Goethe ,poetry

„The mason’s ways are
A type of existence,—
And to his persistence
Is as the days are
Of men in this world.

„The future hides in it
Gladness and sorrow;
We press still thorow,
Nought that abides in it
Daunting us—onward.

„And solemn before us
Veiled the dark portal,
Goal of all mortal;
Stars silent rest o’er us
Graves under us silent.

12:00 h „While earnest thou gazest
Come boding of terror,
Comes phantasm and error,
Perplexing the bravest
With doubt and misgiving.

„But heard are the voices,
Heard are the sages,

The worlds and the ages;
‘Choose well; your choice is
Brief and yet endless.

„‘Here eyes do regard you,
In eternity’s stillness;
Here is all fullness,
Ye, brave to reward you;
Work and despair not.'”





And now, in concluding this work, so inadequate to the importance of the subjects that have been discussed, one deduction, at least, may be drawn from all that has been said.

In tracing the progress of Freemasonry, and in detailing its system of symbolism, it has been found to be so intimately connected with the history of philosophy, of religion, and of art, in all ages of the world, that the conviction at once forces itself upon the mind, that no mason can expect thoroughly to comprehend its nature, or to appreciate its character as a science, unless he shall devote himself, with some labor and assiduity, to this study of its system. That skill which consists in repeating, with fluency and precision, the ordinary lectures, in complying with all the ceremonial requisitions of the ritual, or the giving, with sufficient accuracy, the appointed modes of recognition, pertains only to the very rudiments of the masonic science.

But there is a far nobler series of doctrines with which Freemasonry is connected, and which it has been my object, in this work, to present in some imperfect way. It is these which constitute the science and the philosophy of Freemasonry, and it is these alone which will return the student who devotes himself to the task, a sevenfold reward for his labor.

Freemasonry, viewed no longer, as too long it has been, as a merely social institution, has now assumed its original and undoubted position as a speculative science. While the mere ritual is still carefully preserved, as the casket should be which contains so bright a jewel; while its charities are still dispensed as the necessary though incidental result of all its moral teachings; while its social tendencies are still cultivated as the tenacious cement which is to unite so fair a fabric in symmetry and strength, the masonic mind is everywhere beginning to look and ask for something, which, like the manna in the desert, shall feed us, in our pilgrimage, with intellectual food. The universal cry, throughout the masonic world, is for light; our lodges are henceforth to be schools; our labor is to be study; our wages are to be learning; the types and symbols, the myths and allegories, of the institution are beginning to be investigated with reference to their ultimate meaning; our history is now traced by zealous inquiries as to its connection with antiquity; and Freemasons now thoroughly understand that often quoted definition, that „Masonry is a science of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”

Thus to learn Masonry is to know our work and to do it well. What true mason would shrink from the task?



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