the official monitor
grand lodge of texas (1922)
[Freemasonry, as before stated, is progressive, and a knowledge
of its philosophy and teachings can only be acquired by time, patience,
perseverance and close application.
In the first degree, we are taught the duties we owe to God, our neighbor and
In the second, we are more thoroughly inducted into the mysteries of moral
science and learn to trace the goodness and majesty of the Creator, by minutely
analyzing His works.
But the third degree cements the whole, and is calculated to bind men
together by mystic ties of fellowship, as in a bond of fraternal affection and
It is among brethren of this degree that the Ancient Landmarks of the Order
are preserved, and it is from them the rulers of the Craft are selected. It is
in a Master's Lodge that all business of a legislative character is transacted
and all ballotings take place.]
[The candidate, after serving his proper time as a Fellow-Craft, orally
applies for the Master's degree; and, after being examined in a Fellow-Craft's
Lodge, as to his proficiency, a Master's Lodge is as called to labor (it being a
stated meeting), and the Lodge approving his examination, a ballot is taken upon
his application for the Third degree; and if elected, and there be no objection,
he is prepared for his introduction into the first section of the Master's
[This Degree is divided into three sections.]
[During the ceremonies of this section the following passage of
Scripture is repeated:]
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come
not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say I have no pleasure in them;
while the sun or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the
clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keeper of the house shall
tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease,
because they are few; and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and
the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low;
and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music
shall be brought low. Also, when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and
fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the
grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his
long home, and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or
the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the
wheel broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was;
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."--Ecclesiastes 12:1-7.
[The following hymn is occasionally introduced as a substitute
for this Scripture:]
Let us remember in our youth,
Before the evil
days draw nigh,
Our great Creator, and His Truth!
fail, and pleasures fly;
Or sun, or moon, or planet's
Grow dark, or clouds return in gloom;
Ere vital spark no
When strength shall bow and years consume.
Let us in youth remember him!
Who formed our frame and spirits
Ere windows of the mind grow dim.
Or door of speech
When voice of bird fresh terrors wake;
music's daughters charm no more,
Or fear to rise with
Along the path we travel o’er.
In youth, to God let memory cling,
Before desire shall fail or
Or e’er be loosed life's silver string,
Or bowl at
fountain rent in twain;
For man to his long home cloth go,
group around his urn;
Our dust to dust again must flow,
spirits unto God return.
This section closes with an explanation of
The Working Tools of a Master Mason
They are all the implements of Masonry, indiscriminately, but more especially
The Trowel is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to spread the
cement which unites a building in one common mass; but we, as Free and Accepted
Masons, are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of
spreading the cement of brotherly love and affection; that cement which unites
us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no
contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of
who can best work and best agree.
[This section, like the first, is altogether ceremonial, and
recites a legend of the utmost importance to the Order; and should be well
understood by all, and forcibly and impressively illustrated at the raising of every
Candidate, as much depends upon the impression made upon him at the time he
receives the degree. In its symbolical interpretation, it testifies our faith in
the resurrection of the body and the immortality of the soul, and places
integrity and firmness upon a lofty pedestal in strong contrast with those
passions which debase and ruin those echo indulge in them.]
Hymn, C. M.
Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound,
ears attend the cry;
Ye living men, come view the
Where you must shortly lie.
Princes, this clay must be your bed,
In spite of all your
The tall, the wise, the reverend head,
Must lie as low
Great God, is this our certain doom?
And are we still
Still walking downward to the tomb,
And yet prepare no
Grant us the power of quick-ning grace,
To fit our souls to
That when we drop this dying flesh,
We'll rise above the
Or, if preferred, the following may be used:
Solemn strikes the fun’ral chime,
Notes of our
As we journey here below,
Thro’ a pilgrimage
Mortals, now indulge a tear,
For Mortality is here!
wide her trophies wave
O’er the slumbers of the grave!
Here another guest we bring;
Seraphs of celestial wing,
our fun’ral altar come,
Waft our friend and brother home.
There, enlarged, thy soul shall see
What was veiled in
Heavenly glories of the place
Show his Maker face to
Lord of all! below--above--
Fill our hearts with truth and
When dissolves our earthly tie,
Take us to Thy Lodge on
[The following prayer is offered just before the candidate is
Thou, O God, knowest our down-sitting and our uprising, and understandest our
thoughts afar off. Shield and defend us from the evil intentions of our enemies,
and support us under the trials and afflictions we are destined to endure while traveling through
this vale of tears. Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of
trouble. He cometh forth as a flower and is cut down; he fleeth also as a
shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the number of his
months are with Thee; Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; turn
from him that he may rest till he shall accomplish his day.
For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. But man dieth and wasteth
away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the waters fail from the
sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man lieth down and riseth not up
till the heavens shall be no more. Yet, O Lord! have compassion on the children
of Thy creation; administer them comfort in time of trouble, and save them with
an everlasting salvation! Amen.
Response: So mote it be.
[The third section explains the various classes of emblems
belonging to this degree, and is principally all monitorial.]
The third section sets out--
The three steps usually delineated on the Master's Carpet are emblematical of
the three principal stages of human life, namely: Youth, Manhood and Old
[In Youth, as Entered Apprentices, we ought to occupy our minds
in the attainment of useful knowledge; in Manhood, as Fellow-Crafts, we should
apply our knowledge to the discharge of our duties to God, our neighbor and
ourselves, so that, in Old Age, as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy
reflection consequent upon a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious
The Pot of Incense
Is an emblem of a pure heart, which is always an acceptable sacrifice to the
Deity; and, as this glows with fervent heat, so should our hearts continually
glow with gratitude to the great beneficent Author of our existence for the
manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.
