THE MASONIC MANUAL
A pocket Companion for the Initiated
Compiled and arranged by
Revised Edition 1867
FREE-MASONRY in every degree, as before
remarked, is progressive. A knowledge of it can only be attained by time,
patience and application. In the first degree, we are taught the duties we
owe to God, our neighbor and ourselves. In the second, we are more
thoroughly inducted into the mysteries of moral science, and learn to
trace the goodness and majesty of the Creator, by minutely analyzing his
works. But the third degree is the cement of the
whole. It is calculated to bind men
together by mystic points of fellowship, as in a bond of fraternal
affection and Brotherly Love. It is among brethren of this degree, that
the ancient landmarks of the order are preserved, and it is from them that
we derive that fund of information which none but ingenious and expert
masons can supply.
It is also from brethren of this degree,
that the rulers of the Craft are selected; because it is only from those
who are capable of giving instruction, that we can reasonably expect to
A knowledge of the first section of this
degree is indispensable to every brother who would make himself useful in
the ceremonial transactions of a lodge.
The following passage of Scripture is
introduced during the ceremonies:
"Remember now thy Creator in the days of
thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when
thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; while the sun, or the light,
or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after
the rain: in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the
strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they
are few, and those that look out of the
windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets when the
sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the
bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; also, when they
shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and
the almond-tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and
desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go
about the streets: or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl
be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken
at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the
spirit shall return unto GOD who gave it."
OR THE FOLLOWING
ODE MAY BE SUNG:
Music - "Bonny Doon."
LET us remember in our youth,
Before the evil days draw nigh,
Our GREAT CREATOR, and his TRUTH!
Ere memory fail, and pleasure fly;
Or sun, or moon, or planet's light
Grow dark, or clouds return in gloom;
Ere vital spark no more incite;
When strength shall bow, and years consume.
Let us in youth remember HIM!
Who formed our frame, and spirits gave,
Ere windows of the mind grow dim,
Or door of speech obstructed wave:
When voice of bird fresh terrors wake,
And Music's daughters charm no more,
Or fear to rise, with trembling shake
Along the path we travel o'er.
In youth, to GOD, let memory cling,
Before desire shall fail, or wane,
Or e'er be loosed life's silver string,
Or bowl at fountain rent in twain:
For man to his long home doth go,
And mourners group around his urn;
Our dust, to dust again must flow,
And spirits unto GOD return.
* * * * * * * *
All the implements in masonry,
indiscriminately, properly belong to brethren of this degree, and may be
illustrated in this section. The TROWEL, however, is more particularly
Is an instrument made use of
by operative masons, to spread the cement which unites the building into
one common mass; but we, as free and accepted masons, are taught to make
use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of spreading the cement of
Brotherly Love and affection; that cement which unites us into one sacred
band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should
ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best
can work and best agree.
This section recites the historical
traditions of the Order, and presents to view a picture of great moral
sublimity. It exemplifies an instance of virtue and firmness, seldom
equaled, and never excelled.
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
Music - "Pleyel."
Solemn strikes the fun'ral chime.
Notes of our departing time;
As we journey here below,
Through a pilgrimage of wo!
Mortals, now indulge a tear,
For mortality is near!
See how wide her trophies wave
O'er the slumbers of the grave!
Here another guest we bring, -
Seraphs of celestial wing,
To our fun'ral altar come,
Waft this friend and brother home.
There, enlarged, thy soul shall see
What was veiled in mystery;
Heavenly glories of the place
Show his Maker face to face
Lord of all! below - above -
Fill our hearts with truth and love;
When dissolves our earthly tie,
Take us to thy Lodge on high
* * * * * * * *
The following prayer is used at the raising
of brother to the sublime degree of Master Mason:
THOU, O GOD! knowest our down-setting an
our up-rising. and understandeth our thoughts afa off. Shield and defend
us from the evil intentions
of our enemies, and support us under the
trials and afflictions we are destined to endure, while traveling through
this vale of tears. Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full
of trouble. He cometh forth as a flower, and is cut down; he fleeth also
as a shadow, and continueth not. Seeing his days are determined, the
number of his months are with thee; thou hast appointed his bounds that he
cannot pass: turn from him that he may rest, till he shall accomplish his
day. For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout
again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. But man dieth
and wasteth away; yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? As the
waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up, so man
lieth down, and riseth not up till the heavens shall be no more. Yet, O
Lord! have compassion on the children of thy creation; administer them
comfort in time of trouble, and save them with an everlasting salvation.
