ROMANS xii. 10.
IN this chapter, from whence my text is taken, we find the Apostle Paul labouring with the Romans to press on them the great duties of Brotherly Love.
By an entire submission and conformity to the will of God, whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these we might be made partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust—That being all members of the body of Christ with the Church, we ought to apply the gifts we have received to the advantage of our brethren, those of us especially who are called to any office in the church, by discharging it with zeal and integrity and benevolence, which is the most important duty, and comprehends all the rest, and particularly the following—which the apostle here sets down—which are to love one another sincerely, to be ready to all good offices—to sym|pathize Page 4 in the good or evil that befals our bre|thren, to comfort and assist those that are in afflic|tion, and to live together in a spirit of humility, peace and unity. Benevolence does yet further oblige christians to love and bless those who hate them and injure them, to endeavour to have peace with all men, to abstain from revenge, and to ren|der them good for evil; these are the most essential duties of the religion we profess; and we deserve the name of christians no further than we sincere|ly practise them to the glory of God and the good of our own souls and bodies, and the good of all mankind.
But first, my Brethren, let us learn to pray to God through our Lord Jesus Christ for under|standing, that we may know ourselves; for without this we can never be fit for the society of man, we must learn to guide ourselves before we can guide others, and when we have done this we shall understand the apostle, Romans xii. 16. "Be not wise in your own conceits," for when we get wise in ourselves we are then too wise for God, and consequently not fit for the society of man—I mean the christian part of mankind—Let all my brethren Masons consider what they are called to—May God grant you an humble heart to fear God and love his commandments; then and only then you will in sincerity love your brethren: And you will be enabled, as in the words of my text, to be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love in honour prefer|ring one another. Therefore, with the apostle Page 5 Paul, I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service—let love be without dissimulation, abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. These and many other duties are required of us as christians, every one of which are like so many links of a chain, which when joined together make one complete member of Christ; this we profess to believe a Christians and as Masons.—I shall stop here with the intro|duction, which brings me to the points I shall endeavour to prove.—
First, the anciency of Masonry, that being done, will endeavour to prove all other titles we have a just right as Masons to claim—namely, honour|able, free and accepted: To do this I must have recourse to the creation of this our world.—After the Grand Architect of the Universe had framed the heavens for beauty and delight for the beings he was then about to make, he then called the earth to appear out of darkness, saying, let there be light, and it was so; he also set the sun, moon and stars in the firmament of heaven, for the delight of his creatures—he then created the fishes of the sea, the fowls of the air, then the beasts of the earth after their various kinds, and God blessed them.
Thus all things were in their order prepared for the most excellent accomplished piece of the visible creation, Man.—The forming this most excellent creature Man, was the close of the Page 6 creation, so it was peculiar to him to have a solemn consultation and decree about his making, and God said, let us make Man.—Seneca says, that man is not a work huddled over in haste, and done without fore-thinking and great con|sideration, for man is the greatest and most stupendous work of God.—Man hath not only a body in common with all inferior animals, but into his body was infused a soul of a far more noble nature and make—a rational prin|ciple to act according to the designs of his creation; that is, to contemplate the works of God, to admire his perfections, to worship him, to live as becomes one who received his excellent being from him, to converse with his fellow creatures that are of his own order, to maintain mutual love and society, and to serve God in con|sort. Man is a wonderful creature, and not unde|vedly said to be a little world, a world within himself, and containing whatever is found in the Creator.—In him is the spiritual and immaterial nature of God, the reasonableness of Angels, tho sensative power of brutes, the vegetative life of plants, and the virtue of all the elements he holds converse with in both worlds.—Thus man is crowned with glory and honour, he is the most remarkable workmanship of God. And is man such a noble creature and made to con|verse with his fellow men that are of his own order, to maintain mutual love and society, and to serve God in consort with each other?