« הקודםהמשך »
sume, is the repetition of the sacred name, or the signs, or both.
Finch represents the third to be a reading of a part of the bible.
The obligation administered Zerubbabel makes the following nonsensical exhortation :
May the remembrance of the sprig of Cassia, which bloomed over the grave of him, who was truely the most excellept of all super excellent Masons, and who parted with his life, because he would not part with his honour, ever stimulate his successors to imitate his glorious example; that the fragrance of virtue may bloom over our mortal laws, and, like the beautiful rose of Sharon in conjunction with the lilly of the valley, exalt our super excellent part. When death the grand leveller of all human greatness hath drawn his sable curtain round us, and when the last arrow of our mortal enemy hath been dispatched, and the bow of this mighty conqueror broken by the iron arm of time, when the angel of the Lord declares that time shall be no more, and when, by this victory, God hath subdued all things to himself, then shall we receive the reward of our virtue, by acquiring the possession of an immortal inheritance in those heavenly mansions veiled from mortal eye, where every super excellent degree will be opened, never to be closed. Then shall the great Jehovah, the Grand master of the whole Universe, bid us enter into his celestial lodge, where peace, order, and harmony shall eternally reign. (Bah! trash!)
The candidate is now instructed in the signs, how to form the grand word with the letters, and, with the other two sojourners how to pronounce it in successive syllables. He is also invested with an apron, a sash, a robe, and a staff. The particulars of which will be gathered from the following lecture or
Catechism. 2, Companion Noodle, be pleased to advance as a Royal Arch Mason.
(Noodle advances with the sign of salute and by five steps. Finch makes the steps to be seven, but the present Grand Lodge counts but five steps to' the Royal Arch Degree—the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft. the Master Mason, the Past Master and the Royal Arch. Finch adds the excellent and super excellent degrees, and, upon the same principle, he might have added all the degrees that he ever heard of or invented.)
Z. Pray sojourner, why do we advance in that particular manner?
N. In token of the liberal arts and sciences which are so many distinct branches of that universal science called masonry.
Z. where did you learn that?
2. What are you?
N. A citizen of the world, a brother to every worthy mason, and a companion for those of our most excellent degree.
Z. Why were your feet bare ?
N. In allusion to the condition of Moses, before the burning bush in the wilderness of Arabia, who was told to put his shoes from off his feet for the place whereon he stood was holy ground.
Z. Why were your knees bare ? N. That I might be ready to offer up my prayers to the Almighty, to thank him for mercies received, crave pardon for past offences and implore his aid and protection in my future conduct.
Z. Why was the cable tow used ?
N. In commemoration of the singular benefit derived from the ' same by the sojourners, in preparing for the foundation of the second temple.
2. Why were you obligated ?
N. To teach me to avoid the offences committed by our ancestors, who, deviating from true masonic principles and laws, brought on themselves and their posterity that heavy burthen, and, on their city and temple, that ruin and desolation, whereby, the holy word was so long lost, and, afterwards, so miraculously, discovered.
Z: How was that discovery made ?
N. By the three sojourners preparing for the foundation of the . second temple, who made the report thereof to the royal Chap
Z. Pray sojourner who are you?
N. Of your own kindred and people, sprung from that noble and illustrious race of ancestors, whose honours we hope to merit by a steady pursuit of wisdom, truth and justice.
Z. From whence came you?
N. Zerubbabel, the Prince of the People, Haggai, the Prophet, and Jeshua, the High Priest.
2. Were you entrusted with the grand word ?
N. I was. They gave me the grand movement, taught me the sign, and entrusted me with the sacred word, which is too incomprehensible for individuals to express.
Z. Was that word ever lost? N. It was. 2. In what manner? N. By the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abiff, who was slain by a conspiracy of the craft, in order to extort it from him ; therefore, as the word was incomprehensible without three grand masters being present, another was substituted in its room, until the grand architect of the universe caused it to be discovered.
Z. When and where was it found again?
N. By digging for the foundation of the second temple. As the labourers were clearing away the rubbish, they perceived the abutments of some pillars that supported an arch, which formed a secret passage for King Solomon to go into the interior of the Temple to pray to his God. But at the time of its destruction, the roof and walls fell in and remained full seventy years a heap of rubbish. The arch, being unknown to any but the three grand masters, was their secret and royal council room. It was made and remained proof against the destroying flames and fury of the enemy, until the discovery was made and its contents known.
2. How were you invested and otherwise received ?
N. I was first invested with the sash and apron, and robed as a Royal Arch Mason: and from time to time have been entrusted with the various branches of their laws and mysteries.
2. Why were you commanded to bend and make obeisance?
N. In commemoration of the like practice observed by our most excellent grand master, King Solomon, who constantly made his obesiance, in passing the pillar that supported the arch of the private gallery, through which he daily went 10 offer up his prayers to the Lord God.
2. Why was the ceremony of drawing the three key-stones observed?
N, To teach us not to rely on our own reasoning and abilities for our conduct through life; but to draw forth our rules for government from the law and the prophets, and also to commemorate the discovery of the Royal Arch.
