Lodge of Perfection

4th ° - Secret Master

Light and Truth are within the reach of every man that lives, would he but open his eyes and see.

The Fourth Degree or Secret Master, is the first step into the inner sanctuary of the Spritual Temple, where he who seeks, finds Truth. Albert Pike tells us that "Masonry is a succession of allegories, the mere vehicles of great lessons in Morality and Philosophy." Masonry is a moral order founded on charity, having for its object the inculcation of Divine truths and Moral teachings through symbolism. The object of its advanced degrees is to enable a Master Mason to more fully appreciate its spirit, its object and the purpose of its philosophy. The discovery of th emeaning of Masonry depends entirely upon an individual desire for light. The spiritual and intellectual streams and highways leading to a full appreciation of the beauty of Masonry must, by secrecy, obedience and fidelity be followed to their source head. There one may more fully understand the true meaning of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man and discover for himself truth and the lost word.

Thus you will be faithful to yourself, to your fellows, and to God, and thus you will do honor to the name and rank of Secret Master, which, like other Masonic honors degrades if it is not deserved.

 

5th ° - Perfect Master

Masonry honors the memory of the perfect and the good.

Two virtues, Industry and Honesty, are emphasized in the Degree of Perfect Master. The Master Khurum (Hiram the Architect) possessed both of these virtues. Having possessed them he was upon his death entitled to be honored by his brethren whose grateful tribute and act of piety are recorded as a part of the lesson of this degree which is but a reminder that "for each of us the days of the past come back and dead loves and dead sorrows are remembered."

Man's idleness is the great enemy of growth, whether mental or physical. An idle man neither ploughs nor carries burdens; what he does is either unprofitable or mischievous since idleness is the brewer of mishcief and vice. "To sleep little, study much; say little, think and hear much, to learn to do earnestly and vigorously whatever is required by duty" are the precepts to be practiced by a fellow Perfect Master.

 

 

6th ° - Confidential Secretary

Life is but another name for action, and he who is without opportunity exists, but does not live.

The Sixth Degree, or Intimate Secretary, teaches us to be zealous, faithful, disinterested and benevolent. No good Mason can be worldly, covetous or sensual, but must be kind and affectionate, broadminded and charitable, keeping his thoughts only on the good and true, with a feeling of thankfulness for all favors rendered and a sincere desire to do unto his brother as he would wish done unto him.

 

 

 

 

 

7th ° - Provost and Judge

Justice always in the decisions of life, in the judgement of the Courts, and in Man's intercourse and dealings with his fellowman.

The Seventh Degree, or Provost and Judge, has for its chief lesson the great principle of justice. Those with the power of judgment should judge impartially without any personal consideration, without prejudice or preconception and without haste. Two kinds of injustice may be done to a fellow-man; one where a man does injuty to another, the other where he fails to avert an injury when it is in his power to do so. A man may repent, be forgiven both by God and man, yet the consequences remain. In judging a wrong we should remember the motive and temptation. Some men are born with noble instincts, while others are less fortunate. Perhaps the man who leads a clean life never had the temptation which came to his fallen brother; so we should judge with charity and pitying kindness.

 

 

8th ° - Intendant of the Building

The Eighth Degree, or Intendant of the Building, impresses upon the candidate the futility of advancing unless the lessons already taught have been carefully considered. The philosophy, learning and morality of Masonry and not merely the work and ceremonies should have our most profound thought and attention. We are seekers after Light and we should consider the earthly life of ours a field for noble action, the beginning of heaven and a part of immortality. This Degree teaches us that we have high duties to perform and a high destiny to fulfill on this earth.

 

 

 

 

9th ° - Elu of the Nine

To the cause of free thought, free speech, and free conscience.

This Degree is consecrated to bravery, devotedness and patriotism. Its duties are summed up in "Protect the oppressed against theoppressor and devote yourself to the honor and interest of your country." Masonry is action. It requires its Initiates to work, actively and earnestly, for the benefit of their brethren, their country, and mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

10th ° - Elu of the Fifteen

To the cause of all who defend Right and Justice against Tyranny and Fanaticism.

This Degree is devoted to religious and political toleration and to the enlightenment of the mind and soul. Toleration holds that every man has a right to his opinion, and liberality claims that no human being can say he alone knows the truth. Whatever a man sincerely and contientiously belives is truth to him, and only through enlightenment and education are intolerance and fanaticism put down. Masonry is not a religion, but is founded on the essential truths of all religions; it is the universal morality underlying every creed. A belief in the one true God and a moral and virtuous life are the only requirements that Masonry promulgates as a necessity for membership.

 

 

 

11th ° - Elu of the Twelve

The duties of this Degree are to be earnest, true, reliable and sincere; to protect the people against illegal impositions; and contend for their political rights. It is a Mason's duty to serve his brothers; not Masons alone, but all humanity. The safety of every free government depends upon the integrity of the common people. The nation that bases its greatness on tyranny over prostrate states, heavy and unjust taxation and crafty alliances will find its empire tottering in ruins. Masonry should do all in its power to protect the people, to better their living conditions and to supply their needs.

 

 

 

12th ° - Grand Master Architect

The human soul ever travels toward the Light and God. It never wholly loses the sense of its own powers, but there are many faculties within us of which we are dimly conscious; to arouse that slumbering soul-consciousness to the realization of Truth is the divinest object of all human helpfulness. Masonry strives to develop these half-forgotten, God-given traits and to induce men to accept them as their guide. Life is what each man makes it; the optimist turns every trial into a blessing, the pessimist sees only ruin and disaster. All our earthly transactions and institutions are based on faith in our fellowman. How much more so must we believe in God. The belief in a Supreme Being is an instinct in all races. No man can suffer and be patient, can struggle and conquer, can improve and be happy without faith in a just, wise and beneficent God.

 

 

13th ° - Royal Arch of Solomon

For centuries the Hebrews have been forbidden to pronounce the sacred name of God and whenever it occurred they have read the name "Adonai" instead. The knowledge of the true pronunciation was supposed to give the possessor supernatural powers. This idea of the sanctity of the Creator's name was common to all ancient nations. Among them the conception of God varied according to their intellectual capacities. Among the ignorant, He was invested with the lower attributes of hunamity; among the spiritual, He was a Being, pure and holy. This concept of God however, was not given out to the common people, but was kept secret by the favored few. The communication of this knowledge of the true nature of the Creator with other esoteric truths, is what is now called Freemasonry, which under other names has existed since the beginning of the human race.

 

 

14th ° - Perfect Elu

Priest and Teacher of the Great Principles of Justice, Right and Truth.

The Fourteenth Degree is the last of the Lodge of Perfection, and we have reached the point where each individual Mason must discover the secret of Masonry for himself. This can be done only upon reflection of its symbols, and a wise consideration and analysis of what is said and done in the work. Perfect Truth is unattainable, yet we must ever press on, more nearly approaching it. We receive as much of the Divine Light as we are capable of understanding. God has arranged His great purpose so that each man has a work to do, a duty to perform, to help in the progress of the great plan for enlightenment and growth. We should so live that death will have no terror for us but will be only a release from the earth to spiritual realms above.