The Master Mason


                                                  ARTICLE NO. 21


THE MASTER MASON
                  

          You are now a Master Mason, and as such, you are entitled
to all the privileges of Masonry, both in your lodges and in the
Craft at large.

          The Master Mason Degree is properly known as the Sublime
Degree; it is the summit of Craft Masonry.  The Moral aspects of a
Mason's character are foreshadowed in the Entered Apprentice
Degree.  He who lives sincerely by the principles of Brotherly
Love, Relief, and Truth, strengthened by the virtues of Temperance,
Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, is truly a moral man in the
literal meaning of the word.  A Master Mason has a public as well
as a Masonic character, and his conscientious effort should ever be
to support that character with dignity and sincerity.

          The Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degrees were
practised in the Operative era, and their teachings convey
principles that are taught through the Operative sciences.  But the
Master Mason Degree applies more to the Speculative era; its
philosophies are a culmination of the experiences that man
accumulates in his progress from youth to manhood.  In the first
and second degrees you were surrounded by the symbols and emblems
of architecture; in the third degree you found yourself in a
different order of symbolism, one cast in the language of the soul,
its life, its tragedy, and its triumph.

          The outstanding features of the Master Mason Degree are
the Master Mason's obligation in the first section, and the
dramatic presentation of the Hiramic legend in the second section,
all so completely summarized in the lecture covering its
historical, philosophical, and symbolic teachings.  The Master
Mason's obligation contains within itself, a complete code of
Masonic conduct.  The Hiramic legend is one of the Landmarks of the
Craft.  Without the story of the Temple Builder, our Fraternity
would lose its distinctive character.  In this legend we find
dramatized the ultimate lessons of Masonic Philosophy - fidelity in
the face of adversity, victory over death, and the immortality of
the soul.

          During your progress through the degrees, you observed
that you were continuously seeking more light.  This is indeed but
a symbol of your progress through life in which you seek truth; as
you progress, more light or truth is revealed, but, when the end of
the journey is reached, you realize that the ultimate revelation of
Divine Truth can only come to your individual consciousness through
the grace of Almighty God.

                                                       ...2


                             - 2 -
         
           
           Remember Now Thy Creator

          Few passages of the Holy Writings will be so often
recalled as this beautiful passage from Ecclesiastes XII.  In it,
the wise writer expresses, in figurative language, some of the
profoundest realities of human existence, prefixed by the thrilling
exhortation of "Remember now they Creator in the days of thy
youth".  Of all the quotations, allusions, facts, and names taken
from the Great Light and made part of the Masonic ritual, none has
a more secure place in the hearts of the Brethren than this
beautiful passage.

The Landmarks

          The Landmarks compiled by Dr. Albert G. Mackey, a
respected and learned Masonic writer of an earlier day, are listed
in the booklet that was presented to you at the completion of your
degree.  They are twenty-five items of basic importance to the
Craft which are not subject to change, and whose strict
preservation is essential to the stability of the institution. 
These twenty-five Landmarks are generally accepted by all
recognized jurisdictions, but the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia has
declared the nine listed on pages 3 and 4 of the booklet of
paramount importance.

The Grand Lodge

          As a Master Mason you are subject to the laws, rules, and
edicts of the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, which is presided over by
the Most Worshipful the Grand Master.  He is assisted by other
principal officers who are the Deputy Grand Master, the Senior and
Junior Grand Wardens, the Grand Treasurer, and the Grand Secretary. 
The province is divided into sixteen Masonic Districts, each of
which is presided over by a District Deputy Grand Master, who, as
his title indicates, is the personal representative of the Grand
Master in his District during his term.

          The laws and rules governing the Grand Lodge are
enumerated in the Book of Constitutions which has also been
presented to you.  This book also contains the Declarations of
Principles covering Freemasonry in Nova Scotia, the Acts of
Incorporation of the Grand Lodge and of the Masonic Home at
Windsor, the regulations of various awards of Grand Lodge, and the
regulations covering the formation and government of constituent
lodges.  The government of your lodge is covered by the by-laws
which have also been presented to you.

                                                            ...3

                               
         
         -  3  -
     

          Both these books should be read carefully, and kept
available for your review, as many interesting points do arise from
time to time that may be clarified by reference to them, a good
knowledge of them is essential to the smooth operation of your
lodge.

Your Mother Lodge


          You are now a full-fledged member of your Lodge and as
such you have responsibilities as well as privileges.  Your lodge
exists by virtue of a Warrant from the Grand Lodge.  Among other
things, the Warrant gives the lodge the privilege of selecting
candidates from among those who petition for its degrees.  In the
exercise of this right, your Brethren have seen fit to accept you
into membership, and it is now up to you to demonstrate that they
have made no mistake.  This you can do by honorably discharging
your various duties in such a manner as to merit the rank and title
of Master Mason.

