23d OF SEPTEMBER, 5801,




















Causa lattet, vis est notissima Ovid. M.


Charleston, South Carolina:









March 21st, A. L. 5807.

On Motion, Resolved, That the Grand Secretary do wait on Brother Frederick Dalcho, Sublime Grand Master, and request a Copy of his Oration for Publication.

Extract from the Minutes.


S. Grand Secretary.



March 28, 5807.

The Grand Officers and Members of the Incorporated Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, in South-Carolina, who were present at the delivery of the Oration, by Brother Doctor Frederick Dalcho, in the sublime Grand Lodge of South-Carolina, joined in the request to have the said Oration published.

By Order of


Right Worshipful Grand Master.


Grand Secretary.


WHEN the following Sheets were written, it was not supposed that they would be given to the press, as they contained many passages, relating to the Masonic system, which could not, consistently with the rules of our Order, be laid before the Public. In consequence, however, of the request of the bodies before whom it was delivered, and also of a number of respectable visiting Brethren, to have it published, it has been arranged in such a way, as to admit of it. The blanks, which occur in many places, contained, passages which none but the initiated should ever know. In the Appendix, Note D. these passages are given in hieroglyphics, for the use of the Sublime Masons. This is not done in all copies, as they would be of no use, to any, below the 18th degree.

The history of the difference between the Ancient and Modern Masons, usually so called, I confess to have been unacquainted with until very lately; And the more I inquired about the subject, the more I was surprised, that the knowledge of it had not been before, obtained by the Masons of this country. But when I became Grand Master of the Lodge of perfection, I considered it as my duty to ascertain the origin of the different Symbolic bodies; and the result of my inquiries is given in the appendix, Note B.

In the Circular Report of the Inspectors, which is re-printed in the Appendix, some errors are corrected which escaped observation at the time it was published.

Many errors, I doubt not, will be found in the following Oration. But as the subject is important and yet but little trodden; my aim truth, and the time allotted me to compose it, and prepare it for the press, was short, I hope they will be excused. I have placed my spes et solatium in the candor and indulgence of my Brethren.

    1. D.



WHEN the following Sheets were written, it was not supposed that they would be given to the press, as they contained many passages, relating to the Masonic system, which could not, consistently with the rules of our Order, be laid before the Public. In consequence, however, of the request of the bodies before whom it was delivered, and also of a number of respectable visiting Brethren, to have it published, it has been arranged in such a way, as to admit of it. The blanks which occur in many places, contained passages which none but the initiated should ever know. In the Appendix, Note D. these passages are given in hieroglyphics, for the use of the Sublime Masons. This is not done in all copies, as they would be of no use, to any, below the 18th degree.

The history of the difference between the Ancient and Modern Masons, usually so called, I confess to have been unacquainted with until very lately; And the more I inquired about the subject, the more I was surprised, that the knowledge of it had not been before, obtained by the Masons of this country. But when I became Grand Master of the Lodge of perfection, I considered it as my duty to ascertain the origin of the different Symbolic bodies; and the result of my inquiries is given in the appendix, Note B.

In the Circular Report of the Inspectors, which is re-printed in the Appendix, some errors are corrected which escaped observation at the time it was published.

Many errors, I doubt not, will be found in the following Oration. But as the subject is important and yet but little trodden; my aim truth, and the time allotted me to compose it, and prepare it for the press, was short, I hope they will be excused. I have placed my spes et solatium in the candor and indulgence of my Brethren.

    1. D.





COLONEL JOHN MITCHELL, Sublime Grand Master, and President of the Supreme Council of Masons in the United States.

To BENJAMIN CUDWORTH, ESQ. Deputy Grand Master; and the other Officers and Members of the Ineffable Lodge, and Councils;


JOHN DRAYTON, Governor of the State of South-Carolina, and Right Worshipful Grand Master of Ancient York-Masons; and the other Officers and Members of the Grand Lodge.

