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joy more pure, or worthier of our kind,
By bond of kindred love, or friendship sweet,
More joy from aught in that celestial seat,
Save from God's presence, than again to greet Each other's spirits, there to dwell combined In brotherhood of love. The golden tie,
Dissolved, again unites. Ordain'd to train Earth's tenants for their dwelling in the sky,
Faith lost in sight, and Hope in joy, shall wane, Their task fulfill'd; but heaven-born Charity,
God's greatest gift, shall still in heaven remain."*
"Bp. Mant's Happiness of the Blessed, p. 90.
BRO. WILLIAM MOSELY TAYLER,
DIR. OF CER.
Of the First Lodge of Light, Birmingham.
MY DEAR BRETHREN,
What can be more appropriate than to dedicate to the Lodge of Light a professed disquisition on the source of all Light—the Throne and peculiar residence of that great and glorious Being who is Light itself, and in whom there is no darkness at all?
The contents of the Sacred Roll of the Law are our guides and directors in the narrow path which leads to the supernal mansions of Light; and this divine property is there displayed as an universal emblem of every good, while its antagonistic principle of darkness symbolizes every thing evil. Light is represented in that Holy Volume as a symbol of Joy and pleasure, while calamity and affliction are expressed by the figure of “gross darkness and the shadow of death." And hence, in the ancient systems, these two principles represented the antagonism of life and death in both the spiritual and material states. A Lodge of Light is therefore peculiarly a place of “ decent enjoyment," and the abode of those intellectual pleasures which leave no sting behind.
As darkness is frequently put for affliction, so is Light for happiness; which is one step in advance of the above interpretation. The evangelical prophet, animated by the prospect of the bright appearance of the Sun of Righteousness to confer blessings and redemption on mankind, breaks out into an enthusiastic expression of the pleasure he derives from the stupendous contemplation of the birth of Light. “ Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkuess shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy Light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising."
Such, and so beneficial, to compare small things with great, may be the rejoicing of the members of the Lodge of Light, while engaged in the practice of an Order which inculcates Faith, Hope, and Charity, as the potent virtues of their station on earth, and by the faithful use of which they may attain to the glories which appertain to the cloudy canopy at the summit of the Masonic Ladder.
Another definition of Light afforded by the Book which adorns the Pedestal of Wisdom, is “spiritual knowledge.” This is frequently symbolized by a burning lamp, as the candlestick by which it is supported represents the Church of God, whether Jewish or Christian, as the vehicle of that knowledge; for the one was but a type of the other; although one of the ancient Fathers says, quis in candelabro, nisi redemptor humani generis designatur? However this may be, spiritual knowledge constitutes the third step in Light on the way to glory. And accordingly St. John, one of the great parallels and patrons of Masonry, interprets Light to signify the Christian dispensation; and speaks of the advent of Christ as THE BIRTH OF LIGHT. Light is come into the world;" and as a learned Mason of the last century truly remarks—the Light here meant can be no other than that of divine revelation, which brought life and immortality along with it. The Christian dispensation is constantly and uniformly described in Holy Writ under the figure of Light, from the time that the first faint glimmering of it appeared at a distance, till it shone forth in its full lustre and glory. It is of the same use to the spiritual, that the light of the sun is to the natural world. It gives life, health, and vigour to God's new creation; it makes the day of salvation to dawn upon us, it opens to us the prospect of another and a better life, and guides us in the way to glory and felicity.
Happily has your Lodge been designated: may its members ever participate in that happiness, not only in the present world, but also in the blessed regions of Light where felicity is perfect, and uninterrupted Charity will reign for ever and ever.
Such is the sincere wish,
My dear Brethren,
faithful Servant and Brother,
GEO. OLIVER, D.D., Honorary Member of the Lodge of Light.
February 1, 1850.
Lecture the Flints.
Explanation of the Cloudy Canopy and its attendant symbols
at the Summit of the Ladder.
“ The pleasant garden, and the crystal stream,
The tree of life which bears on every bough
Fruits fit for joy, or healing; on the brow,
The branching palms, the raiment white as snow;
Are these the joys that heaven's abodes bestow ?
If I but reach the mark, whate'er the prize
“ An ethereal mansion veiled from mortal eye by the starry firmament."
LECTURES OF MASONRY.
“ Aristotle admirably describes the wonder which would seize upon men, supposing them to have lived up to a certain age underground, and to be then brought suddenly into the light. Allowing them to have inhabited subterranean palaces, adorned with sculpture and painting, and every ornament procurable by wealth; admit that they might have heard of the power and majesty of the gods; yet how great would be their emotion should the earth open suddenly, and disclose to them the vast scenes we daily witness ! the land—the sea -the sky-the prodigious volumes of the clouds—the power of the winds—the Sun, its magnitude, its splendour, gilding the whole earth, filling the whole heaven! And then, the spectacle presented by the face of night! The whole firmament glittering with stars, the increasing or waning moon.-Seeing all these things, could they doubt that there are gods, or that these are their works ?”
TRANSLATED FROM CICERO.
The Cloudy Canopy. That mysterious veil which shrouds the secrets of the Grand Lodge above from human observation.
Father's house are many mansions," said that Holy Being whom we address as