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more light #244

Grand Master's Address - Thomas McF. Patton

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

From the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of OREGON, 1874.  

Grand Master's Address - Thomas McF. Patton  

The twenty-fourth annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Oregon was held at Portland, June 8th, 9th and 10th, 1874.  

Forty-eight Lodges were represented, with Sixty Lodges on the roll. No dispensations for new Lodges were issued during the year.  

The Grand Master presented an eloquent address, teeming with practical suggestions, evidencing an earnest, laborious worker.  

We quote, and hope that our readers will ponder well:  

Before proceeding to the labors before us, it would not be unprofitable for us, my brethren, if we would linger a moment longer, and make self-examination as to our Masonic advancement. What evils have we, as individual Masons amended? What vices have we shunned? What positive good have we accomplished during the year now about to close? To assist us in the performance of the duty here suggested, we might with great propriety enquire each one of himself, "have I, as a Mason, discharged my duty to God, my neighbor, and myself, as I was solemnly charged when I crossed the threshold of Masonry?" "Have I been particularly careful in my outward demeanor, to avoid censure and reproach?" "Have I endeavored by my walk and conduct to enforce obedience to our tenets by precept as well as example?"  

These are pertinent inquiries, and relate wholly to Masonic duty. If we can give affirmative responses to all these, then 'we have been true and consistent, and have acted agreeably to our professions - if, on the contrary, our responses are in the negative, then we have been false to our vows, and betrayed our trust.  

Masonry requires no service or sacrifice at our hands but such as will inure to our own benefit and permanent good. It is a free and voluntary act on our part that we become her votaries; and, after thorough acquainting ourselves with her principles, teachings, as well as requirements, is it not right and just that we should insist that those teachings and requirements shall be respected, and faithfully observed by those who profess to worship at her shrine?  

A law half observed, is not observed at all; for, if we can violate a part without incurring punishment or even censure, we can disregard the whole law with impunity. Offences against our laws or declared principles, even in trifling matters, should be corrected promptly; for, if we quietly overlook or fail to admonish a brother when he oversteps the bounds, it not only gives him license to repeat the offence, but incites others, through his example, to the commission of similar, if not greater offences, and demonstrates before the world that our professions are mere shams, and that we daily live in open violation of those principles for which we claim to cherish such strong attachment, and profess so much devotion.  

It then becomes us, my Brethren, as good and true Masons, to act well our part in life, and discharge faithfully the duties and responsibilities which we have voluntarily assumed. Let no act of ours ever tarnish the fair name of Masonry, let our united efforts go forth to eradicate all existing evils; to correct all abuses; to build up, beautify, and adorn our Masonic temple-then we can enjoy the happy reflections consequent upon a well spent life, and blessings full fraught shall be repaid us, not with stinted hand, but in full scripture measure -  

"Pressed down, shaken together, running over."  

"Work, then, from day to day, nor pause for praise or blame,  

Care not for what men may say, duty is still the same."

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