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The Lecture of the First Degree of
BRETHREN, Masonry; according to the general acceptation of the term, is an
Art founded on the principles of Geometry, and directed to the service and
convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry embracing a wider range, and having
a more noble object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement of the
human mind, may, with more propriety, be called a Science, although its lessons
for the most part are veiled in Allegory and illustrated by Symbols, inasmuch
as, veiling itself under the terms of the former, it inculcates principles
of the purest morality.
To draw aside this veil therefore, or, more properly speaking, to penetrate
through its mysteries, is the object of our Masonic Lectures, and by a faithful
and appropriate attention to them we hope ultimately to become acquainted
with all its mysteries. The Lecture of this Degree is divided into seven
Sections, and throughout the whole, virtue is depicted in its most beautiful
colours, the duties of morality are everywhere strictly enforced.
The nature, character, the attributes and perfections of the Deity are faithfully
delineated and forcibly portrayed, and are well calculated to influence our
conduct towards Him, as our Father, Benefactor, and Moral Governor, as also
in the proper discharge of the duties of social life.
The mode of Masonic instruction is the catechetical, or, in more familiar
terms, by question and answer; therefore, from a previous conviction that
you are a Mason, permit me to ask you in that character:
Q - As Free and Accepted Masons, how did you and I first meet?
A - On the Square.
Q - How do we hope to part?
A - On the Level
Q - Why meet and part in that particular manner?
A -As Masons we should so act on the Square, as to enable us to part on the
Level with all mankind, particularly a Brother
Q -As a Mason whence come you?
A -The West.
Q- Whither directing your course?
A- The East.
Q -What inducement have you to leave the West, and go to the East?
A- To seek a Master, and from him to gain instruction.
Q- Who are you that want instruction?
A- A Free and Accepted Mason.
Q- What manner of man ought a Free and Accepted Mason to be?
A- A free man, born of a free woman, brother to a King, fellow to a Prince
or to a beggar, if a Mason, and found worthy.
Q- Why freeborn?
A- In allusion to that grand festival which Abraham made at the weaning of
his son Isaac, when Sarah, Abraham's wife, observing Ishmael, the son of
Hagar the Egyptian bondwoman, teasing and perplexing her son, remonstrated
with her husband, and said: Put away that bondwoman and her son, for such
as he shall not inherit with the freeborn, even with my son Isaac. She spake
as being endued with a prophetic spirit, well knowing that from Isaac's loins
would spring a great and mighty people, who would serve the Lord with freedom,
fervency, and zeal; and fearing that if the two youths were brought up together,
Isaac might imbibe some of Ishmael's slavish principles; it being a general
remark in those days, as well as the present, that the minds of slaves are
more vitiated and less enlightened than those of the freeborn. This is the
reason we, as Freemasons, give why every Mason ought to be freeborn; but
in the present day, slavery being generally abolished, it has therefore been
considered under our Constitution, that if a man be free, although he may
not have been freeborn, he is eligible to be made a Mason.
Q- Why those equalities among Masons?
A- We are all created equal, which is strengthened by our Mason Oath.
Q- Generally speaking, as a Mason whence come you?
A- From a worthy and worshipful Lodge of Brothers and Fellows
A -To greet your worship well.
Q.- Any other recommendation?
A- Hearty good wishes.
Q- Since you bring nothing but hearty good wishes, what do you come here
A- To learn to rule and subdue my passions, and make a further progress in
Q- By this I presume you are a Mason?
A- I am so taken and accepted among Brothers and Fellows.
Q- How do you know yourself to be a Mason?
A- By the regularity of my initiation, repeated trials and approbations,
and a willingness at all times to undergo an examination when properly called
Q- How do you demonstrate the proof of your being a Mason to others?
A- By Signs, Tokens, and the Perfect Points of my entrance.
Q - What are Signs?
A- All Squares, Levels, and Perpendiculars are true and proper signs to know
a Mason by.
Q -What are Tokens?
A- Certain regular and friendly Grips, whereby we know a Brother in the dark
as well as in the light.
Q - Will you give me the Points of your Entrance?.
A- Give me the first, I will give you the second.
Q - What do you wish to Collect.?
A- All Secrets and Mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons
Q- This being open Lodge, you may safely reveal.
A- Of, At, and On.
Q- Of, At, and On what?
A- Of my own free will and accord; at the Door of the Lodge; on the Point
of a Square presented to my naked left breast.
Q- When were you made a Mason?
A- When the sun was at its meridian.
Q- In this country Freemasons' Lodges are usually held in the evening: how
do you account for that, which at first view appears a paradox?
A- The earth constantly revolving on its axis in its orbit round the sun,
and Freemasonry being universally spread over its surface, it necessarily
follows that the sun must always be at its meridian with respect to Freemasonry.
Q- What is Freemasonry?
A- A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by
Q.- Where were you made a Mason?
A- In the body of a Lodge, just, perfect, and regular.
Q- What is a Lodge of Freemasons?
A- An assemblage of Brethren, met to expatiate on the mysteries of the Craft.
Q- When met, what makes it just?
A- The Volume of the Sacred Law unfolded.
Q- What perfect?
A - Seven, or more, regularly made Masons.
Q - And what regular?
A -The charter or warrant of constitution.
Q- Why were you made a Mason?
A -For the sake of obtaining the Secrets of Masonry, and to be brought from
Q- Have Masons Secrets?
A - They have many invaluable ones.
Q -Where do they keep them?
A- In their Hearts.
Q- To whom do they reveal them?
A- None but Brothers and Freemasons
Q.- How do they reveal them?
A- By Signs, Tokens, and particular Words.
Q - As Masons, how do we hope to get at them?
A- By the help of a key.
Q.- Does that key hang or lie?
A- It hangs.
Q- Why is the preference given to hanging?
A- It should always hang in a Brother's defense, and never lie to his prejudice.
Q- What does it hang by?
A- The thread of life, in the passage of utterance.
Q- Why is it so nearly connected with the heart?
A- Being an index of the mind, it should utter nothing but what the heart
Q.- It is a curious key, of what metal is it composed?
A- No metal, it is the tongue of good report
Brethren, this ends the first section of the first lecture:
That excellent key, a Freemason's. tongue, which should speak well of a Brother
absent or present, but when unfortunately that cannot be done with honour
and propriety, should adopt that excellent virtue of the Craft, which is
To order, Brethren
Q- Where were you first prepared to be made a Mason?
A- In my Heart.
Q- Where next?
A- In a convenient room adjoining the L.
Q- Who brought you to be made a Mason?
A- A friend, whom I afterwards found to be a Brother.
Q- Describe the mode of your preparation.
A- I was divested of metals and hoodwinked my right arm, left breast, and
knee. were made bare, my right heel was slipshod, and a. cabletow placed
about my neck.
Q- Why were you divested of m.?
A - That I might bring nothing offensive or defensive into the Lodge to disturb
Q- A second reason?
A- As I was received into Masonry in a state of poverty, it was to remind
me to relieve indigent brethren, knowing them to be worthy, without detriment
to myself or connections.
Q- A third reason?
A- At the building of King Solomon's Temple, there was not heard the sound
of metallic tool.
Q- How could the building of so stately an edifice as King Solomon's Temple
have been carried on and completed without the aid of metal tools?
A- The stones were hewn in the quarry, there squared, carved, marked, and
numbered. The timber was felled and prepared in the forest of Lebanon, carved,
marked, and numbered also; they were then floated to Joppa, thence conveyed
on carriages to Jerusalem, and there set up with wooden mauls and implements
prepared for that purpose.
Q - Why were the stones and timber prepared so far off?
A- To show the excellence of the Craft in those days, for although the materials
were prepared at so great a distance, yet when they were brought to Jerusalem,
and came to be put together, each piece fitted to that exact nicety, that
it appeared more like the work of the Great Architect of the Universe than
of human hands.
Q- Why were you hoodwinked?
A- That in case I had refused to go through any of the usual ceremonies required
in making a Mason, I might have been led out of the Lodge without discovering
Q- A second reason?
A- As I was received into Masonry in a state of darkness., it was to remind
me to keep all the world so, with respect to our Masonic mysteries, unless
they came legally by them as I was then about to do.
Q- A third reason?
A- That my heart might conceive before my eyes should discover.
Q- Why were you slipshod?
