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The Lecture of the Second Degree of
Masonry is a progressive science consisting of different Degrees, calculated
for the more gradual advancement in the knowledge of its mysteries; according
to the progress we make, we limit or extend our inquiries, and in proportion
to our capacities, we attain to a greater or lesser degree of perfection.
The Lecture of this Degree is divided into five sections, which are devoted
to the study of human science, and to tracing the goodness and majesty of
the Creator by minutely analysing His works. Throughout the First Degree,
virtue is depicted in its most beautiful colours, and the principles of knowledge
are impressed on the mind by sensible and lively images; it is therefore
considered the best introduction to the Second Degree, which not only extends
the same plan but embraces a more diffusive system; from this proceeds a
rational amusement, while the mental faculties are fully employed, the judgement
is properly exercised, a spirit of emulation prevails, and each vies as to
who shall excel in promulgating the valuable principles of the institution.
Having stated this much as introductory to the Second Lecture, I shall now
proceed to ask you
Q - Where were you passed to the Degree of a Fellow Craft?
A - In a Lodge of Fellow Crafts.
Q - Consisting of how many?
A - Five.
Q - Under what denominations?
A - The Worshipful Master his two Wardens, and two Fellow Crafts.
Q .- How got you passed?
A - By undergoing a previous examination in open Lodge, and being intrusted
with a test of merit leading to that degree.
Q - Where were you then conducted?
A - To a convenient room, adjoining a Fellow Craft's Lodge, for the purpose
of being prepared.
Q - How were you prepared?
A - In a manner somewhat similar to the former, save that in this degree
I was not hoodwinked, my left arm, breast, and right knee were made bare.,
and my left heel. was slipshod.
Q - What enabled you to, claim admission into a Fellow Craft's Lodge?
A - The help of God, the assistance of the Square, and the benefit of a Passing
Q. - How did you gain admission?
A - By the knocks of an Entered Apprentice.
Q - On what were you admitted?
A - The Square.
Q - What is a Square.?
A - An angle of 90 degrees, or the fourth part of a circle.
Q - What are the peculiar objects of research in this degree?
A - The hidden mysteries of nature and science.
Q - When admitted into the Lodge, how were you disposed of?
A - I was conducted between the Deacons to the left of the Senior Warden
and directed to advance as a Mason.
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 - We supplicate the continuance of Thine aid, O merciful Lord, on behalf
of ourselves and him who kneels before Thee; may the work begun in Thy name
be continued to Thy Glory, and evermore established in us, by obedience to
So mote it be.
Q - After the recital of this prayer, how were you disposed of?.
A - I was conducted twice round the Lodge.
Q - What was required of you the first time?
A - To salute the Worship Master as a Mason, advance to the Junior Warden
as such, showing the Sign and communicating the Token and Word.
Q - What were the Brethren then called on to observe?
A - That I, who had been regularly initiated into Freemasonry, was about
to pass in view before them, to show that I was the candidate properly prepared
to be passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft.
Q - What was required of you the second time?
A - To salute the Worshipful Master and Junior Warden as a Mason, advance
to the Senior Warden. as such, showing the sign and communicating the pass
grip and pass word leading from the First to the Second Degree.
Q - How did the Senior Warden then proceed?
A - He presented me to the Worshipful Master, as a candidate properly prepared
to be passed to the Second Degree.
Q - What did the Master then order?
A - The Senior Warden to direct the Senior Deacon to instruct me to advance
to the East in due form.
Q - I will thank you to show the method of advancing from West to East in
A - (It is done.)
Q - When placed before the Master in the East how did he address you?
A - As in every case the degrees in Freemasonry are to be kept separate and
distinct, another Obligation will now be required of you, in many respects
similar to the former, are you willing to take it? To which I gave my assent.
Q - What did the Master then desire you to do?
A - Kneel on my right knee, my left foot formed in a square, place my right
hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law, while my left arm was supported in
the angle of the Square.
Q - In that attitude what were you about to do?
A - Take the Solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft.
Q - Which I will thank you for.
A - I, A. B., in the presence of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe,
and of this worthy and worshipful Lodge of Fellow Craft Freemasons, regularly
held, assembled, and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord,
do hereby and hereon solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hele,
conceal, and never improperly reveal any or either of the secret or mysteries
of or belonging to the Second Degree in Freemasonry, denominated the
Fellow-Craft's, to him who is but an Entered Apprentice, any more than I
would either of them to the uninstructed and popular world who are not Masons.
I further solemnly pledge myself to act as a true and faithful craftsman,
answer signs, obey summonses, and maintain the principles inculcated in the
former Degree; 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, chest ripped
open, my heart torn out and thrown as carrion to the revenging beasts of
the field and the air. So help me, Almighty God, and keep me steadfast in
this my Solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft Freemason.
Q - Having taken the Solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft, what did the Master
require of you?
A - As a pledge of my fidelity, and to render this a solemn Obligation, which
might otherwise be considered but a serious promise, to seal it with my lips
twice on the Volume of the Sacred Law.
Q - How did he then address you?
