Remarks, including An Illustration Of The Lectures, a particular
description of The Ancient Ceremonies and the Charges used in the
Masonry is an art useful and extensive. In every art there is a mystery, which requires a progress of study and
application before we can arrive at any degree of perfection. Without
much instruction and more exercise, no man can be skilful in any art, in
like manner, without an assiduous application to the various subjects
treated in the different lectures of Masonry, no person can be
sufficiently acquainted with the true value of the institution.
this remark it is not to be inferred, that those who labour under the
disadvantage of a confined education, or whose sphere of life requires
assiduous attention to business or useful employments, are to be
discouraged in their endeavours to gain a knowledge of Masonry. To qualify an individual to enjoy the benefits of the society at large,
or to partake of its privileges, it is not absolutely necessary, that he
should be acquainted with all the intricate parts of the science. These
are only intended for persons who may have leisure and opportunity to
indulge the pursuit.
may be more able than others, some more eminent, some more useful, but
all in their different spheres, may prove advantageous to the community
and our necessities, as well as our consciences, bind us to love one
another. To persons, however, whose early years have been dedicated to
literary pursuits, or whose circumstances and situation in life render
them independent, the offices of the lodge ought principally to be
restricted. The industrious tradesman proves himself a valuable member
of society and worthy of every honour that we can confer, but the nature
of every man's profession will not admit of that leisure, which is
necessary to qualify him to become an expert Mason, so as to discharge
the official duties of the lodge with propriety. And it must also be
admitted, that those who accept offices and exercise authority in the
lodge, ought to be men of prudence and address, enjoying the advantages
of a well cultivated mind and retentive memory. All men are not blessed with the same powers and talents, all men,
therefore, are not equally qualified to govern. He who wishes to teach,
must submit to learn and no one can be qualified to support the higher
offices of the lodge, who has not previously discharged the duties of
those, which are subordinate. Experience is the best preceptor. Every man may rise
by gradation, but merit and industry are the first steps to preferment.
Masonry is wisely instituted for different ranks and degrees of men and
every brother, according to his station and ability, may be employed in
the lodge and class with his equal. Actuated by the best
principles, no disquietude is found among the professors of the art.
Each class is happy in its particular association and when all the
classes meet in general convention, one plan regulates the whole,
neither arrogance nor presumption appears on the one hand, nor
diffidence nor inability on the other, every brother vies to excel in
promoting that endearing happiness, which constitutes the essence of
Section. 2. The Ceremony of Opening and Closing the Lodge.
all regular assemblies of men, which are convened for wise and useful
purposes, the commencement and conclusion of business is accompanied
with some form. In every country of the world the practice prevails and
is deemed essential. From the most remote periods of antiquity, it is
traced and the refined improvements of modern times have not abolished
it. Ceremonies, simply considered, are little more than visionary
delusions, but their effects are sometimes important. When they impress
awe and reverence on the mind and attract the attention to solemn rites
by external forms, they are interesting objects. These purposes are
effected when judicious ceremonies are regularly conducted and properly
arranged. On this ground they have received the sanction of the wisest
men in all ages and consequently could not escape the notice of Masons.
To begin well, is the most likely means to end well and it is justly
remarked, that when order and method are neglected at the beginning,
they will be seldom found to take place at the end.
The ceremony of opening and closing the lodge with
solemnity and decorum is therefore universally adopted among Masons and
though the mode in some meetings may vary and in every Degree must vary,
still a uniformity in the general practice prevails in the lodge and the
variation (if any) is solely occasioned by a want of method, which a
little application will easily remove. To conduct this
ceremony with propriety, ought to be the peculiar study of every Mason,
especially of those, who have the honour to rule in our assemblies. To
persons who are thus dignified, every eye is directed for regularity of
conduct and behaviour and by their example, other brethren, less
informed, may naturally expect to derive instruction.
a share in this ceremony no Mason is exempted, it is a general concern,
in which all must assist. This is the first request
of the Master and the prelude to business.
No sooner has it been signified, than every officer repairs to his
station and the brethren rank according to their degrees. The intent of the
meeting becomes the object of attention and the mind is insensibly drawn
from the indiscriminate subjects of conversation which are apt to
intrude on our less serious moments.
first care is directed to the external avenues of the lodge and the
proper officers, whose province it is to discharge that duty, execute
the trust with fidelity. By certain mystic forms, of no recent date, it
is intimated that we may safely proceed. To detect impostors among
ourselves, an adherence to order in the character of Masons ensues and
the lodge is opened or closed in solemn form.
At opening the lodge, two purposes are effected. The
Master is reminded of the dignity of his character and the brethren of
the homage and veneration due to him in their sundry stations. These are not the only advantages resulting from a due observance of
the ceremony, a reverential awe for the Deity is inculcated and the eye
is fixed on that object from whose radiant beams alone light can be
derived. Hence, in this ceremony, we are taught to adore God and
supplicate his protection on our well meant endeavours.
The Master assumes his government in due form and under him his Wardens,
who accept their trust, after the customary salutations. Then the
brethren, with one accord, unite in duty and respect and the ceremony
At closing the lodge, a similar form takes place.
Here the less important duties of the Order are not passed unobserved.
The necessary degree of subordination, which takes place in the
government of the lodge is peculiarly marked, while the proper tribute of
gratitude is offered up to the beneficent Author of life, whose blessing
is invoked and extended to the whole fraternity. Each brother then
faithfully locks up the treasure, which he has acquired in his own
repository and pleased with his reward, retires to enjoy and disseminate
among the private circle of his friends, the fruits of his labour and
industry in the lodge.
These are faint outlines of a ceremony, which
universally prevails among Masons and distinguishes all their meetings.
Hence, it is arranged as a general Section in every Degree of the Order
and takes the lead in all our illustrations.
Prayer used at opening the Lodge.
the favour of Heaven be upon this meeting! And as it is happily begun,
may it be conducted in order and closed in harmony! Amen.
Prayer used at closing the Lodge.
the blessing of Heaven rest upon us
and all regular
Masons! May brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue
cement us. Amen.
and Regulations for the conduct and behaviour of Masons.
rehearsal of the Ancient Charges properly succeeds the opening and
precedes the closing, of the lodge. This was the constant practice of
our ancient brethren and ought never to be neglected in our regular
assemblies. A recapitulation of our duty cannot be disagreeable to those
who are acquainted with it and to those to whom it is not known,
any such be, it must be highly proper to recommend it.
be rehearsed at opening the Lodge. On the Management of the Craft in
Masons employ themselves diligently in their sundry
vocations live creditably and conform with cheerfulness to the
government of the country in which they reside.
The most expert craftsman is chosen or appointed
Master of the work and is duly honoured in that character by those over
whom he presides.
The Master, knowing himself qualified, undertakes the
government of the lodge and truly dispenses his rewards, according to
A craftsman who is appointed Warden of the work under
the Master, is true to Master and Fellows, carefully oversees the work
and the brethren obey him.
The Master, Wardens and brethren are just and
faithful and carefully finish the work they begin, whether it be in the
First or Second Degree, but never put that work to the First, which has
been appropriated to the Second Degree.
Neither envy nor censure is discovered among Masons.
No brother is supplanted, or put out of his work, if he be capable to
finish it, for he who is not perfectly skilled in the original design,
can never with equal advantage to the Master finish the work begun by
employed in Masonry meekly receive their rewards and use no disobliging
name. Brother or Fellow are the appellations they bestow on each other.
They behave courteously within and without the lodge and never desert
the Master till the work is finished.
(These Charges were originally rehearsed by the
seven representatives of the
three Degrees of the Order. But it is now the province of the Chaplain,
or Secretary of the lodge, to deliver them.)
for the Government of the Lodge.
be rehearsed at opening the Lodge.)
You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, agreeably to the
forms established among Masons. (In
the lodge, Masons meet as members of the same family and representatives
for the time being of all the brethren throughout the world, every
prejudice, therefore, on account of religion, country, or private
opinion, is removed.)
are freely to give such mutual instructions as shall be thought
necessary or expedient, not being overseen or overheard, without
encroaching upon each other, or derogating from that respect which is
due to a gentleman were he not a Mason, for though as Masons we meet as
brethren on a level, yet Masonry deprives no man of the honour due to
his rank or character, but rather adds to his honour, especially if he
has deserved well of the Fraternity, who always render honour to whom it
is due and avoid ill manners.
No private committees are to be allowed, or separate
conversations encouraged: the Master or Wardens are not to be
interrupted, or any brother who is speaking to the Master, but due
decorum is to be observed and a proper respect paid to the Master and
These laws are to be strictly enforced, that harmony
may be preserved and the business of the lodge carried on with order and
So mote it be.
on the Behaviour of Masons.
be rehearsed at closing the Lodge.)
When the lodge is closed, you are to enjoy yourselves
with innocent mirth and carefully avoid excess. You are not to compel
any brother to act contrary to his inclination, or give offence by word
or deed, but enjoy a free and easy conversation. You are to avoid
immoral or obscene discourse and at all times support with propriety the
dignity of your character.
You are to be cautious in your words and carriage,
that the most penetrating stranger may not discover, or find out, what
is not proper to be intimated and, if necessary, you are to wave the
discourse and manage it prudently, for the honour of the fraternity.
At home and in your several neighbour hoods, you are
to behave as wise and moral men. You are never to communicate, to your
families, friends, or acquaintances, the private transactions of our
different assemblies, but, on every occasion, consult your own honour
and the reputation of the fraternity at large.
You are to study the preservation of health, by
avoiding irregularity and intemperance, that your families may not be
neglected and injured, or yourselves disabled from attending to your
necessary employments in life.
If a stranger apply in the character of a Mason, you are cautiously to
examine him in such a method as prudence may direct and agreeably to the
forms established among Masons, that you may not be imposed upon by an
ignorant false pretender, whom you are to reject with contempt and beware of
giving him any secret hints of knowledge.
(This injunction may seem uncharitable, but when
it is considered that the secrets of Masonry are open to all men of
probity and honour who are well recommended, an illegal intruder who
would with to obtain that to which he has no claim and deprive the
public charity of a small pittance at his admission, can deserve no
But if you discover him to be a true and genuine brother, you are to
respect him, if he be in want, you are without prejudice to relieve him,
or direct him how he may be relieved, you are to employ him, or
recommend him to employment, however, you are never charged to do beyond
your ability, only to prefer a poor Mason, who is a good man and true,
before any other person in the same circumstances.
(On this principle,
unfortunate captives in war and sojourners accidentally cast on a
distant shore, are particular objects of attention and seldom fail to
experience indulgence from Masons and it is very remarkable, that there
is not an instance on record of a breach of fidelity, or ingratitude,
where that indulgence has been liberally extended.)
These rules you are always to observe and enforce and also the duties
which have been communicated in the lecture, cultivating brotherly love,
the foundation and capestone, the cement and glory of this ancient
fraternity, avoiding, on every occasion, wrangling and quarrelling,
slandering and backbiting, not permitting others to slander honest
brethren, but defending their characters and doing them good offices, as
far as may be consistent with your honour and safety, but no farther.
Hence all may see the benign influence of Masonry, as all true Masons
have done from the beginning of the world and will do to the end of
time. -Amen. So mote it be.
3. Remarks on the First Lecture.
Having illustrated the ceremony of opening and
closing the lodge and inserted the Prayers and Charges usually rehearsed
in our regular assemblies on those occasions, we shall now enter on a
disquisition of the different Sections of the Lectures, which are
appropriated to the three Degrees of the Order, giving a brief summary
of the whole and annexing to every Remark the particulars to which the
Section alludes. By these means the industrious Mason will be better
instructed in the regular arrangement of the Lectures and be enabled
with more ease to acquire a competent knowledge of the Art.
First Lecture is divided into Sections and each Section is subdivided
into Clauses. In this Lecture, virtue is painted in the most
beautiful colours and the duties of morality are strictly enforced. Here
we are taught such wise and useful lessons as prepare the mind for a
regular advancement in the principles of knowledge and philosophy and
these are imprinted on the memory by lively and sensible images, well
calculated to influence our conduct in the proper discharge of the
duties of social life.
The First Section.
The first Section of this Lecture is suited to all
capacities and ought to be known by every person, who wishes to rank as
a Mason. It consists of general heads, which, though they be short and
simple, will be found to carry weight with them. They not only serve as
marks of distinction, but communicate useful and interesting knowledge
when they are duly investigated. They qualify us to try and examine the
rights of others to our privileges, while they demonstrate our own claim
and as they induce us to inquire minutely into other particulars of
great importance, they serve as a proper introduction to subjects, which
are more amply explained in the following Sections.
