The ideal of a Freemason
If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life; who without blemish fulfils his duties as a man, a subject, a husband and a father; who is pious without hypocrisy, benevolent without ostentation, and aids his fellowmen without self interest; whose heart beats warm for friendship, whose serene mind is open for licensed pleasures, who in vicissitudes does not despair, nor in fortune will be presumptuous, and who will be resolute in the hour of danger.
The man who is free from superstition and free from infidelity; who, in nature, sees the finger of the Eternal Master, who feels and adores the higher destination of man; to whom Faith, Hope and Charity are not mere words without any meaning; to whom property, nay, even life, is not too dear for the protection of innocence and virtue, and for the defence of truth.
The man who towards himself is a severe judge, but who is tolerant of the debilities of his neighbour; who endeavours to oppose errors without arrogance,, and to propagate intelligence without precipitation, who properly understands how to estimate and to employ his means; who honours virtue though it be in the most humble garment, who does not favour vice though it be clothed in purple; and who administers justice to merit, whether dwelling in palaces or in cottages.
The man who, without courting applause, is loved by all noble-minded men, respected by his superiors, and revered by his subordinates; the man who never proclaims what he has done, will do, can do, but, where need is, will lay hold with dispassionate courage, circumspect resolution, indefatigable exertion, and a rare power of mind, and who will not cease until he has accomplished his work, but who then, without pretention, will retire with the multitude, because he did the good act, not for himself, but for the cause of good.
If you, my Brethren, meet such a man, you will see the personification of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, and you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.