It is absurd to think that a vast organization like Masonry was ordained merely to teach to grown-up men of the world the symbolical meaning of a few simple builders' tools, or to impress upon us such elementary virtues as temperance and justice:—the children in every village school are taught such things; or to enforce such simple principles of morals as brotherly love, which every church and every religion teaches; or as relief, which is practiced quite as much by non-Masons as by us; or of truth, which every infant learns upon its mother's knee.
There is surely, too, no need for us to join a secret society to be taught that the volume of the Sacred Law is a fountain of truth and instruction; or to go through the great and elaborate ceremony of the third degree merely to learn that we have each to die.
The Craft whose work we are taught to honor with the name of a "science," a "royal art," has surely some larger end in view than merely inculcating the practice of social virtues common to all the world and by no means the monopoly of Freemasons. Surely, then, it behooves us to acquaint ourselves with what that larger end consists, to enquire why the fulfillment of that purpose is worthy to be called a science, and to ascertain what are those "mysteries" to which our doctrine promises we may ultimately attain if we apply ourselves assiduously enough to understanding what Masonry is capable of teaching us.
The Meaning of Masonry, by W.L. Wilmshurst,  (via A Son of Light, with best wishes)