p. VII and in no possible situation can man be placed, that the benign influence of Christianity does not completely supersede the use of a mere human institution. Place a brother in a desert, unfriended and unkown,—leave him in a wilderness where human footsteps never printed the ground, the Divine Benefactor is at his side, and watches over him with parental guidance. Let him be driven on a barbarous coast, in the midst of savage men, and there it is that the breathings of the divine influence spreads around him its shield, brings him into civilized society—in the busy walks of men and are we to be told, as members of community, sojourners on earth, and candidates for heaven, we must be taught our duty at a Mason’s lodge? Wherever Masonry exercises its influence with success, there Christianity can have, or should have a more powerful effect. Whenever Masonry claims “kindred with the skies,” and exalts herself above every living sublunary thing, then, with an unhallowed step, it obtrudes on the sacred borders of religion, and decks itself in borrowed garments.
Entrenched within these strong walls—decked with all the glitter of high sounding professions, claiming what does not belong to it,—it dazzles “but to bewilder and destroy.” In its train, in these United States, are enrolled many periodical works devoted to Masonry; and under the guise of patronizing mechanics—the arts and sciences—lend their aid to carry on the imposing delusion. They take up the specious title of throwing a little illumination on this benighted country, from their secret depositories. Arrogating to itself what should deck other’s brows—assuming to be the parton, the life and soul of all that is great and valuable—it deceives many of its votaries, and from its gaudy premises the most untenable and onerous conclusions are drawn.
Are we astonished at the wild and heedless manner in which many of the votaries of Masonry rush into every excess, putting at defiance the laws of our civil institutions, which suffer no one to put in jeopardy, but by due forms, and disregarding the command of the Most High, which says, “Thou shalt not kill?” ——we can readily trace the cause to the impressions and practices obtained from its false tenets and descriptive arrogance. Masonry is to the modern world what the whore of Babylon was to the ancient; and is the
beast with seven heads and ten horns, ready to tear out our bowels, and scatter them to the four winds of heaven
Masonry gives rogues and evil-minded characters an opportunity of visiting upon their devoted victim, all the ills attending combined power, when exerted to accomplish destruction. It works unseen, at all silent hours, and secret times and places; and, like death when summoning his diseases, pounces upon its devoted subject, and lays him prostrate in the dust. Like the great enemy of man, it has shown its cloven foot, and put the public upon its guard against its secret machinations.
This part of the subject requires no further discussion either by way of ridicule or downright sincerity, but the remark which cannot be too often reiterated, that the world, in its present advanced state, requires no such order for our social intercourse; and when the Masonic mania prevails as it now does in this country, we are exalting a mere human ordinance, with its useless trumpery and laughable accompaniments, for the sublime and unadorned lessons of Heaven.
To some men it is galling and mortifying in the extreme to give up their darling systems. With the increase of years their fondness becomes so great that they cling to them with wild and bewildered attachment. But we would ask them, where now are the Knights of Malta and Jerusalem, and the objects that called forth their perils and journeyings? Where are the crusades and excursions on which our Grand Commanders, Generalissimos and Sir Knights are to be engaged. . . . . . . . . In no other excursions than Cervantes describes of his redoubtable hero Don Quixote. The days and occasions that called forth these deeds of chivalry and valor have passed like those before the flood; and the mock dignitaries and puppet show actions of Masons in their imitation call forth pity and indignation. When we now see the gaudy show in a lodge-room, and a train of nominal officers with their distinction and badges, it may give us some faint idea of scenes that are past, and may gratify an idle curiosity, but produces no substantial good under heaven. When monasteries and cloisters, and inquisitor’s cells and prisons have been broken up before the sweeping march of the moral mind, why this unnecessary mummery should be so much countenanced in this country, above all other
countries in the world, is a matter of astonishment.
The day we trust will never arrive here, when ranks in Masonry will be stepping-stones to places of dignity and power—when this institution will be a machine to press down the free born spirit of men. We have now no tyrant to rule over us—no kingly potentate to move over our heads the rod of authority; but high in our elevation, and invincible in our strongholds, we put at defiance secret cabals and associations. The public opinion is like a mighty river, and gigantic in its course it will sweep every interposing obstacle before it.
In the work which we submit to the public we have given false coloring to nothing; nor in these remarks have we set down aught in malice. In the firm discharge of our undertaking we have been stern and unbending as the rugged mountain oak; and persecutions, pains and perils have not deterred us from our purpose. We have triumphed over tumult, and clamor, and evil speaking.
When our book goes out to the world, it will meet with attacks of a violent nature from one source, and men of mock titles and order will endeavor to heap upon it every calumny. Men more tenacious of absolute forms and practice than they are attentive to truth and honor, will deny our expositions, and call us liars and impostors.
