The first stanza of the following poem by Rev. Joseph Fort Newton is incised into the marble of the Iowa Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

When he can look over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and courage which is the root of every virtue.

When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellow man.

When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins, knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.

When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.

When he loves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laughter of a little child.

When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. When Star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.

When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response.

When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.

When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and into the face of the most forlorn and see something beyond sin.

When he knows how to pray, how to love, and how to hope.

When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, and with his GOD; in his hand, a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song -- glad to live, but not afraid to die!

Such a man has found the only real Secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to the world.

Discussion on Brotherhood (excerpt from The Meaning of Masonry)

"There is a far larger sense of Brotherhood than the limited conventional one obtaining among those who are members of a common association. There is that deep sense in which a man feels himself not only in a fraternity with his fellow-men, whether masonically his brethren or not, but realizes himself brother to all that is, part of the universal life that thrills through all things. A great illuminate, St. Francis of Assisi, expressed what I refer to when he wrote in his famous canticle, of his brothers the sun and the wind; his sisters the moon and the sea; his brethren the animals and the birds; as being all parts of a common life, all constitutents in the scheme of the Great Architect for the restoration of the Temple of Creation its dedication to His service, and as all worthy of a common love upon our part, even as they are the subject of a common solicitude upon His" W.L. Wilmshurst

Come visit your Lodge's website!

The address is http://members.aol.com/estancia33/home.htm

Some other interesting Masonic Websites:

Master Mason.com at http://www.mastermason.com/

Craft Lodge.org at http://craftlodge.org/

Masonic Museum at http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/