AntiMatrix
MORALS AND DOGMA

OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF MASONRY

by Brigadier General Albert Pike

published in 1871 without copyright

Contents


Title Page

p. i

MORALS AND DOGMA

OF THE
ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE
OF

FREEMASONRY

 

 

PREPARED FOR THE

 

SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE THIRTY-THIRD DEGREE
FOR THE
SOUTHERN JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES
AND
PUBLISHED BY ITS AUTHORITY.

CHARLESTON

A∴ M∴ 5632

[1871]

Scanned at sacred-texts.com, January-February 2005. Proofed by John Bruno Hare. This text is in the public domain in the US because it was published prior to 1923.

FRONTISPIECE: Portrait of Albert Pike


Title Page

Front Cover

Spine

p. ii

Verso

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by

ALBERT PIKE,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1906, by

THE SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE SOUTHERN

JURISDICTION, A. A. S. R., U. S. A.,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

Introduction

This is Albert Pikes' 861 page volume of 'lectures' on the esoteric roots of Freemasonry, specifically the 32-degree Scottish Rite. Until 1964, this book was given to every Mason completing the 14th degree in the Southern jurisdiction of the US Scottish Rite Freemasons. Masonic lectures are standard oral presentations given during initiation to a new degree. Lectures provide background material for initiates and the discuss duties of the degree in general terms. They do not present details of the rituals, gestures, regalia, etc., for which one must consult other books on Masonry.

Pike states right off that half of the text is copied from other works. Unfortunately none of these quotes are properly cited, and in most cases it is only a shift in style which allows us to identify a quote. There are also lapses of fact and logic. So it would be a mistake to use this work as an authoritative source without additional research and critical thinking. That said, Morals and Dogma is a huge, rambling treasure-house of esoteric data, particularly on the Kabalah and ancient Mystery religions. Whether you just browse these pages or study it from one end to the other, this is a must-read book for anyone looking for long-lost knowledge.

This etext uses Unicode extensively, particularly for Greek and Hebrew, and your browser needs to be Unicode compliant to view it properly.

PREFACE

p. iii

PREFACE.

THE following work has been prepared by authority of the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, by the Grand Commander, and is now published by its direction. It contains the Lectures of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in that jurisdiction, and is specially intended to be read and studied by the Brethren of that obedience, in connection with the Rituals of the Degrees. It is hoped and expected that each will furnish himself with a copy, and make himself familiar with it; for which purpose, as the cost of the work consists entirely in the printing and binding, it will be furnished at a price as moderate as possible. No individual will receive pecuniary profit from it, except the agents for its sale.

It has been copyrighted, to prevent its republication elsewhere, and the copyright, like those of all the other works prepared for the Supreme Council, has been assigned to Trustees for that Body. Whatever profits may accrue from it will be devoted to purposes of charity.

The Brethren of the Rite in the United States and Canada will be afforded the opportunity to purchase it, nor is it forbidden that other Masons shall; but they will not be solicited to do so.

In preparing this work, the Grand Commander has been about equally Author and Compiler; since he has extracted quite half its contents from the works of the best writers and most philosophic or eloquent thinkers. Perhaps it would have been better and more acceptable if he had extracted more and written less.

Still, perhaps half of it is his own; and, in incorporating here

p. iv

the thoughts and words of others, he has continually changed and added to the language, often intermingling, in the same sentences, his own words with theirs. It not being intended for the world at large, he has felt at liberty to make, from all accessible sources, a Compendium of the Morals and Dogma of the Rite, to re-mould sentences, change and add to words and phrases, combine them with his own, and use them as if they were his own, to be dealt with at his pleasure and so availed of as to make the whole most valuable for the purposes intended. He claims, therefore, little of the merit of authorship, and has not cared to distinguish his own from that which he has taken from other sources, being quite willing that every portion of the book, in turn, may be regarded as borrowed from some old and better writer.

The teachings of these Readings are not sacramental, so far as they go beyond the realm of Morality into those of other domains of Thought and Truth. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite uses the word "Dogma" in its true sense, of doctrine, or teaching; and is not dogmatic in the odious sense of that term. Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound. It is only required of him that he shall weigh what is taught, and give it fair hearing and unprejudiced judgment. Of course, the ancient theosophic and philosophic speculations are not embodied as part of the doctrines of the Rite; but because it is of interest and profit to know what the Ancient Intellect thought upon these subjects, and because nothing so conclusively proves the radical difference between our human and the animal nature, as the capacity of the human mind to entertain such speculations in regard to itself and the Deity. But as to these opinions themselves, we may say, in the words of the learned Canonist, Ludovicus Gomez: "Opiniones secundum varietatem temporum senescant et intermoriantur, aliæque diversæ vel prioribus contrariæ renascantur et deinde pubescant."

p. v

Titles of Degrees as herein given have in some instances been changed. Correct titles are as follows:

  • 1 ° -- Apprentice.
  • 2° -- Fellow-craft.
  • 3 ° -- Master.
  • 4° -- Secret Master.
  • 5° -- Perfect Master.
  • 6° -- Intimate Secretary.
  • 7° -- Provost and Judge.
  • 8° -- Intendant of the Building.
  • 9° -- Elu of the Nine.
  • 10° -- Elu of the Fifteen.
  • 11° -- Elu of the Twelve.
  • 12° -- Master Architect.
  • 13° -- Royal Arch of Solomon.
  • 14° -- Perfect Elu.
  • 15 ° -- Knight of the East.
  • 16° -- Prince of Jerusalem.
  • 17° -- Knight of the East and West.
  • 18° -- Knight Rose Croix.
  • 19° -- Pontiff.
  • 20° -- Master of the Symbolic Lodge.
  • 21° -- Noachite or Prussian Knight.
  • 22° -- Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus.
  • 23° -- Chief of the Tabernacle.
  • 24° -- Prince of the Tabernacle.
  • 25 ° -- Knight of the Brazen Serpent.
  • 26° -- Prince of Mercy.
  • 27° -- Knight Commander of the Temple.
  • 28° -- Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept.
  • 29° -- Scottish Knight of St. Andrew.
  • 30° -- Knight Kadosh.
  • 31° -- Inspector Inquisitor.
  • 32° -- Master of the Royal Secret.

 

I. APPRENTICE

THE TWELVE-INCH RULE AND THE COMMON GAVEL.

p. 1

MORALS AND DOGMA.

Hammer and ruler

I.

APPRENTICE.

 

THE TWELVE-INCH RULE AND THE COMMON GAVEL.

FORCE, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; but, striking in the dark, and its blows meeting only the air, they recoil and bruise itself. It is destruction and ruin. It is the volcano, the earthquake, the cyclone; -- not growth and progress. It is Polyphemus blinded, striking at random, and falling headlong among the sharp rocks by the impetus of his own blows.

The blind Force of the people is a Force that must be economized, and also managed, as the blind Force of steam, lifting the ponderous iron arms and turning the large wheels, is made to bore and rifle the cannon and to weave the most delicate lace. It must be regulated by Intellect. Intellect is to the people and the people's Force, what the slender needle of the compass is to the ship -- its soul, always counselling the huge mass of wood and iron, and always pointing to the north. To attack the citadels built up on all sides against the human race by superstitions, despotisms, and prejudices,

p. 2

the Force must have a brain and a law. Then its deeds of daring produce permanent results, and there is real progress. Then there are sublime conquests. Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. The two great motors are Truth and Love. When all these Forces are combined, and guided by the Intellect, and regulated by the RULE of Right, and Justice, and of combined and systematic movement and effort, the great revolution prepared for by the ages will begin to march. The POWER of the Deity Himself is in equilibrium with His WISDOM. Hence the only results are HARMONY.

It is because Force is ill regulated, that revolutions prove fail-tires. Therefore it is that so often insurrections, coming from those high mountains that domineer over the moral horizon, Justice, Wisdom, Reason, Right, built of the purest snow of the ideal after a long fall from rock to rock, after having reflected the sky in their transparency, and been swollen by a hundred affluents, in the majestic path of triumph, suddenly lose themselves in quagmires, like a California river in the sands.

The onward march of the human race requires that the heights around it should blaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage. Deeds of daring dazzle history, and form one class of the guiding lights of man. They are the stars and coruscations from that great sea of electricity, the Force inherent in the people. To strive, to brave all risks, to perish, to persevere, to be true to one's self, to grapple body to body with destiny, to surprise defeat by the little terror it inspires, now to confront unrighteous power, now to defy intoxicated triumph -- these are the examples that the nations need and the light that electrifies them.

There are immense Forces in the great caverns of evil beneath society; in the hideous degradation, squalor, wretchedness and destitution, vices and crimes that reek and simmer in the darkness in that populace below the people, of great cities. There disinterestedness vanishes, every one howls, searches, gropes, and gnaws for himself. Ideas are ignored, and of progress there is no thought. This populace has two mothers, both of them stepmothers -- Ignorance and Misery. Want is their only guide -- for the appetite alone they crave satisfaction. Yet even these may be employed. The lowly sand we trample upon, cast into the furnace, melted, purified by fire, may become resplendent crystal.

p. 3

They have the brute force of the HAMMER, but their blows help on the great cause, when struck within the lines traced by the RULE held by wisdom and discretion.

Yet it is this very Force of the people, this Titanic power of the giants, that builds the fortifications of tyrants, and is embodied in their armies. Hence the possibility of such tyrannies as those of which it has been said, that "Rome smells worse under Vitellius than under Sulla. Under Claudius and under Domitian there is a deformity of baseness corresponding to the ugliness of the tyranny. The foulness of the slaves is a direct result of the atrocious baseness of the despot. A miasma exhales from these crouching consciences that reflect the master; the public authorities are unclean, hearts are collapsed, consciences shrunken, souls puny. This is so under Caracalla, it is so under Commodus, it is so under Heliogabalus, while from the Roman senate, under Cæsar, there comes only the rank odor peculiar to the eagle's eyrie."

It is the force of the people that sustains all these despotisms, the basest as well as the best. That force acts through armies; and these oftener enslave than liberate. Despotism there applies the RULE. Force is the MACE of steel at the saddle-bow of the knight or of the bishop in armor. Passive obedience by force supports thrones and oligarchies, Spanish kings, and Venetian senates. Might, in an army wielded by tyranny, is the enormous sum total of utter weakness; and so Humanity wages war against Humanity, in despite of Humanity. So a people willingly submits to despot-ism, and its workmen submit to be despised, and its soldiers to be whipped; therefore it is that battles lost by a nation are often progress attained. Less glory is more liberty. When the drum is silent, reason sometimes speaks.

Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate -- that is, enyoke the people. Then they plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon-shot; while the monks mingle with the troopers, and the Church militant and jubilant, Catholic or Puritan, sings Te Deums for victories over rebellion.

The military power, not subordinate to the civil power, again the HAMMER or MACE of FORCE, independent of the RULE, is an armed tyranny, born full-grown, as Athenè sprung from the brain of Zeus. It spawns a dynasty, and begins with Cæsar to rot into

p. 4

Vitellius and Commodus. At the present day it inclines to begin where formerly dynasties ended.

Constantly the people put forth immense strength, only to end in immense weakness. The force of the people is exhausted in indefinitely prolonging things long since dead; in governing mankind by embalming old dead tyrannies of Faith; restoring dilapidated dogmas; regilding faded, worm-eaten shrines; whitening and rouging ancient and barren superstitions; saving society by multiplying parasites; perpetuating superannuated institutions; enforcing the worship of symbols as the actual means of salvation; and tying the dead corpse of the Past, mouth to mouth, with the living Present. Therefore it is that it is one of the fatalities of Humanity to be condemned to eternal struggles with phantoms, with superstitions, bigotries, hypocrisies, prejudices, the formulas of error, and the pleas of tyranny. Despotisms, seen in the past, become respectable, as the mountain, bristling with volcanic rock, rugged and horrid, seen through the haze of distance is blue and smooth and beautiful. The sight of a single dungeon of tyranny is worth more, to dispel illusions, and create a holy hatred of despotism, and to direct FORCE aright, than the most eloquent volumes. The French should have preserved the Bastile as a perpetual lesson; Italy should not destroy the dungeons of the Inquisition. The Force of the people maintained the Power that built its gloomy cells, and placed the living in their granite sepulchres.

The FORCE of the people cannot, by its unrestrained and fitful action, maintain and continue in action and existence a free Government once created. That Force must be limited, restrained, conveyed by distribution into different channels, and by roundabout courses, to outlets, whence it is to issue as the law, action, and decision of the State; as the wise old Egyptian kings conveyed in different canals, by sub-division, the swelling waters of the Nile, and compelled them to fertilize and not devastate the land. There must be the jus et norma, the law and Rule, or Gauge, of constitution and law, within which the public force must act. Make a breach in either, and the great steam-hammer, with its swift and ponderous blows, crushes all the machinery to atoms, and, at last, wrenching itself away, lies inert and dead amid the ruin it has wrought.

The FORCE of the people, or the popular will, in action and

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exerted, symbolized by the GAVEL, regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of LAW and ORDER, symbolized by the TWENTY-FOUR-INCH RULE, has for its fruit LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY, -- liberty regulated by law; equality of rights in the eye of the law; brotherhood with its duties and obligations as well as its benefits.

You will hear shortly of the Rough ASHLAR and the Perfect ASHLAR, as part of the jewels of the Lodge. The rough Ashlar is said to be "a stone, as taken from the quarry, in its rude and natural state." The perfect Ashlar is said to be "a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow-Craft." We shall not repeat the explanations of these symbols given by the York Rite. You may read them in its printed monitors. They are declared to allude to the self-improvement of the individual craftsman, -- a continuation of the same superficial interpretation.

The rough Ashlar is the PEOPLE, as a mass, rude and unorganized. The perfect Ashlar, or cubical stone, symbol of perfection, is the STATE, the rulers deriving their powers from the con-sent of the governed; the constitution and laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient, -- its powers properly distributed and duly adjusted in equilibrium.

If we delineate a cube on a plane surface thus:

Cube

we have visible three faces, and nine external lines, drawn between seven points. The complete cube has three more faces, making six; three more lines, making twelve; and one more point, making eight. As the number 12 includes the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 3 times 3, or 9, and is produced by adding the sacred number 3 to 9; while its own two figures, 1, 2, the unit or monad, and duad, added together, make the same sacred number 3; it was called the perfect number; and the cube became the symbol of perfection.

Produced by FORCE, acting by RULE; hammered in accordance

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with lines measured by the Gauge, out of the rough Ashlar, it is an appropriate symbol of the Force of the people, expressed as the constitution and law of the State; and of the State itself the three visible faces represent the three departments, -- the Executive, which executes the laws; the Legislative, which makes the laws; the Judiciary, which interprets the laws, applies and enforces them, between man and man, between the State and the citizens. The three invisible faces, are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, -- the threefold soul of the State -- its vitality, spirit, and intellect.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Though Masonry neither usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. It is the aspiration of the soul toward the Absolute and Infinite Intelligence, which is the One Supreme Deity, most feebly and misunderstandingly characterized as an "ARCHITECT." Certain faculties of man are directed toward the Unknown -- thought, meditation, prayer. The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle. It is a spiritual magnetism that thus connects the human soul with the Deity. These majestic irradiations of the soul pierce through the shadow toward the light.

It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is not possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a starting-point, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamor are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air.

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Every Lodge is a Temple, and as a whole, and in its details symbolic. The Universe itself supplied man with the model for the first temples reared to the Divinity. The arrangement of the Temple of Solomon, the symbolic ornaments which formed its chief decorations, and the dress of the High-Priest, all had reference to the order of the Universe, as then understood. The Temple contained many emblems of the seasons -- the sun, the moon, the planets, the constellations Ursa Major and Minor, the zodiac, the elements, and the other parts of the world. It is the Master of this Lodge, of the Universe, Hermes, of whom Khu_ru_m is the representative, that is one of the lights of the Lodge.

For further instruction as to the symbolism of the heavenly bodies, and of the sacred numbers, and of the temple and its details, you must wait patiently until you advance in Masonry, in the mean time exercising your intellect in studying them for yourself. To study and seek to interpret correctly the symbols of the Universe, is the work of the sage and philosopher. It is to de-cipher the writing of God, and penetrate into His thoughts.

This is what is asked and answered in our catechism, in regard to the Lodge.

*      *      *      *      *      *

A "Lodge" is defined to be "an assemblage of Freemasons, duly congregated, having the sacred writings, square, and compass, and a charter, or warrant of constitution, authorizing them to work." The room or place in which they meet, representing some part of King Solomon's Temple, is also called the Lodge; and it is that we are now considering.

It is said to be supported by three great columns, WISDOM, FORCE or STRENGTH, and BEAUTY, represented by the Master, the Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden; and these are said to be the columns that support the Lodge, "because Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, are the perfections of everything, and nothing can endure without them." "Because," the York Rite says, "it is necessary that there should be Wisdom to conceive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings." "Know ye not," says the Apostle Paul, "that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man desecrate the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

The Wisdom and Power of the Deity are in equilibrium. The

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laws of nature and the moral laws are not the mere despotic man-dates of His Omnipotent will; for, then they might be changed by Him, and order become disorder, and good and right become evil and wrong; honesty and loyalty, vices; and fraud, ingratitude, and vice, virtues. Omnipotent power, infinite, and existing alone, would necessarily not be constrained to consistency. Its decrees and laws could not be immutable. The laws of God are not obligatory on us because they are the enactments of His POWER, or the expression of His WILL; but because they express His infinite WISDOM. They are not right because they are His laws, but His laws because they are right. From the equilibrium of infinite wisdom and infinite force, results perfect harmony, in physics and in the moral universe. Wisdom, Power, and Harmony constitute one Masonic triad. They have other and profounder meanings, that may at some time be unveiled to you.

As to the ordinary and commonplace explanation, it may be added, that the wisdom of the Architect is displayed in combining, as only a skillful Architect can do, and as God has done everywhere, -- for example, in the tree, the human frame, the egg, the cells of the honeycomb -- strength, with grace, beauty, symmetry, proportion, lightness, ornamentation. That, too, is the perfection of the orator and poet -- to combine force, strength, energy, with grace of style, musical cadences, the beauty of figures, the play and irradiation of imagination and fancy; and so, in a State, the warlike and industrial force of the people, and their Titanic strength, must be combined with the beauty of the arts, the sciences, and the intellect, if the State would scale the heights of excellence, and the people be really free. Harmony in this, as in all the Divine, the material, and the human, is the result of equilibrium, of the sympathy and opposite action of contraries; a single Wisdom above them holding the beam of the scales. To reconcile the moral law, human responsibility, free-will, with the absolute power of God; and the existence of evil with His absolute wisdom, and goodness, and mercy, -- these are the great enigmas of the Sphynx.

 

You entered the Lodge between two columns. They represent the two which stood in the porch of the Temple, on each side of the great eastern gateway. These pillars, of bronze, four fingers breadth in thickness, were, according to the most authentic

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account -- that in the First and that in the Second Book of Kings, confirmed in Jeremiah -- eighteen cubits high, with a capital five cubits high. The shaft of each was four cubits in diameter. A cubit is one foot and 707/1000. That is, the shaft of each was a little over thirty feet eight inches in height, the capital of each a little over eight feet six inches in height, and the diameter of the shaft six feet ten inches. The capitals were enriched by pomegranates of bronze, covered by bronze net-work, and ornamented with wreaths of bronze; and appear to have imitated the shape of the seed-vessel of the lotus or Egyptian lily, a sacred symbol to the Hindus and Egyptians. The pillar or column on the right, or in the south, was named, as the Hebrew word is rendered in our translation of the Bible, JACHIN: and that on the left BOAZ. Our translators say that the first word means, "He shall establish;" and the second, "in it is strength."

These columns were imitations, by Khu_ru_m, the Tyrian artist, of the great columns consecrated to the Winds and Fire, at the entrance to the famous Temple of Malkarth, in the city of Tyre. It is customary, in Lodges of the York Rite, to see a celestial globe on one, and a terrestrial globe on the other; but these are not warranted, if the object be to imitate the original two columns of the Temple. The symbolic meaning of these columns we shall leave for the present unexplained, only adding that Entered Apprentices keep their working-tools in the column JACHIN; and giving you the etymology and literal meaning of the two names.

The word Jachin, in Hebrew, is ‏ו ?Yך?Yנ‎, It was probably pronounced Ya-kayan, and meant, as a verbal noun, He that strengthens; and thence, firm, stable, upright.

The word Boaz is ‏ו ?B?O?Z‎, Baaz. ‏ו ?O?Z‎ means Strong, Strength, Power, Might, Refuge, Source of Strength, a Fort. The ‏ו ?B‎ prefixed means "with" or "in," and gives the word the force of the Latin gerund, roborando -- Strengthening.

The former word also means he will establish, or plant in an erect position -- from the verb ‏ו ך?Wנ‎, Ku_n, he stood erect. It probably meant Active and Vivifying Energy and Force; and Boaz, Stability, Permanence, in the passive sense.

The Dimensions of the Lodge, our Brethren of the York Rite say, "are unlimited, and its covering no less than the canopy of Heaven." "To this object," they say, "the mason's mind is continually

p. 10

directed, and thither he hopes at last to arrive by the aid of the theological ladder which Jacob in his vision saw ascending from earth to Heaven; the three principal rounds of which are denominated Faith, Hope, and Charity; and which admonish us to have Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity to all mankind." Accordingly a ladder, sometimes with nine rounds, is seen on the chart, resting at the bottom on the earth, its top in the clouds, the stars shining above it; and this is deemed to represent that mystic ladder, which Jacob saw in his dream, set up on the earth, and the top of it reaching to Heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The addition of the three principal rounds to the symbolism, is wholly modern and incongruous.

The ancients counted seven planets, thus arranged: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There were seven heavens and seven spheres of these planets; on all the monuments of Mithras are seven altars or pyres, consecrated to the seven planets, as were the seven lamps of the golden candelabrum in the Temple. That these represented the planets, we are assured by Clemens of Alexandria, in his Stromata, and by Philo Judæus.

To return to its source in the Infinite, the human soul, the ancients held, had to ascend, as it had descended, through the seven spheres. The Ladder by which it reascends, has, according to Marsilius Ficinus, in his Commentary on the Ennead of Plotinus, seven degrees or steps; and in the Mysteries of Mithras, carried to Rome under the Emperors, the ladder, with its seven rounds, was a symbol referring to this ascent through the spheres of the seven planets. Jacob saw the Spirits of God ascending and descending on it; and above it the Deity Himself. The Mithraic Mysteries were celebrated in caves, where gates were marked at the four equinoctial and solstitial points of the zodiac; and the seven planetary spheres were represented, which souls needs must traverse in descending from the heaven of the fixed stars to the elements that envelop the earth; and seven gates were marked, one for each planet, through which they pass, in descending or returning.

We learn this from Celsus, in Origen, who says that the symbolic image of this passage among the stars, used in the Mithraic Mysteries, was a ladder reaching from earth to Heaven, divided

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into seven steps or stages, to each of which was a gate, and at the summit an eighth one, that of the fixed stars. The symbol was the same as that of the seven stages of Borsippa, the Pyramid of vitrified brick, near Babylon, built of seven stages, and each of a different color. In the Mithraic ceremonies, the candidate went through seven stages of initiation, passing through many fearful trials -- and of these the high ladder with seven rounds or steps was the symbol.

You see the Lodge, its details and ornaments, by its Lights. You have already heard what these Lights, the greater and lesser, are said to be, and how they are spoken of by our Brethren of the York Rite.

The Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses, are not only styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from our Lodges, because they cannot regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed.

The Square is a right angle, formed by two right lines. It is adapted only to a plane surface, and belongs only to geometry, earth-measurement, that trigonometry which deals only with planes, and with the earth, which the ancients supposed to be a plane. The Compass describes circles, and deals with spherical trigonometry, the science of the spheres and heavens. The former, therefore, is an emblem of what concerns the earth and the body; the latter of what concerns the heavens and the soul. Yet the Compass is also used in plane trigonometry, as in erecting perpendiculars; and, therefore, you are reminded that, although in this Degree both points of the Compass are under the Square, and

p. 12

you are now dealing only with the moral and political meaning of the symbols, and not with their philosophical and spiritual meanings, still the divine ever mingles with the human; with the earthly the spiritual intermixes; and there is something spiritual in the commonest duties of life. The nations are not bodies-politic alone, but also souls-politic; and woe to that people which, seeking the material only, forgets that it has a soul. Then we have a race, petrified in dogma, which presupposes the absence of a soul and the presence only of memory and instinct, or demoralized by lucre. Such a nature can never lead civilization. Genuflexion before the idol or the dollar atrophies the muscle which walks and the will which moves. Hieratic or mercantile absorption diminishes the radiance of a people, lowers its horizon by lowering its level, and deprives it of that understanding of the universal aim, at the same time human and divine, which makes the missionary nations. A free people, forgetting that it has a soul to be cared for, devotes all its energies to its material advancement. If it makes war, it is to subserve its commercial interests. The citizens copy after the State, and regard wealth, pomp, and luxury as the great goods of life. Such a nation creates wealth rapidly, and distributes it badly. Thence the two extremes, of monstrous opulence and monstrous misery; all the enjoyment to a few, all the privations to the rest, that is to say, to the people; Privilege, Exception, Monopoly, Feudality, springing up from Labor itself: a false and dangerous situation, which, making Labor a blinded and chained Cyclops, in the mine, at the forge, in the workshop, at the loom, in the field, over poisonous fumes, in miasmatic cells, in unventilated factories, founds public power upon private misery, and plants the greatness of the State in the suffering of the individual. It is a greatness ill constituted, in which all the material elements are combined, and into which no moral element enters. If a people, like a star, has the right of eclipse, the light ought to return. The eclipse should not degenerate into night.

The three lesser, or the Sublime Lights, you have heard, are the Sun, the Moon, and the Master of the Lodge; and you have heard what our Brethren of the York Rite say in regard to them, and why they hold them to be Lights of the Lodge. But the Sun and Moon do in no sense light the Lodge, unless it be symbolically, and then the lights are not they, but those things of which they are the symbols. Of what they are the symbols the Mason in that

p. 13

Rite is not told. Nor does the Moon in any sense rule the night with regularity.

The Sun is the ancient symbol of the life-giving and generative power of the Deity. To the ancients, light was the cause of life; and God was the source from which all light flowed; the essence of Light, the Invisible Fire, developed as flame manifested as light and splendor. The Sun was His manifestation and visible image; and the Sabæans worshipping the Light -- God, seemed to worship the Sun, in whom they saw the manifestation of the Deity.

The Moon was the symbol of the passive capacity of nature to produce, the female, of which the life-giving power and energy was the male. It was the symbol of Isis, Astarte, and Artemis, or Diana. The "Master of Life" was the Supreme Deity, above both, and manifested through both; Zeus, the Son of Saturn, become King of the Gods; Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, become the Master of Life; Dionusos or Bacchus, like Mithras, become the author of Light and Life and Truth.

*      *      *      *      *      *

The Master of Light and Life, the Sun and the Moon, are symbolized in every Lodge by the Master and Wardens: and this makes it the duty of the Master to dispense light to the Brethren, by himself, and through the Wardens, who are his ministers.

"Thy sun," says ISAIAH to Jerusalem, "shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever." Such is the type of a free people.

Our northern ancestors worshipped this tri-une Deity; ODIN, the Almighty FATHER; FREA, his wife, emblem of universal matter; and THOR, his son, the mediator. But above all these was the Supreme God, "the author of everything that existeth, the Eternal, the Ancient, the Living and Awful Being, the Searcher into concealed things, the Being that never changeth." In the Temple of Eleusis (a sanctuary lighted only by a window in the roof, and representing the Universe), the images of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, were represented.

"The Sun and Moon," says the learned Bro∴ DELAUNAY, "represent the two grand principles of all generations, the active and passive, the male and the female. The Sun represents the

p. 14

actual light. He pours upon the Moon his fecundating rays; both shed their light upon their offspring, the Blazing Star, or HORUS, and the three form the great Equilateral Triangle, in the centre of which is the omnific letter of the Kabalah, by which creation is said to have been effected."

The ORNAMENTS of a Lodge are said to be "the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star." The Mosaic Pavement, chequered in squares or lozenges, is said to represent the ground-floor of King Solomon's Temple; and the Indented Tessel "that beautiful tesselated border which surrounded it." The Blazing Star in the centre is said to be "an emblem of Divine Providence, and commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of the East to the place of our Saviour's nativity." But "there was no stone seen" within the Temple. The walls were covered with planks of cedar, and the floor was covered with planks of fir. There is no evidence that there was such a pavement or floor in the Temple, or such a bordering. In England, anciently, the Tracing-Board was surrounded with an indented border; and it is only in America that such a border is put around the Mosaic pavement. The tesseræ, indeed, are the squares or lozenges of the pavement. In England, also, "the indented or denticulated border" is called "tesselated," because it has four "tassels," said to represent Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. It was termed the Indented Trassel; but this is a misuse of words. It is a tesserated pavement, with an indented border round it.

The pavement, alternately black and white, symbolizes, whether so intended or not, the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creed. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel.

The edges of this pavement, if in lozenges, will necessarily be indented or denticulated, toothed like a saw; and to complete and finish it a bordering is necessary. It is completed by tassels as ornaments at the corners. If these and the bordering have any symbolic meaning, it is fanciful and arbitrary.

To find in the BLAZING STAR of five points an allusion to the

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Divine Providence, is also fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi, is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally it represented SIRIUS, or the Dog-star, the forerunner of the inundation of the Nile; the God ANUBIS, companion of Isis in her search for the body of OSIRIS, her brother and husband. Then it became the image of HORUS, the son of OSIRIS, himself symbolized also by the Sun, the author of the Seasons, and the God of Time; Son of Isis, who was the universal nature, himself the primitive matter, inexhaustible source of Life, spark of uncreated fire, universal seed of all beings. It was HERMES, also, the Master of Learning, whose name in Greek is that of the God Mercury. It became the sacred and potent sign or character of the Magi, the PENTALPHA, and is the significant emblem of Liberty and Freedom, blazing with a steady radiance amid the weltering elements of good and evil of Revolutions, and promising serene skies and fertile seasons to the nations, after the storms of change and tumult.

In the East of the Lodge, over the Master, inclosed in a triangle, is the Hebrew letter YO_D [‏ו ?Y‎ or Hebrew letter YO_D]. In the English and American Lodges the Letter G∴ is substituted for this, as the initial of the word GOD, with as little reason as if the letter D., initial of DIEU, were used in French Lodges instead of the proper letter. YO_D is, in the Kabalah, the symbol of Unity, of the Supreme Deity, the first letter of the Holy Name; and also a symbol of the Great Kabalistic Triads. To understand its mystic meanings, you must open the pages of the Sohar and Siphra de Zeniutha, and other kabalistic books, and ponder deeply on their meaning. It must suffice to say, that it is the Creative Energy of the Deity, is represented as a point, and that point in the centre of the Circle of immensity. It is to us in this Degree, the symbol of that unmanifested Deity, the Absolute, who has no name.

Our French Brethren place this letter YO_D in the centre of the Blazing Star. And in the old Lectures, our ancient English Brethren said, "The Blazing Star or Glory in the centre refers us to that grand luminary, the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind." They called it also in the same lectures, an emblem of PRUDENCE. The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight; and, accordingly, the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-seeing Eye, which to the

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Egyptian Initiates was the emblem of Osiris, the Creator. With the YO_D in the centre, it has the kabalistic meaning of the Divine Energy, manifested as Light, creating the Universe.

 

The Jewels of the Lodge are said to be six in number. Three are called "Movable," and three "Immovable." The SQUARE, the LEVEL, and the PLUMB were anciently and properly called the Movable Jewels, because they pass from one Brother to another. It is a modern innovation to call them immovable, because they must always be present in the Lodge. The immovable jewels are the ROUGH ASHLAR, the PERFECT ASHLAR or CUBICAL STONE, or, in some Rituals, the DOUBLE CUBE, and the TRACING-BOARD, or TRESTLE-BOARD.

Of these jewels our Brethren of the York Rite say: "The Square inculcates Morality; the Level, Equality; and the Plumb, Rectitude of Conduct." Their explanation of the immovable Jewels may be read in their monitors.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Our Brethren of the York Rite say that "there is represented in every well-governed Lodge, a certain point, within a circle; the point representing an individual Brother; the Circle, the boundary line of his conduct, beyond which he is never to suffer his prejudices or passions to betray him."

This is not to interpret the symbols of Masonry. It is said by some, with a nearer approach to interpretation, that the point within the circle represents God in the centre of the Universe. It is a common Egyptian sign for the Sun and Osiris, and is still used as the astronomical sign of the great luminary. In the Kabalah the point is YO_D, the Creative Energy of God, irradiating with light the circular space which God, the universal Light, left vacant, wherein to create the worlds, by withdrawing His substance of Light back on all sides from one point.

Our Brethren add that, "this circle is embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures" (an open book). "In going round this circle," they say, "we necessarily touch upon these two lines as well as upon the Holy Scriptures; and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their precepts, it is impossible that he should materially err."

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It would be a waste of time to comment upon this. Some writers have imagined that the parallel lines represent the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which the Sun alternately touches upon at the Summer and Winter solstices. But the tropics are not perpendicular lines, and the idea is merely fanciful. If the parallel lines ever belonged to the ancient symbol, they had some more recondite and more fruitful meaning. They probably had the same meaning as the twin columns Jachin and Boaz. That meaning is not for the Apprentice. The adept may find it in the Kabalah. The JUSTICE and MERCY of God are in equilibrium, and the result is HARMONY, because a Single and Perfect Wisdom presides over both.

The Holy Scriptures are an entirely modern addition to the symbol, like the terrestrial and celestial globes on the columns of the portico. Thus the ancient symbol has been denaturalized by incongruous additions, like that of Isis weeping over the broken column containing the remains of Osiris at Byblos.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Masonry has its decalogue, which is a law to its Initiates. These are its Ten Commandments:

I.

⊕∴ God is the Eternal, Omnipotent, Immutable WISDOM and Supreme INTELLIGENCE and Exhaustless LOVE.
Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him!
Thou shalt honor Him by practising the virtues!

II.

○∴ Thy religion shall be, to do good because it is a pleasure to thee, and not merely because it is a duty.
That thou mayest become the friend of the wise man, thou shalt obey his precepts!
Thy soul is immortal! Thou shalt do nothing to degrade it!

III.

⊕∴ Thou shalt unceasingly war against vice!
Thou shalt not do unto others that which thou wouldst not wish them to do unto thee!
Thou shalt be submissive to thy fortunes, and keep burning the light of wisdom!

IV.

○∴ Thou shalt honor thy parents!
Thou shalt pay respect and homage to the aged!
Thou shalt instruct the young!
Thou shalt protect and defend infancy and innocence!

V.

⊕∴ Thou shalt cherish thy wife and thy children!
Thou shalt love thy country, and obey its laws! p. 18

VI.

○∴ Thy friend shall be to thee a second self!
Misfortune shall not estrange thee from him!
Thou shalt do for his memory whatever thou wouldst do for him, if he were living!

VII.

⊕∴ Thou shalt avoid and flee from insincere friendships!
Thou shalt in everything refrain from excess.
Thou shalt fear to be the cause of a stain on thy memory!

VIII.

○∴ Thou shalt allow no passions to become thy master!
Thou shalt make the passions of others profitable lessons to thyself!
Thou shalt be indulgent to error!

IX.

⊕∴ Thou shalt hear much: Thou shalt speak little: Thou shalt act well!
Thou shalt forget injuries!
Thou shalt render good for evil!
Thou shalt not misuse either thy strength or thy superiority!

X.

○∴ Thou shalt study to know men; that thereby thou mayest learn to know thyself!
Thou shalt ever seek after virtue!
Thou shalt be just!
Thou shalt avoid idleness!

But the great commandment of Masonry is this: "A new commandment give I unto you: that ye love one another! He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, remaineth still in the darkness."

Such are the moral duties of a Mason. But it is also the duty of Masonry to assist in elevating the moral and intellectual level of society; in coining knowledge, bringing ideas into circulation, and causing the mind of youth to grow; and in putting, gradually, by the teachings of axioms and the promulgation of positive laws, the human race in harmony with its destinies.

To this duty and work the Initiate is apprenticed. He must not imagine that he can effect nothing, and, therefore, despairing, become inert. It is in this, as in a man's daily life. Many great deeds are done in the small struggles of life. There is, we are told, a determined though unseen bravery, which defends itself, foot to foot, in the darkness, against the fatal invasion of necessity and of baseness. There are noble and mysterious triumphs, which no eye sees, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets salutes. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are

p. 19

battle-fields, which have their heroes, -- heroes obscure, but sometimes greater than those who become illustrious. The Mason should struggle in the same manner, and with the same bravery, against those invasions of necessity and baseness, which come to nations as well as to men. He should meet them, too, foot to foot, even in the darkness, and protest against the national wrongs and follies; against usurpation and the first inroads of that hydra, Tyranny. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the truth in indignation. It is more difficult for a people to keep than to gain their freedom. The Protests of Truth are always needed. Continually, the right must protest against the fact. There is, in fact, Eternity in the Right. The Mason should be the Priest and Soldier of that Right. If his country should be robbed of her liberties, he should still not despair. The protest of the Right against the Fact persists forever. The robbery of a people never becomes prescriptive. Reclamation of its rights is barred by no length of time. Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teutonic. A people may endure military usurpation, and subjugated States kneel to States and wear the yoke, while under the stress of necessity; but when the necessity disappears, if the people is fit to be free, the submerged country will float to the surface and reappear, and Tyranny be adjudged by History to have murdered its victims.

Whatever occurs, we should have Faith in the Justice and over-ruling Wisdom of God, and Hope for the Future, and Loving-kindness for those who are in error. God makes visible to men His will in events; an obscure text, written in a mysterious language. Men make their translations of it forthwith, hasty, incorrect, full of faults, omissions, and misreadings. We see so short a way along the arc of the great circle! Few minds comprehend the Divine tongue. The most sagacious, the most calm, the most profound, decipher the hieroglyphs slowly; and when they arrive with their text, perhaps the need has long gone by; there are already twenty translations in the public square -- the most incorrect being, as of course, the most accepted and popular. From each translation, a party is born; and from each misreading, a faction. Each party believes or pretends that it has the only true text, and each faction believes or pretends that it alone possesses the light. Moreover, factions are blind men, who aim straight, errors are excellent projectiles, striking skillfully, and with all the violence that springs from false reasoning, wherever a want of

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logic in those who defend the right, like a defect in a cuirass, makes them vulnerable.

Therefore it is that we shall often be discomfited in combating error before the people. Antæus long resisted Hercules; and the heads of the Hydra grew as fast as they were cut off. It is absurd to say that Error, wounded, writhes in pain, and dies amid her worshippers. Truth conquers slowly. There is a wondrous vitality in Error. Truth, indeed, for the most part, shoots over the heads of the masses; or if an error is prostrated for a moment, it is up again in a moment, and as vigorous as ever. It will not die when the brains are out, and the most stupid and irrational errors are the longest-lived.

Nevertheless, Masonry, which is Morality and Philosophy, must not cease to do its duty. We never know at what moment success awaits our efforts -- generally when most unexpected -- nor with what effect our efforts are or are not to be attended. Succeed or fail, Masonry must not bow to error, or succumb under discouragement. There were at Rome a few Carthaginian soldiers, taken prisoners, who refused to bow to Flaminius, and had a little of Hannibal's magnanimity. Masons should possess an equal greatness of soul. Masonry should be an energy; finding its aim and effect in the amelioration of mankind. Socrates should enter into Adam, and produce Marcus Aurelius, in other words, bring forth from the man of enjoyments, the man of wisdom. Masonry should not be a mere watch-tower, built upon mystery, from which to gaze at ease upon the world, with no other result than to be a convenience for the curious. To hold the full cup of thought to the thirsty lips of men; to give to all the true ideas of Deity; to harmonize conscience and science, are the province of Philosophy. Morality is Faith in full bloom. Contemplation should lead to action, and the absolute be practical; the ideal be made air and food and drink to the human mind. Wisdom is a sacred communion. It is only on that condition that it ceases to be a sterile love of Science, and becomes the one and supreme method by which to unite Humanity and arouse it to concerted action. Then Philosophy becomes Religion.

And Masonry, like History and Philosophy, has eternal duties -- eternal, and, at the same time, simple -- to oppose Caiaphas as Bishop, Draco or Jefferies as Judge, Trimalcion as Legislator, and Tiberius as Emperor. These are the symbols of the tyranny that

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degrades and crushes, and the corruption that defiles and infests. in the works published for the use of the Craft we are told that the three great tenets of a Mason's profession, are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. And it is true that a Brotherly affection and kindness should govern us in all our intercourse and relations with our brethren; and a generous and liberal philanthropy actuate us in regard to all men. To relieve the distressed is peculiarly the duty of Masons -- a sacred duty, not to be omitted, neglected, or coldly or inefficiently complied with. It is also most true, that Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be true, and to seek to find and learn the Truth, are the great objects of every good Mason.

As the Ancients did, Masonry styles Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, the four cardinal virtues. They are as necessary to nations as to individuals. The people that would be Free and Independent, must possess Sagacity, Forethought, Fore-sight, and careful Circumspection, all which are included in the meaning of the word Prudence. It must be temperate in asserting its rights, temperate in its councils, economical in its expenses; it must be bold, brave, courageous, patient under reverses, undismayed by disasters, hopeful amid calamities, like Rome when she sold the field at which Hannibal had his camp. No Cannæ or Pharsalia or Pavia or Agincourt or Waterloo must discourage her. Let her Senate sit in their seats until the Gauls pluck them by the beard. She must, above all things, be just, not truckling to the strong and warring on or plundering the weak; she must act on the square with all nations, and the feeblest tribes; always keeping her faith, honest in her legislation, upright in all her dealings. Whenever such a Republic exists, it will be immortal: for rashness, injustice, intemperance and luxury in prosperity, and despair and disorder in adversity, are the causes of the decay and dilapidation of nations.

II. FELLOW-CRAFT

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II.

THE FELLOW-CRAFT.

IN the Ancient Orient, all religion was more or less a mystery and there was no divorce from it of philosophy. The popular theology, taking the multitude of allegories and symbols for realities, degenerated into a worship of the celestial luminaries, of imaginary Deities with human feelings, passions, appetites, and lusts, of idols, stones, animals, reptiles. The Onion was sacred to the Egyptians, because its different layers were a symbol of the concentric heavenly spheres. Of course the popular religion could not satisfy the deeper longings and thoughts, the loftier aspirations of the Spirit, or the logic of reason. The first, therefore, was taught to the initiated in the Mysteries. There, also, it was taught by symbols. The vagueness of symbolism, capable of many interpretations, reached what the palpable and conventional creed could not. Its indefiniteness acknowledged the abstruseness of the subject: it treated that mysterious subject mystically: it endeavored to illustrate what it could not explain; to excite an appropriate feeling, if it could not develop an adequate idea; and to make the image a mere subordinate conveyance for the conception, which itself never became obvious or familiar.

Thus the knowledge now imparted by books and letters, was of old conveyed by symbols; and the priests invented or perpetuated a display of rites and exhibitions, which were not only more attractive to the eye than words, but often more suggestive and more pregnant with meaning to the mind.

Masonry, successor of the Mysteries, still follows the ancient manner of teaching. Her ceremonies are like the ancient mystic shows, -- not the reading of an essay, but the opening of a problem, requiring research, and constituting philosophy the arch-expounder. Her symbols are the instruction she gives. The lectures are endeavors, often partial and one-sided, to interpret these symbols. He who would become an accomplished Mason must not be content merely to hear, or even to understand, the lectures; he

p. 23

must, aided by them, and they having, as it were, marked out the way for him, study, interpret, and develop these symbols for himself.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Though Masonry is identical with the ancient Mysteries, it is so only in this qualified sense: that it presents but an imperfect image of their brilliancy, the ruins only of their grandeur, and a system that has experienced progressive alterations, the fruits of social events, political circumstances, and the ambitious imbecility of its improvers. After leaving Egypt, the Mysteries were modified by the habits of the different nations among whom they were introduced, and especially by the religious systems of the countries into which they were transplanted. To maintain the established government, laws, and religion, was the obligation of the Initiate everywhere; and everywhere they were the heritage of the priests, who were nowhere willing to make the common people co-proprietors with themselves of philosophical truth.

Masonry is not the Coliseum in ruins. It is rather a Roman palace of the middle ages, disfigured by modern architectural improvements, yet built on a Cyclopæan foundation laid by the Etruscans, and with many a stone of the superstructure taken from dwellings and temples of the age of Hadrian and Antoninus.

Christianity taught the doctrine of FRATERNITY; but repudiated that of political EQUALITY, by continually inculcating obedience to Cæsar, and to those lawfully in authority. Masonry was the first apostle of EQUALITY. In the Monastery there is fraternity and equality, but no liberty. Masonry added that also, and claimed for man the three-fold heritage, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY.

It was but a development of the original purpose of the Mysteries, which was to teach men to know and practice their duties to themselves and their fellows, the great practical end of all philosophy and all knowledge.

Truths are the springs from which duties flow; and it is but a few hundred years since a new Truth began to be distinctly seen; that MAN IS SUPREME OVER INSTITUTIONS, AND NOT THEY OVER HIM. Man has natural empire over all institutions. They are for him, according to his development; not he for them. This seems to us a very simple statement, one to which all men, everywhere, ought to assent. But once it was a great new Truth, -- -not

p. 24

revealed until governments had been in existence for at least five thousand years. Once revealed, it imposed new duties on men. Man owed it to himself to be free. He owed it to his country to seek to give her freedom, or maintain her in that possession. It made Tyranny and Usurpation the enemies of the Human Race. It created a general outlawry of Despots and Despotisms, temporal and spiritual. The sphere of Duty was immensely enlarged. Patriotism had, henceforth, a new and wider meaning. Free Government, Free Thought, Free Conscience, Free Speech! All these came to be inalienable rights, which those who had parted with them or been robbed of them, or whose ancestors had lost them, had the right summarily to retake. Unfortunately, as Truths always become perverted into falsehoods, and are falsehoods when misapplied, this Truth became the Gospel of Anarchy, soon after it was first preached.

Masonry early comprehended this Truth, and recognized its own enlarged duties. Its symbols then came to have a wider meaning; but it also assumed the mask of Stone-masonry, and borrowed its working-tools, and so was supplied with new and apt symbols. It aided in bringing about the French Revolution, disappeared with the Girondists, was born again with the restoration of order, and sustained Napoleon, because, though Emperor, he acknowledged the right of the people to select its rulers, and was at the head of a nation refusing to receive back its old kings. He pleaded, with sabre, musket, and cannon, the great cause of the People against Royalty, the right of the French people even to make a Corsican General their Emperor, if it pleased them.

Masonry felt that this Truth had the Omnipotence of God on its side; and that neither Pope nor Potentate could overcome it. It was a truth dropped into the world's wide treasury, and forming a part of the heritage which each generation receives, enlarges, and holds in trust, and of necessity bequeaths to mankind; the personal estate of man, entailed of nature to the end of time. And Masonry early recognized it as true, that to set forth and develop a truth, or any human excellence of gift or growth, is to make greater the spiritual glory of the race; that whosoever aids the march of a Truth, and makes the thought a thing, writes in the same line with MOSES, and with Him who died upon the cross, and has an intellectual sympathy with the Deity Himself.

The best gift we can bestow on man is manhood. It is that

p. 25

which Masonry is ordained of God to bestow on its votaries: not sectarianism and religious dogma; not a rudimental morality, that may be found in the writings of Confucius, Zoroaster, Seneca, and the Rabbis, in the Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; not a little and cheap common-school knowledge; but manhood and science and philosophy.

Not that Philosophy or Science is in opposition to Religion. For Philosophy is but that knowledge of God and the Soul, which is derived from observation of the manifested action of God and the Soul, and from a wise analogy. It is the intellectual guide which the religious sentiment needs. The true religious philosophy of an imperfect being, is not a system of creed, but, as SOCRATES thought, an infinite search or approximation. Philosophy is that intellectual and moral progress, which the religious sentiment inspires and ennobles.

As to Science, it could not walk alone, while religion was stationary. It consists of those matured inferences from experience which all other experience confirms. It realizes and unites all that was truly valuable in both the old schemes of mediation, -- one heroic, or the system of action and effort; and the mystical theory of spiritual, contemplative communion. "Listen to me," says GALEN, "as to the voice of the Eleusinian Hierophant, and believe that the study of Nature is a mystery no less important than theirs, nor less adapted to display the wisdom and power of the Great Creator. Their lessons and demonstrations were obscure, but ours are clear and unmistakable."

We deem that to be the best knowledge we can obtain of the Soul of another man, which is furnished by his actions and his life-long conduct. Evidence to the contrary, supplied by what another man informs us that this Soul has said to his, would weigh little against the former. The first Scriptures for the human race were written by God on the Earth and Heavens. The reading of these Scriptures is Science. Familiarity with the grass and trees, the insects and the infusoria, teaches us deeper lessons of love and faith than we can glean from the writings of FE_NE_LON and AUGUSTINE. The great Bible of God is ever open before mankind.

Knowledge is convertible into power, and axioms into rules of utility and duty. But knowledge itself is not Power. Wisdom is Power; and her Prime Minister is JUSTICE, which is the perfected law of TRUTH. The purpose, therefore, of Education and Science

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is to make a man wise. If knowledge does not make him so, it is wasted, like water poured on the sands. To know the formulas of Masonry, is of as little value, by itself, as to know so many words and sentences in some barbarous African or Australasian dialect. To know even the meaning of the symbols, is but little, unless that adds to our wisdom, and also to our charity, which is to justice like one hemisphere of the brain to the other.

Do not lose sight, then, of the true object of your studies in Masonry. It is to add to your estate of wisdom, and not merely to your knowledge. A man may spend a lifetime in studying a single specialty of knowledge, -- botany, conchology, or entomology, for instance, -- in committing to memory names derived from the Greek, and classifying and reclassifying; and yet be no wiser than when he began. It is the great truths as to all that most concerns a man, as to his rights, interests, and duties, that Masonry seeks to teach her Initiates.

The wiser a man becomes, the less will he be inclined to submit tamely to the imposition of fetters or a yoke, on his conscience or his person. For, by increase of wisdom he not only better knows his rights, but the more highly values them, and is more conscious of his worth and dignity. His pride then urges him to assert his independence. He becomes better able to assert it also; and better able to assist others or his country, when they or she stake all, even existence, upon the same assertion. But mere knowledge makes no one independent, nor fits him to be free. It often only makes him a more useful slave. Liberty is a curse to the ignorant and brutal.

Political science has for its object to ascertain in what manner and by means of what institutions political and personal freedom may be secured and perpetuated: not license, or the mere right of every man to vote, but entire and absolute freedom of thought and opinion, alike free of the despotism of monarch and mob and prelate; freedom of action within the limits of the general law enacted for all; the Courts of Justice, with impartial Judges and juries, open to all alike; weakness and poverty equally potent in those Courts as power and wealth; the avenues to office and honor open alike to all the worthy; the military powers, in war or peace, in strict subordination to the civil power; arbitrary arrests for acts not known to the law as crimes, impossible; Romish Inquisitions, Star-Chambers, Military Commissions, unknown; the

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means of instruction within reach of the children of all; the right of Free Speech; and accountability of all public officers, civil and military.

If Masonry needed to be justified for imposing political as well as moral duties on its Initiates, it would be enough to point to the sad history of the world. It would not even need that she should turn back the pages of history to the chapters written by Tacitus: that she should recite the incredible horrors of despotism under Caligula and Domitian, Caracalla and Commodus, Vitellius and Maximin. She need only point to the centuries of calamity through which the gay French nation passed; to the long oppression of the feudal ages, of the selfish Bourbon kings; to those times when the peasants were robbed and slaughtered by their own lords and princes, like sheep; when the lord claimed the first-fruits of the peasant's marriage-bed; when the captured city was given up to merciless rape and massacre; when the State-prisons groaned with innocent victims, and the Church blessed the banners of pitiless murderers, and sang Te Deums for the crowning mercy of the Eve of St. Bartholomew.

We might turn over the pages, to a later chapter, -- that of the reign of the Fifteenth Louis, when young girls, hardly more than children, were kidnapped to serve his lusts; when lettres de cachet filled the Bastile with persons accused of no crime, with husbands who were in the way of the pleasures of lascivious wives and of villains wearing orders of nobility; when the people were ground between the upper and the nether millstone of taxes, customs, and excises; and when Me Pope's Nuncio and the Cardinal de la Roche-Ayman, devoutly kneeling, one on each side of Madame du Barry, the king's abandoned prostitute, put the slippers on her naked feet, as she rose from the adulterous bed. Then, indeed, suffering and toil were the two forms of man, and the people were but beasts of burden.

The true Mason is he who labors strenuously to help his Order effect its great purposes. Not that the Order can effect them by itself; but that it, too, can help. It also is one of God's instruments. It is a Force and a Power; and shame upon it, if it did not exert itself, and, if need be, sacrifice its children in the cause of humanity, as Abraham was ready to offer up Isaac on the altar of sacrifice. It will not forget that noble allegory of Curtius leaping, all in armor, into the great yawning gulf that opened to

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swallow Rome. It will TRY. It shall not be its fault if the day never comes when man will no longer have to fear a conquest, an invasion, a usurpation, a rivalry of nations with the armed hand, an interruption of civilization depending on a marriage-royal, or a birth in the hereditary tyrannies; a partition of the peoples by a Congress, a dismemberment by the downfall of a dynasty, a combat of two religions, meeting head to head, like two goats of darkness on the bridge of the Infinite: When they will no longer have to fear famine, spoliation, prostitution from distress, misery from lack of work, and all the brigandages of chance in the forest of events: when nations will gravitate about the Truth, like stars about the light, each in its own orbit, without clashing or collision; and everywhere Freedom, cinctured with stars, crowned with the celestial splendors, and with wisdom and justice on either hand, will reign supreme.

In your studies as a Fellow-Craft you must be guided by REASON, LOVE and FAITH.

We do not now discuss the differences between Reason and Faith, and undertake to define the domain of each. But it is necessary to say, that even in the ordinary affairs of life we are governed far more by what we believe than by what we know; by FAITH and ANALOGY, than by REASON. The "Age of Reason" of the French Revolution taught, we know, what a folly it is to enthrone Reason by itself as supreme. Reason is at fault when it deals with the Infinite. There we must revere and believe. Notwithstanding the calamities of the virtuous, the miseries of the deserving, the prosperity of tyrants and the murder of martyrs, we must believe there is a wise, just, merciful, and loving God, an Intelligence and a Providence, supreme over all, and caring for the minutest things and events. A Faith is a necessity to man. Woe to him who believes nothing!

We believe that the soul of another is of a certain nature and possesses certain qualities, that he is generous and honest, or penurious and knavish, that she is virtuous and amiable, or vicious and ill-tempered, from the countenance alone, from little more than a glimpse of it, without the means of knowing. We venture our fortune on the signature of a man on the other side of the world, whom we never saw, upon the belief that he is honest and trustworthy. We believe that occurrences have taken place, upon the assertion of others. We believe that one will acts upon

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another, and in the reality of a multitude of other phenomena that Reason cannot explain.

But we ought not to believe what Reason authoritatively denies, that at which the sense of right revolts, that which is absurd or self-contradictory, or at issue with experience or science, or that which degrades the character of the Deity, and would make Him revengeful, malignant, cruel, or unjust.

A man's Faith is as much his own as his Reason is. His Freedom consists as much in his faith being free as in his will being uncontrolled by power. All the Priests and Augurs of Rome or Greece had not the right to require Cicero or Socrates to believe in the absurd mythology of the vulgar. All the Imaums of Mohammedanism have not the right to require a Pagan to believe that Gabriel dictated the Koran to the Prophet. All the Brahmins that ever lived, if assembled in one conclave like the Cardinals, could not gain a right to compel a single human being to believe in the Hindu Cosmogony. No man or body of men can be infallible, and authorized to decide what other men shall believe, as to any tenet of faith. Except to those who first receive it, every religion and the truth of all inspired writings depend on human testimony and internal evidences, to be judged of by Reason and the wise analogies of Faith. Each man must necessarily have the right to judge of their truth for himself; because no one man can have any higher or better right to judge than another of equal information and intelligence.

Domitian claimed to be the Lord God; and statues and images of him, in silver and gold, were found throughout the known world. He claimed to be regarded as the God of all men; and, according to Suetonius, began his letters thus: "Our Lord and God commands that it should be done so and so;" and formally decreed that no one should address him otherwise, either in writing or by word of mouth. Palfurius Sura, the philosopher, who was his chief delator, accusing those who refused to recognize his divinity, however much he may have believed in that divinity, had not the right to demand that a single Christian in Rome or the provinces should do the same.

Reason is far from being the only guide, in morals or in political science. Love or loving-kindness must keep it company, to exclude fanaticism, intolerance, and persecution, to all of which a morality too ascetic, and extreme political principles, invariably

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lead. We must also have faith in ourselves, and in our fellows and the people, or we shall be easily discouraged by reverses, and our ardor cooled by obstacles. We must not listen to Reason alone. Force comes more from Faith and Love: and it is by the aid of these that man scales the loftiest heights of morality, or becomes the Saviour and Redeemer of a People. Reason must hold the helm; but these supply the motive power. They are the wings of the soul. Enthusiasm is generally unreasoning; and without it, and Love and Faith, there would have been no RIENZI, or TELL, or SYDNEY, or any other of the great patriots whose names are immortal. If the Deity had been merely and only All-wise and All-mighty, He would never have created the Universe.

*      *      *      *      *      *

It is GENIUS that gets Power; and its prime lieutenants are FORCE and WISDOM. The unruliest of men bend before the leader that has the sense to see and the will to do. It is Genius that rules with God-like Power; that unveils, with its counsellors, the hidden human mysteries, cuts asunder with its word the huge knots, and builds up with its word the crumbled ruins. At its glance fall down the senseless idols, whose altars have been on all the high places and in all the sacred groves. Dishonesty and imbecility stand abashed before it. Its single Yea or Nay revokes the wrongs of ages, and is heard among the future generations. Its power is immense, because its wisdom is immense. Genius is the Sun of the political sphere. Force and Wisdom, its ministers, are the orbs that carry its light into darkness, and answer it with their solid reflecting Truth.

Development is symbolized by the use of the Mallet and Chisel; the development of the energies and intellect, of the individual and the people. Genius may place itself at the head of an unintellectual, uneducated, unenergetic nation; but in a free country, to cultivate the intellect of those who elect, is the only mode of securing intellect and genius for rulers. The world is seldom ruled by the great spirits, except after dissolution and new birth In periods of transition and convulsion, the Long Parliaments, the Robespierres and Marats, and the semi-respectabilities of intellect, too often hold the reins of power. The Cromwells and Napoleons come later. After Marius and Sulla and Cicero the rhetorician, CÆSAR. The great intellect is often too sharp for the granite of this life. Legislators may be very ordinary men; for legislation

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is very ordinary work; it is but the final issue of a million minds.

The power of the purse or the sword, compared to that of the spirit, is poor and contemptible. As to lands, you may have agrarian laws, and equal partition. But a man's intellect is all his own, held direct from God, an inalienable fief. It is the most potent of weapons in the hands of a paladin. If the people comprehend Force in the physical sense, how much more do they reverence the intellectual! Ask Hildebrand, or Luther, or Loyola. They fall prostrate before it, as before an idol. The mastery of mind over mind is the only conquest worth having. The other injures both, and dissolves at a breath; rude as it is, the great cable falls down and snaps at last. But this dimly resembles the dominion of the Creator. It does not need a subject like that of Peter the Hermit. If the stream be but bright and strong, it will sweep like a spring-tide to the popular heart. Not in word only, but in intellectual act lies the fascination. It is the homage to the Invisible. This power, knotted with Love, is the golden chain let down into the well of Truth, or the invisible chain that binds the ranks of mankind together.

Influence of man over man is a law of nature, whether it be by a great estate in land or in intellect. It may mean slavery, a deference to the eminent human judgment. Society hangs spiritually together, like the revolving spheres above. The free country, in which intellect and genius govern, will endure. Where they serve, and other influences govern, the national life is short. All the nations that have tried to govern themselves by their smallest, by the incapables, or merely respectables, have come to nought. Constitutions and Laws, without Genius and Intellect to govern, will not prevent decay. In that case they have the dry-rot and the life dies out of them by degrees.

To give a nation the franchise of the Intellect is the only sure mode of perpetuating freedom. This will compel exertion and generous care for the people from those on the higher seats, and honorable and intelligent allegiance from those below. Then political public life will protect all men from self-abasement in sensual pursuits, from vulgar acts and low greed, by giving the noble ambition of just imperial rule. To elevate the people by teaching loving-kindness and wisdom, with power to him who teaches best: and so to develop the free State from the rough ashlar: this

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is the great labor in which Masonry desires to lend a helping hand.

All of us should labor in building up the great monument of a nation, the Holy House of the Temple. The cardinal virtues must not be partitioned among men, becoming the exclusive property of some, like the common crafts. ALL are apprenticed to the partners, Duty and Honor.

Masonry is a march and a struggle toward the Light. For the individual as well as the nation, Light is Virtue, Manliness, Intelligence, Liberty. Tyranny over the soul or body, is darkness. The freest people, like the freest man, is always in danger of re-lapsing into servitude. Wars are almost always fatal to Republics. They create tyrants, and consolidate their power. They spring, for the most part, from evil counsels. When the small and the base are intrusted with power, legislation and administration become but two parallel series of errors and blunders, ending in war, calamity, and the necessity for a tyrant. When the nation feels its feet sliding backward, as if it walked on the ice, the time has come for a supreme effort. The magnificent tyrants of the past are but the types of those of the future. Men and nations will always sell themselves into slavery, to gratify their passions and obtain revenge. The tyrant's plea, necessity, is always available; and the tyrant once in power, the necessity of providing for his safety makes him savage. Religion is a power, and he must control that. Independent, its sanctuaries might rebel. Then it becomes unlawful for the people to worship God in their own way, and the old spiritual despotisms revive. Men must believe as Power wills, or die; and even if they may believe as they will, all they have, lands, houses, body, and soul, are stamped with the royal brand. "I am the State," said Louis the Fourteenth to his peasants; "the very shirts on your backs are mine, and I can take them if I will."

And dynasties so established endure, like that of the Cæsars of Rome, of the Cæsars of Constantinople, of the Caliphs, the Stuarts, the Spaniards, the Goths, the Valois, until the race wears out, and ends with lunatics and idiots, who still rule. There is no concord among men, to end the horrible bondage. The State falls inwardly, as well as by the outward blows of the incoherent elements. The furious human passions, the sleeping human indolence, the stolid human ignorance, the rivalry of human castes, are as good for the kings as the swords of the Paladins. The worshippers

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have all bowed so long to the old idol, that they cannot go into the streets and choose another Grand Llama. And so the effete State floats on down the puddled stream of Time, until the tempest or the tidal sea discovers that the worm has consumed its strength, and it crumbles into oblivion.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Civil and religious Freedom must go hand in hand; and Persecution matures them both. A people content with the thoughts made for them by the priests of a church will be content with Royalty by Divine Right, -- the Church and the Throne mutually sustaining each other. They will smother schism and reap infidelity and indifference; and while the battle for freedom goes on around them, they will only sink the more apathetically into servitude and a deep trance, perhaps occasionally interrupted by furious fits of frenzy, followed by helpless exhaustion.

Despotism is not difficult in any land that has only known one master from its childhood; but there is no harder problem than to perfect and perpetuate free government by the people themselves; for it is not one king that is needed: all must be kings. It is easy to set up Masaniello, that in a few days he may fall lower than before. But free government grows slowly, like the individual human faculties; and like the forest-trees, from the inner heart outward. Liberty is not only the common birth-right, but it is lost as well by non-user as by mis-user. It depends far more on the universal effort than any other human property. It has no single shrine or holy well of pilgrimage for the nation; for its waters should burst out freely from the whole soil.

The free popular power is one that is only known in its strength in the hour of adversity: for all its trials, sacrifices and expectations are its own. It is trained to think for itself, and also to act for itself. When the enslaved people prostrate themselves in the dust before the hurricane, like the alarmed beasts of the field, the free people stand erect before it, in all the strength of unity, in self-reliance, in mutual reliance, with effrontery against all but the visible hand of God. It is neither cast down by calamity nor elated by success.

This vast power of endurance, of forbearance, of patience, and of performance, is only acquired by continual exercise of all the functions, like the healthful physical human vigor, like the individual moral vigor.

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And the maxim is no less true than old, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. It is curious to observe the universal pretext by which the tyrants of all times take away the national liberties. It is stated in the statutes of Edward II., that the justices and the sheriff should no longer be elected by the people, on account of the riots and dissensions which had arisen. The same reason was given long before for the suppression of popular election of the bishops; and there is a witness to this untruth in the yet older times, when Rome lost her freedom, and her indignant citizens declared that tumultuous liberty is better than disgraceful tranquillity.

*      *      *      *      *      *

With the Compasses and Scale, we can trace all the figures used in the mathematics of planes, or in what are called GEOMETRY and TRIGONOMETRY, two words that are themselves deficient in meaning. GEOMETRY, which the letter G. in most Lodges is said to signify, means measurement of land or the earth -- or Surveying; and TRIGONOMETRY, the measurement of triangles, or figures with three sides or angles. The latter is by far the most appropriate name for the science intended to be expressed by the word "Geometry." Neither is of a meaning sufficiently wide: for although the vast surveys of great spaces of the earth's surface, and of coasts, by which shipwreck and calamity to mariners are avoided, are effected by means of triangulation; -- though it was by the same method that the French astronomers measured a degree of latitude and so established a scale of measures on an immutable basis; though it is by means of the immense triangle that has for its base a line drawn in imagination between the place of the earth now and its place six months hence in space, and for its apex a planet or star, that the distance of Jupiter or Sirius from the earth is ascertained; and though there is a triangle still more vast, its base extending either way from us, with and past the horizon into immensity, and its apex infinitely distant above us; to which corresponds a similar infinite triangle below -- what is above equalling what is below, immensity equalling immensity; -- yet the Science of Numbers, to which Pythagoras attached so much importance, and whose mysteries are found everywhere in the ancient religions, and most of all in the Kabalah and in the Bible, is not sufficiently expressed by either the word "Geometry" or the word "Trigonometry." For that science includes these, with Arithmetic, and also with Algebra, Logarithms, the Integral and Differential

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Calculus; and by means of it are worked out the great problems of Astronomy or the Laws of the Stars.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Virtue is but heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all temptations or menaces. Man is accountable for the uprightness of his doctrine, but not for the rightness of it. Devout enthusiasm is far easier than a good action. The end of thought is action; the sole purpose of Religion is an Ethic. Theory, in political science, is worthless, except for the purpose of being realized in practice.

In every credo, religious or political as in the soul of man, there are two regions, the Dialectic and the Ethic; and it is only when the two are harmoniously blended, that a perfect discipline is evolved. There are men who dialectically are Christians, as there are a multitude who dialectically are Masons, and yet who are ethically Infidels, as these are ethically of the Profane, in the strictest sense: -- intellectual believers, but practical atheists: -- men who will write you "Evidences," in perfect faith in their logic, but cannot carry out the Christian or Masonic doctrine, owing to the strength, or weakness, of the flesh. On the other hand, there are many dialectical skeptics, but ethical believers, as there are many Masons who have never undergone initiation; and as ethics are the end and purpose of religion, so are ethical believers the most worthy. He who does right is better than he who thinks right.

But you must not act upon the hypothesis that all men are hypocrites, whose conduct does not square with their sentiments. No vice is more rare, for no task is more difficult, than systematic hypocrisy. When the Demagogue becomes a Usurper it does not follow that he was all the time a hypocrite. Shallow men only so judge of others.

The truth is, that creed has, in general, very little influence on the conduct; in religion, on that of the individual; in politics, on that of party. As a general thing, the Mahometan, in the Orient, is far more honest and trustworthy than the Christian. A Gospel of Love in the mouth, is an Avatar of Persecution in the heart. Men who believe in eternal damnation and a literal sea of fire and brimstone, incur the certainty of it, according to their creed, on the slightest temptation of appetite or passion. Predestination insists on the necessity of good works. In Masonry, at the least flow of passion, one speaks ill of another behind his back: and so

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far from the "Brotherhood" of Blue Masonry being real, and the solemn pledges contained in the use of the word "Brother" being complied with, extraordinary pains are taken to show that Masonry is a sort of abstraction, which scorns to interfere in worldly matters. The rule may be regarded as universal, that, where there is a choice to be made, a Mason will give his vote and influence, in politics and business, to the less qualified profane in preference to the better qualified Mason. One will take an oath to oppose any unlawful usurpation of power, and then become the ready and even eager instrument of a usurper. Another will call one "Brother," and then play toward him the part of Judas Iscariot, or strike him, as Joab did Abner, under the fifth rib, with a lie whose authorship is not to be traced. Masonry does not change human nature, and cannot make honest men out of born knaves.

While you are still engaged in preparation, and in accumulating principles for future use, do not forget the words of the Apostle James: "For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass, for he beholdeth himself, and goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was; but whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his work. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. . . . Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being an abstraction. A man is justified by works, and not by faith only. . . . The devils believe, -- and tremble. . . . As the body without the heart is dead, so is faith without works."

*      *      *      *      *      *

In political science, also, free governments are erected and free constitutions framed, upon some simple and intelligible theory. Upon whatever theory they are based, no sound conclusion is to be reached except by carrying the theory out without flinching, both in argument on constitutional questions and in practice. Shrink from the true theory through timidity, or wander from it through want of the logical faculty, or transgress against it through passion or on the plea of necessity or expediency, and you have denial or invasion of rights, laws that offend against first principles, usurpation of illegal powers, or abnegation and abdication of legitimate authority.

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Do not forget, either, that as the showy, superficial, impudent and self-conceited will almost always be preferred, even in utmost stress of danger and calamity of the State, to the man of solid learning, large intellect, and catholic sympathies, because he is nearer the common popular and legislative level, so the highest truth is not acceptable to the mass of mankind.

When SOLON was asked if he had given his countrymen the best laws, he answered, "The best they are capable of receiving." This is one of the profoundest utterances on record; and yet like all great truths, so simple as to be rarely comprehended. It contains the whole philosophy of History. It utters a truth which, had it been recognized, would have saved men an immensity of vain, idle disputes, and have led them into the clearer paths of knowledge in the Past. It means this, -- that all truths are Truths of Period, and not truths for eternity; that whatever great fact has had strength and vitality enough to make itself real, whether of religion, morals, government, or of whatever else, and to find place in this world, has been a truth for the time, and as good as men were capable of receiving.

So, too, with great men. The intellect and capacity of a people has a single measure, -- that of the great men whom Providence gives it, and whom it receives. There have always been men too great for their time or their people. Every people makes such men only its idols, as it is capable of comprehending.

To impose ideal truth or law upon an incapable and merely real man, must ever be a vain and empty speculation. The laws of sympathy govern in this as they do in regard to men who are put at the head. We do not know, as yet, what qualifications the sheep insist on in a leader. With men who are too high intellectually, the mass have as little sympathy as they have with the stars. When BURKE, the wisest statesman England ever had, rose to speak, the House of Commons was depopulated as upon an agreed signal. There is as little sympathy between the mass and the highest TRUTHS. The highest truth, being incomprehensible to the man of realities, as the highest man is, and largely above his level, will be a great unreality and falsehood to an unintellectual man. The profoundest doctrines of Christianity and Philosophy would be mere jargon and babble to a Potawatomie Indian. The popular explanations of the symbols of Masonry are fitting for the multitude that have swarmed into the Temples, -- being fully up to the level

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of their capacity. Catholicism was a vital truth in its earliest ages, but it became obsolete, and Protestantism arose, flourished, and deteriorated. The doctrines of ZOROASTER were the best which the ancient Persians were fitted to receive; those of CONFUCIUS were fitted for the Chinese; those of MOHAMMED for the idolatrous Arabs of his age. Each was Truth for the time. Each was a GOSPEL, preached by a REFORMER; and if any men are so little fortunate as to remain content therewith, when others have attained a higher truth, it is their misfortune and not their fault. They are to be pitied for it, and not persecuted.

Do not expect easily to convince men of the truth, or to lead them to think aright. The subtle human intellect can weave its mists over even the clearest vision. Remember that it is eccentric enough to ask unanimity from a jury; but to ask it from any large number of men on any point of political faith is amazing. You can hardly get two men in any Congress or Convention to agree; -- nay, you can rarely get one to agree with himself. The political church which chances to be supreme anywhere has an indefinite number of tongues. How then can we expect men to agree as to matters beyond the cognizance of the senses? How can we compass the Infinite and the Invisible with any chain of evidence? Ask the small sea-waves what they murmur among the pebbles! How many of those words that come from the invisible shore are lost, like the birds, in the long passage? How vainly do we strain the eyes across the long Infinite! We must be content, as the children are, with the pebbles that have been stranded, since it is forbidden us to explore the hidden depths.

The Yellow-Craft is especially taught by this not to become wise in his own conceit. Pride in unsound theories is worse than ignorance. Humility becomes a Mason. Take some quiet, sober moment of life, and add together the two ideas of Pride and Man; behold him, creature of a span, stalking through infinite space in all the grandeur of littleness! Perched on a speck of the Universe, every wind of Heaven strikes into his blood the coldness of death; his soul floats away from his body like the melody from the string. Day and night, like dust on the wheel, he is rolled along the heavens, through a labyrinth of worlds, and all the creations of God are flaming on every side, further than even his imagination can reach. Is this a creature to make for himself a crown of glory, to deny his own flesh, to mock at his fellow, sprung with him from that dust

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to which both will soon return? Does the proud man not err? Does he not suffer? Does he not die? When he reasons, is he never stopped short by difficulties? When he acts, does he never succumb to the temptations of pleasure? When he lives, is he free from pain? Do the diseases not claim him as their prey? When he dies, can he escape the common grave? Pride is not the heritage of man. Humility should dwell with frailty, and atone for ignorance, error and imperfection.

Neither should the Mason be over-anxious for office and honor, however certainly he may feel that he has the capacity to serve the State. He should neither seek nor spurn honors. It is good to enjoy the blessings of fortune; it is better to submit without a pang to their loss. The greatest deeds are not done in the glare of light, and before the eyes of the populace. He whom God has gifted with a love of retirement possesses, as it were, an additional sense; and among the vast and noble scenes of nature, we find the balm for the wounds we have received among the pitiful shifts of policy; for the attachment to solitude is the surest preservative from the ills of life.

But Resignation is the more noble in proportion as it is the less passive. Retirement is only a morbid selfishness, if it prohibit exertions for others; as it is only dignified and noble, when it is the shade whence the oracles issue that are to instruct mankind; and retirement of this nature is the sole seclusion which a good and wise man will covet or command. The very philosophy which makes such a man covet the quiet, will make him eschew the inutility of the hermitage. Very little praiseworthy would LORD BOLINGBROKE have seemed among his haymakers and ploughmen, if among haymakers and ploughmen he had looked with an indifferent eye upon a profligate minister and a venal Parliament. Very little interest would have attached to his beans and vetches, if beans and vetches had caused him to forget that if he was happier on a farm he could be more useful in a Senate, and made him forego, in the sphere of a bailiff, all care for re-entering that of a legislator.

Remember, also, that there is an education which quickens the Intellect, and leaves the heart hollower or harder than before. There are ethical lessons in the laws of the heavenly bodies, in the properties of earthly elements, in geography, chemistry, geology, and all the material sciences. Things are symbols of Truths.

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Properties are symbols of Truths. Science, not teaching moral and spiritual truths, is dead and dry, of little more real value than to commit to the memory a long row of unconnected dates, or of the names of bugs or butterflies.

Christianity, it is said, begins from the burning of the false gods by the people themselves. Education begins with the burning of our intellectual and moral idols: our prejudices, notions, conceits, our worthless or ignoble purposes. Especially it is necessary to shake off the love of worldly gain. With Freedom comes the longing for worldly advancement. In that race men are ever falling, rising, running, and falling again. The lust for wealth and the abject dread of poverty delve the furrows on many a noble brow. The gambler grows old as he watches the chances. Lawful hazard drives Youth away before its time; and this Youth draws heavy bills of exchange on Age. Men live, like the engines, at high pressure, a hundred years in a hundred months; the ledger becomes the Bible, and the day-book the Book of the Morning Prayer.

Hence flow overreachings and sharp practice, heartless traffic in which the capitalist buys profit with the lives of the laborers, speculations that coin a nation's agonies into wealth, and all the other devilish enginery of Mammon. This, and greed for office, are the two columns at the entrance to the Temple of Moloch. It is doubtful whether the latter, blossoming in falsehood, trickery, and fraud, is not even more pernicious than the former. At all events they are twins, and fitly mated; and as either gains control of the unfortunate subject, his soul withers away and decays, and at last dies out. The souls of half the human race leave them long before they die. The two greeds are twin plagues of the leprosy, and make the man unclean; and whenever they break out they spread until "they cover all the skin of him that hath the plague, from his head even to his foot." Even the raw flesh of the heart becomes unclean with it.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Alexander of Macedon has left a saying behind him which has survived his conquests: "Nothing is nobler than work." Work only can keep even kings respectable. And when a king is a king indeed, it is an honorable office to give tone to the manners and morals of a nation; to set the example of virtuous conduct, and restore in spirit the old schools of chivalry, in which the young

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manhood may be nurtured to real greatness. Work and wages will go together in men's minds, in the most royal institutions. We must ever come to the idea of real work. The rest that follows labor should be sweeter than the rest which follows rest.

Let no Fellow-Craft imagine that the work of the lowly and uninfluential is not worth the doing. There is no legal limit to the possible influences of a good deed or a wise word or a generous effort. Nothing is really small. Whoever is open to the deep penetration of nature knows this. Although, indeed, no absolute satisfaction may be vouchsafed to philosophy, any more in circumscribing the cause than in limiting the effect, the man of thought and contemplation falls into unfathomable ecstacies in view of all the decompositions of forces resulting in unity. All works for all. Destruction is not annihilation, but regeneration.

Algebra applies to the clouds; the radiance of the star benefits the rose; no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who, then, can calculate the path of the molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by the fall of grains of sand? Who, then, understands the reciprocal flow and ebb of the infinitely great and the infinitely small; the echoing of causes in the abysses of beginning, and the avalanches of creation? A flesh-worm is of account; the small is great; the great is small; all is in equilibrium in necessity. There are marvellous relations between beings and things; in this inexhaustible Whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn: all need each other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths, without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird which flies has the thread of the Infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor, and the tap of a swallow's bill, breaking the egg; and it leads forward the birth of an earth-worm and the advent of a Socrates. Where the telescope ends the microscope begins. Which of them the grander view? A bit of mould is a Pleiad of flowers -- a nebula is an ant-hill of stars.

There is the same and a still more wonderful interpenetration between the things of the intellect and the things of matter. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to such a degree as to bring the material world and the moral world into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually

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folded back upon themselves. In the vast cosmical changes the universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, enveloping all in the invisible mystery of the emanations, losing no dream from no single sleep, sowing an animalcule here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and winding in curves; making a force of Light, and an element of Thought; disseminated and indivisible, dissolving all save that point without length, breadth, or thickness, The MYSELF; reducing everything to the Soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling all activities, from the highest to the lowest, in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism; hanging the flight of an insect upon the movement of the earth; subordinating, perhaps, if only by the identity of the law, the eccentric evolutions of the comet in the firmament, to the whirlings of the infusoria in the drop of water. A mechanism made of mind, the first motor of which is the gnat, and its last wheel the zodiac.

A peasant-boy, guiding Blücher by the right one of two roads, the other being impassable for artillery, enables him to reach Waterloo in time to save Wellington from a defeat that would have been a rout; and so enables the kings to imprison Napoleon on a barren rock in mid-ocean. An unfaithful smith, by the slovenly shoeing of a horse, causes his lameness, and, he stumbling, the career of his world-conquering rider ends, and the destinies of empires are changed. A generous officer permits an imprisoned monarch to end his game of chess before leading him to the block; and meanwhile the usurper dies, and the prisoner reascends the throne. An unskillful workman repairs the compass, or malice or stupidity disarranges it, the ship mistakes her course, the waves swallow a Cæsar, and a new chapter is written in the history of a world. What we call accident is but the adamantine chain of indissoluble connection between all created things. The locust, hatched in the Arabian sands, the small worm that destroys the cotton-boll, one making famine in the Orient, the other closing the mills and starving the workmen and their children in the Occident, with riots and massacres, are as much the ministers of God as the earthquake; and the fate of nations depends more on them than on the intellect of its kings and legislators. A civil war in America will end in shaking the world; and that war may be caused by the vote of some ignorant prize-fighter or crazed fanatic in a city or in a Congress, or of some stupid boor in an obscure country parish. The

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electricity of universal sympathy, of action and reaction, pervades everything, the planets and the motes in the sunbeam. FAUST, with his types, or LUTHER, with his sermons, worked greater results than Alexander or Hannibal. A single thought sometimes suffices to overturn a dynasty. A silly song did more to unseat James the Second than the acquittal of the Bishops. Voltaire, Condorcet, and Rousseau uttered words that will ring, in change and revolutions, throughout all the ages.

Remember, that though life is short, Thought and the influences of what we do or say are immortal; and that no calculus has yet pretended to ascertain the law of proportion between cause and effect. The hammer of an English blacksmith, smiting down an insolent official, led to a rebellion which came near being a revolution. The word well spoken, the deed fitly done, even by the feeblest or humblest, cannot help but have their effect. More or less, the effect is inevitable and eternal. The echoes of the greatest deeds may die away like the echoes of a cry among the cliffs, and what has been done seem to the human judgment to have been without result. The unconsidered act of the poorest of men may fire the train that leads to the subterranean mine, and an empire be rent by the explosion.

The power of a free people is often at the disposal of a single and seemingly an unimportant individual; -- a terrible and truthful power; for such a people feel with one heart, and therefore can lift up their myriad arms for a single blow. And, again, there is no graduated scale for the measurement of the influences of different intellects upon the popular mind. Peter the Hermit held no office, yet what a work he wrought!

*      *      *      *      *      *

From the political point of view there is but a single principle, -- the sovereignty of man over himself. This sovereignty of one's self over one's self is called LIBERTY. Where two or several of these sovereignties associate, the State begins. But in this association there is no abdication. Each sovereignty parts with a certain portion of itself to form the common right. That portion is the same for all. There is equal contribution by all to the joint sovereignty. This identity of concession which each makes to all, is EQUALITY. The common right is nothing more or less than the protection of all, pouring its rays on each. This protection of each by all, is FRATERNITY.

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Liberty is the summit, Equality the base. Equality is not all vegetation on a level, a society of big spears of grass and stunted oaks, a neighborhood of jealousies, emasculating each other. It is, civilly, all aptitudes having equal opportunity; politically, all votes having equal weight; religiously, all consciences having equal rights.

Equality has an organ; -- gratuitous and obligatory instruction. We must begin with the right to the alphabet. The primary school obligatory upon all; the higher school offered to all. Such is the law. From the same school for all springs equal society. Instruction! Light! all comes from Light, and all returns to it.

We must learn the thoughts of the common people, if we would be wise and do any good work. We must look at men, not so much for what Fortune has given to them with her blind old eyes, as for the gifts Nature has brought in her lap, and for the use that has been made of them. We profess to be equal in a Church and in the Lodge: we shall be equal in the sight of God when He judges the earth. We may well sit on the pavement together here, in communion and conference, for the few brief moments that constitute life.

A Democratic Government undoubtedly has its defects, because it is made and administered by men, and not by the Wise Gods. It cannot be concise and sharp, like the despotic. When its ire is aroused it develops its latent strength, and the sturdiest rebel trembles. But its habitual domestic rule is tolerant, patient, and indecisive. Men are brought together, first to differ, and then to agree. Affirmation, negation, discussion, solution: these are the means of attaining truth. Often the enemy will be at the gates before the babble of the disturbers is drowned in the chorus of consent. In the Legislative office deliberation will often defeat decision. Liberty can play the fool like the Tyrants.

Refined society requires greater minuteness of regulation; and the steps of all advancing States are more and more to be picked among the old rubbish and the new materials. The difficulty lies in discovering the right path through the chaos of confusion. The adjustment of mutual rights and wrongs is also more difficult in democracies. We do not see and estimate the relative importance of objects so easily and clearly from the level or the waving land as from the elevation of a lone peak, towering above the plain; for each looks through his own mist.

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Abject dependence on constituents, also, is too common. It is as miserable a thing as abject dependence on a minister or the favorite of a Tyrant. It is rare to find a man who can speak out the simple truth that is in him, honestly and frankly, without fear, favor, or affection, either to Emperor or People.

Moreover, in assemblies of men, faith in each other is almost always wanting, unless a terrible pressure of calamity or danger from without produces cohesion. Hence the constructive power of such assemblies is, generally deficient. The chief triumphs of modern days, in Europe, have been in pulling down and obliterating; not in building up. But Repeal is not Reform. Time must bring with him the Restorer and Rebuilder.

Speech, also, is grossly abused in Republics; and if the use of speech be glorious, its abuse is the most villainous of vices. Rhetoric, Plato says, is the art of ruling the minds of men. But in democracies it is too common to hide thought in words, to overlay it, to babble nonsense. The gleams and glitter of intellectual soap-and-water bubbles are mistaken for the rainbow-glories of genius. The worthless pyrites is continually mistaken for gold. Even intellect condescends to intellectual jugglery, balancing thoughts as a juggler balances pipes on his chin. In all Congresses we have the inexhaustible flow of babble, and Faction's clamorous knavery in discussion, until the divine power of speech, that privilege of man and great gift of God, is no better than the screech of parrots or the mimicry of monkeys. The mere talker, however fluent, is barren of deeds in the day of trial.

There are men voluble as women, and as well skilled in fencing with the tongue: prodigies of speech, misers in deeds. Too much talking, like too much thinking, destroys the power of action. In human nature, the thought is only made perfect by deed. Silence is the mother of both. The trumpeter is not the bravest of the brave. Steel and not brass wins the day. The great doer of great deeds is mostly slow and slovenly of speech. There are some men born and bred to betray. Patriotism is their trade, and their capital is speech. But no noble spirit can plead like Paul and be false to itself as Judas.

Imposture too commonly rules in republics; they seem to be ever in their minority; their guardians are self-appointed; and the unjust thrive better than the just. The Despot, like the night-lion roaring, drowns all the clamor of tongues at once, and

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speech, the birthright of the free man, becomes the bauble of the enslaved.

It is quite true that republics only occasionally, and as it were accidentally, select their wisest, or even the less incapable among the incapables, to govern them and legislate for them. If genius, armed with learning and knowledge, will grasp the reins, the people will reverence it; if it only modestly offers itself for office, it will be smitten on the face, even when, in the straits of distress and the agonies of calamity, it is indispensable to the salvation of the State. Put it upon the track with the showy and superficial, the conceited, the ignorant, and impudent, the trickster and charlatan, and the result shall not be a moment doubtful. The verdicts of Legislatures and the People are like the verdicts of juries, -- sometimes right by accident.

Offices, it is true, are showered, like the rains of Heaven, upon the just and the unjust. The Roman Augurs that used to laugh in each other's faces at the simplicity of the vulgar, were also tickled with their own guile; but no Augur is needed to lead the people astray. They readily deceive themselves. Let a Republic begin as it may, it will not be out of its minority before imbecility will be promoted to high places; and shallow pretence, getting itself puffed into notice, will invade all the sanctuaries. The most unscrupulous partisanship will prevail, even in respect to judicial trusts; and the most unjust appointments constantly be made, although every improper promotion not merely confers one undeserved favor, but may make a hundred honest cheeks smart with injustice.

The country is stabbed in the front when those are brought into the stalled seats who should slink into the dim gallery. Every stamp of Honor, ill-clutched, is stolen from the Treasury of Merit.

Yet the entrance into the public service, and the promotion in it, affect both the rights of individuals and those of the nation. Injustice in bestowing or withholding office ought to be so intolerable in democratic communities that the least trace of it should be like the scent of Treason. It is not universally true that all citizens of equal character have an equal claim to knock at the door of every public office and demand admittance. When any man presents himself for service he has a right to aspire to the highest body at once, if he can show his fitness for such a beginning, -- that

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he is fitter than the rest who offer themselves for the same post. The entry into it can only justly be made through the door of merit. And whenever any one aspires to and attains such high post, especially if by unfair and disreputable and indecent means, and is afterward found to be a signal failure, he should at once be beheaded. He is the worst among the public enemies.

When a man sufficiently reveals himself, all others should be proud to give him due precedence. When the power of promotion is abused in the grand passages of life whether by People, Legislature, or Executive, the unjust decision recoils on the judge at once. That is not only a gross, but a willful shortness of sight, that cannot discover the deserving. If one will look hard, long, and honestly, he will not fail to discern merit, genius, and qualification; and the eyes and voice of the Press and Public should condemn and denounce injustice wherever she rears her horrid head.

"The tools to the workmen!" no other principle will save a Republic from destruction, either by civil war or the dry-rot. They tend to decay, do all we can to prevent it, like human bodies. If. they try the experiment of governing themselves by their smallest, they slide downward to the unavoidable abyss with tenfold velocity; and there never has been a Republic that has not followed that fatal course.

But however palpable and gross the inherent defects of democratic governments, and fatal as the results finally and inevitably are, we need only glance at the reigns of Tiberius, Nero, and Caligula, of Heliogabalus and Caracalla, of Domitian and Corn-modus, to recognize that the difference between freedom and despotism is as wide as that between Heaven and Hell. The cruelty, baseness, and insanity of tyrants are incredible. Let him who complains of the fickle humors and inconstancy of a free people, read Pliny's character of Domitian. If the great man in a Republic cannot win office without descending to low arts and whining beggary and the judicious use of sneaking lies, let him remain in retirement, and use the pen. Tacitus and Juvenal held no office. Let History and Satire punish the pretender as they crucify the despot. The revenges of the intellect are terrible and just.

Let Masonry use the pen and the printing-press in the free State against the Demagogue; in the Despotism against the Tyrant. History offers examples and encouragement. All history, for four thousand years, being filled with violated rights and the

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sufferings of the people, each period of history brings with it such protest as is possible to it. Under the Cæsars there was no insurrection, but there was a Juvenal. The arousing of indignation replaces the Gracchi. Under the Cæsars there is the exile of Syene; there is also the author of the Annals. As the Neros reign darkly they should be pictured so. Work with the graver only would be pale; into the grooves should be poured a concentrated prose that bites.

Despots are an aid to thinkers. Speech enchained is speech terrible. The writer doubles and triples his style, when silence is imposed by a master upon the people. There springs from this silence a certain mysterious fullness, which filters and freezes into brass fn the thoughts. Compression in the history produces conciseness in the historian. The granitic solidity of some celebrated prose is only a condensation produced by the Tyrant. Tyranny constrains the writer to shortenings of diameter which are in-creases of strength. The Ciceronian period, hardly sufficient upon Verres, would lose its edge upon Caligula.

The Demagogue is the predecessor of the Despot. One springs from the other's loins. He who will basely fawn on those who have office to bestow, will betray like Iscariot, and prove a miser-able and pitiable failure. Let the new Junius lash such men as they deserve, and History make them immortal in infamy; since their influences culminate in ruin. The Republic that employs and honors the shallow, the superficial, the base,

"who crouch
Unto the offal of an office promised,"

at last weeps tears of blood for its fatal error. Of such supreme folly, the sure fruit is damnation. Let the nobility of every great heart, condensed into justice and truth, strike such creatures like a thunderbolt! If you can do no more, you can at least condemn by your vote, and ostracise by denunciation.

It is true that, as the Czars are absolute, they have it in their power to select the best for the public service. It is true that the beginner of a dynasty generally does so; and that when monarchies are in their prime, pretence and shallowness do not thrive and prosper and get power, as they do in Republics. All do not gabble in the Parliament of a Kingdom, as in the Congress of a Democracy. The incapables do not go undetected there, all their lives.

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But dynasties speedily decay and run out. At last they dwindle down into imbecility; and the dull or flippant Members of Congresses are at least the intellectual peers of the vast majority of kings. The great man, the Julius Cæsar, the Charlemagne, Cromwell, Napoleon, reigns of right. He is the wisest and the strongest. The incapables and imbeciles succeed and are usurpers; and fear makes them cruel. After Julius came Caracalla and Galba; after Charlemagne, the lunatic Charles the Sixth. So the Saracenic dynasty dwindled out; the Capets, the Stuarts, the Bourbons; the last of these producing Bomba, the ape of Domitian.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Man is by nature cruel, like the tigers. The barbarian, and the tool of the tyrant, and the civilized fanatic, enjoy the sufferings of others, as the children enjoy the contortions of maimed flies. Absolute Power, once in fear for the safety of its tenure, cannot but be cruel.

As to ability, dynasties invariably cease to possess any after a few lives. They become mere shams, governed by ministers, favorites, or courtesans, like those old Etruscan kings, slumbering for long ages in their golden royal robes, dissolving forever at the first breath of day. Let him who complains of the short-comings of democracy ask himself if he would prefer a Du Barry or a Pompadour, governing in the name of a Louis the Fifteenth, a Caligula making his horse a consul, a Domitian, "that most savage monster," who sometimes drank the blood of relatives, sometimes employing himself with slaughtering the most distinguished citizens before whose gates fear and terror kept watch; a tyrant of frightful aspect, pride on his forehead, fire in his eye, constantly seeking darkness and secrecy, and only emerging from his solitude to make solitude. After all, in a free government, the Laws and the Constitution are above the Incapables, the Courts correct their legislation, and posterity is the Grand Inquest that passes judgment on them. What is the exclusion of worth and intellect and knowledge from civil office compared with trials before Jeffries, tortures in the dark caverns of the Inquisition, Alva-butcheries in the Netherlands, the Eve of Saint Bartholomew, and the Sicilian Vespers?

