Illustrations of Masonry


William Preston

Book Two

General Remarks: including an Illustration of the Lectures; a particular Description of the ancient Ceremonies; and the Charges used in the different Degrees.

Sect. 1 - General Remarks.

Masonry is an art useful and extensive. In every art there is a mystery, which requires a progress of study and application to arrive at any degree of perfection. Without much instruction, and more exercise, no man can be skillful in any art; in like manner, without an assiduous application to the carious subjects treated in the different lectures of masonry, no person can be sufficiently acquainted with its true value.

From this remark it must not be inferred, that person who labour under the disadvantage of a confined education, or whose sphere of life requires assiduous attention to business or useful employment, are to be discouraged in the 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 such pursuits.

Some men 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 those, however, whose early years have been dedicated to literary pursuits, or whose circumstances and situation in life render them independent, the offices of a Lodge ought to be principally 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 a lodge with propriety. And it must be admitted that those who accept offices and exercise authority in a Lodge, ought to be men of superior prudence and genteel address, with all the advantages of a tranquil, well cultivated mind, and retentive memory. All men are not blessed with the same powers, nor have all men the same talents; all men, therefore, are not equally qualified to govern. But he who wishes to teach, must submit to learn; and no one is qualified to support the the higher offices of a Lodge, until he has previously discharged the duties of those which are subordinate, which require time and experience. All men may rise by graduation, and merit and industry are the first steps to preferment. Masonry is widely calculated to suit different ranks and degrees, as every one, according to his station and ability, may be employed, and class with his equal in every station. Founded upon the most, generous principles, no disquietude appears among professor of the art; each class is happy in its particular association, and when the whole meet in general convention, arrogance and presumption appear not on the one hand, or diffidence and inability on the other; but all unite in the same plan, to promote that endearing happiness which constitutes the essence of civil society.


Sect. 2 - The Ceremony of Opening and Closing A Lodge

In regular assemblies of men, convened for wise and useful purposes, the commencement and conclusion of business are 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 items 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 engage attention, by external attraction, to solemn rites, they are interesting objects. There purposes are effected when judicious ceremonies are regularly conducted an properly arranged. On this ground they have received the sanction of the wisest of 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 a Lodge with solemnity and decorum is there universally adopted among masons; and though the mode in some lodges may vary, still an uniformity in the general practice prevails in every lodge; and the variation (if any) is solely occasioned by a want of method, which a little application might 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 thus dignified, every eye is directed for propriety of conduct and behaviour; and from them, other brethren, less informed, will naturally expect to derive example worthy of imitation.

From 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 those indiscriminate subjects of conversation which are apt to intrude on our less serious moments.

Our care is first 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, they intimate 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, the brethren of the homage and veneration due from them in the sundry stations. These are not the only advantages resulting from due observance of the ceremony; a reverential awe for the Deity is inculcated, and the eye fixed on that object from whose radiant beams light only can be derived. Hence in this ceremony we are taught to adore God of Heaven, and to supplicate his protection on our well-meant endeavours. Thus the Master assumes his government in due form, and under him his Wardens; who accept their trust, after the customary salutations, as disciples of one general patron. After which the brethren, with one accord, unite in duty and respect, and the ceremony concludes.

At closing the lodge, a similar form takes place. here the less important duties of masonry are not passed over unobserved. the necessary degree of subordination, which takes place in the government of a lodge is peculiarly marked, while the proper tribute of gratitude is offered up to the beneficent Author of life and his blessing invoked, and extended to the whole fraternity. Each brother 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.

There are faint outlines of a ceremony which universally prevails among masons in every county, and distinguishes all their meetings . Hence it is arranged as a general section in every degree, and takes the lead in all our illustrations.

A Prayer used at opening the Lodge

May the favour of Heaven be upon this meeting and as it is happily begun, may it be conducted with order, and closed with harmony.


A Prayer used at closing the Lodge

May the blessing of Heaven rest upon us, and all regular masons! May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us!


Charges and Regulations for the conduct and behaviour of Masons.

A rehearsal of the Ancient Charges properly succeed the opining and precede the closing of a 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 aquatinted with it; and to those to whom it is not known, should any such be, it must be highly proper to recommend it.

Ancient Charges

(to be rehearsed at opening the Lodge)

On the Management of the Craft in working.

Masons employ themselves diligently in their sundry vocations, live creditably, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the county 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 merit.

A craftsman who is appointed Warden of the work under the Master, is true to the 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 is 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 another.

All employed in Masonry meekly receive their reward, and use no disobling 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.

Laws for the Government of the Lodge

(To be rehearsed at opening the Lodge)

You are to salute one another in a courteous manner, agreeably to the forms established among masons *; you are freely to give such mutual instructions as shall be thought, necessary or expedient, not being overkeen or overhead, without encroaching upon each other, derogating from that respect which is due to a gentleman were he not a mason; for thought as mason we rank 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 a due respect pair to the Master, and presiding officers.

These laws are to be strictly enforced, that harmony may be preserved, and the business of the lodge carried on with order and regularity.

Amen. So mote it be.

Charge on the Behaviour of Masons

(To be rehearsed at closing the Lodge)

When the Lodge is closed, you are to enjoy yourselves with innocent mirth and carefully to avoid excess. You are not to compel any brother to act contrary to his inclination, or to give offence by word or deed, but enjoy a free and easy conversation. You are to avoid immoral and obscene discourse, and at all time support with propriety the dignity of you character.

You are to be cautious in your words and carriage, that the most penetrating stranger may not discover, or find, what is not proper to be intimated; and if necessary, you are to wave a discourse, and manage it prudently, for the honour of the fraternity.

