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A DESCRIPTION OF THE DEGREE OF INTEND. ANT OF THE BUILDINGS OR MASTER IN ISRAEL.
• Form of the Lodge. This lodge is hung with red and illuminated with twenty-seven Jights, distributed by three times nine, besides five great lights, which are placed at the foot of the altar, opposite to the Thrice Puissant Master, who represents Solomon, King of Israel. The first warden represents Tito Prince Harodim : the second Adoniram the son of Abda. Solomon stands in the east and the wardens in the west, forming a triangle. Adoniram acts as Grand Master of the Ceremonies. All the brethren wear a red triangle collar round their necks, to which a triangle is suspended, on one side of which are engraved the initials of the following words Benhoram, Echad,Jachinai-signifying Free Masons have oneGod. Oh! the eternal! On the reverse, the initials of Judaha, Ky, Jacas signifying-God, the Lord. In the middle of the triangle, on the one side, is engraved G, and on the other side, the letter A, sig. · nifying grand architect. The apron is white, lined with red, and bordered with green. It has a star in the middle darting nine rays. Above that is drawn or embroidered, a pair or scales. On the flap is a triangle : with the letters B, A, I, in the angles.
Form of opening the Lodge, The Thrice Puissant Grand Master holds a sceptre in his hand and says-Illustrious brethren, are we tiled.
A. Thrice Puissant Master, we are safe and secure here.
The T. P. M, then strikes the altar five times, which is repeated by Tito and Adoniram with their mallets.
T. P. M. As it is break of day, it is time to begin our work. My brothers, this lodge is opened.
All the brethren clap their hands five times and make the sign of admiration, by carrying their right hand to their foreheads, the fingers a little extended, to prevent the light; then extend their arms and hands looking to heaven. After this they let their hands fall on their bellies, forming a triangle, with the two thumbs and fore fingers.
Form of Reception. The candidate must be barefoot. The Thrice Puissant Master says-Brother Tito, how shall we repair the loss which we have sustained by the melancholy and traiterous murder of our never to be forgotten Master Hiram Abiff. You know, that it was he alone who was to be entrusted with the decorations of the secret chamber, where every thing the dearest and the most respectable initials were to be concealed. There, the ark was to be deposited, and, by the presence and protection of the almighty, was insured. Scarcely had this great master set about this work, when he was snatched from us by the most horrid and infamous plot. Most illustrious Wardens, advise me what to do.
Tito. Thrice Puissant Master, I am fully aware of the loss we have sustained, as well as of the difficulty we have to repair it. In my opinion, the only remedy we have is, to appoint a chief for each of the five orders of architecture, and that we unite to give him every assistance in our power towards the completion of this third secret master.
T. P. M. Most illustrious prince and brother Tito, your advice is too good to be neglected, and to shew you how much I am swayed by it, I now appoint you, Brother Adoniram and Abda bis Father, to inspect the work. Go to the middle chamber and see if there be any of the chiefs of the five orders of architecture there.
The Grand Master of the ceremonies withdraws to the other toom and enquires if there be any chiefs there. The candidate answers- I am here. The G. M. C. puts to him the following question.
Q. Are you possessed of zeal to apply with scrupulous attention to the works which the Thrice Puissant Master will commit to your care.
A. I look upon it as the greatest 'happiness and advantage I am blessed with, to have an opportunity of conversing with him on the great and glorious work, when he purposed to erect a Temple to the almighty worthy of his glory.
Adoniram receives from the candidate the sign, token and word of the three first degrees, after which he leads him to the door of the lodge and knocks three, five and seven times, 'at intervals. The door is opened by a brother, to whom Adoniram says: The brother, whom I introduce, is one who works in the middle chamber. He is allowed to pass and is taken by the hand by Adoniram, with the master's grip, to the middle of the lodge, where he is instructed to kneel on a square flag stone, opposite to a table, behind which Tito sits, who puts a sprig of Cassia, or any other green sprig, into his hand, and then, in that position, he takes the obligation: the penalty of which is, to observe all rules laid down by the grand council of the Princes of Jerusalem, under the penalties of all former obligations, with the addition, that his body may be severed in two and bowels torn out and given as a prey to the fowls of the air in justice and equity. Amen. Amen. Amen.
The obligation over, a brother comes behind covers him with
a red veil, lifts him up, sets him on a stool in the middle of the lodge, and thus addresses him :
My dear brother, Solomon, King of Israel, being willing and desirous to carry on to the highest degree of perfection, if possible, the works commenced by Hiram Abiff, he has thought proper, to effect this business, to employ the five chiefs of the five orders in architecture, assisted by the three Princes of Harodim, Tito, Abda, and his son Adoniram. He was well convinced of their zeal and abilities and therefore hoped to see the work completed in a masterly manner. We flatter ourselves, my dear brother, that you will contribute with all your might to this grand end. As you represent a dead man, it must be to you an emblem, that, in order to succeed in this great work, you must execute it with the same spirit as our respectable master Hiram Abiff would have done. You must also be possessed of the same spirit and resolution as he was, which was to prefer death to the divulging of the mysteries of the order. We hope you will follow his example. I will now raise you, not as you were raised before, but as Hiram Abiff was raised by Stolkin.
