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An Aosaedron, under twenty such triangles, representing water.
An Hexaedron, or cube, contained under six squares, and representing the earth.
A Dodehaedron, under twelve equal and equilateral pentagons, representing the whole system of the universe.
There remains yet another geometrical emblem to be explained, which is the diagram of the 47th proposition of the first book of Euclid, by the assistance of which, we prove that the square of the hypothenuse of a right angled triangle, that is, the opposite to right angle, is equal to the sum of the square of the sides which contain the right angle. For this discovery, we are likewise indebted to the great Master of the Pyihagorean school, who is said to have offered a hecatomb, or sacrifice, of a hundred oxen, to express his joy and gratitude to heaven, on account of this discovery. And, indeed, well might he estimate its value so highly, when we reflect that, upon this principle, depends the solution of the great principles in the mathematical, mechavical, and philosophical knowledge, and that it is the true key to the doctrine of the proportions and powers of all quantities, arithmetical, geometrical and algebraical. By it, we may prove any multiple of a given square, as we have only to construct an isosceles right angled triangle, of which one of the sides including the triangle shall be equal to the sides of such square. And in the same manner, it may be applied to form squares and other figures of duplicate ratios to others which are given. Accordingly, he was accustomed to distinguish this proposition by the appellation EUREKA, which signifies I have found it. Thereby, denoting the superior importance of this over all other discoveries. As, therefore, the letter G denotes to us the science of symbolical geometry, and the Pythagorean tetractys the mysterious powers of numbers, so is this symbol the representation of all mechanical and physical science.
But whilst each of those our symbols reciprocally serves to il. lustrate the rest, there is one sense, in which they yield to the decided pre-eminence of the great central emblem, whose sacred initial character, surrounded by a blaze of eternal glory, recalls our minds from the work to the architect, from the science to its mystery.---This brings us to the moral advantages to be derived from Geometry.
Geometry is the first and noblest of sciences, and the basis on which the superstructure of Freemasonry is erected. The contemplation of this science, in a moral and comprehensive view, fills the mind with rapture. To the true Geonietrician, the regions of matter, with which he is surrounded, afford ample scope for his admiration, while they open a sublime field for his enquiry and disquisition.
Every blade of grass which covers the ficld, every flower which
blows, and every insect which wings its way in the bounds of expanded space, proves the existence of a first cause* and yields plea. sure to the intelligent mind. The symmetry, beauty, and order displayed in the various parts of animate and inanimate creation are pleasing and delightful thenies, and naturally lead to the source whence the whole is derived t. When we bring, within the focus of the eye, the variegated carpet of the terrestrial creation, and survey the progress of the vegetative system, our admiration is justly excited. Every plant which grows, every Rower that displays its beauties or breathes its sweets, affords instruction and delight. When we extend our views to the animal creation, and contemplate the varied clothing of every species, we are cqually struck with astonishment! and when we trace the lines of Geometry, drawn by the divine pencil, in the beautiful plumage of The feathered tribe, how exalted is our conception of the heavenly work! The admirable structure of plants and animals, and the infinite number of fibres and vessels which runs through the whole, with the apt disposition of one part to another, is a perpetual subject of study to the true Geometrician, who, while he ad. verts to all the changes, which all undergo in their progress to maturity, is lost in rapture and veneration at the great cause which produced the whole, and governs the system. When he descends into the bowels of the earth, and explores the kingdom of ores, minerals and fossils, he finds the same instances of divine wisdom and goodness displayed in their formation and structure; every gem and pebble proclaims the handy work of an Almighty Creator I.
When he surveys the watery element, and directs his attention to the wonders of the deep, with all the inhabitants of the mighly ocean, he perceives emblems of the same supreme intelligence. The scales of the largest whale, as well as the penciiled shell of the inost diminutive fish, equally yield a theme for his contemplation, on which he fondly dwells, while the symmetry of their formation, and the delicacy of tints, evince, to his discerning eye, the wisdom of the divine artist. When he exalts his view to the more noble and elevated parts of nature, and surveys the celestial orbs, how much greater is bis astonishment! If, on the principles of geometry and true philosophy, he contemplates the sun, the moon, the stars, the whole conclave of heaven, his pride is humbled, and he is lost in awful admiration. The immense magoitude of those bodies, the regularity and rapidity of their motions, and the vast extent of space through which they move, are equally inconceivable; and as far as they exceed human com
* Of a cause, but why a first?
* To matter, its motions, its varieties, ils composition of varieties and ils alternate decomposition. That is all, first, last, beginning, end, succession and sameness.
R. C. ... Yes, but it is olterly contrary to all experieuce to suppose that crca. Ling power to be intelligent, or a designing ibine, like man. R. C.
prehension, baffle his most daring ambition, till lost in the immensity of the theme, he sinks into his primitive insignificance.
By Geometry, then, we curiously trace Nature through her va. rious windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it, we discover the power, the wisdom and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine. By it, we discover how the planets move in their different orbits and demonstrate their various revolutions. By it, we account for the return of the seasons and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all framed by the same divine artist, which roll through the vast expanse and are all conducted by the same unerring law.
