What Makes a Man a Mason?
By: Rev. Joesph Fort Newton, 33rd
Grand Chaplain, Grand Lodge of
When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far
horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet
have faith, hope, and courage -- which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows
that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as
lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellowman.
When he knows how to sympathize with
men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins -- knowing that each man fights a hard fight
against many odds.
When he has
learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with
When he loves flowers, can hunt birds
without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a
When he can
be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought
of one muched loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his
ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.
When he finds good in every faith that
helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever
the name of that faith may be.
When he can look into a wayside puddle
and see something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see
something beyond sin.
When he knows
how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself,
with his fellowman, and with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a
bit of a song -- glad to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to
give to all the world.