« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
A. That, as I was received into Masonry in a state of utter darkness, until duly brought to light, so it was considered, that I should keep all the world in ignorance of our institutions until they were lawfully gained.
Q. The third reason?
A. That my heart might be taught to conceive before my eyes were permitted to discover.
Q. Why was your right arm made bare ?
A. As a token of confidence, and to show that I was unarmed and unguarded.
Q. Why was your left breast made bare ?
A. As a token of sincerity, and to show that I was impostor.
Q. Why was your left knee made bare ?
A. It alludes to a very ancient custom of slipping from off the foot, as a pledge of fidelity to the articles of my solemn compact. Q. Why was a cable tow placed round your
neck ? · A. That if influenced by fear, I shouli attempt to fall back, áll hopes of retreat might be cut off.
Q. Being thus properly prepared, where were you conducted and by whom?
A. To the door of the lodge by a friend whom I afterwards found to be a brother. Q. How did
? A. I was neither naked nor clothed, barefooted nor shod, but poor and blindfolded, in a humble halting posture.
Q. Why, in that condition ?
A. That I might thence learn as a Mason to practice universal beneficience, to be as eyes to the blind and feet to the lame, that, whenever, in my progress through life, I should meet with a worthy man, particularly a Mason, in that state of distress, the appearance of which I then voluntarily assumed, I should stretch forth my right hand of fellowship to comfort, succour and
THIRD CLAUSE. Q. Being in a state of darkness, how did you know it to be a door?
A. By meeting with opposition and afterwards. gaining admission.
Q. Whom did you meet to oppose your entrance ?
and listners from Masonry, and to see the candidate come properly prepared.
Q. How did you gain admission ?
A. To a venerable exhortation, seek and ye shall find, ask and ye shall have, knock and it shall be opened unto you.
Q. How do you apply that exhortation to your then situation ?
A. I sought in my mind, asked of my friend, he knocked and the door of Masonry became opened to me.
Q. Who then came to your assistance ?
A. To admit Masons upon proof, to receive the candidate in due form, and to obey the commands of the Junior Warden.
Q. What did he demand of the Tyler ?
A. Mr. Noodle, a poor candidate, in a state of darkness, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed, and approved in open Lodge, who now comes of his own free will, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries and privileges of Free-masonry. Q. What said the Inner Guard ? A. How does he hope to obtain those privilegeș. Q. The Tiler's answer ? A. By the help of God, being free born and of good report. Q. Were
admitted on this? A. No. I was desired to halt till duly reported to the Worshipful Master, who, after having observed, that the tongue of good report had already been heard in my favour, was pleased to order my admission.
Q. On what were you admitted ?
A. On the point of a sharp instrument presented to my naked left breast. Q. For what purpose ? A. To distinguish my sex and to show that I was no imposter. Q. After gaining your admission, how were you disposed of?
A. I was conducted by the Junior Deacon, through the exterior avenues, till I arrived at the portal of the Lodge itself; the Inner Guard, all the while holding a sword to my naked left breast, and the Junior Deacon a cable-tow round my neck. On halting there, the Worshipful Master was pleased to observe, that, as no person could be made a Mason unless he was free born and of mature age, he demanded of, me, whether I was free by birth and the full age of twenty-one years. To which I agreed that I was.
Q. What was then required of you?
A. To kneel while the blessing of heaven was invoked on our proceedings.
(The Reader of No. I will perceive, that I have already gone into repetitions, and the whole of the matter to come, to the third clause of the fourth section, would be mere re-petition of what may be found in the initiation of a candidate, describing the prayer, the oath and other ceremonies. I shall, therefore, make a break and state the exceptions, which are, that, formerly, no persons were admitted to be masons, who were defective in body; but that, modern masonry is more liberal and does not object to bodily defects, if the mind and morals be good (that is, if the money can be had.) In the form of a Scotch Mason's Oath which I bave, I perceive, that it was customary to swear to exclude all Jews, Turks and infidels from masonry. But this is not the case in England, and no question whatever is put about religion, if you answer the few nonsensical words about God in the ceremony, and assent to the unmerited titles and eulogiums given to the Bible.
In the description of passing the candidate round the lodge for the view of the members to see that he is properly prepared, I omitted to state, that he was obstructed in the south and in the west, where the ceremony of introduction to the junior and senior Warden's takes place, by the Junior Deacon giving them three knocks on the shoulder, on which they demand who comes there? to which similar answers are given, and further questions asked, as at the door of the lodge.
