You are now an Entered Apprentice. The first step in your journey to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason has been taken. Doubtless you found your initiation an experience you will never wish to forget. A degree in Masonry is not an isolated experience, but an ever-enduring privilege.
Do not, therefore, be tempted to look upon the Fellow Craft Degree as a mere stepping stone to the Third. Freemasonry gave to you one part of its teachings in the First, another portion in the Second, and in the Third it will give you yet another; but it is always Freemasonry.
Your enjoyment of Freemasonry, its value to you in your future life, your contribution to the fulfillment of its great mission, will be in direct proportion to your understanding of its secrets, which, if you recall the degree through which you have just passed, you do not yet possess and which can only be gained by your own endeavors.
…who, without blemish, fulfils his duty as a man, a subject, a husband and a father
If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life; who, without blemish, fulfils his duty as a man, a subject, a husband and a father; who is pious without hypocrisy, benevolent without ostentation, and aids his fellowman without self-interest; whose heart beats warm for friendship, whose serene mind is open for licensed pleasures, who in vicissitudes does not despair, nor in fortune will be presumptuous, and who will be resolute in the hour of danger.
The man who is free from superstition and free from infidelity; who in nature sees the finger of the Eternal Master; who feels and adores the higher destination of man; to whom faith, hope and charity are not mere words without any meaning; to whom property, nay even life, is not too dear for the protection of innocence and virtue, and for the defense of truth; The man who towards himself is a severe judge, but who is tolerant with the debilities of his neighbour; who endeavours to oppose errors without arrogance, and to promote intelligence without impatience; who properly understands how to estimate and employ his means; who honours virtue though it may be in the most humble garment, and who does not favour vice though it be clad in purple; and who administers justice to merit whether dwelling in palaces or cottage.
…and who will be resolute in the hour of danger.
The man who, without courting applause, is loved by all noble-minded men, respected by his superiors and revered by his subordinates; the man who never proclaims what he has done, can do, or will do, but where need is will lay hold with dispassionate courage, circumspect resolution, indefatigable exertion and a rare power of mind, and who will not cease until he has accomplished his work, and then, without pretension, will retire into the multitude because he did the good act, not for himself, but for the cause of good! If you, my Brethren meet such a man, you will see the personification of brotherly love, relief and truth; and you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.
“The History of Freemasonry” – Otto Klotz, March 15, 1868