*      *      *      *      *      *

The Abbé Barruel in his Memoirs for the History of Jacobinism, declares that Masonry in France gave, as its secret, the

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words Equality and Liberty, leaving it for every honest and religious Mason to explain them as would best suit his principles; but retained the privilege of unveiling in the higher Degrees the meaning of those words, as interpreted by the French Revolution. And he also excepts English Masons from his anathemas, because in England a Mason is a peaceable subject of the civil authorities, no matter where he resides, engaging in no plots or conspiracies against even the worst government. England, he says, disgusted with an Equality and a Liberty, the consequences of which she had felt in the struggles of her Lollards, Anabaptists, and Presbyterians, had "purged her Masonry" from all explanations tending to overturn empires; but there still remained adepts whom disorganizing principles bound to the Ancient Mysteries.

Because true Masonry, unemasculated, bore the banners of Freedom and Equal Rights, and was in rebellion against temporal and spiritual tyranny, its Lodges were proscribed in 1735, by an edict of the States of Holland. In 1737, Louis XV. forbade them in France. In 1738, Pope Clement XII. issued against them his famous Bull of Excommunication, which was renewed by Benedict XIV.; and in 1743 the Council of Berne also proscribed them. The title of the Bull of Clement is, "The Condemnation of the Society of Conventicles de Liberi Muratori, or of the Freemasons, under the penalty of ipso facto excommunication, the absolution from which is reserved to the Pope alone, except at the point of death." And by it all bishops, ordinaries, and inquisitors were empowered to punish Freemasons, "as vehemently suspected of heresy," and to call in, if necessary, the help of the secular arm; that is, to cause the civil authority to put them to death.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Also, false and slavish political theories end in brutalizing the State. For example, adopt the theory that offices and employments in it are to be given as rewards for services rendered to party, and they soon become the prey and spoil of faction, the booty of the victory of faction; -- and leprosy is in the flesh of the State. The body of the commonwealth becomes a mass of corruption, like a living carcass rotten with syphilis. All unsound theories in the end develop themselves in one foul and loathsome disease or other of the body politic. The State, like the man, must use constant effort to stay in the paths of virtue and manliness. The

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habit of electioneering and begging for office culminates in bribery with office, and corruption in office.

A chosen man has a visible trust from God, as plainly as if the commission were engrossed by the notary. A nation cannot renounce the executorship of the Divine decrees. As little can Masonry. It must labor to do its duty knowingly and wisely. We must remember that, in free States, as well as in despotisms, Injustice, the spouse of Oppression, is the fruitful parent of Deceit, Distrust, Hatred, Conspiracy, Treason, and Unfaithfulness. Even in assailing Tyranny we must have Truth and Reason as our chief weapons. We must march into that fight like the old Puritans, or into the battle with the abuses that spring up in free government, with the flaming sword in one hand, and the Oracles of God in the other.

The citizen who cannot accomplish well the smaller purposes of public life, cannot compass the larger. The vast power of endurance, forbearance, patience, and performance, of a free people, is acquired only by continual exercise of all the functions, like the healthful physical human vigor. If the individual citizens have it not, the State must equally be without it. It is of the essence of a free government, that the people should not only be concerned in making the laws, but also in their execution. No man ought to be more ready to obey and administer the law than he who has helped to make it. The business of government is carried on for the benefit of all, and every co-partner should give counsel and co-operation.

Remember also, as another shoal on which States are wrecked, that free States always tend toward the depositing of the citizens in strata, the creation of castes, the perpetuation of the jus divinum to office in families. The more democratic the State, the more sure this result. For, as free States advance in power, there is a strong tendency toward centralization, not from deliberate evil intention, but from the course of events and the indolence of human nature. The executive powers swell and enlarge to inordinate dimensions; and the Executive is always aggressive with respect to the nation. Offices of all kinds are multiplied to reward partisans; the brute force of the sewerage and lower strata of the mob obtains large representation, first in the lower offices, and at last in Senates; and Bureaucracy raises its bald head, bristling with pens, girded with spectacles, and bunched with ribbon. The art

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of Government becomes like a Craft, and its guilds tend to become exclusive, as those of the Middle Ages.

Political science may be much improved as a subject of speculation; but it should never be divorced from the actual national necessity. The science of governing men must always be practical, rather than philosophical. There is not the same amount of positive or universal truth here as in the abstract sciences; what is true in one country may be very false in another; what is untrue to-day may become true in another generation, and the truth of to-day be reversed by the judgment of to-morrow. To distinguish the casual from the enduring, to separate the unsuitable from the suitable, and to make progress even possible, are the proper ends of policy. But without actual knowledge and experience, and communion of labor, the dreams of the political doctors may be no better than those of the doctors of divinity. The reign of such a caste, with its mysteries, its myrmidons, and its corrupting influence, may be as fatal as that of the despots. Thirty tyrants are thirty times worse than one.

Moreover, there is a strong temptation for the governing people to become as much slothful and sluggards as the weakest of absolute kings. Only give them the power to get rid, when caprice prompts them, of the great and wise men, and elect the little, and as to all the rest they will relapse into indolence and indifference. The central power, creation of the people, organized and cunning if not enlightened, is the perpetual tribunal set up by them for the redress of wrong and the rule of justice. It soon supplies itself with all the requisite machinery, and is ready and apt for all kinds of interference. The people may be a child all its life. The central power may not be able to suggest the best scientific solution of a problem; but it has the easiest means of carrying an idea into effect. If the purpose to be attained is a large one, it requires a large comprehension; it is proper for the action of the central power. If it be a small one, it may be thwarted by disagreement. The central power must step in as an arbitrator and prevent this. The people may be too averse to change, too slothful in their own business, unjust to a minority or a majority. The central power must take the reins when the people drop them.

France became centralized in its government more by the apathy and ignorance of its people than by the tyranny of its kings. When the inmost parish-life is given up to the direct guardianship

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of the State, and the repair of the belfry of a country church requires a written order from the central power, a people is in its dotage. Men are thus nurtured in imbecility, from the dawn of social life. When the central government feeds part of the people it prepares all to be slaves. When it directs parish and county affairs, they are slaves already. The next step is to regulate labor and its wages.

Nevertheless, whatever follies the free people may commit, even to the putting of the powers of legislation in the hands of the little competent and less honest, despair not of the final result. The terrible teacher, EXPERIENCE, writing his lessons on hearts desolated with calamity and wrung by agony, will make them wiser in time. Pretence and grimace and sordid beggary for votes will some day cease to avail. Have FAITH, and struggle on, against all evil influences and discouragements! FAITH is the Saviour and Redeemer of nations. When Christianity had grown weak, profitless, and powerless, the Arab Restorer and Iconoclast came, like a cleansing hurricane. When the battle of Damascus was about to be fought, the Christian bishop, at the early dawn, in his robes, at the head of his clergy, with the Cross once so triumphant raised in the air, came down to the gates of the city, and laid open before the army the Testament of Christ. The Christian general, THOMAS, laid his hand on the book, and said, "Oh God! IF our faith be true, aid us, and deliver us not into the hands of its enemies!" But KHALED, "the Sword of God," who had marched from victory to victory, exclaimed to his wearied soldiers, "Let no man sleep! There will be rest enough in the bowers of Paradise; sweet will be the repose never more to be followed by labor." The faith of the Arab had become stronger than that of the Christian, and he conquered.

The Sword is also, in the Bible, an emblem of SPEECH, or of the utterance of thought. Thus, in that vision or apocalypse of the sublime exile of Patmos, a protest in the name of the ideal, overwhelming the real world, a tremendous satire uttered in the name of Religion and Liberty, and with its fiery reverberations smiting the throne of the Cæsars, a sharp two-edged sword comes out of the mouth of the Semblance of the Son of Man, encircled by the seven golden candlesticks, and holding in his right hand seven stars. "The Lord," says Isaiah, "hath made my mouth like a sharp sword." "I have slain them," says Hosea, "by the words

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of my mouth." "The word of God," says the writer of the apostolic letter to the Hebrews, "is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit." "The sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God," says Paul, writing to the Christians at Ephesus. "I will fight against them with the sword of my mouth," it is said in the Apocalypse, to the angel of the church at Pergamos.

*      *      *      *      *      *

The spoken discourse may roll on strongly as the great tidal wave; but, like the wave, it dies at last feebly on the sands. It is heard by few, remembered by still fewer, and fades away, like an echo in the mountains, leaving no token of power. It is nothing to the living and coming generations of men. It was the written human speech, that gave power and permanence to human thought. It is this that makes the whole human history but one individual life.

To write on the rock is to write on a solid parchment; but it requires a pilgrimage to see it. There is but one copy, and Time wears even that. To write on skins or papyrus was to give, as it were, but one tardy edition, and the rich only could procure it. The Chinese stereotyped not only the unchanging wisdom of old sages, but also the passing events. The process tended to suffocate thought, and to hinder progress; for there is continual wandering in the wisest minds, and Truth writes her last words, not on clean tablets, but on the scrawl that Error has made and often mended.

Printing made the movable letters prolific. Thenceforth the orator spoke almost visibly to listening nations; and the author wrote, like the Pope, his œcumenic decrees, urbi et orbi, and ordered them to be posted up in all the market-places; remaining, if he chose, impervious to human sight. The doom of tyrannies was thenceforth sealed. Satire and invective became potent as armies. The unseen hands of the Juniuses could launch the thunderbolts, and make the ministers tremble. One whisper from this giant fills the earth as easily as Demosthenes filled the Agora. It will soon be heard at the antipodes as easily as in the next street. It travels with the lightning under the oceans. It makes the mass one man, speaks to it in the same common language, and elicits a sure and single response. Speech passes into thought, and thence promptly into act. A nation becomes truly one, with one large heart and a single throbbing pulse. Men are invisibly present

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to each other, as if already spiritual beings; and the thinker who sits in an Alpine solitude, unknown to or forgotten by all the world, among the silent herds and hills, may flash his words to all the cities and over all the seas.

Select the thinkers to be Legislators; and avoid the gabblers. Wisdom is rarely loquacious. Weight and depth of thought are unfavorable to volubility. The shallow and superficial are generally voluble and often pass for eloquent. More words, less thought, -- is the general rule. The man who endeavors to say something worth remembering in every sentence, becomes fastidious, and condenses like Tacitus. The vulgar love a more diffuse stream. The ornamentation that does not cover strength is the gewgaws of babble.

Neither is dialectic subtlety valuable to public men. The Christian faith has it, had it formerly more than now; a subtlety that might have entangled Plato, and which has rivalled in a fruitless fashion the mystic lore of Jewish Rabbis and Indian Sages. It is not this which converts the heathen. It is a vain task to balance the great thoughts of the earth, like hollow straws, on the finger-tips of disputation. It is not this kind of warfare which makes the Cross triumphant in the hearts of the unbelievers; but the actual power that lives in the Faith.

So there is a political scholasticism that is merely useless. The dexterities of subtle logic rarely stir the hearts of the people, or convince them. The true apostle of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality makes it a matter of life and death. His combats are like those of Bossuet, -- combats to the death. The true apostolic fire is like the lightning: it flashes conviction into the soul. The true word is verily a two-edged sword. Matters of government and political science can be fairly dealt with only by sound reason, and the logic of common sense: not the common sense of the ignorant, but of the wise. The acutest thinkers rarely succeed in be-coming leaders of men. A watchword or a catchword is more potent with the people than logic, especially if this be the least metaphysical. When a political prophet arises, to stir the dreaming, stagnant nation, and hold back its feet from the irretrievable descent, to heave the land as with an earthquake, and shake the silly-shallow idols from their seats, his words will come straight from God's own mouth, and be thundered into the conscience. He will reason, teach, warn, and rule. The real "Sword of the Spirit"

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is keener than the brightest blade of Damascus. Such men rule a land, in the strength of justice, with wisdom and with power. Still, the men of dialectic subtlety often rule well, because in practice they forget their finely-spun theories, and use the trenchant logic of common sense. But when the great heart and large intellect are left to the rust in private life, and small attorneys, brawlers in politics, and those who in the cities would be only the clerks of notaries, or practitioners in the disreputable courts, are made national Legislators, the country is in her dotage, even if the beard has not yet grown upon her chin.

In a free country, human speech must needs be free; and the State must listen to the maunderings of folly, and the screechings of its geese, and the brayings of its asses, as well as to the golden oracles of its wise and great men. Even the despotic old kings allowed their wise fools to say what they liked. The true alchemist will extract the lessons of wisdom from the babblings of folly. He will hear what a man has to say on any given subject, even if the speaker end only in proving himself prince of fools. Even a fool will sometimes hit the mark. There is some truth in all men who are not compelled to suppress their souls and speak other men's thoughts. The finger even of the idiot may point to the great highway.

A people, as well as the sages, must learn to forget. If it neither learns the new nor forgets the old, it is fated, even if it has been royal for thirty generations. To unlearn is to learn; and also it is sometimes needful to learn again the forgotten. The antics of fools make the current follies more palpable, as fashions are shown to be absurd by caricatures, which so lead to their extirpation. The buffoon and the zany are useful in their places. The ingenious artificer and craftsman, like Solomon, searches the earth for his materials, and transforms the misshapen matter into glorious workmanship. The world is conquered by the head even more than by the hands. Nor will any assembly talk forever. After a time, when it has listened long enough, it quietly puts the silly, the shallow, and the superficial to one side, -- it thinks, and sets to work.

The human thought, especially in popular assemblies, runs in the most singularly crooked channels, harder to trace and follow than the blind currents of the ocean. No notion is so absurd that it may not find a place there. The master-workman must train

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these notions and vagaries with his two-handed hammer. They twist out of the way of the sword-thrusts; and are invulnerable all over, even in the heel, against logic. The martel or mace, the battle-axe, the great double-edged two-handed sword must deal with follies; the rapier is no better against them than a wand, unless it be the rapier of ridicule.

The SWORD is also the symbol of war and of the soldier. Wars, like thunder-storms, are often necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon, without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of fire. When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is the baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to chasten.

In the mutual appeal of nations to God, there is the acknowledgment of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of Duty, the stirring sense of Honor, the measureless solemn sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of Fraternity.

Two, or the Duad, is the symbol of Antagonism; of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness. It is Cain and Abel, Eve and Lilith, Jachin and Boaz, Ormuzd and Ahriman, Osiris and Typhon.

THREE, or the Triad, is most significantly expressed by the equilateral and the right-angled triangles. There are three principal colors or rays in the rainbow, which by intermixture make seven. The three are the blue, the yellow, and the red. The Trinity of the Deity, in one mode or other, has been an article in all creeds. He creates, preserves, and destroys. He is the generative power, the productive capacity, and the result. The immaterial man, according to the Kabalah, is composed of vitality, or life, the breath of life; of soul or mind, and spirit. Salt, sulphur, and mercury are the great symbols of the alchemists. To them man was body, soul, and spirit.

FOUR is expressed by the square, or four-sided right-angled

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figure. Out of the symbolic Garden of Eden flowed a river, dividing into four streams, -- PISON, which flows around the land of gold, or light; GIHON, which flows around the land of Ethiopia or Darkness; HIDDEKEL, running eastward to Assyria; and the EUPHRATES. Zechariah saw four chariots coming out from between two mountains of bronze, in the first of which were red horses; in the second, black; in the third, white; and in the fourth, grizzled: "and these were the four winds of the heavens, that go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth." Ezekiel saw the four living creatures, each with four faces and four wings, the faces of a man and a lion, an ox and an eagle; and the four wheels going upon their four sides; and Saint John beheld the four beasts, full of eyes before and behind, the LION, the young Ox, the MAN, and the flying EAGLE. Four was the signature of the Earth. Therefore, in the 148th Psalm, of those who must praise the Lord on the land, there are four times four, and four in particular of living creatures. Visible nature is described as the four quarters of the world, and the four corners of the earth. "There are four," says the old Jewish saying, "which take the first place in this world: man, among the creatures; the eagle among birds; the ox among cattle; and the lion among wild beasts." Daniel saw four great beasts come up from the sea.

FIVE is the Duad added to the Triad. It is expressed by the five-pointed or blazing star, the mysterious Pentalpha of Pythagoras. It is indissolubly connected with the number seven. Christ fed His disciples and the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, and of the fragments there remained twelve, that is, five and seven, baskets full. Again He fed them with seven loaves and a few little fishes, and there remained seven baskets full. The five apparently small planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, with the two greater ones, the Sun and Moon, constituted the seven celestial spheres.

SEVEN was the peculiarly sacred number. There were seven planets and spheres presided over by seven archangels. There were seven colors in the rainbow; and the Phœnician Deity was called the HEPTAKIS or God of seven rays; seven days of the week; and seven and five made the number of months, tribes, and apostles. Zechariah saw a golden candlestick, with seven lamps and seven pipes to the lamps, and an olive-tree on each side. Since

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he says, "the seven eyes of the Lord shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel." John, in the Apocalypse, writes seven epistles to the seven churches. In the seven epistles there are twelve promises. What is said of the churches in praise or blame, is completed in the number three. The refrain, "who has ears to hear," etc., has ten words, divided by three and seven, and the seven by three and four; and the seven epistles are also so divided. In the seals, trumpets, and vials, also, of this symbolic vision, the seven are divided by four and three. He who sends his message to Ephesus, "holds the seven stars in his right hand, and walks amid the seven golden lamps."

In six days, or periods, God created the Universe, and paused on the seventh day. Of clean beasts, Noah was directed to take by sevens into the ark; and of fowls by sevens; because in seven days the rain was to commence. On the seventeenth day of the month, the rain began; on the seventeenth day of the seventh month, the ark rested on Ararat. When the dove returned, Noah waited seven days before he sent her forth again; and again seven, after she returned with the olive-leaf. Enoch was the seventh patriarch, Adam included, and Lamech lived 777 years.

There were seven lamps in the great candlestick of the Tabernacle and Temple, representing the seven planets. Seven times Moses sprinkled the anointing oil upon the altar. The days of consecration of Aaron and his sons were seven in number. A woman was unclean seven days after child-birth; one infected with leprosy was shut up seven days; seven times the leper was sprinkled with the blood of a slain bird; and seven days afterwards he must remain abroad out of his tent. Seven times, in purifying the leper, the priest was to sprinkle the consecrated oil; and seven times to sprinkle with the blood of the sacrificed bird the house to be purified. Seven times the blood of the slain bullock was sprinkled on the mercy-seat; and seven times on the altar. The seventh year was a Sabbath of rest; and at the end of seven times seven years came the great year of jubilee. Seven days the people ate unleavened bread, in the month of Abib. Seven weeks were counted from the time of first putting the sickle to the wheat. The Feast of the Tabernacles lasted seven days.

Israel was in the hand of Midian seven years before Gideon delivered them. The bullock sacrificed by him was seven years old. Samson told Delilah to bind him with seven green withes; and

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she wove the seven locks of his head, and afterwards shaved them off. Balaam told Barak to build for him seven altars. Jacob served seven years for Leah and seven for Rachel. Job had seven sons and three daughters, making the perfect number ten. He had also seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels. His friends sat down with him seven days and seven nights. His friends were ordered to sacrifice seven bullocks and seven rams; and again, at the end, he had seven sons and three daughters, and twice seven thousand sheep, and lived an hundred and forty, or twice seven times ten years. Pharaoh saw in his dream seven fat and seven lean kine, seven good ears and seven blasted ears of wheat; and there were seven years of plenty, and seven of famine. Jericho fell, when seven priests, with seven trumpets, made the circuit of the city on seven successive days; once each day for six days, and seven times on the seventh. "The seven eyes of the Lord," says Zechariah, "run to and fro through the whole earth." Solomon was seven years in building the Temple. Seven angels, in the Apocalypse, pour out seven plagues, from seven vials of wrath. The scarlet-colored beast, on which the woman sits in the wilderness, has seven heads and ten horns. So also has the beast that rises up out of the sea. Seven thunders uttered their voices. Seven angels sounded seven trumpets. Seven lamps of fire, the seven spirits of God, burned before the throne; and the Lamb that was slain had seven horns and seven eyes.

 

EIGHT is the first cube, that of two. NINE is the square of three, and represented by the triple triangle.

TEN includes all the other numbers. It is especially seven and three; and is called the number of perfection. Pythagoras represented it by the TETRACTYS, which had many mystic meanings. This symbol is sometimes composed of dots or points, sometimes of commas or yo_ds, and in the Kabalah, of the letters of the name of Deity. It is thus arranged:

TETRACTYS

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The Patriarchs from Adam to Noah, inclusive, are ten in number, and the same number is that of the Commandments.

TWELVE is the number of the lines of equal length that form a cube. It is the number of the months, the tribes, and the apostles; of the oxen under the Brazen Sea, of the stones on the breast-plate of the high priest.

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III. MASTER

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III.

THE MASTER.

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To understand literally the symbols and allegories of Oriental books as to ante-historical matters, is willfully to close our eyes against the Light. To translate the symbols into the trivial and commonplace, is the blundering of mediocrity.

All religious expression is symbolism; since we can describe only what we see, and the true objects of religion are THE SEEN. The earliest instruments of education were symbols; and they and all other religious forms differed and still differ according to external circumstances and imagery, and according to differences of knowledge and mental cultivation. All language is symbolic, so far as it is applied to mental and spiritual phenomena and action. All words have, primarily, a material sense, however they may afterward get, for the ignorant, a spiritual non-sense. "To retract," for example, is to draw back, and when applied to a statement, is symbolic, as much so as a picture of an arm drawn back, to express the same thing, would be. The very word "spirit" means "breath," from the Latin verb spiro, breathe.

To present a visible symbol to the eye of another is not necessarily to inform him of the meaning which that symbol has to you. Hence the philosopher soon superadded to the symbols explanations addressed to the ear, susceptible of more precision, but less effective and impressive than the painted or sculptured forms which he endeavored to explain. Out of these explanations grew by degrees a variety of narrations, whose true object and meaning were gradually forgotten, or lost in contradictions and incongruities. And when these were abandoned, and Philosophy resorted to definitions and formulas, its language was but a more complicated symbolism, attempting in the dark to grapple with and picture ideas impossible to be expressed. For as with the visible symbol, so with the word: to utter it to you does not inform you of the exact meaning which it has to me; and thus religion and philosophy became to a great extent disputes as to the meaning

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of words. The most abstract expression for DEITY, which language can supply, is but a sign or symbol for an object beyond our comprehension, and not more truthful and adequate than the images of OSIRIS and VISHNU, or their names, except as being less sensuous and explicit. We avoid sensuousness only by resorting to simple negation. We come at last to define spirit by saying that it is not matter. Spirit is -- spirit.

A single example of the symbolism of words will indicate to you one branch of Masonic study. We find in the English Rite this phrase: "I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal;" and in the Catechism, these:

Q∴ "I hail."

A∴ "I conceal;"

and ignorance, misunderstanding the word "hail," has interpolated the phrase, "From whence do you hail!'"

But the word is really "hele," from the Anglo-Saxon verb helan elan, helan, to cover, hide, or conceal. And this word is rendered by the Latin verb tegere, to cover or roof over. "That ye fro me no thynge woll hele," says Gower. "They hele fro me no priuyte," says the Romaunt of the Rose. "To heal a house," is a common phrase in Sussex; and in the west of England, he that covers a house with slates is called a Healer. Wherefore, to "heal" means the same thing as to "tile," -- itself symbolic, as meaning, primarily, to cover a house with tiles, -- and means to cover, hide, or conceal. Thus language too is symbolism, and words are as much misunderstood and misused as more material symbols are.

Symbolism tended continually to become more complicated; and all the powers of Heaven were reproduced on earth, until a web of fiction and allegory was woven, partly by art and partly by the ignorance of error, which the wit of man, with his limited means of explanation, will never unravel. Even the Hebrew Theism became involved in symbolism and image-worship, borrowed probably from an older creed and remote regions of Asia, -- the worship of the Great Semitic Nature-God AL or ELS and its symbolical representations of JEHOVAH Himself were not even confined to poetical or illustrative language. The priests were monotheists: the people idolaters.

There are dangers inseparable from symbolism, which afford an impressive lesson in regard to the similar risks attendant on the use of language. The imagination, called in to assist the reason,

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usurps its place or leaves its ally helplessly entangled in its web. Names which stand for things are confounded with them; the means are mistaken for the end; the instrument of interpretation for the object; and thus symbols come to usurp an independent character as truths and persons. Though perhaps a necessary path, they were a dangerous one by which to approach the Deity; in which many, says PLUTARCH, "mistaking the sign for the thing signified, fell into a ridiculous superstition; while others, in avoiding one extreme, plunged into the no less hideous gulf of irreligion and impiety."

It is through the Mysteries, CICERO says, that we have learned the first principles of life; wherefore the term "initiation" is used with good reason; and they not only teach us to live more happily and agreeably, but they soften the pains of death by the hope of a better life hereafter.

The Mysteries were a Sacred Drama, exhibiting some legend significant of nature's changes, of the visible Universe in which the Divinity is revealed, and whose import was in many respects as open to the Pagan as to the Christian. Nature is the great Teacher of man; for it is the Revelation of God. It neither dogmatizes nor attempts to tyrannize by compelling to a particular creed or special interpretation. It presents its symbols to us, and adds nothing by way of explanation. It is the text without the commentary; and, as we well know, it is chiefly the commentary and gloss that lead to error and heresy and persecution. The earliest instructors of mankind not only adopted the lessons of Nature, but as far as possible adhered to her method of imparting them. In the Mysteries, beyond the current traditions or sacred and enigmatic recitals of the Temples, few explanations were given to the spectators, who were left, as in the school of nature, to make inferences for themselves. No other method could have suited every degree of cultivation and capacity. To employ nature's universal symbolism instead of the technicalities of language, rewards the humblest inquirer, and discloses its secrets to every one in proportion to his preparatory training and his power to comprehend them. If their philosophical meaning was above the comprehension of some, their moral and political meanings are within the reach of all.

These mystic shows and performances were not the reading of a lecture, but the opening of a problem. Requiring research, they were calculated to arouse the dormant intellect. They implied no

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hostility to Philosophy, because Philosophy is the great expounder of symbolism; although its ancient interpretations were often ill-founded and incorrect. The alteration from symbol to dogma is fatal to beauty of expression, and leads to intolerance and assumed infallibility.

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If, in teaching the great doctrine of the divine nature. of the Soul, and in striving to explain its longings after immortality, and in proving its superiority over the souls of the animals, which have no aspirations Heavenward, the ancients struggled in vain to express the nature of the soul, by comparing it to FIRE and LIGHT, it will be well for us to consider whether, with all our boasted knowledge, we have any better or clearer idea of its nature, and whether we have not despairingly taken refuge in having none at all. And if they erred as to its original place of abode, and understood literally the mode and path of its descent, these were but the accessories of the great Truth, and probably, to the Initiates, mere allegories, designed to make the idea more palpable and impressive to the mind.

They are at least no more fit to be smiled at by the self-conceit of a vain ignorance, the wealth of whose knowledge consists solely in words, than the bosom of Abraham, as a home for the spirits of the just dead; the gulf of actual fire, for the eternal torture of spirits; and the City of the New Jerusalem, with its walls of jasper and its edifices of pure gold like clear glass, its foundations of precious stones, and its gates each of a single pearl. "I knew a man," says PAUL, "caught up to the third Heaven; . . . . that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard ineffable words, which it is not possible for a man to utter." And nowhere is the antagonism and conflict between the spirit and body more frequently and forcibly insisted on than in the writings of this apostle, nowhere the Divine nature of the soul more strongly asserted. "With the mind," he says, "I serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. . . .As many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of GOD.... The earnest expectation of the created waits for the manifestation of the sons of God. . . . The created shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, of the flesh liable to decay, into the glorious liberty of the children of God."

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Two forms of government are favorable to the prevalence of

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falsehood and deceit. Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful through fear, like slaves dreading the lash. Under a Democracy they are so as a means of attaining popularity and office, and because of the greed for wealth. Experience will probably prove that these odious and detestable vices will grow most rankly and spread most rapidly in a Republic. When office and wealth become the gods of a people, and the most unworthy and unfit most aspire to the former, and fraud becomes the highway to the latter, the land will reek with falsehood and sweat lies and chicane. When the offices are open to all, merit and stern integrity and the dignity of unsullied honor will attain them only rarely and by accident. To be able to serve the country well, will cease to be a reason why the great and wise and learned should be selected to render service. Other qualifications, less honorable, will be more available. To adapt one's opinions to the popular humor; to defend, apologize for, and justify the popular follies; to advocate the expedient and the plausible; to caress, cajole, and flatter the elector; to beg like a spaniel for his vote, even if he be a negro three removes from barbarism; to profess friendship for a competitor and stab him by innuendo; to set on foot that which at third hand shall become a lie, being cousin-german to it when uttered, and yet capable of being explained away, -- who is there that has not seen these low arts and base appliances put into practice, and becoming general, until success cannot be surely had by any more honorable means? -- the result being a State ruled and ruined by ignorant and shallow mediocrity, pert self-conceit, the greenness of unripe intellect, vain of a school-boy's smattering of knowledge.

The faithless and the false in public and in political life, will be faithless and false in private. The jockey in politics, like the jockey on the race-course, is rotten from skin to core. Everywhere he will see first to his own interests, and whoso leans on him will be pierced with a broken reed. His ambition is ignoble, like himself; and therefore he will seek to attain office by ignoble means, as he will seek to attain any other coveted object, -- land, money, or reputation.

At length, office and honor are divorced. The place that the small and shallow, the knave or the trickster, is deemed competent and fit to fill, ceases to be worthy the ambition of the great and capable; or if not, these shrink from a contest, the weapons to be used wherein are unfit for a gentleman to handle. Then the habits

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of unprincipled advocates in law courts are naturalized in Senates, and pettifoggers wrangle there, when the fate of the nation and the lives of millions are at stake. States are even begotten by villainy and brought forth by fraud, and rascalities are justified by legislators claiming to be honorable. Then contested elections are decided by perjured votes or party considerations; and all the practices of the worst times of corruption are revived and exaggerated in Republics.

It is strange that reverence for truth, that manliness and genuine loyalty, and scorn of littleness and unfair advantage, and genuine faith and godliness and large-heartedness should diminish, among statesmen and people, as civilization advances, and freedom becomes more general, and universal suffrage implies universal worth and fitness! In the age of Elizabeth, without universal suffrage, or Societies for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, or popular lecturers, or Lycæa, the statesman, the merchant, the burgher, the sailor, were all alike heroic, fearing God only, and man not at all. Let but a hundred or two years elapse, and in a Monarchy or Republic of the same race, nothing is less heroic than the merchant, the shrewd speculator, the office-seeker, fearing man only, and God not at all. Reverence for greatness dies out, and is succeeded by base envy of greatness. Every man is in the way of many, either in the path to popularity or wealth. There is a general feeling of satisfaction when a great statesman is displaced, or a general, who has been for his brief hour the popular idol, is unfortunate and sinks from his high estate. It becomes a misfortune, if not a crime, to be above the popular level.

We should naturally suppose that a nation in distress would take counsel with the wisest of its sons. But, on the contrary, great men seem never so scarce as when they are most needed, and small men never so bold to insist on infesting place, as when mediocrity and incapable pretence and sophomoric greenness, and showy and sprightly incompetency are most dangerous. When France was in the extremity of revolutionary agony, she was governed by an assembly of provincial pettifoggers, and Robespierre, Marat, and Couthon ruled in the place of Mirabeau, Vergniaud, and Carnot. England was governed by the Rump Parliament, after she had beheaded her king. Cromwell extinguished one body, and Napoleon the other.

Fraud, falsehood, trickery, and deceit in national affairs are the

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signs of decadence in States and precede convulsions or paralysis. To bully the weak and crouch to the strong, is the policy of nations governed by small mediocrity. The tricks of the canvass for office are re-enacted in Senates. The Executive becomes the dispenser of patronage, chiefly to the most unworthy; and men are bribed with offices instead of money, to the greater ruin of the Commonwealth. The Divine in human nature disappears, and interest, greed, and selfishness takes it place. That is a sad and true allegory which represents the companions of Ulysses changed by the enchantments of Circe into swine.

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"Ye cannot," said the Great Teacher, "serve God and Mammon." When the thirst for wealth becomes general, it will be sought for as well dishonestly as honestly; by frauds and overreachings, by the knaveries of trade, the heartlessness of greedy speculation, by gambling in stocks and commodities that soon demoralizes a whole community. Men will speculate upon the needs of their neighbors and the distresses of their country. Bubbles that, bursting, impoverish multitudes, will be blown up by cunning knavery, with stupid credulity as its assistants and instrument. Huge bankruptcies, that startle a country like the earth-quakes, and are more fatal, fraudulent assignments, engulfment of the savings of the poor, expansions and collapses of the currency, the crash of banks, the depreciation of Government securities, prey on the savings of self-denial, and trouble with their depredations the first nourishment of infancy and the last sands of life, and fill with inmates the churchyards and lunatic asylums. But the sharper and speculator thrives and fattens. If his country is fighting by a levy en masse for her very existence, he aids her by depreciating her paper, so that he may accumulate fabulous amounts with little outlay. If his neighbor is distressed, he buys his property for a song. If he administers upon an estate, it turns out insolvent, and the orphans are paupers. If his bank explodes, he is found to have taken care of himself in time. Society worships its paper-and-credit kings, as the old Hindus and Egyptians worshipped their worthless idols, and often the most obsequiously when in actual solid wealth they are the veriest paupers. No wonder men think there ought to be another world, in which the injustices of this may be atoned for, when they see the friends of ruined families begging the wealthy sharpers to give alms to prevent

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the orphaned victims from starving, until they may find ways of supporting themselves.

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States are chiefly avaricious of commerce and of territory. The latter leads to the violation of treaties, encroachments upon feeble neighbors, and rapacity toward their wards whose lands are coveted. Republics are, in this, as rapacious and unprincipled as Despots, never learning from history that inordinate expansion by rapine and fraud has its inevitable consequences in dismemberment or subjugation. When a Republic begins to plunder its neighbors, the words of doom are already written on its walls. There is a judgment already pronounced of God upon whatever is unrighteous in the conduct of national affairs. When civil war tears the vitals of a Republic, let it look back and see if it has not been guilty of injustices; and if it has, let it humble itself in the dust!

When a nation becomes possessed with a spirit of commercial greed, beyond those just and fair limits set by a due regard to a moderate and reasonable degree of general and individual prosperity, it is a nation possessed by the devil of commercial avarice, a passion as ignoble and demoralizing as avarice in the individual; and as this sordid passion is baser and more unscrupulous than ambition, so it is more hateful, and at last makes the infected nation to be regarded as the enemy of the human race. To grasp at the lion's share of commerce, has always at last proven the ruin of States, because it invariably leads to injustices that make a State detestable; to a selfishness and crooked policy that forbid other nations to be the friends of a State that cares only for itself.

Commercial avarice in India was the parent of more atrocities and greater rapacity, and cost more human lives, than the nobler ambition for extended empire of Consular Rome. The nation that grasps at the commerce of the world cannot but become selfish, calculating, dead to the noblest impulses and sympathies which ought to actuate States. It will submit to insults that wound its honor, rather than endanger its commercial interests by war; while, to subserve those interests, it will wage unjust war, on false or frivolous pretexts, its free people cheerfully allying themselves with despots to crush a commercial rival that has dared to exile its kings and elect its own ruler.

Thus the cold calculations of a sordid self-interest, in nations

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commercially avaricious, always at last displace the sentiments and lofty impulses of Honor and Generosity by which they rose to greatness; which made Elizabeth and Cromwell alike the protectors of Protestants beyond the four seas of England, against crowned Tyranny and mitred Persecution; and, if they had lasted, would have forbidden alliances with Czars and Autocrats and Bourbons to re-enthrone the Tyrannies of Incapacity, and arm the Inquisition anew with its instruments of torture. The soul of the avaricious nation petrifies, like the soul of the individual who makes gold his god. The Despot will occasionally act upon noble and generous impulses, and help the weak against the strong, the right against the wrong. But commercial avarice is essentially egotistic, grasping, faithless, overreaching, crafty, cold, ungenerous, selfish, and calculating, controlled by considerations of self-interest alone. Heartless and merciless, it has no sentiments of pity, sympathy, or honor, to make it pause in its remorseless career; and it crushes down all that is of impediment in its way, as its keels of commerce crush under them the murmuring and unheeded waves.

A war for a great principle ennobles a nation. A war for commercial supremacy, upon some shallow pretext, is despicable, and more than aught else demonstrates to what immeasurable depths of baseness men and nations can descend. Commercial greed values the lives of men no more than it values the lives of ants. The slave-trade is as acceptable to a people enthralled by that greed, as the trade in ivory or spices, if the profits are as large. It will by-and-by endeavor to compound with God and quiet its own conscience, by compelling those to whom it sold the slaves it bought or stole, to set them free, and slaughtering them by hecatombs if they refuse to obey the edicts of its philanthropy.

Justice in no wise consists in meting out to another that exact measure of reward or punishment which we think and decree his merit, or what we call his crime, which is more often merely his error, deserves. The justice of the father is not incompatible with forgiveness by him of the errors and offences of his child. The Infinite Justice of God does not consist in meting out exact measures of punishment for human frailties and sins. We are too apt to erect our own little and narrow notions of what is right and just into the law of justice, and to insist that God shall adopt that as His law; to measure off something with our own little

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tape-line, and call it God's love of justice. Continually we seek to ennoble our own ignoble love of revenge and retaliation, by misnaming it justice.

Nor does justice consist in strictly governing our conduct toward other men by the rigid rules of legal right. If there were a community anywhere, in which all stood upon the strictness of this rule, there should be written over its gates, as a warning to the unfortunates desiring admission to that inhospitable realm, the words which DANTE says are written over the great gate of Hell: "LET THOSE WHO ENTER HERE LEAVE HOPE BEHIND!" It is not just to pay the laborer in field or factory or workshop his current wages and no more, the lowest market-value of his labor, for so long only as we need that labor and he is able to work; for when sickness or old age overtakes him, that is to leave him and his family to starve; and God will curse with calamity the people in which the children of the laborer out of work eat the boiled grass of the field, and mothers strangle their children, that they may buy food for themselves with the charitable pittance given for burial expenses. The rules of what is ordinarily termed "Justice," may be punctiliously observed among the fallen spirits that are the aristocracy of Hell.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Justice, divorced from sympathy, is selfish indifference, not in the least more laudable than misanthropic isolation. There is sympathy even among the hair-like oscillatorias, a tribe of simple plants, armies of which may be discovered, with the aid of the microscope, in the tiniest bit of scum from a stagnant pool. For these will place themselves, as if it were by agreement, in separate companies, on the side of a vessel containing them, and seem marching upward in rows; and when a swarm grows weary of its situation, and has a mind to change its quarters, each army holds on its way without confusion or intermixture, proceeding with great regularity and order, as if under the directions of wise leaders. The ants and bees give each other mutual assistance, beyond what is required by that which human creatures are apt to regard as the strict law of justice.

Surely we need but reflect a little, to be convinced that the individual man is but a fraction of the unit of society, and that he is indissolubly connected with the rest of his race. Not only the actions, but the will and thoughts of other men make or mar his

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fortunes, control his destinies, are unto him life or death, dishonor or honor. The epidemics, physical and moral, contagious and infectious, public opinion, popular delusions, enthusiasms, and the other great electric phenomena and currents, moral and intellectual, prove the universal sympathy. The vote of a single and obscure man, the utterance of self-will, ignorance, conceit, or spite, deciding an election and placing Folly or Incapacity or Baseness in a Senate, involves the country in war, sweeps away our fortunes, slaughters our sons, renders the labors of a life unavailing, and pushes on, helpless, with all our intellect to resist, into the grave.

These considerations ought to teach us that justice to others and to ourselves is the same; that we cannot define our duties by mathematical lines ruled by the square, but must fill with them the great circle traced by the compasses; that the circle of humanity is the limit, and we are but the point in its centre, the drops in the great Atlantic, the atom or particle, bound by a mysterious law of attraction which we term sympathy to every other atom in the mass; that the physical and moral welfare of others cannot be indifferent to us; that we have a direct and immediate interest in the public morality and popular intelligence, in the well-being and physical comfort of the people at large. The ignorance of the people, their pauperism and destitution, and consequent degradation, their brutalization and demoralization, are all diseases; and we cannot rise high enough above the people, nor shut ourselves up from them enough, to escape the miasmatic contagion and the great magnetic currents.

Justice is peculiarly indispensable to nations. The unjust State is doomed of God to calamity and ruin. This is the teaching of the Eternal Wisdom and of history. "Righteousness exalteth a nation; but wrong is a reproach to nations." "The Throne is established by Righteousness. Let the lips of the Ruler pronounce the sentence that is Divine; and his mouth do no wrong in judgment!" The nation that adds province to province by fraud and violence, that encroaches on the weak and plunders its wards, and violates its treaties and the obligation of its contracts, and for the law of honor and fair-dealing substitutes the exigencies of greed and the base precepts of policy and craft and the ignoble tenets of expediency, is predestined to destruction; for here, as with the individual, the consequences of wrong are inevitable and eternal.

A sentence is written against all that is unjust, written by God

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in the nature of man and in the nature of the Universe, because it is in the nature of the Infinite God. No wrong is really successful. The gain of injustice is a loss; its pleasure, suffering. Iniquity often seems to prosper, but its success is its defeat and shame. If its consequences pass by the doer, they fall upon and crush his children. It is a philosophical, physical, and moral truth, in the form of a threat, that God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation of those who violate His laws. After a long while, the day of reckoning always comes, to nation as to individual; and always the knave deceives himself, and proves a failure.

Hypocrisy is the homage that vice and wrong pay to virtue and justice. It is .Satan attempting to clothe himself in the angelic vesture of light. It is equally detestable in morals, politics, and religion; in the man and in the nation. To do injustice under the pretence of equity and fairness; to reprove vice in public and commit it in private; to pretend to charitable opinion and censoriously condemn; to profess the principles of Masonic beneficence, and close the ear to the wail of distress and the cry of suffering; to eulogize the intelligence of the people, and plot to deceive and be-tray them by means of their ignorance and simplicity; to prate of purity, and peculate; of honor, and basely abandon a sinking cause; of disinterestedness, and sell one's vote for place and power, are hypocrisies as common as they are infamous and disgraceful. To steal the livery of the Court of God to serve the Devil withal; to pretend to believe in a God of mercy and a Redeemer of love, and persecute those of a different faith; to devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers; to preach continence, and wallow in lust; to inculcate humility, and in pride surpass Lucifer; to pay tithe, and omit the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith; to strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel; to make clean the outside of the cup and platter, keeping them full within of extortion and excess; to appear outwardly righteous unto men, but within be full of hypocrisy and iniquity, is indeed to be like unto whited sepulchres, which appear beautiful outward, but are within full of bones of the dead and of all uncleanness.

The Republic cloaks its ambition with the pretence of a desire and duty to "extend the area of freedom," and claims it as its "manifest destiny" to annex other Republics or the States or Provinces of others to itself, by open violence, or under obsolete,

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empty, and fraudulent titles. The Empire founded by a successful soldier, claims its ancient or natural boundaries, and makes necessity and its safety the plea for open robbery. The great Merchant Nation, gaining foothold in the Orient, finds a continual necessity for extending its dominion by arms, and subjugates India. The great Royalties and Despotisms, without a plea, partition among themselves a Kingdom, dismember Poland, and prepare to wrangle over the dominions of the Crescent. To maintain the balance of power is a plea for the obliteration of States. Carthage, Genoa, and Venice, commercial Cities only, must acquire territory by force or fraud, and become States. Alexander marches to the Indus; Tamerlane seeks universal empire; the Saracens conquer Spain and threaten Vienna.

The thirst for power is never satisfied. It is insatiable. Neither men nor nations ever have power enough. When Rome was the mistress of the world, the Emperors caused themselves to be worshipped as gods. The Church of Rome claimed despotism over the soul, and over the whole life from the cradle to the grave. It gave and sold absolutions for past and future sins. It claimed to be infallible in matters of faith. It decimated Europe to purge it of heretics. It decimated America to convert the Mexicans and Peruvians. It gave and took away thrones; and by excommunication and interdict closed the gates of Paradise against Nations, Spain, haughty with its dominion over the Indies, endeavored to crush out Protestantism in the Netherlands, while Philip the Second married the Queen of England, and the pair sought to win that kingdom back to its allegiance to the Papal throne. After-ward Spain attempted to conquer it with her "invincible" Armada. Napoleon set his relatives and captains on thrones, and parcelled among them half of Europe. The Czar rules over an empire more gigantic than Rome. The history of all is or will be the same, -- acquisition, dismemberment, ruin. There is a judgment of God against all that is unjust.

To seek to subjugate the will of others and take the soul captive, because it is the exercise of the highest power, seems to be the highest object of human ambition. It is at the bottom of all proselyting and propagandism, from that of Mesmer to that of the Church of Rome and the French Republic. That was the apostolate alike of Joshua and of Mahomet. Masonry alone preaches Toleration, the right of man to abide by his own faith, the right

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of all States to govern themselves. It rebukes alike the monarch who seeks to extend his dominions by conquest, the Church that claims the right to repress heresy by fire and steel, and the confederation of States that insist on maintaining a union by force and restoring brotherhood by slaughter and subjugation.

It is natural, when we are wronged, to desire revenge; and to persuade ourselves that we desire it less for our own satisfaction than to prevent a repetition of the wrong, to which the doer would be encouraged by immunity coupled with the profit of the wrong. To submit to be cheated is to encourage the cheater to continue; and we are quite apt to regard ourselves as God's chosen instruments to inflict His vengeance, and for Him and in His stead to discourage wrong by making it fruitless and its punishment sure. Revenge has been said to be "a kind of wild justice;" but it is always taken in anger, and therefore is unworthy of a great soul, which ought not to suffer its equanimity to be disturbed by ingratitude or villainy. The injuries done us by the base are as much unworthy of our angry notice as those done us by the insects and the beasts; and when we crush the adder, or slay the wolf or hyena, we should do it without being moved to anger, and with no more feeling of revenge than we have in rooting up a noxious weed.

And if it be not in human nature not to take revenge by way of punishment, let the Mason truly consider that in doing so he is God's agent, and so let his revenge be measured by justice and tempered by mercy. The law of God is, that the consequences of wrong and cruelty and crime shall be their punishment; and the injured and the wronged and the indignant are as much His instruments to enforce that law, as the diseases and public detestation, and the verdict of history and the execration of posterity are. No one will say that the Inquisitor who has racked and burned the innocent; the Spaniard who hewed Indian infants, living, into pieces with his sword, and fed the mangled limbs to his blood-hounds; the military tyrant who has shot men without trial, the knave who has robbed or betrayed his State, the fraudulent banker or bankrupt who has beggared orphans, the public officer who has violated his oath, the judge who has sold injustice, the legislator who has enabled Incapacity to work the ruin of the State, ought not to be punished. Let them be so; and let the injured or the sympathizing be the instruments of God's just vengeance; but always out of a higher feeling than mere personal revenge.

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Remember that every moral characteristic of man finds its prototype among creatures of lower intelligence; that the cruel foulness of the hyena, the savage rapacity of the wolf, the merciless rage of the tiger, the crafty treachery of the panther, are found among mankind, and ought to excite no other emotion, when found in the man, than when found in the beast. Why should the true man be angry with the geese that hiss, the peacocks that strut, the asses that bray, and the apes that imitate and chatter, although they wear the human form? Always, also, it remains true, that it is more noble to forgive than to take revenge; and that, in general, we ought too much to despise those who wrong us, to feel the emotion of anger, or to desire revenge.

At the sphere of the Sun, you are in the region of LIGHT. *    *    *    * The Hebrew word for gold, ZAHAB, also means Light, of which the Sun is to the Earth the great source. So, in the great Oriental allegory of the Hebrews, the River PISON compasses the land of Gold or Light; and the River GIHON the land of Ethiopia or Darkness.

What light is, we no more know than the ancients did. According to the modern hypothesis, it is not composed of luminous particles shot out from the sun with immense velocity; but that body only impresses, on the ether which fills all space, a powerful vibratory movement that extends, in the form of luminous waves, beyond the most distant planets, supplying them with light and heat. To the ancients, it was an outflowing from the Deity. To us, as to them, it is the apt symbol of truth and knowledge. To us, also, the upward journey of the soul through the Spheres is symbolical; but we are as little informed as they whence the soul comes, where it has its origin, and whither it goes after death. They endeavored to have some belief and faith, some creed, upon those points. At the present day, men are satisfied to think nothing in regard to all that, and only to believe that the soul is a something separate from the body and out-living it, but whether existing before it, neither to inquire nor care. No one asks whether it emanates from the Deity, or is created out of nothing, or is generated like the body, and the issue of the souls of the father and the mother. Let us not smile, therefore, at the ideas of the ancients, until we have a better belief; but accept their symbols as meaning that the soul is of a Divine nature, originating in a sphere nearer the Deity, and returning to that when freed from the enthrallment

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of the body; and that it can only return there when purified of all the sordidness and sin which have, as it were, become part of its substance, by its connection with the body.

It is not strange that, thousands of years ago, men worshipped the Sun, and that to-day that worship continues among the Parsees. Originally they looked beyond the orb to the invisible God, of whom the Sun's light, seemingly identical with generation and life, was the manifestation and outflowing. Long before the Chaldæan shepherds watched it on their plains, it came up regularly, as it now does, in the morning, like a god, and again sank, like a king retiring, in the west, to return again in due time in the same array of majesty. We worship Immutability. It was that steadfast, immutable character of the Sun that the men of Baalbec worshipped. His light-giving and life-giving powers were secondary attributes. The one grand idea that compelled worship was the characteristic of God which they saw reflected in his light, and fancied they saw in its originality the changelessness of Deity. He had seen thrones crumble, earthquakes shake the world and hurl down mountains. Beyond Olympus, beyond the Pillars of Hercules, he had gone daily to his abode, and had come daily again in the morning to behold the temples they built to his worship. They personified him as BRAHMA, AMUN, OSIRIS, BEL, ADONIS, MALKARTH, MITHRAS, and APOLLO; and the nations that did so grew old and died. Moss grew on the capitals of the great columns of his temples, and he shone on the moss. Grain by grain the dust of his temples crumbled and fell, and was borne off on. the wind, and still he shone on crumbling column and architrave. The roof fell crashing on the pavement, and he shone in on the Holy of Holies with unchanging rays. It was not strange that men worshipped the Sun.

There is a water-plant, on whose broad leaves the drops of water roll about without uniting, like drops of mercury. So arguments on points of faith, in politics or religion, roll over the surface of the mind. An argument that convinces one mind has no effect on another. Few intellects, or souls that are the negations of intellect, have any logical power or capacity. There is a singular obliquity in the human mind that makes the false logic more effective than the true with nine-tenths of those who are regarded as men of intellect. Even among the judges, not one in ten can argue logically. Each mind sees the truth, distorted through its own

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medium. Truth, to most men, is like matter in the spheroidal state. Like a drop of cold water on the surface of a red-hot metal plate, it dances, trembles, and spins, and never comes into contact with it; and the mind may be plunged into truth, as the hand moistened with sulphurous acid may into melted metal, and be not even warmed by the immersion.

*      *      *      *      *      *

The word Khairu_m or Khu_ru_m is a compound one. Gesenius renders Khu_ru_m by the word noble or free-born: Khu_r meaning white, noble. It also means the opening of a window, the socket of the eye. Khri also means white, or an opening; and Khris, the orb of the Sun, in Job viii. 13 and x. 7. Krishna is the Hindu Sun-God. Khur, the Parsi word, is the literal name of the Sun.

From Kur or Khur, the Sun, comes Khora, a name of Lower Egypt. The Sun, Bryant says in his Mythology, was called Kur; and Plutarch says that the Persians called the Sun Ku_ros. Kurios, Lord, in Greek, like Adonaï, Lord, in Phœnician and Hebrew, was applied to the Sun. Many places were sacred to the Sun, and called Kura, Kuria, Kuropolis, Kurene, Kureschata, Kuresta, and Corusia in Scythia.

The Egyptian Deity called by the Greeks "Horus," was Her-Ra, or Har-oeris, Hor or Har, the Sun. Hari is a Hindu name of the Sun. Ari-al, Ar-es, Ar, Aryaman, Areimonios, the AR meaning Fire or Flame, are of the same kindred. Hermes or Har-mes, (Aram, Remus, Haram, Harameias), was Kadmos, the Divine Light or Wisdom. Mar-kuri, says Movers, is Mar, the Sun.

In the Hebrew, AOOR, is Light, Fire, or the Sun. Cyrus, said Ctesias, was so named from Kuros, the Sun. Kuris, Hesychius says, was Adonis. Apollo, the Sun-god, was called Kurraios, from Kurra, a city in Phocis. The people of Kurene, originally Ethiopians or Cuthites, worshipped the Sun under the title of Achoor and Acho_r.

We know, through a precise testimony in the ancient annals of Tsu_r, that the principal festivity of Mal-karth, the incarnation of the Sun at the Winter Solstice, held at Tsu_r, was called his rebirth or his awakening, and that it was celebrated by means of a pyre, on which the god was supposed to regain, through the aid of fire, a new life. This festival was celebrated in the month Peritius (Barith), the second day of which corresponded to the 25th of December. KHUR-UM, King of Tyre, Movers says, first performed

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this ceremony. These facts we learn from Josephus, Servius on the Æneid, and the Dionysiacs of Nonnus; and through a coincidence that cannot be fortuitous, the same day was at Rome the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the festal day of the invincible Sun. Under this title, HERCULES, HAR-acles, was worshipped at Tsu_r. Thus, while the temple was being erected, the death and resurrection of a Sun-God was annually represented at Tsu_r, by Solomon's ally, at the winter solstice, by the pyre of MAL-KARTH, the Tsu_rian Haracles.

AROERIS or HAR-oeris, the elder HORUS, is from the same old root that in the Hebrew has the form Au_r, or, with the definite article prefixed, Hau_r, Light, or the Light, splendor, flame, the Sun and. his rays. The hieroglyphic of the younger HORUS was the point in a circle; of the Elder, a pair of eyes; and the festival of the thirtieth day of the month Epiphi, when the sun and moon were supposed to be in the same right line with the earth, was called "The birth-day of the eyes of Horus."

In a papyrus published by Champollion, this god is styled "Haroeri, Lord of the Solar Spirits, the beneficent eye of the Sun." Plutarch calls him "Har-pocrates;" but there is no trace of the latter part of the name in the hieroglyphic legends. He is the son of OSIRIS and Isis; and is represented sitting on a throne supported by lions; the same word, in Egyptian, meaning Lion and Sun. So Solomon made a great throne of ivory, plated with gold, with six steps, at each arm of which was a lion, and one on each side to each step, making seven on each side.

Again, the Hebrew word ‏ו ?X?Y‎, Khi, means "living;" and ‏ו ?R?Aמ‎, râm "was, or shall be, raised or lifted up." The latter is the same as ‏ו ?R?Wמ‎, ‏ו ?A?R?Wמ‎, ‏ו ?X?Rמ‎ ro_o_m, aro_o_m, haru_m, whence Aram, for Syria, or Aramæa, High-land. Khairu_m, therefore, would mean "was raised up to life, or living."

So, in Arabic, hrm, an unused root, meant, "was high," "made great," "exalted;" and Hîrm means an ox, the symbol of the Sun in Taurus, at the Vernal Equinox.

KHURUM, therefore, improperly called Hiram, is KHUR-OM, the same as Her-ra, Her-mes, and Her-acles, the "Heracles Tyrius Invictus," the personification of Light and the Son, the Mediator, Redeemer, and Saviour. From the Egyptian word Ra came the Coptic Ou_ro, and the Hebrew Au_r, Light. Har-oeri, is Hor or Har, the chief or master. Hor is also heat; and hora, season or

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hour; and hence in several African dialects, as names of the Sun, Airo, Ayero, eer, uiro, ghurrah, and the like. The royal name rendered Pharaoh, was PHRA, that is, Pai-ra, the Sun.

The legend of the contest between Hor-ra and Set, or Set-nu-bi, the same as Bar or Bal, is older than that of the strife between Osiris and Typhon; as old, at least, as the nineteenth dynasty. It is called in the Book of the Dead, "The day of the battle between Horus and Set." The later myth connects itself with Phœnicia and Syria. The body of OSIRIS went ashore at Gebal or Byblos, sixty miles above Tsu_r. You will not fail to notice that in the name of each murderer of Khu_ru_m, that of the Evil God Bal is found.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Har-oeri was the god of TIME, as well as of Life. The Egyptian legend was that the King of Byblos cut down the tamarisk-tree containing the body of OSIRIS, and made of it a column for his palace. Isis, employed in the palace, obtained possession of the column, took the body out of it, and carried it away. Apuleius describes her as "a beautiful female, over whose divine neck her long thick hair hung in graceful ringlets;" and in the procession female attendants, with ivory combs, seemed to dress and ornament the royal hair of the goddess. The palm-tree, and the lamp in the shape of a boat, appeared in the procession. If the symbol we are speaking of is not a mere modern invention, it is to these things it alludes.

Har-oeri was the god of TIME

The identity of the legends is also confirmed by this hieroglyphic picture, copied from an ancient Egyptian monument, which may also enlighten you as to the Lion's grip and the Master's gavel.

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‏ו ?A?B‎, in the ancient Phœnician character, ?A?B, and in the Samaritan, A B, (the two letters representing the numbers 1, 2, or Unity and Duality, means Father, A B, (the two letters representing the numbers 1, 2, or Unity and Duality, means Father, and is a primitive noun, common to all the Semitic languages.

It also means an Ancestor, Originator, Inventor, Head, Chief or Ruler, Manager, Overseer, Master, Priest, Prophet.

‏ו ?A?B?Y‎ is simply Father, when it is in construction, that is, when it precedes another word, and in English the preposition "of" is interposed, as ‏ו ?A?B?Y‎-‏ו ?A?L‎, Abi-Al, the Father of Al.

Also, the final Yo_d means "my"; so that ‏ו ?A?B?Y‎ by itself means "My father." ‏ו ?D?W?Y?D ?A?B?Y‎, David my father, 2 Chron. ii. 3.

‏ו ?W‎ (Vav) final is the possessive pronoun "his"; and ‏ו ?A?B?Y?W‎, Abiu (which we read "Abif") means "of my father's." Its full meaning, as connected with the name of Khu_ru_m, no doubt is, "formerly one of my father's servants," or "slaves."

The name of the Phœnician artificer is, in Samuel and Kings, ‏ו ?X?Y?Rמ‎ and ‏ו ?X?Y?R?Wמ‎ -- [2 Sam. v. 11; 1 Kings v. 15; 1 Kings vii. 40]. In Chronicles it is ‏ו ?H?W?Rמ‎, with the addition of ‏ו ?A?B?Y‎. [2 Chron. ii. 12]; and of ‏ו ?A?B?Y?W‎ [2 Chron. iv. 16].

It is merely absurd 'to add the word "Abif," or "Abiff," as part of the name of the artificer. And it is almost as absurd to add the word "Abi," which was a title and not part of the name. Joseph says [Gen. xlv. 8], "God has constituted me ’Ab l’Paraah, as Father to Paraah, i.e., Vizier or Prime Minister." So Haman was called the Second Father of Artaxerxes; and when King Khu_ru_m used the phrase "Khu_ru_m Abi," he meant that the artificer he sent Schlomoh was the principal or chief workman in his line at Tsu_r.

A medal copied by Montfaucon exhibits a female nursing a child, with ears of wheat in her hand, and the legend (Iao). She is seated on clouds, a star at her head, and three ears of wheat rising from an altar before her.

HORUS was the mediator, who was buried three days, was regenerated, and triumphed over the evil principle.

The word HERI, in Sanscrit, means Shepherd, as well as Saviour. CRISHNA is called Heri, as JESUS called Himself the Good Shepherd.

‏ו ?X?W?R‎, Khu_r, means an aperture of a window, a cave, or the eye. Also it means white. In Syriac, Khu_r, means an aperture of a window, a cave, or the eye.

‏ו ?X?R‎ also means an opening, and noble, free-born, high-born.

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‏ו ?X?Rמ‎, KHURM means consecrated, devoted; in Æthiopic, KHURM means consecrated, devoted. It is the name of a city, [Josh. xix. 38]; and of a man, [Ezr. ii. 32, x. 31; Neh. iii. 11].

‏ו ?X?Y?R?H‎, Khirah, means nobility, a noble race.

Buddha is declared to comprehend in his own person the essence of the Hindu Trimurti; and hence the tri-literal mono-syllable Om or Aum is applied to him as being essentially the same as Brahma-Vishnu-Siva. He is the same as Hermes, Thoth, Taut, and Teutates. One of his names is Heri-maya or Hermaya, which are evidently the same name as Hermes and Khirm or Khu_rm. Heri, in Sanscrit, means Lord.

A learned Brother places over the two symbolic pillars, from right to left, the two words Yahweh symbol and Baal symbol ‏ו ?Y?H?W‎ and BAL: followed by the hieroglyphic equivalent, Sun-God, Amun-ra symbol of the Sun-God, Amun-ra. Is it an accidental coincidence, that in the name of each murderer are the two names of the Good and Evil Deities of the Hebrews; for Yu-bel is but Yehu-Bal or Yeho-Bal? and that the three final syllables of the names, a, o, um, make A∴U∴M∴ the sacred word of the Hindoos, meaning the Triune-God, Life-giving, Life-preserving, Life-destroying: represented by the mystic character AUM. the sacred word of the Hindoos, meaning the Triune-God, Life-giving, Life-preserving, Life-destroying?

The genuine Acacia, also, is the thorny tamarisk, the same tree which grew up around the body of Osiris. It was a sacred tree among the Arabs, who made of it the idol Al-Uzza, which Mohammed destroyed. It is abundant as a bush in the Desert of Thur: and of it the "crown of thorns" was composed, which was set on the forehead of Jesus of Nazareth. It is a fit type of immortality on account of its tenacity of life; for it has been known, when planted as a door-post, to take root again and shoot out budding boughs over the threshold.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Every commonwealth must have its periods of trial and transition, especially if it engages in war. It is certain at some time to be wholly governed by agitators appealing to all the baser elements of the popular nature; by moneyed corporations; by those enriched by the depreciation of government securities or paper; by small attorneys, schemers, money-jobbers, speculators and adventurers -- an ignoble oligarchy, enriched by the distresses of the State, and fattened on the miseries of the people. Then all the deceitful visions of equality and the rights of man end; and the

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wronged and plundered State can regain a real liberty only by passing through "great varieties of untried being," purified in its transmigration by fire and blood.

In a Republic, it soon comes to pass that parties gather round the negative and positive poles of some opinion or notion, and that the intolerant spirit of a triumphant majority will allow no deviation from the standard of orthodoxy which it has set up for itself. Freedom of opinion will be professed and pretended to, but every one will exercise it at the peril of being banished fro n political communion with those who hold the reins and prescribe the policy to be pursued. Slavishness to party and obsequiousness to the popular whims go hand in hand. Political independence only occurs in a fossil state; and men's opinions grow out of the acts they have been constrained to do or sanction. Flattery, either of individual or people, corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings. A Cæsar, securely seated in power, cares less for it than a free democracy; nor will his appetite for it grow to exorbitance, as that of a people will, until it becomes insatiate. The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; to a people, it is to a great extent the same. If accessible to flattery, as this is always interested, and resorted to on low and base motives, and for evil purposes, either individual or people is sure, in doing what it pleases, to do what in honor and conscience should have been left undone. One ought not even to risk congratulations, which may soon be turned into complaints; and as both individuals and peoples are prone to make a bad use of power, to flatter them, which is a sure way to mislead them, well deserves to be called a crime.

The first principle in a Republic ought to be, "that no man or set of men is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of public services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistrate, legislature, nor judge, to be hereditary." It is a volume of Truth and Wisdom, a lesson for the study of nations, embodied in a single sentence, and expressed in language which every man can understand. If a deluge of despotism were to overthrow the world, and destroy all institutions under which freedom is protected, so that they should no longer be remembered among men, this sentence, preserved, would be sufficient

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to rekindle the fires of liberty and revive the race of free men.

But, to preserve liberty, another must be added: "that a free State does not confer office as a reward, especially for questionable services, unless she seeks her own ruin; but all officers are employed by her, in consideration solely of their will and ability to render service in the future; and therefore that the best and most competent are always to be preferred."

For, if there is to be any other rule, that of hereditary succession is perhaps as good as any. By no other rule is it possible to preserve the liberties of the State. By no other to intrust the power of making the laws to those only who have that keen instinctive sense of injustice and wrong which enables them to detect baseness and corruption in their most secret hiding-places, and that moral courage and generous manliness and gallant independence that make them fearless in dragging out the perpetrators to the light of day, and calling down upon them the scorn and indignation of the world. The flatterers of the people are never such men. On the contrary, a time always comes to a Republic, when it is not content, like Tiberius, with a single Sejanus, but must have a host; and when those most prominent in the lead of affairs are men without reputation, statesmanship, ability, or information, the mere hacks of party, owing their places to trickery and want of qualification, with none of the qualities of head or heart that make great and wise men, and, at the same time, filled with all the narrow conceptions and bitter intolerance of political bigotry. These die; and the world is none the wiser for what they have said and done. Their names sink in the bottomless pit of oblivion; but their acts of folly or knavery curse the body politic and at last prove its ruin.

Politicians, in a free State, are generally hollow, heartless, and selfish. Their own aggrandisement is the end of their patriotism; and they always look with secret satisfaction on the disappointment or fall of one whose loftier genius and superior talents over-shadow their own self-importance, or whose integrity and incorruptible honor are in the way of their selfish ends. The influence of the small aspirants is always against the great man. His accession to power may be almost for a lifetime. One of themselves will be more easily displaced, and each hopes to succeed him; and so it at length comes to pass that men impudently

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aspire to and actually win the highest stations, who are unfit for the lowest clerkships; and incapacity and mediocrity become the surest passports to office.

The consequence is, that those who feel themselves competent and qualified to serve the people, refuse with disgust to enter into the struggle for office, where the wicked and jesuitical doctrine that all is fair in politics is an excuse for every species of low villainy; and those who seek even the highest places of the State do not rely upon the power of a magnanimous spirit, on the sympathizing impulses of a great soul, to stir and move the people to generous, noble, and heroic resolves, and to wise and manly action; but, like spaniels erect on their hind legs, with fore-paws obsequiously suppliant, fawn, flatter, and actually beg for votes. Rather than descend to this, they stand contemptuously aloof, disdainfully refusing to court the people, and acting on the maxim, that "mankind has no title to demand that we shall serve them in spite of themselves."

*      *      *      *      *      *

It is lamentable to see a country split into factions, each following this or that great or brazen-fronted leader with a blind, unreasoning, unquestioning hero-worship; it is contemptible to see it divided into parties, whose sole end is the spoils of victory, and their chiefs the low, the base, the venal and the small. Such a country is in the last stages of decay, and near its end, no matter how prosperous it may seem to be. It wrangles over the volcano and the earthquake. But it is certain that no government can be conducted by the men of the people, and for the people, without a rigid adherence to those principles which our reason commends as fixed and sound. These must be the tests of parties, men, and measures. Once determined, they must be inexorable in their application, and all must either come up to the standard or declare against it. Men may betray: principles never can. Oppression is one invariable consequence of misplaced confidence in treacherous man, it is never the result of the working or application of a sound, just, well-tried principle. Compromises which bring fundamental principles into doubt, in order to unite in one party men of antagonistic creeds, are frauds, and end in ruin, the just and natural consequence of fraud. Whenever you have settled upon your theory and creed, sanction no departure from it in practice, on any ground of expediency. It is the Master's word.

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Yield it up neither to flattery nor force! Let no defeat or persecution rob you of it! Believe that he who once blundered in statesmanship will blunder again; that such blunders are as fatal as crimes; and that political near-sightedness does not improve by age. There are always more impostors than seers among public men, more false prophets than true ones, more prophets of Baal than of Jehovah; and Jerusalem is always in danger from the Assyrians.

Sallust said that after a State has been corrupted by luxury and idleness, it may by its mere greatness bear up under the burden of its vices. But even while he wrote, Rome, of which he spoke, had played out her masquerade of freedom. Other causes than luxury and sloth destroy Republics. If small, their larger neighbors extinguish them by absorption. If of great extent, the cohesive force is too feeble to hold them together, and they fall to pieces by their own weight. The paltry ambition of small men disintegrates them. The want of wisdom in their councils creates exasperating issues. Usurpation of power plays its part, incapacity seconds corruption, the storm rises, and the fragments of the incoherent raft strew the sandy shores, reading to mankind another lesson for it to disregard.

The Forty-seventh Proposition: In every right-angled triangle, the sum of the squares of the base and perpendicular is equal to the square of the hypothenuse

*      *      *      *      *      *

The Forty-seventh Proposition is older than Pythagoras. It is this: "In every right-angled triangle, the sum of the squares of the base and perpendicular is equal to the square of the hypothenuse."

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The square of a number is the product of that number, multi-plied by itself. Thus, 4 is the square of 2, and 9 of 3.

The first ten numbers are:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10;

their squares are

1, 4, 9, 16, 25, 36, 49, 64, 81, 100;

and

3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19

are the differences between each square and that which precedes it; giving us the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 9.

Of these numbers, the square of 3 and 4, added together, gives the square of 5; and those of 6 and 8, the square of 10; and if a right-angled triangle be formed, the base measuring 3 or 6 parts, and the perpendicular 4 or 8 parts, the hypothenuse will be 5 or 10 parts; and if a square is erected on each side, these squares being subdivided into squares each side of which is one part in length, there will be as many of these in the square erected on the hypothenuse as in the other two squares together.

Now the Egyptians arranged their deities in Triads -- the FATHER or the Spirit or Active Principle or Generative Power; the MOTHER, or Matter, or the Passive Principle, or the Conceptive Power; and the SON, Issue or Product, the Universe, proceeding from the two principles. These were OSIRIS, ISIS, and HORUS. In the same way, PLATO gives us Thought the Father; Primitive Matter the Mother; and Kosmos the World, the Son, the Universe animated by a soul. Triads of the same kind are found in the Kabalah.

PLUTARCH says, in his book De Iside et Osiride, "But the better and diviner nature consists of three, that which exists within the Intellect only, and Matter, and that which proceeds from these, which the Greeks call Kosmos; of which three, Plato is wont to call the Intelligible, the 'Idea, Exemplar, and Father'; Matter, 'the Mother, the Nurse, and the place and receptacle of generation'; and the issue of these two, 'the Offspring and Genesis,'" the Kosmos, "a word signifying equally Beauty and Order, or the Universe itself." You will not fail to notice that Beauty is symbolized by the Junior Warden in the South. Plutarch continues to say that the Egyptians compared the universal nature to what they called the most beautiful and perfect triangle, as Plato does, in that nuptial diagram, as it is termed, which he has introduced into his Commonwealth. Then he adds that this triangle is right-angled, and its sides respectively as 3, 4, and 5; and he says, "We must suppose that the perpendicular is designed by them

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to represent the masculine nature, the base the feminine, and that the hypothenuse is to be looked upon as the offspring of both; and accordingly the first of them will aptly enough represent OSIRIS, or the prime cause; the second, ISIS, or the receptive capacity; the last, HORUS, or the common effect of the other two. For 3 is the first number which is composed of even and odd; and 4 is a square whose side is equal to the even number 2; but 5, being generated, as it were, out of the preceding numbers, 2 and 3, may be said to have an equal relation to both of them, as to its common parents."

*      *      *      *      *      *

The clasped hands is another symbol which was used by PYTHAGORAS. It represented the number 10, the sacred number in which all the preceding numbers were contained; the number expressed by the mysterious TETRACTYS, a figure borrowed by him and the Hebrew priests alike from the Egyptian sacred science, and which ought to be replaced among the symbols of the Master's Degree, where it of right belongs. The Hebrews formed it thus, with the letters of the Divine name:

The clasped hands is another symbol which was used by PYTHAGORAS. It represented the number 10

The Tetractys thus leads you, not only to the study of the Pythagorean philosophy as to numbers, but also to the Kabalah, and will aid you in discovering the True Word, and understanding what was meant by "The Music of the Spheres." Modern science strikingly confirms the ideas of Pythagoras in regard to the properties of numbers, and that they govern in the Universe. Long before his time, nature had extracted her cube-roots and her squares.

*      *      *      *      *      *

All the FORCES at man's disposal or under man's control, or subject to man's influence, are his working tools. The friendship and sympathy that knit heart to heart are a force like the attraction

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of cohesion, by which the sandy particles became the solid rock. If this law of attraction or cohesion were taken away, the material worlds and suns would dissolve in an instant into thin invisible vapor. If the ties of friendship, affection, and love were annulled, mankind would become a raging multitude of wild and savage beasts of prey. The sand hardens into rock under the immense superincumbent pressure of the ocean, aided sometimes by the irresistible energy of fire; and when the pressure of calamity and danger is upon an order or a country, the members or the citizens ought to be the more closely united by the cohesion of sympathy and inter-dependence.

Morality is a force. It is the magnetic attraction of the heart toward Truth and Virtue. The needle, imbued with this mystic property, and pointing unerringly to the north, carries the mariner safely over the trackless ocean, through storm and darkness, until his glad eyes behold the beneficent beacons that welcome him to safe and hospitable harbor. Then the hearts of those who love him are gladdened, and his home made happy; and this gladness and happiness are due to the silent, unostentatious, unerring monitor that was the sailor's guide over the weltering waters. But if drifted too far northward, he finds the needle no longer true, but pointing elsewhere than to the north, what a feeling of helplessness falls upon the dismayed mariner, what utter loss of energy and courage! It is as if the great axioms of morality were to fail and be no longer true, leaving the human soul to drift helplessly, eyeless like Prometheus, at the mercy of the uncertain, faithless currents of the deep.

Honor and Duty are the pole-stars of a Mason, the Dioscuri, by never losing sight of which he may avoid disastrous shipwreck. These Palinurus watched, until, overcome by sleep, and the vessel no longer guided truly, he fell into and was swallowed up by the insatiable sea. So the Mason who loses sight of these, and is no longer governed by their beneficent and potential force, is lost, and sinking out of sight, will disappear unhonored and unwept.

The force of electricity, analogous to that of sympathy, and by means of which great thoughts or base suggestions, the utterances of noble or ignoble natures, flash instantaneously over the nerves of nations; the force of growth, fit type of immortality, lying dormant three thousand years in the wheat-grains buried with

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their mummies by the old Egyptians; the forces of expansion and contraction, developed in the earthquake and the tornado, and giving birth to the wonderful achievements of steam, have their parallelisms in the moral world, in individuals, and nations. Growth is a necessity for nations as for men. Its cessation is the beginning of decay. In the nation as well as the plant it is mysterious, and it is irresistible. The earthquakes that rend nations asunder, overturn thrones, and engulf monarchies and republics, have been long prepared for, like the volcanic eruption. Revolutions have long roots in the past. The force exerted is in direct proportion to the previous restraint and compression. The true statesman ought to see in progress the causes that are in due time to produce them; and he who does not is but a blind leader of the blind.

The great changes in nations, like the geological changes of the earth, are slowly and continuously wrought. The waters, falling from Heaven as rain and dews, slowly disintegrate the granite mountains; abrade the plains, leaving hills and ridges of denudation as their monuments; scoop out the valleys, fill up the seas, narrow the rivers, and after the lapse of thousands on thousands of silent centuries, prepare the great alluvia for the growth of that plant, the snowy envelope of whose seeds is to employ the looms of the world, and the abundance or penury of whose crops shall determine whether the weavers and spinners of other realms shall have work to do or starve.

So Public Opinion is an immense force; and its currents are as inconstant and incomprehensible as those of the atmosphere. Nevertheless, in free governments, it is omnipotent; and the business of the statesman is to find the means to shape, control, and direct it. According as that is done, it is beneficial and conservative, or destructive and ruinous. The Public Opinion of the civilized world is International Law; and it is so great a force, though with no certain and fixed boundaries, that it can even constrain the victorious despot to be generous, and aid an oppressed people in its struggle for independence.

Habit is a great force; it is second nature, even in trees. It is as strong in nations as in men. So also are Prejudices, which are given to men and nations as the passions are, -- as forces, valuable, if properly and skillfully availed of; destructive, if unskillfully handled.

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Above all, the Love of Country, State Pride, the Love of Home, are forces of immense power. Encourage them all. Insist upon them in your public men. Permanency of home is necessary to patriotism. A migratory race will have little love of country. State pride is a mere theory and chimera, where men remove from State to State with indifference, like the Arabs, who camp here to-day and there to-morrow.

If you have Eloquence, it is a mighty force. See that you use it for good purposes -- to teach, exhort, ennoble the people, and not to mislead and corrupt them. Corrupt and venal orators are the assassins of the public liberties and of public morals.

The Will is a force; its limits as yet unknown. It is in the power of the will that we chiefly see the spiritual and divine in man. There is a seeming identity between his will that moves other men, and the Creative Will whose action seems so incomprehensible. It is the men of will and action, not the men of pure intellect, that govern the world.

Finally, the three greatest moral forces are FAITH, which is the only true WISDOM, and the very foundation of all government; HOPE, which is STRENGTH, and insures success; and CHARITY, which is BEAUTY, and alone makes animated, united effort possible. These forces are within the reach of all men; and an association of men, actuated by them, ought to exercise an immense power in the world. If Masonry does not, it is because she has ceased to possess them.

Wisdom in the man or statesman, in king or priest, largely consists in the due appreciation of these forces; and upon the general non-appreciation of some of them the fate of nations often depends. What hecatombs of lives often hang upon the not weighing or not sufficiently weighing the force of an idea, such as, for example, the reverence for a flag, or the blind attachment to a form or constitution of government!

What errors in political economy and statesmanship are committed in consequence of the over-estimation or under-estimation of particular values, or the non-estimation of some among them! Everything, it is asserted, is the product of human labor; but the gold or the diamond which one accidentally finds without labor is not so. What is the value of the labor bestowed by the husbandman upon his crops, compared with the value of the sunshine and rain, without with his labor avails nothing? Commerce

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carried on by the labor of man, adds to the value of the products of the field, the mine, or the workshop, by their transportation to different markets; but how much of this increase is due to the rivers down which these products float, to the winds that urge the keels of commerce over the ocean!

Who can estimate the value of morality and manliness in a State, of moral worth and intellectual knowledge? These are the sunshine and rain of the State. The winds, with their change-able, fickle, fluctuating currents, are apt emblems of the fickle humors of the populace, its passions, its heroic impulses, its enthusiasms. Woe to the statesman who does not estimate these as values!

Even music and song are sometimes found to have an incalculable value. Every nation has some song of a proven value, more easily counted in lives than dollars. The Marseillaise was worth to revolutionary France, who shall say how many thousand men?

Peace also is a great element of prosperity and wealth; a value not to be calculated. Social intercourse and association of men in beneficent Orders have a value not to be estimated in coin. The illustrious examples of the Past of a nation, the memories and immortal thoughts of her great and wise thinkers, statesmen, and heroes, are the invaluable legacy of that Past to the Present and Future. And all these have not only the values of the loftier and more excellent and priceless kind, but also an actual money-value, since it is only when co-operating with or aided or enabled by these, that human labor creates wealth. They are of the chief elements of material wealth, as they are of national manliness, heroism, glory, prosperity, and immortal renown.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Providence has appointed the three great disciplines of War, the Monarchy and the Priesthood, all that the CAMP, the PALACE, and the TEMPLE may symbolize, to train the multitudes forward to intelligent and premeditated combinations for all the great purposes of society. The result will at length be free governments among men, when virtue and intelligence become qualities of the multitudes; but for ignorance such governments are impossible. Man advances only by degrees. The removal of one pressing calamity gives courage to attempt the removal of the remaining evils, rendering men more sensitive to them, or perhaps sensitive for the first time. Serfs that writhe under the whip are not disquieted about their political rights; manumitted from personal slavery, they become

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sensitive to political oppression. Liberated from arbitrary power, and governed by the law alone, they begin to scrutinize the law itself, and desire to be governed, not only by law, but by what they deem the best law. And when the civil or temporal despot-ism has been set aside, and the municipal law has been moulded on the principles of an enlightened jurisprudence, they may wake to the discovery that they are living under some priestly or ecclesiastical despotism, and become desirous of working a reformation there also.

It is quite true that the advance of humanity is slow, and that it often pauses and retrogrades. In the kingdoms of the earth we do not see despotisms retiring and yielding the ground to self-governing communities. We do not see the churches and priesthoods of Christendom relinquishing their old task of governing men by imaginary terrors. Nowhere do we see a populace that could be safely manumitted from such a government. We do not see the great religious teachers aiming to discover truth for themselves and for others; but still ruling the world, and contented and compelled to rule the world, by whatever dogma is already accredited; themselves as much bound down by this necessity to govern, as the populace by their need of government. Poverty in all its most hideous forms still exists in the great cities; and the cancer of pauperism has its roots in the hearts of kingdoms. Men there take no measure of their wants and their own power to supply them, but live and multiply like the beasts of the field, -- Providence having apparently ceased to care for them. Intelligence never visits these, or it makes its appearance as some new development of villainy. War has not ceased; still there are battles and sieges. Homes are still unhappy, and tears and anger and spite make hells where there should be heavens. So much the more necessity for Masonry! So much wider the field of its labors! So much the more need for it to begin to be true to itself, to revive from its asphyxia, to repent of its apostasy to its true creed!

Undoubtedly, labor and death and the sexual passion are essential and permanent conditions of human existence, and render perfection and a millennium on earth impossible. Always, -- it is the decree of Fate! -- the vast majority of men must toil to live, and cannot find time to cultivate the intelligence. Man, knowing he is to die, will not sacrifice the present enjoyment for a greater one in the future. The love of woman cannot die out; and it has a

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terrible and uncontrollable fate, increased by the refinements of civilization. Woman is the veritable syren or goddess of the young. But society can be improved; and free government is possible for States; and freedom of thought and conscience is no longer wholly utopian. Already we see that Emperors prefer to be elected by universal suffrage; that States are conveyed to Empires by vote; and that Empires are administered with something of the spirit of a Republic, being little else than democracies with a single head, ruling through one man, one representative, instead of an assembly of representatives. And if Priesthoods still govern, they now come before the laity to prove, by stress of argument, that they ought to govern. They are obliged to evoke the very reason which they are bent on supplanting.

Accordingly, men become daily more free, because the freedom of the man lies in his reason. He can reflect upon his own future conduct, and summon up its consequences; he can take wide views of human life, and lay down rules for constant guidance. Thus he is relieved of the tyranny of sense and passion, and enabled at any time to live according to the whole light of the knowledge that is within him, instead of being driven, like a dry leaf on the wings of the wind, by every present impulse. Herein lies the freedom of the man as regarded in connection with the necessity imposed by the omnipotence and fore-knowledge of God. So much light, so much liberty. When emperor and church appeal to reason there is naturally universal suffrage.

Therefore no one need lose courage, nor believe that labor in the cause of Progress will be labor wasted. There is no waste in nature, either of Matter, Force, Act, or Thought. A Thought is as much the end of life as an Action; and a single Thought sometimes works greater results than a Revolution, even Revolutions themselves. Still there should not be divorce between Thought and Action. The true Thought is that in which life culminates. But all wise and true Thought produces Action. It is generative, like the light; and light and the deep shadow of the passing cloud are the gifts of the prophets of the race. Knowledge, laboriously acquired, and inducing habits of sound Thought, -- the reflective character, -- must necessarily be rare. The multitude of laborers cannot acquire it. Most men attain to a very low standard of it. It is incompatible with the ordinary and indispensable avocations of life. A whole world of error as well as of labor, go to make

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one reflective man. In the most advanced nation of Europe there are more ignorant than wise, more poor than rich, more automatic laborers, the mere creatures of habit, than reasoning and reflective men. The proportion is at least a thousand to one. Unanimity of opinion is so obtained. It only exists among the multitude who do not think, and the political or spiritual priesthood who think for that multitude, who think how to guide and govern them. When men begin to reflect, they begin to differ. The great problem is to find guides who will not seek to be tyrants. This is needed even more in respect to the heart than the head. Now, every man earns his special share of the produce of human labor, by an incessant scramble, by trickery and deceit. Useful knowledge, honorably acquired, is too often used after a fashion not honest or reasonable, so that the studies of youth are far more noble than the practices of manhood. The labor of the farmer in his fields, the generous returns of the earth, the benignant and favoring skies, tend to make him earnest, provident, and grateful; the education of the market-place makes him querulous, crafty, envious, and an intolerable niggard.

Masonry seeks to be this beneficent, unambitious, disinterested guide; and it is the very condition of all great structures that the sound of the hammer and the clink of the trowel should be always heard in some part of the building. With faith in man, hope for the future of humanity, loving-kindness for our fellows, Masonry and the Mason must always work and teach. Let each do that for which he is best fitted. The teacher also is a workman. Praiseworthy as the active navigator is, who comes and goes and makes one clime partake of the treasures of the other, and one to share the treasures of all, he who keeps the beacon-light upon the hill is also at his post.

Masonry has already helped cast down some idols from their pedestals, and grind to impalpable dust some of the links of the chains that held men's souls in bondage. That there has been progress needs no other demonstration than that you may now reason with men, and urge upon them, without danger of the rack or stake, that no doctrines can be apprehended as truths if they contradict each other, or contradict other truths given us by God. Long before the Reformation, a monk, who had found his way to heresy without the help of Martin Luther, not venturing to breathe aloud into any living ear his anti-papal and treasonable

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doctrines, wrote them on parchment, and sealing up the perilous record, hid it in the massive walls of his monastery. There was no friend or brother to whom he could intrust his secret or pour forth his soul. It was some consolation to imagine that in a future age some one might find the parchment, and the seed be found not to have been sown in vain. What if the truth should have to lie dormant as long before germinating as the wheat in the Egyptian mummy? Speak it, nevertheless, again and again, and let it take its chance!

The rose of Jericho grows in the sandy deserts of Arabia and on the Syrian housetops. Scarcely six inches high, it loses its leaves after the flowering season, and dries up into the form of a ball. Then it is uprooted by the winds, and carried, blown, or tossed across the desert, into the sea. There, feeling the contact of the water, it unfolds itself, expands its branches, and expels its seeds from their seed-vessels. These, when saturated with water, are carried by the tide and laid on the seashore. Many are lost, as many individual lives of men are useless. But many are thrown back again from the seashore into the desert, where, by the virtue of the sea-water that they have imbibed, the roots and leaves sprout and they grow into fruitful plants, which will, in their turns, like their ancestors, be whirled into the sea. God will not be less careful to provide for the germination of the truths you may boldly utter forth. "Cast," He has said, "thy bread upon the waters, and after many days it shall return to thee again."

Initiation does not change: we find it again and again, and always the same, through all the ages. The last disciples of Pascalis Martinez are still the children of Orpheus; but they adore the realizer of the antique philosophy, the Incarnate Word of the Christians.

Pythagoras, the great divulger of the philosophy of numbers, visited all the sanctuaries of the world. He went into Judæa, where he procured himself to be circumcised, that he might be admitted to the secrets of the Kabalah, which the prophets Ezekiel and Daniel, not without some reservations, communicated to him. Then, not without some difficulty, he succeeded in being admitted to the Egyptian initiation, upon the recommendation of King Amasis. The power of his genius supplied the deficiencies of the imperfect communications of the Hierophants, and he himself became a Master and a Revealer,

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Pythagoras defined God: a Living and Absolute Verity clothed with Light.

He said that the Word was Number manifested by Form.

He made all descend from the Tetractys, that is to say, from the Quaternary.

God, he said again, is the Supreme Music, the nature of which is Harmony.

Pythagoras gave the magistrates of Crotona this great religious, political and social precept:

"There is no evil that is not preferable to Anarchy."

Pythagoras said, "Even as there are three divine notions and three intelligible regions, so there is a triple word, for the Hierarchical Order always manifests itself by threes. There are the word simple, the word hieroglyphical, and the word symbolic: in other terms, there are the word that expresses, the word that conceals, and the word that signifies; the whole hieratic intelligence is in the perfect knowledge of these three degrees."

Pythagoras enveloped doctrine with symbols, but carefully eschewed personifications and images, which, he thought, sooner or later produced idolatry.

The Holy Kabalah, or tradition of the children of Seth, was carried from Chaldæa by Abraham, taught to the Egyptian priesthood by Joseph, recovered and purified by Moses, concealed under symbols in the Bible, revealed by the Saviour to Saint John, and contained, entire, under hieratic figures analogous to those of all antiquity, in the Apocalypse of that Apostle.

The Kabalists consider God as the Intelligent, Animated, Living Infinite. He is not, for them, either the aggregate of existences, or existence in the abstract, or a being philosophically definable. He is in all, distinct from all, and greater than all. His name even is ineffable; and yet this name only expresses the human ideal of His divinity. What God is in Himself, it is not given to man to comprehend.

God is the absolute of Faith; but the absolute of Reason is BEING, ‏ו ?Y?H?W?H‎. "I am that I am," is a wretched translation.

Being, Existence, is by itself, and because it Is. The reason of Being, is Being itself. We may inquire, "Why does something exist?" that is, "Why does such or such a thing exist?" But we cannot, without being absurd, ask, "Why Is Being?" That would be to suppose Being before Being. If Being had a

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cause, that cause would necessarily Be; that is, the cause and effect would be identical.

Reason and science demonstrate to us that the modes of Existence and Being balance each other in equilibrium according to harmonious and hierarchic laws. But a hierarchy is synthetized, in ascending, and becomes ever more and more monarchial. Yet the reason cannot pause at a single chief, without being alarmed. at the abysses which it seems to leave above this Supreme Mon-arch. Therefore it is silent, and gives place to the Faith it adores.

What is certain, even for science and the reason, is, that the idea of God is the grandest, the most holy, and the most useful of all the aspirations of man; that upon this belief morality reposes, with its eternal sanction. This belief, then, is in humanity, the most real of the phenomena of being; and if it were false, nature would affirm the absurd; nothingness would give form to life, and God would at the same time be and not be.

It is to this philosophic and incontestable reality, which is termed The Idea of God, that the Kabalists give a name. In this name all others are contained. Its cyphers contain all the numbers; and the hieroglyphics of its letters express all the laws and all the things of nature.

BEING IS BEING: the reason of Being is in Being: in the Be-ginning is the Word, and the Word in logic formulated Speech, the spoken Reason; the Word is in God, and is God Himself, manifested to the Intelligence. Here is what is above all the philosophies. This we must believe, under the penalty of never truly knowing anything, and relapsing into the absurd skepticism of Pyrrho. The Priesthood, custodian of Faith, wholly rests upon this basis of knowledge, and it is in its teachings we must recognize the Divine Principle of the Eternal Word.

Light is not Spirit, as the Indian Hierophants believed it to be; but only the instrument of the Spirit. It is not the body of the Protoplastes, as the Theurgists of the school of Alexandria taught, but the first physical manifestation of the Divine afflatus. God eternally creates it, and man, in the image of God, modifies and seems to multiply it.

The high magic is styled "The Sacerdotal Art," and "The Royal Art." In Egypt, Greece, and Rome, it could not but share the greatnesses and decadences of the Priesthood and of Royalty. Every philosophy hostile to the national worship and to its mysteries,

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was of necessity hostile to the great political powers, which lose their grandeur, if they cease, in the eyes of the multitudes, to be the images of the Divine Power. Every Crown is shattered, when it clashes against the Tiara.

Plato, writing to Dionysius the Younger, in regard to the nature of the First Principle, says: "I must write to you in enigmas, so that if my letter be intercepted by land or sea, he who shall read it may in no degree comprehend it." And then he says, "All things surround their King; they are, on account of Him, and He alone is the cause of good things, Second for the Seconds and Third for the Thirds."

There is in these few words a complete summary of the Theology of the Sephiroth. "The King" is AINSOPH, Being Supreme and Absolute. From this centre, which is everywhere, all things ray forth; but we especially conceive of it in three manners and in three different spheres. In the Divine world (AZILUTH), which is that of the First Cause, and wherein the whole Eternity of Things in the beginning existed as Unity, to be afterward, during Eternity uttered forth, clothed with form, and the attributes that constitute them matter, the First Principle is Single and First, and yet not the VERY Illimitable Deity, incomprehensible, undefinable; but Himself in so far as manifested by the Creative Thought. To compare littleness with infinity, -- Arkwright, as inventor of the spinning-jenny, and not the man Arkwright otherwise and beyond that. All we can know of the Very God is, compared to His Wholeness, only as an infinitesimal fraction of a unit, compared with an infinity of Units.

In the World of Creation, which is that of Second Causes [the Kabalistic World BRIAH], the Autocracy of the First Principle is complete, but we conceive of it only as the Cause of the Second Causes. Here it is manifested by the Binary, and is the Creative Principle passive. Finally: in the third world, YEZIRAH, or of Formation, it is revealed in the perfect Form, the Form of Forms, the World, the Supreme Beauty and Excellence, the Created Perfection. Thus the Principle is at once the First, the Second, and the Third, since it is All in All, the Centre and Cause of all. It is not the genius of Plato that we here admire. We recognize only the exact knowledge of the Initiate.

The great Apostle Saint John did not borrow from the philosophy of Plato the opening of his Gospel. Plato, on the contrary,

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drank at the same springs with Saint John and Philo; and John in the opening verses of his paraphrase, states the first principles of a dogma common to many schools, but in language especially belonging to Philo, whom it is evident he had read. The philosophy of Plato, the greatest of human Revealers, could yearn toward the Word made man; the Gospel alone could give him to the world.

Doubt, in presence of Being and its harmonies; skepticism, in the face of the eternal mathematics and the immutable laws of Life which make the Divinity present and visible everywhere, as the Human is known and visible by its utterances of word and act, -- is this not the most foolish of superstitions, and the most inexcusable as well as the most dangerous of all credulities? Thought, we know, is not a result or consequence of the organization of matter, of the chemical or other action or reaction of its particles, like effervescence and gaseous explosions. On the contrary, the fact that Thought is manifested and realized in act human or act divine, proves the existence of an Entity, or Unity, that thinks. And the Universe is the Infinite Utterance of one of an infinite number of Infinite Thoughts, which cannot but emanate from an Infinite and Thinking Source. The cause is always equal, at least, to the effect; and matter cannot think, nor could it cause itself, or exist without cause, nor could nothing produce either forces or things; for in void nothingness no Forces can inhere. Admit a self-existent Force, and its Intelligence, or an Intelligent cause of it is admitted, and at once GOD IS.