A- Our Lodges being considered to stand on Holy Ground, it alludes to a certain
passage of Scripture, where the Lord spake thus to Moses from the Burning
Bush, " put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest
is Holy Ground."
Q- Being thus properly prepared, where were you conducted?
A- To the Door of the Lodge
Q- How did you find that D.?
A- Shut and close Tyled.
Q- Whom was it Tyled by?
A- One whom I afterwards found to be the Tyler of the Lodge.
Q- His duty?
A- Being armed with a drawn Sword to keep off all intruders and cowans to
Masonry, and to see that the candidates are properly prepared.
Q- Being in a state of darkness, how did you .know it to be a Door.?
A- By meeting with an obstruction, and afterwards gaining admission.
Q- How did you gain admission?
A- By three distinct knocks.
Q -To what do these three distinct knocks allude?
A- An ancient and venerable exhortation Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and
ye shall have; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Q - How did you apply that exhortation to your situation?
A- Having sought in my mind, I asked of my friend, he knocked, and the door
of Freemasonry became open unto me.
Q- When the Masonic Door. became open unto you, who came to your assistance?
A- One whom I afterwards found to be the Inner Guard.
Q;- What did he demand of your friend, or the Tyler?
A- Whom he had there.
Q- The Tyler's answer?
A- Mr. A. B., a poor candidate, in a state of darkness, who has been well
and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge and
now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting
to be admitted to the mysteries. and privileges. of Freemasonry.
Q- What did the Inner Guard further demand?
A- How I hoped to obtain those privileges
Q- Your answer?
A- By the help of God, being free, and of good report.
Q- How did the Inner Guard. then proceed?
A- He desired me to halt, while he reported me to the Worshipful Master,
who was afterwards pleased to order my admission
Q- Were you admitted? And on what?
A- I was, on the Point of a sharp implement presented to my naked left breast.
Q- Why was the Point of a Sharp Implement presented to your naked left breast
on your entrance into the Lodge.?
A- To intimate to me that I was about to engage in something serious and
solemn, likewise to distinguish the sex.
Q - When admitted into the Lodge, what was the first question put to you
by the Master?
A- Mr. A. B., as no person can be made a Mason unless he is free and of mature
age, I demand of you, are you a free man, and of the full age of twenty-one
years? To which I answered in the affirmative.
Q- What were you then desired to do?
A- Kneel and receive the benefit of a Masonic prayer.
Q- Which I will thank you for.
A- Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father and Supreme Governor of the Universe,
to our present convention, and grant that this Candidate for Freemasonry
may so dedicate and devote his life to Thy service, as to become a true and
'faithful Brother amongst us. Endue him with a competency of Thy Divine wisdom,
that, assisted by the secrets of our Masonic art he may the better be enabled
to unfold the beauties of true godliness, to the honour and glory of Thy
So, mote it be.
Q.- After the recital of this prayer what was the next question put to you
A- In all cases of difficulty and danger in whom do you put your trust?
Q- Your answer?
A- In God.
Q- The Master's reply?
A- Right glad am I to find your faith well founded; relying on such sure
support, you may safely rise, and follow your leader with a firm but humble
confidence, for where the name of God is invoked we trust no danger can ensue.
Q.- How did the Master then address the Lodge
A- The brethren from the North, East, South, and West will take notice that
Mr. A. B. is about to pass in view before them to show that he is the candidate,
properly prepared, and fit and proper person to be made a Mason
Q- How did your leader then dispose of you?
A- I being neither naked nor clothed barefoot nor shod, but in an humble,
halting moving posture, he friendly took me by right hand, led me up the
North, past the West to the East, down the South, and delivered me to the
Senior. Warden in the West.
Q- What was required of you during your progress round the lodge
A-To go through an examination by the Junior and Senior Wardens similar to
that I had done at the door of the Lodge.
Q- Why were you led round in this spicuous manner?
A- It was figuratively to represent the seeming state of poverty
and distress in which I was received into Masonry, on the miseries of which
(if realised) were I for a moment to reflect, it could not fail to make that
impression on my mind, as to cause me never to shut my cars unkindly to the
cries of the distressed, particularly a Brother Mason, but listening with
attention to their corn plaints, pity would flow from my breast, accompanied
with that relief their necessities required and my ability could afford.
It was likewise to show that I was the candidate properly prepared, and a
fit and proper person to be made a Mason.
Q- Who are fit and proper persons to be made Masons?
A- Just, upright, and free men, of mature age, sound judgment,
and strict morals.
Q- Why are the privileges of Masonry restricted to free
A- That the vicious habits of slavery might not contaminate
the true principles of freedom on which the Order is
Q- Why of mature age?
A- The better to be able to judge for ourselves, as well as
the Fraternity at large.
Q- Why of sound judgment and strict morals?
A- That both by precept and example we may the better be enabled
to enforce due obedience to those excellent laws and tenets laid down in
Q- When delivered over to the Senior Warden the West, how did
A- He presented me to the Worshipful Master, candidate properly
prepared to be made Mason.
Q- The Master's answer?
A- Bro. Senior Warden, your presentation shall be attended to,
for which purpose I shall ask a few questions to the candidate, which I trust
he will answer with candour.
Q- The first of those questions?
A - Do you seriously declare on your honour, that, unbiased
by the improper solicitation of friends against your
own inclination, and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy
motive, you freely voluntarily offer yourself a
candidate for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry?
Q- The second?
A- Do you likewise pledge yourself you are prompted to solicit
those privileges by a favourable opinion preconceived of the Institution,
a general desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish to render yourself more
extensively serviceable to your fellow creatures?
Q- The third?
A- Do you further seriously declare your honour, that, avoiding
fear on the one hand, and rashness on the other, you steadily persevere through
the ceremony of your initiation, and if once admitted, will afterwards act
and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the Order?
To all of which, answers in the affirmative were given.
Q- What did the Master then order?
A- The Senior Warden to direct the Junior Deacon to instruct
me to advance to the pedestal in due form.
Q- I will thank you to show the method of advancing from West
to East in this degree.
A- (This is done.)
Q- Of what do those three irregular steps consist ?
A - Right lines and angles.
Q- What do they morally teach?
A- Upright lives and well-squared actions.
Q- When placed before the Master in the East, how did he address
A- It is my duty to inform you that Masonry is free, and requires
a perfect freedom of inclination in every Candidate for its mysteries; it
is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue; it possesses great
and invaluable privileges; and in order to secure those privileges to worthy
men, and we trust to worthy men alone, vows of fidelity are required; but
let me assure you, that in those vows there is nothing incompatible with
your civil, moral, or religious duties; are you therefore willing to take
a solemn obligation, founded on the principles I have stated, to keep inviolate
the secrets and mysteries of the Order? To which I gave my assent.
Q- Were you made a Mason?
A- I was, and that in due form.
Q- Describe the due form in which you were made a Mason.
A- I knelt on my left knee with my feet in the form of a square. With my
right hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law, while my left was employed in
supporting a pair of compasses presented to my naked left breast.
Q- Why were the Compasses presented to your naked left breast at the time
of your initiation?
A- As the Compasses were then an emblem of torture to my body, so should
the recollection ever prove to my mind, should I at any future period be
about improperly to disclose any of those Masonic secrets I was then on the
point of being entrusted with.
Q - In that attitude what were you about to do?
A- Take the Great and Solemn Obligation of a Mason.
Q -Which I will thank you for.
A- I, A. B., in the presence of the Great Architect of the Universe, and
of this worthy worshipful, and warranted Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons,
regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord,
do hereby and hereon sincerely and solemnly promise and swear, I will always
hele, conceal, and never reveal any part or parts, point or points, of the
secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry,
which may heretofore have been known by me or shall now or at any future
period be communicated to me, unless it be to a trusted and lawful Brother,
or Brothers, and not even to him or them until after due trial, strict
examination, or sure information from a well-known Brother that he or they
are worthy of that confidence, or in the body of a just, perfect, and regular
Lodge of ancient Freemasons. I further solemnly promise that I will not write
those secrets, indite, carve, mark, engrave, or otherwise them delineate,
or cause or suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it,
on anything movable or immovable under the canopy of Heaven, whereby or whereon
any letter, character, or figure, or the least trace of a letter, character,
or figure, may become legible, or intelligible to myself or any one in the
world, so that our secret arts and hidden mysteries may improperly become
known through my unworthiness. These several points I solemnly swear to observe,
without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind, under no
less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than that of having my throat
cut across, my tonge torn from its root and my body buried in the rough sands
of the sea whence the tide doth wash twice in the course of a natural day
or the more effective punishment of being branded as a willfully perjured
individual, void of all moral worth, and totally unfit to be received into
this worshipful Lodge, or any other warranted Lodge, or society of men who
prize honour and. virtue above the external advantages of rank and fortune.
