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binds its members by such oaths, as these described as the oaths of masons; and that they are correct, as to tenour, I can bring the best of evidence; though there is a slight variance in different lodges; and there has been a variance from time to time in the same lodges. Still, the most disgusting and immoral parts of the oaths have been rigidly preserved.' If this association be not legislatively put down, after I have gone through this exposure, then every impartial minded man, who is aware of the late proceedings with respect to other associations, must feel the utmost contempt for the government of this country.
What is impļied in the foregoing oath, in the vow that a Master Mason will not have unlawful carnal connection with the wife, sister, or daughters of another Mason? What, but that it is masonically legal, that he have unlawful carnal connection with the wife, sister or daughter of any other man? And, for my part, I would not place more confidence in a Mason upon this head, than upon another man, with respect to the wife, sister or daughter of a brother mason.
This is the morality of masonry, that you are required to observe stated rules of conduct towards every Mason, and are at liberty as a good Mason, to break through such rules with regard to every other person. For instance.
In the storm which ravaged this southern coast of England in November last, a Swedish merchant's vessel was cast ashore. A gentleman, standing by'as a mere unconcerned spectator, was hailed by the Captain of the vessel with masonic signs. The gentleman was a mason, and instantly rushed to embrace the captain and to give him all possible aid, by taking him to his house, and by procuring all other possible aid for his crew and vessel. We are told, that the Swede, on returning to his own country, wrote a letter of thanks to the gentleman (all very proper), and the benefits of masonry were echoed, from this circumstance, through every newspaper published in England, Scotland and Ireland. But what a bad principle do we find involved in the circumstance? Is not the alternative clear, that, but for the masonic signs, the gentleman would have remained an unconcerned spectator, and have left the captain to right his crew and vessel as well as he could, without masonic assistance. This principle of brotherhood, which masonry teaches or enforces, should be extended to all mankind and not confined to a sect. This is the principle of sectarianism, that the members of one sect have no morality to practice towards the members of another sect.
The man, who can say so help me God," to such an oath as this of the Master Mason, can feel no difficulty in saying, help me God" in vowing the accomplishment of any vile purpose. . Until he had publicly renounced his error and expressed his shame of such an oath, I would not value his oath or his word
at a rush where aught depended upon .eithero-! proceed to the subsequent ceremony.
W. M. As a pledge of your fidelity and to render this binding as a solemn obligation, for as long as you shall live, I will thank you to seal it with your lips on the volume of the sacred law. (This is done.) Let me once more call your attention to the position of the square and compasses. When you were made an Entered Apprentice, both points of the compasses were hidden. In the second degree, one was disclosed. In this degree, the whole is exhibited, implying, tliat you are now at liberty to work with both those points, 'in order to render the circle of your masonic duties complete.--Rise new obligated Master Mason.
We are now to be introduced to one of the grossest fables and one of tle most offensive ceremonies, in which assassination forms a game to be played at, and under which the stoutest heart, whilst ignorant of what is to follow, must feel terror. The fable is, the account of the assassination of Hiram Abiff, and the game is, the slam killing of every Master Muson in a similar manner; on which I shall comment in the
proper place. Brother Noodle, you having now solemnly entered into an obligation of a Master Mason, you are entitled to demand of me, that last and greatest trial, by which alone you can be arlmitted to a participation of the secrets restricted to the third degree of Masonry. "But it is my daty, previously, to call your attention to a retrospect of those degrees in Masonry, through which you hiave already passed, whereby you will be enabled to distinguish and appreciate the connexion of our whole system, and the relative dependance of its several branches. You admission among Masons, in a state of helpless indigence, was an emblematic representation of the entrance of all men upon this, their mortal existence. It inculcated the striking lesson of natural equality and mutual dependance. It taught you, in the active principles of universal beneficience and charity, to seek the solace of your own distress, and to extend relief and consolation to your own fellow creatures, in the hour of afiction. It enabled you to free the soul from the dominion of pride and prejudice, and to look beyond the narrow limits of particular institutions, whether civil or religious, and to view in every son of Adam, a Brother of the dust. Above all, it taught you to bend with humility and resignation, to the great architect of the universe, to dedicate your heart, thus purified from every malignant passion, and to prepare for the reception of Truth and Wisdom, to his glory and the good of your fellow creatures. Proceeding onwards, and still guided in your progress in the principles of moral Truth, you were passed into the second degree of Masonry, wherein you were enabled to contemplate the intellectual faculties and trace them from their developement through the patis of heavenly science, even to the throne of God himself. The secrets of nature and the principles of moral truth were thus unveiled before you. You learn the just estimate of those wonderous faculties, with which God has endowed the being formed after his own image, and feel the duty which he has thereby imposed upon you, of cultivating this divine attribute with the most diligent and unremitting care and attention, that you may be enabled to show forth his glory and render yourself useful to the happiness of mankind. To the man whose mind has thus been modelled to virtue and science, nature presents one great and useful lesson more--the knowledge of himself. She prepares you, by contemplation, for the closing hour of existence, and when, by means of that contemplation, she has conducted you through the intricate windings of this mortal life, she finally instructs you how to die. Such my brother are the peculiar objects of the third degree in Free Masonry. They invite you to reflect on this awful subject, and teach you to feel that, to the just and virtuous man, death has no terrors equal to the stain of falsehood and dishonour. Of this grand truth, Masonry affords a glorious example in the unshaken fidelity and noble death of our Master Hiram Abiff, who was slain just before the completion of King Solomon's Temple, at the construction of which, you, no doubt, are well aware, that he was the principal architect. The manner of his death was as follows:
Fifteen Fellow Crafts of that superior class appointed to preside over the rest, finding that the work was nearly completed, and that they were not in possession of the secrets of the Master's degree, wbich were only known to Solomon, Hiram and Hiram Abiff, 'conspired together, to obtain them by any means, and . even to have recourse to violence. At the moment of carrying their conspiracy into execution, twelve of the fifteen recanted; but three of a more determined and atrocious character than the rest persisted in their impious design, in prosecution of which, they planted themselves respectively at the East, North, and South entrances of the temple, wither our Master Hiram Abiff had retired to pay his adoration to the most high, as was his wonted custom at the hour of high twelve.