At home. and in your several neighbourhoods, 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 upon every occasion to consult your 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 your selves disabled from attending to you 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. 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 you ability only to prefer a poor mason, who is a good man and true, before any other person in the same circumstances *.

Finally; 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 capstone, the cement and glory of this ancient fraternity; avoiding, upon 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 any 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.


Sect 3. - Remarks on the First Lecture

Having illustrated the ceremony of opening and closing a Lodge, and inserted the Charges and Prayers usually rehearsed in our regular assemblies on those occasions, we shall now enter on a disquisition of the different Sections of the Lectures appropriated to the three Degrees of Masonry, 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 Sections in each Lecture , and be enabled with more cease to acquire a knowledge of the Art.

The First Lecture is divided into Sections and each Section into Clauses. In this Lecture virtue is painted in the most beautiful colours, and the duties of morality are strictly enforced. In it we are taught such 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, to influence our conduct in the proper discharge of the duties of social life.

The First Section

The First Section of the 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 short and simple 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 prove ourselves; and as they induce us to inquire more minutely into other particulars of greater importance, they serve as an introduction to subjects which are more amply explained in the following Sections.

As we can annex to these remark no other explanation consistent with the rules of masonry. we must refer the more inquisitive to our regular assembles for further instruction.

The Second Section

The Second Section makes us acquainted with the peculiar forms and ceremonies at the initiation of candidates into masonry; and convinces us, beyond the power of contradiction, of the propriety of our rites; while it demonstrates to the most sceptical and hesitating mind, their excellence and utility.

The following particulars relative to that ceremony may be introduced here with propriety.

A Declaration to be assented to by every Candidate in an adjoining apartment, previous to Initiation.

"Do you seriously declare, upon your honour, before these gentlemen *, 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?" - I do.

"Do 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?" - I do.

"Do you seriously declare, upon your honour, before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?" - I do.

The 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 partake the privileges of the fraternity; and, in consequence of a Declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made and properly attested, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the Order."

The Candidate is ordered to be prepared for Initiation.

A Prayer used at Initiation

"Vouchsafe thine aid, Almighty Father of the Universe, to this our present convention; and grant that this Candidate for Masonry may dedicate and devote his life to thy service, and become a true and faithful Brother among us! Endue him with a competence of thy divine wisdom, that, by the secrets of this Art, he may be better enabled to display the beauties of godliness, to the honour of thy holy Name! Amen."

Note. It is a duty incumbent on every Master of a 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 alone, to require his cheerful acquiescence to the duties of morality and virtue, and all the sacred tenets of the Order.

The Third Section

The Third Section, by the reciprocal communication of our marks of distinction, proves us to be regular members of the Order; and inculcates those necessary and instructive duties which at once dignify our characters in the double capacity of men and masons.

We cannot better illustrate this Section, than by inserting the following

Charge at Initiation into the first Degree


[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 all persons at their initiation into our mysteries. Monarchs, in every age, have been encouragers and promoters of our Art, and have never deemed it derogatory from their dignities, to level themselves with the fraternities, to extend their privileges, and to patronise their assemblies.]

As a mason you are to study the moral law, as contained in the sacred code *; to consider it as the unerring standard of truth and justice, and to regulate your life and actions by its divine precepts.

The three great moral duties, to God, your neighbour, and yourself, you are strictly to observe: - To God, by never mentioning his name, but with that awe and reverence which is due from a creature to his creator; to implore his aid in your laudable undertakings; and to esteem him as the chief good: - 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 avoiding irregularity and intemperance, which might impair your faculties, and debase the dignity of your profession.

In the state, you are to be 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 spot where you first drew breath.

[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 and behaviour be regular and uniform, and your deportment suitable to the dignity of the profession.]

Above all, practise benevolence and charity; for by these virtues, masons have been distinguished 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. Supposing himself in the situation of an unhappy sufferer, he listens to the tale of woe with attention, bewails misfortune, and speedily relieves distress.]

The Constitutions of the Order ought next to engage your attentions. These contain the history of masonry from the earliest periods, with an account of illustrious characters who have enriched the Art in various countries; and the laws and charges, by which the brethren have been long governed.

A punctual attendance on our assemblies I am earnestly to enjoin, especially on the duties of the lodge in which you are enrolled a member. Here, and in all other 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 manners you are not to violate; you are to use no unbecoming language, in derogation of the name of God, or toward the corruption of good manners: you are not to introduce or maintain any dispute about religion or politics; or behave irreverently while the lodge is engaged in what is serious and important; but you are to pay a proper deference and respect to the Master and presiding officers, and diligently apply to the practice of the Art, that you may sooner become a proficient therein, as well for your own credit, as the honour of the lodge in which you have been received.]

But although your frequent appearance at our regular meetings is earnestly solicited, masonry is not intended to interfere with your necessary vocations in life, as these on no account are to be neglected: neither are you to suffer your zeal for the institution, however laudable, to lead you into argument with those who may ridicule it; but rather extend your pity toward all, who through ignorance contemn, what they never had an opportunity to comprehend. At leisure hours, study the liberal arts and sciences; and improve in Masonic disquisitions, by the conversation of well-informed brethren, who will be as ready to give, as you can be to receive instruction.

Finally; keep sacred and inviolable those mysteries of the Order which are to distinguish you from 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 masonry, be particularly attentive not to recommend him unless you are convinced he will conform to our rules; that the honour, the glory, and the reputation of the institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its benign influence.

[From the attention you have paid to the recital of this charge, 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 justice.]

