By Brother G. Roy Long
It was said in fine tribute to a great teacher: "He flung down for his pupils a bunch of keys." A key symbolizes that which gives access to a desired thing or place. Freemasonry is a teacher of Morality, and speaks to the understanding mind in the language of symbolism. To furnish charts for life's contingencies, would defeat the adventure of living, and destroy initiative and resourcefulness. Freemasonry avoids such error. She gives to her initiates keys, or insights and principles, that open doors into light, liberty, and more abundant and serviceable living. The first symbolic key to her portals is:
We gained admission by a knock "with our own hand." The high life is ever a seeking life-a quest. Truth is not within the range of immediate vision. To gain Truth more than mere mental assent is needed. There must be action, earnest, eager, and purposive. Freemasonry heeds only the knock of him who is "Duly and truly prepared, worthy and well qualified." There are no gate crashers. Discipleship demands discipline. Each aspirant must stand at the door and knock. This is the inexorable law in all life's highest realms: Art, Music, Literature, ' Education, and Religion. Their golden treasures are given only to those who fulfil the conditions of disciplined and submissive action. To the resolute, anxious seeker alone, Freemasonry answers from within-Enter and
The knock typifies Respect. To kneel betokens Reverence. This is one of Life's Master Keys. Fundamentally it means a faith and' a trust in the sanity, order, and dependability of the Universe.,In WHOM do YOU put your trust? This is the initial question that demands a personal affirmation. Having secured the desired entrance, the Candidate now seeks guidance. "Follow and fear not" is the injunction that summons him forward on his great adventure of Faith. Worship is 'a universal attribute. Man is the only being that pauses to pray. Weare a reverential nation in our respect for constituted authority, law, and order. Freemasonry is constructive citizenship. Reverence for personality, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Fatherhood of God are the tenets of her central faith. At the heart of her Lodges is an altar, where the suppliant finds enlightenment, and assumes new duties. Revelation waits all capacity, and the pilgrim seeker has earned the right to
"There is no royal road to GEOMETRY," was the reply of Euclid to an ancient king, who sought the easy short-cut. He alone who knocks and kneels, shall see the light of TRUTH. We live in two universes, the one of things we sense; the other of revelation, we find by faith. Every Lodge is a "Light" house. Its mission is to bring men from darkness to light; to dispel the lurking shadows of Ignorance, Superstition, Intolerance, and Despair; to have men know this is a moral universe, whose foundations are laid in Truth and Righteousness; to know the eternal werth of every man; that all men are brothers, children of one Father, the affluence of whose love embraces all. But the bestowal of knowledge is accompanied with an Obligation, and an admonition to
"To conceal and never reveal." This enJoms the great lesson of Fidelity. We are Masons by virtue of our obligations. They emphasize the sanctity of the pledged word. A Mason's word should be as good as his bond. Our Order teaches a sense of social obligation, loyalty to the common good, and obedience to Law. Hiram, the heroic character of our ritual, died to keep faith and his integrity. The world is upheld by the veracity and reliability of good men. They make life socially wholesome. But the world needs warm hearts as well as knowing heads. Our Order reveals to us the Master Key that unlocks all doors in the Temple of Humanity- LOVE.
Brotherly Love is one of our corner stones. True religion is friendship; and friendship is the result of goodwill. It is not merely an attitude of mind, but a spiritual force of high potential. The most thrilling spiritual adventure of our race is achieving brotherhood and the building of a kinder world. The Lodge exists only that the Temple of Human Brotherhood may be built among the sons of men. The Altar is the focus of Fellowship as well as Faith, and is prophetic of that far off divine event when "Man to man the world o'er shall brithers be for a' that."
"So many gods, so many creeds, so many paths that wind and wind while just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs."
Three words summarize the message of our ancient and noble Craft: SEEK! SEE! and SERVE!
Source: Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon records.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)