(As we can annex to
this remark, no other explanation consistent with the rules of Masonry,
we must refer the more inquisitive to our regular assemblies for further
The Second Section.
The Second Section makes us acquainted with the
peculiar forms and ceremonies, which are adopted at the initiation of
candidates into Masonry and convinces us beyond the power of
contradiction, of the propriety of our rites, whilst it demonstrates to
the most sceptical and hesitating mind their excellence and utility.
following particulars relative to the ceremony of initiation may be
introduced here with propriety--The Declaration to be
assented to by every Candidate previous to Initiation.
you seriously declare, upon your honour, before these gentlemen (The Stewards of the lodge.)
that, unbiased by friends against your own inclination and uninfluenced
by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a
candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?
you seriously declare, upon your honour, before these gentlemen, that
you are solely prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry, by a
favourable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge
and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?
you seriously declare, upon your honour, before these gentlemen, that
you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and
customs of the Order?
Candidate is then proposed in open lodge, as follows,
R.W. Master and Brethren, at the request of Mr. A.B. [mentioning his profession
and residence] I propose him in form as a proper Candidate for the
mysteries of Masonry. I recommend him, as worthy to share the privileges
of the Fraternity and in consequence of a Declaration of his intentions,
voluntarily made and properly attested, I believe he will strictly
conform to the rules of the Order.”
Candidate is ordered to be prepared for Initiation.
A Prayer used at Initiation.
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 this Art, he may be the better enabled to display the
beauties of godliness, to the honour of thy holy Name. Amen.
It is a duty incumbent on the Master of the lodge, before the ceremony
of initiation takes place, to inform the Candidate of the purpose and
design of the institution, to explain the nature of his solemn
engagements and in a manner peculiar to Masons, to require his cheerful
acquiescence to the tenets of the Order.)
The Third Section.
The Third Section, by the reciprocal communication of
our marks of distinction, proves the regularity of our initiation and
inculcates those necessary and instructive duties which dignify our
character in the double capacity of Men and Masons. We cannot better illustrate this Section, than
by inserting the following:
at Initiation into the First Degree.
Brother . . ,
As you are now introduced into the first principles of our Order, it is
my duty to congratulate you, on being accepted a Member of an ancient
and honourable Society, ancient, as having subsisted from time
immemorial and honourable, as tending, in every particular, so to render
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 excellent rules and useful maxims laid down, than are inculcated on
every person, when he is initiated into our mysteries. Monarchs in all
ages have been encouragers and promoters of the Art and have never
deemed it derogatory from their dignities, to level themselves with the
brethren, to extend their privileges and to patronise their assemblies.
As a Mason, you are to study the moral law, as it is
contained in the sacred code (In England, the
Bible, but in countries where that book is unknown, whatever is
understood to contain the will or law of God.) to consider it as the unerring standard of
truth and justice and to regulate your life and actions by its divine
The three great moral duties, to God, your neighbour
and yourself, you are strictly to observe. To God, by holding his name
in awe and veneration, viewing him as the chief good, imploring his aid
in laudable pursuits and supplicating his protection on well meant
endeavours. To your neighbour, by acting upon the square and considering
him equally entitled with yourself to share the blessings of Providence,
rendering unto him those favours, which in a similar situation you would
expect to receive from him. And to yourself, by not abusing the bounties
of Providence, impairing the faculties by irregularity, or debasing the
profession by intemperance.
In the state, you are to be a quiet and peaceable
subject, true to your sovereign and just to your country, you are not to
countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal
authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government under which
you live, yielding obedience to the laws which afford you protection and
never forgetting the attachment you owe to the place of your nativity,
or the allegiance due to the sovereign or protectors of that spot.
In your outward demeanour you are to avoid censure or
reproach and beware of all who may artfully endeavour to insinuate
themselves into your esteem with a view to betray your virtuous
resolutions, or make you swerve from the principles of the institution.
Let not interest, favour, or prejudice, bias your integrity, or
influence you to be guilty of a dishonourable action, but let your
conduct be uniform and your deportment suitable to the dignity of the
all, practice benevolence and charity, for these virtues have
distinguished Masons in every age and country.
(The inconceivable pleasure of contributing toward the relief of our
fellow creatures, is truly experienced by persons of a humane
disposition, who are naturally excited, by sympathy, to extend their aid
in alleviation of the miseries of others. This encourages the generous
Mason to distribute his bounty with cheerfulness, by supposing himself
in the situation of an unhappy sufferer, he listens to the tale of woe
with attention, bewails misfortune and speedily relieves distress.)
Constitutions of the Order are next to engage your attention. These
consist of two points, oral and written communication. The former
comprehends the mysteries of the Art and are only to be acquired by
practice and experience in the lodge, the latter includes the history of
genuine Masonry, the lives and characters of its patrons and the ancient
charges and general regulations of the Craft.
punctual attendance on the duties of the Order we earnestly enjoin, more
especially in that assembly where your name is enrolled as a member.
There and in all regular meetings of the fraternity, you are to behave
with order and decorum, that harmony may be preserved and the business
of Masonry properly conducted. The rules of good breeding you are never
to violate, by using unbecoming language, in derogation of the name of
God, or toward the corruption of good manners. Neither are you to enter
into any dispute about religion or politics, or behave irreverently,
while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and important. On every
occasion you are to pay a proper deference and respect to the Master and
presiding officers and diligently apply to the work of Masonry, that you
may sooner become a proficient therein, as well for your own credit, as
the honour of the company with whom you associate.
Although your frequent appearance at our regular
meetings be earnestly solicited, your necessary employments are not to
be neglected on that account. Neither are you to suffer
your zeal for Masonry to exceed the bounds of discretion, or lead you
into argument with persons who may ridicule our system, but extend your
pity toward those who may be apt through ignorance to contemn, what they
never had an opportunity to comprehend. All that is required for your general
observance is, that you study the liberal arts at leisure, trace science
in the works of eminent masters and improve in the disquisitions of the
system, by the conversation of well informed brethren, who will be
equally ready to give, as you can be to receive, instruction.
Finally, Adhere to the constitutions and
support the privileges which are to distinguish you as a Mason above the
rest of the community and mark your consequence among the Fraternity.
If, in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of
being initiated into the Order, be particularly attentive not to
recommend him, unless you are convinced, he will conform to our rules,
that the value of Masonry may be enhanced by the difficulty of the
purchase, the honour and reputation of the institution established on
the firmest basis and the world at large convinced of its benign
the attention you have paid to the recital of the duties of the Order,
we are led to hope that you will form a proper estimate of the value of
Freemasonry and imprint on your mind the dictates of truth, honour and
This section usually closes with the following-- Eulogium.
comprehends within its circle every branch of useful knowledge and
learning and stamps an indelible mark of pre eminence on its genuine
professors, which neither chance, power, nor fortune, can bestow. When
its rules are strictly observed, it is a sure foundation of tranquillity
amid the various disappointments of life, a friend that will not
deceive, but will comfort and assist, in prosperity and adversity, a
blessing, that will remain with all time, circumstances and places and
to which recourse may be had, when other earthly comforts sink in
gives real and intrinsic excellency to man and renders him fit for the
duties of society. It strengthens the mind against the storms of life,
paves the way to peace and promotes domestic happiness. It meliorates
the temper and improves the understanding, it is company in solitude and
gives vivacity, variety and energy to social conversation. In youth, it
governs the passions and employs usefully our most active faculties and
in age, when sickness, imbecility and disease, have benumbed the
corporeal frame and rendered the union of soul and body almost
intolerable, it yields an ample fund of comfort and satisfaction.
are its general advantages, to enumerate them separately, would be an
endless labour. It may be sufficient to observe, that he who cultivates
this science and acts agreeably to the character of a Mason, has within
himself the spring and support of every social virtue, a subject of
contemplation, that enlarges the mind and expands all its powers, a
theme that is inexhaustible, ever new and always interesting.
The Fourth Section.
The Fourth Section rationally accounts for the
origin of our hieroglyphical instruction and points out the advantages
which accompany a faithful observance of our duty, it illustrates, at
the same time, certain particulars, our ignorance of which might lead us
into error and which, as Masons, we are indispensably bound to know. To
make daily progress in the Art, is a constant duty and expressly
required by our general laws. What end can be more noble, than the
pursuit of virtue? What motive more alluring, than the practice of
justice? What instruction more beneficial, than an accurate elucidation
of symbols, which tend to improve and embellish the mind? Every thing
that strikes the eye more immediately engages the attention and imprints
on the memory serious and solemn truths. Masons have therefore
universally adopted the plan of inculcating the tenets of their order by
typical figures and allegorical emblems, to prevent their mysteries from
descending within the familiar reach of inattentive and unprepared
novices, from whom they might not receive due veneration.
usages and customs of Masons have ever corresponded with those of the
ancient Egyptians, to which they bear a near affinity. Those
philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes,
concealed their particular tenets and principles of polity and
philosophy under hieroglyphical figures and expressed their notions of
government by signs and symbols, which they communicated to their Magi
alone, who were bound by oath never to reveal them. Pythagoras seems to
have established his system on a similar plan and many Orders of a more
recent date have copied the example. Masonry, however, is not only the
most ancient, but the most moral Institution that ever subsisted, as
every character, figure, emblem, depicted in the lodge, has a moral
tendency and tends to inculcate the practice of virtue.
Fifth Section explains the nature and principles of our constitution and
teaches us to discharge with propriety the duties of the different
departments, which we are appointed to sustain in the government of the
too, our ornaments are displayed and our jewels and furniture specified,
while a proper attention is paid to our antient and venerable patrons. To explain the subjects treated in this Section and assist the
industrious Mason to acquire them, we can only recommend a punctual
attendance on the duties of the lodge and a diligent application to the
lessons, which are there inculcated.
Sixth Section, though the last in rank, is not the least considerable in
importance. It strengthens those, which precede and enforces, in the
most engaging manner, a due regard to character and behaviour, in public
as well as in private life, in the lodge as well as in the general
commerce of society. This Section forcibly inculcates the most instructive lessons.
Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, are themes on which we here expatiate.
By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught to regard the whole
human species as one family, the high and low, the rich and poor, who,
as children of the same Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are
to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry
unites men of every country, sect and opinion and conciliates true
friendship among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual
distance. Relief is the next tenet of the profession. To relieve the
distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, particularly on Masons, who
are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To
soothe calamity, alleviate misfortune, compassionate misery and restore
peace to the troubled mind, is the grand aim of the true Mason. On this
basis, he establishes his friendships and forms his connections. Truth
is a divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be good men
and true, is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry. On this theme we
contemplate and by its dictates endeavour to regulate our conduct,
influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown in the
lodge, sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us, while the heart and
tongue join in promoting the general welfare and rejoicing in each
To this illustration succeeds an explanation of the four cardinal virtues, Temperance, Fortitude,
Prudence and Justice. By Temperance, we are instructed to govern the
passions and check unruly desires. The health of the body and the
dignity of the species, are equally concerned in a faithful observance
of it. By Fortitude, we are taught to resist temptation and encounter
danger with spirit and resolution. This virtue is equally distant from
rashness and cowardice and he who possesses it, is seldom shaken and
never overthrown, by the storms that surround him. By Prudence, we are
instructed to regulate our conduct by the dictates of reason and to
judge and determine with propriety in the execution of everything that
tends to promote either our present or future well being. On this
virtue, all others depend, it is, therefore, the chief jewel that can
adorn the human frame. Justice, the boundary of right, constitutes the
cement of civil society. This virtue, in a great measure, constitutes
real goodness and is therefore represented as the perpetual study of the
accomplished Mason. Without the exercise of justice, universal confusion
would ensue, lawless force might overcome the principles of equity and
social intercourse no longer exist.
explanation of these virtues is accompanied with some general
observations on the equality observed among Masons. In the lodge, no
estrangement of behaviour is discovered, influenced by the same
principle, a uniformity of opinion, which is useful in exigencies and
pleasing in familiar life, universally prevails, strengthens the ties of
friendship and promotes love and esteem. Masons are brethren by a double
tie and among them, as brothers, no invidious distinctions exist, merit
being always respected and honour rendered to whom honour is due. A
king, in the lodge, is reminded, that although a crown may adorn the
head, or a sceptre the hand, the blood in the veins is derived from the
common parent of mankind and is no better than that of the meanest
statesman, the senator and the artist, are there taught that, equally
with others, they are, by nature, exposed to infirmity and disease and
that an unforeseen misfortune, or a disordered frame, may impair their
faculties and level them with the most ignorant of their species.
