memories of misspent years, those ghosts of departed opportunities, that, pointing to our conscience and eternity cry continually in our ears, "Work while the day lasts! for the night of death cometh, in which no man can work.” There are no tokens of public mourning for the calamity of the soul. Men weep when the body dies; and when it is borne to its last rest, they follow it with sad and mournful procession. But for the dying soul there is no open lamentation; for the lost soul there are no obsequies.

And yet the mind and soul of man have a value which nothing else has.

They are worth a care which nothing else is worth; and to the single, solitary individual, they ought to possess an interest which nothing else possesses. The stored treasures of the heart, the unfathomable mines that are in the soul to be wrought, the broad and boundless realms of Thought, the freighted argosy of man's hopes and best affections, are brighter than gold and dearer than treasure.

And yet the mind is in reality little known or considered. It is all which man permanently is, his inward being, his divine energy, his immortal thought, his boundless capacity, his infinite aspiration; and nevertheless, few value it for what it is worth. Few see a brother-mind in others, through the rags with which poverty has clothed it, beneath the crushing burdens of life, amidst the close pressure of worldly troubles, wants and sorrows. Few acknowledge and cheer it in that humble blot, and feel that the nobility of earth, and the commencing glory of Heaven are there.

Men do not feel the worth of their own souls. They are proud of their mental powers; but the intrinsic, inner, infinite worth of their own minds they do not perceive. The poor man, admitted to a palace, feels, lofty and immortal being as he is, like a mere ordinary thing amid the splendors that surround him. He sees the carriage of wealth roll by him, and forgets the intrinsic and eternal dignity of his own mind in a poor and degrading envy, and feels as an humbler creature, because others are above him, not in mind, but in mensuration. Men respect themselves, according as they are more wealthy, higher in rank or office, loftier in the world's opinion, able to command more votes, more the favorites of the people or of Power.

The difference among men is not so much in their nature and intrinsic power, as in the faculty of communication. Some have the capacity of uttering and embodying in words their thoughts. All men, more or less, feel those thoughts. The glory of genius and the rapture of virtue, when rightly revealed, are diffused and shared among unnumbered minds. When eloquence and poetry speak; when those glorious arts, statuary, painting, and music, take audible or visible shape; when patriotism, charity, and virtue speak with a thrilling potency, the hearts of thousands glow with a kindred joy and ecstasy. If it were not so, there would be no eloquence; for eloquence is that to which other hearts respond; it is the faculty and power of making other hearts respond. No one is so low or degraded, as not sometimes to be touched with the beauty of goodness. No heart is made of materials so common, or even base, as not sometimes to respond, through every chord of it, to the call of honor, patriotism, generosity, and virtue. The poor African Slave will die for the master. or mistress, or in defence of the children, whom he loves. The poor, lost, scorned, abandoned, outcast woman will, without expectation of reward nurse those who are dying on every hand, utter strangers to her, with a contagious and horrid pestilence. The pickpocket will scale burning walls to rescue child or woman, unknown to him, from the ravenous flames.

Most glorious is this capacity! A power to commune with God and His Angels; a reflection of the Uncreated Light; a mirror that can collect and concentrate upon itself all the moral splendors of the Universe. It is the soul alone that gives any value to the things of this world. and it is only by raising the soul to its just elevation above all other things, that we can look rightly upon the purposes of this earth. No sceptre nor throne, nor structure of ages, nor broad empire, can compare with the wonders and grandeurs of a single thought. That alone, of all things that have been made, comprehends the Maker of all. That alone is the key which unlocks all the treasures of the Universe; the power that reigns over Space, Time, and Eternity. That, under God, is the Sovereign Dispenser to man of all the blessings and glories that lie within the compass of possession, or the range of possibility. Virtue, Heaven, and Immortality exist not, nor ever will exist for us except as they exist and will exist, in the perception, feeling, and thought of the glorious mind.

My Brother, in the hope that you have listened to and understood the Instruction and Lecture of this Degree, and that you feel the dignity of your own nature and the vast capacities of your own soul for good or evil, I proceed briefly to communicate to you the remaining instruction of this Degree.

The Hebrew word, in the old Hebrew and Samaritan character, suspended in the East, over the five columns, is ADONAΟ, one of the names of God, usually translated Lord; and which the Hebrews, in reading, always substitute for the True Name, which is for them ineffable.

The five columns, in the five different orders of architecture, are emblematical to us of the five principal divisions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite:

1. — The Tuscan, of the three blue Degrees, or the primitive Masonry.

2. — The Doric, of the ineffable Degrees, from the, fourth to the fourteenth, inclusive.

3. — The Ionic, of the fifteenth and sixteenth, or second temple Degrees.

4. — The Corinthian, of the seventeenth and eighteenth Degrees, or those of the new law.

5. — The Composite, of the philosophical and chivalric Degrees intermingled, from the nineteenth to the thirty-second, inclusive.

The North Star, always fixed and immutable for us, represents the point in the centre of the circle, or the Deity in the centre of the Universe. It is the especial symbol of duty and of faith. To it, and the seven that continually revolve around it, mystical meanings are attached, which you will learn hereafter, if you should be permitted to advance, when you are made acquainted with the philosophical doctrines of the Hebrews.

The Morning Star, rising in the East, Jupiter, called by the Hebrews Tsadυc or Tsydyk, Just, is an emblem to us of the ever approaching dawn of perfection and Masonic light.

The three great lights of the Lodge are symbols to us of the Power, Wisdom, and Beneficence of the Deity. They are also symbols of the first three Sephiroth, or Emanations of the Deity, according to the Kabalah, Kether, the omnipotent divine will; Chochmah, the divine intellectual power to generate thought, and Binah, the divine intellectual capacity to produce it — the two latter, usually translated Wisdom and Understanding, being the active and the passive, the positive and the negative, which we do not yet endeavor to explain to you. They are the columns Jachin and Boaz, that stand at the entrance to the Masonic Temple.

In another aspect of this Degree, the Chief of the Architects [ , Rab Banaim,] symbolizes the constitutional executive head and chief of a free government; and the Degree teaches us that no free government can long endure, when the people cease to select for their magistrates the best and the wisest of their statesmen; when, passing these by, they permit factions or sordid interests to select for them the small, the low, the ignoble, and the obscure, and into such hands commit the country's destinies. There is, after all, a "divine right" to govern; and it is vested in the ablest, wisest, best, of every nation.

"Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding: I am power: by me kings do reign, and princes decree justice; by me princes rule, and nobles, even all the magistrates of the earth." For the present, my Brother, let this suffice. We welcome you among us, to this peaceful retreat of virtue, to a participation in our privileges, to a share in our joys and our sorrows.

XIII. ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON

WHETHER the legend and history of this Degree are historically true, or but an allegory, containing in itself a deeper truth and a profounder meaning, we shall not now debate. If it be but a legendary myth, you must find out for yourself what it means. It is certain that the word which the Hebrews are not now permitted to pronounce was in common use by Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Laban, Rebecca, and even among tribes foreign to the Hebrews, before the time of Moses; and that it recurs a hundred times in the lyrical effusions of David and other Hebrew poets.

We know that for many centuries the Hebrews have been forbidden to pronounce the Sacred Name; that wherever it occurs, they have for ages read the word Adonaο instead; and that under it, when the masoretic points, which represent the vowels, came to be used, they placed those which belonged to the latter word. The possession of the true pronunciation was deemed to confer on him who had it extraordinary and supernatural powers; and the Word itself, worn upon the person, was regarded as an amulet, a protection against personal danger, sickness, and evil spirits. We know that all this was a vain superstition, natural to a rude people, necessarily disappearing as the intellect of man became enlightened; and wholly unworthy of a Mason.

It is noticeable that this notion of the sanctity of the Divine Name or Creative Word was common to all the ancient nations. The Sacred Word HOM was supposed by the ancient Persians (who were among the earliest emigrants from Northern India) to be pregnant with a mysterious power; and they taught that by its utterance the world was created. In India it was forbidden to pronounce the word AUM or OM, the Sacred Name of the One Deity, manifested as Brahma, Vishna, and Seeva.

These superstitious notions in regard to the efficacy of the Word, and the prohibition against pronouncing it, could, being errors, have formed no part of the pure primitive religion, or of the esoteric doctrine taught by Moses, and the full knowledge of which was confined to the Initiates; unless the whole was but an ingenious invention for the concealment of some other Name or truth, the interpretation and meaning whereof was made known only to the select few. If so, the common notions in regard to the Word grew up in the minds of the people, like other errors and fables among all the ancient nations, out of original truths and symbols and allegories misunderstood. So it has always been that allegories, intended as vehicles of truth, to be understood by the sages, have become or bred errors, by being literally accepted.

It is true, that before the masoretic points were invented (which was after the beginning of the Christian era), the pronunciation of a word in the Hebrew language could not be known from the characters in which it was written. It was, therefore, possible for that of the name of the Deity to have been forgotten and lost. It is certain that its true pronunciation is not that represented by the word Jehovah; and therefore that that is not the true name of Deity, nor the Ineffable Word.

The ancient symbols and allegories always had more than one interpretation. They always had a double meaning, and sometimes more than two, one serving as the envelope of the other. Thus the pronunciation of the word was a symbol; and that pronunciation and the word itself were lost, when the knowledge of the true nature and attributes of God faded out of the minds of the Jewish people. That is one interpretation — true, but not the inner and profoundest one.

Men were figuratively said to forget the name of God, when they lost that knowledge, and worshipped the heathen deities, and burned incense to them on the high places, and passed their children through the fire to Moloch.

Thus the attempts of the ancient Israelites and of the Initiates to ascertain the True Name of the Deity, and its pronunciation, and the loss of the True Word, are an allegory, in which are represented the general ignorance of the true nature and attributes of God, the proneness of the people of Judah and Israel to worship other deities, and the low and erroneous and dishonoring notions of the Grand Architect of the Universe, which all shared except a few favored persons; for even Solomon built altars and sacrificed to Astarat, the goddess of the Tsidumm, and Malcόm, the Aamόnite god, and built high places for Kamόs, the Moabite deity, and Malec the god of the Beni-Aamόn. The true nature of God was unknown to them, like His name; and they worshipped the calves of Jeroboam, as in the desert they did that made for them by Aarόn.

The mass of the Hebrews did not believe in the existence of one only God until a late period in their history. Their. early and popular ideas of the Deity were singularly low and unworthy. Even while Moses was receiving the law upon Mount Sinai, they forced Aarόn to make them an image of the Egyptian god Apis, and fell down and adored it. They were ever ready to return to the worship of the gods of the Mitzraim; and soon after the death of Joshua they became devout worshippers of the false gods of all the surrounding nations. "Ye have borne," Amos, the prophet, said to them, speaking of their forty years' journeying in the desert, under Moses, "the tabernacle of your Malec and Kaiόn your idols, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves." Among them, as among other nations, the conceptions of God formed by individuals varied according to their intellectual and spiritual capacities; poor and imperfect, and investing God with the commonest and coarest attributes of humanity, among the ignorant and coarse; pure and lofty among the virtuous and richly gifted. These conceptions gradually improved and became purified and ennobled, as the nation advanced in civilization — being lowest in the historical books, amended in the prophetic writings, and reaching their highest elevation among the poets.

Among all the ancient nations there was one faith and one idea of Deity for the enlightened, intelligent, and educated, and another for the common people. To this rule the Hebrews were no exception. Yehovah, to the mass of the people, was like the gods of the nations around them, except that he was the peculiar God, first of the family of Abraham, of that of Isaac, and of that of Jacob, and afterward the National God; and, as they believed, more powerful than the other gods of the same nature worshipped by their neighbors — "Who among the Baalim is like unto thee, O Yehovah?" — expressed their whole creed.

