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inhabitants of this island, or their substitutes the three presiding officers of the British mysteries, who were denominated Cadeiriath, Goronwy, and Fleidwr Flam, seated in the east, west, and south. Before these senseless blocks of unhewn stone, the more senseless inhabitants of Britain prostrated themselves daily in humble adoration; firmly persuaded that their prosperity in every undertaking; nay, even the preservation of their lives and liberties was dependant on the beneficent agency of these shapeless idols!
I shall conclude the present Lecture with a brief consideration of the ultimate reference which the Three Masonic Pillars bear to your moral and religious duties. As the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian Orders of Architecture are said to support your Lodge, so let your conduct be governed by the qualities they represent. Let Wisdom guide your steps to that fountain of knowledge, and source of truth, the Holy Bible. There shall you find rules for the government of your actions; and the path that leads to eternity. Even the science you profess instructs you, that if you be conversant in the doctrines of this Holy Book, and strictly adherent to its precepts, it will conduct you to a building not made with hands, eternally in the heavens. Proceed in this career armed with the strength of faith and hope, assured that if your faith in the Deity be securely founded, your constancy can never fail; so shall your charity shine
forth in all the Beauty of holiness; your acts of piety and virtue shall emit a brilliancy like the Sun pursuing his daily course in the heavens, and finally secure you a place in the Grand Lodge above, where Peace, Order, and Harmony eternally abide.
ON THE MASONIC LADDER.
We have now contemplated the great object of our Faith and Hope; we have beheld the unlimited power exhibited in the expulsion of our first parents from the garden of Eden, and the subsequent destruction of the antediluvian world;- events which have been uniformly grafted into all the mysteries of heathen nations. And we have considered with feelings of surprize and regret, how mankind renounced the true and living God in conjunction with Light, and devoted themselves to imaginary deities, who were worshipped in union with Darkness; which elicited the vengeance of insulted Purity in a series of scourges inflicted on them by war, pestilence, and famine. But in the midst of justice He always remembered mercy. After the first great display of power in the general destruction of mankind, this gracious Being placed his bow in the clouds, as a divine token that mercy should now prevail; and that he would no more destroy the earth by a flood of waters. And when mankind had degenerated to the lowest point of human depravity, he sent his Son to make atonement for them, that lost purity might be restored, faith and hope placed on a firm foundation, and his fallen creatures be again placed within the sphere of his favour and protection. Thus the dark clouds of divine wrath are dissipated, the heavens are opened; and we enjoy a ray of his glory in the celestial covering of the Lodge. And more than this; the same divine Being has taught us how to attain the summit of the same, by means which are emblematically depicted by a Ladder consisting of three principal Rounds or Staves, which point to the three Theological Virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity. We are now to consider the origin and application of this Symbol, by which a communication is opened between the creature and his Creator, with the gracious design of restoring to man that supreme happiness which was forfeited by Adam's transgression.
The application of this emblem is said to be derived from the vision of Jacob. When the Patriarch, to avoid the wrath of his brother Esau, fled to Padanaram; benighted and asleep, with the earth for his bed, a stone for his pillow, and the cloudy canopy of heaven for his covering, he beheld a Ladder, whose foot was placed on the spot where he lay, and its summit lost in the subtile ether. On this Ladder, angels continually ascended and descended, to receive communications from the Most High, who visibly appeared, above the uppermost round of the Ladder; and to disseminate their divine commissions over the face, of the earth. Here God graciously condescended to enter into a specific covenant with the sleeping Patriarch; who was hence so impressed with the feelings of gratitude and devotion, that when he awoke, he pronounced this consecrated spot, "the house of God, and the gate of heaven."'
The history of an event of this importance, connected with a very significant emblem, which was probably a square pyramid with steps on every side, might with unequivocal effect, be introduced by Jacob into the system of Masonry which he taught to his children,f and from them be transplanted into the mysteries of Egypt, whence it might spread into other countries, until the symbol became common to the mysteries of all. I rather incline to the opinion however, that its origin may be ascribed to a much earlier period; even to the first institution of Masonry in Paradise, when the communication between God and man, was immediately and unrestrainedly practised by the common parents of mankind. The ascent to the summit of the paradisiacal mount of God, by means of a pyramid consisting of seven steps, was an old notion, certainly entertained before the vision of Jacob; for it prevailed amongst the Mexican Sav
I Genesis xxviii. 17. t VM. Antiq. of Masonry, p, Md. ■