Masonicpaedia.org - maintained by Sri Brahadeeswara Lodge Masonic Research Circle Masonicpaedia.org - by Sri Brahadeeswara Lodge Masonic Research Circle

About Articles Restricted Archives Register Guest Book Mailing List Awards Links Contact Us
SITE SEARCH
Register  |  Login  [Current Access: General Articles only] Articles
Previous ArticleGo BottomNext Article

Article # 239
Webbs Freemason's Monitor-Chapters 5 to 8.

Author: Bro.Thomas Smith Webb    Posted on: Wednesday, April 25, 2007
General Article | 0 comments  | Post your comment

New Page 1

[Chapters 5 to 8 of the Freemason's Monitor by Bro.Thomas Smith Webb are posted in this article as a continuation of Article No.238.]

Chapter-5

The Ceremony of Opening and Closing a Lodge.

In all regular assemblies of men, who are convened for wise and useful purposes, the commencement and conclusion of business are accompanied with some form. In every country of the world the practice prevails, and is deemed essential. From the most remote periods of antiquity, it may be traced and the refined improvements of modern times have not totally abolished it.

Ceremonies, when simply considered, it is true, are little more than visionary delusions, but their effects are sometimes important. When they impress awe and reverence on the mind, and engage the attention, by external attraction, to solemn rites, they are interesting objects. These purposes are effected by judicious ceremonies, when regularly conducted and properly arranged. On this ground they have received the sanction of the wisest men in all ages and consequently, could not escape the notice of Masons. To begin well is the most likely means to end well and it is judiciously remarked, that, when order and method are neglected at the beginning, they will be seldom found to take place at the end.

The ceremony of opening and closing a Lodge with solemnity and decorum is, therefore, universally admitted among Masons, and though the mode in some Lodges may vary, and in every degree must vary, still an uniformity in the general practice prevails in every Lodge, and the variation (if any) is solely occasioned by a want of method, which a little application might easily remove.

To conduct this ceremony with propriety ought to be the peculiar study of every Mason, especially of those who have the honor to rule in our assemblies. To persons who are thus dignified, every eye is naturally directed for propriety of conduct and behavior, and from them other brethren, who are less informed will naturally expect to derive an example worthy of imitation.

From a share in this ceremony no Mason can be exempted. It is a general concern in which all must assist. This is the first request of the master, and the prelude to all business. No sooner has it been signified, than every officer repairs to his station and the brethren rank according to their degrees. The intent of the meeting becomes the sole object of attention and the mind is insensibly drawn from those indiscriminate subjects of conversation, which are apt to intrude on our less serious moments.

This effect accomplished, our care is directed to the external avenues of the Lodge and the proper officers, whose province it is to discharge that duty, execute their trust with fidelity and by certain mystic forms, of no recent date, intimate that we may safely proceed. To detect impostors among ourselves, an adherence to order in the character of Masons ensues and the Lodge is either opened or closed in solemn form.

At opening the Lodge, two purposes are wisely effected. The master is reminded of the dignity of his character and the brethren of the homage and veneration due from them in their sundry stations. These are not the only advantages resulting from a due observance of this ceremony, a reverential awe for the Deity is inculcated and the eye fixed on that object from whose radiant beams light only can be derived. Here we are taught to adore the God of heaven and to supplicate his protection on our well meant endeavors. The master assumes his government in due form and under him his wardens, who accept their trust, after the customary salutations. The brethren, then, with one accord, unite in duty and respect, and the ceremony concludes.

At closing the Lodge, a similar form takes place. Here the less important duties of Masonry are not passed over unobserved. The necessary degree of subordination in the government of a Lodge is peculiarly marked, while the proper tribute of gratitude is offered up to the beneficent Author of life and his blessing invoked and extended to the whole Fraternity. Each brother faithfully locks up the treasure he has acquired, in his own secret repository and pleased with his reward, retires to enjoy and disseminate among the private circle of his brethren the fruits of his labor and industry in the Lodge.