—then what can these God-provoking wretches think, Page 7 who despise their fellow men, as tho' they were not of the same species with themselves, and would if in their power deprive them of the blessings and comforts of this life, which God in his bountiful goodness, hath freely given to all his creatures to improve and enjoy? Surely such monsters never came out of the hand of God in such a forlorn condition.—Which brings me to consider the fall of man; and the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it and to keep it, and freely to eat of every tree of the garden; here was his delightful employ and bountiful wages, and but one tree out of all that vast number he was forbidden to eat of. Concerning this garden, there have been different opinions about it by the learned, where it was, but the most of them agree that it was about the center of the earth, and that the four rivers parted or divided the four quarters of the world. The first was Pison, that was it which compasseth the land of Ha|vilah; this river Pison is called by some Phasis, or Phasi Tigris, it runs (they say) by that Havilah whither the Amalekites fled, see 1 Sam. xv. 7. and divides it from the country of Susi|anna, and at last falls into the Persian Gulf, saith Galtruchius and others; but from the opinions of christian writers, who hold, that Havilah is India, and Pison the river Ganges. This was first asserted by Josephus, and from him Eustu|bius, Jerom, and most of the fathers received it, and not without good reason; for Moses here Page 8 adds, as a mar• to know the place by, that there is gold, ••d the gold of that land is good; now it is confessed by all, that India is the most noted for gold, and of the best sort. It is added again, a note whereby to discover that place, that there is bdellium and the onyx stone—and India is famous for precious stones and pearls.—The name of the second river is Gihon, the same is it which compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia (or Cush as it is in the original) there is reason to believe that this Gihon is the river of Nile, as the forenamed Josephus and most of the ancient writers of the church hold, and by the help of the river Nile, Paradise did as it were border upon Egypt, which is the principal part of the African Ethiopia, which the ancient writers hold is meant there: The name of the third river is Hiddekel, that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria, ver. 14. That it was a river belong|ing to Babylon is clear from Dan. x. 4; this is concluded to be the river Tygris, which di|vides Mesopotamia from Assyria, and goeth along with Euphrates, this being the great middle chan|nel that ran through Edom or Babylon, and may be thought to take its name from its fructifying quality. These are the four grand land marks which the all-wise and gracious God was pleased to draw as the bounds and habitation of all nations which he was about to settle in this world; if so, what nation or people dare, without highly displeasing and provoking that God to pour down his judgments upon them.—I say, Page 9 dare to despise or tyrannize over their lives or liber|ties, or incroach on their lands, or to inslave their bodies? God hath and ever will visit such a nation or people as this.—Envy and pride are the leading lines to all the miseries that mankind have suf|fered from the beginning of the world to this present day. What was it but these that turned the devil out of heaven into a hell of misery, but envy and pride?—Was it not the same spirit that moved him to tempt our first parents to sin against so holy and just a God, who had but just (if I may use the expression) turned his back from crowning Adam with honour and glory?—But envy at his prosperity hath taken the crown of glory from his head, and hath made us his posterity miserable.—What was it but this that made Cain murder his brother, whence is it but from these that our modern Cains call us Africans the sons of Cain? (We admit it if you please) and we will find from him and his sons Masonry began, after the fall of his father. Altho' Adam, when placed in the garden, God would not suffer him to be idle and unemployed in that hap|py state of innocence, but set him to dress and to keep that choice piece of earth; here he was to employ his mind as well as exercise his body; here he was to contemplate and study God's works; here he was to enjoy God, himself and the whole world, to submit himself wholly to his divine conduct, to conform all his actions to the will of his Maker; but by his sudden fall he Page 10 lost that good will that he owed to his God, and for some time lost the study of God's works; but no doubt he afterwards taught his sons the art of Masonry; for how else could Cain after so much trouble and perplexity have time to study the art of building a city, as he did on the east of Eden, Gen. iv. 17. and without doubt he teached his sons the art, ver. 20, 21.—
But to return, bad as Cain was, yet God took not from him his faculty of studying architec|ture, arts and sciences—his sons also were endued with the same spirit, and in some convenient place no doubt they met and communed with each other for instruction. It seems that the all wise God put this into the hearts of Cain's family thus to employ themselves, to divert their minds from musing on their father's murder and the woful curse God had pronounced on him, as we don't find any more of Cain's complaints after this.
