« הקודםהמשך »
A. We deem, the lowest situation in the Lord's House an honour; therefore, we only beg employment.
Q. Your humility bespeaks your merit, and we doubt not but you are qualified for some superior office. Those at present being full, and as you prepared with tools for the purpose, we, for the present, shall appoint you to go and prepare for the foundation of the second temple. But let me lay this injunction upon you, that, should you meet with any thing belonging to the first temple, you will communicate no part thereof to any one, until you have faithfully made your report to the Sanhedrim here sitting in chapter. Go and may the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, be with
and prosper' you. (The reader must here suppose that these sojourners retire, begin to work, make a discovery of a concealed arch, and return to report to the Sanhedrim. Masonry in its form and ceremony, is child's-play. Children should be taught it, if men cannot be otherwise shamed out of it.
Q. Sojourners, we are informed that you have made a discovery
A. We have, most excellent; for, being at our work early this morning, our companion braķe up the ground with his pick-axe, and we, judging from the sound thereof, that it was hollow, called upon our companion with his shovel to clear away the loose earth and discovered the perfect crown of an arch. Not being able to make our way into it, another companion removed the key stone, which excited our curiosity to know what it contained; but being afraid of danger, and other unknown circumstances, we cast lots which should first go down, which lot, most excellent, fell upon me. We also agreed upon proper securiy against danger. I was then let down with a cable-tow round my waist and another at each hand. Having arrived at the bottom without impediment, I gave the signal for my freedom, and in searching the arch found this scrol). From the want of light, I could not discern its contents; for the sun had but just come to the portico of the eastern door and darting its beams parallel to the plane of the horizon, I could not discover what it contained. I, therefore, gave the agreed signal and was drawn up. Arriving at the light, we found that it contained a part of the holy law. We have, as in duty bound, thus come to make our report.
Q. The discovery which you have made is of the greatest import; therefore, lest any stranger should go unobserved, you will shew the arch to our companion Nehemiah, that a further discovery may be made.
(Here another retirement is supposed, in which a discovery is made of the grand word, by removing a second and a third keystone of other arches, and which forms the subject of a second report.)
Q. We are informed, that you have made another discovery.
A. Most excellent, we have ; for, on recommencing our labour in the place where we first commenced, we found a second crown of an arch and with difficulty removed the key-stone. We descended the arch and found nothing of any consequence. But judging, from the sound thereof, that, it was hollow beneath, our curiosity was excited for a further search. We discovered a keystone of a third arch. On removing it, the sun, having now gained its meridian height, darted its rays to the centre. It shone resplendent on a white marble pedestal, whereon was a plate of gold. On this plate was engraved a triple triangle, and within the triangle some characters which are beyond our comprehension; therefore, we have, as in duty bound, made our second report.
Q. Pray sojourners, give us that which you have found and explain their characters.
A. That, most excellent, we should be glad to do; but must confess our ignorance like wise men. We should deem it too great a presumption in us to attempt it.
Q. We greatly commend your conduct and should be glad to know who you are.
A. We are of your own kindred and people, sprung from your tribes and branches and from the same original stock, equally with you descendants of our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But we have been under the displeasure of Almighty God, through the offences committed by our ancestors, who deviated from the true masonic principles and laws, and not only committed numberless errors, but ran into every kind of wickedness; so that the almighty, being displeased denounced his judgment against them, by the mouth of Jeremiah and other prophets, by whom he declared that the fruitfulness of the lord should be spoiled, their city, become desolate and an abomination, and that they should feel the weight of his wrath for seventy years. This actually began to be fulfilled in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakin-Ă. L. 3398.
Q. Our knowledge of the facts and the candour with which you have related them, leave no doubt of your sincerity; but we beg to be informed who were your immediate ancestors.
A. We are not of the lineage of that rage of traitors who fell away during the seige and went over to the enemy, when liberty and kindred had most need of their assistance; nor of the lower class of the people left behind by Nebuzaradan, the chief Nebu-, chadnezzar's officers, to cultivate the vineyards and for other servile purposes ; but the offspring of those princes and pobles carried into captivity with Zedekiah. The seventy years of captivity being expired and the anger of the Lord appeased, he hath stirred up the heart of Cyrus king of Persia and Babylon, who hath issued his proclamation, saying :-“Who is there of the lord's people, his God be with him and let him go up to Jerusalem
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which is in Judea and build him a house to the Lord God of Israel; for he is the only true and living God.” We, therefore, have taken the advantage of this proclamation and have returned for that purpose.
Q. Royal sojourners, how have you been employed during your captivity in Babylon.
A. In masonry, most excellent.
A. That grand and universal science which includes all others; but more especially that which teaches the knowledge of ourselves and the duties incumbent on us as men and Masons.
Q. This, sojourners, is worthy of the offspring of your noble ancestors and it shall be our care to reward you. pare to receive those honours due to your zeal and perseverance.
