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book i

the scholar the builders rejected

w. bro. j. s. m. ward

The foregoing chapters make no pretence at exhausting the subject. To deal fully with the moral teachings of Freemasonry would necessitate the writing of many volumes, but such is not the purpose of this book. Herein I have endeavoured to elucidate the moral teaching underlying certain well-known and significant phrases in our ritual, hoping thereby to inspire others to attempt a similar task. It is with this purpose in view that a number of the most pregnant passages have been selected for inclusion in this volume. All of them are worthy of the most careful consideration by thoughtful masons, who will find them most valuable themes for short addresses or brief speeches, wherein they can help to instruct the junior brethren, more especially those who are only just passing through their degrees. Let us not forget that a sound moral basis is the very foundation of every religious system, and Freemasonry herself declares that it is an essential qualification for the student who would endeavour to unravel her more secret teachings.

Moreover, when faced by a critic from the outside world, a brother will often find that an apt quotation will enable him to develop an argument in defence of our Order which, without disclosing Masonic secrets, will enable an honest critic to perceive that Masonry is definitely a force for good in the world.

The inclusion of a few verses of Masonic poetry needs no justification, for they enable a brother to memorise some Masonic ideal and set it ever before his eyes.

Masonic Proverbs, Poems and Sayings.

(1) Right glad am I to find your faith so well founded.

(2) That virtue which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason's heart, - CHARITY.

(3) The practice of every moral and social virtue.

(4) Let me recommend to your most serious contemplation the Volume of the Sacred Law.

(5) By looking up to Him in every emergency for comfort and support.

(6) Ever remember that Nature hath implanted in your breast a sacred and indissoluble attachment towards that country whence you derived your birth and infant nurture.

(7) Let PRUDENCE direct you, TEMPERANCE chasten you, FORTITUDE support you, and JUSTICE be the Guide in all your actions.

(8) Endeavour to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.

(9) Masonry is not only the most ancient, but also the most honourable Society that ever existed.

(10) A Mason's Charity should know no bounds, save those of prudence.

(11) Learning originated in the East.

(12) The Universe is the Temple of the Deity we serve.

(13) The Sun and Moon are messengers of His Will, and all His Law is concord.

(14) To be in Charity with all men.

(15) CHARITY comprehendeth the whole.

(16) The distinguishing characteristics of a Good Freemason are Virtue, Honour, and Mercy, and may they ever he found in every Mason's breast.

(17) You are expected to make the liberal arts and sciences your daily study, that you may the better discharge your duties as a Mason, and estimate the wonderful works of the Almighty.

(18) "There's naught but what's good To be understood, By a Free and an Accepted Mason."

(19) He who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune's wheel is equally entitled to our regard, for a time will come - and the wisest of us knows not how soon - when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue, will cease, and Death, the Grand Leveller of all human greatness, reduce us to the same state.

(20) Steadily persevere in the practice of every virtue.

(21) Judge with candour, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with mercy.

(22) You are to encourage industry and reward merit; to supply the wants and relieve the necessities of brethren to the uttermost of your power.

(23) View their interests as inseparable from your own.

(24) To the just and virtuous man death hath no terrors equal to the stain of falsehood and dishonour.

(25) The posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of your wants.

(26) You are to inculcate universal benevolence and, by the regularity of your own behaviour, afford the best example for the benefit of others.

(27) You agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law.

(28) Practise out of the Lodge those duties you have been taught in it, and by virtuous, amiable, and discreet conduct prove to the world the happy and beneficial effects of our ancient institution; so that when anyone is said to be a member of it, the world may know that he is one to whom the Burdened Heart may pour forth its sorrow, to whom the Distressed may prefer their suit, whose hand is guided by Justice and whose Heart is Expanded by Benevolence.

(29) What you observe praise-worthy in others you should carefully imitate, and what in them may appear defective you should in yourself amend.

(30) We learn to be meek, humble, and resigned, to be faithful to our God, our Country, and our Laws, to drop a tear of sympathy over the failings of a Brother, and to pour the healing balm of Consolation into the bosom of the afflicted.

(31) May all these principles and tenets be transmitted pure and unpolluted from generation to generation.

(32) Q. What manner of man should a free and accepted mason be?

A. A free born man, brother to a King, fellow to a Prince or to a Beggar, if a Mason and found worthy.

(33) Q. What do you come here to do?

A. To learn to rule and subdue my passions.

(34) The tongue, being an index of the mind, should utter nothing but what the heart may truly dictate.

(35) Masonry is free and requires a perfect freedom of inclination in every Candidate for its mysteries. It is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue.

(36) FAITH.

Is the foundation of Justice, the bond of Amity, and the chief support of Civil Society. We live and walk by FAITH.

(37) HOPE.

Is an Anchor of the Soul, both sure and steady, and enters into that which is within the Veil.


Is the brightest ornament which can adorn our Masonic profession, and is the best test and surest proof of the sincerity of our religion.

(39) To-day we may travel in PROSPERITY; to-morrow we may totter on the uneven paths of Weakness, Temptation and Adversity.


The Almighty has been pleased to reveal more of His Divine Will in that Holy Book than He has by any other means.

(41) MERCY

Mercy, when possessed by the Monarch, adds a lustre to every gem that adorns his crown.

(42) Our Mother Earth is continually labouring for our support; thence we came, and there we must all return.

(43) May Virtue, Honour and Mercy continue to distinguish Free and Accepted Masons.

(44) Contemplate the intellectual faculty and trace it from its development, through the paths of Heavenly science, even to the throne of God Himself.

(45) Let us toast every brother, Both ancient and young, Who governs his passions And bridles his tongue.

(46) May the fragrance of Virtue, like the sprig of acacia, bloom over the grave of every deceased brother.

(47) Our prayers are reciprocally required for each others' welfare.

(48) May all Freemasons live in love and die in peace.

(49) May every Brother have a heart to feel and a hand to give.

(50) May we be more ready to correct our own faults than to publish an error of a Brother.

(51) May we never condemn in a Brother what we would pardon in ourselves.

(52) To every true and faithful heart That still preserves the secret art.


There is a calm for those who weep, A rest for weary pilgrims found, They softly lie and sweetly sleep Low in the ground! Low in the ground!

The storm, which wracks the winter sky, No more disturbs their deep repose Than Summer evening's latest sigh That shuts the rose! That shuts the rose!

Ah, mourner! long of storms the sport, Condemned in wretchedness to roam, Hope, thou shalt reach a sheltering port, A quiet home! A quiet home!

The sun is like a spark of fire, A transient meteor in the sky; The soul, immortal as its Sire, Shall never die! Shall never die!


So here's to the sons of the widow, Wherever soever they roam, Here's to all they aspire, And if they desire, A speedy return to their home.

R. Kipling.


We met upon the level, And we parted on the square, And I was Junior Deacon, In my Mother Lodge out there.

R. Kipling.


From Yucatan to Java's strand We have followed thy trail o'er sea and land. When Pharaoh lived he knew this sign, Brother of mine, Brother of mine.

Where Vishnu sits enthroned on high I noted Hanuman passing by, And as he passed he made this sign, Brother of mine, Brother of mine.

In the ocean of peace I came to a land Where silence broods on an empty strand, Where ancient Gods of carven stone Gaze o'er the waters, still and lone, And, seareh as I might, I could but find Fragments of wood, which bring to mind Ancient writings of bygone days . . . Whilst on the hieroglyphs I gaze I find that they also knew the sign, Brothers now dead, yet Brothers of mine!

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Last modified: March 22, 2014