Are you a Master Mason?
" I have been a Mason for a year now,"
remarked the Young Brother to the Old
Past Master. "While I find
a great deal in Masonry to enjoy and
fellows and all that, I am more or less
in the dark
as to what good Masonry really is in the
don't mean I can't appreciate its
charity or its
fellowship, but it seems to me that I
much out of it. I can't really see why
it has any
function outside of the relationship we
the Lodge and the charitable acts we
"I think I could win an argument about
the Past Master.
"An argument about me?"
"Yes. You say you have been a Master
Mason for a
year. I think I could prove to the
a jury of your peers, who would not need
Master Masons, that while you are a
in good standing, you are not a Master
"I don't think I quite understand,"
Young Mason. "I was quite surely
and raised. I have my certificate and my
standing card. I attend Lodge regularly.
I do what
work I am assigned. If that isn't being
Mason, what is?"
"You have the body but not the spirit,"
the Old Past Master. "You eat the husks
disregard the kernel. You know the
ritual and fail
to understand its meaning. You carry the
but for you they attest but an empty
form. You do
not understand the first underlying
which makes Masonry the great force she
yet, in spite of it, you enjoy her
is one of her miracles. A man may love
by what he does not comprehend."
"I just don't understand you at all. I
am sure I am
a good Mason."
"No man is a good Mason who thinks the
has no function beyond pleasant
association in the
Lodge and charity. There are thousands
who seldom see the inside of a Lodge
therefore, miss the fellowship. There
who never need or support her charity
and so never
come in contact with one of its many
these may take freely and largely from
house which is Masonry.
"Masonry, my young friend, is an
gives a man a chance to do and to be,
world of men, something he otherwise
attain. No man kneels at the altar of
rises again the same man. At the altar
taken from him never to returned, his
living for himself alone. Be he ever so
ever so self-centered, ever so much an
individualist, at the altar he leaves
some of the dross of his purely profane
"No man kneels at the altar of Masonry
the same man because, in the place where
and selfish were, is put a little of the
Divine spark which men may see. Where
was the self-
interest is put an interest in others.
the egotism is put love for one's fellow
say that the 'Fraternity has no
function.' Man, the
Fraternity performs the greatest
function of any
institution at work among men in that it
common meeting ground where all of us be
creed, our social position, our wealth,
our station in life what they may, may
understand one another.
"What caused the Civil War? Failure of
to understand another and an inequality
which this country could not endure.
the Great War? Class hatred. What is the
leveler of class in the world? Masonry.
the only place in which a capitalist and
socialist and democrat, fundamentalist
modernist, Jew and Gentile,
simple alike meet and forget their
a Masonic Lodge, through the influence
"Masonry, which opens her portals to men
they are men, not because they are
wealthy or wise
or foolish or great or small but because
the brotherhood which only she can give.
"Masonry has no function? Why, son, the
charity, great as it is, is the least of
Masonry does. The fellowship in the
beautiful as it is, is at best not much
one can get in any good club,
organization. These are the beauties of
but they are also beauties of other
The great fundamental beauty of Masonry
is all her
own. She, and only she, stretches a
loving hand around the world, uniting
millions in a
bond too strong for breaking. Time has
that Masonry is too strong for war, too
hate, too strong for jealousy and fear.
of men have used the strongest of means
but pushed Masonry to one side for the
all their efforts have broken her, or
"Masonry gives us all a chance to do and
to be; to
do a little, however humble the part, in
world better; to be a little larger, a
fuller in our lives, a little nearer to
G.A.O.T.U. And unless a man understands
believes it, takes it to his heart, and
lives it in
his daily life, and strives to show it
others in his every act unless he live
and labor in his Masonry. I say he is no
Mason; aye, though he belong to all
Rites and carry
all cards, though he be hung as a
with jewels and pins, though he be an
all Bodies. But the man who has it in
his heart and
sees in Masonry the chance to be in
reality what he
has sworn he would be, a brother to his
Masons, is a Master Mason though he be
tonight, belongs to no body but his Blue
be too poor to buy and wear a single
The Young Brother, looking down,
emblem from his coat lapel and handed it
to the Old
Past Master. "Of course, you are right,"
lowly. "Here is my pin. Don't give it
back to me
until you think I am worthy to wear it."
The Old Past Master smiled. "I think you
better put it back now," he answered
are more fit to wear the Square and
those who know themselves unworthy, for
those who strive to be real Masons.
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