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BRO. ALEX. GRANT, ESQ., D. P. G. M. FOR DERRY AND
DONEGAL, THE FOUNDER, AND HON. MEMBER OF
407, AND 589 ON THAT OF IRELAND. F. H. M'CAUSLAND,
W. M. HENRY S. SKIPTON,
S. W. REV. E. M. CLARKE,
J. W. - J. W. EAMES,
P. M. JOHN PRILL,
SEC. JOHN KEYS,
TREA. WILLIAM THOMPSON,
S. D. ISAAC STIRLING,
Of the Lodge Light of the North, Londonderry.
MY DEAR BRETHREN,
I beg you will accept my warmest acknowledgments for the distinction which you have been pleased to confer upon me.
I am gratified by every new evidence of the effects of my humble labours, because it conveys an unsolicited opinion that they have not been entirely useless. And although I do not entertain the vanity of supposing that the rapid progress which distinguishes Freemasonry at the present day has been produced by
any exertions of mine, yet I am not without hope that the course I have pursued for so many years to place the Order before the world in its true position, and to show the connection of general literature with its various subjects of disquisition, has contributed in some slight degree to disarm prejudice, and dispose the initiated to admit our claims to public estimation with somewhat of a better temper than they manifested half a century ago.
Freemasonry is a noble Order, and embraces a fund of information which not only tends to modify the manners and dispositions of mankind in this world, but possesses a direct influence on their preparation for the world beyond the grave. It was the universality of its principles which first enlisted my sympathies in its behalf; and a more extended view of its beauty and usefulness has confirmed the impression, and made it the solace and comfort of my old age.
I have taken the liberty of dedicating the following Lecture on the general import of our glorious symbol, which forms the Consummatum est of Freemasonry, to the W. M., officers and brethren of the lodge, so aptly denominated the Light of the North, because it will display to the inhabitants of the northern districts of Ireland the results of that benign system of Light which we call Freemasonry. It elevates the soul by a graduated ascent to the realms above, founded on that secure basis which is distinguished in Masonry by the peculiar name of Light; and advances the worthy brother from earth to “a celestial canopy sprinkled with golden stars;" thus realizing the expectations of an active and useful life, employed in the duties recommended by the Lectures of Masonry. Past, Present, and Future unite in cementing this delightful consummation. The past is consecrated by memory and HOPE; the present by Faith; and the future by CHARITY; thus completing the cycle of human existence.
But while, as Masons, we thus strive to make our calling and election sure by works of piety and charity, we must never forget that moral virtue alone will not guide us to the summit of the Ladder. The first step is Faith, and on that celestial virtue all our efforts must be based. It is the Great Light which must enlighten our path from the cradle to the grave; and our only safe guide through the devious ways which we are bound to tread in our passage from this world to another. It is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. From this high principle our benevolence should flow in an uninterrupted stream, producing a rich harvest of good works to the glory of our Father which is in heaven.
Such are the doctrines which I believe to be imbedded in the system of Freemasonry, and if they be kept steadily in our view during our mortal pilgrimage, they will gradually advance us step by step on the innumerable rounds of the masonic Ladder, till we attain to that ethereal mansion at its summit where the just exist in perfect bliss to all eternity; where, as our Lectures predicate, we shall be for ever happy with God TGA O T U, being justified by faith in his most precious blood.
Believe me to be,
GEO. OLIVER, D.D.,
May 1st, 1850.
Lecture the Twelfth.
General import of the Symbol of Glory—the Consummatum
est of Freemasonry.
“His birth is as the morning; his strongest time, or his middle time (be his time long or short) is as his noon; and his night is that when he takes leave of the world, and is laid in the grave to sleep with his fathers. This hath been the state of every one since first the world had any on it. The day breaking, the sun ariseth; the sun arising, continues moving; the sun moving, noontide maketh ; noontide made, the sun declines; the sun declining, threatens setting; the sun setting, night cometh; and night being come, our life is ended. Thus runs away our time. If He that made the heaven's sun hath set our lives' sun but a small circumference, it will the sooner climb into noon, the sooner fall into night. The morning, noon, and evening—these three conclude our living."
• Elysium shall be thine, the blissful plains
THE glorious symbol which forms the subject of the preceding Lectures can be considered in no other light than as a grand and expressive type of the progress of a good and worthy brother from this world to the next. And in that point of view it constitutes one of our most happy emblems, and reflects great credit on the Order. Exclude this comprehensive hieroglyphic, and the Light of Masonry would burn dimly, if not be altogether extinguished. True, there are an abundance of other symbols
in the system, which embrace appropriate references, and the meaning of some of them is very significant; but this includes a general view of everything valuable in time and eternity. It commences in the deepest recesses of that celebrated locality which has been received by many sound professors of our faith, as well as by the learned Jewish doctors, as the sacred scene of the last judgment; and terminates in the highest heaven;-it opens in the lowest of valleys, and closes on the holy mountain of the Apocalypse;—it has its origin in darkness, and ends in a burst of glorious light.
Such is the life of man. Generated in darkness, he enters into the world poor, and miserable, and naked. Unable to help himself, he depends entirely on the assistance of others for the preservation of his existence. He sees nothing, he hears nothing, he knows not friend from foe. He is a point; a feeble insignificant nonentity, sensible to nothing but mere animal instincts. His life moves in a circle of darkness, ignorance, and imbecility; and escaping danger only by the protection of Providence, and the watchful care and attention of those who are his natural guides and guardians, during his helpless, poor, and pennyless state.
This unpropitious view of human nature does not continue long. The initiatory rite of his religion is performed, and his faculties begin to expand. He becomes able to distinguish his friends from strangers; he understands the words of those that are about him; and answers them first by smiling looks, and afterwards by a lisping imitation of words, which soon change into articulate sentences; concise, indeed, but sufficiently expressive to convey the intended meaning. He stands on his feet-he walks-he runs—and the weak and helpless infant becomes a vigorous boy, in the full and happy enjoyment of his newly acquired faculties.
The circle widens. Like a rough ashlar in the hands of the workman, or a lump of clay under the plastic science of the potter, the intant mind becomes moulded into form. He is taught to read, and his intellect begins its work. Thought and reflection spring up as his education advances; and approaching manhood brings him acquainted with the secrets of the Book of Life, where he finds the two great parallels who personate faith and