Illustrations of Masonry
General Remarks: including an Illustration of the Lectures; a
particular Description of the ancient Ceremonies; and the Charges used in the
Sect. 1 -
Masonry is an art useful and
extensive. In every art there is a mystery, which requires a progress of study
and application to arrive at any degree of perfection. Without much
instruction, and more exercise, no man can be skillful in any art; in like
manner, without an assiduous application to the carious subjects treated in
the different lectures of masonry, no person can be sufficiently acquainted
with its true value.
From this remark it must not be
inferred, that person who labour under the disadvantage of a confined
education, or whose sphere of life requires assiduous attention to business or
useful employment, are to be discouraged in the endeavours to gain a knowledge
of masonry. To qualify an individual to enjoy the benefits of the society at
large, or to partake of its privileges, it is not absolutely necessary that he
should be acquainted with all the intricate parts of the science. These are
only intended for persons who may have leisure and opportunity to indulge such
Some men may be more able than
others, some more eminent, some more useful, but all, in their different
spheres, may prove advantageous to the community; and our necessities, as well
as our consciences, bind us to love one another. To those, however, whose
early years have been dedicated to literary pursuits, or whose circumstances
and situation in life render them independent, the offices of a Lodge ought to
be principally restricted. The industrious tradesman proves himself a valuable
member of society, and worthy of every honour that we can confer; but the
nature of every man's profession will not admit of that leisure which is
necessary to qualify him to become an expert Mason, so as to discharge the
official duties of a lodge with propriety. And it must be admitted that those
who accept offices and exercise authority in a Lodge, ought to be men of
superior prudence and genteel address, with all the advantages of a tranquil,
well cultivated mind, and retentive memory. All men are not blessed with the
same powers, nor have all men the same talents; all men, therefore, are not
equally qualified to govern. But he who wishes to teach, must submit to learn;
and no one is qualified to support the the higher offices of a Lodge, until he
has previously discharged the duties of those which are subordinate, which
require time and experience. All men may rise by graduation, and merit and
industry are the first steps to preferment. Masonry is widely calculated to
suit different ranks and degrees, as every one, according to his station and
ability, may be employed, and class with his equal in every station. Founded
upon the most, generous principles, no disquietude appears among professor of
the art; each class is happy in its particular association, and when the whole
meet in general convention, arrogance and presumption appear not on the one
hand, or diffidence and inability on the other; but all unite in the same
plan, to promote that endearing happiness which constitutes the essence of
Sect. 2 -
The Ceremony of Opening and Closing A Lodge
In regular assemblies of men,
convened for wise and useful purposes, the commencement and conclusion of
business are accompanied with some form. In every country of the world the
practice prevails, and is deemed essential. From the most remote periods of
antiquity it is traced, and the refined improvements of modern items have not
Ceremonies, simply considered,
are little more than visionary delusions; but their effects are sometimes
important. - When they impress awe and reverence on the mind, and engage
attention, by external attraction, to solemn rites, they are interesting
objects. There purposes are effected when judicious ceremonies are regularly
conducted an properly arranged. On this ground they have received the sanction
of the wisest of men in all ages, and consequently could not escape the notice
of Masons. TO begin well, is the most likely means to end well: and it is
justly remarked, that when order and method are neglected at the beginning,
they will be seldom found to take place at the end.
The ceremony of opening and
closing a Lodge with solemnity and decorum is there universally adopted among
masons; and though the mode in some lodges may vary, still an uniformity in
the general practice prevails in every lodge; and the variation (if any) is
solely occasioned by a want of method, which a little application might easily
To conduct this ceremony with
propriety, ought to be the peculiar study of every Mason; especially of those
who have the honour to rule in our assemblies. To persons thus dignified,
every eye is directed for propriety of conduct and behaviour; and from them,
other brethren, less informed, will naturally expect to derive example worthy
From a share in this ceremony
no mason is exempted. It is a general concern, in which all must assist. This
is the first request of the Master, and the prelude to business. no sooner has
it been signified, than every officer repairs to his station, and the brethren
rank according to their degrees. The intent of the meeting becomes the object
of attention, and the mind is insensibly drawn from those indiscriminate
subjects of conversation which are apt to intrude on our less serious moments.
Our care is first directed to
the external avenues of the lodge, and the proper officers whose province it
is to discharge that duty, execute the trust with fidelity. By certain mystic
forms. of no recent date, they intimate that we may safely proceed. To detect
impostors among ourselves, an adherence to order in the character of masons
ensues, and the lodge is opened or closed in solemn form.
At opening the lodge two
purposes are effected; the Master is reminded of the dignity of his character,
the brethren of the homage and veneration due from them in the sundry
stations. These are not the only advantages resulting from due observance of
the ceremony; a reverential awe for the Deity is inculcated, and the eye fixed
on that object from whose radiant beams light only can be derived. Hence in
this ceremony we are taught to adore God of Heaven, and to supplicate his
protection on our well-meant endeavours. Thus the Master assumes his
government in due form, and under him his Wardens; who accept their trust,
after the customary salutations, as disciples of one general patron. After
which the brethren, with one accord, unite in duty and respect, and the
At closing the lodge, a similar
form takes place. here the less important duties of masonry are not passed
over unobserved. the necessary degree of subordination, which takes place in
the government of a lodge is peculiarly marked, while the proper tribute of
gratitude is offered up to the beneficent Author of life and his blessing
invoked, and extended to the whole fraternity. Each brother faithfully locks
up the treasure which he has acquired in his own repository, and , pleased
with his reward, retires, to enjoy, and disseminate, among the private circle
of his friends, the fruits of his labour and industry in the lodge.
There are faint outlines of a
ceremony which universally prevails among masons in every county, and
distinguishes all their meetings . Hence it is arranged as a general section
in every degree, and takes the lead in all our illustrations.
used at opening the Lodge
May the favour of Heaven be
upon this meeting and as it is happily begun, may it be conducted with order,
and closed with harmony.
used at closing the Lodge
May the blessing of Heaven rest
upon us, and all regular masons! May brotherly love prevail, and every moral
and social virtue cement us!
Charges and Regulations for the
conduct and behaviour of Masons.
A rehearsal of the Ancient
Charges properly succeed the opining and precede the closing of a lodge. This
was the constant practice of our ancient brethren and ought never to be
neglected in our regular assemblies. A recapitulation of our duty cannot be
disagreeable to those who are aquatinted with it; and to those to whom it is
not known, should any such be, it must be highly proper to recommend it.
(to be rehearsed at opening the
On the Management of the Craft
Masons employ themselves
diligently in their sundry vocations, live creditably, and conform with
cheerfulness to the government of the county in which they reside.
The most expert craftsman is
chosen or appointed Master of the work, and is duly honoured in that character
by those over whom he presides.
The Master, knowing himself
qualified, undertakes the government of the lodge, and truly dispenses his
rewards, according to merit.
A craftsman who is appointed
Warden of the work under the Master, is true to the Master and fellows,
carefully oversees the work, and the brethren obey him.
The Master, Wardens and
brethren are just and faithful, and carefully finish the work they begin,
whether it be in the first or second degree; but never put that work to the
first, which has been appropriated to the second degree.
Neither envy nor censure is
discovered among masons. No brother is supplanted, or put out of his work, if
he is capable to finish it; for he who is not perfectly skilled in the
original design, can never with equal advantage to the Master finish the work
begun by another.
All employed in Masonry meekly
receive their reward, and use no disobling name. Brother or Fellow are the
appellations they bestow on each other. they behave courteously within and
without the lodge, and never desert the Master till the work is finished.
Laws for the
Government of the Lodge
(To be rehearsed at opening the
You are to salute one another
in a courteous manner, agreeably to the forms established among masons
*; you are freely to give such mutual
instructions as shall be thought, necessary or expedient, not being overkeen
or overhead, without encroaching upon each other, derogating from that respect
which is due to a gentleman were he not a mason; for thought as mason we rank
as brethren on a level, yet masonry deprives no man of the honour due to his
rank or character, but rather adds to his honour, especially if he has
deserved well of the fraternity, who always render honour to whom it is due,
and avoid ill-manners.
No private committees are to be
allowed, or separate conversations encouraged; the Master or Wardens are not
to be interrupted, or any brother who is speaking to the Master; but a due
respect pair to the Master, and presiding officers.
These laws are to be strictly
enforced, that harmony may be preserved, and the business of the lodge carried
on with order and regularity.
Amen. So mote it be.
the Behaviour of Masons
(To be rehearsed at closing the
When the Lodge is closed, you
are to enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth and carefully to avoid excess. You
are not to compel any brother to act contrary to his inclination, or to give
offence by word or deed, but enjoy a free and easy conversation. You are to
avoid immoral and obscene discourse, and at all time support with propriety
the dignity of you character.
You are to be cautious in your
words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger may not discover, or
find, what is not proper to be intimated; and if necessary, you are to wave a
discourse, and manage it prudently, for the honour of the fraternity.
At home. and in your several
neighbourhoods, you are to behave as wise and moral men. You are never to
communicate to your families, friends or acquaintances, the private
transactions of our different assemblies; but upon every occasion to consult
your honour, and the reputation of the fraternity at large.
You are to study the
preservation of health, by avoiding irregularity and intemperance, that your
families may not be neglected and injured your selves disabled from attending
to you necessary employments in life.
If a stranger apply in the
character of a Mason, you are cautiously to examine him in such a method as
prudence may direct, and agreeably to the forms established among masons; that
you may not be imposed upon by an ignorant false pretender, whom you are to
reject with contempt *, and beware of giving
him any secret hints of knowledge. But if you discover him to be a true and
genuine brother, you are to respect him; if he be in want, you are without
prejudice to relieve him, or direct him how he may be relieved; you are to
employ him, or recommend him to employment: however, you are never charged to
do beyond you ability only to prefer a poor mason, who is a good man and true,
before any other person in the same circumstances
Finally; These rules you are
always to observe and enforce, and also the duties which have been
communicated in the lecture; cultivating brotherly love, the foundation and
capstone, the cement and glory of this ancient fraternity; avoiding, upon
every occasion, wrangling and quarrelling, slandering and backbiting; not
permitting others to slander honest brethren, but defending their characters,
and doing them good offices, as far as any be consistent with your honour and
safety, but no farther. Hence all may see the benign influence of masonry, as
all true masons have done from the beginning of the world, and will do to the
end of time.
Amen. So mote it be.
Sect 3. -
Remarks on the First Lecture
Having illustrated the ceremony
of opening and closing a Lodge, and inserted the Charges and Prayers usually
rehearsed in our regular assemblies on those occasions, we shall now enter on
a disquisition of the different Sections of the Lectures appropriated to the
three Degrees of Masonry, giving a brief summary of the whole, and annexing to
every Remark the particulars to which the Section alludes. By these means the
industrious mason will be better instructed in the regular arrangement of the
Sections in each Lecture , and be enabled with more cease to acquire a
knowledge of the Art.
