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I proceed to develope the whole ceremony of a Fellow Craft's Lodge. The officers are nominally the same in the three degrees, for though an Entered Apprentice cannot remain in a Fellow Craft's or Master's Lodge, nor a Fellow Craft in a Master's Lodge; the Fellow Craft, as has been noticed, is properly a member of a Lodge for entered Apprentices, and the Master for that of both.
OPENING OF A FELLOW CRAFTS' LODGE OR THAT OF THE
SECOND DEGREE IN MASONRY. The master knocks and iš answered by the two wurdens as á call to order.
W. M. Brethren, assist me to open the lodge in the second degree.-Brother Junior Warden, the first care of every Fellow Craft Mason?
J. W. To see the lodge properly tiled.
J. W. Brother Inner Guard, you will see the lodge properly tiled. (The Inner Guard gives three knocks on the inside of the door. and the tiler answers in the same manner on the outside, to announce that the lodge is close tiled. There is a distinction in these three knocks, in the three degrees, and as they are often repeated by the various officers it may be well to explain them. The three knocks of an entered apprentice are three loud regular knocks, equi-distant as to time. The three knocks of the Fellow Craft are not equi-distant as to time, a pause being made after the first and then the two last given quickly. The Masters' three knocks have the pause before the last and the two first given quickly. These changes make a clear distinction in the mode of knockng in the three degrees.)
I. G. Brother Junior Warden, (making the sign) the lodge is properly tiled.
J. W.(Giving the three knocks and making the sign) Worshipful Master, the lodge is properly tiled.
W. M, Brother Senior Warden, the next care? S. W. To see the brethren appear to order as Fellow Craft Masons.
W. M. Brethren, to order as Masons in the second degree:Brother Junior Warden, are you a Fellow Craft Free Mason?
J. W. Iam, try me, prove me.
J. W. An angle of ninety degrees forming the fourth part of a circle:
W. M. Since you are so well informed yourself, you will prove the brethren present to be Fellow Craft Free Masons, by three
fold signs, and demonstrate that proof to me by copying their example.
J. W. Brethren, by command of the Worshipful Master, you are desired to prove yourselves Fellow Craft Free Masons by threefold signs: (and to prevent confusion, observe the Senior Warden). (The persons present then make the three signs, which will be hereafter explained, and the Junior Warden reports.) Worshipful Master, the brethren present having proved themselves Fellow Craft Free Masons, by three fold signs, I, in obedience to your commands, demonstrate that proof to you, by copying their example.
W. M. And I acknowledge the correctness of those signs.Brethren, our lodge being thus duly formed, before I proceed to declare it open, let us invoke a blessing from the Grand Geometrician of the universe*, that the rays of heavent may shed their benign influence over us, to enlighten us in the paths of nature and science.
P. M. So mote it be.
W. M. In the name of the Grand Geometrician of the universef, I declare this lodge open the square, for the instruction and improvement of Fellow craft Free Masons.
(The Master gives the three knocks, which are echoed by the · Wardens and the Guards. The Bible is opened at certain parts, &c.
CEREMONY OF PASSING ON THE SECOND DEGREE. W. M. Brethren, Brother Noodle is this evening a candidate to be passed to the second degree; but it is first requisite that he should give proofs of proficiency in the former ; I shall, therefore, proceed to put the necessary questions. (The master questions him as to what he knows of the first degree and asks if any brother has any other question to put. He is then reported as qualified).
W. M. Brother Noodle, you will come this way. Do you pledge your honour as a man and your fidelity as a Mason, that you will steadily persevere through the ceremony of being passed to the second degree?
Noodle. I do.
W.M. Do you likewise pledge yourself, that you will conceal what I shall now impart to you with the same strict caution as the other secrets in masonry?
N. I will.
W. M. Then I will entrust you with a test of merit which is a passing grip and a passing word leading to the door of the lodge
* Who, where, what is he?
| Very fine words, but what do they mean? To whom or to what do hey allude?
into which you seek to be admitted. The passing grip is given by a distinct pressure of the the thumb of your right hand between the joints of ihe first and middle fingers of the right hand of a brother. This demands a passing word which is SHIBBOLET). The word Shibboleih denotes plenty, and is usually depicted in our lodges by an ear of corn near a fall of water. You will be particularly careful to remember this word, as, without it, you cannot gain admission to a lodge in a superior degree. (Noodle
withdraws and lodge opens in the second degree. During his eramination, and instruction, it was considered to be open in the first degree. The knocking takes place at the door, after the examination of the candidate by the Tiler, as to the passing gripandword, and the Inner Guard, demanding who is there, reports.)
