WASHINGTON AS A FREEMASON

gwplate2.jpg (16086 bytes)

DELIVERED BY ALBERT G. MACKEY, M. D., GRAND
SECRETARY AND GRAND LECTURER OF THE GRAND
LODGE OF SOUTH CAROLINA;  GENERAL OF THE
SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE 33D DEGREE, FOR THE
SOUTHERN JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES,
ETC., ETC., BEFORE THE GRAND AND SUBORDINATE
LODGES OF ANCIENT FREEMASONS OF SOUTH
CAROLINA, AT CHARLESTON, S. C., ON THURSDAY,
NOVEMBER 4TH, 1852, BEING THE CENTENNIAL
CELEBRATION OF THE INITIATION OF GEORGE
WASHINGTON

AlbertGMackey1.jpg (9945 bytes)

One hundred years ago - the day which we are now
celebrating with all these public demonstrations of joy and
pride - and which tens of thousands of our brethren are
commemorating with us, in every city and town and village
throughout the length and breadth of this vast empire - was
hallowed in the history of the Masonic institution, by the
initiation into its sublime mysteries of the Father of his
Country.

The scenes enacted on that day in a small and obscure
lodge of the Old Dominion were then, while the dark veil of
the futurity was still undrawn, supposed to be of an ordinary
character. The minute book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg
presents no more than the usual record, that on the 4th of
November, 1752, George Washington was initiated as an
Entered Apprentice. The youth, who, though even then he
had been honored by a distinguished appointment in the
military service of his native State, had not yet developed
the germ of his future greatness, passed undoubtedly
through the solemn ceremonies of initiation into our mystic
rites, without any suspicion on the part of those who
assisted in bestowing on him the light of Masonry, that the
transaction then occurring was to become an era in the
annals of our institution, and that a century afterwards their
descendants would ordain a jubilee, to hail its memory with
shouts of joy and to celebrate its anniversary with loud
peans of praise. But time, whose lessons are always
progressive and often unexpected, has since taught us that
the event of that evening was among the most important in
the history of American Masonry. It has furnished a topic of
angry discussion to the enemies, and of grateful exultation
to the friends, of our institution. It has given an abiding
testimony of the virtuous principles of that society, among
whose disciples "the patriot, the hero and the sage" did not
disdain to be numbered. And while time shall last and
Masonry shall endure, that old but distinctly legible page in
the record book of Fredericksburg Lodge will be pointed to
with proud satisfaction by every Mason, as indisputable
evidence that the wisest of statesmen, the purest of patriots,
the most virtuous of men, was indeed his brother and bound
with him in one common but mystic tie of fraternity and love.

In the ancient record book of the Lodge at Fredericksburg in
Virginia - a book venerable for its age as a relic of the past -
but still more venerable for the pages on which the record is
made, will be found the following entries.

The first entry is thus:

No. 4th, 1752. This evening Mr. George Washington was
initiated as an Entered Apprentice," and the receipt of the
entrance fee, amounting to 2 pounds 3s is acknowledged.

On the 3rd of March in the following year, "Mr. George
Washington" is recorded as having been passed a Fellow
Craft; and on the 4th of the succeeding August the
transactions of the evening are that "Mr. George
Washington," and others whose names are mentioned, are
stated to have been raised to the sublime degree of Master
Mason.

These records of the early Masonic career of Washington
are inestimable to the Mason as memorials of the first
connection of the Father of his Country with our institution.
But if the history of that connection had there ceased; if
admitted to our temple, he had but glanced with cold and
indifferent eye upon its mysteries; and if then, unaffected by
their beauty - untouched by their sublimity, and unwakened
by their truth, lie had departed from our portals - the pride
with which we hail him as a brother would have been a vain
presumption, and the celebration of this day, a senseless
mockery. But the seed of Masonry which was sown on the
evening of that November fell not on a barren soil. It grew
with his growth and strengthened with his strength, and
bloomed and ripened into an abiding love and glowing zeal
for our order, nor ever withered or decayed amid all the
trials and struggles, the perils and excitement of a long life
spent, first in battling to gain the liberties of his country, and
then in
counseling to preserve them.

The evidence of all this is on record, and the genuineness of
the record cannot be disputed. Whatever the enemies of
Masonry may say to the contrary - however they may have
attempted in the virulence of their persecution, to insinuate
that his connection with our order was but accidental and
temporary - first formed in the thoughtlessness of youth and
then at once and forever dissolved - there is abundant
testimony to show that he never for a moment disowned his
allegiance to the mystic art - and never omitted, on every
appropriate occasion, by active participation in our rites, to
vindicate the purity of the institution and to demonstrate in
the most public manner, his respect for its principles.