So mote it be Amen.
* * * * * * * *
This section illustrates certain
hieroglyphical emblems and inculcates many useful and impressive moral
lessons. It also details many particulars elative to the building of the
Temple at Jerusalem.
This magnificent structure was founded in
the fourth year of the reign of SOLOMON, on the second day of the month
Zif, being the second month of the sacred year. It was located on Mount
near the place where Abraham was about to
offer up his son Isaac, and where David met and appeased the destroying
angel. Josephus informs us, that.
It is said to have been supported by
fourteen hundred and fifty-three columns, and two thousand nine hundred
and six pilasters, all hewn from the finest Parian marble. There were
employed in its building, three Grand Masters; three thousand and three
hundred Masters or Overseers of the work; eighty thousand Fellow Crafts;
and seventy thousand Entered Apprentices, or bearers of burens. All these
were classed and arranged in such
manner, by the wisdom of Solomon, that
neither envy, discord, nor confusion, was suffered to interrupt or disturb
the peace and good fellowship which prevailed among the workmen.
In front of the magnificent porch, were
placed the two celebrated pillars, - one on the left hand and one on the
right hand. They are supposed to have been placed there as a memorial to
the children of Israel, of the happy deliverance of their forefathers from
Egyptian bondage, and in commemoration of the miraculous pillars of fire
and cloud. The pillar of fire gave light to the Israelites and facilitated
their march, and the cloud proved darkness to Pharaoh and his host, and
retarded their pursuit. King Solomon, therefore, ordered these pillars to
be placed at the entrance of the temple, as the most conspicuous part,
that the children of Israel might have that happy event continually before
their eyes, in going to and returning from divine worship.
* * * * * * * *
In this section are also explained a
variety of appropriate emblems, with which the skilful brother will not
fail to make himself familiarly acquainted. Among them are the following:
THE THREE STEPS,
Usually delineated upon the
master's carpet, are emblematical of the three principal stages of human
life, viz: youth, manhood and age. In youth, as
entered apprentices, we ought industriously to occupy our minds in the
attainment of useful knowledge: in manhood, as fellow crafts, we
should apply our knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties to
God, our neighbor, and ourselves; that so, in age, as master
masons, we may enjoy the happy reflection consequent on a well-spent life,
and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.
THE POT OF INCENSE
Is an emblem of a pure
heart, which is always an acceptable sacrifice to the Deity; and, as this
glows with to fervent heat, so should our hearts continually glow with
gratitude to the great and beneficent Author of our existence, for the
manifold blessings and comforts we enjoy.
THE BEE HIVE
Is an emblem of industry,
and recommends the practice of that virtue to all created beings, from the
highest seraph in heaven, to the lowest reptile of the dust. It teaches
us, that as we came into the world rational and intelligent beings, so we
should ever be industrious ones; never sitting down contented while our
fellow-creatures around us are in want, especially when it is in our power
to relieve them, without inconvenience to ourselves.
When we take a survey of nature, we view
man, in his infancy, more helpless and indigent than the orutal creation;
he lies languishing for days, months and years, totally incapable of
providing sustenance for himself, of guarding against the attack of the
wild beasts of the field, or sheltering himself from the incelemencies of
the weather. It might have pleased the great Creator of heaven
and earth, to have made man independent of
all other beings; but, as dependence is one of the strongest bonds of
society, mankind were mad dependent on each other for protection and
security as they thereby enjoy better opportunities of fulfilling the
duties of reciprocal love and friendship. Thus was man formed for social
and active life the noblest part of the work of God; and he that will so
demean himself, as not to be endeavoring to add to the common stock of
knowledge and understanding, may be deemed a drone in the hive
of nature, a useless member of society, and unworthy of our protection as
THE BOOK OF CONSTITUTIONS,
GUARDED BY THE TYLER'S SWORD,
Reminds us that we should be
ever watchful and guarded in our thoughts words and actions, particularly
when before the enemies of masonry; ever bearing in remembrance those
truly masonic virtues, silence and circumspection.
