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Thomas Smith Webb
Masonry is an art equally useful and extensive. In every art there is a mystery, which requires a gradual progression of knowledge to arrive at any degree of perfection in it. Without much instruction, and more exercise, no man can be skillful in any art; in like manner, without an assiduous application to the various subjects treated of in the different lectures of Masonry, no person can be sufficiently acquainted with its true value.
It must not, however, be inferred from this remark, that persons who labor under the disadvantages of a confined education, or whose sphere of life requires a more intense application to business or study, are to be discouraged in their endeavors to gain a knowledge of Masonry.
To qualify an individual to enjoy the benefits of the Society at large, or to partake of its privileges, it is not absolutely necessary that he should be acquainted with all the intricate parts of the science. These are only intended for the diligent and assiduous Mason, who may have leisure and opportunity to indulge such pursuits.
Though some are more able than others, some more eminent, some more useful, yet all, in their different spheres, may prove advantageous to the community. As the nature of every man's profession will not admit of that leisure which is necessary to qualify him to become an expert Mason, it is highly proper that the official duties of a Lodge should be executed by persons whose education and situation in life enable them to become adepts; as it must be allowed that all who accept offices and exercise authority should be properly qualified to discharge the task assigned them, with honor to themselves and credit to their sundry stations.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014