A - Your progress in Masonry is marked by the position of the Square and
Compasses. When you were made an Entered Apprentice both points were hid;
in this degree one is disclosed, implying that you are now in the midway
of Freemasonry, superior to an Entered Apprentice, but inferior to that to
which I trust you will hereafter attain.
Q - How did the Master then proceed?
A - He friendly took me by the right hand and said, Rise, newly Obligated
Fellow Craft Freemason.
Q - How did he then address you?
A - Having taken the Solemn Obligation of a Fellow Craft, I shall proceed
to intrust you with the secrets of the degree. You will therefore advance
to me as at your Initiation.
Q - What did the Master then direct you to do?
A - Take another step towards him with my left foot bringing the right heel
into its hollow as before; that, he informed me, is the second regular step
in Freemasonry, and it is in this position that the secrets of the degree
Q - Of what do those Secrets consist?
A - As in the former instance, of a Sign, Token, and Word, with this difference,
that in this degree the Sign is of a three fold nature.
Q - I will thank you for the first part of the three fold sign..
A - (Which is given.)
Q - What is that?
A - The Sign of Fidelity emblematically to shield the repository of my secrets
from the attacks of the insidious.
Q - The second part.
A -(Which is given.)
Q - What is that?
A - The Hailing Sign or Sign of Prayer
Q - When did it take its rise?
A - This is said to have been the Sign used by Joshuah. when fighting the
battles of the Lord " in the going down to Beth-horon." In this position
he spake those memorable words, " Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and
thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon." And the sun stood still, and the moon
stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies
Q - The third part?
A - (Which is given.)
Q - What is that?
A - The Penal Sign.
Q - To what does it allude?
A - The Penalty of my Obligation implying that as a man of honour, and a
Fellow Craft Freemason, I would rather, have my chest ripped open and my
heart torn out and thrown to the revenging beasts of the field rather than
betray any secret or secrets, mystery or mysteries of this the Second Degree
Q - Communicate the Token to me.
A - (Which is done.)
Q - Is that correct?
A - It is, Right Worshipful Master.
Q - What does that demand?
A - A Word.
Q - Give me that Word.
A - I was taught to be cautious in this degree as well as in the former.
I will letter or halve it with you.
Q - Do which you please, and begin.
A - (Which is done.)
Q - Whence is this Word derived?
A - From the right hand pillar at the entrance or porch of King Solomon's
Temple, so named after the Great High Priest who officiated at its dedication.
Q - The import of the Word?
A - To establish.
Q - And what when conjoined with that in the former degree?
A - Stability For God said "In strength will I establish my word in this
mine house that it will stand firm for ever".
Q - Having been Obligated and intrusted, were you invested?
A - I was, with the distinguishing badge of a Fellow Craft Freemason, which
the Senior Warden informed me was to mark the progress I had made in the
Q - Repeat the address you then received from the Master.
A Let me add to what has been stated by the Senior Warden, that the badge
with which you have now been invested, points out that, as a Craftsman, you
are expected to make the liberal arts and sciences your future study, that
you may the better be enabled to discharge your duties as a Mason, and estimate
the wonderful works of the Almighty.
Q - Where were you then ordered to be placed 1
A - At the South East part of the Lodge
Q - Repeat the charge.
A - Masonry being a progressive science, when you were made an Entered Apprentice
you were placed at the North East part of the Lodge, to show that you were
newly admitted; you are now placed at the South East part, to mark the progress
you have made in the science; you now stand, to all external appearance,
a just and upright Fellow Craft Freemason, and I give it you in strong terms
of recommendation ever to continue, and act as such; and, as I trust the
import of the former charge neither is, nor ever will be, effaced from your
memory, I shall content myself with observing, that as in the previous degree
you made yourself acquainted with the principles of moral truth and virtue,
you are now permitted to extend your researches into the hidden mysteries
of nature and science.
Q - What did the Master then present to you?
A - The working tools of a Fellow Craft Freemason, which are 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 while fixing
them on their proper bases.
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 Square teaches morality, the Level equality, and the
Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions. Thus by square conduct,
level steps, and upright intentions, we hope to ascend to those immortal
mansions, whence all goodness emanates.
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 an explanation of the Tracing Board.
Brethren, this ends the first section of the second lecture:
All just and upright Fellow Craft Freemasons.
To order, Brethren
Q - Why were you passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft?
A - For the sake of Geometry or the fifth science, on which Masonry is founded.
Q - What is Geometry?
A - A science whereby we find out the contents of bodies unmeasured by comparing
them with those already measured.
Q - Its proper subjects?
A - Magnitude and Extension, or a regular progression of science from a point
to a line, from a line to a superficies, and from a superficies to a solid.
Q - What is a point?
A - The beginning of geometrical matter.
Q - A line?
A - The continuation of the same.
Q - A superficies?
A - Length and breadth without a given thickness.
Q - A solid?
A - Length and breadth with a given thickness, which forms a cube, and
comprehends a whole.
Q - Where was Geometry founded as a science?
A - At Alexandria in Egypt.
Q - How came it to be founded there?
