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men, was the first indication, that some heavy calamity had befallen our Master. The masters or presidents, or, familiarly speaking, the overseers, deputed some of the most eminent of their number to acquaint King Solomon with the utter confusion into which the absense of Hiram had plunged them, and to express their apprehensions, that to some fatal catastrophe must be attributed his sudden and mysterious disappearance. King Solomon immediately ordered a general muster of the workmen through the different departments, when three of the same class of overseers were not to be found. On the same day, the twelve Crafts, who had originally joined in the conspiracy, came before the King and made a voluntary confession of all they knew down to the time of withdrawing themselves from the conspiracy. This naturally increased the fears of King Solomon for the safety of the chief artist. He. therefore, selected fifteen trusty Fellow crafts and ordered them to make diligent search' after the person of our master Hiram, to see if he was yet alive, or if he had suffered death in the attempt to extort from him the secrets of his exalted degree. Accordingly, a stated day having been appointed for their return to Jerusalem, they formed themselves into three fellow craft's lodges and departed from the three entrances of the temple. Many days were spent in fruitless search and one class returned without having made any discovery of importance, A second was more fortunate, for, on the evening of a certain day after they had suffered the greatest privations and personal fatigues, one of the brethren rested hiinself in a reclining posture, and in order to assist his rising, caught hold of a sprig that grew near, which, to his surprise, came easily out of the ground.
On a closer examination, he perceived that the earth had been recently disturbed ; he, therefore, hailed his companions, and, with their united endeavours, reopened the ground and found the body of our Master Hiram very indecently interred. They covered it again with all respect and reverence, and, to distinguish the spot, stuck a sprig of Cassia at the head of the grave. They then bastened to Jerusalem to impart the afflicting intelligence to King Solomon, who, when the first emotions of his grief had subsided, ordered them to return aud raise our master Hiram to such a sepulchre as became his rank and exalted talents: at the same time informing them, that, by his untimely death, the secrets of a Master Mason were lost. He therefore charged them to be very careful in observing whatever casual sign, token, and word might occur, while paying this last sad office of respect to departed merit. They performed their task with the utmost fidelity, and, on reopening the ground, one of the brethren looking round observed some of his companions in this situation (shewing the sign of horror) as struck with horror at the afflicting sight. Whilst others viewing the ghastly wound still visible on his forehead. smote their own in sympathy of his sufferings. Two of the.
brethren then descended the grave and attempted to raise him by the grip of an Entered Apprentice, which proved a slip. They then tried the Fellow Graft's grip, which also proved a slip. Having both failed in their attempts, a zealous and expert brother took a more firm hold by the sinews of the hand wrist, and with their assistance raised him on the five points of Fellowship; while others more animated exclaimed Mahabone or Macbenach, both words having nearly a similar import, one signifying the death of the brother, the other, the brother is smitten. King Solomon, therefore, ordered, that those casual signs, tokens and words should designate all Master Masons through the universe, till time or circumstance should restore the genuine ones.
It now only remains to account for the third class, who had pursued their researches in the direction of Joppa and were meditating their return to Jerusalem, when. accidentally passing the mouth of a cavern, they heard sounds of deep lamentations and regret. On entering the cavern to ascertain the cause, they found three men answering the description of those missing, who, on being charged with the murder, and finding all chance of escape cut off, made a full confession of their guilt. They were bound and led to Jerusalem, where King Solomon sentenced them to that death which the perniciousness of their crime so amply
Our Master Hiram was ordered to be reinterred as near the sanctun sanctorum as the Israelitish law would permit: and there, in a grave, from the centre three feet east, three feet west, three feet between north and south and five feet or more perpendicular. He was not buried in the sanctum sanctorum; because nothing common or unclean was suffered to enter there, not even the High Priest but once a year, nor then, till after many washings and purifications against the great day of expiation of sins: for, by the Israelitish Law, all flesh was deemed unclean. The same fifteen Fellow Crafts were ordered to attend the funeral clothed in white aprons and gloves as emblems of innocence. (In the course of the lecture there are several retirements and one of them at this part).
The ornaments of a Master Mason's Lodge are the porch, dormer and square pavement. The porch is the entrance to the sanctum sanctorum. The dormer, the window that gives light to the same. And the square pavement for the High Priest to
The office of the High Priest is to burn incense to the honour and glory of the most high, praying fervently, that the almighty, through his benign wisdom and goodness, would be pleased to bestow peace and tranquillity to the Israelitish nation for the ensuing year. You have already been informed of the working tools with tale were high enough for criticism, how ridiculous might it be
* If this made to
which our Master Hiram was slain. They were the plumb-rule, level and heavy mạul. The coffin, skull and cross bones, being emblems of mortality, allude to the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abift.
You have already been informed of three signs in this degree. The whole are five, corresponding in n'uniber with the five points of fellowship. They are the sign of horror, the sign of sympathy, the penal sign, the sign of grief and death and the sign of joy and exultation, likewise called the grand and royal sign. For the sake of regularity, I will go through the whole. This is the sign of horror (described). That is the sign of sympathy (described). This the penal sign (described). The sign of grief or death is given by passing the hand over the hand over the forehead. It took its rise at the time when our Master Hiram was making his way from the north to the south entrance of the Temple, when his agonies were so great, that the perspiration stood in large drops on his face and he made use of this sign as a temporary relief to his sufferings. This is the sign of joy and exultation (to raise both hunds over your head and exclaim 0 Worthy Masons !) It took its rise at the time the Temple was finished, when King Solomon and the Princes of his household went to view it, and being so struck with its magnificence, that, with one simultaneous feeling, they exclaimed - 0 Worthy Masons !
