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the seasons, and upon human actions.* The ancient writers contain numerous references to this belief; and in that most ancient and sublime drama which human intellect ever produced-the book of Job-the prevailing superstition is thus alluded to:-"Canst thou restrain the sweet influences of the Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion." And in protesting his innocence of any participation in the reigning idolatry, the pious Job is made to observe-"If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness, and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand, this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge, for I should then have denied the God that is above." The stars being thus regarded as imaginary deities, and superstitiously invested with distinct intelligences, were represented by various personifications, which, after being solemnly consecrated, attracted the same devotion as was at first paid to the planets thus impersonated, and to this practice is traceable the origin of the Sabean superstition. These figures being placed in temples and solemn groves, were honored by oblations and sacrifices, hymns of praise were sung before them, and the infatuated devotees, in the blindness of their zeal, invested the idols they had fashioned with the attributes of gods.
Having thus noticed some of the main-springs of idolatry, I now purpose alluding to the origin of the mysteries, particularly those of Egypt; as it will be seen that in the sacred recesses of the temples dedicated to their service, sublime truths were gradually unfolded to the initiated, whilst the outer world, through the prevalence of gross superstitions, were walking in utter darkness.
RECOMMENDATION OF THE MAGAZINE. We make our most sincere acknowledgments to the Grand Lodge of Ohio, for the following complimentary and encouraging resolutions, offered by our respected Brother, Wm. B. HUBBARD, Esq., and adopted by that body, at its late annual communication:
Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Grand Lodge, the Freemasons' Monthly Magazine, published at Boston. and edited by our worthy Brother, CHAS. W. MOORE, has become well established among Masons as a work of rare merit, and justly entitled to the highest respect on the part of the whole Masonic family, whether in Ohio or elsewhere.
Resolved, That it be recommended to those of the Fraternity who are not already subscribers to the work, to become such, to the end that the author may be still further sustained in his creditable labors, and a greater amount of benefits to the Order be obtained thereby.
"It was natural for those who maintained the doctrine of their inflence upon the elements of nature to extend still further their romantic conjectures, and to assert a similar predominant influence of the celestial orbs in all terrestial concerns, but especially in the important and interesting events which befal great nations; in the prosperity or desolation of kingdoms, in the elevation to empire of triumphant virtue, and in the downfal of defeated tyranny. The planetary train that constitutes our system, as performing their revolutions nearer the earth, were thought to have a more particular ascendancy over the fate of its inhabitants; and the period of their transit over the sun's disc, and that of their occasionally coming into conjunction with any other constellation, was regarded as a period pregnant with the most awful events, and productive of the most astonishing vicissitudes. Impres. sed, therefore, with alternate wonder and terror at beholding these imagined effects of their influence upon the globe; from diligently observing, mankind proceeded by degrees to respect and venerate them, and intense ardor of contemplation, in time, amounting to the fervor of devotion."
New Orleans, Nov. 5, 1847. COMP. C. W. MOORE,-Dear Brother:-It may not be uninteresting to the readers of your valuable Masonic Magazine, to learn that the State Commissioners, through the Lodge St. James, No. 47, at Baton Rouge, invited the Grand Lodge of Louisiana to perform the ceremony of laying the corner-stone of the new State House, to be erected at that place, with Masonic honors. For this purpose, the Grand Master, Felix Garcia, with the officers and members of the G. Lodge, and a number of Masons, proceeded there on the 2d inst., to perform that ceremony. There were about one hundred and fifty Masons present, and the ceremony was performed in due order. A speech in the French language was delivered by the Grand Orator, and another in English was to have been delivered, but on account of the late hour, only some observations were made by the Brother who had been appointed.