A - The River Nile annually overflowing its banks, caused the inhabitants
to retire to the high and mountainous parts of the country. When the waters
subsided they returned to their former habitations; but the floods frequently
washing away their landmarks, caused grievous disputes among them, which
often terminated in a civil war. They hearing of a Fellowcraft's Lodge being
held at Alexandria, the capital of their country, where Euclid presided,
a deputation of the inhabitants repaired thither, and laid their grievances
before him. He with the assistance of his Wardens and the rest of the Brethren,
gathered together the scattered elements of Geometry, digested, arranged,
and brought them into a regular system, such as was practised by most nations
in those days, but is bettered in the present by the use of fluxions, conic
sections, and other improvements. By the science of Geometry he taught the
Egyptians to measure and ascertain the different districts of land; by that
means put an end to their quarrels: and amicably terminated their differences.
Q - I will thank you for the moral advantages of Geometry.
A - Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis on which the
superstructure of Masonry is erected. By Geometry we may curiously trace
nature through her various windings to her most concealed recesses. By it
we may discover the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Grand Geometrician
of the Universe, and view with amazing delight the beautiful proportions
which connect and grace this vast machine. By it we may discover how the
planets move in their different orbits, and mathematically demonstrate their
various revolutions. By it we may rationally account for the return of seasons,
and the mixed variety of scenes which each season produces to the discerning
eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all formed by the same Divine artist,
which roll through the vast expanse, and are conducted by the same .unerring
law of nature. While such objects engage our attention, how must we improve,
and with what grand ideas must such knowledge fill our minds! It was a survey
of nature, and an observation of her beautiful proportions, which first induced
men to imitate the Divine plan, and study symmetry and order. This gave rise
to society, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design
and the plans which he laid down having been improved by time and experience,
have produced some of those excellent works which have been the admiration
Q - Did you ever travel?
A - My forefathers did.
Q - Where did they travel?
A - Due East and West.
Q - What was the object of their travels?
A - They travelled East in search of instruction, and West to propagate the
knowledge they had gained.
Q - Did you ever work?
A - My ancient Brethren did.
Q - Where did they work?
A - At the building of King Solomon's Temple and many other stately edifices.
Q - If they worked, I presume they received wages? How long first?
A - Six days or less.
Q - Why not on the seventh?
A - Because the Almighty was pleased be six days, periodically, in creating
the Heavens and the Earth, and all that is therein and thereon contained;
and rested on the seventh.
Q - A beautiful Illustration of the periods of the creation, I will thank
A - When we consider that the formatation of the world was work of that
Omnipotent being who created this beautiful system of the Universe, and caused
all nature to be under His immediate care and protection, how ought we to
magnify and adore His Holy name, for His infinite wisdom, goodness, and mercy
to the children of men! Before it pleased the Almighty to command this vast
whole into existence, the elements and materials of Creation lay blended
together without form or distinction. Darkness was over the great deep, when
the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters. And as an example to man,
that things of moment ought to be done with due deliberation, He was pleased
to be six days, periodically, in commanding it from chaos to perfection.
The first instance of His supreme power was made manifest by commanding Light.
Being pleased with the operation of His divine goodness, He gave it His sacred
approbation; and distinguished it by a name; the light He called day, and
the darkness He called night.
In order to keep this new-framed matter within just limits, He employed the
second period in laying the foundation of the Heavens; which He called firmament;
designed to keep the waters within the clouds and those beneath them asunder.
The third period was employed in commanding these waters into due bounds
on the retreat of which, dry land appeared which He called Earth; and the
gathering together of the mighty waters He called Seas. The Earth being as
yet irregular and uncultivated God spake the word, and it was immediately
covered with a beautiful carpet of grass, designed as pasture for the brute
creation; to which succeeded herbs, plan flowers, shrubs, and trees of all
sorts, to full growth, maturity, and perfection.
On the fourth period, those two grand luminaries, the Sun and Moon, were
created one to rule the day, and the other to govern the night. The sacred
historian further informs us they were ordained for signs and for seasons,
for days and years. Besides the Sun and Moon, the Almighty was pleased to
bespangle the ethereal concave with a multitude of Stars, that man, who He
intended to make, might contemplate thereon, and justly admire the majesty
and glory of His creator.
On the fifth period, He created the birds to fly in the air, that man might
please both his eyes and ears; by being delighted with some for their beautiful
plumage and uncommon instincts; and with others for their melodious notes.
He also in the same period caused the waters to bring forth variety of fish;
and to impress man with reverential awe of His Divine omnipotence. He created
great whales; which, with other inhabitants of the deep, after their kin
multiplied and increased exceedingly.