So help me God, and keep me steadfast in this my Great and Solemn Obligation
of an Entered Apprentice Freemason.
Q - Having taken the Solemn Obligation of a Mason, how did the Master address
A - What you have repeated may be considered but a serious promise; as a
pledge of your fidelity, and to render it a Solemn Obligation you will seal
it with your lips on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
Q - How did he further address you?
A - Having been kept for a considerable time in a state of darkness, what
in your present situation is the predominant wish of your heart.
Q - Your answer?
A- Light. To which the Junior Deacon., by the Worshipful Master's command,
was pleased to restore me.
Q - Having been restored to the blessing of material Light, what were then
pointed out to your attention?
A- The three great though emblematic light in Freemasonry, which are, the
Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square and Compasses.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Sacred Words are to govern our faith; the Square to regulate our
actions; and the Compasses. to keep us in due bounds with all mankind,
particularly our Brethren in Freemasonry.
Q - How did the Master then proceed?
A- He friendly took me by the right hand, and said, Rise, newly Obligated
Brother among Masons.
Brethren, this ends the second section of the first lecture:
The heart that conceals, and the Tongue that never improperly reveals, any
or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted
Masons in Masonry.
To order, Brethren
Q - After you were raised from your kneeling posture, what were you enabled
A- The three lesser lights.
Q.- How are they situated?
A- East, South, and West.
Q - For what purpose?
A - To show the due course of the Sun, which rises in the East, gains its
meridian lustre in the South, and sets in the West; likewise to light men
to, at, and from labour.
Q - Why is there none in the North?
A - The Sun being then below our horizon, darts no ray of light from that
quarter to this our hemisphere.
Q - What do those three lesser lights represent?
A - The Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge.
Q - Why the Sun, Moon, and Master?
A - The Sun to rule the day, the Moon to govern the night, and the Master
to rule and direct his Lodge.
Q - Why is the Master of a Freemason's Lodge compared to those grand luminaries?
A - As it is by the benign influence of the Sun and Moon that we, as men,
are enabled to perform the duties of social life, so it is by the kind care
and instruction of the Worshipful. Master, that we, as Masons, are enabled
to perform those duties the Craft require of us.
Q - After the lesser lights were explained how did the Master address you?
A -Brother A. B., by your meek and candid behaviour this evening, you have
escaped two great dangers, but there is a third which will await you until
the latest period of your existence. The dangers you have escaped are those
of death stabbing and death strangulation for on your entrance into the Lodge
this Dagger. was presented to your naked left breast, so that had you rashly
attempted to rush forward, you would have been accessory to your own death.
by stabbing whilst the Brother who held it would have remained firm, and
done his duty. There was likewise this Cabletow with a running noose about
your neck which would have rendered any attempt at retreat equally fatal;
but the danger which will await you until your latest hour is the penalty
of your obligation, having your throat cut across, your tongue torn from
its roots and your body buried in the rough sands of the sea whence the tide
doth wash twice in the course of a natural day, should you improperly disclose
the Secrets of Masonry.
Q - How did he further address you?
A - Having taken the Great and Solemn Obligation of a Mason, I am now permitted
to inform you that there are several Degrees in Freemasonry, and peculiar
secrets restricted to each. These, however, are not communicated
indiscriminately, but are conferred on candidates according to merit and
abilities. I shall therefore, proceed to intrust you with the secrets of
this Degree, or those marks by which we are known to each other, and
distinguished from the rest of the world; but must premise for your general
information, that all Squares, Levels and Perpendiculars are true and proper
signs to know a Mason by; you are therefore expected to stand perfectly erect,
your feet formed in a Square; your body being thus considered an emblem of
your mind, and your feet of the rectitude of your actions.
Q - What did the Master. then direct you to do?
A - Take a step towards him with my left foot, bringing the right heel. into
its hollow; that, he informed me, is the first regular step in Freemasonry
and it is in this position that the signs of the degree are communicated.
Q - Of what do those signs consist ?
A - A Sign, Token, and Word.
Q - I will thank you for the Sign in due form.
A- (Which is given.)
Q - Communicate the Token to.
A - (Which is done.)
Q - Is that correct?
A - It is, Worshipful Master.
Q - What does that demand?
A -A Word
Q - Give me that Word
A - At my initiation I was taught to be cautious; but with you as a brother
I will letter or halve it with you.
Q - Which you please, and begin.
A - (It is then given.)
Q - Whence is this Word derived?
A - From the left hand pillar at the Porchway or Entrance. of King Solomon's
Temple, so named after the Great Grandfather of David and a Prince and Ruler
Q - The import of the Word?
A - In Strength
Q - Having been Obligated and intrusted, were you invested?
A -I was, with the distinguishing badge of a Mason, which the Senior Warden
informed me is more ancient than the Golden Fleece, or Roman Eagle, more
honourable than the Garter, or any other Order in existence, being the badge
of innocence, and the bond of friendship: he strongly exhorted me ever to
wear and consider it as such; and further informed me, that if I never disgraced
that badge, it would never disgrace me.
Q -Repeat the address you then received from the Master.
A - Let me add to the observations of the Senior Warden, that you are never
to put on that badge should you be about to visit a Lodge in which there
is a Brother with whom you are at variance, or against whom you entertain
animosity; in such cases, it is expected that will invite him to withdraw,
in order amicably to settle your differences, which being happily effected,
you may then clothe yourselves, enter the Lodge, and work with that love
and harmony which should at all times characterise Freemasons. But if,
unfortunately, your differences be of such a nature as not to be so easily
adjusted, it were better one or both of you retire, than that the that harmony
of the Lodge should be disturbed by your presence.
Q - Where were you then ordered to be placed?
A - At the North East part of the Lodge
Q - Repeat the charge.
A - It is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices to
lay the first or foundation stone at the North. East corner of the building;
you, being newly admitted into Masonry, are placed at the North East part
of the Lodge, figuratively to represent that stone: and from the foundation
laid this evening may you raise a superstructure perfect in its parts and
honourable to the builder. You now stand to all external appearance a just
and upright Mason, and I give it you in strong terms of recommendation ever
to continue and act as such; indeed, I shall immediately proceed to put your
principles in some measure to the test, by calling upon you to exercise that
virtue which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic
of a Freemason's heart I mean Charity. I need not here dilate on its
excellencies; no doubt it has often been felt and practiced by you; suffice
it to say, it has the approbation of heaven and earth, and, like its sister
Mercy, blesses him who gives as well as him who receives. In a society so
widely extended as Freemasonry, the branches of which are spread over the
four quarters of the globe, it cannot be denied that we have many members
of rank and opulence, neither can it be concealed that among the thousands
who range under its banners, there are some who, perhaps from circumstances
of unavoidable calamity and misfortune, are reduced to the lowest ebb of
poverty and distress. On their behalf it is our usual custom to awaken the
feelings of every newmade Brother, by such a claim on his charity as his
circumstances in life may fairly warrant; whatever, therefore, you feel disposed
to give, you will deposit with the Junior Deacon; it will be thankfully received,
and faithfully applied.
Q - Your answer?
A - That I had been divested of everything valuable previously to entering
the Lodge, or I would give freely.
Q - The Master's reply?
A - I congratulate you on the honourable sentiments by which you are actuated,
likewise on the inability which in the present instance precludes you from
gratifying them; believe me, this trial was not made with a view to sport
with your feelings; far be from us any such intention; it was done for three
Q - The first of those reasons?
A - To put my principles to the test.
Q - The second?
A - To evince to the Brethren that I had neither metal nor metallic substance
about me, for if I had, the ceremony of my initiation, thus far must have
Q - The third?
A - As a warning to my own heart, that should I at any future period meet
a brother in distressed circumstances who might solicit my assistance, I
would remember the peculiar moment I was received into Masonry, poor and
penniless and cheerfully embrace the opportunity of practicing that virtue
I had professed to admire.
