From its origin to the present hour, in its entire vicissitudes, Masonry has been the steady unweaving friend of man. – Rev. Erastus Burr
Every Mason who has attentively observed the action of Grand Lodges within the last few years, must have seen the indications of progress shown by these bodies assuming a higher position in regard to moral requirements. Although morality is one of the foundation stones of our mystic temple, yet for many years there was some remissness in enforcing its observance. Members were too often permitted to violate the moral law with impunity, forgetful of the solemn admonitions of the Order, and reckless, not only of their own standing, but of the reputation of Freemasonry itself. The moral aspect of Masonry is, to a great extent, known by the uninitiated only as it is seen in the character and conduct of its members. Hence, a swearing, drinking, gambling, Sabbath-breaking Mason, was considered by “outsiders” as a legitimate representative of the Order to which they belonged: and when told that Masonry did not sanction nor permit such things, they triumphantly pointed to facts – to A, to B, to C, – whose daily practice taught very different doctrine, and whose membership in the Craft sustained the assumption.