Being the Tuesday in Whitsun Week




December 27th, 5817





The M. W. Grand Lodge of Ancient Free Masons




By The Rev. Brother Frederick Dalcho, M. D. &c.


Grand Chaplain.



 IT was with considerable reluctance, that the Author consented to the publication of the following Discourse; but the circumstances under which it was requested by the Grand Lodge, made it, in some measure, his duty. It was the wish of the Author to have bestowed as much care on its composition as the importance of the subject demanded; but paramount duties claimed his attention and occupied his time.  So short,  indeed, was the period which indispensable engagements permitted him to devote to it, that, it is known to some of the Grand Officers, it was not composed until the day before it was delivered.—The Author, therefore, solicits from the liberality of the Brotherhood, what he has no right to claim for his eloquence of their acceptance, it will be owing more to their indulgence, than to its own merits. And yet, he is not altogether without hope, that it may be the humble means, under God, of awakening in the Brotherhood, a more ardent longing after their salvation; a more sincere desire to accomplish the great and beneficent objects for which they have associated themselves together; and of exciting in the unenlightened, an increased veneration for the moral and religious Excellency of an ancient and highly important Institution.




“While ye have Light, believe in the Light, that ye may

be the Children of Light.”




These words, my Brethren, were used by the founder of our Holy Religion, and had an immediate reference to Himself as “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world;” 1 which illumined the path of duty, both to the Jew and to the Gentile, and enlivened with its rays, even the dark and gloomy “valley of the shadow of Death.”2 Contemplating with the eye of omniscience, the speedy accomplishment of his mission, he intimated to his Disciples, that he would soon be removed from the abodes of men; that the Light which the world knew not3  would be taken away, until the consummation of all things should be display the effulgence of its glory in the Judge of the Quick and Dead. “While you have the Light” with you, said the redeemer of men, “believe in the Light!” Believe in his doctrines, receive the pure principles and spirit of his Gospel, for he is “the Light of the world,”4 and “the way and truth,”5 “that ye may be the Children of Light,” “and if Children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ!”6 that when the darkness of error shall overshadow the moral world, and persecution and bigotry shall write its history in blood,” your Light may so shine before men, that your good works may glorify your Father who is in Heaven;”7 that the Light of the everlasting Gospel may burn your hearts with a purse and steady flame, guiding your footsteps unto all righteousness, and directing your conduct in every scene and condition of life.  

This, my Brethren, is the meaning of the text; but instead of enlarging upon it in this particular point of view, I shall apply it to the purpose for which we are this day assembled in the Temple of JEHOVAH:--To show to the unenlighten, the effulgence of the Light whereby the Craft is instructed, and to the Brotherhood, the duty of walking in this transitory scene of probation, as becomes “the Children of Light.”

I believe I am warranted in making this application of the Text, by the conviction which exists in my own mind, that the Society, whom I have the honor to address, is eminently calculated to advance the moral and social virtues; to promote the love of God, and to do good to our neighbor. When I declare these to be the prominent features of our honorable and ancient Institution, I say it without the fear of contradiction. I say it from a long and intimate knowledge of its principles; from sharing in its confidence, and partaking in its labors of love.

The sacred Scriptures of both testaments, containing the revealed will of the Supreme Architect of all the Orbs that float in the regions of space, constitute the unerring source whence the Mystic Family derive the knowledge of their duties, and of their principles. The Wisdom, the Power, and the Goodness of God, which are so wonderfully displayed in the Works of Creation and Providence, afford to the Free-Mason, a source of inexhaustible delight and instruction.—When he contemplates the Order and regularity of the planetary worlds, the beauty and harmony of the spheres, each revolving upon itself, and yet dependent upon the general centre; running their unerring course with rapid motion, and yet not varying from their appointed way; each obeying the will of its Maker, and contributing, as it rolls, to the perfection of the whole; the Free-Mason, admires and adores; he humbles himself before the throne of JEHOVAH, and exclaims with the sweet Psalmist of Israel, “O Lord, how many manifold are thy works! In Wisdom hast thou Made them all;”8 therefore; “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.”9