Q - What did the Master then present to you?
A - The working tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason which are the 24-inch
Gauge, the common Gavel and Chisel.
Q - Their uses?
A - The 24-inch Gauge is to measure our work, the common Gavel to knock off
all superfluous knobs and excrescences, and the Chisel to further smooth
and prepare the stone, and render it fit for the hands of the more expert
Q - But as we are not all operative Masons, but rather Free and Accepted,
or speculative, how do we apply these tools to our morals?
A - In this sense, the 24-inch Gauge represents the 24 hours of the day,
part to be spent in prayer to Almighty God, part in labour and refreshment,
and part in serving a Friend or Brother in time of need, without detriment
to ourselves or connections. The common Gavel represents the force of conscience,
which should keep down all vain and unbecoming thoughts which might obtrude
during any of the aforementioned periods, so that our words and actions may
ascend unpolluted to the throne of grace. The Chisel points out to us the
advantages of education, by which means alone we are rendered fit members
of regularly organised society.
Q - How did the Master then address you?
A - As in the course of the evening you will be called on for certain fees
for your initiation, it is proper you should know by what authority we act.
This is our charter or warrant from the Grand Lodge of England, which is
for your inspection on this or any future evening. This is the book of
Constitutions, and these are our byelaws, both of which I recommend to your
serious perusal, as by one you will be instructed in the duties you owe to
the craft in general, and by the other, in those you owe to this Lodge in
Q - What permission did you then receive?
A - To retire, in order to restore myself to my personal comforts, and the
Worshipful Master informed me that on my return to the Lodge he would call
my attention to a charge, founded on the excellences of the Institution and
the qualifications of its members.
Q - When placed at the North East part of the Lodge, assisted by the three
lesser lights, what were you enabled to discover?
A - The form of the Lodge.
Q - What form?
A - A parallelopipedon.
Q - Describe its dimensions.
A - In length from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth
from the surface of the earth to the centre, and even as high as the Heavens.
Q - Why is a Freemason's Lodge described of this vast extent?
A - To show the universality of the science; likewise, that a Mason's charity
should know no bounds save those of prudence.
Brethren, this ends the third section of the first lecture:
All poor and distressed Masons, where ever dispersed over the face of earth,
and Water, wishing them a speedy relief from their sufferings, and a safe
return to their native country, if they desire it.
To order, Brethren
Q - On what ground do our Lodges stand?
A. - Holy Ground
Q - Why on Holy Ground?
A - Because the first Lodge was consecrated.
Q - Why was it consecrated?
A - On account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine
Q -.Which I will thank you to specify
A - First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God in not refusing
to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when it pleased the Almighty
to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead. Secondly, the many pious
prayers and ejaculations of King David, which actually appeased the wrath
of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among his people, owing
to his inadvertently having had them numbered. And thirdly, the many
thanksgivings, oblations. burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings which Solomon,
King of Israel, made at the completion, dedication, and consecration of the
Temple at Jerusalem to God's service. Those three did then, do now, and I
trust ever will render the ground of Freemasonry holy.
Q - How are our Lodges situated?
A - Due East and West
Q - Why?
A - Because all places of Divine worship as well as Masons' regular, well-formed,
constituted Lodges, are or ought to be so situated
Q - For which we assign three Masonic reasons; I will thank you for the first.
A - The Sun, the Glory of the Lord, rises, in the East and sets in the West.
Q - The second?
A - Learning originated in the East, an thence spread its benign influence
to the West
Q - The third, last, and grand reason?
A - Whenever we contemplate on the works of the creation, how ready and cheerful
ought we to be to adore the Almighty Creator, who has never left Himself
without a living witness among men. From the earliest period of time, we
have been taught to believe in the existence of a Deity. We read of Abel
bringing a more acceptable offering to the Lord than his brother Cain; of
Enoch walking with God; of Noah. being a just and upright man in his day
and generation , and a teacher of righteousness; of Jacob wrestling with
an angel, prevailing, and thereby obtaining a blessing for himself and posterity.
But we never hear or read of any place being set apart for the public
solemnisation of Divine worship, until after the happy deliverance of the
children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage, which it pleased the Almighty
to effect with a high hand and an outstretched arm, under the conduct of
His faithful servant Moses, according to a promise made their forefather,
Abraham, that He would make of his seed a great and mighty people, even as
the stars in Heaven for number, and the sand of the sea for multitude. And
as they were about to possess the gate of their enemies, and inherit the
promised land, the Almighty thought proper to reveal to them those three
most excellent institutions-viz., the Moral, Ceremonial, and judicial Laws.
And for the better solemnisation of Divine worship, as well as a receptacle
for the Books and Tables of the Law, Moses caused a Tent
or Tabernacle to be erected in the wilderness, which by God's especial command
was situated due East and West, for Moses did everything according to a pattern
shown him by the Lord on Mount Sinai. This Tent or Tabernacle proved afterwards
to be the ground-plan, in respect to situation, of that most magnificent
Temple built at Jerusalem by that wise and mighty Prince, King Solomon, whose
regal splendour and unparalleled lustre far transcend our ideas. This is
the third, last, and grand reason. I as a Freemason give, why all. places
of Divine worship, as well as Masons' regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges
are or ought to be so situated.
Q - What supports a Freemason's Lodge
A- Three great Pillars.
Q - What are they called?
A - Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.
Q - Why Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty
A - Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn.
Q - Moralise them.
A -Wisdom to conduct us in all our undertakings, Strength to support us under
all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man.
Q- Illustrate them.
A -The Universe is the Temple of the Deity whom we serve; Wisdom, Strength
and Beauty are about His throne as pillars of His works, for His Wisdom is
infinite His Strength omnipotent, and Beauty shines through the whole of
the creation in symmetry and order. The Heavens He has stretched forth as
a canopy; the earth He has planted as a footstool; He crowns His Temple with
Stars as with a diadem, and with his hand He extends the power and glory.
The Sun and Moon are messengers of His will, and all His law is concord.
The three great pillars supporting a Freemason's Lodge are emblematic of
those Divine attributes, and further represent Solomon King of Israel, Hiram,
King of Tyre and Hiram Abif.
Q - Why those three great personages?
A - Solomon King of Israel for his wisdom in building, completing, and dedicating
the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service; Hiram King. of Tyre for his strength
in supporting him with men and materials; and Hiram Abif. for his curious
and masterly workmanship in beautifying and adorning the same.
Q - As we have no noble Order of Architecture known by the names of Wisdom,
Strength, and Beauty, to which do they refer?
A - The three most celebrated, which are the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian.
Q - Name the covering of a Freemason's Lodge.
A - A Celestial Canopy of divers colours, even the Heavens.
Q - As Masons, how can we hope to arrive there?
A - By the assistance of a Ladder, in Scripture called Jacob's Ladder.
Q - Why was it called Jacob's ladder?
A - Rebecca, the beloved wife of Isaac, knowing by Divine inspiration that
a peculiar blessing was vested in the soul of her husband, was desirous to
obtain it for her favourite son Jacob, though by birthright belonged to Esau
her first-born. Jacob had no sooner fraudulently obtained his father's blessing,
than he was obliged to flee from the wrath of his brother, who in a moment
of rage and disappointment had threatened to kill him. Arid as he journeyed
towards Padan-aram, in the land of Mesopotamia (where by his parents' strict
command he was enjoined to go), being weary and benighted on a desert plain,
he lay down to rest, taking the Earth for his bed, a stone for his pillow,
and the Canopy of Heaven for a covering. He there in a vision saw a Ladder,
the top of which reached to the Heavens, and the Angels of the Lord ascending
and descending thereon. It was then the Almighty entered into a solemn covenant
with Jacob, that if he would abide by His laws, and keep His commandments,
He would not only bring him again to his father's house in peace and prosperity,
but would make of his seed a great and mighty people.
This was amply verified, for after a lapse of twenty years Jacob returned
to his native country, was kindly received by his brother Esau, his favourite
son Joseph was afterwards, by Pharaoh's appointment, made second man in Egypt,
and the children of Israel, highly favoured by the Lord, became, in process
of time, one of the greatest and most mighty Nations on the face of the earth,
Q -Of how many staves or rounds was this Ladder composed?
A - Of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues, but
three principal ones, which are, FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY.
Q - Why Faith, Hope, and Charity?