I now also perceive, that I have not more than four of the seven sections of Dr. Hemming's lecture in the first degree; but as he has done nothing more than to arrange in. methodical order such lectures as were formerly given without arrangement, I shall be able to supply all deficiency from my stock of materials.
The word cowan is a flash word, peculiar to masons, It signifies enemy; but fomerly it was exa ressive of Kings, and all those who had the power to persecute and who did persecute the associated Masons, There was much of republicanism in the original Free-masonry ; but in this, as in every other point, it has been corrupted; and were it not for the garb of morality, that only real virtue, which has been lately thrown around it would be a hideous institutiou indeed.
I shall now introduce the third clause of the fourth section of Dr. Hemming's book, and afterwards, a Lecture on the Tracing Board, which inust conclude this letter.
THIRD CLAUSE. Q. What is Freemasonry ?
A. A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by sya:bols.
Q. What are the three great principles on which Freemasonry is founded ?
A. Brotherly love, relief and truth.
A. Brotherly love is the sacred principle which combines and cements our fraternity in the practice of moral virtne and the pursuit of scientific attainment. By this generous sentiment, we are taught to divest ourselves of each selfish consideration and narrow prejudice, reflecting, that we are united by a strict and endearing relation, as creatures of the same God, children of the same first parents, and brethren of the same solid tie.'
Q. I will thank you to illustrate relief?
A. Relief is a duty which every man owes to his fellow man in consideration of the common infirmities of human nature; but stronger is the claim of those to whom we are voluntarily and reciprocally pledged in the bond of brotherly love and affection, and therefore, unquestionable is the right of masons to rely upon each
other for succour in the hour of need, by pecuniary, or by procuring, assistance, advice and protection, according to their relative circumstances and conditions in life.
Q. I will thank you to illustrate truth?
A. Truth is a principle of inimitable and eternal nature, derived from the great father of light, conformable with his holy will and interwoven with the laws of his creation. It is the duty of every true Mason, who seeks to walk according to the light, to make that sacred principle the guide of his words and actions, ever remembering, that truth and wisdom are the same, and to him who makes truth the object of his search, that truth will assuredly prove the reward of his perseverence.
Q. How many juincipal points are there in Masonry?
A. To the ceremony of initiation, are denominated from so , many parts of the human body, and are called Gutteral, Pectoral, Mental, and Pedal.
Q. To what do they further allude?
A. To the four cardinal virtues---- Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.
Q. To which of those virtues does the Gutteral allụde ?
A. Temperance, which demands such a cautious habit of restraint, aș may be necessary to preserve us from the risk of violating our obligation and incurring its penalty.
Q. To which the Pectoral?
A. The Pectoral more particularly refers to the virtue of fortitude. which is equally necessary to defend our hearts against the powerful influence of allurements to terrors, that might prevail over our weakness, and, by extorting from us the secrets of Masonry, would plant an eternal torment in our conscience.
Q. To which the Mental?
A. The Mental reminds us of that deliberate and steady prudence which ought to guide our actions, forbidding us to seal with the sacred pledge of our right hand what the heart has not sanctioned with its approbation.
Q. To which the Pedal?
A. The Pedal is the point on which we receive the first great recommendation of the Master, ever to continue as we then appeared, upright men and Masons. It'therefore, denotes the duty of universal justice, which consists in doing to others as we would they should do to us.
Q. I will thank you to illustrate Temperance?
A. Temperance is more peculiarly the virtue of prosperity, as it guards the soul against those insidious allurements, by which its nobler feelings are too often corrupted. But here influence is not confined to the hour of prosperity alone: she forms the mind to a general habit of restraint over its appetites, its passions and even, its virtues, any of which, is allowed to acquire exclusive influence over the soul, would concentrate the faculties in a single point, absorb its feelings and confine its energies, insensibly producing intolerance of sentiment and degenerating into an excess scarcely less pernicious than vice itself. Temperance may, therefore, be styled the crown of all the virtues. Her influence, like the masters of the ancient lyre, can modulate the varied chords of lively sympathy or generous feelings, till each acquires its due tone and vibration and the whole become blended in one sweet accordant harmony.
Q. I will thank you to illustrate Fortitude ?
A. Fortitude is that virtue which arms the soul against the storms of adversity, enables it to rise superior to distress and danger, and gives it strength to resist the temptations and allurements of vice. But this virtue is equally distant from impetuous rashness on the one hand and from dishonest cowardice on the other. The truly brave neither shrink from the evils which they are distrained to encounter, nor rush on danger without feeling and estimating its full extent. Fortitude, therefore, differs from constitutional hardiness, as real benevolence is distinguished from weakness, being actuated not by a principle of blind instincs