Years after his initiation, when he held the exalted rank of
leader of our armies in those deeply perilous days, which
have been so well defined as "the times that tried men's
souls," notwithstanding his responsible duties, his arduous
labors, his mental disquietudes, he would often lay aside the
ensigns of his supreme authority, and forgetting for a time
"the pomp and circumstance of glorious war," would enter
the secluded tent and mingle on a level with his brave
companions, in the solemn devotions and mystic rites of
some military lodge, where, under the sacred influence of
Masonry, the god of carnage found no libations poured upon
his altar, but where the heartfelt prayer for the prevalence of
harmony and brotherly love was offered to the Grand
Architect of the Universe. We have the authority of a
distinguished Mason of Virginia, who has elaborately
investigated the Masonic life of Washington, for saying that
"frequently, when surrounded by a brilliant staff, he would
part from the gay assemblage and seek the instruction of the
Lodge." And there was actually living in Ohio a few years
ago a revolutionary veteran, Captain Hugh Maloy, who on
one of these occasions was initiated in the marquee of
Washington, the Commander in Chief himself presiding at
the ceremony.

In scenes like these the great Napoleon has been known to
appear, and the lodges of Paris have more than once
beheld the ruler of the empire mingling in their labors, a
willing witness of the great doctrine of Masonic equality. But
in the founder of a new dynasty, such condescension might -
and possibly with some truth - be attributed to the policy of
winning popular applause. In our true-hearted, single-
minded Washington, no such
subservience to man-worship
could be suspected. His only motives were deep love for the
institution, and profound admiration of its principles.

Permit me, before we proceed to a review of the later
portions of Washington's Masonic life, to invite your
attention to one, other revolutionary incident, reflecting
equal honor upon the subject of our address, and on the
order of which he was so illustrious a member.

A distinguished brother who faithfully and valiantly served
his country, in the last contest in which it has been engaged,
once remarked, in an address delivered by him before the
Grand Lodge of this State, that much as he admired
Masonry it was only on the field of battle that he had really
learned to love it. Wisely and truthfully were those words
uttered. For it is there, amid loud hosannas to the god of
slaughter, when
"Men with rage and hate
Make war upon their kind,
And the land is fed by the blood they shed,
In their lust for carnage blind,"
that the voice of Masonry speaks in tones that are heard
above the dull booming of artillery, and the shrill blast of the
bugle. It is there, when the utterance of humanity is hushed -
when language, created by its beneficent author, to express
man's wants and man's affections, is exchanged for the
clashing of steel - when the plunge of the bayonet or the
thrust of the saber is too often the only reply to the cry for
mercy - and when human sympathy has been driven from its
throne in the human heart - it is there that the whispered
word may make its strong appeal, and the mute yet eloquent
sign, will paralyze the uplifted arm, converting by its hidden
necromancy, hate into love, and binding in a moment the
conqueror and the conquered with these strong cords of
fraternal affection which will withstand the utmost strain of
national enmity to snap asunder.

Scenes and events of this kind were of course occurring in
our revolutionary war - for there is no contest among
civilized nations in which they are not present. But one in
which Washington was more particularly and immediately
engaged may serve to show how perfectly he understood
and appreciated this beautiful feature in the Masonic
system.

In the 46th regiment of the British army there was a traveling
Lodge, holding its Warrant of Constitution under the
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. After an
engagement between the American and British forces, in
which the latter were defeated, the private chest of the
Lodge, containing its jewels, furniture and implements, fell
into the hands of the Americans. The captors reported the
circumstances to General Washington, who at once ordered
the chest to be returned to the Lodge and the regiment,
under a guard of honor. "The surprise," says the historian of
the event, himself an Englishman and a Mason, "the feeling
of both officers and men may be imagined, when they
perceived the flag of truce that announced this elegant
compliment from their noble opponent, but still more noble
brother. The guard of honor, with their music playing a
sacred march - the chest containing the Constitution and
implements of the Craft borne aloft, like another ark of the
covenant, equally by Englishmen and Americans, who lately
engaged in the strife of war, now marched through the
enfiladed ranks of the gallant regiment that, with presented
arms and colors, hailed the glorious act by cheers, which the
sentiment rendered sacred as the hallelujahs of an angel's
song."

When the contest which secured the independence and
freedom of his country was terminated, Washington,
covered with the admiration and gratitude of his fellow-
citizens, retired like another Cincinnatus to the shades of
private life. But he did not abandon then his interest in the
institution of which he was an honored member.

In 1788 he united with others in presenting a petition for the
formation of a new Lodge at Alexandria, and the Warrant of
Constitution, as the instrument authorizing the organization
is technically called, is still in existence, preserved in the
archives of that Lodge, and has been seen by thousands.

That Warrant commences with these words - words which
now cannot be altogether heard with cold indifference:

"I, Edmund Randolph, Governor of the State, and Grand
Master of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, do hereby constitute
and appoint our illustrious and well-beloved Brother George
Washington, late General and Commander-in-Chief of the
forces of the United States of America, and our worthy
Brothers Robert McCrea, William Hunter, Jr., and Joseph
Allison, Esq., together with all such other brethren as may
be admitted to associate with them, to be a just, true and
regular Lodge of Freemasons, by the name, title and
designation of Alexandria Lodge, No. 22."

The Lodge is still in existence and in active operation, but in
1805 it changed its name in honor of its first Master to that
of "Washington Alexandria."

No one acquainted with the character of Washington - with
his indomitable energy, his scrupulous punctuality, and his
rigid adherence to method in business, will for a moment
suppose that he would ever have engaged in a labor which
he did not ardently strive to accomplish, or have accepted
an office whose duties he did not conscientiously discharge.
But his general and well known reputation for these virtues
is not all that we possess as a testimony of the mode ;n
which he met the responsible cares of presiding over the
Craft.

The Hon. Timothy Bigelow, in an eulogy delivered before
the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, two months after
Washington's death, when there were still living witnesses
of his Masonic life, with whom the speaker had conversed,
supplies us on this point with the following evidence:

"The information received from our brethren who had the
happiness to be members of the Lodge over which he
presided for many years, and of which he died the Master,
furnishes abundant proof of his persevering zeal for the
prosperity of the institution. Constant and punctual in his
attendance, scrupulous in his observance of the regulations
of the Lodge, and solicitous at all times to communicate light
and instruction, he discharged the duties of the chair with
uncommon dignity and intelligence in all the mysteries of our
art."

Incidents like these, interesting as they may be, are not all
that is left to us to exhibit the attachment of Washington to
Masonry. On repeated occasions lie has announced, in his
letters and addresses to various Masonic bodies, his
profound esteem for the character and his just appreciation
of the principles of that institution into which, at so early an
age, he had been admitted. And during his long and
laborious life, no opportunity was presented of which he did
not gladly avail himself to evince that he was a Mason in
heart as well as in name.

Thus, in the year 1797, in reply to an affectionate address
from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, he says: "My
attachment to the Society of which we are members will
dispose me always to contribute my best endeavors to
promote the honor and prosperity of the Craft."

Five years before this letter was written, he had, in a
communication to the same body, expressed his opinion of
the Masonic institution as one whose liberal principles are
founded on the immutable laws of "truth and justice," and
whose "grand object is to promote the happiness of the
human race."

In answer to an address from the Grand Lodge of South
Carolina in 1791, he says: "I recognize, with pleasure, my
relation to the brethren of your Society," and "I shall be
happy, on every occasion, to evince my regard for the
fraternity." And in the same letter he takes occasion to
allude to the Masonic institution as "an association whose
principles lead to purity of morals and are beneficial of
action."

In writing to the officers and members of St. David's Lodge,
at Newport, R. I., in the same year, he uses this language:
"Being persuaded that a just application of the principles on
which the Masonic fraternity is founded must be promotive
of private virtue and public prosperity, I shall always be
happy to advance the interests of the Society, and to be
considered by them as a deserving brother."

And lastly, for we will not further extend these quotations, in
a letter addressed in November, 1798, only thirteen months
before his death, to the Grand Lodge of Maryland, he has
made this explicit declaration of his opinion of the Institution:

"So far as I am acquainted with the doctrines and principles
of Freemasonry, I conceive them to be founded in
benevolence, and to be exercised only for the good of
mankind. I cannot, therefore, upon this ground, withdraw my
approbation from it."