This checks pride and incites courtesy of behaviour. Men of inferior
or who are not placed by fortune in such exalted stations, are instructed to regard their superiors with peculiar esteem,
when they discover them voluntarily divested of the trappings of
external grandeur and condescending, in the badge of innocence and bond
of friendship, to trace wisdom and follow virtue, assisted by those who are of a rank
beneath them. Virtue is true nobility and wisdom is the channel by which
virtue is directed and conveyed, Wisdom and Virtue only mark distinction
is the arrangement of the Sections in the First Lecture, which,
including the forms adopted at opening and closing the lodge,
comprehends the whole of the First Degree. This plan has not only the
advantage of regularity to recommend it, but the support of precedent
and authority and the sanction and respect, which flow from antiquity.
The whole is a regular system of morality, conceived in a strain of
interesting allegory, which readily unfolds its beauties to the candid
and industrious inquirer.
Section. 4. Remarks on the Second Lecture.
Masonry is a progressive science and is
divided into different classes or Degrees,
for the more regular advancement in the knowledge of its mysteries. According to the progress we make, we limit or extend our inquiries and
in proportion to our talents, we attain to a lesser or greater degree of
perfection. Masonry includes almost every branch of polite
learning under the veil of its mysteries, which comprehend a regular
system of science. Many of its illustrations may appear unimportant to
the confined genius, but the man of more enlarged faculties will
consider them in the highest degree useful and interesting.
To please the accomplished scholar and ingenious artist, the institution
is planned and in the investigation of its latent doctrines, the
philosopher and mathematician may experience equal satisfaction and
exhaust the various subjects of which Masonry treats, would transcend
the powers of the brightest genius, still, however, nearer approaches to
perfection may be made and the man of wisdom will not check the progress
of his abilities, though the task he attempts may at first seem
Perseverance and application will remove each difficulty as it occurs,
every step he advances, new pleasures will open to his view and
instruction of the noblest kind attend his researches. In
the diligent pursuit of knowledge, great discoveries are made and the
intellectual faculties are wisely employed in promoting the glory of God
and the good of man. Such
is the tendency of all the illustrations in masonry. Reverence
for the Deity and gratitude for the blessings of heaven, are inculcated
in every Degree. This is the plan of our system and the result of our
First Degree being intended to enforce the duties of morality and
imprint on the memory the noblest principles, which can adorn the human
mind, the Second Degree extends the plan and comprehends a more
diffusive system of knowledge. Practice and theory are united to qualify
the industrious Mason to share the pleasures, which an advancement in
the Art necessarily affords. Listening with attention to the wise
opinions of experienced men on important subjects, the mind of the
Craftsman is gradually familiarised to useful instruction and he is soon
enabled to investigate truths of the utmost concern in the general
transactions of life.
From this system proceeds a rational amusement. While
the mental powers are fully employed, the judgment is properly
exercised, a spirit of emulation prevails and every brother vies, who
shall most excel in promoting the design of the Institution.
The First Section.
The first Section of the Second Degree
elucidates the mode of introduction into this class and instructs the
diligent Craftsman how to proceed in the proper arrangement of the
ceremonies, which are used on that occasion. It enables him to judge of
the importance of those rites and convinces him of the necessity of
adhering to all the established usages of the Order. Here he is
entrusted with particular tests, to prove his title to the privileges of
this Degree and satisfactory reasons are given for their origin. The
duties which cement, in the firmest union, well informed brethren, are
illustrated and an opportunity is given to make such advances in the
Art, as will always distinguish the talents of able craftsmen.
Besides the ceremony of initiation in the
Second Degree, this section contains many important particulars, with
which no officer of the lodge should be unacquainted.
at Initiation into the Second Degree.
Being advanced to the Second Degree of the Order, we congratulate you on
your preferment. The internal and not the external,
qualifications of a man, are what Masonry regards.
As you increase in knowledge, you will consequently improve in social
intercourse. It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties, which as a
Mason, you are now bound to discharge, or enlarge on the necessity of a
strict adherence to them, as your own experience must have established
their value. It may be sufficient to observe, that Your past behaviour
and regular deportment have merited the honour which we have conferred
and in your new character, it is expected that you will not only conform
to the principles of the order, but steadily persevere in the practice
of every virtue. The
study of the liberal arts, that valuable branch of education, which
tends so effectually to polish and adorn the mind is earnestly
recommended to your consideration, especially the science of Geometry,
which is established as the basis of our Art. Geometry, or Masonry,
originally synonymous terms, is of a divine and moral nature and
enriched with the most useful knowledge, while it proves the wonderful
properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of
the solemnity of our ceremonies requires a serious deportment, you are
to be particularly attentive to your behaviour in our regular
assemblies, you are to preserve our ancient usages and customs sacred
and inviolable and induce others, by your example, to hold them in due
laws and regulations of the Order you are strenuously to support and
maintain. You are not to palliate, or aggravate, the offences of your
brethren: but, in the decision of every trespass against our rules,
judge with candour, admonish with friendship and reprehend with mercy.
As a Craftsman, in our private assemblies you may
offer your sentiments and opinions on such subjects as are regularly
introduced in the Lecture, under the superintendence of an experienced
Master, who will guard the landmarks against encroachment. By this
privilege you may improve your intellectual powers, qualify yourself to
become a useful member of society and, like a skilful Brother, strive to
excel in what is good and great (This and the following paragraph are to be
omitted, if previously used in the course of the ceremony.)
All regular signs and summonses, given and received,
you are duly to honour and punctually obey, inasmuch as they consist
with our professed principles. You are to encourage industry and reward
merit, supply the wants and relieve the necessities of brethren and
fellows, to the utmost of your power and ability and on no account to
wrong them, or see them wronged, but apprise them of approaching danger
and view their interest as inseparable from your own.
is the nature of your engagements as a Craftsman and these duties you
are now bound to observe by the most sacred ties.
The Second Section.
Second Section of this Degree presents an ample field for the man of
genius to perambulate. It cursorily specifies the particular classes of
the Order and explains the requisite qualifications for preferment in
each. In the explanation of our usages, many remarks are introduced,
which are equally useful to the experienced artist and the sage
moralist. The various operations of the mind are demonstrated as far as
they will admit of elucidation and a fund of extensive science is
explored throughout. Here we find employment for leisure hours, trace
science from its original source and by drawing the attention to the sum
of perfection, contemplate with admiration the wonderful works of the
Creator. Geometry is displayed, with all its powers and properties and
in the disquisition of this science, the mind is filled with rapture and
delight. Such is the latitude of this Section, that the most judicious
may fail in an attempt to explain it, the rational powers being exerted
to their utmost stretch in illustrating the beauties of nature and
demonstrating the more important truths of morality.
the orders of architecture come under consideration in this Section, the
following brief description of them may not be improper:
By order, in architecture, is meant a system
of the members, proportions and ornaments of columns and pilasters, or,
it is a regular arrangement of the projecting parts of a building,
which, united with those of a column, form a beautiful, perfect and
complete whole. Order in architecture may be traced from the first
formation of society.
When the rigour of seasons obliged men to contrive shelter from the
inclemency of the weather, we learn that they first planted trees on end
and then laid others across, to support a covering. The bands which
connected those trees at top and bottom, are said to have suggested the
idea of the base and capital of pillars and from this simple hint
originally proceeded the more improved art of architecture.
five orders are thus classed, the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and
Tuscan is the most simple and solid of the five orders. It was invented
in Tuscany, whence it derives its name. Its column is seven diameters
high and its capital, base and entablature, have but few mouldings. The
simplicity of the construction of this column renders it eligible where
solidity is the chief object and where ornament would be superfluous.
Doric order, which is plain and natural, is the most ancient and was
invented by the Greeks. Its column is eight diameters high and it has
seldom any ornaments on base or capital, except mouldings, though the
frieze is distinguished by triglyphs and metopes and the triglyphs
compose the ornaments of the frieze. The solid composition of this order
gives it a preference in structures where strength and a noble but rough
simplicity are chiefly required. The Doric is the best proportioned of
all the orders. The several parts of which it is composed are founded on
the natural position of solid bodies. In its first invention it was more
simple than in its present state. In aftertimes, when it began to be
adorned, it gained the name of Doric, for when it was constructed in its
primitive and simple form the name of Tuscan was conferred on it. Hence
the Tuscan precedes the Doric in rank on account of the resemblance to
that pillar in its original state.
Ionic bears a kind of mean proportion between the more solid and
delicate orders. Its column is nine diameters high, its capital is
adorned with volutes and its cornice has dentiles. There is both
delicacy and ingenuity displayed in this pillar, the invention of which
is attributed to the Ionians, as the famous temple of Diana at Ephesus
was of this order. It is said to have been formed after the model of an
agreeable young woman, of an elegant shape, dressed in her hair, as a
contrast to the Doric order, which was formed after that of a strong
The Corinthian, the richest of the five
orders, is deemed a masterpiece of art and was invented at Corinth by
Callimachus. Its column is ten diameters high and its capital is adorned
with two rows of leaves and eight volutes, which sustain the abacus. The
frieze is ornamented with curious devices and the cornice with denticles
and modillions. This order is used in stately and superb structures.
Callimachus is said to have taken the hint of the capital of this
pillar from the following remarkable circumstance. Accidentally passing
by the tomb of a young lady, he perceived a basket of toys, covered with
a tile placed over an acanthus root, having been left there by her
nurse. As the branches grew up, they encompassed the basket, till,
arriving at the tile they met with an obstruction and bent downwards.
Callimachus, struck with the object, set about imitating the figure, the
vase of the capital he made to represent the basket, the abacus the tile
and the volutes, the bending leaves.
Composite is compounded of the other orders and was contrived by the
Romans. Its capital has the two rows of leaves of the Corinthian and the
volutes of the Ionic. Its column has the quarter round as the Tuscan and
Doric orders, is ten diameters high and its cornice has denticles or
simple modillions. This pillar is generally found in buildings where
strength, elegance and beauty, are united.
original orders of architecture were no more than three, the Doric,
Ionic and Corinthian. To these the Romans added two, the Tuscan, which
they made plainer than the Doric and the Composite, which was more
ornamental, if not more beautiful than the Corinthian. The first three
orders alone show invention and particular character and essentially
differ from each other, the two others have nothing but what is borrowed
and differ only accidentally, the Tuscan is the Doric in its earliest
state and the Composite is the Corinthian enriched with the Ionic. To
the Greeks and not to the Romans, we are indebted for what is great,
judicious and distinct, in architecture.
observations are intended to induce the industrious craftsman to pursue
his researches into the rise and progress of architecture, by consulting
the works of the best writers on the subject.)
analysis of the human faculties is also given in this Section, in which
the five external senses particularly claim attention. When these topics
are proposed in our assemblies, we are not confined to any peculiar mode
of explanation, but every brother is at liberty to offer his sentiments,
under proper restrictions. The senses we are to consider as the gifts of
Nature and the primary regulators of our active powers, as by them alone
we are conscious of the distance, nature and properties of external
objects. Reason, properly employed, confirms the documents of Nature,
which are always true and wholesome: she distinguishes the good from the
bad, rejects the last with modesty and adheres to the first with
The objects of human knowledge are
innumerable, the channels by which this knowledge is conveyed, are few.
Among these, the perception of external things by the senses and the
information we receive from human testimony, are not the least
considerable, the analogy between them is obvious. In the testimony of
Nature given by the senses, as well as in human testimony given by
information, things are signified by signs. In one as well as the other,
the mind, either by original principles or by custom, passes from the
sign to the conception and belief of the thing signified. The signs in the natural language, as well as the
signs in our original perceptions, have the same signification in all
climates and nations and the skill of interpreting them is not acquired,
Having made these observations, we shall proceed to
give a brief description of the five senses.
is that sense by which we distinguish sounds and are capable of enjoying
all the agreeable charms of music. By it we are enabled to enjoy the
pleasures of society and reciprocally to communicate to each other, our
thoughts and intentions, our purposes and desires, while our reason is
capable of exerting its utmost power and energy.
The wise and beneficent Author of Nature seems
to have intended, by the formation of this sense, that we should be
social creatures and receive the greatest and most important part of our
knowledge by the information of others. For these purposes we are
endowed with Hearing, that, by a proper exertion of our rational powers,
our happiness may be complete.
