THE MASONIC MANUAL
A pocket Companion for the Initiated
Compiled and arranged by
Revised Edition 1867
MASONRY is a progressive science, and is
divided into different grades, or degrees, for the more regular
advancement in the know ledge 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 of perfection.
Masonry includes within its circle almost
every branch of polite learning. Under the veil of its
mysteries is comprehended a regular system
of science. Many of its illustrations, to the narrow mind, may appear
unimportant; but the man of more eniarged faculties will perceive them to
be, in the highest degree, useful and interesting. To please the
accomplished scholar, and ingenious artist, Masonry is wisely planned;
and, in the investigation of its latent doctrines, the philosopher and
mathematician may experience equal delight and satisfaction.
To exhaust the various subjects of which it
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
remove each difficulty as it occurs; every step he advances new pleasures
open to his view, and instruction of the noblest kind attends his
researches. In the diligent pursuit of knowledge, the intellectual
faculties are employed in promoting the glory of GOD, and the good of man.
The first degree is well calculated to
enforce the duties of morality, and imprint on the memory the noblest
principles which can adorn the human mind. It is therefore the best
introduction to the second degree, which not only extends the same plan,
but comprehends a more diffusive system of knowledge. Here, practice and
theory join, in
qualifying the industrious Mason to share
the pleasures which an advancement of the art must necessarily afford.
Listening with attention to the wise opinions of experienced craftsmen, on
important subjects, he gradually familiarizes his mind to useful
instruction, and is soon enabled to investigate truths of the utmost
concern in the general transactions of life.
The first section of the second degree
accurately elucidates the mode of introduction into that particular grade;
and instructs the diligent craftsman how to proceed in the proper
arrangement of the ceremonies used on the occasion. It qualifies him to
judge of their importance, and convinces him of the necessity of strictly
adhering to every established usage of the order. Many duties, which
cement in the firmest union well-informed brethren, are illustrated in
this section; and an opportunity is given to make such advances in
masonry, as will always distinguish the abilities of those who have
arrived at preferment.
The knowledge of this section is absolutely
necessary for all craftsmen; and as it recapitulates the ceremony of
initiation, and contains many other
important particulars, no officer or member
of a lodge should be unacquainted with it.
The following passage of Scripture is
appropriate to this degree:
"Thus he shewed me: and bebold, the LORD
stood upon a wall made by a plumb-line, with a plumb-line in his hand. And
the LORD said unto me, AMOS, what seest thou? and I said, a plumbline.
Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumb-linie in the midst of my
people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more." - AMOS, vii. 7, 8.
OR THE FOLLOWING ODE MAY BE
Come, Craftsmen, assembled our pleasure to
Who walk by the PLUMB, and who work by the SQUARE;
While traveling in love, on the LEVEL of time,
Sweet hope shall light on to a far better clime.
We'll seek, in our labors, the Spirit
Our temple to bless, and our hearts to refine;
And thus to our altar a tribute we'll bring,
While, joined in true friendship, our anthem we sing.
See Order and Beauty rise gently to view,
Each Brother a column, so perfect and true!
When Order shall cease, and when temples decay,
May each, fairer columns, immmortal, survey.
* * * * * * * *
The Plumb is an instrument made use
of by oerative masons, to try perpendiculars; the Square, to
square their work, and the Level, to prove horizontals; but we, as
free and accepted Masons, are taught to make use of them for more noble
and glorious purposes; the Plumb admonishes us to walk uprightly in
our several stations before GOD and man, squaring our actions by the
Square of Virtue, and ever remembering that we are traveling upon the
Level of Time, to "that undiscovered country, from whose bourne no
The second section of this degree has
reference to the origin of the institution, and views Masonry under two
denominations-operative and speculative. These are separately considered,
and the principles on which both are founded, particularly explained.
Their affinity is pointed out, by allegorical figures and typical
representations. The period stipulated for rewarding merit is fixed, and
the inimitable moral to which that circumstance alludes is explained; the
creation of the world is described, and many other particulars recited,
all of which have been carefully preserved among Masons, and transmitted
from one age to another by oral tradition.
Circumstances of great importance to the
fraternity are here particularized, and many traditional tenets and
customs confirmed by sacred and profane record. The celestial and
terrestrial globes are considered with a minute accuracy; and here the
accomplished craftsman may display his talents to advantage, in the
elucidation of the Orders of Architecture, the Senses of
human nature, and the liberal Arts and Sciences, which are
severally classed in a regular arrangement. In short, this section
contains a store of valuable knowledge, founded on reason and sacred
record, both entertaining and instructive.
Masonry is considered under two
denominations. operative and speculative.
