WHAT IS MASONRY?
Roger T. Cobbs, P.M.
"It is an influence which, when received into the soul of man, deepens his reverence for God and his love for his fellow men."
"Masonry is a beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols."
Freemasonry is the spiritual trend, born out of an inner urge, which reveals itself in a continuous striving development of all those qualities of mind and heart which are capable of raising the individual, and mankind generally, to a higher degree of spirituality and a more elevated moral standard. It finds its practical application in the cultivation of the highest art of living.
The order and independent groups of the brotherhood of Freemasons, spread over the surface of the earth, seek to be a common centre for the cultivation of the art of living, and strive for a harmonious development of the individual and mankind.
It proceeds from a firm belief in the reality of a spiritual and moral urging of man and mankind forward. Furthermore, it accepts as a basis the recognition of:
- The high worth of human personality;
- The right of everyone to search for truth in his own way;
- The moral responsibility for his own doing and not doing;
- The equality, in essence, of all men;
- The universal brotherhood of men;
- The duty of everyone to labour with zeal for the common good of all.
We should let it deepen our reverence for God, inspire us to active warfare for the right against all wrong, and gild the darkness of the future with hope.
We should let it help us to divest our minds and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life, to walk uprightly in our several stations before God and man, to be temperate in all things, to be prudent in our acts and words, to be just in all our dealings before God and man, to be brave in meeting the crosses and trials allotted to us, and to spread the cement of charity and brotherly love.
It teaches us to look above the strong grip to raise us to immortality. If we keep constantly before us our three great duties - to God, to our Brethren and to ourselves - we will have no time for the frivolities of life. A Mason is a Mason at heart. Brethren, always have a heart full of Masonry. We should all be teachers as well as pupils. We are none so wise, but what we can learn.
Freemasonry permeates every walk of life, carrying to all the light and warmth of brotherly love and true helpfulness.
From the Master to the Tyler, the Brethren should, of one mind and one heart, strive to make the Lodge a home for good men, a haven of refuge from the strife and dissensions of the outer world. We should have friendly, constructive criticism. The other kind is deadly and should be left entirely alone, especially among Masons.
Practical Freemasonry is the only kind that bears fruit, and, if we would make Masonry profitable to ourselves and beneficial to others, we must live up to all it requires at our hands. It can be illustrated and enforced in no other way.