I cannot do you justice as a Royal Arch Mason, this week, my Royal Duke, in one letter, so I must break and resume the subject. The fault, if any body's, is my own or Mrs. Wright's that pink of female sufferers (I niay say the males too: and they must not be angry) for warring against profitable superstition, political religion and religious wickedness. After baving been the patient of the whole routine of nervous disorders, and of almost every other disorder, in a state of complication, she has come out of a dreadful state with the loss of sight in her left eye, but with a better prospect of permanent health than she has long enjoyed. She has taken the first opportunity to come to see me since her liberation from Cold Bath Fields' Prison, and has so delighted me with the detail of the particulars of her share of the campaign since 1821, that, for ten days, I bave neglected every thing to listen to her.
With all her sufferings, her spirits are not broken; but she is as firm as ever, and would enter my shop again with pleasure and alacrity, if there were a renewal of prosecu. tions. I will give you her address, it is 10, Gibson Street, near the Coburg Theatre, and if you will give her a call, she will verify in person all that I have said of her. I look upon her as by far the most interesting woman in the country, and one who has done more public good than any other one: done it too in the face of sufferings such as but few women would face. She is but a little delicate woman, and wbat I truly call ber-all spirit and no matter; though this is a figurative refutation of my theory of Materialism.
JUSTICE versus RELIGION.
Now, Friend Beauchamp, your case is my stimulus to write a dialogue, that bas been long thought of, as importapt to all those who come into Courts of Law with too much sense to bring ought of superstition with them. By religion, I shall suppose Mr. Heath, or bis counsel perbaps Adolphus, examining you, who, injured in the person of your child by a Christian ruffian, are seeking the award of law and justice upon the criminal. I shall suppose your case thoroughly proved, as to the assault upon your infant son, and that the only reason why Mr. Heath does not plead guilty to the charge of assault, is, because, that, you, the fatber of the infant, are not of the same religion, or do not go to the same chapel, with himself. I fear, that I shall not be in time for your particular case ; but the subject cannot fail to be useful, in application to all cases of the kind. Wherever I come in contact with men who require me to say that I am a Christian, I have resolved to be a Christian, and that without hypocrisy, deceit or mental reservation : which
you shall now see :-we must suppose JUSTICE, at the witness's bar of a Court of Law, under examinations by RELIGION, or a religious lawyer, like Adolphus, or that more dirty hypocrite, Charles Phillips, whose “ Celestine and St. Aubert" I shall certainly print for him, when I can remove all idea of doing the thing for profit.
DIALOGUE. Religion.—Pray, Mr. Justice, of what religion are you?
Justice.- To give you a proper auswer, you must define to me what you mean by the word religion.
R.-Define to you what I mean by the word religion! Is it possible, that a man can be living in this religious country, under such a very religious government, where even our soldiers carry the Bible as a charm to the operation of their bayonets and ball cartridges, and not know what the word religion means?
J.-1 bave a meaning for the word religion ; but, unless I understand that it corresponds with your definition, it is impossible, that I can give a clear and intelligible answer to your question.
R.-Well, then, Sir, know, that, by religion, I mean a worship of God, in the general sense of the word; but, by the Christian Religion, a worship of three persons in one God : and to be more ininute.
J.- No pray stay; not to involve ourselves with too much of your definition at a time, I would observe, that I bare a very clear idea, from my experience of the manners of mankind, wbat the word worship means ; but I must now crave your definition of the word God, before I can understand your idea of religion.
R.- Definition of the word God! Was auy thing ever before spoken ove half so blasphemous? Did ever Carlile, that priuce of blasphemers, did his master, Satan bimself, ever equal this? Pray, your worship, (turning to the Chairman, does not this man deserve commitment from the court? (a doubtful nod.)
J.- This tirade might be something towards a definition of your idea of religion, as the assault upon my infant sou was a definition, on his sabbath day, of the religion of Mr. Heatb, on whom I ask the execution of justice; but, tbat you and I may not misunderstand each other and draw wrong inferences from ill defined premises, I must press a definition of your meaning of the word God.
R.-Abominable! I cannot outrage the feelings of the court by such an unprecedented attempt.
J. Now, Sir, you perceive, that I bave changed positions with you, and have shewn you the impropriety of putting improper questions to a person in my siluation. I know well, that you cannot give me a definition of your idea of the word God; but until you can do so, there is an obstacle to my giving you a definition of your idea of the word religion. My answer can oply follow your explanation. I shrink pot from any answer required of me, if you will but put your question in intelligible words.
R.-Pray, your worship, (turning to the Chairman) will it not do, if I assert the doctrine of the gou head to be a mystery ? (A nod of disapprobation.)
J.-No, no, that will not do; because, then, your religion is mysterions and cannot have a clear definition to have a clear answer, suited to the evidence required in a court of law.
R.-(scratching his head and adjusting his wig with both hands, in a solus observes : What times are come upon us now! Is this occupation also gone?) We will take another point, Mr. Justice, are you a Christian ?