By Operative Masonry we allude to a proper
application of the useful rules of architecture, whence a structure will
derive figure, strength and beauty, and whence will result a due
proportion and a just correspondence in all its parts. It furnishes us
with dwellings, and convenient shelters from the vicissitudes and
inclemencies of seasons; and while it displays the effects of human
wisdom, as well in the choice as in the arrangement of the sundry
materials of which an edifice is composed, it demonstrates that a fund of
science and industry is implanted in man, for the best, most salutary and
By Speculative Masonry, we learn to subdue
the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain
secrecy, and practise charity. It is so far interwoven with religion, as
to lay us under obligations to pay that rational homage to the DEITY,
which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness. It leads the
contemplative to view, with reverence and admiration, the glorious worlds
of creation, and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the
perfection of his divine Creator
In fix days GOD created the heavens and the
earth, and rested upon the seventh day; the seventh, therefore, our
ancient brethren consecrated as a day of rest fromn their labors, thereby
enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of the
creation, and to adore their great CREATOR.
* * * * * * * *
PEACE, UNITY, AND PLENTY are introduced,
and their mnoral application explained.
* * * * * * * *
The doctrine of the SPHERES is included in
the science of astronomy, and particularly considered in this section.
OF THE GLOBES.
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 USE OF THE GLOBES.
Their principal use, besides
serving as maps to distinguish the outward parts of the earth, and the
situation of the fixed stars, is to illustrate and explain the phenomena
arising from the annual revolution, and the diurnal rotation of the earth
round its own axis. They are invaluable instruments for improving the
mind, and giving it the most distinct idea of any problem or proposition,
as well as enabling it to solve the same. Contemplating these bodies, we
are inspired with a due reverence for the DEITY and his works, and are
induced to encourage the studies of astronomy, geography, navigation, and
the arts dependent on them, by which society has been so much benefited.
THE ORDERS OF ARCHITECTURE
Come under consideration in this section; a
brief description of them may not be improper.
OF ORDER IN ARCHITECTURE
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
OF ITS ANTIQUITY
From the first formation of society, order
in architecture may be traced. When the rigor of seasons obliged men to
contrive shelter from the inclemency of the weather, we learn that they
first planted trees on end, and then laid others across, to support a
covering. The bands which connected those trees at top and bottom, are
said to have given rise to the idea of the base and capital of pillars:
and, from this simple hint, originally proceeded the more improved art of
The five orders are thus classed: the
TUSCAN, DORIC, IONIC, CORINTHIAN AND COMPOSITE.
Is the most simple and solid
of the five orders. It was invented in Tuscany, whence it derives its
name. Its column is seven diameters high; and its capital, base and
entablature have but few mouldings. The simplicity of the construction of
this column renders it eligible where ornament would be superfluous.
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 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 after times, when it began to be
adorned, it gained the name of Doric; for when it was con-
structed 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
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
dentils. There is both delicacy and ingenuity displayed in this pillar;
the invention of which is attributed to the Ionians, as the famous temple
of DIANA, at Ephesus, was of this order. It is said to have been formed
after the model of an agreeable young woman, of an elegant shape, dressed
in her hair; as a contrast to the Doric order, which was formed after that
of a strong, robust man.
The richest of the five
orders, is deemed a master-piece of art. Its column is tenl 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 dentils and modillions. This order is used in
stately and superb structures.
It was invented at Corinth, by CALLIMACHUS,
who is said to have taken the hint of the capital of this pillar from the
following remarkable circumstance. Accidentally passing by the tomb of a
young lady, he perceived a basket of toys, covered with a tile, placed
over an acanthus root, having been left there by her nurse. As the
branches grew up, they encompassed the basket, until arriving at the tile,
they met with an obstruction, and bent downwards. Callimachus, struck with
the object, set about imitating the figure; the vase of the capital he
made to represent the basket; the abacus the tile, and the volutes the
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
quarter-rounds, as the Tuscan and Doric order; is ten diameters high, and
its cornice has dentils, or simple modillions. This pillar is generally
found in buildings where strength, elegance and beauty are displayed.
OF THE INVENTION OF ORDER
The ancient and original orders of
architecture, revered by Masons, are no more than three, the Doric, Ionic
and Corinthian, which were invented by the Greeks. To these, the Romans
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,
show invention and particular character, and essentially differ from each
other; the two others have nothing but what is borrowed, and differ only
accidentally; the Tuscan is the Doric in its earliest state; and the
Composite is the Corinthian enriched with the Ionic. To the Greeks,
therefore, and not to the Romans, we are indebted for what is great,
judicious and distinct in architecture.
