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Q. What said the worshipful master?
A. I will attend to your presentation, Brother Senior Warden. You will direct the Senior Deacon to instruct the candidate to advance towards the east with his proper steps. That being done, the Worshipful Master said, as the secrets of the different degrees of Freemasonry are at all times to be kept seperate and distinct from each other, an obligation will be required of you to preserve inviolate the secrets of this degree from an Entered Apprentice, as from the rest of the world : are you ready and willing to take an obligation of this kind ? Answering to these questions in a satisfactory manner, I was instructed to advance in due form.
Q. In what does that form consist?
A. Of certain steps, which I am ready more fully to explain when duly called upon.
Q. How many steps ?
Q. What was then done?
Q. What is the nature of that form?
A. Kneeling on the right knee, with right hand on the sacred volume of God, and a square placed in the left elbow supported by the compasses,
Q. What does that denote?
A. My respective duties to God and the Craft in conformity to my obligation.
Q. Which obligation you will be pleased to repeat ?
The conclusion of the first section is a mere detail of what I have given in the making and would be tediously repeated here. I might have stated, that at the admission for making, the Inner Guard addresses the candidate in a very pompous manner, as follows: “In the name of the Grand Geometrician of the Universe, enter in due fosm a lodge of fellow Craft Masons
square, an instrument which brings rude matter into due form, and as Brethren of this degree are obligated on it, so are they bound by every law moral and divine to act upon it with all mankind, more especially a Brother Mason, I proceed to the,
Clause 1. Q. What was the first instruction you received as a Fellow Craft Mason?
A. I was first instructed in the history of our ancient fraternity, from the time that it received its present institution.
Q. At what period was that?
A. About the year of the world 3000, at the building of the temple at Jerusalem by King Solomon.
No 3, Vol. XII.
Q. From whence did our present forms arise ?
A. From the order observed in classing and distinguishing the multitude of workmen there employed, as well for paying them their respective wages, as for preserving good government among them *.
Q. How many masons were there in all ?
A. Three thousand, six hundred, who presided over the ordinary workmen.
Q. How were they distinguished ?
A. Into lodges or companies of seven Entered Apprentices or five Fellow Crafts.
Q. How many Entered Apprentices?
A. Two thousand one hundred, making three hundred lodges or companies.
Q. How many Fellow Crafts ?
A. Fifteen hundred, of whom three hundred were stiled Gibeonites, on account of their excellent skill as workmen, and of these three hundred, each presided over a lodge or company of Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices.
Q. What wages were given to them?
A. A certain allowance of corn, wine and oil, to each lodge or company; besides
money to the master of the lodge. Q. Where were those wages received ?
A. In the middle chamber † of King Solomon's Temple, to which none but Fellow Crafts were admitted.
Q. How were Fellow Crafts alone admitted ?
A. By means of a pass-word and grip, still preserved among Fellow Craft Masons.
Q. How many Master Masons were there?
A. Three only, to whom the true secrets of a Master were known, namely Solomon, Hiram and Hiram Abiff.
Q. Who was Hiram ?
A. He furnished the timbers from the forest of Lebanon, in exchange for stipulated proportions of corn wine and oil. He also sent his fleet to Ophir to fetch gold and precious stones for King
# I should like a brother to find me an authority for this origin of Free masonry. I can see none. There is no better authority than romance for the existence of Solomon's Temple.
R. C. + This forms an anomaly; for 'they could not be paid there before the chamber was built; and after it was built, we may suppose their work nearly at an end. It is thus romance finds exposure.
Solomon; with whom he entered into a strict correspondence and a reciprocal friendship.
Q. Is the correspondence between those princes preserved ?
A. It is, in the five chapters of the first book of Kings and the second chapter of the second book of Chronicles.
Q. What further assistance did Hiram give?
A. At the request of King Solomon, he sent a man of consummate knowledge and skill, who thoroughly understood the principles of every art and science, to preside, over the workmen and direct their labours.
Q. What wäs this extraordinary man?
A. His name was Hiram Abiff. He was the son of a widow of the tribe of Napthali * and his father was a man of Tyre. Under his direction was the glorious temple completed in little more than seven years.
Q. Where and how were the materials procured?
A. The timbers were felled in the forest of Lebanon, where a levy of thirty thousand men of Jerusalem were employed by monthly courses of ten thousand. and the stones were cut and wrought in the quarries of the mountains of Judea, by eighty thousand men, assisted by seventy thousand, who bare burthens,
Q. By what model was this building finished ?
A. It was according in all things with the model presented by God himself to king David the father of Solomon, who nevertheless was not permitted to build this sacred temple as his hands had been stained with blood t.
Q. When was it begun and finished ?
A. It was begun in the month of Zif, in the fourth year of King Solomon's reign. A. L. 2992, and finished in the month of Bul, or eighth month, in the eleventh year of his reign ; A. L. 3000.
