The Web of Hiram

University of Bradford
Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

Lectures of the Craft of Freemasonry

The First Degree

The Second Degree

The Third Degree

The Various Rituals of Freemasonry from the Tenth Century

The Masonic Calender

The Apron

| Section - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | Tracing Board |

The Lecture of the First Degree of Freemasonry

Introductory Address

BRETHREN, Masonry; according to the general acceptation of the term, is an Art founded on the principles of Geometry, and directed to the service and convenience of mankind. But Freemasonry embracing a wider range, and having a more noble object in view, namely, the cultivation and improvement of the human mind, may, with more propriety, be called a Science, although its lessons for the most part are veiled in Allegory and illustrated by Symbols, inasmuch as, veiling itself under the terms of the former, it inculcates principles of the purest morality.

To draw aside this veil therefore, or, more properly speaking, to penetrate through its mysteries, is the object of our Masonic Lectures, and by a faithful and appropriate attention to them we hope ultimately to become acquainted with all its mysteries. The Lecture of this Degree is divided into seven Sections, and throughout the whole, virtue is depicted in its most beautiful colours, the duties of morality are everywhere strictly enforced.

The nature, character, the attributes and perfections of the Deity are faithfully delineated and forcibly portrayed, and are well calculated to influence our conduct towards Him, as our Father, Benefactor, and Moral Governor, as also in the proper discharge of the duties of social life.

Section One

The mode of Masonic instruction is the catechetical, or, in more familiar terms, by question and answer; therefore, from a previous conviction that you are a Mason, permit me to ask you in that character:

Q - As Free and Accepted Masons, how did you and I first meet?

A - On the Square.

Q - How do we hope to part?

A - On the Level

Q - Why meet and part in that particular manner?

A -As Masons we should so act on the Square, as to enable us to part on the Level with all mankind, particularly a Brother

Q -As a Mason whence come you?

A -The West.

Q- Whither directing your course?

A- The East.

Q -What inducement have you to leave the West, and go to the East?

A- To seek a Master, and from him to gain instruction.

Q- Who are you that want instruction?

A- A Free and Accepted Mason.

Q- What manner of man ought a Free and Accepted Mason to be?

A- A free man, born of a free woman, brother to a King, fellow to a Prince or to a beggar, if a Mason, and found worthy.

Q- Why freeborn?

A- In allusion to that grand festival which Abraham made at the weaning of his son Isaac, when Sarah, Abraham's wife, observing Ishmael, the son of Hagar the Egyptian bondwoman, teasing and perplexing her son, remonstrated with her husband, and said: Put away that bondwoman and her son, for such as he shall not inherit with the freeborn, even with my son Isaac. She spake as being endued with a prophetic spirit, well knowing that from Isaac's loins would spring a great and mighty people, who would serve the Lord with freedom, fervency, and zeal; and fearing that if the two youths were brought up together, Isaac might imbibe some of Ishmael's slavish principles; it being a general remark in those days, as well as the present, that the minds of slaves are more vitiated and less enlightened than those of the freeborn. This is the reason we, as Freemasons, give why every Mason ought to be freeborn; but in the present day, slavery being generally abolished, it has therefore been considered under our Constitution, that if a man be free, although he may not have been freeborn, he is eligible to be made a Mason.

Q- Why those equalities among Masons?

A- We are all created equal, which is strengthened by our Mason Oath.

Q- Generally speaking, as a Mason whence come you?

A- From a worthy and worshipful Lodge of Brothers and Fellows

A -To greet your worship well.

Q.- Any other recommendation?

A- Hearty good wishes.

Q- Since you bring nothing but hearty good wishes, what do you come here to do?

A- To learn to rule and subdue my passions, and make a further progress in Masonry.

Q- By this I presume you are a Mason?

A- I am so taken and accepted among Brothers and Fellows.

Q- How do you know yourself to be a Mason?

A- By the regularity of my initiation, repeated trials and approbations, and a willingness at all times to undergo an examination when properly called on.

Q- How do you demonstrate the proof of your being a Mason to others?

A- By Signs, Tokens, and the Perfect Points of my entrance.

Q - What are Signs?

A- All Squares, Levels, and Perpendiculars are true and proper signs to know a Mason by.

Q -What are Tokens?

A- Certain regular and friendly Grips, whereby we know a Brother in the dark as well as in the light.

Q - Will you give me the Points of your Entrance?.

A- Give me the first, I will give you the second.

Q - What do you wish to Collect.?

A- All Secrets and Mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry.

Q- This being open Lodge, you may safely reveal.

A- Of, At, and On.

Q- Of, At, and On what?

A- Of my own free will and accord; at the Door of the Lodge; on the Point of a Square presented to my naked left breast.

Q- When were you made a Mason?

A- When the sun was at its meridian.

Q- In this country Freemasons' Lodges are usually held in the evening: how do you account for that, which at first view appears a paradox?

A- The earth constantly revolving on its axis in its orbit round the sun, and Freemasonry being universally spread over its surface, it necessarily follows that the sun must always be at its meridian with respect to Freemasonry.

Q- What is Freemasonry?

A- A peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.

Q.- Where were you made a Mason?

A- In the body of a Lodge, just, perfect, and regular.

Q- What is a Lodge of Freemasons?

A- An assemblage of Brethren, met to expatiate on the mysteries of the Craft.

Q- When met, what makes it just?

A- The Volume of the Sacred Law unfolded.

Q- What perfect?

A - Seven, or more, regularly made Masons.

Q - And what regular?

A -The charter or warrant of constitution.

Q- Why were you made a Mason?

A -For the sake of obtaining the Secrets of Masonry, and to be brought from darkness.

Q- Have Masons Secrets?

A - They have many invaluable ones.

Q -Where do they keep them?

A- In their Hearts.

Q- To whom do they reveal them?

A- None but Brothers and Freemasons

Q.- How do they reveal them?

A- By Signs, Tokens, and particular Words.

Q - As Masons, how do we hope to get at them?

A- By the help of a key.

Q.- Does that key hang or lie?

A- It hangs.

Q- Why is the preference given to hanging?

A- It should always hang in a Brother's defense, and never lie to his prejudice.

Q- What does it hang by?

A- The thread of life, in the passage of utterance.

Q- Why is it so nearly connected with the heart?

A- Being an index of the mind, it should utter nothing but what the heart truly dictates

Q.- It is a curious key, of what metal is it composed?

A- No metal, it is the tongue of good report

Brethren, this ends the first section of the first lecture:

That excellent key, a Freemason's. tongue, which should speak well of a Brother absent or present, but when unfortunately that cannot be done with honour and propriety, should adopt that excellent virtue of the Craft, which is Silence.

To order, Brethren

Second Section

Q- Where were you first prepared to be made a Mason?

A- In my Heart.

Q- Where next?

A- In a convenient room adjoining the L.

Q- Who brought you to be made a Mason?

A- A friend, whom I afterwards found to be a Brother.

Q- Describe the mode of your preparation.

A- I was divested of metals and hoodwinked my right arm, left breast, and knee. were made bare, my right heel was slipshod, and a. cabletow placed about my neck.

Q- Why were you divested of m.?

A - That I might bring nothing offensive or defensive into the Lodge to disturb its harmony.

Q- A second reason?

A- As I was received into Masonry in a state of poverty, it was to remind me to relieve indigent brethren, knowing them to be worthy, without detriment to myself or connections.

Q- A third reason?

A- At the building of King Solomon's Temple, there was not heard the sound of metallic tool.

Q- How could the building of so stately an edifice as King Solomon's Temple have been carried on and completed without the aid of metal tools?

A- The stones were hewn in the quarry, there squared, carved, marked, and numbered. The timber was felled and prepared in the forest of Lebanon, carved, marked, and numbered also; they were then floated to Joppa, thence conveyed on carriages to Jerusalem, and there set up with wooden mauls and implements prepared for that purpose.

Q - Why were the stones and timber prepared so far off?

A- To show the excellence of the Craft in those days, for although the materials were prepared at so great a distance, yet when they were brought to Jerusalem, and came to be put together, each piece fitted to that exact nicety, that it appeared more like the work of the Great Architect of the Universe than of human hands.

Q- Why were you hoodwinked?

A- That in case I had refused to go through any of the usual ceremonies required in making a Mason, I might have been led out of the Lodge without discovering its form.

