Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Friendly Admonitions

From the book "Illustrations of Masonry"
by William Preston 1895

Having explained the principles of the Order, and endeavoured to demonstrate the excellence and utility of the institution, I shall conclude my observations with a few friendly admonitions to my brethren.

As useful knowledge is the great object of our desire, let us steadily adhere to the principles it inculcates, check our progress, or damp our zeal; but let us recollect, that the ways of wisdom are beautiful, and lead to pleasure. Knowledge is attained by degrees, and cannot every where be found. Wisdom seeks the secret shade, the lonely cell designed for contemplation. There enthroned she sits, delivering her sacred oracles. There let us seek her, and pursue the real bliss. Though the passage be difficult, the farther we trace it, the easier it will become.

Union and harmony constitute the essence of Freemasonry: while we enlist under that banner, the society must flourish, and privet animosities give place to peace and good fellowship. Uniting in one design, let it be our aim to be happy ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others. Let us make our superiority and distinction among men, by the sincerity of our profession as Masons; let us cultivate the moral virtues, and improve in all that is good and amiable; let the Genius of Masonry preside over our conduct, and under her sway let us perform our part with becoming dignity. Let us preserve an elevation of understanding, with a politeness of manner, and an evenness of temper. Let our recreations be innocent, and pursued with moderation; and never let irregular indulgences lead to the subversion of our system, by impairing our faculties, and exposing our character to derision. But, in conformity to our precepts, as patterns worthy of imitation, let the respectability of our lives be supported by the regularity of our conduct, and the uniformity of our deportment. Thus, as citizens of the world, as friends to every clime, we shall be living examples of virtue and benevolence, equally zealous to merit as to obtain universal approbation.

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