WM: *

(The lecture is given by the WM or a designee of his


The forms and ceremonies of your initiation may

have seemed to you light and frivolous, if not

absolutely unmeaning; yet, it may with truth be

said of Masonry that all its forms and ceremonies

have emblematical meaning, and those through

which you have just passed will now be explained

to you.

You were first prepared to be made a Mason in

your heart; next, in a room adjoining the body of a

just and duly constituted Lodge of Free and

Accepted Masons.

You were prepared by being divested of all metallic

substances, neither naked nor clothed, barefoot

nor shod, left knee and breast bare, hood-winked,

and with a cable-tow about your neck, in which

condition you were conducted to a door of the

Lodge and caused to give three distinct knocks,

which were answered by three within.

You were divested of all metallic substances for

two reasons; first, that you might carry nothing

offensive or defensive into the Lodge: second, at

the building of King Solomonís Temple, there was

not heard the sound of axe, hammer, or any metal

tool. The question naturally arises, how could so

stupendous an edifice have been erected without

the sound of axe, hammer, or metal tool?

The stones were hewn, squared, and numbered

in the quarries where raised; the timbers felled

and prepared in the forests of Lebanon, conveyed

by sea in floats to Joppa, and thence by land to

Jerusalem, where they were set up by the aid of

wooden instruments prepared for that purpose;

and when the building was completed, every part

thereof fitted with such exact nicety that it

resembled more the handiwork of the Supreme

Architect of the Universe than that of human


You were neither naked nor clothed because

Masonry regards no man on account of his worldly

wealth or honors. It is the internal and not the

external qualifications that recommend a man to


You were neither barefoot nor shod, agreeably to

an ancient Israelitish custom adopted among

Masons. We read in the book of Ruth concerning

their manner of changing and redeeming, that, "to

confirm all things, a man plucked off his shoe and

gave it to his neighbor." That was testimony in

Israel. This therefore we do, testifying thereby in

the strongest manner possible the sincerity of our

intentions in the work in which we are engaged.

You were hood-winked and with a cable-tow about

your neck for three reasons; first, that your heart

might conceive before your eyes beheld the

beauties of Freemasonry; second, that as you

were in darkness, it was to teach you to keep the

whole world so respecting the secrets of

Freemasonry, except to such as were justly

entitled to receive the same as you were about to

become; and third, had you not conformed to the

ceremony of your initiation, thereby rendering

yourself unworthy to be taken by the hand as a

Mason, you might, by aid of the cable-tow, have

been led out of the Lodge without having beheld

even the form thereof.

You were caused to give three distinct knocks to

alarm the Lodge and inform the Worshipful Master

that a poor blind candidate craved admission.

The three knocks allude to a certain portion of the

Scriptures which reads: "Ask and it shall be given

you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall

be opened unto you."

You found your circumstances in Masonry at that

time verified by that passage as follows; you

asked the recommendation of a friend to be made

a Mason; through his recommendation you sought

initiation; you knocked, and the door of

Freemasonry was opened unto you.

You were received on the point of a sharp

instrument piercing your naked left breast, to teach

you that as it was an instrument of torture to the

flesh, so should the recollection thereof be to your

mind and conscience should you ever reveal the

secrets of Freemasonry unlawfully.

You were conducted to the center of the Lodge

and caused to kneel for the benefit of prayer, for

before entering upon any great or important

undertaking, we ought always to invoke the aid of


You were asked in whom you put your trust,

agreeably to our ancient laws, as no atheist can

be made a Mason; it was therefore necessary

that you express a belief in Deity, otherwise no

obligation would have been regarded as binding.

You were taken by the right hand, ordered to rise,

follow your conductor and fear no danger, for as

your were in darkness and could neither foresee

nor avoid danger, it was to teach you that you

were in the hands of faithful friends, in whose

fidelity you might with safety confide.

You were conducted once regularly around the

Lodge that the Worshipful Master, Wardens and

Brethren might see that you were duly and truly


You were caused to meet with several obstructions

on your passage around the Lodge, because this

and every regular and well governed Lodge is or

ought to be a correct representation of the ground

floor of King Solomonís Temple, which had guards

placed at the south, west and east gates to prevent

any from passing or re-passing except such as

were duly qualified and had permission from King

Solomon; it was therefore necessary that you

meet with these several obstacles and at each of

those stations be duly examined.

