eunderstanding. Balloting is done by approaching the altar, giving the due-guard and sign of the degree that the lodge is open on, thus reaffirming your vows that you will cast your ballot in accordance with the great principles of your obligation, So, cast your ballot without fear, favor, or prejudice remembering that white balls elect, and that it takes but one black cube to reject. Look well to your ballot and vote for the good of masonry.
You will now cast a sample Ballot.
Thus, you can see that your ballot is secret, and so should you ever keep it. To make known or to discuss your ballot is a Masonic offense.
The ballot box is not a place to exercise a personal quarrel, petty grudge, or simple prejudice. You alone are to determine the personal qualifications of a candidate, bearing in mind that the Masonic fraternity is not an institution to make mediocre men good men, but rather an institution to make good men better men. Should there be any doubt in your mind regarding the qualifications of a candidate, you will give the lodge the benefit of the doubt and cast a negative ballot. Remember that one bad Mason can do the fraternity more harm than a hundred good Masons can overcome.
There are other certain duties and privileges, which obtain to a Master Mason, some pertain to activities outside of the Lodge meetings and others within; upon proper performance of them largely determines his usefulness as a Mason and the success of his lodge. Some of the duties arc attending meetings, attending funerals, visiting the sick, and particularly in assisting the Master in committee work and on investigations when assigned to them.
It is a Master Mason's privilege to attend all functions of the Blue Lodge and to visit other Blue Lodges than his own. It is his privilege to become as active in our lodges as he wishes. But the greatest privilege is that of being recognized before men as a worthy member of the noblest organization ever perfected by man.
Masonry severely frowns upon any man who neglects his family duties, nor does it expect anyone to undergo any particular inconvenience in its behalf, but anyone who expects to get anything out of Masoy must be willing to put the very best that is in him into it.
All of this, however, is only the material side of found great moral be Masonry. You were told that Masonry is a moral science, which implies that in it arc to precepts. The Blue Lodge ritualistic work is symbolical of man's transition through this life, which is exemplified, in beautiful allegory and great moral lessons.
The First Degree illustrates birth, youth and a transition from darkness into the light. The great lessons, which it teaches, are that no man should ever enter upon 'any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of God and that control of the self is the First step toward perfection.
The Second Degree illustrates the period of vigor and action of man's life, his instruction in the useful arts and sciences and his application of the same in die construction of works of worth and beauty. The great lessons of this degree arc to always grow, in mind and spirit and to hold all things that are sacred in the highest reverence and that our honest and labored efforts will always be rewarded.
The Third Degree illustrates the end of a useful and beautiful life and its transition from earth's fleeting and uncertain pleasures to the lasting glories of a brighter and a better land, and is the Masonic answer to the question, "Whither are you traveling?" Within this degree we learn of the destructive power of Ignorance, Falsehood and Evil Ambition. hi this Degree we are also taught the greatest of all Masonic lessons: That when human Wisdom and Strength fail, we should ever remember that divine assistance is vouchsafed us through the Beauty of a faithful reliance on the Supreme Creator.
You are taught to perform your duties as manfully and as faithfully as you can, with the highest degree of virtue and integrity and when you have reached the limit of your ability, ask God in the secret precincts of your heart to Light the Darkened path before you and Guide you forward. And when at last your journey is over, our Supreme and Divine Creator will guide you, and will welcome you home.
Masonry teaches us to endeavor to live cleaner and kinder lives, earn what we receive and leave the world a little better for our having bad the privilege of passing through it. The mere ceremony of becoming a Master Mason makes no man any better than he was before, but the earnest endeavor to live up to the beautiful teachings of Masonry cannot help but make all men better.
You now strand before the altar of Freemasonry, upon which is always placed the Holy Writings, Square and Compasses. The greatest of these is the Holy Writings, it being God's inestimable gift to Man as a rule and guide of his faith, and upon such a volume of sacred law all regular Masons have been obligated. You will notice that the area between the Altar and the Master's station is never violated, except during the ceremonies of initiation. This is to signify that no man can have the wisdom to rule and govern a Lodge unless the light, which emanates from this great book, shines upon him without blemish.
This is the ballot box, the only other article of furniture worthy of a place upon the altar. It is by the use of the ballot box that. Members of a Masonic Lodge determine who shall become their Brothers. Balloting is a serious duty, one that you should learn to do with an absolute correctness and complete