If I have paused thus long upon these memorials of the past,
and if I have borrowed thus largely from these evidences of
Washington's opinions, it is that, so far as this audience at
least is affected, the question of his attachment to our Order
may be forever put to rest, and that the falsehoods and
forgeries of our enemies may be detected by a reference to
the authentic expressions in our favor of the very man whom
they have published to the world as the enemy of
Freemasonry. Henceforth the words which have been
uttered here to-day - to some of you undoubtedly familiar,
but by many now heard for the first time - will stand as
incontrovertible evidence that Washington was, in very truth,
a Mason - in heart, in affection and in allegiance. Not merely
in name and in outward bearing, but one who wrought with
us in our hours of labor, and whose visits to our temple were
prompted by no idle curiosity, but by a warm devotion to the
interests of the Craft, and a philosophical admiration of our
mystic system.

And is it not a noble eulogy of our institution that it should
have numbered among its faithful disciples one so stainless
in morals, so devout in religion, a patriot so pure, a
statesman so virtuous, that his life was the admiration of the
world - his death, the desolation of his country?

There is, indeed, in the whole pervading spirit of
Freemasonry something of that "beauty of holiness" which
must have been congenial to the character of such a man as
he. His heart was irresistibly drawn to it by the purity of its
principles, and the sublime beneficence of its design. He
could not but love, because it was holy, and he could not but
admire it, because it was intellectual.

Though I will not undertake to say that Washington was
indebted for any of those beautiful traits which adorned his
character, to the influence of Masonic teaching (because I
know that he derived them from a diviner school), yet there
was undoubtedly such a similarity in the most prominent
virtues that illustrated his life to those which constitute the
very ground work of the Masonic system, as must have
readily won from him respect and esteem for our institution.

Unfaltering Trust in God - an humble dependence on the
wisdom and power of the Supreme Controller of the
Universe - is the first as well as the most indispensable
moral qualification of every candidate for our mystic rites.
And this virtue, the foundation and suggester of every other,
was a distinguishing feature in the religious constitution of
Washington. In all his private and public letters, in his
official correspondence with the government, and in his
orders to the army, this firm reliance-this trustful
dependence on Divine Providence is prominently and
frequently referred to as though it were a topic on which he
could not too often dilate.

Of Charity, which has been aptly called the cap-stone of the
Masonic edifice, and which, like the virtue already spoken
of, is taught in the most important ceremonies of initiation,
Washington was an illustrious example. Throughout his life
he sought rather for opportunities of discharging the claims
of his virtue than for apologies for its neglect, and he
uniformly acted whenever the poor and the deserving were
presented to his notice under the influence of that great
doctrine of our Order, which teaches us "to soothe the
unhappy; to sympathize with their misfortunes; to
compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their
troubled minds."

And again, Brotherly Love, that sublime principle of
philanthropy, by which, as it is defined in our ritual, "we are
taught to regard the whole human species as one family; the
high and low, the rich and poor; who, as created by one
Almighty Parent, are to aid, support and protect each other"
- was admirably exemplified in his humanity to the prisoner,
his condescension to his inferiors, his warm friendship, his
general benevolence, and his uniform urbanity and
gentleness of manner to all who approached him. His was
indeed the character to win kindness from an enemy, or to
secure fidelity in a friend.

The Cardinal Virtues, too, so beautifully inculcated in the
lectures of our system, were eminently prominent in the
character of our beloved brother. And when the neophyte of
our order, standing before the Pedestal of the East, is
receiving from the Master of the Lodge those deeply
significant symbols by which these virtues are to be
impressed upon his mind and heart, I know not where better
the teacher could seek for a bright example of Temperance
than in him who ever placed a due restraint upon the
passions of his humanity, and whose mind was thus
proverbially freed from the allurements of vice - or of
Fortitude, than in him whose noble purposes of soul enabled
him to undergo for the good of his country every peril, pain
and danger that beset his path - or of Prudence, than in him
whose whole life was regulated by the dictates of reason
and who was not more a Fabius in the field than he was a
Solon in the cabinet - or of justice, than in him who, in the
administration of both private and public affairs, always
accorded to every man his just due, without distinction of
rank or person.

And lastly, as to that other great Masonic virtue, Truth, the
"divine attribute," which, as Masons, we are taught
constantly to contemplate, and by which we are directed to
regulate our conduct - where or when lived the man who,
from his very infancy, was more influenced than he by this
holy principle; or of whom we might more truthfully say that
his soul was its throne - his whole life its active
embodiment?