The Hebrew allegory of the Fall of Man, which is but a special variation of a universal legend, symbolizes one of the grandest and most universal allegories of science.

Moral Evil is Falsehood in actions; as Falsehood is Crime in words.

Injustice is the essence of Falsehood; and every false word is an injustice.

Injustice is the death of the Moral Being, as Falsehood is the poison of the Intelligence.

The perception of the Light is the dawn of the Eternal Life, in Being. The Word of God, which creates the Light, seems to be uttered by every Intelligence that can take cognizance of Forms and will look. "Let the Light BE! The Light, in fact, exists, in its condition of splendor, for those eyes alone that gaze at it; and the Soul, amorous of the spectacle of the beauties of the Universe,

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and applying its attention to that luminous writing of the Infinite Book, which is called "The Visible," seems to utter, as God did on the dawn of the first day, that sublime and creative word, "BE! LIGHT!"

It is not beyond the tomb, but in life itself, that we are to seek for the mysteries of death. Salvation or reprobation begins here below, and the terrestrial world too has its Heaven and its Hell. Always, even here below, virtue is rewarded; always, even here below, vice is punished; and that which makes us sometimes believe in the impunity of evil-doers is that riches, those instruments of good and of evil, seem sometimes to be given them at hazard. But woe to unjust men, when they possess the key of gold! It opens, for them, only the gate of the tomb and of Hell.

All the true Initiates have recognized the usefulness of toil and sorrow. "Sorrow," says a German poet, "is the dog of that unknown shepherd who guides the flock of men." To learn to suffer, to learn to die, is the discipline of Eternity, the immortal Novitiate.

The allegorical picture of Cebes, in which the Divine Comedy of Dante was sketched in Plato's time, the description whereof has been preserved for us, and which many painters of the middle age have reproduced by this description, is a monument at once philosophical and magical. It is a most complete moral synthesis, and at the same time the most audacious demonstration ever given of the Grand Arcanum, of that secret whose revelation would overturn Earth and Heaven. Let no one expect us to give them its explanation! He who passes behind the veil that hides this mystery, understands that it is in its very nature inexplicable, and that it is death to those who win it by surprise, as well as to him who reveals it.

This secret is the Royalty of the Sages, the Crown of the Initiate whom we see redescend victorious from the summit of Trials, in the fine allegory of Cebes. The Grand Arcanum makes him master of gold and the light, which are at bottom the same thing, he has solved the problem of the quadrature of the circle, he directs the perpetual movement, and he possesses the philosophical stone. Here the Adepts will understand us. There is neither interruption in the toil of nature, nor gap in her work. The Harmonies of Heaven correspond to those of Earth, and the Eternal Life accomplishes its evolutions in accordance with the same laws

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as the life of a dog. "God has arranged all things by weight, number, and measure," says the Bible; and this luminous doctrine was also that of Plato.

Humanity has never really had but one religion and one worship. This universal light has had its uncertain mirages, its deceitful reflections, and its shadows; but always, after the nights of Error, we see it reappear, one and pure like the Sun.

The magnificences of worship are the life of religion, and if Christ wishes poor ministers, His Sovereign Divinity does not wish paltry altars. Some Protestants have not comprehended that worship is a teaching, and that we must not create in the imagination of the multitude a mean or miserable God. Those oratories that resemble poorly-furnished offices or inns, and those worthy ministers clad like notaries or lawyer's clerks, do they not necessarily cause religion to be regarded as a mere puritanic formality, and God as a Justice of the Peace?

We scoff at the Augurs. It is so easy to scoff, and so difficult well to comprehend. Did the Deity leave the whole world without Light for two score centuries, to illuminate only a little corner of Palestine and a brutal, ignorant, and ungrateful people? Why always calumniate God and the Sanctuary? Were there never any others than rogues among the priests? Could no honest and sincere men be found among the Hierophants of Ceres or Diana, of Dionusos or Apollo, of Hermes or Mithras? Were these, then, all deceived, like the rest? Who, then, constantly deceived them, without betraying themselves, during a series of centuries? -- for the cheats are not immortal! Arago said, that outside of the pure mathematics, he who utters the word "impossible," is wanting in prudence and good sense.

The true name of Satan, the Kabalists say, is that of Yahveh reversed; for Satan is not a black god, but the negation of God. The Devil is the personification of Atheism or Idolatry.

For the Initiates, this is not a Person, but a Force, created for good, but which may serve for evil. It is the instrument of Liberty or Free Will. They represent this Force, which presides over the physical generation, under the mythologic and horned form of the God PAN; thence came the he-goat of the Sabbat, brother of the Ancient Serpent, and the Light-bearer or Phosphor, of which the poets have made the false Lucifer of the legend.

Gold, to the eyes of the Initiates, is Light condensed. They

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style the sacred numbers of the Kabalah "golden numbers," and the moral teachings of Pythagoras his "golden verses." For the same reason, a mysterious book of Apuleius, in which an ass figures largely, was called "The Golden Ass."

The Pagans accused the Christians of worshipping an ass, and they did not invent this reproach, but it came from the Samaritan Jews, who, figuring the data of the Kabalah in regard to the Divinity by Egyptian symbols, also represented the Intelligence by the figure of the Magical Star adored under the name of Remphan, Science under the emblem of Anubis, whose name they changed to Nibbas, and the vulgar faith or credulity under the figure of Thartac, a god represented with a book, a cloak, and the head of an ass. According to the Samaritan Doctors, Christianity was the reign of Thartac, blind Faith and vulgar credulity erected into a universal oracle, and preferred to Intelligence and Science.

Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemaïs, a great Kabalist, but of doubtful orthodoxy, wrote:

"The people will always mock at things easy to be misunderstood; it must needs have impostures."

"A Spirit," he said, "that loves wisdom and contemplates the Truth close at hand, is forced to disguise it, to induce the multitudes to accept it. . . . Fictions are necessary to the people, and the Truth becomes deadly to those who are not strong enough to contemplate it in all its brilliance. If the sacerdotal laws allowed the reservation of judgments and the allegory of words, I would accept the proposed dignity on condition that I might be a philosopher at home, and abroad a narrator of apologues and parables

In fact, what can there be in common between the vile multitude and sublime wisdom? The truth must be kept secret, and the masses need a teaching proportioned to their imperfect reason."

Moral disorders produce physical ugliness, and in some sort realize those frightful faces which tradition assigns to the demons.

The first Druids were the true children of the Magi, and their initiation came from Egypt and Chaldæa, that is to say, from the pure sources of the primitive Kabalah. They adored the Trinity under the names of Isis or Hesus, the Supreme Harmony; of Belen or Bel, which in Assyrian means Lord, a name corresponding to that of ADONAÏ; and of Camul or Camaël, a name that in the Kabalah personifies the Divine Justice. Below this triangle of Light they supposed a divine reflection, also composed of three personified

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rays: first, Teutates or Teuth, the same as the Thoth of the Egyptians, the Word, or the Intelligence formulated; then Force and Beauty, whose names varied like their emblems. Finally, they completed the sacred Septenary by a mysterious image that represented the progress of the dogma and its future realizations. This was a young girl veiled, holding a child in her arms; and they dedicated this image to "The Virgin who will become a mother; -- Virgini parituræ."

Hertha or Wertha, the young Isis of Gaul, Queen of Heaven, the Virgin who was to bear a child, held the spindle of the Fates, filled with wool half white and half black; because she presides over all forms and all symbols, and weaves the garment of the Ideas.

One of the most mysterious pantacles of the Kabalah, contained in the Enchiridion of Leo III., represents an equilateral triangle reversed, inscribed in a double circle. On the triangle are written, in such manner as to form the prophetic Tau, the two Hebrew words so often found appended to the Ineffable Name, ‏ו ?A?L?Hמ‎ and ‏ו ?C?B?A?W?Tה‎, ALOHAYIM, or the Powers, and TSABAOTH, or the starry Armies and their guiding spirits; words also which symbolize the Equilibrium of the Forces of Nature and the Harmony of Numbers. To the three sides of the triangle belong the three great Names ‏ו ?Y?H?W?H‎, ‏ו ?A?Dן?Y‎, and ‏ו ?A?G?L?A‎, IAHAVEH, ADONAÏ, and AGLA. Above the first is written in Latin, Formatio, above the second Reformatio, and above the third, Transformatio. So Creation is ascribed to the FATHER, Redemption or Reformation to the SON, and Sanctification or Transformation to the HOLY SPIRIT, answering unto the mathematical laws of Action, Reaction, and Equilibrium. IAHAVEH is also, in effect, the Genesis or Formation of dogma, by the elementary signification of the four letters of the Sacred Tetragram; ADONAÏ is the realization of this dogma in the Human Form, in the Visible LORD, who is the Son of God or the perfect Man; and AGLA (formed of the initials of the four words Ath Gebur Laulaïm Adonaï) expresses the synthesis of the whole dogma and the totality of the Kabalistic science, clearly indicating by the hieroglyphics of which this admirable name is formed the Triple Secret of the Great Work.

Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled;

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to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it. Truth is not for those who are unworthy or unable to receive it, or would pervert it. So God Himself incapacitates many men, by color-blindness, to distinguish colors, and leads the masses away from the highest Truth, giving them the power to attain only so much of it as it is profitable to them to know. Every age has had a religion suited to its capacity.

The Teachers, even of Christianity, are, in general, the most ignorant of the true meaning of that which they teach. There is no book of which so little is known as the Bible. To most who read it, it is as incomprehensible as the Sohar.

So Masonry jealously conceals its secrets, and intentionally leads conceited interpreters astray. There is no sight under the sun more pitiful and ludicrous at once, than the spectacle of the Prestons and the Webbs, not to mention the later incarnations of Dullness and Commonplace, undertaking to "explain" the old symbols of Masonry, and adding to and "improving" them, or inventing new ones.

To the Circle inclosing the central point, and itself traced between two parallel lines, a figure purely Kabalistic, these persons have added the superimposed Bible, and even reared on that the ladder with three or nine rounds, and then given a vapid interpretation of the whole, so profoundly absurd as actually to excite admiration.

IV. SECRET MASTER

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A key symbol

IV.

SECRET MASTER.

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the mere vehicles of great lessons in morality and philosophy. You will more fully appreciate its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you advance in the different Degrees, which you will find to constitute a great, complete, and harmonious system.

If you have been disappointed in the first three Degrees, as you have received them, and if it has seemed to you that the performance has not come up to the promise, that the lessons of morality are not new, and the scientific instruction is but rudimentary, and the symbols are imperfectly explained, remember that the ceremonies and lessons of those Degrees have been for ages more and more accommodating themselves, by curtailment and sinking into commonplace, to the often limited memory and capacity of the Master and Instructor, and to the intellect and needs of the Pupil and Initiate; that they have come to us from an age when symbols were used, not to reveal but to conceal; when the commonest learning was confined to a select few, and the simplest principles of morality seemed newly discovered truths; and that these antique and simple Degrees now stand like the broken columns of a roofless Druidic temple, in their rude and mutilated greatness; in many parts, also, corrupted by time, and disfigured by modern additions and absurd interpretations. They are but the entrance to the great Masonic Temple, the triple columns of the portico.

You have taken the first step over its threshold, the first step toward the inner sanctuary and heart of the temple. You are in the path that leads up the slope of the mountain of Truth; and

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it depends upon your secrecy, obedience, and fidelity, whether you will advance or remain stationary.

Imagine not that you will become indeed a Mason by learning what is commonly called the "work," or even by becoming familiar with our traditions. Masonry has a history, a literature, a philosophy. Its allegories and traditions will teach you much; but much is to be sought elsewhere. The streams of learning that now flow full and broad must be followed to their heads in the springs that well up in the remote past, and you will there find the origin and meaning of Masonry.

A few rudimentary lessons in architecture, a few universally admitted maxims of morality, a few unimportant traditions, whose real meaning is unknown or misunderstood, will no longer satisfy the earnest inquirer after Masonic truth. Let whoso is content with these, seek to climb no higher. He who desires to understand the harmonious and beautiful proportions of Freemasonry must read, study, reflect, digest, and discriminate. The true Mason is an ardent seeker after knowledge; and he knows that both books and the antique symbols of Masonry are vessels which come down to us full-freighted with the intellectual riches of the Past; and that in the lading of these argosies is much that sheds light on the history of Masonry, and proves its claim to be acknowledged the benefactor of mankind, born in the very cradle of the race.

Knowledge is the most genuine and real of human treasures; for it is Light, as Ignorance is Darkness. It is the development of the human soul, and its acquisition the growth of the soul, which at the birth of man knows nothing, and therefore, in one sense, may be said to be nothing. It is the seed, which has in it the power to grow, to acquire, and by acquiring to be developed, as the seed is developed into the shoot, the plant, the tree. "We need not pause at the common argument that by learning man excelleth man, in that wherein man excelleth beasts; that by learning man ascendeth to the heavens and their motions, where in body he cannot come, and the like. Let us rather regard the dignity and excellency of knowledge and learning in that whereunto man's nature doth most aspire, which is immortality or continuance. For to this tendeth generation, and raising of Houses and Families; to this buildings, foundations, and monuments; to this tendeth the desire of memory, fame, and celebration, and in effect the strength of all other human desires." That our influences shall

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survive us, and be living forces when we are in our graves; and not merely that our names shall be remembered; but rather that our works shall be read, our acts spoken of, our names recollected and. mentioned when we are dead, as evidences that those influences live and rule, sway and control some portion of mankind and of the world, -- this is the aspiration of the human soul. "We see then how far the monuments of genius and learning are more durable than monuments of power or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter, during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities, have decayed and been demolished? It is not possible to have the true pictures or statues of Cyrus, Alexander, Cæsar, no, nor of the Kings or great personages of much later years; for the originals cannot last, and the copies cannot but lose of the life and truth. But the images of men's genius and knowledge remain in books, exempted from the wrong of time, and capable of perpetual renovation. Neither are they fitly to be called images, because they generate still, and cast their seeds in the minds of others, provoking and causing infinite actions and opinions in succeeding ages; so that if the invention of the ship was thought so noble, which carrieth riches and commodities from place to place, and consociateth the most remote regions in participation of their fruits, how much more are letters to be magnified, which, as ships, pass through the vast seas of time, and make ages so distant to participate of the wisdom, illumination, and inventions, the one of the other."

To learn, to attain knowledge, to be wise, is a necessity for every truly noble soul; to teach, to communicate that knowledge, to share that wisdom with others, and not churlishly to lock up his exchequer, and place a sentinel at the door to drive away the needy, is equally an impulse of a noble nature, and the worthiest work of man.

"There was a little city," says the Preacher, the son of David, "and few men within it; and there came a great King against it and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then, said I, wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless, the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard." If it should chance to you, my brother, to do mankind good service, and be

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rewarded with indifference and forgetfulness only, still be not discouraged, but remember the further advice of the wise King. "In the morning sow the seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, this or that, or whether both shall be alike good." Sow you the seed, whoever reaps. Learn, that you may be enabled to do good; and do so because it is right, finding in the act itself ample. reward and recompense.

To attain the truth, and to serve our fellows, our country, and mankind -- this is the noblest destiny of man. Hereafter and all your life it is to be your object. If you desire to ascend to that destiny, advance! If you have other and less noble objects, and are contented with a lower flight, halt here! let others scale the heights, and Masonry fulfill her mission.

If you will advance, gird up your loins for the struggle! for the way is long and toilsome. Pleasure, all smiles, will beckon you on the one hand, and Indolence will invite you to sleep among the flowers, upon the other. Prepare, by secrecy, obedience, and fidelity, to resist the allurements of both!

Secrecy is indispensable in a Mason of whatever Degree. It is the first and almost the only lesson taught to the Entered Apprentice. The obligations which we have each assumed toward every Mason that lives, requiring of us the performance of the most serious and onerous duties toward those personally unknown to us until they demand our aid, -- duties that must be performed, even at the risk of life, or our solemn oaths be broken and violated, and we be branded as false Masons and faithless men, teach us how profound a folly it would he to betray our secrets to those who, bound to us by no tie of common obligation, might, by obtaining them, call on us in their extremity, when the urgency of the occasion should allow us no time for inquiry, and the peremptory mandate of our obligation compel us to do a brother's duty to a base impostor.

The secrets of our brother, when communicated to us, must be sacred, if they be such as the law of our country warrants us to keep. We are required to keep none other, when the law that we are called on to obey is indeed a law, by having emanated from the only source of power, the People. Edicts which emanate from the mere arbitrary will of a despotic power, contrary to the law of God or the Great Law of Nature, destructive of the inherent rights

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of man, violative of the right of free thought, free speech, free conscience, it is lawful to rebel against and strive to abrogate.

For obedience to the Law does not mean submission to tyranny; nor that, by a profligate sacrifice of every noble feeling, we should offer to despotism the homage of adulation. As every new victim falls, we may lift our voice in still louder flattery. We may fall at the proud feet, we may beg, as a boon, the honor of kissing that bloody hand which has been lifted against the helpless. We may do more: we may bring the altar and the sacrifice, and implore the God not to ascend too soon to Heaven. This we may do, for this we have the sad remembrance that beings of a human form and soul have done. But this is all we can do. We can constrain our tongues to be false, our features to bend themselves to the semblance of that passionate adoration which we wish to express, our knees to fall prostrate; but our heart we cannot constrain. There virtue must still have a voice which is not to be drowned by hymns and acclamations; there the crimes which we laud as virtues, are crimes still, and he whom we have made a God is the most contemptible of mankind; if, indeed, we do not feel, perhaps, that we are ourselves still more contemptible.

But that law which is the fair expression of the will and judgment of the people, is the enactment of the whole and of every individual. Consistent with the law of God and the great law of nature, consistent with pure and abstract right as tempered by necessity and the general interest, as contra-distinguished from the private interest of individuals, it is obligatory upon all, because it is the work of all, the will of all, the solemn judgment of all, from which there is no appeal.

In this Degree, my brother, you are especially to learn the duty of obedience to that law. There is one true and original law, conformable to reason and to nature, diffused over all, invariable, eternal, which calls to the fulfillment of duty, and to abstinence from injustice, and calls with that irresistible voice which is felt in all its authority wherever it is heard. This law cannot be abrogated or diminished, or its sanctions affected, by any law of man. A whole senate, a whole people, cannot dissent from its paramount obligation. It requires no commentator to render it distinctly intelligible: nor is it one thing at Rome, another at Athens; one thing now, and another in the ages to come; but in all times and in all nations, it is, and has been, and will be, one

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and everlasting; -- one as that God, its great Author and Promulgator, who is the Common Sovereign of all mankind, is Himself One. No man can disobey it without flying, as it were, from his own bosom, and repudiating his nature; and in this very act he will inflict on himself the severest of retributions, even though he escape what is regarded as punishment.

It is our duty to obey the laws of our country, and to be careful that prejudice or passion, fancy or affection, error and illusion, be not mistaken for conscience. Nothing is more usual than to pretend conscience in all the actions of man which are public and cannot be concealed. The disobedient refuse to submit to the laws, and they also in many cases pretend conscience; and so disobedience and rebellion become conscience, in which there is neither knowledge nor revelation, nor truth nor charity, nor reason nor religion. Conscience is tied to laws. Right or sure conscience is right reason reduced to practice, and conducting moral actions, while perverse conscience is seated in the fancy or affections -- a heap of irregular principles and irregular defects -- and is the same in conscience as deformity is in the body, or peevishness in the affections. It is not enough that the conscience be taught by nature; but it must be taught by God, conducted by reason, made operative by discourse, assisted by choice, instructed by laws and sober principles; and then it is right, and it may be sure. All the general measures of justice, are the laws of God, and therefore they constitute the general rules of government for the conscience; but necessity also hath a large voice in the arrangement of human affairs, and the disposal of human relations, and the dispositions of human laws; and these general measures, like a great river into little streams, are deduced into little rivulets and particularities, by the laws and customs, by the sentences and agreements of men, and by the absolute despotism of necessity, that will not allow perfect and abstract justice and equity to be the sole rule of civil government in an imperfect world; and that must needs be law which is for the greatest good of the greatest number.

When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it. It is better thou shouldest not vow than thou shouldest vow and not pay. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in Heaven, and thou art upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. Weigh well

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what it is you promise; but once the promise and pledge are given remember that he who is false to his obligation will be false to his family, his friends, his country, and his God.

Fides servanda est: Faith plighted is ever to be kept, was a maxim and an axiom even among pagans. The virtuous Roman said, either let not that which seems expedient be base, or if it be base, let it not seem expedient. What is there which that so-called expediency can bring, so valuable as that which it takes away, if it deprives you of the name of a good man and robs you of your integrity and honor? In all ages, he who violates his plighted word has been held unspeakably base. The word of a Mason, like the word of a knight in the times of chivalry, once given must be sacred; and the judgment of his brothers, upon him who violates his pledge, should be stern as the judgments of the Roman Censors against him who violated his oath. Good faith is revered among Masons as it was among the Romans, who placed its statue in the capitol, next to that of Jupiter Maximus Optimus; and we, like them, hold that calamity should always be chosen rather than baseness; and with the knights of old, that one should always die rather than be dishonored.

Be faithful, therefore, to the promises you make, to the pledges you give, and to the vows that you assume, since to break either is base and dishonorable.

Be faithful to your family, and perform all the duties of a good father, a good son, a good husband, and a good brother.

Be faithful to your friends; for true friendship is of a nature not only to survive through all the vicissitudes of life, but to continue through an endless duration; not only to stand the shock of conflicting opinions, and the roar of a revolution that shakes the world, but to last when the heavens are no more, and to spring fresh from the ruins of the universe.

Be faithful to your country, and prefer its dignity and honor to any degree of popularity and honor for yourself; consulting its interest rather than your own, and rather than the pleasure and gratification of the people, which are often at variance with their welfare.

Be faithful to Masonry, which is to be faithful to the best interests of mankind. Labor, by precept and example, to elevate the standard of Masonic character, to enlarge its sphere of influence, to popularize its teachings, and to make all men know it for the

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Great Apostle of Peace, Harmony, and Good-will on earth among men; of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

Masonry is useful to all men: to the learned, because it affords them the opportunity of exercising their talents upon subjects eminently worthy of their attention; to the illiterate, because it offers them important instruction; to the young, because it presents them with salutary precepts and good examples, and accustoms them to reflect on the proper mode of living; to the man of the world, whom it furnishes with noble and useful recreation; to the traveller, whom it enables to find friends and brothers in countries where else he would be isolated and solitary; to the worthy man in misfortune, to whom it gives assistance; to the afflicted, on whom it lavishes consolation; to the charitable man, whom it enables to do more good, by uniting with those who are charitable like himself; and to all who have souls capable of appreciating its importance, and of enjoying the charms of a friendship founded on the same principles of religion, morality, and philanthropy.

A Freemason, therefore, should be a man of honor and of conscience, preferring his duty to everything beside, even to his life; independent in his opinions, and of good morals; submissive to the laws, devoted to humanity, to his country, to his family; kind and indulgent to his brethren, friend of all virtuous men, and ready to assist his fellows by all means in his power.

Thus will you be faithful to yourself, to your fellows, and to God, and thus will you do honor to the name and rank of SECRET MASTER; which, like other Masonic honors, degrades if it is not deserved.

Flowers

V. PERFECT MASTER

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Coffin with skull and bones symbol

V.

PERFECT MASTER.

THE Master Khu_ru_m was an industrious and an honest man. What he was employed to do he did diligently, and he did it well and faithfully. He received no wages that were not his due. Industry and honesty are the virtues peculiarly inculcated in this Degree. They are common and homely virtues; but not for that beneath our notice. As the bees do not love or respect the drones, so Masonry neither loves nor respects the idle and those who live by their wits; and least of all those parasitic acari that live upon themselves. For those who are indolent are likely to become dissipated and vicious; and perfect honesty, which ought to be the common qualification of all, is more rare than diamonds. To do earnestly and steadily, and to do faithfully and honestly that which we have to do -- perhaps this wants but little, when looked at from every point of view, of including the whole body of the moral law; and even in their commonest and homeliest application, these virtues belong to the character of a Perfect Master.

Idleness is the burial of a living man. For an idle person is so useless to any purposes of God and man, that he is like one who is dead, unconcerned in the changes and necessities of the world; and he only lives to spend his time, and eat the fruits of the earth. Like a vermin or a wolf, when his time comes, he dies and perishes, and in the meantime is nought. He neither ploughs nor carries burdens: all that he does is either unprofitable or mischievous.

It is a vast work that any man may do, if he never be idle: and it is a huge way that a man may go in virtue, if he never go out of his way by a vicious habit or a great crime: and he who perpetually

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reads good books, if his parts be answerable, will have a huge stock of knowledge.

St. Ambrose, and from his example, St. Augustine, divided every day into these tertias of employment: eight hours they spent in the necessities of nature and recreation: eight hours in charity, in doing assistance to others, dispatching their business, reconciling their enmities, reproving their vices, correcting their errors, instructing their ignorance, and in transacting the affairs of their dioceses; and the other eight hours they spent in study and prayer.

We think, at the age of twenty, that life is much too long for that which we have to learn and do; and that there is an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and according as we have profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way we have come, and cast up and endeavor to balance our accounts with time and opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown away a huge portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of our years the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours each day, during which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or ruffled by a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between us and which stood irksomely the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned and done, in half a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our forty years of manhood.

To learn and to do! -- this is the soul's work here below. The soul grows as truly as an oak grows. As the tree takes the carbon of the air, the dew, the rain, and the light, and the food that the earth supplies to its roots, and by its mysterious chemistry trans-mutes them into sap and fibre, into wood and leaf, and flower and fruit, and color and perfume, so the soul imbibes knowledge and by a divine alchemy changes what it learns into its own substance, and grows from within outwardly with an inherent force and power like those that lie hidden in the grain of wheat.

The soul hath its senses, like the body, that may be cultivated,

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enlarged, refined, as itself grows in stature and proportion; and he who cannot appreciate a fine painting or statue, a noble poem, a sweet harmony, a heroic thought, or a disinterested action, or to whom the wisdom of philosophy is but foolishness and babble, and the loftiest truths of less importance than the price of stocks or cotton, or the elevation of baseness to office, merely lives on the level of commonplace, and fitly prides himself upon that inferiority of the soul's senses, which is the inferiority and imperfect development of the soul itself.

To sleep little, and to study much; to say little, and to hear and think much; to learn, that we may be able to do, and then to do, earnestly and vigorously, whatever may be required of us by duty, and by the good of our fellows, our country, and mankind, -- these are the duties of every Mason who desires to imitate the Master Khu_ru_m.

The duty of a Mason as an honest man is plain and easy. It requires of us honesty in contracts, sincerity in affirming, simplicity in bargaining, and faithfulness in performing. Lie not at all, neither in a little thing nor in a great, neither in the substance nor in the circumstance, neither in word nor deed: that is, pretend not what is false; cover not what is true; and let the measure of your affirmation or denial be the understanding of your con-tractor; for he who deceives the buyer or the seller by speaking what is true, in a sense not intended or understood by the other, is a liar and a thief. A Perfect Master must avoid that which deceives, equally with that which is false.

Let your prices be according to that measure of good and evil which is established in the fame and common accounts of the wisest and most merciful men, skilled in that manufacture or commodity; and the gain such, which, without scandal, is allowed to persons in all the same circumstances.

In intercourse with others, do not do all which thou mayest lawfully do; but keep something within thy power; and, because there is a latitude of gain in buying and selling, take not thou the utmost penny that is lawful, or which thou thinkest so; for although it be lawful, yet it is not safe; and he who gains all that he can gain lawfully, this year, will possibly be tempted, next year, to gain something unlawfully.

Let no man, for his own poverty, become more oppressing and cruel in his bargain; but quietly, modestly, diligently, and patiently

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recommend his estate to God, and follow his interest, and leave the success to Him.

Detain not the wages of the hireling; for every degree of detention of it beyond the time, is injustice and uncharitableness, and grinds his face till tears and blood come out; but pay him exactly according to covenant, or according to his needs.

Religiously keep all promises and covenants, though made to your disadvantage, though afterward you perceive you might have done better; and let not any precedent act of yours be altered by any after-accident. Let nothing make you break your promise, unless it be unlawful or impossible; that is, either out of your nature or out of your civil power, yourself being under the power of another; or that it be intolerably inconvenient to yourself, and of no advantage to another; or that you have leave expressed or reasonably presumed.

Let no man take wages or fees for a work that he cannot do, or cannot with probability undertake; or in some sense profitably, and with ease, or with advantage manage. Let no man appropriate to his own use, what God, by a special mercy, or the Republic, hath made common; for that is against both Justice and Charity.

That any man should be the worse for us, and for our direct act, and by our intention, is against the rule of equity, of justice, and of charity. We then do not that to others, which we would have done to ourselves; for we grow richer upon the ruins of their fortune.

It is not honest to receive anything from another without returning him an equivalent therefor. The gamester who wins the money of another is dishonest. There should be no such thing as bets and gaming among Masons: for no honest man should desire that for nothing which belongs to another. The merchant who sells an inferior article for a sound price, the speculator who makes the distresses and needs of others fill his exchequer are neither fair nor honest, but base, ignoble, unfit for immortality.

It should be the earnest desire of every Perfect Master so to live and deal and act, that when it comes to him to die, he may be able to say, and his conscience to adjudge, that no man on earth is poorer, because he is richer; that what he hath he has honestly earned, and no man can go before God, and claim that by the rules of equity administered in His great chancery, this house in which we die, this land we devise to our heirs, this money that

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enriches those who survive to bear our name, is his and not ours, and we in that forum are only his trustees. For it is most certain that God is just, and will sternly enforce every such trust; and that to all whom we despoil, to all whom we defraud, to all from whom we take or win anything whatever, without fair consideration and equivalent, He will decree a full and adequate compensation.

Be careful, then, that thou receive no wages, here or elsewhere, that are not thy due! For if thou dost, thou wrongst some one, by taking that which in God's chancery belongs to him; and whether that which thou takest thus be wealth, or rank, or influence, or reputation or affection, thou wilt surely be held to make full satisfaction.

 

VI. INTIMATE SECRETARY

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INTIMATE SECRETARY - [Confidential Secretary] symbol

VI.

INTIMATE SECRETARY.

[Confidential Secretary.]

You are especially taught in this Degree to be zealous and faithful; to be disinterested and benevolent; and to act the peace-maker, in case of dissensions, disputes, and quarrels among the brethren.

Duty is the moral magnetism which controls and guides the true Mason's course over the tumultuous seas of life. Whether the stars of honor, reputation, and reward do or do not shine, in the light of day or in the darkness of the night of trouble and adversity, in calm or storm, that unerring magnet still shows him the true course to steer, and indicates with certainty where-away lies the port which not to reach involves shipwreck and dishonor. He follows its silent bidding, as the mariner, when land is for many days not in sight, and the ocean without path or landmark spreads out all around him, follows the bidding of the needle, never doubting that it points truly to the north. To perform that duty, whether the performance be rewarded or unrewarded, is his sole care. And it doth not matter, though of this performance there may be no witnesses, and though what he does will be forever unknown to all mankind.

A little consideration will teach us that Fame has other limits than mountains and oceans; and that he who places happiness in the frequent repetition of his name, may spend his life in propagating it, without any danger of weeping for new worlds, or necessity of passing the Atlantic sea.

If, therefore, he who imagines the world to be filled with his actions

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and praises, shall subduct from the number of his encomiasts all those who are placed below the flight of fame, and who hear in the valley of life no voice but that of necessity; all those who imagine themselves too important to regard him, and consider the mention of his name as a usurpation of their time; all who are too much or too little pleased with themselves to attend to anything external; all who are attracted by pleasure, or chained down by pain to unvaried ideas; all who are withheld from attending his triumph by different pursuits; and all who slumber in universal negligence; he will find his renown straitened by nearer bounds than the rocks of Caucasus; and perceive that no man can be venerable or formidable, but to a small part of his fellow-creatures. And therefore, that we may not languish in our endeavors after excellence, it is necessary that, as Africanus counsels his descendants, we raise our eyes to higher prospects, and contemplate our future and eternal state, without giving up our hearts to the praise of crowds, or fixing our hopes on such rewards as human power can bestow.

We are not born for ourselves alone; and our country claims her share, and our friends their share of us. As all that the earth produces is created for the use of man, so men are created for the sake of men, that they may mutually do good to one another. In this we ought to take nature for our guide, and throw into the public stock the offices of general utility, by a reciprocation of duties; sometimes by receiving, sometimes by giving, and sometimes to cement human society by arts, by industry, and by our resources.

Suffer others to be praised in thy presence, and entertain their good and glory with delight; but at no hand disparage them, or lessen the report, or make an objection; and think not the advancement of thy brother is a lessening of thy worth. Upbraid no man's weakness to him to discomfit him, neither report it to disparage him, neither delight to remember it to lessen him, or to set thyself above him; nor ever praise thyself or dispraise any man else, unless some sufficient worthy end do hallow it.

Remember that we usually disparage others upon slight grounds and little instances; and if a man be highly commended, we think him sufficiently lessened, if we can but charge one sin of folly or inferiority in his account. We should either be more severe to ourselves, or less so to others, and consider that whatsoever good any one can think or say of us, we can tell him of many unworthy and

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foolish and perhaps worse actions of ours, any one of which, done by another, would be enough, with us, to destroy his reputation.

If we think the people wise and sagacious, and just and appreciative, when they praise and make idols of us, let us not call them unlearned and ignorant, and ill and stupid judges, when our neighbor is cried up by public fame and popular noises.

Every man hath in his own life sins enough, in his own mind trouble enough, in his own fortunes evil enough, and in performance of his offices failings more than enough, to entertain his own inquiry; so that curiosity after the affairs of others cannot be without envy and an ill mind. The generous man will be solicitous and inquisitive into the beauty and order of a well-governed family, and after the virtues of an excellent person; but anything for which men keep locks and bars, or that blushes to see the light, or that is either shameful in manner or private in nature, this thing will not be his care and business.

It should be objection sufficient to exclude any man from the society of Masons, that he is not disinterested and generous, both in his acts, and in his opinions of men, and his constructions of their conduct. He who is selfish and grasping, or censorious and ungenerous, will not long remain within the strict limits of honesty and truth, but will shortly commit injustice. He who loves himself too much must needs love others too little; and he who habitually gives harsh judgment will not long delay to give unjust judgment.

The generous man is not careful to return no more than he receives; but prefers that the balances upon the ledgers of benefits shall be in his favor. He who hath received pay in full for all the benefits and favors that he has conferred, is like a spendthrift who has consumed his whole estate, and laments over an empty exchequer. He who requites my favors with ingratitude adds to, instead of diminishing, my wealth; and he who cannot return a favor is equally poor, whether his inability arises from poverty of spirit, sordidness of soul, or pecuniary indigence.

If he is wealthy who hath large sums invested, and the mass of whose fortune consists in obligations that bind other men to pay him money, he is still more so to whom many owe large returns of kindnesses and favors. Beyond a moderate sum each year, the wealthy man merely invests his means: and that which he never 

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uses is still like favors unreturned and kindnesses unreciprocated, an actual and real portion of his fortune.

Generosity and a liberal spirit make men to be humane and genial, open-hearted, frank, and sincere, earnest to do good, easy and contented, and well-wishers of mankind. They protect the feeble against the strong, and the defenceless against rapacity and craft. They succor and comfort the poor, and are the guardians, under God, of his innocent and helpless wards. They value friends more than riches or fame, and gratitude more than money or power. They are noble by God's patent, and their escutcheons and quarterings are to be found in heaven's great book of heraldry. Nor can any man any more be a Mason than he can be a gentle-man, unless he is generous, liberal, and disinterested. To be liberal, but only of that which is our own; to be generous, but only when we have first been just; to give, when to give deprives us of a luxury or a comfort, this is Masonry indeed.

He who is worldly, covetous, or sensual must change before he can be a good Mason. If we are governed by inclination and not by duty; if we are unkind, severe, censorious, or injurious, in the relations or intercourse of life; if we are unfaithful parents or undutiful children; if we are harsh masters or faithless servants; if we are treacherous friends or bad neighbors or bitter competitors or corrupt unprincipled politicians or overreaching dealers in business, we are wandering at a great distance from the true Masonic light.

Masons must be kind and affectionate one to another. Frequenting the same temples, kneeling at the same altars, they should feel that respect and that kindness for each other, which their common relation and common approach to one God should inspire. There needs to be much more of the spirit of the ancient fellow-ship among us; more tenderness for each other's faults, more forgiveness, more solicitude for each other's improvement and good fortune; somewhat of brotherly feeling, that it be not shame to use the word "brother."

Nothing should be allowed to interfere with that kindness and affection: neither the spirit of business, absorbing, eager, and overreaching, ungenerous and hard in its dealings, keen and bitter in its competitions, low and sordid in its purposes; nor that of ambition, selfish, mercenary, restless, circumventing, living only in the opinion of others, envious of the good fortune of others,

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miserably vain of its own success, unjust, unscrupulous, and slanderous.

He that does me a favor, hath bound me to make him a return of thankfulness. The obligation comes not by covenant, nor by his own express intention; but by the nature of the thing; and is a duty springing up within the spirit of the obliged person, to whom it is more natural to love his friend, and to do good for good, than to return evil for evil; because a man may forgive an injury, but he must never forget. a good turn. He that refuses to do good to them whom he is bound to love, or to love that which did him good, is unnatural and monstrous in his affections, and thinks all the world born to minister to him; with a greediness worse than that of the sea, which, although it receives all rivers into itself, yet it furnishes the clouds and springs with a return of all they need . Our duty to those who are our benefactors is, to esteem and love their persons, to make them proportionable returns of service, or duty, or profit, according as we can, or as they need, or as opportunity presents itself; and according to the greatness of their kindnesses.

The generous man cannot but regret to see dissensions and disputes among his brethren. Only the base and ungenerous delight in discord. It is the poorest occupation of humanity to labor to make men think worse of each other, as the press, and too commonly the pulpit, changing places with the hustings and the tribune, do. The duty of the Mason is to endeavor to make man think better of his neighbor; to quiet, instead of aggravating difficulties; to bring together those who are severed or estranged; to keep friends from becoming foes, and to persuade foes to become friends. To do this, he must needs control his own passions, and be not rash and hasty, nor swift to take offence, nor easy to be angered.

For anger is a professed enemy to counsel. It is a direct storm, in which no man can be heard to speak or call from without; for if you counsel gently, you are disregarded; if you urge it and be vehement, you provoke it more. It is neither manly nor ingenuous. It makes marriage to be a necessary and unavoidable trouble; friendships and societies and familiarities, to be intolerable. It multiplies the evils of drunkenness, and makes the levities of wine to run into madness. It makes innocent jesting to be the beginning of tragedies. It terns friendship into hatred; it makes a

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man lose himself, and his reason and his argument, in disputation. It turns the desires of knowledge into an itch of wrangling. It adds insolency to power. It turns justice into cruelty, and judgment into oppression. It changes discipline into tediousness and hatred of liberal institution. It makes a prosperous man to be envied, and the unfortunate to be unpitied.

See, therefore, that first controlling your own temper, and governing your own passions, you fit yourself to keep peace and harmony among other men, and especially the brethren. Above all remember that Masonry is the realm of peace, and that "among Masons there must be no dissension, but only that noble emulation, which can best work and best agree." Wherever there is strife and hatred among the brethren, there is no Masonry; for Masonry is Peace, and Brotherly Love, and Concord.

Masonry is the great Peace Society of the world. Wherever it exists, it struggles to prevent international difficulties and disputes; and to bind Republics, Kingdoms, and Empires together in one great band of peace and amity. It would not so often struggle in vain, if Masons knew their power and valued their oaths.

Who can sum up the horrors and woes accumulated in a single war? Masonry is not dazzled with all its pomp and circumstance, all its glitter and glory. War conies with its bloody hand into our very dwellings. It takes from ten thousand homes those who lived there in peace and comfort, held by the tender ties of family and kindred. It drags them away, to die untended, of fever or exposure, in infectious climes; or to be hacked, torn, and mangled in the fierce fight; to fall on the gory field, to rise no more, or to be borne away, in awful agony, to noisome and horrid hospitals. The groans of the battle-field are echoed in sighs of bereavement from thousands of desolated hearths. There is a skeleton in every house, a vacant chair at every table. Returning, the soldier brings worse sorrow to his home, by the infection which he has caught, of camp-vices. The country is demoralized. The national mind is brought down, from the noble interchange of kind offices with another people, to wrath and revenge, and base pride, and the habit of measuring brute strength against brute strength, in battle. Treasures are expended, that would suffice to build ten thousand churches, hospitals, and universities, or rib and tie together a continent with rails of iron. If that treasure were sunk in the sea, it

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would be calamity enough; but it is put to worse use; for it is expended in cutting into the veins and arteries of human life, until the earth is deluged with a sea of blood.

Such are the lessons of this Degree. You have vowed to make them the rule, the law, and the guide of your life and conduct. If you do so, you will be entitled, because fitted, to advance in Masonry. If you do not, you have already gone too far.

Angel symbol

 

VII. PROVOST AND JUDGE

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Scales and a key symbols - JUDGE

VII.

PROVOST AND JUDGE.

THE lesson which this Degree inculcates is JUSTICE, in decision and judgment, and in our intercourse and dealing with other men.

In a country where trial by jury is known, every intelligent man is liable to be called on to act as a judge, either of fact alone, or of fact and law mingled; and to assume the heavy responsibilities which belong to that character.

Those who are invested with the power of judgment should judge the causes of all persons uprightly and impartially, without any personal consideration of the power of the mighty, or the bribe of the rich, or the needs of the poor. That is the cardinal rule, which no one will dispute; though many fail to observe it. But they must do more. They must divest themselves of prejudice and preconception. They must hear patiently, remember accurately, and weigh carefully the facts and the arguments offered before them. They must not leap hastily to conclusions, nor form opinions before they have heard all. They must not presume crime or fraud. They must neither be ruled by stubborn pride of opinion, nor be too facile and yielding to the views and arguments of others. In deducing the motive from the proven act, they must not assign to the act either the best or the worst motives, but those which they would think it just and fair for the world to assign to it, if they themselves had done if; nor must they endeavor to make many little circumstances, that weigh nothing separately, weigh much together, to prove their own acuteness and sagacity. These are sound rules for every juror, also, to observe.

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In our intercourse with others, there are two kinds of injustice: the first, of those who offer an injury; the second, of those who have it in their power to avert an injury from those to whom it is offered, and yet do it not. So active injustice may be done in two ways -- by force and by fraud, -- of which force is lion-like, and fraud fox-like, -- both utterly repugnant to social duty, but fraud the more detestable.

Every wrong done by one man to another, whether it affect his person, his property, his happiness, or his reputation, is an offense against the law of justice. The field of this Degree is therefore a wide and vast one; and Masonry seeks for the most impressive mode of enforcing the law of justice, and the most effectual means of preventing wrong and injustice.

To this end it teaches this great and momentous truth: that wrong and injustice once done cannot be undone; but are eternal in their consequences; once committed, are numbered with the irrevocable Past; that the wrong that is done contains its own retributive penalty as surely and as naturally as the acorn contains the oak. Its consequences are its punishment; it needs no other, and can have no heavier; they are involved in its commission, and cannot be separated from it. A wrong done to another is an injury done to our own Nature, an offence against our own souls, a disfiguring of the image of the Beautiful and Good. Punishment is not the execution of a sentence, but the occurrence of an effect. It is ordained to follow guilt, not by the decree of God as a judge, but by a law enacted by Him as the Creator and Legislator of the Universe. It is not an arbitrary and artificial annexation, but an ordinary and logical consequence; and therefore must be borne by the wrong-doer, and through him may flow on to others. It is the decision of the infinite justice of God, in the form of law.

There can be no interference with, or remittance of, or protection from, the natural effects of our wrongful acts. God will not interpose between the cause and its consequence; and in that sense there can be no forgiveness of sins. The act which has debased our soul may be repented of, may be turned from; but the injury is done. The debasement may be redeemed by after-efforts, the stain obliterated by bitterer struggles and severer sufferings; but the efforts and the endurance which might have raised the soul to the loftiest heights are now exhausted in merely regaining what

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it has lost. There must always be a wide difference between him who only ceases to do evil, and him who has always done well.

He will certainly be a far more scrupulous watcher over his conduct, and far more careful of his deeds, who believes that those deeds will inevitably bear their natural consequences, exempt from after intervention, than he who believes that penitence and par-don will at any time unlink the chain of sequences. Surely we shall do less wrong and injustice, if the conviction is fixed and embedded in our souls that everything done is done irrevocably, that even the Omnipotence of God cannot uncommit a deed, cannot make that undone which has been done; that every act of ours must bear its allotted fruit, according to the everlasting laws, -- must remain forever ineffaceably inscribed on the tablets of Universal Nature.

If you have wronged another, you may grieve, repent, and resolutely determine against any such weakness in future. You may, so far as it is possible, make reparation. It is well. The injured party may forgive you, according to the meaning of human language; but the deed is done; and all the powers of Nature, were they to conspire in your behalf, could not make it undone; the consequences to the body, the consequences to the soul, though no man may perceive them, are there, are written in the annals of the Past, and must reverbrate throughout all time.

Repentance for a wrong done, bears, like every other act, its own fruit, the fruit of purifying the heart and amending the Future, but not of effacing the Past. The commission of the wrong is an irrevocable act; but it does not incapacitate the soul to do right for the future. Its consequences cannot be expunged; but its course need not be pursued. Wrong and evil perpetrated, though ineffaceable, call for no despair, but for efforts more energetic than before. Repentance is still as valid as ever; but it is valid to secure the Future, not to obliterate the Past.

Even the pulsations of the air, once set in motion by the human voice, cease not to exist with the sounds to which they gave rise. Their quickly-attenuated force soon becomes inaudible to human ears. But the waves of air thus raised perambulate the surface of earth and ocean, and in less than twenty hours, every atom of the atmosphere takes up the altered movement due to that infinitesimal portion of primitive motion which has been conveyed to it

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through countless channels, and which must continue to influence its path throughout its future existence. The air is one vast library, on whose pages is forever written all that man has ever said or even whispered. There, in their mutable, but unerring characters, mixed with the earliest, as well as the latest signs of mortality, stand forever recorded, vows unredeemed, promises unfulfilled; perpetuating, in the movements of each particle, all in unison, the testimony of man's changeful will. God reads that book, though we cannot.

So earth, air, and ocean are the eternal witnesses of the acts that we have done. No motion impressed by natural causes or by human agency is ever obliterated. The track of every keel which has ever disturbed the surface of the ocean remains forever registered in the future movements of all succeeding particles which may occupy its place. Every criminal is by the laws of the Almighty irrevocably chained to the testimony of his crime; for every atom of his mortal frame, through whatever changes its particles may migrate, will still retain, adhering to it through every combination, some movement derived from that very muscular effort by which the crime itself was perpetrated.

What if our faculties should be so enhanced in a future life as to enable us to perceive and trace the ineffaceable consequences of our idle words and evil deeds, and render our remorse and grief as eternal as those consequences themselves? No more fearful punishment to a superior intelligence can be conceived, than to see still in action, with the consciousness that it must continue in action forever, a cause of wrong put in motion by itself ages before.

Masonry, by its teachings, endeavors to restrain men from the commission of injustice and acts of wrong and outrage. Though it does not endeavor to usurp the place of religion, still its code of morals proceeds upon other principles than the municipal law; and it condemns and punishes offences which neither that law punishes nor public opinion condemns. In the Masonic law, to cheat and overreach in trade, at the bar, in politics, are deemed no more venial than theft; nor a deliberate lie than perjury; nor slander than robbery; nor seduction than murder.

Especially it condemns those wrongs of which the doer induces another to partake. He may repent; he may, after agonizing struggles, regain the path of virtue; his spirit may reachieve its

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purity through much anguish, after many strifes; but the weaker fellow-creature whom he led astray, whom he made a sharer in his guilt, but whom he cannot make a sharer in his repentance and amendment, whose downward course (the first step of which he taught) he cannot check, but is compelled to witness, -- what forgiveness of sins can avail him there? There is his perpetual, his inevitable punishment, which no repentance can alleviate, and no mercy can remit.

Let us be just, also, in judging of other men's motives. We know but little of the real merits or demerits of any fellow-creature. We can rarely say with certainty that this man is more guilty than that, or even that this man is very good or very wicked. Often the basest men leave behind them excellent reputations. There is scarcely one of us who has not, at some time in his life, been on the edge of the commission of a crime. Every one of us can look back, and shuddering see the time when our feet stood upon the slippery crags that overhung the abyss of guilt; and when, if temptation had been a little more urgent, or a little longer continued, if penury had pressed us a little harder, or a little more wine had further disturbed our intellect, dethroned our judgment, and aroused our passions, our feet would have slipped, and we should have fallen, never to rise again.

We may be able to say -- "This man has lied, has pilfered, has forged, has embezzled moneys intrusted to him; and that man has gone through life with clean hands." But we cannot say that the former has not struggled long, though unsuccessfully, against temptations under which the second would have succumbed without an effort. We can say which has the cleanest hands before man; but not which has the cleanest soul before God. We may be able to say, this man has committed adultery, and that man has been ever chaste; but we cannot tell but that the innocence of one may have been due to the coldness of his heart, to the absence of a motive, to the presence of a fear, to the slight degree of the temptation; nor but that the fall of the other may have been preceded by the most vehement self-contest, caused by the most over-mastering frenzy, and atoned for by the most hallowing repentance. Generosity as well as niggardliness may be a mere yielding to native temperament; and in the eye of Heaven, a long life of beneficence in one man may have cost less effort, and may indicate less virtue and less sacrifice of interest, than a few rare

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hidden acts of kindness wrung by duty out of the reluctant and unsympathizing nature of the other. There may be more real merit, more self-sacrificing effort, more of the noblest elements of moral grandeur, in a life of failure, sin, and shame, than in a career, to our eyes, of stainless integrity.

When we condemn or pity the fallen, how do we know that, tempted like him, we should not have fallen like him, as soon, and perhaps with less resistance? How can we know what we should do if we were out of employment, famine crouching, gaunt, and hungry, on our fireless hearth, and our children wailing for bread? We fall not because we are not enough tempted! He that hath fallen may be at heart as honest as we. How do we know that our daughter, sister, wife, could resist the abandonment, the desolation, the distress, the temptation, that sacrificed the virtue of their poor abandoned sister of shame? Perhaps they also have not fallen, because they have not been sorely tempted! Wisely are we directed to pray that we may not be exposed to temptation.

Human justice must be ever uncertain. How many judicial murders have been committed through ignorance of the phenomena of insanity! How many men hung for murder who were no more murderers at heart than the jury that tried and the judge that sentenced them! It may well be doubted whether the ad-ministration of human laws, in every country, is not one gigantic mass of injustice and wrong. God seeth not as man seeth; and the most abandoned criminal, black as he is before the world, may yet have continued to keep some little light burning in a corner of his soul, which would long since have gone out in that of those who walk proudly in the sunshine of immaculate fame, if they had been tried and tempted like the poor outcast.

We do not know even the outside life of men. We are not competent to pronounce even on their deeds. We do not know half the acts of wickedness or virtue, even of our most immediate fellows. We cannot say, with certainty, even of our nearest friend, that he has not committed a particular sin, and broken a particular commandment. Let each man ask his own heart! Of how many of our best and of our worst acts and qualities are our most intimate associates utterly unconscious! How many virtues does not the world give us credit for, that we do not possess; or vices condemn us for, of which we are not the slaves! It is but a small portion of our evil deeds and thoughts that ever comes to light;

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and of our few redeeming goodnesses, the largest portion is known to God alone.

We shall, therefore, be just in judging of other men, only when we are charitable; and we should assume the prerogative of judging others only when the duty is forced upon us; since we are so almost certain to err, and the consequences of error are so serious. No man need covet the office of judge; for in assuming it he assumes the gravest and most oppressive responsibility. Yet you have assumed it; we all assume it; for man is ever ready to judge, and ever ready to condemn his neighbor, while upon the same state of case he acquits himself. See, therefore, that you exercise your office cautiously and charitably, lest, in passing judgment upon the criminal, you commit a greater wrong than that for which you condemn him, and the consequences of which must be eternal.

The faults and crimes and follies of other men are not unimportant to us; but form a part of our moral discipline. War and bloodshed at a distance, and frauds which do not affect our pecuniary interest, yet touch us in our feelings, and concern our moral welfare. They have much to do with all thoughtful hearts. The public eye may look unconcernedly on the miserable victim of vice, and that shattered wreck of a man may move the multitude to laughter or to scorn. But to the Mason, it is the form of sacred humanity that is before him; it is an erring fellow-being; a desolate, forlorn, forsaken soul; and his thoughts, enfolding the poor wretch, will be far deeper than those of indifference, ridicule, or contempt. All human offences, the whole system of dishonesty, evasion, circumventing, forbidden indulgence, and intriguing ambition, in which men are struggling with each other, will be looked upon by a thoughtful Mason, not merely as a scene of mean toils and strifes, but as the solemn conflicts of immortal minds, for ends vast and momentous as their own being. It is a sad and unworthy strife, and may well be viewed with indignation; but that indignation must melt into pity. For the stakes for which these gamesters play are not those which they imagine, not those which are in sight. For example, this man plays for a petty office, and gains it; but the real stake he gains is sycophancy, uncharitableness, slander, and deceit.

Good men are too proud of their goodness. They are respectable; dishonor comes not near them; their countenance has weight and influence; their robes are unstained; the poisonous breath of

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calumny has never been breathed upon their fair name. How easy it is for them to look down with scorn upon the poor degraded offender; to pass him by with a lofty step; to draw up the folds of their garment around them, that they may not be soiled by his touch! Yet the Great Master of Virtue did not so; but descended to familiar intercourse with publicans and sinners, with the Samaritan woman, with the outcasts and the Pariahs of the Hebrew world.

Many men think themselves better, in proportion as they can detect sin in others! When they go over the catalogue of their neighbor's unhappy derelictions of temper or conduct, they often, amidst much apparent concern, feel a secret exultation, that destroys all their own pretensions to wisdom and moderation, and even to virtue. Many even take actual pleasure in the sins of others; and this is the case with every one whose thoughts are often employed in agreeable comparisons of his own virtues with his neighbors' faults.

The power of gentleness is too little seen in the world; the subduing influences of pity, the might of love, the control of mildness over passion, the commanding majesty of that perfect character which mingles grave displeasure with grief and pity for the offender. So it is that a Mason should treat his brethren who go astray. Not with bitterness; nor yet with good-natured easiness, nor with worldly indifference, nor with the philosophic coldness, nor with a laxity of conscience, that accounts everything well, that passes under the seal of public opinion; but with charity, with pitying loving-kindness.

The human heart will not bow willingly to what is infirm and wrong in human nature. If it yields to us, it must yield to what is divine in us. The wickedness of my neighbor cannot submit to my wickedness; his sensuality, for instance, to my anger against his vices. My faults are not the instruments that are to arrest his faults. And therefore impatient reformers, and denouncing preachers, and hasty reprovers, and angry parents, and irritable relatives generally fail, in their several departments, to reclaim the erring.

A moral offence is sickness, pain, loss, dishonor, in the immortal part of man. It is guilt, and misery added to guilt. It is itself calamity; and brings upon itself, in addition, the calamity of God's disapproval, the abhorrence of all virtuous men, and the soul's own

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abhorrence. Deal faithfully, but patiently and tenderly, with this evil! It is no matter for petty provocation, nor for personal strife, nor for selfish irritation.

Speak kindly to your erring brother! God pities him: Christ has died for him: Providence waits for him: Heaven's mercy yearns toward him; and Heaven's spirits are ready to welcome him back with joy. Let your voice be in unison with all those powers that God is using for his recovery!

If one defrauds you, and exults at it, he is the most to be pitied of human beings. He has done himself a far deeper injury than he has done you. It is he, and not you, whom God regards with mingled displeasure and compassion; and His judgment should be your law. Among all the benedictions of the Holy Mount there is not one for this man; but for the merciful, the peace-makers, and the persecuted they are poured out freely.

We are all men of like passions, propensities, and exposures. There are elements in us all, which might have been perverted, through the successive processes of moral deterioration, to the worst of crimes. The wretch whom the execration of the thronging crowd pursues to the scaffold, is not worse than any one of that multitude might have become under similar circumstances. He is to be condemned indeed, but also deeply to be pitied.

It does not become the frail and sinful to be vindictive toward even the worst criminals. We owe much to the good Providence of God, ordaining for us a lot more favorable to virtue. We all had that within us, that might have been pushed to the same excess: Perhaps we should have fallen as he did, with less temptation. Perhaps we have done acts, that, in proportion to the temptation or provocation, were less excusable than his great crime. Silent pity and sorrow for the victim should mingle with our detestation of the guilt. Even the pirate who murders in cold blood on the high seas, is such a man as you or I might have been. Orphanage in childhood, or base and dissolute and abandoned parents; an unfriended youth; evil companions; ignorance and want of moral cultivation; the temptations of sinful pleasure or grinding poverty; familiarity with vice; a scorned and blighted name; seared and crushed affections; desperate fortunes; these are steps that might have led any one among us to unfurl upon the high seas the bloody flag of universal defiance; to wage war with our kind; to live the life and die the death of the reckless and remorseless freebooter.

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Many affecting relationships of humanity plead with us to pity him. His head once rested on a mother's bosom. He was once the object of sisterly love and domestic endearment. Perhaps his hand, since often red with blood, once clasped another little loving hand at the altar. Pity him then; his blighted hopes and his crushed heart! It is proper that frail and erring creatures like us should do so; should feel the crime, but feel it as weak, tempted, and rescued creatures should. It may be that when God weighs men's crimes, He will take into consideration the temptations and the adverse circumstances that led to them, and the opportunities for moral culture of the offender; and it may be that our own offences will weigh heavier than we think, and the murderer's lighter than according to man's judgment.

On all accounts, therefore, let the true Mason never forget the solemn injunction, necessary to be observed at almost every moment of a busy life: "JUDGE NOT, LEST YE YOURSELVES BE JUDGED: FOR WHATSOEVER JUDGMENT YE MEASURE UNTO OTHERS, THE SAME SHALL IN TURN BE MEASURED UNTO YOU." Such is the lesson taught the Provost and Judge.

Provost and Judge symbol

 

VIII. INTENDANT OF THE BUILDING

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Freemasonry - INTENDANT OF THE BUILDING degree symbols

VIII.

INTENDANT OF THE BUILDING.

IN this Degree you have been taught the important lesson, that none are entitled to advance in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, who have not by study and application made themselves familiar with Masonic learning and jurisprudence. The Degrees of this Rite are not for those who are content with the mere work and ceremonies, and do not seek to explore the mines of wisdom that lie buried beneath the surface. You still advance toward the Light, toward that star, blazing in the distance, which is an emblem of the Divine Truth, given by God to the first men, and preserved amid all the vicissitudes of ages in the traditions and teachings of Masonry. How far you will advance, depends upon yourself alone. Here, as everywhere in the world, Darkness struggles with Light, and clouds and shadows intervene between you and the Truth.

When you shall have become imbued with the morality of Masonry, with which you yet are, and for some time will be exclusively occupied, -- when you shall have learned to practice all the virtues which it inculcates; when they become familiar to you as your Household Gods; then will you be prepared to receive its lofty philosophical instruction, and to scale the heights upon whose summit Light and Truth sit enthroned. Step by step men must advance toward Perfection; and each Masonic Degree is meant to be one of those steps. Each is a development of a particular duty; and in the present you are taught charity and benevolence;

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to be to your brethren an example of virtue; to correct your own faults; and to endeavor to correct those of your brethren.

Here, as in all the Degrees, you meet with the emblems and the names of Deity, the true knowledge of whose character and attributes it has ever been a chief object of Masonry to perpetuate. To appreciate His infinite greatness and goodness, to rely implicitly upon His Providence, to revere and venerate Him as the Supreme Architect, Creator, and Legislator of the universe, is the first of Masonic duties.

The Battery of this Degree, and the five circuits which you made around the Lodge, allude to the five points of fellowship, and are intended to recall them vividly to your mind. To go upon a brother's errand or to his relief, even barefoot and upon flinty ground; to remember him in your supplications to the Deity; to clasp him to your heart, and protect him against malice and evil-speaking; to uphold him when about to stumble and fall; and to give him prudent, honest, and friendly counsel, are duties plainly written upon the pages of God's great code of law, and first among the ordinances of Masonry.

The first sign of the Degree is expressive of the diffidence and humility with which we inquire into the nature and attributes of the Deity; the second, of the profound awe and reverence with which we contemplate His glories; and the third, of the sorrow with which we reflect upon our insufficient observance of our duties, and our imperfect compliance with His statutes.

The distinguishing property of man is to search for and follow after truth. Therefore, when relaxed from our necessary cares and concerns, we then covet to see, to hear, and to learn somewhat; and we esteem knowledge of things, either obscure or wonderful, to be the indispensable means of living happily. Truth, Simplicity, and Candor are most agreeable to the nature of mankind. Whatever is virtuous consists either in Sagacity, and the perception of Truth; or in the preservation of Human Society, by giving to every man his due, and observing the faith of contracts; or in the greatness and firmness of an elevated and unsubdued mind; or in observing order and regularity in all our words and in all our actions; in which consist Moderation and Temperance.

Masonry has in all times religiously preserved that enlightened faith from which flow sublime Devotedness, the sentiment of Fraternity fruitful of good works, the spirit of indulgence and peace,

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of sweet hopes and effectual consolations; and inflexibility in the accomplishment of the most painful and arduous duties. It has always propagated it with ardor and perseverance; and therefore it labors at the present day more zealously than ever. Scarcely a Masonic discourse is pronounced, that does not demonstrate the necessity and advantages of this faith, and especially recall the two constitutive principles of religion, that make all religion, -- love of God, and love of neighbor. Masons carry these principles into the bosoms of their families and of society. While the Sectarians of former times enfeebled the religious spirit, Masonry, forming one great People over the whole globe, and march under the great banner of Charity and Benevolence, preserves feeling, strengthens it, extends it in its purity and simplicity, as it has always existed in the depths of the human heart, as it existed even under the dominion of the most ancient forms of worship, but where gross and debasing superstitions forbade its recognition.

A Masonic Lodge should resemble a bee-hive, in which all the members work together with ardor for the common good. Masonry is not made for cold souls and narrow minds, that do not comprehend its lofty mission and sublime apostolate. Here the anathema against lukewarm souls applies. To comfort misfortune, to popularize knowledge, to teach whatever is true and pure in religion and philosophy, to accustom men to respect order and the proprieties of life, to point out the way to genuine happiness, to prepare for that fortunate period, when all the factions of the Human Family, united by the bonds of Toleration and Fraternity, shall be but one household, -- these are labors that may well excite zeal and even enthusiasm.

We do not now enlarge upon or elaborate these ideas. We but utter them to you briefly, as hints, upon which you may at your leisure reflect. Hereafter, if you continue to advance, they will be unfolded, explained, and developed.

Masonry utters no impracticable and extravagant precepts, certain, because they are so, to be disregarded. It asks of its initiates nothing that it is not possible and even easy for them to perform. Its teachings are eminently practical; and its statutes can be obeyed by every just, upright, and honest man, no matter what his faith or creed. Its object is to attain the greatest practical good, without seeking to make men perfect. It does not meddle with the domain of religion, nor inquire into the mysteries of regeneration.

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It teaches those truths that are written by the finger of God upon the heart of man, those views of duty which have been wrought out by the meditations of the studious, confirmed by the allegiance of the good and wise, and stamped as sterling by the response they find in every uncorrupted mind. It does not dogmatize, nor vainly imagine dogmatic certainty to be attainable.

Masonry does not occupy itself with crying down this world, with its splendid beauty, its thrilling interests, its glorious works, its noble and holy affections; nor exhort us to detach our hearts from this earthly life, as empty, fleeting, and unworthy, and fix them upon Heaven, as the only sphere deserving the love of the loving or the meditation of the wise. It teaches that man has high duties to perform, and a high destiny to fulfill, on this earth; that this world is not merely the portal to another; and that this life, though not our only one, is an integral one, and the particular one with which we are here meant to be concerned; that the Present is our scene of action, and the Future for speculation and for trust; that man was sent upon the earth to live in it, to enjoy it, to study it, to love it, to embellish it, to make the most of it. It is his country, on which he should lavish his affections and his efforts. It is here his influences are to operate. It is his house, and not a tent; his home, and not merely a school. He is sent into this world, not to be constantly hankering after, dreaming of, preparing for another; but to do his duty and fulfill his destiny on this earth; to do all that lies in his power to improve it, to render it a scene of elevated happiness to himself, to those around him, to those who are to come after him. His life here is part of his immortality; and this world, also, is among the stars.

And thus, Masonry teaches us, will man best prepare for that Future which he hopes for. The Unseen cannot hold a higher place in our affections than the Seen and the Familiar. The law of our being is Love of Life, and its interests and adornments; love of the world in which our lot is cast, engrossment with the interests and affections of earth. Not a low or sensual love; not love of wealth, of fame, of ease, of power, of splendor. Not low worldliness; but the love of Earth as the garden on which the Creator has lavished such miracles of beauty; as the habitation of humanity, the arena of its conflicts, the scene of its illimitable progress, the dwelling-place of the wise, the good, the active, the loving, and the dear; the place of opportunity for the development

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by means of sin and suffering and sorrow, of the noblest passions, the loftiest virtues, and the tenderest sympathies.

They take very unprofitable pains, who endeavor to persuade men that they are obliged wholly to despise this world, and all that is in it, even whilst they themselves live here. God hath not taken all that pains in forming and framing and furnishing and adorning the world, that they who were made by Him to live in it should despise it. It will be enough, if they do not love it too immoderately. It is useless to attempt to extinguish all those affections and passions which are and always will be inseparable from human nature. As long as he world lasts, and honor and virtue and industry have reputation in the world, there will be ambition and emulation and appetite in the best and most accomplished men in it; and if there were not, more barbarity and vice and wickedness would cover every nation of the world, than it now suffers under.

Those only who feel a deep interest in, and affection for, this world, will work resolutely for its amelioration. Those who under-value this life, naturally become querulous and discontented, and lose their interest in the welfare of their fellows. To serve them, and so to do our duty as Masons, we must feel that the object is worth the exertion; and be content with this world in which God has placed us, until He permits us to remove to a better one. He is here with us, and does not deem this an unworthy world.

It is a serious thing to defame and belie a whole world; to speak of it as the abode of a poor, toiling, drudging, ignorant, contemptible race. You would not so discredit your family, your friendly circle, your village, your city, your country. The world is not a wretched and a worthless one; nor is it a misfortune, but a thing to be thankful for, to be a man. If life is worthless, so also is immortality.

In society itself, in that living mechanism of human relation-ships that spreads itself over the world, there is a finer essence within, that as truly moves it, as any power, heavy or expansive, moves the sounding manufactory or the swift-flying car. The man-machine hurries to and fro upon the earth, stretches out its hands on every side, to toil, to barter, to unnumbered labors and enterprises; and almost always the motive, that which moves it, is something that takes hold of the comforts, affections, and hopes of social existence. True, the mechanism often works with difficulty,

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drags heavily, grates and screams with harsh collision. True, the essence of finer motive, becoming intermixed with baser and coarser ingredients, often clogs, obstructs, jars, and deranges the free and noble action of social life. But he is neither grateful nor wise, who looks cynically on all this, and loses the fine sense of social good in its perversions. That I can be a friend, that I can have a friend, though it were but one in the world; that fact, that wondrous good fortune, we may set against all the sufferings of our social nature. That there is such a place on earth as a home, that resort and sanctuary of in-walled and shielded joy, we may set against all the surrounding desolations of life. That one can be a true, social man, can speak his true thoughts, amidst all the janglings of controversy and the warring of opinions; that fact from within, outweighs all facts from without.

In the visible aspect and action of society, often repulsive and annoying, we are apt to lose the due sense of its invisible blessings. As in Nature it is not the coarse and palpable, not soils and rains, nor even fields and flowers, that are so beautiful, as the invisible spirit of wisdom and beauty that pervades it; so in society, it is the invisible, and therefore unobserved, that is most beautiful.

What nerves the arm of toil? If man minded himself alone, he would fling down the spade and axe, and rush to the desert; or roam through the world as a wilderness, and make that world a desert. His home, which he sees not, perhaps, but once or twice in a day, is the invisible bond of the world. It is the good, strong, and noble faith that men have in each other, which gives the loftiest character to business, trade, and commerce. Fraud occurs in the rush of business; but it is the exception. Honesty is the rule; and all the frauds in the world cannot tear the great bond of human confidence. If they could, commerce would furl its sails on every sea, and all the cities of the world would crumble into ruins. The bare character of a man on the other side of the world, whom you never saw, whom you never will see, you hold good for a bond of thousands. The most striking feature of the political state is not governments, nor constitutions, nor laws, nor enactments, nor the judicial power, nor the police; but the universal will of the people to be governed by the common weal. Take off that restraint, and no government on earth could stand for an hour.

Of the many teachings of Masonry, one of the most valuable is,

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that we should not depreciate this life. It does not hold, that when we reflect on the destiny that awaits man on earth, we ought to bedew his cradle with our tears; but, like the Hebrews, it hails the birth of a child with joy, and holds that his birthday should be a festival.

It has no sympathy with those who profess to have proved this life, and found it little worth; who have deliberately made up their minds that it is far more miserable than happy; because its employments are tedious, and their schemes often baffled, their friendships broken, or their friends dead, its pleasures palled, and its honors faded, and its paths beaten, familiar, and dull.

Masonry deems it no mark of great piety toward God to disparage, if not despise, the state that He has ordained for us. It does not absurdly set up the claims of another world, not in comparison merely, but in competition, with the claims of this. It looks upon both as parts of one system. It holds that a man may make the best of this world and of another at the same time. It does not teach its initiates to think better of other works and dispensations of God, by thinking meanly of these. It does not look upon life as so much time lost; nor regard its employments as trifles unworthy of immortal beings; nor tell its followers to fold their arms, as if in disdain of their state and species; but it looks soberly and cheerfully upon the world, as a theatre of worthy action, of exalted usefulness, and of rational and innocent enjoyment.

It holds that, with all its evils, life is a blessing. To deny that is to destroy the basis of all religion, natural and revealed. The very foundation of all religion is laid on the firm belief that God is good; and if this life is an evil and a curse, no such belief can be rationally entertained. To level our satire at humanity and human existence, as mean and contemptible; to look on this world as the habitation of a miserable race, fit only for mockery and scorn; to consider this earth as a dungeon or a prison, which has no blessing to offer but escape from it, is to extinguish the primal light of faith and hope and happiness, to destroy the basis of religion, and Truth's foundation in the goodness of God. If it indeed be so, then it matters not what else is true or not true; speculation is vain and faith is vain; and all that belongs to man's highest being is buried in the ruins of misanthropy, melancholy, and despair.

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Our love of life; the tenacity with which, in sorrow and suffering, we cling to it; our attachment to our home, to the spot that gave us birth, to any place, however rude, unsightly, or barren, on which the history of our years has been written, all show how dear are the ties of kindred and society. Misery makes a greater impression upon us than happiness; because the former is not the habit of our minds. It is a strange, unusual guest, and we are more conscious of its presence. Happiness lives with us, and we forget it. It does not excite us, nor disturb the order and course of our thoughts. A great agony is an epoch in our life. We re-member our afflictions, as we do the storm and earthquake, because they are out of the common course of things. They are like disastrous events, recorded because extraordinary; and with whole and unnoticed periods of prosperity between. We mark and signalize the times of calamity; but many happy days and unnoted periods of enjoyment pass, that are unrecorded either in the book of memory, or in the scanty annals of our thanksgiving. We are little disposed and less able to call up from the dim remembrances of our past years, the peaceful moments, the easy sensations, the bright thoughts, the quiet reveries, the throngs of kind affections in which life flowed on, bearing us almost unconsciously upon its bosom, because it bore us calmly and gently.

Life is not only good; but it has been glorious in the experience of millions. The glory of all human virtue clothes it. The splendors of devotedness, beneficence, and heroism are upon it; the crown of a thousand martyrdoms is upon its brow. The brightness of the soul shines through this visible and sometimes darkened life; through all its surrounding cares and labors. The humblest life may feel its connection with its Infinite Source. There is something mighty in the frail inner man; something of immortality in this momentary and transient being. The mind stretches away, on every side, into infinity. Its thoughts flash abroad, far into the boundless, the immeasurable, the infinite; far into the great, dark, teeming future; and become powers and influences in other ages. To know its wonderful Author, to bring down wisdom from the Eternal Stars, to bear upward its homage, gratitude, and love, to the Ruler of all worlds, to be immortal in our influences projected far into the slow-approaching Future, makes life most worthy and most glorious.

Life is the wonderful creation of God. It is light, sprung from

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void darkness; power, waked from inertness and impotence; being created from nothing; and the contrast may well enkindle wonder and delight. It is a rill from the infinite, overflowing goodness; and from the moment when it first gushes up into the light, to that when it mingles with the ocean of Eternity, that Goodness attends it and ministers to it. It is a great and glorious gift. There is gladness in its infant voices; joy in the buoyant step of its youth; deep satisfaction in its strong maturity; and peace in its quiet age. There is good for the good; virtue for the faithful; and victory for the valiant. There is, even in this humble life, an infinity for those whose desires are boundless. There are blessings upon its birth; there is hope in its death; and eternity in its prospect. Thus earth, which binds many in chains, is to the Mason both the starting-place and goal of immortality. Many it buries in the rubbish of dull cares and wearying vanities; but to the Mason it is the lofty mount of meditation, where Heaven, and Infinity and Eternity are spread before him and around him. To the lofty-minded, the pure, and the virtuous, this life is the beginning of Heaven, and a part of immortality.

God hath appointed one remedy for all the evils in the world; and that is a contented spirit. We may be reconciled to poverty and a low fortune, if we suffer contentedness and equanimity to make the proportions. No man is poor who doth not think himself so; but if, in a full fortune, with impatience he desires more, he proclaims his wants and his beggarly condition. This virtue of contentedness was the sum of all the old moral philosophy, and is of most universal use in the whole course of our lives, and the only instrument to ease the burdens of the world and the enmities of sad chances. It is the great reasonableness of complying with the Divine Providence, which governs all the world, and hath so ordered us in the administration of His great family. It is fit that God should dispense His gifts as He pleases; and if we murmur here, we may, at the next melancholy, be troubled that He did not make us to be angels or stars.

We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a Tyrant upon us, or a sickness, or scorn, or a lessened fortune, if we fear to die, or know not how to be patient, or are proud, or covetous, then the calamity sits heavy on us. But if we know how to manage a noble principle, and fear not death so much as a dishonest action, and think impatience a worse evil than a

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fever, and pride to be the greatest disgrace as well as the greatest folly, and poverty far preferable to the torments of avarice, we may still bear an even mind and smile at the reverses of fortune and the ill-nature of Fate.

If thou hast lost thy land, do not also lose thy constancy; and if thou must die sooner than others, or than thou didst expect, yet do not die impatiently. For no chance is evil to him who is content, and to a man nothing is miserable unless it be unreasonable. No man can make another man to be his slave, unless that other hath first enslaved himself to life and death, to pleasure or pain, to hope or fear; command these passions, and you are freer than the Parthian Kings.

When an enemy reproaches us, let us look on him as an impartial relator of our faults; for he will tell us truer than our fondest friend will, and we may forgive his anger, whilst we make use of the plainness of his declamation. The ox, when he is weary, treads truest; and if there be nothing else in abuse, but that it makes us to walk warily, and tread sure for fear of our enemies, that is better than to be flattered into pride and carelessness.

If thou fallest from thy employment in public, take sanctuary in an honest retirement, being indifferent to thy gain abroad, or thy safety at home. When the north wind blows hard, and it rains sadly, we do not sit down in it and cry; but defend ourselves against it with a warm garment, or a good fire and a dry roof. So when the storm of a sad mischance beats upon our spirits, we may turn it into something that is good, if we resolve to make it so; and with equanimity and patience may shelter ourselves from its inclement pitiless pelting. If it develop our patience, and give occasion for heroic endurance, it hath done us good enough to recompense us sufficiently for all the temporal affliction; for so a wise man shall overrule his stars; and have a greater influence upon his own content, than all the constellations and planets of the firmament.

Compare not thy condition with the few above thee, but to secure thy content, look upon those thousands with whom thou wouldst not, for any interest, change thy fortune and condition. A soldier must not think himself unprosperous, if he be not successful as Alexander or Wellington; nor any man deem himself unfortunate that he hath not the wealth of Rothschild; but rather let the former rejoice that he is not lessened like the many generals

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who went down horse and man before Napoleon, and the latter that he is not the beggar who, bareheaded in the bleak winter wind holds out his tattered hat for charity. There may be many who are richer and more fortunate; but many thousands who are very miserable, compared to thee.

After the worst assaults of Fortune, there, will be something left to us, -- a merry countenance, a cheerful spirit, and a good conscience, the Providence of God, our hopes of Heaven, our charity for those who have injured us; perhaps a loving wife, and many friends to pity, and some to relieve us; and light and air, and all the beauties of Nature; we can read, discourse, and meditate; and having still these blessings, we should be much in love with sorrow and peevishness to lose them all, and prefer to sit down on our little handful of thorns.

Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them, and the evils of it bear patiently and calmly; for this clay only is ours: we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow. When our fortunes are violently changed, our spirits are unchanged, if they always stood in the suburbs and expectation of sorrows and reverses. The blessings of immunity. safeguard, liberty, and integrity deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life. We are quit from a thousand calamities, every one of which, if it were upon us, would make us insensible of our present sorrow, and glad to receive it in exchange for that other greater affliction.

Measure your desires by your fortune and condition, not your fortunes by your desires: be governed by your needs, not by your fancy; by nature, not by evil customs and ambitious principles. It is no evil to be poor, but to be vicious and impatient. Is that beast better, that hath two or three mountains to graze on, than the little bee that feeds on dew or manna, and lives upon what falls every morning from the store-houses of Heaven, clouds and Providence?

There are some instances of fortune and a fair condition that cannot stand with some others; but if you desire this, you must lose that, and unless you be content with one, you lose the comfort of both. If you covet learning, you must have leisure and a retired life; if honors of State and political distinctions, you must "Be ever abroad in public, and get experience, and do all men's business, and keep all company, and have no leisure at all. If you will be rich, you must be frugal; if you will be popular, you must

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be bountiful; if a philosopher, you must despise riches. If you would be famous as Epaminondas, accept also his poverty, for it added lustre to his person, and envy to his fortune, and his virtue without it could not have been so excellent. If you would have the reputation of a martyr, you must needs accept his persecution; if of a benefactor of the world, the world's injustice; if truly great, you must expect to see the mob prefer lesser men to yourself.

God esteems it one of His glories, that He brings good out of evil; and therefore it were but reason we should trust Him to govern His own world as He pleases; and that we should patiently wait until the change cometh, or the reason is discovered.

A Mason's contentedness must by no means be a mere contented selfishness, like his who, comfortable himself, is indifferent to the discomfort of others. There will always be in this world wrongs to forgive, suffering to alleviate, sorrow asking for sympathy, necessities and destitution to relieve, and ample occasion for the exercise of active charity and beneficence. And he who sits unconcerned amidst it all, perhaps enjoying his own comforts and luxuries the more, by contrasting them with the hungry and ragged destitution and shivering misery of his fellows, is not contented, but selfish and unfeeling.

It is the saddest of all sights upon this earth, that of a man lazy and luxurious, or hard and penurious, to whom want appeals in vain, and suffering cries in an unknown tongue. The man whose hasty anger hurries him into violence and crime is not half so unworthy to live. He is the faithless steward, that embezzles what God has given him in trust for the impoverished and suffering among his brethren. The true Mason must be and must have a right to be content with himself; and he can be so only when he lives not for himself alone, but for others also, who need his assistance and have a claim upon his sympathy.

"Charity is the great channel," it has been well said, "through which God passes all His mercy upon mankind. For we receive absolution of our sins in proportion to our forgiving our brother. This is the rule of our hopes and the measure of our desire in this world; and on the day of death and judgment, the great sentence upon mankind shall be transacted according to our alms, which is the other part of charity. God himself is love; and every degree of charity that dwells in us is the participation of the Divine nature."

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These principles Masonry reduces to practice. By them it expects you to be hereafter guided and governed. It especially inculcates them upon him who employs the labor of others, forbidding him to discharge them, when to want employment is to starve; or to contract for the labor of man or woman at so low a price that by over-exertion they must sell him their blood and life at the same time with the labor of their hands.

These Degrees are also intended to teach more than morals. The symbols and ceremonies of Masonry have more than one meaning. They rather conceal than disclose the Truth. They hint it only, at least; and their varied meanings are only to be discovered by reflection and study. Truth is not only symbolized by Light, but as the ray of light is separable into rays of different colors, so is truth separable into kinds. It is the province of Masonry to teach all truths -- not moral truth alone, but political and philosophical, and even religious truth, so far as concerns the great and essential principles of each. The sphynx was a symbol. To whom has it disclosed its inmost meaning? Who knows the symbolic meaning of the pyramids?

You will hereafter learn who are the chief foes of human liberty symbolized by the assassins of the Master Khu_ru_m; and in their fate you may see foreshadowed that which we earnestly hope will hereafter overtake those enemies of humanity, against whom Masonry has struggled so long.

Flower symbol

 

IX. ELECT OF THE NINE

[Elu of the Nine]

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Freemasonry - ELECT OF THE NINE [Elu of the Nine] degree symbols

IX.

ELECT OF THE NINE. [Elu of the Nine.]

ORIGINALLY created to reward fidelity, obedience, and devotion, this Degree was consecrated to bravery, devotedness, and patriot-ism; and your obligation has made known to you the duties which you have assumed. They are summed up in the simple mandate, "Protect the oppressed against the oppressor; and devote yourself to the honor and interests of your Country."

Masonry is not "speculative," nor theoretical, but experimental; not sentimental, but practical. It requires self-renunciation and self-control. It wears a stern face toward men's vices, and interferes with many of our pursuits and our fancied pleasures. It penetrates beyond the region of vague sentiment; beyond the regions where moralizers and philosophers have woven their fine theories and elaborated their beautiful maxims, to the very depths of the heart, rebuking our littlenesses and meannesses, arraigning our prejudices and passions, and warring against the armies of our vices.

It wars against the passions that spring out of the bosom of a world of fine sentiments, a world of admirable sayings and foul practices, of good maxims and bad deeds; whose darker passions are not only restrained by custom and ceremony, but hidden even from itself by a veil of beautiful sentiments. This terrible solecism has existed in all ages. Romish sentimentalism has often covered infidelity and vice; Protestant straightness often lauds spirituality and faith, and neglects homely truth, candor, and generosity; and ultra-liberal Rationalistic refinement sometimes soars

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to heaven in its dreams, and wallows in the mire of earth in its deeds.

There may be a world of Masonic sentiment; and yet a world of little or no Masonry. In many minds there is a vague and general sentiment of Masonic charity, generosity, and disinterestedness, but no practical, active virtue, nor habitual kindness, self-sacrifice, or liberality. Masonry plays about them like the cold though brilliant lights that flush and eddy over Northern skies. There are occasional flashes of generous and manly feeling, transitory splendors, and momentary gleams of just and noble thought, and transient coruscations, that light the Heaven of their imagination; but there is no vital warmth in the heart; and it remains as cold and sterile as the Arctic or Antarctic regions. They do nothing; they gain no victories over themselves; they make no progress; they are still in the Northeast corner of the Lodge, as when they first stood there as Apprentices; and they do not cultivate Masonry, with a cultivation, determined, resolute, and regular, like their cultivation of their estate, profession, or knowledge. Their Masonry takes its chance in general and inefficient sentiment, mournfully barren of results; in words and formulas and fine professions.

Most men have sentiments, but not principles. The former are temporary sensations, the latter permanent and controlling impressions of goodness and virtue. The former are general and involuntary, and do not rise to the character of virtue. Every one feels them. They flash up spontaneously in every heart. The latter are rules of action, and shape and control our conduct; and it is these that Masonry insists upon.

We approve the right; but pursue the wrong. It is the old story of human deficiency. No one abets or praises injustice, fraud, oppression, covetousness, revenge, envy, or slander; and yet how many who condemn these things, are themselves guilty of them. It is no rare thing for him whose indignation is kindled at a tale of wicked injustice, cruel oppression, base slander, or misery inflicted by unbridled indulgence; whose anger flames in behalf of the injured and ruined victims of wrong; to be in some relation unjust, or oppressive, or envious, or self-indulgent, or a careless talker of others. How wonderfully indignant the penurious man often is, at the avarice or want of public spirit of another!

A great Preacher well said, "Therefore thou art inexcusable. O

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Man, whosoever thou art, that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest, doest the same things." It is amazing to see how men can talk of virtue and honor, whose life denies both. It is curious to see with what a marvellous facility many bad men quote Scripture. It seems to comfort their evil consciences, to use good words; and to gloze over bad deeds with holy texts, wrested to their purpose. Often, the more a man talks about Charity and Toleration, the less he has of either; the more he talks about Virtue, the smaller stock he has of it. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart; but often the very reverse of what the man practises. And the vicious and sensual often express, and in a sense feel, strong disgust at vice and sensuality. Hypocrisy is not so common as is imagined.

Here, in the Lodge, virtue and vice are matters of reflection and feeling only. There is little opportunity here, for the practice of either; and Masons yield to the argument here, with facility and readiness; because nothing is to follow. It is easy, and safe, here, to feel upon these matters. But to-morrow, when they breathe the atmosphere of worldly gains and competitions, and the passions are again stirred at the opportunities of unlawful pleasure, all their fine emotions about virtue, all their generous abhorrence of selfishness and sensuality, melt away like a morning cloud.

For the time, their emotions and sentiments are sincere and real. Men may be really, in a certain way, interested in Masonry, while fatally deficient in virtue. It is not always hypocrisy. Men pray most fervently and sincerely, and yet are constantly guilty of acts so bad and base, so ungenerous and unrighteous, that the crimes that crowd the dockets of our courts are scarcely worse.

A man may be a good sort of man in general, and yet a very bad man in particular: good in the Lodge and bad in the world; good in public, and bad in his family; good at home, and bad on a journey or in a strange city. Many a man earnestly desires to be a good Mason. He says so, and is sincere. But if you require him to resist a certain passion, to sacrifice a certain indulgence, to control his appetite at a particular feast, or to keep his temper in a dispute, you will find that he does not wish to be a good Mason, in that particular case; or, wishing, is not able to resist his worse impulses.

The duties of life are more than life. The law imposeth it upon

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every citizen, that he prefer the urgent service of his country before the safety of his life. If a man be commanded, saith a great writer, to bring ordnance or munition to relieve any of the King's towns that are distressed, then he cannot for any danger of tempest justify the throwing of them overboard; for there it holdeth which was spoken by the Roman, when the same necessity of weather was alleged to hold him from embarking: "Necesse est ut eam, non ut vivam:" it needs that I go: it is not necessary I should live.

How ungratefully he slinks away, who dies, and does nothing to reflect a glory to Heaven! How barren a tree he is, who lives, and spreads, and cumbers the ground, yet leaves not one seed, not one good work to generate another after him! All cannot leave alike; yet all may leave something, answering their proportions and their kinds. Those are dead and withered grains of corn, out of which there will not one ear spring. He will hardly find the way to Heaven, who desires to go thither alone.

Industry is never wholly unfruitful. If it bring not joy with the incoming profit, it will yet banish mischief from thy busied gates. There is a kind of good angel waiting upon Diligence that ever carries a laurel in his hand to crown her. How unworthy was that man of the world who never did aught, but only lived and died! That we have liberty to do anything, we should account it a gift from the favoring Heavens; that we have minds sometimes inclining us to use that liberty well, is a great bounty of the Deity.

Masonry is action, and not inertness. It requires its Initiates to WORK, actively and earnestly, for the benefit of their brethren, their country, and mankind. It is the patron of the oppressed, as it is the comforter and consoler of the unfortunate and wretched. It seems to it a worthier honor to be the instrument of advancement and reform, than to enjoy all that rank and office and lofty titles can bestow. It is the advocate of the common people in those things which concern the best interests of mankind. It hates insolent power and impudent usurpation. It pities the poor, the sorrowing, the disconsolate; it endeavors to raise and improve the ignorant, the sunken, and the degraded.

Its fidelity to its mission will be accurately evidenced, by the extent of the efforts it employs, and the means it sets on foot, to improve the people at large and to better their condition; chiefest

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of which, within its reach, is to aid in the education of the children of the poor. An intelligent people, informed of its rights, will soon come to know its power, and cannot long be oppressed; but if there be not a sound and virtuous populace, the elaborate ornaments at the top of the pyramid of society will be a wretched compensation for the want of solidity at the base. It is never safe for a nation to repose on the lap of ignorance: and if there ever was a time when public tranquillity was insured by the absence of knowledge, that season is past. Unthinking stupidity cannot sleep, without being appalled by phantoms and shaken by terrors. The improvement of the mass of the people is the grand security for popular liberty; in the neglect of which, the politeness, refinement, and knowledge accumulated in the higher orders and wealthier classes will some day perish like dry grass in the hot fire of popular fury.

It is not the mission of Masonry to engage in plots and conspiracies against the civil government. It is not the fanatical propagandist of any creed or theory; nor does it proclaim itself the enemy of kings. It is the apostle of liberty, equality, and fraternity; but it is no more the high-priest of republicanism than of constitutional monarchy. It contracts no entangling alliances with any sect of theorists, dreamers, or philosophers. It does not know those as its Initiates who assail the civil order and all lawful authority, at the same time that they propose to deprive the dying of the consolations of religion. It sits apart from all sects and creeds, in its own calm and simple dignity, the same under every government. It is still that which it was in the cradle of the human race, when no human foot had trodden the soil of Assyria and Egypt, and no colonies had crossed the Himalayas into Southern India, Media, or Etruria.

It gives no countenance to anarchy and licentiousness; and no illusion of glory, or extravagant emulation of the ancients inflames it with an unnatural thirst for ideal and Utopian liberty. It teaches that in rectitude of life and sobriety of habits is the only sure guarantee for the continuance of political freedom; and it is chiefly the soldier of the sanctity of the laws and the rights of conscience.

It recognizes it as a truth, that necessity, as well as abstract right and ideal justice, must have its part in the making of laws, the administration of affairs, and the regulation of relations in

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society. It sees, indeed, that necessity rules in all the affairs of man. It knows that where any man, or any number or race of men, are so imbecile of intellect, so degraded, so incapable of self-control, so inferior in the scale of humanity, as to be unfit to be intrusted with the highest prerogatives of citizenship, the great law of necessity; for the peace and safety of the community and country, requires them to remain under the control of those of larger intellect and superior wisdom. It trusts and believes that God will, in his own good time, work out his own great and wise purposes; and it is willing to wait, where it does not see its own way clear to some certain good.

It hopes and longs for the day when all the races of men, even the lowest, will be elevated, and become fitted for political freedom; when, like all other evils that afflict the earth, pauperism, and bondage or abject dependence, shall cease and disappear. But it does not preach revolution to those who are fond of kings, nor rebellion that can end only in disaster and defeat, or in substituting one tyrant for another, or a multitude of despots for one.

Wherever a people is fit to be free and to govern itself, and generously strives to be so, there go all its sympathies. It detests the tyrant, the lawless oppressor, the military usurper, and him who abuses a lawful power. It frowns upon cruelty, and a wanton disregard of the rights of humanity. It abhors the selfish employer, and exerts its influence to lighten the burdens which want and dependence impose upon the workman, and to foster that humanity and kindness which man owes to even the poorest and most unfortunate brother.

It can never be employed, in any country under Heaven, to teach a toleration for cruelty, to weaken moral hatred for guilt, or to deprave and brutalize the human mind. The dread of punishment will never make a Mason an accomplice in so corrupting his countrymen, and a teacher of depravity and barbarity. If anywhere, as has heretofore happened, a tyrant should send a satirist on his tyranny to be convicted and punished as a libeller, in a court of justice, a Mason, if a juror in such a case, though in sight of the scaffold streaming with the blood of the innocent, and within hearing of the clash of the bayonets meant to overawe the court, would rescue the intrepid satirist from the tyrant's fangs, and send his officers out from the court with defeat and disgrace.

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Even if all law and liberty were trampled under the feet of Jacobinical demagogues or a military banditti, and great crimes were perpetrated with a high hand against all who were deservedly the objects of public veneration; if the people, overthrowing law, roared like a sea around the courts of justice, and demanded the blood of those who, during the temporary fit of insanity and drunken delirium, had chanced to become odious to it, for true words manfully spoken, or unpopular acts bravely done, the Masonic juror, unawed alike by the single or the many-headed tyrant, would consult the dictates of duty alone, and stand with a noble firmness between the human tigers and their coveted prey.

The Mason would much rather pass his life hidden in the recesses of the deepest obscurity, feeding his mind even with the visions and imaginations of good deeds and noble actions, than to be placed on the most splendid throne of the universe, tantalized with a denial of the practice of all which can make the greatest situation any other than the greatest curse. And if he has been enabled to lend the slightest step to any great and laudable de-signs; if he has had any share in any measure giving quiet to private property and to private conscience, making lighter the yoke of poverty and dependence, or relieving deserving men from oppression; if he has aided in securing to his countrymen that best possession, peace; if lie has joined in reconciling the different sections of his own country to each other, and the people to the government of their own creating; and in teaching the citizen to look for his protection to the laws of his country, and for his comfort to the good-will of his countrymen; if he has thus taken his part with the best of mete in the best of their actions, he may well shut the book, even if he might wish to read a page or two more. It is enough for his measure. He has not lived in vain.

