Imatges de pàgina
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War its thousands slays ; ;'
Peace its ten thousands. In th’embattled plain,
Though death exults and claps his raven wings,
Yet reigns he not ev’n there so absolute,
So merciless, as in yon frantic scenes
Of midnight revel, and tumultuous mirth ;
Where in th' intoxicating draught concealed,
Or couched beneath the glance of lawless love ;
He shares the simple youth, who nought suspecting,
Means to be blest-but finds himself undone.
Down the smooth stream of life the strippling darts,
Gay as the morn ; bright glows the vernal sky;
Hope swells his sails, and passion steers his course ;
Safe glides his little bark along the shore,
Where virtue takes her stand ; but if too far
He launches forth beyond discretion's mark,
Sudden the tempest scowls, the surges roar,
Blot his fair day, and plunge him in the deep.
O sad, but sure mischance !

SECTION 5.-OF FORTITUDE.

Fortitude is that noble and steady purpose of the mind, which enables us to resist temptation, and encounter dan.. ger with spirit and resolution. This virtue is equally distant from rashness and cowardice ; and he, who is possessed of it, is seldom shaken and never overthrown by the storms which surround him A man of an upright spirit disdains the malice of fortune. He doth not suffer bis happiness to depend on her smiles; and, were fore, with her frowns he shall not be dismayed. As a rock on the sea shore, he standeth firm, and the dashing of the waves disturbeth him not. He raiseth his head · like a tower on a hill, and the arrows of misfortune drop at his feet. In the instant of danger, the courage of his heart sustains him, and the steadiness of his mind bear. eth him out.

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SEOTION 6.OF PRUDENCE.
Prudence teacheth us to regulate our lives and actiong

agreeably to the dictates of reason, and to determine rightly on the mode of conduct which we ought to pursue in respect to our present as well as our future happiness. This is a virtue, which ought to be the peculiar characteristic of every mason ; but, on this subject it cannot be necessary to enlarge.

Without suspicion of being betrayed in our words, or ensnared in the openness of our dealings, our mirth in the lodge is undisguised. It is governed by PRUDENCE, tempered with love, and clothed in charity. Thus it standeth void of offence. No malicious mind warps innocent expressions to wicked constructions, or interprets unmeaning jests into sarcasms or satires ; but as every sentiment flows full of benovolence, so every ear in the lodge is attuned to the strain, in harmonious concord, and tastes the pleasures of festivity so pure, that they bear our reflections in the morning without remorse.

Peace, regularity, and decorum, are in the lodge, indispensable duties, nor are they the offspring of control or of authority, but a voluntary service, which every man brings to the lodge.

There are seasons, indeed, in which authority may be exercised with propriety. Man is frail, and the most prudent may sometimes deviate from the rules of strict propriety. It was a maxim of the ancient philosophers, that * to err was human, to forgive divine.” In the lodge, therefore, there should be a constant governor, who should restrain those improprieties, which may creep in amongst us ; but all this must be done with PRU

DENCE.

SECTION 7.--OF JUSTICE. Justice consists in an exact and scrupulous regard to the rights of others, with a deliberate purpose to preserve them, upon all occasions, sacred and inviolable ; and from this fair and equitable temper, performing ere. ry necessary act of justice, which relates to their persons and properties, being just to their merits, and just to their very infirmities, by making all the allowance in their favour, which their circumstances require, and a goodnatured and equitable construction of particular cases will admit of, being true to our friendships, to our promises and contracts, just in our traffic, just in our demands, and just, by observing a due moderation, even in our resentments.

We should do justice, deal fairly, bear good will, practice beneficence, succour the afflicted, and relieve the necessitous, esteem the worthy, reverence God and our parents, and obey the constituted authorities.

Justice is the foundation of an everlasting fame, and there can be nothing commendable without it.

Be ever steady to your word, yet be not ashamed to confess your errors, nor slow to idemnify those, who may have suffered by your mistake.