[This section usually closes with the EULOGIUM, ]

The Fourth Section

The Fourth Section rationally accounts for the origin of hieroglyphical instruction, and points out the advantages which accompany a faithful observance of our duty; it illustrates, at the same time, certain particulars, of which our ignorance 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? or what instruction more beneficial, than an accurate elucidation of those symbols which tend to embellish and adorn the mind? Every thing that strikes the eye, more immediately engages the attention, and imprints on the memory serious and solemn truths. Hence masons have universally adopted the plan of inculcating the tenets of their Order by typical figures and allegorical emblems, to prevent their mysteries from descending to the familiar reach of inattentive and unprepared novices, from whom they might not receive due veneration.

It is well known, that the usages and customs of masons have ever corresponded with those of the ancient Egyptians, to which they bear a near affinity. These philosophers, unwilling to expose their mysteries to vulgar eyes, concealed their particular tenets and principles of polity 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 not 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; every character, figure, and emblem, depicted in a Lodge, has a moral tendency, and tends to inculcate the practice of virtue.

[This section closes with a definition of Charity.]

The Fifth Section

The Fifth Section explains the nature and principles of our constitution, and teaches us to discharge the duties of the different departments which we are top sustain in the government of a lodge. Here, too, our ornaments are displayed, our jewels and furniture specified, and proper attention is paid to our ancient and venerable patrons.

To explain the subject of this Section, and to assist the industrious mason to acquire it, we recommend a punctual attendance on the duties of a Lodge, and a diligent application to the truths there demonstrated.

The Sixth Section

The 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 expatiate; while the Cardinal Virtues claim our attention. - 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 one Almighty 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 other wise 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, to alleviate misfortune, to compassionate misery, and to restore peace to the troubled mind, is the grand aim of the true mason. On this basis, he establishes his friendship, and forms his connections. - Truth is a divine attribute, and the foundation of every virtue. To be good and true is the first lesson we are taught. On this theme we contemplate, and by its dictates endeavour to regulate our conduct: influenced by this principle, hypocrisy and deceit are unknown, sincerity and plain-dealing distinguish us, while the heart and tongue join in promoting each other's welfare, and rejoicing in each other's prosperity.

To this illustration succeeds an explanation of 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 very than that can tend to promote either present or future well-being. In this virtue all other depend; it is there fore the chief jewel that can adorn the human frame.- Justice, the boundary of right, constitutes the cement of civil society. Without the exercise of this virtue, universal confusion must ensue; lawless force would overcome the principles of equity, and social intercourse no longer exist. Justice in a great measure constitutes real goodness, and therefore it is represented to be the perpetual study of the accomplished mason.

The explanation of these virtues is accompanied with some general observations on the Equality observed among masons. - In a Lodge no estrangement of behaviour is discovered. Influenced by one principles, an uniformity of opinion, useful in exigencies, and pleasing in familiar life, universally prevails, strengthens all the ties of friendship, and equally promotes love and esteem. Masons are brethren by a double tie, and among brothers no invidious distinctions should still exist. Merit is always respected and honour rendered to whom it is due. - A king 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 subject.- The senator and the artist are alike taught that, equally with other, they are by nature exposed to infirmity and disease; and an unforeseen misfortune , or a disordered frame, may impair their faculties, and level them with the most ignorance of the species. This checks pride, and incites courtesy or behaviour. - Men of inferior talents, or not placed by fortune on such exalted stations, are instructed to regard their superiors with peculiar esteem, when, divested of pride, vanity, and external grandeur, they condescend, in the badge of friendship, to trace wisdom, and follow virtue, asserted 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 Virtues only mark distinction among masons.

Such is the arrangement of the Sections in the Fifth Lecture of Masonry, which including the forms adopted at opening and closing a 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 s strain of interesting allegory, which readily unfolds its beauties to the candid and industrious inquirer.


Sect 4. - Remarks on the Second Lecture

Masonry is a progressive science, and divided into different classes or degrees, for a 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 capacity, we attain to a less or greater degree or perfection.

Masonry includes almost every branch of polite learning. Under the veil of its mysteries, is comprehended 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, it is wisely planned; and in the investigation of its latent doctrines, the philosopher and mathematician may experience satisfaction and delight.

To 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 insurmountable. 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 employed in promoting the glory of God, and the good of man.

Such is the tendency of every illustration 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 all our inquiries.

The First Degree is 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 fame plan, and comprehends a more diffusive system of knowledge. Practice and theory 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 craftsmen on important subjects, his mind 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; the mental powers are fully employed, and the judgement is properly exercised. A spirit of emulation prevails; and every one vies, who shall most excel in promoting the valuable rules of 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 enables him to judge of their importance, and convinces him of the necessity of adhering to 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. Many duties which cement in the firmest union will-informed brethren, are illustrated; and an opportunity is given to make such advances in masonry as must always distinguish the abilities of able craftsmen.

This Section recapitulates the ceremony of initiation, and contains many important particulars with which no officer of a lodge should be unacquainted.

Charge at Initiation into the Second Degree *


Being advanced to the Second Degree 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 improve in social intercourse.

It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a mason, you are 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 conform to the principles of the Order, and steadily persevere in the practice of every commendable 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, being divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge; while it proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality.]

As 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 you are to induce others, by your example, to hold them in veneration.

The 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 justice.

As a craftsman, in our private assemblies you may offer your sentiments and opinions on such subjects as are regularly introduced in the Lecture. By this privilege you may improve your intellectual powers; qualify yourself to become an useful member of society; and, like a skilful brother, strive to excel in every thing that is good and great.

[ * All regular signs an summonses, given and received, you are duly to honour, and punctually to obey; inasmuch as they consist with our professed principles. You are to supply the wants, and relieve the necessities, of your brethren, to the utmost of your power and ability: and you are 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.

Such is the nature of your engagements as a craftsman; and to these duties you are bound by the most sacred ties.]