On the sixth period, He created the beasts of the field, and the reptiles
that crawl the earth. And here we may plainly perceive the wisdom and goodness
of the Almighty, made manifest in all His proceedings, by producing what
effects He pleased, without the aid of natural causes; such. as giving light
to the world before He created the Sun; and causing the earth to become fruitful
without the influence of the Heavenly Bodies. He did not create the beasts
of the field until He had provided them with sufficient herbage for their
support; nor did He make man until He had completed the rest of His works
and finished and furnished him a dwelling, with everything requisite both
for life and pleasure. Then, still more to dignify the work of His hands,
He created man; who came into the world with greater splendour than any creature
which had preceded him; they coming into existence by no other than a single
command, God spake the word, and it was done, but at the formation of man
there was a consultation. God expressly said, Let us make man: who was
accordingly formed out of the dust of the earth; the breath of life was breathed
into his nostrils, and man became a living soul. In this one creature was
amassed whatever is excellent in the whole creation; the quality or substance
of an animal being; the life of plants; the sense of beasts; and above all
the understanding of Angels; created after the immediate image of God, with
the rectitude of body; intimating thereby that integrity, and uprightness,
should ever influence him to adore his Benign Creator, who had so liberally
bestowed on him the faculty of speech, and endued him with that noble instinct
The Almighty, as His last, best gift to man, then created woman; under His
forming hands a creature grew, manlike, but different sex, so lovely fair,
that what seemed fair in all the world, seemed now mean, or in her summed
up, in her contained. On she came, led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen,
and guided by His voice; adorned with what all earth or Heaven could bestow
to make her amiable; grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, in every
gesture dignity and love. On the sixth period God's works being ended, on
the seventh He rested from His labour; He therefore sanctified, blessed,
and hallowed the seventh day; thereby teaching men a useful lesson; to work
six days industriously in support of themselves and families; strictly commanding
them to rest on the seventh, the better to contemplate on the works of the
creation, and adore Him as their Creator; to go into His sanctuary to return
Him thanks for their preservation, well-being, and all the other blessings
they have so liberally received at His hands.
Brethren, this ends the second section of the second lecture:
May a remembrance of the Six Periods of the Creation stimulate Fellow Crafts
to acts of industry.
To order, Brethren
Q - What were the names of the two great Pillars which were placed at the
Porch or Entrance of King Solomon's Temple?
A - That on the left was called Boaz, and that on the right Jachin
Q - What are their separate and conjoint significant?
A - The former denotes strength the latter to establish and when conjoined
stability, for God said In strength will I establish my word in the Mine
house that it will stand fast for ever.
Q - The height of those Pillars?
A - Seventeen cubits and a half each.
Q - Their circumference?
A - Twelve.
Q - Their diameter?
A - Four.
Q - Were they formed hollow or solid?
A - Hollow.
Q - Why were they formed hollow?
A - The better to serve as Archives to Masonry, for therein were deposited
the constitutional rolls.
Q - Being, formed hollow, what was the thickness of the outer rim or shell?
A - Four inches, or a hand's breadth.
Q - What were they made of?
A - Molten brass.
Q - Where were they cast?
A - In the plain of Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth and Zeredathah
where King Solomon ordered those and all his holy vessels to be cast.
Q - Who superintended the casting?
A .- Hiram Abif.
Q - What were they adorned with?
A - Two Chapiters.
Q - The height of those Chapiters?
A - Five cubits each.
Q - What were they enriched with?
A - Net-work, Lily-work, and Pomegranates.
Q - What do Net-work, Lily-work, and Pomegranates denote?
A - Net-work, from the connection of its meshes, denotes unity; Lily-work,
from its whiteness, peace; and Pomegranates, from the exuberance of their
seed, denote plenty.
Q - How many rows of Pomegranates were there on each Chapiter, and how many
in a row?
A - There were two rows of Pomegranates on each Chapiter, one hundred in
Q - What were they further adorned with?
A - Two Spherical Balls.
Q - What were delineated thereon?
A - Maps of the Celestial and Terrestrial Globes.
Q - What does that point out?
A - Masonry universal.
Q - When were they considered finished?
A - When the net-work or canopy was thrown over them.
Q - Where were they ordered to be placed?
A - At the Entrance of the Temple as a memorial to the children of Israel
of that miraculous pillar of fire and cloud, which had two wonderful effects:
the fire gave light to the Israelites during their escape from their Egyptian
bondage and the cloud proved darkness to Pharaoh and his followers when they
attempted to overtake them. King Solomon ordered them to be placed at the
entrance of the Temple, as the most proper and conspicuous situation for
the children of Israel to have the happy deliverance of their forefathers
continually before their eyes, in going to and returning from, Divine Worship.
Q - Where did our Ancient Brethren go to receive their wages?
A - Into the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's Temple.
Q - How did they get there
A - By the Porch or Entrance on the South side.
Q - Having entered the Porch, where did they arrive ?
A - At the foot of the winding staircase, which led to the Middle Chamber.
Q - Who opposed their ascent?
A - The Junior Warden
Q - What did he demand of our Antient Brethren?
A - The Pass Grip and Pass Word leading from the first to the second degree.
Q - Communicate the Pass Grip to me.
A - (Which is done.)
Q - Is that correct?
A - It is.
Q - What does that demand?
A - A Pass Word.
Q - Give me that Pass Word.
A - (Which is given.)
Q - What does this word denote?
A - Plenty.
Q - How is it depicted in our Lodges?
A - By an Ear of Corn near to a pool of Water.
Q - I will thank you for the origin of the word.