A - Faith in the Great Architect of the Universe; Hope in Salvation; and
to be in Charity with all men.
Q - I will thank you to define FAITH.
A - Is the foundation of justice, the bond of amity, and the chief support
of civil society. We live and walk by Faith. By it we have a continual
acknowledgment of a Supreme Being. By Faith we have access to the Throne
of grace, are justified, accepted, and finally received. A true and sincere
Faith is the evidence of things not seen, but the substance of those hoped
for. This well maintained and answered in our Masonic profession, will bring
us to those blessed mansions, where we shall be eternally happy with God
the Great Architect of the Universe.
Q - HOPE?
A - Is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and enters into that
within the veil. Then let a firm reliance on the Almighty's faithfulness
animate our endeavours, and teach us to fix our desires within the limits
of His most blessed promises. So shall success attend us. If we believe a
thing impossible, our despondency may render it so, but he who perseveres
in a just cause will ultimately overcome all difficulties.
Q - CHARITY?
A - Lovely in itself, is the brightest ornament which can adorn our Masonic
profession. It is the best test and surest proof of the sincerity of our
religion. Benevolence, rendered by Heaven-born Charity, is an honour to the
nation whence it springs, is nourished, and cherished. Happy is the man who
has, sown in his breast, the seeds of benevolence; he envies not his neighbour,
he believes not a tale reported to his prejudice, he forgives the injuries
of men, and endeavours to blot them from his recollection. Then, Brethren.,
let us remember, that we are Free and Accepted Masons; ever ready to listen
to him who craves our assistance; and from him who is in want, let us not
withhold a liberal hand. So shall a heartfelt satisfaction reward our labours,
and the produce of love and Charity will most assuredly follow.
Q - On what does this Ladder rest in a Freemason's Lodge.?
A - The Volume of the Sacred Law.
Q - Why does it rest there?
A - Because by the doctrines contained in that Holy Book, we are taught to
believe in the dispensations of Divine Providence; which belief strengthens
our Faith, and enables us to ascend the first step. This Faith naturally
creates in us a Hope of becoming partakers of the blessed promises therein
recorded; which Hope enables us to ascend the second step. But the third
and last, being Charity, comprehends the whole; and the Mason who is possessed
of this virtue in its most ample sense, may justly be deemed to have attained
the summit of his profession; figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion,
veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted
in our Lodges by seven Stars, which have an allusion to as many regularly
made Masons; without which number no Lodge is perfect, neither can any candidate
be legally initiated into the Order.
Brethren, this ends the fourth section of the first lecture:
May every Mason attain the summit Of his profession, where the just will
most assuredly meet their due reward.
To order, Brethren
Q - Of what is the interior of a Freemason's Lodge composed?
A - Ornaments, Furniture, and jewels.
Q - Name the Ornaments.
A - The Mosaic Pavement, the Blazing Star, and the Indented or Tessellated
Q - Their situations?
A -The Mosaic Pavement is the beautiful flooring of the Lodge; the Blazing
Star the glory in the centre; and the Indented or Tessellated Border the
skirtwork round the same.
Q - I will thank you to moralise them.
A - The Mosaic Pavement may justly be deemed the beautiful flooring of a
Freemason's Lodge, by reason of its being variegated and chequered. This
points out the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn the creation,
the animate as well as the inanimate parts thereof. The Blazing Star, or
glory in the centre, refers us to the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and
by its benign influence dispenses its blessings to mankind in general. The
Indented or Tessellated Border refers us to the Planets, which, in their
various revolutions form a beautiful border or skirtwork round that grand
luminary, the Sun, as the other does round that of a Freemason's Lodge.
Q - Why was Mosaic work introduced into Freemasonry?
A - As the steps of man are trod in the various and uncertain incidents of
life, and his days are variegated and chequered by a strange contrariety
of events, his passage through this existence, though sometime attended by
prosperous circumstances, is often beset by a multitude of evils; hence is
our Lodge. furnished with Mosaic work, to point out the uncertainty of all
things here on earth. Today we may travel in prosperity tomorrow we may totter
on the uneven path of weakness, temptation, and adversity. Then while such
emblems are before us, we are morally instructed not to boast of anything
but to give heed to our ways, to walk up rightly and with humility before
God, there being no station in life on which pride can with stability be
founded; for though some are born to more elevated situations than others,
yet, when in the grave, we are all on the level, death destroying all
distinctions; and while our feet tread on this Mosaic work, let our ideas
recur to the original whence we copy; let us, as good men and Masons, act
as the dictates of reason prompt us, to practice charity, maintain harmony,
and endeavour to live in unity and brotherly love.
Q - Name the furniture of the Lodge.
A - The Volume of the Sacred Law, the Compasses, and Square.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Sacred Words. are to rule and govern our faith, on them we Obligate.
our candidates for Freemasonry. So are the Compasses. and Square, when united,
to regulate our lives and actions.
Q - From whom is the first derived, and to whom do the other two more properly
A - The Sacred Volume is derived from God to man in general; the Compasses
belong to the Grand Master in particular; and the Square to the whole Craft.
Q - Why the Sacred Volume from God to man in general?
A - Because the Almighty has been pleased to reveal more of His Divine will
in that Holy Book than He has by any other means.
.Q .- Why the Compasses to the Grand Master in particular?
A - That, being the chief instrument made use of in the formation of
Architectural plans and designs, is peculiarly appropriated to the Grand
Master, as an emblem of his dignity; he being the Chief, Head, and Governor
of the Craft.
Q -And why the Square to the whole Craft?
A - The Craft being Obligated within the Square are consequently bound to
Q - Before our ancient brethren had the benefit of such regular, well-formed,
constituted Lodges as we now enjoy, where did they assemble?
A - On high hills and in low vales, even in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and
many other secret places.
Q - Why so high, low, and very secret?
A - The better to observe all who might ascend or descend; that if a stranger
should approach, the Tyler might give timely notice to the Master to hail
the brethren, close the Lodge, put by the jewels, and thereby prevent any
of our Masonic secrets from being illegally obtained.
Q - You speak of jewels, and seem careful of them; how many are there in
A - Three movable, and three immovable,
Q - Name the movable jewels?
A - The Square, Level, and Plumb Rule.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Square is to try, and adjust rectangular corners of buildings, and
assist in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level to lay levels, and
prove horizontals; the Plumb Rule to try, and adjust uprights, whiIe fixing
them on their proper bases.
Q - It would appear from this that they are mere mechanical tools; why do
you call them jewels?
A - On account of their moral tendency, which renders them jewels of inestimable
Q - I will thank you to moralise them.
A - The Square. teaches us to regulate our lives and actions according to
the Masonic line and rule, and to harmonise our conduct in this life, so
as to render us acceptable to that Divine Being from whom all goodness springs,
and to whom we must give an account of all our actions.
The Level demonstrates that we are all sprung from the same stock, partakers
of the same nature, and sharers in the same hope; and although distinctions
among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet ought no eminence
of situation make us forget that we are Brothers; for he who is placed on
the lowest spoke of fortune's wheel is equally entitled to our regard; as
a time will come and the wisest of us knows not how soon when all distinctions,
save those of goodness and virtue, shall cease, and Death, the grand leveller
of all human greatness, reduce us to the same state.
The infallible Plumb Rule., which, like Jacob's ladder, connects Heaven and
Earth, is the criterion of rectitude and truth. It teaches us to walk justly
and uprightly before God and man; neither turning to the right nor left from
the paths of virtue. Not to be an enthusiast, persecutor, or slanderer of
religion; neither bending towards avarice, injustice, malice, revenge, nor
the envy and contempt of mankind, but giving up every selfish propensity
which might injure others. To steer the bark of this life over the seas of
passion, without quitting the helm of rectitude, is the highest perfection
to which human nature can attain., and as the builder raises his column by
the level and perpendicular, so ought every Mason to conduct himself towards
this world; to observe a due medium between avarice and profusion; to hold
the scales of justice with equal poise; to make his passions and prejudices
coincide with the just line of his conduct; and in all his pursuits to have
Eternity in view. Thus the Square teaches morality, the Level equality, and
the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions.
Q - Why are they called movable jewels?
A - Because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens, and are transferable
to their successors on nights of Installation.
Q - What is the Master distinguished by?
A - The Square; and why, Worshipful. Master.?
