Page images

bound to protect his brother in all his interests—to aid him in his business, and to warn him when he discovers some threatening evil. Consequently no Mason can devise a scheme which will tend to the injury of a brother, or a brother's business and interests, without incurring fearful sin, and the severest penalties of the Order. Think well of this, brethren. You should not, you must not build up yourselves on the ruins of your brother. You must not cherish a thought for a moment, which thought, if ultimated in acts, would reduce a brother to poverty, and involve him and his family in distress. We have known of some painful cases where Freemasons have (unintentionally, no doubt,) utterly disregarded the most sacred rules of this Order, and violated their most solemn vows. We hope such brethren will consider well all their conduct, and strive to live up to the promises they have solemnly given, viz: I will not wrong a brother to the value of anything."

He must not allow his own private feelings to move him to utter words among strangers which will be prejudicial to his brother's interests. Even if he knows, or thinks he knows, that his brother has been guilty of some unworthy conduct, he is to keep it secret in his own breast, or reveal it only in the way pointed out by the well-known laws of the Order. We suppose the rule to which we allude was adopted for the purpose of preventing that se

cret conveyance of charges and rumors, and dark insinuations against a brother—that murdering of reputations, under the cover of night, when the victim has no chance of self-defence-which is so common a practice in the world without.

Freemasonry frowns upon all backbiting, all stabbing in the dark. It commands its disciples to defend each other's reputations, and promote each other's interests. But let no one misunderstand us. We do not mean that Masons are bound to uphold one another in vicious practices. No, far from this. A delinquent brother is always to be brought to justice. But this is to be done in a legal manner. If I thinks he has received some injury from Y, or feels that Y has brought a reproach upon the Order, by habitual vice, he is not to go about, and like a midnight assassin, or base coward, whisper his surmises—which may be, after all, entirely unfounded to this one and that one, and thus destroy his brother's good name, and plunge him into distress. This is unjust, unchristian, and in direct opposition to every principle and law of the Order. What course, then, shall H take in this matter? Commit his feelings to writing, and in open Lodge the Lodge to which the offending brother Y be longs--prefer charges against him, and have the matter adjudicated according to law. He is never to take the sword of justice into his own hands, but, until the judgment of the Lodge—not his judg

ment-finds him guilty, he is to treat him and speak of him as a brother.

Let us then, brethren, take heed to our ways, and seek to govern all our practices by those wise and just laws which we have obligated ourselves to obey. Let us see to it that we support each other in difficulty, that we sympathize with each other in distress, that we defend each other when assailed, and strengthen each other in virtue ; and finally, let us resolve to abide by that great and worldbinding law revealed by the Son of God: Whatsoever ye would that men should do to

you, do ye even 80 to them : for this is the law and the prophets.



The Lodge a Means of Entellectual and Moral


“ LET us cultivate the great moral virtues which are laid down on our Masonic Trestleboard, and improve in everything that is good, amiable, and useful.”


THE apostolic injunction, “Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together," is as applicable to a body of Masons as to a Christian Church. While a Mason is not to neglect his business for the purpose of attending the meetings of his Lodge, it is unquestionably his duty to stand in "his lot and place” when there is no reasonable excuse for ab

A full attendance at the Lodge is always desirable, and every means should be employed to secure such a result. Now, what measures shall be adopted to accomplish so desirable an end?

All that we have to say, in answer to this question, is comprised in the following : Make our Lodge meetings of such a character, as that they shall respond, in some degree, to all the intellectual, moral, and social wants of man. by contributing something to his moral and intellectual growth.

His INTELLECTUAL WANTS.-Any means which will make our meetings intellectual, which will make them a source whence the brethren derive valuable instruction, cannot fail to insure that interest we have spoken of as so desirable. Occasional discourses in the Lodge, upon any subject of general interest, by brothers qualified to instruct; readings from some new popular works, in all their variety ; familiar discussions of such questions of Literature, Art, Science, as brothers might deem most fitting, would do not a little to create an intellectual and literary taste, to elevate the tone of thinking, and refine the manner of speaking, and thus contribute much to the expansion of the intellectual powers. The secret societies of Antiquity were vast Lyceums, where the most useful and sublime science was taught. Our Order aspires not so high, but still it may

do a vast deal for the mental improvement of the brethren. And for these Lectures, Discussions, and Readings, we have abundance of talent in the Order, and in nearly every Lodge.

But it may be asked, where shall we find time for all this? Save it from that which is now wasted to no purpose. There need not be initiations but on every alternate week, and the regular business need not occupy more than an hour each evening ; so there is plenty of time for mental improvement.

Man's moral wants must also be remembered. It is of the highest consequence, if we could see a con

« PreviousContinue »