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and shall never find a friend to his mind. Love thy friend, and be faithful unto him. But if thou bewrayeșt his secrets, follow no more after him: For as a man hath destroyed his enemy,so hast thou lost the love of thy neighbour. As one that lettetha bird go out of his hand, so has thou let thy neighbour gozand-shalt not get him again. Follow after him no more, for he is too far off : He is asi a roe escaped out of the snare. As for a wound it may be bound up, and after reviling there may be reconcilement, but he that bewrayeth secrets is without hope." I could mention many other circumstances of the excellency of secrecy; and I dare venture to say that the greatest honour, justice, truth, and fidelity, has been always found amongst those who could keep their own and others secrets; and this is most 'nobly set forth by Hó. race, who says:
The man resolv'd and steady to his trust,
Should the whole frame of nature round him break.
In ruin and confusion hurlid;
And stand focure amidst a falling world.
Therefore I am of opinion, that if secrecy and silence be duly considered, they will be found most necessary to qualify a man for any business of importance : If this be granted, I am confident that no man will dare to disputé that free-masons are superior to all other men, in concealing their secrets, from times immemorial : which the
power of gold, that often has betrayed kings and princes, and sometimes overturned whole empires, nor the most cruel punishments could never extort that secret even, from the weakest member of the whole fraternity.
Therefore I humbly presume it will of consequence be granted, that the welfare and good of mankind was the cause or motive of so grand an institution as free-masonry no art yet ever being so extensively useful, which not only tends to protect its members from external injuries, but to polish the rusty dispositions of iniquitous minds, and also to detain them within the pleasant bounds of true religion, morality and virtue ; for such are the precepts of this royal art, that if those who have the honour of being members thereof would but live according to the true principles of the ancient craft, every man that is endowed with the least spark, of honour or honesty, must of course approve their actions, and consequently endeavour to follow their steps. And although very few or none of the brethren arrive to the sublimity and beautiful contrivance of Hiram Abif, yet the very enemies of Free-Masonry must own, that it is the most renowned society that ever was, is now, or perhaps ever will be upon earth. The following true description of the royal art, will clearly shew its great use to mankind.
There the good mason, of his own accord,
By Masons art the proud ensigns of state,
Are deemed vain and useless toys,
But methinks I hear some of my
readers say, surely if Free-Masopry be such as it is here represented, the brotherhood most certainly are the happiest men living ; and yet, on the contrary, we often meet some very miserable, and others very great knaves, and a number of ignorant, illiterate stupid fools of the society, or at least would endeavor to make the world believe so. This has been duly considered and answered, in the insructions for such as would become Free-Ma
In the mean time I am well assured, thật none but strangers to the craftorand ungenerous enemies to good society, will doubt the veracity of what is here inserted concerning Free-Masonry: And for further satisfaction to my female readers, and such of the male sex as have not the honour of being initiated into the mystery, I here beg leave to treat of the principles of the craft, so far as comes within the limitation of my pen, which I hope will meet with a justi admiration, because they are founded upon religion, morality, brotherly love, and good fellowship: 0941.!! 6 fuit in T
A Mason is obliged by his tenure to believe firmly in the true worship of the eternal God, as well as in all those sacred records which the dignitaries and fathers of the church have compiled and published for the use of all good men so that no one who rightly understands the art, can possibly tread in the irreligious paths of the unhappy libertine, or be induced to follow the arrogant professors of atheism or deism ; Heither is he to be stained with the gross errors of blind superstition, but may have the liberty of embrace ing what faith he shall think proper, provided at
all times he pays a due reverence to his creator, and by the world deals with honour and honesty, ever making that golden precept, the standard-rule of his actions, which engages, to do unto all men as he would they should do unto him : For the craft, instead of entering into idle and unnecessary disputes concerning the different opinions and persuasions of men, admits into the fraternity all that are good and true; whereby it hath brought about the means of reconciliation amongst persons, who, without that assistance, would have remained at perpetual va. riance.
A Mason is a lover of quiet; is always subject to the civil powers, provided they do not infringe upon the limitted bounds of religion and reason : and it was never yet known, that a real craftsman was concerned in any dark plot, designs, or contrivances against the state, because the welfare of the nation is his peculiar care, so that from the highest to the lowest step of magistracy, due regard and deference is paid by him.
But as Masonry hath at several times felt the injurious effects of war, bloodshed and devastation, it was a stronger engagement to the Craftsmen to act agreeable to the rules of peace and loyalty; the many proofs of which behaviour hath oc. casioned the ancient kings and powers to protect and defend them. But if a brother should be so far unhappy as to rebel against the state, he would meet with no countenance from his fellows; nor would they keep any private converse with him, whereby the government might have cause to be jealous, or take the least umbrage.
A Mason, in regard to himself, is carefully to avoid all manner of intemperance or excess, which might obstruct him in the performance of the necessary duties of his laudable profession, or lead him into any crimes which would reflect disho. nour upon the ancient fraternity.