These are faint outlines of a ceremony which universally prevails among Masons in every country and distinguishes all their meetings. It is arranged as a general section in every degree, and takes the lead in all our illustrations.

A Charge

Used at Opening a Lodge.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments:

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

A Prayer,

Used at Closing the Lodge.

May the blessing of Heaven rest upon us, and all regular Masons! May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us! Amen.

Chapter-6

Charges and Regulations for the Conduct and Behavior of Masons.

A rehearsal of the ancient charges properly succeeds the opening, and precedes the closing of a Lodge. This was the constant practice of our ancient brethren, and ought never to be neglected in our regular assemblies. A recapitulation of our duty can not be disagreeable to those who are acquainted with it, and to those who know it not, should any such be, it must be highly proper to recommend it.

ANCIENT CHARGES.

On the Management of the Craft in Working.

Masons employ themselves diligently in their sundry vocations, live creditably, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which they reside.

The most expert craftsman is chosen or appointed master of the work and is duly honored by those over whom he presides.

The master, knowing himself qualified, undertakes the government of the Lodge and truly dispenses his rewards, giving to every brother the approbation which he merits.

A craftsman, who is appointed warden of the work under the master, is true to master and fellows, carefully oversees the work and his brethren obey him.

The master, wardens and brethren receive their rewards justly, are faithful and carefully finish the work they begin, whether it be in the first or second degree, but never put that work to the first, which has been accustomed to the second degree, nor that to the second or first which has been accustomed to the third.

Neither envy nor censure is discovered among true Masons. No brother is supplanted, or put out of his work, if he be capable to finish it, as no man, who is not perfectly skilled in the original design, can, with equal advantage to the master, finish the work begun by another.

All employed in Masonry meekly receive their rewards and use no disobliging name. Brother or fellow are the terms or appellations they bestow on each other. They behave courteously within and without the Lodge and never desert the master till the work is finished.

LAWS

For the Government of the Lodge.

You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, agreeably to the forms established among Masons. [In a lodge, Masons meet as members of one family. All prejudices, therefore, on account of religion, country, or private opinion, are removed.]

You are freely to give such mutual instructions as shall be thought necessary or expedient, not being overseen or overheard, without encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that respect, which is due to any gentleman were he not a Mason, for though, as Masons, we rank as brethren on a level, yet Masonry deprives no man of the honor due to his rank or character, but rather adds to his honor, especially if he has deserved well of the Fraternity, who always render honor to whom it is due, and avoid ill manners.

No private committees are to be allowed, or separate conversations encouraged, the master or wardens are not to be interrupted, or any brother speaking to the master, but due decorum is to be observed and the proper respect paid to the master and presiding officers.

These laws are to be strictly enforced, that harmony may be preserved, and the business of the Lodge be carried on with order and regularity. Amen. So, mote it be.

CHARGE

On the Behavior of Masons out of the Lodge.

When the Lodge is closed, you may enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth, but you are carefully to avoid excess. You are not to compel any brother to act contrary to his own inclination, or give offense by word or deed, but enjoy a free and easy conversation. You are to use no immoral or obscene discourse, but at all times support with propriety the dignity of your character.

You are to be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger may not discover, or find out, what is not proper to be intimated, and, if necessary, you are to wave a discourse and manage it prudently, for the honor of the Fraternity.

At home, and in your several neighborhoods, you are to behave as wise and moral men. You are never to communicate to your families, friends, or acquaintance, the private transactions of our different assemblies, but upon every occasion to consult your own honor and the reputation of the Fraternity at large.

You are to study the preservation of health, by avoiding irregularity and intemperance, that your families may not be neglected and injured, or yourselves disabled from attending to your necessary employments in life.

If a stranger apply in the character of a Mason, you are cautiously to examine him in such a method as prudence may direct and agreeably to the forms established among Masons, that you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant, false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and beware of giving him any secret hints of knowledge. But if you discover him to be a true and genuine brother, you are to respect him, if he be in want, you are to relieve him, or direct him how he may be relieved, you are to employ him, or recommend him to employment: however, you are never charged to do beyond your ability, only to prefer a poor brother, who is a good man and true, before any other person in the same circumstances.

