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 -2

After the candidate is brought to light, the Master addresses him as follows: "Brother, on being brought to light, you first discover three great lights in Masonry by the assistance of three lesser; they are thus explained: The three great lights in Masonry are the Holy Bible, Square and Compass. The Holy Bible is given to us as a rule and guide for our faith and practice; the Square, to square our actions, and the Compass to keep us in due bounds with all mankind, but more especially with the brethren. Three lesser lights are three burning tapers, or candles placed on candlesticks (some say, or candles on pedestals), they represent the Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge, and are thus explained: As the sun rules the day, and the moon governs the night, so ought the Worshipful Master, with equal regularity, to rule and govern his Lodge, or cause the same to be done; you next discover me, as Master of this Lodge, approaching you from the East upon the first step of Masonry, under the sign and due-guard of an Entered Apprentice Mason, as already revealed to you. This is the manner of giving them; imitate me, as near as you can, keeping your position. First, step off with your left foot, and bring the heel of the right into the hollow thereof, so as to form a square." [This is the first step in Masonry.] The following is the sign of an Entered Apprentice Mason, and is the sign of distress in this degree; you are not to give it unless in distress. [It is given by holding your two hands traversely across each other, the right hand upwards, and one inch from the left.] The following is the due-guard of an Entered Apprentice Mason. [This is given by drawing your right hand across your throat, the thumb next to your throat, your arm as high as the elbow, in a horizontal position.] "Brother, I now present you my right hand, in token of brotherly love and esteem, and with it the grip and name of the grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason." The right hands are joined together, as in shaking hands, and each sticks his thumb nail into the third joint or upper end of the forefinger; the name of the grip is Boaz, and is to be given in the following manner and no other: The Master gives the grip and word, and divides it for the instruction of the candidate; the questions are as follows: The Master and candidate holding each other by the grip as before described, the Master says, "What is this?" Candidate—"A grip." Master "A grip of what?" Candidate—"The grip of an Entered Apprentice Mason." Master—"Has it a name?" Candidate—"It has." Master—"Will you give it to me?" Candidate—"I did not so receive it, neither can I so impart it." Master—"What will you do with it?" Candidate—"Letter it, or halve it." Master—"Halve it and begin." Candidate—"You begin." Master—"Begin you." Candidate—"BO." Master—"AZ." Candidate—"BOAZ." Master says, "Right, Brother Boaz, I greet you. It is the name of the left hand pillar of the porch of King Solomon's Temple—arise, Brother Boaz, and salute the Junior and Senior Wardens as such, and convince them that you have been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, and have got the sign, grip, and word." The Master returns to his seat, while the Wardens are examining the candidate, and gets a lamb-skin or white apron, presents it to the candidate and observes, "Brother, I now present you with a lamb-skin, or white apron; it is an emblem of innocence, and the badge of a Mason; it has been worn by kings, princes, and potentates of the earth, who have never been ashamed to wear it; it is more honorable than the diamonds of kings, or pearls of princesses, when worthily worn; it is more ancient than the Golden Fleece or Roman Eagle; more honorable than the Star and Garter, or any other order that can be conferred upon you at this or any other time, except it be in the body of a just and fully constituted Lodge; you will carry it to the Senior Warden in the West, who will teach you how to wear it as an Entered Apprentice Mason." The Senior Warden ties the apron on, and turns up the flap, instead of letting it fall down in front of the apron. This is the way Entered Apprentice Masons wear, or ought to wear, their aprons until they are advanced. The candidate is now conducted to the Master in the East, who says, "Brother, as you are dressed, it is necessary you should have tools to work with; I will now present you with the working tools of an Entered Apprentice Mason, which are the twenty-four-inch gauge and common gavel; they are thus explained: The twenty-four-inch gauge is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to measure and lay out their work, but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. The twenty-four inches on the gauge are emblematical of the twenty-four hours in the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts, whereby we find eight hours for the service of God and a worthy distressed brother; eight hours for our usual vocations; and eight for refreshment and sleep; the common gavel is an instrument made use of by operative Masons to break off the corners of rough stones, the better to fit them for the builder's use; but we, as Free and Accepted Masons, use it for the more noble and glorious purpose of divesting our hearts and consciences of all the vices and superfluities of life, thereby fitting our minds as living and lively stones for that spiritual building, that house not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. I also present you with a new name; it is CAUTION; it teaches you, as you are barely instructed in the rudiments of Masonry, that you should be cautious over all your words and actions, particularly when before the enemies of Masonry. I shall next present you with three precious jewels, which are a LISTENING EAR, a SILENT TONGUE, and a FAITHFUL HEART. A listening ear teaches you to listen to the instructions of the Worshipful Master, but more especially that you should listen to the cries of a worthy distressed brother. A silent tongue teaches you to be silent while in the Lodge, that the peace and harmony thereof may not be disturbed, but more especially that you should be silent before the enemies of Masonry, that the craft may not be brought into disrepute by your imprudence. A faithful heart teaches you to be faithful to the instructions of the Worshipful Master at all times, but more especially that you should be faithful, and keep and conceal the secrets of Masonry, and those of a brother when given to you in charge as such, that they may remain as secure and inviolable in your breast as his own, before communicated to you. I further present you with check-words two; their names are TRUTH and UNION, and are thus explained: Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue; to be good and true is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry; on this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavor to regulate our conduct; hence, while influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown among us, sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us, and the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity. Union is that kind of friendship which ought to appear conspicuous in every Mason's conduct. It is so closely allied to the divine attribute, truth, that he who enjoys the one is seldom destitute of the other. Should interest, honor, prejudice, or human depravity ever induce you to violate any part of the sacred trust we now repose in you, let these two important words, at the earliest insinuation, teach you to put on the check-line of truth, which will infallibly direct you to pursue that straight and narrow path which ends in the full enjoyment of the Grand Lodge above, where we shall all meet as Masons and members of the same family, in peace, harmony, and love; where all discord on account of politics, religion, or private opinion, shall be unknown, and banished from within our walls.

