GRAND BOOK OF MAXIMS

Of the Ancient and Primitive Rite

Published by kind permission By

M. Ill. Br. Rui Alexandre Gabirro

The Sovereign Grand Conservator General of the Rite

GENERAL MAXIMS

 

1. Do unto others whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you.

2. Do not unto another what you would not wish should be done unto you.

3. Masonry has but one aim, to do good; but one banner, it is that of humanity; but one crown, it is for Virtue.

4. Hope and believe; to comprehend the infinite is to march towards perfection.

5. God is truth, teach then the truth.

6. Time impairs errors and polishes truth.

7. Love what is good, support the feeble, fly the wicked, but hate no one.

8. It shows a magnanimous soul to reward injuries with benefits.

9. If thou should'st receive injuries console thyself, the true misfortune is to do them.

10. To confer benefits is the duty of man, to sow them is for God.

11. We always give too late, when we wait to be asked.

12. Man must be true to the principles of nature, and the benevolent exercise of them towards others.

13. The most perfect man is he who is most useful to his brothers:

14. True liberality consists not so much in the gift but in the manner of giving.

15. Great thoughts come from the heart.

16. March with the torch of reason in search of truth.

17. Cultivate science in order to render reason profitable; establish the love of mankind in order to save them from the ravages of error and wickedness.

18. To be astonished at a good action is to avow ourselves incapable of it.

19. Let us not suffer one of our days to glide away, without having increased the treasure of our knowledge and of our virtues.                                                                          

20. Idleness hinders all enterprise, labour renders all easy.

21. Mediocrity with peace is better than luxury with disquiet.

22. Repose is sleep to those only who labour, that pleasure is unfelt by those who abuse it.

23. To trust everyone shows an honest heart, to trust no one, a prudent man.

24. Egotism is a vampire which nourishes its existence upon that of others.

25. To abandon ourselves to anger is to avenge on ourselves the fault of another.

26. Anger commences in folly and finishes in repentance.

27. We ought never to be ashamed to avow our faults; for that is only admitting, that we are wiser to-day than yesterday.

28. Before exposing oneself to peril it is proper to foresee and fear it; but when placed in peril it is the more necessary to despise it.

29. Listen to the voice of conscience, avoid quarrels, guard against insults, have reason ever on thy side.

30. Respect the traveller and aid him ; his person is sacred to thee.

31. If order rules amongst the human race, it is a proof that reason and virtue are strong.

32. The councils of old age, like the winter's sun, enlighten without warming.

33. Cultivate reason as the means of being useful to mankind.

34. Those who have the mind, have a taste for great things and a passion for the small.

35. Flatter not thy brother, it is treason; if thy brother flatter thee beware lest he corrupt thee.

36. Flattery is an abyss created by vice, that virtue may fall into it.

37. Despise no one, for to the vices which we commonly have, with those which we despise we often add the worst of all, the pride of our better belief.

38. Cupidity lives in the midst of society, like a destructive worm in the heart of a flower, which it consumes and causes to perish.

39. Error and suffering are the two paths by which man must pass to arrive at happiness.

40. Justice is the only providence of nations; it is the diapason of all the virtues.       

41. A man devoid of conscience will sometimes succeed, but a day comes when his faults turn to his ruin.

42. Rejoice in justice, but contend warmly against iniquity. ; suffer without complaint.

43. Speak soberly with the great, prudently with thy equals, sincerely with thy friends, sweetly to the little ones, tenderly to the poor.

44. Offended, let us forgive; if offenders, let us ask forgiveness.

45. Recompense injuries with justice, and kindness with love.

46. There is one word which c h may serve as a rule throughout life, it is - Reciprocity.

47. Faithfulness and sincerity are the highest virtues.

48. When you transgress fear not to return.

49. Learn the past and you will know the future.

50. To rule with equity resembles the pole star, which is fixed while the rest go round it.

51. A good man looks to the root, if that is right all else flows from it; the root is filial piety, the fruit brotherly love.

52. Let us love justice for ourselves as well as for others.

53. A man's life depends upon his virtues; if a bad man lives it is by good fortune.

54. The good man is always serene and happy, the bad always in fear.

55. Riches and honour acquired by injustice are as a fleeting cloud.

56. With coarse food, and water to drink, with the floor for a bed and the bended arm, for a pillow, happiness may be enjoyed.