Q- A second reason?

A- As I was received into Masonry in a state of darkness., it was to remind me to keep all the world so, with respect to our Masonic mysteries, unless they came legally by them as I was then about to do.

Q- A third reason?

A- That my heart might conceive before my eyes should discover.

Q- Why were you slipshod?

A- Our Lodges being considered to stand on Holy Ground, it alludes to a certain passage of Scripture, where the Lord spake thus to Moses from the Burning Bush, " put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is Holy Ground."

Q- Being thus properly prepared, where were you conducted?

A- To the Door of the Lodge

Q- How did you find that D.?

A- Shut and close Tyled.

Q- Whom was it Tyled by?

A- One whom I afterwards found to be the Tyler of the Lodge.

Q- His duty?

A- Being armed with a drawn Sword to keep off all intruders and cowans to Masonry, and to see that the candidates are properly prepared.

Q- Being in a state of darkness, how did you .know it to be a Door.?

A- By meeting with an obstruction, and afterwards gaining admission.

Q- How did you gain admission?

A- By three distinct knocks.

Q -To what do these three distinct knocks allude?

A- An ancient and venerable exhortation Seek, and ye shall find; ask, and ye shall have; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

Q - How did you apply that exhortation to your situation?

A- Having sought in my mind, I asked of my friend, he knocked, and the door of Freemasonry became open unto me.

Q- When the Masonic Door. became open unto you, who came to your assistance?

A- One whom I afterwards found to be the Inner Guard.

Q;- What did he demand of your friend, or the Tyler?

A- Whom he had there.

Q- The Tyler's answer?

A- Mr. A. B., a poor candidate, in a state of darkness, who has been well and worthily recommended, regularly proposed and approved in open Lodge and now comes of his own free will and accord, properly prepared, humbly soliciting to be admitted to the mysteries. and privileges. of Freemasonry.

Q- What did the Inner Guard further demand?

A- How I hoped to obtain those privileges

Q- Your answer?

A- By the help of God, being free, and of good report.

Q- How did the Inner Guard. then proceed?

A- He desired me to halt, while he reported me to the Worshipful Master, who was afterwards pleased to order my admission

Q- Were you admitted? And on what?

A- I was, on the Point of a sharp implement presented to my naked left breast.

Q- Why was the Point of a Sharp Implement presented to your naked left breast on your entrance into the Lodge.?

A- To intimate to me that I was about to engage in something serious and solemn, likewise to distinguish the sex.

Q - When admitted into the Lodge, what was the first question put to you by the Master?

A- Mr. A. B., as no person can be made a Mason unless he is free and of mature age, I demand of you, are you a free man, and of the full age of twenty-one years? To which I answered in the affirmative.

Q- What were you then desired to do?

A- Kneel and receive the benefit of a Masonic prayer.

Q- Which I will thank you for.

A- Vouchsafe Thine aid, Almighty Father and Supreme Governor of the Universe, to our present convention, and grant that this Candidate for Freemasonry may so dedicate and devote his life to Thy service, as to become a true and 'faithful Brother amongst us. Endue him with a competency of Thy Divine wisdom, that, assisted by the secrets of our Masonic art he may the better be enabled to unfold the beauties of true godliness, to the honour and glory of Thy holy name.

So, mote it be.

Q.- After the recital of this prayer what was the next question put to you by Master.?

A- In all cases of difficulty and danger in whom do you put your trust?

Q- Your answer?

A- In God.

Q- The Master's reply?

A- Right glad am I to find your faith well founded; relying on such sure support, you may safely rise, and follow your leader with a firm but humble confidence, for where the name of God is invoked we trust no danger can ensue.

Q.- How did the Master then address the Lodge

A- The brethren from the North, East, South, and West will take notice that Mr. A. B. is about to pass in view before them to show that he is the candidate, properly prepared, and fit and proper person to be made a Mason

Q- How did your leader then dispose of you?

A- I being neither naked nor clothed barefoot nor shod, but in an humble, halting moving posture, he friendly took me by right hand, led me up the North, past the West to the East, down the South, and delivered me to the Senior. Warden in the West.

Q- What was required of you during your progress round the lodge

A-To go through an examination by the Junior and Senior Wardens similar to that I had done at the door of the Lodge.

Q- Why were you led round in this spicuous manner?

A- It was figuratively to represent the seeming state of poverty and distress in which I was received into Masonry, on the miseries of which (if realised) were I for a moment to reflect, it could not fail to make that impression on my mind, as to cause me never to shut my cars unkindly to the cries of the distressed, particularly a Brother Mason, but listening with attention to their corn plaints, pity would flow from my breast, accompanied with that relief their necessities required and my ability could afford. It was likewise to show that I was the candidate properly prepared, and a fit and proper person to be made a Mason.

Q- Who are fit and proper persons to be made Masons?

A- Just, upright, and free men, of mature age, sound judgment, and strict morals.

Q- Why are the privileges of Masonry restricted to free men?

A- That the vicious habits of slavery might not contaminate the true principles of freedom on which the Order is

founded.

Q- Why of mature age?

A- The better to be able to judge for ourselves, as well as the Fraternity at large.

Q- Why of sound judgment and strict morals?

A- That both by precept and example we may the better be enabled to enforce due obedience to those excellent laws and tenets laid down in Freemasonry.

Q- When delivered over to the Senior Warden the West, how did he proceed?

A- He presented me to the Worshipful Master, candidate properly prepared to be made Mason.

Q- The Master's answer?

A- Bro. Senior Warden, your presentation shall be attended to, for which purpose I shall ask a few questions to the candidate, which I trust he will answer with candour.

Q- The first of those questions?

A - Do you seriously declare on your honour, that, unbiased by the improper solicitation of friends against your

own inclination, and uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motive, you freely voluntarily offer yourself a

candidate for the mysteries and privileges of Freemasonry?

Q- The second?

A- Do you likewise pledge yourself you are prompted to solicit those privileges by a favourable opinion preconceived of the Institution, a general desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish to render yourself more extensively serviceable to your fellow creatures?

Q- The third?

A- Do you further seriously declare your honour, that, avoiding fear on the one hand, and rashness on the other, you steadily persevere through the ceremony of your initiation, and if once admitted, will afterwards act and abide by the ancient usages and established customs of the Order?

To all of which, answers in the affirmative were given.

Q- What did the Master then order?

A- The Senior Warden to direct the Junior Deacon to instruct me to advance to the pedestal in due form.

Q- I will thank you to show the method of advancing from West to East in this degree.

A- (This is done.)

Q- Of what do those three irregular steps consist ?

A - Right lines and angles.

Q- What do they morally teach?

A- Upright lives and well-squared actions.

Q- When placed before the Master in the East, how did he address you?

A- It is my duty to inform you that Masonry is free, and requires a perfect freedom of inclination in every Candidate for its mysteries; it is founded on the purest principles of piety and virtue; it possesses great and invaluable privileges; and in order to secure those privileges to worthy men, and we trust to worthy men alone, vows of fidelity are required; but let me assure you, that in those vows there is nothing incompatible with your civil, moral, or religious duties; are you therefore willing to take a solemn obligation, founded on the principles I have stated, to keep inviolate the secrets and mysteries of the Order? To which I gave my assent.

Q- Were you made a Mason?

A- I was, and that in due form.

Q- Describe the due form in which you were made a Mason.

A- I knelt on my left knee with my feet in the form of a square. With my right hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law, while my left was employed in supporting a pair of compasses presented to my naked left breast.

Q- Why were the Compasses presented to your naked left breast at the time of your initiation?

A- As the Compasses were then an emblem of torture to my body, so should the recollection ever prove to my mind, should I at any future period be about improperly to disclose any of those Masonic secrets I was then on the point of being entrusted with.

Q - In that attitude what were you about to do?

A- Take the Great and Solemn Obligation of a Mason.

Q -Which I will thank you for.

