Official Visit to Albion Lodge No. 5
Past & Present Grand Lodge Officers
and a special greeting to you, our
newly passed Fellowcraft
It has been a long evening and
I do not intend to make you wait for our social time much longer.
I would briefly like to shed
some additional light on the ceremonies of this evening though.
You have reached the mid-point
of our Craft instruction and I want to emphasize that the three degrees
in Masonry encompass the whole life of man; the Entered Apprentice
Degree representing Youth, the Fellow Craft Degree � Adulthood, and,
it�s not hard to guess, the Master Mason Degree � Age.
In that sense alone, the claim
that Masonry is a progressive science is justified. But there is much
more to it than that.
It is also a continued
progression toward Light.
The Fellow Craft Degree, then,
is the centerpiece of this search and teaches the value of education to
help us better understand the design laid down by the G.A.O.T.U.
The Entered Apprentice has
received the working tools which teach him emblematically to manage his
time and to ready his mind to commence the building of his spiritual
Now you have been presented with the Plumb, the
Square, and the Level. With the Square you can tests the work of the
Apprentice; with the Level you lay the courses of the wall to be built;
and with the Plumb you can raise perpendicular columns.
We are concerned with the speculative use of these
tools though; The Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly; that is, not
leaning over, not awry with the world or ourselves, but straight and
square with the base of life on which we tread. We are to square our
actions by the Square of Virtue. Every man has a conscience, be it ever
so dead; every Freemason is expected to carry the conscience of a
Fellowcraft's Square of Virtue in his breast and commit no act, no
matter how small, which does not fit within its right angle.
With these valuable tools in hand, we can set out on
the path of life represented by the set of winding stairs. It is no
coincidence that these stairs � of 3, 5 and 7 steps � are winding. It is
to teach us that we set out on our journey through life without seeing
the end and that each step should bring us new insights and knowledge.
The stairs as a whole are a representation of life;
not the physical life of eating, drinking, sleeping and working, but the
mental and spiritual life, of both, in the lodge and the world without;
of learning, studying, enlarging mental horizons, increasing the
We divide these fifteen steps into three groups:
The first three represent The three precious
jewels: the attentive ear, the instructive tongue and the
faithful breast, without them all our efforts would be futile.
The next five encompass The five human senses:
hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling and tasting. Admonishing us that we
need a wholesome body which will sustain the intellectual effort which
will lead us to the symbolic Middle Chamber.
And finally the last seven steps defining The
Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences deemed essential for our
progress: The first three are the foundation of all study: Grammar,
Rhetoric and Logic. Arithmetic leads to Geometry and are still the vital
sciences of measurement. The last two, Music and Astronomy teach us
harmony and the awesome wisdom and goodness of our Creator.
And when, as a reward for our effort we are admitted
into the Middle Chamber to receive the corn, wine and oil which are the
wages of a Fellow Crafts. They represent nourishment, refreshment and
We also behold the Letter G and are informed of its
My Brethren, there is no such thing as matter by
itself, matter as an abstract entity. Yes, there are such things as
water, air, gases, wood, stone, metals, soil, etc., etc., and every such
substance has a structure unimaginably complicated, but also
demonstrating that order is in the nature of things. Geometry is a
revelation of that order, a reducing to line and diagram of the
everlasting relations among all the substances and properties of the
universe. Hence the first meaning of the Letter G � Geometry.
But it has also reference to that which is the Origin
of the Orderliness of the universe and we fitly stepped to the level,
humbly bowing in reverence to the Great Architect of the Universe, the
source from which we come and the end to which we travel.
These are but a small sample of the wealth of wisdom
and wonder we discover by lifting the veil of the allegories and symbols
in our ritual and lectures, and to which the Fellow Craft Degree has
given us the key.
The old adage �you get only as much out of Masonry as
you put into it� still holds true and I hope you will find the time to
dedicate some time to the study of Masonry � it will lead you to the
most important knowledge of all � the knowledge of yourself.