תמונות בעמוד

Q. Be pleased to explain.

A. As for the arms of his soldiers, whicn were newly sprung from gentility, not forgetting his vision and victory, he garnished with the sign of the cross, that thereby they might the sooner blot out from their remembrance their old superstitious idolatry (to blot in one that was worse, R. C.) and in the spirit and truth, to worship the only true god. He also took into his service and bountifully rewarded all such soldiers as had been cashiered upon the account of their being christians, and prescribed them a form of prayer by way of a confession of faith, in these words :-We acknowledge thee only to be our God: we confess thee to be our king: we invoke and call upon thee to be our helper: by thee we obtain our victories : by thee we vanquish and subdue our enemies : to thee we attribute whatever conveniences we enjoy: and by thee we hope for good things to come. To thee we direct our suits and petitions, most humbly beseeching thee to protect and preserve Constantine our Empercr, his noble children and all Christians: and beg of thee, our everlasting king. to continue them long in life and give them victory over their enemies through Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.

The good emperor gave liberally to the maintenance of schools erected for the encouragement of piety and learning, and granted large privileges to universities, commanding the scriptures to be diligently kept and continually read in all churches. He also liberally relieved the necessities of the poor remitting the fourth part of his rents and revenues to be disposed of for these and other pious uses.

His tomb of grey marble continues at Constantinople to this day. Even the turks retain a veneration for the memory of this worthy emperor.

Accounting the six years that Licinius reigned with him, the time of the persecution amounts to just three hundred years, * when it ceased with this great Emperor, who laid a lasting foundation for the honour of the christian name. Upon this account, his memory will flourish in the minds of all good men and christian masons, till time shall be no moret.

Q. In what manner do we enter the conclave at the time of our exaltation.

A. On the triangle and with the pass word, Constantine.

Q. Why are we conducted round the conclave twelve times, when we are exalted to this degree.

A. In commemoration of Constantine's going twelve times round the plot of ground at Rome set apart for the church, that he commanded to be built for the use of the christians, when he

* Began a hundred years before the Christians began to exist, according to this account!

R. C. Quere, when’ will that be? And what but time can exist to make up the sum of eternity?

R. C.

carried upon his imperial shoulders twelve baskets of earth for the foundation, in memory of the twelve apostles,

Q. Is there not a second reason,

A. In allusion to the twelve great pillars that support the Church of Rome, on which was delineated an abstract of the Acts of the Apostles.

Q. Is there not a third reason, why we are conducted round twelve times.

A. In commemoration of the twelve grand points connected with the cross of Christ, the zeal of our grand and noble founder, and that of his mother, St. Helena.

Q. What was the first grand point.
A. The humility of Christ upon the cross.
Q. The second.
A. St. Helena going from Rome to Jerusalem.
Q. The third.

A. The pious and diligent enquiry of St. Helena after the sacred spot, Golgotha.

Q. The fourth.

A. St. Helena finds three crosses, and is much perplexed to find which is that of Jesus Christ.

Q. The fifth,

A. Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, directs St. Helena how to discover the cross of Christ from those of the two thieves.

Q. The sixth.

A. The first public acts of St. Helena and Constantine, after the Cross of Christ had een found.

Q, The seventh.
A. The two festivals of the Christian Church.
Q. The eighth,
A. The cross taken away by one of the heathen Emperors.
Q. The ninth.
A. The restoration of the Cross of Christ.
Q. The tenth.

A. The Emperor Heraclius recovers for the Christians the cross of Christ and carries it himself in his royal robes and pomp of state.

Q. The eleventh.

A. Heraclius divests himself of his robes of royalty, and, in pious humble state, carries the cross into the Church on Mount Calvary.

Q. The twelsth.
A. The reign of the son of God at the day of Judgment.
Q. What are the grand words of this order.
A. In hoc signo vinces.
Q. What are the pass words.
A: Constantine and Matthias.
Q. What is the chief furniture of this degree.

[ocr errors]

A. A grand transparent cross placed in the east, iormed by sixteen stars, and, in the centre, the sixteen letters forming the grand words.

Q. What is the Jewel and Mark of this order.
A. A cross with the initials of the grand words 1. H, S. V.

In the closing of this degree, there is an invocation of thirteen saints, or the twelve apostles and Saint Paul, in the true Roman Catholic style.

The Christians. as a sect, may well commemorate the first connection of Constantine; with their church as, but for his ambition to gain the Roman Empire, through espousing their interest as a sect, they never would havetriumphed over the previously established Paganism. But Constantine is no credit to them: he was as great a hypocrite and as greata villain as ever lived. He destroyed every member of his own fainily, who, he thought, stood in his way as an emperor. He murdered his his wife, betrayed his friends and violated all his treaties. He jointly worshipped as a Pagan and a Christian and some historians have said, that he expressed his contempt for Chistianity on his death bed.


THE WHITE EAGLE OR PELICAN. Tus degree in Scotland has been also called that of Knights of the Rosy Cross of Saint Andrew, and has been taken as the ne plus ultra of Masonry. In some cases, it has borne that distinction, which has also been the case with several other degrees, before new ones were invented: and, had Finch lived to this time, we should have had a degree plus ne plus ultra or ultra ne plus ultra. But I have another degree to come called ne plus ultra. This must pass as that of Knights of the Eagle and Perfect Mason. This degree has two points and requires two apartmenis. The first to represent Mount Calvary; and the second, the instant of the Resurrection. In this and in the ne plus ultra degree, we have a game of going down into hell!

