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the Lodge in Heaven; to remember that you will destroy all ground for this comparison, unless you labour earnestly, like faithful workmen, to imitate the inhabitants of Heaven, by a pure life and unblemished conversation; walking worthy of your vocation as Men and as Christians;-considering that speculative Masonry, which was the glory of the former house under the Law, must be perfected and made sublime by operative Masonry and Vital Practice, which constitute the glory of the latter House!"
“ Remember that you are pledged in the most solemn manner to this conduct. Behold that book, which contains the writings of your master Solomon, of your beloved St. John, and above all, of your great master Christ, and his other holy Apostles. In your procession to the house of God this day, as in all former processions, not only with much respect, but also with magnificence, that book, the Holy Bible, has been borne before you, as the sign and evidence of your profession. Be careful that your practice square with your profession. Let that Bible be
your Charter of Rules and Rights; and while it calls you to Love and Good-will, let not its divine precepts, as pressed upon you by our master Christ, and both our St. Johns, be violated by Evil-speaking, or the contemptible words of Malice, Slander, or want of Charity, to any of the human kind; not even to the least of those whom Christ loved unto death; and still less, if possible, to a Brother, with whom you are pledged especially to live, as on the Square of doing as you would have done unto you.
The elder St. John, called the Baptist, whose Festival we celebrate this day, was the forerunner of the Saviour of the world; the divine Messenger or Harbinger, who first proclaimed the glad tidings of Salvation, in the truly evangelical language of Love. The second John, stiled the beloved disciple, admitted into his Master's bosom, to lean or to lie on his breast, was a very flame of Love! All he writes, all he preaches, is Love divine, and social—the Love of God, manifested in the redemption of the world; and that Love which man ought to bear to man, on account of our Redemption; “ for,” says St. John,“ if God so “ loved us, we ought to love one another. By this “ mark or token shall we know that we have passed " from death to life, because we love the Brethren; for “ hewho loveth not his Brother, abideth in Death, and " he that hateth his Brother is a murderer; and ye " know that no murderer hath eternal life. This com“ mandment, therefore, we have from him—That he “ who loveth God, love his Brother also.”
Thus instructed, and thus professing the principles and doctrines of the true Lodge, remember the fate of that first of Masons and of Men, our great progenitor Adam, who being found unworthy of the bliss which he enjoyed in his Paradisaical Lodge, was driven from thence by order of the omnipotent GrandMASTER; and a celestial Tyler, a mighty Cherubim, with a Sword of fire (mark the emblem) was placed to guard the door, and forbid his future entrance.
Since that time, the Lodges of his posterity have fallen from primitive order and perfection. Yet still they will be a resemblance of the Paradisaical lodge,
and even of Heaven itself, so far as you labour earnestly in the exercise of Love, that great badge of your profession. For Love, producing good works, not only in your walk as Masons, but as Christians, is justly stiled—the fulfilling of the whole law, the sum and substance of all duty.
Let those Pharisaical zealots, who flatter themselves in a superior sanctity, and self-righteousness, belie their professions by slandering their neighbours, and putting the worst constructions on their actions, while Charity would suggest those which are more liberal—But let it never be so among you, looking chiefly upon the bright and lovely parts of the human character, casting a veil, where possible, over its weaknesses and failings.
Are you calumniated by any, who, through ignorance or misrepresentation, entertain prejudices against your order—Answer not a Fool according to his Folly—Return not Railing for Railing; but let your converse in the world be a living answer to the Reproach. And while you remember that you are Masons, forget not that you are Christians, to be judged at the great day, by the same Laws of God as other Christians, in the sight of Men and Angels.
As a further assistance in your labours, keep in constant view the bright examples of those who have been eminent in your Fraternity, through ages that are past-rejoice in their Memory, and be incited to follow their steps, in Wisdom, and Knowledge and Equity; considering that those steps led them, and may lead you, from one degree of Knowledge and Virtue, to degrees still higher; raising you to the
. sublime pinnacle of Wisdom and Virtue on the terrestial Lodge, preparing you more and more for admission into that celestial Lodge, reared by the great Architect himself; where all the followers of Christ and holy St. John, and the blessed Evangelists and Apostles, enjoy Wisdom and Knowledge and Happiness, blessed forever more.
My concluding Prayer is, that such may be your lot, and the lot of all who now honour us with their presence; through the Might of the Father of
Heaven; the Wisdom of his adorable son, and the
grace and goodness of the Holy Ghost, thrice “ blessed Three!” To whom be glory, &c.
Amen-so let it be.
P. S. Short address, at the conclusion of the SermonBrethren a collection is now to be made. After what has “ been said of Love and Charity, more would be needless« Whoever gives let him give freely, and with a willing heart."
IN GRAND LODGE OF PENNSYLVANIA; ST. JOHN'S DAY,
JUNE 24, 5795.
“ ON Motion and Seconded, Resolved, That the Committee * of Arrangements be requested to wait on our Rev. Brother, « Doctor Smith, with the Thanks of this LODGE, for the Dis« course by him delivered on this day, and request the favour of # a copy of the same for publication, and that one thousand " copies thereof be printed at the expense of the Grand Lodge."
The above is a true extract from the Minutes of the Grand Lodge.
GEORGE A. BAKER, GRAND SECRETART.
June 9th, A. L. 5802.
AFTER acquainting the reader that the following sermon was first delivered, when the province was groaning under all that load of misery, which was the consequence of Braddock's defeat, and the inroads of the French and savages on our distressed and helpless frontiers; any apology for the matter or manner of it would be needless.