Burlingame Lodge No. 400
Making Good men better...
Masonic Research
What Masonic duties are implied by the tenets of brotherly love?
Created: 1/8/2017
At a very early period in the course of his initiation, a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry is informed that the great tenets of the Order are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. These virtues are illustrated, and their practice recommended to the aspirant, at every step of his progress; and the instruction, though continually varied in its mode, is so constantly repeated, as infallibly to impress upon his mind their absolute necessity in the constitution of a good Mason.

Brotherly Love might very well be supposed to be an ingredient in the organization of a society so peculiarly constituted as that of Freemasonry. But the brotherly love which we inculcate is not a mere abstraction, nor is its character left to any general and careless understanding of the candidate, who might be disposed to give much or little of it to his brethren, according to the peculiar constitution of his own mind, or the extent of his own generous or selfish feelings. It is, on the contrary, closely defined; its object plainly denoted; and the very mode and manner of its practice detailed in words, and illustrated by symbols, so as to give neither cause for error nor apology for indifference.

'Every Mason is acquainted with the Five Points of Fellowship - he knows their symbolic meaning - he can never forget the interesting incidents that accompanied their explanation; and while he has this knowledge, and retains this remembrance, he can be at no loss to understand what are his duties, and what must be his conduct, in relation to the principle of Brotherly Love.

Brotherly Love can be manifested in innumerable opportunities not only in the Lodge but also out of it. It is acknowledged by the nearly imperceptible pressure of the hand as much as by the vindication of an innocently accused absent brother. It is an essential element to bind the brethren unto each other; we have pledged our-selves to exercise it, and it is one of the greatest duties of a Free and Accepted Mason to deny it unto no man, more especially to a brother Mason. To exercise brotherly love, or to feel deeply interested in the welfare of others is a source of the greatest happiness in every situation in life.
Change from Operative to Speculative Freemasonry.
Created: 10/24/2016
What was the effect of the change from operative to speculative Freemasonry on the status of the Entered Apprentice?

Change from Operative to Speculative Freemasonry. At the Ancient Annual Assembly, every member of the craft was permitted to be present, and to take a part in the deliberations. But by members of the craft, in the beginning, were meant Masters and Fellows only, Apprentices were excluded, because they were not entitled to any of the privileges of craftsmen. They were not free, but bound to their Masters, and in the same position that Apprentices now are in any of our trades or mechanical employments. The institution was then strictly operative in its character; and although many distinguished noblemen and prelates who were not operative Masons, were, even at that early period, members of the Order and exalted to its highest offices, still the great mass of the fraternity were operative, the workmen were engaged in operative employments, and the institution was governed by the laws and customs of an operative association.

In this respect, however, an important change was made, apparently about the beginning of the eighteenth century, which had a remarkable effect on the character of the Grand Lodge organization. Preston tells us that at that time a proposition was agreed to "that the privileges of Masonry should no longer be restricted to operative Masons, but extend to men of various professions, provided they were regularly approved and initiated into the Order." Nov, as it is known that long before that period "men of various professions" had been admitted to the Order, and as we find a king presiding as Grand Master in 1502, and many noblemen, prelates, and distinguished statesmen occupying the same post, before and after that period, it is evident that this Regulation must be construed as meaning that the institution should throw off from that time its mixed operative and speculative character, and become entirely speculative. And we are warranted in making this conclusion by the facts of history.

In 1717, and very soon after, we find such men as Anderson and Desaguliers, who were clergymen and philosophers, holding high positions and taking an active part in the Order, and the Society from that time devoted itself to the pursuit of,speculative science, leaving the construction of cathedrals and palaces to the operative workmen, who, as such, were unconnected with the Order.

Now, the first effect of this change was on the character of the class of Apprentices. They were no longer, as in the olden time, youths placed under the control of Masters, to acquire the mysteries of a trade, but they were men who had been initiated into the first degree of a Mystic Association. The great object of the Apprentices in the operative art was -to acquire a knowledge of that art, and being made free by the expiration of their time of service, which the oldest Constitutions prescribed should be seven years, to be promoted to the rank of Craftsmen, when they would be entitled to receive wages, and to have a voice in the deliberations of the Society.

The Apprentices in the speculative science but seldom proceeded further. The mass of the old Society consisted of Fellows, or Fellow-crafts; that of the new organization was composed of Apprentices. The primitive Lodges were made up of Fellowcrafts principally; the modern ones of Apprentices. Anderson, Preston, and all the old Charges and Constitutions will afford abundant proofs of this fact.

The Apprentices having thus become the main body of the fraternity, the necessary result was, that occupying, in this respect, the place formerly filled by the Fellowcrafts, they assumed all the privileges which belonged to that class. And thus we arrive at the fact, and the reason of the fact, that in 1717, at the reorganization of the Grand Lodge, Entered Apprentices were admitted to attend the Annual Assembly; and we can satisfactorily appreciate that clause in the thirty-ninth of the Regulations, adopted in

1721, which says that no new regulation should be adopted until, at the Annual Assembly or Grand Feast, it was offered in writing to the perusal of all the brethren, "even of the youngest Entered Apprentice."
What is the meaning of the Past Master's Symbol
Created: 8/22/2016
The oldest known Past Master's Symbol consists of the Compass, Sun, Square and Quadrant. This is the most popular Past Master's Jewel used in the United States. 