A - The word dates its origin from the time that an army of Ephraimites crossed
the river Jordan in a hostile manner against Jephtha, the renowned Gileaditish
general; the reason they assigned for this unfriendly visit was, that they
had not been called out to partake of the honours of the Ammonitish war,
but their true aim was to partake of the rich spoils with which, in consequence
of that war, Jephtha: and his army were then laden. The Ephraimites had always
been considered a clamorous and turbulent people, but then broke out into
open violence, and after many severe taunts to the Gileadites in general,
threatened to destroy their victorious commander and his house with fire.
Jephtha, on his part, tried all lenient means to appease them, but finding
these ineffectual, had recourse to rigorous ones; he therefore drew out his
army, gave the Ephraimites battle, defeated, and put them to flight, and
to render his victory decisive, and to secure himself from like molestation
in future, he sent detachments of his army to secure the passages of the
river Jordan, over which he knew the insurgents must of necessity attempt
to go, in order to regain their own country, giving strict orders to his
guards, that if a fugitive came that way, owning himself an Ephraimite, he
should immediately be slain; but if he prevaricated, or said nay, a test
Word was to be put to him to pronounce, the Word, they, from a defect in
aspiration peculiar to their dialect, could not pronounce it properly, but
called it something which small variation discovered their country, and cost
them their lives; and Scripture informs us that there fell on that day, on
the field of battle and on the banks of the Jordan, forty and two thousand
Ephraimites. And as this word was then a test word to distinguish friend
from foe, King Solomon afterwards caused it to be adopted as a Pass Word
in a Fellow Craft's Lodge, to prevent any unqualified person ascending the
winding staircase, which led to the Middle Chamber of the Temple.
Brethren, this ends the third section of the second lecture:
May Peace, Plenty, and Unanimity ever subsist among Fellow Crafts.
To order, Brethren
Q - After our ancient Brethren had given those convincing proofs to the Junior
Warden, what did he say to them?
A - Pass
Q - Where did they then pass?
A - Up the winding staircase.
Q - Consisting of how many Steps?
A - Three, five, seven, or more.
Q - Why three?
A - It takes three to rule a lodge.
Q - Why five?
A - To hold a lodge.
Q -Why seven or more?
A .- To make a lodge perfect.
Q - Who are the three that Rule a Lodge?
A - The Worshipful Master and his two Wardens.
Q - Who are the five that hold a Lodge?
A - The Worshipful Master, two Wardens, and two Fellow Crafts.
Q - Who are the seven that make it perfect?
A - Two Entered Apprentices added to the former five.
Q - Why do three Rule a Lodge.?
A - Because there were but three Grand Masters who bore sway at the building
of the first Temple at Jerusalem., namely, Solomon King of Israel, Hiram
King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif Q - Why do five hold a Lodge?
A - In allusion to the five noble orders of Architecture, namely, the Tuscan,
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.
Q - I will thank you for the rise of those orders.
A - In the history of man, there is nothing more remarkable than that Masonry
and civilisation, like twin sisters, have gone hand in hand. The Orders of
Architecture mark their growth and progress. Dark, dreary, and comfortless
were those days when Masonry had not laid her line, or extended her compass.
The race of mankind, in full possession of wild and savage liberty, mutually
afraid of, and offending each other, hid themselves in thickets of the wood,
or in dens and caverns of the earth. In those poor recesses and gloomy solitudes,
Masonry found them, and the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, pitying their
forlorn situation, instructed them to build houses for their case, defence,
and comfort. It is easy to conceive that in the early state of society, genius
had expanded but little. The first efforts were small, and the structure
simple and rude; no more than a number of trees leaning together at the top,
in the form of a cone, interwoven with twigs, and plastered with mud to exclude
the air and complete the work.
In this early period we may suppose each desirous to render his own habitation
more convenient than his neighbour's, by improving on what had already been
done. Thus in time, observation, assisting that natural sagacity inherent
even in uncultivated minds, led them to consider the inconveniences of the
round sort of habitation, and to build others, more spacious and convenient,
of the square form, by placing trunks of trees perpendicularly in the ground
to form the sides, filling the interstices between them with the branches,
closely woven, and covered with clay. Horizontal beams were then placed on
the upright trunks, which being strongly joined at the angles, kept the sides
firm, and likewise served to support the covering or roof of the building,
composed of joists, on which were laid several beds of reeds, leaves, and
Yet, rough and inelegant as these buildings were, they had this salutary
effect; that by aggregating mankind together, they led the way to new
improvements in arts and civilisation; for the hardest bodies will polish
by collision, the roughest manners by communion and intercourse. Thus, by
degrees, mankind improved in the art of building, and invented methods to
make their huts more lasting and handsome, as well as convenient. They took
off the bark and other unevenness from the trunks of the trees that formed
the sides; raised them above the earth and humidity, on stones; and covered
each of them with a flat stone or tile to keep off the rain. The spaces between
the ends of the joists they closed with clay or some other substance; and
the ends of the joists they covered with boards, cut in the manner of triglyphs,
The form of the roof was likewise altered; for, being, on account its flatness,
unfit to throw off the rain that fell in abundance during the winter seasons,
they raised it in the middle, giving it the form of a gable roof by placing
rafters on the joists to support the clay, and other materials, that composed
From these simple forms the Orders of Architecture took their rise; for when
buildings of wood were set aside, and men began erect solid and stately edifices
of stone, they, imitated the parts necessity had introduced into the primitive
huts, and adapted them in the Temples; which, although at first simple and
rude, were in course of time, and by the ingenuity of succeeding architects,
wrought and improved to such a degree of perfection on different models,
that each was by way of eminence denominated an "Order."
