the official monitor
grand lodge of texas (1922)
[The first section of this degree teaches the candidate, by
Symbols, many important lessons, and among other things, that Masonry is a moral
institution, founded upon the morality as taught in the Bible, and that he has
to take the Holy Bible as the rule and guide to his faith and practice; it being
the great light in Masonry and the source whence we, as Masons, derive all our
The ceremonies as taught in this section not only serve as marks of
distinction, but communicate useful and interesting knowledge, when they are
thoroughly investigated and understood.]
Prayer Used at the Initiation of a Candidate
Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, to this our present
convention; and grant that this candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote
his life to Thy service, and become a true and faithful brother among us. Endue
him with a competency of Thy wisdom, that by the influence of the pure
principles of our Order he may the better be enabled to display the beauties of
holiness to the honor of Thy Holy Name. Amen.
Response: So mote it be.
[The following passage of Scripture may be used during the
"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in
"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the
beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garment:
"As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of
Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore."
[Since the more general introduction of music into the Lodges,
the following hymn is sometimes used as a substitute for this passage of
Scripture, with excellent effect:]
(Music)--"AULD LANG SYNE"
Behold how pleasant and how good,
For brethren such
Of the Accepted brotherhood,
To dwell in unity!
the oil on Aaron's head,
Which to his feet distills;
dew so richly shed
On Zion's sacred hills.
For there the Lord of light and love
A blessing sent with pow’r;
Oh! may we all this blessing prove.
E’en life for evermore;
altar rising here,
Our hands now plighted be,
To live in love with
In peace and unity.
[In the course of this section the badge of a Mason is
introduced and explained.]
The Lambskin, or white leather apron, is an emblem of innocence and the badge
of a Mason; more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honorable
than the Star and Garter, or any other order that could be conferred, at this,
or any future period, by king, prince or potentate, or any person, except he be
a Mason; and which every one ought to wear with equal pleasure to himself and
honor to the Fraternity.
[This Section closes with a moral explanation of the
Twenty-four Inch Gauge and Common Gavel.]
The Twenty-Four Inch Gauge
Is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to measure and lay out their
work. But we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the
more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. It being divided into
twenty-four equal parts, is emblematical of the twenty-four hours of the day;
which we are taught to divide into three parts, whereby we find a portion for the service
of God and a distressed worthy brother; a portion for our usual vocations, and a
portion for refreshment and sleep.
The Common Gavel
Is an instrument made use of by operative Masons, to break off the rough and
superfluous parts of stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but
we, as Free and Accepted Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble
and glorious purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of all the vices and
superfluities of life, thereby fitting ourselves as living stones, for that
spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
[This section rationally accounts for the ceremony of
initiating a candidate into our ancient institution, and fully explains the
The lamb has in all ages been deemed an emblem of innocence; he, therefore,
who wears the lambskin as the badge of a Mason is constantly reminded of that
purity of heart and uprightness of conduct so essentially necessary to his gaining admission into
the celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe
[This section sets out with the definition of a Lodge, and
contains instructions relative to the form, supports, covering, furniture,
ornaments, lights, jewels, situation and dedication of Lodges. We also here
derive instruction as to the tenets of a Mason's profession, the manner in which
our ancient brethren served their Masters, and the section closes with an
explanation of the four cardinal virtues. Much of this section is monitorial,
and is open and free to the perusal of any and all persons. By a perusal of our
monitors the uninitiated may learn much of the workings of Masonry.]
The Form of a Lodge
A Lodge is said to be supported by Wisdom, Strength and Beauty; because there
should be wisdom to contrive, strength to support, and beauty to adorn, all
great and important undertakings.
The Covering of a Lodge
The covering of a Lodge is no less than the clouded canopy, or starry-decked
heavens, where all good Masons hope at last to arrive, by the aid of the theological ladder, which Jacob, in
his vision, saw extending from earth to heaven; the three principal rounds of
which are denominated Faith, Hope and Charity; teaching Faith in God, Hope in
immortality, and Charity to all mankind.
Of these, Charity is the greatest; for Faith may be lost in sight; Elope end
in fruition; but Charity extends beyond the grave, through the bound-less realms
The Furniture of a Lodge
is the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses.
The Bible is dedicated to the service of God, it being the inestimable gift
of God to man; * * * * * the Square to the Master, it being the proper Masonic
emblem of his office; and the Compasses to the Craft, because, by a due
attention to their use, they are taught to circumscribe their desires and keep
their passions within due bounds towards all mankind, more especially, a Brother
The Ornaments of a Lodge
Are the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star.
The Mosaic Pavement is a representation of the ground-floor of King Solomon's
Temple, and is emblematical of human life, checquered with good and evil. The
Blazing Star represents the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its benign
influence dispenses its blessings to all mankind. The Indented, or Tesselated
border, refers to the Planets which, in their revolution, form a beautiful
border around that grand luminary, and are emblematical of the blessings and
comforts which surround us.
There are three lights belonging to the Lodge, situated in the East, West and
South; but there is none in the North.
Jewels of a Lodge
There are six Jewels belonging to a Lodge, three immovable and three movable.
The immovable Jewels are the Square, Level and Plumb; these are said to be
immovable, because they have fixed stations in a Lodge.
The movable Jewels are the Rough Ashlar, Perfect Ashlar, and the
The Rough Ashlar is a stone as taken from the quarry, in its rude and natural state. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone made ready by the hands of
the Apprentice, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow-Craft. The
Trestle-Board is for the Master to draw his designs upon.
