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% 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 Ppon 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,

‘T’he 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,
“lMan 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 SymboIic
Degrees. Masonry does not profess to be able
to explain what Nature teaches. It recognises 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 recognises
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 miIes 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 miies 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 centre were
placed at the centre of the earth its radius would
extend far beyond the sun, all flying through space
at enormous velocities and yet all heId 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 nigh,i 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.