CHRISTIANITY AND MASONRY RECONCILED
THE RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER,
GRAND LODGE OF OHIO,
ON THE FIRST TUESDAY IN AUGUST, A D. 1817.
THE MOST EXCELLENT
OF THE SAME STATE
ON THE LAST WEDNESDAY IN DECEMBER, 1817.
BY THE REV. PHILANDER CHASE, A. M.
Printed at the Request of the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter
From I. Cor. XV. 22
"As in Adam all die; even so in Christ shall all be made alive?"
THE Death and Resurrection of man—his death by the sin of the First Adam, and his life by the righteousness of the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, constitute the essential doctrines of christianity.
To certify the truth and importance, and to delineate the nature and application of these great points, has been the object of the Divine economy; of type and figure; of prophecy and miracle; and of ordinances and sacraments, in all ages. Of this, we are amply satisfied throughout the whole course of Revelation.
But, may we not draw testimony of the truth of God's word, and of the great doctrines which it contains, from external sources? We surely may. Yea, we are not only permitted, but, if we follow the example of the Apostles, it is our duty so to do, whenever the time and occasion will serve. They appealed, in proof of revealed religion, to the traditions and history of mankind, to the poets; to the sacrifices, rites and ceremonies, of heathen worship:—for even these were often made to confess the truth; and bear testimony to the incarnation of the Son of God, and to the necessity of a vicarious atonement, in order that God's justice [3/4] might be satisfied; that man might regain what he had lost by sin; might live and not die. They appealed even to the present constitution of nature, to shew the truth, and explain the doctrines of the gospel; making both the natural and moral providence of God subservient to the economy of his grace.
In the like manner, and with the like intent, I would now attempt a discourse to you, my Brethren of the Masonic Lodge. In the course of it, I shall deduce proofs of the main articles of our holy faith, as christians, from the venerable institution, of which you are members; and which God in his providence has so long preserved, perhaps, for purposes of this nature. I shall shew you that the doctrine contained in the text is the corner stone of your moral Temple; and that, being such, Masonry bears testimony to the truth of christianity, in a manner both innocent in itself, and honorable and beneficial to the Fraternity. I shall shew you that many other emblems, rites and ceremonies of Masonry, though they do not immediately bear on the doctrines contained in the text, yet are evidently explanatory of other articles of true revealed religion, in such a sense as to form a whole of irresistable evidence, that Masons cannot, consistently with their principles, be infidels; that none but the vapouring and superficial, who are pleased only with the tinsel of the outward allegory, without considering the weight of the hidden, the designed, moral, are ever found among those, who scoff at the christian faith, or remain insensible to its vast importance. In a word, I shall shew you, that christianity is the ground work of Masonry, [4/5] that Masonry is nothing more than christianity in type and allegory, drawn from ancient usage, wonderfully illustrative of its truth: and that, as such, it ought to be preserved and applied. All this is plain, from the nature and use of her rites, emblems, figures, and implements.
From our first entrance into the Lodge, the true faith and trust in the one eternal God, is taught us, in all our proceedings. As we advance, the same subject, though more fully explained, is still pursued. God's being and providence; his omnipotence and omnipresence; his government over us in this world, and the awful judgment to which he will call us in the next, are every where inculcated. I might instance, in support of this, what we meet with, and the prospects which are opened to our view, in ascending even the first and second steps of our building: but, for the sake of confining ourselves to the subject proposed, I shall incline to dwell, first of all, on the important and solemn articles, with which we are surrounded in the third most sublime degree of our order. I may then proceed to the important subjects pertaining to the higher degrees.
So fully and with so much precision are the great doctrines of the fall of man by sin: and of his recovery; of his resurrection from the dire effects of this fall, by the merciful intercession and power of Jesus Christ, figured forth and represented in the third degree of Masonry; that, to give a plain account of these doctrines, according to the holy scriptures, will be but evidently to relate and trace the main events, and most important circumstances, that befall a Brother, in his solemn passage from a Fellow Craft to a [5/6] Master Mason. Yea, so striking is this resemblance, that while I recount these doctrines intelligibly, to christians, every Mason, who hears me, will recognize the language of the Lodge.
