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applied opprobrious and disgraceful terms to a dear father or husband. Yet such is the fact, and being the fact, these gentlemen have certainly no more moral or social right thus to annoy and distress their fellow beings, than their associates have to use irreverently and opprobriously the names of these gentlemen's wives or mothers.
It is also a fact, that persons of kind hearts and gentle manners otherwise, use such profane expressions, frequently in the presence and hearing of those who are corrupted thereby. Children, servants, persons looking up to them for a standard-all such learn profanity and blasphemy from them, and soon outstrip even their teachers, in its offensive and corrupting use. And thus, these otherwise well-bred people become springs, sending forth daily streams of very improper sentiment, to flow on, corrupted and corrupting, offensive and offending, far beyond what they have any conception of. Could the moral atmosphere be rendered visible to the outward material eye, and could the corruption it receives by every oath and curse these men utter, be mani. fested by a proportionate discoloration thereof, we are sure many of them would be almost as much pained and shocked at the sight, as is the reverent and religious community now pained and grieved at hearing profanity. Yet the discoloration (mor. ally speaking) is no less real for not being seenthe corruption of manners and morals, though invisible, is as actual as if it could be beheld like a fetid, black slime, flowing into a pure and healthy crystal lake. And the pain it inflicts, though hidden from sight, is as real as an inflammation in the flesh, that may burn and throb, and heal finally ; or it may proceed to a gangrene, that shall deaden and destroy!
Some may smile at our earnestness, and deem our comparisons out of all character in their strength, but we know whereof we speak by experience. We have had great and numerous advantages for observation in regard to this very practice ; and—we must repeat it-we are certain that few men addicted to profanity ever have considered this subject fully, or there would be much less of profanity heard in the community. None but the openly reckless and wicked would indulge in it. But let them think one moment. Would they be willing, if fathers, to use such language in the common intercourse with their families ? If not, why use it in the community-among others' wives and children? Would they not be shocked to hear their sons, and their wives, and their daughters, daily belching forth oaths and curses? Do they not suppose, then, that others may be as shocked to hear them do so? A friend, who occasionally “let slip an oath,” observed one day, “I must really quit swearing-it will not do any longer. Only yesterday, I caught my little boy using an oath I had dropped a
few moments before. I must quit it.” He had never before thought of his boy's using his words and still less did he reflect that, for years, he had been teaching profanity very freely to other men's children. Is it right, then, to teach the children of others what we shrink from teaching our own? If not, it is not just to the community to use profane language; for, even if careful not to use it when children are by, we countenance and even teach others to use it, who will not be as careful as we; and thus we may do indirectly what every sentiment of humanity revolts at our doing directly—we may not teach children, but we will teach their teachers!
If any would obtain a good position, from which he may behold, in its proper colors and size, this or any other habit he is guilty of, let him suppose his most moral and religious friends to indulge in it, and in his feelings on the subject, he may find some reflection of theirs, when they hear him indulge in it, and thus see himself as others see him. Let him ask, how would these oaths and curses, and these profane expressions, sound in coming from a respected clergyman's lips ? What feelings would they excite in me if I heard a lovely, gentle, and amiable woman or girl utter them ? An answer to these questions will give you the moral character of your actions and words.
A quaint writer has said, that an oath coming
from the lips of a pretty woman, was as startling as a bullet shooting out of a rose-bud. Yet if we were all of us as pure in moral feeling as we think a lovely girl is, an oath from any lips would be as startling as it now is painful and revolting to the pure and reverent mind. How, then, can any gentleman—any just-minded and generous-hearted-man, use such language ?
And how inconsistent such a practice in a Mason, who has been taught in his Lodge to stand uncovered in the presence of the awful synubols of Infinity ! Let every Mason, then, consider whether, when he allows profane words to escape from his lips, he is not violating one of his most sacred Masonic obligations.
A Mason cannot Calumniate his Brother.
“FREE and Accepted Masons have ever been charged to avoid all slander of true and faithful brethren, and all malice and unjust resentment.”
ANCIENT TEACHINGS OF FREEMASONRY.
The Masonic duty set forth in the above quotation, is one of the first importance, and deserves the most serious consideration.
If our obligations, and laws, and ritual, are not a miserable and profane mockery, then Freemasons are bound together by certain peculiar and sacred relations; and bound to a certain course of conduct, from which they cannot deviate without committing fearful sin and perjury. What, then, are the peculiar duties which a Freemason is bound to discharge towards a brother? “I will not wrong him to the value of anything." This is a part of his great and solemn pledge. It reaches to all the relations of life—to the minutest details of businessto all the acts of our hands, the words of our mouths—the plans of our hearts. The Mason is