The principles of Freemasonry - what are they? - do they not teach
men to do unto others as they would that others should do unto
them ?

If the members of that fraternity, individually, would faithfully
consider those principles, with a desire to practice accordingly,
would they not exert an influence for good that would be felt
sensibly by community; and if they were zealous for the greatest
good of the institution, would they not do it ?

With the vows which I suppose they have taken upon themselves,
and the instructions given them, should they not be faithful
brethren, moral and honorable citizens, kind and sympathizing
husbands, and affectionate parents?

I may not be correct in my views of Masonry, being one of those
that have always been excluded from the rites and benefits of the
institution, but if I am correct, how very important that every
member should be a good Mason, and exert every faculty of mind
and body to promote the best interests of the institution, by
exerting an influence in community which could and would be felt
for good to all, and the honor of the institution be thereby
preserved untarnished.

A man without good principles is a detriment to any institution,
and a curse to himself. He may be zealous, but not according to
knowledge; a desire to increase the numbers and dimes, without
any regard to moral worth, certainly must be not according to

Of what benefit can an individual be that is void of every principle
required to make a man of a man; that seeks no society but the low
and vicious; that will profane sacred things; gamble, lie and cheat;
that will tamper with intoxicating drinks, until he is a moral
pestilence in the community - going about, not a man, but a
walking brandy-cask - his disposition soured, his faculties
benumbed, poisoning the air with his breath, and community with
his foul acts and conversation; and destroying the happiness of all
the virtuous, noble and aspiring who are compelled to associate
with him? Can such expect to be of benefit in any way, or to fulfill
the object of their existence?

If individuals would close their eyes to self and its gratification,
and, with the light they have received, look at the subject as they
should, they would see the privileges, benefits, and duties they are
trampling under their feet; they would also see how far they were
wandering from the ancient landmarks of the institution, and how
much injury and injustice they were doing, and how they were
wounding the cause they have promised to honor and maintain.

I do not expect that free and accepted Masons build temples of
stone; but I do expect they should erect a spiritual building in every
Lodge, and every member should feel interested and take an active
part in the work, and show to the world by a moral, honest, and up-
right life, that they have not wasted their time and money for that
which profiteth not. In short, that they live and deal on the square
of equal and exact justice.

A friend, a good Mason, said in my hearing, he was really discour-
aged at the conduct of men. If, they seemed to heed instruction and
advice, it was only to be more sly in their workings of iniquity; and
if provoked to an act that in itself was good, it was only from
sordid motives. But I think a person has no right to be discouraged
or weary in well-doing. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the
evening withhold not thy hand."

Some probably will say I ought not to write or think on the subject
of Masonry. I never saw a serpent writhe with more energy than
when a foot was set upon his head. My tongue and pen may be
controlled by others, but my mind never can. I shall surely think.
O, that every one would think-think-think.