57. Heaven penetrates our hearts like light into a dark chamber we must conform ourselves thereto like two instruments of music tuned to the same pitch, we must join ourselves to it like two tablets which make but one; we must take its gifts the moment its hands are open to bestow.

58. Irregular passions close the door of our souls against God.

59. Be not prompt to judge thy Brothers whatever their fault.

60. Be just towards thy friends as towards thy enemies, towards all men, towards all which breathes.

61. Reflect that in the unequal road of life the most manly firmness is often found exposed to the rudest trials, and to surmount them is that in which virtue consists.

62. The utility of virtue is so manifest that the wicked practice it at times for pecuniary interest.

63. Masonry is order and truth in all things; it is the hatred of all vice; its worship is T\S\A\0\T\U\; its mysteries the light of reason ; its precepts charity.

64. Pardon thy enemy; avenge thyself only by benefits. This generous procure thee the purest pleasure, and thou wilt become the living image of Divinity ; recollect that it is the most beautiful triumph of reason over instinct forget injuries but never benefits.

65. Be submissive to the laws of thy country, for the law requires it; but assure and conserve thy rights against the pretensions which would deprive thee of them.

66. Blame not, and condemn still less, the religion of others.

67. The T\S\A\0\T\U\. only demands from thee the reckoning of thy own works, and does not make thee responsible for the errors or weakness of other men, thy equals, and like thyself, the objects of predilection and divine love.

68. A Mason ought to respect all worships, tolerate all opinions, fraternise with all men, relieve all unfortunates, and the rule of all his instincts should be good thoughts and to speak and to do good.

69. Labour to render men better, dissipate the darkness of ignorance, generate all the virtues which contribute to the instruction or love of mankind.

70. Learn to love and succour one another and accomplish your sublime destiny; thou wilt become the cherished of heaven and the benedictions of thy brothers will rest upon thee, and thou wilt walk the earth as the benefactor of humanity.

71. Hate superstition; adore God, who in creating thee a free and intelligent being capable of virtue, hath made thee the arbiter of thy own destiny.

72. Listen to the voice of reason which cries to thee, all men are equal, all are members of the same family be tolerant, just, and good, and thou wilt be happy utility and good

73. Let all thy actions be directed to upness; judge of them beforehand; if any of thy meditated actions be of doubtful character, abstain thee.

74. Practice virtue, it is the charm of existence, it consists in mutual benefits.

75. Know that thy felicity is inseparable from that of thy fellow beings; do to them as thou wouldst wish them to do unto thee ; let thy devotion to humanity involve, if necessary, even the sacrifice of thy life.

76. The moral law is universal; let its sacred text be graven on the hearts of men; whoever transgresses it shall unfailingly be punished.

77. The just man, strong in his approving conscience, is beyond the reach of misfortune and persecution; his trust is in the justice of the Supreme Being.

73. The wicked undergo unceasing punishment; no Lethean waters can extinguish the fires of remorse.

79. Forget not that thy soul is immaterial, and cannot, therefore, perish, as does the body, which dissolves into its component elements ; beware of staining it with vice.

80. Remember incessantly that thy felicity is of thy own creation; and that thy place is at the head of created beings.

81. Seek in the visible marvels of the universe, a knowledge of T\S\A\0\T\U\ and His perfections; be always docile to the voice of nature, which is that of reason and conscience.

82. Practice virtue and flee vice; act so as to be always satisfied with thyself.

83. Love thy fellows, be useful to them as far as lies in thy power; seek not thy own interest, but the well being of all.

84. The existence of God is a truth of sentiment and of immediate evidence ; it is the first and foundation of all axioms.

85. The most agreeable worship of T\S\A\0\T\U\ is good morals and the practice of virtue.

86 By a sentiment of natural equity, when we attempt to judge others let us examine ourselves.

87. The more we need indulgence. so much the more is it necessary to spread over the failings of our fellows the benevolent veil which should divest the understanding of ingratitude and malignity.

88. Slander indicates either littleness of spirit or blackness of heart; it springs from jealousy, envy, avarice, or some such passion; it is a proof of ignorance or malice. Undesigned slander is folly; slander with reflection shows blackness of heart; what the slanderer says he wishes; it is foolish or wicked.