Masonry teaches that all power is delegated for the good, and not for the injury of the People; and that, when it is perverted from the original purpose, the compact is broken, and the right ought to be resumed; that resistance to power usurped is not merely a duty which man owes to himself and to his neighbor, but a duty which he owes to his God, in asserting and maintaining the rank which He gave him in the creation. This principle neither the rudeness of ignorance can stifle nor the enervation of refinement extinguish. It makes it base for a man to suffer when he

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ought to act; and, tending to preserve to him the original destinations of Providence, spurns at the arrogant assumptions of Tyrants and vindicates the independent quality of the race of which we are a part.

The wise and well-informed Mason will not fail to be the votary of Liberty and Justice. He will be ready to exert himself in their defence, wherever they exist. It cannot be a matter of indifference to him when his own liberty and that of other men, with whose merits and capacities he is acquainted, are involved in the event of the struggle to be made; but his attachment will be to the cause, as the cause of man; and not merely to the country. Wherever there is a people that understands the value of political justice, and is prepared to assert it, that is his country; wherever he can most contribute to the diffusion of these principles and the real happiness of mankind, that is his country. Nor does he de-sire for any country any other benefit than justice.

The true Mason identifies the honor of his country with his own. Nothing more conduces to the beauty and glory of one's country than the preservation against all enemies of its civil and religious liberty. The world will never willingly let die the names of those patriots who in her different ages have received upon their own breasts the blows aimed by insolent enemies at the bosom of their country.

But also it conduces, and in no small measure, to the beauty and glory of one's country, that justice should always be administered there to all alike, and neither denied, sold, nor delayed to any one; that the interest of the poor should be looked to, and none starve or be houseless, or clamor in vain for work; that the child and the feeble woman should not be overworked, or even the apprentice or slave be stinted of food or overtasked or mercilessly scourged; and that God's great laws of mercy, humanity, and compassion should be everywhere enforced, not only by the statutes, but also by the power of public opinion. And he who labors, often against reproach and obloquy, and oftener against indifference and apathy, to bring about that fortunate condition of things when that great code of divine law shall be everywhere and punctually obeyed, is no less a patriot than he who bares his bosom to the hostile steel in the ranks of his country's soldiery.

For fortitude is not only seen resplendent on the field of battle and amid the clash of arms, but he displays its energy under

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every difficulty and against every assailant. He who wars against cruelty, oppression, and hoary abuses, fights for his country's honor, which these things soil; and her honor is as important as her existence. Often, indeed, the warfare against those abuses which disgrace one's country is quite as hazardous and more discouraging than that against her enemies in the field; and merits equal, if not greater reward.

For those Greeks and Romans who are the objects of our admiration employed hardly any other virtue in the extirpation of tyrants, than that love of liberty, which made them prompt in seizing the sword, and gave them strength to use it. With facility they accomplish the undertaking, amid the general shout of praise and joy; nor did they engage in the attempt so much as an enterprise of perilous and doubtful issue, as a contest the most glorious in which virtue could be signalized; which infallibly led to present recompense; which bound their brows with wreaths of laurel, and consigned their memories to immortal fame.

But he who assails hoary abuses, regarded perhaps with a superstitious reverence, and around which old laws stand as ramparts and bastions to defend them; who denounces acts of cruelty and outrage on humanity which make every perpetrator thereof his personal enemy, and perhaps make him looked upon with suspicion by the people among whom he lives, as the assailant of an established order of things of which he assails only the abuses, and of laws of which he attacks only the violations, -- he can scarcely look for present recompense, nor that his living brows will be wreathed with laurel. And if, contending against a dark array of long-received opinions, superstitions, obloquy, and fears, which most men dread more than they do an army terrible with banners, the Mason overcomes, and emerges from the contest victorious; or if he does not conquer, but is borne down and swept away by the mighty current of prejudice, passion, and interest; in either case, the loftiness of spirit which he displays merits for him more than a mediocrity of fame.

He has already lived too long who has survived the ruin of his country; and he who can enjoy life after such an event deserves not to have lived at all. Nor does he any more deserve to live who looks contentedly upon abuses that disgrace, and cruelties that dishonor, and scenes of misery and destitution and brutalization that disfigure his country; or sordid meanness and ignoble revenges

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that make her a by-word and a scoff among all generous nations; and does not endeavor to remedy or prevent either.

Not often is a country at war; nor can every one be allowed the privilege of offering his heart to the enemy's bullets. But in these patriotic labors of peace, in preventing, remedying, and reforming evils, oppressions, wrongs, cruelties, and outrages, every Mason can unite; and every one can effect something, and share the honor and glory of the result.

For the cardinal names in the history of the human mind are few and easily to be counted up; but thousands and tens of thousands spend their days in the preparations which are to speed the predestined change, in gathering and amassing the materials which are to kindle and give light and warmth, when the fire from heaven shall have descended on them. Numberless are the sutlers and pioneers, the engineers and artisans, who attend the march of intellect. Many move forward in detachments, and level the way over which the chariot is to pass, and cut down the obstacles that would impede its progress; and these too have their reward. If they labor diligently and faithfully in their calling, not only will they enjoy that calm contentment which diligence in the lowliest task never fails to win; not only will the sweat of their brows be sweet, and the sweetener of the rest that follows; but, when the victory is at last achieved, they will come in for a share in the glory; even as the meanest soldier who fought at Marathon or at King's Mountain became a sharer in the glory of those saving days; and within his own household circle, the approbation of which approaches the nearest to that of an approving conscience, was looked upon as the representative of all his brother-heroes; and could tell such tales as made the tear glisten on the cheek of his wife, and lit up his boy's eyes with an unwonted sparkling eagerness. Or, if he fell in the fight, and his place by the fireside and at the table at home was thereafter vacant, that place was sacred; and he was often talked of there in the long winter evenings; and his family was deemed fortunate in the neighborhood, because it had had a hero in it, who had fallen in defence of his country.

Remember that life's length is not measured by its hours and days, but by that which we have done therein for our country and kind. A useless life is short, if it last a century; but that of Alexander was long as the life of the oak, though he died at

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thirty-five. We may do much in a few years, and we may do nothing in a lifetime. If we but eat and drink and sleep, and let everything go on around us as it pleases; or if we live but to amass wealth or gain office or wear titles, we might as well not have lived at all; nor have we any right to expect immortality.

Forget not, therefore, to what you have devoted yourself in this Degree: defend weakness against strength, the friendless against the great, the oppressed against the oppressor! Be ever vigilant and watchful of the interests and honor of your country! and may the Grand Architect of the Universe give you that strength and wisdom which shall enable you well and faithfully to perform these high duties!

 

X. ILLUSTRIOUS ELECT OF THE FIFTEEN

[Elu of the Fifteen]

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Freemasonry - ILLUSTRIOUS ELECT OF THE FIFTEEN [Elu of the Fifteen] degree symbols

X.

ILLUSTRIOUS ELECT OF THE FIFTEEN.

[Elu of the Fifteen.]

THIS Degree is devoted to the same objects as those of the Elu of Nine; and also to the cause of Toleration and Liberality against Fanaticism and Persecution, political and religious; and to that of Education, Instruction, and Enlightenment against Error, Barbarism, and Ignorance. To these objects you have irrevocably and forever devoted your hand, your heart, and your intellect; and whenever in your presence a Chapter of this Degree is opened, you will be most solemnly reminded of your vows here taken at the altar.

Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours; and liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so every one should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth, and that whatever one firmly and conscientiously believes, is truth, to him -- these are the mortal enemies of that fanaticism which persecutes for opinion's sake, and initiates crusades against whatever it, in its imaginary holiness, deems to be contrary to the law of God or verity of dogma. And education, instruction, and enlightenment are the most certain means by which fanaticism and intolerance can be rendered powerless.

No true Mason scoffs at honest convictions and an ardent zeal in the cause of what one believes to be truth and justice. But he

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does absolutely deny the right of any man to assume the prerogative of Deity, and condemn another's faith and opinions as deserving to be punished because heretical. Nor does he approve the course of those who endanger the peace and quiet of great nations, and the best interest of their own race by indulging in a chimerical and visionary philanthropy -- a luxury which chiefly consists in drawing their robes around them to avoid contact with their fellows, and proclaiming themselves holier than they.

For he knows that such follies are often more calamitous than the ambition of kings; and that intolerance and bigotry have been infinitely greater curses to mankind than ignorance and error. Better any error than persecution! Better any opinion than the thumb-screw, the rack, and the stake! And he knows also how unspeakably absurd it is, for a creature to whom himself and everything around him are mysteries, to torture and slay others, because they cannot think as he does in regard to the profoundest of those mysteries, to understand which is utterly beyond the comprehension of either the persecutor or the persecuted.

Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it. The Brahmin, the Jew, the Mahometan, the Catholic, the Protestant, each professing his peculiar religion, sanctioned by the laws, by time, and by climate, must needs retain it, and cannot have two religions; for the social and sacred laws adapted to the usages, manners, and prejudices of particular countries, are the work of men.

But Masonry teaches, and has preserved in their purity, the cardinal tenets of the old primitive faith, which underlie and are the foundation of all religions. All that ever existed have had a basis of truth; and all have overlaid that truth with errors. The primitive truths taught by the Redeemer were sooner corrupted, and intermingled and alloyed with fictions than when taught to the first of our race. Masonry is the universal morality which is suitable to the inhabitants of every clime, to the man of every creed. It has taught no doctrines, except those truths that tend directly to the well-being of man; and those who have attempted to direct it toward useless vengeance, political ends, and Jesuitism, have merely perverted it to purposes foreign to its pure spirit and real nature.

Mankind outgrows the sacrifices and the mythologies of the childhood of the world. Yet it is easy for human indolence to

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linger near these helps, and refuse to pass further on. So the unadventurous Nomad in the Tartarian wild keeps his flock in the same close-cropped circle where they first learned to browse, while the progressive man roves ever forth "to fresh fields and pastures new."

The latter is the true Mason; and the best and indeed the only good Mason is he who with the power of business does the work of life; the upright mechanic, merchant, or farmer, the man with the power of thought, of justice, or of love, he whose whole life is one great act of performance of Masonic duty. The natural use of the strength of a strong man or the wisdom of a wise one, is to do the work of a strong man or a wise one. The natural work of Masonry is practical life; the use of all the faculties in their proper spheres, and for their natural function. Love of Truth, justice, and generosity as attributes of God, must appear in a life marked by these qualities; that is the only effectual ordinance of Masonry. A profession of one's convictions, joining the Order, assuming the obligations, assisting at the ceremonies, are of the same value in science as in Masonry; the natural form of Masonry is goodness, morality, living a true, just, affectionate, self-faithful life, from the motive of a good man. It is loyal obedience to God's law.

The good Mason does the good thing which comes in his way, and because it comes in his way; from a love of duty, and not merely because a law, enacted by man or God, commands his will to do it. He is true to his mind, his conscience, heart, and soul, and feels small temptation to do to others what he would not wish to receive from them. He will deny himself for the sake of his brother near at hand. His desire attracts in the line of his duty, both being in conjunction. Not in vain does the poor or the op-pressed look up to him. You find such men in all Christian sects, Protestant and Catholic, in all the great religious parties of the civilized world, among Buddhists, Mahometans, and Jews. They are kind fathers, generous citizens, unimpeachable in their business, beautiful in their daily lives. You see their Masonry in their work and in their play. It appears in all the forms of their activity, individual, domestic, social, ecclesiastical, or political. True Masonry within must be morality without. It must become eminent morality, which is philanthropy. The true Mason loves not only his kindred and his country, but all mankind; not only

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the good, but also the evil, among his brethren. He has more goodness than the channels of his daily life will hold. It runs over the banks, to water and to feed a thousand thirsty plants. Not content with the duty that lies along his track, he goes out to seek it; not only willing, he has a salient longing to do good, to spread his truth, his justice, his generosity, his Masonry over all the world. His daily life is a profession of his Masonry, published in perpetual good-will to men. He can not be a persecutor.

Not more naturally does the beaver build or the mocking-bird sing his own wild, gushing melody, than the true Mason lives in this beautiful outward life. So from the perennial spring swells forth the stream, to quicken the meadow with new access of green, and perfect beauty bursting into bloom. Thus Masonry does the work it was meant to do. The Mason does not sigh and weep, and make grimaces. He lives right on. If his life is, as whose is not, marked with errors, and with sins, he ploughs over the barren spot with his remorse, sows with new seed, and the old desert blossoms like a rose. He is not confined to set forms of thought, of action, or of feeling. He accepts what his mind regards as true, what his conscience decides is right, what his heart deems generous and noble; and all else he puts far from him. Though the ancient and the honorable of the Earth bid him bow down to them, his stubborn knees bend only at the bidding of his manly soul. His Masonry is his freedom before God, not his bondage unto men. His mind acts after the universal law of the intellect, his conscience according to the universal moral law, his affections and his soul after the universal law of each, and so he is strong with the strength of God, in this four-fold way communicating with Him.

The old theologies, the philosophies of religion of ancient times, will not suffice us now. The duties of life are to be done; we are to do them, consciously obedient to the law of God, not atheistically, loving only our selfish gain. There are sins of trade to be corrected. Everywhere morality and philanthropy are needed. There are errors to be made way with, and their place supplied with new truths, radiant with the glories of Heaven. There are great wrongs and evils, in Church and State, in domestic, social, and public life, to be righted and outgrown. Masonry cannot in our age forsake the broad way of life. She must journey on in the open street, appear in the crowded square, and teach men by her deeds, her life more eloquent than any lips.

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This Degree is chiefly devoted to TOLERATION; and it inculcates in the strongest manner that great leading idea of the Ancient Art, that a belief in the one True God, and a moral and virtuous life, constitute the only religious requisites needed to enable a man to be a Mason.

Masonry has ever the most vivid remembrance of the terrible and artificial torments that were used to put down new forms of religion or extinguish the old. It sees with the eye of memory the ruthless extermination of all the people of all sexes and ages, because it was their misfortune not to know the God of the Hebrews, or to worship Him under the wrong name, by the savage troops of Moses and Joshua. It sees the thumb-screws and the racks, the whip, the gallows, and the stake, the victims of Diocletian and Alva, the miserable Covenanters, the Non-Conformists, Servetus burned, and the unoffending Quaker hung. It sees Cranmer hold his arm, now no longer erring, in the flame until the hand drops off in the consuming heat. It sees the persecutions of Peter and Paul, the martyrdom of Stephen, the trials of Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin, and Irenæus; and then in turn the sufferings of the wretched Pagans under the Christian Emperors, as of the Papists in Ireland and under Elizabeth and the bloated Henry. The Roman Virgin naked before the hungry lions; young Margaret Graham tied to a stake at low-water mark, and there left to drown, singing hymns to God until the savage waters broke over her head; and all that in all ages have suffered by hunger and nakedness, peril and prison, the rack, the stake, and the sword, -- it sees them all, and shudders at the long roll of human atrocities. And it sees also the oppression still practised in the name of religion -- men shot in a Christian jail in Christian Italy for reading the Christian Bible; in almost every Christian State, laws forbidding freedom of speech on matters relating to Christianity; and the gallows reaching its arm over the pulpit.

The fires of Moloch in Syria, the harsh mutilations in the name of Astarte, Cybele, Jehovah; the barbarities of imperial Pagan Torturers; the still grosser torments which Roman-Gothic Christians in Italy and Spain heaped on their brother-men; the fiendish cruelties to which Switzerland, France, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Ireland, America, have been witnesses, are none too powerful to warn man of the unspeakable evils which follow from mistakes and errors in the matter of religion, and especially from

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investing the God of Love with the cruel and vindictive passions of erring humanity, and making blood to have a sweet savor in his nostrils, and groans of agony to be delicious to his ears.

Man never had the right to usurp the unexercised prerogative of God, and condemn and punish another for his belief. Born in a Protestant land, we are of that faith. If we had opened our eyes to the light under the shadows of St. Peter's at Rome, we should have been devout Catholics; born in the Jewish quarter of Aleppo, we should have contemned Christ as an imposter; in Constantinople, we should have cried "Allah il Allah, God is great and Mahomet is his prophet!" Birth, place, and education give us our faith. Few believe in any religion because they have examined the evidences of its authenticity, and made up a formal judgment, upon weighing the testimony. Not one man in ten thousand knows anything about the proofs of his faith. We believe what we are taught; and those are most fanatical who know least of the evidences on which their creed is based. Facts and testimony are not, except in very rare instances, the ground-work of faith. It is an imperative law of God's Economy, unyielding and inflexible as Himself, that man shall accept without question the belief of those among whom he is born and reared; the faith so made a part of his nature resists all evidence to the contrary; and he will disbelieve even the evidence of his own senses, rather than yield up the religious belief which has grown up in him, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone.

What is truth to me is not truth to another. The same arguments and evidences that convince one mind make no impression on another. This difference is in men at their birth. No man is entitled positively to assert that he is right, where other men, equally intelligent and equally well-informed, hold directly the opposite opinion. Each thinks it impossible for the other to be sincere, and each, as to that, is equally in error. "What is truth?" was a profound question, the most suggestive one ever put to man. Many beliefs of former and present times seem incomprehensible. They startle us with a new glimpse into the human soul, that mysterious thing, more mysterious the more we note its workings. Here is a man superior to myself in intellect and learning; and yet he sincerely believes what seems to me too absurd to merit confutation; and I cannot conceive, and sincerely do not believe,

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that he is both sane and honest. And yet he is both. His reason is as perfect as mine, and he is as honest as I.

The fancies of a lunatic are realities, to him. Our dreams are realities while they last, and, in the Past, no more unreal than what we have acted in our waking hours. No man can say that he hath as sure possession of the truth as of a chattel. When men entertain opinions diametrically opposed to each other, and each is honest, who shall decide which hath the Truth; and how can either say with certainty that he hath it? We know not what is the truth. That we ourselves believe and feel absolutely certain that our own belief is true, is in reality not the slightest proof of the fact, seem it never so certain and incapable of doubt to us. No man is responsible for the rightness of his faith; but only for the uprightness of it.

Therefore no man hath or ever had a right to persecute another for his belief; for there cannot be two antagonistic rights; and if one can persecute another, because he himself is satisfied that the belief of that other is erroneous, the other has, for the same reason, equally as certain a right to persecute him.

The truth comes to us tinged and colored with our prejudices and our preconceptions, which are as old as ourselves, and strong with a divine force. It comes to us as the image of a rod comes to us through the water, bent and distorted. An argument sinks into and convinces the mind of one man, while from that of another it rebounds like a ball of ivory dropped on marble. It is no merit in a man to have a particular faith, excellent and sound and philosophic as it may be, when he imbibed it with his mother's milk. It is no more a merit than his prejudices and his passions.

The sincere Moslem has as much right to persecute us, as we to persecute him; and therefore Masonry wisely requires no more than a belief in One Great All-Powerful Deity, the Father and Preserver of the Universe. Therefore it is she teaches her votaries that toleration is one of the chief duties of every good Mason, a component part of that charity without which we are mere hollow images of true Masons, mere sounding brass and tinkling cymbals.

No evil hath so afflicted the world as intolerance of religious opinion. The human beings it has slain in various ways, if once and together brought to life, would make a nation of people; left to live and increase, would have doubled the population of the civilized portion of the globe; among which civilized portion it

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chiefly is that religious wars are waged. The treasure and the human labor thus lost would have made the earth a garden, in which, but for his evil passions, man might now be as happy as in Eden.

No man truly obeys the Masonic law who merely tolerates those whose religious opinions are opposed to his own. Every man's opinions are his own private property, and the rights of all men to maintain each his own are perfectly equal. Merely to tolerate, to bear with an opposing opinion, is to assume it to be heretical; and assert the right to persecute, if we would; and claim our toleration of it as a merit. The Mason's creed goes further than that. No man, it holds, has any right in any way to interfere with the religious belief of another. It holds that each man is absolutely sovereign as to his own belief, and that belief is a matter absolutely foreign to all who do not entertain the same belief; and that, if there were any right of persecution at all, it would in all cases be a mutual right; because one party has the same right as the other to sit as judge in his own case; and God is she only magistrate that can rightfully decide between them. To that great Judge, Masonry refers the matter; and opening wide its portals, it invites to enter there and live in peace and harmony, the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew. the Moslem; every man who will lead a truly virtuous and moral life, love his brethren, minister to the sick and distressed, and believe in the ONE, All-Powerful, All-Wise, everywhere-Present GOD, Architect, Creator, and Preserver of all things, by whose universal law of Harmony ever rolls on this universe, the great, vast, infinite circle of successive Death and Life: -- to whose INEFFABLE NAME let all true Masons pay profoundest homage! for whose thousand blessings poured upon us, let us feel the sincerest gratitude, now, henceforth, and forever!

We may well be tolerant of each other's creed; for in every faith there are excellent moral precepts. Far in the South of Asia, Zoroaster taught this doctrine: "On commencing a journey, the Faithful should turn his thoughts toward Ormuzd, and confess him, in the purity of his heart, to be King of the World; he should love him, do him homage, and serve him. He must be upright and charitable, despise the pleasures of the body, and avoid pride and haughtiness, and vice in all its forms, and especially falsehood, one of the basest sins of which man can be guilty. He

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must forget injuries and not avenge himself. He must honor the memory of his parents and relatives. At night, before retiring to sleep, he should rigorously examine his conscience, and repent of the faults which weakness or ill-fortune had caused him to commit." He was required to pray for strength to persevere in the Good, and to obtain forgiveness for his errors. It was his duty to confess his faults to a Magus, or to a layman renowned for his virtues, or to the Sun. Fasting and maceration were prohibited; and, on the contrary, it was his duty suitably to nourish the body and to maintain its vigor, that his soul might be strong to resist the Genius of Darkness; that he might more attentively read the Divine Word, and have more courage to perform noble deeds.

And in the North of Europe the Druids taught devotion to friends, indulgence for reciprocal wrongs, love of deserved praise, prudence, humanity, hospitality, respect for old age, disregard of the future, temperance, contempt of death, and a chivalrous deference to woman. Listen to these maxims from the Hava Maal, or Sublime Book of Odin:

"If thou hast a friend, visit him often; the path will grow over with grass, and the trees soon cover it, if thou dost not constantly walk upon it. He is a faithful friend, who, having but two loaves, gives his friend one. Be never first to break with thy friend; sorrow wrings the heart of him who has no one save himself with whom to take counsel. There is no virtuous man who has not some vice, no bad man who has not some virtue. Happy he who obtains the praise and good-will of men; for all that depends on the will of another is hazardous and uncertain. Riches flit away in the twinkling of an eye; they are the most inconstant of friends; flocks and herds perish, parents die, friends are not immortal, thou thyself diest; I know but one thing that cloth not die, the judgment that is passed upon the dead. Be humane toward those whom thou meetest on the road. If the guest that cometh to thy house is a-cold, give him fire; the man who has journeyed over the mountains needs food and dry garments. Mock not at the aged; for words full of sense come often from the wrinkles of age. Be moderately wise, and not over-prudent. Let no one seek to know his destiny, if he would sleep tranquilly. There is no malady more cruel than to be discontented with our lot. The glutton eats his own death; and the wise man laughs at the fool's greediness. Nothing is more injurious to the young than

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excessive drinking; the more one drinks the more he loses his reason; the bird of forgetfulness sings before those who intoxicate themselves, and wiles away their souls. Man devoid of sense believes he will live always if he avoids war; but, if the lances spare him, old age will give him no quarter. Better live well than live long. When a man lights a fire in his house, death comes before it goes out."

And thus said the Indian books: "Honor thy father and mother. Never forget the benefits thou hast received. Learn while thou art young. Be submissive to the laws of thy country. Seek the company of virtuous men. Speak not of God but with respect. Live on good terms with thy fellow-citizens. Remain in thy proper place. Speak ill of no one. Mock at the bodily infirmities of none. Pursue not unrelentingly a conquered enemy. Strive to acquire a good reputation. Take counsel with wise men. The more one learns, the more he acquires the faculty of learning. Knowledge is the most permanent wealth. As well be dumb as ignorant. The true use of knowledge is to distinguish good from evil. Be not a subject of shame to thy parents. What one learns in youth endures like the engraving upon a rock. He is wise who knows himself. Let thy books be thy best friends. When thou attainest an hundred years, cease to learn. Wisdom is solidly planted, even on the shifting ocean. Deceive no one, not even thine enemy. Wisdom is a treasure that everywhere commands its value. Speak mildly, even to the poor. It is sweeter to forgive than to take vengeance. Gaming and quarrels lead to misery. There is no true merit without the practice of virtue. To honor our mother is the most fitting homage we can pay the Divinity. There is no tranquil sleep without a clear conscience. He badly understands his interest who breaks his word."

Twenty-four centuries ago these were the Chinese Ethics:

"The Philosopher [Confucius] said, 'SAN! my doctrine is simple, and easy to be understood.' THSENG-TSEU replied, 'that is certain.' The Philosopher having gone out, the disciples asked what their master had meant to say. THSENG-TSEU responded, 'The doctrine of our Master consists solely in being upright of heart, and loving our neighbor as we love ourself.'"

About a century later, the Hebrew law said, "If any man hate his neighbor . . . then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to

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do unto his brother ... Better is a neighbor that is near, than a brother afar off ... Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

In the same fifth century before Christ, SOCRATES the Grecian said, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."

Three generations earlier, ZOROASTER had said to the Persians: "Offer up thy grateful prayers to the Lord, the most just and pure Ormuzd, the supreme and adorable Cod, who thus declared to his Prophet Zerdusht: 'Hold it not meet to do unto others what thou wouldst not desire done unto thyself; do that unto the people, which, when done to thyself, is not disagreeable unto thee.'"

The same doctrine had been long taught in the schools of Babylon, Alexandria, and Jerusalem. A Pagan declared to the Pharisee HILLEL, that he was ready to embrace the Jewish religion, if he could make known to him in a few words a summary of the whole law of Moses. "That which thou likest not done to thyself," said Hillel, "do it not unto thy neighbor. Therein is all the law: the rest is nothing but the commentary upon it."

"Nothing is more natural," said CONFUCIUS, "nothing more simple, than the principles of that morality which I endeavor, by salutary maxims, to inculcate in you . . . It is humanity; which is to say, that universal charity among all of our species, without distinction. It is uprightness; that is, that rectitude of spirit and of heart, which makes one seek for truth in everything, and desire it, without deceiving one's self or others. It is, finally, sincerity or good faith; which is to say, that frankness, that openness of heart, tempered by self-reliance, which excludes all feints and all disguising, as much in speech as in action."

To diffuse useful information, to further intellectual refinement, sure forerunner of moral improvement, to hasten the coming of the great day, when the dawn of general knowledge shall chase away the lazy, lingering mists of ignorance and error, even from the base of the great social pyramid, is indeed a high calling, in which the most splendid talents and consummate virtue may well press onward, eager to bear a part. From the Masonic ranks ought to go forth those whose genius and not their ancestry ennoble them, to open to all ranks the temple of science, and by their own example to make the humblest men emulous to climb steps no longer inaccessible, and enter the unfolded gates burning in the sun.

The highest intellectual cultivation is perfectly compatible with

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the daily cares and toils of working-men. A keen relish for the most sublime truths of science belongs alike to every class of mankind. And, as philosophy was taught in the sacred groves of Athens, and under the Portico, and in the old Temples of Egypt and India, so in our Lodges ought Knowledge to be dispensed, the Sciences taught, and the Lectures become like the teachings of Socrates and Plato, of Agassiz and Cousin.

Real knowledge never permitted either turbulence or unbelief; but its progress is the forerunner of liberality and enlightened toleration. Whoso dreads these may well tremble; for he may be well assured that their day is at length come, and must put to speedy flight the evil spirits of tyranny and persecution, which haunted the long night now gone down the sky. And it is to be hoped that the time will soon arrive, when, as men will no longer suffer themselves to be led blindfolded in ignorance, so will they no more yield to the vile principle of judging and treating their fellow-creatures, not according to the intrinsic merit of their actions, but according to the accidental and involuntary coincidence of their opinions.

Whenever we come to treat with entire respect those who conscientiously differ from ourselves, the only practical effect of a difference will be, to make us enlighten the ignorance on one side or the other, from which it springs, by instructing them, if it be theirs; ourselves, if it be our own; to the end that the only kind of unanimity may be produced which is desirable among rational beings, -- the agreement proceeding from full conviction after the freest discussion.

The Elu of Fifteen ought therefore to take the lead of his fellow-citizen, not in frivolous amusements, not in the degrading pursuits of the ambitious vulgar; but in the truly noble task of enlightening the mass of his countrymen, and of leaving his own name encircled, not with barbaric splendor, or attached to courtly gewgaws, but illustrated by the honors most worthy of our rational nature; coupled with the diffusion of knowledge, and gratefully pronounced by a few, at least, whom his wise beneficence has rescued from ignorance and vice.

We say to him, in the words of the great Roman: "Men in no respect so nearly approach to the Deity, as when they confer benefits on men. To serve and do good to as many as possible, there is nothing greater in your fortune than that you should be able,

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and nothing finer in your nature, than that you should be desirous to do this." This is the true mark for the aim of every man and Mason who either prizes the enjoyment of pure happiness, or sets a right value upon a high and unsullied renown. And if the benefactors of mankind, when they rest from their noble labors, shall be permitted to enjoy hereafter, as an appropriate reward of their virtue, the privilege of looking down upon the blessings with which their exertions and charities, and perhaps their toils and sufferings have clothed the scene of their former existence, it will not, in a state of exalted purity and wisdom, be the founders of mighty dynasties, the conquerors of new empires, the Cæsars, Alexanders, and Tamerlanes; nor the mere Kings and Counsellors, Presidents and Senators, who have lived for their party chiefly, and for their country only incidentally, often sacrificing to their own aggrandizement or that of their faction the good of their fellow-creatures; -- it will not be they who will be gratified by contemplating the monuments of their inglorious fame; but those will enjoy that delight and march in that triumph, who can trace the remote effects of their enlightened benevolence in the improved condition of their species, and exult in the reflection, that the change which they at last, perhaps after many years, survey, with eyes that age and sorrow can make dim no more, -- of Knowledge become Power, -- Virtue sharing that Empire, -- Superstition dethroned, and Tyranny exiled, is, if even only in some small and very slight degree, yet still in some degree, the fruit, precious if costly, and though late repaid yet long enduring, of their own self-denial and strenuous exertion, of their own mite of charity and aid to education wisely bestowed, and of the hard-ships and hazards which they encountered here below.

Masonry requires of its Initiates and votaries nothing that is impracticable. It does not demand that they should undertake to climb to those lofty and sublime peaks of a theoretical and imaginary unpractical virtue, high and cold and remote as the eternal snows that wrap the shoulders of Chimborazo, and at least as in-accessible as they. It asks that alone to be done which is easy to be done. It overtasks no one's strength, and asks no one to go beyond his means and capacities. It does not expect one whose business or profession yields him little more than the wants of himself and his family require, and whose time is necessarily occupied by his daily vocations, to abandon or neglect the business

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by which he and his children live, and devote himself and his means to the diffusion of knowledge among men. It does not expect him to publish books for the people, or to lecture, to the ruin of his private affairs, or to found academies and colleges, build up libraries, and entitle himself to statues.

But it does require and expect every man of us to do something, within and according to his means; and there is no Mason who cannot do some thing, if not alone, then by combination and association.

If a Lodge cannot aid in founding a school or an academy it can still do something. It can educate one boy or girl, at least, the child of some poor or departed brother. And it should never be forgotten, that in the poorest unregarded child that seems abandoned to ignorance and vice may slumber the virtues of a Socrates, the intellect of a Bacon or a Bossuet, the genius of a Shakespeare, the capacity to benefit mankind of a Washington; and that in rescuing him from the mire in which he is plunged, and giving him the means of education and development, the Lodge that does it may be the direct and immediate means of conferring upon the world as great a boon as that given it by John Faust the boy of Mentz; may perpetuate the liberties of a country and change the destinies of nations, and write a new chapter in the history of the world.

For we never know the importance of the act we do. The daughter of Pharaoh little thought what she was doing for the human race, and the vast unimaginable consequences that depended on her charitable act, when she drew the little child of a Hebrew woman from among the rushes that grew along the bank of the Nile, and determined to rear it as if it were her own.

How often has an act of charity, costing the doer little, given to the world a great painter, a great musician, a great inventor! How often has such an act developed the ragged boy into the benefactor of his race! On what small and apparently unimportant circumstances have turned and hinged the fates of the world's great conquerors. There is no law that limits the returns that shall be reaped from a single good deed. The widow's mite may not only be as acceptable to God, but may produce as great results as the rich man's costly offering. The poorest boy, helped by benevolence, may come to lead armies, to control senates, to decide on peace and war, to dictate to cabinets; and his magnificent

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thoughts and noble words may be law many years hereafter to millions of men yet unborn.

But the opportunity to effect a great good does not often occur to any one. It is worse than folly for one to lie idle and inert, and expect the accident to befall him, by which his influences shall live forever. He can expect that to happen, only in consequence of one or many or all of a long series of acts. He can expect to benefit the world only as men attain other results; by continuance, by persistence, by a steady and uniform habit of laboring for the enlightenment of the world, to the extent of his means and capacity.

For it is, in all instances, by steady labor, by giving enough of application to our work, and having enough of time for the doing of it, by regular pains-taking, and the plying of constant assiduities, and not by any process of legerdemain, that we secure the strength and the staple of real excellence. It was thus that Demosthenes, clause after clause, and sentence after sentence, elaborated to the uttermost his immortal orations. It was thus that Newton pioneered his way, by the steps of an ascending geometry, to the mechanism of the Heavens, and Le Verrier added a planet to our Solar System.

It is a most erroneous opinion that those who have left the most stupendous monuments of intellect behind them, were not differently exercised from the rest of the species, but only differently gifted; that they signalized themselves only by their talent, and hardly ever by their industry; for it is in truth to the most strenuous application of those commonplace faculties which are diffused among all, that they are indebted for the glories which now encircle their remembrance and their name.

We must not imagine it to be a vulgarizing of genius, that it should be lighted up in any other way than by a direct inspiration from Heaven; nor overlook the steadfastness of purpose, the devotion to some single but great object, the unweariedness of labor that is given, not in convulsive and preternatural throes, but by little and little as the strength of the mind may bear it; the accumulation of many small efforts, instead of a few grand and gigantic, but perhaps irregular movements, on the part of energies that are marvellous; by which former alone the great results are brought out that write their enduring records on the face of the earth and in the history of nations and of man.

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We must not overlook these elements, to which genius owes the best and proudest of her achievements; nor imagine that qualities so generally possessed as patience and pains-taking, and resolute industry, have no share in upholding a distinction so illustrious as that of the benefactor of his kind.

We must not forget that great results are most ordinarily produced by an aggregate of many contributions and exertions; as it is the invisible particles of vapor, each separate and distinct from the other, that, rising from the oceans and their bays and gulfs, from lakes and rivers, and wide morasses and overflowed plains, float away as clouds, and distill upon the earth in dews, and fall in showers and rain and snows upon the broad plains and rude mountains, and make the great navigable streams that are the arteries along which flows the life-blood of a country.

And so Masonry can do much, if each Mason be content to do his share, and if their united efforts are directed by wise counsels to a common purpose. "It is for God and for Omnipotency to do mighty things in a moment; but by degrees to grow to greatness is the course that He hath left for man."

If Masonry will but be true to her mission, and Masons to their promises and obligations -- if, re-entering vigorously upon a career of beneficence, she and they will but pursue it earnestly and unfalteringly, remembering that our contributions to the cause of charity and education then deserve the greatest credit when it costs us something, the curtailing of a comfort or the relinquishment of a luxury, to make them -- if we will but give aid to what were once Masonry's great schemes for human improvement, not fitfully and spasmodically, but regularly and incessantly, as the vapors rise and the springs run, and as the sun rises and the stars come up into the heavens, then we may be sure that great results will be attained and a great work done. And then it will most surely be seen that Masonry is not effete or impotent, nor degenerated nor drooping to a fatal decay.

Flower symbol

 

XI. SUBLIME ELECT OF THE TWELVE OR PRINCE AMETH

[Elu of the Twelve]

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Freemasonry - Burning heart symbol - SUBLIME ELECT OF THE TWELVE degree - PRINCE AMETH - [Elu of the Twelve]

XI.

SUBLIME ELECT OF THE TWELVE;

OR

PRINCE AMETH.

[Elu of the Twelve.]

THE duties of a Prince Ameth are, to be earnest, true, reliable, and sincere; to protect the people against illegal impositions and exactions; to contend for their political rights, and to see, as far as he may or can, that those bear the burdens who reap the benefits of the Government.

You are to be true unto all men.

You are to be frank and sincere in all things.

You are to be earnest in doing whatever it is your duty to do.

And no man must repent that he has relied upon your resolve, your profession, or your word.

The great distinguishing characteristic of a Mason is sympathy with his kind. He recognizes in the human race one great family, all connected with himself by those invisible links, and that mighty net-work of circumstance, forged and woven by God.

Feeling that sympathy, it is his first Masonic duty to serve his fellow-man. At his first entrance into the Order, he ceases to be isolated, and becomes one of a great brotherhood, assuming new duties toward every Mason that lives, as every Mason at the same moment assumes them toward him.

Nor are those duties on his part confined to Masons alone. He assumes many in regard to his country, and especially toward the great, suffering masses of the common people; for they too are his brethren, and God hears them, inarticulate as the moanings of their misery are. By all proper means, of persuasion and influence,

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and otherwise, if the occasion and emergency require, he is bound to defend them against oppression, and tyrannical and illegal exactions.

He labors equally to defend and to improve the people. He does not flatter them to mislead them, nor fawn upon them to rule them, nor conceal his opinions to humor them, nor tell them that they can never err, and that their voice is the voice of God. He knows that the safety of every free government, and its continuance and perpetuity depend upon the virtue and intelligence of the common people; and that, unless their liberty is of such a kind as arms can neither procure nor take away; unless it is the fruit of manly courage, of justice, temperance, and generous virtue -- unless, being such, it has taken deep root in the minds and hearts of the people at large, there will not long be wanting those who will snatch from them by treachery what they have acquired by arms or institutions.

He knows that if, after being released from the toils of war, the people neglect the arts of peace; if their peace and liberty be a state of warfare; if war be their only virtue, and the summit of their praise, they will soon find peace the most adverse to their interests. It will be only a more distressing war; and that which they imagined liberty will be the worst of slavery. For, unless by the means of knowledge and morality, not frothy and loquacious, but genuine, unadulterated, and sincere, they clear the horizon of the mind from those mists of error and passion which arise from ignorance and vice, they will always have those who will bend their necks to the yoke as if they were brutes; who, notwithstanding all their triumphs, will put them up to the highest bidder, as if they were mere booty made in war; and find an exuberant source of wealth and power, in the people's ignorance, prejudice, and passions.

The people that does not subjugate the propensity of the wealthy to avarice, ambition, and sensuality, expel luxury from them and their families, keep down pauperism, diffuse knowledge among the poor, and labor to raise the abject from the mire of vice and low indulgence, and to keep the industrious from starving in sight of luxurious festivals, will find that it has cherished, in that avarice, ambition, sensuality, selfishness, and luxury of the one class, and that degradation, misery, drunkenness, ignorance, and brutalization of the other, more stubborn and intractable despots at home

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than it ever encountered in the field; and even its very bowels will be continually teeming with the intolerable progeny of tyrants.

These are the first enemies to be subdued; this constitutes the campaign of Peace; these are triumphs, difficult indeed, but bloodless; and far more honorable than those trophies which are purchased only by slaughter and rapine; and if not victors in this service, it is in vain to have been victorious over the despotic enemy in the field.

For if any people thinks that it is a grander; a more beneficial, or a wiser policy, to invent subtle expedients by stamps and imposts, for increasing the revenue and draining the life-blood of an impoverished people; to multiply its naval and military force; to rival in craft the ambassadors of foreign states; to plot the swallowing up of foreign territory; to make crafty treaties and alliances; to rule prostrate states and abject provinces by fear and force; than to administer unpolluted justice to the people, to relieve the condition and raise the estate of the toiling masses, redress the injured and succor the distressed and conciliate the discontented, and speedily restore to every one his own; then that people is involved in a cloud of error, and will too late perceive, when the illusion of these mighty benefits has vanished, that in neglecting these, which it thought inferior considerations, it has only been precipitating its own ruin and despair.

Unfortunately, every age presents its own special problem, most difficult and often impossible to solve; and that which this age offers, and forces upon the consideration of all thinking men, is this -- how, in a populous and wealthy country, blessed with free institutions and a constitutional government, are the great masses of the manual-labor class to be enabled to have steady work at fair wages, to be kept from starvation, and their children from vice and debauchery, and to be furnished with that degree, not of mere reading and writing, but of knowledge, that shall fit them intelligently to do the duties and exercise the privileges of freemen; even to be intrusted with the dangerous right of suffrage?

For though we do not know why God, being infinitely merciful as well as wise, has so ordered it, it seems to be unquestionably his law, that even in civilized and Christian countries, the large mass of the population shall be fortunate, if, during their whole life, from infancy to old age, in health and sickness, they have enough of the commonest and coarsest food to keep themselves and their

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children from the continual gnawing of hunger -- enough of the commonest and coarsest clothing to protect themselves and their little ones from indecent exposure and the bitter cold; and if they have over their heads the rudest shelter.

And He seems to have enacted this law -- which no human community has yet found the means to abrogate -- that when a country becomes populous, capital shall concentrate in the hands of a limited number of persons, and labor become more and more at its mercy, until mere manual labor, that of the weaver and iron-worker, and other artisans, eventually ceases to be worth more than a bare subsistence, and often, in great cities and vast extents of country, not even that, and goes or crawls about in rags, begging, and starving for want of work.

While every ox and horse can find work, and is worth being fed, it is not always so with man. To be employed, to have a chance to work at anything like fair wages, becomes the great engrossing object of a man's life. The capitalist can live without employing the laborer, and discharges him whenever that labor ceases to be profitable. At the moment when the weather is most inclement, provisions dearest, and rents highest, he turns him off to starve. if the day-laborer is taken sick, his wages stop. When old, he has no pension to retire upon. His children cannot be sent to school; for before their bones are hardened they must get to work lest they starve. The man, strong and able-bodied, works for a shilling or two a day, and the woman shivering over her little pan of coals, when the mercury drops far below zero, after her hungry children have wailed themselves to sleep, sews by the dim light of her lonely candle, for a bare pittance, selling her life to him who bargained only for the work of her needle.

Fathers and mothers slay their children, to have the burial-fees, that with the price of one child's life they may continue life in those that survive. Little girls with bare feet sweep the street-crossings, when the winter wind pinches them, and beg piteously for pennies of those who wear warm furs. Children grow up in squalid misery and brutal ignorance; want compels virgin and wife to prostitute themselves; women starve and freeze, and lean up against the walls of workhouses, like bundles of foul rags, all night long, and night after night, when the cold rain falls, and there chances to be no room for them within; and hundreds of families are crowded into a single building, rife with horrors and teeming

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with foul air and pestilence; where men, women and children huddle together in their filth; all ages and all colors sleeping in-discriminately together; while, in a great, free, Republican State, in the full vigor of its youth and strength, one person in every seventeen is a pauper receiving charity.

How to deal with this apparently inevitable evil and mortal disease is by far the most important of all social problems. What is to be done with pauperism and over-supply of labor? How is the life of any country to last, when brutality and drunken semi-barbarism vote, and hold offices in their gift, and by fit representatives of themselves control a government? How, if not wisdom and authority, but turbulence and low vice are to exalt to senatorships miscreants reeking with the odors and pollution of the hell, the prize-ring, the brothel, and the stock-exchange, where gambling is legalized and rascality is laudable?

Masonry will do all in its power, by direct exertion and co-operation, to improve and inform as well as to protect the people; to better their physical condition, relieve their miseries, supply their wants, and minister to their necessities. Let every Mason in this good work do all that may be in his power.

For it is true now, as it always was and always will be, that to be free is the same thing as to be pious, to be wise, to be temperate and just, to be frugal and abstinent, and to be magnanimous and brave; and to be the opposite of all these is the same as to be a slave. And it usually happens, by the appointment, and, as it were, retributive justice of the Deity, that that people which cannot govern themselves, and moderate their passions, but crouch under the slavery of their lusts and vices, are delivered up to the sway of those whom they abhor, and made to submit to an involuntary servitude.

And it is also sanctioned by the dictates of justice and by the constitution of Nature, that he who, from the imbecility or derangement of his intellect, is incapable of governing himself, should, like a minor, be committed to the government of another.

Above all things let us never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other.

For no tower of Pride was ever yet high enough to lift its possessor above the trials and fears and frailities of humanity. No human hand ever built the wall, nor ever shall, that will keep out

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affliction, pain, and infirmity. Sickness and sorrow, trouble and death, are dispensations that level everything. They know none, high nor low. The chief wants of life, the great and grave necessities of the human soul, give exemption to none. They make all poor, all weak. They put supplication in the mouth of every human being, as truly as in that of the meanest beggar.

But the principle of misery is not an evil principle. We err, and the consequences teach us wisdom. All elements, all the laws of things around us, minister to this end; and through the paths of painful error and mistake, it is the design of Providence to lead us to truth and happiness. If erring only taught us to err; if mistakes confirmed us in imprudence; if the miseries caused by vicious indulgence had a natural tendency to make us more abject slaves of vice, then suffering would be wholly evil. But, on the contrary, all tends and is designed to produce amendment and improvement. Suffering is the discipline of virtue; of that which is infinitely better than happiness, and yet embraces in itself all essential happiness. It nourishes, invigorates, and perfects it. Virtue is the prize of the severely-contested race and hard-fought battle; and it is worth all the fatigue and wounds of the conflict. Man should go forth with a brave and strong heart, to battle with calamity. He is to master it, and not let it become his master. He is not to forsake the post of trial and of peril; but to stand firmly in his lot, until the great word of Providence shall bid him fly, or bid him sink. With resolution and courage the Mason is to do the work which it is appointed for him to do, looking through the dark cloud of human calamity, to the end that rises high and bright before him. The lot of sorrow is great and sublime. None suffer forever, nor for nought, nor without purpose. It is the ordinance of God's wisdom, and of His Infinite Love, to procure for us infinite happiness and glory.

Virtue is the truest liberty; nor is he free who stoops to passions; nor he in bondage who serves a noble master. Examples are the best and most lasting lectures; virtue the best example. He that hath done good deeds and set good precedents, in sincerity, is happy. Time shall not outlive his worth. He lives truly after death, whose good deeds are his pillars of remembrance; and no day but adds some grains to his heap of glory. Good works are seeds, that after sowing return us a continual harvest; and the memory of noble actions is more enduring than monuments of marble.

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Life is a school. The world is neither prison nor penitentiary, nor a palace of ease, nor an amphitheatre for games and spectacles; but a place of instruction, and discipline. Life is given for moral and spiritual training; and the entire course of the great school of life is an education for virtue, happiness, and a future existence. The periods of Life are its terms; all human conditions, its forms; all human employments, its lessons. Families are the primary departments of this moral education; the various circles of society, its advanced stages; Kingdoms and Republics, its universities.

Riches and Poverty, Gayeties and Sorrows, Marriages and Funerals, the ties of life bound or broken, fit and fortunate, or untoward and painful, are all lessons. Events are not blindly and carelessly flung together. Providence does not school one man, and screen another from the fiery trial of its lessons. It has neither rich favorites nor poor victims. One event happeneth to all. One end and one design concern and urge all men.

The prosperous man has been at school. Perhaps he has thought that it was a great thing, and he a great personage; but he has been merely a pupil. He thought, perhaps, that he was Master, and had nothing to do, but to direct and command; but there was ever a Master above him, the Master of Life. He looks not at our splendid state, or our many pretensions, nor at the aids and appliances of our learning; but at our learning itself. He puts the poor and the rich upon the same form; and knows no difference between them, but their progress.

If from prosperity we have learned moderation, temperance, candor, modesty, gratitude to God, and generosity to man, then we are entitled to be honored and rewarded. If we have learned selfishness, self-indulgence, wrong-doing, and vice, to forget and overlook our less fortunate brother, and to scoff at the providence of God, then we are unworthy and dishonored, though we have been nursed in affluence, or taken our degrees from the lineage of an hundred noble descents; as truly so, in the eye of Heaven, and of all right-thinking men, as though we lay, victims of beggary and disease, in the hospital, by the hedge, or on the dung-hill. The most ordinary human equity looks not at the school, but at the scholar; and the equity of Heaven will not look beneath that mark.

The poor man also is at school. Let him take care that he

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learn, rather than complain. Let him hold to his integrity, his candor, and his kindness of heart. Let him beware of envy, and of bondage, and keep his self-respect. The body's toil is nothing. Let him beware of the mind's drudgery and degradation. While he betters his condition if he can, let him be more anxious to better his soul. Let him be willing, while poor, and even if always poor, to learn poverty's great lessons, fortitude, cheerfulness, contentment, and implicit confidence in God's Providence. With these, and patience, calmness, self-command, disinterestedness, and affectionate kindness, the humble dwelling may be hallowed, and made more dear and noble than the loftiest palace. Let him, above all things, see that he lose not his independence. Let him not cast himself, a creature poorer than the poor, an indolent, helpless, despised beggar, on the kindness of others. Every man should choose to have God for his Master, rather than man; and escape not from this school, either by dishonesty or alms-taking, lest he fall into that state, worse than disgrace, where he can have no respect for himself.

The ties of Society teach us to love one another. That is a miserable society, where the absence of affectionate kindness is sought to be supplied by punctilious decorum, graceful urbanity, and polished insincerity; where ambition, jealousy, and distrust rule, in place of simplicity, confidence, and kindness.

So, too, the social state teaches modesty and gentleness; and from neglect, and notice unworthily bestowed on others, and injustice, and the world's failure to appreciate us, we learn patience and quietness, to be superior to society's opinion, not cynical and bitter, but gentle, candid, and affectionate still.

Death is the great Teacher, stern, cold, inexorable, irresistible; whom the collected might of the world cannot stay or ward off. The breath, that parting from the lips of King or beggar, scarcely stirs the hushed air, cannot be bought. or brought back for a moment, with the wealth of Empires. What a lesson is this, teaching our frailty and feebleness, and an Infinite Power beyond us! It is a fearful lesson, that never becomes familiar. It walks through the earth in dread mystery, and lays it hands upon all. It is a universal lesson, that is read everywhere and by all men. Its message comes every year and every day. The past years are crowded with its sad and solemn mementoes; and death's finger races its handwriting upon the walls of every human habitation.

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It teaches us Duty; to act our part well; to fulfill the work assigned us. When one is dying, and after he is dead, there is but one question: Has he lived well? There is no evil in death but that which life makes.

There are hard lessons in the school of God's Providence; and yet the school of life is carefully adjusted, in all its arrangements and tasks, to man's powers and passions. There is no extravagance in its teachings; nor is anything done for the sake of present effect. The whole course of human life is a conflict with difficulties; and, if rightly conducted, a progress in improvement. It is never too late for man to learn. Not part only, but the whole, of life is a school. There never comes a time, even amidst the decays of age, when it is fit to lay aside the eagerness of acquisition, or the cheerfulness of endeavor. Man walks, all through the course of life, in patience and strife, and sometimes in darkness; for, from patience is to come perfection; from strife, triumph is to issue; from the cloud of darkness the lightning is to flash that shall open the way to eternity.

Let the Mason be faithful in the school of life, and to all its lessons! Let him not learn nothing, nor care not whether he learns or not. Let not the years pass over him, witnesses of only his sloth and indifference; or see him zealous to acquire everything but virtue. Nor let him labor only for himself; nor forget that the humblest man that lives is his brother, and hath a claim on his sympathies and kind offices; and that beneath the rough garments which labor wears may beat hearts as noble as throb under the stars of princes.

God, who counts by souls, not stations,
Loves and pities you and me;
For to Him all vain distinctions
Are as pebbles on the sea.

Nor are the other duties inculcated in this Degree of less importance. Truth, a Mason is early told, is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue; and frankness, reliability, sincerity, straightforwardness, plain-dealing, are but different modes in which Truth develops itself. The dead, the absent, the innocent, and those that trust him, no Mason will deceive willingly. To all these he owes a nobler justice, in that they are the most certain trials of human Equity. Only the most abandoned of men, said

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Cicero, will deceive him, who would have remained uninjured if he had not trusted. All the noble deeds that have beat their marches through succeeding ages have proceeded from men of truth and genuine courage. The man who is always true is both virtuous and wise; and thus possesses the greatest guards of safety: for the law has not power to strike the virtuous; nor can fortune subvert the wise.

The bases of Masonry being morality and virtue, it is by studying one and practising the other, that the conduct of a Mason becomes irreproachable. The good of Humanity being its principal object, disinterestedness is one of the first virtues that it requires of its members; for that is the source of justice and beneficence.

To pity the misfortunes of others; to be humble, but without meanness; to be proud, but without arrogance; to abjure every sentiment of hatred and revenge; to show himself magnanimous and liberal, without ostentation and without profusion; to be the enemy of vice; to pay homage to wisdom and virtue; to respect innocence; to be constant and patient in adversity, and modest in prosperity; to avoid every irregularity that stains the soul and distempers the body -- it is by following these precepts that a Mason will become a good citizen, a faithful husband, a tender father, an obedient son, and a true brother; will honor friendship, and fulfill with ardor the duties which virtue and the social relations impose upon him.

It is because Masonry imposes upon us these duties that it is properly and significantly styled work; and he who imagines that he becomes a Mason by merely taking the first two or three Degrees, and that he may, having leisurely stepped upon that small elevation, thenceforward worthily wear the honors of Masonry, without labor or exertion, or self-denial or sacrifice, and that there is nothing to be done in Masonry, is strangely deceived.

Is it true that nothing remains to be done in Masonry?

Does one Brother no longer proceed by law against another Brother of his Lodge, in regard to matters that could be easily settled within the Masonic family circle?

Has the duel, that hideous heritage of barbarism, interdicted among Brethren by our fundamental laws, and denounced by the municipal code, yet disappeared from the soil we inhabit? Do Masons of high rank religiously refrain from it; or do they not,

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bowing to a corrupt public opinion, submit to its arbitrament, despite the scandal which it occasions to the Order, and in violation of the feeble restraint of their oath?

Do Masons no longer form uncharitable opinions of their Brethren, enter harsh judgments against them, and judge themselves by one rule and their Brethren by another?

Has Masonry any well-regulated system of charity? Has it done that which it should have done for the cause of education? Where are its schools, its academies, its colleges, its hospitals, and infirmaries?

Are political controversies now conducted with no violence and bitterness?

Do Masons refrain from defaming and denouncing their Brethren who differ with them in religious or political opinions?

What grand social problems or useful projects engage our attention at our communications? Where in our Lodges are lectures habitually delivered for the real instruction of the Brethren? Do not our sessions pass in the discussion of minor matters of business, the settlement of points of order and questions of mere administration, and the admission and advancement of Candidates, whom after their admission we take no pains to instruct?

In what Lodge are our ceremonies explained and elucidated; corrupted as they are by time, until their true features can scarcely be distinguished; and where are those great primitive truths of revelation taught, which Masonry has preserved to the world?

We have high dignities and sounding titles. Do their possessors qualify themselves to enlighten the world in respect to the aims and objects of Masonry? Descendants of those Initiates who governed empires, does your influence enter into practical life and operate efficiently in behalf of well-regulated and constitutional liberty?

Your debates should be but friendly conversations. You need concord, union, and peace. Why then do you retain among you men who excite rivalries and jealousies; why permit great and violent controversy and ambitious pretensions? How do your own words and acts agree? If your Masonry is a nullity, how can you exercise any influence on others?

Continually you praise each other, and utter elaborate and high-wrought

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eulogies upon the Order. Everywhere you assume that you are what you should be, and nowhere do you look upon yourselves as you are. Is it true that all our actions are so many acts of homage to virtue? Explore the recesses of your hearts; let us examine ourselves with an impartial eye, and make answer to our own questioning! Can we bear to ourselves the consoling testimony that we always rigidly perform our duties; that we even half perform them?

Let us away with this odious self-flattery! Let us be men, if we cannot be sages! The laws of Masonry, above others excellent, cannot wholly change men's natures. They enlighten them, they point out the true way; but they can lead them in it, only by repressing the fire of their passions, and subjugating their selfishness. Alas, these conquer, and Masonry is forgotten!

After praising each other all our lives, there are always excellent Brethren, who, over our coffins, shower unlimited eulogies. Every one of us who dies, however useless his life, has been a model of all the virtues, a very child of the celestial light. In Egypt, among our old Masters, where Masonry was more cultivated than vanity, no one could gain admittance to the sacred asylum of the tomb until he had passed under the most solemn judgment. A grave tribunal sat in judgment upon all, even the kings. They said to the dead. "Whoever thou art, give account to thy country of thy actions! What hast thou done with thy time and life? The law interrogates thee, thy country hears thee, Truth sits in judgment on thee!" Princes came there to be judged, escorted only by their virtues and their vices. A public accuser recounted, the history of the dead man's life, and threw the blaze of the torch of truth .on all his actions. If it were adjudged that he had led an evil life, his memory was condemned in the presence of the nation, and his body was denied the honors of sepulture. What a lesson the old Masonry taught to the sons of the people!

Is it true that Masonry is effete; that the acacia, withered, affords no shade; that Masonry no longer marches in the advance-guard of Truth? No. Is freedom yet universal? Have ignorance and prejudice disappeared from the earth? Are there no longer enmities among men? Do cupidity and falsehood no longer exist? Do toleration and harmony prevail among religious and political sects? There are works yet left for Masonry to accomplish, greater than the twelve labors of Hercules; to advance ever

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resolutely and steadily; to enlighten the minds of the people, to reconstruct society, to reform the laws, and to improve the public morals. The eternity in front of it is as infinite as the one behind. And Masonry cannot cease to labor in the cause of social progress, without ceasing to be true to itself, without ceasing to be Masonry.

Masonic hand fan symbol

 

XII. GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT

[Master Architect.]

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Freemasonry - GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT [Master Architect] degree symbols

XII.

GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT.

[Master Architect.]

THE great duties that are inculcated by the lessons taught by the working-instruments of a Grand Master Architect, demanding so much of us, and taking for granted the capacity to perform them faithfully and fully, bring us at once to reflect upon the dignity of human nature, and the vast powers and capacities of the human soul; and to that theme we invite your attention in this Degree. Let us begin to rise from earth toward the Stars.

Evermore the human soul struggles toward the light, toward God, and the Infinite. It is especially so in its afflictions. Words go but a little way into the depths of sorrow. The thoughts that writhe there in silence, that go into the stillness of Infinitude and Eternity, have no emblems. Thoughts enough come there, such as no tongue ever uttered. They do not so much want human sympathy, as higher help. There is a loneliness in deep sorrow which the Deity alone can relieve. Alone, the mind wrestles with the great problem of calamity, and seeks the solution from the Infinite Providence of Heaven, and thus is led directly to God.

There are many things in us of which we are not distinctly conscious: To waken that slumbering consciousness into life, and so to lead the soul up to the Light, is one office of every great ministration to human nature, whether its vehicle be the pen, the pencil, or the tongue. We are unconscious of the intensity and awfulness of the life within us. Health and sickness, joy and sorrow, success and disappointment, life and death, love and loss, are

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familiar words upon our lips; and we do not know to what depths they point within us.

We seem never to know what any thing means or is worth until we have lost it. Many an organ, nerve, and fibre in our bodily frame performs its silent part for years, and we are quite unconscious of its value. It is not until it is injured that we discover that value, and find how essential it was to our happiness and comfort. We never know the full significance of the words, "property," "ease," and "health;" the wealth of meaning in the fond epithets, "parent," "child," "beloved," and "friend," until the thing or the person is taken away; until, in place of the bright, visible being, comes the awful and desolate shadow, where nothing is: where we stretch out our hands in vain, and strain our eyes upon dark and dismal vacuity. Yet, in that vacuity, we do not lose the object that we loved. It becomes only the more real to us. Our blessings not only brighten when they depart, but are fixed in enduring reality; and love and friendship receive their everlasting seal under the cold impress of death.

A dim consciousness of infinite mystery and grandeur lies beneath all the commonplace of life. There is an awfulness and' a majesty around us, in all our little worldliness. The rude peasant from the Apennines, asleep at the foot of a pillar in a majestic Roman church, seems not to hear or see, but to dream only of the herd he feeds or the ground he tills in the mountains. But the choral symphonies fall softly upon his ear, and the gilded arches are dimly seen through his half-slumbering eyelids.

So the soul, however given up to the occupations of daily life, cannot quite lose the sense of where it is, and of what is above it and around it. The scene of its actual engagements may be small; the path of its steps, beaten and familiar; the objects it handles, easily spanned, and quite worn out with daily uses. So it may be, and amidst such things that we all live. So we live our little life; but Heaven is above us and all around and close to us; and Eternity is before us and behind us; and suns and stars are silent witnesses and watchers over us. We are enfolded by Infinity. Infinite Powers and Infinite spaces lie all around us. The dread arch of Mystery spreads over us, and no voice ever pierced it. Eternity is enthroned amid Heaven's myriad starry heights; and no utterance or word ever came from those far-off and silent spaces. Above, is that awful majesty; around us, everywhere, it stretches

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off into infinity; and beneath it is this little struggle of life, this poor day's conflict, this busy ant-hill of Time.

But from that ant-hill, not only the talk of the streets, the sounds of music and revelling, the stir and tread of a multitude, the shout of joy and the shriek of agony go up into the silent and all-surrounding Infinitude; but also, amidst the stir and noise of visible life, from the inmost bosom of the visible man, there goes up an imploring call, a beseeching cry, an asking, unuttered, and unutterable, for revelation, wailingly and in almost speechless agony praying the dread arch of mystery to break, and the stars that roll above the waves of mortal trouble, to speak; the enthroned majesty of those awful heights to find a voice; the mysterious and reserved heavens to come near; and all to tell us what they alone know; to give us information of the loved and lost; to make known to us what we are, and whither we are going.

Man is encompassed with a dome of incomprehensible wonders. In him and about him is that which should fill his life with majesty and sacredness. Something of sublimity and sanctity has thus flashed down from heaven into the heart of every one that lives. There is no being so base and abandoned but hath some traits of that sacredness left upon him; something, so much perhaps in discordance with his general repute, that he hides it from all around him; some sanctuary in his soul, where no one may enter; some sacred inclosure, where the memory of a child is, or the image of a venerated parent, or the remembrance of a pure love, or the echo of some word of kindness once spoken to him; an echo that will never die away.

Life is no negative, or superficial or worldly existence. Our steps are evermore haunted with thoughts, far beyond their own range, which some have regarded as the reminiscences of a pre-existent state. So it is with us all, in the beaten and worn track of this worldly pilgrimage. There is more here, than the world we live in. It is not all of life to live. An unseen and infinite presence is here; a sense of something greater than we possess; a seeking, through all the void wastes of life, for a good beyond it; a crying out of the heart for interpretation; a memory, of the dead, touching continually some vibrating thread in this great tissue of mystery.

We all not only have better intimations, but are capable of better

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things than we know. The pressure of some great emergency would develop in us powers, beyond the worldly bias of our spirits; and Heaven so deals with us, from time to time, as to call forth those better things, There is hardly a family in the world so selfish, but that, if one in it were doomed to die -- one, to be selected by the others, -- it would be utterly impossible for its members, parents and children, to choose out that victim; but that each would say, "I will die; but I cannot choose." And in how many, if that dire extremity had come, would not one and another step forth, freed from the vile meshes of ordinary selfishness, and say, like the Roman father and son, "Let the blow fall on me!" There are greater and better things in us all, than the world takes account of, or than we take note of; if we would but find them out. And it is one part of our Masonic culture to find these traits of power and sublime devotion, to revive these faded impressions of generosity and self-sacrifice, the almost squandered bequests of God's love and kindness to our souls; and to induce us to yield ourselves to their guidance and control.

Upon all conditions of men presses down one impartial law, To all situations, to all fortunes, high or low, the mind gives their character. They are, in effect, not what they are in themselves, but what they are to the feeling of their possessors. The King may be mean, degraded, miserable; the slave of ambition, fear, voluptuousness, and every low passion. The Peasant may be the real Monarch, the moral master of his fate, a free and lofty being, more than a Prince in happiness, more than a King in honor.

Man is no bubble upon the sea of his fortunes, helpless and irresponsible upon the tide of events. Out of the same circumstances, different men bring totally different results. The same difficulty, distress, poverty, or misfortune, that breaks down one man, builds up another and makes him strong. It is the very attribute and glory of a man, that he can bend the circumstances of his condition to the intellectual and moral purposes of his nature, and it is the power and mastery of his will that chiefly distinguish him from the brute.

The faculty of moral will, developed in the child, is a new element of his nature. It is a new power brought upon the scene, and a ruling power, delegated from Heaven. Never was a human being sunk so low that he had not, by God's gift, the power to rise, Because God commands him to rise, it is certain that he can rise,

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Every man has the power, and should use it, to make all situations, trials, and temptations instruments to promote his virtue and happiness; and is so far from being the creature of circumstances, that he creates and controls them, making them to be all that they are, of evil or of good, to him as a moral being.

Life is what we make it, and the world is what we make it. The eyes of the cheerful and of the melancholy man are fixed upon the same creation; but very different are the aspects which it bears to them. To the one, it is all beauty and gladness; the waves of ocean roll in light, and the mountains are covered with day. Life, to him, flashes, rejoicing, upon every flower and every tree that trembles in the breeze. There is more to him, everywhere, than the eye sees; a presence of profound joy on hill and valley, and bright, dancing water. The other idly or mournfully gazes at the same scene, and everything wears a dull, dim, and sickly aspect. The murmuring of the brooks is a discord to him, the great roar of the sea has an angry and threatening emphasis, the solemn music of the pines sings the requiem of his departed happiness; the cheerful light shines garishly upon his eyes and offends him. The great train of the seasons passes before him like a funeral procession; and he sighs, and turns impatiently away. The eye makes that which it looks upon; the ear makes its own melodies and discords; the world without reflects the world within.

Let the Mason never forget that life and the world are what we make them by our social character; by our adaptation, or want of adaptation to the social conditions, relationships, and pursuits of the world. To the selfish, the cold, and the insensible, to the haughty and presuming, to the proud, who demand more than they are likely to receive, to the jealous, ever afraid they shall not receive enough, to those who are unreasonably sensitive about the good or ill opinions of others, to all violators of the social laws, the rude, the violent, the dishonest, and the sensual, -- to all these, the social condition, from its very nature, will present annoyances, disappointments, and pains, appropriate to their several characters. The benevolent affections will not revolve around selfishness; the cold-hearted must expect to meet coldness; the proud, haughtiness; the passionate, anger; and the violent, rudeness. Those who forget the rights of others, must not be surprised if their own are forgotten; and those who stoop to the lowest embraces of sense must not wonder, if others are not concerned to

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find their prostrate honor, and lift it up to the remembrance and respect of the world.

To the gentle, many will be gentle; to the kind, many will be kind. A good man will find that there is goodness in the world; an honest man will find that there is honesty in the world; and a man of principle will find principle and integrity in the minds of others.

There are no blessings which the mind may not convert into the bitterest of evils; and no trials which it may not transform into the noblest and divinest blessings. There are no temptations from which assailed virtue may not gain strength, instead of falling before them, vanquished and subdued. It is true that temptations have a great power, and virtue often falls; but the might of these temptations lies not in themselves, but in the feebleness of our own virtue, and the weakness of our own hearts. We rely too much on the strength of our ramparts and bastions, and allow the enemy to make his approaches, by trench and parallel, at his leisure. The offer of dishonest gain and guilty pleasure makes the honest man more honest, and the pure man more pure. They raise his virtue to the height of towering indignation. The fair occasion, the safe opportunity, the tempting chance become the defeat and disgrace of the tempter. The honest and upright man does not wait until temptation has made its approaches and mounted its batteries on the last parallel.

But to the impure, the dishonest, the false-hearted, the corrupt, and the sensual, occasions come every day, and in every scene, and through every avenue of thought and imagination. He is prepared to capitulate before the first approach is commenced; and sends out the white flag when the enemy's advance comes in sight of his walls. He makes occasions; or, if opportunities come not, evil thoughts come, and he throws wide open the gates of his heart and welcomes those bad visitors, and entertains them with a lavish hospitality.

The business of the world absorbs, corrupts, and degrades one mind, while in another it feeds and nurses the noblest independence, integrity, and generosity. Pleasure is a poison to some, and a healthful refreshment to others. To one, the world is a great harmony, like a noble strain of music with infinite modulations; to another, it is a huge factory, the clash and clang of whose machinery jars upon his ears and frets him to madness. Life is substantially

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the same thing to all who partake of its lot. Yet some rise to virtue and glory; while others, undergoing the same discipline, and enjoying the same privileges, sink to shame and perdition.

Thorough, faithful, and honest endeavor to improve, is always successful, and the highest happiness. To sigh sentimentally over human misfortune, is fit only for the mind's childhood; and the mind's misery is chiefly its own fault; appointed, under the good Providence of God, as the punisher and corrector of its fault. In the long run, the mind will be happy, just in proportion to its fidelity and wisdom. When it is miserable, it has planted the thorns in its own path; it grasps them, and cries out in loud complaint; and that complaint is but the louder confession that the thorns which grew there, it planted.

A certain kind and degree of spirituality enter into the largest part of even the most ordinary life. You can carry on no business, without some faith in man. You cannot even dig in the ground, without a reliance on the unseen result. You cannot think or reason or even step, without confiding in the inward, spiritual principles of your nature. All the affections and bonds, and hopes and interests of life centre in the spiritual; and you know that if that central bond were broken, the world would rush to chaos.

Believe that there is a God; that He is our father; that He has a paternal interest in our welfare and improvement; that He has given us powers, by means of which we may escape from sin and ruin; that He has destined us to a future life of endless progress toward perfection and a knowledge of Himself -- believe this, as every Mason should, and you can live calmly, endure patiently, labor resolutely, deny yourselves cheerfully, hope steadfastly, and be conquerors in the great struggle of life. Take away any one of these principles, and what remains for us? Say that there is no God; or no way opened for hope and reformation and triumph, no heaven to come, no rest for the weary, no home in the bosom of God for the afflicted and disconsolate soul; or that God is but an ugly blind Chance that stabs in the dark; or a somewhat that is, when attempted to be defined, a nowhat, emotionless, passionless, the Supreme Apathy to which all things, good and evil, are alike indifferent; or a jealous God who revengefully visits the sins of the fathers on the children, and when the fathers have eaten

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sour grapes, sets the children's teeth on edge; an arbitrary supreme Will, that has made it right to be virtuous, and wrong to lie and steal, because IT pleased to make it so rather than other-wise, retaining the power to reverse the law; or a fickle, vacillating, inconstant Deity, or a cruel, bloodthirsty, savage Hebrew or Puritanic one; and we are but the sport of chance and the victims of despair; hapless wanderers upon the face of a desolate, forsaken, or accursed and hated earth; surrounded by darkness, struggling with obstacles, toiling for barren results and empty purposes, distracted with doubts, and misled by false gleams of light; wanderers with no way, no prospect, no home; doomed and deserted mariners on a dark and stormy sea, without compass or course, to whom no stars appear; tossing helmless upon the weltering, angry waves, with no blessed haven in the distance whose guiding-star invites us to its welcome rest.

The religious faith thus taught by Masonry is indispensable to the attainment of the great ends of life; and must therefore have been designed to be a part of it. We are made for this faith; and there must be something, somewhere, for us to believe in. We cannot grow healthfully, nor live happily, without it. It is therefore true. If we could cut off from any soul all the principles taught by Masonry, the faith in a God, in immortality, in virtue, in essential rectitude, that soul would sink into sin, misery, darkness, and ruin. If we could cut off all sense of these truths, the man would sink at once to the grade of the animal.

No man can suffer and be patient, can struggle and conquer, can improve and be happy, otherwise than as the swine are, without conscience, without hope, without a reliance on a just, wise, and beneficent God. We must, of necessity, embrace the great truths taught by Masonry, and live by them, to live happily. "I put my trust in God," is the protest of Masonry against the belief in a cruel, angry, and revengeful God, to be feared and not reverenced by His creatures.

Society, in its great relations, is as much the creation of Heaven as is the system of the Universe. If that bond of gravitation that holds all worlds and systems together, were suddenly severed, the universe would fly into wild and boundless chaos. And if we were to sever all the moral bonds that hold society together; if we could cut off from it every conviction of Truth and Integrity, of an authority above it, and of a conscience within it, it would immediately

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rush to disorder and frightful anarchy and ruin. The religion we teach is therefore as really a principle of things, and as certain and true, as gravitation.

Faith in moral principles, in virtue, and in God, is as necessary for the guidance of a man, as instinct is for the guidance of an animal. And therefore this faith, as a principle of man's nature, has a mission as truly authentic in God's Providence, as the principle of instinct. The pleasures of the soul, too, must depend on certain principles. They must recognize a soul, its properties and responsibilities, a conscience, and the sense of an authority above us; and these are the principles of faith. No man can suffer and be patient, can struggle and conquer, can improve and be happy, without conscience, without hope, without a reliance on a just, wise, and beneficent God. We must of necessity embrace the great truths taught by Masonry, and live by them, to live happily. Everything in the universe has fixed and certain laws and principles for its action; the star in its orbit, the animal in its activity, the physical man in his functions. And he has likewise fixed and certain laws and principles as a spiritual being. His soul does not die for want of aliment or guidance. For the rational soul there is ample provision. From the lofty pine, rocked in the darkening tempest, the cry of the young raven is heard; and it would be most strange if there were no answer for the cry and call of the soul, tortured by want and sorrow and agony. The total rejection of all moral and religious belief would strike out a principle from human nature, as essential to it as gravitation to the stars, instinct to animal life, the circulation of the blood to the human body.

God has ordained that life shall be a social state. We are members of a civil community. The life of that community depends upon its moral condition. Public spirit, intelligence, uprightness, temperance, kindness, domestic purity, will make it a happy community, and give it prosperity and continuance. Widespread selfishness, dishonesty, intemperance, libertinism, corruption, and crime, will make it miserable, and bring about dissolution and speedy ruin. A whole people lives one life; one mighty heart heaves in its bosom; it is one great pulse of existence that throbs there. One stream of life flows there, with ten thousand intermingled branches and channels, through all the homes of human love. One sound as of many waters, a rapturous jubilee or a

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mournful sighing, comes up from the congregated dwellings of a whole nation.

The Public is no vague abstraction; nor should that which is done against that Public, against public interest, law, or virtue, press but lightly on the conscience. It is but a vast expansion of individual life; an ocean of tears, an atmosphere of sighs, or a great whole of joy and gladness. It suffers with the suffering of millions; it rejoices with the joy of millions. What a vast crime does he commit, -- private man or public man, agent or contractor, legislator or magistrate, secretary or president, -- who dares, with indignity and wrong, to strike the bosom of the Public Welfare, to encourage venality and corruption, and shameful sale of the elective franchise, or of office; to sow dissension, and to weaken the bonds of amity that bind a Nation together! What a huge iniquity, he who, with vices like the daggers of a parricide, dares to pierce that mighty heart, in which the ocean of existence is flowing!

What an unequalled interest lies in the virtue of every one whom we love! In his virtue, nowhere but in his virtue, is garnered up the incomparable treasure. What care we for brother or friend, compared with what we care for his honor, his fidelity, his reputation, his kindness? How venerable is the rectitude of a parent! How sacred his reputation! No blight that can fall upon a child, is like a parent's dishonor. Heathen or Christian, every, parent would have his child do well; and pours out upon him all the fullness of parental love, in the one desire that he may do well; that he may be worthy of his cares, and his freely bestowed pains; that he may walk in the way of honor and happiness. In that way he cannot walk one step without virtue. Such is life, in its relationships. A thousand ties embrace it, like the fine nerves of a delicate organization; like the strings of an instrument capable of sweet melodies, but easily put out of tune or broken, by rudeness, anger, and selfish indulgence.

If life could, by any process, be made insensible to pain and pleasure; if the human heart were hard as adamant, then avarice, ambition, and sensuality might channel out their paths in it, and make it their beaten way; and none would wonder or protest. If we could be patient under the load of a mere worldly life; if we could bear that burden as the beasts bear it; then, like beasts, we might bend all our thoughts to the earth; and no call from the

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great Heavens above us would startle us from our plodding and earthly course.

But we art not insensible brutes, who can refuse the call of reason and conscience. The soul is capable of remorse. When the great dispensations of life press down upon us, we weep, and suffer and sorrow. And sorrow and agony desire other companion-ships than worldliness and irreligion. We are not willing to bear those burdens of the heart, fear, anxiety, disappointment, and trouble, without any object or use. We are not willing to suffer, to be sick and afflicted, to have our days and months lost to comfort and joy, and overshadowed with calamity and grief, without advantage or compensation; to barter away the dearest treasures, the very sufferings, of the heart; to sell the life-blood from failing frame and fading cheek, our tears of bitterness and groans of anguish, for nothing. Human nature, frail, feeling, sensitive, and sorrowing, cannot bear to suffer for nought.

Everywhere, human life is a great and solemn dispensation. Man, suffering, enjoying, loving, hating, hoping, and fearing, chained to the earth and yet exploring the far recesses of the universe, has the power to commune with God and His angels. Around this great action of existence the curtains of Time are drawn; but there are openings through them which give us glimpses of eternity. God looks down upon this scene of human probation. The wise and the good in all ages have interposed for it, with their teachings and their blood. Everything that exists around us, every movement in nature, every counsel of Providence, every interposition of God, centres upon one point -- the fidelity of man. And even if the ghosts of the departed and remembered could come at midnight through the barred doors of our dwellings, and the shrouded dead should glide through the aisles of our churches and sit in our Masonic Temples, their teachings would be no more eloquent and impressive than the dread realities of life; than those memories of misspent years, those ghosts of departed opportunities, that, pointing to our conscience and eternity, cry continually in our ears, "Work while the day lasts! for the night of death cometh, in which no man can work."

There are no tokens of public mourning for the calamity of the soul. Men weep when the body dies; and when it is borne to its last rest, they follow it with sad and mournful procession. But

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for the dying soul there is no open lamentation; for the lost soul there are no obsequies.

And yet the mind and soul of man have a value which nothing else has. They are worth a care which nothing else is worth; and to the single, solitary individual, they ought to possess an interest which nothing else possesses. The stored treasures of the heart, the unfathomable mines that are in the soul to be wrought, the broad and boundless realms of Thought, the freighted argosy of man's hopes and best affections, are brighter than gold and dearer than treasure.

And yet the mind is in reality little known or considered. It is all which man permanently is, his inward being, his divine energy, his immortal thought, his boundless capacity, his infinite aspiration; and nevertheless, few value it for what it is worth. Few see a brother-mind in others, through the rags with which poverty has clothed it, beneath the crushing burdens of life, amidst the close pressure of worldly troubles, wants and sorrows. Few acknowledge and cheer it in that humble blot, and feel that the nobility of earth, and the commencing glory of Heaven are there.

Men do not feel the worth of their own souls. They are proud of their mental powers; but the intrinsic, inner, infinite worth of their own minds they do not perceive. The poor man, admitted to a palace, feels, lofty and immortal being as he is, like a mere ordinary thing amid the splendors that surround him. He sees the carriage of wealth roll by him, and forgets the intrinsic and eternal dignity of his own mind in a poor and degrading envy, and feels as an humbler creature, because others are above him, not in mind, but in mensuration. Men respect themselves, according as they are more wealthy, higher in rank or office, loftier in the world's opinion, able to command more votes, more the favorites of the people or of Power.

The difference among men is not so much in their nature and intrinsic power, as in the faculty of communication. Some have the capacity of uttering and embodying in words their thoughts. All men, more or less, feel those thoughts. The glory of genius and the rapture of virtue, when rightly revealed, are diffused and shared among unnumbered minds. When eloquence and poetry speak; when those glorious arts, statuary, painting, and music, take audible or visible shape; when patriotism, charity, and virtue

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speak with a thrilling potency, the hearts of thousands glow with a kindred joy and ecstasy. If it were not so, there would be no eloquence; for eloquence is that to which other hearts respond; it is the faculty and power of making other hearts respond. No one is so low or degraded, as not sometimes to be touched with the beauty of goodness. No heart is made of materials so common, or even base, as not sometimes to respond, through every chord of it, to the call of honor, patriotism, generosity, and virtue. The poor African Slave will die for the master or mistress, or in defence of the children, whom he loves. The poor, lost, scorned, abandoned, outcast woman will, without expectation of reward, nurse those who are dying on every hand, utter strangers to her, with a contagious and horrid pestilence. The pickpocket will scale burning walls to rescue child or woman, unknown to him, from the ravenous flames.

Most glorious is this capacity! A power to commune with God and His Angels; a reflection of the Uncreated Light; a mirror that can collect and concentrate upon itself all the moral splendors of the Universe. It is the soul alone that gives any value to the things of this world; and it is only by raising the soul to its just elevation above all other things, that we can look rightly upon the purposes of this earth. No sceptre nor throne, nor structure of ages, nor broad empire, can compare with the wonders and grandeurs of a single thought. That alone, of all things that have been made, comprehends the Maker of all. That alone is the key which unlocks all the treasures of the Universe; the power that reigns over Space, Time, and Eternity. That, under God, is the Sovereign Dispenser to man of all the blessings and glories that lie within the compass of possession, or the range of possibility. Virtue, Heaven, and Immortality exist not, nor ever will exist for us except as they exist and will exist, in the perception, feeling, and thought of the glorious mind.

My Brother, in the hope that you have listened to and understood the Instruction and Lecture of this Degree, and that you feel the dignity of your own nature and the vast capacities of your own soul for good or evil, I proceed briefly to communicate to you the remaining instruction of this Degree.

The Hebrew word, in the old Hebrew and Samaritan character, suspended in the East, over the five columns, is ADONAÏ, one of the names of God, usually translated Lord; and which the Hebrews,

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in reading, always substitute for the True Name, which is for them ineffable.

The five columns, in the five different orders of architecture, are emblematical to us of the five principal divisions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite:

1. -- The Tuscan, of the three blue Degrees, or the primitive Masonry.

2. -- The Doric, of the ineffable Degrees, from the fourth to the fourteenth, inclusive.

3. -- The Ionic, of the fifteenth and sixteenth, or second temple Degrees.

4. -- The Corinthian, of the seventeenth and eighteenth Degrees, or those of the new law.

5. -- The Composite, of the philosophical and chivalric Degrees intermingled, from the nineteenth to the thirty-second, inclusive.

The North Star, always fixed and immutable for us, represents the point in the centre of the circle, or the Deity in the centre of the Universe. It is the especial symbol of duty and of faith. To it, and the seven that continually revolve around it, mystical meanings are attached, which you will learn hereafter, if you should be permitted to advance, when you are made acquainted with the philosophical doctrines of the Hebrews.

The Morning Star, rising in the East, Jupiter, called by the Hebrews Tsado_c or Tsydyk, Just, is an emblem to us of the ever-approaching dawn of perfection and Masonic light.

The three great lights of the Lodge are symbols to us of the Power, Wisdom, and Beneficence of the Deity. They are also symbols of the first three Sephiroth, or Emanations of the Deity, according to the Kabalah, Kether, the omnipotent divine will; Chochmah, the divine intellectual power to generate thought, and Binah, the divine intellectual capacity to produce it -- the two latter, usually translated Wisdom and Understanding, being the active and the passive, the positive and the negative, which we do not yet endeavor to explain to you. They are the columns Jachin and Boaz, that stand at the entrance to the Masonic Temple.

In another aspect of this Degree, the Chief of the Architects [‏ו ?R?B ?Bן?Yמ‎, Rab Banaim,] symbolizes the constitutional executive head and chief of a free government; and the Degree teaches us that no free government can long endure, when the people cease

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to select for their magistrates the best and the wisest of their statesmen; when, passing these by, they permit factions or sordid interests to select for them the small, the low, the ignoble, and the obscure, and into such hands commit the country's destinies. There is, after all, a "divine right" to govern; and it is vested in the ablest, wisest, best, of every nation. "Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding: I am power: by me kings do reign, and princes decree justice; by me princes rule, and nobles, even all the magistrates of the earth."

For the present, my Brother, let this suffice. We welcome you among us, to this peaceful retreat of virtue, to a participation in our privileges, to a share in our joys and our sorrows.

Freemasonry - flower symbol

 

XIII. ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON

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Freemasonry - ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON degree symbols

XIII.

ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON.

WHETHER the legend and history of this Degree are historically true, or but an allegory, containing in itself a deeper truth and a profounder meaning, we shall not now debate. If it be but a legendary myth, you must find out for yourself what it means. It is certain that the word which the Hebrews are not now permitted to pronounce was in common use by Abraham, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Laban, Rebecca, and even among tribes foreign to the Hebrews, before the time of Moses; and that it recurs a hundred times in the lyrical effusions of David and other Hebrew poets.

We know that for many centuries the Hebrews have been forbidden to pronounce the Sacred Name; that wherever it occurs, they have for ages read the word Adonaï instead; and that under it, when the masoretic points, which represent the vowels, came to be used, they placed those which belonged to the latter word. The possession of the true pronunciation was deemed to confer on him who had it extraordinary and supernatural powers; and the Word itself, worn upon the person, was regarded as an amulet, a protection against personal danger, sickness, and evil spirits. We know that all this was a vain superstition, natural to a rude people, necessarily disappearing as the intellect of man became enlightened; and wholly unworthy of a Mason.

It is noticeable that this notion of the sanctity of the Divine Name or Creative Word was common to all the ancient nations. The Sacred Word HOM was supposed by the ancient Persians (who were among the earliest emigrants from Northern India) to

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be pregnant with a mysterious power; and they taught that by its utterance the world was created. In India it was forbidden to pronounce the word AUM or OM, the Sacred Name of the One Deity, manifested as Brahma, Vishna, and Seeva.

These superstitious notions in regard to the efficacy of the Word, and the prohibition against pronouncing it, could, being errors, have formed no part of the pure primitive religion, or of the esoteric doctrine taught by Moses, and the full knowledge of which was confined to the Initiates; unless the whole was but an ingenious invention for the concealment of some other Name or truth, the interpretation and meaning whereof was made known only to the select few. If so, the common notions in regard to the Word grew up in the minds of the people, like other errors and fables among all the ancient nations, out of original truths and symbols and allegories misunderstood. So it has always been that allegories, intended as vehicles of truth, to be understood by the sages, have become or bred errors, by being literally accepted.

It is true, that before the masoretic points were invented (which was after the beginning of the Christian era), the pronunciation of a word in the Hebrew language could not be known from the characters in which it was written. It was, therefore, possible for that of the name of the Deity to have been forgotten and lost. It is certain that its true pronunciation is not that represented by the word Jehovah; and therefore that that is not the true name of Deity, nor the Ineffable Word.

The ancient symbols and allegories always had more than one interpretation. They always had a double meaning, and sometimes more than two, one serving as the envelope of the other. Thus the pronunciation of the word was a symbol; and that pronunciation and the word itself were lost, when the knowledge of the true nature and attributes of God faded out of the minds of the Jewish people. That is one interpretation -- true, but not the inner and profoundest one.

Men were figuratively said to forget the name of God, when they lost that knowledge, and worshipped the heathen deities, and burned incense to them on the high places, and passed their children through the fire to Moloch.

Thus the attempts of the ancient Israelites and of the Initiates to ascertain the True Name of the Deity, and its pronunciation, and the loss of the True Word, are an allegory, in which are represented

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the general ignorance of the true nature and attributes of God, the proneness of the people of Judah and Israel to worship other deities, and the low and erroneous and dishonoring notions of the Grand Architect of the Universe, which all shared except a few favored persons; for even Solomon built altars and sacrificed to Astarat, the goddess of the Tsidunim, and Malcu_m, the Aamu_nite god, and built high places for Kamu_s, the Moabite deity, and Malec the god of the Beni-Aamu_n. The true nature of God was unknown to them, like His name; and they worshipped the calves of Jeroboam, as in the desert they did that made for them by Aaru_n.

The mass of the Hebrews did not believe in the existence of one only God until a late period in their history. Their early and popular ideas of the Deity were singularly low and unworthy. Even while Moses was receiving the law upon Mount Sinai, they forced Aaron to make them an image of the Egyptian god Apis, and fell down and adored it. They were ever ready to return to the worship of the gods of the Mitzraim; and soon after the death of Joshua they became devout worshippers of the false gods of all the surrounding nations. "Ye have borne," Amos, the prophet, said to them, speaking of their forty years' journeying in the desert, under Moses, "the tabernacle of your Malec and Kaiu_n your idols, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves."

Among them, as among other nations, the conceptions of God formed by individuals varied according to their intellectual and spiritual capacities; poor and imperfect, and investing God with the commonest and coarsest attributes of humanity, among the ignorant and coarse; pure and lofty among the virtuous and richly gifted. These conceptions gradually improved and became purified and ennobled, as the nation advanced in civilization -- being lowest in the historical books, amended in the prophetic writings, and reaching their highest elevation among the poets.

Among all the ancient nations there was one faith and one idea of Deity for the enlightened, intelligent, and educated, and another for the common people. To this rule the Hebrews were no exception. Yehovah, to the mass of the people, was like the gods of the nations around them, except that he was the peculiar God, first of the family of Abraham, of that of Isaac, and of that of Jacob, and afterward the National God; and, as they believed, more powerful than the other gods of the same nature worshipped

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by their neighbors -- "Who among the Baalim is like unto thee, O Yehovah?" -- expressed their whole creed.

The Deity of the early Hebrews talked to Adam and Eve in the garden of delight, as he walked in it in the cool of the day; he conversed with Kayin; he sat and ate with Abraham in his tent; that patriarch required a visible token, before he would believe in his positive promise; he permitted Abraham to expostulate with him, and to induce him to change his first determination in regard to Sodom; he wrestled with Jacob; he showed Moses his person, though not his face; he dictated the minutest police regulations and the dimensions of the tabernacle and its furniture, to the Israelites; he insisted on and delighted in sacrifices and burnt-offerings; he was angry, jealous, and revengeful, as well as wavering and irresolute; he allowed Moses to reason him out of his fixed resolution utterly to destroy his people; he commanded the performance of the most shocking and hideous acts of cruelty and barbarity. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh; he repented of the evil that he had said he would do unto the people of Nineveh; and he did it not, to the disgust and anger of Jonah.

Such were the popular notions of the Deity; and either the priests had none better, or took little trouble to correct these notions; or the popular intellect was not enough enlarged to enable them to entertain any higher conceptions of the Almighty.

But such were not the ideas of the intellectual and enlightened few among the Hebrews. It is certain that they possessed a knowledge of the true nature and attributes of God; as the same class of men did among the other nations -- Zoroaster, Menu, Confucius, Socrates, and Plato. But their doctrines on this subject were esoteric; they did not communicate them to the people at large, but only to a favored few; and as they were communicated in Egypt and India, in Persia and Phœnicia, in Greece and Samothrace, in the greater mysteries, to the Initiates.

The communication of this knowledge and other secrets, some of which are perhaps lost, constituted, under other names, what we now call Masonry, or Free or Frank-Masonry. That knowledge was, in one sense, the Lost Word, which was made known to the Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Masons. It would be folly to pretend that the forms of Masonry were the same in those ages as they are now. The present name of the Order, and its titles, and the names of the Degrees now in use, were not then known.

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Even Blue Masonry cannot trace back its authentic history, with its present Degrees, further than the year 1700, if so far. But, by whatever name it was known in this or the other country, Masonry existed as it now exists, the same in spirit and at heart, not only when Solomon builded the temple, but centuries before -- before even the first colonies emigrated into Southern India, Persia, and Egypt, from the cradle of the human race.

The Supreme, Self-existent, Eternal, All-wise, All-powerful, Infinitely Good, Pitying, Beneficent, and Merciful Creator and Preserver of the Universe was the same, by whatever name he was called, to the intellectual and enlightened men of all nations. The name was nothing, if not a symbol and representative hieroglyph of his nature and attributes. The name AL represented his remoteness above men, his inaccessibility; BAL and BALA, his might; ALOHIM, his various potencies; IHUH, existence and the generation of things. None of his names, among the Orientals, were the symbols of a divinely infinite love and tenderness, and all-embracing mercy. As MOLOCH or MALEK he was but an omnipotent monarch, a tremendous and irresponsible Will; as ADONAÏ, only an arbitrary LORD and Master; as AL Shadaï, potent and a DESTROYER.

To communicate true and correct ideas in respect of the Deity was one chief object of the mysteries. In them, Khu_ru_m the King, and Khu_ru_m the Master, obtained their knowledge of him and his attributes; and in them that knowledge was taught to Moses and Pythagoras.

Wherefore nothing forbids you to consider the whole legend of this Degree, like that of the Master's, an allegory, representing the perpetuation of the knowledge of the True God in the sanctuaries of initiation. By the subterranean vaults you may understand the places of initiation, which in the ancient ceremonies were generally under ground. The Temple of Solomon presented a symbolic image of the Universe; and resembled, in its arrangements and furniture, all the temples of the ancient nations that practised the mysteries. The system of numbers was intimately connected with their religions and worship, and has come down to us in Masonry; though the esoteric meaning with which the numbers used by us are pregnant is unknown to the vast majority of those who use them. Those numbers were especially employed that had a reference to the Deity, represented his attributes, or figured in the

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frame-work of the world, in time and space, and formed more or less the bases of that frame-work. These were universally regarded as sacred, being the expression of order and intelligence, the utterances of Divinity Himself.

The Holy of Holies of the Temple formed a cube; in which, drawn on a plane surface, there are 4+3+2=9 lines visible, and three sides or faces. It corresponded with the number four, by which the ancients presented Nature, it being the number of substances or corporeal forms, and of the elements, the cardinal points and seasons, and the secondary colors. The number three everywhere represented the Supreme Being. Hence the name of the Deity, engraven upon the triangular plate, and that sunken into the cube of agate, taught the ancient Mason, and teaches us, that the true knowledge of God, of His nature and His attributes, is written by Him upon the leaves of the great Book of Universal Nature, and may be read there by all who are endowed with the requisite amount of intellect and intelligence. This knowledge of God, so written there, and of which Masonry has in all ages been the interpreter, is the Master Mason's Word.

