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to refreshment and from refreshment to labour, that profit and pleasure may be the result.
W. M. Brother, Senior Warden, your constant place in the Lodge ?
$. W. To mark the setting sun, to close the Lodge by the command of the Worshipful Master, after seeing that every one has his just dues.
W. M. Worshipful and worthy Past Master, where is the Master's situation in the Lodge?
P. M. In the East. W.M. Why is he placed there? P. M. As the sun rises in the East to open and enliven the day, so the Worshipful Master is placed in the East, to open and enlighten his Lodge, to employ and instruct the brethren in Masonry.
W. M. Brethren, our Lodge being thus duly formed, before I proceed to declare it opened, let us invoke a blessirg from the Great Architect of the Universe upon all our undertakings. May our labour, thus begun in order, be conducted in peace and closed in haromy.
P. M. So mote it be. (The Past Master then advances three steps, opens the Bible, and remains with his hand on it, until the ceremony finishes.)
W. M. Brethren, in the name of the Great Architect of the Universe, I declare this Lodge duly opened, for the purp ses of Masonry in the first degree.
The W. M., S. W., J. W., I. G., and T. then give each three knocks, which announces the Lodge opened and calls the brethren to their seats, to order, &c. The Bible is opened at particular chapters, not worthy of mention here, and the business of the Lodge proceeds. If any doubtful brethren 'appear, they are made to take a new oath, that they are real Masons, and that they have not been expelled from any lodge.
The Lodge being duly opened, we will now suppose a candidate applying for initiation. In the opening, we see nothing particularly objectionable; nothing but what is ceremony to be laughed at and despised by reasonable and sensible men. In the initiation of a candidate, we shall find ceremonies that ought to excite our abhorrence, and that really surprised me, on reading a description of them.
A candidate for initiation has to make and sign a declaration, that he wishes to become a Mason, that is, to be initiated into some ceremonies of which he is, or is supposed to be, utterly ignorant, and for which desire, he cannot, as a'mạtter of course, assign a single reason beyond his curiosity. This, in itself, is an anomaly, that ought not to be tolerated, and one, that cannot be submitted to by a sensible and high-minded man. We shall find, that, to be made a mason, a man has to submit to that which is an absolute degradation- to have his pockets emptied of his money, whatever amount it may be, and not a word is said about returning it; to be stripped nearly naked, or naked to the waist; to be hood-winked; to have a halter round the neck, and to be led by
that halter, with a sword pointed to the breast; and to be slipshod. In this state, must a man submit to be led blindfolded, into a room full of company, who, of course, are tittering at the new, blind, and naked dupe, and what is to follow, whether decent or indecent, he knows not. He is warned, that, if he attempts to retreat the halter will strangle him, and if he presses forward, he will stab himself with the sword that is made to touch his breast. I repeat, that a honourable, high minded man could never submit to such a degradation: he is ever after dishonoured: a base thing, whose oath or whose word I would not value at a rush, until he felt a positive shame at what he had passed through, in being initiated into the foolery called masonry. The form of initiation is thus.
The Declaration presented to the Lodge, and the Candidate proposed and approved, which is done by a ballot, if there be a division, a Brother called the Steward is sent out to prepare him in an antichamber. This preparation consists of giving up all money, of putting off your dress to a nakedness above the small clothes, one knee bare, and to exchange your shoes for a loose pair of slippers, or, at least, to have your right heel loose and not confined in the shoe. You are blindfolded, and a rope, which is technically called, a Cable Tow, is put round your neck. In this state, the Steward leads you to the Tiler, or Outer Guard of the Lodge Door. The Tiler has to examine and see the candidate properly prepared, and to announce his approach by three knocks.
The Inner Guard announces an alarm, and is ordered to ask who is there. The Steward or Tiler answers:
A poor candidate in a state of darkness, who comes of his own free will and accord, and also properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Free Masonry.
I. G. How does he hope to obtain those privileges?
I. G. Halt, till I make due report. (turning to the Master)
W. M. The tongue of good report has already been heard in his favour, do you, Brother Inner Guard, vouch that he is properly prepared.
I. G. I do.
1. G. (to the candidate at the door) Enter free born and of good repute.
W. M. (to the candidate) As no person can be made a Mason unless he is free born and of mature age, I demand of you, are you free by birth and of the age of twenty one years?
Candidate. I am.
W. M. Thus assured, I will thank you to kneel, whilst the blessing of heaven is invoked on our proceedings.
(W. M. prays) Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty Father and supreme governor of the universe, to this 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. Endow him with a competency of thy divine wisdom, that, assisted by the secrets of this our masonic art, he may the better be enabled to display the beauties of true godliness (masonry) to the honour and glory of thy holy name *. So mote it be.
