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rative workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the master on his trestle board, so should we, both operative and speculative, endeavour to erect our spiritual building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the universe, in the great Book of nature and revelation, which is our spiritual, moral, and Masonic trestle-board.

Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, as it is said he was the first Most Excellent Grand Master: Yet Masons professing Christianity dedicate theirs to Saint John the Baptist, and Saint John the Evangelist, who were two eminent Christian patrons of Masonry; and since their time, there is represented, in every regular and well-governed lodge, a certain point within a circle,* embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; and upon the top rests the Holy Scriptures. In going round this circle, we necessarily touch upon these two lines, as well as the Holy Scriptures; and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their precepts, it is impossible that he should materially err.

OF BROTHERLY LOVE.

By the exercise of brotherly love, 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, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other. On this principle, masonry unites men of every country, sect, and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

* This point represents an individual brother, the circle is the boundary line, beyond which he is never to suffer his prejudices or passions to betray him.

OF RELIEF.

To relieve the distressed, is a duty incumbent on all men; but particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathise with their misfortunes; to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connexions.

OF TRUTH.

Truth is a divine attribute, and the fountain of every virtue. To be good and true, is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavour to regulate our conduct: hence, while influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us; sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us; and the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.

An Explanation of the four Cardinal Virtues: which are Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.

OF TEMPERANCE.

Temperance is that due restraint upon our affections and passions, which renders the body tame and governable, and frees the mind from the allurements of vice. This virtue should be the constant practice of every Mason; as he is thereby taught to avoid excess, or contracting any licentious or vicious habit, the indulgence of which might lead him to disclose some of those valuable secrets, which he has promised to conceal and never reveal, and which would consequently subject him to the contempt and detestation of all good Masons.

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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

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