"THE HULL THAT CONCEALS THE KERNEL"

From the address of the Grand Master of Arkansas, M. W. Ichabod, J. Jordan

Freemasons' Monthly Magazine - 1857


"Our principal tenets are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
What can be sounder and more deeply moral than our
creed? What more beautiful and simple than our tenets?
That institution built upon the sand (we have from high
authority) must fall, but that which is built upon a rock resists
all floods and storms; and, amid crumbling empires and
falling dynasties, still lifts its time honored head above the
ruins, pursuing those labors of love and good will to the
human family, that have characterized Freemasonry in all
cries of its existence, Dr. Oliver very truly says: ' There is
something in Masonry deeper and better than words and
signs and ceremonies;' and I say that he who is content with
merely knowing how to work his way into a Lodge room and
to pass himself as a Brother, will never see the real living
beauties of Masonry - will never behold the dazzling glory of
the Mystic Temple - its moral, its Scriptural excellencies.

I admit that the outward defenses thrown around our
institution are absolutely necessary to preserve the secrets
of the Order from unhallowed hands, and the approach of
the impostor and the unworthy; and all Masons should be
perfect in a knowledge of them; but then we must bear in
mind that they are but the casket that contains the precious
jewel - the hull that conceals the kernel - the shell to
preserve the egg. The destruction of the one is the inevitable
ruin of the other. Preserve both.

Masonry itself is a living, active principle, possessing both a
body and a soul, as well as outward adornments. Its
paraphernalia and mystic signs are but the robes that
enshrine and cover its vital, living principles, with which
every Mason should be deeply imbued. We should all stand
by and contend for the old land marks of the Order, and
never recognize the existence of any power under the
canopy of heaven to change those features of the Masonic
Ritual which mark its distinctiveness as a systems and give it
universality in the three symbolical Degrees.

The world may and ought to progress in the arts and
sciences, in philosophy and morals. In our efforts to do good,
to alleviate the sufferings of our species to dry the widow's
tears, to educate and relieve the orphan, to hush the sighs of
affliction and human woe, to shelter the homeless, feed the
hungry, clothe the naked and instruct the ignorant - in all
these, as the divine mission of our Order, we may progress.
There should be progression. But in the observance of our
Ritual we should be 'Old Fogies.' While it behooves us to
preserve, with vestal vigilance, all the words, signs and
ceremonies of the Ritual, we should also dig deep for the
pearls that lie concealed at the bottom, and familiarize
ourselves with our great principles, and become well
acquainted with those sublime doctrines so beautifully taught
and illustrated by our symbols. To do this satisfactorily
requires great diligence. We must not only commit to
memory our lectures, but should avail ourselves of all the
Masonic publications and authorized Masonic literature, to
which we can gain access. Time and perseverance
accomplish all things; and the beauties and moral
excellencies of Masonry are only to be discovered and
rightly appreciated by the industrious and diligent student. A
lazy Mason is a misnomer.''

 

         

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