תמונות בעמוד

the candidate. (The Junior Deacon removes the bandage from the eyes of the candidate.) Having been restored in the blessing of material light, let me point out to your attention what we con. sider the three great though emblematic lights in Masoury namely, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square and the Compasses. The sacred volume is to rule and govern our faith : the square to regulate our actions; and the compasses to keep us within due bounds with all mankind, particularly with our brethren in Masonry. Rise newly obligated brother among masons. (He rises.) You are now enabled to discover the three lesser lights in masonry. They are situated East, South, and West, and are meant to represent the Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge.(!) The Sun to rule the day, the Moon to govern the night, and the Master 10 rule and direct bis lodge.

By your meek and candid behaviour this evening, you have es. caped two great dangers; but there is a third which will await you to the latest period of your existence. The dangers which you have escaped are those of stabbing and strangling; for, at your entrance into the lodge, this sword was presented to your naked left breast, so that had you rashly attempted to rush forward, you would have been accessary to your own death by stabbing. Not so, with the Brother who held it; as he would have only remained firm to do his duty*. There was likewise this Cable Tow (halter) with a running noose about your neck, which would have rendered any attempt to retreat equally fatal by strangling. But the danger which will await you to your latest hour is the penalty of your obligation, that you would rather have your throat cut across, than to improperly divulge the secrets of masonry

You, having taken the solemn obligation of Masonry, I am now permitted to inform you, that there are several degrees in Free Masonry, and peculiar secrets restricted to each. These, however, are not communicated indiscriminately; but are conferred on candidates according to merit and abilities (10 pay for them.) I shall now proceed to intrust you with the sign of this degree, or those marks, by which we are known to each other, and distinguished from the rest of the world. I must first premise, for your general information, that all squares, levels and perpendiculars (alluding to the positions of the body and its limbs) are proper signs, by which to know a Mason. You are, therefore, expected to stand perfectly erect, with your feet formed into a square, your body being considered an emblem of your mind and your feet of the rectitude of your actions. On your advancement from West to East, you advanced by three irregular steps; irregular from the situatiou you were then in, not knowing where you were then going; but they allude to three more regular steps, namely, right lines and angles, morally teaching us upright lives and well

* What is this, but conditionally premeditated assassination.

squared actions. You will now advance towards me by one pace with your left foot, bringing the right heel into its' hollow. That is the first regular step in Freemasonry, and it is in this position, that the secrets of the degree are communicated. They consist of a sign, a grip or token, and a word.

You will place your right hand in this position, (level, with the thumb extended in a square towards the throat) with the thumb to the left of the windpipe. The sign is given by drawing the hand smartly across the throat and dropping it to the side. This is in allusion to the penalty of your obligation, implying, that, as a mau of honour and a Mason, you would rather have your throat cut across, than to improperly divulge the secrets intrusted to you. That is the sign.

The Grip or Token is given by a distinct pressure of the top of your right hand thumb, on the first joint from the wrist, of your brother's right hand fore-finger, grasping the finger with your hand*. This demands a word, a word highly prized among masons, as the guard to their privileges : too much caution cannot, therefore, be used in communicating it. It must never be given at length; but always either by letters or syllables; to enable von to do which, I must first tell you what the word is. It is Boaz. As in the course of the evening, you will be called on for this word, the Junior Deacon will now dictate the answers you are to give. Here the J. D. proceeds to instruct the candidate as to the common mode of salutation among Masons. Giving him the Grip, he asks What is this?-Noodle. The Grip or Token of an Entered Apprentice Free Mason.-J. D. What does it demand ? Noodle. A word.—J. D. Will you give me that word-Noodle. At my initiation, I was taught to be cautious; I will letter or halve it with you. Which you please, and begin. J. D.-B. Noodle 0.–J. D.-A. Noodle Z. J. D. This word is derived from the left-hand pillar of the porch or entrance to King Solomon's Temple, so named after the great grandfather of David, a prince and ral'er in Israel. The import of the word is strength.

W. M. Brother Junior Deacon, pass the candidate to the Junior Warden.

J. D. Brother Junior Warden, I present to you Brother Noodle, on his initiation.

J. W. I will thank Brother Noodle to advance towards me as a mason. (He advances with the step and sign.)

J. W. Have you any thing else to communicate? (Noodle gives the grip) What is this?

Noodle. The grip or token of an Entered Apprentice Free. mason.

J. W. What does it demand? Noodle. A word.

* This is also a pepal sign witb Masons. It refers to a supposed custom among the inbabitants of Tyre of losing a finger at that joint for a erime,

J. W. Will you give me that word ?

Noodle. At my initiation, I was taught to be cautious, I will letter or halve it with you.

J. W. Which you please and begin. (The word is then given as before with the Junior Deacon, and the Junior Warden passes Noodle to the Senior' Warden, where the same ceremony is repeated ; after which the S. W. passes him back to the Masler.)

S. W. Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother Noodle, on his initiation, for some further mark of your favour.

W. M. Brother Senior Warden, I deligate to you the authority to invest him with the distinguishing badge of a inason.

S. W. Brother Noodle, by the Worshipful Master's command, I invest you with the distinguishing badge of a masoil, which is more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Ronan Eagle, more honourable than the Star and Garter, or any other order in existence, being the badge of innocence and the bond of friendship. I strongly exhort you ever to wear and to consider it as such. And I further inform you, that, if you never disgrace that badge, it will never disgrace you.

