Thomas Wheatley’s treasure trove,
Threads with which Kind Providence,
Robe of bounty for us wove
These phrases, from my School song, resonate in my mind to illustrate how the history of our ancient institutions is the warp and weft of the cloth by which our modern institutions are clad. The warp is the timeline of history as it gathers the weft of the shuttle passing through the loom. Masonry is no stranger to this process.
Our heritage is the accumulation of wisdom through the ages. Our sacred rituals are gathered from more ancient rituals as man has explored his relationship with his maker. Our principle tenets, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are the distillation of all that is essential to a Just Society, and so we are the custodians of a treasure we must pass on to future generations.
The Masonic founders of this Nation enshrined these principles in its Declaration of Independence and in its Constitution. Masons led the way to universal education, one of the mainstays of the Nation’s greatness. So now we have an obligation to pay attention to the lessons that Masonry provides and, through Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice restore civility to our society and renewed strength to the Nation’s and the World’s Institutions.
As we move toward the end of the three hundredth anniversary of the first Grand Lodge, think of all the moving lines of Lodge Officers who have maintained and grown our Institution, reaching across Time and Space to us, our line of officers, all the Brethren of our Lodge and their Families. Ponder on the great responsibilities we have inherited in guiding the future. Kind Providence has indeed blessed us and we in turn we are privileged to use our blessings to the betterment of this world.