Masonic Mementos

by Grand King REC Ross R. Black II

As the intent of Masonry is “To Take Good Men and Make Them Better” a constant theme in the ritual and work is to have each individual take the lessons in the written work and allegory to learn about building their own Temple.  The resources within the ritual are usually Biblical and so there are references elsewhere to be a guiding light.

The Masonic writings of old also serve as resources. These have been researched and studied through the years. Many sources of these studies are available through The Masonic Services Association.  There are also other libraries and repositories of materials.

One set of references alludes to the “Old Charges.”  The Thomas Carmick Manuscript refers to writings from 1727 where older documents are reviewed and referenced. The William Boyden Manuscript refers to the same sources noted in a document from about 1700.  The Haliwell Manuscript also makes a similar ancient reference.

They all refer to the REGIUS POEM. This ancient document alludes to the 7 Liberal Sciences of Grammar, Rhetoric, Dialect, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy. These are known to us in the Symbolic Degree Lectures. It also alludes to 15 Articles and 15 Points which are the basis for our Masonic Obligations and teachings.

As you review these musings and materials, consider they were reported to have from 926 AD/CE and the work of King Athelstan and Prince Edwin and all the Nobles, Knights, and Craftsmen of that time who agreed to a common basis of work, and who best can serve and all agree. Consider the applications of these materials to yourself in your life at home, at work and in the World.

Remember that the World only knows Masonry through the lives of Individual Masons. May you ever live, act and speak in such a way that all will know the high ideals for which we stand.

Consider that your work and efforts in Masonry are to learn about personal virtue while focusing on public prosperity.  So share these thoughts with Brethren and family and friends to spread the word of our history and our goals.

Also be mindful that reading and knowing the words is of no use if they are not practiced and lived.

Be further reminded that all good works are more worthily performed when done in secret.

A new segment will be added each week.

Week 1

Here begins the Constitutions of the Art of Geometry according to Euclid.

Whoever will both well read and look
He may find written in old book
Of great Lords and also Ladies,
That had many children, certainly;
And had no income to keep them with,
Neither in town nor field nor enclosed wood;
A council together they could them take,
To ordain for these children’s sake,
How they might best lead their life
Without great disease, care, and strife;
And most for the multitude that was coming
Of their children after their ending.
They sent them after great clerks,
To teach them their good works.

Week 2

And pray we them, for our Lord’s sake
To our children some work to make,
That they might get their living thereby,
Both well and honestly full securely
In that time, through good geometry,
This hones Craft of good Masonry
Was ordained and made in this manner,
Counterfeited of these clerks together;
At these lord’s prayers they counterfeited geometry,
And gave it the name of Masonry,
For the most honest craft of all.
These lords’ children thereto did fall,
To learn of him the craft of geometry,
The which he made full curiously;