THIS ORATION is respectfully inscribed, as a small testimony of respect,







SEPTEMBER 23, 59801.

On Motion, Resolved that the Grand Secretary does wait on the Grand Orator request a Copy of his Oration for Publication.

Extract from the Minutes.


ISAAC AULD, S. G. Secretary.




The Grand Officers and Members of the Grand Lodge of Ancient York-Masons in South-Carolina, who were present at the delivery of the Oration by Brother Dr. Frederick Dalcho, in the Sublime Lodge, joined in the request to have the said Oration published.

Charleston, September 23, 5801.

By order of the Deputy Grand Master,


Grand Secretary.








The duty of this evening, to which I am called by the honor of your appointment, is a task infinitely more important, and arduous, than feeble abilities are equal to: And nothing but the high respect I have for the Society, which have honored me with the appointment could have induced me to have accepted of it.

The subject, on which I am to address you, is capacious, than the utmost powers of the human mind can embrace. Every sphere, in the immense regions of space, feels the benign influence of the institution. I must, therefore, call on your fraternal indulgence to pass over in silence, the many great imperfections which you will discover in this performance, and accept my zeal, for better abilities. The time, which I could appropriate to it, from the more imperious demands of my profession, has been short and interrupted, and which, I ardently hope, will also, plead with you, as an apology for my deficiencies.

When beginning this Oration, it was my intention to have given an historical dissertation on the origin and progress of Masonry, until the present period. And to have pointed out the effects produced on Society, by the extensive promulgation of the principles of the order; but I have since determined to reserve it for a future occasion. I shall, therefore, briefly mention some leading points of its history, and dwell, more fully, on the moral principles of the institution, as they affect the general condition of mankind.

Masonry is the most perfect and sublime institution, ever formed, for promoting the happiness of individuals, or for increasing the general good of the community. Its fundamental principles are those grand bulwarks of Society, universal benevolence and brotherly love. It holds out, in its precepts, those captivating pictures of virtue, which stimulate the brotherhood to deeds of greatness; and offers to its professors, dignity and respect. It expands the ideas, enlarges the benevolent feelings of the heart, and renders man the friend of his species. It teaches us those great and awful truths, on which futurity is founded, and points to those happy means, by which we may obtain the rewards of virtue. "It also instructs us in the duty we owe to our neighbor, and teaches us not to injure him in any of his connections, and, in all our dealings with him, to act with justice and impartiality. It discourages defamation; it bids us not to circulate any whisper of infamy, improve any hint of suspicion, or publish any failure of conduct. It orders us to be faithful to our trusts, not to deceive him who relieth upon us; to be above the meanness of dissimulation; to let the words of our mouths express the thoughts of our hearts; and whatsoever we promise, religiously to perform."

When the rude blast of war assails an unhappy country with its ravages, and embattles legions of kindred men are opposed in direful conflict; when all around perish by the victor’s sword, and humanity stands appalled at the sight-the Mason’s extended arms preserves him from destruction. He meets with friendship and protection from his enemy, and, instead of receiving the fatal weapon in his bosom, his heart is gladdened by hearing the endearing appellation of Brother. When the Corsairs of Algiers, with unprincipled fury, attack the defenseless vessels of unoffending nations, and load their unhappy crews with the bond of servitude, to drag a miserable existence under the lash of tyranny, the Mason’s well known sign preserves him from chains, and the kindly offices of a brother, are extended to him.

Such being the principles and the advantages of Masonry, it ceases to be a matter of surprise, that in every country, the art has been professed, and encouraged, by the most enlightened and virtuous of their inhabitants. The rulers of mighty Empires and the chieftains of great nations have, oftentimes, joined our fraternal Society, and immortalized their names by practicing the virtuous principles of the order.

The manner, in which the mysteries of the Craft are revealed to us, none but Masons can ever know. The ceremonies used, on those occasions, are calculated to impress, upon the mind of the candidate, religious awe, and a high veneration for the cause of virtue. Notwithstanding the depravity of mankind, and the many vicious characters who have, unfortunately, been received into the Society, yet the mysteries of the Order have never been disclosed to the world.