Of the Orders: Three are of Grecian origin, and are called Grecian Orders.
They are distinguished by the names of the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian;
and exhibit three distinct characters of composition suggested by the diversity
of form in the human frame. The other two are of Italian origin, and are
called Roman Orders; they are distinguished by the names of the Tuscan and
The Tuscan Order is the simplest and most solid, and is placed first in the
list of the five Orders of Architecture on account of its plainness. Its
column is seven diameters high; the base, capital, and entablature have but
few mouldings, and no other ornaments. Whence it has been compared to a sturdy
labourer dressed in homely apparel. This Order is no other than the Doric,
more simplified or deprived of its ornaments to suit certain purposes; and
adapted by the inhabitants of Tuscany, who were a colony of the Dorians.
Yet there is a peculiar beauty in its simplicity, which adds to its value,
and renders it fit to be used in structures where the rich and more delicate
Orders might be deemed superfluous.
The Doric is the first of the Grecian Orders, and is placed second in the
list of the five Orders of Architecture. Its column, agreeable to modem
proportions, is eight diameters high. It has no ornament except mouldings
on either base or capital. Its frieze is distinguished by triglyphs and metopes,
and its cornice by mutules. Being the most ancient of all the orders, it
retains more of the primitive-hut style in its form than any of the rest.
The triglyphs in the frieze represent the ends of the joists, and the mutules
in its cornice represent the rafters. The composition of this Order is both
grand and noble; being formed after the model of a muscular, full-grown man,
delicate ornaments are repugnant to its characteristic solidity. It therefore
succeeds best in the regularity of its proportions; and is principally used
in warlike structures where strength and a noble simplicity are required.
At this era, their buildings, although admirably calculated for strength
and convenience, wanted something in grace and elegance, which a continual
observation of the softer sex supplied; for the eye that is charmed with
symmetry must be conscious of woman's elegance and beauty. This gave rise
to the Ionic Order. its column is nine diameters high; its capital is adorned
with volutes, and its cornice has dentils. History informs us that the famous
Temple of Diana, at Ephesus (which was upwards of two hundred years in building),
was composed of this Order. Both elegance and ingenuity were displayed in
the invention of this column. It is formed after the model of a beautiful
young woman, of an elegant shape, dressed in her hair, as a contrast to that
of the Doric, which represents a strong robust man. Thus the human genius
began to bud; the leaf and flower ripening to perfection, producing the fairest
and finest fruits, every liberal art, every ingenious science, which could
civilise, refine, and exalt mankind. Then it was that Masonry put on her
richest robes and decked herself in her most gorgeous apparel. A new capital
was in vented at Corinth by Calimachus, which gave rise to the Corinthian,
which is deemed the richest of the Orders, and masterpiece of art. Its column
is ten diameters high, its capital is adorned with two rows of leaves, and
eight volutes which sustain the abacus. This order is chiefly used in stately
and superb structures. Calimachus took the hint of the capital of this column
from the following remarkable circumstance. Accidentally passing the tomb
of a young lady, he perceived a basket of toys which had been left there
by her nurse, covered with a tile, and placed over an Acanthus root; as the
leaves grew up, they encompassed the basket, till arriving at the tile, they
met with an obstruction and bent downwards; Calimachis, struck with the object,
set about imitating the, figure; the base of the capital he made to represent
the basket, the abacus the tile; and the volutes the bending leaves.
Yet not content with this utmost production of her own powers, Masonry held
forth her torch and illumined the whole circle of arts and sciences. This
gave rise to the Composite Order, so named from being composed of parts of
the other Orders. It capital is adorned with the two rows of leaves of the
Corinthian, the volutes of the Ionic; and has the quarter-round of the Tuscan
and Doric Orders. Its column is ten diameters high; and its cornice has dentils
or simple modillions. This Order is chiefly used in structures where strength,
elegance, and beauty are displayed.
Painting and Sculpture strained every nerve to decorate the buildings fair
science had raised; while the curious hand designed the furniture and tapestry,
beautifying and adorning them with music, ELOQUENCE, POETRY, TEMPERANCE,
FORTITUDE, PRUDENCE, JUSTICE, VIRTUE, HONOUR, MERCY, FAITH, HOPE, CHARITY,
and many other Masonic emblems, but none shone with greater splendour than
BROTHERLY LOVE, RELIEF, AND TRUTH.
Q - Why do seven or more make a perfect Lodge?
A - Because King Solomon was seven years and upwards, in building, completing,
and dedicating the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service.
Q - They have a further allusion?
A - To the seven liberal arts and sciences, viz.: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic,
Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy.
