Dormer Index

The Raising Of The Dead

Freemasonry And The Pauline Doctrine Of The "Great Work"

Part Two: Metaphysics

"I now delegate you to invest our Brother with the distinguishing Badge . . . " (Masonic Ritual )

"There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another".'

(1st. Corinthians, 15-40) .

We turn now from the psychologic to the metaphysical aspect of the Great Work. Since the raising of the dead involves the opening up, from one's centre, of an orderly sequence of conscious states towards Reality, there remains in regard to those undertaking that development, the further question, With what bodies do they come? Expressed in alternative terms, with what kind of corporiety are these supra-sensual perceptivities invested when established? This is important, because neither in the natural nor the ultra-natural order is consciousness conceivable apart from a vehicle for it. The problem that has bewildered the scientific mind in regard to posthumous survival, namely how can consciousness exist apart from a body, never arises in the case of the Initiate Orders for the teaching is emphatic that it does not so exist, and that, the subjective always possesses an objective side. Even of the uncreated Essence and formless source of all life this is held to be true. God is indeed Spirit, but the universe, of which but a fraction is sensuously perceptible, is still His vesture; and, analogously, mans a spirit made in the Divine image, is never vestureless although his vesture will needs vary with his state and place of advancement in the Cosmos for the time being. It follows from all this that the Freemason who seriously yields himself to the discipline of our Order is not merely improving his character and chastening his thoughts and desires. He is, at the same time unconsciously building up an inner ethereal body which will form his clothing, or covering, when his transistory outer body shall have passed away. In this Papers however, the incident of physical dissolution is outside the scope of our enquiry, which is concerned with considering how the celestial body spoken of by St. Paul is to be built up out of the sublimated properties of the terrestrial body. This is one of the secrets and mysteries of the process of regeneration and self-transmutation, and represents the true temple-building with which we Freemasons are identified. In our Masonic system the symbol of the bodily organ is the Apron, and the changes and increasing elaborateness evidenced in it as a Brother advances to higher stages in the Craft symbolise the development deemed to be gradually taking place in his nature. Moreover, as in the outer havens of nature the sun, moon and stars exist and function so in the personal heavens of man (symbolised in our system by the Covering of the Lodge - a celestial canopy of divers colours, even the heavens"). there operate metaphysical forces inherent in himself and described by the same terms. In the make-up of each one of us there exists a psychic magnetic field of various forces, which determine our individual temperaments and tendencies, and influences our future. To those forces have also been given the names of sun, "moon" and planets, and the science of their interaction and outworking was the ancient science of astronomy, or, as it is now called astrology, which is one of the liberal arts and sciences recommended to the study of every Freemason, and: the pursuit of which belongs in particular to the Fellow-Craft stage. That the soul becomes self-clothed as it advances is covertly intimated to the candidate in the three Craft Degrees, and in order that the full significance of the Apron may be perceived by students, we will, before proceeding further, summarise the salient features of this important Masonic symbol:

1. The Apron is the symbol of the corporeal vestige and condition of the soul. This does not refer. so much to the temporal physical body, as to its permanent invisible corporiety which will survive the death of the mortal part. The physical matter of which our mortal bodies are composed is but corruptible impermanent stuff which merely forms a temporary encasement of the imperishable substance of our souls, and enables the to enter into sense- relations with the physical world. The distinction made must be clearly grasped and kept in mind, for Freemasonry has to deal not so much with the transient outward body as with the eternal inward being of man, although the outward body is temporarily involved with the latter. It is the immortal soul of man which is she ruined temple and needs to be rebuilt upon the principles of spiritual science. Actually, the mortal body, with its unruly wills and affections, stands in the way of that achievement, and it is therefore the rubble which needs to be cleared away before the new foundations can be set and the new structure reared. Yet even rubble can be made to serve useful purposes and be rearranged and worked into the new erection, and accordingly man's outer temporal nature can be disciplined and utilised in the reconstruction of himself.

2. The investiture of the candidate with the Apron in each Degree by the Senior Warden as the Master s delegate for that purpose is meant to inculcate the truth that the soul fabricates its own body or "apron" by its own desires and thoughts, for the Senior Warden represents the soul which, in accordance with its own spirituality, automatically clothes itself with its own self-made gesture in a way that marks its own progress or regress . (See Genesis, 3-7: and make themselves aprons. )

3. The adorned white Apron of the First degree indicates the purity of soul contemplated as being attained in that Degree.