A- I, A. B., in the presence of the Great Architect of the Universe, and of this worthy worshipful, and warranted Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, regularly assembled and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord, do hereby and hereon sincerely and solemnly promise and swear, I will always hele, conceal, and never reveal any part or parts, point or points, of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry, which may heretofore have been known by me or shall now or at any future period be communicated to me, unless it be to a trusted and lawful Brother, or Brothers, and not even to him or them until after due trial, strict examination, or sure information from a well-known Brother that he or they are worthy of that confidence, or in the body of a just, perfect, and regular Lodge of ancient Freemasons. I further solemnly promise that I will not write those secrets, indite, carve, mark, engrave, or otherwise them delineate, or cause or suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it, on anything movable or immovable under the canopy of Heaven, whereby or whereon any letter, character, or figure, or the least trace of a letter, character, or figure, may become legible, or intelligible to myself or any one in the world, so that our secret arts and hidden mysteries may improperly become known through my unworthiness. These several points I solemnly swear to observe, without evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation of any kind, under no less a penalty, on the violation of any of them, than that of having my throat cut across, my tonge torn from its root and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea whence the tide doth wash twice in the course of a natural day or the more effective punishment of being branded as a willfully perjured individual, void of all moral worth, and totally unfit to be received into this worshipful Lodge, or any other warranted Lodge, or society of men who prize honour and. virtue above the external advantages of rank and fortune. So help me God, and keep me steadfast in this my Great and Solemn Obligation of an Entered Apprentice Freemason.

Q - Having taken the Solemn Obligation of a Mason, how did the Master address you?

A - What you have repeated may be considered but a serious promise; as a pledge of your fidelity, and to render it a Solemn Obligation you will seal it with your lips on the Volume of the Sacred Law.

Q - How did he further address you?

A - Having been kept for a considerable time in a state of darkness, what in your present situation is the predominant wish of your heart.

Q - Your answer?

A- Light. To which the Junior Deacon., by the Worshipful Master's command, was pleased to restore me.

Q - Having been restored to the blessing of material Light, what were then pointed out to your attention?

A- The three great though emblematic light in Freemasonry, which are, the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Square and Compasses.

Q - Their uses?

A - The Sacred Words are to govern our faith; the Square to regulate our actions; and the Compasses. to keep us in due bounds with all mankind, particularly our Brethren in Freemasonry.

Q - How did the Master then proceed?

A- He friendly took me by the right hand, and said, Rise, newly Obligated Brother among Masons.

Brethren, this ends the second section of the first lecture:

The heart that conceals, and the Tongue that never improperly reveals, any or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to Free and Accepted Masons in Masonry.

To order, Brethren

Third Section

Q - After you were raised from your kneeling posture, what were you enabled to discover?

A- The three lesser lights.

Q.- How are they situated?

A- East, South, and West.

Q - For what purpose?

A - To show the due course of the Sun, which rises in the East, gains its meridian lustre in the South, and sets in the West; likewise to light men to, at, and from labour.

Q - Why is there none in the North?

A - The Sun being then below our horizon, darts no ray of light from that quarter to this our hemisphere.

Q - What do those three lesser lights represent?

A - The Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge.

Q - Why the Sun, Moon, and Master?

A - The Sun to rule the day, the Moon to govern the night, and the Master to rule and direct his Lodge.

Q - Why is the Master of a Freemason's Lodge compared to those grand luminaries?

A - As it is by the benign influence of the Sun and Moon that we, as men, are enabled to perform the duties of social life, so it is by the kind care and instruction of the Worshipful. Master, that we, as Masons, are enabled to perform those duties the Craft require of us.

Q - After the lesser lights were explained how did the Master address you?

A -Brother A. B., by your meek and candid behaviour this evening, you have escaped two great dangers, but there is a third which will await you until the latest period of your existence. The dangers you have escaped are those of death stabbing and death strangulation for on your entrance into the Lodge this Dagger. was presented to your naked left breast, so that had you rashly attempted to rush forward, you would have been accessory to your own death. by stabbing whilst the Brother who held it would have remained firm, and done his duty. There was likewise this Cabletow with a running noose about your neck which would have rendered any attempt at retreat equally fatal; but the danger which will await you until your latest hour is the penalty of your obligation, having your throat cut across, your tongue torn from its roots and your body buried in the rough sands of the sea whence the tide doth wash twice in the course of a natural day, should you improperly disclose the Secrets of Masonry.

Q - How did he further address you?

A - Having taken the Great and Solemn Obligation of a Mason, I am now permitted to inform you that there are several Degrees in Freemasonry, and peculiar secrets restricted to each. These, however, are not communicated indiscriminately, but are conferred on candidates according to merit and abilities. I shall therefore, proceed to intrust you with the secrets of this Degree, or those marks by which we are known to each other, and distinguished from the rest of the world; but must premise for your general information, that all Squares, Levels and Perpendiculars are true and proper signs to know a Mason by; you are therefore expected to stand perfectly erect, your feet formed in a Square; your body being thus considered an emblem of your mind, and your feet of the rectitude of your actions.

Q - What did the Master. then direct you to do?

A - Take a step towards him with my left foot, bringing the right heel. into its hollow; that, he informed me, is the first regular step in Freemasonry and it is in this position that the signs of the degree are communicated.

Q - Of what do those signs consist ?

A - A Sign, Token, and Word.

Q - I will thank you for the Sign in due form.

A- (Which is given.)

Q - Communicate the Token to.

A - (Which is done.)

Q - Is that correct?

A - It is, Worshipful Master.

Q - What does that demand?

A -A Word

Q - Give me that Word

A - At my initiation I was taught to be cautious; but with you as a brother I will letter or halve it with you.

Q - Which you please, and begin.

A - (It is then given.)

Q - Whence is this Word derived?

A - From the left hand pillar at the Porchway or Entrance. of King Solomon's Temple, so named after the Great Grandfather of David and a Prince and Ruler in Israel.

Q - The import of the Word?

A - In Strength

Q - Having been Obligated and intrusted, were you invested?

A -I was, with the distinguishing badge of a Mason, which the Senior Warden informed me is more ancient than the Golden Fleece, or Roman Eagle, more honourable than the Garter, or any other Order in existence, being the badge of innocence, and the bond of friendship: he strongly exhorted me ever to wear and consider it as such; and further informed me, that if I never disgraced that badge, it would never disgrace me.

Q -Repeat the address you then received from the Master.

A - Let me add to the observations of the Senior Warden, that you are never to put on that badge should you be about to visit a Lodge in which there is a Brother with whom you are at variance, or against whom you entertain animosity; in such cases, it is expected that will invite him to withdraw, in order amicably to settle your differences, which being happily effected, you may then clothe yourselves, enter the Lodge, and work with that love and harmony which should at all times characterise Freemasons. But if, unfortunately, your differences be of such a nature as not to be so easily adjusted, it were better one or both of you retire, than that the that harmony of the Lodge should be disturbed by your presence.

Q - Where were you then ordered to be placed?

A - At the North East part of the Lodge

Q - Repeat the charge.

A - It is customary at the erection of all stately and superb edifices to lay the first or foundation stone at the North. East corner of the building; you, being newly admitted into Masonry, are placed at the North East part of the Lodge, figuratively to represent that stone: and from the foundation laid this evening may you raise a superstructure perfect in its parts and honourable to the builder. You now stand to all external appearance a just and upright Mason, and I give it you in strong terms of recommendation ever to continue and act as such; indeed, I shall immediately proceed to put your principles in some measure to the test, by calling upon you to exercise that virtue which may justly be denominated the distinguishing characteristic of a Freemason's heart I mean Charity. I need not here dilate on its excellencies; no doubt it has often been felt and practiced by you; suffice it to say, it has the approbation of heaven and earth, and, like its sister Mercy, blesses him who gives as well as him who receives. In a society so widely extended as Freemasonry, the branches of which are spread over the four quarters of the globe, it cannot be denied that we have many members of rank and opulence, neither can it be concealed that among the thousands who range under its banners, there are some who, perhaps from circumstances of unavoidable calamity and misfortune, are reduced to the lowest ebb of poverty and distress. On their behalf it is our usual custom to awaken the feelings of every newmade Brother, by such a claim on his charity as his circumstances in life may fairly warrant; whatever, therefore, you feel disposed to give, you will deposit with the Junior Deacon; it will be thankfully received, and faithfully applied.

Q - Your answer?

A - That I had been divested of everything valuable previously to entering the Lodge, or I would give freely.

Q - The Master's reply?

A - I congratulate you on the honourable sentiments by which you are actuated, likewise on the inability which in the present instance precludes you from gratifying them; believe me, this trial was not made with a view to sport with your feelings; far be from us any such intention; it was done for three especial reasons.

Q - The first of those reasons?

