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Sun of Mercy, Society of The

Of this Society little is known, but Antoine Joseph Pernetty, the presumed author of the Twenty-eighth Degree, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, became a devotee to it, and induced Swedenborg to become a member. Its central point appears to have been Avignon and Montpellier; and its nature Hermetic.



That the Masonic Fraternity was active in the introduction and support of Sunday Schools for the instruction of those unable to read the Bible is shown by the action taken by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania in 1815. At the adjourned Quarterly Communication on March 20 of that year, the Minutes tell us:

The R. W. Grand Master having made an Address on the Importance of the establishment of a School for Teaching unlearned Adults to read the Holy Scriptures, It was On Motion made and Seconded. Resolved, That the Grand Officers and Four other Members of this Grand Lodge, to be appointed by the Grand Master, be a Committee, to establish in any Apartment or Apartments of the Building, Excepting the Grand Lodge room, a Sunday School for teaching unlearned Adults to read the Holy Scripture without Note or commentary, the Funds, if any should be found necessary, to be raised by Voluntary subscriptions among the Fraternity or other Benevolently disposed persons and that said Committee immediately take the necessary steps to carry this resolution into effect.

The R. W. Grand Master was pleased to appoint the following Brethren to compose, in conjunction with the Grand Officers, the above mentioned Committee, to wit: Andrew M. Prevost, Peter A. Browne, Samuel Lippineott, T. and Thomas Entrikin.

Further action upon the Sunday School was taken at the Quarterly Communication of June 5, 1815, as follows:

On Motion made and Seconded Resolved, That the W. Master and the Wardens of the Lodges held in the City be a Committee to search for and Introduce Scholars into the Adult School.

The importance of the undertaking to the Brethren is seen in the resolution, providing for a numerous Committee to handle the affairs of the School for Adults, adopted at the Grand General Communication held on December 27, 1815:

Resolved, That the Grand Officers and 17 Members of the Grand Lodge, (to be appointed by the R. W. Grand Master in the recess of the Grand Lodge,) be a Committee to Conduct the Adult School.

At the Adjourned Grand Extra Communication of January 30, 1816, we find that: Sundry Resolutions respecting the Adult Seheol were offered and read, and Ordered to lay on the Table till the next night of meeting.

Accordingly, at the Communication held on February 5, 1816, we learn that: The Resolutions Offered at the last Meeting respecting he Adult School were taken into (consideration, Amended and Adopted as follows, to wit:

Resolved, the Masonic Adult School established by the Grand Lodge is a beneficial Institution and merits the Encouragement of the Grand Lodge.

Resolved, that the School may be allowed the Use of the different Apartments of the Masonic Hall under the Authority of the Grand Lodge on the Sabbath Day, so soon as Insurance can be effected against the Fisk incurred thereby, the Grand Lodge and Arch Rooms excepted Provided that the same is maintained without any Expense or responsibility whatever, mediate or immediate to the Grand Lodge.

Resoled that it be recommended to the Brethren in the Order of Masonry, friendly to the Adult School, to Associate themselves for the maintenance of the same by voluntary Contribution. Resolved, that a Committee of Three be appointed to carry the last Resolution into effect.. The R. W. Grand Master was pleased to Appoint Brothers Samuel F. Bradford, Josiah Randall and John W. Peter, the Committee for the above purpose. Brother F. C. Turner (Builder, November, 1922, page 355) quotes a letter written in 1815 by Miss S. Witehead, Philadelphia, to Davie Bethune, New York, saying that the Grand Lodge would conduct schools on Chestnut Street, that the Fraternity would extend the work over the entire Union, as she had been informed by one of the officers..

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