Q - I will thank you to define GRAMMAR.
A - Grammar teaches the proper arrangement of words according to the idiom
or dialect of any particular kingdom or people and that excellence of
pronunciation which enable us to speak and write a language with accuracy
and precision; agreeable to reason, authority, and the strict rules of
Q - RHETORIC?
A - Teaches us to speak copiously and fluently on any subject; not merely
with precision alone, but with all the advantages of force and elegance,
wisely contriving to captivate the hearers by strength of argument and beauty
of expression, whether it be to instruct, exhort, admonish, or applaud.
Q - LOGIC?
A - Teaches us to guide our reason discretionally in the general knowledge
of things and to direct our inquiries after truth; as well for the instruction
of others as our own improvement. It consists of regular trains of argument,
whence we infer, deduce, and conclude, according to certain premises laid
down, admitted or granted. In it are employed the faculties of conceiving,
reasoning, judging, and disposing;- all of which are naturally led on from
one gradation to another, until the point in question is finally determined.
Q - ARITHMETIC?
A - Teaches the powers and properties of numbers; by means of letters, tables,
figures, and instruments. By this art, reasons and. demonstrations are given
for finding any certain number; whose relation, or affinity, to another number
is already discovered.
Q - GEOMETRY?
A - Treats of the powers and properties magnitude in general, where length,
length and breadth, or length, breadth, and thickness are considered. By
this science, the Architect is able to execute his plans, and estimate his
designs; the General to arrange his soldier, the Engineer to mark out ground
for encampments; the Geographer to give the dimensions of the world, to delineate
the extent of seas, and specify the division of empires, kingdoms, and provinces.
By it also the Astronomer is enabled to make his observations, to calculate
and fix the duration of times, seasons, years, and cycles; in fine, Geometry
is the foundation and root of the mathematics.
Q - MUSIC?
A - Teaches us the art of forming concords, so as to produce a delightful
harmony by a mathematical and proportionate arrangement of acute, grave,
and mixed sound This art by a variety of experiments is reduced to a
demonstrative science, with respect to tones and the intervals of sound.
It inquires into the nature of concords and discord and enables us to find
out a due proportion between them by numbers; -and is never employed to such
advantage as in the praise of The Great Geometrician of the Universe.
Q - ASTRONOMY?
A - Is that Divine art by which we a taught to read the Wisdom, Strength,
and Beauty, of the Almighty Creator, in the sacred pages of the Celestial
hemisphere. Assisted by Astronomy, we can observe the motions, measure the
distances, comprehend the magnitude, and calculate the periods and Eclipses
of the Heavenly Bodies; by it also we learn the use of the Globes, the system
of the World, and the primary laws of Nature; and while we are employed in
the study of this science, we may perceive unparalleled instances of wisdom
and goodness, and on every hand may trace the Glorious Author by His works.
Brethren, this ends the fourth section of the second lecture:
May the study of the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences ever render us susceptible
to the benignity of a Supreme Being.
To order, Brethren
Q - After our ancient Brethren. had gained the summit of the winding staircase,
where did they arrive?
A - At the door of the Middle Chamber of the Temple.
Q - How did they find that door?
A - Open, but properly tyled.
Q - Whom. was it tyled by?
A - The Senior Warden
Q - Whom against?
A - All under the degree of a Fellow Craft
Q - What did he demand of our ancient Brethren?
A - The Sign, Token, and Word of a Fellow Craft.
Q - After they had given him those convincing proofs, what did he say to
A - Pass.
Q - Where did they then pass?
A - Into the Middle Chamber of the Temple.
Q - What did they go there to do?
A - Receive their wages.
Q - How did they receive them?
A - Without scruple or diffidence.
Q - Why in this peculiar manner?
A - Without scruple, well knowing the were justly entitled to them; and without
diffidence, from the great reliance they placed on the integrity of their
employers in those days.
Q - Before we proceed to finish the Lecture, I wish to be informed into how
many classes the workmen were divided.
A - King Solomon divided the various artificers into three classes, a
circumstance particularly marked by Masons, as it is from the plans of that
monarch to carry on this magnificent structure, we deduce the origin of our
present system of government.
Q - Name the classes.
A - Rulers or general directors, Overseer or comforters of the people, and
Craftsmen or executors of the work.
Q - Name the number in each class.
A - There were three hundred Rulers. three thousand three hundred Overseers,
and eighty thousand Craftsmen. The Rulers and Overseers were all skilled
Craftsmen, or men of science. For the purpose of instrusting and dividing
the employment of the Craftsmen, they were arranged into companies or Lodges,
consisting of seven Entered Apprentices. and five Fellow Crafts, and over
each Lodge a skilled Craftsman presided.
Q - Why this division?
A - Because this triple division, besides being symbolic, was best calculated
to ensure promotion to merit, preserve due subordination, and prevent confusion
in the work.
Q - Were there any others employed in the building?
A - There were seventy thousand others employed, consisting of men of burden
and hewers of stone, under the superintendence of Adoniram, an ingenious
artist, who by his zeal and fidelity arrived at the highest honours, so that
the total number of men employed in the building, was one hundred and fifty-three
thousand six hundred.