Seeing is that sense by which we distinguish
objects and are enabled in an instant of time, without change of place
or situation, to view armies in battle array, figures of the most
stately structures and all the agreeable variety displayed in the
landscape of Nature. By this sense we find our way in the pathless
ocean, traverse the globe of earth, determine its figure and dimensions
and delineate any region or quarter of it. By it we measure the
planetary orbs and make new discoveries in the sphere of the fixed
stars. Nay more, by it we perceive the tempers and dispositions, the
passions and affections, of our fellow creatures, when they wish most to
conceal them, so that though the tongue may be taught to lie and
dissemble, the countenance will display the hypocrisy to the discerning
eye. In fine, the rays of light which administer to this sense, are the
most astonishing parts of the inanimate creation and render the eye,
with all its appurtenances, a peculiar object of admiration.
all the faculties, sight is the noblest. The structure of the eye
evinces the admirable contrivance of Nature for performing its various
external and internal motions and the variety that is displayed in the
eyes of different animals, suited to their several ways of life, clearly
demonstrates this organ to be the masterpiece of Nature's work.
Feeling is that sense by which we distinguish the
different qualities of bodies, such as, heat and cold, hardness and
softness, roughness and smoothness, figure, solidity, motion and
extension. By means of certain corresponding sensations of touch, these
are presented to the mind as real external qualities and the conception
or belief of them is invariably connected with corresponding sensations,
by an original principle of human natures which far transcends our
All knowledge beyond our original perceptions is got
by experience. The constancy of Nature's laws connects the sign with the
thing signified and we rely on the continuance of that connection which
experience hath discovered.
three senses, seeing, hearing and feeling, are deemed peculiarly
essential among Masons.
Smelling enables us to distinguish odours,
which convey different impressions to the mind.
Animal and vegetable bodies and indeed most other bodies, continually
send forth effluvia of vast subtilty, as well in the state of life and
growth, as in the state of fermentation and putrefaction. The volatile
particles probably repel each other and scatter themselves in the air,
till they meet with other bodies to which they bear a chemical affinity,
with which they unite and form new concretes. These effluvia being drawn
into the nostrils along with the air, are the means by which all bodies
are smelled. Hence it is evident, that there is a manifest appearance of design in
the great Creator's having planted the organ of smell in the inside of
that canal, through which the air continually passes in respiration.
Tasting enables us to make a proper
distinction in the choice of our food. The organ of this sense guards
the entrance of the alimentary canal, as that of smell guards the
entrance of the canal for respiration. From the situation of these
organs, it is plain that they were intended by Nature to enable us to
distinguish wholesome food from that which is nauseous. Every thing that enters into the stomach must
undergo the scrutiny of Tasting and by it we are capable of discerning
the change, which the same body undergoes in the different compositions
of art, cookery, chemistry, pharmacy, &c.
and Tasting are inseparably connected and it is by the unnatural kind of
life, which men commonly lead in society, that these senses are rendered
less fit to perform their natural offices. Through the medium of the
senses, we are enabled to form just and accurate notions of the
operations of Nature and when we reflect on the means by which the
senses are gratified, we become conscious of the existence of bodies and
attend to them, till they are rendered familiar objects of thought.
To understand and analyse the operations of
the mind, is an attempt in which the most judicious may fail. All we
know is, that the senses are the channels of communication to the mind,
which is ultimately affected by their operation and when the mind is
diseased, every sense loses its virtue. The fabric of the mind, as well as that of
the body, is curious and wonderful, the faculties of the one are adapted
to their several ends with equal wisdom and no less propriety, than the
organs of the other. The inconceivable wisdom of an Almighty Being
is displayed in the structure of the mind, which extends its powers over
every branch of science, it is therefore a theme peculiarly worthy of
attention. In the arts and sciences which have least connetion with the
mind, its faculties are still the engines which we must employ and the
better we understand their nature and use, their defects and disorders,
we will apply them with the greater success. In the noblest arts, the
mind is the subject upon which we operate.
Wise men agree, that there is but one way to the
knowledge of Nature's works, the way of observation and experiment. By
our constitution we have a strong propensity to trace particular facts
and observations to general rules and to apply those rules to account
for other effects, or to direct us in the production of them. This
procedure of the understanding is familiar in the common affairs of life
and is the means by which every real discovery in philosophy is made.
On the mind all our knowledge must depend, it
therefore constitutes a proper subject for the investigation of Masons.
Although by anatomical dissection and observation we may become
acquainted with the body, it is by the anatomy of the mind alone we can
discover its powers and principles.
To sum up the whole of this transcendent
measure of God's bounty to man, we may add, that memory, imagination,
taste, reasoning, moral perception and all the active powers of the
soul, present such a vast and boundless field for philosophical
disquisition, as far exceeds human inquiry and are peculiar mysteries,
known only to Nature and to Nature's God, to whom all are indebted for
creation, preservation and every blessing they enjoy.
From this theme we proceed to illustrate the
moral advantages of Geometry.
is the first and noblest of sciences and the basis on which the
superstructure of Freemasonry is erected. The contemplation of this
science in a moral and comprehensive view fills the mind with rapture.
To the true Geometrician, the regions of matter with, which he is
surrounded, afford ample scope for his admiration, while they open a
sublime field for his inquiry and disquisition. Every blade of grass
which covers the field, every flower that blows and every insect, which
wings its way in the bounds of expanded space, proves the existence of a
first Cause and yields pleasure to the intelligent mind.
The symmetry, beauty and order displayed in
the various parts of animate and inanimate creation are pleasing and
delightful themes and naturally lead to the source whence the whole is
derived. When we bring within the focus of the eye the
variegated carpet of the terrestrial creation and survey the progress of
the vegetative system, our admiration is justly excited. Every plant that grows, every flower that displays its beauties or
breathes its sweets, affords instruction and delight.
When we extend our views to the animal creation and contemplate the
varied clothing of every species, we are equally struck with
astonishment and when we trace the lines of Geometry drawn by the divine pencil in the
beautiful plumage of the feathered tribe, how exalted is our conception
of the heavenly work! The admirable structure of plants and animals and
the infinite number of fibres and vessels which run through the whole,
with the apt disposition of one part to another, is a perpetual subject
of study to the true Geometrician, who, while he adverts to the changes,
which all undergo in their progress to maturity, is lost in rapture and
veneration of the great cause that produced the whole and governs the
he descends into the bowels of the earth and explores the kingdom of
ores, minerals and fossils, he finds the same instances of divine wisdom
and goodness displayed in their formation and structure, every gem and
every pebble proclaims the handiwork of an Almighty Creator.
When he surveys the watery element and directs
his attention to the wonders of the deep, with all the inhabitants of
the mighty ocean, he perceives emblems of the same supreme intelligence.
The scales of the largest whale, as well as the pencilled shell of the
most diminutive fish, equally yield a theme for his contemplation, on
which he fondly dwells, while the symmetry of their formation and the
delicacy of the tints, evince to his discerning eye the wisdom of the
he exalts his view to the more noble and elevated parts of nature and
surveys the celestial orbs, how much greater is his astonishment. If, on
the principles of Geometry and true philosophy, he contemplates the sun,
the moon, the stars and the whole concave of heaven, his pride is
humbled and he is lost in awful admiration. The immense magnitude of
those bodies, the regularity and rapidity of their motions and the vast
extent of space through which they move, are equally inconceivable and
as far as they exceed human comprehension, baffle his most daring
ambition, till, lost in the immensity of the theme, he sinks into his
Geometry, then, we curiously trace Nature, through her various windings,
to her most concealed recesses. By it we discover the power, the wisdom
and the goodness of the Grand Artificer of the Universe and view with
delight the proportions, which connect this vast machine. By it we
discover how the planets move in their different orbits and demonstrate
their various revolutions. By it we account for the return of seasons
and the variety of scenes, which each season displays to the discerning
eye. Numberless worlds are around us, all framed by the same Divine
Artist, which roll through the vast expanse and are all conducted by the
same unerring law. A survey of Nature and the observation of her
beautiful proportions, first determined man to imitate the divine plan
and study symmetry and order. This gave rise to societies and birth to
every useful art. The architect began to design and the plans which he
laid down, improved by experience and time, produced works which have
been the admiration of every age.
The Third Section.
The Third Section of this Degree has reference to the
origin of the institution and views Masonry under two denominations,
operative and speculative. These are separately considered and the
principles on which both are founded are particularly explained. Their
affinity is pointed out by allegorical figures and typical
representations. Here the rise of our government, or division into
classes, is examined, the disposition of our rulers, supreme and
subordinate, is traced and reasons are assigned for the establishment of
several of our present practices. The progress made in architecture,
particularly in the reign of Solomon, is remarked, the number of artists
who were employed in building the temple of Jerusalem, with their
privileges, are specified, the stipulated period for rewarding merit is
fixed and the inimitable moral to which that circumstance alludes is
explained, the creation of the world is described and many particulars
are recited, which have been carefully preserved among Masons and
transmitted from one age to another by oral tradition. In short, this Section
contains a store of valuable knowledge, founded on reason and sacred
record, both entertaining and instructive and is well calculated to
enforce the veneration due to antiquity.
We can afford little assistance, by writing, to the
industrious Mason in this Section, as it can only be acquired by oral
communication. For an explanation, however, of the connection between
operative and speculative Masonry, we refer him to the Fourth Section of
The following Invocation of Solomon, at the
Dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem, particularly claims our attention
in this Section.
Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord, in the presence of all the
congregation of Israel and spread forth his hands, saying,
Lord God, there is no God like unto thee, in heaven above, or in the
earth beneath, who keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto thy servants,
who walk before thee with all their hearts.
thy Word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto David my father.
all the people of the earth know that the Lord is God and that there is
all the people of the earth know thy name and fear thee.
all the people of the earth know, that I have built this house and
consecrated it to thy Name.
will God indeed dwell upon the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven
of heavens, cannot contain thee, how much less this house, which I have
have respect unto my prayer and to my supplication and hearken unto my
thine eyes be open towards this house, by day and by night, even toward
the place of which thou hast said, My name shall be there!
when thy servant and thy people Israel, shall pray towards this house,
hearken to their supplication, hear thou
them in heaven, thy dwelling place and when thou hearest, forgive!
the Lord answered and said, I have hallowed the house which thou hast
built, to put my Name there for ever and mine eyes and mine heart shall
be there perpetually.
all the people answered and said, The Lord is gracious and his mercy
endureth for ever.
The Fourth Section.
The Fourth and last Section of this Degree is no less
replete with useful instruction. Circumstances of real importance to the
Fraternity are here particularised and many traditional tenets and
customs confirmed by sacred and profane record. are
considered with accuracy and here the accomplished gentleman may display
his talents to advantage in the elucidation of the sciences, which are
classed in a regular arrangement. The stimulus to preferment and the mode
of rewarding merit are pointed out, the marks of distinction which were
conferred on our ancient brethren, as the reward of excellence, are
explained and the duties as well as privileges of the first branch of
their male offspring defined. In short, this Section contains some
curious observations on the validity of our forms and concludes with the
most powerful incentives to the practice of piety and virtue.
As the several liberal Arts and Sciences are
illustrated in this Section, it may not be improper to give a short
explanation of them.
Grammar teaches the proper arrangement of words,
according to the idiom or dialect of any particular people and enables us
to speak or write a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason and
Rhetoric teaches us to speak copiously and fluently
on any subject, not merely with propriety, but with all the advantages
of force and elegance, wisely contriving to captivate the hearer by
strength of argument and beauty of expression, whether it be to entreat
or exhort, to admonish or applaud.
Logic teaches us to guide our reason discreetly in
the general knowledge of things and direct our inquiries after truth. It
consists of a regular train of argument, whence we infer, deduce and
conclude, according to certain premises laid down, admitted, or granted
and in it are employed the faculties of conceiving, judging, reasoning
and disposing, which are naturally led on from one gradation to
another, till the point in question is finally determined.
Arithmetic teaches the powers and properties of
numbers, which is variously effected by letters, tables, figures and
instruments. By this art reasons and demonstrations are given for
finding out any certain number, whose relation or affinity to others is
Geometry treats of the powers and properties of
magnitudes in general, where length, breadth and thickness, are
considered. By this science, the architect is enabled to construct his
plans, the general, to arrange his soldiers, the engineer, to mark out
ground for encampments, the geographer, to give us the dimensions of the
world, delineate the extent of seas and specify the divisions of empires,
kingdoms and provinces and by it, also, the astronomer is enabled to make
his observations and fix the durations of times and seasons, years and
cycles. In fine, Geometry is the foundation of architecture and the root
of the mathematics.
Music teaches the art of forming concords, so as to
compose delightful harmony, by a proportional arrangement of acute,
grave and mixed sounds. This art, by a series of experiments, is reduced
to a science, with respect to tones and the intervals of sound only. It
inquires into the nature of concords and discords and enables us to find
out the proportion between them by numbers.
