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the fact, that Masonry was originally incorporated with the various systems of divine worship used by every people in the ancient world. Masonry retains the symbol or shadow, it cannot have renounced the reality or substance.
To you, Brethren, who are clothed in this exalted badge, I need not recommend a systematic adherence to the virtues which it represents. At your initiation you were taught that innocence of conduct and purity of heart, were expected to be your peculiar characteristics from the moment of your investiture with the Apron. Is it necessary for me to add that Masonry expects from you an obedience to her precepts, if you are ambitious to share in her peculiar benefits? If any one of you should fail to become a perfect Master in the mysteries of Masonry, (which is the lot of but few,) you still cannot be at a loss to understand the value of her moral precepts;—if you cannot fathom her deep and abstruse secrets, you may practice the benevolence and good will, the innocence and purity, which she recommends. It is not expected that every mason should be perfectly versed in all her occult mysteries, but it is imperiously required that he practise the great and prominent Lvirtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice; that he may attain the reputation of a good and worthy mason upon earth, and the reward of it in another and a better world. This is the perfection of the system.
Your Faith and Hope must be made perfect by Charity, or all your attainments will be nothing. You may speak with the tongues of men and angels; you may have all wisdom and knowledge, but if your Masonry, though founded on Faith and Hope, be not animated by Charity, it is only a worthless skeleton, and adds no brilliancy to your moral reputation.
While your body then, is girded with the Masonic Apron, let your soul be clothed with innocence; let your thoughts be pure, your desires holy, your wishes sanctified; assured that health and true pleasure depend solely on temperance; and that the privations of abstinence bear no proportion to the pain and misery arising from sloth, voluptuousness, or habitual intoxication.
ON THE GOVERNMENT OF THE LODGE.
In the article of government and discipline, Masonry stands high. We find in the earliest times, that all government was threefold; though until the time of the Jewish dispensation, the high offices of King, Priest, and Prophet, were united in one person. In Masonry however a distinction was made much earlier; for at the flood Noah, Shem, and Japheth, were the presiding Officers of our Order; and the same disposition has continued unaltered and unimpaired down to the present day.
The Wisdom, the Strength, and the Beauty,*of this arrangement may be estimated, by considering that a similar form of government was dictated by the divinity for the observance of the Jewish and Christian Churches; the former being governed by the High Priest, the Priests and Levites; and the latter by Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.
If we turn to the idolatrous mysteries, we find the same unvarying traces of government, which were doubtless derived from the mysteries of Noah, or in other words, from the science of Free Masonry. In the mysteries of Greece, the principal Officers were Three. The chief person was the Hierophant, or Revealer of holy things; the next in rank and importance was the Daduchus, or Torch-Bearer, so named from the custody of the Great and Sacred Lights, which were placed under his superintending care; the duty of the third, denominated Ceryx, was to proclaim, in a public manner, the will and pleasure of the Hierophant. There was also another important personage in these mysteries, who, without any portion of supreme authority, was usually employed about the Altar, and called Oepiboma. The three principal Officers were supposed to represent the Sun, the Moon, and Mercury. The inferior Officers appointed to superintend the less important departments of the mysteries, and to assist the chief governors in the execution of their respective duties, were four; and usually denominated Epimeletes.*:
The principal directors or superintendents of the Persian mysteries were also three in number; the Priest or Archimagus, the Archpresule, and the Presule, because the number three was esteemed perfect, and included many extraordinary virtues; as it is said in the reputed Oracles of Zoroaster, "The mind of the Father decreed that all things should be divided into Three."
* Potter, Arch. Grec. b. ii. c. 30.
We have already seen that the same arrangement prevailed in India,' the chief Officer being placed in the East to represent Brahma, or the rising Sun; his two colleagues in the West and South, representing Vishnu and Siva, as the setting and meridian Sun. The attendant Mystagogues clad in sacred vestments, having their heads covered, each with a pyramidal cap, emblematical of the spiral flame, or the solar ray, were seated around in respectful silence. Thus disposed in solemn guise, the well known signal from the holy bell, summoned the aspirant into the centre of this august assembly; and the initiation commenced with an anthem to the great god of nature, whether as the Creator, Preserver, or Destroyer.
The three superior orders of men under whose presidency the Gothic mysteries were placed, called the Drones, the Scalds, and the Diviners, were believed to possess many supernatural endowments, which invested the mysteries with a distinguished celebrity, that made every candidate for military fame anxious to participate in their privileges. ,
The presiding officers in the Druidical mysteries
* Page 130. supra.