OF THE FIVE SENSES OF
An analysis of the human faculties is next
given in this section, in which the five external senses particularly
The senses we are to consider as the gifts
of nature, and though not the acquisition of our reasoning faculty, yet in
the use of them, are still subject to reason. 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 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
the analogy between them is obvious. In the
testimony of nature, given by the senses, as well as in human testimony,
given by information, things are signified by signs. In one as well as the
other, the mind, either by original principles or by custom, passes from
the sign to the conception and belief of the thing signified. The signs in
the natural language, as well as the signs in our original perceptions,
have the same signification in all climates and nations, and the skill of
interpreting them is not acquired, but innate.
Having made these observations, we shall
proceed to give a brief description of the five senses.
Is that sense by which we distinguish
sounds, and are capable of enjoying all the agreeable charms of music. By
it we are enabled to enjoy the pleasures of society, and reciprocally to
communicate to each other our thoughts and intentions, our purposes and
desires; and thus our reason is rendered 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 from social
intercourse with each other. For these purposes we are endowed with
hearing, that by a proper exertion of our rational powers, our happiness
may be complete.
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 on the pathless ocean, traverse the globe of earth,
determine its figure and dimensions, and delineate any region or quarter
of it. By it we measure the planetary orbs, and make new discoveries in
the sphere of the fixed stars. Nay, more, by it we perceive the tempers
and dispositions, the passions and affections of our fellow creatures,
when they wish most to conceal them; so that, though the tongue may be
taught to lie and dissemble, the countenance will display the hypocrisy to
the discerning eye. In fine, the rays of light which administer to this
sense, are the most astonishing parts of the animated 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 nature's works.
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
These three senses, hearing, seeing, and
feeling, are deemed peculiarly essential among masons.
* * * * * * * *
Is that sense by which we distinguish
odors, the various kinds of which convey different impressions to the
mind. Animal and vegetable bodies, and indeed most other bodies, while
exposed to the air, continually send forth effluvia of vast subtilty, as
well in a state of life and growth, as in the state of fermentation and
putrefaction. These effiuvia, being drawn into the nostrils along with the
air, are the means by which all bodies are distinguished. Hence it is
evident, that there is a manifest appearance of design in the great
Creator's having planted the organ of smell in the inside of that canal,
through which the air continually passes in respiration.
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 smelling guards the entrance of the canal for
piration. From the situation of both 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 inseparately
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
The proper use of these five senses enables
us to form just and accurate notions of the operations of nature; and when
we reflect on the objects with which our senses are gratified, we become
conscious of them, and are enabled to attend to them, till they become
familiar objects of thought.
On the mind all our knowledge must depend;
what, therefore, can be a more proper subject for the investigation of
To sum up the whole of this transcendent
measure of GOD'S bounty to man, we shall add, that memory, imagination,
taste, reasoning, moral perception, and all the active powers of the soul,
present a vast and boundless field for philosophical disquisition, which
far exceeds human enquiry, and are peculiar mysteries, known only to
nature, and to nature's God, to whom all are indebted for creation,
reservation, and every blessing we enjoy.
THE SEVEN LIBERAL ARTS AND
Are also illustrated in this section. A
brief analysis of the character of each, may not, therefore, be
inappropriate in this place.
Is the key by which alone the door can be
opened to the understanding of speech. It is Grammar which reveals the
admirable art of language, and unfolds its various constituent parts, its
names, definitions, and respective offices; it unravels, as it were, the
thread of which the web of speech is composed. These reflections seldom
occur to any one before their acquaintance with the art; yet it is most
certain, that, without a knowledge of Grammar, it is very difficult to
speak with propriety, precision, and purity.
It is by Rhetoric that the art of speaking
eloquently is acquired. To be an eloquent speaker, in the proper sense of
the word, is far from being either a common or an easy attainment: it is
the art of being persuasive and commanding; the art, not only of pleasing
the fancy, but of speaking both to the understanding and to the heart.
Is that science which directs us how to
form clear and distinct ideas of things, and thereby prevents us from
being misled by their similitude or resem-
blance. Of all the human sciences, that
concerning man is certainly most worthy of the human mind, and the proper
manner of conducting its several powers in the attainment of truth and
knowledge. This science ought to be cultivated as the foundation or
ground-work of our inquiries; particularly, in the pursuit of those
sublime principles which claim our attention as masons.
Is the art of numbering, or that part ot
the mathematics which considers the properties of numbers in general. We
have but a very imperfect idea of things without quantity, and as
imperfect of quantity itself, without the help of Arithmetic. All the
works of the Almighty are made in number, weight and measure; therefore,
to understand them rightly, we ought to understand arithmetical
calculations, and the greater advancement we make in the mathematical
sciences, the more capable we shall be of considering such things as are
the ordinary objects of our conceptions, and be thereby led to a more
comprehensive knowledge of our great Creator, and the works of the
Treats of the powers and properties of
magnitudes in general, where length, breadth and thickness are considered
- from a point to a line, from a line to a superfices,
and from a superfices to a solid.
A point is the beginning of all
A line is a continuation of the same.
