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•What is Freemasonry?
•What is a Mason?
•Last Night I Knelt Where Hiram Knelt
•What Makes a Man a Mason?
•Take My Hand; Follow Me
•I See You've Traveled Some
•A Mason's Wife
•By The Work You Did Today




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What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is not a religion, a political organization, or a social club. It interfaces with none of these, but has for its foundation the basic principles of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It believes in a Supreme Being, the immortality of the soul, and that the Holy Bible is the inestimable gift of God to man as the rule and guide for his faith and pratice. It is a fraternity or brotherhood pledged to the building of character--thought, words, motives and deeds being the materials used.

Freemasonry strives to teach man the duty he owes to God, his country, his neighbor and himself. It inculcates the practice of virtue and morality in daily conduct, and conveys its teachings through rites and symbols.

The Masonic Fraternity is in no sense an insurance society; neither does it pays benefits in case of sickness or death. In a correct or broad sense, it is both educational and charitable. It extends such assistance only as it is willing and able to grant. It knowingly admits none to membership except those who are able to provide for themselves and those dependent upon them.

Freemasonry teaches and gives opportunity to its members to inculcate morality, honesty, and integrity in all walks of life, and to worthy members renders assistance to a limited extent. It expects its members to obey the moral law and to practice charity towards all mankind. It believes its members should have a strong desire to aid their fellow creatures. It has its own laws, rules and regulations, and requires a strict obedience thereto.

Freemasonry is not entered into through mere curiosity, ambition for honors, or in hopes of personal gain or advancement. Admission must not be sought for mercenary or other unworthy motives. The aim of the true Freemason is to cultivate a brotherly feeling among men, and to help, aid and assist whomsoever he can.

The right to petition for the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry is rarely denied any man, but this right goes no further than granting the privilege of petitioning, and all who petition are not admitted. The Masonic fraternity wants and welcomes only men of high character and integrity, who should seek admission of their own free will and accord. Should a petitioner be accepted, he gets no more out of Masonry than he puts into it, and for every benefit received a member is expected to render some equivalent.










WHAT MAKES A MAN A MASON?
By George M. Free

What makes a man a Mason,O brother of mine?
It isn’t the due guard, nor is it the sign,
It isn’t the jewel which hangs on your breast
It isn’t the apron in which you are dressed.

It isn’t the step, nor the token, nor the grip,
Nor lectures that fluently flow from the lip,
Nor yet the possession of that mystic word
On five points of fellowship duly conferred.

Though these are essential, desirable, fine,
They don’t make a Mason,O brother of mine.
That you to your swornobligation are true
'Tis that, brother mine,makes a Mason of you.

Secure in your heart you must safeguard and trust,
With lodge and with brother be honest and just,
Assist the deserving who cry in their need,
Be chaste in your thought, in your word and your deed.

Support he who falters, with hope banish fear,
And whisper advice in an erring one’s ear.
Then will the Great Lights on your path brightly shine,
And you’ll be a Mason, O brother of mine.

Your use of life’s hours by the gauge you must try,
The gavel of vices with courage apply;
Your walk must be upright, as shown by the plumb,
On the level, to bourn whence no travelers come.

The Book of your faith be the rule and the guide,
The compass your passions shut safely inside;
The stone which the Architect placed in your care,

And then you will meet with approval divine,
And you’ll be a Mason,O brother of mine.

TAKE MY HAND; FOLLOW ME
by Sir Knight Alvin F. Bohne, P.M.

When I was a young man, a long time ago,
The secrets of Masonry I wanted to know.
Of a Mason I asked what those secrets might be
He replied,"First, we talk, then we will see."

A petition he granted and ordered it filled
To be read at a meeting and a judgment be willed.
Then questions I answered about God and home;
Of habits and friends; a wife or alone.

In time I was summoned - a date to appear
Before an assembly of men gathered near.
I entered the building and looked up the stair;
Does pleasure or pain await me up there?

A hazing by paddle, taunting by joke?
My petition accepted or maybe revoked?
Introductions and handshakes welcomed me there
And lessons symbolic, an aid to prepare

For a journey in darkness, a predestined plight
To a Holy of Holies, the source of all light.
How well I remember what I heard someone say,
To enter God's Kingdom there is but one way;

Be ye naked and blind, penniless and poor;
These you must suffer 'fore entering that door.
The journey ahead is not yours to know,
But trust in your God wherever you go.

