By Ills..... Bro... Henry Williams 30o
Masonry offers its Initiates various means of grace, precisely as other great religious systems, ant it is open to its Initiates to use their power or to neglect it; to pour out their lives in the service of others, or to think only of their own ambition and personal advancement. If the power and knowledge conferred are freely used for the helping of mankind they will increase as year succeeds year, till the Initiate becomes a veritable sun of glory and spiritual radiance for the uplifting of all with whom he comes into contact. On the other hand, selfishness and indifference, pride and ambition, will cut him off from the greater part of the power of the degrees, which will then become dormant and un-vivified, and be of little use, either to himself or others.
In the old days, a man could only enter the Greater Mysteries when he was spiritually prepared to receive them, and if in these later centuries, on enters before his time, he will be as those who “seeing, see not, and hear they hear not, nor do they understand.” The essential qualities for the accomplishment of the Great Work are character and service, and unless these be cultivated, the Initiate will remain blind to all the higher glories of our wonderful Order. Behind these Greater Mysteries, which seem to us so splendid, there lie yet further stages, the degrees on the Hidden Mysteries, not known in the outer world and greater than the Greater Mysteries, as they in turn are greater than the Lesser.
At the existence and nature of these we have hinted, let it suffice to say that no outer rank or position in the world and no possession of any degree in the Order gives the right of entrance. Only the actual practice of the necessary spiritual qualifications, laid down so beautifully in the symbols of the Craft, will lead men to those greater and holier stages, of which the Masonic degrees are but the shadows.
Our Masonic Brotherhood is indeed a wonderful portal leading to the holy hidden world, and if the life laid down is truly lived and full advantage is taken of the mighty powers conferred, the neophyte may someday hope to reach the feet or our Most Illustrious Grand Hierophant, and pass into the presence of the King.
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