89. If persecuted avenge not yourself; there exists but two kinds of enemies, the ignorant and the wicked: seek to ameliorate the one and instruct the other, -persuasion succeeds better than violence.

90. Our true enemies are within us: let us root out of the heart, ambition, avarice, and jealousy, and we shall re-establish that order and harmony which should reign in society; all men are brothers.

91. Union, when it is perfect, satisfies all desires and simplifies the wants ; it foresees the vows of imagination and sustains all good ; it is fortune become constant.

92. Forget not that we owe constant assistance to the unfortunate; visit them in your leisure at their dwellings, where misery brings groans and tears; carry there the resources of your intelligence and the superfluities of your social condition; in the distribution of your benefits you, will receive the most honourable homage that man can have; in devoting Yourself to beneficence, you will follow the law, - all the law.

93. Conscience is the most precious gift which God has given to man ; it instructs us in the vices which we ought to avoid, and the virtues which ought to practice it is a continual and severe judge, from whose arrests no mortal can exempt himself.

94. God made of. the conscience a friend to whom flattery is a stranger; it adds to our experience, and we should always consult it before any action.

95. Sadden not the heart of a Poor person who is already overcome with grief, and delay not relief to those who suffer.

96. Nothing is so painful as to request a service nothing is so delightful as to anticipate one.

97. Friendship is usually but a vile commerce, in which each person hopes to draw usurious interest on his advances.

98. Humanity resembles a child which comes into the world during the night; by passing through darkness it arrives at light.

99. We cannot respect too much the innocence of a child; dost thou meditate some Action for which thou ought to blush, then think of thy child in the cradle,

100. It is proper to love a friend for the pleasure of friendship and not for the profit to be obtained by it.

101. If our only desire is to be happy, that is soon attained; but if we desire to be more happy than others, that is most difficult, for we see others more happy than they really are.

102. If thou blushest at thy state it is pride; reflect that it is neither thy state or position which honours or degrades thee, but the way in which thou fillest it.

103. Great resources of spirit and heart are needed to love sincerity when it wounds, and to practice it when it offends; few people have sufficient firmness to speak the truth when they may suffer for it.

104. All people have ever considered truth as most sublime-it is the most simple and natural virtue, and yet the most difficult.

105. Exact no other condition for admission amongst us than probity and knowledge; receive and instruct all honest men, whatever their belief, country, or laws-our dogmas are simply, God and virtue.

106. Purify thy heart; spread in the world the word of life; instruct the ignorant; relieve those who suffer ; teach the profane brothers to hate vice, pride, and all evil passions, and to love virtue ardently.

107. Let thy voice resound in the defence of the innocent and unfortunate, against oppression, that it may carry consolation and peace to the hearts of thy fellows and terror to the souls of the wicked.

108. Depraved affections are the beginnings of sorrow.

109. An evil disposition is the disease of the soul, but injustice and impiety are the death of it.

110. It is impossible that he can be free who is a slave to his passions.

111. It is better to live lying on the grass, confiding in divinity and yourself, than lie on a golden bed amid perturbation.

112. The theorems of philosophy are to be enjoyed as much as possible, as if they were ambrosia and nectar; for the pleasure arising from them is genuine, incorruptible, and divine.

113. The friendship of one wise man is better than that of every fool.

114. Fraudulent men, and such as are only seemingly good, do all things in words, and nothing in deeds.

115. It is the same thing to nourish a serpent and benefit a depraved man, for gratitude is found in neither.

116. He who loves the goods of the soul will love things still more divine; but he who loves the goods of its transient habitation will love things human.

117. Consider both the praise and reproach of foolish persons as ridiculous, and the whole life of an ignorant man as a disgrace.

118. It is even more wretched to be subservient to passions than to tyrants.

119. Be vigilant in regard to your intellectual part, for sleep in this has an affinity with real death.

120. Esteem those to be most eminently your friends who assist your soul rather than Your body.

121. Make trial of a man rather from his deeds than his discourses, for many, live badly and speak well.

122. Do that which you consider to be worthy and honest, though you should gain no glory from it, for the multitude is a bad judge of worthy actions.

123. He is a wise man and beloved by divinity who labours for the good of his soul, as much as others labour for the welfare of the body.

124. The strength of the soul is temperance, for it is the light of one destitute of passions; but it is much better to die than darken the soul through the intemperance of the body.