The origin of Masonry may be dated from the creation of the world. The symmetry and harmony displayed by the divine Architect in the formation of the planetary system gave rise to many of our mysteries.

"Let there be Light proclaimed the Almighty Lord,

Astonished Chaos heard potent word.

Through all this his realms the kindling Ether runs.

And the mass starts into a million suns;

Earth, round each sun, with quick explosions, burst,

And second planets issue from the first.

Bend as they journey with projectile force,

In bright ellipses their reluctant course;

Orbs wheel in orbs, round centers, centers roll,

And form, self-balanced, one revolving whole;

Onward they move amid their bright abode,

Space without bounds, the bosom of their God!"

In the earliest age of man, when the human mind was untainted by the vices and prejudices of later times, unshackled by terrors and anathema’s of contending sectaries, and the machinations of bigoted Priests, the God of Nature received the homage of the world, and the worship of his adorable name constituted the principle employment of him, to whom the mysteries of Nature were first revealed. After the deluge, the worship of the Most high was obscured by clouds of imagery, and defiled by idolatry. Mankind were conscious of some great and incomprehensible cause of the uniformity and wonderful progression of the works of Nature and bewildered, in conjecture, they represented the great unknown cause by such objects as appeared to produce the most powerful effects on the face of the world, from whence the Sun and Moon became the symbols of the deity. As the manners of the people became more depraved, their knowledge of truth was lost in their apostasy, and their ignorance and superstition increased with their debasement, they, at length, forgot the emblematically allusion, and adored the Symbols instead of the Divinity.

I am afraid that the same charge may be made against the Masons of the present day; and that many are satisfied with the outward trappings of the Order, and neglect to study those grand principles, of which, the decorations are but emblematically signification’s. The splendid parade on a Masonic festival, the gorgeous apparel to attract attention and make the vulgar stare, are, I am afraid, objects of more real concern to many, than the exercise of those acts of benevolence which are strongly inculcated by the order.

In many of the ancient nations of the East, their religious rites were enveloped by the priest in allegories, emblems, hieroglyphics and mystic devices, which none could understand, but those of their own order. From these ancient examples, the mysteries of the Craft have been wisely concealed from the vulgar and under cover of various, well adapted symbols is conveyed to the enlightened Mason an uniformed and well connected system of morality.

I am of opinion that the ancient society of Free and Accepted Masons was never a body of architects, that is, they were not originally embodied for the purposes of building, but were associated for moral and religious purposes. It must be evident to every Mason, particularly to those brethren who have received the Sublime Degrees, that the situation of the Lodge and its several parts are copied after the Tabernacle and Temple, and represent the Universe as the Temple in which the Deity is every where present. Our manner of teaching the principles of our mystic profession, is derived from the Druids, who worshipped one supreme God, immense and infinite, our maxims of morality from Pythagoras, who taught the duties we owe to God as our creator, and to man as our fellow creature, many of our emblems are originally from Egypt, the science of Abrax, and the characters of those emanations of the Deity, which have adopted are derived from Basilides.

The word Mason is derived from the Greek, and, literally means a member of a religious sect, or one who is professedly devoted to the worship of the Deity. The reason of the term Free being prefixed is probably derived from the Crusades, in which, every man engaged in the expedition must have been born free and under no vassalage or subjection. The term Accepted is derived from the indulgences granted by the Pope, to all those who would confess their sins and join in the enterprise for the recovery of the Holy Land. It is well known that immense numbers of Free-Masons were engaged in the Holy wars, and that their gallant and enterprising conduct gained them the esteem of the leaders of the army, who solicited initiation into the mysteries of their order. This subject is well understood by those brethren who have received the 20th degree.