Q. How was it dedicated ?
A. King Solomon celebrated the feast of dedication with prayer and sacrifice, in the presence of all the people of Israel and the feast lasted fourteen days.
Q. Is the prayer of dedication still preserved?
A. It is in the 8th chapter of the first book of Kings and the 6th chapter of the second book of Chronicles.
Q. Was it consecrated with any particular marks of divine favour? A. The divine Shekinah or brightness, which was a visible
'The book of Kings says, that his mother was of the tribe of Napthali, and the book of Chronicles, that she was of the daughters of Dan, which we are to believe, either or neither? This Bible proclaims itself a romance in the most trivial as well as in the most serious matters.
R. C. † According to your own romance, were not the hands of Solomon stained with the blood of Joab, Shime; and his brother Adonijah ?
token of God's presence entering the temple from the eastward, settled over the mercy seat, whereon was placed the ark of the covenant.
A. Our Grand master Solomon, observing the effects produced by strict order adopted among the Masons employed in his work, conceived the great idea of uniting the wise and good in every na-. tion, in the bond of brotherly love and in the pursuit of scientific acquirements.
Q. How was he enabled to effect this glorious design?
A. He admitted to the participation of this system those illustrious sages, who resorted to Jerusalem, even from the uttermost parts of the east, to be instructed in his wisdom; and they, returning to their respective homes, diffused the system of Freemasonry over the whole face of the Eastern Continent.
Q. Where did our institution more especially flourish?
A. In Tyre and Sidon, and the whole coast of Phenicia, under the patronage of Hiram, King of Tyre, and his successors.
Q. Who brought the knowledge of it westward ?
A. The Phenicians, in their commerce with this part of the world, spread an imperfect knowledge thereof over the northern coast of Africa and the whole of Europe.
Q. Who was the most especial founder thereof in the West.
A. Pythagoras, a Grecian Philosopher, born at Samos, about 450 years after the building of King Solomon's Temple at Jerusalem *.
Q. What is recorded of him?
A. That he travelled into Egypt for instruction in the sacred mysteries of the priests of Memphis, and, returning by Phenicia, was there initiated into our purer rights. After which he retired to Italy and founded the Italian School of philosophy at Crotona.
Q. What Masonic observations do we find in his institutions?
A. He enjoined his disciples a long probation of silence and an inviolate secrecy: a strict love for, and fidelity towards, each other. He distinguishes them by secret signs and divided them into classes, according to their abilities and knowledge; but chiefly distinguished them as exoterics and esoterics.
Q. What does the first of these appellations denote?
* But how has it happened, that Pythagoras has left no mention of So. lomon's Temple, of Jerusalem, of Israelites or of Jews, though lie evidently travelled within a few miles of the spot which is now called Jerusalem ? He sought knowledge among the Phenicians, the Egyptians, and the inhabitants of Babylon; but he knew nothing or has said nothing, about Israelites or Jews. This is a fact which cracks your theory of the origin of Masonry
A. Qutward heavens, they being admitted to know only a portion of the mysteries, and separated from the higher classes by a veil.
Q. W is meant by the latter ? A. Those within the veil, who were permitted to see and hear all things.
Q. By what medium were his doctrines illustrated ?
A. By the direct and relative qualities and powers of numbers, under which are concealed truths of the greatest importance.
Q. What discoveries are particularly attributed to him?
A. The true system of the universe: the foundation of all proportional geometry in the 17th problem of the second book of Euclid : and other points of science which will be illustrated in their proper places.
Q. By whom were the doctrines of Pythagoras received and particularly conveyed ?
A. By Plato *, an Athenian philosopher, who lived about 150 years after Pythagoras, and derived his knowledge from the same sources.
Q. In what manner were his doctrines conveyed ?
A. By means of Geometrical symbolş, which have a correlative power with the numbers of Pythagoras.
A. All natural, mathematical and mechanical knowledge, as far as the same is subjected to the external senses t.
Though Plato set up that idol, the Logos, the personification and deification of the principle of reason, which the Christians now worship under the name of Jesus Christ, or the second person of their trinity, he has not left us one word about Jehovah, or Israelites, or Jews, or Solomon's Temple, or Jerusalem. I understand, that Plutarch was the first Grecian writer who took notice of the Jews, and that, after their dispersion by Titus. He speaks of them with contempt.
R. C. † But what oecasion is there to teach either of these descriptions of masonry in secret? particularly, at this time, in this country? Would it. not be better to have all teachings open to all persons and subject to the correction of free discussion? The fact is, as to masonry, that its essence is not now instruction, but sectarianism. With regard to science, the public teachings have left it far behind; and it has dwindled into a contemptible association of dotards and drunkards: a mere trap for simpletons' who have a little money to spend in revelling. The Republican displays more of the knowledge of the "hidden order of the universe" than the Bible, or all the divine and masonic revelations put together.