! now present you with the working tools of a Master Mason, which are the skirret, pencil and compasses. The skirret is an implement which acts on a centre pin, from whence a line is drawn, chalked and struck, to mark out the ground for the foundation of the intended structure. With the pencil, the skilful artist delineates the building in a draft or plan for the instruction and guidance of the workmen. The compasses enable him with accuracy and precision to ascertain and determine the limits and proportions of its several parts. But as we are not operative, but speculative or free and accepted, we apply those tools to our morals. In this sense, the skirret points to us that straight and and undeviating line of conduct laid down for our pursuit, in the volume of the sacred law. The pencil teaches us that our words and actions are observed and recorded by the almighty architect, to whom we must give an account of our conduct through life. The compasses remind us of his unerring and impartial justice, which having defined for our instruction, the limits of good and evil will reward or punish us as we have obeyed or disregarded his divine commands. These the working tools of a Master Mason teach us to have in mind and to act according to the laws of the divine creator, that when we shall be summoned from this sublunary abode, we may ascend to the grand lodge above, where the world's great architect lives and reigns for ever.
This concludes the initiatory process, as far as my documents, or the best of them extend. I understand, that the Grand Lodge has greatly curtailed the ceremonies, throwing out some of the more ridiculous parts. Formerly, at least, in Scotland, much of the catechetical or working part was in rhyme, interspersed with songs and toasts. . Of catechism in this third or master's degree, I have but a small quantity, and suppose, that masters do not work so hard as Fellow Crafts and Apprentices. Brother Finch, the tailor's rubbish is scarcely worth notice. He was evidently a trickster, to make all the new orders he could, to find out what never before existed, and to make as much money of masonry as possible. With respect to the catechisms, I perceive, by one document, that they are answered by all in the lodge, as children in a school answer to the religious catechisms. With the exception, that, if a brother cannot answer, he rises, places his hand on his breast and begs to be excused by the master from working.
QUESTIONS IN THE THIRD DEGREE.
A. Both 'my arms, both breasts, both knees made bare and both heels slip-shod. Q. On what did
enter? A. Upon both points of the compasses presented to both my breasts. Q. On your
entrance into the lodge, did you observe any thing different from its usual appearance?
A. I aid: all was dark, save one glimmering light in the east.
A. You are.
A. From having figuratively represented him when I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason..
Q. How were you raised ?
Q. Which I will thank you to name and afterwards briefly explain.
A. Ist. Hand to hand, 2nd. foot to foot, 3rd. knee to knee, 4th, breast to breast, and 5th, hand over back.
1st. Hand to hand, I greet you as a brother; and when the necessities of a brother call for my aid and support, I will be ever
ready to hand him such assistance to save him from sinking, if I find him worthy thereof, as may not be detrimental to myself or connexions.
2nd. Foot to foot~ I will support you in all your just and laudable undertakings. Indolence shall not cause my footsteps to halt, nor wrath to turn them aside. But forgetting every selfish consideration, I will be ever swift of foot to save, help, and to execute benevolence to a fellow-creature in distress; but more particularly to a brother mason, if worthy.
3rd. Knee to knee-being the posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of your wants.
When I offer up my ejaculations to almighty god, a brother's welfare I will remember as my own; for, as the voices of babes and sucklings ascend to the throne of grace, so most assuredly will the breathings of a fervent heart ascend to the mansions of bliss, as our prayers are certainly received for each other.
4th. Breast to breast—that my breast shall be a safe and sacred repository for all your just and lawful secrets.
A brocher's secrets, delivered to me as such, I would keep as my own, as to betray that trust might be doing him the greatest injury he could sustain in this mortal life: nay, it would be like the villainy of an assassin, who lurks in darkness to stab his adversary when unarmed and least prepared to meet an enemy.
And 5th. Hand over back--that I will support a brother's character in his absence, equally as though he were present. I will not wrongfully revile him myself, nor will I suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it. Thus, by the five points of fellowship, are we linked together in one indivisible chain of sincere affection, brotherly love, relief and truth.
And thus is exemplified my assertion, Mr. Williams, that the morality which is confined to a sect is immorality towards a community: that all secrets tend to some person's injury: and that the only true morality is to do that which I am doing-to endeavor to establish a common brotherhood among mankind, which cannot be done upon any principle of religion, upon any kind of fable, for some will detect its error and separate ; an which can only be done upon the principles of materialism, in bringing all to an equal knowledge of themselves and of the identities that surround them as distinctions in the common mass of matter. And further, that all be taught that the greatest happiness for self is to be found in the greatest happiness that can be established among all, and not as one of a sect. Upon this conclusion; I proceed to close the lodge in the third degree, to close this letter, and I hope, that its effect will be to close all such nonsense as speculative masonry from mankind henceforth.
( The ntaster and wardens knock to order.) W. M. Brethren, assist me to close the lodge in the third