That Free Masons were considered as a set of architects most probably took its rise from this circumstance when Moses ordained the erection of the Sanctuary, and afterwards when Solomon was about to build a Temple at Jerusalem, for the worship of the only true and living God, they chose from among the people those, whose wisdom and zeal for the true faith, attached them to the worship of the Most High, and committed to them the erection of those works of piety. It was on those great occasions that our predecessors appeared to the world as architects.

To cultivate peace and good will towards men, to improve the general condition of mankind, and to worship the only true and living God in fervency and truth, are among the indispensable obligations of Free Masons. A firm belief and acknowledgement of the Supreme Being, the Grand Architect and Ruler of nature, forms the first essential of a Mason; who ought cheerfully to submit to HIS divine commands, and to rely on his Almighty protection, whose wisdom cannot mistake his happiness, whose goodness cannot contradict it.

As humanity ever springs from true religion, every religious sect, which acknowledge the Supreme Being, is equally respected by the order. Religious disputes are banished from our societies, as tending to sap the foundations of friendship, and to undermine the basis of the best institutions. The great book of nature is revealed to our eyes and the universal religion of her God is what we profess as Free Masons.

"Religion’s all! Descending from the skies

To wretched man, the goddess in her left,

Holds out this world, and in her right, the next:

Religion! The sole voucher, man is man:

Supporter, sole, of man above himself;

Ev’n in the night of frailty, change, and death,

She gives a soul, a soul that acts a God,

Religion! Providence! An after state!

Here is firm footing; here is solid rock;

This can support us; all is sea besides;

Sinks under us; bestorms, and then devours."

The duty we owe to our country, is another important obligation on a Mason. To pay due obedience to the laws, and to respect the government of the country in which we live, is a debt of gratitude we owe for the protection of our lives, our liberty and our property.

The faithful discharge of the duties, which we owe to each other and to the great family of mankind in general, will enhance the brethren in the eyes of the world and support the reputation and utility of the Craft against the caviling of ignorant or malicious men. It is not sufficient that we know these obligations, but it is our indispensable duty, both as gentlemen and as Masons to practice them.

The behavior of a Mason is of considerable importance, both in private societies and in his intercourse with mankind generally, not merely as it affects his own character, but as it oftentimes brings on the Order unfavorable reflections. From these considerations my brethren, I hope you will indulge me with a few minutes attention, while I point out to you those failings which sink us in the estimation of the world, and render us less acceptable to the society of our friends.

The first thing in all societies is to render ourselves agreeable to those, with whom we associate. As urbanity of manners is indicative of a polished mind, so is a rough harsh demeanor the natural attendant on ignorance and brutality. The greatest mark of incivility is to pay no attention to what is agreeable or unpleasant to the feelings of those whom we converse with. To give unbounded sway to our own humors without reflecting how much it may interfere with the ease and social rights of others, is a breach of good breeding, of which none would be guilty but those who place no value on their own character, or on that of the company they are in.

Treat no person with contempt it is repugnant to good manners, and militates against the principles of our institution. Pity the weakness of human nature and cover the failings of a brother with the mantle of fraternal love. Turn no one into ridicule, through under the specious pretext of innocent amusement, and decorated with the flashes of a mistaken wit. The subject of your raillery will feel the keen wound, you will embitter those hours with pain, which he had dedicated to festive gaiety, and social recreation and you will make an enemy where you before had a good friend. Although the rest of the company may smile at your efforts to please them, yet it will not be the smile of satisfaction they will feel an irksome restraint in your presence, least they should inadvertently give you some trifling cause to turn them into ridicule, in the next company you go into. In this manner you will lose your friends, your acquaintances will shun you, and you will feel yourself alone in the midst of society. To conceal from the world the failings of our friend, is charitable, to speak of his virtues, noble, but to flatter him to his face, to revile him behind his back, and point him out as an object of ridicule, befits, only the character of an assassin.