Astronomy is that art by which we are taught to read
the wonderful works of the Almighty Creator in those sacred pages, the
celestial hemisphere. Assisted by astronomy, we observe the motions,
measure the distances, comprehend the magnitudes and calculate the
periods and eclipses, of the heavenly bodies. By it we learn the use of
the globes, the system of the world and the primary law of nature. While
we are employed in the study of this science, we perceive unparalleled
instances of wisdom and goodness and through the whole of creation trace
the glorious Author by his works.
(The doctrine of the spheres, which is included in the
science of Astronomy, is also particularly considered in this Section.)
The globes are two artificial spherical bodies, on
the convex surface of which are represented the countries, seas and
various parts of the earth, the face of the heavens, the planetary
revolutions and other important particulars. The sphere, with the parts
of the earth delineated upon its surface, is called the terrestrial
globe and that with the constellations and other heavenly bodies, the
celestial globe. Their principal use, besides serving as maps to
distinguish the outward parts of the earth and the situation of the fixed
stars, is to illustrate and explain the phenomena arising from the
annual revolution and the diurnal rotation of the earth round its own
axis. They are the noblest instruments for giving the most distinct idea
of any problem or proposition, as well as for enabling us to solve it.
Contemplating these bodies, Masons are inspired with a due reverence for
the Deity and his works and are induced to apply with diligence and
attention to astronomy, geography, navigation and all the arts dependent
on them, by which society has been so much benefited.
Thus end the different Sections of the Second
Lecture, which, with the ceremony used at opening and closing the lodge,
comprehend the whole of the Second Degree of Masonry. Besides a complete
theory of philosophy and physics, this Lecture contains a regular system
of Science, demonstrated on the clearest principles and established on
the firmest foundation.
Section. 5. Remarks on the Third Lecture.
In treating with propriety on any subject, it is
necessary to observe a regular course, in the former Degrees we have
recapitulated the contents of the several Sections and should willingly
pursue the same plan in this Degree, did not the variety of particulars
of which it is composed render it impossible to give an abstract,
without violating the rules of the Order. It may be sufficient to
remark, that, in twelve Sections, of which this Lecture consists, every
circumstance that respects government and system, ancient lore and deep
research, curious invention and ingenious discovery, is collected and
accurately traced, while the mode of practising our rites, on public as
well as private occasions, is satisfactorily explained. Among the
brethren of this Degree, the landmarks of the Order are preserved and
from them is derived that fund of information which expert and ingenious
Craftsmen only can afford, whose judgment has been matured by years and
experience. To a complete knowledge of this Lecture, few attain, but it
is an infallible truth, that he who acquires by merit the mark of
preeminence to which this Degree entitles him, receives a reward which
amply compensates for all his past diligence and assiduity.
From this class of the Order, the rulers of the Craft
are selected, as it is only from those who are capable of giving
instruction, that we can properly expect to receive it with advantage.
The First Section.
The ceremony of initiation into the Third Degree is
particularly specified in this branch of the Lecture and many useful
instructions are given. Such is the importance of this Section, that we may
safely aver, whoever is unacquainted with it, is ill qualified to act as
a ruler or governor of the work of Masonry.
Prayer at Initiation into the Third Degree.
O Lord, direct us to know and serve thee aright!
prosper our laudable undertakings! and grant that, as we increase in
knowledge, we may improve in virtue and still farther promote thy honour
and glory! Amen.
Charge at Initiation into the Third Degree.
Brother, your zeal for the institution of
Freemasonry, the progress which you have made in the art and your
conformity to the general regulations, have pointed you out as a proper
object of our favour and esteem.
In the character of a Master Mason, you are
henceforth authorised to correct the errors and irregularities of
brethren and Fellows and guard them against a breach of fidelity. To
improve the morals and correct the manners of men in society, must be
your constant care, with this view, therefore, you are always to
recommend to inferiors, obedience and submission, to equals, courtesy
and affability, to superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal
benevolence you are to inculcate and, by the regularity of your own
behaviour, afford the best example for the conduct of others. The
ancient landmarks of the Order, which are here intrusted to your care,
you are to preserve sacred and inviolable and never suffer an
infringement of our rites, or a deviation from established usage and
Duty, honour and gratitude, now bind you to be
faithful to every trust, to support with becoming dignity your new
character and to enforce, by example and precept, the tenets of the
system. Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty,
violate your vows, or betray your trust, but be true and faithful and
imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you have once
represented. By this exemplary conduct you will convince the world, that
merit has been your title to our privileges and that on you our favours
have not been undeservedly bestowed.
The Second Section.
The Second Section is an introduction, to the
proceedings of the Chapter of Master Masons and illustrates several points
which are well known to experienced Craftsmen. It investigates, in the
ceremony of opening the Chapter, some important circumstances in the two
The Third Section.
The Third Section commences the historical traditions
of the Order, which are chiefly collected from sacred record and other
The Fourth Section.
The Fourth Section farther illustrates the historical
traditions of the Order and presents to view a finished picture of the
utmost consequence to the Fraternity.
The Fifth Section.
The Fifth Section continues the explanation of the
historical traditions of the Order.
The Sixth Section.
The Sixth Section concludes the historical traditions
of the Order.
The Seventh Section.
The Seventh Section illustrates the hieroglyphical
emblems restricted to the Third Degree and inculcates many useful
lessons, which are intended to extend knowledge and promote virtue. This Section is indispensably necessary to be
understood by every Master of the lodge.
The Eighth Section.
The Eighth Section treats of the government of the
Fraternity and the disposition of our rulers, supreme and subordinate. It
is generally rehearsed at installations.
The Ninth Section.
(For many particulars to which this and the two following Sections
relate, see the Ceremonies of Constitution,
consecration, Installation, etc., annexed to these Remarks.)
The Ninth Section recites the qualifications of our
rulers and illustrates the ceremony of installation in the Grand Lodge,
as well as in the private assemblies, of Masons.
The Tenth Section.
The Tenth Section comprehends the ceremonies of
constitution and consecration and a variety of particulars explanatory of
The Eleventh Section.
The Eleventh Section illustrates the ceremonies used
at laying the foundation stones of churches, chapels, palaces, hospitals,
&c., also the ceremonies observed at the Dedication of the Lodge and
at the Interment of Master Masons.
The Twelfth Section.
The Twelfth Section contains a recapitulation of the
essential points of the Lectures in all the Degrees and corroborates the
whole by infallible testimony.
Having thus given a general summary of the Lectures
restricted to the three degrees of the Order and made such remarks on
each Degree as might illustrate the subjects treated, little farther can
be wanted to encourage the zealous Mason to persevere in his researches.
He who has traced the Art in a regular progress from the commencement of
the First to the conclusion of the Third Degree, according to the plan
here laid down, must have amassed an ample store of knowledge and will
reflect with pleasure on the good effects of his past diligence and
attention. By applying the improvements he has made to the general
advantage of society, he will secure to himself the approbation of all
Section. 6. Of the Ancient Ceremonies of the Order.
We shall now proceed to illustrate the Ancient
Ceremonies of the Order, particularly those observed at the Constitution
and Consecration of the Lodge and at the Installation of Officers, with
the usual charges delivered on those occasions. We shall likewise annex
an explanation of the Ceremonies used at laying the Foundation stones of
Public Structures, at the Dedication of Public Halls and at Funerals and
close this part of the treatise with the Funeral Service.
The Manner of constituting the Lodge, including the
Ceremony of Consecration, etc.
Any number of regularly registered Masons, not under
seven, resolved to form the new Lodge, must apply, by petition
Grand Master [The mode of applying by petition to the Grand Master for a warrant to
meet as a regular lodge, commenced only in the year 1718, previous to
which time, lodges were empowered by inherent privileges vested in the
Fraternity at large, to meet and act occasionally under the direction of
some able architect and the acting magistrate of the country and the
proceedings of those meetings, being approved by the majority of the
brethren convened at another Lodge assembled in the same district, were
deemed constitutional. By such an inherent authority the Lodge of
Antiquity in London now acts, having no warrant from the Grand Lodge,
but an authority traced from time immemorial, which has been long and
universally admitted and acknowledged by the whole Fraternity and which
no warrant or other instrument of any particular Masonic jurisdiction
can possibly supersede.]
setting forth "That they are regular
Masons [By regular Masons is to be understood persons initiated into Masonry in
a regular lodge, acting agreeably to the Constitutions of the Order.]
and are at present, or have been, members of a regular lodge
[A Lodge regularly, or legally warranted by the Grand Lodge of the
country to act.]
having the prosperity of the Fraternity at heart, they are willing to
exert their best endeavours to promote and diffuse the genuine
principles of the Art and for the conveniency of their respective
dwellings and other good reasons, have agreed to form a new Lodge, to be
named : That, in consequence of this resolution, they pray for a warrant
of constitution, to empower them to meet as a regular lodge, on the of
every month, at and then and there to discharge the duties of Masonry in
a regular and constitutional manner, according to the original forms of
the Order and the laws of the Grand Lodge: That they have nominated and
do recommend A. B. to be the first Master and C. D. to be the first
Senior Warden and E. F. to be the first Junior Warden, of the said Lodge:
That, the prayer of the petition being granted, they promise strict
conformity to every regular edict and command of the Grand Master and to
all the constitutional laws and regulations of the Grand Lodge."
This petition, being signed by at least seven regular
Masons and recommended by the Masters of three regular lodges adjacent to
the place where the new Lodge is to be formed, is delivered to the Grand
Secretary, who, on presenting it to the Grand Master, or in his absence
to the Deputy and its being approved, is ordered to grant a dispensation,
authorising the brethren specified in the petition to assemble as Masons
in open Lodge for forty days and practise the rites of the Order, until
such time as a constitution can be obtained, or that authority recalled.
In consequence of this dispensation, the lodge is
formed at the place specified and its transactions, being properly
recorded, are valid for the time being, provided they are afterwards
approved by the brethren convened at the time of Constitution.
When the Grand Master has signified his approbation
of the new Lodge, he appoints a day and hour for constituting and
consecrating [This is too frequently omitted.]
the new Lodge and for installing the Master, Wardens and Officers.
If the Grand Master in person attend the ceremony,
the lodge is said to be constituted In Ample Form, if the Deputy Grand
Master acts as Grand Master, it is said to be constituted In Due Form
if the power of performing the ceremony be vested in the Master of a
private Lodge, it is said to be constituted In Form.
Ceremony of Constitution.
On the day and hour appointed, the Grand Master and
his Officers, or the Master and Officers of any private Lodge authorised
by the Grand Master for that purpose, meet in a convenient room and, when
properly clothed, walk in procession to the lodge room, where, the usual
ceremonies being observed, the lodge is opened by the Grand Master, or
Master in the chair, in all the Degrees of the Order. After a short
prayer, an ode in honour of Masonry is sung. The Grand Master, or Master
in the chair, is informed by the Grand Secretary, or his locum tenens, '
That the brethren then present [naming them], being duly instructed in
the mysteries of the Art, desire to be formed into a new Lodge, under
the Grand Master's patronage, that a dispensation has been granted to
them for the purpose and that by virtue of this authority they had
assembled as regular Masons and duly recorded their proceedings.' The
petition is read, as is also the dispensation and the warrant or charter
of constitution, which had been granted in consequence of it. The
minutes of the new Lodge, while under dispensation, are likewise read
being approved, are declared to be regular, valid and constitutional. The
Grand Master, or Master in the chair, then takes the warrant in his hand
and requests the brethren of the new Lodge publicly to signify their
approbation or disapprobation of the Officers who are nominated in the
warrant to preside over them. This being signified accordingly, an
anthem is sung and an oration on the nature and design of the Institution
The ceremony of Consecration succeeds, which is never
to be used, but when it is specially ordered.
Ceremony of Consecration.
The Grand Master and his Officers, accompanied by
some dignified clergyman, having taken their stations and the Lodge,
which is placed in the centre, being covered with white satin, the
ceremony of Consecration commences. All devoutly kneel and the
preparatory prayer is rehearsed. The chaplain or orator produces his
authority, [ The constitution roll.] and
being properly assisted, proceeds to consecrate. [Corn, wineand oil are the elements of
music is introduced while the necessary preparations are making. The
lodge being then uncovered, the first clause of the consecration prayer
is rehearsed, all devoutly kneeling. The response" Glory To God On
High"being made, incense is scattered over the lodge and the grand honours
are given. The Invocation is then pronounced with the honours, after
which the consecration prayer is concluded and the response repeated as
before, together with the honours. The lodge being again covered, all
the brethren rise up, solemn music is resumed, a blessing is given and
the response made as before, accompanied with the honours. An anthem is
then sung and the brethren of the new Lodge having advanced according to
rank and offered homage to the Grand Master, the ceremony of consecration
The above ceremony being finished, the Grand Master
advances to the pedestal and constitutes the new Lodge in the following
form," In the elevated character of Grand Master, to which
the suffrages of my brethren have raised me, I invoke the NAME of the
MOST HIGH, to whom be glory and honour! May he be with you at your
beginning, strengthen you in the principles of our royal Art, prosper
you with all success and direct your zealous efforts to the good of the
Craft! By the divine aid, I constitute and form you, my good brethren,
Masters and Fellows, into a regular Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons
henceforth empower you to act in conformity to the rites of our
venerable Order and the charges of our ancient Fraternity. May God be
with you!' Amen.
