Reaching for the Lost



Searching For The Lost

By C. C. HUNT, P. G. H. P.


THE great object of Masonry is sometimes expressed as a search for
that which is lost and which by our own endeavors and the assistance of
the Master we hope to find. Coincident with this search and an essential
element in its success is the erection of the temple of our soul of which
the erection of King Solomon's Temple is a symbol and the tools,
implements and methods of the operative Mason are symbols of the
tools, implements and methods we are to use in the erection of our
spiritual temple.

The Entered Apprentice Degree symbolizes the entrance of man into the
world where he is to labor in preparing himself for his spiritual temple. He
comes from the darkness of the unknown and his first need is for light -
moral and intellectual light. He is given as working tools the twenty-four-
inch gauge of Time and is instructed in the use of the common gavel of
Self-restraint.

The Fellow Craft Degree symbolizes the school room of practical work, in
which man is to struggle for the attainment of truth, both intellectual and
moral. Here he gets his first intimation of "the great object of Masonic
study" the search for Truth, which he later finds is the great secret of
Masonry. Here he finds he is traveling upon the level of Time and must
learn to use the working tools of rectitude and virtue as represented by
the plumb and the square.

As a Master Mason he continues his quest for Divine Truth and is told it
can only be acquired by a proper use of the trowel of true friendship with
which he is to spread the cement of brotherly love and affection. Here he
meets with a great disappointment. Sin has entered in and weakened the
structure of his temple, and the great secret he hoped to find has been
lost. However, all is not lost. Hope is held out that it may yet be
recovered and until that time he is given a working substitute. He is not
to give up the search, and the substitute is to be used only until future
ages find out the right.

Wonderful teachings are there in the Craft Degrees, but they are
incomplete: We must go forward to the Chapter and Council for the
complete cycle of Masonic instruction, as taught in "The legend of the
Craft" in the Old Charges of Masonry.

It is well known that in all times and places, legends and symbols have
been a very effective means of teaching moral lessons and of this means
Masonry has made good use. The greatest of these legends deal with
the loss of a great blessing to man through sin, a blessing which in future
ages will be recovered. A similar story is told in the Great Light of
Masonry and Milton tells us that his great epic "Paradise Lost" is about:

-man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us and regain the blissful seat.

Masonry also has its legends which teach similar lessons. Of these
legends Companion George W. Warvelle in a report to the Grand
Council of Illinois in 1892 said:

Possibly the most profound of all the mysteries of Masonry is the origin
of its legendary histories and esoteric liturgies: that truly wonderful
system of moral symbolism and allegorical teaching which we now
denominate as degrees. We know but little concerning them prior to the
last half of the last century, and much of the knowledge that has come
down to us from that period is, at best, but fragmentary tradition. The
Masonic romancer has indeed essayed to depict in glowing colors the
scenes and incidents that have marked the course of Masonry from
primeval man to the present time, but under the piercing light of critical
inquiry his pictures have dissolved like frost before the morning sun. The
legend of the Craft, as preserved in the ancient charges, is probably the
only authentic information we now possess which ante-dates the
beginning of the year 1700, and this but faintly outlines a very few of the
many symbolic allegories that vitalize the esoteric rituals of the Masonry
of today. Nor have these remarks special reference to the high grades
only; they apply to all alike, for the system of speculative Freemasonry,
as now practiced, contemplates a progressive expansion of but one
thought, and that is the canctity and preservation of the Holy and
Ineffable Name. Towards this pivotal principle gravitate all the degrees of
Masonry of all rites and systems, and to the elucidation of the mysteries
which encompass the subject are they all devoted. Inseparably
connected by continuity of thought and design they bear internal
evidence of a common origin, and from the meagre historical data now at
our command we are led to infer that they assumed their present shape
about the middle of the last century.