W. M. Let me add to the observations of the Senior Warden, that you are never to put on that badge should there be any brother in the lodge which you are about to visit with whom you are at variance, or against whom you entertain animosily. In such case, it is expected, that you will invite him to withdraw, in order to settle your differences amicably, which, if happily effected, you may then clothe yourselves, enter the lodge and work with that love and harmony, which ought always to characterize Freemasons. But if, unfortunately, your differences be of such a nature, as not to be easily adjusted, it were better that one or both of you should retire, than that the harmony of the Lodge be disturbed by your presence.

W.M. Brother Junior Deacon, you will place our brother Nocdle at the north-east part of the Lodge.

W. M. Brother Noodle, it is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices, to lay the first or foundation stone at the North-East Corner of the building. You, being newly ad. mitted into Masonry, are placed at the North-East part of the Lodge, to represent figuratively that stone; and from ihe foundation laid this evening, may you raise a superstructure perfect in its paris and honourable to the builder. You now stand, to all external appearance, a just and upright mason. I give it to you in strong terms of recommendation ever to continue and to act as such. Indeed, I shall immediately put your principles, in some measure, to the test, by calling upon you to exercise that virtue which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason's heart. I mean Charity. I need not here dilate upon its excellencies ; doubtless, it has often been felt and practised by you: suffice it to say, that it has the approbation of heaven and of earth, and like its sister Mercy blesses hin that gives as well as him that receives. In a society so widely extend. ed as that of the Freemasons, whose branches are spread over the four divisions of the globe, it cannot be denied, that we have many members of rank and affluence; neither can it be concealed, ibat, among the thousands who range under its banners, there are some, who, perhaps, from circumstances of unavoidable calamity and misfortune, are reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty and distress : on their behall, it is our usual custom to awaken the feelings of every newly made brother, by such a claim on his charity, as his circumstances in life may fairly warrant. Whatever you feel disposed to give, deposit with the Junior Deacon, and it will be thankfully received and faithfully applied. Noodle, I have been deprived of every thing valuable, or I would give freely.

W.M. I congratulate you on the honourable sentiments by which you are actuated, and likewise on the inability which in the present instance precludes you from gratifying them. Believe me, this trial was not made with a view of sporting with your feelings : far from us be any such intention; but it was done for three especial reasons : first, as I have already premised, to put your principles to the test; second, to evince to the brethren, that you had neither money nor other metallic substance about you; for, if you had, the ceremony of your initiation thus far must, have been repeated, which would have brought a blush on the face of your guide, for having so improperly omitted that part of his duty: and thirdly, as a warning to your own heart, that, should you, at any future period, meet a brother in distressed circumstances, who solicits your assistance, you may recollect the peculiar moment in which you were received into Masonry, poor and pennyless, and you will then cheerfully embrace the op. portunity of practising that virtue which you have professed to admire.

You may now retire, for the purpose of being restored to your vecessary comforts (having been all this while comparatively naked), then return into the lodge and return thanks, after which I shall give you further instructions and deliver a charge upon the excellency of our order and the qualifications of its members.

Mr. Noodle then retires to restore his dress, and, on his return, is placed in the west, or opposite to the Master, where after making the penal sign of an entered apprentice, he returns thanks in the following words:

Worshipful Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, Senior and Junior Deacons, and brethren of this lodge, I return you my niost bearty and sincere thanks, for the honour you have done me, by makiog me a Mason, and by admitting me a member of this ancieat and honourable Society. W. M. Brother Noodle, as, in the course of the evening, you No. 1, Vol. XII.

will be called upon for certain fees for your initiation, it is but proper, that you should know by what auihority we act. These, therefore, are our warrant from the Grand Lodge of England, the book of constitutions and the bye laws of the lodge; both of which I recomiend to your most serious contemplation, as by the one you will be instructed in the duties you owe to the craft in general, and by the other in those you owe to this lodge in particular. · I now present to you the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason, which are the twenty-four inch guage, the common gavel and the chisel.

The lwenty-four inch guage is the first instrument put into the hand of the workman, to enable him to measure and ascertain the size and extent of the work he is about to engage in, thus to compute the time and labour it may cost.

The common gavel is an important instrument of labour and highly esteemed as an implement of art; though recognized by various artists under different appellations, it is yet admitted by them all, that no work of manual skill can be completed without it.

The chisel is a small instrument, though solid in iis form, and of such exquisite sharpness, as fully to compensate for the diminutiveness of its size. It is calculaied to inake impression on the hardest substance and the mightiest structures have been indebt. ed to its aid.

But, as we have met, on the present occasion, as speculative, rather than as operative masons, it is the moral conveyed in those emblems that we are called upon more particularly to regard.

From the twenty-four inch guage, we derive a lesson of daily admonition and instruction: for, as it is divided into twentyfour parts, it recalls to our mind the division of the natural day into twenty-four hours, and directs us to apportionate them to their proper objects-namely-prayer, labour, refreshment, and sleep.

To a mason, however, it may be further considered as the scale which comprehends the numerical apportionment of the different degrees, according to the several lodges, of which I am permitted to say, the first seven are appropriated to the Entered Apprentice.

From the common gavel, we learn, that skill without exerrtion is of little avail, that labour is the lot of man ; for the heart may conceive and the head devise in vain, if the hand be not prompt to execute the desigu.

From the chisel, we learn, that perseverance is necessary to establish perfection, that the rude material can receive its fine polish but from repeated efforts alone, that nothing short of indefatigable exertion can induce the habit of virtue, enlighten the mind, and render the soul pure.

From the whole we deduce this moral, that knowledge ground

« הקודםהמשך »