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Why Men Love Freemasonry

Originally Published in Carl H. Claudy's Old Tiler Talks - 1925

The New Brother sat near the Old Tiler in the

anteroom, crossed his legs and took out his cigar


"Have a smoke and unpuzzle me."

The Old Tiler accepted the proffered cigar with a


"I am often puzzled, too," he sympathized. "Tell me."

"I am crazy about Masonry. I love it. So do a lot of

other men. And I don't know why. I can't find anyone

who will tell me why. Old Tiler, why do men love


The Old Tiler got up and crossed the room to a book

case, extracted a volume and returned.

"I read that question in this little book, 'The Magic of

Freemasonry,' by Arthur E. Powell. Let me read to

you--" The Old Tiler fluttered the pages. Finding his

place he sat and began:

"'Why do men love Masonry? What lure leads them to

it? What spell holds them through the long years?

What strand is it that tugs at our hearts, taut when so

many threads are broken by the rough ways of the

world? And what is it in the wild that calls to the little

wild things? What sacred secret things do the

mountains whisper to the hillman, so silently yet so

surely that they can be heard above the din and

clatter of the world? What mystery does the sea tell

the sailor; the desert to the Arab; the arctic ice to the

explorer; the stars to the astronomer? When we have

answered these questions mayhap we may divine the

magic of Masonry. Who knows what it is, or how or

why, unless it be the long cabletow of God, running

from heart to heart...'"

The Old Tiler closed the book and waited.

"The cabletow of God," repeated the New Mason.

"That's a beautiful phrase."

"It's more than a phrase, I think," the Old Tiler

answered. "As I see it, the heart of Freemasonry by

which all manner of men are attracted and held, is just

that- the longing for communion with the Most High."

"Oh, you must be mistaken. Men who want God go to


"Do you go to church?"

"Er, oh, well, sometimes."

"Yet you never miss coming to lodge?"

"No, I don't, but--"

"Never mind the 'but.'" The Old Tiler smiled. "A lot of

men come to the lodge who do not find heart's ease in

the church. The lodge is not a substitute for church.

Masonry is not a religion, although it has religion. If

the church fails, occasionally, it is because all human

institutions must fail at times. No minister or church

can satisfy all men. Some men find communion with

the Most High in Masonry a greater satisfaction than

in a church. I think that is the real reason some men

love Freemasonry so much."

"You give me credit with being a lot more religious

than I do," retorted the New Mason.

"Men are incurably religious," asserted the Old Tiler.

"Many don't know it and refuse to call it by that name,

like you, for instance! In a church men are told various

things about God. In a lodge they are allowed to tell

themselves what they will. In a church you are taught

a creed, a dogma. In a lodge there is neither. In a

church you are quiet and respectful and whisper if you

speak at all. It is kept high, unspotted from the world.

A lodge is more intimate, personal. You can be jolly in

a lodge, except during a degree. Here are just other

men, brothers. They think as we do; they believe in

the one God, as we do. They repeat the same words,

think the same Masonic thoughts, do the same

Masonic acts, as we do. We feel at home with them in


"Through years of simple, profound degrees, we

weave the Mystic Tie. We cannot say of what it is

composed. We cannot put a name to it. St. Augustine,

asked of God, answered, 'I know until you ask me-

when you ask me, I do not know.' In your heart you

know, and I know, what the Mystic tie is- what

Freemasonry is. But you cannot say it, nor can I. It is

too deep for words. It is the reason we use symbols,

for words cannot express it.

"Deep in us is something which understands what our

brains cannot think; something which knows what our

minds cannot comprehend. Masonry speaks to that

something in its own language. If we must put it into

words, God is the only syllable which seems to fit. But

when we say God we mean no special deity, but all

that is beautiful in life, in friendship, in charity, in


"So, my brother, there is no reason for you to be

puzzled; no man can answer your puzzle.

Freemasonry is loved by men because it strikes deep

into the human heart, and supplies the answer to the

question, the food for the hunger, which the tongue

cannot express."

"Unless it is the tongue of a wise, wise Old Tiler,"

finished the New Brother thoughtfully. "And thank you,

I am not puzzled now."

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