At the time of the revival, in 1717, there is every reason to believe that
there existed no degrees, as that term is now employed, and that the
esoteric ceremonials were of the most simple and informal character.
The symbolism was crude and undeveloped and the philosophical
teachings scarcely more than a suggestion. The fifty years that next
ensued were marked by a restless and ever increasing activity. The
schism of 1738 produced a keen rivalry that soon begat competition. The
Scottish lodges abandoning their operative character entered the
speculative field; Ireland did the same; and soon five grand lodges
struggled for supremacy in the British Islands. Then it was that the
simple legends that formed the basis of the early ceremonial were
eagerly seized upon by the enthusiast, the visionary and not infrequently
by the schemer. Allegory and symbol pieced out the fragmentary
traditions of the Ancient Craft, and imagination furnished historical data
where the facts were wanting. Beyond the seas rites and systems arose
like the exhalations of magic, and the fundamental ideas of primitive
Masonry were expanded to the last stage of attenuation through the
extended scale of degrees which in many cases were adopted. These
years may well be called the period of the Masonic renaissance. A new
impulse was imparted to the fraternity by the development and
expansion of its old legends; an impulse that in many cases was made to
serve the purposes of the charlatan and trickster, but in the end was
productive of the highest good, and from the confused and ill-digested
mass that marked this epoch has been evolved the great rites that now
dominate the Masonic world.

The fact that the germ of all the degrees of the Lodge, Chapter and
Council are formed in the Old Charges of Masonry has been generally
overlooked by Masonic writers. Anderson page 111 in the second or
1738 edition of his "Book of Constitutions" says that in the year 1719, "at
some private lodges several very valuable manuscripts concerning the
Fraternity, their lodges, Regulations, Charges, Secrets, and Usages,
were too hastily burnt by scrupulous brothers, that these papers might
not fall into strange hands." This statement of Anderson has been denied
by some writers, but even if true, a large number of such manuscripts
have since been discovered so that to a great extent it is possible to
reconstruct the so-called "Legend of the Craft" which is probably the
origin of our modern ritual. We are told that this "Legend" was read to the
candidate as part of his initiation ceremony and the possession of a copy
was a necessary part of a lodge's equipment.

This is not the place to discuss the question as to whether originally
there was more than one degree. It is sufficient to say that after the
formation of the Grand Lodge at London in 1717 and possibly before,
there was a tendency to elaborate the initiatory ceremonies and we soon
find two and then three degrees mentioned. When we compare the "Old
Charges" with the modern ritual we find simple statements in the former
have developed into an elaborate ceremony in the latter, while on the
other hand extended accounts in the former are entirely omitted or
receive but a bare mention in the Ritual of the three Craft Degrees.
However, some of these. are elaborated in the so-called "High Degrees"
of the Chapter, Council and the Scottish Rite. For instance, in the Old
Charges there are accounts of some valuable Masonic secrets which
were lost for a time, but were later recovered. The account of the loss
appears in the Craft Degrees, but not the recovery. The means by which
they were preserved is told in the Old Charges, but not in the present
Craft Ritual. The present so-called higher degrees give an account of the
means of preservation and the subsequent recovery. The various
Masonic Rites have greatly elaborated and modified the statements as
given in the Old Charges, but to no greater extent than the Craft
Ceremonies elaborate and modify the account of the loss.

I have defined Freemasonry as "an organized society of men
symbolically applying the principles of operative Masonry and
architecture to the science and art of character building." In making this
application there is a legend which in some form appears in all Masonic
Rites. This legend has to do with certain secrets of the Craft which were
deposited in a place deemed to be secure in order that they might be
preserved from an impending catastrophe. The catastrophe came and
for a time the secrets were lost, but were later; recovered. The Old
Charges read or recited to the Apprentice as part of his initiation
ceremony contained this legend in some form and they also appear in
both the Scottish and York Rites in this country, but in no one Body of
the Rite does it appear in its complete form. In the so-called York or.
American Rite, the loss is exemplified in the first degrees, the steps for
preservation in the Cryptic and the recovery in the Capitular Degrees. In
the Scottish Rate all these elements appear in some form, not once but
many times.

The legend of the search for the Holy Grail, best known in connection
with King Arthur and his Round Table, is similar in teaching to the search
for the Lost Word and it formed the basis for some of the Masonic High
Degrees which sprang up in France following Ramsay's oration in 1737.
The "Order of the Round Table" gave place about 135? A. D. to the
"Order of the Garter" or as it was sometimes called, the "Order of St.
George." There were two Masonic degrees of the same name which
were conferred in this country in Columbian Council of New York City
from 1810 to 1818 A. D. For this reason we believe Capitular and Cryptic
Masons will be interested in a short account of these two Orders.