The Second Section

The 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, 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, drawing the attention to the sum of perfection, contemplate with admiration on 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 pleasure and delight. Such is the latitude of this Section, that the most judicious may fail in an attempt to explain it, as the rational powers are exerted to their utmost stretch, in illustration the beauties of nature, and demonstrating the more important truths of morality.

As the orders of architecture come under consideration in this Section, a brief description of them nay not be improper.

By order in architecture, is meant a system of all 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 hat 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.

The five orders are thus classed: the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite.

The 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 construction of this column renders it eligible where solidity is the chief object, and where ornament would be superfluous.

The Doric order, which is plain and natural, is the most ancient, and was invented by the Greeks. Its column is eight diameters high, and 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 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 its resemblance to that pillar in its original state.

The 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 denticles. 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 Ephefus 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 robust man.

The Corinthian, the richest of the five orders, is deemed a master-piece 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, 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 acan, but 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 volute, the bending leaves.

The 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.

The original orders of architecture, revered by masons, are no more than three, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. To these the Romans have 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, however, shew 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 the Romans, we are indebted for what is great, judicious, and distinct in architecture.

These observations are intended to induce the industrious craftsman to pursue his researches into the rise and progress of architecture, by consulting the works of learned writers professedly upon the subject.

An 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 following thoughts on this important branch of learning may, however, be useful.

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, adheres to the first with reverence.

The objects of human knowledge are innumerable; the channels by which this 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 y 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, but innate.

Having made these observations, we shall proceed to give a brief description of the five senses.

Hearing 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 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 in an instant of time, without change of place or situation, 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 might be taught to lie and dissemble, the countenance would 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 a peculiar object of admiration.

Of all the faculties, sight is the noblest. The structure of the eye, and its appurtenances, evince the admirable contrivance of Nature for performing all its various external and internal motions; while the variety displayed in the eyes of different animals, suited to their several ways of life, clearly demonstrates this organ to be the master-piece of Natures 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; which, by means of certain corresponding sensations of touch, are presented to the mind as real external qualities, and the conception or belief of them is invariably connected with those corresponding sensations, by an original principle of human nature, which far transcends our inquiry.

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.

These three senses, hearing, seeing, and feeling, are deemed peculiarly essential among masons.

Smelling is that sense by which we distinguish odours, which convey different impressions to the mind. Animal and vegetable bodies, and indeed most other bodies, continually send forth effluvia of vast subtlety, 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, 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 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 changes which the same body undergoes in the different compositions of art, cookery, chemistry, pharmacy, &c.

Smelling and Tasting are inseparably connected, and it is by the unnatural kind of life 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 analize 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 power over every branch of science; and is therefore a theme peculiarly worthy of attention. In the arts and sciences which have least connection with the mind, its faculties are still the engines which we must employ; the better we understand their nature and use, their defects and disorders, we shall 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.

Geometry is the first and noblest of sciences, and the basis on which the superstructure of free-masonry 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 particle of matter on which he treads, every blade of grass which covers the field, every flower which 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, is a pleasing and delightful theme, and naturally leads 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 which grows, every flower that displays its beauties or breathes its sweets, affords instruction and delight. When we extend our vies 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 runs though the whole, with the apt disposition of one part to another, is a perpetual subject of study to the 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 which governs the system.

When 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 pebble proclaims the handywork 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 fame supreme intelligence. The scales of the largest whale, as well as the penciled shell of the meanest fry, equally yield a theme for this contemplation, on which he fondly dwells, while the symmetry of their formation, and the delicacy of the tints, evince the wisdom of the Divine Artist.

When 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 contemplate the sun, the moon, the stars, the whole concave of heaven, his pride will be humbled while he is lost in awful admiration. The immense magnitude of those bodies, the regularity and rapidity of their motions, and the inconceivable extent of space through which they move, are equally inconceivable; and as far as they exceed human comprehension, baffle his most daring ambition, while, lost in the immensity of the theme, he sinks into his primitive insignificance.

By geometry, therefore, we may curiously trace Nature, through her various windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it, we may 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 may discover how the planets move in their different orbits, and demonstrate their various revolutions. By it, we may 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 laws of Nature.

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 recourse 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, particularly explained. Their affinity is pointed out, by allegorical figures, and typical representations. Here the rise of our government, or division into lasses, 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 employed in building the temple of Jerusalem, and the privileges which they enjoyed, are specified; the period stipulated for regarding merit is fixed, and the inimitable moral to which that circumstance alludes, explained; the creation of the world is described, and many particulars recited, all of 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. The whole operates powerfully in enforcing 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 Book 1, page 9.

As many of the particulars in this Section have a reference to the temple of Jerusalem, we shall here insert the Invocation of Solomon at the Dedication of that edifice:


And Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord, in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands; saying:

O 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.

Let thy Word be verified, which thou hast spoken unto David, my father.

Let all the people of the earth know, that the Lord is God; and that there is none else.

Let all the people of the earth know thy Name; and fear thee.

Let all the people of the earth know, that I have built this house, and consecrated it to thy Name.

But, 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 built:

Yet, I have respect unto my prayer, and to my supplication, and hearken unto my cry:

May thine eyes be open, toward this house, by day and by night; even toward the place, of which thou hast said, My Name shall be there!

And when thy servant, and thy people Israel, shall pray toward this house, hearken to their supplication; hear thou them in heaven, thy dwelling-place; and when thou hearest, forgive!

And the Lord answered, and said, I have hollowed the house which thou hast built, to put my Name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

And 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 great importance to the fraternity are here particularised, and many traditional tenets and customs confirmed by sacred and profane record. The celestial and terrestrial gloves are considered with a minute 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 tour ancient brethren as the reward of excellence, explained; and the duties, as well as privileges, of the first branch of their male offspring, defined. This Section also contains many curious observations on the validity of our forms, and concludes with the most powerful incentives to the practice of piety and virtue.

