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Cornerstone Box Contents

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Dr. Leander Firestone's Speech

Full Text of Speech

Full text from Dr. Leander Firestone Speech as published in the Wayne County Democrat newspaper on Oct., 16, 1878

M. W. G. Master, Officers and Brethren, Fellow Citizens: It would appear that I am expected to perform a double duty — one to the county, the other to Masonry. In presenting a short sketch, I will take the liberty to avail myself of a few facts embodied in an excellent work written by one of your citizens, Mr. Benj. Douglas. It should be in every intelligent gentleman's library.

The laying of a corner-stone forms a notable event in the history of Wayne County. It not only marks the completion of the foundation of a completed building, but does what is better, marks an advance in architecture, which is the art of construction in its several branches. Architecture, when practiced agreeably to the harmonious principles of nature, may be ranked among the fine arts. True, it was a forced art, and arose, from the desire of men to protect themselves from outward elements. It may be traced to the first formation of society, and consisted primitively in planting trees on end and placing others across to support a covering. But architecture is not alone to be prized because it is ancient, having taken its rise in the time of the world's history— among men who were moved by physical wants. It has a higher standpoint in this that it marks the spirit of progress, and the advance of civilization. For proof of this it is only necessary to wake the borders of the Indias, the Nile, and the Ganges, roam among the nomadic tribes of Eastern Asia, or come nearer home, and take a stroll among wigwams of the untutored savages of western wilds. As the world has advanced in science and general intelligence, architecture became really conspicuous. True among the Ancients. We read of the monuments of Gilgal and Gilead, together with the temples Basilicans and Morgues; but they were more in perpetuation of the rude religion of rude tribes, scattered here and there throughout the world. It was in enlightened Greece that architecture took its true position. They divided into three orders— the Tuscan, Doric and Ionic to which the Romans have since added, the Corinthian and Composite. But these were only borrowed. Masonry teaches us, that by order in architecture, is meant a regular arrangement of the projecting parts of a building, which united to those of a column, form a perfect, beautiful and complete whole— none but the Greeks can boast of originality in architecture. As civilization has advanced and men have studied to please, systems have been much improved. Your own county furnishes as good an example as any. Compare your public buildings of today with those of fifty or even twenty-five years in the past, and you will acknowledge the difference in beauty, comfort and taste, are really surprising. I have faith to believe, the building you are about, to erect, will furnish an additional proof of what I say. But again, the laying of a corner marks a notable event in the progress of Wayne county. About one century ago Wayne county formed a part of the great Northwestern Territory. It became a county under a proclamation of Gov. St. Clair, at that time the acting Governor of the Territory. The County then was a vast wilderness, in its boundaries about one third of the present State of Ohio, one eighth of Indiana, a part of Illinois, including what is now the city of Chicago. Its line extended into what is now the State of Wisconsin, all of Michigan, reaching far up among the northern lakes, embracing the north west part of Lake Erie and all of Lake Superior. It was larger than England, Scotland and Ireland, combined. It was then a "vast howling wilderness," peopled only by savages, and destined to become the "Garden of the World." What the magic wand of industry has accomplished, in a brief space of time! There came into this wilderness an army of labor, armed with the woodman's ax, in rude chariots suited to their noble warfare drawn by the stately ox. Before the sturdy arms of these brave men tall trees of the forests bowed their stately heads, and in their stead church spires now point to the clouds, school houses have supplanted wigwams, the sweet voice of the country girl usurps the yell of the savage, and the chimes of Sabbath bells are heard in the place of the howlings of wild beasts. What is now Wayne county proper was at that time Killbuck township.

In 1812, and sometime after the adoption of the Constitution of Ohio framed at Chillicothe, Wayne county was organized by an act of the Legislature, and in a few months thereafter, was divided into four townships, Sugarcreek, Wooster, Mohican and Prairie. From that time until now, the county has shown almost unexampled prosperity, standing at the present time the 3d, if not the 32d, in point of agriculture in the State. Seventy four years ago the first white man of whom we have any knowledge settled in the county. I need scarcely say to you that man was William Larwill. His brothers, Joseph H. andJ ohn, came the following year in the employ of John Bever, whom many of you know so well and whom at that time held an appointment of U.S. Surveyor. As you look about and see the broad acres turned to the sunlight, fields waving with golden grain that you have just gathered into your barns— when you witness the springing up of villages with the ease and rapidity enchanted castles of eastern romance— When yon consider the rearing of school houses, colleges, universities and churches— in listening to the hum of machinery, the clatter of the mill and the whistle of the locomotive, you can scarcely realize the progress and advancement that has been made. When the Larwills, Bever, Henry Morgan, Doty, Butler, Goudy and few others came into this howling wilderness, among savages, wild beasts and venomous serpents, it cost something to become a citizen of Wayne County.

