My Brother, you are now a Master Mason. You have served your apprenticeship as a bearer of burdens and as a hewer of stone in the quarries, and have come at last to the exalted position of an overseer of the work, a Mason, entitled to travel in foreign countries, work and receive Master’s wages. We have given you your tools to work with and have taught you their Masonic uses. We have taught you how to properly divide your time by the twenty-four inch gauge, in order that you might have eight hours in which to work, eight in which to rest and eight more to serve your fellow man and Worship your Creator. We gave you a common gavel with which to rid your mind and conscience of the vices and superfluities of life, so that when the appointed time arrives, you will find your proper place in the Spiritual Temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. We have taught you to walk uprightly by the plumb, to square your actions by the square of virtue and to meet and work upon the level. And finally, we gave you a trowel with which to spread the cement of Brotherly Love and Affection which binds us together into the greatest Fraternity that the world has ever known – a Brotherhood which extends into every far-flung corner of the earth.
But, my Brother, there is one thing that we have not yet given you; something which every workman must have in order to do a good job. We have not yet given you a set of plans to work by, or, in our own Masonic language, your Trestle Board. Therefore, it is my pleasure and privilege at this time to present you that Trestle Board, and here it is.
Here is your book of plans – the most complete set of plans ever given to man. Here you will find a plan to guide you, to sustain you, in any contingency. In joy or in sorrow, in riches or in poverty, in fair weather or in foul, the answer to every question, to every need, can be found between the covers of this Great Book. How you will choose and use these plans, my Brother, is not for me to say; that is something you must workout for yourself. You may find the answer in the words of the prophets; in the Ten Commandments as laid down by Moses, and other records of the Mosaic Law found in the book of Exodus – in the inspiration of the Psalms as written by David and those other men who came after him – or in the wisdom of the Proverbs of King Solomon. Or you may find it by example – the example of that perfect and most successful Life lived over two thousand years ago by a humble carpenter. But let me tell you this my Brother, and I say it in all sincerity; whenever you turn to this Great Book to find your plan, it will never fail you.
So, we give you this set of plans, this Trestle Board, with our best wishes and our blessing. It is yours to serve and guide you, in your social, your business and your family life. And now, properly equipped with your Trestle Board, go forth and do your work as a man and as a Mason.