The Deity of the early Hebrews talked to Adam and Eve in the garden of delight, as he walked in it in the cool of the day; he conversed with Kayin; he sat and ate with Abraham in his tent; that patriarch required a visible token, before he would believe in his positive promise; he permitted Abraham to expostulate with him, and to induce him to change his first determination in regard to Sodom; he wrestled with Jacob; he showed Moses his person, though not his face; he dictated the minutest police regulations and the dimensions of the tabernacle and its furniture, to the Israelites; he insisted on and delighted in sacrifices and burnt-offerings; he was angry, jealous, and revengeful, as well as wavering and irresolute; he allowed Moses to reason him out of his fixed resolution utterly to destroy his people; he commanded the performance of the most shocking and hideous acts of cruelty and barbarity. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh; he repented of the evil that he had said he would do unto the people of Nineveh; and he did it not, to the disgust and anger of Jonah.

Such were the popular notions of the Deity; and either the priests had none better, or took little trouble to correct these notions; or the popular intellect was not enough enlarged to enable them to entertain any higher conceptions of the Almighty.

But such were not the ideas of the intellectual and enlightened few among the Hebrews. It is certain that they possessed a knowledge of the true nature and attributes of God; as the same class of men did among the other nations — Zoroaster, Menu, Confucius, Socrates, and Plato. But their doctrines on this subject were esoteric; they did not communicate them to the people at large, but only to a favored few; and as they were communicated in Egypt and India, in Persia and Phoenicia, in Greece and Samothrace, in the greater mysteries, to the Initiates.

The communication of this knowledge and other secrets, some of which are perhaps lost, constituted, under other names, what we now call Masonry, or Free or Frank-Masonry. That knowledge was, in one sense, the Lost Word, which was made known to the Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Masons. It would be folly to pretend that the forms of Masonry were the same in those ages as they are now. The present name of the Order, and its titles, and the names of the Degrees now in use, were not then known.

Even Blue Masonry cannot trace back its authentic history, with its present Degrees, further than the year 1700, if so far. But, by whatever name it was known in this or the other country, Masonry existed as it now exists, the same in spirit and at heart, not only when Solomon builded the temple, but centuries before — before even the first colonies emigrated into Southern India, Persia, and Egypt, from the cradle of the human race.

The Supreme, Self-existent, Eternal, All-wise, All-powerful, Infinitely Good, Pitying, Beneficent, and Merciful Creator and Preserver of the Universe was the same, by whatever name he was called, to the intellectual and enlightened men of all nations. The name was nothing, if not a symbol and representative hieroglyph of his nature and attributes. The name AL represented his remoteness above men, his inaccessibility; BAL and BALA, his might; ALOHIM, his various potencies; IHUH, existence and the generation of things. None of his names, among the Orientals, were the symbols of a divinely infinite love and tenderness, and all-embracing mercy. As MOLOCH or MALEK he was but an omnipotent monarch, a tremendous and irresponsible Will; as ADONAΟ, only an arbitrary LORD and Master; as AL Shadaο, potent and a DESTROYER.

To communicate true and correct ideas in respect of the Deity was one chief object of the mysteries. In them, Khόrόm the King, and Khόrόm the Master, obtained their knowledge of him and his attributes; and in them that knowledge was taught to Moses and Pythagoras.

Wherefore nothing forbids you to consider the whole legend of this Degree, like that of the Master's, an allegory, representing the perpetuation of the knowledge of the True God in the sanctuaries of initiation. By the subterranean vaults you may understand the places of initiation, which in the ancient ceremonies were generally under ground.

The Temple of Solomon presented a symbolic image of the Universe; and resembled, in its arrangements and furniture, all the temples of the ancient nations that practised the mysteries. The system of numbers was intimately connected with their religions and worship, and has come down to us in Masonry; though the esoteric meaning with which the numbers used by us are pregnant is unknown to the vast majority of those who use them. Those numbers were especially employed that had a reference to the Deity, represented his attributes, or figured in the frame-work of the world, in time and space, and formed more or less the bases of that frame-work. These were universally regarded as sacred, being the expression of order and intelligence, the utterances of Divinity Himself.

The Holy of Holies of the Temple formed a cube; in which, drawn on a plane surface, there are 4 + 3 + 2 = 9 lines visible, and three sides or faces. It corresponded with the number four, by which the ancients presented Nature, it being the number of substances or corporeal forms, and of the elements, the cardinal points and seasons, and the secondary colors. The number three everywhere represented the Supreme Being.

Hence the name of the Deity, engraven upon the triangular plate, and that sunken into the cube of agate, taught the ancient Mason, and teaches us, that the true knowledge of God, of His nature and His attributes is written by Him upon the leaves of the great Book of Universal Nature, and may be read there by all who are endowed with the requisite amount of intellect and intelligence. This knowledge of God, so written there, and of which Masonry has in all ages been the interpreter, is the Master Mason's Word.

Within the Temple, all the arrangements were mystically and symbolically connected with the same system. The vault or ceiling, starred like the firmament, was supported by twelve columns, representing the twelve months of the year. The border that ran around the columns represented the zodiac, and one of the twelve celestial signs was appropriated to each column. The brazen sea was supported by twelve oxen, three looking to each cardinal point of the compass.

And so in our day every Masonic Lodge represents the Universe. Each extends, we are told, from the rising to the setting sun, from the South to the North, from the surface of the Earth to the Heavens, and from the same to the centre of the globe. In it are represented the sun, moon, and stars; three great torches in the East, West, and South, forming a triangle, give it light: and, like the Delta or Triangle suspended in the East, and inclosing the Ineffable Name, indicate, by the mathematical equality of the angles and sides, the beautiful and harmonious proportions which govern in the aggregate and details of the Universe; while those sides and angles represent, by their number, three, the Trinity of Power, Wisdom, and Harmony, which presided at the building of this marvellous work These three great lights also represent the great mystery of the three principles, of creation, dissolution or destruction, and reproduction or regeneration, consecrated by all creeds in their numerous Trinities.

The luminous pedestal, lighted by the perpetual flame within, is a symbol of that light of Reason, given by God to man, by which he is enabled to read in the Book of Nature the record of the thought, the revelation of the attributes of the Deity.

The three Masters, Adoniram, Joabert, and Stolkin, are types of the True Mason, who seeks for knowledge from pure motives, and that he may be the better enabled to serve and benefit his fellow-men; while the discontented and presumptuous Masters who were buried in the ruins of the arches represent those who strive to acquire it for unholy purposes, to gain power over their fellows, to gratify their pride, their vanity, or their ambition.

The Lion that guarded the Ark and held in his mouth the key wherewith to open it, figuratively represents Solomon, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who preserved and communicated the key to the true knowledge of God, of His laws, and of the profound mysteries of the moral and physical Universe.

ENOCH [ Khanυc], we are told, walked with God three hundred years, after reaching the age of sixty-five — "walked with God, and he was no more, for God had taken him." His name signified in the Hebrew, INITIATE or INITIATOR. The legend of the columns, of granite and brass or bronze, erected by him, is probably symbolical. That of bronze, which survived the flood, is supposed to symbolize the mysteries, of which Masonry is the legitimate successor — from the earliest times the custodian and depository of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large, and handed down from age to age by an unbroken current of tradition, embodied in symbols, emblems, and allegories.

The legend of this Degree is thus, partially, interpreted. It is of little importance whether it is in anywise historical. For its value consists in the lessons which it inculcates, and the duties which it prescribes to those who receive it. The parables and allegories of the Scriptures are not less valuable than history. Nay, they are more so, because ancient history is little instructive, and truths are concealed in and symbolized by the legend and the myth.

There are profounder meanings concealed in the symbols of this Degree, connected with the philosophical system of the Hebrew Kabalists, which you will learn hereafter, if you should be so fortunate as to advance. They are unfolded in the higher Degrees. The lion [ Arai, Araiah, which also means the altar] still holds in his mouth the key of the enigma of the sphynx.

But there is one application of this Degree, that you are now entitled to know; and which, remembering that Khόrόm, the Master, is the symbol of human freedom, you would probably discover for yourself.

It is not enough for a people to gain its liberty. It must secure it. It must not intrust it to the keeping, or hold it at the pleasure, of any one man. The keystone of the Royal Arch of the great Temple of Liberty is a fundamental law, charter, or constitution; the expression of the fixed habits of thought of the people, embodied in a written instrument, or the result of the slow accretions and the consolidation of centuries; the same in war as in peace; that cannot be hastily changed, nor be violated with impunity, but is sacred, like the Ark of the Covenant of God, which none could touch and live.

A permanent constitution, rooted in the affections, expressing the will and judgment, and built upon the instincts and settled habits of thought of the people, with an independent judiciary, an elective legislature of two branches, an executive responsible to the people, and the right of trial by jury, will guarantee the liberties of a people, if it be virtuous and temperate, without luxury, and without the lust of conquest and dominion, and the follies of visionary theories of impossible perfection.

Masonry teaches its Initiates that the pursuits and occupations of this life, its activity, care, and ingenuity, the predestined developments of the nature given us by God, tend to promote His great design, in making the world; and are not at war with the great purpose of life. It teaches that everything is beautiful in its time, in its place, in its appointed office; that everything which man is put to do, if rightly and faithfully done, naturally helps to work out his salvation; that if he obeys the genuine principles of his calling, he will be a good man: and that it is only by neglect and nonperformance of the task set for him by Heaven, by wandering into idle dissipation, or by violating their beneficent and lofty spirit, that he becomes a bad man. The appointed action of life is the great training of Providence; and if man yields himself to it, he will need neither churches nor ordinances, except for the expression of his religious homage and gratitude.

For there is a religion of toil. It is not all drudgery, a mere stretching of the limbs and straining of the sinews to tasks. It has a meaning and an intent.

A living heart pours life-blood into the toiling arm; and warm affections inspire and mingle with man's labors. They are the home affections. Labor toils a-field, or plies its task in cities, or urges the keels of commerce over wide oceans; but home is its centre; and thither it ever goes with its earnings, with the means of support and comfort for others; offerings sacred to the thought of every true man, as a sacrifice at a golden shrine.

Many faults there are amidst the toils of life; many harsh and hasty words are uttered; but still the toils go on, weary and hard and exasperating as they often are. For in that home is age or sickness, or helpless infancy, or gentle childhood, or feeble woman, that must not want. If man had no other than mere selfish impulses, the scene of labor which we behold around us would not exist.

The advocate who fairly and honestly presents his case, with feeling of true self-respect, honor, and conscience, to help the tribunal on towards the right conclusion, with a conviction that God's justice reigns there, is acting a religious part, leading that day religious life; or else right and justice are no part of religion Whether, during all that day, he has once appealed, in form or in terms, to his conscience, or not; whether he has once spoken of religion and God, or not; if there has been the inward purpose, the conscious intent and desire, that sacred justice should triumph, he has that day led a good and religious life, and made most a essential contribution to that religion of life and of society, the cause of equity between man and man, and of truth and right action in the world.

Books, to be of religious tendency in the Masonic sense, need not be books of sermons, of pious exercises, or of prayers. Whatever inculcates pure, noble, and patriotic sentiments, or touches the heart with the beauty of virtue, and the excellence of an upright life, accords with the religion of Masonry, and is the Gospel of literature and art. That Gospel is preached from many a book and painting, from many a poem and fiction, and review and newspaper; and it is a painful error and miserable narrowness, not to recognize these wide-spread agencies of Heaven's providing; not to see and welcome these many-handed coadjutors, to the great and good cause. The oracles of God do not speak from the pulpit alone.

There is also a religion of society. In business, there is much more than sale, exchange, price, payment; for there is the sacred faith of man in man. When we repose perfect confidence in the integrity of another; when we feel that he will not swerve from the right, frank, straightforward, conscientious course, for any temptation; his integrity and conscientiousness are the image of God to us; and when we believe in it, it is as great and generous an act, as when we believe in the rectitude of the Deity.

In gay assemblies for amusement, the good affections of life gush and mingle. If they did not, these gathering-places would be as dreary and repulsive as the caves and dens of outlaws and robbers. When friends meet, and hands are warmly pressed, and the eye kindles and the countenance is suffused with gladness, there is a religion between their hearts; and each loves and worships the True and Good that is in the other. It is not policy, or self-interest, or selfishness that spreads such a charm around that meeting, but the halo of bright and beautiful affection.

