When is a Man a Mason?
by Joseph Fort Newton

When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and
the far horizon with a profound sense of his own litlleness
in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope and 
courage-which is the root of every virture.
When he knows that down in his heart every man is as 
noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, 
and seeks to know, to forgive, and to love his fellow man.
When he knows how to sympathize 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 to keep
 them, and above all how to keep friends with himself.
When le hoves flowers, can hunt birds without a gun, 
and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears 
the laugh of a little child. 
When he can be happy and high=minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.
When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters,
 subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.
When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeds his
 aid without 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 can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond the mud,
 and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin.
When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope.
When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, and 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.

Source http://www.kena.org/hirams/

July 21, 1880 - January 24, 1950 
Baptist minister and masonic author, Joseph Fort Newton is remembered for several
 masonic books, The Builders in 1914 and The Men's House in 1923 being two of the most widely reprinted.