Finally: These rules you are always to observe and enforce and also the duties which have been communicated in the lectures, cultivating brotherly love, the foundation and cap-stone, the cement and glory of this ancient Fraternity, avoiding, upon every occasion, wrangling and quarreling, slandering and backbiting, not permitting others to slander honest brethren, but defending their characters, and doing them good offices as far as may be consistent with your honor and safety, but no further. Hence all may see the benign influence of Masonry, as all true Masons have done from the beginning of the world, and will do to the end of time. Amen. So, mote it be.

Chapter-7

Prerequisites for a Candidate.

By a late regulation adopted by most of the Grand Lodges in America, no candidate for the mysteries of Masonry can be initiated without having been proposed at a previous regular meeting of the Lodge, in order that no one may be introduced without due inquiry relative to his character and qualifications.

All applications for initiation should be made by petition in writing, signed by the applicant, giving an account of his age, quality, occupation and place of residence and that he is desirous of being admitted a member of the Fraternity, which petition should be kept on file by the Secretary.

FORM OF A PETITION,

To be Presented by a Candidate for Initiation.

To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of -- Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.

The petition of the subscriber respectfully showeth that, having long entertained a favorable opinion of your ancient institution, he is desirous of being admitted a member thereof, if found worthy.

His place of residence is --, his age, -- years, his occupation, --.

(Signed) A. B.

After this petition is read, the candidate must be proposed in form by a member of the Lodge and the proposition seconded by another member:

Lodge, in order that no one may be introduced without due inquiry relative to his character and qualifications.

All applications for initiation should be made by petition in writing, signed by the applicant, giving an account of his age, quality, occupation and place of residence and that he is desirous of being admitted a member of the Fraternity, which petition should be kept on file by the Secretary.

After this petition is read, the candidate must be proposed in form by a member of the Lodge and the proposition seconded by another member, a committee is then appointed to make inquiry relative to his character and qualifications.

DECLARATION

To be assented to by a Candidate, in an adjoining apartment, previous to Initiation.

Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen,

[ The Stewards of the Lodge are usually present.]

that, unbiased by friends and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?-I do.

Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures? ----- I do.

Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the Fraternity?---- I do.

After the above declarations are made and reported to the Master, he makes it known to the Lodge, in manner following, viz.

"Brethren,
At the request of Mr. A. B., he has been proposed and accepted in regular form, I therefore recommend him as a proper candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and worthy to partake of the privileges of the Fraternity and in consequence of a declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the Order."

If there are then no objections made, the candidate is introduced in due form.

Chapter-8

Remarks on the First Lecture.

We shall now enter on a disquisition of the different sections of the lectures appropriated to the several degrees of Masonry, giving a brief summary of the whole and annexing to every remark the particulars to which the section alludes.

By these means the industrious Mason will be instructed in the regular arrangement of the sections in each lecture and be enabled with more ease to acquire a knowledge of the art.

The first lecture of Masonry is divided into three sections, and each section into different clauses. Virtue is painted in the most beautiful colors and the duties of morality are enforced. In it we are taught such useful lessons as prepare the mind for a regular advancement in the principles of knowledge and philosophy. These are imprinted on the memory by lively and sensible images, to influence our conduct in the proper discharges of the duties of social life.

The First Section

This lecture is suited to all capacities and may and ought to be known by every person who ranks as a Mason. It consists of general heads, which, though short and simple, carry weight with them. They not only serve as marks of distinction, but communicate useful and interesting knowledge, when they are duly investigated. They qualify us to try and examine the rights of others to our privileges, while they prove ourselves and as they induce us to inquire more minutely into other particulars of greater importance, they serve as an introduction to subjects more amply explained in the following sections

Prayer

Used at the Initiation of a Candidate.

"Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, to this our present convention and grant that this candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service and become a true and faithful brother among us! Endue him with a competency of thy Divine wisdom, that, by the secrets of our art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of brotherly love, relief, and truth, to the honor of thy holy name! Amen. "

It is a duty incumbent on every Master of a Lodge, before the ceremony of initiation takes place, to inform the candidate of the purpose and design of the institution, to explain the nature of his solemn engagements, and, in a manner peculiar to Masons alone, to require his cheerful acquiescence to the duties of morality and virtue, and all the sacred tenets of the Order.

Behold ! how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments.

As the dew of Hermon and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

Toward the close of the section is explained that peculiar ensign of Masonry,

The Lamb Skin,

or white leather apron, which is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a Mason, more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle, more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other Order that could be conferred upon the candidate at the time of his initiation, or at any time thereafter, by king, prince, potentate, or any other person, except he be a Mason, and which every one ought to wear with equal pleasure to himself and honor to the Fraternity.

This section closes with an explanation of the working tools and implements of an entered apprentice, which are, the twenty four inch gauge and the common gavel.

The Twenty Four Inch Gauge

is an instrument made use of by operative Masons, to measure and lay out their work. But we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. It being divided into twenty four equal parts is emblematical of the twenty four hours of. the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts, whereby we find a portion for the service of God and a distressed worthy brother, a portion for our usual avocations and a portion for refreshment and sleep.

The Common Gavel

is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to break off the corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use, but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting our bodies, as living stones, for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

The Second Section

Rationally accounts for the origin of our hieroglyphical instruction and convinces us of the advantages, which will ever accompany a faithful observance of our duty. It maintains, beyond the power of contradiction, the propriety of our rites, while it demonstrates to the most skeptical and hesitating mind their excellency and utility, it illustrates, at the same time, certain particulars, of which our ignorance might lead us into error, and which, as Masons, we are indispensably bound to know.

To make a daily progress in the art is our constant duty and expressly required by our general laws. What end can be more noble than the pursuit of virtue? what motive more alluring than the practice of justice? or what instruction more beneficial than an accurate elucidation of symbolical mysteries which tend to embellish and adorn the mind? Every thing that strikes the eye more immediately engages the attention, and imprints on the memory serious and solemn truths: hence Masons, universally adopting this method of inculcating the tenets of their Order by typical figures and allegorical emblems, prevent their mysteries from descending into the familiar reach of inattentive and unprepared novices, from whom they might not receive due veneration.

Our records inform us that the usages and customs of Masons have ever corresponded with those of the Egyptian philosophers, to which they bear a near affinity. Unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, they concealed their particular tenets and principles of polity under hieroglyphical figures and expressed their notions of government by signs and symbols, which they communicated to their Magi alone, who were bound by oath not to reveal them. The Pythagorean system seems to have been established. on a similar plan, and many Orders of a more recent date. Masonry, however, is not only the most ancient, but the most moral institution that ever subsisted, every character, figure, and emblem depicted in a Lodge has a moral tendency and inculcates the practice of virtue.

THE BADGE OF A MASON.

Every candidate, at his initiation, is presented with a lambskin, or white leather apron.

The lamb has, in all ages, been deemed an emblem of innocence, he, therefore, who wears the lamb skin as a badge of Masonry, is thereby continually reminded of that purity of life and conduct, which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.

The Third Section

Explains the nature and principles of our constitution, and teaches us to discharge with propriety the duties of our respective stations. Here, too, we receive instruction relative to the Form, Supports, Covering, Furniture, Ornaments, Lights, and Jewels of a Lodge, how it should be situated and to whom dedicated and our attention is directed to the

Holy Bible,

which is always open when the Lodge is, at work and which is considered by Masons to be as indispensable as a

Charter

Or warrant from the Grand Lodge empowering them to work.

From east to west Freemasonry extends and between the north and south, in every clime and nation, are Masons to be found, either on the

High Hill

Of prosperity, or in the

Low Vale

Of adversity.

