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In America, in the hour of trial, when God afflicted us with the scourge of war, there appeared in the East, a WarREN!the Grand Master of the Masons of Massachusets. He fought, and nobly fell, the first martyr to Columbian freedom !---In Pennsylvania, the enlightened Sage t, of whom it has been said ; " Eripuit cælo fulmen, sceptrumque tyrannis 1.” His services in the cabinet, and at foreign courts, have evinced his wisdom and patriotism. Were it necessary to produce an instance of one, who united a Warren's bravery, and a Franklin's wisdom, the Lodges of Virginia can boast of Him §, who needs not be named! God, in his mercy, gave him to this land, to defend it in war-to govern it in peace.
Having thus examined what Masonry is, we find it to be a chosen assemblage of worthy persons, united for the most philanthropic purposes, and cannot but conclude, as I have advanced in the beginning of this Discourse, that it is the most ancient and most useful of all sublunary institutions. May we not conjecture, from its present fourishing state, that it will be the most lasting? It bids fair « to endure till time shall be no more.”
But in vain is an institution holy, if the members be profanè. Let not the foregoing observations produce in us a sterile admiration; but let them stimulate us to be operative, as we are speculative Masons, Let the apprentices cherish the practice of the lessons they receive. Let an heroic fortitude distinguish the Craftsmen. May those who have presumed to make further advancements, endeavour to attain that degree of perfection, of which human nature is capable. So that, when our works shall be examined by our SUPREME Master, the ARCHITECT of all WORLDS, the square of his probation fitting easy thereupon, we may receive that reward which this world giveth not,
BRIEF BUT SIGNIFICANT
R. Arnold, in his Dutch Dictionary, under the word " Frre.
MASONRY," says, that it is " a Moral Order, instituted by virtuous men, with the praise-worthy design of recalling to our remembrance the most sublime truths, in the midst of the most innocent and sociable pleasyres, founded on liberality, brotherly love, and charity."
* Dr. Joseph Warren, the celebrated Orator, şlain upon the heighths of Charles. town, June 17, 1775 + Dr. Benjamin Franklin,
“Who snatch'd celestial fire.--and broke the oppresser's spear." General Washington.
PRINCIPLES OF FREE MASONRY EXPLAINED.
In a Discourse before the very ancient Lodge of KILWINNING, in the
Church of that place, in the Year 1766,
BY A BROTHER,
1 John iv. 7. Beloved, let us love one another. MY BRE'THREN, THAT I intend in this Discourse is, to give you an explication
of Free MASONRY and BroTHERLY Love. In treating this subject, I shall use all the brevity that is consistent with perspi quity, being unwilling to charge your memories with things which have no immediate connection with it.
The order I am to pursue is as follows: In the first place, I shall endeavour to explain the principles on which humán society is foun. ded. In the second--to point out the cause of those evils that spring from society. In the third--tó suggest the most effectual means to remove these evils. In the fourth- to lay open the nature of Brotherly Love. In the fifth to deduce the effects of which that love is productive: And, In the last-to shew you how you may become the objects of it.
To the illustration of these heads, I beg your favourable attention, my brethren, and that candid indulgence, which so amiably distinguishes every Genuine FREEMAşon.
The principles on which human society is founded, come first to be explained. Here give me leave to observe, that it is only from your own hearts, and the conduct of those around you, that the knowledge of these principles is to be derived. If then you would comprehend their nature and tendency, you must study carefully what passes both in your own breasts and in the lives of others.
The principles on which human society is founded, are Benevolence and Self-Love. From the one arise a set of affections, which make us enter into the concerns of our fellow-creatures: and from the other, a set which interest us wholly in our own. Actuated by the former, we rejoice with the fortunate, or mourn with the addicted; but the latter engage us directly in the pursuit of our own private happiness.
It is only in society, that these affections can meet with their proper objects: solitude is an enemy to both sets. To the benevolent, it af. fords no sort of exercise, and gratifies the selfish in but a very low de
gree. The reason is obvious : where we see neither the happiness nor misery of others, we can neither congratulate nor compassionate: where others behold neither our pleasures nor pains, the first cannot receive that refinement, nor the second that relief which they respectively demand. To the assistance of others, we are in the main indebted for these advantages, and that assistance we cannot have in a State of separation from them. Hence that inflexibility and slovenliness, so remarkable in people retired from the world: hence too, that mixture of pride and meanness, which disgraces those who are but superficially acquainted with it.
Thus no man is absolutely independent of his neighbour. As we stand in need of others, so they stand in need of us. In adversity we solicit their pity; and in prosperity we court their smiles. Our selflove
prompts us in both cases to have recourse to their benevolence; and that principle moves them to sympathize with our distress, or tó rejoice at our welfare. In similar circumstances, they act in the same manner, and look for the same exertion of our kind affections in their favour. For as their benevolence tallied with the emotions of our self-love; so, provided no unsocial passion intervene, our benevolence tallies with the emotions of theirs. We naturally weep over their affictions, or exult in their gaiety and joy.
In this manner, hath the Divine wisdom adjusted these principles to each other. The benevolence of one part of mankind is' by this means disposed to grant that commiseration which the calamity, or that congratulation which the good fortunę, of the other part causes them to request.
This adjustment of Benevolence and Self-love to each other is, my Brethren, the foundation on which the grand and beautiful fabric of human society is erected. The reciprocal workings of these principles cement mankind together in the strongest manner, and draw from them more than half of those virtues that reflect the highest honour on their nature. People of true humanity feel nó pleasure so delicious as that of beholding or promoting the welfare of their fellow-creatures: no anguish pierces them so deeply, as that of seeing their distress without power to relieve it. Were it not for such candid and generous tempers,
the prosperous would enjoy little satisfaction in their condition; nor could the miserable indulge the pleasing hopes of seeing their sorrows at an end.
When God, therefore, founded society on Benevolence and selflove, so nicely adjusted to each other, he gave it the utmost strength and firmness of which we can suppose it capable. The contrivance by which this noble and admirable effect is produced, is, to the last degree, plain and simple. This points it out as worthy of the Deity, and places his wisdom and goodness in a point of view, from which every pious and contemplative mind will survey them with wonder and grautude.
The principles on which human society is founded being thus ex
plained, I proceed, in the second place, to point out the cause of those evils that spring from it.
Had mankind carefully studied, and exactly squared their condu&t by the natural adjustment of their affections, it is evident that their association could never have occasioned any of those evils, which now constitute a great part of their misery. Their hearts full of candour, gentleness and generosity, would never have known the horrible suge gestions of malice, cruelty, or covetousness. Their regard for their own interest would never have extended itself beyond the bounds marked out for it by justice and humanity. Peace and contentment would have blest individuals; brotherly love and friendship would have formed them all into one great community. They would have resembled a magnificent edifice, every part of which gave and receive ed strength and beauty from all the rest.
Men, however, were too weak to preserve the natural adjustment of their affections in its original exactness. Every individual was surrounded with advantages, which, though belonging to his neighbours, or likely to become theirs by industry, he thought would add tu his happiness, if he could make them his own. Self-love insinuated, that to himself all his attention was due; and as to others, be was not obliged to concern himself about their affairs. All hearkened to this ungenerous insinuation, save those, whose breasts glowed with a purer and more vigorous love of justice and humanity : the former began to regard the happiness of their neighbours with a rapacious and envious eye ; and at length, their hearts became strangers to the tender workings of benevolence. Thus their self-love gained the ascendant over their benevolence; and the happy adjustment which the wise author of all things gave to these two principles was violated. Now, pride, malice, and avarice, took possession of the human mind, and compelled men to deeds of fraud and violence against one another. The powerful thought they had a right to every conveniency and pleasure that they could force from the weak; and the weak watched and im-. proved every opportunity of being revenged on their oppressors.
The violation, therefore, of the adjustment that originally subsisted between the human affections, is to be considered as the source from which the evils of society spring. The subject in band requires, how ever, a more exact investigation of the consequences that flowed from this violation.
As soon as the self-love of mankind had overcome their benevolence, they would exert their utmost efforts to acquire dominion over one ana other, as it put every object in their power which their passions de manded. Supreme power, as on this account it would be the great cause of their contention, would also be the only remedy for the disorders occasioned by that contention. The unassisted abilities of no single person, however, could lift him up to that eminent station which his ambition panted for. All who had any thing worth defend ing, would be on their guard against the man wirom they suspected of
seeking to wrest the disposal of it out of their hands : his first attempt would give them the alarm, and unite them in a confederacy to crush his ambition, before it should rise to a pitch of strength above their power to humble.
It would also occur to himself, that he would take the same measures, if he perceived any of those around him entertaining the same designs. This consideration would render him cautious and circumspect in his proceedings. He would employ all his address to remove the suspicions of those who might thwart his intentions, and secure a party among his relations and dependents, on whom he might rely for carrying them into execution. Strengthened by this party, he would demand homage and obedience from all of his own tribe, and subdue the refractory, by those who willingly submitted to his dominion. Though he raised himself, in this manner, to a throne by violence, yet he would soon discover, that, if he was obliged to maintain himself on it by the same means, his life would be but a train of fears, jealousies, precautions, and anxieties. On this account, he would enact laws for suppressing licentiousness, and encouraging order and induftry among his new subjects, who were so lately his equals and endeavour by the mildness and equity of his government, to make it their interest to obey and support it.
Ambition is restless, and never can be satisfied: the acquisition of one great object, is only an incentive to push it on to acquire those which are yet out of his reach. As soon as this monarch was settled in his usurped sovereignty, he had brought his people to imagine, that their glory depended on his, he would seize the first pretext of quarrelling with his neighbouring tribes, in order to extend his empire by the destruclion of their liberties. His attempt against the independency of his own tribe, had, no doubt, roused their attention ; and its success would awaken their apprehensions, and make them provide against the like fate. If they had any animosities among themselves, they would then lay them aside, and unite their forces and counsels against the violent and unjust pretensions of their common enemy. After they had secured themselves against him, and each tribe was at leisure to consider its own weight and importance, with respect to its neighbours, the most powerful among them would grow ambitious, in proportion to its strength, and invade those rights of the rest, which it had so lately contributed to defend. The same scenes of bloodshed, rapine, and confusion, would again be opened, and continue till the submission of one of the contending parties, or the weakness of both, should give room to peace. - In this manner mankind divided themselves into the different states we now see in the world; and this division, which is so frequently productive of the most terrible consequences to society, is totally owing to the disorder which they suffered to creep among their affections, These states are distinguished from one another by their respective situations, customs, and governments. The adjustment of the affections is greatly discomposed among them with respect to each other; they all have certain interests of their own, which they pursue, with