4. The pale blue rosettes added to the Apron in the Second Degree indicate that progress is being made in the science of regeneration, and that the candidate's spirituality is beginning to develop. Blue, the velour of the sky, is traditionally associated with devotion to spiritual concerns.

5. In the Third Degree still further progress is denoted by the increased blue adornments of the apron, also by its silver tassels and the silver serpent used to fasten the apron-strings. It should be further noted that in the First and Second Degrees no metal is allowed to appear upon the Apron. This is because as an Apprentice and Fellow the candidate is deemed to be engaged in the work of divesting himself of all "base metals, and, by an alchemical process, transmuting them into silver and gold", emblems of spiritual riches. With Mastership, however, he attains an influx off those riches under the emblem of the tassels of silver, a colourless precious metal always associated with the soul, as gold by its supreme value and warm colour is associated with Spirit. The silver serpent is the emblem of Divine wisdom knitting the soul' s new-made vesture together.

6. From the foregoing it follows that it is the personal soul of the candidate himself which is the "artificer in metals" referred to by the title of admission for the Third Degree. Desire for worldly possessions, for sensation and experience in this outward world of good and evil, brought the soul into this world, and during the whole of its physical existence it has been engaged in trafficking with "metals, every desire and thought being an "artificer" adding something to or modifying its natural encasement. If, then, desire for physical experience and material things brought the soul into material conditions, the relinquishing of that desire is the first necessary step to ensure its return to the condition whence it first emanated. The First and Second Degrees of our Craft system imply that the candidate has undergone a lengthy discipline in the renunciation of external things and the cultivation of desire for those that are within. But, notwithstanding that he has passed through all the discipline of those Degrees, he is represented at the end of them as being still "in worldly possessions" in the sense that a residue of attraction by them lingers in his heart. The ingrained defects and tendencies of the soul as the result of its past habits and experiences are not suddenly eliminated or easily subdued. Hence it is that the candidate is entrusted with a name that designates himself at this stage, and indicates also that some residue of the spirit of this world lingers in him which it is necessary to expunge from his nature before he can be raised to the sublime degree of Master.

7. The pale blue and silver of the Master Mason Apron become intensified in the deep blue and gold ornamentation worn by the Provincial and Grand Lodge Officers, who in theory have evolved to still deeper spirituality and transmuted themselves from silver into fine gold. Moreover, the symbolic clothing worn by Provincial and Grand Lodge Officers is the Masonic equivalent of the aureole, and its colour, deep blue heavily fringed with gold, is in correspondence with the deep blue centre and luminous circumference of flame: "His ministers are flames of fire". Provincial and Grand Lodge Officers are drawn from those who are Past Masters in the Craft; that is, from those who theoretically have attained sanctity, regeneration and Mastership of themselves, and have become joined to the Grand Lodge Above where they shine as the stars.

We may now proceed to an examination of the metaphysics of the "Great Work based upon certain assumptions, the detailed demonstrations of which are to be found in the Hermetic and Alchemic texts, and the works of Jacob Boehme and his disciples in the metaphysical side of mysticism. Of these assumptions the chief is that over against the perishable matter of external nature, yet sublying and interpenetrating it, there subsists something Real: substance" of which a world of imperishable, eternal nature consists; which substance is, there, just as palpable and objective to spiritual perception as physical matter is to physical sense. Between the worlds of external and eternal nature, however, both in the universe and in man; its image is small, are intermediate phases or creation; notably the astral region, composed of more fluidic, plastic matter than the dense physical world, and therefore in mystical philosophy called "water", and "the sea. Plato speaks of it as-"the moisture of the lower element"; Moses as the waters under the earth"; and it is of this the Psalmist writes that "the sea is His and He made it". But beyond the astral region is the "dry lands the "terra firma" of eternity. called dry because it is free from all astral intermixture. This eternal substance, of which it is written: Wisdom hath builded her house (Proverbs 9 - 1), is that in which the Divine spirit expresses itself upon its own plane, even as the Divine Mind expresses itself in matter in this lower world. In the V. of the S. L., we find many allusions to this substance under other figures such as "house" and "stone", but it is more often spoken of as land. Hence, it is the mystical holy Land, or Promised Land, to which Abraham was admonished to fly; it is also the balmy "land of Gilead" that Moses saw from Pisgah over against Jericho (i.e., in antithesis to temporal nature); and in the decalogue it is "the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, in which our days shall be long, for those who inherit it are beyond all sense of time. Of this substance the Psalmist writes (Psalm 95-5), and his hands formed the dry land"; because, gently and gradually they do form it in us, until it becomes the resurrection-flesh that clothes the perfected human spirit.

