Secret society - free mason

About secret societies, free masonry, simbols, rithuals, order, ... Some articles are taken from "Mysteries of Freemasonry" by Captain William Morgan "The Symbolism of Freemasonry" by Albert G. Mackey, M.D. 1882. "Secret Societies" by David MacDill, Jonathan Blanchard, and Edward Beecher Those three books have free licence and no copyright law has broken.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Freemasonry - Ceremonies of the Admission and Initiation -1

At the first regular communication after the candidate has petitioned for admission, if no objection has been urged against him, the Lodge proceeds to a ballot. One black ball will reject a candidate. The boxes [Pg 6]may be passed three times. The Deacons are the proper persons to pass them; one of the boxes has black and white beans or balls in it, the other empty; the one with the balls in it goes before and furnishes each member with a black and white ball; the empty box follows and receives them. There are two holes in the top of this box, with a small tube in each, one of which is black, and the other white, with a partition in the box. The members put both their balls into this box as their feelings dictate; when the balls are received, the box is presented to the Master, Senior, and Junior Wardens, who pronounce clear or not clear, as the case may be. The ballot proving clear, the candidate (if present) is conducted into a small preparation room adjoining the Lodge; he is asked the following questions, and gives the following answers. Senior Deacon to candidate, "Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that, unbiassed by friends, uninfluenced by unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?" Candidate answers, "I do." Senior Deacon to candidate, "Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you are prompt to solicit the privileges of Masonry, by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow-creatures?" Candidate answers, "I do." Senior Deacon to candidate, "Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?" Candidate answers, "I do." After the above questions are proposed and answered, and the result reported to the Master, he says, "Brethren, at the request of Mr. A. B., he has been proposed and accepted in the regular form. I therefore recommend him as a proper candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry, and worthy to partake of the privileges of the fraternity; and in consequence of a declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the Order." The candidate, during the time, is divested of all his apparel (shirt excepted), and furnished with a pair of drawers, kept in the Lodge for the use of candidates; he is then blindfolded, his left foot bare, his right in a slipper, his left breast and arm naked, and a rope, called a cable-tow, 'round his neck and left arm (the rope is not put 'round the arm in all Lodges) in which posture the candidate is conducted to the door, where he is caused to give, or the conductor gives, three distinct knocks, which are answered by three from within; the conductor gives one more, which is also answered by one from within. The door is then partly opened, and the Junior Deacon generally asks, "Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?" The conductor alias the Senior Deacon, answers, "A poor, blind candidate, who has long been desirous of having and receiving a part of the rights and benefits of this worshipful Lodge, dedicated (some say erected) to God, and held forth to the holy order of St. John, as all true fellows and brothers have done, who have gone this way before him." The Junior Deacon then asks, "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request? Is he duly and truly prepared? Worthy and well qualified? And properly avouched for?" All of which being answered in the affirmative, the Junior Deacon says to the Senior Deacon, "By what further right does he expect to obtain this benefit?" The Senior Deacon replies, "By being a man, free born, of lawful age, and under the tongue of good report." The Junior Deacon then says, "Since this is the case you will wait till the Worshipful Master in the East is made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned." The Junior Deacon repairs to the Master, when the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door; after which the Master says, "Since he comes endowed with all these necessary qualifications, let him enter this worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters." The candidate then enters, the Junior Deacon at the same time pressing his naked left breast with the point of the compass, and asks the candidate, "Did you feel anything?" Ans.—"I did." Junior Deacon to the candidate, "What was it?" Ans.—"A torture." The Junior Deacon then says, "As this is a torture to your flesh, so may it ever be to your mind and conscience, if ever you should attempt to reveal the secrets of Masonry unlawfully." The candidate is then conducted to the centre of the Lodge, where he and the Senior Deacon kneel, and the Deacon says the following prayer:

"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! Endue him with a competency of Thy divine wisdom, that by the secrets of our art, he may be the better enabled to display the beauties of holiness, to the honor of Thy holy name. So mote it be. Amen!"

The Master then asks the candidate, "In whom do you put your trust?" The candidate answers, "In God." The Master then takes him by the right hand, and says, "Since in God you put your trust, arise, follow your leader, and fear no danger." The Senior Deacon then conducts the candidate three times regularly around the Lodge and halts at the Junior Warden in the South, where the same questions are asked, and answers returned as at the door.