Such is the treatment, however ungenerous and unjust, which we expect to meet, and for which we are prepared. Truth, we know, is majestic and will finally prevail. The little petty effusions of malice that will be thrown out, will die with their authors, whom this work will survive.
We now aver, in defiance of whatever may be said to the contrary—no matter by whom, how exalted his rank—that this book is what it pretends to be; that it is a master key to the secrets of Masonry; that in the pages before him, the man of candor and inquiry can judge for himself, and then a proper judgment will be formed of our intention.
A Description of the Ceremonies used in opening a
Lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons; which is the
same in all upper degrees, with the exception
of the difference in the signs, due-guards,
grips, pass-grips, words and their sev-
eral names; all of which will be
given and explained in their
proper places as the
One rap calls the lodge to order—one calls up the junior and Senior Deacons—two raps call up all the subordinate officers, and three, all the members of the lodge.
The Master having called the lodge to order, and the officers all seated, the Master says to the Junior Warden, ‘Brother junior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the south?’
Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’
Master to the Senior Warden, ‘Brother Senior, are they all Entered Apprentice Masons in the west?’
Ans. ‘They are, Worshipful.’
The Master then says, ‘They are, in the east,’ at the same time he gives a rap with the common gavel or mallet, which calls up both Deacons.
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, the first care of a Mason?’
Ans. ‘To see the lodge tyled, Worshipful.’
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Attend to that part of your duty, and inform the Tyler that we are about to open a lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons, and direct him to tyle accordingly.’ The Junior Deacon then steps to the door and gives three raps, which are answered by three raps from without; the Junior Deacon then gives one, which is also answered by the Tyler with one; the door is then partly opened and the Junior Deacon delivers his message, and resumes his situation
and says, ‘The door is tyled, Worshipful.’ (at the same time giving the due-guard, which is never omitted when the Master is addressed.)
The Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother, by whom?’
Ans. ‘By a Master Mason without the door, armed with the proper implement of his office.’
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘His duty there?’
Ans. ‘To keep off all cowans and eaves-droppers, see that none pass or repass without permission from the Master.’ (Some say without permission from the chair.)
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Brother Junior, your place in the lodge?’
Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west.’
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘Your business there, Brother Junior?’
Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, and take charge of the door.’
Master to Junior Deacon, ‘The Senior Deacon’s place in the lodge?’
Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master in the east.’ [The Master, while asking the last questions gives two raps, which call up all the subordinate officers.]
Master to Senior Deacon, ‘Your duty there, Brother Senior?’
Ans. ‘To wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, and welcome and clothe all visiting Brethren. [i.e., furnish them with an apron.]
Master to Senior Deacon, ‘The Secretary’s place in the lodge, Brother Senior?’
Ans. ‘At the left hand of the Worshipful Master in the cast.’
Master to the Secretary, ‘Your duty there, Brother Secretary?’
Ans. ‘The better to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure, record the proceedings of the lodge; transmit a copy of the same to the Grand Lodge, if required; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Brethren, pay them over to the Treasurer, and take his receipt for the same.’
The Master to the Secretary, ‘The Treasurer’s place in the lodge?’
Ans. ‘At the right hand of the Worshipful Master.’
Master to Treasurer, ‘Your duty there, Brother Treasurer?’
Ans. ‘Duly to observe the Worshipful Master’s will and pleasure; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Secretary; keep a just and true account of the same; pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the Brethren.’
The Master to the Treasurer, “The Junior Warden’s place in the lodge, Brother Treasurer?’
Ans. ‘In the south, Worshipful.’
Master to Junior Warden, ‘Your business there, Brother Junior?’
Ans. ‘As the sun in the south at high meridian is the beauty and glory of the day, so stands the Junior Warden in the south, the better to observe the time, call the crafts from labor to refreshment, superintend them during the hours thereof, see that none convert the hours of refreshment into that of intemperance or excess; and call them out again in due season, that the Worshipful Master may have honor, and they profit and pleasure thereby.’
Master to the Junior Warden, ‘The Senior Warden’s place in the lodge?’
Ans. ‘In the west, Worshipful.’
Master to Senior Warden, ‘Your duty there, Brother Senior?’
Ans. ‘As the sun sets in the west to close the day, so stands the Senior Warden in the west to assist the Worshipful Master in opening his lodge, take care of the jewels and implements, see that none be lost, pay the craft their wages, if any be due, and see that none go away dissatisfied.’
Master to the Senior Warden, ‘The Master’s place in the lodge?’
Ans. ‘In the east, Worshipful.’
Master to the Senior Warden, ‘His duty there?’