A - To put my principles to the test.

Q - The second?

A - To evince to the Brethren that I had neither metal nor metallic substance about me, for if I had, the ceremony of my initiation, thus far must have been repeated.

Q - The third?

A - As a warning to my own heart, that should I at any future period meet a brother in distressed circumstances who might solicit my assistance, I would remember the peculiar moment I was received into Masonry, poor and penniless and cheerfully embrace the opportunity of practicing that virtue I had professed to admire.

Q - What did the Master then present to you?

A - The working tools of an Entered Apprentice Freemason which are the 24-inch Gauge, the common Gavel and Chisel.

Q - Their uses?

A - The 24-inch Gauge is to measure our work, the common Gavel to knock off all superfluous knobs and excrescences, and the Chisel to further smooth and prepare the stone, and render it fit for the hands of the more expert workman.

Q - But as we are not all operative Masons, but rather Free and Accepted, or speculative, how do we apply these tools to our morals?

A - In this sense, the 24-inch Gauge represents the 24 hours of the day, part to be spent in prayer to Almighty God, part in labour and refreshment, and part in serving a Friend or Brother in time of need, without detriment to ourselves or connections. The common Gavel represents the force of conscience, which should keep down all vain and unbecoming thoughts which might obtrude during any of the aforementioned periods, so that our words and actions may ascend unpolluted to the throne of grace. The Chisel points out to us the advantages of education, by which means alone we are rendered fit members of regularly organised society.

Q - How did the Master then address you?

A - As in the course of the evening you will be called on for certain fees for your initiation, it is proper you should know by what authority we act. This is our charter or warrant from the Grand Lodge of England, which is for your inspection on this or any future evening. This is the book of Constitutions, and these are our byelaws, both of which I recommend to your serious perusal, as by one you will be instructed in the duties you owe to the craft in general, and by the other, in those you owe to this Lodge in particular.

Q - What permission did you then receive?

A - To retire, in order to restore myself to my personal comforts, and the Worshipful Master informed me that on my return to the Lodge he would call my attention to a charge, founded on the excellences of the Institution and the qualifications of its members.

Q - When placed at the North East part of the Lodge, assisted by the three lesser lights, what were you enabled to discover?

A - The form of the Lodge.

Q - What form?

A - A parallelopipedon.

Q - Describe its dimensions.

A - In length from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth from the surface of the earth to the centre, and even as high as the Heavens.

Q - Why is a Freemason's Lodge described of this vast extent?

A - To show the universality of the science; likewise, that a Mason's charity should know no bounds save those of prudence.

Brethren, this ends the third section of the first lecture:

All poor and distressed Masons, where ever dispersed over the face of earth, and Water, wishing them a speedy relief from their sufferings, and a safe return to their native country, if they desire it.

To order, Brethren

Fourth Section

Q - On what ground do our Lodges stand?

A. - Holy Ground

Q - Why on Holy Ground?

A - Because the first Lodge was consecrated.

Q - Why was it consecrated?

A - On account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine approbation.

Q -.Which I will thank you to specify

A - First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God in not refusing to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead. Secondly, the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King David, which actually appeased the wrath of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among his people, owing to his inadvertently having had them numbered. And thirdly, the many thanksgivings, oblations. burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings which Solomon, King of Israel, made at the completion, dedication, and consecration of the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service. Those three did then, do now, and I trust ever will render the ground of Freemasonry holy.

Q - How are our Lodges situated?

A - Due East and West

Q - Why?

A - Because all places of Divine worship as well as Masons' regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, are or ought to be so situated

Q - For which we assign three Masonic reasons; I will thank you for the first.

A - The Sun, the Glory of the Lord, rises, in the East and sets in the West.

Q - The second?

A - Learning originated in the East, an thence spread its benign influence to the West

Q - The third, last, and grand reason?

A - Whenever we contemplate on the works of the creation, how ready and cheerful ought we to be to adore the Almighty Creator, who has never left Himself without a living witness among men. From the earliest period of time, we have been taught to believe in the existence of a Deity. We read of Abel bringing a more acceptable offering to the Lord than his brother Cain; of Enoch walking with God; of Noah. being a just and upright man in his day and generation , and a teacher of righteousness; of Jacob wrestling with an angel, prevailing, and thereby obtaining a blessing for himself and posterity. But we never hear or read of any place being set apart for the public solemnisation of Divine worship, until after the happy deliverance of the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage, which it pleased the Almighty to effect with a high hand and an outstretched arm, under the conduct of His faithful servant Moses, according to a promise made their forefather, Abraham, that He would make of his seed a great and mighty people, even as the stars in Heaven for number, and the sand of the sea for multitude. And as they were about to possess the gate of their enemies, and inherit the promised land, the Almighty thought proper to reveal to them those three most excellent institutions-viz., the Moral, Ceremonial, and judicial Laws. And for the better solemnisation of Divine worship, as well as a receptacle for the Books and Tables of the Law, Moses caused a Tent or Tabernacle to be erected in the wilderness, which by God's especial command was situated due East and West, for Moses did everything according to a pattern shown him by the Lord on Mount Sinai. This Tent or Tabernacle proved afterwards to be the ground-plan, in respect to situation, of that most magnificent Temple built at Jerusalem by that wise and mighty Prince, King Solomon, whose regal splendour and unparalleled lustre far transcend our ideas. This is the third, last, and grand reason. I as a Freemason give, why all. places of Divine worship, as well as Masons' regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges are or ought to be so situated.

Q - What supports a Freemason's Lodge

A- Three great Pillars.

Q - What are they called?

A - Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.

Q - Why Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty

A - Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn.

Q - Moralise them.

A -Wisdom to conduct us in all our undertakings, Strength to support us under all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man.

Q- Illustrate them.

A -The Universe is the Temple of the Deity whom we serve; Wisdom, Strength and Beauty are about His throne as pillars of His works, for His Wisdom is infinite His Strength omnipotent, and Beauty shines through the whole of the creation in symmetry and order. The Heavens He has stretched forth as a canopy; the earth He has planted as a footstool; He crowns His Temple with Stars as with a diadem, and with his hand He extends the power and glory. The Sun and Moon are messengers of His will, and all His law is concord. The three great pillars supporting a Freemason's Lodge are emblematic of those Divine attributes, and further represent Solomon King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre and Hiram Abif.

Q - Why those three great personages?

A - Solomon King of Israel for his wisdom in building, completing, and dedicating the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service; Hiram King. of Tyre for his strength in supporting him with men and materials; and Hiram Abif. for his curious and masterly workmanship in beautifying and adorning the same.

Q - As we have no noble Order of Architecture known by the names of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, to which do they refer?

A - The three most celebrated, which are the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian.

Q - Name the covering of a Freemason's Lodge.

A - A Celestial Canopy of divers colours, even the Heavens.

Q - As Masons, how can we hope to arrive there?

A - By the assistance of a Ladder, in Scripture called Jacob's Ladder.

Q - Why was it called Jacob's ladder?

A - Rebecca, the beloved wife of Isaac, knowing by Divine inspiration that a peculiar blessing was vested in the soul of her husband, was desirous to obtain it for her favourite son Jacob, though by birthright belonged to Esau her first-born. Jacob had no sooner fraudulently obtained his father's blessing, than he was obliged to flee from the wrath of his brother, who in a moment of rage and disappointment had threatened to kill him. Arid as he journeyed towards Padan-aram, in the land of Mesopotamia (where by his parents' strict command he was enjoined to go), being weary and benighted on a desert plain, he lay down to rest, taking the Earth for his bed, a stone for his pillow, and the Canopy of Heaven for a covering. He there in a vision saw a Ladder, the top of which reached to the Heavens, and the Angels of the Lord ascending and descending thereon. It was then the Almighty entered into a solemn covenant with Jacob, that if he would abide by His laws, and keep His commandments, He would not only bring him again to his father's house in peace and prosperity, but would make of his seed a great and mighty people.

This was amply verified, for after a lapse of twenty years Jacob returned to his native country, was kindly received by his brother Esau, his favourite son Joseph was afterwards, by Pharaoh's appointment, made second man in Egypt, and the children of Israel, highly favoured by the Lord, became, in process of time, one of the greatest and most mighty Nations on the face of the earth,

Q -Of how many staves or rounds was this Ladder composed?

