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W. M, Can you describe those characters?
S. W. With that circumspection peculiar to masons, I will meet you on the line parrallel, by giving you one part, leaving you to your own free will in giving the remainder. W. M. I will thank
roceed? The S. W. rises, salutes the W. M. with the sign, advances to him, and lays his two penal fingers (first and second) on those of the W. M., and thus forms the index to the secret alpbabet, by joining the horizontal parrallel to two perpendicular parallels.
A square, its portions, and the different positions into which those portions may be placed, with the aid of the dot, will form an alphabet of 24 letters, without the use of a quarter, or single side, sach as the Roman I. Tbis is the secret alphabet of masonry. It is very probable, that the circle, triangle and square, their divisions and the varied positions of those divisions, first gave the idea of letters and an alpbabet. The Egyptian letters are plainly of this cbaracter. One of the Greek letters is a triangle. The circle is common in almost all alphabets: the square in many, the united division's of both in all. Thus the sun, as the only visible circle in nature, might easily bave been mýstified as the fountain of knowledge, the word of God, or the Logos, or God of Reason.
Finding the foundation of letters, in the varied positions of divisions of the square, brings us to something like an explanation of the “Tau," or " Triple Tau," a very ancient emblem, which, as with the sun, Masons have adopted as an emblem in their mysteries, without kpowing why or wherefore, without understanding what it means. It was an ancient emblem on banners, on edifices, and the form or ground plan of edifices as the cross has since been. Indeed, there is good evidence, that the cross is but an altered or abridged emblem of the same original meaning, as the Tau is a Cross, and the “ Triple Tau," or Triple Cross, was called the Crux Ansata. Many learned heads have been puzzled to define what this “ Triple Tau” or Triple Cross means, and many learned essays have been written upon the subject. Some have called it a key, others an implement or emblem of agriculture, others a religious emblem. . As with the cross of late, ancient statues held this figure in their hands, and all are agreed, from its frequent use that it was an important emblem. This has raised a curiosity to get at its meaning, and this meaning, as far as my reading extends, is still a hidden matter. The only masonic meaning that I have seen given to it, is that of the
learned tailor, Brother William Finch, who calls it a T. H. or the initials of Templum Hierosolyma, the Latin of the Temple of Jerusalem. But since this figure is as ancient as any known inscription, we may be assured, that it existed before the date assigned to the building of this said temple of Jerusalem. So, Brother Finch, bas made the temple to suit the figure, instead of the figure to suit the initial letters of the name of a building. Masons have been like the Jews: The Jews have brought every thing within the range of their books, by corrupting the meaning of whatever they meddled with ; and Masons seek to bring every thing within the range of Masonry. Come, Brother Mackey of Norwich, we must break through these trammels, these nets and toils of ignorance set for us by these Jews and Masons. This so called “ Triple Tau” is an emblem in the hands of the seated-lion-beaded Sphynxes in the British Museum, and you tell us, that these Sphynxes were set up in Egypt as statues to register great lapses of time. I would rather take * your word for any thing, than that of a Jew or Mason.
Though a man should say to me that nine tenths or ten tenths of your definitions and expositions of mythological astronomy were erroneous, I would say, “ let him go on, his very errors are luminous and do not darken us as do Judaism aud Masonry. He bas done more than any ancient or modern man, to illustrate ancient history, or the ancient records of man and bis parent earth's motions."
The figure of this “ Triple Tau" is five lines of equal length, so placed as to form the appearance of the Roman or Egyptian Capitals T. H. or T upon H, thus In the first place, I have to observe, that there is no more ground to call this figure a Triple Tau than a Double Eta or H, or a Trinity in Unity, or the Mystical Tetractys of Pythagoras in triple form. This name has been given to it from its resemblance to the form of those letters, and upon no better ground than Finch made it the initial letters of Templum Hierosolyma.
There is no fair ground to suppose it descriptive of any particular letter or letters; but there is fair ground to suppose it an emblem of letters generally. It presents every possible position in which a divided square can be exbibited at square angles, or by levels and perpendiculars. If such were the foundation of letters, we are safe in saying, that it is a proper emblem of human kuowledge, and, as such, as important an emblem as was ever devised. It is a matter in which we cannot be positive, and where all learning can appear but as littleness. I have taken care
not to appear learnedly foolish upon the matter, having confined my supposed definition to that which is demonstrable, which is not the case when it is called a key, unless a key to knowledge be meant, nor when it is called a drill or other ancient implement or emblem of agriculture, nor when it is called an emblem of religion.
There is the same sort of demonstration, with respect to Jesus Christ, or the Logos, crucified, that is, the God of Reason, Reason or the word of God, reduced to, or exhibited upon, a cross, a sign, a figure, a letter, or the foundation of letters, They who call themselves Christians have but murdered the mystery, by making it a positive crucifixion, or a putting of a man or a god to death by men. New knowledge, that affects old interests, has invariably been persecuted ; but it was a sad corruption, to reduce the circumstance to a brutal matter of fact murder, and to lose entirely the emblematical meaning. When we recollect, that the figure now called the “ Triple Tau” was used among the ancients on their banners and as a ground plan of their tombs and temples, and among the druids in conjunction with the circle as the form of their rude enclosures for religious sacrifices : when we know, that the figure of the cross was also so used many centuries before the Christian era, we may be assured, that the cross of the Christians is but an abridged likeness of the taus or triple tau of the Egyptians, and has the same emblematical meaning.