Our institution is said to be supported by

Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty,

Because it is necessary that there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings.

Its Dimensions

Are unlimited and

Its Covering

no less than a clouded canopy or a starry-decked heaven. To this object the Mason's mind is continually directed and thither, he hopes at last to arrive, by the aid of the

Theological Ladder,

which Jacob, in his vision, saw ascending from earth to heaven, the

Three Principal Rounds,

of which are denominated faith, hope, and charity and which admonish us to have faith in God, hope in immortality and charity to all mankind.

Every well governed Lodge is

Furnished

with the Holy Bible, the Square, and the Compass. The Bible points out the path that leads to happiness and is dedicated to God, the square teaches us to regulate our conduct by the principles of morality and virtue and is dedicated to the Master, the compass teaches us to limit our desires in every station, and is dedicated to the Craft.

The Bible

is dedicated to the service of God, because it is the inestimable gift of God to man, the square to the Master, because, being the proper Masonic emblem of his office, it is constantly to remind him of the duty he owes to the Lodge over which he is appointed to preside, and the compass to the Craft, because, by a due attention to its use, they are taught to regulate their desires and keep their passions within due bounds.

The Ornamental

parts of a Lodge displayed in this section are, the Mosaic pavement, the indented tassel, and the blazing star. The Mosaic pavement is a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon's Temple, the indented tassel, that beautiful tessellated border or skirting which surrounded it and the blazing star in the center is commemorative of the star, which appeared to guide the wise men of the East to the place of our Savior's nativity. The Mosaic pavement is emblematic of human life, checkered with good and evil, the beautiful border which surrounds it, those blessings and comforts which surround us, and which we hope to obtain by a faithful reliance on Divine Providence, which is hieroglyphically represented by the blazing star in the center.

The Moveable and Immovable Jewels also claim our attention in this section.

The rough ashler is a stone as taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state. The perfect ashler is a stone made ready by the hands of the workman, to be adjusted by the tools of the fellow-craft. The trestle-board is for the Master workman to draw his designs upon.

By the rough ashler we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature, by the perfect ashler, that state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavors and the blessing of God, and by the trestle-board we are reminded that, as the operative workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Master on his trestle-board, so should we, both operative and speculative, endeavor to erect our spiritual building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe in the Book of Life, or the Holy Scriptures, which is our spiritual trestle-board.

In this section likewise our attention is called to those important tools of a Mason, the Square, Level, and Plumb and their uses are explained.

To Whom dedicated

By a recurrence to the chapter upon the dedication of Lodges, it will be perceived that, although our ancient brethren dedicated their Lodges to King Solomon, yet Masons professing Christianity dedicate theirs to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, who were eminent patrons of Masonry, and since their time there is represented in every regular and well-governed Lodge a certain

Point Within A Circle

The point representing an individual brother, the circle representing the boundary line of his duty to God and man, beyond which he is never to suffer his passions, prejudices or interest to betray him on any occasion. This circle is embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist, who were perfect parallels in Christianity as well as Masonry and upon the vertex rests the book of

Holy Scriptures,

which points out the whole duty of man. In going round this circle, we necessarily touch upon these two lines, as well as upon the Holy Scriptures, and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, it is impossible that he should materially err.

This section, though the last in rank, is not the least considerable in importance. It strengthens those which precede, and enforces in the most engaging manner a due regard to character and behavior in public as well as in private life, in the Lodge as well as in the general commerce of society. It forcibly inculcates the most instructive lessons. Brotherly love, relief, and truth are themes on which we here expatiate.

Of Brotherly Love.

By the exercise of brotherly love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor, who, as created by one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those, who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.

Of Relief

To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and establish our connections.

Of Truth.

Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue, To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme, we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct, hence, while influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us, sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us and the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.

To this illustration succeeds an explanation of the four cardinal virtues - Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, the illustration of which virtues is accompanied with some general observations peculiar to Masons.