A - Of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues, but three principal ones, which are, FAITH, HOPE, and CHARITY.

Q - Why Faith, Hope, and Charity?

A - Faith in the Great Architect of the Universe; Hope in Salvation; and to be in Charity with all men.

Q - I will thank you to define FAITH.

A - Is the foundation of justice, the bond of amity, and the chief support of civil society. We live and walk by Faith. By it we have a continual acknowledgment of a Supreme Being. By Faith we have access to the Throne of grace, are justified, accepted, and finally received. A true and sincere Faith is the evidence of things not seen, but the substance of those hoped for. This well maintained and answered in our Masonic profession, will bring us to those blessed mansions, where we shall be eternally happy with God the Great Architect of the Universe.

Q - HOPE?

A - Is an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and enters into that within the veil. Then let a firm reliance on the Almighty's faithfulness animate our endeavours, and teach us to fix our desires within the limits of His most blessed promises. So shall success attend us. If we believe a thing impossible, our despondency may render it so, but he who perseveres in a just cause will ultimately overcome all difficulties.

Q - CHARITY?

A - Lovely in itself, is the brightest ornament which can adorn our Masonic profession. It is the best test and surest proof of the sincerity of our religion. Benevolence, rendered by Heaven-born Charity, is an honour to the nation whence it springs, is nourished, and cherished. Happy is the man who has, sown in his breast, the seeds of benevolence; he envies not his neighbour, he believes not a tale reported to his prejudice, he forgives the injuries of men, and endeavours to blot them from his recollection. Then, Brethren., let us remember, that we are Free and Accepted Masons; ever ready to listen to him who craves our assistance; and from him who is in want, let us not withhold a liberal hand. So shall a heartfelt satisfaction reward our labours, and the produce of love and Charity will most assuredly follow.

Q - On what does this Ladder rest in a Freemason's Lodge.?

A - The Volume of the Sacred Law.

Q - Why does it rest there?

A - Because by the doctrines contained in that Holy Book, we are taught to believe in the dispensations of Divine Providence; which belief strengthens our Faith, and enables us to ascend the first step. This Faith naturally creates in us a Hope of becoming partakers of the blessed promises therein recorded; which Hope enables us to ascend the second step. But the third and last, being Charity, comprehends the whole; and the Mason who is possessed of this virtue in its most ample sense, may justly be deemed to have attained the summit of his profession; figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion, veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted in our Lodges by seven Stars, which have an allusion to as many regularly made Masons; without which number no Lodge is perfect, neither can any candidate be legally initiated into the Order.

Brethren, this ends the fourth section of the first lecture:

May every Mason attain the summit Of his profession, where the just will most assuredly meet their due reward.

To order, Brethren

Fifth Section

Q - Of what is the interior of a Freemason's Lodge composed?

A - Ornaments, Furniture, and jewels.

Q - Name the Ornaments.

A - The Mosaic Pavement, the Blazing Star, and the Indented or Tessellated Border.

Q - Their situations?

A -The Mosaic Pavement is the beautiful flooring of the Lodge; the Blazing Star the glory in the centre; and the Indented or Tessellated Border the skirtwork round the same.

Q - I will thank you to moralise them.

A - The Mosaic Pavement may justly be deemed the beautiful flooring of a Freemason's Lodge, by reason of its being variegated and chequered. This points out the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn the creation, the animate as well as the inanimate parts thereof. The Blazing Star, or glory in the centre, refers us to the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its benign influence dispenses its blessings to mankind in general. The Indented or Tessellated Border refers us to the Planets, which, in their various revolutions form a beautiful border or skirtwork round that grand luminary, the Sun, as the other does round that of a Freemason's Lodge.

Q - Why was Mosaic work introduced into Freemasonry?

A - As the steps of man are trod in the various and uncertain incidents of life, and his days are variegated and chequered by a strange contrariety of events, his passage through this existence, though sometime attended by prosperous circumstances, is often beset by a multitude of evils; hence is our Lodge. furnished with Mosaic work, to point out the uncertainty of all things here on earth. Today we may travel in prosperity tomorrow we may totter on the uneven path of weakness, temptation, and adversity. Then while such emblems are before us, we are morally instructed not to boast of anything but to give heed to our ways, to walk up rightly and with humility before God, there being no station in life on which pride can with stability be founded; for though some are born to more elevated situations than others, yet, when in the grave, we are all on the level, death destroying all distinctions; and while our feet tread on this Mosaic work, let our ideas recur to the original whence we copy; let us, as good men and Masons, act as the dictates of reason prompt us, to practice charity, maintain harmony, and endeavour to live in unity and brotherly love.

Q - Name the furniture of the Lodge.

A - The Volume of the Sacred Law, the Compasses, and Square.

Q - Their uses?

A - The Sacred Words. are to rule and govern our faith, on them we Obligate. our candidates for Freemasonry. So are the Compasses. and Square, when united, to regulate our lives and actions.

Q - From whom is the first derived, and to whom do the other two more properly belong?

A - The Sacred Volume is derived from God to man in general; the Compasses belong to the Grand Master in particular; and the Square to the whole Craft.

Q - Why the Sacred Volume from God to man in general?

A - Because the Almighty has been pleased to reveal more of His Divine will in that Holy Book than He has by any other means.

.Q .- Why the Compasses to the Grand Master in particular?

A - That, being the chief instrument made use of in the formation of Architectural plans and designs, is peculiarly appropriated to the Grand Master, as an emblem of his dignity; he being the Chief, Head, and Governor of the Craft.

Q -And why the Square to the whole Craft?

A - The Craft being Obligated within the Square are consequently bound to act thereon.

Q - Before our ancient brethren had the benefit of such regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges as we now enjoy, where did they assemble?

A - On high hills and in low vales, even in the valley of Jehoshaphat, and many other secret places.

Q - Why so high, low, and very secret?

A - The better to observe all who might ascend or descend; that if a stranger should approach, the Tyler might give timely notice to the Master to hail the brethren, close the Lodge, put by the jewels, and thereby prevent any of our Masonic secrets from being illegally obtained.

Q - You speak of jewels, and seem careful of them; how many are there in the Lodge.?

A - Three movable, and three immovable,

Q - Name the movable jewels?

A - The Square, Level, and Plumb Rule.

Q - Their uses?

A - The Square is to try, and adjust rectangular corners of buildings, and assist in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level to lay levels, and prove horizontals; the Plumb Rule to try, and adjust uprights, whiIe fixing them on their proper bases.

Q - It would appear from this that they are mere mechanical tools; why do you call them jewels?

A - On account of their moral tendency, which renders them jewels of inestimable value.

Q - I will thank you to moralise them.

A - The Square. teaches us to regulate our lives and actions according to the Masonic line and rule, and to harmonise our conduct in this life, so as to render us acceptable to that Divine Being from whom all goodness springs, and to whom we must give an account of all our actions.

The Level demonstrates that we are all sprung from the same stock, partakers of the same nature, and sharers in the same hope; and although distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet ought no eminence of situation make us forget that we are Brothers; for he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune's wheel is equally entitled to our regard; as a time will come and the wisest of us knows not how soon when all distinctions, save those of goodness and virtue, shall cease, and Death, the grand leveller of all human greatness, reduce us to the same state.

The infallible Plumb Rule., which, like Jacob's ladder, connects Heaven and Earth, is the criterion of rectitude and truth. It teaches us to walk justly and uprightly before God and man; neither turning to the right nor left from the paths of virtue. Not to be an enthusiast, persecutor, or slanderer of religion; neither bending towards avarice, injustice, malice, revenge, nor the envy and contempt of mankind, but giving up every selfish propensity which might injure others. To steer the bark of this life over the seas of passion, without quitting the helm of rectitude, is the highest perfection to which human nature can attain., and as the builder raises his column by the level and perpendicular, so ought every Mason to conduct himself towards this world; to observe a due medium between avarice and profusion; to hold the scales of justice with equal poise; to make his passions and prejudices coincide with the just line of his conduct; and in all his pursuits to have Eternity in view. Thus the Square teaches morality, the Level equality, and the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions.

Q - Why are they called movable jewels?

A - Because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens, and are transferable to their successors on nights of Installation.

Q - What is the Master distinguished by?

A - The Square; and why, Worshipful. Master.?