The first apartment is hung with black and lighted with thirty three lights upon three candlesticks of eleven branches. Each light is enclosed in a small tin box and issues its light through a hole of an inch diameter. These lights denote the age of Jesus Christ.

In three angles of the room, north-east, south-east, and southwest, are ihree pillars, of the height of a man, on the chapiters of which a word is written, making Faith, Hope and Charity.

Every lodge or chapter has its picture or draught, descriptive of its form, and of the proper place of its officers and emblems. The draught of this degree represents the lodge as a long square, with triple signs, on the exterior of which are written the words

Wisdom, Strength and Beauty: and in the interior east, south north and west. On the east, at the south and north angles, the sun and moon and a sky studded with stars are painted, The clouds very dark. An eagle is seen beating the air with bis wings, as a symbol of the supreme power

There are also drawn, three squares, containing three circles, which contain three angles, or an equilateral triangle each, alle. gorical of Mount Calvary. On the summit is a cubic stone pointed and painted, as if sweating blood and water, typical of the sufferings of the son of God. Upon the cubic stone is a rose, which is compared to his sweetness, and the letter J, which means Jehovah, the expiring word.

The space round the square is filled with darkness, to represent that which happened at the crucifixion. Below it are all the ancient instruments and tools of Masonry, with the columns, broken and divided into many parts, to denote that all the depending parts of the work of a mason could not be worked at the death of he who was master of it. Lower down is the veil of the temple rent into two parts. On the exterior of the oriental line is the colour, with the seven knots of union as perfect masons. Before the master, is a little table, lighted by three lights, upon which, instead of the Bible, the gospel, compasses, square and triangle are placed. All the brethren are clothed in black, with a black scarf from the left shoulder to the right side. An apron doubled with black, which must not be worn out of the first apartment. The master and the other officers wear on the neck a wide ribbon of black mohair, from which hangs the jewel. The master's jewel is a blazing star of seven rays, in the middle of which is the letter G. The rays of the star are commonly of stone and the mounting gold. The jewel of the Senior Warden is a triangle: that of the Junior Warden a square and compasses. The other officers wear their ordinary jewels, which are covered with a small bit of black cloth. The jewels of each brother is formed by the compasses mounted, the points upon a quarter circle. At the head of the compasses is a blown rose, the stalk of which loses itself in one of the points. In the middle of the rose is the letter G mounted upon a sinall crown. In the middle of the compasses is a cross, of which the first extremity is comisant at the head of the compasses; the second, opposed to it, touches the middle of the quarter circle; the third and fourth abut on the middle of the points. Upon the cross is a pen in mosaic gold and silver. On each side upon one reverse of the cross, is, in the middle, an eagle adosse, the wings stretched over the sides and the talons contracted up to the body. On the other, is a pelican adosse, the wings extended, and having round her breast seven young ones, the beaks open and held up to receive the blood which flows from her wounded bosom to nourish them. This should be of gold or gilt and is worn in the first apartment, at the bottom of a large red

Scotch ribbon, with a small black rosette fastened at the top and which marks the said degree.

The second apartment, representing the instant of the resurrection, is hung with tapestry, luminous lights and full of glory, without a human figure. The three chandeliers, with thirty-three lights, illuminate this apartment; but without the boxes. The master, the officers and brethren, on entering this apartment, take red sashes and aprons, with the jewels before mentioned. They wear the 'sword and scarf, as in the preceding degree. The picture of this apartment is a long square, with quadruple signs, with the words Faith, Hope, Charity, East, South, West, and North, written on the exterior, and an indented tuft in the east. In the angles of the North and South, are the sun and moon in a sky studded with stars.' In the first part of the east, a cross surrounded with a glory and a cloud, with seven angles : upon the cross is a rose of paradise, in the middle of which is the letter G, Below are three squares, in which are three circles, having three triangles, to form the summit which is allegorical of Mount Calvary, upon which the Grand Architect of the Universe expired! Upon this summit is a blazing star, with seven rays, shining with all its splendour, and in the middle of it the letter G. The star represents allegorically, the son of God resuscitated in all his glory. On the south side is a Pelican upon its nest piercing her bosom, whence issues three streams of blood to nourish the seven young ones; which is an image of parental tenderness. On the North is an Eagle beating the air with its wings as an image of supreme power. Below is the tomb. In the lower part of the said square, upon the middle line from the east to the west are the compasses, drawing board, crow, trowel and square. Upon the south line is the cubic stone pointed and its hammer, the rule and level. Upon the north line, the rough stone and hammer, the mallet and chisel, the plumb line and the perpendicular. On the exterior of the east line, the column and the seven knots of union as perfect masons.

The master of this lodge allegorically represents the person of Wisdom and Perfection, which gives him the title of most wise and perfect master. The wardens are styled most excellent and perfect. The other officers most puissant and perfect brothers, adding the title of their office. The brethren are called most respectable and perfect Masons, having the title of perfect only in the second apartment.

In the second apartment, there are no other tables but that on the right of the master, very small and of a triangular form. There is nothing upon it but the book of the Gospel, the tools of Masonry and three lights. The officers and the brethren, when in this apartment, take the red sashes and aprons, adding thereto the jewels, which they wore in the first apartment, at the bottom of the black sash.

« הקודםהמשך »