W. M. - As it is by the assistance of the Square that rude matter is brought
into due form, so it is by the Square. conduct of the Master that animosities
are made to subside should any unfortunately arise among the Brethren, that
the business of Masonry may be conducted with harmony and decorum.
Q - Brother Senior Warden, why are you distinguished by the Level.?
S.W - That being an emblem of equality, points out the equal measures I am
bound to pursue in conjunction with your Worship Master in the well ruling
and governing of the Lodge.
Q - Brother Junior Warden, why are you distinguished by the Plumb Rule?
J.W - That being an emblem of uprightness, points out the integrity of the
measures I am bound to pursue, in conjunction with your Worshipful Master
and my Brother Senior Warden, in the well ruling and governing of the Lodge,
particularly in the examination of visitors, lest through my neglect any
unqualified person should gain admission to our assemblies, and the Brethren
be thereby innocently led to violate their Obligations.
Q - Name the Immovable jewels?
A - The Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on;
the Rough Ashlar for the Entered Apprentice to work, mark, and indent on;
and the Perfect Ashlar for the experienced craftsman to try and adjust his
Q - Why are these called Immovable jewels?
A - Because they lie open and Immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to
Q - There is a beautiful comparison between the immovable jewels and the
furniture of the Lodge, which I will thank you for.
A - As the Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs
on, the better to enable the Brethren to carry on the intended structure
with regularity and propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may justly
be deemed the spiritual Tracing Board of the great Architect of the Universe,
in which are laid down such Divine laws and moral plans, that were we conversant
therein, and adherent thereto, would bring us to an ethereal mansion not
made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough
and unhewn as taken from the quarry, until, by the industry and ingenuity
of the workman, it is modeled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for
the intended structure. This represents man in his infant or primitive state
rough and unpolished as that stone, until by the kind care and attention
of his parent or guardians, in giving him a liberal and virtuous education,
his mind becomes cultivated, and he is thereby rendered a fit member of civilised
society. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die or square, fit only
to be tried by the Square and Compasses. This represents man in the decline
of years, after a regular well-spent life in acts of piety and virtue, which
can no otherwise be tried and approved than by the Square of God's Word,
and the Compass of his own self-convincing conscience.
Q - The Lodge being finished, furnished, and decorated, to whom do we dedicate
it as a general Law.?
A - God and His service.
Q - To whom next?
A - King Solomon.
Q - Why to King Solomon?
A - He being the first Prince who excelled in Masonry, and under whose royal
patronage many of our Masonic mysteries obtained their first sanction.
Brethren, this ends the fifth section of the first lecture
The past Grand Patrons of Masonry.
To order, Brethren!
Q - Name the first point in Freemasonry.
A - Left knee bare and bent.
Q - Why is that called the first point?
A - On my bended knees I was taught to adore my Creator, on my left knee
bare and bent I was initiated into Masonry.
Q - There is a chief point?
A - To be happy ourselves, and to communicate happiness to others.
Q - A principal point?
A - A point within a circle.
Q - Define that point.
A - In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, there is a point within
a circle round which the Brethren cannot err. This circle is bounded between
North. and South by two grand parallel lines, one representing Moses and
the other King Solomon. On the upper part of this circle rests the Volume
of the Sacred Law, supporting Jacob's ladder, the top of which reaches to
the heavens; and were we as conversant in that Holy Book, and as adherent
to the doctrines therein contained, as those parallels were, it would bring
us to Him who would not deceive us, neither will He suffer deception. In
going round this circle, we must necessarily touch on both those parallel
lines likewise on the Sacred Volume, and whilst a Mason keeps himself thus
circumscribed, he cannot err.
Q - Name the grand principles on which the Order is founded.
A - Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
Q - I will thank you to define BROTHERLY LOVE.
A - 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, created
by One Almighty Being, and sent into the world for the aid, support, a protection
of each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect
and opinion, and by its dictates conciliate true friendship among those who
might other wise have remained at a perpetual distance.
Q - RELIEF?
A - To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, particularly
Masons who are linked together in one indissoluble chain of sincere affection;
hence, to soothe the unhappy, sympathise in their misfortunes compassionate
their miseries, and restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim
we have in view; on this basis we establish our friendships and form our
Q - TRUTH?
A - Is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every Masonic virtue; to
be good men and true is a lesson we are taught at our Initiation; on this
grand theme we contemplate, and by its unerring dictates, endeavour to regulate
our lives and actions. Hence, hypocrisy and deceit are, or ought to be, unknown
to us, sincerity and plain dealing are our distinguishing characteristics,
whilst the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing
in the prosperity of the Craft.
Q - How many original forms have we in Freemasonry?
A - Four.
Q - I will thank you to show Masonically to which parts of the body they
A -The throat, refers to the penalty contained in my Obligation, implying
that as a man of honour and a Mason I would rather have my throat cut across,
my tongue torn from its roots and my body buried in the rough sands of the
sea whence the tide doth wash twice in the course of a natural day rather
than betray any of the secret or secrets, mystery or mysteries of Masonry.
Next the breast, where those secrets are deposited safe and secure from the
popular world who are not Masons. The hand placed on the Volume of the Sacred
Law, as a token of my assent to the Obligation of a Mason. The fist formed
in a square at the North East part of the Lodge denoting a just and upright
Q - They have a further allusion.
A - To the four cardinal virtues, namely: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence,
Q - I will thank you to define TEMPERANCE.
A - Is that due restraint of the passion and affections, which renders the
body tame and governable, and relieves the mind from the allurements of vice.
This virtue ought to be the constant practice of every Mason as he is thereby
taught to avoid excess, or the contracting of any vicious or licentious habits,
whereby he might, unwarily, be led to betray his trust, and subject himself
the penalty contained in his Obligation.
Q - FORTITUDE?
A - Is that noble and steady purport of the soul, which is equally distant
from rashness and cowardice; it enables us to undergo any pain labour, danger,
or difficulty, when thought necessary, or deemed prudentially expedient.
This virtue, like the former ought to be deeply impressed on the breast of
every Mason, as a fence and security against any attempts which might be
made either by threats or violence, to extort from him any of those Masonic
secrets he has so solemnly engaged himself to HELE, conceal, and never improperly
reveal; the illegal revealing of which might prove a torment to his mind,
as the Compasses were emblematically to his body when extended to his naked
left breast at time of his Initiation.
Q - PRUDENCE?
A - Teaches us to regulate our lives and actions according to the dictates
of reason, and is that habit of mind whereby men wisely judge, and prudentially
determine, all things relative to their temporal and eternal happiness. This
virtue ought to be the distinguishing characteristic of every Free and Accepted
Mason, not only for the good regulation of his own life and actions, but
as a pious example to the popular world who are not Masons, and ought to
be nicely attended to in strange or mixed companies, never to let drop or
slip the least Sign, Token, or Word, whereby any of our Masonic secrets might
be illegally obtained; ever having in recollection that period of time when
he was placed before the Worshipful Master in the East with his left knee
made bare and his bent right foot formed in a square while his right hand
was placed on the Volume of the Sacred Law
Q - JUSTICE?
A - Is that station or boundary of right, by which we are taught to render
to every man his just due, and that without distinction. This virtue is not
only consistent with the Divine and human Law, but is the standard and cement
of civil society. Without the exercise of this Virtue, universal confusion
would ensure, lawless force would overcome the principles of equity, and
social intercourse no longer exist; and as justice in a great measure constitutes
the really good man, so it ought to be the invariable practice of every Free
and Accepted Mason never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof,
ever having in mind the time he was placed at the North East part of the
Lodge, feet formed in a square being evident, when he received that excellent
injunction from the Worshipful Master. to be just and upright in all things;
alluding to the Perpendicular.
Brethren, this ends the sixth section of the first lecture:
May Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, in conjunction with Temperance, Fortitude,
Prudence, and Justice, distinguish Free and Accepted Masons till time shall
be no more.
To order, Brethren!
Q. - How many sorts of Masons are there
A - Two: Free and Accepted, and Operative.
Q - Which of those are you?
A - Free and Accepted.
Q - What do you learn by being a Free and Accepted Mason?
A - Secrecy, Morality, and Good Fellowship.
Q - What do Operative Masons learn?
