« הקודםהמשך »
brethren then descended the grave and attempted to raise him by the grip of an Entered Apprentice, which proved a slip. They then tried the Fellow Craft's grip, which also proved a slip Having both failed in their attempts, a zealous and expert brother took a more firm hold by the sinews of the band wrist, and with their assistance raised him on the five points of Fellowship: while others more animated exclaimed Mahabone or Macbenach, both words having nearly a similar import, one signifying the death of the brother, the other, the brother is smitten. King Solomon, therefore, ordered, that those casual signs, tokens, and words, should designate all Master Masons through the universe, till time or circumstance should restore the genuine ones *.
It now only remains to account for the third class, who had pursued their researches in the direction of Joppa and were me. ditating their return to Jerusalem, when, accidentally passing the mouth of a cavern, they heard sounds of deep lamentations and regret. On entering the cavern to ascertain the cause, they found three men answering the description of those missing, who,. on being charged with the murder, and finding all chance of es. cape cut off, made a full confession of their guilt. They were bound and led to Jerusalem, where King Solomou sentenced theni to that death which the perniciousness of their crime so amply merited.
Our Master Hiram was ordered to be reinterred as near the sanctum sanctorum as the Israelitish law would permit: and there, in a grave, from the centre three feet east, three feet west, three feet between north and south, and five feet or more perpendicular. He was not buried in the sanctum sanctorum ; because nothing common or unclean was suffered to enter there, not even the High Priest but once a year, nor tinen, till after many washings and purifications against the great day of expiation of sins : for, by the Israelitish Law, all flesh was deemed unclean. The same fifteen Fellow Crafts were ordered to attend the funeral, clothed in white aprons and gloves, as emblems of innocence. (In the course of the lecture there are several retirements and one of them at this part.)
The ornaments of a Master Mason's Lodge are the porch, dor. mer and square pavement. The porch is the entrance to the sactum sanctorum. The dormer, the window that gives light to the same. And the square pavement for the High Priest 10 walk on. The office of the High Priest is to burn incense to the honour and glory of the most high, praying fervently, that the Almighty, through his benign wisdom and goodness, would be pleased to bestow peace and tranquillity to the Israelitish nation for the ensuing year.
You have already been informed of the working tools with
* If this tale were high enougli for criticism, bow ridiculous might it be made to appear!
wbieh our Master Hiram was slain. They were the plumb-rule, level and heavy maul. The coffin, skull and cross bones, being emblems of mortality, allude to the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abiff.
You have already been informed of three signs in this degree. The whole are five, corresponding in number with the five points of fellowship. They are the sigo of horror, the sign of sympathy, the penal sign, the sign of grief and death, and the sign of joy and exultation, likewise called the grand and royal sign. For the sake of regularity, I will go through the whole. This is the sign of horror (described). That is the sign of sympathy (described). This is the penal sign (described). The sign of grief or death is given by passing the hand over the forehead. It took its rise at the time when our Master Hiram was making his way from the north to the south entrance of the Temple, when bis agonies were so great, that the perspiration stood in large drops on his face and he made use of this sign as a temporary relief to his sufferings. This is the sign of joy and exultation (to raise both hands over your head and exclaim 0 Worthy Masons !) It took its rise at the time the Temple was finished, when King Solomon and the Princes of his household wert to view it, and being so struck with its magnificence, that, with one simultaneous feeling, they exclaimed-O Worthy Masons !
I now present you with the working tools of a Master Mason, which are the skirret, pencil and compasses. The skirret is an implement which aets on a centre pin, from whence a line is drawn, chalked and struck, to mark out the ground for the foundation of the intended structure. With the pencil, the skilful artist delineates the building in a draft or plan for the instrucfion and guidance of the workmen. The compasses enable him with accuracy and precision to ascertain and determine the limits and proportions of its several parts. But as we are not operative, but speculative or free and accepted, we apply those tools to our morals. In this sense, the skirret points to us that straight and undeviating line of conduet laid down for our pursuit, in the volume of the sacred law. The pencil teaches us that our words and actions are observed and recorded by the alb mighty architect, to whom we must give an account of our conduct through life. The compasses remind us of his unerring and impartial justice, which having defined for our instruction, the limits of good and evil will reward or punish us as we have nbeged or disregarded his divine command's. These the working tools of a Master Mason teach us to have in mind and to act according to the laws of the divine creator, that when we shall be summoned from this sublunary abode, we may ascend to the grand bodge above, where the world's great arehitect lives and reigas for eser,
This concludes the initiatory process, as far as my documents, or the best of ilıcm extend. I understand, that the Grand Lodge has greatly curtailed the ceremonies, throwing out some of the more ridiculous parts. Formerly, at least in Scotland, much of the calechetical or working part was in rhyme, interspersed with sougs and toasts. · Of catechism in this third or master's degree, I have but a small quantity, and suppose, that masters do not work so hard as Fellow Crafts and Apprentices. Brother Finch, the tailor's rubbish is scarcely worth notice. He was evidently a trickster, to make all the new orders he could, to find out wliat never before existed, and to inake as much money of masonry as possible. With respect to the catechisms, I perceive, by one document, that they are answered by all in the lodge, as children in a school answer all the religious catechisms. With the exception, that, if a brother cannot auswer, he rises, places his hand on his breast, and begs to be excused by the master from working.
