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vast abyss of Chaos, surveyed the uncreated images of things, in the comprehension of his own unbounded mind, and commanded them to exist, according to Order, and in Measure, Number and Weight!"*
“ Then, from the innumerable worlds which He spoke into existence, He chose this Earth, as the temporary Lodge of Man; and distinguished him, above its other inhabitants, with a rational soul, according to His own divine Image! For, as Solomon adds, “ His spirit rejoiceth in the habitable parts of “ His Earth, and His delights are with the sons of “ Men.”+
Wherefore, Man, being thus distinguished above the rest of the creatures of this world, by the superior qualities of his soul, was designed for superior pursuits; and his chief labours were to be “in Wisdom, in Knowledge, and in Equity”—that he might rise into more intimate kindred with the exalted Beings of superior Worlds.
From this source, therefore, namely, from the Soul and more dignified faculties of Man, flowed the Sciences, as from their true fountain; whose streams, rolling still deeper and clearer, through the channels of Time, have flowed even unto Us in this new World; brightening and enlarging their current, further as they flow!
• The Masonic reader will readily allow, that in different Masonic Ser. mons, even by different Authors, repetitions and copying from each other, 30 far as concerns the mysteries of the Craft, Metaphors, Allusions, &c. are unavoidable.
† Prov. Ch. 31.
Nor have any of the sons of men laboured more strenuously, for clearing and widening and deepening the channels of Arts and Sciences, than the fraternity of true Masons, from ancient to modern times. In all ages,
every country and climate, on Land and on Water, under every circumstance, adverse and prosperous, they have adhered to the Rules of their Craft, seeking to adorn the precepts of their chief Master Solomon, and to merit individually the character of a Man, whose labours are in Wisdom, and in Knowledge, and in Equity.
The Arts and Sciences, are the grand pillars, which support the Fabric of human Wisdom, and are in turn supported by it. The Arts, in practical life, produce magnificent buildings to delight the eye, and accommodate man with terrestrial Lodges; while the Sciences, especially as improved and exalted by the divine science of Christianity, produce moral order, and all the charities of Friendship and brotherly Love, to humanize the heart; and lead to piety, both in speculation and practice; to comfort us in our walk below, and prepare us for our seat in the celestial Lodge above.
Seeing, therefore, that this happy union of science with art, produces such a valuable issue, we are not to wonder at the honours paid to those great Men, and Master-Masons, who have benefited the world by their Ingenuity and their labours of Wisdom and Knowledge and Equity; nor are we to neglect the proper occasions of displaying their illustrious example, for the imitation of others.
The memory of those great Craftsmen, who first taught mankind to build, to plant, to sow, to defend the body from injury, and to adorn the mind with knowledge, will still be held dearer, and more precious, to a man whose labours are in Wisdom and Knowledge and Equity; than the memory of the most renowned Conquerors, though mounting to a throne, through the spoils of War, and the devastation of Nations!
To the discoveries in Science, we owe our acquaintance with the works and wonders of Nature, have been enabled to travel the ocean, and behold the wonders of the great Deep; to explore the starry Heavens, to pursue the eccentric comet through its long and devious track, to measure the swiftness of a sun-beam, and the rapid journies of Light; to trace the divine Wisdom and Agency, not only in the greatest, but the minutest parts of His works; and this enlargement of our knowledge of the works of creation, has enlarged our conceptions of the Creator, the mighty Lord of Cherubin and Seraphin—the immortal and invisible God!
It is thus that by the good examples of labourers of this kind, and as we are further instructed by the precepts and example of our heavenly master Christ in his Gospel, that we reap the glorious crop of Christian virtues; which calm and cheer the conscience, purify the heart, and maintain Concord, Unity, Friendship, Charity and brotherly Love in the Lodge; thereby opening a happy intercourse of love, between the Workmen upon earth, and their great Master in heaven.
Now, since it hath pleased Him, that the cunning Craftsman, the learned Philosopher and the good Man, should all severally contribute so much to the service of mankind; how rare and valuable a Jewel must the Man be, who, according to the text, joins the skill and cunning of his Craft, with the wisdom of the Philosopher, and the goodness of the true servant of God—whose Head, whose Hands and Heart, are alike devoted to the welfare and happiness of his fellow men?
Such it behoves every man to be, who is a faithful member of society, and seeks to do good in his generation, according to the allotment of his Creator, whosent no man into this world, to live by the labours of others. But such particularly should the Man be who is an adopted member of that Fraternity, whose Festival we now celebrate; and which we cannot bet. ter celebrate than by shewing the world that we constantly keep in view our professed obligations, to make all our Labours and Wisdom and Skill subservient to the three grand pursuits of the Brotherhood—the promoting “Peace on earth, good will to men, and Glory to God, in the highest!"
This great evangelic pursuit and labour, which our Master Christ came to establish upon sure foundations; our Master Solomon likewise taught in our text, as has been already shewn; and the character given of our Master Hiram, that Prince of Masons, beloved by Solomon, leaves an example which we profess and should strive more and more to followSkilled in every art and science, then known among mankind, he delighted to employ his skill to the noblest purposes—the building a house for the Glory of the Omnipotent God-chosen as a Master Builder by the king of Tyre, and sent to Solomon for that purpose, as you heard it read, in our first lesson for the occasion of the day
“ I have sent a cunning man, endowed with understanding, a great master-builder of my fathers“ skilful to work in gold and in silver and in brass " and in iron and in stone and in timber; and to deco“ rate his work in purple and in blue, and in crimson; “ also to grave all manner of graving, and to find out
every device which shall be put to him*!” and accordingly Solomon, then accounted the greatest and wisest man upon earth, paid him proportionable honour, employing his talents in the noblest work—the building a House for God, and placing under his direction no less than thirty-six hundred master Workmen, fourscore thousand Craftsmen, and seventy thousand common Labourers; all whose labours he directed in Wisdom and Knowledge and Equity, those three grand pillars, founded as upon the adamantine rock of everlasting Truth, on which all True Masons profess to rear and support their Fabrics.
On this foundation, we wish the works of all mankind, as well as our own, to be built; and to build on such a stable foundation, is the most essential part of the Wisdom or Mystery of Masonry; and therefore it need not be called a Secret-in any other way than that the rules for Masonic workmen, are most conveniently and effectually propagated in secret, or within the doors of the Lodge, closed and guarded, My Christian Brethren in general-I would not, in this sacred place, where it is my duty on every occa.
• 2 Chron, chap. ii. 7.