RITO ANTIGUO Y PRIMITIVO
ORDEN MASONICA REGULAR
FUENTE UNICA Y AUTENTICA
FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE
SOVEREIGN SANCTUARY OF THE 95th AND LAST DEGREE OF THE
ANCIENT AND PRIMITIVE RITE
REGULAR MASONIC BODY OF FREEMASONRY
PUBLISHED BY KIND PERMISSION OF HIS GRACE THE
Sovereign Grand Conservator General of the Rite
DISCOURSE AT THE TOMB OF A BROTHER
If there is a painful duty for one who is sensible to the vicissitudes of human life, it is certainly that of accompanying to the mysterious doors of Eternity the remains of a traveler of whom the soul, freed from its earthly garment, has entered into those spheres which the scythe of time can no longer attain. The silence, which reigns in this field, strewn with the remains of human beings, makes one shiver with terror, as if the prey of the wide open mouth of the tomb were condemned to destruction and complete annihilation; and yet such is not, nor can it ever be, the end of that sad and solemn drama at which we assist today. The seeds that we confide to the vast furrows of this earth will grow and flower again to the heavens and the Sublime Architect of the Worlds will gather in the harvest.
It is in this lonely and dismal place that Morality should take its seat, gather together mankind, and cry from the top of its throne, elevated on a heap of skulls: O ye who walk with head held high above our fellows, ye who in your blind presumption imagine that you belong to some superior race whose mission it is to treat your brethren as slaves, approach, and with those eyes, which are accustomed to gaze upon luxury and splendor, gaze upon the forced smiles of these bodies which surround you, and if your heart is not softened by such sights, and if it does not say to you "From such did ! Come and must return one day; all men are my brothers and henceforth I will treat them as such"; if your heart does not say this to you, then depart, ye men of strong hearts! Return to your haunts of pleasure, stifle the voice of conscience in the so-called delights which are obtained by the sweat and anguish of the poor, the widow, the orphan and the slave; but fear the day in which the scales of justice come to weigh your actions! And ye, poor oppressed creatures for whom Fate seems to have written on your brows "Suffer, Suffer, and always Suffer," come and take from this source of eternal deliverance the force, which will enable you to bear your temporary sufferings. Your portion of happiness and joy, when the day of judgment comes, will not be amongst the least; here an opulent head may rest on a cushion trimmed with gold, and a slab of marble engraved with golden, but lying, words may protect it from the rays of the sun, and the icy blasts of winter. But you, the poor, will sleep equally well on your wooden pillow and under the modest hillock which after the snow and ice of winter is crowned each springtime with flowers. Away then with the presumption of superiority! Away with the despotic commands of masters! Here there are no slaves to command, no chains to fix on the limbs of those benumbed by misery; no more tears to fall from these eyes made haggard by anguish; the inhabitants of this republic are free, they are all equal before the master of us all--who is God; let us therefore submit to his immutable decrees and adore them in silence.
Masons who here surround me, you for whom this mournful silence expresses your sadness, weep for our brother who by his long life, active pure, and unspotted, has merited the repose, which he now enjoys in this sacred spot. If he cannot leave us without causing these tears and these doleful accents, it is because the sentiments of friendship, family ties, and brotherly sympathy, are affected in all that is dear to us here below, and that the farewell that we give at the graveside is called "eternal" in the limited language of mankind; and to meet we must pass the barriers which separate this earthly life from the eternal life! Weep then, friends of our brother; keep him in remembrance; you will see him again. Permit me, my sad companions, to depose, with my tears of farewell, a modest flower on the tomb of our dear brother,
(Here follows a short poem or liturgy.)
Repose then in peace until the great day when all men will be in one fold under one shepherd who is the Sublime Architect of the Worlds; let us dry our tears and unite our voices in the sublime song of Schiller.
Let the whole earth be gathered together;
Give to the world this kiss of peace.
Brothers, under this starry vault
A benign father has his resting place.
Of those who where before us
The Rite of Memphis pays its respects
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