But why extend the catalogue, or why protract this eulogium
of him whom now to praise were indeed "to paint the lily or
to gild refined gold." If on the tomb of the great architect of
St. Paul's, lying beneath the magnificent dome of that proud
temple which his own genius had created, it was thought all
sufficient to inscribe this epitaph: "If you would seek his
monument, look around!" - may we not, viewing this goodly
audience and this large assemblage of the members of a
mystic fraternity, offering up the holocaust of their whole
heart's veneration - and that, too, not here alone, but in all
the widely separated segments of this vast empire - in the
North, in the South, in the East, and the West - all animated
by one common feeling of joyous exultation that the most
loved and honored of our might dead - was with us and of us
- bound willingly and cheerfully to himself in our bond of
fraternity - looking thus at all that is around us, in this public
display, and all that is in us and about us, in the sentiment of
honest pride, that as Masons warms and animates us - may
we not point to this day and to these services as a
"monument more perennial than brass" of our own - our
venerated brother.

The fact that Washington was an active and devoted
member of our fraternity is in itself a source to us of
gratulation, because it furnishes unanswerable testimony
(as one of the ablest of our opponents has candidly
admitted) that "there is nothing in the institution at war with
our duties as patriots, men and Christians." But, while we
thus peculiarly honor the greatest man of his age, and
assert that in uniting with us he vindicated by his own virtue
the purity of his principles, we may be permitted to indulge
in the consoling consciousness that such a vindication was
not altogether wanting; but that both before and since the
connection of Washington with the Craft the history of
Freemasonry has presented a catalogue of glorious names
inscribed upon its proud escutcheon. It is indeed with truth
that the ritual of our Order declares to each initiate that "the
greatest and best of men in all ages have been encouragers
and promoters of the art, and have never deemed it
derogatory to their dignity to level themselves with the
fraternity, to extend their privileges and to patronize their
assemblies." Without directing our researches into that
remote antiquity whose consideration would involve us in
too elaborate an inquiry, I may be permitted to remind the
scholar and the antiquary that during the medieval ages the
art of ecclesiastical architecture was carried by the
Freemasons to that state of classic beauty and scientific
perfection that has never since been equaled by the builders
of succeeding times - that the invention and the most
gorgeous examples of the pointed gothic are attributable to
our Masonic ancestors - and that throughout the whole of
Europe, from the south of Italy to the north of Scotland,
cathedrals, abbeys and churches lift their tall and graceful
spires as monuments of the skill and ingenuity of the
fraternity - or in their magnificent ruins, still "beautiful in
death," continue to extort the admiration of modern taste or
to defy the rivalry of the modern art.

It was then that Popes and Bishops, Kings and Nobles,
lavished their patronage on our Order, and vied with each
other in the protection and encouragement of the institution.
And although at a subsequent period the church, from
motives into whose character I will not now stop to inquire,
withdrew its friendly countenance, and in still later years
commenced a series of unsuccessful persecutions, many
nothwithstanding, of the good and wise, the great and the
powerful in every age and country, have been found among
the disciples of our mystic school.

It is indeed with somewhat more than ordinary pride and
gratulation that we claim as our brethren, among a host of
others, such men as Sir Christopher Wren, the builder of St.
Paul's - and Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal
Exchange, the princely gift to London of one of London's
merchant princes - and Elias Ashmole, one of the most
learned of English antiquarians - and Helvetius, the
profound philosopher and mighty thinker - and Lalande, the
celebrated astronomer of France - and Goethe and Schiller,
the immortal masters of German poesy - and Sir Walter
Scott, the great magician of the North - and Horsely, the
distinguished Bishop of Rochester, who boldly stood up in
the British Parliament to defend, when assailed, that
fraternity of which he proudly announced himself to be a
member - and Sir William Follet, the learned and exemplary
lawyer and the late Attorney General of England, who did
not hesitate to declare his attachment to our institution, and
to assign, as a reason for that attachment, "the kindly
sympathy and widespread benevolence and cordial love" its
system created.

And the potentates of earth have knelt at our altar and
breathed forth our vows. Frederick the Great of Prussia, and
George IV of England, with all his uncles and brothers, and
Oscar of Sweden, and Christian of Denmark, and Ernest of
Hanover, may be named among the many kings and princes
who have not only been the patrons, but the disciples of our
art.

And Napoleon, with every marshal and general of
Napoleon's camp; and Nelson and Wellington, whose ashes
are not yet
inured, and Collingwood and Napier, and every
distinguished leader of England's army and navy, have worn
the Mason's badge, and learned the Mason's sign.