When the times, circumstances, dangers and privations are taken into the account, it is rather astonishing they made the venture. But they made it, and you are receiving a part of the blessing. They were men of genuine heroism and dauntless courage— no pliant tools ready to surrender at the first opposition, no commodity in the market to be bought with a price. They were men fully grown ready to bear with adversity, battle with misfortune, struggle for the right, contend with the strong and uphold the weak. But, oh what great changes a few years will produce. Since their day nations have been overthrown. The war of 1812 has been fought, when our soldiers a second time demonstrated their superiority over the soldiery of the English. The ware with Mexico has been fought at which we acquired the territories and rich gold mines of California and New Mexico. The electric telegraph and telephone have been brought into practical utility, and the phonograph knocking at the door.

In medicine and surgery, the discoveries and inventions are almost beyond computation. The ophthalmoscope, laryagoscope and otuscope reveal diseases which before their invention were held in perfect darkness. Chloroform soothes the sufferer into a gentle slumber while the cruel knife divides the qivering muscle. The arts and sciences have arrived at proximate perfection, an labor savin machinery takes the place of wearied muscles. Electricity is our errand boy and steam, our burden bearer. Wayne County, during the lapse of seventy years, imbibed the spirit of improvement, and made onward progress.

The population from 1806 to 1810 increased to 332; 1820 it was 23,337; 1840, 36,015; in 1870, 35,116. The decrease in population from 1840 to 1870 was owing to the fact that Jackson, Perry, Mohican and Lake townships were by an act of the legislature given to assist in the formation of Ashland county. Every citizen in Wayne county should be proud of its schools. It pays about $55,000 per year for the employment of teachers, and above 75,000 for their school expenses. There are in the coanty aboat 15,000 school children at the proper age to go to school. The total value of school property amounts to a trifle more than $450,000. The school houses of the county are its pride, combining comfort and taste. In point of architecture they are much in advance of those even twenty years in the past. The High School of your city is a splendid piece of architecture, reflecting great credit upon all concerned in its design and erection. Judge Rex, Judge Parsons and John Brinkerhoff are entitled to universal thanks from the citizens for their zeal, activity, taste and their untiring enterprise in securing such an imposing structure embodying as it does all the modern improvements.

But I must not forget to mention something about Justice / Police order / and Safety / Police order / and Safety and Court Houses. The Historian of Wayne county has informed us that the first court was held in a building on what is known quite well in Wooster as "Phin Weed's (livery stablegrounds" on the on th 6th day of October, 1812. I will read the roll the of the grand jury, and see how many you know. Geo. Poe, John Lawrence, Jas Cisna, James Morgan, Jonathan Butler, David Smithe, Oliver Jones, Phillip B. Griffith, John S. Dawson, Jacob Foulk, John Kinney, Nathan Warner, William Clark, John Foreman, and Andrew Lackey. The first court trial in in the county was at the May term, 1813, at the house of Josiah Crawford. The jury, Daniel Noggle, James Darland, Abraham Oakly, Thomas Butler, Wrestell Ridgely, John Mullen, John Smith, Henry Burns, James Goudy, Jonah Crawford, Robert Orr and Phillip B. Griffith. What is remarkable is that Phillip B. Griffith was one of the grand jury that found a bill against one Josiah Matthews and now was permitted to remain on the jury at the time of his trial. First lawyers Roswell M. Mason, C R. Sherman, J. W. Lathrop, Nathaniel Mothern, John M. Goodenow, John C. Wright, William B. Raymond and Elderling Pallor. Wayne county has had two court houses, and is now building the third.

The first was built in 1819 by Larwill, Bever, and Mr. Henry. It was a three-story brick building and occupied jointly by the County Officers and Free Masons. It was located on the present site and burned down in 1828, at which time many valuable records were destroyed.

The second Court House, and the one recently torn down, was built in 1831-2 at a cost of a trifle more than seven thousand dollars. The structure was regarded as a very fine specimen of architecture in the time of its completion. As the evils men do should be buried and the good live after them, so we say of the defects, which were many, of the structure just destroyed. It served its purpose and served it well. Many are the times when the citizens of Wayne County sat spell-bound at the learning displayed by Judges "In fair round belly, with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances And so played their part." Or have been carried away on the wings of imagery, and eloquence of Attorneys from whose "tongues Dropped manna, and could make the worse appear The better reason, to perplex and dash Maturest counsels,"

The Old Court is gone.

