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.

All segments have been added through December 10, 2017.

Week 1 Oct. 8, 2017


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 Oct. 15, 2017


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;

 

Week 3 Oct. 22, 2017

Through Fathers’ prayers and mothers’ also,
This honest Craft he put them to.
He that learned best, and was of honesty,
And passed his fellows in curiosity,
If in that Craft he did him pass,
He should have more worship than the less.
This great clerk’s name was called Euclid,
His name it spread full wonder wide.
Yet this great clerk ordained he
To him that was higher in this degree,
That he should teach the simplest of wit
In that honest Craft to be perfect;
And so each one shall teach the other,
And love together as Sister and Brother.

 

Week 4 Oct. 29, 2017

Furthermore yet that ordained he,
Master called so should he be;
So that he were most Worshipped,
Then should he be so called:
But Masons should never one another call,
Within the Craft amongst them all,
Neither subject nor servant, my dear Brother,
Though he be not so perfect as is another;
Each shall call other Fellows by friendship,
Because they come of ladies’ birth.
On this manner, through good wit of geometry,
Begin first the Craft of Masonry:
The clerk Euclid on this wise it found,
This Craft of Geometry in Egypt land.

Week 5  Nov. 5, 2017

In Egypt he taught it full wide,
In diverse lands on every side;
Many years afterwards, I understand,
Ere that the Craft came into this land.
This Craft came into England, as I you say,
In time of good King Athelstan’s day;
He made then both hall and even bower,
And high temples of great honour,
To disport him in both day and night,
And to worship his God with all his might.
This good land loved this Craft full well,
And purposed to strengthen it every part,
For diverse faults that in the Craft he found;
He sent about into the land.

Week 6  Nov. 12, 2017

After all the Masons of the Craft
To come to him full even straight,
For to amend these faults all
By good counsel, if it might fall.
An Assembly then could let make
Of diverse lords in their state,
Dukes, Earls and Barons also,
Knights, Squires, and many more,
And the great Burgesses of that city,
That were there all in their degree;
There were there each one always,
To ordain for these Masons’ estate,
There they sought by their wit,
How they might govern it;
Fifteen Articles they there sought,
And Fifteen Points there they wrought.

Week 7   Nov. 19, 2017


Here Begins the First Article

The first Article of the Geometry:
The Master Mason must be full securely
Both steadfast, trusty and true,
It shall him then never rue:
And pay thy Fellows after the cost,
As victuals goeth then, well thou knowest;
And pay them truly, upon thy faith,
What they may deserve;
And to their hire take no more,
But what that they may serve for;
And spare neither for love nor dread,
Of neither parties to take no bribe;
Of lord nor fellow, whoever he be,
Of them thou take no manner of fee;
And as a judge stand upright,
And then thou doest to both good right;
And truly do this wheresoever thou goest,
Thy worship, thy profit, it shall be most.

Week 8  Nov. 26, 2017

Second Article

The second article of good masonry,
As you must it here hear specially,
That every master, that is a mason,
Must be at the general congregation,
So that he it reasonably be told
Where that the assembly shall be held;

And to that assembly he must needs go,
Unless he have a resonable excuse,
Or unless he be disobedient to that craft,
Or with falsehood is overtaken,
Or else sickness hath him so strong,
That he may not come them among;
That is an excuse good and able,
To that assembly without fable.

Week 9  Dec. 3, 2017

Third Article

The third article forsooth it is,
That the Master takes no 'prentice,
Unless he have good assurance to dwell
Seven years with him, as I you tell,
His Craft to learn, that is profitable;
Within less he may not be able
To lords’ profit, nor to his own
As you may know by good reason.

Week 10   Dec. 10, 2017

Fourth Article

The fourth article this must be,
That the Master him well besee,
That he no bondman “prentice make,
Nor for no covetousness do him make,
For the lord that he is bound to,
May fetch the “prentice wheresoever he go.
If in the Lodge he were taken,
Much disease it might there make,
And such case it might befall,
That it might grieve some or all.
For all the Masons the be there
Will stand together all together.
If such one in that Craft should dwell,
Of diverse diseases you might tell;
For more case then, and of honesty,
Take a ‘prentice of higher degree.
By old time written I find
That the ‘prentice should be of gentle kind:
And so sometime, great lords’ blood
Took this geometry that is full good.