No one need be alarmed about any book written to expose Masonry. It is utterly harmless.
The real secret of Masonry cannot be learned by prying eyes or curious inquiry. We
do well to protect the privacy of the lodge; but the secret of Masonry can be known
only by those who are ready and worthy to receive it. Only a pure heart and an honest
mind can know it. Others seek it in vain and never know it, though they be adept
in all the signs and tokens of every rite and rank of the Craft.
I hold in my hand a little scrap of paper 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in size. It is of
no intrinsic worth, not a bond, not a check or receipt for valuables, yet it is my
most priceless possession. It is my membership card in a Masonic Lodge.
It tells me that I have entered into a spiritual kinship with my fellow Masons to
practice charity in word and deed; to forgive and forget the faults of my brethren;
to hush the tongues of scandal and innuendo; to care for the crippled, the hungry
and the sick, and to be fair and just to all mankind.
It tells me that no matter where I may travel in the world, I am welcome to visit
a place where good fellowship prevails among brothers and friends.
It tells me that my loved ones, my home, and my household are under the protection
of every member of this great Fraternity, who have sworn to defend and protect mine
as I have sworn to defend and protect theirs.
It tells me that should I ever be overtaken by adversity or misfortune through no
fault of my own, the hands of every Mason on the face of the earth will be stretched
forth to assist me in my necessities.
And finally, it tells me that when my final exit from the stage of life has been
made, there will be gathered around my lifeless body, friends and brothers who will
recall to mind my virtues, though they be but few, and will forget my faults, though
they may be many.
It tells me that, and a great deal more, this little card, and makes me proud yet
humble, that I can possess this passport into a society of friends and brothers that
are numbered in the millions.
SO MOTE IT BE !!
Freemasonry is a perpetual discovery. There is something new at every turn, something
new in each man as life deepens with the years; something new in Masonry as its meaning
unfolds. The man who finds its degrees tedious and its ritual a rigmarole only betrays
the measure of his own mind.
If a man knows God and man to the uttermost, even Masonry has nothing to teach him.
As a fact, the wisest man knows very little. The way is dim and no one can see very
far. We are seekers after truth, and God has so made us that we cannot find the truths
alone, but only in the love and service of our fellow men. Here is the real secret,
and to learn it is to have the key to the meaning and joy of life.
Truth is not a gift; it is a trophy. To know it we must be true, to find it we must
seek, to learn it we must be humble, and to keep it we must have a clear mind, a
courageous heart, and the brotherly love to use it in the service of man.
"These signs and tokens are of no small value; they speak a universal language, and
act as a passport to the attention and support of the initiated in all parts of the
world. They cannot be lost so long as memory retains its power. Let the possessor
of them be expatriated, shipwrecked or imprisoned; let him be stripped of everything
he has got in the world; still these credentials remain and are available for use
as circumstances require."
"The great effects which they have produced are established by the most incontestable
facts of history. They have stayed the uplifted hand of the destroyer; they have
softened the asperities of the tyrant; they have mitigated the horrors of captivity;
they have subdued the rancor of malevolence; and broken down the barriers of political
animosity and sectarian alienation."
"On the field of battle, in the solitude of the uncultivated forests, or in the busy
haunts of the crowded city, they have made men of the most hostile feelings, and
most distant religions, and the most diversified conditions, rush to the aid of each
other, and feel a social joy and satisfaction that they have been able to afford
relief to a brother Mason."