Order of the Round Table

Mackey's Encyclopedia under the heading "Round Table, King Arthur's,"
says:

The old English legends, derived from the celebrated chronicle of the
twelfth century known as the Brut of England, say that the mythical King
Arthur, who died in 542, of a wound received in battle, instituted a
company of twenty-four, or, according to some, twelve, of his principal
knights, bound to appear at his court on certain solemn days, and meet
around a circular table, whence they were called Knights of the Round
Table. Arthur is said to have been the institutor of those military and
religious orders of chivalry which afterward became so common in the
Middle Ages. Into the Order which he established none were admitted
but those who had given proofs of their valor; and the knights were
bound to defend widows, maidens, and children; to relieve the
distressed, maintain the Christian religion, contribute to the support of
the church, protect pilgrims, advance honor, and suppress vice. They
were to administer to the care of soldiers wounded in the service of their
country, and bury those who died, to ransom captives, deliver prisoners,
and record all noble enterprises for the honor and renown of the noble
Order. King Arthur and his knights have been very generally considered
by scholars as mythical; notwithstanding that, many yearn ago Whittaker,
in his History of Manchester. attempted to establish the fact of his
existence, and to separate the true from the fabulous in his history. The
legend has been used by some of the fabricators of irregular Degrees in
Freemasonry.

"The fabricators of irregular Degrees in Freemasonry" to whom Mackey
refers were probably French as there is no indication that any such
degrees originated in England and it is possible that Columbian Council
adopted one of these degrees. In order to understand the Masonic
significance it is necessary to consider the legends to which Mackey
refers.

King Arthur was a traditional British King about whom some marvelous
tales were told one of which is that at the battle of Mount Badon, 516 A.
D., he single-handed vanquished 960 men. The many legends in which
he is a central figure were popular all over Europe. The Encyclopedia
Britannica says:

That stories of Arthur and his knights had, before this, travelled as far
afield as Italy is proved by the Arthurian carvings on the north doorway of
Modena Cathedral (early 12th century) and the fact that Signor Rajna
has discovered the names of Arthur and Gawain as witnesses to deeds
belonging to the first quarter of the 12th century. It is clear from the
character of the documents that the persons attesting could not have
been born later than 1080, which would argue a popular knowledge of
Arthurian tradition in the 11th century.

Merlin, a magician of half demon, half human parentage, is a central
figure of many of the Arthurian legends. One of these stories about his
revealing the insecure foundations of Vortigern's tower is based on a
similar story of the demon Asmodens and King Solomon.

However, the stories which most prominently connect the legends of
King Arthur's Court with Freemasonry are those which deal with the
search for the Holy Grail. Mackey says on this subject:

Derived, probably, from the old French, sang real, the true blood;
although other etymologies have been proposed. The San Graal is
represented, in legendary history, as being an emerald dish in which our
Lord had partaken of the last supper. Joseph of Arimathea, having
further sanctified it by receiving into it the blood issuing from the five
wounds, afterward carried it to England. Subsequently, it disappeared in
consequence of the sins of the land, and was long lost sight of. When
Merlin established the Knights of the Round Table, he told them that the
San Graal should be discovered by one of them, but that he only could
see it who was without sin. One day, when Arthur wad-holding a high
feast with his Knights of the Round Table, the San Graal suddenly
appeared to him 'and to all his chivalry, and then as suddenly
disappeared. The consequence was that all the knights took upon them
a solemn vow to seek the Holy Dish. The Quest of the San Graal
became one of the most prominent myths of what has been called the
Arthuric Cycle. The old French romance of the Morte d' Arthur, or Death
of Arthur, which was Published by Carton in 1485, contains the
adventures of Sir Galahad in search of the San Graal.

There are several other romances of which this wonderful vessel,
invested with the most marvelous properties, is the subject. The Quest of
the San Graal very forcibly reminds us of the Search for the Lost Word.
The symbolism is precisely the same - the loss and the recovery being
but the lesson of death and eternal life - so that the San Graal in the
Arthurian Myth, and the Lost Word in the Masonic Legend, seem to be
identical in object and design. Hence it is not surprising that a French
writer, De Caumont, should have said (Bulletin Monument, page 129)
that "The poets of the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, who composed
the romances of the Round Table, made Joseph of Arimathea the chief
of a military and religious Freemasonry."

The account given in the Encyclopedia Britannica is not written from a
Masonic standpoint and therefore the allusions which Masons will
recognize are the more striking. We quote as follows:

Grail, The Holy, the famous talisman romance, the object of quest on the
part of the knights of the Round Table. It is mainly, if not wholly, known to
English readers through the medium of Malory's translation of the French
Quete del Saint Graal, where it is the cup or chalice of the Last Supper,
in which the blood which flowed from the wounds of the crucified Saviour
has been miraculously preserved. Students of the original romances are
aware that there is in these texts an extraordinary diversity of statement
as to the origin and nature of the Grail, and that it is extremely 
difficult to
determine the precise value of the differing versions.

