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Location: Reading

Chartered By: Josiah Bartlett

Charter Date: 03/12/1798 II-125

Precedence Date: 03/12/1798

Current Status: in Grand Lodge Vault.


Original Charter of Mount Moriah Lodge

Chartered by Josiah Bartlett at the beginning of 1798, before the moratorium on the granting of further charters; ceased work 1829.


From Vocal Companion and Masonic Register, Boston, 1802, Part II, Page 26:

  • R. W. John Hart, M.
  • W. Oliver Pope, S. W.
  • W. James Gould, J. W.
  • David Smith, Tr.
  • Thomas Swain, Sec.

No. of Members, 33.

  • John Swain
  • William Batey
  • Jeremiah Bryant
  • Nathan Eaton
  • Timothy Sweetser
  • Amos Bordman
  • Nathaniel Cowdry, Jr.
  • Thomas Sawyer
  • Benjamin Simonds
  • James Dix
  • Joseph Allen
  • Thomas Emerson
  • Reuben White
  • Nathaniel Wiley, Jr.
  • Oliver Swain
  • Joshua Tweed
  • Joshua Lincoln
  • Isaacar Stowell


  • Petition for Charter: 1798



From Proceedings, Page 1920-369:

The first connection of Reading with organized Masonry was the institution of Mount Moriah Lodge, March 14, 1798, when a Charter was granted to Joseph L. Cordis, Dr. John Hart, and a Mr. Harvey. Mr. Cordis was a large landholder on the east of the lake, a man of "intelligence, judgment, and generous impulses, honorable feelings, and very high spirited. He held many important civil offices, and then, late in life, financially broken, and broken in spirit, committed suicide by jumping into the river from Charlestown Bridge, a pathetic ending of an honorable and useful life. Dr. Hart also was one of the leading men of the town, Selectman, School Committee, Justice, patriot, Vice-President of the Society of the Cincinnati.

If you glance from the car window as you go toward Boston, you note on the left an old yellow house, just east of the second group of ice-houses below the gas-house in Wakefield. This, one of the oldest houses left, was then in the old First Parish of Reading and owned by Dr. Hart. In that house, in a room especially fitted up, Mount Moriah Lodge used to meet. . .

As for Mount Moriah Lodge, it went into what a distinguished man once called "innocuous desuetude." In 1848, just fifty years after it was Instituted, District Deputy Grand Master Ordway found its Charter in the hands of one, whom, being long dead, I will not name, "and who was determined not to give it up." What actuated him I do not know. For his refusal he-was expelled from the Order, as I have found from the Grand Lodge records, and that was the final event in the obsequies of Mount Moriah Lodge.


From Proceedings, Page 1938-3:

Very little authentic history concerning the lodge is available either at the Grand Lodge Library or elsewhere. The Lodge was probably instituted in 1798. In 1812, when South Reading was incorporated, the Grand Lodge approved the continuante of meetings in the original location, but under the identification of South Reading instead of Reading. Reading Masons immediately petitioned for the formation of a new Masonic Lodge to meet in that town. The petition was acted on favorably, but it does not appear that any Lodge was ever started.

Mount Moriah Lodge held meetings in the old Lafayette House, now known as the Col. James Hartshorne House, just to the West of this meeting place, it having been restored and opened for public use for several years now.

It is known that there was considerable anti-Masonic sentiment in this section about 100 years ago, and at times meetings were undoubtedly held at homes of members. This probably accounts for the absence of records. Most of the paraphernalia belonging to the Lodge has evidently disappeared, although it is stated "unofficially" that the jewels now worn by Wyoming Lodge, of Melrose, are those used by the old Mount Moriah officers. A number of interesting articles are still in existence, however, some of which belong to Golden Rule Lodge.

The date of the dissolution of the Lodge is also very uncertain. Although records at the Grand Lodge Library noted that a Brother represented Mount Moriah Lodge at a Grand Lodge session as late as December 27th 1848, newspaper accounts and other records have noted that the Lodge passed out of existence at varying dates, including 1812, 1835 and 1842.

In 1915 Grand Secretary Frederick W. Hamilton composed a very comprehensive article on "The Period of Persecution" bearing on Masonry in the early 19th century, and considering the hectic years described by the author it may readily be imagined why records are incomplete or missing, besides the mystery incident to anything Masonic, at that period, either in South Reading or anywhere else.