W. M. - As it is by the assistance of the Square that rude matter is brought into due form, so it is by the Square. conduct of the Master that animosities are made to subside should any unfortunately arise among the Brethren, that the business of Masonry may be conducted with harmony and decorum.

Q - Brother Senior Warden, why are you distinguished by the Level.?

S.W - That being an emblem of equality, points out the equal measures I am bound to pursue in conjunction with your Worship Master in the well ruling and governing of the Lodge.

Q - Brother Junior Warden, why are you distinguished by the Plumb Rule?

J.W - That being an emblem of uprightness, points out the integrity of the measures I am bound to pursue, in conjunction with your Worshipful Master and my Brother Senior Warden, in the well ruling and governing of the Lodge, particularly in the examination of visitors, lest through my neglect any unqualified person should gain admission to our assemblies, and the Brethren be thereby innocently led to violate their Obligations.

Q - Name the Immovable jewels?

A - The Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars.

Q - Their uses?

A - The Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on; the Rough Ashlar for the Entered Apprentice to work, mark, and indent on; and the Perfect Ashlar for the experienced craftsman to try and adjust his jewels on.

Q - Why are these called Immovable jewels?

A - Because they lie open and Immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to moralise on.

Q - There is a beautiful comparison between the immovable jewels and the furniture of the Lodge, which I will thank you for.

A - As the Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on, the better to enable the Brethren to carry on the intended structure with regularity and propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may justly be deemed the spiritual Tracing Board of the great Architect of the Universe, in which are laid down such Divine laws and moral plans, that were we conversant therein, and adherent thereto, would bring us to an ethereal mansion not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough and unhewn as taken from the quarry, until, by the industry and ingenuity of the workman, it is modeled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for the intended structure. This represents man in his infant or primitive state rough and unpolished as that stone, until by the kind care and attention of his parent or guardians, in giving him a liberal and virtuous education, his mind becomes cultivated, and he is thereby rendered a fit member of civilised society. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die or square, fit only to be tried by the Square and Compasses. This represents man in the decline of years, after a regular well-spent life in acts of piety and virtue, which can no otherwise be tried and approved than by the Square of God's Word, and the Compass of his own self-convincing conscience.

Q - The Lodge being finished, furnished, and decorated, to whom do we dedicate it as a general Law.?

A - God and His service.

Q - To whom next?

A - King Solomon.

Q - Why to King Solomon?

A - He being the first Prince who excelled in Masonry, and under whose royal patronage many of our Masonic mysteries obtained their first sanction.

Brethren, this ends the fifth section of the first lecture

The past Grand Patrons of Masonry.

To order, Brethren!

Sixth Section

Q - Name the first point in Freemasonry.

A - Left knee bare and bent.

Q - Why is that called the first point?

A - On my bended knees I was taught to adore my Creator, on my left knee bare and bent I was initiated into Masonry.

Q - There is a chief point?

A - To be happy ourselves, and to communicate happiness to others.

Q - A principal point?

A - A point within a circle.

Q - Define that point.

A - In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, there is a point within a circle round which the Brethren cannot err. This circle is bounded between North. and South by two grand parallel lines, one representing Moses and the other King Solomon. On the upper part of this circle rests the Volume of the Sacred Law, supporting Jacob's ladder, the top of which reaches to the heavens; and were we as conversant in that Holy Book, and as adherent to the doctrines therein contained, as those parallels were, it would bring us to Him who would not deceive us, neither will He suffer deception. In going round this circle, we must necessarily touch on both those parallel lines likewise on the Sacred Volume, and whilst a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, he cannot err.

Q - Name the grand principles on which the Order is founded.

A - Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

Q - I will thank you to define BROTHERLY LOVE.

A - By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor, created by One Almighty Being, and sent into the world for the aid, support, a protection of each other. On this principle Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and by its dictates conciliate true friendship among those who might other wise have remained at a perpetual distance.

Q - RELIEF?

A - To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, particularly Masons who are linked together in one indissoluble chain of sincere affection; hence, to soothe the unhappy, sympathise in their misfortunes compassionate their miseries, and restore peace to their troubled minds, is the grand aim we have in view; on this basis we establish our friendships and form our connections.

Q - TRUTH?

A - Is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every Masonic virtue; to be good men and true is a lesson we are taught at our Initiation; on this grand theme we contemplate, and by its unerring dictates, endeavour to regulate our lives and actions. Hence, hypocrisy and deceit are, or ought to be, unknown to us, sincerity and plain dealing are our distinguishing characteristics, whilst the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in the prosperity of the Craft.

Q - How many original forms have we in Freemasonry?

A - Four.

Q - I will thank you to show Masonically to which parts of the body they refer.

A -The throat, refers to the penalty contained in my Obligation, implying that as a man of honour and a Mason I would rather have my throat cut across, my tongue torn from its roots and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea whence the tide doth wash twice in the course of a natural day rather than betray any of the secret or secrets, mystery or mysteries of Masonry. Next the breast, where those secrets are deposited safe and secure from the popular world who are not Masons. The hand placed on the Volume of the Sacred Law, as a token of my assent to the Obligation of a Mason. The fist formed in a square at the North East part of the Lodge denoting a just and upright Mason.

Q - They have a further allusion.

A - To the four cardinal virtues, namely: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.

Q - I will thank you to define TEMPERANCE.

A - Is that due restraint of the passion and affections, which renders the body tame and governable, and relieves the mind from the allurements of vice. This virtue ought to be the constant practice of every Mason as he is thereby taught to avoid excess, or the contracting of any vicious or licentious habits, whereby he might, unwarily, be led to betray his trust, and subject himself the penalty contained in his Obligation.

Q - FORTITUDE?

A - Is that noble and steady purport of the soul, which is equally distant from rashness and cowardice; it enables us to undergo any pain labour, danger, or difficulty, when thought necessary, or deemed prudentially expedient. This virtue, like the former ought to be deeply impressed on the breast of every Mason, as a fence and security against any attempts which might be made either by threats or violence, to extort from him any of those Masonic secrets he has so solemnly engaged himself to HELE, conceal, and never improperly reveal; the illegal revealing of which might prove a torment to his mind, as the Compasses were emblematically to his body when extended to his naked left breast at time of his Initiation.

Q - PRUDENCE?

A - Teaches us to regulate our lives and actions according to the dictates of reason, and is that habit of mind whereby men wisely judge, and prudentially determine, all things relative to their temporal and eternal happiness. This virtue ought to be the distinguishing characteristic of every Free and Accepted Mason, not only for the good regulation of his own life and actions, but as a pious example to the popular world who are not Masons, and ought to be nicely attended to in strange or mixed companies, never to let drop or slip the least Sign, Token, or Word, whereby any of our Masonic secrets might be illegally obtained; ever having in recollection that period of time when he was placed before the Worshipful Master in the East with his left knee made bare and his bent right foot formed in a square while his right hand was placed on the Volume of the Sacred Law

Q - JUSTICE?

A - Is that station or boundary of right, by which we are taught to render to every man his just due, and that without distinction. This virtue is not only consistent with the Divine and human Law, but is the standard and cement of civil society. Without the exercise of this Virtue, universal confusion would ensure, lawless force would overcome the principles of equity, and social intercourse no longer exist; and as justice in a great measure constitutes the really good man, so it ought to be the invariable practice of every Free and Accepted Mason never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof, ever having in mind the time he was placed at the North East part of the Lodge, feet formed in a square being evident, when he received that excellent injunction from the Worshipful Master. to be just and upright in all things; alluding to the Perpendicular.

Brethren, this ends the sixth section of the first lecture:

May Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, in conjunction with Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, distinguish Free and Accepted Masons till time shall be no more.

To order, Brethren!

Seventh Section

Q. - How many sorts of Masons are there

A - Two: Free and Accepted, and Operative.

Q - Which of those are you?

A - Free and Accepted.

Q - What do you learn by being a Free and Accepted Mason?

A - Secrecy, Morality, and Good Fellowship.

Q - What do Operative Masons learn?

A - The useful rules of Architecture; to hew, square, and mould stones into the formation required for the purposes of building; and unite them by means of joints-level, perpendicular, or otherwise; and by the aid of cement, iron, lead, or copper; which various operations require much practical dexterity and some skill in geometry and mechanics.

Q - And what by being both, and frequenting sundry Lodges?

