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
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.