from a 19th Century French lecture
translated by John Yarker (1880 or earlier)
Diagrams by Phillip X Dick
Among the mathematical sciences, Geometry is the one which has the most special reference to Architecture, and we can therefore understand that the whole art of Freemasonry–the whole being of the Order–is comprehended in it. Freemasons, therefore, ought to make themselves intimately acquainted with Geometry… study our Moral Geometry to be able to deduce all their actions from Geometrical principles, and to purify by it the Temple of the body.
Freemasonry is a science which requires both time and experience, and more time than many brethren can devote to it; the only time in fact they can devote to it being during their hours of recreation. Therefore it is good that it is communicated by degrees, according to the regulations of the Order, or the candidate's power of comprehension.
As in Geometry, so in Masonry, there is no royal road to perfection; a knowledge of its science can only be acquired by long and diligent study. To the candidate who rapidly progresses through the degrees, Masonry is as incomprehensible as was the veiled statue of Isis, and he becomes either a useless drone in our hive, or retires in digust from all participation in our labours. But the candidate, who by slow and painful steps, proceeds through each apartment of our Mystic Temple, from its porch to its Sanctuary, pausing in his progress to admire the beauties and study the uses of each, learning as he advances, line upon line and precept upon precept, is struck with so much admiration of the institution, so much love of its principles, so much appreciation of its design–as a conservator of Divine truth, and as an agent of human civilization–that he is inclined at last, on beholding the whole beauty of the finished building, to exclaim, as did the wondering Queen of Sheba,–“A most excellent Master must have done all this!”
The vast and stupendous planetary system, the work of T.S.A.O.T.U., is a masterpiece of the utmost sublimity, by reason of the regularity of the vast whole, which sustains passing accidents without apparent disorder, and still more so by reason of the marvellous equilibrium which runs through all parts, great and small, animate and inanimate. The proceedings of the Science of Geometry are of rigorous exactitude, and conducted with mathematical certainty, and therefore a type of that intellectual Geometry, upon which a man of well organised thought, who reasons with justice, founds a plan of conduct by exact and certain theories; he takes this intellectual Geometry for the rule of all his actions, for his own good and that of others in the accomplishment of his different duties with punctuality, order, and harmony, such as the great Creator has imprinted upon the great world, of which man is a miniature copy.
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