Page 24 - Education Programs
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of the earliest catechisms of the Craft, dated 1725, the question is asked: “How many make a
Lodge?” The answer is specific and unmistakable: “God and the Square, with five or seven right
and perfect Masons.” God and the Square, Religion and Morality, must be present in every Lodge
as its ruling Lights, or it fails of being a just and truly Constituted Lodge. In all lands, in all rites
where Masonry is true to itself, the Square is a symbol of righteousness, and is applied in the light
of faith in God.

God and the Square - it is necessary to keep the two together in our day, because the tendency of
the times is to separate them. The idea in vogue today is that morality is enough, and that faith in
God - if there be a God - may or may not be important. Some very able men of the Craft insist that
we make the teaching of Masonry too religious. Whereas, as all history shows, if faith in God
grows dim morality becomes a mere custom, if not a cobweb, to be thrown off lightly. It is not
rooted in reality, and so lacks authority and sanction. Such an idea, such a spirit - so wide-spread
in our time, and finding so many able and plausible advocates - strikes at the foundation, not only
of Masonry, but of all ordered and advancing social life. Once men come to think that morality is
a human invention, and not a part of the order of the world, and the moral law will lose both its
meaning and its power.

Far wiser was the old book entitled “All in All and the Same Forever,” by John Davies, and dated
1607, though written by a non-Mason, when it read reality and nature of God in this manner: “Yet
I this form of formless deity drew by the Square and Compasses of our Creed.”

For, inevitable, a society without standards will be a society without stability, and it will one day
go down. Not only nations, but whole civilizations have perished in the past, for lack of
righteousness. History speaks plainly in this matter, and we dare not disregard it. Hence the
importance attached to the Square of Virtue, and the reason why Masons call it the great symbol
of their Craft. It is a symbol of that moral law upon which human life must rest if it is to stand. A
man may build a house in any way he likes, but if he expects it to stand and be his home, he must
adjust his structure to the laws and forces that rule in the material realm. Just so, unless we live in
obedience to the moral laws which God has written in the order of things, our lives will fall and
end in a wreck. When a young man forgets the simple Law of the Square, it does not need a prophet
to foresee what the result will be. It is a problem in geometry.

Such has been the meaning of the Square as far back as we can go. Long before our era we find
the Square teaching the same lesson which it teaches us today. In one of the old books of China,
called “The Great Learning,” which has been dated in the fifth century before Christ, we read that
a man should not do unto others what he would not have them do unto him; and the writers adds,
“This is called the principle of acting on the Square.” There it is, recorded long, long ago. The
greatest philosopher has found nothing more profound, and the oldest man in his ripe wisdom has
learned nothing more true. Even Jesus only altered it from the negative to the positive form in his
“Golden Rule.” So, everywhere, in our Craft and outside, the Square has taught its simple truth
which does not grow old. The Deputy Provincial Grand Master of North and East Yorkshire
recovered a very curious relic, in the form of an old brass Square found under the foundation of an
ancient bridge near Limerick in 1830. On it was inscribed the date, 1517, and the following words:
“Strive to live with love and care Upon the Level, by the Square.”

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