The sweetest consolation and pleasure we receive from society, is the enjoyment of friendship, it smoothes the rugged paths of life, and dissipates corroding care from our brow. When our bodies are withering with pain, and our minds tortured with anguished, friendship, sacred friendship, pours into the wounds the sweet balm of sympathy, alleviates pain and makes sorrow smile. Friendship extends through every branch of the great family of mankind, its influences is as unbounded as the horizon, it unites man of different religions and countries, and of opposite political sentiments, in the firm bound of fraternal affection. The wandering Arab, the civilized Chinese, and the native American, the rigid observers of the Mosaic law, the followers of Mahomet and the professors of Christianity, are all cemented by the mystic union. How valuable is an institution founded on sentiments like these, how infinitely pleasing must it be to him, who is seated on a throne of everlasting mercy! To that God who is no respecter of persons.

Be not elated with the pride of birth, as merit alone can give value to distinction. Intrinsic worth lifts a man above the genealogy of ancestors, and the pageantry of sounding titles. Value not yourselves upon your honors they may for a time be objects of envy and jealously, but will crumble with the dust, and "leave not a wreck behind." Least of all pride not yourselves upon your riches, they are insufficient to gratify the numerous wants they create, they may be treasured up by the Miser, but the man of Benevolence cannot esteem them, but as they afford him the means of doing good to his fellow-creatures. Rational Equality, as it is the most natural state, so is it the most pleasing and desirable.

Love the whole human species, but particularly those, who are united to you by the Mystic Union. When the deep sighs of proverty assail your ear, stretch forth the hand of relief, and chase necessity and want from a brother’s door. If afflicted by misfortune, comfort their souls and soothe them to tranquillity. And if they are exposed to danger, give them your assistance. It is this sympathy with the pleasures and pains, with the happiness and misfortunes of our fellow men, which distinguishes us from other animals and is the source of all our virtues.

The Keystone of our Mystical fabric is CHARITY. This amiable virtue, glorious as the beams of morning, in whose beauty thousands rejoice, is the vital principle of our Society. It should form the basis of all of our dealings with each other, and be as a square to regulate our actions with all mankind. The wants of a brother, particularly, interest us, but merit and virtue in distress, whenever they meet us, will always claim the pointed attention of every true Mason. Our own circumstances are to be the criterion of our beneficence. The rich bestow with liberal hands the gifts of fortune, the poor their consolation, advice and protection. This is, oftentimes, a source of relief, they frequently stand in want of a friend to make known their distress, and to interest, in their favor, those, whose benevolent hearts rejoice in the opportunity of relieving the wants of a fellow creature.

Honest industrious men, borne down in the world by the pressure of misfortune, not attributable to any misconduct on their part, but, by the acts of an overruling providence, engulfed in ruin, the lonely and disconsolate Widow, the sad relict of a faithful friend, an affectionate husband, whose cheerful labors had yielded her the comforts of life, now thrown for protection and support on the bosom of benevolence. The Orphan in tender years, cast naked helpness on the world and the Aged whose spirits were exhausted in the toils of youth, whose sinews, now embraced by time, are unable to procure a scanty pittance for his subsistence. These, my brethren, are the true objects of Charity to relieve such, will be showing your gratitude to that ‘Beneficent Being" who is the "husband of the Widow, and the Father of the Orphan."

The subject of Charity has been so pathetically described, by an elegant writer, in language so superior to mine, that I cannot do better than transcribe it.

He who are bosom is locked up against compassion is a Barbarian, his manners are brutal, his mind gloomy and morose, and his passions as savage as the beasts of the forest.

