« הקודםהמשך »
the conduct of those who solicit them; for our prudence will only permit us to grant them to those whom we have well tried. Your conceptions upon this business are most probably erroneous; for it is scarcely possible for you to conjecture the object or intent of our meeting. The grandeur of this degree is imniense, and, with the permission of the very honourable brethren who assist me, I will declare it. The mighty degree which we now hold is that of a Superintendant Scotch Master.* The Temple is raised from the foundation to a cape-stone: the elevations are perfect, and the sacred utensils only remain to be prepared, after the drawings of the greatest master that ever lived. We are to elect a successor, who will complete with honour and with glory the models which he designed. Move about the lodge, exercise your genius and present to us the result.
The candidate traverses 81 times round the drawing, and, at length, the Wardens give him designs for the furniture, which he presents to the master.
V. P. Moabon, the designs are worthy of the subject; but there is an obligation to which you aré to submit, before you can be made acquainted with our secrets. This engagement differs from those which you have already taken, in as much as, that, they were entered into in darkness; whereas, this is offered to your without restraint. It is now for you to decide. We have the power to release you from your professions, even of those which you have made with us. It is a matter of indifference, if you reveal all that you already know on the subject of Masonry. We care not if it becomes the amusement of the popular world. What is now required of you is, an act of sincerity, and, as such, it is transcribed for your perusal and approbation. If you do not concur with the contents, say so, and we will act accordingly. If you consent, read it with an audible voice and we will attend to you.
Obligation. Upon the possession of my senses, upon the existence of my reason, and upon the understanding that supports, guides and enlightens me, I promise, swear, and vow, that I will keep inviolate all the secrets, signs and mysteries which have been to the present time unveiled, or that shall be revealed to me in future. If I am not faithful to this engagement, may my body be exposed to pains and penalties; may the veins of my temples be opened and may I be exposed upon a pyramid to the heat of the sun, the cold of the night, and the rigours of the winds; may my blood run slowly, drop by drop, till the spirit is extinguished that ani- . mates the substance; may I augment my sufferings, if I fail
• What! were Scotchmen known at the building of this wonderful temple, this airy fabric?
herein; may nourishment be given to me daily, proportionate and sufficient only to preserve and prolong a miserable existence, as no punishment can sufficiently atone for my perjury. * · If the candidate refuses to repeat it, the Wardens point their swords to his back and drive him before them twenty-seven times round the lodge and then thrust him out of doors. This is called pumping. If he accepts, he pronounces the obligation in an audible voice and the paper is committed to the flames.
V. P. Brother Moabon, your zeal having engaged you to persevere with the firmness of a good mason, we shall now proceed to your proclamation as a Superintendant Scotch Master, a ceremony which from time immemorial has always taken place in the eastern part of the Temple. Prior to this, it has been deemed a mark of respect, and upon the present occasion it must not be omitted, to meditate for a few moments on the tragical end of him whom you are called to succeed, Silence is a sincere sentiment of grief, Let the homage done to his name be perfect, as every particular respecting him is such,
The master pronounces Cıvı: the brethren put one knee to the ground. The master strikes thrice; and the brethren place their heads on their hands for a few moments, in a pensive posture. The master then says Cake: the brethren rise to salute each other and unanimously address the candidate :--We adopt Moabon as our brother and we acknowledge him to be our grand master,
V. P. Very honourable brother, it is with extreme pleasure, that I behold your proclamation to an illustrious Superintendant Scotch MasterWords will not express the sentiments which my heart dictates. I will, however, confide to you the mysteries which are reserved for this degree. Advance and receive them.
This sash will give you authority over masons of inferior order. To distinguish ourselves as Superintendant Scotch Masters, there are three words, two signs and a grip. The words are Urim, Thummim and Zididiac. The signs are to present the hands in the form of a triangle to the forehead, saying:--Triangular at the forehead is my point of support. The other is to put the right hand upon the eyes, inclining the head and bending the knee. The grip is to take the two right hands, as in the Architects' degree; but, instead of turning them thrice, mutually give three slight strokes with the fore-fingers closed. Put the left hand on the brother's right shoulder and say :- Virtue unites two hearts, two heads, two bodies, and in every thing makes us one.
As Scotch Master, you are to preside in the lodge, as soon as you are capable of instructing the brethren. I shall resign my present power and shall cheerfully submit to your governmeiet, as
* Here is a rare specimen of Masonic murality!
you have conformed to mine, The mysteries of this degree, to which I require your attention, will be best explained in
A. To prepare the altars and to adorn them with precious stones.
Q. Have you any other employ?
A. To form the sacred utensils and to ornament them with sculpture.
Q: What are the utensils ?