The metaphysics of mysticism involves, therefore, our belief in a method of supra-sensual bodily growth analogous to that of our physical bodies. "As above, so below ; there is ever correspondence between the processes obtaining upon the seen and the unseen planes of life; that which is below and material is as that which is above. and spiritually substantial; the embryology of our mortal bodies is a faithful shadow of that of our spiritual bodies, and, as St. Paul declares: "as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1st . Corinthians 15 - 49 ). Thus, as from a nucleole in the secrecy of the. womb there develop flesh, nerves, ligaments, and bones until an organism is produced adapted to physical life, which then comes to birth and grows to maturity, so, in the hiddenness of the soul, an organism with like properties, but adapted to ultra-physical planes, can be conceived and grow within us until the mystical truth is fulfilled that "unto us a child is born. Moreover, as this interior spiritual body grows in stature, as it attains consistency and durability, it reacts upon the physical sheath within which it has become engendered, repolarising its tissues and eventually tending to wholly transmute its corruptible matter, and to assimilate and incorporate it into ultra-physical substance. The method of promoting the building up of a resurrection body during physical life has been variously described and taught. It is the "Raja Yoga" of the Vedantists, the royal art of self-reintegration. The Greeks taught the doctrine of evolving the radiant body as the quest of the "golden fleece". In messages from the community for which the mystic Eckarthausen is the spokesman it is described as the Royal Science; the "task of demolishing this miserable Adamic hut and erecting in its place a divine temple". Among the Hermetic philosophers and spiritual alchemists it is cryptically alluded to as the "confecting of the stone" by means of a "manual art from chaos to perfection. Finally, it is the idea governing our modern symbolic craft of Masonry; the building of a "superstructure, perfect in all its parts, and honourable to the builder.

With regard to the metaphysical material of which these super- structures are to be reared, Freemasonry, following the Hermetic and Alchemical schools, has adopted one of the mystical terms used in the V. of the S. L., and calls it a stone or ashler, that beings a ready type of the most durable of all things. The teaching of Boehme and the Alchemists demonstrates how this stone ("the stone of the philosophers") must be worked up" or "confected" in the individual, and they describe the work as undergoing three distinct stages, the black, the white, and the red. Thus as, psychological the work of regeneration involves the three traditional stages of purgation, illumination, and union, so, metaphysically, there are three corresponding stages of corporeal development. In this work of reconstruction, the physical nature is to be accounted an integral. factor, and must be dedicated and employed accordingly, for it is the vessel or crucible in which the alchemic change is wrought. This does not mean that the physical form is to be damaged or mutilated by severe asceticism; on the contrary, the regimen enjoined is the renewing of the mind, not the maceration or the body, when in a deeper than the familiar sense, "corpus sanum" will be found to ensue surely enough upon "mens sana".

One of the Alchemists has affirmed: Our gold is produced by art, adding nothing, detracting nothing, but only eliminating superfluities; in other words, the alchemical assertion is that in man in latent an element of Wisdom which, so long as the natural state of conflict and ignorance exists, remains dormant and in obscuration. The entire object of the alchemical art is the uncovering of the inner faculty of insight and wisdom, the "essence of mind which is intrinsically pure, and the removal of the veils intervening between the mind and dividing it from its hidden divine root. Stated in alternative terms, each victory over the lower nature liberates a faculty in the higher, while every advance in mystical consciousness is also attended by a corresponding inner- body growth of very subtle matter, for there is not a child of Adam but in whom the "seed", or spark of eternal life, has been planted. Alluding to this truth St. Paul, in his epistle to the Corinthians, states: God giveth it a body as it hath pleased high and to every seed his own body"; but that pleasure is not capricious or variable; the interior body is not built up otherwise than conformably with definite law and order, and in true correspondence with physical bodies, the growth of which, we know, is by a systematic process of cell-extension. The task, then, consists of encouraging that "seed" to grow until it emerges into our consciousness, well knowing that its "fleshy will develop simultaneously with itself. Speaking of this flesh" St. Paul declares, using the same categories as Plato in the Timaeus", that there are four well-defined phases: "All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds (1st. Corinthians 15 - 39). St. Paul is here speaking in terms of the traditional esoteric wisdom which is the common background of all the great religions. His categories of flesh are four because severally related to the four differentiated but interpenetrating plane into which creation, and therefore man, is divided, namely those defined as earth, water, air, and fire. That place, or condition of consciousness (the terms are interchangeable) in which matter is densest is called earth; a term not exclusive to the objectively physical world, for there are conditions in which life may still be heavily earth-bound although physically discarnate. The next place or condition, where matter is still prepotent, but is of a less dense, more fluidic order, is that of water; or, in modern terms, the astral. But above this is the spiritual region of. air, where spirituality asserts itself over materiality; the Platonic world of ideas"; the mental plane; that of the "higher manas of the Vedantists. Lastly, above all, is the supreme region of fire; the empyrean whose spirit-substance is the holy element of eternal nature.