THE Grand Lodge of Ohio began its annual communication at Zanesville, on the 19th of October last, and closed on the 22d, after an interesting and business session of four days. The M. W. Grand Master, WM. B. THRALL, Esq., opened the communication with a signally able and appropriate address, from which we take following extracts:—
Brethren of the Grand Lodge:-Another period of twelve months has transpired since last we met in grand communication; and again we are assembled to mingle fraternal counsels, and renew our mutual vows of brotherhood. And it is a soul-cheering reflection, that during all this period, as well in recess as in communication, the goodness of God has been continually over us and around us. What shall we render unto our Supreme Grand Master for His watchful care and bountiful providence for us, His frail and erring creatures? Let us, Brethren, take the cup of thanksgiving, and, with united heart and voice, bless the Lord with fervency of soul-while all that are of us shall unite to bless His holy name. Allow me, Brethren, to congratulate you-and through you, the entire Brotherhood of our jurisdiction-upon the favorable circumstances under which it is our privilege to assemble on the present occasion. Occupying in our country a geographical position nearly equidistant between the East and the West-in sufficient proximity to the South to participate in its benign and fructifying beams, without encountering its scorching rays-and yet, not so far removed from the North as to render unavailable its cooling fountains and refreshing shades; we may say, in all truth and soberness, that Masonically, as well as geographically, "the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places." That storm, whose elements were prejudice, fanaticism, and malice, and which, within the memory of many now present, swept like a tornado over the land, has spent its fury, and is now hushed as in the stillness of the morning. And the dark clouds of error and injustice which hung like a midnight pall over our old Institution, have given place to the lights of reason and of truth. And although it is hardly to be expected that all minds will, while viewing things "as through a glass, darkly," behold with unobscured vision our humble efforts at "Faith, Hope and Charity,"
yet it is cause of profound satisfaction that we are allowed to pursue, unmolested and undisturbed, the labors of our mystic temple; hoping at last to meet our abundant reward for all we do or suffer here, in that temple "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
During the year just passed, the Grand Lodge has been thrice convened in special grand communication, to wit: On the 19th day of May, at London, by request of Chandler Lodge, No. 138, for the installation of the officers of that Lodge, and to preside over the public exercises of the occasiou, &c., so full of interest to that young and flourishing branch of our fraternal fold. On the 24th of June, at Chillicothe, by invitation of Sciota Lodge, No. 6, to participate with the Brethren of that and the surrounding counties, in the usual solemnities observed on the festival of the nativity of our ancient patron, St. John, the Baptist. And on the same day, at New Salem, by request of Salem Lodge, No. 87, to lay, with the ancient rites and solemnities of the Order, the corner-stone of a Masonic edifice in that place. On the two occasions first enumerated, it was my happiness to be personally present; on the latter, I was represented by the worthy and distinguished Brother, our Senior Grand Warden.
Each of the occasions to which I was able to give my personal attendance, I have good reason to believe, has been blessed to the local Lodge immediately concerned therein, not only in awakening and calling into action among the members composing it, a true Masonic spirit, and zeal for the honor and welfare of our time-honored Institution, but also in presenting it in something of its pristine simplicity and beauty, to the uninitiate community. And while genuine Masonry seeketh not her own, and rejects as wholly unworthy her high and holy calling, everything like a spirit of proselytism, or courting the patronal smiles of those without her pale-yet it is admissible, on suitable occasions, to adopt proper and legitimate means for exhibiting to a candid world, the purity and loveliness of her teachings.
I would by no means be understood as recommending a frequent and indiscriminate display of Freemasonry before a promiscuous and uninquiring public. To be appreciated truly, she must be sought after with diligence-not obtruded upon the gaze of idle curiosity. And although occasions often occur when it is both proper and appropriate to lead her gently forth from her chosen retreat, yet I am fully persuaded that her tenets may be best exemplified, and her benign influences most extensively diffused, by a careful observance on the part of her members, of the simple and sublime lessons of the Lodge room. These remarks-intended for general and not for special application-have been induced from the reflection that within the year now just elapsed, a greater number of new Lodges has been instituted within our jurisdiction, than in any previous period of the same term; and from the well known fact that Lodges, in the juvenile term of their existence, flushed with the ardor of youth, and urged forward by a zeal not always tempered with mature discretion, are prone to desire an opportunity to place their light in a candlestick, that it may "shine before men," when perhaps its injudicious exposure to the blasts of an uncandid world, might dim its effulgence, if, indeed, it did not extinguish its light forever.
Besides performing the pleasing duties already enumerated, I have issued, since our last annual meeting, letters of dispensation, constituting thirteen new Lodges. In addition to the foregoing, I am apprised of at least three other Lodges, working under letters of Dispensation, granted by the R. W. Brother, our Dep. G. Master-inaking in all, sixteen new Lodges which have commenced their labors among us since our last annual meeting.
Our trusty and well beloved Brother Reed, who has for several years past sustained the office of Grand Lecturer with great skill and singular fidelity, has signified to me his purpose to retire from that arduous and responsible post; and I feel that I should not fully have discharged my duty to the Craft, were I to suffer the present occasion to pass, without bearing public testimony to the self-sacrificing freedom-the ardent fervency-and the untiring zeal with
which he has discharged the duties of his trust. I am persuaded that neither the Fraternity of Ohio, nor even the Grand Lodge itself, is fully apprised of the amount of labor devolved upon that officer within the last few years. And yet, no Lodge has been deprived of his services by reason of its being unable to make him compensation-for with him that has ever been a matter of entirely subordinate consideration. Those rich in good deeds, and earnestly urging forward the cause of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, have found in him a zealous and persevering co-laborer-one who never paused in his career to inquire whether his compensation were to be dispensed with princely munificence, or meted out with a miser's care.
