Page 7 - Mason Digest.cdr - 8 PAGES
P. 7

July 2019


There are many Masons who know nothing about the morality of                     portals, regardless that they are familiar with the exact
Masonry, or what their duties are, for the reason that they are only             phraseology of the ritual.
interested in the ritual. The ritual is only a small part of Masonry;            Masonry has its science and its literature, and to these the
steps should be taken to call the attention of the Craftsman to the              attention of the Masonic student should be directed. The ritual is
morality of the Craft, and to what their duties as good and true                 its alphabet. A know of it is, therefore, it is true, necessary to a, full
Masons are, and the nature and extent of their obligations. The                  comprehension of its language; but he who has gone no further
ritual is undoubtedly not to be neglected, inasmuch as it is the                 than the alphabet, however competent he may be to instruct
medium through which we acquire our lessons of symbolism, by                     others in the same rudiments, can hardly discharge the duty of a
translating the mystical in real conduct of life. The ritual is also             teacher of the science.
important, because by its means we separate ourselves from the                   Such ritualists, who do not know the history and morality of our
rest of the world, and obtain the means of mutual recognition. But               Order, are like some ignorant servitor in a public library, who can
it is, after all, the weakest part of Masonry. The ritual alone will no          readily point out the shelf or spot occupied by every book, and
more make a true Mason than the manual exercise will make a                      even give from memory a correct rendition of its title-page, and
true soldier. The moral and intellectual teachings of the Order - its            yet who knows no more concerning the intellectual treasures
intention as a great religious institution, occupied in the search               contained within its locked leaves than the binder who put them
after Divine Truth, should always engage the attention of the                    together.
Masonic student, and form a prominent part of his studies. We                    It is time that Masons should come to the conclusion and realize
unfortunately, know too many Masons who are completely                           that something more than a mere knowledge of the words of a
ignorant of the history, the nature, the design and the true                     ritual are necessary to make a "bright" Mason or a competent
symbolism of the Order, as if they had never entered within its                  teacher in Masonry.


Once on a time I sought to know                                                  I pledged myself then, that the tools to me given,
The mysteries of Masonry, and seeking                                            Should never find rest till the cap-stone was laid !
Knocked, and found the door wide open for me.
And when I looked within                                                                   And my lamb-skin, if spotted, should know but the stain
                                                                                                      Of Masonic cement, while on life's rugged road.
                               I saw a band of men all clothed in white                                                       This pledge was freely given,
                                         Around an altar; and on the altar                                              For I meant to act as Masons act;

                  Lay the word of God with square and compasses.                 And if my memory serves me right,
                                                         Of that band of men,    I started for the work, but found the world
                                                                                 All cold and selfish, and then I feared
I saw one more kingly than the rest,                                             To make the effort.
For on a throne he sat, and gave to each
And all, lessons of wisdom.                                                                                                I never used my tools one hour,
He came and gave to me                                                                                     And all are lost, save this - this rusty trowel.
                                                                                                    It seemed to me it might have kept its brightness
                                        A lamb-skin, pare and white, and
                                                              Told its meaning.                                             If never used, but as I laid it by

                                   He told me, too, that good great men          The rust began to gather, and now
                                  Long had worn it, and how free it was          It has no affinity far any, save
                                                                                 Untempered mortar.
From stain, or spat, or blemish.                                                 I hope some Craftsman true has found
He gave me tools to work with,
A guage, a gavel, level, plumb and square,                                                              My guage, my gavel, level, plumb and square,
And last of all, a trowel that had no spot                                                                          And laid them by for better workmen.
                                                                                                                                              Inactive as I was,
                                Of rust upon it, for earth's noblest sons                                                      My lamb-skin gathered dust,
                      Had used it ages long upon the Mystic Temple.
                                                                                 And with the gathering dust,
                             He told me, too, I stood an upright Mason           It lost its whiteness; and now that, too, is gone.
                            He spoke to me of Temperance, Fortitude,             If I remember rightly, they taught me
                                                                                 How to know my brethren.
Of Prudence; and of Justice.
I listened still with wondering ears                                                                                          Though they were truly given,
To learn a Mason's tenets;                                                                                                     They were not safely lodged.
And when they song of Faith, of Hope,                                                                                          And now, to tell the summing
                                                                                                                         Of this matter, this much I know -
                                    And Charity, the true steps that lead
                 From the level of time to the Grand Lodge on high,                                                              I once was made a Mason!
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