THE SWORD, POINTING TO A
Demonstrates that justice
will sooner or later overtake us; and although our thoughts, words and
actions may be hidden from the eyes of man, yet that
whom the SUN, MOON, and STARS obey, and
under whose watchful care, even COMETS perform their stupendous
revolutions, pervades the inmost recesses of the human HEART, and will
reward us according to our merits.
THE ANCHOR AND ARK
emblems of a well-grounded hope, and a well-spent life. They are
emblematical of that divine. Art, which safely wafts us over this
tempestuous sea of troubles, and that Anchor, which shall safely
moor us into a peaceful harbor, where the wicked cease from troubling and
the weary shall find rest.
THE FORTY-SEVENTH PROBLEM OF EUCLID.
This was an invention of our
ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, who, in his travels
through Asia, Africa and Europe, was initiated into several orders of
priesthood, and raised to the sublime degree of a master mason. This wise
philosopher enriched his mind abundantly in a general knowledge of things,
and more especially in geometry, or masonry. On this subject, he drew out
many problems and theorems; and among the most distinguished, he erected
this, which, in the joy of his heart, he called Eureka, signifying,
in the Grecian language, I have found it; and upon the discovery of
which, he is said to have sacrificed a hecatomb. It teaches masons to be
general lovers of the arts and sciences.
Is an emblem of human life.
Behold! how swiftly the sands run, and how rapidly our lives are drawing
to a close! We cannot without astonishment behold the little particles
which are contained in this machine; - how they pass away almost
imperceptibly! and yet, to our surprise, in the short space of an hour
they are al exhausted. Thus wastes man! To-day, he puts forth the tender
leaves of hope; to-morrow, blossoms and hears his
blushing honors thick upon him; the next
day comes a frost, which nips the shoot; and when he thinks his greatness
is still aspiring, he falls, like autumn leaves, to enrich our mother
Is an emblem of time, which
cuts the brittle thread of life, and launches us into eternity. Behold!
what havoc the scythe of time makes among the human race! If by chance we
should escape the numerous evils incident to childhood and youth, and with
health and vigor arrive to the years of manhood; yet, withal, we must soon
be cut down by the all devouring scythe of time, and be gathered into the
land where our fathers have gone before us.
* * * * * * * *
CHARGE TO THE CANDIDATE.
BROTHER: - Your zeal for our institution,
the progress you have made in our mysteries, and your steady conformity to
our useful regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object for this
peculiar mark of our favor.
Duty and honor now alike bind you to be
faithful to every trust; to support the dignity of your character on all
occasions; and strenuously to enforce, by precept and example, a steady
obedience to the tenets of Free-masonry. Exemplary conduct on your part,
will convince the world, that merit is the just title to our privileges,
and that on you our favors have not been undeservedly bestowed.
In this respectable character you are
authorized to correct the irregularities of your less informed brethren;
to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the
insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious
practices. To preserve unsullied the reputation of the fraternity, ought
to be your constant care; and, therefore, it becomes your province to
caution the inexperienced against a breach of fidelity. To your inferiors
in rank or office, you are to recommend obedience and submission; to your
equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness
and condescension. Universal benevolence
you are zealously to inculcate; and by the regularity of your own conduct,
endeavor to remove every aspersion against this venerable institution. Our
ancient landmarks you are carefully to preserve, and not suffer them, on
any pretence, to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from our
Your honor and reputation are concerned in
supporting with dignity, the respectable character you now bear. 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 this evening represented. Thus you
will render yourself deserving of the honor which we have conferred, and
worthy of the confidence we have reposed in you.