A - To act on the square, observe a proper deportment in the Lodge, pay due and becoming respect to the Worshipful Master and his presiding officers, to abstain from all political or religious disputes which might breed dissension among the Brethren, and in time entail a scandal on the Craft.

Q - In what degree in Freemasonry were you initiated?

A - That of an Entered Apprentice.

Q - How long should an Entered Apprentice serve his Master?

A - Seven years is the stipulated time; but less will suffice, if found qualified for preferment.

Q - How should he serve him?

A - With Freedom, Fervency, and Zeal.

Q - Excellent qualities; what are their emblems?

A - Chalk, Charcoal, and Clay.

Q - Why?

A - Nothing is more free than Chalk; the slightest touch leaves a trace. Nothing more fervent than Charcoal; for when properly lighted no metal can resist its force. Nothing more zealous than Clay, our mother Earth; she is continually labouring for our support. Thence we came, and there we must all return.

Q - If you wished to give your son a Masonic name, what would you call him?

A - Lewis.

Q - What does Lewis denote?

A - Strength.

Q. - How is it depicted in our Lodges?

A - By certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, forming a cramp; and when in combination with some of the mechanical powers, such as a system of pulleys, it enables the Operative Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them on their proper bases.

Q - Lewis being the son of a Mason, what is his duty, to his aged parents?

A - To bear the heat and burden of the day, which they by reason of their age, ought to be exempt from; to assist them in time of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable.

Q - His privilege for so doing?

A -That of being made a Mason before any other person, however dignified.

Q -Why are we called Freemasons?

A - Because we are free to, and free from.

Q - Free to, and free from what?

A - Free to good fellowship, and ought to be free from vice.

Q - If a Mason of this description were missing, where would you expect to find him?

A - Between the Square and Compasses.

Q - Why there?

A - Because by acting on the one he would be sure to be found within the other.

Q - How would you clothe your Mason?

A - With the distinguishing badge of a Mason.

Q .- How do you know a Mason in the day?

A - By seeing him, and observing the Sign.

Q.- How in the night?

A - By receiving the Token, and hearing the Word.

Q - How blows the wind in Freemasonry?

A - Favourably, due East or West.

Q - For what purpose?

A - To cool and refresh men at labour.

Q - It has a further allusion?

A - To that miraculous wind which proved so essential in working the happy deliverance of the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage.

Q - Why is the wind deemed favourable to Freemasonry in only those particular points of the Compass?

A - When The Great Architect of the Universe thought proper to deliver His chosen people from their Egyptian bondage, He commanded His faithful servant Moses to lead them towards the land of Canaan, which He had promised them for an inheritance: he accordingly conducted them through the desert to the extremity of Egypt, where they encamped for the night on the borders of the Red Sea. Pharaoh, regretting the loss of many useful slaves, gathered together mighty army of horse, foot, and chariots order to bring them back to their for captivity, not doubting of success, as he knew that the Israelites were unarmed and undisciplined, and that their journey was impeded by cattle and baggage. The Israelites, seeing the Red Sea in the front, the impassable mountains on the right and left, and the Egyptian army rapidly advancing in their rear, murmured against their leader, and said. Why hast thou brought us into the wilderness to perish? Was there not ground enough Egypt for our interment? But Moses spoke comfortably to them, and bade them be good cheer; for on that day they should experience the salvation of the Lord. He then, after a fervent prayer to the throne of grace, stretched his sacred rod over Red Sea, which caused a strong east wind to blow, dividing the waters that they stood as a wall on each side, affording Israelites a passage through on dry land Pharaoh seeing this, followed them without hesitation, and already deemed the fugitives within his power, when, in order to check his presumption, the Almighty sent a miraculous pillar of fire and cloud, which had two wonderful effects; the fire gave light to Israelites and facilitated their progress; the cloud proved darkness to Pharaoh and followers, and retarded their march. The Almighty sent a further impediment to the enemy, which was an angel who struck off their chariot-wheels, occasioning them to drag heavily, so that the Egyptian army and the children of Israel came not together. At the dawn of day, Pharaoh, perceiving the hand of the Lord work sorely against him gave order to his troops to discontinue the pursuit, and return by the way they came; but it was then too late, for by that time the Israelites had gained the opposite coast; when Moses bade them look back on their long-dreaded enemies, for from that time forward they should see them no more; he then again stretched his sacred rod over the waters, which caused them to burst their invisible chains, and rush into their primitive channel, overwhelming Pharaoh and all his host. In commemoration of this happy deliverance, the children of Israel went many days' journey into the wilderness, singing psalms and thanksgiving to their Omnipotent deliverer; since which period the wind in due East or West has been deemed favourable to Freemasonry.

Q - What are the distinguishing characteristics of a good Freemason?

A - Virtue, Honour, and Mercy and may they ever be found in a Freemason's breast.

Q - I will thank you to define VIRTUE.

A - In reading the history of ancient Rome, we find that the Consul Marcellus intended to erect a Temple to be dedicated to Virtue and Honour; but being prevented, at .that time, from carrying his design into execution, he afterwards altered his plans, and erected two Temples, contiguous to each other, so situated that the only avenue to the Temple of Honour was through that of Virtue; thereby leaving an elegant moral to posterity, that Virtue is the only direct road to Honour. Virtue is the highest exercise of, and improvement to, reason; the integrity, harmony, and just balance of affection; the health, strength, and beauty of the soul. The perfection of Virtue is to give reason its full scope; to obey the authority of conscience with alacrity; to exercise the defensive talents with fortitude, the public with justice, the private with temperance, and all of them with prudence; that is, in a due proportion to each other, with a calm and diffusive beneficence; to love and adore God with an unrivaled and disinterested affection and to acquiesce in the dispensations of Divine providence with a cheerful resignation. Every approach to this standard is a step towards perfection and happiness, and any deviation therefrom has a tendency to vice and to misery.

Q - HONOUR?

A - May justly be defined to be the spirit and supererogation of Virtue; the true foundation of mutual faith and credit; and the real intercourse by which the business of life is transacted with safety and pleasure. It implies the united sentiments of Virtue, Truth, and justice, carried by a generous mind beyond those mere moral obligations which the laws require, or can punish the violation of. True honour, though a different principle from religion, is that which produces the same effects; the lines of action although drawn from different parts, terminate in the same point. Religion embraces Virtue, as it is enjoined by the laws of God; Honour, as it is graceful and ornamental to human nature. The religious man fears, the man of Honour scorns, to do an ill action; the latter considers vice as something beneath him; the other as something which is offensive to the Divine Being. A true man of Honour will not content himself with the literal discharge of the duties of a man and a citizen; he raises and signifies them to magnanimity: he gives, when he may, with propriety refuse; and forgives, where he may with justice resent. The whole of his conduct is guided by the noblest sentiments of his own unvitiated heart; a true moral rectitude of the uniform rule of his actions; and a just praise and approbation his due reward.

Q - MERCY?

A - Is a refined virtue, and when possessed by the monarch, adds a lustre to every gem that adorns his crown; if by the warrior, it gives an unceasing freshness to the wreath that shades his brow. It is the companion of true honour, and the ameliorator of justice, on whose bench, when enthroned, it interposes a shield of defense on behalf of the victim, impenetrable to the sword. And as the vernal showers descend on the earth, to refresh and invigorate the whole vegetable creation, so mercy, acting on the heart, when the vital fluids are condensed by rancour and revenge, by its exhilarating warmth returns nature to its source in purer streams. It is the peculiar attribute of the Deity, on which the best and wisest of us must rest our hopes and dependence; for at the final day of retribution, when arraigned at His bar, and the actions of this mortal life are unveiled to view, though His justice may demand the fiat, we hope and trust His Mercy will avert the doom.

Brethren, this ends the seventh section and the lecture:

May Virtue, Honour, and Mercy continue to distinguish Free and Accepted Masons.

To order, Brethren!

Explanation of the First Degree Tracing Board

The usages and customs among Freemasons have ever borne a near affinity to those of the ancient Egyptians. Their philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, couched their systems of learning and polity under signs and hieroglyphical figures, which were communicated to their chief priests or Magi alone, who were bound by solemn oath to conceal them. The system of Pythagoras was founded on a similar principle, as well as many others of more recent date. Masonry, however, is not only the most ancient but the most honourable Society that ever existed, as there is not a character or emblem here depicted, but serves to inculcate the principles of piety and virtue among all its genuine professors. Let me first call your attention to the form of the Lodge, which is a regular parallelepipedon, in length from East to West, in breadth between North and South, in depth from the surface of the earth to its centre, and even as high as the heavens. The reason that a Freemason's Lodge is represented of that vast extent is to show the universality of the science, that a Mason's charity should know no bounds save those of prudence.