After briefly citing several versions and refusing to accept the theory of
the Christian origin of the legend the writer says:

On the other hand, it is now very generally recognized that the
machinery of the earlier romances - the Fisher king, sick, wounded or in
extreme old age, whose incapacity entails disastrous consequences
upon his land and folk, both alike ceasing to be fruitful; the quester,
whose task is to heal the king, and restore fruitfulness to the land - bear
a striking resemblance to the cults associated with such deities as
Tammuz, Adonis and Attis, the object of which was the renewal of
vegetation and the preservation of life. Further, we now know that a
certain early Christian sect, the Naassenes, identified the Logos of the
Christian worship with these earlier deities, practised a triple initiation
into the sources of life, physical and spiritual, and boldly proclaimed
themselves to be "alone the true Christians, accomplishing the mystery
at the Third Gate:" The evidence for the connection between Christianity
and the Attis cult in particular is clear, and have been commented upon
by A. B. Cook in the second volume of his monumental work on Zeus.
Scholarly opinion is steadily coming round to the view that the only
interpretation of the obscurities and apparent contradictions of the Grail
story is to regard it as the confused record of a form of worship, semi-
Christian, semi-Pagan, at one time practised in these islands, the central
object of which was initiation into the sources of life, physical and
spiritual. This, and this alone, will account for the diverse forms assumed
by the Grail, the symbol of that source. Thus it may be the dish from
which the worshippers partook of the communal feast; it may be the cup
in juxtaposition with the lance, symbols of the male and female energies,
source of physical life, and well known phallic emblems. It may be the
"Holy" Grail, source of spiritual life, the form of which is not defined, and
which is wrought of no material substance - " 'twas not of wood, nor of
any manner of metal, nor was it in any wise of stone, nor of horn, nor of
bone"; it is a spiritual object, to be spiritually discerned, but always, and
under any form, a source of life. Thus Wolfram's stone, the mere sight of
which preserves all inhabitants of the Grail castle, not only in life, but in
youth, is what is popularly known as "the philosopher's stone," that stone
of the alchemist which was the source of all life. Even the bleeding head
of Peredur may be interpreted on the same lines. A passage in the York
Breviary, for the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, states
"Caput Johannis in disco signat Corpus Christi quo pascimur in sancto
alteri." When the Grail had once been elevated to the purely Christian
orthodox plane, as was done by Borron, and became the source, no
longer of physical, but of spiritual life, such a substitution, by one 
familiar
source, or one before him, had introduced the alchemical stone. As the
record of the perennial, too often unsuccessful, quest for the source of
life, all the puzzling features of the Grail story are capable of satisfactory
explanation. There is no other clue to the maze.

Note the reference to initiation into the sources of life and
accomplishment of the mysteries at the Third Gate.

While the legends deal with British (not English) heroes, they come
principly from French sources, and the Masonic degrees of the Round
Table are probably also of French origin.

Order of the Garter

The date of the founding of the Order of the Garter is uncertain. The
dates assigned vary from 1344 to 1357, the latter date according to the
records of Columbian Council, having been selected by the inventor of
the Masonic degree of that name. It superseded the Order of the Round
Table in the Fourteenth Century, but Masonic degrees of both Orders
were worked contemporaneously in Columbian Council.

The Order of the Round Table consisted of twenty-four knights with the
King at their head; the Order of the Garter of twenty-four knights with the
king and the Black Prince or twenty-six in all. Possibly this is the origin of
the number twenty-seven which could not be increased, the three Grand
Masters taking the place of the king, or the king and prince.

In this connection the robes of the Order are of interest to Masons
because they were embordered with garters with a star on the left
shoulder. The expression "the star and garter" referred to this Order in
much the same way as "the square and compasses" refer to the Masonic
Order.

There are many stories told as to the origin of the Order of the Garter,
the best known being that the Countess of Salisbury dropt her garter
while dancing with the king who picked it up. The courtiers passed some
indelicate jokes about it and the king angrily said, "Shame to him who
evil thinks," and added he would make the garter so glorious that all
would desire it. The story has no foundation in fact. According to the
American Encyclopedia it had its beginning in a society called "the
company of St. George" instituted by King Edward III "with the design of
furnishing soldiers of fortune to assist King Edward in asserting his claim
to the crown of France." We here have a parallel of the later attempts of
the exiled Stuarts to use Masonry as a means of recovering the throne of
England, and it is significant that the "Old Pretender" took the name of
St. George.