Now, as it successively attains these four states the soul wears appropriate clothing. That upon the lowest (earth) is termed the "flesh of beasts (the Hebrew "Nephesh ), for, whether the physical body or the etheric wraith is signified thereby, it is destined, unless transmitted, to disintegration, and is therefore called "the beasts that perish . Upon the plane of water, where consciousness is limited to the astral order, the flesh is that of "fishes, as the astral, like its physical counterpart, the ocean, has its turbid, weedy bottom, and its clear water at the surface where it meets with the Spiritual region of air, this flesh is twofold. Accordingly those who "move in the great waters and "go down to this sea in ships" (the term "ships signifies bodies; the body of a church is called the nave, or ship, navis ) may be one of two kinds; they may be spirituality impervious, blind, or unclean, resembling crustaceans, sightIess deep-sea fish, or scavengers of the oceans all of which were therefore classified in the Mosaic law as unclean and unfit for food, for obvious symbolic reasons; or they may be those with fins and scales by which "clean fish" under the Mosaic law rise to the surface-waters where the higher, airy order of life begins and the rays of the sun penetrate; fins and scales being, both morphologically and mystically, the rudimentary antecedents of the wings and feathers worn by the creatures of the air. The "flesh of birds" is that of those who can so transcend the unstable region of the astral, and consciously rise into the airy or spiritual plane to which all religions allocate the angels, and to which the winged sphinxes of Egypt and winged bulls of Assyria were mount to testify that human consciousness may soar. Students of Alchemy will doubtless recall that frequently the Alchemists write of sending up their bird, while we should all be familiar with the words of the popular hymn:-

"Happy birds, that sing and fly Round Thy altars, Lord most high!

The soul, says Plato in the great Phaedrus allegory, was originally feathered, but by descending into matter it has broken its wings and trails them in the mire of this world; although it may regain them by knowledge, discipline, and aspiration. The gradual regaining of its power of flight is wonderfully figured in Noah's sending birds forth from the ark over the "waters". At first he sent out the black" raven "which went forth to and fro; the dark unillumined intellect oscillating between the "pairs of opposites" that bound all merely intellectual experience, and unable to do more than return upon itself. Yet even so tentative a Godward search is not unproductive, and unenlightened, immature, thought does not return to us void, for it is written: "He feedeth the young ravens that call upon Him; and to every famished and unclad Elijah ravens bring "bread and flesh, signifying that the very activity of our intellectual processes feeds the soul and builds subtle material into its invisible body. Then went forth the "white dove, the purified spiritual aspiration; this at first came back with, a leaf plucked off from that Mount of Olives high furnishes the Good Samaritan's oil, bringing the foretaste of Paradise; and eventually it returned no more. The waters of the astral reason had abated; it had found the dry land", our ark's high-resting place in God, the Mountains of Ararat - the abode of the Arhats (literally the crowned heads ) or Adepts of the Vedas; the "just men made perfect" of the Bible.