Within the Temple, all the arrangements were mystically and symbolically connected with the same system. The vault or ceiling, starred like the firmament, was supported by twelve columns, representing the twelve months of the year. The border that ran around the columns represented the zodiac, and one of the twelve celestial signs was appropriated to each column. The brazen sea was supported by twelve oxen, three looking to each cardinal point of the compass.

And so in our day every Masonic Lodge represents the Universe. Each extends, we are told, from the rising to the setting sun, from the South to the North, from the surface of the Earth to the Heavens, and from the same to the centre of the globe. In it are represented the sun, moon, and stars; three great torches in the East, West, and South, forming a triangle, give it light; and, like the Delta or Triangle suspended in the East, and inclosing the Ineffable Name, indicate, by the mathematical equality of the angles and sides, the beautiful and harmonious proportions which govern in the aggregate and details of the Universe; while those sides and angles represent, by their number, three, the Trinity of Power, Wisdom, and Harmony, which presided at the building of this marvellous work, These three great lights also represent the

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great mystery of the three principles, of creation, dissolution or destruction, and reproduction or regeneration, consecrated by all creeds in their numerous Trinities.

The luminous pedestal, lighted by the perpetual flame within, is a symbol of that light of Reason, given by God to man, by which he is enabled to read in the Book of Nature the record of the thought, the revelation of the attributes of the Deity.

The three Masters, Adoniram, Joabert, and Stolkin, are types of the True Mason, who seeks for knowledge from pure motives, and that he may be the better enabled to serve and benefit his fellow-men; while the discontented and presumptuous Masters who were buried in the ruins of the arches represent those who strive to acquire it for unholy purposes, to gain power over their fellows, to gratify their pride, their vanity, or their ambition.

The Lion that guarded the Ark and held in his mouth the key wherewith to open it, figuratively represents Solomon, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who preserved and communicated the key to the true knowledge of God, of His laws, and of the profound mysteries of the moral and physical Universe.

ENOCH [‏ו ?X?Wןכ‎ Khano_c], we are told, walked with God three hundred years, after reaching the age of sixty-five -- "walked with God, and he was no more, for God had taken him." His name signified in the Hebrew, INITIATE or INITIATOR. The legend of the columns, of granite and brass or bronze, erected by him, is probably symbolical. That of bronze, which survived the flood, is supposed to symbolize the mysteries, of which Masonry is the legitimate successor -- from the earliest times the custodian and depository of the great philosophical and religious truths, unknown to the world at large, and handed down from age to age by an unbroken current of tradition, embodied in symbols, emblems, and allegories.

The legend of this Degree is thus, partially, interpreted. It is of little importance whether it is in anywise historical. For its value consists in the lessons which it inculcates, and the duties which it prescribes to those who receive it. The parables and allegories of the Scriptures are not less valuable than history. Nay, they are more so, because ancient history is little instructive, and truths are concealed in and symbolized by the legend and the myth.

There are profounder meanings concealed in the symbols of this .Degree, connected with the philosophical system of the Hebrew

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Kabalists, which you will learn hereafter, if you should be so fortunate as to advance. They are unfolded in the higher Degrees. The lion [‏ו ?A?R?Y‎, ‏ו ?A?R?Y?H‎, Arai, Araiah, which also means the altar] still holds in his mouth the key of the enigma of the sphynx.

But there is one application of this Degree, that you are now entitled to know; and which, remembering that Khu_ru_m, the Master, is the symbol of human freedom, you would probably discover for yourself.

It is not enough for a people to gain its liberty. It must secure it. It must not intrust it to the keeping, or hold it at the pleasure, of any one man. The keystone of the Royal Arch of the great Temple of Liberty is a fundamental law, charter, or constitution; the expression of the fixed habits of thought of the people, embodied in a written instrument, or the result of the slow accretions and the consolidation of centuries; the same in war as in peace; that cannot be hastily changed, nor be violated with impunity, but is sacred, like the Ark of the Covenant of God, which none could touch and live.

A permanent constitution, rooted in the affections, expressing the will and judgment, and built upon the instincts and settled habits of thought of the people, with an independent judiciary, an elective legislature of two branches, an executive responsible to the people, and the right of trial by jury, will guarantee the liberties of a people, if it be virtuous and temperate, without luxury, and without the lust of conquest and dominion, and the follies of visionary theories of impossible perfection.

Masonry teaches its Initiates that the pursuits and occupations of this life, its activity, care, and ingenuity, the predestined developments of the nature given us by God, tend to promote His great design, in making the world; and are not at war with the great purpose of life. It teaches that everything is beautiful in its time, in its place, in its appointed office; that everything which man is put to do, if rightly and faithfully done, naturally helps to work out his salvation; that if he obeys the genuine principles of his calling, he will be a good man: and that it is only by neglect and non-performance of the task set for him by Heaven, by wandering into idle dissipation, or by violating their beneficent and lofty spirit, that he becomes a bad man. The appointed action of life is the great training of Providence; and if man yields himself

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to it, he will need neither churches nor ordinances, except for the expression of his religious homage and gratitude.

For there is a religion of toil. It is not all drudgery, a mere stretching of the limbs and straining of the sinews to tasks. It has a meaning and an intent. A living heart pours life-blood into the toiling arm; and warm affections inspire and mingle with man's labors. They are the home affections. Labor toils a-field, or plies its task in cities, or urges the keels of commerce over wide oceans; but home is its centre; and thither it ever goes with its earnings, with the means of support and comfort for others; offerings sacred to the thought of every true man, as a sacrifice at a golden shrine. Many faults there are amidst the toils of life; many harsh and hasty words are uttered; but still the toils go on, weary and hard and exasperating as they often are. For in that home is age or sickness, or helpless infancy, or gentle childhood, or feeble woman, that must not want. If man had no other than mere selfish impulses, the scene of labor which we behold around us would not exist.

The advocate who fairly and honestly presents his case, with a feeling of true self-respect, honor, and conscience, to help the tribunal on towards the right conclusion, with a conviction that God's justice reigns there, is acting a religious part, leading that day a religious life; or else right and justice are no part of religion. Whether, during all that day, he has once appealed, in form or in terms, to his conscience, or not; whether he has once spoken of religion and God, or not; if there has been the inward purpose, the conscious intent and desire, that sacred justice should triumph, he has that day led a good and religious life, and made a most essential contribution to that religion of life and of society, the cause of equity between man and man, and of truth and right action in the world.

Books, to be of religious tendency in the Masonic sense, need not be books of sermons, of pious exercises, or of prayers. What-ever inculcates pure, noble, and patriotic sentiments, or touches the heart with the beauty of virtue, and the excellence of an up-right life, accords with the religion of Masonry, and is the Gospel of literature and art. That Gospel is preached from many a book and painting, from many a poem and fiction, and review and newspaper; and it is a painful error and miserable narrowness, not to recognize these wide-spread agencies of Heaven's providing; not

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to see and welcome these many-handed coadjutors, to the great and good cause. The oracles of God do not speak from the pulpit alone.

There is also a religion of society. In business, there is much more than sale, exchange, price, payment; for there is the sacred faith of man in man. When we repose perfect confidence in the integrity of another; when we feel that he will not swerve from the right, frank, straightforward, conscientious course, for any temptation; his integrity and conscientiousness are the image of God to us; and when we believe in it, it is as great and generous an act, as when we believe in the rectitude of the Deity.

In gay assemblies for amusement, the good affections of life gush and mingle. If they did not, these gathering-places would be as dreary and repulsive as the caves and dens of outlaws and robbers. When friends meet, and hands are warmly pressed, and the eye kindles and the countenance is suffused with gladness, there is a religion between their hearts; and each loves and worships the True and Good that is in the other. It is not policy, or self-interest, or selfishness that spreads such a charm around that meeting, but the halo of bright and beautiful affection.

The same splendor of kindly liking, and affectionate regard, shines like the soft overarching sky, over all the world; over all places where men meet, and walk or toil together; not over lovers' bowers and marriage-altars alone, not over the homes of purity and tenderness alone; but over all tilled fields, and busy workshops, and dusty highways, and paved streets. There is not a worn stone upon the sidewalks, but has been the altar of such offerings of mutual kindness; nor a wooden pillar or iron railing against which hearts beating with affection have not leaned. How many soever other elements there are in the stream of life flowing through these channels, that is surely here and everywhere; honest, heartfelt, disinterested, inexpressible affection.

Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and .Charity. Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other. Here we greet each other gladly, are lenient to each other's faults, regardful of each other's feelings, ready to relieve

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each other's wants. This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures. If unworthy passions, or selfish, bitter, or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred, enter here, they are intruders and not welcome, strangers uninvited, and not guests.

Certainly there are many evils and bad passions, and much hate and contempt and unkindness everywhere in the world. We cannot refuse to see the evil that is in life. But all is not evil. We still see God in the world. There is good amidst the evil. The hand of mercy leads wealth to the hovels of poverty and sorrow. Truth and simplicity live amid many wiles and sophistries. There are good hearts underneath gay robes, and under tattered garments also.

Love clasps the hand of love, amid all the envyings and distractions of showy competition; fidelity, pity, and sympathy hold the long night-watch by the bedside of the suffering neighbor, amidst the surrounding poverty and squalid misery. Devoted men go from city to city to nurse those smitten down by the terrible pestilence that renews at intervals its mysterious marches. Women well-born and delicately nurtured nursed the wounded soldiers in hospitals, before it became fashionable to do so; and even poor lost women, whom God alone loves and pities, tend the plague-stricken with a patient and generous heroism. Masonry and its kindred Orders teach men to love each other, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the sick, and bury the friendless dead. Everywhere God finds and blesses the kindly office, the pitying thought, and the loving heart.

There is an element of good in all men's lawful pursuits and a divine spirit breathing in all their lawful affections. The ground on which they tread is holy ground. There is a natural religion of life, answering, with however many a broken tone, to the religion of nature. There is a beauty and glory in Humanity, in man, answering, with however many a mingling shade, to the loveliness of soft landscapes, and swelling hills, and the wondrous glory of the starry heavens.

Men may be virtuous, self-improving, and religious in their employments. Precisely for that, those employments were made. All their social relations, friendship, love, the ties of family, were made to be holy, They may be religious, not by a kind of protest

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and resistance against their several vocations; but by conformity to their true spirit. Those vocations do not exclude religion; but demand it, for their own perfection. They may be religious laborers, whether in field or factory; religious physicians, lawyers, sculptors, poets, painters, and musicians. They may be religions in all the toils and in all the amusements of life. Their life may be a religion; the broad earth its altar; its incense the very breath of life; its fires ever kindled by the brightness of Heaven.

Bound up with our poor, frail life, is the mighty thought that spurns the narrow span of all visible existence. Ever the soul reaches outward, and asks for freedom. It looks forth from the narrow and grated windows of sense, upon the wide immeasurable creation; it knows that around it and beyond it lie outstretched the infinite and everlasting paths.

Everything within us and without us ought to stir our minds to admiration and wonder. We are a mystery encompassed with mysteries. The connection of mind with matter is a mystery; the wonderful telegraphic communication between the brain and every part of the body, the power and action of the will. Every familiar step is more than a story in a land of enchantment. The power of movement is as mysterious as the power of thought. Memory, and dreams that are the indistinct echoes of dead memories are alike inexplicable. Universal harmony springs from infinite complication. The momentum of every step we take in our dwelling contributes in part to the order of the Universe. We are connected by ties of thought, and even of matter and its forces, with the whole boundless Universe and all the past and coming generations of men.

The humblest object beneath our eye as completely defies our scrutiny as the economy of the most distant star. Every leaf and every blade of grass holds within itself secrets which no human penetration will ever fathom. No man can tell what is its principle of life. No man can know what his power of secretion is. Both are inscrutable mysteries. Wherever we place our hand we lay it upon the locked bosom of mystery. Step where we will, we tread upon wonders. The sea-sands, the clods of the field, the water-worn pebbles on the hills, the rude masses of rock, are traced over and over, in every direction, with a hand-writing older and more significant and sublime than all the ancient ruins, and all the overthrown and buried cities that past generations

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have left upon the earth; for it is the handwriting of the Almighty.

A Mason's great business with life is to read the book of its teaching; to find that life is not the doing of drudgeries, but the hearing of oracles. The old mythology is but a leaf in that book; for it peopled the world with spiritual natures; and science, many-leaved, still spreads before us the same tale of wonder.

We shall be just as happy hereafter, as we are pure and up-right, and no more, just as happy as our character prepares us to be, and no more. Our moral, like our mental character, is not formed in a moment; it is the habit of our minds; the result of many thoughts and feelings and efforts, bound together by many natural and strong ties. The great law of Retribution is, that all coming experience is to be affected by every present feeling; every future moment of being must answer for every present moment; one moment, sacrificed to vice, or lost to improvement, is forever sacrificed and lost; an hour's delay to enter the right path, is to put us back so far, in the everlasting pursuit of happiness; and every sin, even of the best men, is to be thus answered for, if not according to the full measure of its ill-desert, yet according to a rule of unbending rectitude and impartiality.

The law of retribution presses upon every man, whether he thinks of it or not. It pursues him through all the courses of life, with a step that never falters nor tires, and with an eye that never sleeps. If it were not so, God's government would not be impartial; there would be no discrimination; no moral dominion; no light shed upon the mysteries of Providence.

Whatsoever a man soweth, that, and not something else, shall he reap. That which we are doing, good or evil, grave or gay, that which we do to-day and shall do to-morrow; each thought, each feeling, each action, each event; every passing hour, every breathing moment; all are contributing to form the character, according to which we are to be judged. Every particle of influence that goes to form that aggregate, -- our character, -- will, in that future scrutiny, be sifted out from the mass; and, particle by particle, with ages perhaps intervening, fall a distinct contribution to the sum of our joys or woes. Thus every idle word and idle hour will give answer in the judgment.

Let us take care, therefore, what we sow. An evil temptation comes upon us; the opportunity of unrighteous gain, or of unhallowed

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indulgence, either in the sphere of business or pleasure, of society or solitude. We yield; and plant a seed of bitterness and sorrow. To-morrow it will threaten discovery. Agitated and alarmed, we cover the sin, and bury it deep in falsehood and hypocrisy. In the bosom where it lies concealed, in the fertile soil of kindred vices, that sin dies not, but thrives and grows; and other and still other germs of evil gather around the accursed root; until, from that single seed of corruption, there springs up in the soul all that is horrible in habitual lying, knavery, or vice. Loathingly, often, we take each downward step; but a frightful power urges us onward; and the hell of debt, disease, ignominy, or remorse gathers its shadows around our steps even on earth; and are yet but the beginnings of sorrows. The evil deed may be done in a single moment; but conscience never dies, memory never sleeps; guilt never can become innocence; and remorse can never whisper peace.

Beware, thou who art tempted to evil! Beware what thou layest up for the future! Beware what thou layest up in the archives of eternity! Wrong not thy neighbor! lest the thought of him thou injurest, and who suffers by thy act, be to thee a pang which years will not deprive of its bitterness! Break not into the house of innocence, to rifle it of its treasure; lest when many years have passed over thee, the moan of its distress may not have died away from thine ear! Build not the desolate throne of ambition in thy heart; nor be busy with devices, and circumventings, and selfish schemings; lest desolation and loneliness be on thy path, as it stretches into the long futurity! Live not a useless, an impious, or an injurious life! for bound up with that life is the immutable principle of an endless retribution, and elements of God's creating, which will never spend their force, but continue ever to unfold with the ages of eternity. Be not deceived! God has formed thy nature, thus to answer to the future. His law can never be abrogated, nor His justice eluded; and forever and ever it will be true, that "Whatsoever a man soweth, that also he shall reap."

Freemasonry - ornament symbol

 

XIV. GRAND ELECT, PERFECT, AND SUBLIME MASON

[Perfect Elu]

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Freemasonry - GRAND ELECT, PERFECT, AND SUBLIME MASON [Perfect Elu] degree symbols

XIV.

GRAND ELECT, PERFECT, AND SUBLIME MASON.

[Perfect Elu.]

IT is for each individual Mason to discover the secret of Masonry, by reflection upon its symbols and a wise consideration and analysis of what is said and done in the work. Masonry does not inculcate her truths. She states them, once and briefly; or hints them, perhaps, darkly; or interposes a cloud between them and eyes that would be dazzled by them. "Seek, and ye shall find," knowledge and the truth.

The practical object of Masonry is the physical and moral amelioration and the intellectual and spiritual improvement of individuals and society. Neither can be effected, except by the dissemination of truth. It is falsehood in doctrines and fallacy in principles, to which most of the miseries of men and the misfortunes of nations are owing. Public opinion is rarely right on any point; and there are and always will be important truths to be substituted in that opinion in the place of many errors and absurd and injurious prejudices. There are few truths that public opinion has not at some time hated and persecuted as heresies; and few errors that have not at some time seemed to it truths radiant from the immediate presence of God. There are moral maladies, also, of man and society, the treatment of which requires not only boldness, but also, and more, prudence and discretion; since they are more the fruit of false and pernicious doctrines, moral, political, and religious, than of vicious inclinations.

Much of the Masonic secret manifests itself, without speech

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revealing it, to him who even partially comprehends all the Degrees in proportion as he receives them; and particularly to those who advance to the highest Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. That Rite raises a corner of the veil, even in the Degree of Apprentice; for it there declares that Masonry is a worship.

Masonry labors to improve the social order by enlightening men's minds, warming their hearts with the love of the good, inspiring them with the great principle of human fraternity, and requiring of its disciples that their language and actions shall con-form to that principle, that they shall enlighten each other, control their passions, abhor vice, and pity the vicious man as one afflicted with a deplorable malady.

It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation. It is the base, and they are the superstructure. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?" The ministers of this religion are all Masons who comprehend it and are devoted to it; its sacrifices to God are good works, the sacrifices of the base and disorderly passions, the offering up of self-interest on the altar of humanity, and perpetual efforts to attain to all the moral perfection of which man is capable.

To make honor and duty the steady beacon-lights that shall guide your life-vessel over the stormy seas of time; to do that which it is right to do, not because it will insure you success, or bring with it a reward, or gain the applause of men, or be "the best policy," more prudent or more advisable; but because it is right, and therefore ought to be done; to war incessantly against error, intolerance, ignorance, and vice, and yet to pity those who err, to be tolerant even of intolerance, to teach the ignorant, and to labor to reclaim the vicious, are some of the duties of a Mason.

A good Mason is one that can look upon death, and see its face with the same countenance with which he hears its story; that can endure all the labors of his life with his soul supporting his body, that can equally despise riches when he hath them and

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when he hath them not; that is, not sadder if they are in his neighbor's exchequer, nor more lifted up if they shine around about his own walls; one that is not moved with good fortune coming to him, nor going from him; that can look upon another man's lands with equanimity and pleasure, as if they were his own; and yet look upon his own, and use them too, just as if they were another man's; that neither spends his goods prodigally and foolishly, nor yet keeps them avariciously and like a miser; that weighs not benefits by weight and number, but by the mind and circumstances of him who confers them; that never thinks his charity expensive, if a worthy person be the receiver; that does nothing for opinion's sake, but everything for conscience, being as careful of his thoughts as of his acting in markets and theatres, and in as much awe of himself as of a whole assembly; that is, bountiful and cheerful to his friends, and charitable and apt to forgive his enemies; that loves his country, consults its honor, and obeys its laws, and desires and endeavors nothing more than that he may do his duty and honor God. And such a Mason may reckon his life to be the life of a man, and compute his months, not by the course of the sun, but by the zodiac and circle of his virtues.

The whole world is but one republic, of which each nation is a family, and every individual a child. Masonry, not in anywise derogating from the differing duties which the diversity of states requires, tends to create a new people, which, composed of men of many nations and tongues, shall all be bound together by the bonds of science, morality, and virtue.

Essentially philanthropic, philosophical, and progressive, it has for the basis of its dogma a firm belief in the existence of God and his providence, and of the immortality of the soul; for its object, the dissemination of moral, political, philosophical, and religious truth, and the practice of all the virtues. In every age, its device has been, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," with constitutional government, law, order, discipline, and subordination to legitimate authority -- government and not anarchy.

But it is neither a political party nor a religious sect. It embraces all parties and all sects, to form from among them all a vast fraternal association. It recognizes the dignity of human nature, and man's right to such freedom as he is fitted for; and it knows nothing that should place one man below another, except

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ignorance, debasement, and crime, and the necessity of subordination to lawful will and authority.

It is philanthropic; for it recognizes the great truth that all men are of the same origin, have common interests, and should co-operate together to the same end.

Therefore it teaches its members to love one another, to give to each other mutual assistance and support in all the circumstances of life, to share each other's pains and sorrows, as well as their joys and pleasures; to guard the reputations, respect the opinions, and be perfectly tolerant of the errors, of each other, in matters of faith and beliefs.

It is philosophical, because it teaches the great Truths concerning the nature and existence of one Supreme Deity, and the existence and immortality of the soul. It revives the Academy of Plato, and the wise teachings of Socrates. It reiterates the maxims of Pythagoras, Confucius, and Zoroaster, and reverentially enforces the sublime lessons of Him who died upon the Cross.

The ancients thought that universal humanity acted under the influence of two opposing Principles, the Good and the Evil: of which the Good urged men toward Truth, Independence, and Devotedness; and the Evil toward Falsehood, Servility, and Selfishness. Masonry represents the Good Principle and constantly wars against the evil one. It is the Hercules, the Osiris, the Apollo, the Mithras, and the Ormuzd, at everlasting and deadly feud with the demons of ignorance, brutality, baseness, falsehood, slavishness of soul, intolerance, superstition, tyranny, meanness, the insolence of wealth, and bigotry.

When despotism and superstition, twin-powers of evil and darkness, reigned everywhere and seemed invincible and immortal, it invented, to avoid persecution, the mysteries, that is to say, the allegory, the symbol, and the emblem, and transmitted its doctrines by the secret mode of initiation. Now, retaining its ancient symbols, and in part its ancient ceremonies, it displays in every civilized country its banner, on which in letters of living light its great principles are written; and it smiles at the puny efforts of kings and popes to crush it out by excommunication and interdiction.

Man's views in regard to God, will contain only so much positive truth as file human mind is capable of receiving; whether that truth is attained by the exercise of reason, or communicated

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by revelation. It must necessarily be both limited and alloyed, to bring it within the competence of finite human intelligence. Being finite, we can form no correct or adequate idea of the Infinite; being material, we can form no clear conception of the Spiritual. We do believe in and know the infinity of Space and Time, and the spirituality of the Soul; but the idea of that infinity and spirituality eludes us. Even Omnipotence cannot infuse infinite conceptions into finite minds; nor can God, without first entirely changing the conditions of our being, pour a complete and full knowledge of His own nature and attributes into the narrow capacity of a 'human soul. Human intelligence could not grasp it, nor human language express it. The visible is, necessarily, the measure of the invisible.

The consciousness of the individual reveals itself alone. His knowledge cannot pass beyond the limits of his own being. His conceptions of other things and other beings are only his conceptions. They are not those things or beings themselves. The living principle of a living Universe must be INFINITE; while all our ideas and conceptions are finite, and applicable only to finite beings.

The Deity is thus not an object of knowledge, but of faith; not to be approached by the understanding, but by the moral sense; not to be conceived, but to be felt. All attempts to embrace the Infinite in the conception of the Finite are, and must be only accommodations to the frailty of man. Shrouded from human comprehension in an obscurity from which a chastened imagination is awed back, and Thought retreats in conscious weakness, the Divine Nature is a theme on which man is little entitled to dogmatize. Here the philosophic Intellect becomes most painfully aware of its own insufficiency.

And yet it is here that man most dogmatizes, classifies and describes God's attributes, makes out his map of God's nature, and his inventory of God's qualities, feelings, impulses, and passions; and then hangs and burns his brother, who, as dogmatically as he, makes out a different map and inventory. The common understanding has no humility. Its God is an incarnate Divinity. Imperfection imposes its own limitations on the Illimitable, and clothes the Inconceivable Spirit of the Universe in forms that come within the grasp of the senses and the intellect, and are derived from that infinite and imperfect nature which is but God's creation.

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We are all of us, though not all equally, mistaken. The cherished dogmas of each of us are not, as we fondly suppose, the pure truth of God; but simply our own special form of error, our guesses at truth, the refracted and fragmentary rays of light that have fallen upon our own minds. Our little systems have their day, and cease to be; they are but broken lights of God; and He is more than they. Perfect truth is not attainable anywhere. We style this Degree that of Perfection; and yet what it teaches is imperfect and defective. Yet we are not to relax in the pursuit of truth, nor contentedly acquiesce in error. It is our duty always to press forward in the search; for though absolute truth is unattainable, yet the amount of error in our views is capable of progressive and perpetual diminution; and thus Masonry is a continual struggle toward the light.

All errors are not equally innocuous. That which is most injurious is to entertain unworthy conceptions of the nature and attributes of God; and it is this that Masonry symbolizes by ignorance of the True Word. The true word of a Mason is, not the entire, perfect, absolute truth in regard to God; but the highest and noblest conception of Him that our minds are capable of forming; and this word is Ineffable, because one man cannot communicate to another his own conception of Deity; since every man's conception of God must be proportioned to his mental cultivation, and intellectual powers, and moral excellence. God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself.

For every man's conception of God must vary with his mental cultivation and mental powers. If any one contents himself with any lower image than his intellect is capable of grasping, then he contents himself with that which is false to him, as well as false in fact. If lower than he can reach, he must needs feel it to be false. And if we, of the nineteenth century after Christ, adopt the conceptions of the nineteenth century before Him; if our conceptions of God are those of the ignorant, narrow-minded, and vindictive Israelite; then we think worse of God, and have a lower, meaner, and more limited view of His nature, than the faculties which He has bestowed are capable of grasping. The highest view we can form is nearest to the truth. If we acquiesce in any lower one, we acquiesce in an untruth. We feel that it is an affront and an indignity to Him, to conceive of Him as cruel, short-sighted, capricious, and unjust; as a jealous, an angry, a vindictive Being.

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When we examine our conceptions of His character, if we can conceive of a loftier, nobler, higher, more beneficent, glorious, and magnificent character, then this latter is to us the true conception of Deity; for nothing can be imagined more excellent than He.

Religion, to obtain currency and influence with the great mass of mankind, must needs be alloyed with such an amount of error as to place it far below the standard attainable by the higher human capacities. A religion as pure as the loftiest and most cultivated human reason could discern, would not be comprehended by, or effective over, the less educated portion of mankind. What is Truth to the philosopher, would not be Truth, nor have the effect of Truth, to the peasant. The religion of the many must necessarily be more incorrect than that of the refined and reflective few, not so much in its essence as in its forms, not so much in the spiritual idea which lies latent at the bottom of it, as in the symbols and dogmas in which that idea is embodied. The truest religion would, in many points, not be comprehended by the ignorant, nor consolatory to them, nor guiding and supporting for them. The doctrines of the Bible are often not clothed in the language of strict truth, but in that which was fittest to convey to a rude and ignorant people the practical essentials of the doctrine. A perfectly pure faith, free from all extraneous admixtures, a system of noble theism and lofty morality, would find too little preparation for it in the common mind and heart, to admit of prompt reception by the masses of mankind; and Truth might not have reached us, if it had not borrowed the wings of Error.

The Mason regards God as a Moral Governor, as well as an Original Creator; as a God at hand, and not merely one afar off in the distance of infinite space, and in the remoteness of Past or Future Eternity. He conceives of Him as taking a watchful and presiding interest in the affairs of the world, and as influencing the hearts and actions of men.

To him, God is the great Source of the World of Life and Matter; and man, with his wonderful corporeal and mental frame, His direct work. He believes that God has made men with different intellectual capacities; and enabled some, by superior intellectual power, to see and originate truths which are hidden from the mass of men. He believes that when it is His will that mankind should make some great step forward, or achieve some pregnant discovery, He calls into being some intellect of more than ordinary

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magnitude and power, to give birth to new ideas, and grander conceptions of the Truths vital to Humanity.

We hold that God has so ordered matters in this beautiful and harmonious, but mysteriously-governed Universe, that one great mind after another will arise, from time to time, as such are needed, to reveal to men the truths that are wanted, and the amount of truth than can be borne. He so arranges, that nature and the course of events shall send men into the world, endowed with that higher mental and moral organization, in which grand truths, and sublime gleams of spiritual light will spontaneously and inevitably arise. These speak to men by inspiration.

Whatever Hiram really was, he is the type, perhaps an imaginary type, to us, of humanity in its highest phase; an exemplar of what man may and should become, in the course of ages, in his progress toward the realization of his destiny; an individual gifted with a glorious intellect, a noble soul, a fine organization, and a perfectly balanced moral being; an earnest of what humanity may be, and what we believe it will hereafter be in God's good time; the possibility of the race made real.

The Mason believes that God has arranged this glorious but perplexing world with a purpose, and on a plan. He holds that every man sent upon this earth, and especially every man of superior capacity, has a duty to perform, a mission to fulfill, a baptism to be baptized with; that every great and good man possesses some portion of God's truth, which he must proclaim to the world, and which must bear fruit in his own bosom. In a true and simple sense, he believes all the pure, wise, and intellectual to be inspired, and to be so for the instruction, advancement, and elevation of mankind. That kind of inspiration, like God's omnipresence, is not limited to the few writers claimed by Jews, Christians, or Moslems, but is co-extensive with the race. It is the consequence of a faithful use of our faculties. Each man is its subject, God is its source, and Truth its only test. It differs in degrees, as the intellectual endowments, the moral wealth of the soul, and the degree of cultivation of those endowments and faculties differ. It is limited to no sect, age, or nation. It is wide as the world and common as God. It was not given to a few men, in the infancy of mankind, to monopolize inspiration, and bar God out of the soul. We are not born in the dotage and decay of the world. The stars are beautiful as in their prime; the most ancient Heavens

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are fresh and strong. God is still everywhere in nature. Wherever a heart beats with love, wherever Faith and Reason utter their oracles, there is God, as formerly in the hearts of seers and prophets. No soil on earth is so holy as the good man's heart; nothing is so full of God. This inspiration is not given to the learned alone, not alone to the great and wise, but to every faithful child of God. Certain as the open eye drinks in the light, do the pure in heart see God; and he who lives truly, feels Him as a presence within the soul. The conscience is the very voice of Deity.

Masonry, around whose altars the Christian, the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the one God who is above all the Baalim, must needs leave it to each of its Initiates to look for the foundation of his faith and hope to the written scriptures of his own religion. For itself it finds those truths definite enough, which are written by the finger of God upon the heart of man and on the pages of the book of nature. Views of religion and duty, wrought out by the meditations of the studious, confirmed by the allegiance of the good and wise, stamped as sterling by the response they find in every uncorrupted mind, commend themselves to Masons of every creed, and may well be accepted by all.

The Mason does not pretend to dogmatic certainty, nor vainly imagine such certainty attainable. He considers that if there were no written revelation, he could safely rest the hopes that animate him and the principles that guide him, on the deductions of reason and the convictions of instinct and consciousness. He can find a sure foundation for his religious belief, in these deductions of the intellect and convictions of the heart. For reason proves to him the existence and attributes of God; and those spiritual instincts which he feels are the voice of God in his soul, infuse into his mind a sense of his relation to God, a conviction of the beneficence of his Creator and Preserver, and a hope of future existence; and his reason and conscience alike unerringly point to virtue as the highest good, and the destined aim and purpose of man's life.

He studies the wonders of the Heavens, the frame-work and revolutions of the Earth, the mysterious beauties and adaptations of animal existence, the moral and material constitution of the human creature, so fearfully and wonderfully made; and is satisfied

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that God IS; and that a Wise and Good Being is the author of the starry Heavens above him, and of the moral world within him; and his mind finds an adequate foundation for its hopes, its worship, its principles of action, in the far-stretching Universe, in the glorious firmament, in the deep, full soul, bursting with unutterable thoughts.

These are truths which every reflecting mind will unhesitatingly receive, as not to be surpassed, nor capable of improvement; and fitted, if obeyed, to make earth indeed a Paradise, and man only a little lower than the angels. The worthlessness of ceremonial observances, and the necessity of active virtue; the enforcement of purity of heart as the security for purity of life, and of the government of the thoughts, as the originators and forerunners of action; universal philanthropy, requiring us to love all men, and to do unto others that and that only which we should think it right, just, and generous for them to do unto us; forgiveness of injuries; the necessity of self-sacrifice in the discharge of duty; humility; genuine sincerity, and being that which we seem to be; all these sublime precepts need no miracle, no voice from the clouds, to recommend them to our allegiance, or to assure us of y their divine origin. They command obedience by virtue of their inherent rectitude and beauty; and have been, and are, and will be the law in every age and every country of the world. God revealed them to man in the beginning.

To the Mason, God is our Father in Heaven, to be Whose especial children is the sufficient reward of the peacemakers, to see Whose face the highest hope of the pure in heart; Who is ever at hand to strengthen His true worshippers; to Whom our most fervent love is due, our most humble and patient submission; Whose most acceptable worship is a pure and pitying heart and a beneficent life; in Whose constant presence we live and act, to Whose merciful disposal we are resigned by that death which, we hope and believe, is but the entrance to a better life; and Whose wise decrees forbid a man to lap his soul in an elysium of mere indolent content.

As to our feelings toward Him and our conduct toward man, Masonry teaches little about which men can differ, and little from which they can dissent. He is our Father; and we are all brethren. This much lies open to the most ignorant and busy, as fully as to those who have most leisure and are most learned. This needs no Priest to teach it, and no authority to indorse it; and if

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every man did that only which is consistent with it, it would exile barbarity, cruelty, intolerance, uncharitableness, perfidy, treachery, revenge, selfishness, and all their kindred vices and bad passions beyond the confines of the world.

The true Mason, sincerely holding that a Supreme God created and governs this world, believes also that He governs it by laws, which, though wise, just, and beneficent, are yet steady, unwavering, inexorable. He believes that his agonies and sorrows are ordained for his chastening, his strengthening, his elaboration and development; because they are the necessary results of the operation of laws, the best that could be devised for the happiness and purification of the species, and to give occasion and opportunity for the practice of all the virtues, from the homeliest and most common, to the noblest and most sublime; or perhaps not even that, but the best adapted to work out the vast, awful, glorious, eternal designs of the Great Spirit of the Universe. He believes that the ordained operations of nature, which have brought misery to him, have, from the very unswerving tranquility of their career, showered blessings and sunshine upon many another path; that the unrelenting chariot of Time, which has crushed or maimed him in its allotted course, is pressing onward to the accomplishment of those serene and mighty purposes, to have contributed to which, even as a victim, is an honor and a recompense. He takes this view of Time and Nature and God, and yet bears his lot without murmur or distrust; because it is a portion of a system, the best possible, because ordained by God. He does not believe that God loses sight of him, while superintending the march of the great harmonies of the Universe; nor that it was not foreseen, when the Universe was created, its laws enacted, and the long succession of its operations pre-ordained, that in the great march of those events, he would suffer pain and undergo calamity. He believes that his individual good entered into God's consideration, a, well as the great cardinal results to which the course of all things is tending.

Thus believing, he has attained an eminence in virtue, the highest, amid passive excellence, which humanity can reach. He finds his reward and his support in the reflection that he is an unreluctant and self-sacrificing co-operator with the Creator of the Universe; and in the noble consciousness of being worthy and capable of so sublime a conception, yet so sad a destiny. He is then truly

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entitled to be called a Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason. He is content to fall early in the battle, if his body may but form a stepping-stone for the future conquests of humanity.

It cannot be that God, Who, we are certain, is perfectly good, can choose us to suffer pain, unless either we are ourselves to receive from it an antidote to what is evil in ourselves, or else as such pain is a necessary part in the scheme of the Universe, which as a whole is good. In either case, the Mason receives it with submission. He would not suffer unless it was ordered so. What-ever his creed, if he believes that God is, and that He cares for His creatures, he cannot doubt that; nor that it would not have been so ordered, unless it was either better for himself, or for some other persons, or for some things. To complain and lament is to murmur against God's will, and worse than unbelief.

The Mason, whose mind is cast in a nobler mould than those of the ignorant and unreflecting, and is instinct with a diviner life, -- who loves truth more than rest, and the peace of Heaven rather than the peace of Eden, -- to whom a loftier being brings severer cares, -- who knows that man does not live by pleasure or content alone, but by the presence of the power of God, -- must cast behind him the hope of any other repose or tranquillity, than that which is the last reward of long agonies of thought; he must relinquish all prospect of any Heaven save that of which trouble is the avenue and portal; he must gird up his loins, and trim his lamp, for a work that must be done, and must not be negligently done. If he does not like to live in the furnished lodgings of tradition, he must build his own house, his own system of faith and thought, for himself,

The hope of success, and not the hope of reward, should be our stimulating and sustaining power. Our object, and not ourselves, should be our inspiring thought. Selfishness is a sin, when temporary, and for time. Spun out to eternity, it does not become celestial prudence. We should toil and die, not for Heaven or Bliss, but for Duty.

In the more frequent cases, where we have to join our efforts to those of thousands of others, to contribute to the carrying forward of a great cause; merely to till the ground or sow the seed for a very distant harvest, or to prepare the way for the future advent of some great amendment; the amount which each one contributes to the achievement of ultimate success, the portion of the

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price which justice should assign to each as his especial production, can never be accurately ascertained. Perhaps few of those who have ever labored, in the patience of secrecy and silence, to bring about some political or social change, which they felt convinced would ultimately prove of vast service to humanity, lived to see the change effected, or the anticipated good flow from it. Fewer still of them were able to pronounce what appreciable weight their several efforts contributed to the achievement of the change desired. Many will doubt, whether, in truth, these exertions have any influence whatever; and, discouraged, cease all active effort.

Not to be thus discouraged, the Mason must labor to elevate and purify his motives, as well as sedulously cherish the conviction, assuredly a true one, that in this world there is no such thing as effort thrown away; that in all labor there is profit; that all sincere exertion, in a righteous and unselfish cause, is necessarily followed, in spite of all appearance to the contrary, by an appropriate and proportionate success; that no bread cast upon the waters can be wholly lost; that no seed planted in the ground can fail to quicken in due time and measure; and that, however we may, in moments of despondency, be apt to doubt, not only whether our cause will triumph, but whether, if it does, we shall have contributed to its triumph, -- there is One, Who has not only seen every exertion we have made, but Who can assign the exact degree in which each soldier has assisted to gain the great victory over social evil. No good work is done wholly in vain,

The Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason will in nowise deserve that honorable title, if he has not that strength, that will, that self-sustaining energy; that Faith, that feeds upon no earthly hope, nor ever thinks of victory, but, content in its own consummation, combats because it ought to combat, rejoicing fights, and still rejoicing falls.

The Augean Stables of the World, the accumulated uncleanness and misery of centuries, require a mighty river to cleanse them thoroughly away; every drop we contribute aids to swell that river and augment its force, in a degree appreciable by God, though not by man; and he whose zeal is deep and earnest, will not be over-anxious that his individual drops should be distinguishable amid the mighty mass of cleansing and fertilizing

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waters; far less that, for the sake of distinction, it should flow in ineffective singleness away.

The true Mason will not be careful that his name should be inscribed upon the mite which he casts into the treasury of God. It suffices him to know that if he has labored, with purity of purpose, in any good cause, he must have contributed to its success; that the degree in which he has contributed is a matter of infinitely small concern; and still more, that the consciousness of having so contributed, however obscurely and unnoticed, is his sufficient, even if it be his sole, reward. Let every Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason cherish this faith. It is a duty. It is the brilliant and never-dying light that shines within and through the symbolic pedestal of alabaster, on which reposes the perfect cube of agate, symbol of duty, inscribed with the divine name of God. He who industriously sows and reaps is a good laborer, and worthy of his hire. But he who sows that which shall be reaped by others, by those who will know not of and care not for the sower, is a laborer of a nobler order, and, worthy of a more excellent reward.

The Mason does not exhort others to an ascetic undervaluing of this life, as an insignificant and unworthy portion of existence; for that demands feelings which are unnatural, and which, therefore, if attained, must be morbid, and if merely professed, insincere; and teaches us to look rather to a future life for the compensation of social evils, than to this life for their cure; and so does injury to the cause of virtue and to that of social progress. Life is real, and is earnest, and it is full of duties to be performed. It is the beginning of our immortality. Those only who feel a deep interest and affection for this world will work resolutely for its amelioration; those whose affections are transferred to Heaven, easily acquiesce in the miseries of earth, deeming them hopeless, befitting, and ordained; and console themselves with the idea of the amends which are one day to be theirs. It is a sad truth, that those most decidedly given to spiritual contemplation, and to making religion rule in their hearts, are often most apathetic toward all improvement of this world's systems, and in many cases virtual conservatives of evil, and hostile to political and social reform, as diverting men's energies from eternity.

The Mason does not war with his own instincts, macerate the body into weakness and disorder, and disparage what he sees to be

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beautiful, knows to be wonderful, and feels to be unspeakably dear and fascinating. He does not put aside the nature which God has given him, to struggle after one which He has not bestowed. He knows that man is sent into the world, not a spiritual, but a composite being, made up of body and mind, the body having, as is fit and needful in a material world, its full, rightful, and allotted share. His life is guided by a full recognition of this fact. He does not deny it in bold words, and admit it in weaknesses and inevitable failings. He believes that his spirituality will come in the next stage of his being, when he puts on the spiritual body; that his body will be dropped at death; and that, until then, God meant it to be commanded and controlled, but not neglected, despised, or ignored by the soul, under pain of, heavy consequences.

Yet the Mason is not indifferent as to the fate of the soul, after its present life, as to its continued and eternal being, and the character of the scenes in which that being will be fully developed. These are to him topics of the profoundest interest, and the most ennobling and refining contemplation. They occupy much of his leisure; and as he becomes familiar with the sorrows and calamities of this life, as his hopes are disappointed and his visions of happiness here fade away; when life has wearied him in its race of hours; when the is harassed and toil-worn, and the burden of his years weighs heavy on him, the balance of attraction gradually inclines in favor of another life; and he clings to his lofty speculations with a tenacity of interest which needs no in-junction, and will listen to no prohibition. They are the consoling privilege of the aspiring, the wayworn, the weary, and the bereaved.

To him the contemplation of the Future lets in light upon the Present, and develops the higher portions of his nature. He endeavors rightly to adjust the respective claims of Heaven and earth upon his time and thought, so as to give the proper proportions thereof to performing the duties and entering into the interests of this world, and to preparation for a better; to the cultivation and purification of his own character, and to the public service of his fellow-men.

The Mason does not dogmatize, but entertaining and uttering his own convictions, he leaves every one else free to do the same; and only hopes that the time will cone, even if after the lapse of

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ages, when all men shall form one great family of brethren, and one law alone, the law of love, shall govern God's whole Universe.

Believe as you may, my brother; if the Universe is not, to you, without a God, and if man is not like the beast that perishes, but hath an immortal soul, we welcome you among us, to wear, as we wear, with humility, and conscious of your demerits and short-comings, the title of Grand Elect, Perfect, and Sublime Mason.

It was not without a secret meaning, that twelve was the number of the Apostles of Christ, and seventy-two that of his Disciples: that John addressed his rebukes and menaces to the Seven churches, the number of the Archangels and the Planets. At Babylon were the Seven Stages of Bersippa, a pyramid of Seven stories, and at Ecbatana Seven concentric inclosures, each of a different color. Thebes also had Seven gates, and the same number is repeated again and again in the account of the flood. The Sephiroth, or Emanations, ten in number, three in one class, and seven in the other, repeat the mystic numbers of Pythagoras. Seven Amschaspands or planetary spirits were invoked with Ormuzd: Seven inferior Rishis of Hindustan were saved with the head of their family in an ark: and Seven ancient personages alone returned with the British just man, Hu, from the dale of the grievous waters. There were Seven Heliadæ, whose father Hellas, or the Sun, once crossed the sea in a golden cup; Seven Titans, children of the older Titan, Kronos or Saturn; Seven Corybantes; and Seven Cabiri, sons of Sydyk; Seven primeval Celestial spirits of the Japanese, and Seven Karfesters who escaped from the deluge and began to be the parents of a new race, on the summit of Mount Albordi. Seven Cyclopes, also, built the walls of Tiryus.

Celsus, as quoted by Origen, tells us that the Persians represented by symbols the two-fold motion of the stars, fixed and planetary, and the passage of the Soul through their successive spheres. They erected in their holy caves, in which the mystic rites of the Mithriac initiations were practised, what he denominates a high ladder, on the Seven steps of which were Seven gates or portals, according to the number of the Seven principal heavenly bodies. Through these the aspirants passed, until they reached the summit of the whole; and this passage was styled a transmigration through the spheres.

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Jacob saw in his dream a ladder planted or set on the earth, and its top reaching to Heaven, and the Malaki Alohim ascending and descending on it, and above it stood INUH, declaring Himself to be Ihuh-Alhi Abraham. The word translated ladder, is ‏ו ?S?Lמ‎ Salam, from ‏ו ?S?L?L‎, Salal, raised, elevated, reared up, exalted, piled up into a heap, Aggeravit. ‏ו ?S?L?L?H‎ Salalah, means a heap, rampart, or other accumulation of earth or stone, artificially made; and ‏ו ?S?L?O‎, Salaa or Salo, is a rock or cliff or boulder, and the name of the city of Petra. There is no ancient Hebrew word to designate a pyramid.

The symbolic mountain Meru was ascended by Seven steps or stages; and all the pyramids and artificial tumuli and hillocks thrown up in fiat countries were imitations of this fabulous and mystic mountain, for purposes of worship. These were the "High Places" so often mentioned in the Hebrew books, on which the idolaters sacrificed to foreign gods.

The pyramids were sometimes square, and sometimes round. The sacred Babylonian tower [‏ו ם?G?D?L‎, Magdol], dedicated to the great Father Bal, was an artificial hill, of pyramidal shape, and Seven stages, built of brick, and each stage of a different color, representing the Seven planetary spheres by the appropriate color of each planet. Meru itself was said to be a single mountain, terminating in three peaks, and thus a symbol of the Trimurti. The great Pagoda at Tanjore was of six stories, surmounted by a temple as the seventh, and on this three spires or towers. An ancient pagoda at Deogur was surmounted by a tower, sustaining the mystic egg and a trident. Herodotus tells us that the Temple of Bal at Babylon was a tower composed of Seven towers, resting on an eighth that served as basis, and successively diminishing in size from the bottom to the top; and Strabo tells us it was a pyramid.

Faber thinks that the Mithriac ladder was really a pyramid with Seven stages, each provided with a narrow door or aperture, through each of which doors the aspirant passed, to reach the summit, and then descended through similar doors on the opposite side of the pyramid; the ascent and descent of the Soul being thus represented.

Each Mithriac cave and all the most ancient temples were intended to symbolize the Universe, which itself was habitually called the Temple and habitation of Deity. Every temple was

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the world in miniature; and so the whole world was one grand temple. The most ancient temples were roofless; and therefore the Persians, Celts, and Scythians strongly disliked artificial covered edifices. Cicero says that Xerxes burned the Grecian temples, on the express ground that the whole world was the Magnificent Temple and Habitation of the Supreme Deity. Macrobius says that the entire Universe was judiciously deemed by many the Temple of God. Plato pronounced the real Temple of the Deity to be the world; and Heraclitus declared that the Universe, variegated with animals and plants and stars was the only genuine Temple of the Divinity.

How completely the Temple of Solomon was symbolic, is manifest, not only from the continual reproduction in it of the sacred numbers and of astrological symbols in the historical descriptions of it; but also, and yet more, from the details of the imaginary reconstructed edifice, seen by Ezekiel in his vision. The Apocalypse completes the demonstration, and shows the kabalistic meanings of the whole. The Symbola Architectonica are found on the most ancient edifices; and these mathematical figures and instruments, adopted by the Templars, and identical with those on the gnostic seals and abraxæ, connect their dogma with the Chaldaic, Syriac, and Egyptian Oriental philosophy. The secret Pythagorean doctrines of numbers were preserved by the monks of Thibet, by the Hierophants of Egypt and Eleusis, at Jerusalem, and in the circular Chapters of the Druids; and they are especially consecrated in that mysterious book, the Apocalypse of Saint John.

All temples were surrounded by pillars, recording the number of the constellations, the signs of the zodiac, or the cycles of the planets; and each one was a microcosm or symbol of the Universe, having for roof or ceiling the starred vault of Heaven.

All temples were originally open at the top, having for roof the sky. Twelve pillars described the belt of the zodiac. Whatever the number of the pillars, they were mystical everywhere. At Abury, the Druidic temple reproduced all the cycles by its columns. Around the temples of Chilminar in Persia, of Baalbec, and of Tukhti Schlomoh in Tartary, on the frontier of China, stood forty pillars. On each side of the temple at Pæstum were fourteen, recording the Egyptian cycle of the dark and light sides

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of the moon, as described by Plutarch; the whole thirty-eight that surrounded them recording the two meteoric cycles so often found in the Druidic temples.

The theatre built by Scaurus, in Greece, was surrounded by 360 columns; the Temple at Mecca, and that at Iona in Scotland, by 360 stones.

Freemasonry - omulet symbol

 

XV. KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR OF THE SWORD

[Knight of the East, of the Sword, or of the Eagle]

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MORALS AND DOGMA

CHAPTER OF ROSE CROIX

Freemasonry - KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR OF THE SWORD, or of the Eagledegree symbol

XV.

KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR OF THE SWORD.

[Knight of the East, of the Sword, or of the Eagle.]

THIS Degree, like all others in Masonry, is symbolical. Based upon historical truth and authentic tradition, it is still an allegory. The leading lesson of this Degree is Fidelity to obligation, and Constancy and Perseverance under difficulties and discouragement.

Masonry is engaged in her crusade, against ignorance, intolerance, fanaticism, superstition, uncharitableness, and error. She does not sail with the trade-winds, upon a smooth sea, with a steady free breeze, fair for a welcoming harbor; but meets and must overcome many opposing currents, baffling winds, and dead calms.

The chief obstacles to her success are the apathy and faithlessness of her own selfish children, and the supine indifference of the world. In the roar and crush and hurry of life and business, and the tumult and uproar of politics, the quiet voice of Masonry is unheard and unheeded. The first lesson which one learns, who engages in any great work of reform or beneficence, is, that men are essentially careless, lukewarm, and indifferent as to everything that does not concern their own personal and immediate

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welfare. It is to single men, and not to the united efforts of many, that all the great works of man, struggling toward perfection, are owing. The enthusiast, who imagines that he can inspire with his own enthusiasm the multitude that eddies around him, or even the few who have associated themselves with him as co-workers, is grievously mistaken; and most often the conviction of his own mistake is followed by discouragement and disgust. To do all, to pay all, and to suffer all, and then, when despite all obstacles and hindrances, success is accomplished, and a great work done, to see those who opposed or looked coldly on it, claim and reap all the praise and reward, is the common and almost universal lot of the benefactor of his kind.

He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds. Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him. Most men yield to the stress of the current, and float with it to the shore, or are swept over the rapids; and only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.

It is the motionless and stationary that most frets and impedes the current of progress; the solid rock or stupid dead tree, rested firmly on the bottom; and around which the river whirls and eddies: the Masons that doubt and hesitate and are discouraged; that disbelieve in the capability of man to improve; that are not disposed to toil and labor for the interest and well-being of general humanity; that expect others to do all, even of that which they do not oppose or ridicule; while they sit, applauding and doing nothing, or perhaps prognosticating failure.

There were many such at the rebuilding of the Temple. There were prophets of evil and misfortune -- the lukewarm and the in-different and the apathetic; those who stood by and sneered; and those who thought they did God service enough if they now and then faintly applauded. There were ravens croaking ill omen, and murmurers who preached the folly and futility of the attempt. The world is made up of such; and they were as abundant then as they are now.

But gloomy and discouraging as was the prospect, with lukewarmness within and bitter opposition without, our ancient brethren persevered. Let us leave them engaged in the good work, and whenever to us, as to them, success is uncertain, remote, and

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contingent, let us still remember that the only question for us to ask, as true men and Masons, is, what does duty require; and not what will be the result and our reward if we do our duty. Work on, with the Sword in one hand, and the Trowel in the other!

Masonry teaches that God is a Paternal Being, and has an interest in his creatures, such as is expressed in the title Father; an interest unknown to all the systems of Paganism, untaught in all the theories of philosophy; an interest not only in the glorious beings of other spheres, the Sons of Light, the dwellers in Heavenly worlds, but in us, poor, ignorant, and unworthy; that He has pity for the erring, pardon for the guilty, love for the pure, knowledge for the humble, and promises of immortal life for those who trust in and obey Him.

Without a belief in Him, life is miserable, the world is dark, the Universe disrobed of its splendors, the intellectual tie to nature broken, the charm of existence dissolved, the great hope of being lost; and the mind, like a star struck from its sphere, wanders through the infinite desert of its conceptions, without attraction, tendency, destiny, or end.

Masonry teaches, that, of all the events and actions, that take place in the universe of worlds and the eternal succession of ages, there is not one, even the minutest, which God did not forever foresee, with all the distinctness of immediate vision, combining all, so that man's free will should be His instrument, like all the other forces of, nature.

It teaches that the soul of man is formed by Him for a purpose; that, built up in its proportions, and fashioned in every part, by infinite skill, an emanation from His spirit, its nature, necessity, and design are virtue. It is so formed, so moulded, so fashioned, so exactly balanced, so exquisitely proportioned in every part, that sin introduced into it is misery; that vicious thoughts fall upon it like drops of poison; and guilty desires, breathing on its delicate fibres, make plague-spots there, deadly as those of pestilence upon the body. It is made for virtue, and not for vice; for purity, as its end, rest, and happiness. Not more vainly would we attempt to make the mountain sink to the level of the valley, the waves of the angry sea turn back from its shores and cease to thunder upon the beach, the stars to halt in their swift courses, than to change any one law of our own nature. And one of those laws, uttered by God's voice, and speaking through every nerve

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and fibre, every force and element, of the moral constitution He has given us, is that we must be upright and virtuous; that if tempted we must resist; that we must govern our unruly passions, and hold in hand our sensual appetites. And this is not the dictate of an arbitrary will, nor of some stern and impracticable law; but it is part of the great firm law of harmony that binds the Universe together: not the mere enactment of arbitrary will; but the dictate of Infinite Wisdom.

We know that God is good, and that what He does is right. This known, the works of creation, the changes of life, the destinies of eternity, are all spread before us, as the dispensations and counsels of infinite love. This known, we then know that the love of God is working to issues, like itself, beyond all thought and imagination good and glorious; and that the only reason why we do not understand it, is that it is too glorious for us to understand. God's love takes care for all, and nothing is neglected. It watches over all, provides for all, makes wise adaptations for all; for age, for infancy, for maturity, for childhood; in every scene of this or another world; for want, weakness, joy, sorrow, and even for sin. All is good and well and right; and shall be so forever. Through the eternal ages the light of God's beneficence shall shine hereafter, disclosing all, consummating all, rewarding all that deserve reward. Then we shall see, what now we can only believe. The cloud will be lifted up, the gate of mystery be passed, and the full light shine forever; the light of which that of the Lodge is a symbol. Then that which caused us trial shall yield us triumph; and that which made our heart ache shall fill us with gladness; and we shall then feel that there, as here, the only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve; which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.

Freemasonry - ornament 2 symbol

XVI. PRINCE OF JERUSALEM

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XVI.

PRINCE OF JERUSALEM.

WE no longer expect to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. To us it has become but a symbol. To us the whole world is God's Temple, as is every upright heart. To establish all over the world the New Law and Reign of Love, Peace, Charity, and Toleration, is to build that Temple, most acceptable to God, in erecting which Masonry is now engaged. No longer needing to repair to Jerusalem to worship, nor to offer up sacrifices and shed blood to propitiate the Deity, man may make the woods and mountains his Churches and Temples, and worship God with a devout gratitude, and with works of charity and beneficence to his fellow-men. Wherever the humble and contrite heart silently offers up its adoration, under the overarching trees, in the open, level meadows, on the hill-side, in the glen, or in the city's swarming streets; there is God's House and the New Jerusalem.

The Princes of Jerusalem no longer sit as magistrates to judge between the people; nor is their number limited to five. But their duties still remain substantially the same, and their insignia and symbols retain their old significance. Justice and Equity are still their characteristics. To reconcile disputes and heal dissensions, to restore amity and peace, to soothe dislikes and soften prejudices, are their peculiar duties; and they know that the peacemakers are blessed.

Their emblems have been already explained. They are part of the language of Masonry; the same now as it was when Moses learned it from the Egyptian Hierophants.

Still we observe the spirit of the Divine law, as thus enunciated to our ancient brethren, when the Temple was rebuilt, and the book of the law again opened:

"Execute true judgment; and show mercy and compassion every man to his brother. Oppress not the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in his heart. Speak ye every man the truth

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to his neighbor; execute the judgment of Truth and Peace in your gates; and love no false oath; for all these I hate, saith the Lord.

"Let those who have power rule in righteousness, and Princes in judgment. And let him that is a judge be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Then the vile person shall no more be called liberal; nor the churl bountiful; and the work of justice shall be peace; and the effect of justice, quiet and security; and wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of the times. Walk ye righteously and speak uprightly; despise the gains of oppression, shake from your hands the contamination of bribes; stop not your ears against the cries of the oppressed, nor shut your eyes that you may not see the crimes of the great; and you shall dwell on high, and your place of defence be like munitions of rocks."

Forget not these precepts of the old Law; and especially do not forget, as you advance, that every Mason, however humble, is your brother, and the laboring man your peer! Remember always that all Masonry is work, and that the trowel is an emblem of the Degrees in this Council. Labor, when rightly understood, is both noble and ennobling, and intended to develop man's moral and spiritual nature, and not to be deemed a disgrace or a misfortune.

Everything around us is, in its bearings and influences, moral. The serene and bright morning, when we recover our conscious existence from the embraces of sleep; when, from that image of Death God calls us to a new life, and again gives us existence, and His mercies visit us in every bright ray and glad thought, and call for gratitude and content; the silence of that early dawn, the hushed silence, as it were, of expectation; the holy eventide, its cooling breeze, its lengthening shadows, its falling shades, its still and sober hour; the sultry noontide and the stern and solemn midnight; and Spring-time, and chastening Autumn; and Summer, that unbars our gates, and carries us forth amidst the ever-renewed wonders of the world; and Winter, that gathers us around the evening hearth: -- all these, as they pass, touch by turns the springs of the spiritual life in us, and are conducting that life to good or evil. The idle watch-hand often points to something within us; and the shadow of the gnomon on the dial often falls upon the conscience.

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A life of labor is not a state of inferiority or degradation. The Almighty has not cast man's lot beneath the quiet shades, and amid glad groves and lovely hills, with no task to perform; with nothing to do but to rise up and eat, and to lie clown and rest. He has ordained that Work shall be done, in all the dwellings of life, in every productive field, in every busy city, and on every wave of every ocean. And this He has done, because it has pleased Him to give man a nature destined to higher ends than indolent repose and irresponsible profitless indulgence; and because, for developing the energies of such a nature, work was the necessary and proper element. We might as well ask why He could not make two and two be six, as why He could not develop these energies without the instrumentality of work. They are equally impossibilities.

This, Masonry teaches, as a great Truth; a great moral land-mark, that ought to guide the course of all mankind. It teaches its toiling children that the scene of their daily life is all spiritual, that the very implements of their toil, the fabrics they weave, the merchandise they barter, are designed for spiritual ends; that so believing, their daily lot may be to them a sphere for the noblest improvement. That which we do in our intervals of relaxation, our church-going, and our book-reading, are especially designed to prepare our minds for the action of Life. We are to hear and read and meditate, that we may act well; and the action of Life is itself the great field for spiritual improvement. There is no task of industry or business, in field or forest, on the wharf or the ship's deck, in the office or the exchange, but has spiritual ends. There is no care or cross of our daily labor, but was especially ordained to nurture in us patience, calmness, resolution, perseverance, gentleness, disinterestedness, magnanimity. Nor is there any tool or implement of toil, but is a part of the great spiritual instrumentality.

All the relations of life, those of parent, child, brother, sister, friend, associate, lover and beloved, husband, wife, are moral, throughout every living tie and thrilling nerve that bind them together. They cannot subsist a day nor an hour without putting the mind to a trial of its truth, fidelity, forbearance, and disinterestedness.

A great city is one extended scene of moral action. There is no blow struck in it but has a purpose, ultimately good or bad,

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and therefore moral. There is no action performed, but has a motive; and motives are the special jurisdiction of morality. Equipages, houses, and furniture are symbols of what is moral, and they in a thousand ways minister to right or wrong feeling. Everything that belongs to us, ministering to our comfort or luxury, awakens in us emotions of pride or gratitude, of selfishness or vanity; thoughts of self-indulgence, or merciful remembrances of the needy and the destitute.

Everything acts upon and influences us. God's great law of sympathy and harmony is potent and inflexible as His law of gravitation. A sentence embodying a noble thought stirs our blood; a noise made by a child frets and exasperates us, and influences our actions.

A world of spiritual objects, influences, and relations lies around us all. We all vaguely deem it to be so; but he only lives a charmed life, like that of genius and poetic inspiration, who communes with the spiritual scene around him, hears the voice of the spirit in every sound, sees its signs in every passing form of things, and feels its impulse in all action, passion, and being. Very near to us lies the mines of wisdom; unsuspected they lie all around us. There is a secret In the simplest things, a wonder in the plainest, a charm in the dullest.

We are all naturally seekers of wonders. We travel far to see the majesty of old ruins, the venerable forms of the hoary mountains, great water-falls, and galleries of art. And yet the world-wonder is all around us; the wonder of setting suns, and evening stars, of the magic spring-time, the blossoming of the trees, the strange transformations of the moth; the wonder of the Infinite Divinity and of His boundless revelation. There is no splendor beyond that which sets its morning throne in the golden East; no. dome sublime as that of Heaven; no beauty so fair as that of the verdant, blossoming earth; no place, however invested with the sanctities of old time, like that home which is hushed and folded within the embrace of the humblest wall and roof.

And all these are but the symbols of things far greater and higher. All is but the clothing of the spirit. In this vesture of time is wrapped the immortal nature: in this show of circumstance and form stands revealed the stupendous reality. Let man but be, as he is, a living soul, communing with himself and with

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God, and his vision becomes eternity; his abode, infinity; his home, the bosom of all-embracing love.

The great problem of Humanity is wrought out in the humblest abodes; no more than this is done in the highest. A human heart throbs beneath the beggar's gabardine; and that and no more stirs with its beating the Prince's mantle. The beauty of Love, the charm of friendship, the sacredness of Sorrow, the heroism of Patience, the noble Self-sacrifice, these and their like, alone, make life to be life indeed, and are its grandeur and its power. They are the priceless treasures and glory of humanity; and they are not things of condition. All places and all scenes are alike clothed with the grandeur and charm of virtues such as these.

The million occasions will come to us all, in the ordinary paths of our life, in our homes, and by our firesides, wherein we may act as nobly, as if, all our life long, we led armies, sat in senates, or visited beds of sickness and pain. Varying every hour, the million occasions will come in which we may restrain our passions, subdue our hearts to gentleness and patience, resign our own interest for another's advantage, speak words of kindness and wisdom, raise the fallen, cheer the fainting and sick in spirit, and soften and assuage the weariness and bitterness of their mortal lot. To every Mason there will be opportunity enough for these. They cannot be written on his tomb; but they will be written deep in the hearts of men, of friends, of children, of kindred all around him, in the book of the great account, and, in their eternal influences, on the great pages of the Universe.

To such a destiny, at least, my Brethren, let us all aspire! These laws of Masonry let us all strive to obey! And so may our hearts become true temples of the Living God! And may He encourage our zeal, sustain our hopes, and assure us of success!

Freemasonry - ornament 2 symbol

XVII. KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST

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Freemasonry - KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST degree symbol

XVII.

KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST.

THIS is the first of the Philosophical Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; and the beginning of a course of instruction which will fully unveil to you the heart and inner mysteries of Masonry. Do not despair because you have often seemed on the point of attaining the inmost light, and have as often been disappointed. In all time, truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories: where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true Light was reached, and the essential truth stood revealed. The Human Light is but an imperfect reflection of a ray of the Infinite and Divine.

We are about to approach those ancient Religions which once

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ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us, those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths, shrouded in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefined along the line which divides Time from Eternity; and forms of strange, wild, startling beauty mingled in the vast throngs of figures with shapes monstrous, grotesque, and hideous.

The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt, enunciated the principle of exclusion, borrowed, at every period of its existence, from all the creeds with which it came in contact. While, by the studies of the learned and wise, it enriched itself with the most admirable principles of the religions of Egypt and Asia, it was changed, in the wanderings of the People, by everything that was most impure or seductive in the pagan manners and superstitions. It was one thing in the times of Moses and Aaron, another in those of David and Solomon, and still another in those of Daniel and Philo.

At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert, near the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical and religious systems were approximating toward each other. A general lassitude inclined the minds of all toward the quietude of that amalgamation of doctrines for which the expeditions of Alexander and the more peaceful occurrences that followed, with the establishment in Asia and Africa of many Grecian dynasties and a great number of Grecian colonies, had prepared the way. After the intermingling of different nations, which resulted from the wars of Alexander in three-quarters of the globe, the doctrines of Greece, of Egypt, of Persia, and of India, met and intermingled everywhere. All the barriers that had formerly kept the nations apart, were thrown down; and while the People of the West readily connected their faith with those of the East, those of the Orient hastened to learn the traditions of Rome and the legends of Athens. While the Philosophers of Greece, all (except the disciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonists, seized eagerly upon the beliefs and doctrines of the East, -- the Jews and Egyptians, before then the most exclusive of all peoples, yielded to that eclecticism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans.

Under the same influences of toleration, even those who embraced Christianity, mingled together the old and the new, Christianity

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and Philosophy, the Apostolic teachings and the traditions of Mythology. The man of intellect, devotee of one system, rarely displaces it with another in all its purity. The people take such a creed as is offered them. Accordingly, the distinction between the esoteric and the exoteric doctrine, immemorial in other creeds, easily gained a foothold among many of the Christians; and it was held by a vast number, even during the preaching of Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were incomplete; that they contained only the germs of another doctrine, which must receive from the hands of philosophy, not only the systematic arrangement which was wanting, but all the development which lay concealed therein. The writings of the Apostles, they said, in addressing themselves to mankind in general, enunciated only the articles of the vulgar faith; but transmitted the mysteries of knowledge to superior minds, to the Elect, -- mysteries handed down from generation to generation in esoteric traditions; and to this science of the mysteries they gave the name of Γνῶσις; [Gnosis].

The Gnostics derived their leading doctrines and ideas from Plato and Philo, the Zend-avesta and the Kabalah, and the Sacred books of India and Egypt; and thus introduced into the bosom of Christianity the cosmological and theosophical speculations, which had formed the larger portion of the ancient religions of the Orient, joined to those of the Egyptian, Greek, and Jewish doctrines, which the Neo-Platonists had equally adopted in the Occident.

Emanation from the Deity of all spiritual beings, progressive degeneration of these beings from emanation to emanation, redemption and return of all to the purity of the Creator; and, after the re-establishment of the primitive harmony of all, a fortunate and truly divine condition of all, in the bosom of God; such were the fundamental teachings of Gnosticism. The genius of the Orient, with its contemplations, irradiations, and intuitions, dictated its doctrines. Its language corresponded to its origin. Full of imagery, it had all the magnificence, the inconsistencies, and the mobility of the figurative style.

Behold, it said, the light, which emanates from an immense centre of Light, that spreads everywhere its benevolent rays; so do the spirits of Light emanate from the Divine Light. Behold, all the springs which nourish, embellish, fertilize, and purify the Earth: they emanate from one and the same ocean; so from the

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bosom of the Divinity emanate so many streams, which form and fill the universe of intelligences. Behold numbers, which all emanate from one primitive number, all resemble it, all are composed of its essence, and still vary infinitely; and utterances, decomposable into so many syllables and elements, all contained in the primitive Word, and still infinitely various; so the world of Intelligences emanated from a Primary Intelligence, and they all resemble it, and yet display an infinite variety of existences.

It revived and combined the old doctrines of the Orient and the Occident; and it found in many passages of the Gospels and the Pastoral letters, a warrant for doing so. Christ himself spoke in parables and allegories, John borrowed the enigmatical language of the Platonists, and Paul often indulged in incomprehensible rhapsodies, the meaning of which could have been clear to the Initiates alone.

It is admitted that the cradle of Gnosticism is probably to be looked for in Syria, and even in Palestine. Most of its expounders wrote in that corrupted form of the Greek used by the Hellenistic Jews, and in the Septuagint and the New Testament; and there was a striking analogy between their doctrines and those of the Judeo-Egyptian Philo, of Alexandria; itself the seat of three schools, at once philosophic and religious -- the Greek, the Egyptian, and the Jewish.

Pythagoras and Plato, the most mystical of the Grecian Philosophers (the latter heir to the doctrines of the former), and who had travelled, the latter in Egypt, and the former in Phœnicia, India, and Persia, also taught the esoteric doctrine and the distinction between the initiated and the profane. The dominant doctrines of Platonism were found in Gnosticism. Emanation of Intelligences from the bosom of the Deity; the going astray in error and the sufferings of spirits, so long as they are remote from God, and imprisoned in matter; vain and long-continued efforts to arrive at the knowledge of the Truth, and re-enter into their primitive union with the Supreme Being; alliance of a pure and divine soul with an irrational soul, the seat of evil desires; angels or demons who dwell in and govern the planets, having but an imperfect knowledge of the ideas that presided at the creation; regeneration of all beings by their return to the κόσμος νοητός, [kosmos noe_tos], the world of Intelligences, and its Chief, the Supreme Being; sole possible mode of re-establishing that primitive

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harmony of the creation, of which the music of the spheres of Pythagoras was the image; these were the analogies of the two systems; and we discover in them some of the ideas that form a part of Masonry; in which, in the present mutilated condition of the symbolic Degrees, they are disguised and overlaid with fiction and absurdity, or present themselves as casual hints that are passed by wholly unnoticed.

The distinction between the esoteric and exoteric doctrines (a distinction purely Masonic), was always and from the very earliest times preserved among the Greeks. It remounted to the fabulous times of Orpheus; and the mysteries of Theosophy were found in all their traditions and myths. And after the time of Alexander, they resorted for instruction, dogmas, and mysteries, to all the schools, to those of Egypt and Asia, as well as those of Ancient Thrace, Sicily, Etruria, and Attica.

The Jewish-Greek School of Alexandria is known only by two of its Chiefs, Aristobulus and Philo, both Jews of Alexandria in Egypt. Belonging to Asia by its origin, to Egypt by its residence, to Greece by its language and studies, it strove to show that all truths embedded in the philosophies of other countries were trans-planted thither from Palestine. Aristobulus declared that all the facts and details of the Jewish Scriptures were so many allegories, concealing the most profound meanings, and that Plato had borrowed from them all his finest ideas. Philo, who lived a century after him, following the same theory, endeavored to show that the Hebrew writings, by their system of allegories, were the true source of all religious and philosophical doctrines. According to him, the literal meaning is for the vulgar alone. Whoever has meditated on philosophy, purified himself by virtue, and raised himself by contemplation, to God and the intellectual world, and received their inspiration, pierces the gross envelope of the letter, discovers a wholly different order of things, and is initiated into mysteries, of which the elementary or literal instruction offers but an imperfect image. A historical fact, a figure, a word, a letter, a number, a rite, a custom, the parable or vision of a prophet, veils the most profound truths; and he who has the key of science will interpret all according to the light he possesses.

Again we see the symbolism of Masonry, and the search of the Candidate for light. "Let men of narrow minds withdraw," he says, "with closed ears. We transmit the divine mysteries to

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those who have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true piety, and who are not enslaved by the empty trappings of words or the preconceived opinions of the pagans."

To Philo, the Supreme Being was the Primitive Light, or the Archetype of Light, Source whence the rays emanate that illuminate Souls. He was also the Soul of the Universe, and as such acted in all its parts. He Himself fills and limits His whole Being. His Powers and Virtues fill and penetrate all. These Powers [Δυνάμεις, dunameis] are Spirits distinct from God, the "Ideas" of Plato personified. He is without beginning, and lives in the prototype of Time [αιων, aion].

His image is THE WORD [Λογος], a form more brilliant than fire; that not being the pure light. This LOGOS dwells in God; for the Supreme Being makes to Himself within His Intelligence the types or ideas of everything that is to become reality in this World. The Logos is the vehicle by which God acts on the Universe, and may be compared to the speech of man.

The LOGOS being the World of Ideas [κοσμος νοητος], by means whereof God has created visible things, He is the most ancient God, in comparison with the World, which is the youngest production. The LOGOS, Chief of Intelligence, of which He is the general representative, is named Archangel, type and representative of all spirits, even those of mortals. He is also styled the man-type and primitive man, Adam Kadmon.

God only is Wise. The wisdom of man is but the reflection and image of that of God. He is the Father, and His WISDOM the mother of creation: for He united Himself with WISDOM [Σοφια, Sophia], and communicated to it the germ of creation, and it brought forth the material world. He created the ideal world only, and caused the material world to be made real after its type, by His LOGOS, which is His speech, and at the same time the Idea of Ideas, the Intellectual World. The Intellectual City was but the Thought of the Architect, who meditated the creation, according to that plan of the Material City.

The Word is not only the Creator, but occupies the place of the Supreme Being. Through Him all the Powers and Attributes of God act. On the other side, as first representative of the Human Family, He is the Protector of men and their Shepherd.

God gives to man the Soul or Intelligence, which exists before the body, and which he unites with the body. The reasoning

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Principle comes from God through the Word, and communes with God and with the Word; but there is also in man an irrational Principle, that of the inclinations and passions which produce disorder, emanating from inferior spirits who fill the air as ministers of God. The body, taken from the Earth, and the irrational Principle that animates it concurrently with the rational Principle, are hated by God, while the rational soul which He has given it, is, as it were, captive in this prison, this coffin, that encompasses it. The present condition of man is not his primitive condition, when he was the image of the Logos. He has fallen from his first estate. But he may raise himself again, by following the directions of WISDOM [Σοφια] and of the Angels which God has commissioned to aid him in freeing himself from the bonds of the body, and combating Evil, the existence whereof God has permitted, to furnish him the means of exercising his liberty. The souls that are purified, not by the Law but by light, rise to the Heavenly regions, to enjoy there a perfect felicity. Those that persevere in evil go from body to body, the seats of passions and evil desires. The familiar lineaments of these doctrines will be recognized by all who read the Epistles of St. Paul, who wrote after Philo, the latter living till the reign of Caligula, and being the contemporary of Christ.

And the Mason is familiar with these doctrines of Philo: that the Supreme Being is a centre of Light whose rays or emanations pervade the Universe; for that is the Light for which all Masonic journeys are a search, and of which the sun and moon in our Lodges are only emblems: that Light and Darkness, chief enemies from the beginning of Time, dispute with each other the empire of the world; which we symbolize by the candidate wandering in darkness and being brought to light: that the world was created, not by the Supreme Being, but by a secondary agent, who is but His WORD [the Λογος], and by types which are but his ideas, aided by an INTELLIGENCE, or WISDOM [Σοφια], which gives one of His Attributes; in which we see the occult meaning of the necessity of recovering "the Word"; and of our two columns of STRENGTH and WISDOM, which are also the two parallel lines that bound the circle representing the Universe: that the visible world is the image of the invisible world; that the essence of the Human Soul is the image of God, and it existed before the body; that the object of its terrestrial life is to disengage itself of its body or its

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sepulchre; and that it will ascend to the Heavenly regions whenever it shall be purified; in which we see the meaning, now almost forgotten in our Lodges, of the mode of preparation of the candidate for apprenticeship, and his tests and purifications in the first Degree, according to the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

Philo incorporated in his eclecticism neither Egyptian nor Oriental elements. But there were other Jewish Teachers in Alexandria who did both. The Jews of Egypt were slightly jealous of, and a little hostile to, those of Palestine, particularly after the erection of the sanctuary at Leontopolis by the High-Priest Onias; and therefore they admired and magnified those sages, who, like Jeremiah, had resided in Egypt. "The wisdom of Solomon" was written at Alexandria, and, in the time of St. Jerome, was attributed to Philo; but it contains principles at variance with his. It personifies Wisdom, and draws between its children and the Profane, the same line of demarcation that Egypt had long before taught to the Jews. That distinction existed at the beginning of the Mosaic creed. Moshah himself was an Initiate in the mysteries of Egypt, as he was compelled to be, as the adopted son of the daughter of Pharaoh, Thouoris, daughter of Sesostris-Ramses; who, as her tomb and monuments show, was, in the right of her infant husband, Regent of Lower Egypt or the Delta at the time of the Hebrew Prophet's birth, reigning at Heliopolis. She was also, as the reliefs on her tomb show, a Priestess of HATHOR and NEITH, the two great primeval goddesses. As her adopted son, living in her Palace and presence forty years, and during that time scarcely acquainted with his brethren the Jews, the law of Egypt compelled his initiation: and we find in many of his enactments the intention of preserving, between the common people and the Initiates, the line of separation which he found in Egypt. Moshah and Aharun his brother, the whole series of High-Priests, the Council of the 70 Elders, Salomoh and the entire succession of Prophets, were in possession of a higher science; and of that science Masonry is, at least, the lineal descendant. It was familiarly known as THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD.

AMUN, at first the God of Lower Egypt only, where Moshah was reared [a word that in Hebrew means Truth], was the Supreme God. He was styled "the Celestial Lord, who sheds Light on hidden things." He was the source of that divine life, of which the crux ansata is the symbol; and the source of all power, He

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united all the attributes that the Ancient Oriental Theosophy assigned to the Supreme Being. He was the πλήρωμα (Pleroma), or "Fullness of things," for He comprehended in Himself everything; and the LIGHT; for he was the Sun-God. He was unchangeable in the midst of everything phenomenal in his worlds. He created nothing; but everything emanated from Him; and of Him all the other Gods were but manifestations.

The Ram was His living symbol; which you see reproduced in this Degree, lying on the book with seven seals on the tracing-board. He caused the creation of the world by the Primitive Thought [Εννοια, Ennoia], or Spirit [Πνευμα, Pneuma], that issued from him by means of his Voice or the WORD; and which Thought or Spirit was personified as the Goddess NEITH. She, too, was a divinity of Light, and mother of the Sun; and the Feast of Lamps was celebrated in her honor at Sais. The Creative Power, another manifestation of Deity, proceeding to the creation conceived of in her, the Divine Intelligence, produced with its Word the Universe, symbolized by an egg issuing from the mouth of KNEPH; from which egg came PHTHA, image of the Supreme Intelligence as realized in the world, and the type of that manifested in man; the principal agent, also, of Nature, or the creative and productive Fire. PURE or RE, the Sun, or Celestial Light, whose symbol was ☉, the point within a circle, was the son of PHTHA; and TIPHE, his wife, or the celestial firmament, with the seven celestial bodies, animated by spirits of genii that govern them, was represented on many of the monuments, clad in blue or yellow, her garments sprinkled with stars, and accompanied by the sun, moon, and five planets; and she was the type of Wisdom, and they of the Seven Planetary Spirits of the Gnostics, that with her presided over and governed the Sublunary world.

In this Degree, unknown for a hundred years to those who have practised it, these emblems reproduced refer to these old doctrines. The lamb, the yellow hangings strewed with stars, the seven columns, candlesticks, and seals all recall them to us.

The Lion was the symbol of ATHOM-RE, the Great God of Upper Egypt; the Hawk, of RA or PHRE; the Eagle, of MENDES; the Bull, of APIS; and three of these are seen under the platform on which our altar stands.

The first HERMES was the INTELLIGENCE or WORD of God. Moved with compassion for a race living without law, and wishing

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to teach them that they sprang from His bosom, and to point out to them the way that they should go [the books which the first Hermes, the same with Enoch, had written on the mysteries of divine science, in the sacred characters, being unknown to those who lived after the flood], God sent to man OSIRIS and Isis, accompanied by THOTH, the incarnation or terrestrial repetition of the first HERMES; who taught men the arts, science, and the ceremonies of religion; and then ascended to Heaven or the Moon. OSIRIS was the Principle of Good. TYPHON, like AHRIMAN, was the principle and source of all that is evil in the moral and physical order. Like the Satan of Gnosticism, he was confounded with Matter.

From Egypt or Persia the new Platonists borrowed the idea, and the Gnostics received it from them, that man, in his terrestrial career, is successively under the influence of the Moon, of Mercury, of Venus, of the Sun, of Mars, of Jupiter, and of Saturn, until he finally reaches the Elysian Fields; an idea again symbolized in the Seven Seals.

The Jews of Syria and Judea were the direct precursors of Gnosticism; and in their doctrines were ample oriental elements. These Jews had had with the Orient, at two different periods, intimate relations, familiarizing them with the doctrines of Asia, and especially of Chaldea and Persia; -- their forced residence in Central Asia under the Assyrians and Persians; and their voluntary dispersion over the whole East, when subjects of the Seleucidæ and the Romans. Living near two-thirds of a century, and many of them long afterward, in Mesopotamia, the cradle of their race; speaking the same language, and their children reared with those of the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Medes, and Persians, and receiving from them their names (as the case of Danayal, who was called Bæltasatsar, proves), they necessarily adopted many of the doctrines of their conquerors. Their descendants, as Azra and Nahamaiah show us, hardly desired to leave Persia, when they were allowed to do so. They had a special jurisdiction, and governors and judges taken from their own people; many of them held high office, and their children were educated with those of the highest nobles. Danayal was the friend and minister of the King, and the Chief of the College of the Magi at Babylon; if we may believe the book which bears his name, and trust to the incidents related in its highly figurative and imaginative style. Mordecai,

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too, occupied a high station, no less than that of Prime Minister, and Esther or Astar, his cousin, was the Monarch's wife.

The Magi of Babylon were expounders of figurative writings, interpreters of nature, and of dreams, -- astronomers and divines; and from their influences arose among the Jews, after their rescue from captivity, a number of sects, and a new exposition, the mystical interpretation, with all its wild fancies and infinite caprices. The Aions of the Gnostics, the Ideas of Plato, the Angels of the Jews, and the Demons of the Greeks, all correspond to the Ferouers of Zoroaster.

A great number of Jewish families remained permanently in their new country; and one of the most celebrated of their schools was at Babylon. They were soon familiarized with the doctrine of Zoroaster, which itself was more ancient than Kuros. From the system of the Zend-Avesta they borrowed, and subsequently gave large development to, everything that could be reconciled with their own faith; and these additions to the old doctrine were soon spread, by the constant intercourse of commerce, into Syria and Palestine.

In the Zend-Avesta, God is Illimitable Time. No origin can be assigned to Him: He is so entirely enveloped in His glory, His nature and attributes are so inaccessible to human Intelligence, that He can be only the object of a silent Veneration. Creation took place by emanation from Him. The first emanation was the primitive Light, and from that the King of Light, ORMUZD. By the "WORD," Ormuzd created the world pure. He is its preserver and judge; a Being Holy and Heavenly; Intelligence and Knowledge; the First-born of Time without limits; and invested with all the Powers of the Supreme Being.

Still he is, strictly speaking, the Fourth Being. He had a Ferouer, a pre-existing Soul [in the language of Plato, a type or ideal]; and it is said of Him, that He existed from the beginning, in the primitive Light. But, that Light being but an element, and His Ferouer a type, he is, in ordinary language, the First-born of ZEROUANE-AKHERENE. Behold, again, "THE WORD" of Masonry; the Man, on the Tracing-Board of this Degree; the LIGHT toward which all Masons travel.

He created after his own image, six Genii called Amshaspands, who surround his Throne, are his organs of communication with inferior spirits and men, transmit to Him their prayers, solicit for

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them His favors, and serve them as models of purity and perfection. Thus we have the Demiourgos of Gnosticism, and the six Genii that assist him. These are the Hebrew Archangels of the Planets.

The names of these Amshaspands are Bahman, Ardibehest, Schariver, Sapandomad, Khordad, and Amerdad.

The fourth, the Holy SAPANDOMAD, created the first man and woman.

Then ORMUZD created 28 Izeds, of whom MITHRAS is the chief. They watch, with Ormuzd and the Amshaspands, over the happiness, purity, and preservation of the world, which is under their government; and they are also models for mankind and interpreters of men's prayers. With Mithras and Ormuzd, they make a pleroma [or complete number] of 30, corresponding to the thirty Aions of the Gnostics, and to the ogdoade, dodecade, and decade of the Egyptians. Mithras was the Sun-God, invoked with, and soon confounded with him, becoming the object of a special worship, and eclipsing Ormuzd himself.

The third order of pure spirits is more numerous. They are the Ferouers, the THOUGHTS of Ormuzd, or the IDEAS which he conceived before proceeding to the creation of things. They too are superior to men. They protect them during their life on earth; they will purify them from evil at their resurrection. They are their tutelary genii, from the fall to the complete regeneration.

AHRIMAN, second-born of the Primitive Light, emanated from it, pure like ORMUZD; but, proud and ambitious, yielded to jealousy of the First-born. For his hatred and pride, the Eternal condemned him to dwell, for 12,000 years, in that part of space where no ray of light reaches; the black empire of darkness. In that period the struggle between Light and Darkness, Good and Evil, will be terminated.

AHRIMAN scorned to submit, and took the field against ORMUZD. To the good spirits created by his Brother, he opposed an innumerable army of Evil Ones. To the seven Amshaspands he opposed seven Archdevs, attached to the seven Planets; to the Izeds and Ferouers an equal number of Devs, which brought upon the world all moral and physical evils. Hence Poverty, Maladies, Impurity, Envy, Chagrin, Drunkenness, Falsehood, Calumny, and their horrible array.

The image of Ahriman was the Dragon, confounded by the

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Jews with Satan and the Serpent-Tempter. After a reign of 3000 years, Ormuzd had created the Material World, in six periods, calling successively into existence the Light, Water, Earth, plants, animals, and Man. But Ahriman concurred in creating the earth and water; for darkness was already an element, and Ormuzd could not exclude its Master. So also the two concurred in producing Man. Ormuzd produced, by his Will and Word, a Being that was the type and source of universal life for everything that exists under Heaven. He placed in man a pure principle, or Life, proceeding from the Supreme Being. But Ahriman destroyed that pure principle, in the form wherewith it was clothed; and when Ormuzd had made, of its recovered and purified essence, the first man and woman, Ahriman seduced and tempted them with wine and fruits; the woman yielding first.

Often, during the three latter periods of 3000 years each, Ahriman and Darkness are, and are to be, triumphant. But the pure souls are assisted by the Good Spirits; the Triumph of Good is decreed by the Supreme Being, and the period of that triumph will infallibly arrive. When the world shall be most afflicted with the evils poured out upon it by the spirits of perdition, three Prophets will come to bring relief to mortals. SOSIOSCH, the principal of the Three, will regenerate the earth, and restore to it its primitive beauty, strength, and purity. He will judge the good and the wicked. After the universal resurrection of the good, he will conduct them to a home of everlasting happiness. Ahriman, his evil demons, and all wicked men, will also be purified in a torrent of melted metal. The law of Ormuzd will reign everywhere; all men will be happy; all, enjoying unalterable bliss, will sing with Sosiosch the praises of the Supreme Being.

These doctrines, the details of which were sparingly borrowed by the Pharisaic Jews, were much more fully adopted by the Gnostics; who taught the restoration of all things, their return to their original pure condition, the happiness of those to be saved, and their admission to the feast of Heavenly Wisdom.

The doctrines of Zoroaster came originally from Bactria, an Indian Province of Persia. Naturally, therefore, it would include Hindu or Buddhist elements, as it did. The fundamental idea of Buddhism was, matter subjugating the intelligence, and intelligence freeing itself from that slavery. Perhaps something came to Gnosticism from China. "Before the chaos which preceded

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the birth of Heaven and Earth," says Lao-Tseu, "a single Being existed, immense and silent, immovable and ever active -- the mother of the Universe. I know not its name: but I designate it by the word Reason. Man has his type and model in the Earth; Earth in Heaven; Heaven in Reason; and Reason in Itself." Here again are the Ferouers, the Ideas, the Aions the REASON or INTELLIGENCE [Εννοια], SILENCE [Σιγή], WORD [Λογος], and WISDOM [Σοφια] of the Gnostics.

The dominant system among the Jews after their captivity was that of the Pharoschim or Pharisees. Whether their name was derived from that of the Parsees, or followers of Zoroaster, or from some other source, it is certain that they had borrowed much of their doctrine from the Persians. Like them they claimed to have the exclusive and mysterious knowledge, unknown to the mass. Like them they taught that a constant war was waged between the Empire of Good and that of Evil. Like them they attributed the sin and fall of man to the demons and their chief; and like them they admitted a special protection of the righteous by inferior beings, agents of Jehovah. All their doctrines on these subjects were at bottom those of the Holy Books; but singularly developed; and the Orient was evidently the source from which those developments came.

They styled themselves Interpreters; a name indicating their claim to the exclusive possession of the true meaning of the Holy Writings, by virtue of the oral tradition which Moses had received on Mount Sinai, and which successive generations of Initiates had transmitted, as they claimed, unaltered, unto them. Their very costume, their belief in the influences of the stars, and in the immortality and transmigration of souls, their system of angels and their astronomy, were all foreign.

Sadduceeism arose merely from an opposition essentially Jewish, to these foreign teachings, and that mixture of doctrines, adopted by the Pharisees, and which constituted the popular creed.

We come at last to the Essenes and Therapeuts, with whom this Degree is particularly concerned. That intermingling of oriental and occidental rites, of Persian and Pythagorean opinions, which we have pointed out in the doctrines of Philo, is unmistakable in the creeds of these two sects.

They were less distinguished by metaphysical speculations than by simple meditations and moral practices. But the latter always

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partook of the Zoroastrian principle, that it was necessary to free the soul from the trammels and influences of matter; which led to a system of abstinence and maceration entirely opposed to the ancient Hebraic ideas, favorable as they were to physical pleasures.

In general, the life and manners of these mystical associations, as Philo and Josephus describe them, and particularly their prayers at sunrise, seem the image of what the Zend-Avesta prescribes to the faithful adorer or Ormuzd; and some of their observances cannot otherwise be explained.

The Therapeuts resided in Egypt, in the neighborhood of Alexandria; and the Essenes in Palestine, in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. But there was nevertheless a striking coincidence in their ideas, readily explained by attributing it to a foreign influence. The Jews of Egypt, under the influence of the School of Alexandria, endeavored in general to make their doctrines harmonize with the traditions of Greece; and thence came, in the doctrines of the Therapeuts, as stated by Philo, the many analogies between the Pythagorean and Orphic ideas, on one side, and those of Judaism on the other: while the Jews of Palestine, having less communication with Greece, or contemning its teachings, rather imbibed the Oriental doctrines, which they drank in at the source and with which their relations with Persia made them familiar. This attachment was particularly shown in the Kabalah, which belonged rather to Palestine than to Egypt, though extensively known in the latter; and furnished the Gnostics with some of their most striking theories.

It is a significant fact, that while Christ spoke often of the Pharisees and Sadducees, He never once mentioned the Essenes, between whose doctrines and His there was so great a resemblance, and, in many points, so perfect an identity. Indeed, they are not named, nor even distinctly alluded to, anywhere in the New Testament.

John, the son of a Priest who ministered in the Temple at Jerusalem, and whose mother was of the family of Aharun, was in the deserts until the day of his showing unto Israel. He drank neither wine nor strong drink. Clad in hair-cloth, and with a girdle of leather, and feeding upon such food as the desert afforded, he preached, in the country about Jordan, the baptism of repentance, for the remission of sins; that is, the necessity of repentance proven by reformation. He taught the people charity and

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liberality; the publicans, justice, equity, and fair dealing; the soldiery, peace, truth, and contentment; to do violence to none, accuse none falsely, and be content with their pay. He inculcated the necessity of a virtuous life, and the folly of trusting to their descent from Abraham.

He denounced both Pharisees and Sadducees as a generation of vipers, threatened with the anger of God. He baptized those who confessed their sins. He preached in the desert; and therefore in the country where the Essenes lived, professing the same doctrines. He was imprisoned before Christ began to preach. Matthew mentions him without preface or explanation; as if, apparently, his history was too well known to need any. "In those days," he says, "came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea." His disciples frequently fasted; for we find them with the Pharisees coming to Jesus to inquire why His Disciples did not fast as often as they; and He did not denounce them, as His habit was to denounce the Pharisees; but answered them kindly and gently.

From his prison, John sent two of his disciples to inquire of Christ: "Art thou he that is to come, or do we look for another?" Christ referred them to his miracles as an answer; and declared to the people that John was a prophet, and more than a prophet, and that no greater man had ever been born; but that the humblest Christian was his superior. He declared him to be Elias, who was to come.

John had denounced to Herod his marriage with his brother's wife as unlawful; and for this he was imprisoned, and finally executed to gratify her. His disciples buried him; and Herod and others thought he had risen from the dead and appeared again in the person of Christ. The people all regarded John as a prophet; and Christ silenced the Priests and Elders by asking them whether he was inspired. They feared to excite the anger of the people by saying that he was not. Christ declared that he came "in the way of righteousness"; and that the lower classes believed him, though the Priests and Pharisees did not.

Thus John, who was often consulted by Herod, and to whom that monarch showed great deference, and was often governed by his advice; whose doctrine prevailed very extensively among the people and the publicans, taught some creed older than Christianity. That is plain: and it is equally plain, that the very large

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body of the Jews that adopted his doctrines, were neither Pharisees nor Sadducees, but the humble, common people. They must, therefore, have been Essenes. It is plain, too, that Christ applied for baptism as a sacred rite, well known and long practiced. It was becoming to him, he said, to fulfill all righteousness.

In the 18th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles we read thus: "And a certain Jew, named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the Scriptures, came to Ephesus. This man was instructed in the way of the Lord, and, being fervent in spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John; and he began to speak boldly in the synagogue; whom, when Aquilla and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly."

