The Wages Of A Fellow
From The Grand Lodge Of Texas
During the second section of the Fellow Craft Degree, the new
initiate is presented with the wages of a Fellow Craft Mason. He is told the
reward for the Freemason who has observed the moral and divine law and not
wasted his time in idleness or vice is to be corn, wine and oil. Such wages were
indeed true in ancient days when corn, wine and oil represented wealth and were
used for money. The Fellow Craft Mason received these wages, not in a literal
sense, but symbolically.
In ancient days, "corn" was not what we think of as corn today. Instead it was a
grain, such as wheat or barley, which was called corn. Thus, an ear of grain
(corn) represents plenty. It is also a symbol of nourishment.
Wine is mentioned in Psalms 104 as something "that gladdens the heart of man"
and, as such, can symbolize health and refreshment of body and spirit. On
another level, wine can represent the completed and perfected human life. Wine
starts as an inferior juice when newly pressed from the grape, representing
youth or immaturity. But with time and through fermentation, it can become a
completed product, wine. Wine represents the maturity of mind and spirit we
should strive to obtain in our relationship with God, while the fermentation
process symbolizes the struggles of life we encounter in developing that
The oil is olive oil, which was a necessity in ancient times as it served
multiple purposes. It was used in the preparation of food, served as a medicine
both internally and externally, and provided a source of light in the ancient
oil lamps. In this view, oil can represent nourishment, health, and peace. As a
food item, oil symbolizes nourishment for our physical bodies but also the moral
development we as Freemasons should be striving to obtain. As a medicine or
remedy, it represents physical health and the spiritual health (or joy) we
obtain in our relationship to God. As a source of light, oil represents the
physical and spiritual peace we obtain by overcoming the vices of life.
Taken as a whole, the corn, wine and oil represent both the physical and
spiritual nourishment, refreshment and joy the Freemason receives for living an
industrious life devoted to the service of God and his fellowman. The faithful
Fellow Craft Mason is assured that his wages, his reward, shall not be just
sufficient but plentiful to supply all of his physical, moral, and spiritual
needs. He will have health of body, mind, and soul. He will enjoy peace in this
life, in the hour of death, and in the life to come.
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