What kind of man is he, who full of opulence, and in whose hand abundance overflows, can look on virtue in distress, and merit in misery, without pity. Who can behold without tears, the desolate and forlorn estate of the Widow, who in early life, brought up in the bosom of a tender mother, without knowing care, and without tasting of necessity, was not befitted for adversity, whose soul is pure as innocence, and full of honor, whose mind had been brighten by erudition, under an indulgent father, whose youth, untutored in the schools of sorrow, had been flattered with the prospect of days of prosperity and plenty. One, who at length, by the cruel adversity of winds and seas, with her dying husband is wrecked in total destruction and beggary, driven by ill fortune, from peace and plenty, and from the bed of ease, changes her lot to the damp dunghill for relief of her weariness and pains, grown meager with necessity, and sick with woe, at her bosom hanging her famished infant, draining off the dregs of parental life, for sustenance, bestowed from maternal love, yielding existence to support the babe? Hard-hearted covetousness and proud titles, can ye behold the mite which should sustain such virtue? Can high life lift its supercilious brow above such scenes in human life? Above miseries sustained by a fellow creature? Perhaps the fatal hour is at hand, when consolation is required to close the lst moments of this unfortunate one’s life. Can the man absorbed in pleasure roll his chariot wheels past the scene of sorrow without compassion, and without pity paint misery upon the features of an expiring saint! If angels weep in heaven, they weep for such. If they can know contempt, they feel it for the wealthy, who bestow not of their superfluities, and snatch not from their vices what would gladden souls sunk in the woes of the wordily adversity. The eyes of cherubim’s view with delight the exercise of such benevolence as forms the character of the good Samaritan and saints touch their lyres, to hymn humanity’s fair history in the realms of bliss.

What should that human wretch be called, who, with premeditated cruelty and avarice, devises mischief while he is conscious of his neighbor’s honesty on whose exerted labour an affectionate and virtuous wife and healthy children, crowding his narrow hearth with naked feet, depend for substance, whilst he sees him with fatigued sinews, lengthen out the toil of industry, from morn to night, with unremitting ardor, singing to elude repining, and smoothing his anxieties and pain with hope, that shall reward his weariness by the over flowing of his wife’s cheerful heart, and with the smiles of his feeding infants? What must he be, who knows such a man, and by his craft or avarice extorts unjust demands, and brings him into beggary? What must he be, who sees such a man deprived by fire or water of all his substance, the habitation of is infants lost, and nothing left but nakedness no relief? Surely in nature few such wretches do exist! But if such be, it is not vain presumption to proclaim, that like accursed Cain, they are distinguished as the outcasts of God’s mercies and are left on earth to live a life of punishment.

Contrast this picture, with the man of benevolence, who views the sufferings of humanity with an eye of pity, whose heart sympathizes with the distress of his fellow-creature, who seeks for them in the deep recesses of misery, and in the retired hovels of proverty and woe.

From realm to realm, with cross or crescent crown’d,

Where’er Mankind and Misert are found,

O’er burning sands, deep waves, or wilds of snow,

Thy HOWARD, journeying, seeks the house of woe,

Down many a winding step to dungeons dank,

Where anguished wails aloud, and fetters clank;

To caves bestrews with many a moldering bone,

And cells, where echoes only learn to groan;

Where no kind bars a whispering friend disclose,

No sun-beam enters, and no zephyr blows,

He treads, innumerous of fame, or wealth,

Profuse of toil and prodigal of health;

With soft assuasive eloquence expands

Power’s rigid heart, and opes his clenching hands;

Leads stren-eyed Justice to the dark, domains,

If not to sever, to relax the chains;

Or guides awaken’s MERCY through the gloom,

And shows the prison, sister to the tomb!

Gives to her babes the self-devoted wife;

To her fond husband liberty and life!

The Spirits of the Good, who bend on high

Wide o’er these earthly sciences their partial eye,

When first, array’d in Virtue’s purest robe,

They saw her Howard traversing the globe;

Saw round his brows her sun-like Glory blaze

In arrowy circles of unwearied rays;

Mistook a Mortal for an Angel-Guest,

And ask’d what seraph-foot the earth imperest.

Onward he moves! Disease and Death retire,

And murmuring Demons hate him, and admire.

