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with an equal regard to brevity and perspicuity, and accompanied by a strict injunction that every brother shall be perfectly acquainted with each before he be admitted to a superior degree, it appears highly probable that the most beneficial results would be produced. It may, indeed, be imagined, that under such a regimen many brethren would not advance beyond the first degree. I am of a different opinion. The test might discourage indolent and careless candidates; but it would invite and augment the initiations of men of higher character. The facilities afforded by our present qualifications, fill our ranks with brotherhood who do us little credit; and the society would be really benefited by their absence. A lodge consisting of a dozen scientific members, would be more respectable, more useful, and more popular, than if it were filled with an uncounted number of sots, or even with dull prosaic brothers who are indifferent to the poetry and philosophy of the Order.

I should certainly anticipate no diminution of numbers under such a course of strict and wholesome discipline. The only perceptible effect would be, to improve the character of the brethren, by creating a spirit of enquiry and discrimination, which would tend to make it their sole aim, as masons, to increase their knowledge, purify their minds, and prepare themselves, by the morality of science, for greater perfection in another and a better state of existence. In our lodges, some brethren are always unfortunately to be found, with whom refreshment is the great attraction and the primary stimulus to their attendance at our stated meetings; but on the improved principle which I would recommend, refreshment, although by no means to be dispensed with, would constitute a secondary motive, while it contributed to give a zest to the theoretical discussions and practical enjoyment.which result from the social intercourse of congenial minds.

The only difficulty which appears to attend the above plan, would be in the construction and arrangement of a digest that should meet the rquirements of every section of the Craft; because in a matter of such importance, the concurrence of every Grand Lodge in the universe should be obtained, that a perfect uniformity in work might prevail.

Every institution, to be perfect, should be consistent with itself. And hence the insufficiency of the present lectures may be questioned. It is therefore desirable that the attention of the fraternity should be fairly awakened to the subject, that they may take the premises into their most serious consideration, and endeavour to place Freemasonry on so substantial a basis, as to constitute the unmixed pride of its friends and defenders; and defy the malice of its traducers and foes, if any such are still to be found amongst those who are indifferent

to its progress.

It appears to me that all difficulty would vanish, and a satisfactory arrangement of the various matters at issue might be obtained, if the Grand Lodge were to appoint a Committee composed of brethren resident in London, augmented by delegates appointed from the Provinces, to enquire into all the varieties in the different systems of lecturing throughout the masonic world, and report upon them seriatim. And with respect to the Landmarks-as very few points of difference were included in the original system, it would remain an open question whether, by an attempt to reconcile every variety of subsequent introduction, the real Landmarks of the Order would be at all invaded. I shall decline pronouncing any positive opinion on this point, but leave it entirely to the judgment of others.

But should the adoption of any such measure be deemed expedient, the Grand Lodge would not be expected to pledge itself to the absolute sanction of an incipient Report of the Committee, which could scarcely be free from errors. It would be competent to receive the Report; but I should doubt, in a matter of such vital importance, whether that section of it which usually meets in Freemasons' Hall, consisting chiefly of the Masters and Wardens of the Metropolitan Lodges, would be willing to decide the question without a formal appeal to such members of the Grand Lodge as reside in the country, comprising a great majority of its body.

At this stage of the proceedings the Report would be naturally transmitted to the G. M. of each Province, for the consideration of local committees consisting of the Masters and Wardens of the Lodges, with the P. G. M. at their head, and any other scientific brethren out of office, whom they might think proper to associate with them. The Reports from each of these minor bodies, being transmitted to the Grand Lodge, should be subjected to a new committee for collation and revision, and embodied in a general statement of the entire results. A A Draft of this being forwarded to all the Provincial committees for their approval, should be finally submitted to the Grand Lodge, who would then, after other preliminaries had been arranged, be in a condition to pass a decisive Resolution on the subject. Communications should be forwarded to the Grand Lodges of Scotland, Ireland, America, the Continent of Enrope, and all other places where they exist, accompanied by a detail of the steps which had been taken for the purification of the Order ; recommending the alterations to their notice, and soliciting their concurrence. And as there appears to be an universal desire throughout the whole masonic world for some uniform system of working, an opposition to the measure is scarcely to be contemplated. Effectually to prevent such a result, however, it might be advisable to communicate with the foreign Grand Lodges during the progress of the proceedings, soliciting their fraternal suggestions; and a Draft of the final Resolution ought also to be submitted to each of them for approval, before it passed into a law which should be for ever binding on

a the whole fraternity in every part of the globe, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of England, as it would be the concurrent production of the united wisdom and research of all classes interested in the triumphant progress of the Order.

Under some well organized plan of this nature, I am sanguine enough to entertain a certain anticipation of such results as would be generally satisfactory; and enable Freemasonry to produce a visible and genial effect on the taste, literature, and morals of the age.

A regular and authentic Text Book being thus provided to preserve the uniformity of the Order throughout the universe, every Master of a Lodge should be directed, either by himself or some other well informed brother of his appointment, to select a passage from this genuine fountain of truth, and deliver an original Lecture each Lodge night for the edification of the brethren; after which a viva voce examination should take place; or, which would in some instances be better, a general conversation on the subject which had been thus selected. Such temperate discussions would excite interest and attention; and the energies of individual brethren being thus brought out, much useful information would be elicited; and a permanent impression would be made on the minds of the Junior brethren, which would tend to cement a love of the institution; produce a regular attendance of the members; and be every way advantageous to society at large.

The times in which we live are peculiarly characterized by a deep research into the causes of things, and bold speculations for the improvement of science; and while electricity and chymistry, steam and gas, and machinery of every kind, are earnestly engaged in a contention for superiority, Freemasonry must not pause upon the threshold ;—while the world moves on in an uninterrupted course of improvements, Freemasonry must not stand still; for if she hesitates ever so little-time will pass, and she will be distanced in the race.

I have thrown together these few preliminary observations, for

the purpose of showing that a taste for the poetry of Freemasonry is necessary, to enable even an initiated brother to extract the honey from the comb, and to imbibe the sweets which the system so abundantly furnishes. If such a feeling were universal amongst the Craft;—nay, if a few talented brethren even, in every private lodge, were in a position to devote a small portion of their time to its cultivation, the most beneficial results would soon be displayed, in the increasing influence of the Order, and its popularity amongst all ranks and descriptions of men.

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BRO. E. G. PAPELL, ESQ., J. G. W. & W. M.

S. W.

J. W.

P. M.


S. D.

J. D.


Of the Lodge Social Friendship, No. 326,

Fort George, Madras.


I embrace this public opportunity of assuring you how highly I am gratified by the distinction you have conferred upon me in electing me an honorary member of your Lodge with the rank of a Past Master, because it is an unequivocal testimony that you appreciate at some little value the services I have humbly endeavoured to render to the greatest of all human institutions; although

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