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.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

THE THIRD, OR MASTER MASON'S DEGREE

alpha mason symbol
The traditional account of the death, several burials, and resurrection of Hiram Abiff, the widow's son (as hereafter narrated), admitted as facts, this degree is certainly very interesting. The Bible informs us that there was a person of that name employed at the building of King Solomon's Temple; but neither the Bible, the writings of Josephus, nor any other writings, however ancient, of which I have any knowledge, furnish any information respecting his death. It is very singular that a man so celebrated as Hiram Abiff was, and arbiter between Solomon, King of Israel, and Hiram, King of Tyre, universally acknowledged as the third most distinguished man then living, and in many respects, the greatest man in the world, should pass off the stage of action, in the presence of King Solomon, three thousand, three hundred grand overseers, and one hundred and fifty thousand workmen, with whom he had spent a number of years, and neither King Solomon, his bosom friend, nor any other among his numerous friends, even recorded his death, or anything about him.

A person who has received the two preceding degrees, and wishes to be raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason, is (the Lodge being opened as in the preceding degrees) conducted from the preparation room to the door (the manner of preparing him is particularly explained in the Lecture), where he gives three distinct knocks, when the Senior Warden rises and says, "Worshipful, while we are peaceably at work on the third degree of Masonry, under the influence of humanity, brotherly love, and affection, the door of our Lodge appears to be alarmed." The Master to the Junior Deacon, "Brother Junior, inquire the cause of that alarm." The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and answers the three knocks that have been given by three more (the knocks are much louder than those given on any occasion, other than that of the admission of candidates in the several degrees); one knock is then given without, and answered by one from within, when the door is partly opened, and the Junior Deacon asks, "Who comes there? Who comes there? Who comes there?" The Senior Deacon answers, "A worthy brother, who has been regularly initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason, passed to the degree of a Fellow Craft, and now wishes for further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is it of his own free will and accord he makes this request?" A. "It is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Is he worthy and well qualified?"

circle mason symbol

A. "He is." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he made suitable proficiency in the preceding degree?" A. "He has." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "By what further rights does he expect to obtain this benefit?" A. "By the benefit of a pass-word." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Has he a pass-word?" A. "He has not, but I have it for him." Junior Deacon to Senior Deacon, "Will you give it to me?" The Senior Deacon then whispers in the ear of the Junior Deacon, "Tubal Cain." Junior Deacon says, "The pass is right; since this is the case, you will wait till the Worshipful Master be made acquainted with his request, and his answer returned." The Junior Deacon then repairs to the Master, and gives three knocks, as at the door; after answering which, the same questions are asked and answers returned, as at the door; when the Master says, "Since he comes endued 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 Junior Deacon returns to the door and says, "Let him enter this Worshipful Lodge in the name of the Lord, and take heed on what he enters." In entering, both points of the Compass are pressed against his naked right and left breasts, when the Junior Deacon stops the candidate and says, "Brother, when you first entered this Lodge, you was received on the point of the Compass pressing your naked left breast, which was then explained to you; when you entered it the second time, you were received on the angle of the Square, which was also explained to you; on entering it now, you are received on the two extreme points of the Compass pressing your naked right and left breasts, which are thus explained: As the most vital points of man are contained between the two breasts, so are the most valuable tenets of Masonry contained between the two extreme points of the Compass, which are 'Virtue, Morality, and Brotherly Love.'" The Senior Deacon then conducts the candidate three times regularly around the Lodge. [I wish the reader to observe, that on this, as well as every other degree, the Junior Warden is the first of the three principal officers that the candidate passes, traveling with the Sun, when he starts around the Lodge, and as he passes the Junior Warden, Senior Warden, and Master, the first time going around, they each give one rap; the second time, two raps; and the third time, three raps. The number of raps given on those occasions are the same as the number of the degree, except the first degree, on which three are given, I always thought improperly.] During the time the candidate is traveling around the room, the Master reads the following passage of Scripture, the conductor and candidate traveling, and the Master reading, so that the traveling and reading terminates at the same time:

"Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them: while the Sun, or the Moon, or the Stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets; when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low. Also, when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail, because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth, as it was; and the spirit return unto God who gave it."

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