From Proceedings, Page 1963-1:

In the year 1798, ninety years before the first regular communication of Golden Rule Lodge, Joseph Cordis and others presented a petition to the Grand fodge of Masons in Massachusetts praying that a Charter be granted to hold a Lodge in the Town of Reading, this Lodge to bear the name Mount Moriah. In 1812, the first parish of the Town of Reading, in which Mount Moriah Lodge was located, was, by Legislative Act, incorporated as a town by the name of South Reading, which name was eventually changed to Wakefield.

Thus begins the history of Freemasonry in Wakefield. Mount Moriah Lodge, which met in the old Lafayette House on Church Street, now known as the Col. James Hartshorne House, existed for approximately fifty years. The date of its dissolution is not clearly established, but apparently it was somewhere between 1835 and 1848. It is known, howwer, that although the Lodge was not active, the Charter in 1848 was in the hands of Bro. Joel Winship, who was not at all inclined to part with it. When Grand Lodge sent the Grand Sword Bearer to Bro. Winship to reclaim the Charter for Grand Lodge, it is recorded that Bro. Winship's refusal was, among other comments, "Quite abrupt." Grand Lodge, needless to say, took the necessary action and eventually did recover the Charter.

This happened in that earlier portion of the last century when Freemasonry was in what has become known as "the period of persecution." This storm of anti-Masonic feeling which had started in Bavaria swept across Europe and to the United States, and was at its height from 1826 to 1843. It is recorded that Wakefield, Reading, Stoneham and Melrose were a hot-bed of anti-Masonic feeling. These were trying times for all Masons, and the mortality of Lodges was high. Of 107 Lodges on the roster in 1826 only 52 remained in 1843.

The persecution fell not only on the Fraternity as an institution, but on individual members. Its form was political, religious, and economic. Masons, in many instances, were ruined in business, cut ofi from working for their church, and ostracized socially and politically.


From Proceedings, Page 1970-548:

Reading's first Masonic venture dates from Mt. Moriah Lodge in 1798. It was in the First Parish which became South Reading in 1812 and the Town of Wakefield in 1868. Mt. Moriah Lodge was on the second floor of Dr. Hart's home in a specially furnished Lodge room. Many of you know this today as the Col. Hartshorne House, built in 1681 and located on Church Street in Wakefield.

Dr. Hart was a prominent man. He served Reading as Selectman, School Committee member, and Justice of the Peace. He was a patriot in the Revolutionary War and became Vice-President of the Society of the Cincinnati, a memorial society formed May 13, 1783, by officers of the Continental Army. George Washington was elected its first President in May 1784.

Reading was divided in 1812, placing Mt. Moriah in South Reading. Four years later Jacob Goodwin, Daniel Flint and others applied for a charter to establish a new Lodge. Mt. Moriah Lodge approved and also relinquished jurisdiction, but finally ceased to operate about September 1829, and the Mt. Moriah Charter was finally surrendered to the Grand Lodge.


  • 1810 (Committee on irregularities, II-442; report tabled, II-450)
  • 1812 (Petition to remove to South Reading (Wakefield); granted II-538)
  • 1848 (DDGM sent to reclaim charter, V-163)





The celebration of the Feast of St. John the Baptist featured an address by Bro. Benjamin Gleason of Boston, which appears below.



Mount Moriah Lodge,
St. John the Baptist,
JUNE 24th, A. L. 5805.

Published by the particular Requestt of the Fraternity.

By Brother BENJAMIN GLEASON, K. T. &c.

"Wisdom is a loving spirit."–"Righteousness is immortal." – Bible.

"Deut nobis baec otia fecit." – Virgil.

"The same regard which you have for yourself, yon have for others, for nature, for the invisible Numen, which you call God!"– Lavater.

A. Newell, Printer, Devonshire Street, Boston.


Cicero observes, it was an excellent maxim of Plato, that "we are not born for ourselves alone; but likewise for our country, and for our friends."

The general and immutable laws of Nature, according to Burlamaqui, inspire "Religion, self-love, and sociability, or benevolence toward our fellow-creatures."

Pope represents self-love and social love to be one.

"Thus God, and Nature link'd the general frame,
And bade self-love and social be the same."

