Lewis Charge

By Worshipful Brother Frederic L. Milliken

 Worshipful Master, Brother Senior Warden, Brother Junior Warden, Brethren all, I rise tonight to commend and record the acceptance of a Lewis into this Lodge.

 In today’s parlance “A Lewis” is a son of a Mason. I say today’s parlance because the term Lewis or its derivative has been around for centuries. The French called “The Lewis” a “Louveteau.”

The symbolic origin of a Lewis in English is an iron clamp used to lift enormous boulders, a symbol that can actually be found in the English Entered Apprentice ritual signifying strength.

 The French origin of Louveteau is a young wolf tracing its lineage back to the Egyptian Ancient Mysteries.

 We read from “The Builder,” November 1922*:

“In the mysteries of Isis, which were practiced in Egypt, the candidate was made to wear the mask of a wolf's head. Hence, a wolf and a candidate in these mysteries were often used as synonymous terms.”

 If the candidate was a wolf in French Lodges, then the son of a Mason was called a young wolf.

 In certain Grand Lodges a Lewis has been granted special dispensation to be admitted into the Craft at an earlier age than the Constitution and bylaws of that Grand Lodge requires.

All this is brought to your attention tonight so that all might realize that the Lewis is a time-honored custom. And that this custom has enormous ramifications for the parties involved and the Masonic Lodge that celebrates this tradition.

 To recognize and follow the wisdom that Masonry imparts to its members at such an early age that a Lewis can do is a remarkable achievement for that young man. It is also a credit to the father and his ability to mentor his son and to the fraternity that so longs for the preservation of its philosophy and way of life.

 The Short Talk Bulletin of February 1935** quotes Albert Pike speaking about a Louveteau:

 “It is one of the duties of Brotherhood, arising out of that holy relationship, to guide and guard, and rear and educate, if need be, a Brother’s children. Let us recognize this duty and add to its obligation our solemn pledge to watch incessantly over this youth, to avert from him pestilential influences, warn him against ill examples, and rescue him from perils. Let us, according to our ancient custom, and by the ancient and symbolic name, receive him as our Ward in the hope that he will in due time become our Brother.”

 We read In Proverbs 4: 20-23

 20 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words.

21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.

23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

 There is an old saying:


 This harkens to the Masonic desire for its wisdom to be passed down from generation to generation and its symbolic journey to live forever into eternity.

 We read in the American Preston Webb ritual:

 “The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the mysteries of Masonry are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and implements of architecture – symbols most expressive – have been selected by the Fraternity to imprint on the memory wise and serious truths; and thus, through a succession of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, the most excellent tenets of our Institution.”

 And so that transmission begins in this Lodge, from father to son. The father has toiled many years in the building of his temple, that spiritual building not made with human hands. Now the son starts his journey in the building of his temple at an early age, all because the father has passed his wisdom down to his son and the son has accepted his father’s guidance. And thus, the tenets of Masonry are passed down within a family and within a Lodge and within this great Fraternity to ensure that they never, never, never die.

 So Mote It Be

 * As quoted in Masonic Dictionary http://www.masonicdictionary.com/lewis.html

** Ibid Copyright © 2019 by Frederic L. Milliken. All rights reserved. Reprints of this article prohibited without the express permission of its author.




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