When Adam, our first progenitor, came from the hand of his maker, he was pure and perfect; this world was his temple, and Paradise was the place of his devotion. He worshipped and served the Maker of heaven and earth, after the most exalted manner, in that holy temple designed for the glory of God, and happiness of man. In devoting his heart, soul and body, to the service of the Almighty, was his supreme felicity. He trod the courts of his maker, with joy and transport, and the blessings of Heaven, through an unclouded conscience, shone continually on him.
Thus perfect was the enjoyment of our first parent, in the service of his Maker. Where then was the tempter, the prince of malignant spirits? Is not this asylum sacred to virtue and to happiness? Is Satan, with his associates, ambition and sensuality, permitted to lurk within the walls of Paradise? Must innocence be assailed? Must the serene enjoyments of virtue and piety be interrupted by temptation? Is there no way of escape? Have the powers of darkness, "those whose feet ran to evil, and whose hands make haste to shed blood," by vanquishing the weaker part of man, succeeded in stopping the avenues of retreat; and in putting the virtue of the virtuous to its last and final test? Alas! it is too true. The hour of trial is come. Eve has been deceived & has fallen: to live is death, & to die with her is double death. The temptation is before him: assault [6/7] succeeds assault; in despair he falls; and the powers of Hell are triumphant. A moral grave, the grave of the soul immediately followed the transgression. "Dust thou art;" saith the Almighty; thou hast lost thy relation to the skies, whither, after a due course of successful probation, thou shouldst have been translated; "dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return."
Thus triumphed the apostate spirits, over the once pure and pious inhabitants of Paradise. Thus man fell from his happy & immaculate state, through the wiles and temptations of the enemy: and thus, according to the denunciations of his God, "he surely died" a moral death, unto all hope of happiness in himself; and felt the seeds of natural death sown in his body. "By transgression, sin entered into the world, and death by sin; so, death passed upon all the world, for all have sinned." From this grave of iniquity has flowed all the corruption, which has since overspread the world. Even the most pure was rendered impure before God. All flesh was made food for all devouring death. Sin, in her triple character of the world, the flesh, and the devil, exulted over the vanquished lord of creation. They hid themselves in the strong holds of the earth. The Angels of God, the ministering Spirits of Heaven, wept over the ruins of mankind and mourned because of death and corruption. They sought for true religion, the word of God, among the works of men, but it could no where be found. The word of divine truth was lost amid the rubbish of sin; and the place thereof could be supplied by nothing but a new revelation from Heaven. Nothing inherent in man could be of any avail in recommending him to the favor of God; all [7/8] was silence, death, and corruption. "The wickedness of man was great; and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil; and it repented the Lord that he had made man, and it grieved him to the heart." GEN. 6. 5, 6.
Thus in Adam; the head of the human race, died all mankind: and this is but the exact scriptural account of that sad catastrophe considered without the hope of a Redeemer.
And is this unintelligible to the reflecting Mason? Does not the doctrine deduced from this account form the very essence of the third degree of Masonry? Call to mind what befell you in the former part of this sublime degree; then open your bibles & behold the analogy! He that is skeptical on this head does not understand the matter as he should; he shows that he wants those qualifications, on the supposition of which, he was admitted at the very door of the Lodge; he wants a sound mind and a heart in search of truth.
To proceed: man by transgression having died to hope of life and happiness; death having locked him in the prison of a moral grave, and put his seal of corruption on his whole nature, the ministering spirits of the Lord, as proxies for the dead, stand round his untimely tomb; weep over his fall; and call on the celestial powers to raise him from the dead; to break the seal of death, and restore him to life and liberty. But vain are all their efforts! Nought in heaven or in earth, or under earth, is able to effect this mighty work, BUT ALMIGHTY STRENGTH. Who this is, that breaketh the adamantine seals of death, and raiseth [8/9] man from corruption, St. John will tell us in his vision of heavenly things; where this great scene is fully represented. "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice. Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said unto me, weep not; Behold the LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH, the root of David hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof.
This Lion of the tribe of Judah, is, in the sequel of his vision, identified with the Lamb slain for the sins of men: by his death he satisfied the offended justice of God, and by his raising himself, his human nature, from the grave, he burst the bands and broke the seals of death; thus leaving a god-like token a sure earnest of man’s resurrection from the grave of sin; and, through him, of his future resurrection to eternal glory; as he before had signified and declared at the tomb of Lazarus. "I am the resurrection and the life—he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever believeth on me shall never die."
