Dew Drop Lecture
An eloquent and much admired elaboration of the monitorial charge appropriate for the Fellow Craft. This fine composition has been ascribed to the gifted General Albert Pike. Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis Upon which the superstructure of Freemasonry is erected. Regarding man as a rational and intelligent being, capable of enjoyment and pleasure to an extent limited only by the acquisition of useful knowledge, our Order points him to the studio of the Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the possession of knowledge as the most befitting and proper occupation for the God-like endowments with which he is gifted. Indeed, all who frequent our Masonic Temple, are charged to labor faithfully in the wide and unbounded field of human improvement, from which they are assured of reaping a most glorious harvest, a harvest rich in happiness to the whole family of man, and in manifestation of the goodness of God. Your attention is especially directed to the science of Geometry. no royal road, is true, but to one prepared with an outfit it must prove more attractive than palace walks by regal taste adorned.
The ancient philosophers placed such a high estimate upon this science that all who frequented the groves of the Sacred Academy, were compelled to explore its heavenly paths, and no one whose mind was unexpended be its precepts was intrusted with the instruction of the young. Even Plato. justly deemed the first of the philosophers when asked as to the probable occupation of Deity, replied, "He geometries continually."
If we consider the symmetry and order which govern all the works of creation, we must admit that Geometry pervades the universe. If, by the aid of the telescope, we bring the planets within the range of our observation and by the microscope, view particles too minute for the eye, unaided, to behold, we find them all pursuing the several objects of their creation, in accordance with the fixed plan of the Almighty.
By Geometry we may curiously trace nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses. By it we discover how the planets move in their respective orbits and demonstrate their various revolutions; by it we account for the return of the seasons and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye; by it we discover the power, wisdom and goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe. and view with delight the proportions which connect the vast machine. Numberless worlds are around us, all framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast expanse and are all governed by the same unerring law of nature. Is there not more truth than fiction in the thought of the ancient philosopher, that God geometries continually? By geometry He rounds the dew drop- points the pyramidal icicle that hangs from thatch- bound roof; bends into a graceful curve the foaming cataract; paints His bow of beauty upon the canvas of a summer shower; assimilates the sugar to the diamond, and in the fissures of the earth-bound rocks, forms gorgeous caverns, thickset with starry gems. Is it He taught the bee to store its honey in prismatic cells; the wild goose to range her fight, and the noble eagle to wheel and dart upon its prey, and the wakesome lark, God's earliest worshiper, to hymn its matin song in spiral flight. By it He forms the tender lens of the delicate eye, rounds the blushing cheek of beauty, curves the ruby lip and fashions the swelling breast that throbs in unison with a gushing heart. By it he paints the cheek of autumn's mellow fruit, forms in molds of graceful symmetry the gentle dove, marks the myriad circles on the peacock's gaudy train and decks the plumage of ten thousand warblers of His praise that animate the woody shade. By it He fashions the golden carp, decks the silvery perch, forms all fish of every fin and tribe that course the majestic ocean, cut the placid lake or swim in gentle brook. Nay, more, even the glassy element in which they dwell, when by gentle zephyrs stirred, sends its chasing waves in graceful curves by God's own finger traced in parallel above, beneath, around us, all the works of His hands, animate and inanimate, but prove that God geometries continually.
But if man would witness the highest evidence of geometer leal perfection, let him step out of the rude construction of his own hands and view the wide overspreading canopy of the stars, whether fixed as centers of vast systems or all noiselessly pursuing their geometrical paths in accordance with the never-changing laws of nature. Nay more, the vast fields of illimitable space are all formed of an infinitude of circles traced by the compass of the Almighty Architect, whose every work is set by the Level, adjusted by the Plumb, and perfected by the Square. Do this, my Brother, and you must admits with Plato, that God geometrizes continually, and be assured with Job, that He who stretcheth the earth upon emptiness and fixeth the foundation thereof upon nothing, so it cannot be moved, can bind the sweet influence of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion.
A survey of Nature, and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first determined man to imitate the Divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to societies, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design, and the plans which he laid down, being improved by experience and time, have produced works which are the admiration of every age. The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity on which the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed. Even the temple of Solomon, so spacious and magnificent, and constructed by so many artists, escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force. Freemasonry, notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the mysteries of Freemasonry are safely Lodged in the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and instruments of architecture, and symbolic emblems, most expressive, are selected by the Fraternity to imprint on the mind wise and serious truths; and thus, through a succession of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, the most excellent tenets of our Institution.
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