Free-Masonry inculcates the love of God and man, and thus, a Masonic education embraces the immemorial maxims of ages, and stands founded on the unchangeable laws and principles of Nature.

This day we celebrate the glorious era of an eminent patron of Free-Masonry; — our antient friend and brother, St. John the Baptist.

It is an Anniversary ever sacred to the principles of the christian religion, to sublime morality, and to the Masonic Institution. This is well attested by all those who know the true feelings and sentiments of a Free-Mason's heart, and who well understand the diffusive path of a Mason's friendship and affections.

We bear witness to the "faithful and true" sayings of St, John, that they teach us to square our lives by virtue; to regulate our actions by the plumb-line of rectitude; to hold, in due observance, the Level of Time, and circumscribing all our desires, within the Constitutional limitations of duty; they teach us "Faith in God, Hops in Immortality, and Charity to all Mankind."

Where is the Man, but must be "Good and True," who, heedful of Christian admonition, regards well the precepts of our antient Patron?

May a proper attention to all those lessons of Instruction, lest on Record in the Volume of Truth. make such a suitable impression on our minds, that as men and as masons, we may ever pride ourselves in the faithful discharge of all our duties, relative, social, and religious; that having our hearts thus fitted and actuated by the pure Spirit of Humanity, all our Labours may be grateful, pleasant, and satisfactory, here below; and when our Work is finished, and we pass to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne, no Traveller returns," may our reception then be into a more glorious Light and Liberty, with the spirits of the Just made perfect, forever to dwell in scenes of uninterrupted harmony, happiness, and joy.

The present occaiion affords us a favourable opportunity, to represent some of the abuses and uses of Free-Masonry.

Much has been said and written about the institution, and it is still, to many, a matter of wonder and astonishment, what it can be. To the Fraternity themselves it is as much astonishing, that an Institution, which stands, at this day, cemented and enriched by the Wisdom of Ages; fupported by the Strength and exercise of Virtue, and adorned with the Beauty and improvements of Humanity, should be such a wonderful excitement to strange and wonderful speculation!

The abuses of Free-Masonry may be considered in two distinct points of view.

  • 1st. Abuses by those, who are strangers to the institution.
  • 2ly. The abuses of those, who are nominally members of it.

At the head of the former Class, stand the Abbé Barruel and Professor Robison; their subordinates are all those who condemn, vilify, and calumniate the Institution, respecting the true principles and operations, of which they know or profess to know, Nothing.

As Leaders, and throughout the subordinate ranks of the latter Class, are all those who pre-eminently distinguish themselves, as not deserving the considential affections of a worthy Brother, or an honorary estimation among mankind.

Ye disinterested and candid friends to Society, read the large volumes of " IUuminatism," "Proofs of a Conspiracy," &c. &c. Are you willing to believe, that at any time, in any country upon the face of the earth, more especially in your own country, can you believe, that your best Citizens in any association ever became Villains and Traitors to the Interests of your country and yourselves? No!— the belief Is absurd,— it is impossible; and yet such have been the representations, or rather misrepresentations, of the masonic Institution.—This is an abuse of a strange, serious nature.

By the most accurate and regular Intelligence obtained of the Illuminati Society, there was an association of this kind, and bearing this name, in Europe,—instituted, not "to destroy all government, all laws, and all religion," not to "sap the foundation of morality by establishing expediency as an universal rule of Right," but for the express purpose of making researches and improvements in the Arts and Sciences. The members composing this Institution were principally clergymen; and the very vilest book read in the Society, was Seneca's Morals!

Yet Report, like Virgil's Fame, magnified and amplified in its progress and speculations, piling Conspiracy upon Conspiracy, and one horrible transaction upon another, till all Europe and America were staring at each other, wild with wonder, horror, and amazement.

It is "passing strange," that a Society, called the "Illuminati," because the design of it was the illumination of the human mind, should be, by a mere freak of capricious opinion, transformed into Free-Masonry; and then by a kind of lapsis gradus, Free-Masonry should be metamorphosed into a something resembling a conclave of evil spirits, in Tophet; or a conference of devils in Pandemonium!— It is astonishing truly!— But to the honour of our times be it spoken, these Reports are at this day, generously rectified; and thus far is corrected, the abuse of which we speak.