125. It is impossible that the same person can be a lover of pleasure, a lover of the body, a lover of riches and a lover of the divinity.

126. Clouds frequently obscure the sun, but the passions the reasoning, powers.

127. The felicity of a man does not consist either in body, or in riches, but in upright conduct and justice.

128. Garments that have been made clean and become soiled again by use; but the soul being once purified from ignorance remains splendid for ever.

129. When virtue is the object of emulation, vice must necessarily. perish.

130. Choose rather to leave your children well instructed than rich, for the hopes of the learned are better than the riches of the ignorant.

131. At every feast remember that there are two guests to be entertained-the body and the soul; and that what you give the body you presently lose, but what you the soul remain s forever.

112. It is not useless to procure wealth but to procure it by injustice is the most pernicious of all things.

133. The Divinity has no place upon earth more allied to His nature than a pure and holy soul.

134. The most complete injustice is to seem to be just without being so.

135. It is the province of a wise man to bear poverty with equanimity.

136. Those alone are dear to Divinity who are hostile to injustice.

137. The fear of death arises through the ignorance of the soul.

138. It is equally dangerous to give a sword to a mad man and power to a depraved one.

139. It is the same thing to moor a boat by an infirm anchor, and to place hope upon a depraved person.

140. It is not safe to despise those things of which we shall be in want after the dissolution of the' body.

141. As the lesser mysteries are to be delivered before the greater, so also must discipline precede philosophy.

142. The wise man whose estimation with men was but small while he was living, will be renowned when he is dead.  

143. It is the same thing to drink a deadly poison from a golden cup, and follow the advice of an injudicious friend.

144. Forget not that errors and ignorance are crimes, when they are the result of indifference for truth ; tremble if a slothful indolence has dishonoured thy life, or if vice hath blemished thy heart and blighted thy days.

145. Forget not that all which thinks has intelligence, all Which feels has sentiment, all which loves the of being loved, all which suffers a title to pity; there is not step lacking in the mystic ladder of creation ; it rises by graduated ascent from the brute to man.

146. judge not lightly the actions of men ; praise little and blame still less; it is for T.S.A.0.T.U. to sound the heart and appraise the work that He has made.

147. If vain curiosity brings thee amongst us, depart!

148. If wordly distinctions adhere to thee, go; the.. are not found here.

149. He who in view of gain thinks of justice, who in danger forgets life, who remembers an old agreement, such may be reckoned a man.

150. If thou art afraid to be enlightened upon thy faults, come not amongst us.

151. Reflect that it is necessary to cease to be man, in order to enter the road which conducts to the Sanctuary of Masonry; it is the shadow of Divinity, to approach thither it is necessary to raise thyself to God.

152. If sincere repentance gives not innocence, it brings pardon to the gravest faults.

153. Keep thy soul in such a state of purity that it may be worthy to. appear at any time before T\S\A\0\T\U\

154. Fragile man, during life thou art the slave of necessity, and the plaything of events; but console thy self, for death awaits thee. and in its bosom is repose.

155. Man is born to suffer, it is the law of his being; His joys are a loan to be paid with usury ; Under this law of happiness all have birth, Whether he sleeps upon purple or slumbers on His salutation to life is a cry of grief; (sackcloth, He is destined to know misfortune.

156. There is no void in nature, everywhere it is peopled: there is no real death in nature, everything is living.

157. Death exists, not for the wise; it is but a phantom which the ignorance and weakness of the multitude hath made horrible ; that which we call death is only a change of state. 

158. There is no invisible world, but only different degrees of perfection in the bodily organs. The body is the gross representation, and the temporary envelope of the soul, which can receive by itself without the intervention of the bodily organs by means of its sensibility and lucidity, the things spiritual and corporeal which exist in the universe.

159. If T\S\A\0\T\U\has given thee a son be grateful unto Him, but tremble for the deposit which He hath confided to thy care; be unto such child the living image of divinity; cause him up to ten years of age to fear thee ; up to twenty to love thee, so that even until death he may respect thee. Even up to ten years of age be his Master, to twenty years of age his father, until death his friend ; strive to teach him good principles rather than fine manners, so that he may owe thee an enlightened and upright understanding, rather than a frivolous elegance; and make an honest man rather than an able one.

 

 


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