The same splendor of kindly liking, and affectionate regard, shines like the soft overarching sky, over all the world; over all places where men meet, and walk or toil together; not over lovers' bowers and marriage-altars alone, not over the homes of purity and tenderness alone; but over all tilled fields, and busy workshops, and dusty highways, and paved streets.

There is not a worn stone upon the sidewalks, but has been the altar of such offerings of mutual kindness; nor a wooden pillar or iron railing against which hearts beating with affection have not leaned. How many soever other elements there are in the stream of life flowing through these channels, that is surely here and everywhere; honest, heartfelt, disinterested, inexpressible affection.

Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other. Here we greet each other gladly, are lenient to each other's faults, regardful of each other's feelings, ready to relieve each other's wants. This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures. If unworthy passions, or selfish, bitter, or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred, enter here, they are intruders and n t welcome, strangers uninvited, and not guests.

Certainly there are many evils and bad passions, and much hate and contempt and unkindness everywhere in the world. We cannot refuse to see the evil — that is in life. But all is not evil. We still see God in the world.

There is good amidst the evil. The hand of mercy leads wealth to the hovels of poverty and sorrow. Truth and simplicity live amid many wiles and sophistries. There are good hearts underneath gay robes, and under tattered garments also.

Love clasps the hand of love, amid all the envyings and distractions of showy competition; fidelity, pity, and sympathy hold the long night-watch by the bedside of the suffering neighbor, amidst the surrounding poverty and squalid misery. Devoted men go from city to city to nurse those smitten down by the terrible pestilence that renews at intervals its mysterious marches. Women well-born and delicately nurtured nursed the wounded soldiers in hospitals, before it became fashionable to do so; and even poor lost women, whom God alone loves and pities, tend the plague-stricken with a patient and generous heroism. Masonry and its kindred Orders teach men to love each other, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, and bury the friendless dead. Everywhere God finds and blesses the kindly office, the pitying thought, and the loving heart.

There is an element of good in all men's lawful pursuits and a divine spirit breathing in all their lawful affections. The ground on which they tread is holy ground. There is a natural religion of life, answering, with however many a broken tone, to the religion of nature. There is a beauty and glory in Humanity., in man, answering, with however many a mingling shade, to the loveliness of soft landscapes and swelling hills, and the wondrous Men may be virtuous, self-improving, and religious in their employments.

Precisely for that, those employments were made. All their social relations, friendship, love , the ties of family, were made to be holy. They may be religious, not by a kind of protest and resistance against their several vocations; but by conformity to their true spirit. Those vocations do not exclude religion; but demand it, for their own perfection. They may be religious laborers, whether in field or factory; religious physicians, lawyers, sculptors, poets, painters, and musicians.

They may be religious in all the toils and in all the amusements of life.

Their life may be a religion; the broad earth its altar; its incense the very breath of life; its fires ever kindled by the brightness of Heaven.

Bound up with our poor, frail life, is the mighty thought that spurns the narrow span of all visible existence. Ever the soul reaches outward, and asks for freedom. It looks forth from the narrow and grated windows of sense, upon the wide immeasurable creation; it knows that around it and beyond it lie outstretched the infinite and everlasting paths.

Everything within us and without us ought to stir our minds to admiration and wonder. We are a mystery encompassed with mysteries. The connection of mind with matter is a mystery; the wonderful telegraphic communication between the brain and every part of the body, the power and action of the will. Every familiar step is more than a story in a land of enchantment. The power of movement is as mysterious as the power of thought. Memory, and dreams that are the indistinct echoes of dead memories are alike inexplicable. Universal harmony springs from infinite complication. The momentum of every step we take in our dwelling contributes in part to the order of the Universe. We are connected by ties of thought, and even of matter and its forces, with the whole boundless Universe and all the past and coming generations of men.

The humblest object beneath our eye as completely defies our scrutiny as the economy of the most distant star. Every leaf and every blade of grass holds within itself secrets which no human penetration will ever fathom. No man can tell what is its principle of life. No man can know what his power of secretion is. Both are inscrutable mysteries. Wherever we place our hand we lay it upon the locked bosom of mystery. Step where we will, we tread upon wonders. The sea-sands, the clods of the field, the water-worn pebbles on the hills, the rude masses of rock, are traced over and over, in every direction, with a handwriting older and more significant and sublime than all the ancient ruins, and all the overthrown and buried cities that past generations have left upon the earth; for it is the handwriting of the Almighty.

A Mason's great business with life is to read the book of its teaching; to find that life is not the doing of drudgeries, but the hearing of oracles. The old mythology is but a leaf in that book; for it peopled the world with spiritual natures; and science, many-leaved, still spreads before us the same tale of wonder.

We shall be just as happy hereafter, as we are pure and upright, and no more, just as happy as our character prepares us to be, and no more. Our moral, like our mental character, is nut formed in a moment; it is the habit of our minds; the result of many thoughts and feelings and efforts, bound together by many natural and strong ties. The great law of Retribution is, that all coming experience is to be affected by every present feeling; every future moment of being must answer for every present moment; one moment, sacrificed to vice, or lost to improvement, is forever sacrificed and lost; an hour's delay to enter the right path, is to put us back so far, in the everlasting pursuit of happiness; and every sin, even of the best men, is to be thus answered for, if not according to the full measure of its illdesert, yet according to a rule of unbending rectitude and impartiality.

The law of retribution presses upon every m an, whether he thinks of it or not. It pursues him through all the courses of life, with a step that never falters nor tires, and with an eye that never sleeps. If it were not so, God's government would not be impartial; 'there would be no discrimination; no moral dominion; no light shed upon the mysteries of Providence.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that, and not something else, shall he reap.

That which we are doing, good or evil, grave or gay, that which we do today and shall do to-morrow; each thought, each feeling, each action, each event; every passing hour, every breathing moment; all are contributing to form the character according to which we are to be judged. Every particle of influence that goes to form that aggregate, — our character, — will, in that future scrutiny, be sifted out from the mass; and, particle by particle, with ages perhaps intervening, fall a distinct contribution to the sum of our joys or woes. Thus every idle word and idle hour will give answer in the judgment.

Let us take care, therefore, what we sow. An evil temptation comes upon us; the opportunity of unrighteous gain, or of unhallowed indulgence, either in the sphere of business or pleasure, of society or solitude. We yield; and plant a seed of bitterness and sorrow. To-morrow it will threaten discovery. Agitated and alarmed, we cover the sin, and bury it deep in falsehood and hypocrisy. In the bosom where it lies concealed, in the fertile soil of kindred vices, that sin dies not, but thrives and grows; and other and still other germs of evil gather around the accursed root; until, from that single seed of corruption, there springs up in the soul all that is horrible in habitual lying, knavery, or vice. Loathingly, often, we take each downward step; but a frightful power urges us onward; and the hell of debt, disease, ignominy, or remorse gathers its shadows around Our steps even on earth; and are yet but the beginnings of sorrows. The evil deed may be done in a single moment; but conscience never dies, memory never sleeps; guilt never can become innocence; and remorse can never whisper peace.

Beware, thou who art tempted to evil! Beware what thou layest up for the future! Beware what thou layest up in the archives of eternity! Wrong not thy neighbor! lest the thought of him thou injurest, and who suffers by thy act, be to thee a pang which years will not deprive of its bitterness! Break not into the house of innocence, to rifle it of its treasure; lest when many years have passed over thee, the moan of its distress may not have died away from thine ear! Build not the desolate throne of ambition in thy heart; nor be busy with devices, and circumventings, and selfish schemings; lest desolation and loneliness be on thy path, as it stretches into the long futurity! Live not a useless, an impious, or an injurious life! for bound up with that life is the immutable principle of an endless retribution, and elements of God's creating, which will never spend their force, but continue ever to unfold with the ages of eternity. Be not deceived! God has formed thy nature, thus to answer to the future. His law can never be abrogated, nor His justice eluded; and forever and ever it will be true, that "Whatsoever a man soweth, that also he shall reap.”

XIV. GRAND ELECT, PERFECT, AND SUBLIME MASON

[Perfect Elu]

It is for each individual Mason to discover the secret of Masonry, by reflection upon its symbols and a wise consideration and analysis of what is said and done in the work. Masonry does not inculcate her truths. She states them, once and briefly; or hints them, perhaps, darkly; or interposes a cloud between them and eyes that would be dazzled by them. "Seek, and ye shall find," knowledge and the truth.

The practical object of Masonry is the physical and moral amelioration and the intellectual and spiritual improvement of individuals and society. Neither can be effected, except by the dissemination of truth. It is falsehood in doctrines and fallacy in principles, to which most of the miseries of men and the misfortunes of nations are owing. Public opinion is rarely right on any point; and there are and always will be important truths to be substituted in that opinion in the place of many errors and absurd and injurious prejudices. There are few truths that public opinion has not at some time hated and persecuted as heresies; and few errors that have not at some time seemed to it truths radiant from the immediate presence of God. There are moral maladies, also, of man and society, the treatment of which requires not only boldness, but also, and more, prudence and discretion; since they are more the fruit of false and pernicious doctrines, moral, political, and religious, than of vicious inclinations.

Much of the Masonic secret manifests itself, without speech revealing it to him who even partially comprehends all the Degrees in proportion as he receives them; and particularly to those who advance to the highest Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. That Rite raises a corner of the veil, even in the Degree of Apprentice; for it there declares that Masonry is a worship.

Masonry labors to improve the social order by enlightening men's minds, warming their hearts with the love of the good, inspiring them with the great principle of human fraternity, and requiring of its disciples that their language and actions shall conform to that principle, that they shall enlighten each other, control their passions, abhor vice, and pity the vicious man as one afflicted with a deplorable malady.

It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation. It is the base, and they are the superstructure. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." "Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke ?" The ministers of this religion are all Masons who comprehend it and are devoted to it; its sacrifices to God are good works, the sacrifices of the base and disorderly passions, the offering up of self-interest on the altar of humanity, and perpetual efforts to attain to all the moral perfection of which man is capable.

To make honor and duty the steady beacon-lights that shall guide your life-vessel over the stormy seas of time; to do that which it is right to do, not because it will insure you success, or bring with it a reward, or gain the applause of men, or be "the best policy," more prudent or more advisable; but because it is right, and therefore ought to be done; to war incessantly against error, intolerance, ignorance, and vice, and yet to pity those who err, to be tolerant even of intolerance, to teach the ignorant, and to labor to reclaim the vicious, are some of the duties of a Mason.

A good Mason is one that can look upon death, and see its face with the same countenance with which he hears its story; that can endure all the labors of his life with his soul supporting his body, that can equally despise riches when he hath them and when he hath them not;that is, not sadder if they are in his neighbor's exchequer, nor more lifted up if they shine around about his own walls; one that is not moved with good fortune coming to him, nor going from him; that can look upon another man's lands with equanimity and pleasure, as if they were his own; and yet look upon his own, and use them too, just as if they were another man's; that neither spends his goods prodigally and foolishly, nor yet keeps them avariciously and like a miser; that weighs not benefits by weight and number, but by the mind and circumstances of him who confers them; that never thinks his charity expensive, if a worthy person be the receiver; that does nothing for opinion's sake, but everything for conscience, being as careful of his thoughts as of his acting in markets and theatres, and in as much awe of himself as of a whole assembly; that is, bountiful and cheerful to his friends, and charitable and apt to forgive his enemies; that loves his country, consults its honor, and obeys its laws, and desires and endeavors nothing more than that he may do his duty and honor God. And such a Mason may reckon his life to be the life of a man, and compute his months, not by the course of the sun, but by the zodiac and circle of his virtues.

The whole world is but one republic, of which each nation is a family, and every individual a child. Masonry, not in anywise derogating from the differing duties which the diversity of states requires, tends to create a new people, which, composed of men of many nations and tongues, shall all be bound together by the bonds of science, morality, and virtue.