2. Pray when and how did that discovery happen? · N. The discovery was made in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia and Babylon, on the return of the Jews from the Babylonish Captivity. In preparing for the foundation of the second temple, they discovered the pedestal perfect and entire, having withstood the fury of the flames and rage of war, being defended by him who hath declared that he would place his word there, never to pass away. Hence, we may learn, the vanity of all human pursuits against the arm of omnipotence. The sojourners were not able to find any other entrance than by drawing forth the key stone, which being done, this part of the discovery was completed.
Z. What was this part of the discovery? .
N. The pedestal of perfect white marble, worked in the form of the arch. On the top a plate of gold contains the figure of a triple triangle. Within the figure are the mysterious characters which the Grand and Royal Chapter informed us were the grand word itself.
2. What do the Principals of the Royal arch chapter repre
N. Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Jeshua represent the three key
stones; and by this, we learn, that, by drawing them forth, the discovery was completed. By the passing of the sojourners through each of these offices, the mystical knowledge of our Grand and Royal Arch chapter is to be obtained.
2. What do the two scribes represent? E N. The two scribes, Ezra and Nehemiah, represent the two
columns, or pillars, that supported the entrance of the Arch and thereby, also, is signified their duty of registering and entering on our records, every act, law or transaction, for the general good of the chapter. 2. What do the three sojourners represent?
N. The three sojourners represent the three keystones, whereon the Grand Masters kneel to offer up their prayers for the success of their work; as all Royal Arch Masons well understand. And hereby we have a lesson, that, in every thing we undertake, . we ought to offer up our prayers to the almighty for success.
Z. Why do we as Royal Arch Masons sit in this form ?
N. To represent the Holy Royal Arch: and hereby, we have a lesson to pursue unity and concord; for as one stone drawn from an Arch endangers the whole, so may the improper conduct of one member endanger the whole chapter. 2. Why do we use rods in our Chapter?
N. In anno lucis 2513 our most excellent grand master, Moses, tending the flock of Jethro his father in law, at the foot of mount Sinai, was called by the almighty and commanded to go down into Egypt and deliver his brethren from their cruel bondage. Moses, then in banishment, greatly hesitated, saying, who am I, that i should go? The Lord, to encourage him, promised to be with him. Moses, still doubting begs of him a sign, to convince him of his power and to confirm his promise, The Lord asked, what is in thine hand. Moses answered, a rod. The Lord said unto him, cast it on the ground. This done it immediately became a serpent: and Moses fled from it. The Lord said unto Moses, put forth thine hand and take it by the tail; and it became aiod. with this rod he smote the two rocks in the wilderness, from whence the waters gushed out. With this rod, he divided the waters of the Red Sea and made them to stand as two great heaps. With this rod he wrought his wonders in the land of "Egypt; and, therefore, to commemorate those singular events, and as our emblems of royalty, we make that use of them in our Royal Arch Chapter. On the top of those staves are the banbers of the twelve tribes of Israel, which we have for many purposes, especially to commemorate the great wonders which he Wrought for the children of Israel during their travels in the wilderness, where they were first set up around their encampments and about which each tribe was to pitch its respective standards. The devices thereon were emblematical of their posterity and after ages.
Z. Be pleased to explain the grand, royal, and sublime pedestal.
N. This is situated on a chequered pavement, which represents the uncertainty of life and the instability of things terrestrial. This grand pedestal was of perfect white marble, cut into the form of the altar of incense, being the only true, double cube, and thereby, both in figure and colour, the most perfect emblem of innocence and purity. On the base of this pedestal is the letter G. which signifies Giblum, a common name for all Masons who are masters of their business. Hereby, we have a lesson of humility and brotherly love: for there is no doubt, but that it was most highly finished and the work of the great Hiram Abiff himself. Yet, he would not assume the honour; but affixed the common name, that every companion might be a sharer. On the front were inscribed the names of the three most excellent grand masters.
Z. Be pleased to explain the Royal Arch Sashes?
N. They are the badges of honour and the ensigns of our order, and are, or ought to be, of the mixed colours of blue and purple with a pale red issuing from the middle in rays. The purple implies awe and reverence; the blue, truth and constancy; and the pale red issuing in rays, justice tempered with mercy.
2. Explain the Jewel.
N. To do this fully would be difficult; but on the bottom of a scroll is the motto: Nil nisi clavis deest, nothing but the key is a wanting, which may be taken in its literal sense. Then, the ring : is the emblem of eternity, with the motto : Talia si jungere possis. sit tibi scire satis ---if thou canst comprehend such things, thou knowest enough. The two intersecting triangles denote the ele- '. ments of fire and water, of prayer and remission, of petition and blessing, with a motto, declaring, that the wearer is desirous of in doing his duty, and of filling up, with justice that link in the chain of creation, wherein his great creator hath thought proper to place him. Within, is another triangle, with the sun in its centre, its rays issuing forth at every point, an emblem * of the deity, represented by a circle, whose centre is every where and circumference no where, hereby denoting his omnipresence, and that his every attribute must be perfection. (Whence came evil with all this perfection? R. C.)
It is also an emblem of geametry. And here we find the most perfect emblem of the science of agriculture: not a partial one like the Basilidean, calculated for one particular climate or coudtry; but universal, pointed out by a pair of compasses issuing from the centre of the sun and suspending a globe denoting the
* Not an emblem only but the only reality on which all the terrestrial gods or deities have had their birth.