WHAT DOES FREEMASONRY MEAN?
The new Brother was puzzled, "Is Masonry a religion, or a system of philosophy, or a childish getting together of men who like to wear titles? What do you think?"
The old Tyler answered, "It isnít childish getting together for the love of titles and honors. Men would soon invent a much better organization for the satisfaction of such purposes. Masonry isnít a religion. It does not specify any particular religion. Masonry has been called a system of philosophy, but that is a confining definition. I donít think Masonry has even been truly defined."
"Or God" put in the new brother.
"Exactly. A witty Frenchman, asked if he believed in God, replied íBefore I answer, you must tell me your definition of God, and when you tell me, I will answer you, no, because a God defined is God limited and a limited God is no God. Masonry is something like that : It is Brotherhood, unlimited and when you limit it by defining it you make it something it isnít. Masonry is so deep that no man has ever found the bottom. Perhaps that it is its greatest charm; you can go as far as you like and still see the limit - that is its fascination. The human heart has no limit in depth and that which appeals most to the human heart cannot have a limit."
"But that makes it so hard to understand!" sighed the new Brother.
"Isnít it the better for being difficult of comprehensive?" asked the old Tyler. "A few days ago I heard an eminent Mason deliver an inspiring talk. This speaker quoted a wonderful poem by William Herbert Carruth." The old Tyler put his hand in his pocket and took out a much thumbed piece of paper, "Listen, I will read you just one verse of it :
A picket frozen on duty; A mother starved for her brood; Socrates drinking the hemlock, And Jesus on the road, And millions who, humble and nameless, the straight hard pathway plod; some call it consecration And others called it God."
The new brother said nothing, held silent by the beauty of the lines.
"I am no poet," continued the old Tyler, "but I wrote something to go with those verses, just to read to Brothers like you." Shyly the old Tyler continued :
"Many men, banded together, Standing where Hiram stood; Hand to back of the falling, Helping in Brotherhood. Wise men, doctor, lawyer, Poor man, man of the hold, Many call it masonry, And others call it God."
"I donít think it makes much difference what we call it, do you" Asked the new Brother.
N.S.W. F.M. 1990