Essentially philanthropic, philosophical, and progressive, it has for the basis of its dogma a firm belief in the existence of God and his providence, and of the immortality of the soul; for its object, the dissemination of moral, political, philosophical, and religious truth, and the practice of all the virtues. In every age, its device has been, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," with constitutional government, law, order, discipline, and subordination to legitimate authority — government and not anarchy.

But it is neither a political party nor a religious sect. It braces all parties and all sects, to form from among them all a vast fraternal association. It recognizes the dignity of human nature, and man's right to such freedom as he is fitted for; and it knows nothing that should place one man below another, except ignorance, debasement, and crime, and the necessity of subordination to lawful will and authority.

It is philanthropic; for it recognizes the great truth that all men are of the same origin, have common interests, and should co-operate together to the same end.

Therefore it teaches its members to love one another, to give to each other mutual assistance and support in all the circumstances of life, to share each other's pains and sorrows, as well as their joys and pleasures; to guard the reputations, respect the opinions, and be perfectly tolerant of the errors, of each other, in matters of faith and beliefs.

It is philisophical because it teaches the great Truths concerning the nature and existence of one Supreme Deity, and the existence and immortality of the soul. It revives the Academy of Plato and the wise teachings of Socrates. It reiterates the maxims of Pythagoras, Confucius, and Zoroaster, and reverentially enforces the sublime lessons of Him who died upon the Cross.

The ancients thought that universal humanity acted under the influence of two opposing Principles, the Good and the Evil: of which the Good urged men toward Truth, Independence, and Devotedness and the Evil toward Falsehood, Servility, and Selfishness. Masonry represents the Good Principle and constantly wars against the evil one. It is the Hercules, the Osiris, the Apollo, the Mithras, and the Ormuzd, at everlasting and deadly feud with the demons of ignorance, brutality, baseness, falsehood, slavishness of soul, intolerance, superstition, tyranny, meanness, the insolence of wealth, and bigotry.

When despotism and superstition, twin-powers of evil and darkness, reigned everywhere and seemed invincible and immortal, it invented, to avoid persecution, the mysteries, that is to say, the allegory, the symbol, and the emblem, and transmitted its doctrines by the secret mode of initiation. Now, retaining its ancient symbols, and in part its ancient ceremonies, it displays in every civilized country its banner, on which in letters of living light its great principles are written; and it smiles at the puny efforts of kings and popes to crush it out by excommunication and interdiction.

Man's views in regard to God, will contain only so much positive truth as the human mind is capable of receiving; whether that truth is attained by the exercise of reason, or communicated by revelation. It must necessarily be both limited and alloyed, to bring it within the competence of finite human intelligence. Being finite, we can form no correct or adequate idea of the Infinite; being material, we can form no clear conception of the Spiritual.

We do believe in and know the infinity of Space and Time, and the spirituality of the Soul; but the idea of that infinity and spirituality eludes us. Even Omnipotence cannot infuse infinite conceptions into finite minds; nor can God, without first entirely changing the conditions of our being, pour a complete and full knowledge of His own nature and attributes into the narrow capacity of a human soul. Human intelligence could not grasp it, nor human language express it. The visible is, necessarily, the measure of the invisible.

The consciousness of the individual reveals itself alone. His knowledge cannot pass beyond the limits of his own being. His conceptions of other things and other beings are only his conceptions. They are not those things or beings themselves. The living principle of a living Universe must be INFINITE; while all our ideas and conceptions are finite, and applicable only to finite beings.

The Deity is thus not an object of knowledge, but of faith; not to be approached by the understanding, but by the moral sense; not to be conceived, but to be felt. All attempts to embrace the Infinite in the conception of the Finite are, and must be only accommodations to the frailty of man. Shrouded from human comprehension in an obscurity from which a chastened imagination is awed back, and Thought retreats in conscious weakness, the Divine Nature is a theme on which man is little entitled to dogmatize. Here the philosophic Intellect becomes most painfully aware of its own insufficiency.

And yet it is here that man most dogmatizes, classifies and describes God's attributes, makes out his map of God's nature, and his inventory of God's qualities, feelings, impulses, and passions; and then hangs and burns his brother, who, as dogmatically as he, makes out a different map and inventory. The common understanding has no humility. Its God is an incarnate Divinity. Imperfection imposes its own limitations on the Illimitable, and clothes the Inconceivable Spirit of the Universe in forms that come within the grasp of the senses and the intellect, and are derived from that infinite and imperfect nature which is but God's creation.

We are all of us, though not all equally, mistaken. The cherished dogmas of each of us are not, as we fondly suppose, the pure truth of God; but simply our own special form of error, our guesses at truth, the refracted and fragmentary rays of light that have fallen upon our own minds. Our little systems have their day, and cease to be; they are but broken lights of God; and He is more than they. Perfect truth is not attainable anywhere. We style this Degree that of Perfection; and yet what it teaches is imperfect and defective. Yet we are not to relax in the pursuit of truth, nor contentedly acquiesce in error. It is our duty always to press forward in the search; for though absolute truth is unattainable, yet the amount of error in our views is capable of progressive and perpetual diminution; and thus Masonry is a continual struggle toward the light.

All errors are not equally innocuous. That which is most injurious is to entertain unworthy conceptions of the nature and attributes of God; and it is this that Masonry symbolizes by ignorance of the True Word. The true word of a Mason is, not the entire, perfect, absolute truth in regard to God; but the highest and noblest conception of Him that our minds are capable of forming; and this word is Ineffable, because one man cannot communicate to another his own conception of Deity; since every man's conception of God must be proportioned to his mental cultivation and intellectual powers, and moral excellence. God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself.

For every man's conception of God must vary with his mental cultivation and mental powers. If any one contents himself with any lower image than his intellect is capable of grasping, then he contents himself with that which is false to him, as well as false in fact. If lower than he can reach, he must needs feel it to be false.

And if we, of the nineteenth century after Christ, adopt the conceptions of the nineteenth century before Him; if our conceptions of God are those of the ignorant, narrow-minded, and vindictive Israelite; then we think worse of God, and have a lower, meaner, and more limited view of His nature, than the faculties which He has bestowed are capable of grasping. The highest view we can form is nearest to the truth. If we acquiesce in any lower one, we acquiesce in an untruth. We feel that it is an affront and an indignity to Him, to conceive of Him as cruel, short-sighted, capricious, and unjust; as a jealous, an angry, a vindictive Being.

When we examine our conceptions of His character, if we can conceive of a loftier, nobler, higher, more beneficent, glorious, and magnificent character, then this latter is to us the true conception of Deity; for nothing can be imagined more excellent than He.

Religion, to obtain currency and influence with the great mass of mankind, must needs be alloyed with such an amount of error as to place it far below the standard attainable by the higher human capacities. A religion as pure as the loftiest and most cultivated human reason could discern, would not be comprehended by, or effective over, the less educated portion of mankind. What is Truth to the philosopher, would not be Truth, nor have the effect of Truth, to the peasant. The religion of the many must necessarily be more incorrect than that of the refined and reflective few, not so much in its essence as in its forms, not so much in the spiritual idea which lies latent at the bottom of it, as in the symbols and dogmas in which that idea is embodied. The truest religion would, in many points, not be comprehended by the ignorant, nor consolatory to them, nor guiding and supporting for them. The doctrines of the Bible are often not clothed in the language of strict truth, but in that which was fittest to convey to a rude and ignorant people the practical essentials of the doctrine. A perfectly pure faith, free from all extraneous admixtures, a system of noble theism and lofty morality, would find too little preparation for it in the common mind and heart, to admit of prompt reception by the masses of mankind; and Truth might not have reached us, if it had not borrowed the wings of Error.

The Mason regards God as a Moral Governor, as well as an Original Creator; as a God at hand, and not merely one afar off in the distance of infinite space, and in the remoteness of Past or Future Eternity. He conceives of Him as taking a watchful and presiding interest in the affairs of the world, and as influencing the hearts and actions of men.

To him, God is the great Source of the World of Life and Matter; and man, with his wonderful corporeal and mental frame, His direct work. He believes that God has made men with different intellectual capacities, and enabled some, by superior intellectual power, to see and originate truths which are hidden from the mass of men. He believes that when it is His will that mankind should make some great step forward, or achieve some pregnant discovery, He calls into being some intellect of more than ordinary magnitude and power, to give birth to new ideas, and grander conceptions of the Truths vital to Humanity.

We hold that God has so ordered matters in this beautiful and harmonious, but mysteriously-governed Universe, that one great mind after another will arise, from time to time, as such are needed, to reveal to men the truths that are wanted, and the amount of truth than can be borne. He so arranges, that nature and the course of events shall send men into the world, endowed with that higher mental and moral organization, in which grand truths, and sublime gleams of spiritual light will spontaneously and inevitably arise. These speak to men by inspiration.

Whatever Hiram really was, he is the type, perhaps an imaginary type, to us, of humanity in its highest phase; an exemplar of what man may and should become, in the course of ages, in his progress toward the realization of his destiny; an individual gifted with a glorious intellect, a noble soul, a fine organization, and a perfectly balanced moral being; an earnest of what humanity may be, and what we believe it will hereafter be in God's good time; the possibility of the race made real.

The Mason believes that God has arranged this glorious but perplexing world with a purpose, and on a plan. He holds that every man sent upon this earth, and especially every man of superior capacity, has a duty to perform, a mission to fulfill, a baptism to be baptized with; that every great and good man possesses some portion of God's truth, which he must proclaim to the world, and which must bear fruit in his own bosom. In a true and simple sense, he believes all the pure, wise, and intellectual to be inspired, and to be so for the instruction, advancement, and elevation of mankind. That kind of inspiration, like God's omnipresence, is not limited to the few writers claimed by Jews, Christians, or Moslems, but is co-extensive with the race. It is the consequence of a faithful use of our faculties. Each man is its subject, God is its source, and Truth its only test. It differs in degrees, as the intellectual endowments, the moral wealth of the soul, and the degree of cultivation of those endowments and faculties differ. It is limited to no sect, age, or nation. It is wide as the world and common as God. It was not given to a few men, in the infancy of mankind, to monopolize inspiration, and bar God out of the soul. We are not born in the dotage and decay of the world. The stars are beautiful as in their prime; the most ancient Heavens are fresh and strong. God is still everywhere in nature. Wherever a heart beats with love, wherever Faith and Reason utter their oracles, there is God, as formerly in the hearts of seers and prophets. No soil on earth is so holy as the good man's heart; nothing is so full of God. This inspiration is not given to the learned alone, not alone to the great and wise, but to every faithful child of God. Certain as the open eye drinks in the light, do the pure in heart see God; and he who lives truly, feels Him as a presence within the soul. The conscience is the very voice of Deity.

Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion. For itself it finds those truths definite enough, which are written by the finger of God upon the heart of man and on the pages of the book of nature. Views of religion and duty, wrought out by the meditations of the studious, confirmed by the allegiance of the good and wise, stamped as sterling by the response they find in every uncorrupted mind, commend themselves to Masons of every creed, and may well be accepted by all.

The Mason does not pretend to dogmatic certainty, nor vainly imagine such certainty attainable. He considers that if there were no written revelation, he could safely rest the hopes that animate him and the principles that guide him, on the deductions of reason and the convictions of instinct and consciousness. He can find a sure foundation for his religious belief, in these deductions of the intellect and convictions of the heart. For reason proves to him the existence and attributes of God; and those spiritual instincts which he feels are the voice of God in his soul, infuse into his mind a sense of his relation to God, a conviction of the beneficence of his Creator and Preserver, and a hope of future existence; and his reason and conscience alike unerringly point to virtue as the highest good, and the destined aim and purpose of man's life.

He studies the wonders of the Heavens, the frame-work and revolutions of the Earth, the mysterious beauties and adaptations of animal existence, the moral and material constitution of the human creature, so fearfully and wonderfully made; and is satisfied that God IS; and that a Wise and Good Being is the author of the starry Heavens above him, and of the moral world within him; and his mind finds an adequate foundation for its hopes, its worship, its principles of action, in the far-stretching Universe, in the glorious firmament, in the deep, full soul, bursting with unutterable thoughts.

