LESSON 1: THE WORK OF A LODGE

SUBJECT:             The Lodge – Foundations and Fundamentals;
                                Masonic Halls and Temples, Lodge Rooms and Orientation

Lesson 1: Street - Symbolism of the Three Degrees - Pages 59-61

NATURE

Allusions to the sun, the moon, the stars, the firmament, the horizon, the earth, the seas, the rivers, the mountains, the valleys, so frequent in our Ritual, are designed to tempt us to a study of Nature. We hardly yet  realise its possibilities as sources of elevating and useful knowledge. Only ignorance would decry a study of Nature as a bountiful manifestation of God’s revelation of himself. The theologian who would deny his followers the right to draw from the great Book of Nature  conclusions as to the attributes and characteristics of Deity, is narrow and ignorant in the extreme.

In one of the higher degrees of Masonry we are told:

"Nature is the primary, consistent, and certain revelation of God. It is His utterance, word and speech. Whether He speaks to us through a man, must depend even at first upon human testimony and afterward on hearsay and tradition. But in and by His work, we know the Deity. The visible is the manifestation of the invisible.

"The man who denies God is as fanatical as he who defines Him with pretended infallibility. God is ordinarily defined by expressing every thing that He is not."

"Man makes God by an analogy from the less to the greater; the result is that his conception of God is always that of an infinite man, who makes of man a finite God."

"The work of God is the Book of God and in what He writes we ought to see the expression of His thought, and consequently of His Being; since we conceive of Him as the Supreme Thought.”

These quotations from the Scottish Rite Degrees are not taken because Scottish Rite Masonry teaches anything different from Blue Masonry, but only as powerful and beautiful delineations by that great Mason, Albert Pike, of what is taught in the three Symbolic Degrees. Masonry does not profess to be able to explain what Nature teaches. It recognizes that Nature does not speak the same language to all men. It simply invites, urges, yea, challenges every intelligent human being to a study of Nature. It recognizes that no rational, sincere man can make an earnest study of Nature in any of her varied aspects without having his own mind and soul elevated. From a contemplation of the immensities of the Universe as  revealed by the telescope and mathematics, one man will imbibe a lesson of modesty and humility; another may be inspired with an ennobling  sense of the limitless possibilities of the-human mind that it should be able to project itself and solve the problems of billions of miles away.

Science estimates the extent of the known universe in quadrillions of  miles, a space so vast the mind can form no conception of it whatever. A ray of light travelling at the rate of 186,000 miles per second, starting  hundreds of years before Christ lived at one side of the universe and  travelling continuously until this moment would still lack billions of miles  of completing the journey from one extremity to the other. Throughout  this vast immensity at inconceivable distances from each other are  millions of heavenly bodies of all sizes from that of a grain of sand to a  sphere so large that if its center were placed at the center of the earth its radius would extend far beyond the sun, all flying through space at  enormous velocities and yet all held by invisible hands in fixed orbits. Can any Book of Revelation more unmistakably reveal God?

Truly did the Psalmist sing:

“The heavens declare the glory of God:
And the firmament showeth his handiwork.
Day unto day uttereth speech,
And night unto night showeth knowledge.
There is no speech nor language;
Their voice is not heard.
[But] their line is gone out through all the earth
And their words to the end of the world.”
Psalms xix, 14.

And again when he says:

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained,
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man that thou visitest him?”
Psalms viii: 3, 4.

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