The fact that a man has taken the degrees of Freemasonry does not automatically make a person a Freemason. The strength of Freemasonry, lies not in its numbers, but in the extent to which its tenets are put into practice.
“A Man becomes a Freemason when he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and courage – which is the root of every virtue.
When he knows how to sympathise with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins – knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.
When he has learned how to make friends and keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun and feel the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he the laugh of a little child.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without a response.
When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song – glad to live, but not afraid to die!
Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.” John Newton