The Moral Temple Which We Build
By Very Worshipful Brother Reg. A. Geisler (Provincial Grand Secretary)
First published in August 1985
In the Provincial Grand Lodge (Southern Division) Spring Ball magazine
The ancient charge “to be a good man and true and strictly to obey the moral law” attaches to every man who becomes a Freemason. There is no equivocation of any kind. It must be obeyed strictly and not according to the personal ideas of the individual. It demands exactitude of its performance in the everyday life of a Freemason and there is only one meaning to its injunction.
There is a difference between the moral law and Statute Law inasmuch as the moral law governs the actions of the individual in relation to God, while Statute Law is meant to control his actions as a citizen of the State. A Freemason therefore, should not be content merely in obeying the laws of his country, but he should also apply the principle of morality on everything he does, both in thought, word and deed. In distinguishing between right and wrong, the question that should exercise his mind, in everything he does, is not only whether it is legal, but, also, if it is moral. It may be legal or even permissible by usage or custom though not strictly legal, if it is not strictly moral, then a good man and true will eschew it as a breach of his moral code.
The failure in observance of this great principle in the dealings of men is one of the chief causes of the chaos in the world, not only today, but right through the history of time. Any action by an individual that moves away from the Moral Law creates a wrong which may react in a multitude of ways and exert a harmful influence in the lives of many individuals, even to the affairs of States and Nations, and perhaps for a considerable period. On the other hand, a strict observance of the moral law on all our actions will bring to bear a mighty force for good in human relations. It would bring straight dealing, justice, good living and good citizenship, that much desired way of life so dear in the wishes of all right-thinking people.
A Freemason, therefore, should always search his conscience and see that he is truly obeying this divine primal law, for it is only by a strict observance of it in our own conduct that we, as Freemasons, can hope to contribute our effort to the work of Freemasonry. It is not enough to acknowledge the truth of the moral law, it must be exemplified in our lives if we are eventually to achieve our ideals of brotherly love and affection throughout the world.
Let each of us, therefore, turn the searchlight upon all of our individual thoughts, words, and actions and endeavour to realise the effect they may have upon others, and so refrain from doing anything that might act injuriously in any way and try to eliminate everything in our make-up that is not strictly in keeping with moral law. This is the Masonic answer to the world’s wrongs. It commences with the individual and ends with all mankind. Obedience to the moral law is the panacea of all human ills. When men come to understand the Masonic way of life and live by the moral law, practising the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, the peoples of the world will emerge from their chaos and enter a new world full of the riches of God’s gift of good things where life will be lived happily by all men as God means them to live.