You were caused to kneel on your naked left knee

and not your right or both, because the left side

has ever been deemed the weaker part of the

human body; it was therefore to teach you that

you were taking upon yourself the weaker part of

Masonry, it being that of the Entered Apprentice


Your right hand and not your left or both, rested

on the Holy Bible, Square and Compasses,

because the right hand, by our ancient Brethren,

was deemed the sign of fidelity. The ancients

worshipped a deity named Fides, sometimes

represented by two right hands joined, at others

by two human figures holding each other by the

right hand. The right, therefore was used in this

great and important undertaking, testifying thereby

in the strongest manner possible the fidelity of

our purpose in the work in which we are engaged.

You were presented with a lambskin or white

leather apron, because the lamb, in all ages has

been deemed an emblem of innocence. The

lambskin is therefore to remind you of that purity

of life and rectitude of conduct which is so

essentially necessary to your gaining admission

to that Celestial Lodge above, where the Supreme

Architect of the Universe presides.

A demand was made of you for some metallic

substance, to teach you that should you ever meet

a member of the human family, especially a

Brother Mason, in a like destitute situation, it

would be your duty to contribute to his relief as

liberally as his necessities might require and your

ability permits.

You were placed in the north-east corner of the

Lodge, because in the erection of all public

buildings, especially those of Masonic form, the

first stone is, or ought to be placed in the north-east

corner; you were therefore placed in the north-east

corner of the Lodge to receive your first

instruction, whereon to build your moral and

Masonic edifice.

This brings us to the third and last section of the

degree, which explains the manner of constituting

and the proper authority for holding a Lodge. Here

also, we learn where Lodges were anciently held;

their Form, Support, Covering, Furniture,

Ornaments, Lights and Jewels; how situated, and

to whom dedicated, as well in former times as at


You are taught, by the aid of impressive symbols,

to discharge with propriety the duties that devolve

upon you as a man and Mason. The word Lodge

is analogous to that of church, referring not so

much to the place of meeting as to the persons

assembled. A lodge may therefore at this time be

defined as a certain number of Free and Accepted

Masons, duly assembled, furnished with the Holy

Bible, the Square and the Compasses, together

with a Charter, or Dispensation, from some Grand

Body of competent jurisdiction empowering it to


The Holy Bible, Square and Compasses have been

partially explained to you; the Charter has not.

This is the one in possession of this Lodge. The

Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of

the State of ________ was pleased to grant this

Charter to __________ Lodge No. ___. It

empowers us to confer the three degrees of

Masonry, which powers we are this evening

partially exercising. It is signed by the Grand

Officers, with the seal of the Grand Lodge

attached, and contains all the necessary

instructions for retaining the same.

Our ancient Brethren held their Lodges on high

hills or in low vales, the better to observe the

approach of cowans and eavesdroppers,

ascending or descending.

Lodge meetings at the present day are usually

held in upper chambers - probably for the security

which such places afford. This custom may have

had its origin in a practice observed by the ancient

Jews of building their temples, schools and

synagogues on high hills, a practice which seems

to have met the approbation of the Almighty, who

said unto the Prophet Ezekiel, "Upon the top of

the mountain, the whole limit thereof round about

shall be most holy."

The form of a Lodge is oblong.  In length from

east to west, in breadth between north and south,

as high as heaven, and as deep as from the

surface to the centre.  A Lodge is said to be thus

extensive to denote the universality of

Freemasonry, and teaches that a Masonís charity

should be equally extensive.

A Lodge is supported by three great pillars,

denominated Wisdom, Strength and Beauty;

because there should be wisdom to contrive,

strength to support, and beauty to adorn all great

and important undertakings. They are represented

by the three principal officers of the Lodge; the

pillar Wisdom by the Worshipful Master in the

East, who is presumed to have wisdom to open

and govern the Lodge; the pillar Strength by the

Senior Warden in the West, whose duty it is to

assist the Worshipful Master in the discharge of

his arduous labors; and the pillar Beauty, by the

Junior Warden in the South, whose duty it is to

call the Craft from labor to refreshment, superintend

them during the hours thereof, carefully to observe

that the means of refreshment are not perverted

to intemperance or excess, and see that they

return to their labor in due season, that the

Worshipful Master may receive honor, and they

pleasure and profit thereby.

The covering of a Lodge is no less than the clouded

canopy, or starry decked heaven, where all good

Masons hope at last to arrive by the aid of that

ladder which Jacob in his vision saw extended

from earth to heaven, the principal rounds of which

are denominated Faith, Hope and Charity, which

admonish us to have Faith in God, Hope in

Immortality, and Charity to all mankind. The

greatest of these is Charity; for our Faith may be

lost in sight, Hope ends in fruition, but Charity

extends beyond the grave, through the boundless

realms of eternity.