Philip, king of Macedón, in a fit of intoxication, happened to determine a cause unjustly, to the prejudice of a poor widow. She had no sooper heard his decree, than she cried out, “I appeal to Philip when sober.” The king struck with the singularity of what she had said, recovered his senses, gave a new hearing to the cause, and finding that he had been mistaken, ordered her to be paid out of his own purse, double the sum which she was to have lost. This is an example worthy of imitation..

Justice is a glorious and communicative virtue, ordained for the common good of mankind, without any regard to itself. This keeps men from tormenting one another, and it is this, which preserves tranquillity in the world. It is the bond of human society, a kind of tacit agreement and expression of nature, without which there is not any thing, which we do, that can deserre commen

for charity shall cover the multitude of sins." 1 Peter iv. 8.

Charity is, sometimes, taken only for giving alms ; and sometimes for having a favourable opinion of our neighbours ; but the proper interpretation of the words is Love,and St. Paul has fixed its meaning, and clearly shewn its effects in his first epistle to the Corinthians, chap. xiii. of which chapter my readers will be pleased with the following beautiful paraphrase.

« Did sweeter sounds adorn my flowing tongue,
Than ever man pronounced, or angels sung;
Had I all knowledge, human and divine,
Which thought can reach, or science oan define ;
And had I power to give that knowledge birth,
In all the speeches of the babbling earth;
Did SAADRACH's zeal my glowing breast inspire,
To weary tortures, and rejoice in fire ;
Or had I faith like that, which ISRAEL saW;
When Moses gave them miracles and law;
Yet gracious CHARITY, indulgent guest,
Were not thy power exerted in my breast,
Those speeches would send up unheeded prayers
That scorn of life would be but wild despair....
A cymbal's sound were better than my voice;
My faith were form, my eloquence were noise.
CHARITY, decent, modest, easy, kind,
Softens the high, and rears the abject mind;
Knows with just reins and gentle hand to guide,
Betwixt vile shame and arbitrary pride.
Not soon provoked, she easily forgives,
Soft peace she brings; wherever she arrives ;
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives ;
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature even,
And opens in each heart a little HEAVEN.
Each other gift, which God on man bestows,
Its proper bounds and due reflection knows >
To one fixed purpose dedicates its power,
And finishing its act, exists no more.
Thus in obedience to what HEAVEN decrees,
Knowledge shall fail, and prophecy shall cease,
But lasting CHARITY's more ample sway

- bound by time, nor subject to decay ;

In happy triumph shall for ever live,
And endless good diffuse, and endless praise receive.
As thro' the artist's intervening glass
Our eye observes the distant planets pass,
A little we discover, but allow,
That more remains unseen than art can shew;
So whilst our mind to knowledge would improve,
(Its teeble eye intent on things above)
High as we may, we lift our reason up,
By Faith directed and confirmed by Hope,
Yet we are able only to survey
Dawnings of beams and promises of day.
HEAVEN's fuller effluence mocks our dazzled sight;
Too great its swiftness, and too strong its light.
But soon the mediate clouds shall be dispelled ;
The sun shall soon be face to face beheld,
In all his robes, with all his glory on,
Seated sublime on his meridian throne.
Then constant Faith and holy Hope shall die,
One lost in certainty, and one in joy ;
Whilst thou more happy power, fair CHARITY,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsumed thy filame,
Shalt still survive
Shalt stand before the host of HEAVEN confest,
For ever blessing and for ever blest.”

I shall conclude this section by a few observations, which ought deeply to be impressed on the mind of every free-mason. “ The objects of true CHARITY,” says Mr. Hutchinson, in his SPIRIT OF MASONRY, “ are Merit and VIRTUE "in distress ;- persons, who are in capable of extricating themselves from misfortunes, which * have overtaken them in old age ; industrious men from inevitable accidents hurled into ruin ; widows left survivors of their husbands, by whose labours they subsist. ed ; and orphans in tender years left helpless and exposed to the world."

These are the true objects of charity, and a genuine mason will always endeavour to obviate the diffico!

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