Our Institution is still abused by Opinion, for Opinion will still pursue its systems and schemes of speculation, and like the immense speculating calculations of a Broker, it will accumulate advantages upon Credit, though in the end, it turns a Bankrupt.

"There can be nothing good, in masonry, (say some,) because if there were,— it would be made generally known; and then every one would be benefited by it."

Pardon me, if I discover too much assurance;— but I feel myself justified, in saying, this is the very reason why our Institution is veiled in mystery, because it is good!— make it common, and it is no longer valuable!

For example, make Marriage, the most holy rite in the religious and civil institutions of our country, make Marriage, I say, an indiscriminate commerce, indiscriminately allowable, and it would become detestable!

The pledge cf Friendship, and the bond of Love,
The silken chains, at Hymen's altar's worn,
The hope, the joy, the bliss, with Life inwove,
Would then to generous natures be unknown.

Even the blessings of Life, even the stupendous operations of the Universe, because they are common, and because they are apparent, lose their value in the estimation of heedless, regardless, inconsiderate man.

Curiosity is implanted in our Natures,— a very powerful propensity; the wonderful always attracts notice, and those who are most desirous of Knowledge, are most generally found regaling themselves at the festivals of Information.

The Altars of Free-Masonry have been established, and have stood the test of Time, coeval with the Age of Man. Every worthy man may be admitted to the participation of our rites and enjoyments, and share largely the confidence, the friendship, and the love of a Brother. The unworthy are ever to be excluded. The Institution is not designed to be a school of degeneracy and reformation but a school of Morality and Improvement. The Fraternity considers the bad as ever inadmissible, to their associations; the worthy and the good as all their own.

Why are not females admitted to Lodges? is a capital Quere, at the present day. O! Woman, worthy, lovely, social being: too good to know the dangers, the abuses, and the adversities of Life: too tender to bear the fatigues of masculine labor; or the vexations and afflictions of inveterate misfortune: too generous to withstand the solicititions of a lacerated heart, pleading at the Altars of Charity, for the houseless widow, the suffering mother, and the orphan child: You cannot be admitted,— a sympathizing witness, to such vicissitudes, such misery, such woe! Let hardy man perform these charitable duties; his masculine spirit is better fitted to sustain itself unwounded, in the "hard end rugged path" through all the conflicts, scenes, and trials of a diversified Life.

But though better fitted to bear the recitals of misfortune and misery ;—the languishing softness of the eye, the gentleness of expression, the amiable beauties
of an interesting countenance, the delicate and generous sensibilities of a female heart;— God's most perfect workmanship, within the mystic veil! where reign Love, Peace, and Silence! — What mortal spirit could bear?— If the Alexanders, and Caesars,— the masters and conquerors of the world, have been subdued by female excellence; where is the Brother, the Friend, with a bosom warmed to all the purposes of Benevolence, who could withstand such superior charms?

On considerations like these, the female world have ever been excepted, in the associations of the Fraternity.

Again:— To conduct a beauteous woman through all the various stages of Initiation and grades of Masonry, would require one who must be less, or must be more, than Man!

Were it worth your time, and could you conceive nonsense to be abuse we could introduce the thousand foolish stories and false terrors, raised about the Masonic Institution, the vital spirit of which is the three-fold Union of Benevolence, Chastity, and Charity, the imperishable "Gold, Silver, and precious Stones" of Free-Masonry!

How can these frivolous, insignificant surmises be true?— Some believe them:— It is a weakness inexcusable!— To believe that men, men of Sense, of Education, and of Spirit, become babies, boobies, and fools, and then keep the Secret, in order to make others as great fools as themselves; and then to complete the ridiculous absurdity, to conceive that this Folly has been perpetuated for ages! It is truly futile,— pitiful,— contemptible!

All these abuses are external: They pollute not the holy sanctuary of our Peace: They live and die in the opinions and prejudices of those who know no
better. Were there no internal abuse, all would be well: put unfortunately for this, like all other Institutions, there are doubtless some members, whose conduct would not avouch an accurate testimony to their being Masons.

For Free-Masoury disallows all impropriety, irregularity, and ill conduct; inculcating and encouraging whatever bears the current standard estimation of good; and Candour ever generously acknowledges that individual misconduct, and exceptions are no reflection on an Institution which is as extensive as the hemispheress of the habitable world.