Free-Masonry, like the Religion of the Redeemer, is eminently calculated to dispense “peace on earth, good will towards men.”10 And if the moral and religious state of the community in which it flourishes, be not increased and refined by its influence, it must be charged to the perversity of the Brotherhood, and to the principles of the Institution. The general application of its principles and practice to the spiritual and temporal welfare of men, cannot be doubted. It binds its Members by the strongest sanctions, “to do justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly before God;”11 and to “love the Brotherhood.”12 It enlightens the mind by a course of instruction on the useful arts, and expands its powers by unfolding the mysteries of science. It softens the feelings of the heart, by discoursing on the failings and frailties of our nature, and it claims the angry passions of the soul by teaching the Brotherhood, to “love one another,”13 in obedience to the divine command. It excites all the tender sympathies of our nature by showing “the changes and chances of this mortal life,” and it teaches all its Members to devote themselves in body and soul, to the service of the Almighty, by living “a godly, righteous and sober life,” that his Name may be glorified among men. The advantages of Free-Masonry are neither limited by chime, nor confined by language, but like the benign Religion of the Son of God, its principles are of universal application, and its beneficence embraces the whole human race. It is adapted to all nations and tongues, and shines with greatness splendor, where Religion and virtue flourish most. Its labors are directed to promote “unity, peace and concord”14 in the social circles of life, as well as in the civil community; and, as Religion and Virtue are characteristic of its principles, so are Candor, Benevolence and Brotherly Love, of its exertions and pursuits. It sees in every man a Brother; and where misfortune and want too often disperse and estrange both relations and acquaintances, there are its principles called into the most active exertion, and its kindness and care most willingly bestowed. It misrepresentation or calumny have interrupted the joys of friendship, and discord separated man from his Brother, the Love which reigns in the Mason’s bosom interposes its benign influence, and all the angry passions are clamed into peace and joy. Its business is with the friendless and the strange.

It enters into all their sorrows, soothes their afflictions, relieves their wants, and pours into the widowed heart, the balm of consolation and peace. In the language of the “lively oracles of God,” whatever the Free-Mason can spare from the portion which a bountiful Providence has bestowed upon him, “it is for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow.”15 In short, with the exception of Christianity, I know of no other Institution, in which benevolence so pure, and philanthropy so disinterested, are taught in obedience to the command of God; nor where, but in the Gospel, the social and moral duties are enforced by such awful sanctions, as in the Lodges of the brotherhood.

Such, my friends, are the principles of the Masonic Institution, and such are the duties which every Free-Mason owes to his God, to his Order, and to his fellow-creature. He has assumed a responsibility beyond the rest of the world, and has bound himself by obligations in addition to those which the laws of God, and of Civil Society, impose upon all. A man must, therefore, become either better or worse for embracing the Mystic profession; for, as he who professes Christianity, and lives not according to its precepts, is infinitely worse than him who professes it not, so is the Free-Mason who lives in defiance of the rules and obligations of his Order, worse than the unenlightened, who has not sworn obedience to its laws. Truth demands the acknowledgement, that there are formalists in Masonry as well as in Religion; who are satisfied with the outward ceremonies of their profession, while they neglect “the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith.”16 As the doctrines of the Redeemer neither influence the heart, nor direct the actions of the one, so the pious and benevolent principles of the Mystic Order, neither control the feelings, nor regulate the passions of the other. But, my friends, friends, for this, shall we one day have to account; for a day of recompenses is coming, when “we must all appear before the judgement-seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”17 Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?18 Yea, for “God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”19 Behold then, my friends, it is said by the Savior, “that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account therefore in the day of judgement;”20 how much more then, shall men be answerable for the vows which they have voluntarily made under the most tremendous sanctions! Hear the words of JEHOVAH: “If a man vow a vow unto JEHOVAH, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.”21 And again: “When thou shalt vow a vow unto JEHOVAH, thy God, thou shall not slack to pay it: for JEHOVAH thy God, will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.”22

If we “believe in the Light!” that is, if we are serious in our Masonic profession, and believe” in the excellence of its principles and the usefulness of its labors, we must walk as becomes “the Children of Light,” and practice the principles which we profess. We must be able to say truly of ourselves, as St. Paul said to the Thessalonians,23 we are now the Children of light, and the Children of the day; we are not of the night, nor of the darkness;” we must therefore, do the works of Light, that we adorn our Christian calling, and glorify our Father, who is in Heaven.”24 St. John, whose name we reverence, and whose example we profess to imitate, has left it upon record, that “he that loveth his Brother, is in Light; but he that hateth his Brother, abideth in darkness even until now,”25 Ye were sometimes darkness,” said St. Paul to the Ephesian converts, “but now are ye light in the Lord; walk,” therefore, as Children of Light!”26 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”27 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice; and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as god for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven you.”28 And the same Apostle, when urging to the Galatians, the necessity of abandoning the works of darkness, and of living conformably to the Light of the everlasting Gospel, describes these works of darkness to be, “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness idolatry, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envying, murders, drunkenness, reveling, and such like;” and further assures us, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, “that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”29 

