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upon by Masons as superfluous, and did not exist with operative
The present united Grand Lodge, I perceive acknowledges but three degrees, including the branch called Royal Arch in that of the masters degree; though, in different lodges, and different countries, near fifty degrees have been established.
As frequent knockings are observed in this, as well as in the former degrees, before I open the lodge, I will again describe the distinction by which the Master's knocks are known. For the first or apprentices' degree there were three equi-timed knocks : the second, or fellow craft's, were as one-two, or a pause between the first and second : and those of the third, or master's degree, are marked as two-one, or a pause between the second and third. This among Masons, is held to be a distinction as important as any of the grips, words or other secrets; indeed, no visitor could gain admittance to a lodge, without observing the proper manner of knocking at the door. Without knocking to apprise them of the approach of a cowan, let us draw aside the veil, and see a lodge of Master Masons at work.
OPENING OF THE LODGE. The master and two wardens call to order by a single knock. W. M. Brethren assist me to open the lodge in the third degree :--Brother Junior Warden, what is the first care of our Master Mason?
J. W. To see the lodge properly tiled.
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will see the lodge properly tiled. (The Fellow Craft's knocks are then given on the door by the Inner Guard and Tiler, to prove the lodge close tiled.
I. G. Brother Junior Warden, the lodge is properly tiled. (This is given with the sign: and with a similar sign, and the fellow Craft's knocks the J. W. reports to the master.) Worshipful master, the lodge is properly tiled.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, the next care of every Master Mason ?
S. W. To see the brethren appear to order as Craftsmen.
W.M. To order brethren as Craftsmen.--Brother Junior Warden are you a Master Mason?
J. W. I am worshipful Master, try me, prove me.
and compasses. W. M. Since you are so well acquainted with the mode yourself, you will prove the brethren present to be Master Masons, by signs, and demonstrate that proof to me by copying their example?
J. W. Brethren, by command of the Worshipful Master, you will prove yourselves Master Masons by signs; and to prevent
confusion, observe the Senior Warden. (The signs are given by all present and the J. W. reports.) Worshipful Master, the brethren present having proved themselves Master Masons, by signs, I, in obedience to your commands, demonstrate that proof to you, by copying their example.
W. M. And I acknowledge the correctness of those signs, Brother Junior Warden, from whence came you?
J. W. From the east.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, whither are you directing your course?
S. W. Towards the west.
J. W. In search of that which was lost, which by your assistance and our own endeavours, we hope to find.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, what was that which was lost.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, and where do you hope to find them?
S. W. With a centre.
J. W. A point within a circle, from which every part of the circumferance is equally distant.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, why with a centre?
in your researches, and may heaven prosper our united endeavours.
P. M. So mote.it be.
W. M. Brethren, in the name of the most high *, I declare this lodge open on the centre, for the instruction and improvement of Master Masons. (The Master and Wardens then shout: “ ALL GLORY TO THE MOST HIGĦ: and make a sign. This is done by the master thrice, by the Senior Warden twice, and by the Junior Warden once, sometimes by all present. The Master and Wardens give their three knocks and the lodge is considered open.
FORM OF PASSING OR RAISING A MASTER MASON. (The lodge is first open in the second degree and thus addressed by the master.) Brethren, Brother Noodle is this evening a candidate to be raised to the third degree; but it is first requisite, that he should give proofs of proficiency in the former : I shall therefore, proceed to put the necessary questions. (Noodle is then
* What Mister Master Mason is the name of the most high? From what point do you measure ? and does your most bigh whirl round with the earth? If he does not, he must, at times, be most low.
examined as to his proficiency in the former degree, by the master, und by any other member present, who chooses to question him; but generally reported that, he will do."
W. M. Brother Noodle, you will come this way.-Do you pledge your honour as a man and your fidelity as a mason, that you will steadily persevere through the ceremony of being raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason ?
Noodle. I do.
W. M. Do you likewise pledge yourself, that you will conceal what I shall now impart to you, with the same strict caution, as the other secrets in masonry?
Noodle. I will.
W.M. Then I will intrust you with a test of merit, which is a pass-grip and a pass-word, leading to the degree into which you seek to be admitted. The pass-grip is given by a distinct pressure of the thumb between the joints of the middle and ring fingers. This demands a pass-word, which is TUBAL Cain, who was the first artificer in metal: and the import of the word is worldly possession. You will be particularly careful to remember this word, as, without it, you cannot gain admittance into a lodge, in a superior degree. (Noodle retires to be properly prepared, which is to have both of his arms, breasts, and knees bare, and both heels slip shod. In the interim the lodge is opened in the third degree).
The same ceremonies takes place at the door, as in the former degrees, with the difference of the distinctive grip-word, knocks, ģc. and the I. G. reports to the Master.
1. G. Worshipful Master, Brother Noodle is at the door of the lodge ; who has been regularly initiated into masonry, passed the degree of a Fellow Crast, and has made such progress as he hopes will recommend him to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, for which ceremony he comes properly prepared.
