INASMUCH and FURTHERMORE
Brother Walter H. Brown
R. W. Grand Orator
Grand Lodge of Illinois
This Short Talk Bulletin has been adapted from the
Grand Oration given at the Grand Lodge of Illinois in
1980. We thank Brother Brown, who is world renowned for allergy research, for sharing his thoughts
Society today is being buffeted by the winds
of change--changes in life styles and morality.
Unfortunately, many people are willing to compromise their principles. Too many people have
given first-class loyalty to second-class causes.
Those second-class causes have betrayed them.
The Ten Commandments are not on trial --
they have stood, and still stand, the test of time.
The "furthermores" which we took while
kneeling at the Masonic Altar with our hands
resting on the Holy Bible, square, and compasses constitute the finest set of guidelines ever
compiled by the mind of men. one sometimes
wonders if some of our Brethren leave some of
their furthermores Iying there on the Altar instead of taking them into their life--incorporating them into their every day living?
A song is not a song until you sing it,
A bell is not a bell until you ring it.
God did not put love in your heart to stay,
Love is not love till you give it away.
To which we might add: Masonry is not what
you get from it and what you give it, but
Masonry when you live it.
Are you putting as much into Masonry as
you get out of it? If you are not, Freemasonry could end up like the farmer's cow
who was fed nothing but her own milk--she
eventually shrivelled up and starved to death.
Janet Taylor Caldwell, in "The Great Lion
of God," lists thirty causes for the decline of
civilization. She lists the first three in this order:
I) Permissiveness in society; 2) Immorality; and
3) The Welfare State. Edward Gibbon, the
British Historian, in his classic book, "History
of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Enpire,"
lists: I) Apathy; 2) Affluence and 3) Immorality. Arnold Toynbee, another British Historian,
in "A Study of History," outlined the Rise and
Fall of 26 different cultures--including the
great cultures of Creece, Rome, Persia, and
Egypt--each of which were unable to accept
affluence without complacency and apathy.
But Greece, Rome, Persia, and Egypt did not
No freedom ever lasted unless it involved
responsibilities as well as rights and privileges.
The present day cry for rights should be accompanied by a pledge and assumption of responsibilities. When God gave each of us an ability,
he also gave us a responsibility to make good
use of those talents. Freedom has always been
beset by the inward enemies of indifference,
selfishness, greed, intolerance, lust, bigotry,
Historian Toynbee also said that the only
hope for America is a spiritual rebirth. Next to
religion, there is no other body that does more
to establish the Brotherhood of Man and the
Fatherhood of God than does Freemasonry.
We do so because our paths are illuminated by
that Great Light in Masonry, The Volume of
Sacred Law and its precepts. To fail to use the
full potential of Freemasonry is a crime of
negligence. Are we proud enough of Freemasonry to make it a priceless legacy for those
who come after us? Or do we simply bask in the
reflected glory of having been Masons?
We need Masons who see, who understand,
and who proclaim the influence of Masonry on
the individual, the family, the community, the
nation, and the world. We need Masonic flagwaving! "Flag-waving" is not old fashioned.
Flag-waving indicates we know a good thing
when we see it, and that we want the world to
know about it--whether it be Lodge, Church,
We need Masons who are "Masonic" examples to the newly-raised Mason. Enthusiasm
is as contagious as a smile, and there is absolutely nothing more contagious than a smile.
We need Masons who, by their example will attract others to Freemasonry. We need Masons
who know and who appreciate the beautiful
Masonic legacy that has come down to us from
our fore-fathers. The more we know about
Masonry, the more facinating it becomes and
the more we appreciate it.
President Abraham Lincoln, in referring to
the state of the nation, said: "Nothing from the
outside can defeat us. If destruction be our lot,
we ourselves must be its author and its
Edmund Burke, a British statesman who was
sympathetic with the American colonies at the
time of the Revolution said: "The only thing
that has to happen in this world for evil to
triumph, is for good men to do nothing."
The mood of an age is revealed in many
ways:--through its music, its literature, its art,
through the movies and T.V. Twenty-five years
ago we used to say, "Do your best," and now
we say, "Take it easy." The motto used to be,
"Save for a rainy day." Now it is "Enjoy now,
pay later." We used to say, "He has a most
commendable character." Now we say, "He
has a marvelous personality."
There was never a time in history when
Freemasonry was more important than it is today. Freemasonry has demonstrated its power
to improve the world. Never has there been a
greater need for men of quality and character
than there is right now.
In Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, carved
in the stone base that supports the stone bust of
Sir Stafford Cripps, are these words by Cripps:
If man neglects the things of the spirit and fails
to put on the full armor of God, he will seal the
doom of future generations."
A community in Spain was so proud of its
ancient Roman aqueduct that they sought to
preserve it by shutting off the water supply it
carried. After several months, they discovered
their mistake. Without water, the heat was
causing the aqueduct to crumble and disintegrate. Human beings are like that. When we
cease to feel that we have any purpose in serving mankind, we begin to falter and fail. We
live in deeds, not years; in thought, not in
markings on a dial. Who lives the best and
thinks the most will make his life worthwhile.
John Hall said it very nicely in his poem,
titled "At Day's End."
Is anybody happier because you
passed his way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke
to him today?
Their day is almost over and its toiling
time is through,
Is there anyone to offer now, a kindly
word for you?
Can you say tonight in parting with the
day that's slipping fast
That you helped a single brother of the
many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over
what you did or said?
Can the man whose hopes werefading now
with courage look ahead?
Did you waste the day or lose it,
was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness,
or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber,
do you think that Cod will say,
''You deserve one more tomorrow,
by the work you did today. "
Each kindly word and friendly greeting--
yes, each helpful deed--all are building stones
we send on ahead for the building of the
heavenly home--"That house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens."
One of our Brothers who was in an automobile accident, had the misfortune to break
his leg. His doctor put it in a walking cast and
in a few days he was back at work in the of fice.
He was impressed by how many kindly deeds
other employees in the office did for him. They
carried his books for him; brought cups for
water from the water fountain; they did all
sorts of thoughtful things. Then came the day
when the doctor removed the cast. The following day he came to work with no cast but still
with stiffness and considerable pain. What a
difference in the office! Now no one brought
him water! No one offered to open the door for
him; no one offered to carry any heavy books.
Then the truth dawned upon him. Too many
people are concerned with symptoms instead of
the person. When the symptoms (such as a cast)
were not present, no one paid any attention to
Brother Norman Vincent Peale tells of an interesting experience. A southern minister had
come all the way from the State of Georgia to
New York to see him. The southern minister
entered Dr. Peale's reception room at the great
Riverside Church. Upon asking the receptionist
if he could see Dr. Peale, she asked if he had an
appointment. He told her he had come all the
way from Georgia and did not know it was
necessary. The receptionist informed him that it
would not be possible to see Dr. Peale since the
waiting room was full of people who had appointments and that Dr. peale was booked up
for some time to come. Just then, Dr. Peale's
door opened and out walked Dr. Peale and a
visitor arm-in-arm. Dr. Peale noting the hurt
look on the Georgia man's face, came over and
inquired about the problem. Dr. Peale then
turned to the waiting appointees and said,
"This is an emergency; would you mind if I
give this man a few minutes of my time right
now?" Of course all agreed. Thirty minutes
later the two men emerged arm-in-arm with a
glowing smile on the visitor's face. The Georgia
visitor then addressed the waiting room crowd
and said, "I want to thank you all so very much
for making it possible for me to see this great
man. You see I recently lost my wife by death;
my only son is seriously ill in the hospital; I
have had financial reverses and don't know
how I will pay my hospital bills. In short, just
about every star has fallen out of my heaven,
and this great man listened to me, then one-byone he put every star back in my heaven, and I
thank you so much."
Yes, Brother Masons, inasmuch as you do it
unto the least of these, you do it unto me.
By our work, may we one day be clothed in
the habiliments of immortality and enter that
Celestial Lodge where the Judge Supreme sitteth forever in the East.
We have made much more technical advancement in the last 50-year period than in any
500-year period before. The human mind is
capable of successfully confronting the new
changes that today challenge the very survival
We are members of an Order which time has
We are members of an Order which virtue
The future may bring some changes in ritual.
Changes in the way in which we inform a nonMason about Masonry, more elaborate
temples, and other changes. But the greatest influence will be how much Masonic dedication
we have. What Masonry offers to the next
generation depends upon us. The work we do
and the fruitful enthusiasm we display for
Freemasonry. It will not all be easy, but extremely rewarding. It can be done!
The founders of Freemasonry have left us a
priceless legacy. To lose it through apathy or
complacency would be a tragic crime.
If every Master Mason would truly live all of
Remember the words in the Holy Bible which
say, "Inasmuch as you do it unto the least of
these, you do it unto me." Isn't that exactly
what we are taught in Masonry?