Negligence, inattention, and indifference if not considered abuse may be called a very ungenerous misuse of the privileges and advantages to which every Brother stands entitled.

Free-Masonry is a glorious and delightful path, leading us on to advancements, improvements, and felicities continually, and its lessons and Lectures, abounding with moral Instruction, free from all contesting Creeds, in Religion or Politics, are like the elegant instructions of a man of taste and literature, while travelling a beautiful Country, exuberantly rich and luxuriantly diversified. An inattention to such improvements is — must be - unpardonable.

The Instructions alluded to above are those which arc revised, corrected, and beautified by William Preston, our worthy Brother; by immemorial Constitution, Master of the English "Ancient York Lodge": they are sanctioned by the Grand Lodge of England and by our much esteemed Brethren Thomas S. Webb, Henry Fowle, George Richards, Thaddeus S. Harris, and others-— are now preferred, diffused, improved, and encouraged, to subserve the interests of the Craft.

A sanction from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is anticipated, and will propably soon take Effect, by which, it is presumed, a uniform and exemplary mode of WORK and LECTURING will soon succeed the present mutilations and informalities — and that Free-Masonry thus rendered glorious will in due time be "a Name and a Praise throughout the Earth."

Never may I forget the time, when travelling the Southern part of the State of Massachusetts, I made a visitation to a certain Lodge. Called on by the W. Master, I arose, and "in form," in presence of all the Brethren, gave a Masonic Lecture. Every ear was attentive, every eye intent;— Labor ceased!— the satisfaction was universal!— D!rectly,an elderly gentleman, (recently a Brother Mason, and then fast verging toward the "gates of immortality,") took me cordially by the hand, and with much fraternal sensation, thanked me kindly for my attentions. "I never (said he) heard the like, why there is Religion in it!" In truth, sir, (said I) there is so much Religion, Morality and Goodness, in these instructions, as if faithfully attended to, by us Masons, would indeed, in the true spirit of the Christian doctrines, make us "'wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

My Brethren, why should we be delinquents, in so good a cause? Let us be up and doing! and if possible turn back this multitude of opinionated apprehensions— this tide of follies, to ebb, in their own channel, never to rise again, beyond their "low water mark."

We encourage a Masonic hope, that under the jurisdiction of our respectable and well organized Grand Lodge, every subordinate Lodge will soon be thoroughly and happily and masonically purified, and in its associated connection, share a very large portion of that respectabiiity which is ever inherent, in the institutes and statutes of Free-Masonry.

Every individual Brother will feel the spirit of emulation kindling in his heart, and the spirit of goodness and improvement will then, like the spirit of' the Institution itself, become universal!

The deeper the shades on our picture, the more prominent and beautiful the figure, the angel, the Genius of Masonry.Mark well,—the scene!

Behold! the blooming Virgin steps forth in all her loveliness and charms. Elegance, chastity, meekness, virtue, goodness, all fit enthroned upon her brow. Her eye sparkles with intelligence, truth, and love; Wisdom and dignity mark her step! Her smile is all Beneficence! Her proportions all perfect! The symmetry of her features all transcendent! A Raphael, a Titian, a Michael Angelo could never produce such a figure as this! She rivals the Venus de Medicis, the most celebrated elaborate workmanship of man; and far surpasses the fabled divinities in the heathen mythology. Like Wisdom, "she hath builded her house: She hath hewn out her seven pillars: She hath mingled her wine: She hath also furnished her table: She hath sent forth her maidens: She crieth upon the high places of the City: She saith, come eat of my bread, and drink of the wine, which I have mingled: Forsake the foolish and live, and go in the way of Understanding.

Kind Angel, live and be immortal! for thy name is Humanity, and thy darling children are the font of men.

We this day assemble to pay thee thy sacred rites, mingling our tears with the unhappy, and rejoicing in brotherly Fellowship,— our hearts triumphing in God!

Did I speak of the unhappy? I recall the word! The pleasures which feast our hearts, this Day, like the sun beams, emanating from the source of Light, shall exhilirate the bosoms of all those who love their Brother Man, or seek the favour of "their Father and their God," It is our jubilee,— the feast of Reason, and the flow of Soul." The breezes of this day must not be contaminated with the poisons, the bitter poisons of sorrow. No! be friendship and love and joy, the reigning topics of "The Day."