I shall not stop here, to point out the agreement, which subsists between this grand doctrine of the holy scriptures, and the economy of Masonry. The eyes that do not see, and the hearts that do not feel the full force of this agreement, as soon as mentioned, are still blind and hardened in such a manner, as to render useless all instruction. We, therefore, proceed with the revealed doctrine of the word [9/10] of God, and, ever mindful of the intended object, behold in it, as in a faithful mirror, the master’s degree fully explained.
As in the first creation, the Lord God breathed into the dust of the earth the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living soul; so now, in his regeneration, or moral resurrection from the grave of sin, the spirit of life again returns into his lifeless frame, from the same source of power and goodness. Jesus, the LION and the LAMB, from whom alone cometh strength and innocence to man, breathes on his faithful disciples, the Holy Ghost; and thus man lives by the WORD, or BREATH that proceeds from the mouth of God. The prophet, foreseeing this great completion of man's redemption, breaks forth into exclamations, of which, every Mason must see the force and pertinency. "Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise: awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust." ISA. 22, 19. This is said of the whole human race, raised to hope of eternal life, through the resurrection of the dead body of Jesus Christ, from the dead. It is applicable, and never should be forgotten, at every instance of regeneration of water and the Holy Ghost: but most of all will it be sung with the greatest propriety, when the body shall be raised from the corruption of the grave, to join the soul in praises of the Lord, forever and ever.
Thus far, of man's death and resurrection. To the latter I might have connected what I am about to deliver: but I chose to give you notice, and to treat of it in a separate manner; that it may be better marked and remembered.
 You, who read the holy scriptures, need not now be told that the great duties which they require of man are faith and good works. With this summary we turn our eyes from the sacred volume and behold the doctrine deliniated in our most important rites and emblems. "By faith we are saved"—Faith in whom? In the Triune Deity—God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. And from this faith, alone proceed all the virtues of christian fellowship. This is taught you from an emblem which is capable of no other explanation. And it is remarkable, that the influences of the Holy Spirit so universally insisted on in every part of christianity, are evidently confirmed by the rites of Masonry, especially that these points of Christian fellowship are alway connected with the spirit or breath of life, of which we cannot now speak plainly. The order of them, as they stand in Masonry, falls in with the christian faith in a manner too striking to be passed over. All christians believe that it was by pride that man fell. It is by humility that he must rise: it is in humility that his virtues must commence, to be acceptable with God. Thence the christian proceeds to devotion—to prayers for himself and all others—thence to brotherly kindness and charity—and thence to fidelity.
If time would permit we could go much further with this subject, but by way of putting you in remembrance let a few interrogations suffice.
If Masonry is not founded in the belief of the true God, and perfected in the third degree, by the whole christian faith; why is our moral temple erected to God and dedicated to the two St. Johns? What other importance has St. John [11/12] the Baptist, but as a harbinger of the Messiah and his kingdom? and why do we note St. John the Evangelist, but as the most eminent preacher of the divinity of Christ and the Holy Trinity? Why do we profess to be travellers to the East, if we do not believe in the "oriens exalto" or "the Day-spring from on high," which is the only rational origin of this tradition? Nay; why do we so solemnly profess to believe in the holy Scriptures? Why do our rules so sacredly enjoin that all we do, be performed in the name of the Lord, as if his all-seeing eye were upon us.
Now, by way of clearing up all difficulty, let it be confessed that the two first degrees of Masonry existed before the Christian Era. If we take the Magi as such (and we must do so if the point be carefully examined) we shall learn that they were wise and virtuous men in search of truth, and, when found, they carefully preserved it, as few other men ever did: that, as religion was the most important object which can occupy the thoughts of man, they made it their constant subject of investigation; that, when the Jews were carried into captivity and distressed throughout the Babalonish and Persian Empires, they carried with them their sacred histories & wonderful prophecies; and these were embraced with avidity and preserved with care: that Zoroaster, the famous reformer of the Magi, was a disciple of Daniel, and from him the whole history of the Temple of Solomon, on which, he formed some of the most beautiful allegories of his order, was derived; from him and his prophetic spirit, he also learnt the true time of the Messiah's coming, and spread the expectation throughout the East: that they [12/13] were sincere believers in this promised Messiah; and, as such, were favored with the miraculous star, which guided their steps to Bethlehem, and there acknowledged him as their king, by their royal presents of gold, frankincense, and Myrrh.