Every regular and well governed Lodge is furnished

with the Holy Bible, the Square, and the

Compasses, together with a Charter or

Dispensation. The Holy Bible is dedicated to the

service of God, because it is the inestimable gift

of God to man, and on it we obligate our newly

made Brethren. The Square to the Master,

because it is the proper Masonic emblem of his

office, and the Compasses to the Craft, because,

by a due attention to their use, they are taught to

circumscribe their desires and keep their passions

in due bounds with all mankind, especially the

Brethren.  The Ornaments of a Lodge are the

Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the

Blazing Star.  The Mosaic Pavement is a

representation of the ground floor of King

Solomonís Temple; the Indented Tessel, of that

beautiful tessellated border or skirting which

surrounded it. The Mosaic Pavement is

emblematical of human life, checkered with good

and evil; the Indented Tessel, or tessellated border,

of the manifold blessings and comforts which

constantly surround us, and which we hope to

enjoy by a firm reliance on Divine Providence,

which is hieroglyphically represented by the

Blazing Star in the centre.

A Lodge has Three Symbolic Lights, situated

East, West and South. There is none in the North,

because King Solomonís Temple was situated so

far north of the ecliptic that the sun, even at

meridian, did not dart its rays into the

northernmost parts thereof. The North, therefore,

we Masonically term a place of darkness.

A Lodge has six Jewels - three movable and three

immovable. The Immovable Jewels are the Square,

the Level and the Plumb. They are so termed

because they are appropriated to particular parts

of the Lodge, where alone they should be found -the

Square to the East, the Level to the West and

the Plumb to the South. Although the Brethren

occupying those stations may from time to time

be changed, still the Jewels will always be found

in their respective stations in the Lodge.

The Movable Jewels are the Rough Ashlar, the

Perfect Ashlar, and the Trestle-board. The Rough

Ashlar is a stone in its rude and natural state, as

taken from the quarry; the Perfect Ashlar, one

prepared by the workmen, to be adjusted by the

working tools of a Fellow Craft; and the Trestle-board

is for the master workman to draw his

designs upon.

By the Rough Ashlar we are reminded of our rude

and imperfect state by nature; by the Perfect

Ashlar, of that state of perfection at which we hope

to arrive by aid of a virtuous education, our own

endeavors and the blessing of Deity; and as the

operative workman erects his temporal building

in accordance with the designs laid down upon

the Trestle-board by the master workman, so

should we, both operative and speculative,

endeavor to erect our spiritual building in

accordance with the designs laid down by the

Supreme Architect of the Universe in the Great

Book of Nature and Revelation, which is our

spiritual, moral and Masonic Trestle-board.

Lodges are situated due east and west, because

King Solomonís Temple was so situated. Moses,

by divine command, after having conducted the

Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, from

the house of bondage, through the Red Sea and

into the wilderness, erected a Tabernacle to God,

which he situated due east and west, to

commemorate that miraculous east wind which

wrought their mighty deliverance. King Solomonís

Temple is said to have been a representation of

that Tabernacle.

Lodges were anciently dedicated to King Solomon,

as he is said to have been our first Most Excellent

Grand Master; but modern Masons dedicate their

Lodges to St. John the Baptist and St. John the

Evangelist, and since their time there is

represented in every regular and well governed

Lodge a certain point within a circle, the point

representing the individual Brother, the circle

representing the boundary line of his duty to God

and man, beyond which he is never to suffer his

passions, prejudices or interests to betray him

on any occasion. This circle is embordered by

two perpendicular parallel lines, representing St.

John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, and

upon the vertex rests the book of Holy Scriptures,

which points out the whole duty of man.

In going around this circle we necessarily touch

upon these lines as well as upon the Holy

Scriptures, and while a Mason keeps himself thus

circumscribed, it is impossible that he should

materially err.

The principal tenets of our profession are three-fold,

including the inculcation and practice of those

truly commendable virtues, Brotherly Love, Relief

and Truth.

By the exercise of Brotherly Love we are taught

to regard the whole human race as one family -the

high, the low, the rich, the poor - who, being

created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants

of the same planet, ought 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


To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on

all men, but particularly on Masons, who are linked

together by an indissoluble chain of sincere

affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize

with them in their misfortunes, to compassionate

their miseries, and to restore peace to their

troubled minds is the great aim we have in view.

