General Ahiman Rezon, by Daniel Sickels, , at sacred-texts.com
BROTHER: Your zeal for our institution, the progress you have made in our mysteries, and your steady conformity to our useful regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object for this peculiar mark of our favor.
Duty and honor now alike bind you to be faithful to every trust; to support the dignity of your character on all occasions; and strenuously to enforce, by precept and example, a steady obedience to the tenets of Freemasonry. Exemplary conduct, on your part, will convince the world that merit is the just title to our privileges, and that on you our favors have not been undeservedly bestowed.
In this respectable character, you are authorized to correct the irregularities of your less informed brethren; to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious practices. To preserve unsullied the reputation of the Fraternity ought to be your constant care; and, therefore, it becomes your province to caution the inexperienced against a
breach of fidelity. To your inferiors in rank or office, you are to recommend obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal obedience you are zealously to inculcate; and by the regularity of your own conduct, endeavor to remove every aspersion against this venerable institution. Our ancient landmarks you are carefully to preserve, and not suffer them on any pretense to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from our established customs.
Your honor and reputation are concerned in supporting with dignity the respectable character you now bear. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your vows, or betray your trust; but be true and faithful, and imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you have this evening represented. Thus you will render yourself deserving of the honor which we have conferred, and worthy of the confidence we have reposed in you.
Having thus given a general summary of the Lectures restricted to the three Degrees of the Order, and made such remarks on each Degree as might illustrate the subjects treated, little farther can be wanted to encourage the zealous
[paragraph continues] Mason to persevere in his researches. He who has traced the Art in a regular progress, from the commencement of the First to the conclusion of the Third Degree, according to the plan here laid down, must have amassed an ample store of knowledge, and will reflect with pleasure on the good effects of his past diligence and attention. By applying the improvements he has made to the general advantage of society, he will secure to himself the veneration of Masons and the approbation of all good men.