Taking these Magians, to be the order of Masons, their character will perfectly agree with what we find in the first and second degrees. They were men of modesty, and in search of truth. They were but partially illuminated by what they had learned of the prophets of Judea. The compass of their knowledge was still half concealed. The veil of ignorance still in part o'erspread their eyes. The page of divine knowledge was yet but half opened. But, when Jesus Christ, "the Sun of Righteousness," arose, according to the prophets; and, by teaching the sublime doctrines of the Christian faith, fulfilled all that had been foretold of him, and removed every mist of doubt, then it was that the third degree of the ancient order was superinduced: then it was, that Masons embraced the opportunity of testifying to each other and to posterity their stedfast attachment to the truth; the truth of revealed religion, of such vast importance to man and supported with such invincible evidence; the truth of the fall and recovery of man through a suffering Redeemer, and never was there an allegory more strikingly and exquisitely formed to this purpose, than is that of which we have been treating. Whether I am right, as to the time and manner of the origin of this degree, it matters not. My account, however, contravenes no historical facts, and falls [13/14] in with many; it violates no one acknowledged principle, and agrees with all; the presumption then is in its favor. Be this as it may; one thing is certain, that the two first degrees of Masonry are such as Moses and the prophets believed in; and the third degree is such as all the disciples of Jesus believe in, when interpreted aright. Take away this explanation, and you take away their life and soul; you strip them of that which gives them their greatest value; you leave Masonry as the husk without the corn.
Let us then, never forget the true intent, for which the rites of Masonry were instituted, or for which, the order is mercifully preserved, among us. Notwithstanding its excellency as a shadow of Christianity, let us remember that it is no more than a shadow; an assemblage of ancient allegories; which should confirm our faith and lead us on in the paths of virtue. In this way let our Temple, be a safe and sure passage to the Ark of Christ's Safety, the true Church of the Living God.
In the Lodge, we see enough to call forth all our fears and hopes; enough on the one hand, to make us weep for our own blindness, sin, and spiritual nakedness; and on the other, enough to cause us, with unfeigned gratitude, to exult, and praise God forever, for the gift of truth, for IMPUTED righteousness, and the hopes of a resurrection, thro' the mighty Saviour of our fallen and corrupted nature.
For the honour of God, for the glory of our Redeemer, and for the sake of our immortal souls, let not these things be lost upon us. At the great day, before the throne of [14/15] eternal judgment, to which we so often allude, let it not be alledged against us, that these bright emblems of our faith, in any wise, caused us to avert our eyes from the substance of true and vital Christianity. O! let it not then be shewn, that we lost, in frivolity, that interpretation of our mysteries which God, in his providence, evidently designed they should have; that while death and the coffin were continually before us, we lived as if we were never to die.
[RIGHT WORSHIPFUL GRAND MASTER, OFFICERS AND BRETHREN of the Grand Lodge in this state of Ohio:
Better things are hoped of you.
Removed from the feuds and animosities, the pride and bigotry, the untempered zeal, and unbridled contentions of other parts of the world; you have here, in the peaceful shades of the west, that blessed opportunity for contemplation, and cool investigation of the true meaning and primitive intent of Masonry, which is denied to many. May your minds like the soil you tread on, be superlatively rich in the production of all good fruits; piety towards God, and good will towards men.
Many of you presiding over, & all of you representing the numbers and interest of the whole united Lodge of this state, the present affords me a favourable opportunity of pressing on your minds, and through you, on those of all our Masonic Brethren, the great necessity of studying the spiritual meaning, and living up to the true dignity of our order.
May we, then, be Masons indeed: not in the letter only, but in the spirit. May the choice instructions obtained in [15/16] the Lodge, conduct us to the great realities found only in that Spiritual Temple of which Jesus Christ is the chief corner stone; and when there, let us never fail to possess a listening ear, a contrite spirit and a faithful heart: that so we may daily be more and more fitted, in the church below, to become living stones in the church above, in that temple in the heavens, whose builder and Maker is God.] [* This last address, contained within the brackets, was delivered only to the Grand Lodge in Chillicothe; what follows it, to the Grand Chapter.]
MOST EXCELLENT GRAND HIGH PRIEST AND MOST EXCELLENT COMPANIONS of the Grand Chapter of the state of Ohio.