As the seven 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 that excellency of pronunciation, which enables us to speak or write a language with accuracy, agreeably to reason, an correct usage.

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 discretionally 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, whole relation or affinity to others is already known.

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; to delineate the extent of seas, and specify the divisions of empires, kingdoms, and provinces; and by it the astronomer is enabled to make his observations, and fix the duration 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 can 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 must 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 is included in the science of astronomy, and 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 on its surface, is called the terrestrial globe; and that with the constellations, and other heavenly bodies, the celestial globe. Their principal use, beside 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, we 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 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 the opening and closing the Lodge, comprehend the whole of the Second Degree of Masonry. Beside 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.


Sect 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 of Masonry, we have recapitulated the contents of the several Sections, and should willingly have pursued 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 laws of the Order. It may be sufficient to remark, that, in twelve Sections, of which the lecture consists, every circumstance that respects government and system, antient lore and deep research, curious invention and ingenious discovery, is accurately traced, while the mode of proceeding on public as well as on private occasions is satisfactorily explained. Among the brethren of this degree, the land-marks of the Order are preserved; and from them is derived that fund of informations, which expert and ingenious craftsmen only can afford, whole judgement 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 pre-eminence which this degree affords, receives a reward which amply compensates all his past diligence and assiduity.

From this class, 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.

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 declare, that the person who 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


Your zeal for our institution, the progress you have made in our art, and your conformity to our regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object of favour and esteem.

In the character of a Master mason, you are henceforth to correct the errors and irregularities of uninformed brethren, and guard them against a breach of fidelity. To improve the morals and manners of men in society, must be your constant care; and with this view, you are to recommend to your inferiors, obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; to your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal benevolence you are to inculcate; and, by the regularity of your behaviour, afford the best examples for the conduct of others. The ancient landmarks of our Order, now instructed to your care, you are to preserve sacred and inviolable; and never suffer an infringement of our rites, or countenance a deviation from our established usages and customs.

Duty, honour, and gratitude, now bind you to be faithful to every truth; to support with becoming dignity your new character; and to enforce, by example and precept, the tenets of our 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. Thus your exemplary conduct must convince the world, that merit is the 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 a Chapter of Master-masons, and illustrates several points well known to experienced craftsmen. It investigates, in the ceremony of opening a chapter, the most important circumstances in the two preceding degrees.

The Third Section

The Third Section commences the historical traditions of the Order, which are chiefly collected from sacred record, and other authentic documents.

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, in order to extend knowledge, and promote virtue.

This Section is indispensably necessary to be understood by every Master of a lodge.

The Eighth Section

The Eighth Section treats of the government of the society, and the disposition of the rulers in different degrees. It is therefore generally rehearsed at installations.

The Ninth Section

The Ninth Section recites the qualifications of the rulers, and illustrates the ceremony of installation, in the grand lodge, as well as in private lodges.

The Tenth Section

The Tenth Section comprehends the ceremonies of constitution and consecration, with a variety of particulars explanatory of those ceremonies.

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 Lodges, and at the Interment of Master Masons.

The Twelfth Section

The Twelfth Section contains a recapitulation of the most 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 different degrees of masonry, and made such remarks on each degree, as may tend to illustrate the subjects treated, little farther will 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, will have amassed an ample store of useful learning; he will reflect with pleasure on the good effects of his past diligence and attention, and by applying the whole to the general advantage of society, will secure to himself the veneration of masons, and the approbation of all good men


Sect 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 a Lodge, and 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 Services.

The Manner of constituting a Lodge, including the Ceremony of Consecration &c (etc.)

Any number of Master-masons, not under seven, resolved to form a New Lodge, must apply, by petition *, to the Grand Master; setting forth 'that they are regular * masons, and are at present, or have been, members of regular lodges: * That having the prosperity of the fraternity at heart, they are are willing to exert their best endeavours to promote and diffuse the genuine principles of masonry: That, for the convenience of their respective dwellings, and other good reasons, they have agreed to form a New Lodge, to be named.

That, in consequence to this resolution, they pray for a warrant of constitution, to empower them to assemble 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 held, is delivered to the Grand Secretary; who, on presenting it to the Grand Master, or in his absence to the Deputy, and, on its being approved by him, grants a dispensation, authorising the brethren specified in the petition to assemble as masons for forty days, and until such time as constitution can eb granted by command of the Grand Lodge, or that authority be recalled.

In consequence of this dispensation, a lodge is held at the place specified; and the transactions of that lodge 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 Lodge has signified his approbation of the New Lodge, and the Grand Master is thoroughly satisfied of the truth of the allegations set forth in the petition, he appoints a day and an hour for constituting [and consecrating *] the New Lodge; and for installing its 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 a Grand Master, it is said to be constituted IN DUE FORM; and if the power of performing the ceremony is 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 this 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 the Master in the Chair, in all the degrees of Masonry. After a short prayer, an ode in honour of masonry is sung. The Grand Master, or Master in the Chair, is then informed by the Grand Secretary, or his locum tenens. That the brethren then present, being duly instructed in the mysteries of the Art, [naming them,] desire to be formed into a New Lodge, under the Grand Master's patronage; that a dispensation has been granted to them for that purpose, and by virtue of that authority, they had assembled as regular masons, and had duly recorded their transactions. The petition is read, as is also the dispensation, and the warrant or charter of constitution, granted in consequence of it. the minute of the New Lodge while under dispensation, are read, and being approved, are declared to he 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 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 masonry delivered.