Translating this from the symbolic and figurative language into the true ordinary sense of the Greek text, it reads thus: "And a certain Jew, named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, and of extensive learning, came to Ephesus. He had learned in the mysteries the true doctrine in regard to God; and, being a zealous enthusiast, he spoke and taught diligently the truths in regard to the Deity, having received no other baptism than that of John." He knew nothing in regard to Christianity; for he had resided in Alexandria, and had just then come to Ephesus; being, probably, a disciple of Philo, and a Therapeut.

"That, in all times," says St. Augustine, "is the Christian religion, which to know and follow is the most sure and certain health, called according to that name, but not according to the thing itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself, which is now called the Christian religion, really was known to the Ancients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of the human race, until the time when Christ came in the flesh; from whence the true religion, which had previously existed, began to be called Christian; and this in our days is the Christian religion, not as having been wanting in former times, but as having, in later times, received this name." The disciples were first called "Christians," at Antioch, when Barnabas and Paul began to preach there.

The Wandering or Itinerant Jews or Exorcists, who assumed to employ the Sacred Name in exorcising evil spirits, were no doubt Therapeutæ or Essenes,

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"And it came to pass," we read in the 19th chapter of the Acts, verses 1 to 4, "that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper parts of Asia Minor, came to Ephesus; and finding certain disciples, he said to them, 'Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye became Believers?' And they said unto him, 'We have not so much as heard that there is any Holy Ghost.' And he said to them, 'In what, then, were you baptized?' And they said 'In John's baptism.' Then said Paul, 'John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in Him who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus Christ. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus."

This faith, taught by John, and so nearly Christianity, could have been nothing but the doctrine of the Essenes; and there can be no doubt that John belonged to that sect. The place where he preached, his macerations and frugal diet, the doctrines he taught, all prove it conclusively. There was no other sect to which he could have belonged; certainly none so numerous as his, except the Essenes.

We find, from the two letters written by Paul to the brethren at Corinth, that City of Luxury and Corruption, that there were contentions among them. Rival sects had already, about the 57th year of our era, reared their banners there, as followers, some of Paul, some of Apollos, and some of Cephas. Some of them denied the resurrection. Paul urged them to adhere to the doctrines taught by himself, and had sent Timothy to them to bring them afresh to their recollection.

According to Paul, Christ was to come again. He was to put an end to all other Principalities and Powers, and finally to Death, and then be Himself once more merged in God; who should then be all in all.

The forms and ceremonies of the Essenes were symbolical. They had, according to Philo the Jew, four Degrees; the members being divided into two Orders, the Practici and Therapeutici; the latter being the contemplative and medical Brethren; and the former the active, practical, business men. They were Jews by birth; and had a greater affection for each other than the members of any other sect. Their brotherly love was intense. They fulfilled the Christian law, "Love one another." They despised riches. No one was to be found among them, having more than

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another. The possessions of one were intermingled with those of the others; so that they all had but one patrimony, and were brethren. Their piety toward God was extraordinary. Before sunrise they never spake a word about profane matters; but put up certain prayers which they had received from their forefathers. At dawn of day, and before it was light, their prayers and hymns ascended to Heaven. They were eminently faithful and true, and the Ministers of Peace. They had mysterious ceremonies, and initiations into their mysteries; and the Candidate promised that he would ever practise fidelity to all men, and especially to those in authority, "because no one obtains the government without God's assistance."

Whatever they said, was firmer than an oath; but they avoided swearing, and esteemed it worse than perjury. They were simple in their diet and mode of living, bore torture with fortitude, and despised death. They cultivated the science of medicine and were very skillful. They deemed it a good omen to dress in white robes. They had their own courts, and passed righteous judgments. They kept the Sabbath more rigorously than the Jews.

Their chief towns were Engaddi, near the Dead Sea, and Hebron. Engaddi was about 30 miles southeast from Jerusalem, and Hebron about 20 miles south of that city. Josephus and Eusebius speak of them as an ancient sect; and they were no doubt the first among the Jews to embrace Christianity: with whose faith and doctrine their own tenets had so many points of resemblance, and were indeed in a great measure the same. Pliny regarded them as a very ancient people.

In their devotions they turned toward the rising sun; as the Jews generally did toward the Temple. But they were no idolaters; for they observed the law of Moses with scrupulous fidelity. They held all things in common, and despised riches, their wants being supplied by the administration of Curators or Stewards. The Tetractys, composed of round dots instead of jods, was revered among them. This being a Pythagorean symbol, evidently shows their connection with the school of Pythagoras; but their peculiar tenets more resemble those of Confucius and Zoroaster; and probably were adopted while they were prisoners in Persia; which explains their turning toward the Sun in prayer.

Their demeanor was sober and chaste. They submitted to the superintendence of governors whom they appointed over themselves.

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The whole of their time was spent in labor, meditation, and prayer; and they were most sedulously attentive to every call of justice and humanity, and every moral duty. They believed in the unity of God. They supposed the souls of men to have fallen, by a disastrous fate, from the regions of purity and light, into the bodies which they occupy; during their continuance in which they considered them confined as in a prison. Therefore they did not believe in the resurrection of the body; but in that of the soul only. They believed in a future state of rewards and punishments; and they disregarded the ceremonies or external forms enjoined in the law of Moses to be observed in the worship of God; holding that the words of that lawgiver were to be understood in a mysterious and recondite sense, and not according to their literal meaning. They offered no sacrifices, except at home; and by meditation they endeavored, as far as possible, to isolate the soul from the body, and carry it back to God.

Eusebius broadly admits "that the ancient Therapeutæ were Christians; and that their ancient writings were our Gospels and Epistles."

The ESSENES were of the Eclectic Sect of Philosophers, and held PLATO in the highest esteem; they believed that true philosophy, the greatest and most salutary gift of God to mortals, was scattered, in various portions, through all the different Sects; and that it was, consequently, the duty of every wise man to gather it from the several quarters where it lay dispersed, and to employ it, thus reunited, in destroying the dominion of impiety and vice.

The great festivals of the Solstices were observed in a distinguished manner by the Essenes; as would naturally be supposed, from the fact that they reverenced the Sun, not as a god, but as a symbol of light and fire; the fountain of which, the Orientals supposed God to be. They lived in continence and abstinence, and had establishments similar to the monasteries of the early Christians.

The writings of the Essenes were full of mysticism, parables, enigmas, and allegories. They believed in the esoteric and exoteric meanings of the Scriptures; and, as we have already said, they had a warrant for That in the Scriptures themselves. They found it in the Old Testament, as the Gnostics found it in the New. The Christian writers, and even Christ himself, recognized it as a

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truth, that all Scripture had an inner and an outer meaning. Thus we find it said as follows, in one of the Gospels:

"Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but unto men that are without, all these things are done in parables; that seeing, they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand. . . . And the disciples came and said unto him, 'Why speakest Thou the truth in parables?' -- He answered and said unto them, 'Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.'"

Paul, in the 4th chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians, speaking of the simplest facts of the Old Testament, asserts that they are an allegory. In the 3d chapter of the second letter to the Corinthians, he declares himself a minister of the New Testament, appointed by God; "Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killeth." Origen and St. Gregory held that the Gospels were not to be taken in their literal sense; and Athanasius admonishes us that "Should we understand sacred writ according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies."

Eusebius said, "Those who preside over the Holy Scriptures, philosophize over them, and expound their literal sense by allegory."

The sources of our knowledge of the Kabalistic doctrines, are the books of Jezirah and Sohar, the former drawn up in the second century, and the latter a little later; but containing materials much older than themselves. In their most characteristic elements, they go back to the time of the exile. In them, as in the teachings of Zoroaster, everything that exists emanated from a source of infinite LIGHT. Before everything, existed THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, the KING OF LIGHT; a title often given to the Creator in the Zend-Avesta and the code of the Sabæans. With the idea so expressed is connected the pantheism of India. THE KING OR LIGHT, THE ANCIENT, is ALL THAT IS. He is not only the real cause of all Existences; he is Infinite [AINSOPH]. He is HIMSELF: there is nothing in Him that We can call Thou.

In the Indian doctrine, not only is the Supreme Being the real cause of all, but he is the only real Existence: all the rest is illusion. In the Kabalah, as in the Persian and Gnostic doctrines, He is the Supreme Being unknown to all, the "Unknown Father." The world is his revelation, and subsists only in Him. His attributes

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are reproduced there, with different modifications, and in different degrees, so that the Universe is His Holy Splendor: it is but His Mantle; but it must be revered in silence. All beings have emanated from the Supreme Being: The nearer a being is to Him, the more perfect it is; the more remote in the scale, the less its purity.

A ray of Light, shot from the Deity, is the cause and principle of all that exists. It is at once Father and Mother of All, in the sublimest sense. It penetrates everything; and without it nothing can exist an instant. From this double FORCE, designated by the two parts of the word I∴H∴U∴H∴ emanated the FIRST-BORN of God, the Universal FORM, in which are contained all beings; the Persian and Platonic Archetype of things, united with the Infinite by the primitive ray of Light.

This First-Born is the Creative Agent, Conservator, and animating Principle of the Universe. It is THE LIGHT of LIGHT. It possesses the three Primitive Forces of the Divinity, LIGHT, SPIRIT, and LIFE [Φώς, Πνευμά, and Ζων]. As it has received what it gives, Light and Life, it is equally considered as the generative and conceptive Principle, the Primitive Man, ADAM KADMON. As such, it has revealed itself in ten emanations or Sephiroth, which are not ten different beings, nor even beings at all; but sources of life, vessels of Omnipotence, and types of Creation. They are Sovereignty or Will, Wisdom, Intelligence, Benignity, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Permanency, and Empire. These are attributes of God; and this idea, that God reveals Himself by His attributes, and that the human mind cannot perceive or discern God Himself, in his works, but only his mode of manifesting Himself, is a profound Truth. We know of the Invisible only what the Visible reveals.

Wisdom was called NOUS and LOGOS [and Νοῦς Λογος], INTELLECT or the WORD. Intelligence, source of the oil of anointing, responds to the Holy Ghost of the Christian Faith.

Beauty is represented by green and yellow. Victory is YAHOVAH-TSABAOTH, the column on the right hand, the column Jachin: Glory is the column Boaz, on the left hand. And thus our symbols appear again in the Kabalah. And again the LIGHT, the object of our labors, appears as the creative power of Deity. The circle, also, was the special symbol of the first Sephirah, Kether, or the Crown,

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We do not further follow the Kabalah in its four Worlds of Spirits, Aziluth, Briah, Yezirah, and Asiah, or of emanation, creation, formation, and fabrication, one inferior to and one emerging from the other, the superior always enveloping the inferior; its doctrine that, in all that exists, there is nothing purely material; that all comes from God, and in all He proceeds by irradiation; that everything subsists by the Divine ray that penetrates creation; and all is united by the Spirit of God, which is the life of life; so that all is God; the Existences that inhabit the four worlds, inferior to each other in proportion to their distance from the Great King of Light: the contest between the good and evil Angels and Principles, to endure until the Eternal Himself cones to end it and re-establish the primitive harmony; the four distinct parts of the Soul of Man; and the migrations of impure souls, until they are sufficiently purified to share with the Spirits of Light the contemplation of the Supreme Being whose Splendor fills the Universe.

The WORD was also found in the Phœnician Creed. As in all those of Asia, a WORD of God, written in starry characters, by the planetary Divinities, and communicated by the Demi-Gods, as a profound mystery, to the higher classes of the human race, to be communicated by them to mankind, created the world. The faith of the Phœnicians was an emanation from that ancient worship of the Stars, which in the creed of Zoroaster alone, is connected with a faith in one God. Light and Fire are the most important agents in the Phœnician faith. There is a race of children of the Light. They adored the Heaven with its Lights, deeming it the Supreme God.

Everything emanates from a Single Principle, and a Primitive Love, which is the Moving Power of All and governs all. Light, by its union with Spirit, whereof it is but the vehicle or symbol, is the Life of everything, and penetrates everything. It should therefore be respected and honored everywhere; for everywhere it governs and controls.

The Chaldaic and Jerusalem Paraphrasts endeavored to render the phrase, DEBAR-YAHOVAH [‏ו ?D?B?R ?Y?H?W?H‎], the Word of God, a personality, wherever they met with it. The phrase, "And God created man," is, in the Jerusalem Targum, "And the Word of IHUH created man."

So, in xxviii. Gen. 20, 21, where Jacob says: "If God [‏ו ?Y?H?Y?H ?A?L?H?Yמ‎ 

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IHIH ALHIM] will be with me . . . then shall IHUH be my ALHIM [‏ו ?W?H?Y?H ?Y?H?W?H ?L?Y ?L?A?L?H?Yמ‎, UHIH IHUH LI LALHIM]; and this stone shall be God's House [‏ו ?Y?H?Y?H ?B?Y?Tה ?A?L?H?Yמ‎, IHUH BITH ALHIM]: Onkelos paraphrases it, "If the word of IHUH will be my help . . . . then the word of IHUH shall be my God."

So, in iii. Gen. 8, for "The Voice of the Lord God" [‏ו ?Y?H?W?H ?A?L?H?Yמ‎ IHUH ALHIM], we have, "The Voice of the Word of IHUH."

In ix. Wisdom, 1, "O God of my Fathers and Lord of Mercy! who has made all things with thy word. ἐν λόγου σου."

And in xviii. Wisdom, 15, "Thine Almighty Word [Λογος] leaped down from Heaven."

Philo speaks of the Word as being the same with God. So in several places he calls it "δεύτερος Θεἰος Λόγος" the Second Divinity; "εἰκὼν του Θεοῦ," the Image of God: the Divine Word that made all things: "the ὕπαρχος" substitute, of God; and the like.

Thus, when John commenced to preach, had been for ages agitated, by the Priests and Philosophers of the East and West, the great questions concerning the eternity or creation of matter: immediate or intermediate creation of the Universe by the Supreme God; the origin, object, and final extinction of evil; the relations between the intellectual and material worlds, and between God and man; and the creation, fall, redemption, and restoration to his first estate, of man.

The Jewish doctrine, differing in this from all the other Oriental creeds, and even from the Alohay_istic legend with which the book of Genesis commences, attributed the creation to the immediate action of the Supreme Being. The Theosophists of the other Eastern Peoples interposed more than one intermediary between God and the world. To place between them but a single Being, to suppose for the production of the world but a single intermediary, was, in their eyes, to lower the Supreme Majesty. The interval between God, who is perfect Purity, and matter, which is base and foul, was too great for them to clear it at a single step. Even in the Occident, neither Plato nor Philo could thus impoverish the Intellectual World.

Thus, Cerinthus of Ephesus, with most of the Gnostics, Philo, the Kabalah, the Zend-Avesta, the Puranas, and all the Orient, deemed the distance and antipathy between the Supreme Being and the material world too great, to attribute to the former the creation of the latter. Below, and emanating from, or created

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by, the Ancient of Days, the Central Light, the Beginning, or First Principle [Αρχὴ], one, two, or more Principles, Existences, or Intellectual Beings were imagined, to some one or more of whom [without any immediate creative act on the part of the Great Immovable, Silent Deity], the immediate creation of the material and mental universe was due.

We have already spoken of many of the speculations on this point. To some, the world was created by the LOGOS or WORD, first manifestation of, or emanation from, the Deity. To others, the beginning of creation was by the emanation of a ray of LIGHT, creating the principle of Light and Life. The Primitive THOUGHT, creating the inferior Deities, a succession of INTELLIGENCES, the Iynges of Zoroaster, his Amshaspands, Izeds, and Ferouers, the Ideas of Plato, the Aions of the Gnostics, the Angels of the Jews, the Nous, the Demiourgos, the DIVINE REASON, the Powers or Forces of Philo, and the Alohayim, Forces or Superior Gods of the ancient legend with which Genesis begins; to these and other intermediaries the creation was owing. No restraints were laid on the Fancy and the Imagination. The veriest Abstractions became Existences and Realities. The attributes of God, personified, became Powers, Spirits, Intelligences.

God was the Light of Light, Divine Fire, the Abstract Intellectuality, the Root or Germ of the Universe. Simon Magus, founder of the Gnostic faith, and many of the early Judaizing Christians, admitted that the manifestations of the Supreme Being, as FATHER, or JEHOVAH, SON or CHRIST, and HOLY SPIRIT, were only so many different modes of Existence, or Forces [δυναμεις] of the same God. To others they were, as were the multitude of Subordinate Intelligences, real and distinct beings.

The Oriental imagination revelled in the creation of these Inferior Intelligences, Powers of Good and Evil, and Angels. We have spoken of those imagined by the Persians and the Kabalists. In the Talmud, every star, every country, every town, and almost every tongue has a Prince of Heaven as its Protector. JEHUEL is the guardian of fire, and MICHAEL, of water. Seven spirits assist each; those of fire being Seraphiel, Gabriel, Nitriel, Tammael, Tchimschiel, Hadarniel, and Sarniel. These seven are represented by the square columns of this Degree, while the columns JACHIN and BOAZ represent the angels of fire and water. But the columns are not representatives of these alone.

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To Basilides, God was without name, uncreated, at first containing and concealing in Himself the Plenitude of His Perfections; and when these are by Him displayed and manifested, there result as many particular Existences, all analogous to Him, and still and always Him. To the Essenes and the Gnostics, the East and the West both devised this faith; that the Ideas, Conceptions, or Manifestations of the Deity were so many Creations, so many Beings, all God, nothing without Him, but more than what we now understand by the word ideas. They emanated from and were again merged in God. They had a kind of middle existence between our modern ideas, and the intelligences or ideas, elevated to the rank of genii, of the Oriental mythology.

These personified attributes of Deity, in the theory of Basilides, were the Πρωτόγονος or First-born, Νοῦς [Nous or Mind]: from it emanates Λογος [Logos, or THE WORD] from it Φρόνησις: [Phronesis, Intellect]: from it Σοφια [Sophia, Wisdom]: from it Δύναμις [Dunamis, Power]: and from it Δικαιοσύνη [Dikaiosune, Righteousness]: to which latter the Jews gave the name of Ειρηνη [Eirene, Peace, or Calm], the essential characteristics of Divinity, and harmonious effect of all His perfections. The whole number of successive emanations was 365, expressed by the Gnostics, in Greek letters, by the mystic word ΑΒΡΑΞΑΣ [Abraxas]; designating God as manifested, or the aggregate of his manifestations; but not the Supreme and Secret God Himself. These three hundred and sixty-five Intelligences compose altogether the Fullness or Plenitude [Πληρωμα] of the Divine Emanations.

With the Ophites, a sect of the Gnostics, there were seven inferior spirits [inferior to Ialdabaoth, the Demiourgos or Actual Creator]: Michaël, Surièl, Raphaël, Gabriel, Thauthabaoth, Erataoth, and Athaniel, the genii of the stars called the Bull, the Dog, the Lion, the Bear, the Serpent, the Eagle, and the Ass that formerly figured in the constellation Cancer, and symbolized respectively by those animals; as Ialdabaoth, Iao, Adonaï, Eloï, Oraï, and Astaphaï were the genii of Saturn, the Moon, the Sun, Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury.

The WORD appears in all these creeds. It is the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Platonism and Philonism, and the Sophia or Demiourgos of the Gnostics.

And all these creeds, while admitting these different manifestations of the Supreme Being, held that His identity was immutable

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and permanent. That was Plato's distinction between the Being always the same [τὸ ὄν] and the perpetual flow of things incessantly changing, the Genesis.

The belief in dualism in some shape, was universal. Those who held that everything emanated from God, aspired to God, and re-entered into God, believed that, among those emanations were two adverse Principles, of Light and Darkness, Good and Evil. This prevailed in Central Asia and in Syria; while in Egypt it assumed the form of Greek speculation. In the former, a second Intellectual Principle was admitted, active in its Empire of Darkness, audacious against the Empire of Light. So the Persians and Sabeans understood it. In Egypt, this second Principle was Matter, as the word was used by the Platonic School, with its sad attributes, Vacuity, Darkness, and Death. In their theory, matter could be animated only by the low communication of a principle of divine life. It resists the influences that would spiritualize it. That resisting Power is Satan, the rebellious Matter, Matter that does not partake of God.

To many there were two Principles; the Unknown Father, or Supreme and Eternal God, living in the centre of the Light, happy in the perfect purity of His being; the other, eternal Matter, that inert, shapeless, darksome mass, which they considered as the source of all evils, the mother and dwelling-place of Satan.

To Philo and the Platonists, there was a Soul of the world, creating visible things, and active in them, as agent of the Supreme Intelligence; realizing therein the ideas communicated to Him by that Intelligence, and which sometimes excel His conceptions, but which He executes without comprehending them.

The Apocalypse or Revelations, by whomever written, belongs to the Orient and to extreme antiquity. It reproduces what is far older than itself. It paints, with the strongest colors that the Oriental genius ever employed, the closing scenes of the great struggle of Light, and Truth, and Good, against Darkness, Error, and Evil; personified in that between the New Religion on one side, and Paganism and Judaism on the other. It is a particular application of the ancient myth of Ormuzd and his Genii against Ahriman and his Devs; and it celebrates the final triumph of Truth against the combined powers of men and demons. The ideas and imagery are borrowed from every quarter; and allusions are found in it to the doctrines of all ages. We are continually reminded

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of the Zend-Avesta, the Jewish Codes, Philo, and the Gnosis. The Seven Spirits surrounding the Throne of the Eternal, at the opening of the Grand Drama, and acting so important a part throughout, everywhere the first instruments of the Divine Will and Vengeance, are the Seven Amshaspands of Parsism; as the Twenty-four Ancients, offering to the Supreme Being the first supplications and the first homage, remind us of the Mysterious Chiefs of Judaism, foreshadow the Eons of Gnosticism, and re-produce the twenty-four Good Spirits created by Ormuzd and inclosed in an egg.

The Christ of the Apocalypse, First-born of Creation and of the Resurrection, is invested with the characteristics of the Ormuzd and Sosiosch of the Zend-Avesta, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah and the Carpistes [Καρπιότης] of the Gnostics. The idea that the true Initiates and Faithful become Kings and Priests, is at once Persian, Jewish, Christian, and Gnostic. And the definition of the Supreme Being, that He is at once Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end -- He that was, and is, and is to come, i.e., Time illimitable, is Zoroaster's definition of Zerouane-Akherene.

The depths of Satan which no man can measure; his triumph for a time by fraud and violence; his being chained by an angel; his reprobation and his precipitation into a sea of metal; his names of the Serpent and the Dragon; the whole conflict of the Good Spirits or celestial armies against the bad; are so many ideas and designations found alike in the Zend-Avesta, the Kabalah, and the Gnosis.

We even find in the Apocalypse that singular Persian idea, which regards some of the lower animals as so many Devs or vehicles of Devs.

The guardianship of the earth by a good angel, the renewing of the earth and heavens, and the final triumph of pure and holy men, are the same victory of Good over Evil, for which the whole Orient looked.

The gold, and white raiments of the twenty-four Elders are, as in the Persian faith, the signs of a lofty perfection and divine purity.

Thus the Human mind labored and struggled and tortured itself for ages, to explain to itself what it felt, without confessing it, to be inexplicable. A vast crowd of indistinct abstractions, hovering

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in the imagination, a train of words embodying no tangible meaning, an inextricable labyrinth of subtleties, was the result.

But one grand idea ever emerged and stood prominent and unchangeable over the weltering chaos of confusion. God is great, and good, and wise. Evil and pain and sorrow are temporary, and for wise and beneficent purposes. They must be consistent with God's goodness, purity, and infinite perfection; and there must be a mode of explaining them, if we could but find it out; as, in all ways we will endeavor to do. Ultimately, Good will prevail, and Evil be overthrown. God alone can do this, and He will do it, by an Emanation from Himself, assuming the Human form and redeeming the world.

Behold the object, the end, the result, of the great speculations and logomachies of antiquity; the ultimate annihilation of evil, and restoration of Man to his first estate, by a Redeemer, a Masayah, a Christos, the incarnate Word, Reason, or Power of Deity.

This Redeemer is the Word or Logos, the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Platonism and Philonism; He that was in the Beginning with God, and was God, and by Whom everything was made. That He was looked for by all the People of the East is abundantly shown by the Gospel of John and the Letters of Paul; wherein scarcely anything seemed necessary to be said in proof that such a Redeemer was to come; but all the energies of the writers are devoted to showing that Jesus was that Christos whom all the nations were expecting; the "Word," the Masayah, the Anointed or Consecrated One.

In this Degree the great contest between good and evil, in anticipation of the appearance and advent of the Word or Redeemer is symbolized; and the mysterious esoteric teachings of the Essenes and the Cabalists. Of the practices of the former we gain but glimpses in the ancient writers; but we know that, as their doctrines were taught by John the Baptist, they greatly resembled those of greater purity and more nearly perfect, taught by Jesus; and that not only Palestine was full of John's disciples, so that the Priests and Pharisees did not dare to deny John's inspiration; but his doctrine had extended to Asia Minor, and had made converts in luxurious Ephesus, as it also had in Alexandria in Egypt; and that they readily embraced the Christian faith, of which they had before not even heard.

These old controversies have died away, and the old faiths have

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faded into oblivion. But Masonry still survives, vigorous and strong, as when philosophy was taught in the schools of Alexandria and under the Portico; teaching the same old truths as the Essenes taught by the shores of the Dead Sea, and as John the Baptist preached in the Desert;. truths imperishable as the Deity, and undeniable as Light. Those truths were gathered by the Essenes from the doctrines of the Orient and the Occident, from the Zend-Avesta and the Vedas, from Plato and Pythagoras, from India, Persia, Phœnicia, and Syria, from Greece and Egypt, and from the Holy Books of the Jews. Hence we are called Knights of the East and West, because their doctrines came from both. And these doctrines, the wheat sifted from the chaff, the Truth separated from Error, Masonry has garnered up in her heart of hearts, and through the fires of persecution, and the storms of calamity, has brought them and delivered them unto us. That God is One, immutable, unchangeable, infinitely just and good; that Light will finally overcome Darkness, -- Good conquer Evil, and Truth be victor over Error; -- these, rejecting all the wild and useless speculations of the Zend-Avesta, the Kabalah, the Gnostics, and the Schools, are the religion and Philosophy of Masonry.

Those speculations and fancies it is useful to study; that knowing in what worthless and unfruitful investigations the mind may engage, you may the more value and appreciate the plain, simple, sublime, universally-acknowledged truths, which have in all ages been the Light by which Masons have been guided on their way; the Wisdom and Strength that like imperishable columns have sustained and will continue to sustain its glorious and magnificent Temple.

Freemasonry - swords on a roll symbol

 

18. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX

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Freemasonry - KNIGHT ROSE CROIX [Prince Rose Croix] degree symbols

XVIII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX.

[Prince Rose Croix.]

EACH of us makes such applications to his own faith and creed, of the symbols and ceremonies of this Degree, as seems to him proper. With these special interpretations we have here nothing to do. Like the legend of the Master Khu_ru_m, in which some see figured the condemnation and sufferings of Christ; others those of the unfortunate Grand Master of the Templars; others those of the first Charles, King of England; and others still the annual descent of the Sun at the winter Solstice to the regions of darkness, the basis of many an ancient legend; so the ceremonies of this Degree receive different explanations; each interpreting them for himself, and being offended at the interpretation of no other.

In no other way could Masonry possess its character of Universality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enables two Kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters, while the walls of the first temple arose; and the men of Gebal, bowing down to the Phœnician Gods, to work by the side of the Hebrews to whom those Gods were abomination; and to sit with them in the same Lodge as brethren.

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You have already learned that these ceremonies have one general significance, to every one, of every faith, who believes in God, and the soul's immortality.

The primitive men met in no Temples made with human hands. "God," said Stephen, the first Martyr, "dwelleth not in Temples made with hands." In the open air, under the overarching mysterious sky, in the great World-Temple, they uttered their vows and thanksgivings, and adored the God of Light; of that Light that was to them the type of Good, as darkness was the type of Evil.

All antiquity solved the enigma of the existence of Evil, by supposing the existence of a Principle of Evil, of Demons, fallen Angels, an Ahriman, a Typhon, a Siva, a Lok, or a Satan, that, first falling themselves, and plunged in misery and darkness, tempted man to his fall, and brought sin into the world. All believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome, and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general, that He was to be born of a Virgin, and suffer a painful death. The Indians called him Chrishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse; the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhouvanai; the Egyptians, Har-Oeri; Plato, Love; and the Scandinavians, Balder.

Chrishna, the Hindoo Redeemer, was cradled and educated among Shepherds. A Tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered all the male children to be slain. He performed miracles, say his legends, even raising the dead. He washed the feet of the Brahmins, and was meek and lowly of spirit. He was born of a Virgin; descended to Hell, rose again, ascended to Heaven, charged his disciples to teach his doctrines, and gave them the gift of miracles.

The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. He called to the Priesthood all men, without distinction of caste, who felt themselves inspired by God to instruct men. Those who so associated themselves formed a Society of Prophets under the name of Samaneans. They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed.

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The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices. The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan. The Priests of Brahma, professing a dark and bloody creed, brutalized by Superstition, united together against Buddhism, and with the aid of Despotism, exterminated its followers. But their blood fertilized the new doctrine, which produced a new Society under the name of Gymnosophists; and a large number, fleeing to Ireland, planted their doctrines there, and there erected the round towers, some of which still stand, solid and unshaken as at first, visible monuments of the remotest ages.

The Phœnician Cosmogony, like all others in Asia, was the Word of God, written in astral characters, by the planetary Divinities, and communicated by the Demi-gods, as a profound mystery, to the brighter intelligences of Humanity, to be propagated by them among men. Their doctrines resembled the Ancient Sabeism, and being the faith of Hiram the King and his namesake the Artist, are of interest to all Masons. With them, the First Principle was half material, half spiritual, a dark air, animated and impregnated by the spirit; and a disordered chaos, covered with thick darkness. From this came the WORD, and thence creation and generation; and thence a race of men, children of light, who adored Heaven and its Stars as the Supreme Being; and whose different gods were but incarnations of the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Ether. Chrysor was the great igneous power of Nature, and Baal and Malakarth representations of the Sun and Moon, the latter word, in Hebrew, meaning Queen.

Man had fallen, but not by the tempting of the serpent. For, with the Phœnicians, the serpent was deemed to partake of the Divine Nature, and was sacred, as he was in Egypt. He was deemed to be immortal, unless slain by violence, becoming young again in his old age, by entering into and consuming himself. Hence the Serpent in a circle, holding his tail in his mouth, was an emblem of eternity. With the head of a hawk he was of a Divine Nature, and a symbol of the sun. Hence one Sect of the Gnostics took him for their good genius, and hence the brazen serpent reared by Moses in the Desert, on which the Israelites looked and lived.

"Before the chaos, that preceded the birth of Heaven and Earth," said the Chinese Lao-Tseu, "a single Being existed, immense

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and silent, immutable and always acting; the mother of the Universe. I know not the name of that Being, but I designate it by the word Reason. Man has his model in the earth, the earth in Heaven, Heaven in Reason, and Reason in itself."

"I am," says Isis, "Nature; parent of all things, the sovereign of the Elements, the primitive progeny of Time, the most exalted of the Deities, the first of the Heavenly Gods and Goddesses, the Queen of the Shades, the uniform countenance; who dispose with my rod the numerous lights of Heaven, the salubrious breezes of the sea, and the mournful silence of the dead; whose single Divinity the whole world venerates in many forms, with various rites and by many names. The Egyptians, skilled in ancient lore, worship me with proper ceremonies, and call me by my true name, Isis the Queen."

'The Hindu Vedas thus define the Deity:

"He who surpasses speech, and through whose power speech is expressed, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perish-able things that man adores.

"He whom Intelligence cannot comprehend, and He alone, say the sages, through whose Power the nature of Intelligence can be understood, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perish-able things that man adores.

"He who cannot be seen by the organ of sight, and through whose power the organ of seeing sees, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores.

"He who cannot be heard by the organ of hearing, and through whose power the organ of hearing hears, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores.

"He who cannot be perceived by the organ of smelling, and through whose power the organ of smelling smells, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores."

"When God resolved to create the human race," said Arius, "He made a Being that He called The WORD, The Son, Wisdom, to the end that this Being might give existence to men." This WORD is the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Νοῦς of Plato and Philo, the Wisdom or Demiourgos of the Gnostics.

That is the True Word, the knowledge of which our ancient brethren sought as the priceless reward of their labors on the Holy Temple: the Word of Life, the Divine Reason, "in whom

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was Life, and that Life the Light of men"; "which long shone in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;" the Infinite Reason that is the Soul of Nature, immortal, of which the Word of this Degree reminds us; and to believe wherein and revere it, is the peculiar duty of every Mason.

"In the beginning," says the extract from some older work, with which John commences his Gospel, "was the Word, and the Word was near to God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was Life, and the life was the Light of man; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not contain it."

It is an old tradition that this passage was from an older work. And Philostorgius and Nicephorus state, that when the Emperor Julian undertook to rebuild the Temple, a stone was taken up, that covered the mouth of a deep square cave, into which one of the laborers, being let down by a rope, found in the centre of the floor a cubical pillar, on which lay a roll or book, wrapped in a fine linen cloth, in which, in capital letters, was the foregoing passage.

However this may have been, it is plain that John's Gospel is a polemic against the Gnostics; and, stating at the outset the current doctrine in regard to the creation by the Word, he then addresses himself to show and urge that this Word was Jesus Christ.

And the first sentence, fully-rendered into our language, would read thus: "When the process of emanation, of creation or evolution of existences inferior to the Supreme God began, the Word came into existence and was: and this word was [τρος τον Θεον] near to God; i.e. the immediate or first emanation from God: and it was God Himself, developed or manifested in that particular mode, and in action. And by that Word everything that is was created." -- And thus Tertullian says that God made the World out of nothing, by means of His Word, Wisdom, or Power.

To Philo the Jew, as to the Gnostics, the Supreme Being was the Primitive Light, or Archetype of Light, -- Source whence the rays emanate that illuminate Souls. He is the Soul of the World, and as such acts everywhere. He himself fills and bounds his whole existence, and his forces fill and penetrate everything. His Image is the WORD [LOGOS], a form more brilliant than fire, which is not pure light. This WORD dwells in God; for it is within His Intelligence that the Supreme Being frames for Himself the

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Types of Ideas of all that is to assume reality in the Universe. The WORD is the Vehicle by which God acts on the Universe; the World of Ideas by means whereof God has created visible things; the more Ancient God, as compared with the Material World; Chief and General Representative of all Intelligences; the Arch-angel, type and representative of all spirits, even those of Mortals; the type of Man; the primitive man himself. These ideas are borrowed from Plato. And this WORD is not only the Creator ["by Him was everything made that was made"], but acts in the place of God; and through him act all the Powers and Attributes of God. And also, as first representative of the human race, he is the protector of Men and their Shepherd, the "Ben H’Adam," or Son of Man.

The actual condition of Man is not his primitive condition, that in which he was the image of the Word. His unruly passions have caused him to fall from his original lofty estate. But he may rise again, by following the teachings of Heavenly Wisdom, and the Angels whom God commissions to aid him in escaping from the entanglements of the body; and by fighting bravely against Evil, the existence of which God has allowed solely to furnish him with the means of exercising his free will.

The Supreme Being of the Egyptians was Amu_n, a secret and concealed God, the Unknown Father of the Gnostics, the Source of Divine Life, and of all force, the Plenitude of all, comprehending all things in Himself, the original Light. He creates nothing; but everything emanates from Him: and all other Gods are but his manifestations. From Him, by the utterance of a Word, emanated Neith, the Divine Mother of all things, the Primitive THOUGHT, the FORCE that puts everything in movement, the SPIRIT everywhere extended, the Deity of Light and Mother of the Sun.

Of this Supreme Being, Osiris was the image, Source of all Good in the moral and physical world, and constant foe of Typhon, the Genius of Evil, the Satan of Gnosticism, brute matter, deemed to be always at feud with the spirit that flowed from the Deity; and over whom Har-Geri, the Redeemer, Son of Isis and Osiris, is finally to prevail.

In the Zend-Avesta of the Persians the Supreme Being is Time without limit, ZERUANE AKHERENE. -- No origin could be assigned to Him; for He was enveloped in His own Glory, and

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His Nature and Attributes were so inaccessible to human Intelligence, that He was but the object of a silent veneration. The commencement of Creation was by emanation from Him. The first emanation was the Primitive Light, and from this Light emerged Ormuzd, the King of Light, who, by the WORD, created the World in its purity, is its Preserver and Judge, a Holy and Sacred Being, Intelligence and Knowledge, Himself Time without limit, and wielding all the powers of the Supreme Being.

In this Persian faith, as taught many centuries before our era, and embodied in the Zend-Avesta, there was in man a pure Principle, proceeding from the Supreme Being, produced by the Will and Word of Ormuzd. To that was united an impure principle, proceeding from a foreign influence, that of Ahriman, the Dragon, or principle of Evil. Tempted by Ahriman, the first man and woman had fallen; and for twelve thousand years there was to be war between Ormuzd and the Good Spirits created by him, and Ahriman and the Evil ones whom he had called into existence.

But pure souls are assisted by the Good Spirits, the Triumph of the Good Principle is determined upon in the decrees of the Supreme Being, and the period of that triumph will infallibly arrive. At the moment when the earth shall be most afflicted with the evils brought upon it by the Spirits of perdition, three Prophets will appear to bring assistance to mortals. Sosiosch, Chief of the Three, will regenerate the world, and restore to it its primitive Beauty, Strength, and Purity. He will judge the good and the wicked. After the universal resurrection of the Good, the pure Spirits will conduct them to an abode of eternal happiness. Ahriman, his evil Demons, and all the world, will be purified in a torrent of liquid burning metal. The Law of Ormuzd will rule everywhere: all men will be happy: all, enjoying an unalterable bliss, will unite with Sosiosch in singing the praises of the Supreme Being.

These doctrines, with some modifications, were adopted by the Kabalists and afterward by the Gnostics.

Apollonius of Tyana says: "We shall render the most appropriate worship to the Deity, when to that God whom we call the First, who is One, and separate from all, and after whom we recognize the others, we present no offerings whatever, kindle to Him no fire, dedicate to Him no sensible thing; for he needs nothing, even of all that natures more exalted than ours could give. The

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earth produces no plant, the air nourishes no animal, there is in short nothing, which would not be impure in his sight. In ad-dressing ourselves to Him, we must use only the higher word, that, I mean, which is not expressed by the mouth, the silent inner word of the spirit From the most Glorious of all Beings, we must seek for blessings, by that which is most glorious in ourselves; and that is the spirit, which needs no organ."

Strabo says: "This one Supreme Essence is that which embraces us all, the water and the land, that which we call the Heavens, the World, the Nature of things. This Highest Being should be worshipped, without any visible image, in sacred groves. In such retreats the devout should lay themselves down to sleep, and expect signs from God in dreams."

Aristotle says: "It has been handed down in a mythical form, from the earliest times to posterity, that there are Gods, and that The Divine compasses entire nature. All besides this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interest of the laws and the advantage of the State. Thus men have given to the Gods human forms, and have even represented them under the figure of other beings, in the train of which fictions followed many more of the same sort. But if, from all this, we separate the original principle, and consider it alone, namely, that the first Essences are Gods, we shall find that this has been divinely said; and since it is probable that philosophy and the arts have been several times, so far as that is possible, found and lost, such doctrines may have been preserved to our times as the remains of ancient wisdom."

Porphyry says: "By images addressed to sense, the ancients represented God and his powers -- by the visible they typified the invisible for those who had learned to read, in these types, as in a book, a treatise on the Gods. We need not wonder if the ignorant consider the images to be nothing more than wood or stone; for just so, they who are ignorant of writing see nothing in monuments but stone, nothing in tablets but wood, and in books but a tissue of papyrus."

Apollonius of Tyana held, that birth and death are only in appearance; that which separates itself from the one substance (the one Divine essence), and is caught up by matter, seems to be born; that, again, which releases itself from the bonds of matter, and is reunited with the one Divine Essence, seems to die. There is, at

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most, an alteration between becoming visible and becoming invisible. In all there is, properly speaking, but the one essence, which alone acts and suffers, by becoming all things to all; the Eternal God, whom men wrong, when they deprive Him of what properly can be attributed to Him only, and transfer it to other names and persons.

The New Platonists substituted the idea of the Absolute, for the Supreme Essence itself; -- as the first, simplest principle, anterior to all existence; of which nothing determinate can be predicated; to which no consciousness, no self-contemplation can be ascribed; inasmuch as to do so, would immediately imply a quality, a distinction of subject and object. This Supreme Entity can be known only by an intellectual intuition of the Spirit, transcending itself, and emancipating itself from its own limits.

This mere logical tendency, by means of which men thought to arrive at the conception of such an absolute, the ὄν, was united with a certain mysticism, which, by a transcendent state of feeling, communicated, as it were, to this abstraction what the mind would receive as a reality. The absorption of the Spirit into that superexistence (τὸ ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας), so as to be entirely identified with it, or such a revelation of the latter to the spirit raised above itself, was regarded as the highest end which the spiritual life could reach.

The New Platonists' idea of God, was that of One Simple Original Essence, exalted above all plurality and all becoming; the only true Being; unchangeable, eternal [Ἑις ὤν ἑνὶ τῷ νῦν τὸ ἀεὶ πεπλήρωκε καὶ μόνον ἐστι τὸ κατὰ τοῦτον ὄντως ὣν.]: from whom all Existence in its several gradations has emanated -- the world of Gods, as nearest akin to Himself, being first, and at the head of all. In these Gods, that perfection, which in the Supreme Essence was inclosed and unevolved, is expanded and becomes knowable. They serve to exhibit in different forms the image of that Supreme Essence, to which no soul can rise, except by the loftiest flight of contemplation; and after it has rid itself from all that pertains to sense -- from all manifoldness. They are the mediators between man (amazed and stupefied by manifoldness) and the Supreme Unity.

Philo says: "He who disbelieves the miraculous, simply as the miraculous, neither knows God, nor has he ever sought after Him; for otherwise he would have understood, by looking at that truly

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great and awe-inspiring sight, the miracle of the Universe, that these miracles (in God's providential guidance of His people) are but child's play for the Divine Power. But the truly miraculous has become despised through familiarity. The universal, on the contrary, although in itself insignificant, yet, through our love of novelty, transports us with amazement."

In opposition to the anthropopathism of the Jewish Scriptures, the Alexandrian Jews endeavored to purify the idea of God from all admixture of the Human. By the exclusion of every human passion, it was sublimated to a something devoid of all attributes, and wholly transcendental; and the mere Being [ὄν], the Good, in and by itself, the Absolute of Platonism, was substituted for the personal Deity [‏ו ?Y?H?W?H‎] of the Old Testament. By soaring upward, beyond all created existence, the mind, disengaging itself from the Sensible, attains to the intellectual intuition of this Absolute Being; of whom, however, it can predicate nothing but existence, and sets aside all other determinations as not answering to the exalted nature of the Supreme Essence.

Thus Philo makes a distinction between those who are in the proper sense Sons of God, having by means of contemplation raised themselves to the highest Being, or attained to a knowledge of Him, in His immediate self-manifestation, and those who know God only in his mediate revelation through his operation -- such as He declares Himself in creation -- in the revelation still veiled in the letter of Scripture -- those, in short, who attach themselves simply to the Logos, and consider this to be the Supreme God; who are the sons of the Logos, rather than of the True Being, ὄν.

"God," says Pythagoras, "is neither the object of sense, nor subject to passion, but invisible, only intelligible, and supremely intelligent. In His body He is like the light, and in His soul He resembles truth. He is the universal spirit that pervades and diffuseth itself over all nature. All beings receive their life from Him. There is but one only God, who is not, as some are apt to imagine, seated above the world, beyond the orb of the Universe; but being Himself all in all, He sees all the beings that fill His immensity; the only Principle, the Light of Heaven, the Father of all. He produces everything; He orders and disposes everything; He is the REASON, the LIFE, and the MOTION of all being."

"I am the LIGHT of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in DARKNESS, but shall have the LIGHT of LIFE." So said

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the Founder of the Christian Religion, as His words are reported by John the Apostle.

God, say the sacred writings of the Jews, appeared to Moses in a FLAME OF FIRE, in the midst of a bush, which was not consumed. He descended upon Mount Sinai, as the smoke of a furnace; He went before the children of Israel, by day, in a pillar of cloud, and, by night, in a pillar of fire, to give them light. "Call you on the name of your Gods," said Elijah the Prophet to the Priests of Baal, "and I will call upon the name of ADONAI; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God."

According to the Kabalah, as according to the doctrines of Zoroaster, everything that exists has emanated from a source of infinite light. Before all things, existed the Primitive Being, THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, the Ancient King of Light; a title the more remarkable, because it is frequently given to the Creator in the Zend-Avesta, and in the Code of the Sabeans, and occurs in the Jewish Scriptures.

The world was His Revelation, God revealed; and subsisted only in Him. His attributes were there reproduced with various modifications and in different degrees; so that the Universe was His Holy Splendor, His Mantle. He was to be adored in silence; and perfection consisted in a nearer approach to Him.

Before the creation of worlds, the PRIMITIVE LIGHT filled all space, so that there was no void. When the Supreme Being, existing in this Light, resolved to display His perfections, or manifest them in worlds, He withdrew within Himself, formed around Him a void space, and shot forth His first emanation, a ray of light; the cause and principle of everything that exists, uniting both the generative and conceptive power, which penetrates everything, and without which nothing could subsist for an instant.

Man fell, seduced by the Evil Spirits most remote from the Great King of Light; those of the fourth world of spirits, Asiah, whose chief was Belial. They wage incessant war against the pure Intelligences of the other worlds, who, like the Amshaspands. Izeds, and Ferouers of the Persians are the tutelary guardians of man. In the beginning, all was unison and harmony; full of the same divine light and perfect purity. The Seven Kings of Evil fell, and the Universe was troubled. Then the Creator took from the Seven Kings the principles of Good and of Light, and divided them among the four worlds of Spirits, giving to the first three

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the Pure Intelligences, united in love and harmony, while to the fourth were vouchsafed only some feeble glimmerings of light.

When the strife between these and the good angels shall have continued the appointed time, and these Spirits enveloped in darkness shall long and in vain have endeavored to absorb the Divine light and life, then will the Eternal Himself come to correct them. He will deliver them from the gross envelopes of matter that hold them captive, will re-animate and strengthen the ray of light or spiritual nature which they have preserved, and re-establish throughout the Universe that primitive Harmony which was its bliss.

Marcion, the Gnostic, said, "The Soul of the True Christian, adopted as a child by the Supreme Being, to whom it has long been a stranger, receives from Him the Spirit and Divine life. It is led and confirmed, by this gift, in a pure and holy life, like that of God; and if it so completes its earthly career, in charity, chastity, and sanctity, it will one day be disengaged from its material envelope, as the ripe grain is detached from the straw, and as the young bird escapes from its shell. Like the angels, it will share in the bliss of the Good and Perfect Father, re-clothed in an aerial body or organ, and made like unto the Angels in Heaven."

You see, my brother, what is the meaning of Masonic "Light." You see why the EAST of the Lodge, where the initial letter of the Name of the Deity overhangs the Master, is the place of Light. Light, as contradistinguished from darkness, is Good, as contradistinguished from Evil: and it is that Light, the true knowledge of Deity, the Eternal Good, for which Masons in all ages have sought. Still Masonry marches steadily onward toward that Light that shines in the great distance, the Light of that day when Evil, overcome and vanquished, shall fade away and disappear forever, and Life and Light be the one law of the Universe, and its eternal Harmony.

The Degree of Rose ✠ teaches three things; -- the unity, immutability and goodness of God; the immortality of the Soul; and the ultimate defeat and extinction of evil and wrong and sorrow, by a Redeemer or Messiah, yet to come, if he has not already appeared.

It replaces the three pillars of the old Temple, with three that have already been explained to you, -- Faith [in God, mankind, and man's self], Hope [in the victory over evil, the advancement of

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Humanity, and a hereafter], and Charity [relieving the wants. and tolerant of the errors and faults of others]. To be trustful, to be hopeful, to be indulgent; these, in an age of selfishness, of it opinion of human nature, of harsh and bitter judgment, are the most important Masonic Virtues, and the true supports of every Masonic Temple. And they are the old pillars of the Temple under different names. For he only is wise who judges others charitably; he only is strong who is hopeful; and there is no beauty like a firm faith in God, our fellows and ourself.

The second apartment, clothed in mourning, the columns of the Temple shattered and prostrate, and the brethren bowed down in the deepest dejection, represents the world under the tyranny of the Principle of Evil; where virtue is persecuted and vice rewarded; where the righteous starve for bread, and the wicked live sumptuously and dress in purple and fine linen; where insolent ignorance rules, and learning and genius serve; where King and Priest trample on liberty and the rights of conscience; where freedom hides in caves and mountains, and sycophancy and servility fawn and thrive; where the cry of the widow and the orphan starving for want of food, and shivering with cold, rises ever to Heaven, from a million miserable hovels; where men, willing to labor, and starving, they and their children and the wives of their bosoms, beg plaintively for work, when the pampered capitalist stops his mills; where the law punishes her who, starving, steals a loaf, and lets the seducer go free; where the success of a party justifies murder, and violence and rapine go unpunished; and where he who with many years' cheating and grinding the faces of the poor grows rich, receives office and honor in life, and after death brave funeral and a splendid mausoleum: -- this world, where, since its making, war has never ceased, nor man paused in the sad task of torturing and murdering his brother; and of which ambition, avarice, envy, hatred, lust, and the rest of Ahriman's and Typhon's army make a Pandemonium: this world, sunk in sin, reeking with baseness, clamorous with sorrow and misery. If any see in it also a type of the sorrow of the Craft for the death of Hiram, the grief of the Jews at the fall of Jerusalem, the misery of the Templars at the ruin of their order and the death of De Molay, or the world's agony and pangs of woe at the death of the Redeemer, it is the right of each to do so.

The third apartment represents the consequences of sin and

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vice, and the hell made of the human heart, by its fiery passions. If any see in it also a type of the Hades of the Greeks, the Gehenna of the Hebrews, the Tartarus of the Romans, or the Hell of the Christians, or only of the agonies of remorse and the tortures of an upbraiding conscience, it is the right of each to do so.

The fourth apartment represents the Universe, freed from the insolent dominion and tyranny of the Principle of Evil, and brilliant with the true Light that flows from the Supreme Deity; when sin and wrong, and pain and sorrow, remorse and misery shall be no more forever; when the great plans of Infinite Eternal Wisdom shall be fully developed; and all God's creatures, seeing that all apparent evil and individual suffering and wrong were but the drops that went to swell the great river of infinite goodness, shall know that vast as is the power of Deity, His goodness and beneficence are infinite as His power. If any see in it a type of the peculiar mysteries of any faith or creed, or an allusion to any past occurrences, it is their right to do so. Let each apply its symbols as he pleases. To all of us they typify the universal rule of Masonry, -- of its three chief virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity; of brotherly love and universal benevolence. We labor here to no other end. These symbols need no other interpretation.

The obligations of our Ancient Brethren of the Rose ✠ were to fulfill all the duties of friendship, cheerfulness, charity, peace, liberality, temperance and chastity: and scrupulously to avoid impurity, haughtiness, hatred, anger, and every other kind of vice. They took their philosophy from the old Theology of the Egyptians, as Moses and Solomon had done, and borrowed its hieroglyphics and the ciphers of the Hebrews. Their principal rules were, to exercise the profession of medicine charitably and without fee, to advance the cause of virtue, enlarge the sciences, and induce men to live as in the primitive times of the world.

When this Degree had its origin, it is not important to inquire; nor with what different rites it has been practised in different countries and at various times. It is of very high antiquity. Its ceremonies differ with the degrees of latitude and longitude, and it receives variant interpretations. If we were to examine all the different ceremonials, their emblems, and their formulas, we should see that all that belongs to the primitive and essential elements of the order, is respected in every sanctuary. All alike practise virtue, that it may produce fruit. All labor, like us, for the extirpation

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of vice, the purification of man, the development of the arts and sciences, and the relief of humanity.

None admit an adept to their lofty philosophical knowledge, and mysterious sciences, until he has been purified at the altar of the symbolic Degrees. Of what importance are differences of opinion as to the age and genealogy of the Degree, or variance in the practice, ceremonial and liturgy, or the shade of color of the banner under which each tribe of Israel marched, if all revere the Holy Arch of the symbolic Degrees, first and unalterable source of Free-Masonry; if all revere our conservative principles, and are with us in the great purposes of our organization?

If, anywhere, brethren of a particular religious belief have been excluded from this Degree, it merely shows how gravely the purposes and plan of Masonry may be misunderstood. For whenever the door of any Degree is closed against him who believes in one God and the soul's immortality, on account of the other tenets of his faith, that Degree is Masonry no longer. No Mason has the right to interpret the symbols of this Degree for another, or to refuse him its mysteries, if he will not take them with the explanation and commentary superadded.

Listen, my brother, to our explanation of the symbols of the Degree, and then give them such further interpretation as you think fit.

The Cross has been a sacred symbol from the earliest Antiquity. It is found upon all the enduring monuments of the world, in Egypt, in Assyria, in Hindostan, in Persia, and on the Buddhist towers of Ireland. Buddha was said to have died upon it. The Druids cut an oak into its shape and held it sacred, and built their temples in that form. Pointing to the four quarters of the world, it was the symbol of universal nature. It was on a cruciform tree, that Chrishna was said to have expired, pierced with arrows. It was revered in Mexico.

But its peculiar meaning in this Degree, is that given to it by the Ancient Egyptians. Thoth or Phtha is represented on the oldest monuments carrying in his hand the Crux Ansata, or Ankh, [a Tau cross, with a ring or circle over it]. He is so seen on the double tablet of Shufu and Noh Shufu, builders of the greatest of the Pyramids, at Wady Meghara, in the peninsula of Sinai. It was the hieroglyphic for life, and with a triangle prefixed meant life-giving. To us therefore it is the symbol of Life -- of that life

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that emanated from the Deity, and of that Eternal Life for which we all hope; through our faith in God's infinite goodness.

The ROSE, was anciently sacred to Aurora and the Sun. It is a symbol of Dawn, of the resurrection of Light and the renewal of life, and therefore of the dawn of the first day, and more particularly of the resurrection: and the Cross and Rose together are therefore hieroglyphically to be read, the Dawn of Eternal Life which all Nations have hoped for by the advent of a Redeemer.

The Pelican feeding her young is an emblem of the large and bountiful beneficence of Nature, of the Redeemer of fallen man, and of that humanity and charity that ought to distinguish a Knight of this Degree.

The Eagle was the living Symbol of the Egyptian God Mendes or Menthra, whom Sesostris-Ramses made one with Amun-Re, the God of Thebes and Upper Egypt, and the representative of the Sun, the word RE meaning Sun or King.

The Compass surmounted with a crown signifies that notwithstanding the high rank attained in Masonry by a Knight of the Rose Croix, equity and impartiality are invariably to govern his conduct.

To the word INRI, inscribed on the Crux Ansata over the Master's Seat, many meanings have been assigned. The Christian Initiate reverentially sees in it the initials of the inscription upon the cross on which Christ suffered -- Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudæorum. The sages of Antiquity connected it with one of the greatest secrets of Nature, that of universal regeneration. They interpreted it thus, Igne Natura renovator integra; [entire nature is renovated by fire]: The Alchemical or Hermetic Masons framed for it this aphorism, Igne nitrum roris invenitur. And the Jesuits are charged with having applied to it this odious axiom, Justum necare reges impios. The four letters are the initials of the Hebrew words that represent the four elements -- Iammim, the seas or water; Nour, fire; Rouach, the air, and Iebeschah, the dry earth. How we read it, I need not repeat to you.

The Cross, ×, was the Sign of the Creative Wisdom or Logos, the Son of God. Plato says, "He expressed him upon the Universe in the figure of the letter X. The next Power to the Supreme God was decussated or figured in the shape of a Cross on the Universe." Mithras signed his soldiers on the forehead with a

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Cross. Cross is the mark of 600, the mysterious cycle of the Incarnations is the mark of 600, the mysterious cycle of the Incarnations.

We constantly see the Tau and the Resh united thus Tau and the Resh united. These two letters, in the old Samaritan, as found in Arius, stand, the first for 400, the second for 200=600. This is the Staff of Osiris, also, and his monogram, and was adopted by the Christians as a Sign. On a medal of Constantius is this inscription, "In hoc signo victor eris Freemasonry - In hoc signo victor eris symbol. "An inscription in the Duomo at Milan reads," Freemasonry - An inscription in the Duomo at Milan reads et Freemasonry - Christi Nomina Sancta Tene&iuml Christi • Nomina • Sancta • Teneï."

The Egyptians used as a Sign of their God Canobus, a Freemasonry - The Egyptians used as a Sign of their God Canobus or a Freemasonry - a Sign of their God Canobus indifferently. The Vaishnavas of India have also the same Sacred Tau, which they also mark with Crosses, thus Freemasonry - Vaishnavas of India have also the same Sacred Tau, and with triangles, thus, Freemasonry - Vaishnavas of India have also the same Sacred Tau with triangles. The vestments of the priests of Horns were covered with these Crosses Freemasonry - The vestments of the priests of Horns were covered with these Crosses. So was the dress of the Lama of Thibet. The Sectarian marks of the Jains are Freemasonry - the dress of the Lama of Thibet was covered with these Crosses The distinctive badge of the Sect of Xac Japonicus is Freemasonry - The distinctive badge of the Sect of Xac Japonicus. It is the Sign of Fo, identical with the Cross of Christ.

On the ruins of Mandore, in India, among other mystic emblems, are the mystic triangle, and the interlaced triangle, Freemasonry - On the ruins of Mandore, in India are the mystic triangle, and the interlaced triangle, This is also found on ancient coins and medals, excavated from the ruins of Oojein and other ancient cities of India.

You entered here amid gloom and into shadow, and are clad in the apparel of sorrow. Lament, with us, the sad condition of the Human race, in this vale of tears! the calamities of men and the agonies of nations! the darkness of the bewildered soul, oppressed by doubt and apprehension!

There is no human soul that is not sad at times. There is no thoughtful soul that does not at times despair. There is perhaps none, of all that think at all of anything beyond the needs and interests of the body, that is not at times startled and terrified by the awful questions which, feeling as though it were a guilty thing for doing so, it whispers to itself in its inmost depths. Some Demon seems to torture it with doubts, and to crush it with despair, asking whether, after all, it is certain that its convictions are true, and its faith well founded: whether it is indeed sure that a God of Infinite Love and Beneficence rules the Universe, or only some great remorseless Fate and iron Necessity, hid in impenetrable gloom, and to which men and their sufferings and sorrows, their hopes and joys, their ambitions and deeds, are of no more interest or importance than the motes that dance in the sunshine; or a

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Being that amuses Himself with the incredible vanity and folly, the writhings and contortions of the insignificant insects that compose Humanity, and idly imagine that they resemble the Omnipotent. "What are we," the Tempter asks, "but puppets in a show-box? O Omnipotent destiny, pull our strings gently! Dance us mercifully off our miserable little stage!"

"Is it not," the Demon whispers, "merely the inordinate vanity of man that causes him now to pretend to himself that he is like unto God in intellect, sympathies and passions, as it was that which, at the beginning, made him believe that he was, in his bodily shape and organs, the very image of the Deity? Is not his God merely his own shadow, projected in gigantic outlines upon the clouds? Does he not create for himself a God out of himself, by merely adding indefinite extension to his own faculties, powers, and passions?"

"Who," the Voice that will not be always silent whispers, "has ever thoroughly satisfied himself with his own arguments in respect to his own nature? Who ever demonstrated to himself, with a conclusiveness that elevated the belief to certainty, that he was an immortal spirit, dwelling only temporarily in the house and envelope of the body, and to live on forever after that shall have decayed? Who ever has demonstrated or ever can demonstrate that the intellect of Man differs from that of the wiser animals, otherwise than in degree? Who has ever done more than to utter nonsense and incoherencies in regard to the difference between the instincts of the dog and the reason of Man? The horse, the dog, the elephant, are as conscious of their identity as we are. They think, dream, remember, argue with themselves, devise, plan, and reason. What is the intellect and intelligence of the man but the intellect of the animal in a higher degree or larger quantity?" In the real explanation of a single thought of a dog, all metaphysics will be condensed.

And with still more terrible significance, the Voice asks, in what respect the masses of men, the vast swarms of the human race, have proven themselves either wiser or better than the animals in whose eyes a higher intelligence shines than in their dull, unintellectual orbs; in what respect they have proven themselves worthy of or suited for an immortal life. Would that be a prize of any value to the vast majority? Do they show, here upon earth, any capacity to improve, any fitness for a state of existence in which

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they could not crouch to power, like hounds dreading the lash, or tyrannize over defenceless weakness; in which they could not hate, and persecute, and torture, and exterminate; in which they could not trade, and speculate, and over-reach, and entrap the unwary and cheat the confiding and gamble and thrive, and sniff with self-righteousness at the short-comings of others, and thank God that they were not like other men? What, to immense numbers of men, would be the value of a Heaven where they could not lie and libel, and ply base avocations for profitable returns?

Sadly we look around us, and read the gloomy and dreary records of the old dead and rotten ages. More than eighteen centuries have staggered away into the spectral realm of the Past, since Christ, teaching the Religion of Love, was crucified, that it might become a Religion of Hate; and His Doctrines are not yet even nominally accepted as true by a fourth of mankind. Since His death, what incalculable swarms of human beings have lived and died in total unbelief of all that we deem essential to Salvation! What multitudinous myriads of souls, since the darkness of idolatrous superstition settled down, thick and impenetrable, upon the earth, have flocked up toward the eternal Throne of God, to receive His judgment?

The Religion of Love proved to be, for seventeen long centuries, as much the Religion of Elate, and infinitely more the Religion of Persecution, than Mahometanism, its unconquerable rival. Heresies grew up before the Apostles died; and God hated the Nicolaitans, while John, at Patmos, proclaimed His coming wrath. Sects wrangled, and each, as it gained the power, persecuted the other, until the soil of the whole Christian world was watered with the blood, and fattened on the flesh, and whitened with the bones, of martyrs, and human ingenuity, was taxed to its utmost to invent new modes by which tortures and agonies could be pro-longed and made more exquisite.

"By what right," whispers the Voice, '"does this savage, merciless, persecuting animal, to which the sufferings and writhings of others of its wretched kind furnish the most pleasurable sensations, and the mass of which care only to eat, sleep, be clothed, and wallow in sensual pleasures, and the best of which wrangle, hate, envy, and, with few exceptions, regard their own interests alone, -- with what right does it endeavor to delude itself into the conviction that it is not an animal, as the wolf, the hyena, and the tiger

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are, but a somewhat nobler, a spirit destined to be immortal, a spark of the essential Light, Fire and Reason, which are God? What other immortality than one of selfishness could this creature enjoy? Of what other is it capable? Must not immortality commence here and is not life a part of it? How shall death change the base nature of the base soul? Why have not those other animals that only faintly imitate the wanton, savage, human cruelty and thirst for blood, the same right as man has, to expect a resurrection and an Eternity of existence, or a Heaven of Love?

The world improves. Man ceases to persecute, -- when the persecuted become too numerous and strong, longer to submit to it. That source of pleasure closed, men exercise the ingenuities of their cruelty on the animals and other living things below them. To deprive other creatures of the life which God gave them, and this not only that we may eat their flesh for food, but out of mere savage wantonness, is the agreeable employment and amusement of man, who prides himself on being the Lord of Creation, and a little lower than the Angels. If he can no longer use the rack, the gibbet, the pincers, and the stake, he can hate, and slander, and delight in the thought that he will, hereafter, luxuriously enjoying the sensual beatitudes of Heaven, see with pleasure the writhing agonies of those justly damned for daring to hold opinions contrary to his own, upon subjects totally beyond the comprehension both of them and him.

Where the armies of the despots cease to slay and ravage, the armies of "Freedom" take their place, and, the black and white commingled, slaughter and burn and ravish. Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations.

Of the whole of mankind, not one in ten thousand has any aspirations beyond the daily needs of the gross animal life. In this age and in all others, all men except a few, in most countries, are born to be mere beasts of burden, co-laborers with the horse and the ox. Profoundly ignorant, even in "civilized" lands, they think and reason like the animals by the side of which they toil. For them, God, Soul, Spirit, immortality, are mere words, without any real meaning. The God of nineteen-twentieths of the Christian

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world is only Bel, Moloch, Zeus, or at best Osiris, Mithras, or Adonaï, under another name, worshipped with the old Pagan ceremonies and ritualistic formulas. it is the Statue of Olympian Jove, worshipped as the Father, in the Christian Church that was a Pagan Temple; it is the Statue of Venus, become the Virgin Mary. For the most part, men do not in their hearts believe that God is either just or merciful. They fear and shrink from His lightnings and dread his wrath. For the most part, they only think they believe that there is another life, a judgment, and a punishment for sin. Yet they will none the less persecute as Infidels and Atheists those who do not believe what they themselves imagine they believe, and which yet they do not believe, because it is incomprehensible to them in their ignorance and want of intellect. To the vast majority of mankind, God is but the reflected image, in infinite space, of the earthly Tyrant on his Throne, only more powerful, more inscrutable, and more implacable. To curse Humanity, the Despot need only be, what the popular mind has, in every age, imagined God.

In the great cities, the lower strata of the populace are equally without faith and without hope. The others have, for the most part, a mere blind faith, imposed by education and circumstances, and not as productive of moral excellence or even common honesty as Mohammedanism. "Your property will be safe here," said the Moslem; "There are no Christians here." The philosophical and scientific world becomes daily more and more unbelieving. Faith and Reason are not opposites, in equilibrium; but antagonistic and hostile to each other; the result being the darkness and despair of scepticism, avowed, or half-veiled as rationalism.

Over more than three-fourths of the habitable globe, humanity still kneels, like the camels, to take upon itself the burthens to be tamely borne for its tyrants. If a Republic occasionally rises like a Star, it hastens with all speed to set in blood. The kings need not make war upon it, to crush it out of their way. It is only necessary to let it alone, and it soon lays violent hands upon itself. And when a people long enslaved shake off its fetters, it may well be incredulously asked,

Shall the braggart shout
For some blind glimpse of Freedom, link itself,
Through madness, hated by the wise, to law,
and Empire?

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Everywhere in the world labor is, in some shape, the slave of capital; generally, a slave to be fed only so long as he can work; or, rather, only so long as his work is profitable to the owner of the human chattel. There are famines in Ireland, strikes and starvation in England, pauperism and tenement-dens in New York, misery, squalor, ignorance, destitution, the brutality of vice and the insensibility to shame, of despairing beggary, in all the human cesspools and sewers everywhere. Here, a sewing-woman famishes and freezes; there, mothers murder their children, that those spared may live upon the bread purchased with the burial allowances of the dead starveling; and at the next door young girls prostitute themselves for food.

Moreover, the Voice says, this besotted race is not satisfied with seeing its multitudes swept away by the great epidemics whose causes are unknown, and of the justice or wisdom of which the human mind cannot conceive. It must also be ever at war. There has not been a moment since men divided into Tribes, when all the world was at peace. Always men have been engaged in murdering each other somewhere. Always the armies have lived by the toil of the husbandman, and war has exhausted the resources, wasted the energies, and ended the prosperity of Nations. Now it loads unborn posterity with crushing debt, mortgages all estates, and brings upon States the shame and infamy of dishonest repudiation.

At times, the baleful fires of war light up half a Continent at once; as when all the Thrones unite to compel a people to receive again a hated and detestable dynasty, or States deny States the right to dissolve an irksome union and create for themselves a separate government. Then again the flames flicker and die away, and the fire smoulders in its ashes, to break out again, after a time, with renewed and a more concentrated fury. At times, the storm, revolving, howls over small areas only; at times its lights are seen, like the old beacon-fires on the hills, belting the whole globe. No sea, but hears the roar of cannon; no river, but runs red with blood; no plain, but shakes, trampled by the hoofs of charging squadrons; no field, but is fertilized by the blood of the dead; and everywhere man slays, the vulture gorges, and the wolf howls in the ear of the dying soldier. No city is not tortured by shot and shell; and no people fail to enact the horrid blasphemy of thanking a God of Love for victories and carnage. Te

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Deums are still sung for the Eve of St. Bartholomew and the Sicilian Vespers. Man's ingenuity is racked, and all his inventive powers are tasked, to fabricate the infernal enginery of destruction, by which human bodies may be the more expeditiously and effectually crushed, shattered, torn, and mangled; and yet hypocritical Humanity, drunk with blood and drenched with gore, shrieks to Heaven at a single murder, perpetrated to gratify a revenge not more unchristian, or to satisfy a cupidity not more ignoble, than those which are the promptings of the Devil in the souls of Nations.

When we have fondly dreamed of Utopia and the Millennium, when we have begun almost to believe that man is not, after all, a tiger half tamed, and that the smell of blood will not wake the savage within him, we are of a sudden startled from the delusive dream, to find the thin mask of civilization rent in twain and thrown contemptuously away. We lie down to sleep, like the peasant on the lava-slopes of Vesuvius. The mountain has been so long inert, that we believe its fires extinguished. Round us hang the clustering grapes, and the green leaves of the olive tremble in the soft night-air over us. Above us shine the peaceful, patient stars. The crash of a new eruption wakes us, the roar of the subterranean thunders, the stabs of the volcanic lightning into the shrouded bosom of the sky; and we see, aghast, the tortured Titan hurling up its fires among the pale stars, its great tree of smoke and cloud, the red torrents pouring down its sides. The roar and the shriekings of Civil War are all around us: the land is a pandemonium: man is again a Savage. The great armies roll along their hideous waves, and leave behind them smoking and depopulated deserts. The pillager is in every house, plucking even the morsel of bread from the lips of the starving child. Gray hairs are dabbled in blood, and innocent girlhood shrieks in vain to Lust for mercy. Laws, Courts, Constitutions, Christianity, Mercy, Pity, disappear. God seems to have abdicated, and Moloch to reign in His stead; while Press and Pulpit alike exult at universal murder, and urge the extermination of the Conquered, by the sword and the flaming torch; and to plunder and murder entitles the human beasts of prey to the thanks of Christian Senates.

Commercial greed deadens the nerves of sympathy of Nations, and makes them deaf to the demands of honor, the impulses of generosity, the appeals of those who suffer under injustice. Elsewhere, the universal pursuit of wealth dethrones God and pays

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divine honors to Mammon and Baalzebub. Selfishness rules supreme: to win wealth becomes the whole business of life. The villanies of legalized gaming and speculation become epidemic; treachery is but evidence of shrewdness; office becomes the prey of successful faction; the Country, like Actæon, is torn by its own hounds, and the villains it has carefully educated to their trade, most greedily plunder it, when it is in extremis.

By what right, the Voice demands, does a creature always engaged in the work of mutual robbery and slaughter, and who makes his own interest his God, claim to be of a nature superior to the savage beasts of which he is the prototype?

Then the shadows of a horrible doubt fall upon the soul that would fain love, trust and believe; a darkness, of which this that surrounded you was a symbol. It doubts the truth of Revelation, its own spirituality, the very existence of a beneficent God. It asks itself if it is not idle to hope for any great progress of Humanity toward perfection, and whether, when it advances in one respect, it does not retrogress in some other, by way of compensation: whether advance in civilization is not increase of selfishness: whether freedom does not necessarily lead to license and anarchy: whether the destitution and debasement of the masses does not inevitably follow increase of population and commercial and manufacturing prosperity. It asks itself whether man is not the sport of a blind, merciless Fate: whether all philosophies are not delusions, and all religions the fantastic creations of human vanity and self-conceit; and, above all, whether, when Reason is abandoned as a guide, the faith of Buddhist and Brahmin has not the same claims to sovereignty and implicit, unreasoning credence, as any other.

He asks himself whether it is not, after all, the evident and palpable injustices of this life, the success and prosperity of the Bad, the calamities, oppressions, and miseries of the Good, that are the bases of all beliefs in a future state of existence? Doubting man's capacity for indefinite progress here, he doubts the possibility of it anywhere; and if he does not doubt whether God exists, and is just and beneficent, he at least cannot silence the constantly recurring whisper, that the miseries and calamities of men, their lives and deaths, their pains and sorrows, their extermination by war and epidemics, are phenomena of no higher dignity, significance, and importance, in the eye of God, than what things of the same nature occur to other organisms of matter; and that the fish of

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the ancient seas, destroyed by myriads to make room for other species, the contorted shapes in which they are found as fossils testifying to their agonies; the coral insects, the animals and birds and vermin slain by man, have as much right as he to clamor at the injustice of the dispensations of God, and to demand an immortality of life in a new universe, as compensation for their pains and sufferings and untimely death in this world.

This is not a picture painted by the imagination. Many a thoughtful mind has so doubted and despaired. How many of us can say that our own faith is so well grounded and complete that we never hear those painful whisperings within the soul? Thrice blessed are they who never doubt, who ruminate in patient contentment like the kine, or doze under the opiate of a blind faith; on whose souls never rests that Awful Shadow which is the absence of the Divine Light.

To explain to themselves the existence of Evil and Suffering, the Ancient Persians imagined that there were two Principles or Deities in the Universe, the one of Good and the other of Evil, constantly in conflict with each other in struggle for the mastery, and alternately overcoming and overcome. Over both, for the SAGES, was the One Supreme; and for them Light was in the end to prevail over Darkness, the Good over the Evil, and even Ahriman and his Demons to part with their wicked and vicious natures and share the universal Salvation. It did not occur to them that the existence of the Evil Principle, by the consent of the Omnipotent Supreme, presented the same difficulty, and left the existence of Evil as unexplained as before. The human mind is always content, if it can remove a difficulty a step further off. It cannot believe that the world rests on nothing, but is devoutly content when taught that it is borne on the back of an immense elephant, who himself stands on the back of a tortoise. Given the tortoise, Faith is always satisfied; and it has been a great source of happiness to multitudes that they could believe in a Devil who could relieve God of the odium of being the Author of Sin.

But not to all is Faith sufficient to overcome this great difficulty. They say, with the Suppliant, "Lord! I believe!" -- but like him they are constrained to add, "Help Thou my unbelief!" -- Reason must, for these, co-operate and coincide with Faith, or they remain still in the darkness of doubt, -- most miserable of all conditions of the human mind.

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Those, only, who care for nothing beyond the interests and pursuits of this life, are uninterested in these great Problems. The animals, also, do not consider them. It is the characteristic of an immortal Soul, that it should seek to satisfy itself of its immortality, and to understand this great enigma, the Universe. If the Hottentot and the Papuan are not troubled and tortured by these doubts and speculations, they are not, for that, to be regarded as either wise or fortunate. The swine, also, are indifferent to the great riddles of the Universe, and are happy in being wholly unaware that it is the vast Revelation and Manifestation, in Time and Space, of a Single Thought of the Infinite God.

Exalt and magnify Faith as we will, and say that it begins where Reason ends, it must, after all, have a foundation, either in Reason, Analogy, the Consciousness, or human testimony. The worshipper of Brahma also has implicit Faith in what seems to us palpably false and absurd. His faith rests neither in Reason, Analogy, or the Consciousness, but on the testimony of his Spiritual teachers, and of the Holy Books. The Moslem also believes, on the positive testimony of the Prophet; and the Mormon also can say, "I believe this, because it is impossible." No faith, however absurd or degrading, has ever wanted these foundations, testimony, and the books. Miracles, proven by unimpeachable testimony have been used as a foundation for Faith, in every age; and the modern miracles are better authenticated, a hundred times, than the ancient ones.

So that, after all, Faith must flow out from some source within us, when the evidence of that which we are to believe is not presented to our senses, or it will in no case be the assurance of the truth of what is believed.

The Consciousness, or inhering and innate conviction, or the instinct divinely implanted, of the verity of things, is the highest possible evidence, if not the only real proof, of the verity of certain things, but only of truths of a limited class.

What we call the Reason, that is, our imperfect human reason, not only may, but assuredly will, lead us away from the Truth in regard to things invisible and especially those of the Infinite, if we determine to believe nothing but that which it can demonstrate. or not to believe that which it can by its processes of logic prove to be contradictory, unreasonable, or absurd. Its tape-line cannot measure the arcs of Infinity. For example, to the Human reason,

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an Infinite Justice and an Infinite Mercy or Love, in the same Being, are inconsistent and impossible. One, it can demonstrate, necessarily excludes the other. So it can demonstrate that as the Creation had a beginning, it necessarily follows that an Eternity had elapsed before the Deity began to create, during which He was inactive.

When we gaze, of a moonless clear night, on the Heavens glittering with stars, and know that each fixed star of all the myriads is a Sun, and each probably possessing its retinue of worlds, all peopled with living beings, we sensibly feel our own unimportance in the scale of Creation, and at once reflect that much of what has in different ages been religious faith, could never have been believed, if the nature, size, and distance of those Suns, and of our own Sun, Moon, and Planets, had been known to the Ancients as they are to us.

To them, all the lights of the firmament were created only to give light to the earth, as its lamps or candles hung above it. The earth was supposed to be the only inhabited portion of the Universe. The world and the Universe were synonymous terms. Of the immense size and distance of the heavenly bodies, men had no conception. The Sages had, in Chaldæa, Egypt, India, China, and in Persia, and therefore the sages always had, an esoteric creed, taught only in the mysteries and unknown to the vulgar. No Sage, in either country, or in Greece or Rome, believed the popular creed. To them the Gods and the Idols of the Gods were symbols, and symbols of great and mysterious truths.

The Vulgar imagined the attention of the Gods to be continually centred upon the earth and man. The Grecian Divinities inhabited Olympus, an insignificant mountain of the Earth. There was the Court of Zeus, to which Neptune came from the Sea, and Pluto and Persephoné from the glooms of Tartarus in the unfathomable depths of the Earth's bosom. God came down from Heaven and on Sinai dictated laws for the Hebrews to His servant Moses. The Stars were the guardians of mortals whose fates and fortunes were to be read in their movements, conjunctions, and oppositions. The Moon was the Bride and Sister of the Sun, at the same distance above the Earth, and, like the Sun, made for the service of mankind alone.

If, with the great telescope of Lord Rosse, we examine the vast nebula of Hercules, Orion, and Androméda, and find them resolvable

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into Stars more numerous than the sands on the seashore; if we reflect that each of these Stars is a Sun, like and even many times larger than ours, -- each, beyond a doubt, with its retinue of worlds swarming with life; -- if we go further in imagination, and endeavor to conceive of all the infinities of space, filled with similar suns and worlds, we seem at once to shrink into an incredible insignificance.

The Universe, which is the uttered Word of God, is infinite in extent. There is no empty space beyond creation on any side. The Universe, which is the Thought of God pronounced, never was not, since God never was inert; nor WAS, without thinking and creating. The forms of creation change, the suns and worlds live and die like the leaves and the insects, but the Universe itself is infinite and eternal, because God Is, Was, and Will forever Be, and never did not think and create.

Reason is fain to admit that a Supreme Intelligence, infinitely powerful and wise, must have created this boundless Universe; but it also tells us that we are as unimportant in it as the zoöphytes and entozoa, or as the invisible particles of animated life that float upon the air or swarm in the water-drop.

The foundations of our faith, resting upon the imagined interest of God in our race, an interest easily supposable when man believed himself the only intelligent created being, and therefore eminently worthy the especial care and watchful anxiety of a God who had only this earth to look after, and its house-keeping alone to superintend, and who was content to create, in all the infinite Universe, only one single being, possessing a soul, and not a mere animal, are rudely shaken as the Universe broadens and expands for us; and the darkness of doubt and distrust settles heavy upon the Soul.

The modes in which it is ordinarily endeavored to satisfy our doubts, only increase them. To demonstrate the necessity for a cause of the creation, is equally to demonstrate the necessity of a cause for that cause. The argument from plan and design only removes the difficulty a step further off. We rest the world on the elephant, and the elephant on the tortoise, and the tortoise on -- nothing.

To tell us that the animals possess instinct only and that Reason belongs to us alone, in no way tends to satisfy us of the radical difference between us and them. For if the mental phenomena

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exhibited by animals that think, dream, remember, argue from cause to effect, plan, devise, combine, and communicate their thoughts to each other, so as to act rationally in concert, if their love, hate, and revenge, can be conceived of as results of the organization of matter, like color and perfume, the resort to the hypothesis of an immaterial Soul to explain phenomena of the same kind, only more perfect, manifested by the human being, is supremely absurd. That organized matter can think or even feel, at all, is the great insoluble mystery. "Instinct" is but a word without a meaning, or else it means inspiration. It is either the animal itself, or God in the animal, that thinks, remembers, and reasons; and instinct, according to the common acceptation of the term, would be the greatest and most wonderful of mysteries, -- no less a thing than the direct, immediate, and continual promptings of the Deity, -- for the animals are not machines, or automata moved by springs, and the ape is but a dumb Australian.

Must we always remain in this darkness of uncertainty, of doubt? Is there no mode of escaping from the labyrinth except by means of a blind faith, which explains nothing, and in many creeds, ancient and modern, sets Reason at defiance, and leads to the belief either in a God without a Universe, a Universe without a God, or a Universe which is itself a God?

We read in the Hebrew Chronicles that Schlomoh the wise King caused to be placed in front of the entrance to the Temple two huge columns of bronze, one of which was called YAKAYIN and the other BAHAZ; and these words are rendered in our version Strength and Establishment. The Masonry of the Blue Lodges gives no explanation of these symbolic columns; nor do the Hebrew Books advise us that they were symbolic. If not so intended as symbols, they were subsequently understood to be such.

But as we are certain that everything within the Temple was symbolic, and that the whole structure was intended to represent the Universe, we may reasonably conclude that the columns of the portico also had a symbolic signification. It would be tedious to repeat all the interpretations which fancy or dullness has found for them.

The key to their true meaning is not undiscoverable. The perfect and eternal distinction of the two primitive terms of the creative syllogism, in order to attain to the demonstration of their

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harmony by the analogy of contraries, is the second grand principle of that occult philosophy veiled under the name "Kabalah," and indicated by all the sacred hieroglyphs of the Ancient Sanctuaries, and of the rites, so little understood by the mass of the Initiates, of the Ancient and Modern Free-Masonry.

The Sohar declares that everything in the Universe proceeds by the mystery of "the Balance," that is, of Equilibrium. Of the Sephiroth, or Divine Emanations, Wisdom and Understanding, Severity and Benignity, or Justice and Mercy, and Victory and Glory, constitute pairs.

Wisdom, or the Intellectual Generative Energy, and Understanding, or the Capacity to be impregnated by the Active Energy and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Establishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a passivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UNDERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the Temple, contraries like the Man and Woman, like Reason and Faith, Omnipotence and Liberty, Infinite Justice and Infinite Mercy, Absolute Power or Strength to do even what is most unjust and unwise, and Absolute Wisdom that makes it impossible to do it; Right and Duty. They were the columns of the intellectual and moral world, the monumental hieroglyph of the antinomy necessary to the grand law of creation.

There must be for every Force a Resistance to support it, to every light a shadow, for every Royalty a Realm to govern, for every affirmative a negative.

For the Kabalists, Light represents the Active Principle, and Darkness or Shadow is analogous to the Passive Principle. Therefore it was that they made of the Sun and Moon emblems of the two Divine Sexes and the two creative forces; therefore, that they ascribed to woman the Temptation and the first sin, and then the first labor, the maternal labor of the redemption, because it is from the bosom of the darkness itself that we see the Light born again. The Void attracts the Full; and so it is that the abyss of poverty and misery, the Seeming Evil, the seeming empty nothingness of life, the temporary rebellion of the creatures, eternally attracts the overflowing ocean of being, of riches, of pity, and of

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love. Christ completed the Atonement on the Cross by descending into Hell.

Justice and Mercy are contraries. If each be infinite, their co-existence seems impossible, and being equal, one cannot even annihilate the other and reign alone. The mysteries of the Divine Nature are beyond our finite comprehension; but so indeed are the mysteries of our own finite nature; and it is certain that in all nature harmony and movement are the result of the equilibrium of opposing or contrary forces.

The analogy of contraries gives the solution of the most interesting and most difficult problem of modern philosophy, -- the definite and permanent accord of Reason and Faith, of Authority and Liberty of examination, of Science and Belief, of Perfection in God and Imperfection in Man. If science or knowledge is the Sun, Belief is the Man; it is a reflection of the day in the night. Faith is the veiled Isis, the Supplement of Reason, in the shadows which precede or follow Reason. It emanates from the Reason, but can never confound it nor be confounded with it. The encroachments of Reason upon Faith, or of Faith on Reason, are eclipses of the Sun or Moon; when they occur, they make useless both the Source of Light and its reflection, at once.

Science perishes by systems that are nothing but beliefs; and Faith succumbs to reasoning. For the two Columns of the Temple to uphold the edifice, they must remain separated and be parallel to each other. As soon as it is attempted by violence to bring them together, as Samson did, they are overturned, and the whole edifice falls upon the head of the rash blind man or the revolutionist whore personal or national resentments have in advance devoted to death.

Harmony is the result of an alternating preponderance of forces. Whenever this is wanting in government, government is a failure, because it is either Despotism or Anarchy. All theoretical governments, however plausible the theory, end in one or the other. Governments that are to endure are not made in the closet of Locke or Shaftesbury, or in a Congress or a Convention. In a Republic, forces that seem contraries, that indeed are contraries, alone give movement and life. The Spheres are held in their orbits and made to revolve harmoniously and unerringly, by the concurrence, which seems to be the opposition, of two contrary forces. If the centripetal force should overcome the centrifugal,

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and the equilibrium of forces cease, the rush of the Spheres to the Central Sun would annihilate the system. Instead of consolidation, the whole would be shattered into fragments.

Man is a free agent, though Omnipotence is above and all around him. To be free to do good, he must be free to do evil. The Light necessitates. the Shadow. A State is free like an individual in any government worthy of the name. The State is less potent than the Deity, and therefore the freedom of the individual citizen is consistent with its Sovereignty. These are opposites, but not antagonistic. So, in a union of States, the freedom of the States is consistent with the Supremacy of the Nation. When either obtains the permanent mastery over the other, and they cease to be in equilibrio, the encroachment continues with a velocity that is accelerated like that of a falling body, until the feebler is annihilated, and then, there being no resistance to support the stronger, it rushes into ruin.

So, when the equipoise of Reason and Faith, in the individual or the Nation, and the alternating preponderance cease, the result is, according as one or the other is permanent victor, Atheism or Superstition, disbelief or blind credulity; and the Priests either of Unfaith or of Faith become despotic.

"Whomsoever God loveth, him he chasteneth," is an expression that formulates a whole dogma. The trials of life are the blessings of life, to the individual or the Nation, if either has a Soul that is truly worthy of salvation. "Light and darkness," said ZOROASTER, "are the world's eternal ways." The Light and the Shadow are everywhere and always in proportion; the Light being the reason of being of the Shadow. It is by trials only, by the agonies of sorrow and the sharp discipline of adversities, that men and Nations attain initiation. The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane and those of the Cross on Calvary preceded the Resurrection and were the means of Redemption. It is with prosperity that God afflicts Humanity.

The Degree of Rose ✠ is devoted to and symbolizes the final triumph of truth over falsehood, of liberty over slavery, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The great truth it inculcates is, that notwithstanding the existence of Evil, God is infinitely wise, just, and good: that though the affairs of the world proceed by no rule of right and wrong known to us in the narrowness of our views, yet all is right, for it is the work of

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God; and all evils, all miseries, all misfortunes, are but as drops in the vast current that is sweeping onward, guided by Him, to a great and magnificent result: that, at the appointed time, He will redeem and regenerate the world, and the Principle, the Power, and the existence of Evil will then cease; that this will be brought about by such means and instruments as He chooses to employ; whether by the merits of a Redeemer that has already appeared, or a Messiah that is yet waited for, by an incarnation of Himself, or by an inspired prophet, it does not belong to us as Masons to decide. Let each judge and believe for himself.

In the mean time, we labor to hasten the coming of that day. The morals of antiquity, of the law of Moses and of Christianity, are ours. We recognize every teacher of Morality, every Reformer, as a brother in this great work. The Eagle is to us the symbol of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity, and our order of Fraternity. Laboring for these, with Faith, Hope, and Charity as our armor, we will wait with patience for the final triumph of Good and the complete manifestation of the Word of God.

No one Mason has the right to measure for another, within the walls of a Masonic Temple, the degree of veneration which he shall feel for any Reformer, or the Founder of any Religion. We teach a belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none. Whatever higher attributes the Founder of the Christian Faith may, in our belief, have had or not have had, none can deny that He taught and practised a pure and elevated morality, even at the risk and to the ultimate loss of His life. He was not only the benefactor of a disinherited people, but a model for mankind. Devotedly He loved the children of Israel. To them He came, and to them alone He preached that Gospel which His disciples afterward carried among foreigners. He would fain have freed the chosen People from their spiritual bondage of ignorance and degradation. As a lover of all mankind, laying down His life for the emancipation of His Brethren, He should be to all, to Christian, to Jew, and to Mahometan, an object of gratitude and veneration.

The Roman world felt the pangs of approaching dissolution. Paganism, its Temples shattered by Socrates and Cicero, had spoken its last word. The God of the Hebrews was unknown beyond the limits of Palestine. The old religions had failed to give happiness and peace to the world. The babbling and wrangling

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philosophers had confounded all men's ideas, until they doubted of everything and had faith in nothing: neither in God nor in his goodness and mercy, nor in the virtue of man, nor in themselves. Mankind was divided into two great classes, the master and the slave; the powerful and the abject, the high and the low, the tyrants and the mob; and even the former were satiated with the servility of the latter, sunken by lassitude and despair to the lowest depths of degradation.

When, lo, a voice, in the inconsiderable Roman Province of Judea proclaims a new Gospel -- a new "God's Word," to crushed, suffering, bleeding humanity. Liberty of Thought, Equality of all men in the eye of God, universal Fraternity! a new doctrine, a new religion; the old Primitive Truth uttered once again!

Man is once more taught to look upward to his God. No longer to a God hid in impenetrable mystery, and infinitely remote from human sympathy, emerging only at intervals from the darkness to smite and crush humanity: but a God, good, kind, beneficent, and merciful: a rather, loving the creatures He has made, with a love immeasurable and exhaustless; Who feels for us, and sympathizes with us, and sends us pain and want and disaster only that they may serve to develop in us the virtues and excellences that befit us to live with Him hereafter.

Jesus of Nazareth, the "Son of man," is the expounder of the new Law of Love. He calls to Him the humble, the poor, the Pariahs of the world. The first sentence that He pronounces blesses the world, and announces the new gospel: "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted." He pours the oil of consolation and peace upon every crushed and bleeding heart. Every sufferer is His proselyte. He shares their sorrows, and sympathizes with all their afflictions.

He raises up the sinner and the Samaritan woman, and teaches them to hope for forgiveness. He pardons the woman taken in adultery. He selects his disciples not among the Pharisees or the Philosophers, but among the low and humble, even of the fishermen of Galilee. He heals the sick and feeds the poor. He lives among the destitute and the friendless. "Suffer little children," He said, "to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of Heaven! Blessed are the humble-minded, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven; the meek, for they shall inherit the Earth; the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy; the pure in heart, for they shall see

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God; the peace-maker, for they shall be called the children of God! First be reconciled to they brother, and then come and offer thy gift at the altar. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away! Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you! All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye also unto them; for this is the law and the Prophets! He that taketh not his cross, and followeth after Me, is not worthy of Me. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another: by this shall all know that ye are My disciples. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend."

The Gospel of Love He sealed with His life. The cruelty of the Jewish Priesthood, the ignorant ferocity of the mob, and the Roman indifference to barbarian blood, nailed Him to the cross, and He expired uttering blessings upon humanity.

Dying thus, He bequeathed His teachings to man as an inestimable inheritance. Perverted and corrupted, they have served as a basis for many creeds, and been even made the warrant for in-tolerance and persecution. We here teach them in their purity. They are our Masonry; for to them good men of all creeds can subscribe.

That God is good and merciful, and loves and sympathizes with the creatures He has made; that His finger is visible in all the movements of the moral, intellectual, and material universe; that we are His children, the objects of His paternal care and regard; that all men are our brothers, whose wants we are to supply, their errors to pardon, their opinions to tolerate, their injuries to forgive; that man has an immortal soul, a free will, a right to freedom of thought and action; that all men are equal in God's sight; that we best serve God by humility, meekness, gentleness, kindness, and the other virtues which the lowly can practise as well as the lofty; this is "the new Law," the "WORD," for which the world had waited and pined so long; and every true Knight of the Rose ✠ will revere the memory of Him who taught it, and look indulgently even on those who assign to Him a character far above his own conceptions or belief, even to the extent of deeming Him Divine.

Hear Philo, the Greek Jew. "The contemplative soul, unequally

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guided, sometimes toward abundance and sometimes toward barrenness, though ever advancing, is illuminated by the primitive ideas, the rays that emanate from the Divine Intelligence, whenever it ascends toward the Sublime Treasures. When, on the contrary, it descends, and is barren, it falls within the domain of those Intelligences that are termed Angels. . . for, when the soul is deprived of the light of God, which leads it to the knowledge of things, it no longer enjoys more than a feeble and secondary light, which gives it, not the understanding of things, but that of words only, as in this baser world. . . ."

". . . Let the narrow-souled withdraw, having their ears sealed up! We communicate the divine mysteries to those only who have received the sacred initiation, to those who practise true piety, and who are not enslaved by the empty pomp of words, or the doctrines of the pagans. . . .

". . . O, ye Initiates, ye whose ears are purified, receive this in your souls, as a mystery never to be lost! Reveal it to no Profane! Keep and contain it within yourselves, as an incorruptible treasure, not like gold or silver, but more precious than everything besides; for it is the knowledge of the Great Cause, of Nature, and of that which is born of both. And if you meet an Initiate, be-siege him with your prayers, that he conceal from you no new mysteries that he may know, and rest not until you have obtained them! For me, although I was initiated in the Great Mysteries by Moses, the Friend of God, yet, having seen Jeremiah, I recognized him not only as an Initiate, but as a Hierophant; and I follow his school."