Flourish with drums and trumpets-Grand honours are then given and the ceremony of
Ceremony of Installation.
The Grand Master (In this and similar instances where the Grand Master is specified as acting, may be understood any Master of the Lodge who performs the ceremony.)
Deputy, "Whether he has examined the Master nominated in the
finds him well skilled in the noble science and royal Art?" The Deputy,
having answered in the affirmative, (A private examination is always understood to precede the installation of every
Officer) by the
Grand Master's order takes the candidate from among his fellows and
presents him at the pedestal, saying, 'Most worshipful Grand Master, [or
right worshipful, as it happens,] "I present my worthy brother A.B. to
be installed Master of the Lodge. I find him to be of good morals, of
great skill, true and trusty and, a lover of the whole Fraternity,
wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth, I doubt not,
therefore, that he will discharge the duties of the office with
The Grand Master then orders a summary of the Ancient
Charges [As the curious reader may wish to know the ancient charges that were used on this occasion, we shall here insert them verbatim, as they are contained in a MS. in the possession of the Lodge of Antiquity in London, written in the reign of James the Second.
"And furthermore, at diverse assemblies have been put and ordained diverse crafties, by the best advise of magistrates and fellows, Tunc unus ex senioribus tenet librum, et illi ponent manum suam super librum.
Every man that is a Mason take good heed to these charges (wee pray), that if any man find himselfe guilty of any of these charges that he may amend himselfe, or principally for dread of God: you that be charged, take good heed that you keepe all these charges well; for it is a great evil for a man to forswear himselfe upon a book.
The first charge is, That yee shall be true men to God and the holy Church, and to use no error or heresie by your understanding and by wise men's teaching. Allso,
Secondly, That yee shall be true liege men to the King of England, without treason or any falsehood, and that yee know no treason or treachery, but yee shall give knowledge thereof to the King, or to his counsell; also yee shall be true one to another (that is to say), every Mason of the craft that is Mason allowed, yee shall doe to him as yee would be done unto yourselfe.
Thirdly, And yee shall keepe truely all the counsell that ought to be kept in the way of Masonhood and all the counsell of the lodge or of the chamber. — Allso, that yee shall be no thiefe, nor thieves to your knowledge free: that yee shall be true to the king, lord or master that yee serve, and truely to see and worke for his advantage.
Fourthly, Yee shall call all Masons your fellows, or your brethren, and no other names.
Fifthly, Yee shall not take your fellow's wife in villany, nor deflower his daughter or servant, nor put him to no disworship.
Sixthly, You shall truely pay for your meat or drinks wheresoever yee goe, to table or bord. Allso yee shall doe no villany there, whereby the craft or science may be slandered.
These be the charges general to every true Mason, both Masters and Fellows.
Now will I rehearse other charges single for Masons allowed or accepted.
First, That no Mason take on him no lord's worke, nor any other man's, unless he know himselfe well able to perform the works, so that the craft have no slander.
Secondly, Allso, that no master take works, but that he take reasonable pay for itt; to that the lord may be truely served, and the master to live honestly, and to pay his fellows truely. And that no master or fellow supplant others of their worke; (that is to say) that if he hath taken a worke, or else stand master of any worke, that he shall not put him out, unless he be unable of cunning to make an end of his worke. And no master nor fellow shall take no apprintice for less than seaven years. And that the apprintice be free born, and of limbs whole as a man ought to be, and no bastard. And that no master or fellow take no allowance to be made a Mason without the assent of his fellows, at the least six or seaven.
Thirdly, That he that be made be able in all degrees; that is, free-born, of a good kindred, true, and no bondsman, and that he have his right limbs as a man ought to have.
Fourthly, That a master take no apprintice without he have ocupation to occupy two or three fellows at the least.
Fifthly, That no master or fellow put away any lord's works to tasks that ought to be journey-worke.
Sixthly, That every master give pay to his fellows and servants as they may deserve, soe that he be not defamed with false workeing. And that none slander another behind his backs, to make him loose his good name.
Seaventhly, That no fellow in the house or abroad answear another ungodly or reproveably without a cause.
Eightly, That every master-mason doe reverence his elder; and that a mason be no common plaier at the cards, dice, or hazard; nor at any other unlawful plaies, through the which the science and craft may be dishonoured and slandered.
Ninthly, That no fellow goe into the town by night, except he have a fellow with him, who may bear him record that he was in an honest place.
Tenthly, That every master and fellow shall come to the assemblie, if itt be within fifty miles of him, if he have any warning. And if he have trespassed against the craft, to abide the award of masters and fellows.
Eleventhly, That every master-mason and fellow that hath trespassed against the craft shall stand to the correction of other masters and fellows to make him accord; and if they cannot accord, to go to the common law.
Twelfthly, That a master or fellow make not a mould-stone, square nor rule, to no lowen, nor let no lowen worke within their Lodge, nor without, to mould stone.
Thirteenthly, That every Mason receive and cherish strange fellows when they come over the countrie, and set them on worke if they will worke as the manner is: (that is to say) if the Mason have any mould-stone in his place, he shall give him a mould-stone, and sett him on worke; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next lodge.
Fourteenthly, That every Mason shall truely serve his master for his pay.
Fifteenthly, That every master shall truely make an end of his worke, taske, or journey, whithersoe it be.
These be all the charges and covenants that ought to be read at the installment of Master, or making of a Free-mason or Freemasons. The Almighty God of Jacob, who ever have you and me in his keeping, bless us now and ever.
read by the Grand Secretary [or acting Secretary] to the Master elect.
(following is read)
I. You agree to be a good man and true and strictly to
obey the moral law.
II. You agree to be a peaceable subject and cheerfully
to conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
III. You promise, not to be concerned in plots or
conspiracies against government, but patiently submit to the decisions
of the supreme legislature.
IV. You agree to pay a proper respect to the civil
magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably and act honourably by all
V. You agree to hold in veneration the original
rulers and patrons of the Order of Masonryand their regular successors,
supreme and subordinate, according to their stationsand to submit to the
award and resolutions of your brethren in general chapter convened, in
every case consistent with the constitutions of the Order.
VI. You agree to avoid private piques and quarrelsand
to guard against intemperance and excess.
VII. You agree to be cautious in carriage and
behaviour, courteous to your brethrenand faithful to the lodge.
VIII. You promise to respect genuine brethrenand to
discountenance impostorsand all dissenters from the original plan of the
IX. You agree to promote the general good of society,
to cultivate the social virtuesand to propagate the knowledge of the Art
of Masonry, as far as your influence and ability can extend.
On the Master Elect signifying his assent to these
Charges, the Secretary proceeds to read the following Regulations
I. You admit that it is not in the power of any man
or body of men, to make innovations in the body of Masonry.
II. You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for
the time beingand to his Officers, when duly installedand strictly to
conform to every edict of the Grand Lodge, or General Assembly of
Masons, that is not subversive of the principles and groundwork of
III. You promise regularly to attend the committees
and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper noticeand to
pay obedience to the duties of the Order on all convenient occasions.
IV. You admit that no new lodge can be formed without
permission of the Grand Master or his Deputy, nor any countenance given
to any irregular Lodge, or to any person clandestinely initiated
V. You admit that no person can be initiated into
Masonry in, or admitted member of, the regular lodge, without previous
noticeand due inquiry into his character.
VI. You agree that no visitors shall be received into
the Lodge without passing under due examinationand producing proper
vouchers of a regular initiation.
(These are the Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Free
and Accepted Masons.)
The Grand Master then addresses the Master Elect in
the following manner, "Do you submit to those Charges and promise to
support those Regulations, as Masters have done in all ages before you?"
Having signified his cordial submission, the Grand
Master thus salutes him, "Brother A.B., in consequence of your cheerful
conformity to the Charges and Regulations of the Order, I approve of you
as Master of the Lodge, not doubting of your care, skill and capacity.
The new Master is then conducted to an adjacent room,
where he is regularly installed and bound to his trust in ancient form,
in the presence of at least three installed Masters.
On his return to the Lodge, the new Master is
conducted by the [Grand] Stewards to the left hand of the Grand Master,
where he is invested with the badge of his office and the warrant of
constitution is delivered over to him in form, after which the Sacred
Law, with the square and compasses, the constitutions, the minute book,
the rule and line, the trowel, the chisel, the mallet, the moveable and
immoveable jewels and all the insignia of his different Officers, are
separately presented to him, with suitable charges to each.
[The same ceremony and charges attend every succeeding
installation. For the accommodation of brethren whose distance from the metropolis may deprive them of gaining the necessary instruction in this important rite, we shall here insert a few moral observations on the instruments of Masonry, which are usually presented to the Master of the lodge at installation.
The various implements of the profession, emblematical of our conduct of life, are upon this occasion carefully enumerated.
The Rule directs that we should punctually observe our duty, press forward in the path of
virtue and neither inclining to the right nor to the left, in all our actions have eternity in view.
The Line teaches the criterion of moral rectitude, to avoid dissimulation in conversation and
action and to direct our steps in the path which leads to immortality.
The Trowel teaches, that nothing can be united without proper cement and that the perfection of the building must depend on the suitable disposition of the
cement, so Charity, the bond of perfection and social union, must link separate minds and separate interests, that, like the radii of a circle, which extend from the centre to every part of the circumference, the principle of universal benevolence may be diffused to every member of the community.
The Chisel demonstrates the advantages of discipline and education. The mind, like the diamond, in its original state, is
unpolished, but as the effects of the chisel on the external coat soon present to view the latent beauties of the diamond, so education discovers the latent virtues of the
mind and draws them forth to range the large field of matter and space, in order to display the summit of human knowledge, our duty to God and to man.
The Plumb admonishes to walk upright in our station, to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to observe the just medium between intemperance and
pleasure and to make our passions and prejudices coincide with the line of our duty.
The Level demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock, partake of the same
nature and share the same hope; and that, though distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet no eminence of station can make us forget that we are
brethren and that he who is placed on the lowest spoke of Fortune's wheel may be entitled to our
regard, because a time will come and the wisest knows not how soon, when all distinctions, but that of goodness, shall
cease and Death, the grand leveller of human greatness, reduce us to the same state.
The Square teaches us to regulate our actions by rule and line and to harmonise our conduct by the principles of morality and virtue.
The Compasses teach us to limit our duty in every station; that, rising to eminence by merit, we may live respected and die regretted.
The Mallet teaches us to lop off excrescences and smooth surfaces or, in other words, to correct irregularities and reduce man to a proper
level, so that, by quiet deportment, he may, in the school of discipline, learn to he content. What the mallet is to the workman, enlightened reason is to the
passions. It curbs ambition, depresses envy, moderates anger and encourages good
dispositions, whence arises that comely order,
Which nothing earthly paves, or can destroy,
The soul's calm sunshine, and the heart-felt joy.
then chaired amidst the acclamations of the brethren, after which he
returns his becoming acknowledgments to the Grand Master and the acting
Officers, in order. The members of the new Lodge then advance in
procession, pay due homage to the new Master and signify their subjection
and obedience by the usual salutations in the three Degrees.
This ceremony being concluded, the new Master enters
immediately on the duties of his office, by appointing his Wardens, who
are separately conducted to the pedestal, presented to the Grand
Master and installed by
the Grand Wardens, after which he [When the Grand Master and his officers attend to constitute a new lodge, the D.G.M. usually invests the Master, the Grand Wardens invest the Wardens, the Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary invest the Treasurer and Secretary, and the Grand Stewards the Stewards.]
to invest them with their badges of office in the following manner,
"Brother C. D., I appoint you Senior Warden of the
lodge and invest you with the ensign of office. Your
regular attendance on our stated meetings is essentially necessary, as,
in my absence, you are to govern the lodge and, in my presence, to assist
me in the government of it. I firmly rely on your knowledge of the Art
and attachment to the Lodge, for the faithful discharge of the duties
of the office"
"Brother E. F., I appoint you Junior Warden of the
Lodge and invest you with the badge of office. To you I
entrust the examination of visitors and the introduction of candidates.