More, much more is expected of a sincere and pious worshipper of the Lord Jesus, than of him who lives without there straits of his law; so, in like manner, more is expected of the Free-Mason, than of him who has not assumed his obligations. The Free-Mason is expected to live conformably to the rules of his Order; to be more zealous in the cause of Morality and Religion, and more assiduous to clothe himself with all the graces which adorn the human earnest and sincere; that he practice that charity which we are taught by the Gospel dispensation, and which covers, and forgives, a multitude of sins; that his almsgiving to the poor should flow from gratitude to God; that he should love his neighbor as himself; and cheerfully submit to the laws and government of the county in which he lives. These are duties which every Free-Mason is called upon, in a more especial manner, to practice, under the most awful sanctions; and no Free-Mason can neglect these duties, or disobey these; sanctions, without forfeiting his integrity both to God, and to man.

My Brethren of the Mystic Order; I stand before you this day as your Chaplain, to urge you to fulfill your Masonic obligations; to entreat you to be kind and affectionate to all men, especially unto them who are “of the household of faith;”30 but I must not forget that I have a higher duty to perform. As a Minister of your Almighty Redeemer, I must “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season,”31 and endeavor to awaken in you, as a lively sense of your Christian’ obligations to beseech you in “Christ’s stead, to be reconciled to God,”32 who has so loved you, “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”33 Believe me, my friends, on the authority of God’s Word, it is not Free-Masonry, beautiful as its fabrick undoubtedly is; it is not Morality, excellent and necessary as it is in our intercourse with the world, that can lead your souls to heaven. No, my Brethren; had these been sufficient, the Great Sacrifice would not have been offered. He who uttered the words of the Text had never left the bosom of the Father; have never visited our world; nor died, nor rose again.- No, my Brethren; these are excellent and deserving of high praise; but these are not sufficient—“there is none other name under heaven, given among men whereby we must be saved,”34 but the name of Jesus Christ; and nothing short of “repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ,”35 can save you in the great day of retribution. You must bring to the throne of grace, a heart filled with contribution for your iniquities, and animated with a saving faith in the atonement of the Cross; without these, you are “as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”36 Let me then, earnestly beseech you, in the name of your Savior, to endeavor, by a life of piety and devotion to “flee from the wrath to come;”37 that you walk before him as becomes your Christian calling; that “you fulfill the royal law according to the Scriptures to love your neighbor as yourself;” 38 and, finally that you afford to the world a bright example of piety and faith, by “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless;”39 “for so is the will of god, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.”40

1 John  1, 9.

2 Ps. xxiii, 4.

3 John  I, 5, 10.

4 John  viii, 12.

5 Ibid.  xiv, 6.

6 Rom.  Viii, 17.

7 Matt.  v,  16.

8 Ps.  civ., 24.

9 Mic.  Vi,  8.

10 Ps.  cl.,  6.

11 i. Pet.  Ii,  17.

12 Luke  ii,  14.

13 John  xv,  12.

14 Liturgy of the Church.

15 Deut. xxiv, 19, 20,21

16 Matt.  xxiii, 23.

17 ii. Cor. V, 10.

18 Gen.  xviii,  19.

19 Num.  xxiii,  19.

20 Matt.  xii, 36.

21 Num.  xxx, 2.

22 Deut.  xxiii,  21.

23 i. Thess.  v, 5.

24 Matt. v, 16.

25 i. John  ii, 9, 10.

26 Eph.  v, 8.

27 Eph. iv, 23.

28 Eph. iv, 29, 31, 32

29 Gal. V, 19, 20, 21

30 Gal. vi, 10.

31 ii. Cor. v, 20.

32 ii. Cor. v, 12.

33 John iii, 16

34 Acts iv, 12.

35 Acts xx, 21.

36 i. Cor. xiii, 1.

37 Matt. iii, 7.

38 James ii, 8.

39 Luke i, 6.

40 i. Pet. ii, 15.


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