          Your first duty is regular lodge attendance; only through
such can you hope to imbibe the spirit of Masonry, to learn the
customs, usages, and traditions of the Craft, to understand and
appreciate the beauty of the work, and to enter into the true
fraternal fellowship of the Craft.  

          You should pay your dues promptly; your lodge has
financial obligations, and you as a member must assume your share.

          Probably your greatest responsibility as a member of the
lodge is in connection with the ballot.  It is essential that you
should understand the ethics of the ballot box.  As more than one
black ball rejects an applicant, and as the ballot box is secret,
you are invested with absolute power over the Masonic future of
every applicant on whom you vote.  This is a sobering
responsibility in the discharge of which the welfare of the Craft
should be your only consideration.  If you KNOW of anything against
an applicant which would prevent him from becoming a worthy member
of the Craft, you should vote accordingly.  On the other hand, mere
personal antagonism is not valid ground for rejection.  The fact
that you have a personal prejudice against an individual does not
necessarily disqualify him as a candidate.  Political, business, or
social differences should never influence your vote, which should
be based on your honest appraisal of the applicant's character and
be tempered by broad Masonic charity.  Of all Masonic confidences
entrusted to a Brother, the ballot is one of the most important. 
Its processes should always be treated with utmost respect and
sacred confidence.  It can never be discussed within the lodge room
and should never be discussed outside.

                                                            ...4

-  4  -
                            

          In becoming a Mason, you have made a definite investment
of time and money; whether or not this investment proves to be a
good one is very largely up to you.  Individually, as a result of
your experience thus far, you should already be a wiser and better
man; your Masonic future is largely in your own hands.  Each man
gets out of Masonry about as much as he puts into it.  If you would
get the most out of your membership you must be willing to work. 
Learn the ritual and be available for any service that the Master
may require of you.  Serve on committees, help with little chores,
visit the sick, attend funerals and Church services.  A modest
consistent demonstration of your interest and ability may result in
your being elected to an office; the privilege of going through the
various offices will be a rich experience.

          You should, at all times, conduct yourself with dignity
and decorum, both within and without the lodge room.  Never allow
yourself to be drawn into any argument or situation through which
the Craft may suffer disrepute.  Do nothing during degree work that
will spoil the work for the candidate or embarrass the Master; the
impression that a candidate received during his degrees leaves a
permanent imprint on his Masonic life, so be careful that he
receives nothing but the best from you.  Courtesy and affability at
all times create the warmhearted fellowship which binds us together
in brotherly love and affection.

Chari   ty

          The most important part of our Masonic work in this
jurisdiction is the operation of the Nova Scotia Freemasons' Home,
founded at Windsor in 1910.  The property has been enlarged and
renovated, until at present it has accommodation for about 50
guests.  It provides a high standard of accommodation for elderly
Brethren, their wives or widows.  It is the only Masonic Home in
Canada, a fact of which we can be justly proud.  It is supported by
a portion of your initiation fee, by a portion of your annual dues,
and by income from endowments.  Many of the lodges contribute much
to the welfare and happiness of the guests by visits and gifts.  A
visit to the Home, at your earliest convenience, is earnestly
recommended; we are sure it will make you as proud of it as we are.

          There are some other aspects of charity that should be
mentioned at this time for your information so that you may regard
the subject in its wider form.  Although Charity is one of our
principal tenets, Freemasonry is not a charitable organization in
the literal sense of the word; you will note that the amount of our
dues would preclude such a possibility.  But many worthy cases of
need are assisted by practical sympathy in a manner appropriate to
the circumstances, and your promise to "help, aid, and assist" may
sometimes be tested.

                                                            ...5

-  5  -
                            


Visitation
    
          One of the pleasures that you may now experience is that
of visiting other lodges.  To do so, you should carry an up-to-date
dues receipt, properly signed, and be prepared to be briefly
examined on some of the secret work.  Passing this examination
should be a matter of satisfaction and the visits will greatly
enlarge your enjoyment and knowledge of the institution, as well as
widen your circle of friendships.  Many lodges organize groups for
inter-lodge visitation in which case you would be "vouched for" and
would not be required to be further examined.  You will find that
all lodges welcome visitors warmly and treat them with utmost
courtesy and hospitality.

Concl  usion


          We hope your Masonic membership may bring you much
happiness and lasting satisfaction.  The ritual and lectures speak
for themselves; practice and experience will develop their
meanings.  These booklets have only endeavoured briefly to
supplement the teachings of the degrees for your ready
understanding as a beginner.  We hope that they have stirred your
interest for further reading and study in which you will find much
enjoyment.





 
THIS PAPER IS DERIVED FROM A BOOKLET PREPARED BY THE GRAND LODGE OF
NEW YORK, SUITABLY AMENDED IN NOVA SCOTIA, TO EDUCATE NEWLY RAISED
MASTER MASONS.  IT WAS DONATED TO THE BOARD OF MASONIC EDUCATION BY
R.W. BILL MARKS IN MAY 1990.