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The Lecture of the Third Degree of
BRETHREN, every degree of Masonry is progressive, and cannot be attained
but by time, patience, and assiduity. In the First Degree, we are taught
the duties we owe to God, to our neighbour, and to ourselves. In the Second
Degree, we are admitted to participate in the mysteries of human science,
and to trace the goodness and majesty of the Creator, by minutely analysing
His works. But the Third Degree is the cement of the whole; it is calculated
to bind men together by mystic points of fellowship, as in a bond of fraternal
affection and brotherly love; it points to the darkness of death and to the
obscurity of the grave as the forerunner of a more brilliant light, which
shall follow at the resurrection of the just, when these mortal bodies which
have been long slumbering in the dust shall be awakened, reunited to their
kindred spirit, and clothed with immortality. Among the Brethren of this
Degree the ancient Landmarks of the Order are preserved, and it is from them
we derive that fund of information, which none but ingenious and expert Masons
can supply, whose judgment has been matured by years and experience. To a
perfect knowledge of this Degree few attain, but it is an infallible truth,
that he who gains by merit those marks of pre-eminence and distinction which
the Degree affords, receives a reward which amply compensates for all his
attention and assiduity. From the Brethren of this Degree the rules of the
Craft are selected, as it is only from those who are capable of giving
instruction that we can expect properly to receive it. The Third Lecture,
divested of those duties and ceremonies which appertain to the Installation
of the R.W.M. and his officers, is divided into three sections, and throughout
the whole we are taught to circumscribe our conduct within the limits of
the boundary line of our duty to God and man; and by practising out of the
Lodge that which we are taught in it we shall convince the world that the
principles of Masonry are pure and its requirements just Having premised
this much by way of introduction to the Third Lecture, I shall now proceed
to inquire of you.
Q - Where were you raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason.?
A - In a Lodge of Master Masons.
Q - Consisting of how many?
A - Three.
Q - Under what denominations?
A - The Right Worshipful Master and his two Wardens.
Q - How got you raised?
A - By undergoing a previous examination in open Lodge, and being intrusted
with a test of merit leading to that degree.
Q - Where were you then conducted?
A - To a convenient room adjoining a Master Mason's. Lodge, for the purpose
of being prepared.
Q - How were you prepared?
A - By having both arms, both breasts, and both knees made bare, and both
Q What enabled you to claim admission into a Master Mason's. Lodge?
A - The help of God, the united aid of the Square and Compasses, and the
benefit of a Passing Word.
Q - How did you gain admission?
A - By the Knocks of a Fellow Craft.
Q - On what were you admitted?
A - Both Points of the Compasses presented to both breasts
Q - On your admission into the Lodge did you observe anything different from
its usual appearance?
A - I did; all was Darkness, save a glimmer of light in the East.
Q - To what does that Darkness allude?
A - The Darkness of Death.
Q .- Am I then to understand that Death the peculiar subject of this Degree.
A - It is indeed.
Q - When admitted into the Lodge how we you disposed of?
A - I was conducted between the Deacons to the Level of the Senior Warden
and directed to advance as a Fellow Craft, first as an Entered Apprentice.
Q. - What were you then desired to do?
A - Kneel, and receive the benefit of Masonic prayer.
Q - Which I will thank you for.
A - Almighty and Eternal God, Architect and Ruler of the Universe, at whose
creative fiat all things first were made, we, the frail creatures of Thy
providence, humbly implore Thee to pour down on this convocation assembled
in Thy Holy Name the continual dew of Thy blessing. Especially we beseech
Thee to impart Thy grace to this Thy servant, who offers himself a candidate
to partake with us the mysterious Secrets of a Master Mason. Endue him with
such fortitude that in the hour of trial he fail not, but that passing safely
under Thy protection, through the valley of the shadow of death, he may finally
rise from the tomb of transgression, to shine as the stars for ever and ever.
So mote it be.
Q - After the recital of this prayer how were you disposed of?
A - I was conducted three times round the Lodge.
Q - What was required of you the first time?
A - To salute the Worshipful Master as a Mason, advance to the Junior Warden
as such, showing the Sign and communicating the Token and Word.
Q - What was required of you the second time?
A - To salute the Worshipful Master and Junior Warden as a Fellow Craft,
advance to the Senior Warden as such showing the Sign and communicating the
Token and Word of that degree.
Q - What were the Brethren then called on to observe ?
A - That I, who had been regularly initiated into Freemasonry, and passed
to degree of a Fellow Craft was about to pass in view before them, to show
that I was the candidate properly prepared to be raised to the sublime degree
of a Master Mason.
