Temperance (Temperança)

Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues, the practice of which is inculcated in the First Degree. The Mason who properly appreciates the secrets which he has solemnly promised never to reveal, will not, by yielding to the unrestrained appeal of curiosity, permit reason and judgment to disappear, and subject himself, by excess, to discover that which should be concealed. The virtue of temperance is wisely impressed upon Mason's memory, by its reference is one of the most solemn legacies of the ceremony of initiation. Some Freemasons, very properly condemning the vice of intemperance and abhorring its effects, have been unwisely led to confound temperance with total abstinence in a Masonic application. The masonic law authorizes no such regulation. It leaves to every initiated the indulgence of his own tastes within due limits, and demands not abstinence, but only moderation and temperance, in anything not actually wrongs. The knowledge of freemasonry is one of these commodities. Freemasons are not forbidden to learn from more advanced degrees but prudence orders to be patient. it take the convenient time to apprehend all the significance of what masonry does and lectures. Freemasonry is a career, a pathway, a journey that requires time and study.

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