A. The ark of alliance, the altar of incense, the table of shewbread, the golden candlesticks, the brazen altar and the brazen sea.
Q. What are the ornaments of the ark of alliance.
A. By placing the hands upon the head, the fingers open, which is the symbol of the ten commandments.
Q. What were the materials used in forming the ark ?
A. It was two cubits and a half in length, one and a half in breadth, and as much in height.
Q. How came you to acquire this knowledge ?
A. In return for the designs which I presented at my initiation.
Q. What pledge was exacted from you before this magnificent discovery?
A. A voluntary engagement which my heart approved and my mouth pronounced,
Q. What succeeded this obligation ? · A. My proclamation.
Q. The use of it ?
A. A unanimous acknowledgment from every one present that I was a Superintendant Scotch Master.
Q. What is represented by the triangle?
(A, Eternity, science and power.
Q. What do the letters within the triangle signify?
A. The sacred word and its situation evinces that the creator is the centre and source of Masonry.
Q. What is the signification of the circle round it ?
A. That the supreme being had no beginning and consequently no end. 'Q. Why is the jewel pendant to a ribbon the colour of fire ?
A. To keep in remembrance the ardour which enabled us to obtain this degree.
Q. In what place was the first lodge of Superintendant Scotch Masters held ?
A. Between three mountains, inaccessible to the ignorant, and in a valley where peace, virtue and union reign. · Q. Name the mountains ?
A. Moriah, Sinac, Harodim.
A. In the north of Scotland, from whence it is termed Scotch Masonry. In this place, a cock never crowed, a lion never roared, and a woman never tattled.*
Q. What is to be understood by a deep valley ?
V. P. Very Honourable Superintendant Scotch Masters, this is the ultimatum, the highest number in the archives of masonry. It is the boundary beyond which there is no passing. This is the last instant of the last hour of the last year that this lodge is to be held. The very honourable brethren give one knock each until eighty-one are counted and the lodge is closed.
* The continental masons of the last century had a tradition among them, that pure Masonry had been preserved by the inhabitants of a cave in a nountain near Aberdeen. So powerful was the tradition, that some German Masons were deputed to ascertain from those of Aberdeen, if such were the fact. The ignorant Masons of Aberdeen were astonished at such an application, and told the deputation, that they were equally ignorant of pure Masonry; indeed, they had a notion that it had only been preserved on the continent !
A DESCRIPTION OF THE DEGREE OF SECRET MASTER, CALLED, BY FINCH, THE SECRET PROVOST AND LEVITICAL ORDER OF PRIESTHOOD.
Form of the Lodge. This lodge is hung with black, strewed with tears. The master represents Solomon and is stiled Thrice Puissant. He comes to the temple to the seven expert masters to repair the loss of Hiram Abiff. In this lodge there is but one Warden, who is called Adoniram. It is lie who had the inspection of the workmanship done on Mount Lebanon, before the death of Hiram Abiff. He was the first seCRET MASTER.
Form of the Lodge. Solomon sits in the east, clothed in black, lined with ermine; holds a sceptre in his hand ; before him is a triangular altar, on which is a crown of laurels and olive leaves. Adoniram sits in the west, is called inspector, and does not make use of any iron tool; because the work was suspended by the death of Hiram Abiff. Solomon is decorated with a broad blue ribband from his right shoulder to his left hip, at the bottom of which hangs a triangle; but no apron. Adoniram is decorated with a broad white ribband, with black borders, has a triangular collar, to which is pendant, an ivory key with the letter Z in the wards. All the brethren have a similar collar and key, with white aprons and black strings. The white signifies the candour and innocence of the master: and the black the mourning for their chief. The flap of the apron is blue, with an eye of gold painted on it. This lodge should be lighted with 81 lights in branches of nine to each; but may be done with three times three.
Form of opening the Lodge.
A. Thrice puissant, I have passed from the square to the compasses, I have seen the tomb of Hiram Abiff, and have, in company with my brethren, shed many tears over it.
T. P. What is the clock?
A. The dawn of the day has driven away darkness and the great light begins to shine in this lodge.
T. P. If the great light begins to shine in this lodge and we are all secret masters, it is time to begin our work. Give notice, Brother Adoniram, that I am about to open the lodge.
Adoniram gives this notice: the thrice puissant strikes seven times with his hands and makes the sign of silence, by putting the two first fingers of his right hand upon his lips. Then all the Brethren strike seven times and answer the sign, by putting the two first fingers of their left hands upon their lips. The thrice Puissant says : “ this lodge is open.”