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ments upon this subject briefly stated. It is therefore only necessary here to observe, that, as all nations are involved in difficulties, and men adhering to their political creeds and religious opinions are frequently overwhelmed with sorrows and plunged deeply into all the scenes of poverty, and their families reduced to all the perplexities connected with misfortunes; Masonry opens an asylum to all those who are worthy and well qualified to receive its honours and extend its benefac. tions. Every religious sect who acknowledges the Supreme Being is equally respected by our order. “Religious and political disputes are ban. ished from our societies, as tending to sap the foundations of friendship, and to undermine the basis of the best in. stitutions." We leave every member free to choose and to support those principles of religion, and those forms of government which appear consistent to his views and worthy of his at. tention ; and never censure nor disre. spect him for being zealously engaged in what he deems important to Zion,
or to the world, while he keeps himself within the square with all meny and receives the Sacred Writings as his only sure guide to eternal blessed. ness.
To debar the faithful from our temple, our instructions, and our privile. ges, merely because their minds have been more or less expanded by heaven. ly influences, or more or less interest. edly influential in the affairs of their nation, would at once demolish our fabrick to the ground, and not " leave one stone upon another.”
It seems necessary in the nature of things that this society should be thus extensive in its plan of receiving members, that there might be one system formed by man in which the confusion of tongues, the rage of party, the fame of heroes, the distinctions of birth, nations, statesmen, kings, and ecclesiasticks should cease, and all meet on a level and greet each other as brethren.
“God has made of one blood all nations." Here without molesting the peaceful abodes of any, we cordially unite our talents, raise a fund
for the indigent, worthy brother, the widow and orphan, and bow our knees before the Father of lights, humbly beseeching him to make us his sons, to keep us from the contaminating principles of selfishness, and to enable us to spread our arms as extensively as possible to deliver our brethren from calamity, their connections from penury, and the whole world from the powers of darkness and condemna. tion.
If any wish for a more linnited system, they can find many in every nation, and warm associates with whom they can enjoy all the benefits and advancements which their principles cam produce. If their sentiments infame them against Masonry, because it is not confined to one nation, country, or denomination of pious professors, let them be entreated to examine them. selves and know what manner of spirit influences them to condemn us.
Jesus said, “ Judge righteous judgment.” Paul said, “What have I to do to judge them that are without?” And again; “Who art thou that judgest another man's servant ?"
4th.“ Why are not females admitted to become members ?
The debarring the fair sex from the intrinsick excellence of Masonry, and the valuable secrets contained in every degree of advancement in our society, has occasioned much unprofitable conversation, animosity, surmisings, and indefatigable enquiry among all classes and denominations of mankind. To trace their various opinions, and record their unhallowed denunciations against us, would require the wisdom of Sol. omon, the strength of Hercules, the age of Methuselah, the patience of Job, and “the pen of a ready writer."
Our institution being founded in the fitness of things relative to men, cannot admit the delicacy of female nature to suffer the preparatory and scru. tinizing eye of examination necessary for initiation into any one important degree in Masonry. Lady Masham, on reading the notes which the learned Mr. Locke had made on Masonry from an old manuscript found in the Bodlein Library, declared to that great philosopher, " That she then more than ever wished herself a man, that she might be capable of admission into the fraternity.” This implied that she had such clear views of our prin. ciples and labours, that she would not allow herself even to wish for initiation, unless the mode of her existence were changed. It is hoped that no lady will be so presumptuous as to trample upon her own dignity, and seriously wish the plan of Deity marred that she might fill some different sphere in the universal range of intelligent existence. None should propagate the preposterous idea that we deem the fair and most amiable part of creation unworthy of the secrets of our mystick profession, from any mental defi. ciency in them; for history, scripture, and daily experience, proclaim their abilities, their virtues, and their persevering attachment to religion, in peals powerful enough to shake to atoms and doom to remediless destruction the strongest systems of infidelity that were ever erected by man. pose on account of their non adinission into our association as Masons, that we are at liberty to treat them disre