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PRESENTATION OF THE SILVER GOBLET
THE MASONIC REVIEW - 1853
"Worshipful Master:- I rise to perform a most pleasing and agreeable duty, that has been assigned me by the members of this Lodge, who, desirous of manifesting in some tangible form; their approbation of your course during the period you have occupied that chair, and their appreciation of the distinguished services rendered this Lodge by you, have conferred the honor on me of presenting you, on their behalf, this Silver Goblet, as a token of their esteem and fraternal regard. Permit me, respected sir, to remark in this connection, that very much of the peace, harmony and well- being of a Lodge, depends on him who is selected to preside over its deliberation. To cement as strongly as possible those bonds of affection that bind the brethren of his Lodge together, should be his constant aim. Urbanity, affability, dignity, impartiality, and a faithful discharge of every duty devolving on him, are elements that should characterize and adorn his course. And it affords me pleasure to announce to you, sir, that the brethren of this Lodge have discovered that you possess these essential elements in an eminent degree; and they have won for you the admiration had lasting regard of those over whom you have so long and so ably presided. The presentation of gifts and tokens of affection as the reward of merit, is a time-honored custom, and confers alike honor on both the donor and recipient. The beautiful memento is now before you, and I need scarcely add, it is alike worthy of the donor and of him for whom it is designed.
But it is not the exquisite skill displayed in its construction, though executed by a master hand, nor to the fineness of its texture, nor to its symmetrial proportions that I would direct your attention. You will observe, that inscribed on its exterior are certain emblems of deep significance. They are the representations of principles and virtues as immutable as the Throne of Deity itself, and as such are dear to the heart of every genuine Mason throughout the globe. It is to those I would point you; for in them you find a talismanic language that is full of meaning. While they are almost entirely devoid of meaning to the uninitiated, to those who have entered the veil, they are full of import. For here we find that language itself is but fossil poetry; words themselves are but emblems, the natural world is full of symbols; indeed all nature may be justly compared to a stupendous volume of emblems. Look where you will, you discover them - around - above - beneath you. The present occasion will admit of only a brief notice of some of the emblems that adorn this goblet. At the base you will recognize the three steps, the Mosaic pavement with its teaselated border, and the blazing star. The three steps are emblematic of the three stages of human life, youth, manhood and age; they refer also to the three great lights of Masonry and the three mighty pillars on which this institution has so long and so securely rested. The Mosaic pavement, as you well know, is emblematic of human life. How checquered is the path of human existence, and what a variety of scenes mingled with pain and pleasure is presented. To-day the smiles of prosperity are profusely showered upon us; to-morrow the chilling blast of adversity may sweep over, and render us strangers even to those who but as yesterday hailed us as friends. Slippery indeed is the path we tread, and impressive the lessons we ass taught. The beautiful tesselated border surrounding the pavement is commemorative of that benign Providence that ever watches over and protects us. The blazing star is emblematic of that light which should ever shine forth from all those who have been raised to this sublime degree, and have met upon the five points of fellowship; and it points out to them the path that leads to happiness and bids them walk therein.
The oak-leaves, though not strictly a masonic emblem, serve to remind us of the brevity of human life. As the leaves fall when breathed upon by the chilling winds of autumn, so man withers beneath the touch of time. They form the drapery of the majestic oak, which resembles this institution in its capability of withstanding the storms and tempests of ages. Here you behold the five orders of architecture, representing the wisdom, strength and beauty of Masonry. The Ionic, in the wisdom of its design, points to that round of the ladder, Faith, which works by love, purifies the heart and leads us to rest alone on Him for salvation, who alone is mighty to save. The Doric, in the strength of its proportions, points to that Hope which "springs eternal in the human breast," and buoys us up amid all the ills of life. Nor does it then desert us, for "when man dieth and wasteth away," eternal hope bends over his last resting place a bow radiant with immortality, which, based upon earth, soars away to God. The Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite, in their beauty and variety point, to the topmost round of the ladder, to that beautiful and universal Charity that is bounded only by Creation. The suspended G, directs our thoughts above to the supreme Architect of the universe, and to a contemplation of the wonderful works of his Creation. Here you observe, are the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses, the three Tapers, the Trowel, the Plumb, Square and Level, the Gauge and Gavel. And all these are surrounded by that beautiful emblem, the seeds of the pomegranate, which are emblematic of the beauty and purity of the truth and precepts taught through those various impressive emblems. Here is the jewel designating the rank to which you have attained, and here the laurel wreath gracefully entwines itself around the inscription the Goblet bears.
And lastly, encircling the whole, you observe the endless chain, which is emblematic of the unity of this fraternity. We are all bound together by the same common ties, irrespective of nation, clime, sect or profession. Meeting upon thin common level, we form a chain stronger than adamant, and as we believe, lasting as time. Scattered though we be, through every section of the globe, yet whether its votaries be found amid the snow-capped hills of the frigid North, or upon the arid plains of the great Sahara, the principles of Masonry are still the same. And like the mighty chain of the Andes, forming as it does the impenetrable fortress of the Western Hemisphere against the surges of the Pacific, so the members of this fraternity, while thus bound, present to the world a bond of union that is invulnerable.
And now, in the name of the members of CLARKE LODGE, No. 51, I present you this Goblet, trusting that this renewed manifestation of their esteem, will incite you to a more ardent devotion, (if possible) to the principles of this Order. And may this moral edifice, that links itself to the ages of the past, descend to the latest posterity with a degree of brilliancy equal to that of the meridian sun.
After a pause, during which Bro. Monsarrat appeared much affected, he arose and replied as near as possible in these terms:
"Brethren of Clarke Lodge:- I am sensible that no language I can use will adequately express the gratitude I feel in receiving this token of your brotherly love. The occasion and manner of its presentation enhances the value of the compliment, and render it more difficult for me to make a suitable acknowledgment. You have deemed it proper, my brethren, to practice that holy Masonic virtue, "silence," in the preparation of this evidence of your approbation of the manner in which I have discharged the duties of Master of your Lodge for the last eighteen months, and thereby deprived me of the opportunity of replying in an appropriate manner to the eloquent address accompanying this magnificent gift. Bro. Morris, you have truthfully described the emblems displayed by the hand of the master workman on this splendid specimen of artistical skill, and any further allusion to them on my part, would be deemed superfluous and unnecessary. They are emblematical, and it is only by a practice of the principles they represent, that Masonry, inanimate and cold, becomes fresh and living truth, having an application "to all men at all times." Then they become glorious in wisdom, radiant with beauty, warm and breathing with a knowledge of the Great I AM.
Brethren, when called upon by your partiality, for the first time, to the proud station of Master of this Lodge, I entered upon the arduous and responsible duty with a distrust of my own ability; but relying on your generous confidence, I have endeavored to adhere strictly to the established usages of our ancient institution, which has never failed to secure perfect order, subordination, mutual co-operation, unity of action, and the welfare and prosperity of its members, rendering us indeed, a sacred band or society of friends and brethren among whom no contention exists. Such, my brethren, will ever be the result, when the members of a Lodge work and labor from the love of all, and are governed by what is just and right, from a love of the principles of our time-honored Order. We are here taught to practice brotherly love, relief and truth, and to observe strictly those cardinal virtues, temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice. By an adherence to these, Masons will never fail in rendering themselves happy and useful, and in contributing in a commensurate degree to the welfare and happiness of mankind, My Brethren, I can only add, I thank you most cordially for this testimony of your approbation of my humble services, and trust in the hands of my offspring, when "I shake off this mortal coil," it will prove a talisman to stimulate them ever to do good and eschew evil.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014