Q - What was required of you the third time
A - To salute the Worshipful Master and Junior Warden as a Fellow Craft,
advance to the Senior Warden as such, show the Sign and communicating the
Passing Grip and Passing Word leading from the Second to the Third Degree.
Q .- How did the Senior Warden then proceed?
A - He presented me to the Right Worshipful Master as a candidate properly
prepared to be raised the Third Degree.
Q - What did the Master then order?
A - The Senior Warden to direct the Deacons to instruct me to advance to
the East by the proper steps
Q - I will thank you to show the method of advancing from W. to E. in this
A - Which is done.
Q - When placed. before the Master in the East how did he address you?
A - It is but fair to inform you that a most serious trial of your fortitude
and fidelity, and a more Solemn Obligation await you. Are you prepared to
meet them as you ought? To which I gave my assent.
Q. - What did the Master then desire you to
A - Kneel on both knees, and place both hands on Volume of the Sacred Law.
Q - In that attitude, what were you to do?
A - Take the Solomn Obligation. of a Master Mason.
Q - Which I will thank you for
A - I, A. B., in the presence of the Most High, and of this worthy and worshipful
Lodge of Master Masons, duly constituted, regularly assembled, and properly
dedicated, of my own free will and accord do hereby and hereon most solemnly
promise and swear, that I will always hele, conceal, and never reveal any
or either of the secrets or mysteries of or belonging to the Degree of a
Master Mason to any one in the world, unless it be to him or them to whom
the same may justly and lawfully belong; and not even to him or them, until
after due trial, strict examination, or full conviction, that he or they
are worthy of that confidence, or in the body of a Master Masons Lodge, duly
opened on the Circle. I further solemnly pledge myself to adhere to the
principles of the Square and Compasses, answer and obey all lawful signs,
and summonses sent to me from a Master Masons Lodge, if within the length
of my cable tow, and plead no excuse except sickness, or the pressing emergencies
of my own public or private avocations. I further solemnly engage myself
to maintain and uphold the Five Points of Fellowship. in act, as well as
in word; that my Hand given to a Master Mason shall be a sure pledge of
brotherhood; that my Feet shall travel through dangers and difficulties to
unite with his in forming a column of mutual defence and support; that the
Posture of my daily supplications shall remind me of his wants, and dispose
my heart to succour his weakness
and relieve his necessities, so far as may fairly be done without detriment
to myself or connections; that my Breast shall be the sacred repository of
his secrets when intrusted to my care-murder, treason, felony, and all other
offences contrary to the laws of God, and the ordinances of the realm, being
at all times most especially excepted, and, finally, that I will maintain
a Master Masons honour, and carefully preserve it as my own. I Will not injure
him myself, or knowingly suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to
prevent it; but, on the contrary, will boldly repel the slanderer of his
good name, and most strictly respect the chastity of those nearest and dearest
to him, in the persons of his wife, his sister, and his child. All these
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 being, stomach being cut across, my entrials draw out
and burnt before my living eyes and that my body be then burnt, that no trace
or rememberance of so vile a wretch may longer be found among men, particularly
Master Masons. So help me the Most High, and keep me steadfast in this my
Solomn Obligation of a Master Mason.
Q - Having taken the Solomn Obligation of a Master Mason, what did the Master
require of you?
A - As a pledge of my fidelity, and to render this binding as a Solomn Obligation
for so long as I should live, to seal it with my lips on the Volume of the
Q - How did he then address you?
A - Let me once more call your attention to the position of the Squate and
Compasses; when you were made an Entered Apprentice both points were hid,
in the Second Degree one was disclosed: in this the whole is exhibited, implying
that you are now at liberty to work with Both those Points in order to render
the circle of your Masonic duties complete.
Q - How did the Master then proceed.
A - He friendly took me by the right hand and said, Rise, newly Obligated
Q - Repeat the exhortation.
A - Having entered upon the Solomn Obligation of a Master Mason, you are
now entitled to demand that last and greatest trial, by which alone you can
be admitted to a participation of the secrets of this Degree. But it is first
my duty to call your attention to a retrospect of those Degrees in Freemasonry
through which you have already passed, that you may the better be enabled
to distinguish and appreciate the connection of our whole system, and the
relative dependency of its several parts. Your admission amongst Masons in
a state of helpless indigence, was an emblematical representation of the
entrance of all men on this their mortal existence; it inculcated the useful
lessons of natural equality and mutual dependence; it instructed you, in
the active principles of universal beneficence and clarity, to seek the solace
of your own distress, by extending relief and consolation to your
fellow-creatures in the hour of their affliction; above all, it taught you
to bend with humility and resignation to the will of the Great Architect
of the Universe; to dedicate your heart, thus purified from every baneful
and malignant passion, fitted only for the reception of truth and wisdom,
to His Glory and the welfare of your fellow-mortals.
