My Freemasonry - Masonic Education and Discussion Forum
Rudyard Kipling is one of the giants of modern English literary history. He towered over the closing decades of the Victorian era and lived well into the twentieth century.
Although current literary criticism tends to belittle or to ignore him-probably because he glorified British imperialism and the ideals of colonialism - there was a time when hundreds of "Kipling Clubs" met faithfully to read and to discuss his writings. Each new volume of his stories provided some of the most stimulating programs for those literary "fan clubs".
His place in literature seems assured. He knew how to tell a story, and he told many good ones
All-too-frequently we hear of Masonic leaders being on an "ego trip." Or, we hear that they are "stumbling over their own egos." Then there are such remarks as, "He turned into a 'monster' after he went into office," or "whatever happened to 'meeting on the level'?"
Those comments are not all without some foundation. There are, and have been, Masonic leaders who are carried away with their own importance. Yes, and there are some who let the title go to their heads, and who forget from whence they came.
Ego is a strange thing. We all should have a certain amount of it to demonstrate our pride in our abilities, in our...
Franklin sought to cultivate his character by a plan of thirteen virtues, which he developed at age 20 (in 1726) and continued to practice in some form for the rest of his life. His autobiography lists his thirteen virtues as:
"TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation."
"SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation."
"ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."
"RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
"FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing."
"INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions."...
The first Masonic book published in America was printed in Philadelphia by Brother BENJAMIN FRANKLIN in 1734. It was a reprint of what is known as "Anderson's Constitutions," which was published in 1723 under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England, and entitled: "The Constitutions of the Freemasons, Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, &c., of that Most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity. For the use of the Lodges," and was compiled by Brother James Anderson, D.D. This reprint is now very scarce. A copy of it is in the Library of the Grand Lodge.
The "Ahiman Rezon; or, A Help to a Brother," was prepared in 1756 by Brother Laurence Dermott, Grand Secretary of the GRAND LODGE OF ENGLAND ACCORDING TO THE OLD INSTITUTIONS, once called the "Ancients."...
Don't expect perfection in a man because he is a Freemason. If you do, you will be disappointed. Masonry makes a man better, but no human agency can make him perfect.
If he is a Mason, you have a right to presume he is a good man, but do not condemn Masonry even if a few Masons turn out bad. Even the Great Teacher Himself had a Judas.
The aim and purpose of Masonry is to receive none but good men, keep them good and make them better. Judge the institution not by a few failures, but by the average of its successes...
Bro. Bill was initiated into Freemasonry some 3 months before his 21st birthday. And only five years later, he was elected Master of his Lodge. It didn't take long for Bro. Bill to become dissatisfied with the lack of Masonic education and the poor ritual work in his Lodge. And he took it upon himself to do something about it. He decided he would become a competent Master on the subject of Freemasonry. In doing so, he would speak with the most experienced Masons he could find, even with several from foreign countries. He convened square & compass meetings once or twice a week to discuss the lectures and for mutual improvement. After some time, he was able to put to memory the entire First Degree lectures and made several improvements of his own design. Bro. Bill was even invited to make a special presentation at the Grand Lodge demonstrating what he had accomplished in improving the workings and education of the Craft. His popularity...
Masons everywhere can take special pride in the part our great Fraternity played in the creation and erection, over 100 years ago, of the most unique symbol of freedom and opportunity, the Statue of Liberty.
In the summer of 1865, a group of Frenchmen were gathered together one evening at the home of the well-known author, Edouard Rene de Laboulaye, in the village of Glavingny, a suburb of Paris. Among those present were Oscar and Edmond de Lafayette, grandsons of the Marquis d' Lafayette, Masonic brother of George Washington; Henri Martin, the noted historian and French Mason; and a young artist from Colmar in French (later German) Alsace by the name of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who at the time was engaged in making a bust of Laboulaye, called by one biographer "America's most ardent admirer in France."
Freemasonry as a regular institution has been operating under a set of protocols that has sustained it as a speculative craft for almost 300 years. By accepting and maintaining those protocols our institution has become, perhaps, the most significant factor in the evolution of civil society outside of organized religion. Today historians are acknowledging the impact that Freemasonry's philosophy has had on individuals, and in turn, those individuals have had on the development of the standards by which society is judged. Our Craft has been a major player for several hundred years in creating the stimulus for men to learn and to develop and has served as a catalyst to bring together great men and to contribute to making men great. We have taken good men and have made them better men while instilling in them a dedication to the rights, freedom and equality of all men...
When you take your last demit to that Great Lodge in the sky
Where St. Peter is the Tyler, don’t make him ask you why
You’re there to gain admittance for the remnant of your soul;
Instead you should be listed already on the roll.
When your proficiency is taken by Senior Deacon, good St. John,
You should be prepared to answer what you did ‘fore you passed on...
My Brother, you are now a Master Mason. You have served your apprenticeship as a bearer of burdens and as a hewer of stone in the quarries, and have come at last to the exalted position of an overseer of the work, a Mason, entitled to travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master's wages. We have given you your tools to work with and have taught you their Masonic uses. We have taught you how to properly divide your time by the twenty-four inch gauge, in order that you might have eight hours in which to work, eight in which to rest and eight more to serve your fellow man and Worship your Creator. We gave you a common gavel with which to rid your mind and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, so that when the appointed time arrives, you will find your proper place in the Spiritual Temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. We have taught you to walk uprightly by the plumb, to square your actions by the square of...
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