To explain the uses of Free-Masonry, we must investigate the theory and practice;— the principles and the effects of the Institution; and this, according to the letter and spirit of it, and not according to the humour and caprice of the times.

Tho principles of cur Religion are entitled to veneration, on account of their antiquity: instituted with the Creation, and have now continued, according to the year of the world, 5805 years.

Free-Masonry has also existed from Time immemorial, beginning with the year of Light, and perpetuated "through all the changing scenes of life," for five thousand eight hundred and five years.

Religion and Masonry are then twin-Cherubs in the same family; the one to teach us the happiness of Heaven, and guide us on to visions of Immortality, and celestial joy. The other to teach us the felicities of life, and lead us on resigned, satisfied, and grateful, through all the scenes of a terrestrial and transitory existence; their handmaids are faith, hope, and charity; their attendants the cardinal virtues, known by the names of temperance, fortitude, prudence, and justice; their companions Wisdom and Goodness and Truth! Sincerity and Peace and Love! and ever merciful Philanthropy! their Parent the "Parent of Nature!"—the "Supreme Architect of the Universe!"

Around their boards, associate the spirits of the blessed! They are the guardian Angels of man, cheering and irradiating his path-way in life, from the cradle to the grave.

Under the figure of an Edifice, what a venerable pile of building is Free-Masonry,— founded on the "Rock of£ Ages," it is imperishable as Truth, as Time, as Nature! It is a superstructure more glorious than the Temple of Solomon, as beautiful as the Garden of Eden, when nought but Innocence and Peace reigned there! Its apartments are decorated by the hand of Virtue: here Harmony tunes its minstrel harp, and chaunts its morning orisons, noon-tide hymns and evening vespers, whiist the loves and graces sport around in bliss and joy. It is the residence of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love ever surrounding the golden throne upon which presides the Daughter of Heaven,— the Friend of ManReligion.

Do you ask what are the uses of the Institution? They are manifested in the friendship, which subsists between brother and brother; in our dealings,– regulated by justice and honour; in our attentions,—governed by respect and sincerity; in an invariable rectitude of Life,— while Masons ail in accordance with the spirit of their profession. these are some of the advantages and benefits, which result from tha Masonic Institution ; but "the greatest of all is Charity!"

"Oh Charity ! our helpless nature's pride,
Thou friend to him who knows no friend beside,
Thine are the ample views, that unconfin'd,
Stretch to the utmost walks of human kind ;
Thine is the spirit that, with widest plan,
Brother to Brother binds,— and man to man.

Ask the Orphan-Boy, why he smiles away his tears?

Ask the widowed, bereaved, forlorn mother, why her heart "sings for joy?"

Ask the Parent, who fees the smoke ascending,- the rafters crackling—falling; his house— his all in flames and ruins! ask him, why with such philosophic calmness, he regards the scene?

Ask the Aged and the Decrepid, as they hobble on the crutch, why gladness dances in their eyes? and why Serenity looks out, so bright and pleasant, from the fortress of the mind?

Ask the war-worn Veteran, shattered in frame and fortune, distressed and destitute, returning from the field of battle— why, so content, so cheerful, and so happy

Ask the rescued, ship-wrecked Mariner, while in transport, he hugs his little prattlers to his breast and with unspeakable joy flies to the bosom of a fond wife why his heart feels such an anguish of delight?

Ask the dying Friend, why looks he so complacent on the rising prospect? why has Death no terror? why feels the pillow of the sick bed so soft and easy? why feels he such a confidence in trust?

The answers will all be Worthy of a Brother-Mason, and infinitely honorary to our venerable Institution. 
Free-Masonry enrobed, in all the virtues of Beneficence and Charity, relieves the Orphan, helps the Widow, cheers the heart of the Parent, assists the Aged; exercises Humanity, compassionates and alleviates Misfortune, succours, protects, and blesses the Friend. 
These are the noble Deeds of philanthropic beneficence, inculcated by the letter and spirit of the Masonic Institution, and forcibly recommended to us,— to all mankind, by the holy Religion of our Fathers.

