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Masonry As An Investment

by Brother Wayne Anderson

By the most of us, investment has to do with money or its equivalent, but a Mason writes in an English magazine about "Masonry as an

"You cannot buy Masonry, no man ever did or ever will. You do not buy it when you pay your fees or dues, you simply gain by these opportunities to get Masonry. Where is your investment then, you ask. Let me tell you.

If you become a Mason you put into Masonry more than money, more than anything you have or possess, that you measure by pounds or
shillings, you put your life into it. Unless you can and do put your life into it, unless you let Masonry direct your life, you have no investment, you get little or nothing from Masonry.

"Life is in constant conflict between good and evil. Masonry aids the Mason to choose the good rather than the evil. Dominating the Mason's life Masonry creates the habit of choosing the good, with the result that it helps him to develop character. You may have wealth and put your money in to paying propositions but you can make no investment that will pay you greater dividends than Masonry will if you make Masonic effort to build character.

This Is My Duty

To use what gifts I have as best I may;
To help some weaker brother where I can;
To be as blameless at the close of day
As when the duties of the day began;

To do without complaint what must be done;
To grant my rival all that may be just;
To win through kindness all that may be won;
To fight with knightly valor when I must.
-       S. E. Kiser

What Is Masonry?

by Edward E. Hedblom, M. P. S.

It is generally conceded that our great Fraternity is the most ancient, famous, enduring and cosmopolitan of all the world's secret organizations. It has been so highly regarded and respected, and it has attracted the enthusiastic support and labors of so many of our country's outstanding leaders, that literally hundreds of other groups and societies have derived from it the basis of their organizations, rituals and objectives.

There are now nearly three million Masons in the United States alone. Masonry in our country is so wide-spread that there are comparatively few communities of more than a few hundred souls that do not boast of at least one Masonic lodge. Every large city of our land has from a dozen to several scores of lodges. For example: Greater New York City has 380; Chicago has 220; Philadelphia has 97; Los Angeles 72; Detroit 57, and San Francisco has 52.

An article recently published in several Masonic journals exposes some "fallacies about Masonry." From it any profane, or uninformed Mason, may learn, for example, that Freemasonry is not an insurance organization or benefit society, is not a religious sect, does not hold membership campaigns, uses no "goat" in its initiation ceremonies, does not bar from membership the adherents of any particular church or creed, nor does it protect any of its members who may have so far ignored or violated Masonic teachings as to have become criminals from meeting their deserved punishment. Furthermore, Masons are neither vain or silly in their common use of what may seem to be high-sounding titles. They pay no homage or allegiance to any mysterious national or international "head." They do not support the premise: "once a Mason, always a Mason." They do not consider the 'Mystic Shrine' or any other organization as the "highest body," and they do not teach or pretend to believe that the definite or proven history of the Masonic Order goes back to the time of King Solomon.

Having thus covered what are probably the most common erroneous ideas and misconceptions concerning Masons and Masonry, one might properly ask: "What Is Masonry?" It would be most presumptuous and impossible for anyone to even attempt an answer to such a question in a brief article of a few hundred words. The origin, purposes and history of Masonry has been investigated, discussed and speculated upon by Masonic and other scholars until the printed records of their researches, conclusions and arguments form a literature that could find room only within the limits of a large library. Profound students of Masonry have written, and will continue to write, entire volumes in attempting to answer the above question. Grand Masters and Grand Lecturers, and other speakers galore, have expounded thousands of ideas, opinions and interpretations on the subject, and none have covered all that could be said. Some have attempted in poem and song to express the subtle and sublime meanings of Masonic tenets and principles, emblems and symbols, but no one has achieved the ultimate in thought or word. Masonry is something that is just too ineffable, too inestimable, too inexplicable and inexhaustible for mortal mind to fully grasp or comprehend, let alone try to explain!

However, some gems of thought, tersely and beautifully expressed, have been selected from a variety of sources as partial answers to the
aforesaid query. The explanation most frequently given is that "Masonry is a science veiled in Allegory and explained by Symbols," but since our Symbols, and even Masonry itself, may be interpreted by anyone according to his own light and understanding, the above means but little to most of us.

In Sibley's "The Story of Freemasonry" we find this: "Freemasonry is a beautiful system of ethics, which cultivates certain great fundamental moral and religious truths, and impresses them upon its votaries by elaborate symbolical ceremonials which point to the Bible as the great light by which mankind should be morally and spiritually guided."

"Freemasonry is the science of life, taught in a society of men by signs, symbols and ceremonies, with a peculiar ritual, having as its basis a
system of morality, and having as its end and purpose the perfection of the individual and the race." - George Fleming Moore.

"Masonry is an art, useful and extensive, which comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and learning, and stamps an indelible mark of pre-eminence on its genuine professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune can bestow." - Preston.

"Freemasonry is a moral order instituted by virtuous men, with the praiseworthy design of recalling to mind great truths, in the midst of innocent and sociable pleasures, founde don liberality, brotherly love and charity." - Ludington.

"Freemasonry is an establishment founded on benevolent intention of extending and conferring mutual happiness upon the best and truest
principles of moral life and social virtue." - Calcott.

"All its plans are pacific. It cooperates with religion in regulating the temper, restraining the passions, and harmonizing the discordant interests of men; breathes a spirit of universal love and benevolence; adds one more thread to the silken cord or charity, which binds man to man. Religion is the golden cord which initiates man to God; Masonry is the silver line which runs from man to man. In its bosom flows cheerily the milk of human kindness, and its heart expands with love and charity. It wears the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, at peace with God, itself and the world." -Rob Morris.

"Freemasonry is an order whose leading star is philanthropy, and whose tenets inculcate an unceasing devotion to the cause of virtue and
morality." - Lafayette

"Masonry, in its proper understanding, is a summary of the quest after that which is divine." - A.E. Waite

"Masonry as a science is engaged in the search after divine truth." - Mackey.

"Masonry is Friendship, Love, and Integrity - Friendship which rises superior to the fictitious distinctions of society, the prejudices of religion, and the pecuniary conditions of life. Love which knows no limit, nor inequality, nor decay. Integrity which binds man to the eternal law of duty." - A.C.L. Arnold.

"Masonry is a state of mind; it is an education of the heart." - Carl Claudy.

"Masonry, in the final analysis, is a way of life, a philosophy of life. It manifests itself in our daily contacts with our fellows. It is not what the tongue proclaims, but what the heart contains." - Elbert Bede.

"Masonry is a system, but a living system - an organized body of many truths under one idea and with a life and soul which assimilates those truths together. By it we stand. Freemasonry never brought a tear to the eye of any human being. Never slandered any man or woman. Never fought a battle nor drew sword against an enemy. Never taught any one to profane his Maker's name. Has not attempted to propagate any creed save its own simple and sublime one; no religion save the universal, eternal and immutable religion such as God planted in the heart of humanity. Every subject's duty is the king's, but every subject's soul is his own." - Rob Morris Bulletin.

Finally, here are some paragraph headings selected from "Morals and Dogma": "Masonry is a march and a struggle toward the Light; - is the subjugation of the Human that is in man by the Divine; the conquest of the Appetites and Passions by the floral Sense and the Reason; a continual effort, struggle and warfare of the Spiritual against the Material and Sensual; - the great Apostle of Peace, Harmony and good-will on earth among men; of liberty, equality and fraternity; - is the great Peace Society of the World. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes; - is the universal morality which is suitable to the inhabitants of every clime, to the men of every creed; - teaches truths written by the finger of God on the heart."

What is your definition of Masonry ?

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Last modified: March 22, 2014