I. G. Worshipful Master, at the door of your lodge stands Brother Noodle, who has been regularly initiated into masonry and has, made such progress as he hopes will recommend him to be passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft; for which ceremony he comes properly prepared.
W. M. How does he hope to obtain the priviledges of the second degree?
I. G. By the help of God, assistance of the square and the benefit of a passing word.
W. M. We acknowledge the propriety of the aid by which he seeks it, do you, Brother Inner Guard, vouch, that he is in possession of that passing word.
I. G. I do, Worshipful Master,
W. M. Then let him be admitted in due form. (The candidate is not now hoodwinked ;' but his left arm right breast and right knee are made bare and the left heel slip shod.) Brother Deacon, let the candidate kneel while the blessing of heaven is invoked on what we are about to do. (Master prays). We supplicate the continuation of thy aid, O merciful Lord, on the behalf of ourselves and of him who kneels before thee, May the work began in thy name be continued to thy glory and evermore established in us by obedience to thy precepts. So mote it be. (the candidate is then raised and led round the lodge that all may see he is properlg prepared, As he comes to the wardens, a ceremony passes, on giving them the passing grip and word as at the door, and he is finally brought to the master for the same purpose.)
S. W. Worshipful Master, I present to you, Brother Noodle, a candidate properly prepared to be passed to the second degree.
W. M. Brother Senior Warden, you will direct the Senior Deacon to instruct the candidate to advance to the pedestal in due form.
S. W. Brother Senior Deacon, it is the Worshipful Master's command, that you instruct the candidate to advance to the east in due form.
W. M. Brother Noodle, as in every case the degrees of Free
masonry are to be kept separate and distinct, another obligation
Noodle. I am.
W. M. Then you will kneel on your right knee, your left foot
I further solemnly pledge myself to act as a true and faithful
This is about the form of the oath under the new regulations of the Grand United Lodge. The old oaths had more points mentioned, such as a propise to attend all summonses. when within a cable tow's length of the lodge which sigvified three miles; a promise to obey the Master Mason and to observe a particular conduct towards Masons in general and a description of the lodge, as dedicated to St. John, and generally, as opened on the square for the instruction, and improvement of Fellow Craft Masons. Saint Jobp appears to have been the Mason's Saint: and their fables have made him the institutor of a Lodge of Masons. Jesus Christ and bis diciples they also find to have been a lodge of Masons, though no fair searching historian can prove their existence, In short, every name and character found in the Bible, they have associated with Masonry, and their idol God has been made the grand Architect of all ! Let them see, as they will see, if they search, that there is no
God, no intelligent being, superior to man, and what then becomes of their divine Masonry ?
This oath, it will be seen, is still more foul than the former, and we shall find, that that of the Master Mason is still worse.
What is all the boasted“ morality veiled in allegory” of Masonry worth, when put by the side of so foul and vicious and barbarous an oath ? Here in addition to licensed throat cutting and a tearing out of the tongue by the roots, we have a cutting up of the breast, a tearing out of the heart, and a gnawing of that heart by birds or beast of prey. Delightful brotherhood that can harbour such ideas as these, upon any conditions! But when we recollect, that masonry originated with such oaths as these, without any of that pretended morality or benevolence which has been subsequently added to it; have we not, the fullest proof, that it is fundamentally vicious; Without its modern moral garb, it would not have been tolerated in this day. It is now a system of trick, deceit and vice, from the beginning to the end, decked in finery that dazzles the eye, but that is contaminating to the touch, and that pollutes every mind that partakes of it. The ceremony then thus proceeds.
W. M. As a pledge of your fidelity, and to render this a solemn obligation, which would otherwise be but a serious promise I will thank you to seal it with your lips twice on the volume of the sacred law. Your progress in Masonry is marked by the positions ofthe square and compasses.
made an Entered Apprentice, both points were hidden. In this degree, one is disclosed, implying, that you are now in the middle of Freemasonry; superior to an Entered Apprentice, but inferior to what I trust will hereafter be communicated to you. Rise newly obligated Fellow Craft Freemason. You, having taken the solemn obligation of a Fellow Craft Freemason, I shall proceed to entrust you with the secrets of the degree. You will advance towards me, as at your initiation. Now, take another pace with your left foot, bringing the right heel into its hollow, as before. That is the second regular step in Freemasonry, and it is in this position that the secrets of the degree are communicated. They consist, as in the former instance, of a sign, token and word : with this difference, that the sign is of a three-fold nature. The first part of the three-fold sign is called the sign of fidelity, emblematically to shield the repository of your secrets from the attacks of the cowan, (The sign is made by pressing the right hand on the left breast, extending the