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History of the Lodge | Mencius’ Biography


Mencius (circa 371-c. 288 BC), Chinese philosopher, was also known as Mengtse. He was born in Chao (now in Shandong Province). After studying the philosophy of Confucius, he traveled for years expounding Confucianism and lecturing rulers on their duties toward their subjects. He believed that the power to govern comes from God and should be exercised in the interests of the common people. He opposed warfare except for purposes of defense (Book of Mencius).

According to tradition, Mencius spent the latter part of his life in seclusion with his disciples. In his teachings he stressed the belief that people are by nature good, but that this goodness becomes manifest only when they experience peace of mind, which in tum depends on material security. If rulers, therefore, reduce their subjects to poverty and selfishness, they should be deposed. Since the 11th century Mencius has been recognized as one of China's greatest philosophers (Ibid).

The organizers of this Lodge chose to adopt the name of this great Chinese sage: Mencius. They believed that men by nature are good. When these good men joined the Fraternity, they would become better men. Like Mencius who traveled to spread the teachings of Confucius, masons are also travelers who spread the virtues and tenets of Masonry.