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Kinds Of Masons

By: Carl H. Claudy

“I am almost through!” The New Brother displayed a
sheaf of cards to the Old Tiler. “Soon I will have joined
them all and become every kind of Mason there is.”

“What do you know about the kinds of Masons there
are?” asked the Old Tiler, interested. “You have not
been a Master Mason long enough to gain all that

“That’s not hard to gain, with all the brethren poking
petitions at you. There are Scottish Rite Masons and
York Rite Masons and Templar Masons and Chapter
Masons and council Masons and…”

“Oh!” the syllable said much. The Old Tiler added, “I
didn’t understand. I thought you couldn’t have learned

“Learned what? Are there some more kinds of

“Indeed, yes! answered the Old Tiler. “A great many
kinds. But seven you haven’t mentioned stand out
more prominently than others.”

“Do tell me! I thought I had joined most of them…”

“You don’t join these. You become one, or are made
one, or grow into one of them. For instance, there is
the King Solomon Mason. He thinks that everything
that Solomon did as a Mason is right and everything
he didn’t do is wrong. To him Masonry was conceived,
born and grew up in the shadow of King Solomon,                                                                      and every word of the legend is literally true, much
like the man who refuses to believe the earth is round,
because a verse in the Bible refers to the ‘four corners
of the earth!’ The King Solomon Mason lives his
Masonry according to his light; perhaps it’s not his
fault it is so dim.

“To the ritual Mason the importance of Masonry is the
form of its words. A good Mason in his belief is one
who can repeat a lecture from end to end without a
slip. A man may do battle, murder, or cause sudden
death, commit arson or run away with a neighbor’s
wife; if he knows his ritual letter perfect, it ‘was all a
mistake!’ The man who doesn’t know his ritual letter
perfect is not, in this man’s eyes, a good Mason; not
though he give to charity with both hands and carry
love for his fellowman in both head and heart.

“The practical Mason looks at life from a utilitarian
standpoint. He prefers electricity to candles for Lesser
Lights because they are simpler and prefers candles
to electricity because they are cheaper. He thinks a
choir impractical because it produces nothing
permanent, and would rather spend the money for
printed matter or a new carpet. He is at his best when
raising money for a new temple and at his worst when
asked to express himself upon the spirit of Masonry.
His hand is in his pocket for charity, but never for
entertainment. He is usually on the finance
committee, and recommends a budget in which rent
and heat and light are bigger than relief.

“The heart Mason is the opposite. He is full of
impractical schemes. He wants to start a new temple
which will never be built. He talks much of the
Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, but is                                                       absent when the hat is passed and the committee on
funds needs a few workers to go out and gather in.
The heart Mason is the lodge sob-sister; he usually
seconds any motion to spend any amount of money
for flowers or to send a brother away for his health,
and always makes a little tear-filled speech about the
fatherless loved ones, even if the dear departed died
a bachelor.

The business Mason belongs because he thinks it
helps his job. He usually sits next to the solid
business man in lodge and likes to tell people what he
does. If he is a Past Master, he never comes to lodge
on time, so that he can get a special welcome at the
Altar. His favorite speech is about the man who tried
to advertise his business in lodge and how evil this
was; in the speech he always mentions his own
business. He wears an extra large sized pin and
prints squares and compasses on his letterheads.

“We dominate another kind by the expressive term of
belly Mason. He is most faithful in attendance at
lodges where there may be a feed. He will cheerfully
spend twenty cents car fare and a long evening to get
a fifteen cent sandwich. If there is to be a sit-down
meal he will sit up all night to be on time. If the affair is
in another lodge and needs tickets he will take time
off from his job to hunt a brother who has a ticket and
doesn’t want it. He usually manages to cross the
lodge room while the cigars are passed so he can dig
into the box twice. If the crowd is small, he is the last
man to get a smoke, so he can take all that are left. If
the crowd is large, he is among the first, to make sure
he doesn’t get left.

“And then there is the regular Mason- the fellow who
does his best with the time and brains he has. He is
the great bulk of the fraternity. He pays the dues and
fills the chairs and does the work. He is seldom a fine
ritualist, but he is usually an earnest one. He is not
very practical, and would spend more than we have if
it wasn’t that he is too sentimental to permit the
charity fund to be robbed. He passes the sandwiches
and coffee, and if there is any left he gets his; but he
doesn’t care so long as the evening is a success. He
isn’t a student, but something in the heart of Masonry
has reached deep into his heart, and so he comes to
lodge and does his best. He is not learned, but he is
not stupid. He is not hidebound, and yet he is
conservative. He loves his lodge, but not so much he
cannot see her faults. He is most of us.”

“And what class of Mason am I?” asked the New
Brother, uneasily looking at his sheaf of cards.

“You have cards enough to be considered a Mason
for almost any reason,” answered the Old Tiler. “But
I’ll take your word for it. What kind of Mason are you?”

“I don’t know for sure, but I know what kind I am never
going to be!” answered the New Brother, putting his
many cards away.

“Posted with express permission from The Temple Publishers, Inc. This and other works of Brother Claudy can be purchased on our website at www.TheTemplePublishers.com .”

Welcome to The Temple Publishers, Inc., your online source for Masonic books. The Temple Publishers, Inc. is proud to own the exclusive copyrights to Carl H. Claudy’s well known “Introduction to Freemasonry” three volume series. Other Claudy titles include “The Master’s Book,” and “Old Tiler Talks,” among others.