Persevere in urging
In conclusion, Brethren, suffer a word of exhortation. forward the cause of Charity and Universal Benevolence. sembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. of Peace delight to be with and to bless you with the rich blessings of His grace! May brotherly love prevail in your counsels, and every moral and social virtue cement us in our grand design.
We had marked for insertion in this number, several extracts from the reports of committees, but are compelled to defer them till our next.
DIED, at Concord, Mass., in September last, BENJAMIN GLEASON, Esq., aged 70 years. Bro. GLEASON was born in Boston, in 1777. He graduated at Brown University in 1802. In 1805, at the age of twentyfive years, he was chosen Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, which office he ably filled for several years. He was at one time Master of Mount Lebanon Lodge, in Boston, and for some years Master of King Solomon's Lodge, in Charlestown. Bro. G. was well known among the Fraternity, during the active period of his life, as a zealous and well informed Brother. He was the originator of a system of teaching Astronomy and Geography, which was at one time quite popular. He travelled through a large portion of the U. States and Canada, lecturing upon his system in the principal towns, and also before Masonic Lodges, for the purpose of instructing the Brethren in the philosophy and work of the Order, and received from the Craft various flattering testimonials of the gratification which resulted from his labors. We had hoped to give a more detailed notice of the Masonic career of the deceased, but have been unable to obtain the requisite data.
At Kingston, Canada, Nov. 2d, Sir RICHARD HENRY BONNEYCASTLE, late Lieut. Colonel, commanding the Royal Engineers. At the same place, Nov. 4th, Mr. MICAH MASON.
Sir Richard Bonneycastle, (says the Kingston "British Whig,") although a military man in the strictest sense, has ever been considered in Canada, a civilian. He has lived among the people for upwards of thirty years, with one or two slight intermissions. During the war of 1812 and the rebellion of 1837, he greatly distinguished himself, and to the inhabitants of Kingston, more especially, rendered most important services. As a writer on Canada and its statistics, the people of this Province are largely indebted to him. He not
only made known to the people of Great Britain the capabilities and resources of Canada, but he painted the loyalty of the inhabitants, (a fact doubted at Home.) in its truest and brightest colors. As a friend, as the head of a large family, he was truly valued, and his bereavement is deeply felt in fact, his loss, by all who knew him, will be long regretted; and by none more than by the honorable Fraternity of Masons, to whom he was both a father and a Brother.
In the above sentences, we have briefly alluded to the loss of a great man : it is now our melancholy duty to speak of the death of a good man, in every sense of the word. Mr. Micah Mason, although a man in comparative humble life, was greatly valued and esteemed in Kingston. He was a man in whom there was no guile. As an Englishman, he was a specimen of the sturdy, honest, straight-forward John Bull. Long as he has lived in Kingston, and that is nearly twenty years, he never made one single enemy; and his friends were composed of all who knew him. Cut off in the full vigor of his activity, his loss will be deeply regretted, and his place in society long remain unfilled.
As both the above deceased gentlemen were Freemasons, (Sir Richard Bonneycastle, Master of St. John's Lodge, and Mr. Mason, a member of the same Lodge,) and as both, on their death-beds, requested to be buried with Masonic honors, the members of the three Masonic Lodges in Kingston mustered in full numbers at noon, on the 5th Nov., and proceeded in procession to the residence of Mr. Mason, where, meeting the body at the door, they preceded it to St. James's Church, where the Funeral Service was performed by the Rev. Mr. Rogers. At the grave, the ordinary Service for the Dead was read by the same Rev. gentleman. When this was concluded, the Masonic rites were performed. The Service was very impressively and energetically read by Rev. Mr. Herchmer, Chaplain to St. John's Lodge; and the responses made by the Brethren. The other rites were then completed.
The funeral of Sir Richard Bonneycastle took place at three o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, and was partly military and partly Masonic. The whole of the troops in garrison appeared to be turned out on this melancholy occasion. The pall bearers were the heads of the various military departments, and the mourners (independent of the immediate relatives,) were Sir Richard Armstrong, the whole of the officers both of the Army and Navy, and every gentleman in town, not in the Masonic ranks; together with a vast multitude who followed the remains out of respect to the many virtues of the deceased. The Masonic Fraternity preceded the body to the grave; and after the Funeral Rites, according to the Established Church, were ended, those pertaining to Masonry were commenced, and everything was again done in the same order as at the grave of poor Micah Mason. Three vollies were then fired over the grave, and the ceremonies were at an end.
At Bombay, India, in his 68th year, Sir DAVID POLLOCK, Chief Justice of Bombay. For many years, he held a high place amongst the Masonic Fraternity of England, which brought him into close communication with the late Duke of Sussex, who highly prized his worth and character. The charities of Masonry were developed in his heart and liberally dispensed by his hand. Sir David was a Past Senior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of England. His loss will be severely felt by all who were his personal friends, more especially by the children he has left to mourn his departure.