W. M. Candidate, or Mr. Noodle, in all cases of difficulty and danger, in whom do you put your trust?
Mr. N. In God.
W. M. Right glad am I to find your faith so well founded; relying on such sure support, and since your trust is sb firmly placed, 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. The Brethren from the North, East, South, and West, will take notice, that Mr. Noodle is about to pass in view before them, to show, that he is a candidate properly prepared, and a fit and proper person to be made a mason. (He is then conducted round with certain ceremonies, hereafter to be explained.)
S. W. Worshipful Master, I present to you, Mr. Noodle, a candidate properly prepared to be made a mason.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, your presentation shall be attended to; for which purpose, I shall address a few questions to the candidate, which I trust he will answer with candour:
Mr. Noodle, do you seriously declare, on your honour, that, unbiassed by the improper solicitation of friends against your own inclinations, and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry?
Mr. N. I do.
W. M. Do you likewise pledge yourself, that you are prompted to solicit those privileges from a favourable opinion preconceived of the institution, a general desire of knowledge and a sin
This forms another proof, that Religion may be sḥaped to suit any thing; or any thing to suit Religion. All mummeries coalesce.
cere wish to render yourself more extensively serviceable to your fellow creatures ?
Mr. N. I do.
W. M. Do you further seriously declare, on your honour, that, avoiding fear on the one hand and rashness on the other, you will 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.
Mr. N. I will.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, you will direct the Junior Deacon to instruct the candidate to advance to the pedestal in due form.
S. W. Brother Junior Deacon, it is the Worshipful Master's commands, that you instruct the candidate to advance to the chair in due form. (This form is by three irregular steps.)
W. M. Mr. Noodle, 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 to worthy men, and, I trust, to the worthy alone. Vows of fidelity are required; but let me assure you, that, in those vows, there is nothing incompatiable 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? Mr. N. I am.
W. M. Then you will kneel with your left knee, keeping your right foot in the form of a square, place your right hand on this book, which is the volume of the sacred law, while, with your left, you will support one point of these compasses to your naked left breast, so as not to hurt yourself: and then repeat the following obligation:
1, Doodle Noodle, in the presence of the great architect of the universe, and of this warranted worthy and worshipful Lodge of free and accepted Masons, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do, hereby and hereon, most solemnly and sincerely swear, that I will always hale, conceal, and never reveal, any part or parts, point or points, of the secrets and mysteries of or belonging to free and accepted masons in masonry, which have been, shall pow, or hereafter may be, communicated to me, unless it be to a true and lawful brother or brothers, and not even to him or them, till 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 accepted free masons. I further solemnly promise, that I will not write those secrets, print, carve, engrave, or otherwise them delineate, or cause or suffer them to be so done by others, if in my power to prevent it, on any
thing moveable or immoveable 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 to any one in the world, so that our secrets, 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 to have my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by the root and buried in the sand of the sea at low water mark, or a cable's length from the shore, where the tides regularly ebb and flow twice in twenty four hours, or the more efficient punishment of being branded as a wilfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth and unfit to be received in this warranted lodge, or in any
other warranted lodge, or society of masons, who prize honour and virtue above all things, so help me God, and keep me stedfast in this my great and solemn obligation of an Entered Apprentice Free Mason. W. M. What
you have repeated may be considered a sacred promise as a pledge of your fidelity, and to render it a solemn obligation, I will thank you to seal it with your lips on the volume of the sacred law. (Noodle kisses the book.)
Here I must stop and comment. If I know any thing of the , law of this country, I proclaim the administration of this oath unlawful. It is the most offensive oath of the kind that ever came under my observation. I have many forms of it, relating to the Entered Apprentice, all agreeing in substance and effect, though varying in words, with the exception, that one of them omits the throat cutting. This makes me to infer, that the various lodges are not regulated by the precise words of each other, though the substance and effect is the same. But I infer also, that this throat cutting is a genuine part of this most foul oath; because one of the signs of the Entered Apprentice, called the penal sign, is, to draw his thumb across his throat, as an expression of his will to hạve it cut, rather than expose the secrets of masonry, pretended secrets, indeed, for there is nothing worthy of being called a secret or mystery, nothing that any man might desire to conceal, but the taking of this most foul and unlawful oath, in a state of comparative nudity and blindness-blindness of the understanding as well as of the eyes; for the candidate knows not yet for what it is that he has promised to have his throat cut, rather than reveal, and this is a matter which must add to the illegality of this coarse and foul oath.
Oaths, in general, are supposed to bind a man to his fancied god, in the way of promise; but this oath is a sworn violation of the law of the country; an oath made conditionally to violate that law; for it is even unlawful for a man to cut his own throat; and