The First Lecture is divided
into Sections and each Section into Clauses. In this Lecture virtue is painted
in the most beautiful colours, and the duties of morality are strictly
enforced. In it we are taught such useful lessons as prepare the mind for a
regular advancement in the principles of knowledge and philosophy, and these
are imprinted on the memory by lively and sensible images, to influence our
conduct in the proper discharge of the duties of social life.
The First Section of the
Lecture is suited to all capacities, and ought to be known by every person who
wishes to rank as a mason. It consists of general heads, which, though short
and simple carry weight with them. they not only serve as marks of
distinction, but communicate useful and interesting knowledge when they are
duly investigated. They qualify us to try and examine the rights of others to
our privileges, while they prove ourselves; and as they induce us to inquire
more minutely into other particulars of greater importance, they serve as an
introduction to subjects which are more amply explained in the following
As we can annex to these remark
no other explanation consistent with the rules of masonry. we must refer the
more inquisitive to our regular assembles for further instruction.
The Second Section makes us
acquainted with the peculiar forms and ceremonies at the initiation of
candidates into masonry; and convinces us, beyond the power of contradiction,
of the propriety of our rites; while it demonstrates to the most sceptical and
hesitating mind, their excellence and utility.
The following particulars
relative to that ceremony may be introduced here with propriety.
A Declaration to be assented
to by every Candidate in an adjoining apartment, previous to Initiation.
"Do you seriously declare, upon
your honour, before these gentlemen *, that,
unbiased by friends against your own inclination, and uninfluenced by
mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for
the mysteries of Masonry?" - I do.
"Do you seriously declare, upon
your honour, before these gentlemen, that you are solely prompted to solicit
the privileges of Masonry, by a favourable opinion conceived of the
institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to
your fellow-creatures?" - I do.
"Do you seriously declare, upon
your honour, before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all
the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?" - I do.
The Candidate is then proposed
in open lodge, as follows:
"R. W. Master, and Brethren,
"At the request of Mr. A. B. [mentioning
his profession and residence] I propose him in form as a proper
Candidate for the mysteries of Masonry; I recommend him, as worthy to partake
the privileges of the fraternity; and, in consequence of a Declaration of his
intentions, voluntarily made and properly attested, I believe he will
cheerfully conform to the rules of the Order."
The Candidate is ordered to be
prepared for Initiation.
used at Initiation
"Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty
Father of the Universe, to this our present convention; and grant that this
Candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service, and
become a true and faithful Brother among us! Endue him with a competence of
thy divine wisdom, that, by the secrets of this Art, he may be better enabled
to display the beauties of godliness, to the honour of thy holy Name! Amen."
Note. It is a duty
incumbent on every Master of a lodge, before the ceremony of initiation takes
place, to inform the Candidate of the purpose and design of the institution;
to explain the nature of his solemn engagements; and, in a manner peculiar to
masons alone, to require his cheerful acquiescence to the duties of morality
and virtue, and all the sacred tenets of the Order.
The Third Section, by the
reciprocal communication of our marks of distinction, proves us to be regular
members of the Order; and inculcates those necessary and instructive duties
which at once dignify our characters in the double capacity of men and masons.
We cannot better illustrate
this Section, than by inserting the following
Charge at Initiation into
the first Degree
[As you are now introduced into
the first principles of our Order, it is my duty to congratulate you on being
accepted a member of an ancient and honourable Society: ancient, as having
subsisted from time immemorial; and honourable, as tending, in every
particular, so to render all men, who will be conformable to its precepts. No
institution was ever raised on a better principle, or more solid foundation;
nor were ever more excellent rules and useful maxims laid down, than are
inculcated on all persons at their initiation into our mysteries. Monarchs, in
every age, have been encouragers and promoters of our Art, and have never
deemed it derogatory from their dignities, to level themselves with the
fraternities, to extend their privileges, and to patronise their assemblies.]
As a mason you are to study the
moral law, as contained in the sacred code *;
to consider it as the unerring standard of truth and justice, and to regulate
your life and actions by its divine precepts.
The three great moral duties,
to God, your neighbour, and yourself, you are strictly to observe: - To God,
by never mentioning his name, but with that awe and reverence which is due
from a creature to his creator; to implore his aid in your laudable
undertakings; and to esteem him as the chief good: - To your neighbour, by
acting upon the square, and, considering him equally entitled with yourself to
share the blessings of Providence, rendering unto him those favours, which in
a similar situation you would expect to receive from him: - And to yourself,
by avoiding irregularity and intemperance, which might impair your faculties,
and debase the dignity of your profession.
In the state, you are to be
quiet and peaceable subject, true to your sovereign, and just to your country;
you are not to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to
legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government under which
you live, yielding obedience to the laws which afford you protection, and
never forgetting the attachment you owe to the spot where you first drew
outward demeanour, you are to avoid censure or reproach; and beware of all who
may artfully endeavour to insinuate themselves into your esteem, with a view
to betray your virtuous resolutions, or make you swerve from the principles of
the institution. Let not interest, favour, or prejudice, bias your integrity,
or influence you to be guilty of a dishonourable action; but let your conduct
and behaviour be regular and uniform, and your deportment suitable to the
dignity of the profession.]
Above all, practise benevolence
and charity; for by these virtues, masons have been distinguished in every age
and country. [The inconceivable pleasure of contributing
toward the relief of our fellow-creatures, is truly experienced by persons of
a humane disposition; who are naturally excited, by sympathy, to extend their
aid in alleviation of the miseries of others. This encourages the generous
mason to distribute his bounty with cheerfulness. Supposing himself in the
situation of an unhappy sufferer, he listens to the tale of woe with
attention, bewails misfortune, and speedily relieves distress.]
The Constitutions of the Order
ought next to engage your attentions. These contain the history of masonry
from the earliest periods, with an account of illustrious characters who have
enriched the Art in various countries; and the laws and charges, by which the
brethren have been long governed.
A punctual attendance on our
assemblies I am earnestly to enjoin, especially on the duties of the lodge in
which you are enrolled a member. Here, and in all other regular meetings of
the fraternity, you are to behave with order and decorum, that harmony may be
preserved, and the business of masonry properly conducted.
[The rules of good manners you are
not to violate; you are to use no unbecoming language, in derogation of the
name of God, or toward the corruption of good manners: you are not to
introduce or maintain any dispute about religion or politics; or behave
irreverently while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and important; but
you are to pay a proper deference and respect to the Master and presiding
officers, and diligently apply to the practice of the Art, that you may sooner
become a proficient therein, as well for your own credit, as the honour of the
lodge in which you have been received.]
But although your frequent
appearance at our regular meetings is earnestly solicited, masonry is not
intended to interfere with your necessary vocations in life, as these on no
account are to be neglected: neither are you to suffer your zeal for the
institution, however laudable, to lead you into argument with those who may
ridicule it; but rather extend your pity toward all, who through ignorance
contemn, what they never had an opportunity to comprehend. At leisure hours,
study the liberal arts and sciences; and improve in Masonic disquisitions, by
the conversation of well-informed brethren, who will be as ready to give, as
you can be to receive instruction.
Finally; keep sacred and
inviolable those mysteries of the Order which are to distinguish you from the
rest of the community, and mark your consequence among the fraternity. If, in
the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated
into masonry, be particularly attentive not to recommend him unless you are
convinced he will conform to our rules; that the honour, the glory, and the
reputation of the institution may be firmly established, and the world at
large convinced of its benign influence.
attention you have paid to the recital of this charge, we are led to hope that
you will form a proper estimate of the value of freemasonry, and imprint on
your mind the dictates of truth, honour, and justice.]
usually closes with the EULOGIUM, ]
The Fourth Section rationally
accounts for the origin of hieroglyphical instruction, and points out the
advantages which accompany a faithful observance of our duty; it illustrates,
at the same time, certain particulars, of which our ignorance might lead us
into error, and which as masons, we are indispensably bound to know.
To make daily progress in the
Art, is a constant duty, and expressly required by our general laws. What end
can be more noble, than the pursuit of virtue? what motive more alluring, than
the practice of justice? or what instruction more beneficial, than an accurate
elucidation of those symbols which tend to embellish and adorn the mind? Every
thing that strikes the eye, more immediately engages the attention, and
imprints on the memory serious and solemn truths. Hence masons have
universally adopted the plan of inculcating the tenets of their Order by
typical figures and allegorical emblems, to prevent their mysteries from
descending to the familiar reach of inattentive and unprepared novices, from
whom they might not receive due veneration.
It is well known, that the
usages and customs of masons have ever corresponded with those of the ancient
Egyptians, to which they bear a near affinity. These philosophers, unwilling
to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, concealed their particular tenets
and principles of polity under hieroglyphical figures; and expressed their
notions of government by signs and symbols, which they communicated to their
Magi alone, who were bound by oath not to reveal them. Pythagoras seems to
have established his system on a similar plan, and many orders of a more
recent date have copied the example. Masonry, however, is not only the most
ancient, but the most moral institution that ever subsisted; every character,
figure, and emblem, depicted in a Lodge, has a moral tendency, and tends to
inculcate the practice of virtue.
closes with a definition of Charity.]
The Fifth Section explains the
nature and principles of our constitution, and teaches us to discharge the
duties of the different departments which we are top sustain in the government
of a lodge. Here, too, our ornaments are displayed, our jewels and furniture
specified, and proper attention is paid to our ancient and venerable patrons.
To explain the subject of this
Section, and to assist the industrious mason to acquire it, we recommend a
punctual attendance on the duties of a Lodge, and a diligent application to
the truths there demonstrated.
The Sixth Section, though the
last in rank, is not the least considerable in importance. It strengthens
those which precede, and enforces in the most engaging manner, a due regard to
character and behaviour, in public as well as in private life, in the lodge as
well as in the general commerce of society.
This Section forcibly
inculcates the most instructive lessons. Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth are
themes on which we expatiate; while the Cardinal Virtues claim our attention.
- By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human
species as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor; who, as children
of one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid ,
support and protect each other. On this principle masonry unites men of every
country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who
might other wise have remained at a perpetual distance. - Relief is the next
tenet of the profession. To relieve the distressed, is a duty incumbent on all
men; particularly on masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain
of sincere affection. To soothe calamity, to alleviate misfortune, to
compassionate misery, and to restore peace to the troubled mind, is the grand
aim of the true mason. On this basis, he establishes his friendship, and forms
his connections. - Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every
virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught. On this theme
we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavour to regulate our conduct:
influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown, sincerity and
plain-dealing distinguish us, while the heart and tongue join in promoting
each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.
To this illustration succeeds
an explanation of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence , and Justice. - By
Temperance, we are instructed to govern the passions and check unruly desires.