QUESTIONS IN THE THIRD DEGREE.
A. Both my arms, both breasts, both knees made bare and both heels slip-slod.
Q. On what did you enter?
A. Upon both points of the compasses presented to both my breasts.
Q. On your entrance into the lodge, did you observe any thing different from its usual appearance ? · A. I did: all was dark save one glimmering light in the east.
Q. To what does that darkness allude?
Q. Am I given to understand that death is the peculiar subject of this degree?
A. You are.
Q. From what circumstance ? · A. From the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abiff.
Q. What were the instruments made use of at his destruction ?
A. The plumb-rule, level, and heavy maul. · Q. How came you in possession of those secrets? - A. From having figuratively represented him when I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
Q. How were you raised ?
Q. Which I will thank you to name and afterwards briefly explain?
A. 1st, Hand to hand; 2d, foot to foot; 30, kneee to knee ; 4th, breast to breast; and 5th, hand over back.
Ist. Hand to hand, I greet you as a brother; and when the necessities of a brother call for my aid and support, I will be ever .
ready to band him such assistance to save him from sinking, if I find him worthy thereof, as may not be detrimental to myself or connexions.
2d. Foot to font-I will support you in all your just and lauda able undertakings. Indolence - shall not cause my footsteps to halt, nor wrath to turn them aside. But forgetting every selfish consideration, I will be eyer swift of foot to save, help, and to execute benevolence to a fellow-creature in distress; but more particularly to a brother mason, if worthy.
3d. Knee to knee-being the posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of your wants. When I offer up my ejaculations to almighty god, a brother's welfare I will remember as my own : for, as the voices of babes and sucklings ascend to the throne of grace, so most assuredly will the breathings of a fervent heart ascend to the mansions of bliss, as our prayers are certainly received for each other.
41h. Breast to breast- that my breast shall be a safe and sacred repository for all your just and lawful secrets. A brother's secrets, delivered to me as such, I would keep as my own, as to betray that trust might be doing him the greatest injury he could sustain in this mortal life: nay, it would be like the villainy of an assassin, who lurks in darkness to stab his adversary when unarmed and least prepared to meet an enemy,
And 51h. Hand over back-that I will support a brother's character in his absence, equally as though he were present. I will not wrongfully revile bim myself, nor will I suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it. Thus, by the five points of fellowship, are we linked together in one indivisible chain of sincere affection, brotherly love, relief and truth.
And thus is exemplified my assertion, Mr. Williams, that the morality which is confined to a sect is immorality towards a community: that all secrets tend to some person's injury: and that the only truc morality is to do that which I am doing-lo endeavour to establish a common brotherhond among mankind, which cannot be done upon any principle of religion, upon any kind of fable, for some will detect its error and separate; and which can only be done upon the principles of materialism, in bringing all to an equal knowledge of themselves and of the identities that surround them as distinctions in the common mass of matter. And further, that all be taught that the greatest happiness for self is 10 be found in the greatest happiness that can be established among all, and not as one of a sect. Upon this conclusion; I proceed 10 close the lodge in the third degree, to close this letter, and I hope, that its effect will be to close all such nonsense as speculative masonry from mankind henceforth.
(The master and wandens knock to order.) W. M. Brethren, assist nie to close the lodge in the third
degree. --Brother Junior Warden, what is the constant care of every Master Mason ?
J. W. To prove the lodge close tjled. - W. M. Direct that duty to be done.
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will prove the lodge close tiled. (The master's knocks are given on the door by Inner Guard and Tiler which proves it close tiled.)
J. G. Brother Junior Warden (with sign) the lodge is close, tiled.
J. W. (with the knocks and signs) Worshipful Master, the lodge is close tiled.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, the next care?
W. M. To order brethren as Master Masons.--Brother Junior Warden, from whence came you?
J. W. From the west, whither we have been in search of the genuine secrets of a Master Mason.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, have you discovered the object of your researches ?
S. W. Worshipful Master, we have not; but we have disco. yered certain substituted secrets, which, by your permission, we are willing to impart.
W. M. Let those substituted secrete be regularly imparted. ( The Junior Warden gives the signs, tokens and words to the Senior Warden and he to the master.)
S. W. Worshipful Master, deign to receive the substituted secrets of a Master Mason.
W.M, I shall be happy to receive them, and for the instruc. tion of the brethren present, you will repeat them aloud. (S. W. gives them.) Brethrea, those substituted secrets being regularly imparted to me, I, as the humble representative of King Solomon, and as the master of this lodge, do ratify and confirm, that those substituted secrets shall designate you and all Master Masons, until future time and circumstances shall restore the genuine pnes,
P. M. With gratitude to our Master, we bend.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, our labours being ended in this degree, you have my command to close this Master Mason's lodge, (He gives the three knocks and sits down).
S. W. Brethren, in the name of the most high, and by the command of the Worshipful Master, I declare this Master Mason's lodge closed. (Gives three knocks and sils down). i J. W. And it is accordingly closed. (three knocks and sils down. The Inner Guard and Tiler give their knocks, which concludes the ceremony.)
Such is the beginning, the middle and the end of Free. masonry: such its purpose; such its utility! Nonsense still