Far from overrating our acts, and from hypocritical humility, ne believe we aro able to answer in the name of our Lodges and of all our brethren, with a joyful affirmative. According to our ability we have endeavored to gain light, and by word and actions have paid homage to the everlasting Truth. In love we have conducted the building of ManUind's highest Cathedral, and have endeavored to the utmost of our power to soothe the sorrows of the afflicted.
We have been lenient to the failings of our Brethren, remembering our own faults; we have loved and honored tho true Mason without distinrtion of Country or Lodge vvhence he came ; we have rivetted the chain of Brotherly love and affection with our beloved Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Berlin, and with our dear sister Lodge " Charles of the Rock," at Altona, acknowledging with truth their friendship; we have endeavored in our profane life to obtain from the world, respect and honor to the name of Freemason.
Happy will it be for us, if the Great Architect acknowledges this our confession, and is satisfied with our labors. May he esteem us worthy for nobler workabove, when he is pleased to call us from our labors here, and may he grant us an unclouded Kast for ever and ever.
But much, beloved Brethren, remains for us to do: all our striving and doing is but imperfect work; to attain perfection is impossible for us! Our Covenant demands much of all its disciples, hut the present commotion of the time requires unusual exertion. The spirit of the time demands of the Mason a cheerful willingness to work before the day closes. We live in a time full of desiro of change and novelty ; of wishes for improvement, and dissatisfaction with old forms and usajes, (often without cause,) striving and laboring after Liberty and Truth. Webeholdthem in struggle with ambition and arrogance, with Hierarchy and the spirit of castes,"(Kasten»eist,) with ignorance and prejudice Who will be Conquerer, we are not able tosay; but experience teaches us that mankind, slowly but surely advances towards perfection, and we look forvvard with pleasant anticipations to the termination of the struggle, trusting in him who guides all with his fatherhand, that this experience, as time advances, will be more and more confirmed.
But we are todo our share, and it seems to us that Freemasonry is called to do something great and important. Let us look at this a little closer.
At this moment, in many countries of our common Fatherland, enraged Cathohcs and Protestants stand in opposition, Jesuitism, (thathundred headed Hydra,) here and there lifts a head, which, though hiding and sneaking, is yet perceivable. It is destroying the harmony heretofore existing between the different sects of christians, and undermining the peace and happiness of domeslic and civil life. (We believe that ia this judgment we are not too severe.)
What can Freemasonry do in this ? First, let it be a warning to us to use all our endeavors to preserve peace within our borders; to beware of overstepping our Landmarks, and to understand the spirit of our order. May every Lodge, and every brother only strive after Truth and Perfection. Let Formg be honored, though they may differ, and let every mason aim at the great object of the Institution, and not be satisfied with performing cold and heartless ceremonies, but studying and comprehending their mystic sense ; so shall every Brother become daily more and more a Free Mason. Masonry works daily without noise, regarding all Brethren with love and honor; not asking one which system he follows, nor another the color of his decoration, or how many degrees he has, but judging only from his works; not minding what his business may be, or what sect he belongs to, but if he be a faithful workman, whose example may be followed. Thus will Freemasonrv increase, the different systems and forms will vaoish, and the true Fratemity form a chain of Trnth and Light.