My brother, in behalf of the Lodge, I now present to you this white Lambskin Apron. It may be, that in the coming years, upon your brow shall rest the laurel leaves of victory; it may be that, pendant from your breast, may hang jewels fit to grace the diadem of some Eastern potentate.
Aye! more than these, for light, added to coaling light, may enable your ambitious feet to tread round after round the ladder that leads to fame, in our Mystic Order; and even the purple of our Fraternity may rest upon your honored shoulders; but never again, from mortal hands, never again, until your enfranchised spirit shall have passed upward and inward, through the pearly gates, can a greater honor be bestowed, or one more emblematical of purity and innocence, than that which has been conferred upon you tonight.
This Apron, the special gift of this Lodge, is yours to wear upon all proper occasions throughout an honorable life, and at your death, it is to be placed upon the coffin that contains your lifeless remains and with them shall be laid beneath the silent clods of the valley. May the pure and spotless surface of this Apron be an ever-present reminder of that "purity of heart and uprightness
of conduct so essentially necessary," thus keeping pure your thoughts, and inspiring nobler deeds and greater achievements!
Then, when at last, your weary feet shall have come to the end of life's toil-some journey, and, from your nerveless grasp, shall drop, forever, the working tools of life, may the record of your life and actions be as pure and spotless as this Apron now is; and when your soul, freed from earth, shall stand naked and alone before the Great White Throne, may it be your portion to hear from Him who sits thereon, the welcome plaudit: Well done, thou good and faithful servant! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!"
You, brother, are a preacher of that religion which inculcates universal benevolence and unbounded charity. You will, therefore, be fond of the Order, and zealous for the interests of Freemasonry, which, in the strongest manner, inculcates the same charity and benevolence, and which, like that religion, encourages every moral and social virtue; which introduces peace and good-will among mankind. So that whoever is warmed with the spirit of Christianity must esteem, must love, Freemasonry.
Here, virtue, the grand object in view, luminous as the meridian sun, shines effulgent on the mind; enlivens the heart, and warms with sympathy and affection.
Though every man, who carefully listens to the dictates of reason, may arrive at a clear persuasion of the beauty and
necessity of virtue, both private and public, yet it is a full recommendation of a society, to have these pursuits continually in view, as the sole object of their associations; and these are the laudable bonds which unite us in one indissoluble Fraternity.
Our institution breathes a spirit of general philanthropy. Its benefits, considered in a social view, are extensive. It unites all mankind. It, in every nation, opens an asylum to virtue in distress, and grants hospitality to the necessitous and unfortunate. The sublime principles of universal goodness and love to all mankind, which are essential to it, cannot be lost in national distinction, prejudices and animosities. The rage of contest it has abated, and substituted in its stead the milder emotions of humanity. It has taught the pride of victory to give way to the dictates of an honorable connection.
Should your country demand your services in foreign wars, and should captivity be your portion, may you find affectionate brethren where others would only find enemies.
In whatever nation you travel, when You meet a Mason, you will find a brother and a friend, who will do all in his power to serve you; and who will relieve you, should you be poor or in distress, to the utmost of his ability, and with ready cheerfulness.
You, brother, the native and subject of another nation, by entering into our Order, have connected yourself, by sacred and affectionate ties, with thousands of Masons in this and other countries. Ever recollect that the Order you have entered into bids you always to look upon the world as one great republic, of which every nation is a family, and every particular person is a child. When, therefore, should you return and settle in your own country, take care that the progress of friendship be not confined to the narrow circle of national connections, or particular religions; but let it be universal, and extend to every branch of the human race. At the same time, remember that, besides the common ties of humanity, you have at this time entered into obligations, which engage you to kind and friendly actions to your Brother Masons, of whatever stations, country, or religion.