Your regular and punctual attendance is particularly requested and I have
no doubt that you will faithfully execute every duty which you owe to
your present appointment."
The new Master then addresses the Wardens together,
"Brother Wardens, you are both too expert in the
principles of Masonry, to require much information as to the duties of
your respective offices: suffice it to mention, that what you have seen
praiseworthy in others, it is expected you will carefully imitate: and
what in them may to you have appeared defective, you will in yourselves
amend. Good order and regularity you must endeavour to promote and, by a
due regard to the laws in your own conduct, enforce obedience to them in
the conduct of others"
The Wardens retiring to their seats, the Treasurer is next
invested [This officer is not appointed by the Master, but elected by the lodge.]
The Secretary is then called to the pedestal and invested with
the jewel of his office, upon which the new Master thus addresses him,
" I appoint you, Brother G. H., Secretary of the
lodge. It is your province to record the minutes, settle the accounts
issue out the summonses for the regular meetings. Your good inclinations
to Masonry and the Lodge will, no doubt, induce you to discharge the
duties of the office with fidelity and by so doing you will merit the
esteem and applause of your brethren."
The Deacons are then named and invested, [ The Deacons are the acting Deputies of the Wardens, and representatives of all the absent Craftsmen.]
on which the Master addresses them as follows,
"Brothers I. K. and L. M., I appoint you Deacons of
the lodge. It is your province to attend on the Master and to assist the
Wardens in the active duties of the lodge, such as the reception of
candidates into the different Degrees and the ' immediate practice of our
rites. Those columns,
the badges of your office, I entrust to your care, not doubting, your
vigilance and attention.'
The Stewards are next
called up [ The Stewards are assistants to the Deacons and the representatives of all the absent Entered
Apprentices]. and invested, upon which the following charge is delivered to
them by the New Master,
"Brothers N.O. and P.Q., I appoint you the Stewards
of the Lodge. The duties of your office are, to introduce visitors and
see that they are properly accommodated, to collect subscriptions and
other fees and keep an exact account of the lodge expences. Your regular
and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and
The new Master then appoints the Tyler and delivers
over to him the instrument of his office, with a short charge on the
occasion, after which he addresses the Members of the lodge as follows.
"Brethren, such is the nature of our constitution, that as some
must of necessity rule and teach, so others must of course learn to
submit and obey. Humility is an essential qualification. When the work of Masonry in the lodge is carrying on,
the column of the Senior Warden is raised, when the Lodge is at
refreshment, the column of the Junior Warden is raised. The Stewards are assistants to the Deacons and the
representatives of all the absent Entered Apprentices. in both is an
essential duty. The brethren whom I have appointed to assist me in the
government of the lodge, are too well acquainted with the principles of
Masonry and the rules of good manners, to extend the power with which
they are entrusted and you are too sensible of the propriety of their
appointment and of too generous dispositions, to envy their preferment.
From the knowledge I have of both Officers and Members, I trust that we
shall have but one aim, to please each other and unite in the great
design of communicating happiness."
The Grand Master gives the Brethren joy of their
Officers, recommends harmony and expresses a wish that the only
contention in the lodge may be, a generous emulation to vie in
cultivating the royal Art and the moral virtues. The Lodge then joins in
the general salute and the newly installed Master returns thanks to the
Grand Master for the honour of the Constitution. The Grand Secretary proclaims the new Lodge three
times, with the honours of Masonry and a flourish of horns each time,
after which the Grand Master orders the Lodge to be registered in the
Grand Lodge books and the Grand Secretary to notify the same to the
with a chorus, accompanied by the music, concludes the ceremony of
Constitution and the Lodge is closed with the usual solemnities in the
three Degrees by the Grand Master and his Officers, after which the
procession is resumed and returns to the apartment whence it set out.
This is the usual ceremony at the Constitution of a
new Lodge, which the Grand Master may abridge, or extend, at pleasure,
but the material points are on no account to be omitted.
The Ceremony observed at laying the Foundation Stones
of Public Structures.
This ceremony is conducted by the Grand Master and
his officers, assisted by the Members of the Grand Lodge only. No
private Mason, or inferior Officer of any Lodge, can be admitted to join
in the ceremony. Provincial Grand Masters are authorised to execute this
duty in their separate provinces, when they are accompanied by their
officers and the Master and Wardens of the regular lodges under their
jurisdiction, but the Chief Magistrate and civil officers of the place ,where the building is to be erected must be invited to attend on the
occasion. The ceremony is thus conducted:
At the time appointed, the Grand Lodge is convened at
some convenient place approved by the Grand Master. A band of martial
music is provided and the brethren appear in the insignia of the Order,
genteelly dressed, with white gloves and aprons. The lodge being opened
by the Grand Master and the rules for regulating the procession to and
from the place. where the ceremony is to be performed, rehearsed by the
Grand Secretary, the necessary cautions are given from the chair and the
lodge is adjourned, after which the procession sets out in the following
Two Tylers, with drawn Swords,
Members of the Grand Lodge, two and two,
A Tyler, in his uniform,
Past Grand Stewards,
Present Grand Stewards, with white rods,
Secretary of the Stewards' Lodge,
Wardens of the Stewards' Lodge,
MASTER of the Stewards' Lodge,
Swordbearer, with the sword of state,
Grand Secretary, with his bag,
Grand Treasurer, with his staff,
The Bible, Square and Compasses, on a crimson velvet cushion, carried by the Master
of a Lodge, supported by two stewards with white rods,
Provincial Grand Masters,
Past Grand Wardens,
Past Deputy Grand Masters,
Past Grand Masters,
Chief Magistrate of the place,
Deputy Grand Master,
The Constitutions carried by the Master of the oldest
Two Stewards close the procession.
A triumphal arch is usually erected at the place
where the ceremony is to be performed, with proper scaffolding for the
reception of the brethren. The procession passes through the arch and
the brethren repair to their stands, while the Grand Master and his
Officers take their places on a temporary platform, covered with carpet,
an ode on Masonry is sung and the Grand Master having commanded silence,
the necessary preparations are made for laying the Stone, [The
foundation stone is usually composed of two separate pieces, hollow in the centre, which when united appear as one stone]
on which is
engraved the year of our Lord and of Masonry, the name of the reigning
Sovereign and the name, titles, &c. of the Grand Master. The upper
part of the Stone
being raised by an engine erected for the purpose, the Grand Chaplain or
Orator repeats a short prayer and the Grand Treasurer having, by the
Grand Master's command, placed on the lower part of the Stone various
coin and medals of the present reign, solemn music is introduced, an
anthem sung and the upper part of the stone let down into its place and
properly fixed, upon which the Grand Mater descends to the Stone and
gives three knocks with his mallet, amidst the acclamation of the
spectators. The Grand Master then delivers over to the Architect the
various implements of architecture, intrusting him with the
superintendance and direction of the work, after which he reascends the
platform and an oration suitable to the occasion is delivered. A
voluntary subscription is then made for the workmen and the sum
collected placed upon the Stone by the Grand Treasurer. A song in honour
of Masonry concludes the ceremony, after which the procession returns to
the place whence it set out and the lodge is closed by the Grand
The Ceremony observed at the Dedication of Masons'
On the day appointed for the celebration of the
ceremony of Dedication, the Grand Master and his Officers, accompanied
by all the Brethren who are members of the Grand Lodge, meet in a
convenient room adjoining to the place where the ceremony is to be
performed and the Grand Lodge is opened in ample form, in all the
Degrees. The order of procession being read by the Grand Secretary and a
general charge respecting propriety of behaviour given by the Deputy
Grand Master, the lodge is adjourned and the procession formed as
Two Tylers, with drawn Swords,
Members of the Grand Lodge, two and two,
A Tyler, in his uniform,
Past Grand Stewards,
Present Grand Stewards, with white rods,
Secretary of the Stewards' Lodge,
Wardens of the Stewards' Lodge,
MASTER of the Stewards' Lodge,
One Brother carrying a gold Pitcher, containing corn,
Two Brethren, with silver Pitchers, containing wine
Four Tylers carrying the Lodge, covered with white
Grand Swordbearer, with the sword of state,
Grand Secretary, with his bag,
Grand Treasurer, with his staff,
Bible, Square and Compass, on a crimson velvet
cushion, carried by the Master of a Lodge, supported by two Stewards,
Provincial Grand Masters,
Past Grand Wardens,
Past Deputy Grand Masters,
Past Grand Masters,
Chief Magistrate and civil officers of the place,
Two large lights,
One large light,
Deputy Grand Master,
Constitutions carried by the Master of the oldest
Two Stewards close the procession.
The Ladies are then introduced and the musicians
repair to their station. On the procession reaching the Grand Master's
chair, the Grand Officers are separately proclaimed according to rank,
as they arrive at that station and on the Grand Master's being
proclaimed, the music strikes up and continues during the procession
three times round the hall. The lodge is then placed in the centre, on a
crimson velvet couch and the Grand Master having taken the chair, under a
canopy of state, the Grand Officers and the Master and Wardens of the
lodges, repair to the places which have been previously prepared for
their reception: The three great lights and the gold and silver pitchers,
with the corn, wine and oil, are placed on the lodge, at the head of
which stands the pedestal, on which is laid a crimson velvet cushion,
with the Law, open, the Square and Compasses put thereon and the
constitution roll. An anthem is then sung and an exordium on Masonry
delivered: after which, the Architect, addressing the Grand Master,
returns thanks for the honour conferred on him and surrenders up the
implements which had been entrusted to his care at laying the Foundation
Stone. The Grand Master expresses his approbation of the
Architect's conduct, an ode in honour of Masonry is sung, accompanied by
the band and the ladies retire, as do also such of the musicians as are
The Lodge is then tiled and the business of Masonry
resumed. The Grand Secretary informs the Grand Master, that it is the
design of the Fraternity to have the hall dedicated to Masonry, he then
orders the Grand Officers to assist in the ceremony, during which the
organ continues playing solemn music, excepting only at the intervals of
Dedication. The lodge being uncovered, the first procession is made
round it and the Grand Master having reached the East, the organ is
silent and he proclaims the Hall duly dedicated to MASONRY, In
The Name Of The Great JEHOVAH, To Whom Be All GLORY And HONOUR, upon which the
Chaplain strews corn over the Lodge. The organ plays and the second
procession is made round the lodge, when, on the Grand Master's arrival
at the East, the organ is silent and he declares the Hall dedicated, as
before, to VIRTUE, on which the Chaplain sprinkles wine on the lodge.
The organ plays and the third procession is made round the lodge, when,
the Grand Master having reached the East and the music being silent, the
Hall is dedicated to UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE, upon which the Chaplain dips
his fingers in the oil and sprinkles it over the lodge and at each period
of Dedication the grand honours are given. A solemn invocation is then
made and an anthem sung, after which, the lodge being covered, the Grand
Master retires to his chair and the business of Masonry is adjourned.
The ladies are again introduced, an ode for the
occasion is performed and an oration delivered by the Grand Chaplain,
which is succeeded by an anthem. Donations for the charity are then
collected and the grand procession is resumed. After marching three times
round the Hall, preceded by the Tylers carrying the Lodge as at entrance
and the music continuing to play a grand piece, the Brethren
return to the place whence they set out, where the laws of the Order
being rehearsed, the Grand Lodge is closed in ample form in all the
The Ceremony observed at Funerals, according to
ancient Custom, with the Service used on that Occasion.
No Mason can be interred with the formalities of the
Order, unless it be at his own special request, communicated to the
Master of the lodge of which he died a Member, foreigners and sojourners
excepted, nor unless he has been advanced to the Third Degree of
Masonry, from which restriction there can be no exception. Fellow
or apprentices, are not entitled to the funeral obsequies.
The Master of the lodge having received notice of a
Master Mason's death and of his request to be interred with the ceremonies
of the order, he fixes the day and hour for the funeral and issues his
command to summon the lodge, if brethren from other lodges are expected
to attend, he must make application through the Grand Secretary to the
Grand Master, or his Deputy, for a dispensation,
an express law of the Grand Lodge, it is enacted, 'That no regular Mason
do attend any funeral, or other public procession, clothed with the
badges and ensigns of the Order, unless a dispensation for that purpose
has been obtained from the Grand Master, or his Deputy: under the
penalty of forfeiting all the rights and privileges of the Society, and
of being deprived of the benefit of the general fund of charity, should
he be reduced to want.
for public processions are seldom granted but upon very particular
occasions, it cannot, therefore, be thought that these will be very
frequent, or that regular Masons will be induced to infringe an
established law by attending those, which are not properly authorised.