Adoniram takes the candidate's right elbow in his left hand, with the right gives him the master's grip, and, by three pulls, lifts him and throws the veil from his face. All the Puissant Grand Masters give him the sign, token and word.
The first sign is that of amazement and surprise, which is done by lifting your hands as high as your cheeks, the fingers perpendicular and both thumbs touching the ears, so as to form two squares. In walking, you stop as if astonished, and when standing, throw your body back.
The second sign is to clap your right hand to your forehead, with your fingers and nails turned on the eyes and say Benhoram. Your brother answers by interlacing the fingers of both hands and by putting the back part of them to the left side of the belly, and, looking up to heaven, says-Echad.
The third sign is that of grief, figurative of the Fellow Craft's sign. Carry your right hand to your heart, and at the same time, your left hand low down on the left side, as if to struggle. Then, move your elbow three times in a circular manner, from side to side, and say-Ky; to which the other responds Jaca.
The token is to touch each other's heart, pass and take each other with the right hand by the middle of the arm, and, with the left hand, by the elbow: pass it three times. The one utters the grand word Jachinai and the other answers Judah.
A. I have taken five steps of exactitude and have penetrated into the inner part of the Temple. I have seen the effects of the great and resplendent light, in the middle of which I have seen, i .
in Hebrew characters, the three mysterious letters I. I. I, without knowing what they mean.
Q. How were you received Intendant of the Building.
A. In order to dispel the darkness in which I am encircled and to get such light as would regulate my heart and enlighten my understanding.
Q. In what place where you introduced.
A. In a place full of wonder and charms, where virtue and sovereign wisdom reside.
Q. What is the duty of an intendant of the Building.
A. To keep the brethren steady in the practice of virtue by setting them a good example, to correct their works.
Q. Why is it required, in this degree, before you are admitted, to shew that you are well instructed in the three first degrees of Masonry.
A. To shew that it is only gradually that we can arrive at perfection. Q. What do you learn from the three first degrees.
A. The first teaches moral virtue ; the second political virtue; and the third heroic virtue.
Q. Why were you obliged to take your steps backwards as well as forwards in your different degrees.
A. To shew, that the progress towards virtue was slow and gradual; that we must by humility curb that pride which is natural to us, before we can presume to hope for perfection: And. also, that we must judge so far impartially of our actions and so far effectually govern our passions, as not to leave any thing exceptionable in our conduct.
Q. Can you explain the mysteries of our lodge.
A. Jachinai signifies divine beauty-Judah divine wisdom. The three letters 1, in the middle of the triangle of the blazing star, are the initials of the sacred and nameless word.
Q. What does the circle in the inside of the third triangle imply.
A. The immensity of God's power, which hath neither beginning nor end.
Q. What do the three letters in the circle mean.
A. Oh! the eternal alone possesseth the attributes of divinity.
Q. What are the chief attributes of the divinity. .
A. Beauty 6. Omniscience 11. Justice 7. Wisdom 7. Eternity 8. Compassion 10. Boundless 10. Perfection 8. Creation and Mercy 14. These make in all the number 81.*
* I had a thought of writing a note on this answer; but the absurdity of the thing can only be fairly met with silent contempt.
Q. Explain to me the square of 9, which you see in the triple triangle.
A. Nine, thrice multiplied by three, makes 81.
A. In memory of his being the first who constructed a temple to his Lord.*
Q. Why do you place a brazen sea in the temple.
A. To let us know, that the temple of God is holy, and that we must not enter it before we are purified from all uncleanness.
Q. What does the left side of the temple signify.
Q. What is the meaning of the tomb, which is under the threshold of the door of the sanctuary in your degrees of Perfect Master and Provost and Judge.
A. It shews that we must be purified by death, before we can enter into the mansions of bliss.
Q. What does the candlestick with seven branches signify.
A. The presence of the holy spirit in the heart of those who faithfully observe the law.
Q. Why are you barefooted at the time of reception.
Q. What happened in consequence and what was done with you.
A. A warden immediately appeared, who supported and carried me round the temple five times.
Q. What was bis intention in so doing.
A. Surprise, wonder and grief took possession of my mind all the time.
Q. Why were you thus affected.
A. I was thus affected at the sight of what was enclosed in the blazing star.
Q. Pray, what could that be,
A. Something that was mysterious and appertaining to the grand architect of the universe, which I hope to be acquainted with in time.
Q. Why had that star five points or rays.
A. It was to shew, first, that in the construction of the temple, the five orders of architecture were made use of : second, to
* Who constructed the temple of Elora in Hindostan before the name of Solomon King of Israel was fabled ? Answer me that masons. Your Solomon's Fabled Ternple, as to skill and labour, is a wigwam compared to this reality.