Similar to this we have in the 6 Gen. 12 & 13, that God saw that all men had corrupted their way, and that their hearts were only evil continu|ally; and 14, 15, 16 verses, the great Architect of the universe gives Noah a compleat plan of the ark and sets him to work, and his sons as assistants, like deputy and two grand wardens. One thing is well known, our enemies themselves being judges, that in whatsoever nation or kingdom in the whole world where Masonry abounds most, there hath been and still are the most peaceable subjects, cheerfully conforming to the laws of that country Page 11 in which they reside, always willing to submit to their magistrates and rulers, and where Masonry most abounds, arts and sciences, whether mechani|cal or liberal, all of them have a mighty tenden|cy to the delight and benefit of mankind; there|fore we need not question but the allwise God by putting this into our hearts intended, as another end of our creation, that we should not only live happily ourselves, but be likewise mutually assist|ing to each other. Again, it is not only good and beneficial in a time of peace, in a nation or king|dom, but in a time of war, for that brotherly love that cements us together by the bonds of friend|ship, no wars or tumults can separate; for in the heat of war if a brother sees another in distress he will relieve him some way or other, and kindly receive him as a brother, prefering him before all others, according to the Apostle's exhortation in my text, as also a similar instance you have 1 Kings, x. from 31st to 38th verse, where you find Benhadad in great distress, having lost a nu|merous army in two battles, after his great boast|ing, and he himself forced to hide himself in a chamber, and sends a message to Ahab king of Israel to request only his life as a captive; but be|hold the brotherly love of a Mason! no sooner was the message delivered, but he cries out in a rapture—is he alive—he is my brother! Every Mason knows that they were both of the craft, and also the messengers. Thus far may suffice for the anciency of this grand art; as for the honour of it—it is a society which God himself has been Page 12 pleased to honour ever since he breathed into Adam the breath of life, and hath from generation to generation inspired men with wisdom, and planned out and given directions how they should build, and with what materials. And first, Noah in build|ing the ark wherein he was saved, while God in his justice was pleased to destroy the unbelieving world of mankind. The first thing Noah did upon his landing was to build an altar to offer sacrifice to that great▪ God which had delivered him out of so great a deluge; God accepted the sacrifice and blessed him, and as they journeyed from the east towards the west, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and dwelt there, and his sons.
Nimrod the son of Cush, the son of Ham, first founded the Babylonian monarchy, and kept pos|session of the plains, and founded the first great empire at Babylon, and became grand master of all Masons, he built many splendid cities in Shinar, and under him flourished those learned Mathema|ticians, whose successors were styled in the book of Daniel, Magi, or wise men, for their superior knowledge. The migration from Shinar commen|ced fifty three years after they began to build the tower, and one hundred and fifty four years after the flood, and they went off at various times and travelled east, west, north and south, with their mighty skill, and found the use of it in settling their colonies; and from Shinar the arts were car|ried to distant parts of the earth, notwithstanding the confusion of languages, which gave rise to Masons faculty and universal practice of conversing Page 13 without speaking, and of knowing each other by signs and tokens; they settled the dispersion in case any of them should meet in distant parts of the world who had been before in Shinar. Thus the earth was again planted and replenished with Masons the second son of Ham carried into Egypt; there he built the city of Heliopolis—Thebes with an hundred gates—they built also the statue of Sphynx, whose head was 120 feet round, being reckoned the first or earliest of the seven wonders of arts. Shem the second son of Noah remained at Ur of the Chaldees in Shinar, with his father and his great grandson Heber, where they lived in private and died in peace: But Shem's offspring travelled into the south and east of Asia, and their offspring propagated the science and the art as far as China and Japan.
While Noah, Shem and Heber diverted them|selves at Ur in mathematical studies, teaching Peleg the father of Rehu, of Sereg, Nachor, and Terah, father of Abram, a learned race of mathematicians and geometricians; thus Abram, born two years after the death of Noah, had learned well the science and the art before the God of glory called him to travel from Ur of the Chaldees, but a fa|mine soon forced him down to Egypt; the descen|dants of Abram sojourned in Egypt, as shepherds still lived in tents, practised very little of the art of architecture till about eighty years before their Exodus, when by the overruling hand of provi|dence they were trained up to the building with stone and brick, in order to make them expert Page 14 Masons before they possessed the promised land; after Abram left Charran 430 years, Moses march|ed out of Egypt at the head of 600,000 Hebrews, males, for whose sakes God divided the red sea to let them pass through Arabia to Canaan. God was pleased to inspire their grand master Moses, and Joshua his deputy, with wisdom of heart; so the next year they raised the curious tabernacle or tent; God having called Moses up into the mount and gave him an exact pattern of it, and charges him to make it exactly to that pattern, and withal gave him the two tables of stone; these he broke at the foot of the mount; God gave him orders to hew two more himself, after the likeness of the former. God did not only inspire Moses with wisdom to undertake the oversight of the great work, but he also inspired Bezaleel with know|ledge to do all manner of cunning workmanship for it.—Having entered upon the jewish dispensa|tion, I must beg leave still to take a little notice of the Gentile nations, for we have but these two nations now to speak upon, namely, the Gentiles and the Jews, till I come to the Christian aera.