A superfices is length and breadth without a given thickness.
A solid is length and breadth, with a given thickness, which forms a
cube and comprehends the whole.
OF THE ADVANTAGES OF
By this science the architect is enabled to
construct his plans, and execute his designs; the general, to arrange his
soldiers; the engineer, to mark out grounds for encampments; the
geographer, to give us the dimensions of the world, and all things therein
contained; to delineate the extent of seas, and specify the divisions of
empires, kingdoms and provinces. By it, also, the astronomer is enabled to
make his observations, and to fix the duration of times and seasons, years
and cycles. In fine, Geometry is the foundation of architecture, and the
root of the mathematics.
Is that elevated science which affects the
passions by sound. There are few who have not felt its charms, and
acknowledged its expressions to be intelligible to the heart. It is a
language of delightful sensations, far more eloquent than words; it
breathes to the ear the clearest intimations; it touches and gently
agitates the agreeable and sublime passions; it wraps us in melan-
choly, and elevates us in joy; it dissolves
and enflames; it melts us in tenderness, and excites us to war. This
science is truly congenial to the nature of man; for by its powerful
charms, the most discordant passions may be harmonized and brought into
perfect unison: but it never sounds with such seraphic harmony, as when
employed in singing hymns of gratitude to the Creator of the universe.
Is that sublime science which inspires the
contemplative mind to soar aloft, and read the wisdom, strength, and
beauty of the great Creator in the heavens. How nobly eloquent of the
Deity is the celestial hemisphere! - spangled with the most magnificent
heralds of his infinite glory! They speak to the whole universe; for there
is no speech so barbarous, but their language is understood; nor nation so
distant, but their voices are heard among them.
The heavens proclaim the glory of GOD;
The firmament declareth the works of his hands.
Assisted by Astronomy, we ascertain the
laws which govern the heavenly bodies, and by which their motions are
directed; investigate the power by which they circulate in their orbs,
discover their size, determine their distance, explain their various
phenomena, and correct the fallacy of the senses by the light of truth.
Here an emblem of PLENTY is introduced and
* * * * * * * *
CORN. WINE. OIL.
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
OF THE MORAL ADVANTAGES OF
Geometry, the first and noblest of
sciences, is the Basis on which the superstructure of Free-masonry is
erected. By Geometry we may curiously trace nature through her various
windings, to her most concealed recesses. By it, we discover the power,
wisdom and goodness of the GRAND ARTIFICER of the universe, and view with
delight the proportions which connect this vast machine. By it, we
discover how the planets move in their respective orbits, and demonstrate
their various revolutions. By it we account for the return of the seasons,
and the variety of scenes which each season displays to the discerning
eye. Numberless worlds are around
us, all framed by the same Divine Artist
which roll through the vast expanse, and are all conducted by the same
unerring law 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, being improved by time and experience, have produced works
which are the admiration of every age.
The lapse of time, the ruthless hand of
ignorance, and the devastations of war, have laid waste and destroyed many
valuable monuments of antiquity, on which the utmost exertions of human
genius have been employed. Even the Temple of Solomon, so spacious and
magnificent, and constructed by so many celebrated artists, escaped not
the unsparing ravages of barbarous force. Freemasonry, notwithstanding,
has still survived. The attentive ear receives the sound from the
instructive tongue, and the mysteries of masonry are safely lodged
in the repository of faithful breasts. Tools and implements of
architecture, and symbolie emblems, most expressive, are selected by the
fraternity, to imprint on the mind wise and serious truths; and thus,
through a succession of ages, are transmitted unimpaired the most
excellent tenets of out institution.
* * * * * * * *
Thus end the two sections of the second
lecture, which, with the ceremony used at the opening and closing the
lodge, comprehend the second degree of masonry. This lecture contains a
regtular system of science, demonstrated on the clearest principles, and
founded on the most stable foundation.
CHARGE TO THE CANDIDATE.
BROTHER: - Being passed to the second
degree of Free-masonry, 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
It is unnecessary to recapitulate the
duties which, as a Fellow Craft, you are bound to discharge, or to enlarge
on the necessity of a strict adherence to them, as your own experience
must have established their value. Our laws and regulations you are
strenuously to support; and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly
executed. You are not to palliate, or aggravate, the offences of your
brethren; but in the decision of every trespass against our rules. you are
to judge with
candor, admonish with friendship, and
reprehend with justice.
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 our art.
Geometry, or Masonry, originally synonymous terms, being of a 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.
Your past behavior and regular deportment
have merited the honor which we have now conferred; and in your new
character, it is expected that you will conform to the principles of the
order, by steadily persevering in the practice of every commendable
virtue. Such is the nature of your engagements as a Fellow Craft, and to
these duties you are bound by the most sacred ties.