Friday, May 27, 2022

‘Our established mode of government’

“A Vindication
of Masonry”
By Bro. Charles Leslie
Vernon Kilwinning Lodge
May 15, 1741

Printed in Illustrations of Masonry,
Second Edition,
by William Preston, 1775 


Masonry is a progressive science, and is divided into different classes or degrees, under particular restrictions and injunctions of fidelity, for the more regular advancement of its professors in the knowledge of its mysteries. According to the progress we make, we are led to limit or extend our inquiries; and in proportion to our genius and capacity, we attain to a greater or less degree of perfection. This mode of government may sufficiently explain the importance of Masonry, and give us a true idea of its nature and design.

Three classes are generally received under different appellations. The privileges of each are distinct, and particular means are adopted to preserve these privileges to the just and meritorious. Honor and probity are recommendations to the first class, in which the practice of virtue is enforced, and the duties of morality inculcated; while the mind is prepared for social converse, and a regular progress into the principles of knowledge and philosophy. Diligence, assiduity, and application are qualifications for the second class, in which an accurate elucidation of science, both in theory and practice, is given; human reason is cultivated by a due exertion of our rational and intellectual powers and faculties; nice and difficult theories are explained; fresh discoveries are produced, and those already known are beautifully embellished.

The third class is confined to a select few, whom truth and fidelity have distinguished, whom years and experience have improved, and whom merit and abilities have entitled to preferment. With them the ancient landmarks of the Order are preserved; and from them we learn and practice those necessary and instructive lessons which dignify the Art, and qualify its professors to convince the uninstructed of its excellence and utility.

This is our established mode of government when we act in conformity to our rules: hence true friendship is cultivated between different ranks and degrees of men, hospitality is promoted, industry rewarded, ingenuity encouraged, and all unnecessary distinctions are lost in the general good.

No comments: