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dignity of their social position-be they as great and famous as the god Hercules—to become members of our Order, who have not the qualifications requisite for such a relationship.
We should not permit ourselves to be dazzled by any outward show whatever, but scrutinize carefully, and ascertain whether the applicant for admission to our Order has really a heart within his bosom-whether he has a soul, and is capable of sympathy. If our association is ever ruined, it will be by the hands of unprincipled and selfish men, who manage to get among us. We have quite enough of this class already, and it is time now to com. mence closing the doors against all suspicious persons. The Order is now so popular that everybody is rushing toward it, and demanding admission, so that we may say, in the language of Scripture, " it suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." There is no safety for us but by imitating the example of our ancient brethren, in the rejection of all the unworthy, without hesitation and without fear. Brethren, let us think of this.
Freemasonry, a Tree that Blooms in Perennial Beauty
“The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of ity.
Even the Temple of Solomon * escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force. Freemasonry, notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the Mysteries of Masonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts.”
We have seen how high and divine the mission of Freemasonry is, and it should fill us with gladness that all the aspects of the times are so encouraging, and give us room to hope, that vast and beneficent as that mission is, it will be triumphantly achieved. The world shall be redeemed from the thrall of selfishness. The principles of union and love, which we wish to diffuse, are already slumbering in the bosom of this age. Love is not dead ! These great Christian ideas, Union and Love, ideas so sweet and gentle, yet so lofty, sublime, and poetical, which, if actualized in life, would elevate us to the rank of seraphs, cannot die. If the coldness and individualism of the world deny them an expression in acts and words, they will still live in the heart as a sentiment, like the smouldering fires on a priestless altar! Driven out from the abodes of luxury and opulence, repudiated by the soi-disant great, and banished from our social institutions, they will take refuge in some humble vale, and murmur in the ears of the poor and oppressed the mysterious words of Friendship, Sympathy, and Truth ! No, Love cannot die! Even in this age, saturated as it is with the unchristian morality of Helvetius and Bentham—the doctrine of absolute selfishnessma doctrine which is armed against what is purest and loveliest in the human heart, there are some disinterested spirits who worship at the shrine of Virtue, and assert that Truth and Right are from everlasting to everlasting, and sooner or later will and must be reverenced. These are solitary voices of Hope, which, rising ever higher and swelling ever louder above the precepts of a soul-killing egotism, will at length baptize the world in the refrain of a heavenly hymn of Charity.
Love still lives! but how fantastic the forms of its existence! One carries it in his pocket in the shape of glittering coin ; or locks it up in the vaults of a bank, that thieves may not steal it away. Others pursue it under the form of fame, in the bloody pathway of war; and others worship it as a civic crown! But, thank God, it still lives! The world's heart still throbs with its divine pulsations ! The Orphic Heart-Lyre, of which we made mention a little while since, is still unbroken, and the celestial earth-moving symphonies are yet slumbering in its voiceless chords. It is the high office of Frecmasonry to re-tune the mystic harp of life to the sublimer melodies of Love! to breathe upon the smouldering spark of charity, and expand it to a world-embracing flame! to cement again the broken links of the golden chain of harmony, and thus reestablish the unity of man.
Be faithful, then, brethren, to the idea of your Order. See that ye live the principles that ye teach. See that ye labor to extend the mystic tie of sympathy, till, as a chain of light, it shall encircle the entire of Humanity. Who can say that through your influence and labors, Love will not be, in a higher form than has yet been realized, the presiding genius of the future? Who can say that in that future the cold calculations of selfishness will not be branded as the blackest of crimes, while disinterested friendship, and confiding faith in man, admiration of virtue will be rewarded as the loftiest of graces ? Labor, then, at your exalted work. Be valiant in your holy warfare against misfortune, penury, and vice. The world is full of sweet voices and soothing songs, which encourage your labors. And when the great Ideal of Masonry shall be realized in universal life, and Christ's divine heartbeating in the bosom of Humanity—shall be the source of its activity for evermore, then shall be fulfilled the prophetic dream of a Golden Age. Then shall the human race march forward and upward, engirdled by the rosy hours, and baptized in the chorus of a heavenly psalm of Love. Then shall Astrea and Saturn descend again from heaven to earth, bringing to man the divinest gifts of the gods, and " THE AGE OF GOLD OVER ALL THE WORLD ARISE."
The Final TVord,
The facts presented in the foregoing pages are not without their importance or significance. It seems to us the utility of Masonic Societies has been vindicated. Their prevalence in all ages and among all peoples, their influence always for good, their connection with the progressive development of our race, their relations with Science, Art, Letters, and Philosophy, demonstrate their utility, if there be anything susceptible of demonstration within the circle of human experience or observation. That these institutions have ever wrought their great labors in secret, will not appear strange when we consider that all Life and Beauty are elaborated in Night and Mystery. As, low down in the unseen depths of Nature's bosom, the ever-active spirit of Order weaves the beautiful and magnificent net-work