Then assurance from the darkness whispered tenderly,
"My Friend, be not afraid;
TAKE MY HAND; FOLLOW ME."

With nervous attention a path I then trod;
A pathway in darkness to the altar of God.
With cable-tow and hoodwink, on bare bended knee,
A covenant was made there between God and me.

Charges and promises were made there that night.
Dispelling the darkness and bringing me light.
Mid lightening and thunder and Brethren on row!
Cast off the darkness! And cast off the tow!

In the company of men, a man you must be,
Moral in character, the whole world to see.
Trust in your God, promise daily anew
To be honest and upright in all things you do

Each man is a brother in charity to share
With those suffering hunger, pain or despair.
The widow and orphan and brother in pain
Depend on your mercy their welfare to gain.

The secrets of Brethren keep only in mind.
To the ladies of Brethren be noble and kind.
Go now, my brother, your journey's begun
Your wages await you when your journey is done.

That journey I started, Oh, so long ago
And I've learned of those things I wanted to know.
I've learned of the secrets, not secret at all,
But hidden in knowledge within Masons' hall.

Childhood yields to manhood, manhood yields to age,
Ignorance yields to knowledge, knowledge yields to sage.
I've lived all my life the best that I could,
Knowing full well how a good Mason should.

I know of those times when I slipped and then fell.
What's right and what's wrong were not easy to tell.
But a trust in my God and a true brother's hand.
Helped raise me up and allowed me to stand.

I've strode down the old path, Masonically worn
By all Mason's raised for the Masons unborn.
But this tired old body, once young and so bold,
Now suffers the afflictions of having grown old.

The almond tree's flourished; the grinders are few.
The housekeepers tremble; desires fail too.
The locusts are a burden; fears are in the way.
The golden bowl is breaking, a little every day.

Mine eyes are again darkened, my sight again to fail;
I sense the Master's presence mid my family's silent wail.
I've laid aside my working tools, my day is nearly done.
For long I've played the game of life; the game's no longer fun.

Life's pathway ends before me. I see what's meant for me;
An acacia plant is growing where a beehive used to be.
The Ethereal Lodge has summoned from beyond the wailing wall
And I vowed that I must answer when summoned by a call.

Again I stand bewildered at the bottom of the stair
In nervous apprehension of what awaits me there.
Once again, and now alone, I stand without the door.
With faltering hand, I slowly knock as once I did before.

I pray again to hear those words,
whispered tenderly,
"My son, be not afraid.
TAKE MY HAND; FOLLOW ME."






I SEE YOU'VE TRAVELED SOME

(author unknown)

Wherever you may chance to be;
wherever you may roam:
far away in foreign lands
or just at Home, Sweet Home;
It always gives you pleasure,
it makes your heart strings hum
just to hear the words of cheer -
"I see you've traveled some."

When you get the brother's greeting
and he takes you by the hand,
it thrills you with a feeling
you cannot understand.
You feel that bond of brotherhood;
that tie that's sure to come
when you hear him say in a friendly way,
"I see you've traveled some."

And if you are a stranger
in a strange land, all alone
If fate has left you stranded,
dead broke and far from home,
if a stranger stops and takes your hand,
it thrills you - makes you dumb,
when he says with a grip of fellowship,
"I see you've traveled some."

And when your final summons comes
to take a last long trip.
Adorned with Lambskin Apron white
and gems of fellowship.
The Tiler at the Golden Gate
with square and rule and plumb
will size up your deeds and say "Walk in,
I see you've traveled some."






A MASON'S WIFE

From active Masons, resolute,
Our wives and families we salute;
We surely know the price you pay,
Who sit alone while we're away.

No high degree on you conferred,
In Lodge, your name is seldom heard;
You serve our cause though out of sight,
While sitting home alone tonight.

Masonic papers list our names,
Awards are given, fit to frame;
But yours is absent...you who strive,
To keep our fortitude alive.

You're part of every helpful deed,
On your encouragement we feed;
Without your blessings, how could we;
Continue acts of charity?

And so, this poem, we dedicate,
To every Master Mason's mate;
And offer our undying love,
Rewards await in Heaven above.






By The Work You Did Today

By Charles L. Mead 33°
Boynton Lodge #236

Can you say tonight in parting
with the day that's slipping past
That you helped a single brother
of the many that you passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing
over what you did and said?
Does the man whose hopes where fading,
Now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day or lose it,
Was it well or poorly spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness,
Or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber,
Do you think God will say,
You have earned one more tomorrow,
By the work you did today