Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

05 August 2007

Living Practical Masonry

As I continue my research into the development of Masonic ritual in Maine, I came across this beautiful description of how hard it is to move from the theory of Masonry to its practice:
Almost fifty-three years of my life I have been connected with the Masonic institution; I have spent many pleasant hours with brethren, some of whom are gone, while others live; I have received many tokens of their kind regard. During that period, I have paid some attention, as my brethren all know, to the theory of Masonry; but have always found the practical part of Masonry, the hardest and most difficult to learn; and should I be inquired of, how that can be overcome and made less difficult, I know of no better answer or advice to give, than to set your standard of morals high. All aim for it, all strive to win the prize; and if any should seem to come short of it, as you probably will, it may afford you some satisfaction to reflect that God looks at the motive; and that, although David was not permitted to build the temple, yet he was blessed because he had it in his heart so to do.

M.W. Bro. John Miller of Warren, Maine
Grand Lecturer 1822-1854*
Grand Master 1855
As a ritualist and passable Masonic scholar I understand the theory Masonry very well, but as a man my practical Masonry requires a lot of work. All around me I see other brilliant ritualists and scholars in the midst of the same struggle. I hope, one day, to be able to reflect on my life and believe with sincerity that I was as good a practicing Mason as a student of it, but I suspect I will have little more luck than King David.

* The position of Grand Lecturer came and went often during the period 1822 to 1854, but whenever there was such a post Bro. Miller was among them. When the Grand Lodge of Maine saw fit to standardize the Master Mason Degree it was Bro. Miller seated in the East for the exemplification.

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