The health of the body, and the dignity of the species, are equally concerned
in a faithful observance of it. - By Fortitude, we are taught to resist
temptation, and encounter danger with spirit and resolution. This virtue is
equally distant from rashness and cowardice; and he who possesses it, is
seldom shaken, and never overthrown, by the storms that surround him. - By
Prudence, we are instructed to regulate our conduct by the dictates of reason,
and to judge and determine with propriety in the execution of very than that
can tend to promote either present or future well-being. In this virtue all
other depend; it is there fore the chief jewel that can adorn the human
frame.- Justice, the boundary of right, constitutes the cement of civil
society. Without the exercise of this virtue, universal confusion must ensue;
lawless force would overcome the principles of equity, and social intercourse
no longer exist. Justice in a great measure constitutes real goodness, and
therefore it is represented to be the perpetual study of the accomplished
The explanation of these
virtues is accompanied with some general observations on the Equality observed
among masons. - In a Lodge no estrangement of behaviour is discovered.
Influenced by one principles, an uniformity of opinion, useful in exigencies,
and pleasing in familiar life, universally prevails, strengthens all the ties
of friendship, and equally promotes love and esteem. Masons are brethren by a
double tie, and among brothers no invidious distinctions should still exist.
Merit is always respected and honour rendered to whom it is due. - A king is
reminded, that although a crown may adorn the head, or a sceptre the hand, the
blood in the veins is derived from the common parent of mankind. and is no
better than that of the meanest subject.- The senator and the artist are alike
taught that, equally with other, they are by nature exposed to infirmity and
disease; and an unforeseen misfortune , or a disordered frame, may impair
their faculties, and level them with the most ignorance of the species. This
checks pride, and incites courtesy or behaviour. - Men of inferior talents, or
not placed by fortune on such exalted stations, are instructed to regard their
superiors with peculiar esteem, when, divested of pride, vanity, and external
grandeur, they condescend, in the badge of friendship, to trace wisdom, and
follow virtue, asserted by those who are of a rank beneath them. Virtue is
true nobility, and wisdom is the channel by which Virtue is directed and
conveyed; Wisdom and Virtues only mark distinction among masons.
Such is the arrangement of the
Sections in the Fifth Lecture of Masonry, which including the forms adopted at
opening and closing a lodge, comprehends the whole of the First Degree. This
plan has not only the advantage of regularity to recommend it, but the support
of precedent and authority, and the sanction and respect which flow from
antiquity, The whole is a regular system of morality, conceived in s strain of
interesting allegory, which readily unfolds its beauties to the candid and
Sect 4. -
Remarks on the Second Lecture
Masonry is a progressive
science, and divided into different classes or degrees, for a more regular
advancement in the knowledge of its mysteries. According to the progress we
make, we limit or extend our inquiries; and, in proportion to our capacity, we
attain to a less or greater degree or perfection.
Masonry includes almost every
branch of polite learning. Under the veil of its mysteries, is comprehended a
regular system of science. Many of its illustrations may appear unimportant to
the confined genius; but the man of more enlarged faculties will consider them
in the highest degree useful and interesting. To please the accomplished
scholar and ingenious artist, it is wisely planned; and in the investigation
of its latent doctrines, the philosopher and mathematician may experience
satisfaction and delight.
To exhaust the various subjects
of which masonry treats, would transcend the powers of the brightest genius;
still, however, nearer approaches to perfection may be made, and the man of
wisdom will not check the progress of his abilities, though the task he
attempts may at first seem insurmountable. Perseverance and application will
remove each difficulty as it occurs; every step he advances, new pleasures
will open to his view, and instruction of the noblest kind attend his
researches. In the diligent pursuit of knowledge, great discoveries are made,
and the intellectual faculties are employed in promoting the glory of God, and
the good of man.
Such is the tendency of every
illustration in masonry. Reverence for the Deity, and gratitude for the
blessings of heaven, are inculcated in every degree. This is the plan of our
system, and the result of all our inquiries.
The First Degree is intended to
enforce the duties of morality, and imprint on the memory the noblest
principles which can adorn the human mind. The Second Degree extends the fame
plan, and comprehends a more diffusive system of knowledge. Practice and
theory qualify the industrious mason to share the pleasures which an
advancement in the Art necessarily affords. Listening with attention to the
wise opinions of experienced craftsmen on important subjects, his mind is
gradually familiarised to useful instruction, and he is soon enabled to
investigate truths of the utmost concern in the general transactions of life.
From this system proceeds a
rational amusement; the mental powers are fully employed, and the judgement is
properly exercised. A spirit of emulation prevails; and every one vies, who
shall most excel in promoting the valuable rules of institution.
The First Section of the Second
Degree elucidates the mode of introduction into this class; and instructs the
diligent craftsman how to proceed in the proper arrangement of the ceremonies,
which enables him to judge of their importance, and convinces him of the
necessity of adhering to the established usages of the Order. Here he is
entrusted with particular tests, to prove his title to the privileges of this
degree, and satisfactory reasons are given for their origin. Many duties which
cement in the firmest union will-informed brethren, are illustrated; and an
opportunity is given to make such advances in masonry as must always
distinguish the abilities of able craftsmen.
This Section recapitulates the
ceremony of initiation, and contains many important particulars with which no
officer of a lodge should be unacquainted.
at Initiation into the Second Degree *
Being advanced to the Second
Degree we congratulate you on your preferment. [The internal, and not the
external, qualifications of a man, are what masonry regards. As you increase
in knowledge, you will improve in social intercourse.
It is unnecessary to
recapitulate the duties which, as a mason, you are bound to discharge; or
enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience
must have established their value. It may be sufficient to observe, that] Your
past behaviour and regular deportment have merited the honour which we have
conferred; and in your new character, it is expected that you will conform to
the principles of the Order, and steadily persevere in the practice of every
The study of the liberal arts
[that valuable branch of education, which tends so effectually to polish and
adorn the mind] is earnestly recommended to your consideration; especially the
science of geometry, which is established as the basis of our Art. [Geometry,
or Masonry, originally synonymous terms, being divine and moral nature, is
enriched with the most useful knowledge; while it proves the wonderful
properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality.]
As the solemnity of our
ceremonies requires a serious deportment, you are to be particularly attentive
to your behaviour in our regular assemblies; you are to preserve our ancient
usages and customs sacred and inviolable; and you are to induce others, by
your example, to hold them in veneration.
The laws and regulations of the
Order you are strenuously to support and maintain. You are not to palliate, or
aggravate, the offences of your brethren; but, in the decision of every
trespass against our rules, judge with candour, admonish with friendship, and
reprehend with justice.
As a craftsman, in our private
assemblies you may offer your sentiments and opinions on such subjects as are
regularly introduced in the Lecture. By this privilege you may improve your
intellectual powers; qualify yourself to become an useful member of society;
and, like a skilful brother, strive to excel in every thing that is good and
* All regular signs an summonses, given and received, you are duly to
honour, and punctually to obey; inasmuch as they consist with our professed
principles. You are to supply the wants, and relieve the necessities, of your
brethren, to the utmost of your power and ability: and you are on no account
to wrong them, or see them wronged; but apprise them of approaching danger,
and view their interest as inseparable from your own.
Such is the nature of your
engagements as a craftsman; and to these duties you are bound by the most
The Second Section of this
Degree presents an ample field for the man of genius to perambulate. It
cursorily specifies the particular classes of the Order, and explains the
requisite qualifications for preferment in each. In the explanation of our
usages, many remarks are introduced, equally useful to the experienced artist
and the sage moralist. The various operations of the mind are demonstrated, as
far as they will admit of elucidation, and a fund of extensive science is
explored throughout. Here we find employment for leisure hours, trace science
from its original source, and, drawing the attention to the sum of perfection,
contemplate with admiration on the wonderful works of the Creator. Geometry is
displayed, with all its powers and properties; and, in the disquisition of
this science, the mind is filled with pleasure and delight. Such is the
latitude of this Section, that the most judicious may fail in an attempt to
explain it, as the rational powers are exerted to their utmost stretch, in
illustration the beauties of nature, and demonstrating the more important
truths of morality.
As the orders of architecture
come under consideration in this Section, a brief description of them nay not
By order in architecture, is
meant a system of all the members, proportions, and ornaments of columns and
pilasters; or, it is a regular arrangement of the projecting parts of a
building, which, united with those of a column, form a beautiful, perfect, and
complete whole. Order in architecture may be traced from the first formation
of society. When the rigour of seasons obliged men to contrive shelter from
the inclemency of the weather, we learn hat they first planted trees on end,
and then laid others across, to support a covering. The bands which connected
those trees at top and bottom, are said to have suggested the idea of the base
and capital of pillars; and from this simple hint originally proceeded the
more improved art of architecture.
The five orders are thus
classed: the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.
The Tuscan is the most
simple and solid of the five orders. It was invented in Tuscany, whence it
derives its name. Its column is seven diameters high; and its capital, base,
and entablature have but few mouldings. The simplicity of construction of this
column renders it eligible where solidity is the chief object, and where
ornament would be superfluous.
The Doric order, which
is plain and natural, is the most ancient, and was invented by the Greeks. Its
column is eight diameters high, and has seldom any ornaments on base or
capital, except mouldings; though the frieze is distinguished by triglyphs and
metopes, and the triglyphs compose the ornaments of the frieze. The solid
composition of this order gives it a preference, in structures where strength
and a noble simplicity are chiefly required.
The Doric is the best
proportioned of all the orders. The several parts of which it is composed are
founded on the natural position of solid bodies. In its first invention it was
more simple than in its present state. In aftertimes, when it began to be
adorned, it gained the name of Doric; for when it was constructed in its
primitive and simple form, the name of Tuscan was conferred on it. Hence the
Tuscan precedes the Doric in rank, on account of its resemblance to that
pillar in its original state.
The Ionic bears a kind
of mean proportion between the more solid and delicate orders. Its column is
nine diameters high; its capital is adorned with volutes, and its cornice has
denticles. There is both delicacy and ingenuity displayed in this pillar; the
invention of which is attributed to the Ionians, as the famous temple of Diana
at Ephefus was of this order. It is said to have been formed after the model
of an agreeable young woman, of an elegant shape, dressed in her hair; as a
contrast to the Doric order, which was formed after that of a strong robust
The Corinthian, the
richest of the five orders, is deemed a master-piece of art, and was invented
at Corinth by Callimachus. Its column is ten diameters high, and its capital
is adorned with two rows of leaves, and eight volutes, which sustain the
abacus. The frieze is ornamented with curious devices, the cornice with
denticles and modillions. This order is used in stately and superb structures.
Callimachus is said to have
taken the hint of the capital of this pillar from the following remarkable
circumstance. Accidentally passing by the tomb of a young lady, he perceived a
basket of toys, covered with a tile placed over an acan, but root, having been
left there by her nurse. As the branches grew up, they encompassed the basket,
till, arriving at the tile, they met with an obstruction, and bent downwards.
