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Masonic Prose And Inspiration 4
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Prose and Inspiration Continued (4)

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Let me relate an experience of mine,
    in manner so valiant and sublime;
a single honor was confered on me,
    Knighthood in the order of Templary.
 
Now I'm dressed in templar black,
    with striped belt around the back,
Chapeau and crest, with plume of white,
    armed with sword so shining bright.
 
Wearing my Chapeau with honor and pride,
    a symbol of purity never denied,
uncovered in moments of devotion and prayer,
    kneels before God with head bowed there.
 
Carries the sword with a steady hand,
    obeys the order of one in command,
always remembers that every true Knight,
    only draws his sword in defense of right.
 
Thus does Templary around the world,
    march for Christ with banner unfurled,
noted for deeds of kindness and love,
    follows examples of our Commander above. 
 
And all Knights should, with ready ear,
    hear commands of our Savior clear;
"Be true! Be vigilant! No matter the loss,
    there is no Crown without the Cross!"
 
                     -Rev. Earnest G. Rice, P.C.
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READY FOR MY LAST DEGREE
 
An old man lay sick in the Masonic Home,
His face was as wan as the white sea foam,
His eyes were dim, his hair was grey,
His back was bent with the trials of the way,
He faltering spoke, but I heard him say,
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
I've come to the end of the level of time,
That leads us all to the Grand Lodge Sublime,
From whose borne none ever return.
More light in Masonry there I shall learn,
By an Altar where light shall evermore shine,
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
With the Apprentice's gauge,
I've divided my time,
into three equal parts since life's turmoil.
My wages are due in Corn, Wine, and Oil.
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
Each day from life's quarries, I've hewn a stone,
With the gavel I've shaped them, each one alone.
And shipped them along beyond that bright stand,
To build me a house in that great better land,
A spiritual house not made with hands.
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
I've squared each stone by the virtue square,
And plumbed them all true, as I shipped them there.
With the compass I've measured the Master's designs,
And kept within the bounds, with his points and his signs.
My blue prints are folded; I've answered his signs.
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
The Mortar I've made, from friendship and love,
To be spread with the master's trowel up above.
My apron is worn, but its surface is white.
My working tools now will be cold and quiet.
My Trestle Board's bare, and I'm going tonight.
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
A few moments later, the old man was dead.
And I fancy that I could see his soul as it fled,
Upward and onward, to the great door,
Where he gave an alarm, and a voice did implore.
The old man gave his answer with these words once more,
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
That night in a Lodge, free from all strife and storm,
he took that degree his last in due form.
So may I live like he did; to build day-by-day,
A spiritual house, in that land far away.
So I, when I meet my Grand Master I can say,
I'm ready for my last degree.
 
----Author Unknown
 
(Courtesy of LOUISIANA E-MAIL MASONIC NEWSLETTER,
VOLUME V, Issue 12, December 1, 2007)
 
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A Mason's Creed
by Brother John Meehan
Ashburn-Sterling Lodge No. 288
 
I am a Freemason, accepted as such among my Brothers and fellows, and I dedicate my life and works to making myself a better man, and my world a better place.  These are my bricks:
 
FAITH
I believe in God, a single Supreme Being, Creator of Heaven and Earth, and Supreme Architect of the Universe.  It is to His glory and to the advancement of knowledge and virtue that I dedicate my works.  It is my belief in Him that sustains me in the Darkness while I seek perfections in the Light.
 
HOPE
I have hope in God, in His temple not made with hands that is eternal in the heavens, and the perfection of all peoples.  I have hope that wrongs can be made right, sickness healed, poverty relieved, the crooked straightened, and the rough made perfect, that all might be worthy of serving the temple.
 
CHARITY
I believe in Charity, which is the bond of peace, and the perfection of every virtue.  When I see one in error, I gently aid in his reformation.  My hand is at my Brother's back that he may not falter.  I will offer friendship and Brotherly Love to all, these being the mortar that binds all societies together in harmony.
 
JUSTICE
I am Just.  I will not wrong another, nor speak ill of him.  I will not seek to supplant others in their undertakings through deceitful or unjust means, but will strive to better myself that I might be found worthy of better.
 
TEMPERENCE
I am Temperate.  I seek moderation in all things, and to subdue all my irregular passions.  I am humble before all, for we all share the same blood, and travel on the same level to that Undiscovered Country from where none return.
 
PRUDENCE
I am Prudent.  As haste and ill-timing ruin any craftman's work,  I shall work with deliberation and surety in all things, that my works may be pleasing to all, and that I might properly preceive the wrong from the right, and the crooked from the square.
 
FORTITUDE
Fortitude is within me.  It strengthens me that I might bear my trials and troubles.  It supports me in my pains, keeping me from despair.  It keeps my path in the light, when my fears would turn my path to the dark.  It sustains me in my worldly trials.
 
I am a Freemason, and this is my creed.
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THE MASONIC CREED
 
I, AS A FREEMASON, BELIEVE IN THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD AND THE BROTHERHOOD OF MAN.
 
I WILL DO UNTO OTHERS AS I WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO ME.
 
I PLEDGE MY LOYALTY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
 
A GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, AND FOR THE PEOPLE,
 
AND WILL NOT COUNTENANCE DISLOYALTY ON THE PART OF THE OTHERS.
 
FREEMASONRY IS FOUNDED ON THESE PRINCIPLES
 
AND I WILL USE MY UTMOST EFFORT TO PRESERVE THEM FOR
POSTERITY.
 
SO MOTE IT BE
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To be continued