"The true Master Mason enters his lodge with one thought uppermost in his mind: "How can I, as an individual, be of greater use in the Universal Plan? What can I do to be worthy to comprehend the mysteries which are unfolded here? How can I build the eyes to see the things which are concealed from those who lack spiritual understanding?" The true Mason is supremely unselfish in every expression and application of the powers that have been entrusted to him. No true Brother seeks anything for himself, but unselfishly labors for the good of all. No person who assumes a spiritual obligation for what he can get out of it is worthy of applying for the position even of water-carrier. The true Light can come only to those who, asking nothing, gladly give all to it.
The true brother of the Craft, while constantly striving to improve himself, mentally, physically, and spiritually through the days of his life, never makes his own desires the goal for his works. He has a duty and that duty is to fit into the plans of another. He must be ready at any hour of the day or night to drop his own ideals at the call of the Builder. The work must be done and he has dedicated his life to the service of those who know the bonds of neither time nor space. He must be ready at any moment's notice and his life should be turned into preparing himself for that call which may come when he least expects it.
The Master Mason knows that those most useful to the Plan are those who have gained the most from the practical experiences of life. It is not what goes on within the tiled lodge which is the basis of his greatness, but rather the way in which he meets the problems of daily life. The true Masonic student is known by his brotherly actions and common sense.
Every Mason knows that a broken vow brings with it a terrible penalty. Let him also realize that failure to live mentally, spiritually, and morally up to one's highest ideals constitutes the greatest of all broken oaths. When a Mason swears that he will devote his life to the building of his Father's house and then defiles his living temple through the perversion of mental power, emotional force, and active energy, he is breaking a vow which imposes not hours but ages of misery. If he is worthy to be a Mason, he must be great enough to restrain the lower side of his own nature which is daily murdering his Grand Master. He must realize that a misdirected life is a broken vow and that daily service, purification, and the constructive application of energy is a living invocation which builds within and draws to him the power of the Creator. His life is the only prayer acceptable in the eyes of the Most High. An impure life is a broken trust; a destructive action is a living curse; a narrow mind is a strangle-cord around the throat of God.
All true Masons know that their work is not secret, but they realize that it must remain unknown to all who do not live the true Masonic life. Yet if the so-called secrets of Freemasonry were shouted from the housetops, the Fraternity would be absolutely safe; for certain spiritual qualities are necessary before the real Masonic secrets can be understood by the brethren themselves. Hence it is that the alleged "exposures" of Freemasonry, printed by the thousands and tens of thousands since 1730 down to the present hour, cannot injure the Fraternity. They reveal merely the outward forms and ceremonies of Freemasonry. Only those who have been weighed in the balance and found to be true, upright, and square have prepared themselves by their own growth to appreciate the inner meanings of their Craft. To the rest of their brethren within or without the lodge their sacred rituals must remain, as Shakespeare might have said, "Words, words, words." Within the Mason's own being is concealed the Power, which, blazing forth from his purified being, constitutes the Builder's Word. His life is the sole password which admits him to the true Masonic Lodge.
His spiritual urge is the sprig of acacia which, through the darkness of ignorance, still proves that the spiritual fire is alight. Within himself he must build those qualities which will make possible his true understanding of the Craft. He can show the world only forms which mean nothing; the life within is fo rever concealed until the eye of Spirit reveals it.
The Master Mason realizes charity to be one of the greatest traits which the Elder Brothers have unfolded, which means not only properly regulated charity of the purse but charity in thought and action. He realizes that all the workmen are not on the same step, but wherever each may be, he is doing the best he can according to his light. Each is laboring with the tools that he has, and he, as a Master Mason, does not spend his time in criticizing but in helping them to improve their tools. Instead of blaming poor tools, let us always blame ourselves for having them.
The Master Mason does not find fault; he does not criticize nor does he complain, but with malice towards none and charity towards all he seeks to be worthy of his Father's trust. In silence he labors, with compassion he suffers, and if the builders strike him as he seeks to work with them, his last word will be a prayer for them. The greater the Mason, the more advanced in his Craft, the more fatherly he grows, the walls of his Lodge broadening out until all living things are sheltered and guarded within the blue folds of his cape. From laboring with the few he seeks to assist all, realizing with his broader understanding the weaknesses of others but the strength of right."