The Canaanites, Phenicians and Sidonians, were very expert in the sacred architecture of stone, who being a people of a happy genius and frame of mind, made many great discoveries and improvements of the sciences, as well as in point of learning. The glass of Sidon, the purple of Tyre, and the exceeding fine linnen they wove, were the product of their own country and their own invention; and for their extraordinary skill Page 15 in working of metals, in hewing of timber and stone; in a word, for their perfect knowledge of what was solid in architecture, it need but be remembered that they had in erecting and decorating of the temple at Jerusalem, than which nothing can more redound to their hon|our, or give a clearer idea of what this one building must have been.—Their fame was such for their just taste, design, and ingenious inven|tions, that whatever was elegant, great or pleas|ing, was distinguished by way of excellence with the epithet of Sidonian.—The famous temple of Jupiter Hammon, in Libian Africa, was erect|ed, that stood till demolished by the first Christians in those parts; but I must pass over many other cities and temples built by the Gentiles.
God having inspired Solomon with wisdom and understanding, he as grand master and un|dertaker, under God the great architect, sends to Hiram king of Tyre, and after acquainting him of his purpose of building a house unto the name of the Lord his God, he sends to him for some of his people to go with some of his, to Mount Lebanon, to cut down and hew cedar trees, as his servants understood it better than his own, and moreover he requested him to send him a man that was cunning, to work in gold and in silver, and in brass, iron, purple, crimson and in blue, and that had skill to engrave with the cunning men, and he sent him Hiram, his name-sake this Hiram, God was pleased to in|spire Page 16 with wisdom and understanding to under|take, and strength to go through the most curious piece of workmanship that was ever done on earth.—Thus Solomon as grand master, and Hiram as his deputy, carried on and finished that great work of the temple of the living God, the inside work of which, in many instances as well as the tabernacle, resembles men's bodies; but this is better explained in a well filled lodge; but this much I may venture to say, that our blessed Saviour compared his sacred body to a temple, when he said, John ii. 19. Destroy this temple and I will raise it up again in three days; and the Apostle, 1 Peter, i. 14. says, that shortly he should put off this tabernacle. I could show also that one grand end and design of Masonry is to build up the temple that Adam destroyed in Paradise—but I forbear. Thus hath God honoured the Craft, or Masons, by inspiring men with wisdom to carry on his stupendous works.
It is worthy our notice to consider the number of Masons employed in the work of the Temple: Exclusive of the two Grand Masters, there were 300 princes, or rulers, 3300 overseers of the work, 80000 stone squarers, setters, layers or builders, being able and ingenious Crafts, and 30000 appointed to work in Lebanon, 10000 of which every month, under Adoniram, who was the Grand Warden; all the free Masons employ|ed in the work of the Temple was 119,600, be|sides 70,000 men who carried burdens, who were not numbered among Masons; these were Page 17 partitioned into certain Lodges, although they were of different nations and different colours, yet were they in perfect harmony among them|selves, and strongly cemented in brotherly love and friendship, till the glorious Temple of Jeho|vah was finished, and the cape-stone was celebrated with great joy—Having finished all that Solomon had to do, they departed unto their several homes, and carried with them the high taste of architec|ture to the different parts of the world, and built many other temples and cities in the Gentile nations, under the direction of many wise and learned and royal Grand Masters, as Nebuchad|nezar over Babylon—Cyrus over the Medes and Persians—Alexander over the Macedonians—Julius Caesar over Rome, and a great number more I might mention of crowned heads of the Gentile nations who were of the Craft, but this may suffice.—I must just mention Herod the Great, before I come to the state of Masonry from the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ.—This Herod was the greatest builder of his day, the patron and Grand Master of many Lodges; he being in the full enjoyment of peace and plenty, formed a design of new building the Temple of Jerusalem. The Temple built by the Jews after the captivity was greatly decayed, being 500 years standing, he proposed to the people that he would not take it down till he had all the materials ready for the new, and accordingly he did so, then he took down the old one and built a new one.—Josephus describes this Temple as a most admirable and magnificent fabric of marble, and Page 18 the finest building upon earth.—Tiberius having attained the imperial throne, became an encourager of the fraternity.
