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the Moon, and as the faithful witness in heaven."24 Hence, according to the testimony of Jarchi, Solomon said : “My kingdom being thus permanently established as the sun and moon, its duration shall be marked by the existence of these pillars, for they will remain firm and immovable as long as my successors shall continue to do the will of God."
In like manner the two St. Johns were esteemed pillars of Christianity, and patrons of Masonry. The one representing strength, and the other a principal agent to establish the permanency of both by inculcating brotherly love or charity, which is their chief virtue, and of more value than all the rest. By these instruments Christianity and Masonry have been established in such strength, that they will endure for ever. And at that period, when the designs of Omnipotence are completed, the Sun and Moon, by unmistakable tokens, shall declare to the world that their glory is expiring. The Sun will turn into darkness, and its light being thus withdrawn, the Moon will be obscured; at which period St. John the Baptist, as a righteous man, will shine forth as the Sun, standing at the left hand of the Judge amidst the clouds of heaven; while the pure and holy doctrines of his illustrious parallel will for ever remain as the employment of saints and angels in the heavenly mansions of the blessed; where there is no need of the Sun, neither of the Moon to shine in it, for the glory of God will lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."25
According to the opinion of Dean Stanhope, who is no slight authority in such matters, the office of John the Baptist consisted in promulgating the very doctrines which distinguish the noble Order of Freemasonry. He employed himself in “making guilty people sensible of their sins, reproving open wickedness, unmasking hypocrisy, beating down spiritual pride; importuning men to repentance, by representing, with a faithful zeal, the horrible mischiefs and dreadful conclusion of a wicked course of life, and the terrors of that Master, who, at his coming to purge the floor, will not fail to separate most nicely between the wheat and the chaff, and burn the latter with unquenchable fire. We shall do well to take the Baptist for an example of our conduct, by living a life of severe virtue; by boldly rebuking vice; and if by this we incur the displeasure of men, by suffering with a constancy like his. If this were duly attended to, a mighty change would soon be effected even in the profligate and profane world.”
24 Ps. lxxxix., 36, 37.
25 Rev. xxi., 23.
Such investigations as these constitute the true poetry of the Order, and render the pursuits of Freemasonry of real and intellectual value to the intellectual man. Whoever, therefore, is desirous of regulating his life and conduct by the teaching of Freemasonry, will do well to make its symbols his study, and endeavour to bring their hidden meaning to bear upon the every-day occurrences of life. Plutarch has somewhere told us that while Alexander the Great was but a boy, so far from rejoicing at his father's success in battle, complained to his young companions that his father would leave nothing for him to do when he grew up to man's estate. They replied, that all which had been done by his father was for his enjoyment; but he said, what better shall I be in possessing ever so much, if I do nothing ? So it is with us. Freemasonry has done a great deal, but it has left something for every individual Mason to do; and he who does it not, must not expect to be rewarded.
Nothing can be a greater anomaly than knowledge without practice. It is like hiding our talent in a napkin, or placing our light under a bushel. To produce a beautiful effect, the talent must be used and the light displayed, or we shall be pronounced unprofitable servants, and cast into outer darkness; which will be a most lamentable destiny for those who boast that they have been brought to light, and have consequently enjoyed superior advantages in acquiring information on which to found a concurrent practice. But where the central point has been illuminated by the bright rays proceeding from Eastern wisdom, and invigorated his faith by the practice of moral virtue, he will gradually ascend the innumerable rounds of the Masonic Ladder, and enter into peace when the archangel shall proclaim that time shall be no more.
BRO. C. E. ANDERSON,
D. OF CER.
Of St. George's Lodge, Montreal, Canada, No. 643.
The circumstances under which I was elected an honorary member of your Lodge, have afforded me unfeigned pleasure. If I have rendered any services to Masonry, as you are pleased to say, by my publications, I assure you that the time which has been employed in their composition passed very agreeably to myself, because one of the principal amusements of my leisure hours has ever been the study of antiquity, and the acquirement of hieroglyphical knowledge. I am therefore doubly rewarded, inasmuch as you have added to the pleasure which such researches have conveyed to my mind, an unequivocal testimony of your approbation.
The subject of the following Lecture, which I have the honour of dedicating to you, is of very extensive application. The definition predicates that “its foot rests on earth while its top extends to heaven;" and it embraces all the intermediate steps by which the human soul mounts to immortality. It is an emblem for all time, and embraces interests which no region of the world can change nor any age decay.
When Moses was at the Burning Bush, he was commanded, as an act of reverence, to take off his shoes. And when the Prophet Ezekiel was forbidden to mourn for the loss of his wife, one of the indications of this extraordinary instance was, to "put on his shoes.” The present Jews in Barbary, according to Addison, when a death occurs in their family, do not stir abroad for seven days after the interment; or if they should be compelled by any extraordinary or urgent cause to leave their dwelling, it must be barefooted, as a token of reverence to Him by whom they have been stricken.
How much more ought we to express our humility and reverence, when we stand on ground which has been consecrated by Three Grand Offerings, and bears that Holy Book which is the source of all our hopes and comforts. When Jacob occupied the same situation, he said, “surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, how dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the Gate of heaven.”
That you, my brethren, may ascend the Theological Ladder with the same devout and holy feelings, and in the end receive the reward of your faith, even the salvation of your souls, is the fervent wish of
And dear Brethren,
GEO. OLIVER, D.D.,
December 1, 1849.
Lecture the zruenth.
The three Great Lights which form the basis of the Masonic Ladder erpluined, with a description of the Ladder and its accompaniments.
"Tyll that I came unto a ryall Gate.
Where I sawe stondynge the goodly portres,
To whome I gan in every thynge expresse
All myne adventure, chaunce, and busynesse,
The next object which attracts our attention in the Symbol of Glory, is the Holy Bible, which is the great charter of a Christian's faith, and anchor of his hope, as well as one of the Great Lights of Masonry. It forms the Tracing Board of the Great Architect of the Universe; and he has laid down there such glorious plans and moral designs, that were we conversant therein and adherent thereto, it would bring us to a building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. The Bible is the gift of God to man. It is the consummation of wisdom, goodness, and truth. Many other books are good, but none are so good as this. All other books may be dispensed with ; but this is absolutely necessary to our happiness here, and our salvation hereafter. It is the most ancient record of facts known in the world; the materials of its earliest history having been compiled, as is most probable, by Shem, or perhaps by Noah. The Rabbins say that Shem was the instructor of Abraham in the history of former events; and that from Abraham they were naturally transmitted through Isaac, Jacob, and Levi, to Moses. And no injury is done to the just arguments on behalf of the inspiration of Scripture, as