Although the existence of Free-Masonry commenced with the Year of Light,- its history and traditions are more immediately connected with tht age of King Solomon.

The Ground Floor, the Middle Chamber, and the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies of King Solomon's Temple, are the three represented stages upon which the scenery and operations of Free-Masonry are succesively introduced. The regalia and the ceremonies here displayed, in representation; and the arcana here developed are well understood, by a Brother— Entered ApprenticeFellow-craft, and— Master Mason– "Free and Accepted".

Our performances are solemn, and impressive.

Order and Harmony prevail in all our mystic rites. Social affections and generous unreserved friendship live unpolluted within the mysterious veil.

"It is the internal, and not the external qualifications of a Man, which recommend him to become a Mason." When made, in due form, a Brother. he is invested with the discriminating tokens of distinction; and a language among Masons universal as the language of Nature! He then receives, and wears the apron, an emblem of Innocence, a badge of his Order, and a pledge of Friendship.

Each Degree is known, by its own particular forms, phraseology, and Instructions; and each Brother is known, to a Brother of his standing, by his own peculiar Investiture! "Tools and Implements of Architecture, symbols the most expressive, are selected by the Fraternity to impress on the mind wise and serious truths, and thus, through a succession of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, the excellent tenets of our ancient and honourable Institution."

Suffice it to say, the Masonic rites and ceremonials are its secrets:— Its maxims and principles are ever invariable and universal.

At our meetings,— Labor and Refreshment rise, in succession, like Day and Night! Our conventions, like the flux and reflux of the Ocean, are alternate and regular! Our Friendship is like the Sun, benignly shedding its influences on every object within its Sphere of action. The pre-eminence, dignity, and glory of Our Institution is Light, Benevolence, and Knowledge! Its Immortality shall be commensurate with the name of Washington;— the celebrity of our country;— the beauty of the World.

Much respected Worshipful Master, Wardens, and Brethren of Mount-Moriab Lodge:

Often have I witnessed the pleasant sensations of your hearts, while we held sweet converse together, and together traversed the varied delineations marked out upon the Chart of Masonry.
 The present opportunity is peculiarly grateful to try and prove particular affections: to remember the times long past: to reconsider our favourite subject; and to unfold again the principles and advantages; the uses and peculiarities of our "Glorious Institution:" Yes! particularly grateful is this Day, to Brethren, thus duly and truly interested; thus fervent and faithful, in the exercises of Friendship, and who so masonically distinguish themselves, in tho celebration of St. John's Anniversary.

My Brethren,—

May we all, indeed, "show the world how Masons love one another."

May we «never lose sight" of those principles^ which teach us more especially "to subdue the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, and practice charity," and which are designated by all the jewels and emblems within the Masonic Temple.

May we never forget the moral Instructions, which our Masonic implements afford.— The Gauge and Gavel;— teaching us to measure our lives accurately, and to divest them of all imperfections.— The plumb, square, and level;— that we may act uprightly, square our conduct by eternal Truth, and walk the level of Time, hand in hand, as Brothers, in the great family of man. The Trowel;— that we may be cemented, and grow up together in that good fellowship, which is in immediate connexion with good works, and is prepratory to a re-union hereafter, beyond yon starry Arch, in the Heaven of Heavens; where shall forever live that Spirit— all-immortal:— which, being the inspiration of that great Divinity, we adore! and bearing the nearest resemblance to that supreme Intelligence, which pervades all Nature; can never!never!never !—die ! ! !

Finally. Above all, my Brethren, may the Bible, ever "the rule and guide of our faith," be our great, inextinguishable, and perpetual Light!

To cheer our path;— to irradiate our way,—
Brighter and brighter, unto the perfect Day.




From Masonic Mirror, New Series, Vol. III, No. 37, March 1832, Page 290:

  • Joel Winship, M.
  • J. B. Atwell, S. W.
  • J. Hartshorn, Jr., J. W.
  • Joseph Hartshorn, Tr.
  • Joseph Atwell, Sec.
  • A. Smith, S. D.
  • Wm. Parker, J. D.
  • O. Bryant, J. Green, Jr., Stewards.
  • P. B. Willey, Mar.
  • Jesse Pope, Tyler.


1803: District 1 (Boston)

1821: District 9


James Hartshorne House web site

Massachusetts Lodges