Which brings me to consider their freedom, and that will appear not only from their being free when accepted, but they have a free inter|course with all Lodges over the whole terrestial globe; wherever arts flourish, a man hath a free right (having a recommendation) to visit his bre|thren, and they are bound to accept him; these are the laudable bonds that unite Free Masons together in one indissoluble fraternity—thus in every nation he finds a friend▪ and in every cli|mate he may find a house—this it is to be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love, in honour preferring one another.
Which brings me to answer some objections which are raised against the Masons, and the first is the irregular lives of the professors of it.—It must be admitted there are some persons who, careless of their own reputation, will consequently disregard the most instructive lessons—Some, I am sorry to say, are sometimes to be found among us; many by yielding to vice and intemperance, frequently not only disgrace themselves, but re|flect dishonour on Masonry in general; but let it be known that these apostates are unworthy of their trust, and that whatever name or designation they assume, they are in reality no Masons: But if the wicked lives of men were admitted as an argument against the religion which they profess, Christianity itself, with all its divine beauties, would be exposed to censure; but they say there Page 19 can be no good in Masonry because we keep it a secret, and at the same time these very men them|selves will not admit an apprentice into their craft whatever, without enjoining secresy on him, before they receive him as an apprentice; and yet blame us for not revealing our's—Solomon says▪ Prov. xi. 12, 13. He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour, but a man of understand|ing holdeth his peace; a tale-bearer revealeth se|crets, but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter. Thus I think I have answered these objections. I shall conclude the whole by ad|dressing the Brethren of the African Lodge.
Dear and beloved brethren▪ I don't know how I can address you better than in the words of Nehemiah (who had just received liberty from the king Artaxerxes, letters and a commission or charter, to return to Jerusalem) that thro' the good hand of our God upon us we are here this day to celebrate the festival of St. John—as members of that honorable society of free and accepted Masons—as by charter we have a right to do—remember your obligations you are under to the great God, and to the whole family of mankind in the world—do all that in you lies to relieve the needy▪ support the weak mourn with your fellow men in distress, do good to all men as far as God shall give you ability, for they are all your brethren▪ and stand in need of your help more or l•ss—for he that loves every body need fear nobody: But you must remember you are under a double obligation to the brethren of the craft of all nations on the Page 20 face of the earth, for there is no party spirit in Masonry; let them make parties who will, and de|spise those they would make, if they could, a species below them, and as not made of the same clay with themselves; but if you study the holy book of God, you will there find that you stand on the level not only with them, but with the greatest kings on the earth, as Men and as Masons, and these truly great men are not ashamed of the meanest of their brethren. Ancient history will produce some of the Africans who were truly good, wise, and learned men, and as cloquent as any other nation what|ever,* though at present many of them in slavery, which is not a just cause of our being despised; for if we search history, we shall not find a nation on earth but has at some period or other of their existence been in slavery, from the Jews down to the English Nation, under many Emperors, Kings and Princes; for we find in the life of Gregory, about the year 580, a man famous for his charity, that on a time when many merchants were met to fell their commodities at Rome, it happened that he passing by saw many young boys with white bodies, fair faces, beau|tiful countenances and lovely hair, set forth for sale; he went to the merchant their owner and asked him from what country he brought them; he answered from Britain, where the inhabitants were generally so beautiful. Gregory (sighing) said, alas! for grief, that such fair faces should be under the power of the prince of darkness, and that such bodies should have their souls void of the grace of God.