These two old Orders unknown to modern Masons are of interest as
having had a connection with Masonry and as illustrating the search for
the source of real life and the yielding up of life rather than forfeit
integrity.

In our modern Masonic degrees we are told that there was an agreement
among our three Most Excellent Grand Masters that the Word would not
be communicated until the Temple was completed and then only in the
presence of all three. We are also told how the Word was lost, but later
recovered because of certain efforts which had been made for its
preservation. In all this we find the real symbolism of the York Rite
degrees and its relation to the Masonic system of instruction. In the
Symbolic Degrees, we have an account of the loss of the Word with a
promise of its recovery; in the Chapter we search and find it, while full
enlightenment is found only in the explanation of the Cryptic Degrees. In
the Lodge we search but do not find; in the Chapter, while engaged in
the faithful discharge of our dark task we find it, but do not learn the
significance of what we find; while in the Council we learn how the Word
was preserved and what it means. In the Royal Degree we learn that
whatever may be the uncertainties of life, to the faithful Craftsman the
reward is sere; in the Select Degree we are taught that the Word is to be
preserved in the Secret Vault of the Soul and we learn why, when not
looking for it, but while engaged in the performance of our daily duties we
found it; while in the Super-Excellent Degree we find that catastrophe
overtakes the unfaithful whether he be prince or pauper, and that without
fidelity success is impossible.

Mackey says the Word symbolizes Divine Truth, but we believe it is more
than that. It symbolizes all the attributes of Deity, yea even God himself,
the knowledge of Whom makes the possessor divine. It is the Word as
defined by St. John. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God." "All things were made by him: and
without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and
the life was the light of Men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the
darkness comprehended it not."

Compare this with another passage of Scripture we as Masons so often
hear: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the
earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the
deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters: And God
said, Let there be light; and there was light." "This is life eternal, that 
they
might know thee the only true God." (Jno. 17:3.)

As, at the voice of God, from the formless void came forth light, so from
the darkness of an unformed character, at the command of the Master,
will emerge the light of truth, by which the Mason may see the way he
must go in his search for more light, and the work he must do in the
uprearing of his spiritual temple, that house not made with hands eternal
in the heavens. Yet the Word, the complete knowledge of God, can only
be his when his temple is completed and he has passed through the gate
of death to the place of wages, refreshment and rest. Even then it can
only be communicated to him if his temple of the present life has been
properly constructed, well proportioned and erected on the eternal
foundation of truth and right.

We have been told that the Word could only be communicated in the
presence of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, and in the absence of one of
these the Word was lost. Here we have a symbol of one of the greatest
truths in human life, namely that a partial development is a one sided
development and produces a deformed, not a perfect character. The
Pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty represent the three phases of a
man's character, his intellect, his will and his feeling or sensibilities. The
Word symbolizing perfection cannot be attained if Wisdom, Strength and
Beauty are not all present and in perfect accord. Though a man may
have a will strong enough to resist all inducements to swerve from the
course he has marked out and though his finer sensibilities may be fully
developed, yet if he have not wisdom to choose the proper course it
profiteth him nothing; though he may have the Wisdom of Solomon and
lack strength of will he is as a reed shaken by the wind and he can
accomplish nothing; and though he may be all wise and have the
strength of the Almighty, if he lack the ability to appreciate goodness,
beauty, holiness, love, service, in short the enobling qualities of the soul
he may become a very devil.

The tragedies of character building center around the men who insist on
developing one or two of these phases of character at the expense of the
others or the other. The man who takes this course cannot see that by so
doing he fails to properly develop the very quality in which he takes so
much pride. He is not truly wise who fails to realize that a one sided
development is not perfection. He who prides himself on his strength of
will may be but a stubborn fool. Even when directed by an intelligent
mind he should know that pride of either intellect or will may be a stain
on an otherwise lovely character. But the greatest tragedy and the one
most frequently experienced is the demand of the Word from the Pillar of
Beauty; the demand that life's development shall be through fertile
meads and pleasant valleys, that we shall lie on downy beds of ease and
that life's harsher and soul strengthening experiences shall pass us by.
This experience comes to us in many ways and in various guises. It is
seen in the struggle for reputation regardless of character, in the school
boy who centers his efforts on getting a passing grade rather than a
mastery of his course, in the man who will cheat if he thinks he will not
be found out, and in the many ways that we demand that life shall yield
to us the things we desire rather than those we need.