These are truths which every reflecting mind will unhesitatingly receive, as not to be surpassed, nor capable of improvement; and fitted, if obeyed, to make earth indeed a Paradise, and man only a little lower than the angels. The worthlessness of ceremonial observances, and the necessity of active virtue; the enforcement of purity of heart as the security for purity of life, and of the government of the thoughts, as the originators and forerunners of action; universal philanthropy, requiring us to love all men, and to do unto others that and that only which we should think it right, just, and generous for them to do unto us; forgiveness of injuries; the necessity of self-sacrifice in the discharge of duty; humility; genuine sincerity, and being that which we seem to be; all these sublime precepts need no miracle, no voice from the clouds, to recommend them to our allegiance, or to assure us of their divine origin. They command obedience by virtue of their inherent rectitude and beauty; and have been, and are, and will be the law in every age and every country of the world. God revealed them to man in the beginning.

To the Mason, God is our Father in Heaven, to be Whose especial children is the sufficient reward of the peacemakers, to see Whose face the highest hope of the pure in heart; Who is ever at hand to strengthen His true worshippers; to Whom our most fervent love is due, our most humble and patient submission; Whose most acceptable worship is a pure and pitying heart and a beneficent life; in Whose constant presence we live and act, to Whose merciful disposal we are resigned by that death which, we hope and believe, is but the entrance to a better life; and Whose wise decrees forbid a man to lap his soul in an elysium of mere indolent content.

As to our feelings toward Him and our conduct toward man, Masonry teaches little about which men can differ, and little from which they can dissent. He is our Father; and we are all brethren. This much lies open to the most ignorant and busy, as fully as to those who have most leisure and are most learned. This needs no Priest to teach it, and no authority to indorse it; and if every man did that only which is consistent with it, it would exile barbarity, cruelty, intolerance, uncharitableness, perfidy, treachery, revenge, selfishness, and all their kindred vices and bad passions beyond the confines of the world.

The true Mason, sincerely holding that a Supreme God created and governs this world, believes also that He governs it by laws, which, though wise, just, and beneficent, are yet steady, unwavering, inexorable. He believes that his agonies and sorrows are ordained for his chastening, his strengthening, his elaboration and development; because they are the necessary results of the operation of laws, the best that could be devised for the happiness and purification of the species, and to give occasion and opportunity for the practice of all the virtues, from the homeliest and most common, to the noblest and most sublime; or perhaps not even that, but the best adapted to work out the vast, awful, glorious, eternal designs of the Great Spirit of the Universe. He believes that the ordained operations of nature, which have brought misery to him, have, from the very unswerving tranquility of their career, showered blessings and sunshine upon many another path; that the unrelenting chariot of Time, which has crushed or maimed him in its allotted course, is pressing onward to the accomplishment of those serene and mighty purposes, to have contributed to which, even as a victim, is an honor and a recompense. He takes this view of Time and Nature and God, and yet bears his lot without murmur or distrust; because it is a portion of a system, the best possible, because ordained by God. He does not believe that God loses sight of him, while superintending the march of the great harmonies of the Universe; nor that it was not foreseen, when the Universe was created, its laws enacted, and the long succession of its operations pre-ordained, that in the great march of those events, he would suffer pain and undergo calamity. He believes that his individual good entered into God's consideration, as well as the great cardinal results to which the course of all things is tending.

Thus believing, he has attained an eminence in virtue, the highest, amid passive excellence, which humanity can reach. He finds his reward and his support in the reflection that he is an unreluctant and self-sacrificing co-operator with the Creator of the Universe; and in the noble consciousness of being worthy and capable of so sublime a conception, yet so sad a destiny. He is then truly entitled to be called a Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason.

He is content to fall early in the battle, if his body may but form a stepping-stone for the future conquests of humanity.

It cannot be that God, Who, we are certain, is perfectly good, can choose us to suffer pain, unless either we are ourselves to receive from it an antidote to what is evil in ourselves, or else as such pain is a necessary part in the scheme of the Universe, which as a whole is good. In either case, the Mason receives it with submission. He would not suffer unless it was ordered so. Whatever his creed, if he believes that God is, and that He cares for His creatures, he cannot doubt that; nor that it would not have been so ordered, unless it was either better for himself, or for some other persons, or for some things. To complain and lament is to murmur against God's will, and worse than unbelief.

The Mason, whose mind is cast in a nobler mould than those of the ignorant and unreflecting, and is instinct with a diviner life, — who loves truth more than rest, and the peace of Heaven rather than the peace of Eden, — to whom a loftier being brings severer cares, — who knows that man does not live by pleasure or content alone, but by the presence of the power of God, — must cast behind him the hope of any other repose or tranquillity, than that which is the last reward of long agonies of thought; he must relinquish all prospect of any Heaven save that of which trouble is the avenue and portal; he must gird up his loins, and trim his lamp, for a work that must be done, and must not be negligently done. If he does not like to live in the furnished lodgings of tradition, he must build his own house, his own system of faith and thought, for himself.

The hope of success, and not the hope of reward, should be our stimulating and sustaining power. Our object, and not ourselves, should be our inspiring thought. Selfishness is a sin, when temporary, and for time. Spun out to eternity, it does not become celestial prudence. We should toil and die, not for Heaven or Bliss, but for Duty.

In the more frequent cases, where we have to join our efforts to those of thousands of others, to contribute to the carrying forward of a great cause; merely to till the ground or sow the seed for a very distant harvest, or to prepare the way for the future advent of some great amendment; the amount which each one contributes to the achievement of ultimate success, the portion of the price which justice should assign to each as his especial production, can never be accurately ascertained. Perhaps few of those who have ever labored, in the patience of secrecy and silence, to bring about some political or social change, which they felt convinced would ultimately prove of vast service to humanity, lived to see the change effected, or the anticipated good flow from it.

Fewer still of them were able to pronounce what appreciable weight their several efforts contributed to the achievement of the change desired. Many will doubt, whether, in truth, these exertions have any influence whatever; and, discouraged, cease all active effort.

Not to be thus discouraged, the Mason must labor to elevate and purify his motives, as well as sedulously cherish the conviction, assuredly a true one, that in this world there is no such thing as effort thrown away; that in all labor there is profit; that all sincere exertion, in a righteous and unselfish cause, is necessarily followed, in spite of all appearance to the contrary, by an appropriate and proportionate success; that no bread cast upon the waters can be wholly lost; that no seed planted in the ground can fail to quicken in due time and measure; and that, however we may, in moments of despondency, be apt to doubt, not only whether our cause will triumph, but whether, if it does, we shall have contributed to its triumph, — there is One, Who has not only seen every exertion we have made, but Who can assign the exact degree in which each soldier has assisted to gain the great victory over social evil. No good work is done wholly in vain.

The Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason will in nowise deserve that honorable title, if he has not that strength, that will, that self-sustaining energy; that Faith, that feeds upon no earthly hope, nor ever thinks of victory, but, content in its own consummation, combats, because it ought to combat, rejoicing fights, and still rejoicing falls.

The Augean Stables of the World, the accumulated uncleanness and misery of centuries, require a mighty river to cleanse them thoroughly away; every drop we contribute aids to swell that river and augment its force, in a degree appreciable by God, though not by man; and he whose zeal is deep and earnest, will not be over-anxious that his individual drops should be distinguishable amid the mighty mass of cleansing and fertilizing waters; far less that, for the sake of distinction, it should flow in ineffective singleness away.

The true Mason will not be careful that his name should be inscribed upon the mite which he casts into the treasury of God.

It suffices him to know that if he has labored, with purity of purpose, in any good cause, he must have contributed to its success; that the degree in which he has contributed is a matter of infinitely small concern; and still more, that the consciousness of having so contributed, however obscurely and unnoticed, is his sufficient, even if it be his sole, reward. Let every Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason cherish this faith. It is a duty. It is the brilliant and never-dying light that shines within and through the symbolic pedestal of alabaster, on which reposes the perfect cube of agate, symbol of duty, inscribed with the divine name of God. He who industriously sows and reaps is a good laborer, and worthy of his hire. But he who sows that which shall be reaped by others, by those who will know not of and care not for the sower, is a laborer of a nobler order, and, worthy of a more excellent reward.

The Mason does not exhort others to an ascetic undervaluing of this life, as an insignificant and unworthy portion of existence; for that demands feelings which are unnatural, and which, therefore, if attained, must be morbid, and if merely professed, insincere; and teaches us to look rather to a future life for the compensation of social evils, than to this life for their cure; and so does injury to the cause of virtue and to that of social progress.

Life is real, and is earnest, and it is full of duties to be performed.

It is the beginning of our immortality. Those only who feel a deep interest and affection for this world will work resolutely for its amelioration; those whose affections are transferred to Heaven, easily acquiesce in the miseries of earth, deeming them hopeless, befitting, and ordained; and console themselves with the idea of the ammends which are one day to be theirs. It is a sad truth, that those most decidedly given to spiritual contemplation, and to making religion rule in their hearts, are often most apathetic toward all improvement of this world's systems, and in many cases virtual conservatives of evil, and hostile to political and social reform, as diverting men's energies from eternity.

The Mason does not war with his own instincts, macerate the body into weakness and disorder, and disparage what he sees to be beautiful, knows to be wonderful, and feels to be unspeakably dear and fascinating. He does not put aside the nature which God has given him, to struggle after one which He has not bestowed. He knows that man is sent into the world, not a spiritual, but a composite being, made up of body and mind, the body having, as is fit and needful in a material world, its full, rightful, and allotted share. His life is guided by a full recognition of this fact. He does not deny it in bold words, and admit it in weaknesses and inevitable failings. He believes that his spirituality will come in the next stage of his being, when he puts on the spiritual body; that his body will be dropped at death; and that, until then, God meant it to be commanded and controlled, but not neglected, despised, or ignored by the soul, under pain of heavy consequences.

Yet the Mason is not indifferent as to the fate of the soul, after its present life, as to its continued and eternal being, and the character of the scenes in which that being will be fully developed.

These are to him topics of the proroundest interest, and the most ennobling and refining contemplation. They occupy much of his leisure; and as he becomes familiar with the sorrows and calamities of this life, as his hopes are disappointed and his visions of happiness here fade away; when life has wearied him in its race of hours; when he is harassed and toil-worn, and the burden of his years weighs heavy on him, the balance of attraction gradually inclines in favor of another life; and he clings to his lofty speculations with a tenacity of interest which needs no injunction, and will listen to no prohibition. They are the consoling privilege of the aspiring, the wayworn, the weary, and the bereaved.

To him the contemplation of the Future lets in light upon the Present, and develops the higher portions of his nature. He endeavors rightly to adjust the respective claims of Heaven and earth upon his time and thought, so as to give the proper proportions thereof to performing the duties and entering into the interests of this world, and to preparation for a better; to the cultivation and purification of his own character, and to the public service of his fellow-men.

The Mason does not dogmatize, but entertaining and uttering his own convictions, he leaves every one else free to do the same; and only hopes that the time will come, even if after the lapse of ages, when all men shall form one great family of brethren, and one law alone, the law of love, shall govern God's whole Universe.

Believe as you may, my brother; if the Universe is not, to you, without a God, and if man is not like the beast that perishes, but hath an immortal soul, we welcome you among us, to wear, as we wear, with humility, and conscious of your demerits and shortcomings, the title of Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason.

It is not without a secret meaning, that twelve was the number of the Apostles of Christ, and seventy-two that of his Disciples: that John addressed his rebukes and menaces to the Seven churches, the number of the Archangels and the Planets. At Babylon were the Seven Stages of Bersippa, a pyramid of Seven stories, and at Ecbatana Seven concentric inclosures, each of a different color. Thebes also had Seven gates, and the same number is repeated again and again in the account of the flood. The Sephiroth, or Emanations, ten in number, three in one class, and seven in the other, repeat the mystic numbers of Pythagoras.