We, like him, recognize all Initiates as our Brothers. We belong to no one creed or school. In all religions there is a basis of Truth; in all there is pure Morality. All that teach the cardinal tenets of Masonry we respect; all teachers and reformers of mankind we admire and revere.

Masonry also has her mission to perform. With her traditions .reaching back to the earliest times, and her symbols dating further back than even the monumental history of Egypt extends, she invites all men of all religions to enlist under her banners and to war against evil, ignorance, and wrong. You are now her knight, and to her service your sword is consecrated. May you prove a worthy soldier in a worthy cause!

19. GRAND PONTIFF

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MORALS AND DOGMA.

COUNCIL OF KADOSH.

XIX.

GRAND PONTIFF.

THE true Mason labors for the benefit of those who are to come after him, and for the advancement and improvement of his race. That is a poor ambition which contents itself within the limits of a single life. All men who deserve to live, desire to survive their funerals, and to live afterward in the good that they have done mankind, rather than in the fading characters written in men's memories. Most men desire to leave some work behind them that may outlast their own day and brief generation. That is an instinctive impulse, given by God, and often found in the rudest human heart; the surest proof of the soul's immortality, and of the fundamental difference between man and the wisest brutes. To plant the trees that, after we are dead, shall shelter our children, is as natural as to love the shade of those our fathers planted. The rudest unlettered husbandman, painfully conscious of his own inferiority, the poorest widowed mother, giving her life-blood to those who pay only for the work of her needle, will toil and stint themselves to educate their child, that he may take a higher station in the world than they; -- and of such are the world's greatest benefactors.

In his influences that survive him, man becomes immortal, before the general resurrection. The Spartan mother, who, giving her son his shield, said, "WITH IT, OR UPON IT!" afterward shared the government of Lacedæmon with the legislation of Lycurgus; for she too made a law, that lived after her; and she inspired the Spartan soldiery that afterward demolished the walls of Athens, and aided Alexander to conquer the Orient. The widow who gave Marion the fiery arrows to burn her own house, that it might no longer shelter the enemies of her infant country, the house where she had lain upon her husband's bosom, and where her children had been born, legislated more effectually for her State than Locke or Shaftesbury, or than many a Legislature has done, since that State won its freedom.

It was of slight importance to the Kings of Egypt and the

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Monarchs of Assyria and Phœnicia, that the son of a Jewish woman, a foundling, adopted by the daughter of Sesostris Ramses, slew an Egyptian that oppressed a Hebrew slave, and fled into the desert, to remain there forty years. But Moses, who might other-wise have become Regent of Lower Egypt, known to us only by a tablet on a tomb or monument, became the deliverer of the Jews, and led them forth from Egypt to the frontiers of Palestine, and made for them a law, out of which grew the Christian faith; and so has shaped the destinies of the world. He and the old Roman lawyers, with Alfred of England, the Saxon Thanes and Norman Barons, the old judges and chancellors, and the makers of the canons, lost in the mists and shadows of the Past, these are our legislators; and we obey the laws that they enacted.

Napoleon died upon the barren rock of his exile. His bones, borne to France by the son of a King, rest in the Hôpital des Invalides, in the great city on the Seine. His Thoughts still govern France. He, and not the People, dethroned the Bourbon, and drove the last King of the House of Orleans into exile. He, in his coffin, and not the People, voted the crown to the Third Napoleon; and he, and not the Generals of France and England, led their united forces against the grim Northern Despotism.

Mahomet announced to the Arabian idolaters the new creed, "There is but one God, and Mahomet, like Moses and Christ, is His Apostle." For many years unaided, then with the help of his family and a few friends, then with many disciples, and last of all with an army, he taught and preached the Koran. The religion of the wild Arabian enthusiast converting the fiery Tribes of the Great Desert, spread over Asia, built up the Saracenic dynasties, conquered Persia and India, the Greek Empire, Northern Africa, and Spain, and dashed the surges of its fierce soldiery against the battlements of Northern Christendom. The law of Mahomet still governs a fourth of the human race; and Turk and Arab, Moor and Persian and Hindu, still obey the Prophet, and pray with their faces turned toward Mecca; and he, and not the living, rules and reigns in the fairest portions of the Orient.

Confucius still enacts the law for China; and the thoughts and ideas of Peter the Great govern Russia. Plato and the other great Sages of Antiquity still reign as the Kings of Philosophy, and have dominion over the human intellect. The great Statesmen of the Past still preside in the Councils of Nations. Burke still

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lingers in the House of Commons; and Berryer's sonorous tones will long ring in the Legislative Chambers of France. The influences of Webster and Calhoun, conflicting, rent asunder the American States, and the doctrine of each is the law and the oracle speaking from the Holy of Holies for his own State and all consociated with it: a faith preached and proclaimed by each at the cannon's mouth and consecrated by rivers of blood.

It has been well said, that when Tamerlane had builded his pyramid of fifty thousand human skulls, and wheeled away with his vast armies from the gates of Damascus, to find new conquests, and build other pyramids, a little boy was playing in the streets of Mentz, son of a poor artisan, whose apparent importance in the scale of beings was, compared with that of Tamerlane, as that of a grain of sand to the giant bulk of the earth; but Tamerlane and all his shaggy legions, that swept over the East like a hurricane, have passed away, and become shadows; while printing, the wonderful invention of John Faust, the boy of Mentz, has exerted a greater influence on man's destinies and overturned more thrones and dynasties than all the victories of all the blood-stained conquerors from Nimrod to Napoleon.

Long ages ago, the Temple built by Solomon and our Ancient Brethren sank into ruin, when the Assyrian Armies sacked Jerusalem. The Holy City is a mass of hovels cowering under the dominion of the Crescent; and the Holy Land is a desert. The Kings of Egypt and Assyria, who were contemporaries of Solomon, are forgotten, and their histories mere fables. The Ancient Orient is a shattered wreck, bleaching on the shores of Time. The Wolf and the Jackal howl among the ruins of Thebes and of Tyre, and the sculptured images of the Temples and Palaces of Babylon and Nineveh are dug from their ruins and carried into strange lands. But the quiet and peaceful Order, of which the Son of a poor Phœnician Widow was one of the Grand Masters, with the Kings of Israel and Tyre, has continued to increase in stature and influence, defying the angry waves of time and the storms of persecution. Age has not weakened its wide foundations, nor shattered its columns, nor marred the beauty of its harmonious proportions. Where rude barbarians, in the time of Solomon, peopled inhospitable howling wildernesses, in France and Britain, and in that New World, not known to Jew or Gentile, until the glories of the Orient had faded, that Order has builded

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new Temples, and teaches to its millions of Initiates those lessons of peace, good-will, and toleration, of reliance on God and confidence in man, which it learned when Hebrew and Giblemite worked side by side on the slopes of Lebanon, and the Servant of Jehovah and the Phœnician Worshipper of Bel sat with the humble artisan in Council at Jerusalem.

It is the Dead that govern. The Living only obey. And if the Soul sees, after death, what passes on this earth, and watches over the welfare of those it loves, then must its greatest happiness consist in seeing the current of its beneficent influences widening out from age to age, as rivulets widen into rivers, and aiding to shape the destinies of individuals, families, States, the World; and its bitterest punishment, in seeing its evil influences causing mischief and misery, and cursing and afflicting men, long after the frame it dwelt in has become dust, and when both name and memory are forgotten.

We know not who among the Dead control our destinies. The universal human race is linked and bound together by those influences and sympathies, which in the truest sense do make men's fates. Humanity is the unit, of which the man is but a fraction. What other men in the Past have done, said, thought, makes the great iron network of circumstance that environs and controls us all. We take our faith on trust. We think and believe as the Old Lords of Thought command us; and Reason is powerless before Authority.

We would make or annul a particular contract; but the Thoughts of the dead Judges of England, living when their ashes have been cold for centuries, stand between us and that which we would do, and utterly forbid it. We would settle our estate in a particular way; but the prohibition of the English Parliament, its uttered Thought when the first or second Edward reigned, comes echoing down the long avenues of time, and tells us we shall not exercise the power .of disposition as we wish. We would gain a particular advantage of another; and the thought of the old Roman lawyer who died before Justinian, or that of Rome's great orator Cicero, annihilates the act, or makes the intention ineffectual. This act, Moses forbids; that, Alfred. We would sell our land; but certain marks on a perishable paper tell us that our father or remote ancestor ordered otherwise; and the arm of the dead, emerging from the grave, with peremptory gesture prohibits

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the alienation. About to sin or err, the thought or wish of our dead mother, told us when we were children, by words that died upon the air in the utterance, and many a long year were forgotten, flashes on our memory, and holds us back with a power that is resistless.

Thus we obey the dead; and thus shall the living, when we are dead, for weal or woe, obey us. The Thoughts of the Past are the Laws of the Present and the Future. That which we say and do, if its effects last not beyond our lives, is unimportant. That which shall live when we are dead, as part of the great body of law enacted by the dead, is the only act worth doing, the only Thought worth speaking. The desire to do something that shall benefit the world, when neither praise nor obloquy will reach us where we sleep soundly in the grave, is the noblest ambition entertained by man.

It is the ambition of a true and genuine Mason. Knowing the slow processes by which the Deity brings about great results, he does not expect to reap as well as sow, in a single lifetime. It is the inflexible fate and noblest destiny, with rare exceptions, of the great and good, to work, and let others reap the harvest of their labors. He who does good, only to be repaid in kind, or in thanks and gratitude, or in reputation and the world's praise, is like him who loans his money, that he may, after certain months, receive it back with interest. To be repaid for eminent services with slander, obloquy, or ridicule, or at best with stupid indifference or cold ingratitude, as it is common, so it is no misfortune, except to those who lack the wit to see or sense to appreciate the service, or the nobility of soul to thank and reward with eulogy, the benefactor of his kind. His influences live, and the great Future will obey; whether it recognize or disown the lawgiver. .

Miltiades was fortunate that he was exiled; and Aristides that he was ostracized, because men wearied of hearing him called "The Just." Not the Redeemer was unfortunate; but those only who repaid Him for the inestimable gift He offered them, and for a life passed in toiling for their good, by nailing Him upon the cross, as though He had been a slave or malefactor. The persecutor dies and rots, and Posterity utters his name with execration: but his victim's memory he has unintentionally made glorious and immortal.

If not for slander and persecution, the Mason who would benefit

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his race must look for apathy and cold indifference in those whose good he seeks, in those who ought to seek the good of others. Except when the sluggish depths of the Human Mind are broken up and tossed as with a storm, when at the appointed time a great Reformer comes, and a new Faith springs up and grows with supernatural energy, the progress of Truth is slower than the growth of oaks; and he who plants need not expect to gather. The Redeemer, at His death, had twelve disciples, and one betrayed and one deserted and denied Him. It is enough for us to know that the fruit will come in its due season. When, or who shall gather it, it does not in the least concern us to know. It is our business to plant the seed. It is God's right to give the fruit to whom He pleases; and if not to us, then is our action by so much the more noble.

To sow, that others may reap; to work and plant for those who are to occupy the earth when we are dead; to project our influences far into the future, and live beyond our time; to rule as the Kings of Thought, over men who are yet unborn; to bless with the glorious gifts of Truth and Light and Liberty those who will neither know the name of the giver, nor care in what grave his unregarded ashes repose, is the true office of a Mason and the proudest destiny of a man.

All the great and beneficent operations of Nature are produced by slow and often imperceptible degrees. The work of destruction and devastation only is violent and rapid. The Volcano and the Earthquake, the Tornado and the Avalanche, leap suddenly into full life and fearful energy, and smite with an unexpected blow. Vesuvius buried Pompeii and Herculaneum in a night; and Lisbon fell prostrate before God in a breath, when the earth rocked and shuddered; the Alpine village vanishes and is erased at one bound of the avalanche; and the ancient forests fall like grass before the mower, when the tornado leaps upon them. Pestilence slays its thousands in a day; and the storm in a night strews the sand with shattered navies.

The Gourd of the Prophet Jonah grew up, and was withered, in a night. But many years ago, before the Norman Conqueror stamped his mailed foot on the neck of prostrate Saxon England, some wandering barbarian, of the continent then unknown to the world, in mere idleness, with hand or foot, covered an acorn with a little earth, and passed on regardless, on his journey to the dim

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Past. He died and was forgotten; but the acorn lay there still, the mighty force within it acting in the darkness. A tender shoot stole gently up; and fed by the light and air and frequent dews, put forth its little leaves, and lived, because the elk or buffalo chanced not to place his foot upon and crush it. The years marched onward, and the shoot became a sapling, and its green leaves went and came with Spring and Autumn. And still the years came and passed away again, and William, the Norman Bastard, parcelled England out among his Barons, and still the sapling grew, and the dews fed its leaves, and the birds builded their nests among its small limbs for many generations. And still the years came and went, and the Indian hunter slept in the shade of the sapling, and Richard Lion-Heart fought at Acre and Ascalon, and John's bold Barons wrested from him the Great Charter; and to! the sapling had become a tree; and still it grew, and thrust its great arms wider abroad, and lifted its head still higher toward the Heavens; strong-rooted, and defiant of the storms that roared and eddied through its branches; and when Columbus ploughed with his keels the unknown Western Atlantic, and Cortez and Pizarro bathed the cross in blood; and the Puritan, the Huguenot, the Cavalier, and the follower of Penn sought a refuge and a resting-place beyond the ocean, the Great Oak still stood, firm-rooted, vigorous, stately, haughtily domineering over all the forest, heedless of all the centuries that had hurried past since the wild Indian planted the little acorn in the forest; -- a stout and hale old tree, with wide circumference shading many a rood of ground; and fit to furnish timbers for a ship, to carry the thunders of the Great Republic's guns around the world. And yet, if one had sat and watched it every instant, from the moment when the feeble shoot first pushed its way to the light until the eagles built among its branches, he would never have seen the tree or sapling grow.

Many long centuries ago, before the Chaldæan Shepherds watched the Stars, or Shufu built the Pyramids, one could have sailed in a seventy-four where now a thousand islands gem the surface of the Indian Ocean; and the deep-sea lead would nowhere have found any bottom. But below these waves were myriads upon myriads, beyond the power of Arithmetic to number, of minute existences, each a perfect living creature, made by the Almighty Creator, and fashioned by Him for the work it had to do. There they toiled beneath the waters, each doing its allotted work,

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and wholly ignorant of the result which God intended. They lived and died, incalculable in numbers and almost infinite in the succession of their generations, each adding his mite to the gigantic work that went on there under God's direction. Thus hath He chosen to create great Continents and Islands; and still the coral-insects live and work, as when they made the rocks that underlie the valley of the Ohio.

Thus God hath chosen to create. Where now is firm land, once chafed and thundered the great primeval ocean. For ages upon ages the minute shields of infinite myriads of infusoria, and the stony stems of encrinites sunk into its depths, and there, under the vast pressure of its waters, hardened into limestone. Raised slowly from the Profound by His hand, its quarries underlie the soil of all the continents, hundreds of feet in thickness; and we, of these remains of the countless dead, build tombs and palaces, as the Egyptians, whom we call ancient, built their pyramids.

On all the broad lakes and oceans the Great Sun looks earnestly and lovingly, and the invisible vapors rise ever up to meet him. No eye but God's beholds them as they rise. There, in the upper atmosphere, they are condensed to mist, and gather into clouds, and float and swim around in the ambient air. They sail with its currents, and hover over the ocean, and roll in huge masses round the stony shoulders of great mountains. Condensed still more by change of temperature, they drop upon the thirsty earth in gentle showers, or pour upon it in heavy rains, or storm against its bosom at the angry Equinoctial. The shower, the rain, and the storm pass away, the clouds vanish, and the bright stars again shine clearly upon the glad earth. The rain-drops sink into the ground, and gather in subterranean reservoirs, and run in subterranean channels, and bubble up in springs and fountains; and from the mountain-sides and heads of valleys the silver threads of water begin their long journey to the ocean. Uniting, they widen into brooks and rivulets, then into streams and rivers; and, at last, a Nile, a Ganges, a Danube, an Amazon, or a Mississippi rolls between its banks, mighty, majestic, and resistless, creating vast alluvial valleys to be the granaries of the world, ploughed by the thousand keels of commerce and serving as great highways, and as the impassable boundaries of rival nations; ever returning to the ocean the drops that rose from it in vapor, and descended in rain and snow and hail upon the level plains and lofty mountains;

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and causing him to recoil for many a mile before the head-long rush of their great tide.

So it is with the aggregate of Human endeavor. As the invisible particles of vapor combine and coalesce to form the mists and clouds that fall in rain on thirsty continents, and bless the great green forests and wide grassy prairies, the waving meadows and the fields by which men live; as the infinite myriads of drops that the glad earth drinks are gathered into springs and rivulets and rivers, to aid in levelling the mountains and elevating the plains, and to feed the large lakes and restless oceans; so all Human Thought, and Speech and Action, all that is done and said and thought and suffered upon the Earth combine together, and flow onward in one broad resistless current toward those great results to which they are determined by the will of God.

We build slowly and destroy swiftly. Our Ancient Brethren who built the Temples at Jerusalem, with many myriad blows felled, hewed, and squared the cedars, and quarried the stones, and carved the intricate ornaments, which were to be the Temples. Stone after stone, by the combined effort and long toil of Apprentice, Fellow-Craft, and Master, the walls arose; slowly the roof was framed and fashioned; and many years elapsed before, at length, the Houses stood finished, all fit and ready for the Worship of God, gorgeous in the sunny splendors of the atmosphere of Palestine. So they were built. A single motion of the arm of a rude, barbarous Assyrian Spearman, or drunken Roman or Gothic Legionary of Titus, moved by a senseless impulse of the brutal will, flung in the blazing brand; and, with no further human agency, a few short hours sufficed to consume and melt each Temple to a smoking mass of black unsightly ruin.

Be patient, therefore, my Brother, and wait!

The issues are with God: To do,
Of right belongs to us
.

Therefore faint not, nor be weary in well-doing! Be not discouraged at men's apathy, nor disgusted with their follies, nor tired of their indifference! Care not for returns and results; but see only what there is to do, and do it, leaving the results to God! Soldier of the Cross! Sworn Knight of Justice, Truth, and Toleration! Good Knight and True! be patient and work!

The Apocalypse, that sublime Kabalistic and prophetic Summary

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of all the occult figures, divides its images into three Septenaries, after each of which there is silence in Heaven. There are Seven Seals to be opened, that is to say, Seven mysteries to know, and Seven difficulties to overcome, Seven trumpets to sound, and Seven cups to empty.

The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth Degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. LUCIFER, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls? Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.

The Apocalypse, indeed, is a book as obscure as the Sohar.

It is written hieroglyphically with numbers and images; and the Apostle often appeals to the intelligence of the Initiated. "Let him who hath knowledge, understand! let him who understands, calculate!" he often says, after an allegory or the mention of a number. Saint John, the favorite Apostle, and the Depositary of all the Secrets of the Saviour, therefore did not write to be understood by the multitude.

The Sephar Yezirah, the Sohar, and the Apocalypse are the completest embodiments of Occultism. They contain more meanings than words; their expressions are figurative as poetry and exact as numbers. The Apocalypse sums up, completes, and surpasses all the Science of Abraham and of Solomon. The visions of Ezekiel, by the river Chebar, and of the new Symbolic Temple, are equally mysterious expressions, veiled by figures of the enigmatic dogmas of the Kabalah, and their symbols are as little understood by the Commentators, as those of Free Masonry.

The Septenary is the Crown of the Numbers, because it unites the Triangle of the Idea to the Square of the Form.

The more the great Hierophants were at pains to conceal their absolute Science, the more they sought to add grandeur to and multiply its symbols. The huge pyramids, with their triangular sides of elevation and square bases, represented their Metaphysics, founded upon the knowledge of Nature. That knowledge of Nature had for its symbolic key the gigantic form of that huge Sphinx, which has hollowed its deep bed in the sand, while keeping

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watch at the feet of the Pyramids. The Seven grand monuments called the Wonders of the World, were the magnificent Commentaries on the Seven lines that composed the Pyramids, and on the Seven mystic gates of Thebes.

The Septenary philosophy of Initiation among the Ancients may be summed up thus:

Three Absolute Principles which are but One Principle: four elementary forms which are but one; all forming a Single Whole, compounded of the Idea and the Form.

The three Principles were these:

1°. BEING IS BEING.

In Philosophy, identity of the Idea and of Being or Verity; in Religion, the first Principle, THE FATHER.

2°. BEING IS REAL.

In Philosophy, identity of Knowing and of Being or Reality; in Religion, the Logos of Plato, the Demiourgos, the WORD.

3°. BEING IS LOGIC.

In Philosophy, identity of the Reason and Reality; in Religion, Providence, the Divine Action that makes real the Good, that which in Christianity we call THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The union of all the Seven colors is the White, the analogous symbol of the GOOD: the absence of all is the Black, the analogous symbol of the EVIL. There are three primary colors, Red, Yellow, and Blue; and four secondary, Orange, Green, Indigo, and Violet; and all these God displays to man in the rainbow; and they have their analogies also in the moral and intellectual world. The same number, Seven, continually reappears in the Apocalypse, compounded of three and four; and these numbers relate to the last Seven of the Sephiroth, three answering to BENIGNITY or MERCY, SEVERITY or JUSTICE, and BEAUTY or HARMONY; and four to Netzach, Ho_d, Yeso_d, and Malakoth, VICTORY, GLORY, STABILITY, and DOMINATION. The same numbers also represent the first three Sephiroth, KETHER, KHOKMAH, and BAINAH, or Will, Wisdom, and Understanding, which, with DAATH or Intellection or Thought, are also four, DAATH not being regarded as a Sephirah, not as the Deity acting, or as a potency, energy, or attribute, but as the Divine Action.

The Sephiroth are commonly figured in the Kabalah as constituting a human form, the ADAM KADMON or MACROCOSM. Thus arranged, the universal law of Equipoise is three times exemplified.

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From that of the Divine Intellectual, Active, Masculine ENERGY, and the Passive CAPACITY to produce Thought, the action of THINKING results. From that of BENIGNITY and SEVERITY, HARMONY flows; and from that of VICTORY or an Infinite overcoming, and GLORY, which, being Infinite, would seem to forbid the existence of obstacles or opposition, results STABILITY or PERMANENCE, which is the perfect DOMINION of the Infinite WILL.

The last nine Sephiroth are included in, at the same time that they have flowed forth from, the first of all, KETHER, or the CROWN. Each also, in succession flowed from, and yet still remains included in, the one preceding it. The Will of God includes His Wisdom, and His Wisdom is His Will specially developed and acting. This Wisdom is the Logos that creates, mistaken and personified by Simon Magus and the succeeding Gnostics. By means of its utterance, the letter YO_D, it creates the worlds, first in the Divine Intellect as an Idea, which invested with form became the fabricated World, the Universe of material reality. YO_D and HE, two letters of the Ineffable Name of the Manifested Deity, represent the Male and the Female, the Active and the Passive in Equilibrium, and the VAV completes the Trinity and the Triliteral Name ‏ו ?Y?H?W‎, the Divine Triangle, which with the repetition of the He becomes the Tetragrammaton.

Thus the ten Sephiroth contain all the Sacred Numbers, three, five, seven, and nine, and the perfect Number Ten, and correspond with the Tetractys of Pythagoras.

BEING Is BEING, ‏ו ?A?H?Y?H ?A?Sה?R ?A?H?Y?H‎, Ahayah Asar Ahayah. This is the Principle, the "BEGINNING."

In the Beginning was, that is to say, IS, WAS, and WILL BE, the WORD, that is to say, the REASON that Speaks.

Εν αρχῃ ην Ὁ Λογος!

The Word is the reason of belief, and in it also is the expression of the Faith which makes. Science a living thing. The Word,. Λογος, is the Source of Logic. Jesus is the Word Incarnate. The accord of the Reason with Faith, of Knowledge with Belief, of Authority, with Liberty, has become in modern times the veritable enigma of the Sphinx.

It is WISDOM that, in the Kabalistic Books of the Proverbs and Ecclesiasticus, is the Creative Agent of God. Elsewhere in the Hebrew writings it is ‏ו ?D?B?R ?Y?H?W?H‎, Debar Iahavah, the Word of God.

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It is by His uttered Word that God reveals Himself to us; not alone in the visible and invisible but intellectual creation, but also in our convictions, consciousness, and instincts. Hence it is that certain beliefs are universal. The conviction of all men that God is good led to a belief in a Devil, the fallen Lucifer or Light-bearer, Shaitan the Adversary, Ahriman and Tupho_n, as an attempt to explain the existence of Evil, and make it consistent with the Infinite Power, Wisdom, and Benevolence of God.

Nothing surpasses and nothing equals, as a Summary of all the doctrines of the Old World, those brief words engraven by HERMES on a Stone, and known under the name of "The Tablet of Emerald:" the Unity of Being and the Unity of the Harmonies, ascending and descending, the progressive and proportional scale of the Word; the immutable law of the Equilibrium, and the proportioned progress of the universal analogies; the relation of the Idea to the Word, giving the measure of the relation between the Creator and the Created, the necessary mathematics of the Infinite, proved by the measures of a single corner of the Finite; -- all this is expressed by this single proposition of the Great Egyptian Hierophant:

"What is Superior is as that which is Inferior, and what is Below is as that which is Above, to form the Marvels of the Unity."

Freemasonry - leaves symbol

20. GRAND MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGES

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XX.

GRAND MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGES.

THE true Mason is a practical Philosopher, who, under religious emblems, in all ages adopted by wisdom, builds upon plans traced by nature and reason the moral edifice of knowledge. He ought to find, in the symmetrical relation of all the parts of this rational edifice, the principle and rule of all his duties, the source of all his pleasures. He improves his moral nature, becomes a better man, and finds in the reunion of virtuous men, assembled with pure views, the means of multiplying his acts of beneficence. Masonry and Philosophy, without being one and the same thing, have the same object, and propose to themselves the same end, the worship of the Grand Architect of the Universe, acquaintance and familiarity with the wonders of nature, and the happiness of humanity attained by the constant practice of all the virtues.

As Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges, it is your especial duty to aid in restoring Masonry to its primitive purity. You have become an instructor. Masonry long wandered in error. Instead of improving, it degenerated from its primitive simplicity, and retrograded toward a system, distorted by stupidity and ignorance, which, unable to construct a beautiful machine, made a complicated one. Less than two hundred years ago, its organization was simple, and altogether moral, its emblems, allegories, and ceremonies easy to be understood, and their purpose and object readily to be seen. It was then confined to a very small number of Degrees. Its constitutions were like those of a Society of Essenes, written in the first century of our era. There could be seen the primitive Christianity, organized into Masonry, the school of Pythagoras without incongruities or absurdities; a Masonry simple and significant, in which it was not necessary to torture the mind to discover reasonable interpretations; a Masonry at once religious and philosophical, worthy of a good citizen and an enlightened philanthropist.

Innovators and inventors overturned that primitive simplicity.

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Ignorance engaged in the work of making Degrees, and trifles and gewgaws and pretended mysteries, absurd or hideous, usurped the place of Masonic Truth. The picture of a horrid vengeance, the poniard and the bloody head, appeared in the peaceful Temple of Masonry, without sufficient explanation of their symbolic meaning: Oaths out of all proportion with their object, shocked the candidate, and then became ridiculous, and were wholly disregarded. Acolytes were exposed to tests, and compelled to perform acts, which, if real, would have been abominable; but being mere chimeras, were preposterous, and excited contempt and laughter only. Eight hundred Degrees of one kind and another were invented: Infidelity and even Jesuitry were taught under the mask of Masonry. The rituals even of the respectable Degrees, copied and mutilated by ignorant men, became nonsensical and trivial; and the words so corrupted that it has hitherto been found impossible to recover many of them at all. Candidates were made to degrade themselves, and to submit to insults not tolerable to a man of spirit and honor.

Hence it was that, practically, the largest portion of the Degrees claimed by the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and before it by the Rite of Perfection, fell into disuse, were merely communicated, and their rituals became jejune and insignificant. These Rites resembled those old palaces and baronial castles, the different parts of which, built at different periods remote from one another, upon plans and according to tastes that greatly varied, formed a discordant and incongruous whole. Judaism and chivalry, superstition and philosophy, philanthropy and insane hatred and longing for vengeance, a pure morality and unjust and illegal revenge, were found strangely mated and standing hand in hand within the Temples of Peace and Concord; and the whole system was one grotesque commingling of incongruous things, of contrasts and contradictions, of shocking and fantastic extravagances, of parts repugnant to good taste, and fine conceptions overlaid and disfigured by absurdities engendered by ignorance, fanaticism, and a senseless mysticism.

An empty and sterile pomp, impossible indeed to be carried out, and to which no meaning whatever was attached, with far-fetched explanations that were either so many stupid platitudes or themselves needed an interpreter; lofty titles, arbitrarily assumed, and to which the inventors had not condescended to attach any explanation

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that should acquit them of the folly of assuming temporal rank, power, and titles of nobility, made the world laugh, and the Initiate feel ashamed.

Some of these titles we retain; but they have with us meanings entirely consistent with that Spirit of Equality which is the foundation and peremptory law of its being of all Masonry. The Knight, with us, is he who devotes his hand, his heart, his brain, to the Science of Masonry, and professes himself the Sworn Soldier of Truth: the Prince is he who aims to be Chief, [Princeps], first, leader, among his equals, in virtue and good deeds: the Sovereign is he who, one of an order whose members are all Sovereigns, is Supreme only because the law and constitutions are so, which he administers, and by which he, like every other brother, is governed. The titles, Puissant, Potent, Wise, and Venerable, indicate that power of Virtue, Intelligence, and Wisdom, which those ought to strive to attain who are placed in high office by the suffrages of their brethren: and all our other titles and designations have an esoteric meaning, consistent with modesty and equality, and which those who receive them should fully understand. As Master of a Lodge it is your duty to instruct your Brethren that they are all so many constant lessons, teaching the lofty qualifications which are required of those who claim them, and not merely idle gewgaws worn in ridiculous imitation of the times when the Nobles and Priests were masters and the people slaves: and that, in all true Masonry, the Knight, the Pontiff, the Prince, and the Sovereign are but the first among their equals: and the cordon, the clothing, and the jewel but symbols and emblems of the virtues required of all good Masons.

The Mason kneels, no longer to present his petition for admittance or to receive the answer, no longer to a man as his superior, who is but his brother, but to his God; to whom he appeals for the rectitude of his intentions, and whose aid he asks to enable him to keep his vows. No one is degraded by bending his knee to God at the altar, or to receive the honor of Knighthood as Bayard and Du Guesclin knelt. To kneel for other purposes, Masonry does not require. God gave to man a head to be borne erect, a port upright and majestic. We assemble in our Temples to cherish and inculcate sentiments that conform to that loftiness of bearing which the just and upright man is entitled to maintain, and we do not require those who desire to be admitted among us, ignominiously

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to bow the head. We respect man, because we respect ourselves that he may conceive a lofty idea of his dignity as a human being free and independent. If modesty is a virtue, humility and obsequiousness to man are base: for there is a noble pride which is the most real and solid basis of virtue. Man should humble himself before the Infinite God; but not before his erring and imperfect brother.

As Master of a Lodge, you will therefore be exceedingly careful that no Candidate, in any Degree, be. required to submit to any degradation whatever; as has been too much the custom in some of the Degrees: and take it as a certain and inflexible rule, to which there is no exception, that real Masonry requires of no man anything to which a Knight and Gentleman cannot honorably, and without feeling outraged or humiliated submit.

The Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States at length undertook the indispensable and long-delayed task of revising and reforming the work and rituals of the thirty Degrees under its jurisdiction. Retaining the essentials of the Degrees and all the means by which the members recognize one another, it has sought out and developed the leading idea of each Degree, rejected the puerilities and absurdities with which many of them were disfigured, and made of them a connected system of moral, religious, and philosophical instruction. Sectarian of no creed, it has yet thought it not improper to use the old allegories, based on occurrences detailed in the Hebrew and Christian books, and drawn from the Ancient Mysteries of Egypt, Persia, Greece, India, the Druids and the Essenes, as vehicles to communicate the Great Masonic Truths; as it has used the legends of the Crusades, and the ceremonies of the orders of Knighthood.

It no longer inculcates a criminal and wicked vengeance. It has not allowed Masonry to play the assassin: to avenge the death either of Hiram, of Charles the 1st, or of Jaques De Molay and the Templars. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry has now become, what Masonry at first was meant to be, a Teacher of Great Truths, inspired by an upright and enlightened reason, a firm and constant wisdom, and an affectionate and liberal philanthropy.

It is no longer a system, over the composition and arrangement of the different parts of which, want of reflection, chance, ignorance, and perhaps motives still more ignoble presided; a system

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unsuited to our habits, our manners, our ideas, or the world-wide philanthropy and universal toleration of Masonry; or to bodies small in number, whose revenues should be devoted to the relief of the unfortunate, and not to empty show; no longer a heterogeneous aggregate of Degrees, shocking by its anachronisms and contradictions, powerless to disseminate light, information, and moral and philosophical ideas.

As Master, you will teach those who are under you, and to whom you will owe your office, that the decorations of many of the Degrees are to be dispensed with, whenever the expense would interfere with the duties of charity, relief, and benevolence; and to be indulged in only by wealthy bodies that will thereby do no wrong to those entitled to their assistance. The essentials of all the Degrees may be procured at slight expense; and it is at the option of every Brother to procure or not to procure, as he pleases, the dress, decorations, and jewels of any Degree other than the 14th, 18th, 30th, and 32d.

We teach the truth of none of the legends we recite. They are to us but parables and allegories, involving and enveloping Masonic instruction; and vehicles of useful and interesting information. They represent the different phases of the human mind, its efforts and struggles to comprehend nature, God, the government of the Universe, the permitted existence of sorrow and evil. To teach us wisdom, and the folly of endeavoring to explain to ourselves that which we are not capable of understanding, we reproduce the speculations of the Philosophers, the Kabalists, the Mystagogues and the Gnostics. Every one being at liberty to apply our symbols and emblems as he thinks most consistent with truth and reason and with his own faith, we give them such an interpretation only as may be accepted by all. Our Degrees may be conferred in France or Turkey, at Pekin, Ispàhan, Rome, or Geneva, in the city of Penn or in Catholic Louisiana, upon the subject of an absolute government or the citizen of a Free State, upon Sectarian or Theist. To honor the Deity, to regard all men as our Brethren, as children, equally dear to Him, of the Supreme Creator of the Universe, and to make himself useful to society and himself by his labor, are its teachings to its Initiates in all the Degrees.

Preacher of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, it desires them to be attained by making men fit to receive them, and by the moral power of an intelligent and enlightened People. It lays no plots

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and conspiracies. It hatches no premature revolutions; it encourages no people to revolt against the constituted authorities; but recognizing the great truth that freedom follows fitness for freedom as the corollary follows the axiom, it strives to prepare men to govern themselves.

Where domestic slavery exists, it teaches the master humanity and the alleviation of the condition of his slave, and moderate correction and gentle discipline; as it teaches them to the master of the apprentice: and as it teaches to the employers of other men, in mines, manufactories, and workshops, consideration and humanity for those who depend upon their labor for their bread, and to whom want of employment is starvation, and overwork is fever, consumption, and death.

As Master of a Lodge, you are to inculcate these duties on your brethren. Teach the employed to be honest, punctual, and faithful as well as respectful and obedient to all proper orders: but also teach the employer that every man or woman who desires to work, has a right to have work to do; and that they, and those who from sickness or feebleness, loss of limb or of bodily vigor, old age or infancy, are not able to work, have a right to be fed, clothed, and sheltered from the inclement elements: that he commits an awful sin against Masonry and in the sight of God, if he closes his workshops or factories, or ceases to work his mines, when they do not yield him what he regards as sufficient profit, and so dismisses his workmen and workwomen to starve; or when he reduces the wages of man or woman to so low a standard that they and their families cannot be clothed and fed and comfortably housed; or by overwork must give him their blood and life in exchange for the pittance of their wages: and that his duty as a Mason and Brother peremptorily requires him to continue to employ those who else will be pinched with hunger and cold, or resort to theft and vice: and to pay them fair wages, though it may reduce or annul his profits or even eat into his capital; for God hath but loaned him his wealth, and made him His almoner and agent to invest it.

Except as mere symbols of the moral virtues and intellectual qualities, the tools and implements of Masonry belong exclusively to the first three Degrees. They also, however, serve to remind the Mason who has advanced further, that his new rank is based upon the humble labors of the symbolic Degrees, as they are improperly termed, inasmuch as all the Degrees are symbolic.

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Thus the Initiates are inspired with a just idea of Masonry, to-wit, that it is essentially WORK; both teaching and practising LABOR; and that it is altogether emblematic. Three kinds of work are necessary to the preservation and protection of man and society: manual labor, specially belonging to the three blue Degrees; labor in arms, symbolized by the Knightly or chivalric Degrees; and intellectual labor, belonging particularly to the Philosophical Degrees.

We have preserved and multiplied such emblems as have a true and profound meaning. We reject many of the old and senseless explanations. We have not reduced Masonry to a cold metaphysics that exiles everything belonging to the domain of the imagination. The ignorant, and those half-wise in reality, but over-wise in their own conceit, may assail our symbols with sarcasms; but they are nevertheless ingenious veils that cover the Truth, respected by all who know the means by which the heart of man is reached and his feelings enlisted. The Great Moralists often had recourse to allegories, in order to instruct men without repelling them. But we have been careful not to allow our emblems to be too obscure, so as to require farfetched and forced interpretations. In our days, and in the enlightened land in which we live, we do not need to wrap ourselves in veils so strange and impenetrable, as to prevent or hinder instruction instead of furthering it; or to induce the suspicion that we have concealed meanings which we communicate only to the most reliable adepts, because they are contrary to good order or the well-being of society.

The Duties of the Class of Instructors, that is, the Masons of the Degrees from the 4th to the 8th, inclusive, are, particularly, to perfect the younger Masons in the words, signs and tokens and other work of the Degrees they have received; to explain to them the meaning of the different emblems, and to expound the moral instruction which they convey. And upon their report of proficiency alone can their pupils be allowed to advance and receive an increase of wages.

The Directors of the Work, or those of the 9th, 10th, and 11th Degrees are to report to the Chapters upon the regularity, activity and proper direction of the work of bodies in the lower Degrees, and what is needed to be enacted for their prosperity and usefulness. In the Symbolic Lodges, they are particularly charged to stimulate the zeal of the workmen, to induce them to engage in

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new labors and enterprises for the good of Masonry, their country and mankind, and to give them fraternal advice when they fall short of their duty; or, in cases that require it, to invoke against them the rigor of Masonic law.

The Architects, or those of the 12th, 13th, and 14th, should be selected from none but Brothers well instructed in the preceding Degrees; zealous, and capable of discoursing upon that Masonry; illustrating it, and discussing the simple questions of moral philosophy. And one of them, at every communication, should be prepared with a lecture, communicating useful knowledge or giving good advice to the Brethren.

The Knights, of the 15th and 16th Degrees, wear the sword. They are bound to prevent and repair, as far as may be in their power, all injustice, both in the world and in Masonry; to protect the weak and to bring oppressors to justice. Their works and lectures must be in this spirit. They should inquire whether Masonry fulfills, as far as it ought and can, its principal purpose, which is to succor the unfortunate. That it may do so, they should prepare propositions to be offered in the Blue Lodges calculated to attain that end, to put an end to abuses, and to prevent or correct negligence. Those in the Lodges who have attained the rank of Knights, are most fit to be appointed Almoners, and charged to ascertain and make known who need and are entitled to the charity of the Order.

In the higher Degrees those only should be received who have sufficient reading and information to discuss the great questions of philosophy. From them the Orators of the Lodges should be selected, as well as those of the Councils and Chapters. They are charged to suggest such measures as are necessary to make Masonry entirely faithful to the spirit of its institution, both as to its charitable purposes, and the diffusion of light and knowledge; such as are needed to correct abuses that have crept in, and offences against the rules and general spirit of the Order; and such as will tend to make it, as it was meant to be, the great Teacher of Mankind.

As Master of a Lodge, Council, or Chapter, it will be your duty to impress upon the minds of your Brethren these views of the general plan and separate parts of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; of its spirit and design; its harmony and regularity; of the duties of the officers and members; and of the particular lessons intended to be taught by each Degree.

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Especially you are not to allow any assembly of the body over which you may preside, to close, without recalling to the minds of the Brethren the Masonic virtues and duties which are represented upon the Tracing Board of this Degree. That is an imperative duty. Forget not that, more than three thousand years ago, ZOROASTER said: "Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong." Nor that more than two thousand three hundred years ago CONFUCIUS repeated, also quoting the language of those who had lived before himself: "Love thy neighbor as thyself: Do not to others what thou wouldst not wish should be done to thyself: Forgive injuries. Forgive your enemy, be reconciled to him, give him assistance, invoke God in his behalf!"

Let not the morality of your Lodge be inferior to that of the Persian or the Chinese Philosopher.

Urge upon your Brethren the teaching and the unostentatious practice of the morality of the Lodge, without regard to times, places, religions, or peoples.

Urge them to love one another, to be devoted to one another, to be faithful to the country, the government, and the laws: for to serve the country is to pay a dear and sacred debt:

To respect all forms of worship, to tolerate all political and religious opinions; not to blame, and still less to condemn the religion of others: not to seek to make converts; but to be content if they have the religion of Socrates; a veneration for the Creator, the religion of good works, and grateful acknowledgment of God's blessings:

To fraternize with all men; to assist all who are unfortunate; and to cheerfully postpone their own interests to that of the Order:

To make it the constant rule of their lives, to think well, to speak well, and to act well:

To place the sage above the soldier, the noble, or the prince: and take the wise and good as their models:

To see that their professions and practice, their teachings and conduct, do always agree:

To make this also their motto: Do that which thou oughtest to do; let the result be what it will.

Such, my Brother, are some of the duties of that office which you have sought to be qualified to exercise. May you perform them well; and in so doing gain honor for yourself, and advance the great cause of Masonry, Humanity, and Progress.

21. NOACHITE, OR PRUSSIAN KNIGHT

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XXI.

NOACHITE, OR PRUSSIAN KNIGHT.

You are especially charged in this Degree to be modest and humble, and not vain-glorious nor filled with self-conceit. Be not wiser in your own opinion than the Deity, nor find fault with His works, nor endeavor to improve upon what He has done. Be modest also in your intercourse with your fellows, and slow to entertain evil thoughts of them, and reluctant to ascribe to them evil intentions. A thousand presses, flooding the country with their evanescent leaves, are busily and incessantly engaged in maligning the motives and conduct of men and parties, and in making one man think worse of another; while, alas, scarcely one is found that ever, even accidentally, labors to make man think better of his fellow.

Slander and calumny were never so insolently licentious in any country as they are this day in ours. The most retiring disposition, the most unobtrusive demeanor, is no shield against their poisoned arrows. The most eminent public service only makes their vituperation and invective more eager and more unscrupulous, when he who has done such service presents himself as a candidate for the people's suffrages.

The evil is wide-spread and universal. No man, no woman, no household, is sacred or safe from this new Inquisition. No act is so pure or so praiseworthy, that the unscrupulous vender of lies who lives by pandering to a corrupt and morbid public appetite will not proclaim it as a crime. No motive is so innocent or so laudable, that he will not hold it up as villainy. Journalism pries into the interior of private houses, gloats over the details of domestic tragedies of sin and shame, and deliberately invents and industriously circulates the most unmitigated and baseless falsehoods, to coin money for those who pursue it as a trade, or to effect a temporary result in the wars of faction.

We need not enlarge upon these evils. They are apparent to all and lamented over by all, and it is the duty of a Mason to do all

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in his power to lessen, if not to remove them. With the errors and even sins of other men, that do not personally affect us or ours, and need not our condemnation to be odious, we have nothing to do; and the journalist has no patent that makes him the Censor of Morals. There is no obligation resting on us to trumpet forth our disapproval of every wrongful or injudicious or improper act that every other man commits. One would be ashamed to stand on the street corners and retail them orally for pennies.

One ought, in truth, to write or speak against no other one in this world. Each man in it has enough to do, to watch and keep guard over himself. Each of us is sick enough in this great Lazaretto: and journalism and polemical writing constantly re-mind us of a scene once witnessed in a little hospital; where it was horrible to hear how the patients mockingly reproached each other with their disorders and infirmities: how one, who was wasted by consumption, jeered at another who was bloated by dropsy: how one laughed at another's cancer of the face; and this one again at his neighbor's lock-jaw or squint; until at last the delirious fever-patient sprang out of his bed, and tore away the coverings from the wounded bodies of his companions, and nothing was to be seen but hideous misery and mutilation. Such is the revolting work in which journalism and political partisanship, and half the world outside of Masonry, are engaged.

Very generally, the censure bestowed upon men's acts, by those who have appointed and commissioned themselves Keepers of the Public Morals, is undeserved. Often it is not only undeserved, but praise is deserved instead of censure, and, when the latter is not undeserved, it is always extravagant, and therefore unjust.

A Mason will wonder what spirit they are endowed withal, that can basely libel at a man, even, that is fallen. If they had any nobility of soul, they would with him condole his disasters, and drop some tears in pity of his folly and wretchedness: and if they were merely human and not brutal, Nature did grievous wrong to human bodies, to curse them with souls so cruel as to strive to add to a wretchedness already intolerable. When a Mason hears of any man that hath fallen into public disgrace, he should have a mind to commiserate his mishap, and not to make him more disconsolate. To envenom a name by libels, that already is openly tainted, is to add stripes with an iron rod to one that is flayed with

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whipping; and to every well-tempered mind will seem most in-human and unmanly.

Even the man who does wrong and commits errors often has a quiet home, a fireside of his own, a gentle, loving wife and innocent children, who perhaps do not know of his past errors and lapses -- past and long repented of; or if they do, they love him the better, because, being mortal, he hath erred, and being in the image of God, he hath repented. That every blow at this husband and father lacerates the pure and tender bosoms of that wife and those daughters, is a consideration that doth not stay the hand of the brutal journalist and partisan: but he strikes home at these shrinking, quivering, innocent, tender bosoms; and then goes out upon the great arteries of cities, where the current of life pulsates, and holds his head erect, and calls on his fellows to laud him and admire him, for the chivalric act he hath done, in striking his dagger through one heart into another tender and trusting one.

If you seek for high and strained carriages, you shall, for the most part, meet with them in low men. Arrogance is a weed that ever grows on a dunghill. It is from the rankness of that soil that she hath her height and spreadings. To be modest and unaffected with our superiors is duty; with our equals, courtesy; with our inferiors, nobleness. There is no arrogance so great as the proclaiming of other men's errors and faults, by those who understand nothing but the dregs of actions, and who make it their business to besmear deserving fames. Public reproof is like striking a deer in the herd: it not only wounds him, to the loss of blood, but betrays him to the hound, his enemy.

The occupation of the spy hath ever been held' dishonorable, and it is none the less so, now that with rare exceptions editors and partisans have become perpetual spies upon the actions of other men. Their malice makes them nimble-eyed, apt to note a fault and publish it, and, with a strained construction, to deprave even those things in which the doer's intents were honest. Like the crocodile, they slime the way of others, to make them fall; and when that has happened, they feed their insulting envy on the life-blood of the prostrate. They set the vices of other men on high, for the gaze of the world, and place their virtues under-ground, that none may note them. If they cannot wound upon proofs, they will do it upon likelihoods: and if not upon them, they

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manufacture lies, as God created the world, out of nothing; and so corrupt the fair tempter of men's reputations; knowing that the multitude will believe them, because affirmations are apter to win belief, than negatives to uncredit them; and that a lie travels faster than an eagle flies, while the contradiction limps after it at a snail's pace, and, halting, never overtakes it. Nay, it is contrary to the morality of journalism, to allow a lie to be contradicted in the place that spawned it. And even if that great favor is conceded, a slander once raised will scarce ever die, or fail of finding many that will allow it both a harbor and trust.

This is, beyond any other, the age of falsehood. Once, to be suspected of equivocation was enough to soil a gentleman's escutcheon; but now it has become a strange merit in a partisan or statesman, always and scrupulously to tell the truth. Lies are part of the regular ammunition of all campaigns and controversies, valued according as they are profitable and effective; and are stored up and have a; market price, like saltpetre and sulphur; being even more deadly than they.

If men weighed the imperfections of humanity, they would breathe less condemnation. Ignorance gives disparagement a louder tongue than knowledge does. Wise men had rather know, than tell. Frequent dispraises are but the faults of uncharitable wit: and it is from where there is no judgment, that the heaviest judgment comes; for self-examination would make all judgments charitable. If we even do know vices in men, we can scarce show ourselves in a nobler virtue than in the charity of concealing them: if that be not a flattery persuading to continuance. And it is the basest office man can fall into, to make his tongue the defamer of the worthy man..

There is but one rule for the Mason in this matter. If there be virtues, and he is called upon to speak of him who owns them, let him tell them forth impartially. And if there be vices mixed with them, let him be content the world shall know them by some other tongue than his. For if the evil-doer deserve no pity, his wife, his parents, or his children, or other innocent persons who love him may; and the bravo's trade, practised by him who stabs the defenceless for a price paid by individual or party, is really no more respectable now than it was a hundred years ago, in Venice. Where we want experience, Charity bids us think the best, and leave what we know not to the Searcher of Hearts; for mistakes,

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suspicions, and envy often injure a clear fame; and there is least danger in a charitable construction.

And, finally, the Mason should be humble and modest toward the Grand Architect of the Universe, and not impugn His Wisdom, nor set up his own imperfect sense of Right against His Providence and dispensations, nor attempt too rashly to explore the Mysteries of God's Infinite Essence and inscrutable plans, and of that Great Nature which we are not made capable to understand.

Let him steer far away from all those vain philosophies, which endeavor to account for all that is, without admitting that there is a God, separate and apart from the Universe which is his work: which erect Universal Nature into a God, and worship it alone: which annihilate Spirit, and believe no testimony except that of the bodily senses: which, by logical formulas and dextrous collocation of words, make the actual, living, guiding, and protecting God fade into the dim mistiness of a mere abstraction and unreality, itself a mere logical formula.

Nor let him have any alliance with those theorists who chide the delays of Providence and busy themselves to hasten the slow march which it has imposed upon events: who neglect the practical, to struggle after impossibilities: who are wiser than Heaven; know the aims and purposes of the Deity, and can see a short and more direct means of attaining them, than it pleases Him to employ: who would have no discords in the great harmony of the Universe of things; but equal distribution of property, no subjection of one man to the will of another, no compulsory labor, and still no starvation, nor destitution, nor pauperism.

Let him not spend his life, as they do, in building a new Tower of Babel; in attempting to change that which is fixed by an in-flexible law of God's enactment: but let him, yielding to the Superior Wisdom of Providence, content to believe that the march of events is rightly ordered by an Infinite Wisdom, and leads, though we cannot see it, to a great and perfect result, -- let him be satisfied to follow the path pointed out by that Providence, and to labor for the good of the human race in that mode in which God has chosen to enact that that good shall be effected: and above all, let him build no Tower of Babel, under the belief that by ascending he will mount so high that God will disappear or be superseded by a great monstrous aggregate of material forces, or mere glittering, logical formula; but, evermore, standing humbly

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and reverently upon the earth and looking with awe and confidence toward Heaven, let him be satisfied that there is a real God; a person, and not a formula; a Father and a protector, who loves, and sympathizes, and compassionates; and that the eternal ways by which He rules the world are infinitely wise, no matter how far they may be above the feeble comprehension and limited vision of man.

Freemasonry - Lute symbol

 

22. KNIGHT OF THE ROYAL AXE OR PRINCE OF LIBANUS


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XXII.

KNIGHT OF THE ROYAL AXE OR PRINCE OF LIBANUS.

SYMPATHY with the great laboring classes, respect for labor itself, and resolution to do some good work in our day and generation, these are the lessons of this Degree, and they are purely Masonic. Masonry has made a working-man and his associates the Heroes of her principal legend, and himself the companion of Kings. The idea is as simple and true as it is sublime. From first to last, Masonry is work. It venerates the Grand Architect of the Universe. It commemorates the building of a Temple. Its principal emblems are the working tools of Masons and Artisans. It preserves the name of the first worker in brass and iron as one of its pass-words. When the Brethren meet together, they are at labor. The Master is the overseer who sets the craft to work and gives them proper instruction. Masonry is the apotheosis of WORK.

It is the hands of brave, forgotten men that have made this great, populous, cultivated world a world for us. It is all work, and forgotten work. The real conquerors, creators, and eternal proprietors of every great and civilized land are all the heroic souls that ever were in it, each in his degree: all the men that ever felled a forest-tree or drained a marsh, or contrived a wise scheme, or did or said a true or valiant thing therein. Genuine work alone, done faithfully, is eternal, even as the Almighty Founder and World-builder Himself. All work is noble: a life of ease is not for any man, nor for any God. The Almighty Maker is not like one who, in old immemorial ages, having made his machine of a Universe, sits ever since, and sees it go. Out of that belief comes Atheism. The faith in an Invisible, Unnamable, Directing Deity, present everywhere in all that we see, and work, and suffer, is the essence of all faith whatsoever.

The life of all Gods figures itself to us as a Sublime Earnestness, -- of

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Infinite battle against Infinite labor Our highest religion is named the Worship of Sorrow. For the Son of Man there is no noble crown, well-worn, or even ill-worn, but is a crown of thorns. Man's highest destiny is not to be happy, to love pleasant things and find them. His only true unhappiness should be that he cannot work, and get his destiny as a man fulfilled. The day passes swiftly over, our life passes swiftly over, and the night cometh, wherein no man can work. That night once come, our happiness and unhappiness are vanished, and become as things that never were. But our work is not abolished, and has not vanished. It remains, or the want of it remains, for endless Times and Eternities.

Whatsoever of morality and intelligence; what of patience, perseverance, faithfulness, of method, insight, ingenuity, energy; in a word, whatsoever of STRENGTH a man has in him, will lie written in the WORK he does. To work is to try himself against Nature and her unerring, everlasting laws: and they will return true verdict as to him. The noblest Epic is a mighty Empire slowly built together, a mighty series of heroic deeds, a mighty conquest over chaos. Deeds are greater than words. They have a life, mute, but undeniable; and grow. They people the vacuity of Time, and make it green and worthy.

Labor is the truest emblem of God, the Architect and Eternal Maker; noble Labor, which is yet to be the King of this Earth, and sit on the highest Throne. Men without duties to do, are like trees planted on precipices; from the roots of which all the earth has crumbled. Nature owns no man who is not also a Martyr. She scorns the man who sits screened from all work, from want, danger, hardship, the victory over which is work; and has all his work and battling done by other men; and yet there are men who pride themselves that they and theirs have done no work time out of mind. So neither have the swine.

The chief of men is he who stands in the van of men, fronting the peril which frightens back all others, and if not vanquished would devour them. Hercules was worshipped for twelve labors. The Czar of Russia became a toiling shipwright, and worked with his axe in the docks of Saardam; and something came of that. Cromwell worked, and Napoleon; and effected somewhat.

There is a perennial nobleness and even sacredness in work. Be he never so benighted and forgetful of his high calling, there is

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always hope in a man who actually and earnestly works: in Idleness alone is there perpetual Despair. Man perfects himself by working. Jungles are cleared away. Fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal, the man himself first ceases to be a foul unwholesome jungle and desert thereby. Even in the meanest sort of labor, the whole soul of man is composed into a kind of real harmony, the moment he begins to work. Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, and even Despair shrink murmuring far off into their caves, whenever the man bends himself resolutely against his task. Labor is life. From the inmost heart of the worker rises his God-given Force, the Sacred Celestial Life-essence, breathed into him by Almighty God; and awakens him to all nobleness, as soon as work fitly begins. By it man learns Patience, Courage, Perseverance, Openness to light, readiness to own himself mistaken, resolution to do better and improve. Only by labor will man continually learn the virtues. There is no Religion in stagnation and inaction; but only in activity and exertion. There was the deepest truth in that saying of the old monks, "laborare est orare." "He prayeth best who loveth best all things both great and small;" and can man love except by working earnestly to benefit that being whom he loves?

"Work; and therein have well-being," is the oldest of Gospels; unpreached, inarticulate, but ineradicable, and enduring forever. To make Disorder, wherever found, an eternal enemy; to attack and subdue him, and make order of him, the subject not of Chaos, but of Intelligence and Divinity, and of ourselves; to attack ignorance, stupidity and brute-mindedness, wherever found, to smite it wisely and unweariedly, to rest not while we live and it lives, in the name of God, this is our duty as Masons; commanded us by the Highest God. Even He, with his unspoken voice, more awful than the thunders of Sinai, or the syllabled speech of the Hurricane, speaks to us. The Unborn Ages; the old Graves, with their long-moldering dust speak to us. The deep Death-Kingdoms, the Stars in their never-resting course, all Space and all Time, silently and continually admonish us that we too must work while it is called to-day. Labor, wide as the Earth, has its summit in Heaven. To toil, whether with the sweat of the brow, or of the brain or heart, is worship, -- the noblest thing yet discovered beneath the Stars. Let the weary cease to think that labor is a curse and doom pronounced by Deity, Without it there could be no true

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excellence in human nature. Without it, and pain, and sorrow, where would be the human virtues? Where Patience, Perseverance, Submission, Energy, Endurance, Fortitude, Bravery, Disinterestedness, Self-Sacrifice, the noblest excellencies of the Soul?

Let him who toils complain not, nor feel humiliated! Let him look up, and see his fellow-workmen there, in God's Eternity; they alone surviving there. Even in the weak human memory they long survive, as Saints, as Heroes, and as Gods: they alone survive, and people the unmeasured solitudes of Time.

To the primeval man, whatsoever good came, descended on him (as in mere fact, it ever does) direct from God; whatsoever duty lay visible for him, this a Supreme God had prescribed. For the primeval man, in whom dwelt Thought, this Universe was all a Temple, life everywhere a Worship.

Duty is with us ever; and evermore forbids us to be idle. To work with the hands or brain, according to our requirements and our capacities, to do that which lies before us to do, is more honorable than rank and title. Ploughers, spinners and builders, inventors, and men of science, poets, advocates, and writers, all stand upon one common level, and form one grand, innumerable host, marching ever onward since the beginning of the world: each entitled to our sympathy and respect, each a man and our brother.

It was well to give the earth to man as a dark mass, whereon to labor. It was well to provide rude and unsightly materials in the ore-bed and the forest, for him to fashion into splendor and beauty. It was well, not because of that splendor and beauty; but because the act creating them is better than the things themselves; because exertion is nobler than enjoyment; because the laborer is greater and more worthy of honor than the idler. Masonry stands up for the nobility of labor. It is Heaven's great ordinance for human improvement. It has been broken down for ages; and Masonry desires to build it up again. It has been broken down, because men toil only because they must, submitting to it as, in some sort, a degrading necessity; and desiring nothing so much on earth as to escape from it. They fulfill the great law of labor in the letter, but break it in the spirit,: they fulfill it with the muscles, but break it with the mind.

Masonry teaches that every idler ought to hasten to some field of labor, manual or mental, as a chosen and coveted theatre of improvement; but he is not impelled to do so, under the teachings

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of an imperfect civilization. On the contrary, he sits down, folds his hands, and blesses and glorifies himself in his idleness. It is time that this opprobrium of toil were done away. To be ashamed of toil; of the dingy workshop and dusty labor-field; of the hard hand, stained with service more honorable than that of war; of the soiled and weather-stained garments, on which Mother Nature has stamped, midst sun and rain, midst fire and steam, her own heraldic honors; to be ashamed of these tokens and titles, and envious of the flaunting robes of imbecile idleness and vanity, is treason to Nature, impiety to Heaven, a breach of Heaven's great Ordinance. TOIL, of brain, heart, or hand, is the only true man-hood and genuine nobility.

Labor is a more beneficent ministration than man's ignorance comprehends, or his complainings will admit. Even when its end is hidden from him, it is not mere blind drudgery. It is all a training, a discipline, a development of energies, a nurse of virtues, a school of improvement. From the poor boy who gathers a few sticks for his mother's hearth, to the strong man who fells the oak or guides the ship or the steam-car, every human toiler, with every weary step and every urgent task, is obeying a wisdom far above his own wisdom, and fulfilling a design far beyond his own design.

The great law of human industry is this: that industry, working either with the hand or the mind, the application of our powers to some task, to the achievement of some result, lies at the foundation of all human improvement. We are not sent into the world like animals, to crop the spontaneous herbage of the field, and then to lie down in indolent repose: but we are sent to dig the soil and plough the sea; to do the business of cities and the work of manufactories. The world is the great and appointed school of industry. In an artificial state of society, mankind is divided into the idle and the laboring classes; but such was not the design of Providence.

Labor is man's great function, his peculiar distinction and his privilege. From being an animal, that eats and drinks and sleeps only, to become a worker, and with the hand of ingenuity to pour his own thoughts into the moulds of Nature, fashioning them into forms of grace and fabrics of convenience, and converting them to purposes of improvement and happiness, is the greatest possible step in privilege.

The Earth and the Atmosphere are man's laboratory. With

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spade and plough, with mining-shafts and furnaces and forges, with fire and steam; midst the noise and whirl of swift and bright machinery, and abroad in the silent fields, man was made to be ever working, ever experimenting. And while he and all his dwellings of care and toil are borne onward with the circling skies, and the splendors of Heaven are around him, and their infinite depths image and invite his thought, still in all the worlds of philosophy, in the universe of intellect, man must be a worker. He is nothing, he can be nothing, can achieve nothing, fulfill nothing, without working. Without it, he can gain neither lofty improvement nor tolerable happiness. The idle must hunt down the hours as their prey. To them Time is an enemy, clothed with armor; and they must kill him, or themselves die. It never yet did answer, and it never will answer, for any man to do nothing, to be exempt from all care and effort, to lounge, to walk, to ride, and to feast alone. No man can live in that way. God made a law against it: which no human power can annul, no human ingenuity evade.

The idea that a property is to be acquired in the course of ten or twenty years, which shall suffice for the rest of life; that by some prosperous traffic or grand speculation, all the labor of a whole life is to be accomplished in a brief portion of it; that by dexterous management, a large part of the term of human existence is to be exonerated from the cares of industry and self-denial, is founded upon a grave mistake, upon a misconception of the true nature and design of business, and of the conditions of human well-being. The desire of accumulation for the sake of securing a life of ease and gratification, of escaping from exertion and self-denial, is wholly wrong, though very common.

It is better for the Mason to live while he lives, and enjoy life as it passes: to live richer and die poorer. It is best of all for him to banish from the mind that empty dream of future indolence and indulgence; to address himself to the business of life, as the school of his earthly education; to settle it with himself now that independence, if he gains it, is not to give him exemption from employment. It is best for him to know, that, in order to be a happy man, he must always be a laborer, with the mind or the body, or with both: and that the reasonable exertion of his powers, bodily and mental, is not to be regarded as mere drudgery, but as a good discipline, a wise ordination, a training in this primary school of our being, for nobler endeavors, and spheres of higher activity hereafter.

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There are reasons why a Mason may lawfully and even earnestly desire a fortune. If he can fill some fine palace, itself a work of art, with the productions of lofty genius; if he can be the friend and helper of humble worth; if he can seek it out, where failing health or adverse fortune presses it hard, and soften or stay the bitter hours that are hastening it to madness or to the grave; if he can stand between the oppressor and his prey, and bid the fetter and the dungeon give up their victim; if he can build up great institutions of learning, and academies of art; if he can open fountains of knowledge for the people, and conduct its streams in the right channels; if he can do better for the poor than to bestow alms upon them -- even to think of them, and devise plans for their elevation in knowledge and virtue, instead of forever opening the old reservoirs and resources for their improvidence; if he has sufficient heart and soul to do all this, or part of it; if wealth would be to him the handmaid of exertion, facilitating effort, and giving success to endeavor; then may he lawfully, and yet warily and modestly, desire it. But if it is to do nothing for him, but to minister ease and indulgence, and to place his children in the same bad school, then there is no reason why he should desire it.

What is there glorious in the world, that is not the product of labor, either of the body or of the mind? What is history, but its record? What are the treasures of genius and art, but its work? What are cultivated fields, but its toil? The busy marts, the rising cities, the enriched empires of the world are but the great treasure-houses of labor. The pyramids of Egypt, the castles and towers and temples of Europe, the buried cities of Italy and Mexico, the canals and railroads of Christendom, are but tracks, all round the world, of the mighty footsteps of labor. Without it antiquity would not have been. Without it, there would be no memory of the past, and no hope for the future.

Even utter indolence reposes on treasures that labor at some time gained and gathered. He that does nothing, and yet does not starve, has still his significance; for he is a standing proof that somebody has at some time worked. But not to such does Masonry do honor. It honors the Worker, the Toiler; him who produces and not alone consumes; him who puts forth his hand to add to the treasury of human comforts, and not alone to take away. It honors him who goes forth amid the struggling elements to fight his battle, and who shrinks not, with cowardly effeminacy, behind

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pillows of ease. It honors the strong muscle, and the manly nerve, and the resolute and brave heart, the sweating brow, and the toiling brain. It honors the great and beautiful offices of humanity, manhood's toil and woman's task; paternal industry and maternal watching and weariness; wisdom teaching and patience learning; the brow of care that presides over the State, and many-handed labor that toils in workshop, field, and study, beneath its mild and beneficent sway.

God has not made a world of rich men; but rather a world of poor men; or of men, at least, who must toil for a subsistence. That is, then, the best condition for man, and the grand sphere of human improvement. If the whole world could acquire wealth, (and one man is as much entitled to it as another, when he is born); if the present generation could lay up a complete provision for the next, as some men desire to do for their children; the world would be destroyed at a single blow. All industry would cease with the necessity for it; all improvement would stop with the demand for exertion; the dissipation of fortunes, the mischiefs of which are now countervailed by the healthful tone of society, would breed universal disease, and break out into universal license; and the world would sink, rotten as Herod, into the grave of its own loathsome vices.

Almost all the noblest things that have been achieved in the world, have been achieved by poor men; poor scholars, poor professional men, poor artisans and artists, poor philosophers, poets, and men of genius. A certain staidness and sobriety, a certain moderation and restraint, a certain pressure of circumstances, are good for man. His body was not made for luxuries. It sickens, sinks, and dies under them. His mind was not made for indulgence. It grows weak, effeminate, and dwarfish, under that condition. And he who pampers his body with luxuries and his mind with indulgence, bequeaths the consequences to the minds and bodies of his descendants, without the wealth which was their cause. For wealth, without a law of entail to help it, has always lacked the energy even to keep its own treasures. They drop from its imbecile hand. The third generation almost inevitably goes down the rolling wheel of fortune, and there learns the energy necessary to rise again, if it rises at all; heir, as it is, to the bodily diseases, and mental weaknesses, and the soul's vices of its ancestors, and not heir to their wealth. And yet we are, almost all of

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us, anxious to put our children, or to insure that our grandchildren shall be put, on this road to indulgence, luxury, vice, degradation, and ruin; this heirship of hereditary disease, soul malady, and mental leprosy.

If wealth were employed in promoting mental culture at home and works of philanthropy abroad; if it were multiplying studies of art, and building up institutions of learning around us; if it were in every way raising the intellectual character of the world, there could scarcely be too much of it. But if the utmost aim, effort, and ambition of wealth be, to procure rich furniture, and provide costly entertainments, and build luxurious houses, and minister to vanity, extravagance, and ostentation, there could scarcely be too little of it. To a certain extent it may laudably be the minister of elegancies and luxuries, and the servitor of hospitality and physical enjoyment: but just in proportion as its tendencies, divested of all higher aims and tastes, are running that way, they are running to peril and evil.

Nor does that peril attach to individuals and families alone. It stands, a fearful beacon, in the experience of Cities, Republics, and Empires. The lessons of past times, on this subject, are emphatic and solemn. The history of wealth has always been a history of corruption and downfall. The people never existed that could stand the trial. Boundless profusion is too little likely to spread for any people the theatre of manly energy, rigid self-denial, and lofty virtue. You do not look for the bone and sinew and strength of a country, its loftiest talents and virtues, its martyrs to patriotism or religion, its men to meet the days of peril and disaster, among the children of ease, indulgence, and luxury.

In the great march of the races of men over the earth, we have always seen opulence and luxury sinking before poverty and toil and hardy nurture. That is the law which .has presided over the great processions of empire. Sidon and Tyre, whose merchants possessed the wealth of princes; Babylon and Palmyra, the seats of Asiatic luxury; Rome, laden with the spoils of a world, overwhelmed by her own vices more than by the hosts of her enemies; all these, and many more, are examples of the destructive tendencies of immense and unnatural accumulation: and men must become more generous and benevolent, not more selfish and effeminate, as they become more rich, or the history of modern wealth will follow in the sad train of all past examples.

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All men desire distinction, and feel the need of some ennobling object in life. Those persons are usually most happy and satisfied in their pursuits, who have the loftiest ends in view. Artists, mechanicians, and inventors, all who seek to find principles or develop beauty in their work, seem most to enjoy it. The farmer who labors for the beautifying and scientific cultivation of his estate, is more happy in his labors than one who tills his own land for a mere subsistence. This is one of the signal testimonies which all human employments give to the high demands of our nature. To gather wealth never gives such satisfaction as to bring the humblest piece of machinery to perfection: at least, when wealth is sought for display and ostentation, or mere luxury, and ease, and pleasure; and not for ends of philanthropy, the relief of kindred, or the payment of just debts, or as a means to attain some other great and noble object.

With the pursuits of multitudes is connected a painful conviction that they neither supply a sufficient object, nor confer any satisfactory honor. Why work, if the world is soon not to know that such a being ever existed; and when one can perpetuate his name neither on canvas nor on marble, nor in books, nor by lofty eloquence, nor statesmanship?

The answer is, that every man has a work to do in himself, greater and sublimer than any work of genius; and works upon a nobler material than wood or marble -- upon his own soul and intellect, and may so attain the highest nobleness and grandeur known on earth or in Heaven; may so be the greatest of artists, and of authors, and his life, which is far more than speech, may be eloquent.

The great author or artist only portrays what every man should be. He conceives, what we should do. He conceives, and represents moral beauty, magnanimity, fortitude, love, devotion, forgiveness, the soul's greatness. He portrays virtues, commended to our admiration and imitation. To embody these portraitures in our lives is the practical realization of those great ideals of art. The magnanimity of Heroes, celebrated on the historic or poetic page; the constancy and faith of Truth's martyrs; the beauty of love and piety glowing on the canvas; the delineations of Truth and Right, that flash from the lips of the Eloquent, are, in their essence only that which every man may feel and practise in the daily walks of life. The work of virtue is nobler than any work of genius; for it is a nobler thing to be a hero than to describe one,

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to endure martyrdom than to paint it, to do right than to plead for it. Action is greater than writing. A good man is a nobler object of contemplation than a great author. There are but two things worth living for: to do what is worthy of being written; and to write what is worthy of being read; and the greater of these is the doing.

Every man has to do the noblest thing that any man can do or describe. There is a wide field for the courage, cheerfulness, energy, and dignity of human existence. Let therefore no Mason deem his life doomed to mediocrity or meanness, to vanity or unprofitable toil, or to any ends less than immortal. No one can truly say that the grand prizes of life are for others, and he can do nothing. No matter how magnificent and noble an act the author can describe or the artist paint, it will be still nobler for you to go and do that which one describes, or be the model which the other draws.

The loftiest action that ever was described is not more magnanimous than that which we may find occasion to do, in the daily walks of life; in temptation, in distress, in bereavement, in the solemn approach to death. In the great Providence of God, in the great ordinances of our being, there is opened to every man a sphere for the noblest action. It is not even in extraordinary situations, where all eyes are upon us, where all our energy is aroused, and all our vigilance is awake, that the highest efforts of virtue are usually demanded of us; but rather in silence and seclusion, amidst our occupations and our homes; in wearing sickness, that makes no complaint; in sorely-tried honesty, that asks no praise; in simple disinterestedness, hiding the hand that resigns its advantage to another.

Masonry seeks to ennoble common life. Its work is to go down into the obscure and unsearched records of daily conduct and feeling; and to portray, not the ordinary virtue of an extraordinary life; but the more extraordinary virtue of ordinary life. What is done and borne in the shades of privacy, in the hard and beaten path of daily care and toil, full of uncelebrated sacrifices; in the suffering, and sometimes insulted suffering, that wears to the world a cheerful brow; in the long strife of the spirit, resisting pain, penury, and neglect, carried on in the inmost depths of the heart; -- what is done, and borne, and wrought, and won there, is a higher glory, and shall inherit a brighter crown.

On the volume of Masonic life one bright word is written, from

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which on every side blazes an ineffable splendor. That word is DUTY.

To aid in securing to all labor permanent employment and its just reward: to help to hasten the coming of that time when no one shall stiffer from hunger or destitution, because, though willing and able to work, he can find no employment, or because he has been overtaken by sickness in the midst of his labor, are part of your duties as a Knight of the Royal Axe. And if we can succeed in making some small nook of God's creation a little more fruitful and cheerful, a little better and more worthy of Him, -- or in making some one or two human hearts a little wiser, and more manful and hopeful and happy, we shall have done work, worthy of Masons, and acceptable to our Father in Heaven.

Freemasonry - flower symbol

 

23. CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE


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XXIII.

CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE.

AMONG most of the Ancient Nations there was, in addition to their public worship, a private one styled the Mysteries; to which those only were admitted who had been prepared by certain ceremonies called initiations.

The most widely disseminated of the ancient worships were those of Isis, Orpheus, Dionusos, Ceres and Mithras. Many barbarous nations received the knowledge of the Mysteries in honor of these divinities from the Egyptians, before they arrived in Greece; and even in the British Isles the Druids celebrated those of Dionusos, learned by them from the Egyptians.

The Mysteries of Eleusis, celebrated at Athens in honor of Ceres, swallowed up, as it were, all the others. All the neighboring nations neglected their own, to celebrate those of Eleusis; and in a little while all Greece and Asia Minor were filled with the Initiates. They spread into the Roman Empire, and even beyond its limits, "those holy and august Eleusinian Mysteries," said Cicero, "in which the people of the remotest lands are initiated." Zosimus says that they embraced the whole human race; and Aristides termed them the common temple of the whole world.

There were, in the Eleusinian feasts, two sorts of Mysteries, the great, and the little. The latter were a kind of preparation for the former; and everybody was admitted to them. Ordinarily there was a novitiate of three, and sometimes of four years.

Clemens of Alexandria says that what was taught in the great Mysteries concerned the Universe, and was the completion and perfection of all instruction; wherein things were seen as they were, and nature and her works were made known.

The ancients said that the Initiates would be more happy after death than other mortals; and that, while the souls of the Profane on leaving their bodies, would be plunged in the mire, and remain buried in darkness, those of the Initiates would fly to the Fortunate Isles, the abode of the Gods.

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Plato said that the object of the Mysteries was to re-establish the soul in its primitive purity, and in that state of perfection which it had lost. Epictetus said, "whatever is met with therein has been instituted by our Masters, for the instruction of man and the correction of morals."

Proclus held that initiation elevated the soul, from a material, sensual, and purely human life, to a communion and celestial intercourse with the Gods; and that a variety of things, forms, and species were shown Initiates, representing the first generation of the Gods.

Purity of morals and elevation of soul were required of the Initiates. Candidates were required to be of spotless reputation and irreproachable virtue. Nero, after murdering his mother, did not dare to be present at the celebration of the Mysteries: and Antony presented himself to be initiated, as the most infallible mode of proving his innocence of the death of Avidius Cassius.

The Initiates were regarded as the only fortunate men. "It is upon us alone," says Aristophanes, "shineth the beneficent day-star. We alone receive pleasure from the influence of his rays; we, who are initiated, and who practise toward citizen and stranger every possible act of justice and piety." And it is therefore not surprising that, in time, initiation came to be considered as necessary as baptism afterward was to the Christians; and that not to have been admitted to the Mysteries was held a dishonor.

"It seems to me," says the great orator, philosopher, and moralist, Cicero, "that Athens, among many excellent inventions, divine and very useful to the human family, has produced none comparable to the Mysteries, which for a wild and ferocious life have substituted humanity and urbanity of manners. It is with good reason they use the term initiation; for it is through them that we in reality have learned the first principles of life; and they not only teach us to live in a manner more consoling and agreeable, but they soften the pains of death by the hope of a better life hereafter."

Where the Mysteries originated is not known. It is supposed that they came from India, by the way of Chaldæa, into Egypt, and thence were carried into Greece. Wherever they arose, they were practised among all the ancient nations; and, as was usual, the Thracians, Cretans, and Athenians each claimed the honor of

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invention, and each insisted that they had borrowed nothing from any other people.

In Egypt and the East, all religion, even in its most poetical forms, was more or less a mystery; and the chief reason why, in Greece, a distinct name and office were assigned to the Mysteries, was because the superficial popular theology left a want unsatisfied, which religion in a wider sense alone could supply. They were practical acknowledgments of the insufficiency of the popular religion to satisfy the deeper thoughts and aspirations of the mind. The vagueness of symbolism might perhaps reach what a more palpable and conventional creed could not. The former, by its indefiniteness, acknowledged the abstruseness of its subject; it treated a mysterious subject mystically; it endeavored to illustrate what it could not explain; to excite an appropriate feeling, if it could not develop an adequate idea; and made the image a mere subordinate conveyance for the conception, which itself never became too obvious or familiar.

The instruction now conveyed by books and letters was of old conveyed by symbols; and the priest had to invent or to perpetuate a display of rites and exhibitions, which were not only more attractive to the eye than words, but often to the mind more suggestive and pregnant with meaning.

Afterward, the institution became rather moral and political, than religious. The civil magistrates shaped the ceremonies to political ends in Egypt; the sages who carried them from that country to Asia, Greece, and the North of Europe, were all kings or legislators. The chief magistrate presided at those of Eleusis, represented by an officer styled King: and the Priest played but a subordinate part.

The Powers revered in the Mysteries were all in reality Nature-Gods; none of whom could be consistently addressed as mere heroes, because their nature was confessedly super-heroic. The Mysteries, only in fact a more solemn expression of the religion of the ancient poetry, taught that doctrine of the Theocracia or Divine Oneness, which even poetry does not entirely conceal. They were not in any open hostility with the popular religion,. but only a more solemn exhibition of its symbols; or rather a part of itself in a more impressive form. The essence of all Mysteries, as of all polytheism, consists in this, that the conception of an unapproachable Being, single, eternal, and unchanging, and, that

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of a God of Nature, whose manifold power is immediately revealed to the senses in the incessant round of movement, life, and death, fell asunder in the treatment, and were separately symbolized. They offered a perpetual problem to excite curiosity, and contributed to satisfy the all-pervading religious sentiment, which if it obtain no nourishment among the simple and intelligible, finds compensating excitement in a reverential contemplation of the obscure.

Nature is as free from dogmatism as from tyranny; and the earliest instructors of mankind not only adopted her lessons, but as far as possible adhered to her method of imparting them. They attempted to reach the understanding through the eye; and the greater part of all religious teaching was conveyed through this ancient and most impressive mode of "exhibition" or demonstration. The Mysteries were a sacred drama, exhibiting some legend significant of Nature's change, of the visible Universe in which the divinity is revealed, and whose import was in many respects as open to the Pagan, as to the Christian. Beyond the current traditions or sacred recitals of the temple, few explanations were given to the spectators, who were left, as in the school of nature, to make inferences for themselves.

The method of indirect suggestion, by allegory or symbol, is a more efficacious instrument of instruction than plain didactic language; since we are habitually indifferent to that which is acquired without effort: "The initiated are few, though many bear the thyrsus." And it would have been impossible to provide a lesson suited to every degree of cultivation and capacity, unless it were one framed after Nature's example, or rather a representation of Nature herself, employing her universal symbolism instead of technicalities of language, inviting endless research, yet rewarding the humblest inquirer, and disclosing its secrets to every one in proportion to his preparatory training and power to comprehend them.

Even if destitute of any formal or official enunciation of those important truths, which even in a cultivated age it was often found inexpedient to assert except under a veil of allegory, and which moreover lose their dignity and value in proportion as they are learned mechanically as dogmas, the shows of the Mysteries certainly contained suggestions if not lessons, which in the opinion not of one competent witness only, but of many, were adapted to elevate the character of the spectators. enabling them to augur

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something of the purposes of existence, as well as of the means of improving it, to live better and to die happier.

Unlike the religion of books or creeds, these mystic shows and performances were not the reading of a lecture, but the opening of a problem, implying neither exemption from research, nor hostility to philosophy: for, on the contrary, philosophy is the great Mystagogue or Arch-Expounder of symbolism: though the interpretations by the Grecian Philosophy of the old myths and symbols were in many instances as ill-founded, as in others they are correct.

No better means could be devised to rouse a dormant intellect, than those impressive exhibitions, which addressed it through the imagination: which, instead of condemning it to a prescribed routine of creed, invited it to seek, compare, and judge. The alteration from symbol to dogma is as fatal to beauty of expression, as that from faith to dogma is to truth and wholesomeness of thought.

The first philosophy often reverted to the natural mode of teaching; and Socrates, in particular, is said to have eschewed dogmas, endeavoring, like the Mysteries, rather to awaken and develop in the minds of his hearers the ideas with which they were already endowed or pregnant, than to fill them with ready-made adventitious opinions.

So Masonry still follows the ancient manner of teaching. Her symbols are the instruction she gives; and the lectures are but often partial and insufficient one-sided endeavors to interpret those symbols. He who would become an accomplished Mason, must not be content merely to hear or even to understand the lectures, but must, aided by them, and they having as it were marked out the way for him, study, interpret, and develop the symbols for himself.

The earliest speculation endeavored to express far more than it could distinctly comprehend; and the vague impressions of the mind found in the mysterious analogies of phenomena their most apt and energetic representations. The Mysteries, like the symbols of Masonry, were but an image of the eloquent analogies of Nature; both those and these revealing no new secret to such as were or are unprepared, or incapable of interpreting their significance.

Everywhere in the old Mysteries, and in all the symbolisms and ceremonial of the Hierophant was found the same mythical personage, who, like Hermes, or Zoroaster, unites Human Attributes

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with Divine, and is himself the God whose worship he introduced, teaching rude men the commencements of civilization through the influence of song, and connecting with the symbol of his death, emblematic of that of Nature, the most essential consolations of religion.

The Mysteries embraced the three great doctrines of Ancient Theosophy. They treated of God, Man, and Nature. Dionusos, whose Mysteries Orpheus is said to have founded, was the God of Nature, or of the moisture which is the life of Nature, who prepares in darkness the return of life and vegetation, or who is himself the Light and Change evolving their varieties. He was theologically one with Hermes, Prometheus, and Poseidon. In the Egean Islands he is Butes, Dardanus, Himeros, or Imbros. In Crete he appears as Iasius or Zeus, whose worship remaining unveiled by the usual forms of mystery, betrayed to profane curiosity the symbols, which, if irreverently contemplated, were sure to be misunderstood. In Asia he is the long-stoled Bassareus coalescing with the Sabazius of the Phrygian Corybantes: the same with the mystic Iacchus, nursling or son of Ceres, and with the dismembered Zagreus, son of Persephoné.

In symbolical forms the Mysteries exhibited THE ONE, of which THE MANIFOLD is an infinite illustration, containing a moral lesson, calculated to guide the soul through life, and to cheer it in death. The story of Dionusos was profoundly significant. He was not only creator of the world, but guardian, liberator, and Savior of the soul. God of the many-colored mantle, he was the resulting manifestation personified, the all in the many, the varied year, life passing into innumerable forms.

The spiritual regeneration of man was typified in the Mysteries by the second birth of Dionusos as offspring of the Highest; and the agents and symbols of that regeneration were the elements that affected Nature's periodical purification -- the air, indicated by the mystic fan or winnow; the fire, signified by the torch; and the baptismal water, for water is not only cleanser of all things, but the genesis or source of all.

These notions, clothed in ritual, suggested the soul's reformation and training, the moral purity formally proclaimed at Eleusis. He only was invited to approach, who was "of clean hands and ingenuous speech, free from all pollution, and with a clear conscience." "Happy the man," say the initiated in Euripides and

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Aristophanes, "who purifies his life, and who reverently consecrates his soul in the thia^sos of the God. Let him take heed to his lips that he utter no profane word; let him be just and kind to the stranger, and to his neighbor; let him give way to no vicious excess, lest he make dull and heavy the organs of the spirit. Far from the mystic dance of the thia^sos be the impure, the evil speaker, the seditious citizen, the selfish hunter after gain, the traitor; all those, in short, whose practices are more akin to the riot of Titans than to the regulated life of the Orphici, or the Curetan order of the Priests of Idæan Zeus."

The votary, elevated beyond the sphere of his ordinary faculties, and unable to account for the agitation which overpowered him, seemed to become divine in proportion as he ceased to be human; to be a dæmon or god. Already, in imagination, the initiated were numbered among the beatified. They alone enjoyed the true life, the Sun's true lustre, while they hymned their God beneath the mystic groves of a mimic Elysium, and were really renovated or regenerated under the genial influence of their dances.

"They whom Proserpina guides in her mysteries," it was said, "who imbibed her instruction and spiritual nourishment, rest from their labors and know strife no more. Happy they who witness and comprehend these sacred ceremonies! They are made to know the meaning of the riddle of existence by observing its aim and termination as appointed by Zeus; they partake a benefit more valuable and enduring than the grain bestowed by Ceres; for they are exalted in the scale of intellectual existence, and obtain sweet hopes to console them at their death."

No doubt the ceremonies of initiation were originally few and simple. As the great truths of the primitive revelation faded out of the memories of the masses of the People, and wickedness became rife upon the earth, it became necessary to discriminate, to require longer probation and satisfactory tests of the candidates, and by spreading around what at first were rather schools of instruction than mysteries, the veil of secrecy, and the pomp of ceremony, to heighten the opinion of their value and importance.

Whatever pictures later and especially Christian writers may draw of the Mysteries, they must, not only originally, but for many ages, have continued pure; and the doctrines of natural religion and morals there taught, have been of the highest importance;

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because both the most virtuous as well as the most learned and philosophic of the ancients speak of them in the loftiest terms. That they ultimately became degraded from their high estate, and corrupted, we know.

The rites of initiation became progressively more complicated. Signs and tokens were invented by which the Children of Light could with facility make themselves known to each other. Different Degrees were invented, as the number of Initiates enlarged, in order that there might be in the inner apartment of the Temple a favored few, to whom alone the more valuable secrets were entrusted, and who could wield effectually the influence and power of the Order.

Originally the Mysteries were meant to be the beginning of a new life of reason and virtue. The initiated or esoteric companions were taught the doctrine of the One Supreme God, the theory of death and eternity, the hidden mysteries of Nature, the prospect of the ultimate restoration of the soul to that state of perfection from which it had fallen, its immortality, and the states of reward and punishment after death. The uninitiated were deemed Profane, unworthy of public employment or private confidence, sometimes proscribed as Atheists, and certain of ever-lasting punishment beyond the grave.

All persons were initiated into the lesser Mysteries; but few attained the greater, in which the true spirit of them, and most of their secret doctrines were hidden. The veil of secrecy was impenetrable, sealed by oaths and penalties the most tremendous and appalling. It was by initiation only, that a knowledge of the Hieroglyphics could be obtained, with which the walls, columns, and ceilings of the Temples were decorated, and which, believed to have been communicated to the Priests by revelation from the celestial deities, the youth of all ranks were laudably ambitious of deciphering.

The ceremonies were performed at dead of night, generally in apartments under-ground, but sometimes in the centre of a vast pyramid, with every appliance that could alarm and excite the candidate. Innumerable ceremonies, wild and romantic, dreadful and appalling, had by degrees been added to the few expressive symbols of primitive observances, under which there were instances in which the terrified aspirant actually expired with fear. The pyramids were probably used for the purposes of initiation,

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as were caverns, pagodas, and labyrinths; for the ceremonies required many apartments and cells, long passages and wells. In Egypt a principal place for the Mysteries was the island of Philæ on the Nile, where a magnificent Temple of Osiris stood, and his relics were said to be preserved.

With their natural proclivities, the Priesthood, that select and exclusive class, in Egypt, India, Phœnicia, Judea and Greece, as well as in Britain and Rome, and wherever else the Mysteries were known, made use of them to build wider and higher the fabric of their own power. The purity of no religion continues long. Rank and dignities succeed to the primitive simplicity. Unprincipled, vain, insolent, corrupt, and venal men put on God's livery to serve the Devil withal; and luxury, vice, intolerance, and pride depose frugality, virtue, gentleness, and humility, and change the altar where they should be servants, to a throne on which they reign.

But the Kings, Philosophers, and Statesmen, the wise and great and good who were admitted to the Mysteries, long postponed their ultimate self-destruction, and restrained the natural tendencies of the Priesthood. And accordingly Zosimus thought that the neglect of the Mysteries after Diocletian abdicated, was the chief cause of the decline of the Roman Empire; and in the year 364, the Proconsul of Greece would not close the Mysteries, notwithstanding a law of the Emperor Valentinian, lest the people should be driven to desperation, if prevented from performing them; upon which, as they believed, the welfare of mankind wholly depended. They were practised in Athens until the 8th century, in Greece and Rome for several centuries after Christ; and in Wales and Scotland down to the 12th century.

The inhabitants of India originally practised the Patriarchal religion. Even the later worship of Vishnu was cheerful and social; accompanied with the festive song, the sprightly dance, and the resounding cymbal, with libations of milk and honey, garlands, and perfumes from aromatic woods and gums.

There perhaps the Mysteries commenced; and in them, under allegories, were taught the primitive truths. We cannot, within the limits of this lecture, detail the ceremonies of initiation; and shall use general language, except where something from those old Mysteries still remains in Masonry.

The Initiate was invested with a cord of three threads, so twined

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as to make three times three, and called zennar. Hence comes our cable-tow. It was an emblem of their tri-une Deity, the remembrance of whom we also preserve in the three chief officers of our Lodges, presiding in the three quarters of that Universe which our Lodges represent; in our three greater and three lesser lights, our three movable and three immovable jewels, and the three pillars that support our Lodges.

The Indian Mysteries were celebrated in subterranean caverns and grottos hewn in the solid rock; and the Initiates adored the Deity, symbolized by the solar fire. The candidate, long wandering in darkness, truly wanted Light, and the worship taught him was the worship of God, the Source of Light. The vast Temple of Elephanta, perhaps the oldest in the world, hewn out of the rock, and 135 feet square, was used for initiations; as were the still vaster caverns of Salsette, with their 300 apartments.

The periods of initiation were regulated by the increase and decrease of the moon. The Mysteries were divided into four steps or Degrees. The candidate might receive the first at eight years of age, when he was invested with the zennar. Each Degree dispensed something of perfection. "Let the wretched man," says the Hitopadesa, "practise virtue, whenever he enjoys one of the three or four religious Degrees; let him be even-minded with all created things, and that disposition will be the source of virtue."

After various ceremonies, chiefly relating to the unity and trinity of the Godhead, the candidate was clothed in a linen garment without a seam, and remained under the care of a Brahmin until he was twenty years of age, constantly studying and practising the most rigid virtue. Then he underwent the severest probation for the second Degree, in which he was sanctified by the sign of the cross, which, pointing to the four quarters of the compass, was honored as a striking symbol of the Universe by many nations of antiquity, and was imitated by the Indians in the shape of their temples.

Then he was admitted to the Holy Cavern, blazing with light, where, in costly robes, sat, in the East, West, and South, the three chief Hierophants, representing the Indian tri-une Deity. The ceremonies there commenced with an anthem to the Great God of Nature; and then followed this apostrophe: "O mighty Being! greater than Brahma! we bow down before Thee as the

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primal Creator! Eternal God of Gods! The World's Mansion! Thou art the Incorruptible Being, distinct from all things transient! Thou art before all Gods, the Ancient Absolute Existence, and the Supreme Supporter of the Universe! Thou art the Supreme Mansion; and by Thee, O Infinite Form, the Universe was spread abroad."

The candidate, thus taught the first great primitive truth, was called upon to make a formal declaration, that he would be tract-able and obedient to his superiors; that he would keep his body pure; govern his tongue, and observe a passive obedience in receiving the doctrines and traditions of the Order; and the firmest secrecy in maintaining inviolable its hidden and abstruse mysteries. Then he was sprinkled with water (whence our baptism); certain words, now unknown, were whispered in his ear; and he was divested of his shoes, and made to go three times around the cavern. Hence our three circuits; hence we were neither barefoot nor shod: and the words were the Pass-words of that Indian Degree.

The Gymnosophist Priests came from the banks of the Euphrates into Ethiopia, and brought with them their sciences and their doctrines. Their principal College was at Meroe, and their Mysteries were celebrated in the Temple of Amun, renowned for his oracle. Ethiopia was then a powerful State, which preceded Egypt in civilization, and had a theocratic government. Above the King was the Priest, who could put him to death in the name of the Deity. Egypt was then composed of the Thebaid only. Middle Egypt and the Delta were a gulf of the Mediterranean. The Nile by degrees formed an immense marsh, which, afterward drained by the labor of man, formed Lower Egypt; and was for many centuries governed by the Ethiopian Sacerdotal Caste, of Arabic origin; afterward displaced by a dynasty of warriors. The magnificent ruins of Axoum, with its obelisks and hieroglyphics, temples, vast tombs and pyramids, around ancient Meroe, are far older than the pyramids near Memphis.

The Priests, taught by Hermes, embodied in books the occult and hermetic sciences, with their own discoveries and the revelations of the Sibyls. They studied particularly the most abstract sciences, discovered the famous geometrical theorems which Pythagoras afterward learned from them, calculated eclipses, and regulated, nineteen centuries before Cæsar, the Julian year. They

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descended to practical investigations as to the necessities of life, and made known their discoveries to the people; they cultivated the fine arts, and inspired the people with that enthusiasm which produced the avenues of Thebes, the Labyrinth, the Temples of Karnac, Denderah, Edfou, and Philæ, the monolithic obelisks, and the great Lake Moeris, the fertilizer of the country.