Callimachus, struck with the object, set about imitating the figure; the vase
of the capital he made to represent the basket; the abacus, the tile; and the
volute, the bending leaves.
The Composite is
compounded of the other orders, and was contrived by the Romans. Its capital
has the two rows of leaves of the Corinthian, and the volutes of the Ionic.
Its column has the quarter-round as the Tuscan and Doric orders, is ten
diameters high, and its cornice has denticles or simple modillions. This
pillar is generally found in buildings where strength, elegance, and beauty
The original orders of
architecture, revered by masons, are no more than three, the Doric,
Ionic, and Corinthian. To these the Romans have added two, the
Tuscan, which they made plainer than the Doric; and the Composite, which was
more ornamental, if not more beautiful, than the Corinthian. The first three
orders alone, however, shew invention and particular character, and
essentially differ from each other: the two others have nothing but what is
borrowed, and differ only accidentally; the Tuscan is the Doric in its
earliest state; and the Composite is the Corinthian enriched with the Ionic.
To the Greeks, and not the Romans, we are indebted for what is great,
judicious, and distinct in architecture.
These observations are intended
to induce the industrious craftsman to pursue his researches into the rise and
progress of architecture, by consulting the works of learned writers
professedly upon the subject.
An analysis of the human
faculties is also given in this Section, in which the five external senses
particularly claim attention.
When these topics are proposed
in our assemblies, we are not confined to any peculiar mode of explanation;
but every brother is at liberty to offer his sentiments under proper
restrictions. The following thoughts on this important branch of learning may,
however, be useful.
The senses we are to consider
as the gifts of Nature, and the primary regulators of our active powers; as by
them alone we are conscious of the distance, nature, and properties of
external objects. Reason, properly employed, confirms the documents of Nature,
which are always true and wholesome: she distinguishes the good from the bad;
rejects the last with modesty, adheres to the first with reverence.
The objects of human knowledge
are innumerable; the channels by which this knowledge are innumerable; the
channels by which this knowledge is conveyed, are few. Among these, the
perception of external things by the senses, and the information we receive
from human testimony, are not the least considerable; the analogy between them
is obvious. In the testimony of Nature given by the senses, as well as in
human testimony given by information, things are signified y signs. In one as
well as the other, the mind, either by original principles or by custom,
passes from the sign to the conception and belief of the thing signified. The
signs in the natural language, as well as the signs in our original
perceptions, have the same signification in all climates and nations, and the
skill of interpreting them is not acquired, but innate.
Having made these observations,
we shall proceed to give a brief description of the five senses.
Hearing is that sense by
which we distinguish sounds, and are capable of enjoying all the agreeable
charms of music. By it we are enabled to enjoy the pleasures of society, and
reciprocally to communicate to each other, our thoughts and intentions, our
purposes and desires; while our reason is capable of exerting its utmost power
The wise and beneficent Author
of Nature intended, by the formation of this sense, that we should be social
creatures, and receive the greatest and most important part of our knowledge
by the information of others. For these purposes we are endowed with Hearing,
that by a proper exertion of our rational powers, our happiness may be
Seeing is that sense by
which we distinguish objects, and in an instant of time, without change of
place or situation, view armies in battle array, figures of the most stately
structures, and all the agreeable variety displayed in the landscape of
nature. By this sense we find our way in the pathless ocean, traverse the
globe of earth, determine its figure and dimensions, and delineate any region
or quarter of it. By it we measure the planetary orbs, and make new
discoveries in the sphere of the fixed stars. Nay more ; by it we perceive the
tempers and dispositions, the passions and affections, of our
fellow-creatures, when they wish most to conceal them, so that though the
tongue might be taught to lie and dissemble, the countenance would display the
hypocrisy to the discerning eye. In fine, the rays of light, which administer
to this sense, are the most astonishing parts of the inanimate creation, and
render the eye a peculiar object of admiration.
Of all the faculties, sight is
the noblest. The structure of the eye, and its appurtenances, evince the
admirable contrivance of Nature for performing all its various external and
internal motions; while the variety displayed in the eyes of different
animals, suited to their several ways of life, clearly demonstrates this organ
to be the master-piece of Natures work.
Feeling is that sense by
which we distinguish the different qualities of bodies; such as heat and cold,
hardness and softness, roughness and smoothness, figure, solidity, motion, and
extension; which, by means of certain corresponding sensations of touch, are
presented to the mind as real external qualities, and the conception or belief
of them is invariably connected with those corresponding sensations, by an
original principle of human nature, which far transcends our inquiry.
All knowledge beyond our
original perceptions is got by experience. The constancy of Nature's laws
connects the sign with the thing signified, and we rely on the continuance of
that connection which experience hath discovered.
These three senses, hearing,
seeing, and feeling, are deemed peculiarly essential among
Smelling is that sense
by which we distinguish odours, which convey different impressions to the
mind. Animal and vegetable bodies, and indeed most other bodies, continually
send forth effluvia of vast subtlety, as well in the state of life and growth,
as in the state of fermentation and putrefaction. The volatile particles
probably repel each other, and scatter themselves in the air, till they meet
with other bodies to which they bear a chemical affinity, with which they
unite, and form new concretes. These effluvia being drawn into the nostrils
along with the air, are the means by which all bodies are smelled. Hence it is
evident, there is a manifest appearance of design in the great Creator's
having planted the organ of smell in the inside of that canal, through which
the air continually passes in respiration.
Tasting enables us to
make a proper distinction in the choice of our food. The organ of this sense
guards the entrance of the alimentary canal, as that of smell guards the
entrance of the canal for respiration. From the situation of these organs, it
is plain that they were intended by Nature to distinguish wholesome food from
that which is nauseous. Every thing that enters into the stomach must undergo
the scrutiny of Tasting, and by it we are capable of discerning the changes
which the same body undergoes in the different compositions of art, cookery,
chemistry, pharmacy, &c.
Smelling and Tasting are
inseparably connected, and it is by the unnatural kind of life men commonly
lead in society, that these senses are rendered less fit to perform their
Through the medium of the
senses we are enabled to form just and accurate notions of the operations of
Nature; and when we reflect on the means by which the senses are gratified, we
become conscious of the existence of bodies, and attend to them, till they are
rendered familiar objects of thought.
To understand and analize the
operations of the mind, is an attempt in which the most judicious may fail.
All we know is, that the senses are the channels of communication to the mind,
which is ultimately affected by their operation; and when the mind is
diseased, every sense loses its virtue. The fabric of the mind, as well as
that of the body, is curious and wonderful; the faculties of the one are
adapted to their several ends with equal wisdom, and no less propriety, than
the organs of the other. The inconceivable wisdom of an Almighty Being is
displayed in the structure of the mind, which extends its power over every
branch of science; and is therefore a theme peculiarly worthy of attention. In
the arts and sciences which have least connection with the mind, its faculties
are still the engines which we must employ; the better we understand their
nature and use, their defects and disorders, we shall apply them with the
greater success. In the noblest arts, the mind is the subject upon which we
Wise men agree, that there is
but one way to the knowledge of Nature's works - the way of observation and
experiment. By our constitution we have a strong propensity to trace
particular facts and observations to general rules, and to apply those rules
to account for other effects, or to direct us in the production of them. This
procedure of the understanding is familiar in the common affairs of life, and
is the means by which every real discovery in philosophy is made.
On the mind all our knowledge
must depend; it therefore constitutes a proper subject for the investigation
of masons. Although by anatomical dissection and observation we may become
acquainted with the body, it is by the anatomy of the mind alone we can
discover its powers and principles.
To sum up the whole of this
transcendent measure of God's bounty to man, we may add, that memory,
imagination, taste, reasoning, moral perception, and all the active powers of
the soul, present such a vast and boundless field for philosophical
disquisition, as far exceeds human inquiry, and are peculiar mysteries, known
only to Nature, and to Nature's God, to whom all are indebted for creation,
preservation, and every blessing they enjoy.
From this theme we proceed to
illustrate the moral advantages of Geometry.
Geometry is the first and
noblest of sciences, and the basis on which the superstructure of free-masonry
The contemplation of this
science in a moral and comprehensive view, fills the mind with rapture. To the
true Geometrician, the regions of matter with which he is surrounded, afford
ample scope for his admiration, while they open a sublime field for his
inquiry and disquisition.
Every particle of matter on
which he treads, every blade of grass which covers the field, every flower
which blows, and every insect which wings its way in the bounds of expanded
space, proves the existence of a first cause, and yields pleasure to the
The symmetry, beauty, and order
displayed in the various parts of animate and inanimate creation, is a
pleasing and delightful theme, and naturally leads to the source whence the
whole is derived. When we bring within the focus of the eye the variegated
carpet of the terrestrial creation, and survey the progress of the vegetative
system, our admiration is justly excited. Every plant which grows, every
flower that displays its beauties or breathes its sweets, affords instruction
and delight. When we extend our vies to the animal creation, and contemplate
the varied clothing of every species, we are equally struck with astonishment!
and when we trace the lines of geometry drawn by the divine pencil in the
beautiful plumage of the feathered tribe, how exalted is our conception of the
heavenly work! The admirable structure of plants and animals, and the infinite
number of fibres and vessels which runs though the whole, with the apt
disposition of one part to another, is a perpetual subject of study to the
Geometrician, who, while he adverts to the changes which all undergo in their
progress to maturity, is lost in rapture and veneration of the great cause
which governs the system.
When he descends into the
bowels of the earth, and explores the kingdom of ores, minerals, and fossils,
he finds the same instances of divine wisdom and goodness displayed in their
formation and structure; every gem and pebble proclaims the handywork of an
When he surveys the watery
element, and directs his attention to the wonders of the deep, with all the
inhabitants of the mighty ocean, he perceives emblems of the fame supreme
intelligence. The scales of the largest whale, as well as the penciled shell
of the meanest fry, equally yield a theme for this contemplation, on which he
fondly dwells, while the symmetry of their formation, and the delicacy of the
tints, evince the wisdom of the Divine Artist.
When he exalts his view to the
more noble and elevated parts of Nature, and surveys the celestial orbs, how
much greater is his astonishment! If, on the principles of geometry and true
philosophy, he contemplate the sun, the moon, the stars, the whole concave of
heaven, his pride will be humbled while he is lost in awful admiration. The
immense magnitude of those bodies, the regularity and rapidity of their
motions, and the inconceivable extent of space through which they move, are
equally inconceivable; and as far as they exceed human comprehension, baffle
his most daring ambition, while, lost in the immensity of the theme, he sinks
into his primitive insignificance.
