MASONRY had many great teachers in times past, men of the first order of intellect who devoted their fine powers to the exposition of its simple, wise and beautiful truth. Pike, Parvin, Mackey, Fort, Gould, Speth, Crawley, Findel, Hughan, it is an honour to recall the names of such men, into whose labours we have entered, and whose legacy of inspiration and instruction is a priceless inheritance. Noble men, great Masons, tireless students, wise teachers--our debt to them is beyond calculation. But reverence for the work of men of other days should not make us forget our leaders today who are doing so much to interpret Masonry and make it eloquent and effective for its high purposes.
Masonry has great teachers today, many of them, but no one more worthy of the honour of his Brethren of every land and rank than Brother A. S. MacBride, of Lodge Progress, Glasgow. More than once we have said that his lectures on "Speculative Masonry" is one of the best Masonic books ever written, and we are ready any time to give a reason for the faith that is in us. First of all, its style is the native speech of Masonry--simple, lucid, and aglow with poetic light and beauty. There are passages that haunt you like noble music when the book has been laid aside. Second, it is a book of vision, in which Masonry is shown to be a wise, clear-seeing, practical Moral Idealism, touched with spiritual meanings and taught in symbols, parables, emblems, and dramas. Third, it is a book of careful, painstaking, reliable scholarship--three things which make it one of the real classics of the Order, and we sincerely hope that it is a fore-runner of other books of like spirit and quality.
The United Grand Lodge of England being in many respects the well-spring of modern day Masonry is a valuable source of inspiration, education and philosophy concerning what has come to be regarded as REGULAR FREEMASONRY. The recent decision by the United Grand Lodge of England, followed by a number of American Grand Lodges, to eliminate the Ancient Penalties from the obligation of each degree has caused much discussion within the Masonic Fraternity.
The purpose of this article is to discuss an alternative approach to the actual elimination of these Ancient Penalties.
The general charge at our installations embodies many lessons, not the least of which deals with duty. We are reminded in no uncertain terms, that, while enjoying the benefits and appreciating the values of Freemasonry, we should never forget the duties that we owe to the Order, for there is no right without a parallel duty. To me this means that there is no right anywhere not just in Masonic privilege - without a parallel duty. Therefore let us get right down to the obligation each of us has, to contribute to the smooth functioning of our Masonic Lodge.
Let us begin with the officers, because in voluntarily accepting an office they have assumed the responsibilities that go with the title. It cannot be over emphasized that if an officer does nothing more than the duties of his office - be they ever so trivial - he is making a great contribution. The combined efforts of all the officers can, thereby, leave the Lodge unencumbered by bureaucratic confusion, and release the Brethren to pursue their real objective - namely moral instruction and social intercourse.
The allocation of duties varies from Lodge to Lodge, but the responsibilities do not. With your indulgence then I shall arbitrarily assume one pattern for delegation of responsibility. We all fit in here somewhere.
In 1969 there was a song released by the Hollies. “HE AIN’T HEAVY HE’S MY BROTHER”. Wikipedia gives an explanation for the title of the song as coming from a Vietnam War photo. Supposedly, the image depicts a wounded Vietnamese man being carried on the back of a GI. The photo journalist asked if he had been carrying the wounded man far, the soldier smiled at the camera and said, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother. Try and picture the scene. And read some of the words.
If I'm laden at all I'm laden with sadness
It's a long, long road From which there is no return While we're on the way to there Why not share And the load Doesn't weigh me down at all He ain't heavy, he's my brother.
The words of the song draw a picture of compassion and love amongst the mayhem of war. Picture a scene similar to what you have recently seen on your television screen. Love demonstrated by one man on a mission to kill and another from the enemy side cannot exist without a great deal of love and tolerance.
One of the fundamentals of Freemasonry is tolerance. We don’t speak of it much in lodge, but it is inherent in the very way our lodges operate. We teach prudence, justice and temperance and advocate brotherly love and good neighbourliness in Freemasonry. But for one reason or another there is no mention of tolerance as a Masonic virtue or tenet. The closest we come is to teach “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
True Brotherly love is when a brother can show tolerance to another human in spite of the others conflicting opinions and failings, even if this means a case of applying the old maxim in practice: Hate the sin but love the sinner.
Tolerance is the unwritten law of Freemasonry. There can be no Brotherly Love without it. Many a Mason will articulate Masonic tolerance firstly in terms of religious tolerance or political tolerance. That is only part of the pie. As we begin to fully appreciate the customs and traditions of Freemasonry, we realise how much deeper the meaning of tolerance goes.
Soane was commissioned by Sir John Stuart, 4th Baronet,of Allanbank to design additional wings fo his House at Allanbank. However, these plans were never carried out. The plans can be found in the archives at the Soane Museum. A more modest plan was implemented by the Adam Brothers.
Soane was born at a particularly turbulent time for the country, only seven years after the Battle of Culloden, and then died when the country was undergoing the process of industrialisation and the demand for political reform.
On 10 September 1753,Soane was born near Reading, Berkshire. His initial training in the profession which was to make him famous was carried out under the guidance of George Dance the Younger and then Henry Holland.Such was his ability even at this early age that he was accepted for the Royal Academy of Art when he was 18 years of age in 1771; he won the Silver Medal in 1772 and the Gold Medal in 1776. The patronage of Sir William Chambers, a well respected architect, provided an introduction to George III.
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