According to the ethics of Freemasonry, it is made a duty obligatory upon every member of the Order to conceal the faults of a Brother; that is, not to blazon forth his errors and infirmities, to let them be learned by the world from some other tongue than his, and to admonish him of them in private. So there is another but a like duty or obligation, which instincts him to whisper good counsel in his Brother's ear and to warn him of approaching danger. This refers not more to the danger that is without and around him than to that which is within him ; not more to the peril that springs from the concealed foe who would waylay him and covertly injure him, than to that deeper peril of those faults and infirmities which lie within his own heart, and which, if not timely crushed by good and earnest resolution of amendment, will, like the ungrateful serpent in the fable, become warm with life only to sting the bosom that has nourished them.
Admonition of a Brother's fault is, then, the duty of every Freemason, and no true one will, for either fear or favor, neglect its performance. But as the duty is Masonic, so is there a Masonic way in which that duty should be discharged. We must admonish not with self-sufficient pride in our own reputed goodness-not in imperious tones, as though we looked down in scorn upon the degree offender---not in language that, by its hardness, will wound rather than win, wil1 irritate more than it will reform; but with that persuasive gentleness that gains the heart- with the all-subduing influences of "mercy unrestrained"-with the magic' might of love---with the language and the accents of affection, which mingle grave displeasure for the offense with grief and pity for the offender.
This, and this alone is Masonic admonition. I am not to rebuke my Brother in anger, for I, too, have my faults, and I dare not draw around me the folds of my garment lest they should be polluted by my neighbor's touch; but I am to admonish in private, not before the world, for that would degrade him; and I am to warn him, perhaps from my own example, how vice ever should be followed by sorrow, for that goodly sorrow leads to repentance, and repentance to amendment, and amendment to joy.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
P.O. BOX 70
Larkspur CO 80118
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