By geometry, therefore, we may
curiously trace Nature, through her various windings, to her most concealed
recesses. By it, we may discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of
the grand Artificer of the universe, and view with delight the proportions
which connect this vast machine. By it, we may discover how the planets move
in their different orbits, and demonstrate their various revolutions. By it,
we may account for the return of seasons, and the variety of scenes which each
season displays to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all
framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast expanse, and are
all conducted by the same unerring laws of Nature.
A survey of Nature, and the
observation of her beautiful proportions, first determined man to imitate the
divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to societies, and
birth to every useful art. the architect began to design, and the plans which
he laid down, improved by experience and time, produced works which have been
the admiration of every age.
The Third Section of this
degree has recourse to the origin of the institution, and views masonry under
two denominations, operative and speculative. These are separately considered,
and the principles on which both are founded, particularly explained. Their
affinity is pointed out, by allegorical figures, and typical representations.
Here the rise of our government, or division into lasses, is examined; the
disposition of our rulers, supreme and subordinate, is traced; and reasons are
assigned for the establishment of several of our present practices. The
progress made in architecture, particularly in the reign of Solomon, is
remarked; the number of artists employed in building the temple of Jerusalem,
and the privileges which they enjoyed, are specified; the period stipulated
for regarding merit is fixed, and the inimitable moral to which that
circumstance alludes, explained; the creation of the world is described, and
many particulars recited, all of which have been carefully preserved among
masons, and transmitted from one age to another by oral tradition. In short,
this Section contains a store of valuable knowledge, founded on reason and
sacred record, both entertaining and instructive. The whole operates
powerfully in enforcing the veneration due to antiquity.
We can afford little assistance
by writing to the industrious mason in this Section, as it can only be
acquired by oral communication: for an explanation, however, of the connection
between operative and speculative masonry, we refer him to the Fourth Section
of Book 1, page 9.
As many of the particulars in
this Section have a reference to the temple of Jerusalem, we shall here insert
the Invocation of Solomon at the Dedication of that edifice:
And Solomon stood before the
altar of the Lord, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and
spread forth his hands; saying:
O Lord God, there is no god
like unto thee, in heaven above, or in the earth beneath; who keepest
covenant, and shewest mercy, unto thy servants; who walk before thee with all
Let thy Word be verified, which
thou hast spoken unto David, my father.
Let all the people of the earth
know, that the Lord is God; and that there is none else.
Let all the people of the earth
know thy Name; and fear thee.
Let all the people of the earth
know, that I have built this house, and consecrated it to thy Name.
But, will God indeed dwell upon
the earth? Behold - the heaven, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain thee;
how much less this house, which I have built:
Yet, I have respect unto my
prayer, and to my supplication, and hearken unto my cry:
May thine eyes be open, toward
this house, by day and by night; even toward the place, of which thou hast
said, My Name shall be there!
And when thy servant, and thy
people Israel, shall pray toward this house, hearken to their supplication;
hear thou them in heaven, thy dwelling-place; and when thou hearest, forgive!
And the Lord answered, and
said, I have hollowed the house which thou hast built, to put my Name there
for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.
And all the people, answered,
and said - The Lord is gracious, and his mercy endureth for ever.
The Fourth and last Section of
this Degree is no less replete with useful instruction. Circumstances of great
importance to the fraternity are here particularised, and many traditional
tenets and customs confirmed by sacred and profane record. The celestial and
terrestrial gloves are considered with a minute accuracy; and here the
accomplished gentleman may display his talents to advantage, in the
elucidation of the sciences, which are classed in a regular arrangement. The
stimulus to preferment, and the mode of rewarding merit, are pointed out; the
marks of distinction which were conferred on tour ancient brethren as the
reward of excellence, explained; and the duties, as well as privileges, of the
first branch of their male offspring, defined. This Section also contains many
curious observations on the validity of our forms, and concludes with the most
powerful incentives to the practice of piety and virtue.
As the seven liberal arts and
sciences are illustrated in this Section, it may not be improper to give a
short explanation of them.
Grammar teaches the proper
arrangement of words, according to the idiom or dialect of any particular
people; and that excellency of pronunciation, which enables us to speak or
write a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason, an correct usage.
Rhetoric teaches us to speak
copiously and fluently on any subject, not merely with propriety, but with all
the advantages of force and elegance; wisely contriving to captivate the
hearer by strength of argument and beauty of expression, whether it be to
entreat or exhort, to admonish or applaud.
Logic teaches us to guide our
reason discretionally in the general knowledge of things, and direct our
inquiries after truth. It consists of a regular train of argument, whence we
infer, deduce, and conclude, according to certain premises laid down,
admitted, or granted; and in it are employed, the faculties of conceiving,
judging, reasoning, and disposing; which are naturally led on from one
gradation to another, till the point in question is finally determined.
Arithmetic teaches the powers
and properties of numbers, which is variously effected, by letters, tables,
figures, and instruments. By this art, reasons and demonstrations are given,
for finding out any certain number, whole relation or affinity to others is
Geometry treats of the powers
and properties of magnitudes in general, where length, breadth, and thickness
are considered. By this science, the architect is enabled to construct his
plans; the general to arrange his soldiers; the engineer to mark out ground
for encampments; the geographer to give us the dimensions of the world; to
delineate the extent of seas, and specify the divisions of empires, kingdoms,
and provinces; and by it the astronomer is enabled to make his observations,
and fix the duration of times and seasons, years and cycles. In fine, geometry
is the foundation of architecture, and the root of the mathematics.
Music teaches the art of
forming concords, so as to compose delightful harmony, by a proportional
arrangement of acute, grave, and mixed sounds. This art, by a series of
experiments, is reduced to a science, with respect to tones, and the intervals
of sound only. It inquires into the nature of concords and discords, and
enables us to find out the proportion between them by numbers.
Astronomy is that art, by which
we are taught to read the wonderful works of the almighty Creator, in those
sacred pages the celestial hemisphere. Assisted by astronomy, we can observe
the motions, measure the distances, comprehend the magnitudes, and calculate
the periods and eclipses, of the heavenly bodies. By it, we learn the use of
the globes, the system of the world, and the primary law of nature. While we
are employed in the study of this science, we must perceive unparalleled
instances of wisdom and goodness, and, through the whole of creation, trace
the glorious Author by his works.
The doctrine of the Spheres is
included in the science of astronomy, and particularly considered in this
The globes are two artificial
spherical bodies, on the convex surface of which are represented the
countries, seas, and various parts of the earth, the face of the heavens, the
planetary revolutions, and other important particulars. The sphere, with the
parts of the earth delineated on its surface, is called the terrestrial globe;
and that with the constellations, and other heavenly bodies, the celestial
globe. Their principal use, beside serving as maps to distinguish the outward
parts of the earth, and the situation of the fixed stars, is to illustrate and
explain the phenomena arising from the annual revolution, and the diurnal
rotation, of the earth round its own axis. They are the noblest instruments
for giving the most distinct idea of any problem or proposition, as well as
for enabling us to solve it. Contemplating these bodies, we are inspired with
a due reverence for the Deity and his works, and are induced to apply with
diligence and attention to astronomy, geography, navigation, and the arts
dependent on them, by which society has been so much benefited.
Thus end the different Sections
of the Second Lecture, which, with the ceremony used at the opening and
closing the Lodge, comprehend the whole of the Second Degree of Masonry.
Beside a complete theory of philosophy and physics, this Lecture contains a
regular system of science, demonstrated on the clearest principles, and
established on the firmest foundation.
Sect 5. -
Remarks on the Third Lecture
In treating with propriety on
any subject, it is necessary to observe a regular course. In the former
Degrees of Masonry, we have recapitulated the contents of the several
Sections, and should willingly have pursued the same plan in this Degree, did
not the variety of particulars of which it is composed, render it impossible
to give an abstract, without violating the laws of the Order. It may be
sufficient to remark, that, in twelve Sections, of which the lecture consists,
every circumstance that respects government and system, antient lore and deep
research, curious invention and ingenious discovery, is accurately traced,
while the mode of proceeding on public as well as on private occasions is
satisfactorily explained. Among the brethren of this degree, the land-marks of
the Order are preserved; and from them is derived that fund of informations,
which expert and ingenious craftsmen only can afford, whole judgement has been
matured by years and experience. To a complete knowledge of this lecture, few
attain; but it is an infallible truth, that he who acquires by merit the mark
of pre-eminence which this degree affords, receives a reward which amply
compensates all his past diligence and assiduity.
From this class, the rulers of
the Craft are selected; as it is only from those who are capable of giving
instruction, that we can properly expect to receive it.
The ceremony of initiation into
the third degree, is particularly specified in this branch of the lecture, and
many useful instructions are given.
Such is the importance of this
Section, that we may safely declare, that the person who is unacquainted with
it, is ill qualified to act as a ruler or governor of the work of Masonry.
Prayer at Initiation
into the Third Degree
O Lord, direct us to know and
serve thee aright! prosper our laudable undertakings! and grant, that, as we
increase in knowledge, we may improve in virtue, and still farther promote thy
honour and glory! Amen
Charge at Initiation
into the Third Degree
Your zeal for our institution,
the progress you have made in our art, and your conformity to our regulations,
have pointed you out as a proper object of favour and esteem.
In the character of a Master
mason, you are henceforth to correct the errors and irregularities of
uninformed brethren, and guard them against a breach of fidelity. To improve
the morals and manners of men in society, must be your constant care; and with
this view, you are to recommend to your inferiors, obedience and submission;
to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and
condescension. Universal benevolence you are to inculcate; and, by the
regularity of your behaviour, afford the best examples for the conduct of
others. The ancient landmarks of our Order, now instructed to your care, you
are to preserve sacred and inviolable; and never suffer an infringement of our
rites, or countenance a deviation from our established usages and customs.
Duty, honour, and gratitude,
now bind you to be faithful to every truth; to support with becoming dignity
your new character; and to enforce, by example and precept, the tenets of our
system. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your
vows, or betray your trust; but be true and faithful, and imitate the example
of that celebrated artist whom you have once represented. Thus your exemplary
conduct must convince the world, that merit is the title to our privileges,
and that on you our favours have not been undeservedly bestowed.
The Second Section is an
introduction to the proceedings of a Chapter of Master-masons, and illustrates
several points well known to experienced craftsmen. It investigates, in the
ceremony of opening a chapter, the most important circumstances in the two
The Third Section commences the
historical traditions of the Order, which are chiefly collected from sacred
record, and other authentic documents.
The Fourth Section farther
illustrates the historical traditions of the Order, and presents to view a
finished picture, of the utmost consequence to the fraternity.
The Fifth Section continues the
explanation of the historical traditions of the Order.
The Sixth Section concludes the
historical traditions of the Order.
The Seventh Section illustrates
the hieroglyphical emblems restricted to the Third Degree, and inculcates many
useful lessons, in order to extend knowledge, and promote virtue.
This Section is indispensably
necessary to be understood by every Master of a lodge.
The Eighth Section treats of
the government of the society, and the disposition of the rulers in different
degrees. It is therefore generally rehearsed at installations.
