Friday, May 04, 2007



A different environment than that of the outer world is needed for the true work of masonry, hence, at the threshold of the Lodge, collateral with the Triple Renunciation, comes the Quintuple Declaration.

In the old lectures these forms of Renunciation and Preparation were quaintly and neatly expressed by the words "off" and "on". The latter is complete when, in the person of the initiate, Ignorance and Obedience, Sincerity, Fidelity and Humility are conspicuously and symbolically declared. He is taught to put "off" the Rank, Power, and Wealth of the outer world and put "on" the symbols of his true condition- his Ignorance and Obedience, Sincerity, Fidelity, and Humility. These are the essential characteristics of good material for building.

He makes no pretense to knowledge (IGNORANCE) and he is obedient (OBEDIENCE) that he may learn. SINCERITY is the purity of the material, unblemished and unweakened by admixture with worthless and vile matter. FIDELITY is the trueness of the reed, giving it soundness and adaptability for being worked into a suitable shape and form. HUMILITY is the closeness of the grain, the molecules clinging together and making it strong and durable.

Confucius said, truly, "I do not see how a man without sincerity can be good for anything" The same may also be said of one without fidelity and humility, for the man without fidelity will not carry out his undertakings, and the man without humility will never learn much that is worth knowing. FIDELITY, like a strong Right Arm, carries out the purposes and desires of the Sincere Heart, and both are base on the HUMILITY that bends the Knee to obtain strength from that higher Power, without Whose aid all our efforts are in vain.

Putting off the bondage of the outer world and putting on the emblems of the inner world, the initiate becomes a seeker of the Light. His Entrance is a New Birth. In ingnorance and helplessness, yet in obedience, he pursues the path that leads to Light. Here Faith is demanded. Knowledge or Experience is not the beginning, but is the end of Faith. Groping in the dark mysteries of life and seeking for light, man feels his need of a greater power to overcome human weakness, and a higher light to enlighten his understanding.
Thus Faith precedes Knowledge, and Knowledge justifies Faith.

But, the Light that reveals the path also reveals its Dangers. From the first moment of Life, Death is ever present. On either hand, at every step, it threatens him. In the terrible, irresistible powers of nature that environ him, it ever bids him give OBEDIENCE to the laws of life. In the moral world, also, Dangers surround him and Conscience constantly calls him to faithful OBEDIENCE. Knowledge ever brings responsibility and the law, knowingly broken, revenges itself.
If the Cord of Conscience controls not our steps,
The Sword of Law will inevitably pierce our hearts.

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