Proceeding onwards, still guiding your progress by the principles of moral
truth, you were led, in the Second Degree, to contemplate the intellectual
faculty, and to trace it, from its development, through the paths of Heavenly
science, even to the throne of God Himself. The secrets of nature and the
principles of intellectual truth, were then unveiled to your view. To your
mind, thus modelled by virtue and science, nature, however, presents one
great and useful lesson more; she prepares you, by contemplation, for the
closing hour of existence, and when, by means of that contemplation, she
has conducted you through the intricate windings of this mortal life, she
finally instructs you how to die.
Such, my Brother, are the peculiar objects of the Third Degree in Freemasonry;
they invite you to reflect on this awful subject, and teach you to feel,
that to the just and virtuous man death has no terrors equal to the stain
of falsehood and dishonour. Of this great truth the annals of Masonry afford
a glorious example, in the unshaken fidelity, and noble death, of our Master,
Hiram Abif who was killed just before the completion of King Solomen's Temple,
at the construction of which he was, as no doubt you are well aware, the
Q - As a Master Mason whence come you?
A - The East.
Q - Whither directing your course?
A - The West.
Q - What inducement have you to leave the East and go to the West?
A - To seek for that which was lost, which, by your instruction and our own
industry, we hope to find.
Q - What is that which was lost?
A - The genuine secrets of a M. M.
Q .- How came they lost?
A - By the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abif
Q - I will thank you to inform me how our Master Hiram came by his death.
A - Fifteen Fellow Crafts, of that superior class appointed to preside over
the rest, finding that the work was nearly completed, and that they were
not in possession of the Secrets of the Third Degree, conspired to obtain
them by any means, even to have recourse to violence; at the moment, however,
of carrying their conspiracy into execution, twelve of the fifteen recanted,
but three of a more determined and atrocious character than the rest, persisted
in their impious design, in the prosecution of which they planted themselves
respectively at the East North, and South entrances of the Temple, whither
our Master had retired to pay his adoration to the MOST HIGH, as was his
wonted custom at the hour of high twelve. Having finished his devotions,
he attempted to return by the South entrance, where he was opposed by the
first of those ruffians, who, for want of other weapon, had armed himself
with a heavy Plumb Rule, and in a threatening manner demanded the secrets
of a Master Mason, warning him that death would be the consequence of a refusal.
Our Master, true to his Obligation, answered that those secrets were known
to but three in the world, and that, without the consent and co-operation
of the other two he neither could, nor would, divulge them, but intimated
that he had no doubt patience and industry would in due time entitle the
worthy Mason to a participation of them, but that, for his own part, he would
rather suffer death than betray the sacred trust reposed in him. This answer
not proving satisfactory, the ruffian aimed a violent blow at the head of
our Master, but being startled at the firmness of his demeanour, it missed
his forehead, and only glanced on his right temple but with such force as
to cause him to reel and sink on his left knee. Recovering from the shock,
he made for the North entrance
Were he was accosted by the second of those ruffians, to whom he gave a similar
answer with undiminished firmness, when the ruffian, who was armed with a
Level, struck himi a violent blow on the Left temple, which brought him to
the ground on his right knee. Finding his retreat cut off at both those points,
he staggered faint and bleeding to the East entrance, where the third ruffian
was posted who received a similar answer to his insolent demand (for even
at this trying moment our Master remained firm and unshaken), when the villain,
who was armed with a heavy maul, stuck him a violent blow on the forehead,
which laid him lifeless at his feet.
Q - When you lying extended on the ground in this degree in Freemasonry,
how did the Master address the Lodge?
A - The Brethren will take notice, that in the recent ceremony, as well as
in his present situation, our Brother has been made to represent one of the
brightest characters recorded in the annals of Masonry, namely, Hiram Abif,
who lost his life in consequence of his unshaken fidelity to the sacred trust
reposed in him; and I hope this will make a lasting impression on his and
your minds, should you ever be placed in a similar state of trial.
Q - What did he then order?
A -The Junior Warden to endeavour to raise me by the Entered Apprentice's
grip, which proved a slip.
Q - What did he next order?
A - The Senior Warden to try the Fellow Craft's, which proved a slip likewise.
Q - How did the Master then address his principal officers ?
A - Bro. Wardens, having both failed in your attempts, there remains a third
method, by taking a more firm hold of the sinews of the hand and raising
him on the Five Point's of Fellowship, which with your assistance I will
make trial of.
Q - Were you raised, and on what?
A - I was, on the Five Points of Fellowship.
Q - What enabled you to be raised to the sublime Degree of a Master
A - The help of God, the united aid of the Square and
Compasses and my own industry.
Q - From what and to what were you Raised.?
A - From the Square to the Compasses or from a superficial fiat to a lively
perpendicular Q - How did the Master then address you?
A - It is thus all Master Masons are raised from a figurative death to a
reunion with the former companions of their toils.
Q - Repeat the charge.
A - Let me now beg you to observe, that the light of a Master Mason is darkness
visible, serving only to express that gloom which rests on the prospect of
futurity; it is that mysterious veil which the eye of human reason cannot
penetrate, unless assisted by that light which is from above; yet, even by
this glimmering ray, you may perceive that you stand on the very brink of
the grave into which you have just figuratively descended, and which, when
this transitory life shall have passed away, will again receive you into
its cold bosom. Let the emblems of mortality which lie before you, lead you
to contemplate on your inevitable destiny, and guide your reflections to
that most interesting of all human studies, the knowledge of yourself. Be
careful to perform your allotted task while it is yet day; continue to listen
to the voice of nature, which bears witness, that even in this perishable
frame, resides a vital and immortal principle, which inspires a holy confidence
that the Lord of life will enable us to trample the king of terrors beneath
our feet, and lift our eyes to that bright morning star, whose rising, brings
peace and salvation to the faithful and obedient of the human race.
Q - How did the Master then address you?
A - I cannot better reward the attention you have paid to this exhortation
and Charge, than by intrusting you with the secrets of the degree; you will
therefore advance to me as a Fellow Craft first as an Entered Apprentice.
Q - What did he next direct you to do?
A - Take another step towards him with my left foot bringing the right heel
into its hollow as before; that, the Worshipful Master informed me, is the
third regular step in Freemasonry, and it is in this position that the secrets
of the degree are communicated.
Q - Of what do those secrets consist?
A - Signs, a Token, and Word.
Q - Having been Obligated and intrusted, 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 the signs token
and word would be further explained.
Brethren, this ends the first section of the third lecture:
May the fragrance of Virtue like the sprig of Acacia bloom over the grave
of every deceased Bro.
To order, Brethren
Q. - On your return to the Lodge were you invested ?
A - I was, with the distinguishing badge of a Master Mason, which the Senior
Warden informed me was to mark the further progress I had made in the science.
Q - Repeat the address you then received from the Master.
A - I must state, that the badge with which you have now been invested, not
only points out your rank as a Master Mason but is meant to remind you of
those great duties you have just solemnly engaged yourself to observe; and
whilst it marks your own superiority, it calls on you to afford assistance
and instruction to the Brethren in the inferior Degrees.
Q - We left off at that part of our traditional history which mentions the
death of our Master, Hiram Abiff; what effect had this melancholy event on
A - A loss so important as that of the principal architect, could not fail
of being generally and severely felt; the want of those plans and designs,
which had hitherto been regularly supplied to the different classes of workmen,
was the first indication that some heavy calamity had befallen our Master;
the Menatschin or Prefects, or, more familiarly speaking, the Overseers,
deputed some of the most eminent of their number to acquaint King Solomon
with the utter confusion into which the absence of Hiram had plunged them,
and to express their apprehension that to some fatal catastrophe must be
attributed his sudden and mysterious disappearance.
Q - What did King Solomon then order?
A - A general muster of the workmen throughout the different departments,
when three of the same class of overseers were not to be found. On the same
day, the twelve craftsmen who had originally joined in the conspiracy came
before the King, and made a voluntary confession of all they knew, down to
the time of withdrawing themselves from the number of the conspirators.
Q - How did he then proceed?
A - His fears being naturally increased for the safety of his chief artist,
he selected fifteen trusty Fellow Crafts and ordered them to make diligent
search after the person of our Master to ascertain if he were yet alive,
or had suffered .death in the attempt to extort from him the secrets of his
Q - What measures did those Craftsmen take?
A - A stated day having been appointed for their return to Jerusalem, they
formed themselves into three Fellow Craft's, Lodges, and departed from the
three entrances of the Temple. Many days were spent in fruitless search;
indeed, one class returned without having made any discovery of importance.
Q - Were a second class more fortunate?
A - They were, for on the evening of a certain day, after having suffered
the greatest privations and personal fatigues, one of the Brethren who had
rested himself in a reclining posture, to assist his rising, caught hold
of a shrub that grew near, which, to his surprise, came easily out of the
ground; on a closer examination, he found that the earth had been recently
disturbed; he therefore hailed his companions, and with their united endeavours
reopened the grave and there found the body of our Master very indecently
interred. They covered it again with all respect and reverence, and to
distinguish the spot, stuck a sprig of acacia at the head of the grave; they
then hastened to Jerusalem to impart the afflicting intelligence to King
Q - How did King Solomon proceed on hearing this melancholy report?
A - When the first emotions of his grief had subsided, he ordered them to
return, and raise our Master to such a sepulture as became his rank and exalted
talents; at the same time informing them that by his untimely death the secrets
of a Master Mason were lost; he therefore charged them to be particularly
careful in observing whatever casual Signs, Tokens, or Words might occur,
whilst paying this last sad tribute of respect to departed merit.
Q - Did they perform their task?
A - They did, with the utmost fidelity, and on reopening the grave one of
the Brethren looking round, observed some of his companions in this position,
smitten with horror at the dreadful and afflicting sight; while others, viewing
the grief which was still visible on his features, their own in sympathy
with his sufferings. Three of the Brethren then descended the grave and
endeavoured to raise him by the Entered Appentrice's Grip, which proved a
slip; they then tried the Fellow Craft's which proved a slip likewise; having
both failed in their attempts, a zealous and expert Brother took a more firm
hold of the sinews of the wrist, and with their assistance raised him on
the Five Points of Felowship, whilst others, more animated, exclaimed words
having a nearly similar import; one signifying the death of the builder,
the other the builder is smitten.
Q - What did King Solomon then order?
A - That those casual Signs, and that Token and Word, should designate all
Master Masons throughout the universe, until time or circumstances should
restore the genuine.
Q - What became of the third class?
A - They had pursued their researches in the direction of Joppa, and were
meditating their return to Jerusalem, when, accidentally passing the mouth
of a cavern, they heard sounds of deep lamentation and regret. On entering
the cave to ascertain the cause, they found three men answering the description
of those missing, who, on being charged with the murder, and finding all
chance of escape cut off, made a full confession of their guilt. They were
then bound and led to Jerusalem, when King Solomon sentenced them to that
death the heinousness of their crime so amply merited.
Q - Where was our Master ordered to be reinterred?
A - As near to the Sanctum Sanctorum as the Israelitish law would permit;
there in a grave, from the centre three feet East and three feet West, three
feet between North and South, and five feet or more perpendicular.
Q - Why not in the Sanctum Sanctorum?
A - Because nothing common or unclean was allowed to enter there; not even
the High Priest but once a year; nor then until after many washings and
purifications against the great day of expiation for sins, for by the Israelitish
law all flesh was deemed unclean.
Q - Who were ordered to attend the funeral ?
A - The same fifteen trusty Fellow Crafts clothed in white Aprons and Gloves,
as emblems of their innocence.
Brethren, this ends the second section of the third lecture:
To him who did the Temple rear, Who lived and died within the same,
And now lies buried none know where, But we who Master Masons are.
To order, Brethren
Q - Name the Ornaments of a Master Mason's Lodge
A - The Porch, Dormer, and Square pavement.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Porch was the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum; the Dormer the window
that gave light to the same; and the Square pavement for the High Priest
to walk on.
Q - The High Priest's office?
A - To burn incense to the honour and glory of the Most High, and to pray
fervently that the Almighty, of His unbounded wisdom and goodness, would
be pleased to bestow peace and tranquillity on the Israelitish nation during
the ensuring year.
Q - Name, the Pass Word. leading from the Second to the Third Degree.
A. (This is done)
Q - Who was Tubel-Cain ?
A - The first artisifer in metals.
Q - The import of his name?
A - Worldly possessions.
Q - Name the Five Points of Fellowship.
A - Hand to Hand, Foot to Foot, Knee to Knee Breast to Breast, and Hand over
Q - Explain them briefly.
A - Hand to hand, I greet you as a Brother. Foot to foot, I will support
you in all your laudable undertakings. Knee to knee, the posture of my daily
supplications shall remind me of your wants. Breast to breast, your lawful
secrets, when intrusted to me as such, I will keep as my own. An Hand over
back, I will support your character in your absence as in your presence.