The story of Jesus Christ crucified is also so complete a version of Prometbeus crucified ; the word Logoj, Reason, or word of God, having the precise meaning of Prometheus, the word of God; the original meaning of both tales, or of the one, for they are but one, being descriptive of the progress of knowledge among mankind; I feel po difficulty in coming to the conclusion, that the now called Tau of the Egyptians and the Cross of the Christians are geometrical emblems of the foundation of letters and of human knowledge, even of human language; for a language not reducible to signs or letters could not bave been long a standard language. I solicit po one to join me in this conclusion. It is a matter of indifference, otber than as it may be applied to the throwing down of existing superstitions, by throwing light upon ancient emblems., I invite a more learned and able man to give me and the world a more learned and able definition upon the Tau or Triple Tau, as it is called, of the Egyptians and the Cross of the Christians.
The Triple Tau dissected will exhibit four figures of three
lines each at square angles. The Cross dissected will exbibit four figures of two lines each at a square angle. The triple Tau also will not exhibit more than these same four figures of two lines each at a square angle. Therefore, the Cross may be considered the more simple and equally comprehensive emblem of letters and figures, which as with the Taus, was completed in many instances by being exhibited in a circle, or with balls at its ends, like those over a pawnbroker's shop.. A bookseller rather than a pawnbroker is entitled to use this emblem of human knowledge. But emblems are things to be rejected and mankind should be instructed as to the past, present, and future, in the plainest terms of' which the several languages will admit.
definition of this emblem is with me perfectly original. I never read or heard a word bearing upon the same point; and what I have read or heard has been rather calculated to mislead than to instruct. I find, that the most learned Masons could not divine its meaning, as one of them has assured me. Finch knew as much of modern masonry as any man that has lived; he studied it deeply for many years, collected all the writings and printings which he could collect
upon the subject, and we have seen his definition. He has given it two or three other definitions, such as a treasure, a secret place where a precious thing is deposited, or the precious thing itself. As an emblem of knowledge, it is a precious thing, and it completely unriddles the whole of the Christian Religion. I could, and probably sball some day, write a luminous treatise upon this subject. It has long been in my bead as an important point in my war with the fables of superstitionists and their gods. How aptly may I take the cross in my hand and say to the Mason or to the Christian world generally-In hoc signo, vinco? By this sigo I overcome, I conquer you Masons and Christians. My salvation is founded on the cross, that is, on the emblems of knowledge, on reason.
It was Finch who laid the foundation of this, my exposure of masonry, and I may add my instruction of Masons. He was the first individual to collect all the documents wbich he could collect concerning masonry for the press. But be has done it in the most obscure manner, making keys necessary to every document that he printed as really descriptive of masonry. This printing, on the part of Finch, gave great offence to the leading men of the Grand Lodge in London, for he began to spoil their trade, to instruct masons at home, and to form lodges by his own knowledge and authority.
They denounced bim, though they were afraid of him, This circumstance set one Walter Rodwell Wright, who is now Provincial Grand Master for the lonian Íslands, to remodel the shabby exibition of masonic documents which Finch had accumulated and published : and, to this gentleman, my readers are indebted for that very good lecture on the second degree of which Finch bad nothing like it. I had also Wright's Lectures on the first degree ; but preferred Dr. Hemming's, as the latter gentleman, who lives at Hampton Court and is a Past Grand Chaplain, has given the whole a literary purification, improving, in some measure, on the work of Mr. Wright. Dr. Hemming's book is the existing authorised book for the modern mode of making, raising, and working in tbe lodges, though some may adhere to their old forms; and your book of constitutions, Mr. Williams, which I have and shall shortly print, is the present book of constitutions authorised by the grand lodge. To Finch, I trace my means of exposure; for bad he never published and set up a sort of masonic manufacture, the improvements of Mr. Wright and Dr. Hemming had probably not been made, and, masonry bad remained unknown but to masons. I recollect, that, in the year 1814 or 15, a shower of rain once drove me for shelter on a Sunday, under the portal or steps of Finch's house, the sides of which were pasted all over with masonic. advertisements. My curiosity was excited, and I remained until I had read all; but it was then all gibberish to me, and I could not foresee that I should be brought to Dorchester Gaol to make this exposure; an exposure which has electrified, or will electrify before I have done with it, all the Masons in the Island. junior masons are impatient for the forthcoming description the higher degrees.
From the foregoing observations on the Tau, the tau is the common appellation, though it is a a triple tau, a trinity in upity, I infer, in conjunction with my observations on sun worship, and on Solomon's Temple, that masons bave adopted, as their emblems, whatever they found emblematical or mystical among ancient records or ments without knowing the meaning of any of them. The masonic, has been an ignorant and dark, instead of a scientific association. It has been a thing of babit without any real purpose ; and none more ignorant of their own institution than Masons themselves. I will maintain this point before the best of them. The real seçiets that have existed under the cover of their emblems have been as secret to