Many public parades under this character have been made of late years,
but these have not received the sanction of the Grand Master, or the
countenance of any regular Mason conversant with the laws of the
Society. Of this the public may be convinced, when they advert to the
circumstance, that the reputation of the whole Fraternity would be at
risk by any irregularity on such an occasion. It cannot be imagined that
the Grand Master, who is generally of noble or royal birth, would either
so far degrade the dignity of his office, or the character of the
Society at large, as to grant a dispensation for a public procession
upon so trifling an occasion as a private benefit at a playhouse,
tea-garden, or other place of public resort, where neither the interest
of the Fraternity, nor the general good, can be concerned, and which,
though it may be of some private advantage, can never redound to the
credit of Masonry, or the honour of its patrons.
above law was planned to put a stop to mixed and irregular conventions
of Masons and to prevent them from exposing to derision the insignia of
the Order, by parading through the streets on unimportant occasions, it
was not intended, however, to restrict the privileges of any regular
Lodge, or to encroach on the legal prerogative of any installed Master.
By the universal practice of Masons, every regular Lodge is authorised
by the Constitution to act on such occasions, when limited to its own
members, if the Society at large be not dishonoured and every installed
Master is sufficiently empowered by the Constitution, without any other
authority, to convene and govern his own Lodge on any emergency, at the
funeral of its own members, or on any occasion in which the honour of
the Society is concerned, he being always amenable to the Grand Lodge
for misconduct, but when brethren from other lodges are convened, who
are not subject to his control, in that case a particular dispensation
is required from the Grand Master, or his Deputy, who are the only
general Directors of Masons. The Master of the lodge will never issue a
summons for a public appearance of the Lodge on a trifling occasion, or
without approbation, well knowing that he is amenable to the General
Assembly for his conduct and
by the charges of his office must submit to their award, should
he, however, be so imprudent as to act on this occasion improperly, the
brethren of the Lodge are warranted by the laws to refuse obedience to
his summons, but they are also amenable to the General Lodge for
dispensation is only necessary in cases where Masons from different
lodges are indiscriminately convened, as it vests a power in the Master
of the lodge for the time being to superintend the behaviour of such
Brethren, that no irregularity may ensure, but when a regular lodge is
assembled under the auspices of its own Master, that Master is
sufficiently empowered to preside over his lodge by the Constitution,
which is an authority that no dispensation can supercede, the former
being an act of the Society at large, the latter only an act of the
Grand Master as the general Governor. By public procession in
meant a general convention of Masons for the purpose of making a public
to enable him to supply
the place of the Grand Master at such funeral and to regulate the
procession, which is to be solely under his direction and all the
brethren present must be properly clothed ( The usual clothing of Master Masons)
The dispensation being obtained, the Master may
invite as many lodges as he thinks proper and the members of those lodges
may accompany their officers in form, but the whole ceremony must be
under the direction of the Master of the Lodge to which the deceased
belonged, for which purpose only the dispensation is granted and he and
his officers must be duly honoured and cheerfully obeyed, on the
occasion, as the representative, for the time being, of the Grand
Master, or his Deputy.
All the brethren who walk in procession should
observe, as much as possible, an uniformity in their dress. Decent
mourning, with white stockings, gloves and aprons, ( The usual clothing of
Master Masons) is most suitable. No person should be distinguished
by a jewel, who is not an officer of one of the lodges invited to attend
in form and all the officers of such lodges should be ornamented with
sashes and hatbands, as also the officers of the Lodge to whom the
dispensation is granted, who are, moreover, to be distinguished with
The Funeral Service.
The brethren being assembled at the house where
the body of the deceased lies, the Master of the lodge to which he
belonged, opens the lodge in the Third Degree, with the usual forms and
an anthem is sung. The body being placed in the centre on a couch and
the coffin in which it is laid being open, the Master proceeds to the
head of the corpse and the service begins.
Master: "What man is he that liveth and shall not see
death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?"
'Man walketh in a vain shadow, he heapeth up riches
and cannot tell who shall gather them.
When he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, his glory
shall not descend after him.
Naked he came into the world and naked he must
return: the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away.Blessed be the name
of the Lord "
The grand honours are then given and certain forms
used, which cannot be here explained. Solemn music is introduced, during
which the Master strews herbs or flowers over the body and taking the
SACRED ROLL in his hand, he says,
"Let us die the death of the righteous and let our
last end be like his!
The brethren answer, 'God is our God for ever and
ever, he will be our guide even unto death!'
The Master then puts the ROLL into the coffin and
'Almighty Father! into thy hands we commend the soul
of our loving brother!'
The brethren answer three times, giving the grand
honours each time,'The will of God is accomplished! So be it!'
The Master then repeats the following prayer,
"Most glorious God! Author of all good and Giver of
all mercy! pour down thy blessings upon us and strengthen our solemn
engagements with the ties of sincere affection! May the present instance
of mortality remind us of our approaching fate and draw our attention to
Thee, the only refuge in time of need! that when the awful moment shall
arrive, that we are about to quit this transitory scene, the enlivening
prospect of thy mercy may dispel the gloom of death and that, after our
departure hence in peace and in thy favour, we may be received into
thine everlasting kingdom and there enjoy, in union with the souls of
our departed friends, the just reward of a pious and virtuous life!
An anthem being sung, the Master retires to the
pedestal and the coffin is shut up. An oration, suitable to the
occasion, is delivered and the Master recommending love and unity, the
brethren join hands and renew to each other their pledged vows. The
lodge is then adjourned and the procession to the place of interment is
The different lodges rank according to seniority, the
junior preceding and each lodge forms one division. The following order
is then observed:
The Tyler, with his sword,
The Stewards, with white rods,
The Brethren out of office, two and two,
The Secretary, with a roll,
The Treasurer, with his badge of office,
Senior and Junior Wardens, hand in hand,
The Lodge to which the deceased Brother belonged, in
the following order, all the members having flowers or herbs in their
Martial Music [Drums muffled and Trumpets covered],
The Members of the Lodge,
The Secretary and Treasurer,
The Senior and Junior Wardens,
The Holy Writings, on a cushion, covered with black
cloth, carried by the oldest Member of the Lodge,
The Choiristers, singing an anthem,
Pall Bearers, The BODY, with the regalia placed
thereon and two swords crossed Pall Bearers,
One or two lodges advance, before the procession
begins, to the churchyard, to prevent confusion and make the necessary
preparations. The brethren are not to desert their ranks, or change
places, but keep in their different departments. When the procession
arrives at the gate of the churchyard, the lodge to which the deceased
Brother belonged, the mourners and attendants on the corpse, halt, till
the members of the other lodges have formed a circle round the grave,
when an opening is made to receive them. They then advance to the grave
and the clergyman and officers of the acting lodge taking their station
at the head of the grave with the choristers on each side and the
mourners at the foot, the service is resumed, an anthem sung and the
following exhortation given:
'Here we view a striking instance of the uncertainty
of life and the vanity of all human pursuits. The last offices paid to
the dead, are only useful as lectures to the living, from them we are to
derive instruction and consider every solemnity of this kind, as a
summons to prepare for our approaching dissolution.
Notwithstanding the various mementos of mortality
with which we daily meet, notwithstanding Death has established his
empire over all the works of Nature, yet, through some unaccountable
infatuation, we forget that we are born to die. We go on from one design
to another, add hope to hope and lay out plans for the employment of
many years, till we are suddenly alarmed with the approach of Death,
when we least expect him and at an hour which we probably conclude to be
the meridian of our existence.
What are all the externals of majesty, the pride of
wealth, or charms of beauty, when Nature has paid her just debt? Fix
your eyes on the last scene and view life stript of her ornaments and
exposed in her natural meanness, you will then be convinced of the
futility of those empty delusions. In the grave, all fallacies are
detected, all ranks are levelled and all distinctions are done away.
While we drop the sympathetic tear over the grave of
our deceased friend, let charity incline us to throw a veil over his
foibles, whatever they may have been and not withhold from his memory
the praise his virtues may have claimed. Suffer the apologies of human
nature to plead in his behalf. Perfection on earth has never been
attained, the wisest as well as the best of men have erred. His
meritorious actions it is our duty to imitate and from his weakness we
are to derive instruction. Let the present example excite our most
serious thoughts and strengthen our resolutions of amendment. Life being
uncertain and all earthly pursuits vain, let us no longer postpone the
important concern of preparing for eternity, but embrace the happy
moment while time and opportunity offer, to provide against the great
change, when all the pleasures of this world shall cease to delight and
the reflections of a virtuous life yield the only comfort and
consolation. Our expectations will not be frustrated, nor shall we be
hurried, unprepared, into the presence of an all wise and powerful
Judge, to whom the secrets of all hearts are known and from whose dread
tribunal no culprit can escape.
Let us, while in this stage of existence, support
with propriety the character of our profession, advert to the nature of
our solemn engagements and pursue with assiduity the sacred tenets of
our Order: With becoming reverence, let us supplicate the Divine
protection and insure the favour of that eternal Being, whose goodness
and power know no bounds and when the awful moment arrives, that we
about to take our departure, be it soon or late, may we be enabled to
prosecute our journey, without dread or apprehension, to that far
distant country from which no traveller returns. By the light of the
Divine countenance, we may pass, without trembling, through those gloomy
mansions where all things are forgotten and at the great and tremendous
day of trial and retribution, when, arraigned at the bar of Divine
Justice, we may hope that judgment will be pronounced in our favour and
that we shall receive our reward, in the possession of an immortal
inheritance, where joy flows in one continued stream and no mound can
check its course.'
The following invocations are then made by the
Master, the usual honours accompanying each:
MASTER. 'May we be true and faithful and may we live
and die in love!'
ANSWER. ' So mote it be.'
MASTER. 'May we profess what is good and always act
agreeably to our profession!
ANSWER. 'So mote it be.'
MASTER. 'May the Lord bless us and prosper us and may
all our good intentions be crowned with success!
ANSWER. 'So mote it be.'
The Secretaries then advance and throw their rolls
into the grave with the usual forms, while the Master repeats, with an
'Glory be to God on high! on earth peace! good will
ANSWER. 'So mote it be, now, from henceforth and for
The Master then concludes the ceremony at the grave
in the following words,
From time immemorial it has been a custom among the
Fraternity of free and accepted Masons, at the request of a brother on
his deathbed, to accompany his corpse to the place of interment and
there to deposit his remains with the usual formalities.
In conformity to this usage and at the special
request of our deceased brother, whose memory we revere and whose loss
we now deplore, we are here assembled in the character of Masons, to
resign his body to the earth whence it came and to offer up to his
memory, before the world, the last tribute of our fraternal affection,
thereby demonstrating the sincerity of our past esteem and our
inviolable attachment to the principles of the Order.
With all proper respect to the established customs of
the country in which we live, with due deference to our superiors in
church and state and with unlimited good will to all mankind, we here
appear clothed as Masons and publicly express our submission to order
and good government and our wish to promote the general interests of
mankind. Invested with the badge of innocence, we humbly bow to the
universal Parent, implore his blessing on all our zealous endeavours to
extend peace and goodwill and earnestly pray for his grace to enable us
to persevere in the principles of piety and virtue.
The great Creator having been pleased, out of his
mercy, to remove our worthy brother from the cares and troubles of this
transitory life, to a state of eternal duration and thereby to weaken
the chains by which we are united, man to man, may we, who survive him,
anticipating our approaching fate, be more strongly cemented in the ties
of union and friendship and during the short space which is allotted to
our present existence, wisely and usefully employ our time in the
reciprocal intercourse of kind and friendly acts and mutually promote
the welfare and happiness of each other.
Unto the grave we have resigned the body of our
deceased friend, there to remain until the general resurrection, in
favourable expectation that his immortal soul will then partake of the
joys which have been prepared for the righteous from the beginning of
the world. And may Almighty God, of his infinite goodness, at the grand
tribunal of unbiassed justice, extend his mercy toward him and all of us
and crown our hope with everlasting bliss, in the expanded realms of a
boundless eternity! This we beg, for the honour of his Name, to whom be
glory, now and for ever. Amen."
Thus the service ends and, the usual honours being
given, the procession returns in form to the place whence it set out,
where the necessary duties are complied with and the business of Masonry
is renewed. The regalia and other ornaments of the deceased, if he has
been an officer of the Lodge, are returned to the Master, with the usual
ceremonies, after which the charges for regulating the conduct of the
brethren are rehearsed and the Lodge is closed in the Third Degree with