The sentiments hitherto, in this discourse, delivered, apply to all Masons of the third degree of our ancient and venerable institution: But, they are more particularly pertinent and forcible when I have the honor to address, as I now do, the Members of the Grand Chapter. You, my Most Excellent Companions, see the spirit of our observations in every step, from the third, to the seventh degree of our order, verified in a manner commanding, at once, the admiration of every intelligent mind, and the love of every feeling heart.
Jesus Christ, the Lion of the house of Judah, the Lamb suffering and slain for the sins of the world, in the third degree, is, in the fourth degree, exhibited to us, under another interesting figure, no less indicative of his true character; a character engraved on the tablets of [16/17] those ancient and inspired prophecies, by appealing unto which, Jesus proved to the Jews, that he was their long expected Messiah.
The spirit of God spoke by the mouth or David, these remarkable words; "the Stone which the builders refused, is become the Head Stone of the Corner; this, is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes." [* Psalm 118, 22.] The same prophecy is repeated by Isaiah: and the Messiah is there further designated under the appellation of "A PRECIOUS AND A TRIED STONE." [Isaiah 28, 16.]
The Saviour of men, when reproving the Jews [* Vide, 21st Chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel.] for their sins & hardness of heart in refusing to believe on him and to obey his heavenly doctrine, shewed the true application & fulfillment of these remarkable prophecies; that, by their rejecting of him, the Jews rejected all that was BEAUTIFUL in the sight of God: all that gave strength value and dignity to their law.
And who of us, my Excellent Brethren, does not see that "the stone squarers in this transaction, (i. e. the Jews in our Saviours time) who prepared timber and stones to build the old house, of God." (I. Kings 5 18) were, notwithstanding all their zeal and attention to the outward letter, but blind and ignorant of the true import of all their works; that, when they called Jesus an Imposter, and cast him among the vile, and "numbered him with transgressors, they knew not what they did," or whereof they affirmed. [17/18] They cast away the Key Stone, which alone supports the whole fabric of God's revelation to man; the "White Stone," as he is called in the Apocalypse, in allusion to his purity as well as value; A Stone, "whereon was written a new name;" and it is there again said of Jesus, signifying the new and living doctrine which he taught, "which no man knoweth, save him that receiveth it," the benefits of which no man can enjoy, but he, who receiveth and obeyeth it. Who of us does not see all this? And in perceiving it, what gratitude to God and veneration to the order of Masonry does it not excite in our bosoms, that the wisest and best of men have not been wanting, in all ages, to transmit unto us, such proof of our holy faith, and such excitements to obey its heavenly precepts? O! Blessed Jesus! Thou, who wast once "rejected of men, but allowed of God," the Sovereign King and Master of the world, make us TO KNOW THY NAME, to acknowledge thine excellencies, to rely on thy power, and feel the sense of thy goodness!! Teach us, that in rejecting thee, we cast away all that can give strength and beauty to the temple of the faithful here below: all that can connect earth with the skies; all that can reconcile God and man together.
My Excellent Companions: time, indulged me already beyond the limits of an ordinary discourse, will not permit any further remarks in attestation of our holy faith, by appealing, as you might otherwise expect, unto the fifth and sixth degree of our order: But the seventh, in justice to our subject, and, no doubt, in just regard to your own sentiments and expectations, cannot be passed over in silence. In contemplating the objects presented to our view, in testimony [18/19] of the christian faith, in this, the Royal Arch degree, there are so many particulars, which demand a conspicuous place that our only difficulty is, in making, for a discourse of this nature, a proper selection.
No sooner are we permitted to set our foot on the threshold of the temple, in rising to this most excellent degree, than we are compelled to acknowledge the sublime doctrine of the christian faith, which is at once the ground article, of all true religion, and the support of the Masonic Arch; viz. that of the holy, the adorable Trinity in unity. Blind as we are, in searching out God to perfection; incompetent, as we creatures of the dust are, and ever must be, to understand the mode of eternal existence; the manner how, and the reason why, God should be THREE IN PERSON, AND ONE IN ESSENCE, yet this being his own Revelation concerning himself, we are required to bow to it, as coming from the arch of living truth; and, in patience, wait the appointed time, when more light will be given us. Here, you observe, that the doctrine, like the emblem which teaches it, is not contrary to reason, as some have ignorantly observed, though it is confessedly above it.