On this basis we form our friendships and establish

our 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 Freemasonry. On this

theme we contemplate, and by its dictates

endeavor to regulate our conduct. Hence, while

influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit

are unknown among us, sincerity and plain-dealing

distinguish us, and the heart and the tongue join

in promoting each others welfare and rejoicing in

each others prosperity. My Brother, in order that

you may better understand what is to follow, I will

ask the Senior Deacon a question.

WM: Brother Senior Deacon.

SD: Worshipful Master (or else, if the lecture is not

being delivered by the WM, the name or title of

the actual lecturer.)

WM: How may I know you to be a Mason?

SD: By certain signs, a token, a word, and the perfect

points of my entrance.

(Lecturer resumes):

My Brother, signs, grips, and words have been

particularly explained to you, but the perfect

points of your entrance have not. They are four,

the Pectoral, Manual, Guttural and Pedal. They

represent the four cardinal virtues, Fortitude,

Prudence, Temperance and Justice.

Fortitude is the noble and steady purpose of the

mind whereby we are enabled to undergo any pain,

peril or danger, when prudently deemed expedient.

This virtue is equally distant from rashness and

cowardice, and should be deeply impressed upon

your mind as a safeguard or security against any

attempt that may be made, by force or otherwise,

to extort from you any of those valuable secrets

with which you have been so solemnly entrusted,

and which was emblematically represented upon

your first admission into the Lodge, when you were

received on the point of a sharp instrument piercing

your naked left breast. This, my Brother, is the

first perfect point of your entrance, the Pectoral.

Prudence teaches us to regulate our lives and

actions agreeably to the dictates of Reason, and

is the habit by which we wisely judge and

prudently determine on all things relative to our

present as well as our future happiness. This

virtue should be your peculiar characteristic, not

only for the government of your conduct while in

the Lodge, but also when abroad in the world.

You should be particularly cautious in all strange

or mixed companies, never to let fall the least

sign, token or word whereby the secrets of

Freemasonry might be obtained ever bearing in

mind that solemn moment while kneeling at the

Altar of Freemasonry, your left supporting, your

right resting on the Holy Bible, Square and

Compasses, you solemnly promised to conceal

and never reveal the secrets of Freemasonry. This

is the second perfect point of your entrance, the


Temperance is that due restraint upon our

affections and passions which renders the body

tame and governable, and frees the mind of the

allurements of vice. This virtue should be your

constant practice, as you are thereby taught to

avoid excess or the contracting of any licentious

or vicious habits, the indulgence of which might

lead you to disclose some of those valuable

secrets which you have promised to conceal and

never reveal, and which would consequently

subject you to the contempt and detestation of

all good Masons, if not to the penalty of your

Obligation, that of having your throat cut across,

you tongue torn out and with your body buried in

the sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where

the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours.

This is the third perfect point of your entrance,

the Guttural.

Justice is that standard or boundary of right which

enables us to render to every man his just due

without distinction. This virtue is not only

consistent with divine and human laws, but is the

very cement and support of civil society; and as

justice in a great measure constitutes the really

good man, so should it be your invariable practice

never to deviate from the minutest principles

thereof; ever remembering that while standing in

the north-east corner of the Lodge before the

Worshipful Master, you were informed that you

there stood an upright man and Mason, and it

was given you strictly in charge ever to walk and

act as such before God and man. This is the

fourth perfect point of your entrance, the Pedal.

Entered Apprentices should serve their masters

with freedom, fervency and zeal, which are

represented by Chalk, Charcoal, and Clay.

There is nothing freer than Chalk, the slightest

touch of which leaves a trace; there is nothing

more fervent than Charcoal, for to it, when properly

ignited, the most obdurate metals will yield; there

is nothing more zealous than Clay, our mother

Earth, for it alone of all the elements has never

proved unfriendly to man. Bodies of water deluge

him with rain, oppress him with hail and drown

him with inundation; the air rushes in storms and

prepares the tempest; the fire lights up the volcano;

but the Earth, ever kind and indulgent, is found

subservient to his wishes. Though constantly

harassed, more to furnish the luxuries than the

necessaries of life, she never refuses her

accustomed yield, spreading his pathway with

flowers and his table with plenty. Though she

produces poison, still she supplies the antidote,

and returns with interest every good committed

to her care; and when at last we are called upon

to pass through the "dark valley of the shadow of

death", she once more receives us, and piously

covers our remains within her bosom, thus

admonishing us that as from it we came, so to it

we must shortly return.

WM: This, my Brother, concludes the ceremony of your

initiation, and if you will rise I will repeat to you

the Charge. (Or, if the Charge is not being delivered

by the WM, the name or title of the person doing


Entered Apprentice Degree - Charge




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