The Masonic Trowel

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by Genevieve
The Masonic Review - 1857

AMIDST the contentions that for years have deluged the land, the persecutions that have surrounded it, numerous as the stars of heaven, Masonry has remained unhurt; although for awhile its destruction seemed inevitable, yet the dark clouds have rolled away, and the bright sum of prosperity shines again. It is a temple with one altar and one God, but illuminated by a thousand varied lights.  

Founded upon the broad principles of true Brotherly Love, it has withstood the venomous shafts of its enemies, but to reap new glories. "This principle existed long before kingdoms were founded, long ere peopled marts had lifted their glittering pinnacles to the sun; before human skill had reared the mighty pillars of Tadmor, or moulded the brazen gates of Thebes, the social spirit was abroad, linking hearts together, shedding new beauty upon earth's loveliness, and making glad its solitary places."  

Wherever civilization is found, there do we see its influence, its bright rays piercing through the dark clouds of ignorance and superstition, gilding all with a halo of unsullied glory. It will march onward with man's progress, as did the fiery pillar, with the children of Israel, guiding and protecting him. Many an attempt has been made to crush the time-worn institution, but still it gleams forth from the darkness around it, like one of the ever-shining stars "in the vanguard of man, gliding slow, but guiding sure" to future lands of promise. Since its birth, nations have passed away like bubbles upon a stream, and Time himself has become frosted with years, yet its teachings remain pure and holy, and shall stand  

"Till wrapt in flame, the realms of ether glow,
And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world below."  

"It has moved on to immortality; while its pathway has been strewn with the rains of mighty empires, and its skies often clouded with the smoke from the funeral urn of nations." Time has not marred its beauty.  

"--------- Still serene,  
Its unconquered mind looks down upon the wreck,  
And ever stronger as the storms advance,  
Firm through the closing ruin holds its way,
Where virtue calls it to the destined goal."  

Its language is universal. Its signal of distress is acknowledged by all. The man educated in the arts and luxuries of life, with him that boasts no superiority, is placed on an equality. The rich and poor alike worship at its altars, partake of its veiled mysteries, and mingle their praise and thanksgivings; thus the pure, bright tide of Faith and Love must flow onward throughout all earth's changes to its ocean home, the truth and beatitude of heaven.  

Brethren, yours is a holy calling. With the Bible for your guide, you may go on in your noble undertaking, administering comfort to the way-worn pilgrim, drying the orphan's tears, whispering words of consolation to the bereaved heart, and great will be your reward, if not in this world, that which cometh hereafter.  

With hope to discern, true faith to believe, and fervent charity to sustain, yon can look forward into the dim vista of the future - to "that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens," where, when life's weary pilgrimage is past, will be gathered the true and the faithful.

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