A survey of nature and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first determined man to imitate the divine plan and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to societies and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design, and the plans which he laid down, improved by experience and time, produced works which have been the admiration of every age.
To him, the great Geometrician of the Universe, the father of light and life, the fountain of eternal wisdom, let us humbly dedicate our labourers, imploring him to bless and prosper the work of our hands, to his own glory, the good of mankind, and the salvation of our immortal souls.
As far as I can perceive, it is rare, that such a lecture as I have copied is given in a Mason's lodge; but as I found it among my collection, under the head of lectures, &c. for the second degree, and as it is all that is really good in Masonry, I have copied at large. I am of opinion, that one half of the Masons in this Island, could not give the most simple definition of the word geometry. I have now hardly space to introduce the form of closing the lodge, and must defer further comment until the master's degree has been described.
FORM OF CLOSING A LODGE IN THE SECOND DEGREE. (The master knocks to order, which is echoed by the two wardens.)
W. M. Brethren, assist me to close this Fellow Craft's Lodge. Brother Junior Warden, what is the constant care of every Fels low Craft Freemason?
J. W. To prove the lodge close tiled,
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will prove the lodge close tiled. (The Inner Guard and the Tiler both give the Fellow Crafts three knocks.)
I. G. Brother Junior Warden, the lodge is close tiled.
J. W. (Knocks and makes the sign.) Worshipful Master, the lodge is close tiled.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, the next care?
W.M. To order brethren as Craftsmen.Brocher Junior Warden, in this character what have you discovered ?
J. W. A sacred symbol.
S. W. In the centre of the building.
W. M. Brethren, let us remember wherever we are and whatever we do, his all-seeing eye beholds us; and while we continue to act as faithful Fellow Craft Masons, let us never fail to discharge our duties towards him with fervency and zeal.-P.M. So mote it be.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, our labours being closed in this degree, you have my command to close this Fellow Craft's Lodge. (Gives the three knocks.)
S. w. In the name of the grand Geometrician of the Universe, aod by the command of the Worshipful Master, I declare this Lodge of Fellow Crafts duly closed. (Gives the knocks.) .
J. W. And it is accordingly so done. (With the knocks.)
This, Sir, you will readily admit, forms a fair and complete de- , scription of the Fellow Craft's, or second degree in Masonry. It is more free from frivolity and offensiveness than any other degree, and though not wholly free, it has less of fable attached to it than any other degree.
I hope you will give me credit for the honesty of this revelation of the mysteries of Masonry, and acknowledge that, if a man could not reveal to more good effect than a God, we should all have remained in a lamentable state of ignorance: we of the human race should have been beasts of the field and forest.
Yours, in Masonic instruction.
TO WILLIAM WILLIAMS, ESQ., M. P., PROVINCIAL
GRAND MASTER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF FREE-
Dorchester Gaol, July 21, Anno
Tenebræ, 1825. We come now to a revelation of the ceremonies, &c., of the third degree of Freemasonry, which, in point of fact, is the last. All others, by whatever names or means supported, must be looked
upon by Masons as superfluous, and did not exist with operative Masons. The present united Grand Lodge, I perceive, acknowledges but three degrees, including the branch called Royal Arch in that of the master's degree; though, in different lodges and different countries, near fifty degrees have bee'u established.
As frequent knockings are observed in this, as well as in the former degrees, before I open the lodge, I will again describe the distinction by which the Master's knocks are known. For the first or Apprentice's degree, there were three equi-timed knocks : 'the second, or Fellow Craft's were as one. -two, or a pause between the first and second : and those of the third, or Master's degree, are marked as two-one, or a pause between the second and third. This, among Masons, is held to be a distinction as important as any of the grips, words or other secrets ; indeed, no visitor could gain admillance to a lodge, without observing the proper manner of knocking at the door. Without knocking to apprise them of the approach of a cowan, let us draw aside the veil, and see a lodge of Master Masons at work.
OPENING OF THE LODGE. The Master and two Wardens call to order by a single knock.
W. M. Brethren, assist me to open the lodge in the third degree:- Brother Junior Warden, what is the first care of a Master Mason?
J. W. To see the lodge properly tiled.
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will see the lodge properly tiled. (The Fellow Craft's knocks are then given on the door by the Inner Guard and Tiler, to prove the lodge close tiled.)
1. G. Brother Junior Warden, the lodge is properly tiled. (This is given with the sign: and with a similar sign and the Fellow Craft's knocks, the J. W. reports to the Master.) Worshipful Master, the lodge is properly tiled.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, the next care of every Master Mason?
S. W. To see the brethren appear to order as Craftsmen.
W. M. To order brethren as Craftsmen.--- Brother Junior Warden, are you a Master Mason?
J. W. I am, Worshipful Master, try me, prove me.
W. M. Since you are so well acquainted with the mode yourself, you will prove the brethren present to be Master Masons, by signs, and demonstrate that proof to me by copying their example?
J. W. Brethren, by command of the Worshipful Master, you will prove yourselves Master Masons by signs; and to prevent