In our own country the roll of distinguished Masons is not
less honorable to the fraternity. In the revolutionary war all
the generals of the American army, both the children of our
own soil and those noble and kindred spirits who came from
France and Germany and Poland to assist us, were bound
together, not only by the glorious bond of common struggle,
but by the additional cords of Masonic fraternity. And when
in after days, La Fayette, that patriot of two hemispheres,
had returned to the home from which for our cause, he had
so long been an exile, he could find no more appropriate
token of his grateful recollection to convey to Washington,
his venerated father in arms, than a Mason's scarf and a
Mason's apron, and which, wrought by Madam La Fayette, a
Mason's wife, were long treasured and worn by him to whom
they were presented, and are now preserved as sacred
relics by the Lodge at Alexandria.

In civil life we claim an equally noble catalogue. More than
fifty of the signers of the Declaration of Independence,
several of our Presidents and judges, and many of our most
distinguished statesmen, have been initiated into the rites of
Masonry.

Franklin, the chief of our philosophers, and Griswold, one of
the most pious of our prelates, and Clinton, the purest of our
patriots, showed by their steadfast attachment to our
institution their just appreciation of its principles; and Henry
Clay, that man of immoral mind, whose death his country is
still lamenting, is recorded in our annals as a Mason of
unfaltering devotion, who, years ago, sacrificed the
aspirations of ambition to his love of the Craft and refused a
nomination for the Presidency by what was then supposed
to be a powerful party, when the price of his support was to
be a renunciation of Freemasonry.

To men, to minds, to hearts, like these coming up in their
devotions to our altars from all times and from all countries,
Masonry may proudly point, as Cornelia did of old to her
children and say, indeed with truth, "These - these are my
jewels."

One hundred years have elapsed since George Washington
knelt at the sacred altar of Masonry, as an humble thirster
after knowledge, and then and there imposed upon himself
those solemn vows of obedience, and fidelity, and fraternity,
which entitled him to the reception of our mystic light. A
century has, since then, been irrevocably absorbed in the
measureless abyss of time - and a century, how full of
wonderful events. How many old empires have passed
away, and how many new ones have been ushered into
existence - how many dynasties of kings and
Kaisers have
been blotted from the herald book of history, and how many
others have been inscribed upon its pages of mundane
glory! How many of the wise and the good, the noble and
the great, have drifted in the shattered bark of life to the
"shores where all is dumb!" How in that great century, now
forever gone, has
"Man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill,
And arts that made fire, flood and earth,
The vassals of his will."
How many hearts that then beat with all the hopes of youth,
or with all the ambition of age, have ceased to pulsate - and
all their throbs of love and joy, or hate and grief, been stilled
in the silence of the tomb! What millions of that busy throng
who then peopled the earth's surface have buried all their
struggles and found a certain rest for all their varied labors
in the grave! What revolutions have there not been in
nations; what changes in art and science; how many old
theories have been proved to be fallacious; how many new
ones invested with truth, since that memorable evening,
when George Washington was initiated into our sacred rites!

And he, too, with all his energy and endurance; with all his
wisdom and purity; with all his power and popularity - even
he has passed away - has gone from us forever, leaving his
glory and his virtues as a legacy to his country.

But time, which has thus drawn into the vortex of its mighty
gulf, the perishable fabrics of man's device, and buried in
one common wreck - the inventors and their inventions - the
players and the stage on which they strutted their "brief
hour," has beaten in vain, with all its rolling billows against
the impregnable rock of Masonry.

Though other things have passed away, that still remains;
now as it has ever been indissoluble immutable - no
landmark subverted-no fragment dissevered from its perfect
mass; its columns still standing in strong support; its lights
still burning with undiminished splendor; its altars still
blazing with their sacred fires; its truth still pure as in the day
of its birthhood; and when the cycle of another century shall
have revolved, and you and I, and all that are elsewhere
meeting on this festival day, shall have gone down to the
dust from whence we sprung - another generation will be
here - again to meet upon a second jubilee, and with like
hopes and joys, and with like words of
granulation and songs
of triumph, to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of
that day which gave to Masonry the noblest of her sons, in
him who was "First in war, first in peace, and first in the
hearts of his countrymen."

 

         

Museum Home Page     Phoenixmasonry Home Page

Copyrighted 1999 - 2013   Phoenixmasonry, Inc.      The Fine Print