A - The useful rules of Architecture; to hew, square, and mould stones into
the formation required for the purposes of building; and unite them by means
of joints-level, perpendicular, or otherwise; and by the aid of cement, iron,
lead, or copper; which various operations require much practical dexterity
and some skill in geometry and mechanics.
Q - And what by being both, and frequenting sundry Lodges?
A - To act on the square, observe a proper deportment in the Lodge, pay due
and becoming respect to the Worshipful Master and his presiding officers,
to abstain from all political or religious disputes which might breed dissension
among the Brethren, and in time entail a scandal on the Craft.
Q - In what degree in Freemasonry were you initiated?
A - That of an Entered Apprentice.
Q - How long should an Entered Apprentice serve his Master?
A - Seven years is the stipulated time; but less will suffice, if found qualified
Q - How should he serve him?
A - With Freedom, Fervency, and Zeal.
Q - Excellent qualities; what are their emblems?
A - Chalk, Charcoal, and Clay.
Q - Why?
A - Nothing is more free than Chalk; the slightest touch leaves a trace.
Nothing more fervent than Charcoal; for when properly lighted no metal can
resist its force. Nothing more zealous than Clay, our mother Earth; she is
continually labouring for our support. Thence we came, and there we must
Q - If you wished to give your son a Masonic name, what would you call him?
A - Lewis.
Q - What does Lewis denote?
A - Strength.
Q. - How is it depicted in our Lodges?
A - By certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, forming a cramp;
and when in combination with some of the mechanical powers, such as a system
of pulleys, it enables the Operative Mason to raise great weights to certain
heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them on their proper bases.
Q - Lewis being the son of a Mason, what is his duty, to his aged parents?
A - To bear the heat and burden of the day, which they by reason of their
age, ought to be exempt from; to assist them in time of need, and thereby
render the close of their days happy and comfortable.
Q - His privilege for so doing?
A -That of being made a Mason before any other person, however dignified.
Q -Why are we called Freemasons?
A - Because we are free to, and free from.
Q - Free to, and free from what?
A - Free to good fellowship, and ought to be free from vice.
Q - If a Mason of this description were missing, where would you expect to
A - Between the Square and Compasses.
Q - Why there?
A - Because by acting on the one he would be sure to be found within the
Q - How would you clothe your Mason?
A - With the distinguishing badge of a Mason.
Q .- How do you know a Mason in the day?
A - By seeing him, and observing the Sign.
Q.- How in the night?
A - By receiving the Token, and hearing the Word.
Q - How blows the wind in Freemasonry?
A - Favourably, due East or West.
Q - For what purpose?
A - To cool and refresh men at labour.
Q - It has a further allusion?
A - To that miraculous wind which proved so essential in working the happy
deliverance of the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage.
Q - Why is the wind deemed favourable to Freemasonry in only those particular
points of the Compass?
A - When The Great Architect of the Universe thought
proper to deliver His chosen people from their Egyptian bondage, He commanded
His faithful servant Moses to lead them towards the land of Canaan, which
He had promised them for an inheritance: he accordingly conducted them through
the desert to the extremity of Egypt, where they encamped for the night on
the borders of the Red Sea. Pharaoh, regretting the
loss of many useful slaves, gathered together mighty army of horse, foot,
and chariots order to bring them back to their for captivity, not doubting
of success, as he knew that the Israelites were unarmed and undisciplined,
and that their journey was impeded by cattle and baggage. The Israelites,
seeing the Red Sea in the front, the impassable mountains on the right and
left, and the Egyptian army rapidly advancing in their rear, murmured against
their leader, and said. Why hast thou brought us into the wilderness to perish?
Was there not ground enough Egypt for our interment? But
Moses spoke comfortably to them, and bade them be good
cheer; for on that day they should experience the salvation of the Lord.
He then, after a fervent prayer to the throne of grace, stretched his sacred
rod over Red Sea, which caused a strong east wind to blow, dividing the waters
that they stood as a wall on each side, affording Israelites a passage through
on dry land Pharaoh seeing this, followed them without hesitation, and already
deemed the fugitives within his power, when, in order to check his presumption,
the Almighty sent a miraculous pillar of fire and cloud, which had two wonderful
effects; the fire gave light to Israelites and facilitated their progress;
the cloud proved darkness to Pharaoh and followers, and retarded their march.
The Almighty sent a further impediment to the enemy,
which was an angel who struck off their chariot-wheels, occasioning them
to drag heavily, so that the Egyptian army and the children of Israel came
not together. At the dawn of day, Pharaoh, perceiving the hand of the Lord
work sorely against him gave order to his troops to discontinue the pursuit,
and return by the way they came; but it was then too late, for by that time
the Israelites had gained the opposite coast; when Moses bade them look back
on their long-dreaded enemies, for from that time forward they should see
them no more; he then again stretched his sacred rod over the waters, which
caused them to burst their invisible chains, and rush into their primitive
channel, overwhelming Pharaoh and all his host. In commemoration of this
happy deliverance, the children of Israel went many
days' journey into the wilderness, singing psalms and thanksgiving to their
Omnipotent deliverer; since which period the wind in due East or West has
been deemed favourable to Freemasonry.
Q - What are the distinguishing characteristics of a good Freemason?
A - Virtue, Honour, and Mercy and may they ever be found in a Freemason's
Q - I will thank you to define VIRTUE.
A - In reading the history of ancient Rome, we find that the Consul Marcellus
intended to erect a Temple to be dedicated to Virtue and Honour; but being
prevented, at .that time, from carrying his design into execution, he afterwards
altered his plans, and erected two Temples, contiguous to each other, so
situated that the only avenue to the Temple of Honour was through that of
Virtue; thereby leaving an elegant moral to posterity, that Virtue is the
only direct road to Honour. Virtue is the highest exercise of, and improvement
to, reason; the integrity, harmony, and just balance of affection; the health,
strength, and beauty of the soul. The perfection of Virtue is to give reason
its full scope; to obey the authority of conscience with alacrity; to exercise
the defensive talents with fortitude, the public with justice, the private
with temperance, and all of them with prudence; that is, in a due proportion
to each other, with a calm and diffusive beneficence; to love and adore God
with an unrivaled and disinterested affection and to acquiesce in the
dispensations of Divine providence with a cheerful resignation. Every approach
to this standard is a step towards perfection and happiness, and any deviation
therefrom has a tendency to vice and to misery.
Q - HONOUR?
A - May justly be defined to be the spirit and supererogation of Virtue;
the true foundation of mutual faith and credit; and the real intercourse
by which the business of life is transacted with safety and pleasure. It
implies the united sentiments of Virtue, Truth, and justice, carried by a
generous mind beyond those mere moral obligations which the laws require,
or can punish the violation of. True honour, though a different principle
from religion, is that which produces the same effects; the lines of action
although drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point. Religion
embraces Virtue, as it is enjoined by the laws of God; Honour, as it is graceful
and ornamental to human nature. The religious man fears, the man of Honour
scorns, to do an ill action; the latter considers vice as something beneath
him; the other as something which is offensive to the Divine Being. A true
man of Honour will not content himself with the literal discharge of the
duties of a man and a citizen; he raises and signifies them to magnanimity:
he gives, when he may, with propriety refuse; and forgives, where he may
with justice resent. The whole of his conduct is guided by the noblest sentiments
of his own unvitiated heart; a true moral rectitude of the uniform rule of
his actions; and a just praise and approbation his due reward.
Q - MERCY?
A - Is a refined virtue, and when possessed by the monarch, adds a lustre
to every gem that adorns his crown; if by the warrior, it gives an unceasing
freshness to the wreath that shades his brow. It is the companion of true
honour, and the ameliorator of justice, on whose bench, when enthroned, it
interposes a shield of defense on behalf of the victim, impenetrable to the
sword. And as the vernal showers descend on the earth, to refresh and invigorate
the whole vegetable creation, so mercy, acting on the heart, when the vital
fluids are condensed by rancour and revenge, by its exhilarating warmth returns
nature to its source in purer streams. It is the peculiar attribute of the
Deity, on which the best and wisest of us must rest our hopes and dependence;
for at the final day of retribution, when arraigned at His bar, and the actions
of this mortal life are unveiled to view, though His justice may demand the
fiat, we hope and trust His Mercy will avert the doom.
Brethren, this ends the seventh section and the lecture:
May Virtue, Honour, and Mercy continue to distinguish Free and Accepted Masons.
To order, Brethren!