W. M. How does he hope to obtain the privileges of the third degree?
1. G. By the help of God, the united aid of the square and compasses, and the benefit of a pass word.
W.M. We acknowledge the powerful aid by which he seeks it, do you, Brother Inner Guard, vouch, that he is in possession of that pass word.
1. Ġ. I do, Worshipful Master.
W.M. Then let him be adiniteed in due form, (He is then admitted.)
Brother Deacons, let the candidate kneel while the blessing of heaven is invoked on our proceedings. (He kneels, and the Master prays.)
Almighty and Eternal God, the Architect and Ruler of the Universe, at whose creative fiat all things first were made: we, the frail creatures of thy providence, humbly implore thee tó pour down on this convocation assembled in thy holy name, the continual dew of thy blessing: and especially, we beseech thee,
to impart thy grace to this thy servant, who offers himself a candidate with such fortitude, that, in the hour of trial, he fail not; but pass him safely under thy protection through the valley of the shadow of death, that he may finally arise from the tomb of transgression to shine as the stars for ever and ever.-So mote it be.
W.M. The brethren will take notice, that Brother Noodle, who has been regularly initiated in Freemasonry, and has passed the degree of a Fellow Craft, is about to pass in view before them, to shew, that he is properly prepared, to be raised to the third degree. (He is then conducted three times round the lodge by the Deicons). At the first time he shews the sign of the first degree to the W. M.: then the first sign urth the grip to the J. W. At the second round, he shews the second sign to the W'. M. and J. W. und communicates both sign and grip to the S. W. At the third round, lie shews the second sign to the W. M. and J. W. and shows the sign and communicates the Muster's pass-grip and pass-word to the S. W. by whom he is presented to the Master.
S. W. Worshipful Master, I present to you Brother Noodle, a candidate properly prepared to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, you will direct the Deacons to instruct the candidate to advance to the pedestal in due form.
S W. Brother Deacons, it is the Worshipful Master's command, that you instruct the candidate to advance to the east in due form.
W. M. It is but fair to inform you, that a most serious trial of your fortiiude and fidelity, as well as a most solemn obligation, await you, are you prepared to meet them, as you ought?
Noodle. I am.
W. M. Then you will kneel on both knees, place both hands on the volume of the sacred law, repeat your name at length and say after me:
1, Doodle Noodle, in the presence of the most high, and of this worthy and worshipful lodge, duly constituted, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do, hereby and hereon, most solemnly promise and swear, that I will always hale, conceal, and never reveal, any or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to the degree of a Master Mason, to any one in the world, unless it be to him or them, to whom the same may justly and lawfully belong, and not even to him or them, until after due trials, strict examination, or full conviction, that he or they are worthy of that confidence, or in the bosom of a Master Mason's Lodge. I further most. solemnly engage, that I will the secrets of the third degree keep, from him who is but a Fellow Craft Mason, with the same strict caution as I will those of the second degree, from him who is but an Entered Apprentice Mason : the same; or either of them,
from any one in the known world, unless to true and lawful brother Masons. I further solemnly engage myself to advance to the pedestal of the square, and compasses, to answer and obey all lawful signs and summonses sent to me from a Master Mason's Lodge, if within the length of my Cable Tow, and to plead no excuse, except, sickness or the pressing emergency of my own private or public avocations. I furthermore solemnly pledge myself, to maintain and support the five points of fellowship, in act as well as in word : that my hand given to a Master Mason, shall be the sure pledge of brotherhood: that my foot shall traverse through dangers and difficulties to unite with his in forming a column of mutual defence and safety: that the posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of his wants, and dispose my heart to succour his distresses and relieve his necessities, as far as may fairly be done without detriment to myself or connections: that my breast shall be the sacred repository of his secrets, when delivered to me as such; murder, treason, felony, and all other offences contrary to the law of God, or the ordinances of the realm, being at all times most specially excepted, or at my own option: and finally, that I will support a Master Mason's character, in his absence, as well as I would if he were present. I will not revile him myself, nor knowingly suffe others to do so; but will boldly repel the slanderer of his good name and strictly respect the chastity of those who are most dear to him, in the persons of his wife, sister or his child; and that I will not knowingly have unlawful carnal connection with either of them. I furthermore solemnly vow and declare, that I will not defraud a Brother Master Mason, or see him defrauded of the most trifling amount, without giving him due and timely notice thereof; that I will also prefer a Brother Master Mason, in all my dealings, and recommend him to others, as much as lies in my power, so long as he shall continue to act honourably, honestly and faithfully towards me and others. All these several points, I promise to observe, without equivocation or mental reservation of any kind, under no less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than to have my body severed in two, my bowels torn thereout and burnt to ashes in the centre, and those ashes scattered before the four cardinal points of heaven, so that no trace or remembrance of me shall be left among men, more particularly among Master Masoos; so help me God and keep me steadfast in this grand and solemn obligation, being that of a Master Mason.
After such a repetition of oaths as we have seen in the three degrees of masonry, it is evident, that ideas of assassination must be familar to the mind of every Mason, and these in the most disgusting forms. If evidence could be got, I should like to see the meinbers of the Royal Family indicted, as members of an illegal association; for that certainly must be illegality which