As the various tools and instruments which we use in the Lodge, are all emblematically of the conduct which Masons should pursue in their intercourse with Society, I shall, therefore, endeavor to explain to you, such of them as belong to the Symbolic degrees. Those of the Sublime and Ineffable Lodge, and of the higher councils, cannot be touched upon, here, for reasons, which must be evident to all.

In a Symbolic Lodge of the Blue Masons, the first object which deserves attention, is the Mosaic-floor, on which we read. It is intended to convey to our minds, the vicissitudes if human affairs checkered with a strange contrariety of events. Today elated with the smiles of prosperity, tomorrow depressed by the frowns of misfortune. The precariousness of our situation, in this world, should teach us humility, to walk uprightly and firmly upon the broad basis of virtue and religion, and to give assistance to our unfortunate fellow-creatures, who are in distress; lest on some capricious turn of fortune’s wheel, we may become dependants on those, who, before, looked up to us as their benefactors.

The two emblematically pillars erected in front of the Porch of the Temple, independent of the beauty which they added to the building, conveyed to the minds of those, who entered, a knowledge of the attributes of that Being to whom it was dedicated. The literal translation of the name of the left pillar, is, "in thee is strength," and that of the right, "it shall be established," which as a learned author observes, may very naturally be transposed in this manner, "O Lord thou art mighty, and thy power is established from everlasting." The name of one of the pillars, as relating to a person, may give a different translation, which I shall point out to you on some other occasion.

The next object, which, demands attention, is the Holy Bible, with the Square and Compasses thereon. As these instruments remind us to keep our actions within the bounds of propriety, and to square them with all mankind, the sacred volume on which they lay, contains the unerring guide for our conduct through life, as it relates to our worship of the Supreme Master of the World and our conduct to each other. For these reasons, this Book of the Divine Law, is never closed in our Lodges; "it is open to every eye, and comprehensible to every mind."

The Letter G. which ornaments the Master’s Lodge, is not only expressive of the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, but, also, denotes the Science of Geometry, so necessary to Artists. But the adoption of it, by Masons, implies no more than their respect for those inventious, which demonstrate to the world, the power, the wisdom and beneficence of the Almighty builder in the works of the Creation.

The Blazing Star is emblem of the Prudence, which is one of the emanations of the Deity, agreeable to the system of Basilides*. It points out to the Masons the path, which leads to happiness, and is the sure source of self-approbation. It enlightens us through the dark and rugged paths of life, and enables us to shun many obstacles, which would impede our progress and embitter our journey with pain. **

(*This system, he called Abrax, which is a mystical term given by him to the Supreme Being, from whom emanated 365 powers, and intelligence’s: constituting Virtue, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, truth, Charity, Honesty, Meekness, &c. &c.

**Robinsonin his proofs of a conspiracy, says G. is Grace, the Flaming Star, is the Torch of Reason. Those who possess this knowledge are indeed Illuminati. When prejudice warps the mind and reason is sacrificed to establish a favorite theory, we need not be surprised to find truth prostrated to fiction, and the production offered to the world as the result of sound reflection, and the combination of just principles.)

The Three Great Luminaries, allude to the three Mosaic degrees, in the Symbolic Lodge, and at the same time, are emblematically of that effulgence, which should illumine the mind of a Mason, and which he can alone receive from a perfect understanding of the principles of the order. The White Apron and Gloves are also emblematically. They are worn, not merely, as insignia of the order, but as badges of the innate innocence and purity of Soul which Masons should always posses and in this point of view they are more honorable distinctions than any order of Knighthood which can be conferred. On being invested with these badges of innocence and humility a Mason should firmly resolve to support that purity and integrity of heart, of which he, outwardly, wears the emblems.