Our Lodge stands on holy ground, because the first Lodge was consecrated on account of three grand offerings thereon made, which met with Divine approbation. First, the ready compliance of Abraham with the will of God in not refusing to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt sacrifice, when it pleased the Almighty to substitute a more agreeable victim in his stead. Secondly, the many pious prayers and ejaculations of King David, which actually appeased the wrath of God, and stayed a pestilence which then raged among his people, owing to his inadvertently having had them numbered. Thirdly, the many thanksgivings, oblations, burnt sacrifices, and costly offerings which Solomon, King of Israel, made at the completion, consecration, and dedication of the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service. Those three did then, have since, and I trust ever will, render the groundwork of Freemasonry holy.

Our Lodge is situated due East and West, because all places of Divine worship, as well as Masons' regular, wellformed, constituted Lodges, are, or ought to be, so situated; for which we assign three Masonic reasons: First, the Sun, the Glory of the Lord, rises in the East and sets in the West.; Second, learning originated in the East, and thence spread its benign influence to the West; the third, last, and grand reason, which is too long to be entered upon now, is explained in the course of our Lectures, which I hope you will have many opportunities of hearing.

Our Lodge is supported by three great pillars. They are called Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty: Wisdom to contrive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn; Wisdom to conduct us in all our undertakings, Strength to support us under all our difficulties, and Beauty to adorn the inward man. The Universe is the Temple of the Deity whom we serve Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty are about His throne as pillars of His works, His Wisdom is infinite, His Strength omnipotent, and Beauty shines through the whole of the creation in symmetry a order. The heavens He has stretched forth as a canopy; the earth He hath planted as His footstool; He crowns His Temple with Stars as with a diadem, and His hands extend their power and glory. The Sun and Moon are messengers of His will, and all His law is concord. The three great Pillars supporting Mason's Lodges are emblematical of the Divine attributes; they further represent Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyre, and Hiram Abif. Solomon, King of Israel. for his Wisdom in building, completing, and dedicating the Temple at Jerusalem to God's service; Hiram, King of Tyre, for his Strength in supporting him with men and material and Hiram Abif, for his curious a masterly workmanship in beautifying and adorning the same. But as we have no noble orders in Architecture known by the names of Wisdom Strength, and Beauty, we refer them to the three most celebrated, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

The covering of a Masonic Lodge is a celestial canopy of divers colours, even as the heavens. The way- by which we, as Masons, hope to arrive at it is by the assistance of a ladder, in Scripture called Jacob's ladder. It is composed of many staves or rounds, which point out as many moral virtues, but three principal ones, Faith, Hope, and Charity: Faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, Hope in salvation, and to be in Charity with all men. It reaches to the heavens, and rests on the Volume of the Sacred Law, because, by the doctrines contained in that Holy Book, we are taught to believe in the dispensations of Divine Providence, which belief strengthens our faith, and enables us to ascend the first step; this faith naturally creates in us a hope of becoming partakers of the blessed promises therein recorded, which hope enables us to ascend the second step; but the third and last being Charity, comprehends the :whole, and the Mason who is possessed of this virtue in its most ample sense, may justly be deemed to have attained the summit of his profession; figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion, veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament, emblematically depicted here by seven stars, which have an allusion to as many regularly made Masons, without which number no Lodge is perfect, neither can any candidate be legally initiated into the Order.

The interior of a Freemason's Lodge is composed of Ornaments, Furniture, and jewels. The ornaments of the Lodge are the Mosaic pavement, the blazing star, and the indented or tessellated border; the Mosaic pavement is the beautiful flooring of a Freemason's Lodge, the blazing star the glory in the centre, and the indented or tessellated border, the skirtwork round the same. The Mosaic pavement may justly be deemed the beautiful flooring of the Lodge, by reason of its being variegated and chequered. This points out the diversity of objects which decorate and adorn the creation, the animate as well as the inanimate parts thereof. The blazing star, or glory in the centre, refers us to the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its benign influence dispenses blessings to mankind in general. The indented or tessellated border refers us to the planets, which in their various revolutions form a beautiful border or skirtwork round that grand luminary, the Sun, as the other does round that of a Freemason's Lodge. The furniture of the Lodge are the Volume of the Sacred Law, the Compasses, and Square; the Sacred Writings are to rule and govern our faith. On them we obligate our Candidates for Freemasonry; so are the Compasses and Square, when united, to regulate our lives and actions. The Sacred Volume is derived from God to man in general, the Compasses belong to the Grand Master in particular, and the Square to the whole Craft.

The jewels of the Lodge are three movable and three immovable. The movable jewels are the Square, the Level and the Plumb Rule. Among operative Masons the Square is to try and adjust rectangular corners of buildings and assist in bringing rude matter into due form; the Level to lay levels and prove horizontals; and the Plumb Rule to try and adjust uprights while fixing on their proper bases. Among Free and Accepted Masons, the Square teaches morality, the Level equality, and the Plumb Rule justness and uprightness of life and actions. They are called movable jewels, because they are worn by the Master and his Wardens, and transferable to their successors on the night of Installation. The Master is distinguished by the Square, the Senior Wan by the Level, and the Junior Warden the Plumb Rule. The immovable jewels are the Tracing Board, the Rough and Perfect Ashlars. The Tracing Board for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on; the Rough Ashlar for Entered Apprentice to work, mark, and indent on; the Perfect Ashlar for the experienced Craftsman to try and adjust his jewels They are called immovable jewels, because they lie open and immovable in the Lodge for the Brethren to moralise upon.

As the Tracing Board is for the Master to lay lines and draw designs on, better to enable the Brethren to carry on: the intended structure with regularity propriety, so the Volume of the Sacred Law may justly be deemed to be the spiritual Tracing Board of the Great Architect the Universe, in which are laid downs such Divine laws and moral plans, that were we conversant therewith, and obedient thereto, they would bring us to an ethereal mansion not built by hands, but eternal in the Heavens. The Rough Ashlar is a stone, rough and unhewn as taken from the quarry, till, by the industry and ingenuity of the workman, it is modeled, wrought into due form, and rendered fit for the intended building; this represents the mind of man in its infant or primitive state, rough and unpolished as that stone, till by the kind care and instruction of his parents or guardians, in giving him a liberal and virtuous education, his mind becomes cultivated, and he is thereby rendered a fit member of civilised society. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone of a true die or square, fit only to be tried by the Square and Compasses; this represents the mind of a man in the decline of years, after a well-spent life in acts of piety and virtue, which can not otherwise be tried and approved than by the Square of God's Word and the Compasses of his own self convincing conscience.

In all regular, well-formed, constituted Lodges, there is a point within a circle round which a Mason cannot err; this circle is bounded between North and South by two grand parallel lines, the one representing Moses, the other King Solomon; on the upper part of this circle rests the Volume of the Sacred Law, supporting Jacob's ladder, the top of which reaches to the heavens; and were we as conversant with that holy book, and as adherent to the doctrines therein contained, as both those parallels were, it would lead us to Him who will not deceive us, neither will He suffer deception.

In going round this circle, we must of necessity touch on both those parallel lines, likewise on the Volume of the Sacred Law; and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscribed, he cannot err.

The word Lewis denotes strength, and is here depicted by certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, which form a cramp, and enables the operative Mason to raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance, and to fix them on their proper bases. Lewis likewise denotes the son of a Mason; his duty is to bear the heat and burden of the day, from which his parents, by reason of their age, ought to be exempt; to help them in time of need, and thereby render the close of their days happy and comfortable; his privilege for so doing is to be made a Mason before any other person however dignified.

Pendent to the corners of the Lodge are four tassels, meant to remind us of the four cardinal virtues, namely: Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, the whole of which, tradition informs us, were constantly practiced by a great majority of our ancient Brethren. The distinguishing characteristics of a good Free Mason are Virtue, Honour, and Mercy, and should these be banished from all other societies may they ever be found in a Mason's breast.



Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

[ to top ]

Valid HTML 4.01!
Valid CSS!