Seven Amschaspands or planetary spirits were invoked with Ormuzd: Seven inferior Rishis of Hindustan were saved with the head of their family in an ark: and Seven ancient personages alone returned with the British just man, Hu, from the dale of the grievous waters. There were Seven Heliadae, whose father Helias, or the Sun, once crossed the sea in a golden cup; Seven Titans, children of the older Titan, Kronos or Saturn; Seven Corybantes; and Seven Cabiri, sons of Sydyk; Seven primeval Celestial spirits of the Japanese, and Seven Karlesters who escaped from the deluge and began to be the parents of a new race, on the summit of Mount Albordi. Seven Cyclopes, also, built the walls of Tiryus.

Celus, as quoted by Origen, tells us that the Persians represented by symbols the two-fold motion of the stars, fixed and planetary, and the passage of the Soul through their successive spheres. They erected in their holy caves, in which the mystic rites of the Mithriac Initiations were practised, what he denominates a high ladder, on the Seven steps of which were Seven gates or portals, according to the number of the Seven principal heavenly bodies. Through these the aspirants passed, until they reached the summit of the whole; and this passage was styled a transmigration through the spheres.

Jacob saw in his dream a ladder planted or set on the earth, and its top reaching to Heaven, and the Malaki Alohim ascending and descending on it, and above it stood IHUH, declaring Himself to be Ihuh-Alhi Abraham. The word translated ladder, is Salam, from Salal, raised, elevated, reared up, exalted, piled up into a heap, Aggeravit. Salalah, means a heap, rampart, or other accumulation of earth or stone, artificially made; and Salaa or Salo, is a rock or cliff or boulder, and the name of the city of Petra. There is no ancient Hebrew word to designate a pyramid.

The symbolic mountain Meru was ascended by Seven steps or stages; and all the pyramids and artificial tumuli and hillocks thrown up in flat countries were imitations of this fabulous and mystic mountain, for purposes of worship. These were the "High Places" so often mentioned in the Hebrew books, on which the idolaters sacrificed to foreign gods.

The pyramids were sometimes square, and sometimes round.

The sacred Babylonian tower [Magdol], dedicated to the great Father Bal, was an artificial hill, of pyramidal shape, and Seven stages, built of brick, and each stage of a different color, representing the Seven planetary spheres by the appropriate color of each planet. Meru itself was said to be a single mountain, terminating in three peaks, and thus a symbol of the Trimurti. The great Pagoda at Tanjore was of six stories, surmounted by a temple as the seventh, and on this three spires or towers. An ancient pagoda at Deogur was surmounted by a tower, sustaining the mystic egg and a trident. Herodotus tells us that the Temple of Bal at Babylon was a tower composed of Seven towers, resting on an eighth that served as basis, and successively diminishing in size from the bottom to the top; and Strabo tells us it was a pyramid.

Faber thinks that the Mithriac ladder was really a pyramid with Seven stages, each provided with a narrow door or aperture, through each of which doors the aspirant passed, to reach the summit, and then descended through similar doors on the opposite side of the pyramid; the ascent and descent of the Soul being thus represented.

Each Mithriac cave and all the most ancient temples were tended to symbolize the Universe, which itself was habitually called the Temple and habitation of Deity. Every temple was the world in miniature; and so the whole world was one grand temple. The most ancient temples were roofless; and therefore the Persians, Celts, and Scythians strongly disliked artificial covered edifices. Cicero says that Xerxes burned the Grecian temples, on the express ground that the whole world was the Magnificent Temple and Habitation of the Supreme Deity. Macrobius says that the entire Universe was judiciously deemed by many the Temple of God. Plato pronounced the real Temple of the Deity to be the world; and Heraclitus declared that the Universe, variegated with animals and plants and stars was the only genuine Temple of the Divinity.

How completely the Temple of Solomon was symbolic, is manifest, not only from the continual reproduction in it of the sacred numbers and of astrological symbols in the historical descriptions of it; but also, and yet more, from the details of the imaginary reconstructed edifice, seen by Ezekiel in his vision. The Apocalypse completes the demonstration, and shows the kabalistic meanings of the whole. The Symbola Architectonica are found on the most ancient edifices; and these mathematical figures and instruments, adopted by the Templars, and identical with those on the gnostic seals and abraxae, connect their dogma with the Chaldaic, Syriac, and Egyptian Oriental philosophy. The secret Pythagorean doctrines of numbers were preserved by the monks of Thibet, by the Hierophants of Egypt and Eleusis, at Jerusalem, and in the circular Chapters of the Druids; and they are especially consecrated in that mysterious book, the Apocalypse of Saint John.

All temples were surrounded by pillars, recording the number of the constellations, the signs of the zodiac, or the cycles of the planets; and each one was a microcosm or symbol of the Universe, having for roof or ceiling the starred vault of Heaven.

All temples were originally open at the top, having for roof the sky. Twelve pillars described the belt of the zodiac. Whatever the number of the pillars, they were mystical everywhere. At Abury, the Druidic temple reproduced all the cycles by its columns. Around the temples of Chilminar in Persia, of Baalbec, and of Tukhti Schlomoh in Tartary, on the frontier of China, stood forty pillars. On each side of the temple at Paestum were fourteen, recording the Egyptian cycle of the dark and light sides of the moon, as described by Plutarch; the whole thirty-eight that surrounded them recording the two meteoric cycles so often found in the Druidic temples.

The theatre built by Scaurus, in Greece, was surrounded by 360 columns; the Temple at Mecca, and that at Iona in Scotland, by 360 stones.

XV. KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR OF THE SWORD

[Knight of the East, of the Sword, or of the Eagle]

This Degree, like all others in Masonry, is symbolical. Based upon historical truth and authentic tradition, it is still an allegory. The leading lesson of this Degree is Fidelity to obligation, and Constancy and Perseverance under difficulties and discouragement.

Masonry is engaged in her crusade, — against ignorance, intolerance, fanaticism, superstition, uncharitableness, and error. She does not sail with the trade-winds, upon a smooth sea, with a steady free breeze, fair for a welcoming harbor; but meets and must overcome many opposing currents, baffling winds, and dead calms.

The chief obstacles to her success are the apathy and faithlessness of her own selfish children, and the supine indifference of the world. In the roar and crush and hurry of life and business, and the tumult and uproar of politics, the quiet voice of Masonry is unheard and unheeded. The first lesson which one learns, who engages in any great work of reform or beneficence, is, that men are essentially careless, lukewarm, and indifferent as to everything that does not concern their own personal and immediate welfare. It is to single men, and not to the united efforts of many, that all the great works of man, struggling toward perfection, are owing. The enthusiast, who imagines that he can inspire with his own enthusiasm the multitude that eddies around him, or even the few who have associated themselves with him as co-workers, is grievously mistaken; and most often the conviction of his own mistake is followed by discouragement and disgust.

To do all, to pay all, and to suffer all, and then, when despite all obstacles and hindrances, success is accomplished, and a great work done, to see those who opposed or looked coldly on it, claim and reap all the praise and reward, is the common and almost universal lot of the benefactor of his kind.

He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him. Most men yield to the stress of the current, and float with it to the shore, or are swept over the rapids; and only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.

It is the motionless and stationary that most frets and impedes the current of progress; the solid rock or stupid dead tree, rested firmly on the bottom, and around which the river whirls and eddies: the Masons that doubt and hesitate and are discouraged; that disbelieve in the capability of man to improve; that are not disposed to toil and labor for the interest and well-being of general humanity; that expect others to do all, even of that which they do not oppose or ridicule; while they sit, applauding and doing nothing, or perhaps prognosticating failure.

There were many such at the rebuilding of the Temple. There were prophets of evil and misfortune — the lukewarm and the indifferent and the apathetic; those who stood by and sneered; and those who thought they did God service enough if they now and then faintly applauded. There were ravens croaking ill omen, and murmurers who preached the folly and futility of the attempt. The world is made up of such; and they were as abundant then as they are now.

But gloomy and discouraging as was the prospect, with lukewarmness within and bitter opposition without, our ancient brethren persevered. Let us leave them engaged in the good work, and whenever to us, as to them, success is uncertain, remote, and contingent, let us still remember that the only question for us to ask, as true men and Masons, is, what does duty require; and not what will be the result and our reward if we do our duty. Work on, the Sword in one hand, and the Trowel in the other!

Masonry teaches that God is a Paternal Being, and has an interest in his creatures, such as is expressed in the title Father; an interest unknown to all the systems of Paganism, untaught in all the theories of philosophy; an interest not only in the glorious beings of other spheres, the Sons of Light, the dwellers in Heavenly worlds, but in us, poor, ignorant, and unworthy; that He has pity for the erring, pardon for the guilty, love for the pure, knowledge for the humble, and promises of immortal life for those who trust in and obey Him.

Without a belief in Him, life is miserable, the world is dark, the Universe disrobed of its splendors, the intellectual tie to nature broken, the charm of existence dissolved, the great hope of being lost; and the mind, like a star struck from its sphere, wanders through the infinite desert of its conceptions, without attraction, tendency, destiny, or end.

Masonry teaches, that, of all the events and actions, that take place in the universe of worlds and the eternal succession of ages, there is not one, even the minutest, which God did not forever forsee with all the distinctness of immediate vision, combining all, so that man's free will should be His instrument, like all the other forces of nature.

It teaches that the soul of man is formed by Him for a purpose; that, built up in its proportions, and fashioned in every part, by infinite skill, an emanation from His spirit, its nature, necessity, and design are virtue. It is so formed, so moulded, so fashioned, so exactly balanced, so exquisitely proportioned in every part, that sin introduced into it is misery; that vicious thoughts fall upon it like drops of poison; and guilty desires, breathing on its delicate fibres, make plague-spots there, deadly as those of pestilence upon the body. It is made for virtue, and not for vice; for purity, as its end, rest, and happiness. Not more vainly would we attempt to make the mountain sink to the level of the valley, the waves of the angry sea turn back from its shores and cease to thunder upon the beach, the stars to halt in their swift courses, than to change any one law of our own nature. And one of those laws, uttered by God's voice, and speaking through every nerve and fibre, every force and element, of the moral constitution He has given us, is that we must be upright and virtuous; that if tempted we must resist; that we must govern our unruly passions, and hold in hand our sensual appetites. And this is not the dictate of an arbitrary will, nor of some stern and impracticable law; but it is part of the great firm law of harmony that binds the Universe together: not the mere enactment of arbitrary will; but the dictate of Infinite Wisdom.

We know that God is good, and that what He does is right. This known, the works of creation, the changes of life, the destinies of eternity, are all spread before us, as the dispensations and counsels of infinite love. This known, we then know that the love of God is working to issues, like itself, beyond all thought and imagination good and glorious; and that the only reason why we do not understand it, is that it is too glorious for us to understand. God's love takes care for all, and nothing is neglected.

It watches over all, provides for all, makes wise adaptations for all; for age, for infancy, for maturity, for childhood; in every scene of this or another world; for want, weakness, joy, sorrow, and even for sin. All is good and well and right; and shall be so forever. Through the eternal ages the light of God's beneficence shall shine hereafter, disclosing all, consummating all, rewarding all that deserve reward. Then we shall see, what now we can only believe. The cloud will be lifted up, the gate of mystery be passed, and the full light shine forever; the light of which that of the Lodge is a symbol. Then that which caused us trial shall yield us triumph; and that which made our heart ache shall fill us with gladness; and we shall then feel that there, as here, the only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve; which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.

XVI. PRINCE OF JERUSALEM

We no longer expect to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. To us it has become but a symbol. To us the whole world is God's Temple, as is every upright heart. To establish all over the world the New Law and Reign of Love, Peace, Charity, and Toleration, is to build that Temple, most acceptable to God, in erecting which Masonry is now engaged. No longer needing to repair to Jerusalem to worship, nor to offer up sacrifices and shed blood to propitiate the Deity, man may make the woods and mountains his Churches and Temples, and worship God with a devout gratitude, and with works of charity and beneficence to his fellow-men.

Wherever the humble and contrite heart silently offers up its adoration, under the overarching trees, in the open, level meadows, on the hill-side, in the glen, or in the city's swarming streets; there is God's House and the New Jerusalem.

The Princes of Jerusalem no longer sit as magistrates to judge between the people; nor is their number limited to five. But their duties still remain substantially the same, and their insignia and symbols retain their old significance. Justice and Equity are still their characteristics. To reconcile disputes and heal dissensions, to restore amity and peace, to soothe dislikes and soften, prejudices, are their peculiar duties; and they know that the peacemakers are blessed.

Their emblems have been already explained. They are part of language of Masonry; the same now as it was when Moses learned it from the Egyptian Hierophants. .

Still we observe the spirit of the Divine law, as thus enunciated to our ancient brethren, when the Temple was rebuilt, and the book of the law again opened: "Execute true judgment; and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother. Oppress not the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in his heart. Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of Truth and Peace in your gates; and love no false oath; for all these I hate, saith the Lord.

"Let those who have power rule in righteousness, and Princes in judgment. And let him that is a judge be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

Then the vile person shall no more be called liberal; nor the churl bountiful; and the work of justice shall be peace; and the effect of justice, quiet and security; and wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of the times. Walk ye righteously and speak uprightly; despise the gains of oppression, shake from your hands the contamination of bribes; stop not your ears against the cries of the oppressed, nor shut your eyes that you may not see the crimes of the great; and you shall dwell on high, and your place of defence be like munitions of rocks." Forget not these precepts of the old Law; and especially do not forget, as you advance, that every Mason, however humble, is your brother, and the laboring man your peer! Remember always that all Masonry is work, and that the trowel is an emblem of the Degrees in this Council. Labor, when rightly understood, is both noble and ennobling, and intended to develop man's moral and spiritual nature, and not to be deemed a disgrace or a misfortune.

Everything around us is, in its bearings and influences, moral. The serene and bright morning, when we recover our conscious existence from the embraces of sleep; when, from that image of Death God calls us to a new life, and again gives us existence, and His mercies visit us in every bright ray and glad thought, and call for gratitude and content; the silence of that early dawn, the hushed silence, as it were, of expectation; the holy eventide, its cooling breeze, its lengthening shadows, its falling shades, its still and sober hour; the sultry noontide and the stern and solemn midnight; and Spring-time, and chastening Autumn; and Summer, that unbars our gates, and carries us forth amidst the ever renewed wonders of the world; and Winter, that gathers us around the evening hearth : — all these, as they pass, touch by turns the springs of the spiritual life in us, and are conducting that life to good or evil. The idle watch-hand often points to something within us; and the shadow of the gnomon on the dial often falls upon the conscience.

A life of labor is not a state of inferiority or degradation. The Almighty has not cast man's lot beneath the quiet shades, and amid glad groves and lovely hills, with no task to perform; with nothing to do but to rise up and eat, and to lie down and rest. He has ordained that Work shall be done, in all the dwellings of life, in every productive field, in every busy city, and on every wave of every ocean. And this He has done, because it has plrased Him to give man a nature destined to higher ends than indolent repose and irresponsible profitless indulgence; and because, for developing the energies of such a nature, work was the necessary and proper element. We might as well ask why He could not make two and two be six, as why He could not develop these energies without the instrumentality of work. They are equally impossibilities.

This Masonry teaches, as a great Truth; a great moral landmark, that ought to guide the course of all mankind. It teaches its toiling children that the scene of their daily life is all spiritual, that the very implements of their toil, the fabrics they weave, the merchandise they barter, are designed for spiritual ends; that so believing, their daily lot may be to them a sphere for the noblest improvement. That which we do in our intervals of relaxation, our church-going, and our book-reading, are especially designed to prepare our minds for the action of Life. We are to hear and read and meditate, that we may act well; and the action of Life is itself the great field for spiritual improvement. There is no task of industry or business, in field or forest, on the wharf or the ship's deck, in the office or the exchange, but has spiritual ends. There is no care or cross of our daily labor, but was especially ordained to nurture in us patience, calmness, resolution, perseverance, gentleness, disinterestedness, magnanimity. Nor is there any tool or implement of toil, but is a part of the great spiritual instrumentality.

All the relations of life, those of parent, child, brother, sister, friend, associate, lover and beloved, husband, wife, are moral, throughout every living tie and thrilling nerve that blnd them together. They cannot subsist a day nor an hour without putting the mind to a trial of its truth, fidelity, forbearance, and disinterestedness.

A great city is one extended scene of moral action. There is blow struck in it but has a purpose, ultimately good or bad, and therefore moral. There is no action performed, but has a motive; and motives are the special jurisdiction of morality. Equipages, houses, and furniture are symbols of what is moral, and they in a thousand ways minister to right or wrong feeling. Everything that belongs to us, ministering to our comfort or luxury, awakens in us emotions of pride or gratitude, of selfishness or vanity; thoughts of self-indulgence, or merciful remembrances of the needy and the destitute.

Everything acts upon and influences us. God's great law of sympathy and harmony is potent and inflexible as His law of gravitation. A sentence embodying a noble thought stirs our blood; a noise made by a child frets and exasperates us, and influences our actions.

A world of spiritual objects, influences, and relations lies around us all. We all vaguely deem it to be so; but he only lives a charmed life, like that of genius and poetic inspiration, who communes with the spiritual scene around him, hears the voice of the spirit in every sound, sees its signs in every passing form of things, and feels its impulse in all action, passion, and being. Very near to us lies the mines of wisdom; unsuspected they lie all around us. There is a secret in the simplest things, a wonder in the plainest, a charm in the dullest.

We are all naturally seekers of wonders. We travel far to see the majesty of old ruins, the venerable forms of the hoary mountains, great water-falls, and galleries of art. And yet the world wonder is all around us; the wonder of setting suns, and evening stars, of the magic spring-time, the blossoming of the trees, the strange transformations of the moth; the wonder of the Infinite Divinity and of His boundless revelation. There is no splendor beyond that which sets its morning throne in the golden East; no, dome sublime as that of Heaven; no beauty so fair as that of the verdant, blossoming earth; no place, however invested with the sanctities of old time, like that home which is hushed and folded within the embrace of the humblest wall and roof.

And all these are but the symbols of things far greater and higher. All is but the clothing of the spirit. In this vesture of time is wrapped the immortal nature: in this show of circumstance and form stands revealed the stupendous reality. Let man but be, as he is, a living soul, communing with himself and with God, and his vision becomes eternity; his abode, infinity; his home, the bosom of all-embracing love.

The great problem of Humanity is wrought out in the humblest abodes; no more than this is done in the highest. A human heart throbs beneath the beggar's gabardine; and that and no more stirs with its beating the Prince's mantle. The beauty of Love, the charm of Friendship, the sacredness of Sorrow, the heroism of Patience, the noble Self-sacrifice, these and their like, alone, make life to be life indeed, and are its grandeur and its power. They are the priceless treasures and glory of humanity; and they are not things of condition. All places and all scenes are alike clothed with the grandeur and charm of virtues such as these.

The million occasions will come to us all, in the ordinary paths of our life, in our homes, and by our firesides, wherein we may act as nobly, as if, all our life long, we led armies, sat in senates, or visited beds of sickness and pain. Varying every hour, the million occasions will come in which we may restrain our passions, subdue our hearts to gentleness and patience, resign our own interst for another's advantage, speak words of kindness and wisdom, raise the fallen, cheer the fainting and sick in spirit, and soften and assuage the weariness and bitterness of their mortal lot. To every Mason there will be opportunity enough for these. They cannot be written on his tomb;but they will be written deep in the hearts of men, of friends, of children, of kindred all around him, in the book of the great account, and, in their eternal influences, on the great pages of the Universe.

To such a destiny, at least, my Brethren, let us all aspire ! These laws of Masonry let us all strive to obey! And so may our hearts become true temples of the Living God! And may He encourage our zeal, sustain our hopes, and assure us of success!

XVII. KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST

This is the first of the Philosophical Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; and the beginning of a course of instruction which will fully unveil to you the heart and inner mysteries of Masonry. Do not despair because you have often seemed on the point of attaining the inmost light, and have as often been disappointed. In all time, truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories: where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true Light was reached, and the essential truth stood revealed. The Human Light is but an imperfect reflection of a ray of the Infinite and Divine.

We are about to approach those ancient Religions which once ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us, those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths, shrouded in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefined along the line which divides Time from Eternity; and forms of strange, wild, startling beauty mingled in the vast throngs of figures with shapes monstrous, grotesque, and hideous.

The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt, enuciated the principle of exclusion, borrowed, at every period of its existence, from all the creeds with which it came in contact. While, by the studies of the learned and wise, it enriched itself with the most admirable principles of the religions of Egypt and Asia, it was changed, in the wanderings of the People, by everything that was most impure or seductive in the pagan manners and superstitions. It was one thing in the times of Moses and Aaron, another in those of David and Solomon, and still another in those of Daniel and Philo.

At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert, near the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical and religious systems were approximating toward each other. A general lassitude inclined the minds of all toward the quietude of that amalgamation of doctrines for which the expeditions of Alexander and the more peaceful occurrences that followed, with the establishment in Asia and Africa of many Grecian dynasties and a great number of Grecian colonies, had prepared the way. After the intermingling of different nations, which resulted from the wars of Alexander in three-quarters of the globe, the doctrines of Greece, of Egypt, of Persia, and of India, met and intermingled everywhere. All the barriers that had formerly kept the nations apart, were thrown down; and while the People of the West readily connected their faith with those of the East, those of the Orient hastened to learn the traditions of Rome and the legends of Athens. While the Philosophers of Greece, all (except the disciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonists, seized eargerly upon the beliefs and doctrines of the East, — the Jews and Egyptians, before then the most exclusive of all peoples, yielded to that eclecticism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans.

Under the same influences of toleration, even those who embraced Christianity, mingled together the old and the new, Christianity and Philosophy, the Apostolic teachings and the traditions of Mythology The man of intellect, devotee of one system, rarely displaces it with another in all its purity. The people take such a creed as is offered them. Accordingly, the distinction between the esoteric and the exoteric doctrine, immemorial in other creeds, easily gained a foothold among many of the Christians; and it was held by a vast number, even during the preaching of Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were incomplete; that they contained only the germs of another doctrine, which must receive from the hands of philosophy, not only the systematic arrangement which was wanting, but all the development which lay concealed therein. The writings of the Apostles, they said, in addressing themselves to mankind in general, enunciated only the articles of the vulgar faith; but transmitted the mysteries of knowledge to superior minds, to the Elect, — mysteries handed down from generation to generation in esoteric traditions; and to this science of the mysteries they gave the name of Gnosis.

The Gnostics derived their leading doctrines and ideas from Plato and Philo, the Zend-avesta and the Kabalah, and the Sacred books of India and Egypt; and thus introduced into the bosom of Christianity the cosmological and theosophical speculations, which had formed the larger portion of the ancient religions of the Orient, joined to those of the Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish doctrines, which the Neo-Platonists had equally adopted in the Occident.

Emanation from the Deity of all spiritual beings, progressive degeneration of these beings from emanation to emanation, redemption and return of all to the purity of the Creator; and, after the re-establishment of the primitive harmony of all, a fortunate and truly divine condition of all, in the bosom of God; such were the fundamental teachings of Gnosticism. The genius of the Orient, with its contemplations, irradiations, and intuitions, dictated its doctrines. Its language corresponded to its origin. Full of imagery, it had all the magnificence, the inconsistencies, and the mobility of the figurative style.