Q - How long were they employed?
A - Seven years and six months, as the work was begun in the fourth year
of the reign of King Solomon, on the second day of the second month, and
was completed in the eleventh year of his reign. In the following year it
was dedicated to God by King Solomon in the presence of the twelve tribes
of Israel, and an immense concourse of spectators from the surrounding nations,
with all the splendour and magnificence which the ingenuity of man could
devise, to acknowledge the goodness and display the glory of his Creator.
The prayer used on that solemn occasion is still extant in the sacred records.
Q - When our Ancient Brethren were in the middle Chamber of the Temple, to
what was their attention peculiarly drawn?
A - Certain Hebrew characters, which are now depicted in a Fellow Craft's
Lodge by the letter G.
Q - What does that letter G denote?
A - God, the Grand Geometrician of the Universe; to whom we must all submit;
and whom we ought humbly to adore
Brethren, this ends the fifth section and the lecture.
To order, Brethren
EXPLANATION. OF THE SECOND TRACING BOARD
the building of King Solomon's Temple a vast number of Artificers were employed,
consisting of Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts. The Entered Apprentices
received their weekly allowance of corn, wine, and oil; the Fellow Crafts
received theirs in specie and went into the Middle Chamber of King Solomon's
Temple to receive them. They got there by way of a Porch, at the entrance
of which their attention was particularly arrested by two great Pillars;
that on left was called Boaz, Which denotes strength; that on the right was
called which Jachin which denotes to establish, and, when conjoined stability.
"for God said, in strength I will establish this mine house to stand firm
Those Pillars were each seventeen and a half cubits high, in circumference
twelve cubits, in diameter four; they were formed hollow, the better to serve
as archives to Masonry, for therein were deposited their constitutional rolls;
their rim or outer shell was four inches, or a hand's breadth, and made of
brass; they were cast on the plains Jordan, in the clay ground between Succoth
and Zeredathah, where King Solomon ordered those and all his holy vessels
to be cast. The Superintendent of the casting of them was Hiram Abif, the
widow's son of Tyre.
These Pillars were adorned with Chapiters, each five cubits high, enriched
with network, which, from the connection of its meshes, denotes Unity; lily-work,
from its whiteness, Peace and pomegranates, from the exuberance their seed,
Plenty. There were two rows of Pomegranates on each Chapiter, one hundred
in a row; they were further adorned with two spherical balls, on which were
delineated maps of the Celestial and Terrestrial Globes, which point out
".Masonry Universal." They were considered finished when the network canopy
was thrown over them were set up as a memorial to the Children of Israel
of the Happy Deliverance of their Forefathers' from their Egyptian bondage,
and in commemoration of the Pillars of Fire and Cloud, which had two wonderful
effects-the fire gave light to the Israelites during their escape from their
Egyptian bondage; the cloud proved darkness to Pharaoh and his followers
when they attempted to overtake the Israelites. King Solomon ordered these
pillars to be placed at the entrance of the Temple, as the most proper and
conspicuous situation, that the Children of Israel might have the Happy
Deliverance continually before their eyes in going to and returning from
Divine Worship. After passing those two great pillars they arrived at the
foot of a Winding Staircase, leading to the Middle Chamber, when their ascent
was opposed by the ancient Junior Warden, who demanded of our Brethren the
pass grip and pass word of a Fellow Craft The pass word, you recollect, denotes
Plenty, and is depicted in a Fellow Craft Lodge by an ear of corn near a
fall of water; after convincing him he said, Pass. He then passed up the
Winding Staircase consisting of three, five, seven, or more steps-three to
rule a Lodge, five to hold a Lodge, and seven or more to make it perfect;
the three that rule a Lodge are the Right Worshipful Master and his two Wardens;
five that hold a Lodge are the Right Worshipful Master, two Wardens, and
two Fellow Crafts; the seven that make it perfect are two Entered .Apprentices
added to the former number. Three rule a Lodge because at the building of
King Solomon's Temple their were but three Grand Master. who bore sway viz
Solomon King of Israel, Hiram King of Tyre and Hiram Abif. Five hold a Lodge
in an allusion to the Five Noble Orders in Architecture which are the Tuscan,
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. Seven or more make it perfect, because
King Solomon was seven years and upwards in building and dedicating the Temple
at Jerusalem to God's service; they likewise allude to the seven liberal
Arts and Sciences, viz Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic., Arithmetic, Geometry, Music,
and Astronomy. After our ancient Brethren had gained the summit of the Winding
Staircase, the arrived at the door of the Middle Chamber, which they found
open but properly tyled against all under the Degree of Fellow Craft by the
ancient Senior Warden, who demanded of them the sign, token and word of a
Fellow Craft. After giving these convincing proofs, he said, Pass. They then
passed into the Middle Chamber to receive their wages, which they did without
scruple or diffidence. When they were in the Middle Chamber their attention
was particularly arrested by certain Hebrew characters, which are now depicted
in a Fellow Craft Lodge by the letter G, which denotes the Grand Geometrician
of the Universe, to Whom we must all submit, and Whom we ought most cheerfully