Imatges de pàgina

the institution and fraternity in esteem and honour, as favourable to the support of civil authority, if I had not known their love of the fine arts, their delight in hospitality and devotion to humanity.

Your indulgent opinion of my conduct, and your benevolent wishes for the fortunate termination of my public labours, have my sincere thanks.

The public engagement of your utmost exertions in the cause of your country, and the offer of your services to protect the fais inheritance of your ancestors, are proofs, that you are not chargeable with those designs, the imputation of which, in other parts of the world, has embarrassed the public mind with respect to the real views of your society.

John Adams. ss Philadelphia, June 22d, 1798."

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To the above, I shall add two other interesting documents, which, though they precede the last, by a few years, may, perhaps, with more propriety, be inserted

in this place. · The first is an address from the grand lodge of Massachusetts, when they presented to their illustrious brother George Washington, their book of constitutions, which is dedicated to him, and was presented with the following address :

"The grand lodge of free and accepted masons of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, to their honoured and illustrious brother George Washington, president of the United States.

" Whilst the historian is describing the career of your glory, and the inhabitants of an extensive empire are made happy in your unexampled exertions ; wbilst some celebrate the hero, so distinguished in liberating United America, and others the patriot, who presides ofer her

councils ; a band of brothers, having always joined the the acclamations of their countrymen, now testify their respect for those milder virtues, which ever grace the man.

“ Taught by the precepts of our society, that all its members stand upon a level, we venture to assume this station, and to approach you with that freedom, which diminishes our diffidence without lessening our respect.

“Desirous to enlarge the boundaries of social happiness, and to vindicate the ceremonies of their institution, this grand lodge have published a book of constitutions (and a copy for your acceptance accompanies this), which by discovering the principles that actuate, will speak the eulogy of the society; though they fervently wish the conduct of its members may prove its highest commendation,

“Convinced of his attachment to its cause, and readiness to encourage its benevolent designs, they have taken the liberty to dedicate this work to one, the quali. ties of whose heart, and the actions of whose life, have contributed to improve personal virtue, and to extend, throughout the world, the most endearing cordialities ; and they humbly hope, he will pardon this freedom, and accept the tribute of their esteem and homage.

** May the Supreme Architect of the universe protect and bless you, give you length of days, and increase of felicity in this world, and then receive you to the har. monious and exalted society in heaven.

" John Cutler, grand master. “ Boston, December 271b, A. D. 1792."

To this address, the following answer was returned :

“ To the grand lodge of free and accepted masons of the commonwealth of Massacbusetts.

“Flattering as it may be to the human mind, and truly honourable as it is to receivė, from oùr fellow citizens, testimonies of approbation for exertions to promote the public welfare, it is not less pleasing to know, that the milder virtues of the heart are highly respected by a society, whose liberal principles are founded on the immutable laws of truth and justice.

“ To enlarge the sphere of social happiness is worthy of the benevolent design of a masonic institution ; and it is most fervently to be wished, that the conduct of every member of the fraternity, as well as those publications that discover the principles which actuate them, may tend to convince mankind, that the grand object of masonry is to promote the happiness of the human race.

• While I beg your acceptance of my thanks for the book of constitutions which you have sent me, and for the honour you have done me in the dedication, permit me to assure you, that I feel all those emotions of gratitude, which your affectionate address and cordial "Wishes are calculated to inspire ; and I sincerely pray, that the Great Architect of the Universe may bless you here, and receive you hereafter into his immortal temple.

George Washington."

The last document, which I shall lay before my readers, on this subject, is the address which the grand lodge presented to the president upon his retiring from office, together with his answer.

“ The grand lodge of ancient free and accepted masons, of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, to their most worthy brother George Washington.

“ Wishing ever to be foremost in testimonials of respect and admiration of those virtues and services, with which you have so long adorned and benefitted our common country, and not the last nor the least to regret the cessation of them in the public councils of the union, your brethren of this grand lodge embrace the earliest

opportunity of greeting you in the calm retirement, which you have contemplated to yourself..

“ Though as citizens, they lose you in the active labours of political life, they hope as masons, to find you in the pleasing sphere of fraternal engagement. From the cares of state, and the fatigues of public business, our institution opens a recess, affording all the relief of tranquillity, the harmony of peace, and the refreshment of pleasure. Of these may you partake in all their purity and satisfaction. And we will assure ourselves, that your attachment to this social plan will increase ; so that under the auspices of your encouragement, assistance and patronage, the craft will attain its highest ornament, perfection and praise. And it is our earnest prayer, that when your light shall be no more visible in this earthly temple, you may be raised to the All Perfect Lodge above, be seated on the right of the Supreme Architect of the Universe, and receive the refreshment your labours have merited !

“In behalf of the grand lodge, we subscribe ourselves, with the highest esteem, your affectionate brethren,

.Paul Revere, grand master.

« Isaiah Thomas, senior grand warden.

Joseph Laughton, junior grand warden. Daniel Oliver, grand secretary. “ Boston, March 21st, 5797.

The following answer was received and communicated to the grand lodge, June 12th, 5797.

“ To the grand lodge of ancient, free, and accepted masons, in the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

• Brothers,

..“ It was not till within these few days, that I have been favoured by the receipt of your affectionate address, dated in B oston, the 21st of March.

" For the favourable sentiments you have been please ed to express on the occasion of my past services, and for the regrets, with which they are accompanied for the cessation of my public functions, I pray you to accept my best acknowledgments and gratitude.

" No pleasure, except that, which results from a consciousness of having to the utmost of my abilities, discharged the trusts, which have been reposed in nie by my country, can equal the satisfaction I feel from the unequivocal proofs I continually receive of its approbation of my public conduct ; and I beg you to be assured, that the evidence thereof, which is exhibited by the grand lodge of Massachusetts, is not among the least pleasing or grateful to my feelings.

“ In that retirement, which declining years induced me to seek, and which repose to a mind long employed in public concerns rendered necessary, my wishes, that a bounteous Providence will continue to bless and preserve our country in peace and in the prosperity it has enjoyed, will be warm and sincere ; and my attachment to the society of which we are members, will dispose me always to contribute my best endeavours to promote the honour and interest of the craft.

“ For the prayer, you offered in my behalf, I entroat you to accept the thanks of a grateful heart. With assurances of fraternal regard and my best wishes for the honour, happiness, and prosperity of all the members of the grand lodge of Massachusetts,

** I am, &c.

George Washington,:

Although professor Robinson exempts the English lodges from the charge of disloyalty or want of attachment to government, it is evident from the whole tenour of his book, that he intended to sound the tocsin of alarm in the ears of the British ministry, by the thunder of his extraordinary denunciations. It must, however, have

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