Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

become acquainted with the body; but it is by the anatomy of the mind alone we discover its powers and principles.

To sum up the whole of this transcendent measure of God's bounty to man, we shall add, that memory, imagination, taste, reasoning, moral perception, and all the active powers of the soul, present a vast and boundless field for philosophical disquisition, which far exceeds human inquiry, and are peculiar mysteries known only to nature, and to nature's God, to whom we and all are indebted for creation, preservation, and every blessing we enjoy.

The seven liberal arts and sciences are next illustrated in this section, it may not therefore be improper to insert here a short explanation of them.

GRAMMAR.

Grammar teaches the proper arrangement of words according to the idiom or dialect of any particular people, and that excellency of pronunciation, which enables us to speak or write a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason and correct usage.

RHETORIC.

Rhetoric teaches us to speak copiously and fluently on any subject, not merely with propriety alone, but with all the advantages of force and elegance; wisely contriving to captivate the hearer by strength of argument and beauty of expression, whether it be to entreat and exhort, to admonish or applaud.

LOGIC.

Logic teaches us to guide our reason discretionally in the general knowledge of things, and direct our inquiries after truth. It consists of a regular train of argument, whence we infer, deduce, and conclude, according to certain pre

mises laid down, admitted, or granted; and in it are employed, the faculties of conceiving, judging, reasoning, and disposing; all of which are naturally led on from one gradation to another, till the point in question is finally determined.

ARITHMETIC.

Arithmetic teaches the powers and properties of numbers, which is variously affected, by letters, tables, figures, and instruments. By this art, reasons and demonstrations are given for finding out any certain number, whose relation or affinity to another is already known or discovered.

GEOMETRY.

Geometry treats of the powers and properties of magnitudes in general, where length, breadth, and thickness are considered, from a point to a line, from a line to a superficies, and from a superficies to a solid.*

By this science, the architect is enabled to construct his plans and execute his designs; the general to arrange his soldiers; the engineer to mark out ground for encampments; the geographer to give us the dimensions of the world, and all things therein contained, to delineate the extent of seas, and specify the divisions of empires, kingdoms and provinces; by it, also, the astronomer is enabled to make his observations, and to fix the duration of times and seasons, years and cycles. In fine, geometry is the foundation of architecture, and the root of the mathematics.

* A point is a dimensionless figure, or an indivisible part of space. A line is a point continued, and a figure of one capacity, namely, length. A superficies is a figure of two dimensions, namcly, length and breadth. A solid is a figure of three dimensions, namely, length, breadth, and thickness.

MUSIC.

Music teaches the art of forming concords, so as to compose delightful harmony, by a mathematical and proportional arrangement of acute, grave, and mixed sounds. This art, by a series of experiments, is reduced to a demonstrative science, with respect to tones, and the intervals of sound. It inquires into the nature of concords and discords, and enables us to find out the proportion between them by numbers.

ASTRONOMY.

Astronomy is that divine art, by which we are taught to read the wisdom, strength, and beauty of the Almighty Creator, in those sacred pages the celestial hemisphere. Assisted by astronomy, we can observe the motions, measure the distances, comprehend the magnitudes, and calculate the periods and eclipses, of the heavenly bodies. By it, we learn the use of the globes, the system of the world, and the preliminary law of nature. While we are employed in the study of this science, we must perceive unparalleled instances of wisdom and goodness, and through the whole creation, trace the Glorious Author by his works.

Here the emblem of plenty is introduced and explained.

From this theme we proceed to illustrate the moral advantages of Geometry; a subject on which the following observations may not be unacceptable:

Geometry, the first and noblest of sciences, is the basis on which the superstructure of Masonry is erected. By geometry, we may curiously trace Nature, through her various windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it, we discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe, and view with delight the proportions which connect this vast machine. By it

we discover how the planets move in their different orbits, and demonstrate their various revolutions. By it we account for the return of seasons, and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all framed by the same Divine Artist, which roll through the vast expanse, and are all conducted by the same unerring laws of nature.

A survey of Nature, and the observation of her beautiful proportions, first determined man to imitate the divine plan and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to societies, and birth to every useful art. The architect began to design, and the plans which he laid down, being improved by experience and time, have produced works which are the admiration of every age.

The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many valuable monuments of antiquity, on which the utmost exertions of human genius have been employed. Even the temple of SOLOMON, so spacious and magnificent, and constructed by so many celebrated artists, escaped not the unsparing ravages of barbarous force. Free Masonry, notwithstanding, has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the instructive tongue, and the sacred mysteries are safely lodged in the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and implements of architecture, symbols the most expressive! are selected by the fraternity, to imprint on the memory wise and serious truths; and thus, through a succession of ages, are transmitted, unimpaired, the excellent tenets of our institution.

Thus end the two sections the second lecture, which, with the ceremony used at opening and closing the lodge, comprehend the whole of the second degree of Masonry. This lecture contains a regular system of science, demonstrated on the clearest principles, and founded on the most stable foundation.

BROTHER:

CHARGE,

AT INITIATION INTO THE SECOND DEGREE.

Being advanced to the second degree of Masonry, we congratulate you on your preferment. The internal, and not the external qualifications of a man, are what Masonry regards. As you increase in knowledge, you will improve in social intercourse.

It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties, which, as a Mason, you are bound to discharge; or enlarge on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience must have established their value.

Our laws and regulations you are strenuously to support; and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate, or aggravate the offences of your brethren; but, in the decision of every trespass against your rules, you are to judge with candour, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with justice.

The study of the liberal arts, that valuable branch of education, which tends so effectually to polish and adorn the mind, is earnestly recommended to your consideration; especially the science of geometry, which is established as the basis of our art. Geometry, or Masonry, originally synonymous terms, being of a divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge; while it proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality.

Your past behaviour and regular deportment have merited the honour which we have now conferred; and in your new character, it is expected that you will conform to the principles of the order, by steadily persevering in the practice of every commendable virtue. Such is the nature of your engagements as a Fellow Craft, and to these duties you are bound by the most sacred ties.

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »