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parts is emblematical of the twenty-four hours of the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts, whereby we find eight hours for the service of God and a distressed, worthy brother ; eight bours for our usual a vocations ; and eight for refreshment and sleep.
The Common Gavel is an instrument used by operative masons, to break off the corpers of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use ; but we, as speculative masons, are taught to make use of it for the more poble purpose of divesting our minds and consciencies of the rices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting our bodies as living stones, for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
SECTION SECOND. This section rationally accounts for the various cere, monies used at the initiation of a man into our ancient mys. teries.
THE BADGE OF A MASON. Every candidate, at his initiation, is presented with a : lamb's skin, or white leather apron.
The LAMB has, in all ages, been deemed an emblem of innocence : the lamb-skin is therefore to remind him of that purity of life and conduct which is essentially necessary to his gaining admission into the celestial lodge above, where the Supreme Architect of the universe presides.
SECTION THIRD. This section explains the nature and principles of our Institution, and teaches us to perform with propriety the dulies of our respective stations. Here, likewise, we receive instruction relative to the form, supports, corering, furniture, ornaments, lights, and jewels of a Lodge : how it should be silualed, and to whom dedicated.
From East to West, and between the North and the South. Free Masonry extends, and in every clime are Masons to be found.
Our institution is said to be supported by WISDOM, STRENGTH, and BEAUTY ; because it is necessary that there should be wisdom to contrive, strength to uphold, and beauty to adorn all great and important undertakings. Its dimensions are unlimited ; and its covering is no less than the clouded canopy, or starry arch of heaven, whi. ther all good masons hope at last to arrive, by the aid of the theological ladder, which Jacob, in his vision, saw ascending from earth to heaven, the three principal rounds of which are denominated Faith, Hope, and Charily; and which admonish us to have faith in God, hope in immortality, and charity to all mankind. Of these three, Charity is greatest'; for our faith may be lost in sight; our hope end in fruition, but charity survives the grave in the realms of happy eternity.
Every well governed Lodge is furnished with the Holy Bible, Square, and compasses. The Bible is dedicated to God, because it is the inestimable gift of God to man; the square is dedicated to the master, because, being the prop. er masonic emblem of his office, it is constantly to remind him of the duty he owes to the Lodge over which he is appointed to preside. The compasses are dedicated to the craft, because by a due attention to their use, they are taught to regulate their desires, and keep their passions within due bounds.
The ornamental parts of a Lodge, displayed in this section, are, the MOSAIC PAVEMENT, the INDENTED TESSEL and the BLAZING STAR. The Mosaic Pavement is a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon's temple ; the indented tessel, of that beautifully tessellated border, or skirting, that surrounded it: and the blaging star in the centre is commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of the east to the place of our Saviour's na. tivity.
The mosaic pavement is emblematical of human life, checkered with good and evil; the beautiful border which surrounds it, of those blessings which surround us and which we hope hereafter to enjoy, by a filial reliance on divine l’rovidence, which is hieroglyphically represented by the blazing star in the centre.
The moveable and immoveable jewels also claim our attention, in this section.
The ROUGH ASHLER is a stone as taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state, The PERFECT ASHLER is a stone made ready by the workmen to be adjusted by the tools of the fellow-craft. The TRETSLE-BOARD is for the master workman to draw his designs upon,
By the rough ashler, we are reminded of our rude and imperfect state by nature ; by the perfect ashler, of that state of perfection at which we hope to arrive by a virtuous education, our own endeavours, and the blessing of God; and by the trestle-board we are taught, that, as the operative builder erects his teipporal edifice agreeably to the designs of the master, laid down on his trestle-board; so should we construct our spiritual temple according to the laws prescribed in the book of life, which is our spiritual and masonic trestle-board.
Lodges were anciently dedicated to king Solomon, as it was said he was the first most excellent grand master ; but Masons, professing Christianity, dedicate theirs to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist who were eminent patrons of our order. Therefore, there is represented in every regular and well governed lodge, a certain point within a circle ; the point represepting an individual brother ; the circle representing the boundary line of his duty to God and man. This circle is embordered by two perpendicular parallels, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist ; and on the (op rests the book of life, which contains the whole duty of man. In going round this circle we necessarily touch
on these two lines as well as upon the book of the ho.
ly scriptures; and while a Mason keeps himself thus circumscibed, it is impossible that he should materially err.
BROTHERLY LOVE. By the exercise of brotherly love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family. Notwithst
family. Notwithstanding the accidental distinctions of high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, we are still inhabitants of the same planet, the children of the same Almighty Parent, and are bound to support, to comfort, and love each other.
RELIEF. To relieve the distressed, is a duty binding on every moral agent ; but more especially on the fraternity of free and accepted Masons, 'Tis a leret in their profession, to soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with affliction, to weep for the miseries of others. Thus, the good Mason will pour the oil and the wine into the wound of the sufferer, though the Priest and the Levite may be deaf to his intreaties.
TRUTH. Truth is one of the first virtues we are taught in Masonry. While we are influenced by its dictatės, hypocrisy and deception are unknown among us, sincerity and plain deals ing distinguish us, and the heart and tongue unite in re. joicing in each other's prosperity.
THE CARDINAL VIRTUES.
TEMPERANCE. This is that due restraint upon our affections and passions, which renders the body tame and governable, and frees the mind from the allurements of vice. It should be the constant study of every Mason, as he is hereby taught to avoid excess, the indulgence of which might lead him to disclose some of those valuable secrets, which he has promised to conceal, and never reveal
FORTITUDE." This virtue is equally distant from rashness and coward. ice ; and, like the former, should be deeply impressed upon the mind of every Mason, as a safeguard against any illegal attack that may be made by force or art, to extort from him any of those valuabie secrets, with which he has been so solemnly intrusted, and of which he was solemnly and sen sibly reminded, on his first admission into the Lodge
PRUDENCE. Prudence teaches us to regulate our lives and actions agreeably to the dictates of reason. This virtue should be the peculiar characteristic of every Mason, not only for the government of his conduct while in the lodge, but also when abroad in the world ; it should be particularly regarded in all mixed companies that we may never drop the least sign, loken, word, or point, whereby the secrets of the craft may be unlawfully obtained –
JUSTICE. This is that standard of right, which measures to every man his due. As justice, in a great measure, constitutes the real good man, so should it be the invariable practice of every Mason never to deviate from the minutest principles thereof .
CHARGE AT INITIATION. BROTHER,
As you are now introduced into the first principles of masonry, I congratulate you on being accepted into this ancient and honourable order; ancient, as having subsisted from time immemorial; and honourable, as tending, in every particular, so to repder all men who will be conformable to its precepts. No institution was ever raised on a better principle, or, more solid foundation ; nor were ever more
cellent rules and useful maxims laid down, than are incul.