The Bee Hive
Is an emblem of industry, and recommends the practice of that virtue to all
created beings, from the highest seraph in heaven to the lowest reptile of the dust. It teaches us that, as we
came into the world endowed as rational and intelligent beings, so we should
ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our fellow
creatures around us are in want, when it is in our power to relieve them,
without inconvenience to ourselves.
When we take a survey of nature, we view man in his infancy, more helpless
and indigent than the brute creation; he lies languishing for days, months and
years, totally incapable of providing sustenance for himself, or guarding
against the attack of the wild beasts of the field, or sheltering himself from
the inclemencies of the weather.
It might have pleased the great Creator of heaven and earth to have made man
independent of all other beings; but, as dependence is one of the strongest
bonds of society, mankind were made dependent upon each other for protection and
security, as they thereby enjoy better opportunities of fulfilling the duties of
reciprocal love and friendship. Thus was man formed for social and active
life; the noblest part of the work of God; and he that will so demean himself as
not to be endeavoring to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding,
may be deemed a drone in the hive of nature, a useless member of society, and
unworthy of our protection as Masons.
The Book of Constitutions, Guarded by the Tiler's Sword
Reminds us that we should be ever watchful and guarded in our thoughts, words
and actions, particularly when before the enemies of Masonry; ever bearing in
remembrance those truly Masonic virtues, silence and circumspection.
The Sword Pointing to a Naked Heart
Demonstrates that justice will sooner or later overtake us; and although our
thoughts, words and actions may be hidden from the eyes of man, yet that
Whom the sun, moon and
stars obey, and under whose watchful care even comets perform their stupendous
revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human heart, and will reward us according
to our merits.
The Anchor and Ark
Are emblems of a well-grounded hope, and a well-spent life. They are
emblematical of that divine ark which safely wafts us over this tempestuous sea
of troubles, and that anchor which shall safely moor us in a peaceful harbor,
where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary shall find rest.
The Forty-Seventh Problem of Euclid
This was an invention of the ancient philosopher, the great Pythagoras, who,
in his travels through Asia, Africa and Europe, was initiated in several orders
of Priesthood, and is said to have been raised to the sublime degree of Master
Mason. This wise philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge
of things, and more especially in Geometry or Masonry. On this subject he drew
out many problems and theorems and among the most distinguished he erected this,
which, in the joy of his heart, he called Eureka, in the Grecian language, signifying I have found it; and upon the discovery of which he is
said to have sacrificed a hecatomb. It teaches Masons to be general lovers of
the arts and sciences.
The Hour Glass
Is an emblem of human life. Behold! how swiftly and rapidly our lives are
drawing to a close. We cannot, without astonishment, behold the little
particles, which are contained in this machine, how they pass away almost
imperceptibly, and yet, to our surprise, in the short space of an hour, they are
all exhausted. Thus wastes man! today he puts forth the tender leaves of hope;
tomorrow, blossoms and bears his blushing honors thick upon him; the next day
comes a frost, which nips the shoot, and when he thinks his greatness is still
aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother earth.
Is an emblem of time, which cuts the brittle thread of life and launches us
into eternity. Behold! what havoc the scythe of Time makes among the human race;
if, by chance, we should escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and with health
and vigor arrive to the years of manhood; yet, withal, we must soon be cut down
by the all-devouring scythe of Time, and be gathered into the land where our
fathers have gone before us.
The Ninth, or Last Class of Emblems
Thus we close the explanations of this degree with the solemn thought of
death, which, without Revelation, is dark and gloomy; but the good Mason is
suddenly revived by the ever-green and ever living sprig of Faith in the merits
of the Lion of the tribe of Judah; which strengthens him with confidence and
composure, to look forward to a blessed immortality; and doubts not, but in the
glorious morn of the resurrection, his body will rise and become as
incorruptible as his soul.
Then let us imitate our ancient patron in his virtuous and amiable conduct;
in his unfeigned piety to God; in his inflexible fidelity to his trust; that we
may welcome the grim tyrant Death, receiving him as a kind Messenger sent from
our Supreme Grand Master, to translate
us from this imperfect to that all-perfect, glorious and celestial Lodge above,
where the Supreme Architect of the Universe presides.
This closes the Third Section, and finishes the degree, except the charge,
which is as follows:
My Brother: Your zeal for our institution, the progress you have made in our
mysteries, and your steady conformity to our useful regulations, have pointed
you out as a proper object for this peculiar mark of our favor.
Duty and honor now alike bind you to be faithful to every trust, to support
the dignity of your character on all occasions, and strenuously to enforce, by
precept and example, a steady obedience to the tenets of Freemasonry.
Exemplary conduct on your part will convince the world that merit is the just
title to our privileges, and that on you our favors have not been undeservedly
bestowed. In this respectable character, you are authorized to correct the
irregularities of your less informed brethren; to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the insiduous, and to guard
them against every allurement to vicious practices.
To preserve unsullied the reputation of the Fraternity, ought to be your
constant care; and, therefore, it becomes your province to caution the
inexperienced against a breach of fidelity.
To your inferiors in rank or office you are to recommend obedience and
submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness
and condescension. Universal benevolence you are zealously to inculcate; and by
the regularity of your own conduct, endeavor to remove every aspersion against
this venerable institution.
Our Ancient Landmarks you are carefully to preserve, and not suffer them, on
any pretense, to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from our established
Your honor and reputation are concerned in supporting, with dignity, the
respectable character you now bear. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve
from your duty, violate your vows, or betray your trust; but be true and faithful, and imitate the ex-ample of that celebrated artist, whom
you have this evening represented.
Thus you will render yourself de-serving of the honor which we have
conferred, and worthy of the confidence we have reposed in you.
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