The musings of a previously unemployed Jewish Freemason. I write about the job search, about Judaism, and about Freemasonry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

From William Preston's lectures for the Entered Apprentice Degree (Section III, Clause 7), 1772.

The injunctions that are laid upon every Mason after his initiation are three in number.
    First, that he shall regularly attend the duties of the order.
    Second, that he shall pay homage and respect to the rulers of the Lodge.
    Third, that he shall diligently apply to his work in Masonry.
What these injunctions exemplify is this, three important points of distinguished excellence.
    The first, zeal and attachment, in obedience to signs and summonses.
    The second, humility and submission in propriety of conduct.
    The third, a wish to improve, by industry and application.
These injunctions are mitigated by three kind admonititions.
    1. That we do not neglect useful employments in life.
    2. That we never suffer zeal to exceed the bounds of discretion.
    3. That we must never enter into disputes with those who may be inclined to ridicule our system.
This will produce three pleasing effects.
    1. We shall live creditably in the world.
    2. We shall live comfortably in ourselves.
    3. We shall live peaceably with all men.
To supply the loss that may be sustained by the non-observance of these injunctions and admonitions, a succedaneum is provided, which enforces adherence to three important points.
    1. That we shall study the liberal arts at leisure.
    2. That we shall trace sciences in the works of eminent masters.
    3. That we shall apply to the well-informed for instruction, who will always be as ready to give it, as we can be to receive it.
The result will be three beneficial consequences.
    1. That we shall gain knowledge by our diligence.
    2. That we shall improve that knowledge by our experience.
    3. That we shall extend that knowledge by our excellence.

The Grand Ultimatum is, that having gained true wisdom, we shall be found useful in every station, and aim to acquire real happiness.

1 comment:

  1. From Albert Pike's "Magnum Opus", from the lecture for the Grand, Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason (14°) degree:

    They admitted many into the order, made known to them its truths, and taught them its duties. For a long time they were wisely cautious to admit none but proper persons, who could appreciate the true purposes and objects of the Royal Craft. But by degrees the inferior grades of Masonry were so spread abroad, that men were indiscriminately admitted without due inquiry; and it was forgotten that Masonry was not a popular, but a select and exclusive institution. Improper men gained admission. It became no privilege, nor any mark of honour, to be even a Master Mason; dissensions grew rife among the members; ambition, entering in, coveted rank and honours, the secrets were improperly divulged, and Blue Masonry fell into contempt.

    ...Masonry continued to degenerate; candidates were admitted without due inquiry, and for the sake of revenue alone; the degrees were conferred with too great rapidity, and without a knowledge of the principles, or even of the work of the preceding degrees, on the part of Candidates; men of little intellect and information swarmed in the order, and debased and degraded it; others joined it merely through idle curiosity, and wholly degraded and set at naught their obligations; frivolous ceremonies were multiplied and new degrees invented, and large bodies of men calling themselves Masons threw off their allegiance, pretended to a knowledge of the True Word, and invented new Rites; so that the Temple of Symbolical Masonry became a mere arena of strife and a house of contention.