Pike wasted no time in calling out the profane Mason who took an oath to uphold the tenets of the Craft, but opts not to for his own selfish benefit,
What does the symbolism of the Compass and Square profit him, if his sensual appetites and baser passions are not governed by, but domineer over his moral sense and reason, the animal over the divine, the earthly over the spiritual, both points of the compass remaining below the Square? What a hideous mockery to call one “Brother,” whom he maligns to the Profane, lends money unto at usury, defrauds in trade, or plunders at law by chicanery?
Enjoy this most profound lesson from our Master sage Albert Pike:
Even Free-Masonry has so multiplied its members that its obligations are less regarded than the simple promises which men make to one another upon the streets and in the markets. It clamors for public notice and courts notoriety by scores of injudicious journals; it wrangles in these, or, incorporated by law, carries its controversies into the Courts. Its elections are, in some Orients, conducted with all the heat and eagerness, the office-seeking and management of political struggles for place. And an empty pomp, with semi-military dress and drill, of peaceful citizens, glittering with painted banners, plumes, and jewels, gaudy and ostentatious, commends to the public favor and female admiration an Order that challenges comparison with the noble Knights, the heroic soldiery encased in steel and mail, stern despisers of danger and death, who made themselves immortal memories, and won Jerusalem from the infidels and fought at Acre and Ascalon, and were the bulwark of Christendom against the Saracenic legions that swarmed after the green banner of the Prophet Mohammed.
If you, Sir E——, would be respectable as a Knight, and not a mere tinselled pretender and Knight of straw, you must practise, and be diligent and ardent in the practice of, the virtues you have professed in this Degree. How can a Mason vow to be tolerant, and straightway denounce another for his political opinions? How vow to be zealous and constant in the service of the Order, and be as useless to it as if he were dead and buried? What does the symbolism of the Compass and Square profit him, if his sensual appetites and baser passions are not governed by, but domineer over his moral sense and reason, the animal over the divine, the earthly over the spiritual, both points of the compass remaining below the Square? What a hideous mockery to call one “Brother,” whom he maligns to the Profane, lends money unto at usury, defrauds in trade, or plunders at law by chicanery?
VIRTUE, TRUTH, HONOR!–possessing these and never proving false to your vows, you will be worthy to call yourself a Knight, to whom Sir John Chandos might, if living, give his hand, and whom St. Louis and Falkland, Tancred and Baldassar Castiglione would recognize as worthy of their friendship.
Chivalry, a noble Spaniard said, is a religious Order, and there are Knights in the fraternity of Saints in Heaven. Therefore do you here, and for all time to come, lay aside all uncharitable and repining feeling; be proof henceforward against the suggestions of undisciplined passion and inhuman zeal; learn to hate the vices and not the vicious; be content with the discharge of the duties which your Masonic and Knightly professions require; be governed by the old principles of honor and chivalry, and reverence with constancy that Truth which is as sacred and immutable as God Himself. And above all, remember always, that jealousy is not our life, nor disputation our end, nor disunion our health, nor revenge our happiness; but loving-kindness is all these, greater than Hope, greater than Faith, which can remove mountains, properly the only thing which God requires of us, and in the possession of which lies the fulfillment of all our duties.
[By Ill∴ Bro∴ Rev∴ W. W. Lord, 32°]
We are constrained to confess it to be true, that men, in this Age of Iron, worship gods of wood and iron and brass, the work of their own hands. The Steam-Engine is the pre-eminent god of the nineteenth century, whose idolaters are everywhere, and those, who wield its tremendous power securely account themselves gods, everywhere in the civilized world.
Others confess it everywhere, and we must confess here, how reluctantly soever, that the age which we represent is narrowed and not enlarged by its discoveries, and has lost a larger world than it has gained. If we cannot go as far as the satirist who says that our self-adored century
–its broad clown’s back turns broadly on the glory of the stars, we can go with him when he adds,
We are gods by our own reckoning, and may as well shut up our temples
And wield on amidst the incense-steam, the thunder of our cars:
For we throw out acclamations of self-thanking, self-admiring,
With, at every step, “Run faster, O the wondrous, wondrous age!”
Little heeding if our souls are wrought as nobly as our iron,
Or if angels will commend us at the goal of pilgrimage.
Deceived by their increased but still very imperfect knowledge and limited mastery of the brute forces of nature, men imagine that they have discovered the secrets of Divine Wisdom, and do not hesitate, in their own thoughts, to put human prudence in the place of the Divine. Destruction was denounced by the Prophets against Tyre and Sidon, Babylon, and Damascus, and Jerusalem, as a consequence of the sins of their people; but if fire now consumes or earthquake shatters or the tornado crushes a great city, those are scoffed at as fanatics and sneered at for indulging in cant, or rebuked for Pharisaic uncharitableness, who venture to believe and say that there are divine retributions and God’s judgment in the ruin wrought by His mighty agencies (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 807-809).
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