Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A New Charge - Holiness in Masonry

Reading about some of the troubles in Masonry around the USA lately, I was inspired to write this little "charge" which could be delivered at the refreshment table to any Mason upon obtaining any degree or office, as a reminder of the importance of their conduct. It is possible that any of our Brethren could some day become Grand Master, and so we should start training them in appropriate behavior for such an office:

My Brother, as you have now been given the distinguished title of ____ (Fill in the blank: Master Mason, Tyler, Worshipful Master, Grand Master, etc.), it becomes my duty to inform you that the station to which you have been called constitutes a most solemn, sacred, and Holy engagement. Holy, because it is only by your trust in the Great Architect of the Universe that you have been extended this privilege, and because it is only through His continuing Providence that you are able to serve therein.

You should ask the blessing of God upon every act and endeavor you undertake in your capacity as ____, for as Masons, we are accountable to God above all others, He who is the Supreme Grand Master and the highest authority in every institution of Freemasonry.

Throughout the entire world Masons are, or should be, known as men who place their trust in God. Every action, therefore, that we make as Masons, reflects not only upon the honor of this ancient and noble institution, but also demonstrates to the public the seriousness and earnestness with which Freemasonry reverences and serves Him. To other people of faith, as well as to the atheist or libertine, our conduct should be a most impressive beacon of light, showing that we strive to uphold the moral precepts set forth in the Volume of Sacred Law and to live a life free of bigotry and hypocrisy.

Turn altogether away from any temptation you may have to disobey the Good Counsel which God whispers in your ear, and ever remember to walk uprightly before Him, dealing in a plain and honest manner with your fellow man, so that you will be enabled to pass the square of virtue, being filled with peace and joy as you anticipate those welcome words, "Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here is another Charge, delivered in 1884 to a Grand Master:

"... By the immemorial usages and landmarks of Freemasonry you, as Grand Master of Masons, are invested with powers and prerogatives which are well nigh absolute. The interests of the Craft, for weal or woe, are placed in your hands during your term of office. The good resolutions you have doubtless formed in your own mind that these powers shall not be abused or perverted while in your hands, I would gladly strengthen by a few words of admonition which it would not become me after this morning to utter...

To rule .. well has been the fortune of but few, and may well be an object of every honourable ambition. It is not by the strong arm or the iron will that obedience and order, the two great requisites to good government, are secured, but by holding the key to the hearts of men. The .. Grand Master.., to rule well, requires the possession and practice of several important requisites. As a man, he must be of approved integrity and irreproachable morals, freed from the dominion of hasty temper or ill-governed passions; of good repute in the world, and practising as an example to the Craft the cardinal virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. As a citizen he must be loyal to his government, obedient to its laws; prompt in the duties he owes to society, and a very pattern of integrity in all his social and domestic relations. As a Mason he must cling to the Ancient Landmarks, and sternly oppose their infringement; be a proficient in the laws, language, and literature of the fraternity, ever desirous to learn and apt to teach; though not a workman himself for the time, yet master of the work and qualified to earn his wages; ever ready to relieve, slow to demand; ever remembering that, though elevated for a time above his fellows, he was elevated by them, that he is yet a Craftsman more sacredly bound by a Craftsman's obligation; and that at all times, wherever he be, he should practise the golden tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. As an officer [of the Grand Lodge] he should remember, first of all, that he is an individual Mason, and as such, sharing a common lot with his Brethren, and feeling an interest in the welfare of each and all; he should avoid all undue ostentation or haughty overbearing; be accessible to all, cultivating the closest friendship and most unlimited confidence with his associate officers; ever ready to take council with the Brethren, and to give it; forbearing long and much with evil doers, ready to reward the good; be free from favouritism, and wholly impartial; watchful over the treasury, keeping an eagle eye on every part of his jurisdiction, and breasting over the restless spirit of innovation.

Such, Most Worthy Master, are some of the qualifications of a Grand Master of Masons. The virtues he should possess, the errors he should avoid, probably most, if not all, have not come up to this standard, but it is attainable; be it your purpose to reach it, and be a shining light to your successors."

The above is from http://www.freemasonrysaust.org.au/muecke.html