As we commence, so we proceed and end this degree, with ample testimony of this essential doctrine of the christian Church. All is one in three and three in one, in such wise, as to force confession from the mind of every reasonable person that this doctrine was deemed, by the founders of our order, essential in all true religion.
Not only the true faith of a Christian, but the nature of his trial, with the means and necessity of divine assistance are also inherent in the very formation of this degree. [19/20]
What orthodox christian does not know, by the word of God, and what experienced christian does not feel, that his faith must be made perfect by works, by obedience to God’s will, by meditating on his word, and by submitting to his providence, in all the vicissitudes of life? How solemnly and affectionately does the Saviour of mankind warn all his disciples of the dangers that assail them through the rugged path and difficult passage, of this mortal life? How does he command and entreat them to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation? And, while they trust in God, to press forward and persevere unto the end: assuring them that he who continueth faithful unto the end; he, and only he, shall be saved. Lastly; who, that has duly read the Holy Bible of Christians, is insensible that it is a prominent and leading principle, that every soul who would be saved must strive, must agonize himself in search after the word of divine truth, that in so doing, he must expect to find it only by the light of revelation, & not from any thing within himself, or in the dark rubbish of this benighted and fallen world. In short, that man must, while he uses all the talent and strength, which God hath already given him, apply continually to Him for further aid, and discover all things that are valuable to his eternal salvation, by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ; the light "the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
Now, my Excellent Companions, compare these essential articles of the Christian faith & profession with the nature & structure of the Seventh Degree of our ancient order: and, where is the man among us, who does not identify the one with the other? Who will not say that Masonry, like [20/21] the shadow from substance, has borrowed all her beauties, so captivating to every intelligent beholder, from our loved Christianity? From the Holy Bible, never out of their sight, Masons have drawn all that is valuable and interesting in their moral temple: and, in having so done, in ancient day, they can now produce, from the archieves of their Lodge, in testimony of the truth and importance of Christianity, that evidence which resembles the testimony once deduced in evidence of the divine origin of the Law of God, by the copy laid up in the ark of the Covenant, the pot of manna, and the rod which budded.
Let us not, then, like the Jews, while in possession of the means of knowledge, be still ignorant of the truth. Let us not, like them, first enquire what others have thought on the important evidence, which God in his providence lays before us. Let us not ask, 'who of the elders and chief men have believed on him'? who, of the corrupted inhabitants of the old world, have interpreted Masonry in this sense? No; while the analogy, between the Gospel and the rites of our institution, is thus before us, written with a sun beam, so that he who runs may read; let us; it is both our duty and highest interest to think and act for ourselves. Let the world see, that, professing to be searchers after truth, we are willing to receive it, and practice on it when found; that, having, in addition to the other irrefragable evidence of the truth of christianity, the brilliant evidence which the Lodge affords; let us not delay a moment in being its faithful and obedient disciples. Let us be [21/22] Masons indeed and in truth; and our venerable institution, having brought us, as the Law once did a certain honest mind, to the feet of Jesus, he will say to each of us, as he did to him, "thou art not far from the kingdom of God."
Thus; Most Excellent Grand High Priest, and Most Excellent Companions of the State Grand Chapter, I have endeavoured to give you, as I, not long since, had the honour of giving the Worshipful Grand Master and members of the Grand Lodge of this state, a true and candid explication of Masonry; neither on the one hand, through skepticism stripping it of its real excellencies, nor on the other, descending to the meanness of a man-pleasing panegyrist.
I have delivered you, what I believe from my soul, to be the truth; and should it prove to be such, you must see its importance. In such case it will not pass by as an idle, transient tale of the occasion. It will have a lasting effect on the present, as well as future, interests of the Lodge in this state. We shall no longer see Masons, through their unprincipled lives, nor Christians, through their ignorance of the real principles of our order, at variance. No; Masons will be virtuous, charitable and believing, using their superior knowledge as means of doing greater good and of leading their members to the Church of God. And Christians will regard Masons as an innocent society, governed by virtuous principles and laudible views. Thus, "Judah shall not vex Ephraim, nor Ephraim envy Judah;" but all will conspire to hasten the happy day when [22/23] true Charity shall cement all hearts together as precious stones in the temple of God; Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, being at once the Key and the Corner Stone.
Now, to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, three persons, but one God; be ascribed all honour and glory, might, majesty and dominion, both now and ever more...AMEN.