The ceremony of Consecration succeeds.

Ceremony of Consecration

The Grand Master and his Officers, accompanied by some distinguished 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, * and being properly assisted proceeds to consecrate. * Solemn music is introduced, while the necessary preparations are making. At length the lodge is uncovered, and the first clause of the consecration prayer is rehearsed, all devoutly kneeling. The response is made, GLORY TO GOD ON HIGH. Incense is scattered over the lodge, and the grand honours of masonry given. the grand 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 is again covered, and all rising up, solemn music is resumed, after which a blessing is given, and the response made as before, accompanied by honours. an anthem is then sung and the brethren of the New Lodge advance according to rank, and offer homage to the Grand Master, when the consecration ends.

The above ceremony being finished, the Grand Master then advances to the Pedestal, and constitutes the New Lodge in the following manner:

In the exalted character 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, may he strengthen you in the principles of our royal Art, may he prosper you with all success, and may your zealous pursuits rebound to the good of the Craft! By the divine aid, I constitute and form you, my good brethren, into a Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons; and from henceforth empower you to act as a regular lodge, constituted in conformity to the rites of our venerable Order, and charges of our ancient fraternity. May God be with you.! Amen.

Flourish with drums and trumpets.

The grand honours are given, and the ceremony of Installation succeeds.

Ceremony of Installation

The Grand Master * asks his Deputy, whether he has examined the Master nominated in the warrant, and finds him well skilled in the noble science and the royal Art. The Deputy answering in the affirmative, * by the GrandMaster'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 to you  my worthy brother, A.B. to be installed Master of this New Lodge. I find him to be of good morals, and of great skill, true and trusty; and as his is a lover of the whole fraternity, where forever dispersed over the face of the earth, I doubt not he will discharge his duty with fidelity.

The Grand Master order a summary of the ancient charges * to be read by the Grand Secretary [or acting Secretary] to the Master elect.

I. You agree to be  good man and true and strictly obey the moral law.

II. You agree to be a peaceable subject and cheerfully 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 to submit to the decision 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 men.

V. You agree to hold in veneration the original rulers and patrons of the Order of Masonry, and their regular successors, supreme and subordinate, according to their stations; and to submit to the awards 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 quarrels, and to guard against intemperance and excess.

VII. You agree to be cautious in carriage and behaviour, courteous to our brethren, and faithful to our lodge.

VIII. You promise to respect genuine brethren, and to discountenance impostors, and all dissenters from the original plan of Masonry.

IX. You agree to promote the general good of society, to cultivate the social virtues, and to propagate the knowledge of the Art.

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 innovation in the body of masonry.

II. You promise to pay homage to the Grand Master for the time being, and to his Officers, when duly installed, and 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 Masonry.

III. You promise a regular attendance on the committees and communications of the Grand Lodge, on receiving proper notice; and to pay attention to all the duties of masonry, on convenient occasions.

IV. You admit that no new lodge shall be formed without permission of the Grand Master or is Deputy; and that no countenance be given to any irregular lodge, or to any person clandestinely initiated therein, being contrary to the ancient charges of the Order.

V. You admit that no person can be regularly made a mason in, or admitted member of, a regular lodge, without previous notice, and due inquiry into his character.

VI. You agree that no visitors shall be received into your lodge without due examination, and producing proper vouchers of their 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.?

The New Master having signified his cordial submission, is regularly installed, bound to his trust and invested with the badge of office by the Grand Master, who thus salutes him:

Brother A. B., in consequence of your cheerful conformity to the Charges and Regulations of the Order, I appoint you Master of this New Lodge, not doubting of your care, skill, and capacity.

The warrant of constitution is then delivered over to the Master; after which the Holy Writings, the rule and line, the square and compasses, the constitutions, the minute book, the mallet, the trowel, the chisel, the movable jewels, and all the insignia of the different Officers, are separately presented to him, and charges suitable for each delivered. * The New Master is then conducted by the Grand Stewards, amidst the acclamations of the brethren, to the Grand Master's left hand, where he returns his becoming acknowledgements; first, to the Grand Master; and next, to all the Officers in order; after which he is saluted by the Brethren in a grand chorus suitable for the occasion. The members of the New Lodge advance in procession, pay due homage to the Grand Master, and signify their promise of subjection and obedience by the usual congratulations in the different degrees of masonry.

This ceremony being concluded, the Grand Master orders the New Master to enter immediately upon the exercise of his office; by appointing his Wardens. They are conducted to the pedestal, presented to the Grand Master, and installed by the Grand Wardens; after which the New Master * proceeds to invest them with the badges of their offices in the following manner:

Brother C.D. I appoint you Senior Warden of this lodge; and invest you with the ensign of your office. * Your regular attendance on our stated meetings is essentially necessary; as in my absence you are to govern this 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 this important trust.

Brother E.F. I appoint you Junior Warden of this lodge; and invest our with the badge of your 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 the duty which you owe to your present appointment.

The New Master then addresses his Wardens together:

Brother Wardens, you are too expert in the principles of masonry, to require more information in the duties of your respective offices; suffice it to mention, that I expect that what you have seen praise-worthy in others, you will carefully imitate; and what in them may have appeared defective, you will in yourselves amend. Good order and regularity you must endeavour to promote; and, by due regard to the laws in your own conduct, enforce obedience to them from the other members.

The Wardens retire to their seats, and the Treasurer * is invested. The Secretary is then called to the pedestal, and invested with the jewel of his office; upon which the Mew Master addresses him:

I appoint you, Brother G.H., Secretary of this lodge. It is your province to record the minutes, settle the accounts, and issue out the summons for our regular meetings. Your good inclinations to masonry and the lodge, I hope, will induce you to discharge your office with fidelity, and by so doing, you will merit the esteem and applause of your brethren.