Sad indeed is the truth that he who persists in demanding that life shall
bring to him only pleasures, by that very course, destroys the only means
by which happiness can be attained. He who seeks pleasure alone can
never enjoy the pleasures of life. This is well illustrated in George Eliott's
novel Romola in which there is a character very loving and very desirous
of giving pleasure, but determined to avoid all the disagreeable phases
of life. The result was catastrophe and ruin. The closing chapter of this
story relates a conversation between that man's little son Lillo and
Romola. In response to his question "What am I to be?" Romola replies:

"What should you like to be, Lillo? You might be a scholar. My father was
a scholar, you know, and taught me a great deal. That is the reason why
I can teach you."

"Yes," said Lillo, rather hesitatingly. "But he is old and blind in the 
picture.
Did he have a great deal of glory?"

"Not much, Lillo. The world was not always very kind to him, and he saw
meaner men than himself put into higher places, because they could
flatter and say what was false. And then, his dear son thought it right to
leave him and become a monk; and after that, my father, being blind and
lonely, felt unable to do the things that would have made his learning of
greater use to men, so that he might have still lived in his works after he
was in his grave."

"I should not like that sort of life," said Lillo. "I should like to be 
something
that would make me a great man, and very happy besides -something
that would not hinder me from having a good deal of pleasure."

"That is not easy, my Lillo. It is only a poor sort of happiness that could
ever come by caring very much about our own narrow pleasures. We
can only have the highest happiness, such as goes along with being a
great man, by having wide thoughts, and much feeling for the rest of the
world as well as ourselves; and this sort of happiness often brings so
much pain with it, that we can only tell it from pain by its being what we
would choose before everything else, because our souls see it is good.
There are so many things wrong and difficult in the world, that no man
can be great - he can hardly keep himself from wickedness - unless he
gives up thinking much about pleasure or rewards, and gets strength to
endure what is hard and painful. My father had the greatness that
belongs to integrity; he chose poverty and obscurity rather than
falsehood. And there was Fra Giroloma - you know why I keep tomorrow
sacred; he had the greatness which belongs to a life spent in struggling
against powerful wrongs, and in trying to raise men to the highest deeds
they are capable of. And so, my Lillo, if you mean to act nobly and seek
to know the best things God has put within reach of men, you must learn
to fix your mind on that end, and not on what will happen to you because
of it. And remember, if you were to choose something lower, and make it
the rule of your life to seek your own pleasure and escape from what is
disagreeable, calamity might come just the same; and it would be
calamity falling on a base mind, which is the one form of sorrow that has
no balm in it, and that may well make a man say  'It would have been
better for me if I had never been born."'

But it is not only the loss of the Word through the sin of the unfaithful
craftsmen, seeking to obtain the Word in illegitimate ways that is
symbolized by the Legend of our Secret Vault. It seemed that the Word
was lost in the destruction of the Pillar of Beauty, but such loss was only
temporary. To him, who feared such a catastrophe would occur, the
Master said a way would be provided, and so to the faithful workman
seeking the Word in a lawful manner and fearful that death will intervene
before it can be imparted, the promise is given that the reward is sure.
Death indeed may intervene, since all must die; we may not live to see
our temple completed; but if that happens the Word, preserved, through
burial in the secret vault of the soul, will in due time be obtained. The
strong hand of death can only reduce us to the level of the grave, but the
Almighty Master will raise us and exalt us to the companionship of just
men made perfect. There the temple will be seen completed; there the
scales of doubt and darkness will fall from our eyes; there we shall
receive the Word and there we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as
He is.

In order that it may not be forever lost, the Word is preserved in the ark
of God's promises and hidden in the inmost recesses of the heart. As the
Psalmist says: "Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin
against Thee." That we may know the Word when we find it, we must
search the Great Light of Masonry which contains the key to its proper
understanding, and then the light will shine, the truth be revealed and
though now we know in part, then we shall know even as also we are
known.

May the Master's Word be known, may certainty be attained? Yes indeed
for thus do we find it written in Masonry's Great Light:

Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah-I will put my law in
their inward parts, and in their hearts will I write it: and I will be 
their God,
and they shall be my people, - for they shall all know me, from the least
of them unto the greatest of them, saith Jehovah. (Jer. 31: 31-34.)