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more light #166

I Am Prince Hall's Freemason

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

The following essay comes from a Mason who is, sadly, unknown to me; I just canít remember who wrote it. I received it years ago, and have always liked it. It is well done, and I think you will see the value in it too. Ed

I am Prince Hallís Mason

by Brother Kevin Gem

I am Prince Hall's Mason, not a Prince Hall Mason. From this point forward in my life, I will no longer claim to be a Prince Hall Mason but rather Prince Hall's Mason. Regardless of what additional words come before or after the tolerance of my jurisdiction I can only call myself by name, Prince Hall's Mason. I will conduct myself as he did and I will practice my individual Masonry the way he did. He has set a stellar example for me to model my Masonry after and it is one I choose to follow

I will not allow one particular religion to find its way into my Lodge room because I was handed a set of constitutions that prevent me from doing that.

I will say my prayers in the name of the Grand Architect of the Universe, that Supreme Being that all men can agree on. My first members were from various religions and it does Freemasonry no honor to not include them within my prayers. How can I exclude those men who walked the trail to that Irish Constitution Lodge beside him through a soon to be war-torn countryside? Their sons sit beside me in Lodge today and it is imperative that I honor them. I am Prince Hall's Mason.

I cannot allow you to creep your politics into my Lodge room. For the men who traveled that night to change history forever were not walking to take up a political position. They were walking to join a Fraternity. No "T" was etched in the minutes of their meetings or a side chosen in the coming war solicited from them to receive those degrees. Upon receiving their charter in 1787, no one asked them to conduct acts of rebellion against their country or to espouse the cause of a political party. How can I solicit for a particular party within my Lodge or allow the repeating of State-Policy to be declared when he did not? I am Prince Hall's Mason.

The ballot for membership will be cast in fairness and based on the Morality of the man and not his Nationality or his position in Society. Men of many races have knelt at the altar from time immemorial and I have called each one Brother. It has long been a forgotten piece of the Constitution and if it is your choosing to allow a man to be excluded from entering the Holy of Holies based upon his race it is your heart that is unclean. But should your heart be exposed and your clandestine act announced, I shall remove it

from the doors of my Lodge. When he received the charter there was no man that was excluded based on race or nationality because he himself was once excluded. Was he not my example? I am Prince Hall's Mason.

He himself was not a "Prince Hall Mason," nor was he "Mainstream," "4 Letter, 3 Letter, or any other titular association" attached as a suffix or a prefix to the title he most revered. He was only a Freemason, and understood there was no higher acknowledgment he could receive then to be called Brother. Why should I consider myself better then he? I am Prince Hall's Mason.

He himself chose the long path to legitimacy over the short walk to spuriousness. He was a practitioner of Freemasonry by the rules established and followed them to the letter. He never denied a knock at his door for visitation and welcomed all who would consider themselves worthy to approach who could prove their selves to be justly, perfectly, and regularly initiated into our order. Who am I to establish a requirement above his? I am Prince Hall's Mason.

Yes Brother, from this point on I am Prince Hall's Mason because I owe my existence to that man's journey on that night. If I must travel, why should I stray from the path laid down before me and pursue the easier course? He is my example and I will attempt to be yours.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014