The Deacons are then named, and invested, upon which the New Master addresses them as follows:

Brothers I.K.and L.M. I appoint you Deacons of this lodge. It is your province to attend on the Master, and to assist the Wardens in the active duties of the lodge; such as in the reception of candidates into the different degrees of masonry, and in the immediate practice of our rites. Those columns, as badges of your office, I entrust to your care, not doubting your vigilance and attention.

The Stewards are next called up, and invested, upon which the following charge is delivered to them by the New Master:

Brothers N.O. and P.Q. I appoint you Stewards of this lodge, The duties of your office are, introduce visitors, and see that they are properly accommodated, to collect subscriptions and other fees, and keep an exact account of the lodge expenses. Your regular and early attendance will afford the best proof of your zeal and attachment.

The 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 at large, as follows:


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 in both, is an essential duty. The brethren whom I have appointed to assist me in the government of this 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 we shall have but one aim, to please each other, and unite in the grand design of communicating happiness.

The Grand Master then gives the Brethren joy of their Officers, recommend harmony, and expresses a wish that the only contention in lodge may be, a generous emulation to vie in cultivating the royal Art, and the moral virtues. The New Lodge joins in the general salute, and the new-installed Master returns thanks for the honour of the constitution.

The Grand Secretary then proclaims the New Lodge three ties, with the honours of Masonry; flourish with 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 regular lodges.

A song * with a chorus, accompanied by the music, concludes the ceremony of constitution, when the lodge is closed with the usual solemnities in the different degrees, by the Grand Master and his Officers; after which the procession is resumed 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 the laying of 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. No private member, or inferior officer of any private lodge, is admitted to join in the ceremony. Provincial Grand Masters are authorised to execute this trust in their several provinces, accompanied by their Officers, and the Masters and Wardens of regular lodges under their jurisdiction. The Chief Magistrate, and other civil officers of the place where the building is tobe erected, generally 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, elegantly dressed , with white gloves and aprons. The lodge is opened by the Grand Master, and the rules regulating the procession to and from the place where the ceremony is to be performed, are read by the Grand Secretary. The necessary cautions are then given from the chair, and the lodge is adjourned; after which the procession sets out in the following order:

Two Tylers, with drawn swords


Members of the Grand Lodge, two and two;

A Tyler in his uniform;

Past Grand Stewards;

Grand Tyler;

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;

Grand Chaplain;

Provincial Grand Masters;

Past Grand Wardens;

Past Deputy Grand Masters;

Past Grand Masters;

Chief Magistrate of the place;

Grand Wardens;

Deputy Grand Master;

The Constitution carried by the Master of the oldest

Lodge; *


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 private brethren. The procession passes through the arch, and the brethren repairing to the their stands, the Grand Master and his Officers take their places on a temporary platform, covered with carpet. An ode on masonry is sung. The Grand Master commands silence and the necessary preparations are made for laying the Stone, on which are engraved the year of our Lord and of Masonry, the name of the reigning Sovereign and the name, titles, Etc of the Grand Master. The Stone is raised up, by an engine erected for that purpose, and the Grand Chaplain or Orator repeats a short prayer. The Grand Treasurer then, by the Grand Master's command, places under the Stone various sorts of coins and medals of the present reign. Solemn music is introduced, an anthem sung, and the Stone let down into its place and properly fixed; upon which the Grand Master descends to the Stone, and gives three knocks with his mallet, amidst the acclamations of the spectators. The Grand Master then delivers over to the Architect the various implements of architecture, entrusting him with the superintendence and direction of the work; after which he re-ascends the platform, and an oration suitable to the occasion is delivered. A voluntary subscription is made for the workmen, and the sum collected is 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, and the lodge is closed by the Grand Wardens.

The Ceremony observed at the Dedication of Mason's Halls

 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 of masonry. The order of procession is read by the Grand Secretary, and a general charge respecting propriety of behaviour given by the Deputy Grand Master. The lodge is then adjourned and the procession formed as follows;

Two Tylers with drawn swords;


Members of the Grand Lodge, two by two;

A Tyler in his uniform;

Past Grand Stewards;

Grand Tyler;

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 Brothers, with a silver Pitcher, containing wind and oil;

Four Tylers, carrying the Lodge, covered with white satin;


Grand 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;

Grand Chaplain;

Provincial Grand Masters;

Past Grand Wardens;

Past Deputy Grand Masters;

Past Grand Masters;

Chief Magistrate of the place;

Two large lights;

Grand Wardens;

One large light;

Deputy Grand Master;

The Constitution carried by the Master of the oldest Lodge; *


Two Stewards close the procession.

The Ladies who attend are 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 center, on a crimson velvet couch; and the Grand Master having taken the chair, under a canopy of state, the Grand Officers, and the Masters and Wardens of the Lodges, repair to the places which have been previously prepared for their reception: The three 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 placed a crimson, velvet cushion, with the Bible open, the Square and Compasses being laid thereon, and the Constitution roll. An anthem is then sung, and an exordium on masonry given; after which the Architect addresses the Grand Master in an elegant speech, returns thanks for the honour conferred on him, and surrenders up the implements which had been entrusted to his care at the laying of 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, with such of the musicians as are not masons.

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; upon which he 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, the music is silent, and he declares the Hall dedicated to UNIVERSAL BENEVOLENCE; upon which the Chaplain dips his fingers in the oil, and sprinkles it over the Lodge; and at each dedication the Grand honours are given. A solemn invocation is made to Heaven, and an anthem sung; after which the Lodge being covered, the Grand Master retires to his chair, and the business of masonry is again adjourned.