Page 21 I shall endeavour to draw a few inferences on this discourse by way of application.—
My dear Brethren, let us pray to God for a benevolent heart, that we may be enabled to pass through the various stages of this life with reputa|tion, and that great and infinite Jehovah, who overrules the grand fabric of nature, will enable us to look backward with pleasure, and forward with confidence—and in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, the well grounded hope of meeting with that mercy from our Maker which we, have ever been ready to shew to others, will refresh us with the most solid comfort, and fill us with the most unspeakable joy.
And should not this learn us that new and glorious commandment of our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples, when he urges it to them in these words—Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself.—Our Lord repeats and recommends this as the most indispensable duty and necessary qualification of his disciples, saying, hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.—And we are expressly told by the Apostle, that charity, or universal love and friend|ship, is the end of the commandment.
Shall this noble and unparalleled example fail of its due influence upon us—shall it not animate our hearts with a like disposition of benevolence and mercy, shall it not raise our emulation and provoke our ambition—to go and do likewise.
Let us then beware of such a selfishness as pur|sues pleasure at the expence of our neighbour's Page 22 happiness, and renders us indifferent to his peace and welfare; and such a self-love is the parent of disorder and the source of all those evils that divide the world and destroy the peace of mankind▪ whereas christian charity—universal love and friendship—benevolent affections and social feel|ings, unite and knit men together, render them happy in themselves and useful to one another, and recommend them to the esteem of a gra|cious God, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
The few inferences that have been made on this head must be to you, my worthy brethren, of great comfort, that every one may see the pro|priety of a discourse on brotherly love before a society of free Masons—who knows their engage|ments as men and as christians, have superadded the bonds of this ancient and honourable society—a society founded upon such friendly and comprehensive principles, that men of all nations and languages, or sects of religion, are and may be admitted and received as members, being re|commended as persons of a virtuous character.
Religion and virtue, and the continuance and standing of this excellent society in the world—its proof of the wisdom of its plan—and the force of its principles and conduct has, on many occasions, been not a little remarkable—as well among persons of this, as among those of dif|ferent countries, who go down to the sea and occupy their business in the great waters▪ they know how readily people of this institution can open a passage to the heart of a brother; and in the midst of war, like a universal language, is under|stood Page 23 by men of all countries—and no wonder.—If the foundation has been thus laid in wisdom by the great God, then let us go on with united hearts and hands to build and improve upon this noble foundation—let love and sincere friendship in necessity instruct our ignorance, conceal our infirmities, reprove our errors, reclaim us from our faults—let us rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with those that weep—share with each other in our joys, and sympathize in our troubles.
And let the character of our enemies be to re|sent affronts—but our's to generously remit and forgive the greatest; their's to blacken the repu|tation and blast the credit of their brethren—but our's to be tender of their good name, and to cast a vail over all their failings; their's to blow the coals of contention and sow the seeds of strife among men—but our's to compose th••• differences and heal up their breaches.
In a word, let us join with the words of the Apostle John in the 19th chapter of Revelations, and after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia, salvation and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God; for true and righteous are his judgments—and the four and twenty elders, and the four beasts, fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen; Alle|luia; and a voice came out of the throne, saying, praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great.
Page 24 To conclude the whole, let it be remembered, that all that is outward, whether opinions, rites or ceremonies, cannot be of importance in regard to eternal salvation, any further than they have a tendency to produce inward righteousness and goodness—pure, holy, spiritual and benevolent affections can only fit us for the kingdom of hea|ven; and therefore the cultivation of such must needs be the essence of Christ's religion.—God of his infinite mercy grant that we may make this true use of it. Unhappily, too many Christians, so called, take their religion not from the declara|tions of Christ and his apostles, but from the writings of those they esteem learned.—But, I am to say, it is from the New-Testament only, not from any books whatsoever, however piously wrote, that we ought to seek what is the essence of Christ's religion; and it is from this fountain I have endeavoured to give my hearers the idea of Christianity in its spiritual dress, free from any human mixtures—if we have done this wisely we may expect to enjoy our God in the world that is above—in which happy place, my dear bre|thren, we shall all, I hope, meet at that great day, when our great Grand Master shall sit at the head of the great and glorious Lodge in heaven—where we shall all meet to part no more for ever and ever—Amen.