The Rule, the Line, the Plumb-Line, the Square, Compasses, &c. are all emblematically of the conduct we should pursue in the Society. To observe punctuality in all our engagements, faithfully and religiously to discharge those important obligations, which we owe to God, and our neighbor, to be upright in all our dealings, to hold the scale of Justice, in equal poise, to square our actions by the unerring rule of God’s sacred word; to keep within compass and bounds, with all mankind, particularly with a brother, to govern our expenses by our incomes, to curb our sensual appetites, to keep within bounds those unruly passions, which, oftentimes, interfere with the enjoyments of the Society, and degrade both the man and the Mason, to recall to our minds, that, in the great scale of existence, the whole family of mankind are upon a level with each other, and that the only question of preference, among Masons, should be, WHO IS MOST WISE, WHO IS MOST GOOD. For the time will come, and none of know how soon, when death, the great leveller of all human greatness, will rob us of our distinctions and bring us to a level with the dust. That we know not the time when, has been, unfortunately, exemplified, in the late dispensation of the Divine Providence, whereby an officer, high in rank in the Symbolic Grand Lodge of Ancient York Masons, * has been torn from the enjoyments of life, and from the society of his friends, at a period, when the rich prospect of independence bloomed full upon him, and when he was about to receive the pleasing reward of his industry and talents.

(*Seth Paine, Esq. R. W. Senior Grand-Warden.)

Those among you who posses his confidence, and shared his friendship, will long bear evidence of his sincere attachment to his country, his love of his fellow men, and his exercising those benevolent principles, on which our Order is founded. It is not human nature to be perfect, and if our deceased brother shared in the failings of his species, let us cover them with the mantle of oblivion, and only remember those goods deeds, which shone in his intercourse with society. Let us offer our petitions to the Supreme Master of Nature, to receive him into the Sublime Grand Lodge above, where happiness is enjoyed, without alloy, and pleasure springs from eternal bliss.

Agreeable to the tenants of our order, the Fair-sex are excluded from associating with us in our mystic profession, not because they are deemed unworthy of the secret, "nor because the mechanical tools of the craft are too ponderous for them to wield, but from a consciousness of our own weakness. Should they permitted to enter the Lodge, Love would oftentimes enter with them, jealousy would probably rankle in the hearts of the brethren, and fraternal affection be prevented into rivalship. Although, the most amiable and lovely part of Nature’s works are excluded from our meetings, * yet our order protects them from the attacks of vicious and unprincipled men. It forbids us to sacrifices the ease and peace of families for a momentary gratification, and it forbids us to undermine and take away that transcendent happiness from those, whose hearts are united by the bond of sincere affection.

*Although in the Symbolic Lodge, no woman is admitted into a knowledge of their mysteries, yet in the superior degrees, there is a Female Lodge, handsomely calculated to interest the delicacy of a female mind. In this Lodge none but females are admitted, and their officers are selected from among themselves.

The feelings of women are more exquisitely fine, and their generous sympathy is more easily awakened, by the misfortunes of their fellow-creatures, than the stronger sex. The soft tear of pity bedews their checks at the tale of woe, and their gentle bosoms heave with tender emotions, at the sight of human wretchedness. They require not the adventitious aid of mystic institutions to urge them to acts of Charity and Benevolence, nor the use of symbols to lead them to Virtue. Their own hearts are the Lodges in which virtue presides, and the dictates of her will is their only incentive to action.

Although, the Society of FreeMasons is venerable for its antiquity, and in all ages has been respectable for its good conduct, yet it has, through falsehood and gross misrepresentation, groundlessly awakened the jealousy of some of the European States, and the obloquy of malicious tongues. Have they not been accused of being leagued together for the destruction of religion and government? Have they not been called Atheists and blasphemers, and ridiculed as the dupes of nonsense? But while we discharge the duties and principles of our profession with integrity and truth, the envenomed shafts of malice will fall harmless at our feet, and our minds will feel that ease and safety which alone results from conscious virtue.

An institution, which recommends submission to the laws of our country, adoration to the Supreme God of nature, universal benevolence, and every virtue which can endear us to each other, which conveys instruction to the mind and expels rancor, hatred, envy, and every unruly passion, and binds all its followers in the bond of good will, is certainly worthy of praise and encouragement.


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