The Ninth Section recites the
qualifications of the rulers, and illustrates the ceremony of installation, in
the grand lodge, as well as in private lodges.
The Tenth Section comprehends
the ceremonies of constitution and consecration, with a variety of particulars
explanatory of those ceremonies.
The Eleventh Section
illustrates the ceremonies used at laying the foundation stones of churches,
chapels, palaces, hospitals, &c. also the ceremonies observed at the
Dedication of Lodges, and at the Interment of Master Masons.
The Twelfth Section contains a
recapitulation of the most essential points of the lectures in all the
degrees, and corroborates the whole by infallible testimony.
Having thus given a general
summary of the lectures restricted to the different degrees of masonry, and
made such remarks on each degree, as may tend to illustrate the subjects
treated, little farther will be wanted to encourage the zealous mason to
persevere in his researches. He who has traced the Art in a regular progress,
from the commencement of the First to the conclusion of the Third Degree,
according to the plan here laid down, will have amassed an ample store of
useful learning; he will reflect with pleasure on the good effects of his past
diligence and attention, and by applying the whole to the general advantage of
society, will secure to himself the veneration of masons, and the approbation
of all good men
Sect 6. - Of
the Ancient Ceremonies of the Order
We shall now proceed to
illustrate the Ancient Ceremonies of the Order, particularly those observed at
the Constitution and Consecration of a Lodge, and the Installation of
Officers, with the usual Charges delivered on those occasions. We shall
likewise annex an explanation of the Ceremonies used at laying the Foundation
Stones of Public Structures, at the Dedication of Public Halls, and at
Funerals; and close this part of the treatise with the Funeral Services.
Manner of constituting a Lodge, including the Ceremony of Consecration &c
Any number of Master-masons,
not under seven, resolved to form a New Lodge, must apply, by petition
*, to the Grand Master; setting forth 'that
they are regular * masons, and are at
present, or have been, members of regular lodges:
* That having the prosperity of the
fraternity at heart, they are are willing to exert their best endeavours to
promote and diffuse the genuine principles of masonry: That, for the
convenience of their respective dwellings, and other good reasons, they have
agreed to form a New Lodge, to be named.
That, in consequence to this
resolution, they pray for a warrant of constitution, to empower them to
assemble as a regular lodge on the .......day of every month, at
................; and then and there to discharge the duties of Masonry in a
regular and constitutional manner, according to the original forms of the
Order, and the laws of the Grand Lodge: That they have nominated and do
recommend A.B. to be the first Master, and C.D. to be the first Senior Warden,
and E.F. to be the first Junior Warden, of the said lodge: That the prayer of
the petition being granted, they promise strict conformity to every regular
edict and command of the Grand Master, and to all the constitutional laws and
regulations of the Grand Lodge.
This petition, being signed by
at least seven regular masons, and recommended by the Masters of three regular
lodges adjacent to the place, where the New Lodge is to be held, is delivered
to the Grand Secretary; who, on presenting it to the Grand Master, or in his
absence to the Deputy, and, on its being approved by him, grants a
dispensation, authorising the brethren specified in the petition to assemble
as masons for forty days, and until such time as constitution can eb granted
by command of the Grand Lodge, or that authority be recalled.
In consequence of this
dispensation, a lodge is held at the place specified; and the transactions of
that lodge being properly recorded, are valid for the time being, provided
they are afterwards approved by the brethren convened at the time of
When the Grand Lodge has
signified his approbation of the New Lodge, and the Grand Master is thoroughly
satisfied of the truth of the allegations set forth in the petition, he
appoints a day and an hour for constituting [and consecrating
*] the New Lodge; and for installing its
Master, Wardens, and Officers.
If the Grand Master in person
attend the ceremony, the lodge is said to be constituted IN AMPLE FORM; if
the Deputy Grand Master acts a Grand Master, it is said to be constituted IN
DUE FORM; and if the power of performing the ceremony is vested in the Master
of a private lodge, it is said to be constituted IN FORM.
On the day and hour appointed,
the Grand Master and this Officers, or the Master and Officers of any private
Lodge authorised by the Grand Master for that purpose, meet in a convenient
room; and when properly clothed, walk in procession to the lodge room, where
the usual ceremonies being observed, the lodge is opened by the Grand Master,
or the Master in the Chair, in all the degrees of Masonry. After a short
prayer, an ode in honour of masonry is sung. The Grand Master, or Master in
the Chair, is then informed by the Grand Secretary, or his locum tenens.
That the brethren then present, being duly instructed in the mysteries of the
Art, [naming them,] desire to be formed into a New Lodge, under the Grand
Master's patronage; that a dispensation has been granted to them for that
purpose, and by virtue of that authority, they had assembled as regular
masons, and had duly recorded their transactions. The petition is read, as is
also the dispensation, and the warrant or charter of constitution, granted in
consequence of it. the minute of the New Lodge while under dispensation, are
read, and being approved, are declared to he regular, valid and
constitutional. The Grand Master, or Master in the Chair, then takes the
warrant in his hand and requests the brethren of the New Lodge, publicly to
signify their approbation or disapprobation of the Officers nominated in the
warrant to preside over them. This being signified accordingly, an anthem is
sung, and an oration on the nature and design of masonry delivered.
The ceremony of Consecration
The Grand Master and his
Officers, accompanied by some distinguished Clergyman, having taken their
stations, and the lodge which is placed in the centre, being covered with
white satin, the ceremony of Consecration commences. All devoutly kneel, and
the preparatory prayer is rehearsed. The chaplain, or orator, produces his
authority, * and being properly assisted
proceeds to consecrate. * Solemn music is
introduced, while the necessary preparations are making. At length the lodge
is uncovered, and the first clause of the consecration prayer is rehearsed,
all devoutly kneeling. The response is made, GLORY TO GOD ON HIGH. Incense is
scattered over the lodge, and the grand honours of masonry given. the grand
Invocation is then pronounced, with the honours; after which the consecration
prayer is concluded, and the response repeated as before, together with the
honours. The lodge is again covered, and all rising up, solemn music is
resumed, after which a blessing is given, and the response made as before,
accompanied by honours. an anthem is then sung and the brethren of the New
Lodge advance according to rank, and offer homage to the Grand Master, when
the consecration ends.
The above ceremony being
finished, the Grand Master then advances to the Pedestal, and constitutes the
New Lodge in the following manner:
In the exalted character to
which the suffrages of my brethren have raised me, I invoke the NAME of the
MOST HIGH, to whom be glory and honour! May he be with you at your beginning,
may he strengthen you in the principles of our royal Art, may he prosper you
with all success, and may your zealous pursuits rebound to the good of the
Craft! By the divine aid, I constitute and form you, my good brethren, into a
Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; and from henceforth empower you to act as a
regular lodge, constituted in conformity to the rites of our venerable Order,
and charges of our ancient fraternity. May God be with you.! Amen.
Flourish with drums and
The grand honours are given,
and the ceremony of Installation succeeds.
The Grand Master
* asks his Deputy, whether he has examined
the Master nominated in the warrant, and finds him well skilled in the noble
science and the royal Art. The Deputy answering in the affirmative,
* by the GrandMaster's order takes the
candidate from among his fellows, and presents him at the pedestal, saying,
Most worshipful Grand Master, [or right worshipful, as it happens] I present
to you my worthy brother, A.B. to be installed Master of this New Lodge. I
find him to be of good morals, and of great skill, true and trusty; and as his
is a lover of the whole fraternity, where forever dispersed over the face of
the earth, I doubt not he will discharge his duty with fidelity.
The Grand Master order a
summary of the ancient charges * to be read
by the Grand Secretary [or acting Secretary] to the Master elect.
I. You agree to be good man
and true and strictly obey the moral law.
II. You agree to be a peaceable
subject and cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
III. You promise, not to be
concerned in plots or conspiracies against government, but patiently to submit
to the decision of the supreme legislature.
IV. You agree to pay a proper
respect to the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act
honourably by all men.
V. You agree to hold in
veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Masonry, and their
regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations; and
to submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren in general chapter
convened, in every case consistent with the constitutions of the Order.
VI. You agree to avoid private
piques and quarrels, and to guard against intemperance and excess.
VII. You agree to be cautious
in carriage and behaviour, courteous to our brethren, and faithful to our
VIII. You promise to respect
genuine brethren, and to discountenance impostors, and all dissenters from the
original plan of Masonry.
IX. You agree to promote the
general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the
knowledge of the Art.
On the Master Elect signifying
his assent to these Charges, the Secretary proceeds to read the following
I. You admit that it is not in
the power of any man, or body of men, to make innovation in the body of
II. You promise to pay homage
to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his Officers, when duly
installed, and strictly to conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or
General Assembly of Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and
groundwork of Masonry.
III. You promise a regular
attendance on the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on
receiving proper notice; and to pay attention to all the duties of masonry, on
IV. You admit that no new lodge
shall be formed without permission of the Grand Master or is Deputy; and that
no countenance be given to any irregular lodge, or to any person clandestinely
initiated therein, being contrary to the ancient charges of the Order.
V. You admit that no person can
be regularly made a mason in, or admitted member of, a regular lodge, without
previous notice, and due inquiry into his character.
VI. You agree that no visitors
shall be received into your lodge without due examination, and producing
proper vouchers of their regular initiation.
These are the regulations of
the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.
The Grand Master then addresses
the Master Elect in the following manner: Do you submit to those Charges, and
promise to support those Regulations, as Masters have done in all ages before
The New Master having signified
his cordial submission, is regularly installed, bound to his trust and
invested with the badge of office by the Grand Master, who thus salutes him:
Brother A. B., in consequence
of your cheerful conformity to the Charges and Regulations of the Order, I
appoint you Master of this New Lodge, not doubting of your care, skill, and
The warrant of constitution is
then delivered over to the Master; after which the Holy Writings, the rule and
line, the square and compasses, the constitutions, the minute book, the
mallet, the trowel, the chisel, the movable jewels, and all the insignia of
the different Officers, are separately presented to him, and charges suitable
for each delivered. * The New Master is
then conducted by the Grand Stewards, amidst the acclamations of the brethren,
to the Grand Master's left hand, where he returns his becoming
acknowledgements; first, to the Grand Master; and next, to all the Officers in
order; after which he is saluted by the Brethren in a grand chorus suitable
for the occasion. The members of the New Lodge advance in procession, pay due
homage to the Grand Master, and signify their promise of subjection and
obedience by the usual congratulations in the different degrees of masonry.
This ceremony being concluded,
the Grand Master orders the New Master to enter immediately upon the exercise
of his office; by appointing his Wardens. They are conducted to the pedestal,
presented to the Grand Master, and installed by the Grand Wardens; after which
the New Master * proceeds to invest them
with the badges of their offices in the following manner:
Brother C.D. I appoint you
Senior Warden of this lodge; and invest you with the ensign of your office.
* Your regular attendance on our stated
meetings is essentially necessary; as in my absence you are to govern this
lodge, and in my presence to assist me in the government of it. I firmly rely
on your knowledge of the Art, and attachment to the lodge, for the faithful
discharge of the duties of this important trust.
Brother E.F. I appoint you
Junior Warden of this lodge; and invest our with the badge of your office.
* To you I entrust the examination of
visitors, and the introduction of candidates. Your regular and punctual
attendance is particularly requested; and I have no doubt that you will
faithfully execute the duty which you owe to your present appointment.
The New Master then addresses
his Wardens together:
Brother Wardens, you are too
expert in the principles of masonry, to require more information in the duties
of your respective offices; suffice it to mention, that I expect that what you
have seen praise-worthy in others, you will carefully imitate; and what in
them may have appeared defective, you will in yourselves amend. Good order and
regularity you must endeavour to promote; and, by due regard to the laws in
your own conduct, enforce obedience to them from the other members.
The Wardens retire to their
seats, and the Treasurer * is invested. The
Secretary is then called to the pedestal, and invested with the jewel of his
office; upon which the Mew Master addresses him:
I appoint you, Brother G.H.,
Secretary of this lodge. It is your province to record the minutes, settle the
accounts, and issue out the summons for our regular meetings. Your good
inclinations to masonry and the lodge, I hope, will induce you to discharge
your office with fidelity, and by so doing, you will merit the esteem and
applause of your brethren.
The Deacons are then named, and
invested, upon which the New Master addresses them as follows:
Brothers I.K.and L.M. I appoint
you Deacons of this lodge. It is your province to attend on the Master, and to
assist the Wardens in the active duties of the lodge; such as in the reception
of candidates into the different degrees of masonry, and in the immediate
practice of our rites. Those columns, as badges of your office, I entrust to
your care, not doubting your vigilance and attention.
The Stewards are next called
up, and invested, upon which the following charge is delivered to them by the
Brothers N.O. and P.Q. I
appoint you Stewards of this lodge, The duties of your office are, introduce
visitors, and see that they are properly accommodated, to collect
subscriptions and other fees, and keep an exact account of the lodge expenses.
Your regular and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and
The Master then appoints the
Tyler, and delivers over to him the instrument of his office, with a short
charge on the occasion, after which he addresses the members of the lodge at
large, as follows:
Such is the nature of our
constitution, that as some must of necessity rule and teach, so others must of
course learn to submit and obey. Humility in both, is an essential duty. The
brethren whom I have appointed to assist me in the government of this lodge,
are too well acquainted with the principles of masonry, and the rules of good
manners, to extend the power with which they are entrusted; and you are too
sensible of the propriety of their appointment, and of too generous
dispositions to envy their preferment. From the knowledge I have of both
officers and members, I trust we shall have but one aim, to please each other,
and unite in the grand design of communicating happiness.
The Grand Master then gives the
Brethren joy of their Officers, recommend harmony, and expresses a wish that
the only contention in lodge may be, a generous emulation to vie in
cultivating the royal Art, and the moral virtues. The New Lodge joins in the
general salute, and the new-installed Master returns thanks for the honour of
The Grand Secretary then
proclaims the New Lodge three ties, with the honours of Masonry; flourish with
horns each time; after which the Grand Master orders the lodge to be
registered in the Grand Lodge books, and the Grand Secretary to notify the
same to the regular lodges.
* with a chorus, accompanied by the music,
concludes the ceremony of constitution, when the lodge is closed with the
usual solemnities in the different degrees, by the Grand Master and his
Officers; after which the procession is resumed to the apartment whence it set
This is the usual ceremony at
the Constitution of a New Lodge, which the Grand Master may abridge or extend
at pleasure; but the material points are on no account to be omitted.
Ceremony observed at the laying of the Foundation Stones of Public Structures.
This ceremony is conducted by
the Grand Master and his Officers, assisted by the Members of the Grand Lodge.
No private member, or inferior officer of any private lodge, is admitted to
join in the ceremony. Provincial Grand Masters are authorised to execute this
trust in their several provinces, accompanied by their Officers, and the
Masters and Wardens of regular lodges under their jurisdiction. The Chief
Magistrate, and other civil officers of the place where the building is tobe
erected, generally attend on the occasion. The ceremony is thus conducted.
At the time appointed, the
Grand Lodge is convened at some convenient place approved by the Grand Master.
A band of martial music is provided, and the brethren appear in the insignia
of the Order, elegantly dressed , with white gloves and aprons. The lodge is
opened by the Grand Master, and the rules regulating the procession to and
from the place where the ceremony is to be performed, are read by the Grand
Secretary. The necessary cautions are then given from the chair, and the lodge
is adjourned; after which the procession sets out in the following order:
Two Tylers, with drawn swords
Members of the Grand Lodge, two
A Tyler in his uniform;
Past Grand Stewards;
Present Grand Stewards, with
Secretary of the Stewards'
Wardens of the Stewards' Lodge;
Master of the Stewards' Lodge'
Swordbearer, with the sword of
Grand Secretary, with his bag;
Grand Treasurer, with his
* Square and Compasses, on a crimson
velvet cushion, carried by the
of a lodge, supported by two
Stewards with white rods;
Provincial Grand Masters;
Past Grand Wardens;
Past Deputy Grand Masters;
Past Grand Masters;
Chief Magistrate of the place;
Deputy Grand Master;
The Constitution carried by the
Master of the oldest
Two Stewards close the
A triumphal arch is usually
erected at the place where the ceremony is to be performed, with proper,
scaffolding for the reception of private brethren. The procession passes
through the arch, and the brethren repairing to the their stands, the Grand
Master and his Officers take their places on a temporary platform, covered
with carpet. An ode on masonry is sung. The Grand Master commands silence and
the necessary preparations are made for laying the Stone, on which are
engraved the year of our Lord and of Masonry, the name of the reigning
Sovereign and the name, titles, Etc of the Grand Master. The Stone is raised
up, by an engine erected for that purpose, and the Grand Chaplain or Orator
repeats a short prayer. The Grand Treasurer then, by the Grand Master's
command, places under the Stone various sorts of coins and medals of the
present reign. Solemn music is introduced, an anthem sung, and the Stone let
down into its place and properly fixed; upon which the Grand Master descends
to the Stone, and gives three knocks with his mallet, amidst the acclamations
of the spectators. The Grand Master then delivers over to the Architect the
various implements of architecture, entrusting him with the superintendence
and direction of the work; after which he re-ascends the platform, and an
oration suitable to the occasion is delivered. A voluntary subscription is
made for the workmen, and the sum collected is placed upon the Stone by the
Grand Treasurer. A song in honour of masonry concludes the ceremony, after
which the procession returns to the place whence it set, and the lodge is
closed by the Grand Wardens.
Ceremony observed at the Dedication of Mason's Halls
On the day appointed for the
celebration of the ceremony of Dedication, the Grand Master and his Officers,
accompanied by all the Brethren who are Members of the Grand Lodge, meet in a
convenient room adjoining to the place where the ceremony is to be performed,
and the Grand Lodge is opened in ample form in all the degrees of masonry. The
order of procession is read by the Grand Secretary, and a general charge
respecting propriety of behaviour given by the Deputy Grand Master. The lodge
is then adjourned and the procession formed as follows;
Two Tylers with drawn swords;
Members of the Grand Lodge, two
A Tyler in his uniform;
Past Grand Stewards;
Present Grand Stewards, with
Secretary of the Stewards'
Wardens of the Stewards' Lodge;
Master of the Stewards' Lodge'
One Brother carrying a gold
Pitcher; containing corn;
Two Brothers, with a silver
Pitcher, containing wind and oil;
Four Tylers, carrying the
Lodge, covered with white satin;
Grand Swordbearer, with the
sword of state;
Grand Secretary, with his bag;
Grand Treasurer, with his
* Square and Compasses, on a crimson velvet
cushion, carried by the Master
of a Lodge, supported by two Stewards;
Provincial Grand Masters;
Past Grand Wardens;
Past Deputy Grand Masters;
Past Grand Masters;
Chief Magistrate of the place;
Two large lights;
One large light;
Deputy Grand Master;
The Constitution carried by the
Master of the oldest Lodge; *
Two Stewards close the
The Ladies who attend are
introduced, and the musicians repair to their station. On the procession
reaching the Grand Master's chair, the Grand Officers are separately
proclaimed according to rank; as they arrive at that station; and on the Grand
Master's being proclaimed, the music strikes up, and continues during the
procession three times round the Hall.
The Lodge is then placed in the
center, on a crimson velvet couch; and the Grand Master having taken the
chair, under a canopy of state, the Grand Officers, and the Masters and
Wardens of the Lodges, repair to the places which have been previously
prepared for their reception: The three lights, and the gold and silver
pitchers, with the corn, wine and oil, are placed on the Lodge, at the head of
which stands the pedestal, on which is placed a crimson, velvet cushion, with
the Bible open, the Square and Compasses being laid thereon, and the
Constitution roll. An anthem is then sung, and an exordium on masonry given;
after which the Architect addresses the Grand Master in an elegant speech,
returns thanks for the honour conferred on him, and surrenders up the
implements which had been entrusted to his care at the laying of the
Foundation Stone. The Grand Master expresses his approbation of the
Architect's conduct, an ode in honour of masonry is sung, accompanied by the
band, and the ladies retire, with such of the musicians as are not masons.
The lodge is then tiled, and
the business of masonry resumed. The Grand Secretary informs the Grand Master,
that it is the design of the fraternity to have the Hall dedicated to Masonry;
upon which he orders the Grand Officers to assist in the ceremony, during
which the organ continues playing solemn music, excepting only at the
intervals of Dedication. the Lodge being uncovered, the first procession is
made round it, and the Grand Master having reached the East, the organ is
silent, and he proclaims the Hall duly dedicated to MASONRY, IN THE NAME OF
THE GREAT JEHOVAH, TO WHOM BE ALL GLORY AND HONOUR; upon which the Chaplain
strews corn over the Lodge. The organ plays, and the second procession is made
round the Lodge, when, on the Grand Master's arrival at the East, the organ is
silent, and he declares the Hall dedicated as before, to VIRTUE; on which the
Chaplain sprinkles wine on the Lodge. The organ plays, and the third
procession is made round the Lodge, when, the Grand Master having reached the
East, the music is silent, and he declares the Hall dedicated to UNIVERSAL
BENEVOLENCE; upon which the Chaplain dips his fingers in the oil, and
sprinkles it over the Lodge; and at each dedication the Grand honours are
given. A solemn invocation is made to Heaven, and an anthem sung; after which
the Lodge being covered, the Grand Master retires to his chair, and the
business of masonry is again adjourned.