This symbol includes the Square as a reminder, that it is "By the Square" that the wearer governed his lodge as Master. 

The Quadrant shows what angle the Compass is opened at. This is appropriate for the symbol of a Past Master, because it is "By the Compass" that the Freemason keeps himself within due bounds of all man kind. It also generally shows that the Compass is opened to the angle of 60 degrees. This is significant because 60 degrees is the angle of an equilateral triangle. The equilateral triangle represents perfect balance, as all sides are of equal length, and the triangle appears the same from all directions. It therefore teaches that the man who wears this jewel has learned the lessons of Freemasonry, and lives a balanced life. It also shows that the wearer of this jewel has served equally in the South, the West, and the East.

The Sun is used in this symbol to represent that the wearer has observed the sun at:
Its meridian height in the South, 
Its setting in the West, and
Its rising in the East. 

The Sun also represents light. And, it is understood that the Past Master of a Craft Lodge is a source of Masonic Light to his brothers. It is also appropriate to say that the Sun represents perfect light.
What is the symbolism of the corner stone?
Created: 7/19/2016
The corner stone is the stone which lies at the corner of two walls, and forms the corner of the foundation of an edifice. In Masonic buildings it is now always placed in the northeast; but this rule was not always formerly observed. As the foundation on which the entire structure is supposed to rest, it is considered by Operative Masons as the most important stone in the edifice. It is laid with impressive ceremonies; the assistance of Speculative Masons is often, and ought always to be, invited to give dignity to the occasion; and for this purpose Free-masonry has provided an especial ritual which is to govern the proper performance of that duty. 

The symbolism of the corner stone when duly laid with Masonic rites is full of significance, which refers to its form, to its situation, to its permanence, and to its consecration. As to its form, it must be perfectly square on its surface, and in its solid contents a cube. Now the square is a symbol of morality, and the cube of truth. In its situation it lies between the north, the place of darkness, and the east, the place of light; and hence this position symbolizes the Masonic progress from darkness to light, and from ignorance to knowledge. The permanence and durability of the corner stone, which lasts long after the building in whose foundation it was placed has fallen into decay, is intended to remind the Mason that, when this earthly house of his tabernacle shall have passed away, he has within him a sure foundation of eternal life - a corner stone of immortality - an emanation from that Divine Spirit which pervades all nature, and which, therefore, must survive the tomb, and rise, triumphant and eternal, above the decaying dust of death and the grave.

The stone, when deposited in its appropriate place, is carefully examined with the necessary implements of Operative Masonry, - the square, the level, and the plumb, themselves all symbolic in meaning,  - and is then declared to be "well formed, true, and trusty." Thus the Mason is taught that his virtues are to be tested by temptation and trial, by suffering and adversity, before they can be pronounced by the Master Builder of souls to be materials worthy of the spiritual building of eternal life, fitted, "as living stones, for that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." And lastly, in the ceremony of depositing the corner stone, the elements of Masonic consecration are produced, and the stone is solemnly set apart by pouring corn, wine, and oil upon its surface, emblematic of the Nourishment, Refreshment, and Joy which are to be the rewards of a faithful performance of duty. 

The corner stone does not appear to have been adopted by other nations, but to have been peculiar to the Jews, from whom it descended to the Christians. In the Old Testament, it seems always to have denoted a prince or high personage, and hence the Evangelists constantly use it in reference to Christ, who is called the "chief corner stone." In Masonic symbolism, it signifies a true Mason, and there-fore it is the first character which the Apprentice is made to represent after his initiation has been completed.
What does it mean to be "made a Mason?"
Created: 2/7/2016

The solemn ceremony should never in any lodge be considered as the most important part of a Freemason's work (although it is always a thing of importance to initiate a new member into the Order). Instruction and charity are the chief works of a Freemason. Initiations are only secondary to these. The day of his initiation must ever be an important epoch to a Freemason, and lead to a serious self-examination. The reflection that in one evening he has become closely united with many thousands of unknown men, is of itself important, even if the initiated should not be able to appreciate the real spirit of the Order. On his initiation the candidate must place himself unreservedly in the hands of the proper officer appointed to conduct him and submit himself to every proof that is demanded from him, and make no objection to any of the ceremonies he has to go through, but answer every question truly and manfully. When he arrives in the assembly of the brethren he is asked again, and for the last time, if it is his wish to be initiated. In the moment when he is about to receive the first degree, every freedom is permitted to him either to go forward in the ceremony, or return from whence he came; for we must admit that to enter upon an unknown undertaking is a dangerous thing. ,He who is in earnest will here prove that he holds it to be unworthy of a man not to complete any undertaking which he has commenced after mature deliberation. If he does so, the assembled brethren cheerfully and unanimously pronounce him "worthy," and he is made a partaker of the LIGHT. The solemn obligation taken by the candidate, and the sacred and mysterious manner in which the sacred numbers are communicated, have always been respected by every faithful brother.

Masonic website hosting and design
By Masonic Connections
Copyright © by SoftEXIT 2017