Official Visit to Albion Lodge No. 5

Worshipful Master
Distinguished East,
Past & Present Grand Lodge Officers
Brethren All

-         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 self.

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 spiritual outlook.

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 joy.

We also behold the Letter G and are informed of its dual meaning.

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.



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