Q - Explain them at length.
A .- Hand to hand, when the necessities of a Brother call for aid, we should
not be backward in stretching forth the hand, to render the assistance which
might save him from sinking, knowing him to be worthy, and that no being
detrimental to ourselves or connections Foot to foot, indolence should not
cause our feet to halt, nor wrath turn our steps aside, but forgetting every
selfish consideration, and remembering that man was not born for his own
enjoyment alone, but for the assistance of his generation, we should be swift
of foot to help, aid, and execute benevolence to a fellow-creature, particularly
a Brother Mason. Knee to knee when we offer up our ejaculations to the Most
High a Brother's welfare we should remember as our own, for as the voice
of babes and sucklings are heard at the throne of grace, so most assuredly
will the breathings of a fervent and contrite heart reach the dominions of
bliss; our prayers being reciprocally required for each other' welfare. Breast
to breast, a Brother's. lawful secrets, when intrusted to us as such, we
should keep as our own; for to betray the trust which one Brother reposes
in another, might be to do him the greatest injury he could possibly receive
in this life; nay, it would be like the villany of the assassin who, lurking
in darkness, stabs his adversary to the heart when unarmed and in all probability
least suspicious of danger. Hand over back, a Brother's character we should
support absent or present; we should not revile him ourselves, or knowingly
suffer it to be done by others. Thus, Brethren by the Five Points of Fellowship
ought we to be united in one sincere bond of fraternal affection, which will
sufficiently serve to distinguish us from those who are strangers to our
Masonic Order and may demonstrate to the world, in general, that the word
Brother among Masons is something more than a name.
Q - Narne the working tools of a Master Mason.
A - The Scurret, Pencil, and Compasses.
Q - Their uses?
A - The Scurret is an implement which acts on a centre pin, whence a line
is drawn to mark out ground for the foundation of the intended structure;
with the Pencil the skilful artist delineates the building in a draft or
plan, for the instruction and guidance of the workmen; the Compasses enable
him with accuracy and precision to ascertain and determine the limits and
proportions of its several parts.
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 Scurret points out that straight and undeviating line
of conduct laid down for our pursuit in the Volume of the Sacred Law; the
Pencil teaches us that our words and actions are observed and recorded by
the Almighty Architect, to whom we must give an account of our conduct through
life; the Compasses remind us of His unerring and impartial justice, Who,
having defined for our instruction the limits of good and evil, will reward
or punish, as we have obeyed or disregarded His divine commands. Thus, the
working tools of a Master Mason teach us to bear in mind, and act according
to, the laws of our Divine Creator, that when we shall be summoned from this
sublunary abode, we may ascend to the Grand Lodge above, where the world's
great Architect lives and reigns for ever.
Brethren, this ends the third section and the lecture:
To him who most things understood, To him who found the stones and wood,
And him who nobly spilt his blood. In the doing of his duty. Blessed be the
age, and blessed each morn, On which those three great men were born, Who
Israel's Temple did adorn With Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty.
To order, Brethren
Our Master was
ordered to be interred as near to the Sanctum Sanctorum as the Israelitish
would permit-there in a grave, the centre three feet East and three feet
West, three feet between North and South, and five feet or more perpendicular.
He was not buried in Sanctum Sanctorum itself, because nothing common or
unclean is allowed to enter there, not even High Priest but once a year,
nor then until after many washings and purifications against the great day
of expiation of sin, for, by the Israelitish law all flesh was deemed unclean.
The same fifteen trusty Fellow Crafts were ordered to attend the funeral
of our Master, clothed in white aprons and gloves as emblems of innocence.
The Ornaments of a Master Mason Lodge are, the Porch, the Dormer, and the
Square Pavement. The Porch was the entrance to the Sanctum Sanctorum: the
Dormer, the window that gave light to the same; and the Square Pavement for
the High Priest to walk on. The High Priest's office was to burn incense
to the honour and glory of the Most High, and to pray fervently that the
Almighty, of his unbounded wisdom and goodness, would be pleased to bestow
peace and tranquility on the Israclitish nation during the ensuing year.
The Tools with which our Master was slain were, as you have already been
informed, the Plumb-rule, the Level, and the heavy Setting-maul. The Coffin,
Skull, and Cross-bones are emblems of mortality, and allude to the untirneIv
death of our Master, Hiram Abiff, who was slain three thousand years after
the creation of the world.