It Is No Secret!
P. Wesberry, 32°, K.C.C.H.
Executive Director and Editor of Sunday
Pastor Emeritus of Morningside Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia
It is a great honor to pay tribute to Freemasonry. Its amazing, astonishing story is well recorded
in the annals of mankind. Masonry has served to make this a better world in which to live. With its roots deeply embedded
in antiquity it is one of the world's largest, if not the largest, and most influential Fraternal Orders.
I joined the Masonic Order at the age of 21 and have
enjoyed the rights and privileges for almost 60 years. I have had the privilege of being a member of many organizations, but
none outside of my church has meant more to me than Masonry. I owe Masonry a debt I can never repay. I thank God for my Masonic
It is no secret that many of Masonry's noblest and beautiful
teachings are from both the Old and New Testaments. It is no secret that the Bible holds the central position as the great
light of Masonry. It is no secret that Masons love and revere the Bible nor it is a secret that Masonry
helped to preserve it in the darkest age of the church when infidelity sought to destroy it. The Bible meets Masons with its
sacred message at every step of progress in its various degrees.
It is no secret that high above Masonry's steeple is
the ever-watchful and all-seeing eye of Almighty God. Every part of its foundation walls are beautifully built and artistically
fashioned by the Supreme Architect of the Universe with the plumb, level, and square. The hope of eternal life and assurance
of the resurrection to new existence beam from the light of the altar. Its wall is a refuge from the tears and cares of life, and its roof a shelter from the pitiless storms of diversity and grief. Its treasury is opened to
the destitute, and relief stands ever ready for the poor. Its cornerstone rests upon the four quarters of the Earth and its
doors are never closed to a worthy man. Every man comes of his own free will and accord. This is Masonry!
Besides Masonry's great respect for God and reverence
for the Holy Book there are other great doctrines and principles that contribute to the greatness and the important influence
of Ancient Freemasonry.
From King Solomon's Temple the
great Masonic Fraternity came forth, and its footsteps may be traced through the ages to the present day. Masonry has played
an important part in the molding and making of America and in fashioning its fundamental laws and life.
While the true secrets of Masonry are lodged safely in
the repository of faithful breasts, there are many things Masonry teaches that are not secret.
It is certainly no secret that the principal purpose
of Masonry is first, last and, always to produce the finest, noblest type of character through fellowship and mutual helpfulness.
Masonry is a progressive discipline. Its members are "seekers" and "strivers" after light and truth by which to live wisely
and harmoniously. Ever striving toward a higher standard of conduct, Masonry is always a moral discipline. In the struggle
for moral excellence, as in the building of King Solomon's Temple, the Supreme Architect is both indispensable
The whole superstructure of Masonry rests upon the Supreme
Architect. There are no atheists in Masonry. The universe is viewed as one vast structure which owes its existence to the
Supreme Architect. Man, too, is a builder engaged in constructing a Temple of character with which he
is supplied materials, patterns and instruments to build.
The purity and innocence symbolized by the Lamb's Skin
which he is required to keep unsoiled represent the Mason's highest honor. There is scarcely a page of Masonic Ritual that
does not urge the cultivation of the virtue of purity. Necessity is thus laid on Masons to subdue their passions and to acquire
the art of self-control. Masonry seeks to build a better world by building better individuals.
It is no secret that with the mournful movement of spade
and coffin the Mason is reminded of his end. Death terminates his journey! Death ends man's earthly labors and seals his account
for the Supreme Architect to judge.
It is no secret that Masonry teaches the immortality
of the soul. The resurrection of the body from the grave is indelibly stamped upon the Mason's mind. While memory holds her
seat among the faculties of his soul the Mason can never forget this sacred lesson.
And crowning it all with beautiful lily work, Masons
put into practice what they say about brotherly love. "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together
in unity!" Masons favor no man for his wealth and frown on no man because of his poverty. Freemasonry shows no deference to
learning or nobility. The ground is wondrously level at its altar.
At its altar the oily tongue of slander is silenced.
Hatred, envy, and malice are buried in oblivion, and faults are forgotten. Masons stand by each other. They uphold each other
both in life and in death.
Charity is indeed one of the most beautiful columns in
the Temple of Masonry. Masonry never wearies of stressing the need for charity. To sympathize
with each other in misfortune, to be compassionate for another's miseries and to return peace to troubled minds are among
the great aims of Masonry.
All Masons obligate themselves to help,
aid and assist the poor, the distressed, the widows and orphans. Nor is charity restricted to fellow Masons only, but extended
to all. It shares the common bonds of race as children of one great Creator, and seeks to unite men of every race, color,
sect, and opinion. Masonry practices the golden Rule and seeks always to eliminate divisive forces which build walls between
The compass enables the Mason to draw a perfect circle,
to work to the end that harmony and peace many eventually encircle the world. It offers relief to the helpless, wraps the
drapery of charity over homes darkened by sorrow, wipes tears away, soothes sorrows, feeds the hungry, heals the sick, and
ministers to the burned and crippled.
Where in all the annals of time is such an organization
to be found outside of the church? Yet it is no secret that Masonry is not a religion, nor a church. A good Mason keeps his
priorities in order. Masonry respects every man's right to the religion of his choice and never claims or desires to be any
man's religion or a substitute for it. Masons believe in tolerance. Masonry helps and encourages a man to be a better church
member, and a good church member usually makes a good Mason. Some of the most religious persons I have ever known have been
Masons. For any person to allow Masonry to become his religion or to take the place of his church is a mistake and not due
to Masonic teaching but to someone's misinterpretation or misunderstanding.
It is no secret that Masonry helps men to be better men
and to build a better would. Masonry is a living epistle, known and read of all men, declaring to the world that it is a true
and tried organization, a great and wonderful fraternity of fellowship, charity, and benevolence.
Many years ago, when a theological student in Boston,
I heard the great poet Edwin Markham quote these beautiful words which seem to me to summarize the meaning of Freemasonry:
We are blind until we see
in the human plan
Nothing is worth the making
That does not make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
Man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the work
Unless the builder grows.
(This article was widely distributed and published
in th Scottish Rite Magazine)