"Brother, it has been a custom from time immemorial to demand, or ask from a newly-made brother, something of a metallic kind, not so much on account of its intrinsic value, but that it may be deposited in the archives of the Lodge, as a memorial that you was herein made a Mason; a small trifle will be sufficient—anything of a metallic kind will do; if you have no money, anything of a metallic nature will be sufficient; even a button will do." [The candidate says he has nothing about him; it is known he has nothing.] "Search yourself," the Master replies. He is assisted in searching—nothing is found. "Perhaps you can borrow a trifle," says the Master. [He tries to borrow, none will lend him; he proposes to go into the other room where his clothes are; he is not permitted: if a stranger, he is very much embarrassed.] Master to candidate, "Brother, let this ever be a striking lesson to you, and teach you, if you should ever see a friend, but more especially a brother, in a like penniless situation, to contribute as liberally to his relief as his situation may require, and your abilities will admit, without material injury to yourself or family." Master to Senior Deacon, "You will conduct the candidate back from whence he came, and invest him of what he has been divested, and let him return for further instruction. A zealous attachment to these principles will insure a public and private esteem. In the State, you are to be a quiet and peaceable subject, true to your government, and just to your country; you are not to countenance disloyalty, but faithfully submit to legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live. In your outward demeanor be particularly careful to avoid censure or reproach. Although your frequent appearance at our regular meetings is earnestly solicited, yet it is not meant that Masonry should interfere with your necessary vocations; for these are on no account to be neglected: neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution to lead you into argument with those who, through ignorance, may ridicule it. At your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to converse with well-informed brethren, who will be always as ready to give, as you will be to receive information. Finally, keep sacred and inviolable the mysteries of the Order, as these are to distinguish you from the rest of the community, and mark your consequence among Masons. If, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated into Masonry, be particularly attentive not to commend him, unless you are convinced he will conform to our rules; that the honor, glory, and reputation of the institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its good effects." Here the initiation ends, and the candidate is congratulated by his Masonic friends.

After this, the business of the meeting proceeds according to the by-laws or regulations of the Lodge. Before adjourning, it is a very common practice to close a Lodge of Entered Apprentices, and open a Lodge of Fellow Crafts, and close that, and open a Master Mason's Lodge, all in the same evening.

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