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LECTURE XIII.

Epistle Dediratory

TO

BRO. R. P. HUNT,

G. SOUTHALL,
W. H. FLETCHER,
EDWARD DAVIS,
S. PRUCE,
EDWARD DAVIS,
EDWARD HAMMOND,
W. TAYLOR,
T. BAKER,

W. M.
P. M.
S. W.
J. W.
TREA.

SEC.
S. D.
J. D.
J. G.

Of the Lodge Hope and Charity, No. 523, Kidderminster.

DEAR FRIENDS AND BRETHREN,

a

My labours are drawing towards a conclusion, and the time approaches when it will become incumbent on me to retire from the Craft, and take a grateful leave of the fraternity by whom I have been uniformly treated in the most kind and distinguished manner. During a period of nearly half a century since my initiation, and of forty years' active exertion to promote the general interests of the Craft, I have persevered, amidst evil report and good report, in my endeavours to place Freemasonry before the public as a moral and scientific institution which is eminently calculated to produce the universal happiness of mankind. And I believe it will be found that throughout all my numerous publications, there is not a page which is at variance with the benignant principles of the Order; as I am sure I never intentionally penned a single sentence to wound the feelings or excite the wrath of any individual brother. Even when I have found it necessary to vindicate myself from calumnious attacks, I have invariably endeavoured to preserve a respectful tone towards my accusers, and am not conscious of having ever exceeded the bounds of a temperate and graceful style of controversy. My aim has always been, in conformity with a well known passage in the Lodge Lectures, to speak as well of a brother in his absence as I would have done had he been present; and when that could not be done with propriety, I have adopted the Mason's peculiar virtue-Silence.

For this reason, amongst others, I have been honoured with the patronage of the noblest and best of men and Masons; amongst whom I am proud to include the two illustrious princes, the Dukes of York and Sussex; the Archbishops of Canterbury and York; the Duke of Leinster; the Earls of Zetland, Yarborough (late), and Aboyne; two Bishops of the diocese where I reside; Sir Edw. Ffrench Bromhead, Bart. ; Richard Ellison, Esq. ; and many other distinguished personages in various parts of the globe. The patrons of this my final work, which constitutes the cope stone and crown of my masonic publications, are the brethren of those lodges by which I have been more particularly distinguished; and the fraternity at large, wheresoever dispersed under the wide and lofty canopy of heaven. To this supernal abode it is hoped that every true and worthy brother, who has been fortified by Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, and has passed up the Ladder through the gates of Faith, Hope, and Charity, will eventually arrive.

The name of your Lodge includes a description of the blessed process which, by steady perseverance, will lead to those happy mansions where the just exist in perfect bliss to all eternity; where they will be for ever happy with God, the Great Geometrician of the Universe, whose only Son died for us that we might be justified through Faith in his most precious blood. This is our Hope, that we may all finally meet in that blessed abode of neverfailing Charity; and it has constituted the animating principle which has supported me through all the arduous trials of an eventful life; and still forms the sincere and only wish of him who has the honour of dedicating his closing Lecture to you, and to subscribe himself,

Dear Friends and Brothers,
Your most faithful and obedient Servant,
In the holy bond of Masonry,

GEO. OLIVER, D.D.,
Honorary Member of the Lodge.

SCOPWICK VICARAGE,

June 1, 1850

Lecture the Chirteenth.

A Recapitulation, or general Summary of the doctrines con

tained in the preceding Lectures, with their application to the system of Freemasony.

English Masonry is the knowledge of the eternal God, as the God of Creation and Providence; it is also the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the God of redemption; and far from ascribing creation to a concuitous adhesion of matter, we believe in a God who created all things; far from ascribing the wonderful mysteries of Providence to the blindness of fate and chance, we believe in a God ordering all things both in heaven and earth; and in all the steps of masonic advancement we cry, Hosanna to the Son of God! Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!"

INWOOD.

“Then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven.”

MATT. xxiv., 30.

It may be expected, as this volume constitutes the completion of the plan which I had formed when I first undertook the responsibility of entering on a virgin soil, and turning up a glebe which had scarcely been touched by the hand of man, that I should wind up my labours by a brief analysis of the general design of the treatise, as a work which is especially devoted to the purpose of explaining the tendency and final consummation of the Order.

The Book is intended to be a type of the masonic institution. It opens with a view of the present state of the science, considered as a means of producing spiritual perfection. On this point I am anxious to avoid any misinterpretation. Freemasonry cannot accomplish this result single handed, but as contributing its aid in connection with other agencies. No one can become a Mason without a sincere profession of a belief in One God, the

Great Architect or Creator of the Universe; nor can he give his assent to our ordinary Lectures without an application of the types of the Old Testament to the manifestations declared in the Gospel; or in other words, without an acknowledgment of the truth of Christianity. If Christ be not the Messiah predicted by the Jewish prophets, then the Lectures of Freemasonry are nothing more than an agreeble fiction; pleasing, perhaps, to the fancy, but without carrying conviction to the judgment; and consequently, useless as a stimulus to moral duty, without which the summit of the Ladder can never be attained, or the portal of Charity opened. And the remarkable coincidences which I have brought into one focus, will show that all the princpal truths of revealed religion have been concentrated in the Lectures of Freemasonry. They, who think otherwise, are not only deceived themselves, but are deceivers of others.

The present state of Freemasonry is distinguished by its numerous charitable institutions; which, by removing the attention from the affairs and disquietude of this world, leave the worthy brother at leisure to prepare for another and a better. İts application to the sciences is not so obvious. And as its founders, in the early and mediæval ages, were archæologists and ecclesiastical architects, it appears reasonable that, in addition to its moral reference, some marked aftention should be paid to those pursuits which distinguished our ancient brethren, and produced that eminence which made their example worthy of imitation in the establishment and perpetuity of an institution founded expressly on the arts which raised them to distinction, and made them exemplars of every Christian virtue.

For this purpose a revision of the Lectures has been suggested as eminently calculated to restore Freemasonry to its primitive purity and usefulness; and to implant in the minds of the brethren a veneration for all that is great and good ; inciting them to emulate those glorious examples of morality, combined with the sublimities of science, which have enrolled our ancient brethren in the lists of the benefactors of mankind. It might appear invidious to select individuals from the catalogue of this noble band of Masons, as being worthy of peculiar note; but I cannot refrain from holding up to the notice of the

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