His votions being ended, our Grand Master attempted to return by the North door, but found himself opposed by the first of the three ruffians, who, for want of another weapon, had armed himself with a heavy plumb rule. In a threatening manner, he demanded of our Grand Master, the secrets of a Master Masos, declaring to him, that his death would be the consequence of a refusal; but Hiram Abiff true to his obligation, replied, that those secrets were known only to three, and could only be made known by consent of them all, that diligence and patience would not fail to entitle the worthy mason to participate in those mysteries, but that he would sooner suffer death than betray his sacred trust. On receiving this answer, the ruffian aimed a blow at his head,
No 4, Vol. XII..
but startled by the firmness of his demeanour, it missed the forehead, and only glanced upon his right temple, yet, with such violence, as to cause our Grand Master to reel and sink on his left knee. Recovering from this situation, he rushed to the South Door, where he was accosted by the second ruffian, in a similar manner, and answered as before, with undiminished firmness; when this assassin, who was armed with a level, struck our Master Hiram a blow on the left temple, which brought him to the ground upon his right knee. Finding his escape thus cut off in both these quarters, he staggered faint and bleeding to the East Door, where the third ruffian was posted, who, on receiving a similar reply to his insolent demand, (for our G. M. still remained unshaken, even in this trying moment) struck him a violent blow, full' in the middle of the forehead, with a heavy setting maul, under which this excellent man suwk lifeless, at the foot of the murderer. Such was the manner of his Death, and I have already pointed out to vou the instructive lesson which his Death and fortitude so powerfully inculcate in the heart of every faithful Brother,--Such, in like circumstances, will be the magnanimity of every man whose mind is well constituted, who has squared. his life upon the principles of moral truth and justice; who by improving his faculties to the glory of God, and the good of mankind, has answered the great end of his creation, and has learnt to contemplate death as the end of afflictions, and the entrance to a better life. Nor will you, I trust, sink beneath the influence of terror, now that your trial approaches ; though you stand before me a devoted victim; though the hand of Death be upon you; and though this awful moment be your
last. At this part of the ceremony, the Master and two Wardens play the part of the three ruffians upon poor Noodle. 'In a book entitled Jachin and Boaz, which, for the time it was written, (1793) and more particularly with reference to the Scotch Lodges, is admitted by all Masons to be correct, with the exception that it places, Jachin before Boaz as the word of the first degree, find the following statement, referring to the point on which we are now touching :-“When you come to this part of the ceremony of making a master, it occasions some surprise. The Junior Warden strikes you with a twenty-four inch guage across your throat; the Senior Warden follows the blow, by striking you with a square on the left breast; and almost at the same instant, the Master knocks you down with the gavel. This is the custom in most lodges; and it requires no small share of courage, for the blows are frequently so severe, that the poor candidate falls backward on the floor; and the greater his terror at this usage, the more the Brethren are pleased. This custom savours too much of barbarity; and many instances can be produced of persons in this situation, who have requested on their knees to be set at liberty, and others who have made their escape as fast as
possible out of the lodge. The French and 'natives of Switzerland have a more striking and solemn way of representing the death of Hiram. When a brother comes into the lodge, in order to be raised to the degree of a Master, one of the members lies flat on his back, with his face disfigured and besmeared with blood, on the spot where the drawing on the floor is made. His natural surprise and confusion immediately appears, and one of the Brethren generally addresses him to the purport following: • Brother, be not frightened ; this is the unfortinate remains of a worthy master, that would not deliver the grip and word to three Fellow Crafts, who had no right to it; and from this example we learn our duty, viz. to die before we deliver the Master's part of Masonry to those who have no claim thereto.' On kneeling to receive the obligation, the supposed dead brother lies behind you, and reading the history of his death, he gets up, and you are laid down in his place. This is the most material difference between the French and English method of making a Master Mason; and that it is more agreeable to humanity, than to give a man a violent blow, on the forehead with a gavel, must be obvious to every reader.” Thus far the author of * Jachin and Boaz."
But apparently mild as might appear this old French mode of making a Master Mason, when contrasted with that of the English mode, Professor Robinson, and other writers, French, German, and English, have shown clearly, that all the horrors of the French Revolution grew out of Freemasonry: that, in the lodges of France, of which the Duke of Orleans was, what the Duke of Sussex is in England, Grand Master, assassination was taught as a principle : an effigy of the best of the French King's was selected to practise upon; and, where it was practicable, a brother was presented to try the feelings of the candidate. Professor Robinson quotes from Latoenaye, a French writer, to the following effect :--- A candidate for reception into one of the highest orders, after having heard many threatenings denounced against all who should betray the secrets of the order, was conducted to a place where he saw the dead bodies of several who were said to have suffered for their treachery. He then saw his own brother tied hand and foot, begging his mercy and intercession. He was informed, that this person was about to suffer the punishment due to this offence, and that it was reserved for him (the candidate) to be the instrument of this just vengeance, and that this gave him an opportunity of manifesting that he was pletely devoted to the order. It being observed, that his countenance gave signs of inward horror, (the person in bonds imploring his mercy all the while), he was told, that in order to spare his feelings, a bandage should be put over his eyes. A dagger was then put into his right hand, and being hood-winked, his left hand was laid on the palpitating heart of the criminal, and he was then ordered to strike. He instantly obeyed; and when