by Judge C. Clyde Myers 32 degree




Each and every Mason treasures a white lambskin as a badge to remind

him of that purity of life and conduct in which it is necessary for

him to live a good and upright life. We wear our emblems and say our

Masonic rituals with great eclat, but we too often say them without

thought. We do not try to understand what is meant by this or that

emblem or pronouncement. We do not worry too much ahout our

privileges and duties as Masons.


It takes a lifetime of thought and study for anyone to know and

understand our priviledges and duties as Masons and what Masonry

means, but I am sure Masonic rights and privileges are not to be

interpreted as they were the other day by a litigant in my court.


I was hearing a lawsuit that was quite important to the parties

involved. Of course, all lawsuits are important to the parties

involved. I finally indicated that my decision would be and actually

was against the accused. His attorney later told me what then

happened. He said the accused poked his attorney in the back and

whispered angrily, "What's the matter with that damned Judge. I'm a

Mason the same as he is, and I've been giving him the grand hailing

sign of distress for half an hour and he pays no attention to me."


That accused is like many other Masons. He is looking for something

by reason of his Masonry that he is not entitled to in law or

conscience. He is looking for an advantage by reason of his Masonry.

He has not yet learned that justice is not dependent upon race or

religion, or even the fact that he is a Mason.


Masonry exemplifies endless philosophies and truths. Every truth and

every lesson is a thing that will make you and me a better citizen

and a better man and neighbor, if we but heed. Every truth is a

badge to be worn by every Mason. " No man can be a good Mason who

does not wear the badges of these teachings.


Masonry teaches that we are our neighbors' keepers, that we have a

duty to make our neighborhood a better place in which to live, and

that we are not to shirk this job. Masonry teaches tolerance of

race, creed and religion. It teaches love and friendship for all

mankind. It teaches respect for government, and admonishes the

worship of one God. It teaches love, generosity and every other good

quality. It gives us the Bible as a guide, the Square and the Plumb

to keep us in the faith, and the Compasses to cir cumscribe our



All through your Masonic Degrees you have heard about toleration.

Albert Pike, one of the great writers and philosophers of Masonry,

says we have no right to assume the prerogatives of a God and punish

a man for his beliefs. He says that one born of Protestant parents

would naturally be a Protestant, one born of Roman Catholic parents,

a Catholic, and one born of Jewish parents, a Jew. One born in

Constantinople would naturally cry, "Allah is God and Mohammat is

his prophet." That because of these things no ne of us should become

intolerant of another. Tolerance is one of the badges of a Mason. No

one can be a good Mason unless he is truly tolerant of his neigbor's

beliefs and recognizes his neighbor's right to his beliefs, the same

as he claims the right to his own faith.


Masonry wears the badge of religion, though it is not in itself a

religion, but Masonry is not all the religion the Mason needs.

Masonry leaves the religious faith of the man to the Brahmmn, the

Jew, the Mohammedan, the Catholic, the Methodist, or any other sect

that soothes the conscience of that individual. Masonry teaches no

doctrines except those common to all religions accepting and

believing in one God, and no doctrines beyond such belief except

those producing the goodness and morality of man, and the living of

a true, just and faithful life.


AIbert Pike says that Masonry opens "wide its portals; it invites

all to enter there and live in peace and harmony, the Protestant,

the Catholic, the Jew, the Moslem; every man who will lead a truly

virtuous and moral life, love his brethren, administer to the sick

and distressed, and believe in one, all-powerful, all-wise,

everywhere-present God, Architect, Creator and Preserver of all



He says we must pity the misfortunes of others, be humble, rid

ourselves of hatred and revenge, be generous, an enemy to vice, look

for wisdom and virtue, respect innocence, be patient and modest, and

avoid every irregularity that stains the soul and distempers the



Masonry is not a religion, but it gives us the Bible as a guide.

Masonry tells us to read and to study and to understand the Bible.

Masonry does not require us to accept all of the Biblical tenets,

but it does require us to live by the rule of brotherly love,

sympathy, tolerance and good deeds as expressed in that verse of

Scripture which reads: "Whatsoever ye would that men shoud do unto

you, do ye even so unto them."


Masonry requires of us that we so live that we are on the square

with our neighbors, our God and with ourselves, and that the

Compasses may circumscribe our lives with a life of good deeds

beyond which we are not to pass into the darkness beyond the line

made by our Compasses.


Every Mason has heard and sought to understand the word ashler. An

ashler is a builder's stone brought from the quarry for the building

to be built. A rough ashler is a rough, unpolished stone as it comes

from the quarry. A perfect ashler is that stone after it has been

hewn, squared and polished by the masons into perfect shape to be

used in the construction of the building. The building represents

life - yours and mine. You and I come into life and being as rough

and imperfect ashlers. The Great Architect soon begins to hew and

saw upon us, trying to make or shape and polish us into perfect

ashlers. He works upon us through the years to take out of us our

imperfections. At last, when our roughness has been smoothed away,

our imperfections hewn out and we have thus become perfect ashlers,

then is when the Great Builder uses us and gives us our place in

this building of life which He is constructing.


In the building of life, you and I be big or little ashlers

according to our capacity. We will have much or little capacity

according to how we come from the quarry, and then according to our

fitness for the building as perfect ashlers. There are large and

small ashlers, but there is a place in the building for each. Our

responsibility is large or small according to our side and fitness

for the building. You and I are required to accomplish our design,

whether our capacities are large or small.


If you are designed for a large job, then you must accomplish large

things in the service of the Great Architect. But I am not excused

because any capacity is small. The temple cannot be built without

the large, perfect ashlers, and it cannot be built without the

small, perfect ashlers. It takes all sizes and shapes of perfect

ashlers to build the temple, and it takes all types and conditions

of men to make a world.


The badge of a Mason is that he does all things required of him as a

Msson and as a man to promote and to actually live the morals,

dogma, citizenship, neighborliness, worship, appreciation, justice,

tolerance and the thousand other things required of him as a Mason.

If he does all these things, he will have lived that purity of life

and to his gaining admission into the Celestial Lodge, the goal of

all Masons.