It has been praised and cursed by turns, but never praised in such eloquent terms as it was by a few zealous friends who clung to its falling timbers. Its dingy walls have disappeared. The materials which entered into its formation are scattered. Some to be found in the Academy of Music, some on and by the roadside, and some borne away by passing winds— winds lighting here on a blooming flower and there on a lady's cheek, and at last will silently pass into their original elements. The Old Court House did not fall without a struggle. It resisted to the very last the combined attack of carpenters and brick-layers armed with implements suited to their warfare. For a time the struggle was about equally balanced; but at last, finding itself abandoned by Judges, Lawyers, Clerks, Sheriff, County Commissioners and County Officers, fell. Oft from it spire did the bell ring the rising and the setting of the sun, oft did it call the laborer from his shop to his repast, oft announced the meetings of your city, giving its clear ringing notes to mingle with the shouts of political victors or roused you from your slumbers when the black smoke and lurid flame were bursting from your dwellings, and oft how sadly oft, it has spoken the departure of some loved one. Or in solemn muffled notes tolled the departed the the "City of the Dead." February 16th and 18th, 1878, meetings of the Wayne County Bar and other citizens were held in Wooster to take into consideration the propriety of taking proper action for the building of a new Court House, the old one having been condemned by the County Commissioners as unsafe.

At the first meeting Hon. John McSweeney was made Chairman and Isaac Johnson, Secretary, and at the second meeting Hon. J. P. Jeffries was made Chairman and Col. Ben Eason and Capt. A. S. McClure, Secretaries. The meetings resulted in the appointment of a committee to memorialize the Legislature to pass an act to authorize the County Commissioners to issue in amount not exceeding $75,000 to be expended in the erection of a new Court House, to be placed on the site of the old one. The committee discharged it duty faithfully, visited Columbus, met with the Finance Committees of the Senate and House, presented the request of petitions and represented properly the wants of the County. The prayers of the memorialist and the claims set forth by the Committee commanded the support of the Legislature, and a special act authorizing the Commissioners to issue bonds to the amount of $75,000 passed both branches of the Legislature without serious opposition.

The County Commissioners— Peter Stair, Benjamin Weygandt and Henry Goudy, good and true men, in whose integrity the people can place abiding confidence, at once procured from different architects, plans for the new building. After careful examinations that of Mr. Thomas Boyd, of Pittsburgh, was selected as in their judgement: the best. A call was then made for sealed proposals for the erection of the building agreeable to the plans of the architect. When upon breaking the seals that of Mr. Wm M. Keyser, of New Brighton, Pa., was accepted, be agreeing to do the work in the proper manner and agreeable to the plans for the sum of 64,975 dollars. Skilled workmen and laborers have been employed, material secured and the foundation rapidly brought to its present state of forwardness.

The corner stone has been laid in your presence by the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Masons of Ohio, by ceremonies peculiar to the Masonic order. I cannot help but think these ceremonies express a type of two things. 1st, it is an earnest for the up building, in beautiful proportions, a structure which has been destroyed, and 2d, that the people of Wayne county are law abiding, and feel unwilling that the guilty should go unpunished, or that the innocent should suffer, and hence the erection of this temple where justice will be meted out even-handed.

Ebenezer Lodge, No. 33, in regular manner obtained consent of the Grand Lodge of Ohio, to lay the corner stone. The date of charter of the lodge, first officers, together with present officers are hereby appended:

Charter Members of Ebenze Lodge No. 33, Free and Accepted Msons, Wooster, Wayne Co., O. Date of Charter Dec. 13, 1812, to date Jan. 4, 1815:
Thomas G. Jones, 1st Master; Thomas McMillen, 1st Sr. Warden; Willima K. Stewart, 1st Jr. Warden; Abner Eddy, William Larwill, Thomas Thorp, Costant Lake, Pumb Sutliff, Joseph H. Larwill.
Signed: Charles H. Sherman, Grand Master; Samuel P. Miller Sr. Grand Warden; Sameul Wheeler, Jr., Grand Warden; A. J. McDowell, Grand Secretary.
Officers of Ebenezer Lodge, No. 33, Free and Accepted Masons, installed Dec. 20th, 1877; to serve one year;
Eli D. Pocock, W. Master;
John S. Bissell, Sen. Warden;
Jacob A. Kister, Jun. Warden;
Lewis P. Ohliger, Treasurer;
T. Tickner, Secretary;
Philo S. Van Houten, Sen. Deacon;
Harvey H. Bissell, Jun. Deacon;
Wm. W. Hanna; Tyler.
Stated day of meeting Wednesday, on or before Full Moon.
Committee on Grievances: Curtis V. Hard, Alexander Laughlin, George Rex.
Trustees: Geo. Rex, Philo S, Van Houten, Lewis P. Ohliger.
Life members, financially:
John Babb, Benjamin Eason, William A. Hartley, Charles Hay, William D. Henry, George H. Kountz, Alexander Laughlin, Angus McDonald, Lewis P. Ohliger, Geo. Rex, John Roesley, David Thomas, T. Tickner.
Past Masters:
Leander Firestone, Curtis V. Hard. Levi R. Kramer, George Rex, Philo S. Van Houten.

My friends— you may enquire why the Masonic Order Was invited to lay the corner stone. More than 3,000 years ago the Lord said unto Abraham, "Take now thy son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." Abraham did as he was commanded. He, his son, Isaac, and two young men with them, traveled three days and on the third dav Abraham saw the place afar off. Now, when Abraham had seen the place, he said to the young men, "abide ye here, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship and come again to you." Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it upon his son Isaac, and he took the fire in his hand and a knife and they went both of them together "The altar was built, the wood placed thereon, Isaac placed upon the wood and Abraham stretched forth his hand and took the knife to slay his son, when, a voice came from heaven Saying, 'Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything to him' And Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw a ram caught by his horns in the thicket. Abraham took hime and offered him up for aburnt offering instead of his son." Many years after, David built an altar at the same place, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, entreating the Lord to stay the plague from which 70,000 persons died about 1,000 B.C. Solomon, King of Israel, determined to build a house for the Lord and his kingdom, and chose Mount Moriah, it being the place where Abraham had offered up his son Isaac, as a sacrifice, and where David his father and offered burnt and peace offerings, to stay the terrible plague.

He met with great difficulties in carrying out his design, for the reason that the area of the mountain was scarcely large enough to give foundation to an ordinary sized dwelling. Moriah was more a spur of the mountain between the valleys of Jehosaphat and the Tyropoan— on all sides it fell off rapidly and steeply except in tho direction in which the ridge ran. To enlarge the area, walls had to be built from 100 to 250 feet in height. At the famous north east corner, so very high that a writer in describing it, said, "To look down from the battlements was to become giddy; and Josephus says, "that sight could not reach to such an immense depth." Solomon, to accomplish the great task, called to his aid Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram, the widow's son, known as Hiram Abiff, because he was the great builder. Nothing could dissuade King Solomon from his cherished purpose, and no doubt was the instructions of David, who had prepared much of the material. The temple must be erected on Mount Moriah. That was the sacred spot— that to him was holy ground. To Carry out his designs the walls were made of huge stone cut from the mountain, some 40 feet in length, 10 feet wide 5 feet thick, and weighing 100 tons. How such immense stones were carried to such immense heights, we will have to refer to lectures on the lost arts. The foundations were laid and the corner stone placed in the north east corner amid great rejoicings. Since then Masons look on the ceremonies of the laying of a corner stone as of great significance, and since then they lay them in tho northeast corner. The superstructure of the temple was completed and dedicated in great solemnity, on which occasion members of the Masonic fraternity, who had just completed the building, received a visible blessing from heaven, for at the dedication of the capstone in the presence of King Solomon, the chief priests and the elders, we are informed that "fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the Lord's house."

There were only hundred and fifty three thousand three hundred persons employed at the building of the temple. Of these, eighty thousand were entered apprentices, seventy, thousand fellow crafts and three thousand three hundred master masons or overseers of the work. Travelers and explorers inform us that in the more secret parts of the building there were secret chambers in which craftsmen held their meetings and where they were instructed in the mystic rites of the order. In many of these chambers all tho symbols now in use by the craft were found in almost excellent state of preservation. Among these were altars, indented Lassel, square, compass, 24-inch gauge, common gavel, level, plumb, blazing star, and the jewels of our three ancient Grand Masters, even the motto used by the Order today "Faith, Hope and Charity" chiseled in stone, leaving no doubt as to the existence of the Order at the time of the building of the temple and during the reign of Solomon, King of Israel.

Mount Moriah should be held in sacred reverence by every Mason, for there was the key to our mystic rites, for it was there masonry had its real development. It was there the operative part of our science was first illustrated in genius and toil that over-came every obstacle and the unwavering faith that sustained the craftsman to meet every emergency, whether knocking off the corners of rough stones, shaping a block, adorning a ceiling, or polishing a pillar. To the Christian world it is surely a place of great interest, for the temple was dedicated to the most High God.

The Christian of today, like Solomon, King of Israel, when contemplating the noble structure he had just completed, can look away from present trials, present scenes, and in prophetic vision catch a gleam of the new Jerusalem, the city of the ever living God, of which the Holy City was the blessed emblem, and see by symbol the spiritual temple, the "house not made with hands," whose walls will be precious stones, and whose gates, pearls. And as his mind reverts back to those days he will have the solemn thought that the Holy of Holies, agreeably to the promise, served as the repository of the Ark of the Covenant, that had been born from the tabernacle. When opened there was found the law proclaimed on Sinai, the tables on which it had been inscribed preserved for centuries, amid desolations, wars and the darkest (hour) of the Jewish nation. It had been sacredly guarded daring the long tiresome journeyings through the wilderness, or passing "Jordan's uplifted flood," yea, verily, even when the sun stood still at Ajolon, God was its guardian.

All good Masons review the lesson, and all good Christians feel the sacredness. The craftsmen were seven years in building the temple and it is natural to suppose that by constant associations in secret chambers and at daily toil, they became so closely affiliated as to desire a continuance of the mystic ties that had so long held them in close communion. They were about to disperse to, the distant parts of the world, carrying with them fame as artists, of having been so long employed at the building of the temple, and thus securing not alone advantageous employment, but diffuse free masonry throughout the world.

The moral lessons of Masonry had been so indelibly stamped upon their minds, that they regarded the very tools, with which they wrought, instructor in the moral and social virtues, each communication its own particular lesson. Nature teaches her best lessons in symbols— her movements are all in harmony, and all illustrate the supremacy of a Divine Ruler. So it is in human genius, and so it was when the workmen at the building of the temple were about to disperse, to travel among foreign nations. They adopted a language of symbols, and just such as are used by Masons at the present day. The lamb skin or white apron was then adopted as the badge of our Order and have been wore ever since. We are taught that it is an emblem of innocence, and he who wears it is constantly reminded of that "purity of heart and rectitiude of conduct which are necessary to gain admission into the celestial lodge above." The common gavel with which operative Mason knock off the corners of rough stones, teaches us "to divest our hearts and consciences from the vices ad superfinities of life, thereby fitting us for the spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." The 24-inch gauge, by which operative Masons lay out their work, wer are taught to divide our time, whereby we find 8 hours for the worship of God and the relief of the distress of a worthy brother, eight for common avocations in business, and eight hours for refreshment and sleep. The Holy Bible, that great luminary in Masonry, is constantly in the Lodge room to enlighten the mind, encourage faith, and animate charity. The plumb, square, level, rough ashler, perfect ashler, trestle board, beehive, hour glass, 47th problem of Euclid, three, five and seven steps, Jacob's ladder, and Masonic pavement, all teach Mason sublime and fundamental lesson in morality.

Having traced Masonry from the beginning to the completion of the temple, and having briefly given the symbolic Language of the draft as promulgated by the workmen of the temple, who received their instruction from Solomon, king of Israel, Hiram , king of Tyre, and direct your attention the conduct of Mason, after having left the temple, and especially during the dark ages.

This was a time when a dark cloud settled over the world. Science, literature, art and general intelligence were almost blotted out. This was time for Masonry to show its power to do good. The history of the dark days showed it a mighty factor. Masonry stood out like the purest marble on a back ground of the blackest granite. The Knight Errant of those days was a Mason of the olden time, wandering through the world, seeking opportunities to defend the weak and assist the needy. His massive battle axe, and other implements of warfare, were wielded solely in behalf of the oppressed. In the bloody crusades fought against the infidel Saracens, an Arab tribe, and the terror of those terrible times, they were the first to don tho red cross mantle, and give battle in the cause of religion, and good order. Under the title of "Knights Templar" "Knights of St. John of Jerusalem," they stood upon the shores of Asia Minor, the impregnable bulwark of Europe against the Saracens. Had it not been for this breastwork of devoted and courageous spirits which the Masonic order put forward at a critical time, the Saracenic career would have penetrated far into Europe, and what the consequences to the Christian world might have been, no one could tell.