Of the last of the orders of "fleshy that of "men in the supreme region of the fire. it is written that the form of the fourth was as a son of God". It is that of those whom Daniel calls royal children", for there remains the final citadel, the Kings Palace, inaccessible to the prince of the power of the air". Hence David says that at the end of his journey: I will dwell in the House of the Lord for ever"; and St. John: He shall become a pillar in the house of God, and go no more out"; and St. Paul, We have an House not made with hands, eternal and in the heavens. Moreover because of their new rising, St. John, declares of the perfected, that they are given "the morning star" (Revelation 2 - 28), "And I will give him the morning star ); intimating that they thereby become the stars of the celestial firmament, whose controlling centre is the Sun of Righteousness, and whose eternal nature is reflected in the Moon of Divine Wisdom. St. Paul further explains, There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory (1st. Corinthians 15 - 41); even as in this inferior world, individuals differ in features and in characteristics. But of the perfected it is so written because their rising is out of all nations, languages, and creeds of this world, which notwithstanding, upon reaching their zenith in the reconciling heaven of heavens they use but a single voice, for it also affirmed that around the central Light of Lights "the morning stars sing together".

Here we must bring to an end our all too brief study of the metaphysics or the Great Work. Dealing, as our Craft system does, with a supreme human experience which none can fully appreciate without undergoing it, the greatest importance must be attached to the piercing of the veil of allegory in which our Masonic Ritual is shrouded and no one who studies it comprehendingly can fail to realise the profound significance of the doctrine it enshrines. The pity of it is that the majority of those who practice our rites make no effort to penetrate their meaning, and are content with the unenlightened perfunctory performance of a ritual which even exoterically is singularly striking, beautiful and suggestive. Indeed, the least reflection upon our Ceremonies, particularly the Third Degree and Royal Arch, must suggest that Freemasonry is not concerned with the building-work of an outward structure, but with the re-erection of the fallen, disordered temple of the human soul. And, if the Royal Arch as the climax of our system, is recognised as the symbolic representation of a supreme experience attained and attainable only in sanctity and by the regenerate, it follows that the Craft Degrees leading up to and qualifying for it will take on a much deeper sense than they commonly receive and must be regarded as solemn instructions in the requisite preparation for that regenerate condition. The completeness of regeneration theoretically postulated in the four stages known to us as the three Craft Degrees and the Holy Royal Arch, is marked by the very significant expression used in connection with a Royal Arch Chapter, which is interpreted as meaning My people have found mercy, and which in its further analysis signifies that all the parts and faculties ( people ) of the candidate's organism have at last become sublimated and integrated in a new quality and higher order of life than that previously enjoyed in virtue of his merely temporal natures. As we have already endeavoured to show, to attain that level involves as its essential prerequisite the total abnegation, renouncement and renovation of man's original nature, the surrender of natural desires, tendencies and preconceptions and the abandonment and nuIlifying of the natural self-will, by such a habitual discipline and self-denial and gradual but vigorous opposition to all these as will cause them to atrophy and die down. Hence it is written, "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit"; and as with a seed of wheat, so with man. If he persists in clinging to the present natural life he knows, if he refuses to recognise that a higher quality of life is here and now possible to him, or is unwilling to make the necessary effort to attain it, he abideth alone", gets nowhere, and only frustrates his own spiritual evolution. But if he is willing to die in the sense indicated, if he will so re-orientate his will and silence his natural energies and desires as to give the Vital and Immortal Principle within him the opportunity to assert itself and supersede them, then from the disintegrated material of his old nature that germ of true life will spring into growth in him and bear much fruit. This necessity of self-dying is the first fundamental fact to be grasped before we can hope to understand the mystery shadowed forth in our Third Degree, for death to self is the portal to true life. There is no other way; it is the unescapable law and condition of the soul's progress. Neverthelessy since to 'suffer death is a process involving a "most serious trial of fortitude and fidelity, the Mystery systems have always exhibited an example for the instruction, encouragement, and emulation of those prepared to make the attempt. It matters nothing whether the prototype selected be one whose histortic actuality and identity can be demonstrated, or whether he can be regarded only as legendary or mythical; the point being not to teach a historical fact, but to enforce a spiritual principle.

