Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the justice of our pretensions to the privileges of the order ; illustrates the manner of our reception within the threshold of a Lodge; reminds us of our dependence on the supporting hand of Deity ; exhibits the pledge of our fidelity, secrecy and conformity to immemorial masonic customs ; opens our eyes to the light of knowledge ; presents to our hearts the lovely purity of innocence; draws upon our affections by the silken cord of charity; and speculatively explains the implements of the degree.

A prayer used at the initiation of a candidate.

VOUCHSAFE thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, to this, our present convention ; and grant that this candidate for masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service, and become a true and faithful brother among us! Endow him with a competency of thy divine wisdom, that, by the secrets of our art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of brotherly love, relief and truth, to the honour of thy holy name! Amen.

Another.

GREAT ARCHITECT OF HEAVEN—Thou best of beings! While thou lookest abroad, from thy celestial temple, upon worlds unnumbered ; look down also upon us, the humble workmanship of thine hand. As we are about to enlighten one of our fellow creatures in the knowledge of masonry, wilt thou shine into our hearts with the light of heavenly truth. Do thou, Father Almighty! guide this benighted pilgrim on his journey to the mystic temple. Enlighten thou his darkness ; and open his eyes that he may see thy glory in the gospel of thy Son. Clothe his nakedness with the garments of true holiness, and enrich his poverty with the pearl

all price beyond.” We now commend him to thy divine protection, ascribing glory, honour and power to God, for ever, Amen.

Some of the following texts of Scripture may be read during .. : the initiation of a candidate.

6 I will bring the blind by a way that they know not ; I will lead them in paths that they have not known; I will make the darkness light before them; and crooked things straight; these things will I do unto them and I will not forsake them

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths..'

“ Turn not to the right hand, nor to the left; remove thy feet from evil.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, and God said, Let there be light, and there was light."

Towards the close of this section is explained the peculiar ensign of masonry, the LAMB-SKIN, or white leather apron, which is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a mason; more ancient than the golden fleece, or Roman eagle ; more honorable than the star or garter, or any other order that could be conferred upon the candidate at the time of his initiation, or at at any time thereafter, by king, prince, potentate, or any other person, except he be a mason; and which every one should wear with equal pleasure to himself, and honour to the fraternity.

The section closes with an explanation of the working tools of an Entered Apprentice, which are the TWENTYFOUR-INCH-GAUGE, and the COMMON GAVEL.

The twenty-four-inch-gauge is an implement made use of by operative workmen, to meausre and lay out their work; but we, as FREE and ACCEPTED Masons, are taught to use it for the more noble and important purpose of dividing our time. Its being divided into twenty-four equa)

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 hours for our usual avocations ; and eight for refreshment and sleep.

The Common Gavel is an instrument used by operative masons, to break off the corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but we as speculative ma. sons are taught to make use of it for the more noble purpose of divesting our minds and consciences of the vices and superfluities of life, “therby 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 ceremonies used at the initiation of a man into our ancient mys: teries.

TUE 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 duties of our respective stations. Here, likewise, we receive instruction relative to the form, supports, covering, furniture, ornaments, lights, and jewels of a Lodge : how it should be situated, 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 wrSDOM, 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, whither 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 Charity; 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 proper 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 INDENTFD 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 blasing 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 nativity,

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 Providence, which is hyeroglyphically represented by the blazing star in the centre.

The moveable and immoveable jewels also claim our atten, tion, in this section.

The ROUGH ASHLER is a stone as taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state. The PERFECT ASA LER is a stone made ready by the workmen to be adjusted by the tools of the fellow-craft. The TRESTLE BOARD is for the master workmen 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 ai 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 temporal 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 prescri. bed 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 representing an individual brother; the circle representing the boundary line of his duty to God and man. This circle is embordered by two perpendicular parrallels, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelists; and on the top rests the book of life, which contains the whole duty of man. In going round this circle we necessarily touch 1774 in these two lines as well as upon the book of the ho

« PoprzedniaDalej »