The wisdom of the Egyptian Initiates, the high sciences and lofty morality which they taught, and their immense knowledge, excited the emulation of the most eminent men, whatever their rank and fortune; and led them, despite the complicated and terrible trials to be undergone, to seek admission into the Mysteries of Osiris and Isis.

From Egypt, the Mysteries went to Phœnicia, and were celebrated at Tyre. Osiris changed his name, and become Adoni or Dionusos, still the representative of the Sun; and afterward these Mysteries were introduced successively into Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Sicily, and Italy. In Greece and Sicily, Osiris took the name of Bacchus, and Isis that of Ceres, Cybele, Rhea and Venus.

Bar Hebraeus says: "Enoch was the first who invented books and different sorts of writing. The ancient Greeks declare that Enoch is the same as Mercury Trismegistus [Hermes], and that he taught the sons of men the art of building cities, and enacted some admirable laws. . . He discovered the knowledge of the Zodiac, and the course of the Planets; and he pointed out to the sons of men, that they should worship God, that they should fast, that they should pray, that they should give alms, votive offerings, and tenths. He reprobated abominable foods and drunkenness, and appointed festivals for sacrifices to the Sun, at each of the Zodiacal Signs."

Manetho extracted his history from certain pillars which he discovered in Egypt, whereon inscriptions had been made by Thoth, or the first Mercury [or Hermes], in the sacred letters and dialect: but which were after the flood translated from that dialect into the Greek tongue, and laid up in the private recesses of the Egyptian Temples. These pillars were found in subterranean caverns, near Thebes and beyond the Nile, not far from the sounding statue of Memnon, in a place called Syringes; which are described to be certain winding apartments underground; made, it is said, by those who were skilled in ancient rites; who, foreseeing the coming of the Deluge, and fearing lest the memory of their ceremonies

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should be obliterated, built and contrived vaults, dug with vast labor, in several places.

From the bosom of Egypt sprang a man of consummate wisdom, initiated in the secret knowledge of India, of Persia, and of Ethiopia, named Thoth or Phtha by his compatriots, Taut by the Phœnicians, Hermes Trismegistus by the Greeks, and Adris by the Rabbins. Nature seemed to have chosen him for her favorite, and to have lavished on him all the qualities necessary to enable him to study her and to know her thoroughly. The Deity had, so to say, infused into him the sciences and the arts, in order that he might instruct the whole world.

He invented many things necessary for the uses of life, and gave them suitable names; he taught men how to write down their thoughts and arrange their speech; he instituted the ceremonies to be observed in the worship of each of the Gods; he observed the course of the stars; he invented music, the different bodily exercises, arithmetic, medicine, the art of working in metals, the lyre with three strings; he regulated the three tones of the voice, the sharp, taken from autumn, the grave from winter, and the middle from spring, there being then but three seasons. It was he who taught the Greeks the mode of interpreting terms and things, whence they gave him the name of Ἑρμης [Hermes], which signifies Interpreter.

In Egypt he instituted hieroglyphics: he selected a certain number of persons whom he judged fitted to be the depositaries of his secrets, of such only as were capable of attaining the throne and the first offices in the Mysteries; he united them in a body, created them Priests of the Living God, instructed them in the sciences and arts, and explained to them the symbols by which they were veiled. Egypt, 1500 years before the time of Moses, revered in the Mysteries ONE SUPREME GOD, called the ONLY UNCREATED. Under Him it paid homage to seven principal deities. It is to Hermes, who lived at that period, that we must attribute the concealment or veiling [velation] of the Indian worship, which Moses unveiled or revealed, changing nothing of the laws of Hermes, except the plurality of his mystic Gods.

The Egyptian Priests related that Hermes, dying, said: "Hitherto I have lived an exile from my true country: now I return thither. Do not weep for me: I return to that celestial country whither each goes in his turn. There is God. This life is but a

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death." This is precisely the creed of the old Buddhists of Samaneans, who believed that from time to time God sent Buddhas on earth, to reform men, to wean them from their vices, and lead them back into the paths of virtue.

Among the sciences taught by Hermes, there were secrets which he communicated to the Initiates only upon condition that they should bind themselves, by a terrible oath, never to divulge them, except to those who, after long trial, should be found worthy to succeed them. The Kings even prohibited the revelation of them on pain of death. This secret was styled the Sacerdotal Art, and included alchemy, astrology, magism [magic], the science of spirits, etc. He gave them the key to the Hieroglyphics of all these secret sciences, which were regarded as sacred, and kept concealed in the most secret places of the Temple.

The great secrecy observed by the initiated Priests, for many years, and the lofty sciences which they professed, caused them to be honored and respected throughout all Egypt, which was regarded by other nations as the college, the sanctuary, of the sciences and arts. The mystery which surrounded them strongly excited curiosity. Orpheus metamorphosed himself, so to say, into an Egyptian. He was initiated into Theology and Physics. And he so completely made the ideas and reasonings of his teachers his own, that his Hymns rather bespeak an Egyptian Priest than a Grecian Poet: and the was the first who carried into Greece the Egyptian fables.

Pythagoras, ever thirsty for learning, consented even to be circumcised, in order to become one of the Initiates: and the occult sciences were revealed to him in the innermost part of the sanctuary.

The Initiates in a particular science, having been instructed by fables, enigmas, allegories, and hieroglyphics, wrote mysteriously whenever in their works they touched the subject of the Mysteries, and continued to conceal science under a veil of fictions.

When the destruction by Cambyses of many cities, and the ruin of nearly all Egypt, in the year 528 before our era, dispersed most of the Priests into Greece and elsewhere, they bore with them their sciences, which they continued to teach enigmatically, that is to say, ever enveloped in the obscurities of fables and hieroglyphics; to the end that the vulgar herd, seeing, might see nothing, and hearing, might comprehend nothing. All the writers

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drew from this source: but these Mysteries, concealed under so many unexplained envelopes, ended in giving birth to a swarm of absurdities, which, from Greece, spread over the whole earth.

In the Grecian Mysteries, as established by Pythagoras, there were three Degrees. A preparation of five years' abstinence and silence was required. If the candidate was found to be passionate or intemperate, contentious, or ambitious of worldly honors and distinctions, he was rejected.

In his lectures, Pythagoras taught the mathematics, as a medium whereby to prove the existence of God from observation and by means of reason; grammar, rhetoric, and logic, to cultivate and improve that reason, arithmetic, because he conceived that the ultimate benefit of man consisted in the science of numbers, and geometry, music, and astronomy, because he conceived that man is indebted to them for a knowledge of what is really good and useful.

He taught the true method of obtaining a knowledge of the Divine laws of purifying the soul from its imperfections, of searching for truth, and of practising virtue; thus imitating the perfections of God. He thought his system vain, if it did not contribute to expel vice and introduce virtue into the mind. He taught that the two most excellent things were, to speak the truth, and to render benefits to one another. Particularly he inculcated Silence, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. He taught the immortality of the soul, the Omnipotence of God, and the necessity of personal holiness to qualify a man for admission into the Society of the Gods.

Thus we owe the particular mode of instruction in the Degree of Fellow-Craft to Pythagoras; and that Degree is but an imperfect reproduction of his lectures. From him, too, we have many of our explanations of the symbols. He arranged his assemblies due East and West, because he held that Motion began in the East and proceeded to the West. Our Lodges are said to be due East and West, because the Master represents the rising Sun, and of course must be in the East. The pyramids, too, were built precisely by the four cardinal points. And our expression, that our Lodges extend upward to the Heavens, comes from the Persian and Druidic custom of having to their Temples no roofs but the sky.

Plato developed and spiritualized the philosophy of Pythagoras.

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Even Eusebius the Christian admits, that he reached to the vestibule of Truth, and stood upon its threshold.

The Druidical ceremonies undoubtedly came from India; and the Druids were originally Buddhists. The word Druidh, like the word Magi, signifies wise or learned men; and they were at once philosophers, magistrates, and divines.

There was a surprising uniformity in the Temples, Priests, doctrines, and worship of the Persian Magi and British Druids. The Gods of Britain were the same as the Cabiri of Samothrace. Osiris and Isis appeared in their Mysteries, under the names of Hu and Ceridwen; and like those of the primitive Persians, their Temples were enclosures of huge unhewn stones, some of which still remain, and are regarded by the common people with fear and veneration. They were generally either circular or oval. Some were in the shape of a circle to which a vast serpent was attached. The circle was an Eastern symbol of the Universe, governed by an Omnipotent Deity whose centre is everywhere, and his circumference nowhere: and the egg was an universal symbol of the world. Some of the Temples were winged, and some in the shape of a cross; the winged ones referring to Kneph, the winged Serpent-Deity of Egypt; whence the name of Navestock, where one of them stood. Temples in the shape of a cross were also found in Ireland and Scotland. The length of one of these vast structures, in the shape of a serpent, was nearly three miles.

The grand periods for initiation into the Druidical Mysteries, were quarterly; at the equinoxes and solstices. In the remote times when they originated, these were the times corresponding with the 13th of February, 1st of May, 19th of August, and 1st of November. The time of annual celebration was May-Eve, and the ceremonial preparations commenced at midnight, on the 29th of April. When the initiations were over, on May-Eve, fires were kindled on all the cairns and cromlechs in the island, which burned all night to introduce the sports of May-day. The festival was in honor of the Sun. The initiations were performed at midnight; and there were three Degrees.

The Gothic Mysteries were carried Northward from the East, by Odin; who, being a great warrior, modelled and varied them to suit his purposes and the genius of his people. He placed over their celebration twelve Hierophants, who were alike Priests, Counsellors of State, and Judges from whose decision there was no appeal.

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He held the numbers three and nine in peculiar veneration, and was probably himself the Indian Buddha. Every thrice-three months, thrice-three victims were sacrificed to the tri-une God.

The Goths had three great festivals; the most magnificent of which commenced at the winter solstice, and was celebrated in honor of Thor, the Prince of the Power of the Air. That being the longest night in the year, and the one after which the Sun comes Northward, it was commemorative of the Creation; and they termed it mother-night, as the one in which the creation of the world and light from the primitive darkness took place. This was the Yule, Juul, or Yeol feast, which afterward became Christmas. At this feast the initiations were celebrated. Thor was the Sun, the Egyptian Osiris and Kneph, the Phœnician Bel or Baal. The initiations were had in huge intricate caverns, terminating, as all the Mithriac caverns did, in a spacious vault, where the candidate was brought to light.

Joseph was undoubtedly initiated. After he had interpreted Pharaoh's dream, that Monarch made him his Prime Minister, let him ride in his second chariot, while they proclaimed before him, ABRECH!  [1] and set him over the land of Egypt. In addition to this, the King gave him a new name, Tsapanat-Paänakh, and married him to Asanat, daughter of Potai Parang, a Priest of An or Hieropolis, where was the Temple of Athom-Re, the Great God of Egypt; thus completely naturalizing him. He could not have contracted this marriage, nor have exercised that high dignity, without being first initiated in the Mysteries. When his Brethren came to Egypt the second time, the Egyptians of his court could not eat with them, as that would have been abomination, though they ate with Joseph; who was therefore regarded not as a foreigner, but as one of themselves: and when he sent and brought his brethren back, and charged them with taking his cup, he said, "Know ye not that a man like me practises divination?" thus assuming the Egyptian of high rank initiated into the Mysteries, and as such conversant with the occult sciences.

So also must Moses have been initiated: for he was not only brought up in the court of the King, as the adopted son of the King's daughter, until he was forty years of age; but he was instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians, and married afterward

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the daughter of Yethru_, a Priest of An likewise. Strabo and Diodorus both assert that he was himself a Priest of Heliopolis. Before he went into the Desert, there were intimate relations between him and the Priesthood; and he had successfully commanded, Josephus informs us, an army sent by the King against the Ethiopians. Simplicius asserts that Moses received from the Egyptians, in the Mysteries, the doctrines which he taught to the Hebrews: and Clemens of Alexandria and Philo say that he was a Theologian and Prophet, and interpreter of the Sacred Laws. Manetho, cited by Josephus, says he was a Priest of Heliopolis, and that his true and original (Egyptian) name was Asersaph or Osarsiph.

And in the institution of the Hebrew Priesthood, in the powers and privileges, as well as the immunities and sanctity which he conferred upon them, he closely imitated the Egyptian institutions; making public the worship of that Deity whom the Egyptian Initiates worshipped in private; and strenuously endeavoring to keep the people from relapsing into their old mixture of Chaldaic and Egyptian superstition and idol-worship, as they were ever ready and inclined to do; even Aharu_n, upon their first clamorous discontent, restoring the worship of Apis; as an image of which Egyptian God he made the golden calf.

The Egyptian Priests taught in their great Mysteries, that there was one God, Supreme and Unapproachable, who had conceived the Universe by His Intelligence, before He created it by His Power and Will. They were no Materialists nor Pantheists; but taught that Matter was not eternal or co-existent with the great First Cause, but created by Him.

The early Christians, taught by the founder of their Religion, but in greater perfection, those primitive truths that from the Egyptians had passed to the Jews, and been preserved among the latter by the Essenes, received also the institution of the Mysteries; adopting as their object the building of the symbolic Temple, preserving the old Scriptures of the Jews as their sacred book, and as the fundamental law, which furnished the new veil of initiation with the Hebraic words and formulas, that, corrupted and disfigured by time and ignorance, appear in many of our Degrees.

Such, my Brother, is the doctrine of the first Degree of, the Mysteries, or that of Chief of the Tabernacle, to which you have

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now been admitted, and the moral lesson of which is, devotion to the service of God, and disinterested zeal and constant endeavor for the welfare of men. You have here received only hints of the true objects and purposes of the Mysteries. Hereafter, if you are permitted to advance, you will arrive at a more complete understanding of them and of the sublime doctrines which they teach. Be content, therefore, with that which you have seer and heard, and await patiently the advent of the greater light.

Freemasonry - sunflower symbol


Footnotes

368:1 An Egyptian word, meaning, "Bow down."

24. PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE


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XXIV.

PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE.

SYMBOLS were the almost universal language of ancient theology. They were the most obvious method of instruction; for, like nature herself, they addressed the understanding through the eye; and the most ancient expressions denoting communication of religious knowledge, signify ocular exhibition. The first teachers of mankind borrowed this method of instruction; and it comprised an endless store of pregnant hieroglyphics. These lessons of the olden time were the riddles of the Sphynx, tempting the curious by their quaintness, but involving the personal risk of the adventurous interpreter. "The Gods themselves," it was said, "disclose their intentions to the wise, but to fools their teaching is unintelligible;" and the King of the Delphic Oracle was said not to declare, nor on the other hand to conceal; but emphatically to "intimate or signify."

The Ancient Sages, both barbarian and Greek, involved their meaning in similar indirections and enigmas; their lessons were conveyed either in visible symbols, or in those "parables and dark sayings of old," which the Israelites considered it a sacred duty to hand down unchanged to successive generations. The explanatory tokens employed by man, whether emblematical objects or actions, symbol's or mystic ceremonies, were like the mystic signs and portents either in dreams or by the wayside, supposed to be significant of the intentions of the Gods; both required the aid of anxious thought and skillful interpretation. It was only by a correct appreciation of analogous problems of nature, that the will of Heaven could be understood by the Diviner, or the lessons of Wisdom become manifest to the Sage.

The Mysteries were a series of symbols; and what was spoken there consisted wholly of accessory explanations of the act or image; sacred commentaries, explanatory of established symbols; with little of those independent traditions embodying physical or moral speculation, in which the elements or planets were the

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actors, and the creation and revolutions of the world were intermingled with recollections of ancient events: and yet with so much of that also, that nature became her own expositor through the medium of an arbitrary symbolical instruction; and the ancient views of the relation between the human and divine received dramatic forms.

There has ever been an intimate alliance between the two systems, the symbolic and the philosophical, in the allegories of the monuments of all ages, in the symbolic writings of the priests of all nations, in the rituals of all secret and mysterious societies; there has been a constant series, an invariable uniformity of principles, which come from an aggregate, vast, imposing, and true, composed of parts that fit harmoniously only there.

Symbolical instruction is recommended by the constant and uniform usage of antiquity; and it has retained its influence throughout all ages, as a system of mysterious communication. The Deity, in his revelations to man, adopted the use of material images for the purpose of enforcing sublime truths; and Christ taught by symbols and parables. The mysterious knowledge of the Druids was embodied in signs and symbols. Taliesin, describing his initiation, says: "The secrets were imparted to me by the old Giantess (Ceridwen, or Isis), without the use of audible language." And again he says, "I am a silent proficient."

Initiation was a school, in which were taught the truths of primitive revelation, the existence and attributes of one God, the immortality of the Soul, rewards and punishments in a future life, the phenomena of Nature, the arts, the sciences, morality, legislation, philosophy, and philanthropy, and what we now style psychology and metaphysics, with animal magnetism, and the other occult sciences.

All the ideas of the Priests of Hindostan, Persia, Syria, Arabia, Chaldæa, Phœnicia, were known to the Egyptian Priests. The rational Indian philosophy, after penetrating Persia and Chaldæa, gave birth to the Egyptian Mysteries. We find that the use of Hieroglyphics was preceded in Egypt by that of the easily understood symbols and figures, from the mineral, animal, and vegetable kingdoms, used by the Indians, Persians, and Chaldæans to express their thoughts; and this primitive philosophy was the basis of the modern philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato.

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All the philosophers and legislators that made Antiquity illustrious, were pupils of the initiation; and all the beneficent modifications in the religions of the different people instructed by them were owing to their institution and extension of the Mysteries. In the chaos of popular superstitions, those Mysteries alone kept man from lapsing into absolute brutishness. Zoroaster and Confucius drew their doctrines from the Mysteries. Clemens of Alexandria, speaking of the Great Mysteries, says: "Here ends all instruction. Nature and all things are seen and known." Had moral truths alone been taught the Initiate, the Mysteries could never have deserved nor received the magnificent eulogiums of the most enlightened men of Antiquity, -- of Pindar, Plutarch, Isocrates, Diodorus, Plato, Euripides, Socrates, Aristophanes, Cicero, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and others; -- philosophers hostile to the Sacerdotal Spirit, or historians devoted to the investigation of Truth. No: all the sciences were taught there; and those oral or written traditions briefly communicated, which reached back to the first age of the world.

Socrates said, in the Phædo of Plato: "It well appears that those who established the Mysteries, or secret assemblies of the initiated, were no contemptible personages, but men of great genius, who in the early ages strove to teach us, under enigmas, that he who shall go to the invisible regions without being purified, will be precipitated into the abyss; while he who arrives there, purged of the stains of this world, and accomplished in virtue, will be admitted to the dwelling-place of the Deity. . . The initiated are certain to attain the company of the Gods."

Pretextatus, Proconsul of Achaia, a man endowed with all the virtues, said, in the 4th century, that to deprive the Greeks of those Sacred Mysteries which bound together the whole human race, would make life insupportable.

Initiation was considered to be a mystical death; a descent into the infernal regions, where every pollution, and the stains and imperfections of a corrupt and evil life were purged away by fire and water; and the perfect Epopt was then said to be regenerated, new-born, restored to a renovated existence of life, light, and purity; and placed under the Divine Protection.

A new language was adapted to these celebrations, and also a language of hieroglyphics, unknown to any but those who had received the highest Degree. And to them ultimately were confined the learning, the morality, and the political power of every people

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among which the Mysteries were practised. So effectually was the knowledge of the hieroglyphics of the highest Degree hidden from all but a favored few, that in process of time their meaning was entirely lost, and none could interpret them. If the same hieroglyphics were employed in the higher as in the lower Degrees, they had a different and more abstruse and figurative meaning. It was pretended, in later times, that the sacred hieroglyphics and language were the same that were used by the Celestial Deities. Everything that could heighten the mystery of initiation was added, until the very name of the ceremony possessed a strange charm, and yet conjured up the wildest fears. The greatest rapture came to be expressed by the word that signified to pass through the Mysteries.

The Priesthood possessed one third of Egypt. They gained much of their influence by means of the Mysteries, and spared no means to impress the people with a full sense of their importance. They represented them as the beginning of a new life of reason and virtue: the initiated, or esoteric companions were said to entertain the most agreeable anticipations respecting death and eternity, to comprehend all the hidden mysteries of Nature, to have their souls restored to the original perfection from which man had fallen; and at their death to be borne to the celestial mansions of the Gods. The doctrines of a future state of rewards and punishments formed a prominent feature in the Mysteries; and they were also believed to assure much temporal happiness and good-fortune, and afford absolute security against the most imminent dangers by land and sea. Public odium was cast on those who refused to be initiated. They were considered profane, unworthy of public employment or private confidence; and held to be doomed to eternal punishment as impious. To betray the secrets of the Mysteries, to wear on the stage the dress of an Initiate, or to hold the Mysteries up to derision, was to incur death at the hands of public vengeance.

It is certain that up to the time of Cicero, the Mysteries still retained much of their original character of sanctity and purity. And at a later day, as we know, Nero, after committing a horrible crime, did not dare, even in Greece, to aid in the celebration of the Mysteries; nor at a still later day was Constantine, the Christian Emperor, allowed to do so, after his murder of his relatives.

Everywhere, and in all their forms, the Mysteries were

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funereal; and celebrated the mystical death and restoration to life of some divine or heroic personage: and the details of the legend and the mode of the death varied in the different Countries where the Mysteries were practised.

Their explanation belongs both to astronomy and mythology; and the Legend of the Master's Degree is but another form of that of the Mysteries, reaching back, in one shape or other, to the remotest antiquity.

Whether Egypt originated the legend, or borrowed it from India or Chaldæa, it is now impossible to know. But the Hebrews received the Mysteries from the Egyptians; and of course were familiar with their legend, -- known as it was to those Egyptian Initiates, Joseph and Moses. It was the fable (or rather the truth clothed in allegory and figures) of OSIRIS, the Sun, Source of Light and Principle of Good, and TYPHON, the Principle of Darkness and Evil. In all the histories of the Gods and Heroes lay couched and hidden astronomical details and the history of the operations of visible Nature; and those in their turn were also symbols of higher and profounder truths. None but rude uncultivated intellects could long consider the Sun and Stars and the Powers of Nature as Divine, or as fit objects of Human Worship; and they will consider them so while the world lasts; and ever remain ignorant of the great Spiritual Truths of which these are the hieroglyphics and expressions.

A brief summary of the Egyptian legend will serve to show the leading idea on which the Mysteries among the Hebrews were based.

Osiris, said to have been an ancient King of Egypt, was the Sun; and Isis, his wife, the Moon: and his history recounts, in poetical and figurative style, the annual journey of the Great Luminary of Heaven through the different Signs of the Zodiac.

In the absence of Osiris, Typhon, his brother, filled with envy and malice, sought to usurp his throne; but his plans were frustrated by Isis. Then he resolved to kill Osiris. This he did, by persuading him to enter a coffin or sarcophagus, which he then flung into the Nile. After a long search, Isis found the body, and concealed it in the depths of a forest; but Typhon, finding it there, cut it into fourteen pieces, and scattered them hither and thither. After tedious search, Isis found thirteen pieces, the fishes having eaten the other (the privates), which she replaced of wood, and

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buried the body at Philæ; where a temple of surpassing magnificence was erected in honor of Osiris.

Isis, aided by her son Orus, Horus or Har-oeri, warred against Typhon, slew him, reigned gloriously, and at her death was re-united to her husband, in the same tomb.

Typhon was represented as born of the earth; the upper part of his body covered with feathers, in stature reaching the clouds, his arms and legs covered with scales, serpents darting from him on every side, and fire flashing from his mouth. Horus, who aided in slaying him, became the God of the Sun, answering to the Grecian Apollo; and Typhon is but the anagram of Python, the great serpent slain by Apollo.

The word Typhon, like Eve, signifies a serpent, and life[1] By its form the serpent symbolizes life, which circulates through all nature. When, toward the end of autumn, the Woman (Virgo), in the constellations seems (upon the Chaldæan sphere) to crush with her heel the head of the serpent, this figure foretells the coming of winter, during which life seems to retire from all beings, and no longer to circulate through nature. This is why Typhon signifies also a serpent, the symbol of winter, which, in the Catholic Temples, is represented surrounding the Terrestrial Globe, which surmounts the heavenly cross, emblem of redemption. If the word Typhon is derived from Tupoul, it signifies a tree which produces apples (mala, evils), the Jewish origin of the fall of man. Typhon means also one who supplants, and signifies the human passions, which expel from our hearts the lessons of wisdom. In the Egyptian Fable, Isis wrote the sacred word for the instruction of men, and Typhon effaced it as fast as she wrote it. In morals, his name signifies Pride, Ignorance, and Falsehood.

When Isis first found the body, where it had floated ashore near Byblos, a shrub of erica or tamarisk near it had, by the virtue of the body, shot up into a tree around it, and protected it; and hence our sprig of acacia. Isis was also aided in her search by Anubis, in the shape of a dog. He was Sirius or the Dog-Star, the friend and counsellor of Osiris, and the inventor of language, grammar, astronomy, surveying, arithmetic, music, and medical science; the first maker of laws; and who taught the worship of the Gods, and the building of Temples.

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In the Mysteries, the nailing up of the body of Osiris in the chest or ark was termed the aphanism, or disappearance [of the Sun at the Winter Solstice, below the Tropic of Capricorn], and the recovery of the different parts of his body by Isis, the Euresis, or finding. The candidate went through a ceremony representing this, in all the Mysteries everywhere. The main facts in the fable were the same in all countries; and the prominent Deities were everywhere a male and a female.

In Egypt they were Osiris and Isis: in India, Mahadeva and Bhavani: in Phœnicia, Thammuz (or Adonis) and Astarte: in Phrygia, Atys and Cybele: in Persia, Mithras and Asis: in Samothrace and Greece, Dionusos or Sabazeus and Rhea: in Britain, Hu and Ceridwen: and in Scandinavia, Woden and Frea: and in every instance these Divinities represented the Sun and the Moon.

The mysteries of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, seem to have been the model of all other ceremonies of initiation subsequently established among the different peoples of the world. Those of Atys and Cybele, celebrated in Phrygia; those of Ceres and Proserpine, at Eleusis and many other places in Greece, were but copies of them. This we learn from Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus, Lactantius, and other writers; and in the absence of direct testimony should necessarily infer it from the similarity of the adventures of these Deities; for the ancients held that the Ceres of the Greeks was the same as the Isis of the Egyptians; and Dionusos or Bacchus as Osiris.

In the legend of Osiris and Isis, as given by Plutarch, are many details and circumstances other than those that we have briefly mentioned; and all of which we need not repeat here. Osiris married his sister Isis; and labored publicly with her to ameliorate the lot of men. He taught them agriculture, while Isis invented laws. He built temples to the Gods, and established their worship. Both were the patrons of artists and their useful inventions; and introduced the use of iron for defensive weapons and implements of agriculture, and of gold to adorn the temples of the Gods. He went forth with an army to conquer men to civilization, teaching the people whom he overcame to plant the vine and sow grain for food.

Typhon, his brother, slew him when the sun was in the sign of the Scorpion, that is to say, at the Autumnal Equinox. They had

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been rival claimants, says Synesius, for the throne of Egypt, as Light and Darkness contend ever for the empire of the world. Plutarch adds, that at the time when Osiris was slain, the moon was at its full; and therefore it was in the sign opposite the Scorpion, that is, the Bull, the sign of the Vernal Equinox.

Plutarch assures us that it was to represent these events and details that Isis established the Mysteries, in which they were re-produced by images, symbols, and a religious ceremonial, whereby they were imitated: and in which lessons of piety were given, and consolations under the misfortunes that afflict us here below. Those who instituted these Mysteries meant to strengthen religion and console men in their sorrows by the lofty hopes found in a religious faith, whose principles were represented to them covered by a pompous ceremonial, and under the sacred veil of allegory.

Diodorus speaks of the famous columns erected near Nysa, in Arabia, where, it was said, were two of the tombs of Osiris and Isis. On one was this inscription: "I am Isis, Queen of this country. I was instructed by Mercury. No one can destroy the laws which I have established. I am the eldest daughter of Saturn, most ancient of the Gods. I am the wife and sister of Osiris the King. I first made known to mortals the use of wheat. I am the mother of Orus the King. In my honor was the city of Bubaste built. Rejoice, O Egypt, rejoice, land that gave me birth!" . . . And on the other was this: "I am Osiris the King, who led my armies into all parts of the world, to the most thickly inhabited countries of India, the North, the Danube, and the Ocean. I am the eldest son of Saturn: I was born of the brilliant and magnificent egg, and my substance is of the same nature as that which composes light. There is no place in the Universe where I have not appeared, to bestow my benefits and make known my discoveries." The rest was illegible.

To aid her in the search for the body of Osiris, and to nurse her infant child Horus, Isis sought out and took with her Anubis, son of Osiris, and his sister Nephte. He, as we have said, was Sirius, the brightest star in the Heavens. After finding him, she went to Byblos, and seated herself near a fountain, where she had learned that the sacred chest had stopped which contained the body of Osiris. There she sat, sad and silent, shedding a torrent of tears. Thither came the women of the Court of Queen Astarte, and she spoke to them, and dressed their hair, pouring upon it deliciously

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perfumed ambrosia. This known to the Queen, Isis was engaged as nurse for her child, in the palace, one of the columns of which was made of the erica or tamarisk, that had grown up over the chest containing Osiris, cut down by the King, and unknown to him, still enclosing the chest: which column Isis afterward demanded, and from it extracted the chest and the body, which, the latter wrapped in thin drapery and perfumed, she carried away with her.

Blue Masonry, ignorant of its import, still retains among its emblems one of a woman weeping over a broken column, holding in her hand a branch of acacia, myrtle, or tamarisk, while Time, we are told, stands behind her combing out the ringlets of her hair. We need not repeat the vapid and trivial explanation there given, of this representation of Isis, weeping at Byblos, over the column torn from the palace of the King, that contained the body of Osiris, while Horus, the God of Time, pours ambrosia on her hair.

Nothing of this recital was historical; but the whole was an allegory or sacred fable, containing a meaning known only to those who were initiated into the Mysteries. All the incidents were astronomical, with a meaning still deeper lying behind that explanation, and so hidden by a double veil. The Mysteries, in which these incidents were represented and explained, were like those of Eleusis in their object, of which Pausanias, who was initiated, says that the Greeks, from the remotest antiquity, regarded them as the best calculated of all things to lead men to piety: and Aristotle says they were the most valuable of all religious institutions, and thus were called mysteries par excellence; and the Temple of Eleusis was regarded as, in some sort, the common sanctuary of the whole earth, where religion had brought together all that was most imposing and most august.

The object of all the Mysteries was to inspire men with piety, and to console them in the miseries of life. That consolation, so afforded, was the hope of a happier future, and of passing, after death, to a state of eternal felicity.

Cicero says that the Initiates not only received lessons which made life more agreeable, but drew from the ceremonies happy hopes for the moment of death. Socrates says that those who were so fortunate as to be admitted to the Mysteries, possessed, when dying, the most glorious hopes for eternity. Aristides says

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that they not only procure the Initiates consolations' in the present life, and means of deliverance from the great weight of their evils, but also the precious advantage of passing after death to a happier state.

Isis was the Goddess of Sais; and the famous Feast of Lights was celebrated there in her honor.' There were celebrated the Mysteries, in which were represented the death and subsequent restoration to life of the God Osiris, in a secret ceremony and scenic representation of his sufferings, called the Mysteries of Night.

The Kings of Egypt often exercised the functions of the Priest-hood; and they were initiated into the sacred science as soon as they attained the throne. So at Athens, the First Magistrate, or Archon-King, superintended the Mysteries. This was an image of the union that existed between the Priesthood and Royalty, in those early times when legislators and kings sought in religion a potent political instrument.

Herodotus says, speaking of the reasons why animals were deified in Egypt: "If I were to explain these reasons, I should be led to the disclosure of those holy matters which I particularly wish to avoid, and which, but from necessity, I should not have discussed at all." So he says, "The Egyptians have at Sais the tomb of a certain personage, whom I do not think myself permitted to specify. It is behind the Temple of Minerva." [The latter, so called by the Greeks, was really Isis, whose was the often-cited enigmatical inscription, "I am what was and is and is to come. No mortal hath yet unveiled me."] So again he says: "Upon this lake are represented by night the accidents which happened to him whom I dare not name. The Egyptians call them their Mysteries. Concerning these, at the same time that I confess myself sufficiently informed, I feel myself compelled to be silent. Of the ceremonies also in honor of Ceres, I may not venture to speak, further than the obligations of religion will allow me."

It is easy to see what was the great object of initiation and the Mysteries; whose first and greatest fruit was, as all the ancients testify, to civilize savage hordes, to soften their ferocious manners, to introduce among them social intercourse, and lead them into a way of life more worthy of men. Cicero considers the establishment of the Eleusinian Mysteries to be the greatest of all the benefits conferred by Athens on other commonwealths; their effects

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having been, he says, to civilize men, soften their savage and ferocious manners, and teach them the true principles of morals, which initiate man into the only kind of life worthy of him. The same philosophic orator, in a passage where he apostrophizes Ceres and Proserpine, says that mankind owes these Goddesses the first elements of moral life, as well as the first means of sustenance of physical life; knowledge of the laws, regulation of morals, and those examples of civilization which have improved the manners of men and cities.

Bacchus in Euripides says to Pentheus, that leis new institution (the Dionysiac Mysteries) deserved to be known, and that one of its great advantages was, that it proscribed all impurity: that these were the Mysteries of Wisdom, of which it would be imprudent to speak to persons not initiated: that they were established among the Barbarians, who in that showed greater wisdom than the Greeks, who had not yet received them.

This double object, political and religious, -- one teaching our duty to men, and the other what we owe to the Gods; or rather, respect for the Gods calculated to maintain that which we owe the laws, is found in that well-known verse of Virgil, borrowed by him from the ceremonies of initiation: "Teach me to respect justice and the Gods." This great lesson, which the Hierophant impressed on the Initiates, after they had witnessed a representation of the Infernal regions, the Poet places after his description of the different punishments suffered by the wicked in Tartarus, and immediately after the description of that of Sisyphus.

Pausanias, likewise, at the close of the representation of the punishments of Sisyphus and the daughters of Danaus, in the Temple at Delphi, makes this reflection; that the crime or impiety which in them had chiefly merited this punishment, was the contempt which they had shown for the Mysteries of Eleusis. From this reflection of Pausanias, who was an Initiate, it is easy to see that the Priests of Eleusis, who taught the dogma of punishment in Tartarus, included among the great crimes deserving these punishments, contempt for and disregard of the Holy Mysteries; whose object was to lead men to piety, and thereby to respect for justice and the laws, chief object of their institution, if not the only one, and to which the needs and interest of religion itself were subordinate; since the latter was but a means to lead more surely to the former; for the whole force of religious opinions

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being in the hands of the legislators to be wielded, they were sure of being better obeyed.

The Mysteries were not merely simple lustrations and the observation of some arbitrary formulas and ceremonies; nor a means of reminding men of the ancient condition of the race prior to civilization: but they led men to piety by instruction in morals and as to a future life; which at a very early day, if not originally, formed the chief portion of the ceremonial.

Symbols were used in the ceremonies, which referred to agriculture, as Masonry has preserved the ear of wheat in a symbol and in one of her words; but their principal reference was to astronomical phenomena. Much was no doubt said as to the condition of brutality and degradation in which man was sunk before the institution of the Mysteries; but the allusion was rather meta-physical, to the ignorance of the uninitiated, than to the wild life of the earliest men.

The great object of the Mysteries of Isis, and in general of all the Mysteries, was a great and truly politic one. It was to ameliorate our race, to perfect its manners and morals, and to restrain society by stronger bonds than those that human laws impose. They were the invention of that ancient science and wisdom which exhausted all its resources to make legislation perfect; and of that philosophy which has ever sought to secure the happiness of man, by purifying his soul from the passions which can trouble it, and as a necessary consequence introduce social disorder. And that they were the work of genius is evident from their employment of all the sciences, a profound knowledge of the human heart, and the means of subduing it.

It is a still greater mistake to imagine that they were the inventions of charlatanism, and means of deception. They may in the lapse of time have degenerated into imposture and schools of false ideas; but they were not so at the beginning; or else the wisest and best men of antiquity have uttered the most willful falsehoods. In process of time the very allegories of the Mysteries themselves, Tartarus and its punishments, Minos and the other judges of the dead, came to be misunderstood, and to be false because they were so; while at first they were true, because they were recognized as merely the arbitrary forms in which truths were enveloped.

The object of the Mysteries was to procure for man a real felicity on earth by the means of virtue; and to that end he was

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taught that his soul was immortal; and that error, sin, and vice must needs, by an inflexible law, produce their consequences. The rude representation of physical torture in Tartarus was but an image of the certain, unavoidable, eternal consequences that flow by the law of God's enactment from the sin committed and the vice indulged in. The poets and mystagogues labored to propagate these doctrines of the soul's immortality and the certain punishment of sin and vice, and to accredit them with the people, by teaching them the former in their poems, and the latter in the sanctuaries; and they clothed them with the charms, the one of poetry, and the other of spectacles and magic illusions.

They painted, aided by all the resources of art, the virtuous man's happy life after death, and the horrors of the frightful prisons destined to punish the vicious. In the shades of the sanctuaries, these delights and horrors were exhibited as spectacles, and the Initiates witnessed religious dramas, under the name of initiation and mysteries. Curiosity was excited by secrecy, by the difficulty experienced in obtaining admission, and by the tests to be undergone. The candidate was amused by the variety of the scenery, the pomp of the decorations, the appliances of machinery. Respect was inspired by the gravity and dignity of the actors and the majesty of the ceremonial; and fear and hope, sadness and delight, were in turns excited.

The Hierophants, men of intellect, and well understanding the disposition of the people and the art of controlling them, used every appliance to attain that object, and give importance and impressiveness to their ceremonies. As they covered those ceremonies with the veil of Secrecy, so they preferred that Night should cover them with its wings. Obscurity adds to impressiveness, and assists illusion; and they used it to produce an effect upon the astonished Initiate. The ceremonies were conducted in caverns dimly lighted: thick groves were planted around the Temples, to produce that gloom that impresses the mind with a religious awe.

The very word mystery, according to Demetrius Phalereus, was a metaphorical expression that denoted the secret awe which darkness and gloom inspired. The night was almost always the time fixed for their celebration; and they were ordinarily termed nocturnal ceremonies. Initiations into the Mysteries of Samothrace took place at night; as did those of Isis, of which Apuleius speaks.

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Euripides makes Bacchus say, that his Mysteries were celebrated at night, because there is in night something august and imposing.

Nothing excites men's curiosity so much as Mystery, concealing things which they desire to know: and nothing so much increases curiosity as obstacles that interpose to prevent them from indulging in the gratification of their desires. Of this the Legislators and Hierophants took advantage, to attract the people to their sanctuaries, and to induce them to seek to obtain lessons from which they would perhaps have turned away with indifference, if they had been pressed upon them. In this spirit of mystery they professed to imitate the Deity, who hides Himself from our senses, and conceals from us the springs by which He moves the Universe. They admitted that they concealed the highest truths under the veil of allegory, the more to excite the curiosity of men, and to urge them to investigation. The secrecy in which they buried their Mysteries, had that end. Those to whom they were confided, bound themselves, by the most fearful oaths, never to reveal them. They were not allowed even to speak of these important secrets with any others than the initiated; and the penalty of death was pronounced against any one indiscreet enough to reveal them, or found in the Temple without being an Initiate; and any one who had betrayed those secrets, was avoided by all, as excommunicated.

Aristotle was accused of impiety, by the Hierophant Eurymedon, for having sacrificed to the manes of his wife, according to the rite used in the worship of Ceres. He was compelled to flee to Chalcis; and to purge his memory from this stain, he directed, by his will, the erection of a Statue to that Goddess. Socrates, dying, sacrificed to Esculapius, to exculpate himself from the suspicion of Atheism. A price was set on the head of Diagoras, because he had divulged the Secret of the Mysteries. Andocides was accused of the same crime, as was Alcibiades, and both were cited to answer the charge before the inquisition at Athens, where the People were the Judges. Æschylus the Tragedian was accused of having represented the Mysteries on the stage; and was acquitted only on proving that he had never been initiated.

Seneca, comparing Philosophy to initiation, says that the most sacred ceremonies could be known to the adepts alone: but that many of their precepts were known even to the Profane. Such

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was the case with the doctrine of a future life, and a state of rewards and punishments beyond the grave. The ancient legislators clothed this doctrine, in the pomp of a mysterious ceremony, in mystic words and magical representations, to impress upon the mind the truths they taught, by the strong influence of such scenic displays upon the senses and imagination.

In the same way they taught the origin of the soul, its fall to the earth past the spheres and through the elements, and its final return to the place of its origin, when, during the continuance of its union with earthly matter, the sacred fire, which formed its essence, had contracted no stains, and its brightness had not been marred by foreign particles, which, denaturalizing it, weighed it down and delayed its return. These metaphysical ideas, with difficulty comprehended by the mass of the Initiates, were represented by figures, by symbols, and by allegorical analogies; no idea being so abstract that men do not seek to give it expression by, and translate it into, sensible images.

The attraction of Secrecy was enhanced by the difficulty of obtaining admission. Obstacles and suspense redoubled curiosity. Those who aspired to the initiation of the Sun and in the Mysteries of Mithras in Persia, underwent many trials. They commenced by easy tests and arrived by degrees at those that were most cruel, in which the life of the candidate was often endangered. Gregory Nazianzen terms them tortures and mystic punishments. No one can be initiated, says Suidas, until after he has proven, by the most terrible trials, that he possesses a virtuous soul, exempt from the sway of every passion, and at it were impassible. There were twelve principal tests; and some make the number larger.

The trials of the Eleusinian initiations were not so terrible; but they were severe; and the suspense, above all, in which the aspirant was kept for several years [the memory of which is retained in Masonry by the ages of those of the different Degrees], or the interval between admission to the inferior and initiation in the great Mysteries, was a species of torture to the curiosity which it was desired to excite. Thus the Egyptian Priests tried Pythagoras before admitting him to know the secrets of the sacred science. He succeeded, by his incredible patience and the courage with which he surmounted all obstacles, in obtaining admission to their society and receiving their lessons. Among the Jews the Essenes

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admitted none among them, until they had passed the tests or several Degrees.

By initiation, those who before were fellow-citizens only, became brothers, connected by a closer bond than before, by means of a religious fraternity, which, bringing men nearer together, united them more strongly: and the weak and the poor could more readily appeal for assistance to the powerful and the wealthy, with whom religious association gave them a closer fellowship.

The Initiate was regarded as the favorite of the Gods. For him alone Heaven opened its treasures. Fortunate during life, he could, by virtue and the favor of Heaven, promise himself after death an eternal felicity.

The Priests of the Island of Samothrace promised favorable winds and prosperous voyages to those who were initiated. It was promised them that the CABIRI, and Castor and Pollux, the DIOSCURI, should appear to them when the storm raged, and give them calms and smooth seas: and the Scholiast of Aristophanes says that those initiated in the Mysteries there were just men, who were privileged to escape from great evils and tempests.

The Initiate in the Mysteries of Orpheus, after he was purified, was considered as released from the empire of evil, and transferred to a condition of life which gave him the happiest hopes. "I have emerged from evil," he was made to say, "and have attained good." Those initiated in the Mysteries of Eleusis believed that the Sun blazed with a pure splendor for them alone. And, as we see in the case of Pericles, they flattered themselves that Ceres and Proserpine inspired them and gave them wisdom and counsel.

Initiation dissipated errors and banished misfortune: and after having filled the heart of man with joy during life, it gave him the most blissful hopes at the moment of death. We owe it to the Goddesses of Eleusis, says Socrates, that we do not lead the wild life of the earliest men: and to them are due the flattering hopes which initiation gives us for the moment of death and for all eternity. The benefit which we reap from these august ceremonies, says Aristides, is not only present joy, a deliverance and enfranchisement from the old ills; but also the sweet hope which we have in death of passing to a more fortunate state. And Theon says that participation of the Mysteries is the finest of all things, and the source of the greatest blessings. The happiness promised there was not limited to this mortal life; but it extended

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beyond the grave. There a new life was to commence, during which the Initiate was to enjoy a bliss without alloy and without limit. The Corybantes promised eternal life to the Initiates of the Mysteries of Cybele and Atys.

Apuleius represents Lucius, while still in the form of an ass, as addressing his prayers to Isis, whom he speaks of as the same as Ceres, Venus, Diana, and Proserpine, and as illuminating the walls of many cities simultaneously with her feminine lustre, and substituting her quivering light for the bright rays of the Sun. She appears to him in his vision as a beautiful female, "over whose divine neck her long thick hair hung in graceful ringlets." Addressing him, she says, "The parent of Universal nature attends thy call. The mistress of the Elements, initiative germ of generations, Supreme of Deities, Queen of departed spirits, first inhabitant of Heaven, and uniform type of all the Gods and Goddesses, propitiated by thy prayers, is with thee. She governs with her nod the luminous heights of the firmament, the salubrious breezes of the ocean; the silent deplorable depths of the shades below; one Sole Divinity under many forms, worshipped by the different nations of the Earth under many titles, and with various religious rites."

Directing him how to proceed, at her festival, to re-obtain his human shape, she says: "Throughout the entire course of the remainder of thy life, until the very last breath has vanished from thy lips, thou art devoted to my service. . . . Under my protection will thy life be happy and glorious: and when, thy days being spent, thou shalt descend to the shades below, and inhabit the Elysian fields, there also, even in the subterranean hemisphere, shalt thou pay frequent worship to me, thy propitious patron: and yet further: if through sedulous obedience, religious devotion to my ministry, and inviolable chastity, thou shalt prove thyself a worthy object of divine favor, then shalt thou feel the influence of the power that I alone possess. The number of thy days shall be prolonged beyond the ordinary decrees of fate."

In the procession of the festival, Lucius saw the image of the Goddess, on either side of which were female attendants, that, "with ivory combs in their hands, made believe, by the motion of their arms and the twisting of their fingers, to comb and ornament the Goddess' royal hair." Afterward, clad in linen robes, came the initiated, "The hair of the women was moistened by

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perfume, and enveloped in a transparent covering; but the men, terrestrial stars, as it were, of the great religion, were thoroughly shaven, and their bald heads shone exceedingly."

Afterward came the Priests, in robes of white linen. The first bore a lamp in the form of a boat, emitting flame from an orifice in the middle: the second, a small altar: the third, a golden palm-tree: and the fourth displayed the figure of a left hand, the palm open and expanded, "representing thereby a symbol of equity and fair-dealing, of which the left hand, as slower than the right hand, and more void of skill and craft, is therefore an appropriate emblem."

After Lucius had, by the grace of Isis, recovered his human form, the Priest said to him, "Calamity hath no hold on those whom our Goddess hath chosen for her service, and whom her majesty hath vindicated." And the people declared that he was fortunate to be "thus after a manner born again, and at once betrothed to the service of the Holy Ministry."

When he urged the Chief Priest to initiate him, he was answered that there was not "a single one among the initiated, of a mind so depraved, or so bent on his own destruction, as, without receiving a special command from Isis, to dare to undertake her minis-try rashly and sacrilegiously, and thereby commit an act certain to bring upon himself a dreadful injury." "For," continued the Chief Priest, "the gates of the shades below, and the care of our life being in the hands of the Goddess, -- the ceremony of initiation into the Mysteries is, as it were, to suffer death, with the precarious chance of resuscitation. Wherefore the Goddess, in the wisdom of her Divinity, hath been accustomed to select as persons to whom the secrets of her religion can with propriety be entrusted, those who, standing as it were on the utmost limit of the course of life they have completed, may through her Providence be in a manner born again, and commence the career of a new existence."

When he was finally to be initiated, he was conducted to the nearest baths, and after having bathed, the Priest first solicited forgiveness of the Gods, and then sprinkled him all over with the clearest and purest water, and conducted him back to the Temple; "where," says Apuleius, "after giving me some instruction, that mortal tongue is not permitted to reveal, he bade me for the succeeding ten days restrain my appetite, eat no animal food, and drink no wine."

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These ten days elapsed, the Priest led him into the inmost recesses of the Sanctuary. "And here, studious reader," he continues, "peradventure thou wilt be sufficiently anxious to know all that was said and done, which, were it lawful to divulge, I would tell thee; and, wert thou permitted to hear, thou shouldst know. Nevertheless, although the disclosure would affix the penalty of rash curiosity to my tongue as well as thy ears, yet will I, for fear thou shouldst be too long tormented with religious longing, and suffer the pain of protracted suspense, tell the truth notwithstanding. Listen then to what I shall relate. I approached the abode of death; with my foot I pressed the threshold of Proserpine's Palace. I was transported through the elements, and conducted back again. At midnight I saw the bright light of the sun shining. I stood in the presence of the Gods, the Gods of Heaven and of the Shades below; ay, stood near and worshipped. And now have I told thee such things that, hearing, thou necessarily canst not understand; and being beyond the comprehension of the Profane, I can enunciate without committing a crime."

After night had passed, and the morning had dawned, the usual ceremonies were at an end. Then he was consecrated by twelve stoles being put upon him, clothed, crowned with palm-leaves, and exhibited to the people. The remainder of that day was celebrated as his birthday and passed in festivities; and on the third day afterward, the same religious ceremonies were repeated, including a religious breakfast, "followed by a final consummation of ceremonies."

A year afterward, he was warned to prepare for initiation into the Mysteries of "the Great God, Supreme Parent of all the other Gods, the invincible OSIRIS." "For," says Apuleius, "although there is a strict connexion between the religions of both Deities, AND EVEN THE ESSENCE OF BOTH DIVINITIES IS IDENTICAL, the ceremonies of the respective initiations are considerably different."

Compare with this hint the following language of the prayer of Lucius, addressed to Isis; and we may judge what doctrines were taught in the Mysteries, in regard to the Deity: "O Holy and Perpetual Preserver of the Human Race! ever ready to cherish mortals by Thy munificence, and to afford Thy sweet maternal affection to the wretched under misfortune; Whose bounty is never at rest, neither by day nor by night, nor throughout the very minutest particle of duration; Thou who stretchest forth Thy

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health-bearing right hand over the land and over the sea for the protection of mankind, to disperse the storms of life, to unravel the inextricable entanglement of the web of fate, to mitigate the tempests of fortune, and restrain the malignant influences of the stars, -- the Gods in Heaven adore Thee, the Gods in the shades below do Thee homage, the stars obey Thee, the Divinities rejoice in Thee, the elements and the revolving seasons serve Thee! At Thy nod the winds breathe, clouds gather, seeds grow, buds germinate; in obedience to Thee the Earth revolves AND THE SUN GIVES US LIGHT. IT IS THOU WHO GOVERNEST THE UNIVERSE AND TREADEST TARTARUS UNDER THY FEET."

Then he was initiated into the nocturnal Mysteries of Osiris and Serapis: and afterward into those of Ceres at Rome: but of the ceremonies in these initiations, Apuleius says nothing.

Under the Archonship of Euclid, bastards and slaves were excluded from initiation; and the same exclusion obtained against the Materialists or Epicureans who denied Providence and consequently the utility of initiation. By a natural progress, it came at length to be considered that the gates of Elysium would open only for the Initiates, whose souls had been purified and regenerated in the sanctuaries. But it was never held, on the other hand, that initiation alone sufficed. We learn from Plato, that it was also necessary for the soul to be purified from every stain: and that the purification necessary was such as gave virtue, truth, wisdom, strength, justice, and temperance.

Entrance to the Temples was forbidden to all who had committed homicide, even if it were involuntary. So it is stated by both Isocrates and Theon. Magicians and Charlatans who made trickery a trade, and impostors pretending to be possessed by evil spirits, were excluded from the sanctuaries. Every impious person and criminal was rejected; and Lampridius states that before the celebration of the Mysteries, public notice was given, that none need apply to enter but those against whom their consciences uttered no reproach, and who were certain of their own innocence.

It was required of the Initiate that his heart and hands should be free from any stain. Porphyry says that man's soul, at death, should be enfranchised from all the passions, from hate, envy, and the others; and, in a word, be as pure as it is required to be in the Mysteries. Of course it is not surprising that parricides and perjurers,

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and others who had committed crimes against God or man, could not be admitted. In the Mysteries of Mithras, a lecture was repeated to the Initiate on the subject of Justice. And the great moral lesson of the Mysteries, to which all their mystic ceremonial tended, expressed in a single line by Virgil, was to practise Justice and revere the Deity; -- thus recalling men to justice, by connecting it with the justice of the Gods, who require it and punish its infraction. The Initiate could aspire to the favors of the Gods, only because and while he respected the rights of society and those of humanity. "The sun," says the chorus of Initiates in Aristophanes, "burns with a pure light for us alone, who, admitted to the Mysteries, observe the laws of piety in our intercourse with strangers and our fellow-citizens." The rewards of initiation were attached to the practice of the social virtues. It was not enough to be initiated merely. It was necessary to be faithful to the laws of initiation, which imposed on men duties in regard to their kind. Bacchus allowed none to participate in his Mysteries, but men who conformed to the rules of piety and justice. Sensibility, above all, and compassion for the misfortunes of others, were precious virtues, which initiation strove to encourage. "Nature," says Juvenal, "has created us compassionate, since it has endowed us with tears. Sensibility is the most admirable of our senses. What man is truly worthy of the torch of the Mysteries; who such as the Priest of Ceres requires him to be, if he regards the misfortunes of others as wholly foreign to himself?"

All who had not used their endeavors to defeat a conspiracy; and those who had on the contrary fomented one; those citizens who had betrayed their country, who had surrendered an advantageous post or place, or the vessels of the State, to the enemy; all who had supplied the enemy with money; and in general, all who had come short of their duties as honest men and good citizens, were excluded from the Mysteries of Eleusis. To be admitted there, one must have lived equitably, and with sufficient good fortune not to be regarded as hated by the Gods.

Thus the Society of the Initiates was, in its principle, and according to the true purpose of its institution, a society of virtuous men, who labored to free their souls from the tyranny of the passions, and to develop the germ of all the social virtues. And this was the meaning of the idea, afterward misunderstood, that

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entry into Elysium was only allowed to the Initiates: because entrance to the sanctuaries was allowed to the virtuous only, and Elysium was created for virtuous souls alone.

The precise nature and details of the doctrines as to a future life, and rewards and punishments there, developed in the Mysteries, is in a measure uncertain. Little direct information in regard to it has come down to us. No doubt, in the ceremonies, there was a scenic representation of Tartarus and the judgment of the dead, resembling that which we find in Virgil: but there is as little doubt that these representations were explained to be allegorical. It is not our purpose here to repeat the descriptions given of Elysium and Tartarus. That would be aside from our object. We are only concerned with the great fact that the Mysteries taught the doctrine of the soul's immortality, and that, in some shape, suffering, pain, remorse, and agony, ever follow sin as its consequences.

Human ceremonies are indeed but imperfect symbols; and the alternate baptisms in fire and water intended to purify us into immortality, are ever in this world interrupted at the moment of their anticipated completion. Life is a mirror which reflects only to deceive, a tissue perpetually interrupted and broken, an urn forever fed, yet never full.

All initiation is but introductory to the great change of death. Baptism, anointing, embalming, obsequies by burial or fire, are preparatory symbols, like the initiation of Hercules before descending to the Shades, pointing out the mental change which ought to precede the renewal of existence. Death is the true initiation, to which sleep is the introductory or minor mystery. It is the final rite which united the Egyptian with his God, and which opens the same promise to all who are duly prepared for it.

The body was deemed a prison for the soul; but the latter was not condemned to eternal banishment and imprisonment. The Father of the Worlds permits its chains to be broken, and has provided in the course of Nature the means of its escape. It was a doctrine of immemorial antiquity, shared alike by Egyptians, Pythagoreans, the Orphici, and by that characteristic Bacchic Sage, "the Preceptor of the Soul," Silenus, that death is far better than life; that the real death belongs to those who on earth are immersed in the Lethe of its passions and fascinations, and that the true life commences only when the soul is emancipated for its return.

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And in this sense, as presiding over life and death, Dionusos is in the highest sense the LIBERATOR: since, like Osiris, he frees the soul, and guides it in its migrations beyond the grave, preserving it from the risk of again falling under the slavery of matter or of some inferior animal form, the purgatory of Metempsychosis; and exalting and perfecting its nature through the purifying discipline of his Mysteries. "The great consummation of all philosophy," said Socrates, professedly quoting from traditional and mystic sources, "is Death: He who pursues philosophy aright, is studying how to die."

All soul is part of the Universal Soul, whose totality is Dionusos; and it is therefore he who, as Spirit of Spirits, leads back the vagrant spirit to its home, and accompanies it through the purifying processes, both real and symbolical, of its earthly transit. He is therefore emphatically the Mystes or Hierophant, the great Spiritual Mediator of Greek religion.

The human soul is itself δαιμονιος a God within the mind, capable through its own power of rivalling the canonization of the Hero, of making itself immortal by the practice of the good, and the contemplation of the beautiful and true. The removal to the Happy Islands could only be understood mythically; everything earthly must die; Man, like Œdipus, is wounded from his birth, his real elysium can exist only beyond the grave. Dionusos died and descended to the shades. His passion was the great Secret of the Mysteries; as Death is the Grand Mystery of existence. His death, typical of Nature's Death, or of her periodical decay and restoration, was one of the many symbols of the palingenesia or second birth of man.

Man descended from the elemental Forces or Titans [Elohim], who fed on the body of the Pantheistic Deity creating the Universe by self-sacrifice, commemorates in sacramental observance this mysterious passion; and while partaking of the raw flesh of the victim, seems to be invigorated by a fresh draught from the fountain of universal life, to receive a new pledge of regenerated existence. Death is the inseparable antecedent of life; the seed dies in order to produce the plant, and earth itself is rent asunder and dies at the birth of Dionusos. Hence the significancy of the phallus, or of its inoffensive substitute, the obelisk, rising as an emblem of resurrection by the tomb of buried Deity at Lerna or at Sais.

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Dionusos-Orpheus descended to the Shades to recover the lost Virgin of the Zodiac, to bring back his mother to the sky as Thyone; or what has the same meaning, to consummate his eventful marriage with Persephone, thereby securing, like the nuptials of his father with Semele or Danaë, the perpetuity of Nature. His under-earth office is the depression of the year, the wintry aspect in the alternations of bull and serpent, whose united series makes up the continuity of Time, and in which, physically speaking, the stern and dark are ever the parents of the beautiful and bright.

It was this aspect, sombre for the moment, but bright by anticipation, which was contemplated in the Mysteries: the human sufferer was consoled by witnessing the severer trials of the Gods; and the vicissitudes of life and death, expressed by apposite symbols, such as the sacrifice or submersion of the Bull, the extinction and re-illumination of the torch, excited corresponding emotions of alternate grief and joy, that play of passion which was present at the origin of Nature, and which accompanies all her changes.

The greater Eleusiniæ were celebrated in the month Boëdromion, when the seed was buried in the ground, and when the year, verging to its decline, disposes the mind to serious reflection. The first days of the ceremonial were passed in sorrow and anxious silence, in fasting and expiatory or lustral offices. On a sudden, the scene was changed: sorrow and lamentation were discarded, the glad name of Iacchus passed from mouth to mouth, the image of the God, crowned with myrtle and bearing a lighted torch, was borne in joyful procession from the Ceramicus to Eleusis, where, during the ensuing night, the initiation was completed by an imposing revelation. The first scene was in the προναος, or outer court of the sacred enclosure, where amidst utter darkness, or while the meditating God, the star illuminating the Nocturnal Mystery, alone carried an unextinguished torch, the candidates were overawed with terrific sounds and noises, while they painfully groped their way, as in the gloomy cavern of the soul's sublunar migration; a scene justly compared to the passage of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For by the immutable law exemplified in the trials of Psyche, man must pass through the terrors of the under-world, before he can reach the height of Heaven. At length the gates of the adytum were thrown open, a supernatural light streamed from the illuminated statue

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of the Goddess, and enchanting sights and sounds, mingled with songs and dances, exalted the communicant to a rapture of supreme felicity, realizing, as far as sensuous imagery could depict, the anticipated reunion with the Gods.

In the dearth of direct evidence as to the detail of the ceremonies enacted, or of the meanings connected with them, their tendency must be inferred from the characteristics of the contemplated deities with their accessory symbols and mythi, or from direct testimony as to the value of the Mysteries generally.

The ordinary phenomena of vegetation, the death of the seed in giving birth to the plant, connecting the sublimest hopes with the plainest occurrences, was the simple yet beautiful formula assumed by the great mystery in almost all religions, from the Zend-Avesta to the Gospel. As Proserpina, the divine power is as the seed decaying and destroyed; as Artemis, she is the principle of its destruction; but Artemis Proserpina is also Core_ Soteria, the Saviour, who leads the Spirits of Hercules and Hyacinthus to Heaven.

Many other emblems were employed in the Mysteries, -- as the dove, the myrtle-wreath, and others, all significant of life rising out of death, and of the equivocal condition of dying yet immortal man.

The horrors and punishments of Tartarus, as described in the Phædo and the Æneid, with all the ceremonies of the judgments of Minos, Eacus, and Rhadamanthus, were represented, sometimes more and sometimes less fully, in the Mysteries; in order to impress upon the minds of the Initiates this great lesson, -- that we should be ever. prepared to appear before the Supreme Judge, with a heart pure and spotless; as Socrates teaches in the Gorgias. For the soul stained with crimes, he says, to descend to the Shades, is the bitterest ill. To adhere to Justice and Wisdom, Plato holds, is our duty, that we may some day take that lofty road that leads toward the heavens, and avoid most of the evils to which the soul is exposed in its subterranean journey of a thousand years. And so in the Phædo, Socrates teaches that we should seek here below to free our soul of its passions, in order to be ready to enter our appearance, whenever Destiny summons us to the Shades.

Thus the Mysteries inculcated a great moral truth, veiled with a fable of huge proportions and the appliances of an impressive spectacle, to which, exhibited in the sanctuaries, art and natural

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magic lent all they had that was imposing. They sought to strengthen men against the horrors of death and the fearful idea of utter annihilation. Death, says the author of the dialogue, entitled Axiochus, included in the works of Plato, is but a passage to a happier state; but one must have lived well, to attain that most fortunate result. So that the doctrine of the immortality of the soul was consoling to the virtuous and religious man alone; while to all others it came with menaces and despair, surrounding them with terrors and alarms that disturbed their repose during all their life.

For the material horrors of Tartarus, allegorical to the Initiate, were real to the mass of the Profane; nor in latter times, did, perhaps many Initiates read rightly the allegory. The triple-walled prison, which the condemned soul first met, round which swelled and surged the fiery waves of Phlegethon, wherein rolled roaring, huge, blazing rocks; the great gate with columns of adamant, which none save the Gods could crush; Tisiphone, their warder, with her bloody robes; the lash resounding on the mangled bodies of the miserable unfortunates, their plaintive groans, mingled in horrid harmony with the clashings of their chains; the Furies, lashing the guilty with their snakes; the awful abyss where Hydra howls with its hundred heads, greedy to devour; Tityus, prostrate, and his entrails fed upon by the cruel vulture; Sisyphus, ever rolling his rock; Ixion on his wheel; Tantalus tortured by eternal thirst and hunger, in the midst of water and with delicious fruits touching his head; the daughters of Danaus at their eternal, fruitless task; beasts biting and venomous reptiles stinging; and devouring flame eternally consuming bodies ever renewed in endless agony; all these sternly impressed upon the people the terrible consequences of sin and vice, and urged them to pursue the paths of honesty and virtue.

And if, in the ceremonies of the Mysteries, these material horrors were explained to the Initiates as mere symbols of the unimaginable torture, remorse, and agony that would rend the immaterial soul and rack the immortal spirit, they were feeble and insufficient in the same mode and measure only, as all material images and symbols fall short of that which is beyond the cognizance of our senses: and the grave Hierophant, the imagery, the paintings, the dramatic horrors, the funeral sacrifices, the august mysteries, the solemn silence of the sanctuaries, were none the

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less impressive, because they were known to be but symbols, that with material shows and images made the imagination to be the teacher of the intellect.

So, too, it was represented, that except for the gravest sins there was an opportunity for expiation; and the tests of water, air, and fire were represented; by means of which, during the march of many years, the soul could be purified, and rise toward the ethereal regions; that ascent being more or less tedious and laborious, according as each soul was more or less clogged by the gross impediments of its sins and vices. Herein was shadowed forth, (how distinctly taught the Initiates we know not), the doctrine that pain and sorrow, misfortune and remorse, are the inevitable consequences that flow from sin and vice, as effect flows from cause; that by each sin and every act of vice the soul drops back and loses ground in its advance toward perfection: and that the ground so lost is and will be in reality never so recovered as that the sin shall be as if it never had been committed; but that throughout all the eternity of its existence, each soul shall be conscious that every act of vice or baseness it did on earth has made the distance greater between itself and ultimate perfection.

We see this truth glimmering in the doctrine, taught in the Mysteries, that though slight and ordinary offences could be expiated by penances, repentance, acts of beneficence, and prayers, grave crimes were mortal sins, beyond the reach of all such remedies. Eleusis closed her gates against Nero: and the Pagan Priests told Constantine that among all their modes of expiation there was none so potent as could wash from his soul the dark spots left by the murder of his wife, and his multiplied perjuries and assassinations.

The object of the ancient initiations being to ameliorate mankind and to perfect the intellectual part of man, the nature of the human soul, its origin, its destination, its relations to the body and to universal nature, all formed part of the mystic science; and to them in part the lessons given to the Initiate were directed. For it was believed that initiation tended to his perfection, and to preventing the divine part within him, overloaded with matter gross and earthy, from being plunged into gloom, and impeded in its return to the Deity. The soul, with them, was not a mere conception or abstraction; but a reality including in itself life and thought; or, rather, of whose essence it was to live and think,

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It was material; but not brute, inert, inactive, lifeless, motionless, formless, lightless matter. It was held to be active, reasoning, thinking; its natural home in the highest regions of the Universe, whence it descended to illuminate, give form and movement to, vivify, animate, and carry with itself the baser matter; and whither it unceasingly tends to reascend, when and as soon as it can free itself from its connection with that matter. From that substance, divine, infinitely delicate and active, essentially luminous, the souls of men were formed, and by it alone, uniting with and organizing their bodies, men lived.

This was the doctrine of Pythagoras, who learned it when he received the Egyptian Mysteries: and it was the doctrine of all who, by means of the ceremonial of initiation, thought to purify the soul. Virgil makes the spirit of Anchises teach it to Æneas: and all the expiations and lustrations used in the Mysteries were but symbols of those intellectual ones by which the soul was to be purged of its vice-spots and stains, and freed of the incumbrance of its earthly prison, so that it might rise unimpeded to the source from which it came.

Hence sprung the doctrine of the transmigration of souls; which Pythagoras taught as an allegory, and those who came after him received literally. Plato, like him, drew his doctrines from the East and the Mysteries, and undertook to translate the language of the symbols used there, into that of Philosophy; and to prove by argument and philosophical deduction, what, felt by the consciousness, the Mysteries taught by symbols as an indisputable fact, -- the immortality of the soul. Cicero did the same; and followed the Mysteries in teaching that the Gods were but mortal men, who for their great virtues and signal services had deserved that their souls should, after death, be raised to that lofty rank.

It being taught in the Mysteries, either by way of allegory, the meaning of which was not made known except to a select few, or, perhaps only at a later day, as an actual reality, that the souls of the vicious dead passed into the bodies of those animals to whose nature their vices had most affinity, it was also taught that the soul could avoid these transmigrations, often successive and numerous, by the practice of virtue, which would acquit it of them, free it from the circle of successive generations, and restore it at once to its source. Hence nothing was so ardently prayed for by the Initiates, says Proclus, as this happy fortune, which,

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delivering them from the empire of Evil, would restore them to their true life, and conduct them to the place of final rest. To this doctrine probably referred those figures of animals and monsters which were exhibited to the Initiate, before allowing him to see the sacred light for which he sighed.

Plato says, that souls will not reach the term of their ills, until the revolutions of the world have restored them to their primitive condition, and purified them from the stains which they have contracted by the contagion of fire, earth, and air. And he held that they could not be allowed to enter Heaven, until they had distinguished themselves by the practice of virtue in some one of three several bodies. The Manicheans allowed five: Pindar, the same number as Plato; as did the Jews.

And Cicero says, that the ancient soothsayers, and the interpreters of the will of the Gods, in their religious ceremonies and initiations, taught that we expiate here below the crimes committed in a prior life; and for that are born. It was taught in these Mysteries, that the soul passes through several states, and that the pains and sorrows of this life are an expiation of prior faults.

This doctrine of transmigration of souls obtained, as Porphyry informs us, among the Persians and Magi. It was held in the East and the West, and that from the remotest antiquity. Herodotus found it among the Egyptians, who made the term of the circle of migrations from one human body, through animals, fishes, and birds, to another human body, three thousand years. Empedocles even held that souls went into plants. Of these, the laurel was the noblest, as of animals the lion; both being consecrated to the Sun, to which, it was held in the Orient, virtuous souls were to return. The Curds, the Chinese, the Kabbalists, all held the same doctrine. So Origen held, and the Bishop Synesius, the latter of whom had been initiated, and who thus prayed to God: "O Father, grant that my soul, reunited to the light, may not be plunged again into the defilements of earth!" So the Gnostics held; and even the Disciples of Christ inquired if the man who was born blind, was not so punished for some sin that he had committed before his birth.

Virgil, in the celebrated allegory in which he develops the doctrines taught in the Mysteries, enunciated the doctrine, held by most of the ancient philosophers, of the pre-existence of souls, in the eternal fire from which they emanate; that fire which animates

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the stars, and circulates in every part of Nature: and the purifications of the soul, by fire, water, and air, of which he speaks, and which three modes were employed in the Mysteries of Bacchus, were symbols of the passage of the soul into different bodies.

The relations of the human soul with the rest of nature were a chief object of the science of the Mysteries. The man was there brought face to face with entire nature. The world, and the spherical envelope that surrounds it, were represented by a mystic egg, by the side of the image of the Sun-God whose Mysteries were celebrated. The famous Orphic egg was consecrated to Bacchus in his Mysteries. It was, says Plutarch, an image of the Universe, which engenders everything, and contains everything in its bosom. "Consult," says Macrobius, "the Initiates of the Mysteries of Bacchus, who honor with special veneration the sacred egg." The rounded and almost spherical form of its shell, he says, which encloses it on every side, and confines within itself the principles of life, is a symbolic image of the world; and the world is the universal principle of all things.

This symbol was borrowed from the Egyptians, who also consecrated the egg to Osiris, germ of Light, himself born, says Diodorus, from that famous egg. In Thebes, in Upper Egypt, he was represented as emitting it from his mouth, and causing to issue from it the first principle of heat and light, or the Fire-God, Vulcan, or Phtha. We find this egg even in Japan, between the horns of the famous Mithriac Bull, whose attributes Osiris, Apis, and Bacchus all borrowed.

Orpheus, author of the Grecian Mysteries, which he carried from Egypt to Greece, consecrated this symbol: and taught that matter, uncreated and informous, existed from all eternity, unorganized, as chaos; containing in itself the Principles of all Existences confused and intermingled, light with darkness, the dry with the humid, heat with cold; from which, it after long ages taking the shape of an immense egg, issued the purest matter, or first substance, and the residue was divided into the four elements, from which proceeded heaven and earth and all things else. This grand Cosmogonic idea he taught in the Mysteries; and thus the Hierophant explained the meaning of the mystic egg, seen by the Initiates in the Sanctuary.

Thus entire Nature, in her primitive organization, was presented

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to him whom it was wished to instruct in her secrets and initiate in her mysteries; and Clemens of Alexandria might well say that initiation was a real physiology.

So Phanes, the Light-God, in the Mysteries of the New Orphics, emerged from the egg of chaos: and the Persians had the great egg of Ormuzd. And Sanchoniathon tells us that in the Phœnician theology, the matter of chaos took the form of an egg; and he adds: "Such are the lessons which the Son of Thabion, first Hierophant of the Phœnicians, turned into allegories, in which physics and astronomy intermingled, and which he taught to the other Hierophants, whose duty it was to preside at orgies and initiations; and who, seeking to excite the astonishment and admiration of mortals, faithfully transmitted these things to their successors and the Initiates."

In the Mysteries was also taught the division of the Universal Cause into an Active and a Passive cause; of which two, Osiris and Isis, -- the heavens and the earth were symbols. These two First Causes, into which it was held that the great Universal First Cause at the beginning of things divided itself, were the two great Divinities, whose worship was, according to Varro, inculcated upon the Initiates at Samothrace. "As is taught," he says, "in the initiation into the Mysteries at Samothrace, Heaven and Earth are regarded as the two first Divinities. They are the potent Gods worshipped in that Island, and whose names are consecrated in the books of our Augurs. One of them is male and the other female; and they bear the same relation to each other as the soul does to the body, humidity to dryness." The Curetes, in Crete, had builded an altar to heaven and to Earth; whose Mysteries they celebrated at Gnossus, in a cypress grove.

These two Divinities, the Active and Passive Principles of the Universe, were commonly symbolized by the generative parts of man and woman; to which, in remote ages, no idea of indecency was attached; the Phallus and Cteis, emblems of generation and production, and which, as such, appeared in the Mysteries. The Indian Lingam was the union of both, as were the boat and mast and the point within a circle: all of which expressed the same philosophical idea as to the Union of the two great Causes of Nature, which concur, one actively and the other passively, in the generation of all beings: which were symbolized by what we now term Gemini, the Twins, at that remote period when the Sun was

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in that Sign at the Vernal Equinox, and when they were Male and Female; and of which the Phallus was perhaps taken from the generative organ of the Bull, when about twenty-five hundred years before our era he opened that equinox, and became to the Ancient World the symbol of the creative and generative Power.

The Initiates at Eleusis commenced, Proclus says, by invoking the two great causes of nature, the Heavens and the Earth, on which in succession they fixed their eyes, addressing to each a prayer. And they deemed it their duty to do so, he adds, because they saw in them the Father and Mother of all generations. The concourse of these two agents of the Universe was termed in theological language a marriage. Tertullian, accusing the Valentinians of having borrowed these symbols from the Mysteries of Eleusis, yet admits that in those Mysteries they were explained in a manner consistent with decency, as representing the powers of nature. He was too little of a philosopher to comprehend the sublime esoteric meaning of these emblems, which will, if you advance, in other Degrees be unfolded to you.

The Christian Fathers contented themselves with reviling and ridiculing the use of these emblems. But as they in the earlier times created no indecent ideas, and were worn alike by the most innocent youths and virtuous women, it will be far wiser for us to seek to penetrate their meaning. Not only the Egyptians, says Diodorus Siculus, but every other people that consecrate this symbol (the Phallus), deem that they thereby do honor to the Active Force of the universal generation of all living things. For the same reason, as we learn from the geographer Ptolemy, it was revered among the Assyrians and Persians. Proclus remarks that in the distribution of the Zodiac among the twelve great Divinities, by ancient astrology, six signs were assigned to the male and six to the female principle.

There is another division of nature, which has in all ages struck all men, and which was not forgotten in the Mysteries; that of Light and Darkness, Day and Night, Good and Evil; which mingle with, and clash against, and pursue or are pursued by each other throughout the Universe. The Great Symbolic Egg distinctly reminded the Initiates of this great division of the world. Plutarch, treating of the dogma of a Providence, and of that of the two principles of Light and Darkness, which he regarded as the basis of the Ancient Theology, of the Orgies and the Mysteries,

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as well among the Greeks as the Barbarians, -- a doctrine whose origin, according to him, is lost in the night of time, -- cites, in support of his opinion, the famous Mystic Egg of the disciples of Zoroaster and the Initiates in the Mysteries of Mithras.

To the Initiates in the Mysteries of Eleusis was exhibited the spectacle of these two principles, in the successive scenes of Darkness and Light which passed before their eyes. To the profoundest darkness, accompanied with illusions and horrid phantoms, succeeded the most brilliant light, whose splendor blazed round the statue of the Goddess. The candidate, says Dion Chrysostomus, passed into a mysterious temple, of astonishing magnitude and beauty, where were exhibited to him many mystic scenes; where his ears were stunned with many voices; and where Darkness and Light successively passed before him. And Themistius in like manner describes the Initiate, when about to enter into that part of the sanctuary tenanted by the Goddess, as filled with fear and religious awe, wavering, uncertain in what direction to advance through the profound darkness that envelopes him. But when the Hierophant has opened the entrance to the inmost sanctuary, and removed the robe that hides the Goddess, he exhibits her to the Initiate, resplendent with divine light. The thick shadow and gloomy atmosphere which had environed the candidate vanish; he is filled with a vivid and glowing enthusiasm, that lifts his soul out of the profound dejection in which it was plunged; and the purest light succeeds to the thickest darkness.

In a fragment of the same writer, preserved by Stobæus, we learn that the Initiate, up to the moment when his initiation is to be consummated, is alarmed by every kind of sight: that astonishment and terror take his soul captive; he trembles; cold sweat flows from his body; until the moment when the Light is shown him, -- a most astounding Light, -- the brilliant scene of Elysium, where he sees charming meadows overarched by a clear sky, and festivals celebrated by dances; where he hears harmonious voices, and the majestic chants of the Hierophants; and views the sacred spectacles. Then, absolutely free, and enfranchised from the dominion of all ills, he mingles with the crowd of Initiates, and, crowned with flowers, celebrates with them the holy orgies, in the brilliant realms of ether, and the dwelling-place of Ormuzd.

In the Mysteries of Isis, the candidate first passed through the

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dark valley of the shadow of death; then into a place representing the elements or sublunary world, where the two principles clash and contend; and was finally admitted to a luminous region, where the sun, with his most brilliant light, put to rout the shades of night. Then he himself put on the costume of the Sun-God, or the Visible Source of Ethereal Light, in whose Mysteries he was initiated; and passed from the empire of darkness to that of light. After having set his feet on the threshold of the palace of Pluto, he ascended to the Empyrean, to the bosom of the Eternal Principle of Light of the Universe, from which all souls and intelligences emanate.

Plutarch admits that this theory of two Principles was the basis of all the Mysteries, and consecrated in the religious ceremonies and Mysteries of Greece. Osiris and Typhon, Ormuzd and Ahriman, Bacchus and the Titans and Giants, all represented these principles. Phanes, the luminous God that issued from the Sacred Egg, and Night, bore the sceptres in the Mysteries of the New Bacchus. Night and Day were two of the eight Gods adored in the Mysteries of Osiris. The sojourn of Proserpine and also of Adonis, during six months of each year in the upper world, abode of light, and six months in the lower or abode of darkness, allegorically represented the same division of the Universe.

The connection of the different initiations with the Equinoxes which separate the Empire of the Nights from that of the Days, and fix the moment when one of these principles begins to prevail over the other, shows that the Mysteries referred to the continual contest between the two principles of light and darkness, each alternately victor and vanquished. The very object proposed by them shows that their basis was the theory of the two principles and their relations with the soul. "We celebrate the august Mysteries of Ceres and Proserpine," says the Emperor Julian, "at the Autumnal Equinox, to obtain of the Gods that the soul may not experience the malignant action of the Power of Darkness that is then about to have sway and rule in Nature." Sallust the Philosopher makes almost the same remark as to the relations of the soul with the periodical march of light and darkness, during an annual revolution; and assures us that the mysterious festivals of Greece related to the same. And in all the explanations given by Macrobius of the Sacred Fables in regard to the Sun, adored under the names of Osiris, Horus, Adonis, Atys, Bacchus, etc., we

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invariably see that they refer to the theory of the two Principles, Light and Darkness, and the triumphs gained by one over the other. In April was celebrated the first triumph obtained by the light of day over the length of the nights; and the ceremonies of mourning and rejoicing had, Macrobius says, as their object, the vicissitudes of the annual administration of the world.

This brings us naturally to the tragic portion of these religious scenes, and to the allegorical history of the different adventures of the Principle, Light, victor and vanquished by turns, in the combats waged with Darkness during each annual period. Here we reach the most mysterious part of the ancient initiations, and that most interesting to the Mason who laments the death of his Grand Master Khir-Om. Over it Herodotus throws the august veil of mystery and silence. Speaking of the Temple of Minerva, or of that Isis who was styled the Mother of the Sun-God, and whose Mysteries were termed Isiac, at Sais, he speaks of a Tomb in the Temple, in the rear of the Chapel and against the wall; and says, "It is the tomb of a man, whose name respect requires me to conceal. Within the Temple were great obelisks of stone [phalli], and a circular lake paved with stones and revetted with a parapet. It seemed to me as large as that at Delos" [where the Mysteries of Apollo were celebrated]. "In this lake the Egyptians celebrate, during the night, what they style the Mysteries, in which are represented the sufferings of the God of whom I have spoken above." This God was Osiris, put to death by Typhon, and who descended to the Shades and was restored to life; of which he had spoken before.

We are reminded, by this passage, of the Tomb of Khir-Om, his death, and his rising from the grave, symbolical of restoration of life; and also of the brazen Sea in the Temple at Jerusalem. Herodotus adds: "I impose upon myself a profound silence in regard to these Mysteries, with most of which I am acquainted. As little will I speak of the initiations of Ceres, known among the Greeks as Thesmophoria. What I shall say will not violate the respect which I owe to religion."

Athenagoras quotes this passage to show that not only the Statue but the Tomb of Osiris was exhibited in Egypt, and a tragic representation of his sufferings; and remarks that the Egyptians had mourning ceremonies in honor of their Gods, whose deaths they lamented; and to whom they afterward, sacrificed as having passed to a state of immortality.

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It is, however, not difficult, combining the different rays of light that emanate from the different Sanctuaries, to learn the genius and the object of these secret ceremonies. We have hints, and not details.

We know that the Egyptians worshipped the Sun, under the name of Osiris. The misfortunes and tragical death of this God were an allegory relating to the Sun. Typhon, like Ahriman, represented Darkness. The sufferings and death of Osiris in the Mysteries of the Night were a mystic image of the phenomena of Nature, and the conflict of the two great Principles which share the empire of Nature, and most influenced our souls. The Sun is neither born, dies, nor is raised to life: and the recital of these events was but an allegory, veiling a higher truth.

Horus, son of Isis, and the same as Apollo or the Sun, also died and was restored again to life and to his mother; and the priests of Isis celebrated these great events by mourning and joyous festival succeeding each other.

In the Mysteries of Phœnicia, established in honor of Thammuz or Adoni, also the Sun, the spectacle of his death and resurrection was exhibited to the Initiates. As we learn from Meursius and Plutarch, a figure was exhibited representing the corpse of a young man. Flowers were strewed upon his body, the women mourned for him; a tomb was erected to him. And these feasts, as we learn from Plutarch and Ovid, passed into Greece.

In the Mysteries of Mithras, the Sun-God, in Asia Minor, Armenia and Persia, the death of that God was lamented, and his resurrection was celebrated with the most enthusiastic expressions of joy. A corpse, we learn from Julian Firmicus, was shown the Initiates, representing Mithras dead; and afterward his resurrection was announced; and they were then invited to rejoice that the dead God was restored to life, and had by means of his sufferings secured their salvation. Three months before, his birth had been celebrated, under the emblem of an infant, born on the 25th of December, or the eighth day before the Kalends of January.

In Greece, in the Mysteries of the same God, honored under the name of Bakchos, a representation was given of his death, slain by the Titans; of his descent into hell, his subsequent resurrection, and his return toward his Principle or the pure abode whence he had descended to unite himself with matter. In the islands

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of Chios and Tenedos, his death was represented by the sacrifice of a man, actually immolated.

The mutilation and sufferings of the same Sun-God, honored in Phrygia under the name of Atys, caused the tragic scenes that were, as we learn from Diodorus Siculus, represented annually in the Mysteries of Cybele, mother of the Gods. An image was borne there, representing the corpse of a young man, over whose tomb tears were shed, and to whom funeral honors were paid.

At Samothrace, in the Mysteries of the Cabiri or great Gods, a representation was given of the death of one of them. This name was given to the Sun, because the Ancient Astronomers gave the name of Gods Cabiri and of Samothrace to the two Gods in the Constellation Gemini; whom others term Apollo and Hercules, two names of the Sun. Athenion says that the young Cabirus so slain was the same as the Dionusos or Bakchos of the Greeks. The Pelasgi, ancient inhabitants of Greece, and who settled Samothrace, celebrated these Mysteries, whose origin is unknown: and they worshipped Castor and Pollux as patrons of navigation.

The tomb of Apollo was at Delphi, where his body was laid, after Python, the Polar Serpent that annually heralds the coming of autumn, cold, darkness, and winter, had slain him, and over whom the God triumphs, on the 25th of March, on his return to the lamb of the Vernal Equinox.

In Crete, Jupiter Ammon, or the Sun in Aries, painted with the attributes of that equinoctial sign, the Ram or Lamb; -- that Ammon who, Martianus Copella says, is the same as Osiris, Adoni, Adonis, Atys, and the other Sun-Gods, -- had also a tomb, and a religious initiation; one of the principal ceremonies of which consisted in clothing the Initiate with the skin of a white lamb. And in this we see the origin of the apron of white sheep-skin, used in Masonry.

All these deaths and resurrections, these funeral emblems, these anniversaries of mourning and joy, these cenotaphs raised in different places to the Sun-God, honored under different names, had but a single object, the allegorical narration of the events which happened here below to the Light of Nature, that sacred fire from which our souls were deemed to emanate, warring with Matter and the dark Principle resident therein, ever at variance with the Principle of Good and Light poured upon itself by the Supreme Divinity. All these Mysteries, says Clemens of Alexandria, displaying

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to us murders and tombs alone, all these religious tragedies, had a common basis, variously ornamented: and that basis was the fictitious death and resurrection of the Sun, Soul of the World, principle of life and movement in the Sublunary World, and source of our intelligences, which are but a portion of the Eternal Light blazing in that Star, their chief centre.

It was in the Sun that Souls, it was said, were purified: and to it they repaired. It was one of the gates of the soul, through which the theologians, says Porphyry, say that it re-ascends toward the home of Light and the Good. Wherefore, in the Mysteries of Eleusis, the Dadoukos (the first officer after the Hierophant, who represented the Grand Demiourgos or Maker of the Universe), who was posted in the interior of the Temple, and there received the candidates, represented the Sun.

It was also held that the vicissitudes experienced by the Father of Light had an influence on the destiny of souls; which, of the same substance as he, shared his fortunes. This we learn from the Emperor Julian and Sallust the Philosopher. They are afflicted when he suffers: they rejoice when he triumphs over the Power of Darkness which opposes his sway and hinders the happiness of Souls, to whom nothing is so terrible as darkness. The fruit of the sufferings of the God, father of light and Souls, slain by the Chief of the Powers of Darkness, and again restored to life, was received in the Mysteries. "His death works your Salvation;" said the High Priest of Mithras. That was the great secret of this religious tragedy, and its expected fruit; -- the resurrection of a God, who, repossessing Himself of His dominion over Darkness, should associate with Him in His triumph those virtuous Souls that by their purity were worthy to share His glory; and that strove not against the divine force that drew them to Him, when He had thus conquered.

To the Initiate were also displayed the spectacles of the chief agents of the Universal Cause, and of the distribution of the world, in the detail of its parts arranged in most regular order. The Universe itself supplied man with the model of the first Temple reared to the Divinity. The arrangement of the Temple of Solomon, the symbolic ornaments which formed its chief decorations, and the dress of the High Priest, -- all, as Clemens of Alexandria, Josephus and Philo state, had reference to the order of the world. Clemens informs us that the Temple contained many emblems

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of the Seasons, the Sun, the Moon, the planets, the constellations Ursa Major and Minor, the zodiac, the elements, and the other parts of the world.

Josephus, in his description of the High Priest's Vestments, protesting against the charge of impiety brought against the Hebrews by other nations, for contemning the Heathen Divinities, declares it false, because, in the construction of the Tabernacle, in the vestments of the Sacrificers, and in the Sacred vessels, the whole World was in some sort represented. Of the three parts, he says, into which the Temple was divided, two represent Earth and Sea, open to all men, and the third, Heaven, God's dwelling-place, reserved for Him alone. The twelve loaves of Shew-bread signify the twelve months of the year. The Candlestick represented the twelve signs through which the Seven Planets run their courses; and the seven lights, those planets; the veils, of four colors, the four elements; the tunic of the High Priest, the earth; the Hyacinth, nearly blue, the Heavens; the ephod, of four colors, the whole of nature; the gold, Light; the breast-plate, in the middle, this earth in the centre of the world; the two Sardonyxes, used as clasps, the Sun and Moon; and the twelve precious stones of the breast-plate arranged by threes, like the Seasons, the twelve months, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. Even the loaves were arranged in two groups of six, like the zodiacal signs above and below the Equator. Clemens, the learned Bishop of Alexandria, and Philo, adopt all these explanations.

Hermes calls the Zodiac, the Great Tent, -- Tabernaculum. In the Royal Arch Degree of the American Rite, the Tabernacle has four veils, of different colors, to each of which belongs a banner. The colors of the four are White, Blue, Crimson, and Purple, and the banners bear the images of the Bull, the Lion, the Man, and the Eagle, the Constellations answering 2500 years before our era to the Equinoctial and Solstitial points: to which belong four stars, Aldebarán, Regulus, Fomalhaut, and Antares. At each of these veils there are three words: and to each division of the Zodiac, belonging to each of these Stars, are three Signs. The four signs, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius, were termed the fixed signs, and are appropriately assigned to the four veils.

So the Cherubim, according to Clemens and Philo, represented the two hemispheres their wings, the rapid course of the firmament, and of time which revolves in the Zodiac. "For the Heavens

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fly;" says Philo, speaking of the wings of the Cherubim: which were winged representations of the Lion, the Bull, the Eagle, and the Man; of two of which, the human-headed, winged bulls and lions, so many have been found at Nimroud; adopted as beneficent symbols, when the Sun entered Taurus at the Vernal Equinox and Leo at the Summer Solstice: and when, also, he entered Scorpio, for which, on account of its malignant influences, Aquilla, the eagle was substituted, at the autumnal equinox; and Aquarius (the water-bearer) at the Winter Solstice.

So, Clemens says, the candlestick with seven branches represented the seven planets, like which the seven branches were arranged and regulated, preserving that musical proportion and system of harmony of which the sun was the centre and connection. They were arranged, says Philo, by threes, like the planets above and those below the sun; between which two groups was the branch that represented him, the mediator or moderator of the celestial harmony. He is, in fact, the fourth in the musical scale, as Philo remarks, and Martianus Capella in his hymn to the Sun.

Near the candlestick were other emblems representing the heavens, earth, and the vegetative matter out of whose bosom the vapors arise. The whole temple was an abridged image of the world. There were candlesticks with four branches, symbols of the elements and the seasons; with twelve, symbols of the signs; and even with three hundred and sixty, the number of days in the year, without the supplementary days. Imitating the famous Temple of Tyre, where were the great columns consecrated to the winds and fire, the Tyrian artist placed two columns of bronze at the entrance of the porch of the temple. The hemispherical brazen sea, supported by four groups of bulls, of three each, looking to the four cardinal points of the compass, represented the bull of the Vernal Equinox, and at Tyre were consecrated to Astarte; to whom Hiram, Josephus says, had builded a temple, and who wore on her head a helmet bearing the image of a bull. And the throne of Solomon, with bulls adorning its arms, and supported on lions, like those of Horus in Egypt and of the Sun at Tyre; likewise referred to the Vernal Equinox and Summer Solstice.

Those who in Thrace adored the sun, under the name of Saba-Zeus, the Grecian Bakchos, builded to him, says Macrobius, a temple on Mount Zelmisso, its round form representing the world and the sun. A circular aperture in the roof admitted the light,

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and introduced the image of the sun into the body of the sanctuary, where he seemed to blaze as in the heights of Heaven, and to dissipate the darkness within that temple which was a representative symbol of the world. There the passion, death, and resurrection of Bakchos were represented.

So the Temple of Eleusis was lighted by a window in the roof. The sanctuary so lighted, Dion compares to the Universe, from which he says it differed in size alone; and in it the great lights of nature played a great part and were mystically represented. The images of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury were represented there, (the latter the same as Anubis who accompanied Isis); and they are still the three lights of a Masonic Lodge; except that for Mercury, the Master of the Lodge has been absurdly substituted.

Eusebius names as the principal Ministers in the Mysteries of Eleusis, first, the Hierophant, clothed with the attributes of the Grand Architect (Demiourgos) of the Universe. After him came the Dadoukos, or torch-bearer, representative of the Sun: then the altar-bearer, representing the Moon: and last, the Hieroceryx, bearing the caduceus, and representing Mercury. It was not permissible to reveal the different emblems and the mysterious pageantry of initiation to the Profane; and therefore we do not know the attributes, emblems, and ornaments of these and other officers; of which Apuleius and Pausanias dared not speak.

We know only that everything recounted there was marvellous; everything done there tended to astonish the Initiate: and that eyes and ears were equally astounded. The Hierophant, of lofty height, and noble features, with long hair, of a great age, grave and dignified, with a voice sweet and sonorous, sat upon a throne, clad in a long trailing robe; as the Motive-God of Nature was held to be enveloped in His work and hidden under a veil which no mortal can raise. Even His name was concealed, like that of the Demiourgos, whose name was ineffable.

The Dadoukos also wore a long robe, his hair long, and a bandeau on his forehead. Callias, when holding that office, fighting on the great day of Marathon, clothed with the insignia of his office, was taken by the Barbarians to be a King. The Dadoukos led the procession of the Initiates, and was charged with the purifications.

We do not know the functions of the Epibomos or assistant at the altar, who represented the moon. That planet was one of the

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two homes of souls, and one of the two great gates by which they descended and reascended. Mercury was charged with the conducting of souls through the two great gates; and in going from the sun to the moon they passed immediately by him. He admitted or rejected them as they were more or less pure, and therefore the Hieroceryx or Sacred Herald, who represented Mercury, was charged with the duty of excluding the Profane from the Mysteries.

The same officers are found in the procession of Initiates of Isis, described by Apuleius. All clad in robes of white linen, drawn tight across the breast, .and close-fitting down to the very feet, came, first, one bearing a lamp in the shape of a boat; second, one carrying an altar; and third,