[By the Rough Ashlar we are reminded of our rude and imperfect
state by nature; by the Perfect Ashlar, of that state of perfection at which we
hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavors, and the blessing of
God; and by the Trestle-Board, we are also reminded that, as the operative
workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid
down by the Master on his Trestle-Board, so should we, as Speculative Masons,
endeavor to erect our spiritual building agreeably to the rules and designs laid
down by the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in the great volume of nature and
revelations, which is our moral and Masonic Trestle-Board.]
Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon, who was our first Most
Excellent Grand Master; but Masons professing Christianity dedicate theirs to St. John the Baptist, and St. John
the Evangelist, who were two eminent patrons of Masonry; [and since their time,
there is represented in every regular and well-governed Lodge, a certain Point
within a Circle (the Point represents an individual brother, the Circle the
boundary-line of his duty), embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines,
representing St. John the Baptist, and St. John the Evangelist; upon the top
rest the Holy Scriptures.
In passing around this circle, we necessarily touch upon these two lines, as
well as the Holy Scriptures; and while a Mason keeps his desires circumscribed
within their precepts, it is impossible that he can materially err.]
The principal tenets of our profession are three: Brotherly Love, Relief and
Truth, and are thus explained:
1. By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human
species as one family--the high and low, the rich and poor; who, as created by
one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each
other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion,
and conciliates true friendship among those who might, otherwise, have remained
at a perpetual distance.
2. To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent upon all men; but
particularly on Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of
sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes,
to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds,
is the grand aim we have in view. On this basis we form our friendships and
establish our connections.
3. Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be
good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we
contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct. Hence, while
influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us, sincerity and plain-dealing distinguish us, and the heart and
tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's
Manner of Service
Our Ancient Brethren served their Masters with
The Four Cardinal Virtues,
Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice, are * * * * * in this
Temperance is that due restraint upon our affections and passions which
renders the body tame and governable, and frees the mind from the allurements of
vice. This virtue should be the constant practice of every Mason, as he is
thereby taught to avoid excess, or the contracting of any vicious habit, which
might lead him to betray his trust, and subject him to the contempt of all good
Fortitude is that noble and steady purpose of the mind, whereby we are
enabled to undergo any pain, peril or danger, when prudentially deemed
expedient. This virtue should be deeply impressed on the mind of every
Mason, as a safeguard against any attack that may be made to extort from him any of
those valuable secrets with which he has been so solemnly entrusted upon his
first admission into the Lodge.
Prudence teaches us to regulate our lives and actions agreeably to the
dictate of reason, and is that habit by which we wisely judge, and prudently
determine, on all things relative to our present, as well as our future
happiness. This virtue, particularly attended to, in all strange and mixed
companies, will prevent us from letting fall the least sign, token or word,
whereby the secrets of Masonry might be unlawfully obtained.
Justice is that standard, or boundary of right, which enables us to render to
every man his just due, without distinction. This virtue, in a great measure,
constitutes the real good man; and it should be the invariable practice of every
Mason, never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof.
This closes the Third Section, and finishes the degree, with the exception of
the charge, which is as follows:
My Brother:--Having passed through the ceremonies of your initiation, I
congratulate you on your admission into this ancient and honorable Order;
ancient, as having existed from time immemorial; honorable, as tending to make
all men so, who are strictly obedient to its teachings and precepts. It is an
institution having for its foundation the practice of the social and moral
virtues, and to so high an eminence has its credit been advanced that, in every
age and country, men pre-eminent for their moral and intellectual attainments
have encouraged and promoted its interests. Nor has it been thought derogatory
to their dignity that monarchs have, for a season, exchanged the scepter for the
trowel, to patronize our mysteries, and join in our assemblies.
As a Mason, you are to regard the Holy Scriptures as the great light in your
profession; they are the unerring standard of truth and justice; and you are to
regulate your life and actions by the divine precepts therein contained. No institution was ever
raised on better principles, or a more solid foundation than that of ours, which
takes the Holy Bible as its corner-stone; nor were ever more excellent rules or
useful maxims laid down, than are inculcated in the several Masonic Lectures,
which you will learn at your leisure, by conversing with well-informed Brethren,
who will be always as ready to give as you will to receive instruction.
There are three great duties which, as a Mason, you are charged to
inculcate--to God, your neighbor, and yourself. To God, in never mentioning His
name, but with that reverential awe, which is due from a creature to his
Creator; to implore His aid in all your laudable undertakings, and to esteem Him
as the chief good. To your neighbor, in acting upon the square, doing unto him
as you wish he should do unto you; and to yourself, in avoiding all irregularity
and intemperance, which may impair your faculties, or debase the dignity of your
A zealous attachment
to these duties will insure public and private esteem.
As a citizen, you are to be a quiet and peaceable subject, true to your
government, and just to your country; you are not to countenance disloyalty or
rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority, and conform with
cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live.
Your prompt attendance at our meetings, when at labor in the Entered
Apprentice Degree, is earnestly solicited; yet it is not meant that Masonry
should interfere with your necessary vocations, for these are, on no account, to
be neglected; neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution to lead
you into argument with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it.
Finally, be faithful to the trust committed to your care, and manifest your
fidelity to our principles, by a strict observance of the Constitutions and
Ancient Landmarks of our Order; and by refraining to recommend any person to a
participation in our privileges,
unless you are satisfied, and have strong reasons to believe that, by a
similar fidelity, he will ultimately reflect honor and credit on our ancient and
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