As the candidate and the conductor are going around the room, the Master reads the following passage of Scripture, and takes the same time to read it that they do to go around the Lodge three times.

"Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garment; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore."

The candidate is then conducted to the Senior Warden in the West, where the same Questions are asked, and answers returned as before; from thence he is conducted to the Worshipful Master in the East, where the same questions are asked, and answers returned as before. The Master likewise demands of him from whence he came, and whither he is traveling. The candidate answers, "From the West, and traveling to the East." Master inquires, "Why do you leave the West and travel to the East?" He answers, "In search of light." Master then says "Since the candidate is traveling in search of light, you will please conduct him back to the West from whence he came, and put him in the care of the Senior Warden, who will teach him how to approach the East, the place of light, by advancing upon one upright regular step, to the first step, his feet forming the right angle of an oblong square, his body erect at the altar before the Master, and place him in a proper position to take upon himself the solemn oath or obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason." The Senior Warden receives the candidate, and instructs him as directed. He first steps off with his left foot and brings up the heel of the right into the hollow thereof; the heel of the right foot against the ankle of the left, will, of course, form the right angle of an oblong square; the candidate then kneels on his left knee, and places his right foot so as to form a square with the left, he turns his foot around until the ankle bone is as much in front of him as the toes on the left; the candidate's left hand is then put under the Holy Bible, square and compass, and the right hand on them. This is the position in which a candidate is placed when he takes upon him the oath or obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason. As soon as the candidate is placed in this position, the Worshipful Master approaches him, and says, "Mr. A. B., you are now placed in a proper position to take upon you the solemn oath or obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason, which I assure you is neither to affect your religion nor politics. If you are willing to take it, repeat your name, and say after me:

"I, A. B., of my own free will and accord, in presence of Almighty God, and this worshipful Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, dedicated to God, and held forth to the holy order of St. John, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal any part or parts, art or arts, point or points of the secrets, arts and mysteries of ancient Free Masonry, which I have received, am about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in, to any person or persons in the known world, except it be a true and lawful brother Mason, or within the body of a just and lawfully constituted Lodge of such, and not unto him, nor unto them whom I shall hear so to be, but unto them only after strict trial and due examination or lawful information. Furthermore, do I promise and swear that I will not write, print, stamp, stain, hew, cut, carve, indent, paint, or engrave it on anything moveable or immoveable, under the whole canopy of heaven, whereby, or whereon the least letter, figure, character, mark, stain, shadow, or resemblance of the same may become legible or intelligible to myself or any other person in the known world, whereby the secrets of Masonry may be unlawfully obtained through my unworthiness. To all which I do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, without the least equivocation, mental reservation, or self-evasion of mind in me whatever; BINDING MYSELF UNDER NO LESS PENALTY THAN TO HAVE MY THROAT CUT ACROSS, MY TONGUE TORN OUT BY THE ROOTS, AND MY BODY BURIED IN THE ROUGH SANDS OF THE SEA AT LOW WATER MARK, WHERE THE TIDE EBBS AND FLOWS IN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS: so help me God, and keep me steadfast in the true performance of the same."

After the obligation, the Master addresses the candidate in the following manner: "Brother, to you the secrets of Masonry are about to be unveiled, and a brighter sun never shone lustre on your eyes; while prostrate before this sacred altar, do you not shudder at every crime? Have you not confidence in every virtue? May these thoughts ever inspire you with the most noble sentiments; may you ever feel that elevation of soul that shall scorn a dishonest act. Brother, what do you most desire?" The candidate answers, "Light." Master to brethren, "Brethren, stretch forth your hands and assist in bringing this new-made brother from darkness to light." The members having formed a circle round the candidate, the Master says, "And God said, Let there be light, and there was light." At the same time, all the brethren clap their hands and stamp on the floor with their right feet as heavy as possible, the bandage dropping from the candidate's eyes at the same instant, which, after having been so long blind, and full of fearful apprehensions all the time, this great and sudden transition from perfect darkness to a light brighter (if possible) than the meridian sun in a midsummer day, sometimes produces an alarming effect.

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