The ladies are then introduced;
an ode for the occasion is performed; and an oration delivered by the Grand
Chaplain, which is succeeded by an anthem. Donations for the charity are
collected, and the grand procession is reformed. After marching three times
round the Hall, preceded by the Tylers carrying the Lodge as at entrance,
during which the music continues to play a grand piece, the brethren return to
the place whence they set out, where the laws of the Order being rehearsed,
the Grand Lodge is closed in ample form in all the degrees.
Ceremony observed at Funerals, according to ancient Custom: with the Service
used on that occasion.
No mason can be interred with
formalities of the Order, unless it be by is own special request, communicated
to the Master of the lodge of which he died a member, foreigners and
sojourners excepted; nor unless he has been advanced to the third degree of
masonry, and form this restriction there can be no exception. Fellow-crafts,
or apprentices, are not entitled to the funeral obsequies.
The Master of a lodge having
received notice of a Master-mason's death, and of his request to be interred
with the ceremonies of the Order, fixes the day and hour for the funeral, and
issues his command to summon the lodge; if more lodges are expected to attend,
he must make application by the Grand Secretary to the Grand Master or his
Deputy, to reside over such brethren from other lodges as may assist in
forming the procession, who are to be under his direction for the time; and
all the brethren present must be properly clothed.
The dispensation being
obtained, the Master may invite as many lodges as he thinks proper, and the
members of those lodges may accompany their officers in from; but the whole
ceremony must be under the direction of the Master of the lodge to which the
deceased belonged, for which purpose on the dispensation is granted; and he
and his officers must be duly honoured, and cheerfully obeyed, on the
All the brethren who walk in
procession, should observe, as much as possible, an uniformity in their dress.
Decent mourning, with white stockings, gloves and aprons,
* is most suitable. No person should be
distinguished with a jewel, unless he is an officer of one of the lodges
invited to attend in form, and the officers of such lodges should be
ornamented with sashes and hatbands; as also the officers of the lodge to whom
the dispensation is granted, who are, moreover, to be distinguished with white
The brethren being assembled at
the house where the body of the deceased lies, the Master of the lodge to
which he belonged, opens the lodge in the third degree, with the usual forms,
and an anthem is sung. The body being placed in the centre on a couch, and the
coffin which it is laid being open, the Master proceeds to the head of the
corpse, and the service begins.
MASTER: What man is he that
liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of
Man walketh in a vain shadow,
he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
When he dieth, he shall carry
nothing away; his glory shall not descend after him.
Naked he came in to the world,
and naked he must leave return: the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord!
The grand honours are then
given, and certain forms used, which cannot be here explained. Solemn music is
introduced, during which the Master strews herbs or flowers over the body, and
taking the SACRED ROLL in his had he says:
Let us die the death of the
righteous, and let our last end be like his!
The Brethren answer:
God is our God for ever and
ever; he will be our guide even unto death!
The Master then puts the ROLL
unto the coffin and says.
Almighty Father! Into thy hands
we commend the soul of our loving brother!
The Brethren answer three
times, giving the grand honours each time:
The will of God is
accomplished1 So be it!
The Master then repeats the
Most glorious God! Author of
all good, and giver of all mercy! Pour down thy blessings upon us, and
strengthen our solemn engagements with the ties of sincere affection! May the
present instance of mortality remind us of our approaching fate; and draw our
attention towards toward thee, the only refuge in time of need that when the
awful moment shall arrive, that we are about to quit this transitory scene,
the enlivening prospect of they may mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and
after our departure hence in peace and in thy favour, we may be received into
thine everlasting kingdom, to enjoy, in union with the souls of our departed
friends, the just reward of pious and virtuous life. Amen!
An anthem being sung, the
Master retires to the pedestal, and the coffin is shut up. An oration,
suitable to the occasion is delivered; and the Master recommending love and
unity, the brethren join hands, and renew their pledged vows. The lodge is
then adjourned, and the procession, to the place of interment is formed:
The different lodges rank
according to seniority, the junior proceeding; each lodge forms on division,
and the the following order is observed:
The Tyler, with his sword;
The Stewards, with white rods;
The Brethren, out of office,
two by two;
The Secretary, with a roll;
The Treasurer; with his badge
The Senior and Junior Wardens,
hand in hand;
The Lodge to which the deceased
belonged, in the following
all members having flowers
or herbs in their hands;
Martial Music [Drums muffled
and trumpets covered]
The Members of the Lodge;
The Secretary and Treasurer;
The Senior and Junior Wardens;
The Holy Writings, on a
cushion, covered with
a black cloth, carried by the
Member of the Lodge;
The Choristers, singing an
The BODY with the regalia
placed thereon and two swords crossed;
Carried by the Pall Bearers;
One or two lodges advance,
before the procession begins, to the church-yard, to prevent confusion, and
make the necessary preparations. The brethren are not to desert their ranks,
or change places, but to keep to their different departments. When the
Procession arrives at the gate of the church-yard, the lodge to which the
deceased brother belonged, the mourners, and attendants of the corpse, halt,
till the members of the other lodges have formed a circle round the grave,
when an opening is made to receive them. They then advance to the grave; and
the clergyman and officers of the acting lodge taking their station at the
head of the grave, with the choristers on each side, and the mourners at the
foot, the service is resumed, an anthem sung, and the following exhortation
Here we view the striking of
the uncertainty of life, and the vanity of all human pursuits. the last
offices paid to the dead, are only useful as lectures to the living; from them
we are to derive instruction, and consider every solemnity of this kind, as a
summons to prepare for our approaching dissolution.
Notwithstanding the various
mementos of mortality with which we daily meet, notwithstanding Death has
established his empire over all the works of Nature, yet, though some
unaccountable infatuation, we forget that we are born to die. We go on from
one design to another, add hope to hope, and lay out plans for the employment
of may years, till we are suddenly alarmed with the approach of Death, when we
least expect him, and at an hour which we probably conclude to be the meridian
of our existence.
What are all the externals of
majesty, the pride of wealth, or charms of beauty, when Nature has paid her
just debt? Fix your eyes on the last scene, and view life stripped of her
ornaments, and exposed in her natural meanness; you will then be convinced of
the futility of those empty delusions, In the grave, all fallacies are
detected, all ranks are leveled, and all distinction are done away.
while we drop the sympathetic
tear over the grave of a deceased friend, let charity incline us to throw a
veil over his foibles, whatever they may have been, and not with-hold from his
memory the praise that his virtues may have claimed. Suffer the apologies of
human nature to plead in his behalf. Perfection on earth has never been
attained; the wisest, as well as the best of men have erred. His meritorious
actions it is our duty to imitate, and from his weakness we ought to derive
Let the present example excite
our most serious thoughts, and strengthen our resolutions of amendment. As
life is uncertain, and all earthly pursuits are vain, let us no longer
postpone the important concern of preparing for eternity; but embrace the
happy moment while time and opportunity offer, to provide against the great
change, when all the pleasures of this world shall cease to delight, and the
reflections of a virtuous life yield the only comfort and consolation. Thus
our expectations will not be frustrated, nor we hurried, unprepared into the
presence of an all-wise and powerful Judge, to whom the secrets of all hearts
are known, and from whose dread tribunal no culprit can escape.
Let us, while in this stage of
existence, support with propriety the character of our profession, advert to
the nature of our solemn ties, and pursue with assiduity the sacred tenets of
our Order: Then, with becoming grace, to ensure the favour of that eternal
Being, whose goodness and power know no bound; that, when the awful moment
arrives, be it soon or late, we may be enabled to prosecute our journey,
without dread or apprehension, to that far distant country whence no traveler
returns. By the light of the divine countenance, we shall pass, without
trembling, through those gloomy mansions where all things are forgotten; and
at the great and tremendous day of trial and retribution, when, arraigned at
the bar of divine justice, let us hope that judgement will be pronounced in
our favour, and that we shall receive our reward, in the possession of an
immortal inheritance where joy flows in one continued stream, and no mound can
check its course.
The following innovations are
them made by the Master, the usual honours accompany each.
MASTER. May we be true and
faithful; and may we live and die in love!
ANSWER. So mote it be.
MASTER. May we profess what is
good, and always act agreeably to our profession!
ANSWER. So mote it be.
MASTER. May the Lord bless us,
and prosper us; and may all our good intentions be crowned with success!
ANSWER. So mote it be.
The Secretaries then advance,
and throw their rolls into the grave with the usual forms, while the Master
repeats with an audible voice:
Glory be to God on high, on
earth peace, goodwill towards men!
ANSWER. So mote it be, now,
from henceforth, and for evermore.
The Master then concludes the
ceremony at the grave, in the following words:
From time immemorial it has
been the custom among the fraternity of free and accepted masons, at the
request of a brother on his death-bed, to accompany his corpse to the place of
internment; and there to deposit his remains with the usual formalities.
In conformity to this usage,
and at the request of our deceased brother, whose memory we revere, and whose
loss we now deplore, we have assembled in the character of masons, to resign
his body to the earth whence it came, and to offer up to his memory, before
the world, the last tribute of our affection; thereby demonstrating the
sincerity of our past esteem, and our inviolate attachment to the principles
of the Order.
With proper respect to the
established customs of the country in which we live; with due deference to our
superiors in church and state, and with unlimited goodwill to all mankind, we
here appear clothed as masons, and publicly crave leave to express our
submission to peace and good government, and our wish to serve the interests
of mankind. Invested with the badges of innocence; we humbly bow to the
universal Parent; and implore his blessing on every zealous endeavour to
promote peace and good-will, and pray for our perseverance in the principles
of piety and virtue.
The great Creator having been
pleased, out of his mercy, to remove our worth brother from the cares and
troubles of a transitory life, to a state of eternal duration; and thereby to
weaken the chain by which we are united, man to man; may we, who survive him,
anticipate our approaching fate and be more strongly cemented in the ties of
union and friendship; that, during the short space allotted to our present
existence, we may wisely and usefully employ our time; and in the reciprocal
intercourse of kind and friendly acts, mutually promote the welfare and
happiness of each other.
Unto the grave we resign the
body of our deceased friend, there to remain until the general resurrection;
in favourable expectation that his immortal soul may then partake of joys
which have been prepared for the righteous from the beginning of the world:
And may Almighty God, of infinite goodness, at the grand tribunal of unbiased
justice, extend his mercy toward him, and all of us, and crown our hope with
everlasting bliss in the expanded realms of a boundless eternity! This we beg,
for the honour of his name, whom be glory, now and for ever. Amen!
Thus the service ends, and the
usual honours are given; after which the procession returns in form to the
place whence it set out, where the necessary duties are complied with, and the
business of masonry renewed. The regalia, and ornaments of the deceased, if an
officer of the lodge, are returned to the Master, with the usual ceremonies;
after which the charges for regulating the conduct of the brethren are
rehearsed, and the lodge is closed in the third degree with a blessing.
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