The usages and customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near affinity to
those of the ancient Egyptians. Their philosophers, unwilling to expose their
mysteries to vulgar eyes, couched their systems of learning and polity under
signs and hieroglyphical figures, which were communicated to their chief
priests or Magi alone, who were bound by solemn oath to conceal them. The
system of Pythagoras was founded on a similar principle, as well as many
others of more recent date. Masonry, however, is not only the most ancient
but the most honourable Society that ever existed, as there is not a character
or emblem here depicted, but serves to inculcate the principles of piety
and virtue among all its genuine professors. Let me first call your attention
to the form of the Lodge, which is a regular parallelepipedon, in length
from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth from the
surface of the earth to its centre, and even as high as the heavens. The
reason that a Freemason's Lodge is represented of that vast extent is to
show the universality of the science, that a Mason's charity should know
no bounds save those of prudence.
Our Lodge stands on holy ground, because the first Lodge was consecrated
on account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine
approbation. First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God
in not refusing to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when
it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead.
Secondly, the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King David, which actually
appeased the wrath of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among
his people, owing to his inadvertently having had them numbered. Thirdly,
the many thanksgivings, oblations, burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings
which Solomon, King of Israel, made at the completion, consecration, and
dedication of the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service. Those three did then,
have since, and I trust ever will, render the groundwork of Freemasonry holy.
Our Lodge is situated due East and West, because all places of Divine worship,
as well as Masons' regular, wellformed, constituted Lodges, are, or ought
to be, so situated; for which we assign three Masonic reasons: First, the
Sun, the Glory of the Lord, rises in the East and sets in the West.; Second,
learning originated in the East, and thence spread its benign influence to
the West; the third, last, and grand reason, which is too long to be entered
upon now, is explained in the course of our Lectures, which I hope you will
have many opportunities of hearing.
Our Lodge is supported by three great pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength,
and Beauty: Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn;
Wisdom to conduct us in all our undertakings, Strength to support us under
all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man. The Universe is
the Temple of the Deity whom we serve Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty are about
His throne as pillars of His works, His Wisdom is infinite, His Strength
omnipotent, and Beauty shines through the whole of the creation in symmetry
a order. The heavens He has stretched forth as a canopy; the earth He hath
planted as His footstool; He crowns His Temple with Stars as with a diadem,
and His hands extend their power and glory. The Sun and Moon are messengers
of His will, and all His law is concord. The three great Pillars supporting
Mason's Lodges are emblematical of the Divine attributes; they further represent
Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif. Solomon, King
of Israel. for his Wisdom in building, completing, and dedicating the Temple
at Jerusalem to God's service; Hiram, King of Tyre, for his Strength in
supporting him with men and material and Hiram Abif, for his curious a masterly
workmanship in beautifying and adorning the same. But as we have no noble
orders in Architecture known by the names of Wisdom Strength, and Beauty,
we refer them to the three most celebrated, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.
The covering of a Masonic Lodge is a celestial canopy of divers colours,
even as the heavens. The way- by which we, as Masons, hope to arrive at it
is by the assistance of a ladder, in Scripture called Jacob's ladder. It
is composed of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues,
but three principal ones, Faith, Hope, and Charity: Faith in the Great Architect
of the Universe, Hope in salvation, and to be in Charity with all men. It
reaches to the heavens, and rests on the Volume of the Sacred Law, because,
by the doctrines contained in that Holy Book, we are taught to believe in
the dispensations of Divine Providence, which belief strengthens our faith,
and enables us to ascend the first step; this faith naturally creates in
us a hope of becoming partakers of the blessed promises therein recorded,
which hope enables us to ascend the second step; but the third and last being
Charity, comprehends the :whole, and the Mason who is possessed of this virtue
in its most ample sense, may justly be deemed to have attained the summit
of his profession; figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion, veiled from
mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted here by seven
stars, which have an allusion to as many regularly made Masons, without which
number no Lodge is perfect, neither can any candidate be legally initiated
into the Order.
The interior of a Freemason's Lodge is composed of Ornaments, Furniture,
and jewels. The ornaments of the Lodge are the Mosaic pavement, the blazing
star, and the indented or tessellated border; the Mosaic pavement is the
beautiful flooring of a Freemason's Lodge, the blazing star the glory in
the centre, and the indented or tessellated border, the skirtwork round the
same. The Mosaic pavement may justly be deemed the beautiful flooring of
the Lodge, by reason of its being variegated and chequered. This points out
the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn the creation, the animate
as well as the inanimate parts thereof. The blazing star, or glory in the
centre, refers us to the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its benign
influence dispenses blessings to mankind in general. The indented or tessellated
border refers us to the planets, which in their various revolutions form
a beautiful border or skirtwork round that grand luminary, the Sun, as the
other does round that of a Freemason's Lodge. The furniture of the Lodge
are the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Compasses, and Square; the Sacred Writings
are to rule and govern our faith. On them we obligate our Candidates for
Freemasonry; so are the Compasses and Square, when united, to regulate our
lives and actions. The Sacred Volume is derived from God to man in general,
the Compasses belong to the Grand Master in particular, and the Square to
the whole Craft.
The jewels of the Lodge are three movable and three immovable. The movable
jewels are the Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule. Among operative Masons
the Square is to try and adjust rectangular corners of buildings and assist
in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level to lay levels and prove
horizontals; and the Plumb Rule to try and adjust uprights while fixing on
their proper bases. Among Free and Accepted Masons, the Square teaches morality,
the Level equality, and the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and
actions. They are called movable jewels, because they are worn by the Master
and his Wardens, and transferable to their successors on the night of
Installation. The Master is distinguished by the Square, the Senior Wan by
the Level, and the Junior Warden the Plumb Rule. The immovable jewels are
the Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars. The Tracing Board for the
Master to lay lines and draw designs on; the Rough Ashlar for Entered Apprentice
to work, mark, and indent on; the Perfect Ashlar for the experienced Craftsman
to try and adjust his jewels They are called immovable jewels, because they
lie open and immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to moralise upon.
As the Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on,
better to enable the Brethren to carry on: the intended structure with regularity
propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may justly be deemed to be the
spiritual Tracing Board of the Great Architect the Universe, in which are
laid downs such Divine laws and moral plans, that were we conversant therewith,
and obedient thereto, they would bring us to an ethereal mansion not built
by hands, but eternal in the Heavens. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough
and unhewn as taken from the quarry, till, by the industry and ingenuity
of the workman, it is modeled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for
the intended building; this represents the mind of man in its infant or primitive
state, rough and unpolished as that stone, till by the kind care and instruction
of his parents or guardians, in giving him a liberal and virtuous education,
his mind becomes cultivated, and he is thereby rendered a fit member of civilised
society. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die or square, fit only
to be tried by the Square and Compasses; this represents the mind of a man
in the decline of years, after a well-spent life in acts of piety and virtue,
which can not otherwise be tried and approved than by the Square of God's
Word and the Compasses of his own self convincing conscience.
In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, there is a point within
a circle round which a Mason cannot err; this circle is bounded between North
and South by two grand parallel lines, the one representing Moses, the other
King Solomon; on the upper part of this circle rests the Volume of the Sacred
Law, supporting Jacob's ladder, the top of which reaches to the heavens;
and were we as conversant with that holy book, and as adherent to the doctrines
therein contained, as both those parallels were, it would lead us to Him
who will not deceive us, neither will He suffer deception.
In going round this circle, we must of necessity touch on both those parallel
lines, likewise on the Volume of the Sacred Law; and while a Mason keeps
himself thus circumscribed, he cannot err.
The word Lewis denotes strength, and is here depicted by certain pieces of
metal dovetailed into a stone, which form a cramp, and enables the operative
Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance,
and to fix them on their proper bases. Lewis likewise denotes the son of
a Mason; his duty is to bear the heat and burden of the day, from which his
parents, by reason of their age, ought to be exempt; to help them in time
of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable;
his privilege for so doing is to be made a Mason before any other person
Pendent to the corners of the Lodge are four tassels, meant to remind us
of the four cardinal virtues, namely: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and
Justice, the whole of which, tradition informs us, were constantly practiced
by a great majority of our ancient Brethren. The distinguishing characteristics
of a good Free Mason are Virtue, Honour, and Mercy, and should these be banished
from all other societies may they ever be found in a Mason's breast.