Temperance

is that due restraint upon our affections and passions which renders the body tame and governable and frees the mind from the allurements of vice. This virtue should be the constant practice of every Mason, as he is thereby taught to avoid excess, or contracting any licentious or vicious habit, the indulgence of which might lead him to disclose some of those valuable secrets which he has promised to conceal and never reveal, and which would consequently subject him to the contempt and detestation of all good Masons.

Fortitude

Is that noble and steady purpose of the mind whereby we are enabled to undergo any pain, peril, or danger, when prudentially deemed expedient. This virtue is equally distant from rashness and cowardice, and, like the former, should be deeply impressed upon the mind of every Mason, as a safeguard or security against any illegal attack that may be made, by force or otherwise, to extort from him any of those secrets with which he has been so solemnly intrusted, and which was emblematically represented upon his first admission into the Lodge.

Prudence

Teaches us to regulate our lives and actions agreeably to the dictates of the valuable secrets, which he has promised to conceal and never reveal and which would consequently subject him to the contempt and detestation of all good Masons.

Justice

is that standard or boundary of right, which enables us to render to every man his just due, without distinction. This virtue is not only consistent with Divine and human laws, but is the very cement and support of civil society, and, as justice in a great measure constitutes the real good man, so should it be the invariable practice of every Mason never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof.

The distinguishing characteristics of the aspirant for Masonic honors should be

Freedom, Fervency and Zeal.

The exercise of these qualities will inevitably assure an appropriate and lasting reward.

Such is the arrangement of the different sections in the first lecture, which, with the forms adopted at the opening and closing of a Lodge, comprehends the whole of the first degree of Masonry. This plan has the advantage of regularity to recommend it, the support of precedent and authority and the sanction and respect, which flow from antiquity. The whole is a regular system of morality, conceived in a strain of interesting allegory, which must unfold its beauties to the candid and industrious inquirer.

Charge

At Initiation into the First Degree.

Brother: As you are now introduced into the first principles of Masonry, I congratulate you on being accepted into this ancient and honorable Order - ancient, as having subsisted from time immemorial, and honorable, as tending, in every particular, so to render all men who will be conformable to its precepts. No institution was ever raised on a better principle or more solid foundation, nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down than are inculcated in the several Masonic lectures. The greatest and best of men in all ages have been encouragers and promoters of the art and have never deemed it derogatory from their dignity to level themselves with the Fraternity, extend their privileges and patronize their assemblies.

There are three great duties, which, as a Mason, you are charged to inculcate - to God, your neighbor, and yourself. To God, in never mentioning his name but with that reverential awe which is due from a creature to his Creator, to implore his aid in all your laudable undertakings, and to esteem him as your chief good: to your neighbor, in acting upon the square, and doing unto him as you wish he should do unto you: and to yourself, in avoiding all irregularity and intemperance, which may impair your faculties, or debase the dignity of your profession. A zealous attachment to these duties will insure public and private esteem.

In the state, you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government, and just to your country, you are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live.

In your outward demeanor be particularly careful to avoid censure or reproach. Let not interest, favor, or prejudice bias your integrity, or influence you to be guilty of a dishonorable action. Although your frequent appearance at our regular meetings is earnestly solicited, yet it is not meant that Masonry should interfere with your necessary vocations, for these are on no account to be neglected, neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution to lead you into argument with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it. At your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to converse with well-informed brethren, who will be always as ready to give as you will be ready to receive instruction.

Finally, keep sacred and inviolable the mysteries of the Order, as these are to distinguish you from the rest of the community, and mark your consequence among Masons. If, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated into Masonry, be particularly attentive not to recommend him unless you are convinced he will conform to our rules, that the honor, glory, and reputation of the institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its good effects.

Please refer Article No.238, containing the write up about the Author.


Click Here To Post Your Comment

Previous ArticleGo TopNext Article

© 2002-2017. MasonicPaedia.org. All Rights Reserved
Site designed by NetGross