Behold, it said, the light, which emanates from an immense centre of Light, that spreads everywhere its benevolent rays; so do the spirits of Light emanate from the Divine Light. Behold, all the springs which nourish, embellish, fertilize, and purify the Earth; they emanate from one and the same ocean; so from the bosom of the Divinity emanate so many streams, which form and fill the universe of intelligences. Behold numbers, which all emanate from one primitive number, all resemble it, all are composed of its essence, and still vary infinitely; and utterances, decomposable into so many syllables and elements, all contained in the primitive Word, and still infinitely various; so the world of Intelligences emanated from a Primary Intelligence, and they all resemble it, and yet display an infinite variety of existences. It revived and combined the old doctrines of the Orient and the Occident; and it found in many passages of the Gospels and the Pastoral letters, a warrant for doing so. Christ himself spoke in parables and allegories, John borrowed the enigmatical language of the Platonists, and Paul often indulged in incomprehensible rhapsodies, the meaning of which could have been clear to the Initiates alone.

It is admitted that the cradle of Gnosticism is probably to be looked for in Syria, and even in Palestine. Most of its expounders wrote in that corrupted form of the Greek used by the Hellenistic Jews, and in the Septuagint and the New Testament; and there is a striking analogy between their doctrines and those of the Judaeo-Egyptian Philo, of Alexandria; itself the seat of three schools, at once philosophic and religious — the Greek, the Egyptian, and the Jewish.

Pythagoras and Plato, the most mystical of the Grecian Philosophers (the latter heir to the doctrines of the former), and who had travelled, the latter in Egypt, and the former in Phoenicia, India, and Persia, also taught the esoteric doctrine and the distinction between the initiated and the profane. The dominant doctrines of Platonism were found in Gnosticism. Emanation of Intelligences from the bosom of the Deity; the going astray in error and the sufferings of spirits, so long as they are remote from God, and imprisoned in matter; vain and long-continued efforts to arrive at the knowledge of the Truth, and re-enter into their primitive union with the Supreme Being; alliance of a pure and divine soul with an irrational soul, the seat of evil desires; angels or demons who dwell in and govern the planets, having but an imperfect knowledge of the ideas that presided at the creation; regeneration of all beings by their return to the kosmos noetos, the world of Intelligences, and its Chief, the Supreme Being; sole possible mode of re-establishing that primitive harmony of the creation, of which the music of the spheres of Pythagoras was the image; these were the analogies of the two systems; and we discover in them some of the ideas that form a part of Masonry; in which, in the present mutilated condition of the symbolic Degrees, they are disguised and overlaid with fiction and absurdity, or present themselves as casual hints that are passed by wholly unnoticed.

The distinction between the esoteric and exoteric doctrines (a distinction purely Masonic), was always and from the very earliest times preserved among the Greeks. It remounted to the fabulous times of Orpheus; and the mysteries of Theosophy were found in all their traditions and myths. And after the time of Alexander, they resorted for instruction, dogmas, and mysteries, to all the schools, to those of Egypt and Asia, as well as those of Ancient Thrace, Sicily, Etruria, and Attica.

The Jewish-Greek School of Alexandria is known only by two of its Chiefs, Aristobulus and Philo, both Jews of Alexandria in Egypt. Belonging to Asia by its origin, to Egypt by its residence, to Greece by its language and studies, it strove to show that all truths embedded in the philosophies of other countries were transplanted thither from Palestine. Aristobulus declared that all the facts and details of the Jewish Scriptures were so many allegories, concealing the most profound meanings, and that Plato had borrowed from them all his finest ideas. Philo, who lived a century after him, following the same theory, endeavored to show that the Hebrew writings, by their system of allegories, were the true source of all religious and philosophical doctrines. According to him, the literal meaning is for the vulgar alone. Whoever has meditated on philosophy, purified himself by virtue, and raised himself by contemplation, to God and the intellectual world, and received their inspiration, pierces the gross envelope of the letter, discovers a wholly different order of things, and is initiated into mysteries, of which the elementary or literal instruction offers but an imperfect image. A historical fact, a figure, a word, a letter, a number, a rite, a custom, the parable or vision of a prophet, veils the most profound truths; and he who has the key of science will interpret all according to the light he possesses.

Again we see the symbolism of Masonry, and the search of the Candidate for light. "Let men of narrow minds withdraw," he says, "with closed ears. We transmit the divine mysteries to those who have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true piety and who are not enslaved by the empty trappings of words or the preconceived opinions of the pagans." To Philo, the Supreme Being was the Primitive Light, or the Archetype of Light, Source whence the rays emanate that illuminate Souls. He was also the Soul of the Universe, and as such acted in all its parts. He Himself fills and limits His whole Being. His Powers and Virtues fill and penetrate all. These Powers (dunameis) are Spirits distinct from God, the "Ideas" of Plato personified. He is without beginning, and lives in the prototype of Time (aion).

His image is THE WORD, a form more brilliant than fire; that not being the pure light. This LOGOS dwells in God; for the Supreme Being makes to Himself within His Intelligence the types or ideas of everything that is to become reality in this World. The LOGOS is the vehicle by which God acts on the Universe, and may be compared to the speech of man.

The LOGOS being the World of Ideas, by means whereof God has created visible things, He is the most ancient God, in comparison with the World, which is the youngest production. The LOGOS, Chief of Intelligence, of which He is the general representative, is named Archangel, type and representative of all spirits, even those of mortals. He is also styled the man-type and primitive man, Adam Kadmon.

God only is Wise. The wisdom of man is but the reflection and image of that of God. He is the Father, and His WISDOM the mother of creation: for He united Himself with WISDOM (Sophia), and communicated to it the germ of creation, and it brought forth the material world. He created the ideal world only, and caused the material world to be made real after its type, by His LOGOS, which is His speech, and at the same time the Idea of Ideas, the Intellectual World. The Intellectual City was but the Thought of the Architect, who meditated the creation, according to that plan of the Material City.

The Word is not only the Creator, but occupies the place of the Supreme Being. Through Him all the Powers and Attributes of God act. On the other side, as first representative of the Human Family, He is the Protector of men and their Shepherd.

God gives to man the Soul or Intelligence, which exists before the body, and which he unites with the body. The reasoning Principle comes from God through the Word, and communes with God and with the Word; but there is also in man an irrational Principle, that of the inclinations and passions which produce disorder, emanating from inferior spirits who fill the air as ministers of God. The body, taken from the Earth, and the irrational Principle that animates it concurrently with the rational Principle, are hated by God, while the rational soul which He has given it, is, as it were, captive in this prison, this coffin, that encompasses it. The present condition of man is not his primitive condition, when he was the image of the Logos. He has fallen from his first estate. But he may raise himself again, by following the directions of WISDOM and of the Angels which God has commissioned to aid him in freeing himself from the bonds of the body, and combating Evil, the existence whereof God has permitted, to furnish him the means of exercising his liberty. The souls that are purified, not by the Law but by light, rise to the Heavenly regions, to enjoy there a perfect felicity. Those that persevere in evil go from body to body, the seats of passions and evil desires. The familiar lineaments of these doctrines will be recognized by all who read the Epistles of St. Paul, who wrote after Philo, the latter living till the reign of Caligula, and being the contemporary of Christ.

And the Mason is familiar with these doctrines of Philo: that the Supreme Being is a centre of Light whose rays or emanations pervade the Universe; for that is the Light for which all Masonic journeys are a search, and of which the sun and moon in our Lodges are only emblems: that Light and Darkness, chief enemies from the beginning of Time, dispute with each other the empire of the world; which we symbolize by the candidate wandering in darkness and being brought to light: that the world was created, not by the Supreme Being, but by a secondary agent, who is but His WORD, and by types which are but his ideas, aided by an INTELLIGENCE, or WISDOM, which gives one of His Attributes; in which we see the occult meaning of the necessity of recovering "the Word"; and of our two columns of STRENGTH and WISDOM, which are also the two parallel lines that bound the circle representing the Universe: that the visible world is the image of the invisible world; that the essence of the Human Soul is the image of God, and it existed before the body; that the object of its terrestrial life is to disengage itself of its body or its sepulchre; and that it will ascend to the Heavenly regions whenever it shall be purified; in which we see the meaning, now almost forgotten in our Lodges, of the mode of preparation of the candidate for apprenticeship, and his tests and purifications in the first Degree, according to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Philo incorporated in his eclecticism neither Egyptian nor Oriental elements. But there were other Jewish Teachers in Alexandria who did both. The Jews of Egypt were slightly jealous of, and a little hostile to, those of Palestine, particularly after the erection of the sanctuary at Leontopolis by the High-Priest Onias; and therefore they admired and magnified those sages, who, like Jeremiah, had resided in Egypt. "The wisdom of Solomon" was written at Alexandria, and, in the time of St. Jerome, was attributed to Philo; but it contains principles at variance with his.

It personifies Wisdom, and draws between its children and the Profane, the same line of demarcation that Egypt had long before taught to the Jews. That distinction existed at the beginning of the Mosaic creed. Moshah himself was an Initiate in the mysteries of Egypt, as he was compelled to be, as the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh, Thouoris, daughter of Sesostris-Ramses; who, as her tomb and monuments show, was, in the right of her infant husband, Regent of Lower Egypt or the Delta at the time of the Hebrew Prophet's birth, reigning at Heliopolis. She was also, as the reliefs on her tomb show, a Priestess of HATHOR and NEITH, the two great primeval goddesses. As her adopted son, living in her Palace and presence forty years, and during that time scarcely acquainted with his brethren the Jews, the law of Egypt compelled his initiation: and we find in many of his enactments the intention of preserving, between the common people and the Initiates, the line of separation which he found in Egypt. Moshah and Aharun his brother, the whole series of High-Priests, the Council of the 70 Elders, Salomoh and the entire succession of Prophets, were in possession of a higher science; and of that science Masonry is, at least, the lineal descendant. It was familiarly known as THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD.

AMUN, at first the God of Lower Egypt only, where Moshah was reared (a word that in Hebrew means Truth), was the Supreme God. He was styled "the Celestial Lord, who sheds Light on hidden things." He was the source of that divine life, of which the crux ansata is the symbol; and the source of all power. He united all the attributes that the Ancient Oriental Theosophy assigned to the Supreme Being. He was the Pleroma, or "Fullness of things," for He comprehended in Himself everything; and the LIGHT; for he was the Sun-God. He was unchangeable in the midst of everything phenomenal in his worlds. He created nothing; but everything emanated from Him; and of Him all the other Gods were but manifestations.

The Ram was His living symbol; which you see reproduced in this Degree, lying on the book with seven seals on the tracingboard. He caused the creation of the world by the Primitive Thought (Ennoia), or Spirit (Pneuma), that issued from him by means of his Voice or the WORD; and which Thought or Spirit was personified as the Goddess NEITH. She, too, was a divinity of Light, and mother of the Sun; and the Feast of Lamps was celebrated in her honor at Sais. The Creative Power, another manifestation of Deity, proceeding to the creation conceived of in her, the Divine Intelligence, produced with its Word the Universe, symbolized by an egg issuing from the mouth of KNEPH; from which egg came PHTHA, image of the Supreme Intelligence as realized in the world, and the type of that manifested in man; the principal agent, also, of Nature, or the creative and productive Fire. PHRE or RS, the Sun, or Celestial Light, whose symbol was the point within a circle, was the son of PHTHA; and TIPHE, his wife, or the celestial firmament, with the seven celestial bodies, animated by spirits of genii that govern them, was represented on many of the monuments, clad in blue or yellow, her garments sprinkled with stars, and accompanied by the sun, moon, and five planets; and she was the type of Wisdom, and they of the Seven Planetary Spirits of the Gnostics, that with her presided over and governed the sublunary world.

In this Degree, unknown for a hundred years to those who have practised it, these emblems reproduced refer to these old doctrines. The lamb, the yellow hangings strewed with stars, the seven columns, candlesticks, and seals all recall them to us.

The Lion was the symbol of ATHOM-RE, the Great God of Upper Egypt; the Hawk, of RA or PHRE; the Eagle, of MENDES; the Bull, of APIS; and three of these are seen under the platform on which our altar stands.

The first HERMES was the INTELLIGENCE, or WORD of God.

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