In Egypt the prototype was Osiris, who was slain by his malignant brother Typhon, but whose mangled limbs were collected in a coffer from which he emerged reintegrated and divinised. In Greece the prototype was Bacchus, who was torn to pieces by the Titans; Baldur and Mithra in Scandinavia and in Graeco-Roman Europe were similar prototypes. In Freemasonry the prototype is Hiram Abiff, who met his death as the result of a conspiracy by a crowd of workmen of whom there were three principal ruffians. In the Christian system, the greatest of the exemplars died at the hands of the mob, headed also by three chief ruffians, Judas, Caiaphas and Pilate. If in Freemasonry the mystical death is dramatised more realistically than the resurrection that follows upon it, that resurrection is none the less shown in the "raising of the Candidate to the rank of Master Mason and his "reunion with the companions of his former toils", implying the reintegration of all his old faculties and powers in a sublimated state, just as the limbs of the risen Osiris were said to reunite into a new whole and as the Christian Master withdrew His mutilated body from the tomb and reassumed it, transmuted into one of supernatural substance and splendour. An important point to be noted in our Masonic system the change in designation from Lodge to Chapter which takes place in the Royal Arch Degree. The word "Chapter" derives from Caput," meaning head, but the reason for the change lies much deeper than the obvious one that the Royal Arch stands at the head or summit of the Craft. It has reference in a two-fold way to the capitular rank and consciousness of the Arch Mason himself, who in virtue of his headship or supremacy over his material nature has passed beyond Craftwork and governing the Lodge of his lower nature, and henceforth employs his energies primarily upon the spiritual plans. The head" of the material organism of man is the spirit of man, and this spirit consciously conjoined with the Universal Spirit is Deity's supreme instrument and vehicle in the temporal world. Such a man s physical organism and brain have become sublimated and keyed up to a condition and an efficiency immensely in advance of average humanity. Physiological processes are involved which have been alluded to in the course of this Paper, the result of which brings about a condition wherein the entire nervous system contributes to charge certain ganglia and light up certain brain- centres. The nervous system provides the storage-batteries and conductive medium of the Spirit's energies in the same way that telegraph wires are the media for transmitting electrical energy, and the true Master Mason, in virtue of his mastership, knows how to control and apply those energies. They culminate and come to self-consciousness in his head, in his intelligence. And in this respect we may refer to a very heavily veiled Scriptural testimony, the import of which we have noted earlier in this study. The Gospels record that the Passion of the Great Exemplar and Master concluded at the place called Golgotha in the Hebrew tongue; that is, the place of a skull"; that is to say it terminated in the head or seat of intelligence and in a mystery of the spiritual Consciousness. The same truth is also testified to, although again under veils of symbolic phrasing, in the reference to the "sprig of acacia planted at the head of the grave of our Masonic Grand Master and prototype, Hiram Abiff. The grave is the candidate's soul; the "sprig of acacia typifies the latent akasa" (to use an Eastern term), or divine germ, planted in that "earth" and waiting to become quickened into activity in his intelligence, the head of that plane. When that sprig of acacia blooms at the head of his soul's sepulchre, he will understand at one and the same moment the mystery of Golgotha, the mystery of the death of Hiram and the meaning of the Royal Arch ceremony of exaltations. It is a mystery of spiritual consciousness, the efflorescence of the mind in God, and the opening up of the human intelligence in conscious association with the Universal and Omniscient Mind, and for this reason the skull is given prominence in the Third Degree.

For many of our Brethren, the suggestion that the attainment of such a high condition is possible whilst we are still here in the flesh may be incredible, but the doubt is unwarranted, and our Masonic doctrine negates it. Moreover, the doctrine of Freemasonry postulates that the possession of the material organism is a necessary factor in advancing the evolution of the human spirit, for it is the fulcrum furnishing the resistance requisite for the spirit s energising into unfoldment and self-consciousness. Physical death is therefore not an advancement of, but an interference with, the work of regeneration; as it as written, The night cometh when no man can work", and when the soul merely passes from labors to refreshment until recalled to labour once more; hence, in the Third degree, the candidate is admonished, Be careful to perform your allotted task while it is yet day". It remains, however, with the Brethren themselves what use is made of the, Craft system, for Light upon our Mysteries is grated in proportion to the desire of our hearts, and if for the majority the Order sheds no light at all, it is because light is not their desire, nor its initiation in its true sense understood or wished for. "Get knowledge, get wisdom; but with all thy gettings, get understanding exclaims the old Teacher, in a counsel that we may well command to the members of our Fraternity today. And if Wisdom in our day is widowed, let us not forget that all Freemasons are actually or potentially the widow s sons, and that she will be justified of her children who seek her out and who labour for her as for hid treasure.

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the Man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain whereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that. retaineth her. By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

(Proverbs 3, 13 - 20)