Ans. ‘As the sun rises in the cast to open and adorn the
day, so presides the Worshipful Master in the east to open and adorn his lodge, set his crafts to work with good and wholesome laws, or cause the same to be done.’ The Master now gives three raps, when all the brethren rise, and the Master taking off his hat, proceeds as follows: In like manner so do I, strictly forbidding all profane language, private committees, or any other disorderly conduct whereby the peace and harmony of this lodge may be interrupted while engaged in its lawful pursuits, under no less penalty than the by-laws, or such penalty as the majority of the Brethren present may see fit to inflict. Brethren, attend to giving the signs.’ [Here lodges differ very much. In some they declare the lodge opened as follows, before they give the signs:]
The Master (all the Brethren imitating him) extends his left arm from his body so as to form an angle of about forty-five degrees, and holds his right hand transversely across his left, the palms thereof about one inch apart. This is called the Due Guard, and alludes to the position a Candidate’s hands are placed in when he takes the obligation of an Entered Apprentice Mason. The Master then draws his right hand across his throat, the band open, with the thumb next to his throat, and drops it down by his side. This is called the penal sign of an Entered Apprentice Mason, (many call it sign) and alludes to the penalty of the obligation. (See obligation.) The Master then declares the lodge opened in the following manner: ‘I now declare this lodge of Entered Apprentice Masons duly opened for dispatch of business.’ The Senior Warden declares it to the Junior Warden, and he to the Brethren. ‘Come, Brethren, let us pray.’—One of the following prayers is used:
Most holy and glorious God! the great architect of the Universe; the giver of all good gifts and graces: Thou hast promised that ‘Where two or three are gathered together in thy name, thou wilt be in the midst of them and bless them.’ In thy name we assemble, most humbly beseeching thee to bless us in all our undertakings; that we may know and
serve thee aright, and that all our actions may tend to thy glory and our advancement in knowledge and virtue. And we beseech thee, O Lord God, to bless our present assembling; and to illuminate our minds through the influence of the Son of Righteousness, that we may walk in the light of thy countenance; and when the trials of our probationary state are over, be admitted into the temple, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Amen. So mote it be.
Another prayer, as often used at opening as closing:
Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; it is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, that went down to the skirts of his garment; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forever more. Amen. So mote it be.
The lodge being now open and ready to proceed to business, the Master directs the Secretary to read the minutes of the last meeting, which naturally brings to view the business of the present.
If there are any candidates to be brought forward, that will be the first business to be attended to. I will therefore proceed with a description of the ceremonies used in the admission and initiation of a candidate into the first degree of Masonry.
A person wishing to become a Mason must get some one who is a Mason to present his petition to a lodge, when, if there are no serious objections, it will be entered on the minutes, and a committee of two or three appointed to enquire into his character, and report to the next regular communication. The following is a form of petition used by a candidate; but a worthy candidate will not be rejected for the want of formality in his petition:
To the Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren of Lodge No. —, of Free and Accepted Masons.
The subscriber, residing in ————, of lawful age, and by occupation a —————, begs leave to state that, unbiased by friends, and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, he freely and voluntarily offers himself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry, and that he is prompted to solicit this privilege by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution a desire
of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to his fellow creatures. Should his petition be granted, he will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity.
(Signed) A. B.
At the next regular communication, (if no very serious objection appears against the candidate) the ballot boxes will be passed; one black ball will reject a candidate. The boxes may be passed three times. The Deacons are the proper persons to pass them. One of the boxes has black and white beans or balls in it, the other empty, the one with the balls in it goes before, and furnishes each member with a black and white ball; the empty box follows and receives them. There are two holes in the top of this box with a small tube, (generally) in each, one of which is black and the other white, with a partition in the box. The members put both their balls into this box as their feelings dictate; when the balls are received, the box is presented to the Master, Senior and Junior Wardens, who pronounce clear or not clear, as the case may be. The ballot proving clear, the candidate (if present) is conducted into a small preparation room, adjoining the lodge when he is asked the following questions and gives the following answers. Senior Deacon to Candidate, “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that,
unbiased by friends, uninfluenced by unworthy motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry.?”
Ans. “I do.”
Senior Deacon to candidate. “Do you sincerely declare, upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures?”
Ans. “I do.”
Senior Deacon to candidate, “Do you sincerely declare upon your honor before these gentlemen, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established usages and customs of the fraternity?”
Ans. “I do.”
After the above questions are proposed and answered and the result reported to the Master, he says, “Brethren
at the request of Mr. A. B. he has been proposed and accepted in regular form. I therefore recommend him as a proper candidate for the mysteries of Masonry and worthy to partake of the privileges of the fraternity and in consequence of a declaration of his intentions, voluntarily made, I believe he will cheerfully conform to the rules of the order.”