Again, Masonry has ever been the champion of Liberty. In the blackest hour of despotism, the big mountain, the deep valley, or a sacred cave, served as places of Lodge rooms far the meeting of the faithful. In our struggle for independence, our effort to throw off the British yoke in the days of the revolution, Masons were among the bravest patriots, and fought nobly the bloody field. Of the fifty-six signers of the Declaration of Independence all were Masons but four. "The immortal Washington, tho father of his country" was a Mason, initiated, passed and raised in the Lodge of Fredericksburg, Virginia. All the officers were Masons, except the pertidious traitor Arnold, and he probably would not have been a traitor had he been a Mason as he would have met in Council in lodge tents, as was the custom of Washington and other officers. In view of past history, and present facts, can any one offer, with any show of reason, the objections to Masonry, that it is dangerous to the liberties of the country? Before drawing my address to a close, I must pay my respect to the objectors of the order. The principal objection urged is that it is a "secret society." This only true in part. Every intelligent person in your county can acquaint himself with the history, objects and aims, of the order. Books without number, and tons of periodicals, have been scattered, broadcast, throughout the land, minutely and specially explaining its principles. It is the desire of the craft to give as much light as possible, not to Mason alone, but to the people. Masonry is only a "secret society" so far as is necessary for own preservation. The secrecy of Masonry is in character lie that of a father and his household, a brother to a brother, sister to a sister, a mother to her daughter a lawyer to his client, a minister to the seeker, a physician to his patient, a friend to fiend. These and other more. This is a world of secrets. The spire of grass, the blossoming flower, tho crystal dew drop, the blood that circulates in the veins, the heart that throbs it, the air that purifies its distribution, wear and decay of the body, the mind, judgment, reason, memory and the soul, are secrets of which we are not in full possession. Does any one object? What a miserable world this would be if the claims of secresy were disregarded. In time of war the enemy would be put in possession of the best laid plans; in times of peace the counsels of rulers would be bandied about as so many playthings. A disregard of the claims of secresy would cripple commerce, ruin trade, paralyze enterprise and utterly destroy the best and most cherished hopes of men. It would contaminate the church, destroy the peace of families, distract neighborhoods, and mark universal ruin. But are not objectors a little late in putting in their pleas?

By consulting the works of Piazza, Smith, Sir Gardiner Wilkinson and Baron Bunson, deeply learned in Egypt's mythological mysteries that a story is current in Egypt even to this day concerning Moses and the mysterious Order of 4,000 years ago. Moses was born a Hebrew, educated an Egyptian. While in Egypt he fell in love with the King's daughter— no unusual thing for a young man to fall in love with pretty girl even at this day. Before the King would consent to their marriage he enjoined upon him that he unite with an Order of which those high in authority and of the King's household were members. The forms of initiation through which he is said to have passed were far in advance of any branding or goat riding that I have heard of, and we hear many ridiculous stories concerning these things. There were said to have been three tests, one by fire, one by waster and one by air and all of a fearful character. but leaving all speculations and coming back to the solid rock, the covenant between Jonathan and David should be sufficient to any reasonable mind to remove all objections urged against Masonry on the score of secresy. They entered into a covenant to be mutual friends, and assist each other. The covenant was sealed by an oath, "As the Lord liveth and as thy soul liveth." Jonathan agreed to sound his father Saul, and learn from him if he meditated David's death. He agreed to convey the intelligence to David by a sign, the shooting of three arrows, which by falling, or not falling at certain spot, would give to David the desired information. There were certain words to be spoken that David might hear in case he did not see the sign. This was practically a secret society.

1st, A covenant.
2nd, A solemn obligation.
3rd, A sign.
4th, Secret words.

In conclusion, should it happen in the lapse of time that the structure about to be erected should be overthrown, its foundation, upturned and the deposits made brought to the eyes of man, may it be known that on the 9th day of October, 1878, the people of the United States are secure in tho liberty bequeathed by the blood of patriots in the dark days of the Revolution, thus we have a commerce that that whitens every sea, a flag honored in every land, a judiciary that is untrammelled and laws that secure equal and exact justice to all.

May the blessings of Heaven be showered in rich profusion on members of the order, the people present, on noble county, upon all engaged in this great enterprise, on the court, its officers, attorney and all, whether prosecuting or defending their rights; and let me hope that those who will be required to administer justice will at the same time remember mercy:

"Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."

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