The ladies are then 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 collected, and the grand procession is reformed. After marching three times round the Hall, preceded by the Tylers carrying the Lodge as at entrance, during which the music continues 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 degrees.

The Ceremony observed at Funerals, according to ancient Custom: with the Service used on that occasion.

No mason can be interred with formalities of the Order, unless it be by is 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, and form this restriction there can be no exception. Fellow-crafts, or apprentices, are not entitled to the funeral obsequies.

The Master of a lodge having received notice of a Master-mason's death, and of his request to be interred with the ceremonies of the Order, fixes the day and hour for the funeral, and issues his command to summon the lodge; if more lodges are expected to attend, he must make application by the Grand Secretary to the Grand Master or his Deputy, to reside over such brethren from other lodges as may assist in forming the procession, who are to be under his direction for the time; and all the brethren present must be properly clothed. *

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 from; but the whole ceremony must be under the direction of the Master of the lodge to which the deceased belonged, for which purpose on the dispensation is granted; and he and his officers must be duly honoured, and cheerfully obeyed, on the occasion.

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, * is most suitable. No person should be distinguished with a jewel, unless he is an officer of one of the lodges invited to attend in form, and 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 white rods.

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 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 in to the world, and naked he must leave 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 had 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 unto the coffin and says.

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 accomplished1 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 towards toward 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 they may mercy may dispel the gloom of death; and after our departure hence in peace and in thy favour, we may be received into thine everlasting kingdom, to enjoy, in union with the souls of our departed friends, the just reward of pious and virtuous life. Amen!

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 their pledged vows. The lodge is then adjourned, and the procession, to the place of interment is formed:

The different lodges rank according to seniority, the junior proceeding; each lodge forms on division, and the the following order is observed:

The Tyler, with his sword;

The Stewards, with white rods;

The Brethren, out of office, two by two;

The Secretary, with a roll;

The Treasurer; with his badge of office;

The Senior and Junior Wardens, hand in hand;

The Pastmaster;

The Master;

The Lodge to which the deceased Brother

belonged, in the following order;

all members having flowers

or herbs in their hands;

The Tyler;

The Stewards;

Martial Music [Drums muffled and trumpets covered]

The Members of the Lodge;

The Secretary and Treasurer;

The Senior and Junior Wardens;

The Pastmaster;

The Holy Writings, on a cushion, covered with

a black cloth, carried by the oldest

Member of the Lodge;

The Master

The Choristers, singing an anthem;

The Clergymen;

The BODY with the regalia placed thereon and two swords crossed;

Carried by the Pall Bearers;

Chief Mourner;

Assistant Mourners;

Two Stewards;

A Tyler.

One or two lodges advance, before the procession begins, to the church-yard, to prevent confusion, and make the necessary preparations. The brethren are not to desert their ranks, or change places, but to keep to their different departments. When the Procession arrives at the gate of the church-yard, the lodge to which the deceased brother belonged, the mourners, and attendants of 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 the striking 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, though 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 may 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 stripped 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 leveled, and all distinction are done away.

while we drop the sympathetic tear over the grave of a deceased friend, let charity incline us to throw a veil over his foibles, whatever they may have been, and not with-hold from his memory the praise that 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 ought to derive instruction.

Let the present example excite our most serious thoughts, and strengthen our resolutions of amendment. As life is uncertain, and all earthly pursuits are 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. Thus our expectations will not be frustrated, nor we 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 ties, and pursue with assiduity the sacred tenets of our Order: Then, with becoming grace, to ensure the favour of that eternal Being, whose goodness and power know no bound; that, when the awful moment arrives, be it soon or late, we may be enabled to prosecute our journey, without dread or apprehension, to that far distant country whence no traveler returns. By the light of the divine countenance, we shall 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, let us hope that judgement 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 innovations are them made by the Master, the usual honours accompany 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 audible voice:

Glory be to God on high, on earth peace, goodwill towards men!

ANSWER. So mote it be, now, from henceforth, and for evermore.

The Master then concludes the ceremony at the grave, in the following words:

From time immemorial it has been the custom among the fraternity of free and accepted masons, at the request of a brother on his death-bed, to accompany his corpse to the place of internment; and there to deposit his remains with the usual formalities.

In conformity to this usage, and at the request of our deceased brother, whose memory we revere, and whose loss we now deplore, we have 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 affection; thereby demonstrating the sincerity of our past esteem, and our inviolate attachment to the principles of the Order.

With 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 goodwill to all mankind, we here appear clothed as masons, and publicly crave leave to express our submission to peace and good government, and our wish to serve the interests of mankind. Invested with the badges of innocence; we humbly bow to the universal Parent; and implore his blessing on every zealous endeavour to promote peace and good-will, and pray for our perseverance in the principles of piety and virtue.

The great Creator having been pleased, out of his mercy, to remove our worth brother from the cares and troubles of a transitory life, to a state of eternal duration; and thereby to weaken the chain by which we are united, man to man; may we, who survive him, anticipate our approaching fate and be more strongly cemented in the ties of union and friendship; that, during the short space allotted to our present existence, we may wisely and usefully employ our time; and in the reciprocal intercourse of kind and friendly acts, mutually promote the welfare and happiness of each other.

Unto the grave we resign the body of our deceased friend, there to remain until the general resurrection; in favourable expectation that his immortal soul may then partake of joys which have been prepared for the righteous from the beginning of the world: And may Almighty God, of infinite goodness, at the grand tribunal of unbiased 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, whom be glory, now and for ever. Amen!

Thus the service ends, and the usual honours are given; after which the procession returns in form to the place whence it set out, where the necessary duties are complied with, and the business of masonry renewed. The regalia, and ornaments of the deceased, if 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 a blessing.

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